Letters to the editor published in the March 17, 2010, edition of The Explorer.
Old tires cause plenty of woes above ground
Nancy (Young Wright) is correct in saying we need to come up with more eco-friendly solutions in disposing of old tires.
While we are awaiting that magical moment, it seems to me that filling abandoned mines or mine shafts with old tires is the correct thing to do. Her suggestions to use them as fencing, bridge supports, landscaping projects and erosion control for houses as well as paving of roads, which is already being done, is a greater fire threat and probably more damaging to our water supply.
Does Nancy think that old tires above ground do not decompose? What about all that "black dust" flying around in the air that is created by cars driving on our roadways 24/7, being breathed in by everyone?
A great deal of petroleum products (oil) is used in the making of tires. Where does that oil originate? From under the earth's surface, not too far from our underground water supply.
Old tires decomposing above ground would leave contaminants to be wind-driven or washed by rainfall into our streams and rivers and pollute our air much quicker than if buried in the mines.
I have no perfect solution to solve our problem, but for now, let's bury the deceased tires which is the lesser of two evils, relieving the "eye sores" that would plague us if left above ground.
Jack L. Ransom, Tucson
Under Carter, things were very difficult
In response to the chronic Democrat letter writer's letter last week in support of Congresswoman Giffords and the Presidents Carter, Johnson and Clinton, I'd like to say Carter may not have been the worst president, but we experienced hard times in California under him.
We had food shortages and meat shortages. We had empty shelves in the stores at times. We had gas shortages and gas lines. We had mortgage interest rates of 18-19 percent, and more. We had some kind of meat/soy bean? mixture which we were told to substitute for ground beef. The inflation was terrible.
I won't bring up his foreign policy, but kids in the late 1970s were more scared of the bomb and Russia than people were in the 1950s.
As for your endorsement of Giffords, what else would you do? Your suggestion for others to read her e-mail newsletter is a great idea, though. I hope the e-mail readers will keep in mind that this year she is voting Blue Dog and last year she voted Blue State. Could this be because an election is coming up? Maybe not.Try to see her whole voting record.
While readers are on the net, they should go to the FEC web site and see who else is supporting her. She is especially loved by people out of state and those in special interest groups. Check it out.
Rebecca LoPorto, Tucson
What 'mandates' so sacred they can't be cut?
What is it about the supposedly voter-mandated programs "that can't be cut" that is so sacred? I have never seen a list of them and would bet the voters would think differently now if they had a chance to see them.
If the voters mandated them in different economic times, I for one would seriously consider changing or unmandating some if it avoided a tax increase and helped stop this shameful pillaging of education, parks, and road repair.
How about The Explorer doing a series of articles on what these programs are and how they can be changed?
Randy Ford, Oro Valley
They're lead members of a wrecking crew
Voters in District 26 are weary of seeing Rep. Vic Williams and Sen. Al Melvin flailing about as our State Legislature erratically chops away at our assets.
It's a flawed theory that somehow lowering corporate taxes will attract investment to our state. Melvin and Williams say they want to provide a solid employment and business climate so that our state will prosper. Meanwhile they put off responsibility as they vote to cut education, social services and juvenile corrections.
This is not responsible fiscal conservatism.
Education "on the cheap" as this Legislature decimates public education K through university is wrong-headed and misguided. Facts are, neither executives nor managerial families will flock to a state with an unskilled, ignorant workforce.
Melvin and Williams are lead members of a wrecking crew destroying public institutions, foolishly depressing social services and Arizona's job market as highly-trained professionals flee away, leaving grave losses for our state.
The misguided governor and legislators believe closing public facilities is the way to balance Arizona's budget. How much increased sales tax do Melvin and Williams propose to make up for lost tourism revenue in the Grand Canyon State?
Contrary to the Melvin and Williams mindset, shifting a huge tax burden from business and high income earners onto the shoulders of already struggling middle, lower and fixed income folks is sheer nonsense. In our state an estimated 310,000 citizens existing below poverty levels are mean-spiritedly thrown off partially federally-funded AHCCC health care. The result will lead to additional job losses, divided families, homelessness, run-down neighborhoods, and eventual increases in crime.
Melvin and Williams both supported dismantling the Arizona Juvenile Corrections Department, shifting those state expenditures to the counties, and increasing our local taxes. In saving a few bucks for the state budget they are shirking responsibility with another"putting off" tactic.
Instead of the "put off boys," Melvin and Williams, Legislative District 26 has two exemplary candidates for our legislature, Cheryl Cage for state senator and Rep. Nancy Young. These two women have thoughtful solutions and will show us how to tighten our belts and move ahead.
Harvey Akeson, Tucson
Oh, the good old days of yesteryear
Small government, your time has come.
Looking back, we can see that our Founding Fathers made small government work. Statistics bear this out: It took only 39 men to sign the U.S. Constitution. The original 13 states had a small population, so reaching a consensus was as easy for them as splitting logs back when a man was a man.
Early Americans had no doubts about who was boss. Bravely taking John Bull by the horns, colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor and founded a new nation. Their women kept the home fires burning and produced bumper crops of children.
Working hard kept the men out of trouble, mostly. Taxes often went uncollected and regulations were to scoff at, for freedom was the watchword of all white males of legal age. With ammunition and guns a-slingin,' rugged individuals forged westward to claim what was rightfully theirs.
Life was simpler before community organizers offered suffrage to females and citizenship to natives and exotics. Meditate on the morality, but community organizers caused governments to enlarge and diversification spawned the welfare state.
Americans remain undaunted in our quest for small government. Presidents Reagan and Bush, both true believers in tax rebates and relaxed regulations, preached downsizing government but ran up huge deficits. Steering a good chunk of the taxpayers' money into tax rebates for the wealthiest citizens and corporations that employ people overseas didn't quite do what we wanted, but it inspired investors to jack up stocks, bonds, derivatives and markets to unprecedented heights.
Following the collapse of our economy, downsizing became an idea whose time is now.
Restoring individual freedom is trendy, so our Arizona Legislature firmly calls for the consent of the governed to be left alone. Government must be stunted as nonessential programs such as state parks must be phased out. Children can be challenged in one-room schoolhouses, as were our intrepid frontiersmen. Subsidies to the handicapped and unemployed should be stopped as they encourage sloth.
With respect to our self-reliant founders, Arizonans should embrace simplicity, roll up our sleeves, and hearken back to the good old days of yesteryear.
Kathleen Pastryk, Oro Valley
Does GOP value privilege over hard work?
In Keith Smith's March 3rd letter to The Explorer, he asserts that "Democrats have institutionalized poverty in this country by supporting and encouraging the dissolution of the family through generational welfare."
During Clinton's presidency, welfare was at the lowest level since 1965, we had the lowest poverty rate in 20 years and the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years. Add to this that wages were up 6.5 percent after declining 4.3 percent during the Reagan/Bush years and it becomes quite clear that Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was working to end poverty, not encourage it. He also cut interest rates on student loans, making it easier for the poor and middle class to get an education. A more educated population equals less people on welfare.
Mr. Smith then asks, "Why do the left and the Dems despise individual success?" We don't. That's why we admire Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. They are both great American success stories despite the disadvantages of their youth.
Bill Clinton grew up poor with an abusive alcoholic stepfather. He achieved success through hard work and perseverance. Barack Obama grew up poor and fatherless, a black child with a white mother in a time when it wasn't socially acceptable. Yet he and Bill Clinton are far more accomplished than George W. Bush, who had every advantage in life.
So I have a question for Mr. Smith. Why do you and other conservatives belittle the accomplishments of Democrats who've made it to the top without ever having anyone hand them anything? Do Republicans value privilege and inherited wealth over hard work?
Diane Peters, Oro Valley