Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Medical reputation has a nice ring to it

The editorial in the Republic discusses the latest successful surgery at Cardon Childrens Center and how it is an example of Mesa's growing "medical reputation." That kind of knowledge based reputation is exactly what we need to help expand and attract medical professionals to Mesa. It also the leg up we need to help us in the chase to land a medical school.

From the success of the childrens hospital to Banner Gateway earning the award as top cancer hospital, Mesa has an opportunity to become a medical destination for doctors, teachers, and even patients. As the society continues to age, medical breakthroughs and healthcare will be critical industries that will continue to grow. Indeed, this is exactly what the H in HEAT (Health care, Education, Aerospace, Tourism) is all about.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

End of Citrus Era in Mesa

Mesa's last major citrus packing plant is permanently closing its doors. This is truly an end of an era and a nod to our change from a rural community to an urban one. While there are still groves to be found in Northeast Mesa, there are far less than there used to be.

Moreover, the spring time smell of citrus isn't as pervasive as it once was and countless groves across the city have given way to subdivisions and shopping centers. Gone, also, are most of the cotton fields that dotted the city and kept things cooler on summer evenings, with the heat escaping into the night sky. These days that heat island continues far into the twighlight hours.

Clearly Mesa has matured, and in some ways, we are finally starting to act like it: long term economic planning, embracing emerging technology and aerospace, joining regional efforts instead of going it alone. While its fun to be nostalgic, the good old days don't need to prevent us from having better days ahead.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Competitive Higher Ed needed

Colleges are interested in Mesa and that is a very good thing. Mayor Smith and the economic development department are looking into the feasibility of attracting universities to build a 24/7 presence in downtown, including a potential medical school.

This is great news for students not only in Mesa, but across the valley as well. For far too long Arizona has been in need of expanded competitive higher education options. For most students, their options appear to be limited to ASU, UofA, NAU, Grand Canyon or community college. Sure, there are other opportunities our there that we probably aren't naming, but the reality is, even if we named every school, they could probably still be counted on two hands.

Cities with far smaller populations boast significantly more higher education opportunities with mulitple private, religious, and specialty options available. Like we have said before ASU Polytechnic is nice, but maybe it is time to stand on its own. Why not a BYU campus in the community with the largest LDS population outside of Utah?

As we have said before, the biggest thing to remember is that this drive for higher education will not happen overnight. It will take some time, but Mesa is doing the right thing to cultivate these opportunities, even if they are faced with some skepticism. Mesa continues to strive to define itself instead of allowing the naysayers to do it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mesa flies solo on Cubs

Now that the spring training effort has failed at the legislature, Mesa has chosen to go it alone to keep the Cubs in town. However, reality is that Mesa has no other choice. The Cubs are critical to the city's economy, and if everyone else in the valley was honest, they would admit that they are critical to spring training as whole.

According to the article, "Mesa's highest monthly sales-tax collections generally come in March, during spring training. Flight traffic at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport also typically spikes during that month."

That is something that we can't live without in the long-term. As it is, the City will now walk the road alone to try to get a deal done to keep the Cubs in Mesa. With Mesa going alone, will it likely end up with a fall election?