What Giffords did is 'extreme,' irresponsible

Recently several articles have appeared in which CD8 incumbent Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has called her challenger, Jesse Kelly, an "extreme guy."

Her definition of the word "extreme" most likely does not coincide with that of many voters in her district.

A good number of CD8 voters may come to the conclusion that she committed an "extreme" act by voting yea on a 2,300-plus page piece of legislation that will affect 1/6th of our nation's GDP in many, yet undetermined, ways, and that will touch the most intimate parts of the lives of each American, while piling on to our gargantuan national debt and simultaneously doing nothing to lower the cost of healthcare.

Many might call having done so without actually having a concrete grasp of its actual contents "extreme," or, better yet, extremely irresponsible.

Steven A. Colantuoni, Marana

SSI, Medicare make money work harder

We should note that the same people who whined about death panels for grandma, now want to drop Social Security and Medicare. No death panels materialized. But dropping SS and Medicare would effectively consign us all to early deaths while stressing society and our economy in totally uncivilized ways. What gives?

Social Security and Medicare make our money work three times as hard as money usually does. A portion of our taxes keep our elders healthy and productive, living independently, contributing to society, and spending this money back into our economy.

Federal employees do the paper work and spend their paychecks also. Strain on young families and societal stress is replaced by a system we can all be proud of. Few programs pay for themselves so graciously.

What we need is to keep greedy fingers out of this cookie jar so we can all have better lives.

Pat Mencke, Patagonia

A selfless act by their neighbors

On Aug. 22, my wife and I were the recipients of one of the most selfless acts anyone could have happen to them.

We both suffer from chronic illnesses. My wife has been suffering from fibromyalgia for the past 15 years. I have been dealing with acute chronic pancreatitis for the past three years. Needless to say, we make a good team.

We are inhibited in many ways from being able to do anything physical. That being said let me get to the point of this letter.

I had recently received several letters from our property owners association for the condition of my property. I contacted the POA and informed them about our present conditions and I told them that they need to bear with us for a while. We would get our yard in order but it would just take us a bit of time. Well, my neighbors got wind of our plight and this is what they did.

Three families showed up at my door with blowers, rakes, trash cans and plenty of help. They proceeded to cut, trim and clean up my property. The temperatures that Sunday were up to 105 degrees. It was humid and miserable out. They were not in any way bothered by this. They went about the task of cleaning up my mess with smiles and warm, warm hearts. These folks even cleaned up after my dog.

I have never, ever been on the receiving side of this kind of love and caring. They are one very special group of people.

Now how does one thank people for this kind of act? How do you let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifice that they made on this hot Sunday? The only thing I can come up with is to appreciate how special each and every one of them is . To remember how special it was for them to give of themselves so selflessly. To thank God for blessing my wife and I for giving us the kind of neighbors most can only wish for.

So, to the Monheims , Sengs and Blanchards, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


Bruce and Penny Consales, Oro Valley

Kelly would veer U.S. back to 19th century

Jesse Kelly's extreme right turn would veer America far back to the 19th century.

He's said he would eliminate Social Security by a government turnover of hard-earned money from millions of Americans to the stock market. Who is he kidding? Who really trusts the Wall Street gambling casino to invest money to benefit American workers after Wall Street crashed the economy?

He's also sneers that Medicare is a "Ponzi scheme" that puts seniors receiving Medicare on the public dole.

Seniors pay their own way for Medicare insurance. Jesse Kelly intends to destroy a reliable system that protects seniors. Instead, he would replace Medicare with fixed vouchers that would put seniors at the mercy of CEOs that care only for their own profits.

Gabrielle Giffords deserves to be re-elected. She has proven that she represents southern Arizona voters. Giffords voted to strengthen Social Security and Medicare. Who does Kelly serve?

Sandra Spangler, Tucson

Marana 'fill could be a good example

I am in favor of the landfill in Marana for the use of residents of Marana and people that need to use it in Pima County.

We aren't doing any services by taking it elsewhere, the waste is Marana's and only Marana can manage its own waste problem.

It has the potential, if it's built right, to be a leading example of a dump and waste management facility in Southern Arizona, and it would also provide the ability for citizens to dispose their garbage. There is also less likelihood of wildcat dumping, and I've seen plenty, from refrigerators to sofas.

Since it will be properly managed, we won't have polluted water, and it's better than actually going to another landfill where cost go up through transfer stations.

Using the argument of "not in my backyard" is not an acceptable defense.

Donald Nevins, Pima County

On inmate labor, public safety, school funding

This letter is in reply to that of Kathy Rawls. It is important to tell the truth about inmate labor, education funding, public safety, etc.

Counties, cities, towns and school districts throughout Arizona save millions of dollars each year by using carefully supervised inmate labor. During summer months, when students are on vacation, school districts in Douglas, Florence and other cities and towns use inmate labor to refurbish school facilities, inside and out. No children are ever at risk.

Inmate labor is cleaning up trash on I-10, every Monday through Friday, from Tucson to Phoenix. The positive results are readily noticeable. Ten female inmates work 14 hours a day, seven days a week at the Pima County animal control facility on Silverbell, cleaning cages and grooming, feeding and exercising dogs and cats, getting them ready for adoption. The program is so successful that it is being expanded to the Humane Society in Tucson and Phoenix.

The recidivism rate for inmates who are in these work programs is half of those who are not in these programs. Inmates in work programs are low level offenders, including DUI, and are one to two years from their release.

Rawls says I am weak on public safety. Public safety is the primary reason for the existence of government. The truth is I fully support this basic concept and have been endorsed by major police and firefighter organizations. I am a 30-year veteran of the US Naval Reserve. National defense and public safety are key components of my public service, including border security.

She also mentions education funding. The truth is, the Republican majority in the Arizona Legislature reduced overall per pupil funding less than $500, in total over a three-year period, from $9,700 to $9,200. I am a teacher myself and I am dedicated to Arizona children getting the best education possible through maximum parental school choice. The new Basis School in Oro Valley is a prime example of giving parents a choice in the schools that their children attend.

LD 26 has four outstanding school districts with excellent schools, from top to bottom.

Sen. Al Melvin, SaddleBrooke

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