Monday, November 10, 2014

Stories to Life: Letters

Stories to Life: Letters
Sunday, November 16, 4 p.m.
Coconino Center for the Arts

FLAGSTAFF, AZ – The Flagstaff Arts Council and the Flagstaff City/Coconino County Public Library present November’s Stories to Life event: Letters. The event will be Sunday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. at the Coconino Center for the Arts.

A spoken word cast will read aloud from some of the very best letters ever written. They will be accompanied by the chamber music quartet, The Ponderosa Players, a Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra ensemble comprised of Andrea Graves and Jeannette Moore on flute, Karin Hallberg on viola and Andrew Hamby on cello.  

“The Stories to Life management team has wanted to do a program about letters and the people who write them for years. This program is our opportunity to showcase the lost art of letter writing and how it reflects the human condition,” said project manager Judy Finney.  “We are including letters written by prominent figures and ordinary people alike that are truly intriguing.”

Funding for this season’s Stories to Life is generously provided by the Friends of the Flagstaff Public Library. This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the series, please contact Flagstaff Arts Council at (928) 779-2300, Judy Finney at the Flagstaff Public Library at (928) 213-2369, or visit 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CollegeAmerica's Fall Career Fair

CollegeAmerica's Fall Career Fair

Looking to hire? Are you looking to be hired?

Then join CollegeAmerica and 20+ Flagstaff employers at their annual Fall Career Fair Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 2pm to 5:30pm at their new campus at 399 Malpais Ln. on the second floor.

More information about CollegeAmerica Flagstaff at their website:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

News You Can Use

The credit/debit card industry has had a lot of changes lately and that has resulted in much confusion and misinformation. This combination is ripe for fraud and scams. Please don’t waste your money. Knowledge is your best defense.

  1. Industry digital conversion. Yes, the industry is going all digital but NOT instantly. Many older counter top machines are now obsolete...but operational. They will not be serviced, downloaded or rebooted but WILL remain working until they fail. Only then will the merchant be required to get a newer machine. Planning for replacement is a good idea. New digital machines run from about $400 to $600 for counter top with wireless adding another $100 to $150.  Fear mongers are pushing machines for nearly twice that!
  2. Chip cards ARE coming. This is also known as EMV conversion. The credit card with a chip in it is far more secure than the brown strip version. Europe and Canada have long proven its value. Neither the machine nor card manufacturers can make enough to convert quickly. The transition will take place over the next couple of years with Oct 2015 as the initial target date. New machines and readers will have a slot to insert the chip card as well as the known slot for magnetic cards. Initially, US chip cards will have both the chip and strip. This will allow for a more orderly change over as older analog machines (see #1 above) are replaced in the next several years. After 2015, strip reader machines will continue to work but breach protection will be absent. 
  3. Credit card rates are getting more competitive. Value added services such as gift cards, ATMs, text messaging, online systems, wireless in store systems, and cash advances are showing up as additional offerings. 
  4. As part of the more competitive nature, the older more costly tiered pricing system (usually 3 tiered) is giving way to the more competitive cost plus pricing system also known as interchange plus. Cost plus is a bit more difficult to show quickly but reduces total costs dramatically. This is the only pricing all big box stores use. An informed ISO (Independent Sales Organization) sales rep can explain it clearly and demonstrate its profit potential to a merchant.

The key issue will ever more be the knowledge of the sale rep from the ISO. Banks and warehouse stores continue to sell merchant services but as tiered pricing with no service rep available. Let’s face it, when you mix people, computers and money, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ issues arise, it is a matter of ‘when’. A knowledgeable rep will be invaluable in keeping these issues from becoming significant problems.

For questions call Chamber member Bear Thomas at Merchant Solutions International, Inc. in Williams, AZ at 602-910-0500.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tourist Home Urban Market Opens for Business

FLAGSTAFF – AZ. For the first time in decades, the Tourist Home will illuminate the neon sign hovering above the San Francisco Street sidewalk in Flagstaff’s Southside, and open its doors to locals and visitors once more. A former boarding house for immigrant Basque sheepherders whose travels through Flagstaff once were widespread, the building has been sitting dormant; boarded up and decaying for the last 40-plus years. It wasn't until visions for its revitalization and re-purposing were met with strategy and partnerships, did progress begin for the Heinonen cousins and new business partner, Chris Kemmerly of Miramonte Homes.
A natural extension of its sibling restaurant and bar businesses – Tinderbox Kitchen and Annex – Tourist Home Urban Market (THUM) will represent the retail arm of the three. Part storefront, part restaurant, part local hub, THUM provides counter service offering chef-driven foods, pre-packaged or made-to-order. Menu items include hot breakfast items and pastries, gourmet packaged foods, house charcuterie, chef-butchered steaks and chops, domestic cheeses, prepared-to-order sandwiches, plus an assortment of soups and salads. All foods are made on-premises and intentionally kept simple with no more than five ingredients. Drinks include fair-trade coffees, juices, sodas, beer and wine.
“We kept the integrity and style from the Tinderbox and Annex and implemented that quality into the market,” said Dara Wong, general manager, “It allows T-Box fans to access many of the specialty foods, meats, cheeses and wines we have at the restaurant, but in a one-stop- shop fashion, including made-to-order counter-service meals.”
The historic preservation and architectural efforts; local craftsmanship; and artistic vision that aligned to create Tourist Home Urban Market, did so in an unprecedented and synergistic way. The owners and staff are eager to share the building’s story and contribute to the next chapters in its history.
Tourist Home Urban Market, located at 52 S. San Francisco St., will open its doors for business on Thursday, Oct. 23 at 6 a.m. Hours and days of operation are 6 a.m. - 6 p.m., seven days a week. More information at 928-779-2811 or 928-226-8400.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Props 406, 403 aim to repair streets and increase safety

The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce recognizes that transportation infrastructure in our region is in critical need of repair and ongoing maintenance. Funding through Federal
resources is lacking and a solution that will adequately address our needs is unlikely. Arizona’s Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) is continually being swept, reducing the already minimal share our city sees from that funding source. The lack of funding support from our state and federal resources necessitates a local solution. Both the City and County have proposed increases to our sales tax in order to repair, improve and maintain our road system.

The City’s Prop 406 – Road Repair & Street Safety raises the sales tax one third of one percent (.033%) or 33 cents per $100 purchase. The County’s Prop 403 – Coconino County
Road Maintenance Tax raises sales taxes three tenths of one percent or 30 cents on a $100 purchase.
This would go into affect while the existing Coconino Parks & Open Space tax expires. The net increase would be reduced to 17.5 cents on a $100 purchase.

These initiatives would bring our sales tax rate from 8.446% to 8.951% or 50.5 cents per $100. It would be in effect for 20 years and fund approximately $12 to $13 million for needed repairs and maintenance.

The propositions are the result of a two year process with significant input from diverse groups within the community. There have been two voter surveys, a Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) comprised of various community leaders, and independent road evaluations.

The results of the 1,200 voters surveyed indicate overwhelming support (69%) for a tax increase now vs. paying more later for future repairs. The CTAC recommended a sales tax increase to fund these core services. Kimmley-Horn and Associates provided the independent assessment, finding that 35% of the County paved roads are in poor or severe condition.

The City of Flagstaff and Coconino County have stated that without the significant revenue this initiative will provide services will be at risk. The negative impact on tourism and the business community is too great to ignore. It is a public safety and an economic development imperative that our roads are properly maintained.

The Chamber is cognizant that the idea of raising our local sales taxes to fund road repair is a difficult proposition. Unfortunately, our two choices are to let our roads fall into further disrepair or fund improvements ourselves.

Registered voters have the opportunity to decide to fund better roads in the upcoming general election on November 4, 2014.
For more information, visit and

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blinded by the Light: a Dark Skies Summit

On August 18-19 the Keystone Center hosted a Dark Skies Summit to explore common solutions to the growing threat from the proliferation of white and poorly-filtered LED outdoor lighting in this region.

The value of our Dark Skies City designation cannot be underestimated to sustain and grow our
deep scientific and astronomy communities.

The Greater Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce participated along with collaborative partners Lowell
Observatory, the City of Flagstaff and NAU.

The importance of preserving our Dark Skies as it relates to regional economic development
through the use of emerging technologies and it’s importance to our tourism industry was discussed.
Public policy, balancing lighting standards and public safety while incorporating cost effective new
technology to preserve our dark skies will all continue to be important work at the Chamber on
behalf of this region. For more information please go to and

Business Leaders Meet New NAU President

At the end of August, Chamber board members, ambassadors and other community members gave a warm welcome to NAU’s new president, Dr. Rita Cheng.

The Chamber has always believed in the importance of a strong partnership between the business community and NAU, which is why President and CEO Julie Pastrick invited the new university president to the Chamber’s board meeting.

Dr. Cheng spoke about both her career and personal history, as well as her exciting plans for the future of NAU, building on John Haeger’s numerous accomplishments.

Business leaders asked her questions, gave her advice and informed her about current initiatives happening between the university and the community and at the Chamber of Commerce.

Welcome, Dr. Cheng!