Photos from the Glendale Stand Up for Veterans, Sept. 24, 2016.

Photos from the Glendale Stand Up for Veterans, Sept. 24, 2016.

Some great news from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez:

On Saturday, September 24, 2016, the State Bar of Arizona and 11 of its members participated in the 2016 Glendale Stand Up for Veterans event at Glendale Community College. The State Bar and volunteer attorneys joined several service providers at the one-day event that offered a variety of free health and human services to 324 veterans in our state. Volunteer attorneys from across the Valley answered questions during one-on-one consultations with veterans seeking legal advice.

The “Civil Law Clinic” organized by the State Bar offered legal consultations by members who practice family law, bankruptcy/foreclosure/tax law, probate/trust law, and real estate/landlord & tenant law.

pro bono gavelVolunteer attorneys provided 77 consultations during the legal clinic for the 63 veterans who were seen. In addition, many attorneys offered pro-bono legal services after the Stand Up to veterans who needed additional help. Adding to the legal services provided for veterans, on-site courts coordinated by Hon. Elizabeth Finn, Presiding Judge of the Glendale City Court, saw 231veterans who needed to address court-related issues.

The State Bar offers its sincerest appreciation to the attorneys who committed to helping veterans at the Stand Up event. The following is a list of the attorney and logistics volunteers:

VOLUNTEER ATTORNEYS

Dorothy Brogan, Law Office of Dorothy E. Brogan

Doug Edmunds, Edmunds Law

Rebecca Elliot, Rebecca Elliott Attorney at Law

Nathan Finch, Catalyst Legal Group

Tim R. Geiger, Geiger Law Offices

Steven D. Keist, Keist Law

Tonya MacBeth, Burch & Cracchiolo, PA

Cindy Greene, Simmons & Greene, PC

Ian Hasegawa, Hasegawa Paulsen, PLC

Brant Hodyno, Brant Hodyno, Compassionate Counsel

Janis Villalpando, Community Legal Services

 

VOLUNTEER PARALEGAL

Cory Rade

 

LOGISTICS VOLUNTEER

Katrina Morales, Community Volunteer

 

The attacks on the Goldwater Institute continue unabated.

As I’ve written about before (here and here), the Goldwater Institute has gone hammer and tongs after what they characterize as a bad deal for taxpayers, Arizona, Glendale residents, and all the best values as we know them. Their fight is in regard to Glendale’s efforts to keep the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team in that city.

Goldwater smells quite a bit of the giving-away-the-farm odor, all to benefit a private entity. That would be a violation of the Arizona Constitution’s Gift Clause, the Institute claims.

But to mix sports metaphors, hockey supporters have mounted a full-court press—against the Goldwater Institute.

(Today’s Arizona Republic has a story about the Coyotes’ travails. Read it here.)

I wondered last week about the strange melding and churning of self-interest that leads someone to support one side in the battle.

On the one hand, you might very well enjoy hockey. Or at least you may like having hockey as a dynamic part of a vibrant package that keeps Glendale hopping.

But on the other hand, you may want your city officials to get the best possible deal when they’re waving your tax dollars around. And here and across the country, city councils have a poor record of that; they are known to give away far too much to private entities that threaten to pull up stakes, even when it’s unlikely they will.

So in a “don’t waste-my-tax-dollars” sense, I’d expect the Institute’s position to be a bit more popular than it has been. But in the PR war over the Coyotes, rank-and-file residents have been rallied pretty effectively to mount the barricades in support of the team’s owner (or maybe it’s more accurate to say they’ve been rallied to keep the team in the city).

What I have not heard (and what I think I expected) is a groundswell of thanks or support to the Institute for looking out for how public money is spent.

And maybe that says something about residents of any city. No one wants money wasted. But they do want development to occur. And if a little gifting occurs along the way, perhaps residents are OK with that.

Yesterday, I was driving in what I think is northern Glendale (we were on Happy Valley Road west of the I-17—you tell me). There, I spotted an SUV with its windows chalked with a message: “Keep the Coyotes in Glendale.” Next to that was the imprecation “Say no to Goldwater.”

On the passenger side of the car, the owner had drawn the universal symbol for “No,” a circle with diagonal line, with the word “Goldwater” in the center.

Pretty inside-hockey, if you ask me. I’m not sure how many drivers will understand the news items drawn on the car. But if I’m right, more and more will understand it as the media blitz comes to a head.

This morning, I wrote about an Arizona Republic editorial. So let me round out the afternoon by writing about another.

Earlier this week, the Republic op-ed folks penned an editorial titled “Goldwater, come down from Mount Olympus.” It took the Goldwater Institute to task for raising questions about Glendale’s potential deal with the Coyotes hockey team. According to the newspaper, all those persistent questions—and the threat of a lawsuit—may endanger the deal—and then the Coyotes would head north to Winnipeg.

I wrote before about the strange world we occupy right now, in trying to keep a hockey team in the desert. And now we see a joint effort by cities and the hometown newspaper to keep the complaining to a minimum.

But I kept expecting to read something else in the Republic editorial. Something like, maybe, “Thank you, Goldwater Institute.”

That’s not to say the GI doesn’t have a bull-in-a-china-shop tendency. They do. But asking how public money is spent, or demanding answers about how public resources will be safeguarded? That used to be considered praiseworthy. In fact, that used to be the job of the newspaper.

I am no expert on whether the Coyotes deal is a good one for the City of Glendale or for the Valley (though I’m pretty sure it’s a good deal for the Coyotes owners). But requiring clear answers to questions before plunging in is a valuable role.

After all, look at the concessions the Institute wrought with a little saber-rattling: tens of millions of dollars of additional guarantees.

Is that enough? Should the Institute say uncle? I don’t know. But imagine where we’d be in this Valley if municipalities—and our booster-ish newspaper—stepped up and asked hard questions when private entities have their hand out.

They should try it—there’s room aplenty up on Olympus.

Read the complete editorial here.