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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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It’s Easter

Posted by Joyce Clark on April 12, 2020
Posted in City of GlendaleNational issues  | Tagged With: , , , | 5 Comments

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Today is Easter Sunday. As a Catholic I watched mass from St Patrick’s Cathedral led by Archbishop Timothy Dolan. My first thought was this is different from any Easter during my lifetime. No family, no friends, as we continue to practice social distancing. My first reaction is think that this day is sad and different.

All my life Easter Sunday was marked by mass celebrating Christ risen after the third day. When I was a child it was always followed by a trip to my maternal Grandmother’s home for a grand midday Easter feast. Then we would go to my paternal Grandmother’s home for an evening repast. As grandchildren we looked forward to the bounties of goodies we received that day.

As a Mother and Grandmother the past remained with family coming to our home to gather and celebrate.

 One of my favorite things to do was to get plastic eggs and to fill some of them with money and others with notes from the Easter Bunny reminding our children and later grandchildren, to improve some aspect of their behavior. Some eggs had money and others not. The difficulty level for finding the eggs was dependent upon the child’s age and ability. The older kids had to really search to find theirs.  It was always a great day, filled with family.

This Easter, in the midst of the Covid-19, is not really sad and different. Instead it has provided an opportunity to reflect on the joy and celebration of the true meaning of the day. Jesus suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he arose again into Heaven. We celebrate that He died for our sins.

That’s what this day is meant to be. A celebration of His life and death…for us. Although I write this as a Catholic I am mindful that this season holds special meaning for my brothers and sisters of all faiths. We may recognize this season in different ways but we all share beliefs in some greater power than ourselves.

Covid-19 has forced us to abandon the commercial trappings of the day and to return to its true meaning. Many have or know of a friend or relative that has succumbed to this virus. It is certainly painful and sad for them. We must remember them, honor them and grieve for them. Know that on this day they are in the loving arms of your God.

As I sat on my back yard patio this morning I marveled at nature’s renewal at this time of year. My Orchid tree is in full bloom. The citrus trees are sagging with an abundance of fruit. The roses are in full bloom in brilliant reds and yellows. The trees are leafed out in a display of fresh, bright green foliage. Perhaps nature is meant to signal that Christ risen and in its own way, offers proof that this is a time for spiritual renewal for all of us.

 

 

 

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

This Sunday morning www.ncov2019.live shows 152 confirmed cases in Arizona. The spike in the number may be due to tests taken days ago. But what is concerning is that several days ago Arizona had 9 cases.

It is critical that we only make trips to grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and banks. Going to local parks is no longer advisable because you cannot control the mandate to practice social distancing.  You may be healthy but others may be asymptomatic. If we are going to stop the spread we must be smart and careful.

So, what am I doing? I have voluntarily stayed home the past two weeks with the exception of one run to Safeway during their new senior hours program to pick up prescriptions and a few staples. I also have attended one Glendale council budget meeting during which social distancing of 6 feet was practiced. I will attend this Tuesday’s council workshop meeting and voting meeting. They have been moved to the Civic Center Annex. Social distancing will again be in place and the only personnel at the meeting will be the councilmembers, the City Manager, the City Attorney, the City Clerk and several staff making presentations. The count of persons will be about 10 or less. I have become the Lysol Queen and I carry a can with me and spray my entire work area and chair. I also carry wipes and use them liberally.

The city is currently working to enable teleconferencing for city council that hopefully will be soon in place. The public will not be allowed to attend council meetings but we still want to encourage public participation. If you go to the city website, www.glendaleaz.com you can obtain instructions that will guide you should you wish to participate. The city website will also have information about what’s open and what’s closed. If you need to pay your water bill, make sure you check out the site. It also lists reputable links for information on the virus and how to protect you and your family. Please check it out.

As new numbers and new information becomes available, the city reacts as quickly as it can to implement new advisories and directives. We are working hard to keep city personnel and the public as safe as possible.

If you are tired of cooking dinner every night, try “dine-out” at your favorite restaurant. I checked out the restaurants at Westgate and every one is now offering “dine-out” which you can have delivered or pick up at their location. Remember you still have a back yard. Use it to get out of the house to get some fresh air.

Text message friends or family or use Skype or Facebook Live. How about giving your senior neighbors or relatives a phone call? Find out if they are OK or need anything critical such as a prescription.

This is not any easy time for any of us. The best thing we can do is to follow federal, state and local advisories. Social distancing is more important than ever.

The phrase of the day is “Stay at home, don’t roam.”

Be smart. Be careful. I pray that all that read this stay safe and well.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

At about 6 PM today Governor Ducey announced closures in Maricopa, Pinal, Coconino, Navajo and Graham counties, all of which have confirmed cases of CoronaVirus. The Executive Order requires restaurants to provide dine-out services only and they can deliver your favorite alcoholic beverage along with your meal. He also closed movie theaters, gyms and bars.

The Order preserves Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for those providers and facilities that are dealing with the virus; delays expiration dates on driver licenses and stops all elective surgeries. He is activating the National Guard to help grocery stores and food banks, all of which are dealing with a surge in demand.

All of this takes effect tomorrow, Friday, March 20th at the close of business. Congratulations to the Governor. I publicly thank him for taking this action to protect the health and safety of all Arizona residents. I stand behind him 100%. I applaud his action and will do whatever is required to assist him as Arizona works its way through this national emergency. Well done! Thank you!

Arizona now has 44 confirmed cases. The number remains low as there are not a lot of testing kits available. As they become more plentiful we will see that number rise dramatically. I found a neat site to which I direct your attention. It is www.ncov2019.live  . It was developed by a teenager and has quickly become a “go to” site for up-to-date numbers on CoronaVirus, worldwide by country and state by state in the United States. I try to check it once in the morning and once at night.

All grocery stores are providing senior hours to shop. This morning I took my 90 year old brother-in-law to a local Safeway to pick up some basics. I was shocked. There was no bread. There was no margarine. The only meats available were the high priced, very lean hamburger at $4.99 a pound and the most expensive cuts of beef such as steak. No staples like rice or beans unless you wanted to pay $5 for some exotic box of rice you’ve never heard of. They did have 5# bags of potatoes (one to a customer) but no Kraft Mac n Cheese. There wasn’t even a single can of Chef Boyardee spaghetti.  In fact, there were no pasta products to be had. Forget sanitizing products.  I could go on but you get the picture.   

Has everyone’s family suddenly ballooned to 20 members? The hoarding has become unsustainable and mind boggling. Maybe it’s time to limit the quantity of ordinary items such as these, to two per customer. I wish everyone would get a grip and start to think of others and their needs as well. Needless to say my brother-in-law filled about half a dozen items on his list. Looks like another trip will be necessary…maybe in about a week. Hopefully, the panic buying will have subsided.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Tonight, just a few minutes ago, Mayor Jerry Weiers declared a State of Emergency due to the CoronaVirus Pandemic. I stand behind him 100%. I applaud his action and will do whatever is required to assist him as Glendale works its way through this national emergency. Well done, Mayor! Thank you! I am proud to say that I have called for this action in previous blogs. I have included the Mayor’s proclamation and statement regarding the action he has taken:

 

I also applaud the Desert Diamond Casino in Arizona for closing down as of midnight tonight. As a sovereign nation they are not bound by federal actions or regulations. Their voluntary closure to protect all state residents is recognized and appreciated.

So far, Governor Ducey has not shown the same kind of leadership or fortitude despite the fact that the number of cases is increasing by the hour within the State of Arizona.  Just within the last few hours two cases have been confirmed positive for CoVid 19 at Luke Air Force Base.

Many major stakeholders are asking all Valley councilmembers to reach out to Ducey’s office to ask him to do the same and exhibit some leadership. I, as a Glendale Councilmember, publicly call upon Governor Ducey to lead the people of Arizona by mandating social distancing strategies in an effort to minimize the medical strain soon to be experienced by all medical facilities and providers in the State of Arizona. Here are some examples:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

As we hear more news about the CoronaVirus it is obvious that there are heroes within our society that deserve recognition:

  • Those who serve on the front lines of this pandemic are our nurses, doctors and all medical personnel. They are scared yet they are tending to the most ill among us knowing that it is possible to turn from a care giver to a care receiver. Not only that but they realize they are putting their immediate families at risk. Include the vast army of medical researchers who are methodically yet desperately trying to find a cure and a vaccine. They know time is their enemy.
  • Another group of heroes are all first responders, fire and police. As we face supply shortages of protective gear they will continue to tend to those in need of medical assistance. Police officers will be on the front line of keeping civil order. They deal with citizens with no medical shield and they know it.
  • Include the vast army of city employees who provide essential services that we so often take for granted. The sanitation driver who picks up our garbage, the water employee insuring the delivery of clean, disinfected water that we can rely upon and those employees who make sure our traffic signals keep working.
  • Add to list truckers and those who are keeping our supply chains intact so that we can still obtain food, gas and the essentials of life. This includes employees of banks, gas stations, pharmacies and grocery stores.
  • Those citizens who are already self -isolating themselves. Many of us are. It’s not an easy choice but think of the consequences if we don’t. We can read those books we’ve been meaning to read. We can catch up on watching those movies that intrigued us but we never had time to view. We can clean house or reorganize our living spaces. We still can go outside, plant a garden or exercise in place of going to a gym. We can visit with others through Facebook or Skype. We can be creative.
  • Those political leaders who have accepted the gravity of the situation and have imposed States of Emergency and called for the closing of all public gatherings including the closure of schools, bars and restaurants. They have accepted the need for social distancing to protect us all. I especially want to recognize Mayor Kate Gallardo of Phoenix who has done exactly that realizing her first mandate is to protect the health and safety of all of her residents.

State governors and the Presidential Task Force have said that we must social distance to try to prevent inordinate strain on our medical delivery system. They have warned us that the numbers of identified CoVid 19 cases will increase as more and more testing is done. The increase in numbers will require more and more medical intervention. That will put a strain on our entire medical delivery system. Did you know that in Italy they are no longer trying to save people over the age of 70 with CoronaVirus? Their entire medical system is on the verge of collapse. We must not let this happen in the United States.

Who are the zeroes?

  • Hoarders make the very top of the list. They are obviously a very selfish group. If hoarding doesn’t happen there are enough supplies, including that of toilet paper, to go around. Now we see them hoarding basic supplies like beans, rice, etc. I hope there is a special place for them when they die. They have exacerbated an already difficult situation.
  • Millennials who refuse to social distance. Can you believe this is Spring Break and these kids are at beaches everywhere partying their brains out? On a stupidity level they definitely come in at zero.
  • Then there are those who say other viruses have been worse and what’s the big deal about CoronaVirus? They are the deniers in our society that will continue to socially congregate. They will continue to deny until they or someone in their family comes down with the virus. Then they will be the first to complain about the level of medical service available.
  • Political leaders who have not or are reluctant to make the declaration of a State of Emergency and mandate a closure of non-essential gathering places like bars and restaurants. That includes Governor Doug Ducey and our Mayor. (FYI: In Glendale only the Mayor has this authority).We need to reduce the possible spread of this virus throughout this state and in every city. If it is done now, we can prevent deaths and the inevitable strain upon the state’s medical delivery system. What are they waiting for? Until things get worse? How much worse?

I implore everyone. Don’t be a Zero…try to be a Hero.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

This morning the city council had a budget workshop meeting. It began with an update on the CoronaVirus situation. Let me say this. I want Glendale to declare a state of emergency and close bars, restaurants, etc. NOW. The Mayor, the City Manager and a majority of council are reluctant to do so. I believe it is necessary.

Mayor Kate Gallego did so today and I commend her and applaud her. It was not an easy decision to make. Glendale should be doing the same. The City of Flagstaff has already done so. I am convinced other cities will follow Phoenix and Flagstaff and every day that Glendale and other cities delay, is a day wasted in the enforcement of social distancing.

At the beginning at the budget portion of our workshop I asked council to consider freezing the Capital Improvement Program. We can allot a line item within the budget to preserve our capability to resume the CIP when financial conditions warrant it. We should also be freezing spending on all but essential items. Again, no support. I went through the national recession and I fear a repeat. At the very least I do not expect to see a rebound in the national economy until the fall. Those that do not study history are doomed to repeat it.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Voluntarily staying home has allowed me the time to think about this situation…a lot. As a councilmember it is my primary duty to protect the residents of Glendale. On a personal level, I am the primary caregiver for my 84 year old husband, a 90 year old brother-in-law and a 76 year old brother. If I get sick they have no one else. These are my random thoughts about this situation. I’d love to have your thoughts as well as a comment to this blog.

  • With increased testing the number of people diagnosed with the virus will rise dramatically. Many probably already had symptoms or were mildly ill and the tests will merely confirm their illness.
  • Social distancing has become critical. You may be young and healthy and may not care about social distancing but you should care…deeply. What if you are asymptomatic? You have no symptoms but turn out to be a carrier. Do you want to take the chance of giving it to an aunt or uncle? Your grandmother or grandfather? There is a difference between thinking you are immortal and selfishness. Granted, nothing may happen to you but there could be many people who may suffer as a result of your action or perhaps, inaction.
  • The City of Flagstaff has just declared a State of Emergency. It has a population of 138,000 (roughly half that of Glendale) and ranks as the 15th largest city in the state. What prompted them to declare? Should the ten largest cities in the state (Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert, Tempe, Peoria and Surprise) be making the same declaration?
  • Hoboken, New Jersey, with a population of about 50,000 has declared a curfew for the entire town from 10 PM to 6 AM. What made them decide to do so? Many cities nationwide are mandating the closure of all public gathering places such as restaurants, theaters, gatherings of people, etc. What caused them to do so?
  • As Dr. Anthony Fauci stated very recently, “If it looks like you’re overreacting you’re probably doing the right thing.” Personally, I think Glendale should be overreacting. I think it is time for Glendale to become proactive by mandating the closure of all businesses with the exception of pharmacies, grocery stores, banks and gas stations.
  • Why when we have council meetings are we still allowing the public to attend? Why are we not taking the temperatures of employees when they come to work? If they have a fever they should be sent home and self quarantine for 14 days.
  • Fauci talks repeatedly about “flattening the curve.” What he means is that if we social distance and contain the spread, our local health systems will not be over whelmed. We know there is a limited supply of Personal Protective Gear (PPE) for first responders as well as ventilators for the sickest. In order to preserve these limited resources cities throughout the country, including Glendale, should be taking extraordinary measures; to do their part to contain the spread thereby preserving our limited capacity to deal with thousands of sick people…that will soon be here.
  • First responders in Glendale should be tested often. Fire personnel will respond with full PPE as long as they can obtain it but police officers will not be wearing that type of protection. How do we protect them?

There is far more that I could say but I would rather have your thoughts. What should Glendale be doing? If anything?

Here’s a dilemma for you that I’d love to have you weigh in on. This Tuesday, Glendale’s city council will have a budget workshop in city hall chambers, open to the public. Should we be meeting in person or should we be telecommuting? We possess that capability.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Another Primary Election in Arizona is now history. For those of you who don’t follow politics very closely here are the match ups for the General Election this November:

Governor

Doug Ducey R (Republican)

David Garcia D (Democrat)

U.S. Senate

Martha McSally R

Krysten Sinema D

Secretary of State

Steve Gaynor R

Katie Hobbs D

Attorney General

Mark Brnovich R

January Contreras D

State Treasurer

Kimberly Yee R

Mark Manoil D

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Frank Riggs R

Kathy Hoffman D

Did you know that the State of Arizona has 3.6 million registered voters? Guess how many of us voted this past Tuesday throughout the state…505,470. Roughly half a million voters. That’s a turnout of 14%.

In Glendale voters chose to return all three incumbents:  Vice Mayor Tolmachoff in the Cholla district; Councilmember Bart Turner in the Barrel district; and Councilmember Jamie Aldama in the Ocotillo district. All it took was 21% (6,297) of the registered voters in the Cholla district; 19% (4,393) of the registered voters in the Barrel district; and 12% (1,556) of the registered voters in the Ocotillo district.

 In Glendale there are 116,965 registered voters. Broken down by district:

Cholla district            24,499 registered voters

Sahuaro district        23,199 registered voters

Barrel district            20,594 registered voters

Yucca district             18,318 registered voters

Cactus district            17,426 registered voters

Ocotillo district          12,929 registered voters

For purposes of this exercise in statistics I have taken one district, the Ocotillo District, and broken it down even further:

Bethany Park Precinct               1,121 registered voters               102 or 9% voted

Bonsall Park Precinct                     853 registered voters              2 or .002% voted

Challenger Precinct                    2,952 registered voters              212 or 7% voted

Manistee Precinct                      2,708 registered voters               351 or 13% voted

Montebello Precinct                  2,272 registered voters                143 or 6% voted

Peck Precinct                               1,980 registered voters            168 or 8% voted

Tuckey Precinct                         1,774 registered voters               139 or 8% voted

The reason for presenting all of these statistics is really quite simple and can be summed up in two words…Voter Apathy. But what exactly is apathy? It is lack of interest or concern. In other words, indifference. People have no problem asking for help or complaining whether it’s calling a congressional representative with help with your social security or calling a councilmember for help with a code complaint. 90% of the time that representative is there for you, assisting you to solve the problem, often successfully. That representative, whether congressional, state or local, is there to listen to your complaints and opinions. But where are you when it comes time to vote for that representative who assisted you? Nowhere. You’re usually AWOL.

We often accept the excuse that people are busy living their lives, working to take care of their families, participating in church activities, recreating or volunteering. If one can make time for these life activities surely one can manage to schedule an hour once every several years to vote. My gosh, you don’t want to physically go to a voting site? Then take 5 minutes to register online to become an Early Permanent Voter. The ballot comes to you in the mail. You fill it out and mail it back. You don’t even have to cough up 50 cents for postage. How simple can it get?

We hear that voting is our right and privilege and it is. It’s also our responsibility. I remember my Mom telling me to, “Clean my plate. Do you know how many starving kids there are in China who would love to have this meal?” It’s the same analogy with voting. Do you know how many people on this planet do not have free and fair elections? Countries like the United States are a rarity, not the norm. In order to protect what we’ve got it is incumbent upon us to protect it by our participation in the electoral process.

In November we have the opportunity to vote again. This may be the most consequential election of our lifetimes. What will you do that day? Will you vote or be indifferent? Apathetic and pathetic.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On Friday, March 23, 2018 the City of Glendale called a press conference to announce that it would insure that there would be School Resource Officers at every high school in Glendale. This action was in response to the Parkland tragedy and in the wake of a Maryland SRO’s actions that stopped another school shooting after two students had been wounded. One subsequently died.

It was an action the City Manager and the City Council discussed for several weeks. All councilmembers, including Councilmember Aldama, had many opportunities to discuss the idea, ask questions, offer suggestions and voice their approval or disapproval of the idea. Councilmember Aldama asked one or two questions during the entire process and never voiced his lack of support to us, his peers, during these sessions.

At the City’s Friday’s press conference, the Glendale Police Chief made remarks as did the City Manager and the Mayor. Attending in support of the decision to place more SROs in high schools was State Superintendent of Education Diane Douglas as well as Superintendents of the school districts located in Glendale. The entire Glendale City Council was there except for one…Councilmember Aldama. He was AWOL.

Now we know why. Councilmember Aldama has said “No” to the City initiative to place SROs in every Glendale high school. I have placed his release to the media sent out today below.  The photo is small so I have also placed the link as a pdf file, more easily read:  Aldama letter Mar 26 2018

His language within his press release exhibits his bias, when he calls our unified council action “an impactful edict (bold mine)” He implies that this is a decree decided by one person in authority. Not so.  This was a unanimous and carefully considered council decision with one silent voice…Aldama… who never expressed his disapproval to us during our deliberations.

Note this sentence because it is important. He says, “Other critical stakeholders, including Police and Fire Associations (read the unions) were TOLD of the adverse impact on their memberships, but not consulted with.”  This is the real message. All the rest of his statement is a smoke screen. It is important to note that Aldama is up for reelection this year and he desperately needs the support in terms of money and manpower the unions provide to candidates. They are the ‘big dogs’ in Glendale. In plain English Aldama seems to have taken this stance in order to curry the favor and support of these two unions. They will reward him handsomely by pouring monetary donations into his campaign and walking neighborhoods for him. How politically transparent and crass can a person get?

 He goes on to say, “Clearly this was an insensitive headline-grabbing political response to a larger problem than just having an officer in each high school…” I would contend that this city council exhibited extreme sensitivity to an immediate national issue and took appropriate action within our authority. The issues of mental illness and gun regulation are state and national issues and not ones dealt with on a local, municipal level.

It should also be noted that typically government moves at a snail’s pace. Sometimes it is years before an idea becomes reality. This initiative was acted upon with weeks and it required the coordination of and approval of all 4 Superintendents in whose schools the SROs would be placed.

Aldama questions why the city is not placing SROs in elementary schools and charter schools. I believe the current count of schools within the city is somewhere around 80. It is simply not financially feasible to do so and Aldama knows it.

The City does have an Officer Liaison program that has specified officers visiting as many middle and elementary schools as possible on a weekly basis. Since the majority of school shootings occur on high school campuses, the council felt that it was do-able and affordable. How could we not at least make sure all of our high schools were safer?

He then goes on to say, “I am not clear on what these officer’s duties will be.” Glendale has had SROs for years, probably close to 20 years. If he doesn’t know what their duties are then he hasn’t been doing his job for all he had to do was ask at any time.

He then chides us for our “lack of transparency” and for our lack of “open public dialogue and communication.” This is double-speak that in this instance simply does not fit the circumstance. This action is not a new tax on our citizens. It is a reallocation of existent city funds.  It is a situation that is better served by immediate action.  The call for dialogue is a tactic often used to slow down or kill a decision.

Councilmember Aldama, if you had shared your opinion with council instead of staying mute, you would have earned a modicum of respect.  If your decision was perceived as having been done for some solid reasons, you might have earned more respect. Instead, despite all of your hyperbole, the perception of those familiar with this decision making process, your action appears to be no more than a very transparent attempt to win favor with Glendale’s unions. This wasn’t the best time to, as Nancy Reagan used to say, “Just say no.”

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

 In the wake of players’ refusal to stand for our national anthem it appears that two Congressional bills are picking up steam. The NFL backlash is just beginning. Fan ticket sales dropped by 20% last week. TV ratings are down by 18%. Now Congress is getting into the act having introduced a bill, Eliminating Federal Tax Subsidies for Stadiums Act of 2017 (S. 1342), to hit the NFL where it hurts – in its pocketbook. Its purpose would be to treat any bonds as taxable regardless of who is providing the bonds.

Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., and Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., have introduced a bipartisan bill that would prevent professional sports teams from using municipal bonds that are exempt from federal taxes. Representative Steve Russell, R-Okla., and Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., have introduced companion legislation in the House.

For years sports teams have used specially created tax breaks that allow the public to finance their very expensive arenas and stadia. The mechanism used is tax-exempt municipal bonds. These bonds were originally designed and reserved for public projects such as bridges, water systems and other municipal infrastructure projects. Ah ha…there is a loophole in the tax code that has allowed private stadia and arenas to take advantage of this tax break…and boy, have they ever. Very few major sports teams have used private money to construct their facilities.

Since 1997 twenty new NFL stadia have opened at a price tag of $4.7 billion dollars in taxpayer funds. Currently two new stadia are under construction in Atlanta and Minneapolis at a startling cost of $700 million dollars in taxpayer funds. You, the taxpayer paid for most of the University of Phoenix Stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals, at a cost of approximately $300 million dollars.

Over the past 17 years, 36 professional sports stadia have been built or renovated by federal tax- exempt municipal bonds. The Brookings Institute reported that this has cost taxpayers $3.2 billion dollars.

It is estimated that the NFL, the most profitable sports league ever, generated $14 billion dollars in revenue last year (2016) with an estimated $1 billion dollars in profit. Everything about the NFL is pricey. It can easily cost a family of 4 at least $400 to attend just one game. The NFL teams sell $1.5 billion to $2 billion dollars worth of luxury and high-end club seats a year. Add in the fact that sponsors spend about $190 million dollars a year to the NFL for the right to cover a stadium with their company’s logo and other advertising signage. The NFL also receives much of its operational costs free of charge as a condition for the awarding of the Super Bowl to a community. Everything from player towels, to transportation to meals is free, comp-ed or discounted.

As Senator Booker said, “Professional sports teams generate billions of dollars in revenue. There’s no reason why we should give these multimillion-dollar businesses a federal tax break to build new stadiums. It’s not fair to finance these expensive projects on the backs of taxpayers, especially when wealthy teams end up reaping most of the benefits.”

You reap what you sow and the NFL is learning that has reaped the enmity of its fan base by becoming political. All that fans wanted was a break from all of the national bickering and strife for a few hours. They wanted to be lost in the fantasy of the game – not reminded that we are a country divided.

© Joyce Clark, 2017   

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.

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