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San Pedro Valley News-Sun
Benson , Arizona
June 17, 2009     San Pedro Valley News-Sun
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June 17, 2009

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~ll Wednesday, June 17, 2009 San.Pedro Valley News-Sun OPINION SAN PEDRO VALLEY NEwS-SUN JANE AMARI Editor & Publisher CHRIS DABOVICH Managing Editor Joy of owning a pet a reward in itself After a bad day, nothing is quite as soothing as a four- legged friend meeting you Jt ,A, at the door. A dog doesn't care if you did a poor job on that special project or had a fight with your signifi- cant other. All he knows is that you are the center of his universe and you are home. Cats are different, but just as helpful. Medical science has proven that people stroking a cat on their lap show a drop in blood pressure. Just the actof shar- ing a bond with an animal is helpful to people. Perhaps that is why more house- holds in the U.S. have pets than have children. But more than just comfort, their presence is therapeutic. Research shows pets help reduce stress and blood pres- sure. They increase longevity in cardiac patients and even help Alzheimer's . patients to relax and eat better. Part of the reason for these benefits is undoubt- edly the outward focus. If you are pay- ing attention to a pet, you tend to forget or sublimate your own problems. And dogs have the advantage of get- ting people moving. A dog has togo out several times a,day. That gets people off the couch. It is especially helpful for older people who otherwise might be more sedentary. In fact, the benefits of the animal- haman bond are so obvious that horses are used for therapy for a wide range of conditions. And nursing homesand hos- pitals now have resident cats and dogs whose effect on patients is obvious. The family pet is also a cure for loneli- ness. A study at Purdue UniverSity showed that 97 percent of people talk to their pets. The study director quipped that the other 3 percent lied. And you get all these advantages from any pet. No need for a pedigree or a fancy background. In fact, shelter pets are often so grateful to have a home that the bond is very strong. All they ask in return is food, shelter and love. It's a pretty good bargain for the human race. If you have a pet, give him an extra hug today. If you are feeling good, he is part of the reason why. If you don't have a pet, why not take a trip to the animal shelter to find a friend. It's sum- mer, and the cages are full. You won't believe the effect it will have on your life. We Quote "1 want to see this work. SSVEC is important In our communi- ty, and in what we are doing. Solar energy is the driving part of all of this. The sun will make this happen. This is for the Mure of the community, but we all have tO work togeth- er if it's going to be success- ful." Kevin R,I~h ON SOLAR PARK DEVELOPMENT Well said Nancy Pollard B~son resident on proper flag retirement: ,~-~ Te have ~A/the cere- V mony to show respect. It's important and our worn and tattered flags that should be retired respectfully." SAN P'P--DRO VALLEY 2o0 s. ocznt~o NEWS SUN P.O. DRAWER 1000 BENSON. AZ 85602 ~ww.bensolmews- 520-586-3382 PHONE e-mail: newsstm@bexL~oImews-smLcom 520--586"2382r FAX Editor & Publisher Jane Amar Managing Editor Chris Dabovich Reporter/Sports Editor Thelma Grimes Advertising Reoresentative Jesslca Perkins Production Sue Coor~s Production/Information Technology Directorlan Kirkwood Business Manager Sue Perry ANNUAL SUBS~,IFT1ON RAI~S Se0nd Oass Postage Paid /81 edgonal and adver~ng conten~s are In-county $30 at Benson, Arizona Cowri~t 2009 by the San Pedro Elsewhere n Arizona $34 USPS 480-680 Valk, yNe,~Sun. Repmducamofany Outofstate $37 Published weekly con':en~wm-~u~De,Tnissi~ofthe3ubrtsher~sDron~oree NEWSPAPER NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION Wednesday, June 17 2009 Vol. 110 No. 24 i IGHT +MLISEUM E OF THE LETTERS 'Yes' on hospital's secondary tax lew As one of the local physicians, I urge voters to vote in favor of con- tinuing the secondary tax to sup- port maintenance and operations expenses for Benson Hospital. Ben- son Hospital provides crucial med- ical services for our community; failure to continue the tax support would likely seriously jeapordize the hospital's ability to continue to provide the quality of services that they now provide. As an active member of the med- ical staff, I attend monthly Medical Staff meetings and participate in hospital policy discussions and deci- sions. I work closely with Dr. Bar- bara Hartley, the hospitalist at Ben- son Hospital, who admits my patients either from my clinic or through the emergency room. I have confidence in her, in the ER physicians, and the nursing staff at the hospital. I have and do recom- mend that my family members uti- lize the hospital. I believe the hospi- tal does a very, good job of caring for themedical needs of the com- munity. The election is different this year in that it is done via mail-in ballot. Therefore, when you receive your ballot, you will need to mark it and mail it in. I am voting in favor of continuing the secondary tax and, again, urge my fellow voters to do the same. J. Carter Mayberry MD Benson Voting by mail not 1he American way Yesterday I received a ballot to vote for or against continuing a secondary tax for another five years. As an American taxpayer and longtime voter, I can't begin to tell you how stupid this method of voting is. There is no polling place to cast a ballot. Voting by mail is a slap in the face of anyone who cares and wants their vote to actually be counted. In this day and age of identity theft, I am supposed to put my sig: nature on the outside of the enve- lope? I won't even comment on the fact that my vote would be inside the envelope with my signature on the outside, so not only could any- one and everyone have access to my signature, whoever opens the envelope would certainly have access to my "secret" ballot with a name to go with it. Has there been a study done to show that this method will have a very low return of ballots, which will make the results turn out the "right" way? That is the only thing I can figure out, because it certainly isn't the American way. This will be the first time I have ever refused to vote on something when given the opportunity. This is too flawed to participate in. Letisha Hiestand Benson Appreciative of students' participation I would like to thank the Benson Middle School students for their participation in the Poptops for Cl(lldren drive. It was a great suc- cess; we collected 78,839 tabs. Our class winners were: Mrs. LaClair, 18,044; Mrs. Burson, 15,651; and Mr. Schmidt, 15,411. Congratulations winners! We hope to do this again in the fall, so keep saving. Mikhaila Steninger Benson County's ecomony may be in 'recovery phase' Robert Carreira CENTER FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH Retail, accon'n'nodation, and restaurant and bar sales across Cochise County were down in the first quarter of 2009, but the data seem to suggest the local economy is nearing the recovery phase after more than a year of recession. Retail, the largest category of sales, fell by 9.4 percent compared to the first quarter of last year, after adjusting for inflation. Sales in March were down 5.9 percent, the slowest rate of decline since June last year. March was the 13th con- secutive month of declining sales. Sales have declined in 16 of the past 17 months. Cochise County's restaurant and bar sales were down 2.9 percent in the first quarter. Although sales were down for the quarter, recent data suggest this industry is begin- ning to recover from recessionary conditions. Sales in March were up 6 percent compared to March last year, and sales were up in 3 of the most recent 4 months, following 6 consecutive months of decline~ The county's accommodation sales, which include hotel, motel, and qther temporary lodging stays of less than 30 days, were down 4.4 percent in the first quarter. In March, sales declined 11.8 percent. Sales were up in 3 of the most recent 6 months, suggesting this industry is teetering toward recovery, follow- ing declines each month from April through September last year. At the city level, restaurant and bar receipts in Benson were up 3.5 percent in the first quarter. In March, sales were upby 31.6 per- cent, following growth of 26.4 per- cent in February. Sales have shown positive growth in 5 of the past 7 months, following 7 straight months of decline. Despite the strong performance of Benson's restaurant and bar sales, accommodation receipts in the first quarter were down by 19.0 percent. In March,.sales were down by 28.4 percent. March was the fifth consec- utive month of declining sales. Retail sales are not reported for Benson due to the city's two-tiered tax system, which precludes accu- rately estimating sales based on tax collections. Retail sales tax revenue, however, was down 9.6 percent (unadjusted) in the first quarter. Rev- enue was down 10.7 percent (unad- justed) in the March comparisons. In Bisbee, retail sales in the first quarter were down 8.4 percent. Sales in March were down 2.1 per- cent. suggesting a possible slowing of the pace of decline. Sales were down in 7 of the most recent 8 months. Bisbee's restaurant and bar sales were up 1.4 percent in the first quar- ter. IrrMarcl% sales were up 1.2 per- cent. Sales were down each month for the first 8 months of last year. but then were up in 5 of the 7 months from September through March. In Sierra Vista, retail sales were down 10.8 percent in the first quar- ter. Sales in March were down 14.1 percent. March was the 12th consec- utive month of decline. Sierra Vista's restaurant and bar sales were down 1.8 percent in the first quarter. In March, sales were up 0.1 percent. The city's restaurant and bar sales have been up in 3 of the past 5 months. Sierra Vista's accommodation sales were up 13.0 percent in the first quarter. In March, sales were up 0.7 percent. The strong growth in 2008 and continuing into 2009 is attributa- ble to the opening of several new hotels in the city, which reduces busi- ness leakage to surrounding commu- nities. The slowing of the pace of growth suggests current sales are now being compared to higher levels established with the opening of the new hotels. In Tombstone, retail sales were down 11).9 percent in the first quar- ter. Sales were down 16.3 percent in March. Sales were down in 9 of the past 10 months. Robert Carreira, Ph.D., is direc- tor of the Center for Economic Research at Cochise College.