Saturday, April 25, 2015



Cowboy Up

A Valley calf-roping star’s lifelong fight to thrive despite disability is tested again after a debilitating accident.
Boyd Smith is a man of resolve. Born in Phoenix with no arms and only one fully developed leg, he has lived an honest and hardworking life. He started riding horses at 15 years old and spent decades as a landscaper and respected team calf-roper, and has the belt buckles to prove it.


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Brotherly Glove

Homegrown boxing champ Michael Carbajal contends that brother Danny stole his fortune. Their latest dust-up has an unlikely cornerman: Sheriff Joe.
The Ninth Street Gym has no air-conditioning. “I don’t believe in it,” says Michael Carbajal, 47, the Olympic silver medalist and International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee. Young contenders need to feel how hot it gets under the spotlights, he says.


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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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Coyotes Ugly

Arizona’s long owner-less NHL franchise will play in Glendale for at least another season. But will the city’s latest dowry deal go through?

Judging from the Phoenix Coyotes’ abysmal attendance figures over the past five years, it seems highly unlikely that you – a Valley resident – have intimate knowledge of professional hockey. But if you do, you know that the 2011-2012 season was a momentous one for Arizona’s NHL franchise. Momentous in two ways.


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Party Like It's 1999... B.C.?

New York City isn’t the only American metropolis with a celestial pseudo-holiday. We present: Phoenixhenge.

On May 30 of this year – and again on July 11 – the sun-starved denizens of New York City’s most populous borough celebrated something called Manhattanhenge.
More godless big city paganism? Sort of. Also known as the “Manhattan solstice,” Manhattanhenge marks a biannual phenomenon in which the sun sets exactly along the island’s slightly-upturned east-west street grid. This favors Manhattanites with a rare bath of early-evening light as the descending sun squeezes between the city’s long, deep valleys of glass and steel – an effect similar to that created by the ancient rock monuments at the druid-frequented Stonehenge site in England. Manhattanhenge is a polite, decidedly un-debauched affair. The event is chiefly popular with photography buffs and amateur astronomers.


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Cocks on the Block

So, which came first: the chicken or the neighborhood?

In a not-so-quiet neighborhood of Phoenix, near 32nd Street north of Thomas, you will find an age-old joke come alive: chickens crossing the road.
Aside from getting to the other side, they’re seeking shade beneath shrubbery, scurrying away from curious cats and inspecting gardens for insect treats, all the while creating a cacophony of crows and clucks so loud, I had vivid flashbacks of childhood days spent at my grandparents’ Minnesota farm.


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Flippin' Canadians

Canadian homebuyers helped stabilize Valley real estate during its darkest hour. Now leave some for us, eh?

Two summers ago – during the nadir of Arizona’s real estate fortunes – USA Today ran a story under the headline “Canadians Become Top Out-of-State Homebuyers in Arizona.” The article described how Canadian snowbirds, lured by warm winters and a generous exchange rate, were starting to outpace pack-leading California buyers in snapping up bargain-basement Arizona homes – a trend that held through this spring.


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