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PHOENIX -- Arizonans may get a chance to see who provided Gov. Jan Brewer some of the information for her book and what they told her.
A comic book store specializing in graphic novels, gaming and collectables opened in a new and more profitable location in Mesa this month.
“I’m with President Obama on immigration. I need a new roof on my house. The Republican-controlled Congress has until the first of the year to come up with an immigration bill or I’m going to sign an executive check and get some guys to nail down my new shingles.”
Looking for movie stars and jet-setters on the Italian island of Ischia
I am Jim Archambault, and I have been a physics teacher at Highland High School in Gilbert Public Schools for eight years. Some of the recent commentary in this paper has been about people rather than issues. Here is a list of several of the issues in the school board election as I see them.
Supporters of the Mesa Public Schools override say the $31.8 million dollars at stake are vital to keep the school district afloat, but opponents say the district would use those funds inefficiently.
As a very concerned Arizona resident and caring grandmother, I feel it is very important to inform Arizonans that their vote for superintendent of public instruction should be about qualifications, experience and expertise in the education field.
Vote no on the Queen Creek School District bond and budget override. The district and bond backers are telling voters that the amount of the bond is $80 million. That is a huge number and they have provided almost no details about the expenditures. They have also failed to disclose what the bond would cost during its life. What interest rate(s) will be paid? Where will the funds come from to pay the interest and principal? Will there be yet another bond to pay for this one? The cost for $80 million of debt for 30 years will be somewhere in the vicinity of an additional $63 million at the current bond rate published on the TreasuryDirect.gov website. The voters are not getting the whole story, vote no to out-of-control real estate taxes!
Attorneys for the state are asking a federal judge to throw out a challenge to the state's new “revenge porn” law.
Already being shown the door by voters, state schools chief John Huppenthal is now facing allegations that he improperly used public resources in his unsuccessful reelection bid.
PHOENIX -- Already shown the door by voters, state schools chief John Huppenthal now faces allegations he improperly used public resources in his unsuccessful re-election bid.
The Citizens Clean Elections Commission will decide Thursday whether to investigate whether Huppenthal violated campaign-finance laws by having the Department of Education produce and distribute a video where he sought to clarify his beliefs on the Common Core academic standards. That video, also uploaded to YouTube, was published two weeks before the Aug. 26 Republican primary.
Tom Collins, the commission's executive director, said Huppenthal, as an elected official, does have certain rights to communicate with constituents. But Collins said the video and the message were "indistinguishable from his campaign message.'' And he said the timing also made it suspicious.
"Finally, if there is a significant doubt, (Huppenthal) unequivocally pledged to this constituency that he would undertake a policy initiative in his next term to review the issue,'' Collins said in a memo to commission members. Collins called this an "unambiguous campaign pledge'' made with state resources -- and violation of state law that prohibits Huppenthal, as a publicly funded candidate, from taking this type of in-kind contribution.
Collins, citing the evidence he has, is asking the commission when it meets to let him conduct a full-blown investigation, including the right to subpoena documents.
Any investigation of improper use of state resources is beyond the scope of the commission.
Huppenthal, in a prepared statement, denied any wrongdoing, saying in the last three years on the job he has communicated daily with educators about standards for math and English language arts.
"This communication is a huge part of my job,'' he said.
Huppenthal said as the Common Core standards became more controversial, he was acting to "protect the education system by communicating more, not less.''
"I believe it would have been a dereliction of duty to have done less,'' he said.
Huppenthal declined to be interviewed.
Common Core was the hot-button issue in the Republican primary, as it remains in the general election.
The standards, crafted by the National Governors Association, school officials and business leaders, are designed to spell out what students should know at various points in their education. They were adopted four years ago in Arizona with the support of both Gov. Jan Brewer and Huppenthal.
As recently as February, Huppenthal defended the standards, saying they will "raise the bar for our students and better prepare them to succeed as they move on to college or career pathways.'' But that was before Republican challenger Diane Douglas began attacking the standards as being driven from Washington over the beliefs of Arizona parents.
Huppenthal, in that August video -- and his campaign stance -- took a more nuanced stance to what had since been renamed Arizona College and Career Ready Standards, saying he opposes anything removing responsibility for curriculum and standards from local school boards and promised to work with the next governor and education community to fully review the standards.''
Despite that shift, Douglas handily won the primary. She now faces off in November against Democrat David Garcia.
Collins, in saying there's reason to believe the law was broken, said elected officials have "First Amendment rights in their advocacy of policies.''
But he said none of that overrules restrictions on contributions. And he said Huppenthal, having accepting public funds for his campaign, agreed to the restrictions which come with that.
Follow Howard Fischer on Twitter at @azcapmedia.
PHOENIX -- Arizona's chief health officer is proposing to make it more difficult to add new conditions to the list for which doctors can recommend the drug.
The change would require "clear and convincing evidence'' published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, that there is some benefit from the use of marijuana to humans for the specified medical condition. State Health Director Will Humble said that probably means multiple articles.
That's a big change from the current regulations which allow consideration of "a summary of the evidence'' that marijuana will either help treat the condition or at least provide some relief from symptoms. And while the current rules also ask for articles in scientific journals, there is no mandate that the research be "evidence based'' -- or that the conclusions be clear and convincing.
Humble's proposal comes months after he effectively was required, against his own judgment, to allow doctors to make medical marijuana available for post-traumatic stress disorder.
He originally had rejected the application as being based largely on anecdotal evidence. But Humble reversed himself when a state hearing officer pointed out that his agency's own rules specifically require him to consider such evidence.
And Humble said had his proposed rules been in effect at the time, he never would have made marijuana available for PTSD.
The move drew opposition from Jeffrey Kaufman, an attorney whose practice includes representing marijuana dispensaries.
"The governments have constructed a complex and impossible program and maze for anyone to get medical marijuana studies funding,'' he said. "So, obviously, it's going to be impossible for anybody to have any type of peer-reviewed literature or studies.''
That's also the assessment of attorney Ken Sobel who brought the legal challenge that resulted in Humble adding PTSD to the list. And he said a lawsuit is likely if Humble goes ahead with the change.
"It would be really in violation of the voters' intent,'' Sobel said, saying wanted an easy method of adding conditions because of the legal roadblocks to scientific research.
But Humble is defending the new restriction.
"I want everything we do to be based on evidence and data,'' he said.
The 2010 The voter-approved law allows the use of the drug by patients suffering from a list of specific medical conditions, ranging from glaucoma and AIDS to any chronic or debilitating condition that leads to severe and chronic plan. At last count, close to 53,000 people have qualified under that existing list, allowing them to purchase up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks.
That 2010 law, however, also requires Humble to consider requests to expand the list of conditions for which marijuana can be legally recommended by a doctor.
Humble had rejected repeated efforts to add PTSD to the list, saying there was a lack of scientific studies.
But in June, a hearing officer said the agency's own rules require Humble to consider the anecdotal testimony of doctors and nurses who said the drug has helped their patients. And Humble backed down after proponents, in what he called "a stroke of luck,'' also came up with a study out of New Meixco that found what he said was "an association between cannabis used and PTSD symptoms in some patients.''
Still, Humble said all that probably would not meet the new standards.
"The rules that we're proposing today make it really clear that it needs to be not just published data but published data that's convincing,'' he said. "And not just one, unless it's a really, really good study.''
He said the single study on PTSD that was presented to him did not meet the standard for "clear and convincing evidence.'' In fact, the study says that further research is necessary.
Headaches affect 57 to 82 percent of teenagers, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. These headaches are caused by multiple factors, including the act of chewing gum. A recent study published by the Pediatric Neurology journal reported, “Excessive daily gum-chewing may be associated with chronic headache and should get more attention in the medical literature.”
The company working to manufacture Sapphire glass screens in a partnership with Apple has announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce has announced the nominees for the 2014 Palo Verde Women in Business Award.
Arizona booksellers and others are asking a federal judge to void a new law aimed at “revenge porn” because it also could land them in prison.
This is very simple: Gilbert School Board member Daryl Colvin should resign from his office. Now.
The purpose of Trevor Godfrey’s Sept. 14, article," Mesa preschool accuses Groupon of religious discrimination,” mystifies and disappoints me. The front-page title, subtitle, and picture of the angry owners and employee eagerly satisfy those who love sound-bite journalism. Yet those who make the effort to turn to page 8, learn that Groupon denies that they discriminate against religious organizations. In fact, many readers confirm that they do indeed advertise events connected to the faith community.
Author Jeb Rosebrook is one of Arizona’s biggest literary advocates and his new book, the first in nearly a half a century, finds him right where he left off — in fine form.
WAR! Here we go again! We hear the call to attack and destroy ISIS from all arenas: from Tom Patterson (“Time for US to get ‘crazy’ and fight to win in Middle East,” East Valley Tribune, Aug. 24), from Joe Klein (“An Evil That Must Be Stopped,” Time Magazine, Aug. 25), and from many politicians, government advisers and so-called military experts. And this after just having briefly commemorated the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, “The Great War,” the “War To End All Wars.” As we lackadaisically prepare ourselves to slay our newest foe, ISIS, it might be worthwhile to glance at an excerpt from Ernst Glaeser’s renowned best-seller from 1928, “Jahrgang 1902” (“Birth Year 1902”).
A Tempe-based post-secondary education marketing company earned a spot among the country’s fastest-growing, privately held companies of 2014.
Mesa THINKspot will host a creative writing class Saturday, Sept. 13 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
A prosecutor says an Oklahoma man charged with mailing an inoperable homemade bomb to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio wasn't motivated by animosity toward the sheriff and instead sent the explosive package in hopes of framing a former business partner.
Last Friday, I had the privilege of sitting down with young, up-and-coming author/actress Jessica Hickam, one of Arizona’s own who has decided to make her way in L.A. The firstborn of three girls, Jessica grew up in Tucson and graduated from Arizona State University. While Hickam noted that she was afraid to “leave the nest,” she did and has been flying high ever since. I was able to chat about her recently published book, “The Revealed.”
On Sept. 4, Mesa will host the “Open Data Roadshow,” along with Arizona State University and Code for America, at the Mesa Arts Center’s Piper Theater. The exposé will focus on the ways that everyone can benefit from increased transparency in local government.