bil canfield cartoon

To the Citizens of Carefree

Feb. 20, 2015 – Councilman Mike Farrar wrote an editorial to the Sonoran News published 2/18/2015. In it, he is angry with the ASU and Butte proposal for an ASU/Carefree Cultural Center; but Butte withdrew from that proposal in an open letter on 2/10/2015 due to the antagonistic response to the proposal from 3 members of the Council. Thus, he is “beating a dead horse.” Review the Farrar letter to the Sonoran News and ask yourself – would you invest $40,000,000 in Carefree with that attitude on the Council?

The decline of the Carefree Town Center over the last 10 years is well documented. Almost everyone in Carefree says they want the Town Center revitalized. At the meeting when Butte and ASU presented their proposal for an ASU/Butte Cultural Center the exit survey of people attending overwhelmingly supported revitalization of the Town Center and the use of public funds for the Cultural Center. Butte offered to invest $40,000,000 in the Easy Street South project alongside the Town investing $4,000,000 in a building for the Cultural Center.

The Town Council unanimously approved a Resolution in October 2014 asking Butte to bring ASU back to Town and to create a proposal for an ASU/Carefree Cultural Center. Butte and ASU did exactly that in January. Now I wish I would have never done that, as people like Mike Farrar have twisted things around to look like Butte is asking for special favors from the Town.
Carefree Cultural Center was a proposed asset for the benefit of all merchants, landlords, and residents – not a favor to Ed Lewis. So, why penalize new development by demanding penalties imposed by the Town?

Amongst the 3 antagonists on the Council for the Butte/ASU joint proposal they have demanded from Butte and/or ASU:
-ASU extend the 5 year lease term.
-ASU fund $2,000,000 of the $4,000,000 for the facility in addition to ASU funding all the operation, maintenance, and programming costs.
-Butte give the Town one-quarter (¼) acre that is needed for the building and parking.
-Butte fund the entire $4,000,000 for the ASU/Carefree Cultural Center and we only get it back after we build both phases I and II of Easy Street South (about $90,000,000 of new facilities).

None of these demands are OK with Butte or ASU. Instead of the Town investing in itself with wise economic development to encourage revitalization in Town Center, the Town greets new development opportunities with unreasonable penalties and demands on developers.

In addition, Mr. Farrar wants to move the Cultural Center to a municipal campus near the Sundial. We are now 2 years into the dialogue of a Carefree Cultural Center. Why is he just now suggesting to move its location? I ask you – when will the Town get that done? Would you wait for the Town to build a new municipal campus? Are you happy with your Town Center? Do you have confidence in the Town Council revitalizing it without private investments in new businesses? What will be the return on investment for the Town in a new municipal complex? Will a new municipal complex generate quality pedestrian traffic to help the current merchants and to attract new restaurants and businesses?

So now Butte is looking at new options for its very large investment in Carefree. What other developer will build in the Town Center with 3 such antagonistic Council members? What is Mike Farrar’s vision for the future of Carefree Town Center? What is your vision for the future for Town Center?

Ed Lewis
Butte Companies


"Developer" or "Attack Dog"?

I have just been forwarded a letter Ed Lewis is circulating to the Town of Carefree citizens. He strongly attacks three Carefree Council members but only names one. His main target is Councilman Mike Farrar who has regularly said he strongly supports the Lewis project and an ASU Cultural center. However Mike wisely suggests that the financials have to make sense, and the citizens must be supportive of the whole idea of the town investing a minimum of $4 million to make Lewis's development work for him. Mike also questions if there are other town center locations that would work for ASU.

Lewis has now called our mayor a liar (he shouted at Mayor Schwan … “that is not true”) … he argued with Glenn Miller about who could build the best building for less money … he suggested a conspiracy existed with all of the negative letters forwarded to the town hall’s favorite blogger and now claims there are three council members against him.

Mr. Lewis, this sure does not seem to be the type of conduct that will bring the citizens to your side. Those are real people who ask for more information and show concern. Those are our elected officials you are attacking. This is not Scottsdale you are dealing with. Last week we were told "you were done." If you are not done, please put your guns and hatchets away and play nice.

Jim Van Allen


Save Scottsdale’s Scenic Drive

Scottsdale's Scenic Drive has been a community preservation project and tourist amenity for 51 years.

The State Land Department has proposed replacing the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive’s exhibit and the neighboring open desert with new commercial and resort/tourism development. The Greater Pinnacle Peak Association – Friends of the Scenic Drive has produced two videos to publicize its opposition to this proposal. These videos have been posted on YouTube and are available on GPPA's website.

1. "Save the Scenic Drive - GPPA Board + Scottsdale Voters Speak" -

2. "Save the Scenic Drive" -

Scottsdale's Scenic Drive is an historic landmark that was created by area residents in 1963. Residents and local governments have spent thousands of hours creating, maintaining and enhancing the drive. Scottsdale is currently spending $7 million on improvements to the northernmost stretch of Scottsdale Road that is 6 1/2 miles in length. Improvements include undergrounding all utility poles and lines and revegetating areas that have been damaged by development.

The Greater Pinnacle Peak Association (GPPA) was founded in 1977 and is dedicated to the preservation of the desert character and protection of quality of life in the north Scottsdale Sonoran desert. Friends of the Scenic Drive is the association's corps of volunteers that work to maintain, enhance, and advocate for the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive.

For additional information, visit GPPA's web site, OR or use the contact information below. Thank you for your time and consideration.


Les Conklin


Was Prescott martyr Kayla Mueller anti Israel?

Reports have begun to surface that Kayla had worked with Hamas, a designated terrorist organization according to the U.S. State Dept., and served a role that paints a far less favorable picture than the narrative that seems to be sweeping the nation about this young woman.
Reading from her own writings posted online, if they are authentic, it almost sounds as if she was an ally of Israel's enemies – our Muslim enemies.

This is from Israeli TV, not a neutral source perhaps, but not to be discounted out of hand either:

"Kayla Mueller was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who spent at least two years working with that terrorist support group ... As an ISM activist she was a tool for the worldwide jihad. A letter she wrote which appears on the ISM's website describes the usual ISM claims of atrocities that never occurred ..." (read that letter at the link above).

Before we end up with stories we may come to regret, her background should be carefully vetted. Have you looked into any of this? There is more on line with a simple search. Can you confirm the veracity of these reports? You know what it means if they're true. Desire to erect statutes and push the popular tale must not supplant real journalism.

Good journalism of course demands that you do the due diligence necessary to keep any potentially unsavory history from embarrassing your organization and our nation's honor before we run off headlong in search of heroes. A starry-eyed optimist can unfortunately be used too easily by those with bad intent, or be misdirected or poorly thought out to begin with. We owe it to ourselves to be particularly cautious when dealing with youthful "true believers" and especially with enemies of the scope we have in the Middle East.

With all due respect,

Alan Korwin, Author
Gun Laws of America
The Uninvited Ombudsman


You can't fight radical Islam with radical Islamists

The White House's announcement of its conference on "Countering Violent Extremism" names Boston as one of the pilot cities where law enforcement officials have developed partnerships with Muslim community leaders. Unfortunately, to counter "violent extremism," federal agencies are working with the Islamic Society of Boston and its political arm, the Muslim American Society.

Charles Jacobs, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) recently said: "On Feb. 18, 2015, President Obama's project to "combat violent extremism," is to be showcased in a Washington "Summit". This Summit cites Boston as one of three model U.S. cities that can lead the way."
That will be a problem: The central Muslim institution with whom the Boston law enforcement agencies are partnering against extremism, is itself extremist.

The Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, seen as the go-to groups for civic and law enforcement partnerships, have links to many extremists who are either in jail, in flight from federal authorities, or have been killed during terrorist attacks. The Washington Times on 2/11/15 published a full page ad with photos of 12 jihadists connected to these organizations who are in jail, awaiting trial, fugitives or dead.

Our Leaders can't use radical Islamists to fight radical Islam. This Summit will be seriously flawed it will be an ineffectual event that will fail to fulfill its goal of combating extreme violent Radical Islam.

The conflict of interest is startling. The radical Muslim leaders who are wrongly accepted as legitimate participants are connected to terrorists. This is a mistake that needs to be publicized and corrected. They must be replaced with others, who have no ties to terrorism before the meetings can have any legitimacy.

The leadership of the United States has the duty of protecting our country and our freedoms and these leaders must stop the expanding Islamist threat to our way of life before it is too late.

Esther Levens, CEO and Founder
Unity Coalition for Israel 


Photo radar/Net neutrality

Yesterday Arizona Republic columnist Doug MacEachern hit two home runs. First he recognized the absurdity of the federal government (FCC) attempting to regulate the Internet (so-called Net Neutrality). Such a move could easily grow to be the biggest and most intrusive of all the alphabet regulatory agencies. We should leave the Internet alone. Sure, there will be some “unfairness” but this is infinitely preferable to the leviathan that the FCC wants to create.

On the same editorial page MacEachern suggested that the legislature stop trying to ban photo radar. Come on folks, we know this is pure political pandering. No one likes to get traffic tickets but, think about it, if you owned the road and were responsible for the liability of accidents, wouldn’t you use photo radar. Of course you would. Frankly, I am in favor of private roads but, as long as they are owned by various government entities, we should let them control safety by the most economical methods.

Roy Miller


Sewer level attack

Addressing Howard Dean’s sewer level attack on Gov. Scott Walker ... When someone tries to make a candidate’s education resume an issue, I am reminded of this quote from one of the founders of the modern American Conservative movement:

"I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University." ~ William F. Buckley

When you recall that Barack Obama claims to have attended and graduated from Harvard Law I contend that alone proves Bill Buckley's point and I rest my case!

Conclusion: When you connect the dots of Barack Hussein Obama's actions and inactions in defense of our country, the integrity of our borders and his attacks on our guaranteed rights under the U.S. Constitution, the only conclusion a sane person can draw is that this fraud is aligned with the destructive forces intent on doing our country harm.

Anyone who believes otherwise is obviously a result of our failed, liberally biased educational system.

Tom Carbone
Cave Creek


Support our Kurdish allies

The U.S. has to start directly supplying significant military equipment to the Kurds so they can effectively combat ISIS. The Kurdish Peshmerga troops are excellent fighters and our allies in the Middle East, and we need to strengthen them so they can defeat ISIS and take back territory in Iraq and Syria.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire


Vietnam Veterans: Better quality of life

A new House Bill has been introduced by Congressman Chris Gibson (D-19 NY). The Bill HR-969 titled The Blue Water Navy, Vietnam Veterans Agent Orange Act was presented to the 114th Congress on Feb. 13, 2015 and is referred to the House Committee of Veterans Affairs. This new Bill replaces an older Bill that died in the VA Congressional committee of 2014. The new Bill is to clarify presumptions related to the exposure of certain veterans who served in the vicinity of the Republic of Vietnam and for other purposes. House Bill HR-969 if passed, will afford proper equitable VA benefits to Vietnam veterans exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange.
Thousands of Vietnam veterans who did not have boots-on-ground will be eligible for VA benefits, medical and compensation. The bill is important to those veterans who served our Country and who are sick so they may have better quality of life. Once again we veterans need the help of the American people. Please call your members of Congress, also write to them at their Washington, DC office, urge Congress to pass HR-969. Let not the Vietnam War Veteran be forgotten.

John J. Bury, US Navy retired
Advocate for Vietnam veterans
Media, Pennsylvania


NO on SB 1435 - Do not gut AZ Open Meeting Law

Some State Senators got the idea to gut Arizona's Open Meeting Law. Here is the letter I wrote to all state legislators regarding the proposed bill, SB 1435:

State Senators and State Representatives,
Below is a letter a fellow Sedonan sent to sponsors and supporters of SB 1435, a dreadful bill that would gut Arizona's Open Meeting Law.

I am in complete agreement with Ms. Maddock's letter.

I'll add that anyone favoring this bill needs a reality check because clearly they are out of touch with same.

For example, State Senator Bob Worsley, just what the heck were you thinking when you said this?:
"I have heard just really painful stories over at the Corporation Commission, where they're unable to sit down and discuss things without violating these rules," he said. "My reason for signing on was really in concern for those folks – that they have a chance without all the limelight to really discuss issues."

Oh right, the poor folks at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) just can't do business outside "the limelight." My heart bleeds for them.

Senator Worsley, all you have done is demonstrate your spectacular ignorance.

First of all, the ACC already does enough business outside "the limelight." It's so bad that the ACC appears to be in collusion with APS and I have asked the FBI to investigate. I have discussed this in previous, recent emails. Were you paying attention, Senator Worsley?

Secondly, with 24 hour previous public notice, the ACC can meet just about any time they like. While they do have to provide for public access, they do not have to take public comment if they don't want to. So they could discuss an issue all day long if they were really interested in getting to the truth of any given issue.

The "really painful story" at the ACC is not that they are hobbled by the current Open Meeting Law and cannot hash out issues. The "really painful story" is that they lack the requisite intelligence or interest to do so. They are simply not interested in the truth. I have demonstrated and documented that repeatedly over the years regarding the "smart" meter issue. The recent solar fee issue at the ACC was the same. By the ACC commissioners' own conscious choice, neither issue was resolved by evidentiary hearings with parties under oath. As a result, and in both instances, lies were told to which the commissioners and their staff were oblivious.

At an ACC meeting I attended last January 22, ACC commissioner Robert Burns proposed that commissioners schedule a sort of pre-meeting (open to the public of course) to their regular meetings so that the commissioners could more fully discuss issues and proposed amendments. His proposal received ZERO support from the other commissioners. Incredibly, a couple of them felt they could use the break time of the regular meetings if there was more to discuss.

(For the painful details, listen to the audio minutes, agenda item #7, here:

The current Open Meeting Law is not a hindrance to good government. It ensures it. If the people we elect to do the public's business can't handle public scrutiny then they need to resign and find something they can do in the dark.


Warren Woodward