The week in letters.

Giffords is not beholden to either end of the spectrum

Tim Bee’s most recent TV spot states: “Giffords votes with Nancy Pelosi 90 percent of the time”. It’s hardly breaking news that members of Congress usually vote with their party leadership. If Bee is elected he will do the same.

Issues on which a member breaks with leadership say a lot more about character. Despite intense pressure from the speaker, Congresswoman Giffords joined 163 Republicans in opposition to the $700 billion bailout package. She did so on the grounds that it lacked adequate protection for taxpayers and struggling homeowners.

In gutsy action for a freshman, she publicly called on speaker Pelosi to allow a vote to extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before summer adjournment in 2007.

The allegation that she “voted to block funding for our troops” is a flat-out lie.

The referenced bill HR 2764 was a consolidated appropriations bill that included funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Giffords voted in the majority and the measure passed 272-142. She has taken a lot of heat from members of her own party for this and similar votes.

As for “giving suspected terrorists full rights of US citizens,” she joined 53 other members of Congress in co-sponsoring HR 2826 which would extend the right of habeas corpus to Guantanamo detainees.  While it may not be popular on the right to acknowledge that Guantanamo has tarnished our international reputation, the next president faces a huge task in restoring our stature on the world stage. HR 2826 takes a small step in that direction. It awaits action by the Armed Services Committee.

An objective look at Congresswoman Giffords’ record reveals a pragmatic independent centrist not beholden to either end of the political spectrum.  I’m proud to support her for re-election.

William C. Thornton


OV park bond backers must be out of minds

There were at least three items in today’s Explorer extolling the proposed park. How can you even suggest such a thing? The economy is in the toilet, Wall Street has gone to its worst condition since the depression in 1929, and banks are failing every day. I haven’t even mentioned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but they are in trouble, too.

The very last thing Oro Valley needs to do is to saddle itself with a $48.6 million bond debt to build a park that won’t even be operative for at least five years and that will saddle all of us (even those of us who live so far away that we will never use it) and raise our taxes (thus lowering the value of our homes) for the next 25 years. Have you been to the grocery store lately? Have you put gas in your car? Utilities are going up, too. Not to mention that this would use 30 percent of the town’s bonding capacity. And we haven’t even mentioned the cost of upkeep.

You must be out of your minds. A nice park sounds like something we’d all like to have, but not now and not at the expense of our daily living.


Dottie Eagley

Oro Valley

HOA members need to behave professionally

As a very active member of the Vistoso Community, who is involved in many organizations, with many contacts and interactions with community members from many areas, I was most disheartened to learn that my neighborhood member of the board is being used as a scapegoat for an e-mail, which I sent last month to a board member, whom I thought I could trust to represent my interests.

I pay attention to the website, listen to informed individuals  read my HOA newsletter and am concerned as to how my dues, paid to Lewis Management, are spent. I have every right to question how many meetings members are being changed for. They only had four meeting  a year for the last few years. I realized that our meetings were going to cost us all a great deal more, as now we have them on a monthly basis. I simply asked for information as to how my dues were being spent. I believe the HOA board of directors has a duty to inform their members.

Secondly, I was appalled at the rude manner in which the board president, Mr. Ottley, treated members in attendance.  He allowed a gentleman in the audience to speak and responded to him, but previously refused a woman member of the audience to speak and gave her a reprimand. I know these individuals, because I am a graduate of the town of Oro Valley Citizens Planning Institute and they were in my class.

I would not only expect an apology, but would expect more professional behavior in the future from HOA board members, who are elected to represent me and other members of the Rancho Vistoso community.

Geri Ottoboni

Oro Valley

Vote, and retain right to complain

I expect this will be a record-breaking year for voter turnout, maybe a mind-boggling 60-65 percent.

Still, far too many will choose to sleep in or, go bowling or stay home and watch a thrilling line up of mind-numbing television. And most people, when asked, can recognize that this is a crucial election at a very important crossroads for our country.

The latest financial debacle is the perfect illustration of how far this government is from truly representing We, The People. For the past 60 years and especially the past eight, this government has served the growing corporate monsters that have run our country’s good name and our finances into the ground. And now they want us to pay for it.

It is clear that these puppet masters are pulling Bush

s strings to make one more great move - to save their skins before they all lose their best puppet president.  Well, McCain’s future Treasury Secretary Phil Gramm is one of these “free” market, no-holds barred, capitalists who created this mess — free for the corporations that are in the game. The average American isn’t even on the sideline, doesn’t even know where the stadium is.

Well, the time has come to vote these power brokers out. You can put your head in the sand and hope it all gets better. But if you don’t vote, you better keep your head buried for the next four years because you will have sacrificed your right to complain.

Peter J. Burns


Prudent vote on OV park bonds is a ‘no’

In the Oct 1 issue of The Explorer, Mr. Dave Perry, editor and publisher, espoused the worthiness of voting “yes” on the Oro Valley $48.6 million Naranja Bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot. Mr. Perry writes: “Over the last 100 years, Americans have approved the issuance of government bonds, to be paid for with property tax revenue over time, to build public facilities, such as schools, libraries and parks.”

On the same date, the renown financial publication,, had an article concerning rising borrowing costs that are starting to pinch states, cities and towns across the country, forcing municipalities to cut back on everything from road improvements to maintenance on schools.

We ask all Oro Valley voters to go to our blog, and read the Bloomberg article. If this article does not convince you to vote “no” on this park, nothing will.

While I agree a park is good for the youth of our community, this park, with 40-plus fields and courts, is just too much, especially in these terrible economic times.

One last point. The cost for the park and the suggested 5 percent interest rate the town uses are quite misleading. The initial bond rate will be almost 40 percent higher, and if funding can be secured, there’s a good chance the rate will be higher than 5 percent, which relates to a higher secondary property tax.

The prudent thing to do is vote “no” on the Naranja Park.

Art Segal

Oro Valley

Obama can be bridge between American races

Re: Sexist comments are as toxic as racist comments

I believe the writer of this letter to the editor is very clever by submitting, “My version of Palin is a new Dan Quayle in lipstick letter.” In her satirical letter she reinforces the racism that is influencing this presidential campaign. It has been noted in the press that Obama would be six points ahead in the polls if he were white. I have personally spoken to several Democrats who won’t vote for Obama because he is “strange” or “exotic” (Read “black”). One lady would not vote for him because of his wife, Michelle. She refused to elaborate why.

It seems to me that to call Obama “black” or “African American” is racist, as he is as much white as he is black. The old prejudice that one drop of black blood in your ancestry made you black is still alive. Being both black and white, Obama can be the bridge between the races.

If you won’t vote for Obama because he is half-black, vote for the white half.

Phil Gibbs

Oro Valley

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