Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sleeping Frog Farms: They've Got It Down To A Science

Every Saturday at the Oro Valley Farmers Market there is an opportunity to buy organic food while supporting local growers and businesses and in doing so providing higher nutritional value to your dinner table. One such business is Sleeping Frog Farms. Regulars at the farmers market, their produce can be indulged at many high-end restaurants in town including Hacienda del Sol and Lodge on the Desert.

One might wonder where such a name for a farm originated. It occurred when co-owner C.J. Marks was installing the first irrigation line and came across a frog, who happened to be sleeping. With farming methods including those culled from native-peoples, old time farming traditions, and modern day more scientific approaches, Marks and his business partner Valdivia, have perfected producing the highest yield in the smallest possible area.

Without using fertilizer, their approach to farming is one like you and I eating yogurt to stabilize the bad bacteria with the good in our own stomachs. They "build" their soil with a pro-biotic product consisting of three principal micr-organism groups to raise the level of good microbes in the earth and to allow produce to flourish. This is known as EM Technology. In essence this means "in the garden, healthy microbes produce healthy soil, which produces healthy plants." Think about that the next time you slice into one of their delicious tomatoes for lunch!

The next time you are at the Farmer's Market, stop by and say 'hi' to these guys and rest assured that you are experiencing some of the finest and greenest farming techniques around should you choose to purchase some veggies. Also, check out their website (Sleeping Frog Farms) for some awesome recipes.

We are lucky to have such local produce as we do and even more blessed we have an opportunity for the variety each weekend at Steam Pump Ranch.
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Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oro Valley Residents Respond To Mayor Hiremath "Whiney Minority" Comment

Do you feel that you are a "Whiney Minority" because you did not vote for Mayor Hiremath? According the a report the Arizona Daily Star, the Mayor thinks you may be just that.

The Star article writes: "Hiremath said the election results show the town’s residents don’t want to listen to a “whiny minority” that distracts from the town’s forward momentum."

In an email we received from one of our readers, Mayor Hiremath claims that he was "...misquoted and taken out of context" by the Star and that he is "...reluctant to speak to the Star from this point forward."

Some residents complained to us about Mayor Hiremath's alleged comment. Others were so incensed that they emailed the Mayor.  Resident Roy Varner is "..thankful for the best roads in the area, a great police department, and a well operated water utility." However, he was not pleased with the Mayor's comment and he told him so is this email:
Atta-Boy Mayor: 
The people have spoken and I respect the decision, however with your “whiney minority” comment in the AZ Star yesterday you again demonstrate your assumption that your re-election further empowers you to continue your legacy practice of attacking anyone who disagrees with you with disparaging remarks, or playing the cheap shot “race card” to belittle your opponents, or publically demeaning other council members by trying (read “frying”) them in the court of public opinion prior to them being found negligent in a proper court of law, and by default, publically tromping on the freedom of speech rights of your fellow town residents.

In addition, I am sure we can anticipate your continued support for the “majority 4” special interest friends and you will do whatever General Plan manipulation that is necessary to further expand the “ghetto-burgs” under construction on the Oracle-1sr Avenue corridor of town, or at like, yet to-be-determined other special interest projects they want to build going forward. Our only hope is that they will soon name one of the “ghetto-burg” developments Hiremath Commons so that your legacy cannot escape the responsibility for, the sure to evolve property devaluations and increased crime rates associated with this mess.

Shame on you Sir. As a prominent business man, elected town official, and designated Town Leader your actions and speech should be courteous, civil, and represent the highest order of respect for your peers and all town residents. Instead you have opted to flagrantly disparage and talk down to the town population as though we were minions in your visionary dictatorial society. In addition, you have obviously determined that anyone who disagrees with you is your enemy and needs to be crushed by your violent and uncontrolled demeanor. I would hope you would not go into one of these rants while you have a needle or drill in a someone’s mouth, for as one of your patients I would fear you every bit as much as your publically announced fear of Mr. Burns.

OBTW – should we plan on the town purchasing and positioning a larger rubbish bin in the council chambers so you can now more frequently wad and trash any and all counter-positions or proposals that come before the council?

“Whiney- Minority” - I am NOT! – Responsible Citizen and Town Resident – YES I am!
Tune- Up Your Actions Mayor – You are Out of Control.

V/r 
We think that this email is particularly insightful because it tells Mayor Hiremath exactly why many do not believe that he even wishes to be the Mayor of all the people of Oro Valley.
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Happy Labor Day

A "Happy Labor Day" greeting to all.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bits and Pieces


Ventana Medical Chooses Marana For Expansion

Oro Valley-based Ventana Medical Systems will be the first tenant at Tangerine Commerce Park. This is located east of Tangerine Road and I-10.  The facility will be 60,000 square feet distribution center. (Source)

McCain Poses With Zinkin

Council Member Zinkin caught up with Senator John McCain last week at a meeting in Phoenix of the Arizona Cities of Leagues and Towns.  


Zinkin noted that economists at the meeting still do not feel that the recovery is sufficiently strong to warrant enthusiastic spending by cities and towns. He also noted to us that Council Members Hornat, Snider and Waters left this session early and the Mayor Hiremath did not bother to attend.
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Oro Valley refreshes Vista newsletter, publishes Fall 2014 Parks & Recreation Guide

Oro Valley, Arizona (August 27, 2014) - In order to better meet the communication needs of Oro Valley residents, the Town took a new approach to its Oro Valley Vista Newsletter. Previously, this eight-page document was produced only four times a year and was available online. The refreshed Vista has been condensed to two pages, allowing the Town to produce it more frequently and distribute printed copies six times per year to 19,000 households via Oro Valley Water Utility bills. The Vista will still be available online at www.orovalleyaz.gov for residents who do not receive paper water bills. Hard copies are also available at Town Hall.

The Town is also proud to announce the publication of the Fall 2014 Parks and Recreation Program Guide, which includes details on recreational programs for all age groups, aquatics and special events through December 2014. Hard copies can be picked up at the Town's Parks & Recreation Department, 680 W. Calle Concordia. For more information, visit www.orovalleyaz.gov/parksandrec.
(Oro Valley Press Release)
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UPDATE: Bank Robbery Suspect arrested

Oro Valley, Ariz. (August 22, 2014) - On August 21, 2014, Oro Valley Police Department (OVPD) was contacted by Tucson Police Department (TPD) in reference to a bank robbery suspect in their jurisdiction. TPD believed the suspect in custody could be the same suspect in Oro Valley's August 12, 2014 bank robbery.

OVPD Criminal Investigations Unit responded to TPD's incident and worked collaboratively with TPD on this investigation. OVPD investigation revealed that Patrice Gomis, a 23-year-old African-American male, obtained a credit card fraudulently and for the past week, used it throughout the community. Search warrants were obtained for Gomis' vehicle and residence. Evidentiary items were located connecting Gomis to the bank robbery and fraud that occurred in Oro Valley. Gomis was booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Center on Oro Valley charges for Armed Robbery (F2), Fraud (F2) and Forgery (F4).

(Oro Valley Police Department Press Release)
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Extremely Low Voter, Primarily Partisan Turnout Gives Oro Valley Incumbents Win

34% of Oro Valley's 27,113 eligible voters set Oro Valley's leadership course through 2018 by reelecting Oro Valley's 4 incumbent officials to office. 

Voters elected incumbent Mayor Satish Hiremath over challenger Patrick Straney by a 61%-39% margin.

Incumbent Council Member's Hornat, Sniders and Waters outpolled challenger Don Bristow.  Bristow received 17% of votes cast.   His vote total trailed his closest competitor, Council Member Joe Hornat, by 1,900 votes.

We believe that the election result is the result of when the election was held and not because of any sweeping electorate mandate.

The election was remarkable in that voter turnout was exceptionally low.

Only 12% of Oro Valley's 12,769 poll eligible voters voted.  

Only 54% of those who received mail-in ballots bothered to vote.

In the 2010 Mayoral election, 14,766 votes were cast. In this election, 9,263 votes were cast.  That is a difference was 5,503 fewer votes cast.  That is astounding.

Republican voters controlled the election

The election was held coterminous with partisan primary elections as now required by law.

As LOVE had written previously, the requirement by the State that Oro Valley elections be held at such time virtually insured a low voter turnout and one that would be biased toward the town of Oro Valley's partisan voters, who are primarily Republican voters.  This change effectively locked out registered independents from voting since they had to make special effort to get ballots and since they were not in the habit of voting in partisan primaries.

Generally, unless there is some hotly contested partisan race, which there was not, partisan voter turnout is low.  There was a hotly contested race for congress district 1 on the republican side but no race on the democratic side:

We estimate that independents were 8% of the total votes cast.

There were 3,169 votes case for Mayor in Oro Valley's largest 2 largest voting districts (12 and 145).  Using votes cast for congress district 1 as a benchmark, we find that there were 2921 partisan (party related) votes cast in these 2 districts.  That means that only 248 votes were submitted with no party voting.  These are the independent registered voters. So, based on our estimate:

Votes cast by Republican registered voters:  58%
Votes cast by Democrat registered voters:    34%
Votes cast by Independent voters:                   8%

Full election results are available on the Pima.gov web site.

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Tell us your reaction!
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Election Special: Firefighers At Polls

Looks like the firefighters are at the Oro Valley polling locations. Here are some shots.

Some other blogger comments:


  • "Very slow morning. Some carrying individual mail in ballots to turn in
  • "...firefighters are Golder Ranch, and have already had a new one arrive and the first one leave."
  • " Nobody breaking any laws, but had been asked to tell someone if folks appeared to influence voters. There's a man in a service uniform (not army or Police, etc.) and a woman with a FFF firefighters? T-shirt outside the 75-foot limit waiting to meet and greet on behalf of Hiremath."





Engage The Elections On Twittter: #orvvotes

We've set up a Twitter hasthtag for those of you with Twitter accounts to regarding the Oro Valley elections. Just put @letorvexcel #orvvotes in your message. Post it. The "discover" [search] on @letorvexcel #orvvotes and, voila, you will see the conversation.

Enjoy!
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Heather's Corner: Today's Election Day. Moms, Be Sure You Vote!

What a Difference a Hundred Years Make: Why Not Voting would Dishonor the Sacrifices of Many

There is a humbling essay, which details the inspiring stories of the women's suffrage movement. And as election time is now upon us, it seemed appropriate to reflect, even pause with gratitude, for the fight fought by the women some 100 years ago to provide us the opportunity to vote. How trivial it seems to make it to the polls now. Maybe some of us won't even get there because of errands or carpool duty, a horrible bout of allergies or it's just plain too hot outside to stand in line. I implore you to invest a moment in some of these accounts and be reminded or spread the word of why voting is a privilege bestowed upon by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers that we should not take for granted.

In the spring of 1917, the National Women's Party began to picket the White House and the Capitol in order for the right to vote as part of a national campaign for a constitutional amendment for universal suffrage. Several months later, they were warned by the chief of police their protests would soon lead to arrests but they remained steadfast in their purpose, undeterred by the threat of consequence. I don't think any could have imagined what lie ahead.

Lucy Burns was wrongly arrested and convicted with 32 other women for 'obstructing sidewalk traffic,' while holding protest signs. One night, with the warden's blessing, 40 prison guards wielding clubs savagely beat the women. They chained Lucy's hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and barely alive.

For weeks in the prison, food for the women was infested with vermin and their only water was an open pail. This is picket leader, Alice Paul. When she decided to go on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair and forced liquid down her throat until she vomited. This torture went on for weeks.

There there is Helena Hill Weed, of Norwalk, Conn. Serving three-day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, ‘Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.'

Stories like this were all to common during that period of revolt. Affidavits recount women protesters being dragged, beaten, choked, slammed, pinched, and kicked all in the name of obstinance so that you and I can vote today. To read more about the sacrifices of these women you can view the essay here. http://www.wanttoknow.info/elections/womens_right_to_vote

Or better yet, take a few minutes out of your busy schedules this week to validate the courageous efforts of these women and vote. You do matter!
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Oro Valley's "Whiny Minority" Rebukes Mayor Hiremath


In an election-related article last week, the Arizona Daily Star attributed the following remarks to Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath:

"Hiremath said the election results show the town’s residents don’t want to listen to a “whiny minority” that distracts from the town’s forward momentum." (Source)

There are some who were so offended by this statement that they wrote Mayor Hiremath.

Resident Paul Emmert wrote Mayor Hiremath:
"Hi Satish, 
I'm wondering if you were misquoted or taken out of context?
"Hiremath said the election results show the town’s residents don’t want to listen to a “whiny minority” that distracts from the town’s forward momentum."

As you and I discussed several months ago, it seems to me that attempting to find common ground and compromise is an important aspect of statesmanship. I'm hoping that you were misquoted, as your opponent for your seat was clearly not "whiny." I voted for him, and I don't think I'm "whiny" either.

Isn't that disrespectful to not only the democratic process, but mildly demeaning to people who didn't vote for you?
I agree that "forward momentum" is necessary, but two yards forward and one back.

Respectfully,
Paul Emmert"

Resident Roy Varner wrote stronger words to Mayor Hiremath:
Atta-Boy Mayor: 
The people have spoken and I respect the decision, however with your “whiney minority” comment in the AZ Star yesterday you again demonstrate your assumption that your re-election further empowers you to continue your legacy practice of attacking anyone who disagrees with you with disparaging remarks, or playing the cheap shot “race card” to belittle your opponents, or publically demeaning other council members by trying (read “frying”) them in the court of public opinion prior to them being found negligent in a proper court of law, and by default, publically tromping on the freedom of speech rights of your fellow town residents.

In addition, I am sure we can anticipate your continued support for the “majority 4” special interest friends and you will do whatever General Plan manipulation that is necessary to further expand the “ghetto-burgs” under construction on the Oracle-1sr Avenue corridor of town, or at like, yet to-be-determined other special interest projects they want to build going forward. Our only hope is that they will soon name one of the “ghetto-burg” developments Hiremath Commons so that your legacy cannot escape the responsibility for, the sure to evolve property devaluations and increased crime rates associated with this mess.

Shame on you Sir. As a prominent business man, elected town official, and designated Town Leader your actions and speech should be courteous, civil, and represent the highest order of respect for your peers and all town residents. Instead you have opted to flagrantly disparage and talk down to the town population as though we were minions in your visionary dictatorial society. In addition, you have obviously determined that anyone who disagrees with you is your enemy and needs to be crushed by your violent and uncontrolled demeanor. I would hope you would not go into one of these rants while you have a needle or drill in a someone’s mouth, for as one of your patients I would fear you every bit as much as your publically announced fear of Mr. Burns.

OBTW – should we plan on the town purchasing and positioning a larger rubbish bin in the council chambers so you can now more frequently wad and trash any and all counter-positions or proposals that come before the council?

“Whiney- Minority” - I am NOT! – Responsible Citizen and Town Resident – YES I am!
Tune- Up Your Actions Mayor – You are Out of Control. 
V/r
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Mayor Hiremath replied to Emmert:
"Both misquoted and taken out of context. I am reluctant to speak to the Star from this point forward. Thanks for asking Paul!"
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Tell us what you think?

Decision Time Awaits Oro Valley Voters--"Some Final Considerations"

Tomorrow is election day. In just a few hours, Oro Valley voters will decide if they wish the direction of the Town Of Oro Valley to remain unchanged or if they wish Oro Valley to move in a different direction.

One vote for Pat Straney, Mayor, and one vote for Don Bristow, Council, will change Oro Valley's direction.  Voting for the 4 incumbents will keep Oro Valley on its current course.

Many of you reading this will have already voted by mail. Still, you will want to read this posting.

We offer the following analysis for those of you who have not yet voted by mail (and you need to do so now) or for those of you who plan to vote at the polls.

Public Safety Is Not An Issue.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed.  

Mayoral candidate Straney and council candidate Don Bristow have repeatedly said that they want a strong, effective Oro Valley police force. Straney and Bristow have said that they will provide oversight to the department as the council is required to do.

An Oro Valley Property Tax Is Not An Issue. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

No candidate supports the creation of an Oro Valley property tax.  All candidates recognize that Oro Valley was founded on the basis that there would be no property tax.  Based on town financial projections, there is no future need for a property tax.  There is, as challenges Straney and Bristow have noted, a need to examine alternative sources of revenue because of the gigantic increase in spending by the Majority-4.

All Candidates Have Proven Leadership. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

Pat Straney has demonstrated the management and the financial skills, both in the public and private sector, to be able to put a critical-eye to Oro Valley financial needs.  Together, he and Don Bristow bring a wealth of private sector experience to Oro Valley's council.

Only Pat Straney and Don Bristow can unite Oro Valley. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

Oro Valley needs leaders who unite us, not divide us.  The Majority-4 have demonstrated that they are not interested in listening to all of us. They have marginalized Council Member Bill Garner's ideas for 4 years. Before that, they marginalized Council Member Barry Gillaspie's ideas. They actively tried to recall Council Member Zinkin. They are now trying to oust Council Member Burns. They are the great dividers.

The Majority-4 represent the interests of the police, the firefighers, the apartment-builders, the developers and the business interests. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

The only special interest group that Pat Straney and Don Bristow represent are the people of Oro Valley. You are their only endorsement.

Pat Straney and Don Bristow will do the hard work of reaching conclusions based on facts and analysis, not based solely on staff recommendations and briefings. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

Hard work is no stranger to Straney and Bristow.  Pat Straney does his homework as leader of the Rancho Vistoso HOA.  Don Bristow does his homework in his efforts to have Oro Valley actually enforce its ordinances.

The Majority-4 are on auto-pilot.  The only information they rely on is what they are told in town staff briefings.

Pat Straney and Don Bristow are committed to balancing the needs of all Oro Valley residents.  The Majority-4 have demonstrated that they are not interested in doing so.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is misinformed   

More than 25% or Oro Valley's citizens are over 65.  "According to the 2010 Census,  there were actually 37% more people over 65 (10,699) than 18 or under (7,888)" (Source).  Certainly, our seniors deserve attention.  Instead of balancing the needs of all citizens, the Majority-4 have focused primarily on the needs of the town's younger demographic.
  • We documented that the Majority-4 eliminated the Oro Valley recreation center, a center for adults, seniors and people of need.
  • We documented that the Majority-4 tried to kill Coyote Run, which provided transportation for the most needy in the community. 
  • We documented that the Majority-4 eliminated a Parkinsons Disease group exercise program only to have it reinstated once LOVE screamed of how wrong this was.
  • We documented that the Majority-4 have supported the young people in our community.  The refurbished aquatic center, which cost twice what it was supposed to cost, and new Naranja ball fields are primarily for our youngsters.  This is a good thing. In fact, the aquatic center was approved by all council members.
  • We discussed the lack of any Oro Valley commitment to historic preservation. This commitment has been non-existent for the past 4 years. Just take a look at the condition of Steam Pump Ranch: Dirty, dusty, tired, with a crumbling pump house.
The politics of "division" is never a good thing. The needs of the entire community must always be balanced. For goodness sake: Let's spread the "wealth." No one group should be forgotten.

Now, It's Up To You. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong!

Stay the same? Change Direction?

Please be sure to vote.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stolen Straney and Bristow Signs Are A Sign Of Oro Valley Lawlessness

We wrote Friday that the political signs of candidates Pat Straney and Don Bristow are being stolen.  This is happening while the signs of the incumbents, located in the same areas, have not been touched.

We conclude that some incumbent candidate supporters are absolutely petrified at the thought that 2 of their candidates could they lose the election.

Pat and Don, running bootstrap campaigns, have found a way to combat the insanity:

Leave All Signs Alone!

Destroying a sign is insane. It is also a federal offense.

Pat and Don have filed complaints with the Oro Valley Police Department. Do you think they will ever hear back on their complaint?
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