Letters to the Editor Nov. 3, 2006

Jason Finger and Brett Rigg are the best choice for the COCSD School Board.

My wife and I have lived in Cottonwood for the last 23 years. We have raised 3 daughters, all of whom attended COCSD schools. Being involved parents we are aware of what it takes to educate children. The School Board plays a major part in the determination of the policies and procedures that govern the schools within the district. Jason Finger and Brett Rigg would be an asset to the COCSD School Board because the are not only involved parents; they are intelligent, caring people that would make good decisions for our children.

Jason and his family have been our next door neighbors for the last 2 years. He and his wife have three young boys We have seen first hand his interaction with his children. He has a balance that is admirable. Jason is a well-educated individual. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Human Biology and a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy.

Brett is an Attorney here in Cottonwood. I have known him on a professional level. Over the last year I have had several meetings with him. I have found Brett to be a warm, caring and understanding individual. He also has young children that will be attending the COCSD schools. Brett is also well educated with a Bachelor's Degree in English and a Law Degree. He has extensive knowledge of education laws that would provide a valuable resource for the school board.

The voters within this district have an opportunity to elect these two qualified individuals to the Cottonwood Oak Creek School Board. I urge you to join me in voting for Jason and Brett.

Chris Foley

Cottonwood

To the terrorists, it most certainly is a war

Editor:

After reading Mr. Nye's letter in the last Wednesday's edition, I concluded that he believes our federal government has declared martial law. He conveniently forgets (or doesn't know) that the Military Commissions Act was a compromise bill passed by both parties.

After giving due consideration, to avoid infringement upon our constitutional rights, the bill was passed in both houses to give us a needed tool in our war on terrorism. It was not forced upon us by President Bush, acting on his own.

It seems a little hysterical that he would believe that the law allows the president to declare "anybody an enemy combatant" who could then be locked away forever. He seems to object to interrogation methods that would secure information needed to combat other terrorist acts.

The act prohibits torture. I personally feel that a method such as "water-boarding," which scares the prisoner into talking, while doing no physical damage, is an acceptable method. It has worked on the toughest terrorist captives, the worst of which only held back information for two minutes. In situations where mere hours can be critical in stopping atrocities or capturing other terrorists about to attack our allies or our own forces, this method saves lives.

I can't tell whether he believes the terrorists should be treated as criminals, as the previous administration did. To give foreign terrorists all the protections of the very constitution they would like to destroy would be ridiculous. American-born terrorists are still afforded that right, a tribute to our American system.

He does believe that terrorists should fall under the rules of the Geneva Conventions. Those rules were adopted to govern conduct toward prisoners who are in the armed forces of legitimate nations who are at war, wearing their country's uniform, and following the rules of engagement. It was not designed to protect murderers of men, women and children who are innocent bystanders of the conflict.

I feel sorry for Mr. Nye if he feels his own government is now more dangerous to us than to the terrorists. For all the mistakes he has made, and mistakes will be made in any war, Mr. Bush and the rest of his administration are doing their best to protect us. If that "best" isn't good enough to suit us we are free to elect other leaders. To assume they are just evil because we don't agree with them is nonsense.

Maybe Mr. Nye agrees with those who state that we are not really at war. If so, I would suggest he listen to the terrorists, for they proclaim themselves to be at war with us in no uncertain terms.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

Health benefits of rec center are enormous

Editor:

In response to Pat Spence' letter of October 29, I say we cannot afford not to vote yes on the rec center. The health and wellbeing of our community is at stake. The costs of not supporting a community recreational facility are beyond comprehension.

I don't know if the author reads the news but obesity in children and adults is burdening America financially as well as being a devastating health issue. According to an article put out by Reuters Health on June 27, 2005, "Obesity Costs Soar Tenfold to $36.5 billion in US" between 1987 and 2002, private spending on problems related to obesity rose from $3.6 billion or 2 percent of all health spending, to $36.5 billion or 11.6 percent of spending.

This was only private spending and did not include all of the costs to taxpayers for obesity-related illnesses. About 60 million Americans are obese and obesity was the biggest cause of major medical spending for the 10 top medical conditions which included arthritis, asthma, back problems, diabetes and heart disease. This translates to 60 percent of adults and 13 percent of children being overweight or obese.

A large part of the problem is lack of exercise and facilities in which to exercise. From the Web site www.americascores.com, more than a third of young people in grades 9-12 do not regularly engage in vigorous-intensity physical activity. Forty-three percent of children in grades 9-12 watch television more than two hours per day. Physical activity for all age groups continues to decline because of lack of a physical education requirement and fears of leaving children unattended outside.

If children and adults would adopt a formal exercise program, or simply become more active, the will burn fat, increase energy expenditure, and maintain lost weight. Exercise will also lower blood lipid profiles and blood pressure while improving blood sugar profiles and decreasing insulin resistance.

The biggest financial burden we have in this country is escalating health care costs. None of us is immune to it, no matter what our income bracket. Most families in our community cannot afford the private facilities that are either being built or all already available. They need a public facility in which to engage in regular physical exercise; a place where people of all ages in our community can improve their health. For our physical health as well as our financial health, regular physical exercise is not an option.

One more reason we can't afford not to vote yes on the rec center; our young people need something to do. They need something to do that they can feel good about and will keep them from getting involved in drugs and alcohol. This community needs to provide an alternative for them. The rec center is the perfect solution to a lot of problems in this community. We spend a lot of tax money on things we can't even see or benefit from. It's time we spent it on something that we will see a direct benefit from.

Laura H Hatton, M.S., Ph.D., C.C.N.

Cottonwood

Rec Center complex long overdue for Cottonwood

Editor:

I would like to put in my two cents regarding the proposed Cottonwood Community Recreation Center that voters will be asked to approve Nov. 7.

My brother and I have a long history of working with swim programs in the Verde Valley. I began teaching Red Cross Swimming lessons in 1969 under the tutelage of Vivian Wilpitz at the only public pool in the area at that time, in Clarkdale. I later was the Parks and Recreation director of Clarkdale, and eventually chaired the first Parks and Recreation Commission in Clarkdale that was tasked with replacing the old pool with the new pool.

As an aside, that was done due to the overwhelming support from the community. The original thought was to simply close the pool. I also was a co-coach on the Cottonwood Clippers with Rick Heisley. I have spent over 20 years volunteering as a swim instructor.

My brother Doug was the Parks and Recreation director in Cottonwood when the existing public pool was built. He started the public swim team, and was the first manager of the Sedona public pool. Suffice to say, I pay attention to swimming issues in the Verde Valley.

When Mingus Union High school was built in Cottonwood, there was a competitive pool in the original plan. Due to concerns that the bond to build the school would not pass, the pool was cut from the plan.

In the '80s, there was a petition drive to build a removable structure around the public pool to allow for year-round swimming. Over 2,000 people living in Cottonwood at that time expressed a desire to see year-round swimming by supporting this petition drive. The council opted to build new tennis courts.

Now here we are, 20 years later. The original plan for the proposed recreation center had a leisure pool and a competitive pool indoors. Due to concerns that the amount of money to build the center would not pass voter approval, the competitive pool was moved outdoors to reduce the bond. This pool replaces the existing outdoor pool, which is in ill repair with a similar pool lacking the deep end for diving. The leisure pool in the facility is for fun, recreation, and therapy with a water slide, pool, a lazy river section with a current for low-resistance therapy, and three lap lanes.

While there are lap lanes, the nature of the rest of this pool is such that the water temperatures will not be conducive to competitive lap swimming. Competitive swimming will continue to be limited to the whims of the weather. The positive side is that it is supposed to be open nine months of the year, rather than the four months we get now.

The time has come and past where the Verde Valley has the population to a support a year-round recreation center. The proposed facility allows for future enclosure of the competition pool. It also provides facilities for physical therapy activities, rock climbing, an indoor track, gymnasium, weight and fitness training, community events hall with catering kitchen availability, and much more. If you have not looked at the plan, I implore you to do so. On the Internet you can see these plans at http://www.ci.cottonwood.az.us/reccenter/rececnterbrochure.pdf

Please vote to support a much-needed facility that moves us forward toward year-round recreation and wellness for people of all fitness levels and ages.

Pam Clark

Cottonwood

Why are smokers being singled out?

Editor:

I second the motion: Jennifer Sherrill's letter to the editor Oct 22, "While we're at it, let's tax fat people too."

I am also fed up with smokers being made to feel like second-class citizens. Plus smokers being singled out and penalized with higher taxes and insurance rates for their addiction. This is a clear case of discrimination.

Smoking has already been banned from the majority of public buildings for years, yet this group of sanctimonious non-smokers want to ban smoking everywhere and add yet another ridiculous tax on all tobacco products. What compounds this issue is the purposed tax isn't even targeted to help smoker break their tobacco addiction.

We smokers know smoking can and does cause health problem, but consider this: obesity is the leading health hazard in this country. The growth of obesity has fueled a dramatic increase in the amount spent to treat diabetes, heart disease, respiratory, high cholesterol and other weight related illnesses. So-o-o-o if it is a health issue of "Big Brother" saving the smokers from themselves, then OK, let's tax extremely obese people. From what I have observed while shopping in food stores ... most obese people stack their carts with potato chips, cookies, cakes and other fat-laden foods, minus fresh vegetables or fruit. Obviously they are addicted to fatty foods, but they are not penalized for they addition and in most cases there is help available for them.

For those who are so concerned about second-hand smoke, just step outside and breath in the mixture of hundreds of poisonous chemicals that dominate the atmosphere. Beat your drums about that and leave smokers alone.

L. D. Peterson

Cottonwood

Prop. 207 is truly a lose-lose measure

Editor:

Prop. 207 goes too far! It is a deceptive, bait-and-switch proposition. The bait is eminent domain and the switch is taking a sledgehammer to homeowner protections.

It masks itself as a protector of the home and little guy. In fact, an out-of-state land speculator and other extractive industries, which have spent nearly a million dollars to get it on the ballot, have now contributed well over a million dollars to fund the campaign.

It's designed to take away our ability to protect our neighborhoods, our property values and our environmental protections.

If passed, Prop.207 will create a bureaucratic nightmare, cost taxpayers million and create thousands of frivolous lawsuits to pay speculators for alleged value impact. This would drain city funds targeted for public safety, health, parks, libraries, transportation, sewage treatment plants, etc.

Oregon voters were fooled a couple years ago and Oregon taxpayers now face approximately 3,000 lawsuits and billions of dollars in court costs. Oregon voters now oppose that law by 2 to 1.

Arizona voters rejected a similar measure in 1994 and they would be wise to again reject this taxpayer nightmare.

Prop. 207 is truly a lose-lose measure. Vote no on Prop. 207.

J. McDonald

Sedona

Does war have a Light side or a Pretty face?

Editor:

In the current movie, Flags of our Fathers, one of the characters speaks of the 'Dark Side of War.'

In a recent radio interview with a journalist who was embedded with troops in Iraq recently, the journalist mentioned the 'Ugly Face of War.'

Please help me out here. Does war have a Light side or a Pretty face?

D. Savodnik

Cottonwood

Prop. 200: don't fall for this bribe

Editor:

As election day nears, I feel the need to get something off my chest.

The thought of giving lottery tickets to those who vote appalls me. Why would they even consider this?

To me, this is bribery -- is this the American way? I don't think so.

How many are gong to vote just to get a chance at a few bucks or giant wealth. Those who vote only for the lottery ticket have not studied the issues or given a lot of thought to a candidate's platform. They are just going to pick-n-choose. It doesn't matter as long as long as they get that free ticket.

Voting is an American privilege. To bribe someone to vote is taking away this privilege. Please think about this when you go to vote next Tuesday.

Beverly Black

Cottonwood

If in doubt, go see for yourself

Editor:

I have resided in Cottonwood for a relatively short period, just two and a half years. As a newcomer, I had some reservations about voting in favor of the Mingus bond issue. After all, the exterior of the building appears to be in fine condition when seen from a distance. This assumption is dead wrong

Fortunately, I had a recent opportunity to tour the facilities and found them to be in poor condition. Unlike some of those opposed to the bond issue as excessive taxation and claiming poor maintenance by the district, I found a tired building. Any structure will deteriorate over time. One's home eventually will need improvements after 30 years and Mingus needs the upgrades desperately.

The locker rooms are falling apart and not from abuse or poor maintenance. The electrical system cannot even begin to handle the electrical needs of running computers in the school. There is a flooding problem in lower parts of the school and some very evident structural cracks and settling are making parts of the structure a possible safety hazard.

Let's face it, the structure is over 30 year old and is showing its age.

Why do I care about the school? I'm just a typical taxpayer with no children or grandchildren attending school in the area. However, I can't imagine any family member or any student I know attending school in a building this decrepit. I think we can do better and offer a safe, refurbished building. It should be our duty to do so.

If in doubt about which way to vote on the bond, I cannot urge you enough to take a tour of the building prior to election day.

Brian Sawyer

Cottonwood

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