Originally Published: April 10, 2000 5 p.m.
Reader appreciates editorial rapping NRA
Good for you, with your editorial stating that Wayne LaPierre of the NRA stuck his foot in his mouth. I especially commend you because I know your general feelings about gun control.
Even though I'm uncomfortable with who my friends are when I say anything critical of the NRA, I second that LaPierre is just being plain stupid, continues to be, and isn't doing anyone any good.
Clinton is sleazy, immoral and dishonest, but he isn't evil. He doesn't want to see kids shot at any more than we do. LaPierre undermines the credibility of everyone he portends to speak for. A fair and strategically wise thing Charlton Heston could do is require that LaPierre apologize to Clinton.
Donald D. Myers
Everyone's getting tired of steadily rising taxes
Don't kill the goose that laid the golden egg! … or strangle it any longer!
Taxes increased every year a few dollars here, a few dollars there, for schools, roads, libraries, fire districts, buying Watson and Willow Lakes (Prescott residents only), flood control, Yavapai County and AHCCCS/ALTCS, the jail district and school equalization.
I am a long-time citizen and retired school teacher, and I have voted for many of the above services, but enough is enough.
My taxes for my home in 1986 when I retired were less than $500 per year and now they are more than $1,100 per year, and will increase again for inflation and paying for more services to kick in.
Don't try to give the retirees from out-of-state a guilt trip, everyone is tired of rising taxes!
Everyone backing plan stands to gain something
During the past few weeks, many letters to The Daily Courier and The Prescott Valley Tribune have extolled the virtues of the Glassford Hill project of the Fain Signature Group.
This project envisions, over the next several years, construction of a large number of houses and a golf course on the west side of Glassford Hill Road in Prescott Valley. In general, those supportive letters came from politicians, municipal employees, business people, editors and other journalists and real estate people.
Except in one instance, I do not criticize the supporters of Mr. Fain's plans. But, take their comments in context. They have much to gain from the project. Politicians want to point out how well they have done in the growth of our community; municipal employees see a secure future in increasing the work of the town administration; businesses are looking to increase their income by increasing the population; realtors always want more real estate to sell which gains them great fees; and editors and journalists want to sell more papers. That is how they make their living.
On the other hand, many of our citizens have nothing to gain from the Fain project. And much to lose! They are the people that the politicians, municipal employees, business people, real estate people and editors and journalists continue to ignore. Their interests are at stake, and they deserve a hearing.
Not one of these supportive letter writers is qualified to certify we have enough water. When I asked this question of the Planning and Zoning Commission, several months ago, the answer was the state had approved the Fain's Glassford Hill project before the state determined we are pumping too much ground water. So what? Do we have enough water to support a population increase of 10,000 to 15,000 or don't we? Do we have enough water to support a golf course, or don't we?
I would like to hear from somebody besides politicians, municipal employees, business people, editors and journalists and real estate people; somebody who really knows something about the matter. Until a hydrologist who knows what he is talking about discusses the matter, I am not convinced. Are we going to be a ghost town with property of no value?
Is there anybody out there who knows the facts and has nothing to gain by commenting?
Sandy Moss lacks perspective in column
It looks like someone asked Sandy Moss to write a column about water and farmers without giving her any facts about the subject.
She seems to think that all the food in Prescott grocery stores comes from Young's Farm. If she would just take a trip to the Midwest or, even easier, to California, she would learn the truth about food sources. Only a few active farmers work in the Prescott AMA, and the amount of food they provide to the people of the Prescott AMA is not a drop in the grocery bucket.
These few farmers can go on irrigating forever if they choose. However, in a water-short area, that is not a wise use of water. Therefore the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) has provided an incentive for these farmers to stop irrigating. The incentive is that they will be able to sell water rights to developers for the next 25 years. The developers can use those water rights anywhere within the Prescott AMA.
In the year 2000, the amount they can sell is equal to one-tenth the amount they may use for irrigation. However, each succeeding year the amount allowed for sale drops 4 percent until 2025 when the amount allowed for sale is zero. Keep in mind that if they still want to farm in 2025 the amount of water they get will still be the same as now and will be that forever as long as they want to farm.
Allowing the farmers to sell our Prescott AMA water to developers is a gift from ADWR to encourage cessation of irrigation. Since irrigation uses so much water, the ending of it is a major step in achieving zero water mining by 2025 which is required for the Prescott AMA by Arizona law.
I believe the ADWR is striving honestly, earnestly and fairly to comply with the law and to ensure that succeeding generations in the Prescott, Chino Valley and Prescott Valley areas have adequate water.
Weekly concerts boost spirits of many locals
I want to tell the people about a wonderful weekly community event: the free music concerts by Bob Bjorklund at Schroeder's Music Store, in Ponderosa Mall every Tuesday night.
He is an extremely talented musician who simply plays for the love of playing the organ. Before the concert, they provide padded chairs, pass the candy and allow for conversation with those great folks who come week after week.
At 7 p.m. his teen-age son introduces the national anthem as Bob begins his rousing rendition. From that point forward, he plays non-stop for one hour, taking only a few seconds in between songs to give the title.
I wonder if Bob really knows how much joy and pleasure he brings to the audience. From the back, you can watch the body language of the audience members as they sway to the beat and even sing along. Periodically, buses bring those wonderful folks from Las Fuentes and Granite Gate to the concert, arriving in wheelchairs, using walkers, maybe not walking as steadily as in years past. But you can just see life come back in to them as they enjoy the concert, trying to be first to guess the name of the song, and remembering shared memories those songs invoke.
Bob's repertoire is unparalleled, while his enthusiasm and love of the music is his only motivation for these concerts. His last song at 8 p.m. is usually an inspirational song which leaves you with a sense of calm and hope; something we just don't have enough opportunities for in this day and age.
So, at the risk of losing my good seat, (though there is not a BAD seat in the whole room), treat yourself to wonderful music spanning the decades by a talented musician who gives more joy back to his audience than he will ever know.