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*The property currently housing The Saguaro Hotel in downtown Scottsdale may be on the market

*His new Mission?  Chef extraordinaire Matt Carter is said to be joining forces with Scottsdale restaurant and bar Hall of Famer Mark Drinkwater for a new venture at Scottsdale & Lincoln

*Want to live at the new Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley?  The project’s first advertisements debuted locally last week

*With State Representative Justin Olson’s decision  to challenge Senate President Andy Bigg’s run to replace retiring U.S.Congressman Matt Salmon it means Governor Doug Ducey will have all-new legislative leadership to deal with next year as Olson was the presumptive Speaker to be. 

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By nearly all accounts Arizona State Senator Debbie Lesko is an impressive public servant.  She takes on tough issues like pension reform.  And she gets results.  That’s why her peers are rightfully considering her along with Steve Yarbrough and John Kavanagh to succeed Andy Biggs as the next State Senate President.

She’s conservative without being crazy.  All this being said her philosophical inconsistency on one matter is loco, though impressively supple.

Amidst the current legislative session we are glad to see her sponsoring legislation preventing cities from curtailing Airbnb rentals.  After all, she argues, people should have the right to choose where they stay and homeowner’s likewise should be able to enjoy sharing economy property rights.  Her mooring on the subject is surely related to her affinity for school and health care choice.

Yet, Lesko’s impressive fidelity to conservatively rooted choice breaks down when it comes to energy matters.  There she untethers herself from consistency.  On this subject she strangely travels to the likes of TEP and Arizona Public Service who have somehow convinced her to pay no attention to the ideological droids she would mostly look for when it comes to solar choice.

How does one argue for all the matters above yet sponsor a strangulation of Arizona solar via new legislation SB1417 as one of her measures does, at the same time she touts Airbnb or a statewide voucher plan? 

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Every day we go to work to make money or make a difference.  Those who work in our national parks, monuments and forests likely fall into the latter category.  They are there to be the custodians of God’s creativity and grace.  Getting to work at Grand Canyon National Park or the adjoining Kaibab National Forrest is the pinnacle, for many, of such dedication. provencio

There, everyone from rangers to superintendents is reminded of what President Theodore Roosevelt once said about the area:

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon. Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.” 

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He was so influential and impactful while head of the Scottsdale Cultural Council he was referred to as the “8th councilman.”

And judging by this recent article in the Phoenix New Times, Scottsdale needs someone like Frank Jacobson now.  Big time.

We’re not as dour as the New Times.  After all, Scottsdale’s public art program remains second to no Valley city.  And emerging events like Canal Convergence – or this weekend’s Scottsdale Arts Festival -- remind us of Scottsdale’s artistic soul, and how it can be enriched further.

There’s no doubt Scottsdale remains a great arts city.  But there’s also no doubt that online sales, recent economic challenges and even accusations that special events hurt galleries are challenging the city’s private and public cultural scene too.  

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As Mitt Romney laid early plans for a 2008 presidential run he was spending a lot of time in Arizona.  To raise money.  And to pin rival John McCain down in his home state more than he would have liked.

Romney sought a key endorsement:  Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  He got it.  Arizona.  Iowa.  Whatever the Romney campaign needed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” was there.  While Arpaio and McCain have hardly been close over the years going against your state’s U.S. Senator isn’t a political move without consequence.

Romney lost the primary to McCain in 2008, then became buddies with him. Nothing wrong with that.  But there was a few years later when Romney treated Arpaio during his 2012 efforts like a leper, so as not to upset McCain. 

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By Let's Vote Yes For Arizona's Schools

PHOENIX — District One legislators Steve Pierce and Karen Fann today endorsed Proposition 123 citing the initiative's solution to getting public school districts money they need now without raising taxes.

“Through using our Arizona State Land Trust for its intended use, we will start rebuilding and providing our education system with an immediate fix,” State Senator Steve Pierce said. “Without depleting the Trust, and without raising your taxes, we will successfully give our schools the money they need to continue educating Arizona’s children. Join me in voting YES on Prop.123.”

“I encourage you to vote YES on Proposition 123,” Representative Karen Fann said. “Without raising taxes, we will be able to invest $3.5 billion over the next 10 years into our schools to help Arizona students achieve a better education.”

"Proposition 123 is the best solution for getting much needed funding to our schools now," Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. "This initiative will help not only schools in Maricopa County, but provide resources to districts across the state so they can hire more teachers and give outstanding teachers long-deserved raises. I'm thrilled to have Senator Pierce and Representative Fann on board and voting YES on May 17."

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By Tucson for Romney

Dear Friend,

If you have already voted in the Arizona 2016 Republican Presidential Primary, you can ignore this email.

I am surprised that I am dusting off this email address, but after listening to Mitt Romney and watching what has happened, I felt it time to make a suggestion to my many friends.

Like you, I have been wondering how to make my vote count.

Arizona is a Winner-Take-All state, meaning whoever wins the popular vote will receive all 58 of the delegates.  There is no splitting of the delegate votes in Arizona.  It appears that means the vote will come down to one of two candidates.

I am waiting for March 16th, the day after the Ohio Primary to make my final decision.

If you still have your ballot, and if Mr. Trump is the front-runner, I encourage you to vote for the Number Two candidate on March 16th as an early ballot voter, or on March 22nd at the Arizona polls.

As Governor Romney has said, we are voting for the leader of the free world, and either Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio, or Governor Kasich will be an excellent choice.

Thank you.

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Scottsdale is the “West’s Most Western Town” but some neighbors (hardly all) want to stop that notion west of Scottsdale Road, along Cactus.

As we have written about before there is the place a renowned businessman and his wife hope to build an equestrian paradise on six acres called Rancho Paraiso.

It seems a natural fit for a community that has lost a few Stetsons in recent years.  But some neighbors are actually opposing the first-class facility because 50 horses there sand spurwould create too much “poop.”  That’s not a joke. In an area dominated by horse properties that collectively stable hundreds of horses they are actually complaining about steaming nuggets.

That’s a little like someone living in the desert complaining about coyotes.  Whoops, we already have one of those neighbors poignantly picked apart by this recent opinion piece in the Arizona Republic. Here is a link.  Perhaps Seth Gortler and Todd Eden will oppose the McDowell Sonoran Preserve next.

More equestrian properties in Scottsdale are a good thing. Indeed, a massive horse property on Cactus east of the 101 called Sandspur Ranch is the anchor of that area.  It has a whopping 205  horse stalls as opposed to the 52 proposed at “Najafi Ranch.”  It’s been there for decades.  And guess what?  When it sought to expand in 1987 how many complaints were there?  Zero.  How many complaints are there about the property now?  Zero.

How many complaints will there be about a premier equestrian facility like Rancho Paraiso after it opens?  Zero.  But that’s not what will happen to property values.  They will rise. And Scottsdale’s western heritage will be enriched.  Just as it has been with Sandspur Ranch.

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By Let's Vote Yes For Arizona School In Support of Prop 123

PHOENIX — The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) today endorsed Proposition 123 citing that the initiative would resolve a longstanding education lawsuit in the state and get money to school districts now while protecting taxpayers.

“The Arizona Supreme Court’s decision in the Cave Creek lawsuit exposed taxpayers to extraordinary financial liabilities just as the state budget was recovering from the Great Recession,” Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association said. “Prop 123 settles this lawsuit in a manner that is fair to taxpayers as well as Arizona K-12 schools. The use of the State Land Trust to assist in funding the settlement provides state policymakers ample time to develop a multi-year plan to absorb these costs into the state budget in 2026.”

“The Arizona Tax Research Association’s endorsement reinforces our pitch to voters that we are protecting taxpayers while ensuring K-12 public schools have stability over the next decade,” Sharon Harper, chairman of the Let’s Vote Yes for Arizona Schools said. “Proposition 123 is the solution we need to fund our schools now to ensure teachers and students get the resources they need to succeed.

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By Arnold Schwarzenegger

I'm proud to endorse my good friend John Kasich for President of the United States.

John knows that leadership is about serving people and he has a record of getting results. That's exactly what's needed in America right now.

Please join the team today and show your support for John's campaign.

He not only led the effort to balance America's budget for the first time since men walked on the moon, but he turned a $8 billion budget shortfall in Ohio into a $2 billion surplus.

Our country faces tremendous challenges right now but John knows, like I do, that it is still the greatest country in the world - no matter what anyone else says. He's offering real, common-sense solutions to our greatest challenges.

It's time to roll up our sleeves and do our part. Join me today and support John Kasich for President of the United States!

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Former Governor of California
JohnKasich.com

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