Mark Schmidt, Director SBDC
Bisbee Convention Center


(photo) SBDC Director Mark Schmitt explains the USDA Value Added grant program to (L-R) Micheal Laridon, Laura Smith, and Serena Sullivan, 3 of the attendees at a meeting this morning in the Bisbee Convention Center. (photo by CAlton/CochiseTALK)


by Chuck Alton, CochiseTALK.com

(LOCAL) The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) which operates out of the campuses of Cochise Community College in Sierra Vista and Douglas will soon be announcing a series of four meetings throughout the county to explain and answer questions for small business owners who are looking for capital to expand and add value to their operations.

Last year the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded 14 million dollars in grants nationwide through its Value Added (VAPG) and Renewable Energy (REAP) loan and grant programs supporting small businesses in emerging markets located in underserved rural cities and towns with less than 50,000 population.

According to the USDA web page http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/…/ID_BP-VAPG_fact%20sheet_inc_tr… and SBDC Director Mark Schmitt at a meeting in Bisbee this morning “VAPG program grants and no interest loans can be made to independent producers, farmer or rancher cooperatives, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures for either planning activities or working capital (but not both).”

An example of “Value Added” as explained by Schmitt this morning might be a date farmer who needed planning money to add chocolate-coated dates to their product line, or for marketing execution to open up new opportunities for the product.

According to USDA “these grants will help expand markets for, and increase financial returns to the agricultural producers and strengthen the rural economy.”

Last year Cochise County communities were awarded more grants under this program than other communities in the U.S., according to Schmitt.

The USDA has awarded SBDC $75,000 to promote the grant program this year in Cochise County, including the four public meetings and full time assistance to applicants. SBCD is in partnerships with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Association of Small Business Development Centers putting nationwide resources within your reach. For SBDC contact information go to: http://www.cochise.edu/sbdc.

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On location

ATTY Tom Holz moderates a discussion between JP 1 candidates Adam Ambrose and Jason Lindstrom in an in depth discussion about their views on the law and how it best serves you.

City Council, Public
BZB City Council Chambers



Mayor Pro Tempore DOUG DUNN BRINGS AND USES GAVEL To Special Bisbee Council Session


With Bisbee Mayor AZ Badal excused from attending last Monday’s special meeting of council, she is reportedly out of the Country, one of her signature legislative achievements as mayor, the ban on plastic bags in Bisbee, came under sometimes heated discussion for nearly an hour at Monday evening’s 6 pm meeting.  In the absence of Badal, Councilman Doug Dunn acted as mayor and brought a rarely used tool to the meeting, a gavel, which he was not shy about using.




As noted by Councilperson Anna Cline, emotions and feelings run high on the issue of the April enacted ban on plastic bags in Bisbee, imposition of a mandatory five cent charge for paper bags purchased at point of sale by those who do not bring their own reusable bag, and for businesses to account to the city for bags sold.  A recent initiative to put the ban on ballot which collected six hundred seventy five signatures was disqualified administratively.


Appointed councilman from Ward II, Peter Von Gundlach moved during a special meeting on Monday to have the bag ordinance repealed and brought to the voters.  Interestingly, the vote taken in some other form than originally suggested, fail to get a winning vote… ending in a three/three tie.


Anna was right, and the emotions over the issue and the rush to put the measure on the November ballot brought on good theater as sometimes politics does.


Hear it all, unedited, at www.cochiseTALK.com, where you won’t have to search for what you are looking for… just push the button on the red bar and take it all in.  CochiseTALK.com… like no other.

City Council, County Management, Public
BZB Council Chambers


Technology having a hiccup played a momentary role in the Cochise County Primary Election last August.  For a while there were instances of false numbers reporting that were ultimately corrected and verified.   Councilman Peter Von Gundlach requested the question of ordering a recount in Bisbee be an agenda item to be discussed at a special meeting held Monday night.

Present to be part of the discussion and to explain what happened on election night was a County Attorney, the Deputy County Administrator, and a County Supervisor.  Following a multi-lateral discussion, Von Gundlach made a motion to order a recount of Bisbee's August Primary Election ballots.  The measure failed for lack of a second.  But all is not lost.

CochiseTALK.com has isolated this agenda item for immediate access, in audio format, enhanced the audio for easier listening, and we offer up the half hour government-in-action gem as a worthy civics lesson.  You will learn about the complexities of getting a recount ordered by Superior Court.

Mark Apel, UA Extension
Phone Interview From CochiseTALK's C-Street Studios

Arizona's severe drought is in the process of changing all of our lives... and, there's more to come. Mark Apel, Area Agent, Arizona Cooperative Extension, works with every sector of Cochise County's population as does Cado Daily Program Director of Water Wise, both working with the UA Extension.  Cochise TALK is dedicated to your better understanding of our local water issues which includes a 10 year severe drought covering 3/4 of Arizona with impact on Cochise County.

lapel.jpg Mark Apel

AU/Cochise County Water Wise Program Director Cado Daily
Phone Interview From C-Street Studios

Arizona is one of 7 of the most drought stricken states in the country.  Cochise County is doing a balancing act, with your help, in hopes of conserving - even replenishing - life supporting water for our community.  Cado Daily is a top go-to expert on water, especially local water. In this interview she answers questions we all have about local water issues and what we can all do.  Chuck Alton is host.


Bisbee Councilman Peter Von Gundlach
C Street Studios

Every four years Bisbee voters decide whether to use the State's recommended limit for spending or exceed it. Proponents say the larger budget is necessary to keep projects alive and services continuing.  Such a vote comes up on August 26.  To better understand what you are being asked to vote for Councilman Peter Von Gundlach offers the benefits of his research. Photo by CAlton/CochiseTALK.com


Chuck Alton Interviews Candidate David Smith
Cochise TALK C Street Studio

Home Rule Option, 1% tax increase, the future of Bisbee, and the Pioneer Hotel Fire past. David Smith steps up to the Cochise Talk microphone.


Chuck Alton Interviews Candidate Ron
Cochise TALK C Street Studio

Ronnie discusses Bisbee's biggest issues and his past performance as 2 time mayor.


Chuck Alton Interviews Candidate Cynthia
Cochise TALK C Street Studio

The always energetic Thousand Stair Climb producer talks about Bisbee's future as well as her past.


Mayor and Council Candidates, Nick Night Moderator
BZB Senior Center

DSC04261.JPGThe first minute or two moderator Nick Night is speaking off mic with the setup for the evening.  Then he and candidates are all speaking into microphones and it is much easier to hear.  This is a recording of the first two hours where mayor and council candidates, all seated at the table at once are asked questions written by Night.  The questions are staggered so candidates do not know which question they will be asked when it is their turn.  Run time is 1h 50m.

Americans Against Fracking
National Conference Call On Fracking


The fight to ban fracking is a world-wide movement.  To date 420 bans and moratoriums have been successful in  U.S. states, counties, and now other protected areas.   With exploratory mining eminent in Cochise County, indeed in the Sulphur Springs Valley,  locals are ramping up to block the use of hydraulic fracturing of the earth to set gas and oil free.  Click on the arrow on the red bar below to hear the last 45 minutes of a conference call held on Thursday, June 5, 2014 as cities check in with reports from anti-fracking activists on progress or lack thereof.  And use this link to access the live map like seen below to click on any of the pins to see resolutions and legal briefs in the local towns pinned:  



Public, Commission
BZB City HALL Council Chambers

Monday, May 19, 2014 - AZ Gas and Oil Inc/Gusher State is poised to explore by drilling in the Sulphur Springs Valley in Cochise County. Fearful that hydraulic fracturing might be used in the process, members of the community are taking action to get fracking banned, first in Bisbee, then State wide. The audio (red bar below) captures the Commission's action following citizen comments, starting with Alice Hamer. (photo taken on location in PA)


City Council, Mayor, J Johnson
BZB City HALL Council Chambers


Jestin Johnson from Metro Atlanta, GA Takes Questions from BZB Mayor and Council  (photo CAlton/CochiseTALK.com)

Before getting a 7-0 nod as preferred candidate for the City Manager position in Bisbee,  Jestin  Johnson of Metro Atlanta took one last round of questions in Public from the Mayor and Council.  Johnson beat out 4 other candidates following a day of closed questioning from numerous panels.  Johnson got his start in local government admin in Tucson.  "Arizona is definitely a place that draws you" he told council in his closing remarks.  Johnson's confirmation as the next Bisbee City Manager is pending final contract negotiations.  See his full employment app at www.cochiseTV.com under "Articles".  To hear Johnson's responses just click on the white arrow on the left end of the red bar below.  (audio runs 31m 30s)

Chuck Alton, AZ Badal Interview
Old Bisbee, Midday, Outside The Coffee Company

(Bisbee) After months of inquisition of the Bisbee Animal Shelter which began last fall after a local Veterinarian filed a written complaint charging the City operated shelter with criminal long term neglect and mismanagement, and including a Sheriff's Department investigation, the BAS was closed in February for maintenance and improvement made possible by a grant, a part time coordinator was hired, and the facility was  reopened last week and is now accepting wayward cats and dogs.  According to interim City Manager John Mackinnon this is a soft opening and we're still "working out a few kinks". He did not elaborate.

 In an exclusive interview with Bisbee Mayor Adriana Badal last Monday, the Mayor acknowledged the opening but said she was starting to get calls from "Friends of the Animal Shelter" and others complaining that "things at the shelter were going back to the way they were (last Fall)".  One of the problems seems to be that people are calling the shelter but the phone just rings and no one answers.  Badal raised this issue in our interview and again Tuesday night during Mackinnon's CM report to the City Council.  Mackinnon seemed unaware of the phone problem but did say that he is not surprised the shelter phone was not answered because most the time no one is there.  When Badal asked about an answering machine Mackinnon said we would check out the problem.  Apparently, the new Shelter Coordinator does not have a cell phone.

Mackinnon noted at Tuesday's City Council meeting that "before and after" pictures of the shelter before it closed and now (see below) show the many improvements made.  Still, procedurally, members of the community and Badal worry that the City may still not "get it", and are expressing their concerns.

 Hear the "Animal Shelter" portion of our exclusive interview with Mayor Badal, below.

(Photo) First term Bisbee Mayor Adriana Zavala Badal: "We're not there yet with the animal shelter". Badal has let it known she will not run for a second term in deference to her family life.  She had never planned on a second term.




BZB City Council

(Bisbee) January 2014 - So how will the Bisbee City Council select the next City Manager? How long will it take?  Interim City Manager John MacKinnon proposes the process to council at the last regular council meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.  20 persons. according to MacKinnon, have applied for the job, and applications will continue to be accepted until the final choice is made. (AUDIO: 5m24s run time)


R Carreira, S Pauken, AZ Badal
Turquoise Golf and RV

(December 12, 2013)  A capacity crowd filled the meeting room at Turquoise Golf and RV for the annual Bisbee Economic Luncheon produced by the Cochise College Center for Economic Research (CER).  Pictured are outgoing Bisbee CM Steven Pauken and at the head of the table is Bisbee Mayor Adriana Badal. Pauken, for his portion of the event, recounted his years as CM and finished with a teary good-by.  Pauken will become Winslow, AZ CM the first week in January,DSC04024.JPG

City Manager et al
Bisbee City Hall/Council Chambers


City Manager Steve Pauken Tells Council Meeting About short term plans for the beleaguered Bisbee Animal Shelter.

Council and BAS Staff
Bisbee City Council Chambers

Pictured: September 16, 2013 Regular City Council Meeting when Call to the Public heard numerous comments on charges made by a local vet that the Animal Shelter was operating without regard to established shelter norms and laws.  The AUDIO FILE posted here is of the Work Session on September 17 where there was no provision for public commenting and input.  Mayor Badal at the end of the session indicated that the shelter issue would be a Council meeting agenda item soon. SHELTER STAFF was questioned by the Council. There was no discussion of an on-going investigation by CCSO requested by City Manager Steven J. Pauken.  Running time: 2h  11m


download Z0000030_1.mp3
BZB City Council and Public
Bisbee, AZ City Hall