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06/02/16

Good morning,  COGS  E News Reader: 

The Desert Discovery Center project has correctly generated city wide interest from property and business owners—and we hope from our winter visitors.  As with any major city decision, it is VERY IMPORTANT that focus be on the project public benefits and the contribution to our unique image and to our tourism revenue.   You will read multiple mass-e mails, blogs and newspaper articles that aren’t always accurate.  COGS-The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale—was described this morning in a Voice of Scottsdale mass mailing as “ helping build grassroots support to stymie the construction of the DDC at the Gateway Trailhead inside the boundaries of the Preserve....”  .  THAT is an accurate statement.  What is NOT accurate is the inference that COGS opposes the DDC concept.  We are adamant supporters of a Desert Discovery Center as a valuable educational site for southwestern desert experiences.  Many of our members have served for decades on Preserve commissions, subcommittees, task forces and as stewards.

However, we recognize the enormous community opposition to the proposed location inside the boundaries of the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve.  The Voice of Scottsdale editor laments failure of a “silent majority” to rise against the site opposition noisy masses.  Why not recognize that this is one issue related to build a supportable, successful DDC?  Why not recognize that when residents organize, hold neighborhood meetings, write to city council, sign petitions on their grievance, and raise their voices---THEY deserve respect. 

The DDCS contractor has not determined the details of the project and they have 16 months to provide that to the public. In the meantime they are speaking at organization meetings in generalities.  Only the location has been announced and the taxpayers/residents have a right to voice their opinion now. 

Who determines what is a “silent majority”?.....especially when the Desert Discovery Center is not scheduled for a public vote?

Have you received a computer-generated phone call? Apparently someone is paying for robo-calls to residents asking for DDC support.  When you push “1” it goes to the city council secretary.

Raising money for the Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale obligation. The nonprofit Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale is screening two award-winning films at the 2016 Nature Film Festival from 5-9 p.m., Monday, June 20 at Harkins Theatres Shea 14 in Scottsdale. The fundraiser includes the BBC Planet Earth “Deserts” production, plus an original film, “Desert Dreams: 5 Seasons in the Sonoran Desert,” produced by a Tucson filmmaker. A silent auction with one-of-a-kind art, jewelry, sporting and cultural events and valuable travel-themed packages will be held and a picnic dinner, cookie, popcorn and beverages will be served, the release states.  Tickets are $25 per person for general admission, or $100 for VIP admission featuring reserved seating and express auction checkout. Call 602-390-3452 or info@scottsdaledesertcenter.com

   For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) Board of Directors, 
 
     Sonnie Kirtley, Chair e-mail sonniek@cogsaz.net 
     Coalition of Greater Scottsdale
     7904 E. Chaparral Rd., Suite 110, PMB 127
     Scottsdale, AZ 85250

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