Valley 101

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Whether you're a longtime Arizona resident or a newcomer, chances are there's something you've always wondered about the Valley. From The Arizona Republic and comes Valley 101, a weekly podcast where our journalists find answers to your questions about metro Phoenix. From silly to se…

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    • Nov 22, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 18m AVG DURATION
    • 150 EPISODES

    Listeners of Valley 101 that love the show mention: recycling, transplant, phoenix, az, wright, native, love learning, area, length, state, history, home, production, living, place, team, enjoyed, info, topics, interesting.

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    Latest episodes from Valley 101

    Before the Pilgrims, there was Fray Marcos de Niza

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 19:06

    Most of us are familiar with the story of Thanksgiving. In 1620, a ship called The Mayflower traveled from Plymouth, England to the New World in search of religious separation and a fresh start. In 1621, they enjoyed a bountiful meal after the harvest with the Wampanoag tribe, expressing their gratitude for helping them learn to survive in their new home. Many of us might believe that this was the first interaction between European settlers and Indigenous peoples who lived in what is now America. But long before the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock, there was an explorer who walked the Arizona land and interacted with its people. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we share with you the story of the Franciscan friar, Marcos de Niza, and his relationship with the Indigenous peoples of the Southwest. 

    Why do saguaros only grow in the Sonoran Desert?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 25:57

    When you think of Arizona, what comes to mind? Sprawling deserts or urban sprawl? The Grand Canyon or the mighty White Mountains? Hollywood has painted our state as a wild, uncivilized frontier filled with dangers and adventure. Rugged landscapes split by sharp mountains and dotted with scraggly brush, and the sentinel of the desert. The saguaro cactus. Found only in the Sonoran Desert, the saguaro cactus has a shallow but wide root network – snaking outwards in the hunt for water rather than burrowing deep into the earth. Its roots are often as wide as the cactus is tall creating a firm base to stabilize its towering height. The saguaro's thick, waxy, green skin helps retain water and they hold their breathe all day to make sure they don't lose moisture. They are an Arizona icon and provide essential resources for desert dwellers.   In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we venture out into the desert to discover why saguaros only grow in the Sonoran Desert.

    Where are all the water towers in Phoenix?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 14:31

    Arizona is known for being a transplant state. For some, it was the attraction of the warm winters and beautiful mountain views that brought them to the Valley. For others, well, maybe it was their job or simply they just needed a change. Regardless, a lot of people who now call Arizona home didn't grow up in the Valley of the Sun. And maybe after a while you begin to realize, you're not in Kansas anymore.  Like a listener who submitted a question to the Valley 101 team. He said that he's lived in other states before moving to Arizona. He wondered why those places used water towers in their communities, but they weren't common in Phoenix. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we investigate why metro Phoenix lacks water towers and search for a town that still uses a water tower today.

    How Arizona became a golf destination

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 14:51

    In Arizona, there are over 300 golf courses and more than 200 of them can be found in metro Phoenix. According to a study commissioned by the Arizona Alliance for Golf, in 2019 more than 10 million rounds of golf were played in the state. The state is largely seen as a golf destination, but how did that happen?  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez breaks down how golf's popularity grew in the Valley. 

    West Nile virus in Arizona

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 26:07

    The number of West Nile virus cases in Arizona continues to grow, making 2021 a record year for cases. As the number of probable and confirmed cases rise, Maricopa County is working on prevention methods.  Cases of West Nile can range from mild to severe. This year, the number of severe cases is also on the rise. So what is West Nile virus, and how is it being prevented and researched?  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Alexandra Watts answers questions about West Nile virus in the state and why the number of cases is increasing this year. 

    Where in the world will the Arizona Coyotes play next?

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 21:13

    In August, the City of Glendale announced it will be cutting ties with the Arizona Coyotes after this season. The relationship between the hockey team and Glendale has been a long and rocky road from nearly the very  beginning.  But the team hasn't announced where they're going next. There isn't another NHL-sized arena in the Valley so it begs the question, where in the world will the Arizona Coyotes play next? In September, the team proposed a $1.7 billion hockey arena and entertainment district in Tempe. Even if this does come to fruition, the Coyotes will have a minimum of two years without an arena to call home. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, reporters Joshua Bowling, José Romero and Paulina Pineda join the show. We discuss how the Coyotes and the City of Glendale came to an impasse and what the future could hold for the Valley's NHL team. 

    The history of Phoenix's canal system

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 16:17

    When you think of water canals, you might think of Venice, Italy, Amsterdam in the Netherlands or even Venice, California. You probably don't think about Phoenix.  But metro Phoenix actually has more miles of canals than all three of those places combined. The city's canal systems are operated by the Salt River Project and the Central Arizona Project for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. But Phoenix has had canals long before the Reclamation Act was signed in 1902. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out the history of the canal system dating back to 400 A.D. and how it helps us live in the desert today.

    The rise, the fall and rebirth of the 'Diving Lady' neon sign

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 4, 2021 21:08

    Drivers on a dark and lonely stretch of desert highway knew they had made it to the outer edges of the Phoenix area when they saw the bright, flashing lights of a motel sign.  It was the 1960s, and the neon sign that served as a beacon to travelers was dubbed the Diving Lady. The motel sign on Main Street in Mesa continues to hold a special place in the hearts of many. What is the history behind this 70 foot motel sign and how did it become a rallying point for Mesa? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez dives into the iconic landmark's history, its efforts to keep it standing and what it means to local residents in the Valley.

    How houses can be built along Arizona's mountains

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 11:28

    If you ever been driving past Camelback Mountain or Piestewa Peak, you may have looked out the car window and seen a house perched along a ridge. From the road it looks as if it's almost built into the mountain. But in reality it's built beside the mountain. The process is costly and arduous, but wanting an unrestricted view of the Valley is a trend that's nearly 100 years old. And even before it was a trend, it was a necessity to build up into the mountains. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out the history of mountainside houses and how they're built.

    The history of the Latino farmworkers who helped develop the southwest Valley

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 21:36

    Before the southwest Valley was filled with grocery stores, an airport and real estate, it was home to Latino farmworkers employed by Goodyear Farms.  Hundreds lived in five different camps made up of tents and wood-framed houses.The tight-knit communities were the first permanent residents of what is now Litchfield Park.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez walks us through the history of the Mexican laborers who were recruited to work in Arizona's cotton industry, the campsite communities on Goodyear Farms and the Latino farmworkers' impact on the development of the southwest Valley.

    What you need to know about marijuana in Arizona

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 32:41

    In November 2020, voters passed Proposition 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Since January of this year, Arizonans over the age of 21 with a valid ID have been able to purchase marijuana in dispensaries across the state within limit. Now that there are regulations and rules, long time users, medical patients or beginners all have questions about what legal recreational marijuana means in Arizona.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we share how Arizona's history with legal marijuana, dispensary basics, and what is within your rights.

    Four generations reflect on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11. We bring you their stories

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2021 25:00

    On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Andrew Bird,13, woke up to the sounds of his mother running down the hallway and into his older sister's room. As he made his way into the room, Bird saw on the television footage of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  Bird, now 33, remembers thinking to himself, “I think dad is around there somewhere. I think something is very wrong there and we are in a lot of trouble right now.” His father, Gary Bird, was the only victim from Arizona to die in the attacks. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Many of us remember exactly where we were when the Twin Towers fell. Some weren't old enough to create memories of that day, but recognize its significance. And for others, it changed the trajectory of their life. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez speaks with four people, all of whom represent a different generation, that were impacted directly and indirectly by that day.

    Tuberculosis remains a killer after thousands of years and Phoenix was once a haven for its patients

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 15:58

    Before COVID-19, the human civilization was plagued by tuberculosis, a disease that dates back thousands of years. In the late 1800s physicians encouraged people with tuberculosis to travel to Phoenix where it was believed was the warm, dry climate would help. With an influx of TB patients to Phoenix, it wasn't long before the city pushed them outside Phoenix and would become known as Sunnyslope. Although help was given, tuberculosis continues to be a worldwide killer of millions each year.

    What are the pros and cons of monsoon season?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 19:47

    Summers in Arizona mean heat, triple-digit temperatures, and desperately trying to stay cool. But summers in Arizona also mean monsoons - big, bright thunderstorms returning rain to the desert.  During the summer monsoon season, Phoenix receives one-third of its annual rainfall, a necessary relief to help combat the drought that 83% of the state is experiencing, according to the National Weather Service.  While monsoons bring reprieve from the extreme heat and aid in the drought, they are sometimes responsible for power outages and extreme flooding.   Flooding in urban areas, such as Phoenix, often causes minor headaches such as traffic congestion on surface streets and highways. However, in parts of the state outside the Valley, floods can be dangerous, and occasionally deadly.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we share the good and the bad of monsoon season in Arizona.

    What is the delta variant of COVID-19? Are vaccines still effective?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 17:20

    Health experts have been tracking a new variant of COVID-19 they say is nearly twice as contagious as previous strains and causing more breakthrough infections. That strain is called the delta variant.   First identified in India, the delta variant is now the dominate strain in Arizona.  What is the delta variant? What does it mean for us? Are vaccines mitigating community spread of the variant? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we answer those questions. 

    Why is the Valley expanding out, not up?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 14:22

    Why do home builders continue building out instead of up, and what's the deal with basements in the Valley? In this week's episode, producer Keith Reed speaks with experts about caliche, a hard surface deposit consisting of multiple compounds such as sodium nitrate and chloride, which hinders efforts to dig deep in the ground. The Valley 101 also met with a City of Phoenix official and a local architect about how efforts are being made toward building more high-rise residential buildings in downtown Phoenix.

    Valley 101 explores the history behind Mesa's independent energy center

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 13:24

    Within the city of Mesa is a five and a half square mile section that gets its energy from the city's Energy Resource Department. It covers most of the downtown Mesa area from Brown Road to Broadway Road and Extension Road to Stapley Drive. It's not a perfect square, but the area covers about 17,000 people. While the Salt River Project and Arizona Public Services electric serve the rest of the state, Mesa has owned and operated its own electrical utility since 1917. At that time, the city purchased it from Dr. A.J. Chandler, the city of Chandler's namesake.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we share why Mesa manages their utilities and the history of how they came to own it.

    Jagger Eaton, Olympic bronze medalist sits down with Valley 101

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2021 11:02

    Jagger Eaton, 20, grew up in Mesa with the hopes of making it to the Olympics competing in skateboarding. He reached his live long goal on July 24, when he won the first ever bronze Olympic medal in street skateboarding. Eaton is now back in California and joined producer Maritza Dominguez for a one-on-one conversation.

    From backyard pools to Tokyo Olympics, the history of skateboarding in Arizona

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2021 21:19

    USA Skateboarding, the official governing board of the sport, announced in June the first Olympic skateboarding team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The team includes 12 skateboarders, three of which have Arizona ties.  Jagger Eaton, Alana Smith and Brighton Zeuner all started their career in Arizona.  How are there so many Arizonans on the team? What impact has the Valley had in the growth of the sport? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we dive into the skateboarding community in the Valley and its history.  In this episode, you'll hear from people who have been skateboarding in the Valley since the mid-1970s, and from a local skateboard coach who hopes to continue growing the skating community. 

    Does Arizona have its very own Bigfoot? Valley 101 investigates

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2021 18:31

    When you think of Bigfoot, the Pacific Northwest comes to mind, not Arizona. So, it came as no shock when Valley 101 listener Chris Shaver, who lived in Oregon prior to moving to Arizona, asked if there are Sasquatch or other mythical creatures in the Valley. Surprisingly enough, sightings of a Sasquatch-like creature have been reported in Arizona, including one in 1903 near the Grand Canyon according to an article in The Arizona Republican. Several years later, when more sightings of a similar creature near the Mogollon Rim were reported, this cryptid soon became known as the Mogollon Monster, Arizona's Bigfoot.   In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we speak with experts on metaphysical concepts, folklore, mythology and a researcher who says he has seen Bigfoot on multiple occasions.

    'Fluke' avocado tree survives more than 100 years in Arizona desert, but it's not native

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2021 11:19

    It's often referred to as the "Mother Tree." For more than 100 years this tropical tree, which is native to Central America and Mexico, has managed to survive in the Arizona desert by the grace of Mother Nature. Just northeast of Tucson on a private ranch lives an Aravaipa avocado tree. Although no one can definitively say how this tree found its way into the Arizona soil, it hasn't stopped people from speculating. So, how has this Aravaipa avocado tree managed to survive and can other Aravaipa avocado trees be grown in Arizona? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we talk with horticulture experts and rare fruit enthusiasts to find out.

    BONUS: Valley 101 shares what covering the 1993 Phoenix Suns in the NBA finals was like

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2021 16:22

    For the first time in 28 years, the Phoenix Suns are playing in the NBA Finals.   Their appearance in the NBA Finals is unexpected since it was only two years ago that the team won only 19 games. After that disappointing season, the Suns brought in a new head coach, Monty Williams, who managed to end last season on an exciting 8-0 run in the NBA bubble. The Suns finished just under .500.  This season, with a 51-21 record, the Suns are different. Adding future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul to the roster was the missing piece to the team's puzzle. His veteran leadership paired with Devin Booker style and Deandre Ayton's energy helped propel what was once a mediocre team at best, into a capable contender.  The last time the Suns made it to the finals was in 1993 and things were different. The team had been playoff contenders the last few seasons and at the time, the missing piece was star Charles Barkley. And Barkley always gave reporters something to write about on and off the court.   In this bonus episode of Valley 101, Arizona Republic reporters Bill Goodkoontz and Kent Somers share what it was like to cover the 1993 finals and what the atmosphere in Phoenix was like the last time the Suns rallied the Valley. 

    What is "Sonoran sushi" and what is its history?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2021 17:21

    Have you ever wondered what traditional Japanese sushi and Mexican food create? Several years ago in Mexico, a combination of Mexican food ingredients and Japanese style were used to create a fusion dish known as Sonoran sushi. Traditional Japanese sushi's main ingredient is vinegared rice. Sonoran sushi rolls have those base ingredients like rice and seaweed, but with their own twist.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're diving into how this fusion began and why it's becoming more popular.  We'll break down the episode into three parts. First, we're taking a trip down to Puerto Peñasco, commonly known to Arizonans as Rocky Point, to check out a local sushi restaurant. Then The Republic's dining critic, Andi Berlin, will join Valley 101 to give listeners a sense of how Tucson and Southern Arizona has made itself known for its Mexican Sushi.  And finally, you'll hear from a local Valley restaurant owner who was one of the first to introduce this food trend to metro Phoenix. 

    Valley 101 highlights some of Arizona's LGBT+ icons

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 28, 2021 20:23

    When Marshall Shore first came to Arizona 21 years ago, he was told that Arizona had no LGBT+ history. But every time he would venture around the state, whether by car, bike or foot, he would hear stories of people and places that he thought were amazing. Shore is most known by his moniker, "The Hip Historian," a name given to him in 2009, as a way to distinguish him from Marshall Trimble, the state's official historian. Through his work as project manager for the Arizona LGBT History Project, he has worked with Arizona State University to create an archive of the community. On this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, Shore shares some of the stories he's come across about the icons in the state's LGBT+ history. 

    How did Christown Spectrum get its name?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2021 11:39

    The history behind the Christown Spectrum name spurred Valley 101 listener David Thelen to ask: “What is the background and history of the man who served as the inspiration of the part of Phoenix named after him?” In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're diving into Christown's namesake and the cultural impact the mall had on Phoenix after opening in 1961.

    How the Rio Salado Project connects the Valley through water

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2021 16:17

    Tempe Town Lake sits as a small oasis in the middle of the desert, alongside a freeway. The shimmering body of water is one of Arizona's most visited public attractions, but is more than just a place for music festivals, marathons and regattas.  It all began with James W. Elmore, the founding dean of the College of Architecture at Arizona State University. He challenged the College faculty in 1966 to transform the Salt River, a dry riverbed, from an eyesore into a greenbelt attraction.  One year later, an ASU professor and 16 graduate students proposed The Rio Salado Project, “a vast reservoir of open space unique to the heart of a great city.” Thirty-three years later, the first developed phase of the project was realized when water from the Central Arizona Project flowed into the dry riverbed and Tempe Town Lake was born. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we explores the project's history and how it connects the Valley together through the unexpected ways of water. 

    FAQs about Arizona highways answered

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2021 15:25

    Highways and roadways impact Valley drivers on a daily basis. Valley 101 listeners often submit questions to the Arizona Republic's podcast team to dive into these topics. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're answering three of those questions.  We'll take a brief dive into the history of Arizona toll roads, a look at the future of Interstate Highway 11 and then how Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway has impacted the Valley. In this episode you'll hear from:  Laura Douglas, a communications project manager with the Arizona Department of Transportation Philip Vandermeer, an emeritus professor of history from Arizona State University Eric Anderson, the executive director for the Maricopa Association of Governments. 

    Memorial Day special

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2021 5:30

    Whether you celebrated the long Memorial Day weekend by getting out of town, exploring Phoenix or relaxing at home, the Valley 101 team has a few suggestions of past episodes to listen to.

    A Valley bucket list for tourists and locals alike

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2021 17:57

    As Maricopa County continues to be one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, interest in the Valley expands. More travelers and potential new residents want to check out all the unique destinations of the desert. One Valley 101 listener plans on making Phoenix their new home. They asked us to put together a bucket list of activities and places they should check out in the Valley. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we’re doing just that. Even if you’re an Arizona native, there might be some activities on this list you haven’t heard. We spoke with one expert and a couple of Arizona Republic reporters to share their picks of places to check out in the Valley. You’ll hear about quick day trips and some hidden gems.

    Valley 101 remembers history of lost all-Black community in Arizona

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2021 22:07

    In a dried up flood zone just south of Buckeye once lived a lively and vibrant community. Despite nearly 500 residents at one point, the community was absent of good water and sanitation. The community lacked stores, mail delivery, streetlights or even stop signs. This was the town of Allenville. In the 1940s when part of the town was sold by Lee North to John Allen, the town's namesake, it was the only area of town where Black people could own land. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, and with the help of Taylor Seely, The Arizona Republic's Southwest Valley reporter, we uncover the hidden past of this all-Black community and how it was destroyed by a series of floods in 1978.

    Native American food in Arizona: The history of fry bread and food scene in Metro Phoenix

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2021 12:25

    Valley 101 listener Genevieve Hall asked: "What's the best Native American restaurant in the Valley?"  That depends. There are 21 federally recognized tribes in Arizona and more than 500 in the United States. Each have their own traditions and nuances. However, there is one restaurant that stands out. In this week’s Valley 101 episode, producer Maritza Dominguez spoke with two Valley chefs who specialize in Native American food. They discussed the history of a popular dish and how their culture and community have influenced their cooking style.  

    Valley 101 tells you how to best prepare for bad air quality this summer

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2021 14:48

    If you lived in Phoenix in August 2020, you probably remember waking up to what felt like an unusually cloudy day. The sun was bright orange and looking directly at it didn't hurt your eyes. But those were not unseasonable clouds, it was smoke from fires in Northern Arizona and California that traveled into the Valley. With the majority of the state in a drought, the potential for an active fire season and big dust storms blowing into the Valley this summer, has one Valley 101 listener asking what they can do to protect their lungs. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out what is in store for us this summer and the best practices we can adopt for healthier lungs. Producer Amanda Luberto has more.

    There's no such thing as the city of Anthem. We found out why

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2021 12:59

    Picture this: you’re headed to Sedona from downtown Phoenix. As you drive north on Interstate 17, you pass the Outlets by Anthem.  What you might not know is that the section of Anthem with the outlet mall — the western section — is actually part of the city of Phoenix. The larger portion of Anthem, its eastern counterpart, is in unincorporated Maricopa County. There’s no such thing as the city of Anthem.  In this week’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we’re answering two questions from our listeners. We’ll look at why Anthem as a whole isn’t located in Phoenix. Then we’ll explore whether the master planned community will ever be fully incorporated into Phoenix. 

    What's the history of the Beet Sugar Factory in Glendale?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2021 11:13

    On 52nd Avenue and Glendale Avenue, a five-story building stands empty. It's fenced off from the public with faded red brick and bordered-off windows. Arizona Republic readers picked the Beet Sugar Factory as one of the worst West Valley eyesores.  The factory captured the interest of Valley 101 listener Garret Godfrey. He asked us about the history of the Beet Sugar Factory and about future plans for the building.  It turns out that building has a connection to the development of Glendale. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez takes a deep dive about the Beet Sugar Factory. Have more questions about Metro Phoenix for the Valley 101 team? Submit them here.  

    Why are the streets downtown Phoenix named after United States Presidents?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2021 13:00

    If you drive downtown Phoenix, it's likely you have turned down Van Buren Street, Roosevelt Road or another roadway named after a President. Phoenix famously has a grid system for its roads. Roads running North to South are numbered and roads running East to West are named streets.  But one of our listeners asked why the streets in Central Phoenix are named after United States Presidents. They grew up on Portland Street, one street over from Roosevelt and always wanted to know why names of past Presidents adorned the street signs of Phoenix.  In today’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out how this came to be and what it would take to continue it. Producer Amanda Luberto has more.

    What is xeriscaping? And what are its benefits?

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2021 13:18

    Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden boasts more than a mile of native plants. Every step of the way, you’ll find plants that are uniquely attended for survival in the hot, dry desert.  In fact, there are more than 200 plants that thrive in our desert climate.  “One of my favorites is the chocolate flower, that spring or fall will grace your morning grand with the aroma of sweet chocolate,” said Kirti Mathura, the Smartscape Program Coordinator at the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension.  Using local or adapted plants like the chocolate flower, in favor of turf or non-native plants, is a type of gardening called xeriscaping. Xeriscaping not only helps conserve water, but it’s beneficial for local wildlife as well.  In this week’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, podcast editor Katie O’Connell digs into xeriscaping. You’ll find out the benefits of having a xeriscaped space, as well as some hints for achieving one.

    What legacy did Betty and Jean Fairfax leave behind in Arizona?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2021 18:15

    In honor of Women’s History Month, we're highlighting the story of two women who dedicated their careers and retirements to educational equity. Their names were Betty and Jean Fairfax. Those names might sound familiar. Betty H. Fairfax High School in the Phoenix Union District is named after the oldest sister. She’s the only former educator in the district with a high school named after her. How did that happen? What kind of legacy did the Fairfax sisters leave in Arizona? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're diving into their lives and how they inspired students to strive to higher education. 

    How did Arizona become a hub for the LDS Church?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 22, 2021 16:46

    The Valley is full of transplants. Many of us moved here or our parents moved here, perhaps our grandparents. Then there's Candice Copple, whose family has been in Arizona for six generations. Copple's ancestors came to Arizona in the 1800s as a part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her great-great-great grandfather was Charles Innes Robson the 1st. He’s considered a founding father of Mesa in the East Valley. Charles came to Arizona with his father-in-law Francis Pomeroy and two other families under Brigham Young’s direction. Today, Arizona has the fourth highest population of LDS members in the United States. We’re just behind Utah, California and Idaho. And Arizona’s history with the LDS Church stretches back before Candice’s family. In today’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out more about the Valley’s connection to the LDS Church. Producer Amanda Luberto explores its history and why Arizona continues to have such a large LDS population today.

    Why aren't sirens used during dust storms?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 15, 2021 14:26

    Dust storms can create a wall of dust that miles wide and thousands of feet high. When one hits, visibility can drop down to a quarter of a mile or less. When that happens, the local branch of the National Weather Service will send out a weather emergency alert. Odds are you've received one on your phone. Sirens, however, are not part of the messaging equation. It turns out there are a few reasons why sirens aren't used during dust storms. Part of it has to do with infrastructure. The other has to do with which type of messaging is most effective during moments of hazardous weather. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're catching up with the National Weather Service and the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management about dust storms and emergency messaging.

    What's a vanity license plate? How many are on the road in Arizona?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 8, 2021 11:11

    When you're on the road, odds are you'll see plenty of our standard Arizona license plates. You know, the ones with a purple saguaro and mountain under a blue and yellow sky. But you'll also see a fair number of plates that look different.  Valley 101 listener Harold Lohner noticed this too. He asked why Arizona cars have so many vanity license plates? Is it more than other In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're diving in the trend of vanity license plates in Arizona. 

    Why is recycling different city to city?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 1, 2021 13:03

    When you go to recycle, what you can put in your bin depends on a few different factors, including which municipality you live in. Different cities within the Valley have different rules. Why is that? Why is there not an across-the-board set of items you can and can’t recycle? In this episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we break down the reasons why where you live affects how and what you can recycle.

    How did the Phoenix Bakery, one of the city's oldest buildings, end up at the Phoenix Zoo?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 22, 2021 14:34

    The Phoenix Bakery was a downtown staple in the city’s earliest days. German immigrant Ed Eisele Sr. started working there in 1881, purchasing the shop at West Washington Street and Center Street (now Central Avenue) three years later. As the city grew, the bakery grew, leaving its original location in 1929. But the red-brick building that housed the original operation is still around today. There’s just one catch: it now resides at the Phoenix Zoo, miles away from its original location.  How did it get there? In this week’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we’ll look at the history of the building, starting with the unlikely journey its owner took to immigrate to the U.S. and ending with its reconstruction at the Zoo. 

    What's the story behind Phoenix Sky Harbor's fly-in chapel?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 15, 2021 12:13

    Before Las Vegas became known as the quickie wedding hotspot, people flew to Phoenix. Or at least that's what Phoenix's Junior Chamber of Commerce hoped for.  The story dates back to 1937. The city had purchased Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport two years prior in 1935. Most states across the U.S. at this point had laws mandating a 3-day waiting period for couples wishing to wed. But Arizona didn't.  Capitalizing on that lack of regulation, the airport built a chapel and advertised fly-in weddings. The hope was to draw in Hollywood celebrities who wanted to marry quickly and under-the-radar, hopefully without paparazzi.    It wasn't a total success, but it wasn't a failure either. Listen to this week's episode of Valley 101, an Arizona Republic and podcast answering questions about metro Phoenix, to uncover the history of Phoenix's fly-in chapel.  

    Who was Paul W. Litchfield and how did he help develop the West Valley?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 8, 2021 17:10

    Today, the West Valley is home to 1.7 million people, according to data collected by the Western Maricopa Coalition. And it’s still growing. The coalition anticipates that over the next 25 years, 49.5% of the growth in Maricopa County will happen in the West Valley. That's vastly different from what it was like in the beginning of the 20th century. Before Arizona had towns like Avondale, Goodyear and Litchfield Park, the West Valley was barren. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're diving into the history of the Southwest Valley. What took it from the desert to what it is today? And we're doing that thanks to a question from listener Dale Arel, who asked how Paul Litchfield shaped the Valley

    Meet Richard E. Harris, the first Black reporter at The Arizona Republic

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2021 27:49

    In 1964, at the age of 51, Richard E. Harris became the first Black reporter at The Arizona Republic.  His tenure came during a momentous and tumultuous period in our nation’s history. The year before, thousands were arrested while protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Among them was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who would deliver his famed “I Have A Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that same year.  President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The following year, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Phoenix was segregated at the time. Years of redlining and restrictive covenants had left their mark on the city. Harris was assigned to cover poverty in the city, telling the story of some of its most vulnerable citizens.  Later in life, Harris wrote that he “detested some of the paper’s ultra-conservative editorials and stories slanted in favor of the Establishment.” Still, he was proud of his tenure there and what he accomplished. In his 2004 autobiography "The American Odyssey of a Black Journalist," Harris wrote that he “proved to be as capable as most white peers and soon found news stories outside the stereotype bounds.” Today, Harris is remembered by those who came after him as a modest, humble man.  “And what I’d like to say about Richard Harris is that, you know, he wasn’t a physically large guy. But he had very broad shoulders, figuratively speaking,” said Art Gissendaner, who worked as the sole Black reporter at The Republic a decade after Harris. “And something I tell a lot of young people now is that where we are now, we all are standing on someone else’s shoulders.” In this week’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, Executive Editor Greg Burton explores the story of Harris’ life and legacy. 

    How do you safely hike with dogs in Arizona?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2021 16:23

    Winter in Arizona means peak hiking season. The weather is beautiful, the landscapes are breathtaking and, because of COVID-19, the fact that you can socially distance in the open air while getting in some exercise is an added perk.  But if you take your dogs with you, there are some things you need to know. Maybe you’re new to the Valley and your transplant dog isn’t used to the desert terrain. But even if you’re a long-time resident, we’ve got some tips that you might not know. Consider this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, a toolkit for how to safely hike with dogs here. Producer Taylor Seely speaks with Bretta Nelson, a spokesperson for the Arizona Humane Society. Plus, an only-in-Arizona style story about running into a herd of cows while hiking from Valley resident Debi Palestina. 

    What's the story behind Arizona's clever highway signs?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2021 12:13

    There are the normal highway signs, ones that feature messages about travel times or road conditions.  Then there are the funny ones. Ones that say things like, "Cut off? Don’t get bad blood. Shake it off” in reference to a Taylor Swift song. Or “Aggressive driving is the path to the dark side,” a nod to “Star Wars.” Arizona isn't unique in having signs like that. The trend started with the Iowa Department of Transportation, but Arizona Department of Transportation spokesperson Doug Pacey thinks we may have perfected them. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're exploring the history of these signs and what it takes to write them. You'll also hear from Mitzie Warner, a Chandler resident who won a safety message writing competition. 

    Is there a roller derby scene in Metro Phoenix?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2021 21:19

    If you fell down the TikTok rabbit hole in 2020, odds are you probably came across one or two videos of people roller skating. It's a trend and hobby people took up to get outside during the pandemic. Valley 101 listener Antonio Moody is a teacher and heard about the exact same trend from his students. Some of them even thought of taking up roller derby. Moody asked the podcast team if there was a roller derby scene in Metro Phoenix.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez digs into this community. 

    Why does Phoenix have so few cemeteries?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2021 17:15

    If you're a transplant to Arizona from New England, you may have been surprised at the seeming absence of cemeteries in the Phoenix area. After all, they feel like they're located at every corner in some northeastern states. That's how Christopher Bunce felt when he moved to the Valley in January of 2020. So he submitted a question to Valley 101, our newsroom podcast dedicated to helping Phoenicians better understand the place they call home. He asked, "Why does Phoenix have so few cemeteries?" Bunce thought it perhaps was because Arizona is a younger state. Cindy Lee, vice president of the Pioneers' Cemetery Association, offers a few other reasons in this week's episode.

    Happy holidays from Valley 101

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2020 2:37

    Hey Valley 101 listeners! We're taking a week off for a little rest and relaxation. Thank you for all of your questions this year! We look forward to answering more of them in 2021. Let us know what's on your mind at or on Twitter @Valley101pod.

    What's the story behind Arizona's largest Christmas tree?

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2020 9:14

    For almost 20 years, the Outlets at Anthem decorated with the largest Christmas tree in Arizona. This year is no exception. Their 70-foot tall white fir tree weighs four tons after it's decorated.  How did that tradition start? And how does the mall know that its tree is the tallest in the state? Podcast editor Katie O'Connell found out during this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and where we answer the questions you ask about metro Phoenix.

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