Opinions with Civility
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Brewer: Arizona seniors deserve a future of economic security

Arizona seniors deserve to enjoy a future of economic security and prosperity for many years to come — and it’s imperative that we elect political leaders who have what it takes to build …
Bill Myer

Opinion: Arizona can get marijuana legalization right, again

I am 73 years old. Never in my later years did I think I would open Arizona’s first medical marijuana dispensary, but I did, in 2012.

Burke: Know how to identify Social Security scammers

The most effective way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams.  You should just hang up on any call you’re uncertain of and ignore suspicious emails.  Scammers are always …

Hernandez: Public health care undercuts union-negotiated benefits

Unions like mine have fought long and hard to secure comprehensive, individualized health care benefits for our members. We cannot allow years, and in some cases decades, of progress to be wiped away …
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.
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Independent Newsmedia launches 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 …
In this photo taken on Thursday, July  16, 2020, a local woman stands in front of her damaged after the shelling by Armenian forces house in the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan. Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on the border of the two South Caucasus nations has resumed after a daylong lull, and both sides are blaming the other.  (AP Photo/Ramil Zeynalov)

Altay: We must speak out against invasion of Azerbaijan

On July 12, the Armenian army began an offensive against Azerbaijan in cross-border artillery strikes. Although the offensive was repelled, three Azerbaijani soldiers died. UN SC resolutions …
A stay-at-home notice is displayed on a highway sign along a rural road due to the coronavirus Thursday, April 30, 2020, in Miami, Arizona.

Olson: World is more complex than yesteryear

Why do we have to resort to the Us vs. Them when it comes to a ‘side’ you are on for our country and for the world.   Our world is more complex than the world of yesteryear …
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 …

Lyles: Great job Phoenix for a great need in the city

This month, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved an incredibly important new affordable housing initiative. With Phoenix being the nation’s fastest growing city, and housing costs …
Dr. Elizabeth Hart-Wells will join the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board.

Opinion: Getting you and your student ready for August

Back to school is only weeks away. While we may not have a detailed roadmap on what that will look like, we do know that there will be some changes, and it’s time to adapt. Adaptation is a …
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 …
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 …

Taylor: The link between a healthy life and school dollars

In this unparalleled time where our emotional and physical well-being are threatened, staying healthy and maintaining a normalcy has become increasingly challenging. It’s imperative more …
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 …
Glendale City Council members pose for a photo. From left, Barrel District Councilman Bart Turner, Vice Mayor Ray Malnar of the Sahuaro District, Yucca District Councilwoman Joyce Clark, Mayor Jerry Weiers, Cholla District Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff, Ocotillo District Councilman Jamie Aldama and Cactus District Councilman Ian Hugh. [Submitted photo]

Glendale City Council: We will not defund the police

Glendale City Council issued a joint statement Monday from the mayor and six council members that the Council has no intention of defunding the police. In the letter, Council members point to the …
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 …

Osuna: Westgate shooter is exactly why a Peoria Unified override is needed

I am in support of the recommendations the citizen’s advisory committee submitted and which subsequently were approved by the school board at the last board meeting. I concur with the recommendation of putting both a bond and an override on the November ballot.
The WHAM mobile arts studio was stolen in from the arts organization’s Surprise headquarters in April; but individual donations and financial support from other local nonprofit agencies provided the funding to replace what was taken. [Submitted photo/WHAM]

Generosity saved WHAM’s traveling arts studio

On April 5, WHAM’s Traveling Art Studio, which is used to take art to the communities of the West Valley, was stolen.
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 …

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, …
This still of a traffic camera shows traffic on Bell Road near 99th Avenue. [Submitted photo]

Rees: Arizona needs funding for infrastructure

Funding for infrastructure in Arizona has diminished significantly directly due to the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic requires an injection of federal funds to help stabilize state and local economies …
Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, watches the sunset after hiking the Siphon Draw Trail Jan. 12 at Lost Dutchman State Park in Phoenix. [Submitted photo]

Moeder: Life during a pandemic — resiliency is key

Coronavirus disease 2019 has brought fear and change into the lives of many people, including mine. However, there are things I am doing to help stay resilient during this pandemic using the four …
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 …

Burke: Recognizing Older Americans Month

With more than 80 years of service, the Social Security Administration has helped secure today and tomorrow with financial benefits, information, and tools that support you throughout life’s …
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 …
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., right, speaks with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., left, as she holds up the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act after signing it on Capitol Hill, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. The $2.2 trillion package will head to head to President Donald Trump for his signature. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Cole: Workers need protections, cheaper housing

The economic fallout of COVID-19 is huge. Millions of low-wage workers have been laid off, making it virtually impossible to pay the rent or mortgage. This can quickly lead to evictions and …
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 …

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 …
Dr. Debora McClary

McClary: What you need to know about colonoscopy and colorectal cancer screening

Colon cancer and rectal cancer; the words create fear in some, disgust in others. The colon and rectum are parts of our bodies we keep private, hidden and secret. Though none of us want to show that …

Letters: Californians are bad news

I find the influx of escapees from the sanctuary state of California to be most lamentable. California immigrants have already ruined neighboring states to the north like Washington and Oregon with …

Local Voices: What’s with all those bulldozers?

Area homeowners discuss the impact of new industrial development on their West Valley communities. So, it’s been announced that the Red Bull distribution center being built on Peoria (was …

Burhop: Be aware of voter suppression

I have lived here in Arizona a long time and seen a lot of political maneuvering. Mostly bad. Pardon my cynical attitude. The pols here have a chance for more under-handed chicanery. The 2020 …

Social Security and Women’s History Month

In March, our nation celebrates Women’s History Month. Today, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our …
Completing the Loop 101 and Loop 202 system, the South Mountain Freeway travels between Interstate 10 at the Loop 202 Santan Freeway in the East Valley and I-10 at 59th Avenue in the West Valley.

Local voices: Cheers for the new Loop 202

Area motorists discuss the opening of the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway. Read more here. Hubby and I took the 202 to Ikea yesterday. Fabulous road! — Jeanie Graham Campbell Where …

Local Voices: New rules for alcohol for clubs

Readers are debating pros and cons of new rules governing the sale of alcoholic beverages in bars and clubs around the Valley. Safe booze Oh good, I feel so much safer now that the state has …
Cactus senior quarterback Conner Cordts rushes for a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter of an Oct. 11 against Desert Edge. The score got Cactus on the board and cut The Cobras' deficit to 28-6.

Local Voices: Cactus Cobras make All West Valley football squads

Seven Cactus Cobras made West Valley Preps’ All West Valley football teams, including senior running back Anthony Flores on the first team and senior quarterback Connor Cordts on the second …

New ‘Vista’ brings culture to West Valley venue

The Vista Center for the Arts, formally known as Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, has been rebranded as the regional entertainment venue in Surprise and the West Valley.

Letters: Vets’ tax break could make money

Gov. Doug Ducey is proposing that military retirees not be required to pay income taxes on their retired pay. Great idea: It should benefit Arizona.
Daniel Adelman

Adelman, Bendor, O’Grady: Neglect of Arizona schools’ capital needs violates Constitution

School districts all over Arizona are challenged today by aging schools and inadequate funds to repair or replace them. This is a major problem for our educators and for the children they …

Smith: Dark money OK; we’re not a democracy

Attempts to outlaw “dark money” are means to suppress speech (“A light in the dark: The quest to outlaw ‘dark money,’” Page 4). It will allow Jacobin thugs …

Greschel: Need to fix hospice billing issues

As a hospice advocate, I find it troubling that patients at rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers must leave their trusted RHC/FQHC physician when they transition to …
Joe Arpaio

Arpaio: Eliminating the dangers posed by anonymous shell companies is commonsense

Under current U.S. law, when criminal organizations want to hide their money laundering and financing activities from law enforcement officials, they have the means to do so. The result is the …

Hickman: New board chairman shares vision for county

You may have heard I got a promotion of sorts; this year, I’ll be leading the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors as Chairman. In many ways, it’s like being the captain of a ship that has already charted a good course.
Glendale resident Heather Cameron’s design is adorning Christmas cards all across the U.S.

Local Voices: Glendale resident wins Christmas card contest

Christmas cards are being sent around the nation featuring the artwork of Heather Cameron, a resident of Life Care Center of North Glendale, after Ms. Cameron was one of eight winners Life Care …
Glendale Firefighter Kyle Knight, left, and Glendale Officer Ty Nowatzki were honored in November with a life safety award after they saved two men from the second floor of a burning apartment building near 59th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in September. [Submitted photo]

Local voices: First responders honored for life-saving efforts

Glendale Firefighter Kyle Knight and Glendale Officer Ty Nowatzki were honored recently with a life safety award after they saved two men from the second floor of a burning apartment building near …
A voting sign directs voters to a precinct on primary election day Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Kannarr: Politicians need reality check

I should be appalled to hear statements such as that by Terry Goddard, but I have become somewhat inured to hearing the most illogical, indeed, anti-logical, claims being made in our political …
An F-35 fighter jet is parked at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale. [Independent Newsmedia file]

Foulke: Be patient with pilots training

It is now 10:45 a.m. on a Tuesday. Several aircraft have departed from Luke Air Force Base, but it is now very quiet. I know that the noise will resume and it will be often throughout the day and …

Watson: Ducey education plan supports bright horizon for local educators

There are some big changes on the horizon for education in Maricopa County, if Gov. Ducey’s legislative agenda continues to get a good reception from our state lawmakers. Last week Gov. …
An F-35 at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale. [Independent Newsmedia file photo]

Trollen: Eventually Luke AFB noise will be unacceptable

Lately, our airspace over Sun City and Youngtown has been noisier from increased Luke Air Force Base traffic. Luke is supposed to receive more aircraft and increase their training of pilots, …
File - In this Nov. 15, 2019, file photo, Paul Petersen, an Arizona elected official accused of running a multi-state adoption scheme, leaves court following an initial appearance on charges filed in the state in Salt Lake City. A woman accused of aiding a politician in metro Phoenix in what authorities say was an illegal adoption scheme involving women from the Marshall Islands has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft charges. Lynwood Jennet admitted in court Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, that she helped arrange benefits from Arizona's Medicaid program for expecting mothers who did not reside in the state. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Copeland: Do we need a tax assessor?

The Maricopa County Assessor must have very little actual work to do if he can be gone for months while defending himself in three states on an adoption fraud issue and still there is no evidence …
Peoria High School Marching Band plays during the Hometown Christmas Parade, Saturday, Dec. 14. They received the award for Best Marching Band. [Bette Sharpe/Special to Independent Newsmedia]

Local voices: Glendale Christmas parade

Glendale’s 7th Annual Hometown Christmas Parade was a great way to get into the holiday spirit. With 134 entries to the parade, it was the largest parade in Glendale and Arizona. Watch a video …

Check out the Social Security website in 2020

Are you looking for new ways to save time this new year? Social Security offers many of its services online by signing up for a secure my Social Security account. Once you create an account, you can …
http://www.lbjlibrary.net/collections/photo-archive.html Serial Number (Please Retain for Reference): A5593-25 Date: 02/09/1968 Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto Event: Secy. Dean Rusk, Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, Secy. Robert McNamara at meeting in the Cabinet Room Description: (L-R:) Secy. Dean Rusk, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Secy. Robert McNamara Location: Cabinet Room, White House, Washington, DC Collection: White House Photo Office Rights: Public Domain: This image is in the public domain and may be used free of charge without permissions or fees.

Richards: Repeal of amendment is necessary

What is the Johnson Amendment? In 1954, Lyndon Baines Johnson as a minority leader in the U.S Senate running for re-election was successful in passing a bill that said if you want to be absolved …

Youth sports injuries can haunt you years later

If you injured yourself playing a youth sport, you could be experiencing the painful consequences of an injury that didn’t heal properly.

Local Voices: Residents react to Portillo’s, Lou Malnati’s and other restaurants heading to Glendale

Glendale is getting ready to welcome four restaurants that are well-known at other cities in the Valley: Portillo’s, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Matt’s Big Breakfast and Barrio Queen …

Health care systems are committed to keeping Arizona healthy

Our hospitals and health care professionals have served the people of Arizona in the most critical times — from your most joyful to your most frightening moments, our health systems have been with you, the people of Arizona, on your journey.
Sun City Community Assistance Network volunteers help clients with their taxes.

Duncan: Free benefits assistance interviews available in Sun City

The Mission of the Sun City Community Assistance Network is to, “Connect people with resources to enhance their standard of living.”
Attendees at a Phoenix Children's Foundation Ignite Hope event hold battery-powered candles as they walk the route to Phoenix Children's hospital. [Submitted photo]

Carlisle: Phoenix Children’s Ignite Hope event comes to the Southwest Valley

Be a light to someone going through a difficult time this holiday season and consider taking part in Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Ignite Hope walk. For the first time this year, the walk …

Local Voices: Where to camp in the winter?

Local camping enthusiasts recommend some areas for camping during the cooler months. Just moved from Indiana in March and now we are settled in we’d like to get to some camping. Where are …

Burke: Social Security benefits increase in 2020

Each year, we announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). By law, federal benefits increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price …

Young adults for common sense gun safety

We are a group of high school and college students from around the country, concerned about the ongoing gun violence epidemic in our country.