Tag Archives: November

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Open Elections/Open Government initiative moves to the November ballot

The Arizona Supreme Court let stand a lower court decision, rejecting an appeal by a political committee seeking to prevent the proposed Open Elections/Open Government citizen initiative from going to the November ballot.

“Five times now, we have been forced to go to court to defend the rights of Arizona voters to vote on this important amendment,” said Paul Johnson, Chairman of the Open Elections/Open Government campaign. “The political bosses and lobbyists were determined to stop us because they knew the best way to defeat Open Elections/Open Government initiative was to block it from going to the ballot. But finally, it’s time to let the voters decide.”

In order to qualify for the ballot, the Open Elections/Open Government campaign had over 700 individuals circulate petitions during a nine month drive that concluded with the filing of over 365,000 signatures on July 5th. In its suit, the Save Our Vote committee argued that tens of thousands of signatures on the initiative petition were invalid, claiming 69 circulators failed to meet eligibility requirements. Last week, Maricopa Superior Court Judge John Rea ruled that persuasive evidence existed that three gatherers were ineligible, and declared the signatures they gathered invalid. Rea ruled, however, that “there was absolutely no evidence of fraud or impropriety in the actual collection of signatures.”

The campaign conducted background checks on gatherers to determine their eligibility. “We knew the opposition would make every attempt to thwart the will of the voters, which is why we took the additional step to do all we could possibly do to preserve the integrity of our effort,” said Johnson.

With the Supreme Court decision, opponents have now exhausted all avenues to stop the proposed Constitutional Amendment that will do away with Arizona’s current Primary elections.

The initiative would create a Primary election open to all voters and all candidates. The top two vote-getters of that election, regardless of Party label, would then advance to the November general election, offering more choices to more voters in both the Primary and General elections.

The measure is supported by a wide variety of business and community organizations, including Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, the Flagstaff 40, and numerous other organizations.

The measure is opposed by leaders of both houses of the Arizona Legislature, former state Senator Russell Pearce, Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, and dozens of the top lobbyists at the State Capitol, among others.

Unemployment

Arizona’s Unemployment Rate Drops in November

The state’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percent to 9.4 percent in November, as the economy added 12,800 jobs. The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) reports today that the private sector generated 9,300 jobs, while government added 3,500. Traditional holiday hiring boosted the November job gains.



Nov. ’10 Oct. ’10 Nov. ’09
United States 9.8% 9.6% 10%
Arizona 9.4% 9.5% 9.3%



This is the fourth consecutive month of over-the-year gains in total nonfarm employment. The state’s 1 percent year-over-year gain in November was higher than the nation’s gain of 0.6 percent. Arizona’s 1 percent gain totals about 24,900 jobs added since the previous November.

“Overall, Arizona’s employment situation continues to improve,” according to the ACA employment report.



Nov. ’10
Oct. ’10
Nov. ’09
Overall 2,448 2,435.2 2,423.1
Monthly Change 0.5% 1.3% 0.6%
Annual Change 1% 1.1% -6.5%



Over the month, six out of the state’s 11 major sectors saw job gains. The sector that had the most gains for the month was trade, transportation and utilities, with 9,900, mostly due to the 8,700 jobs gained in the retail sector.

Gains were reported in: professional and business services (2,300); educational and health services (1,700); government (3,500); manufacturing (600); and information (400).

Losses were reported in: construction (-3,000); financial activities (-900); leisure and hospitality (-900); other services (-700); and natural resources and mining (-100).

Construction lost the most jobs of any sector in November, but it still is recording net job gains for 2010.

The unemployment rates climbed in almost all of the state’s largest metro areas.


Nov. ’10
Oct. ’10
Nov. ’09
Phoenix Metro 8.9% 8.4% 8.7%
Tucson Metro 8.8% 8.3% 8.5%
Yuma Metro 26.8% 25.7% 22.4%
Flagstaff Metro 8.1% 7.8% 8.1%
Prescott Metro 10.2% 9.7% 9.8%
LHC-Kingman Metro 10.9% 10.9% 9.8%
Food, Wine and Art: Sonoma Showcase Festival

Food, Wine And Art: Sonoma Showcase Festival

Two days full of wine, art, food and jazz await you at the Sonoma Showcase Festival. Vistancia is hosting the festival Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The fun kicks off Saturday with a performance by jazz star Scott Cossu. Other Jazz musicians playing throughout the weekend are Marc Antonie, Eric Darius, Dulce Vas, Sans Moi, Johnny Rawls, Sillan & Young, Euge Groove, and Nicole Pesce.

While listening to smooth jazz you can sample smooth wines. Wineries from all over the Sonoma area will be hosting wine tastings. Along with sampling the wine, you can chat with the winemakers themselves! They will be on hand if you have any questions about the wine, or how it is produced. If you find that a certain wine tickles your taste buds, you can purchase it right on the spot!

Wine isn’t the only highlight of this festival; several local, celebrity and Sonoma-based chefs will show off their delectable cuisine.

Duskie Estes, a competitor from the Food Network’s The Next Food Network Challenge will be there along with Scott Tompkins and Eddie Matney. They will each be giving a presentation and demonstration on how to prepare their signature dishes.

Finally, if wonderful food, music, and wine isn’t enough, more than 100 vendors will be present, selling everything from wine accessories, to jewelry, to kitchen cutlery, to in-home spa treatments. You will definitely be able to find something that sparks your interest.

    If You Go:
    General admission tickets are $27.50 per day or $49.50 for the weekend.
    General admission and wine tasting is $49.50 each day or $88 for the weekend.
    Vistancia is located north of Happy Valley Road and west of Lake Pleasant Parkway in Peoria, Ariz.
    www.sonomashowcasefestival.com

Cubicle

Jobs Grow Modestly; State’s Unemployment Rate Is Unchanged

The state added 16,000 jobs in September, mostly due to the start of the new school year. Despite the modest gains, the Arizona Department of Commerce reported today that the state’s unemployment rate remains at 9.7 percent


Sept. 2010 Aug. 2010 Sept. 2009
United States 9.6% 9.6% 9.8%
Arizona 9.7% 9.7% 9.4%

Year-over-year, total non-farm employment was up 0.5 percent last month. August’s year-over-year numbers were revised from a loss of 0.1 percent in total non-farm employment to a gain of 0.3 percent. The August gains broke a 30-month streak of over-the-year job losses for the state.

For the month, the state’s employment gain of 0.7 percent were below the 10-year average, but was better than the previous two years, when the economy generated job growth of 0.2 percent in September 2008 and 0.5 percent in September 2009. The private sector had an anemic net gain of 700 jobs last month. However, for the past three Septembers, the private sector has lost jobs.


Sept. 2010 Aug. 2010 Sept. 2009
Overall 2,403.8 2,387.8 2,392.1
Monthly % Change 0.7% 1.6% 0.5%
Annual % Change 0.5% 0.3% -8%



Over the month, six sectors gained jobs and five lost jobs. The sector that had the most gains for the month was government, with 15,300. But those jobs came primarily from local and state education, with losses in the federal government offsetting some of the gains.


Professional and business services added 2,900 jobs; financial activities gained 1,700; educational and health services rose by 1,200; natural resources and mining generated 200 jobs; and construction also saw job gains of 200 in September

The professional and business services sector boasts the highest over-the-year job gains with 13,800. Over the year, trade, transportation and utilities was up 10,100 jobs; educational and health services gained 8,800; leisure and hospitality had a 1,500-job gain; and natural resources and mining generated 1,200 positions.

Over-the year losses were recorded with government (-7,300); construction (-6,100); other services (-4,000); financial activities (-2,500); information (-2,000); and manufacturing (-1,800).

The unemployment rates in the state’s largest metro areas mostly held steady or dropped slightly in September.


Sept. 2010 Aug. 2010 Sept.2009
Phoenix Metro 8.7% 8.8% 8.8%
Tucson Metro 8.6% 8.7% 8.6%
Yuma Metro 23.9% 23.7% 21%
Flagstaff Metro 8% 8% 8.2%
Prescott Metro 10.1% 10.2% 9.9%
LHC-Kingman Metro 10.8% 10.9% 10.8%