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Local Print Newspaper Tool of Special Interests

In 2009 Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden topped the list with North Korea, Turkmenistan, Myanmar (Burma), Libya, Eritrea at the bottom. The US ranks as Satisfactory below Canada's Good. Mexico as ranked as Difficult. In Nepal, Eritrea, and mainland China, journalists may spend years in jail simply for using the "wrong" word or photo.

In 2009 Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden topped the Freedom of the Press list with North Korea, Turkmenistan, Myanmar (Burma), Libya, Eritrea at the bottom. The US ranks as Satisfactory below Canada’s Good – Mexico is ranked as Difficult. In Nepal, Eritrea, and mainland China, journalists may spend years in jail simply for using the “wrong” word or photo. In 2012 the U.S. Obama Administration collected communication records from 20 separate home and office lines for Associated Press reporters over a two-month period, possibly in an effort to curtail government leaks to the press. The surveillance caused widespread condemnation by First Amendment experts and free press advocates, and led 50 major media organizations to sign and send a letter of protest to American attorney general Eric Holder. (Freedom of the Press is a yearly report by US-based non-governmental organization Freedom House, measuring the level of freedom and editorial independence enjoyed by the press in every nation and significant disputed territories around the world.)

Sedona AZ (November 12, 2013) The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor from Sedona resident, Henry Twombly:

The Sedona Red Rock News (SRRN) has confirmed that its news coverage is extremely biased in favor of the pro-growth, pro-business, pro-taxes, pro-tourist agenda of the powers that be. I have always suspected as much, noticing where articles are placed, who gets to write guest perspectives, whose letters to the editor get printed, and what positions get espoused in its editorials.

The owners and editors used to publish the occasional letter that contravened their agenda, just to claim that the paper was objective. But during this recent debate about the Budget Override, I didn’t find one letter against the Override in these last two months, though I (and most assuredly others) had written such. Moreover, during that time there were more guest perspectives and less letters published, as if the paper was ignoring, if not stifling, debate. Out of the 2-4 letters that were printed in each issue, only letters in support of the Override were published. This type of spin on the news borders on blatant propaganda or at least negligent journalism that misleads the public into thinking that most residents agree with these policies; that the suffused agenda of the powers that be fosters the public good instead of windfalls for special interests. This yellow journalism is nothing but a subliminal mix of fear-mongering, guilt-tripping and self-righteous “altruism.”

If you are a taxpayer here in Sedona, you want to learn how to read in between the lines. Don’t pay attention to the words of the SRRN and of the three polities – the City Council, the School District and the Fire District – for whom SRRN advocates. Watch what they do, and what they do is spend your money. They find clever ways to increase your taxes and your per capita debt.

The City wants to create Special Districts, General Obligation bonds and probably a property tax to fund its overambitious Community Plan that enriches special interests and panders to the tourists. Since the recall election the Fire District’s mill rate has gone up to pay for the unnecessary Chapel fire station. In 2010-11 and 2011-12 the rate stayed at 1.4; after the recall it increased to 1.63 in 2012-13, and now it’s 2.02 (in 2013-14). The results of the Override notwithstanding, the percentage in the mill rate on the debt that we pay on the School District’s $73-million bond (2007) keeps going up: .87 (2010-11); .97 (2011-12); 1.2 (2012-13) and 1.3 (2013-14).

Is it any wonder that currently Sedona has the sixth highest per capita debt in the state ($5,507.45)? What is a wonder that baffles me is why we resident taxpayers have allowed this to happen. It’s time to say “No” to further tax increases!

Henry Twombly
350 Arroyo Pinon Drive
Sedona, AZ 86336
 
 
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38 Comments

  1. Warren says:

    I have lived various places throughout the nation and world. For the reasons Henry Twombly lists above — and more — the SRRN is THE WORST paper I have ever encountered anywhere.

  2. Steve says:

    anybody notice that Grant’s Jewelers is going out of business after big chamber of commerce fanfare when they opened ???

  3. Keep an “EyE” on the “EyE”,

    When folks I know want something printed, even if I don’t agree with them, I say “Go to SedonaEye.com” for fair and balanced reporting or at least a chance to have their opinion printed.

    A lively debate is healthy for our country.

    There are a couple other Verde Valley and Yavapai County newspapers that will put differing opinions out but the SRRN isn’t on my short list that I recommended to others.

    Cornville AZ
    Folksville USA News ?
    Vietnam Combat Veteran

  4. Sam the Man says:

    Does anyone wonder why the local print newspaper doesn’t do some sort of reporting about the increased business vacancies in town? Just how many are there? The only business left open in that small strip mall where the Hideaway Restaurant is now dark is the liquor store on the highway. Phew! At least the important things are still hanging in there.

  5. Diane says:

    You can’t get truthful numbers from the Chamber. Tried it and failed. No incentive.

  6. Tree Mename says:

    Liked this article on Facebook.

  7. I say the Sedona Red Rock News is not the worst newspaper anywhere. Why? Because it’s not really a newspaper at all…it’s the Ministry of Propaganda for the Chamber and the City Staff! Their mission isn’t reporting of all points of view in a dispute, its to quash all dissent.

  8. Jim uptown says:

    Had it not been for the nature of the comments I would still be clueless as to the message of this article, that being our local paper and not the reference to European countries. Thank you Gary and others for targeting the true source of the complaint, RRNews, which the Eye maintained the class act to avoid. Another point of credit for a first rate publication.

  9. Bettye says:

    I liked the fact that this article brings to light the true nature of the Sedona Red Rock News, and think that everyone reading it should send it to their family, friends & neighbors that subscribe to the SRRN. Not only that, do what I do, tell new comers and those that are visiting before they move here, “Don’t believe anything in the SRRN, it’s totally biased. To get a better cross section of what goes on in Sedona read The Sedona Eye”.

    FYI – The Sedona Red Rock News is the flagship newspaper of the family-owned Larson Newspapers, which also owns The Camp Verde Journal and the Cottonwood Journal Extra.

  10. Julie says:

    Great Article! Yes your right the town is run by special interest groups! The newspaper is the biggest abuser. They continue to print false misleading information at every turn. If you believe everything they print then they lead you to believe the chamber is the city. (half the town now believes this) We the low life – need to bow down to the Sedona’s President elect Ms. Wessolholf. Businesses really need to kiss the ground the chamber walks as they bring every penny into Sedona. No one else matters. The paper only promotes their partners – Mr Jennifer. The newspaper, staff, and council try force it, making everyone pay the chamber for the job they should be doing. The sick thing is if you follow the money trail the tax payers are footing the bill. Taxes-chamber-newspaper-special friends. Oh meanwhile the chamber is traveling all over the world to find the right tourist on taxpayers money.

    All they care about is the $ and paying their friends. Thank you Sedona Eye for having integrity in journalism. Something Larson forgot.

  11. N. Baer says:

    Thank you Henry Twombly for publicly stating what concerned Sedona residents have experienced with the so-called “local paper,” the Sedona RR News. I was appalled to learn that the publisher has a policy of not allowing more than one “letter to the editor” every six months for those of us us who are interested in keeping Sedona intact without property taxes and preserving this beautiful place, instead of succumbing to the stupid ideas frequently embraced and promoted as “destination marketing.” Last I knew anyone in marketing who lives in a place where the natural environment sells itself is always doing “destination marketing.” As to the empty store fronts, remember most of those buildings are owned by local property owners who are making $$ whether the building is occupied or not. Time for a change folks.

  12. Eddie says:

    Nancy, Nancy, Nancy.
    THANK YOU :-)

    Oops, forgot to mention. The latest rumor is that all of Sedona’s problems will be solved with the implementation of a Creek Walk and Creek Park awaiting the next flood. Keep the faith.

  13. K Mathieu says:

    Last week or so, the Red Rock News published a story with the headline (paraphrase) Sedona Fire Dept picks up tab for forest rescue services provided to visitors.

    It should say Sedona Taxpayers pick up tab for rescue services provided to visitors.

  14. Kim chott says:

    Good point K. Mathieu. Again our tax dollars going towards tourism. When are the Sedona citizens going to benefit? Don’t we have an obligation to the residences being flooded during heavy rains? They didn’t create the mess, it was all poor city management.

  15. James Poole says:

    @J. Rick Normand so true. Thank you Henry Twombly.

  16. gary says:

    PC —- Politely Critical,

    For several years I have ask to speak to speak at the Sedona Chamber and Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce meetings regarding getting the businesses connected with and directly supporting the area Adopt-A-Highway groups.

    The purpose of connecting the businesses and the Adopt-A-Highway groups is to get more businesses directly involved with the people that clean the highways and make our area appealing to residents and tourists.

    In 2009, many Verde Valley including Sedona businesses provided raffle prizes to these Adopt-A-Highway groups for their efforts. I was hoping the Chamber of Commerce in Cottonwood and Sedona would provide this speaking opportunity but they never did even though Clarkdale and Camp Verde have.

    Sedona & Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, the offer is still available. If these two organizations haven’t noticed, our highways are reverting back to the filthy 2009 status due to a lack of cooperation by those that could keep the four time per year cleaning effort going and that includes Town and City Managers in every community.

    If the “Sedona 30” are so influential, then maybe they could help with this effort remain a success?

    If ADOT won’t clean our highway center-medians and the ADOT Adopt-A-Highway groups can only clean the highway shoulders, could ADOT issue “eye patches” for the left eye so we don’t have to look at the trash in the highway center-median strip?

    On November 16, I will pick up my last bag of trash on our highways and will never again do so.

    Other than the Sedona, Camp Verde and Jerome leaders, our Folksville USA efforts have never been officially recognized by the “leaders” of the Verde Valley. Now these leaders have a chance to take what Folksville USA has done and they can show us how they will make improvements on our performance.

    Gary Chamberlain
    “Point Man” FVUSA
    Vietnam Combat Veteran

  17. Julie says:

    Great point on the city being poor management. No one there takes responsibility. When council or staff make a mistake, who cares? Clearly that is their message. When I listen to the City Council meeting I hear a lot of me. I, I, and I’s from our counsel. Big egos. So what they be gone in a few years and the taxpayers pay. This city is by far the most dysfunctional one ever. They forgotten who pays their salaries. No one is managing it. One big wild game using taxpayers money. Gary Thank you for your contributions to the Verde Valley. We see it and are thankful for you. I wish we had more folks like you trying to improve our world.

  18. Brenda says:

    @Kim chott : ” Don’t we have an obligation to the residences being flooded during heavy rains? They didn’t create the mess, it was all poor city management.”

    According to that council guy mike ward it’s the citizens fault because he actually made the accusation that none of us have contributed one nickle to the city. Wonder why the RRNews didn’t make a big issue of that. (or maybe they did?)

  19. Jack says:

    Sick of hearing that one @Brenda The City takes no responsibility. But yet they take payment from the counties. Yes Every resident does pay property tax and those property taxes end up going to the city via flood control. The Sedona of Sedona gets 4 million from Coconino county. residents pay a few more taxes that end up doing to the city. So you DO pay.

    The RRN’s has no idea, they add to the problem of special interest. If anyone hasn’t noticed the biggest culprit is RRN looks who is their “partner” their website proudly displays Rick Wesselhoff at the bottom of their website as PARTNER! Yep you got it Mrs Chamber hubby. They are PARTNERS in special interest groups.

  20. my wife and I agree the red rock news is simply advertising & local promotion and gossip paper, it serves its purpose, it could go monthly to save money, we do like the Eye, we like the fact that when a story comes up, other stories don’t disappear. we saw the mitzvah story this morning and were reminded about it. that’s a difference. thanks!

  21. Jean says:

    @ Brenda. About that council guy mike ward’s BS that none of us have contributed one nickel to the City:

    Former Budget Oversight Commission Chairman Peter Fagan stated at one BOC meeting that “The residents are paying the largest percentage of the bills here when you add in sewer fees.” As I understood it, this did not take into account our tax dollars the spendthrift City of Sedona receives from the Counties and State.

    And yes, even though residents do not pay bed taxes, many of us have relatives and/or guests who visit us for more than a few days from time to time and do. How many nickels–or should I say thousands of dollars–does this add up to?

    OMG, some hotels are delinquent in paying the City the bed and sales taxes they collect.

  22. ExecutiveOne says:

    THANK YOU Mr. Twombly for your excellent article that very accurately describes the RED ROCK RAG. I have sent a number of letter’s to the so-called Editor questioning various city matters , in particular, the money expended on the bloated F.D. NONE of these were published. I wonder why? It is , in fact, nothing more than a propaganda rag…except for the sports section. I now get it from the re-cycling bin…it’s not worth my money!

  23. Joshua says:

    Hang onto your hats. In case you haven’t heard, the City Council gave the Red Rock News an award at the Council Meeting (Tuesday, 11/26) for fifty years of providing such excellent service to Sedona. As if things aren’t bad enough, isn’t that like issuing a license of approval to continue the trend of bias reporting? Has the city no shame?

  24. The year is almost over, I think we should make a New Year’s resolution to end the ” City” of Sedona. It is a failed experiment. Who will help me with signature collections?

  25. Richard, I’d be happy to sign the petition as soon as you can tell me how we’d be better off without the Sedona City Government. While I wasn’t here at the time, I’ve been told that when the city was split between both county’s, hardly anything was done. Of course, the city sales tax was about 3.5 percent less at the time so there was no cash to have a better life here like: drainage, sidewalks and let’s not forget, our own police department that comes quickly vs. a deputy who travels from another area.

    It’s so easy to blame someone, in this case the “city” for everything but come on now, ENOUGH ALREADY!

  26. Joshau:

    Perhaps you missed something, the city didn’t give the award to the Red Rock Rag for the “great service” that they provide, they received the award for being in business for 50 years. There’s not many other businesses in town that can say that. Now, I’d like to know how they managed to stay in business that long with the way they have been writing those stories during the past few years. But, that has nothing to do with the award.

  27. Dear Unheard Voices,

    There are other newspapers in the area that publish Editorials other than the three Larson owned papers (Cottonwood Journal Extra, Camp Verde Journal and the Red Rock News).

    In addition to the SedonaEyE.com, there is the Verde Independent (Cottonwood), Camp Verde Bugle (Camp Verde) and the Villager (Village of Oak Creek). These papers cover the entire Verde Valley.

    Exercise your options to be heard before it’s too late! You only have one person to blame if you do nothing …..

    Gary Chamberlain
    Cornville AZ
    Vietnam Combat Veteran

  28. Enough already,

    The Sedona Police, like speed traps on the downhill section of 89A, and pulling people over for not having their headlights on? Meter maids marking cars that have parked uptown to make sure they do not exceed their two hours?

    The administration, a City Manager, Assistant City Manager and an assistant to the City Manager, all making 6 figure salaries?

    Drainage, how many areas have flooded? Enough said.

    Sidewalks and lights on 89A, wait the State paid for those. Sidewalks and traffic circles on 179, the State paid for those too.

    You must be on the City payroll. They are good at having meetings, and commissioning studies, not much else.

  29. @Enough Already!

    Having lived our first 11 years in Sedona prior to incorporation, my late husband and I enjoyed a friendly community and never lacked for benefits relating to our health, safety, and welfare.

    For example, and I perhaps should qualify as residents of Coconino County, we felt safe in knowing that a Coconino County Sheriff’s Sub-Station existed uptown on Forest Road (now still occupied as a fire department station.) The county roads in our subdivision never were neglected to the point where driving became a game of “dodge-em” with potholes.

    We enjoyed the former library on Jordan Road and shared pride when volunteers created the beautiful facility on White Bear as we also did when a caravan of people relocated the animal shelter from Soldier Pass Road to the first-class facility on Shelby. All of this was done without financial assistance from the “city” because such a thing didn’t exist.

    It wasn’t until years later that we appreciated Coconino County’s policy relating to fencing we placed on our property when we first moved to Sedona. No way would they allow us to obstruct the flow of storm runoff through the wash crossing our property. Not so after Sedona incorporated. Not once but twice the city said OK to fencing in that same wash by two different property owners on an adjacent property, the first resulting in our need to retain an attorney to assist in mitigating damage to our property after, in fact, flooding had occurred due entirely to the neglect of city inspectors.

    Prior to incorporation it was with pride that a celebration of “burning the Chamber of Commerce mortgage” occurred at the appropriate time at Poco Diablo. You see, back then the C of C was respected as a contributing part of our unincorporated area because they gave back to the community by way of sponsoring our then well publicized Saint Patrick’s Day Parades which attracted visitors across the nation due to exposure in travel agencies and, yes, word of mouth. Those parades occurred along the West Sedona 89A Route at which time cooperation of Sheriff’s Departments from both counties maintained traffic control as the highway was completely closed during the event! (that practice was later discontinued under the recommendation of I believe Sedona’s first Chief of Police, Bob Irish.)

    In addition the C of C sponsored summer meller-dramas in uptown Sedona, “corny” performances on an outdoor stage and also where steak dinners were offered at affordable prices. Another winner for both residents and tourists and all provided without one cent of city funding because such a thing didn’t exist. What we have now is a money grabbing Chamber of Commerce who cannot get enough dollars to spend for questionable biased operation of the Visitor’s Center as well as undefined destination marketing leaving questions relating to who will benefit, Sedona businesses and residents or Chamber members, many of whom are located outside City Limits and collect neither city sales nor bed taxes.

    What the proponents of incorporating Sedona had offered that was “for one additional penny on the dollar” we would receive what you mention (although some of us thought we were already doing just fine) but, of course, in addition was the promise that all of Sedona would be provided connection to the alleged critically needed sewer (Wastewater Treatment.) Not so.

    What we have to this day, and as a result of a development boom in the years following incorporation, are still some existing older subdivisions not on sewer (in deference to new construction) and who will most likely never be on sewer.

    What we have today are new areas of flooding questionably as a result of ill conceived drainage engineering on at least some of the larger and more lofty Sedona developments.

    What we have today is less than one mile of “city owned” SR89A in Uptown Sedona that has been redesigned by non-professional input instead of strict regiment such as ADOT engineers which was a defined “must” at the time of the new design of SR179. Having attended many of those public meetings, never do I recall that ADOT representatives didn’t reiterate that their engineers would have final say for obvious safety and traffic flow decisions. The outcome of the mess City of Sedona allowed to occur on uptown 89A is obvious.

    What we have today are many, many non-profits and special interests who line up annually at City Hall expecting for city government to assist in financing their programs. Entitlement, entitlement, entitlement seems to be the theme of today and tomorrow but most assuredly did not exist prior to incorporation. This is also true as indicated by those who make demands for child care and entertainment, a Recreation Center, more parks, more this, more that when, in fact, the city is in need of what? . . . almost $20 million to reinvent some means by which to deal with runoff during Sedona’s frequent intense summer storms. In my opinion, Coconino County would have been on top of this before the additional problems ever occurred.

    What we have today is constant criticism that “residents aren’t paying their fair share.” Really? Why must we now be responsible for years and years of bad planning and design for things like timeshares (not subject to bed tax) and other poor decisions which have drained both our environmental and economic resources?

    Incorporation would have never been approved had not the promise been made that there would be “NO CITY PROPERTY TAXES.”
    That, of course, is presently on the table with other methods of enhancing funding such as G-Bonds and Special District assessments.

    Realizing that many of my “gripes” have been stated at previous times, it just didn’t work for me to ignore addressing the question posed by “Enough Already.” There are many more reasons why Sedona was a better place prior to the controls (or lack thereof) of local government: i.e. Questionable acquisition of the ever failing City Hall, usage of “Alternate Standards” and “Administrative Waivers,” insistence to secure property for creek side park and pathway with full knowledge that it’s a liability risk waiting to happen as well as a potential attractive nuisance. All because maybe a total of a couple hundred (if that many) people continue to whine and say “please, please, please?”

    No doubt in my mind that incorporation was a terrible idea. Obviously it was great for developers during those first years. However, it’s unfortunate that some of the key people who lobbied for incorporation pulled up stakes and moved out of here not long after realizing their own “dream” for an incorporated city went the direction of the WWTP.

    Let us not forget the water-downed “Environmentally Sensitive Land Ordinance” or the initial sign code. Then there was the “deal” made in violation of the parking code when several spaces at the new city parking lot uptown were sold to the new owner of the former Canyon Portal Motel. (To my recollection those off-street parking spaces were sold even prior to the final approval for that city public parking area.)

    It might be worth mentioning that prior to incorporation Sedona was well represented at County Supervisor’s Meetings through the auspices of Keep Sedona Beautiful and a local Taxpayer’s Association, both organizations presenting the concerns of Greater Sedona on a regular basis.

    The list goes on but my head is already hereby on the chopping block. So be it.

    Sincerely,
    Eddie Maddock

  30. Warren says:

    @ Eddie – Well said. Additional layers of government are always a mistake.

  31. Sharlett says:

    Eddie, may I please vent as I add to your list of “What We Have Today?

    #1: What We Have Today: Chamber of Commerce has consistently refused to offer any financial or P&L information to the City- as they just continue to cry for $ without any business plan for any of their cries….and the City continues to allow that.
    #2: What We Have Today: A Council who seems so greedy, in their personal wants, to spend City $ on their “visions” rather than actually spending $ on basic and necessary citizen’s needs.
    #3: What We Have Today: A very transient and second home basis of community = new folks coming to town who have no respect or knowledge of the accurate history of the concept of small town and volunteerism and how nice it was here before the free for all began by the new transplants.
    #4: What We Have Today: Residents – the hard working business people and those of us who have sustained this community in a vast variety of ways – who are criticized for not agreeing with, or wanting to pay for, the “all Wise and Knowing Council’s dreams. Residents only want just the drainage and streets and etc. issues taken care of.
    #5: What We Have Today: Council and new-be Folks who’s ethereal wish lists have no financial vision or understanding = they just pick apples off the apple tree and somehow they think that equates to applesauce.
    #6: What We Have Today: A Council who does not listen to Us (unless Us is in one of their special interest groups) when they don’t want to hear what Us intelligently say – as they continue to very poorly spend our $ and they hide in their regal chairs –
    #7: What We Have Today: A City Staff and Council holding far too many meetings on far too many non relevant issues that are not related to our basic health, safety and welfare issues – only in order to quantify their Existence.

    #8: What We Don’t Have Today: A community that comes together for the greater good of saving a treasure that used to exist…..without raising Bed taxes or threatening us with higher Sales Taxes or new Property Taxes and Special District Tax’s and new Bonds – all in order to pay their bills. (kinda like – I have a credit card (tax payers are their credit card) and I can just spend and spend my credit card will pay for it…as I try to figure out how to pay off my credit card…oh, I can do minimal payments with interest?

    I choose to not be a Credit Card for this City Council and Staff who can’t just live within their means.

    I also will vote no on the Community Plan as well………….la-la Land as I read it.

  32. Eddie,

    Your work and contributions have not gone without notice and support.

    I was able to take pictures today, Saturday, November 30, 2013 of two Sedona police officers having an extended chat at the West Sedona Circle K, and a City worker driving a City vehicle, making his bank deposit at the Bank of America ATM at 11:45. I doubt he was making a city bank deposit, as he was wearing a safety vest. I would guess it was an overtime day, but I doubt it was “City” business.

    My wife and I witnessed the Sedona Fire Chief, Kazian, along with his elementary school aged daughter at Safeway. What stood out about this was it was the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving. Kazian was wearing “his team’s” jersey with backwards baseball cap and was loading groceries into the back of the Sedona Fire Chief’s vehicle. With his attire he was not representing the Fire District in an official capacity and certainly not on a Saturday. Should he have been in an accident it most likely would have been our tax paying dollars that would have paid for damages and injuries to not only him but his daughter as well. To those that are unaware, the “Sedona Fire Department” is not part of the ” City”,of Sedona, but paid through property tax assessments.

    Together we can end this”City”. I intend to start a website and voting campaign to do just that, I will keep the Sedona Eye and it’s readers advised of my progress.

    It is time.

  33. Eddie:

    You bring some very factual information to light. Your input is always from the heart and well documented as opposed to those who just spout venom without providing the facts to back them up like you do.

    Of most interest to me was your history about the C of C.

  34. What probably nobody knows or really cares about is how painful it is after all these years to find it necessary to explain what I believe, given the opportunity, needs to be made available, especially to those who really do remember when life in Sedona was as beautiful as our surroundings, from the moment the sun rises over the rim until the last ray of red glow vanishes with the sunset.

    Most of us at least thought we relinquished atmospheres of lust for greed and power at the places we chose to leave behind when deciding to make Sedona our home.

    The real sadness is, in my opinion, that the true agendas and ulterior motives of those who continue to wreak havoc are most likely rationalized by their own lame excuses for the deeds they continue to pursue.

    The upside is learning from supporting comments that I am not walking this road of regret alone.

    Thank you for that.

    Eddie

  35. Richard Saunders:

    Let’s take your observations one by one:

    You saw two Sedona police officers having an “extended” chat…

    May I ask what an “extended” chat means to you? Would that be 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even 20 minutes? Do you have any idea if those officers were chatting about an active case, sharing notes about a wanted person or some other official matter? Of course not but you are quick to question them on the internet without any facts.

    You saw a city worker at the B of A at 11:45 which is just about lunch time for most workers. Is that really a problem for you if that worker was withdrawing money to buy lunch, pay some bills or some other quick personal matter DURING HIS LUNCH HOUR? You have no idea do you? You’re just quick to question their actions without knowing the “full story” of what you’re talking about.

    Lastly, you and your wife “witnessed” our Fire Chief on a Saturday which is his DAY OFF utilizing his authorized department vehicle buying groceries with his family. Since this man is on call 24/7 and responds from home many times, do you REALLY see a problem with that? I don’t.

    His attire may be an issue I can agree with you on that but if you have an issue with it why don’t you call Chief Kazian and tell him about your concerns?

    Richard, it looks like you have too much spare time on your hands, if you have nothing more to do in your day than to question how our city workers spend their time. Why don’t you spend some of your free time volunteering for some worthwhile organization like Paws or the Humane Society?

  36. Julie says:

    Incredible! I love Sedona Eye and all the contributors to this local Newspaper. Thank you all. Thank you @Mrs. Eddie S. Maddock, very well said and thank you for speaking the truth. unfortunately once the city became incorporated the games began, special interest groups have played the game since day one. I agree that this town was better off BEFORE incorporation. They are known as “The Sedona Bully ” No one matters, citizens, businesses, visitors. They are reckless as no one matters but their click, everyone else is threaten into submission. Excited to see @Richard Saunders This would be awesome! @Sharlett great points! @”And I think” your so right. There isn’t a community, it actually feels like NAZIS camp. Thank you all. It is GREAT to see everyone speaking up. I vote to unincorporated based on the fact that none of us matter.

  37. Steve says:

    Three cheers for Eddie Maddock’s comment. I looked through pictures over the holidays with my kids and grand kids and found myself growing disgusted with changes that look bad or as my grandson (8) said, “Was that the creek where mommy swam before they filled it up?”

    While visiting today my wife wants to know who found and put up the ugly (she also called them cheap looking) wreaths on the bridge at the creek roundabout and who put up the Chanukah gift boxes?? Sedona here’s clue one…there aren’t Chanukah gift boxes. Jews aren’t offended by Christmas colors or gift wrapping or gift boxes or Christmas carols or holiday music or Norman Rockwell paintings of Christmas gift giving. Ask any intelligent Jew and you’ll discover we never have been or will be offended by Christmas in America or Americans celebrating Christmas except for my half witted brother, Allen. He hates everybody. His government office doesn’t decorate or sing carols anymore because of Allen. He complained it offended him as a Jew when the office sang carols. They’re idiots. He likes to be the purveyor of doom and gloom. My siblings and I think he’s adopted. Better he influences your family than my family. BTW, he’s an atheist.

    Jews celebrate traditions. Rest your diversity bones easy progressives. Go hang strings of red and green bulbs. You know you want to do that and we’ll hang blue maybe silver maybe none. Our religion doesn’t forbid light bulbs of any color.

    My daughter’s B’nai Brith group rents a space at the mall in the midwest (last 15 years or so) and earns a years worth of fundraising money wrapping Christmas presents. You might say we like Christmas a lot. Two of my kids put up trees and decorate with tiny menorahs, blue lights and stars of David! The eldest goes with the traditional look and everybody has a Santa list. It’s okay. We like the little elf too.

    My son asked why in a city with lots of artists no artists volunteered to decorate for the holidays? My wife said it was Sedona being Sedona. Count on that as not complementary. See you in NYC where every religion knows how to celebrate holidays and how to fix pizza.

  38. @Steve:

    What you have written sent me into fits of laughter. Reminds me so of past times in Woodland Hills, CA. My husband was Catholic, my claim was and remains “Spiritual While Working In Yard,” and our neighbors were a mixture of Mormons, Catholics, and Jews. Except for the Mormons (only because they probably wouldn’t have approved of our style of entertaining) all were invited for Christmas and other holidays. One year I gave my husband the gift of a chalkboard in order to have regular sessions about the handling of money. The only use it ever served was as a welcome to our guests as he neatly printed the words: “HAPPY HANUKLAUS” (He omitted the beginning C)

    Enough said?

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