CSHS Cheer Squad
What a great article written by Pete Mohr on the Cactus Shadows Cheer Squad and Coach Cuff. Fabulous!!
Kim McClellan | E-mail
I just love your newspaper. I live in Whitefish, Montana now and will be moving back to north Scottsdale after the New Year.
We have a weekly paper here that I enjoy as well. Visit www.flatheadbeacon.com. It is owned by Maury Povich and Connie Chung.
Don, we too have some very passionate, opinionated folks. I've have been known to add my (un-welcomed stance) on some articles over the four years I've lived here, especially on how they regard out of town visitors or new residents. I prefer small town life in Cave Creek/Carefree where newcomers are welcomed … and of course the great weather.
Thanks again for the wonderful job you do. Happy Holidays.
Rose Mary Dolce-Skarphol | Whitefish, Montana
Please extend my sincere thanks to our fabulous Carefree community. From generous donations to in-kind help and the selfless giving of hundreds of volunteer hours, to the joy on children and grandparents faces alike as the parade came through town ... this was a community event beyond anything I think Carefree has ever seen. We had NO idea that a small Christmas celebration would become the "spectacular" it has turned into – our small town of 3,500 grew to over 20,000 in just one night!
I am so proud to lead such a stellar group of volunteers and would like to just take a brief moment to acknowledge the Christmas Festival Team: Vice Mayor Glenn Miller, Kiwanis President Manny Gonzales, Exec. Director of the Chamber of Commerce Patty Villeneuve and Membership Director Marry Livingston, Holly Bergman owner of Wild Holly Gallery and President of the Carefree Business Association, Roberta Toombs Rechlin owner of Magic Bird Festivals, Sharon Schmitz VP of National Bank of Arizona, Kim Prince owner of Proven Media Services. I also would like to recognize the many additional hours of help from the Posse, the Road Crew, our non-profits including the Chamber of Commerce and Foothills Animal Rescue and the support of our local business owners and residents.
A special thank you too to those who helped provide the entertainment over the 3 day event, including Cactus Shadows High School Choir, The Main Event Swing Band, The Carefree Christmas Chorus led by Kevin Glenn, Doggies of the North Pole, The Community Choir led by Karin Thomas, Horizon School Carolers, Carefree's Mostly Madrigal Singers, Cave Creek Dance Academy, Desert Foothills Library, Carter's Petting Zoo and of course ... Santa!
Thank you too, to the Carefree Resort and Conference Center for their generous sponsorship of the Parade, and to Spirit in the Desert for hosting the Fireworks show and thank you Sonoran News for the wonderful additional editorial coverage and photos.
Carefree is officially on the map as a destination for the family at Christmas, and of course we hope the end result is that more people will think of Carefree for future events and help us energize our local economy in the process.
Yuletide greetings and good wishes to everyone, especially if I forgot to mention you in my thanks!
Wishing you all a joyous and prosperous holiday season.
Jo Gemmill | Director, Carefree Christmas Festival 2010
On the first weekend of December Cave Creek enjoyed the inaugural Cave Creek Cowboy Christmas celebration. There were events all weekend long thanks to the tireless efforts of Tom Van Dyke with the generous assistance of Larry Wendt and Liz Kennedy. The Buffalo Chip Saloon hosted the majority of the activities that featured a stagecoach, historians, singers, re-enactors, the Buffalo Soldiers, Pony Express riders, mounted carolers and western dance contests; you should have seen Santa ride the bulls. And, let's not forget Santa arriving on the stage to the delight of the kids. This family friendly event thrilled those in attendance at the Chip's Wagon Yard.
There are too many contributors to mention here, but all deserve our thanks for their volunteer efforts. We can all hope that the Cave Creek Cowboy Christmas becomes a tradition rivaling Wild West Days in popularity.
Randy Edwards | Cave Creek
Afghanistan: Digging in
President Obama once said withdrawal from Afghanistan would begin in July 2011 – maybe, conditions permitting. But then he backed off that date. Now NATO, echoing American officials, says security won’t be fully turned over to the Afghan government any earlier than the end of 2014 – again, maybe; the alliance has signed a long-term security agreement with the Afghan president. Allied troops thus will remain in Afghanistan – as occupiers always say – in a supporting role beyond 2014 and even 2015. Calling the December 31, 2014, an “aspirational goal,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said, “It does not mean that all U.S. or coalition forces would necessarily be gone by that date.”
Even before Obama backed off the 2011 timetable and before the NATO summit, Gen. David Petraeus had told Bob Woodward, “You have to recognize that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.” And Defense Secretary Robert Gates went even further, telling Woodward: “We’re not leaving Afghanistan prematurely. In fact, we’re not ever leaving at all.”
Thus no one seems to take target dates or even aspirational goals very seriously. The U.S. national-security apparatus is planted in Afghanistan and appears in no hurry to leave.
This is confirmed by concrete facts. Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Turse notes that the U.S. government is engaged in a “base-building surge that has left the countryside of Afghanistan dotted with military posts, themselves expanding all the time, despite the drawdown of forces promised by President Obama beginning in July 2011.” Turse says government documents “reveal plans for large-scale, expensive Afghan base expansions of every sort and a military that is expecting to pursue its building boom without letup well into the future. These facts-on-the-ground indicate that, whatever timelines for phased withdrawal may be issued in Washington, the U.S. military is focused on building up, not drawing down, in Afghanistan.”
Turse has examined plans to expand a variety of military facilities at a cost of tens of millions of dollars, with completion not expected until well past the time the American withdrawal was supposed to commence. The facilities include airstrips that support large transport aircraft, “airfield parking space,” maintenance installations, ammunition storages, and living quarters for troops.
“Documents reveal that this sort of expansion is now going on at a remarkably rapid pace all over the country,” Turse writes. “…And whenever you stumble upon a document indicating that work of a certain sort is taking place at one FOB [forward operating base], you can be sure that, sooner or later, you will find similar work at other FOBs.”
The magnitude of the building project is extraordinary, Turse says. After describing the enhancement of FOB Shindand in western Afghanistan, documented by the Washington Post, Turse comments: “Multiply this, FOB by FOB, the length and breadth of Afghanistan, and you have a building program fit for a long war.”
Eyebrows should have been raised, Turse notes, when Petraeus told ABC News last year that the military had “finally gotten the inputs right in Afghanistan” and that the “counterinsurgency clock” had restarted. Really? After years of occupation and untold deaths and injuries the military is just now claiming that it is getting things right. “But it is just at this point that we feel that we do have the organizations that we learned in Iraq and from history are necessary for the conduct [of] this kind of campaign,” Petraeus said. This sounds like a talking point. The Iraqi occupation has empowered the Iran-backed Shi’a majority, which does not need a U.S. presence to survive. There is nothing comparable in Afghanistan, where the U.S. government backs a puppet minority government in Kabul that has little legitimacy in the rest of the country.
“The building boom occurring on U.S. bases across Afghanistan and the contracts for future construction being awarded at the moment,” Turse writes, “seem to confirm that, whatever the White House has in mind, the military is operating on something closer to the Petraeus timeline .…”
How will the American people react in 2012?
Sheldon Richman | The Future of Freedom Foundation
My lovely neighborhood is about to be microwaved 24/7
Have you heard about the 65' Cell Phone Tower to be erected at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church? Selling out the neighbors for mammon!
I am very opposed to having it in my neighborhood and so are many of my neighbors. Of course the church is sneaking this through without community input, although we shall be directly affected. We need all the help we can get to stop them from blasting us with microwaves in our neighborhood.
Shamefully, it seems there is a bit of a cover-up in our country regarding health vs. cell phones and towers, bad for business and the stock market!
I love the United States of America.
We are One Nation under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
One nation, One language. We speak English as United Americans.
Obama sure to win 2012 Presidential Election
His strategy was brilliant … they never saw it coming … He played the Republicans like a well-seasoned Stradivarius by entering into a two-year extension of the Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy. The compromise on what he described as the Republicans’ “holy grail” provided the essential cover for his ultimate goal. President Obama allowed himself to be viewed as a weak capitulator to secure his own coveted repeal of DADT. By playing the victim, he knew he would eventually recover from any perceived political damages or losses from the passage of the tax cut extension measure by telling the nation about the Republicans’ arm-twisting, hostage-taking tactic, which forced his hand, for the short-term, to secure the middle class’ fragile financial future.
President Obama could not have won the primary or presidential races without the funding, fundraising, individual donations, and massive nationwide volunteerism of the LGBT community. And, there would have been no way for him to be re-elected without their continued future support in all these areas. Even though one Federal Judge had already ruled the DADT policy was unconstitutional, President Obama’s promise to the LGBT was to have Congress repeal the policy to establish legitimacy … After all, Congress is the voice of the people who would ultimately be held accountable for the repeal. Obviously, DADT had to pass during this lame duck session and a few Republican senators needed to join Senate Democrats to reach the needed 60 votes. President Obama could not afford to fail. He had to get the measure passed to solidify his chance for re-election in 2012.
Senator Reid was certainly instrumental in these high-risk political maneuvers. Last week, he introduced the DADT repeal measure fully aware it would fail so it would be returned to the House. In the House he was assured there were ample votes for it to be revised and passed as a stand-alone measure. It would then be re-introduced to the Senate where there was a compromise with key Republican senators who had previously stated they were leaning toward voting for the measure.
To make sure all parties would be kept off guard and to guarantee the bill would pass, Senator Reid added a large number of earmarks to the tax cut extension bill and then strategically removed them at the last moment “as a gesture of compromise and bi-partisanship.” These delusory actions guaranteed no one would be aware of their ultimate goal: the repeal of DADT.
With last Saturday's Senate vote to repeal the measure, President Obama, with the help of a few Republicans, will have delivered on a key promise to the LGBT community, thereby re-energizing their support and commitment to secure his re-election. He will be hailed as a miracle worker, a champion of the underdog middle class, and again he walks away with the presidency in 2012.
Well-played, Mr. President, well-played!
A.J. Patterson | Scottsdale
Homosexual acts are not about “rights”
I am disappointed with the U.S. senate for giving final approval Saturday to historic legislation repealing the policy banning gays from serving openly in the military.
The purpose of the legislation is to mask an abnormal sexual behavior and accentuate instead a vague but positive-sounding cultural identity. Homosexual acts are not about "rights" but about redefining truth and censoring all criticism so that militant homosexuals can be comfortable in their "lifestyle" without having to be disturbed by reality.
The reality is that homosexual behavior is abnormal, immoral and anti-life. It is not innate as some believe. The so-called "gay gene" has never been found.
Scientific studies also show that homosexuality is linked to pedophilia. For example, a 1992 study in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that homosexual men are three times more likely than straight men to engage in paedophilia.
Young persons who develop a homosexual identity, retain it due to the social milieu. This social milieu is the family setting and culture created by, inter alia, the decisions enforced by the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States acting in coordination with the misrepresentation of the scientific evidence provided to it by the APA, and the National Association of Social workers.
With respectful and cordial best wishes, I remain, sincerely yours,
Paul Kokoski | E-mail
Sen. Allen concerned about escalating violence
New Border Security Chair says “border” violence not just on border
Sen. Sylvia Allen, the incoming chair of a new Senate committee on Border Security, is expressing concern over the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed Tuesday night in a shootout with border gang members who prey on immigrants and smugglers. Four suspects are in custody.
“It seems like this violence is not only escalating, but moving north from the border,” says Sen. Allen, a Republican from Snowflake. The killing of Agent Terry happened near Rio Rico, in a spot more than 15 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.
The tragedy happened in the district of Sen.-elect Gail Griffin, also a member of Sen. Allen’s committee. “The death of Agent Terry is unfortunate and outrageous. Our sincere condolences go out to his family. You are in our prayers,” said Senator-elect Griffin.
“This administration and Homeland Security have ignored the problems on our borders too long. This is another American death due to failed Federal border policies,” says Sen.-elect Griffin.
“What will it take to get their attention? Secure the border and keep Americans safe. Do your job and stop this out-of-control violence! We need to give the Border Patrol agents the equipment they need. Our borders are not secure.”
Sen. Allen says violence on the border will be addressed at the first meeting of the new Border Security, Federalism and State Sovereignty Committee, on January 13. “We will be hearing testimony on border violence from the U.S. Border Patrol and local border sheriffs,” says Sen. Allen. ”We are also going to focus on the clear communication problems along the border. When a crisis happens, those first responders need to be able to reach people immediately.”
Allen was disappointed to hear that a conference call organized by U. S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano with border sheriffs did not include Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. “I hope this isn’t a case of playing politics with border security. Those two sheriffs needed to be on the call, and they weren’t even aware of it,” says Sen. Allen.
Arizona State Senate | Republican Caucus