Our Opinion: Capsule commentsby Tucson Citizen on Aug. 05, 2006, under Opinion
Paton serving his country in a different way
State Rep. Jonathan Paton, a Republican who represents Tucson’s District 30, is running for re-election. But he won’t be in Arizona when voters go to the polls.
Paton, a first lieutenant and an intelligence officer in the Army Reserves, has volunteered to be deployed to Iraq. He will serve a six-month tour of duty beginning late this month.
That means Paton won’t be around to campaign for re-election in the primary, in which he and three other Republicans are seeking two seats. And should he win in the primary, he won’t be here to campaign in the general election.
State Sen. Tom Bee, who serves in the same district, will act as Paton’s surrogate during the campaigns.
We admire Paton’s patriotism and commitment to duty. And we hope he returns safely when his deployment ends.
A place to remember
The new Memorial Plaza in front of Tucson Police Department headquarters is a fitting and moving way to remember the seven men who have died serving our community.
The plaza includes a statue of a woman who is sitting and holding a police cap as she releases a dove.
The plaza was dedicated this week, fulfilling a promise that Police Chief Richard Miranda made to Patrick Hardesty, the latest Tucson police officer to die in the line of duty. Hardesty was shot in 2003 while chasing a hit-and-run suspect.
The plaza also is dedicated to Jeffrey Ross, James Smith, Barry Headricks, Robert Cummins, William Katzenstein and William Elliott – all of whom died while serving as Tucson police officers.
It is a plaza that every Tucsonan should visit.
Fill ‘er up – with something else
Tucsonans who used alternative fuels saved 3 million gallons of petroleum last year.
By using fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, propane and compressed natural gas as well as hybrid electric vehicles, we used less gasoline and other petroleum products, according to the Pima Association of Governments.
Colleen Crowinshield, manager of PAG’s Clean Cities program, said use of the alternative fuels shows the United States is making some headway in curbing foreign oil imports.
Every drop helps.
One more top prosecutor here
Pima County has some of the top prosecutors in the state, and their peers have again recognized that.
Deputy County Attorney Kathleen Mayer has been awarded the 2006 Prosecutor Lifetime Achievement Award by the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council.
She is the second member of the Pima County Attorney’s Office to win the award recently. In 2003, Rick Unklesbay was given the honor.
Their dedication to their profession is commendable.
Buy stock in flag companies
And finally, one of the goofier bills passed by the Arizona Legislature this year requires an American flag to be displayed in every classroom.
And not just any American flag. It must be at least 3 feet by 5 feet and made in the United States.
Now the financial impact of the law is starting to be known.
The Arizona Community College Association estimates it will cost $50,000 to buy enough flags for every classroom in every community college.
Add in the cost of brackets and labor to install the flags, as well as money to replace them when they become dirty, and it’s a huge chunk of change.
And that bill doesn’t include the cost of flags for every university classroom as well as every elementary, middle and high school classroom.
Is this the best use of scarce education dollars? Hardly.