Archive for September, 2009

27th September
2009
written by JHiggins

Man Vs. Food, Meet Lindy’s on Fourth

Posted by Adam Borowitz on Fri, Sep 11, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Lindy’s on Fourth, a burger joint at 431 N. Fourth Ave. that is co-owned by and named after former Che’s Lounge doorman Lindy Reilly, will be the focus of an upcoming episode of the Travel Network’s Man Vs. Food.

The taping is scheduled to take place Friday, Sept. 25.

“I almost cried,” Reilly said about the news. “I have busted my ass for so long, so this kind of validation means so much. I’ve sacrificed my health, my marriage, so much. … It’s kind of like watching your kid graduate, you know?”

The show’s star, Adam Richman, will attempt to eat the O.M.F.G.—a three-pound monstrosity made up of 12 patties, 12 slices of cheese and all the fixings.

Reilly said anyone who eats the O.M.F.G in less than 20 minutes gets it for free. He said about one out of every 20 attempts is successful: “There’s a high failure rate,” he said, chuckling.

This whole thing is great news for several reasons: First off, Lindy is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and although he’s one of the place’s owners, it’s common to find him flipping burgers right alongside the other cooks. Down-to-earth dedication like that deserves notice, which he’ll get plenty of, thanks to this development.

Second of all, this will put one of our hometown eateries on the national map, which is good for Lindy’s—and good for our city as a whole.

Reilly, who was trying out a new burger topped with a green chile tamale when we called, said he’ll be spending the next two weeks getting ready for the hordes that will descend on the tiny burger joint once the news gets out.

The show is scheduled to air on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

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25th September
2009
written by JHiggins

By Joe Higgins, and Chris DeSimone – Inside Tucson Business
Published on Friday, September 25, 2009

You’ve quietly mumbled under your breath while watching the evening news. You’ve commiserated with colleagues at lunch. You may have even taken the time to write an e-mail or call the office of one of our elected officials. A handful of you may have even showed up at a city council meeting, taken your three minutes of fame at the podium delivering a speech that would make Jimmy Stewart proud. Or maybe you rationalized that you’re too busy. That someone else will carry the load. You wrote a check to a business association or chamber of commerce so your work is done. 

What have your efforts accomplished?

Try higher property taxes, increased bed taxes, taxes on tanning salons, ballooning utility costs, more regulations and red tape, a rotting city core, larger pot holes, scarier streets, more graffiti, less baseball and a whole lot more vacancies. As business people, we want to believe Tucson welcomes our entrepreneurial spirit. We tuck in each night dreaming of a community that wants us to succeed. They appreciate the hard work and risks we take. After all small business is the economic engine the politicians all love to brag about. Dream’s over – time to wake up!

Our current flock of elected officials seem to have little interest in supporting you or making your road to riches any easier. You’re in this community to be taxed, regulated and demonized. If you’ve made a business career here you’ve really done something special. 

Want to know how we got here? Take a look around. How many of our local politicos have ever owned their own business? How many have built a successful career in the private sector? How many have spent their careers in nonprofit or government jobs? Most have risen from the ranks of the progressive party machines. Are there exceptions?  We guess so.

Let us share the real problem the business community has in our region. Our politicians don’t get us. They don’t respect us. And they certainly don’t fear us.

Since the dawn of the democracy, when elections come around politicians count votes. Environmental lobbies, neighborhood associations, unions and university and government employees vote. When a politician’s primary goal is to get re-elected or move to a higher office, catering to the groups that walk the streets, pick up the phones and show up at rallies is perceived as essential to future success.

What are we as a business community to do? For starters, we need to identify strong pro-business candidates then truly support them. The heat will get turned up on you or your business but you must take a stand. A trite chamber of commerce endorsement isn’t going to cut it.

We must ensure that our elected officials are true friends of business. If they aren’t we must take them out of office in a strong and swift show of force. When we do win a seat, the business community needs to remind the other sitting officials that we have the power to influence an election. Once they fear us, they will respect us. Once they fear us, they will listen to us. Once they fear us, things will change.

Don’t fall back on your indifference. Don’t go back to watching “Dancing With The Stars” or “The Biggest Loser.” Sure, we can continue to wait and hope someone else will carry the load but how’s that worked out for us so far?

Wake up business community. Wake up Tucson.

Early ballots will be arriving in mailboxes Oct. 8. If you haven’t requested an early ballot, call (520) 740-4330. Any registered voter in the city of Tucson can vote for any of the six council candidates running. This is a partisan race — for now — and it’s not limited to individual ward-only voting. Inform your employees, family and friends of what is at stake in this election. Research the candidates and measure results.

Vote.

Contact Joe Higgins at joe@joehigginsinc.com or Chris DiSimone at provenpartners@comcast.net. They’re the hosts of “Wake Up Tucson,” which airs 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. weekdays on The Voice KVOI 1030-AM. Information about the show is online at WakeUpTucson.net

23rd September
2009
written by JHiggins

Is a dramatic OV council hearing, David Andrews was terminated tonight by a 4-3 vote. After motions, open meeting law violation accusations, recesses and a dramatic call to the audience the Mayor Loomis had the votes to oust the long time town manager David Andrews.  Andrews rose from the finance department to steward the town through 18 years of balanced growth and a high quality of life. Mayor Paul Loomis, KC Carter, Paula Abbott and Al Kunisch voted to terminate and Bill Garner, Salette Latas and Barry Gillaspie voted to retain the town manager.  Abbot strangely eluded to “reasons that shouldn’t be made public” as grounds for termination.

The entire process was highly questionable and not very forthcoming by the majority. I’ve personally had an opportunity to work with and spend considerable time with Andrews and found him to be a true champion for Oro Valley. He’s invested in the community and after 18 years in town management I think the results judge for themselves. 

Here’s one guy that’s happy with tonights vote:

Dr. Hiremath is a candidate for Mayor Loomis’ job as Mayor of Oro Valley.  This termination may be the end of Loomis and those on the wrong side of the vote.  Keep and eye on Let Oro Valley Excel which is listed in the blog rolls on Tucson Choices.

Tune in to Wake Up Tucson tomorrow morning at 6am on 1030 am. You’re going to get an earful.

Got a note for Mayor Loomis? Here’s his contact info (520) 229-4700 or ploomis@orovalley.net
 

23rd September
2009
written by Arizona Kid

We ran a blog post here a couple days ago from Oscar Martinez, a tenured professor from the UofA. The gist of the story was the UofA is declining, class sizes have ballooned beyond control and the ship isn’t being steered correctly. He singled out UofA provost, Meredith Hay in particular. As a tenured professor I guess he’s got some job security or at least a lot of confidence in what he’s doing. Here’s the money quote from last weeks editorial:

Provost Meredith Hay, in particular, has become a lightning rod and legions of faculty and administrators would like to see her vacate her post.

Today another opinion comes out in the Star from UofA President, Robert Shelton and none other than – Meredith Hay.  It’s a great cover your tail piece about tough budget times, openness is decision processes and all kinds of fun stuff. Read the article HERE.

We’ve commented on this blog before on the UofA’s ineffectiveness on creating jobs for our local community. They graduate 4000 plus eager young minds per year and we watch them leave our community because of a lack of jobs or economic opportunity.  A university in your town can do a lot more than support a few college bars and wreck havoc with neighborhood infill developments. Take a look at Univ of Texas – Austin or the research triangle with North Carolina and Duke and you can see how powerful a force a good university can be in your local community.

I guess Shelton and Hay tried to make the leap that they are going their part to make Arizona a better place:

• Second, which units have the greatest outreach and impact on the citizens of our state? Our mission to serve the entire state and support its citizens is of the utmost importance during the financial crisis.
• And third, which units will most likely have a positive economic impact on the state, with an emphasis on job creation and growth? If the state of Arizona is to recover and stabilize its own revenues, then the university has a duty to protect and invest in those areas where the university has the greatest impact on job and business growth.
How about you use the resources of your university to analyze best practices from around the country. How about a study to find out how many undergrads or post graduate students actually stay in Tucson or the state.  How about publishing a status report on why the UofA opened a medical campus in Phoenix without the important residency programs. It’s proven that where doctors do there residency is where they will most likely end up. Great $400m investment guys.
22nd September
2009
written by Arizona Kid

As an economic development professional with a college education in Criminal Justice, the causal link between crime and jobs is almost an instinctive reality for me. However, every once in awhile an example of the relationship comes along that is so clear it should cause every single citizen to pause.

Last week’s Arizona Daily Star featured a story about a local company which, after 25 years in business, is considering leaving the city or closing down completely because of violent attacks on their staff. Readers should know that this business is not located in an area that anyone would consider a “high risk” section of Tucson.


The same morning that the article appeared in the paper I visited the business to offer what little help I could. Two things stood out in my conversation with a representative of the business. First; other than the police, no official of the City of Tucson had contacted the business with a similar offer of assistance – not City Council members, not economic development officials nor neighborhood association representatives. Second; this businessperson suggested that I should also speak with another business across the street. And upon meeting with them, I was directed to two additional businesses in the area that have been plagued by crime.

One of these business owners estimated that the direct costs of specific crimes against their business totaled well into the five-figure range. How much of these monies could that business owner have reinvested in pay raises for employees or donated to local charitable causes if they did not have to expend them on simply protecting themselves?

I recently spoke with another business that now has a policy of leaving the rear doors to all their service trucks open when they are left in the company yard each evening. Their hopeful strategy is that this will reduce the significant costs of having to replace or repair doors pried open by criminals seeking tools to steal.

There are volumes of research and reports by sociologists, psychologists, criminologists and economic development professionals of the link between the economic opportunity and crime. If you have doubts, try an Internet search of the phrase “crime and economic development”. And so a vicious cycle begins; the less opportunity people have to achieve their goals through gainful employment, the higher the likelihood of resorting to crime. The higher the crime rate, the less likely a businessperson is to locate their company in that area.

What implications does that have for a city like Tucson, consistently ranked as both one of the most dangerous cities in America AND one of the least business friendly?

Elected officials must show the courage to set proper priorities and then see them through. Tucsonans should expect nothing less.

Please take a moment to read Jerry Sullivan’s excellent piece at the New Geography website Tucsonans should particularly take note of Mr. Sullivan’s admonishment;

“Now is the time for elected officials to trade across-the-board mentalities on budget cuts for a sharpened sense of priorities. They should heed the vicious cycle and find money for more cops to help keep the cynics and criminals at bay while the rest of us make an honest effort to slug our way through tough times.”

To say “ Well, we didn’t cut the police and fire budget as much as other agencies” is akin to agreeing that we must travel to Phoenix and then claiming success because sufficient fuel was provided to travel to Casa Grande instead of just Marana. We still didn’t get to Phoenix.

If you think that is proper governance, try explaining it to the employees of a local business who may soon be the double victims of crime and the loss of their jobs.

Ben Buehler-Garcia is a candidate for Tucson City Council. He is a thirty-year resident of Ward III and has over twenty years of professional experience in economic & community development.

22nd September
2009
written by Arizona Kid

 Back in 2006 TPD put together a proposal to Mayor and Council regarding police staffing and funding levels. Check out the report on the City of Tucson’s web site. Guess what the target of officers per 1000?

We are currently hoovering at 1.9 per 1000 with a goal by 2011 of 2.4 per 1000.  Slides number 7 and 8 tell the whole story.

19th September
2009
written by admin

1992: Developed a Child-
Friendly City strategy with the
City of Tucson.
1996: Families in South-
Central Tucson organized for a
recreation center, resulting in
the $5-million Kino Veterans
Memorial Center.
• Out of a PCIC Bottom-Up
Economic Summit with
business leaders, clergy,
politicians and school officials,
the job training program, Job
Path was conceived.
1996-98: Expanded
citizenship classes through the
Pima County Adult Education
Centers, enabling over 2,000
people to prepare for U.S.
Citizenship.
1997: Held a crime summit at
Santa Cruz Church and
enacted neighborhood
strategies that contributed to a
30% reduction in crime in
South Tucson.
• Initiated a $10-million Pima
County bond package for
neighborhood reinvestment.
Through PCIC’s efforts, it
passed as a historic first for
affordable housing.
• Joined with the Adult
Education Community to fight
for $2.25-million for a Pima
County bond package for
construction of the El Pueblo
Liberty Adult Learning Center
Included in this voter-approved
bond package was the building
of the El Rio Adult Learning
Center.
• Developed School Plus Jobs—
a highly successful drop-out
prevent ion program at
Sunnyside High School.
1998: Job Path was
established: an innovative,
long-term job education
s t r a t e gy th a t t r a in s
u n e m p l o y e d a n d
underemployed adults for
living wage jobs.
• PCIC was the driving force
behind the Living Wage
Ordinance, which impacts
work contracted out by the
City.
2000: PCIC joined with sister
organizations across Arizona
establishing the Arizona
Interfaith Network (AIN). A
Human/Family Development
Agenda was crafted and
ratified by a statewide
audience of 4,000. AIN is able
to take positions and lobby at
the AZ State Legislature on
behalf of families represented
by the Network.
2002: PCIC prompted Pima
County to adopt a Living
Wage Ordinance similar to the
City’s.
2003: Collaborated with the
Diocese of Tucson and St. John
Catholic Church to open the
Casa San Juan Immigrant
Center.
2003-04: Contributed to
securing continued funding for
Adult Education in the face of
legislative recommendation for
elimination.
2004: Secured another $10-
million for affordable housing
into a bond package passed by
Pima County voters.
• PCIC was instrumental in the
development of the Pima
County Housing Trust Fund — a
revenue stream for the
construction of affordable
housing.
2004: Was successful in
opposition to Proposition 200,
the Protect Arizona Now
Initiative. PCIC collected over
3,800 early ballot requests and
ran a campaign of educational
forums, mailings, phone
banking, neighborhood
walks, and multi-layered
actions in congregations.
Although Prop. 200 passed
statewide, it was defeated by
voters in Pima County.
2005: 15th Anniversary
accomplishments:
• April 15 – 15th Anniversary
Celebration, Our Mother of
Sorrows Church.
• October 9 – 15th
Anniversary Convocation, El
Pueblo Neighborhood
Center.
• Won a major victory for
children & youth in the midterm
City Council election.,
November 8.
• Job Path received a
$276,000 U.S. Dept. of Labor
High Growth Jobs Initiative
Grant for Biotechnology
career training.

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