Daily Archives: October 1, 2008

Grant won to study passenger rail service between Phoenix and Tucson

[Source: Glen Creno, Arizona Republic] — The state Department of Transportation has won a $1 million federal grant to help pay for a study of passenger rail service between Tucson and Phoenix.  The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Arizona will match the $1 million with funds from state, local, tribal, and private sources.  The money is for the first year of an environmental impact statement.

Rail service connecting the two cities has been talked about for years.  Most recently, it was proposed as part of a statewide transportation-funding initiative that failed to make this year’s ballot.  Planners say the line would run through a developing “megapolitan” — an uber-urban mass of development that would merge the two cities.

Breakfast with mayor, atty general, and downtown Phoenix neighbors, Oct. 18


Saturday October 18 is the date of this year’s Downtown Phoenix G.A.I.N. Breakfast and Willo Yard Sales.  G.A.I.N. stands for Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods, and acknowledges the important work of our police officers and Block Watch.  It also emphasizes the need for law enforcement and neighborhoods to work together to create safer communities.

Spread the word and come early to Walden Park, at the juncture of 3rd Ave., Holly, and Monte Vista to enjoy the free breakfast, visit with neighbors, local leaders, and take in the yard sales!  Over 300 people attended last year’s breakfast, and more are expected this year.

  • 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. — Breakfast burritos prepared by Central City Police Squad 51, plus coffee, juice, pumpkin muffins, yogurt, and water.
  • 7 to 7:30 a.m. — Attorney General Terry Goddard and Mayor Phil Gordon will each speak for a few minutes.
  • 7:30 to Noon — Neighborhood-wide yard sales open for business.
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Sojourner Center van will be at the park to accept leftover items from the yard sales, and distribute donation receipts.

E-mail G.A.I.N. co-chairs Mary Peralta or Mary Anne Majestic with any questions you may have.

Arizona’s largest hotel opens in downtown Phoenix

Thanks to Edward Jensen, a student at ASU and avid local blogger, here are some photos of the newly-opened Sheraton Hotel in downtown Phoenix.

Some downtown Phoenix businesses feel misled by ASU’s enrollment numbers

[Source: Jahna Berry, Arizona Republic] — When taxpayers were asked to pay $220 million to build a downtown college campus, Phoenix and ASU officials dangled an enticing carrot.  The Arizona State University campus would bring thousands of students to struggling downtown shops, they said.  Voters OK’d the bond money, and the students came.  But the enrollment numbers – about 6,200 in 2006, 6,600 in 2007, and 8,400 in 2008 – don’t tell the full story.  An Arizona Republic review of ASU documents shows that each year, roughly half of those students didn’t take any classes downtown.  This year, for instance, fewer than 5,000 attend classes downtown. The rest attend classes at other ASU campuses or elsewhere.  ASU says that it is not trying to mislead.  The formula it uses to determine enrollment is meant to give an accurate university-wide headcount to meet state funding rules.  But the discrepancy between the downtown enrollment figure and the actual number of students taking at least one class in Phoenix has left some business owners disappointed.

If students aren’t regularly spending time on campus, it’s less likely they will eat, shop and play in the neighborhood, they say.  “Certainly the push from ASU and the city has been that the campus will activate downtown and help businesses,” said Steve Weiss, a downtown activist and business owner.  The on-campus number “definitely has an impact on how small businesses should direct their energy and promotion to students.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]