Monday, April 30, 2007
Yet despite the array of activities planned to celebrate the schoolhouse opening and other improvements that have been years in the planning and doing, Childress asked a bit uncertainly, “We should get a good crowd?” Fairbank, located on Highway 82 just east of the San Pedro River, has long been available to explore from dawn to dusk. Beginning this weekend, there is a new focus and new importance to the formerly abandoned transportation hub of Arizona’s late 1800s. The school, built in the 1920s of gypsum block manufactured in Douglas, replaced an earlier structure from the 1880s that is believed to have burned down. The successive Fairbank schools served from kindergarten through eighth grade, and the student population likely never exceeded 45. To continue their education would mean traveling to the “big city” of Tombstone, some miles to the east on what was then a stagecoach route — now Highway 82. “I may have romanticized the West when I first got here,” said Will Fassett, an intern who arrived from the Student Conservation Association a year ago to assist on the project. “But even as a history major, I didn’t appreciate how tedious and careful the work would be and how no decision was made without completely thinking through every aspect.” As Childress summed it up, “There’s a lot of paperwork before there’s any dirt work.” Childress is proud the restoration has been as authentic as possible, keeping many original elements and reproducing those that couldn’t be saved.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Ed Honda.]
"Unlike the national parks, there's no guarantee that the Conservation System will be around five years from now," Renzi said in a press release from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which supports the measure. "These extraordinary places are being ruined by neglect, vandalism and misuse. Our action today recognizes the importance of protecting these lands forever." The Agua Fria National Monument (Monument petroglyph pictured), which sits next to Interstate 17 in southeast Yavapai County, is among those extraordinary places that people are abusing, said Scott Jones of the Sierra Club. Volunteers picked up literally tons of trash from just one monument site near the busy interstate on Earth Day last Sunday, Jones said. "People pulling off and tossing trash into a national monument is just unacceptable," Jones said. The 71,000-acre Agua Fria Monument contains one of the most significant systems of prehistoric pueblos in the Southwest. The Arrastra Mountain, Hassayampa River Canyon, Hells Canyon and Upper Burro Creek wilderness areas in Yavapai County also are part of the National Landscape Conservation System. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Now another Valley National Bank is on the chopping block (pictured). Designed by Frank Henry, the bank courtyard's concrete "mushrooms" will disappear to make way for Minneapolis-based Opus Corporation's "luxury villas." "Sometimes you have to have a loss to get people motivated and interested and understand what they've lost and appreciate that genre of architecture," says Barbara Stocklin, city historic preservation officer. "Now everyone's all activated to save [the Valley National Bank]. I think that's partially because of the Wasburn Pianos loss." Next month, the city will hold a public hearing on Opus' application to re-zone the Valley National Bank site. In the meantime, Stocklin says, preservationists are working to designate the building as a city landmark. "The re-zoning wouldn't lead to the demolition of the bank, but it would leave it more vulnerable," Stocklin says. [Photo source: Walt Lockley.]
To unravel the evolutionary history to chimpanzees, the research team collected DNA from 78 common chimpanzees and six bonobos, a separate species of chimpanzee, and examined 310 DNA markers from each. They found four “discontinuous populations.” “We saw little evidence of migration between groups in the wild,” said Celine Becquet, first author of the paper and a graduate student in Przeworski’s laboratory. “Part of that could stem from the gaps in our samples, but we think most of this separation is genuine, a long-term consequence of geographic isolation.” The original boundaries between groups may have been the emergence and growth of rivers, such as the Congo River, which is thought to be about 1.5 million years old. “Chimps don’t swim,” Becquet explained. “For them, water provides a very effective border.” An ongoing loss of habitat has increased the physical separation between the three groups.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: John Mitani.]
"It's a gigantic telescope," said Richard Pogge, a professor in the OSU department of astronomy and principle investigator for the MODS project. "It can gather light 10 billion light years away. It almost acts as a time machine." The LBT gathers light from such great distances that it will show how the universe looked in its infancy. The images will help scientists determine the distance, chemical composition, movement and temperature of faraway stars and galaxies, Pogge said. "The LBT helps us learn how the universe went from formless to a lot of clusters," Pogge said. "It will also help us understand how our own Milky Way Galaxy was formed." OSU scientists and engineers are currently working on two MODS, which will provide resolution and imaging for the LBT. The MODS will split light as it is collected and allow scientists to determine the chemical compositions, temperatures and other important information about distant stars and galaxies. "If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a spectrograph is worth a thousand pictures," Pogge said.
The MODS project is much larger than any previous astronomy department project. "The level of complexity, cost and overall physical size is much greater than anything we have worked on before," O'Brien said. Despite the MODS project being demanding and difficult for members of the department of astronomy, they are managing to have fun with it. "Since we are building the MODS for the LBT, and the color of it does not affect the function of the telescope, we are going to paint the sides scarlet and leave the frame gray," O'Brien said. Although the LBT will not be completely assembled until 2010, it received its first light Oct. 12, 2005 with one mirror and is currently capable to see using binocular light. [Photo source: Aaron Ceranski.]
The celebration is scheduled for May 21-26 in and around Kanab, with the emphasis on learning about and enjoying the public lands of the Colorado plateau located in Utah and Arizona. "There is somewhat of a disconnect between people and the land," Csenge said. "When I go into the natural world, I experience something of the creator in the creation that lies before me. That experience is somewhat lost in our modern society." The Kane County Office of Tourism is solidly behind the idea of the festival, said executive director "Cowboy Ted" Hallisey. "We have been wanting to do something like this for a while," he said. "I've always thought if we had an event that all the public land agencies could get behind, it would be very successful." Csenge said that he and his wife first experienced southern Utah several years ago. "We began learning about the parks and public lands here, and I came to the feeling that I'd like to share that with others," he said. "This festival will provide a gathering place to celebrate these amazing places. It's a way for people who haven't yet discovered it, to learn about it." [Photo source: Willie Holdman.]
Saturday, April 28, 2007
"Right now just the name Mesa Southwest Museum is neither fish nor fowl," he said. "It doesn't really say we are one of the premier natural history museums in Arizona. We are sending an indeterminate and even confusing message to potential visitors." Changing the name, "would probably greatly increase our attendance" over the 131,000 who came last year, he said. "People would be better able to understand if they came to the museum what they'd be seeing here." He also thinks the museum would have a better chance of snagging grants if donors understood its mission. The museum has a statewide reach, Wilson said, with paleontologic investigations all over Arizona and displays featuring the region's fascinating biological and geological past. Griswold said Wilson approached him with the idea several weeks ago but was pessimistic the name change would fly. "I'll support any idea that's good for the residents," Griswold said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Straw is the stem of a grain, which isn’t edible and is often burned in piles after the harvest, she said. Once pressed and shaped into bales, however, it becomes an excellent building material that’s sturdy and is neither flammable nor edible to insects. But that’s just the beginning of her home’s surprises, Hoffmann said. Its 2-foot-thick walls offer tremendous insulation from cold and heat. The electricity cost to cool her 1,200-square-foot home last July was just $18. In August, it was $14. In the winter, heated water is pumped through pipes underneath the tile floor to heat the home efficiently. “Plus you’re walking on warm tile,” Hoffmann said. Almost nothing that comes into contact with the house is wasted. A rooftop gutter system diverts rainwater into three barrels, where it is stored until Hoffmann uses it to water her garden. The house, designed by Hoffmann’s son, an architect who shares her interest in conservation, has a window in the bedroom closet so Hoffmann doesn’t have to turn on a light.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Lisa Olson]
The luncheon also will honor this year’s pioneers of the year, whose names have not yet been released. “It’s for those who have lived here 50 or more years and have made a significant contribution to the city,” Dell said. The event also will feature a presentation on Chandler’s history from 1938 to 1950 as well as displays on the outstanding women of Chandler and previous pioneers of the year. But most of all, it will be a chance for residents to remember what Chandler was like before Intel and Motorola, Carol Dobson said. She said she misses the camaraderie that came with knowing many others in the once-small community. “I think that’s probably the biggest thing I miss,” she said. “But other than that, it’s gotten to be a nice city.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Friday, April 27, 2007
In 1494, Portugal and Spain settled disputes over newly discovered lands by dividing the world into two spheres of influence. A line of demarcation was agreed to in the Atlantic Ocean--all new discoveries west of the line were to be Spanish, and all to the east Portuguese. Thus, South and Central America became dominated by the Spanish. Other Portuguese discoveries in the early 16th century, such as the Spice Islands of Indonesia--made the Spanish jealous. Magellan proposed sailing west, finding a strait through the Americas, and then continuing west to the Moluccas, which would prove that the Spice Islands lay west of the demarcation line and thus in the Spanish sphere. On September 20, 1519, Magellan and his crew set sail from Spain. Magellan sailed to Brazil, where he searched the South American coast for a strait that would take him to the Pacific. At the end of March 1520, the expedition set up winter quarter at Port St. Julian.
On October 21, he finally discovered the strait he had been seeking. The Strait of Magellan, as it became known, is located near the tip of South America. It took 38 days to navigate the treacherous strait. Magellan was the first European explorer to reach the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic. His fleet accomplished the westward crossing of the ocean in 99 days, crossing waters so strangely calm that the ocean was named "Pacific," from the Latin word pacificus, meaning "tranquil." By the end, the men were out of food and chewed the leather parts of their gear to keep themselves alive. On March 16, 1521, the expedition reached the Philippines--they were only about 400 miles from the Spice Islands. After Magellan's death, the survivors sailed on to the Moluccas and loaded the hulls with spice. One ship attempted, unsuccessfully, to return across the Pacific. The other ship rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and arrived at Seville on September 9, 1522, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.
This is not the first time unchecked growth has filled the Valley of the Sun. If you lift the rug of Phoenix, buried directly below you will find the remains of an ancient city, a Neolithic version of Phoenix. The first communities appeared in the low basin of the Salt River 3,000 years ago, as shown by remains recently discovered under the new Phoenix Convention Center. From there, prehistoric settlements took an escalating course of empire, filling the basin to overflowing. They sprawled all the way south to Tucson, while satellite communities appeared even north of Flagstaff. They grew until they were no longer able to sustain themselves. Then, their civilization fell.
They are known as the Hohokam, a Pima word meaning “all used up.” The doubled first syllable accentuates the sentiment, telling of a people that completely burned itself out. When Anglo settlers arrived shortly after the American Civil War, they found a desert studded with grand adobe ruins, vestiges of an inexplicable culture. They called their new settlement Phoenix, imagining themselves rising from the ashes of a lost city.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo illustration by Ben Garrison.]
The vice president will have a minimum of 20 years’ relevant experience that includes executive-level experience at a scale and complexity relevant to this position. An advanced architecture, engineering, or other appropriate degree is required; additionally, an MBA or other advanced management degree is preferred. An understanding of and deep commitment to Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles of organic architecture and to the foundation’s mission is, of course, critical. Salary for the position is low to mid $100’s depending on salary history and experience. Additional information including salary can be found on The Himmelfarb Group website, or by calling Meghan Strubel at 708-848-0086.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The mansion, now open as Jerome State Historic Park, is headquarters Saturday for festivities marking the 50th anniversary of Arizona State Parks and celebrating the tough little town on Cleopatra Hill. Saturday's all-day program, Mining, Minerals and Mucking, is a tribute to Jerome's mining past, with a schedule of storytellers, exhibits, demonstrations and music. The grand re-opening of the Jerome Historical Society Mine Museum, which includes a new mining tunnel and mock-up of an old brothel, also happens Saturday. It's a lot of excitement for a town with a population of about 500. Considerably more people - 15,000 - populated Jerome during the mining boom in the first half of the 20th century. But thanks to tourists captivated by panoramic views of the Verde Valley, Jerome is thriving. "Jerome still retains a lot of that late-1800s and early-1900s ambience," said Nora Graf, park ranger with the Arizona State Parks in Jerome.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Arizona State Parks.]
Preserving history in the midst of development is crucial in Florence, which has about 6,000 residents and is expected to have as many as 25,000 in five years, Mayor Tom Rankin said. "One of the biggest things for me as mayor is to get the new people to hang on to our heritage, let them become part of our heritage," Rankin said. He said he is mulling the idea of recreating the social lives of early residents with re-enactments of barn dances and box suppers, in which women make picnics, and men bid on the meals, and the winners get to eat with the cooks. Rankin also said he has ideas of parades and a re-enactment of the town's only gunfight. All of that could draw people in to visit the town, he said. Phoenix City Councilman Greg Stanton said he already is on a committee with representatives from Scottsdale and Tempe, and they are talking about how to improve Papago Park in time for the centennial. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
- Historic preservation incentives, including grants and tax benefits;
- Current issues of concern in the Southwest;
- Historic preservation plans; and
- Preservation questions involving private property rights, advocacy, economic benefits, and interaction with federal and state agencies.
The session will also provide information on issues facing preservation advocates in the Southwest including:
- The State Registers - what are they and what do they do? have they failed or succeeded? recent successes and losses, benefits and differences in the programs; partnerships;
- Identifying partners to increase state register nominations in small communities and rural areas;
- Increasing community awareness about the need to protect cultural resources through Site Watch/Site Steward programs.
Cost: $30.00. Make checks payable and mail to: Arizona Preservation Foundation, P.O. Box 13492, Phoenix, AZ 85002. For more information, contact the Arizona Preservation Foundation by phone (602-258-1920) or e-mail.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
1. Grant Park [southwest corner of 2nd Avenue and Grant Street, 714 S. 2nd Ave.] 2. American Legion Post 41 [northeast corner of 2nd Avenue and Sherman Street, 715 S. 2nd Ave.] 3. Harmon Park [northeast corner of 5th Avenue and Pima Street, 1425 S. 5th Ave.] 4. Phoenix Housing Authority, [Southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Yuma Street, 1301 S. 3rd Ave.] 5. Betania Iglesia Presbiteriana [southwest corner of 3rd Avenue and Pima Street, 305 W. Pima] 6. Sotelo-Heard Cemetery [east of northeast corner of 12th Street and Marguerite Avenue] 7. Sacred Heart Church [east and south of 16th and Hadley Streets, 801 S. 16th St.]
Monday, April 23, 2007
The consideration of a zoning overlay would begin if more than 25 percent of the property owners in a neighborhood petition for it. That would start a public process that includes several public hearings and a council vote. The neighborhood has to justify why it wants certain requirements on development, such as height restrictions and minimum yard sizes. But Richard Studwell, a property owner in the Jefferson Park Neighborhood, said those types of restrictions would not allow him to build guest houses on his properties, limit his properties to one-story and restrict the size of any house on his properties.
"All those are more restrictive things and they're taking value away from my property," Studwell said. Clint Bolick, a senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute, agreed, adding Tucson and the neighborhood protection zones "could be the first major Prop. 207 lawsuit." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
That was nearly 20 years ago. Now, for other tribes searching for lost or stolen items, the process may get a lot easier. In mid-March, the Department of the Interior's National NAGPRA program, which helps carry out the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, announced a regulation requiring museums, universities and federal agencies in possession of Native American art and artifacts to provide new lists of their inventories and to share them with all federally recognized tribes within six months. The rule, which takes effect April 20, marks the first time in a dozen years that museums and federal agencies have had to share with tribes what's in their collections. This process may uncover many items missing for years, and it may make encourage tribes to start making repatriation claims to get their artifacts back. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
It's believed the Tucson area ranks as the longest continuously inhabited region in the United States, stretching back for at least 4,000 years. But the site at the west end of Mission Lane presents the first evidence of so many historical eras in one spot going back 2,500 years. That could expand another 1,000 to 1,500 years as Desert Archaeology digs another 2 to 3 feet. The dig precedes reconstruction of the Mission San Agustín, the centerpiece of Rio Nuevo's Tucson Origins project, in which the mission's adobe convento and chapel should start taking shape in October. Hundreds of artifacts, from intact 2,000-plus-years-old clay bowls to remnants of a 300-year-old rib dinner, are being removed. The site will be filled in again to preserve the footprints of dozens of structures that vanished hundreds of years ago. This includes 20 round-pit houses from 2,000 and 2,500 years ago and a small, single-room rectangular house built by an American Indian family a few feet outside the mission wall. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Ranchers, farmers, business promoters, environmentalists and government officials have collaborated for more than four years on this plan, which was initiated by the Center for Desert Archaeology.
Congress designates National Heritage Areas to recognize a cohesive, distinctive landscape with natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources spawned by human activities and shaped by geography. In short: It's a special place. Surely our valley qualifies for this description. Our residents include descendants of prehistoric people (American Indians), of Spanish colonists from the 1600s, of Mexicans who settled here before it was part of the United States and of 19th-century pioneers.
The backdrop for that deep historic and cultural blend ranges from mountains to valleys to the unique Sonoran Desert, with flora and fauna of the most extraordinary biodiversity. Our heritage area would be only the third in the West, after Yuma and the Cache la Poudre area in Colorado. But it would be the largest Western heritage area yet and, dare we say, the richest in diversity of landscape, culture, history and recreation. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Amulius ordered the infants drowned in the Tiber, but they survived and washed ashore at the foot of the Palatine hill, where they were suckled by a she-wolf until they were found by the shepherd Faustulus. Reared by Faustulus and his wife, the twins later became leaders of a band of young shepherd warriors. After learning their true identity, they attacked Alba Longa, killed the wicked Amulius, and restored their grandfather to the throne. The twins then decided to found a town on the site where they had been saved as infants. They soon became involved in a petty quarrel, however, and Remus was slain by his brother. Romulus then became ruler of the settlement, which was named "Rome" after him. After Romulus, there were six more kings of Rome, the last three believed to be Etruscans. Around 509 B.C., the Roman republic was established.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The three-story adobe walls are beginning to crumble and a corner of the building, which fell off during the 2005 monsoon, remains covered by a tarp that swings in and out with the wind. The $1 million would make the building whole by repairing the holes, building a steel skeleton inside for stabilization and removing the current outer shell and replacing it with a more compatible plaster that would better repel water, the report says. Renovating the interior to make it usable would be another $1 million to $2 million. Marist, which housed a Catholic school from 1915 to 1968, is the only three-story adobe in Southern Arizona, and maybe in Arizona, said John Shaheen, diocese property and insurance director. Shaheen said the diocese would like to sell or give the building to the city, a nonprofit organization or a private developer because the church can't afford to fix it.
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Peg Price.]
Monday, April 16, 2007
The parcels — one 40 acres, one 20 acres and a 4-acre parcel connecting the two — are located partly in Marana and partly in unincorporated Pima County, south of Camino de Mañana and west of Camino de Oeste, next to already-conserved land. Carolyn Campbell, executive director of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, supports adding the parcels under the bond issue. "If something big comes up like this, it can really add value, especially if it's adjacent to other conserved land," she said. Earlier this year, Campbell and others urged the county Board of Supervisors to buy four small parcels on the Northwest Side, the largest of which was just 13 acres. The county bought two of the parcels — its first purchases on the Northwest Side using 2004 bond money. The remaining open-space money will be used to pursue more of the Los Morteros archaeological site, near Silverbell Road and Linda Vista Boulevard, and to protect 350 acres on Tumamoc Hill, west of Tucson. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
"Properly handled, this is one of those feel-good, everyone-wins situations," said Nan Stockholm Walden, a lawyer for Farmers Investment Co., which owns Green Valley Pecan Co. The idea is to direct tourists and residents from one landmark to another and promote a cultural identity, said Jonathan Mabry, chairman of the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance. "This is a way to connect people to this place," Mabry said. The landmarks are as diverse as the support. The area includes the San Xavier Mission (pictured) and the Titan Missile Museum. Supporters range from the Tucson Audubon Society to the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association. No opposition has organized against the proposal. Most Heritage Areas are in the East. Only three are west of the Mississippi River, including one in and around Yuma. Yuma officials caused some rancor when they imposed restrictions on property rights within the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area immediately after it was established. Walden attributed the problem to overzealous city employees rather than provisions in the legislation creating the heritage area. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Also discussed at the meeting were preservation issues pertaining to the adjacent Duppa Adobe, a historically designated ca. 1895 adobe agricultural building in severe disrepair. The HP Office has agreed to hire an architect to perform a preliminary condition assessment of the building and to make recommendations regarding its reuse. Following the completion of this assessment, the HP Office plans to coordinate with Parks and American Legion Post 41 to seek public input from the Grant Park neighborhood regarding a possible reuse plan for the building.
Mesa Grande is the remains of a Hohokam settlement believed to date to 1300, lying directly west of Banner Mesa Medical Center at Brown Road and 10th Street. The site is fenced off and only a modest historical plaque, inside the fence, offers a hint as to what the site is about. Mesa has owned the property for 20 years but never had the money to develop it. The $600,000 grant would pay for trails, interpretive signs, restrooms and shelters, according to Tom Wilson, director of the Mesa Southwest Museum. Shelters also would be built to protect the ruins themselves, which now lie exposed to the wind and rain. The ultimate goal, Wilson said, is an enclosed visitors center.
That the money could come from Indian gaming is the result of Proposition 202, which Arizona voters approved in 2002. In exchange for letting tribes expand their casino operations, the law requires them to bounce some of their profits to the state, cities, schools and nonprofit entities. Mesa has snagged $2.3 million in gambling money since 2003. Some went to schools and nonprofits, but $1.2 million has gone to city projects. The Mesa Grande project is among 18 potential gambling-funded projects that Dillehay outlined this week to the City Council. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Along with Maria Sharylen, they have welcomed into the gallery internationally known, contemporary Navajo artist, Shonto Begay, an illustrator and painter. Born in a hogan in Shonto, Arizona, to a Navajo Medicine Man and his mother, a Navajo weaver and sheep herder, Begay became interested in drawing at a very young age. His paintings executed in acrylic, Begay's expressionist canvases often draw comparisons to Vincent Van Gogh. Each painting is built by a complexity of simple brush strokes that are applied like a visual chant. Begay's paintings have been exhibited in The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, The Phoenix Triennial Exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum, and American Indian Contemporary Arts Museum in San Franisco. Begay has also done many murals for the state of Arizona. Begay is also an illustrator of children's books and does speaking engagements all over the country.
Almost overnight, the glass-and-steel oxbow protruding out over the lip of the Grand Canyon has become one of the world's most unusual curiosities. Part high-wire act and part window into the womb of the Earth, the structure represents a new and controversial twist on the budding eco-tourism movement. The Hualapai Indians, who consented to allow investors to build the $30 million Skywalk on their land, hope it draws thousands of visitors a year and brings a lift to their isolated reservation 120 miles southeast of Las Vegas. They're counting on it to create jobs and provide much-needed revenue for the 2,000 tribal members spread across 1 million acres of Arizona. But critics, including some tribal members, consider it an affront to one of the world's most hallowed pieces of earth. "I'm not trying to denigrate their need, but this is designed to provide a thrill of being able to walk over the edge," says Robert Arnberger, a retired superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park. "I dislike the motivation behind it."
[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo Source: Rob Schumacher.]
Thursday, April 12, 2007
It's fairly easy to overlook this part of the museum because it's housed in a small room in back. But don't give it short shrift, because it provides the fascinating history of the Smoki. If you walk too briskly through the room, you'll miss the key piece of information on the placard at the front; namely, that the Smoki People weren't Native Americans at all, but a group of White men wearing Indian costumes, body paint and makeup. The Smoki date back to 1921, when financially strapped Prescott faced the possibility of having to cancel its annual Frontier Days Rodeo. A group of local businessmen staged a "Way Out West" show, which they hoped would raise enough money to save the rodeo. The show played to popular notions of cowboys and Indians, and one of the acts was the Smoki Snake Dance. Performed by the businessmen, the dance imitated the sacred Hopi Snake Dance.
The first performance was a rousing success, and the Smoki People were born. The fake tribe's popularity grew. The Smoki formed a women's auxiliary, which took charge of costume design and fabrication. After two years as part of the Smoki, a woman could shed her "maiden" status and become a Smoki Squaw. Children also became involved and received costumes and wigs made of black yarn. The social aspect of the organization appealed to many, and, after a few years, most Prescott residents were affiliated in some way with the Smoki. The group opened its permanent museum in 1935. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
With the rise of Rome, the Olympics declined, and in 393 A.D. the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the Games as part of his efforts to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire. With the Renaissance, Europe began a long fascination with ancient Greek culture, and in the 18th and 19th centuries some nations staged informal sporting and folkloric festivals bearing the name "Olympic Games." However, it was not until 1894 that a young French baron, Pierre de Coubertin, proposed reviving the Olympics at a conference on international sport. 79 delegates from nine countries unanimously approved his proposal. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed, and the first Games were planned for 1896 in Athens, the capital of Greece.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Pima County supervisors in 2005 approved $18.5 million to buy 9,500 acres at the ranches, plus acquire grazing rights on 27,000 acres of federal and state trust land. Family members have a lease to continue running cattle there, while the county will monitor the health of the rangeland. What's the alternative? Consider the nearby Sopori Ranch. It was sold just a year earlier - to Phoenix-based First United Realty, which is now selling lots in a subdivision there. It's a question of math. A long-term drought is pinching cattle operations. Developers, meanwhile, are offering big bucks for ranchland, which they turn around and sell as "ranchettes" in parcels of 5 acres to 40 acres. Inheritance taxes can add to the pressure. Families may be divided on whether to cash in, and those who want to keep the land often lack the money to buy out the others. Splitting up ranches can impose costs on everyone else. Fragmenting the landscape makes life harder for wildlife. Building homes in these rural areas means more wells, contributing to a drop in water tables, and more septic systems, which can threaten water quality. Serving far-flung residents puts a strain on county resources. Hanging onto ranches isn't a fuzzy sentimental notion but a practical strategy in the nation's fastest-growing state. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Since taking the reins from Tracy Wagner as the executive director in January 2005,Anderson, 38, has established a board, developed a board structure, broadened the scope of the museum to attract new audiences and rejuvenated efforts to preserve the two historical buildings that house the museum and its 80,000-piece collection. Despite challenges, the museum was progressing, until cash-strapped Mesa stopped the annual funding in July 2006 that was the museum's backbone since its inception 40 years ago. It has been a struggle since. What we do here is extremely important. It's just as important as continuing the city utilities," Anderson said. "A museum of our size, and with our collection, needs to be funded at a much higher level than we were operating at even before the crisis hit. Even keeping at that pace, losing the city money was critical for us." [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Chaco Canyon today is a collection of magnificent ruins whose archeology tells us as much as we know, which is not enough, about these mysterious people. A unit of the National Park Service, the canyon is as well preserved and interpreted as an underfinanced budget allows. Unfortunately, other significant archeological sites nearby are increasingly at great risk. Most of these are also on public lands, largely those of the Bureau of Land Management, which has a bifurcated and inherently conflicted mission to both preserve and exploit the resources entrusted to it. With ever increasing pressure for oil and gas drilling on these lands, coupled with greater access by off-road vehicles that can go nearly anywhere and when unmanaged can do great harm, more and more of our heritage on these lands is in danger of being obliterated. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
The final 32 candidates traveled to the Lovelace Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they underwent exhaustive medical and psychological examinations. One candidate was eliminated. The remaining 31 candidates then traveled to the Wright Aeromedical Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, where they underwent the most grueling part of the selection process. For six days and three nights, the men were subjected to various tortures that tested their tolerance of physical and psychological stress. Among other tests, the candidates were forced to spend an hour in a pressure chamber that simulated an altitude of 65,000 feet, and two hours in a chamber that was heated to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. At the end of one week, 18 candidates remained.
From among these men, the selection committee was to choose six based on interviews, but seven candidates were so strong they ended up settling on that number. After they were announced, the "Mercury Seven" became overnight celebrities. The Mercury Project suffered some early setbacks, however, and on April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in the world's first manned space flight. On February 20, 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. NASA continued to trail the Soviets in space achievements until the late 1960s, when NASA's Apollo program put the first men on the moon and safely returned them to Earth.
Monday, April 09, 2007
The colorful formations at Kartchner Caverns State Park depend on constant moisture. But pumping from the park's wells is jeopardizing the water supply to the cave, a geologist warns,especially in this time of drought. We can eliminate the risk if the park hooks up with the city of Benson's water line. But that would require laying six miles of pipe at a cost of $3.4 million. With its border location, the Buenos Aires refuge already has to pour resources into dealing with the impact of illegal immigrants, drug traffickers and law enforcement activities. Forty percent of staff time goes into fixing fences, repairing erosion from foot traffic and picking up vast quantities of litter (fortunately with volunteer help). [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
The committee also has applied to have the graveyard placed on the list of Arizona Historical Sites. A packet, which includes letters of support from local residents who have relatives buried in the cemetery, as well as from members of the Fry family and Gov. Janet Napolitano, has been sent to the State Historic Preservation Office in Phoenix. “This sacred property is significant for its association with local and state history, and it illustrates the positive interaction of European-American settlers with Hispanic and African-American natives and immigrants in the development of the state of Arizona,” said committee chairman Tom Shupert in a letter to Kathryn Leonard, National Register coordinator. “This human burial ground merits the respect, reverence and protection of Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca and surrounding communities — actually the entire state of Arizona.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]
The next festival, the 74th Annual Hopi Festival of Arts and Culture, is Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1. More than 50 artists travel from the Hopi mesas to share with visitors their lifeways and artistic creations. Visitors gain insight from carvers, painters, jewelers, potters, quilters, and basket and textile weavers against a backdrop of cultural presentations, storytelling, music, and dancing. Take a taste of piki or Hopi bread baked in outside ovens. Watch Hopi pottery being shaped, painted, and traditionally fired. Walk the Museum's Rio de Flag Nature Trail with a Hopi medicine woman. Take part in insightful discussions about the Hopi values of humility, cooperation, respect, balance, and earth stewardship
[Photo: Traditional Hopi dancers from the Lomayaoma Dance Group. Photo by Betsey Bruner].
In 2006, the Federal Highway Administration rescinded a portion of un-obligated highway funds requiring each state to return part of their federal transportation funding to the federal government. Many states adopted a balanced approach to returning the funds, but some chose to do this in a disproportionate manner by drastically cutting their Transportation Enhancements funds. On Monday, March 19, 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order to states requiring them to return an additional $3.47 billion in transportation money. Within 30 days, your governor will decide how to apply this cut to your state's transportation budget. For more information on the Transportation Enhancements program, please visit the National Trust website.