May 14, 2008 | Vol. 14 No. 20

Guns in banks

I'm writing with regard to last week's article "Parkway Bank goes hoplophobic," and Parkway Bank's decision not to allow weapons in its branches.

I must say, what I read in the article causes me great concern. I, too, carry a weapon on occasion. Sometimes in the open and sometimes concealed. Today I was in two different banks with the weapon carried in the open and had no issues whatsoever. I visited several banks last week. The fact that Parkway bank made a decision not to allow weapons due to "customers being alarmed" is outrageous. I also called Bill and got the real story. Seems there were no alarmed customers and the deposit was in his front pocket.

I'm curious as to whether the bank would have put the same policy into place if a robber had actually walked in and pulled out a gun. In fact, maybe that's how to prevent all future bank robberies. Just post signs in all banks that prohibit weapons. In fact, let's just post signs all over the place to prevent all crimes using guns. Then we can post signs at our borders saying "no terrorists allowed." Everyone knows that if there's a no weapons policy, robbers will just turn around and leave, not wanting to violate a bank policy. No terrorist would dare violate a posted policy either, right?

Was there an armed guard at that bank branch to protect the patrons? Not the last time I was there. If there were a robbery, it would be someone like Bill Weingard that would be better equipped to protect the patrons than a bank employee.

It's the weapons you see that help prevent crime. I can guarantee that if a mugger sees two people on the street and one is wearing a gun, the choice of who to attack will be very simple.

I'm building a new home in Cave Creek. I’m thinking about moving my banking to one of the smaller local banks. Based on the new policy, I guess it won't be Parkway Bank. I'll stay with my current bank since they don't seem to have an issue with guns.

Name withheld by request

Many thanks

Many thanks to all the generous merchants who donated the prizes for this year's Annual Black Mountain Conservancy Photo Contest. The Carefree Resort and Villas once again donated a two night stay in a luxury room and brunch for two, which goes to our Peoples' Choice Award winner, the highest honor.

The twelve winning photographs were chosen by our volunteer panel of professional photographers, Don Asakawa, Alan Lowy and Jerry Sieve. The winners received gift certificates donated by local restaurants Le Sans Souci, Tonto Bar and Grill, Cartwright's, Giordano's Trattoria Romano, Saba's, El Encanto, The Satisfied Frog and Barro's Pizza. Additional donors included ThaiPan and That's Amore Gelato Ice Cream, located at Pinnacle Peak and Miller roads, Havana Cafe, at 64th St. and Bell Rd., and Arrivederci, at Thunderbird and Scottsdale roads.

Gift certificates donated from Safeway and Bashas’ supplied the food and wine for the awards reception at the Cave Creek Museum, where Don Sorchych presented the awards. A special thanks to Don, Curtis and Sonoran News, our co-sponsors, for your continuing support and publicity.

And last, thanks again to all of you who submitted photos this year. There were so many gorgeous ones that it was difficult for the judges to chose the final twelve. Please keep them coming next year. This year's winning photos will be used in our 2009 calendar, which will be available next fall, so keep us in mind when it's time to buy your calendars!

Lyn Hitchon

Thank You, Bill Weingard!

Thank you for exercising your second amendment rights.
Thank you for exercising your right to carry in Arizona.
Thank you for telling Parkway Bank of Chicago goodbye.
I see the Chicago mentality has infiltrated Arizona. There goes the neighborhood.
Bill you're on the top of my list for a locksmith.

Brett Laycock
Cave Creek

Banks and weapons

Thank you for not letting the Bank and Guns debate die after the story in last weeks paper.

My husband and I just completed the concealed weapons class at the Scottsdale Gun Club last month. If I were you, I would be interviewing the two men that teach that course. They are lawyers and at least one of them is a judge. One thing they both know well are the gun laws of Arizona. I am shocked that the employees at a bank are not told about the gun laws when they are hired, as I am sure they are taught how to spot a bank robber and how to know if they are being robbed. They should be told that law abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns into their bank in Arizona, and how to tell the difference between that person and a gun wielding robber.

Here, as I understand, are the places that you are NOT allowed to carry a gun in Arizona:
• Businesses serving alcohol
• Polling places
• Nuclear generating plants
• Military installations
• Indian reservations
• Game preserves
• National parks
• Airports, beyond security checkpoints
• Jails, prison
• Water treatment plants
• Federal Buildings, i.e. the Post Office
• Where prohibited by federal, state, or
local laws
• Stores with a posted no guns policy

Banks are not federally owned, only federally insured, and do not fall into the federally owned category. Maybe you will want to contact the gun club and get an official list and print that so that the uninformed bank employees, out of state part time residents and others, know what the laws are. That way they don't freak out when they see somebody with a gun in a belt holster making a deposit at the bank. (Robbers rarely bother with the holster).

Let me also say that the gun owner at the heart of the bank and guns story, may not have been using his best judgement, and I question whether or not he has taken the CCW course or has a concealed weapons license. He was not breaking the law by bringing a gun into the bank, but once the employee of the bank asked him to take his weapon outside and he refused, he was now in violation of a trespassing law. He is also ignoring the second of three very important rules when carrying a concealed weapon: Courtesy, Common sense, and Concealment.

Hope this information helps to shed more light on the subject. I am looking forward to reading more about Arizona gun laws in Sonoran News.

Treva Calegari

Litigation could have been avoided

GP Properties Carefree Cave Creek LLC v. Town of Carefree was scheduled to be heard on May 6, 2008 in Judge Carroll's court in U.S. District Court - District of Arizona. However, the clerk has stated that the case has been stayed indefinitely by agreement of both parties.

Thus the case is no longer on any calendar in U.S. District Court. However, the case is before Arizona Court of Appeals Division 1. The City of Glendale and League of Arizona Cities/Towns have been granted Amicus Curiae status. Oral arguments were heard on April 30, 2008 in Department E (Hon. Donn Kessler, Hon. Patricia A. Orozco, and Hon. Maurice Portley). (I missed the oral arguments because I was not aware of the date, expecting the case to be heard on May 6 in U.S. District Court.)

I found a tidbit of humor in the record suggesting that the paperwork volume in the case is apparently adequate. On Jan. 8, 2008 Hon. Donn Kessler wrote, "FURTHER ORDERED that no supplemental response or reply briefs shall be filed on the above issues without further order of this court."

It will probably be weeks or months before Dept. E issues a decision. Then, of course, the loser could appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court or the case could end up back in U.S. District Court and, who knows, eventually even appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

I would be interested in knowing the total billed by attorneys on all sides so far. That would include, at a minimum, Plaintiff (John Marcolini, Glenn B. Hotchkiss, Buzzi L. Shindler, Matthew Klopp), Defendant Town of Carefree (Robert C. Hackett, Thomas K. Chenal, Daniel K. Kiley, David W. Garbarino, Charles E. Jones), City of Glendale (Nicholas C. DiPiazza, Craig D. Tindall), and League of Arizona Cities/Towns (David R. Merkel). Those are just the readily identifiable attorneys.

All this litigation would have been avoided if the Town of Carefree had not squashed my attempt to eliminate many of the town's categories of Special Use Permits long before developer Michael Peloquin came along!

Jim Peirce

Looking for a few good men

I found your newspaper online while I was searching for an old friend. From some information that I came across, it led me to believe that I may be able to locate him in your town.

I am from Hawaii, and just over ten years ago I met two very helpful young men, Ashbell Park and his friend Scott Copelan. Both helped out in my town as mentors and coachs to a few young ladies. The two of them help me to realize that life had a lot to offer. And that making the right choices and standing up for what you know to be right, you can be someone. They took the time to talk to us and led by example.

Back in 1996 or so Mr. Park was a construction journeymen, and Mr. Copelan was in the Air Force. With such a busy life they still made it one of their priorities to spend nearly 25 hours a week volunteering their time and skills. For me, I am glad to say that I have learned a lot from these two very wonderful, giving, and talented men.

I am in hope that one of these two men live in your area and that you and your paper could help get us in touch. I would just like to say thank you for all that they have done for me.

Alison, looking from Hawaii
Via e-mail

Dust everywhere

We live in an arid, dry area known as the desert, where dust is as common as rattle snakes. When I see the reddish brown cloud roll along in the southern part of the greater Phoenix area I will now blame ranchers, ATV’s, leaf blowers, horse owners and others for causing the dust cloud and not nature.

I know a small business that depends completely on using state land to launch their balloons; they have land-use permit, which is also subject to confusion. They have implemented a dust abatement program, which was submitted months ago to Maricopa County Air Quality Department (AQD). You would think that a responsible and caring business such as the balloonist could file a conditional-use permit to use state land and to have serious dialogue on the onerous AQD dust control regulation. Well, not so, instead what they got was attitude.

Bureaucrats at the State Land Department took the position that it does not have the responsibility of facilitating private businesses. Their mission is revenue generation and not to accommodate private enterprises. They recommended to the balloonist that they quit flying or to take their business to Wickenburg or the mountains. Tourism is in the greater Phoenix metro area not in remote locations. Imagine that, the message was to close down the business.

The Air Quality Department was far more considerate. They had public hearings on “fugitive dust” and off-road vehicle, etc. The balloon company submitted a letter in advance of the hearings and asked for a category that would regulate a different class of business. The response was that it was not an option of creating a separate category for the dust at this time, as they would have to start the entire process again. They obviously did not reach out to enterprises that use the desert for tourism purposes.

The long and short of dust every where, is that a small company dependent on tourism trade may not survive the “hammer” of regulation, and vanish into a Maricopa County dust cloud, caused primarily by nature and major dust initiators, not a small business that hardly kicks up dust. Well, so much for offering Arizona visitors a unique perspective of the beautiful deserts and mountains.

Ray Torres

We have Judge Judy

Even with a dozen syndicated courtroom shows already on the air, former District Attorney Jeanine Pirro has decided to join the lineup with a show of her own. The competition is fierce but “Judge Judy” leads the pack in ratings and has attracted more viewers than Oprah.

One TV pundit credits Judge Judy’s success to its game show element where somebody wins and somebody loses; another suggests it’s the voyeuristic aspect that appeals to viewers darker side. Ms. Pirro claims viewers watch court shows to learn something. All of the above may be true but it is Judge Judy’s inimitable merciless outbursts of moral indignation directed at those who cheat, defraud and lie that make me cheer. There is no moral relativism or ambiguity when Judge Judy admonishes a dead beat dad to face his responsibility and “go find a job” or advises a pregnant unwed mother of five to “find something else to do in her spare time.”

Much of today’s TV entertainment consists of amoral characters living in a world where there is no good or bad only different. It is not surprising that viewers respond positively to a show where “old fashioned values” still matter; where “good” trumps “bad,” where liars, cheaters and frauds are unmasked, where the guilty face justice and even pay a fine. These were the elements of the TV programs of yesteryear where truth, justice and the American way were secured by the likes of Hop-a-long Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Perry Mason, Superman, etc.

We no longer have the Lone Ranger but we do have Judge Judy.

Ed Konecnik
Flushing, New York

Fifty-eight States?

In Obama’s latest speech he stated, "I've visited 57 states, and think I have one left to go."

This probably takes care of the immigration problem, since I suppose Mexico is surely one of them. Does the American flag fly over all 58? If so, he may consider wearing a flag pin now, and saluting or placing his hand over his heart now, during the National Anthem.
God Bless America … life is good.

Deputy Bob
Cave Creek

Please Don't Release Me

Just a few clarifications on Becky Fenger's article on inmates. First, the libraries have been taken out of the Arizona State prisons. Second, exercise equipment has also been removed because of an assault with some exercise equipment. Third, the workers at the State Capitol are not part of Sheriff Joe's chain gangs. They wear orange and are inmates from the State prisons.

Also FYI, inmates incarcerated in the State prisons are encouraged to complete their GEDs and are offered some higher level courses if they qualify under the incentive programs (no drugs, no assaults, good behavior, etc.).

Pamela L. Hoback, CPA
Via e-mail

I said STAKE, not steak

Whenever I start singing the final ditty from "The Wizard of Oz" ("Ding-dong, the Witch Is Dead") Hillary bounces off her ample rump and further terrorizes the political scene. Not that I favor McCain or Obama (actually, I want NONE OF THE ABOVE as a choice in ALL elections) but will someone please send a mallet and wooden stake to Denver so those people can get Billary out of the news via the Dracula solution?

J-P. A. Maldonado
Desert Foothills