Opinions with Civility
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Rigler: Foodborne illness affects 1 in 6 Americans

We’ve all had those times when our stomach doesn’t feel just right, often after eating. And often, that stomachache is no more than minor discomfort that lasts just a short time.

Zebrowski: Bringing behavioral health into the spotlight

Behavioral health has always been as important as physical health, and the COVID-19 pandemic brought it out of the shadows and into the spotlight. The tight relationship between behavioral and …

Comage-Trower: Children are battling with suicidal ideology, self-harm

When we picture children, we conjure images of toys, laughter, running carefree through school playgrounds and huddling close together with friends to share jokes and show off new light-up sneakers. …

Pacey: ADOT specialty license plates earn millions for Arizona charities

The numbers are in and here’s a list of the top-10 most popular specialty license plates in Arizona for fiscal year 2021, which ran from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.

Poverty got worse in 2020 as low-wage workers took brunt of economic blows

Poverty in the U.S. increased in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic hammered the economy and unemployment soared. Those at the bottom of the economic ladder were hit hardest, new figures confirm, suggesting that the recession may have widened the gap between the rich and the poor.

Copeland: Our federal government must stop all the spending

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that by the end of October 2021, the United States government could run out of money, yet the Biden administration seems intent on adding more than $3 …

Question of the Day: Where were you during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001?

As was reported in the Daily Independent newspaper, infections and hospitalizations are on the rise as the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus continues to surge in Arizona. Meanwhile,  …

Nonpartisan Cartoons

Nonpartisan Cartoons

The Daily Independent at YourValley.net does not take political positions. We publish political cartoons because we know readers enjoy them, and we try to present a balanced variety of opinions. We …
Your Valley Voices

Harvey: 9/11 brought tears, fears with tragedy 20 years ago

Re: “Where were you when the world stopped on 9/11?,” Surprise Independent, Sept. 8, 2021: I was in Concord, California, 25 miles east of San Francisco. My sister woke me up and we …

McCreery: Support small businesses, it’s our collective responsibility

National Small Business Week is a time to celebrate entrepreneurs and small business owners all across the country.

Tramel: Alzheimer’s -- The horrible disease of the stolen person

If you have experienced a loved one being taunted by this horrible disease, then you may understand the struggles and the difficulty it takes to care for someone with this neurodegenerative disorder. …

Brophy McGee: Health care solutions require leadership, a bipartisan approach

Health care is a complex issue, and solutions that improve access to quality care at a lower cost must be carefully constructed. Real, lasting change with minimal to zero unintended consequences …
Marian McGill

McGill: Golf is changing and clubs must follow

Two of the biggest topics buzzing around our industry these days are the resurgence of golf and how to make the sport, and private golf clubs, more inclusive. Our core demographic is changing and if …

Rasmussen: Masking, vaccination are personal choices

I believe in American values, especially freedom of choice. I cherish my personal freedoms, especially when it comes to my body. I choose not to be vaccinated. What is the purpose of vaccinations? To prevent the inoculated from contracting an unwanted disease or infection. So, why are the vaccinated so afraid of the unvaccinated? The logic escapes me.

Rigler: Prepare to protect your family from potential emergencies

September — before the weather turns to winter in the high country and outdoor activities resume in the deserts — is the perfect time to prepare for disasters that can happen at any time. …

Herrington: The CDC’s COVID-19 toolkit helps those with disabilities stay safe

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a toolkit to help those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as their caregivers, learn how to guard against …

Bliven: I’m upset Sen. Fann ‘shading’ Arizona audit truth

Every day I’m more upset by the reporting in the press about the mess of the Arizona Senate’s audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County. Enough, already. One minute …

Konopko: Writer provided no evidence for vaccine claims

The writer in the opinion section (“Reader wants vaccine death figures,” Sun City West Independent, Sept. 1, 2021) stated, “I would like to know how many unfortunate Sun City West …

Hickman: Remembering the 9/11  attacks and lawmakers' heroism

Twenty years ago, as the nightmare of 9/11 unfolded, a World War II veteran from Arizona found himself inside the U.S. Capitol with a critical decision to make. Bob Stump is a name you might recall if you’ve lived here awhile and you may even see his name on your commute if you ever take the Loop 303.
Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia

Whitehead: Never forget Sept. 11, 2001

The best way for Americans to honor those lost on 9/11, is to get along. We need to stop quibbling and start listening to Mom. “Be nice” even if someone else isn’t because …

Fray: Let’s mask up in Arizona schools to keep us safe from COVID-19

I am an eighth-grader at Ira Murphy Elementary and I believe masks should be required in schools. When I got to my first math class this year, I felt anxious and unsafe. No one was social distancing. There were 32 kids in the classroom and seven were wearing masks. I sat next to two kids, two feet away, and both were unmasked. No one even cared.

Copeland: Enough of these unsolicited political phone calls

I wonder if anyone else besides me is fed up with getting political calls on their telephone? In the early days, when these first started as “town halls,” where you could ask questions …

Haber: Sen. Boyer has betrayed Legislative District 20's voters on COVID issue

Paul Boyer would have us believe he is a champion of the most vulnerable among us: our children. He would have us believe that he is a moderate within his party. And yet, he voted for House Bill 2892, which prohibits public schools from requiring students and staff to wear masks during a rapidly worsening pandemic.

'Get out now' – Inside the White House on 9/11, according to those who were there

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, I anticipated a busy but relatively calm day at the White House. I was the special assistant to the president for management and administration, and President George W. Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, promoting the No Child Left Behind legislation. The senior official in the White House was Vice President Dick Cheney.

Kirschner: Our memories of tragedy, friendship 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attack

It has been 20 years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and we all have memories of that day that are still vivid. Let me tell you our story. It was a lovely day in London on 9/11, and Peggy and I were preparing to return home after a two-week stay in the UK.

Herrington: COVID-19 vaccination helps protect kids, CDC report says

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released [last week] offers more evidence that vaccinating as many eligible people as possible against COVID-19 is a critical part of protecting kids from infection and severe illness.

ADOT: Don’t ‘fall’ into road trip complacency as autumn arrives in Arizona

State Route 177Ah, the old summer road trip to the high country in Arizona. Cruising along in an air conditioned vehicle, watching the desert landscape transition to golden (and sometimes green) grasslands or chaparral before the forest beckons.

Goncalves: All these bad things happened since Biden took office

Since Biden has been in office the following has occurred: Price of gas up; Price of groceries up; Taxes up; Violent jihadis now possess billions of dollars of our weaponry; Borders …
Laura Sullivan

Sullivan: Make a difference with Jack Sullivan Foundation for Life and Learning

My oldest son Jack is 22 and has profound autism. I am his voice and I type these words on his behalf. Although he is a fantastic typist — and addicted to his computer and Kindle — he is …

Richards: What about preserving our sensitive Arizona desert?

The Hawes Trail System in Mesa is a win for mountain bikers but a loss for our Sonoran Desert and its unique plants and animals. Sixty-two miles of trails have carved up 10 square miles of the Tonto …

Nelson: Here are my names for some of our government leaders

At the top of the current U.S. government are three nursery rhyme type leaders: Winken, the Vice President Blinken, the Secretary of State Nod, the president How can any citizen or …

Woods: Closing the pandemic canyon for students and educators

Our education system has had for years glaring inadequacies that were ripped open by the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve been both a successful administrator and teacher and have worked in many educational settings, from traditional brick-and-mortar public and charter schools as well as virtual schools.

Kush: Arizona cities must make inclusive housing decisions

An article published by the Wall Street Journal less than two months ago revealed that the United States is millions of housing units behind current demand. In Arizona, this translates to a pre-pandemic need of 230,000 new units with the majority of the need in Maricopa County.

Case: Arizona election laws are unfair to independent voters

In Arizona, independent voters account for almost a third of all voters. Many of these voters, out of principle, choose not to affiliate with a political party and choose not to participate in any …
Lisa Sanor

Sanor: Supervisors should not refuse $3.4M federal grant

The callous indifference for Pinal County’s most at-risk communities for contacting COVID-19 was exhibited by a recent 3-2 vote by the board of supervisors against accepting a federal $3.4 …

Mix: Celebrate a milestone for worker freedom this Labor Day

On Labor Day 2021, we should celebrate the dedication and resilience of the working men and women who helped us get through the challenges of the past year. And, as a resident of Arizona, you can celebrate the fact that your state and 26 other right-to-work states across the country are now home to a majority of America’s working people.

D'Asaro: Labor Day was brought to you by the Labor Movement

This year, Labor Day takes on a whole new meaning for our labor movement as workers continue to fight for dignity and respect in the workplace, all while providing essential services on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also seen employers’ true colors through our global health crisis.

Dunlap: Aiming for 50%: How do we get more women into STEM fields?

When the “It was never a dress” image first appeared, I was thrilled. I found it so inspiring. But after some further thought I realized, it’s truly alright if it actually was a …

Tynan: Are jury trials going extinct amidst plea deals?

The American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. The lawsuit alleges the MCAO threatens those it arrests for criminal drug or lower-level felonies with “substantially harsher” prosecution to pressure them to plea bargain, i.e. plead guilty, rather than exercise their right to a jury trial.

Mitzner: Just ‘think about' preventing flu and coronavirus delta variant

Time to think about getting your flu shot. It may be early for some of us, but nothing is normal these days.

Miller: To be honest, maybe we should just all be honest all the time

How many times have you heard someone begin answering a question by saying “Well, to be honest” or “in all candor” or something similar? The only logical interpretation of such a response is that the person is not normally honest but will make an exception for this question.

Wesner: Senators’ bill would bolster business, local journalism

A little-noticed initiative by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and five other senators would boost local jobs, accelerate sales and improve economies. The Local Journalism …

Superintendent: Pooled testing the right approach for Roosevelt schools

As Arizona parents and families have gotten back to school, one thing educators don’t want them to have to worry about is the health and safety of their kids in the classroom. That is why we at Roosevelt School District are so optimistic about the newly approved pooled-testing program for COVID-19.

Burczewski: Story advocating for raise in pay for city manager?

I don’t subscribe, but this publication was put into my mailbox. I saw this story (“5 in city government paid $140K-plus: Records reveal Apache Junction’s top 25 highest-paid …

Cantor: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who are the fakest Republicans of them all?

What the heck happened to the Republican Party? Why have some of these people who are of above-average intelligence, given up governance for political gamesmanship? Why have they so willingly …

Vargo: Was electric-car business in state plan for land near Gold Canyon?

After reading your article (“Gold Canyon residents reject state land plans,” a cover story in the September 2021 issue), I thought there was more to the state land sale in Gold …

Even with the eviction moratorium, landlords continued to find ways to kick renters out

 Millions of renters in the U.S. lost a key protection keeping them in their homes on Aug. 26, 2021, with a Supreme Court ruling ending a national moratorium on eviction.

Hickman: Join us for online Maricopa County precinct boundaries meeting

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will be considering precinct changes next month, prior to the Oct. 1, 2021, deadline. Over the next several months, Maricopa County will be entering a busy …

Chairman Sellers: Here’s how Maricopa County is allocating American Rescue Plan funds

As chairman of the Board of Supervisors, I’ve made it clear that to secure a brighter future for our county, we don’t just need to beat the pandemic, we also need to put into place …
Fire Chief Tom Shannon

Shannon: Reflecting on work done, work yet to do post 9/11

On this 20th anniversary of the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, I am reminded of the selfless contributions that shaped the nations response to Americans in need. All of us have our own 9/11 story, we …

Glaus: Together we can help ‘#StopSuicide’

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a time for each of us to reach out to those around us and take steps to prevent suicide. The American Foundation for Suicide …

Gates: As COVID-19 delta variant spreads in Maricopa County, get vaccinated ‘ASAP’

All COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be highly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Last week, the FDA gave a new level of approval to the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 16 and up. If you have been hesitant in the past about the vaccine, I hope this new level of assurance will be the encouragement needed for you to get the vaccine.

Can teens get vaccinated against their parents' will? It depends on where they live

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone aged 12 and up. And yet, 12- to 15-year olds are the least vaccinated age group in the country, with 1 in 3 having received one dose and just 1 in 4 being fully vaccinated – about half the rate of the population as a whole.
Rep. David Cook

Rep. Cook: We need to meet future water, power, infrastructure needs

Over the last five years, Arizona has been capitalizing on a lot of “ups” — fix up, patch up and catch up — and we have made some significant work to build out our …

Betz: Much praise for the previous president’s accomplishments

Letter submitted by Julee Betz of Sun City Betz: Much praise for the previous president’s accomplishments Thank you, President Trump, for your America-first spirit and …

Sen. Boyer: Our Arizona senators are right about preserving the filibuster

In a republic like ours, the decisions our leaders make can have significant impacts on the lives of everyday citizens, which is why it’s critical that our laws undergo rigorous debate. …

Penner: We all miss the late, great Sen. John McCain

The late Republican Arizona Senator and presidential candidate John McCain, born on August 29, 1936, was always a breath of fresh air. What you see is what you got with the “Straight Talk …

Murphy: An ode to the city regarding the Coyotes' home arena in Glendale

Glendale, Oh Glendale. I dislike you, you stink! I wish I could Zamboni you right under the rink! I will avoid all your concerts, businesses, greed and hot air... But I still love …
June Marie Russo and David Czaplicki

Russo, Czaplicki: Gold Canyon Strong supports health, wellness

Gold Canyon Strong celebrated its one-year anniversary in August. We’re becoming known as a group that brings sunshine to Gold Canyon by offering the community several events each month, …

Shinkoskey: Safety from Delta variant worth ‘two seconds of freedom’

I think of the hundreds of millions of earthlings who suffered unspeakable deaths from ravages of smallpox, bubonic plague, yellow fever, polio, AIDS, and dozens of other viral killers. What would …

Lynch: It’s time for Congress legalize marijuana federally

As a proud Arizona conservative, I did not support the legalization of cannabis when it came up for a vote last year. The Arizona voters, however, sent a loud-and-clear message, and the measure …

Miller: More traffic cameras needed for public safety

Regarding the much-hated and often-vilified speed cameras and traffic cameras, the problem exists, as it does with many problems, because the government owns the roads. As a way of deciding whether …

Way: Sun City Elks need your help to help Gila Bend storm victims

You have probably heard that Gila Bend was devastated by flooding over the past weekend. Exalted Ruler Michelle Gibbons of Gila Bend Lodge No. 2089 has requested help for the community.

Fire chief & captain: Defund our Police? We say defend our police

Firefighters are built for caring and coming to the aid of those who are in need. It’s in our DNA. Sadly, our preeminent partners in public safety, our law enforcement brothers and sisters, are in need of meaningful support these days.

Question of the Day: Should Maricopa County officials obey Arizona Senate election audit subpoenas?

As was reported at YourValley.net, Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued a decision regarding Maricopa County’s refusal to hand over routers, passwords and other items the Senate says it needs to complete the unprecedented partisan review of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona.

Equal rights: Why we celebrate Women’s Equality Day on August 26 each year

When the Constitution was adopted “We the People of the United States…” did not include women. Women could not vote and had no existence in the Constitution. At the 1848 …

Doctor: Extra vaccine dose may help most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, illness

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended on Aug. 12 and Aug. 13, 2021, respectively, that people who are moderately to severely …

Evander: As history foretells, failure in Afghanistan inevitable

Our effort to democratize Afghanistan and give all citizens the freedoms we enjoy was noble. Our men and women of the armed forces fought bravely, sacrificing everything to help ensure a lasting …

Kvaran: I have concerns about Arizona's political redistricting process

It seems to me the Arizona election auditors know how everyone in Maricopa County voted. Every ballot has a number on it and they know who received and cast that ballot. If the purpose of the audit …

Kern: Phoenix misinterpreted FAA data on flight paths

In a recent article in the Independent, reporter Mark Carlisle wrote about the city of Phoenix warning the FAA not to reopen the Implementation Agreement between the two parties to address the City …

Derouin: Let’s make downtown Scottsdale great again!

Mayor Ortega wraps himself in virtue when speaking about Scottsdale’s downtown. His motives, interests and alliances, however, need to be understood. Downtown Scottsdale consists of about …

What FDA’s vaccine approval does if it’s already authorized for emergency use

Thirty percent of unvaccinated American adults say they’re waiting for the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use to be officially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug …

Women's Watch: How women researchers led vaccine development through crisis

There are many outstanding research teams worldwide responsible for the development of the vaccines, but two heroines stand out among them — Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett led the Moderna team and …
Andrew J. Kuzyk

Kuzyk: Mesa resident rescues abandoned desert tortoises

In most cases, a pet dog or cat will do just fine. But, how about adopting a pet that could live for 100 years or longer?“Kuzyk Turtle Rescue” is providing good forever homes for …

Doctor: Face masks needed in schools as coronavirus delta variant spreads

On Monday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled the Arizona law banning COVID-19 mask mandates in schools is not yet in effect and Phoenix Union High School District could continue requiring …

Stanton: Ducey’s 'irresponsible' order puts AZ's children in danger

U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton (D–Dist. 9) issued this letter on Tuesday to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in response to a statement from Gov. Doug Ducey, in which the governor said schools that …

County Recorder: Let's do this right. Let's build confidence. Let's move forward.

I didn't want to be in the spotlight. Truly. I ran on the platform of making the "Maricopa County Recorder's Office Boring Again." I sought to competently, fairly, lawfully, and quietly manage the …
Litchfield Park resident Leonard Kirschner stands near the James A. Garfield National Historic Site marker. (Submitted photo)

Kirschner: Learning U.S. starts with presidential sites

If you want to understand the history of the United States, you must study the leaders we have elected as president. We are fortunate that we can visit and learn of their successes and failures by …

Question of the Day: Should school districts make their own mask rules?

As was reported in the Daily Independent newspaper, infections and hospitalizations are on the rise as the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus continues to surge in Arizona. Meanwhile,  …

Why did House Republicans just vote against expanded child tax credits?

This week, hundreds of thousands of Arizona families will feel some much-needed relief as the second round of monthly Child Tax Credit payments hit bank accounts and mailboxes across the state. The …

Pickering: Listen to Republican Arnie on mask wearing

Listen up, Republican “girlie men.” The Republican former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger made the following public statement directed at you foolish, selfish, anti-science …

Storms: Arizona needs more independent legislators

Good letters [and Valley Voices] in the paper by Venice (“Responds to accusations against liberals,” Daily Independent, Aug. 10, 2021) and Morien (“Not done yet, reply …

Orwell remains relevant 75 years after ‘Animal Farm’ first published

Seventy-five years ago, in August 1946, George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was published in the United States. It was a huge success, with over a half-million copies sold in its first …

Livengood: Our freedoms come with responsibilities

The reason we wear masks is twofold: to protect you from others and to protect others from you. It’s the same reason we have stop signs at intersections, so that you don’t run into …

But it’s a dry heat: 4 ways warming climate hurts the Arizona economy

But it’s a dry heat: 4 ways warming climate hurts the economy Summer 2021 will likely be one of the hottest on record as dozens of cities in the West experience all-time high temperatures. …

Firefighters often suffer silently from trauma and job-related stress

Matthew was exposed to unimaginable scenes of pain and suffering in his job over more than a decade as a firefighter. The last straw came when he witnessed the death of a teenager — who was the …

Lockett: Electronic billboards plan for Loop 303 ‘appalling’

I was alarmed when I read your article (“Surprise considers electronic billboard," Sun City West Independent, Aug. 4, 2021) regarding the “flipping” billboard Boulevard Media …

Hinchman: Looking for compassion within the social divide COVID-19 chiseled

When asked to write an op-ed on COVID-19 as not only a medical provider, but a parent of an SUSD child, my first thought was to gather all the data and facts I could surrounding the pandemic in …

Emotions make risk assessment tough, especially during a deadly pandemic

People tend to overestimate or underestimate risk. The pandemic brings this into stark relief. Picture someone wearing an N95 mask while walking their dog through a deserted park. Contrast that with …

Kraft: We must collaborate on combatting climate change

Our society is at a cross roads when it comes climate change. Do we continue to think about our individual needs or do we think about the collective good for our community, country and world? With …
Pam Burks

Burks: ‘People power’ stopped recent land grab in Gold Canyon

Save the Superstition Mountain wilderness. Stop the reclassification of the Pinal County comprehensive plan from being changed from residential to employment of 11,700 acres of Arizona State Trust …

Considerations for Arizona employers on COVID-19 vaccine mandates

In Arizona, a number of hospital systems have instituted policies requiring their employees to be vaccinated by Nov. 1. While there have been no known legal challenges to these policies, courts in …

Question of the Day: Should students wear face masks?

In the news article, “Three Arizona universities announce mask mandates for students, staff,” published on Thursday, Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services reported: All three of the …

Wheat: President’s response to Cuomo scandal hypocrisy

Please tell me how the president can tell Gov. Cuomo to step down because of charges of sexual harassment when he himself has been accused several times of sexual harassment, but being the president, …

Nahass: You know we’re in a desert, right?

In the Aug. 4 edition of the Sun City West Independent, there was a picture of 500 homes being built in Peoria, just a portion of the 2,600 planned. This follows the recent opening in Vistancia, plus …

Venice: Accusations against liberals unreasonable

Regarding Neil Barwick’s recent letter (“Claims other side has no morals,” YourValley.net, Aug. 5, 2021), it seems to me that you described the “conservatives” not the …

Kvaran: New school genocide curriculum law hypocritical

After reading, and then rereading your July 31 article, “Scottsdale schools add new antisemitic awareness class to curriculum,” I learned that Arizona law House Bill 2241 stipulates that …

Marsh: 4 back-to-school tips for keeping kids healthy

Back-to-school season is finally here. As many students return to in-person classrooms after a far-from-normal school year last year, parents may be concerned about contagious germs that kiddos …

Women’s Watch: Women scientists developed COVID-19 vaccine

Future writers of the global COVID-19 pandemic will have vast amounts of stories to tell. Included in the stories will be the thousands of women scientists who helped develop the COVID-19 vaccine in …

Bialek: Sen. Sinema must be defeated in her next Senate primary

Sen. Sinema, this issue really takes the cake and the article really [annoys me]. How do the voters of Arizona consider you a Democrat? You are more of DINO (Democrat in name only). And now the …

Pickering: It's time for you to get a new name, too, Atlanta Braves

Hello Cleveland! Thanks for finally doing the right thing by grudgingly ditching your city’s Major League Baseball franchise name, the Indians, at the end of the 2021 MLB season. Yes, the …

Hochschartner: Arizona's senators should foster cultured-meat research

I imagine Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, like most people, want to leave a legacy of some kind. They can do this by supporting federal funding for open-access cultured-meat research. For …

Barwick: Claims other side in politics has no morals

I have been asked why liberals seem to have an advantage over conservatives when it comes to politics. Liberals seem to do whatever they please even if it is illogical. For example, they are the …

Burhop: Don’t be lazy; just do some actual research

Without being accusatory, I ask the question: Are Americans inherently lazy? I’m not referring to work ethic. Americans are among the hardest working people in the world. I’m talking …

Rep. Kavanagh: Arizona's legislative session produced significant accomplishments

The 2021 session of the Arizona Legislature was one of the most productive sessions I have experienced in my 15 years serving you as both your state senator and state representative. The session …

Goncalves: Infrastructure bill proves Washington, D.C. 'broken,' needs 'repair'

Here we go again … Chuck Schumer has introduced a $1 trillion infrastructure bill containing 2,700 pages. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act was brought to the floor by Speaker of the House …

Windsor: Follow the money on Arizona election audit

Hopefully, the readers of the Daily Independent took the time to read and scrutinize two recent articles in the July 30 edition. The first being “Trump supporters raise $5.6 million for …

How years of fighting every wildfire helped fuel the Western megafires of today

After so many smoke-filled summers and record-setting burns, residents of Western North America are no strangers to wildfires. Still, many questions are circulating about why forest fires are …
Jeff Serdy

Serdy: State land amendment withdrawn for property east of Gold Canyon

By now, you may know that the Arizona State Land Department’s intent to put up for auction 11,700 acres has been withdrawn at this time. While no concrete reason was given, I speculate that …

Klapp: Policies that limit Scottsdale patients’ access to innovative healthcare should be rejected

Reducing out-of-pocket prescription medication costs is of extreme importance for patients in our medical system in Scottsdale and in Arizona. Tackling skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs is …
Work crews remove rubberized asphalt as part of the 10 Broadway Curve reconstruction in this undated file photo.

Rubberized asphalt removal: Interstate 10 Broadway Curve reconstruction under way

It’s go time! If you’ve noticed things are starting to look a little different on Interstate 10 in the Southeast Valley, you’re not alone. Crews have started the first phase of work …

Sellers: AZ GOP denying reality with election ‘audit’

It has now been 10 months since the November 2020 election, yet the Arizona Senate Republican leadership continues to deny reality. The election held in Maricopa County was one of the best run …

LeBreck: Save the Superstition Mountain wilderness

I am reaching out to you today regarding the Arizona State Land Trust’s decision to sell 11,700 acres of pristine desert land in Gold Canyon at the foothills of the Superstition …
Roberta Russell

Russell: Preserve natural beauty of Apache Junction, Gold Canyon

Pinal County major comprehensive plan amendment No. PZ-PA-006-21 is bad for Apache Junction and Gold Canyon. It would change an area of 11,700 acres at the base of the Superstition Mountains along …
Chris Judd

Chris Judd: District 6 Newsletter — August 2021

Water conservation rebates are now available for eligible Surprise residents.

Wolf: Posse needs more recognition

This is in response to Diana Graettinger about Posse (“Posse patrols enhanced with 3 areas”). I’m writing because I want to express appreciation. Your article made me realize …
Jon Riches

Riches: A state solution to the administrative state

A new paper out today from the Goldwater Institute argues that state legislatures can and should play a role in reducing the power of the administrative state through laws that ensure the judiciary remains fair, impartial and independent when deciding cases involving administrative agencies.

Amiri: When it comes to DACA, it’s time for Congress to do the right thing

The latest domino in the DACA saga fell when Judge Andrew Hannen out of the Southern District of Texas ruled that the DACA program was unlawful, immediately halting the processing of an estimated …

Carter: Article gave lots of coyote facts

I read your recent article (“Coyotes infiltrate neighborhood”). Ironically, just one week before reading it, I took a tour at the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center in Scottsdale. …
Jennifer A. Jones

Jones: 4 ways volunteering can be good for you

Volunteering tends to benefit the volunteers themselves in at least four different ways.

Mishra: What is a breakthrough infection?

If you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, maybe you figured you no longer need to worry about contracting the coronavirus.

Copeland: Calls for new candidate for 2024 election

Regarding the recent article, (“AP FACT CHECK: Proven falsehoods retold at event,” YourValley.net, July 26, 2021), I voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020, but I’ve heard the …

Harding: SR 89 renamed in honor of Granite Mountain Hotshots

A 56-mile stretch of State Route 89 between Wickenburg and Chino Valley was recently renamed the “Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Highway” in honor of the brave firefighters who were lost battling the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.
Dr. Darren Wethers

Wethers: With health screenings, timing is everything

Now it is time to catch up on critical health screenings and preventive health visits that have been suspended or delayed due to the pandemic.

Mierzwinski: Tips for consumers using payment apps

The odds are high that you or someone you know have turned to using digital payment apps, such as Venmo, Cash App or Zelle. Originally marketed as a way for friends to split expenses, a 2020 …

Sinclair: Interesting to see how Sun City board functions

Interesting story (“McAdam gets boot from board,” Sun City Independent, July 7, 2021) on how the Recreation Centers of Sun City board functions. A duly elected board member disagrees …
Sue Wilson

Wilson: There is still plenty to do in Sun City

Summer is upon us once again. Before I retired from education back in the Midwest, summer meant great weather and time to spend with my sons. Summer still means staying active, but in Arizona it …

Brczki: Reader does not appreciate July 4 noise

I want to thank the 80-plus-year-old grandparents whose grandchildren came once again to our street to set off 4-plus hours of firecrackers. I can see that the grandparents have not taught these …

Messenger: Wi-Fi should flow just like water

More than 21 million Americans lack a reliable internet connection, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Koll: Drivers getting worse in Valley

Since I have driven most of the Valley roads, driver infractions are becoming all too common. I first must say from observation that “red lights, stop signs, signaling and speed limit …
Kerry Jackson

Jackson/Winegarden: How to avoid a looming homelessness crisis

Homelessness is a growing problem in virtually every state. Nowhere is it more pressing than in California, which in the past three years spent more than $13 billion, roughly $30,000 annually for …
Myra Garcia

Garcia: Help food bank stop 2021 summer hunger

This summer will present a huge challenge to the Superstition Community Food Bank, a non-profit organization that for the past 40 years has provided food and other necessities to struggling families …
Rodney E. Rohde

Rohde: US is split between the vaccinated and unvaccinated

In recent weeks, one piece of data has gotten a lot of attention: 99.5% of all the people dying from COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated

Stratton: Hedge funds work for Arizona

In a state as big as Arizona, it’s no surprise that our communities have different needs. But there are some constants. No matter where we live, we’re all concerned about our …

Schneider: The biting truth about dental and mental health

Stress, anxiety and depression can all take a toll on your teeth and gums.
Steve Ezyk

Ezyk: Helmets donated to Knights of Columbus for car show

On July 10 a couple from the DJ Jacobs Memorial Helmet Fund donated eight high-end children’s ATV helmets to our October car show. Their young son lost his life in a tragic accident in Star …
In this June 16, 2020 file photo, a portion of the Bush fire burns through the Tonto National Forest, as seen from Apache Junction. [The Associated Press]

Montrose: What’s in wildfire smoke?

Fire and health officials began issuing warnings about wildfire smoke several weeks earlier than normal this year.
Skip Hall

Skip Hall: Sunrise road extension is needed priority

Improving transportation safety in the city of Surprise is a priority for our city.

Knudsen: Why legislators owe children sanitizing tech they’ve enjoyed for decades

Many of the recommendations from the CDC to stop the spread of diseases and viruses in schools come from an “everyday preventative measure” approach with chemical cleaners, frequent …

Breen: Says local anti-vaxxers misinformed

It is tragic that so many people have refused to get the COVID-19 vaccination because of misinformation. The politicians, their news’ sources and certain religious organizations betray the …
After Katherine McKitrick, standing, lost two babies shortly after birth, New Song Center for Grieving Children was instrumental in getting her family through the trauma and grief. The McKitricks and their five kids remain connected to New Song, attending family-friendly picnics and remembrance events. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Cooney: New Song Center for Grieving Children works to heal hearts

When a child dies, parents struggle with profound grief. New Song Center for Grieving Children helps families pick up the pieces and move toward healing.
SueAnn Brown teaches children etiquette for social media, dating, dining and more at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Church, 10755 N. 124 St. in Scottsdale.

Brown: Mastering back-to-school manners

Where did the summer go? Many of our children have started school or will be starting soon. Because they spend over a third of their day at school, manners are of great importance. Talking to …

Rappold: CRT not happening in classroom

Until recently, I had never heard of critical race theory. Then, community members began speaking about it at school board meetings here and around the country. Emboldened by fringe political …
Beverly Pingerelli

Pingerelli: This is why critical race theory promotes racism

I would like to address Mr. Van Horn’s assertion that America was founded on white supremacy principles as well as his assumptions about “identity,” “power” and “privilege,” terms commonly used in critical race theory.
Wally Pieper

Pieper: Mountain View Lutheran Church has worked 10 years with Genesis Project

For the past 10 years Mountain View Lutheran Church is privileged to be a member of a coalition of churches in the Apache Junction area banded together for the common purpose of aiding the less …
Jason Houston

Houston: Keep SSA building in Apache Junction

Not since the June 1 letter in the Independent criticizing the proposed closing of the Apache Junction Social Security Administration office, has anyone from the SSA stepped forward in response and …

Miller: Opposes hiking rules, restrictions

The restrictions being considered for Phoenix area hiking due to the heat are wrong. Every single person has a different ability and different limitations. Whether to hike in any conditions, heat, …
Jack Sellers

Sellers: Senate’s election audit ‘bringing incompetence’

It’s clear the people hired by Arizona Senate leadership to supposedly bring integrity to our elections are instead just bringing incompetence.

Burhop: Calls Senate audit ‘silly’, ‘preposterous’

I tried to think of all the words that could be used to describe the Arizona Senate vote recount. Here are a few in no particular order: delusional, ridiculous, ignorant, mad, crazy, insane, …
David Obergfell

Obergfell: Mobile Crisis Response Awareness Week — Reflecting on our community’s stellar system of care

Every hour of every day in Maricopa County, tireless firefighters, law enforcement officers and mental health professionals answer the call for help from people of all ages who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

Brown: Defund the police or redirect resources?

Today, probably anyone with an interest in a law enforcement career has not only fired a gun, but has spent countless hours playing video games involving gun violence.

Miller: We won't run out of water unless...

Many articles are appearing in various media scaring those of us in the West into thinking we might run out of water. An Arizona State University researcher and one-time director of the Arizona …
Jennifer T. Grier

Grier: Delta variant makes it even more important to get a COVID-19 vaccine

As someone who studies immune responses to respiratory infections, I’ve watched news of the emerging coronavirus variants with concern.
Julie Niven

Niven: Why we offer Kids at Hope in Pinal County

The mission of the Kids at Hope organization, from their website, is “to inspire, empower and transform schools, organizations serving youth and entire communities to create an environment and …

Bornhofen: Asylum protests not about race

According to Webster Dictionary, racist: prejudice or discrimination based on race; Illegal: forbidden by law, forbidden by official rules.

Harshman: Too many motorcycle fatalities

On any given day in the city of Apache Junction there are literally hundreds of motorcycles on the road. If it’s a weekend, there are even more. Thanks to the twists and turns of scenic State …
Michael J. Poulin

Poulin: Mindfulness meditation can make some Americans more selfish and less generous

When Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata travels, he brings water with him from Japan. He says this is the only way to make truly authentic dashi, the flavorful broth essential to Japanese cuisine.
Maurizio Valsania

Valsania: America’s founders believed civic education and historical knowledge would prevent tyranny — and foster democracy

The majority of Americans today are anxious; they believe their democracy is under threat.
State officials recommend, among other important steps, that Arizona drivers check to ensure windshield wipers are ready for monsoon season. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Merrill: How to get your vehicle in monsoon shape

With all the recent fires in Arizona, it can be easy to forget that Monsoon Season 2021 is officially here.

Matheson: Says flight schools are awesome

Regarding a recent letter to the editor (“Why can’t aviation schools be awesome neighbors?” YourValley.net, June 8, 2021: Aircraft training schools are awesome neighbors! …
JohnEric W. Smith

Smith: How heat and humidity affect your body during heat waves

Less than a month into North America’s official summer, heat waves are blistering much of the West. California and the Southwest are facing excessive heat watches for the second time, after a mid-June heat wave pushed temperatures above 100 F.

Jennings: Calls out tax plan as vote theft

They stole my vote. Ali Baba (Gov. Ducey) and the 47 thieves ( the Republican-controlled legislature) stole my vote. I, along with 1.6 million other Arizonans voted for Prop 208 for more funding …
Amanda Baughan

Baughan: Why social media design makes it hard to have constructive disagreements online

Good-faith disagreements are a normal part of society and building strong relationships. Yet it’s difficult to engage in good-faith disagreements on the internet, and people reach less common ground online compared with face-to-face disagreements.

Catalano: Concerns over country’s nomenclature

The United States is on the continent of America. There are 35 countries on the continent of America. The people of all 35 countries are Americans. Canada, the United States, and Mexico are in …
Kerry Whigham

Whigham: Why reparations are always about more than money

In the United States, reparations to Black Americans for slavery are gaining traction.

Brown: Defund the police or redirect resources?  

By now, most of you know that I worked for 20 years as a police officer in Santa Monica, California.  I didn't begin my career in law enforcement until after my 33rd birthday.  My first 11 …
Robert Gabriel Varady

Varady: ‘Megadrought’ along border strains US-Mexico water relations

The United States and Mexico are tussling over their dwindling shared water supplies after years of unprecedented heat and insufficient rainfall.
Chris Judd

Chris Judd: District 6 Newsletter — July 2021

A new traffic signal is being installed at the intersection of Waddell Rd. and 145th Ave.
Cornell William Clayton

Clayton: Supreme Court blunts voting rights in Arizona — and potentially nationwide — in controversial ruling

Arizona may keep two voting laws that Republicans say protect election integrity and Democrats believe will make it harder for some residents to cast ballots.

Elliott: Should Trump get more credit for reopening?

Rarely have I read a more disingenuous, politically driven, ungrateful and misleading article than the recent commentary by Kathy Hoffman (“Biden-led return to normalcy just what students …
Chris Impey

Impey: No aliens, but transparency, better data might bring science to the UFO world

On June 25, 2021, the Pentagon released a much-anticipated report on UFOs to Congress.
Braden Biggs

Biggs: Update on keeping SSA building in Apache Junction

Yesterday, Rep. Paul Gosar, his team, City of Apache Junction Mayor Chip Wilson and I had a telephonic conference call with the Social Security Administration officials looking at closing the Social …

Pool rules: Taking care of your hair after a Scottsdale pool day

It’s summer in Arizona, it’s hot, and most Arizonans are spending their time lounging by or in the pool to stay cool. A day laying out soaking in the sun or swimming in the pool is …
Christina Sandefur

Sandefur: Less politics, more transparency and choice equals better education

Rather than focusing on the best education for each individual child, kids are learning that race is the most important part of their identity, determining whether they can succeed or fail.
Scott Bordow

Bordow: Stay updated with AJUSD with new mobile app

Life these days is lived on the cell phone. No matter where you go, no matter what you’re doing, your cell phone is with you or somewhere nearby. You use it for calls and text messages. You …

Swarner: Reader wants light signal near Fry’s

I live northwest of 172nd and Jomax Road. We’re all looking forward to the new Fry’s grocery complex coming to 163rd Avenue and Pat Tillman Boulevard. I just read where the city …

Women’s Watch: Getting shots in the arms

As the coronavirus hit the United States in 2020, government officials traveled to the Centers for Disease Control to find out how fast they could get a vaccine in the arms of Americans and stop the spread of this deadly virus.
City of Glendale workers separate nonrecyclable material from recyclable material as it passes on a conveyer belt at Glendale’s recycling facility, 11480 W. Glendale Ave., in January of 2020.

Ask The Editor: Why doesn’t Glendale recycle glass?

Question: Just curious why Glendale is the only major city in Arizona much less the entire U.S., that does not recycle glass. I questioned this several years ago and was told “we were looking into it but recycling glass makes costs too high.” Why can other cities make it work? I take my glass to a friend's house in Phoenix and Peoria for recycling. And at what point do we look at the environmental costs of just throwing everything in the landfill? — Lisa C., Glendale
Travis Arnold

Arnold: Feed the Children opens distribution, volunteer center in Chandler

Feed the Children opened our newest distribution center at 3475 S. McQueen Road in Chandler on June 22. We are honored to be a part of the Chandler community and proud to open the 104,300 square-feet …

Burhop: Calls out Sen. Johnson on race

Sen. Ron Johnson, Republican from Wisconsin, never fails to offend. His not-so-subtle views, once again, make no sense whatsoever. I’m referring to his statement justifying his vote against …
Laurie Merrill

Merrill: Has a fire closed this highway? ADOT can tell you

On June 4, two wildfires ignited about 60 miles east of Phoenix and forced the closure of highways in the Globe area. News was happening quickly and additional highways were closed to allow firefighters to battle a blaze that has been as big as 165,000 acres.
Nancy Fassbender

Fassbender: Donations needed for wreaths at 3,000 military veteran graves

There are 3,000 military veteran graves at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery, 7900 E. Main St. in Mesa, that do not have a wreath placed on their graves. We need your help in purchasing a …
Nan Hayworth

Hayworth: Bipartisanship — It’s a taste well worth acquiring

Bipartisanship is the broccoli of politics — everyone knows it’s good for us, but few of us love it.
Andrew Lautz

Lautz: Bipartisanship’s not dead; it just takes courage

President Biden promised a new era of bipartisanship when he was elected, telling media in December that “the nation’s looking for us to be united, much more united.”

Reagan: June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day and this is one soldier’s experience

Sunday, June 27, is National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Injury Awareness Day. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness around the signs, symptoms and stigma associated with PTSD.
Nicholas J. Brown

Brown: Five legal topics to consider before getting married

Getting married is one of the happiest days of our lives. However, marriage is a legal union as much as it is a romantic one. Therefore, it is important to consider financial and legal implications before tying the knot.

Kenny: Life’s simple 7 to help achieve optimal heart health

Sadly, we are seeing deaths from heart disease and stroke on the rise. The good news is that heart disease and stroke can be prevented 80% of the time by making healthy choices. The American …

Lindstrom: Reader speaks on LWV

I read your article (“League of Women Voters honors Fontes”) and would like to make one correction to your story. I believe the League of Women Voters is not a nonpartisan …

Durfey: Realtor offers warnings during an out-of-balance real estate market

It is a challenging residential real estate market in a number of ways right now.

Menconi: Resident thankful for news

I wanted to let you know that I subscribed to my local newspaper because Rachel Maddow, one of my favorite pundits, told her viewers to subscribe to their local newspapers in order to keep their very …
Dr. David Bray

Bray: We can’t wait for the next pandemic for a better PPE plan

Right now, Americans can purchase nearly limitless quantities of masks, hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment. But this time last year, it was an entirely different story.
Leonard Kirschner

Kirschner: Obamacare ruling a relief to GOP, too

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It has been a source of political debate since day one.

Wechsler: No need to rename no-name team

I agree with Daniel Snyder’s decision to defer renaming his Washington Football Team (“A rose by any other name,” Daily Independent, June 15, 2021). There’s not much going …
S. Jay Olshansky

Olshansky: Millions rejecting one of humanity’s best life-saving weapons — vaccines

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by employees at a Houston hospital who did not want to be vaccinated for COVID-19, claiming that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe.
Roland Winters

Roland Winters: District 1 Newsletter — June 2021

Well, hello to all my friends in District 1, indeed to everyone in the great city we call Surprise.

Breen: Decries AZ recount effort as ‘fraudit’

Mike Siegel hits the nail right on the head (“Definition of political hypocrisy: Kelli Ward,” Daily Independent, June 15, 2021). Kelli Ward seems like a Trump wannabe. It’s …
David Ryan Miller

Miller: Biden’s Supreme Court commission probably won’t sway public opinion

Many liberals feared the court was becoming too conservative and called on then-candidate Joe Biden to “pack the court” by adding new seats and filling them with liberal justices.
Liza Noland

Noland: Why Local First Arizona launched Pipeline AZ

One of the biggest challenges for Pinal County is the majority of people in the workforce are commuting to Maricopa county to work. When this happens, Arizona’s tax dollars, your local …
Gail Baer

Baer: Philanthropist — It’s not a big word; It’s you!

When we consider the word “philanthropist,” we often picture someone older with extreme financial wealth.

Hochschartner: Cultured meat can save trees

In order to prevent deforestation, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly should back government funding for cultured-meat research. For readers who aren’t familiar with the term, cultured meat is …
Mike Siegel

Siegel: Definition of political hypocrisy — Kelli Ward

Since the Jan. 23 vote for State Republican Party chairman and other party officials, there has been an ongoing battle for either a recount and audit of those votes or a revote by the members of the Republican State Committee.

Murphy: Affordable housing isn’t benefit

I just read the article about the mayor’s proposal of creating affordable housing in Surprise (Mayor: City needs more affordable housing”). I believe the first responsibility of any …
Timothy Sandefur

Sandefur: Pandemic proves one-size-fits-all mandates aren’t the answer

If there’s one lesson the pandemic has made abundantly clear, it’s that one-size-fits-all government mandates are never the right solution, particularly when those mandates impact private property and businesses.
Peggy Kirschner poses in front of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Kirschner: A Capitol idea — add state houses to your bucket list

We are now in year two of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world has changed. Many of us have remained sequestered at home, and travel has been put on hold.

Gauthier: Reader wants to know why clubs targeted

My wife and I have lived in Sun City West for three years. Like any other community in America, we have governing bodies the are tasked with the governance of the country in what should be a …
Aaron Leak

Leak: Five fundamentals to financial recovery

The COVID-19 public health crisis triggered a financial crisis for many individuals and families.
Steven G. Zylstra

Zylstra: Union bill threatens innovation, tech employment

The Arizona Technology Council is deeply concerned about legislation in the U.S. Senate that could stifle innovation, limit employment opportunities and threaten Arizona’s thriving technology sector, as well as the state’s economy.
Fred Yamashita

Yamashita: Arizona’s economy should work for working people

Workers are the backbone of our economy. From our schools, grocery stores, hospitals, to the construction workers that build our roads and the electrical workers who power it all, our region runs because of workers.

Chase: The rare occurrence of surviving colorectal cancer as a woman

Being diagnosed with any type of cancer is life-changing and as a 29-year-old, healthy, female with no history of cancer in my family — being diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer was …
Franciscan Renewal Center Hunger Action volunteers at the Saint Vincent De Paul (SVDP) Urban Farm where all of the fruits and vegetables go straight to the SVDP central kitchen to be incorporated into daily meals.

Murphy: From farm to food bank to fork

As a lifelong gardener, I realize how important fresh fruit and vegetables are to staying healthy and so I devote my time to growing tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower. Gardening has …
Erin Bass

Bass: Is tax avoidance ethical? Asking on behalf of a few billionaire friends...

Some of the U.S.’s wealthiest individuals reportedly pay just a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars added annually to their fortunes in federal income tax — sometimes they pay nothing at all.
Jeff Barlett

Barlett: Picket for public transportation in Apache Junction June 15

The city of Apache Junction will be holding a regular City Council meeting at 7 p.m. June 15 at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. What we plan to do is hold up picket signs to help spread awareness on the …
Christine Roland

Roland: Sad to see bulldozer destruction in Queen Creek

On the Ellsworth Ranch and Desert Diamond Park housing construction: As you are aware this subdivision is in process. My concern to date is the destruction of the 100-year-old trees and animals …

Miller: Urges return to traditional GOP values

Unfortunately, most Republicans today continue to be too dependent on former president Donald Trump, a person not worthy of emulating. For that reason, I have formed, and trademarked, a new …
Dr. Sanjay Ramakumar

Ramakumar: June is Men’s Health Month — Don’t delay your annual check-up

We all need to have regular health screenings to make sure we are healthy, but during the pandemic, many men and women put off their screenings, and now is the time to get back on track.
Nancy S. Jecker

Jecker: I’m fully vaccinated — should I keep wearing a mask for my unvaccinated child?

Fully vaccinated adults are celebrating their new freedom and removing their face masks. Yet for parents of children under age 12, the rejoicing might be short-lived.
Chris Udall

Udall: Investing in water infrastructure good for economy, environment

The physical and natural infrastructure that Arizonans depend upon for their water supply needs attention.
Steve Edwards

Edwards: Why can’t aviation schools be awesome neighbors?

We live in an awesome area — the Superstition Mountain foothills and wilderness. My neighbors and I enjoy the beauty all around us. We all have several things in common; we prefer the mountains …

Forde: RCSC fee reasonable; coyotes stay

I am writing regarding two things. One is regarding the lady who wrote in and said that single people should not have to pay as much of a Recreation Centers of Sun City property assessment as …
Jason Andringa

Andringa: Biden is right to redefine infrastructure

President Biden is in ongoing talks to discuss his multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. Ever since its release, critics have claimed that many aspects of the plan have nothing to do with infrastructure.

Lynch: It takes effort to be informed on issues

This letter is in response to the Brian Reilly letter (“Letter writer misinformed about masks”). In his letter, Mr. Reilly, called Robert Oudenhoven “sadly ignorant on the …
Macie Chase

Chase: A rare occurrence — surviving colorectal cancer as a woman

Being diagnosed with any type of cancer is life-changing and as a 29 year-old, healthy, female with no history of cancer in my family — being diagnosed with Stage 3 colorectal cancer was literally a case for the medical books.

Lux: Living wage needed to lure workers

In response to Sybil Francis, president and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, I’d like to point out that the groups she’s promoting to get the $700,000 in public school funding …
Johanna Dunaway

Dunaway, Darr, Hitt: Local newspapers can help reduce polarization with opinion pages that focus on local issues

If you’re confused about opinion journalism and what it is, you’re not alone. Many Americans are.

Rural Arizona mayors: Income tax will cripple communities

In 1972, mayors from all over Arizona struck a deal with leaders at the State Capitol that helped our economy grow, kept taxes simple and helped create the strong cities and towns we have today. In …
[The Associated Press]

Breen: Insurrection, not tourism says reader

It’s pathetic to see the Senate Republicans block the Jan. 6 [commission looking into the] storming of the U.S. Capitol. If that event is viewed as a “normal tourist visit,” as …
Marc Lamber

Lamber: Private businesses not likely liable for unmasked, unvaccinated customers

Private business owners in Arizona have been left to fend for themselves when it comes to masking and proof of vaccine policies.
Mireya Arroyo

Arroyo: Congress leaders must stand against H.R.3 destructive legislation

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the state of Arizona early last year, we weren’t sure what the impact would be on our community. My entire family caught COVID-19, not because we weren’t …

Lux: Audit can have no real effect

The answer to Charles Huss’s questions of why so many people want the recount yet again to end is not that we’re worried it’s not counted correctly (“If it’s fair, why …
Linda Stein

Stein: ‘Make a Splash’ campaign promotes water safety

Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Rowdy Gaines wants kids to be safe while having fun in the water this summer. So he’s partnering with fellow gold medalist swimmers like Cullen Jones to make it happen.
Patrick Duffy

Patrick Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — June 2021

The City of Surprise launched its annual Surprise Retail Survey on April 5, and more than 5,100 responses later, we have the results.
Robyn Jaynes

Jaynes: Funding for animal shelter in East Valley ‘a huge win’

Our biggest news this month is that the Board of Supervisors has approved funding and forward movement on building a new East Valley shelter. This is a huge win for the animals and animal lovers …
Dr. Sanjay Mishra

Mishra: Can people vaccinated against COVID-19 still spread the coronavirus?

When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines about mask wearing on May 13, 2021, plenty of Americans were left a little confused.
Chris Judd

Chris Judd: District 6 Newsletter — June 2021

Thank you to the Surprise Rotary Club for donating funding for a new tree at Dick McComb Park near the splash pad.

Mosely: Reader has issues with inspections

Several people have commented on the Recreation Centers of Sun City West article regarding their plans to offer presale home inspections. All comments I have heard are valid, although none really …

Burke: Outreach to vulnerable populations during pandemic

People who struggle with low-income, limited English proficiency, homelessness or with mental illness have historically relied on meeting with us in person at our local offices to get the help they need.

Nicolai: We need to learn to live with coyotes

The coyotes were here first. Midwesterners do not have a problem with them being here. If we have a small animal we put a leash on it and stay in the yard with it. I miss hearing the …
Christina Sandefur

Sandefur: The DEA must accommodate the Right to Try

Passed by 41 states before a federal version was signed into law in 2018, Right to Try gives dying patients the right to use investigational medicines that have been approved for safety, but not yet approved for final sale, by the federal government.
Jamie Rowen

Rowen: Veterans took an especially bad hit during the pandemic

As the nation takes a day to memorialize its military dead, living military veterans are facing a deadly risk that has nothing to do with war or conflict: the coronavirus.
Teresa Murray

Murray: Getting off the hook of a predatory tow

Many Arizonans can relate to that sinking feeling in your stomach when you return to your parking spot, only to find your car is gone. Was it stolen? Did you forget where you parked? Or was it towed? …
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs [The Associated Press]

Windsor: The plot thickens in Arizona

I recently submitted an opinion to the Daily Independent, pointing a finger at a couple of the ladies (Dr. Kelli Ward, AZ GOP chairwoman, and Karen Fann, Arizona Senate president) who are viciously …
Bryce C. Newell

Newell: Body cameras help monitor police but can invade people’s privacy

With the advent of police body cameras, information is often captured in police video recordings — which some states’ open-records laws make available to the public.
Roberto Reveles

Reveles: Federal funding will help Pinal County

In reference to consent items Q and R, I want to commend and thank our county management team for its timely request of funding under the recently approved American Rescue Plan Act. The disastrous …

Borenstein: A new Chompie’s era begins amid Paradise Valley mall closure

Dear Chompie’s Paradise Valley customers and friends, We are at the end of an era! Along with the closing of Paradise Valley Mall, our Phoenix location within the mall will be closing its …

Andrews: Blames Obama for police critics

Re: Your Daily Independent Article on “Phoenix police keep tabs on social media, but who keeps tabs on cops?” I could not believe that cops are now being faulted for using …

Marta: Woman’s frozen face, garbled speech during Zoom call were signs of a stroke

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Dorothy Farris organized “Cocktails and Conversation,” a weekly hour-long Zoom session with a group of old friends. Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. quickly became a cherished part of their routines.

Kuzyk: Medical co-pay required before insurance-covered colonoscopy

I want to inform people about a co-pay policy being used by a medical office in the Valley. I am a 59-year-old, five-time cancer survivor living on SSI disability. I barely make enough to survive, …

Nintzel: Now’s the time to prepare for a Memorial Day road trip

The extended Memorial Day weekend is something many of you have been looking forward to as a way to get out of town, especially after what the past year has delivered.
Jack Sellers

Sellers: Senate audit should preserve evidence

It is clear the Arizona Senate and its contractors do not intend to retract false allegations defaming Maricopa County and its employees.

Women's Watch: House passes Paycheck Fairness Act

The U.S. House, with bipartisan support and a vote of 217-210 passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, a stunning victory in the fight for fair pay. Now it is in the hands of the Senate. Equal pay has long …
Scott Staton

Staton: Developing a strategy with taxes, retirement

Concerned about how taxes may affect your retirement? If so, you’re part of a growing cadre of Americans, some of whom are beginning to reassess their finances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainties it brought about.

Bartha: Speeding will not be stopped

Another crime of opportunity is excessive speeding in Sun City. None of this will be deterred until we incorporate and have a full-blown police department able and capable to monitor and protect …
Claudia Manzano Herrera

Herrera: These visionaries are working to make a difference

Whether it is due to losing a friend or offering to help an elderly person, there’s something in our lives that inspires us to do good for others.
Dr. Kristen Bishop

Dr. Bishop: Arizona naturopathic doctors are helping improve coverage and care

May 16-22 is Naturopathic Medicine week and therefore the perfect time to shine a light on the important role naturopathic medicine practitioners play in the health and wellbeing of Arizonans. …

Reilly: Letter writer misinformed about masks

In reply to Mr. Oudenhoven’s letter to the editor (“Mask wearing is supported by science,” Sun City West Independent, May 12, 2021), I would simply state, Mr. Oudenhoven is sadly …
Brian Elisco

Elisco: Thanks to the Valley’s EMS providers

As the challenges of coronavirus tested our nation’s resilience over the past year, we have all gained a greater appreciation for the vital contributions of front-line health care workers and first responders.

Stoffers: Reader appreciates color, art

Thank you for the more generous use of color and illustrations throughout the Independent! It  makes it so much easier to spot needed services in the classifieds and the copious use of …
Christopher Robertson

Robertson: Paying people to get vaccinated might work — but is it ethical?

A financial shot in the arm could be just what is needed for Americans unsure about vaccination.

Pieper: Easter pancake breakfast proceeds provide gift

Since Easter is the most joyous Christian event, the annual Easter pancake breakfast at Mountain View Lutheran Church is a widely anticipated fun and fundraising event following our Easter Sunrise …
Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. [The Associated Press]

Angster: Says Senate election audit ‘valuable’

Arizona appears to be in the forefront seeking election transparency. Contrary to controversy, the audit has no intention to overturn the election. The Senate bravely moved forward to have an …

Davidge: Touch the Glass — it’s the future of health care

The future of health care now belongs to Amazon, AmWell and those health systems that understand that winners and losers will be decided by “touch-the-glass” devices — cellphones and tablets.

Hunter: Short-term rentals have very few violations, that’s the problem

Scottsdale recently established a working group to “examine existing laws and tools available to the city of Scottsdale regarding short-term rentals.” Basically, since the state …
Roland Winters

Roland Winters: District 1 Newsletter — May 2021

I want to give a big shoutout to all the great folks here in the city of Surprise.

Wessel: Better, safer financial services for Arizona’s expanding marijuana industry

Federal banking laws have created more than just an isolated crisis for Arizona’s multi-billion-dollar marijuana industry. They’ve created a dangerous problem for the state of Arizona. …

Storms: ‘Speechless’ over water resources

My husband and I were speechless yesterday when we saw the headline, “This is not a crisis,” referring to the Arizona water problem. How long have they lived in Arizona? My husband has …
Mary Currie

Currie: Picture this — if you’ve got the time, we’ve got the miles

Arizona has no shortage of breathtaking views — More than 27,000 ADOT-maintained miles leads millions of travelers to experience roadside destinations this summer.

Gilchrist: Help promote mental health in May

May is Mental Health Month. By urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention, mental health and crisis care, I am hoping to influence collective change to support #MentalHealth4All. …
Emily Greene

Greene: Five ways the pandemic could change education for the better

The shift to remote learning during the pandemic caused angst for parents, but it also led to unexpected benefits that they may find hard to let go of as their children return to school.
John L. Smallwood

Smallwood: Key factors to know about the greatest disruptor of wealth

Paying taxes isn’t a favorite pastime of most Americans. And in retirement, paying higher taxes can be an unwelcome surprise when the financial plan did not account for them.
Carol Gaxiola

Gaxiola: We have an opportunity to save lives, protect our communities

My 14-year-old daughter, Jasmine, was taken by gun violence nearly 20 years ago. Her murder still haunts me, and I have done everything I could since then to see that no one else experiences a similar loss.
Dr. Barry Goodfield

Goodfield: Our treatment offers hope, healing to those with PTSD

I founded the Goodfield Institute LLC in the USA and The Netherlands and am also founder and CEO of Operation New Outlook, a nonprofit organization that works for and with veterans, first responders and their families to enhance their quality of life by treating post-traumatic stress.

Maricopa County Chairman Sellers: Senate’s allegations ‘dangerous,’ ‘lies’

Yesterday, I received a letter from the Senate President asking that members of the board and other Maricopa County subject matter experts come to a meeting and resolve “three serious …
Scottsdale For All Photo Shoot 2 - No text

Frost: Morning in the McDowells

Early morning sun shafts spike through mountain peaks lighting up the haloed prickly pear and stately saguaro, while wisps of pink clouds on a blue backdrop angle away and south to where the sky is …
Rep. Nancy Barto

Rep. Barto: SB1270 gives patients more control of health care options

Improving patient care should always be the driving force behind any legislation introduced at the state capitol, which is why I introduced Senate Bill 1270, a bill to exempt certain medications from an insurance practice known as step therapy.

Tidwell: Announcing Scottsdale initiative ‘Super Fund Our Police’

I am writing to you to make you aware of a grass roots movement taking place called “Super Fund Our Police.” This movement is being initiated by six Scottsdale residents who are …
Mallory Kvek

Kvek: Conduct audit of Mark Lamb’s sheriff’s department

I recently read that a number of Pinal County residents are asking the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to conduct an audit of Mark Lamb’s sheriff’s department. I believe there are more …

Wilson: Calls out Legislature for Big Lie

What a wonderful forward-thinking Legislature we have. They want answers to an election problem which doesn’t exist. I suspect they will soon sponsor a bill to find the real answer to the …
Sarah Wessel

Wessel: Finance innovations bolster Arizona’s marijuana industry

Federal banking laws have created more than just an isolated crisis for Arizona’s multi-billion dollar marijuana industry.

Kenny: COVID-19’s connection to heart disease

In the past year, COVID-19 has become one of the top five causes of death. While the Coronavirus alone can take such a terrible toll on the body, it can be even worse for those with …
Braden Biggs

Biggs: Sign petition to keep SSA building in Apache Junction

As one of your Apache Junction City Council members, it is my duty to advocate on behalf of the city and its residents. Today, I am asking for your help in advocating for your community and your …

Kraft: Let’s care for our ‘Mother Earth'

On Mother’s Day when I was reading the article, “NASA chief eyes climate, hedges on moon landing,” it reminded me of our other mother, Mother Earth. The new NASA chief, Bill …
Jack Sellers

Sellers: County board defends free, fair elections

Maricopa County government is not involved in the Cyber Ninja audit, but we have provided the Arizona Senate eight terabytes of data, ballots and election equipment involved in the 2020 General …

Abrami: Grass should not be grown in this area

This is in response to the letter to the editor about grass (“Sun City golf courses need more grass”). Simple answer is that people shouldn’t be growing grass at all in this …
Diane E. Brown

Brown: Transforming transportation can save money, protect public health

For many Arizonans, the turmoil caused by the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic last year taught us that our daily automobile commutes aren’t necessary, but that having transportation options are imperative.

Oudenhoven: Mask wearing is supported by science

This is in response to the opinion from Bruce Lamb (“Some employees don’t live in Sun City”). Bruce, I too am tired of the pandemic. But science is science. You wanting to not …
Saul Anuzis

Anuzis: The larger promise of new vaccine tech

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that fully vaccinated Americans can gather indoors with friends and family — without wearing masks or social distancing.

Pastors: Protect our voting rights

Esteemed DOJ leadership: We have authored this letter to request your immediate intervention in Arizona, on behalf of Black voters, who are currently being involuntarily and very likely …
Stroke survivor and Buckeye resident Stephanie Flynn poses with her family. [Courtesy of Abrazo Health]

Flynn: Young stroke survivor thanks Abrazo West care team

The morning started off like any other day, little did I know it would end up being the most dramatic day in my life.
Steve Edwards

Edwards: How cowboy church came about when Lost Dutchman Days 2021 was canceled

I got the call from Rodney Wayne regarding Lost Dutchman Days with news… Lost Dutchman Days 2021 was canceled and so was the cowboy church that I had started over 25 years ago. Heartbroken, …
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — May 2021

Veterans, service members, and their families now have a new place to access resources, support, and assistance in the West Valley.
Chris Udall

Udall: Let’s invest in system that keeps water flowing

When you are thirsty and hungry, you go to your refrigerator, fill a glass of water and clean your bowl of fruit under running water at your sink. But what if the water does not run to fill your …
Denise Hart

Hart: Chamber hosting Apache Junction ‘Shop Local’ program

The Apache Junction Area Chamber is rolling out the Shop Local program. Designed to help our local area businesses during the slower summer months, and to keep everyone shopping local, the …

Andrews: Calls for cooperation with police

I recall a couple of things my mother said to me that I believe still apply today: “Nothing good happens after midnight” and “Don’t go to places where bad things …

Ender: Public safety should be top priority in Arizona

For more than five years, I have received the best civics education and it took place outside of a traditional classroom.
John King

King: "How To Avoid A Climate Disaster"

We know Bill Gates as a founder of Microsoft and later founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But there is a Gates we do not know so well.
Roberto Reveles

Reveles: Audit Pinal County elections department, sheriff’s office

Truth, trust, transparency and accountability are words that are desperately needed to guide all levels of government today. At recent Pinal County Board of Supervisors meetings and throughout our …

Burhop: What the heck is a cyber ninja?

Cyber Ninjas. I never heard of these people. What is a cyber ninja? Sounds like a kid’s video game. About the same level of credibility. They are searching our supposedly secret ballots with …
Arizona motorists have been crossing the Salt River via this scenic bridge along State Route 288 in Gila County since 1920. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Cline: Here’s the other Salt River bridge

Do us a favor and pick a bridge — any bridge — across the Salt River. Which one came to mind? Maybe along Interstate 10 near Sky Harbor International Airport?
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — May 2021

The city of Surprise is ranked the No. 6 safest city in Arizona, according to a new SafeWise report.

Opinion: We must continue to push for sensible STR solutions, not bans

Last month, Arizona lawmakers had an opportunity to support legislation that would have made it easier for local cities to address nuisance short-term rental properties that have been the cause of …
Cpl. Marshall Harshman

Harshman: Heat-related illnesses, deaths are preventable

Can you feel it? The temperature is rising. Summer is just around the corner, and soon we will find ourselves mopping the sweat off our brows while silently questioning our life choices. Why in …
Aaron Rodgers [The Associated Press]

Pickering: Raiders fan has home for Aaron Rodgers

Give Aaron Rodgers a break, Green Bay. Just like Bart Starr and Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers has been a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Packers for 16 years. And like Favre, it appears that Rodgers …
Sue Rainey

Rainey, Elisco: Abrazo honors nurses’ contributions during National Nurses Week

Abrazo Health is proud to honor its nurses during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, an annual celebration that recognizes the critical role nurses perform in our hospitals and for our community.
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — May 2021

I joined Mayor Skip Hall, Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborne, Youngtown Mayor Mike Levault, and several other elected officials to celebrate White Tank Wild Day at the beautiful Skyline Regional Park.

Kush: Soaring lumber prices impacting Scottsdale buyers, renters

It is difficult to pick up a newspaper and not see an article on sky rocketing Scottsdale home prices. Additionally, Scottsdale has the highest average apartment rental rates in the metro area. …

Brown: Hospital needs better signs on Bell Road

I have a comment about the new micro hospital, Abrazo Surprise Hospital (located at 16815 W. Bell Road). Being a local resident, I’m aware of its location being situated a little distance …
Jon Soderstrom

Soderstrom: Patents don’t impede patients’ access to drugs and vaccines

Intellectual property rights are under assault overseas — and here at home. These attacks could prevent the creation of dozens of lifesaving medicines. That should worry every American.
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — May 2021

In April, we celebrated National Volunteer Week with the City’s annual “Bean Bag Day” event.

Proven: ‘Ghetto’ tag in Sun City West confusing

When my husband and I — six-year residents of Sun City West — were vetting locations in which to retire back in 2005, there was so much to consider. Options were as plentiful as there …
Diane Nens

Nens: A surprising connection between hearing health and COVID-19

While COVID-19 most frequently affects the lungs, other parts of the body may also be impacted, such as a loss of taste and smell. For a smaller number of people, instances of hearing loss are emerging, according to the International Journal of Audiology.
Tascha Spears

Spears: Moderna, Janssen COVID-19 vaccinations available in Pinal County

It has always been the principle of Pinal County public health to share COVID information as we receive it and also to be honest about how much remains unknown about COVID-19. For example, new …

Cooney: Great nurses prove compassion is the right Rx

When nurse Gina Day showed up at Golden Heritage Assisted Living in Scottsdale to care for Joan Cullen, she noticed right away that her sweet patient’s hair had been set and styled for a …
Sybil Francis

Francis: Gov. Ducey signs HB 2862, advances learner-centered education

The Center for the Future of Arizona thanks Gov. Ducey for signing House Bill 2862, legislation that supports Arizona schools in providing learner-centered education to better meet the needs of every student and family.

Halikowski: It’s risky business in work zones for both crews and drivers

It’s got to be one of the worst phone calls to receive as a state Department of Transportation director. To find out you have an injured employee or, even worse, a fatality in a work zone — something that is totally preventable if people are driving safely through a work zone.

Mehan: Thrilled to find a copy of Mesa Independent

I just wanted to let you know how thrilled I was to go to my mailbox and find a copy of the Mesa Independent. I’ve been an avid newspaper reader since I was in grade school and I’ve …

McCaulley: Personal and economic side of climate change

This is the time of year that many of us in the Valley start talking about the extreme summer heat and planning how we can escape, if even for a weekend. This is also the time of year that many of …
James Gahar

Gahar: Daily workouts, losing weight and staying healthy

My story is pretty simple. I was a very active young man, running everywhere, and served as a volunteer in an elite Navy unit.
Stephen Richer

Richer: Reflecting on 100 days at the Recorder’s Office

A newly elected president is said to have a 100-day honeymoon period before entering a routinely chaotic and combative political arena. I’d hoped the same courtesy would extend to a newly elected Recorder. It did not.
Jennifer Toth

Toth: Keep MCDOT workers safe, recognize ‘Work Zone Awareness Week’

Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing counties, which means having to constantly navigate safely around work zones and orange cones; and Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) teams are working on projects across the county, ensuring the roads are safe and accessible.
Officials announced the reopening of State Route 273 between Sunrise Park and Big Lake in the White Mountains, pictured, along with other routes in the area. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Rookhuyzen: Spring has sprung, which means you can again travel these roads

Snow melting. Flowers growing. The swallows returning to Capistrano. All signs of spring finally returning after months of winter. In the world of transportation, there is another unmistakable sign that warmer weather is here to stay: The annual reopening of state highways in northern Arizona.

Hochschartner: Supports more cultured meat research

I was happy to learn the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, supports equal funding for alternative protein research. “The United States can continue to be a …
Rep. David Schweikert

Rep. Schweikert: The best plan for our workforce

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy saw record-breaking growth. In 2018 and 2019 ,we saw wages, our unemployment rate, and revenues hit record-breaking levels.

Toth: Keep MCDOT workers safe, recognize ‘Work Zone Awareness Week’

Maricopa County is one of the fastest growing counties, which means having to constantly navigate safely around work zones and orange cones. Maricopa County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) …

Bagnato: Variances impacted by decisions

In the Recreations Centers of Sun City West E-News edition of April 14, 2021, there is a link to commentary by RCSCW Chief Financial Officer Pete Finelli. While any information is appreciated, the …
John Stanford

Stanford: Throwing away drug patents won’t cure anything

Last month, the World Trade Organization considered a petition from South Africa and India that, if adopted, would allow countries to ignore intellectual property protections on all things COVID-19.

Kepler: Reader tries to correct perceptions

Having read twice now in recent weeks about the misconception of “open borders,” let’s correct a few perceptions. More than 90% of single adults are expelled and more than 70% of …
Dariusz Godlewski

Godlewski: Beware of these financial myths, misconceptions about retirement

Many people look forward to retirement and all the enjoyment it can bring after having worked so hard for decades. But from a distance, whether a few years or many years away from retirement, it’s not easy to clearly see what retirement will look like.
Mike Siegel

Siegel: Ward’s GOP party election needs an audit

On Jan. 23, 2021, the Republican State Committee voted for a new state chairman and other officers and bylaw changes and additions at their annual meeting.
Hospice of the Valley veteran patient Kenneth Hamrick, left, and volunteer Ron Garner salute each other. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Cooney: Hospice of the Valley surprises Goodyear veteran with special tribute

It was an emotional day to remember for veteran Kenneth Hamrick — not only did the staff at The Groves in Goodyear invite family and friends to a patio party to celebrate his 89th birthday, his Hospice of the Valley care team had another surprise in the works.

Zwick/Griffith: Senators must protect borrowers

Despite Arizona voters defeating a well-funded effort in 2008 to allow small-dollar loans to exceed our state’s interest rate cap of 36% plus fees, a persistent group of online high-cost …
Briana Owen

Owen: How to skip the diet, get your body results it needs

Keto. Low Carb. Eating programs based on a point system. You name it, the “diet” most likely exists. And while these programs offer the promise of a healthier lifestyle, touting huge …

Hochschartner: Thoughts on cultured meat funding

Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For those who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. Widespread …
Becky Harlow

Harlow: Philanthropy continues during COVID-19 crisis

As the pandemic surged through the country in 2020, many organizations had to evaluate how to continue their mission safely.
Demetra Presley [VoyagePhoenix.com]

Women's Watch: Sometimes best ideas found in unexpected places

Demetra Presley was inspired to start her nonprofit organization, Go With The Flow, after seeing a “Now This” video on Facebook about a teacher making “period packs” for her …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: Education savings accounts turn 10 and states are celebrating

What’s the best way to celebrate a big school choice birthday? Give more educational opportunities to more students.
James Gahar

Gahar: Daily workouts, losing weight and staying healthy

My story is pretty simple. I was a very active young man, running everywhere, and served as a volunteer in an elite Navy unit. After my discharge, I worked as a bouncer in bars from Florida to …
Becky Harlow, public relations volunteer for the AZ Women’s Partnership

Harlow: Philanthropy continues during COVID-19 crisis

As the pandemic surged through the country in 2020 many organizations had to evaluate how to continue their mission safely.

McCoy: Trash cans need to be out of sight

I am writing concerning the article in the newspaper dated March 17 (“Property rules up for discussion”). I am a resident of Surprise and would like to voice my opinion of a situation …
Jon Lyons

Lyons: April 22 is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

My daughter was 10 years old when she first attended Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day at my office.
David Coward

Coward: Arizona must follow the Constitution for redistricting

Some are advancing the argument that the 2010 process was flawed because it emphasized “competitiveness.” This is a false argument used to undermine the integrity of the work of the 2011 redistricting commission and perpetuates the idea that the 2011 district maps were unfairly drawn to benefit Democrats because competitiveness was considered.

Verdier: What does the COVID-19 vaccine mean for employers?

Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is well under way. We all hope this is a means to an end of social restrictions and making our way back to life as we once knew it. According to the CDC over …

Lyons: An open letter to Scottsdale officials about 5G, smart city

Dear Scottsdale City Council, Are you sleeping well at night? Unfortunately, many of your constituents aren’t, because you, our council, are not upholding your oaths of office to protect our …
John Safin

Safin: Help our communities return to a brighter future

Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order on March 25 certainly had and will continue to have an impact on our community. Whether you agree or disagree with the transition of “required” virus mitigation to “recommended,” it’s here.
Tim Dickman

Dickman: Short-term rentals are a pig in the parlor — with lipstick

Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland (who also was a former U.S. Senator and congressman from Utah) famously noted in the landmark 1926 case of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. that: “A nuisance may be merely a right thing in the wrong place — like a pig in the parlor instead of the barnyard.”

Civic Alliance: The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy

We believe every American should have a voice in our democracy and that voting should be safe and accessible to all voters.

Kraft: Mother Earth needs a tax break

Tax season is here and we must all pay taxes. This is an unavoidable truth. Unfortunately, another unavoidable truth is Mother Earth is overtaxed. Her current rate is way too high. We can’t …

Harding: Visiting the site of the Granite Mountain Hotshots? Honor them by doing it safely

Planning to visit Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park in Yarnell? Make sure you do it by not parking illegally along State Route 89, putting yourself and others at risk.

Owen: How to skip the diet, get your body results it needs

Keto. Low Carb. Eating programs based on a point system. You name it, the “diet” most likely exists. And while these programs offer the promise of a healthier lifestyle, touting huge …

Sahlberg: Sun City banner needs to be replaced

I’m sending you another plea for a new Sun City flag at the corner of Grand and 107th avenues. You put hard work into trying to draw people to our community by putting any and all kinds of …
Aaron Leak

Leak: Are money issues ruining your relationship?

The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with families’ finances through lost jobs, squeezed budgets, increased debt and missed payments.
Jon Lyons

Lyons: April 22 is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

My daughter was 10 years old when she first attended Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day at my office At the time, I was working in a role sourcing large contracts, leveraging all of the …

Axelson: Golf course recycle bins are unsightly

We are concerned about the unsightly trash at the recycling bins at Pebblecreek Golf Course, 18838 N. 128th Ave. It is an eyesore. People are discarding too much trash there and the bins need to …
Dr. Andi Simon

Simon: Women face myriad of injustices; can a better world emerge?

What does it say about our culture when moms and their children are facing unbearable pain and trauma during the pandemic? This crisis has simply amplified the way women in the U.S. are undervalued, or not valued at all.

Klapp: American Rescue Plan is first step to lessen out-of-pocket health care costs

A recent survey from ALG-POS found that 80% of Americans agree that their health care costs keep going up every year, and more than 70% are struggling with the unpredictability of out-of-pocket …

Dickman: A pig in the parlor — with lipstick

Supreme Court Justice George Sutherland (who also was a former US Senator and congressman from Utah) famously noted in the landmark 1926 case of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co that: “A nuisance may …
Jerry Bien-Willner

Bien-Willner: The real state of affairs on Arizona's short-term rental law

The short-term rental platforms are working hard to spin their recent loss. They would have you believe that they offered legislation to “fix” the STR rental problems that they created in …

Miller: What guns do I really need?

In the ongoing debate over gun control you often hear statements like “no one really needs an AK-47 or an AR-15” (these are usually mislabeled “assault weapons”) or “no …
Bob Ramsey

Ramsey: Here’s one key to continued vaccination progress

As more and more of America gets vaccinated, proof of vaccination could be the ticket to the new normalcy.

Burdick: Horse racing? Just what AZ doesn’t need

Sorry Ralph Fales (who wrote “Historic horse racing could be a win for Arizona,” page 8, April 1, 2021, issue of the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent), you may love your horses but …
Shirley Ooley

Ooley: Rep. Gosar taking credit for bill he opposed

Rep. Paul Gosar pulls teeth but now he’s pulling one over on his constituents. He has been Tweeting and putting out information on how he’s so pleased to inform us that municipalities and …
The Arizona Department of Transportation recommends making special preparations whenever traveling in Arizona during hot weather. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Nintzel: Prepare for highway trips as Arizona transitions to warmer weather

The annual transition is underway. As April arrives, many Arizonans start to deal with the reality that winter weather is long gone and pleasant spring temperatures will make way for the “hot stuff.”
Bill Gates

Gates: Vaccinations ongoing; we must continue prevention efforts

March was another milestone month with nearly 1.2 million Maricopa County residents receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Tiffany Di Giacinto

Di Giacinto: Help save the planet while protecting your oral health this Earth Day

As Earth Day approaches on April 22, it’s worth looking at a few easy ways to add a little green to our dental routine. But where should one start?
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 in Orlando, Fla. [The Associated Press]

Pickering: Says Gaetz guilty, ‘lock him up’

Matt Gaetz, the reactionary Republican representative from the western portion of Florida’s panhandle region, is the subject of an ongoing federal criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice …
Surprise resident Ken Money is an advocate for his son and other autistic children. [Submitted photo]

Money: To parents of children who have autism — you are not alone

I knew being a father wasn’t going to be easy. But I was up for the challenge.
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Whitehead: The Kimsey has earned my support

When over 100 local business owners join forces in support a development that will protect their livelihoods and the vitality of Scottsdale’s downtown, City Council needs to listen up. …
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face-covering mandate in Surprise.

Boyles: Reflecting on impotent society

I was on hold for 45 minutes before a gruff customer service representative snapped, “Can I help you?” I was on hold for so long that I forgot what I was calling about. As I sprung to …
Dr. Helen Boucher

Boucher: Preventing next public health crisis can define Biden’s legacy

The Biden administration’s plan to defeat the coronavirus is underway — and notably includes intentions to “build better preparedness for future threats.”

Crawford: Camelback Road, downtown Scottsdale sidewalks desperately needed

How much longer does Scottsdale have to wait before our most heavily traveled pedestrian corridor gets decent ADA complaint walkable rollable pathways? I would like to bring awareness to the …
Kevin Thompson

Thompson: A lot of construction, plans for development in District 6 over the last year

I remember when I was first elected to represent District 6 in Mesa. We were just coming out of the recession, and there was hardly any construction taking place. Here we are six years later and Mesa …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise.

Bohline: Resident objects to inverted U.S. banner

As one of those other “people” (quotes are his) referenced in George Aschendorf’s letter (“People can hang flags on property”) a couple weeks ago, I take issue with his …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: Lawmakers crack code to K-12 funding in Arizona

Arizona lawmakers just cracked the code for education funding in Arizona. But perhaps not in the way they intended.
Rep. Paul Gosar

Gosar: Don’t close the Apache Junction Social Security office

The Social Security Administration has made its intention known that it is considering shuttering the Apache Junction Social Security office and moving more than 20 miles away, to the town of Gilbert.
Jack Sellers

Sellers: 2020 election was run with integrity

I understand the Arizona Senate has moved forward with selecting and contracting with firms to complete their review of the November 2020 General Election results. I am not familiar with any of the firms listed in the Senate press release.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — April 2021

The 2021 State of the City Video Premiere is scheduled for April 13 at 6 p.m.

SAFIN: Help our communities return to a brighter future

Gov. Doug Ducey’s executive order on March 25 certainly had and will continue to have an impact on our community. Whether you agree or disagree with the transition of “required” virus mitigation to “recommended,” it’s here.

Feess: Ideas on immigration, gun control

I, like most Americans, am frustrated by Congress’s inabilities to do anything toward solving pressing current problems. I would like to suggest two remedies here on which members of both …
Arizona Department of Transportation crews work on the Meteor Crater and Two Guns bridge deck replacement and rehabilitation project on Interstate 40 east of Flagstaff. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Merrill: Zipper merge eases traffic — and your dilemmas

Does merging on the highway pose a dilemma for you?
Connie Van Driel

Van Driel: Former AJ Boys and Girls Club director dies

I sure wish I wasn’t the one writing this email and I am so saddened to have to tell you about the passing of a dear friend. Russell St. John passed away recently from complications brought on …
Alyson Cline

Cline: District 2 Newsletter — April 2021

Help spread the word about keeping our beloved community clean.
Don Henninger, executive director of SCOTT

Henninger: It’s time for Scottsdale to pass anti-discrimination ordinance

Scottsdale’s leaders are proud to proclaim that we are a Golden Rule City. We’ve been one for a couple years now. The city adopted the One Community Unity Pledge a few years before …
Rep. Paul A. Gosar

Gosar: Don’t close the Apache Junction Social Security office

The Social Security Administration has made its intention known that it is considering shuttering the Apache Junction Social Security office and moving more than 20 miles away, to the town of …

Burhop: Should care about health, not nationality

As a Republican, I am puzzled at Rep. Debbie Lesko’s stance on who should get the COVID vaccine. I believe the concept of “herd immunity” was first mentioned by former President …

Goldwater’s plan to unleash innovation in American health care

While the COVID-19 pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for the American health care system, it has also created innovative opportunities for long-overdue health care reform.
David Coward

Coward: Follow the Constitution for redistricting

Some are advancing the argument that the 2010 process was flawed because it emphasized “competitiveness.” This is a false argument used to undermine the integrity of the work of the 2011 …
Linda Curry

Curry: We need balanced policies for short-term rentals

About a year ago, my husband and I built an ADA-friendly guesthouse on our property with the expectation that we’ll eventually use it to look after our aging parents. In the meantime, …

Goncalves: VP elected, says racism is no more

Vice President Kamala Harris stated that America is racist and has always been racist. Her father was from Jamaica and her mother from India. She was elected in the United States of …

Carpenter: Get creative with the ADOT Safety Message Contest

Remember when your teachers would tell you to “put your thinking caps on” before an activity?

Mason: SB1379 does not protect the integrity of homeownership

SB1379 could protect the integrity of homeownership, and could be so much more, if fixed to place more trust of STR zoning decisions to local control and/or to provide stronger and more effective …

Griswold: Rescue plan does not help most in SC

The recently enacted American Rescue Plan does not provide help directly to Sun City, because we are unincorporated. Funds are allocated to Maricopa County and surrounding cities based on …
Bobby Boland

Boland: What can I do after my COVID-19 vaccination?

We have a vaccine! In fact, we have three — with more on the way.
Skip Hall

Hall: City of Surprise is here to help residents

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we first felt the impacts of COVID-19. Unfortunately, for many people the struggle continues and I want you to know that your city is here to help.
Tascha Spears

Spears: Teams administered 132,239 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Pinal County

Pinal County community vaccine teams have administered 132,239 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. A friendly reminder that the state-run COVID19 vaccine sites and some federal pharmacy programs are …

Ryon: Time to ditch ‘silly’ face masks?

I am really irritated when I look at the “Independent” and see photos of students who have achieved, but they are all wearing masks. That is so silly. Can we not see the faces of these …
Jim Braun

Braun: Tax filing time a good time to look ahead

With tax time upon us, one message we keep hearing is that you should file as early as possible.
Edward Snowden

Miller: Says that Snowden a ‘martyr’

Edward Snowden is a martyr. I have recently learned that misdeeds of government officials are nearly impossible to expose. I learned this by reading Edward Snowden’s book “Permanent …
Connie Whitlock

Whitlock: Local park restroom gets facelift from artistic teens

This past weekend, several of Surprise’s teens came together to give the Surprise Bicentennial Park’s Restroom a fresh painting of an old mural from 9 years ago.
Mesa Mayor John Giles

Giles: Governor’s executive order nullifies Mesa’s mask mandate

While I remain an advocate for precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including mask wearing, this can no longer be a legal requirement in the city of Mesa, based on Gov. Doug Ducey’s …
Teresa Leahy

Leahy: April is National Donate Life Month and marks COTA’s 35th anniversary

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association has been removing the financial barriers for families facing transplants for 35 years.
A portion of the Bush fire burns through the Tonto National Forest on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, as seen from Apache Junction. [The Associated Press]

Cline: This year let’s give firefighters a break

Fire season may be getting an early start this year.

Safin: Virus tipping point — repair the damage to our isolated young people

I’m writing this as the governors of Texas and Mississippi are announcing the lifting of their state-wide mask and other virus-related mandates.

Anderson: The 411 on dental deductions in 2021

This year, while the federal tax deadline has been extended, Arizona state taxes must still be filed by April 15, unless you’ve filed an extension, in which case they are due Oct. 15, 2021. …
Steve Chucri

Chucri: It’s time reevaluate county’s mask policy

The mask policy was not something I took lightly.
Nancy Barto

Barto: We can protect most vulnerable, make women’s safety a priority

Remember when the abortion industry grieved the deaths of women performing their own abortions in back alleys? It was a battle cry for legal abortion throughout the country that eventually led to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.
Francisco Heredia

Heredia: March report on what is new in Mesa District 3

Happy March, District 3 neighbors. There are few places better than Mesa, Arizona, in March. The weather is beautiful, spring is in the air and we have exciting things happening in our …
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