Letters to the editor published in the Feb. 18 Explorer.

Is that call an invasion of a citizen’s privacy?

I was distressed to read in the police reports of Feb. 4 that an Oro Valley volunteer police patrol called in the license plate number of an ordinary citizen.

What motivated this call to the police department? Is this the role of the volunteer police patrol? I would like to hear the chief of Oro Valley Police Department speak to this issue publicly, and ask The Explorer to further explore why this call was made to the OVPD.

This whole issue strikes me as a serious invasion of an ordinary citizen’s expected privacy.

Bill Arnett, Oro Valley

Feb. 4 editorial cartoon was ‘outrageous’

Re: The outrageous cartoon of Feb. 4.

The vision of a frustrated President Obama saying, “Somebody got here first…” reaching out with an olive branch to the Muslim world only to have his efforts stymied by Israeli rockets in Gaza is utterly absurd. The somebody who got there first was Hamas, which has been raining rockets down on Israel for the past eight years until Israel said enough.

Hamas’ covenant states, among other equally peaceful phrases, “Israel will exist until Islam obliterates it as it has obliterated others before it.” It also launches its attacks purposefully from mosques, schools, hospitals, etc.

And, to state the obvious, Israel has had peace with two Muslim countries, Egypt and Jordan, for many years. Additionally, 20 percent of Israel’s population is Arab, most of whom are Muslims. Israeli Arabs have served in diplomatic posts, are members of the Knesset (parliament) and the Supreme Court. Israel appointed as its first non-Jewish diplomat a Druze Arab to the consulate in New York as head of information affairs in 1972, when Israel was only 24 years old.

Enough said.

Billie Kozolchyk, Tucson

Group thinks Sen. Melvin soft on border

Our newly elected Republican Sen. Al Melvin of District 26 was sworn at the state capital on Jan. 20. In this ceremony, he swore an oath to abide by the laws of the state of Arizona and to uphold the Arizona Constitution.

We contacted his office with two telephone calls and three written letters. He never returned our calls or answered our letters.

A simple request was made by the president of Arizonans for Immigration Control for the senator to speak to the Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor of the Arizona Supreme Court about the Hispanic Bar Association/Los Abogados letter dated Sept. 12, 2008, in which they requested to have the words “illegal Mexican” and “undocumented workers” removed from the Arizona Court proceedings. She honored and encouraged this request, and held meetings with her vice judges and a special meeting on Oct. 21, 2008, in which she shared this letter with other judges.

We asked the new Sen. Al Melvin to please speak to the Attorney General Terry Goddard and arrange a meeting with the general public about the hatred being taught in TUSD public schools and the loss of $9.6 million from a $360 million budget. He refused both requests; I call Captain Al soft on the border issue and he is betraying the citizens of District 26.

Lee Ewing, President, Arizonans for Immigration Control

No ‘handicap’; Jessica just has no arms

Your paper provided a wonderful account of Jessica Cox’s accomplishments, but using the word  “handicap” to describe her condition is unfortunate.

As Mark pointed out, the only handicaps Jessica has experienced are those placed there by others. My observation: Jessica is not handicapped, she just doesn’t have arms.

Steve Richards, Kiwanis Club of the Desert

Continental Ranch cell tower would harm community

Last summer, a few Continental Ranch residents were notified that a 71-foot cell tower was planned to be installed on Twin Peaks in the middle of our community. Only those residents living 300 feet or less from the site were advised; our huge community was left uninformed.

Although our architectural review committee denied its approval, the Planning and Zoning commission of Marana passed it anyway. There were a small group of us at that meeting, with a petition containing 400-plus signatures from homeowners living here who also opposed it. The petition was the result of two weekends sitting outside of Walgreens.

The commission saw our petition as a very small number of residents. We responded that if we had been given more time, there would have been a much larger number of signatures. We presented a notation from Bridgette Jewell, a Realtor, who sells many homes in Continental Ranch. She wrote a statement which expressed the substantial loss of our property values resulting from the tower’s presence. The economy will recover, we won’t. Some homes will become all but unsellable. The comps will also suffer. As a prospective buyer would you choose a home near a cell tower where your views would be blocked by this huge metal monster?

There is still ongoing research regarding significant health risks from the cell’s emissions 24-7. At that planning and zoning meeting, the former 71 feet was lowered to 61 feet … the emissions now being closer to ground level.

At the end of that meeting, after the attending residents pleaded with the commission, only one member of the group said no to its installation. It will now go to the town council for the last approval.

We now have the board of directors, who have given us their support at the January board meeting with its denial of the tower. It is imperative to have all residents notified. We must attend the meeting in large number to have our voices heard so that approving this tower will not be a possibility. We need to keep this tower out of our community to have Continental Ranch remain a lovely place to live.

Without our presence on March 17th, 6:30 p.m. at the town council meeting, 11555 West Civic Center Drive (Municipal Bldg.), our fate is sealed.

Sharon L. Schwartz, Continental Ranch

Cartoon was offensive, and misrepresented Israel, Judaism

I am writing in response to your reprint of a political “cartoon” depicting President Obama standing in front of a smoking building labeled “Muslim World” and holding an olive branch and a balloon with a peace sign. Mr. Obama is standing between two bombs inscribed with Stars of David, and one of the bombs includes the words, “to Gaza.” Mr. Obama says — “Someone got here first…”

This represents a shallow understanding of the situation at best, and anti-Semitism at worst. Israel did not attack the Muslim world, it attacked Hamas in Gaza. Hamas’ stated goals are to obliterate Israel, kill Jews (and all unbelievers) and impose Islamic law on all Muslims and ultimately the world.

Since Israel removed its residents from Gaza in 2005, numerous cross-border raids and thousands of increasingly powerful missiles and mortars have been launched from Gaza at cities and towns in Israel. Finally, Israel acted against this aggression.

It should be noted that Israel has decades-old peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and that about 1 in 5 Israeli citizens are Muslims. Many Muslim countries quietly supported Israel against Hamas because they recognize that Hamas, Iran’s surrogate, forcefully took control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority and that Hamas represents a far more significant threat to other Arab countries than does Israel.

Perhaps most disturbing is that the bombs are not labeled as from Israel but display the Star of David, which represents the Jewish religion as well as the State of Israel. The bombs’ unfortunate labeling removes any distinction between anti-Israeli sentiment and anti-Semitism.

This attitude leads to events such as the recent ones in Venezuela. There, anti-Israel rhetoric led to the Nazi-like desecration of the main synagogue and attacks on Jews in the media and on the streets.

The underlying question for public discourse is the avowed intention of Arab extremists such as Hamas to destroy Israel at any cost. No other nation has exercised greater restraint than Israel in responding to years of bombing of its civilian population. Hamas is the true aggressor, not Israel.

Hillel Levy, Oro Valley

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