‘Phoenix’ Category


Struck by Lightning

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona – Lottery fever claimed the city of Phoenix today. In fact, it claimed the attention of nearly everyone in the USA. The eight states that were NOT selling tickets were Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. Nevada? Go figure.

The stories were thick and heavy on the news. Sad tales of winners of the past, lives ruined by too much money come too fast; the weeping multi-millionaire who gave his young granddaughter two thousand dollars a week to show his love, then lost her to drugs and drink and a fatal auto crash. His wife left him too; there is no one he can trust, for who’s your friend when you hold the gold? “I’ve lost everything that was important to me,” he cried. » read more


There’s No Excuse

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — There’s no excuse for not knowing.

From your home computer, you can access Arizona state government @ http://www.azleg.gov/

You will be welcomed. This is what you’ll see:

Welcome to the official web site of the Arizona State Legislature. Use this web site as a tool to track pending legislation, plus locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up-to-date on current issues. For an overview of the legislative process in Arizona, please feel free to explore our web site. » read more


Go Gogh

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, ArizonaYou don’t have to like the artistry of Van Gogh, or appreciate art at all. Even if you’re a cranky old goat, you will be touched by the multi-sensory experience you’ll have in the midst of 33 projectors flashing more than 3,000 images on more than 40 screens, columns and walls before you, beside you, behind you, and even on the floor beneath you. All synchronized to a powerful classical score. » read more


Camelback Toyota, Camelback Mountain

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — Today was the day to pay attention to the Scion. The personalized plate had arrived, so I borrowed a screwdriver from the front desk and happily fastened it to my car. I’ll never forget my number now: 50 CCUSA.

Next I wanted to buff up the cargo space. Six thousand miles traveling with “cats in the back” were starting to present a hairy problem. I headed for the nearest Toyota/Scion in Phoenix, which turned out to be Camelback Toyota on (where else) Camelback Road. A fabulous facility, they’ve been there two years, I learned. www.camelbacktoyota.com » read more


A New American University

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — I met Marla in a restaurant. She was my server, friendly and animated, asking about me, and then wanting to hear more about my trip. I of course asked about her. “I’m a student at ASU,” she beamed. I learned that she is graduating in June from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, located on the downtown campus. We talked about journalism, point of view, and writing in general. We wished each other luck with future ventures.

And I wanted to learn a little more about ASU. I must say, I’m impressed, and I pass along what I found. » read more


Social Media and Showing Up

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, ArizonaJenni Troy is a young mother of three who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jenni was disturbed over the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida February 26. As people around the country began to speak up about the circumstances surrounding Trayvon’s death, Jenni decided she wanted to do something too.

So last week, Jenni posted an Event on Facebook titled “Arizona Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin.”  She then contacted local news media, and the Phoenix Police Department, asking for coverage of the rally, and cooperation in keeping the rally safe. “I think everyone needs to stand up and be a voice for him and his family,” she said.

Her efforts paid off. About 500 people  showed up at the edge of the ASU campus in downtown Phoenix at 5 PM today, most wearing black shirts or hoodies, many carrying signs. Jenni addressed the crowd with words of thanks, apologizing for the sound problems, acknowledging “This is the first time I’ve done anything like this.” She gave directions for the march to City Hall, emphasizing “This will be a peaceful march.”

After a prayer from Rev Oscar Tillman, Jenni stepped to the sidewalk to lead the way to City Hall.



Home, and Where the Heart Is

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — “Home is your own private piece of heaven.” These words, softly spoken, are one of many reflections in a video entitled “Home: Native People in the Southwest, Part One” which you can see at the Heard Museum, or online at this link: http://www.heard.org/videos/index.html

Arizona is home to 22 tribal nations, and the Heard Museum has worked with 20 of them to produce short video-tours as an aid to connecting communities, and showcasing their distinct languages and traditions. In this 30 minute video by Dustinn Craig, they tell intimate stories of their connection to the land, and the meaning of home to them.

“Home is a really hard concept for me,“ says one. “I can see it, I can taste it. But I need to create it – that’s home for me.”

“Creating home” is the focus of another whose life was expressed in a love of the land. Frank Lloyd Wright began building Taliesin West in 1937 as a personal winter home, studio, and architectural campus. This desert masterpiece sits in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in northeast Scottsdale, and a variety of guided tours allow you to experience first-hand his brilliant ability to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces. http://www.franklloydwright.org/web/Tours.html

Wright preached the beauty of native materials and created buildings to grow naturally from their surroundings. “Whether people are fully conscious of this or not, they actually derive countenance and sustenance from the ‘atmosphere’ of the things they live in, or with,” he said.

As I travel the country over these next two years, listening to the voices and observing how people love and revere this land that is the United States, I will carry with me this thought, expressed in Craig’s video by a Native soul, which has profound meaning for me:

“I’m an elder now. I have dreams that I have to complete. That’s my home.”


Give Me The Simple Life

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — Why do cactus plants have thorns? I always thought it was to protect them from being gobbled up by hungry desert animals. But in studying the plants and animals of the desert in which Phoenix sits, I’ve read that those thorns, or spines, have evolved over time as a water-saving adaptation. It’s a matter of living simply.

The beautiful Sonoran Desert is a lesson in simplicity, in paring down to the essentials. It’s about taking what you have and making the best use of it; adapting in a practical and simple way.

Consider the saguaro (suh-WAH-row), the trademark of Arizona, a “tree” that can live for two hundred years and grow as tall as fifty feet. How does it survive scorching desert heat, frigid nights, precious little rain? It’s a “water tower” – a storage tank that can hold gallons and gallons of water. As it expands and grows, every branch, or arm, adds to its storage capacity.

And the saguaro doesn’t exist just for its self. It provides a home for much desert life. Woodpeckers and flickers peck out nesting holes in the saguaro, making a new home every year. It’s a safe place for raising babies, and it doesn’t hurt the saguaro, because it heals itself by growing a shell around the injured tissue. When the next year comes, the woodpeckers and flickers make new holes, but their old nests make good homes for other birds, bats, pack rats, lizards, insects and spiders. Talk about recycling!

There are many opportunities for observing desert life in Phoenix, from residential yards to the incredible Desert Botanical Garden, 145 acres housing more than 50,000 plants. Five trails get you up close and personal with cacti from around the world, and exhibits highlight desert wildflowers, conservation, desert plant adaptation and ethnobotany. On top of that, it’s simply a beautiful place to be.

It’s open every day till sunset from October through April; attend Music in the Garden on Fridays from 7-9, and watch for special events such as the current spring butterfly exhibit, continuing till May 13. Just off E McDowell Road on N Galvin Parkway, near Papago Park and the Phoenix Zoo. http://www.dbg.org/

Kids, read 101 Questions About Desert Life by Alice Jablonsky; everyone, learn more about the Sonoran Desert at the Center for Sonoran Desert Studies: http://www.desertmuseum.org/center/



Play Ball

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — Warm sunny days and baseball. About 300 warm sunny days, goes the claim. And ten stadiums serving as Spring Training Home to fifteen teams that come to the Phoenix area to prepare for their season because, well, in most cases the weather sucks back home. It’s known as the Cactus League http://www.cactusleague.com/ and just look at this list.

  1. Camelback Ranch, the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Goodyear Ballpark, the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds
  3. Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Hohokam Park, the Chicago Cubs
  5. Maryvale Baseball Park, the Milwaukee Brewers
  6. Peoria Sports Complex, the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners
  7. Phoenix Municipal Stadium, the Oakland Athletics
  8. Scottsdale Stadium, the San Francisco Giants
  9. Surprise Recreation Campus, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers
  10. Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim


The schedule makes for a magnificent March, it’s not hard to get tickets, and the price is right.

But that’s not all. There’s March Madness basketball. Today and Saturday the NCAA West Regionals are happening at the US Airways Center. News note, No 1 Seed Michigan State lost to Louisville 57-44 tonight, so it’s Louisville and the Florida Gators Saturday. Of course you can catch the Suns at the Center regularly. http://usairwayscenter.com/start/

And don’t forget golf. There are 185 golf courses with 3,600 holes in the Phoenix area. What a city! http://www.phoenixgolfsource.com/

Play ball.


Making a List

Linda Burton posting from Phoenix, Arizona — Making a list and checking it twice; so many choices. Tomorrow I’m starting on Central Avenue, the route of the train. The Valley Metro light rail, that is. The station is a block away, the fare for a ride is $.85 for a senior (I can get a 7-day pass too). I’ll buy my ticket from a machine right there at the station via credit card (remember the Olden Days when you had to have tokens for public transportation?). According to the online Route Planner, I will reduce carbon emissions by 0.748 lbs by riding the train. If I drove my car I would burn 1.109 lbs of CO2. Not to mention what I’d spend for gas and parking!

Check it out. Valley Metro Light rail. http://www.valleymetro.org/

It will take me four minutes to get to the Heard Museum at 2301 N Central. http://www.heard.org/

I’ll tell about my visit in another post; two things I’m interested in are an exhibit on Native American Bolo Ties (Arizona’s official state neckwear), and Beyond Geronimo: The Apache Experience, which presents a more accurate view of this celebrated personality than the sensationalized stories that have circulated for years.

The Phoenix Art Museum, also on N Central at 1625, http://www.phxart.org/ has an exhibit entitled “Frank Lloyd Wright: Organic Architecture for the 21st Century.” Wright’s architecture focused on the concepts of energy, materials, climate, transportation, and urban planning.  It’s also on my list.

So many choices.