Monday, January 31, 2005

Every once in a while the headlines come together in interesting ways...

When I saw the headline: Man suspected of impersonating officer arrested. I was hoping it wasn't this Officer...Detective solves case in record 30 minutes. It turns out it was the detective who got the impersonator...

Any Eagle lovers out there? How about Patriots?

This looks like it would be interesting...
Bald eagle workshop set for Flagstaff FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Did you know that many bald eagles make their home in the Flagstaff area during the winter? You can learn more about these remarkable birds and probably even spot some at the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Annual Bald Eagle Workshop in Flagstaff on Saturday, Feb. 26. The free workshop will be divided into two sessions; each one will include a lecture followed by a field trip to observe eagles. The morning session will begin at 9 a.m., and the afternoon session will begin at 1 p.m. The lectures will be held at Northern Arizona University in the Southwest Forest Science Complex, Building #82, located on the south end of campus off Pine Knoll Drive. Guest speakers will be Cecilia Overby of the Coconino National Forest; James Driscoll, Arizona Game and Fish Department bald eagle management coordinator; and Mylea Bayless, an Arizona Game and Fish Department research biologist. They will talk about wintering bald eagles and Arizona's resident eagle population. Information on an ongoing bald eagle research project will also be presented. "This workshop has always been a big success here in Flagstaff, and we hope this year's event will have a great turnout as well," says Arizona Game and Fish Department Public Information Officer Shelly Shepherd. "It is great to see so many people interested in wildlife in northern Arizona." Anyone interested in attending will need to register with the Game and Fish Flagstaff regional office at (928) 774-5045. People are reminded to dress appropriately and to bring binoculars, bird field guidebooks, snacks, and water. Space for the field trips will be limited to 50 people, but there will be extra space available for the lectures.

You may have noticed a lack of posts over the weekend...

I spent the weekend with family to celebrate my and my father's birthdays. I can't believe he's 75... Enough about age, the highlight of the weekend for me was the time I spent with my youngest nephew. In his words, "We had fun!" I put him to bed Saturday night and as we talked, I told him stories about his mother and his aunt (my other sister) and he asked questions it was great... especially when his words became unintelligible and he drifted off to sleep. The next morning we had a nice laugh about how one minute he was talking and then he was asleep. The best part of our fun on Sunday was "hunting worms" with my nephew and his dog Levi. I would move the large terracotta pots that line the porch and yard and he would try to catch the worms before they went deeper below ground. After the worms he would go after the isopods (you may call them roly-poly, doodlebugs or pill bugs, I grew up calling them potato bugs); these he would put on the picnic table and Levi would then climb up onto the table and eat them... strange dog! Of course, this was hilarious to my nephew, but what 4 year old wouldn't think it was fun? It was hard to say goodbye... but when I called to let my sister know I was home safe, he answered the phone and got in trouble for not handing it over to an adult... he just kept talking to his Uncle Dave! :-)

Now the bastards want us to quit our diets and eat cookies!

The Arizona Republic-For many people, this is when New Year's dieting resolutions begin to unravel. Some cite lagging motivation following a month of calorie counting. Others find solace in a fast-food restaurant after a stressful day at work. But each February, there is another deluge of sugarcoated temptation that presents itself on doorsteps, in the office or even grocery store entryways. The Girl Scouts are out and they're armed with cookies.

Arizona Student advances to finals of Intel Science Talent Search

All of the finalists deserve recognition, but Arizona publications outside of Flagstaff should be ashamed they have yet to pick up on this story!
Cahill advances to science finals Flagstaff High School senior James Andrew Cahill got more good news this week. His project, an investigation of astronomically significant alignments in Wupatki National Monument's Lomaki Pueblo, has advanced to the next level of the Intel Science Talent Search. As one of 40 finalists in the competition, Cahill will head to Washington, D.C., March 10 - 15 to attend the Science Talent Institute, interact with top scientists and present his findings for judges. The finalists will vie for more than $530,000 in scholarships. Students finishing in the top 10 will receive scholarships ranging from $100,000 (first place) to $20,000 (places six through 10). The remaining 30 finalists will each receive a $5,000 scholarship. All of the finalists will get an Intel Centrino mobile-technology-based notebook computer. Intel's STS is the country's oldest pre-college science competition. After six decades, some of the program's alumni hold more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including six Nobel Prizes and three National Medals of Science. This year's finalists hail from 15 states, with 13 of them coming from New York. Cahill is the only finalist from Arizona.

Posts from Blogs I'm reading...

The ModerateVoice provides us with: Definitive PROOF Of Evolution Pure Serendipity blew my mind with this post: semen may have antidepressant properties that are absorbed vaginally during unprotected sex HAVE YOU SEEN MY SHOE asks: Why is everyone so damn angry all the time? Neil's World discoveres a pleasent surprise that doesn't bode well for Microsoft: my IE icon has magically turned into a Firefox one :) Dean's World displayes his second favorite photo of the week: He's VOTING! Gordon Smith wants the president to give the finger: If I were George Bush, I would hold up an ink-stained finger (via Instapundit, via Ann Althouse) My favorite for the day comes from Res Publica 2005 (english version)

I wish I was this guy...

A friend of my dad's won a prize like this once... it was for 5 SuperBowls in a row (He took my dad to 4 of them... all I got were some seat cushions and football trading cards... and some hats) and it's about the only prize I can think of that would have been better!
Scottsdale man comes up Aces in Super Bowl sweepstakes Ace may be the place with the helpful hardware folks. But Andy Anderson needed no assistance Monday, thank you very much. The 69-year-old Scottsdale resident won a football fantasy sweepstakes, which meant a pair of Super Bowl tickets AND his own chance to run a two-minute drill: A 120-second shopping spree at a local Ace Hardware store.

Press release tries to persuad that U.S. students say press freedoms go too far

U.S. students say press freedoms go too far This is kind of scary at first glance... there's just so much left out that I'm not sure it's anything more than a fluff piece.
One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today. The survey of 112,003 students finds that 36% believe newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing; 51% say they should be able to publish freely; 13% have no opinion.
We're looking at a minority of 36%... I wonder how many really understood the survey out of this group?
Asked whether the press enjoys "too much freedom," not enough or about the right amount, 32% say "too much," and 37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little. The survey of First Amendment rights was commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and conducted last spring by the University of Connecticut. It also questioned 327 principals and 7,889 teachers.
I don't understand why they site these numbers when no results are given for this group... I checked the website for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and they don't mention any results for this group there either.
The findings aren't surprising to Jack Dvorak, director of the High School Journalism Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington. "Even professional journalists are often unaware of a lot of the freedoms that might be associated with the First Amendment," he says. The survey "confirms what a lot of people who are interested in this area have known for a long time," he says: Kids aren't learning enough about the First Amendment in history, civics or English classes. It also tracks closely with recent findings of adults' attitudes. "It's part of our Constitution, so this should be part of a formal education," says Dvorak, who has worked with student journalists since 1968. Although a large majority of students surveyed say musicians and others should be allowed to express "unpopular opinions," 74% say people shouldn't be able to burn or deface an American flag as a political statement; 75% mistakenly believe it is illegal.
So only 1% who believe that burning the flag is illegal think you should be able to burn the flag? I find that comforting... that 1% could just be error. I'd be more interested in how many think they might ever burn or deface the American flag. Of course this whole section is just here to elicit emotion.
The U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) in 1989 ruled that burning or defacing a flag is protected free speech. Congress has debated flag-burning amendments regularly since then; none has passed both the House and Senate. Derek Springer, a first-year student at Ivy Tech State College in Muncie, Ind., credits his journalism adviser at Muncie Central High School with teaching students about the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, press and religion. Last year, Springer led a group of student journalists who exposed payments a local basketball coach made to players for such things as attending practices and blocking shots. The newspaper also questioned requirements that students register their cars with the school to get parking passes. Because they studied the First Amendment, he says, "we know that we can publish our opinion, and that we might be scrutinized, but we know we didn't do anything wrong."

DiCaprio Gets Lifetime Achievement Award- it's kinda like inducting a college ball player into the professional hall of fame... premature!

Shouldn't you have to be in a business for at least 30 years to get an award like this? I can think of dozens of diserving people... DiCaprio could wait another decade or two!
Yahoo! News - DiCaprio Gets Lifetime Achievement Award: SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - On the heels of an Oscar nomination, 'The Aviator' star Leonardo DiCaprio (news) wrapped a high-flying week by accepting the Platinum Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
Update via Regurgitated News:
I Hear That Next Year the Award Is Going to That Goofy-Looking Kid From Harry Potter

This Benson is funny!

O'Connor is public's pick for next U.S. chief justice

This caught me off guard... Personally I think she's too old- I guess there is a poll for anything!
If voters could choose the nation's next chief justice, a new national poll suggests, they'd pick Arizona's Sandra Day O'Connor. They also like former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (also a former federal prosecutor) for the top job at the Supreme Court. Americans, of course, don't get to elect their nation's chief judge.

The carnival of recipies is up... and I got top billing!

Thanks to Kin at Kin's Kouch for the kind words! The carnival is here. My recipe for hot chicken stir fry is here. Check out my previous entries here (pan-fried steak with red wine reduction) and here (Welsh pancakes). I'm off to the grocery store...

The 24 saga continues on Dave Berry's Blog...

We don't know how we're going to get any work done today. We might just start sitting in front ot the TV right now, waiting for 9 p.m. Eastern 8 p.m. Central Time, because we are SO NERVOUS about what is going to happen tonight, with the terrorists in possession of the amazing Nuk-Em-All remote-control device -- NOT sold in stores -- that causes all the nuclear reactors in the United States to melt down and apparently there is NOTHING ANYBODY CAN DO ABOUT IT. Except maybe they could call up the nuclear plants and say, "Hey! Don't let the reactor melt down, OK? Thanks." No, wait, what are we thinking? That would NEVER work. So the only hope for humanity, again, is loner rogue agent Jack Bauer, who is not afraid to take action -- who has the guts to shoot first and also shoot later on. We personally would not mind if he accidentally shot Secretary of Defense William Devane's daughter, because she gets on our nerves. We also believe Terrorist Boy, whose Terrorist Mom wrecked his social life by poisoning his girlfriend, could be a major plot factor now that he has turned against the other terrorists by using a shovel to kill the terrorist hitman who was trying to kill him under orders from his Terrorist Dad. Terrorist Boy is still out there, and as far as we know he still has the shovel. We are just going to be a wreck today.

Around Arizona... what other Arizona Bloggers are Blogging Today.

American Dinosaur Let Freedom Ring, Moonbat Style AngryKeyboarder My Senior Year Anil's Doublespeak a detailed argument on why the whole moon thing is a hoax Blog for Arizona Iraqi Elections: What Comes Next? Coyote Blog Wanted: Foreign Policy Alternative Desert Rat Ramblings Iraq votes - in droves. Disorderly Content no other commentary would be as honest as this one Jackalope Persuivant* the third verse of "America the Beautiful" J-Walk Blog It's a nationwide treasure hunt, with $1 million in jewels to be found life behind the mini mart I've created a photo blog Random Rogers Big Picture This type of idea has all sorts of flaws but it is still interesting Verns Blog Koufax Award Vox St Bridget's Day

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Headlines Saturday

City's water service department director reassigned over alert PHOENIX (AP) -- The director of the city's Water Services Department has been stripped of his title over the way he handled this week's water problem. Health leaders target syphilis problem on Navajo Nation GALLUP, N.M. (AP) -- Nina Tsethlikia is a woman on a mission. Glendale Marine died in Iraq copter crash Marine Corps Sgt. Michael Wayne Finke Jr., 27, of Glendale, was among 31 killed earlier this week in a helicopter crash on the Iraq war's deadliest day for U.S. troops. Phoenix must cut $68.7 million Phoenix officials will have to cut $68.7 million - or just over 7 percent - of their $930 million general fund budget by the start of the next fiscal year. Mesa employees gird for 2 very tight years Grim budget predictions outlined in City Manager's memo Budget shortfall picture mixed in other Valley cities Most Valley municipalities are just beginning their work on their 2005-06 budget. What they expect. Gas service returning Tilford Melillo tucked herself beneath her electric blanket Thursday as she does every night. Her house was a cozy 72 degrees. Life Teen chief on leave in abuse case Life Teen suspends its president after he is accused in a lawsuit of abusing a minor. Priest given 1 year in jail Supporters of a priest gasped Friday as a Maricopa County Superior Court judge sentenced Father Karl LeClaire to a year in jail for sexually abusing a former parishioner. Device saves on hot water It may be the most blatant and yet unavoidable waste of resources in the house: that tepid stream of water that runs uselessly down the drain until the hot stuff arrives from the water heater. McDonald House gets $1 mil gift A capital campaign to expand the Valley's only Ronald McDonald House and also build a second one has received a $1 million boost, pushing the campaign's tally to nearly $3 million. 40 stunning horses share stage in show Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Horse and Man opened in Scottsdale on Tuesday beneath a 26,000-square-foot tent. District program brings dads into the classroom Fathers of Isaac school children can get involved with a new program called Dedicated Active Dads in Schools or DADS, and is holding an event for Isaac families today. Suspect in Mesa heists in custody The combination of a handgun, hair dye and a police scanner caught the attention of an alert warrants officer, leading to the arrest of a suspect in several armed robberies in the East Valley and a jewelry store heist in Tucson. Regents launch money quest Custom Clipper Clip TEMPE - You can't build a great university on Wal-Mart prices, ASU President Michael Crow said Friday as regents started to talk about setting next year's tuition. Mounting drug wars in northern Mexico blamed; 5 police hurt The latest attack in a wave of drug war violence crawling across northern Mexico struck after midnight Friday in southern Sonora. ‘You haven't seen anything yet’ As former city official eases into retirement, he warns about Yuma's exploding growth

Friday, January 28, 2005

Afternoon Headlines Friday

Measure would restrict offshore flow of consumer information A group of Democratic state lawmakers want to curtail the foreign offshoring of call centers and offer consumer protections so their personal and financial information is not jeopardized. Small business group extends Expo deadline The Arizona Small Business Association extended early-bird registration through today, Jan. 28, for its health care expo slated for Feb. 4. Valve leak cuts natural gas service in north Phoenix Southwest Gas Corp. Friday announced that a cracked valve resulted in a gas leak that left as many as 19,000 customers in north Phoenix without service since Thursday afternoon. Bills introduced to mandate water conservation in landscaping A state lawmaker wants to limit the types of landscaping used in new housing developments to better conserve water. Pinnacle West sees full-year earnings grow Pinnacle West Capital Corp., the parent company of electricity provider Arizona Public Service (APS), Friday reported lower fourth-quarter results, but slightly higher full-year 2004 figures. Ross spared jail, but loses real estate license in conflict-of-interest case Former Maricopa County Assessor Kevin Ross was spared a jail term Friday over his conflict-of-interest conviction but lost his real estate license and ordered to three years unsupervised probation.

Another prediction for the future...

"There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them." Via FFS

I've been thinking all day about what the next shortage in Phoenix will be...

In 2003 it was gasoline due to a pipeline break. In 2004 it was electricity due to a transformer fire. In 2005 it was water due to excess runoff with an unusually high level of particulates. Not to mention the shortage of Flu shots (I mean hay, that was a national thing). It seems like it's something every 8 months. I was thinking the next one would be cable television, natural gas(it was only 10,000 people who are affected by a a leak in a line near 19th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.), or air to breathe. I was wrong the next crisis happened today... sort of. The shortage is toilet paper... not really it was a hoax, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one preparing for the next shortage. Props to Deejays "Krazy Kid," "Ruben S.," and "Corina," at 104.7 KISS FM. They caused a small run on TP after announcing that a paper plant in California had to cease production because of bacterial contamination. What do you think the next crisis will require us to conserve?

Today marks 19 years since the Challenger accident.

Has it really been that long? I still remember the day as if it just happened, I remember Virgil running down the sidewalk yelling "The shuttle blew up! The shuttle blew up!" I still remember having to eat lunch at Burger King because of the power going out. I still remember the image of the explosion after takeoff. And I remember watching Ronald Regan on TV that night consoling the country.

Around Arizona... what other Arizona Bloggers are Blogging Today.

American Dinosaur The arrests of two close associates of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi AngryKeyboarder We're currently experiencing some technical difficulties. Blog for Arizona God's Politics are the cat's pajamas Coyote Blog Free trade, despite it enormous benefits, is constantly under attack. Desert Rat Ramblings Assaults on Border Agents Increase Disorderly Content Sexist. In the best possible way. Jackalope Persuivant* Days until I come home to Arizona J-Walk Blog The 50th Anniversary of Area 51 is coming up life behind the mini mart I love to see what other people think about things Random Rogers Big Picture The GDP number came in at a very disappointing 3.1% Ravings of a Mad Tech Don't count on Mexican help for border control Slightly Off Center The submarine USS San Francisco

Headlines Friday

Life Teen co-founders sued Two co-founders of Life Teen, the nation's largest Catholic youth ministry based in the Valley, were accused Thursday in a lawsuit of covering up and helping carry out sexual attacks on a 14-year-old boy two decades ago. Bikini incident results in firing One supervisor was fired and two others disciplined after they allowed a scantily clad woman to serve pastries at a Tempe facility last week. Barrier is sought at 24th St., Camelback Motorists drive slower on Camelback Road near 24th Street, signs warn pedestrians to use crosswalks and a countdown signal flashes the seconds they have to get across. Despite growth, water use declines TUCSON - Despite the rapid population growth in Arizona, groundwater consumption has fallen in recent decades as homes have replaced farms, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Political pressure building to oust Arizona legislator Political pressure is starting to swirl around a newly elected lawmaker who overspent his public campaign funds by $7,500, setting up a possible constitutional battle over the state's Clean Elections Law. Fire season drawing concern of governor Frustrated with what she sees as federal foot-dragging, Gov. Janet Napolitano is turning to the state's congressional delegation to help determine if and when the state will get air tankers for the upcoming fire season. Open-range zoning to end in Rio Verde Livestock that freely grazed on open-range land near Rio Verde Drive since the 19th Century will soon be required to be fenced away from the busy road between Scottsdale and Fountain Hills. Man wields sword, jumps from condo on 2nd floor A man jumped through his window then from his second-floor apartment overlooking Camelback Mountain to the ground below, wielding a samurai sword and covered in blood. Gilbert preserve is for the birds - and people GILBERT - You would think a 110-acre chunk of marshy land with nine riparian habitats, six upland habitats and enough recycled wastewater to fill up to 200 swimming pools a day would be anything but obscure in Gilbert. Judge denies order to stop Mesa vote Judge refuses to grant a temporary restraining order to Mesa resident, but all isn't lost in the bigger fight Money weighs on minds of regents In the minds of the Arizona Board of Regents, the university redesign process is becoming a lot like what happens when you leave the house too fast in the morning. No matter how promising the day is, there's always a nagging thought: Did I leave the iron on? Did I close the garage door? Gunman forces way into apartment, assaults woman A gunman forced his way into a northwest Phoenix apartment and tied up two young roommates Thursday morning before ransacking their home and sexually assaulting one of the women, police said. Food bank offers 2-for-1 event tickets Westside Food Bank is scrambling to boost ticket sales for Saturday's large fund-raiser, which agency officials hope will help ease a $300,000 deficit. Glendale mayor pays off on 1 football bet Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs served a slab of humble pie to nine members of Hamilton's championship football team. And she'll have to do it again. Ark. leader rips bill on immigration LITTLE ROCK - Gov. Mike Huckabee on Thursday heaped criticism upon immigration legislation in the Arkansas Legislature, describing it as ''inflammatory . . . race-baiting and demagoguery.'' He also challenged the Christian values of its main sponsor. Lawyers argue Prop. 200's scope Legal jostling over phrasing in Proposition 200 continued Thursday with attorneys arguing over a lawsuit that seeks to broaden the scope of the anti-illegal immigration law. Cold Case: Gruesome murder of woman, 22 The headline of the May 17, 1988, edition of The Arizona Republic read: "Woman found slain brutally." House backs prison funding boost PHOENIX (AP) -- The Republican-led House voted Thursday to give the Department of Corrections a $21.3 million midyear funding boost that Democrats criticized as too much of a good thing. Mayor orders investigation into water problem PHOENIX (AP) -- Mayor Phil Gordon has ordered an investigation into this week's water problem at city treatment plants, saying it raises serious questions about the safety of Phoenix's water supply. A 22-year-old man described as having neo-Nazi beliefs was convicted Thursday in the murder of a gay man who was beaten to death near North Fourth Avenue in 2002.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I haven't posted a Benson in a while...

So, I keep hearing this song in my head... And it's driving me crazy

Has anyone else heard this song from Portobella? I first caught it on a Saturday morning radio program playing European music (the band is from London)... It's catchy and so naughty too... sticks in your head with the female leads uptempo voice!
Covered In Punk :: Portobella Hey-oh Hey-oh Hey-oh Hey-oh Oh look at me, I'm covered in punk, Covered in new wave, covered in you. Oh look at me, I'm covered in punk, all over the radio, over you. Oh look at me, you've covered your face, covered in the moment, Covered in lace. Oh see me now, I'm bucking like a broncho, Eat your candy, eat your candy. Look at me, I scream like a banchee, God send the drag queen, god send the drag queen. Can you see me covered in showbiz, swimming in rubbish, swimming with the big fish. Do you see me coming like a comet, go like a rocket in your socket. Look at me, I'm looking at you, look at me I'm saying I do. It's my obsession, what's your confession? Chorus I'm covered in punk, I'm covered in you, I'm covered in all the things you do. I'm covered in punk, I'm sticking like glue, I'm covered in everything we do. Hey-oh (covered in it) Hey-oh Oh look at me, I'm covered in punk, Covere in the moment, covered in you. Oh look at me, I'm covered in the front page, Headlines screaming it's just a phase. Oh look at this, we kissed the graffiti. Covered in paint, covered in paint. Oh look at you, you're bucking like a broncho, Eat my candy, eat my candy. See me now, scratching your surface, Taking my chances, blowing my screen test. Look at me not minding my language, Doing you damage, doing you damage. Oh I can see you come like a rocket, go like a comet in my pocket. Look at me, I'm looking at you, Look at me, i'm saying I do. It's my obsession, what's your confession? Chorus x2 (covered in it) It's my obsession, what's your confession? x2 Chorus x2

Afternoon Headlines Thursday

Napolitano questions agency's forest fire readiness Gov. Janet Napolitano is concerned the federal government may not be ready to battle western wildfires this summer. New America West ad campaign ready for takeoff America West Airlines is launching a new regional advertising and marketing effort, appealing to business travelers and setting itself apart from rival Southwest Airlines and other discount flyers. Renzi named to influential House committee Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi has been named to the influential House Intelligence Committee. Patchlink nets $5M in new financing PatchLink Corp. closed its Series B financing round with an additional $5 million investment, the company announced Thursday. America West adds e-ticketing options America West Airlines and Northwest Airlines Thursday activated an interline e-ticketing agreement. Don't broaden reach of immigrant-benefits law, state asks judge An attorney representing the state argued Thursday for the dismissal of a lawsuit that seeks to broaden a voter-approved law aimed at keeping illegal immigrants from voting and obtaining certain government benefits.

Cardinals to unveil new logo

Perhaps they will change the mascot altogether...
Hoping to attract new merchandise sales, the Arizona Cardinals Thursday afternoon will unveil a new logo for the NFL team. The team's Cardinal design on helmets and other merchandise has remained the same since the team moved from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960. The Cardinals moved the Tempe's Sun Devil Stadium in the late 1980s and will move to a new stadium in Glendale in time for the 2006 NFL season.
Alas, no such luck! I'm surprised they didn't wait until the move to the new stadium... maybe we can change the mascot then!

Guest blogging continues!

The Queen of all Evil in all her wisdom has given me a Birthday present and decided to let me keep posting(bet you had no idea it was my birthday today)! So, go check out her blog too! Thanks to the Queen for allowing me to continue! Consider this an open thread for your birthday wishes...

Headlines Thursday

Regents may cap tuition hikes Paying for a college education and living in fear of the next wallop to your wallet? Tempe closes lake to boaters Tempe Town Lake is off limits again to boaters, the second of what could be a string of closures this winter. Liberty celebration bittersweet Today marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Over the past 60 years, survivors immigrated to the United States, married, had children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren, but survivors say the liberation anniversaries are bittersweet. Objections raised over student's Christ image A student at Mountain Pointe High School found out first-hand this month that art has the power to ignite passions and debate. Artworks by Erika Vogt-Nilsen Napolitano declares January 'Stalking Awareness Month' Gov. Janet Napolitano has declared January ''Stalking Awareness Month,'' making the state one of only three in the country to recognize the month. Japanese flower farm's roots run deep The Kishiyamas are the last of the Japanese-American flower growers whose gardens once lined Baseline Road for miles. Scottsdale buying last property near stadium Scottsdale is buying the last privately-held property just east of Scottsdale Stadium, but city officials said Wednesday that they are not locked into building a new spring training complex there for the San Francisco Giants. Moms-to-be without insurance to get help A program at Paradise Valley Hospital may patch a gap in health care for pregnant women in the city's Palomino neighborhood. Speed limit at issue on Pima Road A recent crash on Pima Road in north Scottsdale has residents calling for a reduction in the posted 55 mph speed limit on the much-traveled roadway. Immigration agents suspended Five immigration agents based in Phoenix have been suspended with pay for more than a year prompting concern that the federal government's effort to combat immigrant smuggling in Arizona is being jeopardized. West Valley growth predicted to be bigger GLENDALE - West Valley growth during the balance of this decade will be more expansive than the most optimistic regional economic forecasts predict, economist Elliott Pollack says. Spotlight on . . . Tracy Montgomery Tracy Montgomery, 40, a Phoenix police commander, was named in late November to direct the 262 officers assigned to the Cactus Park Precinct in northwest Phoenix. She joined the force in 1985 and is one of the three highest-ranking female supervisors. Closed-campus lunch focus of board session MESA - School board members have a lot of questions when it comes to closing Mesa high school campuses for lunch. On Wednesday, they decided to pursue more answers before bringing the issue up for public discussion. Residents fear contamination near subdivision GILBERT - A Gilbert neighborhood claims its property is contaminated and fears its groundwater supply could be in jeopardy soon. Avondale mayor set to launch ball fields AVONDALE - Mayor Ron Drake will dedicate the new ball fields at Avondale Friendship Park by throwing the first pitch of the T-ball season Feb. 8. The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. at the park, 12325 W. McDowell Road. Bill seeks to regulate stun guns Police should have the right to shoot and kill any suspect who threatens them with a stun gun, state lawmakers said Wednesday when they took a step toward legislating the weapon in Arizona. Elections audit due on Smith The public will get its first taste this morning of a brewing showdown between the Citizens Clean Elections Commission and a newly elected lawmaker who overspent his public campaign funds. Feds bolster case against Hells Angels Federal prosecutors have beefed up their racketeering case against Arizona's Hells Angels with a superseding indictment that adds new criminal charges and expands allegations that the biker club is a corrupt criminal enterprise. Colleges not ready for population growth If the state's population grows as projected and the university system doesn't take further steps to increase its capacity, the year 2020 will find Arizona with 24,000 more students eligible for college than there are seats at the universities. Bill would toughen laws targeting ID theft State and local policymakers on Wednesday announced legislation aimed at cracking down on identity thieves who have made Arizona their hub. Despite soaring growth, Southwest uses less water Given the Southwest's dizzying growth, you might think the U.S. Geological Survey is bad at math when it reports the following trends in our water use: 27 hospitalized in vehicle crash A Chevrolet Suburban carrying 27 people crashed Wednesday night in San Luis sending all of the occupants to the hospital. It was unknown if there were any fatalities in the crash. How does your solar garden grow? Yuma, APS unveil $500,000 project at West Wetlands Park. Rays of sunshine will be producing power at the Yuma West Wetlands Park. Disbanded SWAT could cost county The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office could lose out on all or part of a $350,000 federal Homeland Security grant because its SWAT team has been disbanded, according to state and Valley grant administrators.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My Recipe for this week...

This is one of my favorites... the variation is endless as long as you stick with the basics it always comes out great. Hot Peanut Chicken Stir Fry Chicken Breast (boneless and skinless) Oil (Peanut is the best) Vegetables (use what you have fresh or frozen, but garlic, onion, and celery are essential) Cayenne Pepper Sauce Soy Sauce Peanut Butter (I prefer chunky) Sesame Oil is optional
  • Slice the chicken thin across the breast (you can cut smaller pieces just try to make them uniform in size)
  • With a clean knife and on a clean surface (to avoid cross contamination) prepare the vegetables by cleaning them and slicing thin.
  • Heat enough oil to create a small pool in the bottom of your wok (or cover the bottom of large skillet) to the point that you see it shimmer and wisps of smoke rise above it.
  • Begin cooking by carefully adding chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper; cook until done.
  • Add vegetables stirring them into the pan starting with the most aromatic (garlic, onion then celery) and working your way to the fastest cooking.
  • To complete the cooking add soy and cayenne sauces and cover to steam vegetables and heat them through.
  • To finish the dish push all of the food to the edges of pan.
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter to the center for every half cup of liquid in the pan.
  • Stir to incorporate the peanut butter into the liquid this will thicken into a sauce.
  • Give a final stir to coat the food and serve over rice.

Afternoon Headlines Wednesday

Restrictions lifted, Gordon seeks review of water problems It is now safe for Phoenix residents to approach a water faucet with an empty drinking glass in one hand, city officials said late Wednesday afternoon. Kyl presses for improvements in worker IDs For Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the tough slog for federal immigration reform begins with Social Security cards. Napolitano seeks extension of tsunami relief tax breaks Gov. Janet Napolitano wants the state to follow the federal government's lead when it comes to tsunami relief. AT&T cutting more than 500 jobs, closing Mesa call center Beleaguered telecommunications company AT&T is cutting 1,700 workers and closing four customer service centers -- including one in Mesa. Phoenix signs parking deal with Tennessee company The Phoenix Public Works Department has signed a management agreement with Central Parking System Inc., a subsidiary of Central Parking Corp. Proposed wind farm gets OK County planning and zoning commissioners unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for a proposed 60-megawatt wind farm east of Flagstaff despite nearby landowners' claims that the project's 40 400-foot windmills will destroy their view of the San Francisco Peaks. River runners reach compromise The commercial and private boaters submit a joint recommendation that increases recreational use of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Town Lake closing to boaters; water released into Salt River Once again, Tempe Town Lake is closing to boaters because of increased water flows down the Salt River. Showers falling, expected to be heavy at times Rain fell across the Valley Wednesday from one Pacific storm after another, and forecasters said to expect heavy rain and a chance of thunderstorms Wednesday night. Proposal would allow use of lethal force on suspects with stun guns A top leader in the Arizona Legislature said he will propose granting police officers in Arizona the use of lethal force in confronting combative suspects who threaten them with remote stun guns such as Tasers. Mexico may ask international courts to block Arizona law MEXICO CITY - Mexico may turn to international courts in an effort to block a new Arizona law limiting services to illegal immigrants, Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez said Wednesday.

Phoenix water woe roundup... with links to local bloggers

As of 4 p.m. today the Advisory is lifted. Scroll to the bottome of this post to read comments from other bloggers... So here's the deal, we've been under a drought meaning very little rainfall in the watershed over the past few years (refer to my trip to see the river and that of others). So with the frequent winds we get a lot of 'blow'. Blow is fine clay dust that accumulates during wind storms... this is what has been washed through the watershed in unprecidented amounts and this is what is choking the water treatment facilities and causing excess turbidity.

Be advised that water needs to be at a boil for at least 5 minutes before being used in the following situations:

  • Drinking water
  • Washing dishes
  • Brushing teeth
  • Food preparation
  • Making ice
  • Wound care
This is in effect until noon tomorrow at the earliest possibly longer. [now hoping for an end at 4 p.m.] From the county burn unit: "Be carefull not to burn yourself!" If you have consumed tap water be on the lookout for:
  • Nausia
  • Cramping
  • Diarrea
From Vox:
OK, the weather is beautiful here 300 days of the year - I am not complaining. However, the recent rains we experienced (that we really needed) have left us another problem. Potentially contaminated water. It doesn't help that two of our treatment plants were already down for maintenance. I completely forgot the alert yesterday and showered (long and hot), did laundry, drinking tap water.... duh!
From The Desert Tusk:
I was at the gym this morning. After I had finished working out I went to take a shower, only to find the showers closed off. This is why. Phoenix's 1.4 million residents, as well as residents in the western half of Paradise Valley, were encouraged Tuesday to boil their tap water until at least noon Wednesday, and also to limit what water they do use. City officials blamed a turbidity
From Coyote Blog:
My disdain for the local news media got me in a little trouble today. Apparently, something happened to the local Phoenix water system such that they had to declare the water contaminated in some way. Everyone was told not to drink or take showers, and many restaurants closed. I totally missed this for most of the day (what does it say about me that I notice Internet outages within 5 minutes but it takes all day to figure out we have no water). The media is not giving many details, but apparently drinking water supplies were contaminated by storm runoff. Two of my doctor friends were more specific- they said that the rumor around the hospitals was that "human remains" had been found in the water systems. Yum. Fortunately, we have plenty of bottled water around the house. I usually laugh at people's perceptions of bottled water -- I bet if you asked most people, they would say the water came from some spring or glacier runoff or whatever. The fact is that most bottled water comes right from the tap. I almost bought a water company here in Phoenix that sells most of the private label water to local supermarkets, and I know for a fact they just filter and bottle good old Phoenix tap water. Anyway, I am happy to have the bottled water today.

In case you didn't know, the City of Phoenix has issued a warning directing residents to avoid using tap water that hasn't been boiled. The mayor urges us to not panic and hoard up on bottled water. Does this strike anyone else as conflicting desires? When encouraged to boil water for no less than five minutes and then told not to worry, most people would jump in the nearest vehicle and beeline it to the grocery store.

However, the hype and hysteria centering around this announcement belie the nature of the problem: one water treatment plant failed a federal clean water standard for particulates. Particulates, to my knowledge, aren't harmful unless they're particles of poison, bacteria, or sharp objects. They just make the water cloudy. The water is then not appetizing, but it's no less potable.

The worst part of this situation—crisis seems unnecessarily dire—is the difficulty of getting valid information. Most of the local news sites carried a simple AP wire story on Monday and Tuesday that lacked any details. The City of Phoenix's site, linked above, had quite a bit of information but it was from the horse's mouth and the likely liable entity should people get litigious.

The Arizona Republic finally got a balanced story that tempered the hype and answered a lot of questions (including the advice to "wash with hot water and a lot of soap for as long as it takes to sing Yankee Doodle Dandy"). Of course, Laurie Roberts, a Republic columnist, tried to incite more hype by pandering to widespread ignorance and blaming the Department of Water Services instead of Mother Nature.

In my entire life as a Phoenix native, I have never heard of this sort of thing before. We've had serious rains before and, presumably, serious runoffs without such advisories. I have to wonder if it's because we have more stringent requirements and more sensitive instruments now. We may have had this exact same problem in years past but we didn't know anything about it. And I also wonder at the frequency of this sort of advisory around the country in places where rainfall is more plentiful.

From Snozzberries:

The sun'll come out tomorrow, betcher bottom dollar...

I have this annoying habit of always trying to find a bright side, a silver lining in a crappy situation (and it bugs the hell out of my librarian friend, Giselle) and 24 hours into the Welcome-to-Phoenix-don't-drink-the-water-or-let-it-touch-you-anywhere-your-bathing-suit-covers crisis, I have finally figured out how this can totally work for me - I now have a viable excuse not to do dishes two words: woo hoo
From Chad Campbell:
Boil your water? How about let’s boil the planners?

The Arizona Republic Laurie Roberts Jan. 26, 2005 12:00 AM

Two years ago it was gasoline. One pipeline break and we were essentially stranded, running on fumes.

But not to worry. It was, we were told, not a crisis.

Which, of course, meant that every one of us proceeded immediately to the nearest gas station to fill up, top off or suck down every last gallon of gas we could find. And for good reason. None of the people running this place seemed to figure out we had a problem until the pumps were dry.

Last year, it was electricity. One power surge at an APS substation and we were faced with the prospect of rolling blackouts.

But not to worry. It was, we were told, not a crisis.

So for 35 days last summer we turned up the thermostat until the water in the toilet reached a slow simmer, and we followed the 21-day, 2,000-mile odyssey of the only thing that could save us: a 190-ton transformer that was, curiously, not here but in Washington state.

Now, it’s water. One big storm and the drinking supply of the nation’s fifth-largest city has apparently turned to sludge.

Oh, but not to worry. It is, we are told, not a crisis. Which is why the city has issued a boil water advisory. A boil water advisory!

That’s right. We went to bed Monday night and woke up in a Third World country.

All day Tuesday we were told not to worry but oh, by the way, don’t drink the water. Not to worry but oh, by the way, boil the water before you brush your teeth or wash the dishes and by all means, give the bottled stuff to Fido. This, because of something known as turbidity.

“Abnormally dry conditions over a long period of time before recent above average rainfall in a short period of time resulted in heavier than normal sediment flowing downstream and into the city of Phoenix’s water treatment plants,” city officials said in an advisory.

Translation: There’s gunk in the water.

Which, they assure us, they anticipated.

Just not too well.

Of five water treatment plants in Phoenix, two are shut down because of routine canal maintenance and one is closed due to storm damage. So when sediment headed our way, that left only two plants standing to do battle with the muck and mire. One lost.

Thus, the need to boil water.

Meanwhile, the water’s just fine in Scottsdale and in Mesa and Peoria and, in fact, everyplace else. Only Phoenix is storming the Culligan man. Only Phoenix seems to have no alternative supply.

But it isn’t much of a problem, we’re told. Really.

“We have a very significant matter of inconvenience but it’s not life-threatening,” Mayor Phil Gordon assured us Tuesday.

“The water is not poisonous, and frankly, it’s very unlikely that anyone would get sick,” City Manager Frank Fairbanks said.

Meanwhile, the drinking fountains at City Hall were covered with tape Tuesday and posted: “Do Not Use Tap Water. Do Not Drink It or Use It for Coffee, Tea, Etc.”

It’s a heck of a way to run a city. And a state. In my present parched condition, I find myself wondering how it is that the people who run this place don’t seem to anticipate problems. Even Steve Nash has a backup (sort of). Yet when it comes to pipelines and transformers and drinking water, our only Plan B is to boil water.

In coming days, I’m sure our leaders will explain how this happened, how these things seem to so often happen here. I, for one, can’t wait to hear what they say.

For now, though, it’s about as clear as, well, water.

From Millissa the piccolo player of DOOM:
WATER CRISIS!!! Okay...maybe just a warning... if anyone has read my story "The 6:00 News", they would have noticed that the updated chapter mentioned something about a water problem... Oh yes...there is a water problem hehe.
From Daemon X:
There's also a huge "crisis" around here today with "contaminated drinking water". All the news stations are telling us every 10 minutes to boil our drinking water and everyone's stockpiling bottled water and stuff. This is all completely ignoring the fact that the "contamination" is just a miniscule increase in microscopic dirt particles in the water because of all the rain we've been having and that only Phoenix and Paradise Valley are affected, since Tempe, Mesa, etc, get most of their water from other places. Of course, this really wouldn't affect me much anyway, since I drink about 2 glasses of water -per week- on average, but oh well.
From quirkylittleme:
Lemme just say: This water "CRISIS" is just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. I took a bath in Africa in brown water. OoooOOOooooooH. Dumb. You eat dirt, breathe dirt, sleep in dirt, and bath in dirt every day, and today there just happens to be a little bit more. So we should basically shut down phoenix? No, that's foolish. I can agree with not drinking a bunch of it, but no peeing school or washing your hands!? Jesus, it's not AIDS water. It's some dirt! Dirt=nature Water=nature News Reporters=dumb. P.S. I forgot to report that Rasta Tings closed, and I actually may have been sad
From What the Junk?:
AZ Perspective and Junk put together some good stuff on the recent situation with our valley's water supply. I am glad that I live in Mesa and don't have to worry much. I love not having diarrhea.
From Sunburns:
Well, I drank the water. I didn't listen, I didn't heed the warnings! I am surprised that my eyes haven't turned funky colors yet & that my ears are still safely attatched to my head! Oh, but look at all those pretty spots! It's a good thing I have a lot of purple in my wardrobe!
Photo of effects of drinking water here. Previous Sunburns posts here and here. From The Crusader:
The City of Phoenix claims that the problems at the Val Vista water treatment plant have been fixed. However, residents are being advised to boil water until at least noon. Contaminated water from that plant was still working it's way through the 18 mile pipeline to the main system.
The question now is, "What we do about this for the future?" In the last two years, we've had: a break in a poorly maintained Kinder-Morgan gasoline pipeline in Tucson that left the whole metro Phoenix area without gas for over a week, a transformer fire at a power substation on the 4th of July that was made worse by APS mismanagement and incompetence and left us short of power in the middle of a sweltering summer, and now a water shortage due to excess sediment in flood waters that shold have been foreseeable almost three weeks ago....
From life_behind_the_mini_mart:
We had a water scare here in Phoenix yesterday. I woke up to the news that the city's water system had been contaminated by runoff from those rains we had week before last and that we were supposed to not drink the tap water without boiling it first or drink bottled water. This affected 1.5 million people who use the city of Phoenix water system, which includes us who live in west Scottsdale. So I went to the grocery store to buy some bottled water and there was a land rush going on there. There wasn't a bottle of water left on the shelves save the 9 dollar Evian (which is naive spelled backwards BTW) and people were even snatching that up. I saw people with grocery carts full of water, and I mean full. Now keep in mind this was only supposed to be a 25 to 36 hour problem while the city filtered out all the dirt clogging the filters at the treatment plants, but people in there were going at it like it was Y2K part 2. I was appaled. I expected people to be smarter than that, my mistake. A person is smart. People are a panicky, reactionary herd that follow one another like lemmings. So, with no water to be bought I instead bought a 3 gallon water container and went home and boiled 3 gallons of water, which worked just fine. So, now after this crisis is over (and I seriously doubt it was that much of a crisis, what is a little dirt in the water?) I'll be able to fill that up, put a little sodium chlorite in it and store it in the garage for next time.
From chocolat_princess:
So as of yesterday... the water in Phoenix AZ is "undrinkable"... Luckily I'm in the Glendale district, so it's not a danger on my end. But I can't imagine, for a second, the thought of water being contaminated and having to boil it. When the articles say don't: -wash your clothes -brush your teeth -shower -drink the water... I would WORRY! We went to the grocery store and there were NO water jugs left. It's people freakin' out that freaks you out. And to top it off... I went to a local coffee/donut shop and it was closed this morning... NO WATER = NO COFFEE = NO DONUTS... :( Anyhow, I'm assuming that as of now the problem is fixed but the thought if this actually happening on a national level is just plain scary!
City of Phoenix still has the ban on tap water for the 1.5 million residents of greater Phoenix. Which means that I took a shower in contaminated water, and I'm grouchy because Starbucks isn't serving coffee. I need caffiene people! I'm tempted to head over to Scottsdale for my dose of Starbucks. AARRRGGHH! On to something good....The new computer has arrived. I think I'm going to name him Sifl. I picked up the two new printers and wireless print server last night also. I have everything I need to be a happy geek. My geek spending spree has come to an end. *sniff*
From Burning in the Desert:
Found out yesterday that the city of Phoenix is under a water boil advisory - through today. Let me tell you - do you know how long it takes to boil water? It took me 3 1/2 hours yesterday to boil 2 gallons of water. Crazy. I ended up having my roommate pick up 2 gallons of water to save time. I guess there might be some type of bacteria in the water. Hopefully we will hear something today.
From Prime Numbers
right this minute in Az 4 phoenix water plants have shut down We have been advised to not drink water if we live in Tempe,Snobsdale and Phoenix. Which as we all knows, is where all the cool people live, my apologies to the cool people who live in other cities or burbs but you are living in the wrong place.
From Me: Here Here Here Here Here Here Here Special thanks to the following Non-Arizona blogs for getting the message out: The Moderate Voice Crystal Clear

Water Advisory Lifted with a Toast using Phoenix Tap Water

You can read the official statement here.

Latest on water- Boil order still in effect as of 12:15

"Last update - 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26: City and county officials are continuing to meet and are reviewing water test results. We will continue to keep you posted." The delay in a statement is not inspiring confidence...
PHOENIX- There is still no word on whether Phoenix's 1.4 million residents can stop boiling their water. City and Maricopa County officials have been meeting since just after 10 a.m. Wednesday morning, evaluating and reviewing the test results that are expected to show that the city's water supply is safe to drink. However, no statement about those findings has been released. Phoenix officials had said Tuesday that they expected the county to lift the boil-water mandate around noon, but city spokeswoman said she had not received the go-ahead as yet.

This is ridiculous!

I never take the side of a criminal over the cops, I will not make an exception in this case, but you have to wonder.
KGUN Channel 9 Gabriel Gandara displays the welts on his body from police pepper- and paint-ball rounds after he refused orders to get on the ground. The guy in the photo was being arrested after a bar fight... so you would think you would operate on the premise that he's drunk at the time of the arrest. The police are ordering him to get on the ground and to get him to comply they are shooting him with pepper and paint balls. Keep in mind the officers think he is armed. They shot and hit him around 60 times... In the video that I've seen it looks like they just kept shooting rather than allowing him time to comply between shots... That is where I have a problem. If the guy is plastered shoot and then wait for him to comply, if he doesn't repeat the instructions and repeat the shots and then wait again... don't just pelt him repeatedly with shot after shot. Definitely, do not continue shooting once he's on the ground... that is not what happened. The shot him when he was down and that just seems wrong. This guy has a history of resisting arrest and assault, for that reason I would never take his side over the cops, but I have to question the actions of the officers shooting him once he was on the ground.

Headlines Wednesday

High and dry in Phoenix Tucson discovered Tuesday that it's sometimes good to be at the end of the surface-water spigot as Phoenix Water customers - all 1.5 million of them - were told to boil their drinking water. Restaurants hardest hit by Phoenix water problem PHOENIX (AP) -- Restaurants were among the hardest hit by a water filtration problem that prompted city officials to warn 1.5 million Phoenix water customers to boil drinking water and take conservation measures. Judge sets deadline for Legislature to boost school funding PHOENIX (AP) -- A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Legislature to act by the end of its 2005 session to increase funding for teaching students learning English. Immigration officials seize Phoenix-based oil company, oil wells MIAMI (AP) -- Federal agents seized a Phoenix-based oil company and more than three dozen Pennsylvania oil wells, along with trusts and bank accounts, as part of a wide-ranging money laundering investigation, authorities announced Tuesday in Miami. University redesign beginning The eight Arizonans who are redesigning the state's public university system meet today in Tempe to pore over data that could affect every facet of public education in Arizona. Citizen proof is required to vote Elections officials across the state are scrambling to enforce the voting provisions of Proposition 200, which became law Tuesday after the Justice Department signed off, making Arizona the first state that requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote. Glendale's loophole on parking to close Glendale officials are closing a loophole in the city's parking law that has translated into thousands of unpaid tickets for at least the past six years. Statewide poll gives nod to all-day kindergarten, smoking ban Arizonans strongly support funding for all-day kindergarten and a proposed statewide smoking ban, according to a wide-ranging statewide poll released Tuesday. Emissions-test bill would exempt classic cars Collectible-car and motorcycle enthusiasts are nibbling away at the state's vehicle-emissions policy, successfully arguing that they should be exempt from the vexing test because they barely put a dent in air quality. Central High gets dose of Mexican culture CENTRAL PHOENIX - Flashbulbs lit up Central High School's auditorium Tuesday, as students' digital cameras and cellphones snapped pictures of the performers. DeVry hosts video game competition PHOENIX - It's touted as the future of home entertainment, with annual PC gaming revenue expected to reach $30 billion by 2007. Waitress is arrested in credit-card fraud TEMPE - First there was a $120 charge, then one for nearly $90. The debit-card transactions themselves weren't unusual for Connie Price's bank account, but the locations were. Lawmakers weighing in on auto mall CHANDLER - Two state lawmakers from Phoenix and Mesa, neither of whom represents the affected area, are weighing in against a proposed Chandler auto mall expansion. Construction starting on Wigwam health spa LITCHFIELD PARK - Construction starts this week on a $5 million health spa at the Wigwam Resort & Golf Club, designed to keep the West Valley landmark competitive with other Valley resort properties. Videotape presented in court at hiker's trial The defense attorney for retired Valley teacher Harold Fish presented a videotape in court here Tuesday intending to show that the man he said he killed in self-defense was running ''full bore'' at him at the time of the shooting. City cops in review of pepper barrage Custom Clipper Clip The Tucson Police Department is conducting its required administrative review of steps taken by officers - including firing dozens of pepper balls - to arrest a man after a bar fight Saturday night. NOGALES, Ariz. - The U.S.-Mexican border here is going wireless. The Nogales ports of entry will take part in an experiment to record people entering and leaving the country using radio frequencies, Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson announced at a Tuesday news conference. Engineering program folding When Robert Offerle started working toward his doctoral degree in nuclear engineering at the UA in 1993, he numbered among dozens of students in what he believed was a thriving program. Proposed legislation to stop minors at border A proposed state law could halt minors from entering into Mexico without their parents' consent. Yuma-area law enforcement officials say the bill will put some "teeth" in a practice that they've followed for years — turning minors without parental permission away at the border. National Guard still 'robust and healthy' PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona National Guard is undergoing transformations that will put more boots on the ground for combat while also forming new high-tech units for space-age missions. No gay marriage, but domestic partners deserve benefits PHOENIX -- Arizona voters appear ready to constitutionally ban same-sex marriages -- but not much more. Scottsdale OKs land buy for Giants complex Scottsdale has cleared a major hurdle to build a San Francisco Giants’ spring training complex near Scottsdale Stadium.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

This is kinda cool... Here's a resource on our watershed

Small watershed mapSurf Your Watershed Arizona's water quality protection efforts are organized along watershed boundaries.

Maricopa County: Safety Measures for the Boil Water Advisory

Jan. 25, 2005 Maricopa County Departments of Environmental Services and Public Health advise all water customers served by the city of Phoenix to boil water used for consumption and take necessary precautions until further notice. The Boil Water Advisory was issued this morning by city of Phoenix officials due to the detection of high sediment levels, known as turbidity, found to be entering the water supply at some city of Phoenix water treatment plants. This precautionary health advisory is extended to all city of Phoenix water customers, including residents in Phoenix, Tolleson and other areas served by the city of Phoenix water supply. Be advised that water needs to be at a boil for at least 5 minutes before being used in the following situations: * Drinking water * Washing dishes * Brushing teeth * Food preparation * Making ice * Wound care The Boil Water Advisory affects the health and safety of all eating and drinking establishments including retail groceries operations, restaurants, schools, daycare centers, hospitals, senior care facilities, etc. Food establishments need to follow special standards to remain in operation. Please visit for a list of the required items. Schools and day care centers should prevent children and staff from consuming water from water fountains. If bottled water is unavailable, necessary actions should be taken to prevent children from dehydrating, particularly after any physical activities. "If an establishment is not capable of meeting these health and safety standards, they must remain closed until the Boiled Water Advisory is lifted by Maricopa County Environmental Services," said Al Brown, Maricopa County Environmental Services Director. Additionally, residents affected by this current water safety situation are encouraged to follow a water conservation plan as recommended by city of Phoenix and Maricopa County officials. This may include limiting bathing or showering, washing cars, and watering lawns and plants until further notice. High sediment or turbidity levels interfere with the disinfection process and provide a growing medium for microbial growth. "Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease causing organisms, but it is important to know that water may still look fairly normal," Brown said. "Therefore it is essential that residents follow proper water and sanitation precautions, until notified by County Environmental Health officials that the safety of the water has been assured." "This has the potential to be a serious public health issue, but we're taking all necessary precautions to prevent disease in the county," said Dr. Doug Campos-Outcalt, Medical Director for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. "The role of the Department of Public Health in such situations is to advise residents of potential threats to their health, to advise them of appropriate precautions to take to protect their health and safety, and to communicate to them when the health threat is over." The MCDPH is working with the community and is notifying health care providers and facilities to watch for patients with gastrointestinal disease symptoms. Residents who may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain should consult a health care provider as disease symptoms could occur from 1 to 12 days after disease exposure. Please be aware that this Boil Water Advisory will be in effect until lifted by the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department. For more information, private citizens may call the city of Phoenix Water Department customer service line: (602) 262-6251. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has the following link for emergency disinfection of drinking water:

City water advisory

Updated: 5:35 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25 Mayor Phil Gordon's Comments - 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25 First I'd like to thank the public for being patient and understanding today. We don't have much new information to share with you now - but because we're coming to the end of the business day for most folks, we wanted to bring you up-to-date on the situation as it now stands. First, to quickly recap - and to "bottom-line" what I hope the message of the day is: The best information we have, and the best opinions of the experts, say that Phoenix water is safe. Our most recent test results show no bacteria levels beyond the federal standards - or beyond the norm, and show an increase in particulates which are not harmful. We continually test our water and are doing so again today. We fully expect those results to be normal -- and our hope is that we will all be back to drinking water and fountain drinks tomorrow morning. As I said earlier today, this is almost certainly nothing more than a large-scale inconvenience - undertaken out of extreme caution - because that's how we do business here. Protecting the public is always our number one priority. If we're right, and the water is fine, then we've been inconvenienced for a day. And if we're wrong (which I very much doubt) then we've done the prudent thing by boiling our water for a minute before we drink it. Candidly, before we asked people to take that extra step this morning, I drank several glasses of City water at our home in Central Phoenix - and I feel perfectly fine. I thank City staff and our partners at the County and the State for their help - and to the media for helping us get this message of caution out to the public today. I really believe that tomorrow morning, we'll get our latest test results back and will have some very good news to share with everyone. If residents have any questions or concerns, please call our hotline at 602-262-6251. Those phones will be staffed until 8 o'clock tonight - and will reopen again at 6 tomorrow morning. (Tuesday morning update below): About 2:30 a.m. this morning, the city of Phoenix learned that water leaving its Val Vista plant is violating some federal standards. This was caused by the increase of mud, sludge and other particulates in the water run-off from recent storms. The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority. And our water engineers have assured us that the risk of contamination is low. But in order to be extra cautious, we are asking Phoenix residents to boil their water or use bottled water until noon Wednesday, Jan. 26. This includes any water used for drinking, brushing teeth, food preparation, making ice cubes, and washing dishes. Residents can feel comfortable in showering in the water. We also are asking residents to conserve water by taking short showers and not watering their lawns as the city continues to refill its reservoirs with clean water. We also are working with all schools and have asked them to turn off their drinking fountains until further notice and boil their water, too. We are working with hospitals, the construction industry and many other agencies. Phoenix has five water treatment plants. Two of them currently are out of service because SRP is cleaning the canals, which is a normal occurrence this time of year. Another plant is out of service because of the recent storms. This leaves two plants that are operational and providing water to Phoenix residents, which are normally enough to provide water that is needed by our residents this time of year. If residents have any questions, they can call 602-262-6251 or visit More from Marciopa County on the boil-water advisory Customer Service Q & A on Turbidity Background: The city of Phoenix has issued a boiling water advisory for consumers to not drink the water from their tap without boiling it first. Phoenix's boil water advisory is precautionary. Water with extremely high solids content from the SRP canal system has entered a Phoenix water treatment plant. It is leaving the plant disinfected, but potentially cloudy. Sampling of the water is being done to confirm that the water is safe. Test results and an update on boil water advisory will be announced by noon on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Increased cloudiness may be observed, but disinfection with chlorine will be maintained. Q: What is the city of Phoenix advising customers do about potential cloudy water? A: The city of Phoenix has issued a boil water advisory recommending that consumers not drink the water from their tap without boiling it first. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes, and all food preparation until further notice. Showering with tap water is OK. Q: Why do we have to boil our water? A: The boil water advisory is a result of highly turbid water coming into the water treatment plant from recent storms. Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness in the water. Abnormally dry conditions over a long period of time before recent above average rainfall in a short period of time resulted in heavier than normal sediment flowing downstream and into the city of Phoenix's water treatment plants. Water should be boiled for at least five minutes. Q. Why is this situation centered on the Val Vista plant? A: The city operates five water treatment plants. The Verde Water Treatment Plant is currently offline because of Verde River storm damage. Our 24th Street and Deer Valley Water Treatment Plants are offline due to the annual canal maintenance on the Arizona Canal performed by Salt River Project. The fourth and only other plant besides the Val Vista plant is our Union Hills Water Water Treatment Plant, which uses the Central Arizona Project (CAP) as a water source. It has not been affected. Q: How is Phoenix communicating with its customers? A: Media interviews, customer service assistance and a telephone community notification calls are at the forefront of our communication efforts with residents. The city also is working with schools, hospitals and industry. Phoenix Water Customer Services can be reached at 602-262-6251. Updates also appear regularly on Q: How many Phoenix water treatment plants are operational? A: Two water treatment plants are operational. A third plant was recently closed due to storm damage, and the two other plants are shut down due to maintenance activities in the SRP canal, which is a usual occurrence this time of year. Q: Who's responsible for this situation? A: Mother Nature is probably the only one we can point a finger to at this time. As you know, we've had several years of below normal rainfall, which creates very dry conditions, followed by a few months of way above average rainfall. The ground soaks up what it can, but this type of situation creates lots of sediment in the run off. Q: What is the city doing to rectify the situation? A: We've done a number of things so far. Each water treatment plant continuously monitors turbidity levels, and a measure is recorded every 5 minutes. When turbidity levels exceeded the amount allowed by federal guidelines, we notified Maricopa County Environmental Services, we increased the level of disinfection in the treatment process, and are diluting the muddy water with other water sources. We are using advanced treatment techniques to reduce the sediment in the water. Lime is being added to the treatment process which helps increase the efficiency of the treatment process. The sediment attaches to the lime and allows it to sink to the bottom to keep the sediment from going into the plant and to our customers. Q: What are the potential health effects of turbidity? A: Turbidity has no health effects and the risk of contamination is low. However, turbidity can interfere with the water disinfection process and provide a medium for bacterial growth. Turbidity can also indicate the presence of disease causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants and some elderly may be at increased risk. These individuals should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. Q: Aren't the filters doing their job? A: Our treatment plant filters are designed for a certain amount of sediment in the surface water. Because of the recent storms, the amount of sediment coming into the treatment plant was much more than our filters are designed to handle. Q: Didn't you expect something like this to happen? A: Yes, we did anticipate and plan for increased sediment from the recent storms. However, the amount of sediment coming into our system was more than expected. Q: It's been several weeks since all the storms hit. Why did it take so long for the sediment to show up in your system? A: Actually, this is about the time we expected to see increased levels in sediment because it takes the water that long to flow downstream from northern Arizona and into our system. Q: Is this due to any type of security issue? A: No. This is strictly nature affecting our water treatment capabilities. Q: Will a reverse osmosis system help clear my water? A: We do not recommend that consumers rely on home RO units. Your filters may clog very quickly. We still recommend you boil all tap water, with or without an RO system.

Afternoon Headlines Tuesday

Water inconvenience has Phoenix turning to bottle Phoenix residents turned off water sprinklers, took shorter showers or skipped it altogether and bought bottled water - some hoarding it by the cases - as they woke early Tuesday to find the city's water system under unusual strain. • Q&A with Phoenix officialsAirport stops serving coffee, fountain drinksResorts turn to bottled water, ask guests to limit showers Downtown group honors Jerry Colangelo After having more than his share of tough times in 2004, Jerry Colangelo started 2005 out on a strong note when the Downtown Phoenix Partnership gave him the Private Sector/Individual Award as part of the Downtown Revitalization Effort Awards of Merit and Recogniton (DREAMR). Bill proposed to prohibit 'offshoring' of state contracts A measure has been put forward at the state Legislature prohibiting the foreign outsourcing of state government work. Napolitano touts targeted tax cuts to East Valley business leaders Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano went to the Republican-oriented East Valley Tuesday, touting her tax cut plans to business leaders. Event to feature eWomenNetwork founder Sandra Yancey, founder and chief executive of, will headline the Arizona Women's Business Exchange on Feb. 3 at the Arizona Club in Phoenix.