Posts tagged ‘Coconino County’


From the AZ Republic

A Flagstaff police officer who used his baton, boot and a cable to kill an injured dog after a fellow officer accidentally hit the animal with his car in August will not face criminal charges, according to the Navajo County Attorney’s Office.


Tewes was called after another officer hit a loose dog with his car Aug. 19. Tewes and the other officer decided the dog needed to be euthanized, but Tewes was concerned about using his gun in the neighborhood.

According to a Coconino County sheriff’s investigative report, Tewes repeatedly tried to bludgeon the dog to death, but it didn’t die. He then tried to jump on the dog’s head and cave in its skull, but that also didn’t kill the animal. Eventually, after some 20 to 30 minutes of trying to kill the dog, he used a hobble, which is like a metal cable, to try to strangle the dog. It took several tries before the dog died.

We give police officers unique and dangerous powers and authority.  It is amazing the poor judgement of the people we so entrust.

A Personal First: The Police Solved a Crime

Here is one reason that my regard for the police has fallen over the years:  Since I was about 25, I have had about an equal number of traffic tickets and robberies.  I have had my car broken into on four separate occasions, and have had my garage burgled once, and have had my company's property broken into and robbed seven or eight times.  Over that same period I have probably had 8 or 10 tickets (though unfortunately four of them were in the same year, causing me to face losing my license).  Can you guess which category the police spent the most time on?

Let's take the most recent example of each.  On the ticket side, I was cited for not getting all the way into the right-hand turn lane before making my right turn (really).  It was about six in the morning.  The cop had obviously invested substantial time waiting at that corner, hoping to catch a miscreant.  Then, once citing me, he went through the trouble of making notes on the incident and then showing up on my court date and testifying from his notes to make sure I was punished for my crime.

OK, now the burglary side.  My car was broken into in a parking lot at night, and my golf clubs were stolen, ironically at the exact same corner where I was busted for making a sloppy right-hand turn.  I called the police.  I'll bet anyone who has experienced such a theft already knows what happened.  I begged and pleaded to get a police officer out to the scene of the crime.  Nope, sorry, too busy.  No one would even bother to show up.  I begged them, saying that there was a security camera and the crime probably was on tape -- nope, sorry.  To even get a police report in the system (which my insurance company needed) I had to go to the police station myself and fill out all the paperwork.  When I turned in the paperwork, I asked who would be working on the crime, and they just looked at me pityingly, like a small naive child.  Because, of course, no one was going to spend one second on the crime.  Just like no one had ever spent a single second investigating any other of the thefts of my property.

So do you see my reason for resentment?  I naively used to think that breaking and entering and theft were far worse crimes than making a poor right turn.  But, conservatively, America's combined police forces probably spent over thirty man hours making sure I was punished for my traffic violations, while they invested zero time solving a series of thefts.

So it was with dumb shock that I got the news that the Coconino County Sheriff's department had actually solved a petty theft case against my property in the Flagstaff area, had apprehended the criminals, and had recovered some of the stolen property.  Now granted, these thiefs were dumb as a post, left what was essentially a calling card on the site, and were convicted felons who were well known to the local police.  But still, credit where credit is due.  Thanks.  Finally.   

Sedona Joins the March to Bureaucracy

Today, the town of Sedona, Arizona joined the ranks of government organizations trying to make business incrementally more difficult.  I operate campgrounds in the Sedona area, and as such I have already registered my business there with:

  • The federal government for social security and medicare taxes
  • The federal government for employee payroll withholding
  • The federal government for income taxes
  • The federal government for federal unemployment insurance
  • The State of Arizona secretary of state and corporation commission
  • The State of Arizona department for unemployment insurance
  • The State of Arizona department of revenue for sales taxes
  • The State of Arizona department of revenue (second time) for corporate income taxes
  • The State of Arizona department of liquor, for liquor license
  • Coconino County tax collector, for property taxes
  • Coconino County health department, for health inspection and certificate

I am sure this list is incomplete, but you get the idea.  I know for a fact that the town already has access to my business information, because they have access to the state department of revenue sales tax database that has all the data they want.  However, I guess so they can feel important -- they want to make sure I have THEIR approval to exist and conduct private transactions with the public as well.  Here is the only rational offered in their letter:

To those businesses operating in the City limits of Sedona:

Help Create Our Economic Future

To Create a viable economic future for Sedona, it is important to know what types of businesses currently exist within the community.  As of January 31, 2006, in order to create a database, all businesses operating in Sedona, or headquartered elsewhere and doing business in Sedona, will need to apply for a business registration.

First, we businesses are already creating Sedona's economic future, and this notion that a couple of people in a small town city clerks office can do anything to add to productivity and economic growth is the worst form of governmental hubris.  Second, though filling out a couple of pages may seem  too small to complain about, we operate in over 200 locations.  Thank God that most of them are in unincorporated area, or we would be filling out hundreds or thousands of pages a year just to help some city clerks with their "database". 

Third, it is interesting to note that Sedona is starting is campaign for their economic future by making doing business there harder.  Sedona reminds me a lot of Boulder, Colorado, where I used to live.  In Boulder, this kind of data request would be the harbinger of some massive new regulation program.  My best guess is that this will be the case in Sedona as well -- this database will be used to justify new regulations and taxes, not less.

I ran corporate planning staff groups at several large corporations.  Every time my staff guys had a new analysis they wanted to do, they often wanted to send out a new requirement to all of our operations managers to report some new data they needed for their project.  As their manager, I tried to be ruthless in defending our operating people, pushing back on my staff guys to find any other way to get the data they need, or to justify strongly the need to ask our folks to report yet another bit of data.  In most cases, the analysis did not justify the work or the data could be acquired some other way, a way that required more work of my staff guys but a lot less from the operating guys who really mattered.  This requests smacks of the exact same thing, except without the adult supervision to push back on their endless data requests.  (Other example here).

This all made me think of this, maybe because my mind works in strange ways. 

The Senate has introduced the "Digital Content Protection Act of 2006,"
a bill that will create "Broadcast Flags" for all digital radio and
television, leading to FCC oversight of all new digital media
technologies from iPods and PSPs to TVs and DVD recorders.

Under the DCPA proposal, digital media technologies would be
restricted to using technologies that had been certified by the FCC as
being not unduly disruptive to entertainment industry business-models.

Beyond my irritation at this whole broadcast-flag-FCC-power-grab raising its head again, it made me think about people's reaction to regulation.  In general, when people actually run into government regulation face to face, they hate it.  That's why with this broadcast flag issue you tend to see a lot of people who generally profess to be comfortable with big government suddenly freaking out, perhaps because this is the first time, beyond the drivers license office or trying to mail a package at Christmas, they every run into the true face of government.  Most corporations today are pretty good at sheltering customers and employees from the mind-numbing regulation they face. 

To all you guys who are fed up with the FCC, let me assure you as a small business owner:  The Department of Labor, Federal Trade Commission, Social Security Administration, Department of Commerce, and every state, county, and city agency you can think of is at least as overreaching and destructive.

The government:  Not to know it is to love it.

Update:  In the past, I have had a field day laughing at left-of-center groups who scream privacy rights at every occasion but support all the intrusion above.  Most recently, I have taken on NOW and the ACLU over this issue.