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October 19, 2018

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This is how democracy is supposed to work where citizens get involved in an issue and do something tangibly good for their community. I was a teenager back then and I recall dropping spare change into a jar to save Camelback Mountain. It didn't strike me as dramatic or fraught in any way with a countervailing argument. It was something obviously good, so good people did something and it happened.

Here's another example where a single individual attempted to do something good. Eugene Pulliam objected to a horrible design for the 1-10 segment through central Phoenix. The Arizona Republic published his editorial and swayed opinion. The ballot proposition was voted down and Phoenix avoided a permanent eyesore.

But as time wore on, it became increasingly difficult to get significant public projects done. In the 1980s, there were two: Val Trans and Rio Salado. Both were voted down by two-to-one margins since they involved an increase in property taxes. The main opposition came from the exurban fringes of the metroplex like Sun City. The common good for these people was their own local community, not the larger one.

In 2000, the Sierra Club hoped to get reasonable growth controls placed on the epic sprawl that was devouring so much of Arizona. Prop 202 polled well in the beginning but.....well, you know the rest of the story.

I think a lot about why our democracy is failing. Public cynicism about community improvement and politics itself is rife. But the Phoenix Mountains Preserves movement showed how our public life can be enhanced by good people merely marshaling their civic spirit and cooperating with one another. Who knows? Maybe someday we can resuscitate this ethos in some post-Trumpian civic revival.

Dottie Gilbert left a large and useful archive to ASU. She had the neatest personal files I’d seen. We made a website with selected documents, news clips and photos many years ago and recast it as a PDF file here: https://repository.asu.edu/items/18357

This subject is definitely our tragedy of the commons. If u want to defeat anything such as the solar prop. Just tell people it is going to cost them money and viola-it’s done. Same with schools.

What do you want? People actually caring about their communities and making good choices for the long term good?

Uh, no. Absolutely not.

Just see this about vaccines and GRRC:
https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2018/10/19/doug-ducey-vaccines-anti-autism/1698368002/

What a disgrace. And farce.

What fools.

Ducey once again shows how deep the derp runs in his administration. The idea of GRRC is to review rules for the necessity, not just for the feel good of not having regulations.

And not have a pilot program to tell people they are being stupid about vaccines, not mandating they get their children immunized, just watch a video so their choice is informed by more than some internet blather is beyond risible.

Stupidity of humans is beyond amazing.

After all, deregulation will somehow allow those diseases to be stopped by the magic powers of the free market!!!

Statistic don't lie, over 5% of the Kindergarten kids are not immunized, so hey, guess what someone will bring back from vacation- some measles for the class!

Beyond stupid, now we are getting to dangerous.

The cult of deregulation, as I foresaw, has now degenerated into utter stupidity.

Excellent Front pages.

Good column Jon. In the seventies I helped build and maintain the Charles Christianson trail that runs from 7th Avenue and Peoria to Tatum Blvd in Paradise Valley passing thru the Point Resort on 7th street. I have spent 68 years walking, running and bicycling the Trails at South Mountain. In 91 I designed a 50 mile course for a Phoenix Police Department event that police departments from the United States and other countries attended. Which brings me to my point. The mountain preserves are overused. Particularly South Mountain. A number of proposals, such as charging entrance fees have not solved this problem. Given the climate of the Midwest and Southern and Northern States, Phoenix will continue to grow. Infrastructure is critical for that growth and must include for current and new parks.
Coyote and I will help plant a few Sajuaros
On the positive side, a site about Phoenix the “Artificial” city.
https://www.inverse.com/article/5665-future-cities-phoenix-hot-dry-big

Few commenters? Maybe blog readers dont leave their tightly wound refrigerated condo cocoons for desert tromps through the cholla and mesquite. Or jump a rattler on the Crystal Trail in Piestewa
Peak Park (formerly Squaw Peak).
The last 100 times i drove by Tovera Castle its been closed. It has some stupendous Sajuaros!

Thank you for writing about this, Jon. I appreciate it.

Parks and preserves must be protected at all costs because once they are gone, they can never come back.

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