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Last year we had no toilet paper or hand sanitizer. This year we have no houses. Oh, and let’s not forget we are running out of chicken wings, lumber, microchips and chlorine for pools. This summer, “experts” are predicting we might have shortages of gasoline and bacon. It’s almost too much …

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Every so often on Facebook or Instagram, I see that one of my friends has gone hunting, successfully killing this or that forest creature. There are smiles all around as the hunter strikes a pose beside a mule deer, turkey, or javelina. All involved — except the animal — seem inordinately pr…

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Friends, welcome to the first of what I hope are many monthly columns I’ll have the fortune of writing for the Foothills Focus. I am honored to have the opportunity to communicate and share my thoughts with you, my constituents, through yet another medium. If you’re reading this, it is most …

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Alexa never seems to stop listening. Evidently, our “helpful” devices never turn off, meaning that your private conversations are not so private. Is this the price of convenience? How can you have a “smart house” without a little bit of intrusion from a robot? This is the world we have created.

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Every so often on Facebook or Instagram, I see that one of my friends has gone hunting, successfully killing this or that forest creature. There are smiles all around as the hunter strikes a pose beside a mule deer, turkey, or javelina. All involved — except the animal — seem inordinately pr…

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For the past 14 months, my logic about the COVID-19 pandemic has been a lot like my rationale for turning down any and all offers to go skydiving. 

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It’s that time of year again. The tax man cometh. And the IRS extended the deadline so we could procrastinate a bit longer. And for many Americans, the pain and suffering begin. 

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Friends, welcome to the first of what I hope are many monthly columns I’ll have the fortune of writing for the Foothills Focus. I am honored to have the opportunity to communicate and share my thoughts with you, my constituents, through yet another medium. If you’re reading this, it is most …

spotlight

Alexa never seems to stop listening. Evidently, our “helpful” devices never turn off, meaning that your private conversations are not so private. Is this the price of convenience? How can you have a “smart house” without a little bit of intrusion from a robot? This is the world we have created.

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The Biden Administration is not only working to erase our Southern Border; it is also intent on erasing any term that accurately depicts the dire situation we now face.

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Quick to hold a grudge, yet molasses-slow to forgive an enemy. That will be my epitaph. It also explains why I’m having a difficult time with the Phoenix Suns these days.

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Music. It is a huge part of our lives. Every day we listen to something. Our life is often enhanced by the music we listen to, the melodies we love and the symphonies we cherish. And once again, we can go to concerts!

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Little more than a month after he called Dec. 7, 1941, a “Day of Infamy” and led America into World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt paused from his duties as commander-in-chief to assume the mantle of “First Fan.”

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Love is in the air! And so are the doves, finches and hummingbirds. Spring brings the promise of hope, new life, fresh beginnings, green leaves and babies. Lots of them. Baby finches — in all their bright yellow glory — hang on the finch seed socks that I have hanging and chirp constantly, t…

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Between courtship and marriage, their love affair lasted 60 years. It spanned perfect health and terminal sickness, for richer and poorer, full measures of joy and sadness.

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Sorry, Pepe Le Pew, you are canceled! The devilish little skunk, who has been romantically chasing after Penelope Pussycat for way too long, cannot seem to take “No” for an answer. 

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When news broke in February that Arizona would open COVID-19 vaccines to people over age 55, I had a long debate with myself about whether to get the shot.

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When my husband asked me what was for dinner last night, I wondered how many times in one day those three precious (evil) words are spoken. Worldwide, might these words be recited over a billion times? And in my own life, how many times have I heard children, grandkids and husbands innocentl…

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The death penalty brings out the worst parts of people and our society. If I were to ask any person I meet on the street if killing is wrong, I’d expect nearly everyone to say, “Yes.” But if I ask someone whether they support the death penalty, about half the time the answer is, “Yes.” 

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The end of my father’s life is fast approaching and if I am being completely honest, his last breath will be a blessing. 

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Did you watch the Royal Rumble? It was quite the show. I didn’t want to see the spectacle myself, but the drama has made headlines everywhere until it is impossible to avoid this sad, steaming mess. 

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Have you taken a good photo lately? It seems like humans love to snap photos of their pets. This must be true by all the adorable dog and cat pictures posted on social media. As my husband points out, we have had very few photos taken of the two of us together in the past few years. But our …

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If you believe in the criminal justice system, file this under good news: The Arizona Department of Corrections recently issued a press release reporting it’s once again ready to execute some of the 115 murderers housed on death row.

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Rover, mover over. There is a new dog in town. NASA’s Rover, named Perseverance (fondly called Percy) has landed on Mars and even flew the first-of-its-kind helicopter. 

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In 1995, in a column for this newspaper, I made a serious error in judgment. 

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I am not a cat! Well, not today anyway. But if I try hard enough to reset my Zoom feature on my computer (not at all sure how this is done) and get on a video call looking like a cat, it could be a purrfect way to attend a very important business meeting. Guess we could ask the Texas attorne…

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Every few months, a stranger approaches me on the golf course to discuss something I’ve written. This makes me anxious, because (a) these folks typically disagree with the column in question and (b) I’m usually about to miss a 5-foot putt I need to make par. 

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How was your Valentine’s Day? Yes, “The Day” has come and gone, but the sentiments often carry over to the “week of love.” And evidently, love is all around us. And so are bouquets of roses, boxes of heart-shaped candy, sweet greeting cards and all things the color red. 

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Are you looking for a job? One that offers good pay, the freedom to travel, notoriety and doing something worthwhile? Oh, and those who have had this job claim that it is “life-changing” and opens many doors to future opportunities. To qualify, you must have a college degree, love people, be…

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Let it snow! There is beauty in a white landscape, snowflakes looking like crystals falling from an opaque sky, the pleasure of total silence while walking, and cardinals perched in snow-laden trees like glimmering red ornaments. 

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It was a Monday night in April and my parents let me stay up past bedtime to watch the Atlanta Braves play the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

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It was Tuesday afternoon and work got too heavy. A break was called for, mindless diversion. My thoughts turned to an old favorite: a matinee movie. Ninety minutes of popcorn, soda and cinema. This sounded like exactly the ticket.

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We have started 2021 with a bang. Visual images we will remember: rioters, insurrection, inauguration, a sea of flags, protests, hymns, military salutes, face masks. We may forget what we had for lunch yesterday, but we seem to recall times of importance, which reflect special events, holida…

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He wrestled with kidney cancer for a decade, fought like a demon, but Dave Rehnke took his last breath on Monday, the 11th of January. Rehnke worked for 26 years as a firefighter in Peoria, rising to the rank of captain. He loved his city, his peers on the front lines and the job—though it w…

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January is named after the Roman god Janus, who was often depicted as having two faces—one face looking back on the past and one looking forward to the future. The greatest blessing about the month of January is that it offers a fresh start—a chance to begin again. 

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Penalties for a new set of laws for wrongfully using your cellphone while driving became effective on Jan. 1. The laws were actually adopted in 2019, but until recently, law enforcement officers had been issuing warnings.  

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Sometimes he has a good day, his mind clicking like it used to, and our phone conversations take us back in time. 

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It can be easy to take for granted the institutions that function in the background of our everyday lives. Like many others who work in the field of special education, I take pause this month to reflect on the 45th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which …

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Is it safe to say “good riddance” to 2020? What a year! 

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When it comes to doing life-threatening work during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have rightfully congratulated our heroes on the front lines: doctors, nurses, firefighters, cops, paramedics. 

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Atlanta police say it’s too early to say whether the March 16 shooting rampage, which left six women of Asian descent dead, was a hate crime. But there’s no question that hate is on the rise for many Asian Americans, who are frightened but not surprised by such attacks.

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The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have extended the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year to be automatically pushed from April 15 to May 17. The IRS will soon provide formal guidance.