From the week of August 23, 2001

Taking It in the Shorts

Grid 'n' bear it: Instead of Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano on the cover ("Quarterback Sneak," John Dougherty, August 16), that should be all the residents of Maricopa County that Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill is -- ah -- er . . . "standing over."

Boy, did we get screwed in this stadium deal!

Name withheld by request

Offsides: In regard to the issue of zoning and public hearings over the new Cardinals stadium, I find it amazing that Mayor Giuliano could state that the Tourism and Sports Authority is exempt from zoning requirements because it is another governmental body. Did he not threaten to sue Salt River Project over just this issue when it tried to build a power plant in Tempe, SRP's Kyrene power plant? SRP also claimed a municipal status when trying to build 150-foot smokestacks in violation of the city zoning code covering height of structures. I find it interesting that once again height (nearly 200 feet in this case) is an issue, only the mayor is taking the opposing position. Also that SRP is once again in the center of things after claiming governmental status to violate both Tempe's and Gilbert's zoning and building codes to build their power plants within city boundaries.

Mark Sequeira

Foul bawl: You wrote: "Part of his [Mayor Giuliano's] strategy is to create the appearance that Tempe government operates openly, when, in fact, the opposite is true, particularly when it comes to the stadium. Tempe has kept citizens in the dark for more than nine months about the details of its financial dealings with the Cardinals and the Tourism and Sports Authority."

I myself believe it is more like five or six years. When I got wind of the "East Valley partnership" and who were the members and their goal of building a stadium for the Cardinals (Neil will claim that like his Diablos "honorary" membership, it was nothing) -- as the old saying goes, "One cannot fool all the people all of the time." And this does apply through all of the city of Tempe's public business!

On November 29, 2000, just days after the vote on Proposition 302, at the Tempe City Council issue review session, I asked, "Are the citizens of Tempe going to be able to vote on how they're going to pay for this stadium if it is located in Tempe?" The Mayor assured me that no dealing was done.

I had the information that, in fact, on December 16, 1999, at the Task Force B meeting at the Tasco building (in the same SRP businesses park), Giuliano had offered that the Tempe City Council had approved/authorized this offer on the Priest/Washington site. If there was no "deal" made at this point with Tempe and SRP, it would be like making an offer to a homeless person to live in your home without your permission/knowledge! One could boil this down to what is the meaning of "deal" or "is." You make the call!

So what is there to believe in anything that Neil or Tempe have to say on the stadium or anything else?

Joe Pospicil

Cat Fight

Taken for granted: This is in response to your story regarding the Arizona Humane Society's opposition to the Maddie's Fund grant ("Pet Peeves," Maria Luisa Tucker, August 9). We not only supported the Humane Society's decision, we hoped the Humane Society would hold to its decision to oppose the grant, despite this article and others like it by other local press.

We find it disconcerting that both you and other local media touch only on the surface of a complicated issue. Are you aware that the $10 million grant Maddie's Fund is offering can be used only for adoptions, spay/neuter surgeries, and advertising? Not one penny of the grant can be used to treat sick animals or to test animals for diseases prior to surgery. None can be used for education, which we see as an essential component of any successful adoption. Did you know the grant will be distributed over a five-year period with the stipulation that for any year's funding to be given, certain quotas, on an escalating scale, must be met for spay/neuters and adoptions? We find these quotas unworkable. The implementation of Maddie's Fund quotas must surely lead to unwise adoptions that may prove to be harmful either to the adopting family or to the adopted animal.

The spay/neuter numbers are no better. The coalition applying for the Maddie's grant hopes to meet these quotas by the mass capturing, spay/neutering and releasing of feral cats. While CABRA supports this mass-sterilization effort, we strongly object to the fact that none of these cats will be tested for feline leukemia, FIP, or any other disease before undergoing surgery. These wild cats will be rounded up and subjected to surgery with no regard given to their overall health. Then they will be released, with the probability that some will suffer a protracted death because of the combination of disease and surgery. You should also consider that the Maddie's Fund grant has no provision for caring for these animals after surgery. So if an animal gets an infection, oh well. . . . It may die, but at least it can't reproduce. More important, it helped fill the quota. This is a caring, humane attitude?

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