By Elisha Dorfsmith
The Flagstaff City Council chose not to move forward tonight with a potential ban on texting and using electronic devices while driving. Only three council members expressed an interest in exploring the ban but even they had reservations.
Adamantly opposed to the ban was Council member Jeff Oravits who argued that the proposed ordinance was very broad and would go so far as to ban drivers from using their phone for internet radio.
Oravits suggested that the City instead focus some energy on educating the public about the dangers of texting while driving.
Council member Scott Overton echoed Oravits saying he would much rather see a public education campaign over an ordinance.
Council member Karla Brewster and Mayor Jerry Nabours joined the majority with Brewster saying she would like to see a texting ban passed at the state level but not locally.
I have enjoyed reading some of the comments about this proposed ordinance on facebook and local media websites today.
Here’s my thoughts:
If someone is driving distracted and dangerous, regardless of the reason, they should face consequences. On the other hand, the City should not go out of their way to punish drivers who can handle texting or eating or other distractions. If anything, cops should be spending their time looking for dangerous drivers, not wasting time looking to see if safe drivers are texting.
The proposed ordinance said police and emergency responders would be exempt. Cops could still speed down the road punching people’s license plate numbers into their computer with no consequences. Another double standard.
The Flagstaff City Council did the right thing by rejecting this ordinance.
The Daily Sun reported that the proposed ordinance would have banned “viewing, sending, storing or composing electronic messages and sending, reading, creating, playing or interacting with Internet-based content” while driving. Cops would somehow have been exempt, even though the draft ordinance went out of it’s way to say that this kind of distracted driving is equivalent to having a blood alcohol content of at least .08 percent.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
I know for a fact that my readers are sick and tired of hearing about the Coconino County Republican Committee. I want you all to know that I am just as sick and tired of writing about the CCRC as you are of hearing about it. Please bear with me one more time.
As I posted in previous articles, last week I received a “cease and desist” letter from Rose Law Group representing CCRC Chair Joy Staveley. Today I received a second letter saying Rose Law Group approved of my updates, clarifications and retractions (with the exception of one that needed fine tuning). Now they are asking me to write a final post about the situation and then they will consider the matter closed (although they insist they will monitor all of my future posts for anything that could hurt Ms. Staveley’s reputation).
A few minutes ago I mailed Rose Law Group a final letter saying I will comply with their demands. I also included my sources and material documentation for many of the comments Rose Law Group was demanding I retract. They will have this information in their hands tomorrow. I believe they will be surprised at how closely my quotes match the source material. I believe they will also be surprised at who some of my sources are.
Which brings me to a question for any of my readers with legal experience. How do media outlets protect their sensitive information sources without getting sued? Most of my sources sent me confidential emails for my eyes only. I could not, nor would I want to publish those emails without permission. I was able to list a couple of my sources by name in my blog but I have several other sources that value their anonymity if at all possible. Unfortunately, I was forced to send their emails to Rose Law Group to prove I was not making things up.
That said, there were a couple facts in my blog that were incorrect and needed to be fixed. I appreciate Rose Law Group pointing those details out. If there is one thing I value and one thing Flag Liberty Blog stands for, it’s the truth. I don’t mind admitting when I make a mistake.
As requested by Rose Law Group, I apologize to Ms. Staveley for the following:
In a previous blog post I said that Ms. Staveley changed the designee on the Secretary of State website from Ray Jordan to herself. This was incorrect and I should have caught it. It would have thrown up a red flag if Ms. Staveley was listed as both the Chair and Treasurer on the Secretary of State website. Ms. Staveley changed the designee from Ray Jordan to Dan Edel.
Also, Ms. Staveley did not hire an attorney to defend the CCRC (although she did hire one to protect herself and send me cease and desist letters). I should have said the CCRC executive committee hired attorney Jared Holland to protect the CCRC.
And for the record, Rose Law Group says CCRC bylaws give Ms. Staveley the right to close the CCRC bank account and transfer those funds into a new account without the permission of the treasurer. I’m not an attorney so if Rose Law Group says it’s legal then it probably is. Was it the right thing to do? Well, that’s up to each of us to decide on our own.
Rose Law Group has requested that I provide links to the three updated blog posts. They are as follows:
For those tired of my CCRC posts, I close with pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Today the House of Representatives voted 288-127 to approve the 4th Amendment trampling CISPA bill. This massive information sharing nightmare will now go to the Senate for their approval and then to President Obama for his signature.
Voting with the majority today was our very own Arizona CD1 Congresswoman, Ann Kirkpatrick.
You can read more about CISPA here:
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Today I received a cease and desist letter from Rose Law Group representing Coconino County Republican Committee Chairwoman Joy Staveley. The letter demands I make changes to three articles I wrote about the removal of CCRC treasurer Ray Jordan. I will comply with their request and will be updating those blogs to include my sources, reflect new information, and clarify details.
That said, I would like my readers to post in the comment section of my blog and tell me if they think there is any good reason I should stick with the Republican Party and continue on as a Precinct Committeeman?
Elected State Committeemen have been stripped from their positions, an elected treasurer has been stripped from his position. If anyone else in leadership dares to speak up, they will be removed in the same way.
I know for a fact that they don’t want me in the party. Perhaps it’s time to move on?
You can read the letter from Rose Law Group below:
Page 1 (click to enlarge)
Page 2 (click to enlarge)
Page 3 (click to enlarge)
Page 4 (click to enlarge)
Joy Staveley backs up several of my claims in her own words documented in a Flagstaff Police Report:
Police report quoting Joy Staveley (click to enlarge)
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Next weekend Flagstaff Liberty Alliance will kick off a very busy year of festivals, parades and events with a booth at Flagstaff’s Earth Day celebration in front of City Hall. At this event we will be promoting food freedom, urban chicken farming, organic gardening and a variety of other issues from a liberty perspective.
Flagstaff Liberty Alliance is a non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing liberty groups and like minded individuals together in the Flagstaff area. We focus a great deal of energy on activism, educating the public, government watch and community outreach. We are always finding new ways to get our message out.
Our Mission Statement:
Strengthening community values of liberty and self sustainability through the promotion of Constitutional foundations in government.
Our Core Values:
Adherence To The Constitution
Protecting Civil Liberties
A Constitutional Approach To National Defense
True Free Market Principles
Below is a list of events that we will be attending (we will be adding additional events throughout the year).
Flag Liberty At Flagstaff Earth Day
April 20, 2013 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Flagstaff City Hall.
Flag Liberty At Arizona Freedom Fest
June 14 – 16, 2013 Mountain Meadows Sports Complex in Pinetop.
Flag Liberty At Pride In The Pines
June 15 – 16, 2013 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at Wheeler Park.
Flag Liberty In The Flagstaff July 4th Parade
July 4, 2013 8:00 – 10:30 Downtown Flagstaff
Flag Liberty At The Coconino County Fair
August 30 – September 2, 2013 9:00 am – 10:00 pm Coconino County Fairgrounds
Stay tuned for more information on Flag Liberty in the Homecoming Parade, Parade of Lights, and our booth at upcoming gun shows.
If you would like to help out with or volunteer at any of these events, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org we need volunteers to work shifts at our booths and hand out literature and candy in the parades.
These events are not cheap and we are now accepting donations online. You can donate through paypal at www.flagstafflibertyalliance.com
Also, don’t forget to attend our next monthly meeting on April 18! Our guest speaker will be Kim Sharp from the City of Flagstaff. She will be providing details on the draft version of the Regional Plan which, if approved by voters next year, will affect a large part of Northern Arizona.
Our April 18th Flagstaff Liberty Alliance meeting will be held at the 4th Street Professional Building (conference room upstairs) on 2501 N. 4th Street at 6:30 pm. Pizza will be provided (donations accepted). As always, our meetings are free and open to the public. Please invite your friends.
Thanks to Jim Miller and Visionary Printing for the awesome Flag Liberty banner!
We just purchased a ton of FLA bumper stickers. These will be available at all of our meetings and events.
FLA key chains, mirrors, bottle openers and buttons will be available at all of our events. Thanks to everyone who submitted their designs.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
On January 8, 2013 the Flagstaff City Council decided not to move forward with a proposed Property Maintenance Ordinance. The previous council had unanimously supported a PMO but with new members and new information available, it was decided a PMO was no longer needed. The public, who overwhelmingly opposed the PMO, believed the issue had been put to rest for good.
Jump forward to March 28, 2013 and the release of the Flagstaff Regional Plan. At 338 pages the plan is intimidating to the average Flagstaff Resident. Very few people will read the whole thing before the public comment period ends on May 31, 2013. Flagstaff residents would be wise to take some time to scan through the plan and pay special attention to Appendix B which shows the strategies for implementing the goals and policies. Mentioned among these strategies several times is implementation of a “Property Maintenance Ordinance”.
The concept behind a PMO seems to be reinforced again (page 329) in a reference to CPTED in the Police strategies section. CPTED stands for Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Part of the CPTED philosophy says that broken windows, peeling paint or a nuisance, if not taken care of, will lead to crime and will eventually destroy an entire neighborhood.
When concerned Flagstaff residents joined together last year to oppose a PMO, one major concern was City officials being allowed to go on private property and inspect it for PMO violations without a warrant. Now I’m sensing that the line between your average City official and a police officer is being blurred. CPTED says that police have in interest in well maintained properties. Will police be enforcing the PMO?
Increased police presence is a very big part of the regional plan and reading through that section (pages 328 and 329) throws up a red flag for those of us concerned about the growing police state in America. Neighborhood police substations are encouraged, an effective, visible police presence in the community is called for and the plan also asks for law abiding citizens to step up and help the police with crime prevention. I read this and see an Orwellian vision where neighbors turn in neighbors for the slightest infractions and are rewarded.
The City of Flagstaff legal department has explained to Council that existing laws already apply to health hazards and the worst unmaintained properties. The City can take action in these situations without a PMO in place. Flagstaff does NOT need a PMO.
One other major concern for people in the region:
On page 7 the plan says who it is for. In addition to Flagstaff it mentions Bellemont, Winona, Kachina Village and Mountainaire as well as the San Francisco peaks. It also says the plan is for County departments. Only Flagstaff residents will be allowed to vote on this plan in 2014. The plan does not explain why County residents don’t get to vote on the plan even though the plan will impact them. In fact, the plan doesn’t even let County residents know they won’t get to vote.
Growing Smarter Statutes adopted by Arizona in 1998 and 2000 require that a plan of some kind be adopted and updated every 10 years. It’s important that all who will be impacted by this plan provide feedback during the public comment period.
The text of the Regional plan can be found here:
The previous version of the PMO actually called for “weather tight” window screens.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
This evening Arizona talk show host Clair Van Steenwyk revisited the topic of corruption in the Coconino County Republican Party on his Crossroads with Van program. Guests included illegally removed CCRC treasurer Ray Jordan, illegally removed State Committeeman John Kistler and Illegally removed State Committeeman Drake Mitchell.
This is the first time all three people directly affected by the corruption appeared on the same program at the same time.
You can hear the complete show at the link below. So far, this is the best media coverage I’ve heard on the Coconino Republican situation. Give it a listen and see what you think. The CCRC discussion starts at 5:35.