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Making a dream a reality

A year ago, March, 2012, the decision was made to begin a Capital Campaign to raise funds to acquire a permanent facility for the Foothills Food Bank. Sonoran News printed the first article announcing our intention at that time. The rest of the media picked up on this and we were off and running, without a chairperson at the helm.

Here it is 15 months later and we have moved into our permanent location. The dream became a reality because people care, and want to help their neighbors in need. Through the generosity of those that read the printed word, and by word of mouth we have raised over $400,000 of our needed $750,000.

In 2012 we announced we were looking to raise $1.2 million. We found our facility located at 6038 E. Hidden Valley in Cave Creek for much less than expected. The contractors who helped turn the building into what we needed were extremely generous with their time (they performed a miracle in two months and donated a lot of time.) Our need was reduced to $750,000 because they kept costs to a minimum.

On Saturday, May 18 we cut the ribbon and our new home became official. Thank you to the crowd of people that came to see our new home.

We want to also thank the restaurants in the area that presented a feast for eating pleasure. The restaurants were Barro’s Pizza, Big Earls, Binkley’s, Bryan’s BBQ, Carefree Station, English Rose Tea Room, Grotto Café, Harold’s, Horny Toad, Indian Village, Le Sans Souci, Smoke House, Tonto Bar and Grill and Z’s Asian Fusion. The day was an overwhelming pleasure. Make sure to frequent these establishments and tell them thank you for helping the food bank.

Thank you to all of you that have helped to make our dream a reality, especially the news media that continued to get the word out. You responded to our need. Please come visit. I love to tell the story of how we got to where we are. God bless.


Pam DiPietro, Executive Director
Foothills Food Bank


Prop 459 is appropriate for Cave Creek and
voters prove it!

I feel it is important for me to write to you about Cave Creek Prop 459 and its passing in a landslide. Our informed voters showed a vision twice now. First with Walmart winning large and now this blighted god forsaken trash heap that has continued to look worse with every year it has been vacant also winning in a landslide. I once knew the original owner who was a kind and special person. This person cared about Cave Creek and would have been glad to see it become something other than an illegal dumping ground.

I was one of three planning members to vote for this change in zoning to move forward to the full Cave Creek Council and did so with my town’s livelihood in mind. I was ridiculed after that vote but that just slid off my back as I can not be bullied and will never change my convictions if ever someone tries to back me in a corner. I always have my town first in any vote. I have voted both positive and negative on many different items that came forward to our Planning Commission. I have voted for several items to move forward while voting against ones I felt did not meet the wants or best interests of our town.

I said clearly the night of our original vote that growing up I always saw that property as commercial and still feel strongly about that choice. Carefree Highway is and should be commercial as discussed in many meetings and votes over the years.

If this was proposed in the Town Core I would have voted against it as that would go against what our vision is for the Town Core. As you know that was not the location chosen and Carefree Highway was the choice. It just happens to sit next to two rather large commercial buildings in CVS and, oh yes, a very large Lowe's.

I have lived in this town for 44 years and when my family moved to Cave Creek we had very few commercial buildings. We had Harold's (Harold and Ruth owned it then and talk about Wild West – you saw it every night with a few punches thrown and that was Ruth at Harold), Maverick (now the Buffalo Chip) where we would ride our horses and tie them to a hitching post outside. We had Rowdey's – great place for my favorite ice cream cones made fresh and Cave Creek General Store and the gas station (now Big Earl’s). We had the Cave Creek Post Office where Oak’s is now and my favorite barber shop in Paul’s (I miss Paul now that he has passed). Right after I moved in we got a little Frontier Town, still there today and doing well under Marc and his family. We had Odett's French (made famous country wide by our good citizen Dick Van Dyke on his TV show filmed up here). Lastly Michael's Italian (owned by Michael and Bob, two of the best people I ever knew) and I don't want to forget the Mustache Cup (now our beloved Horny Toad).

Cave Creek is changing and that is important. I will always support the Town Core but for Carefree Highway I will look at each item closely. If it’s a good fit for town needs and meets all other requirements I will vote for commercial again. Yes, I will always ask for stipulations but I will not stand in the way of progress and tax dollars going to the south side of the road. Why should Phoenix get the money we deserve to keep in our town?

I want to thank my fellow citizens for seeing a vision and supporting it. It's best for Cave Creek and that is what my principles direct me to support.

Thank you Don and all of my fellow Creekers. Job well done!

John G. Ford
Proud Cave Creek Resident


Saving our wildlife, one life at a time

The population of humans continues to accelerate on a global scale, resulting in ever-increasing competition for land and other natural resources. However, humans are not the only species engaged in this competition. As we humans expand further and further into wild spaces in our quest for more and more resources, there is less and less space for wildlife.

Our coexistence with other species is essential, as our fate is tightly bound to theirs. In recognition of this, Southwest Wildlife continues to work hard to ensure our natural environ-ment is intact for future generations.

Please join us in our efforts to learn, educate and save wild lives.

Help us return rehabilitated wildlife to the freedom of the wild, to save endangered species, and to give medical care, compassion, and sanctuary to wild animals in need. Join us in our efforts to provide wildlife education to our community and educational opportunities to future wildlife professionals. Together we can make the future a better time for wildlife.

Linda Searles, Executive Director
Southwest Wildlife
Conservation Center

P.S. Thanks to your donations, the wildlife we care for are getting everything they need to thrive back in the wild or live out their days in our sanctuary. Please send your most generous gift to ensure that their wildlife get the quality care and compassion they deserve, or give online at www.southwestwildlife.org.


Keats "vote with their feet and wallets" and leave for Texas

Good bye and good luck

As we leave Illinois for good, I wanted to say goodbye to my friends and wish all of you well. I am a lifelong son of the heartland and proud of it. After 60 years, I leave Illinois with a heavy heart. BUT enough is enough! The leaders of Illinois refuse to see we can’t continue going in the direction we are and expect people who have options to stay here. I remember when Illinois had 25 congressmen. In 2012 we will have 18. Compared to the rest of the country we have lost one-fourth of our population. Don’t blame the weather, because I love four seasons.
Illinois just sold still more bonds and our credit rating is so bad we pay higher interest rates than junk bonds! Junk Bonds! Illinois is ranked 50th for fiscal policy; 47th in job creation; 1st in unfunded pension liabilities; 2nd largest budget deficit; 1st in failing schools; 1st in bonded indebtedness; highest sales tax in the nation; most judges indicted (Operations Greylord and Gambat); and 5 of our last 9 elected governors have been indicted. That is more than the other 49 states added together! Then add 32 Chicago Aldermen and (according to the Chicago Tribune) over 1,000 state and municipal employees indicted. The corruption tax is a real cost of doing business. We are the butt of jokes for stand up comics.

We live in the most corrupt big city, in the most corrupt big county in the most corrupt state in America. I am sick and tired of subsidizing crooks. A day rarely passes without an article about the corruption and incompetence. Chicago even got caught rigging the tests to hire police and fire! Our Crook County CORPORATE property tax system is intentionally corrupt. The Democrat State Chairman who is also the Speaker of the Illinois House and the most senior alderman in Chicago each make well over a million dollars a year putting the fix in for their client’s tax assessments.

We are moving to Texas where there is no income tax while Illinois’ just went up 67 percent. Texas’ sales tax is 1/2 of ours, which is the highest in the nation. Southern states are supportive of job producers, tax payers and folks who offer opportunities to their residents. Illinois shakes them down for every penny that can be extorted from them.

In The Hill Country of Texas (near Austin and San Antonio) we bought a gracious home on almost 2 acres with a swimming pool. It is new, will cost us around 40 percent of what our home in Wilmette just sold for and the property taxes are 1/3 of what they are here. Crook County’s property tax system is a disaster: Wilmette homes near ours sell for 50 percent more and their property taxes are 1/2 of ours. Our assessed home value was 50 percent higher than the sales price. The system is unfair and incompetent.

Our home value is down 40 percent, our property taxes are up 20 percent and our local schools have still another referendum on the ballot to increase taxes over 20 percent in one year. I could go on, but enough is enough. I feel as if we are standing on the deck of the Titanic and I can see the icebergs right in front of us. I will miss our friends a great deal. I have called Illinois home for essentially my entire life. But it is time to go where there is honest, competent and cost effective government. We have chosen to vote with our feet and our wallets. My best to all of you and Good luck!

Former State Senator and Republican Cook County Board President candidate Roger Keats and his wife Tina bid farewell to their Illinois friends in a Wilmette Beacon article and with this letter, saying they're "voting with their feet and their wallets."

©Illinois Review – crossroads of the conservative community


Sixth Circuit has big labor running scared in Michigan

A recent federal court decision has got big labor running scared. And it should be.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a Michigan law that bars public schools from collecting union dues, overturning a district court injunction against implementation of the law. The circuit court also ordered the lowered court to uphold the law.

The law in question requires that public sector unions collect their own dues from public school teachers, rather than the school's payroll system handling it. The unions attempted to argue that not compelling as a matter of law teachers to pay up somehow violated the labor organization's First Amendment Rights.

The Sixth Circuit responded: "The problem with this theory is that the Supreme Court has already rejected it," citing the 2009 Ysursa v. Pocatello Education Association ruling that stated "The First Amendment prohibits government from 'abridging the freedom of speech'; it does not confer an affirmative right to use government payroll mechanisms for the purpose of obtaining funds for expression."

The Sixth Circuit applied Ysursa, saying, "Public Act 53 does not restrict the unions' speech at all: they remain free to speak about whatever they wish," noting that nothing in the First Amendment mandates that public sector payroll deductions be given to unions.

Nathan Mehrens
Americans for Limited Government


Lewis project in Carefree

Recently released data show that Phoenix metro home prices fell 36 percent in the year ending March 2009. I suspect the Lewis project in downtown Carefree isn't going to have any $1 million condos.

Moderately priced rental condos or apartments seem much more likely.

J. Peirce


Taxes – death of a thousand cuts

Why does government keep growing in spite of a knowledgeable and vocal group of people, including me, who are trying to stop it? One reason is because there are now too many units of government that can raise our taxes and it is nearly impossible for responsible citizens to know what each of them are doing, let alone to stop them. It is the death of a thousand cuts. Each little tax increase bleeds us a little more.

The most recent example is the newspaper headline stating the Maricopa County Community College District has approved a tax hike. Property taxes are to increase 2 percent. But the most important part of the news article was the statement “No one spoke against the tax increase during the public hearing preceding the vote.” Had I known about this opportunity I certainly would have been there to protest and I know others would also do so. But it is simply impossible for one citizen to keep track of all these government entities.

That is why I believe we need a volunteer watchdog organization that would have a person assigned to each government entity, such as college districts, counties, cities, water districts, library districts, hospital districts, etc. I think this may be a task that is too expensive for paid employees but a well-organized group of volunteers could have a significant impact. I have formed a group called “Arizona Government Watchdogs” and I would welcome the participation of anyone who shares my concern.

Roy Miller


Americans For Fair Taxation calls on Congress to eliminate IRS targeting with FairTax

Americans For Fair Taxation, outraged by the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) continued political abuse and intimidation of citizens and organizations, is calling on Congress to immediately enact HR25/S122, the FairTax Act of 2013 and phase out the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“No person or group is safe from IRS targeting; everyone is a bull's eye," said AFFT spokesperson Cynthia T. Canevaro.

She added, "The agency, with over 90,000 employees and an annual budget in excess of $12 billion, has historically been the ultimate tool of extreme political manipulation by politicians of both major parties. That's exactly what our Founding Fathers feared."

"These types of abuses are nothing new," said Dan Mastromarco, tax attorney and co-author of HR25/S122. He added, "In 1819 former Chief Justice John Marshall warned in McCulloch v. Maryland that, 'An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.' "The FairTax Act is the only way in which Congress can once and for all eliminate the harassment, political exploitation and selective enforcement against perceived dissidents. It levels the playing field and redistributes power to the citizens who pay the taxes."

The FairTax Plan is a comprehensive proposal that replaces all federal income and payroll based taxes with a national retail sales tax, a prebate to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment which authorized the creation of the income tax. “Congress has enabled IRS activities with more than 5,000 code changes in just 11 years and even expanded their scope to include enforcement of major provisions of Obamacare,"said Canevaro.

Congress created this problem. They now have an opportunity to correct it by enacting the FairTax Plan and asking the president to join them in signing the measure into law.
For more information visit www.fairtax.org

David Boone
Houston, Minnesota


Don’t be fooled

The Gang of Eight’s bill on immigration is “an amnesty bill, plain and simple.” Don’t be fooled by its claim to be a bipartisan immigration reform bill.

The United States Justice Foundation, a network of Constitution experts and attorneys, lists what the amnesty bill is supposed to do and what the bill really does. The USJF ultimately exposes what the bill is really designed to do, which is:

1. to expand the Hispanic voter base for Barack Obama and the liberal Democrats;
2. to pander to the liberal media and special interest groups;
3. to pay off wealthy businesses that employ illegal aliens for pennies; and
4. make Republicans look caring and reasonable on how [it] handles poor aliens

If you want to help “prevent Barack Obama and the Gang of Eight from erasing our borders, and from rewarding 11 million or more illegal aliens with all of the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship,” write to Arizona’s two Gang of Eight senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, and demand they vote against the amnesty bill. Also tell them you are outraged that they are working with President Obama to sneak a National ID card power grab into the bill, which requires that all U.S. citizens must have a National ID card to hold a job legally. This National ID system includes tracking devices such as retina scans and fingerprints, so the government can track your every move.

Oppose the amnesty bill and the National ID card scheme.


Arden Druce
Camp Verde

ObamaCare to push your healthcare costs up, up, up

Obama lied. He told you Obamacare would cut the cost of healthcare and health insurance. We now know that this was an unmitigated lie, and just a political talking point designed to get his pet project through Congress.

As was the so called “public option,” Obamacare is truly designed as nothing that would actually help Americans, but instead as a complex plot to push everyone, except the well connected, into a government approved health insurance plan.

The House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce has now released a shocking report which shows that your health insurance premiums will in fact increase by as much as 413 percent!

This means that if you currently pay $10,000 a year for your family’s health insurance, you could fall into a category that would now pay OVER $40,000 PER YEAR!

Obama and the Pelosi Congress lied. They told us that it would save money, and they did it WITHOUT READING THE BILL. And now they want to stick YOU with the bill.

The House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce report says: “In dollars, this is a large hit to every American’s pocketbook. The average yearly cost for a new customer in the individual market grows from $1,896 to $3,708 – a $1,812 cost increase.”

Saying that Obamacare cuts costs is a FLAT OUT LIE. We must repeal this leviathan disaster before the American people can no longer escape Barack Obama’s web of lies and deceit.

Ken Hoagland, President
Restore America's Voice
Visit www.RepealHealthCareAct.org