editor: fred miller June 2, 2023 Wire #55/May 2023
Well it is a long one....As I've mentioned in other issues, the firehose of information continues unabated 24/7. The result is our attention span has been expanded (at least mine and a few others I talk with) to encompass more info, but the sheer volume makes it difficult to put that info into context. So what I often realize is that I'm not so much overwhelmed, but undercontextualized. That is some of what I try to do in the Wire, to give some context to some events/thinking in addition to adding to the torrent of information you get in your life.
A glimpse into the outlines of what an authoritarian state would look like is available by reading many of the bills introduced into the legislature and voted down, voted up, passed or vetoed. It is a wish list for domination by a few mostly guys, of almost every facet of public life of the many. This is what the republican party has become in our state and throughout the United States.
At the county level, I've tried to pull info together below to show that the two supervisors- Crosby and Judd, and Recorder Stevens, have been treating taxpayers money like their own private piggy bank. They have spent more than $300,000 in an effort to ram their ideas about elections through. They stand for election in 2024 and I hope we can convince enough people to deservedly boot them from public office.
We attended a memorial ceremony for Margo Macartney at the Cochise Zen Center. She was a comrade, an inspiration to Anita and myself, and a solid broad. There was some talking, some chanting, and some expressed sentiments about Margo from those attending. It was comforting. A late night talk show host once asked the actor Keanu Reeves what he thinks happens when you die. He replied, “The people who love you will miss you”.
BISBEE POPULATION INCREASES! In a US Census report for population changes in cities of more than 5000 people in 2020-2022, Bisbee barely made the cut, growing 1.7% in the past two years to 5008 people. That is up from 4,926 in 2022. Population in 2010 was 5,575. In other cities in Cochise County, Douglas, one of only four cities to lose population, dropped to 15,589 from 16,531 two years ago, a decrease of 4.6%. And a drop from the 2010 total of 17,378. Sierra Vista grew 1.9% from 45,321 to 45,439. In 2010 the population was 43,888. Maricopa County captured almost half of the overall growth of 248,000 people in Arizona, increasing by about 3% to 4,551,524. The second largest county, Pima, grew 1.4% to 1,057,597. And Cochise county grew a minuscule .2%. Go here for the report for any city over 5000. (https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/bisbeecityarizona,AZ/PST045222) <><> GARDEN TOUR IN NACO Saturday June 3, Garden Party and Naco Sister City ribbon cutting 3-7 pm. Lots of music and food. Bus transportation across the border and from Studio Mariposa to the garden. Go here for more info:https://nacowellness.wixsite.com/naco-wellness?fbclid=IwAR0J8v0C_rmdHZEOMboFhS1uH1DrJCN31Hfl2_BfMlZVdLS7WMFT9fITPzE ....... BLOOD DRIVE At the senior center, June 7, noon to five. 300 Collins Rd. 520 contact 520 432-2167 for more info and scheduling. ........... JAIL LEVY PASSES Unofficial results of the mail in only jail levy: it passed with an abysmal turnout of 32%. 12,881 voters out of 76,219 said that all of us in the county will pay .5% more sales tax. In the next couple of years, the siting process will begin. We'll see if the Sheriff keeps his word about building in Bisbee.
The second set of preliminary unofficial results show: REGISTERED VOTERS TOTAL 76,219 BALLOTS CAST TOTAL 25,033 BALLOTS CAST BLANK 16 VOTER TURNOUT TOTAL 32.84% YES 12,881 51.46% NO 12,136 48.48% TOTAL VOTES CAST 25,017 99.94% OVERVOTES 0 0 UNDERVOTES 16 0.06%
............ BLOOOMER GARDEN TOUR....DOCENTS NEEDED Bisbee Garden Tour 2023 The Bisbee Bloomers are currently planning this year's tour, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 2, 2023 from 10 AM - 4 PM. We would like to hear from you if you would be interested in helping us again this year by being a docent in one of the gardens. Docent shifts are either 10 AM - 1 PM or 1 PM - 4 PM. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer.
............ NEW LOOK FOR OLD HIGH SCHOOL? Design Review Board Public Meeting meets June 7, 5:30 at council chambers 915 Torvreaville Rd, to consider an application for approval fo refashioning and new construction of 100 Clawson-the old high school. The application also talks about exterior and interior repair or replacement or upgrades. In person comments/questions or email Williams@BisbeeAZ.gov <><> BISBEE MEDIA MENTIONS https://www.phoenixmag.com/2023/05/01/high-country-arizona/?mibextid=ykz3hl&fbclid=IwAR2ZyrNL3E8xadQEjnY0Bf8BE9qWzUqKBfRnSWcKt50F-deksnRS4tJg6xE ----- https://tv.azpm.org/arizonaillustrated/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Arizona%20Illustrated&utm_campaign=AZPM%20Preview%20May%204-10 ----- https://greenlivingmag.com/be-a-tourist-in-your-own-state-arizona/ ----- https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/arizona/road-trips/2021/05/19/best-memorial-day-weekend-getaways-in-arizona/5151271001/?utm_source=azcentral-dailybriefing ----- https://www.accesswire.com/752599/American-Lithium-Minerals-AMLM-Update-Cobalt-Nickel-and-Manganese-Projects ----- https://www.budgettravel.com/article/bisbee-arizona-cool-small-town-2023?mibextid=Zxz2cZ&fbclid=IwAR1us0wZUWdlH9o4OvRaVXEitRnT7PSpYnnzephSeSoAwjZcjNBr9KToiiM ----- https://www.worldatlas.com/cities/these-11-towns-in-arizona-have-the-best-main-streets.html ----- https://www.thetravel.com/best-downtowns-in-arizona/ <><> NICK NEEDS A HOME! Warm Hands Massage and Therapeudics, Nick Night, needs a new space. The current building has been sold. I need approximately 400 sq. ft. with access to a bathroom. Preferably 2 separate rooms & the bathroom access.
Please call or text 520-255-1519 or email me at email@example.com <><> MINING MUSEUM FREE TO RESIDENTS IN JUNE The Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum has designated the month of June to invite Bisbee residents to visit the Museum free of charge. Simply flash your driver’s license showing your residency to come see the changes and experience the fun of discovering history at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum! Located in the heart of Bisbee’s historic Arts & Culture District, the Museum is open every day, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. ......... MANGANESE IN BISBEE? From a press release by American Lithium Minerals..."The Company has also acquired drill data for its Bisbee Manganese property in Southeast Arizona. Cobalt, Nickel and Manganese are used in batteries...A package of geological information was recently acquired from the last third-party drilling program at AMLM's Bisbee property, which included significant Manganese findings of up to 35,100 ppm. Further research indicated that Manganese was mined and shipped from Bisbee during World War I....This mine is about five miles (8 km) from the AMLM Bisbee property. AMLM views Bisbee as an excellent exploration target. The Company plans to center its initial exploration work at and around the former Houghton Manganese Mine, which is on the El Paso patented mining claim." www.marketscreener.com/quote/stock/AMERICAN-LITHIUM-MINERALS-120790042/news/American-Lithium-Minerals-AMLM-Update-Cobalt-Nickel-and-Manganese-Projects-43743884/ <><>
A few business notes...
The 1902 building at 1/5 Howell Ave. aka Santiago's & Hotel San Ramon aka the Brinley building is up for sale, $1.9 mil. The 5,098 sq ft building, with 1,009 sq ft basement, includes the 6-suite hotel upstairs with separate lobby and the 65-seat restaurant space at street level.
An application for a liquor license was posted on the fence at Turquoise Valley Golf Course. The name for the application is Twisted Spoke Bar and Grill is an LLC formed 4/24 as a corporation. The name was registered by Sunny Tempe Investments LLC which is managed by Joseph Lewis.
Jen's Angels at 29 Main has closed. According to FB posts: "just irreconcilable differences with the people who run the building now instead of the owner. and rent too high for us to survive. 3 years going strong up until a few months ago. so now to a new adventure for jen's angel that works for the model." Apparently will open in a new location in August.
This is the Transaction Privilege Taxes/TPT as they are known in AZ. This is money that all businesses report and send to the Dept. of Revenue. There is a lag time between the month when the actual purchases took place, the next month of submission of money and forms by businesses to the ADOR, and then the second month for tabulation by the department and release of figures. The figures are for taxes on actual purchases two months prior to the date. There is some hazard about comparing month to month simply because sometimes businesses are late paying taxes and when they do, it is tabulated in the next month. (As far as I know ADOR tabulated money paid in the month due.)
Tax records for any individual business is not available to the general public as a matter of policy at the state level. If you were to put in a public information request for tax info on a business, it will be denied because tax information is proprietary information.
Since this reporting is for April/23, it is for actual spending that occurred in February/23. And note the month of February has 2 or 3 days less than other months, so there are fewer days for consumers to spend and fewer reporting days compared to other months.
With two months to go in the fiscal year, bed taxes, hotel taxes, restaurant/bar taxes are running roughly $40,000 below last year at this time. Sales tax are $12k down and Food for home consumption taxes are up about $75,000.
If you are making a budget a year in advance as the city does, the treasurer, in our case Ms. Bagley, is forced to make educated guesses about how much income from taxes there will be and will there be enuff dough to fund the wish list departments send to her. Treasurers are known to be good jugglers.
Note: There has been occasional consternation about short term rentals not paying taxes. If a visitor books through air b&b or VRBO website, the bed tax of 14.55% is collected at point of reservation and submitted to ADOR by the corporation in the name of the business. In other words they have to pay taxes if they are booking through those corporations. However if they don't book through those sites and they advertise on craig's list or word of mouth, they it is likely they will not be paying bed taxes. I do not think many, if any, SRTs book like that however.
And speaking of SRT's, as of the middle of April the city has approved 70 permits. Although I have not checked listing lately, A local SRT owner sent me a message that said they had checked Airbnb and excluding hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds, there were 91! Airbnbs that do not have a permit number on their listing. Several are managed by Evolve- they aways list a TPT number but not a city of bisbee license number. because one of the city of bisbee permit/license requirements is to show a screenshot with your city of bisbee license/permit number,
year to date (July-April)
Bed tax $231,584.91/$267,259
Home food $483,974/$409,059
Sales of houses and commercial property is one of several metrics to understand economic activity in Bisbee. Specific owner information can be found at the Cochise County Recorder or Assessor's offices.
Eleven houses sold, the most monthly sales since August of last year. There were five sales in Warren, four in OB, and two other neighborhoods in Bisbee.
805 Headstart way $49,000
206 B St. $57,000
612 Hoatson $80,000
705 Yuma Trl $130,000
609 Oliver Circle $159k/$150,
407 Powell $239.5k/$235k
12/a-14a Art Av $279,800
408C Mason Hill $286,5k/$280k
53 B Subway $499k/$365k
412 Garden $425,000
228 Adsit St. $525,000
Building permits are one statistic to measure economic activity in the city. There were no permits for new houses. The amounts of the job indicate not only materials, often bought locally, but also for workers, paperwork, as well as profit for contractors. A portion of worker pay and owner profit is recirculated in the community in the form of services and entertainment.
For each permit issued, there is a fee paid to the city to cover the cost of inspections and administration. In April the city received $14,856.
Commercial building permits for April were a substantial $411,000, stimulated by work being done on Contessa’s Cantina. The city also did significant rehab work last month. It was the largest total in seven months. With the exception of a few projects, commercial activity has been minimal.
Residential permits continued strong with 37 permits totaling $572,217 for sewer line replacements, roof repairs and replacement, electric upgrades, solar installation, interior remodel, air/heat installations, and other modernization projects.
NEWLY INCORPORATED BUSINESSES
Desert Canyon Pack LLamas LLC
2344 S. Barnett Rd.
Cole Avenue LLC
9 Park Av. Stitch Witch LLC Elizabeth Peltola, Richell Sahm 3699 S. Rogers, Naco
317 14th Terrace, Warren
July 6, 10 am
Pioneer Title/Sierra Vista <><> OTHER INDICATORS Several other stats reveal economic impact in Bisbee. The following figures were taken from information on https://cochiseeconomy.com. There is a wealth of 2020 census data on the site also. JOBS Bisbee unemployment dropped a tenth of a percent to 2.8% from 2.9%. The number of nonfarm jobs in Cochise County was down by 500 in the 12 months ended April 2023, for job growth of -1.5%, according to data from Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. The countywide private sector was down by 700 jobs (-3.0%) while the government sector added 200 jobs (1.9%). Within government, job gains were split between federal (100 jobs, 2.2%) and state and local levels (100 jobs, 1.7%). ...Countywide private-sector, service-providing jobs were down by 700 (-3.3%) from April 2022 to April 2023, with the loss of 300 information jobs (-50.0%), 200 professional and business services jobs (-4.9%), 100 trade, transportation, and utilities jobs (-1.6%), 100 educational and health services jobs (-2.2%), and 100 leisure and hospitality jobs (-2.6%), partly offset by the gain of 100 jobs (10.0%) in financial activities. Job numbers held steady in other services in the 12 months ended April. more from this press release here: https://cochiseeconomy.com/regional-economic-news/f/april-job-numbers-down-earnings-up-from-a-year-ago CHIRICHUA NATIONAL MONUMENT VISITATION Visitation for April/23 was up 5.9%, 32,659 compared to 30, 907 in April of last year. March visitation was up about 3% over last year. COCHISE PORTS OF ENTRY In 2022, the value of international trade (imports and exports) passing through Cochise County's two ports of entry (Douglas and Naco) totaled $2.6 billion, down 11.9% from 2021. Exports totaled $1.1 billion (down 9.1%) while imports came in at $1.5 billion (down 13.9%). The Douglas port, which accounts for the vast majority of imports and exports through Cochise County, saw a 12.6% decrease in trade volume (exports down 9.5%, imports down 14.7%), while the much smaller Naco port saw a 14.6% increase in trade volume (exports down 1.1%, imports up 91.1%). Despite the decline in overall trade volume through Cochise County's ports of entry in 2022, the total value of imports and exports through the ports was at its second highest level on record, with records back to 2004 (the year 2021 was the record high with $2.9 billion in trade passing through the Douglas and Naco ports). BORDER CROSSINGS In 2022, pedestrian crossings into the United States were up 13.8% at the Naco port (compared to 2021 )n Naco, crossings in 2020 were at their lowest level on record (with records back to 1996), but the rebound in 2021 and 2022 returned crossings to levels in line with those seen from 2008 through 2016. Vehicle passengers at the Naco port were up 34.5% in 2022, after climbing 22.5% in 2021 (after a 42% COVID-related decline in 2020). Despite the strong rebound in 2021 and 2022, vehicle passenger crossings remained ...are still below pre-COVID levels at the Naco port.
OBNUBILATION IN COCHISE COUNTY Darken, or cover with fog; obscure.
(Some of the factual information I publish about the county comes from a person(s) known to me as the San Pedro Sleuths. They comb existing records, obtain public records, look at budgets, create timelines, and much more. They are doing valuable public service.)
The bloodless coup d'état in Cochise County seems to be complete. The chair of the supervisors is now one of the two republicans that have challenged elections. The Elections Dept. duties were transferred to an election denier, Recorder David Stevens, long enough for him to oversee a successful jail levy election and to appoint a sketchy elections director, and ask for more money from the supes for 'personnel' in the elections dept. And the elections department is now headed up by a man that lied on his job application, has huge employment gaps, and refused to allow contacts with former employees.
Recorder Stevens was responsible for vetting the new hire, Bob Bartlesmeyer, He is being paid $95,000 which is $4500 more than the position was advertised. He also is getting a $12,000 relocation allowance. (I'm unsure whether any other employee has received relocation dough.) Although the elections dept. is down to one person, and two people have retired/resigned about four months ago, Stevens asked, and got, an additional $40,000 added for elections personnel. He didn't even deign to come to the supe meeting to answer questions. Initially Bob B. was to start on May 30, but this past week, it was announced he would not start until July, the beginning of the fiscal year.
The former elections director Lisa Marra, has just been awarded $130,000 from the county insurer due to her claim of a toxic workplace. That pushes the total dough the county has paid out to over $300,000.
There is some confusion about Paid Time Off or PTO. The Cochise County Administrator Richard Karwaczka has said that there was no money in the election dpt budget because of PTO. However it looks like PTO is a separate fund from salaries that would have been budgeted for this fiscal year. So where did the money go that was in the budget?
The two republican county supervisors, Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby, who pledged to pay for any lawsuits out of their own pockets and have paid nothing, have spent almost $200,000 of county taxpayer money defending decisions they have made. The money, paid to attorneys, does not include staff time or admin time that would add tens of thousands of dollars to the total.
Crosby, who I think is still under a contempt order by the court for not sanctioning the 22 election results, also refused to sanction the jail levy vote last week. That is a duty of a supervisor, not something to have an opinion about to do or not do.
Of seeming slight concern by the two supervisors, is that there is also the inconvenience to the public to protest/support their various decisions at a multitude of meetings at great cost in time and transportation.
There have been two instances of private money paying for lawyers for the supervisors.On the face of it that would seem to be illegal. Despite requests to name the individual(s) there has been no response from the supes, nor the county attorney.
What we have in our county is two supervisors who increasingly question election procedures-ones that have worked well in the past. Apparently their holy grail is 100% hand count of elections. However there is ample evidence that hand counts are much more inaccurate than machines. The use of machines came about because hand counting was so prone to error, manipulation and fraud. It’s not just taking ballots out of the box and … counting. These varied sources have examined hand counting and have found inaccuracies wherever it has been used.
Another thorough source: ghttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vote_counting
At the root of all the election 'problems' is the fear of democracy; that electors, that is us ordinary working and retired folks, can determine who is fit for office and who is not. That gives the heebie jeebies to already phobic and neurotic authoritarian politicians and they have, and will, use any means to discredit voters and the voting system.
THE REAL DOWNLOW ON IMMIGRATION
This article is reprinted from the Arizona Agendahttps://arizonaagenda.substack.com. Curt Prendergast, the author, works for the Arizona Daily Star.
Customs and Border Patrol have a website chock full of statistics. They contain the true picture of what is going on at the border.
Go here for the Public Data Portal: https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/cbp-public-data-portal?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email The national political conversation, especially in Arizona, is about to re-center on immigration, a topic that people feel strongly about but rarely have a deep understanding of.
The border is a complicated region, but too often our national debate on the topic is boiled down to a set of numbers that rise and fall. I can see it happening again with the end of Title 42.
Politicians (and your angry out-of-state friends) are about to throw an endless barrage of numbers at you as they talk about the border. To understand those numbers, the first place you need to go is the CBP Newsroom Stats and Summaries page, which includes all the links we're going to talk about here.
It’s a treasure trove of data that until a few years ago would have required a public records request to obtain, which likely would take weeks or months to fulfill, if you knew what to ask for.
But these days, you can download massive datasets of detailed border statistics at CBP's Public Data Portal. As a former border reporter, it blows me away that this data is now available so easily. (The U.S. Customs and Border Protection data team deserves a shoutout for the vast improvements they’ve made in recent years.)
These numbers form the backbone of the national political conversation about the border. If you spent an hour bouncing around this website, you would have a deeper understanding of the border debate than basically anybody you know.
The CBP stats page allows you to see how many times Border Patrol agents encountered migrants or asylum seekers and which countries they came from; how much fentanyl (or any of the other major drugs) was seized; how much money was seized; how many weapons and ammunition were seized; the list goes on and on. You can even track agricultural inspections.
You can use the drop-down menus to see data for specific areas of the border, such as the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, or to sort by monthly totals, annual totals, or whether the items seized were inbound or outbound, and other measures.
But the border isn’t just about illegal crossings and contraband. Every day, hundreds of thousands of people cross the border legally, fueling the economies and culture on both sides of the wall.
Wanna know many times people legally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since October? Nearly 93 million times, including about 12 million just driving or walking across Arizona's border with Mexico. Most of that comes from people living in the borderlands who cross the border to go to work, school, shop, or see family on the other side. In other words, this is a kind of X-ray image of day-to-day life on the border.
But you rarely hear that number. Instead, the attention goes to these numbers: 1.2 million encounters with migrants or asylum seekers who crossed without permission, including 270,000 in Arizona.
Take U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise’s recent tweet that gained traction among a handful of Arizona politicos claiming that “5 million people have illegally crossed the border since Biden became President.”
Is that a real number or bullshit? Scalise didn't give a source for that number, so how can you tell?
We can use CBP's Nationwide Encounters page to see where that 5 million number came from. CBP reported about 1.2 million encounters so far this fiscal year, plus about 2.4 million in fiscal 2022 and 1.4 million for the months in fiscal 2021 after Biden took office. You end up with about 5 million encounters since Biden took office. Scalise's number checks out.
But this is where they get ya. After seeing Scalise's statement, you might be tempted to think 5 million more migrants live in the United States than when Biden took office.
But if you click the "Title 42" option in the "Title of Authority" you'll see about 2.3 million encounters were processed under Title 42, which means they were immediately sent back across the border. That leaves about 2.7 million crossings, which is still a lot, but only about half of Scalise's 5 million.
It also leaves out a lot of nuance about where these people are coming through the 2,000-mile-long border.
Let’s look at the March statistics, the most recent available. Going west to east along the Border Patrol’s sectors, the agency reported about 23,000 encounters in San Diego; 4,500 in El Centro; 13,000 in Yuma; 34,000 in Tucson; 39,500 in El Paso; 1,200 in Big Bend; 24,000 in Del Rio; 5,000 in Laredo; and 18,000 in the Rio Grande Valley. You see how much it varies for each part of the border?
It would vary even more if you looked at the use of Title 42 in each of the Border Patrol’s sectors. But I’ve already thrown enough numbers at you.
As you can see, statistics can give you some insight into what’s happening at the border. But those numbers can't tell you the human stories behind families leaving their homes or the history of each country that shaped their situation.
For that, look to those that live along and truly understand both sides of the border region. Small papers that dot the communities along the border can be hit or miss, but the Nogales International, the Arizona Daily Star and the El Paso Times do a great job of providing a local context to one of the biggest stories in the nation. Larger newspapers like the Republic, Los Angeles Times and the Dallas Morning News often have the resources that the little ones don’t to follow and investigate big border stores. Here are a few reporters I think do a particularly good job: Rafael Carranza, Angela Kocherga, Lauren Villagran, Alfredo Corchado, Hamed Aleaziz and columnist Jean Guerrero.
If you want a policy perspective, I’d recommend the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan research group that seeks out what it calls “sensible, well thought-out immigration and integration policies.”
TRAVELING TO MEXICO Talking about immigration, how bout going the other way? Go here for details, https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/destinations/2023/05/17/mexico-border-crossing-requirements/70180318007/?utm_source=azcentral-dailybriefing- here are some highlights. What is required to drive into Mexico? If you plan to travel within the border tourism area known as the Mexico Free Zone, which includes popular destinations like Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo and San Carlos, you will only need your driver's license, vehicle registration, passport and Mexican car insurance, according to the State Department and several auto insurance companies including Allstate and Progressive. Do you need a passport to drive a car to Mexico? Driving to Mexico, unlike flying there, does not require a passport book. You can use a passport card, which is less expensive at $30 plus a $35 application fee; the book costs $130 plus a $35 application fee. If you plan to fly, you need a passport book, not a card.
Vouchers…The system of universal vouchers enacted by Republican lawmakers will cost Arizona taxpayers $900 million next school year, 63% more than budgeted just a month ago. Aside from money, the real significance of this is that of the students enrolled this year, the majority came from private schools. What that means is that people who previously were paying for private schools now can get taxpayers to pay for their kids education. And we continue to pay for public education. Who are the suckers!
By the end of the next school year there will be about 100,000 students getting state funds to attend private and parochial schools, the director of the system, the Empowerment Scholarship Account, Christine Accurso, said in a new memo to legislative budget staff.
That compares with about 58,000 who are now in the program and another 3,000 who have submitted applications.
The about $900 million Accurso said the state must come up with to pay for the vouchers is about one dollar out of every eight now earmarked for public education. The state now pays Private education more per student than public education. .........
Go here if you want to see how many and what bills any AZ legislator has sponsored. https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/SearchSponsor
Rep Gail Griffin has been the prime sponsor of 37 bills. Among the many allowing 100% hand counts of all ballots.
Legislators are taking several weeks off for a lil vacation now until May 12 that the budget is done and a batch of 90 or so bills were dispatched in one day! last week. Unfortunately the longer the scoundrels are in session the more damage they can do. We can look forward to a host of crap bills coming at the gov when they come back. The gov has vetoed 99 bills on a variety of wish lists.
How can I denigrate our legislators like that? Well, bills such as these, according to CEBV The Weekly, which were so bad that even some republicans couldn't abide.....
would fine the Bar and the state Supreme Court if they “infringe” on “political speech” of lawyers. FAILED its House floor vote.
....would force counties to return to precinct-style voting. The voting center model has numerous benefits, including voter convenience, financial savings, and increased turnout. FAILED its House floor vote.
....would require anyone who turns in an early ballot at the polls to show ID, and if they turn in more than one ballot, to sign an affidavit. Violators would be subject to a class 5 felony. FAILED its House floor vote.
.... would require publicly posted lists of each event the Secretary of State or a county recorder attends and provides voter registration services. . FAILED its House floor vote.
... would ban anyone except political parties and election officials from distributing early ballot or early voting request forms to voters. Why shouldn’t regular people be able to help their neighbors register to vote the way they want to? FAILED its House floor vote.
....would outlaw “central bank digital currency” and make any coin containing precious metals legal tender in Arizona. The sponsor introduced his bill as saying we are “in the middle of an imploding banking system,” a belief that the federal government is conspiring to cause a central banking crisis, and “the end of Western civilization as we know it.” FAILED its House floor vote.
The State Budget, two views....
From the Arizona Agenda..."Instead of stuffing the budget with non-budget priorities to garner support, legislative leaders allocated a chunk of money for any lawmaker who would vote for the final deal to spend as they see fit. It worked. And despite our hand-wringing about whether it would turn into a pork-packed free-for-all budget that shortchanges Arizona’s biggest needs, this year’s budget isn’t much porkier than usual... Hobbs and Democrats, of course, didn’t get everything they wanted. The Republic found that Hobbs got all or part of what she sought on 50 of her 90 goals, and while it’s still not totally clear which group of politicians got the best deal, both sides are declaring victory."
From the CBEV Weekly...."Gov. Hobbs and her team lack the bold creativity that generates unexpected wins. Asymmetric warfare — battles between opponents with differing levels of power — demands innovation. Instead, she played a weak hand weakly, achieving a handful of smaller wins she can brag about but losing big in the major areas that matter most such as school vouchers.
Governor Hobbs has agreed to a budget that gives repugnican leaders much of what they wanted and got little in return. Of particular note was her inability to cap the voucher program, now approaching $400 million, from wreaking financial havoc next year when there isn't 'surplus' dough available as was this year. "
The bottom line?
Lawmakers get credit for giving dough to local areas for long needed projects. Why those things are so desperately needed to begin with: For the past 12 years republican legislators have shifted costs to cities and counties that were previously borne by the state. They did this in order to cut taxes that favored large businesses and wealthy people and to expand privatizing education. This was a one time deal. Next year will be much different without a pot of $2 billion to hand out.
INTERNET SERVERS COMPARED
If you would like to compare internet service in the Bisbee area, this is one place to compare all 11 companies. https://broadbandnow.com.
This was part of a longer article published in The Markup about how internet providers often charge more in low income or minority neighborhoods than in other parts of cities. They have a step by step process to find out just how much plans vary in cost. It takes some time to do this, but no special knowledge other than a computer and internet connection.
For those of you living in bigger cities, it is an eyeopener. This is yet another way that working poor and low income people get charge more for services, from banking to utilities to internet.
Address by address, this map shows the drastically different internet speeds offered by AT&T, CenturyLink, or Verizon—all at the same price point per provider—in major U.S. cities.
A Markup analysis revealed that the worst internet deals disproportionately fell upon the poorest, most racial and ethnically diverse, and historically redlined neighborhoods in all but two of the 38 cities in our investigation...Go here: https://themarkup.org/still-loading/2023/05/11/see-the-neighborhoods-internet-providers-excluded-from-fast-internet <><>
TIPS/FEATURES FOR IPHONE USERS https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/unlock-your-iphones-full-potential-15-hidden-ios-16-features-you-should-know-about/?ftag=CAD4dc88c8 LEGACY CONTACT IN IPHONE https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212360 SECURING YOUR DIGITAL LIFE https://archive.li/yffGZ MORE SCREEN TIME, MORE EYE PROBLEMS https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/excessive-screen-use-eyes-myopia-1.6815857 TIPS FOR SECURING YOUR INFO https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/lists/back-up-and-secure-your-digital-life/?campaign DOWNLOAD AI FOR YOUR iPHONE https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/you-can-now-download-a-chatgpt-app-on-your-iphone-and-ipad/?ftag=CAD4dc88c8 Go here for the correct download: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chatgpt/id6448311069 ........... SPOTTING APP SCAMS https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/buyer-beware-scam-apps-are-out-to-steal-your-money-and-personal-info/?ftag=CAD4dc88c8
Inflation Up for Online Groceries, Down for many other categories...from an article in Forbes."Online grocery prices were 9.3% higher in April than they were a year ago, despite price declines in most of the categories tracked by the Adobe ADBE -1.8% Digital Price Index. The April numbers were released today by Adobe... Overall, online prices were down 1.8% in April compared to April, 2022, led by double-digit drops in some of the largest online categories, including electronics....Electronics, computers, flowers and related gifts, appliances, sporting goods, toys, books, home and garden, furniture and bedding, office supplies, and jewelry had year-over-year declines."
Math video entertaining and you may even like math a bit more after watching.
THE BEST SUNSCREENS This is the most complete science based guide.
<><> THE WRITERS STRIKE AND THE HOLLYWOOD MONOPOLY An excellent indepth look at how media company monopoly not only affects workers in the movie and TV business but what we view. https://mattstoller.substack.com/ <><> David Fitzsimmons was a political cartoonist for the Arizona Star, now retired. He writes a blog. His last two issues have been about Christian Nationalism. It's worth a look. https://davidwfitzsimmons.substack.com/p/christian-nationalism-2?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email Here's a sample from his latest. "Meanwhile, this past Spring we saw a parade of pious poltroons gave Arizonans a taste of their “old time religion” by proposing laws that rivaled the Spanish Inquisition for cruelty based solely on superstitious nonsense. Not evidence, but mythology. Not fact, but fantasy. Like the Taliban, Arizona’s Christian Nationalists reject gender equality, tolerance for diversity, public education, reason, science, democracy and any modern values that stand in the way of the absolute power they seek." and.... this article by David Fitzsimmons; An ode to the trials, travails, and euphoria of gardening; https://davidwfitzsimmons.substack.com/p/creating-your-garden-oasis-that-will?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email
<><> SHORT TAKES This site posts secrets sent via postcards. https://postsecret.com/ ............. APROPOS OF THE PROPOSED KROGER(FRYS)/ALBERTSON(SAFEWAY) MERGER Myths dispelled https://popular.info/p/how-a-grocery-store-mega-merger-could?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email .......... GUIDE TO GET PUBLIC RECORDS https://arizonaagenda.substack.com/p/arizona-agendas-guide-to-getting ........
SNAKELIKE ROBOT https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasa-snake-robot-eels-saturn-moon-enceladus-search-of-life/?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email .......... KYRSTEN SINEMA IN THE NOOZ https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/01/magazine/kyrsten-sinema-independent.html?algo=clicks_decay_6_diversified&block=3&campaign_id=142&emc=edit_fory_2 https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2023/04/kyrsten-sinema-interview-democrats-bipartisan/673899/ <><> FOOLING US GULLIBLE CONSUMERS This consumer newsletter tracks tricks on consumers. https://www.mouseprint.org/?utm_source=newsletter This issue is all about package shrinking.
In the seemingly never-ending shrinking of Bounty towels, the double rolls have just gone down from 98 select-a-size sheets to just 90. The new packages are noticeably lighter
P&G continued its downsizing with Gain liquid laundry detergent. The now standard 92-ounce size just lost four ounces and is down to only 88 ounces. It is hard to tell any difference between the bottles. Could Tide be next?
People have been complaining about the amount of filling (the “stuf”) in Oreos decreasing lately. We don’t know if it has actually changed or not. But one thing for sure is some of their packages are getting smaller. In addition to regular Oreos and some of gluten-free ones, the family size bags of Double Stuf Oreos now have four fewer cookies in each bag. Perhaps the family got smaller.
Dawn is another one of those brands that periodically changes sizes. This time, the 19.4-ounce bottle was downsized to 18 ounces.
P&G continues to shrink various varieties of their toothpastes. This time it is Crest Detoxify which went from 4.1 ounces to 3.7 ounces — about a 10% reduction
Snack foods, and in particular potato chips, are one of the categories of groceries that keep being downsized. This time, it is Kettle potato chips going from 8.5-oz. bags to 7.5-oz. bags.
Another category subject to periodic shrinkage is laundry detergents. This time, it is All Free & Clear’s turn, where the number of laundry pacs in one of their larger sizes had gone from 66 to down 60. So you get a half a dozen fewer loads per bag.
Neologisms in which a real word has been changed by one letter, often paired with another to give new meanings to existing words.
Draggadocio Vainglorious cross dressing
Adorkable…A socially awkward person who is delightful and charming
Cindergarten….The first level of education for aspiring firefighters
Transgander… A goose sex change
Carbiovascular…Heart problems from overeating
Tuxidermist…Clerk who stuffs fat men into a tux
Jesture…Jokes in sign language
Xanadud…not the expected utopia
Nubiquitous….the next big thing
Godsmacked…An epiphany in church
The Original List that started all this in the WaPo in 1998. (I’ve printed it before, but it is so delightfully good…
1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject
financially impotent for an indefinite perioid of time
2. Ignoranus : A person who is both stupid and an asshole 3. Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you
realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright
ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign
of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person
who doesn’t get it.
9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these
really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like,
a serious bummer.
12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day
consuming only things that are good for you.
13. Glibido : All talk and no action.
14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they
come at you rapidly.
15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve
accidentally walked through a spider web.
16. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your
bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the
fruit you’re eating.