voices: you say

True Scare

Regarding Dec. 12 letter “Climate Scare”: The University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment is but one example where scientists, our friends and neighbors, are developing sophisticated means of observing such changes.  

CO2 heats the atmosphere, known since 1896 when scientist Svante Arrhenius described how greenhouse gases cause warming. Throughout the last century we watched as ever-more data was collected. Ice cores from Antarctica show us that carbon dioxide is at the highest level ever and tree rings tell us about past climate. NASA measures the CO2 levels every hour at Moana Loa observatory in Hawaii as well as from satellites, and other nations such as Japan, Scotland, Russia and China are all carefully monitoring the levels of greenhouse gases. 

Temperature on land, in the atmosphere and at all depths of the ocean are rising, causing glaciers to melt, sea levels to rise, droughts and fires, and changes in vegetation, even diseases. We know the cause of these changes, and we know how much damage the rising temperatures cause – both in lives lost and the economic harm. Fighting wildfires cost over $2 billion in 2017 and damages from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria totaled over $200 billion.

 Science provides us with the means to understand and react to our world. From medicine and economics to electronics and space exploration, we gather information and develop responses.With all this data about our past, current environment and our likely future, we have the ability to change our behavior and avoid problems and climate change is the most profound and widespread. 

Solutions start with curbing carbon emissions from fossil fuels. We can regulate it. We can invest in clean technology including solar, a solution that would invigorate Arizona’s economy. Or we could put a price on carbon and allow the marketplace to direct how reductions will take place.  A bill was introduced in Congress two weeks ago that would do just that – the Energy Innovation Act.

A true scare implies we don’t understand a problem—its cause or remedies, such as the plague of the Middle Ages. Climate change is not a scare. It is caused by greenhouse gases and we have all the information and tools we need right now to protect our future.

—Jane Conlin, Tucson



Regarding Dec. 12 letter “Axing Volunteers”: Don Cox always leaves a trail of hypocrisy in his wake. His recent letter was no exception. He complained about the council vote to eliminate a third term for Planning and Zoning Commissioners and claimed that it was a “power grab” on the part of the new council.

In reality, a power grab is when a very small cadre of insiders decides to take complete control. Hence, the actual power grab took place between 2010 to 2018 during the Hiremath years and included Mayor Hiremath, The WLB Group, Meritage Homes, HSL Properties, and Don Cox as planning and zoning Commissioner for five of those eight years. Cox was happy to be part of that power grab.

By eliminating the third term, Mayor Winfield is opening up more opportunities to others in the community who would like to have a voice in our government, a voice that was ignored for the past eight years. How is it a power grab to allow more people a chance to participate?

Cox claims that a third two-year term results in more experienced commissioners. Planning and zoning commissioners receive training beforehand, plus the town planning staff is present at all meetings to provide the necessary information. You just need the desire to volunteer, to study and to ask relevant questions.

Two successive two-year terms worked successfully in the past despite having a much smaller population. With our population increasing from approximately 20,000 to 43,000, we now have a much bigger pool of talent and interest from which to draw.

In yet another display of hypocrisy, Cox also asserts that the four new members on council have “little or no local governance experience.” Yet he had no trouble supporting and voting for Hiremath, Snider and Waters in 2010 when they had no local governance experience.

Mayor Winfield, Barrett, Jones-Ivey and Nicolson were elected because citizens wanted fresh ideas and new perspectives. As promised, the Winfield council is working to change the tone and direction of how our town is run.

But it was Don Cox’s own words in 2016 (when his candidates won) that best describes the current circumstances. Cox said, “Now the most important voice has been heard. The voting population of Oro Valley have spoken loudly and given all of us a clear and firm message…The incumbents…have been told to clean out their desks and leave the governance of Oro Valley…There can be no argument about where the people stand.”

—Diane Peters, Oro Valley


My Turn

Regarding Dec. 12 letters “Axing Volunteers” and “Judging Trump”: First of all, Don Cox asks why the new members of the Oro Valley Council “with little or no local governance experience” chose to remove some members of boards and commissions.  

I can tell Mr. Cox why: The people of Oro Valley voted to remove those “in power,” which includes those on the Planning and Zoning Commission, who voted to amend the General Plan’s low density areas to high density. Just take a look at the homes being built along First Avenue just south of Tangerine Road, the loss of mountain views by many as well as the desert being bladed daily, drastically changing why many moved to Oro Valley in the first place.  Also, I say regarding his comment that “we only have to wait six months to file recall papers” is shameful on you!

And, secondly, Mr. Steele states that a group of Republicans met to undermine and destroy the presidency of Obama—not quite true—they wished to stop the “fundamental transformation of the United States of America” as stated by Mr. Obama in October 2008 prior to the election. And, look around you, it is happening.  Yes, President Trump has many faults, but not one of them is his lack of wanting the best for the American citizen.  Every President’s number one job is the safety and security of its citizens.  This means protecting our sovereign borders and legislating laws and treaties with the U.S. citizen being thought of first.  He believes in America First—and so do I—as well as many other United States citizens and, I ask,  if you don’t, just what do you believe in?

—Rosalie Wright, Oro Valley 

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