Every morning I will post my top 10 stories I’m digging that day with a little commentary to go with each. Here’s today’s list:
1. University construction plan in doubt – The Arizona Republic The delays mean students and faculty may have to endure worn-out facilities and the schools can’t expand certain programs or keep up with student growth for a while.
A state paid for stimulus plan left in the budget lurch. The state is in a fiscal crisis and all pots of money need to be considered, but this pot was considered earlier this year and left alone because it draws from lottery money. Two motivations are at work here, a desire to steal every cent from every program to try and balance the budget without a tax increase and an animosity toward public education of any kind.
2. Obama taps Ariz. for cadre of leaders – The Arizona Republic While Napolitano is serving as Homeland Security secretary, fellow Arizonans will be overseeing the national-highway system, regulating the use of pesticides to protect the environment, working to improve the health of American Indians and providing legal advice to the Air Force.
Good news for Arizona’s Republican party, while the Republicans in the Legislature risk angering every constituency in the state with its proposed draconian budget cuts, potentially handing the state’s mostly moribund Democratic Party a truckload of wedge issue for next year’s elections, Obama raids the state for the handful of competenet Democrats who could help his party capitalize on Republican missteps. While Republicans eat Arizona’s young, the Democrats eat their own. I love this state.
3. Workers now allowed to help deserted pets – The Arizona Republic That will be welcome news for the increasing number of cats, dogs and other pets who have been abandoned when their owners let their homes go into foreclosure.
Good for Gilbert. I understand that people getting evicted because of foreclosure are in a financial crisis, but take the damn dog with you when you leave or turn it in to a shelter. Otherwise, I’ve got no sympathy for you or your plight.
4. Back-to-basics junior high on way – The Arizona Republic The Chandler Unified School District is building its first back-to-basics junior high by going back to the future and remodeling a 1950s-era campus that was the district’s first junior high school.
The 1950s? Translation: Teach my kids the way I was taught, dang it. Rote memorization, reading the works of dead white guys, history that ignores anything bad. Learn ‘em good. Like me.
5. As funds for summer fun dry up, citizens pool resources – USA Today In Payson, Ariz., businesses and the city have pledged to pay up to $5,000 to reopen nearby Tonto Natural Bridge State Park on weekends. Residents will volunteer at the park to reduce the need for paid staff, Mayor Kenny Evans says
But will they support a tax increase to help pay for services that have fallen under the budget ax that other families might need? Or are they only willing to chip in their own money to serve their own self interest? Maybe we can have a new form of a la carte government in which each year state, cities and counties put up lists of departments and programs to fund and you can go through it and pick the ones you’re wiling to pay for and the amount your willing to pay. If you chose not to pay for police, the police department can purge your name from 911 list.
6. Dogs sniff out phones hidden by AZ inmates – Arizona Daily Star Inmates usually get or buy the cell phones from visitors, contractors who work at the prison and staff members who sneak the phones in, said Kenny Vance, a service-dog trainer for the Corrections Department.
This is cool, but it seems to be more of an indictment of DOC’s inability to stop smuggling and staff corruption. While the dogs are treating the symptom, the disease lies elsewhere. Where there’s a will, there’s a way (and a bribe).
7. Simple Chinese shoe strives to be hip – Arizona Daily Star The story is that Brandt decided to settle in Shanghai, China, after college in California, noticed the crew rebuilding his street wore identical, but cool, canvas sneakers, and tracked down the source.
They’re cool shoes. They’re pinko, commie shoes made in a country hell bent on destroying the world, but they’re still cool.
8. AZ centennial lags on funds, planning effort – Arizona Daily Star Officials say there are almost no funds for the centennial celebration in next year’s budget, and nothing is being raised by the agency in charge of planning the event.
Save the state first, then the centennial celebration. At least they’ve got that priority straight. See below.
9. Budget work will ‘get done,’ Brewer insists – Arizona Daily Star “We’re going to have a budget,” the governor insisted. “It’s going to get done.”
Yeah, right. The state needs roughly $10 billion to pay for all the things past Legislatures and voters have done. About two thirds of that $10 billion is protected from cuts by voter initiatives. That leaves about $3.7 billion available for cuts with the state facing a roughly $3.3 billion income shortfall. The Guv wants a tax increase on the table, the Legislature’s Republican leadership says no way, it’s cuts and budget tricks or nothing. We’re all doomed. See below.
10. Lawmakers fiddle around, ignore reality – Arizona Daily Star You begin to wonder whether the GOP leadership of Arizona’s Legislature lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land.
See, told you so. We’re all doomed.