'Fill developer has something up his sleeve
Comment about "No rail-hauled trash, developer says" …
According to Larry Henk, the development agreement is already being negotiated by his company with the Town of Marana. Did the mayor and council decide to make a deal that goes against the majority of people in the area? Could it be the money?
"Initial estimates are those fees would generate $450,000 a year to the town, and $150,000 to (Marana School District)." Imagine how much garbage it would take to pay out just those two fees of $600,000 per year. A standard tipping fee may be $2 per ton. It could take 300,000 tons of garbage to come up with that kind of money.
What about the payback to Mr. Henk for his investment, and all those high-priced folks on his payroll? They would get the other $25-$30 per ton charged to the garbage haulers. If an average garbage truck holds 10 tons of garbage, how many loads would it take to deliver 600,000 tons to Henk's dump? It could take more than 160 garbage trucks, working seven days a week, 365 days per year, to deliver enough garbage to pay Marana and the school district $600,000 each year.
Currently, Waste Management uses its own garbage dump near Phoenix and each day, garbage from Marana and surrounding areas is trucked to that dump. Waste Management makes money by not pay dumping fees to currently open dump sites. What makes Mr. Henk think that will change? Why would Waste Management suddenly begin using the Marana dump on Vice Mayor Kai's property and start paying dumping fees of $25-$30 per ton?
It will not happen. Mr. Henk will have to import garbage from around the country in order to make money. Or, he could sell the garbage dump to Waste Management or Allied Waste, to mention just two.
I think Mr. Henk has something up his sleeve.
Steve Storzer, Silverbell West
First proof OV selected right people
This letter was addressed to Oro Valley Town Council member Joe Hornat — Ed.
Council member Hornat,
I applaud the changes you suggested and got approved in the 2010-11 OV budget.
While I'm not a big fan of taxpayer subsidized "much-of-anything," I would much rather my tax dollars go towards providing transit support for those in need versus repairing some old dilapidated farm structures that aren't worth saving anyway.
The choices: Help Aunt Mable get to the grocery store or doctor, vs. restore an old building so a few can "feel good" about "preserving history." I applaud you for "voting" for helping the living.
Kudos to you and the rest of the council that voted for these changes.
First proof that we elected the right people.
Keep up the good work.
Jeff Jones, Oro Valley
Maybe photo radar, classes add to courtesy
In regards to negative comments about the photo enforcement radars, I too, am going to attend defensive driving school because I just received a citation for running a red light.
If the signal had been timed at Oracle and River to turn red after four seconds, I would have not been cited. However, in the light of worsening courtesy, road rage and unsafe driving, I would like the number of photo enforcement installations to be quadrupled in the City of Tucson and dozens more installed around unincorporated Pima County.
Not only does paying $232 for a driver's safety class contribute to me remaining alive and un-maimed, but also contributes to the general safety and courtesy of Tucson Metro. I believe that the attitude, "my way or the highway" reigns too much on the road. Those of you incensed by photo enforcement, please remember that we do belong to a community.
Tucson Metro has way too many fatalities of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. A polite and safe roadway experience also contributes to advertising this region as a good place to relocate businesses.
Thank you very much.
John deCoville, Oro Valley
Giffords does a wonderful job in Congress
Regarding the letters from "old faithful" Rick Cunnington and Dr. Holden about District 8 Congresswoman Giffords:
That she didn't vote on bills the way you wanted her to doesn't mean she is ignoring her constituents, it means you both are in the minority of her constituents. I also called and e-mailed her on the stimulus bill and on the health care bill. I, like a majority of her constituents, told her to vote in favor of both bills.
I notice that both of your letters use radio talk show sound bites, such as "Pelosi puppet." Give it a rest. Giffords is doing a wonderful job representing the majority of her constituents. I have already contributed to her re-election campaign and will gladly vote for her again.
George Krueger, Tucson
No public funds go to Giffords, any campaign
A letter to the editor in last week's Explorer falsely claimed that the Giffords for Congress campaign accepted contributions from the University of Arizona and Pima County.
The campaign has never accepted a contribution from either of these organizations. Giffords for Congress has not, does not and will not accept campaign contributions from private companies or governmental entities. Such contributions are unlawful and — on this point we agree with the author of the letter — would be a grave misuse of Arizona tax dollars.
Giffords for Congress is honored that thousands of Arizonans have chosen to invest in the campaign so far this election cycle. Many of these are individuals who have chosen to give $20, $50 or $75 during these tough economic times to support Congresswoman Giffords' work fighting for border security, creating solar energy jobs and standing up for service members and veterans in Southern Arizona.
We appreciate The Explorer as a trusted and valuable source of local news. But on this occasion we feel the paper failed to fulfill its obligation to provide factual, accurate information to readers.
Michael McNulty, Tucson
The writer chairs the Giffords for Congress campaign – Ed.
Will we ever see that on her resume?
A recent letter writer extolled the accomplishments of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords while questioning the experience and credibility of her four potential challengers. But then, few had heard of Ms. Giffords prior to her entry into politics.
So what if the four challengers are relatively unknown? Neither was Giffords when she first ran for public office. As I recall, she managed a tire store.
The winner of the Republican August primary will become very well known to voters as he exposes Giffords' voting record, including her votes for the horrendous health care bill and 'stimulus' package.
Her membership on three "critical" committees, her co-sponsorship of numerous bills and amendments, and her many district meetings are not achievements – just mere job descriptions, not unusual for most second-term back-benchers of the majority party. Committee memberships are awarded by Speaker Pelosi on the basis of members' loyalty to her agenda, namely mindless support for out-of-control spending and unsustainable deficits.
A noteworthy achievement would be: "Authored legislation now pending in Congress slashing federal spending 10 percent this fiscal year and another 10 percent next year, thereby reducing the size of government and decreasing the national debt by trillions of dollars."
Think we'll ever see that on her résumé?
Robert Key, Tucson
Just where did bodies come from?
On a recent trip downtown, I noticed there is an exhibit showing deceased bodies. I wondered where the bodies came from, and found some alarming questions regarding their origin.
Premier Exhibition fully admits they do not have any sort of consent from the people before they died and they are "unclaimed" bodies from China. There have been a few protesters, but for the most part Tucsonans are not considering where the bodies, and body parts came from.
The state of Hawaii has banned these exhibits; meanwhile California, Washington and Missouri are considering similar actions.
If this sort of entertainment is acceptable in this town, how long will it be before Premier Exhibitions shows cut open homeless people or undocumented migrants found in the desert in their shows? Just because something is educational does not mean it is not a human rights violation.
Travis Klein, Tucson
According to the Bodies The Exhibition web site, full-body specimens are "persons who lived in China and died from natural causes. After the bodies were unclaimed at death, pursuant to Chinese law, they were ultimately delivered to a medical school for education and research. Where known, information about the identities, medical histories and causes of death is kept strictly confidential." — Ed.
Don't feel safe if you live in rural county
Who's to say out-of-state trash won't be railed to a transfer station, loaded on trucks, then driven to the landfill?
Pima County closed several landfills / transfer stations. Because of the economic downturn, the county isn't generating enough trash to be profitable, allowing the Tangerine landfill to remain open for 10 more years.
Where will this 1-2 square mile landfill get enough trash to be profitable? Pinal County has a new landfill near Red Rock. Maricopa won't by-pass Red Rock to haul to Marana.
Maybe Mexico? American companies in Mexico cannot dump their wastes there. Some is hauled into southern Arizona and dumped in the mountains near the border.
Marana's master plan has upscale plans for all of their incorporated land between I-10 and the Tortolita Mountains, saving their "industrial area" for lucky Avra Valley folks. Marana plans to annex then lease land (including more owned by Vice Mayor Kai) for a solar power plant just west of Marana High. A sand and gravel pit was allowed on Avra Valley Road — the place with the dying vegetation on the berm. A materials company took over the mobile home business site at Avra Valley and I-10, and a former cotton field there is now a quarry — Avra Valley's "scenic" route to Marana.
Mayor Honea remarked at Tuesday's study session that Marana hopes to attract industry to the area around the airport. Apparently our Avra Valley desert isn't worthy of the same protection as the Tortolita Fan. Believing all people have the right to live in a healthy environment, the Environmental Protection Agency calls this environmental injustice –"…the tendencies to place landfills, heavy industry, etc., in areas populated by minorities and people of lower incomes thereby causing them to bear a higher burden of health consequences than non-minorities and those with higher incomes."
Don't be lulled into feeling safe because you live in the county. Silverbell West residents had no idea Marana was annexing nearby land for a dump, excluding neighboring residential developments to prevent those folks from voting in town elections.
Become involved. Follow the money. Question the town council.
Janice Mitich, Rural Marana
Land appraisal in Steam Pump done properly
In reference to your article concerning the Basis School land trade, and the recent appraisal completed in anticipation of this trade, as a practicing commercial real estate appraiser for 30 years, I disagree that the appraisal for the parcel is "flawed."
The questioner does not appear to have full knowledge of required appraisal practices and procedures.
A parcel of land designated as "open space" does have value, despite its open space designation. Clearly, it does not have the same value as a property which could be directly developed as commercial uses. This parcel is however part of a larger commercial development. Such an open space parcel could be used as part of the open space requirement for a larger development, and free up land which is commercially zoned, for additional development. Alternately, it could add an open space amenity to a larger commercial development.
An open space parcel located along Oracle Road has a different potential usage and potential value than a property that is in the middle of a residential development, or in more remote undeveloped areas.
All appraisals are required to address the concept of "highest and best use." It is standard appraisal practice, therefore, to consider the commercial use potential of the vacant open space parcel.
Properties designated as open space, or other uses such as large lot residential, etc., have sometimes been rezoned, as any observer of Oro Valley and Tucson area development knows. Thus, a competent appraiser is mandated to consider a potential alternate use in evaluating a property.
It appears that this procedure was followed in preparation of the appraisal, based on the information provided.
The appraisal also appears to have considered the open space zoning designation, in arriving at a value conclusion certainly below the most recent area sale of the Basis School site. Thus, the appraisal appears to have followed standard and required appraisal methodology.
Rosalie Roszak, Oro Valley
The writer is an Arizona-certified general real estate appraiser. — Ed.
Many concerns about Marana regional landfill
As past president of a small water cooperative in Picture Rocks, I have many concerns about the proposed Marana Landfill which will sit over our shared Avra Valley aquifer.
With a landfill depth of 70 feet, and a water table depth of 150-200 feet — rising at the rate of seven feet per year — the potential for toxic contamination is quite real and quite scary.
The EPA says that all landfill liners will eventually leak, and a liner manufacturer states that many common household items will hasten that leakage. The very act of laying out and securing the seams of the liners may, due to weight and puncturing, hasten those leaks. One study shows that 82 percent of surveyed landfills had leaks.
Public health hazards from landfill contamination include low birth rates, birth defects, diabetes, and certain cancers; women are especially at risk for bladder cancer and leukemia. Health results are the same at municipal solid waste landfills and hazardous waste landfills.
Landfill developer DKL Holdings President Larry Henk was president and chief operating officer of Allied Waste. Almost half of Allied's landfills had and have problems including violations of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. Allied and its subsidiaries have paid out tens of millions of dollars in fines and penalties.
Albert Vetere Lannon, Picture Rocks
Perhaps AZ should have copied Mexico
Arizona's SB1070 copies U.S. immigration law. Perhaps we should have copied Mexican immigration law.
Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to re-enter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six-year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals.
David H. Holmes, Sun City West