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Letter to the Editor: A request to use logic over politics when considering Section 17

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Lowell owns Section 17, 640 acres sandwiched between the Lowell Observatory grounds and 2,000 acres of Flagstaff’s Observatory Preserve.

For at least four years the observatory leadership has consistently and publicly promoted a vision and process that would partner with the city and the public.

The vision I have for that land is almost identical to the one a committee of local citizens suggested to the city several years ago.

Consider something less than a 100 acres being used next to the currently developed area. In that space there would be room for observatory expansion, for an environmentally designed and located research and cultural park, as well as a nationally attractive scientific retreat facility; all great benefits to Flagstaff, a STEM city, and the observatory.

The remaining 500 acres, more than twice the size of Buffalo Park, would be managed by the city for trails and the much-needed vehicle access to the land-locked Observatory Preserve.

The process has come to a screeching halt with the city council’s three to two negative vote for reasons that appeared to be more political than logical. The wild misinformation and general anxiety of the neighbors had the desired effect.

Only Councilmembers Shimoni and Salas went with the logic, not the politics. My neighbors and friends, and they still are, needed more than what is practical.

Lowell pulled back, but has graciously allowed the land to continue to be used by the neighbors and others. Thank you, Lowell.




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