Blog Archives

Hundreds pack meetings to protest proposed cuts in Phoenix

[Source: Scott Wong and Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — Some offered ways Phoenix could save money. Others said they were willing to pay more taxes and fees to preserve critical services.  Troubled by the city’s proposed budget cuts, nearly 700 residents packed the Devonshire Senior Center on Tuesday to urge city leaders to spare arts and after-school programs, libraries, senior centers, parks and public transit.  Hundreds more voiced concerns at public meetings at the Maryvale and South Mountain community centers during a day that marked the first chance for residents to weigh in on the widespread cuts.  The huge crowds illustrated the anxiety residents are feeling as the city prepares to slash $270 million because of the national recession and dwindling tax collections.

More than 400 people, many leaning on walkers and canes, spilled into the Devonshire auditorium in Phoenix.  When it was full, officials directed the overflow crowd to the dining room, where a second, impromptu meeting was held.  “Phoenix should not be allowed to deteriorate the way it did in the 1960s and 1970s,” resident Hal Stahl said. [Note: To read the full story, click here.]

Phoenix resident shares his green philosophy

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — In 2001, longtime north-central Phoenix resident Greg Peterson created a revolutionary concept called the Urban Farm.  His ranch-style home, near 13th Place and Glendale Avenue, which he opens to the public on monthly tours, features a fruit orchard, chickens, solar applications, recycled building materials, rainwater, and gray-water harvesting.

Peterson, 47, is one of the Valley’s most influential voices on sustainable living.  From his Web site, he shares articles and living-green tips.  He will give a lecture and answer questions at 7 p.m. Monday at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe.  Details: 480-730-0205 or e-mail[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Downtown Phoenix creates new logo, dumps Copper Square

[Source: Casey Newton and Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] —  A lime green ‘X’ marks the spot in a new marketing campaign designed to brand downtown Phoenix as a global destination.  A new logo for downtown shows the words “downtown Phoenix” at an angle, with a bold ‘X’ at the end breaking through an orange circle.  The Downtown Phoenix Partnership said the four-color logo will likely be accompanied by an all-purpose marketing slogan, “X marks the spot,” to promote downtown destinations.  “I think it’s brilliant,” said Dale Jensen, a general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks.   “There are a million things you can do with that X.”

The partnership and its consultant spent more than a year putting together a new logo for downtown, which will eventually replace “Copper Square” as the brand for downtown.   “It was driven by a realization that we were seeing a lot more opportunities downtown,” said Dave Roderique, president and CEO of the partnership.  “Things are changing very rapidly.”

The new logo was unveiled Monday at a meeting of the partnership’s board.  Later this year, the partnership will launch a full-scale marketing campaign.  “At first I didn’t like it, but I focused on the ‘X’ which made me pay attention to it,” said MaryAnn Guerra, president of TGen Accelerators.  “X marks the spot for anything you want to do.”   [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

First Friday vendors can expect inspectors

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — Neighborhood Services Department inspectors will attend First Friday in downtown Phoenix on Friday to ensure compliance of city vending ordinances.  Several inspectors will roam Grand Avenue, Roosevelt Street between Central Avenue and Seventh Street and nearby streets during the a monthly art walk of galleries and performance spaces.  Erynn Crowley, a deputy director of Neighborhood Services Department, said if inspectors observe a vending violation, they’ll provide information, a notice of the violation and give the violator about an hour to pack up and move.  “If they refuse to move, our next step would be to issue a citation,” Crowley said.  “We’re just looking for compliance overall. If everyone is in compliance, that would be great.  There are places for them to vend legally, and we hope that’s where they’ll go.”

Roosevelt Row CDC, an affiliation of residents and business owners along Roosevelt Street, have expanded the boundaries of a First Friday street party to accommodate about 80 vendors.  The extended boundaries will be on Garfield Street between Fourth and Sixth streets, and on Fifth Street between Garfield and McKinley streets.  Vendors will be able to set up beginning at 4 p.m., and state and city representatives will be present to sign up vendors for privilege tax licenses.  Booths will be rented for $35 each on a first-come, first-served basis, said Jennifer Delgado, president of Roosevelt Row.  “We will gladly sign up vendors the day of the event for the street closure if space is available,” said Delgado.

Phoenix will enforce ban on sidewalk sales

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix officials are planning a move that will mean big changes to the look and feel of downtown’s monthly First Friday arts events.  The gatherings originated in galleries with new exhibitions, music, wine and finger food.  But, along revitalized Roosevelt Street, they spill out onto sidewalks and empty lots where vendors sell everything from oil paintings and pencil drawings to T-shirts and beaded necklaces.  Ordinances make those sidewalk sales illegal, city officials say.  And after complaints from some artists and gallery owners, the city will begin cracking down on the sidewalk sales.  On Friday and again in April, the city will issue warnings.  But, in May, inspectors will begin issuing citations, with fines ranging from $100 to $2,500.

Gina Suarez says the vendors add to the atmosphere.  Suarez owns the Paisley Violin, a cafe and art space that once operated at Second and Roosevelt streets but is now at 11th and Grand avenues.  Suarez said they don’t have vendors on Grand Avenue.  “I think it’s great that the vendors are out there,” Suarez said.  “It draws traffic and makes (Phoenix’s First Fridays) different than Scottsdale’s and Tempe’s art walks.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]