cartoon 9-18-13

Frat Party

The two boys now running the town, Trenk and Glassman, have reached a new low and dragged the ever more compliant bobbleheads on Town Council with them (add Francia to Durkin, Spitzer and Monachino). Their silly resolution challenging Scottsdale’s slogan as ‘The West’s Most Western Town’ reflects their attitude and belief that everything in Cave Creek revolves around playing like cowboys and the big box bars where they hang out – Harold’s, the Chip and Toad where they enjoy free meals and free drinks and the unfinished Thorstensen project where they presumably will enjoy free meals and drinks in the future. Some of the lesser businesses and activities, in their view, get a passing mention.

The Mayor’s call for all to show up at the Sept. 16 town council meeting in cowboy garb was more appropriate for a frat costume party than for a town council meeting. The entire initiative, complete with inane challenges, is juvenile, asinine, has no place in Cave Creek and could result in legal issues as Scottsdale’s slogan is trademarked. It is the action of an interim Town Manger who has not a clue as to what is important and a town council that obviously doesn’t care about continuing to spend taxpayer money they said we didn’t have to blow their own horn. This town council increasingly makes living in Cave Creek an embarrassment.

Bob Williams
Cave Creek

Ms. Dyrek

I hope all is well with you. Please accept this as a non-commercial request for public records. I am requesting these records as a citizen of Cave Creek who has been supportive of the preservation and expansion of open space, our trail system, and the rural character of Cave Creek since 1986 when I helped draft the first General Plan.

I will be happy to come to Town Hall to review any and all records responsive to this request in order to tag those documents I would like copied. Please communicate with me by e-mail if there is a problem gathering the documents.

I am defining (records) in this request in the broadest term to include any writing, voice mail, note, emails, and or electronically stored information of any kind having anything to do with the following subjects generated by any staff, elected official, volunteer, contractor, or other person(s).

1. All records relating to the purchase of the annexed state land generated in the last 60 days. Please include any contacts with the State Land Department, or any other State Agency with regard to this request.
2. All records relating to the settlement of any pending lawsuits with the town.
3. All records relating to the suspension of the OSCAG meetings.
4. All records relating to the cost of the Mayor's letters to citizens.
5.All records relating to the search for a permanent Town Manager.
6. All records relating to any work done by Vice Mayor Trenk, and Councilmen Durkin, Spitzer, and Monachino since they were sworn in as elected officials of the town.
7. All records relating to the Temporary Town Manager's new campaign which includes a cartoon of him riding a buffalo and being chased by a person in a car. I have no idea how to identify this campaign in any other way. I expect that reasonable inquiry with the Temporary Town Manager will frame the inquiry for you. Please include all information relating to costs or expected costs of the buffalo riding campaign.

Thank you Carrie. As soon as you have either gathered the documents or have determined there are no documents as to any of the above individually numbered requests please let me know and I will begin review.

Steve LaMar
Cave Creek


Dear Packages from Home......

We wanted to thank you so much for the package you sent us. It is heartwarming to know that there are people out there thinking of us. We will definitely enjoy the things you've sent us for days to come. Thanks again!


I would like to thank you for the packages that you sent to me and my unit. We received the packages filled with candy and other stuff and you should have seen the faces of the soldiers. We had just received a mission so most of them were not here when I opened the boxes. But when they returned it was like kids on Christmas morning. They immediately dove in and started to enjoy the treats. Just wanted you to know how much joy and appreciation you brought to us.

Thank you from a MedEvac Unit.

My name is Lazarion and I’m deployed to Afghanistan. Today I was sitting at work and my co-workers brought in care packages. I wasn't too quick to jump up because I'm not used to getting anything in the mail but my name was called. I was instantly filled with joy, and when I read the card from a boy named Chris from Arizona, I almost broke out in tears. This care package means so much to me, personally, and I can’t express my gratitude enough to the Packages From Home Organization. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you very much for the packages! It is truly a blessing to have the love and support from you and your community! My troops were ecstatic to see all the variety of "goodies" you sent. Thanks again for your support and please know that you have touched the hearts of myself and my troops!

MSgt Miller

I personally would like to thank you for the care package. I issue the goods to the drivers in the motor pool. It was a fight over the peanut butter and jelly. The soldiers were very appreciative. Thank you so much for supporting our troops.



Should the CCUSD governing board set measurable goals for the superintendent?

Should CCUSD governing board set measurable goals for the superintendent to assure our taxpayers the district is setting and meeting high expectations of learning for our students before shelling out $14,000 in bonuses to the superintendent? I would hope so, but this is not what has happened.

The August 13, 2013 board meeting resulted in a heated discussion when a majority of board members expressed the opinion there is no need to set measurable goals for the superintendent. Only one member, Janet Busbee, spent a great deal of time explaining why goals are important and why they need to be something that can be measured. I have argued the need to set measurable goals for the last five years to no avail.

CCUSD cannot continue to use 21st Century Learning (mandated) or District Technology Plan, which requires wholesale use of our capital funds. It is easy year after year to meet a required mandate and self serving to expend funds on the tech plan – then ask for a bonus of 10 percent of your base because you met expectations, not measurable goals.

Setting goals is not a “gottcha.” They are mutually agreed upon and normally planned over one to three year periods.

The district needs to set and measure its own standards of higher learning. It is very easy in this state to be an A plus school when passing AIMS at the 10th grade level is really all the state requires from the average student and districts.

You can go to the CCUSD web site and view the board meeting in its entirety to come to your own conclusions about whether it is important to set goals and review the Superintendents’ performance before giving out a 10 percent bonus!!

Susan Clancy
CCUSD Governing Board Member


Civil unions

I was sorry to read that Jerome has joined the attack on Judeo-Christian morality by legalizing civil unions.

A major totalitarian of our times said the American people would buy the rope to hang themselves.

I am hoping that the communities of Arizona are too moral, too well informed and too intelligent to promote the destruction of Western Civilization and will work instead to protect it by endorsing only morality.

Arden Druce
Camp Verde


Goal of energy security

With a war on Syria becoming more of a reality, the price of crude oil continues to increase. Our ever-increasing reliance on foreign oil has left us in a financial tough spot whenever turmoil in the Middle East flares up. With the situation in Syria continuing to worsen, there appears to be no end in sight.

Times like these should remind us of our fixation with foreign oil and why this must come to an end. We need to become larger producers of domestic oil and other energy resources to shelter ourselves from the continued political unrest in the Middle East, with the eventual goal of gaining energy security. The Keystone Pipeline is the fastest and easiest way to ensure that American reliance on foreign oil is broken in the short term. President Obama, make it a priority to fast track this project that will create American jobs and shelter American citizens’ pocketbooks from being tied to the instability in the Middle East.

Youssef Khalaf


Middle East Equilibrium

To foster world stability, it is in the best interest of the U.S. to promote equilibrium in the Middle East.

Israel should be kept strong because it is a Western oriented ally and buffer country in the region.

Iraq was a buffer against Iran. With the death of Hussein and the takeover by the Shiites, the balance of power has shifted to Shiite Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Sunni majority in Syria, supported by Sunni Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, are fighting President Assad of Syria, a Shiite. We should support the Sunnis in Syria with some arms and hope they can hold their own and keep Assad off balance. Since the Syrian rebels have al Qaeda elements among them, we do not want to strengthen them, nor weaken Assad, too much.

Egypt is a dubious friend of the U.S. The Sunni Muslim Brotherhood continues to cast a shadow on the country. We should back the Egyptian military as a counter-weight to the Islamists in Egypt.

Sectarianism in the Middle East prevails over national identity, and conflicts will be fought due to sectarian and religious differences.

We have to remember who our potential enemies are in the world.

Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire


Arizona high court rejects transparency and accountability measure

“Arizonans deserve a fair and transparent judicial selection process. No system is perfect, including Arizona’s merit selection system for choosing judges. In its current form, merit selection allows for political and judicial insiders to manipulate and control the results of judicial nominations and ensures all of this is done by a vote that is unavailable for public record.
That’s why it was critical for the legislature and the Governor to enact HB 2600. This was a common sense, simple measure and would have gone a long way to shine a light on a process most Arizonans know little about.

Regrettably, today’s action by the Arizona Supreme Court means these problems remain unaddressed. It was within the legislature’s authority to supplement the judicial selection process to address these concerns, while still respecting the intent and will of the voters that passed merit selection. 

Furthermore, I fail to understand why the court decided to strike the provision requiring a publicly recorded vote for the commissioners who select judicial nominees when that was not at issue in this case. That provision was not challenged, yet the court still overturned it.

In the interest of disclosure and transparency, I encourage the judiciary and the merit selection commissions to voluntarily record their votes and include them in their minutes. No constitutional prohibition would prohibit the commissions and the courts from adopting that policy on their own.

Judicial selection and retention remains a serious concern for many in this state. Despite today’s decision, I remain hopeful that those who defend and support the current merit selection process will be willing to consider future measures to address these issues.”

Cathi Herrod, President
Center for Arizona Policy


The greatest invention in human history

The greatest invention in human history is not the wheel, cars, or the cell phone. As much of the nation continues to bake with temperatures in the 90s and beyond, can there be any doubt that our most wonderful piece of technology is the air conditioner? It was way back in 1902 that Willis Carrier created the Apparatus for Treating Air for a Brooklyn printing company–a breakthrough that, as it developed and spread over the decades, changed the human condition. Today close to 90 percent of U.S. homes have AC, but I am old enough to remember when it was still a luxury. During heat waves, people barely moved; nights were a sleepless ordeal. From such misery did air conditioning set us free.

Air conditioning is not merely a matter of comfort; it has given us modern life. It keeps people working when the mercury climbs past 90, thus boosting the economy. It's enabled a great migration of tens of millions of people to Sun Belt states that nature only intended for lizards.
Some eco-warriors suggest we all wean ourselves from Carrier's invention and return to a more natural way of life. Sorry: I'd give up my digital devices, my TV, before I went back to scorching hot cars. If they come for my conditioned air, they'll have to rip it out of my wonderfully cool hands.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City, California


Congress and Syria

As Washington swirls with proposals, counter-proposals, and political brinksmanship in response to diplomatic efforts on Syria, the situation has a lot of people scratching their heads. Couldn’t President Obama and Congress have handled this differently?

I prefer to take a step back and ask a different question. Given that we are stronger as a country and our foreign policy more effective when the President and Congress forge a unified response to an international crisis, how can the two branches of government work together less chaotically to confront a dilemma like this one?

Let’s put a possible congressional vote on Syria in context. Washington has long been divided over the power to use American military force, thanks to ambiguity in the Constitution itself: it gives Congress the power to declare war, but makes the President commander-in-chief. The last time Congress formally used its war powers was during World War II. It has ceded authority to the President ever since.

So I’m encouraged to see the possibility of real congressional debate on Syria, on what to do when another country uses chemical weapons, and on the projection of U.S. power. Presidents should not get a free pass on foreign affairs, but neither should Congress get to avoid declaring itself. On such difficult issues in the past, Congress has preferred to sidestep its constitutional responsibility, defer to the President and then snipe from the sidelines when things go wrong.

This time, for better or worse, is different. What I hope we don’t see is a chaotic process that leaves the U.S. appearing divided and indecisive, with the President forced to wonder how to “consult” with a disorganized Congress in which power is diffused. There is a better way, but it requires a regular mechanism for consultation. A few years ago, a bipartisan National War Powers Commission, of which I was a member, came up with a pragmatic framework that would create a routine process for the President and Congress to follow.

Had this structure been in place already, a high-stakes vote on Syria wouldn’t seem so unusual and the consultative process would have been far less messy. My hope, once this is over, is that the idea will gain greater currency. When international crises arrive, a routine process that has allowed our political leaders to build credibility with each other would save them a lot of heartburn.

Lee Hamilton, Director
Center on Congress at Indiana


Are we about to experience real global warming?

The United States has officially announced that it is now delivering lethal aid to al-Qaeda rebels engaged in attacks against the Syrian government while they try to disarm Americans. It disgusts me that Barack Hussein Obama II reflects on the anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attack by al-Qaeda and the Taliban, while he supported al-Qaeda forces in Libya and now Syria! Hello! It is doubtful that Vladamir Putin will be able to confiscate Assad's chemical weapons fast enough to satisfy Kerry's, McCain's, Graham's and Obama's thirst to take out both Syria and Iran for Israel. Why would we or Israel want a rushed transfer of chemical weapons subject to capture by the al-Qaeda supported Osama bin Laden Brigade? A responsible transfer of these agents into International or Russian control will take time. Obviously this was never an issue of chemical weapons but an obsession to provoke Iran to come to the aid of Syria assured by their treaty. Attacking Syria is NOT in our national interest.

It may be in Israel's interest. If I was an Israeli leader I might have lobbied America's Congress to do the same thing. Not being an Obamabot, I'm against having a pissing contest with the Russians and risking starting WW3! And to think we are worried about global warming?

Joseph DuPont
Towanda, Pennsylvania