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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"


Anthony LeBlanc

Ever since the NHL principals and Renaissance Sports and Entertainment group (RSE) principals descended upon Glendale on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 new speculation blossoms. On May 30, 2013 Forbes online posted an article by Mike Ozanian entitled Phoenix Coyotes $170 million sale to be partially funded by NHL. Here’s the link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2013/05/30/phoenix-coyotes-170-million-sale-to-be-partially-funded-by-nhl/. The article appears to be factually correct and correlates with the information learned several days ago about the Renaissance deal. Thank God, at least it’s not a hatchet job from the Arizona Republic (or as it is fondly called in some circles, the Arizona Repulsive).


Gary Bettman

Breaking it down RSE gets a $120M loan (or 70% of the purchase price of $170M) from Fortress Investment group. Unconfirmed sources say the interest rate is 9% but I have no information on the length of the loan.  It gets another loan from the NHL of $80M (50% but no info on rate or length of time) and RSE puts in $45M (26% equity investment). Sources indicate that George Gosbee’s participation is $10M with minor investors contributing approximately $4M – $5M each to cover the $35M balance. But those figures total $250M you say…more than the purchase price of $170M. What’s the extra $80M for? To cover losses incurred over several years. Oh, and by the way, RSE doesn’t have to start paying the NHL for five years and they have been assured by the NHL that their revenue sharing will be “healthy.” This is a very, very sweet deal for RSE.

The best analogy I can come up with is this. You buy a $1700 refrigerator. You put $1200 of it on your credit card and you kick in $450 cash. Oh, and by the way, the company you are buying the fridge from doesn’t require payment for 5 years (of course, the interest is piling up) AND it will rebate you $800 that you can use for repairs, etc.

Now, you have three cousins, Darin (Pastor), Greg (Jamison) and Matt (Hulsizer) but the dealer will only offer his spectacular deal to one of the four of you. Darin is willing to pay $500 in cash; Greg is willing to put up $550 in cash and Matt is willing to pay $600 in cash. You would think that one of your three cousins was a lock to get the refrigerator deal but that’s not the case. Perhaps you and the dealer have an “understanding” and you end up with the deal. Go figure.

Another Rube Goldberg pond contraption

Posted by Joyce Clark on May 28, 2013
Posted in fish pondKoi pond  | Tagged With: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pond vac 1

Pond Vac

Having put together our shop vac system to muck the bottom of the pond I wanted something to combat the free floating algae in the pond water. Back to Internet surfing again. This time I found a suggestion for an external filter. Our filters are doing a good job but there is so much fine, lacy algae they simply cannot keep up with it all.

I went to Wal-Mart and bought another bag of polyfill batting, a round sprinkler and a tall kitchen garbage receptacle. Again, my purchases were under $20. The only other items needed were a piece of hose and a submersible pump. Fortunately we had both lying around.

The old pump is submersible and moves 600 gallons of water an hour and can completely recirculate the pond water in about 12 hours. We placed the pump is in a sack we made of old, screen door netting to protect it from becoming clogged by algae. We attached an old shovel handle to it so that we can pick up the pump and move it around without having to get into the pond.

External filter inside

Inside of external filter
Poly fill batting
Sprinkler and hose

External filter trash container

External filter
trash container
holes drilled in
bottom, front

External filter hose and pump

External filter
hose from submersible pump
to sprinkler in trash container







A piece of hose runs from the pump into the plastic garbage can filled with polyfill batting. Again we drilled about 9 large holes at the bottom of the garbage can on one side only and drilled a hole at the top on the side to slip the hose into. We attached the sprinkler to the hose end draining into the garbage can. We run this external filter system during the day from about 7am to 11pm. It has been working for about a week and we can see that the water is clearing.


Fish in May 2013

We will never rid ourselves of all the algae nor would we want to. The fish do eat the algae and as they root around the bottom and sides of the pond eating algae they disturb it and the fine stuff floats up to the surface. We do see clumps of this fine stuff on the water’s surface. I have tried skimming with our trusty pool net it but it is so fine, it just dissolves. However, it does float over to the internal filters where it is sucked into the system.

water quality 1

Water quality in May
in Arizona

As we enter the really hot part of the year in Arizona the water is becoming more cloudy and with time, we will not be able to see the fish. The filters will not be able to keep up with Mother Nature’s algae production.  I am determined, no matter the temptation, not to use chemicals this summer for summer will end, the water will clear and we will be surprised at how big the fish became while invisible to us.


Memorial Day, 2013

Posted by Joyce Clark on May 27, 2013
Posted in Musings over a cup of early morning tea  | Tagged With: , | 3 Comments

mem 3I have actually heard people wish me a “Happy Memorial Day.” I am aghast. What have we become? A nation of those who mark the start of summer each year by a three day Memorial weekend? My father, my husband and many assorted relatives served in the military. Many of us have at least one family member who has served. These men and women pledged to offer the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, if need be, to protect the greatest country on earth. They do not boast. They do not brag. They serve(d) with a quiet dignity and steadfastness. Much of their experience we will never hear of and even if we did, how could we possibly understand?

Yet the day has degenerated to one of blowout sales, tubing down the Salt River, catching a ball game, hosting a B-B-Q. These activities are not immoral on this day — if somehow, sometime, during the day your time is spent in recognition of the sacrifices that have been made that allow us to enjoy those activities.

How many of us fly the flag to honor their service? Or make it a point to attend a Memorial event or visit the grave of a loved one? Many of us do — but not enough. A bedrock value of this county is patriotism. It has become a dirty word in some circles. Patriotism is part love of county, part service to country and part passing that value on to our children. If they do not learn from us, who will teach them? A society that places more monetary value on a sports coach than on a college president? A society that can answer a question about a rock star but cannot tell you the names of their congressional representatives? A society that mocks the values upon which this country was founded and idolizes criminals?

Today while you participate in your chosen fun activity, please, please, stop, reflect upon this great nation and how lucky you are to live here and today if you know or meet a veteran, whether it be a stranger, relative or acquaintance, genuinely and sincerely thank him or her. Memorial Day is not a day for you. It’s a day for our military and it’s time for all of us to acknowledge them and to pay our respect for their sacrifice.


On May 23, 2013 the Glendale Star ran a Letter to the Editor by Ms. Barbara Garland.  First, a disclaimer: I have known Ms. Garland for over 20 years. She is not just a former constituent of mine. She is a friend. She is not a gad fly who writes Letters to the Editor about anything and everything. She has been a positive contributor to our community. Her service on nearly every city board and commission as well as Glendale Civic Pride and the fire department’s Crisis Response Unit has occurred over that 20 plus year span. Ms. Garland works to better Glendale.

That the Glendale Star ran her Letter to the Editor despite their obvious positive bias toward Councilmember Alvarez’ agenda is surprising.

Norma Alvarez

Norma Alvarez

Ms. Garland made some interesting observations in her Letter as she refers to Councilmember Alvarez’ latest district meeting which was “by invitation” only. In my 16 years as councilmember I never, ever, held a district meeting “by invitation.” All of my meetings were open to one and all. If Alvarez was limiting attendance because she was holding it in her home then she should have changed the location to accommodate any and all who wished to attend.  It becomes more troubling if she was limiting attendance to screen participants and thereby ensure that only those who supported her agenda attended. It also calls into question Alvarez’ call for transparency and open meetings. Where is her outreach to those who do not share or support her point of view?

Ms. Garland calls for Alvarez’ resignation because, among other things, she has said, “She is ashamed to be on city council.” Ms. Garland has a point. Alvarez’ performance as a councilmember receives a failing grade. Her lack of attendance has been an ongoing issue. It was abundantly obvious that when Ms. Alvarez conference called into council workshops and meetings there was someone in the background coaching her. Ms. Alvarez will often state during council meetings that she doesn’t understand and then proceed to offer her opinion.

What is perhaps even more disconcerting is that once council has voted on a policy issue that becomes the public position of the city and is to be supported by its elected officials. If an elected official continues to hold an opposing position on a council majority decided issue, there are guidelines to do so. Either she hasn’t bothered to familiarize herself with the guidelines or she is deliberately ignoring them. A perfect example was her recent opinion piece in the Glendale Star. It was submitted and signed as “Councilmember Alvarez.” It was in direct opposition to majority approved city council policy on the issue of the proposed casino yet not once, did she say that it was her personal opinion or that she was writing as a private individual and not speaking for, or on behalf of, the entire council. That phraseology is standard when a councilmember is expressing a personal position rather than a city position.

Merely disagreeing with a councilmember’s position on the issues is not sufficient cause for resignation but lack of effective representation and leadership is. Is it time for Councilmember Alvarez to resign as Ms. Garland suggests? Yes, it is.



NHL Commissioner
Gary Bettman


NHL Deputy Commissioner
Bill Daly

On May 24 media sources announced that the NHL has chosen a bride-to-be owner of the Phoenix Coyotes – Renaissance Sports and Entertainment led by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc. It was also widely reported that Commissioner Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Daly along with Gosbee/LeBlanc will do a “walk around” with the Mayor and City Council on Tuesday morning, May 28th. The term “walk around” is a slang expression. It means that meeting all seven of the council at one time would violate the Open Meeting Law unless they were making a presentation at a public council workshop or meeting. To avoid violation of the Open Meeting Law these gentlemen will meet in groups of no more than 3 councilmembers (4 councilmembers would trigger a violation).

Craig Morgan is accurate in his May 24th article for Fox Sports Arizona entitled Sources: Gosbee/LeBlanc group has agreement to purchase Coyotes when he says, “ Bettman, Daly and RSE will meet with Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers and then will hold two separate meetings, each to be attended by three councilmembers.” Here is the link: http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/nhl/phoenix-coyotes/story/Sources-GosbeeLeBlanc-group-has-agreemen?blockID=905273&feedID=3702 .

Paul Giblin’s piece for the Arizona Republic of May 24th entitled NHL may lay out Coyotes ownership deal Tuesday, mayor says reports the same saying, “Bettman, Daly and RSE will meet with Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers and then will hold two separate meetings, each to be attended by three councilmembers.” Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20130524nhl-expected-lay-out-coyotes-ownership-deal-tuesday-mayor-says.html .

So far, so good. They both report the very same fact. From here on in, read carefully, very carefully. Morgan, in his article says, “If RSE is not able to reach an agreement with Glendale, sources (my bold) have said that John Kaites’ group is still a possibility to purchase the team, as would be Greg Jamison’s group if it could gather the necessary investors. But multiple sources (my bold) have said that the NHL is no longer interested in dealing with Darin Pastor, whose bid was recently rejected by the league.” These sources with no attribution are dealing in speculation. Could be fact. Could be fiction.  Giblin, in his article, says, “Sherwood said he believes (my bold) any potential owners will want to be paid substantially more than $6 million a year, which is the figure that’s been earmarked in numerous proposed city budgets for the arena management fee.” One person’s belief, especially in this instance, is not fact when there are 6 other councilmembers who may, or may not share that belief.


George Gosbee


Anthony LeBlanc

What have we learned that we did not already know?  Bettman, Daly, Gosbee and LeBlanc will meet the Glendale city council on Tuesday, May 28th. It appears that RSE will become the NHL’s choice as owner. That is an assumption until the NHL makes a formal announcement. Public release of the facts of the deal are essential. Questions need answers, such as:  Is there an opt-out or relocation clause? What is the time period for either? What is the ratio of equity to debt? Councilmember Sherwood stated publicly that we will hear the deal parameters at the council workshop on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

There is another fact that is being ignored and perhaps it will be ignored permanently as the city has the discretion to ignore all or part of the Beacon RFP– and that is the Beacon Sports/City of Glendale RFP requirements on page 5:

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications for Managers.

In order to have its response evaluated, a Manager (or if an affiliate, its parent company) must demonstrate at least one of the following requirements:

i. Is a nationally or regionally recognized facility management company which manages publicly or privately-owned public assembly and/or sports and entertainment facilities;

ii. During the past three years, has successfully managed at least one NHL or National Basketball Association (“NBA”)/all-purpose arenas with a seating capacity of at least 10,000 persons; or;

iii. The Manager must have current experience in operating such a facility on behalf of a public entity, such as the City of Glendale;

The Renaissance Sports and Entertainment group was organized only recently for the express purpose of attempting to purchase the Coyotes. They have no demonstrable experience as a fledgling group in managing any sports or entertainment facilities, much less an NHL or NBA all-purpose arena.

Coalition 1 photo

Glendale City Council
CM Alvarez absent

I applaud Bettman and Daly having finally made a decision in terms of ownership but what were they thinking? The NHL must be ready to use its muscle with a “take it or leave it” strategy. Do they seriously think a MAJORITY of this council will accept as an arena manager a newly formed group with no track record in managing an arena? And do they think a MAJORITY of this council will expend more than the $6M budgeted in the soon-to-be-approved city’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget? Councilmember Sherwood says he has a plan but will it turn out to be an acceptable one? Not unless this council is suddenly willing to listen to the likes of Ken Jones, Arthur Thruston and Andrew/Darcy Marwick berating them for subsidizing a sports team during the Public Comment period at every council meeting –forever.


Dominguez 2

Commander Greg Dominguez
Glendale Police Department

Recently former Glendale Assistant Police Chief Greg Dominguez has been in and on the media…a lot. The internal Glendale police department’s investigation of his situation is sealed so the media does not know exactly and specifically what happened and can only report on it in a general sense. They do not have anything other than a non-specific Peoria complaint. We do know it was a situation in which no charges were filed.

What happened? We know a broad and general outline. Allegedly Assistant Police Chief Greg Dominguez on two separate occasions threatened a clerk at a Peoria smoke shop and told him to stop selling spice to his then drug impaired son. Dominguez claims he does not remember what he said to the clerk but the clerk, in his Peoria police report, alleges that Dominguez threatened to burn the place down and to kill the clerk. True? Not true? We can’t know because we are not privy to the results of the internal investigation.

As a result of that investigation Dominguez has been demoted from Assistant Chief to Commander and suspended for a week. The Arizona Republic, never willing to let what facts it reports stand in the way of stirring up more controversy, ran an article questioning the appropriateness of the punishment meted out to Dominguez.

Everyone will have an opinion. Was the punishment too severe? Just right? Too lenient? The union supports Dominguez’ belief that the punishment was too severe. I assume they have retained an attorney on his behalf to appeal the decision.

Before I go any further let me say that I, personally, like Greg Dominguez and his wife. They are not only both fine officers but good people and parents. Commander Dominguez was always very responsive to my questions, concerns and requests made as a councilmember on behalf of my constituents. He did his job and did it well.

But he was the Assistant Chief of the Glendale Police Department and as such is held to a higher standard than you or I. Is that fair? Probably not but life is not always fair. Throughout history police officers have always been held to a higher standard because they symbolize adherence to law for all of us. When they ignore or bend the law it is an action that betrays and erodes that supreme trust. There is also the issue of perception. If, as an Assistant Chief, he did not receive this level of sanction, you can be sure the rank and file as well as ordinary citizens would be saying he received lenient treatment because of his position. Quite frankly, newly promoted Chief Black was damned if she did, and doubly damned if she didn’t.

If anything, I was very surprised to learn of Commander Dominguez’ actions. If he were angry enough to threaten someone in that situation could he become angry enough to use similar threats in other situations? I suspect upon reflection, Commander Dominguez not only realizes that he made a dumb mistake but now realizes that there were other ways he could have handled the situation. As a civilian, I can think of a couple of things that could have been done. I can remember times when my kids were teenagers and they were in situations that had me nervous, down-right crazy or scared. I never once considered the threat of bodily harm as an option.


Chief Debra Black
Glendale Police Department

Was the punishment appropriate? Yes. Chief Black had a very difficult decision to make and as a former Glendale councilmember I support her decision. She needed to send a message not just to every officer but to every Glendale resident that the actions taken by the second highest officer in the department would not be tolerated and that there is a strong ethic of responsibility for one’s actions.






deadline 1True to form, a deadline in not really a deadline when it comes to the Coyotes saga. Every Coyotes fan, hanger-on or anyone associated  with the Coyotes is waiting anxiously for May 31,2013 as if it is magical. The deadline that everyone is awaiting is the May 31st deadline to respond to the Beacon Sports/City of Glendale RFP. It is arbitrary and irrelevant because it presupposes any and all bidders for the team will submit by that date. That will probably not happen as there may be one or two bidders (or re-bidders) that will not submit to the NHL until May 31st.

The city in an attempt to cover any possible contingency made sure it has an out-clause on page 7 of the RFP, “City reserves the right to amend, cancel or reissue the RFP at its sole discretion. This includes the right to change the Response Due Date and Contract Award Date.”

A scenario could develop whereby a bidder for the team submits after May 31st. If a bid submitted to the NHL after May 31st turns out to be the best bid it will not be influenced by the Beacon RFP deadline and the NHL will be bringing them in tow to meet with whomever in Glendale when they are ready to do so. The NHL certainly hasn’t set an arbitrary deadline of May 31st. Why should it?

Of course, there is the issue of the General Manager’s and Coach’s contracts but unfortunately, they will not be determinants.

approveNo one knows what the bidders’ deals look like except the NHL and no one knows what will be acceptable to it. Maybe the “Shadow knows” (those of you who remember radio shows before TV came along, will recognize the phrase). Without knowledge of the NHL criteria no one knows if there is even a would-be bride out there.

I would think any deal heavily debt-laden with very little equity would make the NHL very, very nervous. No one, least of all the NHL, wants to repeat this ordeal (for that is what it has become) for a very long time. A deal with a lot of debt opens the door for the possibility of a repeat performance.

So we wait. It will happen – or not – when it happens but don’t hang your hat on an arbitrary deadline. It’s like “where’s the pea?” The deadline can be under any of the shells and none of them may be labeled May 31st.


Breaking from NBC News and the East Valley Tribune. Here is the link:


gavelFinally a legal ruling that recognizes what I and others have been saying for years. This proposed casino is within Glendale’s boundaries. It will impact nearly 10,000 Glendale residents who live within a mile or less of the site.

West Valley casino opponents receive favorable court ruling

East Valley Tribune, from NBC News

updated 1 hour 37 minutes ago

A federal appeals court gave foes of a new Glendale casino new hope it could be legally blocked.

In a new ruling today, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it may very well be that the site owned by the Tohono O’odham Nation, while in unincorporated area, is technically “within the corporate limits of any city or town.” That’s because the parcel is surrounded by land within Glendale.

So the judges sent the case back to the secretary of the Department of Interior to take another look at the question.

What the secretary decides — and whether that’s upheld by the courts — is crucial. The 1986 law that permits the tribe to buy the land requires it to be outside the corporate limits of any city.

More to the point, even if the tribe can own the property, it cannot become part of the reservation if it is “within” Glendale’s corporate limits. And without reservation status, there cannot be the casino the tribe has planned.

While two of the judges said the question is unresolved, a third judge on the panel disagreed. He said the land is definitely within Glendale’s limits, precluding a casino.


In the May 13, 2013 edition of the Arizona Republic there is an Opinion piece written by Doug Maceachern. He doesn’t pull any punches in characterizing Ned Norris Jr.’s actions regarding putting a casino in Glendale. I find it fascinating that the Arizona Republic, whose bias is clearly in favor of the Tohono O’odham, allowed his opinion piece to see the printed light-of day.

Ned Norris Jr Tohono O'odham Nation Chairman

Chairman Ned Norris Jr.

DianeEnos Pres Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community

Diane Enos
Chairperson Salt River Pima
Maricopa Community

Maceachern states what many have thought or said quietly among themselves and that is Ned Norris Jr., Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, deceived and cheated his sister Tribes. Only recently have the Gila River Community and the Salt River-Maricopa-Pima Community been willing to state the very same thing publicly.

No matter what way this is sliced, Norris, as the spokesperson for the TO, spoke publicly and often in favor of the Gaming Compact proposition approved by voters in 2002. All the while, he and a select few TO were secretly planning to acquire land in the Phoenix area. In fact, their secret notes from 2002 indicate that their consultant advised them a site in Buckeye was too far away (Buckeye dodged the bullet). Norris and crew must have been rejoicing (secretly).

There’s an old saying that goes something like, “white man speak with fork-ed tongue.” This time the tables are turned. Norris and the Tohono O’odham spoke with fork-ed tongue—not only to the white men but even worse, to their brothers and sisters of all of the Arizona Tribes. Before the proposed compact ever was presented to the voters all of the tribes negotiated among themselves for several years. Not once did Norris or the TO reps bring this issue forward to the sister Tribes. Not once when Norris spoke publicly did he disagree with the proposed compact or clarify what this proposal meant to the TO. Not once did Norris say we reserve the right to buy land, place it in trust and build a casino on it in the Phoenix metro area.

Never, ever again will the Tribes trust what Norris and the TO say. Their bond of trust is broken irrevocably. Why should Glendale or any other Valley community trust them? They shouldn’t. What happens when the TO buys more land in the Valley – in Phoenix, or Gilbert, or Paradise Valley – and turns it into more trust land for the purposes of putting a casino in their communities??? It could happen.

Here is the article in its entirety:

Arizona Republic, May 19, 2013


Tohono leader’s victim act bit much by Doug Maceachern

Like egoists throughout eternity, Ned Norris Jr., chairman of southern Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Nation, wants things both ways.

In fact, if there were three ways to have it, Norris would want it three ways. Or four.

It looks likely that Norris will get his casino near Glendale, And Norris is gloating.  And playing victim.

It’s a real juggling act. And Norris is an adept juggler, especially of words. That fellow who gave us “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” has nothing on Ned Norris.

On May 7, U.S. District Judge David Campbell became the latest in a long line of federal judges to rule in the Tohono O’odham’s favor.

The gaming compacts signed in 2002 and 2003 – the ones promoted prior to the November 2002 elections as line-in-the-sand assurances that gaming in the Phoenix area would be limited to existing casinos on existing tribal lands — simply do not say anything about forbidding the constructions of an eighth tribal casino. Or a ninth. Or more.

It has been observed many times since Norris’ astonishing announcement a few years ago of his well-laid plans to build a casino palace in Glendale. Who knew?

Who knew in 2002 that the tribal compacts said zip about limiting the number of casinos in the Valley?

As Campbell wrote: “Written agreements matter.”

“Parties who reach an accord, particularly on a matter as important and complicated as tribal gaming, carefully document their agreement in writing.”

If that sounded like an insult to the compact authors, it shouldn’t be. As noted, who knew?

Who knew tribal leaders whose land extends to the Mexican border would suddenly announce that (A) they secretly owned land near Glendale; (B) they were in negotiations with the Interior Department to have the land magically transformed into trust land; and (C) there wasn’t a damned thing anyone could do to stop them from building a compact-approved new Tohono O’odham casino on their own trust land.

It comes down to this. The writers of the compacts simply did not anticipate new tribal trust land popping up out of thin air in the middle of the urban metropolis.

State compact negotiators focused on limiting the number of casinos by limiting the number of casinos allocated to each tribe. It seemed rational. The Phoenix-area tribes already had maxed out on the number of casinos they could operate. Ipso facto, no new casinos, at least for the 20-year life span of the compacts. Right?

Wrong. The Tohono O’odhams had not maxed out on their allocation. They will be able to put at least one casino, and possibly more, wherever the tribe has trust land. And recent history tells us that can be anywhere.

It’s a clever thing Ned Norris has pulled off. Even his most bitter opponents in their intertribal struggle over gambling-market share have acknowledged the infuriating cleverness of it all.

But now, Norris is pouring salt in the wounds of his opponents, playing the sensitive, unfairly attacked, wounded soul. It’s a bit much.

Norris is bent out of shape over the name of a bill sponsored in Congress by U.S. Rep. Trent Franks that is designed to block construction of his new casino. It’s called the “Keep the Promise Act of 2013,” a clear reference to the “no-new-casinos promise” made repeatedly during the 2002 campaign to give then-Gov. Jane Dee Hull authority to negotiate compacts.

“The title of this legislation suggests that I and my people are liars and cheats,” said Norris, who added that he found it “deeply offensive.”

Well. Cheeky.

Cheeky, first and foremost, to drag his people into the debate. Notes unearthed during the course of a lawsuit filed by Phoenix-area tribes against Ned’s Gambit clearly depict tribal leaders going to great lengths to keep the scheme hush-hush from all but a small circle.

But cheeky, too, to pretend to be “deeply offended.”

Norris is acting in the role of a predatory CEO out to take market share from his competitors. He is Gordon Gekko made real.

In the process, Norris has stigmatized the Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community — his chief competitors in the market-share fight – as “wealthy interest in the Phoenix area.”

In olden days, before the lure of Sun City West matrons running slots in a Norris-built casino, those “wealthy interests” would be his brothers and sisters. How money does change it all.


house 1Recently I received a question about Glendale Councilmember Alvarez’ home. It came from a person surfing the Internet who, out of curiosity, looked up various Councilmembers’ home valuations. I was asked whether I knew that Councilmember Alvarez’ home is listed by the Maricopa County Assessor as being one story in height. Like anyone else, the few times I have visited the Assessor’s site it has been to check the valuation of my property. Who would know an answer to a question like that? Not I. I was intrigued by the question and decided to do some follow up via the trusty Internet.

house 2In the past I have been to Alvarez’ home and it is most definitely a two story home. The County Assessor has it valued as a one story. It could be a very simple clerical error by the Assessor’s office and someone simply overlooked or forgot to check a box indicating the home as two stories. In bureaucracy that happens all the time.

building permitHowever, the situation does raise some questions. The home was originally built in 1972 as one story with the Alvarezes as the original and only owners. The second story was added sometime in the past 40 years. Were Glendale building permits requested and issued? Were inspections were made and passed by the City of Glendale? There should be Glendale records that show that permits were issued and major inspections for electrical and plumbing were passed.

approveIn calling the Assessor’s Office I learned that when permits are pulled at the city level for a home improvement such as adding a second story the city passes that information to the County Assessor’s office. If this occurred, those improvements would show up on the Assessor’s rolls the following year causing an increase in valuation. Yet apparently this did not happen. Why? As a long-term former city employee and now as a Councilmember I am sure Councilmember Alvarez would have followed city requirements for a major project to the letter.

internetI decided to do some more surfing of my own with some help from my grandchildren. (Grandchildren are far more inventive and skillful in the use of the Internet than I could ever hope to be.) Every home in Alvarez’ subdivision is listed as a one story home. We found a two story home within .08 mile of Alvarez with exactly the same square footage (the difference in SF between the two properties is 1 SF). It is valued at $10,000 more than the Alvarez property. There could be other variables that caused the higher valuation of the neighboring two story property but the fact that it has two stories creating additional living space and added value would a major factor.

The fact is the County Assessor has the Alvarez property listed as a one story home. The fact is that the only other two story home in the area has a higher valuation.  Is the valuation of the Alvarez’ property correct? Are the property taxes that have been paid and are currently being paid too low?

This all could be nothing but at the very least, don’t you think Councilmember Alvarez should be notifying the County Assessor that the information listed is incorrect and her home is two stories, not one?