Letters to the editor: April 5 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: April 5

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Posted: Sunday, April 5, 2009 5:06 pm | Updated: 2:12 am, Sat Oct 8, 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 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 comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

STATE BUDGET

Lawmakers don’t want federal education money

In a recent report by Arizona State University’s Web Devil, Rep. John Kavanagh R-Fountain Hills, said state officials need to understand the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines to make sure Arizona qualifies.

“There’s the issue of interpreting some of the stimulus rules,” said Kavanagh, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. “At this point, we’re not 100 percent sure [what they are].”

Do not be fooled by this rhetoric. The majority leadership has no desire to “make sure Arizona qualifies.” Rather, they are interested in the rules for eligibility only to such extent as those rules imply what the Legislature must do for Arizona to be disqualified. They have ideological objections to federal stimulus money; see the article by Dan Lips of The Heritage Foundation, “Ten Reasons Why the 'Economic Stimulus’ Should Not Include Education Spending.”

While Kavanagh may not be lying outright, he is attempting to deceive.

DAVID WRIGHT

Arizona too far behind

It is incomprehensible to educators, who dedicate their professional lives to Arizona’s children, that our political leaders believe the solution to the budget deficits should involve undermining of the public education of our children.

Arizona’s children are not responsible for the deficits; they did not abuse credit cards, they did not risk their families’ welfare with irresponsible mortgages, and they did not create bad credit, bad business decisions or bad investments. All parents and grandparents bear this responsibility and should be held responsible for paying for the deficit: not the kids!

The Legislature’s present solution to reduce support for K-12 education is not isolated historically. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Arizona ranked 24th in state funds for education per pupil in 1989. That’s average, but OK.

However, what happened in the following years makes 1989 look like an educational gold mine. By the year 2004, state financial support for K-12 in Arizona had spiraled downward. In 2004, Arizona ranked 46th in the category “pupil/teacher ratios,” fell to 47th the following year, and in 2006-07 ended up in 48th place. In “expenditures for school property and buildings,” Arizona ranked 47th. Finally, in “expenditures for instruction (including health),” Arizona ranked 49th.

The dismaying realization about these facts is that the leaders of our Legislature seem to be so blinded by their ideologies that they cannot accept factual reality. In a recent interview by Ted Simons (“Horizon,” KAET-TV) with the leader of the House of Representatives, the latter claimed that if capital spending were included, Arizona would be somewhere in the middle, not 49th. Nonsense! Capital spending is in a separate category and is not included for any state.

There seem to be few options for distributing the burden of the deficits fairly to everyone: a temporary increase in taxes and/or greater flexibility in the budget. The damage to the education of Arizona’s children from the present legislative solution is irrefutable, not to speak of the damage to the families of teachers who lose their jobs and their homes.

W.M. SENNER

Mesa has wrong attitude

Why does this not shock me that the narrow minded City Council didn’t allow a tattoo parlor in Mesa. This is the same Mesa that allows a check-cashing store on every corner, pizza places that take pesos, and coin-operated laundry mats in every strip mall in the area. But a tattoo parlor is bad for the neighborhood.

The council needs to get past the image of tattoos are only for guys in the Navy and criminals. Maybe the council should look at this area, and the downtown Mesa area, and see that what they think is a shiny, thriving part of Mesa is not that at all, but is crumbling.

Yet a legitimate business wants to open up shop anyway and the Council says “no” because it doesn’t fit their perception.

I owned a business in downtown Mesa and also have a tattoo. I also know the perception of the council when a tattoo show was held at Centennial Center was that is not the kind of event they wanted in Mesa.That group brought in money for the city and businesses in the area for that weekend. They caused no trouble. Just because you have tattoos doesn’t make you a criminal. Just because you run a tattoo shop doesn’t mean you run a shady business. But treating people with tattoos or those that want to open a shop differently does make you narrow-minded and discriminatory.

DOUG SEIPEL

CELL PHONES

Putting everyone in danger

This letter is directed at all of those who talk on their cell phones while driving our roads and highways while ignoring potential dangers all around them. Stop doing it!

When you ignore traffic around you, you’re endangering the lives of everyone on the road by leading to a potential accident possibly killing someone. All of this because you were chatting or texting on your cell phone.

Now, I ask you, is that phone call or text message more important to you than your life, your loved ones’ lives and the lives of the general populace? No, It is not. So get off your cell phone when driving.

WADE SCHLOSSER

ARIZONA DRIVERS

Keep fools off the road

I think it’s time for the Arizona Department of Transportation to administer IQ tests along with driver’s license tests. You can teach a monkey to pass a driver’s test but you can’t teach it common sense! Maybe this will put some of the current cast of idiots who are on the road on the sidelines.

RAY LINDQUIST

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