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Fred Enfield | Norwalk, Ohio

It's not unusual any more to communicate and attempt to be informed via the Internet.

Soon, it will be the only way.

I stopped reading newspapers several years ago. Now, I just skim (I'm a fast reader) various websites for news.

I'm also involved in several online forums where you can be courageous and nasty while hiding behind the keyboard.

However, your newspaper is really entertaining. It reminds me somewhat of the Journal-
American, although that paper was, as I recall, flaming liberal.

And although I only have it "delivered" digitally, your cartoons give it the human touch.

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Open letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano

Dave Stoddard | Hereford

Madam Secretary: After reviewing your latest DHS alert to law enforcement officers, I have discovered that I am a risk to America. TO WIT: I am a veteran. Worse yet, I was trained in the use of high explosives. I am opposed to the killing of babies under any circumstance. I own a gun and I am against people sneaking into America. I took an oath to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. (Emphasis mine) I am opposed to tinkering with our Constitutional representative democracy.

By your standards, that makes me a domestic terrorist.

I am more dangerous than the Somali Muslims recruiting for jihad in Minnesota. I am more dangerous than the Zetas committing assassinations and kidnappings in Phoenix and Houston. I am more dangerous than the Hezbollah fund raisers on the East Coast.

Therefore, I wish to turn myself in. I expect to be treated no differently than foreign terrorists. I want full room and board, free legal representation from the ACLU, special diet, full medical care, entertainment and incarceration on a tropical island with sea breezes. I want my Bible handled with all the reverence given the Quran complete with delivery by white gloved guards.

You may pick me up anytime you wish, but please call first.

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Traynor for Carefree Council

Vance Howe | Carefree

My endorsement of John Traynor's candidacy for Carefree Town Council is based on a) having known and seen him in action the past three years, and b) thirty years professional experience evaluating candidates for senior roles in private and public institutions. His platform and values resonates with my own ideal governance model for Carefree: more rather than less citizen involvement including direct election of our Mayor, transparency and full disclosure on important financial and operating matters, a sharper focus on fiscal discipline along with vigorous oversight, and elimination of fear and misdirection as management tools. His "citizen watchdog" involvement since 2005, missing just two Council meetings the last two years, prepares John well for this position. He ran for Council unsuccessfully in '07 but did not file earlier in '09 due to family considerations now resolved, and thus will be a write-in candidate.

The personal attributes John will bring to this role include character, honesty and integrity: when John tells you something you can take it to the bank. He is also very hard working, financially astute, and analytical. It was John who penetrated the water company's "conservation purposes" smokescreen attempting to justify a major price increase, then developed the water bill calculator allowing customers to understand the dollar impact on their own bills. John is an intense direct kind of guy, but no "Sherman tank," because he will listen and learn before he acts. Some people having seen John in action at a Council meeting may mistakenly describe him as angry; but I see genuine passion for getting things right on behalf of Carefree voters. I like, and can trust, an elected representative who wears his heart on his sleeve.

My "reference" concludes Right man, right values, right place, right time, for Carefree citizens who care. Please take the time to print John Traynor in the lower write-in portion of your ballot. And while I don't know him as well, everything I've seen and learned about Peter Koteas suggests we should support his candidacy as well.

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“Yes” vote

Sandy and Sherman Ladin | Scottsdale
Allison and Steve Winkler | Cave Creek

We think having a Wal-Mart so close by would be wonderful. The prices are cheaper and they honor all coupons.

They would employ people who have lost a great deal of their retirement.

We vote “yes” for Wal-Mart.

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If you fly an American Flag it should be at half mast

Joe Freedman | Cave Creek

Do you know the Flag code? If not look it up (www.usflag.org/ uscode36.html). Over the past several years since 9/11 I decided that since there are United States military personnel dying every day that these men and women should receive the same honor and respect that Presidents and so forth get when they die. And I do not feel they are getting it. The majority of these men and women are often forgotten and never even acknowledged for their service to our country. It should not matter whether these incidents that happen all over the world are in declared wars or not.

Until these soldiers come home and the daily deaths stop all Americans who fly a Flag should fly it at half mast. Whether it is at your home or business you should honor these fellow Americans who are giving their lives for us at home – and for freedom, which is the basis on which our country was founded.

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The unprecedented uphill road

John Traynor | Carefree

Not long ago voting in Carefree was straightforward. Pretty much the same names (or hand-picked substitutes) appeared on the ballot, supported by the same groups, and often favoring special interests. This is no longer true. In the March primary, voters expressed their views by soundly defeating a proposition that would have extended council terms, and by voting their frustration with almost every incumbent. Personal attacks against good people were repudiated by voters. As my wife and I observed the distasteful PAC debacle that preceded the primary, we knew someone had to run against all that hate and poor judgment.

While vacationing during Cactus Shadows spring break we learned that the mayor and two senior councilmen refused to compete in the May election. That left four seats to the four remaining candidates, not a very balanced election. I investigated, and then filed for, authorized write-in candidate status. The challenge for a write-in candidate is to overcome complacency or perhaps an information void. Fortunately, name recognition is not an insurmountable problem this time around; my efforts to penetrate the smokescreen of the Water Conservation Surcharge, and the Water Bill Calculator service I have provided have made my name more familiar. I opposed extending council terms to four years, but I have supported Direct Election of our Mayor since 2007. Although I did not earn a council seat in 2007, 510 Carefree voters did choose me. I’m hoping those folks will vote for me again, along with many more of their neighbors.

My views are straightforward. I’ll work for all residents, guided by fairness and candor, and I’ll employ financial discipline along with vigilant oversight to help strengthen Carefree’s future. But the climb will be steep and littered with obstacles. Some can be addressed with information, but misrepresentations made be certain individuals can only be overcome with your rejection of their message and methods.

The name John Traynor will not appear on the ballots to be mailed on May 4. Instead there will be several lines underneath the names of the four previous candidates; the space is for you to ‘Write-in’ a name – my name, I hope. The final two steps are to connect the arrow on that write-in line, and then seal the ballot in the postage-free envelope, making sure to sign your name to the outside of the envelope, which validates it. Please don’t waste a vote on candidates who respect you once every two years. A write-in is more work, but I promise you it will be worth your effort.

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Elect the mayor directly

Jim Peirce | Carefree

In the official Publicity Pamphlet regarding direct election of the mayor beginning in 2011 (Carefree Prop. 404), council candidates Schwan and Gemmill have signed opposing direct election. In contrast I strongly support Councilman Coady’s direct election initiative.
Candidates Schwan and Gemmil want to continue the tradition of a handful of cronies picking the mayor in a secret back room deal. I want voters to elect the mayor directly. I submit it is time to end back room politics.

The danger of continuing the present arrangement is clear. Councilman Gardner allegedly wrote in an e-mail that the next mayor would come from among the three slate candidates (Schwan, Gemmill and Vanik) on the May ballot. Neither of two candidates already elected in the primary, Bob Coady and Doug Stavoe, will become mayor if the slate is elected.

I am running as a write-in candidate for council to offer voters a choice as to who becomes Carefree’s mayor in June for the 2009-11 term. I believe that either Councilman Coady or Doug Stavoe would be an excellent choice for mayor.

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Canadian vs. U.S. health care

Jayne Carroll | Cave Creek

I wish that J.P. Maldonado, a frequent contributor to the Letters section, had done some research before using one family's tragedy to underscore his extreme political and social views. In his letter to the editor he portrayed Natasha Richardson as a "traveling Brit" whose family chose treatment in the U.S. rather than endure Canada's socialized medical system after her skiing accident.

Ms. Richardson was a naturalized U.S. citizen and a long time resident of Millbrook, New York where she was married and where she and Liam Neeson raised their two sons. She is now buried in St. Peter's cemetery close to her home.

Her family brought her to New York because that is where she lived for most of her adult life and where she could die: in her adopted country surrounded by her family. Whether or not her family hoped for a miracle recovery in New York is debatable. Her injury and condition were quite severe at that point and it's doubtful she was expected to survive.

Canadian vs. U.S. health care is a debate that will continue; use a better example next time, Mr. Maldonado, to support your position.

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CCUSD should refuse stimulus funds with excessive strings

CCUSD Watch | www.ccusdwatch.com

The Scottsdale City Council made news last week for turning down $244,000 in stimulus funds. Despite a $65 million budget hole, the reasoning the used was that adding to the government wouldn’t really help boost the economy. This was great to see our elected officials taking a principled stand.

Well, Cave Creek Unified School District should take a similar stand. According to news reports, Cave Creek Unified Superintendent Dr. Burdick recently said, “It (stimulus funds) can only be used for new programs,” she said. “It can’t be used to backfill and (personnel) cuts made and the new programs must be sustained within two years by the district.”
If this is the case, than the district should absolutely refuse these funds, especially if any new program requires hiring new staff.

Our reasoning is straightforward. Hiring employees with no guarantee of employment is unfair to that employee and the students they deal with. Look at the pain we are going through now with the potential loss of some great staff.

These funds are for special education and Title I students, but these areas and programs have already had tremendous funding and resource increases over the past five years. Implementing a short-term program could have an even bigger impact on these at risk children if it has to be yanked when funding runs out.

Finally, the district does not have the staff and resources to properly manage any new programs. The district can barely keep up with the work and issues in front of it at this time. Adding more programs will only distract the district and make it less effective in accomplishing its number one task: academic achievement. Implementing new and soon to be unfunded programs in light of all that is happening would be unfair and distracting.
It remains to be seen exactly what strings will come attached to these funds but of course we have zero expectation that the district would refuse these funds. That would take leadership.

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SkyTran might be feasible

John Semmens | Chandler

A mass transit type monorail as suggested in a letter by George Knowlton of Scottdale would be enormously expensive due to the heavy weight of the train and the continuous bridge structure to elevate it. It would, like all transit that has forces people to travel in groups, be terribly inconvenient.

A public/private personal rapid transit option like SkyTran might be feasible. It is elevated and would not impede street traffic.

SkyTran is light so the infrastructure cost is low. Trips are individualized – like they are in automobiles – so it is more convenient. See the website for more information. (http://www.skytran.net/phpsite/home/Home%20Intro.php?bg=neg).

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Doublespeak is the language of obfuscation and confusion

Ed Konecnik | Flushing, New York

Speaking of tea parties, President Obama’s administration reminds me of the Mad-Hatter’s party in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The Hatter, the March Hare and Dormouse move from chair to chair, rotating around a large table, all the while speaking in riddles and shouting there is no room for anyone else. Alice converses with the party goers in the language of doublespeak, which has been adopted by our politicians in an effort to portray their delusions as sane and sensible.

Doublespeak is the language of obfuscation and confusion; higher taxes are now “revenue enhancers,” extravagant spending and pork projects are “investments,” illegal aliens are “undocumented workers” and welfare is “Earned Income Tax Credit.” The “Free Choice Act” discards workers’ rights to a secret ballot.

In this government’s lexicon, the catastrophe of Sept. 11, 2001 was not a terrorist attack but a “man-caused disaster.” Anyone who is considered an enemy of statism and defends capitalism may fit the Department of Homeland Security’s profile of an “extremist.”

Furthermore, you may be an extremist if you are pro-life and display a Ron Paul bumper sticker, if you are a member of the NRA, own a gun and a Bible, if you are a veteran and watch Fox News. If you lost your job and house and are guilty of all the aforementioned transgressions, your phone may already be tapped.

At the risk of being placed on a “watch list,” I hope a tsunami of tea and tea parties cleanse the nation and drown out the curious chatter of the Hatter. I may even display my favorite bumper sticker featuring the words of the late Senator Barry Goldwater: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

That, my friends, is not doublespeak.

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