Opinions with Civility
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Arizona School Boards Association Governmental Relations Director Chris Kotterman

ASBA: Arizona’s school districts follow official public health guidance

Arizona’s school districts have a fundamental obligation to protect the students entrusted to their care and provide a safe working environment for their employees.
Skip Hall

Skip Hall: Sunrise road extension is needed priority

Improving transportation safety in the city of Surprise is a priority for our city.

Letters: Volunteers make big difference with schools

With Back to School just a few weeks away, there are lots of new happenings going on around Dysart where volunteers would make a big difference.
Merrill Edelstein

Merrill Edelstein: Art viewing as hot as temperature

It’s summer, and I bet everyone is looking for ways to escape the heat. I am, too.

Letters: Completed road would be great help to residents

I have been a resident of Mountain Vista Ranch for about 11 years.

Letters: HOA didn’t inform residents about street

I recently read the article on trying to stop Sunrise Boulevard from extending to Vista Ranch Road.

Letters: Homeowner in favor of Sunrise extension

I live at Mountain Vista Ranch. No, not everyone who lives in this subdivision is against the extension of Sunrise Boulevard.
Roland Winters

Roland Winters: District 1 Newsletter — July 2021

Well, a big shout-out to all our great residents in this hometown we call Surprise.
Kathy Chandler, Northwest Valley Connect executive director

Chandler: For those who can’t get to a vaccine, there is solution

Northwest Valley Connect volunteers have a concern for those not vaccinated, who remain vulnerable to the possibility of contracting the virus. If one should be you, our volunteers have a solution: they have made themselves available for your assistance.

Letters: Mountain Vista Ranch street plan too rushed

It is my feeling that those representing us in Surprise have rushed this without enough information given to those living in Mountain Vista.
Patrick Duffy

Patrick Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — July 2021

The city of Surprise is a Heat Relief Network partner.

Letters: Drivers are ignoring posted speed limits

We are writing this as we would like to let people, especially residents of Sun City Grand to please observe the posted speed limits in our community.
Alyson Cline

Aly Cline: District 2 Newsletter — July 2021

The city of Surprise offers water conservation education to help our residents find ways to conserve water.
Chris Judd

Chris Judd: District 6 Newsletter — July 2021

A new traffic signal is being installed at the intersection of Waddell Rd. and 145th Ave.
Jack Hastings

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — July 2021

Surprise Citizen Patrol is a volunteer-based program comprising 62 highly trained individuals who donate their time and skills to further the Police Department Mission.

Letters: Wineland wows crowd at Chicken Ranch

A soldout crowd came June 26 when Ashley Wineland CMT recording artist entertained folks at the Chicken Ranch in Surprise.
Ken Remley

Ken Remley: District 4 Newsletter — July 2021

Join us on Sunday, July 4, at 6 p.m. for the 38th Annual 4th of July Celebration at Mark Coronado Park.
Skip Hall

Skip Hall: Mayor Newsletter — July 2021

The city of Surprise will host the 38th Annual 4th of July Celebration on Sunday, July 4 at Mark Coronado Park.
Sharon Connors

Sharon Connors: Envision what you want to get it

Cindy went into a raging panic when she got the news.

Letters: More coverage needed on what kids are learning

The Independent has a golden opportunity to out shine the Arizona Republic. 

Reagan: June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day and this is one soldier’s experience

Sunday, June 27, is National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Injury Awareness Day. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness around the signs, symptoms and stigma associated with PTSD.

Letters: Resident wants light signal near new Fry’s

I live northwest of 172nd and Jomax Road. We’re all looking forward to the new Fry’s grocery complex coming to 163rd Avenue and Pat Tillman Boulevard.
Roland Winters

Roland Winters: District 1 Newsletter — June 2021

Well, hello to all my friends in District 1, indeed to everyone in the great city we call Surprise.

Letters: Affordable housing isn’t benefit to all

I just read the article about the mayor’s proposal of creating affordable housing in Surprise.
Ken Hicks

Ken Hicks: Transparency, accountability key to school budgets

There is a long history of the community wanting and needing transparency in schools for many reasons.
Jack Hastings

Jack Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — June 2021

The city of Surprise welcomes our new Police Chief, Benny Pina, who has served as the Peoria Deputy Police Chief since 2014.
Ken Remley

Ken Remley: District 4 Newsletter — June 2021

The city of Surprise is re-opening programs at the Senior Center in a phased approach, with limited front desk access and exercise classes available now.
Skip Hall

Skip Hall: Mayor Newsletter — June 2021

City of Surprise voters approved three General Obligation (G.O.) Bond questions in November 2017, representing 10 Capital Improvement Projects.
Sharon Connors

Connors: Here’s how you can meet life’s challenges

I am very close to being an avid football fan. Why? Because growing up in Chicago, every Sunday was “football Sunday” in my home.
Patrick Duffy

Patrick Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — June 2021

The City of Surprise launched its annual Surprise Retail Survey on April 5, and more than 5,100 responses later, we have the results.
Alyson Cline

Aly Cline: District 2 Newsletter — June 2021

Veterans, service members, and their families now have a new place to access resources, support, and assistance in the West Valley.
Chris Judd

Chris Judd: District 6 Newsletter — June 2021

Thank you to the Surprise Rotary Club for donating funding for a new tree at Dick McComb Park near the splash pad.
Raymond Grim

Grim: Why supporting local businesses matters

As a fast-growing and young city, Surprise has seen the predictable national chains and franchises dot our city with their buildings and their familiar signs. 
Rebecca Durfey

Peoria Realtor warns of risks during an out-of-balance real estate market

It is a challenging residential real estate market in a number of ways right now.

Letters: Reader offended by cartoon about recount

I have ended my subscription to my other newspapers and now only read yours.
Roland Winters

Roland Winters: District 1 Newsletter — May 2021

I want to give a big shoutout to all the great folks here in the city of Surprise.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — May 2021

Veterans, service members, and their families now have a new place to access resources, support, and assistance in the West Valley.
Skip Hall

Hall: Mayor Newsletter — May 2021

The last day to take the 2021 online retail survey is May 9.
Sharon Connors

Connors: Life's stages should be experienced full out

After 19 years at my job, which I loved, in Kansas City, I decided to move to San Diego.
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — May 2021

The city of Surprise is ranked the No. 6 safest city in Arizona, according to a new SafeWise report.
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — May 2021

I joined Mayor Skip Hall, Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborne, Youngtown Mayor Mike Levault, and several other elected officials to celebrate White Tank Wild Day at the beautiful Skyline Regional Park.
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — May 2021

In April, we celebrated National Volunteer Week with the City’s annual “Bean Bag Day” event.
Alyson Cline

Cline: District 2 Newsletter — May 2021

Councilmember Jack Hastings and I had the opportunity to tour the Ottawa campus and meet with their president, Dennis Tyner, and new Vice President of Advancement Todd Simpson.
Lynn Lamont

Lamont: Music scene thriving in Surprise

Surprise has some of the best music in the Valley and some of the best music venues we’ve seen in a long time or maybe ever. 

Letters: Trash cans should be kept out of sight

I am writing concerning the article in the newspaper dated March 17 [“Property rules up for discussion”].
Michael Troop

Troop: AZ Merit test season calls for tips, best practices

Standardized testing season can be a stressful time for students even under normal circumstances.
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise.
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face-covering mandate in Surprise.
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — April 2021

Mayor Skip Hall has signed a proclamation terminating the face covering mandate in Surprise.

Letters: 'For the People Act' not good for one reader

I have been reading about H.R. 1 / S. 1 the so-called “For the People Act,” which is under consideration in the U.S. Senate.
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — April 2021

The 2021 State of the City Video Premiere is scheduled for April 13 at 6 p.m.
Alyson Cline

Cline: District 2 Newsletter — April 2021

Help spread the word about keeping our beloved community clean.
Skip Hall

Hall: Mayor Newsletter — April 2021

On April 13, I invite you to tune into a video premiere of our State of the City at 6 p.m. We will reflect on the resilience of our community and look forward to what’s on the horizon.
Skip Hall

Hall: City of Surprise is here to help residents

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since we first felt the impacts of COVID-19. Unfortunately, for many people the struggle continues and I want you to know that your city is here to help.
Sharon Connors

Connors: Face your fears to grow and develop

I first became aware, well, vaguely aware, that fear lurked in the background of my behavior when, as a pre-teen, my mom chided me for being “too timid.”
Roland Winters

Winters: District 1 Newsletter — March 2021

Well, hello, my fellow Surprise residents. Here it is already March, and we have finally got the COVID-19 on the run with another serum to help us.

Letters: Cancer patient loves service at local centers

I recently experienced a health issue, which was very serious. This is an article about MD Anderson Cancer Center, 14502 W. Meeker Blvd., and Banner Del Webb Health Center Hospital, 14502 W. Meeker Blvd. 
Ken Remley

Remley: District 4 Newsletter — March 2021

On Feb. 22, Mayor Hall and I attended a one-year anniversary ribbon cutting for Flying Pig Embroidery, located at 13059 W. Grand Ave, Suite 9.
Skip Hall

Hall: Mayor Newsletter — March 2021

The city of Surprise Human Services and Community Vitality Department is seeking volunteers for Day of Service events on March 20 and March 31.
Patrick Duffy

Duffy: District 3 Newsletter — March 2021

The city of Surprise Parks and Recreation Department is offering Spring Break Camp March 15-19 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Sierra Montana Recreation Center, located at 14861 N. Spring Lane.
Jim Grieshaber

Grieshaber: CTE gives students more choices

In comparing schools and educational choices, something that is sometimes overlooked are Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. 
Linda Brickman, front left, vice chair of the Maricopa County Republicans, Dr. Kelli Ward, back left, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, talk with Rey Valenzuela, right, Maricopa County Elections Department Director of Early Voting and Election Services, as the department conducts a post-election logic and accuracy test for the general election Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Supervisors respond to judge’s election subpoenas ruling

Following the ruling issued Friday by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason — which affirms the subpoenas issued by Arizona Senate Republicans calling for the release of the …
Chris Judd

Judd: District 6 Newsletter — March 2021

One of my new favorite places in Surprise is Venue Taproom. They are a fantastic new restaurant located in the Uptown Alley Parking lot at Litchfield and Waddell roads.

Letters: Keeping kids safe should be our top job

The safety of our children at school should be every parents first priority.
Ryan Patrick Olson poses with Webber, a stuffed platypus that played an integral role in his fantasy memoir, “Carnival of Heaven.”

Olson: Survivors don’t have to let past suffering define them

I was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia a month before my 7th birthday.
Alyson Cline

Cline: District 2 Newsletter — March 2021

Help spread the word about keeping our beloved community clean.
Jack Hastings

Hastings: District 5 Newsletter — March 2021

Player 1 Arcade, located at 17239 N. Litchfield, had its Grand Opening on Feb. 19.
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.
Sharon Connors

Connors: Do something uncommon this month

I think it was 1995. While I can’t be precise about the date, the ineffable experience there in Yucca Valley, California, is still palpable, vivid — and instructional.
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. 

Letters: Costco-area growth takes from city center

Surprised and a bit concerned to read about the growth which is happening around the new Costco location off the 303 (“Costco creating nearby growth,” Feb. 17).
Raoul Sada

Sada: 2021 brings opportunities for businesses

This is an open letter to all elected officials at the federal, state and local levels.
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.

Letters: Surprise seems to be growing at too fast a pace

I’ve lived in Surprise since 2005. When I first moved here, I was a very quaint town/city of 75,000 to 80,000 people.
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.
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.

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.
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.
Sharon Connors

Connors: New year brings a new hope

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