editor: fred miller February 9, 2022 Wire #23, February/22
Now is not the time to surround yourself with positive people.
The Bisbee school district will lose $720,903 on March 1 if the legislature does not act to waive the aggregate school expenditure limit. And the state will have $1.2 billion less in the budget-a big hit. Wtf? (See the explanation of the somewhat arcane legislation requiring the limit down below.) It requires a 2/3 vote and these days that means cooperation 'across the aisle' to get it done; fat chance, it's more like a canyon. Instead of doing the right thing and lifting the limit, pugnacious repugs are trying to use this to deny the voter approved initiative 208 that raised taxes on wealthy people to increase dough for schools. District 14 legislators are saying nothing, as usual, about this very real problem that will devastate school district budgets. Read more below.
(According to the AZ Central, "Voters approved the aggregate expenditure limit in the early 1980s, allowing annual adjustments for inflation and enrollment growth. This is in addition to spending limits for each individual school district.The law set a March 1 deadline to determine if all school budgets, when counted together, exceed that limit. If so, school officials must approve revised budgets on or before April 1 and submit them to the state Department of Education by April 4, unless lawmakers vote by a two-thirds majority to waive the limit.Hitting the spending cap has rarely happened in the 40-year history of the aggregate limit." https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2022/02/06/arizona-school-funding-cut-deadline-looms-legislature-yet-act/9292746002/?utm_source=azcentral-AZ%20Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=baseline_greeting&utm_term=hero&utm_content=1531AR-E-NLETTER02
An agenda item temporarily shelved at the city council meet on 2/1 involved new regs to allow small self-contained structures, also known as accessory dwelling units, on existing plots of land. Lotsa talk and likely more. It is one way to increase affordable housing for renters. One of the subjects was whether any new structures could be used for overnight rentals aka airb&b (likely yes cause the State forbids meaningful local control).You can read the proposed zoning changes here: http://www.bisbeeaz.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_02012022-394 .If you have an opinion about this, contact your councilperson and tell them.
For the privilege of having boxes delivered to your front door and watching old movies and mediocre tv series, Amazon will be raising current prime membership from $119 to $139 on March 25. This despite an 18.4% net profit of $33.3 billion (on $334 billion sales) this year in North America. What is the corporate tax rate they paid last year...6% about $1 bil.
And a plea to pay attention to what is going on in Phoenix. The inmates are truly trying to run the asylum. A veritable onslaught of oppressive bills are being heard in committees. Authoritarian dimwits trying to tell schools how to teach, cities how to conduct local business, businesses how to deal with customers, and us poor schumucks to pay more taxes. Hopefully a new broom will sweep clean in November.
Warren Three issues in Warren have drawn comments and activity lately. What used to be Terrace apartments has been bought and renamed Tucson Terraces. There have been allegations of rent hikes as well as code violations and trying to evict some renters. Also rebuttals in terms that the place is being cleaned up. There is some confusion about whether the new owners are 'local' or not. Stay tuned. The roll out, hee hee, of new trash cans has drawn some heat from some folks used to the dumbsters and now have age related or disabled difficulties with getting the cans to the street for pickup. There are also issues of can storage and the city not using alleys any longer. A few people do not like the color of trash cans (blue) nor the aesthetic impact on their streets. The issue cropped up on the site next door (nextdoor.com) and according to the thread as well as comments at the recent council meeting, seems on the way to being resolved with residents getting responses from the city and working out how the problems can be resolved. The CM okayed 'decorating' the cans. It is a great opportunity for street art. Stay tuned. And there was one bid of $600k on the Hillcrest apartment auction. The Tucson developer is being vetted by the city attorney. Cora Eastman had an interesting take in her letter to the city on 'low income' living situations having lived near the Hillcrest for several years. She published it on Nextdoor.com. In her letter she documents many, many problems from crime and drug use to property destruction. She is cautioning the city about what kind of housing and to do due diligence. An excerpt; "I am against 100 percent low income housing meaning all section 8 and HUD. It is a BAD idea for all of Bisbee. If you segregate all the low income into one area, you are creating a stigma for the low income people and resentment from the surrounding neighbors. Not to mention you are creating hotspots for drugs and crime." Gettin organized...A first meeting was held and another scheduled for the Historic Warren Community committee. This is an effort by Warren residents to take a look at the district and see what needs to be done and map out hopes for the future. A survey was sent out to those on the meeting list and the results will be discussed. The meeting will be on Tuesday, February 22 at 6 p.m. on zoom. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org *************** Bisbee Bikeways The are moving along, another hee hee, and raising dough to help provide some money to show that they have community support for a multi use path around the pit. They held one fundraiser at the Jonquil and now have one grant and are applying for others so any dough raised is helpful as a show of support. You can donate or get info here: https://bisbeebikeways.com *************** Self Portrait Community Art Show @ the Library Pickup a Self-Portrait Take & Make Kit and paint yourself for the Copper Queen Library’s new Community Art Show! When you are finished painting, drop off your self portrait so that we can include it in our display! Call us at 520-432-4232 to reserve a kit today! .............. And...their Chocolate Tasting open now. For information, please visit the official Bisbee Chocolate Tasting Facebook page by clicking here. ............ How About Reading Books Instead of Banning Them Pssst...Past this on. Bisbee has a Dolly Parton Imagination Library program available for children ages 0-4 who live in Bisbee or Naco, AZ . They can register to receive a book each month, mailed directly to their home. The program is sponsored by the Bisbee Fiber Arts Guild and is offered at no expense to the child’s family. Books are age-appropriate, colorful and fun. Dolly Parton believes that if you can read, you can do anything, dream anything, and be anything. Inspire a love of reading! Apply online at ImaginationLibrary.com, obtain an application from the library, or call Sara at 520 234-0830.
*************** Walking the Dog, If you don't know how to do it..... The shelter is in need of consistent weekend morning dog walkers. Please give them a call at 520-432-6020 if you're interested! *************** The Bisbee Science Lab They want input about the space behind the their building at 519 Melody Lane. This is a link to the survey. Put you creative noggin to task and put it in the survey. https://www.bisbeesciencelab.org/backyard-design-project Also at the science lab... ---Pie & Sky continues! The astronomy events continue to draw crowds with 36 participants at their last event! A monthly night of stargazing with local astronomy experts and enthusiasts! Grab a free slice of pizza, sit down, and enjoy using the Bisbee Science Lab's telescopes. ---Bird identification Fridays 2-4 pm Go here to get their newsletter of what when: https://www.bisbeesciencelab.org ************** Grant Possibilities The Bisbee Foundation grant cycle has begun. Grant and scholarship applicants may read guidelines and eligibility requirements online and download the basic grant application as well as other appropriate forms from www.bisbeefoundation.com. For the first time the foundation is asking applicants to complete their forms in full, and email them to email@example.com no later than midnight April 1, 2022. If you have a hefty chunk of moolah that you need 'shielded' from the taxman, TBF is a good place to park it. (There is a joke here about board members should be well endowed, but I can't quite get to it.) Go to the website for more info. ..............Sparklight Their focus is on Digital literacy/education, Hunger Relief/food insufficiency, community development. Generally they fund projects and capital improvements like infrastructure and do not fund operating grants. Deadline April 30, check the website for particulars. https://www.sparklight.com/charitablegiving ............... Get Registered to Get some Dough Arizona Gives Day is April 6. A non profit has to be registered in order to be a recipient of funds. Soooo get your fingers going and register here: https://www.azgives.org/************** City of Bisbee Hiring Police Officer EMT/Firefighter Dispatcher Queen Mine Tour attendant http://www.bisbeeaz.gov/jobs.aspx ............... City Boards and Commissions Vacancies Go here for application: http://www.bisbeeaz.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6187/BCC-Application-053118?bidId= Airport Advisory Commission - 4 Vacancies Board of Adjustment - 1 Vacancy Civil Service Commission - 1 Vacancy Committee on Disability Issues - 7 Vacancies Evergreen Cemetery Committee - 1 Vacancy Library Advisory Board - 2 Vacancies Police/Fire Advisory Committee - 1 Vacancy (Ward 3 ) Streets & Infrastructure Committee - 1 Vacancy Youth Council- 1 Vacancy (Youth Adult Adviser) ....................... Space Heater Replacement for free If any left, you may swap an old space heater for a new model. Swap may also include a fire extinguisher and smoke alarm.Contact Lieutenant Robert Cline at the Bisbee Fire Department at 520-432-4110 or -6022 ......... Zilch Interest in city governing in San Jose As of last week, the city had received no letters of interest in the vacant Ward 3 council seat that Lou Pawlik had resigned from last month. Surely there is someone who wants to actually make, rather than talk about after the fact,city decisions. (There had been a few people ask me as well as some public speculation about why he resigned. So I asked him why and he said it was because he could not support the design/construction of city hall on the old site.) **************WaterWise is Hiring Community Outreach Professional! This full-time position works out of Sierra Vista through the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension office. Apply at: https://arizona.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/4/home/requisition/8138?c=arizona&fbclid=IwAR35ALz2B-oUIz0ig-agxEe49dCjbq2TmJcgJO00unenl9tas5ffEmHx1jo ************** Vintage Beisball be bery bery good for Bisbee Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament is on at Warren Ballpark. The Friends of Warren Ballpark have scheduled the Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament for April 2 and 3rd. The tournament is held at 112-year-old Warren Ballpark. Go here for info: https://friendsofwarrenballpark.com/
THE STANK FROM THE LEGE CONTINUES These are just some examples of the repellent voter denying, voucher loving, citizens stymieing, gun loving, mask loathing, science rejecting, tax abhorring, repugnicans.
There have been 1536 bills introduced! Thankfully the deadline for more new bills has passed in the Sentate and is 2/5 for the house. Then there is two more weeks for bills to be heard in the committee of origin. There is not a sign of the budget being public and as usual will likely be introduced late in the session, have no discussion and passed the next day after intro. Transparency sucks; Opaqueness rules! Whatta way to run a state! (This newsletter is critical to keep up with the scoundrels. Sign up here for weekly tracking of bills: https://secure.everyaction.com/J0eeRFWxbEeE9fiySEM-Og2 And if you haven't, sign up for request to speak so you can comment on these bills from home. Go here; https://www.azleg.gov/alispdfs/Using_the_Request_to_Speak_Program.pdf) Sen. wendy rogers, and sen kelley townsend (who will be running for the lege in Cochise County this year) are among the most active and most extreme and they have introduced a batch of flatgitious bills. But they certainly are not alone. District 14 legislators have also introduced bilious bills. Some frustrated legislators just can't seem to keep their ideas about school curriculums to themselves.
SB 1657 and SB 1707 Expands Vouchers This bill, basically written by the Goldwater Institute who originated the ESA program, is crafted so broadly that it would not only make nearly every child in Arizona eligible for a voucher, but pulls the money directly from the Classroom Site Fund, which voters created to fund public school teacher salaries. (Private school enrollment has remained stagnent the past 20 years. The difference is that now us taxpayers are shelling out $320 mil yearly to subsidize 'school choice'. Ya gotta hand it to rich people, they find very creative ways for the other 99% to pay for their lives. SB 1138 would ban medical personnel helping anyone under 18 with gender transisiton SB 1372 anyone from outside Arizona that buys a car in AZ would not have to pay city or state tax. Really dumb. SB 1567 bans government from requiring vaccines SB1211 would require teachers to file every book and curriculum on the internet, sortable by subject and teacher. Other companion bills aimed at critical race theory-which is not taught in schools.
HB 2448 would mandate training with guns for students HB 2008 would require students to study a curriculum of the brutality of communism HB2447 enable concealed gun permits holders to carry on college campuses. HB 2674 Another in a power grab that will override all cities' zoning. It removes local control over decision making about growth and development.
HB2161 Would require teachers and counselors to out students if they are gay.
HB2536 sponsored by our county's rep Gail Griffin would make candidates for the AZ Corp. Commish have more technical expertise. A clear way to limit candidates not proposed by industry.
HB 2241 would mandate poll workers check IDs of people dropping off early ballots thereby making more work and more inconvenience. In fact many of the election reforms make it more difficult to vote. HB2596 from Rep. Fillmore is 35 pages of proposals to reform the voting and election process, including allowing the legislators to reject election results, kill early voting, stop voting by mail. This bill is in addition to 70 other proposed bills to get at fraud in elections.
However this bill it has been axed.
"For those who don't follow the intricacies of the legislative process, a brief primer: The speaker assigns House bills to committees. Usually it’s one committee (plus the required Rules Committee) though if the speaker wants to ensure it dies, they may add additional hurdles by assigning it to two or three committees. We once saw a bill assigned to four committees and that was a pretty big deal. Well, Bowers assigned Fillmore’s bill to all 11 committees that the House has to offer (plus Rules) — almost certainly setting a new record and passing along one of the most effective fuck-off messages that we've ever seen." All of these 70! bills introduced are efforts at thwarting voters and are most notably summed up by one representative who said the voting process should go back to 1958 style elections!
( City data from treasurer Keri Bagley, and Joe Ward/building inspector, Housing from Bob Klein, State data from ADOR)
From January's financial notes...Tax revenue is about $184k above projections. However ambulance fees continue to lag abour $70k below projections. Other services are on target or a bit above. The bed tax is about $38k above projections and expenses are at 47%. leading to a net revenue over expense of $53k. The treasurer notes there is a fund balance of more than $200k due to reduce spending the past two years and higher revenue-mostly due to the 100% bump in the bed tax to 5%. Streets budget has a batch of dough, some of it targeted for this year and the remainder, if any, can be used for next year. The Queen Mine merch and tours are doing well. If it continues there will be a fund balance of close to $1 mil. Waste water fee are at expected levels. Treas and pubworks are working to get delinquent accounts current through late notices, filing liens, and sending termination notices. There currently is $1.2 mil in outstanding debt mostly made up of large balances on properties that are vacant/dilapidated and will be difficult to recover. HOUSE SALES Fourteen houses were sold in December/21, about the same number as the past two years, but this year about $600,000 more total that 2020., $2,992,900/$2,399,000. Sales were evenly distributed between OB, W, and SJ. Hovland St. in Warren was muy caliente as three houses sold within a few blocks of each other. (It would be interesting, but far beyond my scope, to go block by block asking people how many houses sold in the past five years on their block.) Address orig list/list/Sold price 208 Hazzard $75k/$75k/$75k 303 Van Dyke $199k/$129k/$114k 109 Cochise Dr. $172k/$154k/$145k 503 Cintilla Pl $190k/$175k/$160k 306 Hovland $167/$167k/$165k 122 Mountain View $160/$160k/$170k 400 O'Hara $140k/$230k/$185k 745C Tombstone $235k/$235k/$225k 502 Hovland $245k/$253k/$252k 110 Coconino D. $265k/$265k/$265k 203 Youngblood $379k/$359k/$289k 180A Quality Rd $359k/$359k/$295k 600 Hovland $325k/$314,900/$314,900 75 Ok St. $350k/$350k/$338k .............. BUILDING PERMITS Only 18 residential building permits were pulled in December and that rounds out a dismal last quarter of the year, compared to past years last quarters, for permits; 55/$670,359. I'm unsure why the number of permits were so low, because housing sales continue robust. Some guesses...lack of contractors, contractors hobbled by employee scarcity or sickness, people putting off repairs till next year, sold homes in better condition. You guess here_____________. ................. SALES TAX (for actual sales two months prior, in October) Oddly enough bed tax and hotel tax revenue was down in October compared to August and September. As were restaurant/bar sales. This was the lowest month reporting, $20,312, since January/21 and August/20. Meanwhile retail sales jumped $13k over the past couple of months of reporting. Home consumption food also rose $7k over the previous month. &&&&&&&&&&&&&&
Articles of Incoporation
Studio Copper, LLC
Shrub Oak, LLC
120 Naco Rd.
GETTING THE BIRD
Birds have us surrounded. Wherever you go there they are. The Great Backyard Bird Count begins Sat. 2/18. Go here for info on how to participate:
Cochise College has a couple of classes about birds. This zoom class will explain hummingbird habits, id and more. Feb 17, $19, Zoom .go here for reg and info: https://registration.xenegrade.com/cochise/courseDisplay.cfm?schID=2269
And the wonderful Whitewater Draw, a half hour from Bisbee, is the subject of a field trip to id and talk about the multitude of feathered creatures that make the draw there home. Feb. 12, $55, Go here for registration and sign up: https://registration.xenegrade.com/cochise/courseDisplay.cfm?schID=2276
Cochise College has many different classes for non-students or lifetime learners as they bill it. Go here for info: https://www.cochise.edu/downtown-center/cll/
This is an article I wrote some years ago:
Bird Whirled; Sandhill Cranes An Experience of Wonder
When looking at birds the tendency is to focus on the individual bird. That’s mostly what we see around us. That is if we look. Birds often are taken for granted, part of our visual and auditory environment always present but little noticed.
However during the Fall and Winter, you can immerse yourself in the bird world. This primal experience can be yours by driving 30 minutes east of Bisbee to Whitewater Draw wetlands to view the Sandhill Cranes. They arrive from the Northern US and Canada in October and leave in March. (The more numerous, Humanus RVeeus, known by their common name, Snowbird, has a similar migration pattern although their nests are widely dispersed throughout Arizona.)
What’s the big deal over a bunch of birds, you might ask? The deal is, they are huge, they are loud, there are thousands and thousands of them (21,000 one year), and you can view them up close. It is an Experience of Wonder.
Sandhill Cranes have a wingspan of five to six feet. They are grey/blue in color with black feet, legs, and bill. A patch of reddish skin marks their forehead. This is just one of many url's that you can see photos, https://pamphotography.blog/2021/12/04/photographing-sandhill-cranes-at-the-whitewater-draw-in-arizona/.
The optimum time to go to Whitewater Draw is at sunrise or sunset, although in the past few years, there have also been a significant number of birds during the day. At sunrise large numbers of birds leave to feed in the grains fields around Wilcox, Kansas Settlement, and Elfrida. The air is filled with loud calls and there is a momentary illusion of low grey clouds rippling and rising in the morning light.
At sunset, long, thin, irregular shaped lines begin emerging from the north and east appearing black across the orange/red tinted sky. A faint sound accompanies the staggered lines above the horizon. The sound separates into hundreds of calls vying for ear space, louder and louder and finally a cacophony of sound surrounds Whitewater as wave after wave, each with hundreds of birds, alight simultaneously. And then they are in the water, around the water, over the water, standing, wading, grooming, walking, squawking, gawking; thousands of birds filling your senses with their presence.
A few humans are present, some looking like large ungainly birds themselves as they peer through cameras on tripods with lenses large enuff to fire shells.
Other bird species can be seen at Whitewater. Most notably are Red Wing Blackbirds and small Vermillion flycatchers that flit among the reeds looking like, ummm, little red birds? Adjacent to and south of the water in a stand of trees are Great Horned Owl nests. One hangs out in the rear of the large open walled barn. Walk over and look up as those unblinking yellow eyes fasten on you; whoooooo is watching whom? Most likely you won’t be this close to an owl unless you’re a mouse. Greater Roadrunners dart around frequently and several kinds of hawks circle gracefully overhead. Other birds to be seen are Snow Geese, Blue Heron, American Pipet, Say’s Phoebe and an occasional Golden Eagle.
The skies frequently have dreamy cotton puff white clouds with a brilliant orange/black outline moving slowly in a tangerine tinged sky. The intensity fades to pink, then lavender, then dark blue hues as the sun slips over the mountain bringing that peculiar time known as dusk where it’s not light and not dark and the chill sets in while the brush rustles with emerging nocturnal creatures as the din of the cranes quiets.
Whitewater Draw is part of a 600 acre wildlife area that is owned and managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It is semi-developed with two viewing platforms with fixed binoculars, a perimeter trail, picnic tables, restroom and ample parking.
Note: If you bring a dog, please keep them on a leash so they do not disturb and/or threaten the wildlife or other visitors.
Directions: Take Hwy 80 East from Bisbee towards Douglas, as you descend from the mountains (about 7 miles) a left turn lane will appear with a turn to Double Adobe Road. Take it. Go 8 miles to Central Highway (Double Adobe dead ends into Central Highway) Go left, north, about 3 miles to Bagby Road, (start looking a mile after you pass the Fiesta Canning plant for a small Whitewater Draw sign on the right.) turn left, go ¼ mile and you’re there.
What to Bring: A warm jacket, binoculars, camera, comfortable walking shoes, and water. Pick up a picnic lunch or some goodies from High Desert Market or Le Cornucopia Cafe and treat yourself to a nice repast amidst the cranes.
Tours and more photos:
The Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO), a non-profit organization, has tours of wetlands and wonderful Hawk Stalks. Sherri Williamson and Tom Wood are the knowledgeable people doing the tours. Go here: https://sabo.org/custom-field-trips-and-tours/
Resource websites :
WILDLIFE VIEWING WEB CAMS
Go here for the list of cams: https://www.azgfd.com/wildlife/viewing/webcamlist/
PUNDEMEIC (A nod to RC who has clearly has too much time on his hands in Alaska) Due to the quarantine these will only be inside jokes And I will tell you a coronavirus joke but you will have to wait two weeks to get it. Finland has just closed its borders No one will be crossing the finish line In 2033 will there be the quaranteens because of the baby boom? The World Health Organization has said that dogs cannot contract covid. All dogs in quarantine can now be released. To be clear WHO let the dogs out. Why do they call it the novel coronavirus? It's a long story Did you hear about the tornado that hit grocery stores in France? All that is left is de brie.