a pile of letters and postal parcel

Virus shows need for healthcare reservists

Observing overwhelmed healthcare systems in parts of our nation and world provides a stark realization of the critical role healthcare workers play in our lives.

 Too often overlooked until now, we take medical professionals for granted, assuming they will be there to fix whatever ailments we face in our day to day lives.

The COVID-19 panic has raised some troubling questions for our nation about the need for healthcare workers: 

What happens when medical professionals get sick, who can provide care? In a field already at capacity in many cases, what happens when large numbers of additional people need assistance? 

Of particular inspiration is watching healthcare workers who have retired or transitioned to other fields stepping back in to assist. 

Our state and nation would benefit considerably by setting up a permanent healthcare reserve to recognize and utilize the expertise and dedication of these professionals in times of crisis.

Following a similar model as the National Guard and military reserve units, volunteers with the healthcare reserve would be recent retirees and health care professionals who stepped away from the field or transitioned to other careers.

The volunteer medical professionals would agree to maintain their medical license and certifications, attend annual training and preparedness sessions, and be willing to serve if the need arises.

In return, they would receive an annual stipend and reduced-cost healthcare benefits.

A retiring nurse could join the program, agreeing to spend a couple of weeks per year on training and preparedness and to maintain their nursing license.

In many cases, their services would not be required. But if we face another situation similar to our current circumstances, the nurse would be called back in to provide aid, receiving additional reimbursement for the services rendered.

Or a respiratory therapist who desired a mid-career break could step out of the workforce temporarily.

The therapist would maintain their certification and license during this time and attend annual training to remain current in their field, with the cost of training and a stipend provided by the U.S. Government. 

This provides the therapist with the flexibility to best manage their life circumstances and provides our nation with the flexibility to handle crises which overwhelm our healthcare system. 

Amid the challenges and struggles faced by our society as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic is the opportunity for changes, to be better prepared when a future threat inevitably appears. 

A healthcare reserve is a way to ensure we are prepared to meet future threats by utilizing the expertise and dedication of our nation’s medical workers.

-Andy Lenartz


Why doesn’t the

government buy the crops?

We know America has a hunger issue with the food banks being depleted. We also know that farmers are dumping vegetables, milk and other products.  

Why in the world would our government not pay farmers for those products being destroyed? Those food items could feed the hungry while the farmers get paid, products move and people can be fed. 

I often wonder the logic of legislation.

Greg Geryak


Earth Day during

pandemic taught a lesson

   This year for Earth Day, I would have liked to be out with an assembly of people demonstrating our affection for the natural world and joining a general discussion on how we should protect life systems both for their own sake and for our own. Life with few animals or birds would be a diminished one. 

But this year, there are urgent concerns that compete with, even eclipse, those for wildlife and the land itself. So I stayed at home, trying to speculate on what will follow the current curtailment of activities.

 We should do better than simply turning on the money spigot and returning to the exploitation of natural resources for short term gains.

Aside from simply proclaiming support for migrating birds, endangered species, and the welfare of all non-human life around us, I wonder about lessons we could learn in time for the return to heightened economic activity.

 Whether we look to the cleanliness now in Venetian canals or to better air that many industrial cities have seen in a long time, we see how quickly beneficial changes occur, even if they come by way of accident or misfortune. 

Such upheaval as we now experience may look unpromising at the moment, yet give us pause to consider how our economy will look in the not-so-distant future. One obvious direction to take is toward renewable energy, and investment in a growth industry with universal benefits.

  An opportunity to create new jobs and promote clean energy may never again appear for us with the promise and logic of the present time. 

Let economists, scientists, and investors pick up the pieces the old economy left behind and have us go beyond simply resurrecting business as it was to take the principles that have made Earth Day a significant day and have them guide us to sustainability.

Concerned with the close-at-hand, it has been convenient to ignore the facts of deforestation, melting ice, and habitat loss far from where are physically, but in the time it takes to say “Now more than ever” we have seen a virus demonstrate how connected everyone and everything on this planet are.

 I would have liked to celebrate the beauty of wildlife, perhaps say what a fine experience it was to see the migrating orioles in our yard recently, or wax lyrical about the coming of spring, but this year circumstances have pushed us all beyond our comfort zones. 

So my Earth Day thoughts drifted toward money and industry and politics, even though my preference would have been to go hiking. I suggest that twelve months from now, we’ll be enjoying nature again and with the awareness that economic wellbeing and natural wellbeing are inseparable. We may have the technology to stay connected and active during our time indoors, but there is no virtual alternative to the natural world.

-David Chorlton


Earth is fighting a war we need to join

Our earth is fighting its own war – the war of climate change that we have instigated. We must join forces and fight for a healthy planet and work hard to not go back to business as usual.

-Larky Hodges


We need the Greatest Generation right now

This is a bad time for the Greatest Generation to be largely gone from this world. They were raised during the Depression, served in World War II and made the United States the world power that it once was but is slowly ebbing. 

I’d love to be able to talk to my mom and dad to hear them talk about the years of hunger in the 1930s and the rationing and sacrifice of WWII. 

They’d see the people whining about having to stay home and freezing the economy for two months as opposed to decades of sacrifice. I bet they’d be appalled.

I’m ashamed of many of my fellow citizens right now. This isn’t America. Buck up and deal with it for a while. The more we act to contain this mess, the sooner we can get back to some semblance of normal.

 Start acting like your forebears and quit whining.

-Marc McClenahan 


People should stop

picking on the President

The constant beating on the President for this-and-that alleged shortcoming, as the author did in her letter “Nation has been left in crisis by disdain of facts” April 15, leaves me wondering why people throw around charges that he is “intellectually, morally, temperamentally and psychologically unfit for office”? 

Who is really qualified to make such a judgment? Doesn’t having grades of 3.75 average or above in high school, being elected high school class president, attending an Ivy League college, graduating from the Wharton School of Business and effectively managing an international business give him some credence? 

And, on top of that he has great kids, and a fabulous wife. Which one of us is so lucky? Even his two ex-wives are supportive, or at least neutral. 

The COVID-19 virus has been a confusing and misunderstood period for all of us. Some of it caused by the Chinese, some by WHO, some by our government incompetence, and some by simply a lack of knowledge about it.

 We’re discovering more daily. I seriously doubt if the President has misled us intentionally. He has some obvious personality quirks, but his intentions are the best. 

And, he’s not a politician, so he says what he really thinks, which some people find annoying. 

I wish that opponents to Mr. Trump would stick to the facts and stop name calling. It adds confusion and isn’t constructive to either the debate or the country.

-Edward Harris


Teddy Roosevelt was an Arizona Hero

I recently created and presented a lecture on the connection between Teddy Roosevelt and Arizona statehood. 

Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon in 1903, a few days before he met John Muir at Yosemite for the legendary camping trip that changed American and Arizona history.

 Muir was motivated by the failure to preserve the Hetch Hetchy Valley at the edge of Yosemite National Park, established by Congress in 1890. 

He was the compelling advocate who convinced Roosevelt of the need for conservation and ultimately, a system of national parks. 

Roosevelt, being the avid outdoorsman dating back to his time ranching in the Dakotas, was willing to listen. 

He signed the Antiquities Act in 1906 that enabled the creation of national monuments without the action of Congress.

-Rob Spindler 


Veterans need to support local restaurants

This is a plea from one veteran to any veteran who has been honored and thanked for their service and sacrifices to our country by the many restaurants around America.  

Every Veterans Day and even other times of the year, many restaurants with their outstanding servers have opened their hearts  and their restaurants to thousands of veterans. 

They provide free meals to show their gratitude and salute each of us that served so proudly. Some restaurants serve veterans by providing meal discounts every day.

 They have been here for us. It’s now our time for us to support them by calling our favorite restaurants and putting in an order to go, pickup or delivery.

This simple action will help them to maintain their establishment and have the means to keep their valuable employees so they can support their families.

 Please order and tip.

Veterans, this is again one more attack on our great nation. Please step up to the call for action. Help your favorite restaurant to be here on Veterans Day and for the future to be able to continue honoring and thanking you with their hearts and meals.

If you don’t have a favorite restaurant and want to help, here are a couple I support:  Biscuits, 4623 E. Elliot Road, Ahwatukee, 480-209-1850; CK’s Tavern & Grill, 4142 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee, 480-706-5564; Macayo’s, 12637 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee, 480-598-5101; Texas Roadhouse, 8510 S. Emerald Drive, Tempe, 480-940-7427; Valle Luna, 1949 W. Ray Road, Chandler, 480-786-3100.

Semper Fi and thank you.

-Sherrill Kinnaman

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