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He Chuckled Like Jabba The Hut Before He Killed Citizen Rights

Avid Star Wars fans will remember Jabba The Hutt’s laughter at the beginning of Return of the Jedi.

That’s the way many probably feel after reading former Scottsdale City Councilman, defeated State Legislative candidate and current Scottsdale Mayoral candidate Bob Littlefield’s recent tome.

After resembling Grumpy during the early days of his quixotic quest to join his wife on the Scottsdale City Council, Littlefield proffers a sunnier disposition outlining some of the things that are good about Scottsdale before assigning responsibility alone to residents – not businesses – who helped make them happen. Jabba_the_Hutt

President Obama is in Cuba this week.  Littlefield’s reasoning reminds us a bit of Che Guevara. Or Bernie Sanders, who was in Phoenix this week.  People good.  Business bad.  It sounds more like Sweden than Scottsdale. 

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PHOENIX — State Senator Bob Worsley has endorsed Proposition 123 citing the massive influx of new dollars for K-12 public schools without raising taxes.

“$3.5 billion in K­-12 funding without raising taxes and nearly unanimous Senate and House support — It doesn't get any better than that," State Senator Bob Worsley said.  "Kids win with this plan. Join me in supporting Prop 123.”

“Our schools need more funding, and a YES vote on Proposition 123 will not only give them funding now, but it will provide our K-12 public schools stability for the next decade,” Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. “This initiative will help teachers and students across the state succeed in the classroom, and we are thrilled to have Senator Worsley's support.”

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As soon as Willard “Mitt” Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts he began running for President.  After losing the GOP nomination in 2008 he immediately started running again.  After being the nominee in 2012 he lost a winnable general election.  Then he started calling upon his inner Adlai Stevenson (a 3-time loser for the Democratic nomination for President) and quietly embarked on plans for a third Oval Office run. mitt-romney-35df95759d8b8e46

But then the early Jeb Bush juggernaut – to be confused with the later “low energy” WASP -- scared him out.

But that hasn’t stopped the wily Willard, always on the look out for himself.  After enthusiastically embracing Donald Trump in 2012 Wily Willy now sees opposition to him as a bank shot to the banks of the Potomac. These efforts continue on the eve of Arizona's presidential primary as well as one in Utah.  

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By Scottsdale City Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp

There is little about City Council meetings that I cannot tolerate. I support freedom of speech and welcome people to come to the City Kiva and express their opinions about many subjects. My patience is very well established. klapp

Fault me if you want, but enough is enough when a Satanist group, not even based in Scottsdale, wants to disrupt our meetings by giving an invocation to the entire Council meeting audience. And it is certain this will be a disruption.

The group applied to come to the meeting in April, then backed off when the city administration approved the request. It was obvious the group was just testing our response. We had a slight reprieve, until they came back with another request recently and were given July 6 as the date to be at the Council meeting.

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By Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council
District 6

Here is the real story behind the latest move to raise your property tax:

Phoenix politicians secretly knew they were going to raise your property tax. For the past several years they have been purposely draining the fund that pays for capital projects and used those monies for merit and longevity raises. Merit increases are pay raises and longevity increases are bonuses.

Politicians use fancy words to confuse the public that they are supposed to serve.

There were two big lies you've repeatedly been told. One, that employees took pay cuts. This is not true. Every year since the Great Recession they were given pay raises and bonuses. What they did was cut the increase in pay. Most government staff continued to receive higher compensation.

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By Former Scottsdale City Councilwoman Betty Drake

Scottsdale, the “West’s Most Western Town,” is a place with a long tradition of welcoming and supporting the horse community. From its earliest days, there were horse ranches, horse shows, polo, rodeo, horse communities and horse trainers, many right in the middle of residential areas. Horses are part of Scottsdale’s image and culture.

Today, people lament erosion of the horse community in Scottsdale, as horse ranches leave and equestrian properties are subdivided. Areas of the city where traditionally horse ownership was high and local trails maintained are being eroded, with people moving in who block off the trails, do not own horses and often object to those who do.
The neighborhood where the Najafi Ranch is proposed has been a treasure for horse-lovers. Many people keep horses on their properties. There’s a community horse arena at Mescal Park and remnants of the internal trail system. Throughout the neighborhood, though, horse properties are being replaced with homes you could find anywhere in town. The area is in danger of losing its unique history and identity.

There have been many horse ranch and training facilities located within residential areas of Scottsdale. I have kept horses at some of these and have taken lessons at others over my 45+ years in the Valley, 30 of those years spent in Scottsdale. Look at Flying Fox Farm, Heitel Ranch, Jeffrey Wilms Training, and Camelot Farms. Looking along the Cactus Corridor.

Sandspur, at Cactus and 93rd Street, is a large facility that has been there many years, with arenas right next to single-family non-horsey homes. I boarded there and it was wonderful to be able to drive less than 10 minutes to ride. At one point it was rezoned as a subdivision but a horse-loving individual bought the property so the equine uses could remain. Other properties along Cactus have not been so lucky.

Pretty Penny Ranch was a large boarding and training ranch located in a residential area. When Pretty Penny announced that it was closing so the land could be turned into a subdivision, the horse community was up in arms.

Piece by piece. Property by property. The horses are being squeezed out of Scottsdale.

I’m a life-long horse person who just plain hates to see this happen. I can’t understand why the horse people aren’t storming the public hearings demanding that the Najafi Ranch be approved. Sure, 52 horses sounds like a lot on paper, but go look at a training barn with that many horses. It’s a reasonable number. It’s two barns.

I’ve known Francis Najafi for over 20 years. He’s a guy who does things right. There will be state-of-the-art dust control, fly control, construction and maintenance. As is typical of training ranches, a capable, professional manager will live on-property to assure that the highest standards are maintained. Najafi Ranch will be a magnificent, showcase facility, a considerable investment in our horse community and a statement that the City is committed to preserving Scottsdale’s signature horse culture.

 

 

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PHOENIX — Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours has endorsed Proposition 123 citing that the measure will help Flagstaff schools succeed in the future. 

“Personally, I think Prop 123 is the right thing for Flagstaff and the state," Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours said. "In the last four years the city of Flagstaff has purchased $8.1 million of state trust land to preserve as open space. It is great to see that money invested in the land trust, and see some of that money come back to our schools in Flagstaff and other schools around the state. Prop 123 will distribute 3.5 billion dollars to teachers and students without raising taxes.  I'm voting yes."

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Are all developer requests for rezonings good?  Of course not.  But nor are they all bad as Scottsdale’s current and former councilmembers Kathy Littlefield, Bob Littlefield and Guy Phillips often wax ineloquent.

Take this article in today’s Scottsdale Republic.  The revitalization of McDowell Road has perplexed city planners and authorities for years.  But progress is finally at hIMG_0604and.  From SkySong to Fate Brewing Company to this new effort at 64th Street and McDowell to transform shuttered car dealerships into a mixed-use project.  What an exciting time for the corridor.

The developer behind the Entrada plan and property is one of Arizona’s wealthiest individuals.  He’s realizing as others have understood that this parcel, this area, is both blessed and underappreciated.

A quick shot west on McDowell takes you to the Loop 202.  A bit further east is the 101.  Across the street is Papago Park.  And the Desert Botanical Garden.  And the Phoenix Zoo.  And the Papago Golf Course.  Just further south is the old Phoenix Municipal Stadium and the new home of ASU baseball.  Mill Avenue is a short drive away as is the energy of downtown Scottsdale.  Be in the middle of it all isn’t a marketing slogan, it’s reality. 

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There is nothing more important to our economy than building an education system that prepares every child for success.  That’s why I support Proposition 123 – an important next step to strengthening our schools.

Watch this video to learn more about what Proposition 123 will do to strengthen our schools and invest in our children’s education:

You can follow the campaign @YesProp123 or www.yesprop123.com.

When it comes to education, let’s put partisan politics aside and do what’s right by our kids.  Let’s lift our economy and strengthen our schools by voting yes on Proposition 123.

Sincerely yours,

Greg Stanton

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PHOENIX — Congressman Matt Salmon today endorsed Proposition 123 citing the stability it will give teachers and students over the next 10 years. 

“Supporting Proposition 123 is a no-brainer.  By getting more money to our public schools without raising taxes, Prop 123 fulfills the mission of the land trust and builds on the successes we’ve already experienced,” Congressman Matt Salmon said. “This initiative will provide $3.5 billion for our schools and our students over the next 10 years — that’s money and stability they need. Join me in voting yes on May 17.” 

"This initiative is thrilled to have Congressman Salmon's endorsement," Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. "Getting this money to our teachers and students is absolutely crucial to the public education system in the state of Arizona. Our students and teachers need stability, and putting $3.5 billion into public schools over the next 10 years gives them that. This is a win-win for Arizona, we're putting money into schools without raising taxes." 

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