Luke Knipe 
Member since Aug 21, 2009

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A mild mannered public servant.

Recent Comments

Re: “High Rise on the Horizon

This story reports the following: "A number of downtown merchants are concerned about what the development will do to the feel of Fourth Avenue and the precedent it sets."

Who are these merchants? And how does this reporter know they're concerned? Did she actually talk to any of them? If so, why doesn't this story say so? If not, what is her basis for reporting it?

While anyone who knows anything about 4th Ave. shouldn't be surprised that merchants might be concerned about this proposed development, anyone who knows anything about journalism should know better than to accept an unattributed statement about what unnamed people think about something.

The proposed 4th Ave. apartment developments are a controversial issue, and the 4th Ave. merchants are among its most important stakeholders. I would hope any reporter writing on the subject would actually bother talking to some of them and telling readers what they have to say.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 04/26/2018 at 10:03 PM

Re: “Fourth Avenue and Future of Localism in Tucson

What, exactly, counts as "local?" What counts as a chain? The Dairy Queen across the street from the Flycatcher is owned by a Tucson family, but it's also a franchise of a chain with thousands of locations around the world. Does Local First Arizona think the community should keep supporting it? (The folks who frequent the avenue don't seem too upset about it being there.) What about other locally-owned franchises of big chains? Would a McDonalds be acceptable on Fourth Avenue, if it were owned by a local family?

As for the developer, is the geographic location of the principles really the issue? While the term "out-of-state developers" might sound sinister, ask yourself: would you feel better about this project if it were being build by Don Bourn or Rob Caylor? (Both are Tucsonans who recently built high-end, multi-story complexes in downtown Tucson.) If the answer is no, then maybe "local" isn't really the issue.

You've probably heard of the proposed high-rise development a few blocks south where the Maloney's (also a chain) currently sits. The managing partner of its developer, Partners on Fourth, is Steve Fentonanother Tucson guy. Is his proposed development better because he's local?

Maybe you've also heard that the historic Coronado Hotel (where the Coronet Cafe is located) now belongs to an LLC registered to an address in the Los Angeles area. They don't seem to have any plans to disrupt the Coronet or any other aspect of the current use. Butthey're not local! (Should we be suspicious of them?!)

My point here is that things are often not as simple as they seem. Sometimes local investors do really disruptive things. Sometimes out-of-state investors do nice ones. Some chains are gross. Some aren't so bad. I'm pretty happy the Dairy Queen across the street from the Flycatcher is still going strong.

I just wish the Flycatcher was still Plush. (And that I was still 29.)

33 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 02/20/2018 at 11:15 PM

Re: “Democrats Luckier Than Education in 2017 City-Wide Elections

On the zoo propositions, Khmara incorrectly reports: "One passed by 52 percent and the other by 50 percent. It sounds like a win, but well have to see what happens as ballots continue to get counted today."

Here are the election night totals for those propositions, according to the City Clerk's website:

PROP 202

Yes: 35,959 (52.31%)
No: 32,777 (47.69%)

PROP 203

Yes: 35,866 (49.76%)
No: 36,216 (50.24)

While it's true that we'll have to wait until the rest of the votes are counted to know the final result, it is certainly not the case that "one passed by 52 percent and the other by 50 percent," as Khmara states. It's also misleading for a reporter to say "it sounds like a win" in reference to a proposition that got more "no" votes than "yes" ones.

Facts are important. It's always a good idea to check them before reporting.

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 11/08/2017 at 9:11 PM

Re: “Rugrat Referendum

It's disappointing to see the Weekly assert this campaign's talking points without attribution, as though they were facts.

Khmara writes: "It's important to note that the Strong Start program would focus dollars on schools rated three to five stars through First Things First's Quality First rating system. Child-care programs currently funded through DES that don't rank as high-quality or haven't been assessed for quality wouldn't be eligible."

These are not facts. Prop. 204 actually doesn't say a thing about how quality would be measured or on what criteria providers would be selected. These decisions would be up to a commission, and nobody knows what this commission would decide, or even who would be on it

Khmara also writes: "Preschool would be paid for on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the amount families receive would be determined on a sliding scale, based on income and family size.

Actually, the initiative doesn't say anything about who would be served first, nor does it say anything about family size.

It's important to read the text of these ballot measures. Not all voters do, which is understandable. But reporters should when writing about them. In this story Khmara appears to have invented details of the initiative that don't actually exist, like the one about using First Things First's Quality First rating system. Who knows where she got that. (I'm guessing probably from the campaign, which has repeated this claim elsewhere.) It's not part of the initiative, nor are a number of other details Khmara has unfortunately reported here as facts.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 10/12/2017 at 11:45 PM

Re: “Oyama: 'He Was a Hero and Example to Me and Many Others'

Right on, Mari.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 03/22/2013 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Guest Commentary

Is Mr. Ortega employed by a community organization that involves itself in local politics? Also, is he affiliated with any of the current local political campaigns, TUSD or otherwise? It's fine if he is, but things like this should be disclosed.

16 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 09/12/2012 at 7:35 PM

Re: “Rio Nuevo Shakeup: Bain and Grinnell Removed From Downtown Board

I'm not sure any mix of legislative appointees is going to lead to a more confident public, or more satisfactory outcomes. Remember, the district's current governance configuration isn't what the voters approved. As for McCusker, his Rio Nuevo related actions thus far haven't demonstrated much regard for the city's fiscal well-being as a whole. In particular, his recent support for legislation to give away certain sales tax revenues generated within the district is wrongheaded: we're already planning property tax revenue giveaways through the city's new Central Business District GPLET, and may well find ourselves giving away some of our state shared revenue against our will, if the next legislature decides—as some have feared—to use a little-known provision in Rio Nuevo's enabling legislation authorizing it to withhold monies owed to Tucson if it deems the district isn't properly performing.

Bottom line: we can't afford to give away any more of our revenue, or any more of our land, or any more of our anything... and the community won't be well-served by a Phoenix-appointed, right-wing Rio Nuevo board, invariably determined to use Tucson's public treasure to feather the nests of their business associates. That's what we had with Jodi Bain, and that's what we'll get with Fletcher McCusker. It's not what voters want, and it's not what they voted for.

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Luke Knipe on 06/05/2012 at 2:50 PM

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