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More children need

mentoring, especially now

As we head into possibly the most isolating holiday season yet, there are more children who are in desperate need of mentorship. 

Although it seems we have a lot of new challenges to address, one thing that has not changed is the need for good mentors. Now more than ever, our youth need a mentor in their corner to help them navigate through life’s most pressing challenges. Sometimes the gift of your time is more valuable than anything you can buy a child. 

With the growing use of technology such as Facetime and Zoom, it is now easier to connect more than ever. You can communicate with your mentee online and in person if you choose to do so. 

I applied to become a mentor through a formal program a few months ago and was recently matched to my mentee in May. My mentee is 10 years old and very active. At first, I was worried that he might not be comfortable meeting up virtually, but boy was I wrong! 

So far, we’ve had three virtual outings. All have been very engaging and fun. 

He’s a very talented young man. While we were painting, we also had a conversation on current events – specifically around the current race issues and policing in our community. My mentee was confused and had questions as to why these things were happening. It was a great first virtual meeting.

 During our second virtual meeting,

we decided to play Xbox online games with each other. We simply pointed our devices at the TV screens and played Minecraft together.

For our third and most recent virtual outing, my mentee decided he wanted to make macaroni and cheese together from scratch. With the help of his mom, he was able to get the ingredients needed to make it happen. The next thing you know we are both making homemade mac and cheese virtually. 

Although we can’t see each other in person we have still developed a solid foundation for what I hope is a long-lasting relationship.  

According to The Mentor Partnership, youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 52 percent less likely to skip a day of school and 46 percent less likely to start using illegal drugs. Mentorship also fosters the importance of education. 

Most at-risk youth who had a mentor aspire to enroll in and graduate from

college and are more likely to be enrolled in college. 

You don’t have to be perfect to be a child’s mentor, you just have to be present. So if you’re eager to make a difference in someone’s life I highly recommend you reach out to your local mentoring organizations. 

-Devin Del Palacio


Maricopa County Attorney’s condition is a mystery

Maricopa County voters elected Allister Adel as County Attorney Nov. 3.  After the election, we learned of Adel’s unfortunate accident and subsequent hospitalization.  

While I wish Adel a complete recovery, there is much that remains unknown. We do not know when she was injured.  We do not know the extent of her injury or the anticipated timeframe for her return.  We do not know what “alert and communicating” means, as described by the County Attorney’s news release.

 We do not know if she is fit for the office she was elected to after a traumatic neurological injury.  And, we certainly don’t know what is really happening at the County Attorney’s office in Adel’s absence. 

Although the MCAO statement infers that Chief Deputy Ken Vick is in charge, he has no statutory authority to do so, nor can he make any decisions under the law without being appointed as such by the county Board of Supervisors.  

Adel is to begin her term as Maricopa County Attorney in a few weeks.  If Adel is unable to serve when her term begins, does this call for a recall and/or new election?  The Board of Supervisors is charged with appointing an acting County Attorney in the event the current County Attorney is removed, resigns or leaves the office. 

 But what happens if the elected County Attorney hasn’t begun her term and is incapacitated indefinitely?  Voters chose the County Attorney for four years.  Should the Board of Supervisors be appointing an acting County Attorney for what could potentially be a full four years?   

Whatever happens, the public needs transparency about those actions, not vaguely worded press releases that give the illusion that everything is fine when it clearly is not.

-Sherri Johnson 


Election protests of results seem nonsensical

When I drive by the Maricopa County Recorder’s building on my way to work, protestors are still rallying within the parking area, assumedly protesting the Presidential election outcome. 

Where are these people when real protests should be rallied? 

Marching for returning immigrant children to their parents, restoring funding to schools, outlawing private prisons, empowering women’s reproductive rights and the ERA, standing up for black lives matter, improving teacher’s pay, even challenging APS/SRP rate increases are just some of the inequalities that my conscience moves me. 

But election results? Especially since countless authorities have approved election results with countless zero fraud involvement? OK, so when do sour grapes for the election outcome become nothing but a sad freak show?

-CJ Briggle


Shouldn’t we review streets named after Lincoln?

A Nov. 26 letter to the Foothill News recently praised the change of a street name in Phoenix from Robert E. Lee Street to Desert Cactus Street. 

Robert E. Lee was appointed Major General by Abraham Lincoln who then offered Lee command of the Union Army in the Civil War. Since there is a clear connection between the two, and since Lincoln advocated “colonizing” freed slaves by shipping them to Africa or Central America, and is on record on Sept. 18, 1858 for the following:  “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people...there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any man, am in favor of the superior position assigned to the white race,” shouldn’t all streets in Arizona named “Lincoln” be renamed as well?

 Why stop with Lee? Shouldn’t all street names be investigated?

-Robert Baron

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