Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving From LOVE

We never could figure out why the turkey looks so happy in every picture that says: "Happy Thanksgiving"

The turkey is, after all, the recipient of really back luck when it comes to Thanksgiving. The turkey will not be enjoying the festive meal. The turkey will be the meal.

You gotta feel bad for the turkey.

Happy To The End
Think about it. First, you are fed as much as you can eat. They want you to be fat. That can't be good your health, right?

Then, you have to survive the bird flu epidemic. The only cure for the bird flu is a shot gun.

If you survive the bird flu, you get to be squeezed into a crate, Then you are taken to a big plant in the middle of nowhere where they hang you upside down by your legs and.. Well, you know the rest.

So,  really, there is no reason for a turkey to be happy on Thanksgiving

Well, though it may not be happy day for the turkey, we hope that it is a happy day for you.

Enjoy the food.

Enjoy the family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Heather's Corner: Thanksgiving and How Oro Valley Can Support Our Farmers

Thanksgiving is a long standing tradition steeped in historical and cultural roots. A day of giving thanks for the bountiful harvests of the preceding year, the holiday's history for North America includes traditions from both the Protestant Reformation and harvest festivals also celebrated by Great Britain, Canada, Asia, and India.

Though dry in climate, Arizona happens to be a major contender in agricultural production for many of these celebrated crops with a surprising $17.1 billion industry.  Closer to home, Pima county ranks 5th for barley, 6th for cotton, and 7th for alfalfa hay production statewide as well as a producer of livestock, sileage (grass feed used for cud-chewing animals), and pumpkins.

The Arizona Farm Bureau is Arizona’s largest farm and ranch organization for production agriculture throughout the state of Arizona with a district serving Pima County. They are "The Voice of Agriculture" in Arizona, if you will; A grassroots, non-governmental movement assisting members in the agricultural community through educational improvement, economic opportunity, and social advancement. A hub where issues such as "profitability, property rights, labor, water, trade, farm policy, tax issues, environmental issues and much more" are discussed with many other benefits for members.

What better way to show our gratitude this Thanksgiving for local agricultural producers and farmers than to show support.

You can go to their website and donate to the Arizona Farm Bureau’s Educational Farming Company, whose mission is to "support the youth involved in agriculture, teach agriculture in Arizona’s classrooms and inform the public about farming and ranching."

The Educational Farming Company is a 501(c) 3. Your donations will be used for such organizations as 4-H, Project CENTRL, AZ National Livestock Show, and others. Let's show our thanks as we gobble up this years feast.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!
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!

Monday, November 23, 2015

"The War On MIke Zinkin"

The latest game being run by the Majority-4 on Council Member Zinkin seeks to discredit him. They are using the weight and the financial resources of your town to hassle Zinkin for a good natured joke he made at a council meeting in October, a joke they laughed at. You can watch the council's deliberation here.

Here's what one resident and council member Zinkin thinks of this latest move.
The Majority-4 of Hiremath,  Hornat, Snider and Waters won their recall election by a nominal 51%. That leaves as 49% of the eligible voters who were not happy with them. This was after the development community pumped nearly $100,000 into their campaigns.

Mike Zinkin is a 3-year council member who has been at odds with the Majority-4 for most of his time in office. As a result there have been a goodly number of attempts by them to remove him.

It started with various allegations of misconduct which turned out to be just that. Never proven.

Their next tactic was to attempt to recall the council member. This attempt failed however when they were unable to obtain sufficient signatures (2,000) from the Oro Valley citizenry.

The latest accusation includes the alleged “sexual harassment” of an employee. This happened because Mr. Zinkin, in a joke from the dais at an October council meeting, made reference that it has taken so long for the General Plan update to be completed that Mr. Zinkin’s hair has gone gray and that an employee is still trying to grow a beard.

Mayor Hiremath and other council members laughed at the joke.

This is considered “sexual harassment” by the Majority-4 council members?

Are we living in the safe world of Disneyland or in a sissified self created fantasy world? As they say: "Get a grip on reality."

It is understood that the Majority-4 would like to have Zinkin out of the way, and appoint someone in his seat that agrees with them. This would create a “Super Majority” with 5 votes, and give the five a monopoly on policy making.

Is this what the citizens of Oro Valley want?

Rudy Roszak
Oro Valley Resident

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Love Email: Oro Valley Resident Asserts That Troon Turns Away Revenue

This is an email communications between Oro Valley resident Roy Varner and the town council. Roy has been asking the town to provide a better rate for "off-time' golf course use.

Bottom Line First:

Troon management has repeatedly refused my offer of $2000. per year for a modified (restricted tee time) golf membership. (See e-mail sting following)

As an OV resident faced with higher taxes to make up for anticipated revenue shortfalls, I read with disappointment the news of the massive losses being experienced by the ElCon Golf Center.

Additionally, I am very disturbed that while you are cutting services at the facility, your operator, Troon is turning down new revenue by refusal to offer modified membership plans.

Note in the e-mail string below that Troon has refused my offer of $2000. per year for a modified membership (eg: late start after 11:00 am tee times).

There must surely be a secondary agenda associated with the ElCon facility if they are refusing this amount of revenue while the courses wallows in empty fairways due to lack of play.

Just Wondering -- Is the plan to let the facility fail and sell it off to the development community?"

Roy Varner
Oro Valley Resident
In an earlier email to us, Roy explained the offer:

"•  My wife and I were former members of the ElCon Golf Club but resigned our membership due to the poor course conditions and the excessive cost per round for our play just shortly before the Town acquisition of the club was announced. We were paying approximately $7,000 in membership fees per year from 2008 through 2014 for utilizing the golf facilities on an average of 2.5 times per month at an average cost of $116.00 per round with 97% of our play commencing after 10:00 am in the morning, an 75% after 11:30 in the morning.

•  Since then we have been utilizing other area golf courses, at approximately the same frequency, and time of day, and have been averaging a cost of $31.20/round including cart fees.

•  After seeing the mounting losses for the current ElCon operation we thought maybe they would welcome an offer of added revenue so I proposed sole sourcing all our golf play with them at a rate of $160.00 per month with the caveat that our play would be after 10:00 am and we would be able to utilize the members course when available. After a series of dialog with the Troon Membership Manager Nicole Niemann it became very clear that they were either prohibited from, or had no desire to improve their cash flow position as they have now refused to answer any of my communications."
Troon's response to Roy's offer was cordial and offered golf based on their published schedule:

"Hello Mr. Varner,

Your email below comes as quite a surprise to me. During my previous emails and our telephone conversation I expressed my excitement for your interest and desire to engage in playing golf at the Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center – El Conquistador Golf & Tennis. Understanding your frequency of play along with your use of only the golf facility, you may recall during our conversation I shared several options (featured on GolfNow and Golf Rev) which align with your desired pricing. The options include green fees, cart and practice balls (during your day of play); some offers also include specials on food items in our restaurant. I believe these options fit very nicely with your request, pricing structure and give you the flexibility to make tee times anytime of the day. The membership rates established by the Town of Oro Valley for the Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center – El Conquistador Golf & Tennis were created to provide equality to every member of this amazing community without discrimination or prejudice. Offering a family membership at a rate of $150 per month to you while asking others to pay the published membership pricing would create inequality unless this rate was offered to everyone. Equality means nothing unless incorporated into our organization, used to guide decisions and applied equally to all. Mr. Varner, I remain extremely interested in helping you with a solution that allows you to play golf on our beautiful courses. I truly hope you will take advantage of the promotions on Golf Now, Golf Rev or our daily rates and come join us to play golf. I also hope you will consider joining us for our free Concert Series. The first concert is Thursday, Oct. 15 beginning at 6:30pm. Please feel free to bring your lawn chairs or blankets to sit on the grass. As I mentioned in my email dated Sept. 15, 2015 I would enjoy having you play golf here and look forward to finding a solution that will work for you.

If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know.

I hope you enjoy a wonderful day.

Best regards,

Nicole Niemann | Membership Sales Manager"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

LOVE Email: Oro Valley Resident Reflects On What Oro Valley Will Become

We do receive emails from our readers from time to time that express how many feel about the commercialization of Oro Valley. This, from resident Lou Dudas, was written before the election. It is, nonetheless, relevant to the situation in which Oro Valley finds itself.
I read with interest Ryan's (Hurtung) pithy and seemingly well-intentioned comments.

One is tempted to quibble with his perspectives as some sort of Johnny-come-lately. I wince every time someone uses expressions as "scenic corridor" or as one of our town's self-appointed senior statesman proudly informed me that the coming development was indeed the realization of our "historic gateway".

Ryan's hopes of balancing developer interests with the desires of its resident citizens sounds like democracy in action. Democracy as defined "when two wolves and a lamb vote for what to have for lunch".

My main reaction to the goings-on in our recall efforts concerns the more fundamental question of the continued town growth trajectory
...recently pronounced publicly by the mayor. His thrust is to grow the town, encourage cluster homes, increase rooftops, build more apartments instead of homes, increase the number of retailers, develop sports tourism, accelerate and increase the size of the business community, and most importantly (and perhaps not well understood by a seemingly docile citizenry), transform Oro Valley (how very Obama-like) from a retirement community to a "collectivism" by subordinating individual rights to group rights! (Maybe Bernie Sanders has struck gold here.)

It appears that the focus of the recall has been largely on the golf course fiasco, even as the debate rages over another General Plan which will undoubtedly continue the mayor's vision for a more robust, business-driven, tax generating town.

Issues of managing massive apartment complexes, with their eventual control and cost need not be of concern to ordinary residents. There is no fear that these complexes may develop into future slums, add to traffic, spike pollution levels, and escalate the costs of burgeoning town infrastructure staff, police, fire,water demands, and a divided citizenry.

Our mayor seems bent on increasing the sheer size of Oro Valley to pay for all the growth
I expect that people who moved here when the town was smaller can readily appreciate the impact of growth. If originally a town of 15 or 20,000 seemed about right, now that we're nudging into say closer to 45 or 50,000, perhaps the mayor will be particularly pleased if he can grow it to 100,000 or more.

If the residents who came here years ago wanted to live in a denser, business-like atmosphere, they may have instead moved to the Phoenix area and enjoyed the ambiance of a bustling place to live.

The most telling result of the recall effort it the ferocity of the recalled members in their self-defense and the incessant attacks on the citizen candidates. The divisiveness of the council/staff has produced a hostility which can be expected to continue into the future. No amount of trumped-up support/endorsement by the police/fire, Explorer/Army general/attack dogs/shill candidates/recalcitrant judges/clerks will erase the bitterness of an aggrieved citizenry.

Those recalled should remember to not foul the place they live.

Lou Dudas
Oro Valley Resident

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Heather's Corner: Oro Valley's Sun City Astronomy Club-Are the Stars Out Tonight?

Have an interest in space, stars, and the Universe? The Sun City Astronomy Club might be for you. A chartered club of Sun City Oro Valley, this is a wonderful opportunity for amateur astronomers, those with extensive backgrounds, and anyone interested in what goes on in the space all around us. Club meetings feature guest speakers, demonstrations, and trips to nearby observatories. It won't be long before you can "identify stars, planets, and constellations with the naked eye and where to look for deep sky objects with binoculars or telescopes." They also donate a free telescope to every 5th grader at Coronado K-8 school.

"Star Parties" happen twice a year, in fall and spring; a field trip usually to Catalina State Park. Attendees bring viewing equipment and sac lunch (dinners) for gazing in amazement at the desert sky. Typically, a highly knowledgable staff member of Starizona, provides a high powered advanced telescope as well as the answers to many of your questions.

I spoke with their secretary Midge Berlowe, who told me when she first attended the meetings about 3 or 4 years ago, there were 7 people in attendance and how how their club has expanded over the years. 

"Now, thanks to our current president, (Peter Simpson ), we require three full rooms at the activity center."

She also boasts the clubs success to the talented astronomers living in the area adding richness to the general meetings and star parties. 

Even if you do not become a member of their astronomy club, Midge suggests still considering attending a speaker event. It just so happens, this Thursday, Dr. Don McCarthy, Astronomer and Professor at University of Arizona, will speak about "Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation." Known for his pioneering techniques for achieving high angular resolution at infrared wavelengths, he, amongst other accomplishments, has recently detected atmospheric waves on Pluto. Sounds like it will be an eye-opening and exciting night for all!

Currently the club has 200 members, 5 of those being non Sun City Residents. They do allow up to 20 percent of members to be non-residents so if you're interested, they welcome you!

For more information about this speaker, future events, and meetings, please visit their website,

Anyone attending this Thursday, please keep us posted on how it went!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oro Valley To Make Cost Saving Moves To Reduce Golf Course Losses

The Town Of Oro Valley is planning to announce cost savings moves to its owned golf courses to members over the next several week.

Golf and restaurants continue to be money losers
As LOVE (and only LOVE) has reported, the golf and restaurant losses since the town has taken over these facilities has been enormous (read previous LOVE postings).  These planed changes are projected to save the town almost $470,000 over the remaining 7 fiscal months. That level will merely lesson  a bit but not negate the significant losses these facilities are accruing.

The changes were not made available until after the November election yet most certainly must have been planned for months.

Coming Changes
The changes, according to a November 13 Troon document, are
  • The "gourmet' restaurant, the Overlook will close monday's  and reduce operating hours on other days.
  • The garden cafe will close
  • Beverage cart operating hours will be cut in half
  • The golf shop will close Mondays and reduce operating hours on other days
  • The golf course will close Mondays
Caton steps up
For the first time, Town Manager Caton, one of the architects of the purchase of the facility, has publicly recognized that losses on the facility are even worse than planned:

"...revenues at the facility have been trending under budget and expenses have been trending above budget for the first several months of this fiscal year."

As recently as October the Majority-4 members of council urged caution on revising planned spending on the golf course. Council Member Hornat, in particular, urged that a full year of operations be in place before it is even determined that spending changes should be implemented.

Nothing has changed
The trend of this purchase being an even wider financial burden on the community is real. Cost cutting is a good thing in this instance. We expect, however, that much more will be required.

For another perspective read the Arizona Daily Independent.