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By Scottsdale Pinetop

If there is one-thing critics and supporters of the Trump administration can agree on is that President Trump is leaving a lasting mark on U.S. foreign policy. Weakening traditional alliances, threatening military action and dissolving trade agreements, the fate of the U.S. foreign relations remains murky.

This can leave local leaders to step into the vacuum and exercise their own form of soft power – starting with Scottsdale’s own Mayor Jim Lane.

Last month, at the invitation of Marrakech Mayor Mohamed Larbi Belcaid, Mayor Lane led a small group of local leaders to Marrakech, Morocco. Marrakech has been a sister city to Scottsdale since 2011, but the two leaders had yet to meet face to face.

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By John W Greco

Feelings and opinions are different than facts.  We are in the midst of a national crisis where millions of people believe that if they feel something strongly or hold a definite opinion that makes it factual.  Fact:  it does not.  That is simply not true.

Facts are evidence based and verifiable. They are about things that are real.  Feelings and opinions may or may not be based on facts. When they are based on facts, they can be sound and solid and functional.  When they are not based on facts, they can be dysfunctional and even disastrous.

Since the beginning of our Republic, we have had religious people who thought their particular beliefs, i.e., their strong feelings and opinions, were the same as factual reality.  You may know people like this today who think that someone named Jonah actually lived in the belly of a whale because the Bible says so. While such religious opinions are clearly not factual, a significant part of our American population nevertheless continue to insist their particular beliefs should become the law of the land for everyone.

Sadly, this same phenomenon now extends to politics, where the loudest and most emotional among us claim that their strongly held feelings and opinions are factual, even when there is no evidence to support such claims.  Worse, such people persist in their beliefs even when there is evidence that disproves their claims. These are people who want to misuse our government to pass laws based on their opinions and feelings, without bothering to examine the facts.

This is a pervasive problem which is harming America today, and it affects both liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats. Unless we insist that our politics become fact based, we will continue to sow unnecessary discord, and America will continue down the slippery slope of history until we are no longer a respected and powerful nation.

 

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

As the debate about bike share programs rages on in Scottsdale, neighboring community Paradise Valley can’t seem to escape the discussion either. In recent months, various bike share companies have migrated into the Phoenix and Scottsdale downtowns areas, often crossing city limits. For many Paradise Valley residents, this appears to be a problem and has many asking if expanding the bike share program there is just too much of a good thing?

Known as a “dockless” bike program, bike share companies populate a city with bikes and place them in pedestrian-friendly locations such as sidewalks, parks and downtown areas. Activated by a smartphone app, bike users typically pay $1 per half-hour to locate, ride, and lock bikes without the need for a bike rack. Consequently this leaves bikes abandoned along sidewalks, the canal or on private property.

The Paradise Valley Town Council began discussing the topic at the end of February and tensions on the issue only seem to be growing. Some members have chosen to embrace the colorful bikes and trust that the industry can resolve many of these issues on their own. Others argue that the bikes are creating unnecessary litter that damages the beauty of Paradise Valley and call for immediate attention.

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As noble opponents of the ill-conceived and politically toxic Desert Discovery Center/Desert Edge continue their impressive volunteerism to force a public vote on the project we thought it would be helpful to remind readers why their efforts are justified. We have not been shy about our opposition to this wholly unnecessary white elephant over the years and wanted to summarize in one place our numerous musings as opponents march towards an upcoming deadline for signatures.

Is Scottsdale’s Long-Discussed Desert Discovery Center Necessary?
March 5, 2014
http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/is-scottsdales-long-discussed-desert-discovery-center-necessary/

How About A Desert Discovery Bridge Rather Than A Center?
May 17, 2016
http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/desert-discovery-bridge-rather-center/

Patrick Peterson Is Why The DDC Is On The EDGE
August 4, 2017
http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/patrick-peterson-ddc-edge/

Scottsdale’s $60 Million Opportunity Cost
August 17, 2017
http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/page/3/?s=desert+discovery+center

The Art of the Deal
August 25, 2017
http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/the-art-of-the-deal/

Kathy Littlefield’s Serve & Volley
October 12, 2017
http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/kathy-littlefields-serve-volley/

 

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

Many visit Arizona in March for its breathtaking desert sunsets, five-star resorts and upscale nightlife. But in recent years, it’s the month-long preseason spring training season that is making Scottsdale a leading economic and tourist destination. Selling out Scottsdale Stadium seats at for most Cactus League games, it’s time for Scottsdale to make long-term improvements to one of its leading economic epicenters.

Sitting in the heart of Old Town, Scottsdale Stadium is home to the San Francisco Giants and holds over 12,000 baseball fans. Looking to make improvements to the stadium, the Scottsdale City Council recently approved $5 million towards major renovations. The $5 million is expected to be paid by the city’s Tourism Development Fund.

The last time the stadium was renovated was in 2005. It’s fair to say that the stadium is in need of a few improvements. Potential renovations include additional stadium seating, enhancements to the clubhouse, upgrades in player facilities and creation of special event space.

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During the latter part of the tour de force musical that is Hamilton, the presidential election between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr comes to the fore.  Alexander Hamilton surprises the nation by siding with Jefferson, a rival with whom he rarely agreed.

We don’t liken ourselves to Hamilton but we do wish to plagiarize the JBWpoint.  Some times we have agreed with Paradise Valley Councilman Jerry Bien-Wilner (Jones Gordon School, Town Triangle) while other times we have parted ways (Ritz Carlton, single hauler trash service).

Still, we strongly recommend him as the next Mayor of Paradise Valley, an aspiration he announced days ago.

Why?

Because Bien-Willner is the exact opposite of what we are seeing in Washington, D.C. or even our State Capitol these days. Even in disagreement Bien-Willner is curious to discuss compromise and solutions.  And, he has a depth and decency that’s rare in politics, traits that will make him an apt and effective successor to Mayors Lemarr and Collins.

Speaking of which, getting Collins and Lemarr to agree on anything these days is impressive.  One time friends and allies they have largely been estranged in recent years.  But not, apparently, on the notion of Bien-Willner for Mayor.  They are both backing him.  As is the entirety of the Paradise Valley Town Council with whom Bien-Willner serves, with the exception of one who has talked of running against him.  That would be unwise.  For if all of a council with whom both serve side with Bien-Willner, at a time when there is overwhelming approval for the direction of Paradise Valley, what is the possible rationale for another’s candidacy?

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shawnna Bolick Receives Endorsement from
Arizona's State Treasurer Jeff DeWit

(Phoenix, AZ) - April 3, 2018- Today, Shawnna Bolick, a Republican candidate for an open seat in the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 20 received the endorsement of Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit.

"I am proud to endorse Shawnna Bolick for the Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 20 because she has the right qualities the Arizona taxpayers entrust in a future legislator: someone who is adept at opening the books, reducing government bureaucracy, reining in out of control spending and helping our small businesses flourish,” stated DeWit.

“I am honored to have Treasurer DeWit’s full support.  Our state’s treasury and investments have continued to thrive under his leadership,” said Bolick.  “As DeWit embarks on the next leg of his journey, I hope he will continue to share valuable advice with Arizonans.”

State Treasurer Jeff DeWit joins former Senate President and Corporation Commissioner Brenda Burns, Maricopa Attorney Bill Montgomery, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix Councilman Jim Waring, State Senator Rick Gray, State Representative Darin Mitchell, State Senator Warren Petersen, State Representative Jay Lawrence, State Representative Mark Finchem, State Representative Anthony Kern, State Representative Jill Norgaard, State Representative Jeff Weninger, State Representative Travis Grantham, State Representative Kevin Payne, State Representative David Stringer, State Representative Maria Syms, State Representative Ben Toma, State Board of Education Public Member Jared Taylor, District 4 member of Maricopa Community College District's Governing Board Jean McGrath and District 3 member of Maricopa County Community College Governing Board Johanna Haver in endorsing Republican candidate Shawnna Bolick for the open House seat in Legislative District 20.

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

While many Scottsdalians pride themselves on the vibrancy and energy of Old Town as a key reason for tourism, it’s hard to ignore the emerging presence of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Community and its achievement as a new hub of economic activity.

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) is home to the Talking Stick Golf Club and Resort, Casino Arizona, Salt River Sand and Rock and countless other economic drivers. Not only known for its casinos and entertainments, the area is also a host to variety of attractions including OdySea Aquarium, Phoenix Rigg’s Stadium, Top Golf, in-door skydiving and Salt River Fields, each of which have drawn tourists from far and near.

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