Arizona Daily Sun Now Charging For Online Content

By Elisha Dorfsmith

The Arizona Daily Sun started charging a fee for online content today. The cost will be $9.00 a month for online subscribers and $2.00 a month for those who already subscribe to the paper.

News of the fee created quite a stir on social networking sites as visitors to the website were shocked to discover their access to news had been blocked. Many Daily Sun readers vowed to look for alternative free news sources.

In light of the Daily Sun fee, Flag Scanner issued the following statement:

“The Arizona Daily Sun has announced it will start charging for its online content regardless if you receive the newspaper. FLAGscanner will ALWAYS be FREE.”

Flagstaff Independent Press also responded to the news:

“The Daily Sun started charging to view online content today. Flagstaff Independent Press is free and will always be a free source for local news.”

Charging for online content has been very tempting to traditional media sources who have seen a massive decrease in subscribers over the past few years. Unfortunately for them, the general public has come to rely on free online news and many of their readers are more than happy to seek out other free sources.

This afternoon I received this message when I tried to view an article on the Daily Sun website. Even if you subscribe to the newspaper version of the paper you still have to pay a fee to view online content.


Gary Johnson Campaign Comes To Flagstaff

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Alan Grunberg has been driving the western Gary Johnson “Freedom Van” for the past three weeks up and down the west coast and through Nevada down into Arizona. The western van (affectionately named “Team Freedom”)  is one of four vans driving across the country promoting the campaign of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Thursday, Team Freedom spent the day in Flagstaff with grassroots campaign stops at NAU, Bookmans and the Weatherford Hotel.

“This is probably the best response I’ve got at a college yet.” Grunberg says as he hands out literature at his Gary Johnson table outside the university union at NAU. Even before he has his table set up a short line formes and students enthusiastically scoop up bumper stickers, posters and campaign signs and sign up for the campaign mailing list.

Other students admit that they like Gary Johnson but have reservations. One young student, skateboard in hand, confesses that he would vote for Johnson if he was not afraid it would help Obama get re-elected. “Obama cannot win again.” He says.

Later in the day, in the Bookmans parking lot, an older gentleman drives up and explains that he is a lifelong Democrat and while he likes Gary Johnson he is afraid that Gary will take votes from Obama and help hand the election to Romney.

“I’ve been getting responses like that everywhere I go.” Grunberg explains. “Both sides are afraid Gary Johnson will hurt them. But what we’ve seen is Gary tends to pull votes equally from the left and the right.”

Time will tell what kind of impact Gary Johnson will have on the overall election in November but in the meantime, Team Freedom will be crisscrossing the western states spreading the message of liberty.

Next stop: Kingman, Arizona.

The Gary Johnson Freedom Van turns a lot of heads on the highway as highlighted issues appeal to both sides of the political spectrum.

Don Peavey, a local Gary Johnson Supporter visits the Freedom Van in the Flagstaff Bookmans parking lot.

Alan Grunberg (center) hands campaign literature to passing students outside the student union at NAU.

Mohave County GOP Passes National Committeewoman Resolution

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Today the Mohave County Republican Party overwhelmingly passed a strong resolution objecting to the controversial National Committeewoman selection process and how the state GOP stripped duly elected delegates of their rightful vote. The resolution passed with only 1 no vote and 1 abstaining vote.

Earlier this month, Coconino County attempted to pass a similar resolution and eventually decided to send a letter to the state GOP expressing their concerns.

The Mohave County resolution reads:


Whereas: The Arizona Republican Party provided a convention to conduct the election of a National Committee Woman to the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Whereas: The state party election failed to conduct the runoff election for the National Committee Woman at the State Convention.

Whereas: The state party failed to conduct the runoff election for National Committee Woman via mailed ballots as promised at the State Convention.

Whereas: The State party has now made the decision to appoint a National Committee Woman via the Executive Committee.

Whereas: The State party has stripped the duly elected state delegates of their duties to elect a National Committee Woman.

Resolved: The party members of the Mohave County Republican Party object to the disregard for the duly elected delegates role in the election of the National Committeewoman position. We request that the three nominees from the State Convention; Karen Johnson, Sharon Giese, and Linda White be the only nominees to be considered as nominees for this position.

Coconino County GOP Expresses Concerns About State Convention

By Elisha Dorfsmith

A few weeks after Coconino County Republican Precinct Committeemen failed to pass a resolution condemning the state party for breaking their own rules, the Coconino County GOP as a whole has penned a letter to the state party listing their grievances about the State Convention.

Coconino County Republican Chair Diana Arendt sent the following to state party officers on September 5th:

September 5, 2012

Dear AZ Republican Party Officers:

Earlier this year The Coconino County Republican Committee elected 21 delegates to represent our county at the 2012 quadrennial state convention.   According to the Continuing Bylaws of the Arizona Republican Party, the purpose of this convention includes: “the election of delegates and alternates to the national convention, both at large and representing congressional districts, and the election of the National Committeeman and Committeewoman.” The election of National Committeewoman was not performed, unfortunately, and remains unconfirmed.

A letter to the EXCOMM members from Chairman Morrissey has been distributed with a plan to address the incomplete election of National Committeewoman.  We feel the solution presented is not an appropriate course of action.  We believe the elected delegates are being deprived of their vote, which in turn is being granted to a nominating committee of a select few.  Also, the representation on this committee is not divided in a way that reflects the delegate apportionment granted for the convention. 

There is a paragraph in the EXCOMM letter that says “all of the business listed in the convention call that had not been completed had “fallen to the ground.”  We feel that the election had been completed and only the runoff remained to be brought to the floor for a vote.  The two National Committeewoman candidates that would have been on the runoff ballot should be the only two candidates considered for the position at this time.  Allowing the nominating committee to consider candidates that did not complete the necessary steps to become National Committeewoman during the convention should not be acknowledged.

During the convention, Chairman Morrissey announced from the podium that there would be a subsequent vote for the runoff election.  Although this option would be costly we feel that it, or something similar, would be the most appropriate procedure.  Delegates should be granted their rightful vote in this election.  This could also be accomplished by allowing each County or Legislative District Chair to collect ballots from their own delegates.  Since the Counties or Legislative Districts are smaller in size, they would be easier to manage and the Chairs would be able to keep track of the ballots to prevent voting fraud.

In the future, we hope that the convention will allow for all business to be conducted in a timely manner.  Please consider the following suggestions:

– start the convention an hour later to allow those outside of Phoenix more time to arrive

– conduct the business and voting portion of the meeting first, scheduling speakers afterwards

– provide training for persons selected to administer and guide the voting process by County/LD

–  assign two people to gather ballots and to ensure that the ballot belongs to the person submitting it

–  conduct public logic and accuracy testing of voting equipment

The intent of this communication is to work together to build a stronger, more positive Party.  We hope that you find this letter and recommendations informative and constructive. 

Thank you,

The Coconino County Republican Committee

Chairman, Diana Arendt

Flag Council Approves “Sno Park” Lease

By Elisha Dorfsmith

In a 4-2 vote the Flagstaff City Council approved a land lease for a future snow park on McMillan Mesa at tonight’s council meeting. The lease passed after a motion proposed by Mayor Nabours removing hours of operation and lighting from the lease agreement was approved. The fine details of the operation will now be worked out through the CUP process in planning and zoning.

About 150 supporters and opponents of the snow park packed City Hall in a nearly 50/50 split. Many supporters arrived with children in tow wearing T-shirts that said “I want the Flagstaff Sno-Park.”

Opponents argued the usual traffic and lighting concerns with a few new concerns thrown in. One speaker claimed that using reclaimed water on the snow hill would hurt future generations by damaging the ovaries and testicles of the children playing there. Another woman said she did not like the idea of “listening to the sound of human beings sledding.”

At one point, a woman disagreed with how the meeting was being run and started causing a scene and yelling at the council “you guys suck, go to hell!” She was quickly escorted out by police.

Supporters saw things differently. They argued that every known sledding hill in town has been fenced to keep kids out and they believe kids need a safe place to play in the snow in the winter. A 14-year-old girl made the case for reclaimed water for snow making saying if it’s considered safe for the fields at her school it should be safe enough to sled on.

After tonight’s Council decision the Flagstaff Sno Park posted the following on their facebook page:

“Thank you to all of the supporters who came out tonight. The lease has been approved!
If you received one of our shirts tonight, it is good for one free admission to the park when it opens. Again, Thank You!”