Friday, October 24, 2014

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¶lim¶Enemy Mine

PHM1114Feat-3Drinks. Secret Fundraisers. Bipartisan Ski Retreats.
The incredible but true secret story of behind-the-scenes civility in Arizona politics.

Jack August is the former Executive Director of the Arizona Historical Foundation, and author of several political biographies

Last winter, back when they were just two of many candidates considering a run for Arizona governor, Fred DuVal and Doug Ducey went skiing together in Utah – a not-unexpected circumstance, given the men were attending the same annual networking retreat in Deer Valley, Utah. Informally known as “the Eagle's Nest,” the invitation-only retreat gathers Arizona political veterans and would-be leaders to engage in policy debates, go skiing, eat food and have fun. The duo got along well. They were friends.

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¶lim¶Lines in the Sand

PHM1114Feat-2A rash of self-defense killings casts light on Arizona’s stand-your-ground law. Are we primed for a Florida-size controversy?

t first they thought the scratching at the door was a javelina. No such luck. Robert Verdugo, 23, his girlfriend Jessica Luna, 21, and Jessica’s sister Deanna, 24, soon realized the noise at 601 N. Fourth Street in Globe was caused by Scott Johnson, 25, a former high-school classmate. It was a hot, late night in September 2010.

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¶lim¶2014 Best New Restaurants

PHM1114Feat-1

It’s that time of year again. Our Super Bowl of the savory. Our Emmys of the edible. Our roundup of the year’s elite new purveyors of Valley food-craft.

Warning: Perusing this article may be dangerous for your waistline.

How we picked them: Each of our PHOENIX magazine food writers compiled a Top 10 list of their favorite new restaurants in the Valley. We tallied the scores and used a weighted scale to favor the restaurants that appeared most often – and disadvantage those our writers visited, but left off their lists.

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¶lim¶Traffick Stop

PHM1014Feat-3Next year’s Super Bowl is bringing the issue of sex trafficking to the fore in Arizona. The truth is more complicated: It’s been with us all along.

avannah Sanders doesn’t stand out in the crowd at her office’s sunlit café. Like many a busy modern woman, the wife and mother of four fields phone calls while eating a salad – juggling her job with volunteer work and graduate school. Her cherubic face and soft-spoken, direct demeanor do not whisper of trauma. None of the businesspeople breezing by would suspect she was sex-trafficked at 16.

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¶lim¶Maximum AZ

PHM1014BOV27The richest person. The strongest man. The hottest hot sauce. Find them all in this salute to Arizona’s most outstanding outliers.

Most Powerful Computer
Just as the ultra-wealthy have the Forbes 400, super-powerful computers have top500.org, a website that doggedly tracks – and ranks – the world’s most insanely fast computers. Arizona’s reigning champion: a little machine called El Gato at the University of Arizona.

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¶lim¶A Tale of Two Boomburbs

chandler, gilbert, boomburbsWith record expansion, Chandler and Gilbert have emerged from Mesa’s shadow in the Southeast Valley. But how much growth is left?

“Country Burb” Gilbert
The East Valley "town" of 229,000 boasts lower crime rates and higher household income than Chandler.

“City Burb” Chandler
Led by the tech industry, Chandler manufacturers ship $3.9 billion in goods annually, compared to $416 million in Gilbert.

Looking to split their time between Seattle and the Valley of the Sun, Michael and Sherry Dryja nearly bought a new high-rise condo in Downtown Phoenix. They liked the urban scene and amenities. Ultimately, they settled on a place in the Southeast Valley town of Gilbert.

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¶lim¶Trial by Fire

Tiara Del Rio, Beau ZimbroNearly burned alive in a gas explosion, a young West Valley couple beats the odds – and  makes medical history.

October 16, 2013, 9:19 p.m.
When the house at 7916 W. Cholla St. exploded, it rocked a Peoria police patrol car idling only 15 feet away. Officer Kenneth Tarrant happened to be sitting in the cruiser, wrapping up a traffic case.

He radioed for help, then ran to aid the young man and woman running from the house. They were screaming in agony. They managed to tell him they’d been badly burned. Tarrant asked if anybody else was in the house. The answer was no.

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