canfield cartoon

Barto’s low road

I want to be sure I understand this correctly.

I share a private easement with a neighbor, and for years, I have done the maintenance, which has always been minor, when I have borrowed, or rented a tractor for some other purpose.

But under Barto's HB1034, I could re-excavate and improve the road, maybe even chip seal it without consulting my neighbor, and then send him a bill for half? This is a real winner for me!

On the other hand, my kind neighbor could sell his property, and the new owners could be unhappy with the condition of the road that previously had served for over forty years, and spend thousands of dollars to "improve" it, without my consent, and send me a bill for half the cost, which Barto's Law (should the HB1034 pass) would require me to pay, even if I don't have enough money for health insurance.

Well, how do you like them road apples? Oh, but I could hire an arbitrator, or does the new neighbor choose the arbitrator, if I can't pay?

Well, I think I have a revolutionary approach: The neighbor can come and talk to me, with or without the arbitrator that HE hires BEFORE he spends my money, and discuss it. If I can't afford it, or don't want it, he can find other ways of financing his comfort level.

Back off my road, Barto.

Bill Payne | Cave Creek


Dear citizens of Carefree and Cave Creek:

The Eleventh Annual Treecycle Events were a great success. Approximately 800 Christmas trees were recycled into mulch. Thank you and others outside our communities who took advantage of this eco-event.

A special thanks to the following supporters. Without them this event would not have happened:

• Sonoran News
• Desert Foothills Landscape
• Area Disposal
• Lowe’s
• Cub Scout pack 134
• Kiwanis Key Club
• Cave Creek Unified School
District & Ventana
• Towns of Carefree & Cave
• All the recycling volunteers who gave their time

Councilman Bob Coady | Carefree 


Dear Don,

I'm afraid you and your contributors have been getting my name wrong. My middle name is Charles, David Charles Schwan.

I don't know how such a silly error could occur, especially since I have always said, "I OPPOSE A PROPERTY TAX".

Anyway, I hope everyone will get things right in the future. It's a terrible thing to waste good ink on an erroneous name.

David Charles Schwan | Candidate for Mayor of Carefree



Decorum: Whatever is suitable or proper. On Wednesday evening, January 12, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona a Memorial Service was held for those who were murdered and wounded by Jared Loughner. This senseless and repulsive act of a deranged individual was compounded by a service that seemed more like a Pep Rally than a Memorial Service. The cheering, shouting, whistling and raucous behavior showed a complete lack of decorum by the University of Arizona students in attendance. The fault lies with the University’s President. He needed to set not only the agenda but also the tone of the service and he failed in both areas. There should have been four speakers: first, a Chaplin to give the invocation, followed by the Mayor of Tucson, the Governor of Arizona and then the President of the United States. No speech should have been over 15 minutes in length. Think in terms of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. We, as a nation, have become so aggrandized with self gratification that we lose sight of others and their needs. Memorial services are in honor of those who have died and for comforting the survivors. Both Governor Brewer and President Obama made valiant efforts to achieve the goals of honor and comfort but the boisterous audience dulled the messages. The University should consider classes in manners and appropriate behavior for the student body.

George A. Ross | Cave Creek


An open letter for Mayor Francia

Cave Creek’s fire protection program is almost as ridiculous as it is irresponsible. Less than half of the property owners in Cave Creek pay for all of the Town’s fire protection. As rates increase, subscribers drop off, and as rates increase more, more drop off. It is a downward spiral that is not sustainable and you are well aware of it. As a for profit company, Rural/Metro could disappear overnight. What is your plan to ensure that Cave Creek has reliable fire protection and emergency medical service into the foreseeable future, paid for equitably by Town residents and represents sound public policy?

Although not as acute, the same issues existed two years ago, and you appointed a committee of talented and dedicated residents to research the situation and provide recommendations to you to enhance the safety of the community. There was no magic bullet going in and, lo and behold, the committee recommended paying for municipal fire protection with a property tax. And, so that there would be little or no additional cost to nonsubscribing residents, they suggested instituting the tax after the expiration of the Spur Cross property tax in 2012. That was over two years ago and that study disappeared immediately into your bottom drawer and hasn’t been seen since. To enact those recommendations now, you and the Council must approve an action in the next couple of weeks to get the property tax question on the May 2011 ballot.

We all know that property tax, or any tax for that matter, is not popular and we are aware that you have commented in the past that you are against a property tax in Cave Creek.
Okay, what is your plan to ensure that we have fire protection? The Town staff has organized yet another citizen’s committee to get residents behind the property tax solution. Is this so you can vote against it?

Sonoran News has suggested using sales tax like Carefree. Well, a quick peek at your Town balance sheet will convince you of the folly of this approach even if you were willing to raise the rate – again. You can do nothing again and kick that can down the road. It worked for you two years ago, but our fire protection is now likely circling the drain. You could go sell more residents on the benefits of actually paying for the service that they are getting on the backs of their neighbors. If that worked, you should have had it done by now.

Here is your chance to demonstrate real leadership while doing something critically important for Cave Creek. You can actually lead the effort to bring reliable fire protection and emergency services to the community, on a basis that is financially equitable to the residents and that represents sound public policy – and that is your primary responsibility These things are seldom easy. We all understand that a property tax will require the residents to vote it in and your instincts will be to disappear until the dust settles. We all know Don Sorchych doesn’t agree with a property tax and that will genuinely frighten you. We all know that there is an election coming up, but you have no opposition. It’s the other council members, not you, who need the prodigious pelotas and I think most have them. Two of those committee members who recommended the property tax solution two years ago are now on town council.

The timing is now critical to get an initiative on the ballot and when explained accurately by you it will result in a big win and an essential win for the town. Like most other issues in this town, it is a solution looking for a leader who can get things done. This public safety issue should be your highest priority. And, if not a property tax, what is your plan?

Bob Williams | Cave Creek

Editor’s note:
Although Sonoran News is against a property tax, we have never suggested a sales tax to pay for fire protection.


Pure evil

On Saturday morning, January 8, 2011, a senselessly evil act occurred in Tucson, Arizona. A gunman massacred six people, and wounded many more including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her deputy director, Ron Barber. Among those killed was Gifford’s 30 year-old aide, Gabe Zimmerman.

This is a loss of monumental proportions to our democracy but there is a small side to the story that makes it even a greater loss to those of us who love our animals particularly horses. Ron Barber assisted Congresswoman Giffords in her effort to help protect the wild horses of Apache Sitgreaves National Forests. Barber met with Tucson resident Julianne French about the horses and worked with the Congresswoman to develop a letter to the United States Forest Service letting them know that the Congresswoman would be scrutinizing any management and removal plans of the wild horses.

It was a brave act on the part of Ron Barber and it was a brave act on the part of Congresswoman Giffords. Gabe Zimmerman represented the Congresswoman at the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Committee meeting in Tucson when her constituents asked her office to send someone.

Perhaps small acts in the scheme of things but acts that may have helped preserve an irreplaceable part of Arizona’s history and humane and compassionate acts. It has been my experience that people who show such compassion to other animals have a depth and empathy that help us all.

Some experts have attributed the gunman’s acts to paranoid schizophrenia or other mental illnesses. I am a PhD in psychology who has done two postdoctoral research studies in clinical settings and I have taught many classes in Psychology including abnormal psychology. I also have worked with people who truly have paranoid schizophrenia. Such patients in an active state of hallucinating and delusions would not be capable of leaving their house and purchasing a gun, let alone loading one, learning to fire it or posting to blogs and Youtube. I am tired of our society pulling out the “mentally ill” card for acts of pure evil. The DSM is the manual used by mental health professionals to help diagnose psychological disorders. This was an act of pure evil and the consequences need to be paid. There is no DSM excuse for it.

Patricia Haight, Ph.D. | Phoenix


Wrong Way Corrigans

Right on cue left leaning politicos and their lapdog media supporters consciously ignore the facts and dash headlong in the opposite direction of the truth. In the immediate aftermath of the tragic and horrendous mass murder in Tucson, fingers of blame were pointed in every direction save that of the guilty party and themselves.

Jared Loughner, a deranged, drug abusing, satan worshiper coldly and with evil intent murders six innocents, including a federal judge and critically wounds U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. But, it is the TEA Party, Sarah Palin, gun laws, the people of Arizona that become the focus of the left's fury.

Following the mass killings at Fort Hood not a word about that killers radical affiliations was revealed and we were urged to not "rush to judgment." Leave it to the bottom feeders of the left to seek political advantage in the slaughter of a half a dozen people to advance their agenda while rushing to the judgment of those with no connection to the tragedy whatever.

These "Wrong Way Corrigans" inevitably settle upon the same threadbare, Draconian solutions; strip the rest of us of our constitutional rights.

Randy Edwards | Cave Creek


Tucson revision

Some are using the tragedy in Tucson as a political football to ignite the debate on gun control and leverage against second amendment rights.

Tragically, lives were lost. I condemn these violent acts in the strongest possible terms, and my deepest sympathies go to the victims and their families.

Mexico has the highest rate of murder by guns of any country in the world. Guns are illegal there. Like the old bumper sticker says: "When guns are outlawed; only outlaws will have guns." Guns don't kill people; people kill people and the facilitators enabling them to murder are not limited to firearms.

Arizona had in place a fair CCW law that allowed responsible gun owners to carry concealed weapons provided they received training and background checks. At that point the law wasn't broken and it didn't need to be fixed. The moment the right to carry law was signed into law the public's risk was escalated and second amendment rights were put in the line of fire because of the predictable consequences of allowing anyone to carry a concealed firearm. This bill was a Trojan horse and the legislature and the Governor took the bait; hook, line and sinker.

The boomerang effect will prove to be a threat to second amendment rights.

Could the loss of life have been mitigated if scenarios of possible threats had been contemplated by the organizers? What if the finger pointing Pinal County Sheriff Clarence Dubnik had preformed his job properly by providing law enforcement presence at the rally?
What if the Sheriff had investigated the persistent reports and complaints on Jared Lee Loughner's propensity for violent behavior? Loughner purchased a firearm in Dubnik's jurisdiction. If security specialists with situational awareness were present, would there have been loss of life? Perhaps, if policy had been different we would not have multiple victims from a mad shooter.

Bill Crawford | Scottsdale


The reality of the value of life

The recent alleged shootings by the demented Jared Loughner are yet one more example of how we value life. Yes, any attempt to harm an elected official is an affront to our Republic.
But innocent people are being killed all the time by animals while working at gas stations, convenience stores and even delivering pizzas. The concept of an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth does not seem to register. I would bet dollars to donuts Mr. Loughner was on some medication because of some mental challenges. Although the media will not mention the strong correlation between such drugs and cold blooded acts, the media will try to target those who see our nation being destroy from within.

Look at the guy who shot President Reagan? He's foot lose and fancy free now. So what message does that send?


Joseph DuPont | Towanda, Pennsylvania