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Letters to the editor published in the July 21, 2010, edition of The Explorer.

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Posted: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:11 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Most trash will not be shipped to DKL's 'fill

DKL Holdings, Inc. wants to build a new landfill near a neighborhood of 100 families but Marana does not need a new landfill. The Tangerine Landfill has many more years of service capacity.

Waste Management has a transfer station on Ina Road, and transfers trash out of our area to its own facility, the Butterfield Landfill near Phoenix. It will not go to DKL's landfill.

A new transfer station is planned by Saguaro Environmental Services, a Republic Services company, two miles east of Tangerine Road and I-10. That facility could handle 500 tons of trash per day to be transferred out of our area to the Cactus Landfill in Pinal County. It will not go the DKL's landfill.

The Durham Landfill is in the planning stages and located in Pinal County. Much of the permitting is completed. It will be a modern landfill established nine miles away from people. Transfer stations would be located closer to user areas and trash would be transferred to that landfill each day. It will not go to DKL's landfill.

Unfortunately, Marana has been led to believe modern landfills can be located near neighborhoods where children are being raised and will never get sick, near water wells where no contamination could occur, and in a floodplain where a future flood will never happen. Is DKL that good at predicting the future?

Big business is good at making predictions and offering big money. Marana officials apparently cannot wait to get a piece of the landfill pie. DKL is offering annual tipping fees of $600,000 to Marana and the school district. With that kind of money, no wonder Marana officials are willing to gamble with the health of Pima County residents near the west side town limits. When it comes to this landfill, they do not have to listen to the people they are supposed to represent. They only listen to those with the money.

Over 400,000 tons of garbage is needed each year to meet their goals. There is not enough garbage here so it will have to be imported.

Steve Storzer, Silverbell West

 

Since when are signs the cure-all for business?

I would like to know which business course teaches that a sign big enough and bright enough and illuminated all hours is the cure for rough business conditions.

Where are the studies that show increasing signage equals plus business? Is the rest of Pima County having fabulous business because their sign codes are more lenient than Oro Valley's?

Oro Valley will be Tacky Valley if the sign codes are relaxed. Just ask the customers of the failed Oro Valley restaurants if more and different signage could make up for poor food or even poorer service.

Someone is living in fantasyland.

Kristine Cohen, Oro Valley

 

Just where will all that trashcome from?

Mr. Henk and Mr. Racy have been telling the council and the public that the Marana Landfill will make lots of money for the town. They plan to give $1.20/short ton to pay the town $400,000 a year and 30¢/short ton to the Marana Unified School District or $150,000 a year. ("Draft agreement details host fees…" p. 9, The Explorer, 7.14.10)

If one adds the two donations, it equals $1.50 per short ton to pay for the $550,000 combined donation per year. By dividing 1.50 into the donation of $550,000, you find that the landfill would have to take in 366,666.66 short tons a year to generate the promised payments.

Where will all that trash come from?

In FY 2006-2007, Pima County generated the following municipal solid wastes:

Los Reales Landfill

690, 215 tons (62.1 percent)

Pima Co. Landfills

135,778 tons (12.2 percent)

Waste Management Transfer            286,000 tons (25.7 percent)

Total landfill / Transfer

1,111,993 tons (69.7 percent)

1,111,993 tons (69.7 percent) plus 483,946 tons (30.3 percent) diverted waste (recycling, tires, mulch, cardboard, etc.) — Total 1,595,939 tons (100 percent) solid waste

Pima County generated almost 1.6 million tons of solid waste in FY 2006-2007.

Does DKL Holding expect to take half of Los Reales's tonnage?

Los Reales takes in 1,500 tons/day. Tangerine takes in about 70,000 tons/year.

If Saguaro Environmental Services (Republic) builds a transfer station near Tangerine Road, they estimate 500 tons/day to haul to Florence.

Pinal County's new Durham Landfill projected only 137,000 tons/year serving Marana, Casa Adobes, half of Oro Valley/Catalina, Red Rock, Eloy (unincorporated), and Arizona City, and don't expect to reach 300,000 tons/year until 2025.

I hope the town council will ask DKL Holdings to spell out their proposed service area, current and projected population for the service area, and resulting tonnage.

If they can't, do they plan to sell to Waste Management or import a heck of a lot of waste?

Janice Mitich, Picture Rocks

 

Diversify our base, stabilize state's economy

Mr. Cunnington may not agree with my passionate defense of our children; however, I can think of no more important issue than public education, as it affects every aspect of our state.

The economic reality is that while Arizona is described as the fifth-friendliest state for business, we are consistently ranked 45th (or lower) in education. This lack of support for public education limits our ability to attract high-tech, high-wage businesses that place a premium on education and require an educated workforce. It also places our children at a disadvantage, as they must compete in a global job market. So yes, education is sacred.

Mr. Cunnington writes that "the vast majority of education problems are caused by the teachers unions." To eliminate pubic school funding and then blame teachers for the results is just plain wrong.

By law, education funds must be distributed equitably across the state, making state and federal funds the largest school funding sources. The problem is that Arizona is far too dependent on sales tax as a primary source of state revenue. We must diversify our economic base in order to stabilize our economy.

I will be a champion for diversification through focusing on biotech, solar and public / private partnerships with our universities. I will fight for a just tax system that protects individuals and small business first, not big-business lobbyists. Every tax credit and loophole must be examined.

As a business owner since 1988, I have balanced budgets while making a healthy profit by providing quality products and services and working cooperatively with my employees. I am a proponent of efficient and effective government. No one gets a "blank check." Increased investment requires increased expectations. Every government agency, be it the Department of Education or the Motor Vehicle Division, must adhere to high standards of transparency and accountability.

Finally, unlike Mr. Cunnington, I believe morality has every place in politics. I will meet the moral obligation to fight to protect our children and seniors, strengthen our education system and state's infrastructure to attract and keep business and spend every tax dollar carefully.

Cheryl Cage, Marana

Cheryl Cage is a Democrat running for the Arizona Senate from District 26.

 

Inappropriate for UA workers to contribute?

Ken Kinared of Oro Valley disputes the claim made by Giffords' campaign chairman that there were no public funds contributed from the UofA. He sites opensecrets.com as his evidence.

Opensecrets.com shows UofA as one of the top contributors to Giffords campaign but, as both Mr. Kinared and the site state, these funds were either contributed by a PAC sponsored by the organization or individuals associated with the organization.

What he doesn't say, clearly indicated on the site, is that there were no funds contributed by a PAC associated with UofA. Furthermore the site also states that these contributions may have been made by employees of UofA.

Is Mr. Kinared suggesting that it is improper for employees of UofA to be making political contributions to those running for public office? Or is he being more convoluted, suggesting that as employees of the UofA these contributions are some how public money?

In my opinion Mr. Kinared is responsible for every bit as much spin as the Giffords campaign chairman might have been.

Roger Schuelke, Oro Valley

 

Firm holds a big carrot in front of Marana

Response to article "Draft agreement details host fees, more" printed in the July 14 edition of The Explorer.

DKL Holdings hangs a big carrot of about $600,000 to influence Marana officials, but then wants to make sure the written agreement does not commit them to giving any money to the Town "in light of the unpredictability of the available volumes of waste…" One reason for the unpredictability of available volume may be because most of the garbage is already sent out of our area.

The agreement restricts waste transported by rail as long as the "owner" does not know about it. As long as they 'don't ask, don't tell' the owner, anything goes. Since much of the trash now collected from the area is transferred out of our area, where will DKL get enough trash to put in its new landfill? We need to keep trash out of this area, not bring it in. Someone got it all backwards. Was it the smell of money clouding their thinking?

The agreement would require landfill employees to pick up litter along Avra Valley Road, but the wind often blows toward Silverbell Road and the Silverbell West Subdivision. Is it acceptable to Marana officials to let the litter blow in that direction because those families live outside of town limits?

The agreement would provide "financial assurances for costs of closure and post-closure care." Unfortunately, landfills last forever. Will the financial assurances last forever or only a few years?

The agreement would provide two free public access days for Marana residents, but DKL has previously stated that the landfill would serve northern Pima County and southern Pinal County. What about the residents just outside of the town limits, some only a few hundred feet away from the dump site? Since they cannot vote in the town, is their trash unacceptable for free dumping days as well?

Why is this dump 'safe' enough for the west side of Marana, but not acceptable for the other parts of town? Will you hold your town officials accountable?

Linda Storzer, Silverbell West

 

The elected use our money for themselves

We The People need legislation to outlaw the abuse of taxpayer money spent for the personal benefit of elected officials.

For example, a few weeks ago I received in the U.S. mail a large multi-page, full-color foldout brochure, printed on magazine-quality paper. Its obvious purpose was to glorify the elected official who sent it. The fine print mentioned that taxpayers funded the entire cost.

I was already receiving the official's newsletter e-mails, so why did I also receive this extravagant brochure in the U.S. mail? Although the advertisement lacked explicit, "Vote for Me" text, that was its obvious point.

The ad was full of large glamorous photos of the official riding in helicopters and such, but offered little useful information. Ironically, I would have graded that official an A+ on the single issue targeted in the ad, that is, until the ad led me to suspect the official is just using the popular issue to get re-elected.

Even in good times, studies say that one of 10 American taxpayers skips meals at the end of every month just to keep a roof over their head. That can only worsen in these troubled times.

The law gives citizens no choice in handing over whatever amounts of money our elected officials demand from us. For those same officials to squander that money for their personal benefit is not "representation." It is simply theft. We must demand an end to this criminal abuse of our trust.

Cindy Coping, Tucson

 

Voters should make selections for education

The summer break is winding down. Arizonans will be gearing up for the back-to-school frenzy.

The time is now to request your early ballot for the primary election Aug. 24 and the Nov. 2 general election and show your continued support for public education.

State funding to public education has been repeatedly slashed by the majority in the State Legislature. Federal stimulus funds will run out for FY2011-'12.

The UA, a top employer in Southern Arizona, will be impacted by further state budget cuts. Students at the state universities face tuition increases. K-12 public school districts like Marana Unified School District must gain voter approval on bond issues to pick up the slack. Pima Community College turned to federal stimulus funding to keep programs afloat when the state resources to adult education were decimated.

Voters registered as independent can vote in the primary, an important and key election. Request an early ballot for your party preference to vote by mail.

Voters can do the research and note the voting records of their elected state representatives.

East of I-10, the voters of Village of Catalina, Village of Catalina, Catalina Foothills, Oro Valley, Marana, Tortolita and a portion of the City of Tucson reside in Legislative District 26.

Of actual votes cast on 21 pieces of legislation during the 2009 regular and special sessions affecting state funding to public education in Arizona, Arizona Education Network has compiled this voting record summary on support for public education in District 26:

Sen. Al Melvin — 0 percent for education

Rep. Nancy Young Wright — 95 percent for education

Rep. Vic Williams — 32 percent for education

Voters want to support candidates that will represent Southern Arizona's best interests.

Former Marana Mayor Ora Mae Harn, a lifelong Republican, endorsed Democrat Cheryl Cage over Republican Sen. Al Melvin.

Will voters elect state officials who will invest in public education? Thankfully, many will cast their vote for education and vote early. Our quality of life depends on the majority of voters to do so.

Milani Llorin Hunt, Tucson

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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