Friday, May 22, 2015



¶lim¶Fly Girls

PHM0515 FeatureFlyThe world of fighter pilots isn’t exclusively a boys’ club – but with the retirement of one decorated airborne warrior, it might soon
be at Luke Air Force Base.

The first time Lt. Col. Melissa May, call sign “Shock,” flew in combat was in 2003. The theater: Iraq. It was Night 1 of Operation Iraqi Freedom and it would be the first mission where American fighters would press northbound across the no-fly zone and face the readied Iraqi air defenses.


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Kid de Cuisine

PHM 500x500 FPOGilbert chef Cody Vasquez cooks up enthusiasm for healthful eating in schools while getting recognition from Food Network and the White House.

Twelve-year-old Gilbert resident Cody Vasquez builds forts in the backyard with his friends, then steps into the kitchen, dons an apron, and suddenly is all business.

“We’ll add three-quarters cup of olive oil,” he says, measuring the oil into a mixing bowl. “It has to be extra virgin. I get mine from Queen Creek Olive Mill.”


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Space Case

PHM0415PF01Planetary scientist Jim Bell reaches for the stars – and Pluto, and Mars – while advocating for the return of big-government space programs.

Planetary scientist Jim Bell always had stars in his eyes. Growing up in rural Rhode Island, the future Arizona State University professor could hardly imagine life in the bright and bustling world of the big city. Yet through the lens of his first telescope – a classic Meade he describes as “big and bulky and hard to deal with” – Bell was able to virtually travel a galaxy of infinite wonders.


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¶lim¶Clean Shave

PHM 500x500 FPOThree decades after a notorious point-shaving scandal derailed his career, former NBA prospect Ernie Cobb builds a new life in Phoenix. With no apologies.


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Spudding Romance

PHM0315Flash-SpudYears after selling her Miss Vickie’s chips brand to Frito-Lay, Vickie Kerr invites the world back into her kitchen.

“Pretend this is a potato.”

Vickie Kerr sits across the table,   holding a huge olive between her fingertips. Chatting over lunch, the  Scottsdale resident lights up when asked how potatoes are planted.

“If you cut this up so there’s a sprout on each piece, that’s your seed. They’re called seed potatoes.”


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Weed Warrior

PHM 500x500 FPODr. Suzanne Sisley is an unlikely crusader for medical marijuana. But she's determined to study the effects of cannabis on PTSD in veterans, at almost any cost.

Dr. Suzanne Sisley’s emails are relentless. They’re often long, arrive in rapid succession, and include a sunflower icon in the signature, following the words, “Thanks! Take care.”

The breezy sign-off belies Sisley’s feistiness – and knack for stirring controversy. The Scottsdale psychiatrist and internist made national headlines last summer when she was fired from the University of Arizona, her medical school alma mater, while pursuing controversial research. Later, the Maricopa County Medical Society removed her from its board of officers for making unflattering comments about a former board colleague to local media. Undaunted – and with help from Johns Hopkins University and the state of Colorado – Sisley vows to continue her study, which will be the first controlled trial examining the potential benefits of marijuana on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans.


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Sowing Patterns

PHM 500x500 FPOUrban farmer Ken Singh harvests the all-organic fruits of his labor.

On a clear November afternoon, farmer Ken Singh surveys the meandering gardens and canopied Paulownia trees of his 60-acre tract at Loop 101 and Thomas Road, pausing to run a hand through dark, rich soil. “When you talk spirituality, it’s your relationship to people, your relationship to nature and food,” he says. “When I’m working, I’m not here. I’m with everyone that’s no longer here.”


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