Report on the news that matters to your community and don't let us miss a beat. Send in your stories and photos.
My Recent Comments
In May 2009, the leaders of the DM-50, Fort Huachuca 50 and Fighter Country Partnership sent the following letter to Governor Jan Brewer.
Their appeal fell on deaf ears. Over the last few years, Brewer and the legislature have presided over millions in additional education cuts.
Time's up. Proposition 204 has my full support.
Dear Governor Brewer:
We are writing to strongly encourage you to resist calls for further cuts to education spending as you continue to make necessary budget decisions. From the perspective of the most recent round of the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process in 2005, further cuts in education endanger the $10B economic engine we seek to preserve and grow; namely, our military installations.
Quality of education for family members continues to be a significant measure in the Pentagon’s calculus of the value of a military installation. For example, during the last BRAC round the Sierra Vista community put as much effort into preventing the Pentagon BRAC commission from misrepresenting Fort Huachuca with the gross state per-capita education spending statistic as it did in educating them about the true nature of water in Southeastern Arizona. There’s no room for erosion (in either).
The Pentagon will make decisions to restructure basing of forces as US involvement in the conflict in the Middle East winds down, as it fields new aircraft and major defense budget changes are announced. Education is also a major factor in attracting the talent needed by the many high-tech contracting firms that support Arizona’s military installations. Rest assured that education will be one of the key factors in determining the continued viability of Arizona’s military installations. Holding the line on education spending is an investment in Arizona’s and America’s future.
The challenges of the current budgetary process are daunting, but they should not cause us to make decisions that will have serious and unintended consequences. We strongly urge you to resist attempts to further cut funding for education in Arizona communities.
Glen Kerslake, President, DM-50
Lawrence J. Portouw, President, Fort Huachuca 50
Steve Yamamori, Executive Director/CEO, Fighter Country Partnership8 months ago
Dear Arizona State Legislators,
Way back in the day, I received state financial assistance so I could go to school. I was (and still am) grateful for the support -- there is no way that I would have obtained my university degree without the help.
I also worked - usually three jobs. Retail, an internship/volunteer position and pizza delivery & dishes late at night. The two paying jobs I had ebbed with seasonal demands, so they weren't the most 'steady' income a person could hope for.
I resent the political posturing and the suggestion that I was in any way "freeloading" off the taxpayers. All of that work around full-time study was just enough to pay my bills (rent, etc.) and sometimes not even enough. An extra $2,000 might not sound "like a big deal" to someone who hasn't been in this situation, but I can assure you that it would have presented a monumental challenge.
Why place another barrier on getting your citizens into a higher tax bracket? Study after study shows that college educated professionals pay more in taxes and cost the government less in a myriad of ways (healthcare, disability, etc.). The cost/benefit analysis is clear and decisive.
Just this year I paid enough in just in state and property taxes to make up for the 'burden' I placed on society during all four years of my undergrad. Education is an investment, and we all benefit from the 'return' we see when our society gets it right.
Feb 23, 2012
How the heck does Governor Brewer have so much free time right now that she can be writing a book?!?
I'm all for elected leaders taking vacation time and trying to keep sane hours (say, 60-70 hours a week), but I do NOT appreciate our Governor working on vanity projects on the side while our state is experiencing so many monumental issues.
If you are fortunate enough to be elected to the office of the Governor, you better be keeping your eye on the ball. Ghost writer or not, this book is simply one more bit of grandstanding that detracts from the greater needs of our state.Aug 23, 2011
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I saw this headline.
Russell Pearce has spent his legislative career voting AGAINST our neighborhood schools. He has especially been in favor of removing resources from public schools and shifting them to for-profit deals like Ms. Robinett's organization.
Aug 2, 2011
In my business, we don't cut training and employee development when we are facing a challenging cycle. Quite on the contrary -- training & development is vital to our ability to develop solutions, market effectively and keep the knowledge basis we need to ensure a viable product pipeline.
I agree that Arizona needs to balance the budget but I think the editors are missing a crucial point. There are a multitude of solutions to our short & long term economic problems aside from tax cuts. Econ 101 also includes the importance of labor markets and balance in every government & business operation. A business that cuts all of it's proprietary strengths is bound to falter. Arizona is faltering already because of our leadership's seeming disregard for education -- these last few years of additional cuts have only made a bad situation much worse.
Apr 10, 2011
This is a joke.
Article 2, Section 5 of our Arizona State Constitution reads that state debt "shall never exceed the sum of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars." Our legislature breezed past that constitutional restriction ages ago.
See also: Article 11, Section 10; Article 10, Section 6; etc., etc. Our current crop of legislators don't let silly documents like the Constitution get in their way!
You might also say that Senator Frank Antenori also decided to forgo Article IX, Section 1 of our Constitution when he signed that stupid Washington DC special interest group "No Tax Pledge." I know fixing the current problem is more difficult than making pledges for the future, but it sure would be great if our legislators would make a go of it.
Feb 10, 2011
Imagine, just for a moment, what would happen if anyone tried to create a "senior-free" neighborhood. No one over 65 allowed, and certainly no government services for the lederly (Social Security, Medicare, etc.)
Sound crazy? The argument would go a bit like this... My young family has to pay taxes for an array of senior benefits that we can't utilize. If senior citizens want things like healthcare, etc. they should have to pay for it themselves. Didn't save enough during your working career? You just weren't working hard enough.
Senior drivers pose serious problems on our roadways and diseases of the elderly (Alzheimer's, etc.) are a drain on our mental health and medical system. And don't even get me started on those unfair 'senior' discounts for movie tickets!
Of course, most of us in America can clearly see the financial and ethical obligations we have to our senior community. Ignoring the needs of our aging population would be massively short-sighted, given that we'll all be there ourselves someday.
That said, I can hardly believe that we Americans tolerate the reverse discrimination on our children. You can't compartmentalize one segment of society from another. The senior citizens in Ms. Lesko's neighborhood are not even remotely self-sufficient - they are the recipients of a vast array of goods and services that require an educated workforce.
Beyond the hospitals and businesses that serve their community, our military and national defense system is massively dependent on our ability to produce an educated populace. To declare that you are no longer responsible for supporting education in our country is beyond pathetic. The residents of that community should be ashamed of themselves, and Rep. Lesko needs to reconsider just what a 'patriot' really means before she breaks out her next political soundbite.
Jan 28, 2011