Saturday, October 25, 2014



Corner Kick

Arizona’s hopes of landing a Major League Soccer franchise may ride on the fortunes of the newly-minted Phoenix FC Wolves.

Like many die-hard Valley soccer fans, Tim Thomas wants a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in Phoenix. Since debuting in 1993, MLS – conceived as North America’s answer to the European premier leagues – has grown by leaps and bounds, outdrawing the NHL and NBA in some markets and expanding from 10 to 19 teams.


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Parking Problem

The recession and diminished public funds have left many Valley cities park poor. Remember when you were a kid and spent countless hours scaling the jungle gym and smacking a tetherball at your local park? Or, maybe you have fond memories of your parents pushing you on the swings or catching you at the bottom of the slide. Neighborhood parks play a multifaceted role in the lives of Valley residents, according to Dale Larsen, a professor at Arizona State University’s College of Public Programs and former Parks and Recreation director for the City of Phoenix. Parks provide nature in an urban environment, a place for children to play, a property-value boost for residents and a gathering place for the surrounding neighborhood, he says. “What we need are safe, citizen-driven neighborhood parks that reflect the needs of that community.”


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¶lim¶Hot Neighborhoods

Thinking about a home upgrade? You’re not alone. Real estate is back, and it’s time to buy and sell again. Get the lowdown on the facts, figures, school districts and culture in our guide to hot Valley ’hoods.

Real Estate Rising
Five years after the housing collapse, Phoenix-area real estate is once again on fire. Rebounding home prices, combined with fewer available


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Split Decision

Dina Romano Shacknai wants to reform child-custody laws – not just in Arizona, but nationally. And abroad.

Two years after her only son perished in a San Diego hospital room, Dina Romano Shacknai marches closer to her goal of creating a child-protection law in his name. The Parental Disclosure Act, aka “Maxie’s Law,” has a legislative sponsor, an impressive roster of well-connected backers and a compelling mandate in this era of split-custody child rearing and blended families.


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About a Mural

When Phoenix Hostel owner Mary Stephens got permission from the owners of a vacant lot near Seventh and Roosevelt streets to turn the dirtscape into a community art project, one of her ideas was to have murals painted all along the brick wall that girdled the field. Unfortunately, she never got farther than the first mural – a desert landscape done in the colors of the Arizona flag, sprayed with the words “Derechos Humanos” (“Human Rights” in Spanish). 


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Hostel Territory

A converted home in central Phoenix offers a much-needed cultural exchange with international visitors.

You can’t see the house for the trees, but it’s there, nestled behind towering, well-coiffed greenery, its front yard transformed into an earthen amphitheater, where people perform everything from readings of banned plays to songs about the Mexico border. A well-trodden pathway leads to the brick house, home of the Phoenix Hostel & Cultural Center, which savvy travelers say is one of the best-kept secrets in the city.


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Point-and-Click Activism

Do online petition websites like have any effect on Arizona lawmaking?

An online petition is proposing that Arizona bars be responsible for getting inebriated individuals home safely after underage ASU student Jack Culolias died last December following a night of drinking. It’s just one of the more than 500 new petitions that appear on, the largest online petition site in the world, every day.


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