Cattle, Citrus, Climate, Copper, Cotton
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Let's have some analysis of this report! First Cattle.
One of the last large Cattle operations to leave Arizona was forced out by Dell Webb's Sun City. Home sales during the spring to winter visitors lead to a law suit when those visitors returned in the fall only to find that Fall temperature inversions carried the strong oders of a neaby cattle feed yard to their new back yards. Wisely the Court ordered the stock yards moved, but made Dell Webb foot the bill. It was a win, win proposition for all. Dell Webb got to grow even further south. The stock yards were moved to New Mexico, the Arizona Legislature having placed a tax on feeder cattle. So it was foolish development for Winter Visitors and tax policy that ended Arizona's cattle industry. Continued housing growth has forced the Dairy Industry south, too. Ever noticed all of those 18 wheeler milk trucks on I-10? They are headed to processing plants in Tempe and West Phoenix that once were not so far away from these cattle.
Next would be Citris. Yes, those orchards, like the dairy farms, have been taken over by housing. The occasional unduely cold winter snap cost the growers heavy losses. And as housing encroached, keeping these orchards frost free became more expensive. It seems that housing with its streets lead to wider temperature swings over night. Good by to all of those lovely grapefruit and orange orchards. Even our date palm trees are gone!
Then we have climate. It was a warm winter climate that attracted all of those winter visitors. But now seperation from friends and family has slowed that growth down [Thank goodness]. The alternative, closer to home huge appartment style living with common area activities and cafeterias with no lawns to cut and no snow to plow has challenged the desire to vacate the cold north leaving family and friends behind. At least we do not have as much problem with main street clogged winter visitor traffic!
Copper! Recall when copper mines closed down when the price of copper dropped below 70 cents per pound. What is the price now, $2? And yes environmental regulation has had its impacts on this industry. Where before this industry was allowed to mine and disregard its collateral impacts on ground water, a mighty scarce resourse in the Desert Southwest, now it must keep these impacts minimized. The dispute over such impacts is slowing down development of a new mine south of Tucson. So it is jobs and the copper resource which both will become depleted in perhaps 30 years virsus water which growth would also deplete groundwater unless the mines do it first.
Cotton. When was the last time you saw an agricultural spray plane flying over a lush field of cotton to kill off bowl weevils or prepare it for uniform harvest? My house is built on ground which in 1975 was a cotton field. And the fields west of it, while still growing hay have not see a low flying airplane in 15 years. The cotton is being grown overseas, much of it in India. Labor is cheaper there. No sense in shipping AZ cotton to India and shipping cotton jeans back here.
So are we now to understand that Casinos are our next new "C?" There are no citris growers, no cattlemen, no copper miners [to speak of], no cotton farmers, and fewer winter visitors to spend money in them. Yet we do have Casinos on every side of town. They are all located on Indian lands. And guess what folks? The native American was here first, before cattle, citris, copper, climate seeking winter visitors, and copper, yes long long before there was an Arizona. So it looks like they get the last laugh! My native American friend in the Indian Health Service thinks so.
Can anyone find a "C" in health servi"C"es? With all of our aging population, perhaps Kronkite needs to try harder! How about Centigenarian Health Serivices? Or will reforms to Social Security and Medicare be the doom of that too?
By Mark Scarp, contributing columnist
Guest Commentary by Andy Warren, Maracay Homes
Guest Commentary by Michael Carroll
Guest commentary by Phil Kerpen
By Mark Heller, Tribune
East Valley Tribune
Phone number: 480-TRIBUNE
Address: 1620 W. Fountainhead Parkway, Ste. 219
Tempe, AZ 85282
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