Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

Quote of the Week

Downtown Voices Coalition is a group of about 90 stakeholders that work on issues affecting downtown Phoenix. They had a recent article on their web site about Dwell Magazine naming Phoenix Exurbs such as Verrado and Anthem (I think my home turf of Goodyear counts as well) as some of the “Worst in the US”.

The quote that caught my eye? Unrefinery.com had this to say about the recognition:

We hesitate to even call Phoenix a city; the decentralized home turf of Allied Waste would be best described as a 400-square-mile monument to sprawl, water waste, traffic bottlenecks, and crystal meth. Urban planning sometimes seems esoteric, but Phoenix offers a real-world reminder of why we need it.

Thoughts?

Going political

prop206.jpgThe attached picture (please click on it for a larger version) shows the front and back of a postcard that came in the mail the other day. An attempt to convince voters that Prop 201 wastes taxpayers dollars, it panders to the fear of sex offenders and shamelessly parades schoolchildren as victims of this waste. The sponsors of this ad want you to vote against Prop 201 and for Prop 206 so smoking in public places can continue. A careful look at the small print reveals that this ad is funded by (drumroll ……) the Arizona Licensed Beverage Association and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company! Surprise, surprise.

Before you write me off as a Carrie Nation of Smoke, I used to smoke. I smoked almost two packs of cigarettes nearly every day for 19 years. The last five of those years I woke up each day, determined to quit smoking. Thanks to the generous chemical additions of the tobacco companies, I was addicted and fighting a much more serious battle than I imagined. Through constant attempts and, finally, hypnosis, I quit smoking on January 19, 1987 and have not had a cigarette since.

Quit almost 20 years, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember the desire, the want, the need for a cigarette. It is an addiction in every sense of the word and you better believe the bar owners and the cigarette companies want to make sure smokers stay addicted and new smokers join the club. They don’t care about tracking sex offenders and they certainly don’t care about school children’s supplies (much less their health) – they just want to sell more alcohol and cigarettes. The taxes to which they refer are taxes on cigarettes – taxes paid by the addicts. If you don’t smoke, it isn’t coming out of your pocket.

Smokers will tell you they don’t want to quit, they enjoy smoking, so get off their backs. But that’s a lie. They are addicted and every one of them, at some level, knows they are smoking because they have to, that it’s no longer a choice for them. There is absolutely nothing good about cigarette smoking except the bottom line on the ledger for the alcohol and tobacco sellers. Please don’t let them spin your vote against Prop 201- it is NOT ridiculous. Vote FOR Prop 201 and AGAINST Prop 206.

So stop whining already, fall’s almost here

A recent discussion with a friend included the top five reasons we choose to live in Arizona. Almost all of them included the “sun” and none were “because we have to.” We acknowledged that it is not for everyone and wish that those who like to bash the desert would take their complaints elsewhere. I don’t care for endless days of gray skies and about to rain, raining or just rained weather. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the areas of our country (or the world, for that matter) where these conditions exist. I don’t denigrate places because of what I don’t like – I value them for what I do like and just don’t choose to live there. For people who don’t tolerate the relentless heat of an Arizona summer, please move or stop whining and get over it.

And, not speaking of the heat, I do believe Arizona’s version of fall is almost here. Natural air conditioning through open bus windows kept us delightfully cool this morning. Walking to the MU for my morning cuppa, I saw the grounds maintenance people preparing to plant pots and pots of red and white geraniums in the beds around the Cady Mall fountain. Open windows, cool evenings, annual flowers in bloom – I believe fall in the Valley is talking to us.

Speeding on the 101 how many times???

Check out this AzRepublic article about a woman with 69 ignored traffic tickets, 64 of which are for speeding on the 101. She’s looking at $11,000 in fines and some jail time. There are photos on the right and one shows her chatting on her cell phone – surprise! What is the mindset here?

On the bus . . .

vmlogo.gifThe Valley Metro buses have signs about a “new policy” that was invoked on July 24, 2006. I would see it and forget about it after I got to work, but today it stayed with me. The policy says that children under the age of seven must be accompanied by a responsible person, able to supervise and control the child. I’m paraphrasing because I didn’t write it down while on the bus and when I went to Valley Metro’s site, looking for the language, I couldn’t find it. My question is why they need to issue such a policy? Do they have a lot of riders under the age of seven who are all alone? Or is this aimed at 10, 11, 12 year olds riding with small children and the older child is unable to control the younger child? Or is this for parents who don’t understand concepts like discipline and control? I’d really like to know what prompted this policy as I can’t imagine putting a 6 or 7 (or younger!) year old on the bus alone. I’d have deep reservations allowing a 10 year old to travel alone with their 3 or 4 year old sibling. I haven’t seen these things, but I only ride two bus routes. It’s a curiosity and I’m open to enlightenment.

HOA dues don’t make any sense to me

Before we moved here and bought our house, I had no idea why new home communities had to have HOA dues.
We lived in a 50 year old home back in California and didn’t have to pay for HOA. We couldn’t comprehend why new homes would make their residents pay to live in their community unless it was to keep their area safe.
I knew about the major reasons – taking care of the landscaping, irrigation systems, the waterscapes and so on and so forth. But why so much money? With new homes developing, I would have thought this would help keep the dues at a stable level. Yet I got a letter in the mail earlier this year telling me they are increasing our dues and attached a cryptic expense sheet justifying this increase. While we have this increase, I see strange cars parked out on the street, graffitti on some walls, and vandalism. With this much money you would think they’d also have someone taking care of this. But no. Actually the company is based in Scottsdale and they only have one representative in the model center. If we saw a car parked out for more than 3 days, we had to file a complaint form and submit it to the Scottsdale office. Why do we need to do this? When graffiti or vandalism happens in our community a long period of time elapses before anything happens. There should be some patrol to protect our community from this. If I am going to pay so much money in dues, I’d rather see the money going to something that actually makes a difference to keep our community safe. Grrr.

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