The Conservative's Corner
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.
The last time Paradise Valley paid much attention to the large, empty real estate between Mockingbird and Scottsdale Road and Lincoln and Indian Bend Roads was November, 2008. Then, Paradise Valley voters were wise to pass by a nearly 2-1 margin a mixed-use plan that had a new Ritz-Carlton at its core.
While the entitlement granted by the then Paradise Valley Town Council was aggressive it did not jeopardize the town’s character.
Fast forward to 2014. The developer of the project is now saying its generous entitlement wasn’t, and isn’t enough.
Why? Because what are they to do with a big chunk of their plan now that Scottsdale approved a large new apartment project that will stare into the back of its project? That 4-story project has now been built and opened on the northwest corner of Scottsdale and Lincoln.
The attorney and lead lobbyist for that apartment complex was none other than the same one the Ritz developer employs. And did the Ritz ever state any opposition to the apartment plan? Of course not. Why? Because it knew the increased density in Scottsdale could be used to justify absurd new requests of Paradise Valley.Read more
The cathedrals of Europe tend to be of the religious variety, serving both as cornerstones of faith and tourism.
Here in the United States our cathedrals are the shrines of sport. Wrigley Field. Fenway Park. Augusta. Churchill Downs.
They are magnets for economic impact.
In Arizona we do have a rather Grand, natural cathedral three hours to the north. Closer to home some of the country’s largest municipal preserves located in Scottsdale and Phoenix remind us of the Valley’s special nature.
When it comes to the man made variety we do have a mansion called Wrigley and a remarkable Frank Lloyd Wright winter home. But we don’t have anything that truly captures the bucket list imagination of the tourist besides the general concept of spring training.
The pool at Chase Field was a noble attempt but for the Los Angeles Dodgers pissing a little vinegar in it last year it hasn’t served as much of a discussion point.Read more
Like any monopoly the public school system has constantly fought change, during the past decade in the form of greater school choice.
And it is losing in higher income areas like the Scottsdale School District where some 9,000 students choose charter or private schools.
This is putting enormous pressure on the system there, populated by bureaucrats who don’t know how to innovate. Monopoly and old school is their mantra. Head sanders they are.
They must be taking particular umbrage this Arizona legislative session with SB 1100. Backed by an impressive cross-section of Republican legislators ranging from Barto, Worsley and Pratt to Montenegro, Farnsworth and Yee it is the ultimate addition of insult to the public school injury.Read more
Arizona’s NHL franchise avoided a public vote following the Glendale City Council’s split decision to award its new owners a $15 million payment. Such a referendum election would have likely torpedoed the transition to new ownership since it would have delayed ratification of the city agreement until after the season was to begin.
The saga that has been hockey ownership in the desert was thought to be over, at least for the next five years. But a movement taking place in Ohio raises new questions for hockey fans. There, a group is seeking to unravel via a citizen’s initiative an agreement for local government to fund the arena for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, a structure that may have some parallels to the Glendale situation.Read more
We ask because of the Arizona Republic headline today raising similar questions about current Maricopa County Board Chairman Denny Barney (Maricopa County chairman in ethics flap). While many Republicans don’t like the Republic, the story reminds us of the import of the fourth estate, especially robust investigative journalism. We digress as we necessarily observe who will be there to shed light on that which was done today if larger media goes away? This blog? Other bloggers? A motley crew on Facebook? Back to our premise.
Barney achieved the near impossible in 2012. Running as a rookie for a coveted seat abandoned by Fulton Brock he ran unopposed. That’s because of the regard the marketplace had for Barney personally, his family and his promise.
Surely his constituents thought the youthful Barney mature enough to avoid the kind of problems described today in which he apparently nudged Maricopa County staff to resolve issues that were costing his development project money.Read more
As we are about to enter the 2014 campaign season television advertisements and flyers will flood mailboxes and airwaves. They will emphasize many words and messages. But nary a one will tout “wisdom.” They should.
Readers are surely familiar with former Maricopa County Andy Thomas’ travails. And they may have read Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts (click here) as well as the paper’s editorial (click here). Both questioned the prosecutorial wisdom of current Attorney General Tom Horne and what amounted to rather paltry charges in his office’s pursuit of former Fiesta Bowl lobbyist Gary Husk. Readers are probably familiar with other reasons General Horne’s conduct can be questioned as well. And while many Republicans don’t love yet another former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, they will still recognize him as a straight shooter. So when he calls Horne’s ethics and conduct into question it is noteworthy.
This all leads us to Andrew Thomas’ successor Bill Montgomery. Although only a practicing lawyer for about a decade he appears to have uncommon wisdom among recent Arizona prosecutors.Read more
Every community has critics. And that’s a good thing, especially in an age of a declining fourth estate. Their eyes, ears and energy can be just what’s needed to shine a light into some darker places.
But in Scottsdale activism has become its own art form, its own sport. While there are certainly problems in one of America’s best cities some of the criticism operates in an existential-like luxury of complaint – kind of like Peter Cook cheating on Christie Brinkley. He was lucky to be married to her before he wasn’t, like Scottsdale residents are fortunate to live where they do, until they don’t.Read more
On Monday night Florida State defeated Auburn for the national college football championship. They did so on the final drive of the game, arriving in the red zone with just seconds left. Football winners and losers are often decided by those who score when they get within 20 yards of the end zone, and those who do not. Florida State did.
The journey may be a bit involved, but it is looking a whole lot better than it was, and that befell Rawhide before it.
That’s because Greasewood Flat owners have been expressing an interest in relocating to a more authentic, rural location within the city as urban sprawl has closed in around them, infringing on the experience. So unique is the experience it could likely continue to withstand the encroachment but if other, better alternatives are available why bother? Why risk it? After all, the family’s Reata Pass Restaurant was forced to close a couple of years ago, likely because guests no longer felt the authenticity that once was. Reata Pass never seared the local or tourist conscience like Greasewood Flat or Rawhide. The family has said it is not coming back and that is no great loss. But a decade ago losing Rawhide to the Gila River Indian Community was. And so it would be with Greasewood. Approving a new location for it should be unanimous and enthusiastic, not unlike what occurred for the new Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale dealership that’s sprung to life across from Scottsdale Fashion Square.Read more
It’s a fascinating tale and one that would have taken a slice of Valley history through a different sliding door.
Following not one but two landslide elections in favor of locating an arena at Scottsdale and McDowell Roads voters probably expected their City Council to implement their wishes. It was not to be with a disrespectful, divided council.Read more
If the City of Scottsdale was a private company it would have, and should have, sued numerous companies and cities for violating its intellectual property.
Because “Scottsdale” is a notable brand many others have appropriated it.
Consider the concentration of automobile dealers along Scottsdale Road near the Loop 101. Their edifices even tout “North Scottsdale.” Yet, that side of the road is actually in the City of Phoenix with car sales accruing revenues to it.
Then there is the Westin Kierland Resort also near Scottsdale Road. It too brands itself as “Scottsdale.” But it’s not. It’s Phoenix.
But the most egregious example of all may have been reported just today by the Arizona Republic. Here’s a link.
Its article described an acquisition of the Montelucia Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley, Arizona noting it will be renamed the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Notwithstanding that mouthful the property sits some 3 miles from the closest Scottsdale border. Three miles.Read more
Fallen American solider Lori Piestewa was, is, and will always be a hero. Period. She deserves to have any mountain named after her in Arizona.
But about a decade ago renaming Phoenix landmark Squaw Peak wasn’t just about honoring Ms. Piestewa. It was about eliminating the name “squaw,” a derogatory term to most if not all Native Americans.
It became a priority of then Governor Janet Napolitano who owed her 2002 gubernatorial election to the strong get out the vote effort undertaken by the “21 tribes” that spent massively to pass Arizona’s Indian gaming ballot measure that November.
So committed to the name change was the Democratic governor that former strongman staffer Mario Diaz undertook, shall we say, some rather serious political maneuvering to get it done. Aggressive or not that might have been the last effective political engineering by Diaz, but we digress. And we are confused.
If the word “Squaw” to recognize a peak was so offensive then, and we still live in an age when there is a growing opposition to an NFL franchise retaining the name “Redskins,” why does Mayor Stanton and the City of Phoenix illuminati still permit “Squaw Peak Drive” in the mountain’s shadow?
There the sign sits, prominent, contradicting Piestewa Peak.
What say you Mayor Greg Stanton? Councilman Michael Nowakowski? Councilwoman Kate Gallego? Councilwoman Laura Pastor? Councilman Daniel Valenzuela?Read more
The late and legendary former Mayor of Scottsdale Herb Drinkwater decades ago dreamt what has indeed become true: the WestWorld of Scottsdale area has become an epicenter for Valley activity.
Now, the country’s largest golf tournament, car auction and Arabian horse show all call the area home. So does the wildly popular Ice Den as well as one of the finest residential communities built in America over the past three decades, DC Ranch.
Indeed, both Barrett-Jackson and the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show are set to move into the new $50 million Tony Nelssen Equestrian Center at WestWorld over the next two months, solidifying their place in the Northeast Valley for the foreseeable future.
Years prior to this pending fulfillment of Drinkwater’s vision Scottsdale was administered by a City Manager named Jan Dolan, best described as a municipal Cruella Deville.
Among her achievements was leading the charge at the height of the real estate market for Scottsdale to pay some $55 million to buy 80 acres from the Arizona State Land Department, at a time when she and council incoherence couldn’t quite figure out what to do with WestWorld.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phoenix, AZ- September 29, 2014- Today, Shawnna Bolick, Republican candidate for Arizona House of Representatives in Legislative District 28, received the endorsement of Arizona’s state treasurer and Republican nominee for governor, Doug Ducey.
“I strongly support Shawnna Bolick for the House in LD 28,” stated Doug Ducey. “She will bring common sense principles and the right skill set to the job. Shawnna has distinguished herself both in the community and as an education advocate. I know she will represent our district well because she is a strong, effective, and compassionate voice.”Read more
Rogers Calls on Sinema to Keep Her Promise Asks Her To Return Salary For Not Doing Her Job
In a desperate attempt to whitewash her Washington record, Krysten Sinema began airing an ad today that tried to gloss over her failings in Washington. In her ad, Sinema said Congress should not get paid if it doesn't do its job . . . something that found immediate support from candidate Wendy Rogers.
“I agree, I look forward to Kyrsten Sinema returning her salary to taxpayers for the past two years,” said Wendy Rogers. “Given that she has not voted for a single budget or offered a solution of her own - it's pretty clear she’s not doing her job. She should live up to her promise to return her pay.”
Sinema voted against the House Budget H. Con. Res. 96 on April 10th, 2014. She also voted against the Democratic Budget Alternative on the same day. A check of House sponsored bills also shows that she has never offered a budget of her own. Sinema also voted against a balanced budget that would have prevented Members of Congress from using taxpayer dollars to fly first class (Roll Call #88; 3/20/2013).Read more
I’ve got big news: tomorrow, Andy Tobin will be the first House candidate to deliver the Republican Weekly Address in this critical election year.
I asked Andy to step up because he’s got a strong message.
As a small businessman, Andy has seen firsthand how ObamaCare is hurting families and job creators.
As Speaker of the Arizona House, he cut spending and balanced the budget to save taxpayers and encourage growth.
And as a resident of rural Arizona, Andy knows all too well that top-down, Washington-knows-best “solutions” aren’t the answer to getting America back on track.
Andy is going to do great with this week’s address, and with our help, he can win on November 4th.
There's 53 days left and Democrats are attacking him from all sides. Andy needs your help.
Let’s get this done.
Speaker of the House
Our first campaign television ad just launched . I encourage you to share it with family, neighbors and friends.
I'm proud of this ad because its story represents why I am running to be Arizona’s next Attorney General. There are people all over Arizona like Connie Groff who need an advocate and a voice.
Special interest groups and companies have their lawyers and their lobbyists but normal, hard working Arizonans have the Attorney General as their lawyer.Read more
“I want to thank the NRCC for recognizing me as part of their Young Guns program. I believe that this district needs a strong leader who will stand up for Arizona, not stand behind the Obama administration and government bureaucrats as Kyrsten Sinema has done,” said Wendy Rogers.
She continued, “Kyrsten Sinema has failed Arizona. She said she would change the way things are done in Congress, but instead she has just given us more of the same. She voted against pay cuts for Members of Congress and banning their taxpayer-funded first class airfare. When the people of her district needed her most during the Phoenix VA scandal, she refused to lead. Instead, she stood by the bureaucracy, calling for hearings and studies instead of immediate action. Arizona doesn’t need a cheerleader for the Obama administration, we need a real leader. If elected, I will lead the way on policies to reduce the size of government, grow our economy, and protect our freedoms.”Read more
Phoenix, AZ – Senator Michele Reagan is proud to announce the endorsement of State Representative Justin Pierce in her bid for Arizona Secretary of State. Representative Pierce, who also vied for the Republican Secretary of State nomination, released the following statement supporting Senator Reagan and encouraging Republicans to unify their support behind Michele.
“Running for Arizona Secretary of State was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. We ran a positive campaign and many thanks go out to all my supporters for their tireless efforts to help me win the Republican nomination. Even though we fell just short of our goal, the campaign reinforced my belief that if I didn’t win the nomination, Michele Reagan was the perfect candidate for Secretary of State. I am confident in her abilities to effectively and efficiently execute the duties of the Secretary of State and therefore, I proudly endorse her campaign.Read more
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