Blog Archives

New Arizona Corporation Commission to face tough issues

[Source: Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic] — If you make monthly payments to Arizona Public Service Co., Tucson Electric Power Co., a small Arizona water provider or other regulated utility, you have three new public servants watching over those companies for you.  Unofficial results from the Nov. 4 election show Democrats Paul Newman and Sandra Kennedy and Republican Bob Stump will join two Republicans remaining on the Arizona Corporation Commission.  The regulators will tackle consumer issues such as a pending rate hike from APS in 2009 and for the first time in a decade have Democrats at the table.  In addition to regulating utility rates, the Corporation Commission oversees telecommunications issues and securities fraud and has jurisdiction over railroad crossings.

Kennedy’s first steps will include working with state lawmakers in an attempt to save energy and money by moving the commission to a four-day workweek, she said.  “I’d also like to see the Corporation Commission seriously look at how utility companies can help seniors,” she said Thursday.  “We’re at a time when their income is not what it used to be.  Are they showing the aged and low-income consumers how to effectively utilize energy efficiency?”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Dem “Solar Team” takes all 3 Arizona Corp. Commission spots

[Source: Arizona Secretary of State] — With 100% of the precincts reporting, three Democrats, dubbed “The Solar Team,” defeated their Republican challengers to win the open slots on the Arizona Corporation Commission.  For coverage of this race, courtesy of the Phoenix New Times, click here.

Candidate

Residence

Votes

Percent

NEWMAN, PAUL – D

Bisbee

879,307

18%

KENNEDY, SANDRA – D

Phoenix

878,859

18%

GEORGE, SAM – D

Phoenix

787,173

16%

STUMP, BOB – R

Peoria

783,183

16%

WONG, BARRY – R

Phoenix

761,482

16%

MCCLURE, MARIAN A. – R

Tucson

751,615

16%

Total Number of Votes

4,841,619

Downtown Phoenix’s Westward Ho once hosted rich and famous

[Source: Maria Konopken, Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, Inc.] — The Westward Ho’s pool, shimmering outside Reynaldo Torres’ door, once was a place where Marilyn Monroe swam, Elizabeth Taylor sunbathed, and Paul Newman filmed a scene heaving a television from a balcony. The lobby of the former hotel still has grand touches, including tiled pillars supporting a soaring ceiling, from the days when Torres would see U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater and Valley socialites heading to events, dinners, or drinks.  “The hotel was always really busy with people coming in and out,” Torres said.  “You never knew who was staying here; that was the exciting part.”

Torres saw the Westward Ho’s former glory from his position as a janitor here during the 1960s.  But the rich and famous have long since left, and now Torres is one of about 300 low-income senior citizens who call it home.  The Westward Ho, with its 268-foot television tower, which no longer is used, is an iconic part of the downtown skyline.  And it remains a place of memories for many Arizonans who came here for wedding receptions, fine meals, and entertainment before it closed in 1979.  “It was full of character, rich in history and rife with personality,” said Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s state historian.  “It is where the rich and the famous came to play.”

At 16 stories, the Westward Ho was the tallest hotel in Phoenix when it opened in 1928.  At the time, it boasted a room rate of $2; most of its competitors charged 25 cents a night.  The hotel’s stature and star-studded clientele have led to legends and ghost stories.  Trimble said he doubts a claim made by some that Al Capone’s car was buried by a cave-in in the Westward Ho’s now-closed underground parking garage and is still down there.  Another legend, Trimble said, has Monroe making late-night swims without a bathing suit.  Like other establishments downtown, the Westward Ho suffered as residents and visitors were attracted to other places in the Valley.  “People didn’t want to be downtown so much anymore; the action wasn’t downtown,” Trimble said.  “You had golf courses and all of these things on these resorts.  There was just more to do.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Arizona Corporation Commission candidate debate set for Sept. 15

The primary election for Arizona Corporation Commission is over, and congratulations to the following candidates — Sam George (D), Sandra Kennedy (D), Marian McClure (R), Paul Newman (D), Bob Stump (R), and Barry Wong (R) — who move onto the general election in November.  A candidate debate has been set for September 15, 2008 at Rio Salado College in Tempe.  Registration Noon to 1 p.m.; debate 1-3 p.m.; and reception 3-4 p.m.  The debates will cover issues important to you and Arizona’s future:

  • Water quality and the cost of electric and natural gas
  • High speed Internet to rural communities
  • Solar, nuclear, and other alternative energy sources
  • Arizona’s investment in utility infrastructure

Logon to our webcasts, tune in to your local Cable TV, or engage in person at Rio Salado College in Tempe to learn more about the powerful ACC (often described as a Fourth Branch of Government) and to see the candidates debate these and other issues that will have an enormous impact on you, Arizona’s future, and the finances, safety and quality of life of all citizens, businesses, and organizations in Arizona.  You can propose questions and discuss issues online by clicking here.

These nonpartisan debates, sponsored by the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, are presented by the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council and moderated by Mark Goldstein of International Research Center in cooperation with other business and community organizations.  For more information, contact Steve Peters, ATIC ACC Debate Coordinator at 520-321-1309 or e-mail.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,900 other followers