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We are sheep

Mickey Gibson | Carefree

I went to the Post Office to day to return the form which required me to produce two forms of identification (one a photo ID) in order to renew a P.O. Box which I have had here for the past thirty years. I brought my drivers license and a Cave Creek water bill showing my physical address. The water bill was not good enough.

This routine, I was told, is to stop mail fraud.

Consider the following: The President of the USA was not required to show any form of ID showing he was eligible to run for the office. Not even the ID mentioned in the Constitution!

ACORN (an organization of the (un)Democrat(ic) party) registered to vote people who listed as a residence a park bench in Ohio and produced no verification they were citizens.

Do people with food stamps have to show two forms of ID at the food store? Food stamp fraud is a big business.

Illegal aliens – aka Undocumented Workers – flood our country. Why can not the Post Office consider me an Undocumented Postal Box holder and save me the trouble of having to answer to some perverted idiot who makes up useless regulations?

I would not mind if I were required to show two forms of ID to vote. But, of course, that would disenfranchise lots of voters who are in fact dead or otherwise not eligible to vote. We are a nation of sheep.

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Vern and Gay Nauta Ada, Michigan

We attended the Art Night in Cave Creek on February 13. What a great evening! We were entertained throughout the evening with great gallery owners and a trio of wandering singers.

We started with a wonderful dinner at Cave Creek Coffee Company (it’s not just coffee). We then began our journey with Level 9 Gallery. This was truly an experience of all types of art. We were given a live demonstration on iron work with the artist and his forge. There were resident artists to meet tat this gallery and some wonderful hot chocolate and munchies.

Next it was on to Galeria Bellas Artes. A trio of talented young lady singers met us at this gallery along with the owner, Sergio. His paintings are colorful and enchanting. What a delight to the eye. His wife was a wonderful hostess who offered yet more delightful appetizers. This was a difficult gallery to leave, but we were given a card that needed to be punched and signed by all the gallery owners and be put into a $50.00 gift certificate drawing so it was on to our next show.

We visited Steven DeWitt Perrin Gallery on the opposite side of the street. It wasn’t hard to find because all the participating owners had luminaries lighting their shops. Steven is an extraordinary young man. His paintings are truly magical.

Our last gallery to visit was the D. Lyon Art Gallery. His work lights up as you take in the incredible outdoor scenes. He graciously shared how his work progresses and the weeks and months it takes to finish.

We chose Cave Creek to stay for a four week time. It will be difficult to leave this place and travel on. We are so grateful to the Cave Creek merchants and these wonderful galleries for making our stay most enjoyable.

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Your day will come

Owner of Abby the Boxer Carefree

On February 15 my fawn and white Boxer got out of my fenced yard. She found her way to Cloud and 12th Street. A low life hit her and didn’t stop. She had a chip in her. The person that hit her has no heart or feelings. If they can do that to an animal they can do it to a person. The individual was most likely speeding or drunk or on drugs. Just remember, what goes around comes around. Your day will come.

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Our favorite uncle’s credit card

Al Maynard | Scottsdale

I’m getting really worried. You know, a general uneasy feeling folks must get when they’ve fried their credit on every level and they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. For the past eight years we’ve borrowed an enormous amount of money to prosecute wars and now we’re borrowing even more to build amusement parks.

Most of us live within our means and act responsibly, but our gatekeepers have not. They got their sweetheart mortgages and pay raises and now we’re left to pick up the pieces. When Harry Truman left office he drove home with his wife Bess where they lived in Bess’s family home. His only income was an Army pension of $112.56 mo.

When President Bush left office last month he flew home in Air Force 1 at $??? per mile where he is now busily moving into his new home, raising money for his library, writing memoirs and living comfortably. No recession there.

This is going to happen again because we have not changed the underlying system of values that led to this mess. Our favorite uncle’s credit card is quite large, but when it’s toasted there won’t be any place else to go and nobody else to blame.

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Stinky City

Jim Sempek | Cave Creek

What is that nasty sewer smell I pass every time I am leaving Cave Creek just before crossing the border into Carefree? It’s close to but not a part of the French restaurant on Cave Creek Road. If it’s the sewer system then the gases need to be elevated away from street level. Are you not ashamed of this terrible stench, Cave Creek?

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Who approved the plans for the Henkel Building?

Frank Scarpone | Scottsdale

Every day I get on the 101 and head west past Scottsdale Road and am reminded of just how grotesque poor architecture can be when I look over at the new Henkel/Dial Corporate Office building just off the 101 on Scottsdale Road.

How could the Scottsdale planning commission and town council allow such an hideous, ugly building to be built in such a prime location? It looks like a bad industrial manufacturing plant misplaced in North Scottsdale. I keep thinking maybe there’s more to be done to temper the lines of the open facade but I guess not.

I understand the architectural firm responsible for the design of this new Scottsdale eyesore is world renowned … well, all I can say is, so much for notoriety.

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I want this out for debate

Fran Vivenzio | Cave Creek

I want to put this out for debate: As a homeowner in Cave Creek, I am, as many of you are, concerned with the falling values of our homes. I am not in foreclosure but maybe I should be because my home is worth at least $200,000 less than what I paid for it. When I contact my mortgage lender, Wells Fargo, they won’t even discuss options with me until I am past due 3 months on my payments. Where is the help for all of us who want to keep our homes that may never get back to the price we paid for them? We are being asked to support and pay back the bailout plan without the benefit of being helped. Just think if our lenders re -evaluated our home’s price and adjusted our mortgages to the current values.

In the long run they would still receive hundreds of thousands of interest dollars and we would have quite a bit of extra money to spend in the economy. Does anyone else feel this way??

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Coins Editor

Steve Hull | Carefree

I must comment on your on Sales Tax piece published in COINS. Yes, it was appropriate for a correction to be published but TOTALLY unnecessary, ill-advised and inappropriate for COINS, to publish “not only untrue it is reckless and irresponsible. The general economy is severe enough without trying to create this kind of panic.”

COINS is presumably an information source for the community. It should not either act or appear to act as a political arm of the Town of Carefree, the Mayor, any Town Council member. Or is the purpose of COINs to attack or discredit candidates? Let the Sonoran News’ candidate forums or individual candidates or incumbents debate the merits of Mr. Stavoe’s statement.

Correction? YES. Political attack? NO.

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Dear Wall Street Journal Letters Editor:

Craig J. Cantoni | Scottsdalee

Regarding “A Republican Road to Economic Recovery,” by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.): Trusting the economy to Republicans instead of Democrats is akin to trusting banks to Clyde Barrow instead of Bonnie Parker. Both of these members of the bank-robbing duo known as Bonnie & Clyde proved that they were untrustworthy scoundrels. Similarly, both Democrat and Republican members of Congress have proved that they are untrustworthy scoundrels.

It’s time to throw all of them out of office and replace them with libertarians, classical liberals, constitutionalists, and anyone else who will stop violating the Constitution, stop debasing the dollar, stop robbing future generations, stop giving power over our future to the unelected Federal Reserve, stop robbing Peter to pay Paul, and stop spending money the nation doesn’t have.

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HOA In Dire Need Of Joe The Plumber

J.N Zucker | Cave Creek

Anyone wanting to live in the cozy, western atmosphere of Cave Creek should look much further than The Villas at Black Mountain. During the many months I have lived here, I can honestly say I have attended most of the Homeowner Association board meetings, and during the meetings this board has never ceased to amaze me with their total lack of basic common sense. Here at Black Mountain Villas, wasting water in the common areas (Common area is property that is managed by the Home Owner Association Board) has been totally out of control for many months’ possible years. It does not take a rocket scientist or an accountant or even “Joe the Plumber” to figure out there is something wrong. It only takes looking at the Monthly Financial statements and compare the amounts owed for each water meter in any given month.

The highest water bill for the month of July was for quad 33-36. It was $391.40. The lowest for that same month was for quad 5-8; it was only $34.55. Why is there such a difference? Is the $391.40 the evidence of a major leak or leaks? I know for a fact the water bill for quad 29-32 totaling over $1,040 for 5 months had 3 massive leaks. How do I know this? Several of the home owners, after trying to voice their concern about the outrageous water usage and their wasted dues, and after being repeatedly ignored, went looking for the leaks themselves, and leaks they did find. One of the leaks covered an area of approximately 15 feet wide and 45 feet in length, and the water in some areas was 4 inches deep. The water was a bubbling, running river that left the telltale signature of our Cave Creek Water: a white residue. Quad 49-52 had huge leak/leaks that eroded the soil from under the sidewalk and ran like a river straight down a slope for months. This leak was reported repeatedly. 

The facts are that I asked the board members 3 simple questions: Why doesn’t the property manager Charles Green from Casey Properties notice any of these outrageous water bills month after month? Why does he just continue to pay them without asking the simple question of what is wrong here? Why doesn’t he give Windsor Landscape Company the needed direction and have them look into what might be wrong? (Look for leaks)? I am sorry but this is a no-brainer! I was told by the board president Bill Cox, “the manager is not paid for that task.” I then asked, “Why doesn’t the board notice such waste?” I was given no answer. 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to fix an irrigation system. I expanded and repaired the system for quad 21-24 so the plants needing water would get 1 to 2 gallons every other day during the hottest months (This is consistently the 2nd lowest bill in the complex). I dug a shallow bowl around each plant so the water is directed towards the root system and does not run off. Wasting water is something everyone should take more seriously. Unfortunately, here at the Villas at Black Mountain the board members have not figured out whose job it is to manage the never-ending waste.

This is just one example out of many of the wasteful management of the governing board here at the Villas at Black Mountain. So if you are looking for that cozy, western atmosphere…you might want to first take a close look at the financial report. Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.

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Dear Arizona Taxpayer,

Tom Jenney | www.aztaxpayers.org tjenney@afphq.org

Gov. Jan Brewer has suggested sending to a special election two proposals designed to help close the gap in the state’s budget deficit. One proposal is to ask voters to increase state taxes by a billion dollars a year for three years. The other proposal is to ask voters to let the Legislature make cuts to areas of the budget that have been protected from cuts by past voter mandates.

The obvious danger is that if the two proposals go to the ballot separately, the spending lobbies and tax-takers (who are much more well-funded and well-organized than taxpayers) will pass the tax increase and shoot down the authorization for spending cuts.

Even if the Legislature is able to evade the single-subject rule and legally bind the two proposals together (through conditional enactment clauses in both referenda), here is the result:

The spending lobbies get a guaranteed tax increase, but taxpayers only get the possibility of spending reductions in formerly protected budget areas.

In other words, the spenders and tax-takers get their piece of the pie. But we taxpayers might get our piece of the pie, if the political will can actually be found in the Legislature to make the cuts.

Furthermore, there is nothing in the package to keep the state from resuming its pattern of rollercoaster budgeting as soon as the recession is over. Even if the tax increases really are temporary, and really do expire in three years, the state will still be wracked by uncontrolled spending binges. When the tax money comes pouring in again, the politicians will spend every penny that comes in, and leverage that money to spend yet more. They will raise spending to unsustainable levels in order to please the tax-takers and the spending lobbies, just as they did during the last six years. They will create yet another gigantic budget deficit crisis during the next economic downturn, when the revenue falls off. Once again, the politicians will come at us with tax increase proposals. And next time, the “fix” may be a permanent tax increase, rather than a temporary one.

If Arizona taxpayers and fiscal conservatives are even going to begin to consider a ballot bargain package that includes a temporary tax increase, it will have to include the Taxpayer Bill of Rights the only reform that can stop the spending rollercoaster. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) would create a sustainable upper limit to state spending growth, by limiting the growth in state government to the rate of growth of population plus inflation, with immediate refunds to taxpayers of excess monies.

See this chart for a visual of how TABOR would have worked, had it been in effect since 1993: www.americansforprosperity.org/files/AzGenFund2003-2012—01-31-09.pdf

If TABOR is not attached to the package in a bomb-proof manner, Arizona is better off balancing the budget with the tools currently at the disposal of the Legislature and Governor. They should start with the $2.2 billion in spending reductions suggested by the appropriations chairmen in their January 15 budget, and find creative ways to save the other $1.5 billion by selling state assets, privatizing state functions, and eliminating entitlement fraud.

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