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By Virginia Korte

Sustaining Our Scottsdale Way of Life

I am a consensus builder – because I believe the best outcomes are created when people come together and agree on a course of action.

That means making sure everyone has a voice in the decision-making process, no matter what the issue.

One of the things that makes our city so great and sets it apart from many other places is our ability to share our ideas with one another.  Citizens are able to not only take part in shaping our short-term objectives, but also participate in planning ahead to determine the best ways to achieve our long-term goals.

As we focus on the future, one of the most important topics is the role transportation issues play in growing our economy and sustaining our Scottsdale way of life.    

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*With the retirement of long-time Maricopa County Supervisor Andy Kunasek, Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates becomes the prohibitive favorite in the race to replace.  It will be interesting to see if anyone of significance steps forward for what may be a fool’s mission.

*Celebrity pollster Frank Luntz will be making a Paradise Valley appearance this week at a fundraiser benefiting U.S. Senator John McCain.

*Weird and conspicuous that Scottsdale City Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield was the only member of the body not participating in Mayor Lane’s State of the City last week.  It would be very bad form if she intentionally skipped it because her husband Bob has embarked on a long-shot challenge to Lane.

*Construction has started for the highly anticipated Postino’s in downtown Scottsdale. It will be located in one of the area’s most distinctive buildings, across from Scottsdale Fashion Square, in a building recently purchased by Valley billionaire Bill Levine.

*Backers of a possible third, first-class arena in the Valley may not appreciate what abandoning one in Glendale could mean to the market.  The Phoenix area is already saturated with two top notch sports cathedrals not to mention an indoor football facility, numerous spring training stadiums, Wells Fargo Arena at ASU and even the old Madhouse on McDowell.  Pricing between Talking Stick and Gila River Arena is already fierce for special events, concerts and the like.  Without an anchor tenant and screaming businesses next door,  Gila River Arena will be giving away the place creating business havoc for all of the area’s venues.

*Few local elected officials exude such class as Gilbert Mayor John Lewis.  He’s a great catch for the East Valley Partnership, the organization he’ll soon be joining.

*The most powerful opinion piece of the week was this one by Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts. Here is a link.  If you’ve never been to the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center way out Northeast Valley way, go.  There cares one of the most benevolent people in the Valley. She, and the property, are a last refuge for some of God’s greatest creations.  Roberts’ article describes a NIMBY who will live in activist infamy.  Fortunately, people like Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri are stepping up to ensure Dr. Evil aka as Dr. Gortler doesn’t get his way. 

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By Bill Gates

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Yesterday, I announced my intention to run for the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy left by retiring County Supervisor Andy Kunasek. During his time on the Board, Andy has been a great public servant, role model, and friend. Please join me in thanking him for his selfless public service to our district and our community.

I am excited about the opportunity to continue serving the great residents of District 3 and I hope you will support me as I run for County Supervisor for District 3. In the coming days and weeks, there will be more information on my campaign. In the meantime, please see my press announcement from yesterday below. Additionally, please visit my website at www.billgatesaz.com to donate to my campaign.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Bill Gates

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By Matt Salmon

For the past three years, I've enjoyed meeting so many of you, both in Washington and around the beautiful East Valley. Unfortunately, this great honor brings with it a heavy price tag. Spending so much time in Washington, D.C. means I get to spend very little of it back home with my beautiful wife Nancy and my beloved children and grandchildren.

Over these past three years, I've learned that's just too great a sacrifice to make, and so it's with a heavy heart that I must announce I will not be seeking reelection this November.

I wrote an opinion piece about this in the Arizona Republic this morning – I invite you to read it so you understand a little more about why I came to this difficult decision.

I look forward to spending my remaining months in office making sure your interests are represented and any problems you have are quickly dealt with.

It's been an absolute privilege to serve you. Nancy and I will forever be grateful for all your support.

Sincerely,
Matt Salmon

READ MY OP-ED
"Why I'm leaving Congress"

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We are fans of what Scottsdale Fashion Square is seeking to redevelop and stay relevant in a rapidly changing retail landscape.  But it is a lot.  While Mayor Lane and others have turned off the subsidy spigots for developers generous heights are another form of the same. shopping 2

That’s why the Scottsdale City Council shouldn’t simply be acquiescent obligers.  They should be part of an innovative approach to the sizable request.

Here’s an idea.  Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has reinforced a general well-being for the largely western art galleries along downtown’s Main Street.  The same can’t be said of the more contemporary ones along Marshall Way or elsewhere in downtown.  Periodic arts events like Canal Convergence are good.  Permanent, successful galleries are better.  Unfortunately there are fewer of them in downtown today beyond Main Street.

This is where Scottsdale Fashion Square comes in.  The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA) is an interesting building but its size and location make it more cute than impressive. 

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Today’s bombshell announcement that popular and principled U.S. Congressman Matt Salmon would not seek re-election is a political earthquake in Arizona Republican circles.  Kudos poured in from diverse voices such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Kyrsten Sinema.  All of the kind words are deserved. MattSalmonRepArizona

Now attention will turn to Salmon’s possible replacement.  Whoever wins the GOP primary in August will be the presumptive congressperson as the district is solidly trunk and tusk.

The silver medalist to Salmon the last time around, Kirk Adams, would be a formidable candidate.  A former Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff to popular Governor Doug Ducey, Adams has the brains, resume and money raising ability to go the distance.  Senate President Andy Biggs will also be a top contender by virtue of his title and immediate backing by Salmon.  He also has his own money by virtue of winning a sweepstakes contest – no joke.  How much he is willing to spend remains to be seen.  Add Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Chucri and House Appropriations Chairman Justin Olson as impressive potentials too. 

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The Goldwater Institute has been the driving force in the Right To Try movement, which seeks to allow dying patients with no other options to access investigational medicines. The Right to Try has already become law in 24 states with bipartisan support. But some opposition remains. The primary argument against the Right To Try is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration already has an effective alternative for dying patients called Expanded Access, more commonly known as compassionate use.

Now, a new investigation by the Goldwater Institute shows that terminally ill patients rarely have the opportunity to even apply for compassionate use. The complicated and time-consuming process strongly discourages doctors and researchers from working with patients to try treatments that might save their lives. Each year, only about 1,200 terminally ill patients in America will even be able to submit an application for compassionate use. This year, nearly 600,000 Americans will die of cancer alone.

Please read our investigative report “Dead on Arrival: Federal ‘compassionate use’ leaves little hope for dying patients": http://goldwaterinstitute.org/en/work/topics/healthcare/right-to-try/dead-on-arrival-federal-compassionate-use-leaves-l/

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Tom Chabin, Bill Mundell to Hold Kick-Off Press Conference
Thursday, Feb. 25 at 11am
Phoenix (Feb. 23, 2016) – Two widely respected, longstanding Arizona public servants, Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell, will kick off their race for seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission and begin their battles to restore integrity and conflict-free governance to the public body.

Media is encouraged to attend the press and public event Thursday, Feb. 25 at 11 a.m. at Grant Park, 701 S. Third Avenue in Phoenix.

“Arizona deserves better. As a former chair of the Commission, I know how important it is to have commissioners who are not beholden to the very utilities they’re elected to regulate,” said Mundell. “We will not take money from lobbyists, PACs or other special interests  - that’s why we are running as Clean Elections candidates.”

“The words integrity and service are often overused in today’s political arena,” said Chabin. “But when it comes to the commission that ensures fairly priced electricity, clean water and safe access to natural gas, those words haven’t been considered often enough.”

The public servants are frustrated with the influence of dark money and special interests on the commission.

“We thought we had retired from politics,” added Chabin. “But we just can’t sit and watch what is happening at the Commission and not do something. It’s an outrage that through the use of 'dark money’ one utility can literally buy its regulators. We are not for sale. Someone has to speak up for consumers.”

Chabin and Mundell have served the residents of Arizona for decades in a variety of roles, positions and appointments. Below are their brief biographies, and additional information is available at www.TomChabinforCorporationCommission.com and www.BillMundellforCorporationCommission.com.

Media contact: Stacy Pearson at 602-577-6888 or stacyp@strategies360.com

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Several weeks ago it seemed the demagogues were about to drive Scottsdale down by driving away the top school in the country and Scottsdale.  Economic developers in other cities were frothing: if the best city in the Valley said bye-bye to BASIS would or should any company say hello?

Then Governor Ducey weighed in . . . and the Wall Street Journal . . . and late today Attorney General Mark Brnovich.  Necessary legal threats were made.  Mayor Jim Lane showed leadership, bringing together neighbors and school backers.  Virginia Korte, once a skeptic, showed the temperament and prudence of a future Mayor. Councilwomen Klapp and Milhaven showed their usual, steely resolve.  Even those acting supremely demagogic previously, Smith and Littlefield came around in the end leaving only the confounding Guy Phillips.  He the supposed Tea Partier.  He the supposed constitutionalist.  As the lone vote against BASIS he ignored the law and in one issue transformed himself from Scalia to Sanders.  Council candidate rival Dan Schweiker will surely make him feel the burn in the upcoming election.

But for tonight there’s reason to celebrate that Scottsdale didn’t ultimately fumble and the adults stepped forward to govern, as they usually do in Arizona’s most dynamic city.

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This weekend Canal Convergence returns to the Scottsdale Waterfront. It’s a wonderful concept and celebration of Scottsdale ingenuity at its best.  Turning a non-descript waterway into a campus for capitalism and, periodically, the arts.  For this we can applaud Scottsdale Public Art.  For this.

But for two other reasons bureaucrats need to be held to account, or heads need to roll.

Why?

Several years ago Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven wisely spearheaded an appropriation to fund a dramatic new entry way to the Marshall Way arts district north of Indian School Road.  It’s an area that has struggled in recent years as salons have replaced galleries and Main Street has exerted its primacy.  

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