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March 20, 2015


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You can keep your Phoenix dollars in Phoenix if you want to go to Phoenix Muni and see the A's. They have taken some of the charm out of the retro midcentury feel, but it's still in Phoenix.

I like the Maryvale stadium because it's affordable and because that's where the legend of Hank started.

Peoria sports complex is built on the remains of Skunk Creek,
or the runoff for the Arizona Canal.

The Phoenix Oasis in 1400 was all the Valley of the Sun needed.

The javelina came through last night leaving their tracks and droppings and early this AM the cottontails, quail, doves, finches and sparrows were at my bird feeder and (for natives) water stop.
Not to long ago I had two Road Runners frolicking on my patio. A first for me as normally I only have one road Runner at a time.

I prefer cactus, mesquite bushes and native grasses to illegal immigrating plants. The house I lived in, in Slope had no grass in 1950 and still does not. just whatever the desert brings. I have photos if you like.

Darn, I hate it when you are this accurate.
Good description of what has happened in the Valley.
But something is happening that is not seen on the surface around here. There is a gardening sort of ethic starting to come into being that may have impact. Not soon but sometime out there. There are folks here who sort of understand what has happened and despite this, what to stay and create a different sort of lifestyle. True, it's not the norm. But you have to begin somewhere.

Gardening without drilling wells?
Without building canals?

AH....And Peoria is going to spend, what...5+Million for a better Spring Training location?

Drilling wells and new canals are hard concepts. Gardening is a soft concept. Gardening can be accepted, something to pull the people toward. Wells and Canals matter to farmers and hard money people, they are goads and threats, not something people will get behind, no matter how much the need. The training in the US is to be emotionally connected to ideas, gardening can do that. Try logic on voters, it's not gonna work. There has to be emotional attachment - the way the America of this day is structured. Both left and right are the cause, the enablers.

Thanks for the new word. From


louche (comparative more louche, superlative most louche)

1. Of questionable taste or morality; decadent.
o 2012, "Upstairs Downstairs hosts the Kennedys and Wallis Simpson (these days, in British culture, the archetypal louche American)." (The other half lives, The Economist, February 25th)

2. Not reputable or decent.
o 1888, "The aunt will refuse; she will think the whole proceeding very louche!" (The Aspern Papers, Henry James)

3. Raffish, rakish, or unconventional and slightly disreputable, in an attractive manner.
o “Anyone inside the business can also tell you that without Carine Roitfeld’s louche sexy styling Tom Ford’s Gucci might easily have come off looking like a high-end Club Monaco.” (The New York Times.


Like on present day Spring Training observation. All consumerism now with sparkling pink out of state affluent tourists in pricey restaurants. No longer a draw for the locals. How many "locals" remember the Firebirds? Not a lot. The population churn is amazing.

Xeriscaping as a trend has two main motive forces: one is the water-conservation impulse of environmentalism; the other is economics (the desire to cut the water bill, which can be expensive for institutional settings with large grounds, as well as for municipal governments, both of which may also be under budgetary pressures and looking for easy ways to reduce long-term costs). Note that xeriscaping also reduces (or in some cases eliminates) landscaping maintenance, which not only cuts costs further but also appeals to homeowners for whom toiling in the increasingly long hot periods is as unappealing as paying a landscaping crew to do it for them.

You have opposed this with two main arguments: an aesthetic one (lawns, trees, and flowers or flowering shrubs look better); and a practical one (green landscapes, especially with trees, cool the air nearby because they function like natural evaporative coolers; and enough green lots reduce the ambient temperatures of neighborhoods or even city sections).

Aesthetics trump economics only for those with enough disposable income to indulge their tastes; and this assumes that they are given a choice by developers to begin with, since the alternative is to re-landscape the property at their own expense.

Aesthetics only trumps environmentalism for those for whom water conservation is an irrelevant consideration.

In order to counter this trend in a place where water supply is perceived to be an ever more significant supply problem and/or cost factor, you're either going to have to demonstrate that the cooling effect is a sufficient economic offset (by reducing electric cooling bills by retarding the urban heat island effect), or else that water management is not as problematic as the media and "forward thinkers" maintain.

I personally like the advantages of green neighborhoods and would prefer to reduce water use and costs by simple expedients like turning the faucet off when it is not in immediate use, instead of leaving it on the whole time one is shaving or toothbrushing.

But there is a bit of cognitive dissonance here. On the one hand, the Puritan criticism of golf course greens; on the other the assertion that water consuming landscapes are worth it because they provide a more appealing lifestyle.

From Jons Front pages.
Salt Lake and Utah the gold standard?
The author must have inhaled to much Salt Lake smog.
I don't believe the article holds up.


The A's are in Mesa at Hohokam now, but ASU is playing at Phoenix Muni. Other than the fact that you live in Seattle now and want to see the Mariners you should have known better than to go to Peoria. Scottsdale Stadium is more your style as it is located in a vibrant downtown, albeit Scottsdale, and is a true part of the community.

The first ten years of my life were in semi-rural South Phoenix during the 1950s & early 1960s, where small 10-acre parcels used SRP irrigation water to create shady mini-farm oasis. My memories of the Phoenix area were of large shade trees, water flowing alongside roadways, 4H goats, horses, chickens and FFA calves being raised by kids. It is such a vanished world. Whenever I return to metro Phoenix, I cringe at the changes.

I'm going to Scottsdale Stadium. It is more my style.

I once partied with Joan Baez in Scottsdale after her concert on the grass at the outdoor scottsdale concert stage.

Cal, you lived out in the desert: Sunnyslope is over a hundred feet higher than down in the delta, and a hundred feet changes everything, as you know. I lived a couple of miles from the river and the soil was dark and rich in our yard, because historically the river was all over the place. There wouldn't have been many Saguaros in the delta, but there would've been huge thickets of Ironwood, Creosote, Palo Verde, Cottonwood, Willow, etc. The little part of the Rio Salado Project that's finished approximates the look of the old riverbottom.

In the old riverbottom there was no Mesquite: Mesquite grew wherever cows pooped out the beans. There would've been a lot more native grasses; those were displaced by creosote, which cows find distasteful.

Pat I remember the Delta when it flooded and washed out one of the two bridges. A seasonal fertile place where Ramjet could have gardened without digging a well or depending on Roosevelt to build a dam. The secret is to move with the seasons as it is not healthy to permanetky squat in one's on shit.
I have been married to two native Americans and I recall one stating her "people never pitched a tent in a river bed." I liked the high ground or slope of Sunnyslope where I never had to mow the grass or tend to the yard. And i didn't sneeze.

re my feeding the natives I forgot to mention the curved bill thrashers and the cactus wrens. Strangley a couple of wrens have taken up residence under my motor home.
And in five minutes I can walk into a desert area inhabited by other desert creatures including an occasional rattlesnake.

Hi, everyone. Interesting, Rogue, that you start these observations at Kenilworth, where so many Phoenicians had their first steady contact with the world outside of the home. I did kindergarten there with Miss? Mrs? Ms. Shmucker who I don't remember in any embodied sense; the name evokes gentle firm kindness. We had our own formidable stairs on the SW corner of the building. Sometimes my 2nd grade brothers and I would walk there from 12th Ave and Lynwood- something almost incomprehensible today.
But after one year there, on to St. Gregory's where the indoctrination commenced. Then a half year of 2nd grade at Monterey park (talk about your hippocampus) then back into the groove at St. Mary's elementary, another fine old building knocked down. The auditorium was a great space.
Spring training for the most part was old Phoenix municipal stadium. Giants, Cubs, Indians, (Orioles?) My first time there we passed a spot underneath the south end bleachers where some players were warming up and we asked the nearest Giant for an autograph, who delivered. It was Dusty Rhodes who I realized years later had hit 2(?) clutch homers late in the previous- '54-season. - one in World Series?- to help make the Giants champs. I had that scrap of paper in a dresser drawer for a few years, then ?
Not many people know quotes from Gertrude Stein, but many San Franciscans once knew her observation about Oakland, "There's no there there." Just a bit of "The City" snobbery circulated by the otherwise estimable Herb Caen. Apparently, what she was referring to was the lack of felt recognition when she revisited the street where she had lived as a child. "You can't go home Again," from another old writer.
One thing that I want from visiting Phoenix, and get less and less of, is something that kick starts some deep memories about what it had been like to be there. It's vanishing, particularly the perfume of orange blossoms that would suffuse entire neighborhood this time of year.

Having read previous post, want to make a point. I don't only engage in nostalgia, though it has its value. Much of Phoenix in the 50s was a special place with a specific character. Maybe I'm just romanticizing it, but those features made the day-to-day lived experience satisfying. Other cities had "it" too, of course, but many have recognized and preserved it.

I just skimmed the piece in Front Page on Austin. 4 observations:
1) about 4 months ago I met a friend for lunch on San Jacinto St just east of downtown.The street scene was so different from about 6 months previous. There was new paint and paving. Okay. But it was if the atmosphere had been scraped off. One of the most prominent place on a corner was the Vince Young Steakhouse. Am I the only one who thinks that's funny?
2) Again startling developments around East 6th St. just east of I-35. A year ago it was a very funky area , a good mix of small shops, old bars and cafes and housing. On the most recent visit lots of condo/apartment building. It's a cool area, but it looks like what makes it so is endangered.
3) On the East-West streets from the lake about a mile south, and between Congress and 5th, there are a huge number of new ultra modern, near million $ houses on lots where pretty modest houses had stood.There are several streets well east of I-35 in another working class district where there's a lot of the knockdown/rebulld where the older houses are modest, neat and small. The contrast is amazing.
4) The few SxSW venues that I tipped into are absolutely saturated with advertising, branding and PR.
The character of the place, for better or worse is changing very fast.

Currently trending views on water management and supply problems may be overly gloomy.

In the long term, assuming decreasing precipitation and snow melt, and consequently decreased river flow volumes, as well as regional population growth (whether naturally or from migration), Arizona's agricultural sector will relocate to areas with greater natural rainfall since Arizona's population cannot.

Fortunately the state's highly water intensive agricultural (and ranching) industries can provide a great deal of reallocated water even without considering Indian land (though no doubt some accommodation might be reached anyway.

As for water management, the greatest spur reforming use habits and stimulating innovation will be the increase in water prices resulting from decreased supply and increased demand.

Just my inexpert, tentative opinion.

Emil can U put a time frame on that?
How long before I need to start wearing my still suit and when U think the sand worms will take back the desert?

Jon I passed a Hurley truck on the road tonight. As I recall in 54 they were delivering the AZ Republic bundles for my paper route. In the winter we would have a fire going in a 55 gallon drum at the paper drop site. But that was back when it was cold in the winter.

"American Lifestyle Furniture." Aside from the louche connotation of "lifestyle," I wondered, what does this mean?

It's the Sam Levitz soft chairs where we eat our "comfort food."

(It's all marketing Rogue: http://www.gocomics.com/getfuzzy/2015/03/16)


Things change.

News at eleven.

Jon, you always hit a nerve with me, the nerve that is uber-sensitive to the blight of gravel. One by one there are houses around the lower Arcadia neighborhood I live in. I am sick to my core at the loss of trees and grass. I shudder to think of what they will do to Baker Nursery, just a few blocks from my home. Most folks don't know that adding rocks and deleting trees and grass will INCREASE the discomfort of the urban heat island. Thank you for working to bring continued awareness to this.

except the immortal INPHX

Spring Training has changed a lot even in the last decade or so. It is essentially a pastoral concept, slow paced, rather meaningless or at least trivial on a day-to-day basis. Bullpen sessions, players with numbers in the high double digits filling out at-bats and innings in the back halves of meaningless games long after the regulars have left for home. That people will attend, I understand, or even travel here to attend. It's calm, peaceful, sunny, warm. There are plenty of places to say and things to do outside of being contemplative as the exhibitions breeze by each afternoon.

But I surely do not understand the outsized popularity that supports such high ticket prices and sellout crowds well over 10,000 for popular teams like the Cubs. Truly, you are correct when you say, they aren't from here. The Diamondbacks can't sell half their seats for most games, yet we can fill 100,000 seats full of tourists for a given day in the Cactus League. It's certainly a phenomenon, and from a business perspective, good for Arizona for winning the battle over Florida for more and more teams.

Spring Training is an enterprise by outsiders (ML teams0, for outsiders. At least the Diamondbacks are a part of it, they the lone local enterprise taking part in all of it.

AZ is just a colony now. There are no corporate headquarters or strong business leaders to protect the state or move it in the right direction. Expect the infrastructure to continue to degrade as whatever money made here is meant to end up in the pockets of major league sports, Walmart, and road contractors.

Metro Phoenix has lots of major corporate headquarters and presences:


Be sure to scroll down to "Other significant corporate headquarters" also.

Sorry, but Phoenix lacks any headquarters with large local HQ well-paid employment, as well as playing a big role as civic stewards. We used to have this no more. I can think of no similarly sized city that has so little that way. Major headquarters bring lots of well-paid jobs, talent, capital, spin off companies, have an ecosystem of vendors, etc. etc.

Leave it to Emil to summarize what I’ve been thinking for awhile about your thoughts about greenery and water usage. I’d like to know more about how you sort out that out. Also, you don’t directly attribute the Cactus League changes to the other Phoenix issues you write about, but it seems by the comments many readers have. About 15-20 years ago, MLB realized Spring Training was an untapped revenue source, and it’s been off to the races since then. Teams make demands and then threaten to bolt to the other state when they don’t get them (see what the Cubs did to Mesa). So it’s not so much a Phoenix thing, as it is just part of the huge American pro sports boondoggle. That, of course, is something you’ve written a lot about.

Emil, check the Wikipedia list for Minneapolis, Miami, or Atlanta. Phoenix pales in comparison.

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