Letters to the editor: Aug. 12 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Aug. 12

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Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:00 pm | Updated: 11:25 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

 At the time the legislation was enacted, Arizona was one of only five states that did not provide either nighttime driving restrictions or passenger limitations for new teenage drivers.

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TEEN DRIVING

New law will reduce accidents, save lives

At the time the legislation was enacted, Arizona was one of only five states that did not provide either nighttime driving restrictions or passenger limitations for new teenage drivers.

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Bob Hisserich (“More government in your life?,” Opinion 2, July 28) recognizes that states with graduated driver license laws for teenagers have experienced reductions in teen-related fatal crashes. According to a study released by Johns Hopkins School of Public Affairs and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, jurisdictions that have enacted graduated driver license laws have reported reductions of 11 percent to 32 percent in fatal crash rates of novice drivers.

During the 2007 legislative debate, a handful of legislators raised similar objections to those expressed by Hisserich regarding the perceived encroachment on parental rights. Of course, that argument was not persuasive, as parental decisions on teenage driving and the effects of those actions are not limited to the teen driver.

Across the country, 63.5 percent of the individuals killed in teen-driver crashes are people other than the teen driver; in Arizona, that number increases to 74.5 percent.

From a traffic safety perspective, the Teenage Driver Safety Act does not replace family decisions on new teen drivers. Rather, the law will increase parental involvement by providing additional tools to assist parents and guardians in improving the driving capabilities of new teen drivers. The statistical data clearly demonstrates that the provisions contained in this law will reduce teen-related accidents and the tragic events that often follow such an incident.

Linda Gorman

Public Affairs Manager, AAA Arizona

ADOPTION

2-parent argument doesn’t hold up

Once again I’ve read a letter arguing against the right of homosexuals to marry by stating “every child is entitled to a father and a mother.”

I do not see the correlation. That type of statement should be attached to an article encouraging adoption.

Children are born every day to couples who are not married. States have thick books full of biographies of children waiting to be adopted; waiting for someone to call mother or father. To their credit, some homosexual couples are adopting children overlooked by heterosexual couples. I do not see the connection between couples who love each other being allowed to marry and children having a mother and a father.

I would love to see every child have such, but life does not work out that way. Let’s use that argument to promote adoption.

Bill Clothier

MESA

AIMS

Tests aren’t the problem, money is

Twelve years ago when AIMS began, and every year since, I sit in my department with my colleagues and say, “Why don’t we just have all students take the ACT or the SAT to determine how smart they are or if they should graduate?” Just figure out an acceptable figure that shows a student should graduate from high school.

Why spend $12.6 million on the new AIMS test when the ACT and SAT already exist? I looked up the Michigan Merit Exam the article speaks of (“Lawmakers put AIMS on chopping block,” July 16). It is like the AIMS test, but they added the ACT with writing and science and social studies.

And, by the way, students don’t have to pass it to graduate. The motivation is $4,000 toward college or trade school. We have a similar reward of free tuition to Arizona colleges if a student exceeds all portions of the AIMS.

As a teacher, I know some students are going to blow the test off if there are no consequences, and this will sway test results that affect district goals under the No Child Left Behind Act. Without this consequence, students won’t take it seriously, and schools will receive less funding.

The real problem for state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne is that Arizona is allotted $11 per student for these tests while Michigan receives $115 per student to take these tests.

So, what is the answer? Money, as usual. Arizona’s student population is 1.15 million and Michigan’s student population is 1.79 million. At $115 per student for these tests, it’s obvious Michigan is an education state and we are still a retirement state. When are we going to get serious about money in education in this state?

Joe Sullivan

Teacher/Coach

Mountain View High School, Mesa

2008 elections

New leadership needed for county supervisors

In response to “Supervisor questions deputies’ response times, (Tribune, July 24)” Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley is finally asking tough questions of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office that should have been addressed long ago.

In asking for an explanation from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department about the spiking response times across the county, the Board of Supervisors is beginning to address the concerns of many Maricopa County residents. However, there is still a long way to go, and the current leadership on the Board of Supervisors has proven inadequate.

Taxpayers should know how the county budget is being spent and how the sheriff’s department plans to protect them. I would like to see some accountability and concern for public safety in the county government. That is why I will be voting for Ed Hermes for Maricopa County supervisor on Nov. 4; he is committed to asking the questions that need to be asked, and to increasing standards of public safety in Maricopa County. That should be able to bring all residents peace of mind.

Natalie Butler

TEMPE

Gibbons best for Dist. 18

During this election year, District 18 will have a most important decision to make. For the first time in as long as I can remember, there will not be an incumbent running for the same office. We must now decide who will be the best representation for us. I am supporting Kevin Gibbons for the Arizona Senate.

Kevin Gibbons values the same virtues and character of our stalwart forebears — faith in God, courage, industry, frugality, self-reliance and integrity.

Gibbons understands that the government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives. He knows that we are not free unless government is limited. He will fight for individual rights, to lower taxes and to limit government.

Gibbons is a champion of family values. As a husband and father, he believes in the sanctity of life, the blessedness of marriage and the preservation of the family unit.

As a conservative, he will demand that the government take any and all steps necessary to immediately enforce our laws, secure our borders and protect our nation. He also realizes the necessity of providing more work visas to allow individuals to come to the United States to improve their lives. He will encourage legal immigration and assimilation in the United States.

Kevin Gibbons is a common-sense conservative, and that is why we should all support him.

Christopher Glover

MESA

Gibbons plays with other party

I wonder what could be next for Kevin Gibbons in his quest for District 18’s Republican State Senate seat, an endorsement by Janet Napolitano? It is not surprising he did not keep Jim Pederson’s money, but what is shocking is that it he took it in the first place!

With the state’s budget negotiations that are sure to continue next year, we need someone who is going to look out for the taxpayer and will stand up to the shady practices that have been going on. Republicans should not be for sale, especially not to the former Democratic Party chairman!

BRIAN BENDER

MESA

Littlefield: I’m voting for Lane

It is well known that, in the upcoming race between incumbent Mayor Mary Manross and challenger Councilman Jim Lane, I differ sharply with both candidates on issues that I care about deeply.

I have clashed with both of them over how best to preserve Scottsdale’s special character and high quality of life and the creation of a Scottsdale Fire Department, to name just two of these issues. So it is tempting for me to just sit this race out and not take sides.

It is tempting, but it would be a mistake. The bottom line is that one of these two candidates is going to be the mayor of the city I love. Who that mayor is will make a huge difference to Scottsdale’s future.

With those high stakes in mind I will be marking my ballot for Jim Lane and I urge all Scottsdale voters to do the same.

One reason for this is money. Over the next few years, our city will be facing a slowdown in revenues and increase in costs. Scottsdale will desperately need budgetary discipline from the mayor and council members to keep our finances healthy.

In the four years that Lane has been on the Scottsdale City Council, he has been its most consistent fiscal conservative. He has always opposed throwing taxpayer dollars away on subsidies to favored special interests. And he has fought for setting responsible budget targets in advance of budget development, true zero-based budgeting, and appointing an independent city treasurer as a full-time watchdog for taxpayer dollars.

But the biggest reason that I am voting for Lane is that he has consistently supported greater openness and accountability in city government.

For example, when Manross and her allies voted to spend your taxpayer dollars on legal fees to keep you from seeing performance documents about your top city officials, Lane, Councilman Tony Nelssen and I fought to have those documents made available to the public, which a judge ultimately ordered the city to do.

In a Jim Lane administration, residents would not have to fight their own representatives to see how the business of their city government is done.

BOB LITTLEFIELD

Scottsdale CITY COUNCILMAN

Huppenthal is easy choice

How many years, or decades, of dedicated, selfless community service will it take before everyone realizes that Sen. John Huppenthal, R-Chandler, is the right man for the job in District 20? He was (and is) the right man, first on the Chandler City Council, then in the Arizona House and now as our state senator.

That he had to write a column (Opinion 2, July 27) defending himself against the ridiculous notion that he somehow failed in efforts to assist the students at Corona del Sol High School was reprehensible. How much do his few detractors think his competitors helped Corona? What did they do besides wringing their hands while Huppenthal and Reps. John McComish, R-Ahwatukee Foothills, and Bob Robson, R-Chandler, stepped up for their constituents?

Men like John Huppenthal are hard to find. Voting to keep him in office should be the easiest choice on the ballot.

Leigh Rivers

CHANDLER

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