Daily Archives: July 8, 2008

On July 12, do what you can to clean up graffiti

Graffiti Busters logo

Learn how to set up and operate a paint sprayer to eliminate graffiti in your Phoenix neighborhood during a free workshop from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday, July 12, at the Graffiti Busters Warehouse, 64 N. 48th Ave.  For more information, click here.

Raising dough for an historic Phoenix bakery

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — The City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office is working with an historic property owner to locate an investment partner, purchaser, or tenant with the resources to complete an adaptive re-use of the 1917 Lugo Bakery at 415 W. Sherman St.  It’s a 2,000 square foot commercial structure, complete with a basement, 1,300 square foot addition, and vacant lot for possible parking.  The main parcel is zoned C-2-HP (basically commercial and historic preservation zoning) and the vacant lot is zoned R-4.

The Historic Preservation Office recommends assisting the current or future owner in rehabilitating the structure with HP “threatened building program” bond funds.  While “rough” with structural, roof, and storefront reconstruction/modification issues, the building has strong potential as an office, art gallery, sandwich/coffee shop, or bakery (its original use).  City staff has a building condition assessment report, preliminary cost estimates, and floor plans.  [Note: For more information or to schedule a tour, contact Barbara Stocklin by e-mail or phone at 602-262-7468.]

Phoenix mayor promotes light rail & small business during coffee

[Source: Lynn Ducey, Phoenix Business Journal, July 8, 2008] — A Valley Metro Light Rail car is expected to make an inaugural appearance in downtown Phoenix on Thursday or Friday, while city officials prepare a Web portal aimed at “all things downtown,” Mayor Phil Gordon said on Tuesday.  Gordon made the announcement as part of the Downtown Business Breakfast, a monthly business meeting program that takes the mayor and some city officials to a restaurant or coffee house across the region.

During the Tuesday event at Sonoma at First Avenue and Van Buren, Gordon discussed downtown Phoenix and ways the city is helping small businesses operate within the community.  One example he cited was the Office of Customer Advocacy, a small operation inside the Development Services Department aimed at helping business work through city permitting processes.  He also mentioned the Business Customer Service Center, aimed at referring new businesses to available resources, including the Maricopa Community Colleges Small Business Development Center.  SBDC analyst Susan Beauchamp, Advocacy Administrator Denee McKinley, and Business Center Administrator Mitchell Hayden were on hand at the event as well as Kimber Lanning, director of Local First Arizona, a grassroots organization aimed at supporting and promoting independent Arizona firms.

Gordon also announced that city is working to create a one-stop Web page that would act as a portal for all groups and businesses within downtown.  The aim is to highlight and connect business groups, services and events, such as the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Farmers Market, Valley Metro Light Rail, the Office of Advocacy, and include links to events such as First Friday

Having a civil discourse about downtown issues

To advance society and improve the quality of life in Arizona, we must be prepared to discuss potentially divisive issues, such as growth, education, healthcare, religion, race, immigration, and transportation.  Our democracy is dependent upon a responsible citizenry that can, and will, wrestle with these tough issues, without partisanship, while maintaining respect for the need to hear, understand, and take into account different viewpoints.

Project Civil Discourse is a special initiative of the Arizona Humanities Council working in collaboration with organizations from around the state to provide opportunities for the public to participate in trainings, forums, and special events throughout 2008 (an important election year) that share, model, and provide insight on collaborative problem-solving skills.  The program goal is to widely share proven skills that can enhance and improve debate and discussion about the important issues that affect our future.

The Arizona Humanities Council invites organizations and individuals to take part in Project Civil Discourse through signing the Project Civil Discourse pledge, and attending public humanities programs such as Speakers Bureau programs, Community Book Discussions, and grant-funded projects.

Independent Arizona businesses urge you to “shop local”

[Source: David Van Den Berg and Lisa Halverstadt, Arizona Republic] — This week has been declared Independents Week by a group of Arizona business owners, and they’re encouraging consumers to shop local.  Local First Arizona was created in 2003 to encourage the support of local businesses, and has grown to more than 1,300 businesses, including restaurants, furniture stores, artists, coffee roasters, piano teachers, hobby shops, and flooring installers.  “I would argue that part of connecting to a city and feeling like it’s your home is tapping into local businesses,” said Kimber Lanning, one of the founders of Local First Arizona.  “I’m trying to create a database where people can go and hook onto local culture.”

She said shopping local also has economic and environmental benefits, from putting more money back into the local economy to saving gas.  A complete Web directory of participants can be found at the Local First Arizona website.