We have lost touch with family values

Dear Editor:

I love how in a commentary about family values, Jon Beydler (AFN, June 11) somehow finds a way to bash on Republicans. If you read the article, but cut out that part, it makes perfect sense.

But, anyway, I digress.

In today's world, it seems as if we have lost touch with family and the important values that can come from it.

What about:

- Honesty? Telling the truth to your family, friends and people you date. Don't lie and sneak behind their backs, even with the littlest things. You will lose their trust and only make things worse.

- Responsibility? Take charge for your actions. Get a job and work hard at it. Be proud of your accomplishments and learn from your mistakes.

- Respect? For others' feelings and beliefs. Don't be selfish but think of how your actions will affect others.

- Strength? To not just follow suit with what is the trend. This is the weakest for kids today. Dressing like hoes and pimps at the age of 12. Giving into drugs and alcohol. Believing everything they hear without knowing the real truth.

All too often people have let me down through lack of these qualities. When I look at their families they are broken up or their parents aren't there for them physically and emotionally.

A message to parents: You wanted to bring your children into this world. The least you could do is spend time with them, love them, and help them learn these traits in order to succeed and gain respect from others in this world.

While I could include a randomly placed segment bashing liberals, I won't. But I hope this article gets young and old to think about their morals and whether or not they have chosen the best ones for themselves and in turn the people around them.

Rebecca Lovell


New GI Bill misrepresented by Mitchell

Dear Editor:

Even though the GI Bill for the 21st century has already become law, I find it necessary to correct comments made by Congressman Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) and Congresswomen Ginny Brown-Wait (R-Fla.) that appeared in the June 20 issue of the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

The new GI Bill is misrepresented by Mitchell as providing benefits for those that have served 90 days in combat. There is no such provision in the new GI Bill. I wish there were. Any member of the military is eligible for benefits after just 90 days of active service regardless of the conditions or location. After just 90 days of service, about the length of basic training, a soldier or sailor will be eligible for 40 percent of the rich benefits provided for in the new plan. Sixty percent of the full plan is available with just one year of service, not even the total length of most training plans.

These benefits are paid out to any service member that separates with anything better then a dishonorable discharge. That means soldiers and sailors separated with administrative discharges, often for disciplinary problems or incompatibility with the military, are getting the same benefits Mitchell wants to provide to real combat veterans.

Reasonable people can debate the cost of this program relative to the obligation our nation has to its veterans. But who receives the very best benefits should not be debatable. It is a travesty that those service members who actually walk the streets of Baghdad or patrol the mountains of Afghanistan or go to sea, get the same gold-plated benefit that a four-year veteran of nothing more then disciplinary hearings and happy hour at the base club does. Why should a senior Navy petty officer with 10 years service, who promoted early at every opportunity, went to sea four or five times, held numerous professional qualifications and supervised dozens of sailors, get the same benefit as the sailor that serves just four years and gets out?

Mitchell and other supporters of this plan also imply that benefits to reservists and guardsman were inequitable. In reality, the former GI benefits for reservist and guardsmen were closer to reflecting the nature of their service then the new GI Bill will reflect the various circumstances and sacrifices made by our active duty military.

While reservist and guardsman have been called upon to make great sacrifice in the Global War on Terror, do not forget that when their recall is up, they come home to continue as a part-time soldier. Their redeployment is controlled by law and not frequent. An active duty military member comes home from Iraq and remains an active soldier or Marine, eligible for redeployment at any time. Certain benefits should be graduated for part-time soldiers versus the full-time active duty military.

If the new GI Bill is supposed to reward our veterans for their service, one has to ask what kind of service are we rewarding? Like many things Congress does the new GI Bill is a very expensive solution to what was a minor problem.

Adjustments to the former program would have been more beneficial to the recruiting, retention and budget of the military. But as long as we have it let's understand what it does and does not.

Steve Wieneke

Commander, USNR (retired)


Huppenthal has earned my vote

Dear Editor:

Fred Barlam wrote in his June 25 editorial that we in Ahwatukee Foothills are extremely fortunate. I agree - but not for the reason he stated.

I very much respect Ted Maish's teaching experience. However, it takes much more than just that to effectively serve our district in the State Senate. I'll defer to Sen. Huppenthal to defend his record on education. He's more than capable of doing that on his own.

I'd like to focus on actions I believe show Huppenthal's strong commitment to Ahwatukee.

First, many in our community have been working very hard for many years to see that the State Land Department sells 240 acres of State Trust Land in the western portion of our district to the city of Phoenix. The city wants to build a fire station, park, library and trail head entry into South Mountain Park on it - but they've got to get their hands on the land first.  Huppenthal has been working hard to see that happens. I'm confident with the power of Huppenthal's position in Senate leadership and his deep knowledge of the state government's way of doing business we'll see the land convey to the city in late 2008 or early 2009.

I expect the city will break ground on the fire station and library soon thereafter. They have approximately $20 million in the bank waiting to be spent on the needed improvements.

Second, the Arizona Department of Transportation is proposing building a freeway on Pecos Road. Huppenthal has been down that road as a city councilman. He helped the citizens of Chandler mitigate some of the negative effects the Santan Freeway had on their community. Most recently, he helped organize a community meeting between ADOT and residents of the Lakewood community. I expect he'll do much more to ensure our voices are heard at ADOT in the future.

Maish may be a great guy, but he is inexperienced. We need an experienced senator to deal with Ahwatukee's complex issues. I believe Huppenthal is that person.

Chad Blostone


Crime is up in Ahwatukee neighborhood

Dear Editor:

Our garage was recently broken into. This may not seem like a big deal to most people, the only thing they took was my purse from my car, yet the feeling of being completely violated, knowing that someone was in my home, while I was upstairs asleep, is something I have not been able to shake.

Yes, I have an alarm that I had forgotten to set. Yes, I am fortunate that the only thing taken was my purse. While the purse and the credit cards are replaceable, there were things in it that hold no value to others, but meant the world to me. A note my husband wrote me on our wedding date. A charm of St. Francis that I held onto while my dog was sick. And lest we not forget the betting slips I made while in Vegas, if the Cowboys win the Superbowl that crook is in the money.

When I called in this minor crime to our police department I was told that their system was down and I would need to call back another time. I began to notice in the paper similar crimes listed. Notices went up on the mailbox of neighbors who also had lost items due to theft.

You say to yourself, "What gives?" Our neighborhood held a "crime watch" block party, but with no results. If you look at the stats, in the last month there have been 145 crimes reported in Ahwatukee. In the ZIP code of 85044 there were 104 crimes alone. In the previous 11 months there had only been 96 crimes reported. In that one month alone crimes in that area have more than doubled. And those were just for the items that were reported.

I contacted the HOA to let them know of these findings, to see if there was something that they could send out to the residents. I was told by the Mountain Park Ranch representative that they already did. Funny, no one I asked received it.

What do we do? Become a community that idly sits by as crime creeps into our neighborhood?

A common theory is that these are neighborhood kids, out of school for the summer and bored. To that I say, "Where are their parents?" What happens when they break into the wrong house or car and get shot?

And as for those of you who are parents, if your child comes home with a new camera, iPod or even a Coach patchwork bucket purse, ask them where they got these items, don't just turn a blind eye. And if it happens to be the Coach purse you come across, see if you can get my note back, it means the world to me.

Vanessa Ryan

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