<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</b></center>

Because of you, for this we can be thankful

Editor:

If I could write a soldier, this is what I would say:

How are you? Although you may not know me, I know of you. As I sit and right this heartfelt letter of thanks, mist clouds my eyes. I refuse to dissipate that lump in my throat or the tightness that envelopes my heart.

These symptoms are a small price to pay for the sacrifice you so unselfishly give. Setting aside my personal views regarding this war, I do think of you. I think of your drawn face. I know you are tired, dusty and homesick

I know first-hand regarding the lack of resources you must deal with. I know of the hunger you have faced due to the lack of rations. Not many people know this aspect because you do not readily complain. As a child you were taught to share, and I know that this is another requirement regarding everything you receive from home. I realize that you, dear soldier, continue to give above and beyond the call of duty.

You continue to give, until one day there may not be more to give. This sobering thought stops me in my tracks during this holiday season. I bow my head in your honor and say a prayer in your name.

I think of your family. In my minds eye I see you mother bustling about the home forcing herself to keep busy. In a momentary lapse, she gives in to her sorrow as she sits rocking away the denied silent sobs that have suffocated her for so long. You know she adores you. I see your father in the garage looking for that elusive tool in his stoic fashion. He realizes his knuckles are turning white gripping the edge of nothing and of everything. In a suspended moment his shoulders slump in defeat to his fear. His fear of possibly losing you.

You know how proud he is of you, don't you? The phone rings as the woman of your life starts at the sound. She was busy thinking of you. Well, she is always busy thinking of you. She rushes to answer as her hand momentarily stops with a mixture of anticipation and dread at what and whom she will be hearing at the other end.

She also sees the postman delivering as she quickly inhales and picks up the receiver. She cannot fathom living without you.

As I write, I am able to look out my window at the clear blue sky and listen to the sounds of the country life. I am able to do this because of you soldier. Again, I ask, how are you? My family and I are fine. And for this, I am grateful to you.

Alma Plata

Camp Verde

And when the river runs dry?

Editor:

No sooner did the City of Cottonwood buy out the Verde Villages' water companies than they raised the water rates and sold the water back to the users.

Not to be outdone, the City of Prescott wants to buy the Verde! Well not actually the whole river, just the water rights to the Big Chino. Then they can steal the river or however much their developers can use. It reminds me of a thief who tunnels under the city bank to get to the vault.

Here's what Prescott Mayor Rowle Simmons says about their proposed venture ... "from the data I've seen, I am of the mind that this has a minimum effect on the Verde.” As for the impact that does occur, Simmons said "the city should be able to come up with a satisfactory mitigation plan.”

Finally Mayor Simmons said, "I would be lying to you if I said it wasn't going to be fueling some growth. Not an exercise in straight talk, but the mayor did utter the "G" word ... "growth," which in his context is just a euphemism for development.

Lots of empty land, ranches to be sold, just add water and let the building begin. And who cares that the Verde belongs to everyone.

I remember Prescott in the ‘70s as a thoroughly lovely town. Now, what was once that original town is nothing but an amenity for Realtors to show off to their clients. But there's money to be made isn't there?

Robert Brookes

Cottonwood

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