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Opinion

Ruiz: Avoid leaving money on the table for college expenses through FAFSA

More than $4 billion in Federal Pell Grants went unclaimed by the class of 2023 simply because they did not fill out the free application for Federal Financial Aid.
Opinion

Smith: Create a beautiful backyard desert landscape on a budget

Transforming your backyard into a desert oasis doesn’t have to cost you thousands of dollars. By strategically planning and using a bit of imagination, you can design the backyard of your …
Opinion

Telepak: Backyard casitas make multigenerational living possible

A few years ago, we read Marie Kondo's book, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up," and watched her show and others, like "The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning" and "Queer Eye" — all …

Daniels: FIND Act will help patients

There are not many issues in Congress that are as important as life or death, but there is one that might be.
Opinion

Lucier: Continuing a life of service

The son of two World War II veterans, I began my path of public service at age 19. I enlisted in the U.S. Army, became a Green Beret and served in Vietnam.
Opinion

Hagen: A disturbing trend in Tempe's civic discourse

In recent days, a troubling pattern has emerged within our community, one that undermines the very principles of open dialogue and accountability that are fundamental to a healthy democracy.
Opinion

McCoy: Improving community safety through innovation and leadership

I moved to Tempe from Alaska, trading months of long nights and freezing weather for Arizona’s record heat. I love this city and intend to stay here with the goal of improving public safety for our community and our first responders.
Opinion

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 …
Opinion

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 …
Take the Civility Pledge

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
Latest regional, state and national issues

Copeland: Believes abortion is murder

Some people are acting as if abortion is a God-given right. I’m sure that God, who values all human life, would not be in favor of abortion.

Forsythe: Peoria is being ruled by small group of elites

Democracy is worth fighting for - Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, et al per the Declaration of Independence - 1776.
Amy Hinojosa

Hinojosa: Latino community deserves a full commitment to opportunity

Hispanic workers, from entrepreneurs to farmworkers, are a unique strength of the American economy.
Lin Sue Flood

Flood: Teeing it up for Hospice of the Valley

It was a picture-perfect day out at Grayhawk Golf Club for Hospice of the Valley’s 2024 Pro-Am Golf Tournament, presented by Cigna Healthcare.

Akerhielm: Responding to letter, "Climate panic movement not catching on"

Former Republican senator and physician Tom Patterson makes some good points in his letter. However, his true colors are revealed when he declares that going green will drive us into poverty based on …

Esposito: History is being made. Will you be a part of it?

A nine-year journey, starting with the three-year effort to get Fountain Hills designated as an International Dark Sky Community, has finally led to the April 8 groundbreaking ceremony for the …

No Owners. No Shareholders. Community journalism just for you!

Dear Valued Readers: Thank you for supporting us at Independent Newsmedia through your voluntary pay contributions. We hope you agree that our dedication to covering nonpartisan, community news is …
David Williams

Williams: FDA finally realizes that yogurt is healthful

To millions of Americans who gulp down daily spoonfuls of yogurt, the dairy product’s health benefits are a no-brainer.

Bill: ASU support for Discovery Center

As the construction of International Dark Sky Discovery Center develops, so does the interest in collaborative opportunities with Arizona State University. Although ASU President Michael Crow …

Shinkoskey: Are you helping democracy?

What are some personal things folks are doing that impede democracy?
Karen Kerrigan

Kerrigan: Financial dangers grow with government overreach on 'junk fees'

Calls for government intervention in the economy are often promoted as a way to provide relief and fairness.

King: Protesters cause problems?

It is absolutely ridiculous that protesters feel they have the right to get in traffic and block people from getting to work, to stop emergency vehicles from possibly saving someone’s life or getting to someone to assist them.
Chris Woodward

Woodward: Some states push back on blocking low-cost drug program

Some states are pushing back on attempts by drug companies to roll back a discount program “safety net” health providers use to care for vulnerable, low-income Americans.

James: Keep an eye out for invasive weeds

There is an unwelcome newcomer in Fountain Hills. Disguising itself as a spring wildflower and producing those pretty little yellow balls, it won't be quite so pretty after it completely takes …

Schmidt: Seeing speeders in Sun City West

I am glad to see that they are monitoring the traffic, especially on R.H. Johnson.

Cohen: Not pleased with RCSC decisions

It is my understanding that Sun City Board Members represent the residents of Sun City. If you represent a group of citizens, you first seek their opinions prior to making decisions.
J. Christian Adams

Adams: Voter rolls, the key to Clean Elections

In this presidential election year, the question is whether we have made improvements to our election system to ensure an honest and clean election.

Goncalves: Trump accusations frightening?

I just read the two letters to the editor regarding Donald Trump and it is frightening to read the absolute hatred of this man.
Robin Ganzert

Ganzert: Congress should throw service dog programs a bone

Congress has averted another government shutdown. But often lost in the shuffle during these multi-trillion-dollar budget battles are appropriations for lifesaving veteran programs that employ wagging tails to heal invisible wounds of war.

Bill: History in the making at Discovery Center groundbreaking

A nine-year journey, starting with the three-year effort to get Fountain Hills designated as an International Dark Sky Community, has finally led to the groundbreaking of the International Dark Sky …

Utke: Board should retain at least one branch

I am a resident of Sun City as of 2021 and have recently become aware of the potential loss of the current library branches as the governing board makes future plans.
John R. Schrock

Schrock: Why some bridges collapse

Only four months after completion in 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State collapsed.
Sally Pipes

Pipes/Winegarden: Global collaboration on reference models will further depersonalize healthcare

Question: What’s worse than government bureaucrats in Washington declaring the value of your medicine? Answer: Bureaucrats from Boston, London, Ottawa and Diemen establishing that value.

Backer: Has positive view of Trump

This is in response to Bill Windsor’s opinion piece found in the March 27, 2024 issue of the Independent.
Tom Patterson

Patterson: Climate panic movement not catching on

The Great Climate Change Revolution is headed for failure. You can tell that because it is already in big trouble before the ultimate heavy lifting has even started.

Erskine: Enjoys tranquility of PV

I agree that there has to be some rules for pickleball courts in residential areas as the sounds coming from the games are very loud and intrusive.
Dan Leonard

Leonard: Protect American patients by eliminating the pill penalty

Life-science researchers are thrilled about the advances made with “small-molecule” medicines.

Unkefer: The Paradise Valley sound ordinance is sufficient

I own a pickleball court. It is for our personal use with friends and family. We do not play after 10 p.m. Our court is far from neighboring homes. We don't hold any "leagues or tournaments." …

Nussbaum: Legislation strips away petitioning power

I recently learned of a complaint filed to Secretary of State Adrian Fontes by Third Way, a national think tank that champions modern center-left ideas.

Fanguen: Schweikert pioneered same legislation as anti-abortion groups in front of Supreme Court

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments that could “pave the way toward a national abortion ban” by severely restricting access to the medication mifepristone, David Schweikert and …