Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 5, 2007


Host: Cary Pfeffer

American Red Cross


  • HORIZON interviews the new head of the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter, Ken Krueger.
Guests:
  • Jack Harper - State Senator, Surprise
  • Tim Dunn - Vice President, Arizona Farm Bureau
  • Ken Krueger - Chief Executive Office, Grand Canyon chapter, Red Cross


View Transcript
Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon," a proposal to create a homeland security force that Arizona would control. Highlights of the 2007 Farm Bill just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the Red Cross advises us to be prepared for any emergency. The organization's new C.E.O. joins us. That's next on "Horizon." Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon." I'm Cary Pfeffer. Senate Bill 1131 would create a homeland security force. Some have called it a state militia that could be called upon by the governor to deal with emergencies. This force would be separate from the National Guard. The bill has passed through the senate government committee on partisan vote and awaits a hearing in the appropriations committee and joining me to talk about the possibility of such a force and why he thinks it's needed the sponsor of the bill, Senator Jack Harper from Surprise. Let's talk about something that I think is important for you to point as a matter of clarification. You hear the word "state militia." You want to make sure people don't see this as a state militia.

Jack Harper:
Nowhere does it call for a "state militia." It's a homeland security force and it is for disaster relief. this reserve force would be deployable by the governor, trained by the adjutant general of the National Guard in Arizona.

Cary Pfeffer:
We should make sure we asked Representative Steve Gallardo to be here tonight as well and he was unable to make it. Steve has some feelings not necessarily in agreement with Senator Harper, but we will try to give you a full airing on both sides of this issue. Let's start by talking about some of the questions that have come up on this issue specifically the need for something like this, when people recognize that the National Guard there is and individual police forces and the D.P.S., that sort of thing.

Jack Harper:
This shouldn't be a partisan issue with representative Gallardo. This came about because a few months ago, in the last congressional session, congress passed a provision to allow the president to take over a state's National Guard during times of declared emergency regardless of the wishes of the state's governor. And this came about because of Kathleen Blanco sparring with the bush administration over the use of the National Guard during Hurricane Katrina. So now we have a situation where a state could be without a deployable force for disaster relieve because the federal government would take over our state's National Guard.

Cary Pfeffer:
In this sort of a circumstance the idea behind your bill is to have some group of people up and trained and ready to basically stand in in case that situation occurred?

Jack Harper:
Yes. That's definitely the case. We don't see too many disasters here but in an extended heat wave combined with a large power outage would be a disaster that we would need an awful lot of volunteers for, especially ones that were trained in the roles in disaster relief. Also if and when the avian bird flu ever hits, the federal government I am sure has a plan to federalize the National Guard throughout the country. and that leaves the states without disaster relief except for the 22 states who have already passed such a measure to create a volunteer force, and currently, this year, Arizona and Colorado are trying to pass legislation to do this as well.

Cary Pfeffer:
And the assumption is that something on a large scale would basically overtax the National Guard? or be a circumstance where this kind of situation would where extra people would be needed?

Jack Harper:
I am not sure it would overtax the National Guard but the federal government would federalize the National Guard leaving the state's governor without a deployable force for disaster relief, in contrast to how things have been historically. So every state I believe has a right to handle their own disasters, and we need to have an avenue for that.

Cary Pfeffer:
It seems like part of the assumption there is that the president would potentially and would, and apparently your feeling, on a regular basis, take the National Guard from one state and move them some place else?

Jack Harper:
No. They might deploy the national guard within the same state but the state may not agree that --

Cary Pfeffer:
With the strategy?

Jack Harper:
They may not agree with the strategy and may want to augment that strategy with their own force and we need to have volunteers who are ready and know their role during disaster relief and I am trying to provide some training for that organization.

Cary Pfeffer:
Critics of that measure have also been concerned this would be something where a group would be trained and sent to the border for border-related issues.

Jack Harper:
I am a legislator and this is an executive branch function so it's not for me to tell the governor how to use this force when the governor decides something is of a -- of an emergency nature and decides to deploy this force to augment the National Guard, anything the governor determine that's an emergency she could use it for.

Cary Pfeffer:
Or he.

Jack Harper:
Or he, yes.

Cary Pfeffer:
In this situation, and as you well know, any time anything like this comes up there's the question of how it would be paid for.

Jack Harper:
It's very minimal. Some states, the appropriation is less than $50,000 because it's all volunteer so they may have a little bit of marketing materials to get people to sign up and -- but the training will be done by the National Guard adjutant general and then the governor will be in charge of deploying this force.

Cary Pfeffer:
I think some people hearing that number would wonder how well trained a group would be with expenditure of only $50,000.

Jack Harper:
Well, people are going to volunteer. It's a volunteer force so they would give up one Saturday a month to come and learn their role in disaster relief and possibly do drills and just be ready when the state needs them.

Cary Pfeffer:
And is the idea also that this would be done sort of on a county by county basis, in other words, there would be groups equally spread out across the state?

Jack Harper:
I would imagine the majority of the volunteers would come from Maricopa County and they could be used anywhere. The bill calls -- Senate Bill 1132 calls for a homeland security force committee to establish the policy made up of three members of the Arizona senate, three members of the Arizona house and three members appointed by the Arizona governor. They would make the policy but it could be overridden by the governor by executive order.

Cary Pfeffer:
All right. Wrapping up now, tell us a little bit about where it stands now, what your sense of the support within the two houses is and, perhaps, what you know about how the governor feels about it.

Jack Harper:
Several members of the Republican leadership were co-signers on the bill. They understand the constitutional need to have our own deployable force rather than the federal government controlling, you know, our only avenue for disaster relief. So the bill has passed senate government committee. It's awaiting getting an appropriation number tacked on during appropriations. And then it goes to the senate floor. And I think it should have no problem in the senate.

Cary Pfeffer:
We will see what happens.

Jack Harper:
We will see what happens.

Cary Pfeffer:
Senator Harper, I appreciate you being here.

Jack Harper:
Thank you for your time.

Cary Pfeffer:
Farm bill changes haven't been considered since 2002. That bill will expire soon. Today president bush released his $2.9 trillion spending plan. The 2007 Farm Bill, a separate piece of legislation, unveiled last week. Does -- incorporate some of the president's USDA proposals and we will hear from the Arizona farm bureau on what the proposals would mean for Arizona agriculture. But first, here are a few brief highlights.

Larry Lemmons:
About 80,000 farmers who make more than $200,000 a year would lose subsidies under the new farm bill. That's about 2.3 percent of the country's top producers. Conservation funding would increase by $7.8 billion. Environmental quality incentives program could be created. $1.6 billion would be set aside for renewable energy research, particularly targeted for ethanol. Specialty crop producers will see $5 billion of funding, which will also go towards increasing nutrition in food assistance programs. $400 million would be available to fight trade barriers and to expand exports. Money will also be available for beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and for disaster relief.

Cary Pfeffer:
And here now to give us his take on the farm bill proposal, the vice president of the Arizona Farm Bureau, Tim Dunn. Thanks for being here. I should also mention you are a farmer in Yuma so you know what we are speaking about here.

Tim Dunn:
Right a farm in Yuma, a third generation farmer.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk a little bit first of all about the overall impact of the agriculture in the state of Arizona because think a lot of us who are city dwellers sort of think that the food just sort of magically appears in the grocery store. That's certainly not the case. Talk a little bit about economic impact of agriculture.

Tim Dunn:
Arizona's agriculture industry provides 9.2 billion -- billion dollars to the Arizona economy. We have over 75,000 jobs that around our state and one segment of that is the lettuce industry. You might not know but in Yuma County alone 95 or 98 percent of the lettuce in the whole country comes from our town in December and January. That's a little sliver of what Arizona can produce.

Cary Pfeffer:
Exactly. For people who don't realize it it's important to understand that. While we are talking about that, it's been a cold January. I would assume it's had some impact on Yuma as well.

Tim Dunn:
Yes. The unseasonably cold weather has really hurt the citrus industry. We don't have numbers out yet. There's been some severe freezing. We had a lot of problems with the lettuce as far as getting, able to get it harvested. Timing is very slow. Things are two weeks late. There's a lot of seed industry in Yuma County so we won't be harvesting that until July so we are not sure what the impact will be on the seed. But it's, you know, we do have some damage and like I -- it's just a snapshot of what the weather conditions can do to pricing. If you see the oranges on the market that's kind of what the implication of the whole farm bill has as far as our long-term productivity of the country.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk a little bit about the farm bill. Obviously, this is something that gets a lot of scrutiny within your business, the government has a big impact on the agriculture world in general. Talk a little bit about some of the highlights as far as you can tell.

Tim Dunn:
This proposal?

Cary Pfeffer:
Uh-huh.

Tim Dunn:
There's some great things they have in the proposal as far as the $1 billion for research for fruits and vegetables. Since Arizona is heavily involved in that that will be something that will help us be competitive for the future. The young farmer programs, there's some good things there. The food lunch programs, there's some very good things into that. So we are encouraged with all the conservation issues of that. So Arizona does not have as much of a conservation parts as other parts of the country. Because we have mostly irrigated agriculture here so but that is good for the future. The ethanol, there's an ethanol plant opening up in May in central Arizona so there's a lot of those aspects that are very beneficial.

Cary Pfeffer:
For example, let's take a look at one part of that, the young farmer program. Explain a little bit about the importance of that again for people who don't necessarily understand the impact of the agriculture business.

Tim Dunn:
Well, here in the western United States, specifically here in Arizona, land values are extremely high. The cost of our inputs are very high. The cost of water, the cost of labor, if we can even get the labor that we need. So the young farmer, those are barriers to access. So the new program is going to help with lending for a young farmers or beginning farmers. Low-interest loans, land payments that can be helped well down payment. That's something that will help a first-time farmer.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk about food security. Before 9/11, I guess, some of these security issues didn't get looked at with the kind of scrutiny they do now. We just talked about Senator Harper about homeland security as well. Security within the food chain is also important.

Tim Dunn:
That's very important. Actually, I believe that we should be calling it the food security act instead of the farm bill because as we look to the future we need to have consistent food supply being grown here in the United States. And we kind of forget about that. We are so used to going down to a certain place and getting it wherever it comes from. We have to be able to grow these products here in the country. That's what the Farm Bill does, it provides that stabilization.

Cary Pfeffer:
And speaking of stabilizing, because of the cycles that we have here in Arizona, we don't necessarily think of the challenges that can happen. But in all, in general, what is the health of the agriculture industry in general in this state?

Tim Dunn:
Our industry is pretty good in Arizona. We have had some ups and downs. Each industry has its issues. When the corn price is up and the feed values are high the cattle guys are having a hard time with costs.

Cary Pfeffer:
Right.

Tim Dunn:
But the health is pretty good. We had two bad years of cotton but overall, in a 9.2 billion industry it's pretty healthy.

Cary Pfeffer:
Thanks very much for being here and continued good luck within that world.

Tim Dunn:
Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
You bet.

Cary Pfeffer:
The Grand Canyon chapter of the Red Cross has a new C.E.O. and we will talk with him in a moment but first we want to remind you of the wisdom of being prepared. After hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans help was slow to come and for those who were stuck there preparation could have saved lives. Just how do you get ready for the unexpected? Mike Sauceda tells us about emergency kits sold by the Red Cross.

Mike Sauceda:
One lesson that was obvious from Hurricane Katrina, the cavalry is not going to ride in immediately to save you.

Carol Gibbs:
You would think that we all need to take our responsibility for our own safety and the Red Cross actually came up with five actions for emergency preparedness. And we felt that if we kept it really simple, make a plan, build a kit, get trained, volunteer and give blood, the easier you kept it, the more people that would follow it. We actually did a survey and of the survey only about a fifth of the people surveyed were prepared for an emergency. So not a lot of people really think, as you say, that it's their responsibility.

Mike Sauceda:
All those points are covered in the Red Cross's five-point personal preparedness plan. Have a plan. Build a kit. Get trained, volunteer and give blood. Carol Gibbs is a safety solution specialist for the Grand Canyon chapter of the American Red Cross. She explains what it means to have a plan.

Carol Gibbs:
Having a plan, whether, if you are at home or a business, you identify the emergencies that could happen. You weigh the probabilities. Here in Arizona I think we have gotten a little lazy because we don't -- we haven't had hurricanes. We haven't had a tsunami. However, f you look back over the history of our state every natural disaster except a tsunami has actually happened over our state's history.

Mike Sauceda:
Most people think of having supplies when it comes to being prepared. The Red Cross sells several preparedness kits starting with basic C.P.R. kit. After that, a starter survival kit which gives one person a one day supply of food and water and starts at $20.

Carol Gibbs:
This kit has in it some things you will need in an emergency. This is a good kit for the back of your car, just to have in your laundry room, your garage, at your desk at work. It has a light stick, a small flashlight, batteries are inside as well as a food bar. And there are actually -- there's enough food for one day in this particular little pack. We also have just a small supply of first aid supplies and then a rescue blanket. And these are important for not only to keep you warm but also if a victim goes into shock. There's also some gloves once again for universal precautions. As well as a desk mask. We also have in the bag some water packets and are ready to use. You open it up, two bags per person per day is what is represented.

Mike Sauceda:
You can get a bigger kit for more people but they all build on a basic kit. The next up is $35 and will keep one person in supplies for three days.

Carol Gibbs:
Next kit up is a little larger. It's still a one-person, three-day kit. This kit has a little more room so we have a room for personal items you may need, along with your medication and along with -- it also has your food, rations for three days, one person, and three days. As well as a -- your batteries for your flashlight. A little larger so you have a little longer lasting flashlight in this kit. Your emergency blanket is in here as well.

Mike Sauceda:
A lot of the same things?

Carol Gibbs:
A lot of the same things, absolutely. Arrange larger first aid kit and supply. Some gloves, and some duct tape is in here along with the whistle, flashlight, light stick. So you have many of the same items that we've compared but it's a little, a few more. Larger sizes.

Mike Sauceda:
There's a family kit for just under $70.

Carol Gibbs: You will add a few or educational items to the larger bag. Maybe a larger first aid kit along with a tarp you can have, of course, here's your duct tape. You can have your personal items. Maybe some wash cloths. Of course, your pills, any medication that you take. You may also have some extra clothing. Maybe an extra sweat suit or something. So the idea is to start and building your kit, getting the items together that are required or you think you may need and then have them all in one place.

Mike Sauceda: The Red Cross sells other larger kits and all are available online at www.arizonaredcross.org.

Cary Pfeffer: Joining us now to tell us what's in store for the organization the new chief executive officer of the Grand Canyon chapter, Ken Krueger. Ken thanks for being here.

Ken Krueger:
It's good to be here.

Cary Pfeffer:
You are in week three so we expect you to be a full expert at this point.

[Laughter]

Ken Krueger:
Okay.

Cary Pfeffer:
Talk about when you look at this organization with a fresh pair of eyes, what you would like to see accomplished that may represent some new goals for the organization.

Ken Krueger:
Your question is very timely because on Friday we had our strategic retreat with our board members and senior managed of volunteers and we talked about it. We really have three goals. The first is continue to do what we do. We provide excellent service in this community. People think about the Red Cross when times are international or national disasters. For example, last week we had the three tornados in Florida. And, in fact, we have send three volunteers from this chapter out to help those victims recover but the Red Cross as the clip indicated is also about every day activities. Every day there's some disaster for families. In fact, we respond to a disaster every 15 hours.

Cary Pfeffer:
Meaning the house fire or -- talk a little about what those every day sorts of things are.

Ken Krueger:
Most often it is house fires and if you have 600 house fires a year that's a lot of families being put out. We serve about 3,000 families in the course of the year. Additionally, in everyday, wheeling five family members in crisis, each year we train about 85,000 people in life saving skills. I assume you have loved ones if you were sitting at a dinner table and was choking you would want to know what to do.

Cary Pfeffer:
You were talking about the goals. So you said keep at focus and a couple of other things as well.

Ken Krueger:
Well, one of the things we need do is change the messaging. People think of the Red Cross in terms of these great disasters. As I always mention disasters happen every day. We are also in a disaster prevention and preparedness business so these kits are part of our preparation. Every family should have a disaster emergency preparedness plan and kit. The third goal is really to expand the pie, so to speak. You know, we have a wonderful core group of volunteers and donors who have been very supportive over the years but we need to expand that pie for a couple of reasons. We need to better reflect the community in which we work. All ethnicities should be welcome in our chapter whether they are donors, volunteers or staff members. The second thing we really need to do, well it's a budget really. Over the seven years our budget has declined. Even accounting for inflation. We have become a rather lean and efficient organization but we are not offering the level of service or the number of services we would like to. And, in fact, even for our own fatal and infrastructure, because of our need to spend our money otherwise we have neglected ourselves and now I am concerned about our facility and infrastructure. Just as the community looks us to when they are in need we are looking to the community because we are in a time of need.

Cary Pfeffer:
If you were to expand services how might we see that happen?

Ken Krueger:
You this I about the Red Cross and sometimes you don't even know how you are touched. Sometimes it's swimming lessons or first aid or C.P.R. I want to make sure almost every day everyone here in our entire service area comes in contact with the Red Cross in one way or another.

Cary Pfeffer:
When you talk about going out and making that case to the community and sort of in a fund raising way or whatever, where are you on that process? Obviously, like I said you are in week three so you can't have you yourself necessarily have been able to implement a plan there. But that seems like that's probably going to be a big part of what your job is going to be.

Ken Krueger:
If not priority number one it's at least priority number two so we have been working -- we reorganized to really facilitate this type of initiative and we are making head way.

Cary Pfeffer:
Also people watching right now have known about or been aware of Red Cross probably for all of their life. And now they are thinking, I have got some extra time, how might I get involved? Talk a little bit about how that happens or for somebody who is interested in being a volunteer.

Ken Krueger:
We have a staff of about 1,400 people who help provide all these services. 101 are those people are paid staff. The other 1,300 are volunteers. So obviously, given that number, we use volunteers in multitude of ways. All you have to do is go to our Web site: Arizonaredcross.org, you know, click on the volunteer link and look at the opportunities. We have administrative opportunities, we have public relations opportunities, we have mass care, you name it and we could use you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Lastly, let me just talk to you a little bit about the connection that the Red Cross has to armed forces, domestic violence; is there another area people might not think of normally when they think of Red Cross function?

Ken Krueger:
Again, every day as I think I mentioned, we link five families in crisis with their members in the military. When we have service members who die, we provide emotional support and, when necessary, financial support to these military families as well. Under the domestic violence side we're actually only Red Cross chapter that's doing anything like this in Maricopa County. We provide every 10 hours a taxi ride to victims of domestic violence. And every month, we provide hotel rooms to about 30 victims of domestic violence when all our shelters are closed or full. So this is something that people don't think about, but again the Red Cross but again Red Cross helps people who have been knock down. We get them back up and help them get going again.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let me give you a chance to give that website again for people who want more information.

Ken Krueger:
Well, thank you. It's: www.arizonaredcross.org.

Cary Pfeffer:
Great. Best of luck to you in your new responsibilities.

Ken Krueger:
Thank you Cary. It's been a pleasure.

Merry Lucero:
Before Arizona voters passed a measure to increase the minimum wage, employers were able to pay disabled workers less than minimum wage based on their productivity and capabilities. Now disabled workers have been laid off and disabled advocacy groups are divided on the issue. We will take up that issue and more Tuesday on "Horizon."

Cary Pfeffer:
Wednesday, the battle between property rights advocates and cities continues. Some cities are asking for waivers to prevent lawsuits if land use decisions reduce property values. So we will look for that discussion on Wednesday. We hope you will continue to join us throughout the week. I will be here through Thursday as a matter of fact filling in. I'm Cary Pfeffer. Thanks very much for watching and have a great night.

Farm Bill


  • HORIZON looks at the proposals of the 2007 Farm Bill with Arizona Farm Bureau Vice President, Tim Dunn.
Guests:
  • Jack Harper - State Senator, Surprise
  • Tim Dunn - Vice President, Arizona Farm Bureau
  • Ken Krueger - Chief Executive Office, Grand Canyon chapter, Red Cross


View Transcript
Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon," a proposal to create a homeland security force that Arizona would control. Highlights of the 2007 Farm Bill just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the Red Cross advises us to be prepared for any emergency. The organization's new C.E.O. joins us. That's next on "Horizon." Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon." I'm Cary Pfeffer. Senate Bill 1131 would create a homeland security force. Some have called it a state militia that could be called upon by the governor to deal with emergencies. This force would be separate from the National Guard. The bill has passed through the senate government committee on partisan vote and awaits a hearing in the appropriations committee and joining me to talk about the possibility of such a force and why he thinks it's needed the sponsor of the bill, Senator Jack Harper from Surprise. Let's talk about something that I think is important for you to point as a matter of clarification. You hear the word "state militia." You want to make sure people don't see this as a state militia.

Jack Harper:
Nowhere does it call for a "state militia." It's a homeland security force and it is for disaster relief. this reserve force would be deployable by the governor, trained by the adjutant general of the National Guard in Arizona.

Cary Pfeffer:
We should make sure we asked Representative Steve Gallardo to be here tonight as well and he was unable to make it. Steve has some feelings not necessarily in agreement with Senator Harper, but we will try to give you a full airing on both sides of this issue. Let's start by talking about some of the questions that have come up on this issue specifically the need for something like this, when people recognize that the National Guard there is and individual police forces and the D.P.S., that sort of thing.

Jack Harper:
This shouldn't be a partisan issue with representative Gallardo. This came about because a few months ago, in the last congressional session, congress passed a provision to allow the president to take over a state's National Guard during times of declared emergency regardless of the wishes of the state's governor. And this came about because of Kathleen Blanco sparring with the bush administration over the use of the National Guard during Hurricane Katrina. So now we have a situation where a state could be without a deployable force for disaster relieve because the federal government would take over our state's National Guard.

Cary Pfeffer:
In this sort of a circumstance the idea behind your bill is to have some group of people up and trained and ready to basically stand in in case that situation occurred?

Jack Harper:
Yes. That's definitely the case. We don't see too many disasters here but in an extended heat wave combined with a large power outage would be a disaster that we would need an awful lot of volunteers for, especially ones that were trained in the roles in disaster relief. Also if and when the avian bird flu ever hits, the federal government I am sure has a plan to federalize the National Guard throughout the country. and that leaves the states without disaster relief except for the 22 states who have already passed such a measure to create a volunteer force, and currently, this year, Arizona and Colorado are trying to pass legislation to do this as well.

Cary Pfeffer:
And the assumption is that something on a large scale would basically overtax the National Guard? or be a circumstance where this kind of situation would where extra people would be needed?

Jack Harper:
I am not sure it would overtax the National Guard but the federal government would federalize the National Guard leaving the state's governor without a deployable force for disaster relief, in contrast to how things have been historically. So every state I believe has a right to handle their own disasters, and we need to have an avenue for that.

Cary Pfeffer:
It seems like part of the assumption there is that the president would potentially and would, and apparently your feeling, on a regular basis, take the National Guard from one state and move them some place else?

Jack Harper:
No. They might deploy the national guard within the same state but the state may not agree that --

Cary Pfeffer:
With the strategy?

Jack Harper:
They may not agree with the strategy and may want to augment that strategy with their own force and we need to have volunteers who are ready and know their role during disaster relief and I am trying to provide some training for that organization.

Cary Pfeffer:
Critics of that measure have also been concerned this would be something where a group would be trained and sent to the border for border-related issues.

Jack Harper:
I am a legislator and this is an executive branch function so it's not for me to tell the governor how to use this force when the governor decides something is of a -- of an emergency nature and decides to deploy this force to augment the National Guard, anything the governor determine that's an emergency she could use it for.

Cary Pfeffer:
Or he.

Jack Harper:
Or he, yes.

Cary Pfeffer:
In this situation, and as you well know, any time anything like this comes up there's the question of how it would be paid for.

Jack Harper:
It's very minimal. Some states, the appropriation is less than $50,000 because it's all volunteer so they may have a little bit of marketing materials to get people to sign up and -- but the training will be done by the National Guard adjutant general and then the governor will be in charge of deploying this force.

Cary Pfeffer:
I think some people hearing that number would wonder how well trained a group would be with expenditure of only $50,000.

Jack Harper:
Well, people are going to volunteer. It's a volunteer force so they would give up one Saturday a month to come and learn their role in disaster relief and possibly do drills and just be ready when the state needs them.

Cary Pfeffer:
And is the idea also that this would be done sort of on a county by county basis, in other words, there would be groups equally spread out across the state?

Jack Harper:
I would imagine the majority of the volunteers would come from Maricopa County and they could be used anywhere. The bill calls -- Senate Bill 1132 calls for a homeland security force committee to establish the policy made up of three members of the Arizona senate, three members of the Arizona house and three members appointed by the Arizona governor. They would make the policy but it could be overridden by the governor by executive order.

Cary Pfeffer:
All right. Wrapping up now, tell us a little bit about where it stands now, what your sense of the support within the two houses is and, perhaps, what you know about how the governor feels about it.

Jack Harper:
Several members of the Republican leadership were co-signers on the bill. They understand the constitutional need to have our own deployable force rather than the federal government controlling, you know, our only avenue for disaster relief. So the bill has passed senate government committee. It's awaiting getting an appropriation number tacked on during appropriations. And then it goes to the senate floor. And I think it should have no problem in the senate.

Cary Pfeffer:
We will see what happens.

Jack Harper:
We will see what happens.

Cary Pfeffer:
Senator Harper, I appreciate you being here.

Jack Harper:
Thank you for your time.

Cary Pfeffer:
Farm bill changes haven't been considered since 2002. That bill will expire soon. Today president bush released his $2.9 trillion spending plan. The 2007 Farm Bill, a separate piece of legislation, unveiled last week. Does -- incorporate some of the president's USDA proposals and we will hear from the Arizona farm bureau on what the proposals would mean for Arizona agriculture. But first, here are a few brief highlights.

Larry Lemmons:
About 80,000 farmers who make more than $200,000 a year would lose subsidies under the new farm bill. That's about 2.3 percent of the country's top producers. Conservation funding would increase by $7.8 billion. Environmental quality incentives program could be created. $1.6 billion would be set aside for renewable energy research, particularly targeted for ethanol. Specialty crop producers will see $5 billion of funding, which will also go towards increasing nutrition in food assistance programs. $400 million would be available to fight trade barriers and to expand exports. Money will also be available for beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and for disaster relief.

Cary Pfeffer:
And here now to give us his take on the farm bill proposal, the vice president of the Arizona Farm Bureau, Tim Dunn. Thanks for being here. I should also mention you are a farmer in Yuma so you know what we are speaking about here.

Tim Dunn:
Right a farm in Yuma, a third generation farmer.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk a little bit first of all about the overall impact of the agriculture in the state of Arizona because think a lot of us who are city dwellers sort of think that the food just sort of magically appears in the grocery store. That's certainly not the case. Talk a little bit about economic impact of agriculture.

Tim Dunn:
Arizona's agriculture industry provides 9.2 billion -- billion dollars to the Arizona economy. We have over 75,000 jobs that around our state and one segment of that is the lettuce industry. You might not know but in Yuma County alone 95 or 98 percent of the lettuce in the whole country comes from our town in December and January. That's a little sliver of what Arizona can produce.

Cary Pfeffer:
Exactly. For people who don't realize it it's important to understand that. While we are talking about that, it's been a cold January. I would assume it's had some impact on Yuma as well.

Tim Dunn:
Yes. The unseasonably cold weather has really hurt the citrus industry. We don't have numbers out yet. There's been some severe freezing. We had a lot of problems with the lettuce as far as getting, able to get it harvested. Timing is very slow. Things are two weeks late. There's a lot of seed industry in Yuma County so we won't be harvesting that until July so we are not sure what the impact will be on the seed. But it's, you know, we do have some damage and like I -- it's just a snapshot of what the weather conditions can do to pricing. If you see the oranges on the market that's kind of what the implication of the whole farm bill has as far as our long-term productivity of the country.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk a little bit about the farm bill. Obviously, this is something that gets a lot of scrutiny within your business, the government has a big impact on the agriculture world in general. Talk a little bit about some of the highlights as far as you can tell.

Tim Dunn:
This proposal?

Cary Pfeffer:
Uh-huh.

Tim Dunn:
There's some great things they have in the proposal as far as the $1 billion for research for fruits and vegetables. Since Arizona is heavily involved in that that will be something that will help us be competitive for the future. The young farmer programs, there's some good things there. The food lunch programs, there's some very good things into that. So we are encouraged with all the conservation issues of that. So Arizona does not have as much of a conservation parts as other parts of the country. Because we have mostly irrigated agriculture here so but that is good for the future. The ethanol, there's an ethanol plant opening up in May in central Arizona so there's a lot of those aspects that are very beneficial.

Cary Pfeffer:
For example, let's take a look at one part of that, the young farmer program. Explain a little bit about the importance of that again for people who don't necessarily understand the impact of the agriculture business.

Tim Dunn:
Well, here in the western United States, specifically here in Arizona, land values are extremely high. The cost of our inputs are very high. The cost of water, the cost of labor, if we can even get the labor that we need. So the young farmer, those are barriers to access. So the new program is going to help with lending for a young farmers or beginning farmers. Low-interest loans, land payments that can be helped well down payment. That's something that will help a first-time farmer.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk about food security. Before 9/11, I guess, some of these security issues didn't get looked at with the kind of scrutiny they do now. We just talked about Senator Harper about homeland security as well. Security within the food chain is also important.

Tim Dunn:
That's very important. Actually, I believe that we should be calling it the food security act instead of the farm bill because as we look to the future we need to have consistent food supply being grown here in the United States. And we kind of forget about that. We are so used to going down to a certain place and getting it wherever it comes from. We have to be able to grow these products here in the country. That's what the Farm Bill does, it provides that stabilization.

Cary Pfeffer:
And speaking of stabilizing, because of the cycles that we have here in Arizona, we don't necessarily think of the challenges that can happen. But in all, in general, what is the health of the agriculture industry in general in this state?

Tim Dunn:
Our industry is pretty good in Arizona. We have had some ups and downs. Each industry has its issues. When the corn price is up and the feed values are high the cattle guys are having a hard time with costs.

Cary Pfeffer:
Right.

Tim Dunn:
But the health is pretty good. We had two bad years of cotton but overall, in a 9.2 billion industry it's pretty healthy.

Cary Pfeffer:
Thanks very much for being here and continued good luck within that world.

Tim Dunn:
Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
You bet.

Cary Pfeffer:
The Grand Canyon chapter of the Red Cross has a new C.E.O. and we will talk with him in a moment but first we want to remind you of the wisdom of being prepared. After hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans help was slow to come and for those who were stuck there preparation could have saved lives. Just how do you get ready for the unexpected? Mike Sauceda tells us about emergency kits sold by the Red Cross.

Mike Sauceda:
One lesson that was obvious from Hurricane Katrina, the cavalry is not going to ride in immediately to save you.

Carol Gibbs:
You would think that we all need to take our responsibility for our own safety and the Red Cross actually came up with five actions for emergency preparedness. And we felt that if we kept it really simple, make a plan, build a kit, get trained, volunteer and give blood, the easier you kept it, the more people that would follow it. We actually did a survey and of the survey only about a fifth of the people surveyed were prepared for an emergency. So not a lot of people really think, as you say, that it's their responsibility.

Mike Sauceda:
All those points are covered in the Red Cross's five-point personal preparedness plan. Have a plan. Build a kit. Get trained, volunteer and give blood. Carol Gibbs is a safety solution specialist for the Grand Canyon chapter of the American Red Cross. She explains what it means to have a plan.

Carol Gibbs:
Having a plan, whether, if you are at home or a business, you identify the emergencies that could happen. You weigh the probabilities. Here in Arizona I think we have gotten a little lazy because we don't -- we haven't had hurricanes. We haven't had a tsunami. However, f you look back over the history of our state every natural disaster except a tsunami has actually happened over our state's history.

Mike Sauceda:
Most people think of having supplies when it comes to being prepared. The Red Cross sells several preparedness kits starting with basic C.P.R. kit. After that, a starter survival kit which gives one person a one day supply of food and water and starts at $20.

Carol Gibbs:
This kit has in it some things you will need in an emergency. This is a good kit for the back of your car, just to have in your laundry room, your garage, at your desk at work. It has a light stick, a small flashlight, batteries are inside as well as a food bar. And there are actually -- there's enough food for one day in this particular little pack. We also have just a small supply of first aid supplies and then a rescue blanket. And these are important for not only to keep you warm but also if a victim goes into shock. There's also some gloves once again for universal precautions. As well as a desk mask. We also have in the bag some water packets and are ready to use. You open it up, two bags per person per day is what is represented.

Mike Sauceda:
You can get a bigger kit for more people but they all build on a basic kit. The next up is $35 and will keep one person in supplies for three days.

Carol Gibbs:
Next kit up is a little larger. It's still a one-person, three-day kit. This kit has a little more room so we have a room for personal items you may need, along with your medication and along with -- it also has your food, rations for three days, one person, and three days. As well as a -- your batteries for your flashlight. A little larger so you have a little longer lasting flashlight in this kit. Your emergency blanket is in here as well.

Mike Sauceda:
A lot of the same things?

Carol Gibbs:
A lot of the same things, absolutely. Arrange larger first aid kit and supply. Some gloves, and some duct tape is in here along with the whistle, flashlight, light stick. So you have many of the same items that we've compared but it's a little, a few more. Larger sizes.

Mike Sauceda:
There's a family kit for just under $70.

Carol Gibbs: You will add a few or educational items to the larger bag. Maybe a larger first aid kit along with a tarp you can have, of course, here's your duct tape. You can have your personal items. Maybe some wash cloths. Of course, your pills, any medication that you take. You may also have some extra clothing. Maybe an extra sweat suit or something. So the idea is to start and building your kit, getting the items together that are required or you think you may need and then have them all in one place.

Mike Sauceda: The Red Cross sells other larger kits and all are available online at www.arizonaredcross.org.

Cary Pfeffer: Joining us now to tell us what's in store for the organization the new chief executive officer of the Grand Canyon chapter, Ken Krueger. Ken thanks for being here.

Ken Krueger:
It's good to be here.

Cary Pfeffer:
You are in week three so we expect you to be a full expert at this point.

[Laughter]

Ken Krueger:
Okay.

Cary Pfeffer:
Talk about when you look at this organization with a fresh pair of eyes, what you would like to see accomplished that may represent some new goals for the organization.

Ken Krueger:
Your question is very timely because on Friday we had our strategic retreat with our board members and senior managed of volunteers and we talked about it. We really have three goals. The first is continue to do what we do. We provide excellent service in this community. People think about the Red Cross when times are international or national disasters. For example, last week we had the three tornados in Florida. And, in fact, we have send three volunteers from this chapter out to help those victims recover but the Red Cross as the clip indicated is also about every day activities. Every day there's some disaster for families. In fact, we respond to a disaster every 15 hours.

Cary Pfeffer:
Meaning the house fire or -- talk a little about what those every day sorts of things are.

Ken Krueger:
Most often it is house fires and if you have 600 house fires a year that's a lot of families being put out. We serve about 3,000 families in the course of the year. Additionally, in everyday, wheeling five family members in crisis, each year we train about 85,000 people in life saving skills. I assume you have loved ones if you were sitting at a dinner table and was choking you would want to know what to do.

Cary Pfeffer:
You were talking about the goals. So you said keep at focus and a couple of other things as well.

Ken Krueger:
Well, one of the things we need do is change the messaging. People think of the Red Cross in terms of these great disasters. As I always mention disasters happen every day. We are also in a disaster prevention and preparedness business so these kits are part of our preparation. Every family should have a disaster emergency preparedness plan and kit. The third goal is really to expand the pie, so to speak. You know, we have a wonderful core group of volunteers and donors who have been very supportive over the years but we need to expand that pie for a couple of reasons. We need to better reflect the community in which we work. All ethnicities should be welcome in our chapter whether they are donors, volunteers or staff members. The second thing we really need to do, well it's a budget really. Over the seven years our budget has declined. Even accounting for inflation. We have become a rather lean and efficient organization but we are not offering the level of service or the number of services we would like to. And, in fact, even for our own fatal and infrastructure, because of our need to spend our money otherwise we have neglected ourselves and now I am concerned about our facility and infrastructure. Just as the community looks us to when they are in need we are looking to the community because we are in a time of need.

Cary Pfeffer:
If you were to expand services how might we see that happen?

Ken Krueger:
You this I about the Red Cross and sometimes you don't even know how you are touched. Sometimes it's swimming lessons or first aid or C.P.R. I want to make sure almost every day everyone here in our entire service area comes in contact with the Red Cross in one way or another.

Cary Pfeffer:
When you talk about going out and making that case to the community and sort of in a fund raising way or whatever, where are you on that process? Obviously, like I said you are in week three so you can't have you yourself necessarily have been able to implement a plan there. But that seems like that's probably going to be a big part of what your job is going to be.

Ken Krueger:
If not priority number one it's at least priority number two so we have been working -- we reorganized to really facilitate this type of initiative and we are making head way.

Cary Pfeffer:
Also people watching right now have known about or been aware of Red Cross probably for all of their life. And now they are thinking, I have got some extra time, how might I get involved? Talk a little bit about how that happens or for somebody who is interested in being a volunteer.

Ken Krueger:
We have a staff of about 1,400 people who help provide all these services. 101 are those people are paid staff. The other 1,300 are volunteers. So obviously, given that number, we use volunteers in multitude of ways. All you have to do is go to our Web site: Arizonaredcross.org, you know, click on the volunteer link and look at the opportunities. We have administrative opportunities, we have public relations opportunities, we have mass care, you name it and we could use you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Lastly, let me just talk to you a little bit about the connection that the Red Cross has to armed forces, domestic violence; is there another area people might not think of normally when they think of Red Cross function?

Ken Krueger:
Again, every day as I think I mentioned, we link five families in crisis with their members in the military. When we have service members who die, we provide emotional support and, when necessary, financial support to these military families as well. Under the domestic violence side we're actually only Red Cross chapter that's doing anything like this in Maricopa County. We provide every 10 hours a taxi ride to victims of domestic violence. And every month, we provide hotel rooms to about 30 victims of domestic violence when all our shelters are closed or full. So this is something that people don't think about, but again the Red Cross but again Red Cross helps people who have been knock down. We get them back up and help them get going again.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let me give you a chance to give that website again for people who want more information.

Ken Krueger:
Well, thank you. It's: www.arizonaredcross.org.

Cary Pfeffer:
Great. Best of luck to you in your new responsibilities.

Ken Krueger:
Thank you Cary. It's been a pleasure.

Merry Lucero:
Before Arizona voters passed a measure to increase the minimum wage, employers were able to pay disabled workers less than minimum wage based on their productivity and capabilities. Now disabled workers have been laid off and disabled advocacy groups are divided on the issue. We will take up that issue and more Tuesday on "Horizon."

Cary Pfeffer:
Wednesday, the battle between property rights advocates and cities continues. Some cities are asking for waivers to prevent lawsuits if land use decisions reduce property values. So we will look for that discussion on Wednesday. We hope you will continue to join us throughout the week. I will be here through Thursday as a matter of fact filling in. I'm Cary Pfeffer. Thanks very much for watching and have a great night.

senate Bill 1132


  • senator Jack Harper discusses the bill he sponsored calling for the creation of a Homeland Security Force in Arizona. House Minority Whip Steve Gallardo also joins HORIZON to discuss the potential impact of such a force.
Guests:
  • Jack Harper - State Senator, Surprise
  • Tim Dunn - Vice President, Arizona Farm Bureau
  • Ken Krueger - Chief Executive Office, Grand Canyon chapter, Red Cross
Category: Legislature

View Transcript
Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon," a proposal to create a homeland security force that Arizona would control. Highlights of the 2007 Farm Bill just released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And the Red Cross advises us to be prepared for any emergency. The organization's new C.E.O. joins us. That's next on "Horizon." Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon." I'm Cary Pfeffer. Senate Bill 1131 would create a homeland security force. Some have called it a state militia that could be called upon by the governor to deal with emergencies. This force would be separate from the National Guard. The bill has passed through the senate government committee on partisan vote and awaits a hearing in the appropriations committee and joining me to talk about the possibility of such a force and why he thinks it's needed the sponsor of the bill, Senator Jack Harper from Surprise. Let's talk about something that I think is important for you to point as a matter of clarification. You hear the word "state militia." You want to make sure people don't see this as a state militia.

Jack Harper:
Nowhere does it call for a "state militia." It's a homeland security force and it is for disaster relief. this reserve force would be deployable by the governor, trained by the adjutant general of the National Guard in Arizona.

Cary Pfeffer:
We should make sure we asked Representative Steve Gallardo to be here tonight as well and he was unable to make it. Steve has some feelings not necessarily in agreement with Senator Harper, but we will try to give you a full airing on both sides of this issue. Let's start by talking about some of the questions that have come up on this issue specifically the need for something like this, when people recognize that the National Guard there is and individual police forces and the D.P.S., that sort of thing.

Jack Harper:
This shouldn't be a partisan issue with representative Gallardo. This came about because a few months ago, in the last congressional session, congress passed a provision to allow the president to take over a state's National Guard during times of declared emergency regardless of the wishes of the state's governor. And this came about because of Kathleen Blanco sparring with the bush administration over the use of the National Guard during Hurricane Katrina. So now we have a situation where a state could be without a deployable force for disaster relieve because the federal government would take over our state's National Guard.

Cary Pfeffer:
In this sort of a circumstance the idea behind your bill is to have some group of people up and trained and ready to basically stand in in case that situation occurred?

Jack Harper:
Yes. That's definitely the case. We don't see too many disasters here but in an extended heat wave combined with a large power outage would be a disaster that we would need an awful lot of volunteers for, especially ones that were trained in the roles in disaster relief. Also if and when the avian bird flu ever hits, the federal government I am sure has a plan to federalize the National Guard throughout the country. and that leaves the states without disaster relief except for the 22 states who have already passed such a measure to create a volunteer force, and currently, this year, Arizona and Colorado are trying to pass legislation to do this as well.

Cary Pfeffer:
And the assumption is that something on a large scale would basically overtax the National Guard? or be a circumstance where this kind of situation would where extra people would be needed?

Jack Harper:
I am not sure it would overtax the National Guard but the federal government would federalize the National Guard leaving the state's governor without a deployable force for disaster relief, in contrast to how things have been historically. So every state I believe has a right to handle their own disasters, and we need to have an avenue for that.

Cary Pfeffer:
It seems like part of the assumption there is that the president would potentially and would, and apparently your feeling, on a regular basis, take the National Guard from one state and move them some place else?

Jack Harper:
No. They might deploy the national guard within the same state but the state may not agree that --

Cary Pfeffer:
With the strategy?

Jack Harper:
They may not agree with the strategy and may want to augment that strategy with their own force and we need to have volunteers who are ready and know their role during disaster relief and I am trying to provide some training for that organization.

Cary Pfeffer:
Critics of that measure have also been concerned this would be something where a group would be trained and sent to the border for border-related issues.

Jack Harper:
I am a legislator and this is an executive branch function so it's not for me to tell the governor how to use this force when the governor decides something is of a -- of an emergency nature and decides to deploy this force to augment the National Guard, anything the governor determine that's an emergency she could use it for.

Cary Pfeffer:
Or he.

Jack Harper:
Or he, yes.

Cary Pfeffer:
In this situation, and as you well know, any time anything like this comes up there's the question of how it would be paid for.

Jack Harper:
It's very minimal. Some states, the appropriation is less than $50,000 because it's all volunteer so they may have a little bit of marketing materials to get people to sign up and -- but the training will be done by the National Guard adjutant general and then the governor will be in charge of deploying this force.

Cary Pfeffer:
I think some people hearing that number would wonder how well trained a group would be with expenditure of only $50,000.

Jack Harper:
Well, people are going to volunteer. It's a volunteer force so they would give up one Saturday a month to come and learn their role in disaster relief and possibly do drills and just be ready when the state needs them.

Cary Pfeffer:
And is the idea also that this would be done sort of on a county by county basis, in other words, there would be groups equally spread out across the state?

Jack Harper:
I would imagine the majority of the volunteers would come from Maricopa County and they could be used anywhere. The bill calls -- Senate Bill 1132 calls for a homeland security force committee to establish the policy made up of three members of the Arizona senate, three members of the Arizona house and three members appointed by the Arizona governor. They would make the policy but it could be overridden by the governor by executive order.

Cary Pfeffer:
All right. Wrapping up now, tell us a little bit about where it stands now, what your sense of the support within the two houses is and, perhaps, what you know about how the governor feels about it.

Jack Harper:
Several members of the Republican leadership were co-signers on the bill. They understand the constitutional need to have our own deployable force rather than the federal government controlling, you know, our only avenue for disaster relief. So the bill has passed senate government committee. It's awaiting getting an appropriation number tacked on during appropriations. And then it goes to the senate floor. And I think it should have no problem in the senate.

Cary Pfeffer:
We will see what happens.

Jack Harper:
We will see what happens.

Cary Pfeffer:
Senator Harper, I appreciate you being here.

Jack Harper:
Thank you for your time.

Cary Pfeffer:
Farm bill changes haven't been considered since 2002. That bill will expire soon. Today president bush released his $2.9 trillion spending plan. The 2007 Farm Bill, a separate piece of legislation, unveiled last week. Does -- incorporate some of the president's USDA proposals and we will hear from the Arizona farm bureau on what the proposals would mean for Arizona agriculture. But first, here are a few brief highlights.

Larry Lemmons:
About 80,000 farmers who make more than $200,000 a year would lose subsidies under the new farm bill. That's about 2.3 percent of the country's top producers. Conservation funding would increase by $7.8 billion. Environmental quality incentives program could be created. $1.6 billion would be set aside for renewable energy research, particularly targeted for ethanol. Specialty crop producers will see $5 billion of funding, which will also go towards increasing nutrition in food assistance programs. $400 million would be available to fight trade barriers and to expand exports. Money will also be available for beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and for disaster relief.

Cary Pfeffer:
And here now to give us his take on the farm bill proposal, the vice president of the Arizona Farm Bureau, Tim Dunn. Thanks for being here. I should also mention you are a farmer in Yuma so you know what we are speaking about here.

Tim Dunn:
Right a farm in Yuma, a third generation farmer.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk a little bit first of all about the overall impact of the agriculture in the state of Arizona because think a lot of us who are city dwellers sort of think that the food just sort of magically appears in the grocery store. That's certainly not the case. Talk a little bit about economic impact of agriculture.

Tim Dunn:
Arizona's agriculture industry provides 9.2 billion -- billion dollars to the Arizona economy. We have over 75,000 jobs that around our state and one segment of that is the lettuce industry. You might not know but in Yuma County alone 95 or 98 percent of the lettuce in the whole country comes from our town in December and January. That's a little sliver of what Arizona can produce.

Cary Pfeffer:
Exactly. For people who don't realize it it's important to understand that. While we are talking about that, it's been a cold January. I would assume it's had some impact on Yuma as well.

Tim Dunn:
Yes. The unseasonably cold weather has really hurt the citrus industry. We don't have numbers out yet. There's been some severe freezing. We had a lot of problems with the lettuce as far as getting, able to get it harvested. Timing is very slow. Things are two weeks late. There's a lot of seed industry in Yuma County so we won't be harvesting that until July so we are not sure what the impact will be on the seed. But it's, you know, we do have some damage and like I -- it's just a snapshot of what the weather conditions can do to pricing. If you see the oranges on the market that's kind of what the implication of the whole farm bill has as far as our long-term productivity of the country.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk a little bit about the farm bill. Obviously, this is something that gets a lot of scrutiny within your business, the government has a big impact on the agriculture world in general. Talk a little bit about some of the highlights as far as you can tell.

Tim Dunn:
This proposal?

Cary Pfeffer:
Uh-huh.

Tim Dunn:
There's some great things they have in the proposal as far as the $1 billion for research for fruits and vegetables. Since Arizona is heavily involved in that that will be something that will help us be competitive for the future. The young farmer programs, there's some good things there. The food lunch programs, there's some very good things into that. So we are encouraged with all the conservation issues of that. So Arizona does not have as much of a conservation parts as other parts of the country. Because we have mostly irrigated agriculture here so but that is good for the future. The ethanol, there's an ethanol plant opening up in May in central Arizona so there's a lot of those aspects that are very beneficial.

Cary Pfeffer:
For example, let's take a look at one part of that, the young farmer program. Explain a little bit about the importance of that again for people who don't necessarily understand the impact of the agriculture business.

Tim Dunn:
Well, here in the western United States, specifically here in Arizona, land values are extremely high. The cost of our inputs are very high. The cost of water, the cost of labor, if we can even get the labor that we need. So the young farmer, those are barriers to access. So the new program is going to help with lending for a young farmers or beginning farmers. Low-interest loans, land payments that can be helped well down payment. That's something that will help a first-time farmer.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let's talk about food security. Before 9/11, I guess, some of these security issues didn't get looked at with the kind of scrutiny they do now. We just talked about Senator Harper about homeland security as well. Security within the food chain is also important.

Tim Dunn:
That's very important. Actually, I believe that we should be calling it the food security act instead of the farm bill because as we look to the future we need to have consistent food supply being grown here in the United States. And we kind of forget about that. We are so used to going down to a certain place and getting it wherever it comes from. We have to be able to grow these products here in the country. That's what the Farm Bill does, it provides that stabilization.

Cary Pfeffer:
And speaking of stabilizing, because of the cycles that we have here in Arizona, we don't necessarily think of the challenges that can happen. But in all, in general, what is the health of the agriculture industry in general in this state?

Tim Dunn:
Our industry is pretty good in Arizona. We have had some ups and downs. Each industry has its issues. When the corn price is up and the feed values are high the cattle guys are having a hard time with costs.

Cary Pfeffer:
Right.

Tim Dunn:
But the health is pretty good. We had two bad years of cotton but overall, in a 9.2 billion industry it's pretty healthy.

Cary Pfeffer:
Thanks very much for being here and continued good luck within that world.

Tim Dunn:
Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
You bet.

Cary Pfeffer:
The Grand Canyon chapter of the Red Cross has a new C.E.O. and we will talk with him in a moment but first we want to remind you of the wisdom of being prepared. After hurricane Katrina struck, New Orleans help was slow to come and for those who were stuck there preparation could have saved lives. Just how do you get ready for the unexpected? Mike Sauceda tells us about emergency kits sold by the Red Cross.

Mike Sauceda:
One lesson that was obvious from Hurricane Katrina, the cavalry is not going to ride in immediately to save you.

Carol Gibbs:
You would think that we all need to take our responsibility for our own safety and the Red Cross actually came up with five actions for emergency preparedness. And we felt that if we kept it really simple, make a plan, build a kit, get trained, volunteer and give blood, the easier you kept it, the more people that would follow it. We actually did a survey and of the survey only about a fifth of the people surveyed were prepared for an emergency. So not a lot of people really think, as you say, that it's their responsibility.

Mike Sauceda:
All those points are covered in the Red Cross's five-point personal preparedness plan. Have a plan. Build a kit. Get trained, volunteer and give blood. Carol Gibbs is a safety solution specialist for the Grand Canyon chapter of the American Red Cross. She explains what it means to have a plan.

Carol Gibbs:
Having a plan, whether, if you are at home or a business, you identify the emergencies that could happen. You weigh the probabilities. Here in Arizona I think we have gotten a little lazy because we don't -- we haven't had hurricanes. We haven't had a tsunami. However, f you look back over the history of our state every natural disaster except a tsunami has actually happened over our state's history.

Mike Sauceda:
Most people think of having supplies when it comes to being prepared. The Red Cross sells several preparedness kits starting with basic C.P.R. kit. After that, a starter survival kit which gives one person a one day supply of food and water and starts at $20.

Carol Gibbs:
This kit has in it some things you will need in an emergency. This is a good kit for the back of your car, just to have in your laundry room, your garage, at your desk at work. It has a light stick, a small flashlight, batteries are inside as well as a food bar. And there are actually -- there's enough food for one day in this particular little pack. We also have just a small supply of first aid supplies and then a rescue blanket. And these are important for not only to keep you warm but also if a victim goes into shock. There's also some gloves once again for universal precautions. As well as a desk mask. We also have in the bag some water packets and are ready to use. You open it up, two bags per person per day is what is represented.

Mike Sauceda:
You can get a bigger kit for more people but they all build on a basic kit. The next up is $35 and will keep one person in supplies for three days.

Carol Gibbs:
Next kit up is a little larger. It's still a one-person, three-day kit. This kit has a little more room so we have a room for personal items you may need, along with your medication and along with -- it also has your food, rations for three days, one person, and three days. As well as a -- your batteries for your flashlight. A little larger so you have a little longer lasting flashlight in this kit. Your emergency blanket is in here as well.

Mike Sauceda:
A lot of the same things?

Carol Gibbs:
A lot of the same things, absolutely. Arrange larger first aid kit and supply. Some gloves, and some duct tape is in here along with the whistle, flashlight, light stick. So you have many of the same items that we've compared but it's a little, a few more. Larger sizes.

Mike Sauceda:
There's a family kit for just under $70.

Carol Gibbs: You will add a few or educational items to the larger bag. Maybe a larger first aid kit along with a tarp you can have, of course, here's your duct tape. You can have your personal items. Maybe some wash cloths. Of course, your pills, any medication that you take. You may also have some extra clothing. Maybe an extra sweat suit or something. So the idea is to start and building your kit, getting the items together that are required or you think you may need and then have them all in one place.

Mike Sauceda: The Red Cross sells other larger kits and all are available online at www.arizonaredcross.org.

Cary Pfeffer: Joining us now to tell us what's in store for the organization the new chief executive officer of the Grand Canyon chapter, Ken Krueger. Ken thanks for being here.

Ken Krueger:
It's good to be here.

Cary Pfeffer:
You are in week three so we expect you to be a full expert at this point.

[Laughter]

Ken Krueger:
Okay.

Cary Pfeffer:
Talk about when you look at this organization with a fresh pair of eyes, what you would like to see accomplished that may represent some new goals for the organization.

Ken Krueger:
Your question is very timely because on Friday we had our strategic retreat with our board members and senior managed of volunteers and we talked about it. We really have three goals. The first is continue to do what we do. We provide excellent service in this community. People think about the Red Cross when times are international or national disasters. For example, last week we had the three tornados in Florida. And, in fact, we have send three volunteers from this chapter out to help those victims recover but the Red Cross as the clip indicated is also about every day activities. Every day there's some disaster for families. In fact, we respond to a disaster every 15 hours.

Cary Pfeffer:
Meaning the house fire or -- talk a little about what those every day sorts of things are.

Ken Krueger:
Most often it is house fires and if you have 600 house fires a year that's a lot of families being put out. We serve about 3,000 families in the course of the year. Additionally, in everyday, wheeling five family members in crisis, each year we train about 85,000 people in life saving skills. I assume you have loved ones if you were sitting at a dinner table and was choking you would want to know what to do.

Cary Pfeffer:
You were talking about the goals. So you said keep at focus and a couple of other things as well.

Ken Krueger:
Well, one of the things we need do is change the messaging. People think of the Red Cross in terms of these great disasters. As I always mention disasters happen every day. We are also in a disaster prevention and preparedness business so these kits are part of our preparation. Every family should have a disaster emergency preparedness plan and kit. The third goal is really to expand the pie, so to speak. You know, we have a wonderful core group of volunteers and donors who have been very supportive over the years but we need to expand that pie for a couple of reasons. We need to better reflect the community in which we work. All ethnicities should be welcome in our chapter whether they are donors, volunteers or staff members. The second thing we really need to do, well it's a budget really. Over the seven years our budget has declined. Even accounting for inflation. We have become a rather lean and efficient organization but we are not offering the level of service or the number of services we would like to. And, in fact, even for our own fatal and infrastructure, because of our need to spend our money otherwise we have neglected ourselves and now I am concerned about our facility and infrastructure. Just as the community looks us to when they are in need we are looking to the community because we are in a time of need.

Cary Pfeffer:
If you were to expand services how might we see that happen?

Ken Krueger:
You this I about the Red Cross and sometimes you don't even know how you are touched. Sometimes it's swimming lessons or first aid or C.P.R. I want to make sure almost every day everyone here in our entire service area comes in contact with the Red Cross in one way or another.

Cary Pfeffer:
When you talk about going out and making that case to the community and sort of in a fund raising way or whatever, where are you on that process? Obviously, like I said you are in week three so you can't have you yourself necessarily have been able to implement a plan there. But that seems like that's probably going to be a big part of what your job is going to be.

Ken Krueger:
If not priority number one it's at least priority number two so we have been working -- we reorganized to really facilitate this type of initiative and we are making head way.

Cary Pfeffer:
Also people watching right now have known about or been aware of Red Cross probably for all of their life. And now they are thinking, I have got some extra time, how might I get involved? Talk a little bit about how that happens or for somebody who is interested in being a volunteer.

Ken Krueger:
We have a staff of about 1,400 people who help provide all these services. 101 are those people are paid staff. The other 1,300 are volunteers. So obviously, given that number, we use volunteers in multitude of ways. All you have to do is go to our Web site: Arizonaredcross.org, you know, click on the volunteer link and look at the opportunities. We have administrative opportunities, we have public relations opportunities, we have mass care, you name it and we could use you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Lastly, let me just talk to you a little bit about the connection that the Red Cross has to armed forces, domestic violence; is there another area people might not think of normally when they think of Red Cross function?

Ken Krueger:
Again, every day as I think I mentioned, we link five families in crisis with their members in the military. When we have service members who die, we provide emotional support and, when necessary, financial support to these military families as well. Under the domestic violence side we're actually only Red Cross chapter that's doing anything like this in Maricopa County. We provide every 10 hours a taxi ride to victims of domestic violence. And every month, we provide hotel rooms to about 30 victims of domestic violence when all our shelters are closed or full. So this is something that people don't think about, but again the Red Cross but again Red Cross helps people who have been knock down. We get them back up and help them get going again.

Cary Pfeffer:
Let me give you a chance to give that website again for people who want more information.

Ken Krueger:
Well, thank you. It's: www.arizonaredcross.org.

Cary Pfeffer:
Great. Best of luck to you in your new responsibilities.

Ken Krueger:
Thank you Cary. It's been a pleasure.

Merry Lucero:
Before Arizona voters passed a measure to increase the minimum wage, employers were able to pay disabled workers less than minimum wage based on their productivity and capabilities. Now disabled workers have been laid off and disabled advocacy groups are divided on the issue. We will take up that issue and more Tuesday on "Horizon."

Cary Pfeffer:
Wednesday, the battle between property rights advocates and cities continues. Some cities are asking for waivers to prevent lawsuits if land use decisions reduce property values. So we will look for that discussion on Wednesday. We hope you will continue to join us throughout the week. I will be here through Thursday as a matter of fact filling in. I'm Cary Pfeffer. Thanks very much for watching and have a great night.

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