And what did you do on the Fourth of July
What did you do on the Fourth of July?
Since I relocated here from Seattle, I've met many gracious and kind people who, realizing I came here alone, invited me to their holiday functions. This Fourth of July was different. I had no invitations and was feeling free from the stresses of family gatherings. Wee! I could do whatever I wanted. My day consisted of painting, processing the front page of this newspaper and not much else. Desiring some social interaction I ventured down to the local pub.
I find the place almost empty when I arrive. I don't go there often. I've learned my Type-A, 220-voltage personality wears on people quickly. Inside, three televisions hypnotize on three channels. Since I do not have reception at my house and refuse to pay for TV, there are many mainstream, mass experiences I do not share with the rest of the population. I've never seen The Simpsons, The Sopranos, American Idol (*gasp*) or Brad and Angelina's secret wedding (is it out on video yet?) I watch and am quickly mesmerized. Where does the story end and the commercial begin? Which channel is real and which channel is...Memorex?
Taking advantage of the sparsely populated pub and the generous bartender, I claim control of the remote. Perhaps brush up on current events, per CNN. I tear myself away from the sports channel where wealthy, large men body slam themselves into each other while a frenzied, frothing crowd rises to their feet, primal howls escaping their bodies, arms outstretched...possessed. I change channels to see a row of people pressure packing pounds of pork wieners into their mouths ‹ the most in twelve minutes wins. Is Somalia hosting the event next year? I choke back my gag reflex.
After the contest a commercial break announces the soon-to-be-released "Hitman" video game. Trailers include a man in a black suit garroting another. Enticing us to buy, a voice chants over suspense-building music, "You're the killer."
Seeking refuge in VNN (the Violence News Network as George Carlin calls it) there is...BREAKING NEWS. 3:30 p.m. ... North Korea has fired at least five missiles. Its timing with the Discovery launch and this nation's birthday no coincidence, I'm sure. By 5 o'clock it was up to six. In the background, North Korean images flicker across the screen. Kim Jong-il clapping on his balcony; phalanxes of soldiers high-stepping in military precision ‹ their bayonets with 12-inch blades gleaming; an auditorium filled with official-looking Koreans, politely applauding like a golf audience. The pride in that country must be immense. Could be a good time for them to bulk-order those yellow, Made in China "Support our Troops" stickers.
Assured by commentator that SNORAD (which performed so brilliantly on Sept. 11) had been on alert for several days, he added that there is "No immediate threat to the United States." Phew! I haven't felt this safe since Martha Stewart was locked up. The place was starting to fill and I knew that my channel choice would soon be overruled.
I returned home to search for more North Korean coverage. On the Phoenix-based radio station KFYI they are running a 4th of July Special playing songs requested by soldiers serving overseas. Next up, "Travelin' Soldier" by the Dixie Chicks who are making a comeback after being dixie-chicked. A 60's peace-nick song gets about 10 seconds of airtime. Every commercial break begins and ends with "Happy Birthday to the Greatest country in the World!" I ponder the definition of "greatest" as I shut off the radio. Is it the mostest and the bestest?
It's the 4th of July and the geek in me compels me to read, in full, the Declaration of Independence. The Representatives of the United States of America by the Authority of the good People of the Colonies declare the causes which impel them to the separation from the British Crown. Good stuff. They explain why they want to rule themselves in less words than it takes OSHA to define a ladder. We better not let the Iraqis get their hands on a copy.
As night draws near I process the collage of pictures, people and events - trying to make sense of it. As the policemen of the world we have the honorable distinction of being the only nation to have bombed 23 nations since the end of World War II - I could only think of 13. We have over 700 military bases in over 120 countries, with more under construction in Iraq. Why doesn't the world love us and how we will know that we've won the War on Terror? Will it be when Muslims trade in their Turbans for the newest XBOX? When they have various farm-animal eating contests or The Simpsons debut on Al-Jazeera? We could kill every Muslim alive, as has been suggested by some. The word for that particular course of action was called genocide 60 years ago. If we kill 99.999 percent of them will they grow back like super-immune bacteria? If we could just be patient and wait a few more years, the depleted uranium we are dropping on the Middle East now will turn them all into deformed Chernobyl babies and they won't even be able to hold a gun.
It's 11:56 p.m. The day is minutes from being over. Happy Birthday America.
Thanks for helping us make a splash
Over 200 children and many parents from Beaver Creek rode the bus to Camp Verde Heritage Pool during the month of June. This activity was organized by Southwest Expedition Institute in partnership with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and was funded by donations from the following organizations and businesses: APS, Beaver Creek Realty, Beaver Creek School Builders Club, Beaver Creek Kiwanis, Lake Montezuma Property Owners Association, Larry's Barber Shop, Bob and Pam McClarin, Rimrock Mercantile and The Rimrockers.
The Officers and Trustees of Southwest Expedition Institute wish to express their gratitude to the above contributors, to Beaver Creek School for providing transportation, and to Mrs. Rhonda Thompson who drove the bus and assured the safety of our children.
Hometown newspaper reaches out
Our sincerest thanks to Steve Ayers and The Verde Independent/Bugle staff for allowing us to insert the recent Farewell Gathering held for Joe and Billie Yurkovic's party at St. Frances Cabrini Church Hall. And to those who could not attend acknowledged their departure thanks to your article, and picture.
Where are the witnesses to this berating?
Looking at your Bugle headline of June 28, I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn't reading a supermarket tabloid.
Come on, give me a break! If that headline and the cover story doesn't smack of political propaganda being espoused by Mr. Gioia and Mrs. Hauser, nothing does.
Did your reporter, Mr. Ayers, witness the so-called berating? Were there any witnesses who saw or heard something that would give this credibility?
You said yourself in your editorial that you do not decide good light or bad light issues, but this hearsay story really comes from a place devoid of light, and hardly worthy of a headline. This story brought no value to your journalistic mission to inform the public, unless your mission is to entertain the public and sell papers with sensationalism.
How affordable is affordable housing?
Town residents get a wakeup call from the mayor and other officials: Good article!
We must realize that other folks have the right to live here that own property just as much as the existing folks. Impacting large fees for services such as water hurts the many folks on fixed incomes and retired folks. And we keep talking about affordable housing.
The utilities, taxes and payments plus upkeep make up affordable housing for the public. The majority of the population needs affordable housing, and this is the American Dream.
With this does come proper planning and infrastructure. Clarkdale has charged impact fees for sewer for many years, but the sewer was never extended. Clarkdale had a reprieve when they realized the existing system had a larger capacity than they realized several years ago. They were relying on development such as Phelps Dodge to help enlarge their capacity and upgrade their system, and thus this development was turned down by environmental groups worried about the hazardous waste from former mining that it surrounded.
Now we have Mountain Gate, which had to prove adequate water in their purchase process and create their own sewer to be implemented into the town system.
Now that we have the municipality in control of the water, this is a big step in the right direction, for they will serve the town and not private enterprise. The costs will go up for these services for meeting the current standards for safety and health, and adequate lines. But they should stay within a level of need and not go over that just to curb consumption of water.
Broker, Yavapai Realty
Don't make Arizona 260 a commercial stop light district
With the way things are going, I don't think we'll ever see Arizona 260 expanded.
I think the citizens of the Verde Valley should be up in arms over the months and months of effort put into this project, with little agreement and to date, no results. Even what was viewed as a favorable compromise by Chip Davis was not good enough for the municipal leaders of Camp Verde. They cited that for safety reasons, the section of Arizona 260 nearest Interstate 17 deserves the attention before the section near Cottonwood that Chip Davis suggested.
If the leaders of Camp Verde are indeed concerned for safety, why have they held up this project time and time again? If safety is such a concern, why do they continue to drag this process out for their own benefit, even when the majority of citizens in the Valley do not agree with their proposal to turn Arizona 260 into a commercial stop light district? Prescott Valley currently has a non-working model of what Camp Verde envisions for Arizona 260. Several stoplight, lots of congestion, several safety concerns (see ADOT's report on Highway 69), and many upset and frustrated residents.
The irony of the whole situation is that nearly everyone of my friends in Camp Verde prefer a more direct route without all the stoplights, just like the citizens of Clarkdale and Cottonwood. Who really is driving the decision for Arizona 260? Apparently the self-interest of a few, all at the expense of the common sense of the rest of us who call this Valley home.
Television needs some Latin flavor
The time has come that I must speak up. Here in the Verde Valley we have a handful of Black people, a majority of Anglos, but a very large and growing number of Hispanics (I am speaking of legal citizens).
However, TV Commercials (both national and local) show Anglos, Blacks, Asians ‹ but seldom (IF EVER) a Hispanic. It is not only humiliating and disgusting, but also down right insulting to the Hispanics. It is time someone wakes up.
Rev. H. Eugene Risch
Thanks to all for a wonderful event
Once again, the Ice Cream Social sponsored by the Clarkdale library on July 4 was a success, and thanks are again due to a lot of participants who made it possible. So here is great appreciation to: Wal-Mart, manager Lou Rangel and associates; Fry's, manager Mike Lamb and associates; Safeway, manager Tracy Peters and associates; and Food City, manager Mark DeVlieger and associates
For the supplies and donations that made our event possible. To Lisa O'Neill and the Verde Canyon Railroad for the ice cream; to Margie Beach and the Salt River Materials Group for their donation; and to the good cooks of Clarkdale who brought the delicious cakes and brownies.
Without each of you, our annual fundraiser could not happen.
And to the patrons who enjoyed our ice cream and cake, thank you, too.
And to the city crew, the firemen and any other whose services we used to get our booth underway, thank you so very much.
And thanks to the monsoon for holding off the rain until we were ready to close up. Soggy cookies are no fun!
Clark Memorial Library Advisory Board
and Clarkdale Library volunteers
In support of Jim Redinger
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Friends of Camp Verde. For many years, Jim Redinger was a tireless worker for the residents of Camp Verde. He held a position on the town council, was president of the Camp Verde Kiwanis, belonged to the Friends of Historic Fort Verde, was president of the Friends of Camp Verde, and a founding partner of the Salt Mine Cellars. He worked countless hours volunteering in all sort of projects for the improvement of our town. He used his considerable carpentry skills to make the wooden cabinets that house the artifacts at the Historical Society.
Last year, he and his wife Sandy moved to Arkansas where he could enjoy the fishing and she could do the gardening that she so loves. We have just heard that he is now very ill with bladder cancer, has undergone extensive surgery, and has to undergo chemotherapy and other treatments in the hopes of finding a cure, or at least remission.
We would appreciate it if everyone who can, would take the time to send a card or note to him to let him know that they are thinking of him and praying for his recovery. His address in Arkansas is 1202 Hawkins St., Harrison AR 72601. We know that hearing from his many friends will help him on his way to recovery.
V.P., Friends of Camp Verde
Mr. Parry not qualified to do the job to which he was appointed
Having attended the Camp Verde Town Council meeting June 28, I came away with an even deeper sense of chagrin concerning our newest council member, Mr. Mike Parry.
The issue before the council was whether we would continue to allow developers to avoid expensive performance bonds on subdivision infrastructure. The objective is to offer alternatives more palatable to the developer, thus encouraging better and less expensive development for the town.
Mr. Parry doesn't seem to understand the intent or purpose of these performance bonds. The bonds are required by municipalities solely for protection of the public, assuring parties that purchase properties with the promise of infrastructure they will get what they pay for. The Town Ordinance allows for alternatives to performance bonding.
Although it was explained to Mr. Parry repeatedly that there was no liability for the Town of Camp Verde, he rejected the advice of the town attorney and others (as he has on other issues in the past). He insisted the town would have liabilities associated with a potential accident on private property. I believe Mr. Parry merely attempted to railroad yet another development project.
Whether we grow by haphazard lot splitting or by the orderly means available to us through local, county and state subdivision law, we will grow. Mr. Parry's actions further my strong suspicions that he is not qualified to do the job to which he was appointed.