Susan Bitter-Smith, Corporate Regulator, Part Deux

September 3, 2015

Last week I commented on Kristena Hansen’s work at KJZZ in breaking the story on Arizona Corporation Commission chair (and former Scottsdale City Council member) Susan Bitter-Smith’s conflict of interests. Today, the Arizona Republic’s Ryan Randazzo ups the ante with a direct connection from Bitter-Smith to a Scottsdale planning and zoning case involving Arizona Public […]

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Who Owns The Vision?

August 29, 2015

The headline story this morning in AZCentral’s daily “Top 5, Exclusive selections for our subscribers” asks, “Who Owns the Desert?” The byline belongs to Catherine Sheffo. “Who?” you may ask; I did. Herein lies the first problem with the story. Catherin Sheffo is a “Pulliam Fellow,” aka a college intern working a summer job. How […]

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Susan Bitter-Smith, Corporate Regulator (not so much)

August 25, 2015

I was a little hard on KJZZ’s Kristena Hansen recently for her one-woman crusade against the fundraising efforts of the Police Officers of Scottsdale (POSA) organization. I was somewhat amused by Kristena’s finale on that subject. She reported that POSA severed ties with the contracted telemarketer doing their fundraising, implying it was because of, “…a […]

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Light Rail’s PR Pandering

August 20, 2015

In a letter published in today’s Arizona Republic, Drew Sexton claims (among other things) that The [Valley Metro] light rail is a great, cost-effective investment not just for Millennials and our public transportation system but for the future of education in our city. [Phoenix’s] Prop. 104 builds on that investment and should have our support. […]

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Nordstrom Garage Scam

August 16, 2015

Lynn Hume (@BondBuyergirl) of The Bond Buyer reported this week that tax-free muni bonds issued by the City of Scottsdale’s “Municipal Property Corporation” (aka, “MPC”) to pay off a deal with Scottsdale Fashion Square may not comply with the federal tax code. An IRS agent told the MPC, a nonprofit that can issue bonds on […]

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Peter Pan City Planning and Fairy Dust Incentives

August 14, 2015

In an Arizona Republic opinion column a couple of days ago, Robert Robb brilliantly analyzes the current land-use planning philosophy that has pushed aside all common sense throughout the metro area: Phoenix banks on Peter Pan theory of Millennials. Among Robb’s observations: I believe urban form and government infrastructure should maximize the living preferences of […]

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New Taxes on Scottsdale Property Owners

August 8, 2015

ARGUMENT “AGAINST” THE BONDS Bonds equal Debt. Federal debt, deficits, and borrowing are bad. Are they not equally bad in Scottsdale? Borrowing has its place, like for construction of new infrastructure. Maintenance however, should be budgeted. Scottsdale’s had years and tens of millions of dollars’ worth of unconstitutional, taxpayer-funded subsidies for the PGA, the NFL, […]

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The Subsidy State

August 5, 2015

Forget about “the welfare state.” What about “the subsidy state?” Thanks to an astute ScottsdaleTrails reader, I just read AZ Republic columnist Robert Robb’s column in this morning’s RAG entitled, “Incentive game by governments spinning out of control in Arizona.”  I’ve included his text below for ease of emphasizing some of the passages. I will […]

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Light Rail and Confirmation Bias

August 5, 2015

Like many topics of discussion, a person (voter) tends to support or reject light rail based on their own impressions rather than the facts and history. Psychologists call this “confirmation bias,” and if this sounds familiar it’s because I’ve used the term many times before on other topics. Wikipedia defines confirmation bias as the “tendency […]

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Tarantulas

August 4, 2015

I recently posted on Facebook this photo from a weekend walk in Payson, and it evoked quite a range of reactions. This prompts me to share a little more information about this gentle giant of the arachnid world. From Wikipedia I learned: Anecdotally, the term “tarantula” originally referred to wolf spiders around Taranto in southern […]

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