Opinions with Civility
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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, …
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, …
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 …
Randall Blazic DDS, MD

Blazic: Giving back has profound impact on givers, receivers

Imagine Goodyear, Avondale, Buckeye or Litchfield Park in 2003; sprawling farmland and unobstructed mountain views. Think of moving to the Southwest Valley in the heat of summer; this is how my story begins. Within four days of graduating from residency in Detroit, Michigan, I made the cross-country journey with a trailer attached to a U-Haul after deciding to call the Southwest my home.

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 …
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 …
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 …

GUEST COMMENTARY: A working mom weighs in on distance learning

My daughter is in sixth grade at L. Thomas Heck Middle School in Litchfield Park and will be returning to distant learning full-time along with other Litchfield Elementary School District students …
Bobby Boland

Boland: Are earbuds putting your health at risk?

We’ll leave the social implications of this auditory isolation for another discussion, but how worried should you be that your earbuds are causing long-term hearing loss?

Curley: Offers idea to help some voters

I have an idea for the good people. There are residents in Sun City West who are looking forward to voting in the upcoming election and need some assistance. They do not drive and want to vote. …
Staying engaged with students and teachers is one of several ways parents and caregivers can help their children succeed academically.

Hornback: Strong caregiver-teacher partnerships key to students’ academic, personal success

In the “A”-rated Litchfield Elementary School District, we rely on strong partnerships to offer academic rigor in a caring environment to more than 12,000 students. We often say that schools cannot do it alone, because we are aware that our educational excellence is tied directly to the support and engagement of our families and community.
Michelle Lind

Lind: Implementation of tenant/landlord assistance programs is critical

Arizona businesses continue to be affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. Particularly hard-hit are those individuals whose business is the ownership and management of rental homes throughout …
Ed McClelland

McClelland: When it comes to mental health, race matters

As a Black man who has worked in the community behavioral health industry for more than 30 years, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen the struggles that individuals and family members go …
Dr. Kristen Bishop

Bishop: Our bodies are designed to fight off viruses – and they do it every day

Valley residents are continuing to work through the slight declining trend of COVID-19, many are still concerned about the safety of themselves and their families.
Shannon Clancy

Clancy: Who is on the front line for families facing homelessness?

Temporary grace and an extension of Arizona’s eviction moratorium to Oct. 31 means we have more time to do our literal “home” work, but there’s no free pass or less pressure …

Brewer: West Coast anarchy could happen in Arizona if we don’t stand against it

The insanity we’re seeing in the Pacific Northwest would have free reign to spread to the rest of the country under a prospective Biden administration.
Seema Verma

Verma: Taking action to protect America’s nursing home residents against COVID-19

Nursing homes have become ground zero in the coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 pandemic, with outbreaks causing high rates of illness and death among vulnerable residents living together in close …
Mimi Rogers

Rogers: The crisis of the pandemic on individuals who have intellectual disabilities

COVID-19 poses extreme obstacles for people who have intellectual disabilities and thrive on routine, familiar activities, and people, such as family and friends. So, with everything going …
Dan Shufelt

Shufelt: Never know when you might need a helping hand

When the work van pulled up in front of Arizona Helping Hands, I recognized the company name. I thought my friend Dale was coming to say hi and tour the Arizona Helping Hands facility where we …
Michael Vallante

Vallante: Supporting black-owned small businesses, entrepreneurship

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the unrest that has been taking place in some cities, the impact has been felt in every sector of our economy. There has never been a more challenging time for …
Residents gather June 6, 2020, at Camelback and Litchfield roads in Litchfield Park for a peaceful protest.

Young: Sharing experiences helps reader move toward positive change

Where do we go from here? The past few weeks since the death of George Floyd have honestly been difficult. From the moment he was killed, until now has been a blur of outrage, arguments and …
David Sheppard (Photo courtesy Just Leadership USA)

Sheppard: What Juneteenth means to me as a black man in America

This Friday, we celebrate Juneteenth --- a holiday that receives little attention but holds special significance for me as a black man in America this year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 …
Jim Rounds

Rounds: Maricopa County supervisors need to approve project, bring 1,100 jobs to Valley

During difficult economic times like these, nothing is more valuable than a good job. As an economist, I routinely advise community and business leaders on how to recruit and create more of these …

Shufelt: Tragedy befalls an amazing foster family

I met Curtis four years ago. He came to Arizona Helping Hands to receive beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, sports equipment and more to help his family. His daughter’s life had been …

Rhoden: A letter to my kids regarding #BlackLivesMatter

I last wrote a public letter to you six years ago in BKNation. During that time, in 2014, we had just moved to the Phoenix area and I was a recently minted PhD. The world at that time seemed in …
Dan Shufelt

Shufelt: Putting our helping hands together for the dads

I’ve had the honor to meet some amazing dads in my work at Arizona Helping Hands. Foster dads don’t have nine months to wrap their heads around the responsibilities of parenting. They …
Brian Humphreys, back row, from fourth from left, and Mychol Alexander, front row left, attended the U.S. Air Force Academy together. A frank conversation between the two after the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of police, inspired Mr. Humphreys to speak out against racism.

Guest commentary: ‘I wanted to believe everyone was safe’

Who am I? I am a white American man. I am a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, a husband, a father of four, a son, a brother and a servant to our nation as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. I …
Robin Schaeffer

Schaeffer: Tips on how to return to public life while minimizing health risks

We get it. After a couple months of relative seclusion, you’re probably eager to see friends and extended family, enjoy a favorite meal out of the house, and finally get that haircut …
Mary Lynn Kasunic

Kasunic: Social-distancing can mask elder abuse

In a year with many distractions and stressful events, we must not forget that World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15. Annually, this day highlights the issues of elder abuse and the 10% of …
Jennifer Chau

Chau: Fair funding, representation hinge on an accurate census count

During this pandemic, we’ve seen our communities step up for one another to help flatten the curve. While we continue to practice social distancing, one of the most impactful civic duties that …
Jody Martin

Martin: How to stop the protests

I want to explain how to stop the riots, looting and protests since no one seems to know and no one else is saying it. My son from Nigeria and my Russian/Ukrainian daughter from Ukraine thought it …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Crawford: I stand with the heroes of public safety in Scottsdale

The images are heartbreaking. Less than two weeks after Scottsdale businesses emerged from the darkness of the COVID-19 shutdown, many had to shutter their doors yet again after Saturday …

Kirschner: Prepare for a long war against novel coronavirus

The human race has been at war with microscopic pathogens since the dawn of time. The Ten Plagues of Egypt of the Old Testament, the Black Death of the 14th century, malaria, TB, cholera, polio, …
Seema Verma

Verma: Got Medicare? Get a no-cost test for COVID-19

If you have Medicare and want to be tested for coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, the Trump Administration has good news. Medicare covers tests with no out-of-pocket costs. You can get tested in …
Marcus Johnson

Johnson, Gjersvig: How unemployed Arizonans can navigate health care coverage

The necessity of quality healthcare coverage has become abundantly clear for many Americans over the recent weeks For the one in 10 Americans now unemployed whose health insurance options were …
Vickilyn Alvey

Guest commentary: Open or close? The messy parts of living in a free country

When I was in nursing school, I was surprised to learn that “patients have a right to fall.” The concept, then, and now, was based upon a person’s right to choose due to informed …
Dan Shufelt

Shufelt: Even COVID-19 won’t slow down Arizona Helping Hands

The coronavirus has shut down or slowed down many businesses throughout the United States, but the essential services provided to children in foster care by Arizona Helping Hands have continued on …
Marc Lamber

Lamber: Lawsuits expected as Arizona businesses reopen

Now that commerce is resuming across Arizona, business owners are entering into uncharted territory taking a risk that customers and employees will catch COVID-19 at the business. If that happens, …
Nikki Julien

Julien: Less lawn equals more wildlife

Here in Phoenix our summer months are not known as gardening weather but there’s important work to do in the yard this year --- remove your lawn. You probably already consider this every …
Seema Verma

Verma: Thank you to all on the front lines of the pandemic

On behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, I’d like to thank all those who work in nursing facilities --- doctors, nurses, food preparers, housekeepers and others --- for …
Jan Brewer

Brewer: President Trump's immigration pause is patriotic

Whenever anyone questions the wisdom of allowing large-scale illegal immigration, the first thing we invariably hear from the open-borders left is that it will outrage Hispanic-Americans. More often …
Darius Amiri

Amiri: Supreme Court may vote soon on the plight of 'Dreamers'

While the nation’s focus is rightfully on the COVID-19 crisis, another crisis looming for a large group of young people. Dreamers are living a nightmare as they wait for the federal government …
Sen. Sylvia Allen

Allen: Arizona education and the CARES Act

As chair of the Arizona Senate Education Committee, I passionately work toward bettering the education of every child in the state and I fully support Arizona parents and their school choice rights, …

Shufelt: Supporting Arizona's children during Foster Care Awareness Month

Governor Doug Ducey has again issued a proclamation declaring the month of May to be Foster Care Awareness Month. The governor urges “all citizens to do something positive to improve the …
Zach Shaw

Shaw: Caregivers key to fighting COVID-19

Older adults, with diminished immune systems due to aging and with pre-existing conditions, are much more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the general population. In-home caregivers can help prevent …

Wolfe: Keeping peace at home while everyone is online

Now that most of us are working and learning from home, you may be noticing that some websites may be a bit slow to load, and you may experience intermittent buffering when streaming video. While …
Aaron Blocher-Rubin

Blocher-Rubin: Potential adverse impact of unemployment claims on self-insured nonprofits

During these uncertain times, the economic impact of coronavirus-driven cancelations, postponements and shutdowns continues mounting. This is especially daunting for many nonprofit organizations …
Dr. Brian Hess, MD

Q&A: Why you shouldn’t delay ER visits during the pandemic

Hospital emergency rooms across the Valley are open, and doctors want the public to know that delaying emergency treatment can result in additional health complications, especially in the case of …
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally

McSally: CARES Act a lifeboat for Arizona’s small businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of the Arizona economy and employ over one million Arizonans. These hard-working Arizonans often put everything they have into building their businesses from scratch …
Seema Verma

Verma: Getting medical care in your home during the pandemic

At Medicare, we understand you may have concerns about going to your doctor’s office during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Like so many Americans, our Medicare beneficiaries …
Portraits for OptumCare

Schnitzer: Tips to help seniors boost their physical, mental health during coronavirus quarantine

There is an ongoing conversation about the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to be prepared. According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, anyone can get …
David Simmer, district governor for Rotary District 5495.

Simmer: Simple ways you can make a difference during COVID-19 crisis

Rotarians are “People of Action,” and Rotary clubs and their members throughout Arizona are pitching in to help where needed in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic …

Simmer: Rotarians provide ideas on how you can help others during pandemic

Rotarians are “People of Action,” and Rotary clubs and their members throughout Arizona are pitching in to help where needed in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic …

Newlon: Remote online notarization a critical need in Arizona

To help keep our communities healthy, the need for social distancing is imperative right now. As such, on March 18, two U.S. senators --- Kevin Cramer and Mark Warner --- introduced a bill known …
Seema Verma

Verma: Medicare and coronavirus, what you need to know

Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to let you know the steps we’re taking to help our Medicare beneficiaries cope with the …

Economic troubles ahead as tourism faces realities of COVID-19

While the media can’t stop reporting on the coronavirus it has been underreporting the devastating impact just starting to be fully realized on tourism communities.
Skip Hall

A message from Surprise Mayor Skip Hall

As the world and our community face ongoing concerns about the spread and impact of COVID-19, I want to assure you that the City of Surprise is working diligently to protect the health and safety of our community.

New county jail will improve safety, save money

Public safety is a core function of government, probably the most important thing we do. Jails are a necessary component.
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