canfield cartoon

Thank you

A note to express how much I enjoy reading Sonoran News. Even though my wife and I are officially Scottsdale residents (on the border of Scottsdale and Carefree) we enjoy the many fine restaurants and events Cave Creek continually offers. Keep up the good work, especially your Editorials.

Phil G. Giriodi | CBS Photojournalist – Retired | Scottsdale

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Can’t wait

The other day I needed toilet paper and some makeup. The toilet paper I could have gotten at Circle K but they don’t sell makeup. I needed to go to CVS (Carefree) or Walgreen’s (Scottsdale). I chose CVS figuring I would give my tax dollars to a small town neighbor. Can’t wait until I can buy the stuff I need in my own town and spend my tax dollars in my own town. Can’t wait for Walmart.

Katie Hobart | Cave Creel proper

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I doubt we’ll miss you

Mr. Michael Casadei must have been living under a rock since the 1990s (Walmart Has No Place in Cave Creek – My Turn - Scottsdale Republic 10/3/09). Mr. Casadei moved to Carefree in the 1990s so as to not be affected by commercial development. Now he wails about the proposed Walmart and totally ignores all of the commercial development along Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway that occurred during the same period compliments of Carefree, Scottsdale and Phoenix.

During that period, Cave Creek allowed one gas station on Cave Creek Road/Carefree Highway and still has only one gas station today. Carefree and Phoenix have since added three big boxes (Lowes, Fry’s, Home Depot) which Cave Creek residents see every day and some 50 other business from a CVS Pharmacy to dog grooming and counting – all within 1 mile of the proposed Walmart site.

And, Scottsdale is adding a community college, a YMCA and has plans for a large development with medical, retail and business on Carefree Highway within 1/2 mile of the proposed Walmart site. Talk about tearing up the pristine desert!

The proposed Walmart site is a commercial corridor already replete with the associated traffic, noise and pollution and does not extend into Scottsdale or Phoenix. Walmart will not be served by a two way street near schools – Walmart traffic on that street will be limited to some 3 delivery trucks per day and those will be at off hours (ever been bothered by deliveries to Lowes, Home Depot or Fry’s?) Although immaterial because retail selects their locations, there is not ‘plenty of commercially zoned property in Cave Creek’.

I cannot imagine how we ever got along in Cave Creek without such advice from Carefree residents. Where were you, Mr. Casadei, when Carefree jammed Lowes up against Cave Creek residents? I am sorry to hear that you plan to boycott Walmart and Cave Creek – a juvenile response, and I doubt that we’ll miss you.

Terry Smith | Chairman, Friends of Cave Creek

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To the Editor and all registered voters in Cave Creek

We have two more weeks to decide. I am writing to urge all of my friends and fellow residents to go to Town Hall on November 3rd and make your vote count. We all know the issue. We've seen the scores of signs along the roads; vote NO, vote YES on propositions 400 and 401.

We voters have all been faced at various times making a choice that we consider a "lesser of two evils." I'll tell you what I did in many of those instances in the past. I simply stayed home on voting day. I realize now that this was a cop-out. No choice is ever the ideal choice. Ideals are the dreams of philosophers.

Most of us understand by now that Cave Creek needs the Walmart store. We need it for revenue, and we need that revenue to preserve the integrity of our town core. Even so, I imagine many locals have mixed feelings about voting YES on the two propositions, and have considered just staying home that day.

The anti-Walmart minority is hard at work trying to convince us to vote NO. There will be some "no" votes that day. If those who are having pangs of conscience about voting for a Walmart store opt to stay home on November 3rd, their non-vote will effectively be a NO vote.

If this minority group succeeds in bringing Cave Creek down, which seems to be their objective, it won't be because I stayed home this time. I will show up and I will vote YES. I hope to see all of you there!

Sharon McCarthy | Cave Creek

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Vote NO on CCUSD's K-3 override renewal!

District taxpayers approved, by a narrow 100-vote margin, the current seven year K-3 override in 2005. There are several more years of full and partial funding remaining in this fiscal cycle.

Does CCUSD know its K-3 funding requirements 3-4 years into the future? CCUSD consultants projected a flattening of K-3 student enrollments. Actual enrollment figures showed a decline in K-3 students in the past several years.

Has the multimillion dollar 2005 K-3 override helped in improving Terra Nova test scores? NO! Has the K-3 override funds decreased class sizes? Very little! How much has been spent on K-3 instructional aids? Not much! How many new teachers' aides have been hired to increase elementary school staff? None! Can we trust CCUSD to use additional K-3 override funds very wisely? We wonder!

Yet, CCUSD seeks continuing K-3 override funds, despite the current tightness of the economy and the record levels of residential foreclosures in CCUSD district. These K-3 override funds would be in addition to the millions of dollars in all-day kindergarten funds and K-weight funds supplied by the state under ARS 15-947.

Marti Marino | Cave Creek

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Vote NO on the K-3 override

Did the supporters of CCUSD's K-3 override make an arithmetical mistake when they said that 15-20 teachers would lose their jobs if the district voters said NO? Apparently so, as the maximum number of teacher positions that would be eliminated would be less than six.

Other than the initial 29 teachers hired to staff Horseshoe Trails Elementary School, CCUSD's elementary schools gained only 6 supplemental teachers since 2005-6, according to CCUSD reports filed with the state. How many of these teachers were assigned to K-3 classes is unknown.

If its supporters' claimed 15-20 figure is correct, CCUSD will face a staffing dilemma if the K-3 override is rejected by the voters. CCUSD will have to not only eliminate the six supplemental teachers as well as the 10-15 K-3 teachers that were included on the elementary school staff even before the first K-3 override was narrowly approved in 2005-6. Thus, was the first K-3 override a good idea or a mistake?

Remember, state law requires that the K-3 override funds can only be used to add on ("supplement") dollars to existing M&O funding for a school district for K-3 grades. The law (ARS 15-482) specifically says that the K-3 override funds cannot be used in substitution ("supplant") for existing M&O funding for a school district's K-3 classes.

Since only six supplemental teachers have been added since 2005-6 and in light of the state law regarding use of K-3 override funds for supplemental funding of K-3 classes, district taxpayers might ask "where were a significant portion of the initial K-3 override funds spent since the 2005-6 school year?" These K-3 override funds totaled nearly $4 million.

Also, why haven't the K-3 override supporters mentioned that CCUSD will receive nearly $1 million from the state for all day kindergarten this current school year and has been receiving all-day kindergarten money from the state since 2005-6. Did CCUSD administrators forget to tell them?

Vote NO on the K-3 override in November.

Will Wreight | Cave Creek

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How big is Walmart?

Cave Creek needs Walmart:

1. At Walmart, Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day.
2. This works out to $20,928 profit . . . Every minute!
3. Walmart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Walmart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
5. Walmart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer.
6. Walmart is the largest company in the history of the World.
7. Walmart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined.
8. During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy (including Winn-Dixie).
9. Walmart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Walmart has approximately 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are SuperCenters; This is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago.
11. This year, 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at a Walmart store. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 billion.)
12. Ninety percent of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Walmart.
Creekers need to get into the 90%.

Marty Fundner | Cave Creek

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Meeth’s math

I read with interest the assertion by former Councilwoman Meeth that a property tax would only amount to $56 per household, per month. I say "only", but $672 per year in additional taxes seems quite a lot, given the current economic climate. Even so, the amount kept nagging at my brain. In the end, I pulled out my trusty abacus. If you multiply $672 by the number of households in Cave Creek (1571 in the study I found) you end up with a grand total of $1,055,712, far short of even the lower estimate in the $2-3 million in tax revenue being predicted by most observers. Has she confused households with the total population, or am I missing something?

Vote yes on 400 and 401. That way the taxes will be spread over the entire catchment area of 30,000 people instead of focused solely on town residents. I believe it is the best way forward for our town.

Gary Kiernan | Cave Creek

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A Carefree 25th Anniversary thank you

On behalf of the Carefree 25th Anniversary Committee, thank you to Sonoran News for your coverage of the historic anniversary of the Town. Nearly 6,000 people turned out to enjoy our anniversary events on Oct. 3.

Thanks to the volunteers who made each event possible including Sue Bickerdyke of Sue Bickerdyke Interiors, and Samantha Gessell of Sky Ranch Airport, along with the teams at Spirit in the Desert, Carefree Town Hall, the Carefree Resort and Proven Media.

I would like to acknowledge the residents and former residents who contributed historic materials, and the hundreds of vintage aircraft pilots and collector car owners who donated their effort and time that day.

Finally, the generous sponsorships of APS and the Kiwanis Club of Carefree gave our team the ability to produce the well-received Carefree passport and commemorative brochure.
Thanks to each of you who helped make this historic town anniversary celebration an event to remember.

Jo Gemmill | Carefree 25th Anniversary Director

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Why should I?

The cry from Cave Creek politician is we need Walmart to pay for town expenses. I agree, but the main problem with our tax shortfall remains, and that is a mayor, town manager and others that spend recklessly. What will they do with a larger tax base from Walmart? I think they will just spend even more.

These same politicians said a water park or a YMCA wouldn’t fit in Cave Creek but now a big box store is what they want. Why should I support their inept political leadership? If they were politicians with character they would resign and allow people that really care about Cave Creek run the show. If the mayor and others that recklessly spent our hard earned dollars step down the day of the Walmart vote I will vote YES.

Jerry Kretsch | Cave Creek

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Opportunity to keep Cave Creek, Cave Creek

As a business owner in Cave Creek a major concern is the health and vitality of our local town. The growth of the Town over the past few years, mainly residential has presented a stretch and burden on the infrastructure necessary to maintain the essential needs to it’s residents. Millions have been expended to provide a stable safe supply of water; and millions are now being spent to upgrade the sewerage treatment facility. The vital recourses of talent in the Town Administrative Offices have been slashed.

All of these short comings have and will continue to negatively impact the business community in Cave Creek. All residents have felt the impact of significantly higher water rates. Businesses have shouldered the financial burden of an insufficient over taxed sewerage treatment facility.

In today’s tough economic times, Towns are shy on tax revenues, businesses are down in sales. The Town of Cave Creek’s financial crisis is deeper due to the aggressive undertaking of providing the residents and businesses those necessary services. As a business owner, you question whether a sales tax increase for the Town is healthy for your business.

I believe the addition of the proposed Walmart will assist with necessary additional tax revenue for the Town of Cave Creek.

I do not find the location to be an intrusion or a negative impact on the Town’s Commercial Core. I am not sure that Walmart shoppers will bring more customers to the current businesses in Town. However, I am confident that the increased sales tax revenue will assist all residents and businesses to regain and maintain the “opportunity to keep Cave Creek”, Cave Creek.

I encourage a YES vote on Propositions 400 and 401 in November.

Bill Vale | Owner/Partner Harold’s Cave Creek Corral

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Just curious

Congratulations to President Barack Obama for being awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Just curious … why?

Ed Konecnik | Flushing, New York

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Conservative cheers

An "atta boy" should be extended to the president's press secretary Robert Gibbs, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, and left wing commentator Keith Olbermann for helping to unify conservatives against the policies of President Obama. Their constant attacks against conservatives, along with the president's left wing policies, are boosting the resurgence of the conservative movement. Without these activities by the left, conservatives might still be disorganized and not have a reason to fight.

Thanks again Mr. President. There's no way conservatives could have pulled together this quickly without your help

John A. Bamberl | Scottsdale

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Wolf Blitzer of CNN spends valuable TV time to bring into question the decorum of tea party protesters.

Never mind investigating and reporting on the plundering of the nation that has angered the masses in the first place.

Keep up the world class reporting Wolf!

Ed Harris | E-mail

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