Another attempt to get Arizona voters to approve recreational marijuana was rolled out last week. This follows rejection last year by only 51% of those casting a ballot. With the next general election more than 14 months away, prepare to be bombarded with information and spin.

Americans have been dealing this week with two more mass shootings that killed 31 people last weekend. In light of that, Gov. Doug Ducey had some very timely remarks last week about his ongoing effort to detain people deemed dangerous. Of course, with the number of mass killings in recent ye…

The Arizona Court of Appeals has ruled that residents have a constitutional right to online privacy that goes above what they have under the U.S. Constitution. For that, they can thank the Arizona Constitution, which says: “No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home inv…

Despite summer heat and the occasional monsoon storm, Arizona is a great place for outdoor activity most of the time. That led to new bases to train a huge number of military pilots in the World War II era, which introduced many to the then-lightly populated state. And it also led to making …

As Pinal County schools open for the new year, educators once again are striving to obtain the best results from their students. At the same time, some Arizona leaders continue to seek the best as well. Arizonans long have sought to raise achievement in education, and the job is not easy.

A large number of Americans have been troubled by gridlock in Washington, so some hopeful signs this month are welcome. One is over immigration, which has been a big issue in Arizona for years while politicians have been unwilling to work together on any meaningful reforms. This has led to h…

Pinal County’s population grew rapidly in this century because of a land shortage to build homes in Maricopa County and the fact that land was cheaper in Pinal. That is still the case, although housing in Pinal has become less affordable. Since the Great Recession, when a huge inventory of h…

According to federal statistics, a third of teenagers smoked in 1997, and only 9% in 2015. The bad news is that use of electronic cigarettes has risen from 0.6% in 2011 to 20% recently. Vaping is billed as a desirable substitute for smoking, but for millions of teens becoming addicted, it cl…

President Trump has found an alternative to a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. census, which would have played out in court because of Democratic opposition. Immigration is an issue that greatly affects Arizona and Pinal County, but another one is the subject of an executive order from …

Planning for Interstate 11, which could connect Pinal County to Las Vegas and destinations much farther, has continued for several years. In these days when infrastructure funding is often lacking, such a project sometimes seems to be fantasy, yet it makes sense and very well could happen. A…

Even though Casa Grande has a beautiful new Community Recreation Center, some of its major new buildings are old enough that the city has paid down much of its debt. That means the secondary tax rate is falling considerably this year, giving the City Council an option of raising the primary …

Americans always have celebrated the Fourth of July in a big way, as well they should. It’s a day to have some fun while also appreciating the steps some patriots took in the 1770s to establish a nation based on principles that were new at the time. Unfortunately, they have not become univer…

Pinal has long been the state’s third most populous county, but traditionally it was quite rural in nature. That has changed with rapid growth in the 21st century. Sandwiched between the two metropolitan areas in a major Sun Belt state, Pinal is piling up population increases that had long b…

After years of intense battle between the town of Florence and Florence Copper, a settlement may be on the horizon. A 5-2 vote by the Town Council toward that end occurred Friday, and that is a major change in stance. It followed a $1.7 million judgment the company won and signs that some re…

Arizona’s leaders recently dealt with a pending shortage of Colorado River water. While a wet winter and spring may have delayed the problem, it won’t go away and will need future intervention. At least decisions were made to cope.

The population in Arizona and Pinal County is growing, making the state a much larger force than it was in earlier times. Meanwhile, some areas are shrinking, at least in the number of students in school. That is creating a challenge for those responsible for operating schools in those areas…

The Arizona Court of Appeals has rejected an argument from Pinal County Assessor Douglas Wolf regarding classification of ranch land. The unanimous ruling was the correct one, saying that the land should not be reclassified as vacant, which would mean more property taxes for the owner.

Americans generally take a dim view of the pay and perks received by their elected officials, but those people should be compensated to the point that public service is not an excessive burden. There is much to be said for having regular folks, and not just the wealthy, in statehouses and Co…

Americans know well about the gridlock in Congress, and many of them are tired of it. There is no better example than with the immigration issue. It has been a major campaign theme of President Trump for years, and Democrats have no intention of giving him a legislative victory. Meanwhile, t…

Casa Grande City Council members were obviously reluctant as they asked questions about a change they no doubt knew they had to make. The discussion at a study session Monday evening was about a staff recommendation to suspend the decades-old curbside recycling program. For many years reside…

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors last week reviewed a plan to borrow money and construct some new buildings. Meanwhile, the board reviewed a budget that calls for a 4-cent decrease in the property tax rate. Both developments can be seen as a sign of growth in the county and managing Pin…

The Arizona Legislature finally finished work on its budget late on Memorial Day and adjourned a session that was longer than some. Criticism usually follows adjournment, but the legislators actually did a pretty good job of allocating the revenue that comes from a good economy. In doing tha…

Pinal County communities, along with those all over the nation, on Monday will be honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. At Mountain View Cemetery, the Casa Grande Memorial Day event will be put on, beginning at 9 a.m., by J. Warren Funeral Services and variou…

The Arizona Legislature is dealing with its typical end-of-session battle — passing a budget. The session started at the beginning of the calendar year and has extended longer than it does sometimes. The big challenge now is to get the budget done, as the beginning of the fiscal year is litt…

Arizona’s primary elections are likely to be a few weeks earlier because of a bill passed by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Doug Ducey. On balance that seems like a good change, although it means more weeks of political signs and robocalls.

Arizona’s public safety retirement program has had challenges for years. Local governments have had to strain their budgets to keep up with rising pension costs and in some cases avoid hiring first responders because of it.

The city of Casa Grande opened its long-awaited Community Recreation Center on Monday, and it is an amenity that was worth the wait. The center was built largely with bonds approved by voters 13 years ago. It was put on hold during the Great Recession as a budget squeeze would have made oper…

Concern has been expressed for years about the potential of robots taking more jobs away. Some of that recently has focused on self-driving vehicles, as many Americans get a paycheck as drivers. However, a trend seems to be developing, and it might be beneficial with the amount of traffic se…

Casa Grande has had a homeless problem for years, something that the city government and various organizations have attempted to deal with. The new CGHELPS Resource Center in Peart Park represents a major, coordinated effort that should be beneficial.

The Arizona Legislature is working toward passage of a budget, which normally is the culmination of the session. Last year a major increase in teacher pay was a priority, and this year Gov. Doug Ducey is pushing compensation for corrections officers. That is important, especially because the…

Central Arizona College has a budget for the year beginning July 1 that calls for a slight tax decrease. Meanwhile, the college is expecting a little more funding from its local property tax: $1 million. That is the result of growth in total property values, and the college seems to be budge…

Arizona’s population has been growing rapidly again, and much of that change is occurring in Pinal County. According to recent U.S. Census estimates, Maricopa County led the statistics with 81,000 new residents from 2017 to 2018. Pinal County was a strong second at 15,000, while other counti…

As the annual session of the Legislature drags on, Sen. David Farnsworth decided his colleagues could benefit from a showing of the classic Jimmy Stewart film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” A handful of them, along with staff, attended. Perhaps the legislators taking in the 1939 movie were …

After years of talk, Arizona will have a ban on using hand-held phones while driving. Gov. Doug Ducey has pledged to sign a good bill passed by the Legislature. Although it will not go into effect until the beginning of 2021, having a good law will be worth the wait.

After years of anticipation, Robert Mueller’s report is out. It says that President Trump and his associates did not collude with Russians, which has been apparent for a long time. Political arguments will rage through the 2020 election, but the president’s critics are sounding more hollow now.

Decades ago, Casa Grande had little traffic, and getting across town took only a few minutes. Now the city is bigger, and the number of cars on the streets has grown exponentially. This is compounded by shoppers who come in from outside and thousands of people who flock to the community in t…

President Trump has signed legislation for the multistate Drought Contingency Plan to deal with future shortage on the Colorado River, although a legal challenge is pending. The fact that Arizonans — and residents in other states — worked out the plan is commendable. But because of longstand…

Chemistry does wonderful things for modern civilization, but in recent decades many harmful effects have been found as well. Some of that harm has come in practices of the U.S. military, partially because of the dangerous and challenging nature of the job it does.

An attempt in the Legislature to amend the state’s minimum wage law is dead. Perhaps that is for the better, but it will affect some people negatively. It also points out once again problems that can arise when laws are enacted by a vote of the people without bipartisan input from the Legislature.

Major illegal immigration has been a divisive issue that has remained unresolved by Congress for years, but that has increased during the presidency of Donald Trump. He early on made the border one of his major campaign points, and Democrats in Congress have no interest in agreeing to anythi…

State Rep. John Fillmore, who earlier represented much of Pinal County and now is in a district including northern Pinal plus non-Pinal areas, is again pushing legislation that would consolidate school districts. This is a concept that long has seemed like a source of efficiency but has been…

Casa Grande lost one of its outstanding citizens on March 27 with the death of David Hernandez. The longtime educator made a major impact in his field and also through public service in other ways.

Serving in the Arizona Legislature is not the most desirable job in the world, yet the state is fortunate to have had many qualified public servants. At the same time, a surprising number of ethics problems have arisen among the legislators over the years. The resignation last week of embatt…

Much discussion has been heard about a need for charter school reform in Arizona. After problems and abuses have been pointed out over a period of years, there was a bipartisan effort to pass a useful bill in the Legislature. But now that has unraveled, and it is unclear why, except for perh…

Drawing political boundaries, especially for legislative and congressional seats, always is controversial because so much is at stake. This is normally done every 10 years after a new census is complete, but sometimes court action causes it to be redone. Traditionally the districts have been…

Political parties always worry about election law and procedure, which is natural because the parties live and die by that. Much of the rhetoric can be ignored, and any changes in the law should be considered carefully.

The Arizona Senate has passed a charter school reform bill that does not have enough substance to gain support from Democrats. The bill now goes to the House, where Democrats will try to amend it and perhaps be able to make it better.

Prisoners have a right to confidential communication with their attorneys. However, when the inmate has been accused of trying to perpetrate terror against the institution where he’s incarcerated while abusing that communication, there is a problem. Now a solution has been reached that shoul…

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