17 June 2009

Tempe Towing Scam

Scam Alert!

Last night was Ignite Phoenix #4 which we held at the Tempe Center for the Arts and it as awesome. We had at least 500 people there and everyone was super cool. The after party was at La Bocca wine bar near 7th and Mill Ave and it was that intersection when the evening took a turn for the dreadful.

I pulled into a semi empty lot at about 10pm and parked to go to La Bocca. There were 6 other cars and a few taxis in the lot and I assumed things would be cool. Well in Tempe this is the wrong assumption. When I came out of La Bocca at 11:30 my car was gone and so were most of the other cars that were there.

A nice group of folks from Ignite Phoenix were there as well because their cars were gone as well. Jay Thompson (@phxreguy) has a good write up here.

24 April 2008

Nikki Buchanan fired

'Phoenix Magazine' fires longtime dining critic

She said much of the friction that led to her dismissal can be traced to a negative review last winter of Luc's, a pricey, fine-dining Scottsdale restaurant. In response to the column, the unhappy parties - owners of the El Pedregal shops and the Boulders Resort - pulled their advertising.

I used to enjoy listening to Nikki Buchanan when she had a weekend show on KFYI a few years back. Her program was a treat, and a shining ray of light from a station that is built on broadcasting wingnut venom. She was upbeat and always an interesting listen.

Props to her for standing up against the advertising moneyed interests.

29 January 2008

Show me a sick metropolitan area and I’ll show you cowardly, stupid, crappy local media

Former Arizona Republic business columnist Jon Talton takes aim at Valley media. Talton has relocated to Seattle, and I was delighted to discover his blog.

Another blogger took it as another opportunity to once again elude logic and reason, to attack his long time nemesis Talton, who he's been stalking for years.

Talton was famous as the leftist business columnist who recycled the same three columns each week: Globalization is going to take your job, the real estate economy isn't sustainable and Arizona Sucks.

I love it how Patterson terms anyone he disagrees with as "leftist". Paul Craig Roberts, former Reagan assistant treasury secretary, as well as many notable conservatives (including Pat Buchanan, Bruce Fein, etc.…) have all written articles on globalization's devastation to middle class Americans. And the bubble has yet to burst on the real estate economy, but the storm is certainly visible on the horizon.

22 August 2006

John Dougherty gone

Arizona's premier investigative journalist, John Dougherty, has quit his Phoenix New Times post. It's really a shame, even if Dougherty's work is not noted by many — discounted because his articles run in the alernative press weekly Phoenix New Times. But Dougherty has served as a courageous muckraker in taking on corruption and malfeasance of Valley authority figures, where mainstream media entites scurry away enraputured with "avoidance at all cost" philosophy when it comes to coverage on Arizona power brokers.

For years, Dougherty has reported on corruption and misdeeds of Sheriff Arpaio's office and on the plight of polygamous Mormon sects in Arizona. Recent targets in Dougherty's crosshairs include county attorney Andrew Thomas, the Phoenix Coyotes, state secretary Jan Brewer and the state government's disdain for the Havasupai.

Here is an interview John Dougherty did with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! on the topic of John McCain a few years back.

11 May 2005

Valley Hispanic boycott called a success

Yesterday was pronounced Day Without Hispanics by Arizona Hispanic leaders to protest recent actions by the state legislature.
Several restaurants, carwashes, construction companies and golf courses reported higher absenteeism. Some, such as Baja Fresh Downtown, closed for the day. Lombardi's Restaurant at Arizona Center limited its menu to salads and pastas because of a reduced kitchen crew.

Some roofing companies were crippled by the boycott. An office worker who answered the phone at Catalina Roofing and Supply in Phoenix said none of the company's 160 roofers showed up for work Tuesday.

At San Tan Roofing and Superstition Carpentry in Gilbert, half of the company's 150 roofers and 400 of its 700 framers didn't show up for work, Chief Financial Officer William McGlothlin said. Ninety percent of the company's workforce is Hispanic.

Some of my thoughts on illegal immigration, no doubt repeated from past missives…

  • I have no sympathy for employers who rely upon illegal aliens for their labor force composition. This is where the problem could be really nipped in the bud, if punitive measures were taken against those who provide the greatest incentive for illegal immigration. Until such actions are taken, no other proposed solution will have any significant effect. The argument that my company must hire illegals because the competition does holds no sway with me, as I believe one must always choose the ethical road.

  • I am opposed to any guest worker proposals, as any such programs will in effect render a whole class of people as sub-humans, not entitled to the same rights as Americans, which is totally un-American in my belief. Sure, it will be dressed up in euphemistic wrappers, but bottom line is it will be the equivalent of legalized indentured servitude, with little recourse for those who are on the receiving end of employer abuse and injustice. Not being accorded official "citizen" status should not translate to victim of abuse, or even preferential worker over American citizen.

  • The notion of a huge economic impact due to the curtailment of illegal immigration is total nonsense. The scare mongering that lettuce will cost $10 a head is ridiculous, and recent labor protests have illustrated this clearly — tomato gatherers for Taco Bell recently received double wages after a successful public relations campaign, yet the contract firm was barely dented in their inbound profit flow. Tennis shoes have a raw production cost of a dollar, but they are sold to Americans for $50 and greater. Labor costs amount to a very small sliver of the pie, in just about all fields of commerce and industry.

  • If there is truly a need to import more workers, then fast track provisions should be implemented to allot more legal immigration resulting in more American citizens. Such arguments should undergo critical scrutiny, as employers will always argue that there is a shortage of workers, when they actually mean there is a "shortage of workers willing to work at the wages they are offering".

  • Nothing happens in a vacuum. Illegal immigration brings undesireable elements that accompany honest, hard working folks. It causes deterioration to neighborhoods and a strain on already impacted community resources. Basically, it's a form of corporate welfare where employer receives benefits of a captive labor force whilst other Arizonans must pay (or suffer) for additional services rendered, be it police, school, hospital, park, city or whatever. The most critical of these unintended consequences, is the lowered security and danger introduced to Arizonans.

  • The buck stops with the Bush administration, and simply, they are reneging on their obligation to secure the borders and have turned a blind eye to the problem. But it probably would be no different under a Gore or Kerry administration either, as both parties refuse to address an issue that many Americans feel should be on top of the priority list.

I rarely agree with conservative columnist Thomas Sowell, but this column by him lays out some truths, even if I disagree with his points about a "living wage". He glosses over the natural phenomenon that wages tend to sink to just above subsistence level, and that for many illegal aliens, subsistence level is a mark well below that of an American worker, as there is acceptance of dormitory living and the meager leftover wages are sent back to Mexico, where the dollar goes a lot further.

27 January 2005

Sediment in the water?

Maybe the recent Phoenix water debacle was the result of a security lapse that resulted in a terrorist attack.

I've lived here since 1978, and nothing of this sort has ever happened, and yet it has rained, and water-treamtent plants have been shut. Ask some tough questions, Republic. At best this is a story of corporate contamination.

I assure you, it is not "sediment."

Perhaps it's just a little paranoia.

The same people who masterminded the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, set out to give the people of Phoenix the runs.

What next? Maybe they will increase the uric acid in our food supply and give us all gout!

I need to get into the bomb-shelter business because there is obviously a market for them with the amount of fear in this country.

11 September 2004

I don't know what he's talking about

The words of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in response to Phoenix New Times reporter John Dougherty's questions about his public records requests. The Arizona Republic article only briefly mentioned what Dougherty's reporting has uncovered on questionable doings at the Maricopa County Sheriff Office. I don't believe the Arizona Republic (or even the city's flagship AM news station) have even given a peep to the substantive charges brought forth by that alternative weekly periodical. The article in the Arizona Republic even put the onus of a disturbance on the reporter asking questions, and not the heavy handed treatment dealt out to inquiries made on behalf of the public.
Dougherty was quickly headed off by a contingent of sheriff's deputies, who blocked his path and jostled him into onlookers, including Andrew Thomas, the newly nominated Republican candidate for Maricopa County attorney.

Arpaio kept mum as Dougherty repeated his question, and the security scrum grew as the room quieted.

Yeah, such a security risk, asking all those questions…

One of the Arizona Republic "official" bloggers even trumpeted Joe's victory, celebrating "egg on their face", directed at what Mr. Genrich termed Phoenix New Times "hit pieces".

The New Times recently published a hit piece about Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio handily won his primary race.

Which leads me to ask why is the Arizona Republic such a chickenshit publication that's serving as nothing more than a shill for the corporate and governmental local power base? Again, the investigative reporting by Dougherty has revealed some serious issues on how MCSO is being managed:

  • Gestapo type tactics in harassing political opponents.
  • Refusal to release public records.
  • Preferential treatment to celebrities and sons and daughters of the privileged, in return for campaign coffer contributions. This, to me, is a serious charge, and I cannot believe that the state's "paper of record" would ignore this scandalous discovery.
  • Arpaio's concealed commercial real estate transactions and any possible impropriety from such dealings.

The lack of attention to these reports by both Arizona Republic and KTAR is an affront to responsible journalism. It's become nothing more than a glorified PR organ. Minus the AP news releases reprinted, I can't see much else of substance there…