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New voices

We have been very fortunate here at the Independent to bring on two new voices to share with our readers. They will help us improve our coverage of county government and regional issues as well as town governments and events in Apache County.

At the beginning of July, veteran reporter and editor Peter Aleshire took up our county government beat as well as coverage of regional issues such as forestry, fire and energy and fracking. Aleshire retired last December as the editor of the award-winning Payson Roundup and is a former editor of Arizona Highways and has taught at Arizona State University. We are very grateful to have his skill, humor and good judgement to help us cover the most important issues facing our White Mountain communities.

Amber Shepard, a recent graduate with a degree in Mass Communications and Media Studies from Arizona State University, is also a resident of St. Johns who, along with her husband, is raising her daughter in that community. She has previously worked in marketing for Fortune 250 companies. Amber has a artistic bent, she told me that at Halloween she carves no less than 14 pumpkins and she enjoys drawing painting and calligraphy. Amber is just beginning her work as a writer, but already I can tell she has a sharp eye for detail and a nose for a story.

Earlier this spring, RT Lynch joined our team to report on the courts and law. Lynch is a former municipal court judge, and has a knack for writing about the law in a way that is educational and approachable. We are so fortunate that he always secretly wanted to be a journalist and we are happy to give him the opportunity.

We trust that readers will enjoy hearing from our new voices, and we will continue to strive to bring you a community newspaper of which you can be proud.

As always, if you have a question or comment for any of our writers, please feel free to contact them, or myself, by email or phone. We always welcome your thoughts or a story tip.

Lack of maintenance on 28th Street

Why is the road on 28th Street not paved going to Waltners RV is not paved. Its listed on the county records as Show Low but never taken care of by the city.

The pot holes this year were large enough to knock your car out of alignment. Only after numerous calls the city did spread rocks over half of the area but the problems still remain due to high traffic and RVS using the road. I have called the city manager, the mayor and everyone could have helped with the issue.

After no results and a road paved down 28th Street except the section that we live on. I decided to go to the newspaper to help and take pictures for the public to see. What explanations could they possibly have. This road is never maintained and the county use to grade the road when they maintained the county road by Waltners.

I talked to the workers and they stated the city never took care of the road so they decided to help. Now they are no longer allowed and they can only maintain the county. So now I'am going to the newspaper to ask the city of Show Low, why this small section of road is not included. I would really appreciate if you took the time to review and show the pictures in your paper with an article.

Thank You for your time.

Wendel Hemmer,

Show Low

President Trump: Don't put foreign pharmaceutical price controls on a pedestal

President Trump vowed to expand patient access to prescription drugs on the campaign trail. But with one proposal, his administration seems to be working against this goal.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently unveiled a plan to impose artificial price controls on physician-administered drugs under Medicare Part B.

While the proposal could trim government spending, it will reduce access to medicine and innovation.

It’s no surprise that HHS wants to tackle drug spending. In 2016, the government spent over $29 billion on drugs covered by Part B, nearly double compared to other developed counties.

Many countries rely on price controls to manipulate drug costs. Canada, for instance, never lets a medicine’s cost exceed its price in seven other countries. The United Kingdom simply denies patients access to certain treatments if they’re deemed too expensive.

Now, HHS wants to employ similar tactics. Under its plan, Medicare would tie reimbursement for Part B drugs to the prices paid in foreign countries.

That’s dangerous.

The United States leads the world in drug development because we value drugs appropriately. The U.S. biopharmaceutical industry invests more than $65 billion every year. American firms are responsible for more than half of all medicines developed worldwide.

Thanks to these breakthroughs, U.S. life expectancy has increased every decade since 1950.

Drug development isn’t cheap or easy. Just 12 percent of medicines make it through the R&D pipeline. It can take 15 years and $2.6 billion to see a drug reach shelves.

Price controls make investing in breakthrough research more uncertain. If governments cap what they’ll pay for drugs, there’s no guarantee that manufacturers will ever benefit from their discoveries. Instead of putting money towards cures, investors would look to less risky endeavors.

If the president wants to put American patients first, he should instruct HHS to abandon its proposal.

Dr. Raymond Kordonowy is in private practice medicine in Fort Myers, Florida, who specializes in internal medicine. He has a direct primary care/membership practice. He is a former delegate to the Florida Medical Association.