Cate’s Column #11

Busted…?

A long, long time ago in a yard far, far away…

My summer job was watering desert plants and looking after my snowbird neighbors’ homes while they were off enjoying cooler climes. My work vehicle was a bicycle, the basket stuffed with water bottles and house keys. My uniform was portable shade — a wide-brimmed straw hat, long sleeved white shirt and slacks. It didn’t matter to me how I looked; nobody was around to point and laugh.

One day I was dragging a hose in my silent world and heard an extremely loud BONNNNK! I dropped my hose and looked up to see a sheriff’s car. A hand appeared in the window and waved me over.

I trudged through the sand, wondering if someone needed directions.

“Sheriff, you scared me! Gee whiz, I didn’t realize anyone was watching me. I wasn’t picking my nose or anything, was I?”

“What’re you doing here?”

“Watering. I … .”

“No.” He interrupted. “What is your function here?”

“W-watering. I take care of some of my neighbors’ yards while they’re away. Why?”

“We’ve gotten some complaints about somebody going around turning off water.”

“Oh. Well, I turn ON water, so… .” I turned to go.

“What’s your name.”

“Cate Mueller.” What the heck?

“Date of birth. Got any ID, Cate Mueller?”

“ID? No. Why?”

“How do I know you’re who you say you are? You could be here to rob the place.”

“Riding a bicycle?”

The deputy radioed my information to central dispatch and had them check for wants and warrants on me. I waited patiently while the records check came back negative.

The deputy looked me up and down and said, “What’s your husband do?”

Ugh! Dang it, I forgot to reinstall my wedding ring after I slathered on sunscreen and now this guy was hitting on me. I prepared to give him a polite turn-down.

“I’m … not … .”

“Married?” He interrupted me again.

‘Interested!’ I was going to say, ‘I’m not interested’!

“Got a girlfriend?” he smirked.

“Sure.” My turn to smirk.

I let the silence hang for a while. “Look, I have a signed contract with the homeowner. I can go get it if you want.”

“Oh. Well, since you have a signed contract you just go right ahead. Go about your business.” The deputy waved me away and drove slowly off into the sunrise.

Days like that made me appreciate living in near-total isolation.

# # #

Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website,click here.

18 comments

  1. If you are doing nothing wrong, you don’t have to give a cop any ID. But most people just do it and that’s how some cops get a Jeff Gilbert complex!

  2. King Clapperton

    WOW, TWO HABOOBS IN THE PHOENIX AREA. WHAT A DISASTER FOR THE PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE HEALTH PROBLEMS. ACCORDING TO A RECENT NEWS ARTICLE, MARICOPA COUNTY IS EXPECTING AN ADDITIONAL 3,600 CASES OF VALLEY FEVER TO BE REPORTED IN JULY AND AUGUST. HERE IN LA PAZ COUNTY, WE DO HAVE OUR HIGH MONSOON WINDS EVERY YEAR, BRINGING DUST AND MUD RAINS, BUT WE HAVE A MUCH GREATER PROBLEM THAN METEORLOGICAL DISTURBANCES. WE, UNLIKE MARICOPA COUNTY, HAVE OUR VERY OWN DANGEROUS AND FISCALLY UNHEALTHY BOARD OF HABOOBS. IT SEEMS THAT WHENEVER THEY GET TOGETHER, THEY CREATE DISASTER FOR THE TAXPAYERS OF LA PAZ COUNTY. WITH THE THREAT OF A SANDSTORM OR HIGH WINDS, MOST OF US MAKE SURE OUR VEHICLE WINDOWS ARE ROLLED UP, PATIO CHAIRS AND UMBRELLAS ARE SECURED, TRASH CANS AND PETS ARE BROUGHT IN, ETC. WE DO OUR BEST TO PROTECT OURSELVES AND OUR PROPERTY FROM THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF THE STORM. EVEN THOUGH WE MAY STILL HAVE TO CLEAN UP AND MAKE REPAIRS, USUALLY THE DAMAGE WILL BE MINIMAL, IF WE MAKE OURSELVES READY. AS VALLEY FEVER, STIRRED UP BY A WIND STORM, IS DEVASTATING TO THE HUMAN BODY, SO ARE THE IRRESPONSIBLE AND EXPENSIVE DECISIONS STIRRED UP BY THE LA PAZ COUNTY BOARD OF HABOOBS. IN ORDER FOR US TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR ANOTHER ONSLAUGHT BY THIS DAMAGING HUMAN STORM, WE MUST ALL PLAN TO ATTEND THE UPCOMING PROPERTY TAX MEETING, LAST KNOWN TO BE SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 1, 2011, AT 1:30 IN THE AFTERNOON, AT THE BOARD ROOM IN PARKER. LIKE ANY STORM, WE CANNOT STOP IT NOR TURN IT AWAY, BUT WE CAN LESSEN ITS EFFECTS BY BEING PREPARED. IN PREPARATION FOR THE PROPOSED TAX HIKE, EVERYONE THAT POSSIBLY CAN NEEDS TO ATTEND THE MEETING. I SUGGEST THAT PEOPLE TAKE THE TIME TO WRITE A 3 MINUTE LETTER TO PRESENT AT “CALL TO THE PUBLIC”, IF WE ARE ALLOWED TO SPEAK AT ALL. AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE, THIS TAX HIKE HAS PROBABLY ALREADY BEEN DECIDED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, AND THAT THIS MEETING IS JUST A FORMALITY. IN ANY CASE, WE ALL NEED TO BE THERE, WE ALL NEED TO “BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES”, BECAUSE THE HABOOBS ARE COMING AGAIN.

    KING CLAPPERTON
    LA PAZ COUNTY TAX PAYER…PAYER…PAYER
    JULY 21, 2011

  3. Board of Haboobs, good one!

    This Board is being pulled around by the nose by Dan Field. And if you want to see what La Paz County is going to look like soon, look at Quartzsite. A Royal Mess!!!

    King, are you going to Fire them again?

    I’m wondering if I should talk first this time and see if John Drum illegally shuts down the meeting before everyone else gets to talk.

    August 1st @ 1:30 PM.

    Bring your friends and your First Amendment Guns to Town!!!

  4. Kathie Richardson

    So pleased to see you have a column. Thanks for sharing your talent!

  5. I am a retired LE out of Texas. I have been in La Paz County almost 7years. I know most of the players involved here. I have to say I am really sickened by what is being said. Mr. Clapperton, I will follow what you have said and do my research. Mostly on what you are accusing what is going on here. Most people would know if the Federal Gov. is cutting money and next comes the States.

    Wait a question, who does the state cut? Ooooohhhh I know the County. King Yakama is a problem dealt to this board by the previous board. They have been working on it. I think they have done a pretty good job.

    King you like to talk and I will write it so you understand. WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE TO SOLVE THE YAKAMA DEAL IF YOU WERE ONE OF THE SUPERVISORS IN TODAY’S TIME?

    Remember you fired the board for not keeping the public informed right after the public was informed what was going on with Yakama? Then you walked out and left.

    I do remember when this very same board you fired voted to assist one of your family members to be a department head. Pretty good thing for your family, I would think. But who knows with you sir.

    King one thing that you can sleep good at night. At least you have Roth’s support.

    I will do my research, like you requested and respond to telling us to look into things.

    Mr. Clapperton HI-BOOB

  6. There are good cops, and there are bad cops. Mr. Clapperton has my support because I believe he took his Oath seriously.

    This Board of Supervisors has been horrific, just like the one before it.

  7. Mr. Clapperton

    Well I did what you asked people to do. I looked into some of the things you are spewing to the people who look at this site. First off, the vote coming up by the board is not to raise property taxes. They are talking about a sales tax increase. NOT PROPERTY TAX. Why do you insist on your misrepresentations of what is going on with the board. I mean, didn’t they help your daughter financially? Myself, as a father I would be grateful if someone bettered my daughter’s financial status and stability. This would take front seat in my life. But that is just me not you. I personally would pay a 2 or 3-cent sales tax just to get this Willette guy out of this county.
    Second I looked into the Ranger Irwin salary situation. Once again this is a MISRENTATION by you. This guy makes less than $50,000.00 a year. He has a reserve ranger who works with him, and he is paid through a separate account through the people or organizations who rent out the park for functions. He also has a grant that has assisted him with day-to-day type operations. I looked into why he left. Well I read his complaint on http://www.recallsherifflowery.com . I heard he was reassigned because of possible legal action to the county for a hostile work environment. According to the complaint it looked pretty by for the guy. I have yet heard a response from the sheriff department in response to the allegations brought forth by Irwin. The former under sheriff Paterson was a key component to his reassignment. How ironic he was later terminated by the sheriff’s department. Now Patterson (the same guy who arrested that lady for expressing her civil rights) is working for Quartzsite PD. For Quartzsite’s sake I hope this guy never gets any higher than a patrol officer.
    Mr. Clapperton, I have also heard from several people from the sheriff department (a while ago). They told me that you left because of Paterson. You left angry towards the county. Then for whatever reason you wanted to come back. Why would the board want an angry person back? What is up with that? Enjoy your retirement.
    I have spoken with Supervisor Drum on several occasions. I do not know the man but he seems to be genuine (unlike the things you have said). He appears to be out for the best interest for the citizens of this county. He represents my area and I am very pleased by the work he has done.
    I am also retired LE, but I do have to supplement my retirement. I work as a handy man (when I feel like it and usually in the winter months). I have worked in Salome and Brenda on multiple occasions. I have heard nothing put positive in regards to the work Supervisor Irwin has put in. In fact the persons I was working for said they feel more represented than they ever have.
    Mr. Clapperton I suggest you do your research before you rant. You and others are like the US President on the debt crisis. You spew BS on what you want but cannot lay down the groundwork needed for a Plan.
    Mr. Roth, I will not deal with you in a mono a monotype of blog. Reason being, you are simple unreasonable. You and I could be in a room that is either light brown or tan. I would say the room is light brown. You would say the room is tan. If I did not agree with, you the room is tan. I would be a communist, socialistic, church burning, baby killing fool.
    I do not know either of you guys personally, and I am grateful for that. Just a little research goes a lot farther than perception. GOOD DAY.

  8. Shotzie,
    You won’t talk to me one on one because you can’t have an honest intellectual discussion. That’s why you are backing the Establishment!

  9. Once again Mr. Roth,

    Mr. Roth, I will not deal with you in a mono a monotype of blog. Reason being, you are simple unreasonable. You and I could be in a room that is either light brown or tan. I would say the room is light brown. You would say the room is tan. If I did not agree with, you the room is tan. I would be a communist, socialistic, church burning, baby killing fool.

  10. You speak with anger and in a condescending way. Not with logic, research and fact.

  11. Try me! Have you listened to yourself? LOL

    And by the way, you’ve already broken your own rules, so what have you got to lose?

  12. Cate,
    I think we’ve found the cop that you’ve written about here

  13. Too funny, Mike! Nah — this guy was not computer-literate.

    Speaking of funny — please, folks, this was meant to be a funny area, not mud slinging.

    Please join me in the laughs and make column-appropriate comments.

    Thanks for reading! 🙂

  14. OK Cate, how’s this?

    How many cops does it take to screw in a light bulb? Just one, but he is never around when you need him.

  15. Oooh! Cop humor, great!

    Heck, now I can’t think of a good cop joke. Or even a bad cop joke.

  16. Cate, do you know how many cop jokes there are? Just one, the rest are true!

  17. King Clapperton

    HERE IS A COPY OF A RECENTLY PUBLISHED “LETTER TO THE EDITOR” FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT.

    “SINCE I PUBLICLY “FIRED” THE LA PAZ COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS ON FEBRUARY 7TH, 2011, I HAVEN’T RETURNED TO THE BI-MONTHLY WASTE OF TIME THAT I REFER TO AS A “BORED” MEETING. I HAVE THOUGH, STAYED UP WITH MOST TOPICS OF INTEREST THROUGH THE LOCAL “PARKER PIONEER” NEWSPAPER, AS WELL AS THE “PARKER LIVE” WEBSITE ARTICLES AND BLOGS.

    SINCE THIS “BORED” TOOK OFFICE, THE YAKIMA COMPANY HAS MADE NUMEROUS GENEROUS PROPOSALS TO BRING THIS RIDICULOUS LAWSUIT TO AN EQUITABLE END FOR LA PAZ COUNTY TAXPAYERS. THESE WERE PROPOSALS THAT WOULD HAVE SHAVED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OFF OF THIS NOW $14,000,000 JUDGEMENT AGAINST US.

    BUT NO, NOT THIS “BORED”! THEY WOULDN’T HEAR OF IT. INSTEAD, THEY KEPT STRINGING YAKIMA ALONG, DRAGGING THEM AND LA PAZ COUNTY TAXPAYERS THROUGH MULTIPLE COURT HEARINGS AND ENDLESS MEETINGS, ALL IN A FUTILE EFFORT TO SEARCH FOR A LOOPHOLE TO REVERSE THE JUDGEMENT. REMEMBER FOLKS, THIS WAS A JUDGEMENT SET BY A LA PAZ COUNTY JURY. WHY? BECAUSE LA PAZ COUNTY WAS IN THE WRONG TO BEGIN WITH! I WON’T BOTHER TO DIG UP THAT STUPID MESS RIGHT NOW.

    IN THIS WEEK’S “PARKER PIONEER”, THERE IS AN ARTICLE WHICH BEGINS ON THE FRONT PAGE AND CONTINUES ON PAGE 7. THAT ARTICLE PROVIDES A BRIEF SUMMARY ON THE ENTIRE CASE. READ IT IF YOU CAN. YOU WILL SEE THE FINANCIAL DISASTER THAT WE, OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN ARE FACED WITH.

    THE THREE ELECTED LA PAZ COUNTY SUPERVISORS EACH EARN APPROXIMATELY $64,000 A YEAR, PLUS EXPENSES AND VEHICLES. THEIR APPOINTED COUNTY “MANAGER” EARNS A WHOPPING $104,000 A YEAR, PLUS PERKS. THAT BRINGS UP A COMBINED SALARY TOTAL OF APPROXIMATELY $296,000 A YEAR, THAT’S ALMOST A THIRD OF A MILLION DOLLARS, PAID FOR BY OUR COUNTY TAX DOLLARS!

    ARE YOU AWARE THAT APPROXIMATELY $100,000 A YEAR IS SPENT FINANCING TWO COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY “RANGERS” FOR THE LA PAZ COUNTY PARK SYSTEM? THAT IS TWO ARIZONA STATE CERTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS (ONE FULL TIME AND ONE PART TIME ), THAT ARE UNDER THE DIRECT SUPERVISION AND WILL OF OUR COUNTY “MANAGER”.

    SINCE THE BEGINNING OF LA PAZ COUNTY IN 1983, THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE HAS HAD JURISDICTION IN AND OVER OUR PARK SYSTEM, AND HAS HANDLED ALL CALLS FOR SERVICE SUCCESSFULLY SINCE THEN. SINCE THIS “BORED” HAS TAKEN OFFICE, THEY HAVE DECIDED THAT YOUR SHERIFF’S OFFICE ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH TO HANDLE THE JOB ANY MORE, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE LAST SHERIFF WAS ELECTED. TO ME, IT SMACKS OF A PERSONAL VENDETTA AGAINST THE CURRENT SHERIFF, AT OUR EXPENSE. WHAT IS ESPECIALLY INTERESTING IS THAT, AS MOST OF US ALREADY KNOW, OR SHOULD KNOW, THE PRIMARY “RANGER” IS THE HUSBAND OF A “BORED” MEMBER, WHO IS ONE OF THREE SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY “MANAGER“.

    IN ADDITION, IF YOU HAVE A SCANNER, YOU WILL HEAR AN OCCASSIONAL CALL FOR SERVICE AT A LA PAZ COUNTY PARK. ALMOST EVERY TIME, THE RESPONDING OFFICER IS, YOU GUESSED IT, A SHERIFF’S DEPUTY, NOT A PARK “RANGER”.

    HECK, SPEAKING OF WASTED TAX DOLLARS AND SPECIAL INTERESTS, LET’S KEEP GOING. FOR EXAMPLE, CONSIDER THE RE-OPENED ½ MILE ROADWAY UPRIVER, SOUTH OF BUCKSKIN STATE PARK. AS I REMEMBER, THE PROPOSED AND APPROVED BUDGET FOR THAT WORTHLESS EXPENDITURE WAS APPROXIMATELY $20,000. HAS ANYONE TAKEN AN OBJECTIVE LOOK AT THE FINISHED SURFACE OF THAT SECTION OF COUNTY ROAD, INCLUDING THE GUAGE AND LENGTH OF THE CHAIN LINK FENCE, CONSIDERED THE ACTUAL COST? I HAVE NOT PERSONALLY VIEWED THE FINAL BILL, BUT, HAVING EXPERIENCE WITH CHAIN LINK FENCING, I WOULD SAY THAT $20,000 WAS BURNED UP IN THE FENCE FABRIC ALONE, NOT INCLUDING THE MASSIVE FENCE POLES DRILLED INTO THE SOLID ROCK AND FILLED WITH CONCRETE, THE ASSOCIATED HARDWARE AND OF COURSE, LABOR HOURS. AS WELL, THE FENCE IS ONLY PARTIALLY EFFECTIVE AT STOPPING ROCKS FROM HITTING THE ROADWAY. TAKE A LOOK FOR YOURSELF. COULD THIS WASTE OF MONEY BE ANOTHER SPECIAL INTEREST FOR A DISTRICT SUPERVISOR?

    HERE’S ANOTHER ONE. THE BOAT RAMP SCHEME IN CIBOLA. YES, THAT’S RIGHT. AGAIN, FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T AWARE, A BOAT RAMP HAS BEEN OR IS BEING BUILT BY PRIVATE LAND OWNERS IN CIBOLA, WHO WILL TURN IT OVER TO THE COUNTY WHEN IT’S FINISHED. ANOTHER BOAT RAMP IN CIBOLA, NEAR AN ALREADY ESTABLISHED RAMP? COULD IT BE ANOTHER SPECIAL INTEREST FOR A DISTRICT SUPERVISOR?

    FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT CANNOT ATTEND A SCHEDULED “BORED” MEETING AT 10:00 AM ON A MONDAY MORNING, KNOW THAT IT IS BY DESIGN THAT YOU CANNOT ATTEND. IF THE “BORED” ROOM WERE FILLED TO CAPACITY EACH MEETING, STUPID DECISIONS LIKE THE ABOVE MENTIONED YAKIMA CASE WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. HOLDING MEETINGS AT SUCH A TIME SERVES ONLY TO PREVENT THE WORKING CLASS (WHOEVER’S LEFT) FROM HAVING A VOICE IN COUNTY BUSINESS, PERIOD!

    SO. WITH ALL OF THIS DEBT THAT WE ARE FACING, WHAT DECISION HAS THE COUNTY “MANAGER” RECOMMENDED? PUT 13 COUNTY EMPLOYEES OUT OF WORK! HE IS QUOTED ON PARKER LIVE, IN PART, VER BATIM, AS FOLLOWS: “ALTHOUGH THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM CREATED BY THE BOARD, THE BURDEN NOW FALLS ON {THEIR} SHOULDERS”.

    CAN YOU SEE THE DECEPTION IN THIS STATEMENT?

    HERE’S AN ANALOGY: YOU AND I ARE STANDING TOGETHER NEAR A HAYSTACK. YOU LIGHT IT ON FIRE AND WALK AWAY. I STAND THERE AND MAKE LITTLE EFFORT TO PUT OUT THE FIRE. WHO IS TO BLAME? ANSWER: YOU FOR STARTING THE FIRE AND ME FOR DOING BASICALLY NOTHING TO PUT IT OUT. BOTH OF US ARE EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE.

    HERE’S A THOUGHT, RATHER THAN DESTROYING THE FAMILIES OF 13 COUNTY EMPLOYEES, HOW ABOUT TERMINATING THE RIDICULOUS WASTE OF $100,000 A YEAR IN THE FORM OF THE COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY PARK “RANGER” POSITIONS AND LET OUR SHERIFF’S OFFICE DO THEIR JOB LIKE THEY HAVE DONE SINCE 1983.

    ALL OF THIS INFORMATION AND MORE IS AVAILABLE TO ANYONE FOR A SMALL FEE BY GOING TO THE LA PAZ COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISOR’S OFFICE DURING WORKING HOURS AND REQUESTING A COPY OF SUCH. THIS INCLUDES CD’S OF PUBLIC MEETINGS.

    PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. ALL OF US, NOT JUST A FEW, NEED TO BECOME AND STAY INVOLVED.

    I WOULD ASK THAT IF ANYONE CAN CLARIFY OR CORRECT ANY OF THE ABOVE, PLEASE DO SO. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT CITIZENS OF OUR COUNTY NOT ONLY KNOW THE FACTS, BUT ARE AWARE OF THE TREMENDOUS DAILY WASTE OF OUR PRECIOUS TAX DOLLARS.

    THANK YOU.

    KING E. CLAPPERTON
    LA PAZ COUNTY TAXPAYER-PAYER PAYER-PAYER-PAYER ”

    THESE LETTERS ARE DRAFTED WITH THE SOLE INTENTION OF INSPIRING CITIZENS OF THE NEED TO CLOSELY MONITOR THOSE WHO HOLD THE PURSE STRINGS OF OUR PRECIOUS TAX DOLLARS. I SEE IT WORKS! THANK YOU!

    OH, BY THE WAY, LET ME QUOTE LAST WEEK’S “PARKER PIONEER” AD, IN PART, JUST FOR CLARIFICATION: “…..LA PAZ COUNTY IS NOTIFYING ITS PROPERTY TAX PAYERS OF LA PAZ COUNTY’S INTENTION TO RAISE IT’S PRIMARY PROPERTY TAXES OVER LAST YEAR’S LEVEL…..”. THE HEARING IS AUGUST 1, 2011 AT 1:30 PM, IN THE BOARD ROOM.

    THANKS AGAIN!

  18. You think you’ve got it bad King, you can’t even carry your guns in town in Quartzsite!
    Here’s the latest tyranny in AZ!! Guns being taken because government whores are afraid of people like YOU!
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=326601

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