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  • LETTER: EPCOR increase does not address district problems

    There have been several letters and articles published in the Independent about the EPCOR wastewater rate consolidation proposed for Sun City.These articles asked Sun City residents to contact the Arizona Corporation Commission to speak out against the proposal, but none of these have actually spelled out the proposal’s economic impact in dollars and cents.The EPCOR proposal seeks to consolidate, or equalize, the wastewater processing rates charged in five wastewater processing districts managed by EPCOR. The rates charged in these five districts range from a high of $71.16 per month to a low of $22.11 per month. Sun City homeowners pay the lowest rate. If EPCOR’s request is approved, the wastewater processing rate for Sun City homeowners will be “equalized” to $41.02 per month. At the same time the rates of three of the remaining districts, where the rates are $60.33, $63.84 and $71.16 will also be “equalized” to $41.02.The increase for Sun City Residents will be $18.91 per month, an 85 percent increase, not a 54 percent increase as stated in a previous letter. This adds up to an annual increase of $277 a year.The EPCOR proposal doesn’t take into consideration why each district’s rates are so different (e.g., established community versus new development) or the economic circumstances of the districts (e.g., wage earners versus retirees). Sun City residents, most of whom live on fixed incomes, will be obligated to help pay the wastewater bills of people we do not know. Sun City will become EPCOR’s piggy bank!Don’t for a minute think that the Corporation Commission will have the best interests of Sun City residents at heart. We need to help the commissioners understand what our best interests are by contacting each of them. The Independent has published articles and letters that included the commissioners’ names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. A sample letter was also published.

  • North County Fire will stop using insect spray inside buildings

    A Sun City West North County Fire & Medical District board director is not a fan of insecticides and would like an environmentally-friendly approach used to getting rid of bugs.“We’re paying them to poison us,” said Smitty Smith, a board member who has not sprayed for bugs at his home for 10 years and only uses diatomaceous earth.The topic was discussed during September’s board meeting where Mr. Smith talked about the costs associated with spraying versus using a more natural method.“We’re paying a pest control company $279 a month, $3,300 a year for all the stations and they have a lot of – mostly toxins, carcinogens,” Mr. Smith noted. “I know they’ll tell you that it’s all safe.”He said he worked for a pest control company a couple years after he retired. “None of that stuff they use is safe. They wear gloves and masks, boots,” Mr. Smith added.He proposed the fire district use diatomaceous earth which costs about $2 per pound and that 40 pounds would cost $80 and last about a year. “Put it down around the perimeters and it’s safe. It’s non-toxic,” he said.

  • ACC commissioner Bob Burns to hire attorney

    PHOENIX -- The showdown between Arizona Public Service and a state utility regulator over its records has been put off while Bob Burns shops for an attorney. Burns said Thursday he reached a deal of sorts with the power company to give it and its parent, Pinnacle West Capital Corp., more time to produce all the documents he subpoenaed. That also puts off Burns' demand that Don Brandt, the chief executive of both companies, submit to questioning under oath next month about political donations and other financial matters. But Burns said he is getting something out of the deal, too: time to find and hire an attorney. Burns had thought when he issued the subpoena last month he would have legal help in deciphering the documents he demanded. But those plans fell through when the other commissioners vetoed his plans to hire outside counsel. It was only last week -- after APS and Pinnacle West sued to quash the subpoena -- that the other regulators reversed course and agreed to let him bring on legal help to defend that lawsuit. "I'm off trying to hire a lawyer,'' Burns told Capitol Media Services on Thursday. He said that is proving more difficult than he thought. 

  • North County Fire will stop using insect spray inside buildings

    A Sun City West North County Fire & Medical District board director is not a fan of insecticides and would like an environmentally-friendly approach used to getting rid of bugs.“We’re paying them to poison us,” said Smitty Smith, a board member who has not sprayed for bugs at his home for 10 years and only uses diatomaceous earth.The topic was discussed during September’s board meeting where Mr. Smith talked about the costs associated with spraying versus using a more natural method.“We’re paying a pest control company $279 a month, $3,300 a year for all the stations and they have a lot of – mostly toxins, carcinogens,” Mr. Smith noted. “I know they’ll tell you that it’s all safe.”He said he worked for a pest control company a couple years after he retired. “None of that stuff they use is safe. They wear gloves and masks, boots,” Mr. Smith added.He proposed the fire district use diatomaceous earth which costs about $2 per pound and that 40 pounds would cost $80 and last about a year. “Put it down around the perimeters and it’s safe. It’s non-toxic,” he said.

  • ACC commissioner Bob Burns to hire attorney

    PHOENIX -- The showdown between Arizona Public Service and a state utility regulator over its records has been put off while Bob Burns shops for an attorney. Burns said Thursday he reached a deal of sorts with the power company to give it and its parent, Pinnacle West Capital Corp., more time to produce all the documents he subpoenaed. That also puts off Burns' demand that Don Brandt, the chief executive of both companies, submit to questioning under oath next month about political donations and other financial matters. But Burns said he is getting something out of the deal, too: time to find and hire an attorney. Burns had thought when he issued the subpoena last month he would have legal help in deciphering the documents he demanded. But those plans fell through when the other commissioners vetoed his plans to hire outside counsel. It was only last week -- after APS and Pinnacle West sued to quash the subpoena -- that the other regulators reversed course and agreed to let him bring on legal help to defend that lawsuit. "I'm off trying to hire a lawyer,'' Burns told Capitol Media Services on Thursday. He said that is proving more difficult than he thought. 

  • Sun City West man endures pain of data breach

    The effects of the Banner Health data breach in July continue to reverberate and multiple class action lawsuits against the company may follow in the months ahead.On July 7, Banner Health had a data breach where about 3.7 million people may have had their confidential financial and medical information stolen. Those affected included patients, health plan members and beneficiaries, food and beverage customers as well as physicians and healthcare providers.Banner Health discovered that cyber attackers may have gained unauthorized access to computer systems that process payment card data at food and beverage outlets at some Banner Health locations, based on a release from the health provider.The attackers targeted payment card data, including cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code, as the data were being routed through affected payment processing systems.Payment cards used at food and beverage outlets at certain Banner Health locations during the two-week period between June 23 and July 7 may have been affected. A list of the outlets that were affected can be found at www.BannerSupports.com.Individuals were not notified until Aug. 3, when Banner announced it had sent out letters. However, lawsuit documents claim not all 3.7 million people have received notifications.

  • ACC commissioner Bob Burns to hire attorney

    PHOENIX -- The showdown between Arizona Public Service and a state utility regulator over its records has been put off while Bob Burns shops for an attorney. Burns said Thursday he reached a deal of sorts with the power company to give it and its parent, Pinnacle West Capital Corp., more time to produce all the documents he subpoenaed. That also puts off Burns' demand that Don Brandt, the chief executive of both companies, submit to questioning under oath next month about political donations and other financial matters. But Burns said he is getting something out of the deal, too: time to find and hire an attorney. Burns had thought when he issued the subpoena last month he would have legal help in deciphering the documents he demanded. But those plans fell through when the other commissioners vetoed his plans to hire outside counsel. It was only last week -- after APS and Pinnacle West sued to quash the subpoena -- that the other regulators reversed course and agreed to let him bring on legal help to defend that lawsuit. "I'm off trying to hire a lawyer,'' Burns told Capitol Media Services on Thursday. He said that is proving more difficult than he thought. 

  • Hot Rod Night At Westgate 9/21/16

    People gather at the Westgate Entertainment District for Hot Rod night on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Cars were lined up the district for people to see along with live music and vendors.  All photos by Independent Newsmedia/Alexandra Gaspar. 

  • Former Cactus High teacher arrested, suspected of sex with student

    Glendale Police arrested a former Cactus High School teacher last week on suspicion of an inappropriate and sexual relationship with an underage female student.Allen Scott Johnson, 48, was arrested Sept. 22 and faces three counts each of sexual conduct with a minor, a class 2 felony, police said.Police were alerted July 28 of the relationship that occurred between January 2011 through July 2011. The victim was identified as a 16 years old when she first interacted with the teacher, and 17 when he began the sexual relationship. The teacher was employed by Cactus High School from January 2010 through December 2012. He was a teacher at Paradise Valley High School and was placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.Glendale Police Sex Crimes detectives said Mr. Johnson used his position of trust as a teacher and provided private lessons in both acting and debate to the victim. Detectives are not aware of any other allegations at this time, however, the investigation is ongoing.Anyone with information about Mr. Johnson or his activities is encouraged to contact Glendale Police at 623-930-3000 or their local police department.

  • ACC commissioner Bob Burns to hire attorney

    PHOENIX -- The showdown between Arizona Public Service and a state utility regulator over its records has been put off while Bob Burns shops for an attorney. Burns said Thursday he reached a deal of sorts with the power company to give it and its parent, Pinnacle West Capital Corp., more time to produce all the documents he subpoenaed. That also puts off Burns' demand that Don Brandt, the chief executive of both companies, submit to questioning under oath next month about political donations and other financial matters. But Burns said he is getting something out of the deal, too: time to find and hire an attorney. Burns had thought when he issued the subpoena last month he would have legal help in deciphering the documents he demanded. But those plans fell through when the other commissioners vetoed his plans to hire outside counsel. It was only last week -- after APS and Pinnacle West sued to quash the subpoena -- that the other regulators reversed course and agreed to let him bring on legal help to defend that lawsuit. "I'm off trying to hire a lawyer,'' Burns told Capitol Media Services on Thursday. He said that is proving more difficult than he thought. 

  • Get to know the PUSD Governing Board candidates at upcoming forum

    Residents, readers and tax payers can get to know the candidates running for Peoria Unified School District Governing Board before election day, Nov. 8.The public can attend a Meet the Candidate Forum hosted by the Peoria United Parent Council and moderated by Independent Newsmedia.Six candidates are running for three seats. They include incumbents David Jonagan and Judy Doane, as well as newcomers Dr. Russell McConnell, Monica Ceja Martinez and David Sandoval.All six candidates are invited to participate in the forum. Mr. McConnell, Ms. Ceja Martinez and Mr. Sandoval had confirmed as of Sept. 23.Registration begins 6 p.m. and the forum starts at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 29 at the PUSD administrative offices in the administration center board room, 6330 W. Thunderbird Road, in Glendale.Voter registration deadline for the general election is Oct. 10, and early voting begins, Oct. 12.

  • Peoria GAIN Annual Public Safety Night set for Oct. 15

    Peoria’s Police and Fire-Medical Departments are bringing together family fun and safety education in one place at the GAIN Annual Public Safety Night, 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15.This is an opportunity for an up-close look at police cars, fire trucks, specialty emergency vehicles and equipment. In addition, safety organizations will have displays to show how to keep residents and their families safe. The event will include kid-friendly activities such as inflatables, face painting and more. Call 623-773-7099 or visit peoriaaz.gov/gain.

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