Cave Creek Fireworks, a real poop

My husband and I went to the 4th of July event up in the town of Cave Creek. Looking forward to an enjoyable evening we were astonished to see a MORON bring a dog to a fireworks display. We were unable to pay much attention to the fireworks because of our concern for the poor dog. The dog was so frightened by the flashing lights and loud noise. Five minutes into the show the man decided that he'd better take the dog home. He picked the dog up and placed him in the car and then proceeded to wipe dog crap off his clothes. What did he expect – the dog to watch the fireworks show? The only show the man got to see was turds shooting out the dog’s rear end … good for him.

Cindy Carpone | E-mail



Linda: I retired from my position as Town Magistrate on June 30, 2011. I will certainly miss your visits to my court. You always covered court events with great accuracy, a rarity these days. I also liked the way you encouraged protection of the natural environment and the various critters all around. Keep up the very good work. You helped make my job rewarding.


George Preston


Walmart’s contribution to Cave Creek sales tax revenue

The Town of Cave Creek recently published its estimates of FY 2010-11 and FY 2011-12 local town sales tax. Principally due to opening of the Walmart store, projected current year sales taxes are $2,310,000 up from $1,716,000. Assuming a 3 percent increase in other sales tax revenues, the increase due just to Walmart is $542,250.

If the store is open about seven months in FY 2011-12, the average monthly tax revenue would be about $77,500, or $930,000 on a 12-month basis. Because the town does not offer a lower rate on food, all sales are taxed at 3 percent (higher than the Scottsdale food rate of 1.65 percent and the Phoenix food rate of 2 percent). Thus Cave Creek is projecting annualized Walmart sales of $31 million. That is, $31 million times 3 percent yields $930,000.

The following analysis shows why the town is being much too optimistic about Walmart sales. $31 million works out to be almost $85,000 per day. Let’s assume a Walmart customer spends an average of $75 per visit (somewhat above the Walmart national level).
Thus more than 1100 daily store visits would be needed to reach $85,000. ($75 times 1100 equals $82,500.)

Because the Cave Creek area is largely residential with sharply reduced traffic from 10 p.m. – 5 a.m., let us assume for ease of calculation Walmart makes no sales during those hours (not true, of course). Thus to generate 1100 store visits in 17 hours, over 64 customers would have to enter each hour from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m. That is more than one new customer each minute for 17 hours every day, 365 days per year. That’s over 400,000 annual customer visits!

I submit that is an absurd result. The town needs to rethink what Walmart is going to contribute in terms of sales tax revenue. If residents want a Scottsdale infrastructure level, they are going to need a stiff new property tax.

Jim Peirce | Carefree


Balanced Budget Amendment

For the 2nd time since contacting Rep. Quayle to find out why he won't sign the "Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge," I received the same vague reply about how "Our nation’s current spending path is unsustainable." And "we cannot continue to dismiss the consequences of reckless spending." My question to Rep.Quayle remains the same … why won't he join with Rep. Schweikert and others who are standing up bravely to the media and the administration?


James McGarrahan | Phoenix


Would you be willing to risk your business, family and lifestyle to rebel against your government?

If government were taxing you without representation, would you stand up and say “No more taxes?” Would you be willing to fight for your freedom and be jailed because you signed a petition against your government?

The signers of the Declaration of Independence were willing to sacrifice everything they owned and worked for to stop government from interfering in their lives. These 56 brave men came from all walks of life: farmers, lawyers, merchants. They knew signing the Declaration of Independence from Britain would be considered treason. Many of these brave men fought in the Revolutionary War, were imprisoned as a result of war, saw their homes and property ransacked and their families uprooted, lost their land and livelihood and saw their sons fight for the cause of freedom.

Throughout the history of this great nation, we have witnessed brave men and women who willingly sacrificed their lives to preserve the freedoms Americans enjoy today. From the Revolutionary War, the World Wars to the War on Terror, battles continue to be raged to defend our nation’s freedom.

Not all wars are fought with weapons. Citizens should also be willing to stand up for injustice, over taxation, government interference in private life, and even new and better ideas for entrepreneurship and liberty. What will lead today’s citizens to take a stand for liberty? The greatness of this country comes from the people within who are willing to protect the freedoms we enjoy today. Think about what is important to you and how you could be involved to affect positive changes in your community through government, non-profit organizations, faith based initiatives, community activities and volunteerism.

This distinguished nation began with a group of independent men from all occupations who came together to create a homeland that would assure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Preserving those freedoms requires constant vigilance from those who enjoy them.

Susan B. McConnell | Mobile, Alabama


The end of work

It is proper to man get some objective or purpose to everything he does. With work, What do we get? Firstly, an economic benefit which cover the actual needs and the family. But there are other objectives that deserve our attention.

With the work we can get: 1) the development of human capacity, 2) the development and enhancement of the things that are the subject of work and 3) we can provide service to others and society in general.

First, the work facilitates the exercise of certain human faculties and developing it, implementing some human virtues such as persistence or perseverance to complete the task it has begun, the order in the things of we use and tools of work, the generosity in the support we can be provided to other classmates, and other virtues.
At work, the man gets its best realization.

Secondly, in work we get a relationship between man and things, making them useful to serve. New things can be developed from existing materials, such as building furniture, houses, roads, etc. or it can be refined with added value, whether economic or cultural. The use of material resources implies a sobriety test, making an effort to avoid wasting material or achieve the same resources, better service. Also is necessary a respect for things that claim finished products through a job well done. And finally, work is a service that should be put in details of service to others and, in general, to society. One may ask what kind of work can serve to improve the recipient's personal and can provide a better service. For its part, the worker must not find the scuffles and nor fall into the professional gentrification.

A job well done with professional enthusiasm, dedication and spirit of service and improvement as a person by one who performs it can have supernatural value to offer to God for others.

Arthur Ramo| Independent Forum of Opinion | Teruel, Spain

Gay history bill likely to reach beyond California

A controversial bill that would require public schools to emphasize the roles and contributions of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people has now passed both houses of the California legislature and is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown within days. Legal experts predict, though, that SB 48 will affect schools across the nation.

"The reality is that the major textbook manufacturers do not create different textbooks for each state," noted Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute. "Instead, they seek to comply with mandates in the largest states, especially California and Texas. As a result, many smaller states are pressured into approving California-focused instructional materials, which must now cater to the gay history mandate."

PJI is urging Californians to call Gov. Brown's office and urge a veto of SB 48, which further politicizes education and increases costs. Meanwhile, parents, school board members and legislators outside California are encouraged to investigate the textbooks being approved by their state boards of education and purchased by their local school districts. Dacus warns that, without parental vigilance, "San Francisco values will be introduced by stealth into classrooms across the country."

Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties. Pacific Justice Institute works diligently, without charge, to provide their clients with all the legal support they need. Pacific Justice Institute's strategy is to coordinate and oversee large numbers of concurrent court actions through a network of over 1,000 affiliate attorneys nationwide. And, according to former US Attorney General Edwin Meese, "The Institute fills a critical need for those whose civil liberties are threatened." "Through our dedicated attorneys and supporters, we defend the rights of countless individuals, families and churches … without charge."


Patriotism is considered politically incorrect in public schools

"We sang beautiful patriotic hymns that only the adults knew because the songs are no longer taught at school."

This was part of an e-mail describing the wonderful patriotic services held in a rural church in central Kentucky. The songs they were speaking of were basics to American patriotism: "My Country Tis Of Thee," "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "America the Beautiful," and "God Bless America." I spoke with young people in my home area of northwest Louisiana and they confirmed also that patriotic songs are not taught in their schools.

We, the American taxpayers, are paying for public education where patriotism is considered politically incorrect! This is doubly true when patriotism involves mentioning God as in the songs listed above.

Several years ago, I saw a chart of the history of the national averages on the ACT and SAT scores. These scores peaked and began their downward spiral very close to the occurrence of one major American educational event. That event was the establishment of the national Department of Education.

As the control of education has been taken away from local and state governments and given to the federal government our educational systems have declined. History books have totally eliminated unedited copies of original documents like the Declaration of Independence since it speaks of "unalienable rights" endowed by a Creator God. The text of the Mayflower Compact is excluded because it is way too religious. Local PTAs are usually involved with fundraising and other school benefit projects, but have little or no input into what is taught in the classroom.

There are many movements today to "Take America Back" from those who are destroying her. But until we take back the educational system, we will not be able to take back the nation.

Steve Casey | Stonewall, Louisiana
Author of In God We Trust – The Faith of the Men on Our Money


A tax whose time has come …

Some members of Congress are proposing a tax on stock transactions. Such a tax would have very little impact on most of those buying and selling stocks because of proposed tax limitations on ordinary transactions.

A stock transactions tax would incur extra costs mostly to those who are speculating by perpetually buying and selling the same stocks multiple times a day. It's what's known as 'churning.' Those engaged in that practice usually turn a small profit on each transaction, but make many millions on sheer weight of trading volume. I fail to see how churning benefits anyone but the speculators.

Even though a stock transactions tax, as has been proposed, would be .0025 percent, it would have negligible effect on most investors. It's estimated that a stock transactions tax would generate about $50 to $100 billion dollars a year in tax revenue – no small piece of change!

It would be nice to see such additional revenue go towards payment of our national debt instead of into the pockets of Wall Street speculators.

Paul G. Jaehnert | Vadnais Heights, Minnesota


Too much fuel in the forests

Arizona’s forests are like bombs waiting to explode.  According to the United States Forest Service (USFS) over 5 billion board feet of saw timber has been allowed to build up without harvest and this amount of fuel only leads to catastrophic wildfires.

During the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Arizona Forest Restoration Management Andy Groseta, Incoming President of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, stated, “The problem in Arizona’s forests is fairly simple – we have allowed too many fuels to build over the last 25 years to the point where they don’t burn – they explode!”  The USFS estimated from 1986 – 2000 there was 367 million board feet of saw timber growing in Arizona’s forests each and every year.  This totaled over 5.5 billion board feet of saw timber accumulating in Arizona’s forests.  During the same timeframe the USFS data demonstrated that only 1.6 billion board feet of saw timber was harvested (Slide attached).”

Groseta went on to say, “Too many lawsuits, appeals, objections and excessive analysis have paralyzed the Forest Service.  Radical groups are using the fish, the frog and the owl as surrogates.  They are using them to keep man, management and harvests out of our forests.  These surrogates have worked so well that in 1996, 1997, and 1998 we reduced saw timber harvests to nearly zero and forage management by ranching families was reduced between 30 to 60%.  Too what ends have the fish, frog and owl been used?  Well, we now know.  It is over 500,000 acres of our beautiful White Mountains charred; a whole generation of endangered species killed by fire; and air and water pollution unlike anything ever seen in the White Mountains.”

Over the past 30 years Arizona has lost nearly its entire forest wood infrastructure.  Over 16 saw mills have been shuttered due to lawsuits and uncertainty.  “Arizona’s forests are the greatest wood and plant fiber producing lands in our state.  Even today, these forests are growing and producing wood and plant fibers for the next fire – or if we act properly – the next pound of beef, lamb, particle board, piece of lumber or biomass energy,” stated Groseta.

The Forest Service estimates that the Wallow Fire burned 400 million board feet of Ponderosa Pine and 2.1 billion board feet of mixed conifer for a total of 2.5 billion board feet of wood destroyed by the fire.  ACGA President, Steve Brophy said, “Following the fires, we’ve heard a rising tide of voices calling for more collaboration in managing our overgrown forests. But these folks have been collaborating since the last 400,000 acre fire (Rodeo-Chediski), and the problem has only gotten worse. Collaboration has led to something called the “4 Fry” plan to cut small diameter trees – a well-intended plan but a plan so far only on paper and in and of itself woefully inadequate to address the scale of overgrowth of our forests. Do we do the “5 Fry” or “6 Fry” plans?  No, we need action now, not more planning and collaboration.  It is time to get people who know the woods and how to harvest them and return them to health – back in the woods with their hands untied and their chainsaws sharpened.  The fish, the frog and the owl will benefit from their actions.”

The United States Forest Service (USFS) own Process Predicament Report states, “73 million acres of national forests are at risk from severe wild land fires that threaten human safety and ecosystem integrity.”  They said this in June of 2002 and after nine years we still allowed a catastrophic situation turn into the largest fire in Arizona history – the Wallow Fire.  “The last 30 years of lawsuits, appeals and objections of timber sales, fuel reduction proposals and livestock forage programs have reduced the Forest Service to a shell shocked state.  They hear the slightest threat of a lawsuit, and they duck their head, forgetting their responsibility to manage our priceless forests,” said Steve Brophy, President of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association.

Arizona Cattlemen’s Association