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It’s not news when politicians try to get into our wallets. But this year, both the city of Phoenix and Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) have crossed the decency line in their efforts to keep our money flowing their direction.
The five candidates vying for two empty seats on the Tempe Union High School District governing board are heavily split on the use of the Common Core curriculum in the classroom.
Gov. Jan Brewer is headed off to Norway and then Ireland this week in hopes of boosting trade with the two countries. Press aide Andrew Wilder said that, no, that doesn't mean more sardines for Arizona.
PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer is headed to Norway, then Ireland this week in hopes of boosting trade with the two countries.
And press aide Andrew Wilder said that, no, that doesn't mean more sardines for Arizona.
"The governor and the Arizona Commerce Authority believe there significant potential for growth to improve trade between Arizona, Norway and Ireland,'' he said. Wilder said Brewer wants to "promote the state as a great place to do business,'' something he said could create new jobs here.
While in Europe, Brewer also will address the Oxford Union Society which bills itself as "the world's most prestigious debating society with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford.''
Wilder said Brewer was invited to give a speech on her efforts to improve Arizona's economy during the global recession along with topics like immigration. And he said she'll also stand for questions.
But he said the main focus is that trade mission.
Her trip, though, also means she will miss the formal opening of a trade office Arizona is opening this coming week in Mexico City. Lawmakers approved funding for that this past session.
Wilder said while Brewer would have liked to attend, the Europe trip, having been postponed from the spring, was already in the works.
Brewer has nothing to lose, as the trade numbers probably have nowhere to go but up.
The U.S. Census Bureau puts Ireland at just No. 24 on the list of places where Arizona exports its product. That's below Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iceland.
And Norway doesn't even make the Top 25.
Wilder said, though, there are signs of improvement.
He said total trade -- both exports and imports -- between Arizona and Norway was $31 million in 2008. By 2013 the figure had risen to $93 million.
"Sardines are not on the Top 10 list,'' he quipped.
There already is a Norwegian presence in Arizona, Wilder said. One is a company called Norsk Hydro, an aluminum supplier. And Aker Solutions, which provides products and services to the oil and gas industry, has employees in Tucson.
Exports to Norway navigational equipment, control instruments and communications gear, along with fabricated metals. Coming here from there, Wilder said, are "a lot of aerospace products and parts.''
But Wilder pointed out that total trade between the United States and Norway totals $350 billion.
"We'd like to get a bigger piece of that pie,'' he said.
The same situation exists with Ireland, said Wilder, with just a miniscule percentage of the national $376 billion annual trade attributable to Arizona.
Wilder acknowledged the kind of investments Brewer might be able to land are a far cry from the big fish that are normally sought, like a deal Brewer made to bring a plant to Mesa to manufacture the sapphire glass for some Apple products. But he said they are no less important.
"These add up,'' he said.
"Not every company is going to be a 5,000-job investment,'' Wilder continued. "But what is going to drive things, too, is getting a lot of these smaller companies to come here.''
Follow Howard Fischer on Twitter at @azcapmedia
I was giving a short tour to a colleague from California recently. We drove down Rio Salado Parkway and Apache Boulevard, went past Arizona State University and the Biodesign Institute, stopped at Tempe Town Lake and strolled down Mill Avenue. I showed him the projects under way and described those planned. At the end of an hour he turned to me and said, “Wow! You really like your community.”
Wayne Whitlock of Glendale, your ‘Wayne’s World’ is apparently not the same world the rest of us have to live in, I’m thinking. Here are a couple things you probably should take a moment to ponder upon:
What if we had the chance to pursue a course of action that would strengthen our national security, boost our economy permanently and didn’t cost taxpayers anything? It would be a no-brainer. Yet the Obama administration still resists maximizing our natural gas resources for our strategic and economic advantage.
This week, a little-noticed “crack” (teacher union members) in the Democratic voter base suddenly surfaced. The huge, ultra-liberal National Education Association (NEA) voted on July 4 (ironically) to dump some “tea” in Obama’s harbor. This teachers union membership voted to demand the resignation of President Obama’s education “guru”, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He supported the California judge’s ruling that the state’s teacher tenure law were fostering the abysmal education of low-income, black and Hispanic students because bad “tenured” teachers in California were impossible to fire.
NEW YORK — An exhibit of quilts, clothing, uniforms and other Civil War-era textiles reveals a complicated and heart-wrenching time.
In Singapore's equivalent of food courts, hawkers sell steaming bowls of noodles, giant crabs in pepper sauce and slices of pungent durian. In Barcelona, patrons at the La Boqueria nibble finely aged ham and buy fresh produce to prepare at home. In the United States? Historically, it's been a wasteland of spongy pretzels, giant sodas, greasy fried rice and endless burgers.
ALBANY, N.Y. — American athletes in Sochi are facing breakfast without their team-sponsoring Greek yogurt, thanks to a bureaucratic web of international trade negotiations.
A recent opinion letter that takes Arizona to task for being a “right to work” state, causes confusion in that it implies that our state bans unions. The fact is the “right to work” law only states that one cannot be forced to join a union in order to work. We currently have many large and small unions in Arizona: the NEA or teachers union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Letter Carriers, and the Firefighters Union.
“The cupboard is bare”, said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently in reference to the federal budget crisis. “There’s [sic] no more cuts to make. It’s really important that people understand that.”
Creditors overwhelmingly approved the bankruptcy reorganization plan for American Airlines parent AMR Corp., which includes a merger with US Airways that would create the world's biggest airline.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The Brazilian visitors gawk in wonder as they stroll past shop windows along touristy Florida street in the Argentine capital. The jackets, the shoes — they're all so cheap when your purse is stuffed with black-market money.
According to Townhall.com and other sources, Stobridge Elementary School in Hayward, California may be shooting itself in the foot, publicity-wise.
What is wrong with America?
New figures show the state's economy continues to plug along.
Arizona's economic recovery is flattening out statewide, with job growth outside the Phoenix metro area for this year and next predicted to be anemic.
NEW YORK — You can recycle your waste, grow your own food and drive a fuel-efficient car. But being socially responsible isn't so easy when it comes to the clothes on your back.
Contracts that allow public employees to work on union activities on the taxpayer's dime are illegal, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ruled.
Washington -- The CEOs of American Airlines and US Airways told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee last week that not only would a merger of their airlines not hurt Phoenix, it could bring more international flights to the city.
Union membership in Arizona has slipped to its lowest level in a quarter century.
Arizona is on the verge of shutting the door on the ability of players for Arizona's professional sports teams to file workers' compensation claims elsewhere, even if that's where they were injured.
Flight attendants at US Airways approved a new contract on Thursday that wraps up some unfinished business from the airline's 2005 merger with America West, and gets them started on the next merger, with American.