Wed, Feb

This weekend, the annual Sedona Winefest came to Posse Grounds Park. While Winefest is great fun for the community, it underscores the long-term changes that will affect the Verde Valley economy in the years to come.

Prior to the Information Age, Sedona, Camp Verde, the tri-cities of Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Jerome, and their dependent incorporated communities were effectively economic islands along a quiet detour off Interstate 17.

The Constitution has power because people still believe. Sunday, Sept. 17, was Constitution Day, the 230th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The event kicks off Constitution Week, enacted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

We commend Yavapai College for listening to the needs of Sedona and Verde Valley students and opening a culinary program at the Sedona Center in West Sedona.

As we report in Zachary Jernigan’s story in last week’s newspaper, the Yavapai College’s culinary classes at the Sedona Center are full. Sedona and Verde Valley students can attend community college classes locally to improve their job skills and prospects, which will benefit our local economies in the years to come.

Over the weekend, Hurricane Harvey struck the southeastern coast of Texas.

The storm surge rose the water levels of Galveston Bay, meaning Texan rivers and waterways that drain into the Gulf of Mexico are swollen and stalled, causing massive inland flooding. Current estimates suggest more than 30,000 people could be displaced in the storm and its aftermath as rain continues to pound the area. Hurricane Katrina, which devastated southern Louisiana, especially New Orleans, continued its path northward after making landfall.

For the last two months, Americans have been abuzz about the Total Eclipse 2017.

The path of totality moved from South Carolina to Oregon on Monday, with Sedona and the Verde Valley seeing the peak around 10:30 a.m. One could only imagine how our prehistoric ancestors behaved when a total eclipse occurred: The fiery ball in the sky suddenly being “swallowed” by the moon for several minutes in the middle of the day.

Be safe on the road with school back in session.

School has resumed throughout Sedona and the Verde Valley.

In the last few weeks, readers will note that we have run several press releases from nonprofits and state agencies preparing parents and students for the return to classrooms.

The city of Cottonwood is facing yet another boondoggle regarding wastewater.

This time, the issue revolves around an almost inexplicably stupid decision to build a wastewater treatment plant at Riverfront Park predicated on the assumption that the facility could inject water back into the aquifer without drilling a test well first to see if that was even possible.

Since the 2015-16 fiscal year, the Camp Verde United School District budget has increased from $8.1 million to $9.1 million.

One would logically think this increase in budget would equate to a correlated increase in teacher salaries. After all, teachers are the men and women on the low end of the financial totem pole, spend the most time directly with our children and are most responsible for the success or failure of our schools.

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