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April 04, 2011


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I guess this would be a small sign of the denial that exists in this valley. AS Jon mentioned,we hit 100 degrees on April 1st. This morning Channel 3 TV announced they will be having a contest to guess when the first 100 degree day will hit. This was live, not recorded. I would e-mail in my guess, but I don't want to burst their bubble.

Okay, I'll try a few.

1) Increased defense spending for border issues. As Mexico destabilizes, the Pentagon increasingly identifies the border as a national security issue. This means stimulus spending for Arizona.

2) Ultra-cheap rents. As Arizona's average housing price continues to sink, owning or renting becomes absurdly cheap. Cheap for a reason, as the saying goes.

3) Bicycling. As Peak Oil wreaks havoc on our Happy Motoring, we have an excellent fallback position with bikes. Phoenix is mostly hostile to bicyclists, and many will, no doubt, be killed. But it's an attractive option to those who ride defensively, take neighborhood streets, or ride on sidewalks.

4) Low taxes. I hate the Teabaggers as much as anyone but I guess it's time to give them some grudging respect: it can't get much cheaper than this.

5) Docile Hispanic population. Imagine if they actually got pissed off?

6) California's "Big One". You know it's coming. And when it does, Arizona suddenly looks like an attractive escape.

7) Epic yard sales. As poor as we're becoming, we still own a huge amount of junk. We can live off the remains of previous prosperity for a long time to come.

8) Crazy is the new normal. In other words, it can't get much worse.

9) Boomer death watch. Hey, I'm talkin' 'bout my g-g-generation! Après nous, la santé d'esprit.

10) Nature wins. We finally lose this war to turn the desert into a golf course. Life goes on, even if we're no longer around to watch.


I know that hurt. Thank you for trying.

100 degrees on April 1, 67 on April 9...which day does April Fools fall on? This will be an interesting thread...

That's no fun: "But remember the rules: No pie-in-the-sky." Jon, I know your 10 made your head hurt but you did good. However I cant summon up enough intellect to be positive and realistic at the same time about Arizona. Was fun to see Soleri turn from dead serious and slyly serious to just funny. Mi amiga y mi did the Friday nite art walk. Was bad! Did have a good Jamican meal at the Bread Fruit.Riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is illegal and just about as dangerous as riding on the street.I do ride my recumbent defensively on the street. If you notice I have a scabbard attached for my 30-40 Craig. And that bulge on my side is a Glock Model 33

Re: 8. Bottom-feeder companies.
As deglobalization and further economic decline take hold, one can expect American maquiladoras to spring up in AZ. It does have the requisite features, i.e. the 'business-friendly climate' for quasi sweatshops. Rejoice, the manufacturing jobs are coming back! Caveat: this could be a temporary phenomenon.

I offer you pages 5 through 22 of “Killing off the Hidden Waters" by Charles Bowden as the reasons that Phoenix and Tucson should not exist. “Water is energy and in arid land it rearranges humans and human ways and human appetites around its flow. Humans build their societies around the consumption of fossil water long buried in the earth, and these societies being based on a temporary resource, face the problem of being temporary themselves.” “Man builds water-rich societies in arid lands by living out of balance with his water supplies. He uses water faster than it can be replaced by rain. When this fact becomes obvious, people call it a groundwater problem.
”The Bolivian Chacaltaya Glacier is gone. “When the Glaciers are gone, they are gone.”Per Tim Barnett.

I got to #2 before I got your April Fool's joke.

If one recalls the past climate of Phoenix, he might be forgiven for letting the past color his vision of the future. However, to imagine that airlines will be the engine of anything was too much. You should have left that one for later.

Awesome. Like you visited the desert and masticated something very no-no.

Gonzo Jon!

#11 Looks like the candidates for mayor of Phoenix are _______________.

Fill in the blank.

All four mayoral candidates seemed to be in favor of gay marriage or civil unions; kind of interesting if you think about it. Peggy Neely isn't in the running so that is good news and Greg Stanton seems to have the most support by far.

About this topic...one of the best things about Arizona and Phoenix is the natural beauty. I hesitate to post some of my favorite spots so I'll only list one (we have to keep these sacred places safe from the transplants): Hannigan Meadows is gorgeous and not many people make it out that way which is a very good thing.

On the other hand, it is rather difficult not to get pie in the sky about this discussion. Admittedly, many things that would make Phoenix great and a world class city depend on change that shouldn't be difficult but for some reason have been just out of reach. For instance, it shouldn't be difficult for the huge Latino bloc to start voting and keep the white-right in check. Alas, as has been discussed, that isn't the case.

On population growth: It isn't unthinkable that in 10 years the Central City and the areas around light rail could absorb 100,000-200,000 new residents, making it an immensely dense urban corridor. This would be much more welcomed than another boom that many of us on this blog dread. Jon, I hope you are wrong about one more boom! If it happens let it be focused and concentrated in the urban corridors of Phoenix, Tempe, WEST Mesa and "old" Glendale.

Chandler and Gilbert grew by 160,000 in 10 years so it isn't necessarily unthinkable that mass urbanization can occur in Phoenix in the same amount of time. Though the cost and transplant frame of mind makes this proposal "pie in the sky." That new transplants aren't aware of the amenities, beautiful neighborhoods, etc in Central Phoenix doesn't help the situation. LeftCoastDood is a good example of this "didn't realize there was more than Chandler and Scottsdale" crowd.

It will be interesting to see how future developments in downtown draw in people who would otherwise not be there for a significant amount of time (except for an event or game). CityScape, even on non-event days/evenings, is busy despite the fact that it is a small development in terms of big-city downtowns. This summer will introduce tens of thousands to new amenities that may keep people around longer and spending money. Would be wonderful to see more stores, hotels, apartment builders joining the fray.

Hannigan's Meadow is the storage area for a large amount of Flagstaff's water. I have been camping there since the 60's.
There I go again about water.

How many equivalent Hannigan's Meadows are evaporated from the Palo Verde 'Nuculer' Generating Station each year?

I am no advocate of nuclear energy and think Palo Verde sits on a somewhat precarious place, but isn't most or all of Palo Verde's water effluent and runoff gathered in large man-made, on-site reservoirs?


11) Lots and lots of office space. Cheap.

Would be interesting to know the difference between downtown vacancy rates, Central City, and suburban. I have a feeling most of the vacancies are in suburban Phoenix office parks and complexes much like homes.

I did not include Arizona's natural beauty or treasures because my mandate was positive trend lines. High population, pollution, government budget cuts, GOP determination to heavily privatize and lack of a conservationist ethos all make it highly debatable whether these can be sustained even as they are today. Thus, beautiful, but not a positive trend.

Positive trend lines?

Southern AZ becoming the 51st state? And then negotiating a port deal with Mexico down by Rocky Point? That's the ticket. But it will never happen. Not because of the South (we'll vote for it), but because Northern teabaggers won't cede outside control over our locality. "Don't tread on me" for me, but not for thee...

I see only one trend line for AZ:

Ryan and the Republicans manage to kill Medicare. Teabaggers in Arizona can no longer afford all those operations to keep their Cheney-hearts ticking. Hard choices have to be made. Junior won't be inheriting the house. Daughter won't be getting the annuity. No more upscale chow for the German Shepherds. And the unkindest cut of all? No more Lexus...

Now imagine one teabagger (already unbalanced and rabid) gets so disillusioned and frustrated by his predicament that he dives a small plane, loaded with fuel and explosives, into the hocked Capitol building the very instance Pearce bangs the gold-trimmed gavel a health care lobbyist bought him...

This is a potential future of Arizona and America. I leave it to you decide if it is positive or not...

I whole heartedly agree with phxsuns that densification could, and likely will, occur in infill areas and transit districts over the next 10 years. We certainly have excess capacity.
However, it is "pie in the sky" to believe that market forces alone will make this so. It will take a major push from both public and private sectors for anything signficant (100,000+)to happen. If real risks aren't taken, it won't happen.

Jon posted this link the other day:

The headline sounds optimistic. But, look at the table at the bottom. Phoenix's central city (defined in this study as a 3 mile buffer around the CBD) posted abysmal numbers.

I'm not sure of this study's accuracy in absolute terms, but if the trends are roughly correct, Phoenix ranks near bottom when compared to every metro area in the U.S. (~50) for central city growth among the young, and educated over the past decade.

Only like 5 cities were worse - Birmingham, Oklahoma City and New Orleans among them - and Detroit's central city attracted 5 times more than Phoenix.

We have a lot of work to do.

Koreyel, if the GOP ultimately succeeds at killing Medicare, it won't hurt the current cohort of benefit-guzzling seniors. They're locked into the socialist paradigm, as would be anyone over 55. If you're under 55, it's the free market for you! Good luck getting affordable coverage with a voucher! In the meantime, start paying higher taxes so the rich can get another well-deserved - and big - tax break.

If Republicans win in 2012, this is pretty much a done deal. I'm not the biggest fan of President No Drama, but if his re-election ensures we can stave off this Randian dystopia for a few more years, so be it.

No one noticed the meadow test?

PhxPlanner, interesting link but those figures are off by a great deal according to the 2010 census in comparison to the 2000. The link you posted shows only a gain of 300 people in 3 mile buffer around the CBD. In the Census link posted in the previous thread, sections in Roosevelt alone grew by "200-2,500" and the same true for census tracts near light rail in Midtown, Garfield, and downtown south of Fillmore...wonder why the numbers are so off?

phxSunsfan - I also caught that number, which is probably low in absolute terms.

Remember, this is a measure of the growth of young and educated - not overall growth.

I caught that but still think there is a huge discrepancy. I don't encounter many individuals over 50 in my neighborhood or building and it alone has over 300 people(built after 2000)...I won't assume on their level of education but from the number of university decals on cars, apartment windows, bicycles, etc it seems like a vast undercount.

There could be a huge discrepancy. This is a measure of only 1 age cohort: 25-34 year olds - not just those under 50 - and only those with college degrees.

So, the question is, is it possible that more "recent college grads" lived in the center city in 2000 than now?

Just because your building is new and full - doesn't mean that other buildings are less full than 10 years ago in the same geographic area among the same demographic.

PhxPlanner, I'd like to exploit your position for a second. I recently was sent a link for a video about the W Hotel planned for downtown. It was created by Kitchen Sink Studios/DAVIS Architects (March 2011); is there any expectation for groundbreaking soon or is this just pie in the sky?


Well, I have to drop out of this ongoing “Trantor” or “Coruscant” urbanization dialogue. It reminds me of a discussion of what color the new drapes should be and before you know you have completely rebuilt the house at a huge dollar and environmental cost. I don’t see population and urbanization density growth as progress. Progress to me is LESS not MORE. There are currently 21 Megacities on this planet and this conversation continues to build to the point that eventually there will be one city that covers the planet. Pardon me but while that may seem astonishing, I think that’s where this homily is headed and with all due respect I would rather you all find another planet to build on. Now that I am seventy I have slowly began to lighten my load. I reduced my living space by 2600 square feet to 240 square feet. I own two bicycles and my clothing bill for a year is whatever it takes to buy two new pairs of Levis and eight, three dollar t-shirts. Yes I quit wearing underwear to reduce costs. However I do spend $80 bucks on two cowboy hats a year at the direction of my skin care doctor. And I do spend a lot on coffee and weird food concoctions. I am one of those old time Republicans that as a Union leader I got myself some really good communistic medical benefits, a pension and my service revolver. I hope to finish out my time where the sand meets the water, cactus sprout and there are no man made edifices obscuring my vision. Hopefully as time closes in I will stay “Green” by using only one bullet to get me to that company that is going to do my cremation for nada, well just a few tissue samples. Keep dreaming guys and take time to go see revisit your dreams with a Lucas, Star Wars flick.


Jon, good post by Florida.

Soleri wrote:

"I'm not the biggest fan of President No Drama, but if his re-election ensures we can stave off this Randian dystopia for a few more years, so be it."

I take it you wrote that before you read your daily Krugman: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/05/the-threat-within/

President Hoover (Jon's aptronym) doesn't hunt. I'll vote for him too; with the proverbial nose clip. And "hope" for the best as well.

But keep in mind what my post was about: The possibility of domestic terrorism. We are a country that believes violence is the ultimate solution. Kill 'em all and let God sort them out. Ha ha ha. And if the republicans undermine the social net I suspect those with terminal illnesses with nothing more to lose will seek out Second Amendment remedies. They'll crack under the strain. And who will blame them?

In that imagined context: Congressman Ryan's plot to kill Meidcare is very "courageous" indeed. In a future America, I can see Granny with inoperable cancer, strapping explosives and ball bearings to her body and heading over to hear Congressman Ryan extol Ayn Rand. Yes it will be the last mince meat pie she will ever bakes. But in her mind: She'll have her cake and eat Ryan too. Revenge and spite are powerful human motivators...

That's the warning inherent in my post: This country is not that far away from producing suicide bombers. And that Dims and Goopers tamper with the social net at their own peril...

Koreyel, altering the fundamental social contract among the American citizens is a huge step in dismantling democracy. I'm not sure if citizens are really ready for this but if it happens, I suspect the gauzy veil will finally drop from their stupefied faces. It's one thing if the person dying is the wrong color or ethnicity, but when white people start dying because they can't pay the ransom of health insurance companies demand, the revolution officially begins.

I read the comments at AZCentral and it's startling to see the rather naked contempt for the poor and improvident. Are these people truly serious? Once we're segregated by social and economic class, it does become easier to dehumanize those without resources and power. But the Republican process depends on the implicit assumption that the unworthy are also "others", not-quite-real Americans. I don't think they really understand how politically toxic this is.

Obama's rather disappointing presidency will probably not result in the end of Medicare as we know it. I get Krugman's bitterness but the real danger is the set-up of Ryan's proposal as "serious" among the pundits who moderate our discourse. Worse: there's no left that can push back against this. It's why when right-wing extremism got mainstreamed, the danger wasn't so much a lunatic like Sarah Palin getting elected president but the fulcrum point of our politics shifting even more rightward.

It is astonishing to speculate about violence as the ultimate outcome here. Since the American right has the firepower, the all-encompassing explanation, and a virtually cosmic set of grievances, I'm fairly sure they'll probably squash any insurrection from the other side. That is, until they themselves begin to suffer. That's when the counter-revolutionaries turn from punishing the powerless to attacking the elite class who set up this entire charade. I agree with your basic idea: shredding the safety net will destroy our democracy and probably the nation as well.

I just have one question: Koreyel, wouldn't it be the granny with OPERABLE cancer but no safety net to pay for the procedure who would likely strap on the "bomb"?

I don't foresee that type of violence manifesting here. It seems inevitable that if the country continues on a rightward course, a white-right reassessment will begin once they start to feel the pain.

Per phxsunfan, "I don't foresee that type of violence manifesting here. It seems inevitable that if the country continues on a rightward course, a white-right reassessment will begin once they start to feel the pain."
Words like "manifesting", "inevitable" and "reassessment" remind me of Chamberlin and appeasement. The US was born in violence and has perfected that Roman conquer the world mind set. If you think that there isn’t a ton of “Blackwater” type folks out there just waiting to rip off the heads of the liberal and atheistic population, guess again. The losers, most everyone except the Bankers as everyone else is a commodity.

Blackwater folks...those at the top are just like Bankers and Wall Street types. They don't really care if liberals or conservatives are in power as long as they have a job to do.

Weren't most countries born in violence (can't think of one that was a peaceful and provident land from the get go).

"isn't most or all of Palo Verde's water effluent and runoff gathered in large man-made, on-site reservoirs?" - phxSunsFan

By Arizona accounting rules, you're correct. However, the Phoenix aquifer has long been in overdraft by a quarter-million acre-feet annually. The PVNGS *evaporates* about a quarter of that overdraft amount as a *final use*.


hope you're right but it's hard to think clearly when in pain. The last years haven't been too kind and people are still not getting riled up enough.

On a more positive note (another trend line), tragic comedy is a genre that is blooming not just in AZ. Watch the documentary "America's Most Hated Family in Crisis" recently aired on BBC.

Awinter, isn't that about the Westboro Baptist "Church"? I've been wanting to see that. What a perverted family! They have it all twisted.

Rate Crimes, does Palo Verde have the water to address an emergency, e.g. cooling rods or waste? Local media are unsurprisingly uncurious about this.

Violence we got down to a science. Drones and the WWE are coming your way.

The last time I inspected the far west side Phoenix water plant, the run off was down the pipe to Palo Verde.


"Rate Crimes, does Palo Verde have the water to address an emergency, e.g. cooling rods or waste? Local media are unsurprisingly uncurious about this." - Rogue

APS claims that they have several nearby "deep-water wells" for emergency use. To my knowledge, the maximum flow rate is unknown. They would experience the same problem as Fukushima in the event of a loss of power. Also, where is the diluting, dispersing ocean?

The Arizona media appears to not be very curious about this issue:

"Experts: Palo Verde prepared to handle disasters"


Arizona's 'leaders' are more concerned about the demands on water from solar:

"Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., warns that an uninformed embrace of solar power could threaten the state's already uncertain water resources."


"Uninformed embrace", indeed.

Palo Verde sits in the area of Rainbow Valley. An area that has had huge cracks in the ground for years due to the sucking sound of groundwater disappearing. (Chinatown.) However the states largest aquifer once owned by Toyota and now owned by Colangelo and group sits between Wickenburg and Palo Verde.

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