Phoenix, AZ – Christopher Gleason wants to be one of five members of a commission that draws the lines for legislative and congressional districts. A panel which screens applicants did not put him on the list of finalists from which state officials have to choose. House Speaker Kirk Adams said it appears the only objection came from one panelist who pointed to Gleason's involvement with a Christian organization and questioned whether he could separate issues of church and state. Adams said that's wrong.
Phoenix, AZ – The groups wants the locations of where wolves had attacked cattle. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which works with ranchers to kill or remove wolves, has that data. Michael Robinson of the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity said this information is necessary to preserve the wolves which were reintroduced to Eastern Arizona in 1998. He said there were only 42 animals at the beginning of this year, down 19 percent from a year earlier.
Phoenix, AZ – The issue came up Tuesday when Brewer announced that Don Cardon will head the new Arizona Commerce Authority. Cardon took the opportunity to talk about economic development. He said one key is for the state to reconsider how it treats its universities.
Phoenix, AZ – A panel of economists concluded Arizona is likely to add only 40 to 50 thousand jobs in 2011. But Joel Naroff said what's also needed for recovery is for consumers to start spending money.
Phoenix, AZ – Members of a special panel met Wednesday to review a report by the Auditor General's Office which showed that the number of people behind bars, less than 3,400 in 1978, has now ballooned past 40,000. That's far faster that population growth. That can mean expanding the Department of Correction. But Rep. Cecil Ash who chairs the committee, said the budget deficit means the state needs to look at alternatives -- especially if lawmakers want to avoid spending cuts elsewhere.
Phoenix, AZ – On paper, the drop in the jobless rate isn't much, just two- tenths of a point, to 9.5 percent. And Aruna Murthy of the Department of Commerce noted the figure has been bouncing around that all year long.
(But I would give significance to the fact that we have 10 out of 11 sectors gaining jobs. We have had more than an average gain in the number of jobs in each sector.)
Phoenix, AZ – The Arizona Farm Bureau, which does the annual survey, figures the cash register tape for a dinner for 10 will run $44.17. That's up $3.70 from last year. Spokeswoman Julie Murphree said one factor is that farmers raised fewer birds this year.
(So, from a year ago, if production is down it goes back to that whole supply and demand issue. So I think it will influence a full-price turkey. And that's one of the reasons we've seen it do that.)
Phoenix, AZ – Symington said there are lots of people who hope to run for office. But they've never dealt with reporters before.
(Let's just say, for example, they run into you in the lobby of a hotel. And you're good. You start to ask a lot of questions. Well, you know, that particular individual will be a total neophyte and really not have a clue about what kind of a story you're writing, your angle of attack, how to answer.)