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June 04, 2015


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I have a sad story for you.

Motorola's headcount in AZ is now zero.

An ex-Motorola person works for a new tech company and telecommutes from Tempe.

At a recent meeting in the Chicago home office, a senior VP asked "why do we need a person in AZ?"

A world wide tech company questions the need for ONE body in AZ.
The Motorola legacy can't fall any lower than that.

well, it does not get more explicit than this: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2015/06/arizona-ranks-dead-last-in-teacher-pay-classroom.html

And now the Gov is going to announce a bezzle that will allow more looting and less money over the long term, and the R party will vote for it in spades.

I find it interesting that Arizona is sliding further down as it embraces more and more REP/ALEC mantras.

The religious aspect of the ideology for the party is spelling the end of reality, and a departure for a mythical old promised land.

Meanwhile, the 21st century grinds on, and we go backwards.

New industries require new blood, and we get retired folks who just want knee transplants and blood tests. Invest in more cancer treatment centers and assisted living facilities.

That is the true growth industry in Arizona, and educating folks to change bedpans is a waste of time.

The sad truth is we have bought this, and allowing the entire discussion to be shifted to the far right has allowed the fools to populate the political landscape.

Time for some new dem blood, because the old guys have totally failed in Arizona.

And some seriously large money to counteract the Koch millions thrown into a very small pool of Arizona politics.

It has bought disaster on a large scale.

But I predict a bunch of college students will eventually get smart enough to swing some parts of this state to the left.

So much for what might have been. Atlanta came oh so close to becoming a Tech hub but alas things went the wrong way. If you’re a geezer you’ll remember Hayes modems. Almost all PC communications was via telephone at the time. Hayes was the Cisco of its day. Virtually all communications was via a Hayes box or a “Hayes compatible” one. Hayes was late in getting into internet/LAN type comms and bet on the wrong technology and soon died. Scientific Atlanta developed the TV set-top box used by Cable and satellite systems. Was and is (sort of) very successful. However, it was bought out by Cisco. Cisco still has a huge presence in Atlanta (Cisco Services Inc. has its head office there). Atlanta was never able to get over the hump and become a San Jose or Seattle. Same for Dallas. Texas Instruments was a huge player in the semiconductor business. Same for Boston and Digital Equipment. IBM was pretty much everywhere when it actually made stuff. IBM is still huge in Atlanta; most of its customer support and systems integration was out of Atlanta and still is (Atlanta is an easy place to fly in and out of – which is big if you’re in this kind of business).

The fact that San Jose and Seattle are tech hubs is almost accidental; they certainly didn’t plan it. I’ve written about this before and won’t repeat myself.

Looking over the roster of companies: AiResearch, Goodyear Aircraft, Kaiser, General Electric, Honeywell, Digital, GTE, Western Electric, and Motorola. Almost all have faded with time. That’s the way it is in Tech. GE is still a huge company – but mostly it’s a bank now.

One can always hope that a couple of bright kids working in a garage will come up with the “next big thing”. But this sort of thing mostly just happens out of pure dumb luck. Nine times out of ten the minute an idea looks promising Cisco or Microsoft or Intel or Goggle will swoop in and buy them up.

Production of aircraft has become pretty much an international affair. Oddly enough, Mexico is becoming a big player in small aircraft.

I don’t see Phoenix as having any particular strengths to build on; and a lot of weaknesses to address. Meds has its possibilities but everyone, everywhere is competing for this.

wkg, how much truth is it in the story I have often heard. That Birmingham could have been the first city of the South if it had invested in its airport ahead of Atlanta and not had the racial violence?

Honeywell (or Honey-ill as the employees call it now) has been helping gut the Phoenix aerospace industry. Much of the machinery and tooling has been sent to Mexico and what's left in Phoenix is dying on the vine as the roots are torn out.


Yup, total bezzle, robbing the Trust Fund to pay for tax cuts.

What a fricking story.

I am amazed that anyone would applaud this half hearted attempt to keep one's impossible campaign promises.

But the tax cuts keep on coming!!!

LOL too much reality and sunshine, given it is going to rain in June.

Well Gov. Ducey is keeping the REIC shell game going (using school funding as the carrot) which is his only hustle.

Re “wkg, how much truth is it in the story I have often heard. That Birmingham could have been the first city of the South if it had invested in its airport ahead of Atlanta and not had the racial violence?”

No. Birmingham was a tough, gritty, dirty steel town with racial issues. A bigger airport wasn’t going to change any of this. The riots and bombings were just another thing to deal with. Atlanta has different DNA. You might say it’s a “let’s make a deal town”.

Oddly enough, things have worked out for well for B’ham. Still have big-time perception problems; some real ones too.

For Atlanta, I’d say it’s a matter of opinion. In some ways Atlanta and Phoenix are alike. Except that Atlanta has a real economy, livable in-town neighborhoods and a downtown that’s not on life support.

Having lived in both for substantial periods of time, a vastly prefer Birmingham.

Every time I visit Atlanta I am struck by how crappy the road system is in comparison to Phoenix, but then it is a real hodgepodge of local and ill fitting freeways.

Travel times are crazy during rush hours, and I felt almost like it was a southern version of LA.

But they do have a REIC economy with serious corporate and manufacturing underlayment.

We just have old folks, an endless parade of them voting for no schools.

I received some sage advice early in my time in Atlanta. It was from an Atlanta PD cop who was a neighbor of mine. It was “you’ve got to learn how to use the city and not let the city use you.” I never encountered traffic problems with any regularity; but I was very picky about where I lived. I worked downtown, so I always lived fairly close in. Also, there were a lot of places I just wouldn’t go (for travel reasons). Me and my buddies had a woman assessment metric called GU. A woman who failed the GU metric was “Geographically Undesirable”.

I get a laugh when people write about Phoenix’s sprawl. You’ve got to go to Atlanta to see what real sprawl looks like. Ditto for “linear slums”. Come to B’ham and I’ll show you what real slums look like.

The DD's latest scheme for funding education sounds like a semi-ponzi scheme. "pie in the Sky" believing that interest rates will rise enough to keep from spending principal.It appears to me to be designed to get people "off his back" about the draconian cuts to education. I still believe he is more concerned with helping his buddies in the charter school racket than helping Arizona's public schools.
I thank God everyday that I am retired and no longer fighting it teaching.

I keep looking at amazement at the Sperry Plant photo. Anyone know what they did there? Look at all the cars! The large building appears to be an office building. The white building to the rear looks vaguely industrial.

Anyone know what Intel does in Phoenix? I’ve always assumed it’s a chip manufacturing operation; but I really don’t know.

I believe Sperry made avionics components. Intel makes semiconductors.

Sperry Flight Systems became part of Honeywell. Honeywell has a large building at that same intersection. Mostly R&D, production work has shifted overseas.

I worked at this plant for a month or maybe 2 doing wire prep. I quit before I went insane doing something a pigeon could be trained to do. Honeywell also had a plant on the SW corner of the Black Canyon Highway and Thunderbird Road.

didn't know exactly what the word "avionics" meant. Per wiki

Avionics are the electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites, and spacecraft.

Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems, and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to perform individual functions. These can be as simple as a searchlight for a police helicopter or as complicated as the tactical system for an airborne early warning platform.

The term avionics is a portmanteau of the words aviation and electronics.

About Honeywell:

Honeywell Aerospace began in 1914. Over nearly a century, through various acquisitions, mergers and name changes, Honeywell Aerospace combined legacy companies Sperry, Bendix, Garrett AiResearch, Pioneer, Lycoming, Grimes, King Radio (Company) and Allied Signal.[5] Garrett Corporation also acquired Aero Engineering Inc., Aero Sales Engineering, Ltd. and Air Cruisers Company in 1954.[6]

Honeywell Aerospace is the largest manufacturer of aircraft engines and avionics,[1] as well as a producer of auxiliary power units (APUs) and other aviation products. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, it is a division of the Honeywell International conglomerate. It generates approximately $10 billion in annual revenue from a 50/50 mix of commercial and defense contracts.

And then there's MD Helicopter of Mesa

Taking a break and
"Getting out of Town"
With Sonny Boy Williamson

1910 Elmer Sperry formed the Sperry Gyroscope Co. in Brooklyn, NY .

1957 Sperry Phoenix moved into the 19th Ave. and Deer Valley facility in Phoenix, AZ.


Viva Blanca!

Did u have the "Seventh Seal" in mind?

Nope. Hurricane. Or whatever you call a hurrican in the West.

I knew u meant an El Nino Hurricane. My response was does it end like the Ingmar Bergman movie.

Don't know. Never saw the movie. I'm a hick.

Hurricane Virga is the name for all 'canes in AZ.

I agree with wkg's comment about the fortuity involved in being a technology hub, or not. Phoenix has had some bad luck with key tech companies going under or outsourcing or changing their plans.

Unfortunately, we are not a coastal, cosmopolitan city, which is what the young, disposable-income types seem to like to flock to. We are more of a city that those people move to when they are 30 or 40 and want to have a home, a family, and stretch their dollars farther than in overpriced coastal cities.

I know my quality of life and my financial picture is much better now than when I lived in California, however, I certainly understand the appeal of that state's natural beauty and coastline for those who are young and not thinking too much about long term financial impacts.

My first job was as a tester and later on a technician for various autopilot systems built for a number of different
aircraft manufacturers-Boeing,M-D,
Lockheed,etc. from 1965-1969
It was a great experience for me and i gained a good electronic background.
I made good friends and unfortunately
lost contact when I moved to Ohio.I have fond memories of my first job out
the U.S.Navy and if any readers are from that time slot at Sperry who worked in the testing dept.,it would be good to hear you're stories.

Here's a name i recalled from that era,Phil Cushman.If anyone out there knew him,if living, how's he doing? We worked in the same dept.and got along ok He was a skinny kid and joked around - lot's of laughs!
My last project or system was the SPZ-1 autopilot controller for the Boeing 747.I was on
the ground floor of develop.and worked with eng.on the roll & pitch channel computers.I learned a lot about flight terminology and instrumentation in my time there. Moved back to Ohio where family was and finished my career as a manufacturing electrician on process control equip.& mach. Would like to get a response from any oldtime tech.from that dept. Have a good day and soak-up all those AZ rays - it's cold up here!

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