Wednesday, August 31, 2011

AZ's marriage, divorce stats above national average

Cronkite News Service

PHOENIX – In its first look at marriage using detailed demographic data, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Arizonans are slightly more likely to have gotten married in the previous year than the national average.

They also are significantly more likely to have gotten divorced during the previous year.

In 2009, roughly 20 out of 1,000 Arizona men and 19 out of 1,000 Arizona women had gotten married in the previous 12 months, just above the national averages of 19 men and 18 women, respectively.

Nearly 11 out of 1,000 men and 12 out of 1,000 women had gotten divorced during the previous year, exceeding the national averages of nine men and 10 women per 1,000.

Diana B. Elliott, a family demographer at the Census Bureau and co-author of the report, said that states where marriage rates are higher usually have higher divorce rates too.

“If there are a lot of married people in that state, there’s a larger pool of people who can potentially get divorced,” Elliott said in a phone interview.

Leslie Satterlee, a Phoenix family law attorney and board chair of Maricopa County Bar Association’s Family Law Section, said that because Arizona is a no-fault divorce state it’s easier for people who don’t have attorneys to get divorced than in other states.

“In Arizona, you don’t have to prove anything (such as adultery) in order to get the divorce,” she said.

Oliver Ross, owner and founder of Out-of-Court Solutions, a divorce mediation firm, said relocation may be a reason for higher-than-average divorce rates in the state.

“My sense is that if there’s already marital discord, there are additional stresses that are likely to be incurred when (people) relocate to a new state, especially in this economy,” Ross said.

Finding a new church and making new friends are likely to cause anxiety among couples, he said.

Arizona is one of 14 states where divorce rates are higher than the national average, according to the report, which used data from the 2009 American Community Survey.

Overall, marriage and divorce rates were higher in the West and the South than other parts of the country.

Those surveyed were asked whether they were married or divorced, how many times and for how long. The Census Bureau’s Elliott said the report fills a gap in national data, as the collection of information on marriage and divorce had decreased in quality over the years.

The Rev. Tex Sample, co-chair of Arizona Interfaith Network and pastor emeritus at Asbury United Methodist Church in Phoenix, said he wasn’t surprised by the state’s divorce rates.

“It is a classic sociological fact,” he said. “Economic hardship brings home family instability.”

Women are more likely than men to fall into poverty after they get divorced, according to the report. Nearly 22 percent of divorced women and 11 percent of divorced men had an income below poverty level in the 12 months preceding the survey.

Elliott said the Census Bureau found that divorce declined noticeably around the country between 2008 and 2009, but she couldn’t provide an explanation for it.

Satterlee, the family law attorney, said harsh economic times might keep people from getting divorced because of the cost.

“When the real estate market collapsed, not as many people were filing for divorce, at least with the help of an attorney,” Satterlee said. “Divorces are starting to pick up again, either because (people) are tired of waiting or because the economy is actually improving.”

Higher better, with best fishing at first, last light

Rory's tips

By Rory Aikens
Arizona Game & Fish
With temperatures soaring to 116 F this weekend in the deserts, a weekend getaway to the high mountains is almost irresistible to once again experience fragrant cool breezes wafting through the pines while trout are rising to the occasion.

Enjoying a mountain thunder shower might just refresh your over-heated point of view.

Gov. Jan Brewer was at Big Lake catching some great memories of her own this week, to the smiling delight of an appreciative crowd.

The best fishing will be at first and last light. Higher is better. Trout often get more active right before thunder showers.

Big Lake is the hot summer day leader at almost 9,000 feet in elevation and 530 surface acres. I heard that the fishing was a little slow over the weekend, but all the anglers were just grateful to be there. Gov. Brewer is visiting Wednesday for the Grand Re-Opening of Big Lake following the Wallow Fire, which didn't touch the lake.

Here's some information just in from our Tonto Creek Hatchery -- we are stocking two pound trout in the Tonto Creek today (Friday) for the weekend. What's more, we'll stock around 1,500 2-plus-pound trout into Tonto, Haigler, and the East Verde River (near Payson) this coming week just before Labor Day weekend. You heard it first right here!

Woods Canyon Lake is one of the most popular, despite its small size (or maybe because of it). For catching stocker rainbows, it’s tough to beat.

Willow Springs Lake will serve you up a smorgasbord of angling opportunities from trout to bass, with crappie thrown in for a little spice. So will Fool Hollow Lake and Show Low Lake as well, but they both have an added attraction – walleye.

One of my favorites is often ignored – Kinnickinick Lake near Flagstaff. This spring fed lake is often old reliable in summer, but it is best fished from float tube, canoe or kayak this time of year.

Speaking of old reliable, that's Ashurst Lake. Ashurst may not be the pretties high country escape, but it can be one of the more productive ones. It also has some pike catch (please catch and keep all you can to help this fishery).

By the way, for streams, this week we are stocking Tonto Creek, Haigler Creek, the East Verde River and Silver Creek. Last week we were unable to stock either the Little Colorado in Greer (too muddy) or Sheep's Crossing on the Little Colorado (it was closed off while were searching for a lost hiker).

Dropping down to the desert impoundments, there is a new moon this weekend on Sunday night; get out those submersible lights and go enjoy our warm but waning desert nights.

Right now, we are in a bit of a transition. Warmwater fish are probably still more active at night, but they are getting more active each day as the nights get longer, and the days get shorter.

Pretty soon, you'll see a preponderance of fish being more active during the daytime, although nighttime fishing will still be viable through the end of the fall season (and sometimes during winter as well).

I am hearing increasing reports of good topwater action at places like Pleasant, Havasu, Roosevelt and Mead, but the action is not necessarily consistently good each day – sometimes it can be hit-or- miss. That can certainly be expected this time of year during this transition period. You can, however, expect the action to get better and better as we move into early fall fishing conditions.

One of my favorite places to fish in late summer and early fall is Lake Powell; sounds like the bite is currently best in the upper end from Hall's Crossing to Hite. It may take a little extra road time to get there, but once on the water, you won't have to travel far to find good action on the upper end of the lake. Just depends on where you want to save your gas money -- on the road or on the water.

It was just about a year ago that I had a superb fishing trip to the Parker Strip for smallmouth bass on curly-tailed jigs and topwater finesse baits. A couple dozen smallies burning off line while you fight them in the fast current will make you smile at the memory for years to come.

Go fill your creel full of summer memories. Maybe I'll see you out there.

First Friday includes jazz, Trouble in Paradise

Sept. 2 is First Friday on Historic Main Street with many shops open from 5-8 p.m.
Among the highlights:

Celebrate a "groovy" First Friday at Bootleg Alley Antiques & Art. While listening to the music of Trouble in Paradise, relish a gourmet brat grilled by Chef Gary Bedsworth and Diane Frederick Bedsworth. A brat, chips, and a drink costs $5 with all proceeds benefiting PAWS. Top off dinner with ice cream from SCOOPS.

Be sure to purchase a raffle ticket for a top of the line Tony Lama jacket. Tickets are only $5 each and benefit Greg Day, owner of Macky's Restaurant.

Bootleg Alley Antiques & Art is located at 520 W. Historic Main St. Payson, AZ. First Friday is held monthly from 5-8 PM year-round.

Meanwhile, at Community Presbyterian Church, 800 West Main St., The Trio will hold an open practice session from 5-7 p.m. Trio members include Joanie Smith on guitar and vocals, Bob Tarallo on saxophone and Gerry Reynolds on drums.

The practice is open to the public so come in and hear such tunes as “September in the Rain,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “My Solitude,” “All By Myself,” “Blue Room” and more. The coffee pot will be on.

In addition, catch up with Penny McKinlock at Rick’s Curiosity Shop and find out about her plans for a new Main Street thrift shop to support Rim Country Friends of Ferals and other animal causes.

Finally, Down the Street Art Gallery will feature a photography exhibit and a live demo by Paper Clay artist Dennis Weber, who will be offering a workshop on Sept. 17 on this media with space still available.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Library bookstore features religion in September

During the month of September, The Library Friends of Payson Bookstore is featuring the religion section. Included in this section are spiritual books, devotional guides, and bibles. Humor, Self-Help, and Inspirational books are, also, being offered at a two-for-one special for the entire month of September. This is a fine opportunity to pick-up books to make you laugh, books to improve your health, and books to inspire beautiful dreams.

Bookstore prices range from $3.00 to $1.00 for hardback books based on copyright dates. This is a great, everyday value which two-for-one specials render an even better value.

Bookstore stock is ever changing so stop by often. Our volunteers are always happy to see you. The Bookstore is located to the right of the circulation desk just inside the Payson Public Library, 328 N. McLane Road. For more information visit the Library Friends of Payson website at

Mesa del residents choose Cragin in unofficial poll

Since the Roundup was a no-show at Tuesday night's final Mesa del Caballo water meeting and has promised only a delayed article on last Thursday's meeting in today's paper, here's a quick summary of what occurred at the meeting last night:

In an unofficial straw poll at the end of the meeting, attendees voted almost unanimously for Blue Ridge/C.C. Cragin as the preferred water alternative from a list of five choices.  

Brooke Utilities/Payson Water Company, which was not in attendance, will soon conduct an election in which property owners will be asked to officially vote for their preferred water alternative.  Ballots will be counted by an independent third party.

A group of residents announced it has formed a committee and is looking into a water improvement district.  The committee, whose members also endorsed the Cragin solution, solicited volunteers to help with the effort.

Forest officials allowing Horton Fire to burn

Payson, Ariz. (August 29, 2011) – The lightning-ignited Horton fire, first spotted on August 25, is burning slowly in an area approximately ¾ mile northeast of Tonto Christian Camp on the east side of Tonto Creek, roughly located between Horton Creek and the big 500 kV power lines in that area. Fire personnel are on scene.

Payson Ranger District fire specialists are managing the Horton Fire to accomplish forest plan objectives to allow fire to burn naturally in a fire-adapted ecosystem.

Residents and visitors to the area can expect to see and smell periodic large volumes of smoke each day of the managed fire operation until about Monday, September 5. During the day, smoke is anticipated to move up Tonto Creek and hug and move over the Mogollon Rim.

Diurnal air flow in the evening hours will move heavy smoke down the Tonto Creek corridor and may impact visibility on Hwy. 260.

Signs will be posted along roads that are likely to be affected by smoke as the managed fire moves into heavy vegetative fuel loading. Motorists are urged to use caution while driving through these areas and to slow down for firefighter and public safety.

District fire specialists plan to treat about 390 acres from the naturally-ignited fire that is being managed to reduce dense, decadent, and heavy fuel loading and to improve wildlife habitat.
Managed fires are always dependent on optimal weather conditions such as relative humidity, temperature, fuel moisture content, wind speed and direction, and other variables.

A naturally-ignited fire that is managed when the right variables are present provides land managers and fire experts the important option of treating an area with fire under the right conditions, allowing tor protection of valuable natural and cultural resources, while diminishing danger to the public and firefighters.

For information about prescribed fire and mechanical fuels reduction operations, please call the Payson Ranger District at 928-474-7900. Residents can also stay updated on prescribed fires at To report a wildland fire, the fire emergency number is 866-746-6516, or dial 9-1-1.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brooke: Gehring, Roundup may face legal action

(Editor's note: The following is Robert Hardcastle's response to the complaint filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission by Mesa del Caballo resident Steve Gehring.  Hardcastle is President of Brooke Utilities/Payson Water Company.  The Payson Roundup gave prominent front page placement to Gehring's complaint while deferrng coverage of a positive meeting between Hardcastle, Salt River Project and Mesa del residents on the subject of Blue Ridge/Cragin water.  Scroll down to a Gazette Blog editorial on the subject.)

"Complainant (Steve Gehring) alleges the Company (Brooke Utilities) committed fraud in charging its customers water augmentation costs. The Company vehemently denies the absurd allegations of the Complaint. Complainant has a long history of making irrational and libelous complaints that date back to before Payson Water Co.’s ownership of the MdC (Mesa del Caballo) water system and not complying with orders and agreements of the Commission. By means of the Complaint, Complainant has defamed and libeled the Company and its officers. Water augmentation charges are a cost reimbursement mechanism only, and are reviewed by the Arizona Corporation Commission. This Complaint has no merit and should be dismissed. The Company will allow the Complainant until 5:00 p.m. on September 2, 2011 to apologize to the Company and dismiss the subject Complaint or, otherwise, the Company will direct its legal resources to seek all legal remedies available to it against the Complainant and the parties connected with publishing the newspaper story of August 26, 2011. In the event Complainant chooses not to withdraw his complaint and the matter is not dismissed as requested herein, the Company shall not participate in any further proceedings. The Commission is not the proper forum for Mr. Gehring's baseless complaints, which represents an abuse of the administrative process that drains time and resources not only of the company, but of the Commission as well."

Pine-Strawberry Labor Day gala this weekend

You work hard all year, but Labor Day weekend is almost here! Isn’t it time for some fun?

Pack up the car and the kids and head “over the mountain and through the woods” to beautiful Strawberry and Pine, Arizona. Guaranteed fun and coolness for the entire family.

Playground, clowns, and face-painting for the kids, as mom and dad browse over 80 booths and meet some very talented artists and crafters displaying their beautiful hand-crafted items. Dads are sure to enjoy the carvings in wood while consuming a giant sized Navajo taco, while mom admires beaded denim handbags, original hand-made clothing, unique jewelry and so much more.

There is original artwork by widely-recognized Arizona artists including the heart-felt paintings of Ruthellen Mason, meticulously crafted wooden bowls by Curt Harp, and extraordinary basketry of Bob Gleason.

Grab a picnic table under the ramada and enjoy the many food choices from the variety of food vendors on hand to satisfy whatever your appetite.

Take a leisurely walk in the woods and give the kids a fun and hands-on science lesson about ponderosa pines, rocks, creeks, fresh air, bugs, and maybe take home a pine cone or two.

For a memorable holiday weekend, set your GPS navigation system on a course for Pine, Arizona or just head to Highway 87, just 15 miles north of Payson. For further information, please visit our website at

Once you go you'll know. See you in September.

WHAT: Pine Strawberry Arts & Crafts Guild Annual Labor Day Festival

WHEN: Sat., Sept. 3, 8 am - 5 pm, Sun., Sept. 4, 8 am - 4 pm

WHERE: Pine Community Center grounds
Highway 87 and Randall Place
Pine, AZ
(15 miles north of Payson via Hwy. 87/Beeline Hwy.)


This weekend, at the Arts and Craft Fair in Pine, Az; not only will there be some great booths to purchase items from, there will also be great food vendors. S.C.A.F. will be there, in the community dining hall, selling their famous Navajo tacos, along with peach or apple crisp topped with ice cream.

The Pine Strawberry Thrift Shop will also be open during the festival. Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 9am-4pm.

On September 17, 11am- 1pm, S.C.A.F. will be sponsoring a Holiday Fashion Show/ Bake Sale/ Purse Auction. There will be a variety of clothes, in all sizes. The clothing will be modeled by local residents, and will be available for purchase, after the show. The baked goodies will go quickly! Don't be late. Admission is free. Bring your family and friends. A GOOD TIME WILL BE HAD BY ALL.

These events are fund raisers. All money raised from these events are used to help the people of the Pine - Strawberry communities.

KMOG needs to kill policy banning non-profits

We have it on good authority that KMOG-AM, home of bad country western music, has banned non-profit organizations from its Rim Country Forum.  What the hell are they thinking?  Maybe that non-profits don't buy advertising like some of their more frequent forum guests?

Come on, Blaine.  It's about more than the money.  And while you're revamping, how about a music format change, too.  We're a more sophisticated commuity than we were back when KMOG first went on the air.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dear Roundup: Be fair and objective or butt out

It’s hard to even know where to begin, so let’s get right to the point: Pete Aleshire’s front page story in the Friday, Aug. 26 edition of the Payson Roundup about a complaint filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) by Mesa del Caballo resident Steve Gehring reaches a new journalistic low.

The Thursday night meeting between Mesa del residents, Salt River Project and Brooke Utilities/Payson Water Company is the story that the Roundup should have had on its front page Friday, not the rantings of an individual who is well known for filing legal actions and complaints, and who once even blockaded Houston Mesa Road.

The Roundup has, of late, been scolding Mesa del residents for not buying into the Blue Ridge/CC Cragin reservoir option and for complaining about hauling charges and water company service issues. Now, in a complete about face, Aleshire and Editor Tom Brossart give the top spot on the front page to a complaint that is likely to go nowhere. In the process they have overshadowed the positive Thursday meeting at which the overwhelming majority of Mesa del residents were clearly in favor of the Blue Ridge/Cragin alternative.

The actions of Aleshire and Brossart have muddied the water for Mesa del residents and perhaps scuttled the alternative they themselves have been prodding the community to accept. If that turns out to be the case, Payson residents will also be impacted by having to pay more for Blue Ridge/Cragin water. With the Rim Country on the verge of resolving its water woes, that’s a very sad outcome.

Back when the Rim Country Gazette provided local residents with an alternative news source, the Roundup covered meetings that took place on Thursday evening in its Friday edition. Now that there is no competition, Reporter Alexis Bechman is allowed to take four days to write her story about the Mesa del water meeting. (That's right: Aleshire didn't even attend the meeting.)  Don’t readers deserve more responsive coverage?

And don’t they deserve balanced, objective coverage? Even Aleshire admitted that Gehring’s complaint is “sometimes confusing.” Still he allowed Gehring to ramble unchallenged. Neither Brooke President Robert Hardcastle nor the ACC had seen or had time to respond to the complaint. Given Gehring’s history, would it not have made journalistic sense to run Bechman’s story first and hold Gehring’s until the accused had the opportunity to respond?

At least one longtime Roundup subscriber in Mesa del is cancelling her subscription over Aleshire’s story, and hopefully others will follow suit. For the vast majority of us who long ago quit reading that paper, we have just one thing to say to Aleshire, Brossart and Publisher John Naughton: If you can’t be fair and objective in your coverage of our affairs, just butt out.

We really don’t need your inflammatory interference in a process so important to our future. 

(Disclaimer: Blog Editor Jim Keyworth is also President of the Mesa del Caballo Community Center/El Caballo Club, the organization that sponsors the Mesa del Caballo Water Committee.)

Penny updates plans, progress for new thrift store


(Editor's note:Penny McKinlock recently resigned as manager of the Humane Society Thrift Store. She is currently working to open a new thrift store to help various local animal causes. Here is an update:)

With your help and the help of other animal lovers, we will be able to raise money for several local animal support groups (Wonders of the Wild Animal Sanctuary, Rim Country Friends of Ferals, Aussie & Friends Rescue, low cost spay & neuter programs, adoption assistance programs, and more).

We’re still working out the details (location, etc.), and need your help! Any items you may have to donate would be most appreciated. At this time, we also desperately need shelving units, bookcases, and clothing racks, in addition to cash donations to make our first month’s rent and help equip the shop. Your support means a great deal to our animal friends. Please help us help them!

Please contact Penny at 474-4648 to arrange for pick-up of your items. Thank you for your support!

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's people, not bears, causing encounter problems

A black bear is shown in this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo.
(Photo by Mike Bender, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Cronkite News Service

PHOENIX – The fatal black bear attack on a woman in Pinetop this summer is a sobering reminder that development is bringing people closer to a creature that’s shy by nature but a predator at heart.

“We’re expanding into wildlife habitat that they’ve held for eons,” said Bruce Sitko, a spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Pinetop regional office.

Lana Hollingsworth, 61, died in June from an attack near the Pinetop Country Club. The large, adult male black bear repeatedly mauled her while she was out walking her dog late at night.

However, black bear attacks are rare, and fatalities are extremely uncommon, experts say. The only other documented fatal bear attack in Arizona occurred in the late 1800s, and it involved a grizzly, a type of bear no longer found in the state.

Across the U.S., fatalities from bears are equally rare, with three deaths in 2010, said Tad Theimer, an associate professor of biology at Northern Arizona University. By comparison, 32 people died last year from dog attacks.

But as Arizona cities and towns, such as Pinetop-Lakeside, continue to expand into black bear territory, encounters between people and bears are likely to increase, making it important to be aware that they are out there, experts say.

“Generally bears don’t bother people, but they can,” said Don Swann, a biologist at Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

Ranging from the Mogollon Rim to southeastern Arizona’s tall, isolated mountains known as sky islands, approximately 2,500 to 3,000 bears live in Arizona, according to Game and Fish.

With large territories, bears travel between forest and desert areas, including lower elevations surrounding Tucson, Swann said.

Black bears are most common in the White Mountains.

The Game and Fish office in Pinetop received around 300 calls last year about sightings of and damage by bears. As a result, officials relocated about 20 female and young male bears, Sitko said.

Females and male bears under 3 years old are sedated, tagged and released at neutral locations, while adult males are destroyed immediately, he said. Eighty percent of the bears that are relocated typically return and are then destroyed.

In the Pinetop region, approximately 10 to 12 bears were destroyed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2010, Sitko said. So far this year, 11 have been destroyed.

It’s a policy designed to minimize contact and harm, but the fault doesn’t lie solely with the bears, he said.

“It’s people that are causing the problem,” Sitko said.

Lured by garbage, bears displaced by drought or territory encroachment can turn to residential areas to find food. And once they get a taste, they keep coming back.

Sitko estimates that Pinetop-Lakeside households leaving garbage bins or other rotting food outside have a 70 percent chance of being visited by a bear. Keeping the garbage bin inside reduces the likelihood of a visit to almost zero, he said.

In an effort to reduce the food attractants and inform residents, the communities of Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside as well as Navajo County passed ordinances this year making it unlawful to leave food or garbage in unsecured areas. Gila, Maricopa and Pima counties have similar measures in place.

Nearly all black bear attacks are by aggressive, predatory males, and reducing the possibility of running into one is critical, NAU’s Theimer said.

“Bears were attacking people because they thought they were prey,” he said, adding that it’s more likely to happen because bears are feeding on garbage near residential areas.

Sitko said that while black bears can be highly aggressive, there have been only seven recorded attacks in Arizona in the past 20 years.

The key, he said, is keeping bears from associating people with food.

“Bears are as individualistic as people; some can be more mellow and some highly aggressive,” Theimer said.

Living with black bears:

- Attacks typically occur on people out alone; travel in groups.

- Keep garbage in a secure location; use a bear container if camping.

- Hang bird feeders at least 10 feet above the ground and away from buildings.

- Keep barbecue grills clean, remove fallen fruit and keep pet food indoors.

- If a bear is nearby, yell or make loud noises such as banging pots and pans or playing loud music.

- If you encounter a bear, make yourself look as large as possible and slowly back away. Don’t run.

- If you are attacked, fight back.

ROBERT REICH: March in protest on Labor Day


By Robert Reich

25 August 11 - This Labor Day we need protest marches rather than parades.

Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade.

Not only are 25 million unemployed or underemployed, but American companies continue to cut wages and benefits. The median wage is still dropping, adjusted for inflation. High unemployment has given employers extra bargaining leverage to wring out wage concessions.

All told, it's been the worst decade for American workers in a century. According to Commerce Department data, private-sector wage gains over the last decade have even lagged behind wage gains during the decade of the Great Depression (4 percent over the last ten years, adjusted for inflation, versus 5 percent from 1929 to 1939).

Big American corporations are making more money, and creating more jobs, outside the United States than in it. If corporations are people, as the Supreme Court's twisted logic now insists, most of the big ones headquartered here are rapidly losing their American identity.

CEO pay, meanwhile, has soared. The median value of salaries, bonuses and long-term incentive awards for CEOs at 350 big American companies surged 11 percent last year to $9.3 million (according to a study of proxy statements conducted for The Wall Street Journal by the management consultancy Hay Group). Bonuses have surged 19.7 percent.

This doesn't even include all those stock options rewarded to CEOs at rock-bottom prices in 2008 and 2009. Stock prices have ballooned since then, the current downdraft notwithstanding. In March, 2009, for example, Ford CEO Alan Mulally received a grant of options and restricted shares worth an estimated $16 million at the time. But Ford is now showing large profits - in part because the UAW agreed to allow Ford to give its new hires roughly half the wages of older Ford workers - and its share prices have responded. Mulally's 2009 grant is now worth over $200 million.

The ratio of corporate profits to wages is now higher than at any time since just before the Great Depression.

Meanwhile, the American economy has all but stopped growing - in large part because consumers (whose spending is 70 percent of GDP) are also workers whose jobs and wages are under assault.

Perhaps there would still be something to celebrate on Labor Day if government was coming to the rescue. But Washington is paralyzed, the President seems unwilling or unable to take on labor-bashing Republicans, and several Republican governors are mounting direct assaults on organized labor (see Indiana, Ohio, Maine, and Wisconsin, for example).

So let's bag the picnics and parades this Labor Day. American workers should march in protest. They're getting the worst deal they've had since before Labor Day was invented - and the economy is suffering as a result.

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including "The Work of Nations," "Locked in the Cabinet," "Supercapitalism" and his latest book, "AFTERSHOCK: The Next Economy and America's Future." His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on and iTunes.

What's the Roundup got against local Democrats?


(The following letter from local Democratic Party leader Jerry Foster was addressed to state Democratic leaders. We reprint it here because it reinforces something we have complained about for years - a local newspaper that is not always fair and unbiased. According to Foster, the letter referenced below was denied by the Roundup because it exceeded their 400 word limit, but the Republican letter it was responding to was far in excess of that same limit. The Gazette Blog, with over 5,000 monthly readers, welcomes letters of all political persuasions and lengths. Send them to  Chances are the Roundup will make a token effort to clean up their act after reading this on the Blog.  They usually do.  But just for emphasis, we hereby implore them to run the referenced letters.  And if they don't, an effective way to respond to this outrage is to call and cancel your subscription. That's one language they understand.) 

We need some help here in Gila County. Our local paper, the Payson Roundup (published on Tuesdays and Fridays only), consistently allows Tea Party and Republican views to be published without question and our Democratic views are many times not allowed.

As President of the Democratic Club of Northern Gila County and Secretary of the Gila County Democrats, I and others have encouraged rebuttal letters to let citizens know that there are Democrats in the area that care about our local, county, state, and national politics.

Don Ascoli, President of the Republicans of Gila County, wrote a piece in the August 23rd Roundup that needed to be challenged.

I wrote a piece for this Friday's paper and one of our new members wrote another. His has so far been denied.

We have several other local on-line news organizations with writers that we try to use that have been blackballed by the Payson Roundup.

We have a problem in getting talking points on the below subjects and others. We all agree that our points must be factual.

Can and will you help us find accurate talking points for the subjects below?

Thank you for your help and leadership.

Gerald W. "Jerry" Foster

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Return of drying La Nina likely this winter

La Nina 4
(Click image to enlarge) Less than 2 percent of the October-July periods since 1895 have been drier than they are currently for all of Texas and many parts of New Mexico. These areas experienced either their driest or second driest October-July periods in the last 117 years. Less than 6 percent of the October-July periods have been drier than current conditions in southeastern Arizona. (Source: Western Regional Climate Center)
La Nina 3
(Click image to enlarge) Average November-March precipitation during the 20 winters since 1950 in which a La Niña event was present. Map is from WestMap and utilizes PRISM (Parameter-elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model) data.
The region needed constant and copious moisture. In most of New Mexico and all of Texas, the October-July period was either the first or second driest in the last 117 years, while southeast Arizona ranked in the top six.

To date, however, the thunderous storms have been inconsistent and spottier than usual, and most of the region continues to accumulate rainfall deficits. It is unlikely that summer rains will provide widespread drought relief this late in the season.

The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center, or CPC, assigns less than a 3 percent chance that moisture in the upcoming four months will be sufficient to erase drought conditions in southern Arizona and New Mexico where drought conditions are most severe.

This doesn't bode well for the region.

"The bigger the droughts are, the longer they last," said Klaus Wolter, research scientist at the Climate Diagnostics Center at the University of Colorado. "I think when you have a big drought it can perpetuate itself."

Another La Niña would only exacerbate the situation.

In July, the CPC issued a La Niña Watch, indicating favorable conditions for the development of another La Niña event in the next six months. With colder-than-average waters once again upwelling in the tropical Pacific Ocean, La Niña appears to be re-forming.

"Temperatures below the sea surface have decreased quite markedly in the last few months," said David Unger, meteorologist at the CPC.

In addition, he said, the Climate Forecast System model – a state-of-the-art climate model that integrates interactions between the Earth's oceans, land, and atmosphere – has been impressive in its prediction capabilities in the last few years and has been increasingly more confident in the development of a La Niña this winter.

"It's close to even odds right now that La Niña or neutral conditions will develop," Unger said.

"It's pretty trivial chances that El Niño will form."

The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, or IRI, also indicates increasing odds for a return of La Niña. Basted on statistical and dynamicla models and conditions that developed in the last week, there is a 43 percent chance that La Niña will develop during the October-December period, an increase from 25 percent assigned last month to this period.

Historically speaking, back-to-back La Niña events are not surprising. The climate system tends to have a more difficult time shedding a moderate or strong La Niña event than a weaker one. An intense La Niña tends to persist for multiple years; one even lasted for 34 consecutive months between 1954 and 1957.

A La Niña event may return the following fall season even if it weakened or disappeared during the summer, as was the case this summer, Wolter said.

His insight, detailed in his experimental forecast discussion, lies in looking at past La Niña events that, like last winter's event, had rapid onsets and were associated with very cold sea surface temperatures anomalies. Dynamical and statistical climate models are now starting to agree with Wolter, but he thinks this event will be less intense than last winter's.

"My expectation is that this winter's (La Niña) will be weaker," Wolter said. "Last winter was the third strongest event, and it will be hard to beat that; it's an opinion based purely on statistics."
A weaker event doesn't necessarily bring wetter conditions than a stronger event, however. Wolter recreated the MEI back to 1870 and found that for the 10 historical cases in which La Niña lasted at least two consecutive years, eight generated lower flows in the Colorado River Basin in the second year.

Lower flows are very likely to happen this year because record snows packed the Upper Colorado River Basin last winter.

Last winter "was the first time since 1917 that the Colorado River had a big runoff year-with more than 20 million acre-feet-in a La Niña event," Wolter said.

La Niña's re-emergence isn't a done deal, however. Forecast models are still mixed despite a growing number suggesting a double-dip, and forecasters are waiting for additional data before increasing the odds of a return to La Niña.

"I'll continue to look at the subsurface temperatures, which are a leading indicator of La Niña events, and I'll keep an eye on the models," Unger said. "In my experience, the best indicator is coherence in models."

In the next few months, forecasters should have a better idea of the final call: La Niña or neutral conditions. Regardless of which wins out, eastern New Mexico likely will experience a dry winter. Neutral events in this area, along with West Texas, often bring slightly drier conditions, Unger said.
For the rest of the region, southwesterners are crossing their fingers for a neutral event. In the past these events have brought either a wet or a dry winter.

"You don't have to have a severe dry period to make an existing drought worse," Wolter said. "I'm concerned about an increased probability of this winter being drier than average."

Perfect for chilling beer, way too cold for pitcher

(Frank Sullivan is a former All Star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and a friend of Gazette Columnist Noble Collins. He was a teammate of the revered Ted Williams, among others. Frank has an engaging writing style and has experienced far more adventures than baseball alone. In coming weeks it will be a pleasure to share his many ups and downs with Gazette Blog readers.) 

By Frank Sullivan
Gazette Blog Contributor 

(Major League baseball players, in Sullivan's days, were not paid the huge sums they receive today. Most players had summer jobs to pay the bills until the next season.) 

In the fall of 1963, for the tidy sum of $100 a day and air fare back to Maine, I would return your sailboat home after it had been hauled out at the Hinckley Boatyard at Southwest Harbor to be repaired or painted or whatever. The sail south in late fall is not always easy and if the weather got ugly, I would power a lot of the way taking advantage of the straight line theory.

It was the constant eye-out for lobster pots that failed me. After leaving the island of North Haven and crossing towards the Owl’s Head side of the mainland, I wound the marking buoy line of one of the pots so tight around the propeller drive shaft on a 42-foot yawl that it stopped the engine. I went forward and dropped the anchor. I was off Sheep Island Shoals.

The water temperature there in October is perfect for chilling beer. I reflected on this as I hung on the side of the boat with my lower body in the water trying to catch my breath because it was so ice cold. Once under the water, I sliced the rope off easily because it was wound so tight, but it took three dives and I knew I was in trouble because of the temperature. The struggle to get back on board using the loop of line I had tied to the railing to use as a step was a long battle and my body temperature took a big time hit.

Once on board I was shaking so hard I found it impossible to light the oven, but managed to open the small engine room door to let some heat into the cabin. Knowing I was in big trouble, I grabbed a blanket and lay down on the first bunk closest to the heat. I tried to focus on not falling asleep because somewhere I heard that it wasn’t a good idea. It was a waste of time. Hell, you can’t fall asleep while in full power-on shivers!

Slowly, very slowly, I started to calm down and my body heat got back to normal. I stayed put for the night and continued down the coast the next morning in the fog. This is not a good place to be in the fog without radar because of all the tiny islands, so I went due east for five minutes and then put the compass point on South.

After about an hour of going very slowly, the fog lifted. Because it was low tide, I was able to make out Tennant’s Harbor to starboard with its stilted dockside buildings. I went in and put my lines on the first dock that was empty. It had sapped me more than I realized and I was still dead tired.  Tennant’s Harbor turned out to be a great place to get over a hell of a scare! I slept for 14 hours.

The following day in bright clear sunshine and flat calm water off Monhegan, I noticed a commotion in the water and steered the boat to get closer. It was a huge white shark methodically eating a raft made of lettuce crates. A new kind of shiver went through me.

(Editor's note: Frank Sullivan has written a book called "Life is More than 9 Innings - Memories of a Boston Red Sox Pitcher," a unique collection of stories covering a lifetime of memories. Frank's 10-year Major League Baseball career is the source of a fascinating insider’s look at the sport of baseball and some of the legendary players of the ‘50s and ‘60s including Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Sam White and many more.   As the title implies, there are many more stories to be told including his early years growing up in California, Army service during the Korean War, and 43 years of life in Hawaii on the island of Kauai.

Put together in a very readable short story format, each account stands on its own as a captivating tale told by a master storyteller. Along with its wonderful collection of photographs, the book is a storehouse of memories to be savored and enjoyed by sports fans and casual readers alike.

Frank Sullivan is a Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher who is now on the way to becoming a Hall of Fame storyteller. This delightful book not only covers his professional career and many of the great players of that era but also has many delightful human interest tales of life away from the playing fields.

"He details the ups and downs of a baseball career at a time when there wasn’t expansion of the leagues and free agency was not a part of baseball terminology. A really enjoyable, fun book for everyone."
— Dick Bresciani, Vice President, Boston Red Sox 

Copies of the book can be ordered directly from Frank autographed or with a salutation for $23, including shipping.  

Order from:
Frank Sullivan
P.O. Box 1873
Lihue, HI 96766

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seven fires in various stages in Rim Ranger Dist.

A brief update on some of the managed fires on the Mogollon Rim RD:

Sand Rock - The fire received quite a bit of rain last week, resulting in minimal fire activity, it is drying out now and Fire Managers will be looking at burning some of the interior pockets to help hold the perimeter.  They may begin to burn tomorrow and depending on conditions they would like to burn up to 800 acres. Most smoke should flow down into Fossil Creek overnight and might possibly impact Highway 260.

Scout - The perimeter of the fire is done burning and is contained at approximately 810 acres. There are still some small pockets within the perimeter that may occasionally put up some smoke.

Rocky - The perimeter of the fire is now secured, however there are still several unburned areas in the interior portion of the fire. With the drying trend this week Fire Managers anticipate the fire may move into some of these areas resulting in some intermittent smoke.

Diablo - The fire has burned itself out, the fire is contained at 20 acres.

Flat - This fire is located southeast of Sawmill Hill and is contained.

Kehl - This fire is located on Kehl Ridge and is approximately 8 acres and continues to burn. With the moisture received in the area, Fire Managers anticipate the fire to grow about 2 acres per day, however with the drying trend acreage may increase.

International - It continues to burn and as with the Kehl Fire, Fire Managers anticipate it to grow 2 acres per day, or more depending upon the drying trend.

Mogollon Rim Ranger District
8738 Ranger Road
Happy Jack, AZ 86024
928-477-5004 Office

Roundup's mention of Hanna a memory rush

How interesting that the Roundup's story about Bob Flibotte's sentencing included mention of John Hanna as one of the realtors who testified on Flibotte's behalf.  A sloppy mistaken identity story about Hanna contributed to the demise of the former Roundup regime.

Not that your local newspaper has learned much from the unseemly episode.  It vilified Flibotte when even the judge said he deserved nothing more than probation.  This is a very sad and private matter and it didn't need to be sensationalized by two local newspapers - the Roundup and the Mogollon Connection.

Is responsible journalism dead in this town?

Democrats not likely to affiliate with Tea Party


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In response to Tuesday’s Roundup opinion page comments by Don Ascoli, Chairman of the Gila County Republican Party, Don indicated that the “Tea Party is comprised of Democrats, Independents and Republicans.” I am a leader of the Democrats of Gila County and doubt that any Democrats are affiliated with the Tea Party. I would also doubt his statement that Paul Gosar, Congressman CD1, has held more open and informative meetings in seven months than Ann Kirkpatrick did in her two years in the same office. Our Democratic Club of Northern Gila County helped to advertise many events for her all over her huge District. In those meetings she was open, answered all questions, even when heckled, and was a great help to many in our District.

Ann Kirkpatrick can not be held accountable for all successes or failures of her party, but she did some wonderful things. She sponsored 32 bills of which 2 were successfully enacted. She co-sponsored 142 bills during her term. She voted 97% of the time. She was a tremendous help in getting miners in Yavapai County back to work, she helped us to speed up the process of obtaining Blue Ridge water to increase our capacity. She helped develop the forest thinning that is now making our roadsides more visible and less likely to start on fire from careless travelers. I am proud to be able to support her in the 2012 election.

For the record I would like to state that the open meeting of the Democratic Club of Northern Gila County held last Wednesday night with Democrats, Independents, Republicans and Tea Party members was very orderly and good discussions allowed everyone to speak their peace without disruptions of any kind. There are several areas of common ground when we sit down together. I was pleased to be able to lead the meeting.

Gerald W. “Jerry” Foster

Democratic Club
of Northern Gila County

Materialistic consumption not the American Dream


By George Templeton


“Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again. Because a vision softly creeping, left its seeds while I was sleeping.” Dark always settles to the bottom off a lake. Submerge just below the surface and you will notice an absence of dark. Lower yourself to 15 feet below the surface and you will notice a degree of darkness even on a sunny, bright day. Lower yourself to 50 feet or more below the surface and you are in total dark. The dark has settled to the bottom; therefore it is heavier than light. This story describes an excusable error. The data was correct but the conclusion is wrong. Actually dark is heavier than water!

Unbiased, accurate, complete, factual data is the beginning of understanding. Economists love data, but what does the data mean? Different people will create different explanations for data, and with thoughtful contemplation, the same people may create different models to explain it at a different time. This is all good and healthy. But false data adjusted to support a desired conclusion, incomplete or omitted data, and misrepresentation can obscure the truth and cause damage. Our beliefs take form influenced by culture, education, experience, and our friends. Explanations to support them come later. Remember that when it does not make sense or is too simple, easy, or good to be true it probably is not true.

Freud felt that civilization existed to protect man from the cruelty of nature, and that man resented and rebelled in defiance of the constraints that were placed on his behavior. Civilization had to be defended against the individual. Its regulations and institutions were directed toward that task. There is a constitutional doctrine of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Americans don’t want to be governed from the left, right, or center. They want to govern themselves. Anarchism is the belief that all forms of government are incompatible with individual and social liberty and should be abolished. There will always be conflict between the rights of the individual and the rights of society. We want freedom, but freedom implies responsibility. They are the opposite sides of the coin. One cannot exist without the other. There remains the idea that government is bad and should be made as inconsequential as possible, but government preserves the present and enables the future.In Eric Hoffer’s 1951 book, The True Believer, he claims “… they must be intensely discontented, yet not destitute, and they must have the feeling that by the possession of some potent doctrine, infallible leader, or some new technique they have access to a source of irresistible power. Finally, they must be wholly ignorant of the difficulties involved in their vast undertaking. Experience is a handicap.” True belief interposes “… a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world.” They claim “…that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and there is no truth or certitude outside of it." The party line is “… the embodiment of the one and only truth. Crude absurdities, trivial nonsense, and sublime truth are equally potent in readying people for self-sacrifice if they are accepted as the sole, eternal truth.”


In 1955 American had a monopoly in nuclear power, electronics, communications, transportation, and virtually all the world’s industrial manufacturing. Made in America meant the best. Government played a critical role in our rise to world leadership. Americans felt that they could make friends, spread democracy, foster prosperity, fight famine, and promote world peace. America could not lose. That was the American dream.

Sputnik was a wake-up call that launched a government assisted revolution in science education, research, and defense. On high-school career day, the majority of the boys aspired to a career in engineering. We knew our day would come and we were proud to be alive when science fiction became reality with the landing on the moon.

A 1957 sociology book expressed grave concern that there would be no way to apportion the world’s wealth because of the development of the computer and automation. Instead, the computer and the internet eventually expanded working hours by making it possible to take one’s office with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We were no longer living in the country we once knew but we still had the opportunity to work hard, thrive, and succeed.

In the 80’s, computers and high speed automation empowered the production worker. They required a high degree of skill and allowed workers to become individually significant for the success of the business. The production worker was on-line, engaging in a dialogue with the production apparatus, using statistics, and proudly making decisions that influenced quality and productivity. There was satisfaction in a job well done, making a difference, and of course a good salary with benefits. Unfortunately for American workers, this was transferred overseas.

The claim that government regulations or unions caused us to relocate jobs overseas is ridiculous. We strived to treat all foreign employees like their USA counterparts because that was the fair ethical thing to do and because we wanted to avoid problems on the other side of the earth. All equipment that was exported was upgraded, refurbished, or new and met OSHA safety regulations. Production remained labor intensive, and competitive pressures required both automation and cheap labor.

It’s hard to do the right thing when you are making money. The 2008 catastrophe was a great party. The cure for the hangover was correctly another shot of spending. Clyde Prestowitz in his book The Betrayal of American Prosperity reports that collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps have ballooned to 400 trillion dollars, roughly 10 times the world GDP. A Tea-Party cure would take us back to the time of the Pilgrims, a simpler religious time when a degree in theology was the qualification for navigating a ship. It was not until Franklin’s academies and the advent of vocational education that navigation was taught in schools. Would you prefer a ship’s captain who could pray for your rescue or one who could steer the ship? But why stop there? The church in the middle ages held that usury was a sin. St. Thomas Aquinas felt that it depended on whether an activity “added value”. It was unethical to buy and sell an item for profit without improving it. Dambisa Moyo in her book How the West Was Lost sees the problem as fiscal dereliction of duty on the part of the creditor to keep the leverage spree of the debtor equity holder in-line. There remains the belief that the efficient unregulated market is optimum, ethical, and self-correcting.


When you cut an arm off sometimes there remains sensations and the illusion that the arm is still there. But no amount of stimulus will make that arm actually move and become real. So it is with our post-industrial economy and jobs that have been sent overseas.

Corporate CEOs see their job as making short-term profits and increasing the value of the company stock. What is lacking are metrics for civic responsibility to workers, suppliers, government, and the community who made the business possible. Globalization raises questions regarding what an American company is. The policies that benefit global corporations are not necessary those that are best for America. It has even been argued that overseas production by USA corporations should count as USA exports.

We cut education first and deepest. A victory is declared because the following month the savings are on the spread sheet. But in the long run the supply of people needed for technical leadership are depleted. In Europe, government, education, and industry cooperate with internships at the undergraduate level. This provides the expensive practical experience that is largely absent in America and increases the chance of finding jobs and paying back student loans. Factory relocations suggest that young engineers should learn a foreign language and plan on starting their careers overseas. Don’t think that all will be well if we just sell innovative ideas. The practice of translating American text books and ignoring copyrights abounds.


Fifteen foreign workers can be hired for the price of one American. Cheap goods for the American consumer were felt to outweigh the loss of the high-paying benefited manufacturing jobs that sustained our middle class. Currency manipulation, trade policies, geopolitical strategies, and the belief that countries don’t compete didn’t help. Foreign governments implement strategies to dominate targeted industries. Our government is too quick to give our competencies away without regard to the synergism that comes from having healthy manufacturing industries here in America. Ed Shultz, in his book Killer Politics documents the loss of 40,000 manufacturing facilities in the last decade. Since the great recession, two million manufacturing workers have lost their jobs. You recognize American names on appliances, but they are designed and built overseas. One-hundred new jobs make a news event these days, but overseas the increases are 1000 times greater. Some factories are bigger than many cities with employee counts in the hundreds of thousands in South Korea and approaching one million in China. Factory skyscrapers fade into the horizon. Binoculars are needed to make them out and cars are mandatory to travel between them. We should be concerned about the extent of overseas monopolies and their impact on our society. It could be dangerous to have too many eggs in one basket.


Thornton Parker, in his book What If Boomers Can’t Retire, warns about a stock-market collapse caused by the baby boom demographic bubble. Too few workers to buy our stocks when it comes time to sell could drive their value down to pennies on the dollar. He advocated investment in tangibles with real value like houses! Alan Greenspan warns about populism in his book The Age of Turbulence. He celebrates the shift away from industry to information technology, but now that is also migrating away.

How the past perishes is how the future becomes. Our jobs are not coming back because we have forgotten how to do them, our tools are obsolete, and we are overpaid. We can’t expect the foreigners to train us like we did them. They are not going to give up their economy without a fight. Fifty years of trade policy, tax breaks, investment deregulation, and well intentioned government policy promoting housing instead of research and development brought us to our present economic dilemma. Because of its global and geopolitical scope, it is not something that small business alone can fix. Fair competition is necessary. Government, education, and industry need to come together to identify technologies that are promising for development, future profitability, and export, and then devise a national strategy promoting and maintaining technical leadership and opportunity for our middle class. It won’t mean tariffs on everything. We just won’t give our technical leadership away. As it stands, biological technology may be the only remaining area of American superiority. This will take patience, commitment, compromise, and cooperation. It won’t happen overnight, so any program has to be able to survive the changes in politics and ideology that seem to characterize our system.

Materialistic consumption is not the American Dream. It is about Yankee ingenuity, satisfaction in a job well done and in the expression of individual creativity for the good of the world. Materialism does not bring lasting happiness.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Longer, cooler nights bode well for fishing


ROOSEVELT LAKE - Lake Elevation is 2,130 ft (76 percent full). Tonto Creek runoff is 0 cfs while inflow from the Salt River is at 201 cfs.

The nights are getting longer and cooler, so look for action to pick up during the day, especially at first and last light. We should be seeing the leading edge of the fall topwater bite right now.

An angler fished from 7:30 to 11 p.m. and caught 7 nice bass mid lake in the vicinity of Windy Hill. Two were over 16 inches. They were all caught on plastics around 30 feet of water. The bite was real soft.

An angler did real well using buzzbait in the morning landing a couple 3-pound largemouth bass and a couple more between 13 and 16 inches. Once it was warm and the clouds burned off, a ½-ounce shakey head rigged red Power Worm enticed four largemouth along a rocky bank that had a nice slope to it. He finished till about 2 p.m.

APACHE - Lake elevation is 1,909 feet (95 percent full). This lake has been producing well all summer, especially for largemouth bass. With the nights getting longer and cooler, expect the topwater action to start picking up here during the daytime.

An angler fished for about 3.5 hours from 5 to 8:30 p.m. He threw shad color 5-inch Senkos that resulted in boating three smallmouth bass, three fat largemouth bass and one walleye. Water temps were about 88 degrees and water clarity was 3 feet.

One fisherman caught 12 largemouth and three smallmouth bass on various colored Robo Worms on dropshot along the banks. Average size was about a pound. Largest was 2 pounds. He noted a spawn was successful this year as he caught two youngsters. He also caught something big but it straightened the hook and the fish got away.

CANYON - Lake elevation is 1,658 ft, which is 96 percent full. An angler on a fishing tube fished early morning at Boulder and caught four largemouth bass on topwater. Bite shut down in after 7:30 or so. Jig bite was real slow later on.

Another angler had the same luck. Topwater worked well in the morning but the bite fell off and he only caught one two pound bass after 7:30 a.m.

With the nights getting longer and cooler, expect the topwater action to continue picking up.

SAGUARO - Lake elevation 1,525 feet at 93 percent full. Daytime topwater action is picking up, but it's still a little crazy with recreational boaters on the weekends. However, if you can fish during the weekdays, this is a good choice, especially for a mixed bag of largemouth bass, yellow bass, bluegill and channel catfish.

Fishing at night under lights should continue getter better and better as we move toward a new moon. Should be a quarter moon this weekend, so watch the moon rise and set times.

A group of 3 anglers caught 2 small bass and a yellow bass in about 4 hours of fishing. No details on what they used.

BARTLETT – Lake elevation is 1,758 feet, which is 50 percent full. Reservoir release is 125 cfs. This lake has been producing well all summer. Try the major points, islands and reefs along this long, narrow desert reservoir. This is the time of year when you are just as likely to catch bass during the day as you are at night, so take your choice.

With the nights getting longer and cooler, the days getting shorter, the water temperatures on this lake -- especially at the surface -- are cooling down. Bait fish and predatory fish will both become increasingly active as the season progresses. Go armed with topwater baits, jerkbaits, and crankbaits for the more active fish, and use drop shots, jigs and spoons for the deeper less active ones.

An angler fished from midnight to 3:45 in the morning. He boated 5 largemouth bass. The largest was just over 4 pounds. He got 20 or more hits and lost 4 while reeling them in.

HORSESHOE - Lake elevation is at 1,952 feet 0 percent full. They are releasing water at 110 cfs.

Just wanted to share my last fishing trip to the Verde River below Horseshoe Dam. We arrived around 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 18th. It was a last minute trip , so all we had for bait was worms and chicken liver. We didn't have time to get water dogs.

Around 11 p.m. I tossed a large piece of chicken liver just below rapids in the "channel." Instantly, my pole nearly bent in half and I hooked a channel cat. This fish was jumping clear out of the water like a trout or bass. Little did I know it one of the largest channel's I had ever caught in this area. When I finally landed it, I instantly weighed it and it came in at a healthy 4 pounds even.

In total, we caught at least 20 fish. All channels except one largemouth bass and two flatheads. This is the third weekend fishing the Verde river below Horseshoe Dam with excellent fishing. I would like to say exactly where we are catching them, but I don't want to spoil it for us.......we catch and release. I will say that the most of the excellent areas to fish are at least one mile below the dam. A canoe or small boat is a must! Good Luck!!
Scott- Phoenix

VERDE RIVER – Verde River flow at Tangle is 103 cubic feet per second. Release from Bartlett Lake is 125 cfs.

Angler Report:

Decided to go to the Verde instead of the Lower Salt yesterday. Had a fairly productive day. Caught 5 Smallmouth Bass and 2 Roundtail Chub. Two of the Bass and one of the Chub were caught on a #4 Panther Martin spinner; the rest were caught on a nymph wet fly. If you can deal with the heat and the sun the fish are still biting pretty good on the Verde.

Happy Fishing!
Tom Leeper
Liberty Mutual Group

SALT RIVER (above Roosevelt) - Salt River into Roosevelt is 201 cfs, and Salt River Canyon is 194 cfs. They are releasing 1,625 cfs out of Stewart Mountain Dam from Saguaro.

LOWER SALT RIVER (below Saguaro Lake) – Try inline spinners, Power Bait or drifting night crawlers. Fly-fishing can be good with nymphs and Wooly Buggers. We have mixed angler reports: some aren’t catching many fish, others are catching limits. Some bass can be found in the portion above the Verde confluence. Fish early or late to avoid the barrage of inner tubes.


Haigler Creek – Haigler Creek is stocked weekly with rainbow trout near the campgrounds. These fish can be easily taken using bait, spinners and a variety of flies. The upper hike in section (from Fisherman’s Point) has good numbers of wild rainbows and some large wild browns. Try attractor patterns and small beadhead nymphs like hares ear, copper john and prince nymphs.

Canyon Creek – The upstream portion of Canyon Creek (above OW Bridge) is stocked weekly with rainbow trout and you can keep four trout of any size. Bait, spinners and flies are very effective for the rainbows. The lower section below OW Bridge contains primarily wild brown trout and is catch-and-release only using artificial flies and lures. Please obey these regulations.

This time of year terrestrials can provide some good action. Try using a grasshopper or cicada pattern and dropping a small beadhead nymph off of it. Don’t be afraid to fish for the larger browns after dark. Try using wolly buggers, muddler minnows or even a floating mouse pattern. Fishing can be slow but you might be rewarded with a large brown trout.

Tonto Creek – Upper Tonto Creek (above Hwy 260) is stocked weekly with rainbow trout. Try the usual stuff. There are good numbers of wild rainbow and brown trout downstream of Bear Flat. The hiking is strenuous and you should be prepared to swim if you plan to fish very far below Bear Flat.

Although there is a mercury consumption advisory for Tonto Creek, it does not affect the portion of the creek where people trout fish, nor is there any issue with eating trout caught there.

Christopher Creek – Stocked weekly with rainbow trout. The section of stream near the See Canyon trail head contains a nice mix of stocked rainbow trout and wild browns. This is a really nice section of stream to fish. Try your typical trout arsenal.

ASU football tickets on sale now for 7 home games

Sun Devil football has seven home games this season, starting with a Sept. 1 contest with UC-Davis, then will hit the ESPN family of Networks on Sept. 9, vs. Missouri and then a Sept. 24 contest with USC. All of the games are at night.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Some have stated recently that they wish "ASU played more night football games like they used to..." and ASU has already said its first three games will kick off at 7 p.m. or later this season. Dating to 2004, the results are pretty clear ... ASU still plays mostly night games and hardly ever plays an afternoon game in September.

With the sun still glaring early in the year, the administration has worked with the Pac-10 (and now Pac-12) and its television partners and helped them understand afternoon games aren't ideal here in September.

Counting this season's three Sept. games, ASU will have played 25 home games in Sept. or August from 2004-2011, and 22 of those will have kicked no earlier than 7 p.m. The three that were not, were a national ABC game vs. Georgia on Sept. 20, 2008 (5:15 p.m.), a Sept. 30, 2006 game vs. Oregon (12:30 p.m. on ABC) and the Hurricane Katrina game vs. LSU at 6:15 on Sept. 10, 2005 on ESPN.

For tickets call 1-888-SUN-DVLS or click on 

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Blog columnist Frank Sullivan debuts

(Frank Sullivan is a former All Star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and a friend of Gazette Columnist Noble Collins.  He was a teammate of the revered Ted Williams, among others.  Frank has an engaging writing style and has experienced far more adventures than baseball alone. In coming weeks it will be a pleasure to share his many ups and downs with Gazette Blog readers.) 

Pitch count a product of Little League, ESPN

By Frank Sullivan
Gazette Blog Contributor

I have been asked more times than I can count, “What is the reason for the pitch count in baseball these days?” After talking with my friend Gary Yates, I believe, as he suggested, it is because of Little League Baseball and here is why.

When I grew up there wasn’t any Little League Baseball. We played a game called "Work Up" and it was played like this. There are four batters and if you made an out you went into right field and everyone changed positions. The right fielder you replaced went to center field. The center fielder went to left field. The left fielder went to third base and so it went until you got to be pitcher. Then after a few throws and an out you got to be a hitter.

Great thing about the game was as long as you didn’t make an out you could keep hitting and everyone got to play every position. It was also good because if one of the fielders wasn’t very good, all the rest of the fielders tried to make him better so they could get their time at bat.

With very little time on the mound as a pitcher and just trying to get the ball over the plate without trying to make it curve (although some guys could), it just didn’t stress out a young arm still in the tender growing process.

Gary Yates has two boys being paid by professional baseball who have been pitching since they were, in essence, babies. Tyler, the oldest made it to the Majors even after shoulder and elbow surgery only to have to have more surgery. I didn’t pitch a game until my second year in high school. That would make my arm at least seven years more mature and a hell of a lot stronger.

It doesn’t explain a game like Juan Marichal beating Warren Spahn 1 to 0 in a game that went 16 innings in Candlestick Park with both pitchers going the distance. And both pitchers were ready for their next start four days later. No one can explain that other than to say that they were damn near freaks of being able to throw a ball at the highest level with perfect physical mechanics.

I know I pitched games when my pitch count was well into the second hundred but my mechanics were never perfect and the soreness afterward from just behind my right ear to the cheek of my right butt was beyond belief. When I say I couldn’t brush my teeth with my right hand the next day, I mean it.

All starting pitchers in my day stayed on the mound until the manager couldn’t stand it anymore. It had nothing to do with how many balls were thrown. And, I might add, we pitched every fourth day and rarely got a five day reprieve.

But here comes Little League which has become a product of television and has cost the parents of gifted baseball kids (most teams that get to Williamsport are All Star products of their league) a very large amount of money. Also making Little League in northern climates having to start damn near in the heart of winter to come up with the teams to send to the Series (baseball was never made to play in cold weather).

So we now have a pitcher at the age of say seven years old that is throwing baseballs as if he was in the Major Leagues while his arm is still in the growing process. In my mind it reeks of disaster.
So far the winners of all this are the doctors who routinely preform the "Tommy John" surgery that replaces a tendon that is attached at the elbow in the pitching arm and has proved to be successful much of the time.

There you have it. I believe the reason for pitch counts today is because the young pitchers are damn near worn out making sure ESPN makes millions way before they have time to use a mature arm that the Major Leagues will destroy later to make ESPN more money.

But if given the chance to make millions while keeping ESPN afloat, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Editor's note: Frank Sullivan has written a book called Life is More than 9 Innings , a unique collection of stories covering a lifetime of memories.  Frank's 10-year Major League Baseball career is the source of a fascinating insider’s look at the sport of baseball and some of the legendary players of the ‘50s and ‘60s including Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Sam White and many more. (Click for a preview.
Life is More Than 9 Innings -- memories of a Boston Red Sox PitcherAs the title implies, there are many more stories to be told including his early years growing up in California, Army service during the Korean War, and 43 years of life in Hawai‘i on the island of Kaua‘i.

Put together in a very readable short story format, each account stands on its own as a captivating tale told by a master storyteller. Along with its wonderful collection of photographs, the book is a storehouse of memories to be savored and enjoyed by sports fans and casual readers alike. 

Frank Sullivan is a Red Sox Hall of Fame pitcher who is now on the way to becoming a Hall of Fame storyteller. This delightful book not only covers his professional career and many of the great players of that era but also has many delightful human interest tales of life away from the playing fields.

He details the ups and downs of a baseball career at a time when there wasn’t expansion of the leagues and free agency was not a part of baseball terminology. A really enjoyable, fun book for everyone.

— Dick Bresciani, Vice President, Boston Red Sox 

Life is More Than 9 Innings
By Frank Sullivan
216 Pages, soft cover
7" x 10"
Published by Editions Limited
List Price $18.00
Special offer: $15.95

Thrift Shop manager resigns amid controversy


(Disclaimer: The editor of this Blog is a volunteer at the HSCAZ Thrift Shop.  Responsible opposing viewpoints will be posted.) 

Hello fellow animal lovers:

I have resigned my position as Thrift Shop Manager due to the fact that the Board of Directors and the Executive Director of HSCAZ (Humane Society of Central Arizona) have felt the need in the last several months to start trying to "take control" of the thrift shop.

Considering how many hoops they made me jump through before they "allowed" me to open the shop (when I donated two months of my time, and our landlord donated two months' rent, so they really had nothing to lose!), I don't think they have any business butting in now and setting budgets for the shop, requiring me to attend weekly meetings with (HSCAZ Director) Sarah (Hock), and starting to try and tell us how to do things. I believe the $180,000 in sales during our first two years (without their help!) speaks for itself.

They're simply getting greedy and, since they've stopped almost all of the other fundraisers, the thrift shop was their biggest fundraiser, so they felt the need to try and intervene and try for more and more money. They've blamed the thrift shop for "all of the negativity about HSCAZ," when the negativity has come about because of their decisions. It wasn't coming out of the thrift shop - people were coming into the shop and speaking their minds.

The powers-to-be at HSCAZ don't allow anybody to disagree with them; they just get rid of those that do. They have driven away many wonderful, extremely dedicated volunteers because of their decisions. It was only a matter of days before they fired me anyway, because I dared speak my mind. I was ordered to "obey everything they told me to do, or I'd be fired." So, I chose to leave first, and let them try to run the shop on their own, since they obviously think they can do a better job than I was!

I'm going to try and open a new animal rescue thrift shop in the near future, which will benefit Paws in the Park, Rim Country Friends of Ferals, Aussie Rescue (and other rescue groups), and hopefully also be able to help low-income people fund vet bills, spaying & neutering, and monetary adoption assistance for those who can't afford the normal $150 adoption fee HSCAZ charges.

I would very much appreciate all of your support in this endeavor. I started the thrift shop to help the animals, not deal with power-tripping "executives" (and) that's what I plan to do (again).

Penny (McKinlock)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Republic features in-depth water update

In today's (Aug. 21) big Sunday edition of The Arizona Republic you'll find an in-depth article on Arizona's water challenges by Grady Gammage Jr.

Headlined "A Question of Water," it features a Morrison Institute report addressing myths, concerns and where Arizona's megapolitan area is headed.  One question raised that's sure to get the attention of Valleyites: "Do we need to alter how we live by doing things like banning swimming pools?"

Click on to read the article.  And be sure to call 1-800-332-6733 to start your daily subscription to the Republic.  The news doesn't just happen on Tuesdays and Fridays.  It happens seven days a week.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Kofiles welcome Habitat biker group to MoJoe's

Contributed photo
The Kofiles with their 34 new biker friends.

It was just after lunch on Thursday, Aug. 10 when the Bike & Build Maine to Santa Barbara group peddled into MoJoe's Grill in search of a place that could accommodate and feed 34 bikers.

Route leader Catherine Atwood and others came in hoping to get dinner donated for their riders, because their previous dinner plans had fallen through. After hearing of their predicament and once they learned that the group was riding for Habitat for Humanity and raises funds for affordable housing projects, Andy & Cindy Kofile of MoJoe's Grill & Micro Pub were more than happy to provide a free meal for the young bicyclists. The next night, dinner was provided by Kathy Bickert, Manager of the Re-Store. The bicyclists enjoyed spaghetti and home made peach cobbler.
The group presented t-shirts to the Kofiles and Ms. Bickert. The Kofiles had all the bikers sign their name and home state on the t-shirt which Cindy plans on displaying in their restaurant.

"These kids are just a delight!" said Kofile, "I commend them for their dedication to such a great cause; they were all gracious and polite, their parents would be proud!"

The group started on June 19 in Portland, Maine and will end their trip on Aug. 27 in Santa Barbara, Calif., an estimated 3,846 miles. They spent Aug. 11 helping to build at the Payson Habitat for Humanity family homes on Longhorn & McLane roads.

Vision Statement:
Bike & Build envisions future generations who are committed to a lifetime of civic engagement and who inspire individuals and communities to create fair, decent housing for all Americans.

More information about is available on their website.