Thanks for the support

Dear Editor:

The Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center and the Ahwatukee Board of Management would like to thank the community for helping make the Inaugural Ahwatukee Star Spangled Festival and Bicycle Parade a huge success. There were 60 participants in the bicycle parade and thanks to Curbside Cyclery, located at 48th Street and Warner Road, each youngster received a goodie bag and Curbside also presented the awards for creativity, originality and effort.

We would also like to thank Safeway at 48th Street and Elliot Road, along with store manager George Ebel, for the generous donation of water to our event sponsors, Ahwatukee Country Club, DLP (Desert Landscaping Professionals), Big O Tires at 48th Street and Warner Road, and Ahwatukee Adventure Bootcamp.

The residents of our great community help make this event and others like Tukee Fest, coming up on Sept. 26, successful because we all believe in having fun in our own backyard.

Lisa Robinson


Lots of ways to network

Dear Editor:

It was with a great deal of interest that I read the June 26 Chamber Corner article entitled “It’s all about networking.” While I definitely agree that it really is all about networking I do feel obligated to clarify that there are other high-quality networking events in the Ahwatukee Foothills area that offer exceptional opportunities for people from all walks of life and backgrounds to meet and make significant connections. These groups often provide community service through charitable events designed to help those less fortunate than others.

Two such events come to mind:

There is a monthly, no charge, “Meet Up” group that gathers on the last Thursday of each month at Va Bene Restaurant, starting at 5 p.m., which is designed for local entrepreneurs to get to know one another in a casual atmosphere.

The second group, also free of charge, is the “East Valley’s – Be There” Professional Network Group, which is rapidly becoming the premier event in the Southeast Valley and is highly recognized in the networking community. This group routinely draws between 100 to 200 people on the third Thursday of each month at the Grace Inn, at 51st Street and Elliot Road, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Tim Keating


Federal law doesn’t ask students immigration status

Dear Editor:

I was not quite sure how to react to Ms. Miller’s “commentary” regarding educational funding of “illegal aliens” (“Kyrene school bureaucracy hasn’t changed,” AFN, June 26).

I am sure she envisions herself as a watchdog of public school spending, and somewhat of an expert of federal law. She states that “school politicians” have used “federal law to reject questions” of how many dollars are used to educate illegal aliens.

Here’s the thing, when a student – any student – is enrolled, it is illegal for school officials to ask for a student’s immigration status. This comes (in part) from the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Plyler vs. Doe, decided June 15, 1982. The motion reads, in part: “Held: A Texas statute which withholds from local school districts any state funds for the education of children who were not ‘legally admitted’ into the United States, and which authorizes local school districts to deny enrollment to such children, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Also, the Department of Homeland Security has confirmed that there is “no federal requirement that school administrators inquire about students’ immigration status or report those who are undocumented.” This comes from the National Immigration Law Center, as of May 13, 2008.

To register for school attendance, parents must provide a child’s birth certificate, immunization records and valid proof of address (not immigration status).

A home language survey must be completed, and if the student/parent declares that English is not the child’s primary language, the student will then be screened for ELL (English Language Learners) status and services. I presume the cost of those services are what Ms. Miller is referring to, as those services are based upon the student’s ability to speak English – not their immigration status.

School districts do not receive funding based upon student’s immigration status. I guess Miller wants to do away with these services and ignore the 14th Amendment. I guess Miller wants children to be branded and denied an education based upon the fact they cannot speak English well. I guess Miller thinks our schools should remain lily white and pure of those damned illegals. I guess Miller should transport herself back in time about 250 years – she would be more at home then.

Beth Lyon


Sal doesn’t represent us

Dear Editor:

The Powers Behind Closed Doors usher Sal DiCiccio into “representing” Ahwatukee Foothills instead of the voters.

Therefore, since he doesn’t actually represent the people of Ahwatukee, why not push the idea of a 10-lane freeway?

He has no accountability!


Melissa Keane


Thanks to community for supporting shoe drive

Dear Editor:

The Ahwatukee Recreation Center would like to thank the Ahwatukee community for supporting its shoe drive to benefit the Kyrene Family Resource Center. More than 115 pairs of new children’s shoes were collected, and the Kyrene Family Resource will deliver these shoes to needy children just in time to send them to school.

For more information on the positive activities occurring at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center, please contact me at (480) 893-2549.

Amy Nicholls

Activities Coordinator

Ahwatukee Recreation Center


Thanks, Mrs. Anonymous

Dear Editor:

WOW! This is what my 12-year-old son and his friend said when they came home the other day.

Believe it or not, the boys were speechless. The reason was that after biking (in over 100-degree weather), they stopped to get drinks and didn’t have enough change for the machine outside the grocery store. A very nice lady (OK, they said older lady like 50ish), actually went in to the store to make change so they could both get a drink. I’m not sure who you are, but thank you for showing the boys that anyone can make a difference at any time. They were very grateful, as am I!

Leslie DeRuiter-Hudson


It doesn’t make sense!

Dear Editor

Let’s see if I have this right.

The jobless rate has jumped to 9.5 percent with 467,000 more jobs lost in June. Homes are in foreclosure. Property values have plunged. Prices for food and gas are on the rise. Social services are being cut. Nonprofits are desperate for help. And now our brilliant state government is increasing our property taxes, while decreasing property taxes on commercial and vacant land owners?

All this with no public discussion? See Senate Bill 1036, already approved by the Legislature and headed for the governor, according to the article by 15 County Assessors in AFN’s July 1 issue, “Budget bill will dramatically increase property taxes.”

Our legislators obviously believe they can sneak whatever they want past us and get away with it.

And why not? They just did!

Elections can’t come soon enough! I say throw them all out!

Maryann Moody

(Editor’s Note: Senate Bill 1036 was one of the bills vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer on July 2)


Elected vs. appointed

Dear Editor:

Wow – what a difference a change of the councilman for District 6 makes in terms of the proposed South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway on Pecos Road. Our prior Councilman Greg Stanton was in total support of a no-build on Pecos Road, and he even was quoted as saying “over my dead body.”

Now we have the newly-appointed Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who stated at the coffee chat held at Nello’s on June 27, that we should “prepare for a 10-lane freeway on Pecos Road.”

The core difference is obvious, but also remember the fact that Greg Stanton was elected by the people and Sal DiCiccio was appointed by the Phoenix Mayor and City Council.

I am looking forward to the upcoming fall election so the people can vote for their true representative.

Jim Jochim


Well done!

Dear Editor:

Just a note to thank all those who made the delightful Ahwatukee fireworks display possible! It was a wonderful Independence celebration!

M. Hutchinson


Fighting the last war

Dear Editor:

In regards to the Commentary by Clark Clatanoff entitled “Loop 202 would relieve congestion” (July 1, AFN), it is apparently written by an experienced engineer who gives the impression he is providing an objective perspective.

What is not so apparent is that as recently as February 2006 he was employed by the Arizona Department of Transportation and currently works for an engineering firm that serves government entities. To assume his judgment is totally independent of those ties is a stretch, but either way readers should have been provided that information so they can decide for themselves.

Regarding the analysis, Clatanoff does a great job of fighting the last war. He completely ignores the fact that nationwide automotive mileage is down 123 billion miles, or 4 percent over the past year. It is clear to anyone driving the freeways in Phoenix that significantly fewer cars are on the roads. And this may be far from a temporary phenomena.

According to the Urban Land Institute, “We may be witnessing a fundamental shift in America’s driving habits.” The growing success of light-rail in Phoenix is just one example of that.

If anyone thinks that the only cure for congestion is more multi-billion dollar road projects, I’d suggest they bring their musket to the next Civil War re-enactment. They’ll feel right at home.

Daniel Wishnatsky


More to consider when deciding to build a freeway

Dear Editor:

In a special to the AFN Clark Chertoff made several statements I believe are not supported by our regions planning authority (“Loop 202 would Relieve congestion,” July 1).

For the sake of brevity I will address what I believe is his primary point – his implication that the South Mountain 202 Freeway should be built simply because it reduces a small percentage of congestion on our roadways.

If congestion relief was the only test when determining if we should build a road – roads would get built every time. But for good reason we don’t build every road proposed. Some are too expensive while others have too significant an impact on its surrounding communities.

It’s important to balance multiple factors rather then rely on just one.

Chad Blostone



No 10-lane Pecos nightmare

Dear Editor:

NO, no, no 85,000 times “no” to the 10-lane South Mountain Freeway (SMF). No to Councilman Sal DiCiccio, “No” to ADOT, and “No” to MAG. Ahwatukee has by a plurality of citizens iterated this message loud and clear since ADOT open meetings on the SMF subject began in February 2002, and likewise at all periodic ADOT updates to the Ahwatukee Village Planning Committee meetings since 2002, and VPC has repeatedly concurred with community-wide opinion to oppose this travesty.

For Councilman DiCiccio, a long-time Ahwatukee resident, to tell Ahwatukee citizens at his open “chat” meeting at Nello’s June 27, 2009, “ADOT has the money now and the SMF will be built, it should be, and there is nothing we can do that will stop it.” He misrepresented truth in this statement as well as saying that federal law requires the SMF connection to I-10 west of Phoenix.

First: ADOT does not have the “money” (i.e., federal funding), from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) because ADOT has not received approval from FHWA of the essential and required National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) report.

ADOT’s first NEPA submission to FHWA was turned down by headquarters in Washington D.C. as well as FHWA District 9, San Francisco about three years ago. It was retured to ADOT with the equivalent of an “F” and with direction to return to the point of beginning and follow instructions. To date, ADOT has not given notice of an approved report by FHWA.

Second: DiCiccio misrepresented the federal law of connectivity required of a connector freeway route between an interstate or interstates. This requirement has been met with Arizona Route 202. From its point of beginning, I-10/Route 51 was built east, thence southeast, thence west to connect at I-10 and Chandler Boulevard. Nothing requires a circumferential.

We don’t need DiCiccio as our councilman to be a representative for ADOT, MAG and the current council-mayor group of Phoenix. We need a councilman elected at the Sept. 1, 2009 primary to represent the valid needs and interests of this community and District 6 with the exercise of reason, knowledge of facts, and good judgment. Any possible future benefit to DiCiccio of a 10-lane SMF is not in the cards for serving Ahwatukee and District 6.

Any subsequent retraction of the statements made by DiCiccio at Nello’s to the 60 attending citizens, not including 10 Phoenix staff members, will not change the truth of his own words and opinion spoken June 27, 2009, nor will any retraction correct his gross misjudgment. We have been betrayed.

Greta C. Rogers

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