Phoenix Small Business Owners Say Light Rail Expansion Is Trying to Deliberately Shut Them Down

The construction of light rail began in Phoenix in 2005, and was fought by property owners located in the way who thought it was too late to set up mass transit in such a densely populated city. Not very many miles have been built since then, only 28, in one straight shot in an L-shape throughout the Valley, with businesses and residences still fighting weak expansion efforts. The South Phoenix expansion won’t be completed until 2024.

Celia Contreras, who owns Tony’s Window Tinting in South Phoenix, says the construction effort in South Phoenix is harassing her business in order to shut it down, tired of her complaints. She says large trucks deliberately block the entrance to her business so customers can’t stop by, and have flooded her building twice. She posted photos of drains stating that the construction company was blocking it with cement, unwise during the monsoon season. Officials refuse to help her, and she caught workers on video making fun of her for having to temporarily close her businesses due to the problems.

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Biden Commends Phoenix School District That Violated Ban on Mask Requirements

Biden Commends Phoenix School District

President Joe Biden called the head of Phoenix Union High School District after the district implemented mask requirements that may be contrary to state law, praising Superintendent Chad Geston for the move. In a statement, Biden said he told Geston during his Friday phone call that he “did the right thing.” 

The issue is currently under litigation in Maricopa County Superior Court. Numerous state legislators asked Governor Doug Ducey a few days ago to take action against the school districts in violation, and Ducey responded on Tuesday with a directive financially penalizing the districts. They will not receive any of the $163 million that the state got through the American Rescue Plan to boost per-pupil funding. Students in those districts will receive vouchers to attend schools elsewhere.

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Judge Rules Phoenix School District Mask Mandate Does Not Violate State Law

A judge ruled that the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) did not violate state law by issuing a mask mandate because the law does not take effect until 45 days after the end of the last legislative session on Sept. 29. 

Science teacher Douglas Hester, represented by Alexander Kolodin, filed a lawsuit against the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) for its decision to institute a mask mandate despite the provision of the Fiscal Year 2022 state budget, which prohibited schools from requiring face coverings. 

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Moses Sanchez Announces Campaign for Phoenix City Council to Replace Term Limited Sal DiCiccio

With popular conservative Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio term limited, local activist and professor Moses Sanchez, a Republican, announced he is running for the District 6 slot based in Ahwatukee. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Phoenix in 2018, a difficult race for Republicans since Phoenix has more Democrats, but District 6 leans Republican. 

“I’m proud to call Ahwatukee home,” he said in a statement on August 11. “I’ve raised my family in Phoenix, served on our local school board, run for Mayor, and worked to grow a small business. I’m running for Phoenix City Council to provide the same opportunities this city has given me and stand up for the most overlooked community in Phoenix.”

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Arizona Ranks First in Nation for Small Business Growth

A new report from the payroll company PayChex ranked the states in order of small business job growth and Arizona came out No. 1, with nearly 6% growth over the past year. Phoenix ranked third among the country’s 20 most populated cities. The Arizona Legislature released a report shortly before that showing Arizona is in great condition, breaking records. The state passed historic tax cuts this year, preventing a 77% increase on small business taxes, reducing small business property taxes by 10%, and capping the maximum tax rate on businesses at 4.5%.

Frank Fiorelle, vice president of risk, compliance and data analytics at Paychex, explained that a lot of the job growth is due to the pandemic ending. “A lot of those restaurants are coming back online, opening the doors and turning on the lights, he said. He added that states which reopened their economies earlier have higher job creation rates.

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Phoenix Housing Market Booms as Migration from California Continues

Phoenix was the most popular migration destination in the second quarter of 2021 for users of Redfin.com, a technology-powered real estate broker, who were looking to move to a different major city. 

In Phoenix, institutions or businesses that purchase residential real estate, known by Redfin as investors, purchased 24.5% of homes sold in the second quarter of 2021. Redfin said that out of the 41 U.S. metropolitan areas analyzed, Phoenix had the highest percentage of home purchases by investors. The Valley was followed closely by Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Las Vegas.

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Phoenix Ranked 40th Best Place to Live of 150 Biggest Metropolitan Areas

U.S. News & World Report issued its list this week of the annual best places to live, and Phoenix came in at No. 40 of the 150 most populous metro areas. The city jumped up 13 places from last year. The report emphasized Phoenix’s relatively low cost of living, warm weather, and thriving job market. The rankings are based on quality of life, job market, value of living, and desire of people to live there. 

Phoenix may have scored well this year due to a stable economy. Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News, said in a news release, “It shouldn’t be a surprise that many metro areas that saw unemployment levels skyrocket in 2020 fell in the rankings, but those with greater employment stability tended to fare well.”

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New Arizona Law Aims to Improve Civilian Review Boards on Police Misconduct

One of the bills passed this year in the Arizona Legislature and signed by the governor, HB 2567, adds rules for independent community oversight of Arizona police departments. Although Arizona isn’t plagued like some states by high-profile incidents involving law enforcement, overall community concern led to the legislation.

John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who comes from a law enforcement background and sponsored the bill, said, “I’m not throwing cops to the wolves, especially politically motivated wolves.

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Amazon to Add Thousands of Tech, Corporate Jobs in Six American Cities

Amazon plans to create 3,500 new tech and corporate jobs in six cities nationwide, the company announced Tuesday.

Most of the company’s new hires will be located in Amazon’s New York office with the rest being added in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego, according to a press release. Amazon also announced plans to expand the six offices to accommodate the new hires.

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Why More Americans Are Moving to Smaller Cities

by Dora Mekouar   More Americans are moving to smaller cities in search of a better quality of life. They’re leaving places like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York for mid-sized cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas, according to an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau. A…

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