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2018 Scrum

By Team Ducey

Friend -
Arizona's been in the national spotlight for educational excellence this month.

This week, five Arizona high schools made the U.S. News & World Report top ten public high schools in the nation -- more than any other state. We know how to educate a child in Arizona, and Governor Ducey is working hard to ensure every student has access to a high-quality public education.

Earlier this month, The Weekly Standard published an article highlighting Governor Ducey’s commitment to school choice.

Here's what they said about Governor Ducey:

“Governor Doug Ducey, already a hero to free-market conservatives for his deregulatory crusade against occupational licensing laws, will sign whatever universal education savings account (ESA) expansion makes it to his desk… In a statement to The Weekly Standard, Ducey lavished praise on the state’s achievements in school choice, saying, ‘Arizona provides a model for the nation of the value in putting parents in the driver’s seat of their kids’ education.’”

Read the full article here and share it with your friends !

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By Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council Member

Councilman Danny Valenzuela calls this a "good deal." I call it INSANE.

This is the same logic some of the same politicians used when they used your money to build the Sheraton losing $145 million of your hard-working taxpayers dollars.

Money that could've gone for more police on our streets.

Please read this article from Laurie Roberts:

ANOTHER TAX GIVEAWAY IN PHOENIX

Laurie Roberts

Arizona Republic 4-20-17

Last month, Phoenix was sued for allowing a developer to skip paying $8 million in property taxes in return for building a 19-story apartment complex near Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix.

The city’s continuing tax giveaways – which leave you and I holding the bag for select developers’ share of funding public schools – have prompted a crackdown at the Arizona Legislature. Our leaders, in one of their rare good moves,recently voted to limit these giveaways beginning later this summer to eight years, down from the current 25.

And the city’s response to the legislation and the lawsuit by the Goldwater Institute?

On Wednesday, the Phoenix City Council voted 7-2 to allow yet another developer to skip paying $9 million in property taxes in return for building three apartment towers near Roosevelt Row. (Councilmen Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring were the no votes.)

Phoenix wants what the market can't support

A city spokesman says the properties eventually will pay three times the property taxes they’d pay if only a four- or five-story apartment complex was built where these 29-, 25- and 19-story buildings will go in. ($6.9 million over 20 years as opposed to $2.4 million.)

That’s if the schools can wait 20 years, that is.

Five percent of the units will be "affordable" housing.

City leaders say the giveaway – technically called a government property lease excise tax -- allows developers to build the types of projects city leaders envision – the sort the free market doesn't support. (Sort of a like a certain downtown Phoenix hotel.)

“This is going to change the Phoenix skyline now instead of 20 years from now,” Councilman Daniel Valenzuela saidWednesday, in approving the deal.

This is, of course, the same old story we’ve been hearing for decades from Phoenix City Hall as city leaders hand out GPLETs like gumdrops.

Lots of developers got this pass

A fair chunk of downtown Phoenix has been given a pass on paying property taxes -- or anything even close to their fair share of the tab.

The Phelps Dodge building got a GPLET. So did CityScape. Renaissance Square has one (both Tower One and Tower Two). So does the Collier Center. And the Westin and Freeport McMoran and at least five apartment complexes along Roosevelt Row.

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By Team Ducey

Friend ,

Governor Ducey has repeatedly called for an Obamacare replacement that works for Arizonans.Last week, he discussed with The Washington Examiner how Congress should move forward replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Here are a few highlights:

  • "We want flexibility to adapt healthcare regulations that reflect what our states' citizens need."
  • "We want to ensure that the rug isn't pulled out from under people who need help and access to healthcare." That includes people with pre-existing conditions, who need insurance coverage just like everyone else.
  • "And we want to get it right the first time without inflicting all the trauma that came along with Obamacare. Congressional leadership and [Health and Human Services] Secretary [Tom] Price are listening, and that alone is a vast improvement. We have a good framework to continue the conversation and move forward."
  • Ducey says that a fix "won't happen overnight," but he is unwavering on a few points, namely that, "the taxes, mandates and federal control that comprise Obamacare should be repealed as quickly as possible, and the necessary elements of a healthcare plan that puts patients first and ensures the broadest possible access to quality healthcare should replace them."

Read the full interview online 

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Next Wednesday, City Council will be voting on a request to make Phoenix a Sanctuary City. I have and will continue to oppose this.

You hear many politicians make big promises about Phoenix becoming a Sanctuary City, but they are afraid to go on record and vote. That is why I believe this vote should happen.

Instead, I predict City staff will find a way to kill the vote before it takes place, so that those same politicians won’t have to put their money where their mouth is. Well, I’m not afraid of a vote. I will always vote NO to Phoenix becoming a Sanctuary City.

For more updates, click here and “Like” to follow my Facebook page.

Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council
District 6

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By Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council District 6

Phoenix City Council will vote on a request for Sanctuary City status on February 15th at a formal council meeting.

I am firmly opposed to the effort to make Phoenix a Sanctuary City. I don't believe any local government should be able to pick and choose the laws they want to enforce. Additionally, I believe such a move would be illegal and would put our officers in the unethical position of having to ignore their oath to uphold state and federal laws.

Below is the press release from the City of Phoenix regarding today's Sanctuary City developments: Read the Full Release

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Party Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary to be Elected Jan 28th 

PHOENIX -  Chairman Robert Graham announced the list of candidates seeking the Arizona Republican Party's top three elected officer positions. Additional nominations for these positions can be made from the floor at the party's January 28th Organizational Meeting, taking place at the Church for the Nations in Phoenix and starting at 9 am.

Candidates for Chairman: Jonathan Lines, Jim O'Connor, Frank Thorwald

Candidates for Secretary: Gabriela Mercer, Cindy Coleman, Marla Festenese

Candidates for Treasurer: Eric Morgan, William Beard, Wes Harris, Robert Lettieri

Elected Republican State Committeemen from each of Arizona's 15 counties will attend the meeting to vote on these positions and other party business. A formal call letter will be mailed to all state committeemen at least ten days before the meeting.

The state committee will also elect three members-at-large to serve on the state party executive committee, three from each of Arizona's nine congressional districts, with all candidates running from the floor.

Party Chairman Robert Graham appointed Barry Wong to serve as Chairman of the Resolutions Committee, Kathy Petsas to serve as Chairman of the Bylaws Committee, and Sergio Arellano to be Chairman of the Nominations Committee.

The current tentative list of 1,235 state committeemen, including nominees not yet formally elected, is here:

http://az.gop/arizona-republican-state-meeting-2017-committeemen/

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Scottsdale knows what Arcadia is going through. For years things Phoenix have absconded the tonier brand on the other side of its signature street to obfuscate geography.

As the Arcadia area has exploded in popularity so too have developers attempted to elongate what it means to be in Arcadia, in order to boost sales.

Before going further it’s common knowledge that “Arcadia” is the area between 68th Street and 44th Street and Indian School to Camelback Mountain.

But that doesn’t stop some like Scottsdale-based The Empire Group from misappropriating the moniker for marketing purposes. Take a recent advertisement in the Independent Newspapers touting its new “The Villas at Baker Park.” Pay big money for their product on an old nursery site and you too can live “at the epicenter of Arcadia’s vibrant restaurant, retail shops and cultural venues.”

Huh? It would be more accurate to say you could live south of an old Taco Bell at Osborn and 40th Street. Not exactly Arcadia Main and Main. Or an “epicenter.”

Jeopardy is one of the greatest television shows of all time. Geography is a frequent topic. But if it’s ever the one for Final Jeopardy, and you find yourself next to the Empire Group’s Richard Felker, Geoffrey Jacobs or another one of its employees, don’t worry.

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The Town of Paradise Valley rightfully considers itself best in class in so many categories: views, low-density, resorts, proximity to hiking trails, location, public works and no property tax, to name more than a few.

It even has sons and daughters named Goldwater, O’Connor and Rehnquist.

Not often mentioned, though equally important to its impressiveness, are its schools. They range from notable publics like Kiva and Cherokee, to a Montessori school, numerous ones associated with the town’s many churches and even the highly-lauded, private Phoenix Country Day School.

Failure doesn’t come often to Paradise Valley, scholastically or otherwise. Yet, that’s what became of Tesseract at Tatum and Doubletree. There it operated for over a decade with the right to educate up to 340 students, before flunking the test of time.

And there it now sits, a carcass of a campus.

Fortunately, through a rare combination of generosity and ingenuity a solution is at hand.

The property has been purchased by the owners of Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale. Local residents, the owners Chuck and Anita Theisen, know a thing or two about reviving a tired property. Does anyone recall what the bland office building across from Scottsdale Fashion Square looked like before the Theisens revitalized it into an award-winning showplace for some of the finest automobiles on the road?

This time their sights are not set on horsepower, but the power of the possible, with the Jones-Gordon School as its tenant. It has become the best school in the state for educating students with attention deficit disorder, dyslexia and other learning challenges. As the Town of Paradise Valley’s staff report puts it: “The school focuses on high-potential students with learning differences and those who are considered twice-exceptional.” The results have been remarkable. Parents have become apostles. They must be to pay the approximately $25,000 per year in tuition.

About a dozen Paradise Valley families, including the Theisens, currently use the school now located in Scottsdale.

The new school is seeking no material changes to the existing building. Indeed, it is asking for an enrollment of 200, not the 340 enjoyed by Tesseract. The school’s only real request is to change the grades from Pre-K to 8th Grade to Kindergarten to high school. Only 60 of the 200 total students could be high schoolers.

But all of this isn’t good enough for a few neighbors. They are upset that high school students might be permitted, notwithstanding the significant drop in overall students.

But doesn’t Paradise Valley already know how this ends? And how the world doesn’t end? We can take a quick trip across town to Phoenix Country Day School. They have a similar number of high school students. We are unaware of any marauding gangs, hooligans or knuckleheads the neighbors are using as their boogeymen. The opposite is true. Perhaps it’s because tuition at Phoenix Country Day is a similar five-figure number.

In situations like these we are always reminded of one of the most infamous Valley neighborhood sirens in the past two decades. Then, the newbie residents of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountain Ranch worried about the Ice Den. They thought the place was going to become ground zero for goofy teenagers and associated problems. How wrong they were. Instead, the Ice Den has become one of Scottsdale’s points of pride, just as Jones-Gordon would if it is added to the educational infrastructure of Paradise Valley.

No brainer is a common phrase deployed to suggest an easy decision. And approval of the Jones-Gordon School this week by the Daran Wastchak-led Paradise Valley Planning Commission, and subsequently by Mayor Michael Collins and the Paradise Valley Town Council would be just that. But it’s also a lot more. It would represent a smart decision to unleash the potential of everyone’s brain and to send a message that Paradise Valley isn’t just best in class because of its riches, but because it never stops enriching what can happen in its classrooms.

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Earlier this year HBO brought to television screens Big Little Lies. It chronicled the fictitious underbelly of money, mothers and mayhem in Monterrey, California. In some ways, Paradise Valley would be a worthy patchwork for a prequel, or sequel. Unfortunately, someone familiar in the tony town’s midst is already bringing an episode to life. And it ain’t fiction.

Right out of central casting it’s taking place on a street called Sunnyvale. Right out of Big Little Lies it involves characters of a country club. Though there isn’t a beach in Paradise Valley as there was in the show, colorful sands play a major role. And there’s a name from Paradise Valley proposals past, Banovac, the realtor trying to enable it all.

All stories must start somewhere and this one does with Tom Hopkins, the globe-trotting, seminar-loving, self-described sales guru. People must be buying some of what he’s pushing because he’s apparently a member of Paradise Valley Country Club. But that’s where his consideration of things Paradise Valley seems to end.

The owner of the aforementioned abode on Sunnyvale, Hopkins is seeking to rent it out to a California drug rehab outfit named Blue Sands. They in turn want to charge as many as ten people at a time up to $45,000 a pop for 30-day stays.

Whoa. And we thought the recent state legislation to allow Airbnb to disrupt Paradise Valley neighborhoods was unwelcome news.

Good stories always need good characters and this one is no different. A broker named Banovac helped to breathe life into the deal in the first place. If that name sounds familiar, it is. The family was once a breathless sycophant to the High Priest of Horseshit, Danny Hendon.

Neighbors are rallying against, lawyering up and protesting much against this ensemble.

After all, wouldn’t you?

It’s not as if those opposed are hard-hearted. There are purportedly 22 other options for rehab treatment within 15 minutes. It really comes down to the hard-heart of Hopkins who appears to have fled to Scottsdale, rather than live on Sunnyvale next to which he seeks to wrought.

Once upon a time a certain Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman observed about the possibility of a medical-marijuana facility coming to town that she was opposed, and state law be damned. Because some things were worth the fight.

Yes, they are. And this is one of them.

We have a better idea for Hopkins and his harem of hard-up fortune hunters feeding off those with hard times. Paradise Valley Country Club. It has plenty of space, and plenty of stories, for Hopkins’ big but not so little neighborhood belie.

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Yesterday one of Arizona’s great self-congratulators, Zach Rawlings, announced a purported solution to the rancor he has caused in the Arcadia area.  There he remarkably transformed a noble effort to save and preserve the David Wright House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, into an exercise in noblesse oblige.

So worthy was he that he should be entitled to run over the concerns of neighbors and utilize the property for concerts and commercial activity.  Arcadia neighbors and Phoenix Councilman Sal Diciccio had none of it.

So yesterday Rawlings announced his grand solution:  some type of partnership with what was formerly known as the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and a tax-write off for himself to the Arizona Community Foundation.

Curiously, he didn’t invite any neighbors to celebrate his victory vision, probably because his acolytes contend the place will still be a place of intense activity, attracting upwards of “30,000 people annually.”

At the heart of the announcement while balloons adorned the building was and is the notion that supporters of the Taliesin architecture school will be able to raise upwards of $7 million to let Rawlings out of his controversial Arcadia corner.

This will be a tall order since the organization has never proven to be a prolific fundraiser.  Nevertheless, it sparked an idea.  If things Frank Lloyd Wright are looking to lance community boils there’s another place it could turn its attention:  Scottsdale.  And the proposed Desert Discovery Center (DDC).

Opposition to that intrusion in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve has caused an uproar that makes Rawlings’ misreading of Arcadia look docile.  Indeed, the Valley has rarely seen a more foreceful and intense grassroots opposition to anything.  Even in this hot summer month the “NODDC” group has announced several events, some to crash those organized by Desert Discovery Center supporters.  That’s chutzpah.  And smart.  

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The Scottsdale City Council can be a feisty group.  Sometimes they disagree just to be disagreeable.  Other times genuine philosophical divides arise.  That’s why it’s so refreshing when the council unanimously confers and consents to wise policy.  The recent decision to alleviate local art galleries from taxing out of state sales is a case in point.  After all, it is oxymoronic to encourage people to visit Scottsdale’s arts scene only to tax them more onerously than peer markets.

Later this year Scottsdale leaders will again have another opportunity to send a strong message in support of local arts.  The Scottsdale Gallery Association is expected to make a pitch for local tourism tax funds to revitalize Thursday Night Art Walks.  Once upon these were grand city traditions.  An excuse for first dates, or an anniversary stroll.  For serious art eyes, or the more casual.  A boost for local restaurants.  A cause for downtown.  More recently, however, said environs on Thursdays have become a more hollow shell of former selves.

Better promoting art walks is a request with merit, and deserving of support.  Combined with the City Council’s previous patronage of the Museum of the West and more recently an expanded Canal Convergence, Scottsdale decision-makers are smartly doing what they can to get the local arts scene back to a more picture perfect place.

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By their nature master-planned communities tend to be large.  In Arizona it doesn’t matter if they are in Scottsdale, Mesa, Buckeye or Glendale they tend to stir up scrutiny and debate.

That’s a good thing.  Dialogue, debate and discussion tend to yield the best possible result.

A look around the Valley shows just that when it comes to master-planned communities that have been built.  What’s one, anywhere, that is cause for consternation?  Which brings us back to Glendale.  There the top-ranked homebuilder in Arizona, Pulte, is proposing to build a $450 million, 395-acre master-planned community called StoneHaven.  It would be located in and around 91st Avenue and Camelback.

Some neighbors like it and some don’t.  Others like the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and Glendale Firefighter’s Association like it a lot.  So does the hometown newspaper, The Glendale Star, which has enthusiastically endorsed the plan.  Businesses in Westgate purportedly like it a lot too, fearing the departure of certain Coyotes they understandably want and need more nearby customers.

The backdrop to all of this is the story of Glendale’s comeback.  Once derided alongside Detroit it’s now more like a certain President two decades ago:  The Comeback Kid.  Businesses are flocking to the community, city finances are recovering and where ridicule existed revenues now do.  

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The Tempe streetcar project that has been in the works for years is finally underway after receiving a $50 million federal grant, which is supposed to be a good thing. It was slated to get $75 million. The Trump Administration gave it a haircut.

The project will result in a three-mile streetcar loop that weaves through downtown Tempe, ASU, and Mill Avenue to connect riders to nearby neighborhoods, shops, and businesses in the area.  There will be 14 stops, and two of these will connect to light-rail stops so that people can switch from one circuit to the other with ease.  The project is expected to be completed in Fall 2020.

Considering that the project is now estimated to cost a whopping $186 million, the extra $25 million that Trump cut will be missed.  Valley Metro officials are still holding out hope of getting the extra $25 million.

On top of potential budget issues, lingering doubts persist as to whether or not the project will really be all that beneficial in the long run, and yet construction is about to begin anyway.  Assuming that the project finishes on schedule, businesses will still be severely affected by three years of construction in downtown that will lead to decreased accessibility and blockage.  If the project drags on past its expected completion, there could be serious long-term implications for these stores and companies situated in the areas under construction. 

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As former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods rightfully serves as a co-chairman of a nascent campaign committee to overturn Republican excess at the State Capitol to restrict citizen’s rights, his hypocrisy in another part of the state is notable.

We have written before of Woods and his disdain for disclosure as it relates to why he is opposing a new automobile country club in Maricopa, Arizona known as Apex.   Here are some links:

http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/smell-wilmer-moles/

http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/worst-public-affairs-campaign-ever/

http://arizonaprogressgazette.com/lost-maricopa-woods/

He leads the Clandestine Cartel, joined by ethical invertebrate Joe Villasenor and Smell & Wilmer’s Nick Wood.

Widely suspected to be doing the bidding of the Attesa project near Casa Grande which believes its racetrack plans so poor it cannot stand purported competition in Maricopa, the Clandestine Cartel have reverted to every anonymous, dark money trick in the book to oppose and slow their perceived rival.  Following Maricopa’s unanimous and enthusiastic approval of Apex, they even imported both a Phoenix and Scottsdale resident in Villasenor’s orbit to form a committee to oppose Apex, even though the City of Maricopa has deemed their efforts unlawful.  It’s totally normal of course for a Phoenix and Scottsdale resident to get involved in a local, Pinal County issue. Not!  Save for the financial motivation and interest of another business with an inferiority complex.

Which leads us to even more hypocrisy.  Attesa’s purported direct or indirect opposition of Apex has focused on how bad the project will be for “noise,” “traffic” and other falsehoods promulgated about the private facility in Maricopa. They have runs ads on local cable television and online broadcasting as such.  None of this is true as Apex is a private facility and must get a special event permit from the city to hold large events.

Ironically, what does a quick look of Attesa’s entitlement applications in Pinal County reveal?  A desire to attract a lot of racing events with “20,000-25,0000” people to its track.  Sounds like a lot of noise. And traffic. And as for the probability of attracting such events to justify its extraordinary entitlement requests we’re sure Phoenix International Raceway and Track President Bryan Sperber will be surprised, as they are in the midst of a $150 million upgrade.  Sperber’s concerns may be tempered by the serious questions surrounding Attesa’s ability to get an assured water supply in the near term, if ever.

Integrity the boys at Attesa appear to not have but chutzpah they certainly do.

And that leads us to a discussion about Pinal County and its elected leaders:  Supervisor Steve Miller, Supervisor Tony Smith, Supervisor Pete Rios, Supervisor Todd House and Supervisor Mike Goodman.

To reward this type of conduct by Attesa, if true, would be political malfeasance.  Actors, and henchman, such as these are not what have positioned Pinal County on the threshold of an economic boom.  They should send a strong message, just as Maricopa Mayor Christian Price and the entire Maricopa City Council did when Woods came calling.  Go home.   We know what’s best for our part of the world.  And you aren’t it.

In previous editorials we have welcomed, even encouraged Attesa, to write us and tell us where we are wrong.  So far, crickets.  It appears they find their own charade so clever they have lost sight of professional moorings with others.   So unless and until Attesa’s owner Dan Erickson and all of his employees and consultants can assure Pinal County officials, perhaps with affidavits, they are not behind or funding the skullduggery in Maricopa, directly or indirectly, they should delay if not reject all of Attesa’s requests.

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The second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown is coming up but the jockeying to be the next Mayor of Phoenix has long been underway.  Mayor Stanton is term-limited and will depart in 2019, if not before.

So let’s take a look at those in or eyeing the starting gate, and the odds associated with each for the not too far away contest.

Phil Gordon (3/2):  How can this be say you?  Because, technically, acute observers may recall he didn’t fill out his entire two-year term.  He resigned a week before.  A court will surely decide whether Gordon can run.  He certainly wants to.  If so, he would start out as a strong favorite.

Tom Simplot (2:1):  The former Councilman and current head of the apartment lobby has all the ingredients a Phoenix Mayor needs.  Pro-business, social conscience and he’s not afraid to make a decision, a ding on the current occupant of the office.  He’s well spoken and serves with a smile.  Simplot has a story to tell and will be able to raise money though he does have some blemishes on his record (i.e. Valley Metro) that could come back to bite him.  

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If Scottsdale is Beverly Hills its next door neighbor in Paradise Valley is Bel Air.  Two great communities in California, just as they are in Arizona.  Bel Air has a superiority complex towards its better known proximate, not unlike Paradise Valley exhibits to Scottsdale.

Yet, in one area there’s no doubt where Scottsdale shines far more:  preserving its mountains.  IMG_4155

A view of the McDowell Mountains in north Scottsdale is to see a beautiful face without blemishes.  Mummy Mountain and Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley?  Full of acne.  Well-heeled, mind you.

The Town of Paradise Valley has long had a noble commitment to private property rights.  As did Scottsdale until a band of visionaries like by people such as Drinkwater, Carla, Rau, Decabooter and Korte decided the McDowell Mountains were a treasure worth preserving.  And voters agreed.  What private property was needed for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve was acquired by fair market value.  Today, two decades later, Scottsdale’s tourism, recreation and quality of life are the better for it.  

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It’s hokey.  A little run down.  The elements don’t always work.  And it certainly looks a little odd amidst the nice shopping and large offices on Scottsdale Road.

It is the Cracker Jax Family Fun Park.  Birthday parties.  Batting cages.  A driving range.  Race cars.  Volleyball courts.  Video games.  Miniature golf.  Bumper boats.  The place is a throwback to a different time.

Yet, there it sits as a nice respite for young and old, rich and poor, to escape for a time with some affordable fun.

Unfortunately, the day will soon come when the land is too valuable to support a business funded with quarters and tokens.  This is a story Scottsdale knows all too well.

Rawhide. Greasewood Flat.  Pinnacle Peak Patio.  The Kachina Theater.  All have succumbed while the city is fortunate that others like the Rusty Spur and Coach House have not, and continue to fight the good fight.

We hope Cracker Jax stays in the ring for as long as possible because Scottsdale is a much better place (and certainly more fun) with it continuing on rather than yielding to redevelopment with yet more apartments.  A toy surprise at the end of Cracker Jax that will not be.

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In 2012 Arizona Speaker of the House Kirk Adams was the unquestioned frontrunner to replace Jeff Flake in the United States Congress.  Flake decided to run for the U.S. Senate that year.  Adams had done a very good job as Speaker and had the backing of John McCain, retiring U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, his fundraising apparatus and even Sarah Palin.

But it was not to be.  In most any other election the outcome would have been different.  We doubt Adams much regrets the loss as he has gone on to become the highly-respected Chief of Staff to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

So why wasn’t it meant to be?  Because Matt Salmon decided he wanted to return to Congress.  Popular, honorable, recalled fondly, Salmon’s previous tenure in the district proved too much for Adams to overcome. IMG_4155

Fast forward to Paradise Valley, Arizona in 2018.  The well-regarded Mayor, Michael Collins, has decided two terms and his rapid-fire record of achievement is enough.  He announced so earlier this year.

Potential candidates started lining up, something we wrote about previously.  Here is a link. 

And something has happened since.  Former Paradise Valley Mayor Scott Lemarr appears to want to return to public service, as Mayor.  If that’s the case others may want to concoct a campaign against the notion but it might be a little like a salmon swimming upstream.

Paradise Valley enjoyed very good times under Lemarr before.  Why wouldn’t it again?  That will be the challenge for anyone to overcome against someone who grew up in the community and grew to be very well-liked as Mayor.  Lemarr is not a fat man.  But he may very well be accompanied by a Fat Lady as the campaign trail nears.

 

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By: Ken Bennett for Congress

Maricopa, AZ – Arizona businessman and former Secretary of State Ken Bennett proudly announced today the endorsement of Graham County elected officials supporting his campaign to represent Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. County Supervisors Jim Palmer, Drew John, and Danny Smith, Safford Mayor Chris Gibbs, Thatcher Mayor Bob Rivera, Pima Councilman C.B. Fletcher, and Graham Community College District Chair Lois Ann Moody have all thrown their support behind Bennett.

Supervisor Palmer said “I have known Ken Bennett for a long time and there is no one that will represent our district with conservative principles and integrity better than him. Ken’s deep understanding of the issues and proven record in both business and public service is exactly what we need in bringing jobs and prosperity back to the district.”

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By: Weiers for Mayor

Mark Burdick and I had our candidate debate in Glendale yesterday and if anyone thought he was going to change his message, they had another thing coming.  True to form, Mark kept talking down Glendale and he even insisted yet again that “No matter what anyone says, our crime rate has gone up!”

Of course he’s simply making that up, because the data shows our crime rate is down since I became Mayor, the newspapers have written stories about how crime is down and how Burdick isn’t telling the truth, and the police have endorsed me in my campaign.

So why does Mark Burdick keep lying, even after the whole room knows he’s lying?  I have no idea, except what he told the Glendale Star was that his advisors had told him to lie to win and he was taking their advice.

I really appreciated all of the people who came up afterwards to say they were voting for me.  But maybe the nicest things said about what we’ve accomplished these last four years came from Sam Chavira, one of our City Councilmen.  Now Sammy and I don’t always get along and we’ll tangle from time to time on an issue, but he was super complimentary in terms of how far the city had progressed in the last four years and how much better things are today versus back then.

All in all a great day and I wanted you to hear about it from me.  We have just about run out of yard signs after today, but we’ve got more on the way, so if you’d like one, please email me back and I’ll get one out to you.

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By Friends of John McCain

"I know how hard John works for veterans, for the military, for our national security-- and I know that John McCain is a national treasure."

Phoenix, AZ —Today, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed John McCain's reelection to the United States Senate, citing his leadership on National Security.

"I strongly endorse Senator John McCain," said Speaker Gingrich. "A genuine American hero, a man who has endured a great deal for his country, and a man who I work with and watch him provide leadership as Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.  I know how hard John works for veterans, for the military, for our national security-- and I know that John McCain is a national treasure. Somebody who’s making a real difference, a man of great courage, who is a patriot, who serves his country without fear. I hope you do everything you can to make sure Senator John McCain continues to work in Washington on your behalf, and on behalf of all Americans."

"I am honored to receive the endorsement of Speaker Gingrich, a long-time friend and leader in the Republican Party," said John McCain. "Throughout his career, Newt has been a strong voice for conservative principles. I appreciate his support and I look forward to campaign ahead.”

Recently, John McCain received the endorsement of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, former Arizona Governors Brewer, Symington and Hull, ArizonaAttorney General Mark Brnovich, as well as 57 current and former Arizona mayors.

He has also received the endorsement of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Right to Life, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Border Patrol Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

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John McCain has spent his lifetime in unwavering service to America, both in the U.S. Navy and representing the people of Arizona in the U.S. Congress. He has led the fight to strengthen America's national security and our armed forces, eliminate wasteful government spending, and reform government to make it more responsive to the American people.

 

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By Sheriff Paul Babeu for Congress

To many it may seem like our nation is in dark times, but with the right leaders, we can make America strong and safe again.

Former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is one of those people. A firebrand who stood up to President Obama and was the architect of Arizona’s economic comeback.

She’s notThank you Governor Brewer. to be messed with.

Now, she has endorsed me for Congress. To say I am honored is an understatement.

"We need leaders like Paul who get things done. Paul is a truth teller, just like me, who will take the fight against corrupt liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.”

“His proven record of fighting crime, achieving Arizona's largest drug bust and standing up against Obama proves he's the fighter Arizona needs."

We have the momentum, we have the support, and now we need to close strong to win the primary on August 30th, and begin the fight for victory in November.

 

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By Virginia Korte

As you probably remember, my family sold Chevys at the corner of Scottsdale and McDowell Roads for 28 years. So I had firsthand experience of the ups and downs of the McDowell Road Corridor.

Because of my deep roots in this great area of our city, I am proud of our efforts to revitalize Southern Scottsdale, including the new businesses that have located here and the pride existing businesses have taken in improving their properties.

SkySong and the more than 1,500 employees who work for the scores of companies at the facility have also played an important role in restoring the prominence of the McDowell Road area.

Recently we learned that four restaurants are soon to be built on the property which will not only cater to SkySong employees – but also those who work and live in nearby neighborhoods. Last week we received even more good news: A Starwood hotel is going to be built at SkySong.

The 120-room hotel, which will be located in the southwest area of the property, is expected to attract people traveling on business either to SkySong or elsewhere in Scottsdale as well as families wanting lodging near the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Gardens.  Anticipated to be approximately 100,000 square-feet, the city will receive $42,000 a year rent for the hotel in addition to collecting bed tax dollars to support our tourism industry.

SkySong and Starwood are only part of the story of success for Southern Scottsdale.  I still believe the best is yet to come.

PS:  I have posted a new video on my YouTube site that I think you will enjoy.  Please visit: youtube.com/c/VirginiaLKorte

 

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By Friends of John McCain
Phoenix, AZ-- Today, Democrat Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick is skipping town to hob-nob with liberal allies in California. But this is not the first time Democrat Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has desperately turned to her liberal cronies to buoy her lackluster campaign. She traveled to Hollywood a few months ago to participate in a four-day, closed-door conference of big money liberal fundraising network Democracy Alliance.
Congresswoman Kirkpatrick's private fundraising event today in San Francisco is yet another example of how she would rather give her time and attention to liberal special interests than talk to her own constituents. But this comes as no surprise. Her "campaign" to date has consisted of private meetings and pay-to-play events. From speaking at closed Planned Parenthood dinners, to fundraisers hosted by Emily's List and Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick is spending more time with the liberal establishment than Arizona voters.

Let us not forget one of her allies, Emily's List, made derogatory comments about Hispanic leaders supporting John McCain, referring to them as a “fake business coalition” conducting to customary politico “taco stop” and that John McCain was quick to put on his “Hispanic sombrero.” Even the Arizona Republic blasted these comments noting “what's really insulting is the presumption Latinos all think alike.”

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