Chilean Nationals Allegedly Behind String of Arizona Burglaries Came to America Using Tourist Visa Waiver

Scottsdale Police Department

Three Chilean nationals arrested by the Scottsdale Police Department (SPD) over a string of burglaries in Arizona and California were originally allowed to enter the United States as tourists.

Scottsdale Police Chief Jeff Walther confirmed in a Tuesday press conference that three Chileans the department arrested Sunday entered the country using the U.S. State Department’s visa waiver program, which allows citizens of other countries to remain in the United States for 90 days if the purpose for their travel is business or tourism.

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Opposition Increasing to Eliminating Road Lanes in Scottsdale

Bike Riders

The Scottsdale City Council (SCC) has been approving plans to eliminate lanes on roads in the city and replace them with bicycle lanes, known as “road diets.” This is causing a wave of concern from Scottsdale residents over the increasing traffic congestion. A road diet that was approved last March particularly angered residents since it was located in the city’s popular Old Town entertainment district. Mason Gates, one of the candidates running for the SCC this year, has made opposition to them a priority.

Gates spoke at an SCC meeting on February 20 against road diets. He said he had a discussion with a business owner located near the Old Town road diet, who said he was not consulted in preliminary talks before the SCC decided to construct a road diet there. Protect Scottsdale reported that 23 business owners in the vicinity signed a petition opposing the road diet, but their concerns were dismissed. According to Gates, Rich Bonura, the owner of BEG Bakery, told him “he often sees buses, semi-trucks, and other vehicles parked in the bike lane that is intended for cyclists. This can pose a grave danger for cyclists who need to avoid parked vehicles by swerving into traffic lanes where drivers may not expect to see them.”

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Report: Scottsdale Is the Top City for Jobs Nationwide

Scottsdale, Arizona, is considered the best city in the U.S. for jobs, according to a new ranking from WalletHub. 

The city received its high ranking because of 12% job growth, according to the personal finance website. Scottsdale ranked first in job market out of the 182 cities listed, and sixth in the socio-economics rank. Wallethub got the numbers by looking at 31 factors to determine the rankings for people looking for jobs.

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Dutch Semiconductor Company ASM to Invest over $300 Million into Arizona

The semiconductor industry continues to make waves in Arizona.

ASM International, a Dutch semiconductor equipment company with offices in Phoenix, announced that they are investing over $320 million into a new campus in Scottsdale. They have had a presence in Phoenix since the 1970s, but they said this expansion will help with their overall growth. The transition to the Scottsdale facility is expected to be completed in 2026. The company didn’t have any estimates on new jobs in the facility.

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Honest Elections Project Meets With State Legislators at ALEC’s Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Proposes Agenda Including Stopping Ranked Choice Voting

The American Legislative Exchange Council held their national annual conference in Scottsdale last week, which included a pre-session for legislators with the Honest Elections Project (HEP). HEP is focusing on three issues relating to elections currently, and is proposing draft model legislation that legislators can introduce on a few issues. One is Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), which is gearing up to be a huge fight on the 2024 ballot in Arizona.

Three progressive groups are pushing RCV in Arizona. However, the Arizona Legislature has also referred a proposition to the ballot in 2024 that would stop RCV. HEP has extensively looked into how RCV works, and determined that it ends up putting far left Democrats into office, not moderates as some would expect. HEP’s fact sheet went over several races where it was used and showed how it facilitates this, undermining the Constitution’s principle of one person, one vote.

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Scottsdale Short-Term Rental Restriction Proposals Gain Powerful Ally

Scottsdale, Arizona, officials have enlisted one of the state’s most powerful advocacy organizations in proposing numerous changes to crack down on short term rental properties.

Scottsdale, which is popular for tourism, is pushing for three changes at the state level backed by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns 2024 Legislative Agenda. The organization, headed by Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls, represents the state’s municipalities in lobbying for changes at the state level.

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Grass Lawns Banned from New Scottsdale Homes

Grass lawns will become a thing of the past for new homes in Scottsdale starting Aug. 15, as the city council unanimously passed an ordinance banning them as a method of saving water.

“The City Council’s decision further establishes Scottsdale’s commitment to sustainable water management,” Brian Biesemeyer, Scottsdale’s Water’s executive director, said in a news release Tuesday. 

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State Rep. Gress: Scottsdale Could ‘Export’ Homeless from ‘The Zone’ to Hotel Near School, Neighborhood

State Representative Matt Gress (R-Scottsdale) is sounding the alarm over a $940,000 state grant to house homeless in a Scottsdale hotel, including former residents of “The Zone” and foreign nationals.

Just under $1 million from the $60 million Homeless Shelter and Services Fund, created by Gov. Katie Hobbs in the new Arizona budget, will be spent on 10 hotel rooms dedicated to the homeless of Scottsdale.

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Gov. Hobbs Signs Bill Restoring Water to Arizona’s Rio Verde Foothills After Months Without Source

After months without access to water, Arizonans in the unincorporated Rio Verde Foothills – just east of Scottsdale – have a temporary solution after Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a bipartisan bill Monday to restore water to the area. 

Senate Bill 1432 will require Scottsdale to allocate water resources for three years via a newly established standpipe district. 

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Arizona Gov. Hobbs Vetoes Rio Verde Foothills Water Legislation

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has used her well-inked veto stamp on legislation that would have required Scottsdale to provide water for a nearby town that’s been dry since 2022. 

Hobbs vetoed House Bill 2441 on Monday. Had she signed it, the new law would have required Scottsdale to sell residents of the nearby town of Rio Verde Foothills water at a set rate. Hobbs said the Legislature sent her the wrong bill. 

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Scottsdale to Replace Two Driving Lanes in Old Town Entertainment District with Bike Lanes

The Scottsdale City Council voted 4-3 last week to convert two driving lanes in Scottsdale’s Old Town entertainment district to bicycle lanes. Along 68th Street from Indian School Road south to Thomas Road, one lane each way will become bicycle lanes, leaving only one lane each way on the busy street available for vehicles.

Scottsdale City Councilmember Barry Graham, who lives in South Scottsdale near Old Town and opposed the March 21 vote, tweeted, “On Tuesday, Scottsdale City Council voted (4-3) to eliminate 2 lanes from one of your major streets in south Scottsdale. I tried to find a compromise that preserved the car lanes. Unfortunately, councilmembers made the issue about what they want — not what you want.” 

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Packed Crowd Attends Kari Lake Rally Exposing Voter Disenfranchisement in Maricopa County

At a standing-room-only event Sunday, Kari Lake signaled she is not giving up her legal battle to install her as the rightful Arizona governor instead of Democrat Katie Hobbs. Lake held a Save Arizona rally at Orange Tree Golf Club in Scottsdale with over a thousand in attendance, assuring her supporters she intended to fight until the “victorious end.” The mainstream media recently ran stories claiming Lake was switching her focus to running against Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ).

Lake focused her entire speech on election fraud. “They thought they could steal it and we would just go away,” she said to thunderous applause. “We had the greatest candidates in the country here in Arizona. We were running against some of the worst candidates in the history of Arizona. It didn’t matter if they rolled out brain-dead candidates,” she said, alluding to election fraud ensuring the Democrats’ victories. “The fix was in. They knew they didn’t have to campaign.”

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Lake Announces She Will Declare Southern Border ‘Invasion’ on Day One as Governor

The Kari Lake campaign for governor continues its high-paced momentum, with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin joining her for a rally in Scottsdale just a day after newly independent Tulsi Gabbard showed up for Lake in Chandler. During his speech, Youngkin compared the transformation of his state switching to Republican control to Lake defeating her Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs. 

Speaking to the crowd of several hundred at headquarters of the ammunition company Dillon Precision, Lake received loud cheering when she declared, “I will declare an invasion on the border on day one when I get into office.” She went on, “I want us to be known as the Grand Canyon state, not the fentanyl cartel state.” 

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Arizona Lawmaker Calls for Scottsdale School Board President’s Resignation, Prosecution Over Alleged ‘Enemies List’ Database 

On the heels of the exposure of an extensive database of personal and derogatory information local parents say was collected by Scottsdale School Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg, Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) told The Arizona Sun-Times that Greenburg needs to resign.

“Parents in Scottsdale and across the state are mad as hell over this situation, and rightfully so,” he said. “These allegations are gravely concerning and should be investigated to the fullest extent. If true, Scottsdale Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg should resign in disgrace and be prosecuted for abuse of power. It is unacceptable and anti-American to compile dossiers on your political enemies, especially when those so-called enemies are the very people you were elected to serve.”

Parents of children in the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) discovered that the president of the school district’s school board, Jann-Michael Greenburg, has a Google Drive database containing personal information about some of the parents he’d had conflicts with. Greenburg (who is shown to have edit permissions for the Drive) and his father, Mark (who is listed as the owner of the Drive) told The Scottsdale Independent they had no involvement or knowledge of the database.

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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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