Letters to Editor

What ghetto?

Regarding Feb 7 letter “Come on, Lou”:Those who know me will validate that I have been a 20- year resident of Oro Valley. I have been actively involved in this community at various levels. Some disagree with my positions, many agree. So be it.

With that background, I must opine that the recent piece published in the Explorer written by Norman Hansen is insulting. I don’t know Mr. Hansen nor do I wish to. But his comment, “keep Oro Valley a town, not a California ghetto” should irritate everyone. 

I am not a fan of the mind set, “If you don’t like it, move,” but his comparison comment  is so off base that I say: Mr. Hansen, you don’t deserve to live in this community. I’ll be happy to recommend a great local realtor so you can be on your way soon.

—Don Cox



Golf suggestion

At the Feb. 7 meeting, the Oro Valley Town Council was presented the recommendation to support two 18 hole golf courses and invest $4 million for repairs. To evaluate this recommendation, everyone must understand that the current operation consists of two completely different business models: one is a municipally funded country club, and the other is a traditional daily fee municipal course.   

So why, as the town manager suggests, are we the public forced to fund the present losses, plus spend an additional $4 million for upgrades at two golf courses? The only conceivable reason for the second course is to provide a separate and exclusive golf course for the country club members. Some believe the revenue from country club memberships is the glue that holds the golf course financials in place.  (Surprisingly, this is the same argument put forward by the membership). But this is true only if this revenue covers the entire cost of operating a separate golf course. If it does not, as the records show, the loss requires a subsidy from the community. 

 If the number of courses were based on demand, the total yearly rounds played on both courses  at 42,000 rounds, would be easily satisfied by one 18 hole course. Some on the council say golf is a public benefit and deserves a subsidy, but does a country club that serves only a few citizens really qualify as a public benefit? Many of us believe it does not. 

Is it the responsibility of the entire community to be taxed to subsidize a lifestyle for only a few hundred residents? Certainly, a golf course is an asset to the adjacent properties, but changing underused courses to linear parks, family biking and walking trails will also support property values and benefit the entire community.

Bottom line, a single municipal 18 hole golf course with two 9 holes loops is the best solution. The size meets the need, decreases operating costs, all golfers experience affordable golf, and junior and senior play is offered.  Most importantly, the sales tax revenue can then be used to renovate the community center as we were originally told.

—Dick Leonard



Oh, so many walls

Regarding Feb. 14 story “Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica…”: Danyelle Khmara had a great piece about the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall coming to Oro Valley. 

She stated that it was the second time in the state. Not so fast. It has been at the Southern Arizona VA Hospital and the Casino Del Sol. I’m guessing that it may have also been elsewhere in the state. Do some checking next time before you make such a statement of incorrect fact.

—Richard Smith

Editor’s Note: There are a number of Vietnam Memorial Wall replicas nationwide. The article by Danyelle Khmara was about The Wall That Heals, created by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the nonprofit that founded the original wall in D.C. According to fund director of communications Heidi Zimmerman, TWTH has only come to Arizona once before: Flagstaff in 2009.


Star let me down

On Wednesday evening, Feb. 21, I was at a meeting of the Tucson City Council. One of the major issues to be discussed at this meeting was a proposed student housing project at the SW corner of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street. I heard talk of changing the culture of Tucson and marginalizing small business owners because of higher rents and already not enough parking. Someone living on the east side said they liked coming to Fourth Avenue, and didn’t want that changed. 

The meeting room was overcrowded, and not one speaker supported the project. One might think the Arizona Daily Star would have reported on this meeting as they have other city council meetings, but they didn’t. I don’t know what is worse, “fake” news, or no news at all.

I have a problem in that it seems like someone waved they’re wand and made a seven-story building appear at Fourth Avenue and Seventh Street. I saw a bumper sticker once that said, “I’m not afraid of Hell, I live in Phoenix.” Well, I am a little afraid of Hell, and, wait a minute, did I just wake up in Russia?... 

—Michael Hazzard

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