canfield letters

Dear Don,

My name is Cathy Vega Prey. I am Ray's second child. I cannot tell you how much my sisters and I enjoyed your tribute to Dad. He would have loved it. Though it was shocking to lose Dad the way we did (he suffered a heart attack on the way home from dialysis and was involved in a pretty bad car accident), he thankfully did not hurt anyone else and suffered no other injuries. The ol’ man wanted to die in his house and he refused to let us drive him. Well he almost got both wishes; he died close to his house in his car. For that he would have been grateful; he was afraid of how things might get.

My dad missed my brother, who died 16 years ago, more than he could express. My vision has always been … Dad heading to that glorious place in the sky (of course I am fast forwarding a bit, it might take him awhile) but when he finally arrives he can hardly contain himself with joy of seeing all the people he has missed and always wanted to meet. All his family, his twin, friends, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, just to name a few but he looks and looks until he finally spots the ONE. Joe, standing there in all his glory saying "What took you so long ol’ man?' Welcome home Dad.

Cathy Prey


In regards to Vega tribute

We enjoyed your remembrance of one of DePue’s Best Friends. Thanks for sharing your memories. We all have some of a very fine gentleman, named Ray Vega.

Kathie and Albert Seibert
DePue, Illinois


Have we lost our grip on reality?

Was 2012 the year when the democratic world lost its grip on reality? Must we assume now that no party that speaks the truth about the economic future has a chance of winning power in a national election? With the results of presidential contests in the United States and France as evidence, this would seem to be the only possible conclusion. Any political leader prepared to deceive the electorate into believing that government spending, and the vast system of services that it provides, can go on as before – or that they will be able to resume as soon as this momentary emergency is over – was propelled into office virtually by acclamation.
So universal has this rule turned out to be that parties and leaders who know better – whose economic literacy is beyond question – are now afraid even to hint at the fact which must eventually be faced. The promises that governments are making to their electorates are not just misleading: they are unforgivably dishonest. It will not be possible to go on as we are, or to return to the expectations that we once had. The immediate emergency created by the crash of 2008 was not some temporary blip in the infinitely expanding growth of the beneficent state. It was, in fact, almost irrelevant to the larger truth which it happened, by coincidence, to bring into view. Government on the scale established in most modern Western countries is simply unaffordable. In Britain, the disagreement between Labour and the Conservatives over how to reduce the deficit (cut spending or increase borrowing?) is ridiculously insignificant and out of touch with the actual proportions of the problem. In the UK, the U.S., and (above all) the countries of the EU, democratic politics is being conducted on false premises.
Of course, once in power all governments must deal with reality – even if they have been elected on a systematic lie. As one ex-minister famously put it when he was released from the burden of office: "There's no money left." So that challenge must be met. How do you propose to go on providing the entitlements that you have sworn never to end, without any money? The victorious political parties of the Left have a ready answer to that one. They will raise taxes on the "rich." In France and the United States, this is the formula that is being presented not only as an economic solution but also as a just social settlement, since the "rich" are inherently wicked and must have acquired their wealth by confiscating it from the poor.
Of course, the moral logic of this principle is absurd. The amount of wealth in an economy is not fixed so that one person having more means that somebody else must have less. But, for the purposes of our problem, it is the fault in the economic logic that is more important. The amount of money that is required to fund government entitlement programs is now so enormous that it could not be procured by even very large increases in taxation on the "rich."
Assuming that you could get all of the rich members of your population to stand still and be fleeced (rather than leaving the country, as Gérard Depardieu and a vast army of his French brethren are doing), there are simply not enough of them to provide the revenue that a universal, comprehensive benefits system requires. And if all the French rich did stay put, and submit to President Hollande's quixotic 75 per cent income tax, they would soon be too impoverished to invest in the supply side of the economy, which would undermine any possibility of growth.

Arch McGill


Hi Don,

My name is David Simkins. I got the nick-name "Harvey" from the neighbor kids ... The Talbots and Hofferts, etc. because they said my personality was like my grandfather, Harvey Simkins who was the night cop in De Pue. My dad was "Red" Simkins. I grew up in De Pue and went to LPO in 58-59. I played basketball and football at LPO. In '58-59 our basketball team won the sectionals and regionals and went to the National Jr. Coll. Basketball Championships in Hutchinson, Ks. John Strell was our coach. We were recently inducted into the LPO-IVCC Hall of Fame.

That's not what I am writing this about ... just wanted you to know how the two Rays touched my life.

Ray Vega was the only barber in the area who could give a really good "flat top." I, too, used to go into his shop just to listen to his stories and jokes and get his "takes" on local politics. His sports commentaries were priceless. My dad and Ray were good buddies. His death, to me, is the last of the real De Pue.

Ray Brolley and my dad were buddies, also. When I was a student at LPO, Ray was a teacher there. Every once and a while he would go by one of my classes and walk in and start talking to me...then tell the class and the professor all about De Pue sports and how he and my dad, "Red", used to do funny things around town. The kids in class loved it and the professors were not happy. Ray and I were re-acquainted when we had an LPO_IVCC recognition night in '99 or 2000 as the only IVCC team to reach the "Nationals." We had lots of laughs and talks about the "old De Pue." The two Rays are part of De Pue history.

Anyway, I grew up in De Pue and try to keep in touch with many of my friends who still live in the area. I live in Punta Gorda, Florida for most of the year, but travel to Ipswich, Mass. where we have a seasonal home.

I received your article from a friend, Larry Peterson, who somehow pulled it off the Internet.
Thank you for letting us know about two of DePue's "icons"...

David "Harvey" Simkins
Punta Gorda, Florida


Cave men

As we gaze into the craggy depths off the fiscal cliff it becomes abundantly apparent that the lunatic fringe is firmly in charge with both sides of the aisle playing "kick the can" with our bloated and malignant debt. As the fiscal cliff looms ever closer half the populous, the media and the politicos scream for compromise. Dear God, compromise, let's make a deal, fudge the numbers; this nation's bank book is on it's death bed. Facing bankruptcy, recession and worse, the Washington ship of fools looks to put a band-aide on a wound hemorrhaging red ink. This is Russian roulette with a full cylinder.

B.O. will not budge from his stance of "Render unto Caesar", or is that ceaser. Enthusiastically joined by a majority of Dems in exhilarating our monetary demise, while the "cave men" of the Republican party collapse under media pressure sharing the lefts moral code of honor among thieves.

Our only common ground will be a financial grave, at every utterance of compromise I smell freshly turned earth.

These self-serving cretins have spent us into impending poverty; they are a blight on the American economy and her future.

What we need is tax reform, tort reform, deep spending cuts, constitutional adherence and the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act. Instead we get the liberals clapping their hands with glee at reaching into our collective wallets again and - don't think badly of me - Speaker Boehner caving in to the White House yet again.

Randy Edwards
Cave Creek


Great article!

My birthday is also Sept. 3 like Ray Vega. I worked with Ray when he was town assessor. Oh the stories I could tell. He also introduced me to my husband from DePue, Jim McInnes. Ray will be missed by all. Great article!

Betty Anne McInnes



I am Ray's youngest daughter. I just wanted to say thank you for such a nice article. It meant so much to us.

Christine Vega Snyder


Rays Vega and Brolley

You don’t know me but I’m from DePue, the son of Eddie and Jean Peterson and nephew of Elaine Leonard. I was born in 1947 and I remember hearing your name mentioned a lot. I’m sure you know that my mother (now last name Brady) lives in Mesa, as does my younger brother, Bruce. I’m retired and my wife and I live on the coast of Maine.

I’m writing to compliment and thank you for your article in Sonoran News about the two Rays. I knew them both very well, especially Vega, since he lived right next door to us on Poplar Street for much of my childhood. Your description of both of those guys hit the nail on the head. I’m going to miss Ray. He was a great guy, a larger than life personality. He gave a decent haircut and he minced no words. And he was a Patriot.

Your Canfield sketch is terrific, as well. Best Regards,

Larry Peterson


The Scottsdale lawyer

Former council member and lawyer Adam “Scottsdale” Trenk has been a busy boy. This New Jersey cowboy was evidently born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth because he has never had to work for what he has and certainly has no real life experience.

He came to Cave Creek around 2008, bought a nice house on Highland Road and a couple of horses while a law school student and lived the life of an urban cowboy.

He had lots of time to meddle in Cave Creek issues so in 2009 he ran for town council, spent probably four or five times more than all of the other town council candidates combined, managed to tie for low vote and a lucky cut of the cards landed him on the council.

He got married, finally got a job (Rose Law Firm), bought a house in Scottsdale where he moved about July 1, 2012 after renting out his Highland Road house, illegally completed his term on council from Scottsdale and continued to hustle for Rose.

Being ever attuned to the next election in Cave Creek, this Scottsdale resident got concerned about his Cave Creek residency issue a little late and didn’t buy another house in Cave Creek until June 2012 and ostensibly moved back to Cave Creek to establish residency although the house looks unoccupied.

Therefore, even under the best of circumstances he is 3 months short of the year required for qualification to be on the ballot. Not to be deterred, this Scottsdale lawyer chose to ignore the law, and did whatever he had to do to win his residency issue in court which seems to be ridiculously easy in Arizona. His successful scamming of the system sort of drives home the point that he is in it totally for himself and not Cave Creek. He obviously takes us Cave Creek residents to be idiots and maybe there is some truth to that because he still seems to attract a perverse sort of following. This Scottsdale lawyer should go back to Scottsdale.

Bob Williams
Cave Creek


Register the mentally ill and gang bangers

I don’t understand why we need stricter gun laws when all the offenders are mentally ill or young male “gang-bangers.” Why don’t we hear Congress suggesting legislation requiring everybody diagnosed with mental disorders or those proven to be members of gangs, be put into a national database?

Upon diagnosis all doctors should be required to surrender the names, fingerprints, and social security numbers of anybody diagnosed with personality disorders to mental disorders to autism. Regardless of age! Police departments should also surrender those in gangs as well. Then, the Dems and liberals (who enjoy big government) can hire more people to work more government jobs, and “monitor” these people, make sure they don’t have guns, and interview the parents to make sure the younger ones aren’t playing Call of Duty on their Xbox or shooting real guns. Leave the law abiding gun owners alone, and register, restrict, and monitor the problems of society. Guns don’t scare me, but autism and gang bangers sure do!

And, while we’re at it, let’s deport Piers Morgan, and Obama’s illegal alien aunt on public assistance, and illegal alien uncle who got a DUI.

Brad Burdick
Cave Creek


To the Editor:

I would like to thank the many Cave Creek voters who chatted with me about the zoning referendum supported by Cave Creek resident Sheila Morgan and myself, a Carefree resident. Indeed many petition signatures originated near Bashas’. The referendum is on the zoning change for two properties on Carefree Highway. Originally zoning was Desert Rural Residential (DR-89), oddly called merely Desert Rural in all town rezoning documents, but now designated General Commercial (GC), pending the results of the May referendum.

On Dec. 17, 2012 a divided Cave Creek town council voted to change the zoning to General Commercial (GC) that allows for a wide range of uses including Adult Business (special permit), Pet Resort, Taverns, Bars, and Nightclubs, Establishments with drive-up windows, Emergency services, Indoor gun clubs, archery ranges and paintball facilities, Hotels, Motels and Resorts, Automobile-oriented fuel sales with or without accessory service bays or accessory convenience sales, and Car washes.

After securing a referendum petition serial number, I began collecting signatures, later aided by former Cave Creek council member Grace Meeth and current council candidate Mike Durkin. Despite the holiday period, it didn’t take long to secure 167 signatures, over fifty percent more than the required 109. Over ninety percent of Cave Creekers who were asked to sign actually did so.

Legal practice gives the town the advantage of how ballot text is worded. So a “yes’ vote on the May ballot is in favor of continuing the new GC commercial zoning, while “no” is in favor of returning to DR-89 residential. I urge a “no” vote. With a glut of vacant commercial space throughout the area, there is no need for more commercial zoning. Any tax money there won’t be new, but will only replace funds lost from duplicated town core businesses.

Jim Peirce


For love of Cave Creek

For those of us who participated in Cave Creek's incorporation and the drafting of its first General Plan which has been the basic blue print for its development in the last two and a half decades, threats to our town are not new.

Four years ago I was urged to run for town council to help lead Cave Creek through the worst economic crisis in the history of Arizona.

Construction fees that the town had relied on for the majority of its revenue evaporated with the crash of the construction market.

Through the leadership of town council, the great work of town staff, and input from citizen committees, Cave Creek has maintained balanced budgets, upgraded its infrastructure, diversified its tax base through planned quality development, won national and local awards for its water and waste management facilities, and stands today with a three million dollar revenue surplus despite a sluggish economic recovery. Cave Creek is a stronger, more efficient town than it was four years ago because of hard work, sacrifice, and smart balanced leadership. All this during the worse economic crisis in the history of this state.

Today Cave Creek is faced with a more sinister threat from a slate of special interest candidates including a lobbyist from Scottsdale working behind the scenes with powerful individuals in Carefree to undo the progress Cave Creek has made.

You see they don't ask how they can serve Cave Creek, they ask how Cave Creek can serve them and the powers that support them in Carefree.

Cave Creek needs you to support candidates who have served its best interest in the trenches day to day, and who have a vision of a economically strong Cave Creek that has the ability to purchase and preserve open space and partner to enhance its Town Core.

Steve LaMar
Cave Creek Councilman


Make sure our nation's military is equipped

I have read recently that the next rounds of budget cuts will be focused on defense programs, specifically the F-35 program. I know that the program has had it's shares of troubles, but now is not the time to be cutting the full funding of the program.

I hope our nation's leaders look specifically to our own Senator McCain on this issue. He has lead the charge against overspending on this project, and has worked for several years to make sure that taxpayers are not being taken advantage of.

Senator McCain has recently stated his support for the program, and now is the time to go ahead and make sure our nation's military is equipped with the best fighter jets available.
Congress needs to trust Senator McCain on this issue.

Herb Wallace