Cactus Needles - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Cactus Needles

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Posted: Saturday, January 3, 2009 8:02 pm | Updated: 3:11 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Short takes from the Tribune Editorial Board.

This week’s opening of a permanent display at the Mesa Historical Museum devoted to the Cactus League and baseball spring training reflects a more inclusive approach to documenting the past and present of Arizona’s third largest city.

Until recently, the museum and local history buffs had focused almost exclusively on the Mormon pioneers who founded Mesa and their descendants. This always will deserve a place of prominence in our collective memories. But Mesa has a more diverse and complex history that also deserves to recognized. The historical museum, with the aid of the Southwest Museum, started on that path with a more comprehensive display that opened to the public a year ago.

A new section about the Cactus League is a welcome addition, as Mesa has been the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs since 1952. This tradition created a lot of die-hard Cubs fans here, and convinced more than a few Chicagoans to relocate to the Valley of the Sun.

The Valley’s first Cactus League team, the San Francisco Giants, will be the focus Saturday morning when Hall-of-Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry signs autographs in return for $20 donations to the historical museum.

Some folks in Gilbert are in a huff because the East Valley’s MARC Center recently opened two group homes for rehabilitation of the mentally ill without registering with the town, Tribune writer Blake Herzog reported last week.

Well, the neighbors managed to figure out what was going on without such government oversight. That’s how they knew to complain to Gilbert officials about the lack of registration in the first place. And the official reason for such registration — to enforce a separation distance of 1,200 feet between group homes — can’t always be applied because of federal fair housing rules.

So perhaps Gilbert needs to reconsider the real value of this additional bureaucratic red tape, at least when it comes to work of a reliable community partner such as the MARC Center that’s providing a critical service such as care and recovery for people suffering from mental illness.

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