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Answers to last week’s cartoon “What’s wrong with this picture?”: Airplane, satellite dish, hot air balloons, Sonoran News truck, kid’s “Cards” t-shirt, cell phone, HBO, ASU, Rt 101 sign, State of AZ.

Re: Article on property owners taken to jail for sign

David M. Tedesco | Scottsdale
My wife and I just read the article in Sonoran News regarding Gary and Jeri Rust being handcuffed and taken to Jail for having a non-conforming sign. I do not know anyone involved in this but felt compelled to write to someone regarding my thoughts.

This does not seem right, a property owner who is trying to sell their property is not a criminal and this is a waste of government resources to take this to this extreme! Please evaluate what happened here to have four squad cars and deputies, handcuffing and taking a husband (father), wife (mother) both are property and business owners along with taxpayers, to be arrested and booked downtown over a sign is outrageous! How much does this cost the taxpayers and what purpose does this serve? Was there a real threat to deputy Marshal Hernandez to call for four squad cars? Or was this about winning in an argument and proving what power an individual law enforcement officer has over its citizens? Why not send an official letter regarding the non-conforming sign with a deadline to remove the sign or incur a monetary fine/penalties. These fines would be assessed and accrue if the sign was not removed, I believe this would have solved this matter?

Please do not let police powers lose sight of what is really important. To have such power and authority is to be used with careful judgment and not be caught up in a situation of who has the greater power, and to do something just because one has power at that moment in order to prove a point. I think that our law enforcement and elected officials are in place to serve and protect all citizens and ensure that these resources are properly managed and it is a great responsibility to use this power wisely without getting our ego involved.

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Gross misuse of power

Kate Wilson | Cave Creek
If Bentley's article is accurate, then Deputy Town Marshal Bobby Hernandez should be held accountable for such gross misuse of power, in regard to Gary and Jeri Rust. This case should be thrown out immediately and the Town Marshall made an example of. Perhaps the Rusts indeed should have removed their sign, but there are legal avenues to take when people disagree on things like sign ordinances. For Hernandez to have this couple arrested merely because he was angry and could is preposterous. Hernandez should be in anger management, not trespassing on other people's property.

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AHS, community deserve Thanks!

Mary Culler | License with Arizona Game and Fish
I extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to Animal Health Services of Cave Creek for helping our community!

AHS has assisted me for many years by agreeing to be a drop off facility for baby or injured birds, quail, ducks, bunnies and squirrels. The AHS veterinarians and staff keep the animals safe until I can be contacted for follow-up.

Another special THANK YOU also goes to those citizens who took the time to stop to help these animals. By taking them to AHS, you have helped save wildlife in our desert community.

Together we are making a difference.

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God Bless America

Brett Hoeppner | Cactus Shadows High School
It has been seven-years since 9/11. The most horrific terrorist attack ever on our soil struck at the heart of the United States of America on this fateful day. We must honor all of those whose lives were lost because of the sociopathic and weak souls of the terrorist masterminds that caused something so tragic.

There is an election coming up for our new Commander in Chief. Imagine both candidates and think of how each one of them would react to a breathtaking act of terror like the one that occurred on this day. Would they negotiate with these irrational people, or would they show that NOBODY messes with our country or the citizens within it. Convince your parents to hit up the voting booth. Voting is one of the few ABSOLUTE freedoms we have left in this country. Our country depends on a strong leader. Look at both candidates and imagine how they would handle another 9/11. You decide for yourself. God bless the USA.
(I am) A true Pro-American.

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Time for paybacks!!

Arlene Kamarata | Cave Creek
Are we getting paid back for holding up the Lone Mountain Development from 56th to 64th streets? You guys finally won turning over our rural area into Phoenix City living. You gave us all the things we didn’t want; sidewalks, four-lane highway, and worst of all, tons of street lights. This is the only development along Lone Mountain that did this. I’m sure the next thing will be a colorful red and green traffic light. To top it off you built the street up so high to cover a wash we won’t be able to turn into our street going west.

No wonder why we fought so many years to save our desert. Hope you are happy because we’re not.

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Apology to the neighborhood

David Lewis | Cave Creek
I arranged for a meeting Tuesday Sept. 9 at Brix’s Wine Spot as requested by the city. Invitations were sent to immediate neighbors within a quarter mile of my property at Cave Creek between Scopa and Galloway.

It was my intent to talk with each neighbor that showed up about their thoughts and concerns, but the meeting was taken over by Anna Marsolo with help from Herb and Susie Natker, who do not live within a quarter of a mile, and Anna does not live in Cave Creek. For those of you who were invited to the meeting and have comments please contact me.

I am no longer considering a boutique hotel, which would be the highest and best use for the town. It would have brought customers to the towns businesses and revenue to the town with a bed tax. It is a shame the town listens to a few like with Home Depot. Now we have Lowe’s but Carefree gets the revenue, and Phoenix gets the revenue from Home Depot. Watch out your water bills will go up, if your taxes don’t.

Support your local businesses for they are supporting you.

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McCain is proven

Donald A. Moskowitz | Londonderry, New Hampshire
I would like to encourage my fellow Independents, disenfranchised Democrats, and Republicans to vote for John McCain this November.

John McCain has the leadership background (23 years as a naval officer, 26 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate), judgment, integrity and mental toughness to be President. He understands the geopolitics of the world and will, when appropriate, significantly reduce our military forces to a meaningful residual force in and around the Middle East. He knows Iran poses a threat to world peace, Al Qaeda could stage a comeback in Iraq, Lebanon can erupt in civil strife again and the Taliban and Al Qaeda have to be dealt with in Afghanistan.

It makes sense to me to have a President and Commander-in-Chief who is strong on national security, foreign policy, and energy issues.

We know where John McCain stands on issues. There are no hidden surprises. He has been vetted. He is the best choice for President, and as a fellow veteran I proudly support him, not because he is a veteran, but because he will provide the outstanding leadership necessary to help us solve our domestic difficulties and navigate this country through perilous waters in the world.

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New website

Peter Krisch | Cave Creek
Just wanted to let you know that your new (new to me anyway) website is awesome. It's so much more user-friendly and visually pleasing to the eye. Thanks for updating it.

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Media and the candidate

J-P. A. Maldonado | Desert Foothills
Media mavens are moanin' and wailin',
'Cause they can't find a chink or a failin'.
There is no-one can match her –
Our own Maggie Thatcher,
In the person of one Sarah Palin.

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Contradiction in terms

Craig Cantoni | Scottsdale
I was at an awards event last night to honor 90 high school seniors who were nominated by 12 Northeast Valley schools as "leaders." Oh my God. Almost all of them were parrots who repeat the party line from the media and K-12 schools about the environment, diversity, social justice, poverty, etc. They are followers, not leaders. I turned to my son and said, "If you ever speak such claptrap, I'll hit you in the head with a brick."

If they are the future of the country, we are doomed.

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Clean elections may be washed up

Glenn Hamer | President & CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry
The stars may be aligning to finally dismantle Arizona's inaptly named Clean Elections system. After a decade of stifling political speech, a recent Court decision may provide the necessary firepower to give Clean Elections – or at least the equalizing funds provision – the boot.

Arizona's experiment with taxpayer-financed elections was a bad idea right out of the gate. It passed in 1998 by a slim margin, and has wreaked havoc on Arizona's candidates, incumbents, and their contributors ever since. Under the system, candidates are categorized as either clean elections participants or traditionally funded candidates. An expenditure cap is set for the clean elections participants, and they may only use government funds for their campaigns. The traditional candidate may raise money from private sources, but if they raise more than the clean elections candidates' cap, they automatically trigger additional matching funds to their opponents.

It's the matching funds portion that may be on the chopping block. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision struck down a similar federal campaign finance law, called the Millionaire's Amendment that also provided for funding equalization. This decision flamed the fire under an existing Arizona Clean Elections lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice, and paved the way for a new suit brought by the Goldwater Institute. The judge in the Goldwater suit recently ruled that Arizona's matching funds system violates constitutional free speech rights. She did not, however, suspend triggered funds for the upcoming General Election.
The Arizona Chamber has and continues to strongly oppose taxpayer-financed elections. It places caps on how much money candidates can spend, thereby limiting their ability to communicate with the voters. In addition it limits and distorts the speech of donors whose contributions could spur funds to opposition candidates.

There's another important factor to consider given Arizona's tremendous budget deficit and continuously declining tax revenues. In the 2006 election cycle Arizona Clean Elections paid out $9,443,013.72 to participating candidates. This year Arizona legislators will be scrambling to make cuts to our state budget. Would you rather those cuts come from education, health care, and public safety – or taxpayer money that pays for politicians' campaigns? The choice is obvious.

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CSHS Varsity Dance Team needs your help

Cactus Shadows Varsity Dance Team
I am a member of the Varsity Dance Team at Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek. For this upcoming school year our school’s budget has been significantly cut back due to a decrease of student enrollment and the amount of money the grants and community is able to provide for our school. The available funding for the Varsity Dance Team for this upcoming year is not anywhere near the amount necessary to cover our fees and the amount we, as a team, have to now come up with by ourselves.

We’ve recently returned from an Elite Universal Dance Association (UDA) Dance Team summer camp held at Northern Arizona University. At camp we qualified for the UDA Dance Team National Competition, which is held in Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida at the beginning of every year. This upcoming year will be the fourth year our team will travel to Florida to compete. Last year at Nationals we brought home a trophy for making it to finals for our hip-hop routine and placing thirteenth in the nation, a first for our team, along with making it to semi-finals and ranking in the top thirty teams for our pom routine. After moving up a division, our school is now in 4A Division I and last year, for the third year in a row, the Varsity Dance Team took first place in the AIA State Championship competition, the three-peat being one of the first for Cactus Shadows history.

The Varsity Dance Team works all year to prepare for these competitions and we also spend numerous hours preparing routines and sidelines for all the Cactus Shadows Varsity football and basketball games. Our team practices both before and after school, four days a week and we are required to take additional technique classes to improve our individual dance skills.

As a team we are asking to help send us to Nationals by sponsoring us and donating to our team. If a donation of over $100 is made, your company/sponsor name will be printed on a dance team t-shirt that will be worn by our team, however, a donation of any size is very much appreciated.

If you are interested in making a donation please contact our coach, Melissa Velez, or mail to: P.O. Box 426, Cave Creek, AZ 85331, Attn: Dance Team and Melissa Velez.

Thank You.

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Sufficient experience for the Office?

Joseph Pasulka | Southport, North Carolina
Recently Russia brutally invaded and subdued its tiny neighbor. The individual and combined experience of all the world's leaders failed to effectively respond. Time in place is not what counts. Successful leadership requires maturity, wisdom, courage and integrity.

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