Letters to the editor: April 20 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: April 20

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Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008 2:06 am | Updated: 9:37 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

9/11 MEMORIAL

Johnson must provide proof

It’s been said that there’s a place where the far left and the far right meet. Karen Johnson is proof this political International Date Line exists.

In the Tribune’s Wednesday story about the 9/11 Memorial, Johnson states, “There’s many of us that believe there’s been a cover up.” This Arizona senator believes there were no passengers on the planes that hit the World Trade Center and maintains there was not enough physical evidence of the crash of United 93.

Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services revealed that he told Johnson that passengers had in fact gotten on those flights. Where are the passengers?

“That’s what I’d like to know,” she responded.

At this point, it is clear that Johnson must pursue one of two actions:

She must diligently present evidence of her claims and expose this horrible travesty, or she must apologize to the loved ones of those lost that day for her insulting spread of an inane conspiracy theory. As a public official, Johnson should be held responsible for her reckless comments.

In either case, Johnson’s mindset is proof that changing our 9/11 Memorial may be the least of our worries.

GENE GANSSLE

TEMPE

STATE BUDGET

Many extras can be cut

Our governor and the Legislature are exchanging polite jabs over ways to reduce a state budget that has grown out of control. No one wants to throw the first punch, so they tap, feint and bluster — and fiddle while Rome burns.

The public thinks they are wrangling over trimming here and there, or maybe delaying expanding programs until better times. But we don’t need to just whittle, we need to whack. Nothing but a wholesale housecleaning of state government at all levels will do. Entire departments need to go. Unconstitutional and unnecessary programs should to be permanently chopped from the budget.

If you don’t think we’re drowning in bureaucracies, check out the government pages in your phone book where you’ll find a litany of offices and departments that have nothing to do with legitimate government. Each bears the opportunity for graft, cronyism and political payoffs that are pushing finances to the brink. Some are laughable, most could be done privately or not at all. For starters:

• Breast Feeding Hotline.

• Commission on the Arts.

• Motion Picture Development.

• Board of Cosmetology.

• Governor’s Office of Equal Opportunity.

• Office for Children, Youth and Families.

• Prescott Historical Society.

• Pioneers’ Home.

• Citrus Fruit and Vegetable Standardization Board.

• Office of Tourism.

• Arizona Lottery.

Many millions of dollars could be saved in wasteful, bloated, overstepping agencies that ought to be permanently eliminated.

If our leaders were serious about balancing the budget, they would do it the way our families do: no buying what we can’t afford, no borrowing for goodies we have to pay for with uncertain income.

It’s time for our lavish-spending legislators to take off the gloves and put overgrown government down for the count.

PETER J. O'MALLEY

MESA

GAS PRICES

April Fools follies

Oil execs tell Congress high fuel prices aren’t their fault (Tribune, April 2).

Give me a break! The oil execs are laughing all the way to the bank and why shouldn’t they, they know Congress won’t touch them.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., wanted to know why the oil companies aren’t giving up some of their tax breaks. Duh! Because the oil companies don’t have to, and Congress isn’t going to take them away.

The oil companies want more access to drilling, would our gas prices drop? Think about it, what happens every time the cost of crude oil goes down, the oil company conveniently shuts down a refinery to keep the cost high. These companies made billions, yet spent mere millions in research.

The oil companies are continuously asking Congress to extend the drilling rights. Congress needs to do its job and ask these execs why they haven’t added more refineries on line. The answer is, simply, they would no longer have an excuse to raise the price of gas if they didn’t have a refinery to take offline when the cost of a barrel of crude oil drops.

It’s time Congress stands up to the oil companies and their corporate greed, and take away their tax breaks and cut the tax on gas at the pump. Don’t tell us the American public there is nothing you can do. Contrary to belief, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., your approval (the Congress’) rating is in actuality lower than the oil execs, because you politicians have the power to act and choose blatantly to do nothing. Your meeting with the oil execs was just grandstanding for the public, and a very poor performance at that!

S.M. SIMARD

APACHE JUNCTION

BUFFALO ARTS SCENE

Stop snickering, Scottsdale

What? Huh? A hit job on Buffalo out of Scottsdale?

On our art scene? No, no, it cannot be true. But true it was.

What was the great affront to Scottsdale?

Scottsdale’s second place finish to Buffalo in the American Style poll of best midsized U.S art cities!

Instead of exploring the characteristics that helped Buffalo win, Donna Hogan’s article (April 9) unfortunately substitutes old and tired stereotypes instead of research.

Even more incredulous is an individual like Randy Jones, who has never been to Buffalo, let alone visited an art gallery in our fair city, be allowed to give any commentary on the art scene. I invite Hogan and Jones to come to Buffalo to see the object of their snickering firsthand.

Come see the Allentown and Elmwood Arts Festivals; the artist spaces in Artspace or Hallwalls; the great architecture of Sullivan, Wright, Yamasaki or Richardson; the Colored Musicians Club, Shea’s Theatre, or any one of many great venues; and of course, some of our fine galleries like the Albright-Knox, the Burchfield Penny.

Or are you just afraid you might find out you were wrong?

AL LaBRUNA

BUFFALO, N.Y.

SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

Use them, don’t paint target

I read, with much agreement, Ted Maish’s commentary on school resource officers (April 10) and wholeheartedly agree that they are an excellent investment for any school to make. More than anyone else they can have a chance to detect an unstable person or persons who are planning to commit a school invasion.

Maish is correct in saying that these shooters are deranged and often commit suicide before capture, but only after they have done as much killing as they can. Would armed staff help stop such killings? I suspect they might, but they would not deter such attempts.

Maish presented an excellent argument but then irony reared its ugly head in his last paragraph when he said, “Let’s hang out a sign for the criminal ….” Sounds an awful lot like an attempt to deter doesn’t it? In fact it may even make the SRO the first to go.

MIKE AUSPOS

APACHE JUNCTION

MESA POLICE

Compassionate response

I would like this opportunity to say how wonderful the Mesa Police Department is, from the 911 operator who answers calls in an emergency to the police and paramedics who respond to these emergencies. I had occasion to call 911 and the person who answered was compassionate and knowledgeable about what needed to be done. She had patience with me and again made a bad situation better. The Mesa police and the paramedics arrived and again, these people on the front lines each and every day provide their service with warmth and compassion when we really need that.

So the next time you are stopped for a traffic violation and think ugly thoughts, remember that these are the people who are there to help and assist us when we are in need. And they do this with their hearts.

LYNNE VAN GOULD

MESA

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