Rep. Mark Finchem

State Rep. Mark Finchem

Finchem’s opinion on teachers disappointing

In the last legislative session, Rep. Mark Finchem of LD11 introduced a teacher “Code of Ethics” bill that did not advance. Now, he is supporting a ballot initiative that tracks his failed legislation. Both the bill and the initiative are misguided.

Finchem’s reasoning for this bill wrongly implies teachers are regularly advocating their own political views in the classroom. He calls it “indoctrination.” He also implies that math teachers, for example, are dropping their curriculum to hold political discussions. Just ask any math teacher; they have plenty of material to cover as it is.

As an educator, I am disappointed that Finchem does not have enough faith in us. He wants the public to believe we are so quick to dismiss our duties as educators. Our primary job is to keep students safe and challenge their thinking, and the vast majority of us do not take that charge lightly.

Jane Atkins

Oro Valley

With new order, e-bikes will infect nature trails

Just in, a Trump administration order will allow e-bikes on all federal trails where a regular bike can go.

E-bikes, powered by pedals and battery-driven electric motors were classified as non-motorized bikes by the interior secretary.

I’m not sure I’ve seen a more ridiculous statement than a bike with a motor is a non-motorized bike.

I understand that allowing e-bikes will mean more people would be able to use the trails.

Unfortunately, there is no way to restrict the e-bikes to only people with health problems that prevent them from riding a pedal-only bike.

You will have youngsters that want to see how fast they can go. Some e-bikes currently have a top speed of 28 mph. As the technology improves, so will the speeds. I’m betting 40 mph isn’t too far in the future.

Posting a speed limit wouldn’t work. There is no way to enforce it. What’s next? An escalator up Mount Whitney so more people can enjoy the view?

Shawn McNamara

South side

BLM regulations sadly mix guns with nature

The Bureau of Land Management’s recent action to allow “target” shooting in the vast majority of the Sonoran Desert National Monument, is another example, following BLM’s shameful new management plan for the San Pedro River, that it is the BLM that is the chief threat to public lands it was entrusted to protect.

First, to be clear, what the BLM is allowing is not organized and controlled target shooting to improve shooter skill and expertise.

Imagine you are on a hike with your spouse and children, and you hear what sounds like semiautomatic gun fire. You are concerned and contact BLM law enforcement. However, they can’t tell you if it is paramilitary activities, a firefight with drug traffickers, or just some citizens playing with guns, responsibly or otherwise. Not a picture that would encourage relaxing family outings.

Roger McManus


GOP letters will soon start denying anything

A spate of letters repeating GOP/Trump campaign talking points have appeared in the Star in the past few weeks. The letter writers are clearly worried about the U.S. economy, fearing it will cost Trump the election. The letters claim that recession fears are a hoax foisted on the American people by Democrats.

Concern about an impending recession originated with objective assessments of professional economists. Economists are not influenced by political trends. As scientists, they come to conclusions after analyzing available data.

Many GOP supporters evidence a similar disdain regarding climate science, refusing to accept the almost universal scientific consensus regarding climate change. While no economists (and no Democrats) claim a recession is imminent, they do state that the data are a cause of concern. Should the economy falter, will the letter writers continue to insist that the U.S. is not sliding into recession even as they lose their homes, jobs, and retirement savings? If they are capable of denying climate science, they are capable of anything.

Jon Dorschner