Page 1

low-cost luxuries: THE


foods & ямБnds

Summer issue sponsored by




Features 24 Rock the House By Elizabeth Exline

Tonight, the best concert in town just might be in your backyard. 30 The Audio Mechanics By Evan Wyloge

What happens when a radio station overheats? Find out, with a look under public radio’s hood. 36 Pet Sounds By Ginger S. Eiden

Not all KJZZ and KBAQ listeners walk on two legs. 40 Local Girl Made Good By Walt Lockley

As an NPR newscaster, Korva Coleman reports from all over the nation. But she never forgets her Phoenix roots.





Did you know that dogs spend more time in a relaxed state when they listen to classical music, as opposed to rock or pop? Read about the effects of music and talk on animals on page 36.

36 On the Cover Terry Howell, a paddler on Team Arizona Outrigger Canoe Club, surveys Tempe Town Lake before he takes to the water. Learn how you can join him on page 10. Summer 2009




Departments 8

School’s In for Summer

Don’t just while away the dog days at the pool. Check out some novel ways to learn something new. By Stephanie R. Conner 16 A Man of Many Hats, a Feather in Tempe’s

Producer Clarke Rigsby plays regular host to some of music’s most famous names. By Daniel Newhauser 44 Man of the Houseboat

How a week on Lake Powell brought a family together. By Peter Aleshire 53 Deals to Dine For

Places where a little green goes a long way. By RaeAnne Marsh


Featured Listener Stories Pages 14, 20, 51 & 58

Also Inside 4 6



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


Why do musicians like Paul McCartney, James Moody and Hank Williams Jr. travel to Tempe to work with this man? Find out on page 16.

Summer 2009




Wavelength Summer 2009

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. 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. Stephanie R. 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. Ginger S. Eiden An award-winning journalist, Ginger is also the Web content manager for the City of Glendale. She has worked as a reporter and editor for several Valley publications and is a frequent contributor to Phoenix Magazine. 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. Kristen Forbes Kristen is a freelance writer living outside Portland, Oregon. To view her blog, visit krissymick.blogspot.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 is now a writer and photographer for Raising Arizona Kids magazine. Art Holeman A commercial photographer for 30 years, Art has garnered national awards, including appearances 4


in Communication Arts, Applied Arts and Graphis. To see more of his work, visit artholeman.com. 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.

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


Susich Design Company FPRAZ BOARD OFFICERS

Phil Hagenah Dan Schweiker Susan Edwards Mark Dioguardi

Chair Vice Chair Treasurer Secretary


Mike Chiricuzio Steve Curley Jan Dolan Sandra Etherton Bob Frank Karen Greenberg Win Holden Dr. Laura W. Martin

Carl Matthusen Carol L. McElroy Michael Moskowitz Edward Plotkin John Roberson Linda Saunders Dr. Linda Thor Paulina Vazquez-Morris



Carl Matthusen

RaeAnne Marsh RaeAnne’s byline appears over articles on subjects as varied as business, décor and life in Arizona. She is the proprietor of Grammar & Glitz.


Daniel Newhauser Daniel is studying journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU. His reporting work can be found in publications from Yuma to Flagstaff. He’s the co-coordinator of KJZZ’s Teen Radio Project and plays drums in the local rock band Montresors.

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

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 preserving in print the way the human spirit thrives. Evan Wyloge Evan is a freelance writer, longtime Arizona resident and current graduate student at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Lou Stanley, Scott Williams ADVERTISING SALES

Nancy Mitchell, Public Radio Partners 480.946.6500

KJZZ can also be found: In Flagstaff / Cottonwood—89.5 FM In Prescott—90.1 FM In Tucson—98.9 FM In Globe—106.9 FM KBAQ, your classical music station, can also be heard in 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. © 2009 FPRAZ. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction in any manner is prohibited.

Summer 2009


editor’s note

Pet Project “

Bunny “My inbox was filled with cats, dogs, hamsters, frogs and an alpaca.”

anx kittens. Rare. Won’t last,” declared the box my community paper ran for a local rescue group. “We should call,” said my husband, nudging me. Nine months earlier, kidney failure took our beloved 18-year-old cat. Nene had been with us since college, and I wasn’t sure I wanted another pet. Fast-forward a couple of hours: We’re both grinning like fools as we fill out adoption papers while our 4-year-old son strokes the tailless kitten purring at his side. After a family vote, we name her Bunny, in part because of the “Cabbit” legend, that this peculiar breed was born of cat and rabbit. So why am I telling you about my eight-month-old kitten? Because awhile back, a listener named Marro Skalski suggested a story about the effects of music on pets. Her idea led to Ginger Eiden’s story “Pet Sounds,” which you’ll find in this issue. Working on that piece, I asked the station announcers to share pictures of their animals for a Match-the-Pet game. Soon my inbox was filled with cats, dogs, hamsters, frogs and an alpaca. Each person shared tidbits that made me feel closer to him or her. I learned, for instance, that KBAQ announcer Jon Town used to have a Manx, too. And that KBAQ’s Janine Miller has two adored cats, Pumpkin and Apple. I’d tell you more pet stories, but that would give too much away (there is a quiz, remember). Along those lines, I’m betting you’ll feel like you have something in common with NPR newscaster Korva Coleman after you read Walt Lockley’s profile of her. Did you know she grew up in Maryvale? Coleman is as down-to-earth and delightful as they come, and her childhood memories are sure to hit home. Others may discover they share a hobby with one of the station’s engineers. Or that they want to try some hole-in-the-wall restaurant that other listeners say serves incredible, bargainpriced food. I hope all of this makes you feel even more a part of the public radio family you help support. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about social networking on the Web and, in a way, I can’t help but feel like we’re riding the social-networking wave right here, too. Because while I at first wondered how knowing what my friends ate for dinner is going to transform the world, I learned the answer is by doing precisely what this magazine aims to do: show us what we share; what we can learn from each other; connect us. When I see the people, places and ideas that link you, to reporter, to engineer, to cat, I’m perhaps unreasonably hopeful that we may—by knowing just a bit more about each other— feel more connected in both the real and digital worlds. And then maybe, together, we can be emboldened to make them better places for us all.


P.S. Let’s make it a two-way conversation. Become a fan of Facebook’s “Obsessed with Public Radio Station KJZZ 91.5 FM” and tell us what’s on your mind. Or, as always, e-mail me at wavelength@fpraz.org.



Summer 2009


diversions By Stephanie R. Conner Photography by Emily Piraino

School’s In for Summer Don’t just while away the dog days at the pool. Check out some novel ways to learn something new.


he Valley’s selling points are well documented in tourism brochures. Golf, hiking and spas bring visitors every year—and keep locals engaged, too. Plus, museums, galleries and musical performances abound. Even still, the Valley has more to offer than you’d expect. For people looking to stretch their minds in fun, unique ways, learn something new, meet interesting people—and, yes, not spend a fortune doing it—these three educational opportunities offer great chances to dig local terroir.

Urban Chicken Farming: Fresh Eggs, Anyone?

you can expect some form of the question, “Is this for real?” In a down economy and a aising chickens in your backyard might raise neighbors’ eyebrows, culture that’s craving sustainability, urban chicken farming appears to but from the moment you tell friends you’re taking a class in it, be a burgeoning trend. After all, chickens make great pets and are efficient bug and weed eaters and Greg Peterson holds awesome soil tillers—not to one of the prime mention they provide delicious benefits of urban fresh eggs. chicken farming— The Phoenix Permaculture fresh eggs. Guild hosts urban chicken farming seminars up to twice a month, and according to guild co-founder and board member Greg Peterson, 30 to 60 people attend each class—quite a jump from when the class began seven years ago and only two or three people would show up. Held at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market, the 90-minute lectures explain Valley cities’ chicken regulations, discuss breeds, and offer practical advice on building coops, buying birds and maximizing their garden benefits. “Chickens can manage your garden for you,” Peterson says. “When I’m done harvesting, the chickens move in, eat the bugs and weeds, and process what’s left




over—they’re doing the tilling and fertilizing for me! That’s one of the coolest things about chickens.” Another cool part about urban chicken farming, adds instructor Rachel Bess, is its ease. “When you think of chickens, you think of large pastoral lands, but there’s not much to it,” says Bess, who is raising 10 chickens and two ducks in her central Phoenix backyard. And that’s exactly what Peterson had in mind. “It took me over a year to get chickens,” he says. “I was afraid of them. But hens are so easy to keep. You just feed and water them, and give them a structure to sleep in at night. And that’s it.” Just don’t expect to get an alarm clock out of the deal. As Bess and Peterson point out, while local municipalities allow hens, roosters are prohibited. Downtown Phoenix Public Market, 721 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. The urban chicken farming class is free, though a $10 donation is suggested. Sign up for this and other Phoenix Permaculture Guild classes at phoenixpermaculture.org.

Offering a few new twists on knitting, Knit Happens stocks scads of hand-dyed yarns in a chic environment. Heralded for its ability to relieve stress, the hobby has been dubbed, “the new yoga.”

Knit Happens: A Niche for Knitters t’s not just for old ladies anymore.

IThe young, the cool and the

male are reaching for their knitting needles, too. And at Knit Happens in Scottsdale, owner CJ Peloso keeps a six-person staff of knitting and crocheting fans standing by. “It’s our mission.We want people to learn how to knit,” says Peloso, who opened the store last August. “We are constantly learning and constantly teaching.” For most classes, expect two to eight hours of instruction spread across two-hour sessions. With needles and yarn in tow, you’ll learn from the energetic Knit Happens staff. Peloso explains that classes are typically capped at six students, but with more

demand, she’ll add another instructor. She also boasts two left-handed staffers, who offer special insights to fellow lefties. Most classes range from $40 to $70. With its high ceilings, wood floors and soft lighting, the store welcomes knitters of all sorts. Peloso and store manager Mary Glendinning say they see teenage girls, older women and, yes, men in their classes. But for those men who aren’t interested in knitting their own socks and scarves, Peloso has just the thing: a living room with a comfortable couch and a flatscreen TV often tuned to sports. The benefits of knitting, Glendinning and Peloso say, are both physical—keeping arthritic fingers nimble, for example— and mental. “Knitting isn’t supposed to be stressful,” Peloso says.“It’s supposed to be soothing.” Plus, she says, knitting is a hobby people generally don’t have to abandon during a recession. Students can find projects at all price points through the shop’s beginning, intermediate and techniquespecific classes. Knit Happens 7777 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale; 480-941-3898; knithappensllc.blogspot.com

Summer 2009


An important part of Polynesian culture, outrigger canoeing has become a popular sport, with clubs located around the world. Na Leo O Ke Kai was Arizona’s first outrigger canoe club, and some of its members are pictured on this page.

Hawaiian Outrigger Canoeing: The Spirit of Ohana n a Saturday morning visit

Oto Tempe Town Lake, you’ll likely see water sports enthusiasts of all stripes. Crew teams, canoes, even pedal boats grace the lake. But a look to the east reveals brightly colored outrigger canoes hugging the shore. These canoes are characterized by their—surprise—outriggers, which are lateral support floats attached to one or both sides. People who participate in this sport are characterized by something else: family, or as Tempe Town Lake Outrigger Association president Diane Escalante explains, “the spirit of Ohana.” The roots of outrigger canoeing

Share Your Finds Favorite new store? Best weekend trip? E-mail your suggestions to us at wavelength@fpraz.org.



run deep in Hawaiian culture, but the sport is relatively new to the Valley. The late Lono Navarro is credited with bringing two canoes from California to Arizona in 1996 and welcoming converts to the sport. Na Leo O Ke Kai (“Voices of the Sea”) and Team Arizona are two local teams. And as they gear up for the summer racing season, they invite new people to join them. “There are no prerequisites,” says Na Leo O Ke Kai coach Margaret Coulombe. Outrigger team members range from teens to seniors, and as teams train, novices get their own boat and coach to help them. “I took a chance on trying something new and found something I never would’ve dreamed of,” says Coulombe, a former runner and soccer player. “One thing that outrigger canoeing brought, unlike other team sports, was that it was very family-oriented.” Escalante says teams vary in their fervor for observing Hawaiian traditions, but for the most part, their mission is “to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and the sport of

outrigger canoeing.” For Na Leo O Ke Kai president Andrew Harbottle, a deeper understanding of Hawaiian culture has been a byproduct of his participation. “And the essence of that is fellowship with the other paddlers,” says Harbottle, who is half Hawaiian. “The culture is about family. We work with each other, fight together, play together, train together.”

Na Leo O Ke Kai outrigger teams meet at the marina on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake at 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Times are expected to change as the weather warms. To participate, contact Diane Escalante at descalante6@qwest.net or simply show up at practice times.

Straight-AClasses Listeners recommend local courses that make the grade. Compiled by David M. Brown

“ I keep returning to SOUTHWEST GARDENER for its variety of affordable, fun classes. From mosaics to fused glass to birdseed ornaments to making flowers from aluminum cans, I have made so many truly delightful items for myself, and as gifts for friends and family. And I’ve gotten some fun and relaxation in the process. — Alice Sweeney

Southwest Gardener, 2809 N. 15th Ave., Phoenix; 602-279-9510; southwestgardener.com D & D TILE is a great shop in central Phoenix. Dave and Dave, aka “the Mosaic Guys,” are experts in all kinds of tile work. Dave Jarvinen’s mosaic classes are both fun and instructional;

he teaches the art of mosaicking in an easy-going, low-pressure way. All classes are designed to meet the needs of all levels of expertise (or lack thereof). There are classes in ceramic and glass tile, and every project is a masterpiece. They also sell a wide range of tile and mosaic supplies. — Jeanne Baker

D & D Tile, 4802 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix; 602-279-2989; mosaicguys.com As an aspiring author, I just finished “WRITENOW!,” an outstanding six-month class given by local author and editor, Laura Orsini. This is not a how-to-write-a-book course but a how-to-build-aplatform course, so that when the book comes out you have a ready audience. I learned so much about new technologies and social networking applications. — Beth Kozan

Laura Orsini, 602-518-5376; writemarketdesign.com

I thoroughly enjoyed the jewelry class I took at MADE ART BOUTIQUE; it quickly gave me a better appreciation for handmade jewelry. The instructor tailored her instruction to our levels and made sure that everyone, regardless of experience, was able to leave with a completed project. With the skills I learned, I was even able to make some more jewelry at home. — Amanda Patrie

MADE Art Boutique, 922 N. Fifth St., Phoenix; 602-256-MADE; madephx.com The CITY OF SCOTTSDALE WATER CONSERVATION DEPARTMENT offers free classes on desert plants, pruning, drip systems, composting and several other topics related to saving water in your landscape. Classes are held in the fall and spring at the Granite Reef Senior Center (but all ages are welcome). — Michelle Walters

City of Scottsdale Water Conservation Department, 480-312-5650; scottsdaleaz.gov

Anyone who lives in Green Valley and is a member of Green Valley Recreation can learn how to use a digital camera at the GVR CAMERA CLUB. A 10week course is taught each year, and the club is open every weekday morning during the summer. Memberships are cheap and instructors are tops, so if you don’t live in Green Valley, you now have another good reason to move here. — George & Gayle Kennedy

Green Valley Recreation, 1070 Calle de las Casitas, Green Valley; 520-625-3440; gvccameraclub.org There is a wonderful tai chi class that’s taught year-round at the APACHE JUNCTION MULTI-GENERATIONAL CENTER on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. The class is led by a certified tai chi instructor who is an excellent teacher. Tai chi strengthens mind and body; it helps balance, flexibility and memory. I’ve taken the class for two years and continue to really enjoy it. — Sharon Batcher

” The Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Multi-Generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road, Apache Junction; 480-474-5240; ajcity.net Summer 2009




Summer 2009


listener profile By Kristen Forbes

Gypsy Soul KJZZ takes listener home again to Serbia.

Slavica Ristic “You hear this and it’s like a mental picture forms of what this music represents.”





Despite its authentic Gypsy sound, Slavic Soul Party is not a Serbian band. It’s an American band based in Brooklyn that Slavica Ristic had never heard before the morning it was played on KJZZ—a morning Ristic still treasures.

One summer morning, Slavica Ristic pulled into an Albertsons parking lot and started to turn off the car when something caught her ear. Had she stopped a few seconds sooner, she would have missed Weekend Edition and, more importantly, the nine-piece band Slavic Soul Party booming from KJZZ’s airwaves. “It’s such distinct music,” Ristic says. “This is very specific and unique. This is music of part of the former Yugoslavia, of part of Serbia, of my hometown. It was so unreal. It’s not just Gypsy music; it’s very specific Gypsy music.” Gypsy music, Ristic says, can vary wildly, depending on where it originates. This style—brass music with a bold rhythm—is

the Gypsy music Ristic says best captures her own memories. Ristic left then-Yugoslavia in 1985 and went to Canada, eventually migrating to Scottsdale in 1991. She has returned to her hometown, Nis˘, three or four times since leaving. “Twenty-two years since I left, you kind of start forgetting the town’s different sounds, smells and colors. It starts fading from your memory when it’s not in your everyday environment,” Ristic says. And then that one Saturday in June, all of the memories came rushing back. “You hear this and it’s like a mental picture forms of what this music represents,” Ristic says. Nis˘, the third-largest town in Serbia, has a large Gypsy population. When the local university expanded, many Gypsies were displaced and many moved to the street where Ristic’s parents lived. “Every Saturday and Sunday, they would have some kind of celebration,” Ristic recalls. “Weddings were very popular—they would last three or four days. One of the main things is that on the day of the wedding, the groom’s family would come and get the bride. You have to imagine a flat bed pulled by horses and a full orchestra with a full brass band. Everybody is singing and everybody is just having the best time. That’s something you don’t forget.” A high school teacher in Nis˘, Ristic now works as vice president of operations for an Internet company in Scottsdale. And today, her car radio is still tuned to KJZZ, the station she uses to stay connected to the world. Ristic recalls how hearing music from her homeland helped bridge continents, reminding her of where she is, where she’s from and why both are so important.

Summer 2009


music By Daniel Newhauser

A Man of Many Hats, a Feather in Tempe’s Producer Clarke Rigsby plays regular host to some of music’s most famous names.



hese days, everyone’s a producer. Kids bang out amateur 16-track recordings in their parents’ basements and make it big. On the other side of the spectrum, top artists gravitate to mega-studios in industry meccas like New York and Los Angeles. In the age of home studios, competition is intense. That’s why it’s surprising that a small studio in humble Tempe has been graced with the talents of Ike Turner, Bo Diddley, the Four Tops, Pinetop Perkins, Glen Campbell and David Grisman, to name just a few. The draw? Musician/producer/ engineer Clarke Rigsby, who’s been piloting Tempest Recording since 1983. Rigsby will tell you these famous players “just show up here,” as if he doesn’t know why. But the truth is, his reputation as a stellar producer draws the array



of artists to Tempe, says Mike Kocour, an accomplished jazz pianist and director of jazz studies at Arizona State University. “Clarke could work anywhere. A lot of business comes to him,” says Kocour, who’s collaborated with Rigsby on several projects. “I’m very thankful he’s here, five minutes from my office.” The history within Tempest’s soundproof walls is impressive, but the studio itself won’t astound you. From the outside, it looks like a suburban home’s backyard shed, tucked away in an average tree-lined neighborhood. The largest room is 28 feet by 26 feet—small by industry standards, though Rigsby’s squeezed a 19piece Big Band in there before. But you shouldn’t judge his laid-back studio by its appearance. “It ain’t the place; it’s the musicians and the people that are running it,” Rigsby says from a familiar perch hovering over his mixing board. “You have to understand the music.” To understand why Tempe is the stomping ground for a producer who attracts high-profile talent and accolades—


It may be humble, but musical magic happens in the confines of Tempest Recording in Tempe. Below, Clarke Rigsby (right) poses with Kim Wilson, lead singer of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, who had a simple plea: “We need help!”


good at that.” Rigsby couldn’t fake it. The purity of the music he loved seemed at stake. Jaded, he planned to return to L.A., but finding the same scene there, he planted himself in Tempe instead and went to work. “A lot of guys that do what I do either started with money or made money in the music business,” Rigsby says. But he played six nights a week at now-extinct Mill Avenue venues to finance ASU music and political science degrees and the equipment he’d need to build the studio of his dreams. Rigsby mastered the tools of his trade and slowly but forcefully built his reputation as one of the best in the business. “I really think of the studio as my instrument,” he says. “Once we get involved in the music, we’re all equal.” It’s that musician’s take on producing that allows Rigsby to understand the subtleties of the art of song, says Bob Corritore, host of KJZZ’s Those Lowdown Blues and popular local blues harmonica player.


a Broadcast Music, Inc. award for his TV music writing and an Emmy for a PBS soundtrack—you have to understand the man himself. Rigsby landed in Arizona in 1977, already a seasoned veteran of the music biz. A guitar prodigy, he’d been playing in clubs since he was 14 with the great fiddle player Billy Armstrong who, at that time, was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers. Through Armstrong, Rigsby worked with western swing-era artists from his hometown of Los Angeles, like Tex Williams and Smokey Rogers, playing clubs, rodeos, military bases and venues like Knotts Berry Farm. “In those days, it was just about making a living with music,” Rigsby says. But the road took its toll. It wasn’t ultimately what he wanted; feigning smiles, living out of vans and playing venues set up simply to sell alcohol, not to enhance the listening experience or accommodate the artist. “When I was on the road, that was dark,” he says. “I was just not

Summer 2009 17


Pete Pearson blues album, another for jazz singer Sherry Petta, a CD for rocker Patrick McGarey, a rockabilly record with Pat Roberts and the Haymakers, a retrospective with legendary funk group Tower of Power and a classical disc with renowned clarinetist and ASU professor Bob Spring. Rigsby has also been teaching recording at ASU for 15 years.


guitar amps—like his 1965 Fender Deluxe or 1958 Princeton—and his 1960s Slingerland snare drums. And it’s not just jazz and blues at which Rigsby excels. To listen to a mixtape of his recordings is to journey through genres. Rocking guitars give way to plucky banjos then to soulful horns followed by classical violins. Just recently he mixed a Big


“He’s got a great sense of the old-school sound and he brings that forward into the modern technology,” says Corritore, who taps Rigsby for all of his engineering work. “Clarke is my right hand.” That right hand can play the guitar, and Rigsby can sing, too. A true musician, his most prized possessions aren’t the flashy digital mixing boards, but his antique


Legendary music producer Phil Ramone (in sunglasses) cuts up with Clarke Rigsby and Paul McCartney during a video shoot in Nogales.






It’s that almost childlike excitement over meeting a musician he respects that sums up Clarke Rigsby: The man loves music. And he’s a history buff. The walls of his house are plastered with autographed photos of his favorite artists, like Elvis and George Harrison, and his bookcases are filled with chronicles of musical times gone by. “If you don’t know the history, you don’t know half of what’s going on,” Rigsby says. He’s been described as “musically militant,” but to those who know him best, that just means he does things his way, says Dave Shirk,


“The guy is a genius. He has ears better than anyone I’ve worked with,” says Spring. “He has the ability to speak the language of how we want to sound.” But as his peers fawn over him, Rigsby seems to be just as amazed by his success. He’ll be expanding the studio soon, knocking down a wall to make space for a bigger drum room. He never did it before because, as he recalls, “I said, ‘It’s not like Steve Gadd is coming here.’” A few months later, however, who should show up at his door but the celebrated drummer himself. Rigsby was in awe.








Rigsby’s close friend and mastering accomplice. “He’s just a down-toearth kind of guy, none of the usual music industry B.S.,” Shirk says. And Rigsby admits he can be tough. He says he can deal with bad music so long as it comes with a good attitude, because all musicians should try to improve. But bad music coupled with a bad attitude will surely get a musician bounced from his studio. “I’m not sure I always work with who I want to, but I certainly don’t work with people I don’t want to,” he says. “I have a pretty low threshold for bull.” But Rigsby knows when to step back, too. When he worked sound for a Paul McCartney video shoot, he wasn’t going to tell Sir Paul how to play. “Sometimes you’re a father professor and sometimes you’re a taskmaster,” he says. “You have to kind of feel it out.” For local musicians, that means someone there, hands on, pushing them to the next level, says Shirk.“It’s that honesty and hand-holding experience that you get out of him. His presence here gives the Valley, and especially Tempe,a big feather in its cap.” And the Valley can expect more high-profile visits in coming years, says Kocour. “I don’t need to go to Capitol Studios in L.A. and have the experience of being in the same room Nat King Cole was in,” Kocour says.“I’m telling my friends from Chicago and New York to come here.”

Rigsby’ s hits and misses The producer assesses his track record, in his own words. MISSES Rigsby worked with Burt Reynolds for a decade. Here are the projects he cringes when he hears today: ■ “Hard Time” ■ “Hard Time: The

Premonition” “I listen to it and I’m like, they suck, we suck; there’s nothing you can do about it,” Rigsby jokes. HITS Of the more than 650 projects Rigsby’s worked on, he just can’t choose his favorites. But here are some of the musicians he’s most enjoyed working with, in no particular order. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Pete Forbes Tower of Power The Four Tops Jimmy Smith Joey DeFrancesco Hank Williams Jr.

His favorite local artists? “Anyone I didn’t kick out of my studio,” he says.

Some snapshots of studio sessions with: [1] Three great drummers: Troy Luccketta of Tesla, Phoenix legend Dom Moio and Steve Gadd, drummer for Eric Clapton and Paul Simon [2] Jazz pianist Pete Jolly [3] Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi [4] Mandolinist David Grisman, Clarke Rigsby and guitarist Al Casey [5] Saxophone legend James Moody [6] Clarke Rigsby, singing cowboy Rex Allen and guitar player Rich O’Brien [7] Paul Bollenbach, Byron Landham, James Moody and Joey DeFrancesco

Summer 2009 19

listener profile By Yvette Johnson

The Star Watcher KJZZ fan keeps an ear to the radio and an eye to the sky. Milt Johnson is very connected to the South Mountain community where he grew up. In fact, many of his siblings and their families still live there, just blocks away from him.

Milt Johnson

“When you’re driving around the country at two or three in the morning, you’re always seeing different things in the sky.”





chasing chickens, playing football and swimming in the canals. It was during those carefree days that Johnson became interested in the stars. To the young Johnson, the infinite nature of the sky gave it a sense of mystery that made him ponder what the future might hold. Johnson went on to graduate from South Mountain High School. After a few years of college, he got a job as a truck driver. He and his wife, his brightest star, raised their children just blocks from the South Mountain Preserve. Three of his children also graduated from South Mountain High and one son teaches there today. And that’s not all Johnson passed on: His interest in the night sky was contagious and his oldest son graduated from college with a degree in astronomy. Over the years, Johnson often drove his 18-wheeler to New Mexico and California, making multiple deliveries along the way. He says that “when you’re driving around Tight-knit communities and clear skies have the country at two or three in the morning, always been important to Milt Johnson. He’s you’re always seeing different things in the sky.” Today Johnson’s delivery route rarely takes spent most of his life living in the culturally him out of Arizona. But whether he’s battling diverse, closely connected community of South Phoenix. And since this area is south icy roads in Flagstaff or making turnaround of all the downtown lights, it offers dark skies trips to Tucson, his radio dial is parked on KJZZ. He likes the news, but his favorite that make for better stargazing. show is Science Friday with Ira Flatow. Johnson and his family moved to 25th Naturally, he especially enjoys any segments Street and Broadway Road in 1954, when that deal with the vastness of the universe. he was just 5 years old. He remembers Even though South Phoenix has changed wide-open spaces, peppered with goats and outhouses. Today, tens of thousands of people drastically around him, Johnson can still be call South Phoenix home. Johnson appreciates found most evenings sitting in front of his house, just a few blocks from the preserve. the development, but remembers that “life was different” when he was growing up. The And while he listens to his grandchildren play in the yard, his eyes search the sky. youngest of 13 kids, he often spent his days

Winter 2009




Summer 2009



Music fans of all ages are discovering a new kind of “house music.”

Tonight, the best concert in town just might be in your backyard. By Elizabeth Exline Photography by Art Holeman


here’s something in the air tonight. It’s more than the planes soaring above the steel-and-glass confines of Architekton, the inspiring Tempe headquarters of architect John Kane, and it’s bigger than the 20 or 30 people who’ve gathered here in their neat slacks and trim blazers. That something, as the hushed crowd soon discovers, is the stirring music and narrative of violinist Arvel Bird. Beginning with a story—real or imagined, it’s hard to tell—of a Paiute-Scottish forebear, Bird spends an hour weaving legend into music and enthralling the audience along the way. It is a communal, cultural experience known as a “salon,” and its private concert-like form tonight evokes feelings of a new trend dancing its way across North America—house concerts. A house concert is essentially a musical performance— generally folk or singer/songwriter style, but it can really be anything—in a person’s home. The host generally summons an audience of friends, family, neighbors and coworkers and puts together a simple potluck or refreshments like desserts and coffee. For some regular house-concert presenters, these shows happen once a month and can attract anywhere from 30 to 80 people, depending on the size of the house. (And as house-concert presenter Russ Paris notes, there are often “friends we haven’t met yet” who ask to come.) For attendees, the experience is both rare and thrilling. “They love the experience of hearing live music,” says Patty Barnes, director of Spirit of the Senses, as she observes how musical encounters these days tend to happen within the electronic embrace of computers and iPods. And while there’s nothing wrong with music-by-machine, MP3s can leave listeners a little cold. House concerts, on the other hand, are anything but. Take the shows Paris and his wife, Julie, host once a month. Over the course of 12 years, the Parises have invited countless folk musicians and the people who love them into their Southern California home, which they outfit with folding chairs and a homemade stage for the events. To make sure they get the best performers for their audience, the Parises, who work full time in graphic design, attend conferences where they scout out new musicians. They also spend hours e-mailing invitations, reviewing artist solicitations, managing guest lists and, of course, setting up and cleaning up. (The prep work is no small feat, mind you: For every monthly concert, the Parises move their furniture into the garage, check lighting and sound equipment, clean the house Summer 2009


and bake desserts.) The Parises’ gatherings are the prototype of a typical house concert, but there’s certainly room to do things differently. Suzie Kiraly in Fountain Hills, for instance, has hosted concerts sporadically since 2002, and her most recent gathering in October 2008 included a full dinner with a bring-your-ownwine invitation. (House concerts, though, tend to be teetotaler affairs.) About 40 people made themselves at home in Kiraly’s backyard that night for a candlelit performance under the stars by Severin Browne. “It’s really an exciting thing for people,” Paris observes. “I live near Los Angeles, and people who live here tend to be a little less in awe of famous people. But even here 26


I find some people just never had a chance to talk to musicians.” Face time with musicians is undoubtedly the biggest perk for house-concert audiences, a fact which spotlights musicians’ personalities. After all, as Bird demonstrates tonight, it’s the stories behind the songs that lend intimacy to a show. Singer/songwriter Freebo keeps this in mind when he’s performing as well. “I’ll get my people to be my chorus,” says the musician, who used to play bass with Bonnie Raitt. “Sometimes I’ll get them to do my horn part.” Freebo has even been known to pass out lyrics for his song, “We Are All One People,” so the audience can chime in. But as Lane Gosnay points out, these performances are mutually beneficial. Gosnay is the force behind House Concert Connection, an online listing of house concerts across the country, and she is the founder of The Bugle Boy, a listening room in La Grange, Texas. House concerts, she argues, inspire artists to keep on drumming for what can at times feel like a deaf world. “I just had one musician recently perform at The Bugle Boy—Woody Russell—and he lives in Austin,” Gosnay

says. “He can’t get the Live Music Capital of the World to pay attention to him, but he comes 16 miles outside of Austin, we pack the room for him, and he gets thoroughly juiced up.” Of course, there’s also the financial advantage to consider: Musicians take home every last cent from house concerts, where suggested donations are usually on the order of $10 or $15 per person. (Salon performances, however, are done on a volunteer basis.) That means the hosts, who provide food, drinks and a bevy of paper products do it all for nothing but the love of music. Paris figures that each concert costs him around $150, not counting the sound equipment and chairs. Kiraly adds that there are ways to be economical, whether it’s by buying affordable wine at Trader Joe’s or picking up candles at the Dollar Store. “I’ve always felt that house concerts go back to the Middle Ages,” Paris says, “when the wandering minstrels would go from manor to castle in Europe and would perform, basically, for room and board.” True to tradition, Paris will feed the musician dinner on the night of the show, and he’ll put up an out-of-town musician for the night, throwing in

breakfast the next morning. Artists, Paris speculates, stand to take in between $200 and $900 a show, depending on the size of the crowd and suggested donation, but house concerts’ impact on the music industry is about more than the financial haul. For starters, they supplement the precious few outlets out there for folk and jazz musicians. “They provide an opportunity for what I like to call the disenfranchised many,” Freebo says of house concerts, explaining how they unite musicians like him with audiences who feel out of touch with what’s commonly played on the radio. Bob Stane, who books performers for The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, California, sees it similarly. “Consider house concerts, folk clubs and all the ‘quality’ venues as being the ‘wetlands’ of the entertainment business,” he says. “They are safer and less traveled and the places where small fish get to be bigger fish and big fish go to be better fish.” For all the “Kumbaya” characteristics of house concerts, however, problems have been known to arise. One of the most notorious happened in

Earlier this year, local architects Jay Atherton and Cy Keener (far left) opened their central Phoenix home for a concert that coincided with the full moon. Their spare, modern house (above) made an ideal venue for a concert by the violin and guitar group dUO VibrAtO. The Spirit of the Senses concert, arranged by Patty Barnes and Thomas Houlon (near left, chatting with the guitarist), took full advantage of the home’s resonant acoustics.

Summer 2009



into the SPIRIT ith a member list that touts some of the Valley’s most prominent movers and shakers, Spirit of the Senses has been enlightening the Valley with its salons for the past 25 years. The salons, which occur about 15 times a month, are designed by directors Thomas Houlon


and Patty Barnes to inform and stimulate members in the forms of concerts, discussions and lectures on topics that can range from light rail to light years. “A very major part of Spirit of the Senses,” Houlon says, “is to bring together many communities so that it’s really an opportunity for the arts and musical community to merge with the architectural community to merge with the science community to merge with all these different communities that are here and never communicate.” For more information, call 602-906-0091 or visit spiritofthesenses.org.

Colorado’s Boulder County, where neighbor complaints regarding a house-concert series led to regulation. “I think the complaint basis was noise, parking and then there were some water concerns with the number of people who were using the residence,” explains Boulder County Land Use Director Dale Case. The area in question, he says, is served by well water and septic systems that are not designed to handle such crowds. Those complaints led to a level of regulation spearheaded by Case’s predecessor, Graham Billingsley, which Case describes as, “not the right track to take.” Today, if you live outside city limits in Boulder County and you want to host a house concert, the group of 26 to 99 can’t convene more than 12 times a year at one residence or for longer than six consecutive hours, and the gathering must occur between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. Considering how prevalent house concerts have become, however, run-ins like these are few and far between. Who but a social Grinch, after all, would find fault with one of house concerts’ most charming byproducts—community revitalization? House concerts bring together varied groups of people who get to know one another over a common interest: music. “After the concert’s over,” Kiraly says, “there are connections that you’ve made and friends that you’ve made.” But it’s the novelty of seeming to know the musician playing for you, the intimacy of getting lost in the music, that makes house concerts such a powerful phenomenon. “It’s really a total experience,” Barnes says. “It’s an experience of people going to hear music, and the musicians having an audience that listens to them. It’s a social experience. It’s a visual experience, and maybe it’s a rewarding of personal contact, because we live in a world that is becoming more and more virtual.”




P’sof&presenting Q’s Hosting a house concert requires more than a robust Rolodex. Here’s how to get started: 1. Make a Plan and Budget. “You need to sit down and decide the theme of the concert, how you want to do it, your budget and how many people you want to invite,” says Suzie Kiraly, a sometime concert presenter in Fountain Hills. Send out invitations by e-mail, encourage a potluck approach to food and hit discount stores for decor and supplies. The beauty of a house concert, though, is its informality, so think family dinner more than Oscar party. 2. Check With Law Enforcement. If you familiarize yourself with local ordinances, you’re less likely to run into trouble from grumpy neighbors. Contact your local police station to see if there are any rules that might impact your concert, like noise curfews, capacity limits or parking regulations.

3. Invite Your Neighbors. Nothing can squelch a good time like a curmudgeon next door. Be sure to invite your neighbors to the concert or at least let them know you’re planning one. Also, keep an eye on the parking so guests don’t block anyone’s driveway. 4. Communicate With the Musician. Let the artist know how many people he can expect in the audience (this is his livelihood, after all), and review how many sets he plans on performing so you can plan accordingly. 5. Play Emcee. When you invite your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers, point out that you’re hosting a concert and not a party so no one shows up expecting to don a lampshade at any point. Also, encouraging everyone to pick up a CD and contribute the suggested donation helps ensure the musician makes a good night’s wages.

No artificial lighting was allowed during the moonlit performance by Joshua and Miray Rhoads. The husband-wife group known as dUO VibrAtO performed chamber music and solo guitar and violin at the all-acoustic show.

Summer 2009


The Audio Mechanics



What happens when a radio station overheats? Find out, with a look under public radio’s hood. By Evan Wyloge Photography by Art Holeman

ublic radio listeners rely on KJZZ and KBAQ, but few consider all it takes to get their programming to them. Truth is, behind the news and canonized stanzas stand dedicated engineers managing mountains of technology. The first part of their job can be compared to that of a firefighter. Whenever a problem erupts, the engineers are the first responders. Whether it’s a minor computer glitch or multimillion dollar transmission equipment that’s gone down, KJZZ/KBAQ engineers must keep public radio on air. The team also has a second important task, as if ensuring transmission across more than 15,000 square miles weren’t enough: They’re responsible for updating the station’s technology. If new equipment might streamline operations, they have to evaluate it and execute its integration. If some part is aging and at risk of failure, the engineers must decide what to do. “The number 1 rule—the motto for any radio station—is ‘stay on the air,’” says Scott Williams, program director at KJZZ. “Our engineering team does a great job of that.” When problems do arise, Williams counts on the team to fix them fast.“They’re incredibly responsive,” he says. “Even if we have a problem in the middle of the night, one of them will get here and take care of it.” *** Last summer, the team’s mettle was put to the test. On top of South Mountain, from where the KJZZ signal emanates, a sophisticated transmission system operates—all day, every day. It takes an entire building to house the gear. And as your computer needs cooling fans, so must the KJZZ equipment be kept cool to avoid failure. If you were tuned into KJZZ last summer on the morning of July 17, you noticed the station suddenly went silent. Minutes later, it returned. Then it cut out again, and again returned after a couple of minutes. This cycle continued and, not surprisingly, calls flooded the station. *** Hired about a year ago, Ralph Hogan, the KJZZ/KBAQ director of engineering, is the newest member of the team. But he’s definitely not new to radio. At Louisiana State University New Orleans, Hogan assisted the chief engineer at his college radio station. Since then, his 40-year career has taken him across the country and now to Arizona. One of Hogan’s goals since taking the helm has been adapting his team to 21st-century radio realities. In the past, engineers looked after audio and transmission equipment. But since the late 90’s,

Ralph Hogan Age: 60 Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana Years at KJZZ/KBAQ: 1 Education: Engineering Science, Louisiana State University New Orleans (now University of New Orleans) Background: 40-year career in radio and TV stations large and small, from Louisiana to Washington Expertise: Broadcast Engineering Management Hobbies: Involvement with broadcast associations like the Society of Broadcast Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association of Public Radio Engineers

stations have had to adapt to computer technology handling audio storage and on-air functions. When this happened at KJZZ/KBAQ, Michael Brown was hired to mind the IT. He worked with Dennis Gilliam, the chief engineer at the time, to successfully integrate traditional engineering with computer services. Today, Hogan manages the IT, engineering and data operations teams as one department. So no matter what his engineers face, they tackle it together.

OPPOSITE: Ralph Hogan and Chris Furphy stand on top of South Mountain, in front of the equipment that allows KJZZ and KBAQ to be heard across the Valley.

*** Like most of his fellow engineers, Chris Furphy has handled just about every piece of station equipment, which becomes evident on his “nickel tour.” Pointing nonchalantly, he rattles off specs for blinking and whirring computer towers. He shares the story behind a sedansized generator. He strolls unflappably through what is essentially the engine of the station. “We know there’s a problem when more than a hundred calls come in,” Furphy says. The first thing the engineers do when something goes wrong is check the off-air monitors. These receive the signal coming from South Mountain, just like any Valley radio. Last summer, they heard what listeners reported and narrowed the set of possible causes. KJZZ/KBAQ engineers don’t get ruffled by such

Chris Furphy Age: 42 Hometown: Tempe, Arizona Years at KJZZ/KBAQ: 5 Education: General Studies, Rio Salado College Background: Began at KVNA radio in Flagstaff. Moved to video and satellite engineering for regional NBC affiliate before coming to KJZZ/KBAQ Expertise: Broadcast Engineering Hobbies: Photography and riding his Harley-Davidson

Summer 2009




Mark Nehrbass Age: 40 Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona Years at KJZZ/KBAQ: 5 Education: General Studies, Tesseract Background: Audio/Video Engineering, Concert Sound and Lighting Expertise:Audio/Visual Computer Systems Hobbies: Playing blues and classic rock on his electric guitar

problems.“Catastrophic failures happen,” Furphy says. So Furphy was charged with going to the mountaintop to check it out. He hopped into the station’s white F-350 and began the 45-minute drive. *** Computer technology is now deeply embedded into the way KJZZ and KBAQ operate. Brown and Gilliam spent years building and integrating these operations. “We used to work sort of separately,” Furphy says. “We handled our own narrow set of issues. But working as one unit works better.” Now, Furphy’s and Hogan’s broadcast know-how is combined with the computer prowess of Brown and Mark Nehrbass, the station’s IT specialists. “Radio is IT now,” Brown says.“There’s no separating the computers from the broadcast equipment.” Nehrbass is unambiguous about what it takes to maintain the amalgam of technologies.“We have great communication and great working relationships,” he says. “Everyone has to know what the other is doing. It’s as simple as that.” *** When Furphy arrived on South Mountain, he knew heat was the problem.“It was probably 115 degrees outside, and it was definitely hotter inside,” he says. The A/C had died, and a vital piece of transmission equipment—the exciter—was overheating and

shutting off, then coming back on just long enough to overheat again. The engineering team called the A/C service company, but it would be a full day before they could make it out. So the team started brainstorming. The key to keeping the signal stable would be cooling the equipment. Back at the station, the rest of the team found portable air-conditioners, but knew they’d need more. Hogan bought box fans to circulate air around the equipment. All the while, the signal cut in and out. By late afternoon, they had a makeshift solution. Everyone hoped the portable cooling units and box fans would stabilize the signal until the A/C could be repaired. They didn’t. The heat was so intense, the fans started melting.

OPPOSITE: Like just about every FM and TV station on Valley airwaves, KJZZ’s tower sits on top of South Mountain. Here, the station’s truck cruises down the mountain access road.

*** When not responding to station afflictions, the engineers update their systems. One of the more ambitious projects they recently took on is HD Radio. HD Radio—or digital radio—has been in the works for years, and it’s finding its way to more stations every year. But unlike with digital TV, there’s no government mandate, so the market has been slow to respond. But KJZZ and KBAQ are committed to quality. So when the Corporation for Public Broadcasting offered a grant to match station investment in HD Radio, the stations took the leap.

Summer 2009


Dennis Gilliam Age: 56 Hometown: Yuma, Arizona Years at KJZZ/KBAQ: 22, plus 2 years of half-time active retirement Education: Music, Arizona Western College Background: Lifelong fascination with broadcast electronics that led to first broadcast job at age 11 Expertise:Broadcast Electronics and RF Systems Hobbies: Playing euphonium with the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band and working on his houses



New equipment was required everywhere, from studio recording equipment to signal processors to mountaintop transmitters. New computer systems had to be wired in, too. Gilliam and Brown began installing the equipment, but in mid-2007 Gilliam retired and went to half time. This forced a hold until Hogan was hired as his replacement in March 2008. When the day finally came to “flip the switch” in October,“severe interference to our 92 kHz analog subcarrier became very apparent,” Hogan says.But they worked the bugs out, and eventually everything ran right. Now, if you tune in to KJZZ with a digital receiver, you get better sound and the channel displayed along with supplemental program information. But what everyone at KJZZ is most excited about is that listeners can now listen to any of three “multicasts.” Furphy thinks the multicast capabilities and higher fidelity demonstrate KJZZ’s commitment to its audience. “It’s an added value service,” he says. Because HD Radio requires only one-tenth the transmission power of analog radio, KJZZ program director Scott Williams believes a transition to HD Radio should be part of U.S. energy policy. “I’d like to see the FCC get more behind it,” he says, “and we might see that happen, if the new administration includes it in a new energy policy.” Whether HD Radio finds more support in energy law or from the market remains to be seen. But KJZZ is positioned to take advantage and already offers listeners the benefits.

Michael Brown Age: 48 Hometown: Flint, Michigan Years at KJZZ/KBAQ: 11 Education: Business and Electronics, Phoenix Institute of Technology Background: 20 years of network security and design Expertise: IT Management Hobbies: Playing alto and tenor saxophone in his R&B band, What You See, What You Get

*** To the engineering team’s dismay, when the A/C repairmen made it to South Mountain, they only diagnosed the problem—failed compressors—and ordered a next-day repair. Tensions rose when the engineers realized the trouble was going to continue. But they were assured everything would be O.K. once the compressors were replaced. The following day that happened and everyone at KJZZ breathed a sigh of relief. But just days later, it all occurred again. Furphy made yet another trip up to the transmitters and found the compressors had failed again. But this time he also found that the crew had installed the wrong voltage compressors. It took two more days up and down the mountain before the engineering team was finally satisfied that everything was right. Since then, the engineers have reworked much of the cooling system. They haven’t had the problem again, and don’t intend to. *** “Some people say, ‘I’m an accountant. I get up. I go to work. I count beans for six hours and I go home.’ Not me. My job is new every day,” Furphy says. “It’s one of the attractions.” Furphy isn’t alone in finding his work satisfying. Brown says, “I never know what the challenge of the day is going to be. I just know I have to be alert and ready.” Nehrbass says he has a dream job. He’s never bored or complacent and says working with the rest of the KJZZ/KBAQ staff is great, too. “A lot of IT staff have to work with people who don’t understand technology, but we’re lucky because it’s an intelligent staff,” he says. The team’s camaraderie comes through in every conversation. It’s what keeps them working efficiently. Brown says he can’t imagine working anywhere else. “It’s like family here,” he says.

The DL on


uestions always surround new technology, and HD Radio is no different. Is my radio obsolete? Do I have to buy a new one? Is it more complicated? Q Well, for the vast majority of KJZZ listeners, the integration of HD Radio will go unnoticed. In fact, KJZZ has been transmitting HD Radio since last October. Regarding having to buy new gadgets, the answer is: Yes ... and not necessarily. If you want HD Radio, to enjoy the better sound and new capabilities, you need a digital receiver. But that new receiver will still pick up analog signals, and the frequencies for digital and analog broadcasts will remain the same—91.5 FM for KJZZ and 89.5 FM for KBAQ. If you’re happy as you are, then don’t do or buy anything. Nothing will change. That said, HD Radio does offer impressive features for those who want them. Here are some: Better Audio Quality. HD Radio stations transmit a compressed digital signal, which yields superior sound quality and reduced static. iBiquity Digital, the company behind HD Radio, says FM HD Radio affords “CD quality” sound. Multicasting. Once you have an HD Radio receiver, you’ll find public radio where you always have. But KJZZ will now have two additional “multicast” channels on that same frequency. 91.5 FM (HD-1) is the same KJZZ, playing public radio programs during the day and jazz at night. But switch to HD-2 and you’ll hear AHORA, a Spanish-language service. Change to HD-3 and you’ll get Sun Sounds of Arizona, a reading service for the blind and visually impaired. Datacasting. Where you once saw just the frequency, your radio can now display more. You might see the artist’s name and song title, or possibly news, traffic or weather updates. If you’re interested in HD Radio, you have a few options. A variety of home HD Radio systems are available, starting at about $100. You can also get HD Radio for your car. And at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, iBiquity Digital said it expects several personal HD Radio receivers to come out this year.

Summer 2009


Like many public radio fans, KBAQ announcer Randy Kinkel loves animals, so much so that dogs and cats are frequently the subjects of his paintings, such as this one, “Singing Dog.�

Pet Sounds 36


Not all KJZZ and KBAQ listeners walk on two legs. By Ginger S. Eiden Photography by Art Holeman

iane Seegers was never sure what her shih tzu was up to when alone in her Sun City West home. But she had a surefire way to make sure he was too mellow to get himself into trouble. Her kitchen radio permanently dialed in to KBAQ, Seegers let the classical music flow, so Bubba wouldn’t feel bored or lonely while she was out. And whenever she returned, no matter the time, the pup always greeted her—calm and relaxed. It seems that in the Seegers house Beethoven really has gone to the dog. “We would put that on, and he would enjoy it all day,” says Seegers about Bubba, who passed away recently at age 11. “He wasn’t well, but the music brought him peace and gave him an easier passing, I believe.” Bubba was just one of many four-legged KBAQ and KJZZ fans throughout the Valley. And these animal listeners are part of an international trend of music and talk-radio fans whose human counterparts are using radio to help curb bad behavior and keep furry friends from feeling alone while their masters are away. Low sound from a television or radio is a common technique that has been practiced by trainers and pet-behavior specialists for years. But while TV’s “Animal Planet” was once the go-to, four-legged media friend of choice, NPR programs and classical music are taking over. “The use of sound can be powerful as a neutral intervening stimulus,” says Andy Luper, a master dog trainer in the Valley. “Loud sounds can provide an aversive or negative stimulus. Sounds can also be used to soothe, encourage or discourage behaviors. A soft, soothing voice and classical music have been shown to have a calming effect on dogs.” Though frustrated pet owners may scoff at the notion that their pet’s chewing, barking, jumping or separation anxiety can be solved with the good grooves of jazz, Pachelbel’s Canon in D or a little All Things Considered, the science is persuasive enough to at least give it a try. Recent studies by Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland and the Rehoming Centre of the National Canine Defence League in England have TOP: Patrick Fuchs, the co- shown dogs to be most restful when classical music is owner of Animal Aficionado played for them at a low level. Pet Sitting, has noticed an Likewise, JoAnn Bluth, Luper’s business partner, who interesting thing. When he is also a highly regarded master trainer in the Valley, goes into homes around the says the sound of humans talking can have the same Valley to check in on pets, effect. “The sound of the human voice is soothing as the radios are frequently long as it’s consistently even,” she says. tuned to KJZZ. BOTTOM: In the Valley, KJZZ personalities seem to have passed While few studies have looked the “calm and consistent” test. Patrick Fuchs has been at feline reactions to music, running Animal Aficionado Pet Sitting with his wife, Austrian scientists recently Janet, for a little more than a year, and he says he has concluded that cats seem to caught plenty of his furry clients listening to the station prefer the oboe and bass, as when he arrives for a visit. well as male vocal choirs. “At first, we noticed that a lot of people would leave

PET match Match the KJZZ and KBAQ announcers with their pets. Check page 39 for the answers!

Mozart Buffet host Randy Kinkel


KBAQ announcer Susan Mulligan


KJZZ announcer Blaise Lantana

Jelly Belly

KBAQ announcer Katrina Becker

Rigatoni and Alfredo

KBAQ announcer Janine Miller


KJZZ announcer Steve Goldstein


KBAQ announcer Jon Town

Squirrel & Jada

KJZZ reporter Rene Gutel

Nayla Summer 2009


Paws to Listen According to a recent Scarborough Research report, a large number of KJZZ and KBAQ listeners have pets. Here’s the ownership breakdown: KBAQ KJZZ Household that has a cat: 25.3% 26.5% Household that has a dog: 43.8% 45.3% Household that has an “other” pet: 11.4% 15.8% 38


PET match answers

How to Make a Listener Out of Fluffy and Fido Master trainers JoAnn Bluth and Andy Luper of Greater Phoenix Dog Training offer the following tips to introduce radio to your pets. Introduce radio shows or music at low volumes. Remember, dogs and cats have sensitive ears. Begin by listening together. By introducing music or talk radio to pets when you’re home together in a nonstressful situation, your animals will be more likely to relate the sounds of a program or music to the calm feeling they have when you’re home. Give them a treat. This will make radio sounds a part of positive reinforcement. Pet or massage them while listening every so often. Again, this comforting human contact will be associated with the sound, making them more relaxed by the radio when you’re away.

the television or radio on for their pets,” he says. “Then, we started to realize that a huge percentage of people were letting their pets listen to KJZZ. People want their animals to be calm when they’re gone, and when you think about how it sounds when a commercial comes on, well, it’s not pleasant. NPR leaves that part out. And when I think about it, the reason NPR hooked me is because of its tone and its pace, and I suppose that’s the same for animals.” Fuchs says in many ways the talking on KJZZ acts as a stand-in for pets’ owners, letting the animals feel that someone is in the house with them. And if owners frequently listen to the station together with their pets, linking their physical presence with the sounds, the animals will be even more likely to assume they aren’t alone. Fuchs says he’s been so impressed with the behavior of these animal listeners that he’s started recommending KJZZ to his clients as a way to keep their animal’s anxiety low. “Even my wife and I leave it on for our animals,” he says. While most studies have focused on canine listeners, Valley felines also fancy public radio. But perhaps holding true to their sophisticated stereotype, felines seem to prefer the operas and concertos of KBAQ to the talk and jazz of KJZZ. “For years I have left classical stations on for my cat. I did it with the station I used to listen to in Chicago, and when I moved down here, I found KBAQ,” says Marro Skalski of Scottsdale. Skalski’s 18-year-old cat, Ollie, gets regular acupuncture treatments and works with two oncologists as he’s starting to feel the effects of age. But no treatment comforts Ollie as much as his KBAQ listening sessions. “This kind of music is just so beautiful, so soothing, and it can really calm people. I think that applies across the board to animals,” Skalski says, adding that she shares articles she finds about the benefits of playing music for animals with shelters and other pet owners whenever she can. And Skalski isn’t the only one turning animals into listeners. On the other side of town, Diane Seegers is already introducing a new canine to the classics, knowing the joy it brought to her late furry friend. Her new 9month-old apricot poodle, Esko, is being served Bach and Mozart in puppy-sized doses, since his puppy energy only lets him sit still for so long. But Seegers is confident he’ll come around. “He seems to be taking to it,” she says. “Esko is a KBAQ listener in training.”

Mozart Buffet host Randy Kinkel

Morty, a 10+-year-old beagle who Kinkel adopted

KBAQ announcer Susan Mulligan

Squirrel, the dwarf hamster, and Jada, the cocker spaniel

KJZZ announcer Blaise Lantana

Nayla, the alpaca, whose name means “I love you”

KBAQ announcer Katrina Becker

Tartini, named for the Italian Baroque composer Giuseppe Tartini

KBAQ announcer Janine Miller

Jelly Belly, an Australian White’s tree frog

KJZZ news anchor and reporter Steve Goldstein

Trudi, 3, who was adopted at the Humane Society last August

KBAQ announcer Jon Town

Jake, a 2-year-old Bengal

KJZZ reporter Rene Gutel

Rigatoni, 3, (in jersey) and Alfredo, 5 Summer 2009


Local Girl Made Good As an NPR newscaster, Korva Coleman reports from all over the nation. But she never forgets her Phoenix roots.


By Walt Lockley



ven by the standards of National Public Radio personalities, Korva Coleman’s voice wafts out of the radio with a remarkably sensible, reassuring smoothness. There’s a ton of information encoded in just a few words, part of the magic of radio. If you’re reading this, you’re likely to recognize Coleman’s tone instantly. As an NPR newscaster, she regularly writes, produces and delivers news for All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. She’s also a substitute host for Talk of the Nation, Weekend All Things Considered and, memorably, she’s filled in for Carl Kasell on Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me! But a few people around Phoenix find Coleman’s voice especially familiar. Her mom, for one. Coleman was born and raised here in the Valley and graduated from Maryvale High in the 1980s. She also has a special relationship with KJZZ, counting former general manager Carl Matthusen among her mentors (although maybe not in the way you’d expect). Coleman chose her profession partly from listening to local Phoenix station KOY, once the Valley’s top AM station. KOY was the source of considerable audio allure for her, an influence on her perceptions growing up and, incidentally, the former employer of some familiar KJZZ names. (Coleman laughingly remembers acting like a starstruck kid when, years later, Matthusen introduced her to Dennis Lambert and Doug Ramsey— two of her childhood idols.) So she chose radio, and started her career with a string of “horrible and exhilarating” experiences at a couple of Christian stations in Arizona. She landed her first full-time radio job in Tucson, learning commercial radio on reel-to-reel equipment and from the ground up, serving as news director, part-time engineer, occasional janitor and host of live events, all while scripting commercials and splicing tape. Improvising her way through all that, under pressure, was the best possible radio education. But enjoyed far better in retrospect. Following a couple of energetic head-butting philosophical conversations with the evangelical ownership, Coleman moved on. If the stars had aligned differently she might have headed to KJZZ, but in the mid-80’s she decided instead to move east to Washington, DC, to attend the historically black Howard University. What surprised Coleman most about moving from Arizona to the East Coast? She laughs, “The cold. And you know, it’s still just as cold. After 22 years I still haven’t gotten used to it,” she says. “But you’re looking for a more serious answer, and that is

that Phoenix, in the Maryvale area, was a great place to grow up in the 1970s, but of course a homogeneous place. One didn’t experience any racial and cultural differences in a meaningful way. What hit me at Howard and in Washington wasn’t simply the exposure to that historical black experience, it was a new consciousness about a broader kind of diversity, an entire spectrum of differences, learning about Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, for instance. Eye-opening, to say the least.” Howard also provided an introduction to the sometimes-tricky personal politics of those, like Coleman, with biracial backgrounds. She was working hard at Howard in the spring of 1989 when Lee Atwater was appointed to Howard’s board of trustees. You might recall Atwater as campaign strategist for Strom Thurmond and the first President Bush, the political mastermind behind the infamous 1988 “Willie Horton” TV ad, and a man nobody would describe as a civil rights champion. To put it mildly, Atwater’s appointment didn’t sit well with Howard’s student body. It resulted in the largest show of American campus unrest since the Nixon administration. More than two hundred students occupied the administration building, while hundreds of others protested outside for four days straight, until Atwater resigned. And Coleman—in the right place at the right time—covered it all from the inside out, for the Washington Afro-American newspaper. A fortunate break, but not exactly an accident. As Coleman explains, the reason for broadcast reporters being career gypsies isn’t the job market, or pure restlessness. It has more to do with reporters “putting themselves in the place where lightning can strike,” she says. It happened to Edward R. Murrow in wartime London, to Dan Rather on Galveston Island, to Wolf Blitzer during Desert Storm. And, on a smaller scale, lightning struck Korva Coleman at Howard in 1989. In the ensuing years she also worked her way through school, produced and hosted an overnight news program called First Edition at WAMU-FM in Washington, and attended law school at Georgetown. All of which paved her way to NPR, where she’s very happy. Would she share some NPR office gossip? Rumors from the studio? “Well,” she says, “it’s an office full of extraordinary people.” Susan Stamberg is exactly as you’d expect and hope her to be. Liane Hansen is the kindest person Coleman knows; Ray Suarez, the smartest, with Robert Siegel, whom she affectionately calls “The Rabbi,” running a close second. When asked which broadcaster Coleman

Korva Coleman in the fall of ‘73, when she was in the fifth grade. “I’m not and never was a very ‘girly’ person and I absolutely hated that dress. But my mother insisted,” she says.

Summer 2009


admires most, she pauses and blurts out, “Jon Stewart! Does he count?” “KJZZ is my home station, although I only worked for commercial stations in Arizona. Most of the NPR broadcasters maintain connections with a particular local station, a kind of adoption. That’s your home station,” she says. “For instance, Scott Simon retains strong ties to Chicago. I claimed KJZZ as my home station, after the fact.” She makes a point of making KJZZ aware of what she’s doing and what’s going on in Washington, serving as the kind of informal liaison that’s easy to overlook, and absolutely priceless. Somewhere along the way she also claimed the station’s former general manager Carl Matthusen as one of her mentors. “Oh, he’s been wonderful,” she says. “At times I’ve really leaned on his thinking, and his advice.” For his part, Matthusen says Coleman didn’t need much education or mentoring, she was

A photo of Coleman just after high school, in the mid-1980s. “Love the belly shirt and the big hair,” Coleman says. “What an awful fashion that was.”

My Maryvale Korva Coleman shares 14 favorite memories from her Arizona youth. Legend City. “This was the early theme park in the Phoenix area and all us kids longed to go there. Got my first kiss there, too.”

Manzanita Speedway. “I first saw Dale Earnhardt here.” Tubing Down the Salt. “If you have a bucket list, put this on it. You’ll need an extra tube for your cooler to hold your Dos Equis and chips.”

The Deuce. “Home of the Phoenix homeless population. I considered becoming a photojournalist and shot a series on this for a college course.”

Palo Verde Nuclear Reactor. “When it was being built, it would start up and shut down and start up and shut down. KOY-AM afternoon announcer Alan Chilcoat wrote a theme song for it.”

Palo Verde Library. “The first place I fell in love with books. I participated in the summer reading program every year until I went to junior high.”


Ho and Hum Roads, Carefree. “Did you ever stand on the corner and laugh your ass off, like I did? Don’t forget to dine at the Horny Toad.”

The Cine Capri. “All other movie theaters are pale imitations. I saw the premiere of Star Wars there and will never forgive former Governor Fife Symington for tearing it down and building offices there.”

Phoenix Fire Station #3. “I loved visiting the HazHogs (hazardous materials) firefighters whom my uncle captained there. And sitting in the fire truck!”


already “fully equipped” when he met her. During his years on the NPR board of directors he’d make it a point to say hello on his trips to headquarters in Washington. It’s not every organization where you’d find the chairman of the board, which Matthusen was at the time, taking a moment to stop downstairs and hug the AFTRA union shop steward, which Coleman was at the time. But that’s the nature of their relationship, and of NPR. Her closing thought is about KJZZ and public radio in general. “Like Kurt Vonnegut said, ‘If you are an American, you must allow all ideas to circulate freely in your community, not merely your own.’ I stay conscious of the idea that my listeners, as a group, are smarter than I am. I wouldn’t want them to be overpowered or silenced by what they hear. They shouldn’t feel told or taught,” she says. “It’s supposed to be a two-way conversation. That’s the essential thing about public radio, that relationship that’s very, very different than commercial stations, and it means the community has to get involved and stay involved.”

Statesman’s Club. “At the top of the building across from Park Central. One ascended by means of the outdoor glass elevator. I drank zillions of Shirley Temples here as a girl while waiting for my aunt, a businesswoman, to complete her meetings.”

The *Original* Garcia’s on 35th Avenue. “They still have the best chips in town.”

Skate World on 44th Street. “I used to D.J. Thursday evenings when I was at ASU. I think I got paid $20. It was badly needed gas money.”

Maryvale. “Thank you, John F. Long, for building affordable housing that my parents and all other former military families could purchase. It’s my home neighborhood, and I still love it.”

Pete’s Fish & Chips in Tolleson. “I grabbed food here as I went to work at KRDS-AM, my first radio job. The transmitter and studios were in the middle of a Tolleson farmer’s field.”

Summer 2009


travel Story and photos by Peter Aleshire

Man of the Houseboat How a week on Lake Powell brought a family together.

Admittedly, a week on a houseboat on Lake Powell comes with a five-star resort price tag, but there’s not a resort in the world with as much scenery, solitude and kid-friendly activities. That includes the many quiet beaches (shown here) or the chance to hike up side canyons (below).


took the helm as we departed the marina for the splendor of Lake Powell, struggling to maintain my dignity despite having no idea what I was doing. My greatest fear was that I would run the 52-foot houseboat aground in some spastic throttle confusion. A secondary concern was being the object of teenage ridicule for my still-creased “Captain” T-shirt. I’d raised my then-teenaged sons Seth and Noah to be my motley crew, but faced rising competition from peers, telephones and girls. So I figured I’d lure them onto Lake Powell for some



enforced family togetherness. We labored up-lake 45 minutes until Seth and Noah asked me to stop so they could ride the Jet Ski. I wrestled momentarily with my parental roles. After all, I’d spent 16 years trying to keep them alive by vividly depicting the terrible things lurking beyond my protective grasp. But, they’re supposed to grow up. I was supposed to let them. It was in my job description— at the bottom of page one. “Sure,” I said, struggling to suppress visions of Noah’s blond head bobbing directly in front of a tour boat.

Lake Powell is a 200-mile-long water storage reservoir. The dramatic fluctuations in water levels are demonstrated by the high water mark (top). A 10-year drought caused a dramatic drop in water levels, which have come back up significantly in the past two years. Some environmental groups are pushing to drain the lake and restore drowned Glen Canyon, since the reservoir mostly provides backup for the much larger downstream Lake Mead. However, houseboaters and jet skiers (bottom) savor the lake’s recreational possibilities.

1963. The lake immediately became an ambiguous symbol of human will. The drowning of all but the final 15 miles of Glen Canyon stands as one of the great environmental crimes of all time for those who knew the Canyon, with its now drowned grottoes, fluted tunnels and winding back canyons. Boaters on the lake today see only cliff tops, which merely hint at the now-buried treasures. The lake also swallowed a long section of warm, flood-prone Colorado River, and helped virtually wipe out native fishes like the six-foot-long Colorado squawfish, several species of bottom-feeding suckers, and chubs. On the other hand, the lake offered new possibilities. Trout filled the Colorado, while largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass, catfish, carp, sunfish, crappie, pike and walleye populated the lake. The lake poses more ecological obstacles for fish than you might think, thanks to fluctuating They raced through my water levels, barren rock shores cautions for the Jet Ski, then and steep drop-offs—all of which gleefully fired it up. I watched inhibit shoreline vegetation. So the in amazement as my babies state released algae-eating threadfin shot across Lake Powell. shad into the lake, waited for the They weaved, veered and population to build, then released raced. They zigged, jumped and voracious striped bass. These zagged. They careened, splashed open-ocean pack hunters chase and ejected. They sped from the the lake’s schools of shad. The mother ship, becoming a dot. Then they roared back, grinning bass herd the shad to the surface, then cut through the dense pack so ferociously I feared they’d with great slices of razor-sharp split their faces. teeth. Canny fishermen look to Now this is going to sound hovering gulls and water riffles silly. But I got all choked up. I for signs of these feeding bass. thought of the first day Noah Flocks of migrating waterfowl walked, and the day Seth mastered have also adopted the lake, attended “Da Da.” by their various predators. That’s I decided then that casting why Lake Powell and nearby pormy family on the lake’s waters was a good idea after all. I knew it tions of the Grand Canyon boast would do us good, to hole up on the most breeding pairs of peregrine falcons in the U.S. Once nearly this floating RV for as long as exterminated by DDT, which we could afford to feed the insatiable outboards propelling caused disastrous thinning of raptor eggshells, peregrines have our travels across Lake Powell’s bounced back—as have migrating 27 million acre-feet of water. bald eagles, which use the lake The lake, with nearly 2,000 miles of coastline, was created by and canyon in winter. The peregrines nest in the sandstone the United States Bureau of cliffs, pouncing on unwary swifts, Reclamation when it built 710swallows, ducks, grebes and coots foot-tall Glen Canyon Dam in Summer 2009 45

Pete’spicks After 20 years of fishing, boating and splashing about, Lake Powell remains my favorite lake in the world. But Arizona boasts many wonderful runners-up in my private great lakes sweepstakes. Here are a few:


APACHE LAKE Location: About 65 miles northeast of Phoenix Size: 2,568 acres My favorite lake close to Phoenix, although Canyon Lake’s a second. Canyon Lake is closer and slotted by beautiful cliffs, but it’s on the small side and crowded in the boating season. So if you’ve got the time and nerves for a beautiful but sometimes scary dirt road, push on for Apache Lake. LAKE PLEASANT Location: 19 miles northeast of Peoria Size: 10,000 acres Not quite as pretty as the Salt River reservoirs, Lake Pleasant provides the West Valley with great boating and fishing— including the state’s biggest white bass population.


CHEVELON LAKE Location: Mogollon Rim country Size: 208 acres Slotting in a narrow canyon bristling with ponderosa pine, this jewel of a lake is protected from crowds by a steep trail that weeds out casual hikers. That makes it a great place to sit by the water alone.


CHRISTMAS TREE LAKE Location: White Mountain Apache Reservation Size: 41 acres This pristine lake in the normally closed area of the White Mountain Apache Reservation has become a blue-ribbon fishery for the rare Apache trout, which grow to record size in its waters. The Apaches charge visitors a daily fee, which buys access to some of the best fishing and most spectacular scenery in Arizona.




LAKE HAVASU Location: Colorado River Size: 19,000 acres Lake Havasu offers a different experience from scenic, remote Lake Powell. Big outboards, hotdogging Jet Skis, serious fishermen and some kayakers dominate here. Lots of facilities, hotels, even casinos on the Nevada side.

with 200-mile-per-hour rushes that snatch your breath away. But the species taking most conspicuous advantage of the lake is Homo sapiens. Nearly three million people visit each year, many from outside the U.S. Most cluster around the lake’s south end, staying in motels in Page, at the Wahweap Lodge, in trailers at the Wahweap Marina, or aboard a rental houseboat, leaving hundreds of miles of isolated canyons for other houseboaters and campers to work on their relationships with sun, rock, water and scenery. The cheapest way to enjoy the lake is to rent a small bass boat, load up sleeping bags, tent, stove and food, and camp wherever you find a spit of sand. It’s a spectacular experience, offering astonishing scenery, secluded campsites and minimal exertion. The most comfortable, and expensive, way to savor the lake remains a rented houseboat that sleeps 12 and offers ceiling fans, microwave, air-conditioning and amenities rivaling five-star hotels. If you rent a houseboat, add a smaller boat to explore side canyons, ski and putter about. You should also bring gas money—since both houseboat and ski boat eat gas. But I tried not to think about the money as we headed into the unknown. Well, somewhat unknown. I did have a map detailing every canyon and cove. But I soon found I could barely tell

main channel from side canyon, much less keep track of what we’d passed. I did my best to prevent my uncertainty from alarming my family. I was, after all, DAD. I practiced maneuvering the houseboat, gradually losing my terror of unseen rocks or my irrecoverably beaching the behemoth or crumpling her bow against a cliff. The boat proved easy enough to pilot, once you mastered the two independently controlled outboards, which can pivot the monster around itself. Wind provided the major complication, since the boat sits high on aluminum pontoons, its sides catching breezes like terminally unadjustable sails. But as the days slipped by without disaster, I relaxed and we gradually adapted to lake time. I rose each morning at first light and hurried off with my camera to capture conspiracies of light, stone and water. I found myself enraptured by cliff reflections, and by the swirls of ancient sand dunes frozen into stone. Sporadically, we fished. To my astonishment, all but I reeled in respectable fish—including two largemouth bass and two bluegills. Elissa, my wife, proved adept at spotting the underwater combination of boulder and tamarisk where bass like to ambush passing mouthfuls. Normally, we release our catch. But we hadn’t brought enough food for the entire trip, and stood in need of meals. I was assigned the task of beheading the catch. So I took my victims aside— ostensibly to protect my family’s sensitivities, actually to hide mine. I hate killing fish. They look so surprised. Mostly, the trip provided for family bonding in slot canyons and on lazy beaches. But it also offered a lesson in fatherhood. Seth Aleshire shows off a couple of Determined to show bass he hooked in Lake Powell. them Rainbow Bridge’s

many times I checked, the fuel gauge remained on “E.” We continued in silence for another 10 minutes before it was obvious the canyon was not turning east. In fact, it simply ended. This wasn’t the main channel. At this moment, a nice couple putt-putted past in a rubber raft. “Excuse me,” I said. “Where is Dangling Rope Marina?” The couple exchanged looks, then turned back with something approaching pity. “It’s a ways from here,” said “We’re going north,” she observed. the man. awesome 290-foot-high arch, I “No, we’re not,” I protested. “You go back to the main packed up the ski boat and She shrugged. channel—the way you came— skimmed down the canyon in I squinted at the sun. Odd. and turn left,” said the woman. which we’d slept. I executed a We did seem to be going north. “Oh,” I said, feeling the snappy right into the main “The canyon bends,” I said. silence, “thanks.” channel. We thrummed along, I hoped my sons would not leaving an admirable wake. I looked “It’ll go east soon.” Elissa, Seth and Noah exchanged be too disillusioned. dapper in my Captain shirt. “Well,” I blustered, “I guess “Shouldn’t we be going east?” glances—but exercised discretion. I scanned the canyon with that counts as a mistake. Bet you asked Elissa. growing anxiety—no matter how didn’t know I made those,” I said. “Well,” I sputtered, “I guess.”

Once More

to the lakes

Listeners recommend where to dive in. Compiled by David M. Brown

Of all the Arizona lakes I’ve been to, ALAMO LAKE is my favorite. It’s a good drive from Phoenix, and a great glimpse of what makes Arizona unique. The drive follows U.S. Route 60 through Surprise and Wickenburg, then out to small farming towns like Aguila and Wenden. There’s virtually no traffic, and the closest towns are Wenden and Salome, about 45 minutes from the lake. These towns have delicious home cooking in locally owned restaurants. There are also two affordable, local—not chain— hotels in the area that speak to the state’s history. One welcomes dogs while the other has some dog-friendly rooms. Alamo Lake also has friendly park rangers, plenty of camping, great

fishing, wild burros on occasion, and we’ve never found it crowded, which is a great plus. — Alison Mejia

Alamo Lake State Park, Wenden; 928-669-2088. Reach the lake by driving on Alamo Dam Road 38 miles north from Wenden. North of Globe, approximately 30 miles from U.S. Route 60, sits a beautiful reservoir—ROOSEVELT LAKE. The ride on State Route 188 has been enhanced to make it one of the prettiest drives in the state. Mountains surround the highway and provide views of pristine desert wilderness, flush with saguaros, cholla and other desert brush. Occasionally you can spot a deer, javelina, coyote or bobcat. The reward at the end of the ride is the opportunity to fish, picnic, hike, water ski or just gaze at the beauty. The area is situated in part

Seth patted my shoulder. “Dad—we knew.” “We’ve known for a long time,” said Noah, his expression quivering at the edge of a smirk. Perhaps they were closer to grown than I’d thought.




A thousand years ago, now vanished cultures built cliff dwellings in overhangs eroded into the sandstone overlooking Glen Canyon.

In an upcoming issue, we’ll offer a guide to Superstition Mountain and its environs. Got a favorite restaurant, motel, trail or such? Let us know, by writing wavelength@fpraz.org.

that some of the most glorious hiking trips I’ve ever taken have been around LAKE POWELL. Yes, the Glen Canyon Dam was controversial, but the opportunities it Theodore Roosevelt Lake, Tonto opened up for access to strange National Forest; 602-225-5200. Reach the lake by driving 80 miles and beautiful lands cannot be denied. from Phoenix via the mostly There are so many ways to unpaved Apache Trail, 30 miles over the paved State Route 88 from see this place—easy ones like houseboating or visiting the dam Globe or via the Beeline Highway itself, difficult trips like backpacking (State Route 87) and State 188. around Navajo Mountain to see CANYON LAKE is a wonderfully Rainbow Bridge, and everything in between. Most recently, I peaceful destination that offers tranquil kayaking in remote coves hiked for a week with a Northern away from the powerboats on the Arizona University Elderhostel group to visit slot canyons in and main lake. There are restaurants around Lake Powell. Each was more at Canyon Lake or Tortilla Flat to restore your energy after boating. interesting than what came before. — Janet Wise — George Thoeming

of the Tonto National Forest, so passes are required. What a beautiful place to be! — Barbara Cox

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area covers more than 200 miles of southern Utah and northern Arizona. Lee’s Ferry and the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center are located on State Route 89A. Carl Hayden Visitor Center in Page is I’m a lover of dry lands, a hiker on State Route 89. For information, and backpacker, but I must admit call 928-608-6404. Canyon Lake, Tonto National Forest; 480-610-3300. Reach the lake by driving 15 miles from Apache Junction on State Route 88, the Apache Trail (the road is paved, but watch for sharp turns).

Summer 2009 47



Summer 2009 49



patron profile By Kristen Forbes

Mental Gymnastics

Suzanne Grenell


“When I graduated from high school in 1969 it was pretty much assumed that if you were female, you would be a nurse or a teacher,” explains Suzanne Grenell, who taught social science in her native Minnesota from 1973 to 1979. When the culture shifted, Grenell came to Arizona and earned her MBA from Arizona State University in 1982. For the next 23 years, Grenell worked at Intel in a position that allowed her to structure her own days and travel the globe. Over that time, Grenell learned to tap into her creative side by writing down her thoughts. Today, piles of notebooks line the walls of her house, and she has published four books. It’s a good thing Grenell—who dubs herself “a poet with an MBA”—learned to make her thoughts known. When she was

diagnosed with breast cancer, first in 1993 and then again in 1999, she had to insist on being heard. “Both times I had breast cancer, my doctors didn’t catch it, even though I went to them and said, ‘There’s a lump here,’” Grenell says. When it came to fighting for her health, breast cancer was only the beginning. Over the last dozen years, Grenell has also been living with trigeminal neuralgia— a disease so painful, it’s called “the suicide disease.” In January 2004, Grenell underwent surgery to fix “a nerve that’s wrapped incorrectly around a blood vessel” in the brain. Recovery required months of rest—no easy feat for someone who wouldn’t slow down for cancer, treating radiation as just another errand for her trip home from work.


A poet heals her body while exercising her mind.

The Patrons Leadership Society (PLS) is a diverse group of philanthropic individuals 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.

During her recovery, Grenell found a beacon: KJZZ. “You’re talking about a really active person: single, career-oriented, worldwide traveler. And then all of a sudden, I’m at home and recovering from surgery. NPR was my lifeline. I’m a big-picture person who’s interested in the world and deep thoughts and discussions. Listening to NPR was healing for me. I didn’t feel like I was alone. NPR came into my bedroom and helped me to keep learning and keep my mind active.” Today, Grenell is again active in body as well as mind. Free of cancer, pain and medication, she does Pilates regularly and appreciates the “head to toe to soul” fitness it provides, just as she appreciates the mental workouts she still gets from KJZZ.

Summer 2009




local flavor By RaeAnne Marsh Photography by Emily Piraino

Deals to Dine For Places where a little green goes a long way.


hese days, everyone’s looking for deals. And in the spirit of uncovering affordable options, KJZZ and KBAQ listeners recommended several appetizing spots that won’t break the bank.

Above: Tucked inside a strip mall, the cheerful Mi Cocina, Mi País serves huge portions at small prices. Here, a helping of Peruvian ceviche. Inset: Latin American souvenirs lend the restaurant authentic ambience.

Mi Cocina, Mi País: Ecuador and More outh America beckons behind a small doorway in a nondescript strip mall a few miles west of Interstate 17. Welcome to Mi Cocina, Mi País (“My Kitchen, My Country”). With her Ecuadorian roots as jumping-off point, owner Rosa Rosas serves delectable dishes inspired by


Ecuador, Columbia, Peru and Argentina. (Warning: Her Argentine carne asada— marinated overnight—may cause some to adjust their “hot” tolerance; the Ecuadorian version comes without the fire.) Traditional dishes, with a pinch of Rosas’ spark and spices, must get final approval

from customers before earning a permanent spot on the menu. The restaurant’s regulars also contribute to the friendly atmosphere by adding mementos from their travels to a hutch facing the half-dozen tables. Make a meal of the Pastel Criollo de Pollo, a light pastry filled with vegetables and tender chicken, seasoned with imported chili: three for $5.25. Or add one to an entrée for $1.85. Full meals, which run about $10, include plantains, served as either a crispy pancake or crunchy chips, and a cupcake-size helping of rice. Banana leaves make an eyecatching “boat” for the Sudado de Pescado—cod prepared in a traditional banana-leaf-wrapped and oven-roasted style, split open to show off stripes of green, red and yellow bell peppers. Splurge for a $6 dessert and dig into the sweet potato pie, its caramelized surface adorned with lime meringue kisses. Cooking trumped accounting when Rosas changed careers after developing a successful kitchen program at the nonprofit where she once worked. She fortified her switch by coming to Arizona, earning a certificate from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and serving for several years in the kitchen of the acclaimed RoxSand before opening Mi Cocina, Mi País six years ago. Mi Cocina, Mi País 4221 W. Bell Road, Phoenix; 602-548-7900

Summer 2009 53

Hot dog! The latest bargain food find comes courtesy of Mexico—the Sonoran hot dog. Pablo Perez offers up his take on the dish, which actually dates back some 40 years.

Nogales Hot Dogs: Frankly Appealing ablo Perez has been offering

Palfresco dining for seven years at 20th Street and Indian School Road. But his operation is only visible at night—when he pulls up his van and, in 15 minutes, transforms his landlord’s parking lot into a sidewalk café. His specialty: Sonoran hot dogs. Common in the region that gives it its name, the Sonoran hot dog includes toppings more varied than mere mustard or ketchup—although those condiments are offered on each table, along with red and green chile sauces. But first, there’s the chicken, beef and pork hot dog, bacon-wrapped and smothered in pinto beans, chopped fresh tomatoes, onions and mayo. Then hit the accessories table for sliced mushrooms, grated cheddar and Cotija cheeses, sliced and whole jalapeños, and a drizzle of guacamole sauce. If that’s not enough, go for it and ask for 54


grilled onions or chiles. At $2.75 each, the dogs ding the dinner budget lightly. Add a bottled Mexican soda for $1.50 and you’ve got a meal. Dine on site or use the friendly drive-through, or rather, drive-alongside service. Tables seat four, all with equal access to the stars, but only two with a view of the TV.For Phoenix’s few rainy nights, Perez breaks out a canopy for the faithful— who can go to the dogs 6:00 p.m. to midnight every day except Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Nogales Hot Dogs 1945 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix; 602-527-0208

L’Academie Café: Coup de Kitchen erched on the second floor

Pof one of Scottsdale’s best-

known buildings, L’Academie Café overlooks downtown Scottsdale through the Galleria’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

If the name conjures up impressions of “education” and “France,” there’s good reason: L’Academie is part of Scottsdale Culinary Institute’s Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. So however captivating the view outside, the real show is in the exhibition kitchen that fills most of the room’s north side. Prices reflect the chefs’ novice status, which means bargains abound (a grilled New York steak with cabernet demi-glace and potatoes is $16). The students

Students do it all at L’Academie Café—purchase the food, wait tables, cook, serve and cashier. Their stint in the classroom makes for a great dining deal.

generally have five or six classes under their aprons before their three-week stint at L’Academie. (It is, however, the servers’ first time in the front of the house. But their instructor’s watchful eye ensures professionalism—plus they seem genuinely eager to please.) Highlighting French techniques, the menu reflects both classical training and modern tastes. Traditional coq au vin morphs into a tasty pinot noirglazed chicken, served with fingerling potatoes and pancettamushroom ragout for $14. And L’Academie’s American-bistro side shines in its salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Reservations are advised.

Spacious and airy with contem– porary decor, the dining room is deceptive as to seats actually available. The number of reservations accepted depends on what the students can cover, and this varies with class size. L’Academie 4301 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480-425-3025; dinewithsci.com

Sustainable Sustenance In a future issue, we’ll look at some of the best places to partake in locally grown or crafted fare. Got a suggestion? E-mail us at wavelength@fpraz.org.

Been There,

happy to share


1813 E. Baseline Road, Tempe; 480-730-7770 It’s a hole-in-the-wall place with shelves of Indian specialty grocery items, a few tables and even less ambience—but the food is great (as evidenced by the Indians that frequent it) and dirt cheap. Mounds of flavorful and unprocessed food can be had for less than a typical fastfood combo meal. —David Seiter MCCORMICK & SCHMICK’S

2575 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602-468-1200 8777 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480-998-2026 mccormickandschmicks.com The happy hour specials on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m. are regular meals: a cheeseburger with all the accoutrements for $1.95, or a full order of steamed black clams for $4.95, for instance. It’s filling, the food is excellent, and you don’t have to wait long—the chefs must be ready to go! And I like the setting; it’s a very nice bar and patio. —Ken Muhich THE GOLDEN GREEK

7126 N. 35th Ave., Phoenix; 602-841-7849 I no longer have the pleasure of living in the Valley, but when I was there I ate at the Golden Greek whenever I had the chance. It’s a little gem. The food is authentically eastern Mediterranean and very tasty; the prices are reasonable; and the family that runs it is friendly. The downside, if one should call it that, is there are only about a dozen tables. —Dave Clark


4140 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix; 602-351-2345 I’ve been eating here for 14 years and it’s never let me down; quality is always topnotch, including tamales and burros made with hand-stretched tortillas. The restaurant is Native American-owned—Tohono O’odham—and the walls are covered with original Native American art. The deep-fried bread is served with honey, powdered sugar, chocolate or cinnamon, or as a savory version that’s like an Indian taco. The most expensive is the Ultimate Taco: $7.19, stuffed with everything. You can take it home, but it tastes best right out of the grease. —Judy Thomé ZOËS KITCHEN

1641 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602-263-9637 521 W. McDowell Road, Phoenix; 602-716-0070 zoeskitchen.com What I especially like about Zoës is its multitude of low-fat choices. It’s a health-conscious menu, but not just soybeans and tofu. My favorite is the grilled chicken—a good-sized portion that comes with a serving of Greek salad and rice pilaf. Dinners are $8 to $10; they also have good sandwiches and salads. Decor is simple and colorful, and the food is always very fresh. —Rick Marsh


cooking—think biscuits smothered with sausage gravy, thick slices of bacon and fat For wonderful Vietnamese noodle rolls of sausage—this is the spot for you. I order the Eggs soups called ph ‘ and a variety of lovely Vietnamese sandwiches Plus, and here’s what I get: made on crusty French baguettes, two eggs any style; bacon, look to the Tea Light Café in north sausage, steak or ham; biscuits and gravy, or panPhoenix. The prices are cheap, cakes, or toast; and hash the ingredients fresh, and the browns—all for only $5.39. owner friendly. The children’s meal I get for —Wendy Neideck my daughter is called the junior pancake sandwich: TJ’s Restaurant an egg, pancakes, and 310 N. Dysart Road, Avondale; bacon or sausage for $3.99. 623-932-0309 —Cathy Weaver If you like good country

7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix; 480-538-1600 o˛

Listeners share bargain bites.

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.


15414 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix; 602-375-3639 1825 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler; 480-889-5990 chinobandido.com Great eats, Mexican-Chinese (no kidding) and great prices. —Kathleen Puckett Summer 2009 55



Summer 2009 57

listener profile By Yvette Johnson

How We Roll The story of two men, one car and two bikes.

Craig Brandenberg and Steve Garlick “When you bicycle your way to where you’re going, you see things, you hear things, you smell things that you don’t when you’re driving a car.” 58




Craig Brandenberg has no regrets about his decision to go carless. And he doesn’t even mind the heat. But both he and Steve Garlick agree that one aspect of bicycling is a drag. “One of the most important aspects to the bicycle lifestyle is developing a strong psychological resolve to flat tires,” Brandenberg says.

“I’ve always admired the carless lifestyle,” says Craig Brandenberg of his decision to get rid of his car and make a bike his main form of transportation. Brandenberg, an avid KJZZ listener, knew that if he was going to donate his car, he wanted the proceeds to benefit public radio. But Brandenberg couldn’t use the writeoff, so he decided to give the car to his coworker and friend, Steve Garlick. Their deal was that Garlick would donate the car, enjoy the tax deduction and, in return, serve Brandenberg one home-cooked meal. After doing some research, Garlick realized that if he could sell the car himself and donate the money to KJZZ, the station would get

more than if the car went to auction. So last summer, with gas prices hovering around $4 per gallon, Garlick listed Craig’s Mazda 626 on, well, Craigslist. The Mazda, which boasts around 30 m.p.g. on the highway, sold within 45 minutes of being posted online. It’s been 10 months since Brandenberg decided to go carless. He has no regrets and feels that his new lifestyle has helped him better connect with his surroundings. He says, “When you bicycle your way to where you’re going, you see things, you hear things, you smell things that you don’t when you’re driving a car.” Garlick, who used to cycle to and from work until he started driving his kids to school, agrees. When he moved to the Valley in 1991, he “really saw no beauty in the desert,” he says. But once he started doing 100-mile rides, he realized “how beautiful this desert really is.” Donating the Mazda changed more than Brandenberg’s mode of transportation. It also changed the way both men listen to the radio. That’s because after helping Brandenberg donate money to KJZZ, Garlick decided to give public radio a try, too. He says that “by the third day, I was an NPR addict, and it is now the only radio station I listen to.” Brandenberg, however, says that one of the few downsides of going carless is that he misses listening to public radio in the car. Now he listens to his favorite shows via podcasts. Looking back, Brandenberg feels like the situation was a win for everyone: Garlick got a tax deduction, KJZZ got a nice donation and Brandenberg got the satisfaction that comes with helping others—that, and some delicious homemade smothered pork chops.

Summer 2009



kbaq 89.5



FM Public Radio Schedule





midnight 1:00 2:00

Classical Music with Scott Blakenship, Ward Jacobson, John Zech and Gillian Martin

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

Sunday Baroque


Classical Music

Classical Music

with Suzanne Bona

with Jane Hilton

with Sterling Beeaff

8:00 9:25 The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor

9:00 10:00

Classical Music with Jane Hilton

Classical Music

Classical Music with Janine Miller

with Janine Miller

with Jane Hilton

11:00 noon

Classical Music

Mozart Buffet with Randy Kinkel

Classical Music

Classical Music

with Katrina Becker

with Jane Hilton

Metropolitan Opera

Classical Music

with Katrina Becker

1:00 2:00

Classical Music with Randy Kinkel


Classical Music


with Jon Town


8:00 9:00 10:00 11:00 60


Classical Music

with Frank Sprague

Performance Today Performance Today with Fred Child and Jon Town

6:00 7:00

with Susan Mulligan

Classical Music

St. Paul Sunday

Classical Music

with Katrina Becker

Southwest Season Ticket

From the Top

Classical Music SymphonyCast

ASU in Concert

with Frank Sprague

Classical Music Classical Music

with Brian Dredla

Classical Music with Katrina Becker, Susan Mulligan or Frank Sprague

Classical Music

with Scott Blakenship and Ward Jacobson

Summer 2009


kjzz 91.5



midnight 1:00 2:00


FM Public Radio Schedule





Classic Jazz

with Paul Anderson

Classic Jazz

Classic Jazz

with Michele Robins

Classic Jazz

Classic Jazz

with Joel Spokas

with Phil Pollard Classic Jazz

3:00 Classic Jazz

4:00 5:00 6:00

Only a Game

BBC Newshour

Morning Edition National and Arizona News, Traffic and Weather Reports

7:00 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


A Prairie Home Companion



BBC’s World Today


PRI’s The World American Routes

8:00 9:00



Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!

Those Lowdown Blues

with Bob Corritore Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz

Classic Jazz with Blaise Lantana

10:00 11:00

A Prairie Home Companion

Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!

Riverwalk Jazz Classic Jazz Classic Jazz

with Paul Anderson

with Michele Robins

Classic Jazz

with Michele Robins

Classic Jazz

Summer Fall 2008 2009


Crossword By Fred Jarmuz

“Hand Over Fist” Across 1. Friend of Jeff 5. Put on notice 9. Throaty utterance 13. “Shaft” composer Hayes 15. “What ___!” (“That’s robbery!”) 16. Tequila sunrise heading 17. Prudential symbol 20. Hierarchies 21. Ear pollution? 22. Signal to start talking 23. 1997 Best Picture Oscar winner 25. Taught, as a dog 29. Caterpillar bristles 30. FedEx alternative 31. Sleep: prefix 35. “__ You Lonesome Tonight?” 36. Occurs to 40. Where ewes roam 41. Marsh bird 43. NY baseball player 44. Providers of excellent service? 46. Wrestling maneuver 50. Most concise 53. Govt. job-training prog. 54. “It’s been __ pleasure” 55. Where Elijah defeated the

prophets of Baal 59. Activity indicated by 17-, 25-,

and 46- across 62. Elvis Presley, in the 50’s and 60’s 63. Pt. of IHOP 64. Like “The Twilight Zone”

episodes 65. Small paving stone 66. Demolish in London 67. Like a closed theater

Down 1. “No time to wallow in the

___” (The Doors lyric)

6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

2. Athlete of the Year awarder: Abbr. 14. 3. Dashboard dial, briefly 18. 4. What a Brit might do in the 19. afternoon 23. 5. German composer who’s 24. heard on KBAQ 25. 64


Fleischer and Onassis Barbecue item Neal Conan’s network Changes film Actor John of “The Addams Family” East German secret police Life: A User’s Manual author Georges Used crayons Helvetica, for one Kitty food? Waiting benefits ___ many words Free radio ads

26. 27. 28. 32. 33. 34. 37. 38. 39. 42. 45. 47. 48. 49. 50.

Flying start? Wing: prefix or suffix Women with nephews Stick in the fridge? Blackbird Onetime Wall St. letters Jacques’ pals Bridge seat Ashe contemporary Onslaught Used plastic Room at Shawshank Pie chart section, perhaps Invoice abbr. Old wall covering

51. 52. 55. 56. 57. 58. 60. 61.

Lose ground? Transplant, in a way Fin. forums NPR correspondent Liasson Kuwaiti bigwig Soup vegetable Beach-ball filler Genetics letters

The solution to this puzzle appears on page 55.

Summer 2009




Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.