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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 241 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

One would have to be blind not to see the Tohono O’odham’s (TO) casino construction in Glendale north of Glendale Avenue and west of 91st Avenue. Technically it is on a county island but in reality it is surrounded by the City of Glendale. It IS in Glendale.

The Tohono O’odham are throwing up the structure as fast as they possibly can. They are taking a huge gamble, which seems apropos as they are in that business…gambling. Still unresolved is a decision from the 9th Circuit Court; there is still federal legislation, the Keep the Promise Act of 2015, waiting for a vote; and the state’s decision to withhold a gaming license is in the legal system as well. Any one of these three actions could bring the casino to a permanent, grinding halt.

In a recent Glendale Star editorial, Carolyn Dryer, editor, says, “They (TO) have paid their dues. It is time to give them a gaming license and allow them to open their doors.” That opinion should come as no surprise to anyone. Ms. Dryer attended, as a private citizen, one of former Councilmember Norma Alvarez’ pro-casino meetings held at her home. From the very start the Star has never been unbiased in its coverage of the casino issue and has used its bully pulpit to advance the goals of the Tohono O’odham at every opportunity.

What dues has the TO paid? They lied to the voters of the state gaming compact. They lied to their sister tribes never revealing their intent to build a casino in Maricopa County, hundreds of miles away from their reservation in Southern Arizona. They lied to everyone by keeping secret for years their purchase of land in Glendale.

I have never supported the casino and still do not. I believe it sets a precedent that ignores the voter approved gaming compact of 2002 and it will break open the gaming market in Maricopa County. We will see casinos being built in other communities throughout the Valley. Even worse, I am offended by the lies and subterfuge used by the TO in acquiring the land secretly and its failure to reveal that fact at the very time the first state gaming compact was under consideration by voters. Those voters had a right to know that the TO had plans to build another casino in Maricopa County and did not intend to live up to the promises their Chairman, Ned Norris, Jr., made in selling the compact.

What is really disconcerting is the building will be crap. Yes, I said crap. It’s intended to be a future warehouse, for God’s sake. The ceiling will be exposed with lights hanging by wires from the ceiling beams. How’s that for classy and upscale? It certainly won’t be any Talking Stick but of course, that is all that the West Valley merits. It’s just another promise made and broken by the TO. This building has one purpose and that is to rake in money for the tribe. The TO could have built a big barn and stuffed cattle…errr… hoards of gamblers, into it and it would have served just as well as their warehouse casino.

Oh, but this is only temporary. Do you ever wonder what the TO’s definition of temporary is? Is it a year? 5 years? 10 years? It doesn’t matter what the TO tell you for it will be just another promise broken.

Many people are just plain tired about the ongoing saga and hope for final resolution. The silent majority of Glendale residents want the casino stopped permanently. It’s time for Senators McCain and Flake to bring the Keep the Promise Act of 2015 to a vote. Their rationale is that there is always a more pressing issue and it’s not the right time. There will never be a right time…it’s time for Congress to vote this issue up or down.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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It has been 17 years and 240 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Darren Goforth, a 10 year veteran of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was executed last night while pumping gas at a suburban Houston gas station.

Courtesy Harris County Sheriff's Office

Courtesy Harris County Sheriff’s Office

Goforth was shot once in the back and fell to the ground. The killer then walked over to Goforth and fired shot after shot into his body. The killer fled in a red pickup truck. Harris County deputies are currently interviewing “a person of interest.” Goforth is survived by his wife and two children. Our deepest condolences go to his family, friends and brothers and sisters of law enforcement.

The stark reality of this killing should be enough to make everyone angry. Where is the outrage? As the Harris County prosecutor said in a recent press conference, “It’s time for the silent majority to act.” This murder, for that’s what it is, strikes at the very heart of law enforcement. There are a few bad actors in any profession but the vast majority of police officers are good, decent people who have a true and unabiding commitment to protect each and every one of us. This killing was no more than an unfathomable and senseless act.

When a police officer shoots a black, justly or unjustly, black America erupts into protest, rage and violence. Fact: approximately 100 blacks are killed by law enforcement in a year. Yet 5,600 black men, women and children, yes children, are killed by blacks every year. Black on black crime is rampant. Where is the outrage? There is none…just an overwhelming silence.

In the past 6 months a war on law enforcement has emerged. There are many reasons. The obvious one is individual acts of revenge on police officers fueled by the hatred and racism spewed by Black Lives Matter. This group has created a verbal pass embraced by many blacks as a rationale to attack and kill law enforcement officers.

A more serious reason is lack of respect for authority of any kind. It has become pervasive in America and is destroying moral and social order. We see it everywhere. When a child disobeys its parents and there are no immediate consequences. When a student beats a teacher and there are no immediate consequences. When people drift away from their faith and abandon its principles and there are no immediate consequences. When a person shoplifts or steals and there are no immediate consequences. When people traffic in or use drugs and there are no immediate consequences. When a person of power and prominence commits an unlawful act and there are no immediate consequences.

There may be no immediate consequences but there are long term consequences that create the destruction of values in our society. We, the vast silent majority, have to turn things around. We, the vast silent majority, have to take back our country. We, the vast silent majority, have to do more than pay lip service to our problems. We, the vast silent majority, must care. In the meantime, law enforcement…watch your backs for you are the targets.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 237 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Peter Corbett’s article in the August 21, 2015 edition of the Arizona Republic reports settlement of a 2014 law suit between the Coyotes and Jason Rose of Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations firm. Here is the link:  http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/08/21/coyotes-settle-lawsuit-scottsdale-polo-event/32112415/ .

The Coyotes had hired Rose’s public relations firm to work to defeat a citizen referendum in Glendale designed to block the arena deal between the Coyotes and the city. The referendum was unsuccessful and the Coyotes subsequently owed the firm a base fee of $25,000 and a $250,000 bonus. To pay off the debt the Coyotes were supposed to sponsor the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships (Rose’s baby) to the tune of $55,000 annually and give two front row hockey tickets for 8 games a season for 5 years.

Then LeBlanc seems to have stiffed Rose. The public relations firm got its base fee of $25,000 and one year of sponsorship in 2013…not the $55,000 promised but only $25,000. After that the spigot closed and the Coyotes did not pay another dime.

The judge handling the case granted the public relations firm’s motion for a jury trial. Can you imagine? Another round of negative publicity from a jury trial for the Coyotes? You can be sure after that motion was granted the real negotiation for a final settlement began. Last week both sides finally settled.

What is in this final settlement? No one knows. The terms are undisclosed and no one is talking…not the Coyotes and not Rose. Rose probably got his pound of flesh or he wouldn’t have settled. LeBlanc probably shouldn’t have promised what appears he didn’t intend to deliver.

It raises an issue of concern. The city’s cancelling of the original lease management agreement was a wise move. What was LeBlanc failing to report that the city had no means to verify? If and when the city reenters negotiation with the Coyotes for another long term agreement hopefully the city will include protections and means of verification that were absent in the original agreement. However, it would be prudent for the city to wait until the RFP bids have come in. They will be very helpful in determining fair market values. This time around there are lessons to be learned from recent history. Let’s hope the city does its homework.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Read more

It has been 17 years and 235 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On Tuesday, August 25, 2015 the Glendale city council will go into executive session. One of its topics is sure to be council’s setting of goals for and approval of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for future management of Glendale’s arena. It is a good move.

An RFP will provide information on what is the fair market value for management of its arena. The previous RFP yielded results that indicated that a fair management fee was in the $6 million dollars per year range. Those results can lead to a totally independent firm managing the arena and removing that responsibility from the Coyotes. It sets up a scenario that has the Coyotes as tenants only.

One area that will have to be resolved is that of the parking fees. Apparently under the temporary 2 year agreement the Coyotes continue to keep parking and ticket surcharge revenues. Why? These schemes…for that’s what they were…were created specifically to generate revenue for the city. They were designed to reimburse the city for the $15M a year it was paying as a management fee.

The  amount generated was approximately $8-$9M a year, not enough to cover the $15M annual management fee. Ticket surcharge revenues had always gone to the city even before the latest agreement with IceArizona. In all previous agreements there had been an escalator clause that incrementally raised the surcharge annually.

Whether the arena manager is a new entity or the Coyotes, it’s time to deal with these surcharges to the benefit of the city. Either parking is once again free as it had been before IceArizona or the parking revenue, if utilized, should go to the city. The same can be said of the ticket surcharge…either it goes away entirely or the revenue goes to the city. If the surcharges were to go to the city and the city continues to pay a $6M annual management fee it is possible that the city may actually cover that annual cost and perhaps generate some revenue to be used for the benefit of Glendale’s citizens. Now, that’s a nice thought, isn’t it? Glendale’s taxpayers have been subsidizing the arena for quite some time. It would be wonderful if the arena actually made some money. It’s time for the city to play hard ball and to stop giving away the farm.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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