Scottsdale City Council candidate Dan Schweiker
If there was ever any doubt in your mind (there wasn’t in mine) about the motivations of Paradise Valley carpet bagger Dan Schweiker–the Captain Kangaroo of China Mist Tea–his campaign finance filing with the Scottsdale city clerk today should erase that doubt.
This generous $2500 contribution (minus fees) was made through a “social giving platform to raise money for medical bills, personal causes, and more!” Read on and the tragic irony will not be lost on you, I promise.
The contributors are Les and Diane Corieri, the owners of–among other things–the bar and nightclub formerly known as Axis/Radius in Scottsdale’s Barf District. A/R rebranded as “Bottled Blond” and “Livewire” in the summer of 2013. The Corieris are (or at least were) also partners with liquor and lodging magnate Shawn Yari in the Maya Day + Nightclub, and they have Hi-Fi Kitchen and Cocktails in the same “beach-themed” complex.
Bar/hotel owner Shawn Yari
The rebranding occurred after a high-profile, alcohol-related injury collision in the year 2000 was tracked back to Axis/Radius. In that incident, Joseph Spano was alleged to have been over-served at a company party hosted at A/R. Spano drove off from the premises, and subsequently rear-ended a bar district-based pedicab (that’s a whole different subject) a few blocks away, leaving passenger Cody Clark–a college student visiting for the Fiesta Bowl–permanently disabled with a catastrophic brain injury.
Driver Joseph Spano
Clark’s family sued the City of Scottsdale over lack of effective regulation of pedicabs. As I recall, the city settled out of court, courtesy of $855,000 of your tax dollars, but I do not recall hearing the end result of litigation against the Corieris.
A second incident in 2012 involving partner Shawn Yari’s W Hotel (legally known as “7277 Scottsdale Hotel, LLC”) right around the corner from the former Axis/Radius. This tragedy featured an illegally-medicated patron, John Morken who got the keys to some other unsuspecting patron’s Porsche Carrera by badgering the W Hotel valet.
Morken subsequently rear-ended an SUV on I-10 in far western Maricopa County (150 miles west of Scottsdale) at a high rate of speed.
Driver John Morken
13-year old Edgar Velasquez died in that collision, while a 12-year old and a 5-year old in the SUV suffered serious head trauma and internal injuries. Morken was convicted on second-degree manslaughter charges.
The family’s civil case against American Valet and Yari was appealed and remanded in June of 2016. Where’s the Arizona Republic when you need them, huh?
And while I’m on the subject of the Barf District, embattled incumbent mayor Jim “Shady” Lane has dismissed these cases, as well as a raft of other noise problems, disorderly conduct complaints, assaults, assaults with deadly weapons, sexual assaults, and even murders…as “struggling with success.”
In creating the Barf District and the highest concentration of liquor licenses in the State of Arizona, Lane and his cronies Virginia Korte, Suzanne Klapp, and Linda Milhaven have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from bar owners and other liquor industry interests. Now you can count Schweiker among the liquor cronies.
The Barf District isn’t just a political discussion about differences of opinion on what’s “business friendly” and what’s not. It’s an ongoing public safety threat and drain on the city’s budget.
Dan Schweiker has shown you where HE is on this issue. And it’s NOT on YOUR side.
“Creepy” Bill Crawford
And I want to reserve final comment on this subject for an observation on Jim Lane shill, “Creepy” Bill Crawford. In reminding myself of the background details for this story, I ran across a 2013 Republic article celebrating the Bottled Blond rebranding. In this article, Crawford (who was at the time the self-appointed sheriff of the Barf District) was highly critical of the bar buildup:
Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life, said the “bar developers’ relentless drive to overwhelm downtown Scottsdale is notable.”
“What is further notable is the city’s willingness to approve every [bar permit] request despite [a] lack of neighborhood compatibility, parking and adequate public safety,” he said. “And where do they plan to park another 500 cars?”
Dozens of new bar permits later and with zero additional parking, suddenly Creepy is a big supporter of Barf District architect Jim Lane. That tells you how sincere Crawford was about solving these problems…and you can tell a lot about Jim Lane by his friends like Creepy Crawford.