bil canfield cartoon

Walmart – Where’s the downside?

I have listened to a number of Walmart opponents and still do not understand their issues. Some people seem to dislike Walmart for no apparent reason. Here are some reasons to like Walmart:

Cave Creek residents (and others, as well) can shop in town for an extraordinary variety of quality goods and groceries at the best prices in the area.

Cave Creek benefits from the sales taxes, an incredibly important issue at this time and for the foreseeable future.

There are no fundamental changes to Cave Creek – a commercial intersection remains so, the Town Core remains iconic as ever, open space is achievable and all else remains the same.

Jobs are created.

Cave Creek businesses support Walmart – they don’t compete.

The town cannot survive without this kind of development. If the town does not support this effort (remember Home Depot), Walmart will likely be one-quarter mile down the road and no major retailer will want to come Cave Creek to waste their time and resources.

A recent quote from a Cave Creek resident: “This is truly the Mother of all Win-Wins for every Cave Creek citizen!“

Rick Niemeyer | Cave Creek

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Glorifying Obama

Today I sent the following letter to the Cave Creek School District:

"Your district taxpayers need to hear from you as to how you intend to protest Obama’s attempt to subvert our Arizona schoolchildren by forcing lesson plans and videos on them that glorify him. Perhaps you could link his attempts to the lessons of history that 1930s Germany provides us. We need to hear from you on your website on this issue."

This latest attempt to take over our nation now aims its efforts at the young. It's called indoctrination. That's how totalitarian regimes enforce their control over the populace. When an American President engages in totalitarian tactics, we need to fight back, and fight back hard.

I urge every Arizonan to insist to our school boards that they not engage in this bald-faced effort to indoctrinate our children.

Susan Corley | Scottsdale

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Walmart – What’s the issue?

The Cave Creek mystery deepens. What are the issues that drive the anti Walmart group? They say it is only a residential to commercial zoning issue. A General Plan is a plan and, like any plan, it will necessarily change from time to time. The General Plan Amendment and rezoning they oppose are very specific and not a threat to Cave Creek as they would have you believe. In fact, it protects Cave Creek. The specific area in question is already a commercial intersection and the issues of noise, traffic and air and light pollution already exist and will increase whether Walmart locates there or not. The most affected residential properties are the eight lots on Oleson Street which abut the proposed development on the south. Of the eight lots, three are undeveloped, two of the three are in out of state ownership, one resident bought his home and one owner constructed a spec home after Walmart announced it purchased the property. I sympathize with the six owner/residents who purchased prior to the Walmart purchase, but they certainly bought in that area understanding it would ultimately be commercially developed and presumably benefited accordingly. There is just no logic to the opposition based on zoning. The mystery deepens – what are the real reasons for the anti Walmart referendums?

Fred Mueller | Cave Creek

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Would Mary Jo agree?

It is not generally viewed as acceptable or proper to criticize the dead, but in light of the gushing worship from what passes for news media these days, a counterpoint seemed necessary.

Edward M. "Teddy" Kennedy was a trust fund baby, a child of privilege and, to my knowledge, never held a job in his life outside the U.S. Senate. He was the least talented of the Kennedy brothers and without the surname would probably not have accomplished that.

He was elected on the strength of his name and the remembrance of his brothers’ achievements to fashion laws that rob us all through the force of law to spend on projects and people he deemed worthy; then took credit for his generosity. Teddy, the tireless promoter of the threadbare liberal line of redistribution of wealth, deriding and criticizing those who work, achieve and fund all of his projects, lauded in his passing by the print, broadcast and cable news organizations as saint-like for his accomplishments.

Were she alive to witness it all on CNN, would Mary Jo Kopechne agree?

Randy Edwards | Cave Creek

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Help preserve Cave Creek

Months ago, when I (we) heard that Walmart might be coming to Cave Creek, I celebrated. Having moved from Evanston, Ill., a town with a huge property tax (ours was about 4 times what they are here), I knew Walmart could help with the town’s source of revenue, sales tax.

I, along with the board, chairmen and advisors celebrated when we were informed that Walmart would be a major sponsor of the Cave Creek Film and Arts Festival. With sponsorships drying up in this dire economy, we felt fortunate Walmart chose the festival to support, not just because we were local, but because we drew applicants from towns that had Walmart stores all over the state. We know the Walmart sponsorship will allow us to produce the festival next year, one that will continue to increase in size and quality.

I was a strong supporter of Walmart before they exhibited their strong commitment to the community through sponsorships and donations, just as they have in communities all over the country. A store in Cave Creek will keep our property taxes down and allow my family to keep our sales tax in Cave Creek, as we will finally have a store that sells groceries, organic foods and everyday goods. As I do my weekly shopping, the town will now benefit from our new and generous corporate partner, Walmart.

Please vote YES on propositions 400 and 401, supported by the town council. Help preserve Cave Creek and allow us to spend our everyday sales tax in town, as we enjoy the benefits of a generous community donor.

Judy Bruce | President, Cave Creek Film and Arts Festival

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Economic Status Quo? No way!

Once upon a time the Cave Creek Town Core retail and restaurant businesses generated sufficient sales tax to support the town when augmented with reasonable development related fees. It hasn’t been that way for several years and those days are now gone and gone for good. Town growth and the municipal responsibilities that go with it, along with a sluggish economy, demand a new economic approach and quickly.

Protection of the Town Core is a must. It is iconic, funky and it is Cave Creek.

Protection/acquisition of open space is a must. It is Cave Creek and must be kept that way.

That leaves little choice as to where the town must look for the large scale retail development necessary and it doesn’t have to look far. Carefree, Phoenix and Scottsdale opened the large scale development door very wide on Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway. Walmart now wants to join the community, the timing is fortuitous and the location is commercial already. A marriage made in heaven. Cave Creek should unhesitatingly embrace this opportunity for retail development in exactly the right place.

Valerie Sheehan | Cave Creek

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Congressman Harry Mitchell’s "Town Hall Phone Meeting"

Last night Harry Mitchell (Dist.5) held his "town hall meeting" over the phone. It lasted almost 40 minutes.

I was not chosen to speak so I would like to express my opinion in this open letter to the congressman.

Congressman Harry Mitchell:

With all due respect, it wasn't what I would call a town hall meeting. You did most of the talking and described a utopian health care plan that you were "for" and of course, it would be cost neutral. What planet are you living on?

Also, you kept saying that right now there is not a plan written. Have you heard of HB3200? I have excerpts from it that would even scare Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez.

Do you know who wrote this bill and have you read it? I think not. Otherwise you would not have said the things you said last night.

For your info, John McCain spoke on TV last night just before your call. He said the Republicans have not and are not being included in any revisions of what has been written. He said there were only three Republicans on one committee. Whom should we believe, Mr. Mitchell? Your response as to whether you would vote for a govern-ment option was nebulous at best. You simply kept emphasizing "choice."

It would be well for all of America if you, in the Congress, took a good hard look at the programs in the states of Wisconsin and Massachusetts and see how either of them could be improved and then maybe apply those programs to the country for ONLY those people who are uninsured, and certainly not "Non-Americans." This should be done on a state basis.
In sum, we do NOT need the Federal government intruding into our lives once again. Have all of you ever heard of the 10th amendment?

Rose M. Sampieri | Scottsdale

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There is an old saying in politics that goes ...
"Never argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel"

A Learn Yes supporter of the Cave Creek Unified K-3 Override election learned this lesson the hard way when he complained that his original letter to this paper was not published.
We agree with Sonoran News that it is disingenuous to claim that "CCUSD" has reduced property tax rates, when the community has supported the schools by passing the 2000 bond which built STMS and HTES, and currently has in place a general 10 percent M&O budget override and a 5 percent K-3 override. Tax rate reductions have clearly come from increasing property values and the inclusion of CVUSD, and not from any action by the district.

We completely support the K-3 Override, but arguing tax rates is not the path to success. The path to success for the election is transparency and accountability. Cave Creek Unified School District should show the taxpayers some good faith and accountability by returning the $12 million in bond money that it currently has outstanding. We have been paying thousands of dollars a year in interest on this money since 2006, with nothing to show for it. It should then come up with a solid plan for renovating the high school and present this plan to the community. Continuing to allow open enrollment into an overcrowded Cactus Shadows High School shows the district is only out for head count and the associated dollars. It is not looking out for the needs of the children in our community first.

K-3 Override supporters believe our community is anti-tax and tries to argue against this. Our community is not anti-tax, it is pro-academics and until the district understands that the community wants a top notch district focused on academics, has high expectations, and bests every school in the state, it will continue to struggle to pass overrides and bonds.

CCUSD Watch | |

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Kennedy memorial service: a lesson for Republicans

As a life long Republican activist I took special note of Senator Chris Dodd’s remarks during Senator Kennedy’s memorial, especially when he thanked Republican Senators John McCain and Orin Hatch for attending. Dodd complimented McCain and Hatch for the frequency with which they supported Senator Kennedy’s ideas. Dodd also complimented Senator Kennedy for how seldom he supported McCain and Hatch’s ideas. While there was certainly some humor in Dodd’s remarks, there should be a lesson for Republicans. McCain and Hatch are not only long-time Republican senators but they are also often thought of as two of the most conservative. Politics makes strange bedfellows … too often.

Roy Miller | Phoenix

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AARP has lied to its members

When Obama said AARP was on board he was telling the truth. When AARP send the bulletin saying they were not on board they lied.

AARP has tanked its mission for the seniors in favor of a political agenda in support of the liberals. They will not act in the best interest of seniors, they will withhold treatment to elderly. If Senator Kennedy had been under anyone one of the proposed health bills he would not have gotten approval to have the "inoperable brain surgery" he got because of cost. When congress is getting the same plan as everyone else then that is the plan I will support. In the mean time take the lobbyists out. If health care reform is to be, have the doctors and the patients write it and congress be under its coverage also. They work for us; we are their employers. The shafted the auto industry employees on pension and health benefits. This country is not any better than the auto industry. We are by legal definition bankrupt. We just keep printing more money to delay it. Congress needs to have their benefits reduced to that of the bill they ultimately pass. As I said, we are the employers of Congress; they can only get the benefits we allow them to have.

Jim Takas | Gilbert

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For quite a while I have pondered the question of why we tolerate having more than our “fair share” of incompetent boobs serving in Congress. These leeches take no personal risks (or responsibility) while managing to provide themselves with the very best of benefits and perks.

The members of this self annointed group must somehow think that the benefits they voted for themselves are justified by:

Not writing important legislative bills themselves and in fact “farming out” bills to be written by third parties such as lobbyists and/or groups that will benefit from the bills.

Attempting to jam aid bills through before “We The People” become aware of what is contained in the bills and how bad they stink.

Voting on said legislation without reading it. (Does this amaze you?)

Complain that the bills are “too complicated” to understand. But they vote on them despite not understanding them. What the hell is that about?

Try to convince us that things must be done in a hurry. (God forbid they miss a free junket.)
Lying to us whenever possible.

For those among us who speak out and voice a contrary opinion … we earn a special treatment. We are called Nazis, un-American, mobs, agitators, astro-turf, racists as well as being told to “shut up and get out of the way.” Hey, I thought there was an amendment to the Constitution which allowed for free speech. I am almost sure of that. I read that someplace, but probably not in the New York Times.

I give you Arlen Spector, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, just a few that top my list. Feel free to add your own and you can make this a bipartisan list. Do you really think they deserve and/or earn the benefits they collect for life? I certainly do not.

Tom Carbone | Phoenix

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I was truly amazed

Earlier this week I purchased a table at the Lazy Lizard. As I was leaving I gave Elissa, the salesperson, a flier announcing our upcoming donation drive to benefit Foothills Animal Rescue and Amazing Aussies Rescue. The following day, when I returned to pick up my table, Elissa handed me a carton filled with pet food, new dog toys, leashes, bowls and a cash donation. I was truly amazed by her generosity! It's wonderful to live in a town where merchants, as well as citizens in general, are so dedicated to giving back to their community.

Jane Drazek | Cave Creek

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