This, That and Other Stuff

Change can bring negative or positive results

Bob Neuman

Change can bring negative or positive results.

Words can pack a punch; “cancer,” “guilty,” “death sentence” are a few knee bucklers. Eight years ago “Change” was promised by a rather obscure politician who became president. Evaluation of change comes by way of perception and results.

Living in Tucson in 1954, my wife and I drove though the small town of Chandler heading to visit relatives in Phoenix. We marveled at the still beautiful high school. Our sojourn took us by cotton fields, numerous citrus groves and fields of farm crops. Baseline Road was a never ending row of Japanese flower gardens.

In the mid-‘60s we resided in Scottsdale, a city of 65,000 inhabitants. I taught at Kaibab School at 62nd St. and Camelback just north of the prestigious Arcadia neighborhood. Camelback Mt. across the street presented an unrestricted view. Beside the school was a huge citrus grove that produced an overpowering scent of orange blossoms each spring. The students then knew what they were there for, and life was good.

Today, Kaibab is gone as is the large citrus grove. Arcadia homes have aged and many have roof rats. Building has climbed nearly to the top of Camelback Mt., destroying the former view. Populations of Chandler and Scottsdale are around 250,000. The Japanese flower gardens, cotton fields, dairies and much of the pristine desert have disappeared. Were these changes productive? Many longtime residents dislike the encroachment and the increasing population. They would answer no.

During the ‘60s, when migrant workers came to harvest the crops and then moved on, immigration was not a big problem. Now our southern border resembles a sieve. In spite of the billions spent, federal laws are winked at by those who enacted them.

Citizens may recall the alternative fuel subsidy debacle that nearly bankrupted our state a few years ago. To pay all the drivers who complied, lawmakers swept millions from the park fund. This forced closing Arizona rest stops for a long time. More ill-advised change?

A few years ago, most of our interstates had cameras checking speeding, but they were removed for what seemed to be no valid reason. Never mind cameras made driving a pleasure, that fines brought in $63 million for the state, and they saved lives. Did the removal benefit anyone except the law breakers? I think not.

Chandler had laid off and retired workers to save money, only to build a mammoth, expensive and some say pretentious, city building. They also improved streets and sidewalks to make downtown more pedestrian friendly. Have you seen many walkers there during winter or our toasty summers? Did these changes benefit the average tax payer?

Now voters are outraged and are demanding from all levels of government integrity, responsibility and honesty from those who purport to serve us. With the November presidential election, change is certain. But will it be the manner of change that is beneficial or detrimental? Time will tell.