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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

In the March 5, 2015 edition of the Glendale Star Becker Boards is running a full page advertisement. The ad states that Becker Boards will pay someone $1,000 to be donated to their favorite 501C3 charity if you can see a crane on their property on March 13, 2015 between 3 pm and 6 pm.  Becker is running a “crane test” on their property that evening try to prove that their proposed digital and static billboards are benign and really won’t bother you.

There are qualifiers to win the money: 1. you have to be able to see the crane with the naked eye; 2. you must see it from the first floor of your home or yard; 3. you must live in Glendale and 4. you must call your district councilmember or Mark Becker (602-740-9145) to have them come to your home to verify your claim. Oh, and only 1 donation per household. So don’t have your 5 family members call to make a claim.

It’s a great marketing shtick but Becker has missed the larger picture. In their stubborn attempt to get their billboards approved they do not realize their action as precedent setting. Should those billboards be approved the door is open to allow billboards all along the Loop 101 from Bell Road to 59th Avenue. With the exception of the Bell Road commercial corridor, the majority of property along the Loop 101 in Glendale is all residential with a sea of homes dotting the landscape. More applications for billboards along the Loop 101 are sure to follow.

There are only 2 sections of the Loop 101 in Glendale. One section is from Camelback Road to Northern Avenue. That area is commercial with the WalMart Center at Camelback Road to Dignity Hospital West south of Northern Avenue. Billboards in that area are appropriate to a commercial corridor. However, the other section of Loop 101 runs from Bell Road eastward to 59th Avenue. Only Bell Road is commercial. Beyond Bell all one can see are homes. That area is not appropriate for the proliferation of billboards.

There is a large segment of Glendale citizens philosophically opposed to billboards as visual pollution. For them it is a matter of principle to keep billboards out of Glendale as much as possible.

There is a great deal of anger and frustration by residents in the Sahuaro and Cholla districts. They fought the fight against billboards and were pleased when the city council listened to their voices and denied the Becker billboard proposal. Now it has been resurrected and they must fight the same issue again. Councilmember Gary Sherwood has said publicly that he will bring the issue up every six months until it is approved. Is he pushing this issue because of the campaign contributions he received from the Becker billboard interests as well as attorneys from the Jordan Law Group, attorneys for Becker? That is for you to decide.

On another note: The advisory recommendations of denial of the proposed Foothills library sale and relocation made by three commissions, Arts, Library and Parks & Recreation were to be received by the city council at the March 3, 2015 city council workshop meeting. That did not occur and now we are hearing that those recommendations of denial will be presented to the council “sometime this spring.” Many residents are wondering what the heck is going on? It leads them to assume that there is some kind of secret deal between Midwestern University and the City of Glendale and that it is a fait accompli. Residents are decidedly unhappy between the billboard issue rising again and the limbo of waiting for a final decision on the proposed library sale. It’s time to put both issues out of their misery irrevocably and permanently.

© 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.

Since many residents of the Sahuaro and Cholla districts are not within the notification area I am passing on the Becker billboard letter in its entirety. Please pass this notification to interested friends and neighbors.

March 2, 2015

Re: Proposed Installation of Two 85 foot tall billboards (2 freeway oriented faces initially as digital) located along the West Side of the Loop 101 Freeway North of Bell

Dear Neighbor:

This letter is to inform you that we are applying to amend rezoning case ZON06-09 for the Palm Canyon Business Park Planned Area Development (PAD) within the City of Glendale. Palm Canyon Business Park is located at the northwest corner of Bell Road and the Loop 101 Freeway and in Glendale’s Cholla City Council District. The proposed PAD amendment will permit the installation of two billboards along the property’s Loop 101 frontage of which two of the freeway oriented faces will be digital and the other faces will be initially built as illuminated statics. The southern sign, located on the corner of Bell Road and the Loop 101 Freeway, would have two faces oriented toward the freeway (the southern face to be digital and the northern face to be initially built as an illuminated static) and one static face oriented toward the eastbound lanes of Bell Road. The northern sign would be located approximately 1,000 feet north of the southern property boundary (the northern face to be digital and the southern face to be initially built as an illuminated static). This northern sign would contain only two faces oriented toward the Loop 101 freeway and would not be oriented to the west. A site plan and illustrations are included with this letter for your reference.

We invite you to attend a neighborhood meeting at the time and location detailed below. At this meeting you can review additional exhibits of the proposed site plan and elevations of the signs and project. Representatives will be in attendance to answer your questions and discuss any concerns that you may have. The neighborhood meeting will be held at:

  • Arrowhead Elementary School
  • 7490 W. Union Hills Drive
  • Glendale, AZ 85308
  • March 18, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but wish to discuss the project you can contact me at 602-740-9145 or MBecker@BeckerBillboards.com or contact Thomas Ritz, City of Glendale Senior Planner, at (623) 930-2588 or tritz@glendaleaz.com .

P.S. On March 13, 2015, between approximately 3:00-6:00 p.m. a crane will be placed on the property at the approximate location and height of the future signs (one crane will be used- it will start at the northernmost billboard location for the first half of the time and then be moved to the southernmost billboard location for the second half of the time) for residents and interested citizens to view at their convenience. Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                 Mark Becker, Becker Boards Large

Relief has set in…at least for a little while. We have a short respite before the presidential election cycle in 2016.  No more daily dozen of political robo calls asking for your money, your vote and virtually your first born child. Politics, as has been said many times, is a rough sport. One has to admire and congratulate all candidates for putting themselves before voters for judgment and eventual approval or rejection.

The old cliché is that every vote counts. There are two stark examples. Nationally, the congressional senate race in Virginia between Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie is still too close to call a winner. 2,132,824 people voted. Warner has 1,072,487 and Gillespie has 1,060,337, a 12,150 vote difference between the two.

In Glendale the Ocotillo race has virtually the same scenario in a tight race between Jamie Aldama and Norma Alvarez. In Ocotillo 1,910 people voted. Of those votes Aldama has 960 votes and Alvarez has 950 votes…a difference of 10 votes. This scenario is not new to Alvarez. In her first election she won by 9 votes. No winner has been declared yet.

What is most disturbing of all is voter apathy. We see it in every election, especially in Glendale. Look at the vote totals by district. In Cholla district 7,080 people voted. In the Barrel district 4,860 people voted and in Ocotillo district 1, 910 people voted.

The last time Glendale reconfigured its districts its goal was to maintain approximately 40,000 people in each district. Slightly over 7,000 people decided who would represent the Cholla district. In Barrel and Ocotillo districts it’s even worse. Nearly 5,000 people decided the fate of the 40,000 residents in the Barrel district and nearly 2,000 people decided the fate of the 40,000 residents of the Ocotillo district.

Congratulations to the winners. You put yourselves before the voters and they approved. It is now your responsibility to represent their interests. Be wary of the temptations to decide that you know what is best or to believe that you have an obligation to pay back the special interests that contributed mightily to your campaigns. Remain humble and respectful of all and their points of view. Above all, listen. Game over…for now.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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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