editor: fred miller November 4, 2023 #62/Nov 2023
Well this is certainly a wordy issue. Supposed to go out some days ago, but then the info just kept coming and I kept adding things. For a small place, there is a lot happening. I didn't have room in this isuue, but In a future edition I'll be talking about the building progress for the Legion Bar and Grill and the Warner Hotel, and some background on a new shop, La Dulce Vida.
If you have any news about a new business opening or closing, new commercial activity, places for sale, please pass it on. If you would like anything specific covered or mentioned in the Wire, lemme know. email@example.com.
One of the good guys of Bisbee passed recently. John MacKinnon was engaged in the civic life of our city including a stint as our city attorney. Active in several organizations, and helpful with pro bono legal advice, in many ways he lived his life serving the cause of justice. (John died from melanoma cancer originating on his foot! My stepson just went through an operation to get rid of a melanoma cancer. We live in Arizona, please don't be blasé, get yourself to a dermatologist for a yearly check of your body-that means taking all your clothes off and asking the doc to look at everything. How thrilling!)
On a personal note, I'm going to be having a lower back fusion in early December, another in an ongoing effort to keep the bod from decrepitude by replacing worn parts (upper back fusion/aortic valve replaced & aortic aneurysm fixed/two titanium knees/inguinal hernia sewing job/cataracts). I've been active most of my life doing physical work and augmenting that with yoga or aerobics or walking or taking exercise classes, but not doing weights. However I retired from an active job and then have been somewhat hampered in the past year or so, but also haven't been as diligent as I could have been exercising, consequently my bod has become weaker. Not wanting to go into a significant operation weak, I joined the AZ Street Gym here in Warren. It is a very clean well lighted place, lotsa machines that work all kinds of muscles I didn't know I had, as well as rowing, biking, walking machines,free weights, bars, mats, balls, and devices of all kinds. Sherry and Sean, the owners, are helpful to beginners to work out a routine and caution about correct usage. It is an 24 hour autonomous place enabling access with a key fob to accommodate users needs. It is $40 a month, less if you are an elder. Yesterday I noticed a tricep bump and it gave me a little thrill.(It doesn't take much these days.) If you stand naked in front of the mirror and wonder what the fuck happened...you might consider this place. The gym is at 215 Arizona St. More info here
HOLIDAY TRASH COLLECTION CHANGES
More info is at 520 432-6002
Thursday pickup will be Wednesday 11/8
Friday pickup will be Thursday 11/9
Monday/Tuesday pickup will be Monday 11/20
Thursday pickup will be Tuesday 11/21
Friday pickup will be Wednesday 11/22
The good folks at Firewise are asking residents to take down Sparky signs-if you have them up-and stash them till next Spring. They were cautiously optimistic that fires were avoided this year, and will likely start the campaign again next year with the same theme. Much thanks to volunteers Cooper and Lindsay, as well as helpful friends, for providing a much needed service.
The 108th most romantic small city in the US! https://newyorktravelguides.com/
COPPER QUEEN LIBRARY HAS REMOTE PRINTING
Adding to their service to the community, the library has added remote printing to their in person copying, and books, audio books, and movies. The Copper Queen Library is the oldest continuously operating public library in Arizona. They be doing good! Go here for details. or call 520 432-4232.
....And they have abolished late fees
....And they had a very cool BRATs entry
........And they have a very good newsletter!
SENIOR CENTER NEED DONATIONS FOR KITCHEN
The kitchen needs several upgrades to a commercial kitchen after it was shut down by the county inspector. They have raised about $3000 of the $12,500 needed. Several other projects including ADA compliant bathrooms and sturdier chairs are on the upgrade list. More information at 520 432-2167.
The Lifelong Learning Center has some interesting classes. Go here for signups.
Pottery, Quilting, Ghost Hunting, Xcel, Pewter Casting, Crafting, Stained Glass, Knife Skills, and advice for when the Journey Ends.
EVERGREEN CEMETERY TOURS
The tours will start 6pm, cost is 10.00 plus purplepass fee. Gates will open at 5:30pm each night November 10th and 11th. They currently run approximately 4 tours every hour. Groups of no more than 10. You can buy tickets through purplepass here
Check out the arriving Sandhill Cranes at Whitewater Draw here.
Bisbee Science Lab has many different programs and places to plug in. Currently they have a need for a volunteer coordinator. Volunteers are always welcome. Go here for info.
ART STUDIO AT CENTRAL SCHOOL AVAILABLE
Central School Project has an opening for a member! They have a small studio available and encourage practicing artists in the Bisbee area to apply. Please go to our membership page for the application and all the materials and details you need
The application deadline is November 30, 2023.
................. COUNTY PUBLIC AUCTION A public auction of surplus county property beginning November 13 thru Nov. 30. Computer equip, desks, office furniture, misc. items. Online only here. for more info: CSproule@cochise. az.gov ................ A POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO RENTAL HOUSING SHORTAGE IN BISBEE From the Arizona Agenda: "To solve its housing crisis, Sedona is considering letting its workers live in their cars in a “safe” lot", AZFamily’s Mason Carroll reports. The city council is even proposing putting in some showers! How generous! ................ LA VUELTA founder, John Timbers, died as a result of a hit and run driver striking his bicycle while he was riding in Tucson. The driver has not been identified. La Vuelta was for a time a world class biking event held in Bisbee for several years. ................ THE READER ADVISORY BOARD OF THE HERALD REVIEW I have been on the RAB for several years. It is one of the few media companies that solicits input in a systematic way from readers. It has been instructive to see the changes and challenges in journalism that newspapers/media companies face and how they deal with them. If anyone has an issue with or about the HR, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will ensure they are heard at the monthly meeting. _________
The Herald Review Reader Advisory Board (RAB) meets once a month with either the publisher, Jennifer Sorenson, or newly hired managing editor, Matt Hickman. Currently there are six regular members, mostly from Sierra Vista, and myself from Bisbee. The board was created to give feedback to those putting out the paper/and electronic media. Topics range from the look of the paper, the website, content, errors, gaps in coverage, and generally the overall health of the Herald Review media company. Whomever chairs the meetings writes down appropriate suggestions and concerns whether it be lack of coverage about specific events, the kind of coverage, reporter omissions, new areas to explore or other concerns that might warrant action. Not everything is acted on, but often are.
Some of the topics at a last couples meeting were; Castle & Cook pulling out of the Tribute project and whether the planned road extension of Buffalo Soldier Trail to the American Leadership charter school would still happen; the employment of Teri Jo Neff as a reporter taking over the county beat (TJN was indicted in 2009 for theft and most recently was reporting for the right wing Arizona Daily Independent); Shar Poirers' change of reporting beat; layout of the paper; E-edition going to six days, letters to the editor, the problematic website, and suggestions for articles.
My personal take after being on the RAB for several years is that many issues stem from the changing nature of journalism, the declining profitability of newspapers, the bubble of anxiety/anger/ignorance/disdain seething below the surface of the body politic, the multiplicity of other news outlets, and the thinning out of the 'pipeline' of journalists. I have a great deal of interest and concern that they solve some of the problems of journalism transition, and continue to provide county-wide coverage. It is important for residents and it is not easy. There are issues arise that don't get covered or the HR is seemingly negligent. It happens, and sometimes it has been because of a lack of reporters, sometimes time constraints, and sometimes they just miss them.
The HR, owned by Wick Communications, does strive to get things right. They have competent leadership that are very aware of the importance of their role in our larger community to bring news that is balanced and reflects concerns of the varied segments of the public. Comments from the public at large-and they get plenty-as well as the RAB help them become a better company. (Wick Communication for many years published the Bisbee Review until it was merged with the Herald Review. They also had an office on Main St for many years until recently. This year they bought the Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb and will take over the operation of the race next year. They have deep roots in our community. )
The RAB may be expanding, if you live in a rural area of the county and are interested in being on the Reader Advisory Board, contact me at email@example.com. It is necessary to be a subscriber, live in the county, can attend monthly meeting on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:00, and be fairly fluent with the paper.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING NOVEMBER 7, 7:30
1. How your money is spent
3. No more late fees at the library, yay! Lotsa stats about our library here also
5. The city manager gets a $25,000 pay bump
INVOCATION: A Moment of Silence
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
MAYOR’S PROCLAMATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS:
CALL TO THE PUBLIC
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WILL BE DISCUSSED, CONSIDERED AND/OR DECIDED UPON AT THIS MEETING:
1. ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: Subject to availability of funds.
Approval of the Consent Agenda
Approval of the minutes of the Regular Session of Mayor and Council held on Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Acceptance of the Resignation of William Higgins from the Board of Adjustment.
Acceptance of the Resignation of Holly Priestley from the Bisbee Arts Commission.4. Approval of the Appointment of Cheri Chase to the Airport Advisory Commission.
Approval of the Appointment of Jennifer Druckman to the Bisbee Arts Commission.
Approval of the Appointment of David Miller to the Civil Service Commission.
3. Discussion and Possible Approval to eliminate late fees for overdue library materials for all patrons by permanently adopting Resolution R-23-04 amending the Library Section relating to Library Fines of the City Fee Schedule.
Jason Macoviak, Library Manager
4. Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution R-23-14; Renewing the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the City of Bisbee and the Arizona Department of Revenue (AZDOR) for Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) Administration.
Keri Bagley, Finance Director
5. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Employment Agreement between the City of Bisbee and Stephen J. Pauken, City Manager.
Ken Budge, Mayor
6. Discussion and Possible Approval to have the water pump repaired on the Public Works 2018 Sewer Vactor Truck.
Matthew Gurney, Public Works Director
7. Discussion and Possible Approval of the Notice of Intent to adopt Ordinance O-23-16; accepting the transfer of real property from Southeast Arizona Renovations LLC, located at 112 Nighthawk, Bisbee.
Melissa Hartman, City Planner
8. City Manager's Report:
COUNCIL COMMENTS OR FUTURE AGENDA ITEM SUGGESTIONS: (Council members may suggest topics for future meeting agendas, but Council will not here discuss, deliberate, or take any action on these topics.)
CITY HALL CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT IN FINAL STAGES OF NEGOTIATION
The council is on track to likely approve a contract, with BFL Construction for building the new city hall. It has been six years ago in October 2018 when a fire destroyed city hall. The contract is in the final stage of negotiation, and will come up for approval sometime this month. The tentative price of the building will be $3,997,898 with some cost overruns built in.
PROTEST OF CONTRACT
Jeff Harris has protested the contract claiming that the contract was not awarded in accordance with the city code. However his protest is been deemed moot because the council had not yet awarded the contract. CM Pauken has gone on record as saying that the people cannot view the contract until it has been awarded by the council.
Over the last several years Harris has filed several legal challenges to the city, most notably a challenge over the contract for operation of the Wastewater treatment plant. Those legal challenges have resulted in thousands of dollars in costs, so much so that the city recently passing a regulation clarifying that only people with a financial interest in a contract could challenge the award of a contract, effectively stopping any resident from challenging a contract award if they were not a bidder. Harris has protested this also.
Harris owns and lives at a property on Yuma Trail in Warren that has been the subject of several complaints over the years including a petition by neighbors for hoarding, a foul odor, and creating a health hazard. He has refused to clean up his property. The city has said they will take action to force a cleanup. He'll probably challenge that also.
CITY MANAGER RE-UPS FOR ANOTHER YEAR
City Manger Steve Pauken said that he would remain for another year. He will abandon a bid for Cochise County Supervisor District 2. Pauken had announced he would be leaving at the end of the year and that initiated a search for applicants for the position. Twenty applications were received, but after reviewing them, there did not seem to be the experience that the city was looking for to handle some of the projects now underway. Specifically he mentioned the city hall construction, Hillcrest apts development, Saginaw owner-occupied rehabs, and the workforce housing program. Pauken will also get a $25,000 bump in pay.
SEWER RATE INCREASE
A public hearing will be held December 5 inviting the public to comment on the proposed increases for the sewer rate. The proposed increases are about $2 per month for residential and small businesses, and $5 a month for larger retail and bars/restaurants . More information here.
Go here for signing up for city alerts that include council agendas, important events, and emergency info.
Visitor Center/part time
CITY COMMISSIONS VACANCIES Airport Advisory Commission - 2 Vacancies Appeals Board for the Property Maintenance Code - 2 Vacancies Board of Adjustment - 1 vacancy Civil Service Commission - 1 Vacancy Police/Fire Advisory Committee - 3 Vacancies (Ward 3 / Member at Large) Streets & Infrastructure Committee - 2 Vacancies Transit Advisory Committee - 3 Vacancies *********** VISITOR CENTER PERSONNEL NEPOTISM KERFUFFLE The visitor center manager/tourism director, Heather Andrews, seemed to have hired her husband as a part time worker at the visitor center without disclosing their relationship. That's a no-no due to the city's policy of no nepotism or conflict of interest. It came to light when she asked for her husband to be put on her insurance. When the CM learned of it, he fired the husband. Although it is unclear whether the man, Anthony Symons, is actually her husband or not, she stated he was in an email requesting the addition to her insurance. Whether Andrews was reprimanded or not is a personnel issue and not publicly available. There is a part time position now available.
The council approved changes as to who was allowed to protest contact awards. The decided if there was not a financial interest in the contract, there was no standing to sue. This clarification happened because the city has racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees. In one case when two residents that did not have a financial interest in the contract to run the wastewater treatment plant, sued the city and it went to appeals court. The city attorney said he was unaware of any municipality that allowed individuals or the general public to file formal protests of contracts..
Ten Ballistic Shields were donated to the BPD, bought with money from the 100 Club of Arizona. The non-profit club founded in 1968, Provides "any type of support needed by beneficiary families. ... safety stipends to purchase equipment and training that underfunded departments can't otherwise afford, scholarships for family members of officers & firefighters seeking a higher education or trade, H.E.R.O.S. fund for various financial hardship cases."
At a public talk in Warren a few weeks ago, City Manage Steve Pauken mentioned several items of interest.
WARREN HISTORIC DISTRICT
A consultant has been hired to update the existing database done in 2015 of 400+ structures that qualified as historic.In a zoom talk she mentioned there were additional structures to be added and said it was not necessary to redo all the previous work. Hopefully when all the data is processed, it will be send to the State Historic Preservation Agency in Phoenix, and once approve it will be forwarded it on to DC for final approval. Once approved, home owners of historic designated properties will be able to apply for an acknowledgment of historic property and a 50% reduction in property tax.
Repairs at the pool continue, a new pump was bought. Electric circuits completely reworked and brought up to code. He also mentioned that it would be prudent to plan to build a new pool in 10 years.
Wrapping it up in Warren, will do a few streets in OB and then nothing till next year.
Perhaps this summer is a return to the 'traditional' yearly pattern in Bisbee with the summer being slowish, the shoulder season Fall ok, and the Spring strong. Sales tax revenue slipped significantly the past several months. We'll see the remainder of this year and next.
This info is excerpted from the Treasurer's monthly report.
Summary of General Fund Status:
- Overall expenses are at 23% leaving a positive net revenue over expense of about $96,500
General Fund Revenue
- City Sales Tax is at 35% or about $234K ahead of expected. State Sales Tax is right on track at 25%. Vehicle License Tax is a little behind at about 24%. Property tax collection at this time of year is low.
- Building permit revenue is about $11,000 ahead of projections. Code violation fines and other permits and licenses (except business licenses) are all at or ahead of projected.- Charges for services is slightly behind at 23% or $27K short.
The ambulance revenue is about $30,000 less than expected for this point in the year.
- Miscellaneous revenue is at 37% with interest earned at 64% of projected and bringing in about $20,000/month earned on the cash in savings.
- Overall revenue is just under expected at 24% or about $145K short. If property taxes came in at an even pace throughout the year this gap would be more than covered.
General Fund Expenses:
- Mayor and Council, Finance and Public Works Admin are still running a little ahead of budgeted expenses due to the same reasons mentioned last month, annual expenses for the year paid for
- Community Development is slightly ahead of budgeted expenses with the first half of the year paid to the Friends of the Animal Shelter for Shelter operating costs.
- Personnel is ahead of budgeted expenses at 32% due to the cost of an independent medical evaluation and attorney representation for a disability retirement.
Bed Tax Revenue is down about 22%, and expenses are about 20% ahead of budget projections. Some of this due to marketing costs often paid months in advance however there is $3700 in unbudgeted overtime expenses and $2500 in salary that is more than budget projections.
Mine Tours and merch are down about $50,000 below expected this time of year and a negative deficit of about $22k revenue over expenses.
It seems every so often there is a business churn in OB. That happened a couple months ago when there were several new businesses and some relocations. Commercial property also goes through changes, albeit more slowly. Currently there are a number of buildings on the market. Stats, hopefully current, are from LoopNet , Century 21, and Berkshire Hathaway.
Bisbee Grand 61 Main
13 rooms plus bar
Letson Loft Hotel 26 Main St
Hotel San Ramon + Santiago Restaurant 1 Howell Av
Palace Livery 69 Main
Convention center 2 Main
Stock Exchange 15 Brewery
Hermosa Vista Apts. 1372 W. Hwy 92
35 apts $1,999,000
1094 W Hwy 92
27 Main (formerly Artemezia foundation)
Double P Roadhouse 600 Romero St.
Bisbee Mobile Home Park 2010 S. Bowers
J. LEWIS SEEKS INPUT ABOUT OLD HIGH SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT
In this open letter on his website, developer Joe Lewis talks of cost of redevelopment, a change in plans to a 27 room boutique hotel instead of all apartments, and seeks residents' opinion. I suggest you weigh in.
Lovers of Bisbee, Arizona:
I forewarn you that my narrative below can be dry reading. However, I need to know whether I have the majority of the community supporting my revised development plans before I take my finger off the Old Bisbee High School (OBHS) redevelopment pause button. Thank you for reading.
Whether you are a full/part time resident or a tourist you already know that Bisbee is a special place. The OBHS is one of the iconic buildings among many gems in Warren and Old Bisbee. In February of 2022 Cochise County (former owner) sent out a request for proposal (RFP) for a developer to purchase the property. The RFP was heavily promoted and in the public domain for six months. Two bid responses were submitted and ours was the only one that offered to purchase the building for the full appraised value.
Since purchasing the property in August of 2022 my architectural and engineering team, led by PMM has been working on construction drawings to build 39 one- and two-bedroom apartment units while paying special attention to the historic status of the building and aiming to preserve the character-defining features of both the exterior and interior. These plans are at 90% completion, which is at a point where my general contractor (Durazo Construction) can put together an accurate construction bid for the rehab. Unfortunately, after all the numbers are added up the project cost comes in at $418,000 per door. This cost is a non-starter and requires us to pivot for the project to have the potential of moving forward.
After much consultation with my team, we have decided that we need to include a boutique hotel element in this project for it to make financial sense and stand a reasonable chance at obtaining construction financing. Although the current zoning (CM2) allows for such uses as automotive repair garage, automotive gas station – convenience store and even bed & breakfasts it does not allow for a hotel use. This would require a rezoning to C3. In Old Bisbee a property rezoning triggers new parking requirements. In our case that would mean a requirement of 324 parking spaces for 51 units (42 Phase 1 and 9 Phase 2)  Our current site plan includes 51 parking spaces. Thus, to move forward we would need both the rezoning and use permit variance to reduce the number of required parking spaces to be approved in order to proceed with the project.
Anyone that has been around Bisbee knows that one can very easily run into a buzz saw of opposition for even the smallest change to improve a given property. This is why I want to hear from as many of you as possible before deciding whether to pursue the process outlined above. My hope being is that I can earn enough support so that that the revised development plan has a good chance of being approved by the P&Z Commission and the Bisbee City Council. Unfortunately, the alternative scenario is a fenced off iconic building that will continue to await some love and tenderness.
Learn more about the specifics of this planned redevelopment project. Please also take a minute to fill out this brief survey with my hope being that with enough community support we can continue to work towards repurposing the iconic OBHS building into something special that lovers of Bisbee can all be proud of.
Joseph Lewis Old Bisbee High School, LLC
This change of plans with a vague threat of a building standing empty, brings up several issues including the larger one of tourism in OB. I would like to see proof that if he did get zoning and parking issues (some clarification needed about his parking requirements) that he has the capitol to actually do the hotel project, given this change of plans.
Are more hotel rooms needed in OB? Yes in my opinion.
Have to see the final plan. These and other questions; water usage, price of apartments, actual parking available, and more should be answered.
Total sales in September were $2,477,900 for 12 houses sold. Compared to 9/22 when 8 houses sold for $1,537,900, it illustrates the rising price of sold houses in Bisbee, and as per below, sales were spread throughout the city. It also was the most active month since June, and was the most sold sold in 13 months.
473 Park 119,900/119,900/119,900
206 Azurite 119,900/119,900/120,900
115 Ft. Huachuca Ln 139,000/129,000/129,000
312 Hazzard 225,000/225,000/150,000
229 Park 165,000/165,000/1163,000
612 Oliver Cir 185,000/185,000/190.000
511 B Bailey Hill 199,000/199,000/199,000
128 San Jose Dr. 249,000/249,000/249,000
608 Hovland 265,000/265,000/270,000
139 Higgins Hill 279,000/279,000/279,000
415 Center 299,000/299,000/299,000
500 Nevada Pl. 315,000/315,000/310,000
Remodels, upgrades, maintenance, continues apace with residential clocking in at $430,746 worth of permits. There were 5 commercial permits totaling $146,108, that showed renewed activity, although commercial permits for the past year+ have been anemic.
RETAIL SALES (for actual spending two months prior)
Bed tax sales (5%) continue to be weak with the past four months about $10,000 a month below the previous five months.
Restaurant/Bar sales were $32k, the lowest since October of last year. That also reflects less visitation.
Retail reported had an enormous $181,247 for this month. Because it was so large, roughly $60k-$90k more than each of the past five months, I checked with the dept of rev, and they double checked their figures and affirmed the amount. I have no idea why it was so high for this month (July). It was the largest single month figure since July 2018 when I have began tracking sales tax info.
Home consumption food was taxed for $55k which was normalish. This category fluctuates +/-$10,000 a month over several months.
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
Gold Dust Supply 304-A Curve St. Amanda Glover. ... B&D Bisbee LLC 93 Bisbee Rd. David Studer Laura Studer ++++++++++++
Border traffic through ports of entry have picked up when comparing the past three months to the previous years months.These are sanctioned crossers.
sept 27,500/281 26,000/216
august 28,900/270 27,600/241
July 28,100/221 26,500/261
sept 125K/2.3K 139K/2,4 K
august 147K/2.5K 141k/2,6 K
july 137 K /2.2K 131k/2,4 K
.............. COUNTY & STATE................
SUPES GET SUBPOENAS
Go here for Jen Fifield''s complete account including the history of the AG's actions.
Tom Crosby (district 1) and Peggy Judd (district 3) were served subpoenas by AZ AG Kris Mayes' office last week. Although not specified, it is widely believed that their refusal to certify the election, along with their push to hand-count all ballots during the county’s post-election audit is at the heart of the investigation. Additionally, Crosby has been the focus of complaints for open meeting violations. Supervisor Ann English (district 2), the only dissenting vote against the actions in question, was interviewed but not issued a subpoena.
Mayes's office is also investigating the fake 'electors' that tried to usurp the real electors in the 2020 elections. They signed forged documents, lied about their legitimacy, and tried to tell Congress they were the 'real' electors. Former CC republican party chair, Robert Montgomery was one of the fake 'electors'.
HOUSING IN AZ, COCHISE COUNTY HAS FEWER UNITS
This report summarize some of the changes, by county, in housing comparing the 2020/2010 census. An interesting read with a lot of stats, some of which point to problems in Cochise County. Some excerpts... State of Housing: Arizona Housing Characteristics from 2020 Census Arizona housing units rose 8.3% from 2010 to 2020 "This article reports on housing in Arizona based on the 2020 Census. It will look at what changed over the decade between 2010 and 2020, how the 2020 data compares to the nation, to other states, within Arizona, and in some cases, by race and ethnicity. Most Arizona counties had an increase in the number of housing units between 2010 and 2020. ... There were five counties in the state with fewer housing units in 2020 than they had in 2010. These were La Paz (-16.2%), Apache (-11.7%), Navajo (-1.3%), and Cochise (-0.7%)." "Despite the increased number of housing units between 2010 and 2020, the proportion that were empty decreased.... 12.2% of housing in Arizona was vacant... Houses can be vacant for many reasons, such as being for sale or rent and sold or rented but not yet occupied. The primary reason, however, is for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use, such as vacation or winter homes. This was the case for the nation, for Arizona, and most counties within the state.... Only three counties claimed something other than seasonal use as the primary vacancy status. The highest percentage of vacant housing units in Greenlee was for rent, and, in Cochise and Graham counties, the category of other vacant was the most prominent status. The other vacant category is listed when reasons for the unit being empty do not fall into any of the other categories, for example, it could be held for a caretaker or vacant for personal reasons of the owner." +++++++++VOTING CHALLENGES MOSTLY COME UP EMPTY There has been a concerted effort in many states to challenge various aspects of elections and voting. Most of these have been denied by legislatures, popular actions, and the courts. The latest in Arizona is the free enterprise (ha!) club is suing to stop the practice of unmanned (sic) ballot drop boxes. Sigh. Let's frivolously spend taxpayer money on stupid ideas. Other attempts that have been or are in courts: mass challenges to voter's eligibility, voter roll purging, election interference, ballot counting machines, ballot counting machine hacks, vote counting signature comparison, voting locations, staff eligibility, accessibility, prohibition of food/water in voting lines, voter suppression, misinformation, stopping mail in voting, and others. All of these tend to erode confidence in the elections process and cast doubt on election workers. That seems to be the anarchistic goal. +++++++++ LOCKED UP! This report has details. Arizona has an incarceration rate of 868 per 100,000 people (including prisons, jails, immigration detention, and juvenile justice facilities), meaning that it locks up a higher percentage of its people than any democracy on earth. Read on to learn more about who is incarcerated in Arizona and why. ++++++++++ ONLINE UNIVERSITY FINED FOR BILKING STUDENTS "The U.S. Department of Education will fine Grand Canyon University $37.7 million for "deceiving" students in its marketing of doctoral degrees, officials announced Tuesday." From the AZ Republic. ++++++++++ FENTANYL; LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE This article in the Tucson Agenda provides stats that show 90% of the Fentanyl comes into the state through ports of entry not smuggled over fences in the desert, despite what politicians, legislators, and some lawmen say. And there are some remedies to slow the smuggling. Read it. ++++++++++
HAVE FAR RIGHT REPUBLICANS CAUSED THE RISE IN SYPHILIS?
One of the effects of the national debt ceiling bill that was negotiated to prevent a small number of zealots from shutting down the government, was a cut of $1 billion to federal aid to states for prevention programs of sexually transmitted diseases. Consequently Syphilis cases have risen precipitously in many states including Arizona, that has the highest rate of congenital syphlis in the nation, as this article documents.
UNDERPERFORMING RETAIL STORES, NOT THEFTS THE PROBLEM
This reportdetails stores such as Target have used theft as a cover for store revenue declines. Examinations of of Target store closures in SF, Seattle, and NY have shown that nearby stores remaining open have higher theft rates. Several larger retailers have used the theft excuse for under performing stores. An under performing store doesn't necessarily mean it is losing money, it means it is not making as much money as the company wants.
++++++++++++ WILLS FOR FREE
If you don't have a will, this is a site that will help you make one. Best of all it is free. Doesn't take long and you can be king or queen for a day dispensing with your earthly belongings to whomever you wish with whatever strings you want.
++++++++++++ THE RIGHT WING KINGPIN BEHIND THE SCENES This article details the person that has single handedly influenced supreme court selections as well as politicians. Leonard Leo's career as an authoritarian ideologue and prodigious fund raiser is detailed. ++++++++++++ NEW HOUSE SPEAKER; A HARBINGER OF THE PROTOFASCIST PARTY? Check out this summary of the many public statements of Mike Johnson, the new House speaker in the Public Notice. A case can be made that this is another important step in legitimizing the republican party's evolution into an authoritarian party, and given the number of billionaires and businesspeople that support the policies, a protofascist party. ++++++++++++
A RERUN (thanks to SM)1.
The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi. 2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian . 3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still. 4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption. 5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery. 6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering. 7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart 8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie. 9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it. ........ This now abandoned site, the Style Invitational, from the WaPo had a contest to write some set of instructions in the style of a famous writer. This was a winner.