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Farrior: Changing how we view Blackness

A bit of our fear around the discussion of race stems from how we view ourselves regarding the concept of Blackness. I say “concept” because we know that race is a social construct. It …

Thomasson: My day with our TPV code enforcement officer

When Town of Paradise Valley code enforcement officer Tina Brindley rolled up to my house Monday morning at 7:30 a.m., I jumped in the town seal-emblazoned white truck (with the hand crank windows!) …

Bratcher: Concerns about the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

Please stop the impending 3.4% cut to Medicare providers in 2024 that the CMS finalized in the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule. CMS acknowledges in the rule that due to budget …

Steinberg: Neighbor input concerning Quail Run project

I am writing on behalf of the homeowners of Quail Run Road north of McDonald regarding the Quail Run project article appearing in the Nov. 22 Independent. The developer, lead engineer and PR expert …

Cartier: Congress needs to repeal harmful R&D tax mandate

A recent change in our tax code has left Arizona small businesses grappling with debilitating tax burdens, jeopardizing their ability to innovate and serve their clients effectively. I should …

Lewis: Scottsdale Schools get it right

Having lived in Scottsdale for the last 20 years (both in the Cave Creek area, and in the Scottsdale Unified School District) I was so proud of our school district’s successful passage of the …

Make an impact this Giving Tuesday, November 28

Whether it’s your favorite animal rescue, food bank or children and family services organization, everyone has a charitable cause close to their hearts. This Giving Tuesday is a perfect time to …

Thomasson: Our small-town charm hangs from the walls.

It seems every day we discover something special about living in the Town of Paradise Valley. Our talented PV Arts Board works hard each year to showcase the work of a local artist with a …

Connor: I do not want Paradise Valley to be covered in condos

Your article in the paper that comes once a week was very good. I am very impressed and grateful for this attention. We do not want this city becoming like any other city with condominiums and alike …

Dezelon: Something needs to be done about coyotes in our neighborhoods

The shades of grey, brown and black were simply stunning as the morning dew glistened off her coat. She stood on top of the wall that surrounds Cheney Estates with a light brown carcass in her …
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Civility Checklist

How to engage in respectful, honest & civil dialogue about public issues.

Checkmark Take the high road.  Respond to the topic — not the person. Refrain from demonizing others for their opinions. Assume those you disagree with are, like you, genuinely interested in improving the community.

Checkmark Be respectful. Bullying, public humiliation, insults, name-calling, harassment, and threats directed at another person — or that person's race, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. — have no place in civil discussions. Find ways to respectfully disagree without questioning someone's character or motives.

Checkmark Be truthful. Base your opinions/arguments on facts. Value honesty. Make only accurate statements when making your point and avoid exaggeration and stereotypes. When appropriate, cite your sources of information that others may question. 

Checkmark Don't misrepresent. Always identify your opinions as opinions (not stating opinions as facts). Never misrepresent the views of others or falsely claim your opinions represent someone else. If quoting the words of others, identify and credit the source.

Checkmark Listen  & learn. It's both polite and respectful to listen to those we disagree with (as well as those we support) and be genuine in our attempts to understand their point of view. Expand your mind by thoughtfully seeking out views that don't agree with your own.

CheckmarkLook for common ground. When disagreeing with others, look for even small areas of agreement — which can be the gateway to working together for the greater good.

Checkmark Respect privacy. Keep private things private — whether it involves your own information or those with whom you disagree. Revealing private information about someone else is rude, unethical, potentially harmful and, in many cases, illegal.

Checkmark Set a good example. Practice civil behavior online as well as in public and in your interaction with others. Encourage others to practice these civil behaviors. And it's OK to challenge disrespectful behavior — but be courteous, respectful and helpful in your approach.

Now that you've read the checklist, take the Civility Pledge. 

Your Community Your Voice
John Kavanagh (Submitted photo)

Kavanagh: Arizona Families Tax Rebate is on the way

As we end a year that was economically challenging for many Arizonans, I'm writing to inform families that in the coming weeks, thousands can expect up to $750 in one-time checks and direct deposits, …
Kathy Wiebke (Submitted photo)

Wiebke: Thank you for supporting our schools

Roughly half of Maricopa County saw their school override and bond initiatives fail on Tuesday night. In a state that ranks as one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in per pupil funding in the …
Joe Smyth

Smyth: Fixing Arizona's broken primaries

Astoundingly, as few as 8% of registered voters effectively controlled the election of eight of Arizona’s nine members of Congress in 2022.  Eight out of nine! That’s because …
Shea Najafi (Submitted photo)

Najafi: Curious about how an all-mail election works?

Especially with the upcoming Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) budget override vote, it's essential to know what's what to be sure we renew vital funding to our public schools.  So, …
Jeffrey Root (Submitted photo)

Root: Don’t give up on the miracle of our children

I moved to the Valley in 1989 as a young, ambitious high school graduate fresh out of a 12-year education in public schools. From first grade through my senior year, I was challenged and …
Patty Beckman (Submitted photo)

Beckman: It is time to support our schools again

For decades, my family has been proud to call Scottsdale Unified School District our home. My mother was a part of the first Hohokam eighth grade graduating class in the early 1960s. So, when …
Melinda Gulick (Submitted photo)

Gulick: Continuing the budget override is an investment in our students

As a graduate of Chaparral High School, I remember my days as a Firebird fondly. I had great teachers and made wonderful friends, many of whom I still see regularly today. When it came time to …
Kathy Wiebke (Submitted photo)

Wiebke: A quality education is an investment in the future

I am a proud product of Scottsdale Unified School District. I loved school. I learned to value art, music and another language I still use. I felt safe to try things. The first and only time I sang …

Tom Campbell deserves more recognigion

First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Tom Campbell for his 23 years of dedicated service to the Town of Paradise Valley. Tom’s dedication and knowledge …
Kevin Maxwell (Submitted photo)

Maxwell: Override presents an opportunity we cannot afford to overlook

In today's rapidly changing world, investing in education is not only a moral imperative but a strategic necessity for the future of our children and our community. As the debate on education funding …
Robb Vaules (Subitted photo)

Vaules: For families with disabled children, public schools serve as a lifeline

I am writing this letter to express my strong support for the upcoming Special Budget Override Election for the Scottsdale Unified School District, particularly due to public schools’ vital …
Conor O'Callaghan (Submitted photo)

O'Callaghan: Talking public education and denouncing ESAs

Growing up in Scottsdale, I had the privilege of attending five SUSD schools. The city was growing so fast that new schools kept opening; I went to two elementary schools and two middle schools …
Rebecca Ryserson (Submitted photo)

Ryserson: Arizona children deserve better than 48th in the nation

Maybe you are aware that Arizona is 48th in the nation in per-child education funding. What I didn't appreciate is that being 48th in the nation means that public schools in Arizona receive half the …
Andrew Horne (Submitted photo)

Horne: I urge a vote in favor of the SUSD override

As a former student of the Scottsdale Unified School District and a proud Arizona native who attended Kiva, Mohave and Saguaro, I wholeheartedly advocate in support of the SUSD Maintenance and …
Andrea Keck (Submitted photo)

Keck: I don’t see that this override is financially necessary

I recently read the opinions encouraging a yes vote on the upcoming SUSD M&O override. Nearly every letter said, “This will maintain class sizes; full-day kindergarten; support music, arts, …

Steinmetz: Don’t overlook the blind when making hiring decisions

Each October we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) to recognize the talents and contributions people with disabilities bring to the workplace. Have you ever given …
Denny Brown (Submitted photo)

Brown: We need to appreciate the benefits of a healthy SUSD

Spending time with fellow board members and incredible administration allowed me a behind-the-curtain understanding of policy and funding. And speaking of funding, here comes the challenge. …
Tammy Caputi (Submitted photo)

Caputi: It’s to all our benefit to support the schools in our community

As a parent of three students attending our public schools, I’m grateful for the educational and extracurricular opportunities our local school districts provide. As a 20-year business …

Everything you wanted to know about the World Series … but were afraid to ask

Imagine you’re at an outdoor dinner party (yes, COVID-friendly). It’s October, and the conversation steers towards the World Series. While you are generally culturally literate, you know …

Christensen: Health literacy more important than ever for Arizonans in ongoing COVID-19 crisis

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has impacted millions across the country, and Arizona has not been spared. This virus and its resulting economic fallout have put a harsh spotlight on rising health care …
Opinions with Civility