Letters to the Editor, June 14, 2006

260: Do it right or don't do it at all

Editor:

Well, I see that the politicians of Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome and Camp Verde have managed to prove that they are all trying to line their city and personal pockets as part of the Arizona 260 modernization project.

Now they have even managed to get the person who fought the hardest to get the project even considered by ADOT, County Supervisor Chip Davis, to fall into their trap and succumb to their greedy and stupid malfeasance.

The only way to correct the safety problems with Arizona 260 is to do a complete and thorough job. No half-way fixes are acceptable. Either do it right or just forget it.

The politicians in Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Jerome need to realize that if they continue to put themselves first they will eventually wind up last. No one will want to travel on a road that is only safe on the tail end and a death trap at the front end. That is exactly what is being proposed because the politicians at the end of the road want all the conveniences and want to punish the policicians at the start of the road.

As far as I am concerned, the mayors, town councils and county supervisors will be guilty for causing and personally responsible for all the deaths, accidents, incidents, foolish planning and financial responsibility if Arizona 260 is not correctly and safely improved.

All the various political and individual interests need to stop trying to line their town, city and personal pockets and work together to ensure that Arizona 260 is improved to be the safest and best for all concerned. Anything else is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Brian Coley

Camp Verde

Why rely on fiction when you can read the real thing?

Editor:

"Duh Vinci" code:

Dan Browns book The DaVinci Code states in the first pages that it is fiction. So why are so many people so fascinated with the book ? Is it because they are not sure who Jesus is to them personally.

The Bible says that "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness."

I think it would be better for people to read and believe the truth instead of reading a fiction book and believing it.

I encourage all Christians to be prepared to give an answer to those who will ask what you believe about The DaVinci Code.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Steve Harris

Cottonwood

It's the justice system that is letting us down

Editor:

In response to the Letter to the Editor submitted my Karla Robbins, I do not think that anyone is trying to play God here.

Any anger intended was not addressed at you or your family. The anger is addressed at the justice system in Cottonwood.

What is done is done, and no one can change the horrible event that took place on Dec. 31, 2004.

I have met your mother I also attend the trial when time allows. I also pray. My heart breaks for my brother (Andrew's dad) and Andrew's brother and Andrew's mother.

There are no winners here. Except for God, and he has, as you said, four new soldiers.

It just needs to be over, and for the families of the victims (I include you and your family in this) the sooner it is over, the sooner some healing can take place.

And I still miss Andy Roeller.

Jenny Michael

Cottonwood

Rights of property owner will be upheld in court

Editor:

Mr. Ruggiero has been outspoken on what he has labeled a "land dispute and without it being too much of a stretch ultimately an issue of water rights as well."

Mr Ruggiero also touts his preference for "newspapers ... as opposed to Colts and Winchesters" as he carefully crafts an image of neighborhood solidarity in the Monroe Lane ingress/egress dispute.

What Mr. Ruggiero failed to mention is, the neighbors are deeply divided on the issue and the solid front they have espoused is just that, a "front".

I'm glad to see they have come to a place where they prefer newspapers to guns because there are those who were pulling their guns on one another and patrolling their property lines (with those guns pointed at each other).

The dispute, however is a property rights dispute, not a "land (or water rights) dispute" and I believe the rights of the young property owner who chose to invest and build in this neighborhood will be upheld in court.

I just hope they don't then revert to their Colts and Winchesters again. If they so readily wield those instruments against themselves, what will they do to an "outsider?"

Bob Womack

Camp Verde

Chip Davis' solution is one ADOT should endorse

Editor:

After reading Friday's Verde Independent, we would like to express our support for Chip Davis' new proposal to go ahead and use the $42 million already committed for Arizona 260 to at least build the section of road that is free of controversy.

It makes good sense, geographically, politically and economically. It appears that there is simply not enough money to do the whole road. The proposed section between Cottonwood and Thousand Trails is a logical segment to start with. It passes through public lands, free of private landowner squabbling.

Then, further options and discussion about the rest of the road can continue as long as Camp Verde would like them to. We would guess that the "Camp Verde end" of 260 would be more expensive with all its access points, than the "Cottonwood end," where the $42 million might just go farther.

The quibbling about whether safety is a "bigger" concern at this end or that end of the road is inconsequential. The fact is that safety is an issue all along the whole road. The concern expressed by Mayor Gioia that the Cottonwood end "gives nothing back economically to the area" is also a weak point. We believe a strong case can be made that economic interests at both ends of the road -- and within the whole Valley -- would benefit greatly from an improved road.

To argue about "which end is more deserving" is silly. The main goal, at this point, should be to not lose available funding and make the $42 million go as far as it can.

We also applaud the City of Cottonwood for pointing out that the ADOT position of requiring an "all or nothing" consensus does penalize those who are working together and have come to agreement, in favor of the recalcitrant Camp Verde, which hasn't. That approach gives Camp Verde way more leverage and influence over the negotiations than the other entities at the table, which is simply not a fair and equitable approach to resolving the issue.

From our perspective, out here in Cornville, we endorse Chip Davis' idea and appreciate his continued effort to "do something!"

Dave and Judy Miller

Cornville

Camp Verde needs to pay realistic wage for deputies

Editor:

If Camp Verde doesn't start taking law enforcement seriously, they are going to find themselves short-handed and without a trained and skilled marshal's office.

Like it or not, this town is getting ready to explode. I don't know of any affordable housing for the deputies who protect us. I certainly don't want people protecting me with marginal skills that low pay brings.

Bring the law enforcement wage into reality.

Mike Martin

Camp Verde

Money better spent on fixing our roads

Editor:

Here's my opinion on the proposed recreation center.

Cottonwood needs a new $16 million (estimate) recreation center like it needs an international airport. Let's fix our road system, put in some decent streets, fix all the worn down over-used roads that will provide a benefit the entire community.

With all the out-of-control growth going on, I wish our elected officials could focus on the important issues that they have neglected for years.

Chuck Pearson

Cottonwood

Lynn Ericksen a true hero during fire

Editor:

As homeowners in Pine Valley, a community wide thank you should be extended to Mr. Lynn Ericksen, general manager of the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa. His sensitive concern and generosity was heartfelt for Pine Valley citizens, which experienced the recent firestorm that swept across the terrain.

For many of us who were evacuated from our homes, and Lynn bestowed upon us exquisite complimentary lodging at the Hilton. He gave us comfort and support during this trying time, and for that he should be commended.

Ben and Suzy Campbell

Sedona

The real John McCain is finally stepping forward

Editor:

Senator John McCain has been a maverick in politics since day one. He has become a master of spin in the public arena and has been able to deceive people by his ever-shifting positions on important issues.

Recently, McCain voted against the gay marriage amendment. But a short journey into recent history tells another story. In August, 2005, McCain announced his support for a strict anti-gay marriage ballot initiative in Arizona. Arizona state law already banned gay marriage, so this move was symbolic with his hope of appeasing conservatives.

Mr. McCain has also not told the truth to Americans and Arizonans concerning the issue of illegal immigration. He and Senator Kennedy, of Massachusetts, engineered a harmful immigration bill that a strong majority of Americans are against. Yet, knowing this, McCain has gone on record publicly, saying that 70-80 percent of Americans support his bill, when the truth is just the opposite.

Mr. McCain's first responsibility should have been to secure America's borders instead of political pandering, as other senators and congressmen did not do.

Many politicians seem to rely on people's forgetfulness. McCain, at one point, held up President Bush's conservative court nominees so that he could get the White House to appoint an ultra-liberal named Ellen Weintraub to the Federal Election Commission. McCain also at one time took a hard-line stand against violent and R-rated films. Later, he appeared as himself in an R-rated film called "Wedding Crashers." This film flaunts bare-breasted women and of course, Senator John McCain.

When asked why he agreed, the Drudge report says McCain said he couldn't resist a chance to appear in a Hollywood movie because "it impresses my kids." What ever happened to the hard line stand?

I think the average American is getting tired of double-standard politicians that change their story to fit the crowd they are in to benefit their own personal political end. I happened to have voted for McCain and I am a registered Republican, but I cannot vote for him again.

I hope that I will not be arrested for this letter, knowing that McCain authored a socialistic so-called campaign reform bill. Under McCain's law, any communication about political candidates that takes place within 120 days of an election could be considered a violation of the law. Fines and jail time could be levied.

A book could be written about Senator McCain's inconsistencies. In my personal opinion, Mr. McCain is a real bureaucrat. Webster's College Dictionary defines a bureaucrat as "an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment." What is needed is a better candidate this next election and I hope the Republican Party can produce a good replacement. One that will do what he or she says, being truthful with Arizonans; while working as a true public servant and not a flip-flopping career jockey.

Dr. Mat Echols

Cottonwood

Your prayers, support, much appreciated

Editor:

First and foremost, I would like to thank everyone in the community who has blessed our family with their many prayers while we deal with all the legal issues that have come our way. It has been so great to have people that we have never met before come up to us and let us know that they are keeping my family, especially Corey and Skyland, in their prayers.

The power of prayer is an awesome thing and we are asking that everyone continue with their prayers and keep us all on the forefront.

We are still in the process of fighting for Skyland. It may take awhile but we are not giving up. Our goal is to make sure that she stays safe and has a stable, loving home.

As for Corey, he is taking it one day at a time, constantly thinking about his baby sister and hopes that she is OK.

Our plea from the community, any letters of encouragement, support or just blessing that you can send our way, we would love to have.

You can either email them to me, or mail them to me. My email address is as follows: SasseySheDevil@aol.com. My mailing address is: 2011 Wranglers Way, Cottonwood, AZ, 86326.

Once again, my family and myself want to say thank you to everyone for your support and continued support while we get through this ordeal. Thank you!

Tina Wasik

Cottonwood

Gay marriage is hardly a priority issue

Editor:

How many elections have we had where the Democrats just don't get it? The Republicans stand up for marriage as being between a man and a woman. The Democrats keep pushing their stance related to gays, as something that's inevitable, and we may as well accept that fact.

Most Americans couldn't care less about what the gay lifestyle is. What folks do in their private homes is no one's business.

A young gal who was gay worked for me, and she was one of the hardest workers I ever had. Just don't preach the gay lifestyle from the pulpit, or use it as what's really important in life.

Taxes, defense, health, education, immigration are so much more important issues to be debated as we head toward upcoming elections.

Tim Russert spent an entire hour on MSNBC Saturday evening with two young gay men, espousing how it's inevitable the American public will eventually accept their lifestyle as normal. Really? Not in our lifetime!

Paul Lidbeck

Clarkdale

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