Thanks to a Good Samaritan

Dear Editor:

Chivalry is alive and well in Ahwatukee Foothills as demonstrated Monday morning (Sept. 22) in the Fry's Marketplace parking lot.

After doing some shopping, I came out to my car to discover a flat tire. I called AAA, who informed me it could be up to one-and-a-half hours before someone could get there.

As I stood there pondering whether to ask Fry's to babysit my perishables until they arrived, I heard a voice saying "if you show me where your spare is, I'd be glad to fix that tire for you."

I turned around and there was this gentleman coming towards me. I confessed I did not know where the spare was, so we consulted the driver's manual. Honda found a nice little place for it under the mat behind the front seats. As the sweat literally poured from this man's face, I contacted AAA and told them a Good Samaritan had come by to take care of my problem. I promised him I would pay this kindness forward. He told me my spare really needed air and directed me to Fletcher's Tires. When I arrived there, I found he had followed me "to make sure I got taken care of," which I was by one of their staff.

As usual, when these type of things occur, we fail to get a person's name. I don't know if he will see this, but I want to acknowledge his kindness and say thanks again.

Lillian Charrlin


Interesting Palin tidbits

Dear Editor:

In typical Republican evasion of the real issues Sarah Palin tried to impress us with her pitbull tactics by attacking Obama and Biden with lies during her speech at the Republican convention.

Here are some interesting facts that the McCain crowd won't be touting.

1. Palin said that the war in Iraq is "God's task." She's even admitted she hasn't thought about the war much - just last year she was quoted saying, "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

2. Palin has actively sought the support of the fringe Alaska Independence Party. Six months ago, Palin told members of the group - who advocate for a vote on secession from the union - to "keep up the good work" and wished the party luck on what she called its "inspiring convention."

3. Palin wants to teach creationism in public schools. She hasn't made clear whether she thinks evolution is a fact.

4. Palin doesn't believe that humans contribute to global warming. Speaking about climate change, she said, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being manmade."

5. Palin has close ties to Big Oil. Her inauguration was even sponsored by BP.

6. Palin is extremely anti-choice. She doesn't even support abortion in the case of rape or incest.

7. Palin opposes comprehensive sex-ed in public schools. She's said she will only support abstinence-only approaches. This approach obviously didn't work with her own daughter so it brings to question her leadership qualities as a parent.

8. As mayor, Palin tried to ban books from the library. Palin asked the library how she might go about banning books because some had inappropriate language in them - shocking the librarian, Mary Ellen Baker. According to Time, "news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving ‘full support' to the mayor."

9. She did support the Bridge to Nowhere (before she opposed it). Palin claimed that she said, "thanks, but no thanks" to the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. But in 2006, Palin supported the project repeatedly, saying that Alaska should take advantage of earmarks "while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist."

Is this someone our country wants to have standing by and next in line to take over as president? But please don't go attacking her on the issues or her political positions. The Republicans will complain that the press is not being fair and is biased.

Donald L. Tripp


A criminal playground

Dear Editor:

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, at the request of Sheriff Arpaio, decided to end the county contract that provides police services to Guadalupe.

Arpaio made the request based on a prior spat between himself and former Mayor Jimenez. As a result, this one-mile barrio wedged between Ahwatukee Foothills and Tempe will be without police services in 180 days. 

Some see this as just deserts. Guadalupe's mayor told Arpaio she didn't want him conducting immigration sweeps, so he's showing them by packing up and leaving - calling their bluff if you will.

But here's the thing... this decision by Arpaio has real consequences, with real winners and losers. The winners are criminals. The losers are residents and business in and around Guadalupe.

With no police or law-enforcement Guadalupe will be a playground for criminals. I can just imagine street gangs and hardened thugs salivating at the idea of being able to go about their business without interference from law enforcement. Now, I'm not suggesting that Guadalupe become an apocalyptic wasteland, but criminals are creatures of opportunity - when they see something that they perceive as weakness, they attack.

If Guadalupe is to be without law enforcement, is it not reasonable to believe that crime will increase? And if crime increases, is it not reasonable to believe that it might spill over into the neighboring areas? How about Arizona Mills - will consumers be wary of shopping so close to the lawless parcel of land but a few hundred yards away? How about residents in and along the Guadalupe Street bridge over Interstate 10, are they to expect a Phoenix police barricade to deal with increasing crime blocks away?

Arpaio's actions in this case are truant of his responsibility as a law enforcement officer. The dispute with Guadalupe over the immigration sweeps is moot. The sheriff is by law empowered to conduct his sweeps in Guadalupe whenever he likes, and Arpaio knows this. The termination of Guadalupe's contact was political payback; nothing more, nothing less.

This November the residents of Maricopa County will have an opportunity to end the heavy-handed Tammany Hall-style politics displayed by Arpaio as for the first time in 16 years a well financed challenger, Chief Dan Saban, will be facing off against him on the November ballot. I hope that Saban becomes our next sheriff, the county re-negotiates this contract, and the little barrio of Guadalupe has police on the street - keeping all of us safe.

Michael Jones


Watch out for rattlesnakes

Dear Editor:

This morning (Sept. 19) in Pima Canyon, a mountain biker and I were discussing rattlesnakes. He said he has seen two the past few days. Leaving the park, near the little bridge at the golf course, a 3-footer was crossing the road, prime, beautiful as rattlesnakes go. Considering its location, I wouldn't be surprised if a golfer got zapped in the leg. Maybe a friendly reminder from AFN would save somebody a painful ordeal.

Jim Tallon


Vote for Maish and Waters

Dear Editor:

Recently, I was driving past one of the huge blue campaign posters that have been placed throughout the community by John Huppenthal in his bid to be re-elected as state senator in Legislative District 20, serving Ahwatukee Foothills, southern Tempe and western Chandler.

You know the one I mean. It's blue and has a big picture of the smiling Huppenthal family. Two phrases on the poster caught my attention; "Delivering the Change We need" and "Improving Schools."

Improving Schools!

During his 16 years in the Arizona Legislature Huppenthal has consistently voted against the best interests of your children and grandchildren who attend the public school districts and publicly-funded charter schools in our community. His record has been nothing more than a consistent attempt to either deny those students the funding that their education deserves, or to transfer it to private schools. This, in a state that ranks among the bottom three in funds per pupil (U.S. Census Bureau News, April 1).

Let's see how Huppenthal has "Improved" our schools:

-1995 - Proposed legislation to raid public education funding. If the bill had become law, parents seeking grants to pay for their children's private education would have received 5 percent of statewide educational funding per pupil giving public education only 95 percent of an already dismally low amount when compared to other states (SCR 1023, SB 1389).

-1996 - Proposed the same legislation again (SB 1254).

-1997 - Voted in favor of legislation creating a tax deduction for individuals donating to private school tuition organizations, which are charitable organizations, many being religiously oriented (HB 2074).

-1999 - During a debate over charter schools, Huppenthal asserted that public schools are "criminal production factories." (Associated Press, March 18, 1999)

-2003 - Voted for an extreme budget that would have cut $100 million from public education programs after first calling the cuts "unmerciful." (Arizona Republic, Feb. 22, 2003)

-2003 - Voted in favor of a bill that would have changed the state program that pays for the upkeep of public school buildings, allowing the state to give up $54 million less to schools for upkeep. (HB 2012)

-2003 - Voted in favor of legislation to limit excess utilities for public school districts causing districts to increase class sizes and take other cost-staving measures (HB 2003).

-2004 - After being a long standing, and loud opponent of full-day kindergarten Huppenthal flip-flopped for political expediency at the last minute when it came time to vote on that issue (SB 1402).

-2004 - Voted in favor of legislation to prohibit the annual adjustment of cost per square foot for new public school construction causing schools to bear increases in new school construction costs (HB 2450).

-2005 - Told parents in the Kyrene School District that "the cavalry isn't coming" to save Kyrene from its budget predicament, a statement that clearly demonstrated his disdain for public education.

-2008 - Voted against legislation that would have provided funds to correct the abysmal pollution issues at Corona High School in Tempe located in his very own LD 20 (HB 2211 pages 64, 65).

Delivering the change we need!

Someone who has been in the state Legislature for the past 16 years can't be an agent of change. Huppenthal is what we need a change from.

To my fellow voters: On Nov. 4 vote for the LD 20 education team of Ted Maish for State Senator and Rae Waters for State Representative. Between them, Maish and Waters have 40 years of experience supporting the educational needs of the students who attend our publicly-funded schools, your children and grandchildren.

Vote as if their education depends on it, because it does.

Fred Barlam

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