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As usual Mr. Murphy’s Dec. 14. column is full of mis-facts. Obama energy policy? Gas prices are down due to global demand being down and OPEC supplies staying at their present levels. Same supply, lower demand, prices go down to keep the supplier from losing money. They want to keep a cash flow, even if it’s break even. U.S. supplies are up? More permits and drilling, including fracking on private land, government public permits are down.
PHOENIX -- Arizona added nearly 100,000 new residents this past year, more than virtually every other state in the nation.
WASHINGTON - The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has reached its lowest level in seven weeks, a sign that the U.S. economy and job market are steadily improving.
The University of Arizona may have won this year’s Territorial Cup, but Tempe is where you want to be if you are a student.
Kudos to President Obama for his energy policy that has resulted not only in the United States becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, but has also given us a major drop in oil prices with gasoline now selling for well under $2.50 a gallon. OPEC is reeling thanks to him!
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona will likely see lackluster economic growth in the coming year as the hangover from the housing bust continues to dampen the economic recovery, economists presenting at an annual forecast meeting said Wednesday.
A report from Valley Auto Dealers Association (VADA), the planning organization for the Arizona International Auto Show and representing body for 150 Valley auto dealerships, reveals that through the end of the third quarter, new car sales are up in Maricopa County with a 6.2 percent increase over the same period last year.
President Obama’s executive action authorizing amnesty for at least 5 million illegal immigrants was obviously unlawful and unconstitutional. He’s said so many times himself. He claims he had no choice since the good of the country demanded that he act. But that’s really not true either.
If you’re looking for a job, you may have posted your resume on the state website, azjobconnection.gov. It’s required if you collect unemployment benefits in Arizona.
PHOENIX -- Arizona gained 24,700 private-sector jobs last month, enough to push the state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate down a tenth of a point, to 6.8 percent.
Arizona gained 24,700 private sector jobs last month, enough to push the state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate down a tenth of a point, to 6.8 percent. But all indications are that many of these aren't necessarily the best jobs in the world.
The good weather doesn't hurt, but WalletHub has found a variety of other factors that make Arizona communities good places for veterans.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Visiting the Grand Canyon and other national parks could get a little pricier.
The National Park Service said 115 of its 401 units plan to seek public comment on entrance fees that could go up starting next year. It's part of a broader effort by the agency to bring in more money for visitor services and start addressing a backlog of projects ahead of its centennial.
"Obviously everyone would love to have fees not go up, but we also know the reality is budgets have been static and tight," said Patrick O'Driscoll, a spokesman in the agency's Intermountain Region based in Denver. "Fees are one of the only ways that parks can try to catch up with some important improvements, badly needed upgrades."
The Grand Canyon announced a proposal Friday to increase its single-vehicle entrance fee from $25 to $30 for a seven-day pass. Efforts to raise fees at other parks across the country will be wide-ranging but cannot top certain limits. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and Sequoia are among 10 parks where proposed entrance fees will be capped at $30 per vehicle or $15 per person, for example, the Park Service said.
About 130 national park units charge entrance fees, and they are able to keep 80 percent of those fees for use within the individual park. The other 20 percent goes into a pool and is distributed to parks that don't charge visitors to enter.
Entrance fees pay for things like repairs and maintenance, visitor exhibits and resource protection. At the Grand Canyon, a percentage of entrance fees is set aside for eventual replacement of aging water pipelines.
Under the Grand Canyon's proposal, prices for visitors on motorcycles also would go up from $20 to $25. Bicyclists and pedestrians would be charged $15, up from $12. Annual passes would go from $50 to $60. The price of a pass to visit any of the national park units would remain the same at $80 per year.
The public has 60 days to weigh in on the proposed increases at Grand Canyon. Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis wrote in an August memo that a park could chose not to implement proposed fees if there is significant public outcry.
One national monument in southern Arizona has since decided to eliminate its $5 entrance fee per person. Chiricahua National Monument spokeswoman Julena Campbell said raising prices didn't make sense because many people who visit the monument known for its volcanic rock formations already use an interagency pass or have discounted passes.
Grand Canyon spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski said the park receives about $18 million per year from entrance fees. The park last increased its per-vehicle fee in 1997 from $20 to $25.
Darren Weigl, who works at an outdoors shop in Flagstaff, said the proposed increase is reasonable. He would like to see the extra money go to educational programs.
"I imagine if they're getting less or staying stagnant, you have to create revenue in some way to keep people enjoying it," he said. "If it's for the betterment of the park, I'm for it."
Lloyd and Linda Andersen of Sun City, senior citizens who have a $10 lifetime pass to national park units, said the Grand Canyon should consider raising that fee to keep people who are unemployed or families struggling with money from having to pay more to enter.
"Let the younger families keep enjoying it without raising it," Linda Andersen said. "They won't come."
Her husband suggested people could cut down on expenses inside the park and spend the extra money to get through the gates. "Seeing it is the best part," Lloyd Andersen said.
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.
Arizona's jobless rate slid last month, but the statistics show that the state still has a long way to go toward recovery.
“Sometimes the airplanes in Chandler are so loud and low, I feel like I am in a war zone.”
Q: Why are you running?
Months ago a friend handed me a little book entitled “Have A Little Faith,” written by Mitch Albom. Honestly, it sat on my shelf for a long time gathering dust. It’s not that I was uninterested; I was plowing through some dense reading material and figured that Albom’s book was a little too light for what I had my teeth sunk in at the time.
PHOENIX – Arizona has had one of the nation’s highest rates of suicide in recent years, and while that rate has barely climbed for the state’s overall population one segment has seen a substantial increase: middle-aged men.
In 2002, the suicide rate for men ages 45 to 64 stood at 34.4 per 100,000. In 2012, that rate was 41.8 per 100,000, a 21.5 percent increase.
Among all Arizonans, the rate was 16.2 suicides per 100,000 in 2012, nearly the same as the 2002 rate of 15.9 per 100,000.
Christopher Kilmartin, a psychology professor at University of Mary Washington in Virginia, said that men of middle age and older experience changes like plateauing in careers and suffering from health problems. They grow up believing they shouldn’t discuss their emotions when these changes occur.
“The most common motive for suicide is to escape from your pain, so if you’ve got nowhere else to go to escape your pain or you think, ‘If I talk to my friend about it, he’ll see me as being unmanly, or if I ask for help it means I’m weak,’” Kilmartin said.
The economic recession that began in 2008 played a significant role in the increased rate of suicide among middle-aged men, who are usually lead providers in households, said Sally Spencer-Thomas, CEO & co-founder of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation in Colorado, an organization that aims to curb suicide.
“There were more acute unemployment situations,” Spencer Thomas said. “That often leads to family stress and maybe moving, or a divorce. There’s a domino effect.”
These economic factors can leave middle-aged men depressed, which is one reason a man may act on suicidal thoughts, according to Will Courtenay, author of “Dying to be Men.” He added that there’s a myth in society that men in general don’t get depressed, a notion that he said results in men not expressing their emotions.
“The myth that men don’t get depressed is so powerful that even trained, mental health clinicians are less likely to correctly diagnose depression in men than in women,” Courtenay said. “Consequently, men are less likely to receive treatment for their depression. Left untreated, a man’s depression will often worsen and can lead to suicide.”
For Arizona’s overall population, the rate of suicide among men has been several times higher than that among women.
Kilmartin said while men might have friends from activities such as sports or from work, most don’t have a friend who truly knows them.
“You’re on your own a lot more than the average person was 50 years ago, and the individual as a basis for self-esteem is a shaky foundation,” Kilmartin said. “When you feel like you’re a part of something and there’s people around you that are supportive of you, that’s very protective.”
Heather Brown, board of directors vice president for the Arizona Suicide Prevention Coalition, said the organization provides Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training that helps people identify the warning signs in others. The coalition also has a conference in early October in Phoenix that provides more information on suicide prevention training.
“Honestly, they don’t want to die,” Brown said. “They’re just looking for an end to the chronic pain.”
Ron French, adult services clinical director at Mohave Mental Health Clinic, suggests that people start reaching out to family and friends if they notice their loved ones becoming depressed or beginning to withdraw.
“We don’t want to be rude or impolite, but we need to keep an eye on them,” French said. “Let them know we’re their friend, and we care about them. If you tell me everything is OK and you’re feeling blue, I’ll honor that and I’ll pay a little bit more attention.”
A town hall event scheduled for Sept. 30 in Chandler will address issues related to the state’s vulnerable population.
Arizona's jobless rate increased in August for the third month in a row, with indicators on the horizon that things may not get better for awhile.
More than 13,000 Arizona women terminated their pregnancies last year by abortion, a slight increase from the year before.
Economics questions are very often decided on emotion, not facts or logic. Nowhere is this truer than on the question of a government-mandated minimum wage. In a recent letter, Mr. Livdahl cites the rising prices of goods and services as a call to raise the mandated minimum wage. He believes this will make it easier for people to get through trade school or college. If your thinking does not extend beyond the end of a bumper sticker slogan, you might tend to agree. After all, it feels so good to envision the benefits of a government-mandated minimum wage. Unfortunately, on this question, emotion and economic reality clash head-on.