Opinions with Civility
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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.

Letters: Reader opposed to permits for free speech

The city wants citizens to get a permit for political free speech?
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.
Nancy Hayden

Hayden: District 2 Newsletter — December 2020

It has been my honor to serve the city of Surprise for the past three years. How little did I know that reaching out to serve my community would complete me.

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 …
Jeff Struble

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 …
Liz Morrison

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.
Thanks to a generous donation, Northwest Valley Connect was recently able to complete the decorative wrap on its newest transport van. [Courtesy of Northwest Valley Connect]

Chandler: Northwest Valley Connect thanks volunteers, donors

The Northwest Valley Connect Mobility Program continues to go forward with a ride solution for many seniors, people experiencing disabilities, and veterans residing independently in West Valley communities who lack access to public transportation.

Hochschartner: Calls for more cultured meat research

If Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally care about the environment, they should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For those who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from …
Regan Olsson

Olsson: Share gratitude, not COVID, this Thanksgiving

Sharing in gratitude and sitting down for a big meal may be the crux of Thanksgiving, but it could prove to be more challenging this year.

Trice: Strive to make things better for all

The familiar joke, “Why did the chicken cross the road?,” has been around for many years. It really wasn’t meant to be funny, but it did provide the answer, “To get to the …
Katy Stemple

Stemple: 5 ways to stop prediabetes in its tracks

One in three American adults have prediabetes and most don’t know they have it — the holiday season is coming and so are big meals, sweets and more.
In this Oct. 8, 2020, file photo, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks before a meeting with Romanian Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca, at the Pentagon, in Washington. President Donald Trump fired Esper Nov. 9.

Miller: Says Trump wrong to fire Esper

As a lifelong Republican, I praised President Trump’s court appointments, deregulation, and tax cuts; but I also criticized him when he was wrong on issues like tariffs and the national debt. …
Lin Sue Cooney

Cooney: Coping with loss during the holiday season

The holidays can be challenging for anyone — but that’s especially true if you are grieving the loss of a loved one. Sadness can magnify the stress of the season. Instead of excitement …

Nelson: Vaccine goes first to our first responders

I can only hope that the powers that be will make sure that first to receive the vaccine will be our first responders, EMTs, firemen, police and all medical front-line people, doctors, nurses and all …
Roy Miller

Miller: Esper firing is ominous

As a lifelong Republican, I praised President Trump’s court appointments, deregulation, and tax cuts but I also criticized him when he was wrong on issues like tariffs and the national …

Goncalves: Wants every vote counted

According to the media, Joe Biden has been elected president of the U.S. I guess I wasn’t paying attention in school because I don’t remember being taught that is the way our country …
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 …

Cowdrey: Agave, yucca not in cactus family

The agave and yucca are not cactus (“Fallen cacti in Sun Cities leaves residents concerned”); they are from the asparagaceae family, which include the lily family and also onions, leeks …

Akers: What Veterans Day means to me

Let me start out by saying that even in the veterans community there seems to be some confusion as to what makes someone a veteran. Some say you have to have completed a contract of service. Most …
Dr. Gopi Cherukuri and Dr. Emun Abdu

Doctors: Don’t let election stress lead to heart attack or stroke

Can election stress contribute to a heart attack or stroke?
Community education program manager Sulie Richardson of Desert Financial Credit Union teaches a class at St. Vincent de Paul. [Courtesy of Desert Financial Credit Union]

Richardson: Create a spending plan to take control of your finances

When you hear the word, “budget,” what does it mean to you?

Rookhuyzen: A colorful chapter in state transportation history

When you drive by a highway or interstate marker, there is comforting uniformity to them, no matter if you are driving Interstate 8, Interstate 15, State Route 92, State Route 377, U.S. 60 or U.S. 191.

Collins: Protesters are rioters

James Kepler asked several questions (“Republicans don’t want responsibility,” Daily Independent, Nov. 2, 2020), who and what can be answered in one word: Democrats! Reason you …

Calderon: Thoughts on America's sharp divide

My thoughts about the country's sharp divisions is that we've gone from political discourse to "identity politics," fueled principally by the demise of local newspapers and reporting.  How, you …

Main: Says online MVD service much faster

I started in early April stating I needed a new plate as nine years had taken the paint off my old one. As they don’t read emails, they sent the tag only. After several more unanswered …

Turner-Utz: A Republican Senate will protect Arizonans’ quality of life

Arizona voters have two historic choices to make this November. The presidential election is the marquee event. But the U.S. Senate race is equally important. We need to think strategically, because …

Smith: Community park needs cleanup first

I’m new to Arizona and was pleased to find a park about one-fourth mile away, the Surprise Community Park near City Hall. The park overall is well taken care of. However, when the water is …
Kimberly Yee

Yee: Arizona’s economic future is on the line in this election

For countless Arizona voters, this presidential election is not a referendum on President Trump and his political beliefs — it is a vote to preserve our economic prosperity. Arizona voters …
Dr. Cara Christ

Christ: School benchmarks update highlights state-counties partnership

As a mom of young kids attending in-person learning, nothing is more important to me than the health of our kids and the safety of our schools. Close coordination across the public health system and …

Collins: Calls ad’s fact-checker partisan

I believe Jayne Smith forgot to disclose that Biden will cancel President Trump’s tax cuts for middle-income wage earners via payroll taxes (“Calls out falsehoods in TV ads,” Daily …
Katt McKinney

Stop Arizona police brutality, debate Sen. Tim Scott’s bill

By many accounts, Black Lives Matter is the largest protest movement in U.S. history.

Kvaran: Calls for democracy, not division

Rich Andrews’ latest letter to the editor (“Hopes for close election, more division,” Daily Independent, Oct. 22, 2020) was horrifying to me. Not only does Andrews clearly feel that …
Julie Gunnigle

Gunnigle: Brewer wrong about what county needs

Following her continuous string of nationally embarrassing comments, former Gov. Jan Brewer has decided to weigh in on the Maricopa County Attorney’s race — I wear her non-endorsement as a badge of pride.
Jan Brewer

Brewer: Adel best choice for Maricopa County Attorney

My entire career, I have been committed to the safety and well-being of our children. It is critical that we have leaders at every level of government who are committed to the rule of law and …

Smith: Calls out falsehoods in TV ads

I recently received a mass mailing paid for by the Arizona Republican Party. It stated, “Under Biden’s tax plan, 82% or Americans would face higher taxes.” I went to …
Aspens in fall colors attract leaf peepers at Aspen Corner on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff. [Steve Chernek/Independent Newsmedia]

ADOT: Stay safe while out finding fall in Arizona

Ahh ... autumn in Arizona. The frost is on the pumpkin, a chill is in the air and sweaters are acceptable fashion. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

Bradford: Opposes Medicare for All plans

When it comes to health care, most Arizonans want the same thing: lower costs, improved access and higher quality. That’s why I cannot understand how anyone could support a …

Knecht: Voters deserve civil dialogue, integrity

You deserve representatives who run on their merit.
Seema Verma

It’s time to review your Medicare coverage

Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment season is underway, and I want to encourage all people with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage.

Gallagher: Businesses should have solar power

I’m just curious if anyone has looked into why the city of Surprise does not use solar panels in their businesses? The schools have them, but we all know why. Why not the businesses? For …
Ben Toma

Toma: Why universal vote-by-mail is a solution in search of a problem

Mail voting is a popular mechanism for casting a ballot in the western U.S. Prior to 2020, of the states that mailed ballots directly to voters who had not requested them, many were Arizona’s …

Lux: Questions ‘packed’ high court

In response to Rich Andrews letter (“Calls for confirmation for Barrett,” Daily Independent, Oct. 22, 2020), you believe Congress electing, or more accurately placing, Judge Barrett on …

Payne: Don’t let them ‘California’ our Arizona

We’re seeing millions of dollars flow into Arizona campaigns from California in an effort to change our Legislature and state policies to mirror California’s. Given California’s …

Broyles: Calls out division, animosity

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nation as divided as ours, which only benefits our adversaries and enemy nations alike. This has become an “uncivil” war, with President Trump …
Glenn Hamer

Hamer: I endorse Schweikert for U.S. House

I am proud to endorse Rep. David Schweikert to represent Arizona’s 6th Congressional District.
Joe Freeman

Freeman: I support Tipirneni for Congressional District 6

Arizonans are already casting their ballots, and voters in Arizona’s 6th Congressional District have a special opportunity this election cycle to send a fresh voice — Hiral …
Amy Coney Barrett

Andrews: Calls for confirmation of Barrett

I hope we soon see Amy Coney Barrett confirmed as an associate justice on our nation’s highest court. She then will be the third justice placed on the court of last resort by our president. …
Mary Kathleen Honne

Honne: Vote to restore integrity, accountability to Legislature

Mary Kathleen Honne is a lifelong Arizonan who grew up in Southern Arizona and has been married to her high school sweetheart for 27 years.
Wendy Garcia

Garcia: I will work only for you in Legislative District 22

Dear Northwest Valley neighbor: My name is Wendy Garcia. I am an experienced radio news director and the mother of two. I founded Indivisible Surprise and helped organize Save Our Schools locally. …

Wagner: Makes plea to vote against Cali liberals

I spent most of my life in California and never thought I would leave. But I left for good in 2016 simply because the liberal, one-party state government drove me out. If you have never lived in a …

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 …
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?

Megee: Why don't more people wear masks?

In reply to the comment by Paul Playford (“Too many ignore mask mandates,” Daily Independent, Oct. 12, 2020), we have to agree with him and his wife regarding the lack of people wearing …
Michael Muscato

Muscato: I am accountable to serve you in CD8

Arizona’s Congressional District 8 has a unique historical opportunity to elect a congressman born and raised in this district. This isn’t an election between a Republican and a Democrat; it’s an election between a career politician and one of our own.

Lux: Calls Kirby’s commentary claims ‘untrue’

In response to Pam Kirby’s recent commentary (“We must reopen schools to protect our children’s future,” Daily Independent, Oct. 14, 2020), I’d like to offer a few …

McKinney: Stop Arizona police brutality, debate Sen. Tim Scott’s bill

In July, Phoenix police officers opened fire on James Porter Garcia as he sat in his parked car. Witnesses captured the fatal shooting on video. Following Garcia’s death, dozens of …
Anthony Kern

Kern: Opposes propositions 207, 208 for Arizona

As Arizona leaves the summer heat behind, we are headed into the heat of the 2020 election.

Goncalves: What has happened to civility?

I just returned from the Sun City West Post Office where I was attacked verbally because I have a Trump 2020 magnet on my car. As I was about to get into my car, a woman stopped her car in back of …
Pam Kirby

Kirby: We must reopen schools to protect our children’s future

While Democrats favor political games over the education of children across the nation, President Trump has unapologetically fought for the well-being of our students to safely return to school.

Lux: Wear masks to help stop pandemic

Herman Cain caught the virus at Trump’s Tulsa rally and died. Four people from Trump’s Minnesota rally caught the virus, three are in the hospital, one on a ventilator. And Trump’s …

Tyree: I am committed to serving you in Arizona Senate

Neighbors and friends, my name is Sarah Tyree and I want to earn your vote to be the next state senator for Legislative District 22.

Bale: Supports marijuana legalization

I see all the signs opposing the legalization of marijuana, mostly misleading. Colorado has shown that teen use was down, impaired driving was down and state coffers up after legalization. Facts are: …

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. …

Boyer: Our community safety now jeopardized

After talking to residents across Phoenix and Glendale, the one thing I hear most is they want safe neighborhoods and safe communities.

Ervin: I’ll work to bring bipartisan solutions

I am running for State Senator to bring these desperately needed values to our Legislature to forge bipartisan solutions to the issues our state is facing and help the working families of Arizona.

Quinn: Wild horses, burros need protection

I am writing to you today to save our American wild horses and burros. The American wild horses and burros are on public land where they belong. The welfare rancher’s cattle belong on their …

Knecht: I will work hard to improve our communities

These are tough times — for everyone. Nothing seems normal. It feels like the earth is shifting beneath our feet every day.

Pingerelli: Unwavering commitment to my constituents

This election is consequential and requires a thoughtful analysis of candidates before we cast our ballots.

Lux: Check out groundbreaking tech — masks

My fellow Americans, Amazon has a product that zaps the COVID-19 virus, the cold virus, and even the flu virus! It keeps the virus that floats in the air like dust from entering your body, and …

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.

Ladera: Calls out campaign sign theft

On Friday, while waiting to make a left turn off of Brookside onto Del Webb, I witnessed a guy on his golf car park at the center divider, who got out and grabbed the Biden-Harris sign that was there …

Bialek: Says Trump has failed, hails Biden

President Trump, you have had almost four years to lead the United States and have failed us by your own choosing. Whether it be in foreign policy and domestic policy, you have not protected the …

With biomedical research, taxpayers getting a great deal

Gilead Sciences’ novel drug remdesivir has shown immense promise for treating coronavirus. Yet every time a company develops a promising drug, some policymakers call for the government to take control of the compound in question.

Hawn: Election makes residents keep to themselves

As a Sun City West resident for 29 years, I’m deeply troubled by the direction we’re heading and it’s getting worse with each day’s front-page headline. We’ve become …

Whitehead: Removing Scottsdale’s mask mandate was illogical

Scottsdale’s facemask mandate saved lives and the economy without any associated costs and is still needed today. This past June, as coronavirus cases spiraled out of control, Mayor Jim …
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