Opinions with Civility
HOT TOPICS

Cravens: Searching for definition of impeachment

I would like to correct Carolyn Copeland’s letter (“Reader says Trump was never impeached”) in which she continues to assert that Donald Trump was never impeached. In the first …
Tascha Spears

Spears: Initial shipments of Janssen COVID vaccine will be limited

Community partner and public health vaccine teams are continuing to vaccinate with shipments received this week. A new site is available on the ADHS dashboard that indicates how many people have been …
Naomi Lopez

Lopez: Two cheers for COVID-19 vaccines

The U.S could — and should — be doing more to get medical innovations to the public more quickly.
Leonard Kirschner poses near the precipice during a pre-pandemic visit to Grand Canyon National Park. [Courtesy of the Kirschner family]

Kirschner: America’s national parks beckon ... and you must go!

It was a year ago when COVID-19 struck and our world changed. Social isolation, masks and hand-washing became the norm. Travel stopped.
Hospice of the Valley social worker Erin Butler worked with Valley Metro to help her patient, Tressie Jennings, ride a train — virtually. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Social workers are essential — especially at Hospice of the Valley

It’s only fitting that the theme of the upcoming Social Work Month in March is: “Social Workers Are Essential.”
Leonard Kirschner poses near the canyon during a pre-pandemic visit to Grand Canyon National Park.

Kirschner: America’s national parks are calling, and you must go post COVID-19

It was a year ago when COVID-19 struck and our world changed. Social isolation, masks and hand-washing became the norm. Travel stopped.

Sewell: No matter the direction, beauty is all around Arizona

Call me biased, but I am confident I can convince anyone that Arizona is one of the most scenic states in the country. So, with spring just around the corner, I want to encourage you to lace up your …

Ostrom: Colorectal cancer screenings must remain a priority

Did you know that one of the most prevalent and deadly cancers in the United States is colorectal cancer? In fact, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and is the …

Elliott: Says Senate’s audit subpoenas ‘sound fair’

I just read on the internet that, “A judge will determine whether the Arizona Senate has the authority to subpoena ballots, tabulation machines and other equipment and data from Maricopa County …
Eric Kurland

Kurland: Voters love voting by mail, so why are they threatening it?

There are so many reasons to be proud to live in the Grand Canyon State — from the “five Cs” I taught to my grade school students to the awe-inspiring scenery that makes us a …
Roberto Reveles

Reveles: Citizens gathered at Gosar’s office in protest of his role in attack on Capitol

Residents of Gold Canyon gathered Thursday, Feb. 18, at Congressman Paul Gosar’s district office on Kings Ranch Road in protest of his role in the Jan. 6 violent attack on the Capitol. The …
Mike Siegel

Siegel: What’s best for Goodyear, city manager or strong mayor?

Goodyear is growing in amazing fashion in both commercial and residential development.

Hochschartner: Calls for more research into cultured meat

Democrats should include federal funding for cultured-meat research in their coronavirus relief bill. For readers who aren’t aware, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. …

Dunham: New water line benefits customers, supports local farmers

EPCOR has received a $250,000 grant from the Water Management Assistance Program at the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

Mason: SB1379 needs fixing to address short-term rental issues

Dear Senator Mesnard: Reference: SB1379 — I would like to meet with either you or your staff on SB1379 the important short term rental issue, and fixes to make SB1379 a better bill. As a …
Chuck Duncan

Duncan: Open letter to people of low character

I have had two of my vehicles damaged in parking lots in the past few months, once at the Ace Hardware and once at Home Depot, costing me over $2,000 in repairs. The people responsible drove off each …
Merrill Edelstein

Edelstein: Romantic month ends with laughs

February is the most romantic month of the year. Hopefully Valentine’s Day brought a smile to everyone’s face — even though we still can’t see those beautiful smiles. 

Hick: More positives to Sun City than written

Having lived in Sun City since 2004, I have seen and heard much that is good and some not so good. I have noticed the last few months that we seem to have a lot of WCBM going on. Also, that the …
Zach Abraham

Abraham: Stimulating economy impacts stocks but watch portfolio

The stock market is one of the benchmarks for every U.S. presidency. Voters often look at how stocks performed during a president’s four-year term as one of the criteria for reelection.
Kathryn Chandler

Chandler: NVC reeling after vehicle vandalism

I am appealing for your help. On Feb. 5, the yard that houses Northwest Valley Connect vehicles along with vehicles belonging to Transdev was broken into and vandalized. We lost the operations of …
Howard Dean

Dean: 'March In’ is not the answer

All Democrats and many Republicans are committed to making prescription drugs more affordable.
Steve Ezyk

Ezyk: A lot happening with Apache Junction Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus Councils are remarkably busy in providing monetary and voluntary man-hour assistance to those in need. The Knights of Columbus is a very worthwhile organization. If you …

Miller: Thoughts on gaming in Arizona

House Bill 2772 would expand off-reservation gambling but would turn over control to the Arizona State Department of Gaming. Bad idea. If we are to expand legal gambling, it should be regulated by …
Margaret White

White: It’s time to put ‘unity’ talk into action

Political acrimony makes easy, familiar headlines. But a confluence of events is presenting a real chance for meaningful bipartisan accomplishments. It will be a tragedy if we — as a nation, as a society — let it pass.
Sarah Skaggs

EPCOR: We’re here to help you

With many people still facing financial difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s good to know there are programs available to help in 2021.
In this May 28, 2019 file photo Arizona Republican Sen. Paul Boyer, at the podium, is seen with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey during a news conference in Phoenix. [The Associated Press]

Copeland: Says AZ GOP should accept defeat

In response to the recent article (“County Supervisors still facing threats,” Daily Independent, Feb. 15, 2020), I cannot believe what is going on in our Arizona Senate. Why are the …
Laurie Merrill

Merrill: Measuring slopes to prevent landslides in rural Arizona

Arizona’s mountainous terrain is as beautiful to look at as it is to drive through, but keeping dirt from those slopes off roadways can pose a technical challenge.

Miller: Says that conscription is slavery

By continuing to make Selective Service registration and draft eligibility apply only to men, the Coalition for Men is arguing that the system is violating Constitutional rights of men by sex …
Dr. Kris Vijay

Vijay: Learn the signs, treatment of heart failure

Heart failure is the No. 1 cause of hospitalizations in Medicare-age individuals in the U.S., according to the Heart Failure Society of America.

Curtin: How vitamins, supplements may help defend against negative COVID-19 outcomes

As we continue to face the challenges of COVID-19, we are also learning more about the virus itself, and new ways to defend ourselves from its detrimental and sometimes lingering side effects. …
[The Associated Press]

Wiegand: Vaccine center is efficient

This is a case of tax dollars well spent. My wife and I recently made three trips to State Farm Stadium for her first and my pair of COVID-19 vaccine shots. The entire experience goes against the …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: Schools ought to be teaching founding principles

Tens of millions of children watched last month as Joe Biden swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. Yet more and more of America’s schools are grooming their students to do just the opposite.

Heller: A positive experience at VA center

The Phoenix VA hospital is doing a good job. Dennis Fossey is a Vietnam veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 94 in Sun City West. He serves as their financial officer and is a member …
Ann Marie O'Brien

O'Brien: Make the most of your health plan in 2021

Last year was a difficult year as the COVID-19 pandemic swept through our country, impacting families and communities nationwide. The health challenges of the pandemic also provided a crucial reminder about the importance of health care
Jon Hochschartner

Hochschartner: Violence we inflict on animals is a moral crime

Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema should support public funding for cultured-meat research, with the goal of making the cell-grown, slaughter-free protein competitive with factory-farmed …
David Rookhuyzen

‘C’ is for new cameras along Loop 303

Being the transportation geeks that we are, we get excited about a lot of things: Box culverts, Bid-Wells, bridge girders, etc. And that’s just the Bs! But if we moved down into the Cs, we find something else that makes us excited that we think you will like too: cameras.
Stephen Richer

Richer: Independent audit will ensure voter confidence

In partnership with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, I’ve directed Recorder’s Office staff to provide the two independent auditors everything needed to complete a thorough review of the tabulation software and hardware used in the 2020 elections.
Rick Gray

Sen. Gray: County board must stop ‘stonewalling’

There has been a lot in the news about the State Senate’s efforts to audit the 2020 general election. But the recent filing in Superior Court by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seems like one more effort to win not in court, but in the court of public opinion.

Gesker: How to help keep kids smiling amid COVID-19

COVID-19 has disrupted multiple aspects of daily life, including how people access dental care. That’s in part because many dental offices closed during the early part of the pandemic, and …
[Courtesy of ADOT]

ADOT: Join today’s meeting on future of L-101/75th Avenue interchange

I’m familiar with the 75th Avenue interchange along Loop 101 (Agua Fria Freeway) in the northwest Valley. Not because I live in the area. I have a friend who did and he always roped me into hauling off junk because I owned a pickup truck.
Steve Gallardo

Gallardo: Arizona GOP Senate’s subpoena is ‘sham’

This is really simple. Arizona GOP senators have been complicit in a big lie about the election for three months now. This sham subpoena to get access to people’s private ballots is all in service of the big lie.
Alyson Cline

Cline: New councilwoman focused on District 2

Greetings Sun City Grand and District 2 residents. My name is Aly Cline, and I am your new District 2 representative.
Dr. Timothy Gerhart

Gerhart: How important is vitamin D in staying well with flu and COVID-19?

Staying well requires a strong, balanced immune system combined with reducing exposure to pathogens. Vitamin D is critical to each step of our immune response.

Kurland: Scottsdale voters love voting by mail, so why is Ugenti-Rita threatening it?

There are so many reasons to be proud to live in the Grand Canyon State — from the “five c’s” I taught to my grade school students to the awe-inspiring scenery that makes us a …

Dr. Matthews: Brush for your heart

Many know there is a direct connection between what we put into our mouths and our heart health. But did you know that the health of your mouth itself is directly connected to heart health? …
Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia

Andeen: Paradise Valley leadership, ethics, code of conduct

Our town’s elected mayor and councilmembers need to exhibit leadership, ethics, and honor our town’s Code of Conduct. I am one of your Town Council members committed to serving residents …

Blessing: Upside down banner signals distress

This letter is in response to a letter (“Resident upset with inverted U.S. Flag”) relating to our flag being flown upside down. It very well may be that the resident was in compliance …

Grim: Churches play major role in community

I’ve seen a lot of comments on social media concerning churches. A lot of the comments center around the desire to tax churches. One of the main reasons churches aren’t taxed is …
Allison Nolan

Nolan: Do women have equal voice in virtual finance conversations?

The new social media platform Clubhouse has been making waves in recent weeks. Some industry experts are saying it might be the next major social media platform. So, I was eager to accept my invitation to join and see what all the fuss is about.

Messina: Show employees the love, especially during uncertain times

We often associate the month of February with acts of love. Cards, dinners, flowers and chocolates are given to those we value. As leaders, it’s important to show the love by demonstrating …

Kampert: Know your rights or lose them

Believe it or not, your rights listed in the Bill of Rights are absolute. I know, you have been told otherwise. The government has no Constitutional authority to touch our rights ... none. The …
Bill Gates

Gates: We will protect law, voters’ rights

On Wednesday, the Arizona State Senate Judiciary Chairman Warren Petersen, with the blessing of Senate President Karen Fann, crafted a floor resolution to hold the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt of the Senate for not turning over the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County during the 2020 election.
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — February 2021

Hello to all my friends in Surprise, and I hope you are all well and safe.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — February 2021

The city of Surprise has experienced better-than-expected one-time revenues in Fiscal Year 2020 thanks to strong growth in housing permits and retail sales collections.
On Nov. 15, 2019, Arizona Rep. Aaron Lieberman details why he believes the state should repeal outright a law that took control of vacation rentals away from cities and towns. With him is Raquel Mamani who detailed problems that short-term rentals are having in her neighborhood.

Lieberman: Common sense ideas to help Arizona deal with climate change

This is Environment Week at the State Capitol, and I want to highlight some of the bills that I have introduced this session to help Arizona deal with climate change. Arizona is the most …

Hess: Don’t let your Super Bowl party be a super spreader event

Doctors from Abrazo hospitals are reminding everyone to use caution when planning those Big Game watch parties this weekend — don’t let it become a super spreader event.
Jack Sellers

Sellers: What Senate wants is illegal

I find it frustrating that the Senate would even consider bringing forward a motion of contempt towards the Board of Supervisors.
John Safin

Practice hope, faith and patience while you ‘stop the spread’

I hope our future will get better now that vaccines are available; it’ll take time for the distribution to reach all parts of the country, which means we’ll need some patience.
Ed Aaronson

Innovate today while solving for tomorrow

Innovation today for a post-COVID future is not an opportunity, but rather a necessity. Everything has changed from the way we socialize, shop and work to how we enjoy entertainment and receive health care.
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — February 2021

Toll Brothers at Sterling Grove & The Villages at Prasada were recently featured on a WESTMARC “Open for Business” Economic Development Webinar.
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — February 2021

APS is currently in the process of conducting technical analysis to determine the potential routing options for the new 230kV power lines.

Dunham: New water line benefits customers

EPCOR has received a $250,000 grant from the Water Management Assistance Program at the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), important funding that will help a group of agricultural and …

Maxwell: Balancing citizen rights with advancing law enforcement technology

This past week I was reading a new book by Jon Fasman, the digital editor of the Economist. His book, We See It All, is a review of surveillance and local police departments. While reading I …

Levin: Loneliness within elderly people, tips for comfort

During the past year, so many individuals have felt isolated and extremely lonely due to the pandemic. According to the National Academics of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, more than …
Dr. Richard Gesker

How to keep kids safe and smiling during pandemic

COVID-19 has disrupted multiple aspects of daily life, including how people access dental care. That’s in part because many dental offices closed during the early part of the pandemic, and some people have stayed away since.

Letters: Churches play major roll in community

I’ve seen a lot of comments on social media concerning churches. A lot of the comments center around the desire to tax churches.

Mathie: There are testing sites in Sun City

Chris Tracy wrote to the editor (“Why no COVID tests, shots in Sun City?”) complaining there was no place in Sun City to get a COVID test. Banner and Safeway were not the designated …
Christopher Zoukis

Zoukis: Prison for some Capitol rioters; are they ready for that?

Some were model citizens — until they weren’t.
David Coward

Coward: Can we heal and unify if an insurrectionist is in Congress?

By refusing to recognize the results of a certified election and supporting allegations without evidence Congressman Paul Gosar encouraged the insurrectionists and seditionists on Jan. 6 to disrupt a …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — February 2021

It is a blessing to be able to support our local businesses and first responders by donating my 2020 council salary.

Bagnato: Accusation about resident was wrong

In her letter (“Resident upset with inverted U.S. flag,”), Sun City West resident Mary Arnot comes across as if the world has ended because a neighbor decided they want to express their …
Naomi Lopez

Lopez: Educational choice is educational opportunity

This time last year, I was already monitoring the COVID-19 virus.
Sintra Hoffman

West Valley is competing, attracting smart people

Westmarc is focusing on reaching California’s brokerage and young talent communities. Californians have always been moving to Arizona. This is not new to our state. But increasingly, people and companies are making the value-based decision to relocate to Arizona.
Jon Hochschartner

Hochschartner: Senators should support reallocating subsidies to cultured-meat research

Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema should support reallocating the billions of dollars a year in subsidies the federal government gives to animal-exploitation industries to cultured-meat …

Kaplan: Domestic violence and Valentine’s Day — Love shouldn’t hurt

As we approach Valentine’s Day, I’m prompted to ask: Are all romantic relationships love? Where did we discover our conceptualizations of romantic love? I grew up on tales of Prince Charming and Cinderella, which shaped my view of romantic love.
Stephen Richer

Richer: We aim to inspire confidence in elections

It was my great honor that voters in November elected me to serve as the 30th Maricopa County Recorder.
David Coward

Coward: Sen. Townsend legislative action or inaction?

Our own Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-District 16) has sponsored a resolution (SCR1010) that asks voters to amend the Arizona Constitution to require the legislature to go into a special session for the …

Gau: Gov. Ducey’s tax cut proposal is out of step with Arizona voters

Governor Ducey’s new budget proposal includes a $1.2 billion tax cut spread over the next three years. This idea, especially when added to the loss of revenue from Prop. 123 expiring soon, …
Snow falls on a roadway near Flagstaff in this webcam image. [Courtesy of ADOT]

Harding: If you’re planning on playing in the snow, leave prepared

One of the great things about Arizona is snow is just an hour or two away by vehicle. But it’s important to resist the urge to just jump in the car and go instead of leaving prepared.
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo with the White House in the background, President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Washington. [The Associated Press]

Mandel: Ex-president should pay for his crimes

I strongly disagree with the opinions Debby Phillips expressed in her recent Letter to the Editor (“Resident not happy with impeach banner,” Daily Independent, Jan. 16, 2021). I can …
Sharon Connors

Connors: New year brings a new hope

Hallelujah. A sparkling new year. A long-awaited and hoped-for beginning.

Rhinehart: The hidden tourist attractions found off Arizona highways

Arizona’s highways can seem pretty desolate at times, miles upon miles of emptiness. Then, in the distance, you see it, a much-needed spot to pull over, gas up and perk up before hitting …

Wheat: What does future bring for politics?

I have to ask the question that many people have asked in the past about Pelosi and Schumer, and that is when are these two going represent their constituents? They have spent the last four years …
Larry Hogan

Hogan/Lieberman: We must bring democracy back from the brink

There are a handful of days in our history that reverberate across generations, defining the story of America. Jan. 6, 2021 — the date insurrectionists attacked the heart of our democracy to stop the orderly peaceful transfer of power — will be one of those days.
Scott Bordow

Bordow: Apache Junction school district ‘Create a Logo’ contest has $250 prize

A logo can say everything. It can describe and inform. It can be picturesque or profound. It can be full of color or bathed in black and white. In the end, all logos serve one purpose: They …

Fisher: The impact of recreational marijuana on co-parenting plans in Arizona

Important questions remain about how the passage of Prop. 207, Arizona’s recreational marijuana initiative, will impact existing co-parenting plans as well as divorce and child custody cases. …
AP

Somerville: Impeachment necessary to send message

In a letter to the editor (“Resident not happy with impeach banner”) Ms. Debby Phillips expressed displeasure at seeing a banner that read, “Impeach Trump, Make America Great …
Patti Hart

Hart: How to make the best of extra retirement time

Singer Jim Croce longed to put time in a bottle. Retirees aren’t always certain what it is they long to do with time, but one day they stop working and find they have a barrelful of it.

Arnot: Resident upset with inverted U.S. flag

On Jan. 19, 2021, on the eve of what we all hoped will be a peaceful transition of power to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, I walked in my neighborhood in Sun City West. This …
Chris Orestis

Orestis: What the Biden presidency means for older Americans

In his run for the presidency, Joe Biden laid out a “Plan for Older Americans” that reflected the Democratic party philosophy that health care and living with dignity after retirement are an inalienable right for all.

Miller: Calls for new leadership for state GOP

As a result of President Trump’s recent controversial statements and — especially since the riots at the US Capitol — there have been many concerns expressed in the media, such as …
Dr. Anil Seetharam

Seetharam: Don’t forget about your liver health in 2021

2020 taught us a lot, and as the clock struck midnight New Year’s Eve, perhaps we all gave thanks we made it to 2021 with our health intact and with a renewed focus on maintaining it.

Kuby: Working toward a sustainable and livable Tempe

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the growing inequalities in our world, country, state, and city. With crisis, however, comes opportunity and the challenge to tackle the racial, economic, …
Madison Blanton

Blanton: We must prioritize those with developmental disabilities for vaccination

With the hope of a new start at a new year, it seems clear that the coronavirus has also made a New Year’s resolution to persevere with a vengeance and stick around and mutate.

Safin: Practice hope, faith and patience while you ‘stop the spread’

Welcome to the new year! I hope your holiday season was terrific. I also hope our future will get better now that vaccines are available.

Crislip: Why older adults should set New Year’s resolutions and goals

A new year brings new resolutions for many and those New Year’s resolutions could also lead to some health benefits. According to a report published in JAMA, “setting resolutions …
Barbara Duncan

Duncan: Here’s what I see for the future of Arizona education

What do you think Arizona’s K-12 schools will look like in 2031? Does the prospect excite or dishearten you? After a year of countless hardships for families, we could use some positivity.
Giselle Alexander

Alexander: 6 things to know about PPP loans and your taxes

Last year was monumental to say the least. Life as we once knew it became a thing of the past, for individuals and businesses alike.
Merrill Edelstein

Edelstein: Arts options abound as 2021 begins

Well, it’s 2021, and like a lot of you, I’m on the couch staying safe.
The first doses of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine arrive in Maricopa County, Dec. 14.

Kirschner: Vaccine is a victory for science, humanity

With the approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the major tasks are now distribution and vaccination. Developing the vaccines has been a technological marvel, but until we get shots in the arms of 80% of the population, the COVID-19 pandemic will not be aborted.
Mark Field

Field: Beware of bait-and-switch mortgage offers

Be careful when dealing with online mortgage companies. Many of these companies like LendingTree and Paymybills.com are not mortgage companies, but marketing companies intending on selling your …
Dr. Timothy Byrne

Doctor: FAQs and tips regarding COVID-19 vaccination

The advent of COVID-19 vaccinations is a positive step in the pandemic fight. While more vaccination sites are opening and eligibility for receiving the vaccine is increasing, below are a few basics to know during the vaccine rollout.
Timothy Sandefur

Sandefur: Supreme Court decides to follow different constitution

In a 4-3 decision with important consequences for online privacy in Arizona, the state’s highest court ruled Jan. 11 that the Arizona Constitution’s “private affairs” clause does not protect individual rights any more than the federal Constitution.

Letters: Too much trash is taking over across Surprise

Surprise is a beautiful city and rapidly growing.
Jake Hoffman

Arizona legislature introduces first-in-nation resolution to protect against Democrat 'court packing'

The United States Supreme Court isn't merely one of America's most important institutions, it is also one of the most important elements of our constitutional system of checks and balances, not to …

Enroth: Diverse culture brings new phrases, outlooks

This is in response to Norman Webb’s letter (“Do not force your opinions on others"). I read your response to a previous letter about the use of the term Happy Holidays. As I read it, …

Seetharam: Don’t forget about your liver in 2021

2020 taught us a lot, and as the clock struck midnight New Year’s Eve, perhaps we all gave thanks we made it to 2021 with our health intact and with a renewed focus on maintaining it. While …
John Halikowski

Halikowski: Extending driver license renewals for older adults

For many of us, thinking about renewing our driver license rarely crosses our mind. Sure, we update it with a new address when we move, and some change their name after getting married, but the first time most of us will actually renew our driver license is when we turn 65 years old.
Larry Hogan

Hogan: It’s time to work together to solve America’s problems

Anyone who wants to build a better American future has to recognize that our problems cannot be solved by partisan politics. Washington today is completely out of whack.
A volunteer serves food and drinks to a homeless man in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. As the Italian government placed four regions, including hard-hit Lombardy, into effective lockdown for two weeks because infections and hospital saturation levels were rising fast, canteens and shelters for homeless people had to be shut down, leaving them with nowhere to get a meal. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Miller: Government regulations are causing homelessness

We have lots of media attention recently to the problem of housing the homeless. Local nonprofits are studying the issue with seminars and research reports. But nearly all these efforts focus on the …
Darya Iganian

Iganian: We must unite against racial injustice

Last year was a harrowing time in America’s rich and complicated history. Our great nation was faced with a novel coronavirus and an old, deeply ingrained racial disease aching for healing and remedy.
Stephanie Yoda

Yoda: How do I know I can trust a contractor I am hiring?

Many of us are doing home repairs these days. For the repairs that we can’t do on our own, we have to hire someone to do it for us. Then we end up asking ourselves the question, where do I …
Jim Dean

Dean: Middle schools expand school choice in DUSD

In the Dysart Unified School District, we have been and continue to be dedicated to providing extraordinary experiences to our students.
Jackie Elliott

5 ways Arizona can put people back to work

There is an early warning sign that high-demand jobs may be hard to fill when the labor market fully reopens, even with millions of Americans looking for work.

Hochschartner: Some thoughts on cultured meat industry

If President-elect Joe Biden is serious about addressing climate change, preventing future outbreaks of zoonotic disease, or minimizing animal cruelty on factory farms, he should support the nascent …
David Dozier

Dozier: Cost and public opinion support Biden’s plan to end death penalty

A study in California revealed that the cost of capital punishment in the state has been over $4 billion since it was reinstated in 1978. Since California has executed 13 prisoners during that time, …
Matt Beienburg

Beienburg: When teachers strike, students lose

When student learning takes a back seat, students should be able to take their funding with them.

Beyer: Car driver careless with bike rider

When I was being interviewed for my current job (I’m the pastor of a Sun City West church) the call committee chairman told me, “The most dangerous place to drive is the parking lot at …
Karen Hardin, EdD, is Maricopa County Branch NAACP President.

Opinion: A new vision for 2021

On Jan. 7 the nation watched in horror the breach and sacking of the United States Capitol building by unlawful acts of breaking and entering. The violence witnessed illustrated the vast ideological divide in our country and the enormous need for leadership from the top to heal our nation.

Iganian: The time to act is now

2020 was a harrowing year in America’s rich and complicated history. Our great nation was faced with a novel virus and an old deeply ingrained racial disease aching for healing and remedy. …
John Wintersteen

Wintersteen: Why celebrate MLK Jr. Day now?

For 23 years, the Town of Paradise Valley has had a tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with an in-person celebration and luncheon, and this year, while dramatically different in some …
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 …
David Coward

Coward: Why lack of urgency for COVID vaccinations in Pinal County?

At the recent Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting, the head of public health gave a presentation on the COVID-19 vaccination program. The facts presented: 10,000 doses allocated by the end …

Chinasamy: Sharon Cini receives Paradise Valley MLK 2021 Diversity Award

The Town of Paradise Valley will observe and celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18, 2021. However, due to the current COVID-19 situation and the safe distancing guidelines, the observance and …
John Safin

Safin: You can’t predict the future, but you can create it

I’m always thinking about the future and attempt to glean from the ethers what will happen next. It’s easier to predict the future when you create it, so the Southwest Valley Chamber of Commerce has taken new action to make sure the future of our community is bright.
ADOT

Merrill: History abounds on the walls of Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway

How do you pick a single theme for beautifying the 22-mile Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway? That was the question facing the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Roadside Development Section once work began on the new $2 billion freeway.
Skip Hall

Hall: Mayor Newsletter — January 2021

As we enter the new year, I would like to extend warm wishes and gratitude to our community.
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — January 2021

Well a big shout out to my constituents in District 1, and indeed every resident in this great city in which we are lucky to live in, and a happy and safe New Year to all.
Roberto Reveles

Reveles: Death-dealing pandemic calls for bold leadership by Pinal County supervisors

Never in my lifetime have we lived during a more consequential and threatening challenge than today in both our civic and our personal lives. Your federal-legislator counterparts in Washington are …
Rick Gutridge

Gutridge: LD21 board calls for election review

Alleged irregularities surrounding the 2020 election have many deeply skeptical of the reported results. This skepticism is unhealthy for our republic and if not checked will further erode trust in our government institutions.

Plein: Calls for unity among Americans

In response to the letter from the reader who made election and voting claims, thank you, Daily Independent, for printing the correct facts at the end of her letter. There is so much …
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — January 2021

Happy New Year. We have made it to 2021, and there are still many great things happening in the city of Surprise.
Terry Young

Young: Citizens Patrol lends extra ‘eyes and ears’

The Surprise Police Department is a municipal law enforcement agency with an authorized workforce of 204 employees.

Shaw: To AZ GOP, says election had zero fraud

I know that the Sun Cities lean Republican, and Kevin Payne ran an uncontested race for the state senate so he feels that he can ignore Democratic residents in District 21 with impunity. Still, I …
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — January 2021

A new eight-acre park at Greenway Road and Parkview Place will begin design in June of 2021. This new park will provide more programmable and rental field space. In addition to the new park, …

Castan: The road less traveled of addiction & recovery in Scottsdale

Back in the early spring of 2020 (how long ago does that seem now?), the coronavirus pandemic arrived on the shores of the U.S., bringing with it a plethora of state and county lockdowns, and the …

Women make gains in U.S. Congressional seats

Women are the majority of Americans as well as the majority of voters. What does that mean in practical terms? How did that play out in the November 2020 elections? A record-breaking number of women …

Word: Music gives so many gifts to all

Mr. Barry Spinka (“Resident not happy to hear driveway music”), you really are the Grinch of Sun City. I can’t even believe that you wrote this letter about our driveway concert …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — January 2021

There is no denying that 2020 has been a challenging year, but we still have many things to celebrate.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — January 2021

The city of Surprise has experienced better-than-expected one-time revenues in Fiscal Year 2020 thanks to strong growth in housing permits and retail sales collections.
Albert Lalonde

Tips for retirement planning in 2021

COVID-19 took a heavy toll on the U.S. economy in 2020, causing millions of job losses and forcing many businesses to close. It also affected lots of retirement plans in the process.
Dr. Stacie Pinderhughes

Seek health care safely during COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases climb again around the country, people may be considering skipping visits to the doctor to reduce risk of exposure to the virus.
Christa Rizzi

Rizzi: Thank you Apache Junction mayor and council members

As this year comes to an end for the current Apache Junction City Council I’d like to say congratulations and welcome to our newly elected Councilmembers Kelly Gremmel, Braden Biggs and Tess …

McDade: Responds to letter writer’s rebuttal

Regarding your recent letter, (“In response to complaints in Sun City,” Daily Independent, De, 23, 2020), I was born and raised in Glendale, Mr. Foulke. Been in Sun City 15 years. …

Kuhn: Vaping resolution opposition a dereliction of Scottsdale Schools duty

I’m writing to call out Scottsdale Unified School District board members Jann-Michael Greenburg and Barbara Perleberg for their opposition to the anti-vaping resolution as reported by Delarita …
Dr. William Troutt

Troutt: Recreational marijuana — a defining moment for Arizona

On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Arizona citizens voted in support of Prop 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, that has been termed “Recreational Marijuana.”
Skip Hall

Hall: New Year to bring good things for Surprise

As we enter the new year, I would like to extend warm wishes and gratitude to our community.
Gail Baer

Baer: Cultivating a giving spirit in children

As vice president of philanthropic services for Jewish Family & Children’s Service, I have the rare privilege of working with individuals and families who transform others’ lives.
Joe Smyth is board chairman of Independent Newsmedia.

Smyth: Brighter days ahead for local journalism?

Our little company was one of the pioneers of non-profit ownership of newspapers. Fifty years ago, we made a few decisions that were, in retrospect, pretty unusual. To protect their independence, …
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 …
Robert Matsch and Christa Rizzi

Rizzi, Matsch: Local business, nonprofit ‘2 gems in our community’

Every community seems to have those little hidden gems that folks aren’t really aware of. I’d like to share a couple right here in Apache Junction that truly deserve to be recognized and …

Shufelt: Community shows its heart during uncertain times

Many are looking forward to turning the calendar to 2021. This year has brought us challenges and issues we could never have imagined, and there are many reasons to want to put 2020 in the …

O'Malley: ‘Tis the season for forgiveness

Forgiveness does not mean you allow others to take advantage of you again.

Ford: Buy extra, donate to Valley View Food Bank

I met Jesse Ramirez, Valley View Community Food Bank founder and director, a year ago and am constantly amazed at how much he does with so little. I have a suggestion for all of us that can make …
Neil Barwick

Barwick: Think about what you voted for if you voted for Biden

Jason Whitlock, a journalist and writer, makes the case that the most important part of the election was that hate won over love. Trump voters voted for Trump because they loved him, even with all of …

Nelson: Congress, thanks for foreign relief

Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Pakistan, Egypt, Cambodia, Burma, etc. received several billions in the new COVID “relief” bill and the American people get …

Wintersteen: Why celebrate MLK Jr. Day now?

For 23 years, the Town of Paradise Valley has had a tradition of honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr with an in-person celebration and luncheon, and this year, while dramatically different in some …
Craig Wismer

Wismer: New distracted driving law takes hold Jan. 1

Beginning January 1, 2021 the use of portable communication devices while driving will become a violation of civil traffic statutes for which law enforcement officers may issue a citation.

Williams: Make people wear a mask to stop COVID-19

Pinal County is a county where people need to wear masks. I had the COVID-19 virus. I am still recovering. You guys are not following the rules. These people need to wear a mask. I got the …
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 …
Sharon Connors

Connors: Gratitude can improve your life over holidays

The first snow descended on the Midwest by Thanksgiving most years.
Jack Sellers

Board of Supervisors responds to legislative subpoenas

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 today to direct its attorneys to respond to the subpoenas issued by the Arizona Legislature by filing a complaint in Superior Court. The two subpoenas …

Nelson: Worries new leaders will nix records

This building in Washington, D.C., houses all documents of our history, both the good and the bad. Our founding documents are on protected display inside the main entrance area: The Declaration of …

Letters: DUSD's self-promotion is getting old

Does anyone have the impression that the Dysart Unified School District is using up all the oxygen in the room?
AP

Bass: Vaccine administration illogical

We are all excited about the COVID-19 vaccines and the daily updates on the effort to get it to us. However, what is missing is how we will actually sit in a chair and have it administered. All I …

Letters: Street racers not limited to Sun City

We read with interest your recent article (“Street racers invading Sun City,” Surprise Independent, Dec. 9).

Pinderhughes: Taking care of yourself, seeking care safely during COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases climb again around the country, people may be considering skipping visits to the doctor to reduce risk of exposure to the virus. But the decision to delay preventive screenings like …

Rookhuyzen: Gift cards are the worst; consider these presents instead

We don’t want to alarm anyone, but Christmas is a week away. If you still have people to shop for but are running low on ideas, maybe we can help.

Andrews: Solar power real estate too costly

The Independent reported recently that our Southwest Valley friends claim a proposed solar energy facility will block their view of an ancient cinder-cone volcano (“Southwest Valley residents …

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 …

Lux: How to apply for unspent COVID funds?

Mark Carlisle wrote a recent article (“Spend it or lose it: Phoenix doles out remaining $43 million in coronavirus relief before Dec. 30 deadline,” Daily Independent, Dec. 12, 2020). In …
Bill McDonald

McDonald: Congress must preserve funding for HIV/AIDS patients

As a founding member of the Arizona Human Rights Fund, which has now morphed into Equality Arizona, I have always worked on the issues that have been at the forefront of the LGBTQ …

Shaw: Calls Lesko’s statements ‘sedition’

I just spoke with Rep. Lesko’s D.C. office after receiving a non-response email to my simple election inquiry. I posed a simple yes-or-no question as to whether Joe Biden is our president …
Amber Kovarik enlisted the help of her daughters Jade (left), 5, and Tatum, 7, and father, Dave, to deliver almost 100 meals to Hospice of the Valley patients on Thanksgiving eve. [Courtesy of Hospice of the Valley]

Cooney: 2020 ends with gifts of love, kindness

The most magical thing about the holidays is the way we so joyfully give to others. Not just our friends and families — but to complete strangers who are in need.

Wade: Clarification needed for motorsports

I respectfully request that Congress pass the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act, H.R. 5434/S. 2602, in 2020. The bipartisan RPM Act protects the right to convert an automobile or …

Buttrick: Is the Arizona Constitution to be taken seriously or for granted?

As an attorney and retired judge I have always considered the Arizona Constitution to be the highest law of the state, not a set of guidelines. That’s why I am a plaintiff, along with a top …

Letters: Community pools math just doesn’t add up

About two months back, you wrote an article about lack of pools in Surprise. In that article you stated for a community of 1,000 homes the additional cost would be $10 per month.

Morgan: Bring more love, joy and connection this holiday season

For many people, life as they knew it has been put on hold due to the restrictions we all must adhere to with COVID-19. The days of waiting patiently for life to return to “normal” …

Jones: Wants people to be on lookout

On R.H. Johnson Boulevard driving home from the store at about 4:30 p.m. with my son the other day, we noticed a pickup sitting half on the sidewalk with its flashers blinking. As we got closer we …
Aldo Vazquez

Vazquez: Research shows drivers know it’s wrong, do it anyway

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest research finds drivers who have been in at least one crash in the past two years are significantly more likely to engage in risky behaviors like speeding or texting, even when they think the police may catch them.

Thorpe: How to prepare for flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic

The 2020-21 flu season is on track to be one of the worst in years, and with COVID-19 still running rampant in Arizona, being infected with both could be dangerous.
Clint Hickman

Hickman: Rulings show election accurate, transparent

Once again, a judge upheld the accuracy of Maricopa County’s election.

Stevenson: Outpatient treatment necessary

I know, I know ... you are sick and tired of hearing about, talking about or being afraid of the COVID virus and I agree with you. But, there are real solutions to this, if you can give me a few …
Peoria Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Scot Andrews

Andrews: The 5 reasons my dollars go to small business

The strength of a building is in its foundation. The same is true with small business in a community. If small businesses are healthy and prospering, job, schools and lifestyle are unique, healthy and burgeoning.
Dr. Lawrence Presant

Presant: For vein treatment, stick with the pros

With the proliferation of clinics that offer vein treatment, how do you choose the one that is right for you? And, do you really know what condition your veins are in?
Quinn Kellis

Kellis: DUSD thanks voters for override approval

I want to thank our community for taking the time to vote in the recent general election.

Patel: Screening for cancer in the COVID era

This year has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we’ve had a lot to worry about, and many of us have put our lives on hold this past year because of it, I wanted to discuss …

Nelson: Calls for healthy living before vaccines

Why haven’t the top U.S. health officials been educating the American populace that our immune systems are the first source of protection from viruses and COVID? A huge number of us are …

Christ: Winter holidays - Impacting COVID-19 cases in Arizona

There are many impacts that the holidays can have on COVID-19 in Arizona. With people traveling and gathering with loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving, we anticipate the cases and the need for hospitalizations to continue to increase over the next few weeks.

Trussell: State success in adverse times

I recently had the opportunity to hear from the Richard Stavneak, director of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee followed by revered economist Jim Rounds at the Arizona Tax Research …

Gentile: Enough is enough - an open letter to Arizona, Scottsdale leadership

My wife and I have been residents of Scottsdale for just under a year. We are a law enforcement family from New York who relocated to AZ — after unfortunate years in Los Angeles. We have …
Dr. Richard S. Liebowitz

Liebowitz: International medical schools can provide needed doctors

COVID-19 has revealed once again how short our nation is of doctors.

Leto: Community stories are best ones to read

I have an idea for an addition to your weekly newspapers that would make it more enjoyable and would make more people read it. In my neighborhood magazine, they always feature someone who has done …
Jeff Struble

Struble: AJ Prayer Walk a day to sing, fellowship, shine in unity

The third annual AJ Prayer Walk will be held Jan. 9. This year’s event will be centered on the Bible verse 2 John 1:6, “And this is love; that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you …
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — December 2020

The Surprise Police Department has received their fifth accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. (CALEA).

Letters: District already wasting our hard-earned money

While perusing this week's Surprise Independent, I was flabbergasted to see a paid advertisement from Dysart Unified School District.

Funk: Arizona families are built in a variety of ways

One way is through adoption. While there are several categories of adoptable children, at Aid to Adoption of Special Kids we focus on the adoption of children in the Arizona foster care …
ADOT officials seek the public’s help figuring out where this photo was taken. [ADOT photo]

Needing help with the ‘Unknown Highway’

Over the years, we have delved into our archives to bring you photographs from a lot of times and places. From grading a road with mules to the Highway Hawk’s appearances at events to a …
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — December 2020

I recently had the opportunity to tour the City of Surprise’s new Public Works Operations Facility. The facility was partially funded by the voter-approved 2017 General Obligation Bond. This …
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