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.
Keeping drivers in check
I see the cyclical arising of the specter of speed cameras has again come up. A senator says that speed is not the primary cause of mishaps. That is like saying that cholesterol is not the primary cause of a coronary occlusion, it is the clot that catches on the plaque that is the problem.
I recall working an accident many years ago in which a very young girl was killed when her brother drove the go-kart upon which she was riding out in front of a pickup truck on a residential street. The speed limit on the street was 30 mph and it was determined the truck was moving at 44 mph. Had all circumstances remained the same except for the speed being reduced to 30 mph, the accident would never have occurred. She died from speed. Speed can kill.
If it weren’t so tragic a subject I would call the idea that “Nothing changes people’s behavior like a highway patrolman pulling them over” a ludicrous concept. It is more dangerous for both the officer and the motorist to make speed stops on a busy freeway (especially with people driving 75 mph and more) than for a camera to snap a picture (despite claims that the sudden, blinding flash of the camera will set off a massive pile-up). In my years as an officer I far more often heard the comment that the pending citation will just “kill me with my insurance cost” than my physical presence frightened them into driving straight.
Last but not least, an officer on the freeway, particularly during the rush hour periods, is by far less numerically effective in citing speeders than are cameras.
I suspect the opposition to the cameras is more fueled by the spirit of “freedom to do my thing” than by good sense.
Mitchell’s laudable move
Wow! This is really great — a congressman who believes his constituents will better know how to spend money wisely than the Congress that levels the taxes!
It was so gratifying to read that Rep. Harry Mitchell will not return his upcoming $4,100 raise to the treasury to be used by the government, but will instead put it into the hands of the taxpayers who sent the money (not always willingly) to the government.
This is a somewhat strange but very welcome turn, coming from the party who believes that the federal government is in a much wiser and better position to know where our tax dollars should be spent.
Please, Congressman Mitchell, try to influence as many of your colleagues as possible to follow suit and thus put more money in the hands of an already overburdened electorate.
SPECTER OF JUSTICE
Let’s see you print this fair response to your editorial. “Sack this senator for his grandstand play” (Feb. 10).
Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., is doing his job by investigating the New England Patriots’ actions, and of course your newspaper seems to think he should not. Should I assume you don’t want the truth to come out or for the truth to be exposed? What seems to be the problem?
Our society as a result of our media seems to be excusing cheating and lying as an error of omission or a mistake, or as you put it ,what business is it of Spector’s?
Your view is consistent with the lying and cheating of the steroid issue, which is also illegal. I don’t think you as an editor are using your paper and your views to send the proper message to our young and old people of this democracy.
Leaders asleep at the wheel
Our state legislators are faced with the difficult task of tackling our state budget shortfall. Yet they do not have an agreement on how to bridge the budget gap.
Both the governor and Republican leadership have offered plans to address the budget shortfall, but budget negotiations have stalled. It’s time to put partisan politics aside and get back to work.
Arizona is a growing, vibrant state and our future will be impacted by the decisions our elected leaders make now. Continuing long-term investments in our schools and roads, expanding access to affordable health care and managing our growth should remain top priorities. Irresponsible cuts today will have far-reaching impact in the years to come and leave us scrambling to make up for lost time and lost investments when our economy rebounds.
Arizona families support this, Arizona businesses support this, and the Arizona Legislature has the opportunity to continue making these critical investments that move our state forward.
It’s time for them to get to work to balance the budget.
How far will Pearce go?
It is time to address the ultimate shortsightedness of Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, his constituency and his legislative followers on the immigration issue. Pearce has pushed and passed an employer sanctions law for employing illegal immigrants. How far is he willing to go?
Last year the Pentagon reported there were 68,000 illegal immigrants or children of illegal immigrants serving in the US military. The split was about 50-50. That number represents staffing for 20 brigades. To date military losses sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan total 10 brigades. Pearce and his shortsighted followers would inflict double the damage on our troops that has been done by al-Qaida, the Taliban and the Iraqi insurgents and do it in less time. Perhaps these young men and women are doing jobs that some Americans won’t do.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has set out to enforce the law by raiding mom-and-pop carnicerias. The time has come for him to show his gumption by mounting up in his tank and breaching the main gate at Luke Air Force Base to arrest the base command structure, because they may be employing illegal airmen who are assigned there. Perhaps County Attorney Andrew Thomas could indict the secretary of defense and dispatch deputies to the Pentagon to serve the warrants. Think of all the national publicity these actions would bring to these egomaniacs. Better than billboards and no cost to taxpayers.
And if Vice President Dick Cheney takes umbrage at an attack leveled against elements of his beloved military-industrial complex and dispatches them to Syria for interrogation and other fun and games, so be it. Arizona legislators take note.
What about right to less regulation?
Recently I received an e-mail from the Goldwater Institute advising that a “Cell Phone User’s Bill of Rights” had been introduced in the Arizona Legislature. This was just another opportunity for regulations to be placed on business, which always means the price of the service or commodity goes up.
When legislators write bills to give government more power it is no wonder the public is thoroughly disenchanted. We can’t trust them, and this bill just proves the point.