Friday, January 30, 2015



A Farewell to Layups

With a bloody Republican primary behind him, U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Flake sets his eyes on the prize.

Jeff Flake is no Steve Nash, but the six-time Arizona congressman – and former starting small forward for the Snowflake High School Lobos – held his own against President Barack Obama in a much-publicized, invite-only Beltway pickup game in 2009.  “That’s the nice thing


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Strictly Ballroom

Charlie Levy rode the indie-music revolution to the top of the Valley’s concert promotion biz. Now he has a venue of his own.

Sitting in Crescent Ballroom’s industrial-chic lounge on a sweltering Tuesday afternoon in June, with retro R&B playing over the speakers and a late-lunch crowd sipping cocktails, owner Charlie Levy fields texts and fires off emails constantly, at one point thinking aloud, “How do you think [country singer] Pat Green would do here? I am emailing him now. How much would you pay to see [Texas legends] The Flatlanders? Would you pay $25?”


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Lucia Schnitzer of Luci's Healthy Marketplace


The philosophy behind everything in Luci’s Healthy Marketplace is retro, from the décor to the all-natural “real” foods on the grocery shelves, in the grab-and-go food section and at the café.

It’s all about “what it was to be American back in the ’30s and ’40s,” says Schnitzer, who owns Luci’s with husband Ken. “That meant local businesses…. Everything was organic and fresh.”


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Todd Graham

ASU Head Football Coach

With a bible on his desk and a picture of Tom Landry on the wall, Todd Graham calls himself a teacher first, but his current job description, arguably, is that of salesman. Arizona State University’s new head football coach is trying to sell the idea of a rejuvenated program to fans, recruits and boosters – a program mired in mediocrity and thuggish behavior during the five-year reign of former coach Dennis Erickson.


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Project Greenlight

A Valley movie mogul is helping return filmmaking to Arizona – backed by a trove of shipwrecked Spanish emeralds.

Ruben Arizpe prides himself on the ability to pick a good script. During his career in movie financing, the Valley-based dealmaker helped marshall into existence such blue-chip blockbusters as Jerry Maguire and The Horse Whisperer.


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Vin Vin Proposition

The creator of Postino and La Grande Orange has an unslaked passion for cozy wine bars and vintage buildings.

Craig DeMarco stands in the middle of his next URBAN dining sensation, a 3,200-square-foot space that doesn’t have a name or even a concept yet. The 1950s building in central Phoenix, designed by famed Valley architect Al Beadle, has been gutted. All that remains are exterior walls of floor-to-ceiling glass, a bare concrete floor and, possibly, a long-lost skylight concealed by ceiling panels.


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Connie Colla

ABC 15 Anchor

If you noticed something familiar about the new morning personality over at ABC15, here’s why: She isn’t new. Before bolting the Valley in 1995 to work for the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia, Connie Colla made memorable morning TV with Ron Hoon at KPNX/12. Back then, the Emmy-winning Scottsdale resident was a single, rising star. Now Colla, 46, returns to Phoenix as a married mother of two to anchor “ABC15 Mornings” from 4:30 to 7 a.m. weekdays – not new, but unmistakably fresh.


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