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Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:29 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

Letters to the editor published in the August 5, 2009, edition of The Explorer.

System to decide if truck driver was negligent

We are the parents of Olivia Curcuru, who was severely injured when hit by a FedEx truck last January.

We are upset by the article entitled “No citations in child's accident” by Hayley Roylance which was published by The Explorer on June 24, 2009. We were very pleased to see in the same issue the story about the wonderful benefit pancake breakfast, which was held by the North Tucson Firefighters, also written by Hayley Roylance. We feel that the benefit article was news worthy because the event had recently occurred. The article about the incident in which our daughter was gravely injured was not news because it happened nearly six months ago.

We were most distressed by the statements quoted from the spokeswoman for the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, who pronounced that there was no negligence on the part of the FedEx driver. The spokeswoman quoted in the article was not one of the officers who came immediately to the scene. She had no first-hand knowledge of what occurred.

We firmly believe that the FedEx driver was negligent. She knew that our 3-year-old daughter was in the area on her Big Wheel, yet the FedEx driver sat in her truck awhile and then started up and pulled away rapidly without even looking to see where Olivia was.

Olivia will require special care for the rest of her life because of the injuries sustained as a result of this driver's negligence. Olivia is permanently paralyzed from the waist down. We have a lawsuit pending against FedEx to recover for her. The justice system will decide whether the FedEx driver was negligent — not a spokesperson who wasn't at the scene of the accident.

Joe and Carolyn Curcuru, Eagle Crest

Federal debt trend alarming, unsustainable

Jesse Kelly stated in a July 22nd letter to the editor that “our national debt has grown to over    

    $12 trillion.” The next week Joan M. McKitis wrote in her response to Mr. Kelly “I assume his figure of a $12 trillion deficit was the result of a typographical error.”

Ms. McKitis is confusing the debt with the annual deficit. The debt is the total amount owed by the federal government. The deficit is the difference between tax receipts and spending in a one-year period.

In 1980, total debt was about 33 percent of GDP. By 2000 that figure had climbed to 58 percent of GDP. In 2005 the total debt was almost 65 percent of GDP. The total debt of the U.S. government is projected to be about 98 percent of GDP in 2010.

This is an alarming and unsustainable trend. Clearly something needs to change in Washington, or the housing bubble will look like a walk in the park.

John Ellinwood, Oro Valley

Such confusion led him to join Kelly's campaign

Ms. McKitis, in a letter published on July 29th, unfortunately confuses the national debt and the deficit when responding to CD-8 candidate Jesse Kelly, stating “I assume his figure of a $12 trillion deficit was the result of a typographical error.” In fact, Mr. Kelly stated, “our national debt has grown to over $12 trillion.”

Long before I studied for my master's degree in economics from Nobel laureates at George Mason University, I learned that the budget deficit, which has reached well over a trillion dollars, is a mere difference between tax revenues and government expenditures in any fiscal year. The national debt is the total amount the government owes at any given time. That number, unfortunately, is around 12 trillion dollars.

Ms. McKitis is, however, correct that part of the blame for our outrageous deficits and debt should be laid on previous Congresses and administrations. It is clear that what we need to change our path is new representation in Washington.

It is Ms. McKitis' line of thinking that led me to join Jesse Kelly's campaign staff as an economic advisor.

Sound economic policy will be the foundation of our recovery as a nation. This begins with the proper understanding of economic issues.

Adam C. Kwasman, Tucson

Story's real heroes are at animal hospital

Today I was amazed to see my name in the paper for rescuing an injured dog, but the real heroes in this story are the staff members at Cortaro Farms Animal Hospital, who administered aid to the dog and saved his life.

He was hit a week and a half ago and has been living at the vets' office while we search for his owners (no luck) or find him a new home. He has been temporarily adopted by the staff and is very loved.

These people advertise that pets are family and they've showed me that they truly mean it.

Susan Baker, Tucson

Jesse got his facts right, others don't

Joan M. McKitis' letter of July 29 shows she doesn't know the difference between debt and deficits. Jesse Kelly was accurate.

In his letter in the July 22 issue of The Explorer, Jesse Kelly never used the word deficit as Joan M. McKitis claims. He mentioned the $12 trillion debt.

I know that in her letters to her constituents, Rep. Giffords confuses debt with deficits. In a letter sent to me dated Sept. 16, 2008, she falsely claimed we had a huge deficit of nearly $3 trillion. We have never had a deficit anywhere near this amount. The highest annual deficit through September 2008 was $547,914 million dollars in FY 2008 (see Table 1.4 of the historic tables which is part of the federal budget), so I can understand why Joan M. McKitis is confused about these words if she gets Rep. Giffords' letters.

According to Table 7.1 of the historic tables, the gross national debt at Sept. 30th was $9,985,757 million dollars (that's almost $10 trillion). We have added about $2 trillion since then.

The fact is that Jesse Kelly got his facts right. I wish Rep. Giffords and Ms. McKitis could get their facts right.

Enid F. Rocourt, Casas Adobes

Oro Valley councilwoman moves away from previous positions

In the past, Councilwoman Paula Abbott has shown herself to be a noble politician, voting the way the majority of her constituents wished, which was in the best interest of the community.

Her voting record recently appears to be opposite of her original platform, and not in the best interest of the community.

Many residents would like to know why the change and what has happened.

For example: it was surprising to see her vote against transparency and the environmental sustainability commission, just to name a few.

Geri Ottoboni-Gilmore, Oro Valley

Such confusion led him to join Kelly's campaign

Ms. McKitis, in a letter published on July 29th, unfortunately confuses the national debt and the deficit when responding to CD-8 candidate Jesse Kelly, stating “I assume his figure of a $12 trillion deficit was the result of a typographical error.” In fact, Mr. Kelly stated, “our national debt has grown to over $12 trillion.”

Long before I studied for my master's degree in economics from Nobel laureates at George Mason University, I learned that the budget deficit, which has reached well over a trillion dollars, is a mere difference between tax revenues and government expenditures in any fiscal year. The national debt is the total amount the government owes at any given time. That number, unfortunately, is around 12 trillion dollars.

Ms. McKitis is, however, correct that part of the blame for our outrageous deficits and debt should be laid on previous Congresses and administrations. It is clear that what we need to change our path is new representation in Washington.

It is Ms. McKitis' line of thinking that led me to join Jesse Kelly's campaign staff as an economic advisor.

Sound economic policy will be the foundation of our recovery as a nation. This begins with the proper understanding of economic issues.

Adam C. Kwasman, Tucson

Story's real heroes are at animal hospital

Today I was amazed to see my name in the paper for rescuing an injured dog, but the real heroes in this story are the staff members at Cortaro Farms Animal Hospital, who administered aid to the dog and saved his life.

He was hit a week and a half ago and has been living at the vets' office while we search for his owners (no luck) or find him a new home. He has been temporarily adopted by the staff and is very loved.

These people advertise that pets are family and they've showed me that they truly mean it.

Susan Baker, Tucson

Government is already in health care, and it's good

Paul Krugman, in an op-ed, told the story about a question Rep. Bob Inglis received at a recent town meeting. A man stood up and told Rep. Inglis to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.”

This demonstrates that most people do not understand that we already have government run health care and it is not bad. The VA medical system is one of the best health care programs in our country. Medicare, Medicaid and the federal health system for government employees (that our elected representatives enjoy) are working.

I have been on Medicare with an AARP supplement for six years, and it has been as good if not better than the Blue Cross coverage I had while working.

The opponents of a reformed health care system with a government option have been guilty of spreading a lot of misinformation about the program. They tell scare stories that happened many years ago about “socialized medicine” in Canada, Great Britain and Germany. Republican Congress persons have even stated on the floor of Congress that elder citizens will die because of rationed health care.

Before Medicare was established many years ago, more than 40 percent of older Americans had any kind of health insurance. Surveys show that Medicare recipients are much more satisfied with their coverage than those Americans with private plans.

Speaking of surveys, the latest Republican “talking point” has been to quote a study done by a group owned by United Health Care, hardly a non-partisan company.

The conservatives would have us believe that President Obama is a “wild-eyed socialist, attacking the free market.” The reason we have a working health care system at all is because the government regulates the health care industry and provides tax subsidies for private companies who offer health care to their employees.

We need to be an informed public and study the issue before we make snap judgments. Then let Sens. Kyl and McCain and Reps. Giffords and Grijalva know what we want.

Phil Gibbs, Oro Valley

Congress should rein 'dogs,' ignore  Republicans

When JFK challenged America to put a man on the moon, Congress did not stand in the way of this national goal.

Today, when our president puts forth the challenge to provide quality health care for all Americans (a much less daunting task than a moon race), Congress with a powerhouse Democratic majority has obfuscated and stymied the process while feigning cooperation and a shared vision.

They have amended the healthcare bill to include the standard pork and nepotism. They've made closed-door deals with insider insurance and pharma companies. They've entirely cut out a single-payer option and all but shredded a workable public option. Meanwhile they've complained that a small group of “Blue Dogs” along with the fully flaccid Republicans have hijacked their bill.

First of all, to rein in a handful of rogue status-quo politicians from your own party, simply expose them and their Phizer / Kaiser connections. Secondly, claiming the Republicans have submarined this bill is like blaming our struggles in Iraq on the few ineffectual Portuguese troops there. The Republicans had no teeth when this bill was first floated; you have since given them some – though still just baby teeth, they will undoubtedly grow into fangs.

However, fanged or gummy, the Republicans don't have the numbers. Ignore them. Alas, the truth remains that Republicans and Democrats alike don't care to embarrass their colleagues, no matter if they are cheating on their wives or cheating the American people out of affordable health care.

Perhaps the real fear is that a little shining light here would reveal one giant Congressional-Corporate orgy.

Peter J. Burns, Tucson

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