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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Lately I have been in a “take no prisoners mode.” Think of Peter Finch as Mr. Beale in the film, Network, when he screams, “I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!” I am thoroughly disgusted with the lies and subterfuge offered on various Glendale issues masked in a guise of altruism and high-mindedness. Rather than advancing issues that serve the best interests of our community opinions and actions have degenerated into advocacy of personal agendas. Yes, I know “we all do it” and “it’s done all the time,” usually accompanied by an admonishment to be “realistic.” It’s time to call “a spade,” “a spade” and not the PC description of, “a hand-held implement with a sharp-edged, rectangular, metal blade and a long handle used to loosen or break up the upper strata of the earth.”

The Glendale Star is a perfect example. Newspapers once had the reputation of objectivity in their reportage. Like many other time honored values news objectivity has fallen by the wayside.  When it comes to the proposed Tohono O’odham casino the Glendale Star obviously supports it. It is no secret that its Editor, Carolyn Dryer, attended an Alvarez hosted pro-casino meeting as a like-minded individual. There were also TO representatives in attendance. Her editorial choices seem to clearly reflect her bias.

There is a referendum petition in circulation designed to put the recent council vote to reject US Representative Trent Franks’ HB 1410 on Glendale’s fall ballot. By the way, if HB 1410 successfully passes in the US Senate the TO’s proposed casino will die a righteous death. The defeat or passage of HB 1410 is more critical than the public realizes. Make no mistake. If HB 1410 passes there is sure to be more litigation.

The referendum effort is being led by Glendale resident Gary Hirsch, a former city council candidate. Mr. Hirsch’s position is well known as one of the Glendale citizen plaintiffs in a previous lawsuit against the Tohono O’odham’s (TO) proposed casino.

On April 24, 2014 the Glendale Star Editor Dryer published an opinion piece on the casino referendum issue written by Mike Kenny, its Web Editor. Here is the link: http://www.glendalestar.com/opinion/editorials/. Mr. Kenny’s opinion piece is a puff piece signifying “nothing.” I guess if one cannot speak to the issue the next best course of action is to denigrate it.  He refers to the referendum effort and characterizes it as achieving “nothing.” He goes on to say, “Oh, and it’s (council vote) a non-stance that likely has zero implications. It’s highly doubtful our nation’s Senate – if this bill is ever heard – will take into account the opinion of a city that can barely decide what its opinion is.” Really? If that were the case why did Councilmember Alvarez and her minions work so hard to bring it to a council vote? They believe that rejection of HB 1410 by the city in which the proposed casino would be sited would indeed send a strong signal.

What about other personal agendas on this issue? Those councilmembers who hold a pro-casino position appear to have done so for purely personal reasons not because they believe it is in the best interest of Glendale (although they will proclaim so loudly and often). Councilmember Alvarez seems to be in “pay-back” mode. It’s her way of sticking it to councilmembers who she perceives as having “disrespected” her when she first came on board. It’s purely personal and the TO have taken advantage of her vindictiveness. Councilmember Chavira owes Alvarez and the TO big time for their support and endorsement of his candidacy. It appears that their bill has come due and he is making good on his debt. Councilmember Hugh’s pro-casino stance is in contradiction to his usual fiscal conservatism. It’s been heard his wife is driving his pro-casino stance. Water cooler opinion has it that Councilmember Sherwood who ran as an anti-casino council candidate lusts to become Glendale’s next mayor and is expecting substantial financial support from the TO in his run for that office.

So much for decision making in the best interests of already beleaguered city. After all, it’s just politics. Isn’t it time for Glendale residents to say, “They’re mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore?”

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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newsOn August 1, 2013 The Glendale Star’s editor, Carolyn Dryer, delivered a commentary entitled Stop the waste; let Nation build resort/casino. As commentary obviously this is her position as well as that of the Glendale Star. One would expect no other position by the Glendale Star and Ms. Dryer considering that she has advocated for the position of Councilmember Alvarez (an avid supporter of the Tohono O’odham [TO]). Ms. Dryer even attended a meeting on the subject (along with other supporters) hosted by Alvarez at her home. That same meeting had as an attendee a Tohono O’odham hired consultant. I’m not sure why Ms. Dryer simply didn’t let TO Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. write her commentary – after all it is the TO party line almost word for word. She questions the motives of the plaintiffs — the City of Glendale, the State of Arizona and the Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community (supported by the way, by virtually every other Indian Nation in the state).  She implies that all of these parties are motivated by greed. Oh really? The City of Glendale seeks to maintain local control of its land (a county island within its municipal boundaries); the State seeks to maintain the integrity of states’ rights within its own borders; and the Indian tribes seek to protect the 2002 state-wide, voter approved State Gaming Act. Blatant greed falls on the shoulders of the Tohono O’odham. Their many deceptions give testimony to their willingness to sacrifice the Gaming Act to satisfy their desire for more revenue. gambling 3She then dismisses the risk to Indian gaming in this state if the Tohono O’odham prevails. It has been acknowledged by many over the years that if the TO succeed it destroys a carefully crafted state gaming compact and opens the flood gates for gaming to be sited anywhere — perhaps even near your neighborhood. Ms. Dryer then delivers what she believes is her coup de grace…job creation. Again, this is the TO party line. The Tohono O’odham have said repeatedly there will be 6,000 construction jobs. The Maryland Live! Casino is a 332,500 square foot facility (twice the size of the proposed TO casino) and anticipates creating 2,750 construction-related jobs (half that number would be approximately 1,400 jobs and reflects a much more realistic number for a TO facility much smaller). In an effort to “sell” the benefits of the TO casino the numbers have been inflated. It is a subtle form of deception, no doubt, but not unexpected. Problems throughout the country related to casino construction have surfaced. There is no guarantee by the TO that only local construction companies or workers will be used. Here is an example that demonstrates the out-of-state use of construction workers – a Press Release from a coalition of unions in California issued on January 15, 2013, “ROHNERT PARK, CA: Graton Rancheria’s (my note: a coalition of Indian tribes) promises to Sonoma County union workers have been dashed by lay-offs of local union members as out-of-area workers are being brought in to take their places. Sonoma County union construction workers report that workers are being brought in from “Nevada and the L.A. area” and even as far away as Alabama to work on the Graton Rancheria casino/hotel project in Rohnert Park. It is amazing that the supporters of the casino still don’t get it. In their lust for job creation they are willing to accept a host of problems that are the baggage that a casino brings to a community, especially one with 10,000 homes and apartments adjacent to it. The sacrifice of our community is not worth the promises made.

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