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Of the thousands of News "Nuggets" that are added to our databases each day, we try to select weekly a few that we feel challenge and inform our viewers/readers the most.

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President Obama's Final Budget - Ground Work for a Hilliary Clinton Presidency

President Barack ObamaProgressive and yet fiscally responsible is what folks are saying about President Barack Obama's final fiscal budget for 2017.

Inequality between the wealthy 1% and the remaining 99% remains a major theme.  Themes which will continue as Hilliary Clinton makes a run for the White House.

Anniversary

SunriseIt was a cold dark night and I looked up and down the street to make certain that nobody was watching as I entered that narrow doorway to a set of stairs and I walked up what seemed forever before I reached the second floor. A sign on the door said “AA Welcome.” I entered and a fellow at the back of the hall was standing by a big coffee urn and he said, “Hi there. Would you like a cup of coffee?” I said, “Sure” and I walked back and he said, “I’m Joe,” and I said “I’m Art. I’m supposed to meet a guy named Bill.”  Joe said, “He should be along any minute. Your first visit?”  “How did you know?” I asked. “Oh, you just look inquisitive I guess.” Joe handed me a cup of hot coffee and pointed to the table nearby. “Help yourself to the fixin’s.” 

I could hear someone walking up that long flight of stairs and then the door opened. It was Bill. At least he fit the description Bill had given me over the phone. 5’7”, hair graying, 51.  He walked back to where we were and held out his hand to me. “You must be Art.”  "I'm Bill and Welcome! You look like you made it just fine since I talked with you on the phone. What do you know about A.A.?”  “Not much,” I admitted. “I just came here to learn.”

We walked together to the front of the room and on the wall was a huge copy of a document titled The Twelve Steps. “Art, take a minute and just read the first few steps and see if they make any sense to you. I’m going for some coffee and I will be right back."

I looked up at the sign. It read.  The Twelve Steps of Alcohol Anonymous 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.  I nodded. Oh, I am still working and functioning but my life sure is a mess.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.  I shrugged. Well I’d tried prayer but it didn’t work but I was sure ready for a change in my life. 
  3. Made a decision to turn our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.  Makes sense to me. I’m ready.  Since I was sixteen years old I have been trying to learn how to drink like a man. Maybe I won’t have to learn how.

Bill returned and I told him that so far it made sense to me.  More people were coming up the stairs now and he introduced me to them.  They looked normal to me. About a dozen more  people, two were women. I was the youngest person in the group. I was thirty one.

I guess what I learned from those folks and others along the way made sense. It wasn't always easy. There were a lot more steps to AA and I walked up that two flights of steps regularly.  And now, here it is, what... fifty five years later on February 13th and I’ve never taken another drink. Life is good.

The Volunteer

Over the past forty plus years I have written special poems which I presented to audiences paying tribute to various professions and groups. I’d like to make them available for printing and distribution to those who might like them for special occasions or awards. 

Here is a sample.  Feel Free to use it.  - Positively, Art

America is still a Land of Opportunity

Kyrsten SinemaThe Arizona Republic recently published a feature article about Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema written by Rebekah L. Sanders.  Ms. Sinema’s story is truly amazing. She was born in Tucson, AZ. When she was still a child, her parents divorced and her mother moved the family to Florida. For several years they were so poor that the family live in an abandoned gas station with no electricity or running water. Since then, she has graduated from high school at the age of 16 and was co-valedictorian or her class. She went on to obtain her bachelor’s degree when she was 18. She has since earned a Masters of Social Work, a Juris Doctorate and a PhD in Justice Studies—all from Arizona State University. She has also served four terms as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, one term as a member of the Arizona Senate and is currently serving her second term as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives. But here’s the real kicker: she’s only 39 years old! So, if you have a dream and are willing to work hard, America is still a land of tremendous opportunity.

Flint, Michigan, Tragedy

In 2011, the Governor of Michigan took over the city of Flint, a majority-African American city where almost half the population lives below the poverty line. He installed an un-elected "financial manager" to run the city for him.

That's Terrible

Fudge RoyalIn a News story about shoppers stocking up on food for our impending great snow storm here in North Carolina  a reporter and photographer caught a shot of one woman standing in the produce department at her wits end. "Imagine," she said. "they have run out of organic carrots." In another part of the city a single mother was worrying about how she might get to the Food Pantry in the morning so she could feed her children.  

I recall a morning in Korea back in 1951 when our food supply was cut off for a couple of days and we had no food and no water and how it felt to have an empty belly and an empty canteen when mortars were exploding all around us. I guess we all have a different definition of hardship and that definition changes throughout our lifetimes.  

We  were snowed in Sunday and our tiny road has a steep hill we go down and then back up again and when it gets icy you just can't drive up it without four wheel drive. Our next door neighbor left her car at the top of the hill and walked home and the next morning she called to say she was going shopping...could she bring us anything?  I confessed to Jean what I would like, Sure enough, an hour later our kind neighbor knocked on our front door delivering the Fudge Royal ice cream I had requested. I wonder if that lady in the other part of the city got to the Food Pantry OK and found it stocked with food to feed her children and if that disturbed lady found some organic carrots... 

Curiosity

Question MarkOne of the greatest short statements about asking questions was brought forth in an article by Peter W. Marty in a magazine from February 2016.

"Whereas the exclamation point is emphatic and insistent, the "?" is really a bent over "!" that has bowed its head in humility."

Sometimes it's better to ask questions rather than thinking and exclaming that you have all the answers.

A Lesson About Relationships from a Head Football Coach--Revisited

RiveraThis past October 27, I posted a Reminder dealing with the fact that in the National Football League, the players typically hang out in the locker room and the head coach hangs out in his office. This sends a very clear message that the head coach is the boss and the players are the subordinates. As a result, relationships between players and their head coach are typically not very open or honest. Ron Rivera, head coach of the Carolina Panthers decided to change all that after receiving some advice from fighter pilots. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal written by Kevin Clark, the pilots told him, that to promote honest relationships with his players, he needed to” remove rank” when addressing them. As a result, Coach Rivera now hangs out in the locker room as an equal rather than a boss. As Coach Rivera put it, “Unless you are exposed to them there, when they let their hair down, you won’t get to know them….” I pointed out back then that “the players absolutely love the arrangement and have responded by winning the first six games of the season.” Today, I’m convinced that Coach Rivera is really on to something, because the Panthers’ record is 17 wins against only one loss and they’ll be playing in the Super Bowl. The lesson here is that when you sincerely reach out to people, they respond in a big way.

Kindness can turn you into a Celebrity

CafeteriaA recent article by Kaila White, which appeared in The Arizona Republic, featured a very special dining hall cashier at the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University named Vicke Davis. According to the article, everyone knows her and loves her because she cares about the students who eat there. She knows their names, what year they are, what classed they’re taking and even where they went on vacation—she refers to these students as her “Barrett babies.” One day, last semester, a student named Quintin Woods asked her what her ideal vacation would be. She responded with “the Northern Lights;” she wanted to see the Aurora Borealis. This past week, Mr. Woods, along with about 100 other students presented Ms. Davis with a check for nearly $2,500 that they had collect from fellow students to pay for a trip to Canada so that she can finally see the Northern Lights. They also presented her with a camera so she can take pictures. This is a wonderful example which illustrates that if you love people, they will love you back. If you would like to see the warm hearted video of here being presented this check, here’s the link:

Shifting Loyalties

Herb TrueWatching the Duke Devils play Notre Dame in basketball recently gave me some mixed emotions. When I moved here to North Carolina I decided to root for UNC (Carolina) and I don’t want anybody to mess with them but when Duke is playing any other team I’ll generally root for Coach K. I believe in Coach K, and his players graduate with an education too. But then recently I watched Duke play Notre Dame and I found my loyalties bouncing back and forth across that floor just as fast as the ball did. I wanted both teams to win and the lead changed throughout the game. 

My loyalty to Notre Dame dates back to the eighties when Herb True, PhD would invite me into his classroom to make a presentation for his students at Notre Dame. I’m not sure what title they put on his class but it involved psychology, public speaking, interviewing for a great job and how to become successful. About once a month, Herb would call in one of his speaker friends and that class was always filled and always successful. Sometimes he would bring in some of the Saint Marys students also. 

Herb became my Mentor, my supporter, my friend and in time we both had a major impact on one another’s lives. Evidently my presentation and Herb’s class made a good mix because I was invited back again and again and again.

It was a great game to watch last week and my team won and the final score was 95-91. I can’t remember which team won but I know that at the end of the game I had a warm feeling inside.

HRC Supports Hillary Clinton

HRC Hillary ClintonThere is so much at stake for the LGBT community in the 2016 presidential election. Think of all the progress we’ve made under President Obama’s leadership and what could be rolled back

Plaques

PlaquesOne of the fringe benefits or some say “liabilities” of being a professional speaker is the fact that often just before or just after a speech there is the presentation and some kind of honor bestowed upon that speaker by the host organization or some other source. Sometimes University commencement speakers are presented honorary Doctorate Degrees in lieu of their fees or in addition to.  Sometimes the honor is just a fancy plaque. Over the years those plaques accumulate.  In Michigan I had a big box I would toss them into. Not Doctor Degrees, mind you, but plaques.  When asked what he might do if he gave up speaking the late Doctor Kenneth McFarland said, “I think I might open a plaque factory.”

Here are a couple of plaques I selected from my Plaque Collection

On October 31st,1986 then Governor Bill Clinton of the state of Arkansas, presented me with a plaque which appointed and commissioned me, Art Fettig, as an "Arkansas Traveler and an Ambassador of Goodwill from Arkansas to the people of other states, the people of nations beyond the borders of the United States or wherever this Ambassador of Arkansas may hereafter travel or reside." I was presented this certificate by Governor Bill Clinton who later became the President of the United States. 

I had just been introduced to a convention audience of a couple of thousand attendees. Then, onstage I was introduced to somebody I didn't know who read the plaque, handed it to me, the crowd cheered and I accepted the plaque, smiled, said “Thank you,”  and began my presentation. I hadn't a clue as to what was going on. I just wanted them to clear the stage hoping I could remember those opening lines of my talk I had worked hours on the night before.  Bill Clinton was reelected governor of Arkansas just three days later. 

On July 3 1990, then Governor Guy Hunt of the State of Alabama and Commander in Chief of the Alabama State Militia, appointed me his Aide-de-Camp in the Alabama State Militia with the Honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel and presented me with a certificate at a major convention where I was speaking that day. Again, I didn’t know the governor and didn’t have a clue as to what it was all about.  I might have been inducted into the Nazi Party for all I knew. Hell, it took me months in Korea to just make Private First Class in the U.S. Army and there I was a Lt. Colonel just from walking onstage to give a speech. That was on July Third, mind you and the Governor was probably racing around to a hundred Fourth of July Celebrations with  an arm full of plaques passing them out like candy apples at a State Fair prior to the November election. 

Now I just wish I hadn't thrown all those other plaques out when we moved from Michigan.  Who knows, I just might be indicted some day for belonging to some subversive organization I never heard of.

You Never Know When a Kind Person May Appear

MangoThis past Sunday, I was walking through the produce department at the Sprouts Farmers Market near my home when I overheard a conversation between a father and his preteen son. The boy asked his father, “What does a mango taste like?” The father, obviously trying to blow his son off said, “Like a mango.” The son came back with, “That doesn’t help.” The dad then came back with, “It’s sweet.” At this point, a man who worked in the produce department and had overheard the conversation said to the son, “Would you like to try one?” The son was shocked and so was the dad. The produce man then said, “Follow me and I’ll cut you a slice.” He then picked out a ripe red mango and cut pieces for both the son and the father. After they tasted it, they both raved about how good it was. At this point, the father asked the produce man to pick out four good mangos for them. When the episode was over, three people had smiles and the world had two new mango fans thanks to the kind thoughtfulness of the produce man.

Arizona Water Pipes Freezing

In the valley area, the Phoenix metro area, many home owners have to be concerned about frost and freezing.  Yes, it does get cold in the valley and many home owners need to take precautions for making sure their pipes don't freeze.

Chuck Bowman - Early Film at WXYZ-TV

Chuck BowmanIt's always interesting to see the early days of news coverage on film.  Even these smaller film cameras were instrumental in bringing broadcast news to the citizens of southeastern Michigan.

Controlling an Android Tablet with an Android Phone

DroidMote - Install the DroidMote Server app (Fee) on the tablet, then install the DroidMote Client (Free) on your cell phone.  Connect the two using your local Wi-Fi network via an IP address discovered in the settings of each app.

Tablet Remote - Tablet Remote is available from Google Play, you can pair your Table and Phone using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Free Speech TV

Free Speech TVFree Speech TV is a national, independent news network committed to advancing progressive social change. As the alternative to television networks owned by billionaires, governments and corporations, our network amplifies underrepresented voices and those working on the front lines of social, economic and environmental justice. 

Barack Obama - ...are sitting in this chamber.

Barack Obama - Joint Sessions of Congress"Some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting this chamber." - Barack Obama

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) Supplied Ticks to Kim Davis to Attend State of the Union Address

Jim JordanRep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) supplied tickets to Kim Davis, a woman who defied the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage.  Rep. Jim Jordan obviously encourages folks to break the laws of the United States and then uses this opportunity to mock the speech given by the President of United States.

State of the Union Address

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama delivers the seventh and final State of the Union Address from the Capitol Building, January 12th, 2015.

Life Advice from Mother Teresa

Mother TeresaThe Arizona Republic recently ran an Op-Ed piece about Mother Teresa. The article pointed out that The Vatican recently announced that Mother Teresa, who put together a home for the dying in the slums of Calcutta, will likely be canonized into sainthood in September. The article also pointed out that in 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. In her acceptance speech, she gave some simple but eloquent advice on how to make the world a better place. She said, “Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family. Smile at each other.” If each of us would commit to following this advice on a daily basis, the world would indeed be a much better place.

Getting Into Halifax

Art in the FogAnother foggy time in my life.

I've got three or four big notebooks crammed full of testimonial letters from clients and whenever I get to feeling insignificant I pull one out and read some of them.  I cherish some of them and just reading them I often go back in my memory and can see that audience as if I were there. The other day I read one from Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was from the Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company and every time I read it I recall that plane flight into Halifax.  I flew in from either Toronto or Montreal and it was a small craft of Air Canada.  We made the regular approach to landing and at the last second we aborted the landing and zoomed back up and taxied around.  As we were about to approach again the fellow in the seat next to me said, "No sweat. It is just the fog. Sometime it takes five or six passes before we hit a break in the fog. Just relax."  Sure enough on the third or perhaps the fourth try we did hit a little break in the fog and landed safely.  I think back on that landing every now and then when something isn't going smoothly in my life. Sometimes it takes three or four, yes even five or six attempts to find the right solution to a problem but most times if I keep cool and keep looking for solutions I will find a way to make a safe landing.  A positive attitude and a little time can often get you where you want to go in your life.

Clint Bolick Now On Arizona's Supreme Court

Conservative Clint Bolick appointed to Arizona Supreme Court by Governor Doug Ducey.  As a former litigant for the Goldwater Institute, his decisions need to be monitored regarding marriage equality especially for our native Americans located in Arizona.

Unless you’re unusually familiar with libertarian legal activists (or you are a Republican presidential candidate) you probably have never heard the name “Clint Bolick.” But Mr. Bolick has spent the last quarter century working — at times quite successfully — to make the law more friendly to anti-government conservatives. - ThinkProgress.org

Maricopa Traffic - Phoenix / Casa Grande Area

Highway 347 AccidentCurrent traffic conditions around the City of Maricopa.

Edison Pointe Shopping Center

Vintage Partners, the developer, is known for such projects as the Arizona ADOT/MVD headquarters in Flagstaff, Marana Center, re-development of The Corner on 7th. 

Vintage Partners is a commercial real estate development and investment company whose principals have extensive experience in commercial real estate acquisition, entitlement, development, disposition, leasing, and management.

They provide real solutions to challenging development opportunities. As a pioneer in P3 partnerships, They have earned a reputation for development that flourishes for all stakeholders even in the most complicated public and private scenarios.

For over thirty years, they have worked closely with landowners, tenants, government agencies, Indian communities, neighborhoods, and state and local governments to solve complex development challenges.

 


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