Monthly Archives: January 2009

Phoenix ranks #7 of places Americans would rather be

A new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project finds that nearly half (46%) of the public would rather live in a different type of community from the one they’re living in now — a sentiment that is most prevalent among city dwellers.  When asked about specific metropolitan areas where they would like to live, respondents rank Denver, San Diego, and Seattle at the top of a list of 30 cities (Phoenix #7), and Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati at the bottom.  To read the full report, click here.

CenPhoTV for the week of 1/30/2009

A weekly video webcast about Phoenix living. For more information, visit their website.

County Sheriff cancels inmate transport via Phoenix light rail

[Source: Alyssa Pivirotto, ABC 15] — Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will not use light rail to transport inmates to the 4th Avenue Jail, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon.  Earlier this week, the Sheriff started those transports from Sky Harbor Airport to the downtown Phoenix jail, saying it was a way to save money on parking transport vehicles.  Now, the City of Phoenix has given the Sheriff four parking passes, allowing him to park for free.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix City Manager offers proposed budget for Council vote, Feb. 3

Click here for the Feb. 3 Phoenix City Council Report containing the City Manager’s Proposed Budget.  Each section of the report is broken out in the first nine links, or the last link contains the entire report.

Documentary examines Mill Ave’s decline in Tempe, Feb. 4

Mill Ave Inc.” is a documentary that essentially started when Nicholas Holthaus (known by most as Nico) started taking video footage of bands and venues in the mid-late 90s, when it became apparent that a lot of venues along the legendary Mill Avenue would be closing its doors due to… a lot of things.  Take your pick: corporate muscling, community apathy, myopic planning, copycatting, smoking bans, increased conservative prevalence, ASU’s techno-corporate expansion… It seems there was not one singular cause for the disintegration of Mill’s culture and liveliness that people everywhere had come to enjoy.  Or was there?

Mill Ave Inc.” combines archival footage of the indie, punk, and folk scene at clubs on Mill with interviews that include Stinkweeds owner Kimber Lanning, Tempe folk singer Walt Richardson, Sun Club owner and musician Hans Olson, Gin Blossoms’ Robin Wilson and members of Flathead, Dead Hot Workshop, and Gloritone.  Together with scene-sters, politicians and the club owners, they tell the real story of how a great local entertainment hub became “Mill Avenue Inc.”  [Note: To read the New Times movie review, click here.]

  • Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009
  • Time: 8 p.m. (doors at 7:45)
  • Place: Modified Arts, 407 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
  • Admission: $6 cash only

Mall-inspired fast food joints open at ASU downtown Phoenix campus


Phoenix neighborhoods can get anti-crime grants

[Source: Maria Baier, Phoenix City Council] — Neighborhoods registered as a Phoenix Police Block Watch or with the Neighborhood Services Department can get money to prevent crime. Neighborhood Block Watch grants range from less than $1,000 to $10,000 each. The grants fund new or existing programs that have an anti-crime component or safety program. The oversight committee will review applications and give an estimated $1.2 million to eligible neighborhoods. For information, contact the city at 602-262-6543 or by visit their website. Applications are due electronically by 4 p.m. on Friday, February 6, 2009.

Phoenix residents to pay more for trash pick-up

[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix’s no-drama City Council typically shows a united front on major issues: support for downtown development, light rail, and a domestic-partner registry.  That’s why last week’s split 5-4 vote to hike fees for trash pick up and other solid-waste collection took some by surprise.  The decision, which allows the city to avoid making significant service cuts, marked the first sign of fissures within the usually cohesive council as members grapple with slashing budgets for the general fund and special funds like the one for solid waste.  The council plans to vote Feb. 3 to determine what cuts are required to close a $270 million shortfall in this and next fiscal 2009-2010 budget.

The trash rate increase for single-family homes represents 5.3% or $1.35 a month.  It means homeowners will now pay $26.80 a month, up from $25.45, for things like weekly garbage and bulk-trash pick up and recycling.  The council also increased commercial fees by $2 a month, to $38.25.  Council members Michael Johnson, Peggy Neely, Michael Nowakowski, Tom Simplot, and Thelda Williams supported the rate hikes.  Mayor Phil Gordon, along with council members Maria Baier, Claude Mattox and Greg Stanton, voted against it.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

On Jan. 29, state legislators want to hear from public about proposed budget cuts

[Source: Children’s Action Alliance] — The Arizona State Legislature Senate and House Democratic Caucuses are hosting public hearings on the state budget.  Lawmakers are facing tough decisions this legislative session, with a $1.6 billion budget deficit for FY09 and a projected $3 billion budget deficit for FY10.  Downtown Phoenix residents are urged to voice their opinions.

  • Date: January 29, 2009
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Place: Grace Lutheran Church, 1124 N. 3rd St., Phoenix

For more information, contact Cynthia Aragon, Community and Constituent Liaison, House of Representatives, 602-926-3591

Phoenix mayor kills plan to give self two more years

Mayor Phil Gordon (Photo: Nick Oza, Arizona Republic)

[Source: Sarah Fenske, Phoenix New Times] — Saying it was a “distraction,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon has asked supporters to back off a plan that would have kept him in the mayor’s office until 2014.  The plan, first revealed by New Times in this blog, would have consolidated municipal elections in Phoenix.  Currently, half the City Council and the mayor are up for reelection in 2011; the other half will run this fall.  The new plan, which would have required an amendment to the city charter, would put everybody on the same schedule — saving roughly $1 million every two years.

But the plan drew criticism (including some from this writer) because, in the process of consolidation, it would have tacked another two years onto the term of Mayor Gordon, Councilmen Claude Mattox and Michael Nowakowski, and Councilwomen Maria Baier and Thelda Williams — in essence giving them a six-year term instead of the four-year one originally approved by voters.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]