Letters to the editor published in the July 29, 2009, edition of The Explorer.
BobCat killed 3 dogs near Oracle crossing
Patrick McNamara's article about the wildlife crossing (The Explorer, July 15) states on page 6 that OVPD has not received any reports from residents that house pets have been killed or injured by predators.
Vistoso Vistas is a mile from marker 84. In this past month, a bobcat killed three dogs in this subdivision alone.
What is important is that other pet owners take precautions when they let their furry friend out into the yard unattended. This bobcat's activities have been reported to Pima County Animal Care Center that referred residents back to a detective at OVPD.
Michelle Saxer, Oro Valley
It could only happen in greater Tucson
This is one of those "it could only happen in Tucson politics."
According to Supervisor Ann Day's office, the Metro Water Board received an intergovernment agreement from Pima County that on approval by Metro Water will require all water lines be removed from the roadway on roads affected by the Regional Transportation Authority projects. This is not an RTA requirement but required by Pima County. The county offered no funds or other incentive to offset the cost of relocation.
At the recommendation of Metro Water staff, the board approved the IGA. At the June board meeting, the board established an "RTA fee" on all Metro's water users, stating that the fee would fund the RTA requirement for Metro Water to move the lines.
Mark Stratton, Metro's general manager, was quoted stating that Metro Water could not absorb the $1.5 million cost for the first of seven planned RTA road projects within five years, so the cost will be passed on to Metro Water users.
If Metro Water refused to sign the IGA without funds, would the whole RTA project come to a halt?
Sam E. Ray
We consider interchange to be progress?
The gentle serenity of the early morning brings me much contentment as I walk with my dog. I have lived near Twin Peaks and being a nature lover I enjoy seeing desert flowers blooming, watching rabbits scurry around bushes while a medley of birds twitter in the trees. The Santa Cruz River is a watering hole for many wild animals, and the vast terrain is home to coyotes, snakes, lizards and other desert critters.
A few weeks ago as I was walking toward the Twin Peaks road when my eyes became fixated on all the construction equipment parked on the obliterated desert area. No one was at the site yet. My heart was saddened and I was angry. An enormous amount of desert brush, trees and plants were twisted and scattered in every direction. This was no longer an oasis of life but a massacre of the homes of our wildlife and an invasion of our backyard views.
Listening to the radio, it was announced that the $51 million Twin Peaks inter-change ramp connecting to Interstate 10 was approved and a ribbon-cutting ceremony was under way. How could $51 million be better used to help our city? Improvement to our educational system and increase wages to teachers, upgrade homeless shelters, stock the food bank, offer better medical attention to low income families, and many other programs. Yet, we envision this interchange as progress? What next, a cell tower in the neighborhood?
Many feel helpless and emotionally violated. In the United States, we thrive on the multiplicity of conveniences and we spend money foolishly. It is because of this mindset and culture that our economy is where it is today. We are losing our homes, our jobs, our savings, marring our credit and living out of our cars.
This powerful nation with international savvy in the business arena is today undergoing the pain of our own greed and selfishness. If we are to bequeath to our children a better future, the time to make wiser choices and practical decisions is now, in the present.
Dorel Vanegas, Marana
Council has no sway over walls, Wal
With all due respect to the citizens of Ram's Pass and the Arizona Department of Transportation, a "noise wall" on Oracle near Tangerine is an eyesore to many.
I am sorry that those living close to the Catalinas object to the hum of traffic, but need we try to remedy everything? Traffic and helicopters are as inevitable as birds that awaken us at dawn or thunder that disturbs our nightly slumber.
ADOT says in their handout that project-area residents were invited to public meetings since 2005, and Oracle is a state road. Therefore, this is not our concern. ADOT further says that ads appearing in The Star, The Citizen and The Explorer invited project-area residents to meetings. I am one of many avid newspaper readers who missed those meetings, and I question whether only the project-area residents should have been invited.
All of us in Oro Valley are subjected to the unseemly sight of this monstrous wall. I cannot conceive that the ADOT's addition of "authentic brands from nearby ranches" — (ranch initials or logos) — will mitigate the blocking of our mountain view.
Speaking of brands, the Marketplace, that ersatz Tombstone in our once uncluttered scenic corridor, will now feature the big box resplendent in new color. The highly touted "palette" has been changed, but who cares if it's crusty brown or murky brown? This change is a joke, but it brought the "suits" to town to lobby the Development Review Board and town council. Despite the DRB Commissioners' resistance to letting Wal-Mart have their way with us again, town council approved it 6-1 with Latas the sole "no" vote.
Renowned sculptor-designer Matt Moutafis wrote an Explorer article deploring the wall. He also testified in front of council, to no avail.
Town council evidently has no sway over Walls or Wal-Marts; nor will it likely have a say about other walls to come.
Kathy Pastryk, Oro Valley
Sandefer's still got it, she says
I have been an avid reader of Mr. Sandefer's column for years, and am still impressed with his ability to create insightful, informative, and humorous material that I look forward to reading each week.
Please share my appreciation for his work.
Anne Drury, Tucson
To respect the people, start with the facts
One does not have to read too far into Jesse Kelly's letter in the July 22 edition of The Explorer to recognize that it is more a jab at the Democratic Party, President Obama, and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords than an exhortation to respect the people of District 8.
Also, when his letter is read carefully through the lens of critical thinking and application of facts, the hypocrisy and distortion of the truth come into clear focus.
Despite the propensity for some to rewrite history to their own liking, many unbiased sources can confirm that the nation's budget deficit did not suddenly materialize on Jan. 21, 2009. Nor did it appear after the 2006 election brought more Democrats to Congress. Thanks to the misadventures of the Bush administration, it had been steadily ballooning over the years. I will give Mr. Kelly the benefit of the doubt when I assume his figure of a $12 trillion deficit was the result of a typographical error, not a gross exaggeration.
Mr. Kelly complains about the government taking "control of every aspect of our lives." Yet, he sides with Arizona legislators who pass laws which make them a third party in the examination room when a woman and her doctor discuss an abortion.
Mr. Kelly does not elaborate on what he means by "wasteful government intervention" contributing to the cost of healthcare. He might want to investigate how the hiring of extra staff just to keep track of the paperwork generated by different insurance companies adds to the burden of running a medical office. He conveniently ignores how insurance companies can interfere with one's choice of a doctor and can determine what procedures and what drugs a patient is allowed to have, despite what their doctor recommends.
If respect for the people of District 8 is his goal, Mr. Kelly should start by respecting the intelligence of those of us who read critically and appreciate an argument based on fact, instead of unfounded accusations.
Joan M. McKitis, Oro Valley
Ghost bikes say '¡presente!' to the public
Thank-you for the positive article on ghost bikes.
They are like the stolpersteine — stumbling blocks — installed by artist Gunter Demnig in Germany to remind passers by about the painful history of Nazi persecution of specific Jews, Roma, gay people, and others that Hitler wanted to extinguish.
Ghost bikes, like stolperstiene, say ¡presente! It happened right here.
Never forget about this precious real person who was killed. Please help to make it not happen again.
Erik Shapiro, Oro Valley
For no credit, driver does a terrific deed
This story is about an event that happened to my friend Sue Baker one morning. Her nonchalant attitude about the chain of events and the role she played in the situation left me amazed and in awe of her.
While driving down Cortaro Farms Road on July 21, Sue noticed a car stopped near the side of the road. As she looked closer, Sue noticed that the driver was backing up and there seemed to be a dog underneath the car. She first thought "how sad, for the driver, they have hit a dog," but as those thoughts quickly passed through her mind, her vehicle was making a U-turn to render aid.
She stopped her car, raced over to see if she could be of assistance, and the other driver turned and said "I didn't hit the dog." Sue didn't care who was responsible for the accident, she retrieved a blanket from her car and scooped up the dog. She loaded the dog in the back of her truck and took the dog to the nearest vet.
Since then, Sue has returned each day to check on the status of the dog, making sure the dog doesn't end up in the animal control center. As for the original motorist, they drove off without looking back. As for the dog, he has some injuries to his front leg and tongue which is healing nicely.
People like Sue Baker are very rare. Sue is an incredible woman, mother and school teacher. As she told me of the events of Tuesday, her attitude was not of someone who had done a great deed, only of bad situation.
Are you missing your dog? Thank you, Sue Baker, for caring.
Pamala Westfall, Tucson