Judge expected to rule on new redistricting map today

Miner Photo/TERRY ORGAN

Erin Lau, 11, left, enjoys doing step aerobics with her mother, Elizabeth Lau, as a means to keep fit.

The two regularly go to Kingman Fitness & Racquet Club to work out.

The Daily Miner contacted three girls 12 or under and asked them about their exercise habits.

Erin Lau, 11, has been going to the Kingman Fitness & Racquet Club for two years.

Her parents got her interested in exercise.

"I like step aerobics, treadmill, rowing machine, swimming and some biking," Erin said.

"I'm stronger now than I used to be and a wee bit thinner.

I also can run longer without getting winded."

Delaney Holland, 10, has worked out for about two years at the Del E.

Webb Wellness and Rehabilitation Center.

"I come to spend more time with my dad and sister," Delaney said.

"I like swimming and chin-ups.

"I exercise so I can be healthy.

I don't want to lose any weight because I only weigh 70 pounds."

Delaney said she visits Del Webb three times per week for about two hours per trip.

Julie Griffin, 9, has gone to Del Webb for more than a year.

She normally works out one hour per visit twice a week.

"I want to spend time with my mom because she works all day," Julie said.

"I enjoy swimming and am losing weight."

There are no specific guidelines as to how long young children should exercise daily, but less time in front of a computer or television set will benefit them later in life, Dr.

Kalanithi said.

"Ultimately we all die because the heart stops," he said.

"We now know that heart disease associated with clogging of the arteries starts in the teenage years.

"Another thing we know is that you can decrease your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent by leading a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise."

Dr.

Kalanithi was asked if young children can overdo exercise and, if so, with what possible consequences.

"Children should not exhaust themselves to the point of losing their balance and falling," he said.

"Moderation is the key."PHOENIX – Mohave County officials on Thursday waged a last-minute effort to derail a new map of legislative districts which a judge may order be used in this fall's elections.

Republicans also objected, calling the new map unconstitutional, but Hispanic Democrats whose lawsuit led to the scrapping of an earlier map said they like the new version.

Judge Kenneth Fields of Maricopa County Superior Court heard arguments and testimony Thursday on whether to order the use of a new map approved under protest by the state Independent Redistricting Commission.

He said he planned to rule today.

In a ruling already being appealed by the commission, Fields on Jan.

16 overturned the commission's previous map and ordered the commission to produce a new map with at least seven districts winnable by both major parties.

The commission's previous map had only four competitive districts, and Fields said at least seven are needed to meet the goals of the constitutional amendment that took redistricting out of the hands of the Legislature.

Competitive districts are defined using a formula based on voter registration and voting patterns.

Among steps taken to mix-and-match parts of the state to help create additional competitive districts, the commission split Mohave County between two separate legislative districts.

The county was nearly all in one district in the map used in the 2002 elections.

The new split "will make it virtually impossible for Mohave County or its cities or residents to have their voices heard in the Arizona Legislature," the county said in a court filing Thursday.

"Mohave County and its residents are already at a disadvantage in the Legislature as urban centers continue to grow in population and influence."

To make matters worse, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City are in a new district that likely will be dominated by Flagstaff while Kingman and Colorado City are in a district that will be dominated by the Navajo Reservation, the county's filing said.

Also, the commission discriminated against Mohave County by refusing to formally designate it as a "community of interest" while providing that protected status for other areas, the county argued.

Lawyers for Bullhead City, Kingman and Lake Havasu City voiced similar concerns in and out of court Thursday, but a lawyer for Flagstaff elicited testimony from a commission consultant that each of those three Mohave County cities are intact in the new map.

The latest map-drawing represents a political tug-of-war between Flagstaff and Kingman.

Flagstaff had been in the Navajo-dominated district but now Kingman would be.

A Republican group, Arizonans for Fair and Legal Redistricting, objected to the new map, arguing it violated other constitutional goals of creating contiguous and compact districts of equal size in order to create additional competitive ones.

A lawyer for the Hispanic Democrats told Fields that their group, the Arizona Minority Coalition for Fair Redistricting, is satisfied with the new map though some districts which formerly had majorities of voting-age ethnic minorities would not under the new map.

"I'm comfortable with it," said attorney Paul Eckstein.

Fields' Jan.

16 order said a 2003 U.S.

Supreme Court decision gives the state leeway to put smaller minority percentages in some districts in order to create additional competitive districts.