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Going Food! CULTURE! Local: Music!

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Features 22 Sustainability Roundtable

Wavelength gathered some of the Valley’s most distinguished “green” thinkers and asked them to discuss energy, transportation, building, economic and environmental issues—and assess Arizona’s future. 32 Let’s Make Some Noise! By Karen Werner

The new Musical Instrument Museum in north Phoenix aims to be a local treasure with global reach—preserving cultures from around the world, while improving ours here. 38 Old Building, New Tricks By Walt Lockley

Some of the Valley’s hippest addresses have a secret past. Explore how tapping into that history can help solve environmental conundrums while breathing new life into communities.


This coffee shop used to be a gas station. Read how other local buildings are being reinvented on page 38.




On the Cover A young girl plants seeds in the garden at the Gila Crossing Community School. Discover how this program connects children to their culture and the land on page 54. Winter 2010 1

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Departments 10 Folk Family

In the me-first world of music production, the Phoenix-based River Jones label has a refreshing tune: “Keep it in the family.” By Si Robins

16 The Man Behind the Curtain

Jim Paluzzi has made a name for himself by embracing new media and making hard-nosed business decisions. Can he sustain KBAQ and KJZZ’s reputations while turning them into even more formidable brands? By Elizabeth Exline

46 Flight of the Condors

An ecotour teaches travelers about a bird species that’s come back from the brink of extinction. By Peter Aleshire


54 Think Globally, Munch Locally

Supporting the local food industry boosts the Valley’s environmental— and economic—outlook. By Stephanie R. Conner

Featured Listener Stories Pages 14, 20, 44 and 52

Also Inside Contributors Editor’s Note 60 KBAQ Programming Guide 62 KJZZ Programming Guide 64 Crossword




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This man has exciting plans for KJZZ and KBAQ. Learn about him on page 16.

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Winter 2010

Peter Aleshire An award-winning writer and editor, Peter has written eight books, including four history books, three geology books and a book about training F-16 pilots. Vicki Louk Balint A former producer of KJZZ’s local weekly edition of Here and Now, Vicki writes, podcasts and produces Web video for Raising Arizona Kids magazine. Find her blog at raisingarizonakids.com. Morgan Benavidez Morgan is a writer and editor based in Phoenix. E-mail her at morganbenavidez@gmail.com. David M. Brown David has been a publisher, reporter and editor and now freelances in subjects such as architecture, entertainment, tourism, food, cars and wine. Trisha Coffman Trisha works as a freelance features writer and some time editor. She has contributed widely to local magazines, and these days writes mainly about business and science for Web and print publications. Stephanie Conner Stephanie has more than a decade of writing and editing experience for newspapers and magazines. Her work has appeared in nearly 20 regional and national publications. She also has taught news and magazine writing as an associate faculty member at her alma mater, ASU.

Art Holeman A commercial photographer for 30 years, Art has garnered national awards, including appearances in Communication Arts, Applied Arts and Graphis. To see more of his work, visit artholeman.com.

Production of Wavelength is underwritten by Friends of Public Radio Arizona (FPRAZ), 2323 W. 14th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281

Fred Jarmuz Fred takes care of his right-brain tendencies by cycling all over the Valley and keeps his left brain happy by solving and creating crossword puzzles. He’s seen his published in the Los Angeles Times and The Baltimore Sun.


Yvette Johnson Yvette is a freelance writer. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and their two rambunctious sons. Walt Lockley Walt was born in Texas and educated in the back seat of a 1972 Buick Riviera crisscrossing the continent. His work on disappearing midcentury modern architecture in Phoenix is at waltlockley.com. Emily Piraino From the moment she lifted her first camera, Emily knew she wanted to spend her life documenting the world through a lens. She lives for the thrill of preser ving in print the way the human spirit thrives.

Elizabeth Exline Elizabeth is a freelance writer who frequently covers design and architecture. Her work has appeared in Robb Report, Estates West and Travel Savvy, among other publications.

Si Robins Si is the editor of Downtown Phoenix Journal and a family of green living websites. You can find him riding his bike throughout downtown Phoenix, and drinking too much espresso at local coffee shops. Drop Si a line at si@siwrites.com.

Daniel Friedman Over the years, Dan has worked as a photojournalist at a daily newspaper, a commercial photographer, and an elementary and middle school teacher. He’s now a writer and photographer for Raising Arizona Kids magazine.

John Werner John is a UC Berkeley Conservation and Resource Studies graduate who also did time in planning school in New York, making his usual editorial contributions to Wavelength all the more appropriate this time around.

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Karen Werner


Susich Design Company Phil Hagenah Dan Schweiker Susan Edwards Mark Dioguardi

Chair Vice Chair Treasurer Secretary


Mike Chiricuzio Steve Curley Mark Feldman Bob Frank Erik Hellum Dr. Laura W. Martin Carol L. McElroy

Michael Moskowitz Dr. Jim Paluzzi Edward Plotkin Todd Sanders Linda Saunders Dr. Linda Thor



Carl Matthusen


Ralph Hogan, Bill Shedd, Lou Stanley ADVERTISING SALES

Nancy Mitchell, Public Radio Partners 480.946.6500 KBAQ / KJZZ 2323 W. 14th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281 KBAQ 89.5 FM www.kbaq.org 480.833.1122 KJZZ 91.5 FM www.kjzz.org 480.834.5627 KJZZ can also be found: In Tucson—98.9 FM In Globe—106.9 FM KBAQ, your classical music station, can also be heard i n Ahwatukee on 89.3 FM, and North Scottsdale on 89.7 FM. Both KBAQ and KJZZ are streamed live on the Web 24 hours a day to provide worldwide access to our programming at: www.kbaq.org and www.kjzz.org. The views expressed in Wavelength are solely those of the individuals providing them and do not necessarily represent the opinions of KBAQ, KJZZ, FPRAZ, their agents or their affiliates. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information herein, we do not assume responsibility or liability for errors or omissions. © 2010 FPRAZ. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction in any manner is prohibited.

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editor’s note

Not Easy Being Green

Karen Werner “While we figure out big-picture solutions and search for new pathways, we still need to change the lightbulb.”

recently read an article declaring that green is the new black. Seems in this time of rising layoffs and tumbling 401Ks, it’s just not kosher to holler about expensive this and decadent that. Instead, it said, it’s now chic to brag about how you reduced your carbon footprint, installed solar panels or put down bamboo floors. Yech. Still, helping the environment is a goal many of us share. And what we do includes what we buy—whether it’s a fuel-efficient car, a water-conserving irrigation system or a cloth tote for our groceries. So maybe I should be a little slower to roll my eyes at this trend of “greenversations.” After all, while we figure out big-picture solutions and search for new pathways, we still need to change the lightbulb. With that in mind, we decided not to skip this discussion, but rather to create an issue of Wavelength with a sustainability spin. But in working on it, I quickly found that “sustainability” is a tapestry that easily frays when you start pulling strings. How can higher water prices drive conservation without unacceptably disenfranchising people? Are photovoltaics the answer, or should we start with super-insulated windows? Even the experts we gathered for our Sustainability Roundtable (page 22) didn’t always agree. But they started a conversation we hope you’ll continue. Other articles in this issue serve up similar food for thought. “Think Globally, Munch Locally” (page 54) highlights local companies that grow the foods they sell. Peter Aleshire’s travel column (page 46) presents ecotourism opportunities—a prime way to support, sustain and learn about the state. Other stories introduce a new museum and a music label that are invigorating Arizona, making this a more vital place to call home. For all the passion on these pages, some will point out that Wavelength is printed on ecologically unfriendly paper and snail mailed to readers. But, again, the equation is a little more complicated. The magazine is produced by a very small cadre of chiefly home-office workers, who don’t drive to work or, frankly, dry clean their clothes very much. And except for the printed magazine itself, virtually all of the work is done electronically. When the magazine is printed, unlike many publications and catalogs, it’s sent to a real person at a real address. (Our mailing list is corrected and purged every year.) So when it does reach its audience of devoted public radio fans, we hope it will be a resource worthy of its carbon. We encourage you to reuse it, too, by passing it along to a friend. Journalism, like so many other industries, is undergoing a huge transformation—some of it spurred by environmental awareness. And whether we’re talking about cars, appliances, energy, food or media, when we make decisions about how to proceed—and what to support—we need to consider the complexity of these issues and the long-term and far-reaching impacts of our choices. Otherwise we may just end up bragging about a bamboo floor grown in pesticides, sealed with formaldehyde and hauled all the way from China on a soot-spewing ship. We hope this issue promotes such understanding and starts conversations that help us all, together, find our way.


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music By Si Robins

Even when taking a break with River Jones (opposite) outside his studio, members of the label can’t help but create new music.

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Folk Family

In the me-first world of music production, the Phoenix-based River Jones label has a refreshing tune: “Keep it in the family.”



n a quiet downtown Phoenix apartment complex, muffled music can be heard coming from one of the upstairs units. Inside, River Jones is working, his blonde hair disheveled as he quietly clicks away on his computer. He’s making records—recording the crop of young talent he’s signed since starting River Jones Music a few years back. Jones is no glitzy producer— he works shoeless in a T-shirt and shorts almost every day, something he only half-jokingly claims was his number-one job requirement. He doesn’t have a business card and, until recently, didn’t have a game plan, either. His recording studio is, in fact, the second bedroom of the apartment he and his fiancée share. Despite years of experience in the music industry, his label sprouted up by happy accident. “I decided I was going to be a musician when I was 4,” Jones says. And, he’s done it all—from working in record stores, to interning at Elektra Records and Grand Royal, to working at Maverick Records, to touring the world for two years as a drummer. But it wasn’t until Jones moved from Los Angeles back to his hometown of Phoenix that everything fell into place. “I thought, why don’t we live in downtown Phoenix for a year, just to see what’s up,” Jones says. Calculating his next move, he met promising singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews—a high school student at the time— at a show he was playing here. “I was looking nationally for someone to produce,” Jones remembers. “I’d just returned from L.A., and couldn’t find anybody. I kept hearing Courtney’s name, and

kept saying I’d check her out. I was playing drums in this riot girl band, and someone introduced us. She took me into a room and played me a song, and I dropped everything I was doing to record her.” Andrews’ haunting voice and strong musicianship make her songs, or “stories,” as she calls them, wise beyond her years. Playing in Phoenix since she was 15, she has a q uiet maturity, though she hides beneath her long black bangs in conventional teenage style. She’s currently readying a third album, just six months after the release of her last. It was Andrews who suggested that Jones find other musicians to record. He laughed it off, but in listening to Andrews’ friends and their friends, soon realized she was onto something. It’s come a long way fast, since Jones recorded Andrews’ debut, Urban Myths, in his mom’s living room in 2007. The label features an evergrowing cast, from ukulele-toting Michelle Blades, 19, to Brent Cowles (a k a You, Me, and Apollo), 20, who moved from Colorado to work with Jones. Charles Barth (a k a Saddles), Asher Deaver and a host of other friends of the label, such as Tucsonbased, French-born Marianne Dissard, round out the family. Andrews’ second record, Painter’s Hands and a Seventh Son, has been the engine so far, with indie-store distribution around the country and hits on Last.fm and MySpace. The label has grown 300 percent a year since its inception. The musicians—ranging from 18 to 22 years old—are a tight-knit group, playing shows together and appearing on each other’s records. This family vibe has drawn comparisons to Saddle Creek Records, the Nebraska label started by a few

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friends in the 90’s that sprouted Bright Eyes and other acclaimed indie acts. But running a one-man outfit in a town with an underappreciated music scene takes its toll. “I can’t believe I made it through that first year,” Jones recalls. “I went out and bought a bunch of cheap shorts and told everyone I was going on vacation.” That “vacation” meant recording two artists a week, as opposed to upward of six. Jones has recorded seven albums in the past year, and aims for even more in 2010, but feels spread thin. “I’m trying not to rush through making these records,” Jones says. “But there’s so much talent and so much need; we need all the help we can get. It would be great if there were multiple producers around, but it doesn’t work that way.” He’d even welcome more Phoenix-based labels, if simply to foster the talent that’s cropped up here. Meanwhile, Jones is still “vacationing,” recording the first proper albums for Blades and 20-year-old Ryan Osterman, a k a Owl & Penny. Owl & Penny is based in Tempe, but Osterman has moved all over the East Valley and even to Ohio for a stint. “I met some great musicians in Ohio,” Osterman says, nonchalantly plucking his guitar in Jones’ living room. “But I was really looking forward to coming back here, because it’s like being part of a family.” Blades, a recent transplant from Miami, is the niece of Panamanian salsa star Rubén Blades, and her music evokes much of his stage aura. But making a proper record is very different from doing one of her stripped-down, semi-ad-libbed live shows. “Usually we kill, like, three songs in a day,” Blades says, sitting cross12 Wavelength


A pastor’s son from a small Colorado town, Brent Cowles of You, Me, and Apollo came to Phoenix to be part of the River Jones collective.


legged on the floor, strumming ukulele with Wayfarers on, “but we’re trying to take our time here.” She immediately segues into an impromptu performance for no one in particular, content just to be singing. Jones, 32, is the group’s father figure, and he wants each artist to grow the right way. In particular, he and Andrews, who at 19 has already put out two albums and toured the West Coast three times, share an interesting dynamic. They’re best friends despite an age gap, and joke around like lifelong pals. “I’m older,” says Jones. “Everyone else is younger, and they want to hang out, but I have to keep that separation of work and play.” Luckily, Andrews keeps great ideas coming. It was she who thought the label should start its biannual Folk Fest, which has now earned nationwide attention. The goal is to create a cohesive, nationally respected music scene. “People have been traveling to our folk fests from other states,” says Jones, who can’t help but smile. “Austin needs to watch out, because we’re coming up. On MySpace, people will tell us, ‘I wish I was in Arizona.’ Growing up here, I never thought I’d see that.”









RiverJonesMusicRecords n Courtney Marie Andrews—

n Owl & Penny—Fever Dreams

n You, Me, and Apollo—

n Saddles—Shame on

Painter’s Hands and a Seventh Son At once brooding and striking, Andrews’ second record is an epic leap in songwriting. The tunes are particularly strong live, where Andrews plucks her guitar while sitting onstage, leading up to powerful choruses.

How to Swim, How to Rot Quiet guitar meets lush chamber pop in this five-song EP, recorded by Brent Cowles in Colorado following a painful divorce. The subject matter is intense, but it’s Cowles’ strong composition and Dylanesque vocals that stand out. Upon first listen, Jones signed Cowles and agreed to release these songs.

n Michelle Blades—Oh, Nostalgia!

Though Blades’ first EP, Where the Water Boils, was mostly ukulele and provocative vocals, her first fulllength record takes it up a notch. A fuller sound, includ ing layers of guitar, strings and percus sion, coupled with Blades’ signature voice, make this one of the Valley’s strongest recent releases.

Ryan Osterman pairs his tobacco-husky howl with strings by members of the Phoenix troubadours Poem for this fivesong set. The results are lavish, confident songs much bigger than Osterman’s intentions when he wrote them over the past year.

You, Chatterer! Though 22-year-old Charles Barth is the label’s elder states man, and the most traditional singer-songwriter, it doesn’t mean Shame on You, Chatterer! isn’t one of the label’s most consistent releases to date. A pared-down approach gives the record a classic likability, and Barth has some serious pipes.

n Marianne Dissard—

L’Entredeux Though not officially on the label, Dissard has done much to help it succeed (including putting up mem bers in her Tucson home). A French export to Arizona, Dissard’s breathy vocals are backed by an extensive band with supreme musicianship.

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listener profile By Morgan Benavidez

Keeping Up With the Granzows

In a self-described “geezer village” in the southeast Valley, the Granzows are following their conscience by going green. “Seems like the thing to do, doesn’t it?” asks Bob.

Linda and Bob Granzow “It doesn’t matter when a person acts, as long as they act.”

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Think you’re a green rock star? Maybe you haven’t met Bob and Linda Granzow. Since moving to Arizona in 2003, these KJZZ listeners have taken environmental awareness to a new level—and they’re still looking for ways to decrease their carbon footprint. Their journey to a greener lifestyle began with “aggressive recycling,” Bob says, and expanded over the years. Some of the steps they’ve taken include planting a xeriscape garden, changing all their bulbs to compact fluorescents, swapping one of their cars for a golf cart and, most recently, converting their home to a total solar energy system. But Bob and Linda aren’t prone to bragging


Avid public radio fans go green.

about their progressive measures. “With all this sun, it seems kind of stupid not to use it,” Bob laughs. “Even I can figure that out!” When their house was being built six years ago, the Granzows brought up the idea of adding solar, but their builder dissuaded them. After doing some research, they finally took the plunge last year. In addition to personal satisfaction, the Granzows were eligible for multiple tax incentives and a rebate from SRP. During the scorching summer months, Bob and Linda crank up their thermostat and hightail it to Montana, so their energy use here is extremely minimal. For this reason, and since it keeps generating in their absence, their solar system will pay for itself in just five to eight years. Even when they’re summering in Montana, the Granzows still tune in to KBAQ and KJZZ—Science Friday in particular—by Web streaming the stations. The stories they hear often have an environmental angle and remind them of the importance of green living. Of course, an environmental lifestyle sometimes means extra effort. For instance, in Montana, the couple must sort their recycling and drive 12 miles each way to the nearest center. Bob went so far as to sell his beloved airplane, which he built himself. “That was a big sacrifice,” he admits. Having worked for the Department of Defense and the Army, respectively, Linda and Bob have traveled the world. They attribute much of their environmental concern to witnessing the adverse effects overseas of “the unrestrained pursuit of profit.” But they believe everyone has the ability to make a difference. “It’s the only planet we have,” Bob says. “It doesn’t matter when a person acts, as long as they act.” “It’s not willful neglect,” says Linda. “It’s just being oblivious. If you run out of air and water, it won’t matter what kind of business you run or how much money you make.”

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inside the station By Elizabeth Exline

The Man Behind the Curtain


Jim Paluzzi has made a name for himself by embracing new media and making hard-nosed business decisions. Can he sustain KBAQ and KJZZ’s reputations while turning them into even more formidable brands?


ometimes things stick with you for the rest of your life.” Jim Paluzzi, the general manager of KJZZ and KBAQ, is right: Childhood is full of defining moments. And while plenty of us might dwell on the unfortunate—a fall from a horse, wearing headgear to high school—Paluzzi isn’t the type to focus on the bad. He speaks a “

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language of “challenges” a nd “oppor tunities,” which is probably why now he’s not talking about a traumatic social experience but a fifth-grade field trip to an upstate New York radio station. It was an excursion that included a lot of firsts for Paluzzi, like being in a control room and seeing a Teletype machine. But the crowning moment came when he met the engineer, a

veritable wizard who illuminated a lightbulb merely by placing it near a transmission line. This thrilling experience proved to be both a literal and metaphorical lightbulb for Paluzzi. “Now today we know that is an OSHA safety violation,” he acknowledges, “but back then it was just pure magic.” If his story were a novel, this would be the moment when

“His aggressiveness in always trying to make things better is a huge and wonderful quality.” Paluzzi would’ve decided to become an engineer. Paluzzi, however, is more inclined to make his destiny than to follow it, and his ambition and keen nose for opportunity have proved successful professional divining rods over the years. Take, for instance, his stint as a professor of television at Southeastern Louisiana University. It was there that he got a call for help from one of the school’s radio operators. The station had apparently neglected to obtain a license, and when “some federal people” began looking into it, Paluzzi was tapped not only to help, but to helm the station. As Paluzzi worked his way up in the radio world, he developed two distinct reputations: one for ambition and another for newmedia know-how. In fact, it was these two qualities that caught the attention of the president of Colorado Public Radio, Max Wycisk. Wycisk recruited Paluzzi from Boise, where he was managing a network of nearly 20 stations, and brought him to Colorado to ramp up what was a rather modest newmedia division. “We hired Jim to develop an area, not to be a caretaker of it,” Wycisk recalls, and this has turned out to be an important distinction when understanding Paluzzi. As Wycisk oversaw Paluzzi for nearly five years, he came to recognize that Paluzzi’s trademark ambition was both unusual for public radio and

highly beneficial. “His aggressiveness in always trying to make things better is a huge and wonderful quality,” Wycisk says. “An aggressiveness in the nonprofit world can sometimes be seen negatively. I mean it entirely positively, which is really kind of a drive to improve. Jim possesses that in spades.” That much is evident from five minutes of conversation. As Paluzzi describes his take on his new hometown, Phoenix begins to resemble an oversize fruit tree laden with ripening opportunities for, as Paluzzi puts it, public service. And he’s poised under that tree with a ladder and a basket. There are local issues like water rights and (sub)urban sprawl, he says, that demand in-depth, ongoing and balanced reporting. (That Paluzzi embraces the journalistic spirit goes without saying. He relishes the art of storytelling, punctuating his own anecdotes with all the pauses, crescendos and hand gestures of a practiced dramatist.) And with the decline of newspapers and other media well underway, public radio is just the entity to step in and tell these stories. “Newspapers are disappearing or being downsized,” Wycisk affirms. “So public radio is becoming a primary news provider. That side of what we do continues to become more and more important.” To address these “opportu-

nities,” Paluzzi has a number of ideas, starting with the station’s very organization. Paluzzi advocates something called “consultative management,” where people collaborate regardless of department. As a result, he and Rio Salado College President Dr. Linda Thor have developed associate general manager positions, a setup that closely resembles the one Paluzzi left behind in Colorado, which encourages department leaders to share ideas and implement strategies together. “I’m a real sucker for things that work,” Paluzzi says. “I’ve become a real firm believer in the concept whereby if you have an issue or an idea or a thought, the first thing you should do is find a colleague to share that with…and now that idea has the potential of getting stronger.” But reorganizing the staff was just the beginning. Paluzzi has never been, according to Wycisk, a “lone wolf,” so he’s surrounded himself here with people who can carry out his vision. And for Paluzzi, there is plenty to be done. He’d like to double or even triple the size of the news team and organize it in an unorthodox but, he argues, effective way. Pointing to the many changes happening around us, Paluzzi describes the need for



New Web site, new structure, new staff—there’s a lot on KBAQ/KJZZ general manager Jim Paluzzi’s wish list these days. Here are a few things audience members can expect to hear and see soon.

n While other classical music stations go the way of the gramophone, Paluzzi plans to enhance KBAQ’s presence in both the general and the classical music communities. “Our commitment not just remains,” he says, “but we have a method to grow it.” Keep an ear out for more locally produced music and updates on what’s happening in the classical world. n KJZZ will benefit from enhanced

Latino coverage, a ramped-up inves tigative approach to journalism and a commitment to integrated reporting on Arizona-centric issues.

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a Changing America desk that would tackle complicated issues comprehensively rather than in traditional, truncated “beats” of politics, education, health and so on. “It changes the notion of journalism from, ‘Oh I’m just covering education stories,’ or, ‘I’m just covering health

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stories,’ to ‘We’re looking at what’s changing in America.’” One of the biggest changes, of course, is the demographic one, and Paluzzi is eager to get a grip on it. The Latino community, he explains, is “underrepresented in media in general. We have a remarkable opportunity to look

at people who are bilingual, educated, aspirational, but not fully assimilated into the mainstream culture of America.” And while details about how he plans to reach that market remain fuzzy—“Whether it involves us someday acquiring another station,” he says, “whether it involves us using another form of delivery like new media, I can’t tell you right now”—Paluzzi is eager to entrench himself and his staff in the community to figure it out. Given Paluzzi’s experience in new media, it should come as no surprise that an enhanced, customizable Web site is also likely on the way, as are newmedia tools like Facebook and Twitter. He plans to use these social networking services as building blocks for creating a

community of listeners. “We need to be deeply involved in the digital arena as it helps us advance and communicate the stories that we’re using to build community,” he says. Helping to realize these changes is the new department of audience research, which analyzes listener habits and will even help determine the fate of this magazine. “We’re going to look at what the magazine is to people,” Paluzzi explains. “Do they value it? If they value it, why? If they don’t, why not?” It’s an attitude that sums up Paluzzi’s critical approach to the many arenas under his management. As Wycisk noted, Paluzzi is driven to seek improvement, and that’s one aspect of his personality that’s not likely to change any time soon.

listener profile By Yvette Johnson

Inventing the Future

Local teacher prompts students to ask, ‘How far can we go?’

Cory Waxman

“There are so many stories on NPR that are relevant to what’s going on in the world.”

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Like their teacher, Cory Waxman’s students enjoy listening to public radio. “Those two or three minute stories, they’ll listen to, especially if it’s tied into something we’re doing,” he says.

Cory Waxman is using his job to plant seeds of sustainability in Arizona’s youth. After teaching physics for years, Waxman started to sprinkle sustainability concepts into his lesson plans. “I was less satisfied at preparing the students to keep doing what we’re doing,” he says. “The machine’s going in the wrong direction, why do I want to put fuel in it?” And so, Waxman decided to focus on a different kind of fuel. At Central High School, he worked with students for three years to create what they believe was the world’s first water- and solar-powered truck. (The vehicle ran on hydrogen created by onboard solar panels.) He says the research and technology were out there, but no one had put it together

to make this type of vehicle. That said, the truck wasn’t a realistic alternative for everyday transportation, because, while it went 85 miles per hour, the hydrogen fuel it made daily from sun and water only lasted about two miles. Still, Waxman says, it was an important achievement. “The question to ask is, ‘How far did the first airplane go? The answer is, ‘Not very far.’” Waxman now teaches at Bioscience High School in Phoenix, where he helped develop a class called “Inventing the Future” that every freshman is required to complete. “The whole course is based on a series of problems,” Waxman explains. The class emphasizes creative thinking by encouraging students to collaborate and conduct research. Waxman and his fellow Bioscience teachers are working to ensure that students are prepared to address the world’s challenges by bringing together a variety of disciplines. Waxman’s ideas about sustainability aren’t reserved for the classroom. While studying physics and engineering at ASU, he lived for a semester in a tent near the Verde River and cycled 35 miles each way to campus. He’s also been known to raise goats and chickens in his suburban backyard, grows many of his family’s fruits and vegetables, and uses a swamp cooler in the summer to save electricity. When ASU introduced the nation’s first School of Sustainability, Waxman was one of the first to sign up for the groundbreaking Ph.D. program. When he’s not building future cars and training tomorrow’s visionaries, Waxman enjoys listening to KJZZ’s news coverage and tries to catch Science Friday when he can. In fact, he sometimes plays these stories for his students. “There are so many stories on NPR that are relevant to what’s going on in the world, and we’re trying to bring what’s going on in the world into the classroom,” he says. “Sometimes the stories just align with what we’re doing.” What Waxman and his students are doing now is building a hybrid car—this one modeled after the XR3, a three-wheeled, high-mileage, dieselelectric plug-in hybrid. Waxman hopes it will serve as the official car for Bioscience High School and be a daily reminder to students—and to anyone who sees it—that the future is there to invent.

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Wavelength gathered some of the Valley’s most distinguished “green” thinkers and asked them to discuss energy, transportation, building, economic and environmental issues—and assess Arizona’s future. Edited by John Werner and Trisha Coffman Photography by Art Holeman


Rob Melnick

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Tammy J. Perkins

Stuart Bowden

Harvey Bryan

nability Mick Dalrymple

Gary Dirks

Tim James


Lawrence Odle

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Rob Melnick


Melnick is executive dean and chief operating officer of ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS). He’s authored, managed and contributed to more than 200 public policy studies over the years and is a recognized adviser to government agencies, corporations and philanthropic organizations. Melnick has authored three books and is a frequent keynote speaker.


MELNICK: This place has grown rapidly and

has its share of economic challenges. It’s dry, hot, consumes a boatload of electricity, gives off a lot of heat at night, arguably has a questionable water supply, and we have four million people. So the question I want to put on the table is: Do you think we live in a sustainable place?

BRYAN: On the energy front, we can survive. We have plenty of energy on a per-squarefoot basis: radiation from the sun. That can be converted into many forms and used domestically. That’s not a problem. It’s leadership, vision and some economics that are more of a problem. The urban heat island is an issue. We’ve had a nighttime minimum temperature increase of 10-12 degrees in the last 40-50 years, and that’s unsustainable. That, overlaid with any global warming increases, could make much of this Valley unlivable. So challenges are water and heat island. But as far as energy for buildings, we can get that from our renewable resource, the sun. It’s a challenge, but it can be done. MELNICK: All right, Stuart. Harvey talked

about solar radiation. Your expertise is in 24 Wavelength

JAMES: Stuart correctly pointed out that the

largest set of distributed PV systems on the planet are in southern Germany. The reason is not social policy, but finances. The German state has turned PV into quite a profitable investment for people. In Germany there is a feed-in tariff, and it pays you when you put more into the grid than you take out. It’s paid so well over the last 10 years, that people have said, “I’ll pay the $15,00020,000 to put an array on my roof.” Why don’t we have it here? Because purely on cost, it’s not competitive. It’s too easy to build another gas plant. Let me add another thing: Although distributed PV systems are interesting, the big way forward in capturing the benefits of solar insolation in the state is concentrated solar—solar plants. There’s a movement toward that way of powering the state.

MELNICK: There are always trade-offs between environmental quality and the economy. Does the perceived sustainability of a place, whether Phoenix or elsewhere, affect its economic health, or is it the other way around?

photovoltaics (PV). How come a place like this doesn’t have PV everywhere? BOWDEN: Cost. For current photovoltaics, the surprising thing is that the largest markets are in Germany. You’d expect it in the sunniest places first. So, it’s pretty clear social policies of the local community make a huge difference. Addressing sustainability in Phoenix, the most obvious feature is the desert. Coming from Australia, where it’s mainly desert, I looked up the rainfall of Phoenix, compared it to Australia, and realized there are 1,000-2,000 people living there in areas with rainfall similar to Phoenix. In Australia, we don’t have irrigation, we don’t have the large rivers. Another reason why people in Australia tend not to live in these hot places, ultimately, comes down to if people want to live there. If they do, Phoenix will remain sustainable. It might not have been obvious several years ago that Detroit might be less sustainable than Phoenix. MELNICK: Tim, let me turn to you. Stuart said

it’s the economics that prevent PV from being on every roof. From an economist’s point of view, what will it take to solarize the state?

JAMES: That’s an interesting question. I’ve

been around sustainability for years, but have never determined what “sustainable” actually means. The heat island effect. The fact that we’re growing in an unsustainable way in the Valley by growing outward rather than thinking about population densities and growing upward. The draw of resources. I want to change the context to a worldwide sense. America is quite famous for pulling more resources out of the world system than the population on a pro-rata basis would say it should. I think that means over the long term—30, 40, 50 years—we will see fundamental changes to the nature of the economy and the amount we’re allowed to draw out. That makes us a little unsustainable, in technological, resource, economic terms, however you want to put it.

MELNICK: Mick, you’re in the green business. There’s so much talk today about green jobs in the Obama administration. How does this play out between real private-sector opportunity versus some fad? DALRYMPLE: Look at parallels between the green economy and the dot-com economy. There were these things called dot-com jobs.

PERKINS: I agree that the stimulus is having a slower impact than the designers had hoped. But you have to look at the difference between state government and local government. At the state level, funds being approved are to shore up existing government operations—for schools, universities, health-care programs. On the local side, it’s different. In Phoenix, all funds are going back out for activities we wouldn’t have done otherwise. You can see the work underway at Sky Harbor—that would have been put off. There are real guys and real tractors out there working, that might not be otherwise. Same with the weatherization program. There’s $7 million that’s put a lot of small contractors to work weatherizing people’s homes. It’s work that wouldn’t be happening otherwise. MELNICK: I’m going to go to Gary, who just moved here after 14 years in Beijing. When I spent time in Beijing, I was struck with how many problems Beijing and Phoenix have in common that are challenges in sustainability—water, transportation, air quality, etc. Now, Beijing is 10 times the size of Phoenix. My question is, what do we have to learn from developing urban areas, and how can they learn from us? How do we export what we know about sustainability, and how do we take advantage of what they’re doing? DIRKS: You get a lot of different develop-

“It’s hard to envision that we can be the way we are today two decades from now.” ments in developing countries. The way Shanghai has developed is very different from Beijing, and different from Guang Cho and Chin Jin. But we can say as a starting point in how you create cities you feel good about from the standpoint of efficiency—the way they use resources, how they organize themselves—nobody has figured this out yet, at least not at the scale of a major metropolitan area. Even some smaller programs that are meant to be cities of the future are struggling. But therein lies an opportunity, because we’ve all got these problems. China is about 45 percent urbanized. They believe they need to get to about 80 percent. They’re putting about 16 million people a year into urban environments. In the case of the U.S., it’s hard to envision that we can be the way we

are today two decades from now. That’s why we’re having these kinds of discussions. There’s a lot we can learn from each other about what developing countries are doing and what they’re experiencing, and where we see ourselves going. The best way to do that is to really get into detail, but the practitioners never get to sit down together in large enough numbers and frequently enough to say, “Well, I’ve got this problem and I’ve thought about it like this. What about you?” These metropolitan areas have to work, they simply have to. And there’s a real imperative to get together, exchange views and solve these problems. MELNICK: You’ve just started running some-

thing called LightWorks. To the degree I understand LightWorks, it starts with investments in science, about converting light to energy. How long, far, complicated is the path from science to applying the science to make a place like Arizona more sustainable?

DIRKS: LightWorks begins with the idea that light is an extraordinarily versatile

Tammy J. Perkins

Now, every job is a dot-com job, because Internet technology is part of what we all do. I believe “green jobs” will likewise go away—that green jobs are just jobs. We’re just doing them a different way, using different tools, thinking in different contexts. It’s really about integrating sustainability practices into what we do otherwise to be productive. As far as the private sector and how green stuff plays out, I haven’t seen a lot of change. With the stimulus, it seems revenue is being pushed down through state and local governments and not-for-profits. It should be from the ground up, versus having giant Halliburton-like contracts, but it doesn’t seem to be getting to the ground. A number of local governments appear to be using the funds to shore up the public sector and infrastructure. So, is it stimulating the private economy? No, it seems more to be rescuing the public economy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it wasn’t the original intent.

Perkins has been with the City of Phoenix since 1982 in various capacities, includ ing assignments with the Office of the Mayor and Intergovernmental Programs Office, and as Neighborhood Services director. Her current stewardship includes the City’s sustainability policy. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Drake University, a master of public admin istration from the University of Denver, and is a graduate of the Senior Executive in State and Local Government program at Harvard.

Winter 2010 25

MELNICK: Lawrence, you’re in a leadership position in air quality—an area more wellknown to most people than a lot of these others. Someone once said to me, referring to air quality, “If you can see it, it ain’t air!” I could see it in Beijing, I can see it here sometimes. The question for you, is it oversimplifying the issue to just say that we will regulate out of this? Just say you can’t drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as they did before the Olympics. DIRKS: That’s the way it is in Beijing now. MELNICK: So government could say, though

it might be painful, this is a problem that’s so important we’re going to regulate and move to the next problem. 26 Wavelength

Gary Dirks

phenomenon of nature. If you think about a world without light, you quickly realize it can’t exist—at least nothing of any complexity could. My work starts there, then says we haven’t even scratched the surface as to what’s possible. Challenges we have in mind run from biology, algae and bacteria, modifying the way they use light to make them more efficient, to the way we use light inside computers to transmit data. We talk about algae to fuels, solar to fuels, that could be another very large opportunity. And there are other things—in telecommunications, energy-efficient lighting and medicine—as well. To bring that home, we need to draw together insight from the problem end and focus research on it. Considering algae to biofuels—a big part of what we need to do there is look at the basic economics and define what you can afford. Fuel is cheap. It doesn’t feel that way when you go to the gas station, but fuel is cheap. If you’re going to use algae as a substitute for crude oil, you have to go real cheap because when BP drills in the Gulf of Mexico they can drill wells that produce 300,000 barrels a day. For algae oil, 40,000 acres of land gets you 10,000 barrels. Do the math. We’re talking about enormous facilities to substitute for one wellhead you can barely find on a satellite map. So we have to drive it from the economic end. And if you can’t get there, you can’t get there. If we see pathways where research can get us there, we’ll pursue them. But it’s not an exaggeration to say that Arizona is the Saudi Arabia of light. We’d be missing a real opportunity not to take advantage of it.

ODLE: The regulation should go hand-inhand with the market approach. I think it’s a fatal flaw to ask if Phoenix is sustainable. That’s part of the problem, that we tend to look at things in too small an area. The reality is, sustainability deals with the Earth’s ability to continue its diversity and production over a period of time. Sustainability requires criteria of space and time. If we say we’re not sustainable, we’re really making a prediction that only becomes a reality if you get to the end of the game. It’s a mistake to think of sustainability on a small scale. One strategy has to be to take responsibility for some portion of the lack of sustainability outside your own jurisdiction, in order to help educate and develop new technologies. So, should we regulate our way out of it? I think we can regulate a large amount by market-based activities. For example, everyone knows that the more scarce something is, the more restraint you have, the more it costs, and the more money is put into new technologies, looking for alternatives. There’s a need to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation. One way is to use taxes,

Dirks is well versed in global energy, having worked in the industry as a researcher, strategic planner and president of BP China and BP AsiaPacific. He’s presently leading efforts in solar energy and other lightinspired research as director of ASU’s LightWorks and as a professor in the School of Sustainability. Dirks received his doctorate in chemistry from ASU in 1980.

whether carbon taxes or a permit system, that restrict the things we’re doing. Sustainability is a journey. It’s part of Phoenix’s responsibility not just to look in Phoenix but to look outside, to avoid the myopic vision of sustainability. When you integrate economics and social issues in a way that you enhance and maintain the adaptive capacity of the environment, and start taking responsibility for areas not just in but out of your jurisdiction, that will put us in a direction of improved sustainability. PERKINS: We have to think about it in those terms. Because if we don’t, we’re giving up on finding a balance between those environmental, social and economic indicators before we even start. But the challenge is, what does that mean? I’m not a scientist or a professor, so I take it back to the basics for city service delivery. For me, sustainability means providing excellent services to all our residents with a focus on ensuring long-term quality of all of their lives.

Mick Dalrymple

MELNICK: You said for all of the people living here. How do you that?

A principal at a.k.a. Green Services, Dalrymple consults on sustainability issues and is also remodeling his home toward net zero energy use. He writes about green building and serves on the U .S. Green Building Council board and other green building committees. Dalrymple studied electrical engineer ing, math and international relations at the University of Arizona, and is a graduate of ASU’s MBA program and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

PERKINS: Look around the room.

You’ve got a crowd of white faces, and that’s too small a discussion. What sustainability might mean to me as a middle-class professional white person may not be the same thing it would mean to a grandmother raising grandchildren because her family is incarcerated, or to a new immigrant who’s just getting acculturated here.

MELNICK: O.K., you all come from different backgrounds. If we think about this place we live in, and you are king or queen, what’s the one thing you’d do to make this place more sustainable? Mick, I think of you as the private-sector person here. What would you dictate? DALRYMPLE: I would raise the price of water considerably. Then you’d have a market-based solution to what I see as the biggest weakness to being sustainable. I don’t think the Valley is sustainable now. I think it could be sustainable, especially regarding what Harvey is mentioning about energy. We have such huge potential with energy. We have a lot of potential in most areas that are important, but water is the one I’m mainly concerned about. Stuart discussed Australia. Whenever we look for new products in water efficiency we always look to Australia, because they’ve been dealing with this for a long time proactively, so they have innovative technology. As far as my definition of sustainability, “meeting the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs” is pretty good. Many organizations talk about balance between environment and economy, but many times social equity gets left out completely. I don’t believe you can have sustainability without social equity. Reducing poverty or oppression can have a dramatic environmental and economic impact, a national security impact, for decades. Also, if we’re going to make a breakthrough, we need to get past this idea of balance and sacrifice. We need to start looking at how things can leverage each other. If you have an educated population, that supports a better economy, a better

environment. We need to look at nature as a designer that’s been at it for eons, figuring things out that we have yet to figure out. If we can capitalize on being environmental, instead of thinking of it as a trade-off, that’s when we’ll make breakthroughs.

“If we’re going to make a breakthrough, we need to get past this idea of balance and sacrifice.” PERKINS: I liked what Mick said about using the word leverage instead of balance. Because it doesn’t need to be an either/or,

but can be a choice of how we all move forward together. My number-one thing, focusing on the social aspect, lies in education and job development. If people feel there’s an opportunity to make their kids’ lives better, to be successful as a parent, it generates hope. Having a hopeful population encourages people to work together, builds a spirit of community. Until we start to have these conversations as a full community, these changes aren’t going to happen. MELNICK: Anything anyone else would like to dictate? BRYAN: Increase the price of energy. Washington is talking about some kind of carbon system. Most of the rest of the world is farther along in thinking about those things than we are, but we’ll have to get there pretty soon. Until we value the environmental impact of emissions, we can’t start making trade-offs between various technologies. Winter 2010 27

DALRYMPLE: I want the economics professor to shoot down the social equity thing. JAMES: I’m about to shoot everything

three times as expensive,” the people in Fountain Hills will say, “I don’t care.” They use 1,000 gallons a day on their greenscape. But the problem is that people in downtown Phoenix—who use a fraction of the water— will say, “Wow, you just killed me. That’s taking a huge amount out of my budget.” DALRYMPLE: I think you need to put those policies in place. Right now all those costs

Tim James

down in flames! You can’t have social equity when you start increasing the prices of resources. The problem is you’re going to create a huge bunch of people who aren’t like us—white, middle-class, largely public sector—who are going to be disadvantaged by resource pricing. The U.S. lives in an unrealistic world. You know an amazing thing? I have two houses—one of them is in Wales. One of Wales’ resources is water, in an overabundance you can scarcely imagine. It rains practically every day. My water bill in Wales is three times what it is here. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out there’s something severely wrong with that. I can collect my own water in Wales, and there’s an incentive for me to do it. But once we start charging for gasoline, water, in a way that’s more reflective of scarcity, we’re going to create a group of people who feel disenfranchised. It will make a group of resource-poor people, and we need a policy to deal with that. If we say, “O.K., water is

“We need to have the sand in our shorts to say we’re going to be part of the world solution, which always starts locally.”

James came to Arizona from the United Kingdom with degrees from the University of Warwick and the University of Southampton. He’s been a faculty member at institutions in the UK, France and the U.S., and is currently a director of research and consulting and a research professor in economics at ASU. James has consulted for many international clients, including the European Commission, the Prime Minister of the UK and the Arizona Investment Council.

28 Wavelength

are externalities. We’re not paying the true cost of water. JAMES: I’m not disagreeing that we need

to do something, but we need to be wary of the issues that surround anything we do. Because you can’t just go for a policy that everyone is to put PV on their roof. Because, you know what will happen? The first ones to do that will be the wealthy. They have more access to credit, can borrow like crazy, so where are all the current PV installations? In wealthy areas.

BOWDEN: Is that such a bad thing? They’re

still offsetting their enormous usage of energy and driving down the price of energy. They’re creating a market.

DIRKS: You see the distortions created by well-intentioned policy all over the world. Nonetheless, we have to be very careful about assuming the market will fix it. Because the problem, particularly with energy, is that rarely have developed countries developed real shortages. I know that sounds surprising. With oil, the U.S. has really never experienced any significant shortage—a few days, maybe. In commodity pricing, the difference in price when there’s a perception of going short versus long can be a factor of two. We started to see a little of that in 2008, when oil prices skyrocketed. The point I’m trying to make is, if we wait until the market decides, the potential for serious dislocations is very large. Adding to the complexity is that there are countries that don’t fundamentally believe in the market. If they perceive a security risk, the potential for them to intervene in ways that will undermine the market is very high. Now I’ve turned this into a security question as opposed to a climate question, but I don’t believe they’re that different, actually. We must be able to create policy frameworks that deal with social equity, but at the same time deal with looming problems out there. A few of them may not be as far away as we think. ODLE: From a regulator’s standpoint, I’m not sure you don’t already have these inequities you’re afraid you’re going to create by strong policy. If you look at India and Africa, approximately 15 percent of the population has electric power. Over 1.6 billion people in the world, representing a quarter of all humanity, do not have electric power—a significant worldwide inequity. You have to start somewhere, and we can’t continue with the fuels we have. We need

Lawrence Odle

comes along, such as solar, we see people coming out saying we shouldn’t be giving subsidies to this. And that may be true. We’ve had serious talks in the solar community about if we could take all subsidies off traditional sources, we could happily compete. Because that’s not the case, we would certainly like to be at the table, too, with at least some start-up subsidies. At some point they could be wound down. In California some of the rebate systems are winding down because they’ve got a level of penetration they’re comfortable with. That’s not the case here, so we’d like to enjoy those, to get the technology off the ground.

Odle is director of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department. He’s covered a good chunk of the West during his career in environmental regulation, working for air quality programs in Hawaii, Oregon and California before coming to Arizona. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the University of California at Riverside and a graduate degree in law.

to have the sand in our shorts to say we’re going to be part of the world solution, which always starts locally. We already have inequities, though we may not want to see them. JAMES: There is an incontrovertible

case that climate change is taking place. We as humans have to do something. I take that as a given. All I’m saying is that when you make changes to whatever market mechanism, you have to be aware of the unintended consequences that will occur as a result of changing people’s incentives. Now if 95-96 percent of people in the U.S. have power to their home, the problem we’re going to create if we treble the price of some resources is that that number will go down, and that will be a regressive step. We have to find a system whereby we in the Western world take less out of the system, and allow the developing world to levelize with us. Because we’ve had, since the Industrial Revolution, maybe 200 years of growth, and we’re enjoying the fruits of that. It’s unfair to say to the rest of the world, “Well, now we’re going to

MELNICK: Arizona is known for fast growth and dependence on real estate, as well as the robust expansion of the metropolitan area into the desert. What we’ve been doing in the Valley successfully for a long time— creating a lot of wealth for a lot of people, good quality of life by most standards—has been taking the same old stuff, replicating it and pushing it farther out. What’s your prescription for how we should be building?

turn the tap off, and you guys are going to have to stay where you are.” DIRKS: That is, in fact, the sustainability question. Because I can’t personally see any good reason, either considering the trajectory of underlying economics or from the standpoint of simple ethics, why there should be an enormous disparity between 20 percent of the world’s population and the other 80 percent. I just don’t see how we can believe that would be sustainable. This means we have to be planning, in this century, for some type of convergence if we believe the world is to evolve in a more or less stable way, as opposed to developing via discontinuities such as wars. It’s hard to see how the convergence can be around the lifestyle we enjoy. MELNICK: I want to see if Harvey or Stuart wants to be king. You said you’d price things differently. Anything else you’d do? BRYAN: First of all, especially in the energy

sector, tremendous subsidies exist in tradi tional forms. When a new technology

DALRYMPLE: I’d argue that it wasn’t really successful. Essentially all of that was frontloading, taking revenue out that we’re lacking now. So essentially we had an economy based on building buildings to attract people here for tourism or to live, so they could get jobs building buildings to attract people to live here. That whole economy was unsustainable, and it was subsidized through all of the national, state and local things, policies and financial markets. We’re essentially living the consequences of an unsustainable economy. We really need to take this opportunity to rethink and restructure. And when the legislature does unproductive things, like allowing builders to not pay for any infrastructure to make their developments sustainable, bankrupting cities, then we’re moving in the wrong direction. MELNICK: Do we need a whole new way of thinking about the built environment— materials, technology, financing mechanisms, what we expect from buildings, how we monitor them? BRYAN: We have to put a performance-

based metric on our buildings, like miles per gallon for cars. We’ve done some preliminary work, tested some buildings that were Winter 2010 29

Harvey Bryan

recently built, and have found they’re not performing that well, even the ones certified green. We need to develop some system that will put features on the building to show its performance, so people can understand their energy use. Two years ago I was on sabbatical, and this house I rented in Berkeley came with a Prius. My driving habits really changed! I used to drive a taxi in New York during college, so I thought I was a good driver. But not until I had that real-time information did I understand the implications of my habits. If we can get to that level in buildings, in homes, understand how we use energy and how we can manage it differently, then we’ll get that information to the consumer and they’ll have a real idea of their impact on the environment.

Bryan was trained as an architect at ASU and the University of California at Berkeley, and specializes in building technology and renewable energy. He serves in several professional and technical societies, including on committees concerned with energy standards and the environmental impact of building. He’s a professor in ASU’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and serves on the board of the Green Building Initiative.

BOWDEN: I agree. We want to remove

subsidies from current energy systems. If you just increase the price of power to its realistic level, you’re going to upset a lot of poorer people. A lot of richer people will absorb it. However, having said that, it’s not one of those things where you can throw your hands up and say, “We can’t change anything.” The question is, what is the outcome you want, and how do you get there? If the outcome you want is to reduce the amount of energy people use, then we’d want to encourage energy efficiency. In Australia, local power companies are encouraged to go out and install highefficiency lightbulbs. It’s free, because they get incentives from the government.

MELNICK: Incentives meaning

subsidy, money?

BOWDEN: Yes. If you’re going to have a

subsidy for power, you’d want to subsidize in the most appropriate ways. As a photovoltaics technologist, I’d like to see photovoltaics on every building in Arizona. If we say that Arizona is the Saudi Arabia of sunlight, then we should encourage that. I think it’s interesting in Germany, the state that has the most photovoltaics is a conservative state. And although it’s economics that drive it, it’s also social. The people decided they wanted photovoltaics rather than nuclear. You have to work with the community and decide what they want.

BRYAN: You said all houses should have PV.

I disagree. Most uses in the home—outside of our home electronic devices, computers— 30 Wavelength

are low temperature difference devices. We should match that to the source. That’s the second law of thermodynamics. If we look at energy use in our buildings from a second law standpoint, a lot can be serviced by solar thermal. All our heating needs in buildings can be serviced by that, and many of our cooling needs, because there are systems that can convert heating to cooling. Yes, I want PV on every roof, but we don’t need that much. I want to see solar thermal systems with a solar air-conditioner running the rest of the house. MELNICK: At the end of the day, a lot of

sustainability—social, environmental or whatever—comes down to the way people behave. At the core, you have some level of behavioral change, whether it’s changing your driving habits because of some feedback mechanism or behaving a certain way based on political community. Those are behaviors, and behaviors are learned. How do we get people to behave in a way, for the common good, that will enable this area to sustain itself?

JAMES: The only way is to make it

worthwhile for the individual. People respond to financial incentives.

MELNICK: That’s really surprising coming from an economist! ODLE: You set it up perfectly, Tim. And I don’t disagree with you. But what’s your carbon footprint when you fly back to Wales and see your house, and what would it take for you to stay in one house? JAMES: A higher price. Because I would

start saying to myself, “What are the benefits of the journey to me, and what are the costs?” At the moment, I feel O.K. paying, because it’s costing $700 to $1,000 a time. If it gets to $2,000, I’ll start thinking, “Hold on, the journey’s unpleasant. Maybe I’ll defray a few of these.” Just like everybody else.

ODLE: Here’s the point. I was thinking of the carbon footprint when you mentioned your house in Wales, but I was also thinking about what cities are doing around high-

density building and construction around rail systems and major transportation routes. We’re making progress. The public doesn’t always recognize that, but we are. MELNICK: We haven’t talked a lot about transportation, yet it’s a big area for sustainability. How do you get people to ride the light rail? They all have cars, grew up with cars, poor people have cars. How do we get people to ride light rail?

Stuart Bowden

PERKINS: The people riding the light rail aren’t the people we thought were going to be riding. It’s not commuters that are raising the numbers. It’s people coming downtown to see a movie and have dinner. So we have a tool that does things we didn’t even envision. The opportunity for Phoenix, and all of us, is to think about new technologies, whether it’s transportation or solar or new behavioral things, and not be afraid to learn that extra thing at the end. Who’d have thought we could hop on a light rail at happy hour and ride around and hear musicians play?

Bowden’s domain is solar power; with extensive experience in silicon materials for photovoltaic applications. He heads the silicon section of Arizona State University’s Solar Power Lab, as well as the industrial collabo ration lab. Bowden received his Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales and has led research efforts at premier technology institutes around the world.

“I think we have real opportunities in schools to help build that future community of responsible residents.” JAMES: I just want to throw this slight note

of reality in here. The UK has an extensive heavy rail system. You can almost live in the UK without interacting with private transportation. London has the premier underground system on the planet. With all that, and the bus systems, how much of England travels in cars? 93 percent. So it’s a red herring to think we’re going to capture people’s behavior with public transportation systems, because it just doesn’t happen.

PERKINS: So people might not be riding light rail to go to work. But the coolness of something new can change behavior. Maybe they don’t want to fight for ballpark parking. Or they just want to pay $3 and ride around, because that’s cheap entertainment. On behavior, financial things are important. But think about social campaigns in this country in the last 50 years. Why did people stop smoking? Education about the science, but also kids saying, “Daddy, I don’t want you to die.” I think we have real opportunities in schools to help build that future community of responsible residents. DALRYMPLE: Education and information are huge. But ultimately it comes down to economics. If you’re educated to look at lifecycle costs or long-term implications, then your vision of cost is a little different. Harvey talked about energy monitoring equipment. There have been studies where people have cards where they prepay for energy, so they can see how much they have left, and that’s been shown to change behavior considerably. We also need to change the discourse in America to get away from sound-bite, inflammatory talk. We need to get to conversations like this, where people sit down and rationally discuss things. That changes behavior because it helps educate and inform, and allows people to get to rational decisions, not just react on ideology or passion. DIRKS: This is very important. I buy a lot of what Tim’s saying about being careful about messing with the economics. I particularly buy that making things worthwhile for people does have a large impact. In fact, with energy, you can see it very quickly. You raise the price, and usage falls off spectacularly. But there are a couple of points to keep in mind. One idea is rational man responding to economic signals leading to a world that future generations want to live in. I don’t think we have any particular reason to believe that’s going to be the case. So it’s important to ask questions about non-market mechanisms. I don’t think you can underestimate the things Tammy is talking about. I watched this happening in Beijing, where the next generation is inculcated with what it means to be more responsive to environmental issues. That makes a huge difference. As you educate children and they educate their parents, it all works. Winter 2010 31

Let’s MakeSom

The new Musical Instrument Museum in north Phoenix aims to be a local treasure with global reach ——preserving cultures from around the world, while improving ours here. By Karen Werner

32 Wavelength

me Noise!

Winter 2010 33

T his story begins in the western Mongolian province of Bayan-Ölgii. Jennifer Post, an ethnomusicologist and curator, is bouncing along an unpaved road in an old Russian jeep searching for Umragali, an elderly Kazakh man who lives in the mountains along the Chinese border. A herder and artisan, Umragali is known for making saddles, processing leather and building dombras, the longnecked, two-stringed lute of the Kazakh people. While most dombras are decorated with traditional designs, Umragali’s are different. His are covered with soulful paintings of the Altai mountains that surround his home, of soaring eagles, and swans swimming in nearby ponds. Believing his instruments uniquely illustrate the relationship the Kazakhs have to the land, Jennifer Post is determined to acquire one. But there’s a problem. She’s heard Umragali is no longer making them. After many hours traveling the steppes, Post arrives at Umragali’s home, where she’s welcomed warmly. Hours pass before she feels the time is right to ask about a dombra. Post gives an impassioned speech about how Umragali’s instruments embody the Mongolian Kazakh identity, and the old man beams with pride. Although he no longer builds instruments, he’ll create one more colorful dombra to display in a new museum in the faraway city of Phoenix. This could sound like part of a documentary and, in fact, it is. The Ovation television network has been following the worldwide journey of some 10,000 musical instruments as they make their way to Arizona. From a 100-year-old Javanese gamelan, to the first Steinway ever built, to a large collection of Burmese instruments detained in a U.S. Customs warehouse for six months because of sanctions against Myanmar, the instruments have made an epic voyage from more than 200 countries and territories to their new desert home. That home is the massive Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), whose doors will swing open this April. A 190,000-

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square-foot, two-story amalgam of music, technology and culture, the museum will showcase indigenous and popular instruments in geographically organized galleries—from South American summits, to Southeast Asian rainforests, to African savannahs, to Appalachian Mountains. It’s a stunning, ambitious endeavor that’s likely to sport a $200-million price tag by the time patrons cross its threshold. And like everything else with the museum, how the building came to be and why it came here has an interesting backstory. This one starts with a cigar, a CEO and an Impressionist painting. Robert Ulrich is a lean, energetic man of 66, the kind who hits the office each morning clutching two 20-ounce cups of coffee. For more than 20 years, as chairman and CEO of Target, he used his vigor and acumen to make Target one of the world’s leading retailers. But last year Ulrich turned 65, Target’s mandatory retirement age. So he would no longer be striding through stores in his signature cowboy boots. Luckily, he’d made other plans. A few years back, Ulrich was in Brussels visiting Marc Felix, a noted art dealer, author and scholar. After a day of museum-hopping, the men were relaxing on the Grand Sablon over a beer and cigar when Ulrich mentioned he was thinking about buying an Impressionist painting. “You’re crazy,” Felix said. “For the price of one Impressionist painting, you could build an entire museum.” That got Ulrich’s wheels turning. What kind of museum hadn’t been done? And what could Ulrich add? After a couple of weeks batting around ideas via e-mail, Ulrich and Felix came up with a plan. “There are thousands of museums in the world and many of them attempt to cover the world in broad cross sections of civilization,” Ulrich explains. “But no one had really done the music of the world. And yet, what arguably has more influence on people’s lives day in and day out than music?” To accomplish this, the men decided to take a unique tack. The world already had three good musical instrument museums—in Brussels, Paris and Berlin—but those focus primarily on Western instruments, with a smattering of former colonies or trading partners thrown in. And they display instruments by type or chronology; as stringed instruments, say, or those from the 16th century. This museum would be truly global, and celebrate the world’s cultures through music, explains MIM’s president, Bill DeWalt, Ph.D. A cultural anthropologist, he says at first blush the goal was to represent every culture in the world. But that idea was short-lived. “You don’t know where cultures start and stop,” he says. “There are literally thousands of them. But what you can do is represent every country in the world through their musical instruments.” So the idea was in place. Now the question was how to implement it. One thing everyone involved knew they wanted was an exciting, interactive experience. No instruments affixed silently to a wall. Instead, MIM will make music come alive using cutting-edge Sennheiser technology. Every visitor who enters the museum will receive a headset and a receiver about the size of a Blackberry. As they approach a display, the receiver will sync with wirelessly transmitted audio signals coordinated with custom video displays of the instruments being played in their native environments.


MIM curator Jennifer Post spent five weeks with Kazakh, Tuvan and Mongol residents, collecting instruments for Phoenix’s new museum. One highlight of the trip was her time with noted dombra builder Umragali, shown here in his colorful Kazakh yurt.

Winter 2010 35

This tsuri-daiko (hanging drum) hails from Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868).

Ulrich explains. Through seeing the native costumes and architecture and walking through the museum’s geographical layout, a lot of passive learning will occur. “You’ll learn about the people and the customs and become more aware of the cultures, their values and creative ideas,” says Ulrich. “Many of the instruments we’re collecting are going to be absolutely, totally new to most Americans,” DeWalt says. From the 12-foot-high octobass, to six-foot-long slit gong drums from Congo, to flutes that are played with the nose, 90 percent of the instruments on display will be “exotic.” The question remains, why place all these unusual instruments in Phoenix, a city not necessarily known for cultural sophistication? That decision, too, came from Bob Ulrich, a man who “sees around corners,” according to MIM’s chief development officer, Christopher Bell. “I had a unique position with Target, because we were basically all over the U.S.,” Ulrich says. “So I had a fair amount of knowledge of all the major metro areas in the country.” And it was Phoenix that possessed everything he wanted: plenty of available land and proximity to international draws, like the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Disneyland. “There’s a tremendous draw in an international sense in a fairly small area. In my mind that wouldn’t be possible to get in a St. Louis or Denver, or even Chicago,” he says. Added to that is the local population itself, which is large, growing and increasingly diverse. Throw in a major university, tremendous infrastructure and good airports, and the choice looks like a no-brainer in hindsight. “I just kind of went through the cities in the continental U.S., and this seemed like a fairly easy decision,” Ulrich explains.


For all its practicality, Phoenix does present a problem. One that’s literally in the air, or, more precisely, not in the air. “One of the first people I hired was a conservator,” says Bill DeWalt, admitting that the desert isn’t ideal for many of the instruments. “Most musical instruments are made out of wood, so they’re kind of like furniture,” he says. The conservator researched the standards for furniture museums and historic houses and confirmed that the most important thing is to keep pieces in moderate and stable humidity and temperature conditions. As a result, MIM was designed to hold steady at 74 degrees with 45 percent relative humidity in the summer and 72 degrees with 40 “The point is you’re not going to hear our curators yammering in your ear while you’re trying to see a video and look at the instruments,” says DeWalt. “What you’re going to hear is only the instruments that are on the display. So you’ll get an idea from the video how you hold the instrument. Is it plucked? Is it bowed? Is it banged on? And you’ll also get a taste for what the music is all about.” More often than not, the message of the music underscores the whole global idea. Even when the music is wildly different, the videos present common stories. “It’s romance, it’s war, it’s weddings, it’s funerals—all of these different life stages have music associated with them,” DeWalt says. In that way, MIM’s tight musical focus gives way to a sneaky sort of education. “People will learn a lot about other cultures, though it’s not something we’re going to talk about,”

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For More Info The Musical Instrument Museum will open on April 24 and be located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix. Until then, you can learn more about it by visiting themim.org.

You Can Help MIM’s curators are well on their way to collecting instruments from every country in the world—but they have a few holes in their collection. If you’ve got an instrument from Moldova, North Korea, Djibouti, São Tomé & Príncipe or Yemen, they’d love to hear from you. Contact Maureen Baker at maureen.baker@themim.org or 480-478-6054.

percent relative humidity in winter. The museum will also boast a chamber for instruments to acclimate after travel and an open conservation lab, where visitors can see staff doing restoration. “We’ve had a couple of instruments that come from more humid environments that have had a little bit of cracking, but that’s to be expected,” DeWalt says. Seems that’s about the only thing expected with MIM—a place so unique it’s hard to describe. “People will just have to experience it,” Ulrich says, “because there’s not something people can point to and say, ‘It’s like that.’” So, for now, all that can be done is list some of the things visitors will encounter at MIM when it opens in April. There’s the recreation of a gong-making environment. A display that covers 36 North American musical genres—bluegrass, zydeco, jazz, hip-hop, electronica, Native American ... And don’t forget the 299-seat performance hall. Or the café that serves world foods. And you’d be remiss not to mention the experience gallery, where guests can actually get down and play some instruments themselves. It’s all part of the goal of celebrating music as the one art form that touches every person and culture in the world. Sure, MIM’s staff says, you may hear music you don’t like. But you’ll also hear a lot of new sounds that are going to inspire. And you’ll hear things you instantly recognize because they’ve been incorporated into more familiar music.

“The world is becoming a global place and people take their musical instruments wherever they go and then their traditions blend with the local cultural traditions and get modified and adapted,” DeWalt says. But on this shrinking planet, there remain some things that are truly unique—at least, for now. So MIM’s curators are scouring distant lands and working to preserve the instruments and document the cultures of indigenous peoples. They’re finding groups that are becoming assim ilated and videotaping their musicians before Guitar Hero is the only thing they play. They’re searching out artisans like Umragali, and convincing him to make one last dombra. “Doing a really great musical instrument museum should have a great impact on the world,” says DeWalt with a sense of purpose everyone at MIM shares. “I guess I shouldn’t overpromise,” Ulrich says, “but I really feel that it’s so far beyond expectations. This is not like a normal museum experience. You’re all watching the same concert—that’s what makes it so cool. It’s like you pull the curtain back and are seeing a concert with a few friends. You listen awhile, then you duck into another one. This is basically like going to a multitude of concerts around the world.” Guess it’s a good thing Target retires its CEOs young.

Winter 2010 37




Day and night, the wooden bowstring trusses inside Bentley Projects serve as a counterpoint to the art galleries and reception space underneath, and a reminder of its past as the Bell Laundry company.

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C Some of the Valley’s hippest addresses have a secret past. Explore how tapping into that history can help solve environmental conundrums while breathing new life into communities. By Walt Lockley

Close your eyes and imagine the “national waste stream” as more than environmental jargon. Think of it as a real river. Picture America’s refuse rolling past a single point, and you on a bluff overlooking the place things go when we throw them “away.” Ugly, smelly, churning like an avalanche, this foul river would trail miles of noxious dust, and millions of seagulls navigating through millions of plastic grocery bags floating in the air. How big is this river? Nobody knows. Estimates vary around the order of a million tons a day, or 700 tons a minute. We are certain that a major tributary flows from construction and demolition. Based on EPA statistics, C&D debris itself accounts for about 40 percent of that river’s volume. Average new commercial construction yields 3.9 pounds of waste per square foot of building area. Average commercial demolition, however, produces an amazing 155 pounds of rubble, twisted metal, stained carpet padding and other rubbish for every square foot. If we care about controlling the size of that river, we might think about using the buildings we already have. Consider the case of the Bell Laundry company. Drive by the corner of 3rd Street and Grant south of downtown and you’ll see this battered, weathered building, a survivor from 1918. Continuing under various names and business entities until 1999, the large-scale commercial laundry operation expanded three times. Every time, they built another adjoining structure southward, each with a separate roof, making four sections with different dates and roof heights. Some of the walls once had exterior windows, now bricked up. It was the kind of place where people put in long hours of hard, sweaty work. They never dreamed, and you’d never suspect, that their unpleasant laundry building is now an elegant contemporary art gallery and event space, the Bentley Projects. (Wrangle an invitation if you can. Better yet, make a note to hold your wedding reception there.) Some of the appeal comes from the sheer amount of open, unprogrammed space. It’s also the sunlight streaming through high windows, lighting up those complicated roof trusses. The light focuses your attention upward, and if you were ever looking for “honest industrial structure” with the beauty, rhythm and sensual appeal of sculpture, there it is. Those old concrete floors are tough, a nice complement to the art, and party-ready. Thanks goes to designer/developer Michael Levine for rescuing this old, unloved 22,000-square-foot industrial building and five more like it. Levine scoffs when asked if there was anything special about those roof trusses. No, they’re standard bowstring trusses. Like the rest of the building, it’s ordinary, cost-effective construction from a previous universe. It’s just lasted long enough to become extraordinary. Adaptive reuse sounds easy: Just buy an old building, sweep it out and hang a new sign. Levine, however, can do a fluid 45 minutes on how not easy it is. These “grande dame” buildings can conceal nasty surprises under Winter 2010 39

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mid-century design signature—the nationally known Superlite Block plant ran 24 hours a day, on Central, for years—it’s unlikely any architect would recommend it today. A little too retro. Yet there it is, and it fits perfectly. That’s the thing about adaptive reuse, the funny little dividend: unexpected pleasures like that wall. When you convert a commercial laundry into an art gallery, or a hair salon into a restaurant, you get odd spaces, mistakes and leftovers you’d never get otherwise. Just as language mistranslations can be charming, revealing, awkward and strangely true, mistranslations of spatial grammar can add unexpected flavor. If there’s one architect in Phoenix committed to the urban landscape, one expert on adaptive reuse here, it’s Dan Patry. Patry graduated from the ASU architecture program in 1973, was one of the pioneering Willo district residents when that whole idea seemed crazy, and he’s been involved in more than a dozen high-profile adaptive-reuse projects. Dan Patry The two most conspicuous are Postino’s Winecafé in Arcadia, and My Florist Cafe on McDowell. My Florist stands just outside the Willo district boundaries. According to Patry, when developed around 1996 it was seen by Willo neighbors as a wonderfully kooky idea, an unreasonable risk, a likely failure. The name? Well, the café moved into a former floral shop, in business since 1947, with its own long history and giant purple neon sign. They simply adopted the name. You can see this as homage to the former owners, a deft bit of recycled imagery, or a way to avoid paying to remove a sign. But it’s memorable, and it’s been part of their success. Similarly, Postino is housed in the former Arcadia Post Office, a few steps away from La Grande Orange Grocery and other shops and restaurants in a popular cluster on Campbell Avenue and 40th Street. There’s no lingering postal imagery here but it’s all very sleek. Patry’s strategy for the interior was to strip it to a square shell, build a spatial composition within that shell to hide and show what needed to be hidden and shown, and use a three-color scheme inspired by grapes. Patry and the owners ingested a few of those grapes themselves to ease the decision-making process. Patry prides himself on doing what scares other architects. He says adaptive reuse is always harder than new construction, always riskier, and always worth it. “What I love is the combination of old and new—it’s just more interesting,” he says. Patry never knows what he’s going to be faced with: asbestos, mold, lead, other toxics. The budget and the schedule have to anticipate the unexpected. The major systems (electrical and ART HOLEMAN

their skirts: loose bricks and crumbling foundations, lead paint and asbestos, construction that doesn’t meet current standards and maybe never did, zoning headaches, building code nightmares, laughable energy costs, wiring that goes zzzt zzzt, “transitional” neighborhoods, and a dozen other good reasons for a sensible man to turn his back, construct a new building on virgin desert, and be done with it. On the other hand, there’s that vast river of rubbish to think about. That’s the developers’ choice. All those difficult decisions get weighed against the virtues of preserving open space, not producing more waste, and rehabbing old building stock where it stands, along with its neighborhood. And maybe, in the end, making something unique and genuinely cool. The first major example of “adaptive reuse” in America happened in 1964. But just like Pavlov attached his name to a reaction that’s been obvious to every farmhand since before the Bible, adaptive reuse happened before 1964. However, that year, the surprise success of the Ghirardelli Square conversion in San Francisco triggered the conversion of dozens of brick factories and warehouses across the U.S., from useless industrial hulks into cute, complicated mazes of shops and theme restaurants. Into the early 1980s the developer James Rouse raised this strategy to an art form, preserving major civic assets like the Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston, Union Station in St. Louis and South Street Seaport in Manhattan by transforming them into shopping malls. Phoenix has nowhere near the industrial leftovers that Eastern cities boast. It doesn’t have dock warehouses or former button factories to work with, and we don’t have the same kind of urban fabric. But what we do have are hundreds of newer and smaller-scale conversion opportunities that can be just as successful. It’s a sign of Phoenix’s increasingly comfortable maturity that adaptive reuse is more and more common here. The big projects and small projects do have something in common, though. Something subtle, but important. Let’s go to 20th Street and Camelback to find out what it is. If you’ve been around Phoenix awhile you may remember this one-story building as the Salon de Venus. Local restaurateur Aric Mei bought the property just as its operators, in their 80s, were looking to retire. Mei and his team transformed the building into The Parlor, an immediately popular pizzeria, opened on Memorial Day weekend 2009. You can discover the pleasures of Parlor’s pizza yourself, but when you go, notice how the previous building’s line between indoors and outdoors has been blurred. Sit in the main room to look at the focal point, the same wall of patterned concrete block you see from Camelback. Sunlight streams through this sunburst/checkerboard pattern in the day, and it’s lit from underneath in the evening, just as you’d hope. Although patterned concrete block is a Phoenician


From the signature concrete block wall to the repurposed millwork patterned with roof tar, Parlor’s design isn’t just witty, it’s rooted in the responsible reuse of the materials and fixtures of its previous incarnation.

It’s a sign of Phoenix’s increasingly comfortable maturity that adaptive reuse is more and more common here. Winter 2010 41


“I truly believe that revitalizing neighborhoods and communities will ultimately bring the dollars.�

Still tagged as the Paper Heart Gallery, the original Quebedeaux Chevrolet building on Grand Avenue awaits the right hand to strip off those compromises, reorient the structure to the street, and stage its big comeback.

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plumbing) always have to be replaced. Any HVAC system over 10 years old has to go. But for all his expertise, Patry is not aware of any equipment designed to cut through red tape. For that, maybe Patry could call Denee McKinley. She works for the City of Phoenix, in an office devoted to making adaptive reuse much, much easier for small business. A couple of years ago, a group of downtown businesspeople interested in small-scale redevelopment, especially around Roosevelt, found getting their certificates of occupancy frustrating because of zoning issues and bureaucracy. Entrepreneurs and adaptivereusers like Kimber Lanning (of Stinkweeds), Beatrice Moore (of Bragg’s Pie Factory) and Matt Pool (of Matt’s Big Breakfast) were finding it next to impossible to get timely, consistent answers from the city. The city responded by forming the Office of Customer Advocacy. Designed as a single point of contact, it helps change city processes and codes and encourages redevelopment of buildings older than 25 years and smaller than 5,000 square feet. The city has good reason to bring down those barriers: to reduce waste and promote a kind of urban vitality and neighborhood cohesion that’s hard to measure, but easy to feel. (Phoenix is blessed in having high-level government people experienced in redevelopment. One is named Phil. Another is named Terry.) Although much of this is arts-driven, there’s an economic argument, too. McKinley says, “I truly believe that revitalizing neighborhoods and communities will ultimately bring the dollars.” So even in these tough times, the Office has stayed open (though downsized by 50 percent). The most popular conversion is from house to café, with 15 examples in the last two years. And where is this happening? Three areas, mainly. There’s the Roosevelt area, where the First Friday crowds mingle, the shops along Melrose and 7th Avenue, and a district along Grand, near where it terminates downtown. You can especially feel the budding urban vitality on Grand Avenue, which is producing a subaudible rumble of potential. Once it was the highway out of town, a line of plate-glass displays, tall signs and motel neon. Now, check out one building there that will probably pop next: the former Paper Heart Gallery at 750 Northwest Grand. A rough jewel, highly visible on this crucial stretch, it was built as the Quebedeaux Chevrolet dealership. Designed by Victor Gruen and local favorite Ralph Haver, it has great expanses of glass and an overhanging, almost Polynesian roof proudly oriented toward the street. Dan Patry has been involved and thinks the current development idea, a combination hair salon and wine bar called Fine Line Salon and Bar, could be wonderful. In fact, done right, the renovation could turn the entire neighborhood, while not adding much to that river of trash. Bonus.

FIVE Recycled

Buildings T O


If you ever drink coffee or wine, or eat food, your chances of experiencing old buildings doing new things increase dramatically. Here are a few places to check out:


Matt Pool’s The Roosevelt Tavern at 816 N. Third Street is sit uated in the former Farish House from 1900. It’s a sort of landmark for its role in showing the City of Phoenix the advan tages of streamlining their processes. Beer is ser ved in that lovely state: just above freezing.


The original Postino seems like it’s been there for decades because ... it has. It’s an ideal spot to order a glass of wine, relax and eavesdrop, or enjoy the dy namics of the tight parking situation next door. You’ll find it just west of Campbell Avenue and 40th Street.


The Parlor, on the north side of Camelback at 20th Street, is a smart and optimistic use of a nearly historic salon with its mid-centur y style trans figured. The tidy, attractive garden by the entr y is a working garden, and you might soon be eating from it.


Check out Copper Star Coffee at 4220 N. 7th Avenue, and support locally roasted coffee. More than any other building on this list, it feels genuinely old inside, and there’s an immediate sense of somebody caring about this particular corner in this particular neighborhood.


If you’re in the neighbor hood, the Googie-style branch bank built on Metro center’s parking lot is worth a trip. The building is now in comfortable semi-retirement as a Souper Salad, but the giant orange cone, officially recognized as one of the city’s 25 Mid-Century Marvels, is hard to miss from the I -17. That’s no accident. Check it out at 1 0005 N. Metro Parkway.

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patron profile By Vicki Louk Balint

Eco Evolution

Bob Liden


Want a peek at the future of solar energy? Travel back in time to an innovation of the 19th century and the Industrial Revolution, says Bob Liden, who recently retired from Scottsdale’s Stirling Energy Systems. Liden tells the story of a Scottish minister who in 1816 invented an engine that would rival the steam engines of the day in safety and efficiency. Heated air inside the device expanded and pushed a piston up; cooled air contracted and pulled the piston down. It was simple. It was efficient. All that was required to operate the engine was a source— any source—of heat. Although the Reverend Robert Stirling patented the device, his idea was eventually superseded by a shift in manufacturing practices, particularly in the steel industry. Boiler technology improved; coal was abundant and cheap. But the Stirling engine’s time would come. In the mid-1980s the concept resurfaced as part of a solar “SunCatcher” system, even44 Wavelength


Seeking solar? KJZZ fan advises going back to the future.

tually purchased by Stirling Energy Systems (SES), named for the engine. Liden describes the SunCatcher as a 38-foot across, four-story tall, parabolic dish made up of mirror segments that concentrate the sun’s energy onto a focal point—at which sits a fourcylinder version of the Stirling engine. Each catcher tracks the sun over the course of a day, just like a sunflower. Very little noise, no emissions. “It’s stealthy,” Liden says. And it needs no water for heating or cooling and just a modest amount for washing the mirrors. Once SES signed on to supply two California utilities with renewable energy produced by the SunCatchers, they needed to find a costeffective way to build Stirling engines by the thousands. “It turns out,” says Liden, who negotiated the contract, “that this particular technology is very compatible with automotive manufacturing.” So, SES took another look back—to innovations of the 20th century. They found a car engine company with abundant

The Patrons Leadership Society (PLS) is a diverse group of philanthropic individ uals and families committed to sustaining KJZZ & KBAQ’s ability to inspire and inform members of our community with world-class news, music and informational programming. Members of the PLS share the distinction of being our stations’ most generous annual contributors, giving $1,000 or more each year to one or both stations. In return, PLS members are granted behindthe-scenes access to our studios and are invited to participate in exclusive programming and private visits with public radio personalities from across the country. For more information about the PLS, please contact Aaron Pratt at 480-774-8453 or apratt@kjzz.org.

capacity in America’s Motor City, Detroit. The owners were ready to work, and quickly geared up to begin production. State renewable energy mandates make it possible, Liden says, for companies like SES to bid on large-scale contracts and potentially jump-start American manufacturing. “It woke up the entire industry,” he says. Liden remains hopeful for the future of solar, and other renewable energy systems. Liden will watch as SES builds the SunCatchers, and also do some consulting as he enters retired life with Marion, his wife of 41 years. Together, they listen to The Splendid Table on Sundays for ideas on how to make herb butters, or perhaps scalloped potatoes with a twist. It’s part of a transition from life when both worked outside the home, and there are new negotiations to make. “Cooking with my wife, usually it’s a peace pact,” he says. “I’ll cook the dinner, and she’ll clean up ... or vice versa.”

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travel Story and photos by Peter Aleshire

Flight of the Condors An ecotour teaches travelers about a bird species that’s come back from the brink.


azing at a sweeping view of the Vermilion Cliffs, I waited for the Ice Age to float past on outstretched wings. Wait—there—two black dots, wheeling on a thermal. “Over there?” I asked Chris Parish, the amiable biologist who’s devoted years of heart and effort to reintroducing condors to Arizona skies. He squinted, briefly. “Ravens,” he said, gently. I looked again. They were closer than I’d thought. Even so, how could I 46 Wavelength

mistake these monster ravens for condors—the birds with the largest wingspan in North America? But the folks at Detours, one of the most creative ecotour companies in Arizona, had promised condors on this tour, which also makes a hefty contribution to the Peregrine Fund’s wonderfully successful effort to save California condors. Suddenly, an immense black shape wheeled into sight. I sucked in my breath. No doubt now. The creature was immense,

rising on a thermal without effort— graceful, despite its prehistoric dimensions. I’d come on this quest to highlight the shift toward ecotourism, especially in scenic places like Arizona— so packed with ecological treasures. It wasn’t an easy choice. I could’ve stalked hummingbirds in southeastern Arizona, toured Indian ruins in Sedona, sought a spirit guide on Hopi mesas, visited the spots mentioned in Tony Hillerman’s novels, learned to love rattlesnakes

Condors have returned to the Arizona skies, thanks to a multi-million-dollar effort by the state and federal governments, spearheaded by the Peregrine Fund. Biologists track every condor with radio transmitters, providing an intimate portrait of the lives of these feathered treasures.

deep in the Sonoran Desert or gone looking for Elegant Trogons near the Mexican border. But I’d had my heart set on seeing a condor ever since the Peregrine Fund and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service decided to set them loose at the Vermilion Cliffs, in the great expanse of high desert north of the Grand Canyon. “Is that Harold?” I asked Chris, my voice hushed. Parish looked through his binoculars. “Nope,” he said, reading the number on the tag. Too bad. The story of Harold, his true love and their hapless son had touched something in me— and demonstrated the lengths to which biologists like Parish had gone in the process of scoring one of the century’s great wildlife victories.

So he spent days on a cliff top with a carcass to lure them in, close to a cage where he kept Junior— thinking the bird was still too young to survive on his own. Parish’s hopes soared when he spotted two condors approach and made out “114” on Harold’s wing tag. It was Junior’s father, 24 pounds of paternal instinct. Surely, the parents would now swoop in for a joyful reunion with their boy. But wait. What the heck? The female with Harold wasn’t The Gertrude (149)—Junior’s mother. It biologists was Maude (126). What was he doing who’ve been with her? Granted, when Harold running the was a sexy young fellow—with reintroduction gleaming black feathers and bright program for the past several years red head—he’d flirted with Maude. have been guarding the condors But then he caught Gertrude's eye from a variety of dangers. One of and settled down for a presumably he most insidious is lead shot in monogamous, lifelong relationship, carcasses they feed on. Hunters in sensible condor fashion. But now often wound deer, which then here he was with the floozy—who run off beyond the ability of the was definitely not Junior’s mother. hunter to follow. However, if the What would happen? wounded deer later dies, the Harold landed first, greeting his bullet sets a trap for the son with what passes for condor affecscavenging condors. tion. Maude then swooped down Junior was one of the first conbeside the confused Junior, ready to dors born in the wild from captive- assume the duties of stepmother. reared parents. So when the biBut Harold chased her off, then ologists noticed the young bird acting returned to his fatherly role— listless and disoriented, they baited regurgitating a crop full of meat a trap near his roost. When Junior mush formerly of a calf carcass the entered the cage, they dropped the biologists had trucked in. Carcasses door and captured him. left at the release site supplement Then they cleared out his system. the birds' diets and make it easy to One bird surgery and full recapture them for monitoring. recovery later, Parish hoped to Despite the rebuff, Maude hung return the gawky kid to his about—ogling Harold, who soon let parents in the flock of more than her close to the chick. 50 condors now living north of Hours later, the real mother— the Grand Canyon. But he feared Gertrude—glided by. She looked the parents would reject the down at son, wayward husband and prodigal chick. other woman and, with a feathered

Biologists have established a release site for condors here in the Vermilion Cliffs, just north of the Grand Canyon. While captive-reared condor teenagers spend several days in a pen getting used to the area before release, biologists put out supplemental food until the young birds can get established.

shrug, floated on to the Canyon's South Rim, perhaps hoping some tasty tourist would fall off a cliff. Parish just shook his head. Who can predict the heart of a condor? The expensive but heartening effort to return California condors to the wilds of Arizona has provided many fascinating insights—and a few disquieting surprises. The band of about 15 field researchers working for the Peregrine Fund have logged thousands of hours of observation as part of the milliondollar-a-year reintroduction effort. Funded by a combination of federal and private money, the effort has maintained a captive breeding program and established struggling populations of the giant vultures in Arizona, California and Baja California. At last count, the number of condors had risen from 22 to more than 350, including more than 170 in the breeding program and 180 in the wild—almost half

When You Go:

Condor Watching Visitors often see condors at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and around Navajo Bridge near Lee’s Ferry. LEES FERRY LODGE AT VERMILION CLIFFS makes a good place to stay for anyone want ing to go condor watching. For lodging information, call 928-355-2231 or visit vermilioncliffs.com. DETOURS offers multi-day condorwatching tours, which include a raft trip below Glen Canyon Dam and a trip to the condor release site, guided by Peregrine Fund biologists. The company runs the tour whenever they have at least four people signed up. For details, contact Detours at 866-438-6877 or visit detoursaz.com. To donate to the condor reintro duction effort, call 208-362-3716 or visit peregrinefund.org.

Winter 2010 47

Other Ecotour Opportunities

The colorful sandstones and limestones of the Vermilion Cliffs are the focal point for a thriving flock of condors, which range to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.

• SpiriTravel runs a number of

nature-oriented tours in Sedona and elsewhere. One tour takes clients onto the Hopi mesas, site of the oldest continuously occupied community in North America. For more information, call 928-451-9068 or go to spritravel.com.

• This spring, High Lonesome Birdtours will offer seven-night

birding trips starting from Tucson. Later in the spring, the company offers a hummingbird tour in southeastern Arizona—which has the greatest diversity of humming birds in North America. To learn more, call 520-458-9446 or visit hilonesometours.com.

• Arizona Desert Mountain Jeep Tours offers four-wheel-drive excursions to remote areas with a naturalist guide. Tours also include visits to riparian areas along the Verde River, trips to bald eagle nesting areas, and an emphasis on wildlife of all sorts—including rattlesnakes and scorpions. For details, call 800-567-3619 or go to azdesertmountain.com.

• Owned, in part, by Native Americans, Walk S oftly Tours focuses on biology, botany, geology, anthropology, archeology and photography. Tours—including to reservations in Arizona—often include cultural elements, such as arts, foods and ceremonies. To learn more, call 480-473-1148 or visit walksoftlytours.com. • In addition to the Condor Expe rience, Detours offers trips to Tombstone, the Apache Trail, Jerome and Montezuma Castle, the Painted Desert, Glen Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly and other locations. The group also sponsors a tour of the lands and people written about by Tony Hillerman. For details, contact 866-438-6877 or detoursaz.com. 48 Wavelength

of those in Arizona. The Arizona population was the first to successfully rear chicks in the wild, which made Junior something of a condor superstar. Junior was acting alarmingly lethargic when Parish decided to capture him. He expected to find fragments of lead in Junior’s stomach. Studies by the reintroduction project have revealed that lead bullets create hundreds of fragments around the entrance wound. That means the lead in deer that are shot and run off or even in the remains hunters leave behind can cause lead

poisoning in scavengers like condors and eagles. Even hunters and their families may face a greater risk of lead poisoning than anyone suspected, the study concluded. Lead poisoning has been the leading cause of death among the condors. However, when Parish Xrayed Junior at the team’s lab, he noted a hazy mass in Junior’s gut. That prompted a trip to the Phoenix Zoo, where a veterinarian operated to remove a hairball lodged on two sticks Junior had swallowed. The quick save underscores the complexity of saving an endan gered species. Condors soared across much of North America 10,000 years ago, feeding on the carcasses of mastodons and giant ground sloths. Today, they travel up to 150 miles per day, mate for life, live up to 60 years—but lay just one egg every two years. The total population had dwindled to 22 beleaguered birds in California by 1982, when desperate biologists captured these survivors. After perfecting the captive breeding program, biologists started releasing condors into the wild in 1992. Giant vultures that live primarily on carrion, condors once seemed

doomed to extinction by the destruction of the great herds of North America and the spread of human settlements. Their range had already shrunk to a strip of coastal California by the mid 1950s, when they were hit by the same eggshellthinning effects of DDT that nearly exterminated bald eagles. They also frequently died from landing on power lines. Fortunately, condors proved amenable to captive breeding. Normally, the relatives of turkey vultures produce one chick every two years. But when biologists removed an egg from a captive breeding pair, the baffled couple would lay up to three eggs per year. But figuring out how to return the social birds to the wild proved more difficult. The first flock released in California behaved like a youth gang. They flocked to a country-club golf course, where they sat watching people around the barbecue pits. Some attacked cars in the parking lot. “It was like Lord of the Flies,” observed one biologist. More to the point, in the first year about 20 percent died. Biologists recaptured what remained of that first flock and changed their captive-rearing process, using fake power lines that delivered a mild shock and hazing techniques to teach the birds to avoid humans. They also quit relying so heavily on raising condors by hand. As much

“ Natural


Listeners share sublime local spots to connect with the Great Outdoors. Compiled by David M. Brown

It’s not often you get a chance to teach children about the importance of our desert ecosystem and what it means to be “green.” That changed when the NATURE CENTER AT USERY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK opened last year. The building itself adopted many of the principles set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council and is a fully functional, sustainable and energy-efficient visitor center. Our kids get a kick out of knowing the rooftop is covered with native plants that help with insulation and water retention. When friends and family visit, we always make a trip here and share what we’ve learned about our backyard environment. — Kyle Streeter Nature Center at Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa; 480-984-0032; maricopa.gov/parks/usery

as possible, they used adoptive condor parents to rear the chicks, since birds raised by real birds fit much more easily into a flock. In Arizona, the first release was in 1996. The biggest setback came when six condors died of lead poisoning. Three others were shot, apparently by random hunters. A golden eagle killed one condor that wandered into its turf, and coyotes nabbed several others. Gradually the condors adapted. Ambitious ones ventured north and regularly patrol the shores of Lake Powell. Many patrol the Grand Canyon and delight river runners by putting in an appearance near Navajo Bridge. The flock’s affection for the Grand Canyon’s heavily populated South Rim alarms biologists, even if it thrills tourists. So Parish’s team tracks the radio signal and rushes over to scare off the condors, knowing that losing a fear of humans could doom the flock. They also urge camera-clicking tourists to stay away—or yell, flap and generally

As an avid hiker and owner of a local hiking company, I highly recommend the BAJADA NATURE TRAIL in Scottsdale’s beautiful McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It’s a half-mile paved, barrier-free trail that’s accessible to all people—it was built to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. The Bajada Nature Trail offers fun, interactive desert challenges and questions for guests who want to learn about the Sonoran Desert and its ecosystem. The trail can be found at the preserve’s newest trailhead: the Gateway Access Area. In addition to this trail, the preserve offers many more, ranging from easy to very difficult. — June Kleier Bajada Nature Trail, 18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy., Scottsdale; 480-998-7971; mcdowellsonoran.org

Sonoran Desert flora and fauna displays, my husband and I were impressed with the center’s features. The LEED silver certified facility contains recycled materials, a desert roof, solar panels and many other green-friendly features. It’s a great place to teach your kids how to reduce their carbon footprint. — Kim Stafford Estrella Mountain Regional Park, 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear; 623-932-3811; maricopa.gov/parks/estrella

I remember taking my grandma to the 110-acre RIPARIAN PRESERVE AT WATER RANCH to go birdwatching. She was amazed at how tranquil the experience was in the middle of a bus tling town. You could tell the birds were at home there—and she was excited at how easy it was to spot a new species at every turn. The sound of the calm waters coupled with dense vegetation really made us feel like we were one My family recently visited the nature with nature. — Ginger St. Pierre center at ESTRELLA MOUNTAIN Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, REGIONAL PARK and was surprised by all it has to offer. While our daughters 2757 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert; were fascinated by the critter exhibit and 480-503-6744; riparianinstitute.org

scare the birds off to reinforce the conditioning. If a condor proves too fearless, biologists will sneak up, grab him by the legs and take him back to the captive rearing pens for a good talking to concerning people’s inherent untrustworthiness. That patient, persistent effort has paid off, especially for Junior. Harold and Maude cared for the still dependent youngster for several months after his return. But then breeding season rolled around. Normally, condors feed a chick for 18 months. But as soon as Harold got flushed with hormones, he made it with Maude—and they both stopped feeding the hapless Junior. Fortunately, Parish put out a fresh calf carcass—and Junior had the good sense to hang out while he was still young and inexperienced. Now, Harold and Maude have another baby. And Gertrude has a new sweetheart of her own. And Junior’s doing just fine—thanks to Uncle Parish and the crew.

I recently spent an afternoon at Chandler’s ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTER AT VETERANS OASIS PARK with my two children, a friend, and her little ones. The kids had fun checking out the desert-creature ex hibits, and learned about Arizona’s eco systems with arts and crafts activities. I loved letting the kids explore outside at Veterans Oasis Park while we enjoyed a picnic overlooking the urban fishing lake. We’ll definitely be back! — Candice Bemish Environmental Education Center at Veterans Oasis Park, 4050 E. Chandler Heights Road, Chandler; 480-782-2890; chandleraz.gov/veterans-oasis

THE SPUR CROSS RANCH CONSERVATION AREA is one of the Valley’s most beautiful places to hike. Tucked in the town of Cave Creek, it contains lush riparian areas, archae ological sites and super spots for wildlife viewing. In the spring, the area is covered with some of the most spectacular wildflower displays you’ll ever see. — Dawna Taylor Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, 44000 N. Spur Cross Road, Cave Creek; 480-488-6601; maricopa.gov/parks/spur_cross

Winter 2010 49

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listener profile By Morgan Benavidez

Field Day

KJZZ listener shares her passion for the desert, and preserves its beauty at the same time.

“I love listening to KJZZ. I feel like I learn and grow from it.”

52 Wavelength


Rita Jo Anthony


One of Rita Jo Anthony’s priorities for her business is to be very gentle to the enviro nment. “All the seed is collected by hand,” she says. “We go out for days on end with very minimal tools.”

Rita Jo Anthony has a special place in her heart for seeds. What started as a childhood hobby turned into a part-time job, then blossomed into a thriving business. Today, Anthony is the president of Wild Seed—a company that collects and sells native desert seeds. And whether she’s busy gathering seeds in the sunshine or working in her office, Anthony enjoys listening to public radio—KJZZ in particular. Growing up in Pennsylvania, Anthony spent a great deal of time outdoors. She’d collect seeds, dry them and store them in pickle jars. The first seed Anthony collected for profit was aspen catkin, and she describes the experience with childlike exuberance.

“I brought the seeds home and laid them all out on a tarp,” she says. “When catkins dry out, they form this cotton-like material with tiny seeds attached. They fluffed up about two feet tall, so it looked like a big cottony cloud. It was really magical—I was hooked from then on.” When Anthony moved to Phoenix to get a master’s degree in solar architecture, she fell in love with the desert’s unique beauty. After she graduated, she established her seed collecting business, but was met with resistance. “In the early 80’s, people were into oleanders, African daisies, grass and species that are not appropriate here,” Anthony says. “I remember doing a lot of work convincing people that this is the route we should take.” Nowadays, many Arizona cities demand native materials in new developments. Anthony believes this is a step in the right direction, not only because desert plants require less water, but because Arizona wildlife is naturally more accustomed to native plant species. “I see seeds as the original sustainable,” she says. “In July, my family and I collect these things called red yuccas. When I go out with my son, as we’re collecting I say, ‘Do you realize that we probably collected the seeds that made these plants four of five years ago?’ It’s a nice circle that, to me, speaks of sustainability.” In the early 90’s, Anthony had the chance to meet NPR correspondent Ina Jaffe for a series called Life on the Fringe. Jaffe and her producer tagged along on a camping trip, and spent two days interviewing the seed collectors. “She was wonderful,” Anthony says. “She was so open to experiencing things—it was a lot of fun.” Anthony is also a big fan of Science Friday and Fresh Air. “I love listening to KJZZ,” she says. “It provides a backdrop for me, and I feel like I learn and grow from it.” Hopefully others will learn and grow from the example Anthony sets. By following her passion and respecting the desert, she’s helping to preserve our world, one seed at a time.

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Winter 2010 53

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local flavor By Stephanie R. Conner Photography by Emily Piraino

Think Globally, Munch Locally Supporting the local food industry boosts the Valley’s environmental— and economic—outlook.


ustainability isn’t just about recycling. Whether you’re hitting up a farmers market or frequenting a local foodie’s business, you are making a difference. That’s because food traveling fewer miles reduces carbon emissions from transportation—and bonus!—you get fresher food. Plus, from an economic standpoint, buying local keeps 45 cents of ever y dollar in Arizona, instead of the mere 13 cents that stay here when you shop at a national chain, according to Local First Arizona. Intrigued? So were we. And local food enterprises are abundant. Here, we look at three.

Gila Crossing Community School: Young People Planting


t’s a common memory of Gila River Indian Community tribal elders: “When you were a child, you worked in the garden with your uncles and aunties, and that’s where you learned how to respect the land,” explains agriculture teacher Tim Moore. Today, children at the Gila Crossing Community School continue the centuries-old farming tradition with the school’s agriculture and gardening program, known as the Young People’s Planting Program—or Vechij O’otham E’es in the ancient O’otham language.

54 Wavelength

Moore, who leads the program, explains that its main goals are to reconnect the children with their farming heritage, to help them become more familiar with fresh fruits and vegetables, and to combat the community’s obesity and diabetes epidemics. So what will you find on this acre and a half ? “We grow almost everything that grows in Arizona,” Moore says. That means taking advantage of the state’s growing seasons (yes, summer is one) to produce a wide range of crops, including pomegranates, tangelos, grapefruit, oranges, figs, carrots, onions, kale, corn, squash, basil and chilies.

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Beyond connecting with their heritage, the garden fosters academics, Moore says. For example, first graders develop their measurement skills by measuring corn throughout the season. By fourth grade, there’s a reading and writing component, as they write letters inviting tribal leaders to their end-of-year banquet. Meanwhile, seventh and eighth graders dig into entrepreneurship—learning how to make the garden profitable. While much of the produce stays in the community and goes home with the children, some is sold

to Kai, the only restaurant in Arizona to make AAA’s 2010 list of Five Diamond Award winners. Moore is proud of the program’s success. “I’m helping to raise vegetable-savvy children,” he says. “And it’s interesting to see how much the kids like contributing to their families’ food supply.” Ames Singley, the school’s principal, is grateful for the community council’s endorsement of the program. “Their support is necessary to keep something like this going,” he says. “And with Tim’s talent and commitment, it’s really branched

out to other schools in our community. It’s a model project.” But there’s something larger at play than a half-hour class in a garden. “It’s a link to their culture,” Singley says, “and it’s being recognized by people who know that’s important.”

Gila Crossing Community School agriculture teacher Tim Moore teaches children the importance of growing and eating traditionally farmed foods—with a few surprises (like pineapples!) thrown into the mix.

Gila Crossing Community School Foods grown through the Young People’s Planting Program can be sampled at Kai, 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler; 602-385-5726; wildhorsepassresort.com

Winter 2010 55

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Gary Wood’s family ran a shrimp farm in South America in the mid-90’s. He saw a chance to start a similar aquaculture enterprise in the wide-open desert near Gila Bend.

Desert Sweet Shrimp: Big on Flavor


he desert is known for a lot of things—heat, sand, cactus. But shrimp? Not so much. Desert Sweet Shrimp is working to change that. “We have the best-tasting shrimp in the world,” boasts manager Gary Wood. “When we do taste tests, we win 90 percent of the time.” He says that’s because Desert Sweet Shrimp has about onefourth to one-third the iodine ocean shrimp has, and iodine can give shrimp a medicinal or bitter taste. Located 5 miles north of Gila Bend and south of Buckeye, the Desert Sweet Shrimp farm is seasonal. (Shrimp farming takes place during the summer.) The company has been in business since 1995 and annual production varies, Wood says. On average, the farm produces between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of Pacific white 56 Wavelength

shrimp each year. Beyond providing a local source of seafood, the company prides itself on its environmentally responsible methods. “We’re considered by leading environ mental organizations to be the most sustainable and environ mentally friendly shrimp farm in the world,” Wood says. “We do everything as naturally as we can.” They’ve figured out how to virtually eliminate the pollution and contamination often associated with coastal shrimp farms and Wood emphasizes that the shrimp are all natural—free of chemicals and antibiotics. That’s because the company has almost complete control over the environment the shrimp are grown in. Desert Sweet Shrimp’s ponds constantly circulate fresh, clean

well water, and the shrimp’s food is controlled. No preservatives are needed, either. And water isn’t wasted, Wood says. “Any water from the shrimp goes to the agricultural fields nearby.” Call or visit the company’s Web site to learn how to buy the shrimp, or you can hit Gila Bend’s annual Desert

Shrimp Fest. Plus, Wood says, local restaurants like Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn and Tonto Bar & Grill serve it, too. Desert Sweet Shrimp For information or to schedule a tour, call 623-393-0136 or visit desertsweetshrimp.com

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With its farm, mill, restaurant and marketplace store, Queen Creek Olive Mill is trying to forge a broad connection between the people and the land.

Queen Creek Olive Mill: Something for Olive Us


o see the state’s only working olive farm and mill, take a trip to the Southeast Valley, where the Queen Creek Olive Mill treats taste buds and enthralls the other senses with an educational mill tour. Learn about the farm’s history and how extra virgin olive oil is produced. Afterward, hit up the olive bar for a chance to taste the mill’s various oils, stuffed olives and tapenades. The gourmet marketplace offers a chance to buy QCOM products and pick up a few recipe cards, too. The mill uses nine varieties of olives to produce its various oils, which include flavors such as roasted garlic, blood orange, Meyer lemon, Mexican lime, chili and white truffle. You’ll also find Maytag blue cheesestuffed and mesquite smoked

almond-stuffed olives, among other goodies. Committed to the local food movement, the mill’s cafe uses products from other Valley businesses, including the Pork Shop and Simply Bread, and helps support other area farmers. “Whenever there’s something local in season, we’ll work it into the menu and carry it to support local farmers, and to offer our customers more local products,” says Rob Holmes, QCOM’s general manager and marketing director. The olive grove is also pesticide-free, and there are no genetically modified trees. Plus, the mill takes pride in its commitments to water-conserving irrigation, recycling and composting. After producing olive oil for more than 10 years, the mill’s reputation for quality is well established. And the abundance

of local chefs who use its oils— try nearly 200 resorts, spas and restaurants—is just one measure of that. Plus, says account manager Terri Mack, a number of local hospitals use it as well, because it contains zero grams of trans fat. You can pick up your own olive oil at the mill or order products online. It’s also available at AJ’s, Whole Foods and some local farmers markets. Queen Creek Olive Mill 25062 S. Meridian Road, Queen Creek; 480-888-9290; queencreekolivemill.com


In a future issue of Wavelength, we’ll be looking at local teahouses. Whether you take your tea in a Victorian living room or a zen tearoom, tell us your cup of tea! Write us at wavelength@fpraz.org. Winter 2010 57

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“ EdibleEden

Looking for healthy, organic or locally grown foods? Listeners serve up some suggestions. Compiled by David M. Brown SINGH FARMS

Northeast corner of East Thomas Road and Loop 101, Scottsdale; 480-225-7199

You’re probably like most and have driven past this unexpected garden and composting center many times without a clue it was there. Ken Singh was a soil scientist at ASU and loves to talk about this stuff. His wife Lee is also very knowledgeable, and a chat with either or both is an unforgettable, motivational experience. Take some time (and kids) to walk about, learn about soil, plants, compost and local organic foods. The best time may be the Saturday morning market, which runs from 8 a.m. until noon. — James McCay


7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Ste. 21, Phoenix; 480-585-5483; thecompoundgrill.com

Newly opened, with a fresh perspective, Compound Grill offers great food and an engaging ambience that fully embodies healthy living and entertainment, from organic and free-range selections to menus printed on recycled paper. Very well thought out and executed. — Christine Kane ENGRAINED

ASU campus, Memorial Union, second floor; Tempe; 480-727-DINE (3463); engrainedcafe.com

Engrained serves organic, locally grown foods and has a remarkable sustainability philosophy. Even the construction of this

restaurant is eco-friendly, utilizing hearth ovens and renewable construction. The food caters to vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters, and it's served by a friendly staff in a relaxing environment. Prices are reasonable, and the staff is ver y accommodating. For those who strive to eat right and be consumer conscious, this place is for you. — Annie Brown GALLO BLANCO CAFÉ & BAR

401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix, 602-274-4774; galloblancocafe.com

One of my favorite neighbor hood eateries, Gallo Blanco serves fresh, affordable Mexican cuisine in a casual, urban environment. The restaurant uses all locally sourced ingredients to prepare intensely flavored Mexican cuisine in a healthy, heart-friendly way. What’s more, the meals at Gallo Blanco, except for the bread, are gluten free. — Lindsey Bridges


3000 E. Ray Road, Gilbert; 480-563-4745; joesfarmgrill.com

This restaurant is the converted farmhouse of Jim and Virginia Johnston. Part of the Johnstons’ plan on remodeling their home and the surrounding homestead buildings was to create an urban style while preserving all their mature trees. The food is American-style, and this family-owned operation strives to use their farm produce or purchase all ingredients locally. They prepare most everything from scratch in their kitchens and serve very large portions at a reasonable price. Customers enjoy dining alfresco under mature trees, or in an indoor family dining room next to the fireplace. Plus, the area is surrounded by citrus trees that smell absolutely wonderful. — Jehnifer Niklas

Puzzle Play

Here is the solution to the crossword puzzle on page 64. If you haven’t found the puzzle yet—no peeking!—get a pen and turn to the last page.

58 Wavelength

Winter 2010 59



kbaq 89.5



FM Public Radio Schedule





midnight 1:00 2:00

Classical Music

Throughout the night

3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00

Classical Music


with Sterling Beeaff

Classical Music

with Jane Hilton


Sunday Baroque

with Suzanne Bona

9:00 10:00

Classical Music

Classical Music

Classical Music

Classical Music

with Janine Miller

with Jane Hilton

with Janine Miller

with Jane Hilton

11:00 noon 1:00

Classical Music

with Jon Town

4:00 5:00

10:00 11:00 60 Wavelength

Classical Music

Classical Music

with Frank Sprague

with Katrina Becker

with Duart Martin

Performance Today

Performance Today with Fred Child and Jon Town



Classical Music

Classical Music



(Through May 2010 at various times)

with Randy Kinkel



Metropolitan Opera

Mozart Buffet with Randy Kinkel

Classical Music

with Katrina Becker

Southwest Season Ticket


ASU in Concert

St. Paul Sunday From the Top

Classical Music

with Frank Sprague

Classical Music

with Duart Martin

Classical Music

with Brian Dredla

Classical Music

with Katrina Becker, Susan Mulligan or Frank Sprague

Classical Music

Throughout the night

Winter 2010 61

kjzz 91.5







Classic Jazz

midnight 1:00

FM Public Radio Schedule



Classic Jazz

with Paul Anderson

with Michele Robins

Classic Jazz Classic Jazz


Classic Jazz Classic Jazz

3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00

Only a Game

Morning Edition

BBC Newshour

National and Arizona News, Traffic and Weather Reports


Weekend Edition

8:00 9:00 10:00 11:00 noon 1:00 2:00

The Diane Rehm Show 1-800-433-8850

Car Talk

Here and Now Talk of the Nation 1-800-989-8255

Whad’ya Know?

Fresh Air

This American Life

The Splendid Table


Best of Public Radio

Car Talk On the Media

3:00 4:00

All Things Considered

All Things Considered

5:00 6:00 7:00

A Prairie Home Companion


PRI’s The World


62 Wavelength

Those Lowdown Blues

with Bob Corritore

Classic Jazz

Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz

with Blaise Lantana

10:00 11:00

Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!

BBC’s World Today

American Routes


A Prairie Home Companion

Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!

Classic Jazz

Classic Jazz

with Paul Anderson

with Michele Robins

Riverwalk Jazz Classic Jazz

with Michele Robins

Winter Fall 2008 2010 63

Crossword By Fred Jarmuz

Green Is Good Across 1. Musical staff symbol 5. Poppy narcotic 10. Self starter? 13. String before O on 14. 15. 17. 19. 20. 21. 23. 26. 28. 29. 30. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 47. 48. 50. 51. 52. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63.

MacDonald’s farm Little lizard 1970 Kinks hit Atmospheric region with a “hole” Class reunion attendee, briefly One who imitates Japanese floor mat First game of a doubleheader Alarm clock, ideally Hops and hoedowns Gabor and Longoria REI competitor Tree dwellers of cookie ads Sudden burst After expenses Arrived safely under the tag Good news for investors Diary opener Title for McCartney Cliff hanger? Loy of old Hollywood Commotion Graf __ Welcomed, as the New Year Fastened Approved Saudi’s neighbor Vigoda and Lincoln Pink-slips Decomposing of plant remains Greek philosopher of paradox fame Feeling of apprehension Machu Picchu resident Big letters in racing Rough Riders’ woes Fish that complains a lot?

Down 1. Corporate VIP 2. Claiborne of fashion 3. Fair-hiring initials 4. Provided dough 64 Wavelength

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 16. 18. 22. 23.

Some people at nude beaches Partridge’s tree, in a carol “If looks could kill” type of stare It has a G string Dead center? Fill with joy Sun juice? Urban eyesore “What __, chopped liver?” They’re guarded at the Olympics Girl Fri. City near Midland, Texas

24. 25. 26. 27. 31. 32. 34. 37. 38. 40. 41. 44.

Lacking liveliness Physical surroundings, e.g. Wrote back Little egg No Mr. Nice Guy Single thread Ranee’s wrap Duplicates Like the Ming, e.g. “It’s __ To Tell a Lie” Types, to a car dealer Androids

46. 48. 49. 50. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57.

Fabulous storyteller Fenway nickname, once Worser halves? Cathedral part Lennon married her in 1969 Dept. overseer Jim Croce’s “Time __ Bottle” Big ATM maker Area between fielders

The solution to this puzzle appears on page 58.

Winter 2010 65

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