Monday, May 30, 2011

Mighty Optical Illusions

Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

Steve Benson Cartoon


Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

Mackay: Learn the ABCs of negotiating

As a kid, I practiced the art of negotiating daily with my parents and teachers. I continued to hone my skills as I grew, eventually buying a small struggling envelope company. Over decades as a business owner and salesman, I've probably spent as much time in negotiations as any other part of my job. I know you can't negotiate anything unless you absolutely know the market. And I always let the other person talk first.

Those valuable lessons have become my ABCs of negotiating:

A is for authority. Always, before you start any negotiation, look beyond the title and make sure that the person you're dealing with is in a position of authority to sign off on the agreement.

B is for beware the naked man who offers you his shirt. If the customer can't or won't pay what the deal is worth, you don't need the sale.

C is for contracts. The most important term in any contract isn't in the contract. It's dealing with people who are honest. Whenever someone says, "Forget the contract, our word is good enough," maybe yours is, but his or hers usually isn't.

D is for dream. A dream is always a bargain, no matter what you pay for it.

E is for experience. When a person with money meets a person with experience, the person with the experience winds up with the money, and the person with the money winds up with the experience.

F is for facts. Gather all the facts you can on both sides of the negotiation. Remember, knowledge does not become power until it is used.

G is for guts. It takes plenty of guts to hold firm on your position and just as many to know when to make concessions.

H is for honesty. Not only is it the best policy, it is the only policy. Your reputation for honest dealings will keep doors open that get slammed in others' faces.

I is for information. In the long run, instincts are no match for information.

J is for judgment. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is.

K is for know about no. If you can't say yes, it's no. Period.

L is for leaks. The walls have ears. Don't discuss any business where it can be overheard by others. Almost as many deals have gone down in elevators as elevators have gone down.

M is for maybe - the worst answer you can get.

N is for never say no for the other person. Make them turn down the deal, not you.

O is for options. Keep your options open, because the first negotiation isn't usually the only negotiation.

P is for positioning. They can always tell when you need the sale more than they need the deal.

Q is for questions. Question every angle, motive and outcome. Not out loud necessarily, but so that you are satisfied that you understand the opposition's strategy and can respond.

R is for reality check. In any negotiation, the given reason is seldom the real reason. When someone says no based on price, money is almost never the real reason.

S is for smile - and say no, no, no until your tongue bleeds. If the deal isn't right for you, stay calm, stay pleasant and just say no.

T is for timing. People go around all their lives saying, "What should I buy? What should I sell?" Wrong questions: "When should I buy? When should I sell?" Timing is everything.

U is for ultimatum. Never give an ultimatum unless you mean it.

V is for visualization. If you can visualize your presentation, the objections that will be tossed back at you and your response to those, it means you are already ahead of the game.

W is for win-win. A negotiation doesn't have to have a winner and a loser. Everyone should come out winning something.

X is for (e)xit strategy. Decide in advance when you will withdraw from negotiating, when you can no longer achieve what you need or when the other side cannot be trusted to negotiate fairly.

Y is for yield. What will this deal yield for you? What will you have to yield to make it work?

Z is for zero in on what you want, what you need and what you are willing to concede.

Mackay's Moral: Agreements prevent disagreements.

by Harvey Mackay May 30, 2011



Mackay: Learn the ABCs of negotiating

For medical marijuana, some doses delectable

If Ganja Gourmet's plans to expand its edible-marijuana business to Phoenix come through, medical-pot users can expect it to be more of a cafe than a pharmacy.

Its Denver location is stocked with tamales, pot pot pies and mousse cakes, designed to cater to those who would rather eat than smoke their medicine.

"It's safer than smoking and more socially acceptable," said owner Steve Horwitz, who also believes there are health advantages to eating medical marijuana vs. smoking it.


Horwitz hopes to open a branch in the Valley by late 2011, though it's unclear when the first marijuana dispensary will open.

Challenges abound to the implementation of Arizona's new medical-marijuana law.

On Friday, the director of the state's health department temporarily halted plans to begin accepting applications to run dispensaries this week pending a federal court ruling on the new state law.

In other states with medical-marijuana laws, edible marijuana products are a burgeoning industry, ramped up by a foodie revolution.

Patients shouldn't look for 1960s-era brownies with the consistency of grass clippings and a bitter aftertaste. Modern-day edibles, instead of simply mixing weed into batter, are prepared with pot-infused oils or butter, known as cannabutter.

Edible dispensaries sell pot-infused candy, coffee, marinara sauce and hummus, along with cookbooks and kitchen gadgets.

Horwitz opened Ganja in 2009 as a sit-down restaurant where customers noshed on pot cheesecake and passed joints around the dinner table. Four months after opening, Denver passed a law prohibiting public consumption of marijuana, forcing Ganja to morph into a takeout eatery.

Eating vs. smoking marijuana is a personal preference, but each has its pros and cons that extend beyond the social benefits.

Edible highs offer stronger, longer relief to those who turn to pot to ease the nausea of chemotherapy, agitation of Alzheimer's and excruciating back pain.

"When you eat marijuana, the effects last longer. . . . If you smoke it, you have a spike in the effect that goes away quickly," said Chris Conrad, author of the book "Hemp for Health." The San Francisco Bay-area author has also been appointed as a medical-cannabis expert by state and federal courts in California.

If eaten in the right dose, marijuana-infused foods help patients avoid Grateful Dead-strength stupors that make ordinary tasks difficult. Unlike the fast-hitting high of smoking, edibles take about 40 minutes to take hold and last from six to eight hours.

Conrad said eating marijuana is not always the best option.

"When you smoke it, it goes directly into your bloodstream, versus eating it and going through the digestive tract," he said. "Everybody reacts differently depending on their eating cycle."

For example, if a person eats a full meal and then eats marijuana, it may take an hour or more to feel the effect, not a good thing if they're using medicinal marijuana to sleep.

If baking is a science, infusing foods with pot ranks as a superscience. Measure wrong, and instead of simply ending up with a rubbery pie crust or rock-hard frosting, dispensary bakers could face criminal charges.

State law allows patients with a medical-marijuana certificate to have up to 2.5 ounces a month.

Officials will be on the lookout for patients nibbling on pizza and cupcakes past the legal limit, said Carol Vack of the Arizona Department of Health Services. A statewide registry will track dosages.

"Every ounce will be measured and accounted for, whether it's in marijuana to smoke or cookies to eat for dessert," said Allan Sobol, spokesman for Arizona Dispensary University in Phoenix, a one-stop school serving the medical-marijuana industry with classes on growing to cooking.

For chefs like Herb Seidel of California, cookbook author and lecturer on the medical-marijuana conference circuit, the challenge of edible cuisine is creating foods that taste as good as they medicate.

"I use what I learned as a restaurant chef, with what I learned smoking pot to help me cope with the aches and pains of standing for hours in the kitchen, to create foods the home cook will really, really like," said the former restaurant chef.

His repertoire includes dishes such as oysters Italiano, grilled shrimp with tequila salsa, portobello-mushroom pizza and fresh-peach cobbler.

Marijuana, unlike basil and tarragon, can be a tricky herb. More specifically, the medicinal properties of the herb disappear if cooked too hot and too long.

"You need the right temperature, the right flavors and the right dose to take the edge off pain, but not enough to knock you out for 18 hours," said Seidel, who bills himself as Cannabis Chef and sells a four-pack video marijuana-cooking tutorial on his cookwithherb.com website.

Despite culinary advances, smoking bests eating as the medical-delivery system of choice. Experts credit the "make love not war" generation of pot smokers, saying those who smoked pot in their youth for fun are likely to smoke as adults for medicine.

"Edibles are a niche," said Judy Spillman, manager of Arizona Passionate Alternatives, a Tempe clinic that plans to specialize in providing medical-marijuana prescriptions.

"But it's a niche that is only going to grow because eating marijuana is a healthy, efficient, odorless and less stigmatized way to medicate."

by Karen Fernau The Arizona Republic May. 30, 2011 12:00 AM




For medical marijuana, some doses delectable

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lawsuit stalls medical-pot dispensaries

Arizona's health director put medical-marijuana dispensaries on hold just days before he was to begin accepting applications, citing the lawsuit filed by the state in federal court Friday to determine whether the new law conflicts with federal drug statutes.

State Department of Health Services Director Will Humble is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, along with Gov. Jan Brewer and state Department of Public Safety Director Robert Halliday. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment regarding whether compliance with Arizona's voter-approved medical-marijuana law shields state employees, patients, dispensary owners and others from federal prosecution.

Brewer's office had said the governor would issue an executive order to halt the dispensary-permit process, set to begin Wednesday. But Humble said on his weekly blog and on Twitter that the state Attorney General's Office had advised him not to accept applications while the legal questions are pending.

"Whether we will accept and process dispensary applications at a later date will depend on the outcome of the legal action," Humble wrote.

The state will continue to issue medical-marijuana user-ID cards.

There likely will be more legal action, as attorneys for potential dispensary owners have indicated they will sue.

Proposition 203, approved by voters in November, allows for lawsuits in Superior Court if the state fails to implement the law.

"I don't know if it will happen Wednesday, but it will happen," said attorney Ryan Hurley, whose firm represents more than a dozen potential dispensary applicants.

The state's lawsuit, filed late Friday by Attorney General Tom Horne, names U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke as defendants, along with voters who supported the ballot measure, patients and would-be dispensary owners.

It contends that letters sent over the past several months by federal prosecutors have cast doubt on the legality of Arizona's law and the liability of state employees and others who abide by it. Arizona is among 16 states with medical-marijuana laws, and all of them conflict with federal law, which outlaws the cultivation, sale and use of pot.

"Failure to faithfully implement the (Arizona Medical Marijuana Act) exposes plaintiffs to legal action," the lawsuit says. "The actions of these government defendants serve to undermine efforts of the plaintiffs to implement state law in accordance with the will of the people of the state of Arizona."

Burke has said there is no change in the long-held federal policy of not going after people who use medical marijuana in "clear and unambiguous compliance" with state laws. But he and other federal prosecutors also have reiterated that marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

The case puts Arizona in the spotlight, attorneys say, because every state that has a medical-pot law or is contemplating one struggles with the same state-federal conflict. The American Civil Liberties Union has signed on to represent one of the defendants, arguing that the Controlled Substances Act gives states flexibility to adopt their own drug laws. Three appellate cases in California back that argument.

by Mary K. Reinhart The Arizona Republic May. 28, 2011 12:00 AM



Lawsuit stalls medical-pot dispensaries

Oddity is a commodity at Phoenix Comicon

Fly

Jesse James Comics presents a Zenescope Entertianment signing event

The creative team from "Fly" will be signing 500 Pre-Released copies of Issue #1 from 3-4pm on Saturday, May 28th at Phoenix Comicon.

Read more about the Fly in USA Today.

These copies of Ebas' Cover A of Fly #1 will only be available at Phoenix Comicon two weeks before they hit shelves and will include a Certificate of Authenticity!

This cover is only $3.00 and will only be available during the signing times and not again until it's official release on June 8th, 2011.

Pick up Issue #1 of Fly at tables 848, 850, 852 and 854 and get signatures from Raven Gregory (writer and creator), Ebas (Cover A Artist), Eric J (series artist), Nei (series colorist), and Mike DeBalfo (Phoenix Exclusive Cover Artist)."

Phoenix Comicon, Mesa Convention Center, Spiderman

Michael Schennum/The Arizona Republic .


Spiderman checks out some comics at the Phoenix Comicon at the Mesa Convention Center

PHOENIX - The Comicon sensation hit the Valley this weekend and appears to be almost twice as big as the year before.

It's a place where oddity is a commodity.


So many people showed up on Saturday, the fire marshal had to limit the number of entries by mid-afternoon.


“It’s a chance for me to be a celebrity until reality hits me in the face this weekend,” said one man dressed as Wolverine.


Comicon, for the unfamiliar, is a place where fans of pop culture -- from horror, to comics, to science fiction -- dress up and let out their inner demon.

“We come every year,” said Rhonda Winseck who was dressed up with her entire family. “It’s fun to walk around and see all the people.”


Comicon is best known for its convention in San Diego but its numbers are doubling every year in Phoenix.


“It’s for people who felt left out and now have a place to celebrate pop culture,” said Jillian Squires who runs marketing for the show.

She thinks more than 28,000 visitors will attend over the weekend. The cost is $30 to $40.


The featured guest was Mr. Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy, from Star Trek fame.


Star Trek and Star Wars are the biggest draws, but it doesn’t stop there.


It’s a place where you can buy a gift and then speak to the person who created it, from comic books, masks, posters and so on.




by Brian Webb ABC15.com May 28, 2011
Oddity is a commodity at Phoenix Comicon

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Arizona medical-pot dispensaries put on hold

Arizona's health director put medical-marijuana dispensaries on hold just days before he was to begin accepting applications, citing the lawsuit filed by the state in federal court Friday to determine whether the new law conflicts with federal drug statutes.

State Department of Health Services Director Will Humble is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, along with Gov. Jan Brewer and state Department of Public Safety Director Robert Halliday. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment as to whether compliance with Arizona's voter-approved medical pot law shields state employees, patients, dispensary owners and others from federal prosecution.

Brewer's office had said the governor would issue an executive order to halt the dispensary permit process, set to begin Wednesday. But Humble said on his weekly blog and on Twitter that the state Attorney General's Office had advised him not to accept applications while the legal questions are pending.

"Whether we will accept and process dispensary applications at a later date will depend on the outcome of the legal action," Humble wrote.

The state will continue to issue medical-marijuana user-ID cards.

There likely will be more legal action, as attorneys for potential dispensary owners have indicated they will sue.

Proposition 203, approved by voters in November, allows for lawsuits in Superior Court if the state fails to implement the law.

"I don't know if it will happen Wednesday, but it will happen," said attorney Ryan Hurley, whose firm represents more than a dozen potential dispensary applicants and at least two defendants.

The lawsuit, filed late Friday by Attorney General Tom Horne, names U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke as defendants, along with voters who supported the ballot measure, patients and would-be dispensary owners.

It contends that letters sent over the past several months by federal prosecutors have cast doubt on the legality of Arizona's law and the liability of state employees and others who abide by it. Arizona is among 16 states with medical-marijuana laws, and all of them conflict with federal law, which outlaws the cultivation, sale and use of pot.

"Failure to faithfully implement the (Arizona Medical Marijuana Act) exposes plaintiffs to legal action," the lawsuit says. "The actions of these government defendants serve to undermine efforts of the plaintiffs to implement state law in accordance with the will of the people of the state of Arizona."

Burke has said there is no change in the long-held federal policy of not going after people who use medical marijuana in "clear and unambiguous compliance" with state laws. But he and other federal prosecutors also have reiterated that marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

The case puts Arizona in the spotlight, attorneys say, because every state that has a medical-pot law or is contemplating such a law struggles with the same state-federal conflict. The national ACLU has signed on to represent one of the defendants, arguing that the Controlled Substances Act allows flexibility for states to adopt their own drug laws, and three appellate cases in California back that argument.

by Mary K. Reinhart The Arizona Republic May. 27, 2011 07:24 PM



Arizona medical-pot dispensaries put on hold

Arizona officials to file suit over medical-pot program

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne will file a lawsuit by week's end, asking a federal judge to weigh in on the legality of Arizona's Medical Marijuana Act and whether those who manufacture or distribute pot under the law are subject to federal prosecution.

Gov. Jan Brewer said Tuesday she directed Horne to file suit for "declaratory judgment" because of a letter written earlier this month by U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. It is likely that she will put portions of the program on hold in the coming days, pending a legal ruling.

On May 2, Burke warned Arizona Department Health Services Director Will Humble that the state's new medical-marijuana law conflicted with the federal Controlled Substances Act and that "growing, distributing and possessing marijuana, in any capacity, other than as a federally authorized research program is a violation of federal law."


Burke added: "Compliance with Arizona laws and regulations does not provide a safe harbor, nor immunity from federal prosecution."

Brewer said Burke's words left her fearing for state employees, including those tasked with issuing dispensary licenses and qualified-patient and caregiver registration cards.

"I just cannot sit on the sidelines and allow the federal government to put my state employees at risk," Brewer said.

She added: "(That) letter really muddied the waters. ... I intend to get answers because peoples' lives and careers are at stake."

Burke's letter did not specifically mention state employees, but Brewer said it's clear they could be prosecuted.

Proposition 203, which legalized medical-marijuana use for people with certain debilitating conditions, was approved by voters in November and took effect April 14. The program is not yet fully up and running.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has issued more than 3,600 "qualified patient" cards and is scheduled to begin accepting dispensary applications June 1.

When asked whether she intended to instruct DHS to not issue dispensary permits, Brewer said, "we are moving in that direction."

Her spokesman, Matthew Benson, said later that the governor's advice to DHS on the subject was "imminent, in the next few days."

Brewer and Horne said Friday that they did not know how long it would take the courts to rule, and they would not take a position on the voter-approved law during the legal proceedings.

"We will not take a substantive position, either to thwart the will of voters ... nor to try to impose our own policy views," Horne said. "We are simply saying to the federal court, 'We need a resolution of these competing pressures.'"

Ryan Hurley, a partner at the Rose Law Group, which represents would-be dispensary owners, questioned the assertion that the suit was not political move.

"If they were in favor of protecting the voters' rights, they would be filing this action stating that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act should be implemented," Hurley said, adding that his clients already have made a "significant investment" in their business.

Arizona is not the only state grappling with this issue.

Earlier this month, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee halted the state's medical-marijuana dispensary program after the U.S. attorney for his district threatened to prosecute those involved with licensing "compassion centers" there.

There has been similar correspondence between federal prosecutors, attorneys general and governors in several other states, and dispensary and greenhouse raids in Washington, Montana, Colorado and California.

by Ginger Rough The Arizona Republic May. 24, 2011 06:35 PM



Arizona officials to file suit over medical-pot program

Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

This week's caption winner (May 28): Q: What's your sign? A: Made in China, just like yours  -John J. Hoffman, Gilbert


Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

May 24, 2011


Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

Mackay: Everyone has to start somewhere

Comedian Jim Carrey took a job as a janitor at a tire factory at age 15 when his father lost his job. He also worked as a security guard. To relieve his stress, he visited local comedy clubs, which instilled his love of comedy - and prepared him for a blockbuster career.

Everyone has to start somewhere. Like Carrey, I started by pushing a broom at an envelope-manufacturing company and worked my way into sales in six months. My career path took a different turn, but all in all, I'd say my humble start led to a life I love.

You never know where your career will go once you get your foot in the door and learn about different businesses.

Many famous people started out very small before they hit it big. The main thing is they started and got experience. Pride didn't get in the way - they had to pay the rent, eat and work toward their ultimate goals.

Consider these examples:

Before Brad Pitt was a leading man in the movies, he worked various odd jobs, including driving limos, moving refrigerators and dressing up as a giant chicken to attract customers to a local restaurant.

Another one-time janitor is Stephen King. His job was cleaning a girls locker room, which later became his inspiration for his best-selling novel "Carrie."

Cooking-show hostess Rachael Ray started out working at the candy counter at Macy's in New York. She later managed the fresh-foods department, which helped pave the way to her sizzling cooking career.

Donald Trump collected soda bottles for the deposit money and later went around with rent collectors to learn about that business. Do you suppose that's where he got the idea for the "Apprentice"?

David Letterman, Diane Sawyer, Raquel Welch and George Carlin were all weather people on television.

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell computers, and personal-finance guru Suze Orman washed dishes at restaurants.

George Steinbrenner, who later owned the New York Yankees among other businesses, helped his older siblings raise the family's chickens, which he would also kill and dress for customers.

Working at ice-cream shops is part of the resumes for Julia Roberts, Lucille Ball and Robin Williams, who also was a street mime before he got into acting.

And I'd wager that every one of these fabulously successful people would tell you that they still remember the lessons they learned from those early labors - even if one of those lessons was that they wanted more out of life.

Few people would describe their first jobs as their dream jobs. The work is usually hard, the pay is never enough and the hours are lousy. The experience, however, is invaluable.

As college graduates start to learn the realities of the business world, I tell them that they will have to pay their dues. There is no substitute for real-world experience. Hard work is still a requirement for success. You can't start at the top and work your way up.

In this economy, I'm frequently hearing stories about folks who are starting over in their careers because of downsizing, restructuring, technology or belly-up businesses. Most don't have to start at the bottom, but they aren't making lateral moves either.

My advice is always the same whether you are starting up or starting over: Keep your options open. Don't discount the value of any working experience. Expand your network at every opportunity, because you never know who might know someone who could use your talents and skills. Volunteer some time to get more and varied experience. Make sure you have a presence on social-networking sites, especially LinkedIn and Facebook.

Perhaps the most important tip I can pass along is this: Never be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of people who have created successful businesses, and even more who have built successful careers. Learning from others is essential, no matter how much you have learned from your own experience.

Finally, don't be afraid to dream. Long before Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney dropped out of school at age 16 to join the Army but was rejected because of his age. He became a Red Cross ambulance driver in World War I instead. He wanted to be an artist when he came home, and with determination, an entertainment empire was born. For Walt Disney, "a dream is a wish your heart makes."

Mackay's Moral: You can't win the race if you never start.

by Harvey Mackay May 23, 2011




Mackay: Everyone has to start somewhere

Sunday, May 22, 2011

TechNutt: Playboy puts all 57 years of its magazines on website




CHICAGO - Good news for those who thought their copies of Playboy were gone forever when their moms found them and threw them away.

Playboy launched a Web-based subscription service Thursday called i.Playboy.com that allows viewers to see every single page of every single magazine - from the first issue nearly 60 years ago that featured Marilyn Monroe to the ones hitting the newsstands today.

"They no longer have to store 57 years - 682 issues - of Playboy under their mattress," said Jimmy Jellinek, the magazine's chief content officer.

Chicago-based Playboy has seen its circulation plummet from 3.15 million in 2006 to 1.5 million today and has been trying all sorts of gimmicks to attract readers in recent years. One issue, for example, included a set of 3-D glasses to better see a centerfold shot in 3-D; another turned over the cover to cartoon character Marge Simpson.

But if those moves were widely viewed as efforts to attract a younger audience, this one is also aimed at Baby Boomers and even their parents, who might recall pictorials of long-gone movie stars, interviews with the likes of John Lennon and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the time Jimmy Carter famously revealed the lust in his heart.

And, for those who have claimed they bought the magazine just for the articles, the online service also offers a way to look at the works of such writers as John Updike, Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter Thompson and Norman Mailer just by typing in their names.

Jellinek is optimistic people will pony up the $8 per month or $60 per year for a service that's "meant to appeal to that sense of collective nostalgia and affinity."

He calls the website "the world's sexiest time machine" and "an anthology of cool" for a magazine he refers to as "the Mount Rushmore of literary greatness."

But one industry analyst makes Playboy sound more like a tired, dusty half-empty amusement park.

"The problem with Playboy is it not only lost its powerful interviews, but it lost its lead," said Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi School of Journalism. "This is no longer the '50s and '60s, when people talked about the interviews. And who cannot see the girl next door naked in this day and age?"

Husni doubts the service will do much for the company at all.

"The questions are: Do I need it? Do I want it? Is it relevant to me?' " Husni said. "The answer is: No, no and no.' "

Husni also said it is likely that those who do subscribe will drop the service once they see whatever issues they were curious about.

Jellinek concedes the whole thing is something of an experiment aimed at a niche audience, but he also insists the service has value because it offers a unique window into the past.

"We're not trying to achieve mass scale here and move the needle for the company in a great way," he said.

by Don Babwin Associated Press May. 20, 2011 12:00 AM



TechNutt: Playboy puts all 57 years of its magazines on website

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

^the temple of the King





^the temple of the King

Mackay: Recall those you relied on to rein in ego

Talent is God-given; be humble. Fame is man-given; be thankful. Conceit is self-given; be careful.

This anonymous saying is often attributed to legendary college-basketball coach John Wooden. And he surely hit the nail on the head.

I have a different way of talking about conceit in my speeches. If you think you're indispensable, I tell my audiences, stick your finger in a bowl of water and watch the hole it leaves when you pull it out.

This lesson was drilled into my head by my parents, who made sure their brash son knew what they thought about conceited people. Perhaps this is where my fondness for aphorisms comes from. I can still hear them saying, "Swallow your pride occasionally; it's non-fattening" and "It is far better to have other people say how great you are."

Throughout my life, I have observed what happens when heads swell and egos exceed capacity. The "me first" attitude is met with "not you again" resistance. Conceit and success are not compatible.

There is no shame in taking pride in achievements or position. But nobody gets to the top alone. It's only lonely at the top if you forget all the people you met along the way and fail to acknowledge their contributions to your success.

There's the story about the self-important CEO who arrived at the ballroom where his company's annual meeting was being held, only to be stopped at the door by a burly uniformed guard.

"Just wait here," said the guard, "until I check the list."

"But," sputtered the CEO, "don't you know who I am?"

"No, sir," said the guard, "but I will go and find out and let you know."

I can tell you right now who the fellow is - a person whose universe is very small because it has no room for others.

"A person completely wrapped up in himself makes a small package," wrote Harry Emerson Fosdick, an American clergyman. "The great day comes when a man begins to get himself off his hands. He has lived, let us say, in a mind like a room surrounded by mirrors.

"Every way he turned he saw himself. Now, however, some of the mirrors change to windows. He can see through them to objective outlooks that challenge his interests. He begins to get out of himself - no longer the prisoner of self-reflections but a free man in a world where persons, causes, truths and values exist, worthful for their own sakes. Thus to pass from a mirror-mind to a mind with windows is an essential element in the development of a real personality. Without that experience no one ever achieves a meaningful life."

Think of it this way: When business is good, who gets the credit? When the chips are down, whom do you blame?

Start by looking in Fosdick's mirror. If you see only yourself, keep looking. Look closely and see if you don't recognize people who shaped you as a young child, throughout your education and at every step in your career.

Mackay's Moral: Conceit is a strange disease. It makes everyone sick except the person who's got it.

by Harvey Mackay May 16, 2011



Mackay: Recall those you relied on to rein in ego

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

Steve Benson Cartoon


Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

White House shutters staged photos

NEW YORK - The White House said it is ending its long-running practice of having presidents re-enact televised speeches for news photographers following major addresses to the country, a little-known arrangement that fed suggestions of fakery when Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden.

After Obama's live, late-evening address from the East Room of the White House on May 1, five photographers were ushered in to shoot pictures as the president stood at the podium and re-read a few lines of his speech - a practice that news organizations have protested for years.

Even though the Associated Press and other news outlets said in captions to the photos that they were taken after the president delivered his address, many people who saw them may have assumed they depicted the speech itself. That raised questions of whether news organizations were staging an event.

The issue also drew attention when Jason Reed of Reuters, one of the photographers who took part, blogged about the assignment, saying the president "re-enacted the walkout and first 30 seconds of the statement for us."

This week, the White House stepped in.

"We have concluded that this arrangement is a bad idea," Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said late Wednesday. He said the administration is open to working out some new arrangement with photographers.

The practice of re-enactments has a long history. Washington veterans say President Harry Truman would deliver speeches over radio and then repeat them for newsreel cameras. Doug Mills, a photographer for The New York Times who was on duty May 1, said he has seen every president from Ronald Reagan to Obama take time after a speech so still photographers could get their shots.

Photographers know that for these major televised addresses, delivered from the White House without an audience, newspapers and websites expect to illustrate their stories with a picture of the president speaking. News organizations disdain White House handout photos, preferring to take the pictures themselves. They consider "screen grabs" from TV to be of poor quality.

Yet the presence of still photographers with cameras that make noise can be a distraction to a president, particularly in cramped settings such as the Oval Office, and perhaps to viewers of the speech. "All it takes is for some photographer to drop something and the president react to it, and it looks terrible on television," Mills said.

by David Bauder Associated Press May. 13, 2011 12:00 AM


White House shutters staged photos

Medical pot: Concerns, challenges for rural areas

KINGMAN - As a volunteer police officer in this northwestern Arizona city, Harley Pettit saw young people get in trouble for everything from drugs and alcohol to vandalism. In a small community with not a lot to do, he said, the last thing young people need is another way to get into trouble.

He's worried that's exactly what medical marijuana will give them.

"I think it's a given that it's going to get abused," he said. "It's just a matter of fact."

Pettit voted against Proposition 203, and election records show that the city as a whole rejected the proposition last November by a margin of about 52 percent to 48 percent. In fact, Mohave County was one of 12 counties among 15 in Arizona where more people voted against the proposition.

But now Kingman must make plans for medical marijuana, and Pettit said he has no choice but to help his city limit the consequences.

"The way I was brought up, it's just citizenship 101," he said. "If you don't like the laws, you work to get them changed."

In the meantime, Pettit turned to his only remaining outlet, showing up to Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission meetings and urging members to not allow a marijuana dispensary inside the city limits.

Sandi Reynolds, a commissioner, said she and other members felt the same way as Pettit.

"I think not only I but most of the people on the commission were thinking that this was not going to happen in Kingman," Reynolds said. "If we had any way to not allow it in Kingman, we were going to not allow it."

But when it came down to creating zoning requirements, excluding medial marijuana dispensaries from the city just wasn't a legal option, she said. The commissioners reluctantly voted to allow them in one type of commercial area and the city's industrial zones.

Most cities in Arizona have already approved zoning regulations in preparation for June 1, when the Department of Health Services will start accepting applications for dispensaries, said Ken Strobeck, executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns. Most communities have taken a similar route as Kingman by allowing dispensaries in industrial areas, Strobeck said, with few willing to let them operate in main business areas.

"I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer, but it is purely a matter of local control, and that is something we support in that each city should be able to make the decision that is right for them," he said.

However, Strobeck said it could take at least a year before cities and the Arizona Department of Health Services begin to learn what works best.

"It's hard to know until we live with it for a while," he said.

Medical marijuana

Proposition 203 allows patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain 2.5 ounces of marijuana, on the recommendation of their doctor, from a medical marijuana dispensary every 14 days. Patients who live more than 25 miles from a dispensary will be allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in a closed and locked facility.

The law allows municipalities to make reasonable zoning regulations for the placement of dispensaries, while the Department of Health Services is charged with creating and implementing rules for issuing ID cards for patients and allocating and licensing dispensaries.

The proposition allows Arizona to have one dispensary for every 10 pharmacies in the state, which currently amounts to 124 dispensaries.

In order to distribute the dispensaries evenly, the department divided the state into 124 zones, with one dispensary allowed in each zone. These zones are modifications of the state's 126 Community Health Analysis Areas, which the department uses to track health trends like cancer rates.

Will Humble, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the zoning scheme was a response to law enforcement and communities asking the department to try to make sure that as little of Arizona as possible was outside of a 25-mile radius from a dispensary.

"What we tried to do was strike a balance between making sure there was access to medical marijuana in rural areas, avoiding urban clustering and minimizing the grow-your-own areas in the state," he said.

On March 28, the department issued the final draft of the rules governing medical marijuana. On April 14, it started accepting applications from patients.

Kingman

Mohave County will have eight dispensaries, one of which will be located somewhere in one the county's largest medical marijuana zones containing Kingman, Golden Valley and Oatman but also extending south about 60 miles to include Wikieup, Yucca, Franconia and Nothing.

Reynolds said the members of Kingman's Planning and Zoning Commission were hoping to make the city's regulations so strict that it would be too difficult to operate a dispensary within the city limits. That was before the city attorney advised the commission that a zoning ordinance that strict would probably fall outside the proposition's allowance for "reasonable" rules.

Even if the commission could have banned dispensaries in the city, she said, members realized that having having one might be their best option. Without a dispensary within 25 miles, patients would be able to grow marijuana in their homes.

"We then kind of shifted gears and thought in terms of what was the best way for us to keep it as uncomplicated as possible." she said.

Pettit, who moved to Kingman because it was an inexpensive place to retire, said that having the dispensary in the city will likely overtax the police force and cost the city more money than it can afford. If the dispensary were outside the city, it would become Mohave County's problem.

"I wouldn't mind if it was just on the street that borders the city limits," he said.

Other kinds of businesses, such as adult bookstores, are excluded from the city, he noted.

"I think we should have enough say in our destiny to say we don't want that kind of business here," he said.

In early May, Kingman's Planning and Zoning Commission voted to allowed medical marijuana dispensaries in the city's service business commercial zones and in light and heavy industry zones. Soon after, the City Council approved the commission's recommendation.

Reynolds said that even though the proposition prohibits dispensaries within 500 feet of sensitive locations like schools and churches, the commissioners wanted to make sure that they would be far away from children and community areas.

"I think in order to comply with what the citizens voted for I think we've absolutely done the best we can," Reynolds said. "Maybe to the point of agreeing to some things that personally they don't even agree to."

Zoning

In the rural areas of Arizona, cities have gone through a similar thought process, said Andrew Myers, who acted as the campaign manager for Proposition 203. Cities start with hating the idea of a dispensary, he said, then realize that the alternative would be marijuana growing in homes and finally decide that having a dispensary is the best option.

It is a conclusion that the Western Arizona Law Enforcement Association has been encouraging through its members in cities across Mohave, La Paz and Yuma counties, said Robert DeVries, the association's chairman and Kingman's police chief. DeVries said the association has been working to address common questions and problems medical marijuana could bring up for police.

"Everybody was in agreement that having a dispensary in the community is better for the community," DeVries said.

In fact, Dwayne "Rusty" Cooper, captain of the patrol division for the Kingman Police Department, said it would be nice to have the dispensary right next door to the station.

"It would be easy for us to just keep tabs on it," Cooper said. "It made a lot more sense."

Myers said that rural communities have been much better about creating more reasonable zoning rules. Some have even placed them near police stations or in busy commercial areas.

Cities that enacted the strictest zoning rules did so early and probably out of fear of the unknown, Myers said. Over time, as cities become familiar with the people running dispensaries, it's possible that dispensaries will be able to move. Until then, he said, cities run the risk of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"You kind of get what you zone for," he said. "If you are putting it in a place with undesirable businesses, you are going to be getting an undesirable business."

Opportunity

The business potential of a dispensary was attractive in Globe, the Gila County seat about 80 miles east of Phoenix. It's allowing a dispensary in the middle of downtown.

"We just wanted to stimulate the economy locally," said Chris Collopy, Globe's director of planning and zoning.

Collopy said the city approved zoning measures for dispensaries even before Proposition 203 passed. Officials requested proposals from potential medical marijuana dispensary contractors that outlined all of the details for operating a dispensary, and Globe even offered up city property in the historic downtown district to house the facility.

By January, the city had six proposals to choose from, Mayor Fernando Shipley said.

Shipley said he and other city officials knew early on that Arizona would have a limited number of dispensaries and that patients would be able to grow marijuana if a dispensary was too far away. Their intent, he said, was to make sure the city was at the front of the line for a dispensary.

"If at all possible we wanted to be one of the areas that had a distribution center," he said.

To Shipley's surprise, the aggressive strategy didn't draw any ire from residents. He said he was even more astounded when four of the proposals were from locals, well-known and respected members of the community.

Though the proposal the city ultimately accepted wasn't from a Globe resident, it goes far beyond the city's requirements to have a strong focus on community development, Shipley said. The dispensary is in a different location from the building the city had offered for use, but it will still be about 30 yards from both the police and fire stations.

Globe Farmacy, pending approval from the state Department of Health Services, will be located in a historic building downtown, according to the proposal submitted to the city. The dispensary is expected to initially create 25 jobs, most of which will go to Globe residents. As a nonprofit, Globe Farmacy also proposes to use proceeds after expenses to establish a fund for community needs, like supporting local services and ensuring the dispensary doesn't burden the community.

While it wasn't his intent, Shipley said he isn't opposed to the idea that it could stimulate Globe's economy through increased foot traffic from patients in the downtown area.

"We would be happy to take their money if they want to hang out in town," he said.

Lessons

If Globe's leaders had decided to paint all the curbs blue, Shipley said he would have had 100 angry citizens on his hands. Through the entire public process of approving a medical marijuana dispensary and a marijuana growing facility in the middle of downtown, only one resident showed up to speak against the plan.

"I think it is because we let them know what our main concern was, and our main concern was protecting the people of Globe," Shipley said. The city did everything it could before the proposition went into effect, he said.

In Payson, a Gila County community about 85 miles to the northeast of Phoenix, Ray Erbanson, community development director, said the city has already approved zoning rules, and, like Globe, also experienced little outcry or input from citizens.

"They understood that what we were doing was reasonable and there was really nothing we could do beyond that," he said.

Payson will allow dispensaries in the general commercial district, highway commercial district and industrial districts. From here, Erbanson said, it is just a matter of addressing problems if they come up and adapting.

"At this point we just dont know what the impact is going to be, so I think everybody is just watching to see how it is going to turn out," he said.

Strobeck, with the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, said that cities just have to look to California and Colorado to get an idea of how dispensaries will affect them.

"In general, the marijuana dispensaries there have blended in with the rest of the commerce in cities," he said.

Most cities have had similar experiences to those of Globe and Payson, Strobeck said, in that there has been little tension surrounding the creation of zoning rules for dispensaries.

"I think the general response has been: This is now a law we have to deal with, so let's make this work the best that we can and move on,' " he said. "It's just one of those things that now we have to live with."

by Alyson Zepeda Cronkite News Service May. 9, 2011 03:47 PM




Medical pot: Concerns, challenges for rural areas

Lung stem cells identified

NEW YORK - Scientists believe they've discovered stem cells in the lung that can make a wide variety of the organ's tissues, a finding that might open new doors for treating emphysema and other diseases.

When these human cells were injected into mice, they showed their versatility by rebuilding airways, air sacs and blood vessels within two weeks. One expert called that "amazing."

While stem cells have been found in bone marrow and some other parts of the body, it hasn't been clear whether such a versatile cell existed in the lung.

Experts not involved in the study stressed that the work must be confirmed by further research and that it's too soon to make any promises about therapies. But they said it could be a significant advance.

"These are remarkable findings and they have extraordinary implications," said Alan Fine of Boston University, who called the mouse results amazing. "But it has to be replicated."

Stem cells can produce a wide variety of specialized kinds of cells. Scientists are working to harness them as repair kits for fixing damage from diseases like diabetes.

Most people have heard about embryonic stem cells, which have caused controversy because embryos must be destroyed to recover them.

In contrast, the new lung cell would be an "adult" stem cell, like others found in the body. Adult stem cells maintain and repair the tissues where they're found. The bone-marrow cells, for example, give rise to various kinds of blood cells, and they've been used for years in transplants to treat leukemia and other blood diseases.

The lung work is reported in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by Piero Anversa and Joseph Loscalzo and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

In a telephone interview, Anversa said it's not clear what the lung stem cell normally does but he thinks it's involved in replacing other lung cells lost throughout life.

Loscalzo said it's too early to tell what lung diseases might be treated someday by using the cells. He said researchers are initially looking at emphysema and high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs, called pulmonary hypertension. Emphysema is a progressive disease that destroys key parts of the lung, leaving large cavities that interfere with the lung's function.

Anversa said the cells may also prove useful to build up lungs after lung-cancer surgery. It's not clear whether they could be used in treating asthma, he said.

While a lung stem cell theoretically could be used to grow a lung in a lab for transplant, Loscalzo said that would be very difficult because the lung is so complex. Instead, he said, scientists will first look at isolating the cells from a patient, multiplying them in the laboratory, and then injecting them back into the patient's lung. The mice experiments showed "the cells are smarter than we are," able to build normal lung structures in an injured lung, he said.

The researchers found the cells in donated surgical samples of adult tissue. The same cells appeared in tissue donated from nine fetuses that had died, giving evidence that the cells are present before birth and perhaps participate in lung development.

To study the cells' behavior, researchers injured lungs of mice and then injected six doses of about 20,000 cells apiece.

Within 10 to 14 days, the injected cells had formed airways, blood vessels and air sacs. The new tissue showed "seamless" connection to the rest of the lung, and researchers believe it would work, although that wasn't tested, Loscalzo said. The results appeared in all 29 mice tested.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and a Swiss foundation.

by Malcolm Ritter Associated Press May. 12, 2011 12:00 AM



Lung stem cells identified

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Entrepreneur Wayne Rogers enjoys the role

Wayne Rogers started in business at age 8 with a lemonade stand in his front yard outside Birmingham, Ala.

It was the first of many successes in a lengthy business career that has included banking, money management, convenience stores, viticulture and a top bridal boutique in Manhattan.

"Lemonade stands run by children tend to be successful," Rogers said during a recent interview at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix.

He's dressed in a navy blazer, tan slacks and a white shirt with gold-and-onyx cuff links. An alligator belt and black Gucci loafers complete the look.

It's appropriate attire for a 78-year-old businessman who regularly appears as a commentator on the Fox Business Network. But it's a bit conservative for a leading actor who once danced with Martha Graham and now counts among his friends many of the top stars and power brokers in Hollywood and New York City.

To millions of people around the world, Rogers is better known as "Trapper" John McIntyre, the sidekick to Alan Alda's "Hawkeye" Pierce in the classic television sitcom "M*A*S*H."

Rogers initially planned to audition for Pierce but found the character too cynical and tried out for the more cheerful Trapper, a role he landed and played for three seasons.

He and Alda are still close friends. Despite many other professional successes, both continued to be remembered most as Hawkeye and Trapper.

"I don't have a problem with that," he said. " 'M*A*S*H' was very good to me."

Rogers was in Phoenix last week to deliver the keynote address at the Arizona Small Business Association's 18th annual Enterprise Business Awards Luncheon.

He recently wrote a book, "Make Your Own Rules: A Renegade Guide to Unconventional Success," in which he recounts many of his business and acting exploits.

The son of a Rhodes Scholar, Rogers got a history degree from Princeton University and planned to go to Harvard Law School when his stint in the U.S. Navy was up. But when his ship was in New York for maintenance, he looked up a friend who was directing a production of "Six Characters in Search of an Author" by Luigi Pirandello.

"That hooked me," he said. "I was mesmerized by the process, and I was determined to become an actor."

He was determined to succeed, so he studied with the best teachers he could find: modern dance with Martha Graham, ballet with Pearl Lang and mime with Alvin Epstein. He also studied acting, kabuki and other disciplines.

"If I'm going to do something, I'm going do it 100 percent," he said. "It's hard for me to get involved in something only casually."

After a few years acting, mainly off-Broadway, Rogers went to Hollywood in search of work. There, he landed a role in a pilot for a TV western called "Stagecoach West."

"When I watched the pilot I thought, 'This is never going to sell,' " he said.

But ABC bought 39 episodes, and from 1960 to 1961, Rogers was making more money than he'd made in his life.

"In Hollywood, you hear a lot of stories about people who make a lot of money and then lose it all," Rogers said. "I was determined that wouldn't happen to me."

So he studied real estate and the stock market with the same fervor he studied acting and began carefully investing his money.

He gained a reputation as a shrewd investor in Hollywood, and one day "Columbo" star Peter Falk came to him for help.

"His business manager went south with his money, and I helped him get it back," he said.

After that, he agreed to help a grateful Falk manage his money.

Then director Stanley Donen, whose musical hits included "Singin' in the Rain" and "On the Town," came to him.

"He was one of the top directors in town, and he was dead broke," Rogers said.

After examining Donen's various contracts, Rogers concluded he was owed substantial residual payments from various movie studios.

"We sued and got him about $3 million," Rogers said. "I was glad to have been able to help him."

Rogers also started managing Donen's money. Today his firm, Wayne M. Rogers & Co., invests money for a long list of clients that includes some of the top names in Hollywood.

Over the years, he has founded and sold a bank, planted and operated a vineyard, owned a barge company on the Mississippi River, a string of convenience stores and developed real estate in Florida, California, Utah and Arizona.

He also has continued to act in numerous plays, movies and television series. In 1996 he portrayed civil-rights attorney Morris Dees in "Mississippi Burning."

He acknowledges he's partial to distressed properties and finding creative ways to turn them around.

"Creativity is mandatory when you're an entrepreneur," he said.

One of his latest projects is Kleinfeld, the old-line New York bridal boutique he and partners bought from a liquidator in 2001. Soon after moving in, Rogers discovered enough uncollected credit-card charges to cover his down payment.

The boutique sells wedding dresses either custom made or from top designers, along with honeymoon packages and other wedding services.

"People thought men would never buy clothes in a bridal shop, but the men's business is growing like a weed," Rogers said.

Rogers expects Kleinfeld to gross about $30 million this year out of a single store. "As badly as the previous owners had abused the brand, they couldn't kill it," he said.

by Max Jarman The Arizona Republic May. 8, 2011 12:00 AM



Entrepreneur Wayne Rogers enjoys the role

Some Wise Words of Dealmaking

I was recently asked by a client to share my favorite negotiation-related quotes, so here they are plus some thoughts on each.

“The single most powerful tool for winning a negotiation is the ability to walk away from the table without a deal.”
Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Swim with the Sharks without being Eaten Alive

Having a good Plan B in any negotiation is crucial – but what if you don’t have a good one? Develop one. If you’re looking to sell your company and ABC Company has expressed interest, reach out to additional possible buyers. If you’re negotiating with a long-time vendor and he hits you with a big price increase, bid out his work. The better your Plan B - the stronger your leverage.

“The most critical thing in a negotiation is to get inside your opponent’s head and figure out what he really wants.”
Jacob Lew, White House Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (currently and formerly under President Bill Clinton)

This is easy to say but often extraordinarily difficult to accomplish. Sometimes your counterpart is an open book. But often you must dig deep to uncover your counterpart’s true underlying needs and interests. Focus on this. Ask a lot of questions, especially what I call the magic question in negotiations - why.

“My father said: ‘You must never try to make all the money that's in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won't have many deals.’ “
J. Paul Getty

Two elements here strike me as critical. One, all worthwhile deals must satisfy all the parties’ interests – financial and otherwise - to get done. You need to make sure the other side does okay for you to get your interests satisfied too.

And two, the long-term view and an appreciation of the value of reputation reflect a very strategic focus. It’s often easy to get caught up in the moment and let your ego push you to get that extra dollar. But taking a step back and focusing on reputation and the long-term will always stand you in good stead.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe.”
Abraham Lincoln

I can’t overemphasize the value of taking the time to strategically prepare for a negotiation and not leaving it to your intuition. Too many busy professionals just wing it in significant negotiations. Don’t. And prepare not only on the substance but for the process.

The biggest failure of negotiators is to negotiate instinctively and intuitively. To truly succeed, do your homework so you can negotiate strategically based on the experts’ proven research.

by Marty Latz May 6, 2011



Some Wise Words of Dealmaking

Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

May 4, 2011


Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

May 3, 2011



Benson Cartoons - Political Cartoons - The Arizona Republic

Arizona medical pot law no shield for users, growers, prosecutor says

Arizona's top federal prosecutor launched a pre-emptive strike against the state's medical-marijuana industry Monday, warning prospective pot growers and sellers that they could be prosecuted under federal drug-trafficking laws.

U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke, joining a growing chorus of federal law officers across the country, said his office will abide by a 2009 Justice Department memo that discourages prosecution of medical-marijuana users. But he said anyone who possesses or distributes marijuana is still violating federal law. And he singled out large operations.

U.S. Attorney Burke's letter

"The (Controlled Substances Act) may be vigorously enforced against large marijuana-production facilities," Burke wrote to Will Humble, director of the state Department of Health Services. "This compliance with Arizona laws and regulations does not provide a safe harbor, nor immunity from federal prosecution."

Opponents of the voter-approved law called on Gov. Jan Brewer to shut it down immediately, saying Burke's letter makes clear that state regulation of medical pot is illegal and anyone involved with dispensaries or cultivation sites could risk prosecution.

Even supporters said mounting federal pressure likely will have a chilling effect on the fledgling industry. They predicted a move toward smaller, tightly regulated operations and called the U.S. attorney's stance "reactionary." "If you increase the legal demand and don't increase the legal supply, you're going to increase revenues for the drug cartels," said Andrew Myers, co-founder of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, who led the campaign for Proposition 203 in Arizona.

Brewer said she was unaware of Burke's letter, but she doesn't intend to stop implementation of the program. "It was passed by the voters, and we've tried to implement the voters' wishes," Brewer said. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said Burke's letter clarifies that federal authorities, despite their reluctance to prosecute sick people, will not look the other way when it comes to marijuana cultivation and distribution.

"I think this is the end of the medical-marijuana movement," Montgomery said. "You can't do a wink and a nod toward unlawful conduct and not have a consequence."

Burke said he wrote the letter "in response to numerous inquiries and to ensure there is no confusion regarding the Department of Justice's view of such a regulatory scheme." It follows similar correspondence in recent weeks between federal prosecutors, attorneys general and governors in several other states, and dispensary and greenhouse raids in Washington, Montana, Colorado and California.

On Monday, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee halted the state's medical marijuana dispensary program after the U.S. attorney for his district threatened to prosecute those involved with licensing "compassion centers" there.

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire on Friday vetoed a bill in to regulate the medical-marijuana industry, which voters approved in 1998. Federal prosecutors also made good on a promise to crack down on landlords who leased their property to dispensaries, raiding several Spokane dispensaries on Thursday.

In his two-page letter, Burke said "individuals and organizations - including property owners, landlords and financiers" could be prosecuted under federal drug-trafficking laws. But he made no mention of Arizona employees, who have been processing ID cards for hundreds of medical-marijuana users and are preparing to license dispensaries and cultivation sites this summer.

Montgomery said he believes state, county and municipal employees could be at risk if they help people use, grow or sell marijuana.

But Humble said he's not worried about his staff and believes Arizona's program will continue to operate, if on a smaller scale, in the wake of Burke's letter.

"It looks to me like a big shot across the bow for folks who were thinking about building a very large cultivation facility or a very large dispensary," Humble said. "I don't think it's going to end the program. I do think it's going to change what the program looks like."

Scottsdale attorney Jordan Rose, who advises potential dispensary owners, said Burke's letter should not change Arizona's medical marijuana landscape.

"There is a risk, and it cannot be minimized," Rose said. "But if anybody is saying the sky is falling, they didn't read the federal government's position."

In a letter to U.S. attorneys in October 2009, deputy U.S. Attorney General David Ogden indicated that, in light of the burgeoning industry and the variety of state laws, the administration didn't intend to prosecute sick people who used medical pot or the caregivers who provided it. The "Odgen memo" made clear that marijuana remains illegal and that federal prosecutors will go after drug traffickers, but some say the memo triggered the industry's growth in Colorado, California and elsewhere.

Arizona law limits to 12 the number of plants an individual can grow. But there are no limits to the size of a dispensary, and owners are allowed to operate separate cultivation sites, where they can grow an unlimited amount of marijuana.

Burke and other U.S. attorneys have mentioned "large" or "large-scale" operations in their letters to state officials, though they have not defined what that means.

Myers said most would-be dispensary owners had planned to grow upwards of 1,000 plants to supply their non-profit dispensaries. "I think it's not hard to imagine that people are going to be scared off by something like this," Myers said.

Burke was in Washington, D.C., on Monday and unavailable for comment.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said Burke's letter is reason enough for Humble to stop issuing marijuana cards and halt plans for granting dispensary permits.

"I hope he doesn't think the Legislature is going to bail him out if he facilitates the distribution of marijuana," Kavanagh said. "The federal government has told him that this is an illegal operation. I don't think they have to do the math for him."

by Mary K. Reinhart The Arizona Republic May. 2, 2011 11:27 PM




Arizona medical pot law no shield for users, growers, prosecutor says

Baseball has good lessons for all of us

Baseball and spring go together. Both seem to create optimism that is contagious.

Not long ago, I stopped by a playground to watch a Little League baseball game. To get myself up to speed, I asked one of the youngsters what the score was.

"We're behind 16 to nothing," he answered.

"I must say, you don't seem discouraged," I said. "Why is that?"

"Discouraged?" said the boy. "Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet."

What a lesson in optimism. As I thought more about this positive attitude, I realized there are a lot of business lessons that we can learn from our national pastime.

Invention. Babe Ruth is credited with the invention of the modern baseball bat. He was the first player to order a bat with a knob on the end of the handle, with which he hit 29 home runs in 1919. The famous name of that bat was Louisville Slugger, which has become synonymous with baseball.

You can overcome faults and be successful. Can you imagine a Major League Baseball player making the most errors, striking out the most times, and hitting into the most double plays - and still being voted most valuable player for that year? In 1942, Joe Gordon did all those things - yet still won the MVP award that season in the American League.

There is no "I" in team. "It is important for sales managers to acknowledge what every baseball manager instinctively knows: that every championship team needs good bunters as well as long-ball hitters," said Harry Artinian, former vice president of corporate quality at Colgate-Palmolive. "It is the good sacrifice hitter who can advance the man on base to a position where the long-ball hitter can drive him home. And you know what? At the end of a successful World Series, the bunters and the long-ball hitters all wear the same ring, and they all have the same equal shares in the bonus pool."

Negotiation. After a poor year pitching for the New York Yankees in the 1930s, legendary pitcher Lefty Gomez was asked to accept a salary cut from $20,000 to $7,500 a year. Reeling, Gomez asked the Yankees, "How about you keep the salary and pay me the cut?"

Little things mean a lot ... not true. Little things mean everything. When the famous baseball player Ty Cobb reached first base, he had what seemed to be a nervous habit of kicking the bag. It wasn't until he retired from baseball that the secret came out. By kicking the bag hard several times, Cobb was able to move it a full two inches closer to second base. A terror on the bases, Cobb figured this tiny advantage was enough to improve his chances of stealing second or making it safely on a hit. Anything to win the game! The mark of a real competitor.

Take pride in your work. Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees had a fierce pride about always doing his best. The Yankees were on the road for a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns. Not only was the day boiling hot, the Browns were in last place. Despite this, DiMaggio made an offhand comment that he was looking forward to playing that day. "In this heat!" said an amazed sportswriter. "How can you enjoy playing a doubleheader in stifling weather like this?" Glancing toward the grandstand, DiMaggio said, "Maybe somebody out there has never seen me play before."

Keep your focus. People who attain success have learned to forget past failures and concentrate on present goals. Baseball great Babe Ruth was once asked what he thought about after he struck out. "I think about hitting home runs," the Babe answered.

The importance of attitude. A winning attitude is critical in competing for business against all-star competition, said Norman R. Augustine, former chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp. It's also very much a part of sports. One baseball manager with an interesting slant on winning said, "You only have to bat .1000 in two things: flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go four for five." Some teams, like some businesses, have attitudes that inevitably guarantee failure. A Pittsburgh Pirates coach once said, "I managed a team that was so bad, we considered a 2-and-0 count (two balls, no strikes) a rally."

Mackay's Moral: In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, "You can observe a lot by just watching."

by Harvey Mackay May 1, 2011




Baseball has good lessons for all of us

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Medical-marijuana zoning rules pinch dispensaries

The era of medical marijuana is upon us, but rules imposed by the state and cities suggest that most Arizonans will never lay eyes on a marijuana dispensary, let alone a growing operation or infusion facility.

Because of restrictive zoning rules, most medical-marijuana sites will be situated in industrial areas, far from prying eyes, foot traffic and passing cars.

Cities made every effort to create distance between the marijuana operations and homes, schools, churches, parks and other similar facilities.

As a result, even though medical-marijuana locations are allowed in zoning categories that cover most shopping areas, the distancing rules pose a serious hurdle.

"The main issue for potential owners is that it is hard to find appropriate sites, considering the distance requirements," said Jordan Rose, an attorney who is representing numerous clients who want to get into the medical-marijuana business.

"While people may see that dozens of sites are being approved for use permits, they don't see the hundreds, maybe thousands of sites that have been vetted and rejected," he said. "It's a complicated analysis."

The analysis is so complex that when Phoenix puts out a map showing possible sites, people who have explored some of those locations have found that perhaps a church or a day-care center is too close. Either that or property owners decline to lease to medical-marijuana sites, fearing legal repercussions.

Rose says it appears cities want the facilities to be located in high-traffic areas for security reasons. But the spacing requirements end up forcing the facilities into areas with little car or foot traffic, off the beaten path.

Andrew Myers of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Policy Project expected and supports the tight restrictions. He suspects the rules will ease up over time, assuming the medical-marijuana system works properly.

It could be a tough hill to climb when ordinances such as Tempe's repeat several of the arguments against medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana "is correlated to myriad negative secondary effects," the Tempe ordinance reads, "such as an increase in violent armed robberies and murders, burglaries, traffic, noise and drug dealing."

Every municipality has similar rules, if not similar rhetoric to the Tempe ordinance. The rules typically address security issues and hours of operation as well as zoning areas and distance requirements.

Rules from the Arizona Department of Health Services restrict medical-marijuana facilities to one per Community Health Analysis Area but otherwise focus on operators and participants in the medical-marijuana process. The state has 126 CHAAs, 18 of them on tribal lands.

More than 40 of the sites are in the Valley, and almost half are in Phoenix.

Numerous problems are likely to arise. For example:

- Paradise Valley is considering a facility at a medical office at Tatum and Shea boulevards - a site that adjacent Phoenix probably would not have allowed. Similar problems could arise at other locations along CHAA boundaries.

- With restricted sites available, numerous operators have applied - and received - permits for sites that are relatively close to each other, despite the distancing requirements. For example, along Grand Avenue in Phoenix, close to a dozen sites are clustered. But the chances of any of them ever doing business are relatively slim. With one facility per CHAA, the state health department will choose the operator by lottery.

- Zoning restrictions will take some CHAAs out of the picture entirely. Such is the case with the central Mesa CHAA, bounded by Broadway and Brown roads, Country Club Drive and Bush Highway. No sites within that area fit the city's zoning ordinance, so no medical-marijuana facilities will be allowed.

- None of the zoning rules appears to allow challenges by medical-marijuana foes. Although permit hearings for most sites have seen no opposition, the rules give hearing officers, planning committees or city councils little leeway to deny requests, despite objection from such entities as golf-equipment manufacturer Ping in Phoenix or business owners in the Scottsdale Airpark. If the site conforms with the rules, the permits, letters of approval or other such documents are handed out.

Medical-marijuana operations are tightly restricted by rules from virtually every city in metro Phoenix, rules that limit the sites to heavier commercial or industrial zones, with distance requirements from homes, schools and churches, for example. Cities also require separation from other marijuana operations.

Arizona will allow one user within each Community Health Analysis Area, with 42 in the Valley. The Arizona Department of Health Services will select the sites by lottery in mid-August. This list is up to date as of Friday.

NUMBER ALLOWEDNUMBER OF APPLICANTSRESTRICTIONS
PhoenixAs many as 19 dispensaries or cultivation facilities.Phoenix has had more than 50 pre-applications; not all have sought use permits.Phoenix has strict distancing rules, ranging from 250 feet from homes to a quarter mile from schools, churches and parks.
ScottsdaleTwo facilities.Scottsdale has had 25 pre-applications; only one use permit granted so far.City zoning requires the dispensaries to be at least 500 feet from schools and residential areas, plus they cannot be within a quarter mile of another dispensary.
GoodyearOne facility.One applicant, several others expressing interest.Industrial only. Separation requirements of 1,000 feet from schools and churches; 500 feet from homes.
PeoriaAs many as seven CHAAs cross Peoria lines.One applicant so far.Facilities must be 1,000 feet from schools and day-care centers; 500 feet from homes. Dispensaries also would have to be 1,000 feet from other adult uses.
SurpriseTwo facilities.One applicant so far.Spacing of 1,500 feet from schools, day-care centers and parks; 500 feet from churches and homes.
MesaFive facilities, but only four meet other requirements.20 applicants.Industrial areas only, 2,400 feet from rehab facilities or correctional housing; 1,200 feet from churches, libraries and schools; 500 feet from day-care centers and preschools. Park distances vary.
TempeTwo facilities.48, but 34 of them did not meet zoning requirements.Quarter mile from schools, churches and parks; 500 feet from homes.
GlendaleThree facilities.Six applicants.Specific zoning areas only; quarter mile from schools; 500 feet from homes.
ChandlerTwo facilities.One applicant denied, two withdrew from consideration.Quarter mile from a school, public park, day-care center, church or library.

by Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic May. 1, 2011 12:00 AM




Medical-marijuana zoning rules pinch dispensaries

Featured Artists

Archive

Recent Comments

My Blips