The city is a land of great things. Hikes. Preserves. Arts. Imaginative waterways. People. Nightclubs. Restaurants. Spring training. Special events. And golf.
Golf is a driver of tourism, the city’s most important industry. The sport’s economic impact is staggering. But most tourists can’t play the plethora of private links at Desert Mountain, Desert Highlands, Whisper Rock and Estancia, among others.
It’s the other courses, the public ones, which play the unquestioned, unrivaled and accessible role for tourists.
And first among Scottsdale’s public course equals is Troon North. Its two 18-hole courses are holes in ones for Scottsdale coffers. Indeed, Troon North has been recognized by the Golf Channel, Golf Digest, Travel+Leisure and Conde Nast media not just as the best public course in Arizona, but among the best in the United States.
Simply put, Troon North is a Scottsdale point of pride, a tourism trophy that doubles as a gathering spot for the 1800 homeowners that make up the community.
So while residents are used to twosomes and foursomes imagine the shock when a group of developers showed up to triple the density of a timeshare plan on a beautiful plot of land at the entrance to Troon North, adjacent to the landmark clubhouse. That would be like seeing Cindy Crawford with acne.
Yet, City of Scottsdale planning staff doesn’t seem to want to play the role of Clearasil. They are supporting the Floridians call to triple the timeshares at Troon North, forsaking the common sense count from the property’s original count in the low 20s for a Boca Raton like bounty in the 60s.Read more
There are two epic boxing matches upcoming. The undefeated Floyd Mayweather versus MMA fighter Conor McGregor followed by Canelo Alvarez versus GGG in September. Both are likely tame in comparison to the best fight in Arizona today between; that between civil rights activist Jarrett Maupin and the Arizona Republic. This is a blog outpost of opinion. But sometimes no opinion is necessary. Just read the exchange yourself. First, the Republic's harpooning of Maupin and the Reverend's most spirited response.
Arizona Republic: As Jarrett Maupin sought justice for a Phoenix family, he also asked them for cash
By Richard Ruelas and Megan Cassidy
The Rev. Jarrett Maupin placed his arms around a weeping Lorenza Valdez and started speaking to the bank of television cameras set up tightly along a wall of her trailer. It had been 11 days since Phoenix police shot and killed Valdez's son Francisco, his body falling inches from where she now stood.
Maupin thanked reporters for coming to the news conference he had called. He said he was there because the Valdez family had reached out to him. “They want justice in this situation,” the civil-rights activist told reporters.
Days earlier, Maupin had wanted money.
The next day, Maupin pressed her, saying he had already fronted the money by dipping into his own pocket. "Let me know when you might be able to get the funds," he wrote.
To get the money, Valdez borrowed from friends and neighbors. For Valdez, who cleans houses during 10- to 12-hour workdays, the money represented approximately one month’s earnings.
Maupin said the money he received from Valdez was not for himself. He said that Valdez had demanded he hire a private investigator and a photographer and that the money was going to them.
“The things the Valdez woman paid for were things she wanted that were outside of the normal scope of advocacy,” Maupin said in an interview with The Arizona Republic.
Valdez said Maupin had been a regular visitor to her trailer until he got the money. Then, she said, he stopped coming around.
Maupin told her he was planning a protest outside Phoenix City Hall. But, in a series of texts, he canceled that protest three separate times, rescheduling it for varying reasons.
The third and final cancellation came about half an hour before the scheduled rally. Valdez said she received that notice while she stood with neighbors at her trailer park in west Phoenix. They were waiting for the buses Maupin had promised would take them downtown.
The Reverend Jarrett Maupin's response to being the subject of an incredibly error-filled and indisputably biased article that appeared in or on media platforms controlled by The Arizona Republic today...
For Immediate Release...
July, 11th, 2017
The Reverend Jarrett Maupin's response to being the subject of an incredibly error-filled and indisputably biased article that appeared in or on media platforms controlled by The Arizona Republic today:
"I have never been more disappointed or sickened by a media report in The Arizona Republic, than I was today. To be the subject of vicious lies, fabricated scandal, and then to be publicly defamed by a series of professional, personal, and social insult quotes is a form of abuse that the leaders of our paper of record should be concerned about,
"I would like to address several outright lies in the article:
First of all, I am the leader of a years old quasi-religious non-profit social welfare organization that, in-part, functions as a church. This was publicly available information that the so-called journalists that authored this story failed to research or simply ignored. I have also served with distinction as an interim minister and associate minister at several churches.
Second, I do not and never have charged hundreds or thousands of dollars in fees to anyone that came to me with a civil rights concern. I engage in civil rights activism that is totally free and self-sustaining. Completely separate and apart from this community work, I do operate a consulting firm that is exclusively focused on political, business, and community development issues and clientele. These two areas of work function independently of each other and are absolutely unrelated.
Third, I do not and have not ever attempted to solicit money from, manage money for, or demand any sort of donation or contribution from ANY person I have ever advocated for. In fact, The Arizona Republic article states that of ALL of the people they interviewed only two people made this baseless and low accusation. Both of these people have either a personal or political motivation to make these disparaging claims.Read more
Watching Hillary Clinton before or Republicans in Congress now it’s no wonder much of America felt the need to send Donald Trump to the swamp. 2016 was a requiem for the revolting. Fortunately, jolts to the political system are not always necessary. In some places thoughtful is better than turbulent and mild-mannered to maniacal.
One example is in Paradise Valley, Arizona where a man with three names serves as an antidote for a more famous one with two. He’s Jerry Bien-Willner. Councilman Bien-Willner.
He exudes competence and goodness. He’s courteous. He’s smart, never a smart ass. He personifies the notion of not being disagreeable even when there are disagreements.
Bien-Willner is a model for anyone in the arena. And the public arena is very lucky to have him.Read more