Letters to the editor: April 12 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: April 12

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Posted: Saturday, April 12, 2008 6:01 am | Updated: 9:06 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

City planning

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Cloudy vision

In 1991, a process of "community visioning" was initiated to identify the most important and significant beliefs and desires about the long-term future of the community. In December 1992, the City Council accepted a report outlining Scottsdale's Shared Vision. This report represented a community consensus on the future direction of Scottsdale, drawn from hundreds of meetings with a broad cross-section of Scottsdale citizens.

Today there are diverse views brewing concerning Scottsdale's future direction. Some developers look at Mill Avenue in Tempe and view the development there as the wave of the future. Multi-story high rises fill their crystal ball as the future of Old Town Scottsdale. Others in Scottsdale do not share this "prediction." The other night my wife and I went to a movie in a theater on Mill Avenue and did not like what we saw. Mill Avenue is beginning to look like a mini-New York, surrounded with towering high rises, and replete with a sense of danger from scruffy looking "street people."

This developers' view conflicts with one of the four dominant themes of the 1992 Scottsdale's Shared Vision: "Resort community: Tourism and the constant influx of people from all over the world strongly affects our way of life as well as our economy." Why should affluent tourists spend their hard-earned disposable income in an urban area that looks and feels like a mini-New York?

It is time for Scottsdale to initiate another visioning process to insure that the future course of Scottsdale represents the consensus of the different voices in Scottsdale and not the singular view of one perspective.

John J. Nichols

Scottsdale

Education

New Way parents need answers

New Way Learning Academy, a private school for learning disabled children, is being destroyed by Lisa Keegan. My son is a high-functioning autistic. After struggling and failing for several years in public school, we worked with Scottsdale Unified School District to place him in New Way. He has flourished and succeeded in the years since.

A few weeks back, the executive board, headed by Lisa Keegan, fired our long-term principal, Dawn Gutierrez. They are trying to point the school in a direction counter to its heritage and the factors that made it successful for 40 years. 

More than 80 percent of the parents and 90 percent of the teachers have asked the board of directors and Lisa Keegan to step down. The parents and teachers want to take back the direction of the school that has served us so well.

The executive board and Lisa Keegan have refused to respond. They have hijacked our school and are destined to destroy it. Less than 10 percent of the students or teachers will be at the school next year under this current leadership.

What are Lisa Keegan’s motivations?

Lisa Keegan, it’s time to step down and give us back our school!

Mark Kirstein

Scottsdale

Surveillance

Mitchell defends our rights

Laura Knaperek concludes her diatribe (Letters, March 31) against Rep. Harry Mitchell by saying “This issue is too important to play politics with.” Yet what precedes it is nothing but a partisan smear against Mitchell that has nothing to do with protecting the nation from danger. His vote was a courageous stand; he doesn’t now deserve to be attacked from the gutter.

In fact, the FISA act as written, and as the House has voted to extend, permits the federal government to get all the information it seeks, as long as it does so according to the Constitution of the United States, with a valid warrant. FISA warrants can be legally obtained for several days following the start of an intercept, and requests are virtually never turned down by the super-secret FISA court.

What Knaperek is actually arguing for is the granting of retroactive immunity — many would call it “amnesty” — for telecom companies who didn’t just “provide the NSA with their records” without a warrant, but who in fact without a warrant provided the entirety of their digital traffic streams for the federal government to fish in. That’s the basic difference between the House and Senate bills. Knaperek would have us believe that without amnesty for illegal acts of years ago, no surveillance can happen in the future. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The real issue is whether the American people are willing to give up freedom little by little to political demagogues and fearmongers, or stand for our rights in a society free from illegal government snooping and intrusion.

Bob Altizer

Phoenix

Illegal immigration

Leave race out of it

Regarding “Gordon slams Arpaio’s patrols” (March 29):

It sounds like Phil Gordon is willing to be a supporter of those who break the law in hopes of getting a few extra votes for himself. This is how we got into this mess.

 This is not a racial issue. It is a legal issue. Our law officers take an oath. They are doing a job that should been taken care of years ago. If the parents and grandparents had done the right thing. then their youth would not be facing this unfortunate dilemma. Breaking the law should never, never be rewarded.

 History teaches us that we must maintain and enforce good border laws, and all laws. The alternative outcome is chaos. Politicians need to put the welfare of law-abiding citizens before themselves. They are public servants or are they? If they don’t like the rule of law then they shouldn’t be a public servant.

Illegal immigration is not color-specific. If we look out side of our own back yard we will see many skin colors trying to come in illegally. Playing the race card isn’t going to resolve this problem. Too many of our politicians are either illiterate or ignore our history, and our law. Most illegals don’t know the law, don’t understand why we have these laws. They don’t understand the price we paid for our freedom, or what it requires to maintain it.

JP Wolfe

Mesa

Teen drinking

Parents do have power

As a country, we continue to make progress in reducing underage drinking but much more needs to be done and parental involvement is key. While parents may believe they have no impact on their teens’ behavior, teenagers consistently cite their parents as the most powerful deterrent to drinking illegally.

Parents are often surprised to learn where teens are getting alcohol.  According to scientific research, most youth who drink obtain alcohol primarily through non-commercial sources such as parents, family, friends and other adults over 21. They are sneaking alcohol from their parents’ homes, having older friends buy it, or are obtaining it at parties. 

This April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Use this opportunity to have a serious discussion with your teen about alcohol. Tools for parents are available through The Century Council, www.centurycouncil.org, a not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers, and through the Federal Trade Commission’s campaign to prevent underage drinking, “We Don’t Serve Teens” (www.dontserveteens.com).

Underage drinking is not inevitable.  Parents and the entire community working together can make a difference.

Peter H. Cressy

President and CEO, Distilled Spirits Council

Washington, D.C.

Cats

World becomes their litterbox

Sandi Glauser of Gilbert (Opinion 2, March 29) thinks everyone should just sit back and enjoy the free-roaming cats in their neighborhood. She finds it “incomprehensible” that people should “imprison” their felines indoors.

Maybe she would like to donate money to groups like AzCATs or Blistered Whiskers every year like we end up doing to spay the females and foster the kittens that are born in our yard. Maybe she would like to clean up the feces in the grass or vegetable garden and the sticky, smelly urine off all the furniture and playthings like we have to do every day before letting our children play in our own yard.

Maybe she would like to bottle-feed abandoned newborns every two hours, day and night, like we have. Maybe she would enjoy the constant howling, fighting, marking and mating in her yard that we had to endure last month from the seemingly endless stream of tomcats (many of which had collars) roaming freely through our neighborhood. Maybe she would like to foster the kittens that will soon arrive from last month’s encounters. “Uncontrollable abundance” indeed.

We have two cats that live a completely indoor life. They are happy, healthy, well-adjusted and are safe from diseases, animals, cars, and people. Most importantly, they don’t destroy other people’s property or leave kittens for other people to deal with. We accepted responsibility for our cats when we adopted them. We’ve assumed responsibility for the females we’ve spayed and kittens we’ve fostered. We’ve gone out of our way to make up for the irresponsibility of others but it’s just spiraling out of control.

If Glauser is willing to walk the talk then we’d be happy to send some of our abundance her way.

Kurt and Lisa Schedler

Chandler

Forces of nature

According to a March 29 opinion column by Sandi Glauser, a Gilbert government well practiced in controlling freedom in humans is now considering extending the favor to cats. As a native of Illinois I was reminded of Gov. Adlai Stevenson’s widely quoted comments when he vetoed a similar measure enacted by the state Legislature in 1949.

“To escort a cat abroad on a leash is against the nature of the owner,” he said. 

To birdwatchers who favored the measure, he said, “The problem of the cat vs. the bird is as old as time. If we attempt to resolve it by legislation, who knows but what we may be called upon to take sides as well in the age-old problems of dog vs. cat, bird vs. bird, or even bird vs. worm. In my opinion, the State of Illinois and its local governing bodies already have enough to do without trying to control feline delinquency.”

That’s good advice for Gilbert. By contrast with the Soviet style of government prevailing in Gilbert today, the people of Illinois and their pets were all well served by Stevenson, and the state thrived under his leadership.

Frederick Phillis

Gilbert

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