Letters

Legal Ease
What has John Dougherty been smoking ("Paradise Lost," July 1)?
For 210 years it has taken a unanimous vote of 12 jurors to convict a man and take his liberty. With Mary Jane Cotey, you had at least a hung jury on all counts. Schindler failed to carry his burden. Fife is innocent.

Get a life and a new recorder.
John Dowd
Washington, D.C.

Bundgaard on Guard
I am working to remove a polluter from a single-family neighborhood. I am committed to seeing this event happen from beginning to end. The neighbors deserve a normal neighborhood free from polluters, buried solid waste and heavy truck traffic generated by a rogue sand and gravel pit operation.

In spite of my complete disclosure to your reporter, Ms. Terry Greene Sterling, the truth does not matter to her. She prints monstrous lies and innuendos because she is working for her friend and a political opponent of mine ("Keep On Truckin'," July 8).

I invited Sterling to my office to examine all of my files on the case, subjecting myself to her ridiculous insinuations. While at my office, she saw photos of the children's basketball teams that I have coached, photos of the church high school youth group I worked with, awards for legislative achievement, and plaques from charities for which I had raised money. She knew the whole truth and chose to print none of it. She believes that her assumptions about me are stronger than the truth. Invent a story first. Sell a scandal now. Avoid the facts. What's wrong with the truth, Ms. Sterling?

The truth is there is a polluter in our neighborhood that wants special treatment. I want him out. In her previous column ("Scott Free," March 11), she accused me of helping the polluter. This time she accused me of hurting this polluter. Because Ms. Sterling is working for my political opponent, the truth doesn't matter. I will get the job done regardless of what Ms. Sterling or my political opponents say.

That's my job as a state senator.
I am doing the right thing for the neighbors who are being wrongfully harmed by Walter Lorimor, owner of the 80-acre sand and gravel pit, who is illegally dumping solid waste. He generates heavy truck traffic in a neighborhood with children who ride bicycles and play together in front yards. Dust clouds course through the air when he cranks up his crushers in the dark hours of the morning. The homeowners have a right to be upset at Lorimor, who is negatively affecting their property values and endangering the lives of children in the neighborhood.

Since 1997, I have worked with the mine owner/polluter and numerous government agencies fighting him. I brought both entities together to resolve the environmental issues so that Lorimor could sell his property and move on. I have worked to find buyers for the property and to see a DEQ-approved cleanup plan for the property be implemented by the new buyer. I will not stop until this mess is cleaned up. I want the problem resolved quickly, not tied up in court for years.

My efforts are nothing more than anyone else would do to protect my neighbors within the letter of the law. Heck, my political opponent could have worked to resolve this issue, but chose not to involve herself. In politics, no matter what action one takes, someone will always be upset. Therefore, it makes it easier for me to do the right thing. It would be refreshing if Ms. Sterling cared more about the facts than about her friends and their dirty political agendas. Thankfully, I am accountable to my neighbors who elected me, not Terry Greene Sterling and New Times.

Scott Bundgaard
State senator

Terry Greene Sterling responds: Senator Bundgaard is mistaken--I am neither "working for" nor am I "a friend" of any of his political foes. He writes as though his participation in community activities somehow absolves him or renders him incapable of the outrageous behavior he exhibited in the case I wrote about, which dealt with an illegal dump in his district. He fails to address the troubling facts detailed in my column--facts that Bundgaard admitted to in a tape-recorded interview. The Arizona Attorney General's Office should determine whether Bundgaard abused his power as a state senator to intervene with the state Department of Environmental Quality--an intervention that prevented DEQ and City of Peoria officials from prosecuting the owner of the dump. Ultimately, Bundgaard's actions enabled a friend, David Crantz, to purchase the property in question at a discounted rate. Further, once Crantz assumed ownership of the property, Bundgaard ordered truckloads of fill delivered to Crantz's land and asked an appraiser to appraise equipment Crantz had confiscated from the previous owner. The AG should determine whether Bundgaard has any financial interest related to Crantz or the deal that came to pass because Bundgaard intervened with DEQ.

Pulling Up Steaks
It saddens me to see Tempe driving small businesses out to make room for big names! Long live Restaurant Mexico ("Adios . . . Again," John Dougherty, July 8)!

Good luck to them--and thank you for exploring this particular ugliness of urban sprawl and downtown development. My heart is with all small-business owners trying to compete with big-name chains.

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