Opinions with Civility
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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 …

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. …

Bloch: Response to Maxwell, Scottsdale Airport noise

Well said Kevin, but more than likely of no use. The City Council, as well as the past one does not give a damn about the noise coming out of the Scottsdale Airport, why should they, none of them …

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 …

Maxwell: Sky Harbor is not all to blame for Scottsdale aircraft noise

Scottsdale City Council has delivered some big wins for its citizens in the past few weeks. A surprising vote for historical preservation and a 7-0 passing of a non-discrimination ordinance are feel …

Norton: ‘Proximity Preservation Rule’ is Scottsdale’s worst idea since DDC

Debates over and objections to the proposed amendments to the General Plan have largely focused on the ill-designed Desert Rural land designation. That debate overlooks an even worse problem. …

Henninger: A pat on the back for Scottsdale

For those who like to bellyache about our city, this column is not for you. It can be a struggle to escape the negative quicksand embedded in today’s media where unhappy people make it their …

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) …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

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. This record growth came …

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 …

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 …

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 …
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. …

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 …
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 …

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 …

Norton: State weighs in on Scottsdale’s ‘desert rural’ land use suggestion

Let there be no mistake. The desert rural designation and the onerous super-majority requirements created by the proposed general plan will crush land values. Our state relies on high land values …

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. …

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 …

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 …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Mayor Ortega: Scottsdale City Council must have higher standards to move forward

The Office of the Auditor regularly reports performance pertaining to all city boards and commissions. Such is the case for Planning Commission, which includes reporting total caseload, membership, …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Milhaven: Scottsdale volunteers beware

Mayor Ortega is using his seat to bully citizens and fire a warning shot. In his first few months in office, Mayor Ortega has decided one of his biggest priorities is to oust a Planning …

Littlefield: Three lies told about Scottsdale development

The good news for Scottsdale citizens is the Lane-Korte-Milhaven-Klapp regime, which saddled Scottsdale residents with so much bad development over the last eight years, is gone. The even better …

Norton: The repeating consequences of Scottsdale's new ‘rural land use’ proposal

The “don’t call us no-growthers” contingent of our City Council proposes to impose a multi-billion-dollar penalty on the City of Scottsdale as they pursue their …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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.

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 …

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 …

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 …

Alexander: Kimsey project hits all the right boxes

Mayor Ortega and City Councilors, I strongly support the Kimsey project at 71st and Indian School, and hope you will support it too. All four members of my family support this project. I work …
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.

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 …

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 …

Opinion: What are the intentions of Scottsdale’s City Council?

Good intentions or bad? Three separate issues – all tied to one main issue. (1) Canal Micro-Parklets, (2) the Kimsey Project and Triangle Building and (3) The General Plan and …
Scottsdale City Councilwoman Solange Whitehead

Whitehead: Go time for Scottsdale general plan

It’s go time for the general plan in Scottsdale. Last week the City Council made fundamental changes to better reflect community values and protect our city’s character, quality of …

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. …

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? …

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 …

Henninger: An opportunity to reunite Scottsdale residents

Scottsdale enters a new year, with new leaders and a unique opportunity to bring the city together and work toward a unified vision. This is entirely possible and if you listen to most citizens it …

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 …

Shapiro: Personal attention is worth its weight in gold

Thank you for calling ABC Realty. For English, press 1. For Spanish, press 2. If you’re a Californian, press 3 for an expedited response. We understand why you want to move here. If …

Burns: Scottsdale General Plan 2035 back in the political game

The Scottsdale General Plan 2035 update is again gaining political attention and the city has again engaged a study group to revise and comment on the draft document generated by the General Plan …

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, …

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 …

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. …

Ohanian: Pack your finances we’re moving to Arizona

We hear daily inquiries about how to relocate all of your critical financial, home and medical information to a completely new city. It has skyrocketed in Arizona. But, there are stringent laws to …

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 …

Alexander: New task force isn’t the answer for Scottsdale General Plan

Passing a new General Plan was widely supported during the past election. Our current plan is 20 years old, and in violation of state law, which requires a new General Plan every 10 years. Last …

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 …

Opinion: Rethinking Scottsdale’s athletic fields bond project

Editor’s Note: Ms. Sturgeon and Mr. Norton wish it known that although they are active in a variety of civic organizations this op-ed represents their individual thoughts and not those of any …

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 …

Marsh: Four tips to get the most out of your workout in the new year

The start of a new year is the perfect time to set new goals. After all that holiday eating, it is no surprise that, according to a YouGov survey, “exercising more” topped the list of …

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 …
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, …

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 …
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 …
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT

Henninger: Thoughts & reflections on the year Scottsdale would prefer to forget

As we wind down a year that we’d just as soon forget, let’s start thinking about what we can do in Scottsdale to make 2021 one that we’ll want to remember. Along those lines, …

Haskell: A very COVID Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the country not a creature was stirring... except various politicians who violate their own mandates. Seems I’m at a loss here. What …

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 …

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” …

Kurland: Community split over ‘mask-up Arizona’ only wounds state

As we head into the holidays, let’s take a brief moment of introspection. As you do, ask if what you are thankful for, what you strive for, what you dream of, if any of those thoughts are …

Reaves: Applause for the champions of our democracy

Since the general election, Arizonans have watched disjointed and screeching groups of lawyers, politicians and citizens rage against our state’s election process and its outcome. The whole …

Halasz: Grateful to have survived the odds

Opening a new restaurant under normal circumstances can be a challenge. And in this age of COVID may it may seem insurmountable. My name is Laurent Halasz and I am the founder and owner of …

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 …

Robbins: A letter of thanks to Scottsdale City Council

Thank you, Mayor Jim Lane, Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp, Councilmember Virginia Korte, and Councilman Guy Phillips for your service to our community. You have given your time, talents, and treasure …

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 …

LaSota: Key differences lead to Scottsdale support not opposition

I often times find myself on the opposite side of significant zoning changes, but I am supporting the Scottsdale Collection. Below are my reasons why, but it is primarily because the Scottsdale …

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. …

Brown: ‘You can’t postpone hunger’ Scottsdale Community Partners needs you

The season of giving is upon us, and Scottsdale Community Partners needs you now more than ever. Founded 45 years ago as Concerned Citizens for Community Health, Scottsdale Community Partners …

Opinion: Celebrating the school staff that support Scottsdale students

National Educational Support Professionals Day this year is Nov. 18. This day was founded by the National Education Association in 1987 to honor the contributions of school and district support …

Janik & Durham: #endyouthsuicide event at Chaparral Park this week

This year it seems more important than ever to focus on mental health and suicide prevention. 2020 has been a whirlwind of unforeseen events: COVID-19; Social distancing; Job losses; …
Ryan Goodman

Goodman: Improving cities starts with removing cars

The story of Phoenix, Arizona is the story of sprawl. After World War II, when cars, air conditioning, and home loans became affordable for the middle class, Phoenix’s population boomed. In …

DeMuro: Reading Scottsdale Independent is ‘a pleasure’

I continually stay impressed with the Independent. I just finished the Nov. 1 issue of the Scottsdale paper. I enjoyed the articles on 5G, fires in Scottsdale and the real estate market. I …
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