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On Monday, September 21, Coolidge, Ariz. voted on a highly controversial issue: whether or not to limit the prayer before a city council meeting to only Christian prayer. The proposal was unanimously shot down.

When Councilman Rob Hudelson, a pastor for a local Baptist church, brought the topic forth on September 14, the topic was passed into a proposal by a 4 – 2 vote. What happened in one week that a topic, which was once popular, would be unanimously rejected?

Many argued that it was a direct violation of First Amendment rights. The violation in question: If regulating the prayer before a city council meeting is preventing the residents of Coolidge from exercising their freedom of religion? It is quite the opposite.

It is the city council members exercising their own freedom of religion. There is no portion of the First Amendment that speaks specifically towards citizens and that only citizens can exercise this right.

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By Scottsdale Councilmember Virginia Korte

PLEASE VOTE YES FOR SCOTTSDALE BONDS!
Since 1989, Scottsdale’s citizens have demonstrated great foresight, fiscal responsibility, and logical long-range planning having passed capital bond projects totaling over $700 million dollars.  Such purposeful investments resulted in the funding of what continues to make our city thrive and our citizens’ quality of life stellar: libraries, parks, senior centers, public safety, transportation needs, a Cactus League baseball stadium, cultural and visual amenities, and so much more.

The financial impact of the 2015 bond’s approval ($95.5 million) will vary from resident to resident; the average value of a home in Scottsdale is $371,000; thus, a successful bond election will cost each household $3.50 per month.  While the

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Who hasn’t woken up with the sniffles and debated whether or not it is worth taking the day off and losing pay, or going to work sick and being miserable? The latter option exposes everyone you come into contact that day with your germs but it might be your only choice if you can’t lose any portion of your paycheck.

As consumers, we can unanimously agree that we don’t want a sick person to be serving us, or have a sick child at day care because their parents can’t afford to miss a day of work. When walking into a store you don’t want to hear that the clerk helping you was throwing up that morning but was forced to come in. Giving sick days to each employee is beneficial for all of humankind.

Tempe might have the solution to this issue by making it mandatory that businesses give each one seven paid sick days each year. The City of Tempe is exploring a possible new ordinance that would require private companies to provide both part-time and full-time employees with sick leave.

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By Lee Templar
Director of Foundation Relations
The Goldwater Institute

California is poised to become the 25th state that adopts the Right To Try—a law that will help terminally ill patients try promising new medicines pending final approval from the Food and Drug Administration. But Governor Jerry Brown might veto the Right To Try. We need your help to persuade Governor Brown to do what’s best for terminally ill patients who should have the right to fight to save their own lives.

You can call Governor Brown’s office at (916) 445-2841. You can send him an email through this form: https://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php. You can also send him a message on Twitter at @JerryBrownGov and through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jerrybrown.

More than 1 million Americans die from diseases each year. They deserve a chance to try the same medicines that a lucky few already are safely using in clinical trials.

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Fiesta Mall in Mesa is about dead.  Los Arcos Mall in Scottsdale died years ago.  Metrocenter is trying to reinvent itself as so many other malls are doing across the country.  The changing retail landscape driven by increased online sales demands it.  Look at Biltmore Fashion Park which now seems more a tony food court than mall. scottsdalefashionsquaremall1

That brings us to Scottsdale Fashion Square.  Despite its pre-eminence it is not immune to the altering landscape.

That’s why its pending requests of the City of Scottsdale to allow greater heights and uses at the marquee mall are forward looking and smart.  They will allow potential hotels, residences and other uses to keep the people coming and dollars flowing.

Fashion Square is a golden goose for the city.  Sales tax revenue.  Cache.  Amenity.  Scottsdale leaders previous made bold decisions to help position the property for prosperity.  They need to do so again, even those with frequent aversions to allowing taller buildings for developers.

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Dear Friend ,

Forbes is now highlighting Governor Ducey’s forward-thinking plan to fund K-12 education without raising taxes. Read and share this column on how Arizona is leading the way with smart policy:

Back To School: Arizona Gov. Ducey's Smart Education Plan
Travis H. Brown
Forbes
9/14/2015

With a promising business environment and a governor who understands smart fiscal policy, Arizona is in a position to win big. This growth opportunity comes out of sound economic footing, thanks to Arizona’s decades-long knack for drawing overtaxed Americans to its friendlier climate. What matters most is that Arizona not grow complacent with its successes; the Grand Canyon State needs to capitalize on past wins as well as initiate new, pro-growth strategies. That’s why Governor Doug Ducey’s ideas for investing more in education are so encouraging – and why he should take this opportunity to do even more.

Let’s start with the recent past. Individual taxpayer filings with the Internal Revenue Service tell the story: between 1992 and 2013, Arizona gained $31.4 billion in net adjusted gross income (AGI) from other states. The three states that have lost the most net AGI to Arizona are three of the nation’s most oppressively taxing: California, Illinois, and New York. (Those three states gifted Arizona with the largest number of new residents, as well.)

Using data modeling to create taxpayer count projections for 2013 to 2016, we find Arizona in the winner’s circle. It’s in the top-five projected gainers, lagging only behind Florida, Texas, and North Carolina. Arizona’s projected gain in that period is $3.96 billion. For that same time period, the losses of the top-five projected losers are staggering – New York is on track to see about $12 billion in net AGI leave the state, while Illinois will lose about $6.28 billion (knocking out California for the inauspicious “honor” of being the second-biggest AGI loser in the nation). 

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Arizona Republicans Want To Replace John McCain With A True Conservative! It is Time For John McCain To Retire!

By Restore American Liberty

Conservative Kelli Ward is officially leading John McCain for the first time in the polls! In a recent poll from independent firm Gravis Marketing, Kelli Ward was the choice of 45% of registered Arizona Republican primary voters while John McCain only garnered 36%. Approximately one fifth of voters still remain undecided. This poll is a huge shift from the May numbers that showed Kelli Ward trailing John McCain by 13 points. Momentum is on the side of Kelli Ward!

It is still early in the race and John McCain will soon launch a massive attack campaign. The establishment does not want John McCain to lose! Lobbyists and big money donors are prepared to do anything to attack Kelli Ward. Will you help fight back? Please contribute $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000, or more, to support Kelli Ward with voter contact and advertising! With your help, Kelli Ward can defeat John McCain!

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By Bob and Kathy Littlefield

Dear Friends:

Residents of the Wheel Inn Ranch Trailer Park in South Scottsdale are being evicted from their homes and forced to relocate to other housing.   Many have lived in this park for decades and over the years have helped to create the City of Scottsdale we all love.  Most of them are now elderly, disabled, low income and, for the first time frightened of what their future holds for them.

The park’s new owner has told the residents they must be gone by the end of January to make way for his future development.  Unfortunately, most of the park’s mobile homes are too old and fragile to be moved, so owners will be forced to abandon their homes, even though many residents have sunk their life savings into buying them and adding extensions to them.  Even the homes that can be moved will be expensive to move, plus all external improvements (such as porches and carports) must be left behind.

Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield has worked with the City’s Community and Human Services staff to coordinate assistance from city, state and federal agencies. This includes the Veteran’s Administration, since some of these residents are veterans or spouses of veterans all the way back to World War II.  However, this assistance only scratches the surface of what is needed to insure our fellow residents are safely relocated into housing they can afford by the January deadline.

That is why we are organizing this fundraiser and asking for your help.  To insure all funds are properly accounted for and will be spent where they will do the most good, we have put together a committee of community leaders who will oversee the collection and disbursement of funds.  Everyone involved in this effort is a volunteer:  no one is getting paid, and all of the money collected will go to help the Wheel Inn Ranch residents.  The committee members are:  Former City Councilman Bob Littlefield, City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, co-chair of the Scottsdale Coalition, Nancy Cantor, South Scottsdale neighborhood activist and non-profit executive, Cindy Hill, and Tonolea neighborhood activist, Jim Heather.  Advisors to the committee are City Councilman Guy Phillips and Coronado neighborhood resident Martha Seaman, a Deacon with the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and President of the Valley Interfaith Project.

You can make a tax deductible contribution to help through "Arizona LEOS," an IRS-approved 501c3 charity which sponsors an Aging Safely program. If you donate online via PayPal please check "Add special instructions to the seller:" and write "Wheel Inn Ranch" in the box provided when you checkout.  To contribute by check, make it out to "Arizona LEOS" and mail it to Wheel Inn Ranch Fund, 8414 E. Vista Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85250. Please write "Wheel Inn Ranch" on the memo line and include your email address so we can save postage costs and email you a receipt.

The people at Wheel Inn Ranch are proud and independent folks who had secured a home and quiet lifestyle that met their needs and that they could afford.  Now that their park is being destroyed, they do not know what to do or even how to ask for help.

So we are asking for them.  Please help in assisting these Scottsdale citizens who, through no fault of their own, now stand in such urgent and desperate need.

Thank you so very much.

Bob & Kathy Littlefield

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By Solaris Liberatas

Arizona has an abundance of renewable energy, especially when it comes to solar, but has zero ambition when it comes to actually powering itself on renewables. What a waste of clean energy.

Renewable energy, such as solar, wind, and hydropower, are no longer seen as the alternatives to fossil fuels, they are now seen as competitors. So why are so many states, like Arizona, dragging their feet when it comes to using the resources the planet is ready to provide?

The United States Energy Information Administration reports that in 2014, only 10 percent of the energy consumed in the United States was renewable energy. Renewable sources also generated just 13 percent of the nation’s electricity. What a tiny number in comparison to the wonderful resources that are handed to us every day. Between all the different renewable energy sources, the United States could produce enough power to run itself and then some.

Hawaii, has decided to switch things up and make the commitment to renewables. Governor David Ige has announced the plan for Hawaii to run exclusively on renewable energy by 2045. He also announced that the University of Hawaii must have a net zero carbon footprint by 2035.

In 2014, Hawaii was able to run 21 percent on renewables, a head start to their goal of 15 percent by 2015. In order to reach their goal of using 100 percent renewable energy, Hawaii will use a combination of different sources of renewable energy such as: solar panels on houses, floating wind turbines, and possibly geothermal energy that would be collected from the volcano.

On the other hand, Arizona has a goal of running on 15 percent renewable energy by 2025. A state with 300 sunny days a year, the Hoover Dam with over 1.5 million gallons of water running through it per second and a possibility of wind turbine zoning should have a much bigger percentage of clean energy usage.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) website shows that California is the number one producer of solar energy with 1.5 million homes with installed solar panes. Arizona is ranked at number five with only 35,000 homes with installed solar panels. These solar homes and the few solar plants that have been built are capable of powering 294,000 homes. Imagine what Arizona could power if it made the commitment to solar energy.

 

 

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