30 April 2017

On The Agenda: Economic Development Advisory Board Meeting

Meeting Notice & Agenda
Economic Development Advisory Board
City Council Chambers 57 E. 1st Street, Lower Level
Tue 02 May 2017 @ 07:30 AM
[Never any links to agenda items]

You can access and read the 12-page Minutes from March 7, 2017 meeting in link below:
Includes Visit Mesa Update by Marc Garcia
Fallon Field Plan FFEAA Update by Jay O'Donnell:

1. Chair’s Call to Order       Jeff Pitcher

2. Items from Citizens Present

3. Approval of Minutes from April 4, 2017 meeting   Action Item

4. Achieve 60AZ- Education Advances Everyone   Christine Thompson

5. Mesa Red Mountain High School– Bioscience Program  Katy Gazda

6. Downtown Mesa Development Update    Jeff McVay

7. Discuss and take action on a formal recommendation 

    Jeff Pitcher/Lori Gary      regarding the Falcon Tech Center.

8. Director’s Update       Jaye O'Donnell

9. Other Business
Next EDAB Meeting- June 6th  

10. Adjournment

Anyone Need Some Clear Thinking? One Nation Undecided

One Nation Undecided: Clear Thinking about Five Hard Issues That Divide Us
In “One Nation Undecided,” Peter Schuck tackles poverty, immigration, affirmative action, campaign finance, and religious objections to gay marriage and transgender rights.
For each issue he provides
essential context
defines key concepts and values
presents the relevant empirical evidence
describes and assesses the programs that now seek to address it
considers many plausible solutions.

Each chapter is self-contained so that readers may pick and choose among the issues that interest and concern them most. His objective is to educate rather than proselytize — the very nature of these five issues is that they resist clear answers; reasonable people can differ about where they come out on them.
From Yale News
Peter H. Schuck, the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus of Law
(Princeton University Press)
March 27, 2017
One Nation Undecided Professor Peter Schuck talked about his book One Nation Undecided: Clear Thinking about Five Hard Issues That Divide Us, in which he examines five challenging issues being debated throughout the country. Professor Schuck spoke about what makes theses top issues - poverty, immigration, affirmative action, campaign finance, and religious objections to gay marriage and transgender rights - so difficult. In his book, he examines all sides of debate for each issue and outlines key factors for clear thinking to design solutions for each.
Listen and watch this 1:18:01 video >> CSPAN

Enof of UNReal Reality TV? Stream-some-Fiction: On Hulu "The Hand-Maid's Tale"

Who's to say?
Reporter Emily Peck writing in The Huffington Post takes a turn making some pointed on-target comments presented in this piece
Women In The U.S. Don’t Live In A Dystopian Hellscape. Yet. “The Handmaid’s Tale” resonates, but there’s reason for hope
What is happening now in the United States is actually real progress for women. Despite progress, women in the U.S. still have a frighteningly long way to go. 

Technology + The City with Edward Glaeser

Autonomous vehicles? He's terrified . . .
Published on Nov 7, 2016
Views: 198
The eighth speaker in Volpe’s “The Future of Transportation: Safety, Opportunity, Innovation” speaker series was Edward Glaeser, the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.

His work focuses on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as places for sharing and spreading ideas, and he has published dozens of papers on cities, economic growth, and law and economics.

Dr. Glaeser regularly teaches microeconomic theory and occasionally urban and public economics, and for a decade has served as director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston.

This highlight video captures key excerpts from Glaeser’s talk at Volpe on October 26, 2016.

Please see our Beyond Traffic series page for all speakers and dates:

Military Generals In Civilian Suits: David Petraeus

From General to Private Equity????
Published on Apr 30, 2017
Views: 2,103
"The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations" explores successful leadership through the personal and professional choices of the most influential people in business. Renowned financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein travels the country talking to leaders to uncover their stories and their path to success. The fifth episode of season two features former CIA director David Petraeus.

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FIGHTING FOR WAR? Hamid Karzai, Former President of Afghanistan

15+ years + $70Billion$
Published on Apr 30, 2017
Views: 160
Duration: 26:30
As Russia and the United States are becoming increasingly confrontational over Syria, another war-torn nation may become a renewed theatre for their old rivalry. Afghanistan has been a geopolitical chessboard for so long, is a lasting peace there even a possibility? To discuss this, Oksana is joined by the former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

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No Passion In Great Britain > This Dull Election

Apathy is new election strategy
Published on Apr 30, 2017
Views: 151
Is this the most boring election ever?


M3-E1 Evolutionary improvement for urban warfare
Published on Apr 30, 2017
In 1946, two Swedes named Hugo Abramson and Harald Jentzen designed the Carl Gustaf, which at the time appeared to be just another recoilless rifle like the famous bazooka. Many of these weapons fell out of use in the following decades as anti-tank missiles took over.
But the Carl Gustaf stuck around — and for a different role than Abramson and Jentzen had planned in the 1940s. For one, it’s now just as much an anti-infantry weapon owing to its range, low cost and types of ammunition.
Soldiers are fond of the 84-millimeter Carl Gustaf, and it’s easy to see why. The weapon is quite practical for dismounted infantry — especially at long ranges — and creates a thrilling blast, so it’s fun to shoot. The U.S. Army had a handful in service with Special Operations units, and they proved so popular that the Army began distributing them widely.

Cool To Listen To Then + Now: Bob Dylan In Mesa 1988

Watching Bob Dylan in Mesa, Arizona (1988)
— who knew it was the start of something never-ending?
by Anne Margaret Daniel
04 April 2017 01:47 pm EST
Source: No Depression
"Dylan was playing in some cool places we'd never been before, and we loved the idea of going — being in a place for no reason other than music, and having no reason to stay once the music moved on. . . And so, on a hot Saturday night in July, I ended up in Mesa, Arizona with my two friends, kindred spirits happy in the summertime.
The hotel next door was part of the venue. Basic, modern, cleanser-smelling new rooms with unclouded windows, and a fantastic outdoor pattern of pools and palm trees. We basked and splashed that morning, and had lunch in the shade, before heading into the green terraced bowl next door in the early afternoon for front-row seats. . . "
"Dylan looking mighty fine with Dusty-Springfield-thick gray-blue liner around his remarkable, magnetic, drowning-pool eyes, earring swinging. He was loose and relaxed, looking out constantly at the crowd, the alertness and the stage clothes combining for a pirate-captain vibe. . .
Mr. Tambourine Man” was high-flying and elegant. On the speedy, sassy “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” something strange happened. Dylan’s hands were flying over his guitar, and as he picked his way, his long varnished thumbnail snapped off near the quick. . . "
We knew we’d get something from the new album, Down In The Groove.  We knew it would be “Silvio.” Even for the people who’d come to the show — and still come to his shows — wanting only Bob 1965/1966, where’s the problem with this? Dylan is singularly alone in being expected to serve as a human jukebox for His Greatest Hits, with adoring fans poised like the little Jack Russell-terrier mix in the old RCA Victor ads, listening for His Master’s Voice.  Any other artist who releases a new record performs songs from that record on their next tour without comment, because that’s what they’re supposed to do. “Silvio” was cool to listen to, then and now. 
A contemporary interjection to anyone complaining that Dylan’s 2017 summer tour features some of his songs from Triplicate, his brand-new release of American songbook standards chiefly covered by, among others, Frank Sinatra:  hush your fussing and listen. They’re grand songs. He’ll do something old, of his own, for you too — as I’ve put it before, Dylan always likes to give you something old, something new, something borrowed and a whole lot of blue....
About the author Anne Margaret Daniel
At home in New York City, or on the road (again), Anne Margaret Daniel loves live music, and she'll take you there.
Anne Margaret Daniel, Contributor professor; writer; redhead. Editor, F. Scott Fitzgerald, I’D DIE FOR YOU (Scribner 2017). Baseball, books, music

29 April 2017

NSA : Un-Masking, Leaking . . . or Illegal Interception?

[Intelligence] NSA halts Section 702 'upstream' collection
By Sean D. Carberry Apr 28 2017
As FCW has been reporting, Section 702 has come under fire in recent months due to the alleged “unmasking” and leaking of information about Americans -- namely associates of President Donald Trump -- that was collected in the surveillance of foreign targets.
It is not yet clear if this decision by NSA and the compliance incidents it reported have any relation to investigations into connections between Trump associates and Russian officials, and the NSA would not provide any information beyond its April 28 press releases.
The National Security Agency is halting “upstream” collection of emails that mention targets of foreign surveillance after a review of “inadvertent compliance incidents” involving information on U.S. persons collected under the surveillance program. ?????????????????????????????????
A provision of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authorizes the NSA to monitor internet traffic without a warrant and sweep up any communications that simply mention a foreign target, regardless of whom the email is actually from or addressed to.
“After considerable evaluation of the program and available technology, NSA has decided that its Section 702 foreign intelligence surveillance activities will no longer include any upstream internet communications that are solely "about" a foreign intelligence target,” the agency announced
NSA Stops Certain Section 702 "Upstream" Activities
April 28, 2017
Since 2008, the National Security Agency (NSA) and other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community have relied on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to conduct surveillance on specific foreign targets located outside the United States to acquire critical intelligence on issues ranging from international terrorism to cyber security. After a comprehensive review of mission needs, current technological constraints, United States person privacy interests, and certain difficulties in implementation, NSA has decided to stop some of its activities conducted under Section 702.
While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was considering the government's annual application to renew the Section 702 certifications, NSA reported several earlier, inadvertent compliance incidents related to queries involving U.S. person information in 702 "upstream" internet collection. . .

The NSA will still conduct upstream surveillance to collect emails sent to or from a foreign target, and it will continue “downstream” surveillance of communications directly involving a foreign target located outside the U.S., for which it does not require a warrant under 702.
In addition to halting “about” collection, the NSA said it will take steps “as soon as practicable” to delete data already collected in such surveillance.???
Due to limitations of its current technology, however, the agency said “it is unable to completely eliminate ‘about’ communications from its upstream 702 collection without also excluding some of the relevant communications directly ‘to or from’ its foreign intelligence targets.” ???????????
As FCW has been reporting, Section 702 has come under fire in recent months due to the alleged “unmasking” and leaking of information about Americans -- namely associates of President Donald Trump -- that was collected in the surveillance of foreign targets. Some members of Congress threatened in March that they would have a hard time renewing 702 before it expires at the end of 2017 unless the administration prosecutes those responsible for the leaks.
About the Author
Sean Carberry is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence. Prior to joining FCW, he was Kabul Correspondent for NPR, and also served as an international producer for NPR covering the war in Libya and the Arab Spring. He has reported from more than two-dozen countries including Iraq, Yemen, DRC, and South Sudan. In addition to numerous public radio programs, he has reported for Reuters, PBS NewsHour, The Diplomat, and The Atlantic.Carberry earned a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, and has a B.A. in Urban Studies from Lehigh University.

Another report from Reuters
Sat Apr 29, 2017 | 11:54am EDT
U.S. spy agency abandons controversial surveillance technique
A U.S. government official familiar with the matter said the change was motivated in part to ensure that Section 702 is renewed before it sunsets on Dec. 31, 2017. FISA has come under increased scrutiny in recent months amid unsubstantiated claims by President Donald Trump and other Republicans that the Obama White House improperly spied on Trump or his associates.
News of the surveillance activity being halted was first reported on Friday by The New York Times, which first revealed its existence in 2013, two months after Snowden leaked intelligence documents to journalists.
An additional report from Politico
NSA ends collection of digital communications about foreign targets

Over 16 Million Refugees Displaced By Wars

Visualizing the Flow of Asylum Seekers Into the Industrialized World
Based on data from the UN Refugee Agency, approximately 4.4 million asylum applications were submitted to 44 industrialized countries between 2013 and 2016. The map below shows the flow of these asylum seekers from their country of origin to the country in which they applied for asylum. Each point represents 500 asylum seekers.
Source: http://metrocosm.com/asylum-seekers/
Asylum seeker vs refugee
An asylum seeker is someone who has requested sanctuary from persecution in their home country. If the request is granted, the asylum seeker then becomes a refugee. In some cases, a host country may not have a formal process for evaluating asylum requests for all migrants crossing its border seeking refuge, in which case these displaced persons become “prima facie” refugees.
The map above displays the flow of asylum seekers into industrialized nations, which makes up only a small piece of the global refugee crisis.
As of the end of 2015, there were about 16 million refugees globally, and a much larger number of displaced persons who did not qualify as refugees under the U.N. statue.
The countries hosting the largest number of refugees are all in the developing world. No industrialized nation features in the top 10.
Which countries host the largest refugee populations?
This map shows how the world’s 16 million refugees are distributed by country.
To take a closer look, see the interactive map.
The seven largest refugee populations are in Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Kenya, respectively. Together they host more than half the world’s refugees.


Going Zonkers In The Zona > Hit Me Up Again > Over 120,000

Thank you so much, dear readers for your interest in independent online reporting of one kind or another: news and views, and information and entertainment, good-natured humor all in good faith - all to make you think when you can take it
It has been a very transformative time for yours truly living in this dynamic transformative - and sometimes tingling - habitat  here in The New Urban Downtown Mesa. 
As you know doubt realize it's not easy being 'mellow' all the time with all the stuff that's going on or under-the-radar screen. And I can't really say  "What you see it what you get"
Not sorry-to-say You won't get Spoon-Fed news here
Just deal with it like your MesaZona does: the good intention is to activate individuals and the public-at large and groups of all kinds TO THINK MORE and get more involved in public life on issues you care about . . . keeping you informed is the mission of this blog site.
Impossible to be everywhere all the time. It's sometime a mind-bender ... realizing what's going on but that's what inspires me on all the trips up-and-down and all-around
Sometimes even some of the sooner or latter-day saints get on-board when there are many other passengers ready to go for a ride.

All Aboard.
No limit on capacity.


Nature Works In Amazing Ways

They Released 14 Wolves In A Park, But No One Was Prepared For THIS. What Happens Next ?
In 1995, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, along with Canadian biologists, captured 14 wolves in Canada and placed them in Yellowstone National Park, where they had been extinct since 1926. Over the next few years, the number of wolves rose, but that was the least of the changes that took place in Yellowstone.
The effects were more striking than anyone could have expected. The entire ecosystem of the national park transformed and it went so far that even the rivers changed.
How could this have happened? Watch the clip and marvel at the amazing way in which nature works.

Cat vs Boxes: Simon's Cat

Too cute

Re: Special Taxing Districts

News Release: Governing in the Shadows
U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group
New Report: Special Districts Too Often Fail to Show How They Spend Money
53% of Special Districts Failing on Spending Transparency
For Immediate Release Tuesday, April 25, 2017
A new report found that most special districts across the country are failing to provide accessible, online, and comprehensive information about their spending. Special districts are created to provide specific services like fire protection, medical care, transportation and housing for a designated area that would otherwise typically be provided directly by a city, county or state.
Special districts operate with significant fiscal  autonomy, and have the power to draft their own budgets separate from the state or local government’s budget review process.

Special districts perform important governmental functions, but often fail to make spending and budget information available online.
See information below after this new release from U.S. PIRG Education Fund and The Frontier Group about Special Taxing Districts in Maricopa County - more than 90 are active 

53% of the 79 special districts evaluated across the country earned failing grades for their spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2017: Governing in the Shadows” by United States Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and Frontier Group. Each district evaluated earned an A through F grade for its transparency efforts.
 “Special districts play an important role in public life, providing valuable services,” said Michelle Surka, co-author and program associate with U.S. PIRG Education Fund. “However, they’ve often fallen off the map when it comes to transparency. That makes it all the more vital that districts themselves and the states in which they operate are proactive in ensuring the work they do is transparent to the public.”
In the U.S., there are over 38,000 special districts offering dozens of different types of services, often levying taxes on citizens within the district or otherwise collecting fees to fund their work. Nationally, these districts spend more than $200 billion annually. Illinois, California, and Texas have the most special districts of all states. Because of how special districts are structured, large expenditures can occur mostly or entirely off the budgets of state or local general purpose governments.
Budget and spending transparency holds government officials accountable for making smart decisions, checks corruption, and provides citizens an opportunity to affect how government dollars are spent.
In 2017, true transparency means online—that’s why this report evaluates how comprehensive, accessible, and user-friendly special district spending transparency data is online.
The public should have access to a user-friendly web portal with budgets, financials and checkbook level information that you can search based on common categories, amounts, and spending recipients as well as a way to access data that is downloadable.
“Across a diverse array of budget sizes, function types and geographic service areas, what most of the special districts in our report have in common is their lack of financial transparency," says Rachel Cross of Frontier Group, co-author of the report. "And because special districts are the fastest growing form of local government in the country, what we don't know about them is also growing every day."
This report’s snapshot of special district online financial practices shows that many of these governmental bodies are not meeting standards for government transparency. Of the 79 districts reviewed:
  • Seven special districts, 9 percent of those evaluated in the report, received leading scores.
  • 30 special districts, 38 percent, received lagging scores.
  • 42 special districts, 53 percent, received failing scores, having failed to meet basic financial transparency criteria.
  • Of the failing districts, 11, or 14 percent of districts evaluated, received a score of zero, having made little to no evident effort to provide online financial transparency information.
The seven districts that earned leading scores were in located in just five states—Texas, Illinois, Oregon, Kentucky, and Utah. These states had taken proactive steps to ensure that either their largest special districts or all special districts are held to the same transparency standards as other government entities. Since many special districts are relatively small and staffed with volunteers, their transparency efforts should be encouraged and supplemented by city, county, or state governments.
“With so many special districts operating around the country, levying taxes and impacting public life on the most local level, it doesn’t make sense for their $200 billion worth of activities to remain off the books,” said Surka. “When state or county governments take action to start holding these districts accountable, not only is there more oversight, but public understanding and confidence in these districts also improves.”
Learn more about special districts with this Fact Sheet.

Mesa: Eastmark CFD
City of Mesa CFD
Eastmark CFD - Annual Budget & Financial Reporting
The City of Mesa currently has only one Community Facilities District called Eastmark, which is located in zip code 85212. Map of Eastmark

Harvard Investments has been approved to develop a community just east of Eastmark. However, the Cadence Community Facilities District is currently on hold. [at the time of posting this page on the city's web site]
What is a Community Facility District?
The Eastmark and Harvard Community Facility Districts (CFDs) were formed at the request of the property developers through the City of Mesa as a means of obtaining community funding for property development. Funding is used for building parks, roadways, sewer, water storm drain, signage, street light, landscape and related improvements.
MaricopaEastmark Community Facilities DistrictSpecial Assessment6/10/2014public infrastructure$3,250,000.00$3,250,000.00$0.00$0.00$0.00$0.00
2014MaricopaEastmark Community Facilities DistrictRevenue6/11/2013public infrastructure$2,712,000.00$2,647,000.00$65,000.00$0.00$129,500.00$129,500.00

Special Taxing Districts are established pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 48, as political subdivisions of the state and are governed by an elected board. Additional statutory information can be found at the Arizona Legislature website.
Annual Statutory Requirements
Posting Disclosure Statement
A current and up-to-date Disclosure Statement (PDF) must be posted at all times pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.02 (3)(A). If there are any changes made to posting locations, a new statement must be filed with the Clerk of the Board.
Annual Report
Annual Report pursuant to A.R.S. §48-251 - due 240 days after the end of a fiscal year:
  • Due on February 25 for FY ending June 30
  • Due August 28 for FY ending December 31
  • Due on November 26 for FY ending March 31

Other Information

Annual Budget

Due pursuant to statutes specific to special taxing district types (See referenced statute following district type).

Danger Zone > Maricopa County Another High Pollution Alert

NOTE: High Pollution Advisory (HPA): Notifies the public that the level of an air pollutant is expected to exceed the federal health standard.Ground-level ozone pollution is harmful to lungs and can trigger asthma. Children are at the greatest risk from ozone because their lungs are still developing, they are most likely to be active outdoors and they are more likely than adults to have asthma. Adults with asthma or other lung diseases and older adults are also sensitive to ozone.
Although there are higher-risk groups, all county residents can be affected by ground-level ozone.
Posted on: April 28, 2017
Ozone High Pollution Advisory issued for Sunday, April 30, 2017
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is issuing an Ozone High Pollution Advisory (HPA) for Maricopa County, effective Sunday, April 30, 2017. This HPA is due to ozone levels expected to accumulate enough to exceed the federal health standard for ozone.
People most affected by ozone include children, senior citizens, people who work or exercise outdoors and people with pre-existing respiratory disease. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, aggravate asthma and reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off respiratory infections. Ozone-related health problems include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, headaches, nausea, and throat and lung irritation.
Ground-level ozone forms when emissions from vehicles, gasoline and diesel equipment, industrial and chemical processes and other everyday activities react to sunlight. Naturally, ozone pollution is more prevalent during the spring and summer months because these emissions – volatile organic compounds (VOCs, solvents and fuels) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) react more readily in higher temperatures.
Source: Air Now

Chinese Spy-Chip Implant Story Gets Apple CEO Tim Cook To Say There's No Truth In It

Tim Cook wants retraction of Chinese spy-chip story that named Apple, Amazon, Supermicro      Originally published October 19, 2018 at 6:...