Daily Archives: April 26, 2009

History of Arizona place names topic of April 30 “brown bag” talk

image001In this presentation, Tucson writer Greg McNamee examines the history of Arizona place names, from Ali Shonak to Zephyr, using lively anecdotes to discuss the little-known stories behind names on the land.  Place names are like fossil poetry.  They afford a kind of folk history, a snapshot in time that enables us to read them and reconstruct how members of a culture in the past assigned names to the places they saw. The U.S. has over 3.5 million place names, and there is no part of the world where nomenclature is so rich, poetic, humorous, and picturesque.

  • Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Place: Carnegie Center, 1101 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007
  • Free and open to the public
  • Bring your lunch!  Light refreshments served
  • Free parking

Gregory McNamee is a writer whose publications include twenty-six books, as well as numerous essays, short stories, articles, and translations in journals in the United States and abroad.  He is a contributing editor to the Encyclopedia Britannica and writes regularly for its blog.  Mr. McNamee has taught writing courses at the University of Arizona and elsewhere, and he delivers talks and lectures on writing in many venues.

For more information, call 602-926-3368 or send an e-mail.

Canalscape one component of “Green Phoenix”


[Source: Arizona State University] — On March 10, 2009, ASU President Michael Crow met with US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to discuss a new initiative called “Green Phoenix.”  ASU, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, and other government, education and business entities, has devised a 17-point plan to make Phoenix a national leader in renewable energy, water conservation, carbon neutrality, sustainable technologies, and green jobs.

One component of this comprehensive, multi-faceted plan is a project called “Canalscape” which aims to re-imagine urban planning in metro Phoenix by creating vibrant living corridors along its nearly 200 miles of canal banks.

This podcast features a conversation with Dr. Nan Ellin, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs, and Braden Kay, a graduate student with the ASU School of Sustainability, who are working to advance this project through education and action.

Get the audio:

LISC Green Development Center offers resources to “go green”

The Galleries at Turney, Arizona's first LEED for Homes Certified project

[Source: Teresa Brice, Local Initiatives Service Corp.] — Your friends at LISC Phoenix want to inform you of resources recently made available by the LISC Green Development Center.  LISC has been hard at work developing tools and documents that we hope you find useful.  Currently available here online are:

  • The Green Screen: A resource intended for you to use in assisting evaluation of greening opportunities of proposed projects, as well as helping you to guide Community Development Corp. partners towards greener projects.  It directs you towards the right questions to be asking at different stages in the development process.
  • Energy Star Qualified Homes Guide: A resource designed to help you and your partner CDCs get their projects on the road to green by meeting ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes standards.  A link to rehab guidelines is also available.  Resource guides are customized to your local office.
  • Sustainability Primers: Documents to familiarize you with sustainability topics, such as deconstruction and geothermal heat pumps.  Have a particular topic your interested in?  Contact us and we’ll add it to our list of primers in the works.
  • Office Greening Guide: Intranet resource to help green local LISC offices.  Let’s practice what we preach!
  • Energy Assistance Programs: A guide to heating assistance programs broken down by state.

Questions, comments, feedback?  Feel free to contact Madeline via e-mail.

Sign-up now for Phoenix Parks and Recreation summer programs

[City of Phoenix] — Registration is now open for the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department’s complete summer schedule of full-day drop-in recreation programs, classes, and sports leagues and instruction.   Participants can sign up for programs online with any major credit card in the Classes and Programs link of the department Web site.

Registration opens May 2 at 10:30 a.m. for swim classes and aquatics programs at the 21 city pools open this summer.  Complete information and online registration is done through the Classes and Programs link on the department homepage.

In addition to dozens of sites for our full-day Phoenix Afterschool Center program, many community centers will be hosting full-day structured recreation programs. Parents can choose from a number of options – from four week programs to full-summer ten-week programs. Prices vary but generally average about $30 a week.

New for this year, city of Phoenix golf courses will be hosting weeks-long golf clinics to introduce Phoenix youth to the great game of golf.  The clinics will be low-cost, intensive clinics that will get kids ready to head out on the course. Parents also can choose from among dozens of community center-based general interest classes from dance, to music to visual arts as well as basketball and other sports leagues and instructional clinics.  Adults aren’t left out and can choose from the same number of high quality, low cost programs.

Risk of swine flu associated with travel to affected areas

[Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)] — Public health officials within the United States and throughout the world are investigating outbreaks of swine influenza (swine flu). Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs.  Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur.  Public health officials have determined that this strain of swine flu virus spreads from human to human and can cause illness.

The outbreak is ongoing and additional cases are expected.  For more information concerning swine flu infection, please see the CDC website.  For specific information on travel precautions and an update on the affected areas, click here.

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include:

  • Fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Headache and body aches
  • Fatigue

Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people.  Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

People entering the United States who are experiencing symptoms consistent with swine flu and have traveled to an affected area, or have been exposed to someone possibly infected with swine flu, during the last seven days should report their illnesses to their health care provider immediately and inform them of their recent travel.  People traveling from the United States to affected areas should be aware of the risk of illness with swine flu and take precautions.

To prevent the spread of swine flu:

  • Avoid contact with ill persons.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue).  Throw used tissues in a trash can.
  • After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel.

If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible.  Stay at home or in your hotel room.  Seek medical care if you are severely ill (such as having trouble breathing).   There are antiviral medications for prevention and treatment of swine flu that a doctor can prescribe.   Do not go to work, school, or travel while ill.

Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition meets April 30

The next meeting of the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition will be held Thursday, April 30, 2009, starting at 7 p.m. in the Governing Board Room at Phoenix Elementary School District #1 (turn south off Palm Lane, just east of 7th St.; meeting room at northeast corner of the campus).  The major agenda items:

  • Status report on City of Phoenix Planned Urban Development (PUD) process ~ Paul Barnes, Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix
  • Fund-raising efforts for Phoenix Parks & Recreation and Phoenix After School Center ~ Martin Vogel
  • Group discussion on the question, “Does Class 6 status limit the legal protection of historic homeowners in collecting damages from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors?”
  • 2009 National Preservation Month Luncheon, May 5, 11:30 a.m., Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.  Seats are $50.  RSVP to Kay via e-mail or phone 602-340-0745.
  • 6th Annual Arizona Centennial Workshop, May 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Coor Hall, ASU, Tempe.  For downloadable flyer, click here.
  • 7th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Partnership Conference,  June 18 – 20, Hyatt Regency, downtown Phoenix.  For details, click here.
  • Historic Homeowner’s Expo, June 20, Hyatt Regency, downtown Phoenix.  Free to the public.  For details, click here.
  • Old/new business.

Another feature of downtown Phoenix’s Civic Space is historic A.E. England Building

While much of the hubbub of downtown Phoenix’s Civic Space focused on Janet Echelman’s public art piece, “Her Secret is Patience,” another important feature of the park is the historic A.E. England Building.   Thanks to the 2006 Historic Preservation Bond Committee, Phoenix residents who voted for the 2006 Bond Program, local preservation advocates, the City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Office and Commission, and Mayor Gordon and City Council, the building was spared from the wrecking ball (yes, it was threatened at one point).

The interior renovation is not quite done.  While you’re waiting for it to be completed and the “grand opening” later this spring, sit back and read about its history, courtesy of the staff at the Historic Preservation Office:

Locally prominent builder Clinton Campbell constructed the A.E. England Motors, Inc./Electrical Equipment Co. building in 1926.   The Spanish Renaissance Revival style building features three large storefront windows with ornate cast concrete window surrounds and decorative course molding along the roof parapet.  Six original bow-string wood trusses, sandwiched between new laminated beams, support the roof structure.

Originally an automotive dealership, A.E. England sold autos from the Hudson Motor Car Co. (1909-1954) and its less expensive Essex brand.   Cars were featured prominently in the building’s large display windows.   Central Avenue north of Van Buren Street became Phoenix’s first “auto row,” lined with Cadillac, Studebaker, Ford, and DeSoto dealerships well into the 1960s.

England left the auto sales business sometime in the early 1930s.   The Electrical Equipment Co., purveyors of radios, batteries, and Kelvinator refrigerators, occupied the building for the next twenty-five years.   The company’s “Gold Room,” decorated with gold drapes, gold walls and gold wicker furniture, provided an optimal radio listening experience for prospective buyers.  Five Atwater-Kent cabinet radios were on display, ready for demonstration by company salesmen.

The Electrical Equipment Co., along with The Arizona Republican (now The Arizona Republic) newspaper, owned the KTAR radio station.   Initially called KFAD and founded in 1922, KTAR was the first radio station in Arizona.   The Electrical Equipment Co. provided the equipment for the radio station which was originally located in the Heard Building at 112 N. Central Avenue.

In its later years, the A.E. England Motors Co., Inc./Electrical Equipment Co. building hosted a stationery store and an art gallery.   The building’s north wall, which was originally a party wall with another building, now consists largely of glass storefront panels in-filled between the original concrete columns.  The building was listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Register in 2006 and rehabilitated by the City of Phoenix in 2008-2009 as part of the downtown Phoenix Civic Space.

Historic Homeowner Expo planned, June 20, downtown Phoenix

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) is a sponsor of this year’s Arizona Statewide Historic Preservation Partnership Conference at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in downtown Phoenix, June 18-20.   The conference will include a free Historic Homeowners’ Expo on Saturday June 20, from 9 a.m. t0 1 p.m.  Four hours of educational sessions on topics of special interest to owners of historic homes, such as improving energy efficiency, researching an historic home, green living, and a mini historic preservation grant workshop.  Also included will be a hall of vendors, where trades specific to historic preservation will be available to discuss their work with homeowners.  For complete details, click here.

Two Canadian travel writers visit Phoenix and what do they see?

phxmushist_smjpg[Source: Barbara Braidwood and Rick Cropp, Canwest News Service] — Phoenix, Ariz.: yes, you can golf, shop, or watch professional sports until you can’t stuff in another hot dog, or hit the culture trail of art galleries and theatres until your eyeballs hang on your sunburned cheeks.  But a different view of Phoenix comes from the air, the fringes of the city or even from underground.  When you need a break from all the good food, sports, and golf, take a balloon ride, dig up a little history, drive out, way out, into the desert, or climb a mountain.

Phoenix really did rise above the remains of another civilization, and traces of the 3,000-year-old Hohokam people — who disappeared around AD 1500 — remain. Beneath the downtown Phoenix Convention Center are the remains of about 40 Hohokam pit houses and hundreds of items recovered during the construction are on display.  Afterwards, go to the nearby Phoenix Museum of History for a view of the city’s history up to the present day.

Unlike Canada, where trees and brush so often obscure your view, with any elevation at all in Phoenix you can see for miles.  The city has mountains on two sides and a hump in the middle called Camelback Mountain.  Camelback’s sheer red sandstone cliffs can be circumvented or challenged with trails to the top (350 metres above the desert), where there is a spectacular outlook.  The easy trails at the bottom are a stroll for anyone with a good pair of walking shoes, but the top is a bit of a struggle.  Mountains at the edges of the city are higher and offer much more diversity, from really easy to death-defying trails. The North Mountain Visitor Center has exhibits illustrating the Sonoran Desert’s richness as well as maps of hiking trails snaking around the more-than-600-metre mount.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]