Think before you pass judgment

Rose Paradise | Cave Creek

After reading the article in the Sonoran News about the "Budget for Cave Creek" being updated based on the current and future status of tax revenue generated for the town and how the town is to generate new revenues since the building impact fees that were supporting the town are no longer a viable source of income and preventing a crisis."

Let me just say one word "Wal-Mart" … I know many of you who are reading this are aghast to think of the Town of Cave Creek be synonymous with Wal-Mart, but let me just explain how I look at this:

About 10 years ago Cave Creek turned down Home Depot on Carefree Highway ... the city of Phoenix picked it up across the street ... we lost out on the revenues. Then Carefree went ahead in 2006 and built Lowes right in the backyard of our Cave Creek residents! For the better part of eight years the town generated income from the building boom and impact fees … never looking down the road to the day ... which is NOW and the building boom is all but ended, to a lost revenue stream.

Back to Wal-Mart … the 20 acres Wal-Mart purchased last year on the SE corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway needs re-zoning before they can build, it is in the town of Cave Creek!

Don't stop reading!!!

Three sides of this property are as follow: the parcels of land to the east (56th - 60th St.) are owned by Paradise Valley CC and Scottsdale Healthcare; the entire corner of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Road is commercial property which generates revenues for other municipalities.

Without disturbing any other areas in the center core of the Town of Cave Creek this arrangement would probably generate near or all the revenue it needs to sustain the town!
I also read that Cave Creek might ask a grocery store to come into town ... I say NO WAY! Keep the town core as is and go with the Wal-Mart on the edge of town! We would be doing what all the other municipalities that we border with have already done.

Finally, many years ago the Town of Wickenburg turned down a Wal-Mart to be built there. I heard from friends living there that it was a big mistake ... I understand now that a Sam’s Club is approved to be or is being built there ... Don't be so close-minded to this idea ... think about it before you pass judgment on it!

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Israel’s right to self defense

Carl & Julie Fichtner | Mesa

Gaza Facts: Israel withdrew from all of Gaza more than three years ago in hopes of peace and a two-state solution.

The situation in Israel is dire as neighborhoods of innocent Israelis are being deliberately attacked with rockets as often as dozens of times a day.

Israel has an obligation to defend its citizens from the threat of Iran-backed terrorists now - just as it did when Iran-backed Hezbollah attacked Israel not long ago.

Iran's President has said he wants to "wipe Israel off the map." They are developing nuclear materials in defiance of the world while supporting, training and arming Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and others.

Israel is no different from any other sovereign nation that must protect their citizens from those who would kill them.

Israel and the Palestinians need a lasting peace--which will only come when the Iran-backed terrorists are defeated.

Thank you for your concern in this matter.

In Christ –

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Israel and Hamas

Billie Levine | Phoenix

Israel withdrew from Gaza 3 years ago in the hopes of influencing a lasting peace and a two state solution. Since that time Israel has been attacked by Hamas rockets from Gaza dozens of times a day.

Israel is no different from any other country which has the obligation to defend its citizens and its right to exist. What would be the reaction of the United States if rockets were being fired from Mexico or Canada? Israel has said that their defensive posture in Gaza will stop if Hamas ceases the rocket attacks and the Palestinians will be able to sit down with Israel and finally and diplomatically work out a two state solution.

Please urge Hamas to stop firing the rockets so that a cease fire can be achieved.

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Complacency in Congress

Ed Knight | Phoenix

Senator Kyle, I attended a recent Carefree Kiwanis meeting where you spoke. Your speaking to us is always well received and we admire you and both Senator McCain as representing our areas. However, I am deeply troubled by what is happening these days and so I ask you ‘what are we going to do with all these corporate crooks?’

After the meeting I had several fellow Kiwanians come up to me and say ‘Ed, that was sure a good question’ and we all kind of laughed together as they said ‘but you didn’t get an answer did you?’ Well Senator, maybe I didn’t ask the question quite correctly. Maybe I should have asked ‘what are we going to do with the complacency of Congress?’

Many of us are deeply disturbed by the corporate giants being paid way beyond what they are producing and greedily getting golden parachutes and bonuses that are given out by board members approval that have nothing to do with the economy of the firm. This is out right theft. People like myself are really disturbed by what this has caused. We have families out in the street. We have families living in cars. We have ineptitude in banking and mortgage lending with people allowing houses to be empty without making some kind of accommodation to protect these houses from being damaged.

Senator, if this was back in the old days where we had robbers holding up stage coaches, train robbers stealing money and killing people we’d find somewhat of a similarity here and of course we’d know what we would have done with those that were caught. Again, that might be appropriate for Wall Street. Put some gallows up in front of Wall Street as a reminder of what can happen with greedy thieves. Needless to say these bonuses and this undeserved money should be returned to the corporations. They should not be allowed to keep this money. Most of these corporate crooks should have prison terms the same as other thieves.

You closed your speech to Kiwanis by stating you hoped that by the next election more Republicans would be elected and you would have better control of Congress. Well Senator that might be true, but I have been a Republican for a number of years. In fact, as a Republican I voted first for Wendle Wilke so I have some insight as to what has happened and I see more complacency all the time. I think there is a need for us to get both parties together and solve many of these problems. People have said this is the greatest country in the world and I have to agree. We have many people coming here, but very few choose to leave.

Senator complacency has taken control of our country. Every time I hear our National Anthem I cannot help but think “Star Mangled Banner.” I think it’s time for Congress to resolve these problems.

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Bailout? What happened to the PNGV efficient vehicles?

Chad Kister | Nelsonville, Ohio

With the disgraced Detroit three automakers getting an additional $5 billion, on top of the $17.4 billion of our taxpayer dollars a few weeks ago, we should remember the last several billion dollars that we gave the industry, and the outcome of it. In the 1990s, the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles worked to make 80 plus miles per gallon cars and allowed for communications amongst scientists between the big three automakers to help speed that process along.

The Partnership was a huge success, with three 70 plus miles per gallon prototypes. General Motors had the Precept, a 5-seat sedan with ample trunk space, with one version getting 108 miles per gallon equivalent running on hydrogen. Ford had the Prodigy getting 72 miles per gallon, and Daimler-Chrysler also had a 72-miles-per gallon vehicle. Taxpayers were proud that their billions were not wasted, and expected these vehicles on the market.
But none of the automakers put any of these vehicles into production, or anything similar. Instead, they chose gas-guzzling SUVs, the epitome of stupidity from a climate change and energy conservation perspective. Using slick ads to push their behemoth vehicles, the automakers are among the biggest culprits in the fast rise in greenhouse gas emissions in the Untied States.

What happened to the efficient vehicles? The failure to incorporate that technology was also a major cause of our economic collapse. With the rise in gas prices this past summer, the values of SUV’s plummeted, and for many, their gas guzzlers are now worth less than the loan they have on them.

Why should we give a bail-out now, when the automakers are the ones who put themselves into the crisis they are in through their own idiocy? Why don’t they dust off these efficient vehicles and put them into production, something both our wallets and our planet could have used a decade ago?

They say those who forget history are bound to repeat it. After the foolish follies of the auto industries, in pushing gas guzzlers on the American public (along with tax breaks that they manipulated through Congress), why should we bail them out?

What we need is massive investment in mass transit and high speed passenger rail: a much better way to travel with exponential fuel savings compared to the most efficient vehicles.

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Another tax without representation; Arizona Republic prints its Obituary?

Alan Korwin | The Uninvited Ombudsman Bloomfield Press | Scottsdale

I enjoyed Randy Lovely's tacit obituary for the Arizona Republic on Sunday. Using euphemisms like "changes" and "adjustments" he tastefully described the impending shrinkage and disappearance of the once great ... state newspaper (a contradiction in terms, but unfortunately now accurate).

The Republic could thrive, but that requires overhauling its slant to reflect popular proclivities instead of state dicta. The "new laws" story in the same edition is a prime example. The Republic writes:

"Off-road enthusiasts are now required to purchase an off-highway vehicle decal before taking their vehicles onto the state's back-country roads." This is known out here as "hated routine statist lapdog reporting."

We the people know better: "Arizona has imposed a new tax without a legislative vote, for anyone who dares ride a lightweight vehicle off road. The $25 per-vehicle tax applies to 230,000 machines, or $5.75 million in new taxation without representation. Public outrage was low due to lack of forewarning."

If government demands your money, that's a tax regardless of what they call it – or if the paper cooperates, calling it a "decal."

Fortunately, coaching and ombudsmanship is available to help you fix the problem. Will you accept any? Please do, we prefer you alive.

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Coady’s initiative fatally flawed as written

Lyn Hitchon | Carefree

I attended the Carefree Council meeting on Monday night. One of the agenda items discussed was Bob Coady's initiative calling for direct election of the Mayor of Carefree.
Town Code currently reads: "The Council members shall, at the first regular or special meeting after their election, choose a Mayor from among their number."

Mr. Coady's initiative reads: "The mayor shall be directly elected by a vote of qualified electors at the primary election. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes for mayor shall be declared elected to office, and no further election shall be held. The first direct election for mayor shall be in 2011. The term of mayor shall be two years. If the mayor cannot continue to serve, the remaining term of the mayor shall be filled by a vote of the council members."

While it is up to each individual to decide their preference concerning the direct election of the mayor, this initiative, as written, is fatally flawed. Arizona Revised Statute, Section 9-821.01, requires a majority for officials to be elected in the primary. This initiative specifically disallows any candidate receiving less than the required 50 percent plus one of the number of votes cast in the primary election to proceed on to the run off election.

Carefree Town Code calls for the Vice Mayor to step into the position of Mayor, should the Mayor be unable to fulfill the duties of office for the full term, which is the political standard in the United States.

Legalities aside, there were several other very valid questions posed, such as, "When a vote of 50 percent plus one is required to elect a Council member, why would anyone want to lower that standard when electing the Mayor?" Mr. Coady replied, "Because that's the way it's written." When a member of the audience asked who wrote the initiative, Mr. Coady stated that he did. When asked by a council member if he consulted the town ordinances when writing this initiative, Mr. Coady said that he did not. When asked why it was written using ambiguous language, with clauses that did not comply with existing laws, both state and local, his response was, "I'm not a lawyer. I did the best I could."

The town attorney was asked for an opinion. He said that if it were to proceed to the ballot and pass as written, it would be most likely be challenged and the town would be forced to spend a large amount of money to defend its new ordinance. If Mr. Coady is serious in his efforts to initiate the direct election of a mayor, and has the good of the town and its citizens at heart, it is imperative that this document be rewritten in conformance with all applicable laws, in a way that cannot be challenged and defeated.

Editor’s note: Mrs. Hitchon is a member of Carefree’s Planning Commission, a strong supporter of Carefree's administration and a devoted enemy of Bob Coady.

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Put money into jobs

Donald A. Moskowitz | Londonderry, New Hampshire

The incoming administration and Congress are developing an economic stimulus plan of about $800 billion, which is supposed to create approximately three million jobs. The jobs will evolve from projects designed to rebuild and replace our roadways, bridges, dams, and possibly runways. Schools will be upgraded. There could be substantial funding of energy projects, which will hopefully reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

We need quick turnaround projects ready to be implemented within 90 days of funding.
Unfortunately, about $300 billion of the $800 billion economic plan will go to tax cuts for individuals ($200 billion) and businesses ($100 billion), and not create jobs. The tax rebates parceled out in the spring of 2008 did not stimulate the economy because $66 billion of the $78 billion in rebates went into savings accounts or used to pay down debts. Businesses might use the tax cuts to pay down debt and buy back stock.

The incoming administration should not put the $300 billion into tax cuts, but should use the entire $800 billion to create good paying U.S. jobs, while improving our infrastructure, upgrading school resources, promoting alternative energy programs, increasing domestic oil production and reducing the importation of foreign oil.

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