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Opinion

Gay: The Fountain Hills Times at 50

I don't know if you noticed, but the Fountain Hills Times 50th Anniversary publication was an interesting historical account of the newspaper and Fountain Hills – It was great! And I …
Opinion

Somo: Court rules in favor of the Town of Fountain Hills

Quoting from the final judgement filed July 9 in Superior Court, “6. On June 4, 2024, this Court entered an Under Advisement Ruling (‘Merits Decision’). The Merits Decision denied …
Opinion

James: Vote to keep Fountain Hills great

I'm confused. These are the things Councilman Friedel is saying in his campaign ads, literature and on social media: Keep Fountain Hills a beautiful place to live. Maintain our quality of life. …
Opinion

Scott: Why I voted for Ginny Dickey

Depending on any allegiance you may have to local candidates, disinformation and deceit may be of little to no concern. That would be, of course, quite troubling since it equates to being devoid of …
Opinion

James: Political signs are fine when they come down on time

Some folks complain about the proliferation of political signs; not me. I am happy to see the large number of different campaign signs come up during the election season. The various campaign …
Opinion

Gifford: Friedel lacks leadership needed to be mayor

Add my name to those opposing Gerry Friedel for mayor. His town council vote to stop the town attorney from defending the town clerk for doing their job in denying the ROT PAC's petitions is a …
Opinion

Kalivianakis: Political culture festering with hate is unacceptable

I recently penned two letters regarding how “aggressive politics are infecting our small towns” and “the impact of PACs on government.” Both pieces suggested that the process …
Opinion

Plencner: Friedel puts Fountain Hills first

A recent writer claims Joe Arpaio is smarter than Joe Biden and should be our mayor.  What a ridiculous notion that is, given Biden's current state. Having viewed Arpaio’s performance …
Opinion

Thomas: The timing of streets talk is telling

At the recent mayoral forum, Councilmember Friedel stated the revenue from the town’s share of the state Vehicle License Tax (VLT) is now all dedicated to streets — and that should have …
Opinion

Culp: Friedel’s ‘Voter Guide’ is revealing

If you are a recipient of Gerry Friedel’s “Voter Guide,” take a minute to read it before depositing it in the recycling bin. Friedel’s “guide” is revealing.   …
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Civility Checklist

How to engage in respectful, honest & civil dialogue about public issues.

Checkmark Take the high road.  Respond to the topic — not the person. Refrain from demonizing others for their opinions. Assume those you disagree with are, like you, genuinely interested in improving the community.

Checkmark Be respectful. Bullying, public humiliation, insults, name-calling, harassment, and threats directed at another person — or that person's race, gender, religion, ethnicity, etc. — have no place in civil discussions. Find ways to respectfully disagree without questioning someone's character or motives.

Checkmark Be truthful. Base your opinions/arguments on facts. Value honesty. Make only accurate statements when making your point and avoid exaggeration and stereotypes. When appropriate, cite your sources of information that others may question. 

Checkmark Don't misrepresent. Always identify your opinions as opinions (not stating opinions as facts). Never misrepresent the views of others or falsely claim your opinions represent someone else. If quoting the words of others, identify and credit the source.

Checkmark Listen  & learn. It's both polite and respectful to listen to those we disagree with (as well as those we support) and be genuine in our attempts to understand their point of view. Expand your mind by thoughtfully seeking out views that don't agree with your own.

CheckmarkLook for common ground. When disagreeing with others, look for even small areas of agreement — which can be the gateway to working together for the greater good.

Checkmark Respect privacy. Keep private things private — whether it involves your own information or those with whom you disagree. Revealing private information about someone else is rude, unethical, potentially harmful and, in many cases, illegal.

Checkmark Set a good example. Practice civil behavior online as well as in public and in your interaction with others. Encourage others to practice these civil behaviors. And it's OK to challenge disrespectful behavior — but be courteous, respectful and helpful in your approach.

Now that you've read the checklist, take the Civility Pledge. 

Your Community Your Voice

Savage: Arpaio has the executive pedigree to be mayor

The upcoming Fountain Hills Town Council and mayoral elections are a hot topic, with some saying Mayor Dickey is the favorite. Really? It was she and fellow Democrats who supported that disgraceful …

Goldberg: Real Intelligence (R.I.) starts early

With Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) taking center stage these days, it is important not to forget about Real Intelligence (R.I.). Remember the saying, “You are what you eat?” Now it …

Dime: Why politically charged unity can’t work

The confrontations between organic unity, the virtue of mutual acceptance, and politically charged unity, the concoction of equity that provokes social conflicts, are palpable. Organic unity, or …
Christopher Towne (Submitted image)

Towne: Henry Male, the bipartisan

Step right up, step right up! Pick a side, any side! The catch: You only have two options. I’ve always despised the division culture that has encompassed not only our country, but our …

Ronca: The choice seems clear

Like many of us, I attended the mayoral candidate forum hosted by the Chamber, FHCCA and sponsored by SRP. What an interesting comparison of positions, experience and vision! But it …

Scott: Let’s rethink fireworks on Independence Day

Humans embrace their entertainment, but at what cost? With Independence Day again upon us, can we reimagine “patriotism?” Studies of fireworks shows indicate “sharp and …

Wolborsky: Candidates who stand out in this election

There are three candidates running for Fountain Hills Town Council who have proven themselves to be informed, polite, well spoken, concerned citizens. All have regularly attended the Fountain Hills …

Long: Who I am voting for

Like you, I am planning to vote soon and again in the fall. Though my choices are private, I can tell you who I am planning to vote for. Not by name, of course, but by character. I am planning …

Florence: Peggy McMahon cares about the future of this town

The last election for Fountain Hills Town Council was damaging to our community. In spite of our respected tradition of running non-partisan elections, we saw candidates campaigning as a slate …

Yeargain: Elect positive, forward thinking candidates

Fountain Hills is at a crossroads. That is obvious just by looking at the campaign signs around town. There is the angry group that installs weirdly hateful signs, designed to alarm …

Friedel: Responding to Schanus-Gohl’s letter

In response to a recent opinion piece by Kathy Schanus-Gohl, I did request an executive session for a recent ethics violation. In reading our Code of Procedure, it clearly states that any ethics …

Price: Peggy McMahon for town council

Everyone has that very quiet friend who listens more than they speak. They take in all the information, listen to all sides, and when they finally have something to say, it is almost always …

Schanus-Gohl: Open versus closed meetings

In a recent campaign mailer sent by Gerry Friedel, he lists some items in his quasi-Fountain Hills Voter Guide which I view as misinformation – at best. One of his points of distinction …

Watts: In response to Kim Bartman’s letter

There is absolutely no doubt that I was extremely disgusted with what I perceived as a lengthy and disingenuous explanation, not an apology, offered by councilperson Kalivianakis at the June 18 town …

Lincoln: Promising CD1 candidate

Neighbors, if you must vote early in the upcoming primary on July 30, do it, but not until you’ve done your legwork on Kim George. She’s the candidate for U.S. House of …

Proctor: Responding to Linda Somo’s comments on signs

In a quick response to Linda Somo’s observations on the proliferation of campaign signs, most will agree that they seem to be everywhere. As a recent Midwest transplant, I’m both amused …

Bill: Discovery Center construction is underway

If you have driven by the library or Community Center, you likely noticed something has changed. Indeed, it has. Construction is now underway for the International Dark Sky Discovery …

Nichols: Who supported this major residential development in Scottsdale?

In 2023 the population of Scottsdale was over 243,000. This population depends on the Colorado River for roughly 90 percent of our water, yet the Colorado River is drying up. …

Donzelli: Why we support Art Tolis for Fountain Hills Town Council

I have been a full-time resident of Fountain Hills for over 25 years and have known Art for almost that entire time. He continues to amaze me with his inspiration, decisiveness and positive vision …

Bartman: Believe them when they show their true colors

If you were present for the mayoral candidate forum and the town council candidate forum, candidates put their best face forward. Do your research. Find out what type of people you are going to help …

Pierce: Things are off kilter in Fountain Hills

Imagine if our town had a progressive mayor who didn’t agree with the public religious comments of a conservative pastor and contacted a different progressive pastor asking, according to the …

Dutton: Ginny Dickey is an exceptional leader

I am writing to endorse Ginny Dickey for re-election as mayor of Fountain Hills. Mayor Dickey is an exceptional leader with a clear vision for our community's future. She has effectively …

Dime: Choose the best candidate based on performance

You can see it, you can feel it: hate, war, inflation, violent crime on the streets, all under Biden’s watch. Biden and his cohorts have done all the evildoings that fake news propagandists …

Somo: Signs are getting out of control

To absolutely not quote Shakespeare, “Now is the summer of our discontent (with political signs) made worse by the proliferation of Arpaio campaign signs.” Seriously, is it really …

Feinberg: Mayor Dickey’s accomplishments

When you decide your vote, please consider the history of accomplishments our incumbent mayor has achieved in three terms. This is a time to vote intelligently for a very dedicated woman, wife, …

Schroder: Why I support Mayor Dickey

Mayor Dickey has my vote.  In a calm and brave way she challenges others to refrain from negative attacks and focus on the issues relevant to the success of Fountain Hills. She is …

James: These negative campaign signs are ridiculous

These ROT signs scattered about are disgusting and reflect directly and poorly on the town and residents. They also have the distinction of being the only negative campaign signs I've seen in …

Culp: Friedel’s actions make him unfit to be our mayor

On June 6, just six days after the closing arguments were submitted, Judge Frank Moskowitz, the judge assigned to the action, “Reclaim Our Town, et al. v. Ginny Dickey, et al. …

Colenso: The power of Independents in an election

Are you unhappy when your chosen candidate wins the primary, and then loses the general election? If so, read on.  Across the country, Republican registered voters are about 30% of the …

Plencner: Fountain Hills should allow for more political signs

I recently drove through Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Phoenix. Along every major thoroughfare were hundreds of candidate signs staked out for the July 30 primary election. This is how we …
Latest regional, state and national issues

Goncalves: Debating the right to vote

The Republicans in the House passed the Save Act which requires voters to provide documentary proof of citizenship at the time of registration. What is wrong with that? One hundred ninety-eight …
Laura Page is a candidate for the Peoria City Council representing the Mesquite District.

Page: Just say 'no' at Peoria's planning commission meeting July 18

As a candidate for city council representing Peoria's Mesquite District, let’s pump the brakes on this fast paced development. I don’t understand what the rush is all about!

Loschiavo: On gun ownership

It’s a terrible shame. People that say others should not have a gun — they should be out. It’s not the guns. If people wanna harm themselves they’ll find other ways …
Tom Patterson

Patterson: Peace through weakness a really bad idea

The warning signs can no longer be ignored. America’s future as a world power is fading.

Swoope: The Supreme Court has thrown out decades of precedence

Be afraid. Be very afraid. The Conservative six justices, having established an imperial Supreme Court, have now established an imperial presidency via the presidential immunity ruling. Only the …
Rhonda Carlson, President & CEO of Peoria Chamber of Commerce

Carlson: New reporting requirements for small businesses carry costly penalties

If you are a business with fewer that 20 employees and annual gross receipts of less that $5 million, chances are you will need to report your Beneficial Ownership Information to the Financial Crimes …
Donald B. Smith

Smith: Data points to heavier trucks making roads more dangerous

Recently released crash and fatality data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscores dangerous and deadly trends gripping the nation’s roads.
Peoria Mayor Jason Beck

Beck: Real-time crime center is in the works

In September, the Peoria City Council unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement to utilize a $2.6 million state grant for the funding of a brand new, state-of-the-art Real-Time Crime Center.

Popp: Add batteries to solar panels?

Is it possible to add batteries to the existing solar panels in our recreation centers parking lots? The objective, in the event of an extended power outage, is to have enough power to run the air …

Martin: Many factors to be considered regarding airport in Peoria

Although this study seems to make it sound like this airport project is the going to be a money machine for the city of Peoria there are other factors to be considered.

Werle: Doesn't agree with news removal

I agree with Bob Wuethrich that news stations should not be removed from the fitness center TVs. Put up a sign reminding folks of acceptable behavior. Do your job and ask someone to leave …

Hays: Must be careful what exactly we're teaching our children

 Family Values? The Future? The Loss of Humanity? What are we teaching our children and ourselves? What have we learned? Does turning back the clock or reversing our history really improve our …

Roberts: Looking for truth in debate

The debate is coming! Personally, I’m not crazy about either one of the candidates, but you can bet your bottom dollar that either Trump or Biden will be our next president. I would prefer …

Williamson: Raising more questions than answers

The article “Airport feasibility study dissected” offers some basic information, yet raises more questions. Nice big round numbers like “$1 billion in revenue” and …

Stillman: Agrees with Smyth opinion

As a Paradise Valley resident, I read the opinion piece written by Joe Smyth in the June 19 edition of the Independent newspaper. Let me state clearly that I completely agree with Mr. Smyth’s …
J. Mark Powell

Powell: The ruler who declared war on the ocean

President Biden’s apparent confusion at campaign events is making headlines, with the GOP releasing videos every time he wanders away from world leaders or seems to shake an imaginary hand.

Dime: Liberty or authority?

Peace and prosperity since WWII has incentivized Americans to focus on personal pleasures and amusement. Self-reliance has been exchanged for dependencies like drug abuse, carnal fantasies, …

Davis: Rest in peace, Officer So

My heartfelt condolences to Detective So’s family and his Scottsdale Police family. I thank all the brave law enforcement men, women and first responders that protect us 24/7. They deserve …

Hover: On the topics of peace and unity

Why is peace and unity so difficult to achieve, not only in world events, but in our own personal lives? Why have so few achieved these two healthy and constructive aspects in their lives? While …

Backer: Defending the former president

Let me start out quoting a banner I recently came across “Mean Tweets-World Peace.” I think this captures my view of President Trump. He tells it like it is (mean to some) and …
Brenda Kalivianakis. (Submitted photo)

Kalivianakis: The impact of PACs on government

Are political action committees (PACs) good for small towns? PACs are backed by special interest money and make deals to influence elected officials and candidates for elected office. The result is …
Michele Steeb

Steeb: Humans, not housing, first

In 2013, the federal government institutionalized Housing First — the provision of permanently subsidized housing — as the nation’s exclusive approach to homelessness.

Resident opposed to airport in Peoria

I definitely am opposed to this proposed new airport in Peoria.

Speak Up: Former Gov. Ducey on witness list in Arizona AG’s fake electors case

Four years ago, Gov. Doug Ducey ignored a call from Donald Trump. Trump was trying to stay in office as president even though he lost the election. Ducey was certifying the results of the election in Arizona that was won by Joe Biden. Now, Attorney General Kris Mayes is going to use the former governor as part of her attempt to put some of Trump's associates, attorneys and political supporters behind bars.

Curtis: Vote for medical funding

Much higher spending levels for biomedical research are clearly needed.
Ben Olinsky

Point: The legitimacy of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance

During John Roberts’ confirmation hearing as chief justice in 2005, he claimed that the “primary check on the courts has always been judicial self-restraint.” Sen. Sam Brownback, …
May Mailman

Counterpoint: Calls for ‘ethics reform’ are disingenuous and dangerous

Americans deserve a government dedicated to America’s best interests, not the highest bidder.

Mynars: Seeing history repeat itself

With the heat of the summer upon us, I suspect many of you are spending your afternoons inside watching TV. But is it a good expenditure of your time? To me, “good TV” is an oxymoron, but …

Goncalves: Biden should pay for flights

The Biden administration is so worried about climate change and promises to cut carbon pollution in half. They have put in so many regulations which are hurting people and businesses. So... I …

Hansen: Respect international criminal courts

“The effects of the use of starvation as a method of warfare ... against the civilian population of Gaza are acute, visible and widely known, and have been confirmed by multiple witnesses …