Veterans affairs

Sordid Affairs

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Valley News Issue: July 2014
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MIXED MEDIA: As badly as the recent Veterans affairs scandal has tarnished the agency’s reputation – secret waiting lists, 115-day wait times, deadly neglect – Americans still trust it more than Congress. According to a recent USA Today poll, one in five people think the government is doing an “excellent or good” job providing veterans with medical care, the VA’s lowest rating since 2007. Bleak numbers, to be sure – unless you happen to work alongside the Kyrsten Sinemas and Trent Franks of the world.

Percentage of Americans who hold a “great deal” or “a lot” of confidence in the following institutions:
Military: 71%
Organized religion: 48%
Medical system: 35%
TV news: 24%
VA: 20%
Criminal justice system: 20%
HMOs: 13%
Congress: 12%
Sources: Gallup, USA Today


PHMPF23Courting Tesla
The last several months have been a mixed bag for Arizona in the marquee-business-courtship department. We got the Apple plant. But we lost that fat government drone contract. And now electric car maker Tesla has pushed back its decision of where to locate its planned $4 billion battery plant, evidently torn between the five Western states in contention. Doesn’t Tesla CEO Elon Musk like what we’re selling? How we stack up against the competition:
California. Seriously? Enjoy that 98 percent income tax.
New Mexico. Try the carne adovada. And the blue meth. Delicious.
Nevada. Your employees will all be divorced gambling addicts by year’s end, but whatever.
Texas. Move your auto company to Texas? Such a cliché. You’re not a cliché. Are you, Elon?



Anchors Away?
We recently learned that Beverly Kidd, the engaging 3TV news anchor who more or less vanished from Valley airwaves three years ago, had resurfaced at WTKR NewsChannel 3 in Norfolk, Virginia – where she started her career two decades ago. Which got us to thinking: Whatever happened to our favorite, now-departed Valley news personalities of the ‘00s?

Beverly Kidd (3TV) Tried being a stay-at-home mom; wasn’t her bag. According to sources, the Old Dominion grad turned down an offer at ABC15 this spring to return to the East Coast.

Brad Perry (3TV) GMAZ’s resident morning cut-up landed at San Diego’s KUSI after parting ways with 3TV in 2009; an acoustic musician, he performs in the Valley on occasion.

Tammy Leitner (CBS 5) The award-winning investigative reporter – and former Survivor star – left the Valley two years ago; now winning immunity challenges at NBC5 in New York City.

Diana Sullivan (CBS 5) Instead of leaving the market, the former anchor left TV altogether after her last KPHO broadcast. She now reps high-end real estate.

Ilona Carson (FOX 10) The Amazonian morning host set in motion a revolving door of Hoon-D’Amico sidekicks after leaving Fox 10 in 2004. Now a late afternoon anchor in Houston.

Claudia DiFolco (3TV) You remember her. Feisty nightlife reporter. New Times cover girl. She’s a Hollywood actress now. Appeared in Saw 3D: The Final Chapter.

Tara Hitchcock (3TV) See here in PHOENIX magazine here.


“If true, these actions are appalling and inhumane. The federal government gave no notice to the states of these policies.”
– Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Prescott) in a letter to the House Oversight Committee, protesting the practice by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials of transporting illegal immigrants detained in Texas to Arizona and releasing them in a Tucson bus station. The Arizona Daily Star broke the story in late May.