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.
Police chases — They’re always dangerous
The headline in Thursday’s Tribune: “High-speed head-on kills bank suspect,another driver” — how many times do high-speed chases not end up with an innocent death? I am firmly convinced that high-speed chases are always dangerous. I am as much in favor of the bad guys being caught, but not at the risk of Innocent deaths.
Use resources judiciously
The time has come for all police agencies and fire agencies to take a long, critical, truthful look at their response policies. When an emergency call goes out, they need to scale down the number of responders until the situation can be assessed and at that time, more responders could be called out. It seems like a free-for-all and our publicly paid responders end up not really contributing to an expeditious resolution of the situation. This is illustrated in the picture on page A2 of the Dec. 6 edition (“High-speed head-on kills bank heist suspect, another driver”); it looks like a police parking lot.
It costs a lot of money to equip, man and operate a fire truck. It would be a great savings if one or two smaller vehicles could respond to a medical situation, make an assessment, and then call out a big truck or an ambulance if needed.
At an accident scene, so many police officers and fire fighters respond that they become gawkers much like the rubberneckers. The rubbernecking gets worse because there are so many responders at a simple scene. Too many first responders are congregated in one place at one time, which could be a detriment to public safety.
Police, fire and public safety should remain the No. 1 concerns of these agencies. The guarded use of public money should be their No. 2 concern. The community needs to become aware of the emotional scare tactics these agencies have used in the past to boost their budgets. It is time for prudent leadership of all agencies to reduce the cost of public safety without reducing the high level of public safety that we enjoy.
State 9/11 memorial — Must be redone
I have read a lot about various state Capitol projects and want to bring an important one back into the forefront — The Arizona 9/11 Memorial. It has been six years since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and it is unfortunate that a great effort to honor those lost on that fateful day turned into such a controversy. It is also a shame that looking at the memorial, it is hard to tell what it even is.
The memorial stands now with 54 inscribed statements that members of the public said were “anti-war, leftist dribble, benign and meaningless, and not worthy of reflection.” After a year of meetings and discussions, two statements were removed and seven were added. The remaining 52 statements remain controversial.
To correct the present problem, Rep. John Kavanagh, a member of the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission, is sponsoring a bill that will remove the present statements from the memorial and replace them with a timeline of the events of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and also include other recommendations approved by the Legislative Governmental Mall Commission. I think this would be an appropriate and fitting solution to remember those tragic events. It’s about time.
Former Sen. Tom Smith
Paul the only real Republican
Come on, Tribune — “Ron Paul, Republican in Name Only” — get a life! Why is it so hard to understand that Ron Paul is the only true Republican in this contest? He is running in the same tradition as Barry Goldwater and Robert Taft.
The Republican Party has been cannibalized for decades by neo-con types like the Bushes and their minions. Ron Paul is first and foremost a constitutionalist and represents a return to principled, honest, smaller government as well as individual responsibility — all of which are the bedrock beliefs of the Republican Party. Furthermore, he has wide appeal to a large segment of patriotic Americans — Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, constitutionalists, any American who cares about returning this country to its foundational base as given to us by our founding fathers.
We must have a candidate who will work to restore the rule of law and to stand up for our divinely inspired Constitution. Many have given up on America as an exemplar for the world, as a model of freedom, self-government, and self control. I stand with Ron Paul who has not given up and believes there is hope for America.
Only one candidate stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that candidate is Ron Paul — the real Republican.
Sen. Karen S. Johnson
Co-Chair, Arizona campaign
Ron Paul 2008
More about morals than rights
I am pleased to see the article by Austin Hill regarding Mitt Romney’s speech about Mormonism (Opinion 2, Thursday). How sad that the Republican Party has come to this. My Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious right, evangelists and Christian conservatives. My Republican Party used to believe in less government and more individual rights. The current party believes in government involvement and authority over very private individual rights. The right of a woman to choose what she does with her body — it’s between her, her doctor and God, not the government’s business.
The right to love whom you wish without being discriminated against. The right to make personal decisions that hurt no one else, have only to do with that individual without government involvement. It’s really very simple and we don’t need the religious people in this country telling us what to do. My rights end where your rights begin, at the end of my nose. This means I am responsible for my own morals, decisions and my life. Tolerance is a Christian principle and it’s not being practiced by many Christians in this country. Religion doesn’t belong in government.
Gascón’s conduct galling
It is amazing to me that Chief George Gascón of Mesa considers breaking and entering into our country illegally as a small crime. Add to that false identification, driving without a license or insurance and the multiple other crimes we see in the news every day. The security of this nation is threatened by any illegal coming into this country and remaining here. He excuses not doing his job by saying he doesn’t want to use valuable time enforcing our laws. To top if off, he acknowledges the people desire to have our laws enforced by stating that he is not elected, so he could care less what the people of Mesa want.
Thank God for Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who does enforce the law. Too bad if the sheriff stepped on Gascón’s toes by arresting nine illegals in Mesa. The Nov. 17 Tribune article should enrage Mesa voters to put pressure on those who appointed Gascón to either force him to comply with our wishes or be removed.
Christmas — Best wishes
Merry Christmas, Gov. Napolitano. For your information, it’s called a “Christmas tree,” not a “holiday tree,” and it represents Christmas, which is on Dec. 25. It is not meant for any other holiday in the month of December.
For the folks who don’t want to wish friends and relatives “Merry Christmas,” wish them a “Happy Holiday” another time of the year. So my wish to everyone: Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year! And a Merry Christmas to all at the Tribune.
Napolitano can’t win
If the governor had used the actual name for that by now famous tree, all the atheists in Arizona would have nailed her with a hefty lawsuit for putting up a religious symbol on public property. We really do not need that. So — let’s give Gov. Janet Napolitano a break and simply enjoy the season for whatever reason everyone has. And a merry Christmas to you all.