I am upset about the closure of DAMS. While I understand the budget cut actions in our state, I can't help but think the closure of DAMS has anything to do with money. The last 2 school years the threat of closing the school has been discussed. Our district has lost 90 students from this first year threat of closure and will stand to lose more this go around. I have kept silent as to listen to the points make to get a feel for what is happening. Here it is as I see it.
IF money were the only problem with keeping DAMS open then I see it this way (and discussed):
1) DAMS would close, saving building upkeep money.
A) Students would be transferred to Sonoran Trails for 7-8 only Jr. High
2) Elementary Schools will go through 6th grade
Done. Problem solved. Saving money. Keeping teacher/student ratio. Keeping specials at elementary level. Groovy. I get it.
1) Why wasn't K-8 at Black Mountain brought up to the public as the PTO offered to the board early on? It would offer parents an opportunity to have their 7-8 graders remain closer to their homes and miss out on the hellishly long bus ride to Sonoran Trails.
2) Why wasn't the FULL day Kindergarten discussed returning to half day again thus saving the amount needed to keeping a well established DAMS open? I am not a charity provider. Other people’s kids and life style is NOT MY RESPONSIBILTY. Times are lean; cut it out of the budget.
It stinks to close DAMS. I am heartily saddened by it. I moved here for my kids to attend CCUSD. BUT, we are in crisis and must do what we need to do. Cutting back on so many things in our lives has not been fun, but necessary. This closure may be too.
I am uncomfortable with the fact that the board is planning on opening new schools/programs on the back of DAMS students. Now I think … WHAT savings? I agree with some, that this "new and improved" CCUSD upon closure of DAMS the board seeks, will forever damage our community/district and will not save a darn dime. We will still need to cool the DAMS building. We will still need to keep it in repair AND we will now need to pay for the elite school, and the extra programs that the board is wanting to now KEEP DAMS students here in district. The board is essentially trying to mend what they broke last year when 90 students left from the threat of DAMS closure the first time. HMMM. Sound familiar? GOVERNMENT BLUNDERS with GOVERNMENT FIXES. And yes, I am a little more sensitive to that now than I was before. Yes, I am leery of any government body telling me what is best for me and this will save money when all I hear is EXPENSE, EXPENSE, EXPENSE. If I felt it was cut and dry, I would begrudgingly agree/accept the DAMS closure – it like everything else in my life that has been cut due to this economy.
Not handled well upon the closure talk last year and now trying something new and forever solidifying to me how little they do know:
My gut tells me this may have been a long ago goal ... the elite school and the high school extras that the economy squashed. Especially, to paraphrase, that the December 19, 2009 Gov. Board minutes have stated that to have the new ideas implemented DAMS must close. What kind of show are they running here? Why is the board "pushing" their vote on us to close DAMS 24 hours BEFORE the State Special election for the sales tax increase for schools/ police/fire? Convenience? God forbid they have to meet on a special day to vote on something so important that will affect so many lives now in the future. Our district will forever change on this closure. It should not be taken lightly. Not re-hiring our Principal Orlando and lack of the DAMS website information prove the fact that THE BOARD HAS MADE UP ITS MIND FOR THE PEOPLE AND DAMS WILL BE CLOSED. We will now have the "new and improved" CCUSD. Can anything more be crammed down my throat? God, I am afraid to ask. (Health Care all over again in a different package perhaps?)
IF DAMS is to be closed, then nothing else should be "opened," "started" or "created." We are going bare bones to save money people (board). Not re-create a new and improved CCUSD that didn't need to be improved other than the light tweaks here and there to keep a once great district strong.
I hope we all remember this "Fantastic 3 Ring Circus" come re-election time. I will remember those voting for the closure without properly informing us "public" on other sound options or considering our input. Thank you so much for making those large decisions for us minions. What would we do without your infinite wisdom?
K. Clark | Cave Creek
Carefree doesn’t care
The actions of Carefree have had a devastating impact on my life and value of my home. Carefree has altered the historic flow of water at the corner of Nonchalant and Up @ Down and diverted massive amounts of water on to my property causing flooding to my new home and major erosion to my property.
After many meetings with Carefree staff, I have been forced to hire an attorney to try to resolve this problem. I have had to hire an expert hydrologist who states in his report that Carefree is at fault, and has altered and diverted historic flow of water onto my property and should correct the drainage changes ASAP.
Now the attorneys for the city have offered me three solutions to the problem that they created. I have been forced to build an earth berm along the south of my property to protect from flooding until Carefree corrects the problem they created. I have been forced to hire an attorney at a current cost of $40,000 plus a Forensic Hydrology Engineer at a cost of $10,000, repairs to home and landscape of $30,000.
If Carefree would have addressed this problem all of these expenses, not to mention the town’s legal fees could have been avoided. Now the town refuses to reimburse me for these expenses, but has admitted through the three solutions that they have erred. SHAME ON CAREFREE.
David B. Schulz | Carefree
Partiers crap in their pants
Are the news reports true? Did local Tea Partiers cheer when an actor dressed as Patrick Henry said at yesterday's rally that God and the Ten Commandments should be returned to the classroom?
First, Patrick Henry wasn't a big fan of religion. Second, if the news reports are true, don't these fools realize that one of the main problems with public education is that the Left and Right want to use government schools as an arena to fight over values and to use coercion to force their values on others? True freedom would be getting the government out of the education (indoctrination?) delivery business entirely and giving parents the means to send their kids to private schools that match their values.
Craig Cantoni | Scottsdale
Rewrite of US history
Note to Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell regarding his recent proclamation of Confederate History Month: Nice try at the rewrite of US history. The issue of “states’ rights” was the issue only insofar as it applied to the Southern states’ right to expand slavery and slavery was the principle cause of the war. Oh, and Lincoln also had it correct, as demonstrated in this excerpt from his Second Inaugural Address:
“One eighth of the whole population was colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it . . . Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease . . ..”
David A. Swanson | Cave Creek
House passes key illegal-immigration bill "uncuffing" law enforcement and promoting public safety
Illegal is not a race, it is a crime.
On April 13, the Arizona House of Representatives passed Senator Russell Pearce's critical Senate bill ensuring enforcement of federal laws against illegal alien, human smuggling and other crimes.
Strict enforcement. It is time to renew our efforts to end ALL sanctuary policies in our state and our nation: Require officials to fully enforce federal immigration laws of the United States. NO MORE TAXPAYER BENEFITS OF ANY KIND, No Amnesty, No retreat, No surrender. We will take back America one state at a time. It starts here!!!!!
“My personal background in law enforcement has given me a unique and in-touch perspective with the needs and hazards experienced by rank-and-file police officers and the threats to our citizens. Closing our borders is a must; however it must be coupled with interior enforcement. Attrition by enforcement.”
“I cannot stand by and be a spectator to the death, maiming or damage to another police officer, citizen or taxpayer by an illegal alien because we refuse to enforce our laws and fail to put America and Americans First.”
Simply enforce our laws and you will see less crime, lower taxes, smaller class sizes, shorter lines in our emergency rooms and reduce deaths, murders, maimings, drugs, home invasions, carjackings, kidnappings, protect jobs for Americans, reduced wages, an ultimately save the taxpayer billions of dollars. We cannot afford to "NOT" enforce our laws. Attrition by enforcement.
Citizens have a constitutional right to expect the protection of federal laws which prohibit unauthorized activities by non-citizens and are denied equal protection by law enforcement, police departments or magistrates when they fail to enforce those laws.
This bill recognizes the huge cost to Arizona citizens in the cost to our citizens in crime, social services, jobs taken from American and the destruction of the rule of law.
Once the Senate approves the House’s modifications, Senate Bill 1070 will head to the Governor’s office for her signature.
“This essential, straightforward bill reinforces federal law by removing the political handcuffs placed on our law enforcement in protect our neighborhoods and enforcing our laws by empowering state law enforcement with tools it needs to address illegal immigration,” said Sen. Pearce, the bill’s sponsor and a longtime champion of legislation protecting Arizonans against illegal aliens. This legislation has the support of Arizona Police Association representing over 9,000 police officers, 9 of 15 Sheriff's, Phoenix law Enforcement Association, Border Patrol Officers, Sheriff Joe, County Attorney Andrew Thomas, the Republican Party, Arizona Highway Patrol, Maricopa Deputies Law Enforcement Association, 80 percent of Arizona citizens.
Called the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” this bill secures enforcement of existing federal laws against illegal immigration and unlawful transporting, harboring or hiring of illegal immigrants. It also allows police officers to check a suspected individual’s immigration status given probable cause and to contact ICE or make necessary arrests.
“This legislation stops practices that hurt Arizonans, like sanctuary cities and ‘catch and release policies,” said Sen. Pearce. “Illegal is illegal.” SB 1070 will not only save Arizona money in the long run but will help keep our state safe, Sen. Pearce added.
The bill’s passage came on the same day that senators and the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association called for stronger security for ranchers and their families living along the border, a need highlighted by the recent murder of rancher Robert Krentz by a suspected illegal immigrant.
“This bill protects Arizonans,” Sen. Pearce said. “It is a much-needed step in the right direction.”
Mike Philipsen | Arizona Senate Republican Caucus
April Fools article
I gotta say, the first thing I read from the April Fools edition was Don Sorchych's decision to run for the CCUSD school board, and I actually believed it. Of course, that was short lived as I read the other articles and the giant heading. I have to say though, for the time that I thought Don Sorchych's decision to run was legitimate, I was actually happy. I thought, "Well, that's actually quite a smart move!" Of course, I soon considered other factors and thought Don probably wasn't the best option. However, I do think if a position opens, Sonoran News should really do a lot to make sure their promoted candidate gets the spot. No offense or anything, but you guys do complain a lot about CCUSD (perhaps rightly so, but that's not the point), and we really should be part of the solution. Give them a hand to make the district more publicly liked.
Vincent Chien | E-mail
Waste of resources in school districts
We hear about how poorly the school districts are run and how money is squandered, while the faculty and administrations brainwash the parents and pander for bond overrides each year because they can't manage their money wisely. Well today, as a resident of Dove Valley Ranch, I received a 16 page color glossy 2008-2009 "Annual Report" for the Deer Valley School District, on heavy bond paper in my mail.
One problem: Out neighborhood is in the Cave Creek School District, and certainly not the Deer Valley Unified District (Thank God)!
I just wonder how much money was squandered in printing and mailing these brochures to residents of the WRONG district? If I lived in this district, I would still be appalled to receive such a waste of paper and resources in ANY economy, much less an economic depression that we are experiencing today that has teachers being laid off! To make matters worse, on the back of the brochure, it has the audacity to state: "The Deer Valley Unified School District believes strongly in reporting our progress to all residents. Due to budget reduction, you will note that this report has been reduced from 24 pages to 16 pages. If you have any questions about areas not covered in this report, please contact Sandi Hicks, Director of Public Relation at 623-445-5010."
This is a great example of school district WASTE in our state. It's April 2010, and they are still squandering our tax dollars like it isn't theirs. These annual reports should have been terminated YEARS ago, and made available online for those few that want to read such rubbish! The back page even states "DVUSD requires that all teachers must be highly qualified unlike charter and private schools." Is this an advertisement for the school district, and if so, since when does a school district advertise?
Brad Burdick | Dove Valley Ranch
Why Liberals fear Sarah Palin
While liberals ridicule Sarah Palin they secretly are scared to death that she will run for president in 2012 because Palin is the strongest and smartest candidate the Republican have ever put forward. When asked what newspapers and magazines she reads her answer was "all of them". No other Republican is as well read as Sarah Palin. That's why even before the election President Nicolas Sarkozy of France called her up to have a conversation with her assuring her that she was a foreign policy expert and he watched a documentary about Palin's life. She has risen to be so powerful in the Republican party that John McCain, the last presidential nominee now needs her help to win his primary election for the Senate.
So don't believe what those liberal intellectual elitists and Washington insiders are saying. Don't believe the lamestream media who laughs at the idea of a President Palin. If you close your eyes and believe real hard it will become true.
I'm Marc Perkel – And I approved this message!
Marc Perkel | Gilroy, California
Significance of current political issues
Since the passage of TARP, the stimulus bills, and the recent health care bill, I have become increasingly concerned regarding the direction of our country. There are currently multiple lawsuits concerning overreaching Federal authority and states are passing a spate of laws geared at stalling the expansion, or directly challenging existing Federal Authority.
After much research, I think I now have an idea what this health care bill is really about and the great significance of the direction we are heading. Medicare benefits could have been extended to low income people with a 25 page bill. The bill that was passed is 2500 pages, includes legislation regarding programs which have nothing to do with healthcare, and also a Federal government mandate for private citizens to do business with private companies, or be taxed (Fined). So here is my idea of what is going on.
The court challenge is the key to expanding Federal Authority based on the General Welfare Clause of the Constitution. The Healthcare bill is simply the vehicle for entering a process where the judicial legislation is expected to occur.
The same way Federalist minded politicians used the Commerce Clause of the constitution, and the later Interstate Commerce Act to expand Federal Government Authority, they are now trying to do with the "General Welfare Clause."
Historical statements by our founding fathers clearly show that the "General Welfare Clause" was simply the justification for the fed to raise tax money for purposes of protecting "the general welfare of the "union."
They are trying to get a judicial ruling that it also includes "the general welfare of the "individual citizens." And if they got that then the Federal Government could justify any laws as constitutional.
It would be the end of state sovereignty and the beginning of a Federal legislative despotism.
The key point here is that this can go to court, the bill, which is second in significance to the underlying issue, could be thrown out, and the judgment could still be written in a way that fundamentally changes the interpretation of the "General Welfare" clause, and serves to greatly expand the Federal Governments Power, and further erode state sovereignty.
James Murr | Scottsdale
The spirit of the original tea party
Our government’s irresponsible and reckless fiscal policies have brought us to the brink of fiscal calamity. The head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Douglas Elmendorf, said "U.S. fiscal policy is unsustainable to an extent that it can't be solved through minor changes … it's a matter of arithmetic." The undeniable facts are for every dollar in taxes and other revenues the federal government took in, the government spent over $3.00. The official national debt now stands at $12.68 trillion. Contingent obligations for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans and pensions now stand at an additional $108 trillion over and above the “official” national debt. The Health Care Reform Bill may be the last nail in our fiscal coffin.
For over 100 years, the progressives in both parties have advocated redistribution of wealth, profligate spending and borrowing, control and regulation of all wages and commerce, including our healthcare. They have long been transforming America incrementally hoping no one would notice. President Barack Obama, flush with the confidence of victory and majorities in Congress, openly fast tracked and foisted his socialist agenda on us not expecting to be deluged by a tsunami of “tea parties.”
President Obama acknowledges he sought out socialist and Marxist professors while in college. As president, he has appointed and empowered more self-proclaimed and admitted socialist, Marxist and communist advisors in the White House than there were in the Soviet Union’s Kremlin. These elitists imposed their directives, regulations, and mandates and opened a Pandora’s Box with their assault on the free market, individual liberties and the Constitution. In their arrogance, they have inadvertently resurrected the spirit of the original tea party, which ended in a revolution and the vanquishment of an oppressor.
This may very well be President Obama’s legacy.
Ed Konecnik | Flushing, New York
Reduce oil consumption to counter Russian resurgence
During the past few years Russian oil revenues have generated a surplus of $500 billion, and Russia is using this money to rebuild and expand its military after many years of neglect.
The refurbishment of the Russian military has been accompanied by a revival of the cold war, and we are in the midst of a resurgence of Russia and its totalitarian machinations.
The foray into Georgia is an example of the mentality of the Russian leadership, and Russia might be rekindling a close relationship with Cuba, including the reopening of a sophisticated electronic intelligence gathering operation in Lourdes, Cuba. Russia has conducted talks with Cuba, Syria and Vietnam on the use of naval bases, has sent naval forces to visit Venezuelan ports, and has promised to help Chavez develop a nuclear “energy” (???) program.
As the largest consumer of oil in the world we have to continue to reduce our oil consumption, which will help our economy and the environment, exert downward pressure on oil prices, and decrease the revenue going to Russia and other foreign countries. We need fuel efficient vehicles, more alternative energy sources, increased domestic oil and natural gas production, and more nuclear power plants.
Donald A. Moskowitz | Londonderry, New Hampshire
Born and raised
My name is d'Lynn. I'm a disabled Vietnam vet. I don't look too bad for a beat-up old fart, do I? And that's my ride. She's looking pretty good looking also, especially when you consider that she'll turn twenty this summer. That's right, it's a 1990 with a 1990 sidecar. I can't ride a solo bike, ergo the sidecar rig. It's my sole means of transportation - rain or shine, snow or wind, and this summer also marks a milestone in both of our lives, as I will finally be able to pay her off. Twenty years old? What? Why did it take so long? You weren't paying attention, were you? It's right at the beginning of this paragraph. I am a disabled vet, which means I receive a Veterans Administration disability pension, which also means "I'm broke!" Just one step ahead of being homeless every month, and that's not an idle statement or an "Oh, woe is me" dire complaint. There’s a point to this, so hang in there a minute or two and read on.
There's a 25-year-old illegal immigrant woman living in Florida, with eight kids. Yes, eight "anchor babies" and she receives just shy of $1,500 per month per kid, plus medical, plus food stamps. Oh, wait. I've been informed that I shouldn't call them Food Stamps anymore. That's not PC. It's all called “Social Assistance” now. You do the math on that yourself. I'd say that she was schooled early in how to make it in the system. Twenty-five years old, eight kids … yep, she started early.
You can whip out the calculator if you want, but this women who never has paid a dime in taxes of any kind, (and still doesn't – she's 'illegal,' remember?) is here in this country illegally. She hasn’t paid one cent in medical for all the “anchor babies,” – makes more in one month, legally, than I receive in over a year and a half in disability payments and I can't even get food stamps! Oops, I mean “Social Assistance.”
Technically I am eligible for “Social Assistance.” I was told it would be a walk through – a gimme – being disabled. No problem, and in the very next breath I was also informed that under the law the amount I received in “Social Assistance” would be deducted from my disability pension.
Let's say I take a great photograph. It was just luck, a one of a kind accidental, in the right place at the right time shot. My local newspaper offers me fifty bucks to use the photo in a featured story. (I live in a small town and fifty bucks is all they could afford.) I have to report that fifty dollars to the VA as earned income, which will immediately be deducted from my next month’s disability check. If I don't report it I’m in violation of federal law and technically they can stop my disability pension and prosecute me under a federal felony. Pretty cool, eh? For fifty bucks.
I see no point in dealing with two federal bureaucracies, so I don't bother. What's the point?
She's here illegally and with just one kid would make over twice what I receive per month. She has eight and she’s not a stand-out case. She’s not alone. That's the way the system works. Millions of illegal immigrants know this, know how the system works and know how to use it. (Haven't you seen the pamphlet? It's handed out all along our borders, "The Illegal Immigrants' Guide to Keeping America Just The Way It Is.") and that's just the way it works.
Did you know that the federal government provides a “refugee” in this country with a monthly “stipend” of $1,890, plus $580 a month in “Social Assistance?” That’s $2,470 a month, tax-free. That's two and a half times what I’m allowed to receive as a disabled vet. And just what did they do to earn this? All you have to do is show up on our collective doorstep, raise your right hand and swear that you're a refugee and, bingo, receive $30,000 a year, tax-free. That's more than someone making $15 an hour, and they have to pay taxes to boot!
Now, in defense of the Veterans Administration, they are doing what they can with what they've got. This is precious little compared to what they should have to get the job done. At least this country has a VA. It's the Senate that keeps passing laws, rules and guidelines, cutting their budget, denying requests for more staff and computer systems to handle the massive work flow. Their hands are tied by the very government that's supposed to give them what they need to get the job done, by the government you voted into office. Don't scream at the VA. I have. It's misguided anger.
The point to this “story?” Just why are you paying such high taxes to support this incredibly screwed-up government? Why? And I’m not proposing you stop paying your taxes. That's wrong. There are good programs and reasons to pay your taxes and support our government. What am I proposing? It's quite simple. Vote.
The government, ‘our’ government, is broken and we as the voters serve as the maintenance crew. We fix it … by voting.
If your state Senator has been in office more then two terms, vote 'em out at the next election. If your state representative has been in office more then two terms, vote 'em out of office. We put term limits on just about every publicly-elected official in the country except the House and Senate. Why? Believe me, they know this and love it! Ahhh – the power!
I don't care how much you believe your Senator or Representative is doing a good job. They're not! Look at the government you have, that we have. How can you state they are doing what you want as the voter that put them there? How?
Vote them out of office. Do it.
Change the course of this country's history by what you are granted and guaranteed under the law. Vote! And if you have the guts, the anger, the outrage, start a petition in your state for a state-wide initiative to be placed on your next state ballot. Limiting the terms of office for your state senators and state representatives to your federal government to two terms.
The federal government will never pass such a law, but you can. You can get it done. You can force it. You can make it a law.
This is the first step in “getting it right.” Just vote. It's simple. It's easy, darn it!
This first step will send a very clear message. It’ll work. It’ll put “us” back in control of “them.” As it should be. As it was intended in the first place.
Are you an American? Born and raised? Then vote!