Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Letter to the Editor from David Snider

Since February is such a short month – and there's such an awfully lot to do in these 28 days – let's get right to it.  But first, a brief interlude to remind us all that this is American History Month, Black History Month, American Heart Month, Valentine's Day (Feb. 14 and don't blame me if you forgot!) and Arizona's birthday on Feb. 14th,  as well as President's Day (Feb. 21). 
There is a fair amount of passionate discourse in our state today concerning health care, AHCCCS, and organ transplants.  Last month, a special group of Arizona's leaders in the private sector came together to form TAP, the Transplant Assistance Project.  TAP's mission is to raise the $6.4M required to pay for the nearly 40 transplant operations that are pending in Arizona.  Led by such notables as Eddie Basha, Senator Leo Corbet, Governor Rose Mofford, Nina Roosevelt Gibson (granddaughter of FDR and a heart transplant recipient, TAP is working with the New Life Society which is already organized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  I'm proud to say one of Pinal County's employees, Tim Kanavel (a multiple transplant recipient), is also involved in this campaign.  TAP's motto is: "Because Tomorrow Is Too Late."
In mid-January, Ak-Chin Indian Community members went to the polls to elect two of four candidates to its tribal council.  Gabriel Lopez, currently Council Vice-Chairman, stood for re-election along with Councilwoman Leslie Carlyle-Burnett while Delia Carlyle and Terry Enos sought to return to Council.  Both Ms. Carlyle and Mr. Enos are former Tribal Chairs and Council members.  After deliberation and a solid exchange of viewpoints, the voters chose to return Mr. Lopez and elect Ms. Carlyle.  I very much look forward to working with both newly elected officials and incumbent Tribal Council members in the coming years as we plan together to meet our common challenges.
Diabetes is a pervasive disease that strikes more than 17 million Americans, and in Pinal County, that translates into close to 8% of our county's residents.  Mary Gonzales, Coordinator for Pinal County's Health Department's Diabetes and Prevention Program, is focused on encouraging residents to organize monthly support groups for diabetics.  There are currently groups active in Casa Grande, Maricopa, Eloy, Mammoth, Florence, and Apache Junction.  I won't go into the symptoms and complications that make diabetes such a debilitating disease because Mary does a much better job of it than I.  Her focus on diabetes is more than just her job – she also chairs the Pinal County Diabetes Coalition which mounts programs and events throughout the year and all around Pinal County.  Please call Mary at 520.866.7687 or email her at mary.gonzales@pinalcountyaz.us for more information.
The Chambers of Commerce in Casa Grande and Maricopa held their annual awards dinners last month to honor members of their local business communities. The one thing all of these individuals have in common is their drive for excellence, their commitment to the larger good, and their willingness to go the extra mile (or more) for their chosen communities and causes. 
The Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce praised the contributions and accomplishments of: Fernando Cornejo, Eva's Fine Mexican Food as Business Leader of the Year and Community Leader of the Year was awarded to Donna McBride, Pinal County Juvenile Court Services and advisor to Casa Grande's Youth Commission.
The Maricopa Chamber of Commerce chose to celebrate the accomplishments of the following individuals and/or companies: Business of the Year was Ace Hardware; Non-Profit of the Year went to Against Abuse, Inc.; Bob Gillespie of Benchmark Home Loans and in-coming Chamber President, was selected as Volunteer of the Year; the Ambassador of the Year went to Dr. John Donohue; and the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award was given to former Maricopa Mayor Kelly Anderson.
My congratulations, admiration, and gratitude goes out to all of these exemplary individuals and businesses – they are the stuff of which our greatness is made and sustained.
Everybody loves a parade –right?  Well, the weekend of February 19th is blockbuster!   
First up on Saturday is the 66th Anniversary of the raising of the U.S. Flag on Iwo Jima in Sacaton.  Sponsored by the Ira H. Hayes American Legion Post 84, this wonderful parade features lots of military units, veterans' organizations, Native American Code Talkers, antique cars, and a military fly-over.  Immediately following the parade, the veterans muster in Ira H. Hays Memorial Park for addresses from those who fought in World War II.  After that, there's a Pow Wow with lots of Native American dancing that will last well into the night.  This annual event is a wonderful tribute to those who served and died for our country as well as celebrating those who currently serve in harm's way in defense of our country.
That same weekend, the annual O'odham Tash event – starting on the 18th and running through the 21st – is resplendent with arts and crafts activities and booths, as well as a variety of rodeo events.  This year's festivities are configured differently.  All of the usual events (i.e. craft booths, the rodeo, etc.) can be found at the Pinal County Fairgrounds – the rodeo will take place in downtown Coolidge on Saturday the 19th.  For more information, click on the Pinal County website (http://pinalcountyaz.gov) or check your newspaper for details.

David Snider, Supervisor
Pinal County District 3