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PHOENIX - Actors Theatre, which has produced compelling, thought-provoking and often edgy plays for nearly 30 years, is closing its doors.
In Kathleen Murphy’s Inbox letter on Nov. 30, she’s correct that many stupid voters don’t do, or are too lazy to do, research. They get their info from “conservative TV or radio”? What about ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, HLN, MSNBC or “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”? Are they all conservative? I don’t think so.
PHOENIX -- A veteran state lawmaker is pushing his colleagues to triple the wages of some Arizonans. The issue is what is paid to minimum security inmates who are allowed to work outside the prison walls.
Like filing your income taxes with pen and paper? The state is going to make it more difficult for you to get the forms you need. And if you don't have a computer, then be prepared to spend some time on the road to get them.
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.
The letter from Mr. Murphy about stupid Americans was correct to an extent. Really stupid Americans are too dumb to vote. Our biggest problem is those who are willfully ignorant and too lazy to research anything. They get their information from conservative TV or radio, or simply vote the same way they have always voted — by party. That is why we had an election in which the Republicans won seats in Congress, but “liberal issues” such as higher minimum wage, background checks, reproductive rights and legalization of marijuana, among others, did pass. So it seems that American voters know what they want but don’t know who will give it to them.
For more than 20 years, Jay Leno used comedy and charm to keep late-night viewers enthralled as the host of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
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 holiday catalogs and gift guides are starting to pour in, full of wonderful stuff to wrap for friends and family. But what about those who don't really want more stuff?
Obama is going to poison the well over immigration reform. Republicans are bent on putting poison pills in the Affordable Care Act. All this last election did was turn gridlock into hemlock.”
This photo provided by Prosperity Candle shows Essential Oils and a Forever candle. The candle is hand made by Prosperity's corps of women artisans, who are able to earn a living wage and build a brighter future for their families. When the candle burns low it can be returned to Prosperity for a complimentary refill. Fragrances include vanilla bean and peppercorn, amber and orchid, and redwood and patchouli. (AP Photo/Prosperity Candle)
This photo provided by Prosperity Candle shows a Forever candle that is hand made by Prosperity's corps of women artisans, who are able to earn a living wage and build a brighter future for their families. When the candle burns low it can be returned to Prosperity for a complimentary refill. Fragrances include vanilla bean and peppercorn, amber and orchid, and redwood and patchouli. (AP Photo/Prosperity Candle)
The good weather doesn't hurt, but WalletHub has found a variety of other factors that make Arizona communities good places for veterans.
Arizona is deciding a full slate of statewide, congressional and local races, many of which were highly competitive heading in to the final hours of the campaign. The closeness of the contests has been reflected in the bombardment of attack ads over the final weeks as Democratic, Republican and special interest groups have spent large amounts of money in Arizona. Here is a look at the ticket, and what's at stake:
A recent guest editorial in this paper titled “Stand for Something or Fall for Anything” did not correctly represent the actions or the intent of multiple groups that support Jill Humpherys and Charlie Santa Cruz for the Gilbert School Board. We are taking this opportunity to share our passion for public education and support for Jill and Charlie with you.
Jill Humphreys and Charlie Santa Cruz understand the importance of working closely with the Gilbert mayor and councilmembers. Their decisions consistently support the efforts to bring high-wage employment into our town and state. Both Jill and Charlie recognize businesses are interested in locating in a community that values public education and supports adherence to standards that allow for graduates to be prepared for continued education and work place readiness. Join the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, local leaders and me as we vote to support Jill Humphreys and Charlie Santa Cruz to lead Gilbert Publics Schools’ Governing Board in a positive pro-student, pro-taxpayer and pro-business direction.
What would you buy with an extra $6 a week?
american dollars in the hands
PHOENIX -- What would you buy with an extra $6 a week? Two gallons of milk? A Big Mac meal? A venti half-caf sugar-free latte?
That's how much more those at the bottom of the pay scale will be making come Jan. 1 when the minimum wage in Arizona goes to $8.05 an hour.
It's not that businesses necessarily want to pay their workers more. It's that Arizona voters in 2006 mandated that the state have its own minimum wage not tied to the federal figure.
More significant, that law requires annual automatic adjustments tied to inflation. The federal minimum wage goes up only when Congress approves, something that last happened in 2009.
It all goes back to that 2006 initiative. It established a state minimum wage of $6.75 an hour, $1.60 higher than what federal law required at the time.
But that law also requires the Industrial Commission to adjust the figure annually based on inflation, as measured as the change in the Consumer Price Index for all urban areas.
So the commission took the current $7.90 an hour minimum wage and multiplied it by the 1.7 percent increase in inflation.
That computes out to about 13.4 cents. But since the law requires rounding to the nearest nickel, the enacted change is 15 cents.
How many workers are affected is unclear, as the state does not maintain such data.
The most recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 17,000 Arizonans working at the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage and another 51,000 paid less than that. But the agency cautions that includes those whose jobs are exempt and does not mean employers are violating federal law.
Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which unsuccessfully opposed the 2006 initiative, said his organization remains convinced that a state minimum wage higher than the federal figure is bad not only for business but for those looking for work.
"It's just another expense that makes it more difficult to hire workers,'' he said. Most hard hit, he said are small businesses, particularly in the food service industry.
It is only an 80-cent-an-hour difference from the federal figure. But Hamer said looking at it from an annual basis -- $312 a year -- multiplied by the number of minimum-wage workers ``clearly puts downward pressure on employment.'' All that, he said is these small businesses hire fewer workers.
Steve Chucri, president of the Arizona Restaurant Association, said he has seen in his industry.
"It's hard to find bus boys anymore,'' he said, as restaurants, seeking to keep costs in line, make the wait staff more responsible to clear tables.
And for those establishments that can't cut staff more, particularly in the "quick-serve'' segment, the only alternative is higher prices.
He said the differences between what consumers pay in Arizona versus other states which have no comparable state minimum wage may be subtle and barely noticeable. But he said those differences exist.
Chucri said it becomes very visible where the gap is large, relating how a San Francisco restaurant where he was dining said it was adding 3 percent to all bills for employer mandates. That includes that city's $10.74-an-hour minimum wage, one that proponents hope to hike to $15 an hour by 2018 through a ballot measure.
Hamer said the really troubling part is that annual inflationary increase, with higher wages forced on employers who may not be able to afford it.
He acknowledged that the adjustment is based on the change in the cost of goods and services during the prior year. And Hamer, who said he does the shopping for his family, said he has seen prices go up.
But he said that $7.90 an hour is better than nothing, which is what he said a higher minimum wage may mean to some.
Chucri has a somewhat different take on the issue, saying the wages should be set by the free market. He said if restaurants, diners and fast-food joints can't find people at what they're offering, that will raise wages.
Anyway, he said, that minimum wage is really a "training wage,'' with most of those at that level in the 18-to-25 age group.
"We don't intend to have a single mother of three make the minimum wage and say it's fine,'' he said. Chucri said anyone with experience can demand more.
As it turns out, many Arizona restaurants won't even have to pay that $8.05 figure.
The Arizona law has a major exception: Firms whose workers earn tips get a $3 "credit'' toward the wages. That means even with the hike, those workers still could be paid as little as $5.05 an hour.
But state officials say that requires proof that the employees are, in fact, bringing in at least $3 an hour in tips.
History of Arizona's Minimum Wage
Year / State / Federal
2006 / $5.15 / $5.15
2007 / $6.75 / $5.85
2008 / $6.90 / $6.55
2009 / $7.25 / $7.25
2010 / $7.25 / $7.25
2011 / $7.35 / $7.25
2012 / $7.65 / $7.25
2013 / $7.80 / $7.25
2014 / $7.90 / $7.25
2015 / $8.05 / $7.25
Sources: Industrial Commission of Arizona, U.S. Department of Labor
This August, I began my 19th year as a public school educator in the field of American history and government. The message I convey to my students each year is that they can make an impact in the world that they live in. When they enter my classroom, they see the following statements on my back wall: Use Your Voice, Take A Stand, Make A Difference.
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