Blog Archives

Bill of Rights Monument Dedicated in Phoenix, Supported by DVC

9th Amendment monolith, one of 10 limestone carvings commemorating the Bill of Rights, located in Wesley Bolin Plaza, Phoenix, Ariz.  (photo: Jim McPherson)

9th Amendment monolith, one of 10 limestone carvings commemorating the Bill of Rights, located in Wesley Bolin Plaza, Phoenix, Ariz. (photo: Jim McPherson)

Here’s a great shot by Jim McPherson of one of the 10 monuments to the Bill of Rights, dedicated in December in the Wesley Bolin Plaza in Phoenix.

Downtown Voices Coalition is proud to have been an early supporter of this project, the first in the nation. Read more about this accomplishment (and see more photos) here.

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Local experts and national author to discuss state of sustainability in metro Phoenix, Jan. 17

A panel of local experts and Andrew Ross, author of “Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World’s Least Sustainable City,” will discuss the current state of sustainability in metropolitan Phoenix at a public forum on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.  The event, free to the public, will be held at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center at 415 E. Grant Street. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., panel discussion 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., audience Q&A 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and reception with complimentary refreshments 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Panel moderator will be Charles Redman, Arizona State University (ASU) Virginia M. Ullmann professor of Natural History and the Environment and founding director of the ASU School of Sustainability. The current slate of panelists (with two to be added soon) includes:

  • Maria Baier, state land commissioner, Arizona;
  • Steve Betts, former president/CEO of SunCor Development and current Arizona District Council Chair of the Urban Land Institute;
  • Terry Goddard, former Phoenix mayor and former Arizona attorney general who now teaches a course at the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus: “Phoenix and the Art of Public Decision Making;”
  • Taz Loomans, architect and writer/blogger on sustainability issues;
  • Kris Mayes, former commissioner of the Arizona Corporation Commission and current director of the ASU Law and Sustainability Program and professor at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law;
  • Andrew Ross, professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University.
  • Silvia Urrutia, director of Housing and Healthcare Finance, Raza Development Fund

According to Susan Copeland, steering committee chair of Downtown Voices Coalition, “Issues of sustainability are paramount to the future of Phoenix. Ross’ book is a great springboard from which to begin, or continue, discussion.”

The Downtown Voices Coalition is sponsoring the event with in-kind support from the Lexington Hotel in downtown Phoenix, Four Peaks Brewery of Tempe and the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

Bird on Fire” is available at Made Art Boutique, 922 North 5th Street in downtown Phoenix and at Changing Hands Bookstore at 6428 South McClintock Drive in Tempe. It is also available at Burton Barr, Cesar Chavez and Mesquite Branch libraries in Phoenix.

Downtown Voices Coalition is a coalition of stakeholder organizations that embrace growth in downtown Phoenix, but is mindful that healthy growth should be based upon existing downtown resources — the vibrancy of neighborhoods, the strength of the arts community, the uniqueness of historic properties, and the wonderful small businesses that dot downtown. For more information, visit downtownvoices.org.

New Bike and Beer Festival near Downtown Phoenix

[Source: Tempe Bicycle Action Group]

New Bike and Beer Festival – SanTan Wheelie Jam – 4/23

Get ready for a new bike and beer festival on April 23rd at Steele Indian School Park [near] downtown Phoenix, the SanTan Wheelie Jam. EVERYONE should be there, and bring all your friends too (oh and make sure everyone buys a few beers).

This is an all local festival, local bike groups, local beer (SanTan brewing), local food, local bands, local bike shops. TBAG is getting it going, and all beer sales proceeds will go to Phoenix groups like Rusty Spoke, AZ Bike Polo etc.

Right now we need to line up sponsors and bike activities. We can do roller wars, mini/tall bike rides and races, riding contests, fixie trick demos, bike build offs, giveaways etc. Contact ryan@biketempe.org if you know someone who wants to sponsor the event, or can help provide some kind of bike related fun. Also let me know if you can help plan the event or would like to volunteer at the event.

Any non-profit or club that wants to get the word out about their group is welcome at the event. There will be table space, you can do fliers, stickers, or sell merch.

This festival is for and by the local bike community. It’s all new so it’s a great place to try new ideas and get people excited about riding bikes and being involved in their local community.

Help Save the Mahoney Building

The 1912 Mahoney Administration Building is one of the few remaining government buildings in the Valley that dates to the year of Arizona’s statehood. Identified by Phoenix Magazine as one of the city’s “hidden gems;” the building represents the first institutional commission for the architectural engineering firm of Lescher & Kibbery (later Lescher & Mahoney).

The building housed executive office and living quarters for the hospital superintendent’s family. It is the oldest remaining structure on the Arizona State Hospital campus and one of the earliest remaining examples of Mission Revival-style architecture in Phoenix.

Today, the Mahoney Building stands vacant and in a state of disrepair. The building’s exterior retains much of its historic character, despite some weather deterioration. Although nearly 100 years old, the building is structurally sound because it was constructed with the most advanced technology of the period. The Arizona Historical Advisory Commission (AHAC) has recognized the Mahoney Building’s historical significance by designating it as one of the Arizona Centennial’s state Legacy Projects.

A dedicated group of volunteers led by Susan Gerard, a former state health director and health leader at the Legislature, is working hard to restore this historical treasure. With Arizona’s Centennial fast approaching, plans to restore the building hinge on finding funds and community support.

For more information, please contact Arizona State Hospital CEO John Cooper at (602) 244-1331 or
john.cooper@azdhs.gov.

You can also find them on Facebook.

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Phoenix City Council approved a new strategy for a transparent and consistent user fees

[Source: Toni Maccarone, City of Phoenix News Release]

On Tuesday, the Phoenix City Council approved a new strategy designed to give the public a more transparent and consistent process when the city is proposing new user fees or recommending changes to existing fees.

“Any new fee proposals from city staff now will be considered only once a year, during the city’s annual public budget hearing process,” said Councilman Bill Gates, chairman of the City Council Finance, Efficiency and Innovation Subcommittee.

“This new strategy will help us move forward in a more open and transparent way, and I am pleased that the process was developed in partnership with city staff and our private sector members of the Innovation and Efficiency Task Force,” he said.

As part of the new strategy, city staff will work with the Parks and Recreation Board to defer consideration of mountain preserve parking fees so they can be examined as part of the comprehensive budget process in Spring 2011.  The fees had been scheduled to be discussed at the Oct. 6 City Council meeting.

“I support the city’s new fee strategy and am pleased that the Parks Board can participate in this new process,” said Laura Bell, chairwoman of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board.

As approved by the City Council, city staff will compile a comprehensive list of all user fee services, along with an analysis of their cost recovery, and present the information to the City Council by March 2011, in time for the city’s annual public budget hearings.  There will be no new user fees or increases to existing fees considered by the City Council until March 2011.

The strategy adopted by the City Council also fully supports the new state law that requires governments to post any recommended fee changes on their websites.  The city’s fee area is located on the phoenix.gov homepage.

For more information contact Toni Maccarone at 602-495-5901

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Lady Gaga is returning to downtown Phoenix

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

Photo Credit: Zandland on Picasa

Lady Gaga may not like Arizona’s hard-line immigration law but the pop star will be back in Phoenix in March. Lady Gaga will be at the US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix on March 26.

The singer, aka Stefani Germanotta, sold out a concert at the same venue this summer and bad mouthed Senate Bill 1070. Tickets to the March concert go on sale Saturday. The Phoenix date is part of a 2011 tour by the pop singer whose music is part Madonna, part David Bowie with hints of Queen and Blondie.

A few bands including Maroon 5 have boycotted Arizona over the law but others are still coming despite their ‘artistic’ opposition

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Share Your “Best of Light Rail” Picks

Be sure to include your downtown Phoenix favs!

[Source: Phoenix Business Journal]

CityCircles, a Phoenix media start up, announced creation of a Best of Light Rail contest.

The company, which develops tools for hyperlocal communities, is seeking the public input in a variety of categories for businesses located within walking distance of the light rail line.

According to a news release distributed by CityCircles, the goal of the survey is to increase awareness of life around light rail and to make mass transit more attractive.

There are 36 topics in four main categories: food, drink, services/shopping and the light rail experience. Examples include best sushi restaurant, best example of historic preservation and best public restroom. The polling closes Fri., Oct. 1. The winners will be announced Oct. 15.

Click here to access an online ballot.

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Anti-SB1070 billboard added near downtown Phoenix

[Source: Michael Ferraresi on Azcentral’s PhxBeat Blog]

The billboard at Camelback Road and Third Street gets right to the point with a racial-profiling message.

Latino-rights leaders at Brave New Foundation paid for the outdoor advertisement through donations to the Facebook page of Cuentame—an online immigration forum organized by Brave New Foundation, which has fostered anti-SB1070 conversation.

The Phoenix billboard cautions, “Have your papers ready — Racial profiling just ahead.”

It should be visible to the public for the next few weeks, according to Brave New Foundation communications director Martha de Hoyos. The organization selected the intersection to target tourists, in addition to locals, she said.

Cuentame members selected the slogan over two other options based on an online vote, De Hoyos said.

Earlier this year, Brave New Foundation—based in Culver City, Calif.—posted a three-minute Facebook video interview with a Phoenix police officer who admitted that SB1070 would make him feel like a Nazi enforcer on the streets.

Officer Paul Dobson was placed under internal investigationafter the video helped draw added attention to the website. He is expected to face some type of minor discipline, such as a verbal reprimand, according to Phoenix police.

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Next Downtown Voices Steering Committee meeting is Saturday, August 14

The public is invited to attend Downtown Voices Coalition Steering Committee meetings on the second Saturday of every month, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at Roosevelt Commons, 825 N. 6th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85003The next meeting is Saturday, August 14.

Phoenix General Plan “community dialogue” this Saturday, 3/6

The city’s Planning Department will hold a “Community Dialogue” on its General Plan update 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Washington St.  Residents are invited to discuss a land-use vision for Phoenix by answering the question “Where do we want to go?”

This is the first of two workshops.  The second, to be held in May, will focus on answering “How do we get there?” by allowing participants to develop action items based on discussions from the first workshop.  The General Plan provides comprehensive direction for the growth, conservation, and redevelopment for all land-use aspects of the city.  The General Plan provides goals, policies, and recommendations for the next 10 years.

For more information on the General Plan Update, send an e-mail, call 602-261-8289, visit the website, and follow on Twitter.

Seating for these workshops is limited.   Contact Carol Johnson at 602-261-8289 to reserve your space.