canfield superbowl cartoon

The differences between Cave Creek and Carefree

A friend of mine in North Carolina who ventures out here from time to time, and who may be looking to relocate, recently asked me to describe the differences between Cave Creek and Carefree. Simple, I said. But, first look at the similarities. Both are small communities of 4 to 6,000 residents or so nestled in the beautiful foothills northeast of the Phoenix valley and they share a common border – and there the similarities end. Cave Creek began as a rough and tumble mining town in the mid 1870s and in some respects hasn’t changed much since then. Cave Creek remains very rural and its residents generally seem to share the old miner’s optimism and not just a little attitude. Cave Creek has a colorful history, rich traditions, tons of character and meaningful initiatives such as preservation of open space and the environment. Like Sun City, although more upscale, Carefree began as one of the many planned retirement communities that sprang up around the valley in the late 50s and 60s. It therefore has virtually no history, no traditions, no character whatsoever, and is renowned locally as a speed trap. Apart from one Carefree councilman’s laudable effort at recycling, its initiatives seem to lean more toward keeping its streets painted black. Told you it was simple!

Bob Williams | Cave Creek

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Becky Fenger is absolutely right

For many years I called on the copper mines as they utilized our equipment to dig the copper and move it from point A to point B.  Consequently, I was very familiar with the processes, because quite often they relied on me for their Material Handling solutions.
Becky Fenger is absolutely right (“Ad maligns mining” 1/20) in that the ad sounds as if they were shooting from the hip. The mining companies go to the extreme to protect the employees and it isn’t  like a coal mine where you have millions of dust particles in the air, not at all. The only place I know of that would come close to giving the miners lung problems is in the SXEW plant where they dip the copper anodes into caustic acid washes. However, the employees wear complete body suits with lung inhalators at all times. Other than the SXEW, many other places are/were just like any other factory faculties. In fact, I would marvel at how clean the air was up at Morenci and Claypool because most copper mines are in the mountains as opposed to dirty air Phoenix.

 Now if we were talking about the copper mines in Mexico, they might have a point. But I can guarantee you that the American copper companies bend over to create a safe working environment for their employees.
Robert McShane | Scottsdale

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The shame in Washington, D.C.

There is a national movement afoot promoting the idea to vote ALL incumbents in the United States Senate and Congress out of office regardless of party.  Why? The whole lot of them are corrupt!  The existing system is broken. An honest, service minded elected official does not have a chance of affecting change in Washington because of favors owed contributors and partisanship. Any thinking American has been aware of this for a long time. The result of replacing the old with the new would be in effect a mandate from the populous demanding a corrupt system be cleaned up and repaired. And ,We the People, should continue  to vote incumbents out of office until they get the message that we mean business.

 The United States of America was founded on the principle that the people vote into office representatives that represent the constituents and their ideals. America is a country supposedly run by the rule of law. But in reality our legal system is corrupt as well. Abuse of power is present in every court system in this land. We need to wake up and take responsibility for what happens in our country. We are all responsible for what has become of this great country because we have not demanded more of our elected representatives.  The malaise in the country is palpable. The apathy profound. We are not helpless.  We can change the course of history if we simply say, enough is enough!

Moreover, those who scoff at common sense solutions are the biggest threat to our recovery.  They scoff because they have become so insidiously corrupted that they can’t see the forest for the trees. Every politician has an agenda that perpetuates the same thing, getting re-elected and achieving power and then profitting from their power through books, speaking engagements, lobbying once out of office, and the list is endless.

There are many common sense remedies to our problems, among them: not spending what we don’t have, upholding and enforcing existing laws, tort reform, campaign finance reform, barring elected officials (public servants) from profiting from their office, holding all people accountable for their behavior and most importantly begin educating our children again.  We are failing to properly educate our future generations.

We have become an apathetic, PC, uninformed bunch of appeasers because of bigotry, media bias, finger pointing and shirking of responsibility. It is all subterfuge to distract us from what is really going on all around us. Critical thinking is a skill that most of us lack.  We believe what we hear on the news, if we even listen to the news. Or we have learned we cannot trust anyone in power or the media, let alone respect them. And we just go along to get along.
We do not have to continue in this manner.  We can go to the voting booth and create a revolution. We can affect change one vote at a time. And we can do this peacefully. It took me about 15 minutes to write this. Do you think you can find 15 minutes to call your Congressman and Senators and tell them goodbye, and then follow through on election day? I will.

Sheila S. Colton | Scottsdale

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CC Unified: Welcome to the Minor Leagues

Continuing “the marketing is the new excelling” meme, we find out from the Sonoran News that Cactus Shadows’ new athletic director is also responsible for marketing. (Sonoran News article “CSHS selects new athletic director.”

Principal Bebee:”...From his earlier corporate career as a ‘new business’ manager for Aetna health insurance, [our new AD] has strong communications and marketing skills. It’s time we begin marketing Cactus Shadows athletics.”

Steve Bebee is dead serious. Translate: halt the “defections” of DAMS and STMS graduating athletes to Pinnacle and Notre Dame.

Apparently marketing skills are more important than job experience in Cave Creek Unified, which the new AD does not appear to have (seems he was a language arts teacher last month). Of course this follows in the great CCUSD tradition of hiring principals, curriculum directors, and even superintendents who have no direct job experience. 

Until the administration with prompting from the governing board gets serious about demanding excellence and accountability our district will continue to suffer, whether it is defections to Pinnacle and ND for athletics, defections to charter schools and open enrollment for academics, or failing to convince our electorate that our district demands excellence and achievement.

Unfortunately the governing board cowers behind its ‘micromanaging fear’ and the administration works it tail off keeping the status quo.
Cave Creek Unified: Welcome to the minor leagues.

CCUSD Watch | |

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It’s time to restore constitutional government

Once again in the history of our republic Massachusetts has played a leading role.  Now it is up to the rest of us to restore our constitution’s limits on the power of the federal government.  The first order of business is to get the federal government out of any involvement whatsoever in health care.  This is not a constitutional power of the federal government but of each individual state.  Massachusetts showed us the way here also when it passed its own health care legislation.  We can also look to the European Union where each nation, many smaller than many of our states, has its own health care system.

Jack C. McVickers | Scottsdale

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Education v. Health care, or why Dems and Reps are cuckoo

“It’s a right.” “No one should have to do without it.” “The ability to pay shouldn’t determine if someone gets it.” “It’s a matter of fairness and justice.” “Profit has no place in providing it.” “Only the government can provide it efficiently and effectively.” It’s part of the social contract and the foundation of a strong nation.”

Those were the arguments over 150 years ago for universal, compulsory, government-provided primary education. The same arguments are invoked today for universal, compulsory, government-provided health care.

How have things worked out in education?

Advocates for public education would say very well. They’d point to the fact that in the mid-nineteenth century, illiteracy was widespread and formal schooling was not. Today the reverse is true.

Ah, but there is no way of knowing what education would look like today if Horace Mann and other reformers hadn’t pushed for universal education. It stands to reason, though, that as unskilled and uneducated manual labor waned as a way to make a living in the latter years of the nineteenth century, especially on family farms, most parents would have found ways to have their children educated without being compelled to do so by the government. The reasonableness of that proposition can be seen in the fact that millions of Americans from all socioeconomic classes are pursuing post-secondary training and education in today’s era of knowledge work without the necessity of a government monopoly over post-secondary training and education.

We may not know what would have happened without universal, compulsory, government-provided primary (and later, secondary) education. But we know what has happened with it. For example, we know the following:

- The dropout rate is over 30 percent nationally and about 50 percent among inner-city blacks and Hispanics. Clearly, the goal of universal education hasn’t been met.

- The goals of fairness, justice, and equal opportunity also haven’t been met. White suburban schools are much better than black inner-city schools, even when spending is equalized between them.

- Efficiency and effectiveness have gone out the window. In spite of a doubling of per-pupil spending in real terms over the last 40 years, test scores are stagnant. Stated differently, the productivity of public schools has plummeted, unlike the situation in virtually every industry that operates in a free market.

- Teacher unions are arguably the most powerful lobbying group in state legislatures and have increased their influence dramatically in Congress as more and more education policy and funding have been centralized at the federal level. At best, the unions bring a pro-union bias into the classroom; at worst, they bring a leftist and statist bias. Parents who doubt this contention have not spent time reviewing the leftism, statism, and pro-unionism at, which is the website of the National Education Association.

An aside: France’s nationalized health care system is held up as an example of the prefect health care system by American advocates of nationalization. They fail to mention that French doctors and other health care providers are unionized and frequently strike for more money.

- Although children sit in K-12 classrooms for over 10,000 hours, not even one minute of that time is spent learning the full story of public education (or unions). For example, children don’t learn that the goals of the public education movement included putting “Papist” schools out of business, teaching the King James Bible to Catholics, and outlawing the public funding of parochial schools. Nor are students taught to question why well-off parents who can afford to pay the full cost of their children’s education are subsidized by other taxpayers to the detriment of the poor. And they do not learn about countries that rank high in international tests due to encouraging competition by funding both public and private schools.

This brings us to the bizarre politics of health care reform.

On the one right hand we have Republicans who are opposed to universal, compulsory, government-run health care. At the same time, they love their public schools, which are the result of universal, compulsory, government-run education and which have a bias for leftism, statism, and pro-unionism — or everything that Republican say they oppose.
On the left hand we have Democrats who love universal, compulsory, government-run education, although it favors suburban Republicans over inner-city poor and has fallen far short of universality. At the same time they favor universal, compulsory, government-run health care, although the health care bill being mangled in Congress will still leave millions of people without health insurance.

Both political parties are clearly cuckoo.

Craig J. Cantoni | Scottsdale

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Open letter to Senator-Elect Brown (R-MA)

Dear Senator-Elect Brown:

First of all, congratulations on your victory against your state’s Democrat-Socialist machine!
It seems that you are repaying a debt to Sen. John S. McCain, III by placing “robocalls” on his behalf to Arizona residents. Please stop, or take him to dinner at an expensive restaurant instead. Sen. McCain is the reason so many Arizonans have abandoned the Republican Party. He talks the Conservative jargon while in Arizona, and then votes with the Democrat-Socialist coalition in DC. He is the father of the infamous McCain-Feingold attack on our First Amendment rights (it was just reversed by the Supreme Court this week) and of McCain Kennedy, which we call the “Shamnesty” Bill on behalf of illegal aliens.

Sen. McCain has not received my vote since he left the House and entered the Senate. No: I have not voted for his still more-radical opponents. I have merely written NONE OF THE ABOVE on the ballot. Of course, he did not receive my vote either when he ran for the presidency: NONE OF THE ABOVE again. We hard-core Conservatives have known for some time now that there are several left-wing Fifth Columnists bedded down in the moribund Republican Party, and that among these we can identify Senators Graham, Snowe, Collins, NYC mayor Bloomberg, and – yes – John Sidney McCain, III.

Senator-Elect Brown, do not sully your image through this association with our notorious RINO!

“El que se acuesta con perros acaba con pulgas”
(Old Spanish proverb)

J-P. A. Maldonado | Former Republican, now proud Independent

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The ‘Republic’ wouldn’t print this

Stop it already! Good grief! There must come a time in the middle of mayhem when sanity will take over.  Let’s hope it is now.

Yes, of course Sheriff Joe Arpaio has committed some egregious sins:  Let’s see . . . He’s been on national television many more times than our past governor, the mayor of our largest city, and even some of our congressmen. He’s had the audacity to actually be interviewed on national radio talk shows; and of course, he’s just way too popular here in Arizona!  He even carries out our laws, even those unpopular with the liberals . . . er, pardon . . . the “left,” that is.  

Well . . . it’s time for his comeuppance!  It was only right when our ex-governor left for Washington that the top of her agenda was to get on national television as often as Sheriff Arpaio and to get the brand new Attorney General and the new feds to pull off the biggest witch hunt possible to just get him!  Governor Napolitano must still be smarting after Sheriff Joe brought his office balance sheet back in the black in one year from a $3 million dollar deficit; while she just threw up her hands and left the state hanging with her $2.2 billion deficit.  Whoops!  Well, at least now that things are popping in Detroit and Fort Hood, she can be on national TV.  

Now,  the Arizona Republic has jumped into the fray.  Benjamin Franklin always resisted making his newspaper fiercely partisan as he summed up the Enlightenment position:  “Printers are educated in the belief that when men differ in opinion, both sides ought equally to have the advantage of being heard by the public; and that when Truth and Error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter.”  (emphasis added).  Interesting theory.

Be careful;  Sheriff Arpaio is not only popular with Arizonians, but he’s also a form of tourist attraction for out of state travelers.  They feel especially safe here when they see chain gangs out on the road.  They all wish their sheriffs back home would have tent cities, chain gangs, and restricted inmates’ TV stations and hours.  Too bad our inmates probably missed seeing Secretary Napolitano tell the world how well her Homeland Security system works.

Beverly Lloyd-Lee | Scottsdale 

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