Supervisor Todd House Featured Presenter at March 30 Open Space Forum

3/27/2013

APACHE JUNCTION, AZ – Pinal County Supervisor Todd House will be a featured presenter at a free open space and land conservation forum on Saturday, March 30 starting at 7:00 PM. House represents the Apache Junction, Superstition and Gold Canyon areas, three areas of Pinal County that are rich with beautiful views and trails.

“I’m an avid outdoorsman who understands the quality-of-life and economic development value of open space and recreational opportunities,” Supervisor House said. “We need to preserve scenic open space, create interconnected multi-use trails and develop Pinal County in a way that respects open space. I’m pleased to be able to present my thoughts and Pinal County’s progress thus far.”

There will be informative presentations by Pinal Partnership’s Northern Open Space Initiative Group, the Superstition Area Land Trust and Supervisor Todd House.

Status of Open Space & Land Conservation in Pinal County Saturday, March 30 starting at 7:00 PM
Mountain Brook Village’s Superstition Center
5782 South Mountain Brook Drive
Gold Canyon, AZ 85118
Free & Open to the Public

Pinal County Earns State’s Only A+ for Transparency in Government

3/25/2013

FLORENCE – Pinal County is the first and only Arizona county to earn an A+ for transparency in government. Sunshine Review is a non-profit organization formed to push for transparency in government and recognize the most transparent government websites in America. This is the fifth year that Pinal County has received a Sunny Award and the first year it earned an A+.

Sunshine Review rates more than 7,000 city, county and school district websites in all 50 states, giving each a grade for transparency.

The push for greater transparency in government is evident by an increase in sites earning an A grade. Nationwide there were only 35 counties to earn the coveted A+ grade.

Read more:  http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/NewsInformation/Lists/News%20and%20Announcements/DispFormA.aspx?List=a034c985-f072-4734-926b-9dcdba43664a&ID=1288

LAWMAKERS TOLD CONSTITUTION REQUIRES SECURE BORDER

An organization that made a name for itself fighting China’s plan to take over American ports now is urging states to demand that Washington obey the U.S. Constitution and secure the borders.

Jonathon Moseley, executive director of American Border Control, told WND his group has been sending letters to members of the legislatures in border states such as Texas and Arizona.

The letters point out that the Constitution requires the federal government to secure the borders if state legislatures or governors ask.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/lawmakers-told-constitution-requires-secure-border/#asZ4XXBPfAhcF2mZ.99

County Recorder: Elections Office will Move

3/19/2013

FLORENCE – Pinal County Recorder Virginia Ross announced on Friday that election services for the public, and for candidates, will be moved to the Recorder’s Voter Registration Office at 31 North Pinal Street, Building E.

The Pinal County Elections Office located on 383 North Main Street will be closed to the public beginning Monday March 18th and the space will be converted into a secure elections warehouse and ballot processing center.

“The citizens of Pinal County deserve a one-stop shop approach to elections services and a secured election processing center,” Recorder Virginia Ross said. “Our office is committed to excellent customer service, security and accuracy.”

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors recently authorized the move of the Elections Department from the County Manager’s reporting structure to the County Recorder. County Recorder Ross states that the office relocation will bring additional trained resources to serve the public.

The Recorder’s office is responsible for keeping safe and accurate documentation of deeds, liens and other official documents pertaining to properties, contracts and more. In addition, the County Recorder maintains accurate voter registration data. During an election, the Recorder’s office mails and processes the early ballots and validates the provisional ballots.

The Pinal County Recorder’s Office is headquartered in Florence with service locations in Apache Junction and Casa Grande. See http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/Recorder/Pages/OfficeLocations.aspx locations and hours.

Superstitions 9.12 Tea Party Patriots Weekly Meeting 03-14-13

SuperTThe Superstition 912 Tea Party met Thursday night for their regular weekly meeting at the Feedbag Restaurant in Apache Junction.  The meeting started at 6:30 pm with Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Judy also thanked the attending veterans for their service, announced some upcoming events (information available on the website – http://superstition912teapartypatriots.ning.com/) and then turned the podium over to the first speaker, Todd House, Pinal County District 5 Supervisor.

Todd brought us up to date on the Resolution Copper project.  On Wednesday, the County Board of Supervisors passed a unanimous resolution of support for the project requesting that the Federal Government expedite the swap of county and federal lands that is needed to move the project forward.  Later, the same night, the Town Council of Superior (http://www.superior-arizona.com/) met in special meeting and unanimously passed a resolution of opposition to the project.   This is significant because the Resolution Copper Project requires a land exchange between federal and county areas and the Federal Government gives great weight to the opinions of the communities involved.  While the land involved is under county control, the Town of Superior is the closest municipality so it is uncertain how the Federal offices reviewing the exchange will weigh the opposing opinions.  It is also perplexing that a municipality that has suffered greatly during the economic downturn and is on the edge of insolvency would choose to oppose the wealth of economic opportunities that would come from the Resolution Copper project.  Many local people attended to speak in support of the project but no public comments were allowed.  It was also the last meeting of this Council as Superior just held elections and the new board is due to be seated before the next regular meeting.

Jeff Serdy, Apache Junction City Council member and owner of AJI Sporting Goods (http://www.ajisports.com/), advised he would be a guest on ‘A Call to Rights’ radio show which airs on 1100 AM on Saturday.  Jeff is a regular member of their monthly round table on 2nd Amendment issues.  Congressman Paul Gosar was a guest speaker this week as well.  Jeff also spoke about current city council issues and concerns that businesses approaching the council are not getting equitable treatment.

Beth Hallgren requested everyone contact their legislators to stand against Governor Brewer’s efforts to expand Medicaid in Arizona by buying into the Federal Healthcare programs.

The guest speaker for the evening was Tony Tangalos.  Mr. Tangalos is host of The Prepper Patch radio show which airs on 1100 AM every Sunday from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  The show can also be listened to on-line at www.1100kfnx.com and you can download any past show podcast at www.bepreparedradio.com.  Additional information is also available at his website www.theprepperpatch.com.

Mr. Tangalos’s focus for the evening was providing information for the audience to share with family and friends who are either new to the idea of preparedness and/or skeptical of the need to do so.  He provided a pamphlet with a list of information sources and, among other topics, reviewed three critical definitions to prepping that explain the tendency to downplay the need for planned preparation and how to address the issue.

The first definition was the concept of Normalcy Bias.  People tend to assume something that has never or rarely  occurred probably isn’t going to happen so they discount the probability and possible magnitude of the event and are biased towards the most optimistic or ‘normal’ outlook instead of the most realistic.  This causes people to have difficulty and often an inability to cope with crisis and/or change.  Akin to this is the second definition – the Black Swan Theory.  Black Swan is a metaphor for a rare or hard to predict event that utterly surprises the participant and for whom it has great and lasting impact.  These events are far beyond normal disasters and almost impossible to predict on a global (the Japanese Tsunami, the Sandy Hook shootings) or personal level (the terminal illness of a child or a random act of violence that kills a loved one) and so people develop a sort of psychological blindness to their possibility that prevents them from anticipating and planning for crisis.   While the first two definitions deal with problems that prevent recognizing and taking action to survive potential disaster, the third definition, a Life Assurance Plan, deals with preparing for them.  This is the process of developing a sensible plan that will provide for the planner, their family and possibly even their community in a crisis situation without having to make unexpected purchases (if there even possible at that point).  The Assurance Plan doesn’t pay off in cash like insurance – it pays off in supplies of water, food and other basic survival resources and a plan to see your family through many short term disaster scenarios.  It is about ‘being prepared, not scared’ – replacing fear and uncertainty in the face of disaster with the peace of preparedness and planning.

In pursuit of this mission, Mr. Tangalos is spearheading the Prepper Fest AZ Expo (http://prepperfestaz.com/) scheduled for April 26-28 at the Scottsdale 101 Shopping Center.  This is going to be a huge event, filling a big box store style building, with several pavilion areas hosting a multitude of exhibits, knowledge instructors and vendors promoting various ways to be prepared.  Demonstrations and exhibits will include food storage ideas including freeze dried and dehydrated options, permaculture and hydroponics, animal husbandry including goat, chicken and bee keeping, energy/solar power and building material options, wilderness survival gear, medical supplies, naturopathic and herbal methods and remedies, distillation supplies, ham radio gear and education and smart  gold and silver investing.  This is a family oriented event with hands on experiences, a petting zoo for the kids and a variety of fun things to do.  There will also be a Constitutional Rights Pavilion with many well-known advocates, groups and organizations promoting knowledge and information for everyone.  Anyone with either or both interests should find a lot of great information and equipment options.  For information on ticket costs or vender participation, see the website.

The meeting concluded at 8:00 pm.  Next week’s speaker is Greg Weston, one of the founders of the Tea Party movement in Arizona.  – PLH

Superstitions 9.12 Tea Party Patriots supports limited federal government with adherence to the Constitution, individual freedom and responsibility, free markets and returning political power to the states and the people. Everyone is welcome to come, listen and participate. If you would like to know more, please leave a message to be contacted.

 

Letter From Jeff Strubel

jsI would like to express a very humble thank you all those that voted for me during the March 12, 2013 Apache Junction city election. I have had a great experience during this past campaign. I am looking forward to the next two months and meeting even more of the citizens. I would like to congratulate Gail Evan’s for her election to the council. I would also like to congratulate Christa Rizzi, Dave Waldron and Clark Smithson for their success and moving on to the general election in May. To Robert Schroeder and Theresa Falzone I would like to congratulate you on a good run. Don’t lose your faith and passion.

To close, let’s keep this a clean and issue driven two months. It is clear that Apache Junction citizens have some distinct choices to fill the remaining two council seats. The issues are very important to the community currently, and in the future. It is important that the two people elected in May are forward thinking, have integrity, and will serve the community as a whole.

Thank you for your support and I am looking forward to meeting and visiting with more and more citizens. Let’s build our future together!

Jeff Struble

Apache Junction city council candidate

Superstition Mountain Republican Club Monthly Meeting – March 12, 2013

smrcforPCPThe Superstition Mountain Republic Club members met on March 12th for their regular 2nd Tuesday of the month meeting at the Feed Bag Restaurant in Apache Junction (www.ajsmrc.com).  President Judy Novalsky called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm, Pastor Sherri Fillmore led the Prayer and Judy led the Pledge of Allegiance.   Announcements included the club raffle will resume in April and District 5 Supervisor , Todd House, and his wife, Tuni, are hosting their annual Spring Fling – Art Under the Skies event on Saturday, March 23rd  (more information is available on the website).  Mark Hawthorne advised hearing that the Mesa Police Department may be collecting and sharing information from weapons checks and sending information as to the make and serial number of the weapon into a data base, even when the weapon is not related to a crime.  He reminded everyone that during a traffic stop, they are not obligated to advise officers if they are carrying a weapon although they must answer honestly if the officer asks them if they have weapons.  Under routine business, minutes from the February meeting are available on the website and Jerry Weatherford gave a succinct Treasurer’s report on the healthy state of club finances.

First guest speaker, Todd House – Pinal 5 District Supervisor, spoke about some of the current issues in the county (http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/BoardofSupervisors/Pages/Home.aspx).  The first was the Resolution Copper Project (http://resolutioncopper.com/the-project/).  Strident objections from environmentalist and Native American groups, who are saying lands involved have spiritual significance, are causing the City Councils of Globe and Superior to reconsider their support for the project despite the badly needed attendant economic benefits.  The issue is on the Pinal County Board of Supervisors March 13, 2013 Meeting Agenda.  The second important project Todd spoke about was the Pacific Railroad’s plans to build a regional switching yard near Red Rock.  This would be a major economic engine for Pinal County especially as the project is being designed to support intermodal transfer options.  It could also bring significant economic benefit to the Pinal County Air Park when it’s ready to open again.   Todd final comments were about plans to build Interstate 11, a high speed multi-use freeway directly connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas (http://interstate11.org/).  As planned, the Interstate’s south terminal would be off I-10 near Casa Grande offerng significant economic activity to the commercial/industrial nexus already there.

The next guest speaker, John Fillmore, former State Representative and past President of the SMRC spoke about his concerns regarding dubious trends on the political scene and his plans for the future.  Among his concerns are the lackluster efforts of congress to curb spending.  Despite all the furor over Sequester, it doesn’t actually cut anything or prevent next year’s budget from being larger than this year – it just slightly dents the rate of increase.  Arizona Governor Brewer has been appearing on multiple venues and has sent letters to all the GOP Precinct Committeemen promoting accepting federal monies to expand Medicare in Arizona despite clear messages that Arizonans don’t want to get tied into another Federal program full of strings and requirements.

Addressing his future plans, John advised that Rich Crandall, who defeated John in the GOP primary race for State Senator – LD16 in the last elections, has indicated he plans to resign his position to take a job in the educational market,  but it is unknown if that will be soon or the end of the year.  John is considering running to be his replacement but there are complications.  Despite the fact that Arizona Legislative Districts are laid out covering multiple counties (LD16 is comprised of half Maricopa County and half Pinal county) Arizona Statute bases the replacement system on the political party and resident county of the departing legislator.  The State Chairman of said party is required to call a meeting of all Precinct Committeemen who resided in the departing legislator’s LD and County of residence to choose 3 nominees for the seat, again from the same LD and county of the departing legislator,  who are then presented to the County Board of Supervisors of that county for final selection.  The Pinal County Precinct Committeemen and Republican constituents who reside in LD16 are neatly cut out of the replacement process as participants or possible candidates for the seat.  John Fillmore (a Pinal county resident) has received legal opinions that the candidate’s county residency requirement is a hold-over from an earlier system and may be overturned allowing John to be a candidate (there is no information at this time on how to deal with the disenfranchisement of the Pinal County Precinct Committeemen and Republican base).  Jerry Clingman, District 16 GOP Chairman and Kelly Townsend, LD 16 State Representative are also considering running for the position.  When, if, Representative Crandall resigns and the residency requirement is settled, John will be marshalling his supporters to campaign and write letters on his behalf.  Since many of John’s supporters feel he was mistreated and slandered by his own party leaders in the last primary, the turnout should be robust.

The final guest speaker of the evening, Apache Junction Fire District Chief Paul Bourgeois, was a Deputy Fire Chief with Mesa and APJFD interim Chief before he stepped into the position full time (http://www.ajfire.org/).  He spoke about the challenges of his first year as Chief, running a department dependent on property tax revenues in a time when property values, and taxes, are dropping.  Since the tax base, by state law, is calculated on values approximately 2 years behind current market value next year’s taxes are expected to be down another 3% despite improving home markets.  The new Station 265 in Gold Canyon is also a factor in the current budget deficit.   The Chief has been implementing changes in practice and cutting what can be cut but an increase in taxes is being considered as are new and creative ways to cover cost and increase revenue.  For example, there is discussion on selling space on the trucks for advertising.  The wild land equipment and crews have been on constant calls to Federal fire fighting projects and are returning an income flow that more than covers their expenses.  The new Type Three Truck, purchased last year, is also in great demand and is more than half paid for.    AJFD will also start charging to provide support for out of District calls to other cities in Pinal County who are not part of the MAID system.   Those areas constantly needing response will either need to join the Fire District or contract for service.   The contract for the Renaissance Fair has been renegotiated with a much more favorable cost/service ratio and Labor (the Union) has been very cooperative about containing costs.  Another area of concern is upcoming discussions on the retirement system and the probability that employees will need to contribute more money to help keep the system solvent.  Chief Bourgeois was very please to share the significant survival increase rate resulting from replacing CPR with CCR and advised a primary goal for the future is to keep developing a Survival Model that generates higher positive call outcomes and saves lives.

Anyone interested in attending or joining the SMRC can find information on the club website (www.ajsmrc.com). – PLH

It’s almost time for Pinal fair

ELEVEN MILE CORNER — With the Pinal County Fair set to kick off March 20, workers are busy pulling weeds, grooming the grounds, setting up livestock pens and scrubbing and shining each barn and building so that when people walk through the gate on opening day, the fairgrounds look their best.

“It’s a little bit like preparing for company,” said Karen Searle, co-manager of the fairgrounds. “It can be a little bit crazy in the weeks before the fair starts but it’s also our fun time. We love it.”

Read more:  http://www.trivalleycentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/area_news/it-s-almost-time-for-pinal-fair/article_92d44756-8a5f-11e2-aa16-001a4bcf887a.html