Hey, Go Fund Yourself

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Valley News Issue: December 2015
Group Free

Did you see the recent article in the Arizona Republic about Valley school teachers who rely on online crowdfunding to cover basic classroom materials like pencils and dictionaries? Pretty sad. S0 we paid a visit to the website in question, GoFundMe, to see what other vital institutions were passing the virtual collection jar. The answer: Some schools. Lots of aspiring beauty queens.Find a broad sample of Arizona-based GoFundMe projects plotted on the four-quadrant chart below and see which projects typically receive the most funding: the frivolous, or the serious.

GoFundMe

A) Meag J. moved to Yuma to “start over” and it hasn’t worked out so well. Help her escape! Funding request: $340.
B) Aspiring pro golfer Libby W. needs $1,000 so she can “win some tournament” [sic].
C) Mary G. of Chowchilla, Calif. would like to “start 2016 off right” with an Arizona road trip. And all she needs is a cool two Gs.
D) Space Needle elevator pilot Krista S. is leaving Seattle for Tucson, where she’ll teach art to children and disabled adults through AmeriCorps. The pay ain’t great. Funding request: $1,000
E) MoJo the Yorkshire terrier lives in Mesa and needs $300 for dental surgery.
F) Rosie’s House is a nonprofit that provides free music lessons to underprivileged kids. $5,000 would buy a lot of piccolos.
G) Samantha I. of Lake Havasu City wants to start a suicide prevention fund in the name of her late sister. Goal: $5,000
H) Youth basketball team Arizona Magic needs $11K to cover their traveling schedule.
I) Brooke V. from Chandler is Padma Lakshmi-hot and  wants to compete in the Mrs. Arizona pageant. Goal: $800. Total raised: $2,720.

 

Lear LightLear Light
Unless one is hitching a ride on a $40 million business jet, Scottsdale Airport presents little utility for common air travelers. Fledgling aviation outfit Jet Purple is aiming to change that. Flying a fuel-efficient Airbus ATR 42 turboprop, the airline envisions low-volume passenger flights from Scottsdale to San Diego, Rocky Point and Las Vegas, maximizing the regulatory thresholds (30-passenger limit, four weekly flights per destination) that allow it to operate formally as a charter service. The new routes will debut in 2016.

What this means for the average Valley air traveler: TSA-free convenience and business-class pampering at a price point below typical business-class fares. A roundtrip flight to San Diego will run “about $500,” according to Jet Purple spokesman Alex Knaus. “You also don’t need to arrive two hours in advance,” he adds. “It’s all about saving time.” jetpurple.com

 

All the (Road) Rage
Any Phoenix motorist who’s sputtered through rush hour traffic in Los Angeles or Chicago knows we have a pretty sweet deal here, freeway-congestion-wise. But the best driving in the world? That was the conclusion of traffic-navigation app Waze, which ranked the “overall driving experience” in 167 cities based on factors like congestion, road quality and driver safety. See how our fair Phoenix fared. This was before the I-10 shooter scare, keep in mind.

1. Phoenix. All the smog of a major city, but with half the gridlock. We’ll take it!
2. Greensboro, NC. Lightest urban traffic in the U.S. makes for happy Greensborians.
3. Dallas, TX. Safe roads, cheap gas, big hats.
4. Amsterdam. Space-cake-gobblers scored “high” in overall driver satisfaction.
5. Detroit, MI. The fringe benefit of relentless urban decline: quicker commutes.

 

HOT MIC
“Judge, the bottom line is the defendant shot four unarmed individuals, killing one of them. He had sufficient opportunity to reflect on what he was doing and that is why he is charged with first-degree murder in this case.”
– Coconino County prosecutor Ammon Barker at the arraignment of NAU shooting suspect Steven Jones. The NAU Police Department later amended the complaint to second-degree murder, sparing Jones the possibility of a death sentence.