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March 07, 2011


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Jon, U said it all, I could not have stated it any better or clearer. And I could not have said it in such a declarative way. Someone in power needs to lean on Jack Ballantine, "Mr. Murder for Hire" to seek the Police Chief's position.

Bizarre thought: is there any connection here with the suspicious rise in AIMS score and the flawed kidnapping stats?

It's all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$

I understand the rage from below about "double dipping" and out-of-touch bureaucrats. But it's the decibel level that provides the real clue. Why are suburbanites from the Gilbert and Scottsdale so angry at Phil Gordon? Hmmm. That's like asking how Janet Napolitano became the Janet Reno of the Obama administration. Weakening the opposition with a billion mosquito bites is a tactical principle of the right. Gordon's once-bright political future is now dead. Likewise, Janet's political career is finished in Arizona.

Bureaucracies have their virtues - consistency and resistance to political pressure among them. But then so do political machines. I noticed a long time ago how Phoenix city government was more than willing to privatize blue-collar jobs like waste collection but instinctively took care of the green pastures higher up. The firefighters understood that principle from a comfortable place on the food chain, which is why they tend to vote Republican. After fighting with the cops for much of the 70s and 80s, they settled into a truce that allowed cartelization of their professions. Now, the rancor is back but the attack is from outside.

I read the comments on AZCentral.com in an effort to understand this attack. For the most part, it's an oversimplified R vs D thing where Arpaio and Pearce are the good guys and their opponents are scum. But you have to ask who benefits from this civic riot. As always, follow the money. Tax revenue is the gold mine. Dismantle its security apparatus, the bureaucracy, and it's there for the taking.

Bizarre Thoughts: Russel Pearce becomes US Senator, Babeu becomes US Representative, Arpaio becomes Arizona governor, Plea President becomes Phoenix Police chief. Jon Talton becomes Maricopa county sheriff and hires David Mapstone, as Historian

Yes, I'd like to have those stars. I would be employed in two jobs if I had those stars. Currently I have no job.

Delicious Post Mr. Talton. I look forward to looking into all this some more.

Separate note:
Russell Pearce wants the cities to relax the building fees for developers to "Get construction going again". Lord have mercy, that's the last thing we need now. It ought to be a felony to start building single family homes on the fringe right now. How Pearce and Patty Murray ever succeeded in politics I'll never understand. ( NW reference was free of charge. :-))

Greg Stanton will win the mayoral race, don't you know! ;-) Great piece and little to add here. I've always been interested in the goings on at City Hall. It seems very dysfunctional and unsure of itself; kind of like a teenager. It is no doubt, because of Phoenix' rushed blossoming into a big city overnight (in historical perspective).

Sculley leaving, from all accounts, was a huge brain-drain from City Hall. On another note, the white-right has some work to do if they ever wish to take City Hall even with a stupefied, more right-of-center council. Who cares if Scottsdale and Gilbert are mad at Gordon, they can't vote in PHX city elections, THANK GOD!

Jon, do you imply a good or bad when referring to Sky Harbor as "The People's Republic of"? I ask because I've always believed the autonomy and self-funding of the enterprise was a blessing. Imagine trying to build the fabulous PHX SkyTrain if it was a city department, like say, the Parks. I love the elevated track it will ride on as well and how it "flys" over the taxiway; only one in the world. I guess that's a Phoenix bragging point...

UGH, I forgot to ask this one question about Phoenix history. Was Frenchy Navarre, what a strange name, an Italian, French, or Mex-American??? I have family with that last name but also aware that the surname crosses Latin cultures.

Something of interest to add here; Glendale is planning to sue the awful Goldwater Institute. If this "think"-tank is named after Barry, I fear the man is rolling in his grave. His son seems to not understand what his father actually stood for; what a shame.

SUNSfan, Frenchy was French extraction, not to be confused with sidewalk builder "Frenchy" Vieux. Navarre makes walk-on appearances in my novel, "South Phoenix Rules" and my short story set in 1940s Phoenix in "Phoenix Noir."

Sky Harbor is mostly a blessing in its self-funding, but it also operates with little oversight. Thus it was able to clear out historic barrios without a peep -- not that the Anglo establishment would have given a damn.

OT: Goddard was recently interviewed by the Arizona Republic and in his list of current readings mentioned Deadline Man by Jon Talton "another gripping work by a great writer..."

2nd try: is there anyone out there with an informed opinion on whether AIMS scores and kidnap stats BOTH might suffer from book-cooking? (it is OK to tell me that I may suffer from delusions)

I think they are separate issues. Time will tell.

Investigation of the AIMS scores may show a couple of patterns related to politics, religion and money. The Phoenix PD stats will show incomptence and someone trying to impress the boss by making him look good. But Harris should have got off his Harley and had a real detective look at the info before running his mouth. This gaffe just allowed his and mayor Gordon's critics to shotgun them into oblivion.

Hamblin, I knew a cop named Hamblin.
All cops know things come in two's and threes.There's no such thing as one homicide per night.

Cal: my ancestors and nearer relatives were lounge lizards, pool sharks and Mormons.

Hamblin:I have some of all those in my history.I am currently reading "Lost Boys" as it reminds me of my younger years. And going to Changing hands to listen to the author of "The Sins of Brother Curtis."
Need to keep up with Organized Religion and their ever ongoing quest to conquer the universe. An attorney I work for has suggested a topic of
"Was Jesus a Savior or a Terrorist." My best pool shark days were at the MU at ASU 1958.

My uncle fancied himself a pool shark in his high school days until my grandfather make a bet on the outcome of a pool game that he could go back to school or do as he pleased. Grandpa ran the table on him.

My uncle later went to BYU on a basketball scholarship and knocked up his girlfriend, but it didn't get him tossed off the team. Crossing himself like a Catholic (as a joke his first week there) in the cafeteria nearly got him kicked out tho.

Religion just can't get a handle on sex.
Off on my recumbent until Jon's next thought provoking column.

We are way OT. Jim, "Lounge Lizards, Pool Sharks and Mormons" would be a great book title.

Years ago, stuck in Lawton, Okla., a hellhole nobody knows except maybe phxSUNSfan if he trained in artillery, I had my pool-shark moment. I teamed up with a female sergeant who looked like the most innocent girl next door but was a killer pool player. We'd go into bars where she would pose as my girlfriend. I'd get in a game where another player was needed, and of course the gullible enlisted men would always say, "Hey, let her play." She'd do the "which end of the stick do I use?" routine, then clear the table. Of course, money was involved. It's a wonder we didn't get killed.

And you thought this was a cerebral blog.

Love that last post, R.C. - my hubby lost his hearing at Ft. Sill.

It's funny how these stray details can enclose some weird nucleus of meaning. I was born in Phoenix, but the act of conception occurred in Lawton, OK. I knew the town in the early 50s when we'd visit my mother's family who lived there. It was beautiful verging on idyllic. The next - and last - time I saw it was in 1969, and it had disappeared, like so much of America, into this desolation we call suburban life.

I just finished reading South Phoenix Rules, which for all the grit and gin of its genre is a haunting elegy. To know something well enough that you can describe it by heart is what separates nostalgia from love. Good work, Jon. I think it's your best.

Possible opening lines from the Novel " Lounge Lizards, Pool Sharks and Mormons"

"It was a dark and stormy night.'


"He stood outside the only bar in southest Utah. Leaning against a pool stick and listening to the wind blow through a clothes-line full of gleaming white Mormon garments."

Thanks for going off topic folks. I didn't have any material to add to the real conversation.

Off in my Chevy 4wd to pick up CQ10 at Walgreens to keep the brain and heart working. Hope they're having a sale.

Bringing it back around to where we started, my great-great-great Uncle was Jacob Hamblin, the Indian negotiator, who would probably have made a great latter day mayor. The Indians trusted him because he was a peacemaker and a man of his word. A good Mormon, he was also a man of many wives vs. Phil Gordon, who reportedly has had difficulty in that department.

Jon, never had the pleasure of being stationed in OK but I did get some other lovely orders, let's see: Alaska, New Mexico (out in the middle of nowhere), etc etc. Fun stuff...

Hey S.E.R.E. school is in WA; if I get the career field I want I'll be your new "neighbor" for a while. Ok, I need to read "South Phoenix Rules" among others, but I'll start there.

Cal,they have pool tables at the MU @ ASU? I never noticed; but then I was too busy chasing the frat boys.

Last time I was in Lawton I got a hair cut and a massage from a highly skilled Vietnamese lady. Hamblin, when I was nine I had a 18 year old Morman female relative that taught me everything I'll ever need to know about her pleasure zones. PHxsunfan U can do a lot on a MU pool table with a frat boy.

Jacob Hamblin. Was he related to Tom Horn another famous Indian negotiator?
With all due respect I am unable to couple the word "good" with (any) religion. Cabrone Cal

Just to stir the pot, Edward Glaeser on How Seattle Transformed Itself:


And Soleri, thanks. Your words honor me. I am proudest of "Deadline Man." But "South Phoenix Rules" is the truest PHX book I've written.

Jon, "South Phoenix Rules" is, indeed, your best. IMHO, it's the one that transcends the genre into great, universal literature. The passages about the Mapstones' estrangement were dead-on, and heartbreaking. It actually hurt to read them. They reminded me quite a bit about the time many years ago that my not-yet-wife decided to dump me, and all I could do was wander around in a confused and wounded haze. Fortunately, she changed her mind.

The Glaeser post is interesting (as is his book). The comments to it are also very informed, even those in disagreement to the post. Comment #25 makes a point I've made about Phoenix for decades: creative people come to the city wanting to make a difference. After several years, many leave frustrated and burned out. A city this conservative doesn't want them. It wants to be left alone. I've seen the principle from the other side, too. A couple of guys I know moved to Seattle two years ago and hated it. They felt shut out and isolated. But their idea of a good time is talking about their stock portfolio. They moved back here and they're happy again.

Phoenix is poolside margaritas. Seattle is espresso in an urban cave. Both have their pleasures but only one is a real city.

I have always found the "real city" argument cheeky. First, Phoenix is a real city but it is a different type of city. Compared to Seattle the vastness of the place makes it feel different but there are more similarities than actual differences and neighborhoods share the same densities save the northern extremes.

One major difference; downtown Phoenix is visually short in comparison. But then things don't become so different. They have the same concerns and growth issues (transportation infrastructure and business development). And if you live in the Central City it is much harder to be left alone, then say living in North Phoenix or Surprise. But then, same can be said if you live in Everett or Burien, or Auburn, or...

Back on topic; a new scandal is discovered within PPD...drugs in the evidence rooms have been removed and replaced with fake substances by officers who then turn around and sell the real deal. PPD is beginning to read like a damn soap opera...what a mess; where's Robocop when ya need 'em!

The ASU MU had pool tables at least until the early '80s.

Jim H. -- I was probably drinking with a cousin of yours a few years back (your GGU was his GG Grandfather) and remember he was pretty upset about how Krakauer wrote about Jacob.

Been to Lawton OK too. Had dinner and a place to crash at a WWII vets home. Good visit. He was Native American and had served in the artillery, being captured during the Bulge.

I had a friend that worked as a detective on the vice squad in Toledo OH. He mentioned a third of the drugs seized never made it back to the evidence room.

Just random memories caused by the flap of a butterfly's wings.

Good stuff eclectic.

Everyone ready for another of my hair-brained theories:

For some reason, I believe that homo-sapiens operate best while living in an environment that experiences four distinct seasons. The four seasons sort of bring a predictable order to the passage of the year. It seems as if the monotony of SUMMER then NOT SUMMER, makes for strange behavior among the inhabitants of that type of environment.

Anyway, it could maybe explain why city hall behaves the way it does as well as the koko's under the copper dome.

LOL, azrebel, maybe...but then probably not. Seattle has but one season, Fall, and they seem ok most of the time; except all those suicides...hmmm, maybe you are on to something?

PSF, when I say "real" city, I mean a place that is densely built up, which includes a large residential population both in and around it, and a CBD's regional functionality. There's nothing "cheeky" about saying Phoenix lacks these essential criteria. It has a small downtown, with far fewer residents, empty sidewalks, and a CBD so fragmented that it's very definition depends on who you're talking to. Yes, metro Seattle is a sprawling mess. Yes, Phoenix incorporated a big chunk of its sprawl. You can play with statistics to show one thing or another, but your eyes won't lie if you bother to open them: Seattle looks, feels, and functions like a big city. Phoenix does not. Talton has been addressing this problem for over a decade. He's been a patient teacher and may well spend the next 10 years talking to deniers and reality inverters like yourself.

Or, you could pay attention.

Actually sol I am not inverting reality but accepting it. For instance I see all the issues Talton writes about as paramount, but I also know that in reality Phoenix' CBD is the most substantial employment zone in metro Phoenix. The problem is keeping it so and stopping the bleeding AND continuing to build it up instead of more offices moving to the Scottsdale Airpark or the Biltmore.

In terms of residents, downtown Seattle isn't substantially more populated than downtown Phoenix and a few of the surrounding communities actually are more dense than Seattle hoods. Again, the problem is keeping them so and building them up and ever more dense. The inertia bogging down Phoenix is lacking in Seattle but Central Phoenix hasn't forfeited.

PSF, it's useless arguing with you about this, I admit. Still, downtown is not abstract area on a map. It's a place where, ideally, the brains and money guys of the region come together. If you read the Glaeser post (or David Brooks' column on Glaeser's book a couple of weeks ago), you'd understand why this is so important to a regional economy. Phoenix does not attract highly educated young people with college degrees, inititative, and the ability to meet one another in a close-in arena. We are not friendly to the "creatives", the boheminans, or the dreamers. We're not Seattle, we're not Austin, we're not Boston. We're a city where the downtown Starbucks closes at 5pm. I have no idea where your statistics come from, but if you're saying downtown Phoenix is comparable to downtown Seattle, either you're deliberately mixing categories or your statistics are fudged. The difference is stark, diametrical, and conclusive. Open your eyes.

My stats come from some links you actually posted...like the New York Times census map...go figure. And I happen to live in downtown, consider myself educated with college degrees and what not and happen to live next to similar people and work with them as well. Oh and Starbucks??? Boo, try Lola, Lux, Copper Star, Fair Trade...


I know the sun affects my brainpan (like, why do I hike more in August than any other month - and I am really tired of the heat by then too?) Strange indeed.

eclectic, what I am about to post is going to make all of you wonder about the condition of my brainpan, but here goes:

First, in an earlier post, I meant to say hare-brained, not hair-brained. Sorry about that. I am, after all a UNLV grad.

Second, I have always believed the philosophy, "If life gives you lemons, then make lemonade".

So, keeping that philosophy in mind, here is an example of "out of the box" thinking that is needed in this valley to get things moving forward. I am relying on several recent news stories in AZ Central to compose this proposal.

We save a ton of money by putting the Coyote's hockey team on a bus to Canada. We take the cock-fighting operation just busted in Laveen and move it into the Coyote's Arena. We build a casino in Glendale with a sports book that handles the cock-fighting bets for the thousands who can't make it to the arena. We open up the largest fried chicken retail outlet in the arena parking lot,(we have to do something with the losing chickens with 24 hour fights.

I may lose track here but it looks like a win-win-win-win-win for all the parties involved. Well, I guess the chickens lose, but after terrorizing me in my youth, I don't have much sympathy for the little @#%#&%@$ 's.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. Hard times call for creative thinking.

How much do you think it would help the local economy to ship a couple billion dollars worth of chicken beaks and chicken feet to China? Soup anyone?

The leaders in this valley are still viewing their world in black and white, while I have techni-color, hi-def, 3-D glasses.

LMFAO azreb! You certainly are a UNLV grad. How about instead of cockfighting (don't say that in a gay bar btw) we bring back the games. As in gladiators and we'll start with our Republican legislators. Soleri already thinks America, Rome so we might as well oblige him.

Downtown Seattle employment: 232,291


Downtown Seattle population: 58,000

Downtown Phoenix employment: 57,073


Downtown Phoenix population: 24,592

Statistics can only roughly describe reality. But if you're depending on them to say something really dumb - like downtown Phoenix and downtown Seattle are pretty much equal, then they will disappoint you.

Soleri, please point where I said they were equal? I stated that the substantial employment zone in Phoenix is the CBD. Downtown is part of that CBD, but that it employs 57,073 is interesting for the size of the area; less than 1.5 square miles...Downtown Seattle is over 3 square miles...if one includes more of the high-rise zones and northern waterfront buildings, etc it is MUCH larger. This doesn't include the mostly industrial areas where the stadiums are located.

From the Seattle website you linked:

"About nine percent of Seattle’s population of 604,715 lives Downtown. Density is 13,359 residents per square mile, roughly twice that of the citywide average."

Downtown Seattle's density is 13,359/sq mile...downtown Phoenix IS more dense. I guess towering office buildings are deceiving the eye of the beholder.

Looking at the links for the stats you posted for Phoenix, it is hard to pinpoint the downtown population; those stats include zip codes that are not downtown. BUT, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership link shows over 25,000 in one square mile within Central and Washington...

Interesting to note as well, within a 5 square mile radius this area of the Central City has a population base of 450,000. Within those five square miles lies Sky Harbor, South Mountain Park, the industrial zones along Grand Ave, 19th Ave, Buckeye Rd., etc etc.

I did some more math. The 5 square mile radius with 450,000 people has a density of 5,732/sq mile. Seattle, overall, is more dense than this area of Phoenix: The density of Seattle is 7,361/sq mile.

However, the densest area of Phoenix is located around the northern part of the light rail line. If future development in Central Phoenix (along Central Ave and south of Indian School Rd)is concentrated here, then this area of the city can surpass Seattle in density and urban amenities; especially given the fact that Phoenix' light rail ridership far exceeds Seattle's. The more people on the line (living, working, playing) the more everyday necessities will be demanded; meaning more storefronts.

One more thing to add; the 58,000 people included in "downtown" Seattle's population count, according to the PDF file attached to Soleri's link, take into account these areas of Seattle:

"...Uptown, South Lake Union, Waterfront, Belltown, Denny Triangle, West Edge, Retail Core, Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, Little Saigon, and parts of Capitol Hill, First Hill and SoDo.

PSF, when I say that statistics only roughly describe reality, it's to leave the door open to something called common sense. You lived in Seattle. You've seen the density of its downtown core and surrounding neighborhoods. You've seen the opposite in Phoenix, the vast number of vacant lots and single-family residences on quarter-acre lots. Now, which city do you really think is more dense? 25,000 people per square mile is what you'd find in Tokyo. Does downtown and central Phoenix seem like that to you?

Trolling this site with nonsensical assertions that are pretty-much ex catherdra bullshit would be okay if they underlined an authentic sense of this place. But your assertions seem to inhabit a fantasy sphere where Phoenix is this fabulously successful city and Seattle is some mediocre also-ran. Okay then, where are the crowded sidewalks? Where are the condos with nosebleed prices? Where are the cutting-edge start-ups and Fortune 500 companies? Where are the world-class art and music scenes? Please don't say Roosevelt Row. Please. Say something that is sane and grounded in something other than your lust to be right about everything.

I shouldn't get into this, but...

There's simply no comparison between downtown Seattle and downtown Phoenix, or between the neighborhoods adjacent to the two central cores. I've lived in both and know both well — I know central Phoenix better than anybody.

None of this is to diminish the aspirational feelings of a committed resident of central Phoenix. I am all for it. There are some building blocks in place. Some fine assets. But to even begin to seem to assert that there's anywhere near the assets, people, liveliness, dynamism, economy, cultural amenities, preserved and renovated historic buildings, transit and train access, major headquarters, business titans, etc. etc. in central Phoenix as in central Seattle is absurd. A pointless exercise.

I don't know what comparison can be made usefully to downtown Phoenix or the central corridor. Too much has been lost, too many opportunities lost, bad timing in American history. Best practices can be learned from other cities. So, in the glass half-full view, it's a tabula rasa...if. If the city can attract new residents and high-paid jobs and build out the biosciences campus and bring in businesses and attend to the fine-grain human-level design elements and deal with land banking. But it won't end up like any other city I know except, perhaps, Charlotte. And that took two money center bank headquarters, Hugh McColl, and Duke Energy. What's in Phoenix now is only a start, with tremendous headwinds working against it. Acknowledging these, as well as the reality that the area can't compete with Seattle, does not diminish my commitment to keep fighting for the Phoenix central core. Making it great is the only chance metro Phoenix has.

25,000 per square mile? Soleri, what are you smoking? LOL, I think your language and hostility towards the stats, those you posted, are really the issue here. Despite the fact that downtown Phoenix remains blotched with vacant lots, it has much going for it. If the energy of new downtown residents can be harnessed, downtown Phoenix and the Central City can be a great, urban place to live.

I think you are being much too combative and therefore, putting words where none have been typed; "into my mouth" as one would say. Obviously, as I've stated before, the employment picture in Seattle (and the concentrated downtown CBD) is something Phoenix strongly lacks.

That being said, it took downtown Seattle 20 years to become what it is today; an area having 58,000 residents. Most of that growth occurred after 1990. I see it this way, downtown Phoenix DOES have (despite your need to berate those whom already live here) a relatively substantial residential population upon which to build.

Just consider this; the residential area incorporated into "downtown" Seattle stretches from Pioneer Square to near Upper Queen Anne. That is more than 3 miles north to south; a farther stretch than Van Buren to Indian School Rd. making it a reasonable estimation that Central Phoenix can be a "fabulously successful city." Nowhere in my post did I write-off Seattle as a mediocre also-ran.

I think Jon wrote nearest my sentiments in which Soleri can, maybe, relate to...

I understand the frustration many of you have about Phoenix; given the years having lived in this city. I am sure 20 years from now if little has changed, I will be paraphrasing Soleri.

WOW, U all love that density stuff. That's where I part ways with Jon and U all. I am a one story building and sand and saguaros guy. Phoenix was a nice town in 1950. Now it's just a crappy city with a host of nuts "trying to make bus fare to La Jolla." I am a firm believer in the more rats in the box theory and I don’t just think America is like Rome I have been saying since 58 the return of city states ran by financial warlords is a coming to the planet. And I have been pushing population control and robotics since 58. Recently I have been passing out condoms at Catholic and Mormon churches that I got from Kieran Suckling of the Southwest Biodiversity group in Tucson. Soleri love the way you roll them words like stiff left jabs to the lower midsection. Good stuff guys keep it rolling.
PS, tomorrow at 1:30 PM at the City of Phoenix Council building conference room C on the 1st floor there is a meeting for moving the wine liquor application forward for Urban Bean Café. I will be there in support of such and would be great if any of you wanted to show up. I’ll be the really old ugly guy in a black hat. Manana, hasta la tarde.

Just for conversation's sake, I ask this; where is Seattle's world class Art and Music scene located? I know there is an artist colony near the Alaskan Way Viaduct that is in danger of being killed. But it has been many years since Seattle's music scene has been regarded as great. I'm thinking the grunge years...There is a great symphony there; I am aware of that but how many people my age, you think, are worried about that music scene?

Cal, you've chosen an interesting place to live if your idea of civilization is a one-floor abode surrounded by Saguaro cacti. :-\

I bin a sun lizard for 61 of my 71 years and married to two american natives and a few hispanics

I just mean that if you live near the Urban Bean, your vistas of saguaro must be severely lacking...or maybe you live many floors above your neighbors, own a telescope and therefore, have a wonderful view of South Mountain?

Wow, pSf, you just made me very sad and even gave me goose bumps.

"I am sure 20 years from now if little has changed, I will be paraphrasing soleri."

cal, soleri, Jon, me : we are the pSF of 20, 30 and 40 years ago.

I hope it goes better for you. It didn't for us.

You know I can be quite a kidder, however for tonight my heart hurts.

Maybe this will give you some solace rebel; there is a reason I decided to live in Phoenix. If I didn't think things would turn out differently, I wouldn't be wasting my time. I enjoy what Phoenix offers now and think it can only get better.

Not more than three years ago, before I moved here full-time, residential options downtown were severely lacking. In just those few years the options have multiplied; AND 44 Monroe is pricing rentals in the range I had hoped they would...

This isn't downtown Phoenix, but the Centerpoint Condominiums, now West Sixth, have been purchased and will also be converted into similarly priced "luxury" rentals like 44 Monroe.

The Phoenix Police Department has suffered from a few bad officers being indicted in the past few years. PPD is certainly the most professional police force in Arizona. Relative to other large police departments in the US PPD is far less corrupt.

It would be very bad news for Phoenix to become as badly managed as Maricopa County. The white right has been trying for years to grab power in Phoenix. In the end, they have been discouraged or thwarted by the lower income, less white population.

PSF, I apologize for my aggression to you. Your behavior, passive aggression, can really push some buttons. I'll do my best to ignore from here on out.

And I apologize as well Soleri if my attempts at lightening up the conversation came off as passive aggressive. Looking back I can see how it is interpreted as such.

JMAV, I always thought the PPD more professional and less corrupt when compared nationally. Certain events have shaken that foundation some, but maybe these shake-ups point to the fact that many issues aren't widespread.

Not to worry guys me and Ed Abbey are going to blade Phoenix and grow a Sahuaro garden right after we take care of Glenn Canyon dam. And in addition to my recumbent I do have a contraption that takes me out into the great sonoran desert, well what's left of it.
Just for your info Sustainability is a passe word the new thing is reverse growth or as I call it REVGROW. It's no longer a question if humanoids will have to inhabit other planets it's just a matter of when?

I forgot to mention I sold that big house on the (south) mountain and now live in a forty foot motor home with my dog spot.

We have great commenters here. Me lucky blogger.

More pot stirring, to show how different Seattle is, just from today's paper.

Downtown office space is getting hot again. HQ companies and the biotech cluster are driving it:


How light rail is encouraging transit-oriented development:


Best practices to be found? Sure. And a metro columnist reflects on the city:


pSf, as to culture, yes the symphony is great and right down 3rd Ave. in the actually attractive Benaroya Hall, opened in 1998. Now, within a few blocks from my place: Jazz Alley, two blocks east, one of the West Coast's top live jazz clubs; two blocks northwest is the Crocodile, the club famous for "the Seattle Sound," where Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney played, still going strong; two blocks west and the clubs along First Avenue have plenty of live music. This is just the neighborhood. Seattle is a young city, so several districts, such as Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square and the U District, have tons of live music and local bands.

Seven blocks from home is the Seattle Art Museum, blended into the downtown streetscape and with the iconic Hammering Man sculpture. (A great sculpture garden opened a couple of years ago on the waterfront). Going north a few blocks is Seattle Center with the Space Needle, but also the world-famous Intiman Theater, Pacific Science Center, and home of the annual Bumbershoot and Northwest Folklife Festival. There's several other theater companies, too. McCaw Hall is home to the Seattle Opera. And Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Seattle has the largest, or one of the largest, concentrations of indie movie houses, tucked into neighborhoods and in preserved old theaters. Also, right across the street is Cinerama, preserved and rehabbed by Paul Allen. Seattle still has indie bookstores in every district.

That's a sample, just in the city.


I like the idea and enthusiasm. I was just lamenting to my fellow cube-dweller, that our current modern system of bread and circuses deprives me of bloodsport (a la the Roman gladiators and the Coliseum)! That and the flying cars we were promised.

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