Smiles of amazement - Tucson Local Media: Editorials

Smiles of amazement

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Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:00 pm

People in the Oro Valley business community wore smiles of amazement last week, after the Oro Valley Town Council appointed a businessman – a developer, no less – to complete an open term on the town council.

Steve Solomon, the longtime resident known for high-quality home building and ambitious thinking, is a card-carrying member of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association.

He's been critical at times of Oro Valley's development review processes and fees. Now, moving forward, he can actually do something about perceived delays and unfair treatment.

It's a bold move by the governing board, which was not unanimous — nor need it be — in making the choice. Mayor Satish Hiremath and the new council picked Solomon over 18 other hopefuls, among them a past mayor, several past council members and plenty of others with the skills and passion to do the work.

Oro Valley has had a reputation for being less than "business-friendly." Evidence in support of that opinion is, at best, anecdotal. Still, the perception exists, and Solomon's appointment, along with the seating of three other new people on the governing board, can send a different signal to the business community.

As in "Oro Valley, open for business."


Speaking of business, the former sanofi-aventis laboratory in Oro Valley's La Reserve is being purchased by the University of Arizona, which wants to use the commercial-grade research lab for new projects and start-up nurturing.

It's a very positive step in the community's chosen, emerging path as a center for biological, chemical and technological research and development. The existence of Roche / Ventana, Honeywell and sanofi-aventis, among others, bodes well for the Northwest's future as a place where innovation happens.

On Hanley Boulevard, a ready-made facility for research is being acquired by a research university with real need for good space at a great price. Timing isn't everything, but it is something, and the community can hope to see more good things happening in its strongest economic sector as a result.


Ora Mae Harn, Marana's wonder of a first lady, just keeps going, and going. Last week, an event to recognize formalization of the Marana Heritage Conservancy was really a celebration of Ora Mae, who is inseparable from Marana's modern history and community development.

Ora Mae told the group she has had a recurrence of cancer, but won't subject herself to any experimental treatment. She's leaving it in the hands of God. And, certainly, she won't go quietly, nor idly. There's too much to do.

It was hard not to choke up when Ora Mae called herself "the most fortunate, lucky lady in the entire world," because she was blessed with wonderful family, friends and community.

Truth is, Marana has been blessed to have someone of her passion and persistence. May she keep going, and going.


Sunday is Fathers Day, when dads get a new tie or a new rake.

Fathers who reside at the Fountains at La Cholla, a Northwest retirement facility, have changed the day's focus to what lasting gifts fathers can pass on to future generations.

"Always treat your children fairly," David Meyer advises. "Teach them to work for everything they want. My father did that for me and it was the best gift."

"Support your children in any endeavor (as long as it's legal)," advises Richard Vosk.

Richard Maynes says fatherly success boils down to a single phrase that he used often with his two children: "Pay attention to your mother!"


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