Friday, December 19, 2014

valleyNews

Getting the Drop

Owing to monster 4-inch downpours in August and September, the Valley eclipsed its annual average rainfall by early fall this year. Typically, Phoenix gets about eight inches of rain a year. In 2014: more than 11 inches. That’s an average February day in New Orleans, but a deluge here.

Not that rainfall is even close to uniform across the Valley of the Sun. Consult this graph to find our wettest climes.

Read more: Getting the Drop

Scroll Over, Beethoven

PHM1214Flash-3-BeethovenASU’s laptop orchestra creates high-tech classics in the Digital Age.

No sheet music. No composer. Only the glistening glare of laptop screens shining on nine obscured faces and melodies conjured by modern technology. This is Arizona State University’s laptop orchestra – LOrkAS – and it asks the question: What is an orchestra in the 21st century?

Read more: Scroll Over, Beethoven

Growing Pains

PHM 500x500 FPOLocal urban nurseries are disappearing. Is there room for them in a big-box world?

At 3 p.m. on a cool September afternoon, locals browse a selection of whimsically painted pots and desert-friendly foliage at Baker Nursery in East Phoenix. A gray-haired woman in a blousy tunic top inquires when new stock will be delivered, only to learn the nursery will likely be shutting down for good this December.

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Dr. Do-It-All

PHM1214Flash-2-DrWith cardiology and oncology departments, VETMED has the technology to make almost any pet well. But can your wallet handle the cost of a puppy pacemaker?

In one of the nine exam rooms at VETMED’s 13,000-square-foot veterinary care facility in north Phoenix, Dr. Matt Miller points to an ultrasound image of a young Labrador’s heart on a Doppler echocardiograph screen splashed with waves of red, blue and green. To the average eye, it looks like a TV news weather map showing the radar patterns of an approaching thunderstorm.

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Aprons and Yoga Pants

PHM 500x500 FPOA Valley homemaker group finds modern empowerment by embracing old-fashioned roles.

Nicole Williams is reflecting on the 1950s – a time, in her mind, when Leave It to Beaver depicted the perfect family, and dishes were done while wearing pearls and heels. She knows that not everything was better then, but she thinks some things were – like the lower divorce rate.

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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.

Read more: ¶lim¶Lines in the Sand

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