Sunday, August 01, 2010

Cloth on YouTube

I stand by everything I said at the WakeUpTucson radio show and everything I have written at this blog and at Something Else. That said, watching the videos produced to accompany the show was actually unsettling since I had no control of the images and didn't know what was coming next.

The videos show photos of many people, some of them key Clothmeisters including Snell, Lyons, Hecker, Trasoff, Myers, Lynn. Frankly I know less than half of the faces. Not all of the photos represent the Cloth. For example, one photo is of Donovan Durband, former director of the functional Tucson Downtown Alliance. Clothmeisters bloated the Alliance into the half as much for twice the price Downtown Tucson Partnership led by their pal Glenn Lyons, who ousted Durband to hire the wife of Nina Trasoff's Chief of Staff. Last I heard, Durband works for Councilman Steve Kozachik, so until shown otherwise, I would regard him as squarely in the “non-Cloth” camp, i.e. someone who produces results.

The videos really do put faces to the names, especially the second one, which provides photos for everyone or almost everyone on the TREO board of directors. These are the individuals that, in theory at least if they were on the board at the time, approved of TREO's usurping funding intended for other non-profit agencies. These are the individuals that approved or held their tongues when Snell gutted SAIAT like an animal in a slaughterhouse.

What fuels the Cloth conversation is not the modest readership of this blog. What fuels the Cloth conversation is the abject failure of the Tucson economic development machine to produce results. Worse than failing, they destroy those who do succeed in making a difference. If they were truly contributing and moving the local economy forward, the videos below would never have been produced.



32 Comments:

Blogger Cigar Man said...

Every time I think this is over, it just keeps getting better!

x4mr has gone from a know nothing neophyte to my own personal hero. What others may not know is the amount of courage it takes to do what he did. Liza, Sirocco, Navigator, and the others who have followed this blog over the years can't help but notice the progression, but they may or may not realize is how hard it is to do what x4mr has done.

Like I'm in the position to say. I couldn't even do step one. I am the coward that saw what x4mr saw but kept silent to "keep my job," the pathetic guy that does what he's told and goes along to get along, the broken sell out afraid to make waves.

These videos on YouTube were a Cigar Man "wet dream" so to speak, except that I never thought something like this could ever happen. Congratulations, x4mr. Whether these videos are seen by 20,000 people or 2 people, they got made, and they got made because you were heard, x4mr.

You were heard, x4mr, really heard. Awesome.

8/01/2010 2:29 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

It is interesting to see who is, or was, on the TREO board of directors.

I'm wondering if being on the TREO board really means anything for most of those people or if they basically just attend the meetings and think they are serving the community. To be fair, what does TREO actually do that would require them to invest anything other than the time spent at the meetings to view Snell's latest PowerPoint slideshow and talk about blueprints?

Snell wrote that letter in Novembr of 2006 saying he could take funding from SAIAT and it would be fine. Did these board members actually know what SAIAT was doing or what its potential could be or how much funding it needed? I guess my question is, what do these board members actually do and what do they really know about the decisions they make? These kinds of boards are often populated with members who are expected to be non-participative rather than the opposite. And I suppose it is also possible that some board members were complicit with Snell and liked his true agenda.

One thing that should be crystal clear at this point is that just because an agency (like TREO) is ineffective and fails to fulfill its own mission does not mean it is harmless. And TREO has certainly proven that the amount of harm that can be done by a failed agency may far exceed the simple wasting of its own funding, which is certainly bad enough.

Sad, sad story.

8/01/2010 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Liza, you are absolutely right about the harm of an agency that is ineffective. There's an opportunity cost to everything, effective or not, and the opportunity cost of an ineffective organization that is given public funding and a monopoly on rendering a critical public service is incredibly high.

If TREO does nothing, but does no direct harm, it is still harming the Tucson community, because the investment of time and money it has received could have gone elsewhere--SAIAT, Microbusiness Advancement Center, for example, or a more effective regional agency that specializes (as they say they do) in major employer recruitment.

8/01/2010 3:12 PM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Of course Robish is right, and Liza, regarding the board, if you only knew how silly those meetings are.

Most of the TREO board are only there as a sort of rep for their own organization, like Shelton for U of A or Flores for PCC. They are there to make sure the conversation is always supportive and in recognition of the importance and wonderful contributions being made by (fill in their organization).

It's a "looking good" orgy of sugary sweet PR gluttony.

I'll bet fewer than ten members of the TREO board ever heard of Snell's letter, let alone read it. (Of course, thanks to x4mr, I bet more of the board have read it now.)

They're role playing volunteers doing a PR stint that comes with the position they have with their employer. Shelton's entire contribution as a TREO board member in the last four years is probably that page 13 paragraph three of the blueprint states "and leverage the extraordinary research and education capabilities of our outstanding local university".

Snell talks his cloth talk, and they smile and nod.

8/01/2010 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

I don't know every face either, x4mr, but I do recognize most of them. It looks like some of this is alphabetical.

Here's a rundown, in sequence:

Joe Snell
Michael Crawford, Scott Stiteler, and Don Martin (Crawford has had both Cloth and anti-Cloth tendencies, and Martin has spoken Truth to Cloth)
Larry Hecker (the King of Cloth, or is that "Lord of the Cloth"?)
Rick Myers (love the expression on his face)
Fred Ronstadt
Steve Lynn
General Ron Shoopman (Southern Arizona Leadership Council)
Peter Likins
Bob McMahon (too outspoken to be considered Cloth)
Ramon Gaanderse (ambitious young Cloth-meister)
Bonnie Allin (Tucson Airport Authority)
Armando Rios/Jose Ibarra
Duff Hearon (Cloth from before we knew Cloth)
Mark Irvin
Paul Bonvia (UniSource CEO)
Brent Davis
Head of Republican Party, name escapes me, with Jack Camper
Carlotta Flores (not Cloth)
Jack Camper
Carol Zimmerman (PR for Cloth)
Dave Sitton (rugby and Cloth)
David Cohen (CPA for Cloth)
Don Bourn
Don Diamond (above the Cloth)
Donovan Durband (not Cloth)
Edmund Marquez (brother of Cloth)
Unknown to me
Francie Merryman (number 1 TREO apologist)
Glenn Lyons (Cloth now in Des Moines)
Speaker at City Council meeting, missing the head, perhaps Michael Goodman?
Humberto Lopez
Ken Abrahams (Diamond Ventures)
Lea Marquez-Peterson (Mrs. Cloth)
Lisa Lovallo (on fast-track to Empress status, in other words, grooming for Cloth stardom)
Michael Guymon (Cloth up-and-comer)
Unknown to me
Unknown to me
Rob Caylor (contractor, not Cloth to my knowledge)
Stan Abrams
Sarah Smallhouse Brown (bought her way into the Inner Closet of Cloth by virtue of family fortune, earned from sale of Burr Brown to Texas Instruments)
Greg Shelko (ugh)
Keri Silvyn (leading the Imagine Greater Tucson effort, seems to have good intentions)
Joe Snell (full circle to the Roach)

8/01/2010 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Sorry, left Si Schorr off. He's between Sarah Smallhouse Brown and Greg Shelko.

The second video segment has a blend of faces and other scenes. Raul Grijalva, Mark Kimble, Mr. An, Nina Trasoff, Bob Walkup, Gabrielle Giffords, Tim Bee, and Mike Letcher make appearances.

8/01/2010 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

This is great, and it moves me that information this powerful is now possible. Between the radio show, blogs, youtube, and people adding comments, wow.

Thank you, Robish, for posting these names. Most of us don't have your insider knowledge of what goes on in Tucson. I particularly appreciate your giving us a "cloth status" for each name where appropriate.

If anyone who reads this blog knows Councilman Steve Kozachik, they should tell him about it. I think Steve would be very interested in the material x4mr is bringing to light.

By the way, doesn't Snell just look like what he is, a fat, arrogant, disgusting menace?

8/01/2010 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kozachik's radar includes this blog, I can guarantee you. If he doesn't read it, he has someone who does.

I think x4mr is one of those stealthy types, the opposite of the cloth. While TREO makes headlines and the limelight while producing nothing, x4mr actually does something, but he never sees the front page, and only a certain set of the aware, like Joe and Chris and Robish and Liza, see it. TREO is hyped bullshit. The people at this blog are about reality.

I'd also bet that some of the press read this blog. O'Dell comes to mind.

Without question, a growing set of people in Tucson are "waking up" to the "Cloth" that sinks its fangs into the Tucson community, sucks it dry, and far worse, destroys any emerging efforts (SAIAT) that start to truly contribute.

You see, if truly effective agencies like SAIAT start to crop up, the do nothing charades will be exposed and shut down.

8/01/2010 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous 2 said...

Kozachik has already figured out that there are gaps in Tucson's economic development system that you could drive a tank through, or a bus full of UA graduates headed out of town looking for work.

Even if TREO was doing its job, they've carved such a narrow niche for themselves that there are many areas of economic development work that simply aren't being addressed. Like job training, for example.

If a for-profit version of SAIAT were to emerge, there would be nothing the Clothies could do about it.

Kozachik may not have the votes on the council to really kick the kind of ass we need him to, but he is still in a position to see TREO's contract with the city, ask questions, demand real deliverables, and shine some light on Joe Snell.

Hecker's influence is declining, it has to be. When Trasoff lost to Kozachik, Hecker's street cred took a big hit. Beware the next generation of Cloth. Some are on Robish's list.

8/01/2010 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Another Anon said...

From Inside Tucson Business:

Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc., elected new board leadership for the 2010-2011 board of directors. Those elected to leadership include: Lisa Lovallo and Sharon Bronson as co-chairs of the board and Frances McLane Merryman, secretary/treasurer. The rest of the board is made up by: Joe Snell, Raymond Baer, Ray Bargull, Robert Cashdollar Jr., Larry Cesare, Gary Clark, Bruce Dusenberry, Steve Eggen, Ray Flores, Mike Hammond, Gary Hayes, Mike Jameson, Daisy Jenkins, Steve Lace, Steven Lynn, Hany Massarany, Dennis Minano, Omar Mireles, Judy Patrick, Christopher Sheafe, Robert Shelton, Lynn Skelton, Sarah Brown Smallhouse, Scott Still, Jamie Sturgess, Philip Tedesco, Robert Walkup, Raymond Woosley, Bruce Wright and Larry Hecker who serves as of counsel to the board.

8/02/2010 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"gaps in economic development that you could drve a tank through." No kidding,what an understatement. I might add that it is a Brinks tank full of consultants money collected over a three decade escapade of economic development missionary work. Lynn and Hecker are the tent revivalists with the snake oil. Linguistics is the primary export of Tucson,AZ. I believe the Casa Grande/ Eloy area has created more jobs, without a self-serving, solipsistic,self-congratulating Man Of The Year Fraternity of insiders who are only looking for a real estate deal for themselves. Tucson,Arizona was once on the path to being a second tier city. It is now maybe a tertiary location at best,and mostly for tax wrtie offs for major corporations who need satellite offices to create some losses. Tucson has had a finishing problem for 40 years. Primarily due to the inability to play well with outside entities and REAL develpers,not arbitragers of land deals. Some say that this intractable lack of a "gestalt" is actually arranged by the local gods who insist on maintaining control of all enterprise. We lose more monied corporations than we gain.However,as Machiavelli taught us,someone is winning when someone is losing. Possibly the bottom fishing eminent domain crew headed up by Si Schor. Easily 80% of the folks on that list are vested in local control, which is close to being the demise of this off-the-track-geographically-ill-located city. Tucson has simply not discovered its niche both economically and spiritually. We relied on real estate since the mid 1950's. Those glory days are fini. And now....?
The most striking aspect of that list is their history of non-performance. And BTW,it left off the DDC underground. Striking, in that all of those Wildcat fans in that bunch would be screaming for the removal of any coach at the UofA who had such a dismal track record.
Tell me the difference in the ethics charges against Rangel and Maxine Waters and Hecker and Lynn's conflict of interests?

8/02/2010 5:22 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Well, uh, that last comment was intense, and probably mostly true.

I'm not the most connected guy, but even I can see that the TREO board is exactly what Cigar Man says it is, an entirely political construct about appearances and public relations for the organizations they represent. I can just imagine the agendas and posturing and smiles and nods and point scoring in a conversation entirely devoid of authenticity or commitment to making a difference.

Some of the members are clearly perfectly legitimate business people who fill their token role on the board making sure they represent the interest of their employer. That's really what they're doing. Of the entire TREO board in place at the time Snell gutted SAIAT, maybe three or four of them had even heard of it or knew what it was doing.

I agree with Observer about Snell's photo. He looks exactly like what he is. I remember years ago x4mr noting he saw Snell once on the UA campus and felt the need to take a shower as soon as possible.

8/02/2010 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous 2 again said...

I've heard about local companies that hold their nose when they write that annual membership check to TREO. They do it because they are expected to, not because they derive any value from supporting TREO.

8/02/2010 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Notable absences from the video roster that Joe Higgins created:

Tourism Cloth . . .
Jonathan Walker
Richard Vaughan

Convention Center Cloth . . .
Rich Singer
Kate Breck-Calhoun (next generation Cloth wannabe)

University of Arizona Cloth . . .
Jaime Gutierrez
Joel Valdez (Cloth Emeritus)
Leslie Tolbert

General Shoopman needs some company on that list of SALC Cloth-meisters, so let's not forget Jim Kiser

Media Cloth . . .
Mike Jameson (he was in the video, but I forgot to list him before)
John Humenik
John Hudak

Regional Cloth . . .
Gary Hayes
Paul Loomis

Chamber Cloth . . .
Paul Parisi

Elected Cloth . . .
Sharon Bronson
All the Supes except for Ray Carroll, actually

Retired Elected Cloth . . .
Carol West

8/02/2010 8:23 PM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Nav and Anon 2 again are exactly right. A lot of what keeps the Cloth afloat is this unspoken local political correctness about the status quo and not rocking the boat.

As x4mr has said over and over, it is the emperor without clothes and everyone afraid to say anything for fear of "looking bad" by raising a fuss.

I am almost shaking that we have gotten so close to the truth. In fact, we have arrived at the truth. Wells Fargo, I know for a fact, almost vomits after writing their check to TREO, and Picor does vomit until its having dry heaves. Even Raytheon groans. Remember, Raytheon had to spend millions after TREO nuked SAIAT so it could steal $130 grand.

Raytheon had to spend millions to replicate a center that TREO destroyed in order to steal funding from an organization that had become the most valued partner of the Raytheon Learning Institute, an organization that bent over backwards to train 6300 Raytheon employees in 6 weeks.

Seven years of learning, growing, refining, and perfecting, becoming something REALLY valuable, snuffed in an instant so Snell could pad TREO's savings account.

You bet Raytheon was pissed.

8/02/2010 8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anon 2 yet again said...

That makes sense that PICOR would be pissed about contributing, Cigar Man.

Who actually recruited Target, Pella Windows, La Costena, etc.? TREO or the owners and leasing agents of commercial real estate?

PICOR fills its own clients' buildings for commission, and then TREO takes credit.

8/02/2010 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Wilson said...

x4mr, you are one driven, tenacious, persistent, unstoppable SOB. Do you ever, EVER quit? Jesus! When is enough, enough?!

SAIAT closed three years ago. It's over. What is there to talk about? Get a life, dude!

Are you going to spend the rest of your life consumed by resentment and rage? Let's face it, you get cloth because you were cloth. You're pissed because the cloth club ejected you from the trough for failing to recognize their pecking order. You would have loved to be the guy paid $150,000 a year to wear a suit, woo people with slides, and feel important.

You speak it so well because you know it so well, and you flatter yourself when you claim you wouldn't be reaping your take at the kitty if they had granted you access to the cloth fountain.

8/02/2010 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wilson, enough means,"performance." Tucson Arizona has expired,at last tally,nearly 15 million in salaries alone,for the goose egg status of no Spring Training,no ancillary support org's for Raytheon,(Sierra Vista got the last one),And no net job growth. Mr X continues to bring forth TRUTH.Why would he quit?

8/03/2010 2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do men like Joel Valdez, Jim Ronstandt,et el. get to have 3 Government pensions? We wonder why we are broke? Follow the families.

8/03/2010 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The late Roy Drachman once said, "a Real Estate Broker doing his job, IS economic development."

So why have municipal folk on salary? Just let Mike Hammond do the job! That is what he is on the board for anyhow.

8/03/2010 2:34 AM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

Well, Anon was up late, and I'm up early.

Wilson's words show his thinking, and it's perfect. The Cloth is a club. Notice how Wilson refers to pecking order without any mention of results. That is absolutely right. In the cloth world, no one has to produce a thing or make a a difference in the real way, the way x4mr thinks. With cloth, it's about looking good and heaping praise on the anointed.

Remember that Texas Instruments crisis where x4mr ended up training 3rd shift workers at 2AM with security guards meeting instructors in the parking lot before class? They trained 24/7 for a month. In any given week, SAIAT produced more for this town than TREO will in its lifetime. TREO takes credit for the contributions and accomplishments of others. Matt didn't sufficiently kiss ass.

The cloth is like a country club. Anon is right. Once in the club, so long as you flatter and smile and get along, you would be amazed how much you can get paid to dress nice and attend a meeting now and then. Anon is also right about the family thing. If you're an Eckstrom, etc. you're set for life.

The egos are completely out of control. They think they're gods. Remember Lee ("I am a Major Player!!") Smith? If they had to do real work, they'd be waiting tables or washing cars.

8/03/2010 6:27 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Wilson,
Your language does betray your thinking, and you are completely mistaken if you think I would let alone could be a snell. As Cigar Man saw years ago, I am not made up of that kind of stuff.

I am not a salesman, let alone a snake oil salesman. You can easily hear this in my speaking during the interview. I endeavor to see, understand, and work with reality. On the side, I teach an algebra class to struggling college kids. I write code for statistical software to generate REAL information, not meaningless data.

Further, the proof is in the pudding regarding my cloth credentials. As you noted, I was butchered and banished from the group, someone whose thoughts and actions were highly unwelcome.

8/03/2010 10:49 AM  
Blogger Sunshinesuperman said...

In reading these observations I have the image of the Native American Indian chief in the old advertisement for littering. You recall he was sitting on a hill top overlooking the city..weeping.

Tucson has squandered more capital in the name of economic development than any one municipality in the west. The tragic aspect,as is so acutely nailed by the posters here,is that the non-performance is with impunity. When nothing happens in the Old Pueblo,nothing happens! One of the Anon's must have some working history,as the mention of "control" in Tucson has been noted for years. In the 1985 AIA report on Tucson,they indicated a "lack of curb appeal," and a need for, "more diverse and skilled leaderhip." Not a thing has changed in 25 years.

One of the other non-changing, non-dynamics is the inability to keep UofA graduates in the workforce in Tucson. The result of a 40 year effort to become a perfect right to work state, is a vanquished middle class, spiraling into a diminished tax base. Anon again was on target in repeating a rather cliche phrase about Tucson,"the carpenter who builds a home cannot afford to own one."

How many long time Tucson families have left to be closer to where their UofA alumni children are making a living? I know of four in the past year alone. I am one. Last week, the four of us determined that our combined retirement income is approximately a 5 million dollar loss to Tucson.

And that previous coaching analogy was great! How is that we keep the same coaches with such a sorry Win-Loss record? It does indeed seem to be time for a new recruiting class.

8/03/2010 12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alabama is also a right to work state so I don't quite understand the correlation with UofA graduates not staying in Tucson. UofA(labama)H(untsville)seemingly tend to stay in Huntsville. So what's the difference? The job training center that brought Raytheon here? Not for the UAH graduates. As for "the carpenter who builds a home cannot afford to own one"; what about the carpenter who goes out and brings Pella to town so he can more easily supply his customers with good windows, thus giving him more business to enable to eventually build himself as nice or nicer a house than any of the high-end custom homes he puts those windows in. Not the real estate people, though I realize the plant has to go somewhere but somebody first has to want it go there.

Builders's niece

8/03/2010 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

It really does feel like a tipping point, doesn't it, a tipping point between those who would like to see the community evolve and expand and grow to include new minds and businesses, and those established Clothmeisters who want to preserve the status quo over a crippled, backwards call center and pawn shop town.

8/03/2010 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anon 7, give or take said...

Nice try, Anon (9:30pm). Extend the analogy of the carpenter inappropriately to TREO, as if TREO is the carpenter bringing us windowless Tucsonans the Pella windows we so desperately need. Of course, Pella's arrival had little to do with TREO.

I don't think anyone who comments on this blog doesn't appreciate what true economic development could do for Tucson; they're just tired of the pretenders taking our tax money, congratulating themselves, bull-shitting our idiot elected officials, and cashing fat paychecks while producing no output save for some fancy brochures and Power Point presentations.

The Cloth will always exaggerate the positive influence of their own, and minimize the positive influence of those they do not support.

Just like Rio Nuevo, TREO has been a miserable failure.

8/03/2010 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm sorry if you misinterpreted my comments; I wasn't trying to come down on the postive side of TREO; I'm as against tax-money taking pretenderss as anybody; my comment was in regard to it being the commercial real estate owners and leasers (anon 2) vs. TREO who recruited companies like Pella (and Target). I just wanted to
comment as whether it was even really those people or whether it was actually the "carpenters" who wanted to bring Pella to - not "windowless" Tucsonans" but those who would like, oh, say, windows that are made in the U.S.A. by Americans (or can we even assume that but I am assuming that's who we are caring about as a workforce i this discussion) vs. oh, maybe windowless Chinese, not that we care about those, but maybe we'd like those "made in the U.S.A. windows" to be made in our town by people we do care about by a company that maybe pays their people enough that maybe they can have a house at least, (and normally our houses do have windows); now whether it will have Pella windows in or not, I'm not going that far yet, but it'd be interesting to find out. But the point isn't so much the kind of house they have but just how much money they would have to put into the local economy, isn't it?

Again builder's niece (again I apologize for any misunderstanding re TREO)

8/04/2010 5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anon 7 give or take said...

I think we agree that we'd rather have more manufacturing jobs in Tucson (say, making windows at Pella) than call centers, and we're happy when such jobs are local rather than out-sourced to China.
All I'm saying is TREO had little or nothing to do with landing Pella, and even if we were to give them credit for landing Pella, they've accomplished very little since that time that can't be accounted for through commercial real estate brokers like PICOR having the financial incentive to fill their buildings and either earn rent or commissions.
I don't doubt that TREO has had a role in providing referrals here and there.
We're certainly not getting more bang for the buck than we got with GTEC, despite all the chest-pounding.
The recent episode where one of our own companies, Raytheon, didn't choose us over Alabama demonstrates how poorly coordinated we are here in economic development, despite the creation of TREO to do just that: coordinate our local economic development efforts.

8/04/2010 8:26 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

The last comment (8:26) is exactly right. Economic development is the attraction, retention, and expansion of the highest possible quality economic activity, most easily measured by 1)number of jobs added and 2)wages of those jobs.

Manufacturing (Pella) pays better than service (APAC). High Tech(IBM) is even better.

TREO excels at taking credit for developments they had nothing to do with. They took credit for Pella like they were the driving the bus. They weren't even on the bus. Pella was done before Snell was hired.

The remark about PICOR is also accurate. TREO salivates when PICOR (or for that matter, the Tech Park) scores a tenant from out of town. They hold a press conference.

Some of TREO staff actually have the job of surveying by phone or email what companies are hiring or hired recently. They take credit for creating those jobs. When a company expands a facility, TREO takes credit for causing that capital investment.

Sheer physics should have massive amounts of solar energy development in the region. Gargantuan amounts of sunlight pound the area. Congresswoman Giffords and some people at U of A have worked hard (imagine that idea) to support this. You would think solar farms would be cropping up all over. Why not?

I've heard there are big solar developments in AZ, but NOT near Tucson. With capable leadership, the Tucson sunshine should be a gold mine.

The Cloth are too busy working on their slides for the next presentation or choosing which restaurants to visit on their next trip.

Watch for the majority of solar energy projects that come to AZ to locate in Casa Grande or Benson or a little ways north of Marana. Perhaps down in Green Valley, or 30 minutes outside of Phoenix. Just watch.

8/04/2010 11:42 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

Coincidentally, I was in Huntsville for the first time about a month ago to visit my brother and his wife, who recently relocated there.

My brother has a Masters in a technology field from the UA. His wife has a Ph.D. from the UA. Obviously, neither one chose to remain in the area, and for obvious reasons - for a city the size of Tucson, the number of jobs for people with their background is stunningly small.

Huntsville, on the other hand, which is far smaller than Tucson, has at least as many such jobs as Tucson does, likely more. On a per-capita basis the comparison isn't close.

A side-benefit of having all those educated, technologically-savvy people is that they demand and support good educational opportunities for their children ... which leads to well-educated, better-trained population ... which leads to a more attractive environment for companies looking to hire such individuals ... and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.

Tucson's continual inability to take even the first step down this path is sickening. There are a number of contributing factors involved here (lack of educational funding, lack of parental support for schools, etc.), but the "contributions" of TREO and other clothy individuals and organizations to suffocating any progress really can't be overstated.

8/04/2010 2:40 PM  
Anonymous New Visitor said...

I just read all of Something Else, and it is unbelievable. You can obviously tell that it is accurate and truthful. Tucson is brutally plagued with a sub-standard workforce and an exodus of university graduates. So what if they were educated with AZ state appropriations paying a huge part of the tab? Virtually every engineer and science graduate has to leave for a town that has (instead of pretending to have) economic development efforts.

Regarding a skilled workforce and attracting high wage jobs, I liked what x4mr said about “chicken and egg” and how challenging it is to break the cycle.

Well, along comes SAIAT, and this institute, having reduced its public subsidy to a song (less than an eighth of TREO's budget), starts to contribute to this critical need with a brilliant model for a customized training institute. With surgical precision, x4mr's incredibly efficient institute perfectly tuned up worker skills exactly as requested by their employers. It trained over 10,000 workers from over 100 employers per year at a subsidized cost to the public of less than $25 / worker. Jesus!

What just nails it for me, as in slam dunk, is that after TREO shut SAIAT down, Raytheon had to build its own institute to replace what was destroyed. What's amazing to me, that isn't getting mentioned much but is in x4mr's blog and story, is that Snell shut SAIAT down not because of performance, which was clearly fantastic.

Snell shut SAIAT down because he didn't like the tone of a letter.

What a tragic, tragic loss for the community, and why?

So some asshole could swing his dick.

8/04/2010 3:20 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

This thread really shows how the conversation has advanced since x4mr first published "Something Else" three years ago.

Sometimes being new to the conversation offers a fresh perspective that illuminates what we may have forgotten. New Visitor is right. TREO didn't inflict fatal losses outright.

They had settled on a number that would have allowed SAIAT to continue operating, a reduction that let TREO steal 50 grand or so, but then its moles on SAIAT's board insisted on a letter requesting no reduction.

TREO used that letter as the reason to inflict the fatal blow.

This says something very, very important. TREO did not consider, at all, what was best for the community. No performance evaluation was made or relevant. It was a negotiation gone south, and gone south because of the very people TREO put on SAIAT's board.

Thanks for the observation, new arrival. You're right. Joe Snell shut down an organization training over 10,000 workers in over 100 companies because a letter pissed him off.

SE chapter 12 (or 14) links to that letter.

8/04/2010 9:03 PM  

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