Friday, March 27, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Hartung: "OVCOG Recall Effort Is Not About Police"

We've been alerted by a resident of Suffolk Hills that some Oro Valley police, who live in the subdivision north of Suffolk Hill, are telling neighbors that OVCOG members are anti-police, and that the recall effort of the Majority's-4 is about electing people to make anti-police policy changes.

We followed-up with OVCOG's leader, Ryan Hartung:

LOVE:  Is OVCOG anti-police?

Hartung: "Absolutely not. We have never discussed the police department at our meetings. The Oro Valley Police Department does an excellent job helping to keep our town safe. Our issues are with the recent votings of the council and them not listening to their constituency and making decisions without doing their due diligence. The police department's spending has nothing to do with OVCOG."

LOVE: Is the recall about electing people to make anti-police policy changes?

Hartung: OVCOG is not about electing people, period. We are only concerned about gaining the signatures necessary to force a recall election. Only when that goal is met will we even think about candidates. The goal of OVCOG is ONLY to gather signatures for the recall election. We are not trying to flip the council from one side to another. We have heard of many people interested in running for council, should a recall election occur, but we have not decided who, if any candidates we might support. Again, we have never discussed the police department, nor will we, as they have nothing to do with OVCOG.

There are two "third-rails" of Oro Valley politics. One is a "Property Tax." The other is anything to do with the police.  Could it be that the Majority-4 have energized their police union friends to activate this latter "third rail."
Oro Valley Resident Competed In 2015 Ms Senior Arizona Contest

Jane Stump of Oro Valley competed in the Ms. Senior Arizona contest in Phoenix last weekend. "Twenty-one women over the age of 60 from across the state participate in the 26th Annual Ms. Senior Arizona Pageant at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center in Surprise." (Source)
Don't Forget Oro Valley's Art Tours

"As a reminder, Oro Valley provides guided public art tours. The two-hour tours take place on the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m., starting at Oro Valley Town Hall. Admission and transportation are FREE, but reservations are required as seating is limited.

Additionally, due to the increase in development and construction, there are several new public art pieces that art enthusiasts will enjoy, as well as stops at the always-impressive public art collections at Oro Valley Marketplace and Oro Valley Hospital.

Reservations can be made online at by clicking on the Arts & Entertainment link. " (Source: Oro Valley Press Release)
Oro Valley Senior Softball Wraps Ups Successful Season

Oro Valley has two senior softball teams. The 65's team finished second in the regular season in the Golf Links Thursday League. They finished third in the end of year tournament. The 70's team won 90%+ of games played for the last 10 weeks of the season in their Monday-Wednesday league. Oro Valley residents Art Kahn and Jay Spaulding manage the 65 and 70 teams, respectively. The season runs from October through March.

All games are play outside of Oro Valley because Oro Valley does not have a senior softball field suitable for play.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oro Valley Serious Crimes Down in 2014

Oro Valley residents got some "good news" in this years's Oro Valley Police Department 2014 crime reports.

Serious Crime Down by 12%

Serious crimes decreased by 12% to 678 in Oro Valley in 2014. This according to the final 2014 statistics published by the Oro Valley Police Department.

Theft continues to be Oro Valley's most serious crime. It accounts for more than 4 out of every 5 serious crimes. In 2014, only 2 of the 12 serious crime reporting categories, Burglary and Sexual Assault, showed an increase. So, lock your doors and turn on the alarm!

Further good news is that the number of serious crimes continues to decline. At the same time Oro Valley's population has remained relative stagnant. The result is a slight decrease in the crime rate (per 100,000 population).

Oro Valley is a "safe haven" compared to other Southern Arizona communities. Oro Valley's serious crime rate per 100,000 is 1,650. The Arizona state serious crime rate is more than twice that rate at 3,800.
Neighboring communities have higher crime rates. Marana, for example, has a smaller population than Oro Valley yet had 32% more serious crimes in 2013. Perhaps this has something to do with its proximity to I-10.

Violent Crime Down To Less Than 4%

Violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, and assault)  in Oro Valley is relatively rare. Violent crime is less than 4% of all serious crimes in Oro Valley. There were 21 violent crimes in 2014. Aggravated assaults, assaults of a particularly violent or threatening nature, were two-thirds of Oro Valley's violent crimes. The statewide average in 2013 was more than 10%. (Source)

We asked Mayor Hiremath his view on this year's results:
"The Oro Valley Police Department continues to provide quality service to the residents, businesses and visitors in the Town. The voter approved General Plan calls for Community Policing as our guide for the provision of police service, and we are fortunate that Chief Sharp, along with his department’s leadership, has a solid grasp of those principles necessary to carry out that mission. The relationship between the police department and the town’s residents is key to assuring we keep Oro Valley a safe community."
How To Avoid A Driving Citation

The Oro Valley Police Department also reported its "citations issued" for 2014.  The Odepartment issued a total of 4,240 citations. The statistics tell us that doing 3 things in particular will help you avoid a citation:
  • Keep your registration, insurance and drivers license valid
The citation of not maintaining proper registration, a valid traffic license, or valid insurance accounted for almost 1,850 violations.  
  • Observe the speed limit
Speeding accounted for 32% of  all citations in 2014. 
  • Drive sober 
There were more than 200 DUI citations issued.
And, of course, do drive safely: Stay in your lane, use your lane change signals and do not run a red light.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Heather's Corner: Rattlesnake Preparedness: Yes, It's That Time Again

You're walking along an Oro Valley pathway enjoying the sunny warmth on your skin. Maybe you aren't watching where you're going because the bursting wildflowers have caught your eye. Suddenly you hear the sound of keratin segments vibrating at 60 times per second and you realize, days of carefree biking, hiking, and meandering are over. It's rattlesnake season.

Southern Arizona has 15 types of rattlers and the next few months is when you are most likely to encounter one during daylight hours, respectfully switching active times to just after dark during hotter months. So what do you do if you encounter one? Don't panic!

Visitor at my parent's house last summer. Gulp!
The Arizona Game and Fish Department's website assures us that the scaly fellow will be just as nervous as you are. Your best bet is to move away slowly and deliberately, at least 6 full steps (or 6 feet) in the opposite direction of the snake and potential striking distance. Though rattlers max out at 3 mph top speed during travel, their striking speed is unmatched.

What about those visitors to our back yard patio? Chances are the snake is just passing through but you can also call the fire department for immediate removal as well as a private enterprise located under "Pest Removal Service." I, personally will choose the latter two options if necessary.

How about rattlesnake prevention?

Believe it or not, there are actually things you can do to prevent rattlesnakes from entering your yard. A major deterrent is keeping their food source to a minimum. That means eliminating rodents in and around your property. Being a primary food source, it makes your yard a perfect residence with unlimited buffet for the summer. Keep in mind, and this broke my heart, bird feeders as well. Though they are lovely to have, snakes are drawn to the prolonging scent of birds at the feeders.

Also rattlers do not dig their own holes therefore seek out shelter in pre-dug holes via rodents, rabbits, or other types of snakes. Be vigilant in filling in these holes as they appear. And yes, that woodpile next to the side of your house should probably go too.

Above all, common sense prevails. Although you can not prepare yourself for the unexpected chance encounter on a pathway or in your own back yard, realize you take certain risks when traveling off path or in areas more likely suited for a rattler habitat this time of year. Time to start making my yard unappealing to the Arizona spring and summer critters. Though, I do love my bird feeder. Maybe that one can wait a few more weeks. Any photos of critters you'd like to share? The Arizona Game and Fish department also suggest a solid 4 foot wall with an outward lip, shown in the sketch, because snakes can not cling to a wall if forced to arch backward for the lip. However, they can fit into areas as small as a quarter so gates must fit snugly on the ground and drainage holes should have 1/4 inch hardware cloth.
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley for 6 years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. She loves gardening, nature, art, and travel. Currently her two young children fill up most of her days (and nights) with chaotic bliss. Oro Valley favorites: memorial bench at the entrance of Romero Canyon Trail in Catalina State Park, Toscana Studio and Gallery, OV Fall Festival, the gumption and determination of OV residents!

Resident Seeks Council Help To Respond To Unfounded Allegation

Oro Valley resident Shirl Lamonna brought her "case" to council last Wednesday. Lamonna discussed Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce President Dave Perry's remarks impugning Lamonna's motives for opposing a zoning change several years ago. See our posting last Wednesday.

Lamonna began her remarks, of which we have included a video (below), with the goal of "...taking advantage of the [council's] ability to respond to criticism." Lamonna then proceeded to discuss Perry's ill spoken remarks to council of March 4.

Lamonna's primary concern is that Perry's comment not only impugns the motives behind her strident efforts several years ago, but also violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the town's agreement with Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The town donates $30,000 annually to the chamber. That agreement states that the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce in any political activities in Oro Valley.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Oro Valley "Meet Yourselves" Featured Religious Teachings

Oro Valley celebrated diverse cultures this past weekend. The event was sponsored by Town of Oro Valley and Vestar, Oro Valley Marketplace and produced by Southwest Folklife Alliance.

"Experience the authentic, community-based cultural traditions and folk-life of Oro Valley: music, dance, manual arts, occupation customs, foodways and stories of home and place."

The event was only somewhat about "cultures." Most of the space was devoted to food vendors, sponsors, and vintage cars (The vintage cars were really cool!).

In the middle there was a GFRD truck and fire personnel. The kids really loved it and the personnel were very cool!

So, to an extent, the event was a like a "Fair."

The only cultural exhibits that we could find was a table hosted by a Ukranian group and several Tohono Nation tables displaying working carvings and related arts.

Imagine the surprise of one of our readers when the reader came upon Islam religious teachings at the event. "Islam is a religion. It is not a culture," that individual wrote us.

So, Sunday, we went to the festival. The "main street stage" hosted an islamic religious leader speaking about the religious tenets.  The stage was large and it had a high volume sound system. So the individual's words could he heard everywhere. There were to be "chantings and recitations." Later, "Islam 101" took place in the folklore pavilion.

There was a discussion of "Jewish Ritual Objects" and their importance from a cultural perspective.

There were events that did focus solely on culture: Mexican wood carvings, origami, and and indian decorative arts. There was a presentation of "Kosher Challah Baking."

All of the events may have served the purpose of the Southwest Folklore Alliance. This is to "...celebrate the everyday expressions of culture, heritage and diversity in the Greater Southwest."

We wonder...

Should the Town Of Oro Valley have promoted an event that extols religious teachings? .

What do you think?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

TOOTHINOV.ORG Files With Supreme Court

We received the following email message from Debra Arrett  of TOOTHINOV.ORGo today.

"Shirl Lamonna and I decided to ask the Arizona Supreme Court to consider our case against Julie Bower (Town of Oro Valley) on Thursday and attorney Bill Risner filed the request yesterday. We had ten days to make such a request after the ruling from the Appellate Court, the last day being tomorrow (Sunday). Be it Superior, Appellate or even the Supreme Court, one never knows how the judge(s) will rule. We were told that the Chief Justice has a great deal of expertise in election and constitutional law. So keep your fingers crossed. We expect to know by Wednesday if they will consider our case and understand that if they do, it would be a quick process."

Friday, March 20, 2015

Bits and Pieces

Sport of Golf Continues Decline

This week, Dick's Sporting Goods announced a significant layoff of PGA professionals who work in their stores. Apparently, the sport of golf continues to be in such decline that Dicks "... struggles to sell golf equipment." (source)

On the other hand, there are those who are optimistic about the sport. Last summer, KKR acquired Troon Golf, operator of the El Conquistador Country Club. KKR is the most substantial middle market investor in the world. Generally, they are "bargain hunters." Perhaps they, like the Oro Valley council's Majority-4, see a resurgence of the sport.

Lots To Do In Oro Valley This Weekend

Tomorrow at 9am is Oro Valley's "Third Saturday" at Steam Pump Ranch. Theres also, beginning at 10am, "Meet Yourself Oro Valley." This is billed as a "celebration of diverse cultures."

Sunday is the 11th Annual Arizona Distance Classic. This road race has varying race distances running through Rancho Vistoso. And the Meet Yourself event continues that day too.

Click on the links to learn more about each.


The leaders of TOOTHINOV.ORG are considering if they will petition the Arizona Supreme Court regarding Oro Valley Town Clerk Bower's summary rejection of petitions that would have required a vote of the people to acquire the El Conquistador Country Club.  TOOTHINOV.ORG has until Sunday to file.

If a petition is filed, the court will quickly decide if it wishes to hear the case. If they don't, the town is free to consummate its purchase. If the court does hear the case, then it will be up to the Arizona Supreme Court to decide if a clerical error is a fatal error because the petitions must comply with each and every filing requirement, regardless of its significance to the violated requirement.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chamber President Perry Plays Politics.. Impunes Motives... Gets it Wrong.

It is always a shame when people assume what motivates others. It is especially unfortunate when it implies nefarious motives that never existed. The assumption is often wrong. It is especially troublesome when the president of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, Dave Perry, does it.

Speaking in favor of the town's raising sales tax to support the operation of the El Conquistador Country Club, Perry stated that Resident Shirl Lamonna, leader of the effort to put the purchase of the El Conquistador Country Club on the ballot, spoke to council 3 years ago opposing the rezoning of a property on Rancho Vistoso and Tangerine Road (Parcel 7i).

Perry stated that "Certainly Shirl was motivated [to oppose the rezoning] by the belief that apartments on that property would have negatively impacted her property value." He then projected this "mind set" onto the residents living along the El Conquistador Country Club as a reason people should support the purchase.

Perry was wrong regarding Lamonna's motivation.

In a sharply worded email to Perry, Lamonna responded: "The reasons for opposition were ... mirrored by the entire community: Increased traffic and safety issues, increased class size in schools, the unproven market demand for apartments, the need to retain commercial zoning for future services to the community and (last but not least) the inconsistency with Oro Valley’s General Plan Vision, Goals & Policies."

Lamonna continued: "I can only surmise your motive to personally attack me by mentioning my name three times during your 'Call to the Audience' comments and for falsely painting me with selfish motivations."

Her email rebukes Perry for overreaching his role as president of the chamber.

"In your role as President and CEO of the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, it is not your role to call out a member of the public in a Town Council meeting particularly due to opposition of the risky and contentious Hilton County Club and Golf Course acquisition. Your role support the mission of the Chamber, which is the following: 'To serve, protect and promote the businesses of the members of the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce and the business community in general.'" (Chamber Charter Article IIb).

Perry stated at the council meeting that the Chamber receives $30,000 annually from the town. In return, the chamber is not allowed to become involved in any political activity.

"Lastly," noted Lamonna, "since you speculated on my motives, I therefore shall speculate on yours: The Mayor generously funds your organization; accordingly, you loyally take public political positions and freely misrepresent private citizens. It’s a shame that the Town deems it necessary to fund your organization given your partisan nature."

Council President Perry responded to Lamonna: "Thanks for your comments. Take good care,"