Letters to the editor: Feb. 1 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Feb. 1

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Posted: Sunday, February 1, 2009 9:20 pm | Updated: 3:04 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 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

STATE BUDGET

Education budget cuts could have been avoided

In these fiscally difficult times, the most persuasive arguments for rejecting the proposed massive cuts to education relate to the costs and benefits to Arizona. The benefits of education to the economy are many and varied.

Education is fundamental to every aspect of Arizona’s competitiveness in today’s global marketplace. Investments in education are multiplied many times over with benefits that can last generations.

If massive cuts to education are made, the real costs to every sector of Arizona’s economy will be far greater and last much longer than the relatively modest, short-term benefits to the state budget. Our economy is a complex web of interdependencies with education holding a seminal position. Draconian cuts to education will cost more than they save.

Those who have proposed these cuts have not presented any rational cost/benefit analysis for public discussion.

A different kind of analysis suggests previous massive tax cuts in good economic times have exacerbated the present crisis.

Had surplus revenues been set aside with an eye toward the predictable and regular cycles of good times and bad, those funds, with interest, could now be used to absorb the current deficits and preserve our vital interests. The same people who failed in good times to be prudent stewards of our state’s resources now suggest draconian spending cuts are the only solution.

We deserve better than this shortsighted simple-mindedness.

DAVID WRIGHT

MESA

Stop the fear-mongering

President Michael Crow’s scare tactics about Arizona State University descending into a third-world university help no one. Arizona, like nearly every state in the nation, faces a staggering budget deficit. We all have to live with less.

In the 1970s, I lived in New York City when Mayor Abraham Beame asked President Gerald Ford for a bailout. Do you remember that infamous Daily News headline: “Ford to City — Drop Dead”? New York City managed to squeak by and so will Arizona’s universities.

Instead of spreading fear and panic, Crow and the Arizona Board of Regents should demonstrate leadership. Life will go on at ASU just as the citizens of New York City picked up the pieces of a shattered municipal budget and moved forward.

Scaring people into getting what you want is unfair to the rest of Arizona’s citizens whose needs are just as compelling.

DEBRA J. WHITE

TEMPE

PHOTO ENFORCEMENT

No humanity with a camera

In regards to the Jan. 24 article (“Poll finds support for red light, speed cameras”), personally I’m ambiguous about this whole issue. However as one police officer once said to me, “I have let people go with a warning because they had a legitimate reason (such as a spastic colon) for traveling at higher speeds. Can a traffic camera offer that kind of humanity?

Regarding the American Traffic Solutions camera poll, I find it hard to trust the results of any poll that does not come with the questions that where asked.

For example this question would influence the polls results: “Yes or no — Are you in favor of reducing freeway accidents and even deaths by allowing the use of speed enforcement cameras?”

This question might yield a less influenced result: “Yes or No — Are you in favor of speed enforcement cameras?”

Or we could go the other way: “Yes or no — Are you in favor of state and local government using automation to enforce traffic laws instead of human being that can make a discretionary decision?”

JIM E. MACMILLAN

CHANDLER

No alternative available

Two things to let you know our Legislature is in session: We’re staring at a huge deficit that we hope our legislators will act wisely on. And some East Valley representative will say something silly.

The winner of that dubious award so far goes to Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, who apparently has a big problem with photo enforcement on the highways. And who, along with Rep. Sam Crump, R-Anthem, wants to rid us of those devices.

Now we know that a good chunk of the rationale for the cameras was as an income generator; former Gov. Janet Napolitano and some legislators said as much in the last session. But they might also create safer highways. And we all ought to be willing to see if indeed they do that.

In the meantime, the silliness of Crump and Biggs ought to be ignored. Crump conveyed that “Arizona has a proud heritage of leaving its residents alone. I find that the photo radar and speed cameras are really a violation of that heritage. They create a sense of 'gotcha’ for our citizens and the people driving on the roads.”

But the photo cameras do leave us alone. Except, of course, for those going what, 11 mph over the speed limit? Is Crump suggesting that we should leave the speeders alone? Biggs goes one further: “It is meant to be authoritarian. It is meant to take away freedom. It is an expansion of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and George Orwell’s 1984.”

Well, besides the weak analogy, we should ask just what “freedom” the cameras take away? The freedom to speed?

Channel 5 news recently reported that it asked the two what alternatives there should be to the cameras. The alternative given was to hire more Department of Public Safety officers.

Which is great. I would prefer that, too. But one question:

Where will DPS get the additional money to hire those officers? Is Biggs ready to fight for increased DPS funding for what he suggests?

MIKE MCCLELLAN

MESA

TO OUR READERS:

Gilbert Town Council Forum

The Tribune Editorial Board will host a public forum for the candidates running for Gilbert mayor and Town Council starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at the Gilbert Municipal Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive. If you have a question you like to have the candidates address, write Le Templar at ltemplar@evtrib.com or call him at (480) 898-6474.

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