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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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An alert for residents living along 83rd Avenue and 91st Avenue from Camelback Road to Bethany Home Road regarding the Planned Area Development application called Stonehaven. The applicant has submitted a revised Stonehaven development plan and has scheduled a formal Neighborhood meeting:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Sunset Ridge Elementary School Cafeteria

8490 West Missouri Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85305

The Glendale City Planner handling this case is the Glendale Planning Director, Jon Froke. He can be reached at 623-930-2585 or by email at jfroke@glendaleaz.com. Mr. Froke can answer your questions regarding the city review and hearing processes as well as the staff position once their report is complete. Below is a depiction of the Planned Area Development Land Use Master Plan. It is disappointing as the applicant is asking for more density while refusing to plan for large lots south of the Grand Canal and adjacent to Missouri Ranch (comprised of 10,000 SF lots). The largest lot size being proposed by the applicant is 7,000 SF. The applicant appears reluctant to listen to resident’s concerns about small lot sizes devaluing the property values of those who live near the proposed development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I urge you to attend this meeting especially if you live in Missouri Ranch; 8300 to 8600 W. Cavalier Drive; Pendergast Estates; Camelback Park, and all areas on the east side of 83rd Avenue including Orange Drive and Montebello Avenue.

Casino Issue not settled as U.S. District Judge David Campbell denied the Tohono O’odham’s (TO) request that he rule in the tribe’s favor without going to trial. Judge Campbell said he needed more information about allegations of fraud on the part of the Tohono O’odham. The trial will be scheduled sometime between April and August of 2017 making it a full year since June of 2016 when the Tohono O’odham filed suit against the state for its refusal to grant the tribe a Class III gaming license.

In the meantime Governor Ducey attempted to settle the case out of court by proposing to grant the TO a Class III gaming license in return for its promise to build no new casinos in the Phoenix Metro area. That overture was rebuffed by the TO and seems to signal that the TO may have plans for another casino in the Phoenix area. Could they have once again purchased land secretly betting that they can get their Class III gaming license without promising to build elsewhere in the Valley? I would think any Valley city with county islands should be very, very nervous. Here is the link to a December 19, 2016 story in the Arizona Republic: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2016/12/19/dispute-over-desert-diamond-west-valley-casino-heading-to-trial/95634944/ .

Tax increment financing for the Coyotes new arena is by no means guaranteed passage in the Arizona Legislature. Rather than granting tax increment financing and incentives for the Coyotes the legislature would be well served to assist the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) in crafting new revenue streams for the sagging revenues it currently receives. The Authority has only paid out $49.2 million dollars in reimbursements toward a total of $220.7 million dollars owed to various Valley cities for their ballparks facility construction/renovation.  AZSTA has commitments to reimburse Surprise, Tempe and Scottsdale by 2007 and now estimates those repayments will not be completed until 2021. Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Glendale and Goodyear are not expected to receive their reimbursements until 2031 and beyond. Better the legislature develop a fix that enables AZSTA to meet its commitments for those facilities already constructed by a vast array of Valley cities struggling to find the money to pay off their debts for construction. Here is a link to the state’s latest audit of AZSTA: http://az-sta.com/downloads/files/financial/2015-special-audit-by-the-office-of-the-auditor-general-full-report.pdf . Below is a chart (page 23) from that AZSTA audit:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony LeBlanc, CEO of the Coyotes, acknowledged that the legislature is “essential” for their plan. You can be sure they are already lobbying members of the state legislature. However, in past years Valley cities have also lobbied for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) only to be denied repeatedly. One of the plans floated last year by the Coyotes involved capturing portions of sales and/or tourism tax revenue in a tax district created in the area of their proposed arena. The Coyotes will have a difficult time pushing to the head of a line that relies on tourism sales tax revenues. The legislature would be well advised to create a financial fix for those facilities already in existence rather than diverting scarce resources to yet another new sports facility. The subsidization of sports teams and their venues is not a popular public topic when people are still hurting financially and have not derived economic benefits from the national recovery. Here is a link to a Mike Sunnicks article in the Phoenix Business Journal about the Coyotes plan to have the taxpayers and tourists subsidize their proposed arena: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2016/12/02/arizona-coyotes-arena-real-estate-group-eases.html

 © Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘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 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 material. 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.

Apparently Governor Doug Ducey has no problem throwing the City of Glendale under the bus. Recently he offered a settlement to the Tohono O’odham. Here is a link to Howard Fischer’s Capitol Times story: http://tucson.com/news/local/tohono-o-odham-say-proposed-casino-deal-not-likely-acceptable/article_da14a03a-e2b5-5fde-aa95-87519314c89c.html . In return for the state’s recognition of the Glendale casino as well as the state’s allowance of full Class III gaming at the Glendale casino the Governor wants the tribe in essence to promise not to build any other casinos in the metropolitan areas of  Phoenix and to limit gaming to the TO tribal land that existed in 2003. Gee, as a Glendale resident, I want to say, “Thank you, Governor.” The deal, in order to obtain buy-in from the other tribes, gives the tribes an increase gaming operations which means increased revenue for them.

The Tohono O’odham (TO) is reluctant to agree. They are betting that Judge Campbell, who is scheduled to hear arguments in mid-December on the TO’s lawsuit to compel the state to grant it Class III gaming, will rule in their favor. The TO assumes it will win this lawsuit and get Class III gaming in Glendale. The TO’s anticipated win of this current law suit allows them to retain the legal option to open casinos elsewhere in the Phoenix metro area.

A little refresher on history is needed. In 2002, the voters of the state approved a Gaming Compact between all tribes and the state for the purpose of gaming regulation at tribal casinos. The 2002 deal gave the tribes the exclusive right to conduct casino gaming in Arizona and was sold to voters on the promise that gambling would be restricted to existing reservations and that there would be no new casinos in the Phoenix area.

In the meantime, the TO, while actively encouraging voters to support the 2002 gaming compact, were already planning on breaching it. Prior to 2002 they were secretly and actively seeking land for the purpose of planting a casino in Maricopa County. Their original consideration was to purchase land in or around Buckeye. Buckeye dodged the bullet when the TO’s consultant opined that the site was too distant from the major urban centers of Phoenix. They settled on a county island in Glendale, close to city’s newly announced (in 2002) Westgate site as an entertainment district. They bought the land under a shell company and for seven years they kept it secret while Glendale invested millions of dollars into the development of Westgate. On the day in 2009, when they made their public announcement of their intent to build a casino in Glendale, they marched into city hall and in essence told the city they were coming and there was not a darned thing it could do about it.

For years, Glendale and the Salt River-Pima-Maricopa tribe and the Gila River tribe brought lawsuits against the Tohono O’odham. It has only been lately that Glendale’s city council dropped its opposition to the TO casino in return for 30 pieces of silver.

Here is the Arizona Republic’s latest editorial on the issue: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2016/11/30/tribal-gaming-settlement/94698276/ .

Everyone , to this day, believes the TO’s West Valley casino was a breach of the spirit of the 2002 agreement with voters that created the plan for limited tribal gaming. The tribes believe the TO breached their trust. Over the past 8 years the TO has created controversy, innumerable legal battles, enormous cost and a great deal of distrust regarding its word to its sister tribes and the voters of the state.

The TO’s response has been to say that it wants to consider all proposals using the Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA). Here’s the rub. The Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River-Pima-Maricopa Indian Community resigned from the AIGA in May, 2016, saying, “actions of the Tohono O’odham Nation to secretly develop a casino in direct opposition to the promises made by AIGA and other tribes has destroyed AIGA’s unity and undermined the principles of the organization.” Obviously the TO’s suggestion is not going to happen but it certainly provides the TO with convenient cover.

What to make of this latest volley? It is clear that no one on this planet trusts the Tohono O’odham’s word.  The only reason the state is willing to grant the long-coveted Class III gambling license is because Governor Ducey wants a signed, legal document  (promise) from the TO that they will not build any more casinos in the greater Phoenix metro area. The TO’s word is worth nothing and their signature on a contract may not be worth much more (do you see future law suits?).

In the meantime the TO wants its cake and to eat it too. They are cocky. They’ve won nearly every law suit. They have convinced themselves they will win this latest one. If they do, they will get their Class III gaming without having to promise anyone that they will not build more casinos in Maricopa County. Uh, oh, watch out Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, et. al. A Tohono O’odham casino planted in your town may be in your future! Can anyone say, “Las Vegas?”

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘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 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 material. 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 18 years and 98 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The reaction to the Tuesday, March 22, 2016 presidential primary in Arizona has been deafening and swift. Arizona’s long lines were a national story and an embarrassment as was the clearly unequal dispersement of polling locations throughout the county. Some areas ofI voted the county probably had too many polling locations while other areas of the county had none.

Greg Stanton, Phoenix’s mayor, has asked the U.S. Attorney to investigate. A petition is circulating asking the Obama administration’s Justice Department to investigate. Governor Doug Ducey weighed in calling for future open primaries that would allow all registered voters, no matter what party they belong to, to vote in a primary election. Even the State House Elections Committee is getting into the act and holding a hearing.

There’s plenty of blame to go around and all of it does not belong at the feet of Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Recorder. Don’t read this as Purcell being blameless for the buck stops at her office. She made poor decisions and bad recommendations to the County Board of Supervisors. She decided that there would be more mail-in ballots cast than walk-in votes. Wrong.  In February, upon the recommendation of Purcell, the Board approved only 60 locations from its usual number of 120. Purcell said cost concerns and the belief that a majority of ballots would be mail-in drove her recommendation. This is not the only election where an erroneous Purcell decision caused problems during an election. She won’t resign but it is time for her to go. Don’t worry; there will be plenty of candidates vying for her position at the next election.

Wait a minute…the Board of Supervisors did not have to accept her recommendation. Where was their due diligence? Certainly the Supervisors’ staff should have researched the issue before accepting her recommendation. Then there is the State Legislature and the Governor. budget 3They are not blameless either. The state legislature created a budget cutting funding used to conduct elections in all counties, including Maricopa County. County officials protested but no one in the legislature listened to them. Governor Ducey signed the state budget that included the reduced funding for county elections. Now the very same people who approved skimping on elections want Purcell’s head. People who live in political glass houses should not be throwing stones.

With all of the light on the situation be assured there will be more places than you can shake a stick at, for the General Election in November.

I promised to include comments I received from my blog readers about Tuesday’s election and I share them with you now:

DiNaslo

“Yesterday I was upset about the loooooooooong lines at Hope Chapel on 63rd Avenue in Glendale.

Today, after watching the news coverage last night, I am FURIOUS!

In the past, I’ve preferred to vote in person rather than use an Early Voting Ballot; I just like to go to my polling place, cast my ballot, and watch them put it in the machine. (I’ve never had too long a wait.)

Thinking this time would be no different, I didn’t request an Early Voting Ballot.

Unfortunately, I have developed a mobility problem that prevents me from standing for long periods of time, and there was no way I was going to be able to stand for 3+ hours in line waiting to vote!

Who would have thought there would be this HUGE fiasco?!

The evening news reported that Maricopa County cut the polling places from 200 (in 2012) to a mere 60 for this very important election!

The news also reported that at some (not all) of the polling places voters who had an Early Ballot, who simply wanted to drop it off, were not told they did not have to stand in the looooooong line. There should have been a volunteer outside (with a bull horn) telling people to go inside and drop off their ballot – but apparently that never happened! Why wasn’t this done? Utter lack of communication!

Not to mention Hope Chapel had only ONE bathroom to accommodate voters who needed to use the facility! Or other polling places running out of ballots!

UNBELIEVABLE!!

In a televised interview with Helen Purcell last night, she made some weak excuse about the reduced number of polling places, and also “blaming” the voter’s lack of information on the resultant loooooooong lines. How dare she!

This morning she stated she would not step down from her position, but I don’t think that should be her decision. She should be removed from her job, based on pure and simple Incompetence! She screwed up, she should pay the price – – as should any of her staff who were compliant in the decision to reduce the number of polling places to be made available to voters!

Sadly, Arizona has made the news – and not in a good way! Once again, we are made to look like a bunch of ignorant, uninformed fools – thanks to the leaders of this State.

You asked for my opinion, Joyce. Well, there you have it!”

Carpenter

“I couldn’t believe there were no polling places in south Glendale. I had an early ballot but when I realized my time frame, I just needed to drop my ballot. Rather than going 10 or 12 miles to the Glendale polling places, I chose to go to the 51st Avenue and Thomas polling place to just leave my ballot. I was shocked that the line went all the way around the building at 10:00 in the morning. I would never have been able to stand there that long. I know of two people for sure that could not take two or three hours to stand in line to cast their ballots. What poor planning for an area that constantly talks about wanting people to get out and vote. I remember years going to vote and my car would be the only one in the parking lot. Sure hope they get this mess worked out before the November election.”

Shelly Honn

“I would not have been able to stand in a 3 hour line having arthritis in both of my knees. I am very glad that I am also receive an early voting ballot. I think this state needs to seriously look at at least two things providing the ability to do online voting ONLY during a certain time frame (like from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. when most people are home) and also putting more polling locations in those areas where it is likely for individuals will not have a way to vote online. This is a complete embarrassment for our state.

It is also an embarrassment to our great country that these 5 individuals are who we have to choose from to become president, its disgusting.”

Tom Traw

“jOYCE, My wife was unable to stand in line for three hours so she did not vote and expect hundreds or thousand of voters who wanted to vote were angry and went home. Helen should probably lose her job over this fiasco. No common sense whatsoever. Our typical politicians for you. I wonder if it was planned by one party or the other????”

The Truth!!

“I am a young person but to stand in line ruined my already marginal feet even more. I was amazed how many people hung in there to use their right to vote.”

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘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 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 material. 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 109 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

In the Arizona Republic of April 17, 2015 Peter Corbett has reported in a story entitled State vows to block casino in W. Valley, the state is prepared to block the Tohono O’odham casino from opening in Glendale this fall. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/04/16/arizona-gaming-agency-will-block-valley-casino-opening/25915541/ .

Arizona’s Department of Gaming director, Daniel Bergin, recently sent a letter to the Tohono O’odham (TO) in which he claimed “fraud perpetrated by (the tribe) upon the state, Arizona gaming tribes and the state’s voters.” On that basis he could not allow the casino to open.  He went on to say, “…the (gaming agency) would exceed its authority if it were to proceed with certification…” The agency’s position is supported by Governor Doug Ducey. Ducey in a letter to the agency directed it to deny a gaming license and said that the TO was forcing the issue by construction of the temporary casino now.

I, and many, many Glendale residents, especially those within the Yucca district, site of the temporary casino, applaud the actions of the state Gaming Director and the Governor. The only reasons Glendale succumbed to the siren song of the TO, is that Councilmember Gary Sherwood flip flopped on his anti casino election stance and then 4 members of council took the TO’s thirty pieces of silver. A majority of this council changed the course of an entire city. It’s fair to expect that the TO will challenge the state’s action in court in a process guaranteed to go on for months if not another year. That is sure to guarantee that the temporary casino cannot and will not open this fall. Chairman of the TO, Ned Norris Jr., as expected declared his outrage at what he called the state’s “untenable position.”

Don’t forget that more action waits in the wings. The Keep the Promise Act of 2015 introduced by Senators McCain and Flake will see a vote up or down this year. The general assumption is the legislation will pass through Congress and stop the casino for once and for all.

It’s time to shut the doors on a Tohono O’odham casino, temporary or otherwise, in Glendale. It is ironic that a tribe that promotes gambling, itself gambled. It looks like the house will win and they will lose.

© 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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