Metro Phoenix is suddenly in the running to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, scheduled to begin Aug. 24.
The opportunity presented itself after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said convention attendance would need to be limited and convention-goers required to practice social distancing due to COVID-19. While the Tar Heel State GOP scrambles to rescue the convention, President Trump announced via Twitter (how else?) the RNC would begin looking for alternate locations.
Enter: the Valley of the Sun.
Metro Phoenix is reportedly now among a shortlist of alternate RNC locations, including Orlando and Jacksonville, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans, La.; Atlanta and Savannah, Ga.; and Las Vegas, Nev. GOP representatives are expected to visit the Valley shortly to scout possible host sites.
There are a handful of locations in Arizona that meet baseline requirements in terms of proximity to a major airport, tens of thousands of available hotel rooms, security apparatus, and a venue with seating capacity of at least 15,000. In downtown, the Phoenix Convention Center and Talking Stick Resort Arena are possible sites. As are State Farm Stadium and Gila River Arena, in Glendale.
While Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward and U.S. Reps. Debbie Lesko and Andy Biggs are among those lobbying for Arizona’s selection by the RNC, there are major hurdles. Hosting a major political convention is a years-long logistical undertaking; the 2020 RNC is less than 90 days away. Add to the compressed schedule the continued challenges of a pandemic, plus large-scale political protests and demonstrations sure to accompany a Trump-led convention.
We haven’t even mentioned the heat. But, yes, the heat.
So … does Arizona even want the 2020 RNC? Governor Ducey’s recruiting pitch … well, let’s just say we’ve seen him more enthusiastic: “The President is always welcome in Arizona. I’ve got to be straight up with you … I’ve been focused on the pandemic, the protest, public safety and wildfires.”
There’s no word on how quickly the Republic National Committee may select an alternate selection. But, in this race, the smart money is sticking with the incumbent: Charlotte.
Veridus Clients in the news
We get it.
After a couple months of relative seclusion, you’re probably eager to see friends and extended family, enjoy a favorite meal out of the house, and finally get that haircut you’ve been putting off. As Arizona begins to reopen, it may be tempting to put the COVID-19 pandemic out of your mind.
COVID-19 remains a serious public health threat — invisible, deadly and highly contagious. The Arizona Department of Health Services continues to report hundreds of new positive cases each day, and approximately 1,000 Arizona fatalities have been attributed to this virus in less than three months.
Just as important, we don’t know what comes next. Will numbers spike as Arizona re-opens? Does a second peak loom with the return of cooler weather in the fall?
On behalf of nearly 100,000 Arizona registered nurses — many of whom continue to work on the front lines of COVID-19 — we urge you to be careful. We can’t know the future, but each of us can minimize our risk. Here’s how:
- Keep your distance: This is no time to break the six-feet-apart routine. Work from home if you are able; if not, limit your contact with others by conducting group meetings virtually, and taking the stairs or waiting for an empty elevator. During your leisure time, try to visit public places like grocery stores, restaurants or shops during off-peak hours.
- Wear a mask: A growing body of evidence says wearing a facial covering in public is one of the best things we can do to protect ourselves and those around us from COVID-19. A facial covering is especially important any time social-distancing isn’t practical.
- Wash your hands: Your parents were right: Clean hands really are one of the best ways to stay healthy and prevent spread of illness. Soap, warm water and count to 20.
- Use common sense: This is a biggie. Stay home if you don’t feel well, of course, but remember that even people who don’t have symptoms can be contagious. That means you should do whatever you can to limit your exposure. Walk into a restaurant that’s ignoring distancing guidelines? Leave immediately. Continue to support those businesses that are following public health guidelines by limiting occupancy, sanitizing regularly, and taking other steps to protect customers. And remember that just because you can visit a busy public place right now doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Evaluate your own risk profile and decide how much of a chance you’re willing to take.
[…] Editor’s note: Robin Schaeffer is the executive director of the Arizona Nurses Association.
A lingering dispute over construction and non-golf entertainment activities in one of Arizona’s wealthiest neighborhoods has turned increasingly sour,with roughly two dozen homeowners and related entities such as family trusts now facing a lawsuit by the owners of two golf courses near the Arizona Biltmore resort.
JDM Golf, which owns the Adobe and Links courses that wind among multimillion-dollar homes near the Biltmore in Phoenix, in April sued the homeowners and related family trusts and limited liability companies. The suit details seven allegations, ranging from breach of contract to invasion of privacy and defamation, though not all defendants were sued on each count.
The homeowners claim their criticism of JDM’s plans to expand non-golf activities, such as weddings, corporate conferences, kickball tournaments and drone light shows, is protected by the First Amendment. They also hope to find support from an Arizona law that aims to expedite dismissal of legal actions brought by developers and other deep-pocket interests against homeowners and others who exercise their right to air grievances.
“They’re targeting the people who have spoken out at hearings, commented on it or written about it,” said Richard Arroyo, president of a Biltmore homeowners association, literally moments before he was told to leave a small restaurant run by the golf courses while speaking with a reporter. “They’re looking for ways to punish me as if it’s a personal campaign.”
Jo Anne Rosensteel, another homeowner named in the lawsuit, fears she could “lose everything” just by taking a stand. “I’ve done nothing malicious to them at all but voice my opinion that I’m not in favor of this,” she said.
[…] The legal action, actually a countersuit to a suit brought by a homeowner against the company, asserts that JDM has suffered actual harm and seeks unspecified damages, including attorney expenses.
JDM is a business unit of JDM Partners, owned by sports celebrity Jerry Colangelo and developers David Eaton and Mel Shultz, the latter of whom also lives in the Biltmore neighborhood. Colangelo is one of the Valley’s most recognizable business figures from his tenure as the former chairman and CEO of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks. JDM bought the golf courses in December 2009 in bankruptcy court.
JDM Partners didn’t respond to specific questions for this article, or comment on the litigation, but it issued a statement asserting that “a small group of Biltmore residents sued JDM Partners to prevent JDM from building a new clubhouse and improving the parking situation” at the courses.
“JDM is countersuing the group, under the same lawsuit, in an effort to defend itself,” the statement said. […]
West Valley View
Doctors are using technology to ramp up “house calls.”
And, without leaving their homes, patients are discussing everything from acne to X-rays with medical experts.
During social distancing restrictions, patients have continued doctor visits without leaving home, as more care providers are turning to telehealth. Doctors and physicians are now conducting everything from urgent care to wellness checkups either over the phone or on a video chat.
Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order March 25 expanding telemedical care across the state and creating a telemedical task force.
[…] Valleywise Health in Glendale was quick to transition to this operation by creating a platform while news developed about COVID-19.
The Valleywise program doesn’t require a download and connects patients with their doctors through video or audio chats at no extra cost.
Dr. Tony Dunnigan, chief medical information officer at Valleywise, Health said telehealth care has allowed Valleywise to provide care to more people than before. Since the program was launched within the last month, Valleywise has already had 4,000 virtual visits.
“A lot of visits can be very efficiently done virtually,” Dunnigan said. “We’ve gone with a very lightweight chat platform. It literally works on any device with a camera and web browser. If you’ve got a device like that with Wi-Fi enabled, you’re set.”
He said that before the pandemic the office had about a 25% no-show rate from patients, due to either a transportation barrier or a busy scheduling. Now, with telehealth care, Dunnigan said that percentage has decreased dramatically into single digits. […]
Arizona Daily Star
Desert Diamond Casinos previewed what operations will look like as Casino del Sol opened its doors Wednesday following coronavirus closures that lasted for more than two months.
Players at both Desert Diamond and Casino del Sol can expect to see a reduction in available slot machines, the required use of masks, and social distancing measures in the form of signage, floor markings and the installation of Plexiglas barriers.
Cleaning efforts have also been stepped up at the gaming centers with special attention to high-contact areas and hand sanitizing stations throughout. To allow for daily deep cleaning, Desert Diamond and Casino del Sol have reduced operating hours.
On opening day, Friday, June 5, Desert Diamond’s hours will be 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thereafter, Sundays through Thursdays, hours will be 10 a.m. to midnight; and on Fridays and Saturdays they will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. All guests will have their temperatures checked before entering.
At Desert Diamond, those who don’t have a mask, will be provided one. Masks can be removed only while eating, drinking and smoking.
Select dining venues and bars will be available when Desert Diamond reopens, however, the hotel, Monsoon Nightclub and bingo will be closed.
Cigna Expands and Extends Its COVID-19 Relief Efforts for Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans
NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Effective immediately, global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) is expanding its support for customers during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic by eliminating cost-sharing for all primary care, specialty care and behavioral health care in-office or telehealth visits for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care. This expansion applies to all U.S. customers enrolled in Cigna’s Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans, including those sold on the Individual Marketplace. Additionally, Cigna is making enhancements to its Medicare Advantage meal plan benefits to further protect customers during this pandemic and underscore the company’s continued commitment to enabling access to simple, affordable and predictable health care.
“COVID-19 has affected all age groups – physically, financially and emotionally,” said Brian Evanko, President of Cigna’s Government Business. “We want everyone to focus on getting and staying well – including those being tested for and diagnosed with the virus and their loved ones – and not having to worry about how they will access or afford the care and services they need.”
[…] Effective immediately, Cigna is waiving all cost-sharing for in-network medical or behavioral telehealth visits for customers in the U.S. covered by Medicare Advantage and Individual and Family Plans. This waiver further supports customers and the medical community as we work together in preventing and treating those with COVID-19, as well as continuing to provide alternatives to access for all other health and wellness needs. […]
RESTON, Va., June 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Carahsoft Technology Corp., The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®, announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named nine company executives to its esteemed 2020 Women of the Channel list. Recognizing the unique strengths, vision and achievements of a select group of women, the annual list acknowledges channel leaders for their contributions to channel advocacy, growth, thought leadership and dedication to the IT channel.
“We are honored to have CRN recognize the outstanding efforts of these nine influential leaders in the public sector IT market,” said Craig P. Abod, Carahsoft President. “These executives exemplify exceptional leadership, focus and commitment to the success of their teams and Carahsoft’s government customers and ecosystem of reseller partners.”
Bethany Blackwell, Rebecca Brennan, Tina Chiao, Maryam Emdadi, Tiffany Goddard, Natalie Gregory, Laura Markovich, Annie Marshall and Sehar Wahla were recognized by CRN for their eminence as top leaders, achievers, visionaries and for their dedication to the channel.
[…] Read more about Carahsoft’s 2020 CRN Women of the Channel nominees here.
“CRN’s 2020 Women of the Channel list recognizes an accomplished group of influential women leaders whose strategic vision and unique achievements accelerate channel growth through cultivated partnerships, innovative thought leadership, and unwavering dedication to the IT channel,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “We are proud to honor them for their accomplishments and contributions to driving channel success.”
[…] The 2020 Women of the Channel list will be featured in CRN® Magazine on June 8 and online at www.CRN.com/WOTC.
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In other news …
PHOENIX — Arizona Democrats on Tuesday requested a special session to address police reform after the death of George Floyd while in custody sparked ongoing unrest in the country.
Eight Senate and House Democrats sent a letter to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey calling for the session, which would discuss body camera usage, deadly use of force investigations, a police officer database and more.
[…] Democrat leaders brought up police killings in Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa as other reasons a special session is needed.
Dion Johnson was also mentioned in the letter.
[…] Phoenix protesters have been citing Johnson’s name along with Floyd’s during nightly demonstrations opposing police violence against minorities.
Rep. Reginald Bolding, one of the authors of the letter advocating for a special session, wrote a letter Monday to DPS Director Col. Heston Silbert seeking more transparency in the case.
[…] The Arizona Senate voted to adjourn on May 26 but at least one special session is expected to be called to address ongoing coronavirus issues. […]
Arizona could rebound well economically from the coronavirus-induced recession, say some of the state’s business and education leaders.
States like Arizona with modern infrastructure, a well-educated and growing labor force, technological prowess and a pro-business political outlook will be able to react better than others, said speakers at a webinar hosted by East Valley Partnership that had a pep-talk tone.
“The opportunities for Arizona are unbelievable” with Arizona having “maybe the greatest potential of any state,” said Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University and one of the webinar participants.
The coronavirus pandemic, he said, will hasten adoption of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, health care provided remotely and other innovations where Arizona is competitive.
“We have to realize the old economy is gone,” Crow said.
A well-trained labor force and strong infrastructure will be the “two key differentiators” helping Arizona, said Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
[…] Factors that could encourage more businesses to set up or expand operations here, he said, include available labor, good telecommunications and other infrastructure, affordable housing and access to large markets such as California.
With the coronavirus shifting millions of workers across the nation to at-home jobs, speakers said the signals remain mixed as to whether demand for office space near downtown Phoenix and other U.S. urban centers will recover.
But that still could make suburban areas of metro Phoenix, with relatively modest housing prices, attractive for many. […]