80 Years After Pearl Harbor Attack, Hero Laid To Rest At Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery

80 Years After Pearl Harbor Attack, Hero Laid To Rest At Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery

On Friday May 28, 2021, U.S. Navy Signalman Third Class Austin Henry Hesler entered his final resting place at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery 80 years after his death during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Arizona Patriot Guard escorted Mr. Hesler’s hearse to the cemetery. The U.S. Navy Funeral Honors team escorted Mr. Hesler’s U.S. flag draped casket to the committal shelter with about 30 attendees, mostly family, following closely behind.

During the service, a seven-person team from the U.S. Air Force conducted the rifle volley before a bugler played “Taps.” The firing of three volleys over the grave of a fallen warrior has its origin in the old custom of halting the fighting to remove the dead from the battlefield. The U.S. Navy Funeral Honors team conducted the flag folding and presentation, presenting the flag to Mr. Hesler’s niece, Kathy Ayala.

“We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to the family of Austin Hesler,” said Cemetery Administrator Joe Larson to Mr. Hesler’s family and those in attendance. “It’s an honor to have him interred here at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery.”

Larson noted that Mr. Hesler is the first WWII service member that was killed in action to be buried at the SAVMC.

Mr. Hesler was only 21 years old when he was killed. After enlisting into the U.S. Navy on August 8, 1939 in Kansas City, Missouri, Mr. Hesler reported for duty aboard the USS Oklahoma that October.

Just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941 the USS Oklahoma was attacked by Japanese forces killing 429 crewmen aboard, including Mr. Hesler. The ship would later be recovered in 1944, however the bodies could not be identified and were commingled and buried in several mass graves at the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu and marked as “Unknown.”

In 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) began reexamining the unidentified remains using advanced DNA testing. On February 24, 2021, DPAA confirmed that Mr. Hesler’s remains were identified which led to the notification of his loved ones before finally ending with a service fit for a hero.

Court Of Appeals Ruling Could Save Arizonans Time And Money In Settling Lawsuits

Court Of Appeals Ruling Could Save Arizonans Time And Money In Settling Lawsuits

By Terri Jo Neff |

The Arizona Court of Appeals issued a unanimous opinion earlier this month on a subject with no prior case law in the state, and the decision could save time and money for Arizonans involved in civil litigation, according to court records.

In 2018, Thomas H. Major II filed a lawsuit in Pima County Superior Court against Set for Set Fitness LLC and company owner Samuel J. Coleman. The nature of the dispute is not addressed in the appellate opinion, only that the parties ran into a problem when they tried to settle the case in 2019.

Judge Cynthia Kuhn refused to accept the terms of the stipulated settlement which called for the lawsuit to be dismissed with prejudice and for the court to retain jurisdiction in the event Coleman defaulted on payment. A dismissal with prejudice typically means all aspects of a case have been adjudicated and no further action is contemplated.

But a provision of the settlement would allow Major to simply file a stipulated judgment with the court if there was a default, and Kuhn would be required to sign it.

The stipulation ensured Major would not have to expend more time nor money to file a new lawsuit simply to enforce the terms of the settlement. However, Kuhn refused to dismiss the case with such a stipulation, ruling the parties’ requested relief “is not consistent with the Rules of Civil Procedure.”

The court of appeals got involved in the case for the first time in February 2020 by issuing an order to Kuhn that Major’s lawsuit should be dismissed without any language about retaining jurisdiction. Once that dismissal was done in June 2020, a three-judge appellate panel then took up the issue of retaining jurisdiction.

“The issue presented here centers on whether a superior court has the authority to issue an order retaining jurisdiction for the purposes of enforcement—allowing the parties to come back to it without having to file a new lawsuit.” Presiding Judge Karl Eppich of the Arizona Court of Appeals noted in the May 5 opinion. “No Arizona case has clearly decided this issue, and we are unaware of a statute or Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure expressly allowing or forbidding the superior court to retain jurisdiction in this circumstance.”

Eppich further noted that without prior case law in Arizona, the panel looked to several other states with similar civil court procedures and case law. “We find the cases allowing a trial court to retain jurisdiction persuasive and conclude their reasoning is consistent with Arizona law,” he wrote.

The appellate panel also reviewed a 1994 U.S. Supreme Court opinion (Kokkonen v Guardian Life Ins.) which allows federal judges to exercise ancillary jurisdiction to enforce the terms of a settlement agreement following a dismissal with prejudice, if the obligation to comply with the settlement was part of the order of dismissal.

“Although Kokkonen does not address a state trial court’s jurisdiction, and is therefore not binding precedent on this court, we find it persuasive as to how to approach this issue,” Eppich wrote.

The result of the research led the court of appeals to conclude there can be compelling circumstances for allowing trial courts the authority to retain ancillary jurisdiction.

“Permitting that authority when the parties have stipulated to it encourages settlement by providing parties certainty about the terms of an agreement and a mechanism to easily enforce performance of the agreement,” Eppich wrote. “Furthermore, this practice promotes judicial efficiency by enabling a trial court to clear the case from its docket until the time arises, if ever, to enforce the terms of the agreement.”

As a result, the case has been remanded back to Kuhn “to afford the trial court the opportunity to determine whether it should, in its discretion, accept the parties’ stipulation to retain jurisdiction to enforce the Settlement Agreement,” the opinion states.

Sinema Among Senators Who Didn’t Vote On The January 6 Commission

Sinema Among Senators Who Didn’t Vote On The January 6 Commission

Arizona’s Sen. Kyrsten Sinema was one of eleven senators that did not cast a vote on a proposal to investigate the January 6, Capitol Hill protest. The proposal failed, needing 60 votes to pass.

Sinema was joined by fellow democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.

Progressives are furious with the moderate Sinema over her failure to cast a vote for what opponents describe as a “witch hunt.”

Sinema had previously urged her colleagues to support the proposal. She and Sen. Joe Manchin issued a joint statement in support of the commission:

“The events of January 6th were horrific,” the statement read. “We could never have imagined an attack on Congress and our Capitol at the hands of our own citizens. In the hours and days following the attack, Republican and Democratic members of Congress condemned the violence and vowed to hold those responsible accountable so our Democracy will never experience an attack like this again.”

The senators who didn’t vote on the bill include:

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri
Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana
Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina
Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington
Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota
Republican Sen. James Risch of Idaho
Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Sinema offered no insight into her decision to skip the vote. The commission was sold as “bipartisan,” but few believed it would be little more than a third impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump.

Arizona’s junior senator, Mark Kelly, voted in favor of the commission.

Defunding the Police Would Be a Disaster for the City of Phoenix

Defunding the Police Would Be a Disaster for the City of Phoenix

By the Free Enterprise Club |

Be careful what you wish for. Maybe it’s time for someone to tell that to Mayor Gallego and several other members of the Phoenix City Council.

In case you missed it, last week the council approved a civilian “oversight” office of the police in a 5-4 vote. The Office of Accountability and Transparency, which Mayor Gallego referred to as a “national best practice,” will cost taxpayers nearly $4 million.

In reality, this new office has nothing to do with “accountability” or “transparency.” If it did, then Mayor Gallego and other members of the far left would be honest that this office is nothing more than a politicized endeavor designed to undermine the police. And ultimately, they want to use it to help build momentum toward what the far left really wants: imposing progressive policies in the police department and defunding the police.

But maybe Mayor Gallego ought to check her definition of “national best practice.” Because around the country, efforts to defund the police haven’t exactly gone so well.

Cities at the forefront of the “defund the police” movement, have seen dramatic increases in crime rates and mass departures of police officers. Even CNN can’t help but acknowledge it!

Take Seattle for example. You may remember this major American city being referred to as CHAZ or CHOP during the Black Lives Matter riots last summer. Under pressure to cut police spending, the Seattle City Council redistributed nearly 20% of its police budget this past November. And what was the result? A dramatic increase in homicides and shootings so far in 2021. And this comes after a similar increase in 2020!

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Ducey Returns To Town, Vetoes 22 Bills Over Budget Stalemate

Ducey Returns To Town, Vetoes 22 Bills Over Budget Stalemate

By B. Hamilton |

In what has being characterized by some lawmakers as a “tantrum,” Governor Doug Ducey announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that he has vetoed 22 bills and that he will not sign any other legislation until a budget is passed. In a series of tweets, Governor Ducey characterized the vetoed bills as containing “good policy,” but that he was unhappy that the legislature failed to pass a budget before temporarily recessing for the Memorial Day weekend.

The decision to veto nearly two dozen bills without warning shocked many at the capitol, especially since the Governor was out of town all week at the Republican Governor’s Association meeting in Tennessee.

“It’s unfortunate the governor had to veto 22 bills today including one very important bill dealing with the prohibition of critical race theory indoctrination in government,” Speaker Pro Tempore Travis Grantham told AZ Free News. “This is a direct result of a select few in both the House and Senate, who refuse to do what’s best for the citizens of Arizona and pass a fiscally sound conservative budget without wasteful spending and pork. It’s time to get to work and stay there until we put special interests aside, reduce burdensome taxes on our citizens, and vote for a responsible Republican budget.”

“The Governor’s decision to veto crucial election integrity legislation, as well as, his veto of a bill that would’ve banned taxpayer money from being used to teach the racist, bigoted Critical Race Theory (CRT) ideology is shocking and disappointing for the millions of Arizonans who support these measures,” said Rep. Jake Hoffman.

“The decision to employ strong arm tactics by vetoing over 20 Republican bills, presumably driven by some of his staff and advisors, reflects a fundamental miscalculation regarding the status and progress of the budget negotiations.” Hoffman concluded, “It is deeply concerning that they did not foresee how detrimental indiscriminately vetoing nearly two dozen bills would be on reaching consensus on the budget.”

Capitol insiders told AZ Free News that Governor Ducey has been absent throughout most of the budget negotiations, and most lawmakers have not heard from him or staff about the budget all session.  “Not being in town during these final stages of budget negotiations was a real disappointment. If he cares so much, why hasn’t he been here.” said one lawmaker who wished to speak off the record.

The bills vetoed by Governor Ducey today include:

SB1022 unborn child; statutory language

SB1030 guilty except insane; court jurisdiction

SB1074 governance; audits; training

SB1119 attorney general; federal executive orders

SB1121 marijuana; security

SB1127 vehicle speed limits

SB1135 taxes; 529 contributions; ABLE contributions

SB1176 nutrition assistance; benefit match

SB1215 liquor; sales; delivery; identification information

SB1408 medical marijuana; research; mental health

SB1514 emergency shelter beds; seniors

SB1526 prisoners; training; individual certificates

SB1635 reviser’s technical corrections; 2021

SB1716 Arizona state hospital; admission; governance

HB2296 restricted license; DUI; suspension

HB2303 marijuana; laboratories; proficiency testing

HB2414 marijuana; inspections; licensing; financial ownership

HB2554 party representative; resident; violation

HB2674 sex offender registration; termination

HB2792 early ballots; request required

The governor stated in his formal veto letter that the proposed budget agreement “makes responsible and significant investments in K-12 education, higher education, infrastructure and local communities, all while delivering historic tax relief to working families and small businesses.”

Another Capitol insider told AZ Free News, “I don’t think Governor Ducey realizes that his veto rampage likely created more problems than it solved. He wiped out a lot of hard work and expects lawmakers to come back because he now is finally interested in showing up to work after being AWOL all session? A lot of people down here won’t put up with this.”

Negotiations on the budget are expected to resume next week. The Legislature has until June 30th to pass a budget plan before the end of the fiscal year and avoid a government shutdown.