Did you pay money to listen to Sergei Khrushchev?

Want to know a little bit more about him before you go listen?

From the Daily Beast, see link below for entire article:

Sergei Khrushchev sees Putin as a reformer in the mold of his father and comparable to Theodore Roosevelt, who busted up corporate monopolies in the United States in the early 20th century.

“The Putin era is an era of bringing Russia back to the order, destroying the oligarchy, and enforcing the role of the government,” he said.

Ukraine historically had no identity and was simply an amalgamation of farmers who lived on the Russian periphery and applied to join Russia in the mid-17th Century, and even then it was only Eastern Ukraine, said Khrushchev. Western Ukraine joined them in 1945, but there are still essentially two countries there living together, he said.

“When people talk about Ukraine, they talk about some competition between Russia and the West. But in reality it is two different sets of Ukrainians who now live in one country,” he said. “We have two different Ukraines.”

He blames the West for triggering the Ukrainian crisis by supporting protests on the Maidan and he said Putin has no designs on invading Eastern Ukraine unless the country descends into all out civil war, which is possible.

“It was not Putin who invaded Crimea and at the barrel of the gun just annexed it. No. It was the will of the people,” he said. “So my message is, don’t try to provoke Ukrainians to fight with each other. If there will be no civil war, Putin will not invade Ukraine.”

GY Candidates; Just Read the Paper

Today’s AZ Republic interviews all 5 GY council candidates in just two columns. As a result, each candidate only got to state what was MOST important to them. About two paragraphs each.

This is all you have to read in order to know who to vote for.

What did each of them use their two paragraphs to say?

Lauritano: More infrastructure. ie, spend money.

Garcia: Grow businesses with incentives that do NOT add to taxes.

Osborne: Offer incentives to new AND current businesses. More money, plus, Lauritano’s husband owns a current business in GY so she wants more $ for that.

Hadden: Lower taxes. YES!!

Stipp: Provide services and amenities. ie. spend money

Garcia and Hadden are the only two who DO NOT start off with spending as their priority.
You can see the three incumbents just can’t help themselves spending. And in the case of Stipp and Lauritano, they are also beholden to city employees through their acceptance of huge campaign contributions from firemen’s union PACs.

I voted for Garcia, Hadden, Osborne. Osborne is the least objectionable of the incumbents.

Fireman’s Ball

Two of the three incumbent Goodyear, AZ city council members running for re-election, $heri Lauritano and Bill $tipp, are still taking money from Firemen’s Union PACs all over the state. SEVEN DIFFERENT FIREMAN’s UNION PACS. $heri has collected over $4000 from them, $tipp $1500.  ($heri and $tipp Campaign Finance Statements).

Now, if the Goodyear city council job was a do nothing volunteer job, or a do nothing low paying job then I’d say no big deal.  Because who is going to hand over their city council vote for a few thousand dollars a year to a bunch of fireman’s union PACS?

But as I have recently reported (Dream Jobs)  the Goodyear city council job is a do nothing HIGH PAID (over $30,000 per year) job.  $30,000 per year, much of it in the form of nearly free healthcare for your family is a big deal. For a perhaps struggling small business person like $heri ($heri has her own law firm and you know there are way too many lawyers out there) or a guy on permanent ~ $50,000 per year taxpayer provided disability like $tipp (who could lose his disability if his condition changed or his case was reviewed by the local retirement board and they changed their minds)  $30,000 per year might go a long way towards changing their thinking about firemen’s issues.

City of Goodyear Policy #700 clearly states that,
“no employee of the city shall be involved in the campaign of any person for election to the office of Mayor or Council member of the City.”

So they can’t take money from the Goodyear Firemen’s Union PAC or any direct donations from Goodyear firemen, but they appear to be circumventing this policy by taking money from Firemen’s Union PACs from all over the state.  Why else are Tempe, Maricopa, Chandler, Phoenix, Avondale, Glendale, and Buckeye Firemen’s Union PACs so interested in getting $heri and/or $tipp re-elected to Goodyear city council?

Here is an article I wrote about this topic a few years ago when these two did the same thing. It includes a copy of the actual policy verbatim. Detailed Article.

So, Goodyear, you have a choice of FIVE candidates running for THREE positions. If you are having trouble deciding which three to vote for, taking money from Firemen’s PACs for a do nothing HIGH PAID city council job is enough to determine my vote.

Robert Garcia appears to be the REAL DEAL.  He is a fiscal conservative, and from his work experience, he appears to be someone who will ask the right questions.

Ray Hadden is NOT an incumbent.  That’s about all I’ve heard about Ray Hadden.  But he did have a successful business career in a PRIVATE, not GOVERNMENT business.

Joanne Osborne appears to have stopped taking money from Firemen’s union PACs as she has reported none.  Either that or she’s not disclosing it yet.  But either way, under the right influence, Joanne’s harmless.   She does not appear to know what she is doing or even much about what is presented to her at meetings in my opinion.  Maybe Garcia could have better luck influencing Joanne’s position on issues than any of the other dwarfs on city council.  And if Hadden would go along with him, hey, 3 out of 7 is better than where we are today.

I think I’ll vote for those three.  Not $heri or $tipp.



Government Dream Jobs, Goodyear City Council

How would you like to have a job where you earn nearly $50,000 in salary and benefits every 18 months, you also get paid travel (but only if you want to go) to expensive, do nothing conferences and the ONLY hard and fast requirement of this dream job is that you attend two to three meetings per month of a few hours duration each and that you not miss more than 3 pre-scheduled, local (Goodyear) meetings in a row.* The meetings are scheduled weeks and months in advance, and you can even telephone into the meetings if your other similar dream job holders say it is ok for you to do that.

And here’s the best part. YOU decide how much to charge every other person in your town so that YOU can have enough revenue to continue the dream job’s terms!

Oh, and one more thing, you get most of the summer off.

Would you like that?

Well Mr. and Mrs. Goodyear taxpayer, that is EXACTLY what you are doing for Goodyear city council members Bill Stipp, Joanne Osborne, and Sheri Lauritano. All of whom, by the way, are running for re-election this March of 2015.

howardsgoodyearblog has determined through a Freedom of Information records request that in the 18 month period from June 2013 to October 2014, (time period selected at random) YOUR Goodyear City Council members Bill Stipp, Joanne Osborne, and Sheri Lauritano received combined salary, benefits, and travel expenditures of nearly $140,000.

And that is only THREE out of SEVEN council members I am talking about.

In 2009, Goodyear City Council spent just over $177,000 on itself.
In 2014, Stipp, Osborne, and Lauritano passed a budget that awarded Goodyear city council expenditures of over $300,000 per year.

Let me repeat that.    2009, spent about $177,000
2014, passed a $300,000 plus budget for themselves.

That is a nearly 70% increase in 5 years. And they did it DURING A RECESSION. And at the same time, Goodyear taxpayers saw their property taxes and utilities increased by this same city council by double digits and then some.

As usual, and as unbelievable as my claims may seem to readers, I have included below pdf files of the supporting raw data.

So next time you see one of these friendly “public servants”, ask Stipp, Osborne, or Lauritano how they like their dream job on your dime. Then ask them if they are so public minded, would they agree, if re-elected, to eliminate all their city benefits except their $9,200 annual salary.

Here is a summary by council member of what each of those mentioned was compensated during the 18 month time period of this analysis.

Joanne Osborne
Salary: $12,511.67
Benefits including personal and family healthcare, dental plan, and basic life insurance: $29,948.32
Travel Expenditures: $4,642.72
Total Expenditures: $47,102.71

Bill Stipp
Salary: $12,384.75
Benefits including personal and family healthcare, dental plan, and basic life insurance: $29,876.56
Travel Expenditures: $3,225.87
Total Expenditures: $45,487.18

Sheri Lauritano
Salary: $12,384.75
Benefits including personal and family healthcare, dental plan, and basic life insurance: $29,852.76
Travel Expenditures: $3,950.36
Total Expenditures: $46,187.87

* The only city charter requirements for council members is Section 14 of the city of Goodyear charter included below in its entirety. Section 14. Absence to Terminate Membership.
If any Council member shall be absent from more than three consecutive regular meetings, or a total of four regular meetings in any calendar year, without the consent of the Council duly recorded in the journal, he shall thereupon cease to hold office.

Lauritano Compensation
Stipp Compensation
Osborne Compensation

Clint Hickman (Our Maricopa County Supervisor) Reply About the Fire

Here is what Clint wrote me today.  I hope many more of you wrote Clint and asked for some action regarding these idiotic fires around our area.  It’s not too late to do so.

We’ll see…

Email from Clint Hickman:

My office sent me your latest email…I am an egg farmer today.

A first meeting has been called between Mayors in the region, farmers that run composting operations (my brother will represent our farm), fire experts, landowners, Farm Bureau, Luke AFB, and the various agencies that were involved with communication.

Meeting will happen two weeks from now.

I am a pro business standards and practices representative. Prior to once again trying to wield an ever expanding regulatory book, I am taking a look at the current statutory guide and limitations that my office can provide and I will go from there.

By the way, I believe that state legislators as well as Federal offices will be in attendance as well.


Hey, Clint!!

Ok, everyone, now that the latest FIRE is almost out, get your typewriters (computer keyboards) out to get some action so we don’t keep having this happen.

Send an email to Clint Hickman, our District 5 Maricopa County Supervisor. Here is his email address:
Copy Bob Huhn with Maricopa EPA who suggested some “fixes” when I spoke to him today about it. His email is:

Here is the email I suggest you send:
“I live in Goodyear and I am fed up with the repeated mulch and other fires YOU keep allowing to happen because you are not properly regulating privately operated “landfills” like the one which has been burning for the past week.
As a minimum, I want ordinances passed immediately which include the following provisions:
1. All businesses in unincorporated areas or not covered by a city fire department MUST have a contract with Rural Metro.
2. Barricades must separate any piled debris. Your EPA and solid waste people can identify area and dimensions.
3. A maximum height for flammable debris MUST BE IMPOSED. This should be no more than 6 feet in my opinion.
4. Meaningful penalties (fines) large enough to cover the cost to have the county fix any offenders’ sites should be defined and imposed.
5. PS. Anything you can do about the repeated horrendous stench we get here in PebbleCreek apparently from farmers applying untreated raw sewage on their fields near residential neighborhoods would also be appreciated.

Now get on it, Clint.”

Copy GEOrgia too, so she can’t say she knew nothing about our concerns (like the prison).

Your Tax Dollars at Work; Nothing Being Done About Mulch Fire

What are your taxpayer funded Federal, State, County, and Local agencies doing to put out the mulch fire in El Mirage which this morning put a cloud of smoke over Goodyear?


You heard me right, nothing.
And the latest is that this could go on FOR ANOTHER MONTH!

View up my street this morning.


Don’t believe me?  Take a look at the photos below that I took this morning at the site of the fire. I found 4 or 5 what looked like agricultural workers operating a farm sprinkler putting water on the fire.  There was a back hoe there, it wasn’t operating, and a couple of tractors.  Also not operating.

Here is the only “fire fighting equipment” I could see there. It looks to me like a farm watering device.

The only fire fighting equipment I could see

We have literally hundreds of thousands of dollars and nearly 100 full time “public safety” employees in the city of Goodyear, but I guess they are all busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner or shopping in their fire truck at Safeway or Fry’s. Here is a view of the fire from the east looking west. Smoke is headed towards Goodyear.

View of fire

View of fire

Here is the only earth moving equipment I could see.image These were the only guys on site. image This is NOT that big a deal, but nothing is being done about it.image They have a huge pit they appear to be filling up with mulch. This will happen again.image image image There is plenty of flammable material elsewhere on the property that could go up at any time.image image image image

And here is a view from the north of Pebble Creek neighborhood. Socked in with smoke from the fire overnight.  I guess all us old folks will enjoy breathing in all that smoke for the next month or so.image

Who You Gonna Call?
I tried the EPA Region 9.
They have an office in San Francisco.  No answer, no message where to call in case of an emergency.  In fact, Gregg Nudd, listed as the Region 9 particulate guy did not even have a voice mail message greeting. 415-947-4107.  I bet if they had a smokey fire in SF this morning there would be hundreds of people working to put it out.

I tried Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
ADEQ at 602-771-2367.  No answer.  But their voice mail message says, “if you’re calling about the West Valley fire, call Maricopa EPA at 602-506-6010.”  So ADEQ obviously does not want anything to do with it.

Maricopa EPA?
602-771-2367.  “We’re only open 9 – 5 Monday through Friday, closed holidays.”  Call your local police or fire in case of an emergency.

So I called Goodyear PD.
I spoke to Crystal (I think that was her name).  She said, “Rural Metro is the lead fire fighting agency on this case, call them at 480-945-6311.”

Rural Metro.
I called and spoke to Chris, an obvious dispatcher.  Chris said, “the owner of the property is putting copious amounts of water on the fire.”  You’re not doing anything Chris?  I asked.  “Nope.”

I suggest you call Goodyear mayor GEOrgia Lord and see what “one of the top 50 most influential women in the valley” is doing about it.
You can reach GEOrgia at 623-535-0007


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