BY BECKY FENGER | OCTOBER 3, 2012
Airheads in our midst
As if we needed further proof that civilization is on a downward spiral, last week someone stole my garbage can. Yup, the big fat green plastic one provided by the city. At first I thought a kind soul might have just taken it out for a walk with intentions of returning it to the only home it has ever known. Nope, that was not to be. After 72 hours and with a heavy heart, I filed a missing can report.
I was informed by the garbage container guru that there has been a rash of such thefts in the city. Who could have guessed? The epitome of brazenness, he informed me, occurred when someone stole one of their big 100-gallon black containers and placed it on Craig's List for sale! They got pinched, as all criminals should be, but the thefts go on.
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While I was getting dressed the other day, a voice from the radio was asking, "Do you have money for a down payment, but don't qualify for a mortgage?" This query got my attention, since no good can come of doing again what we did as a national policy which led to the housing bust that collapsed the American economy. But there was Cove Financial Group, literally mapping out the same disastrous course with their Mortgage Alternative Program (MAP) plan.
"Pick out a house and move into it today, then take six years to qualify," the ad continued. That's just what we need: trolling to get people into homes they can't afford that takes the Jaws of Life to extricate these squatters from the property. What could go wrong here? Will we never, ever learn?
So, in honor of our dying economy, I dressed in black.
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Speaking of dying economies, last month a political operative forecast that the City of Glendale will file for bankruptcy. It couldn't happen to a more deserving mayor. It seems like just yesterday the Arizona's newspaper of record was printing a lengthy puff piece about Elaine Scruggs' nearly two decades at the helm, claiming it will take someone with big feet to fill Elaine's shoes. Hell, it will take someone with a magic wand to fill the coffers of Glendale instead.
Mayor Scruggs is retiring when her term expires this year and was honored yesterday as West Valley Women's 2012 Woman of the Year at the Arizona Broadway Theatre in Peoria (go figure). Honoring the female who was so anxious to put Glendale and the West Valley "on the map" that she and her sports-crazed accomplices sunk almost $200 million into an arena for the Coyotes hockey team and then spent $200 million more for a spring training complex for Cactus League baseball.
The City of Scottsdale wisely ran for the hills when developer Steve Ellman wouldn't show them his financials for building the arena at McDowell Road, but Scruggs rushed in to promise the moon and stars, along with crippling maintenance costs, for feathers in her wifty hat.
So I guess that was good reason to hoist a toast to Mayor Scruggs and her swaggering city manager who are leaving Glendale in shambles.
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Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt spoke at a forum last Thursday in honor of National Public Lands Day. This is the same man who said on the NBC Today Show ten years ago: “There’s really nothing we can do to fireproof the forests … What we must do is look inward to our own homes and build fire-resistant housing."