Barry and the Letter “Y”

By | Prop 420 Scottsdale, Protect Our Preserve | No Comments

Barry, Me and the Mountains

Sounds like a bad 80s sitcom. But in the early 90’s I had the honor of being invited over to the late Senator Barry Goldwater’s house for a 1-on-1 meeting. Even though I was a “kid” in my 20s at the time and had no real status in our community, he afforded me the honor because the Senator and I are both members of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. The Senator pledged Sigma Chi at the UofA. And about 55 years later I pledged at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana; the hometown of his first wife.

I decided to turn our conversation into a pseudo interview on things he remembered about his time at Ball State when visiting his wife’s family and the chapter house at Ball State. We spoke about a wide range of topics. And frankly I was a nervous wreck. But then I asked him a question that changed my life. I asked, besides his family and his political career, what accomplishment was he most proud of. I expected him to say his photography because I was a fan of his early photos in northern Arizona. But he immediately pointed at South Mountain from his office window and over his shoulder at North Mountain. He said, and I’m paraphrasing from notes I scribbled, “I saved those mountains from becoming nothing but a bunch of homes. It’s nice to look out the window and see those open views.”

The Senator’s house sat on a small hill in Paradise Valley surrounded by development. His office had great views looking to the south. I figured since he was older and less mobile at that time, he must sit in his office and look out the window a lot. And seeing those mountains everyday reminded him of the beauty in Arizona that he loved so much and how easy it is to lose it to development.

He then tried to show me a frame on one of his book shelves that had fallen over. It was out of his reach, so I picked it up. It contained the famous quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, and for all who come after you.

He went on to tell me that he’d been asked to help save the McDowell Mountains for preservation. I immediately told myself I need to get involved too. I lived near the McDowell’s. I loved hiking in the mountains well before trails were put in and I didn’t want to see it covered with homes.

I left with a renewed sense of purpose.

I got in contact with Herb Drinkwater, the then mayor of Scottsdale, to see how I could help his office. I joined the McDowell Sonoran Land Trust to put my advertising and design skill to use. I had a very small part in the 90’s compared to others. But the Senator was right, it is something to be very proud of. And looking at the McDowell Mountains every day brings a certain joy that all citizens of Scottsdale should be proud of. WE ALL saved those mountains and the surrounding Sonoran Desert from development.

I got to meet the Senator on a handful of other occasions before his passing. One was when I got to sit next to him at the Mountain Ball in ’95; An event put on to raise money for the preservation of the McDowell’s. When he got up to speak at the function his one comment that I recall, “It would be criminal if someone built on those Mountains”.

Brought to You by the Letter “Y”

Fast forward to 2-3 years ago when I first heard they were trying to build a 35+ acre commercial and tourist attraction on Preserve land called the Desert Discovery Center. I knew I had to get involved again. I called up some of my old contacts from the McDowell Sonoran Land Trust and was surprised to find out that some of them were behind the Desert Discovery Center. They told me it was always planned. Granted I wasn’t on the inner-circle in the 90s, but building something in the Preserve was never brought up in any board meeting I attended. And if it was talked about, it must have been behind closed doors with just a handful of people.

They did talk about building a facility similar to the Sonoran Desert Museum that’s near Tucson. But they proposed that be built near where Pinnacle Peak Patio was on North Alma School Road. Those neighbors all got together and quickly shot that down years ago. But just like a bad burrito, the Desert Discovery Center came up again in a different iteration. This time they wanted to build it at the Gateway Trailhead. They tried to keep it under the radar. But thanks to the citizen-led Protect Our Preserve and NoDDC, people have started to be told about this ruse.

Protect Our Preserve people have been working diligently, honestly and with a singular purpose: Stop commercial development in the Preserve. The signature collection victory to get prop 420 on the ballot was herculean. But we knew the developers and shills for the Desert Discovery Center, renamed Desert Edge, weren’t going to give up easily. However, we never predicted their next move. They created a new group called Protect YOUR Preserve to promote a “no” vote for prop 420. The only letter different from their name and the group trying to save the Preserve is a “Y”. That’s also a good question: Y? They did it to confuse voters. Which that in itself is telling. They couldn’t debate the issue, so they decided to try and confuse voters.

Knowing the late Senator’s candor and use of colorful language, I can imagine what he would say today.

Protect OUR F*@&ing Preserve. Protect OUR F*@&ing Taxes. Vote #YESprop420

YES PROP 420 or NO PROP 420?

By | Prop 420 Scottsdale | 3 Comments

Yes Prop 420 or No Prop 420? Protect OUR Preserve or Protect YOUR Preserve? Good questions but the answer is obvious. Prop 420 makes a small but critical change the the city charter and requires the city to put to a public vote anything besides trailheads, trails and trail maintenance. Some city council members and developers were trying to push through the Desert Edge (Desert Discovery Center) and get it built in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. We asked for it to go to a public vote. They denied the citizens’ request. So volunteers for the citizen group, Protect Our Preserve, went out and gathered 37,000+ signature to force Prop 420 be put on the ballot.

But the developers who want to build in the Preserve are trying to confuse voters. They started a group called Protect YOUR Preserve. They are trying to get people to vote no prop 420 so they can build whatever they want in the Preserve. They’re deceptive, greedy and should not be trusted.

If built, the Desert Edge is going to cost Scottsdale tax payers $68M to build and $5M each year to keep open. Even though they want to charge $50 per person to enter the Desert Edge, it’s projected to lose money every year.

Jan Dolan, the disgraced former city manager of Scottsdale, is heading up Protect YOUR Preserve/no prop 420 and this group of corrupt council members and developers.

We want to keep the McDowell Sonoran Preserve free of development and free for all to enjoy. Vote #YESprop420

Protect YOUR Preserve?

By | Prop 420 Scottsdale | 2 Comments

A new Political Action Committee (PAC) was just formed with the goal of getting a “no” vote on prop 420. The name of this new group is Protect YOUR Preserve. Yes, you read that right. The new organization that is fighting to put an edutainment center in the Preserve is call Protect YOUR Preserve. This is meant to cause confusion in the eyes of voters. The one and only Scottsdale-citizen committee that is working to save the McDowell Sonoran Preserve from developers is Protect OUR Preserve.

Jan Dolan (infamous former City Manager of Scottsdale) is the Chairperson of the Protect YOUR Preserve committee. And Lynne Lagarde of PHOENIX is second in command of this bogus committee. Protect YOUR Preserve is trying to fraudulently hijack the committee founded by the citizens of Scottsdale to Protect OUR Preserve. Lagarde is also on the Board of the Desert Edge (Desert Discovery Center) so we know where her priorities lie.

Here’s a LINK to the application they submitted to the city for their bogus PAC. Read for yourself. It has their contact information if you want to get in touch.

Just as a reminder, here are some other names of people that are working to turn the people’s Preserve into a commercial development… Scottsdale city council members: Virginia Korte, Linda Milhaven and David N. Smith. Along with this list of non-Scottsdale citizens with some Scottsdale citizens: Christine Kovach, Mike Surguine, Mike Miller, Dr. Art DeCabooter, Diana Yazzie Devine, Joan Fudala, John Graham, Dan Gruber, Steve Hilton, Rachel Sacco, Wellington Reiter, Richard Bowers, Dr. Robert Breunig, Dr. Lattie Coor, John Flicker, Dr. Jan Gehler, Robert Perciasepe, Sam Campana, Randy Schilling, Cecilia Riviere, Mark Hiegel

I’d put a list of #YESprop420 supporters, but the list is too large.

Only Protect OUR Preserve is working to save the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Protect YOUR Preserve is a fraudulent group created to destroy the Preserve and put a multi-building edutainment center on it.

Remember VOTE YES PROP 420. Our Preserve. Our Vote. Protect OUR Preserve. #YESprop420

Prop 420 is on the Ballot!

By | Prop 420 Scottsdale | No Comments

The signatures were counted and Prop 420 is on the ballot for Scottsdale in the 2018 election. A “yes” vote will essentially have the effect of forcing any developments beyond trailheads, trailhead facilities and trails to go to a public vote. The power that some on the Scottsdale city council think they have will be officially given to the people of Scottsdale. Council members that are fighting against Prop 420 are Linda Milhaven, David Smith and Virginia Korte. None of these people deserve to be Scottsdale public servants. They only work to fill their own greed and egos.

A new council candidate, Solange Whitehead, is working to pass Prop 420 and working in other areas of city to keep Scottsdale special and free of special interests. Kathy Littlefield is also continuing her support for the Preserve and Prop 420 and deserves to be reelected. The other candidate, I can’t even remember his name, is kind of a dotard and waffles on Prop 420 depending on the audience.

In summary, vote for Solange Whitehead and Kathy Littlefield and that all.

An also remember #YESprop420


By | Desert Edge Scottsdale | No Comments

Virginia Korte for Mayor? If you think Jim “the waffle” Lane is a bad mayor of Scottsdale, an even worse mayor could be on the horizon. Virginia Korte just announced she is putting an exploratory group together to look into running for Scottsdale, AZ mayor in 2020. Korte’s complete disregard for her constituents and her apparent love of paving over the natural desert will destroy what’s left of Scottsdale’s beauty. She has backed the Desert Edge (Desert Discovery Center) and wasted our tax dollars at every chance. We need to send her a clear message, don’t run for mayor. And better yet, leave the Scottsdale city council and let the citizens of Scottsdale have their city back from the developers.


By | Desert Edge Scottsdale | No Comments

There was a recent article in the Scottsdale Independent of people who support the destruction of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve to build the Desert Discovery Center, aka DesertEDGE. Below are the names. Not sure how these people can look themselves in the mirror. What the article left out was what these people do and where they live. A lot of these people don’t even live in Scottsdale. And a lot of them work in development. So of course they would want to develop a Preserve for their own profit or ego stroking. #NoDDC #NoDesertEdge #DemandOurVote

  • David Akin
  • Geoff Beer
  • Vicki Bell
  • David Bentler
  • Marc Bromley
  • Tammy Caputi
  • Rick Carpinelli
  • Andrew Chippindall
  • Carol Damaso
  • Don P. Damaso
  • Jim Derouin
  • Janie Ellis
  • Karen Fehr
  • Cynthia Golisch
  • John Gulick
  • Melinda Gulick
  • Don Henninger
  • Bill Heckman
  • Mark Hiegel
  • Camille Hill
  • Jose Iturri
  • Frank Jacobson
  • Nancy Kitchell
  • Amram Knishinsky
  • Virginia Korte
  • Fred Mercaldo
  • Paul Messinger
  • Linda Milhaven
  • Jack Miller
  • Loren Molever
  • John Pappas
  • Doreen Reinke
  • Laraine Rodgers
  • Michael Seiden
  • Gary Shapiro
  • Bill Smith
  • Diana Smith
  • Robert Stankus
  • Mark Stanton
  • Anne Summerson
  • Lois Drinkwater Thompson
  • Gail Williams
  • Chip Wittrock
  • Levi Wittrock
  • Renee Wittrock


By | Protect Your Preserve | No Comments

The city of Scottsdale did a survey that showed 94% of respondents don’t want the DDC, now called the Desert EDGE. The city quickly discredited the survey because they said there were bogus emails. But the percentage of bogus emails was higher on the pro-DDC group. But even if you take out a few emails, the results are still overwhelmingly NoDDC!. Here’s a link to the city’s own document: SCOTTSDALE DDC SURVEY

DesertEdge Scottsdale

Preserve Our Preserve &

By | Desert Edge Scottsdale | No Comments

Preserve Our Preserve & are bogus groups who are advocating for commercial development in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Don’t believe their BS. They won’t even tell you who they are. The NoDDC aka NoDesertEdge groups are very transparent about who they are and where their info comes from. They use the city’s own legal documents to show the lies behind the DDC/DesertEdge. #NoDDC #NoDesertEdge