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Restore the vote

Regarding Oct. 10 article “Felony Forfeit…”: I wish to commend Tucson Local Meida for your recent hard-hitting article on the, in my opinion, unnecessary disenfranchisement of former prisoners who have paid their debt to society.  I have always felt that felons should have their voting rights immediately restored upon release from prison.  This is particularly true, given the many barriers that former prisoners face in attempting to reintegrate into mainstream society.

Several of data cited were truly appalling.  It’s hard to fathom that over 200 people are currently serving terms in Arizona prisons for marijuana possession, a violation that is treated as a misdemeanor in every other state I am aware of.

Likewise according to the nonprofit Sentencing Project close, to 12 percent of Arizona African Americans have lost their right to vote. That figure implies that close to 20 percent of our adult male African Americans are denied their voting rights due to incarceration— a truly deplorable situation. 

I urge that all civic-minded readers join me in lending their whole-hearted support to the locally-based nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization Restore Your Vote.  You can reach their website at RestoreYourVote.org.

—John Newport, Tucson


Check your facts

Regarding Oct. 17 letter “Pelosi Puppet”: Rick Cunningham, in his letter, rants about Kyrsten Sinema’s radical left positions. It appears he doesn’t research or he would know that Sinema has voted with the Republicans over 60 percent of the time. That doesn’t sound like radical left to me!

—Mary Wellington, Tucson


More to do

If the Oro Valley Water Utility seriously wants to reduce water consumption in the town, it should provide homeowners with financial incentives and installation assistance to remove the remaining 3-gallon per flush toilet fixtures in older homes and replace them with water-conserving low-flow toilets.

The Oro Valley Water Utility should petition the town to eliminate the use of reverse osmosis (RO) systems. Per Wikipedia: “Household reverse osmosis units use a lot of water because they have low back pressure. As a result, they recover only 5 to 15 percent of the water entering the system. The remainder is discharged as waste water. Because waste water carries with it the rejected contaminants, methods to recover this water are not practical for household systems.” Alternative whole house filtration system technologies do not waste water at the high rate of RO systems.

I hope local developers, builders, and plumbers pro-actively advocate for water conserving systems whether they are a code requirement or not. The Oro Valley Water Utility should hold seminars to encourage planners to incorporate water-conserving plumbing systems, such as “home-run” plumbing systems into their architectural plans. A home-run system sends water to each fixture from a central manifold located near the hot water source, thereby reducing water wasted while waiting for hot water to arrive at a fixture.

I wish these conservation measures and others were adopted statewide, as anticipated water shortages are a regional, state, county, and local concern.

That some homeowners can afford exorbitant water bills does not mean they should be exempt from conserving Arizona, Pima County, and Oro Valley’s precious, limited, and shrinking water resources. The WaterSmart software that sends leak alerts is a very small step toward long-term sustainability of our water resources. There’s more to be done.

—Lois Berkowitz, Oro Valley



Prop. 463

We don’t live in a small town. The ingrained, small-town mindset about our roads is irresponsible by all who push the status quo. 

Our infrastructure problem hurts everyone. It depresses wages, hurts jobs, deters businesses and the disrepair puts us at risk. Comparison of our infrastructure and roads to the infrastructure of other top 50 populated cities (we’re ranked 33) is absolutely shocking and a total embarrassment.

 Figuring out reasonable ways to pay for infrastructure is what grown-up cities do. With underfunded road maintenance by the state, we in Pima County must act ourselves like similar sized cities. I’ve read Proposition 463 and it’s a good solution. Plus it won’t raise our taxes. Do we want roads that keep our families safe? Do we want companies to invest in this community to create future jobs for our kids? Of course we do. 

Let’s be grown-ups here and start fixing our roads. Please vote with me in support of Proposition 463.

—Lorie Wolf, Oro Valley


Get off my park

If my neighbor was playing his stereo so loud that I could not watch a TV program or put my grandchild to bed for a nap or to bed at night, I would go and ask my neighbor to please turn down the volume. If he wouldn’t turn it down I would call the police and ask for help.

Well, I had to go through two days of loud music, and there was nobody I could ask for help. The town of Oro Valley needs to remember that Naranja Park is surrounded by several subdivisions, and the events happening at the park should have little if no impact on the people living in those subdivisions. Next year please find a new location or control the volume to be limited to the park area.                                                                                        

Also, we always hear about the positive financial impact an event like this has on the town. I would like for our town manager or parks and rec department give us the numbers on the total cost of putting on the event and if any profit was made where those monies will go.

— Rick Wampler, Oro Valley

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