Watching the signs along the journey

Pride and joy may be the best bet of all

And now, sports fans, we face a dilemma. If the Cardinals stay on the winning track they could make it all the way to the Super Bowl. If they do, it will be the first time a team will play in the big game in their home town. Great, except economic experts are saying that will throw the economy for a loss. It would mean close to 100,000 fewer visitors since there would be one less team from out of town. The cost of a home team in the Super Bowl: perhaps many million of dollars lost. The benefit in community pride and joy: priceless.

If we can dream it we can do it

We’re all constantly looking for innovative and creative ideas to develop and make happen. Which is why I applaud ASU president Michael Crow urging the community of science fiction writers to step up their game, broaden their vision, stretch their creativity. Chances are good, that if someone can envision and dream up a wild new idea, somebody later just might turn it into realty. Decades ago, it was Dick Tracy’s watch, driverless cars, and unmanned airplanes. All crazy fiction, now today’s reality. Crow’s call is a reminder to us all to let wild imaginations spur tomorrow’s innovation. I’m in. Beam me up, Scotty.

Repairing an image, one step at a time

Arizona has taken a lot of hits to its image recently, and there remain lingering perceptions about who we are. Among them: the state is old (full of retirees) and dumb (education is awful). But consider two recent reports. One from Congressional Research that says the 25- to 34-year-old age group has grown by 130 percent from 1970 to 2010, one of the fastest rates in the nation. The other from Zillow research. It says there are 107,000 college students in Phoenix – more than Washington D.C., Denver, Atlanta or Seattle. How does the state start repairing its image? One fact at a time.

Working hard, feeling better

Another Labor Day has come and gone, as we saluted the value of hard work and those who toil, and took a brief break in our busy lives. So I took advantage and did a little work that day and washed the car. Not at the $3 car wash, as usual. But in the driveway, the old-fashioned way. And a funny thing appeared: neighbors! People I never see given our walled-off yards and hectic lifestyles. People stopping to chat. Getting reacquainted. Neighborhood fellowship. What a reminder. Rolling up your sleeves for a little hard work, indeed, has many benefits.

Words nice, action better

Usually, apologizing when you are at fault for something is a good thing. Two of the most powerful but underused words are “I’m sorry,” right up there with “thank you.” But when the VA finally decided to apologize this week it ran hollow. Apologies are successful if they are issued quickly and come with sincerity. The VA fumbled it on both counts. Apologies ultimately work if you learn from your mistakes and implement a plan to ensure you never repeat them. We can only hope the VA manages to do that.

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