‘Phoenix’ Category


Palms, Protests and Politics

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — Palm trees line Central Avenue. Keep going south to downtown, Washington Street, turn right, go to 17th, park free for two hours, walk across the street to the State Capitol Museum. It’s not overly fancy but it’s pretty; all the materials to build it came from nearby when it was constructed back in 1900.

They’ve added new buildings since; the governor and secretary of state have offices adjoining; the Senate and House chambers are now on either side of the copper-domed original.  It’s a peaceful sight, green lawns punctuated with native plants in graveled beds; an aging cactus propped in place.Today a line formed by a festive tent; corn dogs and fresh-squeezed lemonade served to legislators and invited capitol staff; hosted by the Arizona Optometry Association; it was Optometry Day at the Capitol. The AOA is pushing for passage of SB1224 which would require insurance provider panels to include optometrists if they provide medical eye services.

In other ways of speaking up, the TV evening news showed students sitting in the street in front of Trevor Browne High School; parents and friends watched nearby as police lined the curb.  The group chanted “Undocumented and unafraid,” protesting the immigration policies of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “We’re tired of living in the shadows,” said a young woman who has been in the United States since she was a year old. “I know no other country. We’ll go to jail if that’s what it takes.” Six students were arrested and are expected to be charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a thoroughfare. 

Also reported, former Senator Russell Pearce has joined the race for the state Senate seat in the new Legislative District 25. Pearce was the first legislator in state history to be recalled when voters ousted him in November, losing to challenger Jerry Lewis in Mesa’s District 18. Pearce came under fire for his views on illegal immigration. He was author of the state’s controversial immigration enforcement bill.


Last Day of Winter in the Valley of the Sun

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — The news is in the numbers.

56 inches at Snowbowl, what a gift! Going out with a flounce, Old Man Winter zapped northern Arizona with a 1-2 punch. Snow Sunday. Snow Monday. Kids out of school. Snowplows out on the road. Snowboards out on the slopes. Boom for business. 29 inches of snow at Flagstaff. I-40 was closed for a while, open now, with slush.

56 degrees was the high today in Phoenix. Normal? 70’s. After all, this is the Valley of the Sun. This is the Season. This is where people come to get away from the cold! But the TV weather-persons were raving about today’s good fortune. Water here, after 90 days with no rain. Precious water.

Spring is official at 10:14 PM today, and the promise of “nearly 90 degrees” by Friday is laid before us. Meanwhile, a hummingbird tried to fly in my window as the cats napped in the afternoon sun, startling the two of them. Just beyond, against the Phoenix skyline, a helicopter rounded the high-rise, headed for the station with footage of Ponderosa pines to the north, branches weighted down with white.

Other news today. Continuing speculation on the why’s of the shootings. 16 civilians, mostly women and children,  shot in Afghanistan by a US soldier. 2 little boys in Phoenix shot by their father, who then shot himself. 1 young man shot by another in Florida.

Ron Barber, Gabby Giffords’ long-time aide, announced in Tucson he will run for a full term in Congress this year. He was shot 2 times in the January 2011 assassination attempt on Giffords, who has vacated her senate seat to focus on her recovery, miraculously surviving a gunshot wound to the head. 13 people were injured and 6 killed in that incident, including a 9-year old girl.


Frying Pan or Fire

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — The Little Pigs Wolf came out of the fairy tale to huff and puff and howl all night, wind screaming through the cracks around the door. It was cold and the air was restless and fearful. Alex Cat took refuge in a dresser drawer; Jack Cat burrowed under the covers beside me. I did not sleep. A weather front was coming through, sweeping in from California, threatening Arizona with vicious winds, pounding rain, and if you were above two thousand feet, snow. Sierra Vista sits at 4,200 feet, Tucson 2,500. This was scheduled as a driving day, the reservation in place for Phoenix tonight. Last night I’d decided to delay, to wait for the weather to clear, to stay off the roads and sit safely in my room. But the relentless noise had turned me into a bundle of nerves. I asked myself: is the fire really worse than the frying pan? There is equal misery in either one. What to do? Outside, it wasn’t raining yet, but trees were bending sideways in the wind. I chose fire. In 30 minutes we were in the car. » read more