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Free state transportation planners from federal handcuffs

Despite transportation funds coming from taxes paid by Arizona drivers, the federal government puts conditions and mandates on the use of these funds before states can be reimbursed for expenditures. Gov. Jan Brewer and the Arizona Department of Transportation have been fighting for more local control of transportation funds to better meet the state’s short- and long-range needs.

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Despite loss, press critics still have outlets

News councils, which generally include a mix of journalists and citizens as members, cannot force news operations to cooperate in their investigations. They don’t have legal powers to compel witnesses or gather facts, and they lack authority to enforce any penalty, correction or retraction. Though supporters see councils as a way to encourage accurate and fair reporting, opponents have raised objections ranging from personal pique at outsider meddling to an old claim that such private reviews are a first step toward government interference with a free press.

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Geological Survey, mines department complement each other

On Jan. 21, the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources shut down operations when it ran out of money. However, the mines department’s governing board transferred custody of the department’s files and physical resources to the Arizona Geological Survey for one year, or until the Legislature takes further action, such as approving Gov. Jan Brewer’s proposal to consolidate the two agencies.

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Possible solution to big budget problem

As the mayor of Cave Creek, I empathize with what Gov. Jan Brewer and state legislators are facing with the state’s budget deficit. Taxes can be raised only so high and spending cut only so deep before Arizonans’ quality of life suffers.

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Arizona can’t afford racinos

As a 25-year veteran of the gaming industry, I’ve seen how racinos alter the course of gaming and gaming regulation within a state. Although I have yet to see a bill this year that would allow race tracks to add slot machines and table games, my greatest concern is the ripple effect that will occur in the wake of such legislation.

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Politeness in politics is OK, but candor is indispensable

Tucson – like Dallas before it, and Columbine, and Virginia Tech, and … the list is as endless as the tears those names evoke – has become more than just the site of senseless slaughter. It has become a rallying cry, a cause. In the weeks since the Jan. 8 mass shooting, many politicians and other well-intentioned people have seized upon Tucson to teach the entire population of the United States the lesson that the tone of our political discourse must moderate.

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