Opinions with Civility
HOT TOPICS

Fairall: May highlights plight of seniors

May is Older Americans Month. This elder awareness protection program was started in 1963 by President John Kennedy and was originally known as Senior Citizens Month. The 2021 theme of Older …
John L. Smallwood

Smallwood: Key factors to know about the greatest disruptor of wealth

Paying taxes isn’t a favorite pastime of most Americans. And in retirement, paying higher taxes can be an unwelcome surprise when the financial plan did not account for them.
Carol Gaxiola

Gaxiola: We have an opportunity to save lives, protect our communities

My 14-year-old daughter, Jasmine, was taken by gun violence nearly 20 years ago. Her murder still haunts me, and I have done everything I could since then to see that no one else experiences a similar loss.
Dr. Barry Goodfield

Goodfield: Our treatment offers hope, healing to those with PTSD

I founded the Goodfield Institute LLC in the USA and The Netherlands and am also founder and CEO of Operation New Outlook, a nonprofit organization that works for and with veterans, first responders and their families to enhance their quality of life by treating post-traumatic stress.

Maricopa County Chairman Sellers: Senate’s allegations ‘dangerous,’ ‘lies’

Yesterday, I received a letter from the Senate President asking that members of the board and other Maricopa County subject matter experts come to a meeting and resolve “three serious …
Scottsdale For All Photo Shoot 2 - No text

Frost: Morning in the McDowells

Early morning sun shafts spike through mountain peaks lighting up the haloed prickly pear and stately saguaro, while wisps of pink clouds on a blue backdrop angle away and south to where the sky is …
Rep. Nancy Barto

Rep. Barto: SB1270 gives patients more control of health care options

Improving patient care should always be the driving force behind any legislation introduced at the state capitol, which is why I introduced Senate Bill 1270, a bill to exempt certain medications from an insurance practice known as step therapy.

Tidwell: Announcing Scottsdale initiative ‘Super Fund Our Police’

I am writing to you to make you aware of a grass roots movement taking place called “Super Fund Our Police.” This movement is being initiated by six Scottsdale residents who are …
Mallory Kvek

Kvek: Conduct audit of Mark Lamb’s sheriff’s department

I recently read that a number of Pinal County residents are asking the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to conduct an audit of Mark Lamb’s sheriff’s department. I believe there are more …

Wilson: Calls out Legislature for Big Lie

What a wonderful forward-thinking Legislature we have. They want answers to an election problem which doesn’t exist. I suspect they will soon sponsor a bill to find the real answer to the …
Sarah Wessel

Wessel: Finance innovations bolster Arizona’s marijuana industry

Federal banking laws have created more than just an isolated crisis for Arizona’s multi-billion dollar marijuana industry.

Kenny: COVID-19’s connection to heart disease

In the past year, COVID-19 has become one of the top five causes of death. While the Coronavirus alone can take such a terrible toll on the body, it can be even worse for those with …
Braden Biggs

Biggs: Sign petition to keep SSA building in Apache Junction

As one of your Apache Junction City Council members, it is my duty to advocate on behalf of the city and its residents. Today, I am asking for your help in advocating for your community and your …

Kraft: Let’s care for our ‘Mother Earth'

On Mother’s Day when I was reading the article, “NASA chief eyes climate, hedges on moon landing,” it reminded me of our other mother, Mother Earth. The new NASA chief, Bill …
Jack Sellers

Sellers: County board defends free, fair elections

Maricopa County government is not involved in the Cyber Ninja audit, but we have provided the Arizona Senate eight terabytes of data, ballots and election equipment involved in the 2020 General …

Abrami: Grass should not be grown in this area

This is in response to the letter to the editor about grass (“Sun City golf courses need more grass”). Simple answer is that people shouldn’t be growing grass at all in this …
Diane E. Brown

Brown: Transforming transportation can save money, protect public health

For many Arizonans, the turmoil caused by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic last year taught us that our daily automobile commutes aren’t necessary, but that having transportation options are imperative.

Oudenhoven: Mask wearing is supported by science

This is in response to the opinion from Bruce Lamb (“Some employees don’t live in Sun City”). Bruce, I too am tired of the pandemic. But science is science. You wanting to not …
Saul Anuzis

Anuzis: The larger promise of new vaccine tech

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that fully vaccinated Americans can gather indoors with friends and family — without wearing masks or social distancing.

Pastors: Protect our voting rights

Esteemed DOJ leadership: We have authored this letter to request your immediate intervention in Arizona, on behalf of Black voters, who are currently being involuntarily and very likely …
Stroke survivor and Buckeye resident Stephanie Flynn poses with her family. [Courtesy of Abrazo Health]

Flynn: Young stroke survivor thanks Abrazo West care team

The morning started off like any other day, little did I know it would end up being the most dramatic day in my life.
Steve Edwards

Edwards: How cowboy church came about when Lost Dutchman Days 2021 was canceled

I got the call from Rodney Wayne regarding Lost Dutchman Days with news… Lost Dutchman Days 2021 was canceled and so was the cowboy church that I had started over 25 years ago. Heartbroken, …
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — May 2021

Veterans, service members, and their families now have a new place to access resources, support, and assistance in the West Valley.
Chris Udall

Udall: Let’s invest in system that keeps water flowing

When you are thirsty and hungry, you go to your refrigerator, fill a glass of water and clean your bowl of fruit under running water at your sink. But what if the water does not run to fill your …
Denise Hart

Hart: Chamber hosting Apache Junction ‘Shop Local’ program

The Apache Junction Area Chamber is rolling out the Shop Local program. Designed to help our local area businesses during the slower summer months, and to keep everyone shopping local, the …

Andrews: Calls for cooperation with police

I recall a couple of things my mother said to me that I believe still apply today: “Nothing good happens after midnight” and “Don’t go to places where bad things …

Ender: Public safety should be top priority in Arizona

For more than five years, I have received the best civics education and it took place outside of a traditional classroom.
John King

King: "How To Avoid A Climate Disaster"

We know Bill Gates as a founder of Microsoft and later founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But there is a Gates we do not know so well.
Roberto Reveles

Reveles: Audit Pinal County elections department, sheriff’s office

Truth, trust, transparency and accountability are words that are desperately needed to guide all levels of government today. At recent Pinal County Board of Supervisors meetings and throughout our …

Burhop: What the heck is a cyber ninja?

Cyber Ninjas. I never heard of these people. What is a cyber ninja? Sounds like a kid’s video game. About the same level of credibility. They are searching our supposedly secret ballots with …
Arizona motorists have been crossing the Salt River via this scenic bridge along State Route 288 in Gila County since 1920. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Cline: Here’s the other Salt River bridge

Do us a favor and pick a bridge — any bridge — across the Salt River. Which one came to mind? Maybe along Interstate 10 near Sky Harbor International Airport?
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — May 2021

The city of Surprise is ranked the No. 6 safest city in Arizona, according to a new SafeWise report.

Opinion: We must continue to push for sensible STR solutions, not bans

Last month, Arizona lawmakers had an opportunity to support legislation that would have made it easier for local cities to address nuisance short-term rental properties that have been the cause of …
Cpl. Marshall Harshman

Harshman: Heat-related illnesses, deaths are preventable

Can you feel it? The temperature is rising. Summer is just around the corner, and soon we will find ourselves mopping the sweat off our brows while silently questioning our life choices. Why in …
Aaron Rodgers [The Associated Press]

Pickering: Raiders fan has home for Aaron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr and Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. And like Favre, it appears that Rodgers …
Sue Rainey

Rainey, Elisco: Abrazo honors nurses’ contributions during National Nurses Week

Abrazo Health is proud to honor its nurses during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, an annual celebration that recognizes the critical role nurses perform in our hospitals and for our community.
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — May 2021

I joined Mayor Skip Hall, Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborne, Youngtown Mayor Mike Levault, and several other elected officials to celebrate White Tank Wild Day at the beautiful Skyline Regional Park.

Kush: Soaring lumber prices impacting Scottsdale buyers, renters

It is difficult to pick up a newspaper and not see an article on sky rocketing Scottsdale home prices. Additionally, Scottsdale has the highest average apartment rental rates in the metro area. …

Brown: Hospital needs better signs on Bell Road

I have a comment about the new micro hospital, Abrazo Surprise Hospital (located at 16815 W. Bell Road). Being a local resident, I’m aware of its location being situated a little distance …
Jon Soderstrom

Soderstrom: Patents don’t impede patients’ access to drugs and vaccines

Intellectual property rights are under assault overseas — and here at home. These attacks could prevent the creation of dozens of lifesaving medicines. That should worry every American.
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — May 2021

In April, we celebrated National Volunteer Week with the City’s annual “Bean Bag Day” event.

Proven: ‘Ghetto’ tag in Sun City West confusing

When my husband and I — six-year residents of Sun City West — were vetting locations in which to retire back in 2005, there was so much to consider. Options were as plentiful as there …
Diane Nens

Nens: A surprising connection between hearing health and COVID-19

While COVID-19 most frequently affects the lungs, other parts of the body may also be impacted, such as a loss of taste and smell. For a smaller number of people, instances of hearing loss are emerging, according to the International Journal of Audiology.
Tascha Spears

Spears: Moderna, Janssen COVID-19 vaccinations available in Pinal County

It has always been the principle of Pinal County public health to share COVID information as we receive it and also to be honest about how much remains unknown about COVID-19. For example, new …

Cooney: Great nurses prove compassion is the right Rx

When nurse Gina Day showed up at Golden Heritage Assisted Living in Scottsdale to care for Joan Cullen, she noticed right away that her sweet patient’s hair had been set and styled for a …
Sybil Francis

Francis: Gov. Ducey signs HB 2862, advances learner-centered education

The Center for the Future of Arizona thanks Gov. Ducey for signing House Bill 2862, legislation that supports Arizona schools in providing learner-centered education to better meet the needs of every student and family.

Halikowski: It’s risky business in work zones for both crews and drivers

It’s got to be one of the worst phone calls to receive as a state Department of Transportation director. To find out you have an injured employee or, even worse, a fatality in a work zone — something that is totally preventable if people are driving safely through a work zone.

Mehan: Thrilled to find a copy of Mesa Independent

I just wanted to let you know how thrilled I was to go to my mailbox and find a copy of the Mesa Independent. I’ve been an avid newspaper reader since I was in grade school and I’ve …

McCaulley: Personal and economic side of climate change

This is the time of year that many of us in the Valley start talking about the extreme summer heat and planning how we can escape, if even for a weekend. This is also the time of year that many of …
James Gahar

Gahar: Daily workouts, losing weight and staying healthy

My story is pretty simple. I was a very active young man, running everywhere, and served as a volunteer in an elite Navy unit.
Stephen Richer

Richer: Reflecting on 100 days at the Recorder’s Office

A newly elected president is said to have a 100-day honeymoon period before entering a routinely chaotic and combative political arena. I’d hoped the same courtesy would extend to a newly elected Recorder. It did not.
Jennifer Toth

Toth: Keep MCDOT workers safe, recognize ‘Work Zone Awareness Week’

Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing counties, which means having to constantly navigate safely around work zones and orange cones; and Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) teams are working on projects across the county, ensuring the roads are safe and accessible.
Officials announced the reopening of State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake in the White Mountains, pictured, along with other routes in the area. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Rookhuyzen: Spring has sprung, which means you can again travel these roads

Snow melting. Flowers growing. The swallows returning to Capistrano. All signs of spring finally returning after months of winter. In the world of transportation, there is another unmistakable sign that warmer weather is here to stay: The annual reopening of state highways in northern Arizona.

Hochschartner: Supports more cultured meat research

I was happy to learn the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, supports equal funding for alternative protein research. “The United States can continue to be a …
Rep. David Schweikert

Rep. Schweikert: The best plan for our workforce

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy saw record-breaking growth. In 2018 and 2019 ,we saw wages, our unemployment rate, and revenues hit record-breaking levels.

Toth: Keep MCDOT workers safe, recognize ‘Work Zone Awareness Week’

Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing counties, which means having to constantly navigate safely around work zones and orange cones. Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) …

Bagnato: Variances impacted by decisions

In the Recreations Centers of Sun City West E-News edition of April 14, 2021, there is a link to commentary by RCSCW Chief Financial Officer Pete Finelli. While any information is appreciated, the …
John Stanford

Stanford: Throwing away drug patents won’t cure anything

Last month, the World Trade Organization considered a petition from South Africa and India that, if adopted, would allow countries to ignore intellectual property protections on all things COVID-19.

Kepler: Reader tries to correct perceptions

Having read twice now in recent weeks about the misconception of “open borders,” let’s correct a few perceptions. More than 90% of single adults are expelled and more than 70% of …
Dariusz Godlewski

Godlewski: Beware of these financial myths, misconceptions about retirement

Many people look forward to retirement and all the enjoyment it can bring after having worked so hard for decades. But from a distance, whether a few years or many years away from retirement, it’s not easy to clearly see what retirement will look like.
Mike Siegel

Siegel: Ward’s GOP party election needs an audit

On Jan. 23, 2021, the Republican State Committee voted for a new state chairman and other officers and bylaw changes and additions at their annual meeting.
Hospice of the Valley veteran patient Kenneth Hamrick, left, and volunteer Ron Garner salute each other. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Cooney: Hospice of the Valley surprises Goodyear veteran with special tribute

It was an emotional day to remember for veteran Kenneth Hamrick — not only did the staff at The Groves in Goodyear invite family and friends to a patio party to celebrate his 89th birthday, his Hospice of the Valley care team had another surprise in the works.

Zwick/Griffith: Senators must protect borrowers

Despite Arizona voters defeating a well-funded effort in 2008 to allow small-dollar loans to exceed our state’s interest rate cap of 36% plus fees, a persistent group of online high-cost …
Briana Owen

Owen: How to skip the diet, get your body results it needs

Keto. Low Carb. Eating programs based on a point system. You name it, the “diet” most likely exists. And while these programs offer the promise of a healthier lifestyle, touting huge …
Pixabay

Hochschartner: Thoughts on cultured meat funding

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For those who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. Widespread …
Becky Harlow

Harlow: Philanthropy continues during COVID-19 crisis

As the pandemic surged through the country in 2020, many organizations had to evaluate how to continue their mission safely.
Demetra Presley [VoyagePhoenix.com]

Women's Watch: Sometimes best ideas found in unexpected places

Demetra Presley was inspired to start her nonprofit organization, Go With The Flow, after seeing a “Now This” video on Facebook about a teacher making “period packs” for her …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: Education savings accounts turn 10 and states are celebrating

What’s the best way to celebrate a big school choice birthday? Give more educational opportunities to more students.
James Gahar

Gahar: Daily workouts, losing weight and staying healthy

My story is pretty simple. I was a very active young man, running everywhere, and served as a volunteer in an elite Navy unit. After my discharge, I worked as a bouncer in bars from Florida to …
Becky Harlow, public relations volunteer for the AZ Women’s Partnership

Harlow: Philanthropy continues during COVID-19 crisis

As the pandemic surged through the country in 2020 many organizations had to evaluate how to continue their mission safely.

McCoy: Trash cans need to be out of sight

I am writing concerning the article in the newspaper dated March 17 (“Property rules up for discussion”). I am a resident of Surprise and would like to voice my opinion of a situation …
Jon Lyons

Lyons: April 22 is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

My daughter was 10 years old when she first attended Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day at my office.
David Coward

Coward: Arizona must follow the Constitution for redistricting

Some are advancing the argument that the 2010 process was flawed because it emphasized “competitiveness.” This is a false argument used to undermine the integrity of the work of the 2011 redistricting commission and perpetuates the idea that the 2011 district maps were unfairly drawn to benefit Democrats because competitiveness was considered.

Verdier: What does the COVID-19 vaccine mean for employers?

Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is well under way. We all hope this is a means to an end of social restrictions and making our way back to life as we once knew it. According to the CDC over …

Lyons: An open letter to Scottsdale officials about 5G, smart city

Dear Scottsdale City Council, Are you sleeping well at night? Unfortunately, many of your constituents aren’t, because you, our council, are not upholding your oaths of office to protect our …
John Safin

Safin: Help our communities return to a brighter future

Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order on March 25 certainly had and will continue to have an impact on our community. Whether you agree or disagree with the transition of “required” virus mitigation to “recommended,” it’s here.
Tim Dickman

Dickman: Short-term rentals are a pig in the parlor — with lipstick

Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland (who also was a former U.S. Senator and congressman from Utah) famously noted in the landmark 1926 case of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. that: “A nuisance may be merely a right thing in the wrong place — like a pig in the parlor instead of the barnyard.”

Civic Alliance: The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy

We believe every American should have a voice in our democracy and that voting should be safe and accessible to all voters.

Kraft: Mother Earth needs a tax break

Tax season is here and we must all pay taxes. This is an unavoidable truth. Unfortunately, another unavoidable truth is Mother Earth is overtaxed. Her current rate is way too high. We can’t …

Harding: Visiting the site of the Granite Mountain Hotshots? Honor them by doing it safely

Planning to visit Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park in Yarnell? Make sure you do it by not parking illegally along State Route 89, putting yourself and others at risk.

Owen: How to skip the diet, get your body results it needs

Keto. Low Carb. Eating programs based on a point system. You name it, the “diet” most likely exists. And while these programs offer the promise of a healthier lifestyle, touting huge …

Sahlberg: Sun City banner needs to be replaced

I’m sending you another plea for a new Sun City flag at the corner of Grand and 107th avenues. You put hard work into trying to draw people to our community by putting any and all kinds of …
Aaron Leak

Leak: Are money issues ruining your relationship?

The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with families’ finances through lost jobs, squeezed budgets, increased debt and missed payments.
Jon Lyons

Lyons: April 22 is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

My daughter was 10 years old when she first attended Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day at my office At the time, I was working in a role sourcing large contracts, leveraging all of the …
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — April 2021

Hi out there to the residents of District 1 and all the citizens of Surprise.

Axelson: Golf course recycle bins are unsightly

We are concerned about the unsightly trash at the recycling bins at Pebblecreek Golf Course, 18838 N. 128th Ave. It is an eyesore. People are discarding too much trash there and the bins need to …
Dr. Andi Simon

Simon: Women face myriad of injustices; can a better world emerge?

What does it say about our culture when moms and their children are facing unbearable pain and trauma during the pandemic? This crisis has simply amplified the way women in the U.S. are undervalued, or not valued at all.

Klapp: American Rescue Plan is first step to lessen out-of-pocket health care costs

A recent survey from ALG-POS found that 80% of Americans agree that their health care costs keep going up every year, and more than 70% are struggling with the unpredictability of out-of-pocket …

Dickman: A pig in the parlor — with lipstick

Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland (who also was a former US Senator and congressman from Utah) famously noted in the landmark 1926 case of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co that: “A nuisance may …
Jerry Bien-Willner

Bien-Willner: The real state of affairs on Arizona's short-term rental law

The short-term rental platforms are working hard to spin their recent loss. They would have you believe that they offered legislation to “fix” the STR rental problems that they created in …

Miller: What guns do I really need?

In the ongoing debate over gun control you often hear statements like “no one really needs an AK-47 or an AR-15” (these are usually mislabeled “assault weapons”) or “no …
Bob Ramsey

Ramsey: Here’s one key to continued vaccination progress

As more and more of America gets vaccinated, proof of vaccination could be the ticket to the new normalcy.

Burdick: Horse racing? Just what AZ doesn’t need

Sorry Ralph Fales (who wrote “Historic horse racing could be a win for Arizona,” page 8, April 1, 2021, issue of the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent), you may love your horses but …
Shirley Ooley

Ooley: Rep. Gosar taking credit for bill he opposed

Rep. Paul Gosar pulls teeth but now he’s pulling one over on his constituents. He has been Tweeting and putting out information on how he’s so pleased to inform us that municipalities and …
The Arizona Department of Transportation recommends making special preparations whenever traveling in Arizona during hot weather. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Nintzel: Prepare for highway trips as Arizona transitions to warmer weather

The annual transition is underway. As April arrives, many Arizonans start to deal with the reality that winter weather is long gone and pleasant spring temperatures will make way for the “hot stuff.”
Bill Gates

Gates: Vaccinations ongoing; we must continue prevention efforts

March was another milestone month with nearly 1.2 million Maricopa County residents receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Tiffany Di Giacinto

Di Giacinto: Help save the planet while protecting your oral health this Earth Day

As Earth Day approaches on April 22, it’s worth looking at a few easy ways to add a little green to our dental routine. But where should one start?
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 in Orlando, Fla. [The Associated Press]

Pickering: Says Gaetz guilty, ‘lock him up’

Matt Gaetz, the reactionary Republican representative from the western portion of Florida’s panhandle region, is the subject of an ongoing federal criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice …
Surprise resident Ken Money is an advocate for his son and other autistic children. [Submitted photo]

Money: To parents of children who have autism — you are not alone

I knew being a father wasn’t going to be easy. But I was up for the challenge.
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Whitehead: The Kimsey has earned my support

When over 100 local business owners join forces in support a development that will protect their livelihoods and the vitality of Scottsdale’s downtown, City Council needs to listen up. …
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face-covering mandate in Surprise.

Boyles: Reflecting on impotent society

I was on hold for 45 minutes before a gruff customer service representative snapped, “Can I help you?” I was on hold for so long that I forgot what I was calling about. As I sprung to …
Dr. Helen Boucher

Boucher: Preventing next public health crisis can define Biden’s legacy

The Biden administration’s plan to defeat the coronavirus is underway — and notably includes intentions to “build better preparedness for future threats.”

Crawford: Camelback Road, downtown Scottsdale sidewalks desperately needed

How much longer does Scottsdale have to wait before our most heavily traveled pedestrian corridor gets decent ADA complaint walkable rollable pathways? I would like to bring awareness to the …
Kevin Thompson

Thompson: A lot of construction, plans for development in District 6 over the last year

I remember when I was first elected to represent District 6 in Mesa. We were just coming out of the recession, and there was hardly any construction taking place. Here we are six years later and Mesa …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise.

Bohline: Resident objects to inverted U.S. banner

As one of those other “people” (quotes are his) referenced in George Aschendorf’s letter (“People can hang flags on property”) a couple weeks ago, I take issue with his …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: Lawmakers crack code to K-12 funding in Arizona

Arizona lawmakers just cracked the code for education funding in Arizona. But perhaps not in the way they intended.
Rep. Paul Gosar

Gosar: Don’t close the Apache Junction Social Security office

The Social Security Administration has made its intention known that it is considering shuttering the Apache Junction Social Security office and moving more than 20 miles away, to the town of Gilbert.
Jack Sellers

Sellers: 2020 election was run with integrity

I understand the Arizona Senate has moved forward with selecting and contracting with firms to complete their review of the November 2020 General Election results. I am not familiar with any of the firms listed in the Senate press release.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — April 2021

The 2021 State of the City Video Premiere is scheduled for April 13 at 6 p.m.

SAFIN: Help our communities return to a brighter future

Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order on March 25 certainly had and will continue to have an impact on our community. Whether you agree or disagree with the transition of “required” virus mitigation to “recommended,” it’s here.

Feess: Ideas on immigration, gun control

I, like most Americans, am frustrated by Congress’s inabilities to do anything toward solving pressing current problems. I would like to suggest two remedies here on which members of both …
Arizona Department of Transportation crews work on the Meteor Crater and Two Guns bridge deck replacement and rehabilitation project on Interstate 40 east of Flagstaff. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Merrill: Zipper merge eases traffic — and your dilemmas

Does merging on the highway pose a dilemma for you?
Connie Van Driel

Van Driel: Former AJ Boys and Girls Club director dies

I sure wish I wasn’t the one writing this email and I am so saddened to have to tell you about the passing of a dear friend. Russell St. John passed away recently from complications brought on …
Alyson Cline

Cline: District 2 Newsletter — April 2021

Help spread the word about keeping our beloved community clean.
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT

Henninger: It’s time for Scottsdale to pass anti-discrimination ordinance

Scottsdale’s leaders are proud to proclaim that we are a Golden Rule City. We’ve been one for a couple years now. The city adopted the One Community Unity Pledge a few years before …
Rep. Paul A. Gosar

Gosar: Don’t close the Apache Junction Social Security office

The Social Security Administration has made its intention known that it is considering shuttering the Apache Junction Social Security office and moving more than 20 miles away, to the town of …

Burhop: Should care about health, not nationality

As a Republican, I am puzzled at Rep. Debbie Lesko’s stance on who should get the COVID vaccine. I believe the concept of “herd immunity” was first mentioned by former President …

Goldwater’s plan to unleash innovation in American health care

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for the American health care system, it has also created innovative opportunities for long-overdue health care reform.
David Coward

Coward: Follow the Constitution for redistricting

Some are advancing the argument that the 2010 process was flawed because it emphasized “competitiveness.” This is a false argument used to undermine the integrity of the work of the 2011 …
Linda Curry

Curry: We need balanced policies for short-term rentals

About a year ago, my husband and I built an ADA-friendly guesthouse on our property with the expectation that we’ll eventually use it to look after our aging parents. In the meantime, …

Goncalves: VP elected, says racism is no more

Vice President Kamala Harris stated that America is racist and has always been racist. Her father was from Jamaica and her mother from India. She was elected in the United States of …

Carpenter: Get creative with the ADOT Safety Message Contest

Remember when your teachers would tell you to “put your thinking caps on” before an activity?

Mason: SB1379 does not protect the integrity of homeownership

SB1379 could protect the integrity of homeownership, and could be so much more, if fixed to place more trust of STR zoning decisions to local control and/or to provide stronger and more effective …

Griswold: Rescue plan does not help most in SC

The recently enacted American Rescue Plan does not provide help directly to Sun City, because we are unincorporated. Funds are allocated to Maricopa County and surrounding cities based on …
Bobby Boland

Boland: What can I do after my COVID-19 vaccination?

We have a vaccine! In fact, we have three — with more on the way.
Skip Hall

Hall: City of Surprise is here to help residents

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we first felt the impacts of COVID-19. Unfortunately, for many people the struggle continues and I want you to know that your city is here to help.
Tascha Spears

Spears: Teams administered 132,239 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Pinal County

Pinal County community vaccine teams have administered 132,239 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. A friendly reminder that the state-run COVID19 vaccine sites and some federal pharmacy programs are …

Ryon: Time to ditch ‘silly’ face masks?

I am really irritated when I look at the “Independent” and see photos of students who have achieved, but they are all wearing masks. That is so silly. Can we not see the faces of these …
Jim Braun

Braun: Tax filing time a good time to look ahead

With tax time upon us, one message we keep hearing is that you should file as early as possible.
Edward Snowden

Miller: Says that Snowden a ‘martyr’

Edward Snowden is a martyr. I have recently learned that misdeeds of government officials are nearly impossible to expose. I learned this by reading Edward Snowden’s book “Permanent …
Connie Whitlock

Whitlock: Local park restroom gets facelift from artistic teens

This past weekend, several of Surprise’s teens came together to give the Surprise Bicentennial Park’s Restroom a fresh painting of an old mural from 9 years ago.
Mesa Mayor John Giles

Giles: Governor’s executive order nullifies Mesa’s mask mandate

While I remain an advocate for precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including mask wearing, this can no longer be a legal requirement in the city of Mesa, based on Gov. Doug Ducey’s …
Teresa Leahy

Leahy: April is National Donate Life Month and marks COTA’s 35th anniversary

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association has been removing the financial barriers for families facing transplants for 35 years.
A portion of the Bush fire burns through the Tonto National Forest on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, as seen from Apache Junction. [The Associated Press]

Cline: This year let’s give firefighters a break

Fire season may be getting an early start this year.

Safin: Virus tipping point — repair the damage to our isolated young people

I’m writing this as the governors of Texas and Mississippi are announcing the lifting of their state-wide mask and other virus-related mandates.

Anderson: The 411 on dental deductions in 2021

This year, while the federal tax deadline has been extended, Arizona state taxes must still be filed by April 15, unless you’ve filed an extension, in which case they are due Oct. 15, 2021. …
Steve Chucri

Chucri: It’s time reevaluate county’s mask policy

The mask policy was not something I took lightly.
Nancy Barto

Barto: We can protect most vulnerable, make women’s safety a priority

Remember when the abortion industry grieved the deaths of women performing their own abortions in back alleys? It was a battle cry for legal abortion throughout the country that eventually led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.
Francisco Heredia

Heredia: March report on what is new in Mesa District 3

Happy March, District 3 neighbors. There are few places better than Mesa, Arizona, in March. The weather is beautiful, spring is in the air and we have exciting things happening in our …

Blaney: SBA shares resources to support deaf, hard of hearing entrepreneurs

Recently, I read an article about two entrepreneurs who were opening a new restaurant and they laughed at themselves for picking this time to go into business but, in reality, it is a great time to …
Eamon and Pat Treanor spot familiar landmarks in his hometown of Monaghan, Ireland as Hospice of the Valley social worker Callie Dettinger shares the video from Flight to Remember, which takes hospice patients on virtual memory tours. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Cooney: Local Irishman took virtual visit to boyhood home

Alzheimer’s disease has robbed 82-year-old Brendan “Eamon” Treanor of day-to-day memories. Yet he can vividly recall his childhood in tiny Monaghan, Ireland, where he went to school, played soccer and lived on a street called St. Patrick’s Terrace.

Eskildson: SUSD leaders ignore declining student achievement

SUSD proudly declares it provides “Education Excellence” because its “average scores exceed Arizona standards at all levels.” However, they fail to also point out that …
Sharon Connors

Connors: Face your fears to grow, develop

I first became aware, well, vaguely aware, that fear lurked in the background of my behavior when, as a pre-teen, my mom chided me for being “too timid.”
Michael Troop

Troop: AZ Merit test season calls for tips, best practices

Standardized testing season can be a stressful time for students even under normal circumstances. But, during a pandemic? Students will need every edge they can get. Just as schools have had to …
Mark and Carol Fairall

Fairall: Kidney disease continues increase in seniors

National Kidney Month started in 2006. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of your kidneys and lower risk factors with education.

Hochschartner: Churchill, cultured meat linked in history

Way back in 1931, Winston Churchill predicted the rise of cultured meat. For those who don’t know, this revolutionary protein is grown from animal cells without slaughter. It has only …
Mike Siegel

Siegel: Congress must work on immigration issues

We need to establish the standard for immigration into this country under federal law if we are to understand the severe detrimental impact we have suffered due to this abrogation of responsibility by Congress regarding this issue for the past 40 years.

Pratt: Short-term rentals bring in problems

I live in Sun City near 99th Avenue and Royal Oak. We say no to short-term rentals. The reason is because we bought homes in Sun City to retire and relax in a quite, clean, maintained …
Larry Hogan

Hogan: Biden preaches unity, but Democrats ignore it

‘To restore the soul and to secure the future of America requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity.”

Depasquale: Volunteers get thanks for work

A big thank you for all the AARP tax volunteers for your time and patience in getting the seniors’ returns done. There were a few inpatient people wanting to know why their returns were not …
Kevin MacDonald

MacDonald: Lessons learned and preparing for the next pandemic

It was only a matter of time before Americans would find themselves wearing face masks. I manufacture face masks and understand that while not everyone wants to wear them, they are a necessity in a pandemic.

Dr. Orris: COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting vital need for facts on personal safety measures

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a bright light on the need to educate the public with facts to ensure that people can take the right measures to increase their chances of health and longevity. More …

Cauoette: Short-term rentals are appropriate

Short-term rentals (aka Airbnb or vrbo) are businesses and don’t belong in residential zones (“Short-term rentals on hot seat”). This shouldn’t be complicated, it is a zoning …
Margaret White

White: National infrastructure package will be a moment of truth

Over the last few months, Washington has seen major legislation travel along two wildly different paths.

MacDonald: Lessons learned and preparing for the next pandemic

It was only a matter of time before Americans would find themselves wearing facemasks. I manufacture facemasks and understand that while not everyone wants to wear them, they are a necessity in a …

Harmer: Vehicles at some homes out of hand

This is my first time taking action like this but as a Sun City homeowner I have concerns as well. We are for the time being winter visitors in Sun City. We bought our home at market value about …
Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath

McMurry-Heath: What Biden can do now for a healthy tomorrow

President Joe Biden is acting fast to tackle the health and economic crises that greeted him on inauguration day. The first 100 days of any new presidency are critical, all the more so when facing a …
Gary Cohen

Cohen: Much more to learn regarding COVID-19

As I have talked about with Rec Centers of Sun City West General Manager Bill Schwind on my Rec Center Show on 103.1 KSCW Radio, while we have learned a lot about COVID-19 and the vaccines, there is still much more to learn and to be careful about.
Krista Nelson

Nelson/Jensen: Don’t put community cancer care centers out of business

There are more than 2,100 community cancer centers just like Ruth’s across the country — many located outside of urban centers. For decades, these centers — and their multidisciplinary staff — have played an integral role in helping Americans fight cancer. Unfortunately, fulfilling their mission is about to get harder — as is life for patients.

A piece of history: The humble cemetery on McDonald Drive

Welcome to the second in a series of articles authored by committee members of The Town of Paradise Valley Historical Advisory Committee. The mission of the advisory committee is to, …
Dr. Cara Christ

Christ: CDC issues encouraging guidance for vaccinated individuals

Over the past few months, you may have heard me call COVID-19 vaccines the light at the end of the tunnel.
Dallas Hammit

Hammit: Driving safety home — how to prepare for your next road trip

Spring break is coming up for students across Arizona, and while it’s certainly going to be different than in recent years, many Arizona residents may still be planning to travel on our state’s highways.

Caputi: Can the General Plan help Scottsdale’s social divide?

The top priority of your City Council is preparing a 2035 General Plan, to be put before the voters this November. Scottsdale hasn’t had an updated plan since 2001. It’s a complex …
Dr. Sushil Pandey

Pandey: Preventive care is essential care — don’t skip your screening

Your health can’t wait, diagnostic screenings are medically necessary procedures.

Heath: Two wrongs don’t make a right

Heads up. Scottsdale’s newly seated City Council’s first order of business is to agonize over proposed updates to the city’s General Plan via a series of work study sessions …

Salas: Five common plumbing issues for Phoenix homeowners

Few things are more frustrating for a homeowner than dripping faucets, weak water pressure, or a running toilet. Not only does a faulty plumbing system serve as an inconvenience to you and your …
Joseph I. Lieberman

Lieberman: The Bible’s wisdom about addressing our political tribalism

It is time to move beyond asking what responsibility former President Trump bears for the attacks on our Capitol building on Jan. 6. That question has now been answered.
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — March 2021

Well, hello, my fellow Surprise residents. Here it is already March, and we have finally got the COVID-19 on the run with another serum to help us.
Most of Arizona is covered by local mandates that require wearing a mask.

Lux: Come on, just wear the masks!

The article on the front page says a first-term legislator convinced other lawmakers in our State House to ignore mask mandates. It wasn’t a lawmaker, politician or president who created …
Susan Anable

Anable: Tech trends shape how we live, work, learn in 2021

This time last year, most of us had heard rumblings about COVID-19 – but at the time, it seemed so far away. Little did we know it would become a global pandemic that would bring about …
Doreen Cott is the Economic Development Director for the Town of Queen Creek.

Cott: Queen Creek continues to welcome new businesses and plan for future economic development

Queen Creek, like many other communities, was impacted by the devastation of COVID-19. To help offset some of the impacts of COVID-19, the Town took a series of steps to support our local businesses. …

Merrill: Two Guns bridge connects outlaw past to new engineering

If ever a name conjured up stories of former times and dastardly deeds, it’s Two Guns, an abandoned town on Interstate 40 with more tales of the Wild West than a saguaro cactus has needles. …
Patrons watch simulcast horse racing at Turf Paradise Jan. 29, 2016, in Phoenix.

Fales: Historic horse racing could be a winner for Arizona

There has been a lot of recent attention on the expansion of gaming through sports betting and other mechanisms. I am genuinely concerned that in this rush to expand gaming, our leaders are …

Marks: Protect Arizona’s short-term rentals

Responsible tourism is critical to our state’s economy, and in the wake of COVID-19, we can’t afford to enact policies that would cripple recovery efforts. But Rep. Kavanagh has proposed …

Williams: Teacher's perspective as Scottsdale Schools plans full re-open

If anything has shaped a theme for this school year, aside from the obvious of teaching and keeping school safe in a pandemic, it’s the phrase “the only constant is change.” All …

Hunter: Response to Hildebrand's short-term rental opinion

Mr. Hildebrand: What can I say but “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” The willful ignorance on the part of the short-term rental industry about the very real …

Zoukis: What Biden can do about reducing repeat offenders

When the U.S. government initiated efforts in 2018 to reduce recidivism in federal prisons, the aim was to end the cycle that makes many inmates repeat offenders. To achieve that goal, inmates would …

Kampert: Who are the Oath Keepers, Three Percenters?

A lot have been written about both organizations, most of it wrong. Let’s start with the Oath Keepers. If you believe the media, they are a “right-wing, white supremacist, anti-government …
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — March 2021

On Feb. 22, Mayor Hall and I attended a one-year anniversary ribbon cutting for Flying Pig Embroidery, located at 13059 W. Grand Ave, Suite 9.

Mason: Short-term rental industry is in trouble

The STR industry is in trouble. People are rising up to save their neighborhoods and are demanding meaningful restrictions on STRs. State and local governments are responding to peoples’ …

Hildebrand: A response to PR attacks on short-term rentals

Watch out for the big lies being told about small businesses. I’m talking about opponents of vacation rentals. They’re happy to blame these properties for everything from crime to COVID-19 to the rising price of housing.

Cussen: This virus is deadly, please take it seriously

Aargh. Why is the easy/simple always corrupted into the hard/complicated? Of course, I am talking about masks. In a supermarket I was subjected to a conversation with a total stranger who wore her …

Kehaly: Vaccine delivers hope in Arizona every 10 seconds

By all accounts, Arizona has had a rough time through the COVID-19 pandemic. A staggering loss of more than 15,000 Arizonans, punctuated by devastating economic and mental health impacts, left our …

Dickman: Short-term rental report is powerful warning against current practices

A nearly 40-page study publicly released on March 1 by well-known and highly respected Arizona economic and real estate analysis firm Elliott Pollack and Co. (“Pollack”) explains that …

Jacobson: Senators should know precisely what they’re voting on

Weighing, debating and voting on proposed legislation is the most important thing Congress does. It’s serious business, and should be treated as such.
Nathan Lamberth

Lamberth: Telehealth gives more patients access to primary care, mental health services

It’s hard to believe that we have been navigating the coronavirus for more than a year. Much has changed since then. Many of us are working remotely, our kids are learning virtually, and we are …
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — March 2021

The city of Surprise Parks and Recreation Department is offering Spring Break Camp March 15-19 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Sierra Montana Recreation Center, located at 14861 N. Spring Lane.
Jim Binns

Binns: 30 years after the Gulf War: Veterans and the legacy of toxic wounds

 America's memory of the 1991 Gulf War has faded, but we must remember the 697,000 U.S. veterans who drove the Iraqi army from Kuwait 30 years ago this month -- especially the one in four who lost their health to toxic exposures serving their country. That country refuses to care for them.   Related:NPR "Here and Now."   https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2021/02/23/gulf-war-illness

Noble: Women need to pay attention to their heart health, even during the pandemic

COVID-19 has dominated the medical space for the last year. As we continued to learn more about the coronavirus, we learned that people with underlying conditions like diabetes and obesity are more …
Linda Brickman, front left, vice chair of the Maricopa County Republicans, Dr. Kelli Ward, back left, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, talk with Rey Valenzuela, right, Maricopa County Elections Department Director of Early Voting and Election Services, as the department conducts a post-election logic and accuracy test for the general election Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Supervisors respond to judge’s election subpoenas ruling

Following the ruling issued Friday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason — which affirms the subpoenas issued by Arizona Senate Republicans calling for the release of the …
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — March 2021

One of my new favorite places in Surprise is Venue Taproom. They are a fantastic new restaurant located in the Uptown Alley Parking lot at Litchfield and Waddell roads.
Ryan Patrick Olson poses with Webber, a stuffed platypus that played an integral role in his fantasy memoir, “Carnival of Heaven.”

Olson: Survivors don’t have to let past suffering define them

I was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia a month before my 7th birthday.

Kasten: Watch out for phishing phone calls

This morning there was a message on my landline phone from someone who was obviously very upset about getting phone calls, perhaps multiple times from the same number. After listening to this …
Patricia Kelmar

Kelmar: Tips to protect yourself from a surprise medical bill

Imagine you go to a hospital for a routine procedure. You’ve made sure your hospital and doctor are covered by your insurance.

Henninger: Scottsdale heritage preserved in potential Kimsey project

Once in a while an opportunity occurs where two issues that seem to be on divergent tracts instead find themselves perfectly aligned. Scottsdale has one such issue right now, a project in its …
Alyson Cline

Cline: District 2 Newsletter — March 2021

Help spread the word about keeping our beloved community clean.
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — March 2021

Player 1 Arcade, located at 17239 N. Litchfield, had its Grand Opening on Feb. 19.

Cravens: Searching for definition of impeachment

I would like to correct Carolyn Copeland’s letter (“Reader says Trump was never impeached”) in which she continues to assert that Donald Trump was never impeached. In the first …
Tascha Spears

Spears: Initial shipments of Janssen COVID vaccine will be limited

Community partner and public health vaccine teams are continuing to vaccinate with shipments received this week. A new site is available on the ADHS dashboard that indicates how many people have been …
Naomi Lopez

Lopez: Two cheers for COVID-19 vaccines

The U.S could — and should — be doing more to get medical innovations to the public more quickly.
Leonard Kirschner poses near the precipice during a pre-pandemic visit to Grand Canyon National Park. [Courtesy of the Kirschner family]

Kirschner: America’s national parks beckon ... and you must go!

It was a year ago when COVID-19 struck and our world changed. Social isolation, masks and hand-washing became the norm. Travel stopped.
Hospice of the Valley social worker Erin Butler worked with Valley Metro to help her patient, Tressie Jennings, ride a train — virtually. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Social workers are essential — especially at Hospice of the Valley

It’s only fitting that the theme of the upcoming Social Work Month in March is: “Social Workers Are Essential.”
Leonard Kirschner poses near the canyon during a pre-pandemic visit to Grand Canyon National Park.

Kirschner: America’s national parks are calling, and you must go post-COVID-19

It was a year ago when COVID-19 struck and our world changed.

Sewell: No matter the direction, beauty is all around Arizona

Call me biased, but I am confident I can convince anyone that Arizona is one of the most scenic states in the country. So, with spring just around the corner, I want to encourage you to lace up your …

Ostrom: Colorectal cancer screenings must remain a priority

Did you know that one of the most prevalent and deadly cancers in the United States is colorectal cancer? In fact, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and is the …

Elliott: Says Senate’s audit subpoenas ‘sound fair’

I just read on the internet that, “A judge will determine whether the Arizona Senate has the authority to subpoena ballots, tabulation machines and other equipment and data from Maricopa County …
Eric Kurland

Kurland: Voters love voting by mail, so why are they threatening it?

There are so many reasons to be proud to live in the Grand Canyon State — from the “five Cs” I taught to my grade school students to the awe-inspiring scenery that makes us a …
Roberto Reveles

Reveles: Citizens gathered at Gosar’s office in protest of his role in attack on Capitol

Residents of Gold Canyon gathered Thursday, Feb. 18, at Congressman Paul Gosar’s district office on Kings Ranch Road in protest of his role in the Jan. 6 violent attack on the Capitol. The …
Mike Siegel

Siegel: What’s best for Goodyear, city manager or strong mayor?

Goodyear is growing in amazing fashion in both commercial and residential development.

Hochschartner: Calls for more research into cultured meat

Democrats should include federal funding for cultured-meat research in their coronavirus relief bill. For readers who aren’t aware, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. …

Dunham: New water line benefits customers, supports local farmers

EPCOR has received a $250,000 grant from the Water Management Assistance Program at the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Mason: SB1379 needs fixing to address short-term rental issues

Dear Senator Mesnard: Reference: SB1379 — I would like to meet with either you or your staff on SB1379 the important short term rental issue, and fixes to make SB1379 a better bill. As a …
Chuck Duncan

Duncan: Open letter to people of low character

I have had two of my vehicles damaged in parking lots in the past few months, once at the Ace Hardware and once at Home Depot, costing me over $2,000 in repairs. The people responsible drove off each …
Merrill Edelstein

Edelstein: Romantic month ends with laughs

February is the most romantic month of the year. Hopefully Valentine’s Day brought a smile to everyone’s face — even though we still can’t see those beautiful smiles. 

Hick: More positives to Sun City than written

Having lived in Sun City since 2004, I have seen and heard much that is good and some not so good. I have noticed the last few months that we seem to have a lot of WCBM going on. Also, that the …
Zach Abraham

Abraham: Stimulating economy impacts stocks but watch portfolio

The stock market is one of the benchmarks for every U.S. presidency. Voters often look at how stocks performed during a president’s four-year term as one of the criteria for reelection.
Kathryn Chandler

Chandler: NVC reeling after vehicle vandalism

I am appealing for your help. On Feb. 5, the yard that houses Northwest Valley Connect vehicles along with vehicles belonging to Transdev was broken into and vandalized. We lost the operations of …
Howard Dean

Dean: 'March In’ is not the answer

All Democrats and many Republicans are committed to making prescription drugs more affordable.
Steve Ezyk

Ezyk: A lot happening with Apache Junction Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus Councils are remarkably busy in providing monetary and voluntary man-hour assistance to those in need. The Knights of Columbus is a very worthwhile organization. If you …

Miller: Thoughts on gaming in Arizona

House Bill 2772 would expand off-reservation gambling but would turn over control to the Arizona State Department of Gaming. Bad idea. If we are to expand legal gambling, it should be regulated by …
Margaret White

White: It’s time to put ‘unity’ talk into action

Political acrimony makes easy, familiar headlines. But a confluence of events is presenting a real chance for meaningful bipartisan accomplishments. It will be a tragedy if we — as a nation, as a society — let it pass.
Sarah Skaggs

EPCOR: We’re here to help you

With many people still facing financial difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s good to know there are programs available to help in 2021.

Copeland: Says AZ GOP should accept defeat

In response to the recent article (“County Supervisors still facing threats,” Daily Independent, Feb. 15, 2020), I cannot believe what is going on in our Arizona Senate. Why are the …
Laurie Merrill

Merrill: Measuring slopes to prevent landslides in rural Arizona

Arizona’s mountainous terrain is as beautiful to look at as it is to drive through, but keeping dirt from those slopes off roadways can pose a technical challenge.

Miller: Says that conscription is slavery

By continuing to make Selective Service registration and draft eligibility apply only to men, the Coalition for Men is arguing that the system is violating Constitutional rights of men by sex …
Dr. Kris Vijay

Vijay: Learn the signs, treatment of heart failure

Heart failure is the No. 1 cause of hospitalizations in Medicare-age individuals in the U.S., according to the Heart Failure Society of America.

Curtin: How vitamins, supplements may help defend against negative COVID-19 outcomes

As we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19, we are also learning more about the virus itself, and new ways to defend ourselves from its detrimental and sometimes lingering side effects. …
[The Associated Press]

Wiegand: Vaccine center is efficient

This is a case of tax dollars well spent. My wife and I recently made three trips to State Farm Stadium for her first and my pair of COVID-19 vaccine shots. The entire experience goes against the …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: Schools ought to be teaching founding principles

Tens of millions of children watched last month as Joe Biden swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Yet more and more of America’s schools are grooming their students to do just the opposite.

Heller: A positive experience at VA center

The Phoenix VA hospital is doing a good job. Dennis Fossey is a Vietnam veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 94 in Sun City West. He serves as their financial officer and is a member …
Ann Marie O'Brien

O'Brien: Make the most of your health plan in 2021

Last year was a difficult year as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our country, impacting families and communities nationwide. The health challenges of the pandemic also provided a crucial reminder about the importance of health care
Jon Hochschartner

Hochschartner: Violence we inflict on animals is a moral crime

Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema should support public funding for cultured-meat research, with the goal of making the cell-grown, slaughter-free protein competitive with factory-farmed …
David Rookhuyzen

‘C’ is for new cameras along Loop 303

Being the transportation geeks that we are, we get excited about a lot of things: Box culverts, Bid-Wells, bridge girders, etc. And that’s just the Bs! But if we moved down into the Cs, we find something else that makes us excited that we think you will like too: cameras.
Stephen Richer

Richer: Independent audit will ensure voter confidence

In partnership with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, I’ve directed Recorder’s Office staff to provide the two independent auditors everything needed to complete a thorough review of the tabulation software and hardware used in the 2020 elections.
Rick Gray

Sen. Gray: County board must stop ‘stonewalling’

There has been a lot in the news about the State Senate’s efforts to audit the 2020 general election. But the recent filing in Superior Court by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seems like one more effort to win not in court, but in the court of public opinion.

Gesker: How to help keep kids smiling amid COVID-19

COVID-19 has disrupted multiple aspects of daily life, including how people access dental care. That’s in part because many dental offices closed during the early part of the pandemic, and …
[Courtesy of ADOT]

ADOT: Join today’s meeting on future of L-101/75th Avenue interchange

I’m familiar with the 75th Avenue interchange along Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) in the northwest Valley. Not because I live in the area. I have a friend who did and he always roped me into hauling off junk because I owned a pickup truck.
Steve Gallardo

Gallardo: Arizona GOP Senate’s subpoena is ‘sham’

This is really simple. Arizona GOP senators have been complicit in a big lie about the election for three months now. This sham subpoena to get access to people’s private ballots is all in service of the big lie.
Alyson Cline

Cline: New councilwoman focused on District 2

Greetings Sun City Grand and District 2 residents. My name is Aly Cline, and I am your new District 2 representative.
Dr. Timothy Gerhart

Gerhart: How important is vitamin D in staying well with flu and COVID-19?

Staying well requires a strong, balanced immune system combined with reducing exposure to pathogens. Vitamin D is critical to each step of our immune response.

Kurland: Scottsdale voters love voting by mail, so why is Ugenti-Rita threatening it?

There are so many reasons to be proud to live in the Grand Canyon State — from the “five c’s” I taught to my grade school students to the awe-inspiring scenery that makes us a …

Dr. Matthews: Brush for your heart

Many know there is a direct connection between what we put into our mouths and our heart health. But did you know that the health of your mouth itself is directly connected to heart health? …
Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia

Andeen: Paradise Valley leadership, ethics, code of conduct

Our town’s elected mayor and councilmembers need to exhibit leadership, ethics, and honor our town’s Code of Conduct. I am one of your Town Council members committed to serving residents …

Blessing: Upside down banner signals distress

This letter is in response to a letter (“Resident upset with inverted U.S. Flag”) relating to our flag being flown upside down. It very well may be that the resident was in compliance …

Grim: Churches play major role in community

I’ve seen a lot of comments on social media concerning churches. A lot of the comments center around the desire to tax churches. One of the main reasons churches aren’t taxed is …
Allison Nolan

Nolan: Do women have equal voice in virtual finance conversations?

The new social media platform Clubhouse has been making waves in recent weeks. Some industry experts are saying it might be the next major social media platform. So, I was eager to accept my invitation to join and see what all the fuss is about.

Messina: Show employees the love, especially during uncertain times

We often associate the month of February with acts of love. Cards, dinners, flowers and chocolates are given to those we value. As leaders, it’s important to show the love by demonstrating …

Kampert: Know your rights or lose them

Believe it or not, your rights listed in the Bill of Rights are absolute. I know, you have been told otherwise. The government has no Constitutional authority to touch our rights ... none. The …
Bill Gates

Gates: We will protect law, voters’ rights

On Wednesday, the Arizona State Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen, with the blessing of Senate President Karen Fann, crafted a floor resolution to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt of the Senate for not turning over the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County during the 2020 election.
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — February 2021

Hello to all my friends in Surprise, and I hope you are all well and safe.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — February 2021

The city of Surprise has experienced better-than-expected one-time revenues in Fiscal Year 2020 thanks to strong growth in housing permits and retail sales collections.
On Nov. 15, 2019, Arizona Rep. Aaron Lieberman details why he believes the state should repeal outright a law that took control of vacation rentals away from cities and towns. With him is Raquel Mamani who detailed problems that short-term rentals are having in her neighborhood.

Lieberman: Common sense ideas to help Arizona deal with climate change

This is Environment Week at the State Capitol, and I want to highlight some of the bills that I have introduced this session to help Arizona deal with climate change. Arizona is the most …

Hess: Don’t let your Super Bowl party be a super spreader event

Doctors from Abrazo hospitals are reminding everyone to use caution when planning those Big Game watch parties this weekend — don’t let it become a super spreader event.
Jack Sellers

Sellers: What Senate wants is illegal

I find it frustrating that the Senate would even consider bringing forward a motion of contempt towards the Board of Supervisors.
John Safin

Practice hope, faith and patience while you ‘stop the spread’

I hope our future will get better now that vaccines are available; it’ll take time for the distribution to reach all parts of the country, which means we’ll need some patience.
Ed Aaronson

Innovate today while solving for tomorrow

Innovation today for a post-COVID future is not an opportunity, but rather a necessity. Everything has changed from the way we socialize, shop and work to how we enjoy entertainment and receive health care.
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — February 2021

Toll Brothers at Sterling Grove & The Villages at Prasada were recently featured on a WESTMARC “Open for Business” Economic Development Webinar.
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — February 2021

APS is currently in the process of conducting technical analysis to determine the potential routing options for the new 230kV power lines.

Dunham: New water line benefits customers

EPCOR has received a $250,000 grant from the Water Management Assistance Program at the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), important funding that will help a group of agricultural and …

Maxwell: Balancing citizen rights with advancing law enforcement technology

This past week I was reading a new book by Jon Fasman, the digital editor of the Economist. His book, We See It All, is a review of surveillance and local police departments. While reading I …

Levin: Loneliness within elderly people, tips for comfort

During the past year, so many individuals have felt isolated and extremely lonely due to the pandemic. According to the National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, more than …
Dr. Richard Gesker

How to keep kids safe and smiling during pandemic

COVID-19 has disrupted multiple aspects of daily life, including how people access dental care. That’s in part because many dental offices closed during the early part of the pandemic, and some people have stayed away since.

Letters: Churches play major roll in community

I’ve seen a lot of comments on social media concerning churches. A lot of the comments center around the desire to tax churches.

Mathie: There are testing sites in Sun City

Chris Tracy wrote to the editor (“Why no COVID tests, shots in Sun City?”) complaining there was no place in Sun City to get a COVID test. Banner and Safeway were not the designated …
Christopher Zoukis

Zoukis: Prison for some Capitol rioters; are they ready for that?

Some were model citizens — until they weren’t.
David Coward

Coward: Can we heal and unify if an insurrectionist is in Congress?

By refusing to recognize the results of a certified election and supporting allegations without evidence Congressman Paul Gosar encouraged the insurrectionists and seditionists on Jan. 6 to disrupt a …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — February 2021

It is a blessing to be able to support our local businesses and first responders by donating my 2020 council salary.

Bagnato: Accusation about resident was wrong

In her letter (“Resident upset with inverted U.S. flag,”), Sun City West resident Mary Arnot comes across as if the world has ended because a neighbor decided they want to express their …
Naomi Lopez

Lopez: Educational choice is educational opportunity

This time last year, I was already monitoring the COVID-19 virus.
Sintra Hoffman

West Valley is competing, attracting smart people

Westmarc is focusing on reaching California’s brokerage and young talent communities. Californians have always been moving to Arizona. This is not new to our state. But increasingly, people and companies are making the value-based decision to relocate to Arizona.
Jon Hochschartner

Hochschartner: Senators should support reallocating subsidies to cultured-meat research

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema should support reallocating the billions of dollars a year in subsidies the federal government gives to animal-exploitation industries to cultured-meat …

Kaplan: Domestic violence and Valentine’s Day — Love shouldn’t hurt

As we approach Valentine’s Day, I’m prompted to ask: Are all romantic relationships love? Where did we discover our conceptualizations of romantic love? I grew up on tales of Prince Charming and Cinderella, which shaped my view of romantic love.
Stephen Richer

Richer: We aim to inspire confidence in elections

It was my great honor that voters in November elected me to serve as the 30th Maricopa County Recorder.
David Coward

Coward: Sen. Townsend legislative action or inaction?

Our own Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-District 16) has sponsored a resolution (SCR1010) that asks voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to require the legislature to go into a special session for the …

Gau: Gov. Ducey’s tax cut proposal is out of step with Arizona voters

Governor Ducey’s new budget proposal includes a $1.2 billion tax cut spread over the next three years. This idea, especially when added to the loss of revenue from Prop. 123 expiring soon, …
Snow falls on a roadway near Flagstaff in this webcam image. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Harding: If you’re planning on playing in the snow, leave prepared

One of the great things about Arizona is snow is just an hour or two away by vehicle. But it’s important to resist the urge to just jump in the car and go instead of leaving prepared.
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo with the White House in the background, President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Washington. [The Associated Press]

Mandel: Ex-president should pay for his crimes

I strongly disagree with the opinions Debby Phillips expressed in her recent Letter to the Editor (“Resident not happy with impeach banner,” Daily Independent, Jan. 16, 2021). I can …
Sharon Connors

Connors: New year brings a new hope

Hallelujah. A sparkling new year. A long-awaited and hoped-for beginning.

Rhinehart: The hidden tourist attractions found off Arizona highways

Arizona’s highways can seem pretty desolate at times, miles upon miles of emptiness. Then, in the distance, you see it, a much-needed spot to pull over, gas up and perk up before hitting …

Wheat: What does future bring for politics?

I have to ask the question that many people have asked in the past about Pelosi and Schumer, and that is when are these two going represent their constituents? They have spent the last four years …
Larry Hogan

Hogan/Lieberman: We must bring democracy back from the brink

There are a handful of days in our history that reverberate across generations, defining the story of America. Jan. 6, 2021 — the date insurrectionists attacked the heart of our democracy to stop the orderly peaceful transfer of power — will be one of those days.
Scott Bordow

Bordow: Apache Junction school district ‘Create a Logo’ contest has $250 prize

A logo can say everything. It can describe and inform. It can be picturesque or profound. It can be full of color or bathed in black and white. In the end, all logos serve one purpose: They …

Fisher: The impact of recreational marijuana on co-parenting plans in Arizona

Important questions remain about how the passage of Prop. 207, Arizona’s recreational marijuana initiative, will impact existing co-parenting plans as well as divorce and child custody cases. …
AP

Somerville: Impeachment necessary to send message

In a letter to the editor (“Resident not happy with impeach banner”) Ms. Debby Phillips expressed displeasure at seeing a banner that read, “Impeach Trump, Make America Great …
Patti Hart

Hart: How to make the best of extra retirement time

Singer Jim Croce longed to put time in a bottle. Retirees aren’t always certain what it is they long to do with time, but one day they stop working and find they have a barrelful of it.

Arnot: Resident upset with inverted U.S. flag

On Jan. 19, 2021, on the eve of what we all hoped will be a peaceful transition of power to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, I walked in my neighborhood in Sun City West. This …
Chris Orestis

Orestis: What the Biden presidency means for older Americans

In his run for the presidency, Joe Biden laid out a “Plan for Older Americans” that reflected the Democratic party philosophy that health care and living with dignity after retirement are an inalienable right for all.

Miller: Calls for new leadership for state GOP

As a result of President Trump’s recent controversial statements and — especially since the riots at the US Capitol — there have been many concerns expressed in the media, such as …
Dr. Anil Seetharam

Seetharam: Don’t forget about your liver health in 2021

2020 taught us a lot, and as the clock struck midnight New Year’s Eve, perhaps we all gave thanks we made it to 2021 with our health intact and with a renewed focus on maintaining it.

Kuby: Working toward a sustainable and livable Tempe

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the growing inequalities in our world, country, state, and city. With crisis, however, comes opportunity and the challenge to tackle the racial, economic, …
Madison Blanton

Blanton: We must prioritize those with developmental disabilities for vaccination

With the hope of a new start at a new year, it seems clear that the coronavirus has also made a New Year’s resolution to persevere with a vengeance and stick around and mutate.

Safin: Practice hope, faith and patience while you ‘stop the spread’

Welcome to the new year! I hope your holiday season was terrific. I also hope our future will get better now that vaccines are available.

Crislip: Why older adults should set New Year’s resolutions and goals

A new year brings new resolutions for many and those New Year’s resolutions could also lead to some health benefits. According to a report published in JAMA, “setting resolutions …
Barbara Duncan

Duncan: Here’s what I see for the future of Arizona education

What do you think Arizona’s K-12 schools will look like in 2031? Does the prospect excite or dishearten you? After a year of countless hardships for families, we could use some positivity.
Giselle Alexander

Alexander: 6 things to know about PPP loans and your taxes

Last year was monumental to say the least. Life as we once knew it became a thing of the past, for individuals and businesses alike.
Merrill Edelstein

Edelstein: Arts options abound as 2021 begins

Well, it’s 2021, and like a lot of you, I’m on the couch staying safe.
The first doses of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine arrive in Maricopa County, Dec. 14.

Kirschner: Vaccine is a victory for science, humanity

With the approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the major tasks are now distribution and vaccination. Developing the vaccines has been a technological marvel, but until we get shots in the arms of 80% of the population, the COVID-19 pandemic will not be aborted.
Mark Field

Field: Beware of bait-and-switch mortgage offers

Be careful when dealing with online mortgage companies. Many of these companies like LendingTree and Paymybills.com are not mortgage companies, but marketing companies intending on selling your …
Dr. Timothy Byrne

Doctor: FAQs and tips regarding COVID-19 vaccination

The advent of COVID-19 vaccinations is a positive step in the pandemic fight. While more vaccination sites are opening and eligibility for receiving the vaccine is increasing, below are a few basics to know during the vaccine rollout.
Timothy Sandefur

Sandefur: Supreme Court decides to follow different constitution

In a 4-3 decision with important consequences for online privacy in Arizona, the state’s highest court ruled Jan. 11 that the Arizona Constitution’s “private affairs” clause does not protect individual rights any more than the federal Constitution.

Letters: Too much trash is taking over across Surprise

Surprise is a beautiful city and rapidly growing.
Jake Hoffman

Arizona legislature introduces first-in-nation resolution to protect against Democrat 'court packing'

The United States Supreme Court isn't merely one of America's most important institutions, it is also one of the most important elements of our constitutional system of checks and balances, not to …

Enroth: Diverse culture brings new phrases, outlooks

This is in response to Norman Webb’s letter (“Do not force your opinions on others"). I read your response to a previous letter about the use of the term Happy Holidays. As I read it, …

Seetharam: Don’t forget about your liver in 2021

2020 taught us a lot, and as the clock struck midnight New Year’s Eve, perhaps we all gave thanks we made it to 2021 with our health intact and with a renewed focus on maintaining it. While …
John Halikowski

Halikowski: Extending driver license renewals for older adults

For many of us, thinking about renewing our driver license rarely crosses our mind. Sure, we update it with a new address when we move, and some change their name after getting married, but the first time most of us will actually renew our driver license is when we turn 65 years old.
Larry Hogan

Hogan: It’s time to work together to solve America’s problems

Anyone who wants to build a better American future has to recognize that our problems cannot be solved by partisan politics. Washington today is completely out of whack.
A volunteer serves food and drinks to a homeless man in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. As the Italian government placed four regions, including hard-hit Lombardy, into effective lockdown for two weeks because infections and hospital saturation levels were rising fast, canteens and shelters for homeless people had to be shut down, leaving them with nowhere to get a meal. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Miller: Government regulations are causing homelessness

We have lots of media attention recently to the problem of housing the homeless. Local nonprofits are studying the issue with seminars and research reports. But nearly all these efforts focus on the …
Darya Iganian

Iganian: We must unite against racial injustice

Last year was a harrowing time in America’s rich and complicated history. Our great nation was faced with a novel coronavirus and an old, deeply ingrained racial disease aching for healing and remedy.
Stephanie Yoda

Yoda: How do I know I can trust a contractor I am hiring?

Many of us are doing home repairs these days. For the repairs that we can’t do on our own, we have to hire someone to do it for us. Then we end up asking ourselves the question, where do I …
Jim Dean

Dean: Middle schools expand school choice in DUSD

In the Dysart Unified School District, we have been and continue to be dedicated to providing extraordinary experiences to our students.
Jackie Elliott

5 ways Arizona can put people back to work

There is an early warning sign that high-demand jobs may be hard to fill when the labor market fully reopens, even with millions of Americans looking for work.

Hochschartner: Some thoughts on cultured meat industry

If President-elect Joe Biden is serious about addressing climate change, preventing future outbreaks of zoonotic disease, or minimizing animal cruelty on factory farms, he should support the nascent …
David Dozier

Dozier: Cost and public opinion support Biden’s plan to end death penalty

A study in California revealed that the cost of capital punishment in the state has been over $4 billion since it was reinstated in 1978. Since California has executed 13 prisoners during that time, …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: When teachers strike, students lose

When student learning takes a back seat, students should be able to take their funding with them.

Beyer: Car driver careless with bike rider

When I was being interviewed for my current job (I’m the pastor of a Sun City West church) the call committee chairman told me, “The most dangerous place to drive is the parking lot at …
Karen Hardin, EdD, is Maricopa County Branch NAACP President.

Opinion: A new vision for 2021

On Jan. 7 the nation watched in horror the breach and sacking of the United States Capitol building by unlawful acts of breaking and entering. The violence witnessed illustrated the vast ideological divide in our country and the enormous need for leadership from the top to heal our nation.

Iganian: The time to act is now

2020 was a harrowing year in America’s rich and complicated history. Our great nation was faced with a novel virus and an old deeply ingrained racial disease aching for healing and remedy. …
John Wintersteen

Wintersteen: Why celebrate MLK Jr. Day now?

For 23 years, the Town of Paradise Valley has had a tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an in-person celebration and luncheon, and this year, while dramatically different in some …
Dr. Jackie Elliott

Elliott, Gonzales, Lambert: 5 ways Arizona can put people back to work, transform higher education

It’s tempting these days to believe that once COVID-19 is contained, the U.S. economy will bounce back quickly, replenishing jobs and incomes lost in the pandemic. Yet there is an early warning …
David Coward

Coward: Why lack of urgency for COVID vaccinations in Pinal County?

At the recent Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting, the head of public health gave a presentation on the COVID-19 vaccination program. The facts presented: 10,000 doses allocated by the end …

Chinasamy: Sharon Cini receives Paradise Valley MLK 2021 Diversity Award

The Town of Paradise Valley will observe and celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18, 2021. However, due to the current COVID-19 situation and the safe distancing guidelines, the observance and …
John Safin

Safin: You can’t predict the future, but you can create it

I’m always thinking about the future and attempt to glean from the ethers what will happen next. It’s easier to predict the future when you create it, so the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce has taken new action to make sure the future of our community is bright.
ADOT

Merrill: History abounds on the walls of Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway

How do you pick a single theme for beautifying the 22-mile Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway? That was the question facing the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Roadside Development Section once work began on the new $2 billion freeway.
Skip Hall

Hall: Mayor Newsletter — January 2021

As we enter the new year, I would like to extend warm wishes and gratitude to our community.
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — January 2021

Well a big shout out to my constituents in District 1, and indeed every resident in this great city in which we are lucky to live in, and a happy and safe New Year to all.
Roberto Reveles

Reveles: Death-dealing pandemic calls for bold leadership by Pinal County supervisors

Never in my lifetime have we lived during a more consequential and threatening challenge than today in both our civic and our personal lives. Your federal-legislator counterparts in Washington are …
Rick Gutridge

Gutridge: LD21 board calls for election review

Alleged irregularities surrounding the 2020 election have many deeply skeptical of the reported results. This skepticism is unhealthy for our republic and if not checked will further erode trust in our government institutions.

Plein: Calls for unity among Americans

In response to the letter from the reader who made election and voting claims, thank you, Daily Independent, for printing the correct facts at the end of her letter. There is so much …
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — January 2021

Happy New Year. We have made it to 2021, and there are still many great things happening in the city of Surprise.
Terry Young

Young: Citizens Patrol lends extra ‘eyes and ears’

The Surprise Police Department is a municipal law enforcement agency with an authorized workforce of 204 employees.

Shaw: To AZ GOP, says election had zero fraud

I know that the Sun Cities lean Republican, and Kevin Payne ran an uncontested race for the state senate so he feels that he can ignore Democratic residents in District 21 with impunity. Still, I …
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — January 2021

A new eight-acre park at Greenway Road and Parkview Place will begin design in June of 2021. This new park will provide more programmable and rental field space. In addition to the new park, …

Castan: The road less traveled of addiction & recovery in Scottsdale

Back in the early spring of 2020 (how long ago does that seem now?), the coronavirus pandemic arrived on the shores of the U.S., bringing with it a plethora of state and county lockdowns, and the …

Women make gains in U.S. Congressional seats

Women are the majority of Americans as well as the majority of voters. What does that mean in practical terms? How did that play out in the November 2020 elections? A record-breaking number of women …

Word: Music gives so many gifts to all

Mr. Barry Spinka (“Resident not happy to hear driveway music”), you really are the Grinch of Sun City. I can’t even believe that you wrote this letter about our driveway concert …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — January 2021

There is no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we still have many things to celebrate.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — January 2021

The city of Surprise has experienced better-than-expected one-time revenues in Fiscal Year 2020 thanks to strong growth in housing permits and retail sales collections.
Albert Lalonde

Tips for retirement planning in 2021

COVID-19 took a heavy toll on the U.S. economy in 2020, causing millions of job losses and forcing many businesses to close. It also affected lots of retirement plans in the process.
Dr. Stacie Pinderhughes

Seek health care safely during COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases climb again around the country, people may be considering skipping visits to the doctor to reduce risk of exposure to the virus.
Christa Rizzi

Rizzi: Thank you Apache Junction mayor and council members

As this year comes to an end for the current Apache Junction City Council I’d like to say congratulations and welcome to our newly elected Councilmembers Kelly Gremmel, Braden Biggs and Tess …

McDade: Responds to letter writer’s rebuttal

Regarding your recent letter, (“In response to complaints in Sun City,” Daily Independent, De, 23, 2020), I was born and raised in Glendale, Mr. Foulke. Been in Sun City 15 years. …

Kuhn: Vaping resolution opposition a dereliction of Scottsdale Schools duty

I’m writing to call out Scottsdale Unified School District board members Jann-Michael Greenburg and Barbara Perleberg for their opposition to the anti-vaping resolution as reported by Delarita …
Dr. William Troutt

Troutt: Recreational marijuana — a defining moment for Arizona

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Arizona citizens voted in support of Prop 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, that has been termed “Recreational Marijuana.”
Skip Hall

Hall: New Year to bring good things for Surprise

As we enter the new year, I would like to extend warm wishes and gratitude to our community.
Gail Baer

Baer: Cultivating a giving spirit in children

As vice president of philanthropic services for Jewish Family & Children’s Service, I have the rare privilege of working with individuals and families who transform others’ lives.
Joe Smyth is board chairman of Independent Newsmedia.

Smyth: Brighter days ahead for local journalism?

Our little company was one of the pioneers of non-profit ownership of newspapers. Fifty years ago, we made a few decisions that were, in retrospect, pretty unusual. To protect their independence, …
Sally Marks

Marks: Peeling off the label of prejudice and hatred

One of my favorite songs as a teenager was “Only Shades of Gray.” It was more than the harmony; the lyrics of the song drove a deeper message into my youthful psyche. I remember it …
Robert Matsch and Christa Rizzi

Rizzi, Matsch: Local business, nonprofit ‘2 gems in our community’

Every community seems to have those little hidden gems that folks aren’t really aware of. I’d like to share a couple right here in Apache Junction that truly deserve to be recognized and …

Shufelt: Community shows its heart during uncertain times

Many are looking forward to turning the calendar to 2021. This year has brought us challenges and issues we could never have imagined, and there are many reasons to want to put 2020 in the …

O'Malley: ‘Tis the season for forgiveness

Forgiveness does not mean you allow others to take advantage of you again.

Ford: Buy extra, donate to Valley View Food Bank

I met Jesse Ramirez, Valley View Community Food Bank founder and director, a year ago and am constantly amazed at how much he does with so little. I have a suggestion for all of us that can make …
Neil Barwick

Barwick: Think about what you voted for if you voted for Biden

Jason Whitlock, a journalist and writer, makes the case that the most important part of the election was that hate won over love. Trump voters voted for Trump because they loved him, even with all of …

Nelson: Congress, thanks for foreign relief

Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Pakistan, Egypt, Cambodia, Burma, etc. received several billions in the new COVID “relief” bill and the American people get …

Wintersteen: Why celebrate MLK Jr. Day now?

For 23 years, the Town of Paradise Valley has had a tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr with an in-person celebration and luncheon, and this year, while dramatically different in some …
Craig Wismer

Wismer: New distracted driving law takes hold Jan. 1

Beginning January 1, 2021 the use of portable communication devices while driving will become a violation of civil traffic statutes for which law enforcement officers may issue a citation.

Williams: Make people wear a mask to stop COVID-19

Pinal County is a county where people need to wear masks. I had the COVID-19 virus. I am still recovering. You guys are not following the rules. These people need to wear a mask. I got the …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Independent Newsmedia continues collaborative commenting platform at yourvalley.net

The idea of maintaining civil discourse when debating public issues of the day is more than lip-service at Independent Newsmedia. At Yourvalley.net, which is powered by the work of local …
Sharon Connors

Connors: Gratitude can improve your life over holidays

The first snow descended on the Midwest by Thanksgiving most years.
Jack Sellers

Board of Supervisors responds to legislative subpoenas

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 today to direct its attorneys to respond to the subpoenas issued by the Arizona Legislature by filing a complaint in Superior Court. The two subpoenas …

Nelson: Worries new leaders will nix records

This building in Washington, D.C., houses all documents of our history, both the good and the bad. Our founding documents are on protected display inside the main entrance area: The Declaration of …

Letters: DUSD's self-promotion is getting old

Does anyone have the impression that the Dysart Unified School District is using up all the oxygen in the room?
AP

Bass: Vaccine administration illogical

We are all excited about the COVID-19 vaccines and the daily updates on the effort to get it to us. However, what is missing is how we will actually sit in a chair and have it administered. All I …

Letters: Street racers not limited to Sun City

We read with interest your recent article (“Street racers invading Sun City,” Surprise Independent, Dec. 9).

Pinderhughes: Taking care of yourself, seeking care safely during COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases climb again around the country, people may be considering skipping visits to the doctor to reduce risk of exposure to the virus. But the decision to delay preventive screenings like …

Rookhuyzen: Gift cards are the worst; consider these presents instead

We don’t want to alarm anyone, but Christmas is a week away. If you still have people to shop for but are running low on ideas, maybe we can help.

Andrews: Solar power real estate too costly

The Independent reported recently that our Southwest Valley friends claim a proposed solar energy facility will block their view of an ancient cinder-cone volcano (“Southwest Valley residents …

Christ: COVID-19 —Improved method for determining ZIP code data

Throughout the COVID-19 response, the Arizona Department of Health Services has continually reevaluated how we are collecting, analyzing and presenting COVID-19 data for cases, hospitalizations, and …

Lux: How to apply for unspent COVID funds?

Mark Carlisle wrote a recent article (“Spend it or lose it: Phoenix doles out remaining $43 million in coronavirus relief before Dec. 30 deadline,” Daily Independent, Dec. 12, 2020). In …
Bill McDonald

McDonald: Congress must preserve funding for HIV/AIDS patients

As a founding member of the Arizona Human Rights Fund, which has now morphed into Equality Arizona, I have always worked on the issues that have been at the forefront of the LGBTQ …

Shaw: Calls Lesko’s statements ‘sedition’

I just spoke with Rep. Lesko’s D.C. office after receiving a non-response email to my simple election inquiry. I posed a simple yes-or-no question as to whether Joe Biden is our president …
Amber Kovarik enlisted the help of her daughters Jade (left), 5, and Tatum, 7, and father, Dave, to deliver almost 100 meals to Hospice of the Valley patients on Thanksgiving eve. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Cooney: 2020 ends with gifts of love, kindness

The most magical thing about the holidays is the way we so joyfully give to others. Not just our friends and families — but to complete strangers who are in need.

Wade: Clarification needed for motorsports

I respectfully request that Congress pass the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act, H.R. 5434/S. 2602, in 2020. The bipartisan RPM Act protects the right to convert an automobile or …

Buttrick: Is the Arizona Constitution to be taken seriously or for granted?

As an attorney and retired judge I have always considered the Arizona Constitution to be the highest law of the state, not a set of guidelines. That’s why I am a plaintiff, along with a top …

Letters: Community pools math just doesn’t add up

About two months back, you wrote an article about lack of pools in Surprise. In that article you stated for a community of 1,000 homes the additional cost would be $10 per month.

Morgan: Bring more love, joy and connection this holiday season

For many people, life as they knew it has been put on hold due to the restrictions we all must adhere to with COVID-19. The days of waiting patiently for life to return to “normal” …

Jones: Wants people to be on lookout

On R.H. Johnson Boulevard driving home from the store at about 4:30 p.m. with my son the other day, we noticed a pickup sitting half on the sidewalk with its flashers blinking. As we got closer we …
Aldo Vazquez

Vazquez: Research shows drivers know it’s wrong, do it anyway

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest research finds drivers who have been in at least one crash in the past two years are significantly more likely to engage in risky behaviors like speeding or texting, even when they think the police may catch them.

Thorpe: How to prepare for flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic

The 2020-21 flu season is on track to be one of the worst in years, and with COVID-19 still running rampant in Arizona, being infected with both could be dangerous.
Clint Hickman

Hickman: Rulings show election accurate, transparent

Once again, a judge upheld the accuracy of Maricopa County’s election.

Stevenson: Outpatient treatment necessary

I know, I know ... you are sick and tired of hearing about, talking about or being afraid of the COVID virus and I agree with you. But, there are real solutions to this, if you can give me a few …
Peoria Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Scot Andrews

Andrews: The 5 reasons my dollars go to small business

The strength of a building is in its foundation. The same is true with small business in a community. If small businesses are healthy and prospering, job, schools and lifestyle are unique, healthy and burgeoning.
Dr. Lawrence Presant

Presant: For vein treatment, stick with the pros

With the proliferation of clinics that offer vein treatment, how do you choose the one that is right for you? And, do you really know what condition your veins are in?
Quinn Kellis

Kellis: DUSD thanks voters for override approval

I want to thank our community for taking the time to vote in the recent general election.

Patel: Screening for cancer in the COVID era

This year has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we’ve had a lot to worry about, and many of us have put our lives on hold this past year because of it, I wanted to discuss …

Nelson: Calls for healthy living before vaccines

Why haven’t the top U.S. health officials been educating the American populace that our immune systems are the first source of protection from viruses and COVID? A huge number of us are …

Christ: Winter holidays - Impacting COVID-19 cases in Arizona

There are many impacts that the holidays can have on COVID-19 in Arizona. With people traveling and gathering with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, we anticipate the cases and the need for hospitalizations to continue to increase over the next few weeks.

Trussell: State success in adverse times

I recently had the opportunity to hear from the Richard Stavneak, director of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee followed by revered economist Jim Rounds at the Arizona Tax Research …

Gentile: Enough is enough - an open letter to Arizona, Scottsdale leadership

My wife and I have been residents of Scottsdale for just under a year. We are a law enforcement family from New York who relocated to AZ — after unfortunate years in Los Angeles. We have …
Dr. Richard S. Liebowitz

Liebowitz: International medical schools can provide needed doctors

COVID-19 has revealed once again how short our nation is of doctors.

Leto: Community stories are best ones to read

I have an idea for an addition to your weekly newspapers that would make it more enjoyable and would make more people read it. In my neighborhood magazine, they always feature someone who has done …

Struble: AJ Prayer Walk a day to sing, fellowship, shine in unity

The third annual AJ Prayer Walk will be held Jan. 9. This year’s event will be centered on the Bible verse 2 John 1:6, “And this is love; that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — December 2020

The Surprise Police Department has received their fifth accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA).

Letters: District already wasting our hard-earned money

While perusing this week's Surprise Independent, I was flabbergasted to see a paid advertisement from Dysart Unified School District.

Funk: Arizona families are built in a variety of ways

One way is through adoption. While there are several categories of adoptable children, at Aid to Adoption of Special Kids we focus on the adoption of children in the Arizona foster care …
ADOT officials seek the public’s help figuring out where this photo was taken. [ADOT photo]

Needing help with the ‘Unknown Highway’

Over the years, we have delved into our archives to bring you photographs from a lot of times and places. From grading a road with mules to the Highway Hawk’s appearances at events to a …
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — December 2020

I recently had the opportunity to tour the City of Surprise’s new Public Works Operations Facility. The facility was partially funded by the voter-approved 2017 General Obligation Bond. This …

Burke: Get your new benefit verification letter online

If you receive a benefit verification letter, sometimes called a “budget letter,” a “benefits letter,” a “proof of income letter,” or a “proof of award letter,” we have good news for you.

Mathewson: Jeopardy! cheat still a laugh for resident

The recent passing of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek has sparked a flood of tributes for him and the game show itself. Former contestants and celebrities who’ve competed there have shared …
Skip Hall

Hall: Mayor Newsletter — December 2020

As 2020 draws to a close, I wanted to take this last opportunity of the year to publicly thank you — the residents of Surprise — for your patience and support this trying year.
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — December 2020

A big shout out to the residents of this great city we live in.
Chris Buitron

Buitron: In tough times for unemployed, consider franchising

With millions unemployed and numerous industries struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic, some people who are out of work are considering a new career.

Cottrill: Travel agents in trouble

Every business in the country has been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another. But few sectors have been as hard hit, or face a longer road to recovery, than the travel agency industry. …
Donations will be accepted at the Apache Junction Police Department, 1001 N. Idaho Road, up to Dec. 16.

Harshman: Apache Junction Police Department toy drive seeking donations

The annual Apache Junction Police Department toy drive could use a little assistance from the community this year. In the past the AJPD has worked with the W Steven Martin 911 Toy Drive to …
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — December 2020

Due to rising COVID-19 case numbers, city of Surprise City Council and all city boards and commissions meetings have been reclosed to in-person attendance until further notice.
Bobby Boland

Boland: Ways to care for seniors with mental illness

Caregivers know that even small daily tasks can be a huge burden for seniors dealing with mental illness.

Gilpin: Respect others' decisions

After reading your letter in the Independent on Nov. 28, 2020, I just have one thing to say — ”Mr. Megee, mind your own business.” There is no reason whatsoever to wear a mask …
Peoria City Councilwoman Vicki Hunt

Hunt: Lots of ‘new’ headed to Old Town Peoria

Don’t let the name mislead you – there are big, new additions on the horizon for Old Town Peoria!
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — December 2020

To protect public health amidst rising COVID-19 cases, beginning Dec. 1, and until further notice, city of Surprise public meetings will close to in-person attendance.
Things have changed in Goodyear since the city's first traffic light, at the intersection of Litchfield Road and Western Avenue, was installed around 1950.

Siegel: Goodyear growth requires planning for the future

As a resident of Goodyear during the past five years, I have seen the amazing growth throughout this community. That growth demonstrates the highly desirable environment in the city.
Steve Trussell

Trussell: State success in adverse times

Why is Arizona thriving despite the adversity we are facing? Great public policy.

Peters: Pedestrians have little protection

Thank you for your article (“Street racers invade Sun City”) regarding street racers. I have not seen or heard the racers but am struck by another part of the article. Specifically, …
Arizona Department of Transportation officials film a traffic incident management training video. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Halikowski: Traffic incidents requires cooperation from everyone

You may have seen this message on our digital message boards statewide: “Fender Bender? Save your rear, Quickly clear.” It was a reminder to move your vehicle safely onto a shoulder or exit and stay out of travel lanes if involved in a minor crash.
President Donald Trump

Collins: Rebuts letter about Trump presidency

About Rita Venice’s recent letter (“Calls fraud allegations ‘clap-trap’”, Daily Independent, Nov. 24, 2020): many of the “down ballots” voting turned a …

Shufelt: Giving thanks, even in the midst of pandemic

We all are well aware of how different 2020 has been — a pandemic, a contentious election, social unrest, the hottest summer on record — all of these have frayed everyone’s nerves. …
Greg Donovan

Donovan: CTE needed among aging workforce, skills shortage

America is dealing with an unprecedented shortage of skilled labor. The Department of Labor reports while there are 7.6 million unfilled jobs, only 6.5 million people were looking for work. This is …

Goncalves: Pres. Biden will destroy Trump’s legacy

Jack Hawn in his letter (“Says it’s over, Trump lost election,” Nov. 19, 2020) wants the Trump supporters to take down our signs and flags — really Jack? The election has not, …
Steve Trussell

Trussell: Arizona economy built to withstand COVID-19

I recently had the opportunity to hear from the Richard Stavneak, director of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee followed by revered economist Jim Rounds at the Arizona Tax Research …
Steve Chucri

Chucri: Your right to vote is paramount

In recent days, constituents of District 2, candidates for office, state lawmakers and congressmen have asked questions and made statements regarding Maricopa County’s voting system, hand counts, recounts and legal challenges.
Older adults can combat loneliness during this year’s challenging holiday season by staying in virtual touch with family and friends, getting exercise and pursuing favorite hobbies.

GOSALIA: Five ways to combat loneliness during the holidays

The holidays are a time of celebrations, time spent with family and friends, and a festive and colorful time of year. For some older adults, it can be a time of extreme loneliness and depression, especially this year with COVID-19 still looming.

Winter: Says voting is indeed our right

This is a response to Roy Miller’s recent letter (“Says voting a privilege, not a right,” Nov. 19, 2020). I didn’t wish to respond, but there is need to correct his statement …
Peoria Unified School District President David Sandoval

Sandoval: Second term on Peoria Unified school board is another opportunity to serve

When I sat down with my family to discuss my intention to run for the governing board in 2016 and then run for re-election in 2020, I continued to reflect on the influence that public education has …

Morrison: We need a new COVID-19 stimulus package now

Despite the United States tallying more than a million new cases of COVID-19 last week alone, congressional leaders appear in no rush to approve a new package of financial relief for businesses and …
Roy Miller

Miller: New ACC commissioner needs guidance

Newly elected Arizona Corporation Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson wants APS to slash its rates, but she is dreaming if she thinks she can accomplish this, even with her eight suggestions for the …

Lux: Running a country not like business

In response to the letter written by someone from the Surprise Chamber of Commerce, the headline reads the “Chamber wants politicians to focus on relief.” The letter then lists several …
Bobby Boland

Boland: Understanding the different types of COVID-19 tests

Over the last six months, the world’s scientists and experts have discovered and proven unique methods for identifying the coronavirus.
Jim Mathewson

Mathewson: I cheated at "Jeopardy" and it still makes me laugh

The recent passing of "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebec has sparked a flood of tributes for him and the game show itself.  Former contestants and celebrities who've competed there have shared numerous …
Josh Gottheimer

Gottheimer: Democrats, Republicans, stop fighting and get something done

Editor's note:  This opinion appeared on No Labels NoLabels.org, a national organization working to revive bipartisanship and to move Washington beyond gridlock to solutions to challenges faced …

Carpenter: How can builder come up with millions of dollars for land auction?

I’ve been watching the stories on the auctioned property. It just blew me away, the amount that was agreed upon. I’ve never known any builder that could possibly come up with that …
A deer has its eyes and ears on a passerby while foraging for food near a public park in Hillsborough, N.C., Wednesday, July 8, 2020. [AP Photo/Gerry Broome]

AAA Arizona: Tips to prevent animal collisions

During the fall months, drivers face an increased risk of animal-related crashes as deer and other wildlife begin to migrate and find their way onto highways and into suburban neighborhoods.
Clint Hickman

Hickman: Election conducted with ‘integrity, transparency’

Members of the Board of Supervisors continue to hear from government leaders and the public about the integrity of Maricopa County elections. We want to assure you that proper steps have been taken to ensure a full and accurate count of all votes.

Cowdrey: Calls for unity among Americans

A few weeks ago I received a picture of a bird. The caption read: It doesn’t make any difference whether it is a left wing or a right wing, it is the same bird! Put this in another …
The original bridge over Queen Creek along U.S. 60 on the east side of Superior (foreground) served Arizona motorists for 30 years before it was replaced in 1953. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Rookhuyzen: Old US 60 bridge shows original way to cross Queen Creek

It’s a question as old as transportation itself: How are we going to get across that? Whether it be a river, creek, wash, arroyo, canyon or crevice, getting a vehicle from one side to the other is a prime concern when it comes to building roads.
Thank You For Supporting Local Journalism