Friday, September 28, 2007

If you are near Dobson and Guadalupe this weekend...

Carwash set to help dead teen's family

Friends and students from Dobson will also hold a car wash Saturday to raise funds to support Raegan's family, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Arby's at Alma School and Guadalupe roads in Mesa.

Donations are also being accepted in Raegan's name at any Washington Mutual Bank, account number 4921-970384.

Regardless of who is to blame, it really is tragic to see someone be taken so young. I am sure its hard on the family and for many of the kids at school. If you are in the area, get your car washed and throw in a couple of bucks.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

$20.6 million that remains in an aquatics fund?!?!?

Where should I begin? There is a doozie of an article today in the Republic about swimming pools. Here are a couple of highlights that I notice off the top:
  • We have a West Side mayoral candidate, ahem, Claudia Walters, pandering to voters of the East Side
  • In a city of crumbling roads and overextended fire and police service, we are fighting about swimming pools
  • The City has banked over $20.6 million in unused cash an "aquatics fund"

I am all for amenities and quality of life and all of that, but the last point struck me the most. Aren't we all supposed to be tightening our belts? Shouldn't we apply the "use it or lose it" principal to this money? Its sure going to be hard for people to drive to a pool if the roads are so bad that their car can't get there. Say what you want about the "will of the voters" but I doubt that the voters wanted that money to sit in an account and do nothing.

Sometimes, I just don't understand this council and how they get themselves into these kinds of messes.

Waveyard's Whitewater Course

National White Water Center

I love the show, "Big Things." They always have the coolest stuff on there. Little did I know that they did a whole feature about the US National White Water Center. I was looking at the Waveyard map the other day, and I was having trouble imagining what the white water park is going to look like. So I did a little YouTubing and I came across this. From what I understand, you are going to be able to sit nearby and watch people actually do this at Waveyard. I wonder if they would be able to get some of those Olympians to come out here as well. It would be a nice to be known as an Olympic Training City instead of the "City of 10,000 Payday Loan Stores."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Breaking Down the Mesa Mayor's Race

Well, it looks like Rex Griswold is going to officially jump into the Mesa Mayor's race today. We are still waiting for the official word on if Tom Freestone is going to be in or out, but my guess is that since there hasn't been a big hoopla since the story saying that Freestone was out, in all likelihood, he is going to be done. Unless there is some dark horse that comes out of nowhere, I think the field is pretty much set. Here is my humble breakdown of the candidates:

I'll break them down in order of announcement:

Scott Smith
Announced: May 31, 2007

Advantages: Local businessman, Outsider - Not part of the current establishment, Probably going to get the endorsement of many conservatives, Hits home with many voters with "restoring trust" message

Disadvantages: Not a known name, No government experience (could be good or bad), Background as a Developer

Claudia Walters
Announced: September 20, 2007

Advantages: Most experience out of all of the candidates, Understands the inner workings of the City, Has made controversial decisions and stood by them, Has the benefit of being called Vice-Mayor

Disadvantages: Part of the current establishment, Tends to be defensive of past City decisions, Nearly 8 years on the council which is thought to have caused a lot of the current problems

Rex Griswold
Announced: September 26, 2007

Advantages: Very hard worker, Small business owner, Liked by many people in his district, Good looking guy, Known name

Disadvantages: Running as an insider and outsider at the same time, Trying to separate himself from the past problems of the council - which could be poorly received, Not a consistent decision maker

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A little bit of Phoenix rubbing off

Mike Whalen has an interesting idea. The problem is that, in Phoenix, they have quiet elections where things like increased taxes skate by without very much discussion and everyone lines up to support them. Plus, they do their elections in off times to help manage what kind of people turn up at those things.

In Mesa, on the other hand, a Wal-Mart can barely get built without someone lighting themselves on fire over it. While it looks like a little bit of Phoenix might be rubbing off on Mesa, I don't think that this thing would go through without a huge fight. Plus, you can guarantee that neither of the mayoral candidates who are sitting on the council would vote for a tax hike right now.

Dobson Teen Slain

Its always a tragedy to see something like this. Its also really weird as well, because you don't want to think about Mesa being a place with a lot of crime, but it really is. I had the same question that a lot of people had, "Why is this 16 year old kid out at 2 in the morning?" But who knows if the kid was allowed to be out or if he snuck out. Regardless, I think those thoughts miss the bigger points:

Whats scarier to me is that Club/Bar/Mystery place that they said is hardly ever open is only about a mile or two away from Dobson. This isn't a story about some kid being killed downtown or in some "rough" neighborhood. This poor kid was killed in the neighborhood where he went to school.

Mesa Public Schools has had its fair share of tragedies from lunch time accidents to kids being hit by drunk drivers, but they haven't really had to deal with shootings all that much. Is this the future of our fair city?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Waveyard Video Part 2

Waveyard Video Part 2

I posted part one last week, now here is part 2.

Mesa Election Update

I've been following the elections for awhile here and it really looks like things are starting to shape up as the cut off dates start to arrive.

First, I was pretty surprised to see that Matt Tolman decided to run against Dave Richins. I think that Dave has a lot of support outside the city faithful. He has done a lot of work in the community and West Mesa is better now for his work. However, the bloggers are seeming to have fun banging on him and calling him a "toady" and a "lap dog." That should be fun. Dave doesn't really have the baggage of being on the council, although thats what Tolman is going to try to pin on him.

Second, it is very interesting to see how Rex is trying to position himself in this race. He sees that Scott Smith has the "outsider" advantage on him, so he is now trying to place himself as an agent of change. Seems pretty funny considering he has been on the council for the past few years... a fact that he used to his full advantage by hosting a pancake breakfast not too long ago. Gee, it sure sounds a lot like a city funded tune up for a fundraiser to me.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Here is an interesting article from one of my favorite blogs the Sonoran Alliance. They do a great job on keeping up on politics from across the state and they have a little blub about the mayor's race here in Mesa. They have been among many pretty vocal about the Phoenix City Council races, but I guess I was kind of surprised that they took any interest in whats going on out here. Anyway, they believe that the Mesa Mayor's race will be a showdown to mark the "cultural and religious shift taking place in Mesa."

I think they missed something major.

I certainly think that Griswold his hoping that the non-mormons can pull this out for him, but I think that the real factor is something much different. If Freestone gets out, you are looking at two sitting city council members running against a guy who is preaching change. With all of the woes that Mesa has endured in the past few years, do you think its going to be more about religion or about the future of Mesa?

5 million passengers?

Art Thomason seems to think that there is a lot in the name.

It would be nice if these people were coming in to Mesa to spend money and help boost the economy. Its more likely they'll drive into Phoenix and Scottsdale just like everyone else. I am glad we got that name change going on, but what about traffic?

The airport is the economic engine of the future and a simple name change is not going to be the be all end all solution to help us out. It needs to be an employment center as well as a passenger location. I love the comment by Chris4576:

"Ok, I am envisioning the joy of 5 million more cars clogging the roads around Williams Field. Not a pretty picture..............."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Walters announces bid for Mayor

District 1 Councilwoman Claudia Walters announced her bid for Mayor.

Here is the Republic's Take.

Here is the Trib's Take.

The comments over at the Tribune are getting a little feisty! Here are some interesting samples:

"how are we to trust these things will happen in her first 100 days if she hasn't helped do any of it in the last 6 years!" - Still waiting

"Why can't you get these things done in your LAST 100 days as Vice Mayor. Show us your leadership now." - 100 Days

Personal Fave:

"Why should we trust Rex or Claudia when they haven't made it better around here in the jobs they already have. Thats like giving someone a promotion after they lost your biggest account, broke the copy machine, and ate all the donuts. It makes no sense." - Better than the same ol'

I think I have worked with that guy!! LOL.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's in a name?

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport OK’d

Well, its official. On October 15th, we can say so long to Williams Gateway Airport and hello to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Gee, it sure has a snappy feel to it. Same snappy feel as our Phoenix East/Mesa Hilton or whatever its called. I understand the logic behind it, but I certainly don't think that its going to start attracting people over night.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Parks may impact Waveyard vote

Mesa chases new site for softball fields

On one hand, you have to question why the city hasn't done anything about this before now. Shouldn't this have been part of the Waveyard discussion? On the other hand, why should the city spend any money on securing a new park if the Waveyard isn't guaranteed. It looks like they have themselves between a rock and a hard place. Voters should be able to count on the council to do the right thing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Video from Waveyard

Yes on Waveyard, Part 1

It looks like two days in a row for Waveyard Coverage. This time, its a video from the Waveyard folks talking about the project. It looks pretty cool to me. I think that doing more things like this would be better than going for a property tax once again. Let's hope this thing could actually get done.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Tribune has an interactive Waveyard Map

The Trib has launched their own interactive map feature of Waveyard. Its got some pretty neat information out and a handy dandy timeline. I didn't really realize how big this thing was going to be. Its gigantic. Certainly should bring in more people than that 9 hole golf course.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

'Tis the season

Ah, I saw my first Waveyard Campaign sign today. Hopefully that will mean the start of things heating up. I know I have been sort of negligent in my blogging duties as of late, but I'll do better to improve as there is more to talk about.