canfield cartoon

Letter to R.J. Cardin

Director, Maricopa County Parks & Recreation
Copied to Park Staff: Amy Ford, James Terrell, John Gunn, Kevin Smith, Jennifer Waller

The Trail Ride we held on Saturday, Oct. 10 for Open Space was an amazing event. We were hoping for 20 to 40 and had 105 riders. I will list the communities these riders came from below. It really was across the valley. Once again your staff at Cave Creek Regional Park and Spur Cross Conservation Area were wonderful. They were there and helping every step of the way especially Saturday which was very demanding with all the horse trailers coming in and needing to park. We never could have done this without them. They are very special individuals. And I cannot thank you enough for your support.

The riders were all impressed with your parks as well as the surrounding country we hope to acquire. So as we had hoped they all were very excited about the prospect of seeing the land saved. Riders came in from communities listed below:

Cave Creek – 47; Carefree – 4; Desert Hills – 5; Scottsdale – 10; Phoenix – 11; New River – 7; Paradise Valley – 1; Mesa – 3; Tempe – 1; Queen Creek –11; Gilbert – 2; Buckeye – 2; Goodyear – 2; Surprise –2; Rio Verde – 3; Wickenburg – 1; Salome – 1

Robert Williams | Cave Creek

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Tell Congress No Tax and Spend Healthcare Reform

I strongly urge you to oppose any legislation that would enact a government-run, public health care plan.

The small business surtax would devastate small businesses already struggling with a severe recession. This surtax would hit those who create jobs especially hard because more than six of every 10 affected are small business owners, who have led America out of the last seven recessions and create two out of every three jobs during a recovery.

Other problematic provisions include the public plan, which would be an unfair competitor, ultimately shifting costs to the private sector as it becomes big enough to drive down reimbursements to doctors and hospitals.

Consumers would then flock to the public plan because its premiums would be cheaper, and ultimately no viable private plans would remain.

Also, any mandate to employers that requires them to offer a one-size-fits-all “minimum benefits package” to all their employees is the wrong idea. The solution isn’t to force people to buy into an unaffordable system; the solution is to improve the quality and affordability of health care through market-based changes. Employer mandates, by their nature, limit flexibility and innovation, the foundation of voluntary employer provided health care.

This legislation will not address the nation’s health cost explosion, will steeply hike taxes in an already precarious economic situation, will fail to lead to more affordable, accessible, quality health coverage, and will lead us toward government-run health care.

In short, it will make a bad situation worse, at great costs to the nation in jobs, taxes, and freedom.

I strongly urge you to oppose any legislation that favors a government-run, public health care plan.

Michael J Erickson | Mesa

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We belong to the U.N. Why?

We should withdraw, quit, resign, cancel our membership and tell them to move the entire corrupt, criminal organization to some crap-hole third world nation and take Obama with them while the door is swinging shut.

They can also take every one of the radical lefty liberal congressman who are currently busy defecating on OUR constitution, OUR freedoms, OUR rights and OUR flag.
Damn, that made me feel good … Now, from my lips to God’s ears!

Tom Carbone | Via e-mail

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Arizona State must have mystics in its business school

Arizona State University apparently sends mystics as its representatives on the Horizon television program. Professor Dennis Hoffman is the most frequent. I use the word mystic because Hoffman seems to know things that no mortal human being could possibly know. Recently he was claiming to know that there are too many real estate jobs in Arizona and too many construction jobs and not enough high paying aerospace jobs. Where does he get this information? I would contend that these “facts” are not knowable. These are really opinions and should be presented as such, not as “data” from the ASU WP Carey School of Business. I am sure that, if you pin Hoffman down and ask him to quantify these claims, e.g., what is the correct percentage of construction jobs in Arizona, he would waffle and be unable to do so.

Why do people like Hoffman make these claims? The simple answer is that any “data” like this that seems to show things out of whack (can anything be “in whack” … but I digress), naturally is justification for some corrective action … which is almost always action to be taken by government. Such action will usually include a new tax or a new regulation or a new study or a new committee. And business schools will either supply the students or the professors or the studies to help government correct these problems.

Why can’t we have a business school that teaches free enterprise and simply advocates that we point our state government in the direction of low taxes and minimal regulations? Then we can let the chips fall where they may and dispense with the need for appearances by mystics from ASU.

Roy Miller | Phoenix

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Reckless Health Care changes

President Obama continues to pitch his reckless and unrealistic health care initiative to the public. “Big Brother“ Obama wants Congress to pass a bill quickly before Congress and the public understand the plan.

A proposed government imposed health care program will cost U.S. taxpayers about $1 trillion over 10 years, and the Medicare system will suffer cuts of $500 billion.

Thirteen million illegal aliens will access Obama’s health care system because many of them have drivers licenses and forged social security cards, and Obama’s health care package does not include verification of citizenship.

Obama says he will have to live with his program, but it is the American people who will have to endure the harmful impact on our health care system. About 80% of the American people are satisfied with the best health care system in the world.

Any changes will be implemented in 2013, well after the 2012 election. Is this timetable designed to give Obama the opportunity to be reelected before a failed health care program is implemented?

Some European countries and Canada embarked on Socialized health care and they have endured long waiting times for services and reductions in the quality of care due to inadequate numbers of doctors, nurses and hospitals. We could suffer the same fate.

Donald A. Moskowitz | Londonderry, New Hampshire

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Unbelievable revisionism

In the October 13 Arizona Republic, reader William Carille asserts that President Obama's Nobel is not that unusual given the fact that Mikhail Gorbachev of the USSR, a Nobel recipient, played an important role in the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War. Logic? Gorbachev was a newcomer and so is President Obama, so Obama's award is legitimate. Mr. Carille is correct that both awards were merited as political statements. As historical fact Gorbachev was swept into the dustbin of history by someone who was infinitely more deserving of a “Peace Prize.” Ronald Reagan's relentless confrontation of a truly evil and dangerous empire provided Gorbachev with an invitation that he could not refuse. True peace has NEVER been achieved without true victory. The fact that Reagan achieved this feat without a shot being fired is even more remarkable but of course he was a Conservative and the Nobel is a political statement. Congratulations Mr. President.

Jack Daniels | Scottsdale

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Public Lands

This Saturday I will join thousands of Americans across the country repairing trails, cleaning campsites and picking trash out of rivers and wetlands.

For over 100 years, America's federal lands have helped to shape our culture, economy and natural environment, giving us clean water, air, magnificent places to play, and also providing refuge for our nation's most wondrous wildlife.

One day a year simply isn't enough to demonstrate America's commitment to the stewardship of these special lands. That's why I've asked my U.S. Representative to support the America's Wildlife Heritage Act. I encourage my neighbors to do the same. This bill will help to ensure that every day our nation is doing its best to sustainably manage these precious resources for generations to come.

Mrs. Tina Groenbeck | Phoenix

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The cost of advances in health care

We have been told that the big problem is that medical costs have doubled over the last ten years. That is about a 7 percent increase per year. But about 3 percent of this is inflation meaning that the real growth has been about 4 percent per year. But what has been added into the health care bill in the past ten years? Are we comparing apples to apples? Here are just a few of the new health care advances that have benefited our family:

An increase in the survival rate of a breast cancer patient from 80 to 98 percent thanks to new DNA-based chemo treatments.

A lung cancer patient still alive after seven years thanks to a new radiation machine.

A lung disease patient with a life expectancy of three and a half years still alive thanks to a new drug.

An emphysema patient still alive thanks to two new inhalers.

A endometriosis patient cured with a radically new endoscopic operation.

A lung biopsy taken with a new endoscopic operation.

Two patients with diseased cataracts now with perfect eyesight thanks to new implantable devices.

A diseased knee restored thanks to a new endoscopic operation.

A cancer detected thanks to a new high definition scanning machine.

An infant with a blood defect did not have painful “heel-sticks” thanks to a new hand-held scanner.

A kidney dialysis patient now receiving dialysis at home thanks to a new technology.

High definition movies of babies in the womb.

There are others but I am sure there is a similar list for your family. And what lies ahead for the next ten years that is not available today? In the last week I have read about these:

A breast examination injection that is worse than the pain of childbirth is to be eliminated by a new cream.

Numerous diseases to be cured by stem cells.

Vision and hearing to be restored with new devices.

New drugs tailored to a person’s DNA.

Additional chemotherapies for targeting specific cancers.

A new American nuclear reactor to produce nuclear seeds for high-tech scanners.
And the list goes on and on.

Question: Should we allow health care costs to increase over the next ten years or should we stop these advances?

Jack C. McVickers | Scottsdale

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Harry Mitchell's Obamacare

I have written representative Harry Mitchell two polite e-mails and one letter without a response, so I have decided to ask my two questions publicly.

1) How can you add 47 million patients to the universal healthcare plan without increasing the number of doctors and nurses? In my opinion the result of expanding the demand for medical services without augmenting the supply of doctors and nurses must be the rationing of medical care. And rationing will inevitably take its greatest toll on the elderly.

2) Why is tort reform being ignored? Is it because the Democratic Party does not want to offend the trial attorney lobbyists? In Maricopa county medical liability is a serious problem because of the increasing number of undocumented aliens that are being encouraged by the federal government to use our emergency rooms. That alone is escalating the cost of medical care.

John A. Bamberl D.O., Facos | Scottsdale

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The American nightmare of home ownership

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the buyer’s market of today, you might want to first put a stick in your eye to feel what it would be like. Better yet, do something with sticks to Senators Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd, two scoundrels who have been instrumental in turning the American dream of home ownership into a nightmare.

My wife and I recently sold our large house in Scottsdale, Ariz., which we had owned for 17 years and had paid off the mortgage years ago. The good news is that we got a sales contract on it in seven weeks and bought a great townhouse in the same city with the proceeds. The bad news is that the experience took years off our lives. No doubt, the experience is a killer for people in dire financial straits whose homes are worth less than their mortgages.

With so many homes like ours on the market, including foreclosed and short-sale homes, we knew that it would have to be priced realistically. That meant doing a break-even calculation as follows: start with price that we paid for the house 17 years ago, multiply the price by the rate of monetary inflation over the 17 years, and add what we put into the house in remodeling and major repairs. The sum became our selling price, which was 50 percent less than the value of the house at the peak of the real estate bubble and nearly 25 percent less than the list-price of the home for sale across the street.

We also knew that we would have little leverage in the transaction, given the market conditions that favored the buyers. But we did not anticipate a home inspector and appraiser from hell.

The inspector retained by the buyers came up with a long punch-list of repairs, most of which were ridiculous. For example, although we had spent $28,000 on a new roof two years earlier, the inspector said that a few cracked roof tiles needed to be replaced. As he should have known, the purpose of the tiles, in addition to cosmetics, is to keep the Arizona sun from deteriorating the underlayment. They aren’t intended to be a water barrier. In a normal market, we would have told the inspector to put the tiles up his nose, along with his report.

Thanks to new government regulations, the appraiser retained by the buyer’s mortgage company was even worse. The regulations restrict realtors from giving helpful information to the appraiser and require lenders to accept an appraiser from a pool of appraisers, many of whom are not knowledgeable of the local market. The appraiser used a foreclosed home in bad condition as his main comparable in determining the value of our house, even though our home had been completely remodeled and was in impeccable condition. As a result, we had to cut the sales price by $25,000 or risk having the sale fall through. Maybe Sen. Dodd will reimburse us from the loot he received from Countrywide Financial on his sweetheart mortgage deal.

On second thought, tar and feathers would be preferable for Dodd, as well as for all of the other plutocrats, oligarchs, and apparatchiks responsible for the housing bubble and subsequent red tape, including the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, Congress, and their cronies on Wall Street and at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

On third thought, the punishment of tar and feathers would not fit the crime. A more fitting punishment would be heads on pikes.

Craig J. Cantoni | Scottsdale

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Interesting facts

Why is it that if you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labor; or if you inadvertently cross the Iranian border innocently, you get arrested and jailed indefinitely ... But, if you cross the United States border illegally you get a driver's license, Social Security card, and free emergency care????

Whose bright idea is this anyway?

Frank J. Laudonio | Scottsdale

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