Opinions with Civility
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Dr. Jackie Elliott

Elliott, Gonzales, Lambert: 5 ways Arizona can put people back to work, transform higher education

It’s tempting these days to believe that once COVID-19 is contained, the U.S. economy will bounce back quickly, replenishing jobs and incomes lost in the pandemic. Yet there is an early warning …
Sally Marks

Marks: Peeling off the label of prejudice and hatred

One of my favorite songs as a teenager was “Only Shades of Gray.” It was more than the harmony; the lyrics of the song drove a deeper message into my youthful psyche. I remember it …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Independent Newsmedia continues collaborative commenting platform at yourvalley.net

The idea of maintaining civil discourse when debating public issues of the day is more than lip-service at Independent Newsmedia. At Yourvalley.net, which is powered by the work of local …

Christ: COVID-19 —Improved method for determining ZIP code data

Throughout the COVID-19 response, the Arizona Department of Health Services has continually reevaluated how we are collecting, analyzing and presenting COVID-19 data for cases, hospitalizations, and …
Roy Miller

Miller: New ACC commissioner needs guidance

Newly elected Arizona Corporation Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson wants APS to slash its rates, but she is dreaming if she thinks she can accomplish this, even with her eight suggestions for the …
Kimberly Yee

Yee: Arizona’s economic future is on the line in this election

For countless Arizona voters, this presidential election is not a referendum on President Trump and his political beliefs — it is a vote to preserve our economic prosperity. Arizona voters …

Brewer: Arizona seniors deserve a future of economic security

Arizona seniors deserve to enjoy a future of economic security and prosperity for many years to come — and it’s imperative that we elect political leaders who have what it takes to build …
Michelle Lind

Lind: Implementation of tenant/landlord assistance programs is critical

Arizona businesses continue to be affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. Particularly hard-hit are those individuals whose business is the ownership and management of rental homes throughout …
Ed McClelland

McClelland: When it comes to mental health, race matters

As a Black man who has worked in the community behavioral health industry for more than 30 years, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen the struggles that individuals and family members go …
Dr. Kristen Bishop

Bishop: Monsoon season brings bacterial, fungal infections

During monsoon season, Arizona’s unique desert storms may bring cooler weather to the Valley, but they also increase respiratory disease and other health risks for us Phoenicians. When it finally arrives here in the Phoenix area, monsoons and haboobs bring intense pressure build up and thick walls of dust, manure, pesticides from agricultural land and whatever else the storm picks up along the way.
Dr. Kristen Bishop

Bishop: Our bodies are designed to fight off viruses – and they do it every day

Valley residents are continuing to work through the slight declining trend of COVID-19, many are still concerned about the safety of themselves and their families.

Shufelt: 250+ birthdays celebrated each and every month, even in the pandemic

Through the Birthday Dreams program at Arizona Helping Hands, 1,823 children in foster care have had birthdays made special in 2020. More than 250 boys and girls each month have received gifts …
Shannon Clancy

Clancy: Who is on the front line for families facing homelessness?

Temporary grace and an extension of Arizona’s eviction moratorium to Oct. 31 means we have more time to do our literal “home” work, but there’s no free pass or less pressure …

Brewer: West Coast anarchy could happen in Arizona if we don’t stand against it

The insanity we’re seeing in the Pacific Northwest would have free reign to spread to the rest of the country under a prospective Biden administration.

Pineda: Tips to help older adults stay healthy this summer while in quarantine

While most residents in cities around the country look forward to the summer season, Arizonans try their best to stay cool living through the hottest days of the year, with temperatures rising above …

Elisco: Good things happening despite pandemic

The relentless pace of the coronavirus pandemic has challenged hospital and healthcare workers across the Valley and the country. Long days are spent caring for COVID and non-COVID patients. The …
Whitney Lawrence

Lawrence: McSally will fight to protect people like me with pre-existing health conditions

I think everyone can agree that right now, times are tough. Coronavirus has affected millions of Americans --- most people either know someone who has gotten sick, lost a job, or lost a loved …
Seema Verma

Verma: Taking action to protect America’s nursing home residents against COVID-19

Nursing homes have become ground zero in the coronavirus disease 2019 COVID-19 pandemic, with outbreaks causing high rates of illness and death among vulnerable residents living together in close …
Mimi Rogers

Rogers: The crisis of the pandemic on individuals who have intellectual disabilities

COVID-19 poses extreme obstacles for people who have intellectual disabilities and thrive on routine, familiar activities, and people, such as family and friends. So, with everything going …
Dan Shufelt

Shufelt: Never know when you might need a helping hand

When the work van pulled up in front of Arizona Helping Hands, I recognized the company name. I thought my friend Dale was coming to say hi and tour the Arizona Helping Hands facility where we …
Michael Vallante

Vallante: Supporting black-owned small businesses, entrepreneurship

With the COVID-19 pandemic and the unrest that has been taking place in some cities, the impact has been felt in every sector of our economy. There has never been a more challenging time for …
David Sheppard (Photo courtesy Just Leadership USA)

Sheppard: What Juneteenth means to me as a black man in America

This Friday, we celebrate Juneteenth --- a holiday that receives little attention but holds special significance for me as a black man in America this year. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 …
Jim Rounds

Rounds: Maricopa County supervisors need to approve project, bring 1,100 jobs to Valley

During difficult economic times like these, nothing is more valuable than a good job. As an economist, I routinely advise community and business leaders on how to recruit and create more of these …
Councilwoman Virginia Korte was the dissenting vote on accepting the Independent Ethics Panel’s “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,” which found no ethical violations from a complaint filed against City Councilman Guy Phillips.

Korte: systemic racism exists in America and to deny it is an affront to humanity

Racism has been part of the human experience from the beginning of recorded time; our oldest texts document racially motivated wars and death. To pretend that racism doesn’t exist inside every …

Shufelt: Tragedy befalls an amazing foster family

I met Curtis four years ago. He came to Arizona Helping Hands to receive beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, sports equipment and more to help his family. His daughter’s life had been …

Rhoden: A letter to my kids regarding #BlackLivesMatter

I last wrote a public letter to you six years ago in BKNation. During that time, in 2014, we had just moved to the Phoenix area and I was a recently minted PhD. The world at that time seemed in …

Taylor: The link between a healthy life and school dollars

In this unparalleled time where our emotional and physical well-being are threatened, staying healthy and maintaining a normalcy has become increasingly challenging. It’s imperative more …
Dan Shufelt

Shufelt: Putting our helping hands together for the dads

I’ve had the honor to meet some amazing dads in my work at Arizona Helping Hands. Foster dads don’t have nine months to wrap their heads around the responsibilities of parenting. They …
Robin Schaeffer

Schaeffer: Tips on how to return to public life while minimizing health risks

We get it. After a couple months of relative seclusion, you’re probably eager to see friends and extended family, enjoy a favorite meal out of the house, and finally get that haircut …
Mary Lynn Kasunic

Kasunic: Social-distancing can mask elder abuse

In a year with many distractions and stressful events, we must not forget that World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15. Annually, this day highlights the issues of elder abuse and the 10% of …
Jennifer Chau

Chau: Fair funding, representation hinge on an accurate census count

During this pandemic, we’ve seen our communities step up for one another to help flatten the curve. While we continue to practice social distancing, one of the most impactful civic duties that …
Jody Martin

Martin: How to stop the protests

I want to explain how to stop the riots, looting and protests since no one seems to know and no one else is saying it. My son from Nigeria and my Russian/Ukrainian daughter from Ukraine thought it …
Photo by Arianna Grainey

Crawford: I stand with the heroes of public safety in Scottsdale

The images are heartbreaking. Less than two weeks after Scottsdale businesses emerged from the darkness of the COVID-19 shutdown, many had to shutter their doors yet again after Saturday …
Steve Chucri

Chucri: Wishing you a meaningful day of reflection

This weekend, we pause to reflect upon the selfless men and women who have honorably served our nation and state and made the ultimate sacrifice to allow us our freedom. We pay tribute to their …
Seema Verma

Verma: Got Medicare? Get a no-cost test for COVID-19

If you have Medicare and want to be tested for coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, the Trump Administration has good news. Medicare covers tests with no out-of-pocket costs. You can get tested in …
Marcus Johnson

Johnson, Gjersvig: How unemployed Arizonans can navigate health care coverage

The necessity of quality healthcare coverage has become abundantly clear for many Americans over the recent weeks For the one in 10 Americans now unemployed whose health insurance options were …
Dan Shufelt

Shufelt: Even COVID-19 won’t slow down Arizona Helping Hands

The coronavirus has shut down or slowed down many businesses throughout the United States, but the essential services provided to children in foster care by Arizona Helping Hands have continued on …
Marc Lamber

Lamber: Lawsuits expected as Arizona businesses reopen

Now that commerce is resuming across Arizona, business owners are entering into uncharted territory taking a risk that customers and employees will catch COVID-19 at the business. If that happens, …
Nikki Julien

Julien: Less lawn equals more wildlife

Here in Phoenix our summer months are not known as gardening weather but there’s important work to do in the yard this year --- remove your lawn. You probably already consider this every …
Seema Verma

Verma: Thank you to all on the front lines of the pandemic

On behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, I’d like to thank all those who work in nursing facilities --- doctors, nurses, food preparers, housekeepers and others --- for …
Jan Brewer

Brewer: President Trump's immigration pause is patriotic

Whenever anyone questions the wisdom of allowing large-scale illegal immigration, the first thing we invariably hear from the open-borders left is that it will outrage Hispanic-Americans. More often …
Darius Amiri

Amiri: Supreme Court may vote soon on the plight of 'Dreamers'

While the nation’s focus is rightfully on the COVID-19 crisis, another crisis looming for a large group of young people. Dreamers are living a nightmare as they wait for the federal government …
Sen. Karen Fann

Fann: Why Arizona lawmakers will end session May 8

The Arizona Senate will be returning on Friday, May 8 to sine die. This direction was determined after conversations and communications with members of the Arizona Senate and House. There is a …
Judy Lutes

Lutes: Arizona Winter Visitors Association ceases operations

It’s a sad day for the Arizona Winter Visitors Association. After 28 years we have shut it down because of the virus. We can’t operate with no income; as of Jan. 1 we have not received …

Shufelt: Supporting Arizona's children during Foster Care Awareness Month

Governor Doug Ducey has again issued a proclamation declaring the month of May to be Foster Care Awareness Month. The governor urges “all citizens to do something positive to improve the …
Zach Shaw

Shaw: Caregivers key to fighting COVID-19

Older adults, with diminished immune systems due to aging and with pre-existing conditions, are much more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the general population. In-home caregivers can help prevent …
Sen. Sylvia Allen

Allen: Arizona education and the CARES Act

As chair of the Arizona Senate Education Committee, I passionately work toward bettering the education of every child in the state and I fully support Arizona parents and their school choice rights, …

Wolfe: Keeping peace at home while everyone is online

Now that most of us are working and learning from home, you may be noticing that some websites may be a bit slow to load, and you may experience intermittent buffering when streaming video. While …
Berry Staub

Staub: Virtual tours of homes in Eastmark for health, safety of buyers

Shea Homes Arizona recently "opened" its newest community, Reserves Estates at Eastmark. I say open with a grain of salt, because as you might guess, we’re opening this community differently …
Jason Houston

Houston: Some questions for Trump fans to consider before the election

Some questions for Trump fans to consider before Nov. 3: Why does Trump fight with everyone? Why does Trump put his knowledge above the experts'? Why does Trump constantly ignore the …
Aaron Blocher-Rubin

Blocher-Rubin: Potential adverse impact of unemployment claims on self-insured nonprofits

During these uncertain times, the economic impact of coronavirus-driven cancelations, postponements and shutdowns continues mounting. This is especially daunting for many nonprofit organizations …
Diane E. Brown

Brown: APS bill relief? From where it comes matters

Let’s face it. If you are an APS customer, you are likely not pleased with the utility’s last rate hike or that it is now seeking an additional rate hike totaling $184 million. Relief …
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally

McSally: CARES Act a lifeboat for Arizona’s small businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of the Arizona economy and employ over one million Arizonans. These hard-working Arizonans often put everything they have into building their businesses from scratch …
Seema Verma

Verma: Getting medical care in your home during the pandemic

At Medicare, we understand you may have concerns about going to your doctor’s office during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Like so many Americans, our Medicare beneficiaries …
U.S. Rep.  Paul A. Gosar

Gosar: President Trump right to halt immigration to the United States

At a time when millions of Americans are facing unemployment, the very last thing we need to do is import additional foreign labor. I'm grateful to President Trump for halting immigration to the …

Docimo: Three telehealth tips connected to COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to mount, many Arizonans may be considering where to go for care if they develop potential symptoms. One important --- yet potentially overlooked --- …
Dr. Anne Docimo

Docimo: Tips to help make walking one of your healthy habits

With an increased focus on practicing healthy habits – such as washing hands frequently and staying home when sick to help avoid spreading COVID-19 – it’s important to remain …
Portraits for OptumCare

Schnitzer: Tips to help seniors boost their physical, mental health during coronavirus quarantine

There is an ongoing conversation about the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to be prepared. According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, anyone can get …

Simmer: Rotarians provide ideas on how you can help others during pandemic

Rotarians are “People of Action,” and Rotary clubs and their members throughout Arizona are pitching in to help where needed in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic …

Brown: Tips for consumers from price gouging to student loans

By now, we have all heard public health experts declare the need to frequently wash our hands and practice social distancing. While we heed that important advice, we also urge consumers to be on …

Shufelt: Navigating through uncharted waters

These are truly unchartered waters. Families are confined to quarters and avoiding interactions with others. Parents are working from home, children are avoiding play dates. All the stresses that …

Newlon: Remote online notarization a critical need in Arizona

To help keep our communities healthy, the need for social distancing is imperative right now. As such, on March 18, two U.S. senators --- Kevin Cramer and Mark Warner --- introduced a bill known …
Seema Verma

Verma: Medicare and coronavirus, what you need to know

Since older Americans are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to let you know the steps we’re taking to help our Medicare beneficiaries cope with the …
Dr. Steven Gonzales

Gonzales: Why Maricopa County Community College District classes are suspended through April 5

All in-person and hybrid classes are suspended through Sunday, April 5. All current online classes will continue to be held as scheduled. Faculty are currently working on moving existing in-person …
U.S. Rep.  Paul A. Gosar

Gosar: Self-quarantining after contact with individual who later tested positive for COVID-19

I have been informed that during the CPAC conference members of my staff and I came into contact with an individual who has since tested positive for, and is hospitalized for, COVID-19. I was with …

Opinion: Our Puerto Penasco community is running into discouraging troubles

We love living in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point). It is our home. We are committed to making this already wonderful place an even better destination for visitors, new residents and businesses. The …
Cathi Herrod

Herrod: Passing of HB2706 a victory for Arizona girls and women

Girls and women in Arizona scored a big victory the evening of March 3 in the Arizona House, but only by a slim margin. Many house members voted against preserving a level playing field for female …
Mike Colletto

Colletto: Patient care will suffer if HB2823 becomes law

For decades, the Arizona Department of Health Services has done a good job of making sure ambulance service in Arizona is safe, affordable and available to everyone. HB2823 threatens to upend this …

Hanshew: Errors in ‘The American Dream Act’ article

There are several significant material errors in “The American Dream Act” article. California’s Proposition 13 property tax assessment methodology is held out as the benchmark …
Glenn Hamer

Hamer: Bill throws needed sunshine on a legal process

A bill introduced by state Sen. Vince Leach, SB 1459, throws some needed sunshine on a legal process currently hidden from public view. If the bill passes and is signed into law, Arizona taxpayers …
Adam Garber

Garber: Improved communication needed for food recalls

As consumers, we rely on the food safety system when we buy groceries. And, we expect that if one of our purchases has been recalled our grocery store will warn us. However, a new report by the …
Cate Kortzeborn

Kortzeborn: What Medicare does (and doesn’t) cover

Medicare helps pay for a wide variety of medical services and goods in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other healthcare settings. But it doesn’t cover everything, and it’s useful …

Dr. Katz: A healthy lifestyle will be best defense against coronavirus threat

Coronavirus is on the verge of being the next worldwide pandemic. Thousands of people, mostly in China, have contracted the virus. However, at least two Arizonans are suspected of having the …

Shufelt: ‘My bike saved my life’

This is a quote from Noah Ehlert, and the inspiration for his Discover Your Path tour, a cross country bike trip from California to Florida to raise awareness of the issues faced by youth in foster …
Joe Arpaio

Arpaio: Eliminating the dangers posed by anonymous shell companies is commonsense

Under current U.S. law, when criminal organizations want to hide their money laundering and financing activities from law enforcement officials, they have the means to do so. The result is the …
Kay Bailey

Bailey: Support Medicare Advantage for Arizona seniors

I’m a senior who loves to travel. And my Medicare Advantage healthcare plan gives me the confidence to know I can see a doctor or fill prescriptions no matter where I go in the U.S. All of …
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