Ahwatukee Has Heart a success Dear Editor: On behalf of myself and Brad Rogers of BAR fitness, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who made the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce's inaugural Ahwatukee Has Heart 5K and Health & Wellness Expo a tremendous success. Despite cold, wet weather, we had great turnout for a first-time event with nearly 200 runners and over 1,000 expo attendees. The event was made possible due to the vision and leadership of chamber president Linda Pastori and her staff; the time and dedication of the Health and Wellness Committee and the Ahwatukee Park/Community Swim and Tennis Center; financial support from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Chandler Regional Hospital and Compass Bank; our 47 volunteers from Mountain Pointe High School, Horizon Community Learning Center and the community; entertainment by Arizona Arts Council; food from Cafe Zentro, Entrees Made Easy, Snowie, Bagel Nosh, Basha's, Glaceau and Emerald City Smoothie; free shuttle service by All Aboard America; and co-sponsors Ahwatukee Adventure Boot Camp, American Heart Association, BAR Fitness, Bel Vista Dental, Curves Ahwatukee, Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy, F.A.S.T, Images by Kesel, Imaging Tech Systems and Party City. You are the heart of Ahwatukee! Dawn N. Rutledge, Ahwatukee Has Heart Committee co-chair What's the big deal with coyotes? Dear Editor: I'm just a block west of Desert Foothills Park and the coyotes walk by, 15 feet away on the "Preserve," like I'm not sitting right there on my patio. My dogs barking doesn't cause them to even look in my direction. I guess they figure us to be only temporary residents. Jim Thompson Democratic Congress caves to trial lawyers Dear Editor: The United States House of Representatives failed to extend a government eavesdropping law that allows our intelligence agencies to listen in on terrorists' communications overseas. The Senate passed the bill with strong bipartisan support and included in it a shield that would protect American telecommunications companies from being sued for assisting the U.S. government in keeping a watchful eye and ear on the terrorists who want us dead. This is where the problem for liberal Democrats comes into play. The self-proclaimed "most ethical Congress in history" caved to special interests of the most destructive kind, trial lawyers. Simply put, we are less safe today because the Democrats believe trial lawyers should have the right to get their swinish hands on our telecommunications companies and sue them for every last penny as a consequence for serving this nation. Thankfully, many of those telecommunications companies have done a great service to their nation and in spite of threats from liberal Democrats on Capitol Hill that they would not support a bill that includes a retroactive immunity from potential lawsuits, they have continued to assist us. However, their generosity is not endless, and if the very government that asks for their assistance cannot even guarantee them the basic security that they will not be sued for helping us protect innocent civilians from terrorist attacks, they will be forced to withdraw their support in their own self-interest to survive. Perhaps these representatives ought to remember a bit of advice from a well-respected young president who said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I wonder how our beloved President Kennedy would have reacted had he been alive to see the party he once knew and respected now seek to threaten those people who valiantly chose to do something for their country in the name of special interests and a blinding hatred for President Bush. The American people need to be exceedingly clear in understanding that this Legislature's failure to get this bill passed and protect us is a result of their repugnant ties with trial lawyers who are salivating over the prospect of getting their reckless hands on American telecommunications companies. To the beacons of ethical light and virtue in this Democratic Congress, PASS THIS BILL. Dan Jones Pastori will be missed Dear Editor: On behalf of the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce Board, I would like to congratulate Linda Pastori on her new position with Tesseract School as their director of development. When this opportunity was presented to her, she just couldn't pass it up. It appealed to her because she has always had a passion and talent for fundraising, having worked in similar roles for a prep school in California as well as Eight/KAET-TV in Arizona. Although she will be greatly missed, we are happy that she has an opportunity to follow her true passion and do something she finds both rewarding and challenging. With her vast background in fundraising, she will be a great asset and right at home. We appreciate all of her hard work, dedication and leadership here at the chamber, both as a member and most recently as president. During her short term as the chamber president, Linda really stepped up and helped to lay a solid foundation on which the chamber can build going forward. Largely because of her commitment to truly helping the members achieve their business goals, the chamber has become a strong force in our community. We hope that the new president will build on the momentum Linda has created to become even stronger in the future. I have had the fortunate opportunity to have worked with Linda in several capacities over the last four years. I first met her when I joined the chamber and got involved with the Women in Business Committee. At that time it was relatively new but, in a very short period of time, it became one of the most successful committees at the chamber due to her leadership. Linda has an amazing gift for being able to bring out the best in people and helping to nudge them into positions in which they may otherwise have passed up. Like when she asked me to step up and lead the Women in Business Committee and then later on to join the chamber board. In addition, at the request of her membership, she developed a Health and Wellness Committee and fully supported them in putting on Ahwatukee's first ever Ahwatukee Has Heart 5K and Health & Wellness Expo. This event proved to be a tremendous success for a first-time event, largely due to Linda's leadership, direction, guidance and support. We can all learn a great deal from Linda. Her poise, leadership skills, vision and desire to help others achieve their goals are just a few of her greatest assets. We truly appreciate all that she has done for this chamber. To say that she will be missed is an understatement. On behalf of the board, we thank you Linda, from the bottom of our hearts. Dr. Kim Larsen

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