Do kids a big favor, and be parent to them

Mr. Sandefer's column this week is about the best I've ever read. He hit a big problem on the nose.

I will never understand why a large number of today's parents do not try to teach their children some manners, respect, and do some disciplining when necessary. For some unknown reason, they want to be buddies or friends with them. It seems easier to let them rule the roost than to put forth some effort and give them guidelines to help them in their lives.

In other words, be a parent. They are not doing them any favors. By not doing a parent's job, these kids will not be ready, or capable, to join in our society. They will not always get their way, and there will be some very rough roads ahead.

They don't learn this stuff in school. Teaching begins at home.

Bud Bowersock, Oro Valley

Votes show she aligns with an educated public

Dr. Holder replies to my letter that national polls show many disagree with the stimulus and health care bills and that, therefore, I must believe that Congresswoman Giffords' District is somehow different.

I agree.

Those same national polls show that the higher one's educational level, the more likely one is to understand, and agree with the need for the stimulus and health care bills.

With a major university, a teaching hospital, a large aerospace industry, etc. here in Tucson, on the whole we probably do have a highly educated population which understands the need for universal healthcare and the stimulus bill, hence Congresswoman Giffords' votes in favor of these bills.

George Krueger, Marana

Are bicyclists considered in new road work?

In the last two issues of The Explorer you have had stories about bicycle ownership. In those same two issues, articles about the roadway improvements in the area and not one single mention of those bicycles in the roadway articles.

As a bicycle enthusiast, it bothers me that no consideration was given to cyclists turning right from Ina onto Oracle in the plans, or mentioned that we flow through the roundabout with cars.

Oro Valley is the most wonderful place to ride and riding is a fantastic exercise. Bike lanes should be a no-brainer in all new construction (everywhere) … where are they?

Gail Munden, Oro Valley

P.S. — Could I just ask bicycle riders to remember they must obey traffic rules, even for other riders? Running stop signs is epidemic.

Once again, it's about a need for campaign reform

Campaign reform was the subject of a letter to the editor I submitted on June 30. The two responses printed dealt with the methodology of determining where contributions originated.

Sadly, neither response addressed the need for campaign reform. I could have picked any member of Congress and undoubtedly reached the same conclusion. Gabrielle Giffords was used as an example because she is my representative in Congress.

Clearly she receives enormous amounts of funding from sources outside of her district. The question remains, who does she represent? The policy issue in question is the need for campaign reform. Apparently respondents don't much care to whom our elected officials are beholden.

I repeat, I believe we need campaign funding reform.

Ken Kinared, Oro Valley

GOP hopefuls jerk knees about finance reform

Republican candidates would have some credibility if they demonstrated more than a "knee jerk" response to Gabrielle Giffords' standing up for hard-working Southern Arizona families by voting for the landmark financial regulation reform bill that holds Wall Street accountable for its reckless abuses that almost destroyed our economy in 2008.

They criticize Gabrielle Giffords for voting the party line, but all they seem advocate is the Republican line.

Gabrielle Gifford does not always vote the party line, and I don't always agree with her, but I know that she cares about her constituents and always votes for what she sincerely believes is in their best interests. I support her and hope you will.

Albert Einstein said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." The Republican candidates would have us do the same thing over again? Enough said?

Walter Marcus,Tucson

Giffords makes 2 brave votes to aid taxpayers

Southern Arizona voters should take note of the fact that our member of Congress, Gabrielle Giffords, cast two brave votes last week that will help to protect taxpayers against ever again paying for the abuses and shenanigans that helped lead to our recent financial crises.

Giffords voted for new laws that will force Wall Street traders, bankers and credit rating agencies to abide by stricter rules and regulations in their business practices. The fact that these entities used to have wide latitude to act as they pleased directly led to catastrophic results for their clients, shareholders and, ultimately, all taxpayers.

Sadly, the three men who seek to unseat Giffords lacked her wisdom and strength on this issue. Jesse Kelly, Brian Miller and Jonathan Paton all criticized Giffords for her votes, indicating that they have cast their lot with Wall Street and turned their backs on average citizens and taxpayers. Despite the fact that numerous investigations have shown that a lack of regulation and oversight set the stage for the abuses engaged in by some in business and finance, Kelly, Miller and Paton kept their ideological blinders in place and did the bidding of their corporate masters.

This is nothing new for Paton. He has been a paid lobbyist for the payday lending industry. Paton also wrote an argument against the proposition overwhelmingly approved by Arizona voters to end predatory lending in our state. Kelly has criticized Paton for his advocacy for payday lenders, but he stood with his primary opponent when it came time to get tough with Wall Street.

Southern Arizona is fortunate to have a fighter like Giffords working for us in Congress. This vote underlines why we must keep Giffords in office. It also serves as notice that none of her opponents will represent our interests and values.

Rex Scott, Tucson

Temporary sign relief is a step in right direction

Bravo to the new Oro Valley Town Council for making a bold and proactive decision in support of both local businesses and a healthy bottom line for the town.

As a 12-year Oro Valley resident and also a small business owner, I applaud the town and council for thinking outside the box during this difficult economic time. Healthy Oro Valley businesses generate the sales tax (2 percent on every transaction) that saves us from paying property taxes. Shuttered businesses and empty storefronts bring nothing of value to the town. Rather, they serve to undermine consumer confidence and are a bad indicator for potential businesses considering Oro Valley.

We need to strive for longevity for local businesses rather than witnessing the same location go through three businesses in as many years. We all want to enjoy the conveniences of a reliable, consistent base of business within our town limits. Oro Valley has long been known for the stringencies of its sign code. But this code was created when the economy was strong, consumer confidence was high, and businesses thrived. Times have changed, and every vacant storefront is a silent witness to that.

By enabling businesses to apply for temporary relief from the zoning code (specifically, "temporary signs"), the town is demonstrating a willingness to work with the business community toward a mutually beneficial outcome. They are giving us the opportunity to determine, and prove, what will help our businesses the most. It is very forward thinking and enables businesses to use the best tools possible for the job.

Make no mistake: as a business owner, I know that of foremost importance to my success is a consistency in my product and level of customer service. No A-frame sign or banner will lure back a customer who has had a bad experience. But during these trying economic times, even the businesses who demonstrate that theory need as many tools at our fingertips as possible. Residents, businesses and the town all need to be creative and flexible in developing a thriving business community. The temporary relief measure is a step in the right direction.

Bonnie Quinn, Oro Valley

Sign that says 'open house' preferable to 'foreclosure'

As the Oro Valley sign code revision committee works to revise the sign code ordinance, real estate open house signs are once again a topic of controversy.

Oro Valley, to its credit, has taken the idea of allowing temporary signage placed in the public right-of-way seriously. In fact, real estate brokers pay a licensing fee for the right to place such temporary signage (almost always open house signs) in the public right-of-way.

Unfortunately, the language currently under consideration requires open house signs to be no closer than 10 feet from the edge of the roadway. In most cases, the 10-foot requirement would put signs on sidewalks or so far off the edge of the roadway they would not be visible and eliminate their effectiveness.

There is an alternative to the 10-foot requirement. Most roadways in Oro Valley have a strip of gravel between the curb and the sidewalk. It is usually about 1-1/2 to two feet wide.

Many realtors and homeowners prefer the language for the ordinance be, "No sign shall directly impede pedestrian, bicycle or motor vehicle traffic when placed in the public right-of-way. Signs may be placed between curb and sidewalk where space is available. Signs may not be placed on any paved surface."

Open houses work to generate home sales. Having temporary signage to help sell homes is far better than longer term signs that say "Foreclosure" and "Short Sale."

Mark Finchem, Oro Valley

Sign code rule would be too restrictive

As a Realtor working in Oro Valley, I believe the new sign code is too restrictive, and would hinder the homeowner's ability to sell a home.

I would appreciate that a10-foot from curb limit for sign placement be rethought, and that temporary signs can be placed in the strip between the curb and the sidewalk.

Thank you.

Nick Labriola, Tucson

There is room in U.S. politics for morality

This letter was addressed to letter-writer Rick Cunnington. It was shortened — Ed.

Cheryl Cage has given us several reasons to vote for her, and incumbent Al Melvin has given us several reasons not to vote for him.

The reasons are his opposition to the minimum wage, his plan to store and/or recycle nuclear waste in Arizona, to give two examples.

I will quote the Bible as you did with "weeping and gnashing of teeth." I believe in "giving honor when honor is due." I fully support Mr. Melvin's efforts to ban texting while driving. My first reaction when he suggested using inmate labor on school grounds was "Hell, no. No damn way." However after giving it some serious thought, (my public school education taught me to think for myself), why not as long as it isn't done during school hours and/or when no children are present?

I will now attempt to answer some of your 10 questions to the best of my ability.

3. What local money? We are in a recession, "remember?"

4. It is in the Arizona state constitution that the state shall establish schools and also provide adequate funding.

7. Unless you can provide proof to back up your statement "Given that the vast majority of educational problems are caused by the teachers unions," I can't answer this question.

9. If just cause is shown to the majority of the voters, as was the case in Prop 100, most citizens will approve because most Arizonans support education.

10. I'm not opposed to tax cuts for businesses if certain conditions are met. Take my town, Marana for example. In order to qualify for the tax cuts, companies must provide at least 25 full time positions that pay at least $40,000 per year. Sargent Controls has signed onto the plan and I expect other companies to follow suit.

I must object to your comment, "there is no place for morality in politics." I don't believe that and I would like to ask why not?


Harold Thompson, Marana

With more town holidays, OV taxpayer loses

On July 21, the Oro Valley mayor and council voted 7-0 to pass Resolution 10-50 (add employee holidays).

A memo from Human Resources supported this action.


"In 2009, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 was authorized as paid 'vacation' days for all staff for the first time by the interim town manager. This act was initiated on factors that included no cost of living or merit increases, difficult economic conditions and a reduction in force resulting in heavier work loads and strain on employee morale."

Why not boost our taxpayer morale by less spending?

Why no Resolution in 2009 but added for 2010? Hmmm.

"Designating these dates (added holidays) is beneficial to our customers and staff for the following reasons:"

"The Town may effectively communicate to the community that business offices will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and 31 and Jan. 1 due to holiday schedule."

The town must add two additional holidays so a communication can be made to the public? Logical?

"For payroll, financial and individual department accountability, having set dates is more efficient for each department to administer."

How will adding two additional holidays make it more efficient for each department to administer?

"Staff may plan for customers' needs and holiday gatherings proactively."

How does adding two additional holidays help town customers needs? The only thing it does help is the employees in planning their personal holiday gatherings.

Fiscal impact:

"For essential services there will be a holiday payroll cost associated with this change. For FY10-11 this cost will be absorbed through vacancy savings and year end operational line item savings."

In my opinion, a sweeping statement that the added holiday cost will be absorbed is insufficient justification. The Oro Valley taxpayer loses again.

John Musolf, Oro Valley

Flyers reveal the character of candidates

As election day nears, campaign flyers become interesting. Democrats and Republicans resort to tactics grasping for the prize, the golden ring. Democrat against Republican and on occasion, Democrat against Democrat and Republican against Republican.

Formulations for victory are developed focusing on the proposed issues of significance. The real issue is having a candidate and winner that does not resort to cheap tactics with glittering generalities and half truths without facts which demean other candidates.

The smooth talk and rhetoric behind the promises: one person is not going to provide instant change when they are elected. One person, when elected, cannot change the tax structure or put an end to anything.

An endorsement of a candidate by a single sheriff, or an influential organization, is primarily meant to sway the general public to their position. Unfortunately, unethical methods are used against honest, sincere opponents, painting a picture that is destructively demolishing the character of an opponent. Some call this politics. I call this bovine scatology.

The general populace is sick and tired of these methodologies and hungers for honesty, character and integrity without glittering generalities and destructive political flyers.

Young candidates tend to label some individuals as a career politicians or lobbyists. This is not an issue that can be linked to personal values. Once you enter a race, you are a politician. Political flyers by young candidates makes one a career politician. Only older candidates are not career politicians.

Personally, I support school choice, tort reform, no more wasteful spending and border security 100 percent. Does that make me qualified to seek office? The general public can be easily mesmerized by these topics; however, the general public is not fooled by political flyers loaded with cheap tactics, glittering generalities and half truths lacking details that demean other candidates.

The scent, character and demeanor of candidates will be marked by the color of their political flyers. We will get many of them as election day approaches. The political flyers will separate the individuals with character from those practicing cheap tactics demeaning others for their own selfish personal gain.

Bob Black, Oro Valley

Bad behavior on Wall Street delays retirement

I feel more sure than ever that Gabrielle Giffords, my District 8 Congresswoman, is looking out for my interests when it comes to the behavior of Wall Street. Thank goodness she has voted to support the legislation to reform Wall Street practices. Thank you, Gabrielle.

Wall Street's irresponsible behavior has had a direct negative effect on the ability of my husband and myself to retire. Our retirement, and that of so many others, has been decimated to make a few people very wealthy. After years of working long hours and saving diligently, we find that we cannot retire for the foreseeable future, probably well into our 70s. Wall Street participated in spurious banking practices, was ruthless with credit card accounts, then took my tax dollars, and then give themselves huge bonuses. I am outraged.

The economy that Wall Street very nearly destroyed for all of us is also the economy that supports children with special needs in Arizona. Services to these children, with whom I work, have been cut drastically. There will likely be more cutbacks in the near future.

I will not forget these Wall Street abuses. I find it very disheartening that the candidates Jonathan Paton, Jesse Kelly and Brian Miller all say that they are against this legislation. Just who do they propose to represent? Not me or my hard-working husband, not the children with special needs in Arizona, not middle class families who are trying to survive this disastrous economy. Couldn't just one of them be on our side?


Christine Merrill, Tucson

Look at other methods to use garbage

With all the talk about garbage dump sites and the pros and cons, has anyone looked into plasma converters? Not only do they get rid of the garbage problem, they make energy out of it, don't mess up the environment and can turn garbage into an income for the town using them.

They get hot enough to not only burn garbage, but hazardous waste, dirty diapers or anything else you can throw into them. The gas that they make from the garbage can be stored and sold as a fuel and some of the fuel is used to run the system, so overhead is low.

I suggest that the town councils in this area look up plasma burners on the internet for more information.

Dumping our waste into a bunch of holes and filling them up is just not a very modern idea to waste removal any more.

Terry Frits, Marana

'Fill company is misleading Marana people

In "An Open Letter to the Community" found in local newspapers, Mr. Henk mentions his "database with more than 2,000 Marana residents who approve of the new facility."

Some of the names being added do not approve of the landfill, however. If the landfill is so good for the community, why would Henk's people have to mislead and falsify the record to show inaccurate numbers?

It appears that some of the telephone interviewers are misleading people into thinking the Town of Marana is sponsoring the calls. I have always been told that if you mislead someone, it is not being truthful. If you are not being truthful with someone, you are lying to them. Are the DKL-sponsored phone calls based on lies? Why would they have to do that?

Mr. Henk states that "Marana households and businesses are paying more than they need to pay" and "much of Marana's waste goes to a transfer station and is hauled to sites in Pinal and Maricopa Counties." That statement is true but unfortunately not expected to change. The reason trash is transferred out of our area is because the trash companies do not want to pay the dumping fees to the landfill owners. They can transfer the trash many miles to their own landfills and still make money. You do not really believe they will give you a refund if you approve the Marana landfill, do you?

Mr. Henk states that "traffic impacts will not be significant over the designated truck route and substantial sums will be spent improving Avra Valley Road." He fails to tell you that although they are willing to improve the roads in order to obtain approval of the landfill, you will have to pay to fix the road for the next 75 years. Avra Valley Road will deteriorate from the hundreds of garbage trucks that will use the road every day.

Mr. Henk bought pizza to get people to attend the July 20 council meeting. What type of person would actually sell themselves for a slice of pizza?

Steve Storzer, Silverbell West

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