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2018 Scrum

By David Brooks

When Dustin Yellin was 17 he dropped out of high school. The school was filled with jocks and cheerleaders and he clearly didn’t fit in. Plus he wasn’t intellectually engaged. He hitchhiked around New Zealand and returned to Colorado. He became an apprentice to an eccentric physicist who believed he could get free energy from space and who performed experiments on Yellin involving crystals, baths of saline solution and hallucinogenic drugs. When he was 18 Yellin hatched a plan. He would go to New York, become a successful artist and create a place where painters, scientists, writers, billionaires and other cool people could gather to try to change the world. Yellin turns 40 this week, and that’s more or less what he’s done.

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The following is a guest opinion piece by reader and commenter Gordon, who is graciously offering us a glimpse into the mind of a Donald Trump supporter. It was originally written on July 13. As with any opinion piece here on Race, the following does not necessarily represent the views of the editor or the other authors on the site; we present it in the interest of dialog and furthering the conversation.

Many of the reasons that try to explain why people are supporting Trump, throughout both the Race42016 community and elsewhere in the political world, cover my personal thoughts and emotions that have been growing steadily over the last decade. These thoughts and emotions reached the boiling point with the flare up over the confederate flag. I can’t stand how dysfunctional not only our government has become, but our society as a whole. I saw a post on Facebook that pretty much summed up how I feel: there’s a guy waking up in his bed and the blurb above him says, “Good Morning America…What am I supposed to be offended about today?”

I am the opposite of a low information voter. I have always tried to view presidential elections with serious thought and attention and have never been more than mildly attracted to vanity candidates. While Ted Cruz may exemplify my internal conservatism, I don’t think he has a prayer of selling that conservatism to the country in a general election. As I’ve stated here many times, I personally don’t think issues win elections, so I don’t have a problem supporting candidates that may not be as pure if I think they can become a truly great president. I’m pragmatic in both my expectations of candidates and my demands on their purity. I’ve never needed candidates to be perfect on the issues, and I don’t feel betrayed if someone needs to alter a view or de-emphasize any particular issue throughout the course of the campaign or their governance afterward. I understand reality will never reflect my ideology… it will never fully reflect any true ideology. Reality is a unique blend of all thoughts and beliefs and tilts both left and right… although the balance may be completely undone at this point until we hit rock bottom.

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by David Brooks

Christianity is in decline in the United States. The share of Americans who describe themselves as Christians and attend church is dropping. Evangelical voters make up a smaller share of the electorate. Members of the millennial generation are detaching themselves from religious institutions in droves.

Christianity’s gravest setbacks are in the realm of values. American culture is shifting away from orthodox Christian positions on homosexuality, premarital sex, contraception, out­of­wedlock childbearing, divorce and a range of other social issues.

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Hockey fans rhetorically cross-checked the Glendale City Council during and after a hearing that ultimately resulted in the municipality’s termination of its $15 million per year subsidy for the Arizona Coyotes.

But were they directing their ire at the right people?

Let’s reset.

Having an NHL franchise in the Valley is a very good thing.  While the team has never made the Stanley Cup Finals or hosted an All-Star Game (it had the misfortune of so hosting that extravaganza during a strike year) professional hockey contributes to the area’s quality of life.  It helps economic development efforts.

But should it be in Arizona at any and all cost to the City of Glendale?  After spending $180 million on an arena it decided to fork over $15 million per year to keep the team there on a 4-3 vote in 2013.  Those who question Glendale’s commitment to hockey now should recall what it has generously done previously.

But has it been too generous?  There are good arguments on both sides.   8lqmtthh0w2wgumr6goswqmki

What’s not is that any city that forks over so much money each year – effectively becoming one’s largest sponsor – shouldn't be treated by the team as a best friend, not an irritant. After all Glendale is diverting money from police, fire and other needs to float wealthy owners and their players.

But that’s not the way team executives treated Glendale’s generosity.  They apparently hid financial information.  The new owner couldn’t find time to meet with city officials for months after acquisition.

Shouldn’t this have been the first order of business?  Does anyone think the Gila River Indian Community which pays the team a fraction of what Glendale does for arena naming rights is treated with such disdain?

Of course not.  Political arrogance or malpractice or both are what caused the team to lose Glendale.  And this observation doesn’t involve itself with the purported unethical behavior by Glendale’s former City Attorney now in the employ of the Coyotes.

It never should have come to this.  This was political communication 101.  If it was a class it was failed miserably by the team’s CEO whose job, presumably, involved interaction with the city.

If he is serious about remedying relations with Glendale, majority owner Anthony Barroway should start by firing Anthony LeBlanc. 

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Governor Doug Ducey is announcing today a reform to have more money from the sale of state land go into K-12 education.  Here is a link to the Republic's coverage.  At a time of a rising Arizona real estate market this appears, on the surface, to be government innovation at its best.

It is both good policy and good politics as it is a way for the conservative Republican to get more money to schools – his soft spot early in his tenure – and do so without raising taxes and the ire of his base.

But as with most reforms there are consequences, and in this case potentially negative ones to the state’s largest industry:  tourism.  That’s because some of the most attractive state land lies along the 101 Freeway, between Scottsdale Road and WestWorld.  And a big chunk of it is used for Waste Management Phoenix Open parking, as well as Barrett-Jackson which saw record crowds last year. 

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We have not been fans to date of an overly aggressive development plan for a Ritz-Carlton resort and community in Paradise Valley. But even we can admit that the story of last week should have been the signs (finally) that the developer is at least starting to get it by dropping the second “H” in its HGH plan for the Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend Road site.

However, thanks to conduct unbecoming by the Paradise Valley Town Council the story of last week is now its derelict decorum not a plan that is improving but still needs fine tuning.

Let’s refresh. town of PV

Most would agree that having a Ritz-Carlton in Paradise Valley would be a good thing.  Voters thought as much in 2008 when they approved of what was then an aggressive entitlement by a wide-margin.

Most would also agree that some of what has been proposed by Five Star Development in 2015 to advance a Ritz on the site is inappropriate.

But that doesn’t mean that the councilors of Arizona’s most enviable town should employ a  smugness, even rudeness,  to those wanting to invest some $250 million into the community.

The Town Council’s first formal review of plans of the latest Ritz plan’s last Thursday was an exercise not in polite rebuke but over the top commentary, save for the tethered toastmastering of Councilmembers Syms and Stanton.

The night was best exemplified by the atypical performance of Councilmember David Sherf, he of usual sobriety on key policy matters.  Instead, he seemed inebriated on a newfound affinity for soundbites, even referring to the Ritz plan as “ludicrous.” 

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Preservation of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains is one of the finest accomplishments by any municipality in the nation over the past two decades.

Resident John Nichols was a part of those efforts.  He is to be commended.

His recent effort via an Arizona Republic letter to editor supporting the David Wright House in Arcadia and deriding critics as “NIMBYs” is not to be commended.

You see, Nichols and his friends rightfully insisted that preservation of the McDowells be just that.  In other words, protect the critters, the land and don’t permit commercialization.  He was right then. He is right now.

Recently, the Nichols-like constituency in north Scottsdale rallied to condemn an effort to relocate Greasewood Flat, a revered bar, on PRIVATE property just OUTSIDE the preserve boundary.

Yet, Nichols now has the audacity to suggest that the forest of signs dotting the lawns of Arcadia homeowners not wanting  a pending abuse of Wright House preservation into something more akin to Celebrity Theater is “NIMBYism?!”  Please.  

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The All American Rejects have 38 million hits on YouTube for their video of “Dirty Little Secret.”  The City of Surprise, Arizona may see a few hits of its own, especially directed by taxpayers, if they continue their quixotic request to seize property from the largest property owner in its downtown.  The Arizona Republic reported on the story awhile back.  Here is a link.

But what hasn’t yet been reported is the potential (and very quiet) diversion of funds from a critical road improvement in Surprise to fund the quixotic legal quest.  Call it Surprise’s very own version of “Dirty Little Secret.”

Once upon a time a California town called Mammoth Lakes entertained similar notions.  Its efforts went down in a blaze of glory, costing the community and its taxpayers millions.  A similar fate could await Surprise and its impressive but at times overly aggressive Mayor Sharon Wolcott.  The wise men and women of Surprise should not and need not become All Arizona Rejects if this effort goes off the rails more than it already has.

 

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Scottsdale is an overwhelmingly Republican city.  This tends to make it innovative on business issues, but an awkward actor when it comes to rapidly changing social opinions about gay marriage and other matters of import to the LGBT community.

Of late there has been a concerted effort to encourage Scottsdale to follow the lead of other Arizona cities and provide greater protections to this community.

It should. But not because of the vacuous argument that a failure to do so will harm its significant tourism brand. That’s almost laughable. Scottsdale-Sign-547x198

The City Council should do so because it is entirely in line with the Republican philosophy those on the council apparently believed in to sign up with the Grand Old Prty in the first place.

Why?

Because a greater mantra heard from Republican leaders in recent years revolves around freedom and liberty.  The reasoning goes policies should be put in place to provide individuals with greater opportunity.  Well, what’s a more important opportunity than that to be yourself? How can it be that a party of freedom doesn’t ultimately protect that decision and indeed permits overt or de facto discrimination when made? 

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Imagine this:  A City of Scottsdale employee perhaps not enjoying a request or opinion from a citizen decides to choke them, in public and resulting in a police investigation.

How long do you think City Manager Fritz Behring would keep them around?  The pink slip likely wouldn’t take as much time as the choke.

Yet, if developers asking for special favors in Scottsdale choke those who disagree with them outside of City Hall that’s apparently OK.  At least to some members of the Scottsdale City Council.

This is not a hypothetical.  This actually happened over the last month.

The craziness concluded Tuesday night when four members of the City Council, including Mayor Lane, voted down the choker’s request for the WestWorld area, as they rightfully should have on the merits.

But three did not.  It’s one thing to be pro-business but to put a choke-hold on common sense is a real head scratcher.

Scottsdale has endured some pitched battles over the years on a whole range of issues.  But never has the decorum been as decrepit as this developer’s.

Let’s hope it’s an exception for those who rule in Scottsdale.

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You spoke, and your leaders listened. With the stroke of a pen, Arizona became the latest in a growing list of states to embrace smart ridesharing regulations that support innovation, expand economic opportunity, and put consumer choice and safety first.

We’ve been proud to play a role in strengthening Arizona’s economy while making it easier, safer and more affordable for more people to move around. And we hope you’ll join us in thanking the leaders, including Governor Doug Ducey, who helped make this day possible.

SIGN THE PETITION THANKING AZ LEADERS

Of course, none of this would have been possible without you. Your calls, tweets, and emails made all the difference and prompted elected officials to adopt regulations that work for Arizonans everywhere. Because of you, uberX is here to stay.

We’ll see you on the road.

Uber On,

Team Uber Arizona

 

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We are fans of the Arizona Republic. We also came into being due to their retreat from robust, community-oriented editorial content.  Today, the Arizona Republic’s editorialists awoke from their frequent hibernation on matters local, reminding us how they can be wrong, not Wright.

Essentially, the Republic chastised the Arcadia neighborhood for its substantial opposition to a developer’s plan to commercialize the David Wright House, designed by the famed father for his son. Here is a link to the editorial.

The opposition appears to be based on the not unfounded frustration that what once seemed a noble effort to preserve and restore a house has metastasized into a commercial development ploy that would make even Donald Trump blush.

According to the Phoenix Councilman who represents the area, Sal DiCiccio, the effort to preserve this house now includes an outdoor performance venue, a “wine bar,” weddings and substantial tourist visitation levels.  Just the way Mr. Frank Lloyd designed the house, Wright?  Not exactly. He designed it as a peaceful retreat for his son with no commercial activity, unlike the current owner Zach Rawlings who is using Wright’s renown for an exceptional commercial development parlay.

We do have to give Mr. Rawlings credit for creativity, even if it now means any home of interest in the City of Phoenix can follow his lead for enrichment and disruption.

Maybe the Rawlings’ Austin Powers-like ingenuity is what led to the mancrush in today’s editorial  It was written by a long-time scribe at the Republic well known for being a reliable tributary for Rawlings’ chief lobbyist.

During the love letter we were regaled to Rawlings’ selflessness and ties to the Valley, with neighbors being scolded for describing him as being someone from Las Vegas.  Shame on they the Republic instructed, not realizing itself Rawlings’ has apparently been registered to vote in Nevada since 2007.

While the Republic is misguided at least they are consistent, trespassing on both white-collar neighborhoods like Arcadia, and blue collar ones alike. 

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By Lindsey Graham

Dear Friend,

Just moments ago I officially announced that I am running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

Will you stand with me today as a DAY ONE Founding Member of my campaign? Please follow this link to make an instant online contribution.

I did not make this decision lightly. After months of consideration and years of working to protect and secure our country, I knew I could still do more.

Our country very much needs a proven leader...

  • Who is ready to be Commander in Chief on Day One and has the conviction to defeat our enemies...
  • Who can inspire Americans to build on the best our country has to offer...
  • And who can cast a vision for a strong, secure and prosperous nation that Americans can rally around and give their full support.
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Phoenix, AZ – Longtime Phoenix resident, Anna Brennan RN, BSN, has officially declared her intent to run for Mayor of Phoenix, “My interest in serving as Mayor of Phoenix is based on my desire to serve the citizens of Phoenix, to lead the outstanding men and women who serve their fellow citizens in this great city and to partner with Phoenix officials and agencies in delivering the services the citizens of Phoenix have every right to expect and deserve from their City government.”

Brennan has owned several successful businesses and currently works as a registered nurse in her own business here in Phoenix. “Through my business experiences I have consistently demonstrated a natural ability to lead and work collaboratively with others. As a humble servant to the public my tenacity for getting the job done is unsurpassed.”

Brennan wants to thank her volunteers for helping her to get on the ballot. “I think there is a yearning among voters of Phoenix for real and tested leadership and the support that I have received from my volunteer base is one small testament to that.”

 

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Democrat Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick announced she is running against me for the United States Senate Seat in Arizona.

Congresswoman Kirkpatrick has been a reliable supporter of Nancy Pelosi, having voted with her 90% of the time. And, we all remember when she said her vote for Obamacare was the one she "was most proud about."

We cannot afford to have a Democrat rubber-stamp like Congresswoman Kirkpatrick representing Arizona in the Senate.

If you agree with me, I hope you will show your support right now with a contribution of $25, $50, $75 or more to my re-election campaign.

Unlike Congresswoman Kirkpatrick, who said she doesn't think we should "second-guess the President" on his poor decisions like ObamaCare and his failed stimulus, I have never been afraid to stand up and challenge Obama's misguided policies on behalf of the people of Arizona.

If you agree that we need a leader who has a proven record of standing up to Obama and Nancy Pelosi, than I hope you will stand with me today.

It's the great honor of my life to serve the people of Arizona in the United States Senate, and it's a job I'll continue to fight for.

I take every campaign seriously, and never take anything for granted, and this race is no exception. I am looking forward to a spirited campaign with my Republican and Democrat opponents alike.

I'm no stranger to tough challenges or a political fight, so I know I am going to need a determined campaign team to win this race. I hope that I can count on you to be a part of it.

To run a winning campaign, I need to build the strongest campaign operation possible, and that's why I need your immediate help with a contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more today.

I'm not afraid to speak out for what I believe, and I'm certain my critics will have something to say about that.

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I filed my official arguments in opposition to Mayor Stanton’s train tax increase. This special interest boondoggle will cost you $31.5 BILLION - money that should be used to hire more teachers, police and firefighters.

2,900 NEW teachers could be hired for the cost of just one mile of rail.

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Jim Lane Files Paperwork To Seek Third Term As Mayor Of Scottsdale
Announcement Follows Eight Years Of Progress And Recovery

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane is seeking a third and final term to ensure Scottsdale continues to move in the right direction.

"I have led our community, with the help of citizens and city council, from trying times to better times. Now and for my last term as Mayor, and with further assistance from those I serve and work with, I want to lead us to the best of times. Our citizens from south to north and every neighborhood in between deserve the best city in America,” said Mayor Lane.

Not too long ago Scottsdale faced the stiffest recession she may ever know; revenues were plummeting; investment was scarce; and there was a sense the city was losing its way.  Not anymore.  Through key reforms and smart leadership Scottsdale is once again a city on the move.  This was accomplished with pragmatic decisions, innovative use of available citizen resources and without increasing the tax burden on citizens.

Lane said, “I ran for re-election for Mayor in 2012 because of the hard work and key reforms that have helped make Scottsdale the best city in America.  The voters responded, providing us with a large margin of victory. I humbly ask for their support again to help keep Scottsdale a remarkable place of reform and results.  Why?  Because even at this early stage I am organizing my 2016 re-election campaign for what would be my last lane logo compressedterm as Scottsdale’s Mayor.”

Over the past four years Scottsdale has received national accolades for its parks system, business environment, quality of life and for being one of the best run cities in the country. At the same time  Scottsdale built, purchased and revitalized its greatest tourism infrastructure assets… the TPC,  West World’s (multi-use) Equestrian Center, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and moved Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve to near completion. All with the judicious use of existing dedicated tax receipts, dedicated capital reserves, dedicated state dollar-sharing growing smarter grant funds and tourist tax dollars dedicated to tourism related infrastructure.

Mayor Lane added, “I sent a message when I became Mayor.  Scottsdale is open for business.  We will not sacrifice quality but we will work with you if you want to work in Scottsdale.  We are open for business because without a strong economy we would not have the revenues for our public safety, parks, neighborhood services and quality of life our residents deserve and demand.   Businesses small and large are flocking to our city.  That’s a tribute to the community created by those before us, and advanced now in that tradition by those currently here.

Mayor Lane is committed to ensuring that Scottsdale remain a city of robust tourism, dynamic families, impressive public art, amazing preservation, great city employees, beautiful neighborhoods, and terrific parks; a city that is open to business and to all who want to be part of our great community.

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The population of Phoenix is expected to nearly double in the next 30 years. That’s a lot more people on the roads, and a lot more wear and tear on our streets.

MovePHX is an all-of-the-above transportation initiative that will fund fresh coats of asphalt for more than 680 miles of streets. The plan will also add 135 miles of new sidewalks and 2,000 new streetlights.

For just a penny more on a $3 cup of coffee, we can build the comprehensive transportation infrastructure that we need.

In addition to repairing aging roads, MovePHX will expand bus and light rail, and add 1,080 miles of new bike lanes.

“I drive around Phoenix a lot. I know how to avoid traffic on the main streets because I hate it. If MovePHX would alleviate congestion on the roads that would definitely help."

– Mikala Voughn

In 2000, voters approved to create the Citizen Transit Commission to oversee how tax dollars are spent on all transit and traffic improvements. Already we’ve made significant strides to improve our streets. Upgrades have been made to add 330 additional left turn arrows at intersections and 300 bus pullout bays.

Phoenix needs a widespread transportation system to support the city's growth and a better quality of life for its residents.
To improve our city, vote yes on Proposition 104 in August!

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Arizona Progress & Gazette: Arizona News, Editorials & Debate