Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Coyotes, casinos, and planes, who cares?

Note: This column appears in the 9/24 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/25 issue of the Peoria Times

It has been a difficult time for those who prefer answers.

Virtually every major attraction and potential attraction of this part of the Valley has been dragged through the legal mud and has yet to be adequately cleansed. As a result, those in and around the Valley who initially took a side now no longer care, or have joined the third party of “getting this over with.”

We can start with the Phoenix Coyotes, an ordeal that began in early May and has left the city of Glendale, its citizens, Coyotes’ fans, players, millionaire coaches and billionaire Canadians in limbo. And while judge Redfield T Baum issued his decision last week, it should be noted that even he has acknowledged that this is far from over, having said this before beginning the excruciating process of writing down his answer: “I have to write it sufficiently enough so that those of you who don’t like what I write, when you take it to the appellate court, the appellate court will understand all that’s happened.”

Awesome. Nothing more fun than the inevitable appeals process. Also, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the appellate court will not understand what’s happened. Unless of course, they can explain how a hockey team from nowhere has began its preseason.

Then there’s the casino. In one corner is the city of Glendale, who has not decided whether they self-righteously oppose the idea of gambling, or if they’re opposed to their inability to make money off of it. In the other corner is the Tohono O’odham Nation, who claims the right to build on the land near 91st and Northern Ave. Our referee for the match is the U.S. Judicial system, which –- almost eight months after the initial plans for the casino were released –- has made its decision.

I am kidding, of course. That would be silly, an answer. In the meantime, Valley citizens have been forced to waste their hard-earned money elsewhere, but unfortunately, not on the Phoenix Coyotes.

While the federal government has played a large role in this mess, even they haven’t been immune to the indecisiveness they so greatly enjoy and employ. Currently there is a movement to build single-family homes -– what family doesn’t love the deafening sound of F-16s in the morning? -- around Luke Air Base. Those opposed to the development believe it could motivate the base to move elsewhere. Those in favor of the development either view the base as a non-crucial element to the city’s infrastructure, or are the developers themselves. The interesting part of this situation is that a decision has already been handed down. But each side interprets the ruling differently.

There needs to be a decision about the decision.

No matter which side you stand on with regards to any of these issues, you can only maintain your righteous indignation for so long. A slammed fist will eventually turn into a shrug of the shoulders. When the fate of your hometown team or hometown itself is at stake, that’s a scary thought.

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