Can we survive 

getting shot?


The statistics are grim, but we survive every day. Most crimes are conducted by professional criminals and/or mentally ill individuals. The rest of the gun-bearing society uses weapons for self-defense, hunting and target practice. There have been several occasions where a citizen’s use of a weapon has saved someone’s life.

However, this is the result of gun violence. In one day, out of 310 shot, 100 are killed and 210 survive their injuries. Out of that, 95 result in serious injuries. Sixty one are suicides, and out of that, 10 manage to survive. Four are killed unintentionally; nine are shot intentionally; four are shot by intervention, or accidentally; and 12 are shot for an unknown intent. Some crimes are committed by a couple partners for jealousy or other intents.

Regardless of the consequences, any criminal wishing to do harm will do so. No matter how the crime is committed, I believe there should be some scrutiny on how weapons are sold.

Further, gun control or disarming of the community will not help at all, because criminals will obtain guns without regard for laws.

Jaime Ruiz-Sandoval

Litchfield Park




Shame on West Valley View for running, front page no less, the story on a Goodyear man going to the emergency room possibly because of bad chicken! I can only suspect that the man is a friend of someone at the paper.

The man in question “speculates he bought tainted meat.” Did he store it properly? Did he cook it properly? Did he let the raw chicken drip on a food item that he didn’t cook? Had he been unknowingly, previously exposed to someone ill? All questions that would be asked if he listened to “friends” who think he should go after the grocery store.

Is the new “normal” going to be stories of people who “speculate” that the reason they got sick is because they went to this business or that business? Food-borne illnesses can begin within four to 24 hours after eating, and people with viral illnesses can be contagious for over a week. So, keep a list, readers — you, too, may be featured in a news story quoting you as “speculating” that it was your visit to (insert business name here) that caused your illness, certainly not your own unsafe food handling.

Kenneth Judd


Food safety


I read the article about Larry Chaney’s bout with food poisoning in the August 21 issue of the West Valley View. He claims his illness was due to the Foster Farms brand chicken he bought at Fry’s around August 7.

Usually, the food processing plants follow strict hygienic practices and are checked regularly by state-licensed food inspectors. A failed inspection will lead to the plant (or restaurant) being shut down until the issue is resolved.

When I first started working at Snyder’s of Hanover (on July 31), I went through a food-processing class. I went to North Phoenix to take the written test for my food handlers card. I passed the test with a perfect score! What I learned has helped me at home and at work: Some causes of food poisoning are improper cleaning and cooking techniques.

I buy most of my meat at the Butcher & Farmer (IGA) grocery store in Buckeye, and the 73% lean ground beef and Italian sausage at Fry’s. Rule of thumb: Always wash your hands before handling raw meats, wash meats before cooking and wash cutting boards (and hands) before preparing vegetables and fruits. This will prevent cross-contamination of foods. I’ll freeze meats if I’m not going to use them right away. Take frozen meat out of the freezer and defrost it in your microwave. Then rinse it in the sink under cold, running water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Try this with a package of chicken wings (18 to 20 pieces): Once thawed and patted dry, place in a Pyrex dish. I mix 3/4 cup of buttermilk with four tablespoons of ranch dressing. Pour over the chicken wings. Roll your chicken wings in Shake ‘N Bake mix. In a foil-covered baking pan, add two tablespoons of cooking oil. Place the breaded chicken in a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes to one hour, turning once halfway through cooking. The chicken is done when the meat pierces easily, the juices run clear and the chicken pieces are lightly golden brown.

I find it hard to believe young women these days do not know how to roast a stuffed turkey or chicken! Rule of thumb: For a 10- to 12-pound stuffed turkey, roast (bake) at 350 degrees, allowing 20 minutes per pound. This is the conventional oven method. A stuffed 12-pound turkey takes four to four and a half hours to roast, basting occasionally. Follow the same method with a 6-pound stuffed chicken. The chicken will be done in two hours. One box of turkey-flavored Stove Top mix will be enough for a 10- to 12-pound turkey (or two medium-size chickens). I make my own gravy from the drippings, as well as homemade buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes and apple pie.

I know how to make homemade white bread, cinnamon rolls, cream puffs, even Kung Pao chicken, sweet and sour ribs and pan-fried noodles. For my spaghetti, I substitute Italian sausage instead of ground beef, as called for in some recipes. My “5-Alarm Spaghetti” calls for hot Italian sausage and spicy pasta sauce, topped with a mix of shredded mozzarella and pepper jack cheese, baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the cheeses are golden brown. So far, I’ve won five cooking contests. The one requirement they have is the recipe(s) must be original.

You can contact me if you have a question on anything culinary at rivaslaura505@gmail.com.

Laura Rivas


I’m taking a stand on impeachment


Trump is a danger to our democracy. Given the overwhelming evidence Mueller presented in his report and testimony, and the willingness of this administration to let foreign powers interfere in our democracy, it’s past time Congress opened a formal impeachment inquiry.

No more excuses. No more delays.

The Mueller investigation found extensive criminal activity committed by Trump and his team. It resulted in 37 indictments and at least seven convictions or guilty pleas, uncovered over 10 instances of obstruction of justice by Trump himself, and revealed over 100 secret meetings and communications between his campaign and Russia and their cronies.

If any other American had obstructed justice as flagrantly as Trump has, they’d be going to jail.

Our representative needs to step up now, because doing nothing will only embolden Trump to trample over our democratic norms and to keep breaking the law. Doing nothing sets a dangerous precedent for future presidents.

For all of these reasons, it’s time for our representative to voice their support for a formal impeachment inquiry.

Brenda Grenfell





This September 1 marked 80 years since Hitler invaded Poland and started World War II. Three years later, he launched the Holocaust that murdered 6 million European Jews.

A key question facing historians is how an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest philosophers, poets, painters and composers could also produce its most notorious mass murderers, along with millions of ordinary upstanding citizens who just went along. Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon, or are other enlightened societies capable? How about our own American society?

Jewish Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer gave a clear answer when he wrote, “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” Singer’s message is that we are all capable of oppressing the more vulnerable sentient beings in our midst, frequently without even thinking about it.

Our own enlightened society has translated the arbitrary Nazi dictum “the Christian lives, the Jew dies” into an equally arbitrary “the dog lives, the pig dies.” Only the victims’ names have been changed. The blissful, self-serving ignorance of the death camps and slaughterhouses in our midst remains.

Our very first step on the long road to end all oppression should be to drop animals from our menus.

Wilfred Wallace

Litchfield Park

Rights come from God, not the state


Three recent “letters” which appeared in the West Valley View have several glaring errors in common. Additionally, they are poorly grounded in reality. All three illustrate how little viable knowledge the authors possess regarding the Bill of Rights. Their proposals lack merit and are vacuous, nothing more than soapbox oratory. I refer to “The causes of mass shooting,” August 14; “Repeal the Second Amendment,” August 21; and “Civilian access to military assault weapons,” August 21.

For your information, civilians have not been allowed to own “military assault weapons,” which are fully automatic, since 1934, unless they possess a very expensive class of license. There is no such thing as a semiautomatic “assault weapon.”  I doubt, if asked, any of these hoplophobes would be able to explain what an AR-15 or an AK-47 is.

The Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights to protect the people from government tyranny. It has absolutely nothing to do with hunting. As for “it took almost five minutes to put a bullet and gunpowder into those ancient weapons,” I did that in 38 seconds yesterday and I’m out of practice!

Modern sporting rifles are rarely used to commit criminal violence. (By the way, the El Paso shooter was a leftwing progressive environmentalist.) FBI data from 2017 showed there were more homicides that year committed with “blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)” or “personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)” than with any kind of rifle. A pair of DOJ-funded studies (1997 and 2004) of the 1994 Clinton semiautomatic ban found the measure ineffective.

Over 2,191 law-abiding Americans use guns, including semiautomatic rifles, daily to protect their lives and the lives of their loved ones. And, in 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees “a right on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in defense of themselves and their homes.”

Despite personal antigun feelings, famed constitutional law professor Alan Dershowitz, a former ACLU board member, says, “Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution … (are) courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like.”

A firearm is the only weapon that puts a 120-pound woman on equal terms with a 220-pound mugger or a 75-year-old retiree on par with a 19-year-old gang banger and is as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter.

Rights come from God, not the state.

None of the high-profile shootings in the last five years would have been prevented by “universal background checks” or, for that matter, by national firearm confiscation.

Criminals would, of course, love to see the latter because that would mean they would be granted a monopoly by the state, as has happened in the United Kingdom, where violent crime has soared since law-abiding “subjects” were disarmed.

We live in a culture of death. As Mother Theresa once said, “If we can accept a mother killing her own child, how can we tell others not to kill each other?” Secularization of society is the problem with this country. It has nothing to do with firearms, be they flintlocks or modern sporting rifles.

I can’t wait to buy my F-16 in 2024.

DJ Hammond


Who’s the racist?


Someone calls you a “racist.” So what? Does that actually make you a racist? No. It does, however, give you real insight into someone who casually hurls epithets at other human beings they don’t know and have never met. Sounds kinda racist to me.

Ken Williams


Positive words


Just to say, it is so very refreshing to have some reading that doesn’t constantly tell me how stupid and immoral I am because I believe in America and Trump.

The Arizona Republic is soooooooooooooo far left I’m sure the editors there don’t even have right feet. It gets tiresome seeing nothing but “we hate GOP people as they are all…,” well, what ever fits their ill-humored moods at the time. There are some jerks, and I can just pass over their columns, but when the editorial page cartoons are all anti-Trump and anyone who voted for him, well, you get my drift.

Thank you for your looking out for all Americans.

Clyde Jorgensen


The morality

of abortion


The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 states, “No person may … kill … marine turtles…” with criminal penalties up to $100,000 and/or one year imprisonment. In 2018 a bighorn sheep was poached in southwest Utah; the poacher was caught, banned from all hunting in 47 states for 10 years, and fined $30K. Poachers harvesting clams in Thomas Bay, Maine, face fines up to $1,000. Recently a young Mesa man was arrested on charges of animal cruelty for killing two cats. The Lacey Act states that those guilty of participating in illegal logging activities can face criminal and civil sanctions. The point is made that ending protected life is recognized in our country as an immoral act. Which brings us to the inevitable rhetorical question: Does the value of any life on this planet exceed the value of human life?

The initial response will be, “No, it doesn’t.” Murderers are harshly dealt with, and rightly so. However, the promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” does not apply to our human unborn.

In 1973 the highest U.S. legal authority decided that unborn human fetuses, evidently, are not human at all, but rather inconvenient parasites. That 7-2 decision was legal, but legal does not mean moral. If you think it does then you might be well-served to view other cases from our morally fallible high court: 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford; 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson; 1927 Buck v. Bell; 1944 Korematsu v. United States; 1918 Hammer v. Dagenhart; ad absurdum. Since 1973 the United States has societally placed the value of innocent unborn human life below the value of all other life, yet we scratch our heads at the latest horrific behavioral outbursts and wonder why society is falling apart.

Our nation is not only great because of political freedoms and liberties, but because of moral recognitions.  A “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” politically speaking, is insufficient if we lose our moral compass. We lost a distinct component of that moral compass on January 22, 1973.

Jason Russell


School vote


I saw a sign for the up-and-coming school vote. I hope it fails for the simple fact that the money never goes where it is supposed to go! A good example is the money that was voted upon for teachers’ raises went to administrators and other things. So, unless there is a way to guarantee the money goes where it is supposed to go, I say no way!

Maybe if the money sent to the  charter schools was spent on the public schools we would not have this problem.

Lynda Fiorini