top of page

Bisbee Wire/Bisbee Economy/Robots & Automation/Phone guts/2017/August #30


Doesn't seem like the dog days of August, does it? Seems like lots going on. Take a look below... Will the city rescind the bag ban?, the art show at Poco, St. John's comes back on line with a renovated community hall, short term rentals beginning to be a neighborhood problem, Flam Chen for NYE?  Fred <><><><><><><><><><><><> BISBEE BAG BAN BANNED BY BEAKS*

A major ruling by the Arizona Supreme court involving Tucson impacts Bisbee. The Bisbee plastic bag ban now seems illegal. The ruling was about the right of Tucson to destroy confiscated guns. The fundamental issue was the rights of 19 charter cities in Arizona to have control of purely local matters.  However the ruling did little to clarify the rights of cities as well as the ability of the State to preempt local decisions and left many questions unanswered. As I interpret this ruling, if the AG comes after Bisbee which is likely, and if the council does not rescind the ban we could lose state shared revenue. Because the Tucson issue involved guns and the Bisbee issue is bags, we may have a better argument about the State usurping local control and therefore a better legal challenge. This is one issue that the city council will be mulling over soon.

A state law was enacted (after the Bisbee ban and somewhat in response to it and other cities desire to reduce plastic bag use) that states, among other things, there can be no restrictions of plastic bag use. A second state law was enacted in 2016 that requires cities, towns and counties to assure their local ordinances comply with state law. If they don't fix it, the state can withhold revenue from the city. And if one legislator thinks a local ordinance does not conform to the state law, they can ask the AG to investigate. That is exactly what Senator Gail Griffen (ugh!) did about the Bisbee bag ban. She whined to the AG on 'behalf of Bisbee constituents". More info here:

*Beaks...."Until very recent years a very common expression to describe appearance before a magistrate, especially in London, was 'Up before the Beak', but the word and phrase now appear to be on their way out. Beak, or Beck, is an old word, of Dutch origin, for anyone in authority (masters are still ‘beaks’ at some public schools); from the sixteenth century it was used to describe a constable, and it was partly by an accident of alliteration that the term, as applied to a magistrate, survived. Sir John Fielding, who succeeded his half-brother, the novelist, as Chief Magistrate at Bow Street in 1754, was blind. A magistrate in those days, at Bow Street even more than elsewhere, was as much a policeman as a judge, so it was inevitable that he should become known as ‘The Blind Beak’. The name stuck, and still sticks, though less firmly than before. Today it is certainly used more by the old than by the young, and more in London than elsewhere."

......................... BISBEE ECONOMY

Gee there was a 78% increase in lodging over last year in April. Not. Something is wrong and I have not had the time to sit with Dr. Carreira to find out what. I suspect that some of the short term rental taxation is now being reported in the ADOR reports and that is skewing the stats. But that is only a guess. Retail was up, restaurant and bar was up and that seems right given this was a Spring with many visitors. Housing market continues to be strong with nine houses sold. (These are houses sold through realtors and does not account for online sales or sales by owner. The stats might be bumped a bit if those were included. I hope to find a way to get those stats also.) And building permits hold firm reflecting the housing market. Since there are relatively few contractors, if any of them are out of commission or on vacation those building permits will reflect that simply because there are less people working and longer wait times to get work completed. With continuing accolades and national attention about Bisbee being a good place to live, work, visit-see below-I think our economic outlook is healthy. Yes we can use some more businesses, and more employment but what is happening is heartening. Do more people coming to Bisbee change our city? For sure. I think generally for the good. But I realize that there have been many other cities that have been changed for the worse by an influx of newbies with big city attitudes, money, libertarian or anarchic ideas about government, or no sense of history and/or place. Growth doesn't have to be a bad thing and in fact  growth is mandatory for our survival. To determine and actively participate in how our city grows, we need to ensure that our community government structure remains strong active participants; planning and zoning commission, ibisbee committee, sustainability committee, design review, board of appeals, police and fire advisory, and others that make and interpret city regulations and codes. That is the way to grow; government that does not impede, but to help in a healthy, sustainable, transparent, and thoughtful way, with ample avenues for community input. 

............................. BISBEE: BEST PLACE TO LIVE ................................ FEEL GOOD.. PRACTICE GIVING... SEE GRETCHEN AND THE ART OF THE NACO KIDZ One of the most amazing people in Bisbee is Gretchen Baer, artist supremo. Since the border wall has been taken down and the four years of art work on it, she has begun a new project in Naco Sonora called Studio Mariposa. Lotsa kids doing art stuff.  She really could use art supplies and dough to continue this most interesting project. To that end Sunday the 27th, she and the kidz are preparing a special Mariposa ( butterfly) art show at POCO in Bisbee. 2-4 PM, with live music by Becky Reyes.The proceeds from a purchase of a Mariposa painting will be used to buy more art supplies AND the kids get a few bucks too! ( If you ever sold a painting when you were a kid, it’s a big deal!) Go see the show and meet some of these young artists.

If you can’t make the event, but would like to contribute, visit Follow for regular updates. The Mariposa kids and Gretchen thank you!

FYI...Studio Mariposa, the free kids art studio just across the border in Naco, Sonora, is the on-going project of Gretchen Baer. The studio provides free art supplies, art lessons, music lessons, live music events, snacks, and most of all, a place for border kids to be creative. Classes average from about 50 to 75 voracious little artists, which means lots art supplies are needed!  ................................ AIR B&B/VRBO...SHORT TERM RENTAL PROBLEMS

There is some concern about the significant increase in short term rentals (STR), particularly in Old Bisbee. There have been four people who have volunteered to help do some research so that we can ascertain how many STR's are in Bisbee, who owns them, what policies have been enacted in other places, how to track tax money;  all with a goal of formulating policies governing SRT's and possibly presenting policy alternatives to the council. I hope we will be splitting up tasks and getting started soon. This is a growing problem in our city and we want to figure out ways to accommodate residents, owners, visitors, by keeping our neighborhoods Bisbee while welcoming guests.  You can help. If you have an air b&b or a VRBO (vacation rental by owner) in your neighborhood, if you would collect some info and forward it to me (, I would greatly appreciate it.  I would like to know any or all of the following:Street address of the SRT The name of who owns or manages the property            (if not known some approximate such as some guy in Phoenix) Are there there neighborhood issues            such as too many SRT's in a block Are there parking issuesAre there noise issuesAre there garbage issuesAre there late party issuesAre there confrontation issuesAre there crime/drug use issues



A grand re-opening of the renovated community hall is scheduled for Sunday Sept. 10-12-2pm. The much used hall has a new roof and some interior work done. Just in time for community T-day dinner that have been a staple for many years. ........................................

FLAM CHEN NYE? A few of us would like to bring the pyrotechnic art group Flam Chen to Bisbee for three days culminating in a NYE ritual. Will be more later, but we will be trying to raise $15k to bring the dozen people here. If you are interested in contributing, please contact me at



Just when you thought there was going to be a national vacation and reprieve from the drama of Days of our Lives at the White House and Trumpie, here he is sucking up to those white inferiorists. (I refuse to call them supremicists).  This is the best coverage I've seen, in their own words. 22 minutes.

This NASA site is geared toward elementary school but since my astronomical understanding is about at that level.....

<><><<><><><><><><><><><> WHERE ARE THE ROBOTS? With the media awash in articles about automation, often in the form of robots, replacing workers, this timely article from Brookings locates areas of concentration of industrial robots. It turns out to be in the upper midwest and down south. Not surprising given that more than half of the 233,305 industrial robots are used in the auto industry. Most of the robots are in just 10 states led by Michigan which has 28,000, Ohio with 20,400 and Indiana with 19,400. (FYI... Sierra Vista-Douglas Metropolitan area is included in this survey and the number of robots is very low; 2 robots in 2010 and 4 robots in 2015 according to their data. Of states, Arizona is ranked #39 with 874 robots in 2010 and 2098 in 2015.)

"...a couple observations. First: The uneven map of industrial robotics makes a simple point about technology change. Automation—like so many other economic trends—won’t occur in the same way everywhere. Far from being entirely novel, automation will resemble other economic changes in that it will touch down in disparate communities in disparate ways determined by the workings of global value chains as they are shaped by the local industry mix, skills, location.

Which points to a second point: Anxiety about robots — like their physical distribution — will also likely have its own geography. On this point, while the nation’s anxiety about automation appears broad and diffuse, the specific facts of robot use suggest that the most significant social impacts of at least this form of automation remain concentrated. Specifically, the robots map suggests that robot and broader economic anxiety (along with associated labor market stresses) may also max out in the industrial Midwest—particularly in such robot-exposed “red” states as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania where the election’s outcome was determined."



"The public debate about jobs in the US has been dominated by Trump’s fixation with a particular vision of masculine, blue collar employment: a white man in a hard hat, mining coalin Appalachia or clocking hours on an assembly line in the industrial Midwest. But for years, the employment impact of those industries has been dwarfed by the retail sector, which surpassed manufacturing’s total employment in 2002 and now accounts for about 10% of the entire working population, or 16 million people." <><><><>><><><><><

EVERYTHING INSIDE AN IPHONE This fascinating (and long) article examines what are the raw materials in an iphone. Also included is the process of  extraction-including children minors, the third party vendors of precious metals, where materials come from.

For instance; "....approximately 34 kilograms (75 pounds) of ore would have to be mined to produce the metals that make up a 129-gram iPhone. The raw metals in the whole thing are worth about one dollar total, and 56 percent of that value is the tiny amount of gold inside. Meanwhile, 92 percent of the rock mined yields metals that make up just 5 percent of the device's weight. It takes a lot of mining—and refining—to get small amounts of the iPhone's rarer trace elements, in other words.

A billion iPhones had been sold by 2016, which translates into roughly 34 billion kilos (37 million tons) of mined rock, according to Michaud's calculations. That's a lot of moved earth—and it leaves a mark"


<><><><><><>FM><><><><><><><><>< CUMULATIVE STATS

Sales stats

Housing sales stats


bottom of page