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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

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 Thursday, February 25, 2021, the Glendale Elementary School District (GESD) held a meeting to take comments from the public regarding its plan to close 5 elementary schools within its district boundaries. I am providing information about this meeting to keep my Yucca district residents informed. Here is the link to the video of the meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehx1KVJCOik

There is one misconception I would like to clear up. The western boundary of GESD is 83rd Avenue. Some speakers asked what would happen because of the development of Stonehaven, between 83rd and 91st Avenues, Bethany Home Road to Camelback Road. Those 1,365 homes reside in the Pendergast Elementary School District (PESD) and those children will not be attending any schools in the GESD.

One of the speakers was Martin Nowakowski, a Yucca district resident, and my appointee on the Glendale Planning Commission. He spoke from 1:38:50 to 1:43:32. He made several particularly good points that, in my opinion, deserve further exploration and answers from the GESD Board.

  • He stated that the process has been flawed. The proposal to close schools during the COVID pandemic is ill advised. The pandemic has been an impediment to allow full participation by the community and has resulted in little to no parent involvement.
  • He called for a forensic audit of GESD’s budget and contended that community perception is there is a pattern of “top heavy” spending.
  • He questioned what costs for transportation would be incurred because of a realignment of pupil attendance boundaries.
  • He said that the district uses the rationale for closures because of declining student enrollment and asked how many students are learning online.
  • He expressed concern about the possibility of increasing class sizes. He questioned will there continue to be class sizes of less than 30 students per class and if that number increases, how does it affect the quality of education for struggling students?
  • Lastly, he characterized the school board’s actions as discriminatory by focusing on closing schools in more disadvantaged neighborhoods and catering to wealthier neighborhoods by keeping those schools intact. He referred to Isaac Imes as being known as the “Mexican school.”

It appears that the community is genuinely concerned and to date has expressed nothing but opposition to the GESD proposal. Perhaps the Board would be advised to slow its proposal down until it has made a full explanation to its community as to why their actions are necessary. There may be good reasons and then again, there may not be but until the community understands why the Board has chosen this path it will be met with distrust and anger. Just think about all those parents who have no idea what is about to happen to their children…and there will be many.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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 February 11, 2021, Piper Hansen of the Arizona Republic reported that State Senator David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista) has introduced Senate Bill, SB 1334 to allow more aerial fireworks. Here is the link to the story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/legislature/2021/02/11/aerial-fireworks-legal-arizona-bill-legislature/4343018001/ .

Gowan wants more fireworks, not less…and why not? In his financial disclosure statement of 2021 that every state legislator has to file with the Arizona Secretary of State, you will find that he works for TNT Fireworks. It is one of the largest distributors of fireworks and operates those pop-up tents selling fireworks that spring up in parking lots everywhere just before a legal fireworks period.

At the very least Gowan has a conflict of interest in offering and in advocating for legislation that directly benefits his employer. Has he declared such a conflict? If he is not required to do so, then perhaps his time would be better spent introducing and advocating for a conflict of interest statute that applies to all members of the state legislature.

Gowan has been successful in the past in getting approval for more generous fireworks laws. He was successful in adding two more fireworks events this year – Cinco de Mayo and Dawali.  

The League of Arizona Cities and Towns, an organization that represents its cities and towns members, has already announced it opposition to this new, proposed law saying that it is concerned with an increase in citizen complaints, physical injury and fire danger. To date Gowan’s bill has not been assigned to a committee.

What Valley cities and towns want are more restrictions. Councilmembers received more complaints than ever before with people often describing their neighborhood as “Beirut.”

Here are the legal periods in which non-aerial fireworks can be used:

  • Cinco de Mayo – 3 days in May (a newly added event)
  • Independence Day – 11 days in July
  • Dawali – 2 days in November (a newly added event)
  • New Year’s Eve – 13 days in December and January

This event schedule is nuts. I continue to advocate for a two day event window for any legal fireworks event. For example, I propose that non-aerial fireworks be allowed on July 3rd and July 4th only between the hours of 7:30 PM to 12:30 AM. That’s it. No one needs 11 days to celebrate the 4th of July or 13 days to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

There is no consistency in the fireworks events schedule. It’s very confusing. If people knew that there was a two day window for any legal fireworks event, it would certainly simplify the rules for everyone.

I think it’s time for all of us to let Mr. Gowan know how we feel about his latest effort to further enrich his employer by allowing aerial fireworks as well as letting your state representatives know that you support some meaningful legislation to curb the insane proliferation of fireworks, especially in your densely populated neighborhoods.

You can email Mr. Gowan at dgowan@azleg.gov. You can email your legislators by using the initial of their first name with the complete last name@azleg.gov . An example would be ssmith@azleg.gov .

Are you fed up? I am.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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 the Tuesday, February 9, 2021 city council voting meeting Resolution R21-11 was passed by a majority of the city council. It is an agreement between the Tohono O’odham and the City of Glendale in which the city relinquishes its right to annex a parcel of land within its annexation boundaries.

I wish to explain my vote. I do not speak for the entire city council in expressing my reasoning for my vote and it should be noted that Mayor Weiers was absent due to recent surgery and did not vote on the matter.

The agreement helps to pave the way for the Tohono O’odham (TO), in the process of acquiring a parcel of land in the area of Northern Avenue and the Loop 303 freeway, to pursue building another casino, approximately ten miles to the west of the existent Desert Diamond Casino at Westgate. The property is currently owned by Saguaro Land Properties, LLC an entity of the Nation.  The next step for them is to put the land into trust.

All land within Glendale’s strip annexation borders can be annexed into Glendale, including this parcel. The TO asked that Glendale not exercise its right to annex this parcel into Glendale and a majority of the city council agreed. Glendale has the ability to annex, but not a legal right to force annexation.  Based on state statute, it would be impossible to annex them into the city, unless they agreed to do so. Here is a link to the agreement in its entirety: Contract # _ C21-0119 – TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION – Execution Date_ 2_9_2021

In the agreement the TO agrees to pay Glendale $400,000 and $1,000,000 with a 2% increase annually for 20 years:

8. Payments to the City and Other Considerations Provided by the Nation.

  1. Before the Nation Commences Gaming.  Within ten (10) days after the resolution provided in Section 4(A) of this Agreement become effective and the Memorandum of Agreement is fully executed and recorded, the Nation will make a one-time payment to the City in the amount of $400,000 to help fund the operations of the City.
  2. After the Nation Commences Gaming. Commencing in the year in which the Nation first offers Class III Gaming to the public on the Property (the ‘Base Year’) and continuing in each subsequent year for a period of twenty (20) years, the Nation will make the payments described below:
  3. Commencing in the Base Year, the Nation will make annual payments to the City to help fund its operations. The Nation will commence making payments to the City within six (6) months of the date on which the Nation first offers Class III Gaming to the public on the Property and annually thereafter within sixty (60) days of the anniversary date of the original payment made under this subsection.
  4. The Nation’s payment in the Base Year will be $1,000,000.00 in each subsequent year of this Agreement, the Nations will make a payment to the City in an amount that is two percent (2%) greater than its payment in the previous year, for the same purposes.”

In return for which the city will not only announce its support for this new casino but actively support its development:

4. Termination of the PADA; Announcement Regarding the Project; No Opposition; No Annexation; Covenant Not To Sue.

  1.   As soon as practicable following the adoption by the City of a resolution approving this Agreement, the City will adopt a resolution in the form attached hereto as Exhibit C approving and authorizing the execution on behalf of the City and recording a Memorandum of Agreement and Partial Termination of Prior Agreement releasing the Property from the PADA, in the forms attached as Exhibit 1 to such resolution, which will then be executed on behalf of the City and the Nation and recorded, at the cost and expense of the Nation, in the Official Records (the ‘Memorandum of Agreement’).
  2. Press Release. Within ten (10) days after the Effective Date, the City and the Nation will issue a joint press release, approved in substance and form by each of the Parties, stating that:
  3. The City and Nation have entered into a mutually beneficial intergovernmental agreement relation to the Property and the Project;
  4. The City supports the United States’ acquisition of the entirety of the Property in trust for the benefit of the Nation under the Lands Replacement Act;
  5. The City supports the Project (including the Nation’s proposed casino gaming operation on the Property);
  6. The City wants the Nation to construct and commence operating the Project as expeditiously as possible for the mutual benefit of the City and the Nation; and
  7. The City supports the Nation’s efforts to enter into a Compact authorizing the Nation’s Class III Gaming on the Property.
  8. No Opposition.
  9. The City will not, directly or indirectly, oppose, challenge, or appeal any decision by the Secretary of the Interior to acquire the Property in trust for the benefit of the Nation under the Lands Replacement Act, including any current or future fee to trust applications concerning the Property.
  10. If the Nation asks the National Indian Gaming Commission or the United States Department of the Interior to issue any decisions or opinions relating to whether the Property meets the requirements of 25 S.C.&2719(b)(1)(B), the City will not, directly or indirectly, oppose the request.
  11. No Annexation. The City will not, after the Effective Date, annex, or take any action to annex, all or any portion of the Property.
  12. Covenant Not To Sue. The City will not commence any future action or make any claims against the Nation or Gaming Enterprise to hinder the Nation or the Gaming Enterprise in developing the Project, except that the City may seek to enforce the terms of the Settlement Agreement and this Agreement.”

One reason to vote ‘yes’ would have been because I do not oppose the city’s agreement to not pursue annexation of this land in question. Let it remain in the county. When it is taken into Trust it becomes a reservation and part of a sovereign nation. This means the new TO casino when built will be on reservation land and not subject to local, county or tax taxation and it is not subject to local or state building codes. That is because it will be a sovereign nation and not under local, county or state jurisdiction. The issue of agreeing to not annex the land was never the issue for me. There were other reasons that compelled me to vote ‘no’ on this issue that I believe outweighed the issue of annexation or non-annexation.

I should disclaim that I have had a long history of opposition to the first casino, now a reservation, a sovereign nation, surrounded by Glendale. I will not bore you with the long history of that fight but suffice it to say, some of the actions taken by the TO appeared to some as being underhanded. Were they? That’s for you to decide but several local tribes claimed such. Here is the link to the testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives in May, 2013, of Diane Enos, President of the Salt River-Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. It does a good job of summarizing many of Arizona’s Indian tribes view of the Tohono O’odham’s actions historically: HHRG-113-II24-Wstate-EnosD-20130516

My ‘no’ vote was based upon the following questions and assumptions. My first thought was, why is the TO paying the City of Glendale when the casino will not be on city annexed land? It will remain part of the county until it is designated a reservation. With the passage of Resolution R 21-11 it will never be annexed by Glendale or be a part of Glendale. There may be several reasons:

One could be in the 1986 Gila Bend Act Congress authorized the Tohono O’odham to purchase and to become reservation up to 9,880 acres of land in Maricopa, Pima or Pinal counties. The land was supposed to replace agricultural land that had been flooded by the federal government. There was the expectation that the new land purchases would be agricultural. Under the Act, it also states the purchased land may not be within the corporate limits of any city.

Another reason may be the TO’s intense desire in securing Glendale’s full-throated support as the city agrees to publicly support the new casino. Why is this important to the TO? My guess it is to neutralize any opposition there may be from other tribes such as Gila River or Salt River-Pima-Maricopa. The TO can point out that it has the support of Glendale to move forward with this new casino.

It also secures Glendale’s support of a new Indian Gaming Compact that will go before the state’s voters in 2022 as well as ensuring Glendale’s support in its requests of the federal government to designate the land as a reservation.

Under the existent Compact the TO are allowed a total of 4 casinos. They have those now – one in Tucson, Ajo, Sahuarita, and Glendale. To construct a 5th casino will require the agreement of the signatory Tribes to the newly crafted Compact soon to be presented to the state’s voters, as well as voter approval.

That raises a question about the new Compact, as yet unveiled to the public. If the TO anticipates getting a 5th casino, does that mean all of the other signatory tribes are anticipating getting authority to plant even more casinos in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area?

Yet another reason may be because the seller of the land to the TO was a member of the PADA (Pre Annexation Development Agreement) which required land owners who are party to this agreement to annex into Glendale. When the land was sold to the TO this legal proscription remained with the sale of the land.

Although it is not specifically spelled out, the agreement seems to be a “quid pro quo.” In return for certain payments to the city, the city will support the TO’s plans. It is often acknowledged that “perception is reality.” The perception of some, after reading the Agreement, may be that the Tohono O’odham bought the city council’s support. I don’t disagree.

There may be “more to this story” than the TO have shared. Perhaps they do not enjoy the support of some of the other Tribes. Perhaps if the city had decided to keep their land in the PADA it might have clouded a federal decision as to whether the land should be taken into trust for a reservation. I honestly don’t know.

Other considerations that formed my decision to vote ‘no’ were the new casino may draw customers from those traveling along the Loop 303 but I suspect it will also draw Sun City, Sun City Grand and Sun City West patrons of the current casino to patronize the new casino as it is closer to them. It may end up cannibalizing its customer base; and although the site is not within the noise contours of Luke Air Force Base, it is in close proximity to them. The TO will be constructing a casino with intense usage just outside of those noise contours.  There could be cause for concern should there ever be an aircraft accident.

In summary, it wasn’t the actual issue of agreeing that the city would not annex the land that drove my decision but rather other, less tangible considerations and perceptions. Does this mean that I cannot work with the TO on issues regarding its current casino in Glendale? No. I promised fair consideration of any request they may make and I will abide by that pledge. The Agreement just passed by city council raises questions that remain unanswered and are likely to remain unanswered. Those questions prompted my ‘no’ vote.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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.

I promised to provide a brief update regarding my journey to become fully vaccinated. My first shot was on January 13th and was the Pfizer vaccine. Registering for my first appointment was relatively simple. I got on the state website, registered, answered their questions and was able to make an appointment at State Farm Stadium. I knew I had a 21 to 28 day window to get my second vaccination.

Not so with an attempt to secure an appointment for my second vaccination. I knew the 28th day was February 8th. So, I started by going to the state website. The first sign that I knew things weren’t going well was that I’d log in and kept getting kicked off the site. When I was finally successful, after many tries, to find a vacant appointment slot between February 2nd and February 8th there were no slots available. Here I was, trying to make an appointment a day or two after my first shot and there were no empty appointment slots available. How could this be? I have no answer.

After trying the online approach for several days with my level of concern rising, I used the hotline number provided on the state website. It took several calls and much dead airtime waiting to talk to someone before I got a live person who promptly told me that there appeared to be no slots available, but she would check and call me back. The following day I received the phone call and the only slot I could get was at 2:45 AM on the last day, the 28th day of my window. I immediately confirmed.

That morning I made my way to State Farm Stadium. I have nothing but praise for the setup used at the Stadium. On both occasions, there was a logical and quick process to confirm my appointment. The longest part of the process is waiting 15 minutes to verify that I had no immediate reaction to the vaccine.

There have been stories of some having had mild flu symptoms, headache, fever, and chills or experiencing tiredness. I am here to tell you that I had no symptoms after my second Pfizer vaccination. Nothing at all.

I had heard that one is more likely to experience side effects after the Moderna vaccination, but I don’t know of anyone personally who received Moderna and experienced symptoms after the second vaccination.

I can report to you that although I had difficulty lining up an appointment for my second vaccination, don’t give up. Be persistent. You can get it done. Your chances of having a reaction are minimal and should not deter you. I urge all those in the 1A and 1B groups to get your vaccination. It’s worth the effort. Even though it offers a certain amount of reassurance and peace of mind, I will continue to mask up and socially distance and you should as well.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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.

We knew that Biden would seek to eliminate as much of Trump’s policies as possible and that is exactly what is occurring no matter whom it hurts. The flurry of his Executive Orders (EO) will be felt by all in the coming months and years. I am going to focus on just a few of them. Covering all 30 that have been issued would require a book.

One of his EOs mandates that all educational institutions receiving federal funding permit biological males to join female sports teams and to use ladies’ locker rooms and restrooms. Parents, has it occurred to you that if your school, be it pre-school, elementary, middle-school, high school, etc., has a free breakfast or lunch program it is receiving federal funding? Now biological males, not just transgender, will be using girls’ bathrooms and showers. Are you comfortable with that?

Feminist groups have said, Allowing men to shower with women is absolutely wrong in schools, workplace, etc. It’s setting things up for an absolute nightmare of rapes and horrific incidents in America.” The incentive to become a female athlete has evaporated. I read in a recent article that 30% of all high school male athletes can beat all premier female athletes’ records in any given sport. All the years of establishing female athletic programs designed to provide a venue for excellence have disappeared with the stroke of a pen.

Another EO Biden issued wipes out Trump mandated lower drug prices for insulin and epinephrine. This hurts seniors and low income people tremendously. Remember the stories of people rationing their prescriptions because they couldn’t afford them? Trump heard that and created a policy to rectify that situation. Now, thanks to yet another Biden EO a segment of our population will once again ration their medicine because of its cost.

Another EO action taken was revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, intended to carry Canadian crude to the U.S., and issuing a 60-day moratorium on the leasing of fossil energy resources and new permits for drilling and mining on public lands.

The Canadians are mad and planning to sue the United States after they invested over one billion dollars in infrastructure.

The Indians are mad as stated in a Ute Indian Tribe letter to Biden, “Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right of self-determination.”    

The state of New Mexico is mad because “The federal government’s 60-day suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on public lands sent shockwaves through the industry in New Mexico…” the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday. The Wall Street Journal reported, “the order interrupts the development of infrastructure that connects new and existing wells to pipelines, forcing operators to flare methane emissions rather than recovering them.”

The Unions are mad, chief among them the Union Pipefitters who stated, Wall, pipelines, gas, coal, etc., all of these work sites are closing on a daily basis thanks to his EO’s…we are being told to call back in a few weeks, some calls aren’t even answered.” Recent news reports state the loss of over 70,000 jobs and approximately $1.6 billion in lost wages…in just the first week.

Another Biden EO ends the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocol and stops construction of border wall systems. From the peak of the migrant border in May 2019 to February 2020, federal Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported a 92 percent reduction in the number of Central American migrant families crossing the border from Mexico.

Last weekend, thousands Honduran migrants forced their way across the Guatemalan border with an intent to make their way to the United States after Biden took office. Listen to just one caravan migrant, “He’s given us 100 days to get to the U.S. and give us ‘legalment (sic)’ paper so we can get a better life for our kids and family.”

In addition, about 70% of those who had been scheduled for immediate deportation have criminal records, many of them for serious offenses. All of them are required to be released immediately…into your community.

More COVID. More serious crime. More human trafficking. More sex trafficking. More drug trafficking. That’s what Joe Biden’s open-borders policies will quickly bring to American communities. The results will be devastating for our future.

There are more Executive Orders that promise to have major impacts upon us such as his EO on abortion but I will save those for another blog.

There were 75 million Americans that voted for Trump not necessarily because they even liked him but they did like the outcomes achieved by his policies. Biden never told us what his policies would be other than he would be a National Education Association (NEA) advocate in the White House.  The NEA publicly admitted that its prime directive is to protect teachers…not your children. Are your children back in school? Have you noted the increase in child suicides? Have you noted that children are failing in the basics of reading and math? He said he would not ban fracking and he lied.

So, for all of you who voted for Biden because you hated Trump (“Orange man bad”) I will not be surprised when you finally realize the extent to which his policies will upend your lives. Have you noticed that gasoline prices are already going up? You can expect your electricity prices to rise as well as the industry still uses a majority of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Don’t be surprised when the 10 million Americans out of work suddenly find it even harder to get a job as they are forced to compete with an influx of migrants competing for those very same jobs.

Biden is a figurehead, a shell of a man. He is being directed by the most radical elements of the Democrat party, not the moderates. All of his talk of unifying the country sounds good but in reality 75 million of us are being targeted and there is open discussion of “deprograming” us. I am not a conspiracy nut or a Nazi or a racist. Yet that is what we are called continually. The hatred for us has not diminished with this election and if anything, it has intensified with Democrat control of the Presidency, the Senate and the House. There will come a breaking point for some and I fear the outcome and what it portends for our nation.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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.

I rarely make recommendations about any product or service. I’ve probably done it twice in all the years of my blog. I feel compelled to do so this time. For over a year I have been researching

Old faithful

cars prior to buying a new vehicle. I had a 17-year-old Lincoln Signature Town Car. It was reliable as heck. It was a big boat with an extremely comfortable ride and an enormous trunk, large enough for a dead body or, as in my case, to haul a wheelchair and many previous large Home Depot purchases. After 17 years it only had 121,000 miles and I made sure it was maintained regularly. I loved that car and wrestled whether to keep it and invest in the inevitable major repairs sure to appear or to finally bite the bullet and find some vehicle remotely similar to my big boat.

I was soon to learn that car manufacturers were discontinuing making large sedans in favor of crossovers and hybrids…none of which I wanted. So, to the luxury sedan market I went. I reviewed BMWs, Mercedes, Genesis, Audi…you name it. I researched and researched.  Many of the makes I reviewed had uneven reliability records and repairs were horribly expensive.

I finally narrowed my search to a BMW 7, a Genesis G-90 or a Cadillac GT6. All offered a quiet, comfortable ride and were similar in many ways. After test driving all, the car that finally blew me away was the Cadillac. It’s big with a quiet and comfortable, smooth ride and so much technology in it that I will never master all that it can do.

There is no more miserable experience than going to a dealership and maneuvering the purchase of a new car. It’s akin to going to a dentist. Not so in my case. Thanks to Arrowhead Cadillac my experience was wonderfully pleasant. I called the dealership and asked if they had a Certified Pre Owned GT6 in white or silver with a light interior expecting to be told ‘no.’ Thanks to Julie and Jim Behncke (jimbehncke@gmail,com, juliebehncke@gmail.com)  .  They not only found such an animal, they drove it to my home so that I could test drive it. The car was perfect and had everything I wanted and expected. Not only that, it had only had 18,000 miles on it and plenty of warranty left.

I thought about it for a few more days and during that time went back to personally revisit my other choices but none compared to this Cadillac. I wanted to reassure myself that I was making the correct choice for me.

I called Jim and Julie and told them I was ready to buy the car. That is where Michael Meewes, Arrowhead Cadillac’s General Manager, comes in. I told him my budget and he worked his magic to get the car into my price range. Then we had a deal.

Jim and Julie came down once again to deliver my new car and we did all the paperwork from

New Faithful

the comfort of my home. All was carefully explained, and Julie gave me a tutorial on the technology in the car.

I was pleasantly surprised with my car buying experience and recommend that if you consider buying a Cadillac, visit my new friends Jim and Julie Behncke at Arrowhead Cadillac. You won’t regret your experience.

 

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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.

My mission was to get my Covid shot as soon as was permissible. On Monday the state opened up to the 1B group which includes those individuals over 75. Yaaa…that was me! I got on the state site on Monday shortly after 9am to make an appointment to get my shot at State Farm Stadium. The website is crazy and convoluted. I managed to make an appointment for myself for this past Wednesday at 12:06 PM. When I tried to make an appointment for my husband it forced me to go back to the beginning and as a result, I couldn’t make an appointment for him until 2 days later then my appointment, this Friday. Inconvenient but workable.

They advise that you arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time and to wear a mask. The vaccination site is actually in the parking lot to the west of the stadium on the west side of 95th Avenue. I would advise approaching the site from the north. If you come in from the south you will have to turn around and get on 95th Avenue southbound.

There were scads of people waiting for the shot but I must say the site was well organized and well run. They had some national guard directing cars and all of the workers were volunteers, primarily from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Kudos to Blue Cross Blue Shield for allowing their employees to volunteer.

You stay in your car the entire time. Make sure you bring the appointment paperwork generated when you make your appointment online. It includes an ID number that you will need. You must bring ID and if you are not over 75 but are a teacher, first responder, care giver, etc., you need to bring a pay stub or something similar that proves you are eligible for Group 1B.

The vehicle lines were long but wait times were relatively short. In the first line they check your paperwork and with a grease marker they will write your ID number and appointment time on your windshield.

You are then directed to a second line with about 8 lanes. Each land is a shot dispensing site. After waiting about 10 minutes I got to the front of the line. I was asked which arm I preferred for the shot. The shot is done with a very fine needle and frankly, you don’t even feel it. I was repeatedly asked during the process if I was allegoric to anything or on a blood thinner. I was negative to both questions.

After you get the shot you are given a card that lists the kind of vaccine received (Pfizer), the date received and a suggested date for the second shot. You must go back to the state website to make your second appointment.

They then direct you to a parking area and ask that you wait 15 minutes at that location to ensure that there are no adverse reactions. I had absolutely no reaction to the shot. No chills, fever, allegeric reaction, etc. My arm is slightly sore but no different than getting a flu shot.

In conclusion, I arrived at about 11:40 AM and was done at about 12:45 PM. In total, the process took about an hour.

Today, one day after the shot I feel fine. I have had no adverse reactions at all. I understand after the second shot some people experience mild, flu-like symptoms. I will report back after my second shot.

If you are in the 1B Group or later when shots are available to all, I strongly urge you to get the vaccination. It’s painless and not overly time consuming. I look forward to being 95% protected after I receive my second dose. I won’t have to worry about getting it or transmitting it to a family member. If you are eligible now…please do it.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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.

One of the major reasons the 4 bond authorization questions at Glendale’s November election went down in flames was because voters feared an automatic increase in the amount of Glendale property tax they would have to pay.

To refresh your memory there were 4 bond questions.  Question 1 asked for $87.2 million for Parks and Recreation and included Heroes Park build out. Question 2 asked for $81.5 million for street construction and reconstruction primarily of arterial streets and would have included 59th, 67th and 83rd Avenues as well as reconstruction of Bell Road, Thunderbird Road and Bethany Home Road. Question 3 was under $10 million for continued expansion of the new north portion of the landfill and its debt would have been paid off by users of city sanitation services. Question 4, also under $10 million would have been to improve local drainage issues such as fixing the flooding on Glenn Drive.

At all public meetings designed to provide information on these bond questions, by state law, the city was required to provide you with the worst-case scenario. From these public meetings the following was offered to the public, “However, as part of the disclosures we are required to tell you that the amount of the proposed bond authorization combined with the outstanding debt would exceed the city’s constitutional debt limit. But as we’ve said, once before, the city’s paying off some debt which will keep the amount of outstanding bonds below either limit (6% or 20%) and no bonds can or will be issued that would exceed the city’s constitutional debt limit.” (Assistant City Manager Vicki Rios, October 2020 public bond meeting)

However, what was little known or unclear to the voters was Resolution NO. R20-137 approved by the city council on October 13, 2020. Over the years, the informal council policy had been to maintain a flat (no increase) levy for property taxes. The city’s debt capacity could only increase by the value of new properties added to the city’s tax rolls each year, but it had never been formally adopted.

With the adoption of this resolution this policy became formal and states in part, “The City Council will not authorize the issuance of new G.O. bonds if the levy amount required to pay the debt service on existing G.O. bonds plus the new G.O. bonds exceeds the amount of the current year’s tax levy plus an amount of up to 2% per year for new growth (i.e. new property added to the tax rolls).”

With the formal adoption of this long-standing city council policy by resolution, the state disclosure requiring the city to tell you what the worst-case scenario could be is based upon the assumption that there would be an increase in the property tax levy. This disclosure is required but becomes irrelevant and is a moot point with the adoption of Resolution R20-137.

I am disappointed, obviously, that these 4 bond authorization questions did not gain voter approval. The items presented to voters were the result of the hard and extensive work done by a citizen bond committee. These were items that citizens who studied the issue felt were necessary to move our city forward. City council did not create these recommendations and after listening to their recommendations, approved them.

With the failure of all 4 bond authorization questions, projects that would have been funded will be scaled back, eliminated altogether or delayed for many years. The decisions regarding the projects will be considered by the city council when it takes up budget discussions this spring.

As the Yucca district councilmember, I want Yucca constituents to be aware that some of these bond authorizations are personally important to you. The Parks and Recreation bond authorization question, if it had passed, would have authorized the amount of $47 million to finally complete Heroes Park. This park has been in the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) since 1998, a period of 23 years. It would have included sports fields, a Recreation & Aquatics Center (like the one in north Glendale), a dog park and library expansion. (Please note Heroes Park Lake begins construction this March/April and is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021).

With a doubling of the population in the Yucca district since the last census in 2010, amenities such as the completion of Heroes Park and reconstruction of Bethany Home Road are no longer luxuries but necessities. As more and more people move into this district the need for these amenities becomes greater and greater and the lack of them puts our district at a disadvantage with other districts in the city as well as with neighboring cities such as Peoria and Avondale.

Another infrastructure issue that would have been fixed included in the Streets Bond Authorization was Bethany Home Road between Glendale Avenue and Northern Avenue. It is a mess and frankly, embarrassing. Now I do not know when it will be reconstructed.

I would hope that the city would again present these items to the voters, perhaps at our next election in 2022. I would hope that the next time it is made clear that your property taxes will not go up and a more complete explanation of the projects to be funded would be offered.

© Joyce Clark, 2021       

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.

Just as in years past, I like other Glendale councilmembers, received numerous complaints about the use of fireworks. Only this year the number of complaints seems to have grown exponentially. One Yucca district complainant said that upon calling the Glendale Police Department to make a fireworks complaint, it was said by dispatch that over 300 complaints had been received in Glendale. This week I will ask Glendale personnel for the final total number of complaints received and what disposition they received.

What can be done to stop an activity which has gotten out of hand, is being abused and appears to be unenforceable? Currently, not much. The state legislature has taken control of the fireworks law and allows cities extraordinarily little authority to control the activity. Here is the link to the full text of the state statute: ARS statute Fireworks

This portion of the law makes very clear that the state has usurped cities’ ability to regulate fireworks by saying,  36-1606. Consumer fireworks regulation; state preemption; further regulation of fireworks by local jurisdiction, “A. The sale and use of permissible consumer fireworks are of statewide concern. The regulation of permissible consumer fireworks pursuant to this article and their sale or use is not subject to further regulation by a governing body, except as follows:

(c) Prohibit the use of permissible consumer fireworks on days other than May 4 through May 6, June 24 through July 6 and December 24 through January 3 of each year and the second and third days of Diwali of each year.” It seems it is legal to use fireworks on:

  • May 4th through May 6th , Cinco de Mayo, a period of 3 days
  • June 24th through July 6th, Independence Day, a period of 13 days
  • December 24th though January 3rd, New Year’s Day, a period of 11 days
  • 2nd and 3rd days of Diwali of each year. Diwaliis India’s most important holiday—and a celebration of good over evil. This five-day festival of lights is observed by more than a billion people across faiths and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). A period of 2 days.

Have you noticed the inconsistency in the number of days allowed per event? Everything from 2 days for Diwali to 13 days to celebrate the 4th of July, Independence Day. I would suggest that the state law be consistent for all recognized events allowing fireworks on May 4th and 5th for Cinco de Mayo; July 3rd and 4th for Independence Day; December 30th and 31st for New Year’s; and the 2nd and 3rd days of Diwali.

We know aerial fireworks are illegal per state statute: “(c) Does not include anything that is designed or intended to rise into the air and explode or to detonate in the air or to fly above the ground, including firework items defined by the APA 87-1 and known as firecrackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets, missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, torpedoes, roman candles, mine devices, shell devices and aerial shell kits or reloadable tubes.”

We know what permissible fireworks are: “7. (i) Ground and handheld sparkling devices; (ii) Cylindrical fountains; (iii) Cone fountains; (iv) Illuminating torches; (v) Wheels; (vi) Ground spinners; (vii) Flitter sparklers; (viii) Toy smoke devices; (ix) Wire sparklers or dipped sticks; (x) Multiple tube ground and handheld sparkling devices, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains and illuminating torches manufactured in accordance with section 3.5 of the APA 87-1 and

(c) Does not include anything that is designed or intended to rise into the air and explode or to detonate in the air or to fly above the ground, including firework items defined by the APA 87-1 and known as firecrackers, bottle rockets, sky rockets, missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners, torpedoes, roman candles, mine devices, shell devices and aerial shell kits or reloadable tubes.”

The use of illegal fireworks is almost impossible to enforce without allowing police departments the use of new tools such as drones. A drone can provide factual evidence that should be allowed as meaningful evidence in a court of law.

State statute clearly says, “…their sale or use is not subject to further regulation by a governing body,…” That leaves only one option, that cities and citizens lobby the state legislature to amend the current law. Since cities cannot further regulate the use of fireworks complaints to elected officials are often wasted. If truth be told, most elected officials view the use of fireworks exactly the same way you do.

The only way to achieve some meaningful results would be to ask elected officials from all Valley cities to join their efforts into one coalition to lobby the state legislature for amendments to the existing law. Those amendments could include limiting the number of days for each event to two days; prohibiting their use after midnight; and granting police departments the ability to use drones with drone photograph captures as being recognized as admissible evidence in a court of law. 

© Joyce Clark, 2021      

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.

The year 2020 has been memorable and one we hope never repeats itself in terms of the Covid pandemic. As we move into 2021, I, as I am sure many others, await our opportunity to get the vaccine. We all assume that getting vaccinated will allow us to resume a more normal lifestyle.

Despite Covid Glendale has seen some remarkable events this year.

While considering the objections of adjacent residents, the City Council decided to close Glen Lakes Golf Course and to sell the land for a residential development. That action has taken place and we should see construction activity on the site in 2021.

The area surrounding the Loop 303 erupted with activity. Major developers snapped up land along the Loop 303 as fast as they could for industrial/manufacturing/commercial development resulting in several million square feet of space now under construction. This activity will generate over $10 million in construction sales tax for Glendale. One extremely contentious project, a Love’s Travel Stop, eventually disappeared. Council’s intent directed by policy creation was and is to develop the area for commercial development and to discourage residential development in the area. To date the city has been successful except for two residential parcels, county approved prior to their annexation into Glendale.

Zanjero and Westgate continue to add new developments to their sites. New multifamily complexes are springing up in those areas designed to provide a mass of residents that will support those areas for many years to come. Perhaps the most significant project that will put Glendale on the map as a major destination location is the Crystal Lagoon, Glendale located at the southwest corner of 95th Avenue and Cardinals Way. It is, in essence, a mini-Disneyland with a large lagoon available for public recreational use along with 3 hotels, a bevy of retail and entertainment experiences including a 150-foot-tall Aero Bar and a 400-foot tall, tethered balloon designed for public viewing of the entire Valley. This experiential retail will be open prior to the Super Bowl scheduled to be hosted by Glendale in 2023. Just as importantly, it will generate nearly $10 million annually in new revenue for the city. That money can and I hope, will be used to complete unfinished amenities and establish new ones for our Glendale residents.

Another major significant project was the completion of Ballpark Boulevard establishing a permanent connection between our White Sox and Dodgers spring training facility and the Westgate/Zanjero areas. There is several hundred acres of developable land along Ballpark Boulevard and I expect to see additional development on that land prior to the Super Bowl. Glendale is booming with new development and we can expect to see it continue through 2021 and 2022.

A major disappointment was voter disapproval of bond authorization in 4 areas: streets; parks and recreation; landfill and local drainage. We did a poor job of explaining these needs to our residents and failed to assure them that approval of authorization would not raise property taxes. I would expect the city to take another run at it in a few years and do a better job of explaining how important these needs are to our residents.

For example, I receive complaints about the condition of 83rd Avenue between Glendale Avenue and Northern Avenue daily. It was one of the reconstruction projects scheduled if the streets bond authorization had passed. With the failure of the bond authorization, city council will have to decide how and when 83rd Avenue will be remediated during its next budget process discussions scheduled for the spring of 2021.

On another note, I dip into an app called NextDoor periodically. Topics that are often repeated are complaints about fireworks, alerts to all about suspicious persons in a neighborhood and car break-ins. In all these instances, while it is nice to let your neighbors know about these events, it would be better still if each person picked up the phone and called the Glendale Police Department. The department lives by statistics. Every time a call is made it adds to the statistics for a geographic area. The department uses these statistics to determine where to deploy officers. The more statistics (calls) in a certain area the more likely officers will be patrolling and available to respond in a timely fashion to a call for service. Publicly aired complaints are fine but result in a lot of “sound and fury signifying nothing.” Please call the Glendale Police Department and make a report. Do not expect your neighbors to do it. Assume they have not and make that call.

The state has pre-empted cities’ ability to regulate fireworks and extraordinarily little authority is available to cities. If you want the fireworks to stop you are going to have to reach out to residents of other Valley cities and work together to let the state legislature know you have had enough.

In Glendale there are only two periods a year when fireworks may be used: June 24th to July 6th and December 24th to January 3rd. Any other time of year they are illegal. Fireworks that are shot into the air are always illegal. Glendale has increased the fine for illegal fireworks to $1500. Fireworks may not be used between midnight and 6 AM during the two permitted periods.

There is probably more that I could relate about Glendale and events of the past year but the ones I highlighted are the ones that have the most significance for me. I am proud of Glendale and especially the Yucca district which I represent. There is so much good news.

One comment that has always remained with me is a comment the renowned economist, Elliot Pollack, made years ago. He said that Glendale will become the geographical center of the entire Valley. It was prescient and extremely accurate. Glendale is becoming the center of the Valley, in more ways than one. In terms of population, Glendale is the 6th largest city in the state, but our focus is not on population growth but rather economic development and job creation. Our focus on economic development will reverse the current situation where 70% of our residents leave Glendale for employment. As we add more and more jobs and as we develop Class A office space, we will reverse that statistic and in the future Glendale’s residents will truly be able to live, work and play IN Glendale.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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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