Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 6, 2007


Host: Ted Simmons

Abandoned Mines


  • There are an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona. One of them recently claimed the life of a child. State Mine Inspector, Joe Hart talks about what needs to be done to prevent additional tragedies.
Guests:
  • Joe Hart - State Mine Inspector
  • Richard de Uriarte - Columnist Arizona Republic
  • Dave Barry - Author and former Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist
Category: Environment

View Transcript
>>Announcer:
Tonight on "Horizon", there are an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona, and one of them claimed a life last week. We'll talk to the state mine inspector about abandoned mines. Early voting has already started for city elections, with Election Day coming Tuesday. A rundown of city elections. And what's up with humor columnist Dave Barry? He'll tell you that and more. All that's next, on "Horizon". "Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Good evening, I'm Ted Simons. Welcome to "Horizon". Before we get to our main topics, here's the latest news. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been found not guilty of defamation by a jury. he was sued by buckeye police chief Dan Saban, who claimed that sheriff Arpaio defamed him when he launched an investigation into an accusation that Saban committed sexual assault. Saban was running against the sheriff when the investigation took place.

>>Ted Simons:
13-year-old Rikki Howard was killed when she fell into a mine shaft near Kingman while a-t-v riding Saturday. Her 10-year-old sister Casie hicks was seriously injured. the tragedy has put the spotlight on abandoned mines in the state. Here now to talk about the problem and possible solutions is state mine inspector Joe Hart. Joe, thank you so much for joining us.

>>Joe Hart:
Thank you for having me. First I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family. My heart bleeds for them at this time.

>>Ted Simons:
It sounds like an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona. That sounds like an awful lot. How many of those do you think are significantly dangerous?

>>Joe Hart:
We estimate about 50 of them are really dangerous. I'm more concerned about the vertical shafts other than the horizontal shafts. Because if you walk into a horizontal shaft your odds are pretty good that you can walk back out. But if you fall into a vertical shaft you're going to need some help.

>>Ted Simons:
How does the state, your department go ability finding these things?

>>Joe Hart:
We've got a pretty good catalog of them already. There was extensive work done back in the 80's and early 90's that cataloged some of them. we didn't have this information at hand until about yesterday afternoon late is when we finally got all of the information we have on them.

>>Ted Simons:
And yet I understand this mine, this particular mine shaft outside of chloride, the state was not aware of that one.

>>Joe Hart:
It wasn't in anybody's documentation. It was not recorded at all.

>>Ted Simons:
So these things are out there. I'm curious how you would go about, though; I know you have a department that looked for abandoned mines. But the nature of an abandoned mine, you have to look for it, no one knows it's there. How do you cover the state looking for these things?

>>Joe Hart:
We're asking for a lot of help. we'd like anybody in these jeep clubs and motorcycle riders and anybody that gets out in the outer lying parts of the state, we ask them to call us immediately if they know where one is at, if they see anything. Let us know. We'll show up with the g.p.s. and take the coordinates and mark it on a map and know exactly where it is. Then we'll investigate it.

>>Ted Simons:
Do you have enough in terms of budget and in terms of staff to at least get started on this?

>>Joe Hart:
We're already started. I do have, you know, money to get started. I got a $50,000 appropriation from the legislature for my '08 budget. We started that in July. I also had a $50,000 contribution from Freeport Macnamara that used to be Phelps dodge. I got that to get started. That's a mere drop in the bucket compared to what we need?

>>Ted Simons:
What do you need?

>>Joe Hart:
You say 100,000. I only have $100,000. That's a dollar per mine right now.

>>Ted Simons:
Typical mine, what kind of money would be needed to fill one of these things in?

>>Joe Hart:
We just closed one out by buckeye last week or two weeks ago. And it was a 400-foot shaft with a 280-foot air vent on the side of it. And we closed that for right at -- a little over $16,000.

>>Ted Simons:
Why doesn't the person, whoever digs these wells, and granted some of these things I understand are over 100 years old. But they're on property. A lot of its public property. Why aren't they responsible for filling these things?

>>Joe Hart:
Well, it takes so long to find them, you could actually spend your money wiser by going ahead and filling them and then locating them and trying to recover some money. The nexus for the abandoned mine fund was actually in the late 80's, 1988, I believe, there was a young boy killed in a mine in Gleason, Arizona just east of tombstone. And his parents agreed not to sue the state if they put this money aside and made sure that nobody else would have to suffer the loss that they did.

>>Ted Simons:
I was going to say, I know that you've been on the job not the longest of times here. This is baptism by fire for you. How much of an issue has this been in the past here in Arizona?

>>Joe Hart:
It's really wasn't brought to the -- really talked about a lot. When we started campaigning, I guess it was over a year ago, about a year and a half, when we first started in April and May, all the issues of abandoned mines started to surface. the more people we talked, to the more they showed interest and said, my golly, we can't believe we've got these kind of dangerous situations out there, just death traps for people and we haven't done anything about it or very much about it. And it really became an issue. And it was a real hot issue. Senator john McCain actually came out early and endorsed me because I took a stand immediately about saying we needed to close them, not just fence them off. We needed to find them and fill them up. Senator bee, president bee, the president of the senate came out and endorsed me for the same reason. They understand the seriousness of these abandoned mines.

>>Ted Simons:
And considering growth in Arizona and the way outlying areas which were once just way out of town are now suburbs of phoenix and growing towns outside of the valley, this is only going to get worse.

>>Joe Hart:
Absolutely. We've got a mine in Peoria that's virtually surrounded by houses. There's a house 50 feet from it. It's a 500-foot shaft. It's got a 10-foot high chain link fence around it with razor wire across the top. But yet that was breached. it's got a pull chain link fence across the vertical portion of it where you can't fall in once you get in. but somebody breached that and went in and cut a hole in the side, climbed in, pulled the wires off the other one to get past the vertical floor, and they put an old fire hose down there, about a 2-inch fire hose and tied knots in about every four or five feet. We assumed they went down in there looking around.

>>Ted Simons:
Which suggests that you can't just fence these things off, put razor wire, what have you around them. You've got to fill them in.

>>Joe Hart:
That's a perfect example of it. The standard in the industry is just to put a barbed wire fence around them and signage. And the signs become souvenirs for everybody and targets for the rest of them. And barbed wire fence is not adequate.

>>Ted Simons:
Obviously a serious issue. And everyone's sympathies with the family up there in northwestern Arizona. How serious, though, in the grand scheme of things is this issue? You mentioned a fatality outside Gleason or near Gleason. We just had this horrible story. And yet you don't hear about people falling into mines, you certainly don't hear about fatalities of people falling into mines every day. Is this something that -- well, you tell me? How serious is this issue.

>>Joe Hart:
It's extremely serious, especially with the invention of a.t.v.'s and dirt bikes. When you're riding a regular motorcycle or bicycle or driving a jeep, you stay on hard surface roads. You pretty much can find where you can go and what you can do. But on an a.t.v., the world is your oyster. And I mean, you can just go wherever you want and do whatever you want to do. And the adrenaline rush is so powerful it just takes you over and you're so excited and want to go here, want to go there, and want to see what's on the other side of this hill. And danger could be on the other side of that hill. The situation in Kingman. It's right next to a road. I mean, a person could have walked up and stopped the car and got out and said, I'd like to have a picture of this and stepped right in it.

>>Ted Simons:
Yeah. All right. Joe, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

>>Joe Hart:
Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Arizona mine inspector Joe hart joining us here on "Horizon".

>>Ted Simons:
Four valley cities are having elections for council seats, mayors and ballot measures. I'll talk to an Arizona republic columnist to get the skinny on the elections, but first, mike Sauceda gives us a rundown on the races.

>>Mike Sauceda:
There are six ballot measures -- Mayor Phil Gordon is looking to win another term and faces challenger businessman and attorney Steve Laurie. District 7 in southwest phoenix has the hottest council race with the daughter of Congressman Ed pastor, Laura pasture running for the seat of Michael -- district 1 in northeast phoenix features former councilwoman Della Williams. Laura lee pole, Stacey O'Connell and Jonathan Humphrey. In north central phoenix four council candidates. Maria Byer -- there are six ballot measures phoenix residents will be voting on. Proposition one would increase the sails tax by -- sales tax of .20 of 1\% to pay for more police officers and firefighters. Proposition 2 would give the mayor a raise to just over 93,000 a year and city council members a raise to slightly more than 65,000 a year. Proposition three would allow the city to continue to set its own spending limits. proposition four would move up by 30 days a starting date for gathering signatures to run for mayor or city council and move up the time for filing petitions and supplemental signatures and the time to withdraw from the race. Proposition five would move the time for canvassing votes from 14 to 15 days after the election. And proposition six would eliminate a grace period for those gathering petitions. In the city of Glendale voters will decide on proposition 401 which would increase the sales tax rate by .4 of 1\% for -- a mayor and three council candidates. In surprise numerous candidates are running for mayor and three council seats.

>>Ted Simons:
Arizona republican columnist Richard de Uriarte joins me now to talk about the city elections. Richard, thanks for being here. Welcome to "Horizon".

>>Richard de Uriarte:
Thanks Ted. Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
In the city of phoenix we have city council elections, mayoral elections. Let's talk about the incumbent Phil Gordon and his challenger Steve Laurie. That going to be much of a race?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I suspect not. Last time mayor Gordon won by about 72\% beating Randy Poole who was a well-known name in civic minded activities as well as the ant-immigration element. Steve Lawry is a very decent fellow but spent a lot of time in California living in San Diego, working as an attorney. He has less time, less engagement here. He has a 13-year-old. He has toured today with mayor Tim barrow and just decided he wanted to be mayor someday and hasn't done as much in between.

>>Ted Simons:
Is that the start, do you think, of a possible future for Mr. Laurie? If he doesn't win this election will we see more of him?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I'm never sure. They talk about even winning the mayor's race in phoenix doesn't assure you much of a political future. So I don't know about losing one. But I think that this is an affirmation or confirmation vote for the way the city of phoenix is going. A bolder but more expensive kind of future. They're talking we've done a lot of high-rise buildings downtown, some of them public-owned, some of them developers. So the city has a sense it's on the move. But yet there is an under belly of, gee whiz, are we spending too much.

>>Ted Simons
Yeah. And you mentioned the future, political futures of previous mayors of phoenix. A lot of talk right now that Phil Gordon has his sights set on other things. What do you think? What would be a good fit for him, do you think?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
You know, I think the best fit for both -- for Phil Gordon is the same as the best fit for terry Goddard was mayor of phoenix. And then Paul Johnson, for that matter. I think -- they're best at nonpartisan. Phil Gordon is not a strongly partisan fellow. And so I think that that is the secret of his success as a nonpartisan mayor. But in a partisan race, both in a primary and in a general, I'm not sure that he comes across. But I suspect he's going to win by more than the 73\% he won last time.

>>Ted Simons:
The city council seats that are up in phoenix, any surprises? Anything to look for as far as a change in direction?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
You know, that's again an interesting thing. It's either an opportunity because you have three seats that are going to be new people in them, and so it's an opportunity for a new direction. But yet I think that when you ask right track, wrong track, most of the people say phoenix is on a good track. most of the 110,000 people that will show up to vote, which is about 18 to 20\% of the eligible voters, like the way phoenix is run.

>>Ted Simons:
And there's still, though, maybe -- I feel it. I don't know if you feel it. There's almost a sense of we're waiting. We're waiting for the downtown to kick. In we're waiting for light rail. We're waiting to see if all these grand designs and plans. It's encouraging. You have a little bit of that go get em. But there's still -- it's almost like we're standing around waiting.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I was surprised that in the last time when we had a bond issue just a year ago that there wasn't a much better-funded opposition. Because when you look at it, when you look at what phoenix is doing, a lot of these are controversial. The light rail is not -- is 50/50. It wins a little. And then all this ASU commitment, 250 million for downtown. I think the next time out there's going to be a kickback from -- or growback from the suburban districts. You're hearing a little bit of that. Velda Williams is talking about that in district 1 which is in the extreme northwest. But she has a race on her hands. But in district 4 it's a wide open race. In the southwest phoenix, which district 7, southwest phoenix would be the fourth largest city in Arizona if it were a stand-alone city. It is enormous.

>>Ted Simons:
Propositions of note. Proposition one is for police and fire. More money there. I think we can understand that. Not sure I understand prop 3 and home rule and what that's all about.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
It is -- home rule is basically -- basically it's a dispensation for cities and counties, actually, to go above the state-imposed spending limitations based on 1980. I covered the legislature when we did that. And a guy by the name of jack Dubalsky who headed the municipal league of cities and towns argued well that cities know best. And voters know best what they want to spend for. And so this would basically say that the cities are allowed to spend what they raise. And voters, through their charters, through their elections, through their home rule amendments, can set their own budgets. And in phoenix we've had six elections on home rule. Six times it's passed. Six times overwhelmingly. I suspect it will do again.

>>Ted Simons:
Real quickly, surprise? Any surprises in surprise? Boy, they've had some troubles out there.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
Well, excuse me. It has to be a surprise, because surprise reminds me of the -- of these rural towns where everybody's fighting and the city manager comes in and he gets in a fight. And surprise has had a very good mayor for a long time, Joan shaver. She's leaving. And I suspect there's a good chance that everybody who's an incumbent is going to be out and new blood is going to go in.

>>Ted Simons:
All right. We'll see. I guess it will be fun. Thanks for joining us. Richard de Uriarte from the "Arizona republic." thank you so much for joining us.

>>Ted Simons:
On the home page on Dave Barry's website, at davebarry.com Dave threatens to kill a defenseless toilet if you leave the website. Who can say how many toilets have been ruthlessly murdered in this way, and yet, if anyone can get away with it, it's Dave Barry. The author, and former Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist, is running for president, again, and he's got a new book out, "the history of the millennium, so far". Larry Lemmons visited with Barry at the Biltmore -- where he spoke for the greater phoenix chamber of commerce's phoenix forum luncheon.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Let's talk more about your continuous run for the presidency. What have you learned about the political process over the years?

>>Dave Barry:
Nothing. No. I mean, I started running for president -- I think the first time I ran for president was in 1984, around then, anyway. It was strictly a joke. I mean, it's still strictly a joke. But every cycle it seems less weird.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Really?

>>Dave Barry:
Well, there are more and more, you know, people running for president.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Well, that's right.

>>Dave Barry:
It's kind of hard to -- the drop-off between them and me is not as great as it used to be.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Well, you haven't been invited to any of the debates.

>>Dave Barry:
It's a combination of things. They don't invite me. And even if they did, I wouldn't lower myself for that. But there is like -- it seems like eventually I'll end up in a debate. Because we have a debate pretty much every other night it, seems already. And sooner or later I'll be in a room where they'll be debating and I'll probably end up part of it. There's so many you can't avoid them anymore.

>>Larry Lemmons:
You look at the candidates in terms of different tiers. First tier, second tier. What tier would you fall on?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Past Dennis Kucinich. -- And Ross Perot if he's still alive.

>>Dave Barry:
Well, what's your platform?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Mike ravel is running, isn't he? Who is not running? Are you running for president?

>>Dave Barry:
I'm not. I could be. But I would rather keep my candidacy a secret, sort of like Fred Thompson. You running but haven't really declared.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Look. Fred has done incredibly well not running for president. That is pretty much my strategy. I'll just stay out and stay out and stay out. Then maybe the Electoral College will go what the hell. After the election is over, the Electoral College. I'll focus on that particular group of guys and gals. If you're watching, electoral college people.

>>Dave Barry:
If you were elected, what would you do? They always say I would do something in the first 100-days. What would you do in the first 100 hours?

>>Larry Lemmons:
First of all, after the party -- it would take me at least 100-days to get out of bed. So I wouldn't have to be off and running or even be jogging. I'd be more just prone for the first 100-days. But after that I would implement my views. And I just want to say -- make them a little shock in this focus group. Everybody is so careful about what they say. But I agree with the American people. [laughter]

>>Dave Barry:
Whatever they think, I think it. And if -- if you change your mind, America, I'll change my mind. That's the kind of president I'll be. I'll be kind of a go along -- get along.

>>Larry Lemmons:
A president for everybody.

>>Dave Barry:
Every person. I'm looking to spend a lot more time in Tahiti as president. I don't see anything in the constitution that says the president has to be in the office. What's the point?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Offshore banking. If they can do that, why can't the presidency?

>>Dave Barry:
Outsource.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Outsource the president.

>>Dave Barry:
There are a lot of good people in Tahiti that would help me be president, I'm sure.

>>Larry Lemmons:
That would be much more comfortable than Washington in the summer.

>>Dave Barry:
Or winter, really. In general. I don't find Washington to be a comfortable place. I think whatever we needed in Washington we could move it to Tahiti.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What would you say about your competitors? Let's say Hillary Clinton.

>>Dave Barry:
I think Hillary, her big weakness is -- she has strengths and weaknesses. Her strength is that you can -- she really sincerely wants to make your life better. And her weakness is if you try to stop her she'll kill you. That's the vibe you get from Hillary. Not a fun vibe.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Is that what Obama is afraid of?

>>Dave Barry:
I think he's very nervous.

>>Larry Lemmons:
And republicans, say john McCain.

>>Dave Barry:
I think, well, I think john's a wonderful man. I've heard he has a little bit of a temper. So I'm not saying anything bad about him.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Worse than Hillary Clinton?

>>Dave Barry:
Well, yeah, let's put the two of them in a room. I don't say anything bad about john McCain. He's not doing as great as of late?

>>Larry Lemmons:
The immigration thing kind of hurt him.

>>Larry Lemmons:
I don't agree with, that then.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What about Rudy Giuliani?

>>Dave Barry:
Rudy is another one. I think he's a strong candidate except that more and more like things about his personal life keep coming out. Now this thing about the giraffe. It was a consenting giraffe. But still. New York things happen.

>>Larry Lemmons:
A giraffe is really hard to hide.

>>Dave Barry:
Who among us cannot honestly say he hasn't had an experience with a giraffe. We're not all running for president. Well, we are all running for president. I think it could hurt him. Not that there was anything wrong with it. And some of my close personal friends are giraffes.

>>Larry Lemmons:
And rhinos, for that matter.

>>Dave Barry:
That was a consenting rhino, just so you know.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What about mitt Romney?

>>Dave Barry:
Mitt Romney's name is mitt, you know? I just don't see -- certain names. I don't see you can be president if your name is mitt or like scooter.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Butch?

>>Dave Barry:
Butch. Gingo. There's a lot of names. Bongo. There's never been a president named bongo and never will be. Not while I'm voting in this country.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Let's talk about your book. I want to commend you for the extraordinary amount of research you must have waded through in order to write a history of the millennium so far.

>>Dave Barry:
The millennium, yeah. I've come out with the first book that is the history of this millennium. The criticism we get from a lot of people is, well, Dave, the millennium just started so how could you -- and my feelings, my position is I don't think it's going to get any better. Might as well just get the history out of the way now.

>>Larry Lemmons:
That's true. Then we will know whatnot to repeat. If you don't learn these events you're doomed to repeat them.

>>Dave Barry:
That's a good. Thank you. I'll use that as marketing. Because we'll be doomed to repeat it if we don't buy my book. What you're saying is if people don't buy my book humanity is doomed.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Terror will win.

>>Dave Barry:
Did I get you right?

>>Larry Lemmons:
That's right.

>>Dave Barry:
Okay, well, that sounds objective to me. I can't argue with it.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Yeah. Do you ever miss not doing a regular column?

>>Dave Barry:
No.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Because the pressure must have been extraordinary.

>>Dave Barry:
There wasn't much pressure. Since first of all it was all lies. It wasn't that hard. Not like I had to come up with a good idea. No. I don't miss it, though. I did for a long time. I did it for like decades. So enough is my feeling.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Thank you, Dave Barry, for visiting phoenix and talking to us and speaking in front of the greater phoenix chamber of commerce. I told them I'd give them a plug.

>>Dave Barry:
Of all the chambers of commerce, the phoenix chamber of commerce is the one I like the best.

>>Announcer:
Will text messaging while driving soon become a thing of the past? Phoenix council members are getting in on the push to get the state to ban text messaging while you're behind the wheel. And we'll look at how students in Arizona are doing. More than one of four schools in the state isn't making the grade. The journalists' roundtable Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>Ted Simons:
Thank you for joining us on "Horizon". I'm Ted Simons. Coming up next is "Horizonte".

City Elections


  • sept. 11 is Election Day. In the city of Phoenix, three council seats and the mayoral seat are on the ballot. There are also several ballot measures. Other cities will hold elections that day as well. Arizona Republic columnist Richard De Uriarte will talk about the elections.
Guests:
  • Joe Hart - State Mine Inspector
  • Richard de Uriarte - Columnist Arizona Republic
  • Dave Barry - Author and former Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist
Category: Elections

View Transcript
>>Announcer:
Tonight on "Horizon", there are an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona, and one of them claimed a life last week. We'll talk to the state mine inspector about abandoned mines. Early voting has already started for city elections, with Election Day coming Tuesday. A rundown of city elections. And what's up with humor columnist Dave Barry? He'll tell you that and more. All that's next, on "Horizon". "Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Good evening, I'm Ted Simons. Welcome to "Horizon". Before we get to our main topics, here's the latest news. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been found not guilty of defamation by a jury. he was sued by buckeye police chief Dan Saban, who claimed that sheriff Arpaio defamed him when he launched an investigation into an accusation that Saban committed sexual assault. Saban was running against the sheriff when the investigation took place.

>>Ted Simons:
13-year-old Rikki Howard was killed when she fell into a mine shaft near Kingman while a-t-v riding Saturday. Her 10-year-old sister Casie hicks was seriously injured. the tragedy has put the spotlight on abandoned mines in the state. Here now to talk about the problem and possible solutions is state mine inspector Joe Hart. Joe, thank you so much for joining us.

>>Joe Hart:
Thank you for having me. First I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family. My heart bleeds for them at this time.

>>Ted Simons:
It sounds like an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona. That sounds like an awful lot. How many of those do you think are significantly dangerous?

>>Joe Hart:
We estimate about 50 of them are really dangerous. I'm more concerned about the vertical shafts other than the horizontal shafts. Because if you walk into a horizontal shaft your odds are pretty good that you can walk back out. But if you fall into a vertical shaft you're going to need some help.

>>Ted Simons:
How does the state, your department go ability finding these things?

>>Joe Hart:
We've got a pretty good catalog of them already. There was extensive work done back in the 80's and early 90's that cataloged some of them. we didn't have this information at hand until about yesterday afternoon late is when we finally got all of the information we have on them.

>>Ted Simons:
And yet I understand this mine, this particular mine shaft outside of chloride, the state was not aware of that one.

>>Joe Hart:
It wasn't in anybody's documentation. It was not recorded at all.

>>Ted Simons:
So these things are out there. I'm curious how you would go about, though; I know you have a department that looked for abandoned mines. But the nature of an abandoned mine, you have to look for it, no one knows it's there. How do you cover the state looking for these things?

>>Joe Hart:
We're asking for a lot of help. we'd like anybody in these jeep clubs and motorcycle riders and anybody that gets out in the outer lying parts of the state, we ask them to call us immediately if they know where one is at, if they see anything. Let us know. We'll show up with the g.p.s. and take the coordinates and mark it on a map and know exactly where it is. Then we'll investigate it.

>>Ted Simons:
Do you have enough in terms of budget and in terms of staff to at least get started on this?

>>Joe Hart:
We're already started. I do have, you know, money to get started. I got a $50,000 appropriation from the legislature for my '08 budget. We started that in July. I also had a $50,000 contribution from Freeport Macnamara that used to be Phelps dodge. I got that to get started. That's a mere drop in the bucket compared to what we need?

>>Ted Simons:
What do you need?

>>Joe Hart:
You say 100,000. I only have $100,000. That's a dollar per mine right now.

>>Ted Simons:
Typical mine, what kind of money would be needed to fill one of these things in?

>>Joe Hart:
We just closed one out by buckeye last week or two weeks ago. And it was a 400-foot shaft with a 280-foot air vent on the side of it. And we closed that for right at -- a little over $16,000.

>>Ted Simons:
Why doesn't the person, whoever digs these wells, and granted some of these things I understand are over 100 years old. But they're on property. A lot of its public property. Why aren't they responsible for filling these things?

>>Joe Hart:
Well, it takes so long to find them, you could actually spend your money wiser by going ahead and filling them and then locating them and trying to recover some money. The nexus for the abandoned mine fund was actually in the late 80's, 1988, I believe, there was a young boy killed in a mine in Gleason, Arizona just east of tombstone. And his parents agreed not to sue the state if they put this money aside and made sure that nobody else would have to suffer the loss that they did.

>>Ted Simons:
I was going to say, I know that you've been on the job not the longest of times here. This is baptism by fire for you. How much of an issue has this been in the past here in Arizona?

>>Joe Hart:
It's really wasn't brought to the -- really talked about a lot. When we started campaigning, I guess it was over a year ago, about a year and a half, when we first started in April and May, all the issues of abandoned mines started to surface. the more people we talked, to the more they showed interest and said, my golly, we can't believe we've got these kind of dangerous situations out there, just death traps for people and we haven't done anything about it or very much about it. And it really became an issue. And it was a real hot issue. Senator john McCain actually came out early and endorsed me because I took a stand immediately about saying we needed to close them, not just fence them off. We needed to find them and fill them up. Senator bee, president bee, the president of the senate came out and endorsed me for the same reason. They understand the seriousness of these abandoned mines.

>>Ted Simons:
And considering growth in Arizona and the way outlying areas which were once just way out of town are now suburbs of phoenix and growing towns outside of the valley, this is only going to get worse.

>>Joe Hart:
Absolutely. We've got a mine in Peoria that's virtually surrounded by houses. There's a house 50 feet from it. It's a 500-foot shaft. It's got a 10-foot high chain link fence around it with razor wire across the top. But yet that was breached. it's got a pull chain link fence across the vertical portion of it where you can't fall in once you get in. but somebody breached that and went in and cut a hole in the side, climbed in, pulled the wires off the other one to get past the vertical floor, and they put an old fire hose down there, about a 2-inch fire hose and tied knots in about every four or five feet. We assumed they went down in there looking around.

>>Ted Simons:
Which suggests that you can't just fence these things off, put razor wire, what have you around them. You've got to fill them in.

>>Joe Hart:
That's a perfect example of it. The standard in the industry is just to put a barbed wire fence around them and signage. And the signs become souvenirs for everybody and targets for the rest of them. And barbed wire fence is not adequate.

>>Ted Simons:
Obviously a serious issue. And everyone's sympathies with the family up there in northwestern Arizona. How serious, though, in the grand scheme of things is this issue? You mentioned a fatality outside Gleason or near Gleason. We just had this horrible story. And yet you don't hear about people falling into mines, you certainly don't hear about fatalities of people falling into mines every day. Is this something that -- well, you tell me? How serious is this issue.

>>Joe Hart:
It's extremely serious, especially with the invention of a.t.v.'s and dirt bikes. When you're riding a regular motorcycle or bicycle or driving a jeep, you stay on hard surface roads. You pretty much can find where you can go and what you can do. But on an a.t.v., the world is your oyster. And I mean, you can just go wherever you want and do whatever you want to do. And the adrenaline rush is so powerful it just takes you over and you're so excited and want to go here, want to go there, and want to see what's on the other side of this hill. And danger could be on the other side of that hill. The situation in Kingman. It's right next to a road. I mean, a person could have walked up and stopped the car and got out and said, I'd like to have a picture of this and stepped right in it.

>>Ted Simons:
Yeah. All right. Joe, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

>>Joe Hart:
Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Arizona mine inspector Joe hart joining us here on "Horizon".

>>Ted Simons:
Four valley cities are having elections for council seats, mayors and ballot measures. I'll talk to an Arizona republic columnist to get the skinny on the elections, but first, mike Sauceda gives us a rundown on the races.

>>Mike Sauceda:
There are six ballot measures -- Mayor Phil Gordon is looking to win another term and faces challenger businessman and attorney Steve Laurie. District 7 in southwest phoenix has the hottest council race with the daughter of Congressman Ed pastor, Laura pasture running for the seat of Michael -- district 1 in northeast phoenix features former councilwoman Della Williams. Laura lee pole, Stacey O'Connell and Jonathan Humphrey. In north central phoenix four council candidates. Maria Byer -- there are six ballot measures phoenix residents will be voting on. Proposition one would increase the sails tax by -- sales tax of .20 of 1\% to pay for more police officers and firefighters. Proposition 2 would give the mayor a raise to just over 93,000 a year and city council members a raise to slightly more than 65,000 a year. Proposition three would allow the city to continue to set its own spending limits. proposition four would move up by 30 days a starting date for gathering signatures to run for mayor or city council and move up the time for filing petitions and supplemental signatures and the time to withdraw from the race. Proposition five would move the time for canvassing votes from 14 to 15 days after the election. And proposition six would eliminate a grace period for those gathering petitions. In the city of Glendale voters will decide on proposition 401 which would increase the sales tax rate by .4 of 1\% for -- a mayor and three council candidates. In surprise numerous candidates are running for mayor and three council seats.

>>Ted Simons:
Arizona republican columnist Richard de Uriarte joins me now to talk about the city elections. Richard, thanks for being here. Welcome to "Horizon".

>>Richard de Uriarte:
Thanks Ted. Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
In the city of phoenix we have city council elections, mayoral elections. Let's talk about the incumbent Phil Gordon and his challenger Steve Laurie. That going to be much of a race?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I suspect not. Last time mayor Gordon won by about 72\% beating Randy Poole who was a well-known name in civic minded activities as well as the ant-immigration element. Steve Lawry is a very decent fellow but spent a lot of time in California living in San Diego, working as an attorney. He has less time, less engagement here. He has a 13-year-old. He has toured today with mayor Tim barrow and just decided he wanted to be mayor someday and hasn't done as much in between.

>>Ted Simons:
Is that the start, do you think, of a possible future for Mr. Laurie? If he doesn't win this election will we see more of him?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I'm never sure. They talk about even winning the mayor's race in phoenix doesn't assure you much of a political future. So I don't know about losing one. But I think that this is an affirmation or confirmation vote for the way the city of phoenix is going. A bolder but more expensive kind of future. They're talking we've done a lot of high-rise buildings downtown, some of them public-owned, some of them developers. So the city has a sense it's on the move. But yet there is an under belly of, gee whiz, are we spending too much.

>>Ted Simons
Yeah. And you mentioned the future, political futures of previous mayors of phoenix. A lot of talk right now that Phil Gordon has his sights set on other things. What do you think? What would be a good fit for him, do you think?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
You know, I think the best fit for both -- for Phil Gordon is the same as the best fit for terry Goddard was mayor of phoenix. And then Paul Johnson, for that matter. I think -- they're best at nonpartisan. Phil Gordon is not a strongly partisan fellow. And so I think that that is the secret of his success as a nonpartisan mayor. But in a partisan race, both in a primary and in a general, I'm not sure that he comes across. But I suspect he's going to win by more than the 73\% he won last time.

>>Ted Simons:
The city council seats that are up in phoenix, any surprises? Anything to look for as far as a change in direction?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
You know, that's again an interesting thing. It's either an opportunity because you have three seats that are going to be new people in them, and so it's an opportunity for a new direction. But yet I think that when you ask right track, wrong track, most of the people say phoenix is on a good track. most of the 110,000 people that will show up to vote, which is about 18 to 20\% of the eligible voters, like the way phoenix is run.

>>Ted Simons:
And there's still, though, maybe -- I feel it. I don't know if you feel it. There's almost a sense of we're waiting. We're waiting for the downtown to kick. In we're waiting for light rail. We're waiting to see if all these grand designs and plans. It's encouraging. You have a little bit of that go get em. But there's still -- it's almost like we're standing around waiting.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I was surprised that in the last time when we had a bond issue just a year ago that there wasn't a much better-funded opposition. Because when you look at it, when you look at what phoenix is doing, a lot of these are controversial. The light rail is not -- is 50/50. It wins a little. And then all this ASU commitment, 250 million for downtown. I think the next time out there's going to be a kickback from -- or growback from the suburban districts. You're hearing a little bit of that. Velda Williams is talking about that in district 1 which is in the extreme northwest. But she has a race on her hands. But in district 4 it's a wide open race. In the southwest phoenix, which district 7, southwest phoenix would be the fourth largest city in Arizona if it were a stand-alone city. It is enormous.

>>Ted Simons:
Propositions of note. Proposition one is for police and fire. More money there. I think we can understand that. Not sure I understand prop 3 and home rule and what that's all about.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
It is -- home rule is basically -- basically it's a dispensation for cities and counties, actually, to go above the state-imposed spending limitations based on 1980. I covered the legislature when we did that. And a guy by the name of jack Dubalsky who headed the municipal league of cities and towns argued well that cities know best. And voters know best what they want to spend for. And so this would basically say that the cities are allowed to spend what they raise. And voters, through their charters, through their elections, through their home rule amendments, can set their own budgets. And in phoenix we've had six elections on home rule. Six times it's passed. Six times overwhelmingly. I suspect it will do again.

>>Ted Simons:
Real quickly, surprise? Any surprises in surprise? Boy, they've had some troubles out there.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
Well, excuse me. It has to be a surprise, because surprise reminds me of the -- of these rural towns where everybody's fighting and the city manager comes in and he gets in a fight. And surprise has had a very good mayor for a long time, Joan shaver. She's leaving. And I suspect there's a good chance that everybody who's an incumbent is going to be out and new blood is going to go in.

>>Ted Simons:
All right. We'll see. I guess it will be fun. Thanks for joining us. Richard de Uriarte from the "Arizona republic." thank you so much for joining us.

>>Ted Simons:
On the home page on Dave Barry's website, at davebarry.com Dave threatens to kill a defenseless toilet if you leave the website. Who can say how many toilets have been ruthlessly murdered in this way, and yet, if anyone can get away with it, it's Dave Barry. The author, and former Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist, is running for president, again, and he's got a new book out, "the history of the millennium, so far". Larry Lemmons visited with Barry at the Biltmore -- where he spoke for the greater phoenix chamber of commerce's phoenix forum luncheon.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Let's talk more about your continuous run for the presidency. What have you learned about the political process over the years?

>>Dave Barry:
Nothing. No. I mean, I started running for president -- I think the first time I ran for president was in 1984, around then, anyway. It was strictly a joke. I mean, it's still strictly a joke. But every cycle it seems less weird.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Really?

>>Dave Barry:
Well, there are more and more, you know, people running for president.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Well, that's right.

>>Dave Barry:
It's kind of hard to -- the drop-off between them and me is not as great as it used to be.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Well, you haven't been invited to any of the debates.

>>Dave Barry:
It's a combination of things. They don't invite me. And even if they did, I wouldn't lower myself for that. But there is like -- it seems like eventually I'll end up in a debate. Because we have a debate pretty much every other night it, seems already. And sooner or later I'll be in a room where they'll be debating and I'll probably end up part of it. There's so many you can't avoid them anymore.

>>Larry Lemmons:
You look at the candidates in terms of different tiers. First tier, second tier. What tier would you fall on?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Past Dennis Kucinich. -- And Ross Perot if he's still alive.

>>Dave Barry:
Well, what's your platform?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Mike ravel is running, isn't he? Who is not running? Are you running for president?

>>Dave Barry:
I'm not. I could be. But I would rather keep my candidacy a secret, sort of like Fred Thompson. You running but haven't really declared.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Look. Fred has done incredibly well not running for president. That is pretty much my strategy. I'll just stay out and stay out and stay out. Then maybe the Electoral College will go what the hell. After the election is over, the Electoral College. I'll focus on that particular group of guys and gals. If you're watching, electoral college people.

>>Dave Barry:
If you were elected, what would you do? They always say I would do something in the first 100-days. What would you do in the first 100 hours?

>>Larry Lemmons:
First of all, after the party -- it would take me at least 100-days to get out of bed. So I wouldn't have to be off and running or even be jogging. I'd be more just prone for the first 100-days. But after that I would implement my views. And I just want to say -- make them a little shock in this focus group. Everybody is so careful about what they say. But I agree with the American people. [laughter]

>>Dave Barry:
Whatever they think, I think it. And if -- if you change your mind, America, I'll change my mind. That's the kind of president I'll be. I'll be kind of a go along -- get along.

>>Larry Lemmons:
A president for everybody.

>>Dave Barry:
Every person. I'm looking to spend a lot more time in Tahiti as president. I don't see anything in the constitution that says the president has to be in the office. What's the point?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Offshore banking. If they can do that, why can't the presidency?

>>Dave Barry:
Outsource.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Outsource the president.

>>Dave Barry:
There are a lot of good people in Tahiti that would help me be president, I'm sure.

>>Larry Lemmons:
That would be much more comfortable than Washington in the summer.

>>Dave Barry:
Or winter, really. In general. I don't find Washington to be a comfortable place. I think whatever we needed in Washington we could move it to Tahiti.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What would you say about your competitors? Let's say Hillary Clinton.

>>Dave Barry:
I think Hillary, her big weakness is -- she has strengths and weaknesses. Her strength is that you can -- she really sincerely wants to make your life better. And her weakness is if you try to stop her she'll kill you. That's the vibe you get from Hillary. Not a fun vibe.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Is that what Obama is afraid of?

>>Dave Barry:
I think he's very nervous.

>>Larry Lemmons:
And republicans, say john McCain.

>>Dave Barry:
I think, well, I think john's a wonderful man. I've heard he has a little bit of a temper. So I'm not saying anything bad about him.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Worse than Hillary Clinton?

>>Dave Barry:
Well, yeah, let's put the two of them in a room. I don't say anything bad about john McCain. He's not doing as great as of late?

>>Larry Lemmons:
The immigration thing kind of hurt him.

>>Larry Lemmons:
I don't agree with, that then.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What about Rudy Giuliani?

>>Dave Barry:
Rudy is another one. I think he's a strong candidate except that more and more like things about his personal life keep coming out. Now this thing about the giraffe. It was a consenting giraffe. But still. New York things happen.

>>Larry Lemmons:
A giraffe is really hard to hide.

>>Dave Barry:
Who among us cannot honestly say he hasn't had an experience with a giraffe. We're not all running for president. Well, we are all running for president. I think it could hurt him. Not that there was anything wrong with it. And some of my close personal friends are giraffes.

>>Larry Lemmons:
And rhinos, for that matter.

>>Dave Barry:
That was a consenting rhino, just so you know.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What about mitt Romney?

>>Dave Barry:
Mitt Romney's name is mitt, you know? I just don't see -- certain names. I don't see you can be president if your name is mitt or like scooter.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Butch?

>>Dave Barry:
Butch. Gingo. There's a lot of names. Bongo. There's never been a president named bongo and never will be. Not while I'm voting in this country.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Let's talk about your book. I want to commend you for the extraordinary amount of research you must have waded through in order to write a history of the millennium so far.

>>Dave Barry:
The millennium, yeah. I've come out with the first book that is the history of this millennium. The criticism we get from a lot of people is, well, Dave, the millennium just started so how could you -- and my feelings, my position is I don't think it's going to get any better. Might as well just get the history out of the way now.

>>Larry Lemmons:
That's true. Then we will know whatnot to repeat. If you don't learn these events you're doomed to repeat them.

>>Dave Barry:
That's a good. Thank you. I'll use that as marketing. Because we'll be doomed to repeat it if we don't buy my book. What you're saying is if people don't buy my book humanity is doomed.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Terror will win.

>>Dave Barry:
Did I get you right?

>>Larry Lemmons:
That's right.

>>Dave Barry:
Okay, well, that sounds objective to me. I can't argue with it.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Yeah. Do you ever miss not doing a regular column?

>>Dave Barry:
No.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Because the pressure must have been extraordinary.

>>Dave Barry:
There wasn't much pressure. Since first of all it was all lies. It wasn't that hard. Not like I had to come up with a good idea. No. I don't miss it, though. I did for a long time. I did it for like decades. So enough is my feeling.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Thank you, Dave Barry, for visiting phoenix and talking to us and speaking in front of the greater phoenix chamber of commerce. I told them I'd give them a plug.

>>Dave Barry:
Of all the chambers of commerce, the phoenix chamber of commerce is the one I like the best.

>>Announcer:
Will text messaging while driving soon become a thing of the past? Phoenix council members are getting in on the push to get the state to ban text messaging while you're behind the wheel. And we'll look at how students in Arizona are doing. More than one of four schools in the state isn't making the grade. The journalists' roundtable Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>Ted Simons:
Thank you for joining us on "Horizon". I'm Ted Simons. Coming up next is "Horizonte".

Dave Barry


  • Humorist, author and former columnist Dave Barry joins us to talk about politics and giraffes.
Guests:
  • Joe Hart - State Mine Inspector
  • Richard de Uriarte - Columnist Arizona Republic
  • Dave Barry - Author and former Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist


View Transcript
>>Announcer:
Tonight on "Horizon", there are an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona, and one of them claimed a life last week. We'll talk to the state mine inspector about abandoned mines. Early voting has already started for city elections, with Election Day coming Tuesday. A rundown of city elections. And what's up with humor columnist Dave Barry? He'll tell you that and more. All that's next, on "Horizon". "Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Good evening, I'm Ted Simons. Welcome to "Horizon". Before we get to our main topics, here's the latest news. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been found not guilty of defamation by a jury. he was sued by buckeye police chief Dan Saban, who claimed that sheriff Arpaio defamed him when he launched an investigation into an accusation that Saban committed sexual assault. Saban was running against the sheriff when the investigation took place.

>>Ted Simons:
13-year-old Rikki Howard was killed when she fell into a mine shaft near Kingman while a-t-v riding Saturday. Her 10-year-old sister Casie hicks was seriously injured. the tragedy has put the spotlight on abandoned mines in the state. Here now to talk about the problem and possible solutions is state mine inspector Joe Hart. Joe, thank you so much for joining us.

>>Joe Hart:
Thank you for having me. First I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family. My heart bleeds for them at this time.

>>Ted Simons:
It sounds like an estimated 100,000 abandoned mines in Arizona. That sounds like an awful lot. How many of those do you think are significantly dangerous?

>>Joe Hart:
We estimate about 50 of them are really dangerous. I'm more concerned about the vertical shafts other than the horizontal shafts. Because if you walk into a horizontal shaft your odds are pretty good that you can walk back out. But if you fall into a vertical shaft you're going to need some help.

>>Ted Simons:
How does the state, your department go ability finding these things?

>>Joe Hart:
We've got a pretty good catalog of them already. There was extensive work done back in the 80's and early 90's that cataloged some of them. we didn't have this information at hand until about yesterday afternoon late is when we finally got all of the information we have on them.

>>Ted Simons:
And yet I understand this mine, this particular mine shaft outside of chloride, the state was not aware of that one.

>>Joe Hart:
It wasn't in anybody's documentation. It was not recorded at all.

>>Ted Simons:
So these things are out there. I'm curious how you would go about, though; I know you have a department that looked for abandoned mines. But the nature of an abandoned mine, you have to look for it, no one knows it's there. How do you cover the state looking for these things?

>>Joe Hart:
We're asking for a lot of help. we'd like anybody in these jeep clubs and motorcycle riders and anybody that gets out in the outer lying parts of the state, we ask them to call us immediately if they know where one is at, if they see anything. Let us know. We'll show up with the g.p.s. and take the coordinates and mark it on a map and know exactly where it is. Then we'll investigate it.

>>Ted Simons:
Do you have enough in terms of budget and in terms of staff to at least get started on this?

>>Joe Hart:
We're already started. I do have, you know, money to get started. I got a $50,000 appropriation from the legislature for my '08 budget. We started that in July. I also had a $50,000 contribution from Freeport Macnamara that used to be Phelps dodge. I got that to get started. That's a mere drop in the bucket compared to what we need?

>>Ted Simons:
What do you need?

>>Joe Hart:
You say 100,000. I only have $100,000. That's a dollar per mine right now.

>>Ted Simons:
Typical mine, what kind of money would be needed to fill one of these things in?

>>Joe Hart:
We just closed one out by buckeye last week or two weeks ago. And it was a 400-foot shaft with a 280-foot air vent on the side of it. And we closed that for right at -- a little over $16,000.

>>Ted Simons:
Why doesn't the person, whoever digs these wells, and granted some of these things I understand are over 100 years old. But they're on property. A lot of its public property. Why aren't they responsible for filling these things?

>>Joe Hart:
Well, it takes so long to find them, you could actually spend your money wiser by going ahead and filling them and then locating them and trying to recover some money. The nexus for the abandoned mine fund was actually in the late 80's, 1988, I believe, there was a young boy killed in a mine in Gleason, Arizona just east of tombstone. And his parents agreed not to sue the state if they put this money aside and made sure that nobody else would have to suffer the loss that they did.

>>Ted Simons:
I was going to say, I know that you've been on the job not the longest of times here. This is baptism by fire for you. How much of an issue has this been in the past here in Arizona?

>>Joe Hart:
It's really wasn't brought to the -- really talked about a lot. When we started campaigning, I guess it was over a year ago, about a year and a half, when we first started in April and May, all the issues of abandoned mines started to surface. the more people we talked, to the more they showed interest and said, my golly, we can't believe we've got these kind of dangerous situations out there, just death traps for people and we haven't done anything about it or very much about it. And it really became an issue. And it was a real hot issue. Senator john McCain actually came out early and endorsed me because I took a stand immediately about saying we needed to close them, not just fence them off. We needed to find them and fill them up. Senator bee, president bee, the president of the senate came out and endorsed me for the same reason. They understand the seriousness of these abandoned mines.

>>Ted Simons:
And considering growth in Arizona and the way outlying areas which were once just way out of town are now suburbs of phoenix and growing towns outside of the valley, this is only going to get worse.

>>Joe Hart:
Absolutely. We've got a mine in Peoria that's virtually surrounded by houses. There's a house 50 feet from it. It's a 500-foot shaft. It's got a 10-foot high chain link fence around it with razor wire across the top. But yet that was breached. it's got a pull chain link fence across the vertical portion of it where you can't fall in once you get in. but somebody breached that and went in and cut a hole in the side, climbed in, pulled the wires off the other one to get past the vertical floor, and they put an old fire hose down there, about a 2-inch fire hose and tied knots in about every four or five feet. We assumed they went down in there looking around.

>>Ted Simons:
Which suggests that you can't just fence these things off, put razor wire, what have you around them. You've got to fill them in.

>>Joe Hart:
That's a perfect example of it. The standard in the industry is just to put a barbed wire fence around them and signage. And the signs become souvenirs for everybody and targets for the rest of them. And barbed wire fence is not adequate.

>>Ted Simons:
Obviously a serious issue. And everyone's sympathies with the family up there in northwestern Arizona. How serious, though, in the grand scheme of things is this issue? You mentioned a fatality outside Gleason or near Gleason. We just had this horrible story. And yet you don't hear about people falling into mines, you certainly don't hear about fatalities of people falling into mines every day. Is this something that -- well, you tell me? How serious is this issue.

>>Joe Hart:
It's extremely serious, especially with the invention of a.t.v.'s and dirt bikes. When you're riding a regular motorcycle or bicycle or driving a jeep, you stay on hard surface roads. You pretty much can find where you can go and what you can do. But on an a.t.v., the world is your oyster. And I mean, you can just go wherever you want and do whatever you want to do. And the adrenaline rush is so powerful it just takes you over and you're so excited and want to go here, want to go there, and want to see what's on the other side of this hill. And danger could be on the other side of that hill. The situation in Kingman. It's right next to a road. I mean, a person could have walked up and stopped the car and got out and said, I'd like to have a picture of this and stepped right in it.

>>Ted Simons:
Yeah. All right. Joe, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.

>>Joe Hart:
Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
Arizona mine inspector Joe hart joining us here on "Horizon".

>>Ted Simons:
Four valley cities are having elections for council seats, mayors and ballot measures. I'll talk to an Arizona republic columnist to get the skinny on the elections, but first, mike Sauceda gives us a rundown on the races.

>>Mike Sauceda:
There are six ballot measures -- Mayor Phil Gordon is looking to win another term and faces challenger businessman and attorney Steve Laurie. District 7 in southwest phoenix has the hottest council race with the daughter of Congressman Ed pastor, Laura pasture running for the seat of Michael -- district 1 in northeast phoenix features former councilwoman Della Williams. Laura lee pole, Stacey O'Connell and Jonathan Humphrey. In north central phoenix four council candidates. Maria Byer -- there are six ballot measures phoenix residents will be voting on. Proposition one would increase the sails tax by -- sales tax of .20 of 1\% to pay for more police officers and firefighters. Proposition 2 would give the mayor a raise to just over 93,000 a year and city council members a raise to slightly more than 65,000 a year. Proposition three would allow the city to continue to set its own spending limits. proposition four would move up by 30 days a starting date for gathering signatures to run for mayor or city council and move up the time for filing petitions and supplemental signatures and the time to withdraw from the race. Proposition five would move the time for canvassing votes from 14 to 15 days after the election. And proposition six would eliminate a grace period for those gathering petitions. In the city of Glendale voters will decide on proposition 401 which would increase the sales tax rate by .4 of 1\% for -- a mayor and three council candidates. In surprise numerous candidates are running for mayor and three council seats.

>>Ted Simons:
Arizona republican columnist Richard de Uriarte joins me now to talk about the city elections. Richard, thanks for being here. Welcome to "Horizon".

>>Richard de Uriarte:
Thanks Ted. Thank you.

>>Ted Simons:
In the city of phoenix we have city council elections, mayoral elections. Let's talk about the incumbent Phil Gordon and his challenger Steve Laurie. That going to be much of a race?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I suspect not. Last time mayor Gordon won by about 72\% beating Randy Poole who was a well-known name in civic minded activities as well as the ant-immigration element. Steve Lawry is a very decent fellow but spent a lot of time in California living in San Diego, working as an attorney. He has less time, less engagement here. He has a 13-year-old. He has toured today with mayor Tim barrow and just decided he wanted to be mayor someday and hasn't done as much in between.

>>Ted Simons:
Is that the start, do you think, of a possible future for Mr. Laurie? If he doesn't win this election will we see more of him?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I'm never sure. They talk about even winning the mayor's race in phoenix doesn't assure you much of a political future. So I don't know about losing one. But I think that this is an affirmation or confirmation vote for the way the city of phoenix is going. A bolder but more expensive kind of future. They're talking we've done a lot of high-rise buildings downtown, some of them public-owned, some of them developers. So the city has a sense it's on the move. But yet there is an under belly of, gee whiz, are we spending too much.

>>Ted Simons
Yeah. And you mentioned the future, political futures of previous mayors of phoenix. A lot of talk right now that Phil Gordon has his sights set on other things. What do you think? What would be a good fit for him, do you think?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
You know, I think the best fit for both -- for Phil Gordon is the same as the best fit for terry Goddard was mayor of phoenix. And then Paul Johnson, for that matter. I think -- they're best at nonpartisan. Phil Gordon is not a strongly partisan fellow. And so I think that that is the secret of his success as a nonpartisan mayor. But in a partisan race, both in a primary and in a general, I'm not sure that he comes across. But I suspect he's going to win by more than the 73\% he won last time.

>>Ted Simons:
The city council seats that are up in phoenix, any surprises? Anything to look for as far as a change in direction?

>>Richard de Uriarte:
You know, that's again an interesting thing. It's either an opportunity because you have three seats that are going to be new people in them, and so it's an opportunity for a new direction. But yet I think that when you ask right track, wrong track, most of the people say phoenix is on a good track. most of the 110,000 people that will show up to vote, which is about 18 to 20\% of the eligible voters, like the way phoenix is run.

>>Ted Simons:
And there's still, though, maybe -- I feel it. I don't know if you feel it. There's almost a sense of we're waiting. We're waiting for the downtown to kick. In we're waiting for light rail. We're waiting to see if all these grand designs and plans. It's encouraging. You have a little bit of that go get em. But there's still -- it's almost like we're standing around waiting.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
I was surprised that in the last time when we had a bond issue just a year ago that there wasn't a much better-funded opposition. Because when you look at it, when you look at what phoenix is doing, a lot of these are controversial. The light rail is not -- is 50/50. It wins a little. And then all this ASU commitment, 250 million for downtown. I think the next time out there's going to be a kickback from -- or growback from the suburban districts. You're hearing a little bit of that. Velda Williams is talking about that in district 1 which is in the extreme northwest. But she has a race on her hands. But in district 4 it's a wide open race. In the southwest phoenix, which district 7, southwest phoenix would be the fourth largest city in Arizona if it were a stand-alone city. It is enormous.

>>Ted Simons:
Propositions of note. Proposition one is for police and fire. More money there. I think we can understand that. Not sure I understand prop 3 and home rule and what that's all about.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
It is -- home rule is basically -- basically it's a dispensation for cities and counties, actually, to go above the state-imposed spending limitations based on 1980. I covered the legislature when we did that. And a guy by the name of jack Dubalsky who headed the municipal league of cities and towns argued well that cities know best. And voters know best what they want to spend for. And so this would basically say that the cities are allowed to spend what they raise. And voters, through their charters, through their elections, through their home rule amendments, can set their own budgets. And in phoenix we've had six elections on home rule. Six times it's passed. Six times overwhelmingly. I suspect it will do again.

>>Ted Simons:
Real quickly, surprise? Any surprises in surprise? Boy, they've had some troubles out there.

>>Richard de Uriarte:
Well, excuse me. It has to be a surprise, because surprise reminds me of the -- of these rural towns where everybody's fighting and the city manager comes in and he gets in a fight. And surprise has had a very good mayor for a long time, Joan shaver. She's leaving. And I suspect there's a good chance that everybody who's an incumbent is going to be out and new blood is going to go in.

>>Ted Simons:
All right. We'll see. I guess it will be fun. Thanks for joining us. Richard de Uriarte from the "Arizona republic." thank you so much for joining us.

>>Ted Simons:
On the home page on Dave Barry's website, at davebarry.com Dave threatens to kill a defenseless toilet if you leave the website. Who can say how many toilets have been ruthlessly murdered in this way, and yet, if anyone can get away with it, it's Dave Barry. The author, and former Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated columnist, is running for president, again, and he's got a new book out, "the history of the millennium, so far". Larry Lemmons visited with Barry at the Biltmore -- where he spoke for the greater phoenix chamber of commerce's phoenix forum luncheon.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Let's talk more about your continuous run for the presidency. What have you learned about the political process over the years?

>>Dave Barry:
Nothing. No. I mean, I started running for president -- I think the first time I ran for president was in 1984, around then, anyway. It was strictly a joke. I mean, it's still strictly a joke. But every cycle it seems less weird.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Really?

>>Dave Barry:
Well, there are more and more, you know, people running for president.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Well, that's right.

>>Dave Barry:
It's kind of hard to -- the drop-off between them and me is not as great as it used to be.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Well, you haven't been invited to any of the debates.

>>Dave Barry:
It's a combination of things. They don't invite me. And even if they did, I wouldn't lower myself for that. But there is like -- it seems like eventually I'll end up in a debate. Because we have a debate pretty much every other night it, seems already. And sooner or later I'll be in a room where they'll be debating and I'll probably end up part of it. There's so many you can't avoid them anymore.

>>Larry Lemmons:
You look at the candidates in terms of different tiers. First tier, second tier. What tier would you fall on?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Past Dennis Kucinich. -- And Ross Perot if he's still alive.

>>Dave Barry:
Well, what's your platform?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Mike ravel is running, isn't he? Who is not running? Are you running for president?

>>Dave Barry:
I'm not. I could be. But I would rather keep my candidacy a secret, sort of like Fred Thompson. You running but haven't really declared.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Look. Fred has done incredibly well not running for president. That is pretty much my strategy. I'll just stay out and stay out and stay out. Then maybe the Electoral College will go what the hell. After the election is over, the Electoral College. I'll focus on that particular group of guys and gals. If you're watching, electoral college people.

>>Dave Barry:
If you were elected, what would you do? They always say I would do something in the first 100-days. What would you do in the first 100 hours?

>>Larry Lemmons:
First of all, after the party -- it would take me at least 100-days to get out of bed. So I wouldn't have to be off and running or even be jogging. I'd be more just prone for the first 100-days. But after that I would implement my views. And I just want to say -- make them a little shock in this focus group. Everybody is so careful about what they say. But I agree with the American people. [laughter]

>>Dave Barry:
Whatever they think, I think it. And if -- if you change your mind, America, I'll change my mind. That's the kind of president I'll be. I'll be kind of a go along -- get along.

>>Larry Lemmons:
A president for everybody.

>>Dave Barry:
Every person. I'm looking to spend a lot more time in Tahiti as president. I don't see anything in the constitution that says the president has to be in the office. What's the point?

>>Larry Lemmons:
Offshore banking. If they can do that, why can't the presidency?

>>Dave Barry:
Outsource.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Outsource the president.

>>Dave Barry:
There are a lot of good people in Tahiti that would help me be president, I'm sure.

>>Larry Lemmons:
That would be much more comfortable than Washington in the summer.

>>Dave Barry:
Or winter, really. In general. I don't find Washington to be a comfortable place. I think whatever we needed in Washington we could move it to Tahiti.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What would you say about your competitors? Let's say Hillary Clinton.

>>Dave Barry:
I think Hillary, her big weakness is -- she has strengths and weaknesses. Her strength is that you can -- she really sincerely wants to make your life better. And her weakness is if you try to stop her she'll kill you. That's the vibe you get from Hillary. Not a fun vibe.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Is that what Obama is afraid of?

>>Dave Barry:
I think he's very nervous.

>>Larry Lemmons:
And republicans, say john McCain.

>>Dave Barry:
I think, well, I think john's a wonderful man. I've heard he has a little bit of a temper. So I'm not saying anything bad about him.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Worse than Hillary Clinton?

>>Dave Barry:
Well, yeah, let's put the two of them in a room. I don't say anything bad about john McCain. He's not doing as great as of late?

>>Larry Lemmons:
The immigration thing kind of hurt him.

>>Larry Lemmons:
I don't agree with, that then.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What about Rudy Giuliani?

>>Dave Barry:
Rudy is another one. I think he's a strong candidate except that more and more like things about his personal life keep coming out. Now this thing about the giraffe. It was a consenting giraffe. But still. New York things happen.

>>Larry Lemmons:
A giraffe is really hard to hide.

>>Dave Barry:
Who among us cannot honestly say he hasn't had an experience with a giraffe. We're not all running for president. Well, we are all running for president. I think it could hurt him. Not that there was anything wrong with it. And some of my close personal friends are giraffes.

>>Larry Lemmons:
And rhinos, for that matter.

>>Dave Barry:
That was a consenting rhino, just so you know.

>>Larry Lemmons:
What about mitt Romney?

>>Dave Barry:
Mitt Romney's name is mitt, you know? I just don't see -- certain names. I don't see you can be president if your name is mitt or like scooter.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Butch?

>>Dave Barry:
Butch. Gingo. There's a lot of names. Bongo. There's never been a president named bongo and never will be. Not while I'm voting in this country.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Let's talk about your book. I want to commend you for the extraordinary amount of research you must have waded through in order to write a history of the millennium so far.

>>Dave Barry:
The millennium, yeah. I've come out with the first book that is the history of this millennium. The criticism we get from a lot of people is, well, Dave, the millennium just started so how could you -- and my feelings, my position is I don't think it's going to get any better. Might as well just get the history out of the way now.

>>Larry Lemmons:
That's true. Then we will know whatnot to repeat. If you don't learn these events you're doomed to repeat them.

>>Dave Barry:
That's a good. Thank you. I'll use that as marketing. Because we'll be doomed to repeat it if we don't buy my book. What you're saying is if people don't buy my book humanity is doomed.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Terror will win.

>>Dave Barry:
Did I get you right?

>>Larry Lemmons:
That's right.

>>Dave Barry:
Okay, well, that sounds objective to me. I can't argue with it.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Yeah. Do you ever miss not doing a regular column?

>>Dave Barry:
No.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Because the pressure must have been extraordinary.

>>Dave Barry:
There wasn't much pressure. Since first of all it was all lies. It wasn't that hard. Not like I had to come up with a good idea. No. I don't miss it, though. I did for a long time. I did it for like decades. So enough is my feeling.

>>Larry Lemmons:
Thank you, Dave Barry, for visiting phoenix and talking to us and speaking in front of the greater phoenix chamber of commerce. I told them I'd give them a plug.

>>Dave Barry:
Of all the chambers of commerce, the phoenix chamber of commerce is the one I like the best.

>>Announcer:
Will text messaging while driving soon become a thing of the past? Phoenix council members are getting in on the push to get the state to ban text messaging while you're behind the wheel. And we'll look at how students in Arizona are doing. More than one of four schools in the state isn't making the grade. The journalists' roundtable Friday at 7:00 on "Horizon".

>>Ted Simons:
Thank you for joining us on "Horizon". I'm Ted Simons. Coming up next is "Horizonte".

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