Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Proclaimed by the Governor each year, this celebration will feature over 60 prehistoric and historic site tours, exhibits, hikes, open houses, lectures, demonstrations and other activities throughout Arizona. A free statewide listing of events is available now by contacting the Arizona State Parks offices at (602) 542-4174, or by visiting the ASP website and downloading the document.
The featured event for the month is the ARIZONA ARCHAEOLOGY EXPO. The Expo will offer many educational attractions for archaeology and history buffs and will be held at Yuma Crossing State Historic Park, Yuma, on March 16 and 17, 2007. Both days are open to the public and the event is FREE. The Expo provides a special opportunity for visitors to learn more about why it is important to preserve archaeological sites and historic places, what archaeologists, historians, and tribal members do in their jobs, and about the prehistory and history of Arizona. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Monday, February 26, 2007
Avenue is moving to buy the site from Tempe, which took ownership after another developer’s plan fizzled and the city received the property in the midst of an extended lawsuit. City and business leaders are hopeful the developer will finally bring life to the mill since its 1998 closure. “They’ve done everything that the city has asked them to do and they’re doing it in a very high-quality way,” said Chris Salomone, Tempe’s community development manager. Avenue will present its plans to the City Council Thursday. The company plans to demolish half-century old additions so the 1918 structure will stand as it did originally. Also, Avenue will build a trailhead to Hayden Butte, add parking and buildings along the street to give the area a more urban feel.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo by Leigh Shelle Robertus.]
The year 2007 not only marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, it also marks the 45th anniversary of an important addition to the original monument's boundaries. On April 17, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that added approximately 375 acres containing additional archaeological sites "to round out the interpretive story of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument." As a special centennial event, one of these added sites -- an unexcavated surface pueblo referred to as the TJ Ruin -- will be open for a limited number of guided tours in April. Tours meet at the Gila Visitor Center at 2pm every Tuesday and Saturday, and every day during National Park Week, April 22nd - 29th. There will be no TJ tour on Saturday, April 28th. Group size is limited to 20 people per tour and reservations are recommended. For more information and to make a tour reservation call 505-536-9461. Guided tours of the dwellings will continue to be held daily at noon.
The researchers believe further study may show that the fiery pod was used 1,000 years earlier than their current oldest specimen, as it shows evidence of having been domesticated, a process that would have taken time. If so, that would put chili peppers in the same league (although probably not the same millennium) as hoarier spices such as coriander, capers and fenugreek. The chili pepper, however, makes up for its junior status with rapid spread and wild popularity. Within decades of European contact, the New World plant was carried across Europe and into Africa and Asia, adopted widely, and further altered through selective breeding. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Many of the teenagers in the Alameda, on the edge of Mexico City's historic district, are indigenous peoples, just weeks or months removed from rural pueblos. They are part of a massive movement of minority indigenous Mexicans from the countryside into Mexico City, an unspoken migration within the country's borders that is transforming centuries-old living patterns. For many of these youths from ethnic and Indian groups that predate the Spanish conquistadors, the adoption of hyper-urban styles of dress is a survival strategy. "They face so much discrimination when they come to the city; that's why they transform themselves," said Pedro Gonzalez, a 38-year-old university student and migrant advocate who left Oaxaca for Mexico City when he was 16. "They are looking for a type of identity, because they say, 'Just by myself, I'm going to die.' "
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo by Federico Gama.]
“It’s the perfect wintering place,” he said. “This is an important kudos to the East Valley.” Led by Cynthia Donald, the Maricopa Audubon Society spent two years studying Gilbert’s Water Ranch preserve at Greenfield and Guadalupe roads, as well as the Riparian Preserve at Neely Ranch at Guadalupe and Cooper roads. The two preserves are among about 30 important bird areas in Arizona. Gilbert park ranger Scott Cleaves said the Water Ranch facility has seen a doubling in visitors in the last year. The Neely Ranch facility is closed to the public, but has a bird-viewing area. “It’s important to have a safe haven for these birds,” Cleaves said. “They’re running out of areas as they lose their natural habitat.”
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo by Bob Glen.]
But by 1497, La Isabela's remaining settlers, having found no gold or silver, were desperate to salvage something of value from the failed settlement. They were reduced to extracting silver from the galena they brought from Spain, the researchers said. "This part of the story of Columbus's failed settlement is one that couldn't be found in the historical documents," said Thibodeau, a geosciences graduate student at The University of Arizona in Tucson. "We could never have figured this out without applying the techniques of physical sciences to the archaeological artifacts."
La Isabela, the first European town in the New World, was established by Columbus's second expedition in 1494 on the northern coast of the present Dominican Republic. The approximately 1500 members of the expedition expected to make their fortunes by finding precious metals but instead found hurricanes, hunger and disease. Columbus was recalled to Spain in 1496, and the few hundred remaining inhabitants abandoned the town in 1498. Archaeologists excavating the site in the late 1980s and early 1990s found about 100 pounds of galena, a silver-bearing lead ore, and more than 200 pounds of metallurgical slag. The ore and slag were associated with a small furnace near the alhóndiga, a building for the storage and protection of royal property. Archaeologist Deagan sent pieces of the material to archaeometallurgist Killick for analysis. The slag turned out to be lead silicate -- the end product of an improvised smelting process, Killick said, adding "Lead silicate is good for nothing." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Thursday, February 22, 2007
In 1937, Malcolm was taken from his family by welfare caseworkers. By the time he reached high school age, he had dropped out of school and moved to Boston, where he became increasingly involved in criminal activities. In 1946, at the age of 21, Malcolm was sent to prison on a burglary conviction. It was there he encountered the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam, whose members are popularly known as Black Muslims. The Nation of Islam advocated black nationalism and racial separatism and condemned Americans of European descent as immoral "devils." Muhammad's teachings had a strong effect on Malcolm, who entered into an intense program of self-education and took the last name "X" to symbolize his stolen African identity.
After six years, Malcolm was released from prison and became a loyal and effective minister of the Nation of Islam in Harlem, New York. In contrast with civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X advocated self-defense and the liberation of African Americans "by any means necessary." A fiery orator, Malcolm was admired by the African American community in New York and around the country. In the early 1960s, he began to develop a more outspoken philosophy than that of Elijah Muhammad, whom he felt did not sufficiently support the civil rights movement. In late 1963, Malcolm's suggestion that President John F. Kennedy's assassination was a matter of the "chickens coming home to roost" provided Elijah Muhammad, who believed
that Malcolm had become too powerful, with a convenient opportunity to suspend him from the Nation of Islam.
A few months later, Malcolm formally left the organization and made a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, where he was profoundly affected by the lack of racial discord among orthodox Muslims. He returned to America as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz and in June 1964 founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which advocated black identity and held that racism, not the white race, was the greatest foe of the African American. Malcolm's new movement steadily gained followers, and his more moderate philosophy became increasingly influential in the civil rights movement, especially among the leaders of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. On February 21, 1965, one week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The Trust has put together a resource guide to show how various communities have worked to put in place and adopt tools to manage teardowns and retain the character of neighborhoods that are designated as historic or simply going through significant change. Does this issue concern you or your neighbors (who appreciate your neighborhood's existing character or miss your views blocked by a new structure)? Click here for some resources (in PDF format):
~ Graphic illustrations to help make the case for how teardowns impact older neighborhoods.
~ Terminology of the growing teardown trend.
~ Step-by-step guide and advice for advocating for alternatives, mounting a successful campaign, and strategies for managing teardowns.
And you're welcome to share your teardown story with the Trust and your local preservation group.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
"It's not clear whether we hominins invented this kind of stone technology, or whether both humans and the great apes inherited it from a common forebear," says Mercader, also a Canada Research Chair in Tropical Archaeology. "There weren't any farmers living in this region 4,300 years ago, so it is unlikely that chimpanzees picked it up by imitating villagers, like some scientists used to claim." The stone hammers that the team discovered, essentially irregularly shaped rocks about the size of cantaloupes -- with distinctive patterns of wear -- were used to crack the shells of nuts. The research demonstrates conclusively that the artifacts couldn't have been the result of natural erosion or used by humans. The stones are too large for humans to use easily and they also have the starch residue from several nuts known to be staples in the chimpanzee diet, but not the human diet.
Using so-called "percussive technology" to free the edible parts of nuts is more complicated than it sounds. "We know that modern chimpanzee behaviour regarding nut-cracking is socially transmitted and takes up to seven years to learn," Mercader says. "Some of the nuts require a compression force of more than a thousand kilograms to crack. And the idea is to crack the shell but not smash it -- it's not a simple technique." The discovery suggests that a 'chimpanzee stone age' reaches well back to ancient times. "Chimpanzee material culture has a long prehistory whose deep roots are only beginning to be uncovered," the authors write. Although it's difficult to prove whether the technology was adopted through imitation, another possibility is convergence -- that is, both humans and great apes arrived at the technique independently.
To arrange an interview with Dr. Julio Mercader, contact his office at (403) 220-4856 / 210 8849; cell 681 7061; or email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, or to obtain a copy of the paper, contact Greg Harris, U of C Media Relations, at (403) 220-3506, cell (403) 540-7306 or email email@example.com. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Several whole bodies are featured in the exhibit, positioned in ways we see people every day, enabling visitors to become familiar with the muscles that allow us to jump, or the bones that keep us standing, all preserved through a patented process called plastination. Plastination puts a stop on the deterioration that occurs after death and replaces bodily fluids with soluble fats and reactive polymers through vacuum forced impregnation. The bodies are then posed and harden after curing with gas, heat or light. Grossed out yet? Specimens, collected from generous donors, are posed in order for visitors to view countless physiological features and relate them to his or her own body. If you thought your hair color and the bump in your nose are what made up your individuality, see the human body from a different perspective, from within.
The exhibit is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at The Arizona Science Center, located on the Northwest corner of Washington and 7th Streets in Heritage and Science Park. Tickets for BODY WORLDS 3 are available for purchase either by phone or web and cost between $16 and $22 for non-members and $18.50 for college students. After hours rates apply after 5 p.m. For more information or to make an online purchase, click here and go to the exhibition link.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
When Carter arrived in Egypt in 1891, he became convinced there was at least one undiscovered tomb--that of the little known Tutankhamen, or King Tut, who lived around 1400 B.C. and died when he was still a teenager. Backed by a rich Brit, Lord Carnarvon, Carter searched for five years without success. In early 1922, Lord Carnarvon wanted to call off the search, but Carter convinced him to hold on one more year.
In November 1922, the wait paid off, when Carter's team found steps hidden in the debris near the entrance of another tomb. The steps led to an ancient sealed doorway bearing the name Tutankhamen. When Carter and Lord Carnarvon entered the tomb's interior chambers on November 26, they were thrilled to find it virtually intact, with its treasures untouched after more than 3,000 years. The men began exploring the four rooms of the tomb, and on February 16, 1923, under the watchful eyes of a number of important officials, Carter opened the door to the last chamber.
Inside lay a sarcophagus with three coffins nested inside one another. The last coffin, made of solid gold, contained the mummified body of King Tut. Among the riches found in the tomb--golden shrines, jewelry, statues, a chariot, weapons, clothing--the perfectly preserved mummy was the most valuable, as it was the first one ever to be discovered. Despite rumors that a curse would befall anyone who disturbed the tomb, its treasures were carefully catalogued, removed and included in a famous traveling exhibition called the "Treasures of Tutankhamen." The exhibition's permanent home is the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
"We found it would have too much impact on the outdoor space and number of units for the present and future needs of the Barrett Honors College," said Leah Hardesty, an ASU spokeswoman. The building was built in 1962 on the northwest corner of Apache Boulevard and Rural Road as a Valley National Bank. As Tempe grew southward, the bank lent money to build many of the new homes, and older Tempeans have developed a bond with the building and its specific location, Murray said. "A lot of people say the only thing historic about it was the dome," Murray said. "That's not the case at all. The building itself represented a different time and place." ASU officials tried to appease critics' concerns with a proposal to salvage the gold roof and allow architecture and design students to develop an alternative use on the Tempe campus. But opponents haven't warmed to the idea.
"That's like taking the front porch off of Old Main and making it a hot dog stand down the street," Murray said. "Would you consider that preservation?" Tempe resident Maria Bahr hasn't been able to drive by the corner where the building once stood. "It makes me too sad," she said. "They're destroying the essence of downtown Tempe and the community that used to be here." ASU has been working with the State Historic Preservation Office to preserve as much of the building as possible, Hardesty said. A preservation office official did not return a call for comment Monday. "We do recognize the public perception and the importance of the dome, which is why we are keeping it on the Tempe campus," Hardesty said. Specific plans for the new honors college are still subject to Arizona Board of Regents approval, but it is expected to open in 2009, Hardesty said. [Photo source: Matthew, Modern Phoenix].
1. Improve the coupling of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit (FRTC).
2. Reduce the basis reduction required for a property using the FRTC.
3. Increase the FRTC for smaller projects. The tax credit would be increased from 20% to 40% on the first $1,000,000 of qualified expenditures for projects under $2,000,000. This would be a huge gain for Main Street-type projects.
4. Allow rental housing in "qualified rehabilitated buildings." Currently, the 10% credit for "non-historic" buildings cannot be used for dwellings -- the law would be amended to allow the credit's use for residential rental property.
5. Change the qualifying date for non-historic rehabilitation projects (10% credit projects) from "placed in service before 1936" to placed in service "no less than 50 years prior to the year in which qualified rehabilitation expenditures are taken into account."
6. Fine tune the leasing rules laid out in the current FRTC to reduce the number of community-oriented projects currently adversely impacted without weakening the anti-abuse function designed into the current law. The types of leasing arrangements allowed in the current tax credit program limit community revitalization-oriented projects.
7. Increase the FRTC in "high cost areas" to 130% of qualified rehabilitation expenditures. High cost areas are difficult to develop and officially recognized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). A difficult to develop area (DDA) has high construction and land costs relative to the average local income (Area Median Gross Income or AMGI). Incomes and housing costs are compared in HUD's formula. The 130% increase would also apply to Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs), that is, any census tract in which at least 50% of households have an income less than 60% of the area median or where the poverty rate is at least 25%.
8. Removes a provision within the current law that prevents condominium developments in FRTC projects. The current law requires a developer pay back their credit if the property is sold within five years of a given project's completion.
The Community Restoration and Revitalization Act was first introduced by Representatives Rob Portman (R-OH) and William Jefferson (D-LA) in late 2004. It was reintroduced by Representatives English and Jefferson in 2005.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Alphonse Capone was born in Brooklyn in 1899, the son of Italian immigrants from Naples. The fourth of nine children, he quit school after the sixth grade and joined a street gang. He became acquainted with Johnny Torrio, a crime boss who operated in Chicago and New York, and at the age of 18 Capone was employed at a Coney Island club owned by gangster Frankie Yale. It was while working there that his face was slashed in a brawl, earning him the nickname "Scarface." Capone demonstrated considerable business acumen and was appointed manager of a Torrio speakeasy. Later, Torrio put him charge of the suburb of Cicero. Unlike his boss, who was always discreet, Capone achieved notoriety as he fought for control of Cicero and was even tried (unsuccessfully) for murder.
Capone was in Florida in February 1929 when he gave the go-ahead for the assassination of Bugs Moran. On February 13, a bootlegger called Moran and offered to sell him a truckload of high quality whiskey at a low price. Moran took the bait and the next morning pulled up to the delivery location where he was to meet several associates and purchase the whisky. He was running a little late, and just as he was pulling up to the garage he saw what looked like two policemen and two detectives get out of an unmarked car and head to the door. Thinking he had nearly avoided being caught in a police raid, Moran drove off. The four men, however, were Capone's assassins, and they were only entering the building before Moran's arrival because they had mistaken one of the seven men inside for the boss himself.
Wearing their stolen police uniforms and heavily armed, Capone's henchmen surprised Moran's men, who agreed to line up against the wall. Thinking they had fallen prey to a routine police raid, they allowed themselves to be disarmed. A moment later, they were gunned down in a hail of shotgun and submachine-gun fire. Six were killed instantly, and the seventh survived for less than an hour.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
"At this point, the park is visited by people who know its significance and who are coming there to seriously experience a very unique archaeological site and a sacred site, as well," said Anson Wright, coordinator of the Chaco Alliance. The group is dedicated to protecting the sites. Wright said paving the road will bring in more recreational vehicle traffic. He said it would also increase the chances of vandalism within the ruins, and increased traffic would create the need for more park rangers. Johns disagrees. The only thing (paving) takes away is a dangerous trip, and I think it's a good thing," said Johns, who noted he had witnessed an accident while driving on the road.
Anyone who values Chaco Canyon and all it contains can support the effort to stop paving the road into the canyon. Information about this and the names and addresses to write to are at http://www.dont-pave-chaco.com/. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
The blockbuster proposal is significant because it addresses downtown Phoenix's lack of full-time residents and nightlife, both of which are key to turning the area into a true destination spot. The new district, when complete, could boast comedy clubs, signature restaurants, live-music spots and art galleries, as well as office space, housing units and a hotel. Dale Jensen, part owner of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks, is one of Jackson Street's backers. He said he and his business partners decided to move forward with the idea after realizing that there was nothing to keep people downtown after a Suns or Diamondbacks game.
"The thought was, we have these two big boxes in downtown, the arena and the ballpark, but we really have nothing for people to do but go to that box and go home," he said. Jackson Street marks the second time in recent months that the private sector has turned its attention to downtown Phoenix in a big way. Late last year, Phoenix officials approved plans for CityScape, a megashopping, residential and retail project that will give the downtown area its first grocery store in 25 years. CityScape, which will be just north of the proposed Jackson Street Entertainment District, is expected to complement this newest plan by providing residents and urban workers with a variety of shopping and dining options downtown.
[Note: To read the full article, click here.] [Photo source: Leanne Matzenger.]
Galileo, the son of a musician, was born February 15, 1564, in Pisa, Italy. He entered the University of Pisa planning to study medicine, but shifted his focus to philosophy and mathematics. In 1589, he became a professor at Pisa for several years, during which time he demonstrated that the speed of a falling object is not proportional to its weight, as Aristotle had believed. According to some reports, Galileo conducted his research by dropping objects of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. From 1592 to 1630, Galileo was a math professor at the University of Padua, where he developed a
telescope that enabled him to observe lunar mountains and craters, the four largest satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Jupiter. He also discovered that the Milky Way was made up of stars. Following the publication of his research in 1610, Galileo gained acclaim and was appointed court mathematician at Florence.
Galileo's research led him to become an advocate of the work of the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1573). However, the Copernican theory of a sun-centered solar system conflicted with the teachings of the powerful Roman Catholic Church, which essentially ruled Italy at the time. Church teachings contended that Earth, not the sun, was at the center of the universe. In 1633, Galileo was brought before the Roman Inquisition, a judicial system established by the papacy in 1542 to regulate church doctrine. This included the banning of books that conflicted with church teachings. The Roman Inquisition had its roots in the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, the purpose of which was to seek out and prosecute heretics, considered
enemies of the state.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Comparing the DNA found in the tooth with that sampled from 3,500 Native Americans, researchers discovered that only one percent of modern tribal members have genetic patterns that matched the prehistoric sample. Those who did lived primarily on the Pacific coast of North and South America, from California to Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tip of South America. This suggests that the first Americans may have spread through the New World along a coastal route.
Brian Kemp, a molecular anthropologist who sequenced the DNA, said the discovery underlines the importance of genetic research in understanding human migration. "I think there's a lot of information in these old skeletons that's going to help us clarify the timing of the peopling of the Americas and perhaps where Native Americans originated in Asia," said Kemp, a research associate at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. When and how the first people came to the Americas has been a subject of intense debate. The prevailing theory has been that the first to arrive descended from prehistoric hunters who walked across a thousand-mile (1,600-kilometer) land bridge from Asia to Alaska. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
[Source: Gail Fisher] -- You better hurry and take a last look at the historical Valley National Bank building at Rural Road and Apache Boulevard. On Dec. 28, the Arizona State University Visitor Information Center is vacating the distinctive geodesic domed structure in preparation for the demolition of the building. The Arizona Board of Regents recently approved ASU's request to begin site preparation for the Barrett Honors College and South Campus Academic Village project.
This approval means demolishing the bank building and dismantling the dome for some future reuse on the ASU campus. As required by law, ASU reviewed its plan with the state historical preservation officer. The officer responded that preserving the roof structure and relocating it to another location "are not consistent with the preservation of historical properties, the duties of the agency, and the professional standards which the state historical preservation officer recommends." The officer, unfortunately, has no jurisdiction over the university.
So many in the historical preservation community, and especially in Tempe, have expressed interest in saving the Valley National Bank building - the total building, not just the roof. More than two years ago, ASU asked for developer plans for the site. Developers teamed with architects who studied the site and proposed designs according to university specifications. When the architectural design teams asked about the historical bank already on the property, ASU gave no direction to save it. According to one participating firm, ASU said it wanted to get rid of the whole thing because it was in the way of the new college and academic village. [Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo by Walt Lockley, Modern Phoenix]
The Arizona Preservation Foundation is just one group that is concerned about the improper destruction of this building. The Tempe Historic Preservation Commission, State Historic Preservation Office, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Modern Phoenix Neighborhood Network all support preserving this building and incorporating it into any future projects.
What you can do
- Contact ASU president Michael Crow and let him know that you want to see other options put forward, not just a quasi-attempt at appeasing preservationist by removing the dome and placing it in storage until the College of Design can come up with a suitable use for it.
- Contact the Board of Regents, which includes the Governor, and ask them to reconsider their vote for the demolition of the building. Ask them to recommend that ASU work within state law and not around it.
- Contact the Arizona Preservation Foundation and ask what else you can do to help. We can be reached by e-mail, phone 602-258-1920, or fax 602-283-4177.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Regards, Tom Wilson, President, Museum Association of Arizona.
On Tuesday, February 13th, the American Association of Museums and the Museum Association of Arizona present a full-day program that explores how to advocate on behalf of your museum on the national, state and local levels. It is essential that staff, board members, volunteers and stakeholders be able to make the case effectively for our museums and cultural organizations.
8:00-8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30-8:45 Welcome (Thomas H. Wilson, President, Museum Association of Arizona)
8:45-10:00 Understanding the Political Process
Advocacy isn’t rocket science, but sometimes understanding how things do and don’t get done in Congress can certainly seem like it! In this session we’ll explore what legislators want and who they listen to, the legislative process, legislative terms and buzzwords and how to get your museum's needs into the mix. (Ember Farber, Legislative & Advocacy Assistant, American Association of Museums)
10:15-11:30 Getting Involved in Advocacy at the Federal Level
This session will explore the nuts and bolts of advocacy and lobbying, from engaging legislators, your board and your members on key issues to dealing with the press. The session will end with plenty of time for questions and answers, interactive advocacy exercises and tips for applying federal advocacy practices to your visits with Arizona legislators. (Ember Farber, Legislative & Advocacy Assistant, American Association of Museums)
12:00-1:00 Lunch Provided
1:00-2:15 Advocacy on the State Level
Nonprofits can learn a lot from the advocacy efforts of other nonprofit groups skilled at making their cases on the state level. Join panelists from Arizona Action for the Arts, the Sierra Club and the Arizona Library Association to learn to learn about making the case for our nonprofit institutions. (Eileen Klein, United Health Care, Arizona Action for the Arts; Sandy Bahr, Conservation Outreach Director, Sierra Clubl; Brenda Brown, Chandler Public Library, Chair, Arizona Library Association Legislative Committee)
2:30-3:45 Grassroots Advocacy Before It’s Too Late: The Mesa Case
In 2006 a budget crisis in Mesa led to two tax measures on the ballot, one of which passed and one of which failed. Failure of the property tax led to severe budget cuts to Mesa’s cultural institutions. Learn about the campaign and effective advocacy on the local level and creating grassroots support for your organization before its too late. (Mike Hutchinson, former Mesa City Manager, Vice Chair, Mesa Arts Center Foundation; Paul Benz, Highground Public Affairs Consultants; Vic Linoff, Chair, Advocacy Committee, Mesa Historical Museum; Lisa Anderson, President & CEO, Mesa Historical Museum)
Carnegie Center, 1101 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007, (602)255-2110. Tuesday, February 13, 2007, all day or half-day. Registration (per person) for a full day including lunch: $20 Museum Association of Arizona members; $25 Non-members. Half-day without lunch: $15 All attendees. Make checks payable to Museum Association of Arizona and mail to (attendees to morning or afternoon half-day sessions may pay at the door): Holly Young, Treasurer, Museum Association of Arizona C/o Pueblo Grande Museum. 4619 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85034-1909. For further information, contact Thomas H. Wilson, President, Museum Association of Arizona, (480)644-3418; firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Champs-Elysees, you can shop at a five - story Louis Vuitton boutique and other high-end retailers. You can visit automobile showrooms where companies vie to be the one with the flashiest prototypes to wow visitors. The street receives almost half a million visitors daily, and is second only to the Eiffel Tower as a popular destination for visitors. Nevertheless, Parisians were worried enough by a surge in the number of big box retailers moving in to support a government effort to prevent the "banalization" of the street, hoping to revive the street's famous movie theatres, music clubs, and other upscale, unique locations that skyrocketing rent has forced elsewhere.
Ironically, the very word banal is derived from a word for a compulsory government edict. In any event, the campaign against banalization is one that should gain international support. We could even start right here, in Tempe. When we walk down Mill Avenue, we'd like to start seeing a little less Ruby Tuesday and a little more Cafe Boa. Nothing against Z Gallerie, but given the fact that the ASU campus is practically bursting with artistic talent, it'd be nice to see an actual outlet in Tempe, perhaps in the form of a gallery - or at least something more than a couple walls of art in a coffee shop.
[Note: To read the full article, click here.] Photo by Jeff L. Knapp.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal--the hedgehog--as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.
Groundhogs, also called woodchucks and whose scientific name is Marmota monax, typically weigh 12 to 15 pounds and live six to eight years. They eat vegetables and fruits, whistle when they're frightened or looking for a mate and can climb trees and swim. They go into hibernation in the late fall; during this time, their body temperatures drop significantly, their heartbeats slow from 80 to five beats per minute and they can lose 30 percent of their body fat. In February, male groundhogs emerge from their burrows to look for a mate (not to predict the weather) before going underground again. They come out of hibernation for good in March.
City funding was cut in half last year, to $1,220,543, and the museum is operating with 12 staff members, half the number before the cuts. Museum hours were reduced in July from 39 a week to 30, and the advertising budget was slashed from $30,000 to $15,000. Museum attendance fell 38 percent in the last half of 2006 compared with the same period in 2005. Among the few bits of good news is that starting Jan. 16, a new cadre of volunteers has made it possible for the museum to be open 38 hours a week. Even with that, director Tom Wilson doesn't mince words. "People aren't used to finding out that museums are closing in the middle of the afternoon. A lot of people are disappointed," Wilson said. "They either have to leave early or can't get in the front door. We're making a lot of citizens in Mesa mad."
[Note: To read the full article, click here. ] Photo by Mesa Southwest Museum.