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32 July 2 - 15, 2011 Publisher’sNote Happy, safe 4th of July

Growing up in rural Iowa, it was a greatly- anticipated annual treat to watch the Fourth of July fireworks exploding over the corn fields north of the Earlham Community School. We’d bring our blankets, chairs and snacks to the town event and “oooh” and “ahhhh” over the beautiful colors, and

jump out of our seats at the nearly sonic booms.

Back in the day, it was too costly to have fireworks at any more than the single, yearly event. In addition, because fireworks were illegal in Iowa at the time, people would have to drive to Missouri to buy them. And invariably, the days following July 4th would be filled with stories about injuries from fireworks. Kids would blow off fingers with M-80s, put out eyes with firecrackers and set small fires with other explosives. Here in Arizona, you can look in the skies and see fireworks around the Valley following any number of events, including ball games and special activities. This is the first July 4th holiday when fireworks may be legally purchased here – but as you’ll read in our cover story, Chandler officials say it’s illegal to blow them off in city limits. And I can about guarantee that in the days following July 4th, we’ll hear the stories about people getting hurt from fireworks.

Time will tell whether the Arizona Legislature’s new law favors for- profit businesses and additional tax revenue at the expense of careless residents who find themselves hospitalized following what should have been a night of fun to celebrate our independence.

Stay as cool as you can, and have a happy – and safe – Fourth of July. Thanks for picking up the SanTan Sun News, and as you travel around the country or world this summer, know you can find out what’s going on back home by reading us online at

Opinion Community Commentary

While challenges remain, State of the City remains positive

by Mayor Jay Tibshraeny

During my recent State of the City address, I spoke at length about two areas vital to our community’s continued success: neighborhoods and the economy. There is a solid connection between the two. Job creation helps build a strong economy and allows cities to create and maintain places where people want to be. Without great neighborhoods though, employers tend to look elsewhere when it comes time to locate or expand. It makes sense, then, to focus our attention equally on both areas. That is why I have launched two new initiatives, announced during my remarks, that target each. Neighborhood Connect is a virtual community meeting that will be held Sat., Oct. 15. More details are on the way, but it will basically allow residents to attend a town hall in cyberspace utilizing a new web presence we are developing.

By bringing together residents and arming them with information and answers to pressing concerns, we are building leaders who will help us to sustain our community in the best and worst of times. So whether you are at home, work, the local coffee shop or halfway around the globe on Oct. 15, I hope you will join us for a great morning of dialogue about our City.

The second initiative involves the challenges of our lingering down economy and the many vacant retail centers in Chandler. I have heard from members of the commercial sector about these concerns and this initiative will focus on four-corner retail and vacant retail. Several years ago, staff created the commercial redevelopment matching grant program. Recently, our thoughts have shifted to using some of that financing to make a greater impact on commercial corner redevelopment. A great example is Chandler Preparatory Academy, the new charter school at Warner and Alma School roads. Pulling together data on pivotal retail corridors along Dobson Road, Alma School Road and Arizona Avenue, staff from several City departments is meeting to sift through the data and discuss options. They are looking for creative alternatives, tasked to think outside the box and dissect this mission literally corner by corner. The findings will be shared with a roundtable group that will include residents and the development community and allow for further discussion to generate some ideas on how to move forward. I truly believe we can make a positive difference in these areas by creating better uses that will benefit the business community and the City in general. Finally, the City Council adopted the 2011-12 budget June 9. This plan avoids cuts in City services for the first time in several years. The budget also includes an adjustment in the secondary property tax that will enable the City to continue to pay its bond obligations and to maintain basic infrastructure. The new rate also ensures that Chandler property owners will pay less in City taxes with the average homeowner’s tax bill to the City decreasing.

Chandler’s fiscal house remains in good order with some signs of recovery occurring that include new job creation and increasing local sales tax revenues. While we still have some challenges ahead, the state of the City remains very positive indeed.

Practice safe driving habits this summer

Laurie Fagen Publisher Laurie Fagen, Publisher by Tim Hovik

Have a story idea or news tip? Know of an interesting photo opportunity? How about positive feedback or constructive comments? We’d like to hear from you. Email us at


As we’re in the midst of summer vacation season, now is a good time to remind parents and teens about safe driving tips. Unfortunately in Arizona in 2009, 31 teen drivers were killed in auto accidents and nearly 3,330 teen drivers were injured. As an auto dealer in Gilbert, I am reminded every day that enforcing safe driving habits is the only way to bring this number down. Accordingly, I’d like to offer a few practical tips. Insist on safety belt use. According to the latest data, in 2009 the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,713 lives in the U.S.

Drinking and driving don’t mix. More than a third of all teen traffic fatalities involve alcohol. This should be obvious, but no excuses, no second chances, no alcohol. Period. Make sure you talk to your child about what to do or who to call if they are ever stuck in a situation without a sober driver. There are always other options.

See Community Commentary Page 33

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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2002Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 EDITORIAL:

38,000 Total Circulation 29,500+ Driveways

Fifty square mile coverage area from Price/101 to Greenfield and from Frye to Hunt Highway.

PUBLISHER Laurie Fagen




WEBSITE MAINTAINED BY Susan Kovacs, n-ergizing

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Jane Meyer Debbie Jennings

WRITERS Lynda Exley, Editor Susan Henderson, Managing Editor

Charlotte Hodel K.M. Lang Sharon McCarson Lora Robinson

Alison Stanton Miriam Van Scott Ann Videan Joan Westlake

CONTRIBUTORS Vivian Arendt, Sue Bowers, Florence Swanson, Suzanne Incorvaia, Susan Hegarty, Kerry Kester

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