Letters

From the week of June 7, 2001

How's It Hanging?

Bod squad: So, is there really no such thing as "bad" press ("Hook, Line & Sinner," James Hibberd, May 31)? Quite a few things within the story were left a little open-ended. Life Suspended is a performance group, it is not a part of the church. Not all of the participants from the evening's activities are members of the church. One thing that was not noted in the article was the amount of time, effort and overall care put into these events. I am very interested to see how the community in Phoenix is going to react to this story.

Name withheld by requestThe Plots Thicken

Parcel post: As the attorney for Save Our Sonoran, which is currently in litigation with the Arizona State Land Department over the fire-sale auction of Section 16, I read with interest Nick Simonetta's response to the column "Growing Smarmier" (Jeremy Voas, May 3). While I cannot comment on the litigation, I can state my opinion regarding Mr. Simonetta's comments. Typical of information released to the public by the ASLD under the current administration, I believe Mr. Simonetta's response fails to accurately present the facts regarding the sale of state school trust land by the ASLD under Mike Anable.

Mr. Simonetta is correct when he states that in the 10 years prior to Mr. Anable's appointment, land sales for development averaged 4,600 acres per year. Generally, these sales were for relatively small parcels. Anable has eradicated the 4,600-acre-per-year concept. He has replaced it with a bulk-parcel, fire-sale mindset. During his short tenure, he has initiated the bulk sale of extraordinarily large state land parcels such as the White Tanks parcel, 15,000 acres; Desert Hills, 640 acres; Section 16, 640 acres; Apache Junction, 1,200 acres; Rocking K, 760 acres; and Houghton Road, 1,000 acres. This new bulk wholesale strategy is in complete contravention of all past ASLD policy. It benefits very large developers to the detriment of the many smaller companies that operate with a lower overhead and could pay more per acre for land sold in smaller parcels. The obvious result is fewer potential bidders and diminished per-acre proceeds.

The state auditor general has recognized that the ASLD's new wholesale policy is detrimental to achieving the "true" value for school trust and other state land. In a letter to ASLD, the auditor general suggested land be sold in smaller parcels and in a more developed state to help increase revenues. The auditor general was also critical of the fact that several developers who bought state land through ASLD auctions turned around shortly after consummating their purchases and resold the same property for large profits.

Mr. Simonetta's comments that the Section 16 litigation is simply the expression of "a few self-interested homeowners" is testimony to his and his boss's failure to understand the citizens of our state and ASLD's duties and responsibilities to them. It might be hard to pinpoint the "true" price for school trust land, but most citizens understand a bulk wholesale price is certainly not it.

Daniel J. McCauley III
Attorney for Save Our Sonoran
Cave Creek

Boondoggle

Pet peeved: I am also a pet groomer at PETsMART ("Urine the Dog House," Laura Laughlin, May 17). I have worked at the PETsMART in Chandler at Alma School and Warner for almost nine years. My co-workers and I read your article and we were all astonished. I don't know the groomer in your story, but I believe what she did should be considered abuse. And at PETsMART, they do dismiss anyone for abuse or cruelty to animals. I think they should fire this groomer and should have at the time of the incident. We want our customers to trust us and know that we will give their pets all the love and attention they receive at home.

The one thing that I wish Danny Miller would realize, though, is that boycotting PETsMART and telling other people to do so is actually very sad. It wasn't "PETsMART" that did that terrible thing to his puppy, it was "one groomer" at PETsMART. All the groomers at my store are loving and gentle to all the animals we groom, and we would never treat them like that. This could have happened at any pet groomer's shop, and unfortunately it happened at ours. I just think it would be sad if PETsMART got a bad rap for this. If Mr. Miller would like a reference for a caring groomer, he can call me.

Jackie Smearman
Pet Stylist
Mesa

Tales From the Crypt

Wrap session: In Robert Wilonsky's review of The Mummy Returns ("Tut, Tut!" May 10), he ends with: "When The Mummy Returns mints a fortune, we'll no doubt get a third installment . . ."

No doubt, indeed. Just prior to the release of the movie, I was going for a walk in L.A.'s Griffith Park with a local friend. We came across a film shoot at the quarry. We asked the security guard what they were shooting for. He replied it was for the third Mummy film.

Michael Sigmon
Phoenix

 
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