Judges Need to Follow State Rules

While your article, ‘What’s Next for Keith Barth” did an enviable job of covering most of the facts, there are significant parts of the formal state judicial complaint that I feel need further discussion. 

While the underlying judicial political violations might appear trite to the untutored eye, this is anything but the case. The commission’s complaint emphasizes six different violations of our state’s Code of Judicial Conduct by Mr. (formerly the Honorable) Keith Barth, four of which specifically dealt with political activity violations by a sitting judge. The additional two violations (Rule #1.2 and Rule #2.16A), are, in my opinion, the considerably more egregious and questionable ‘activities’ of an elected judge. 

RULE 1.2. Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary: A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety. 

RULE 2.16. Cooperation with Disciplinary Authorities: (A) A judge shall cooperate and be candid and honest with judicial and lawyer disciplinary agencies. 

The entire unseemly Sonoita Court matter could have been completely avoided if the Code of Judicial Conduct (by mandate, available to all AZ judges) had been reviewed by Mr. Barth. Judges and their court office staff ignore the code at their own peril. As a twenty year JP, having retired in 2006, I found myself ‘crossways’ with the code on several occasions – and learned that consulting the code is/was absolutely non-optional. 

The bottom line of my communication is to emphasize that I firmly believe that everyone needs to ‘recalibrate their ethical compass’ from time to time. In this case, it is obviously mandated by state edict. There are higher moral/ethical expectations of all public officials, especially those associated with the Arizona Judiciary. 

T.B. (Brock) Fuller 

Bernalillo, NM 

Living With Death

The column on death in the recent PRT sparked my wanting to share my personal experiences with dying and living-in with people in their final stages of leaving their physical bodies. 

Powerful early-life experiences led me to obtain a degree in holistic medicine, and in 1980 I opened the 

Colorado Health Clinic. My practice led me to live in with individuals, one at a time, people who were wanting to heal from disease and illness and those who were dying of cancer, AIDS, and other maladies. 

I discovered that while participating in the healing of others I am healing myself. And that the healing process is ongoing, all of our life and we have to BE IN that process. 

Our individual lives are as unique as they are the same. No disease has the same cause. No symptoms are identical. There are many roads to health. It is for us, the individual, to discover the way on our own with the help, guidance and commitment of our chosen helpers. 

What I have experienced, and added to my repertoire, is that the outer reflects the inner of us and that in order to maintain a balance to where they move as one, we must be aware of the dance. Lightness, humor, enjoyment of our work, pleasure from our food and acceptance of ourselves thus others are all medicine in the true sense. 

David Krest 


Planning & Development

As Mayor Ike once said so concisely, “this town runs on volunteers.” Volunteer effort fuels so many of the non-profits in Patagonia, and the several important Town Committees run on volunteer energy as well. 

One committee that fulfills an important role is the Planning and Development Committee. Our purview: to advise the Town on “all town planning and development matters,” as per Chapter 14 of the Town Code. Time permitting, we might develop recommendations on a host of town improvement or development issues. But what always comes to us by Town statute – any application for a Use Permit. Our system of approving projects and businesses provides that for any use other than single family housing, the project comes first to P and D for review, then finally receives a Town Council decision, based in part on our recommendations. 

For projects of significant scale or impact, the Open Hearings are generally well attended. After all, these are opportunities to voice your opinion on the build-out and direction of the Town! This very spring, projects involving the potential build-out of over 20 acres of land within town limits are in play, obviously issues that involve high stakes for all parties concerned. 

And the Town Plan (available on the Town website) articulates the vision for our community and is up for review this year. Please become informed and involved. 

Let me close this brief intro to the P and D Committee with a call – we often need new members to replace retiring ones. You must be an “elector,” a resident voter of the town for two or more years to be eligible. We’d love to hear from you! Contact Town Hall, or me at 520-604-2829. 

David H. Budd, Chair, Planning and Development Committee 


Errors and Omissions

This rough legged hawk was sighted in Sonoita recently.
Photo by Axel Elfner 

In Vince Pinto’s column in the 2/19 issue of the PRT, a photo of an immature red tailed hawk was incorrectly identified as a rough legged hawk The photo to the right is the bird that Pinto sighted this past winter. 

In the recent Western Films Exhibit article, the movie “Devil’s Angels” was incorrectly called “Hell’s Angels.” Many thanks to Melissa Fortney who also wrote that her “mother, brother and sister were all extras in that movie.” 

Our apologies for these errors