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I have a few issues with what you said

Chief John Kraetz | Rural/Metro

Having read your recent editorial about the Cave Creek Firefighters supporting Adam Trenk’s campaign, I have a few issues with what you said. You quoted a Phoenix Fire Department Captain stating that union firefighters are over vacationed, over retired and under worked. You then go on to say that where the fire trucks are parked in town gives validity to that statement.

For your information, the Cave Creek fire crew parks their trucks at a local gym every day because they are trying to keep in shape for any incident that may come up. Even though they may not have to respond to a large fire every shift they work, I would think that the public would expect them to be in top physical condition if and when they do show up.

As far as under worked, do you know what their daily schedule consists of? For the first hour or so of each shift, the crews are checking all their equipment for readiness in case of an emergency. It wouldn’t do any good to have equipment on the trucks that isn’t working. After truck check, the crews perform a variety of tasks to include a required two hours of fire training each shift, and then required physical fitness for an hour. They also inspect every single business in town on an annual basis, take part in regional training exercises and maintain their fire station. Add to that, public education at the schools, home safety checks, map updates, PEPs (pre emergency plans drawn on all of the buildings in town), not to mention the actual calls they go on, and you can see that my folks are hardly under worked.

As far as parking in front of events, did you know that we are requested by the organizers of those events to be on location in case there is an emergency? We are a community oriented fire department, and I encourage my crews to get out in the public’s eye. It helps the crew to know the people and the buildings of the community, making it safer for both the firemen and the residents.

As far as being overpaid, I would suggest that you do a comparison of my firefighters’ wages to surrounding communities. I will assure you that they are not over paid. And besides, what pay is too much for someone that will willingly enter your burning house to save you or your pets? What pay is too much for someone that has the skills to rescue your teenage son or daughter that is pinned underneath their car or on the side of the road and would surely die without the skill of the firefighters? What pay is too much for someone that has to discover the horrors of a woman murdered and keep on performing their job? Or closer to home, what pay is too much to have the skills to keep a stroke victim alive and deliver them to a stroke center like Mayo Hospital? I think if you walked a mile in the shoes of my firefighters, you wouldn’t think they are overpaid.

I understand that you were trying to make a point in your column, but I wish you wouldn’t make that point on the backs of the men and women that protect this community.

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Will we be known as the 'Reckless Generation'?

Representative John Shadegg

Our parents and grandparents were part of what has been recognized as the "Greatest Generation." With sheer grit and unflinching will they conquered fascism, saved freedom, and put America on course to a level of prosperity never before seen. Through their efforts, they left us a legacy that even centuries from now, history will regard with awe.

It's time to stop mortgaging our children's future and time to start building them a better tomorrow. We cannot let history record that we were the "Reckless Generation."

But, if we are not careful, the legacy of our generation will be very different. If we follow the course set forth in Washington by Democrats' stunning budget proposal, we will shirk our responsibilities to our children and grandchildren, burying our nation in an avalanche of debt.

The Democrats' budget proposal will double the national debt in five years and triple it in ten! Our nation's debt will increase to more than 82 percent of our nation's entire GDP by the last year of the budget. We are talking year after year of record spending, record taxes, and record deficits.

When Americans are feeling the squeeze of a painful recession and tightening their belts, this budget will squeeze them even tighter – and it will take from, instead of providing for, generations to come.

It's time to stop mortgaging our children's future and time to start building them a better tomorrow. We cannot let history record that we were the "Reckless Generation."

The expansion of the federal government in this budget is shocking. Call your representatives in Congress today, and tell them to vote against this massive increase in spending and debt and put America on the road to recovery – not bankruptcy.

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Law of the Sea Treaty

Sonni Hunt | Christopher Creek

Lost is not just a TV show. It is a dangerous international treaty now considered a good thing by the U.S. Senate.

Oceans cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface. They are a critical factor in commercial transportation, recreation, food and energy production and national security. Think of the repercussions if the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard were under the United Nations control.

That’s just what the Law of the Sea Treaty would do. DOALOS, the UN’s Division of Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea, are the folks who would enforce this treaty. On October 17, 2007, here’s what they had to say: Law of the Sea … is perhaps one of the most significant but less recognized 20th Century accomplishments in the area of international law … Its scope is vast: It covers all ocean space, with all its uses, including navigation and overflight, living and non-living, on the high seas, on the ocean floor and beneath, on the continental shelf and in the territorial seas: the protection of the marine environment; and basic law and order … The Convention is widely recognized by the international community as the legal framework within which ALL activities in the oceans and the seas must be carried out.
Note the claims covering “all open space” including everything on, in, under and above the oceans.

It doesn’t stop there. The Mississippi empties into the ocean as do a million other rivers. So if the United Nations, with pure muscle, wants to preside over inland waterways, don’t think they won’t eventually flex it.

So while the media blabbers on with bailouts and bonuses, the politicians sneak on. If the Senate shoves this treaty down our unsuspecting throats, we’re going to end up with United Nations flavored tuna in our casseroles. If we can afford it.

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Thank you MCSO deputies!

Michelle Dallacroce | A.F. Veteran

I'm glad that those who SUPPORT the language and false statements made by the Mayor of Phoenix have come out publicly so all will know they are people we should be very aware of.

I find it utterly wrong that the Mayor who is sworn under oath to protect the Constitution of the U.S. and the State of Arizona feels the only way he can attempt to win his battle is by belittling great men and women who serve and protect the streets of this great city!

I speak from personal experience in the past four years in Phoenix with Police Officers from the Phoenix Police Department, that they ONLY WISH THEY COULD SAY WHAT THE DEPUTIES SAID THE OTHER DAY OUT LOUD! But they are afraid of getting FIRED!!!! There are hundreds of men and women in the police department that agree with what was said but because of PHIL GORDON being their BOSS, they can't.

How many Phoenix P.D. officers have been killed or shot in the face by illegal aliens? How many of these officers are told to hold back and not enforce the law against illegal aliens because of the fear of being sued by the ACLU or some other pro illegal agency?

When you crack that nut you will see why PHIL GORDON has bent over backwards and supplied the Vaseline for the City of PHOENIX to get screwed!

Mayor Phil Gordon IS THE PROBLEM in this City! Our City Manager is held accountable as well and let's not forget our city council members!

Sheriff Joe and those officers, both deputies and Phoenix P.D. officers who put their lives on the line are courageous men and women.

Phil Gordon is a coward and has always been! Again, I have personal knowledge of this.
How this man gets elected into office is beyond me but I believe that after this show of betrayal to the families of this great city; by attempting to put our law enforcement officers in the line of fire because of statements made which are as racist as racist can get, I personally will HOLD PHIL GORDON accountable for any ill action taken against these officers in the field because of the environment in which PHIL GORDON is laying down.
He is creating a severe racist and anti-law bidding city atmosphere in the city of Phoenix. Mayor Phil Gordon is a traitor to the nation and to the city of Phoenix, Arizona. And ... he is putting the LIVES of those men and women in the line of fire with his words!

Words are not just words. Words can get our officers killed in the line of duty! PHIL YOU’RE DOING A GOOD JOB trying to get our men hurt!

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Lied to, manipulated and scammed

Ed Konecnik | Flushing, New York

The realization that the world as I know it is over reminds me of Dorothy’s revelation in the Wizard of Oz: “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Consider the following: Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano wants me to think of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center as a “man-caused disaster,” House Speaker Pelosi declares enforcement of existing immigration laws as “un-American,” the FDIC criticizes and gives a bad rating to a Massachusetts Bank with no delinquent loans or foreclosures for “not lending enough,” Senator Dodd and his colleagues feign shock, surprise and outrage at the bonuses given to AIG executives which they approved and included in their stimulus package in the first place and insisted it be passed posthaste without debate, scrutiny and oversight.

Our non-representing representatives claim ignorance and innocence but should be prosecuted for dereliction of duty since no one in Congress bothered to read the bill before passing it. They have diverted and focused our attention to the “bonus scandal,” deliberately and effectively obfuscating the most extravagant spending orgy in the history of the world as well as the funneling of many billions of taxpayer dollars to foreign banks and institutions via the AIG bailout. American taxpayers have been duped and fleeced by a scheme far greater in scope than even Bernard Madoff ever envisioned.

The writer P. J. O’Rourke observed, “Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” The “boys” have just hit a wall, totaled the car, and claim the wall got in their way.

My fellow Americans, we are being lied to, manipulated and scammed. I beseech you not to abandon reason and common sense in your quest for “hope” and “change.”

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Poor Mr. Cantoni

Name withheld by request

Poor Mr. Cantoni. So his little wife got caught in rush hour traffic during the President’s visit to Phoenix. Well let me tell you something! Rush hour traffic in Phoenix is a pee hole in the snow compared to Atlanta’s rush hour(s). But I guess it was OK for “King George” to land at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia and have a super highway closed (Hwy. 75) during rush hour, so he could motorcade into Atlanta. Can you imagine how many times this took place in eight years?

Get over it, Herr Craig! (Boy do you sound like a jerk.) The way people drive in Phoenix, it’s a wonder anyone gets anywhere at any time. But that’s a letter all in itself.

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The Spending Psalm

Gary Marchinke | Pahrump, Nevada

The U.S. Congress is on a spending spree that threatens to put us in a financial hole we may never get out of. In an effort to express my frustration and outrage with Congress, I wrote this parody of the 23rd Psalm. It is not intended to be irreverent, just funny. I call it “The Congressional Spending Psalm.”

Big government is our shepherd;
the bigger it gets the more we lack.
Congress makes us to lie down
and drown in red ink.
They lead us into national bankruptcy.
They restore our dependency on the welfare state.
Congress leads us into the path of unfunded entitlements,
for their name’s sake.
Yea, though we slouch through the valley of the shadow of financial disaster, we will fear no evil, for billion dollar bailouts and million dollar bonuses are with us.
Their pork and waste confound us.
Congress prepares a table before us full of deficit spending and trillions of dollars of debt.
They fill our heads with campaign promises.
Their deception and corruption runs over.
Surely, higher taxes and runaway spending will follow us all the days of our lives, and future generations will dwell in the house of poverty, forever!

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Thomas McGuire for council

Lee Anderson | Cave Creek

As a small businessman in Cave Creek (Spur Cross Stable) I would like to recommend for your consideration a vote for Town of Cave Creek Councilman Thomas McGuire. I believe that the foundation for a fiscally sound government in Cave Creek is being laid and Tom will be able to lend his experience to that effort. His balance and judgment will prove to be valuable to a new council in helping to lead the community in these difficult times.

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Dear God, what's been done?

Lawrence Rupp | Carefree

Within the short span of a few months a narrow margin of voters has ruined what millions of brave men and women have given their lives for: Our Republic.

Our children, and their children, have had their futures mortgaged, our principles of law debased.

Most of this was a result of irrational hatred and ideology. Racial bigotry and voting fraud was a large factor. Political smugness reigned supreme and an abandonment of fairness in reporting by our media a hallmark instrument of thought control.

Socialists have usurped our government and nary a shot was fired. They were voted into office.

An empty suit with no portfolio rules as President, surrounded by a cabinet of tax-cheats and an administration comprised of sleazy, scheming politicians.
Congratulations, fools. You did it, now live with it!

P.S. The sad part is that most of you didn't have a clue as to what was coming because you watched network TV and read the Republic!

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Why parks are at risk, golf courses are not

Roy Miller | Phoenix

Last night I attended a neighborhood meeting near Encanto Park where a Phoenix Parks representative told us about the budget cuts and how they had to close the Encanto Clubhouse to new groups and how they were seeking volunteers because the Park would be overcrowded and how there was not sufficient staff to pick up the litter and maintain the Park. I commented that the City of Phoenix golf courses do not seem to have this problem. They are not overcrowded and not littered.

Maybe there is a lesson. Why don’t we charge for park use like we charge for golf course use? People do not value or take care of something if it is free. The charges for park use could be set just above the variable costs, with some contribution to fixed costs. That way, there would never be a shortage of money to do the necessary maintenance. If crowds became too large there could be a reservation system just like the golf courses have and just like many of the large park ramadas already have.

Maybe this could also be a strategy for other City services that are now free and are threatened by tight budgets.

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