The people's call? - The Explorer: Editorials

The people's call?

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Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:06 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Another Oro Valley Town Council member has resigned from the post. Salette Latas has left the duty after two years. We are grateful for her service.

The resignation poses yet another election-cycle question for the town.

Rules allow the town council to fill the vacancy however it chooses, and the governing board meets Wednesday to discuss their approach.

While chided (nicely, by at least one person) for comments a week ago about the ballot, we must insist that Oro Valley do everything it can to let the voters, rather than the council, choose its representatives.

We're going to the polls in more than six weeks. That should be sufficient time to evaluate results from the primary election ballot, determine which candidates remain interested and see about getting their names before the ultimate decision-makers — the people of Oro Valley.

•••

Thanks to all our readers who have missed "This Week in Arizona History."

In an attempt to save a few dollars, The Explorer dropped a resale service that provided the weekly feature. We knew it was popular; we thought it would be easily replaced, perhaps with an Arizona historical calendar or some other easy-to-access source.

Wrong.

We're still seeking alternative sources of information about our state's colorful, rich and relatively recent history, and plan to resume a history column. Your suggestions and ideas are welcome.

•••

This Saturday at Marana Regional Airport, members of the Marana Nighthawk 72 Marine Corps League Detachment and others gather to remember the 19 Marines killed in the April 8, 2000 crash of an Osprey aircraft next to an airport runway.

Some of the most touching, gut-tightening comments we've heard of late have come from the survivors of victims of that crash. Mothers and wives have shared their appreciation for organizers of the annual memorial. It's so important to them that their loved ones are remembered each year.

It's important to all of us, too. Members of the Marine Corps League, and the others who help with the annual event, are doing something very special.

One mother, Michele Fentriss of Portland, Ore., has attended almost every commemoration. A year ago, she told of how hurt she was when a woman made her feel that the death of Michele's son, L.Cpl. Seth Garrett Jones, was somehow not as tragic as if he'd been killed in combat.

Seth is remembered in lettering on the back window of Michele's vehicle, and she gets so much positive response to it. She shared this story Tuesday morning.

One day, an older gentleman got out of his vehicle and walked over to her, "his hand outstretched and tears in his eyes. The back of his truck was covered with Marine stickers and a Semper Fi magnetic sticker was across the back window. He never said a word and he didn't have to. Just shook my hand. I hugged him and thanked him for my freedom. Then we parted ways."

Of the window memorial, given by a friend, Michele writes "I think that if it causes just one person to stop and ponder for a moment just what freedom is really all about, then it is a most wonderful gift."

•••

Just imagine if one of Gordon Hayward's two late shots had fallen. That turn-around baseline jumper over Duke's 7-foot Brian Zoubek. Or that half-court shot, ala Jerry West against the Knicks, that banged off the rim at the buzzer.

Indy's Lucas Oil Field, filled with 70,000, would have ignited, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas observed.

As it was, Butler's best player couldn't convert, and the Dookies escaped with a national championship, their fourth under Coach K, 61-59.

Butler may not have won, but it has shaken college basketball in a very good way. The small-school, low-budget "mid-major" programs can compete, and win. The one-and-done talent of a school like Kentucky won't automatically result in a title. All 340 Division 1 schools start every season with a real chance.

The NCAA wants to expand the Division 1 men's basketball championship from 65 to 96 teams. We don't like the idea; that means the ninth-place team in the Big Whatever, as Frank Deford calls it, gets into the field.

Why, we wonder, would the NCAA mess with something as close to athletic perfection as exists?

— DPP

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