More Than Ridiculous

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When public education is involved, the Arizona Legislature has come up with more than its fair share of hair-brained schemes.

But Rep. Steve May's (R-Paradise Valley) latest proposal to force Arizona State University to give Karsten Golf Course to the Arizona Cardinals goes beyond the realm of reason.

Because the Cardinals cannot find a site for their new stadium that is agreeable to everyone concerned, the Legislature is considering forcing ASU to turn over Karsten for construction of a new stadium.

Legislative backers are said to be trying to come up with legislation that would make such a move legal.

May and his legislative hooligans apparently believe they can find the power to take golf course land that does not belong to Tempe, Maricopa County or the state. The land belongs to the regents and it is theirs to use as they see fit.

Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano has come out in favor of the plan. He's been quoted as saying he doesn't think ASU's giving up the land would we harmful. That's a bizarre statement coming from a man who heads a city that has a university campus as its economic, academic and cultural hub.

ASU President Lattie Coor, Sun Devil coaches, athletes and many alumni are openly opposed to May's proposal.

Karsten opened in 1990 at a cost of about $6 million. The late Karsten Solheim, the founder of PING, donated about $2 million of that amount.

Wouldn't relinquishing that course to a professional football team violate the good intentions the Karsten family had when they donated such a large sum of money?

I'm not a golf fan and have played maybe one round in my entire life, but the idea of turning over a facility one that is so much a part of the ASU campus to the Bidwell family is appalling.

Legislators argue that giving Karsten to the Cardinals will generate enough money, maybe as much as $600 million over the next 30 years, to enrich the already thin university budgets at ASU, UofA and NAU.

Without that money, they say, the universities might suffer more budget cuts.

Isn't that blackmail?

Hopefully, ASU officials will continue to resist the legislature's absurd proposal and keep Karsten intact.

More players needed

The Payson Parks and Recreation-sponsored seventh- and eighth-grade basketball program has openings for seven more boys and 12 to 15 more girls.

Regular registration closed Feb. 1, but recreation coordinator Teddy Pettet opted to extend the sign-up period until those vacancies are filled.

If more girl players participate, the league can field four teams. Currently, three team rosters are filled. According to Pettet, four would be a much more competitive and well-rounded league.

Registration may be completed at the Parks and Rec office at 1000 W. Country Club in Green Valley park.

The fee is $20 per player, which includes a team T-shirt and a season-ending pizza party.

League games begin Feb. 29 and run through March 30. Games are played on Saturdays and some weeknights. Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

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