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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

How About A Desert Discovery Bridge Rather Than A Center?
May 17, 2016

Patrick Peterson Is Why The DDC Is On The EDGE
August 4, 2017

Scottsdale’s $60 Million Opportunity Cost
August 17, 2017

The Art of the Deal
August 25, 2017

Kathy Littlefield’s Serve & Volley
October 12, 2017


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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.


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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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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By Scottsdale Pinetop

Age 65 signifies a time where elderly people have finished their working years and are now expected to enjoy retirement and a life of leisure. Instead, many elderly Arizona residents are spending their days worrying about how to pay the bills. Without the assistance of pensions or 401k contributions, many seniors are struggling to pay for life’s basic needs, often relying only on the assistance of social security checks.

To help make ends meet, many elderly residents have sought the assistance of the Elderly Assistance Fund, an Arizona program that was created to subsidize property taxes for low-income seniors living in Maricopa County.

The funds for the Elderly Assistance Fund are expected run out by 2019. This means that elderly people who benefit from the program would see their property tax bill almost double and put thousands of residents at risk of foreclosure.

But there still may be hope for Arizona senior citizens.

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

Among the estimated 15,000 protesters at the Phoenix March of Our Lives rally on Saturday were thousands of active teenagers taking a stand and making their voices heard. In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida shooting that claimed the lives of three adults and 14 students, post pubescents from across the nation are taking the lead on gun laws and gun reform. The message is clear – gun laws need to change or voters will change those in charge.

Only 12 weeks into 2018 and the nation has already experienced 17 school shootings where someone was either hurt or killed. That averages out to almost 1 shooting per week.  This statistic has many worried that federal and local lawmakers are failing on promises to keep our kids safe in schools.

Taking the issue into their own hands, young voters have rallied together in an organized manner, trying to turn talking points into reality.

But will Arizona lawmakers really listen?

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When Barrett-Jackson, the granddaddy of car auction roars to life every January, Scottsdale bars, restaurants and hotels hit fifth gear.  One of the community’s great special events, it has largely monopolized the notion of “auction” in these parts.

Yet, there are two other auctions taking place elsewhere in Scottsdale that are playing an increasing role to enhance the city’s substantial cache.

To be held soon in the heart of Old Town, the Scottsdale Art Auction conducted by Legacy Gallery, will move some $15 million worth of western art during its auction.  It attracts bidders and consignors from around the country and puts an exclamation mark on what may be Scottsdale’s most interesting street these days, Main Street.

And in October the Larsen Art Auction features more contemporary work.  Like the auction at Legacy, Larsen’s too is held at its own gallery in Old Town.

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

All drivers have been there – running late for work and getting stuck at a red light waiting for it to change.  Only to go through the same situation a few blocks down.

Thanks to the initiative and innovation of the City of Scottsdale, many commuters will be enjoying shorter travel times and easier commutes.

For the past two-years, various traffic specialists have analyzed a series of factors that affect traffic such as patterns in lagging or leading left-turn arrows. Analysts are attempting to reduce wait times along 15 high-traffic Scottsdale corridors.

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Warning: You may become irate after reading this.

About Miller and Thomas Roads sites the Coronado Golf Course. There, affordable golf on nine holes, with a driving range, has been available to the community for decades. It’s where kids learn to play, seniors get around easily and most everyone who can’t afford Estancia, Whisper Rock or DC Ranch can enjoy a nice, easy afternoon on the links.

The course is a combination of private and public land. It’s an innovative approach whereby a private operator effectively saves the city a bunch of money by paying for and managing a golf course in areas where it would otherwise have to spend money to maintain the Indian Bend Wash.

Homes and apartments adjoin parts of the course. Residents don’t need to be Magellan to understand that flying golf balls and the like can impact where they live. After all, the golf course was there first.

Yet, a couple of loud neighbors on the 9th hole with little else to do than email Scottsdale officials may be on the verge of convincing the city to spend taxpayer money to cut the finishing hole from a Par 4 to a Par 3, changing a beloved closing hole just so people who moved onto it don’t have to get as many golf balls in their yards. Did we mention the hole has been as is for forty years? Fore!

This is undeniably government at its worst. Once upon a time there was a golfer uprising that defeated a plan to transform the Coronado Golf Course into a private practice facility for the San Francisco Giants. Elected officials scurried away from the concept when the rancor rang so loud.

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

The future of the school funding has been a point of concern among voters and state leaders as Arizona heads into the midterm elections. With the rise in teacher protests and education reform, Arizona leaders have taken notice and decided to come together in order to create a bipartisan solution that attempts to resolve some of these funding  concerns.

In November 2000, voters decided to pass Proposition 301, which raised the state sales tax from 5.0% to 5.6%. The increased annual revenues, roughly $640 million, were dedicated to public education needs. The sales tax was set to expire in 2021, leaving many school districts in the dark about the future of school budgets and teacher salaries.

But this week the Arizona House and Senate had a different idea in mind.

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