John and Herb Kai, the Marana farmers who own 271 acres of land bordered by Tangerine Road and First Avenue in Oro Valley, have withdrawn their latest request for land-use designation changes.

The neighbors didn’t like the request. They     felt like it was coming too quickly, and they fear the changes would impact their property values, mountain views and adjacent open spaces.

While those concerns are heartfelt, and should be heard, from this vantage point the Kais’ proposal appeared reasonable. Riparian and open space is protected. Rather than the 1-house-per-acre housing development now allowed through much of the parcel, the new proposal concentrated housing in certain areas, kept commercial and technology developments close to Tangerine and First, and allowed “continuum of care / nursing home” development elsewhere.

Word is that nursing homes make good neighbors. There’s not a lot of associated ruckus.

Existing residents don’t want more neighbors. Again, that’s understandable. But the challenge for government is to balance competing property rights. The Kais have as much right to use their land as those who live on horse properties.

It appears the Oro Valley Marketplace project has created blanket skepticism toward and distrust of government and developers alike. Many people in Oro Valley are angry and upset about the massive retail complex rising along Oracle Road. Some believe they were misled. They’ve lost faith. When new proposals come forth, red flags fly.

Oro Valley leadership must restore public confidence in its development decisions. The community must, and should, grow. Infill is preferable to sprawl. There’s no point in sending the developers elsewhere, lest Oro Valley become an island surrounded by relative mess. So let’s deal with the developers, straight up. There can be reasonable accommodations for all interests.

Arizona has recently added a digit to its license plate numbers. There are seven digits now, and you can pick out the new ones because they start with “AA” or “AB” or some combination of the early alphabet.

Two things are noticeable. There are a lot of newly registered vehicles on our roads. And most of those newly owned vehicles are fuel-efficient.

The Greater Oro Valley Arts Council has put out the call to its constituency, urging a show of support for the arts at the town council meeting Wednesday night. The Oro Valley Town Council is forming its budget, and holding a hearing on the 2008-09 spending plan.

GOVAC feels slighted. This year, the town council has asked GOVAC and other agencies to make their requests for funding at the same time. No more special treatment. According to director Kate Marquez, the town council recommendation for funding would cover 21 percent of GOVAC’s annual budget. Some Arizona communities provide more than 50 percent of arts funding, Marquez writes.

Every non-profit organization needs more money than it gets from government. Still, Oro Valley government should do what it can to financially support GOVAC and its enriching endeavors.

Americans who love to trash soccer should watch some of the 2008 European Cup tournament.

The displays of nationalism at stadiums in Austria and Switzerland have no American equivalent. People go nuts for their country’s teams. When Turkey scored three goals in the last 10 minutes to upset the favored Czech Republic 3-2, you could practically feel the Geneva stadium shake with joy.

It was as good, at least, as Tiger Woods’ accomplishments in the U.S. Open.

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