<b><center>Letters to the Editor</b></center>

Housing problem comes from area's wage base

EDITOR:

For some time I have been reading Jim Lamerson's diatribes in the paper. The footnote always states he is a local businessman and activist.

As a child I learned to beware those with hidden agendas as well as those who disguise their agenda hidden in a myriad of superfluous comments. I was particularly struck by Mr. Lamerson's comments regarding affordable housing for teachers, law enforcement, medical workers and city staff.

Perhaps Mr. Lamerson has not noticed but Prescott and environs are stuck in a wage level time warp placed firmly between 1950 and 1970. A recent Arizona Republic article mentioned a new day laborer center in which the workers had gotten together and decided they would not work for less than $10 an hour, yet our papers are full of jobs offering $7 to $8.50 per hour.

The usual support of housing prices in a locality is the wage level of the local citizens. People buy what they can afford. The Prescott area has allowed those affluent retired people he applauds to be the main support of the housing market. How many working people have come here from Phoenix to learn that housing is more expensive and wages sometimes half of what they were earning?

Mr. Lamerson would rather have the city place the issue of affordable housing on the backs of the taxpayers than for himself and other employers in the area to pay wages that approximate the actual cost of living in Prescott.

If the people whose plight Mr. Lamerson laments received a wage that would allow them to "live among us," they would.

Perhaps we have discovered the hidden agenda – to have others solve the problem rather than those who create it.

Len Beiser

Chino Valley

Endangered Species Act is another bad idea

EDITOR:

Your recent editorial about the effect the Antiquities Act has had on the parking garage is just scraping the surface of the asinine and absurd.

The Endangered Species Act is another feel-good law that some have abused to the detriment of humanity. If the administrators of this law could, they would make Jurassic Park a reality whatever the cost.

Then the animal rights loonies spend millions to prevent stray animals from being euthanized. Spending that same money for medical treatment of indigent children would make much more sense. These same animal rights loonies think that blowing up laboratories and releasing the lab animals to die in nature are good ideas. We wonder if they will refuse to use the medicines these labs have developed.

Last, but certainly not least, are the anti-hunting campaigners who would rather see these animals die from disease and starvation, and the save-our-trees crowd who would much rather see the forests burn uncontrolled, destroying every living creature in the fire's path.

Thinning the forest regularly seems to be a much lesser evil to us. And, by the way, if it were not for the money that the sportsmen have poured into the preservation of flora and fauna over the years, many species would have disappeared years ago.

Your limit on space does not allow us to go into the abuse of our legal system by attorneys desperate for ways to raise money. Did anyone say tort reform – or was that term limits?

Craig and Eva Marshall

Prescott Valley

Iraq war another salvo in attack on freedom

EDITOR:

Personally I am sickened by the deceit, manipulation and propaganda of the Bush administration regarding our "need" to invade and conquer Iraq.

Saddam is a ruthless Stalinist thug who hasn't even threatened, let alone attacked, the United States. Should our trigger-happy unelected "president" actually invade Iraq it will have negative repercussions for our country for years to come. The right-wing wackos will be able to use the unending "war on terrorism" as an excuse to continue to dismantle our constitutional democracy.

After Iraq perhaps Bush should consider invading France, Germany, Belgium, Canada and all the other countries who refuse to be bullied into supporting this phony war.

Eric Boos

Prescott

Sheldon traffic jam caused massive delays

EDITOR:

It took 30 minutes to get from Montezuma to J.B's on Sheldon Street, Thursday, Feb. 6, at 11:30 a.m.

Why weren't policemen posted so that there could be no access to Sheldon? I eventually got to Highway 69 via Willow Creek Road. For any others caught in that traffic jam, my sympathies.

Irene Kuritzky

Prescott

Americans should show united front to world

EDITOR:

I am concerned about all the Americans who are continuously questioning our leaders as if they are "making up" the images and information that Colin Powell gave us recently.

After 9/11, many complained that they hadn't done enough to prevent the tragedy. The whole country cheered when President Bush said, "any country that supports the terrorists is against us." Now that they are moving forward to do something, many Americans are complaining again. If they just sit back and allow Saddam Hussein to have his way, boy will they have something to complain about. And, again, they will blame our leadership.

Isn't it time that we stand behind our leadership as Americans? We are sending a message to the world that we trust Saddam Hussein over our own leaders. Isn't that a sad and naïve way of thinking?

Freedom isn't a right, it is a privilege. A privilege that we could lose if we are not careful. Can't we set aside our political differences and agendas to stand together and show the world that we are proud to be Americans before we lose much more than any of us could ever imagine?

Claudia L. Campbell

Prescott Valley