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Letters to the editor published in the January 26, 2011, edition of The Explorer.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:22 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Tired of hearing ‘what if’s’

Would you please take the column “A life-altering decision” down from online? Everyone has “what if’s” for that day and many others. What if my uncle had the day off and hadn’t been a first responder that fateful day in New York City? What if the bicyclist had been a few seconds earlier or a few seconds later and avoided being hit by the car? What if the little boy hadn’t missed the bus and tried to cross Fort Lowell Road?

Life is full of “what if’s?” Please take the article down. Surely you have something of greater news value.

Blogger on The Explorer’s website

Running late saved reader from harm

Dear Ms. Miller, thank you for telling your story (“A life-altering decision”). I would like to share my similar experiences of that awful day and tell you how close it was for me.

Congresswoman Giffords’ office had helped me in a (legal) battle, which I won. I had always hoped to thank her in person. So I got up at 8 a.m. and started trying to rush through the typical chores, like feeding the pets and making coffee (usually I set it up the night before, but I had forgotten). Tried to check e-mails on my laptop, gave up and had to get my office computer up and running. Little things threw me off my intended arrival time of 10 a.m.

Finally I had on the green PT-109 T-shirt I hoped she would see at some point while I waited in line and that I might get a little smile of recognition. That would have been enough if the line were too long.

As I dashed to the door, I grabbed a black police jacket, put it on and headed back to the door. Then I realized the car keys were not in my jacket so I ran, literally, to my room to yank the jacket off and to get my car keys. I had left the TV on because the sound keeps my dog from hearing other yippy dogs. That is when I saw (on the broadcast news) that I was too late.

Now I read that Gabby is smiling and rubbing her husband’s neck so I have every reason to believe that someday I am going to see her smile. Just a smile – that will mean the world to so many of us.

Daniel V. Conaway

‘Separation of church and state’ often misunderstood

I would like to thank Janice Mitich for her service as an educator. I appreciate the time that Janice spent reading my letter printed in The Explorer (Jan. 12, 2011).

Documented situations in public school systems preventing prayer, with references to God, are well-known. This has not happened at all schools but one can wonder if there will be a day when prayer at public school activities referencing God will be eliminated or outlawed.

Unfortunately, many have a misunderstanding of the term “separation of church and state.” This motive leads to discussions of possibly removing “In God We Trust” from our money and potentially leading to abolishing many of the things that our Founding Fathers cherished.

Yes, the Pledge of Allegiance is recited in classrooms. I hope that all classrooms consistently engage in this activity. We mention God in reciting the Pledge but there have been groups of individuals requesting its removal by citing the Pledge as a prayer.

It is amazing that Red Skelton addressed this during his television program in 1968.

I certainly agree that our Founding Fathers were wise in developing the Constitution. When it is properly studied, the intent of “separation of church and state” carries a different meaning than that of today. Janice, if you have not read “The 5000 Year Leap,” please take the time to read it.

I am indeed happy that our government cannot control my personal faith and the faith of others. My letter was not advocating government control. The theme of my letter to the editor was the call to personal revival and prayer replicating those of our Founding Fathers requiring no major crisis for references to God allowing prayer and open vigils to be acceptable. Our Founding Fathers openly demonstrated their personal devotion to God and knowledge of history. This was the catalysis leading to the development of the Constitution.

Open prayer and references to God was acceptable then. Separation of church and state existed then. Ever wonder why? Its intent is not is not as many construe today.

Bob Black, Oro Valley

Editor’s note: Janice Mitich’s response to Mr. Black’s letter from Jan. 12 appeared in the Jan. 19, 2011 edition of The Explorer.

Donors make a difference for Oracle school kids

I want to express a sincere and heartfelt thank you on behalf of the students, employees and governing board of the Oracle School District #2 to the people who donated their tax credit dollars to our school district.

These generous contributions fund all of our district’s athletic programs, including football, volleyball, wrestling, basketball, softball, baseball, track and field, and cheerleading.

In addition, these tax credit dollars fund other educational extracurricular activities, such as before- and after-school programs, choir, art, character education, field trips, intercession classes, camps, math programs, student newspaper, reading programs, student council, tutoring, student yearbook and dance.

Many of the educational experiences our children and grandchildren enjoy would not occur if it were not for the kindness and thoughtfulness of these donors; there were 280 donors from the 85739 ZIP code, 61 donors from 85623, and 21 donors from other ZIP codes. If there is ever anything I can do to serve these caring and giving people, I can be reached at work at (520) 896-3074, on my cell at (928) 310-6815, or at home at (520) 825-4209.

Again, thank you. Words cannot adequately express what these donations mean to the students of the Oracle School District. These donors are truly wonderful and should be proud of the difference they make in the life of a child.

Todd Kissick, Superintendent, Oracle School District #2

Shooting victim grateful for prompt responses, care, prayers

We wish to release this statement to the news media concerning the tragic events of Saturday, Jan. 8, in Tucson. We have been residents of Tucson since 1984. Jim is currently employed at Raytheon and Doris at the University of Arizona. We attended the Congress on Your Corner event hosted by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the Safeway at Oracle and Ina roads to express appreciation for her service as our congressional representative. We were both talking with Congresswoman Giffords when the shooting started. Jim was struck by bullets in his right shoulder and right leg; Doris, thankfully, was not injured.

We wish to thank the Northwest Fire District, the Golder Ranch Fire District, the Tucson Fire Department, Southwest Ambulance, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the Oro Valley Police Department, and various other law enforcement agencies for their prompt and professional responses. The successful results of their efforts are perfect examples of when prior preparation meets opportunity; when the opportunity arises it’s too late to prepare.

We wish to thank University Medical Center’s emergency room, intensive care and trauma center staffs for providing outstanding care during Jim’s week-long stay.

To the entire Tucson community and friends around the world, we wish to express our thanks for the many prayers and expressions of concern toward us. To the Good Samaritans who aided and comforted Jim prior to the arrival of the emergency responders and who sat with Doris in the emergency room, you have our special thanks.

To our local church, we especially thank you for the many prayers, encouragements and acts of kindness on our behalf. And

finally, to our family members who supported us in a myriad of ways, you have been invaluable.

Beyond this statement, we do not wish to discuss this tragic incident with the news media. We appreciate your understanding and your respect for our privacy.

Jim and Doris Tucker, Tucson

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