Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Arizona Opera's New Home

The Arizona Opera has good reasons to make a grand entrance into its 2011-12 season. Not only is it coming off a stellar 40th year, but an off-season real-estate purchase will consolidate backstage operations and make opera more visible in a growing Downtown Phoenix cultural area.

Read more: Arizona Opera's New Home

Amnesia Sufferer Scott Bolzan

A brain injury cost a Valley man and former football pro his memory. Now, in his new book, Scott Bolzan explains how he’s relearning the first 46 years of his life.

Around 7 a.m. on December 17, 2008, Scott Bolzan slipped and fell on a pool of liquid cleanser in a restroom near his Tempe office. The back of his head slammed on the floor.

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Adopt a Pet

Thinking about bringing a new furry friend into your family? Learn about Phoenix-based PetSmart’s National Adoption Weekend this month.

About 8 million pets enter shelters every year, and 4 million pets a year are being euthanized, says Michelle Thompson, communications manager for PetSmart Charities. Even worse: No one seems to know how bad it is. The company did a study to see what the general public knew about euthanasia statistics. “We found that the awareness was just really low,” Thompson says.

Read more: Adopt a Pet

Chris Bianco's New Projects

Although asthma took Chris Bianco away from his wood-burning oven, the pizza maestro still has plenty of irons in the fire, with plans for a new restaurant in London, a line of canned organic tomatoes and a local revival of crop grains.

In a quiet nook behind the kitchen of Pane Bianco in central Phoenix, sitting at a wide table brightened by a single sunflower in a Mexican Coke bottle, Chris Bianco reaches into a bowl of worn wooden alphabet

Read more: Chris Bianco's New Projects

ASU Discrimination Case

Judge Dismisses Discrimination Case Against ASU

Arizona State University and some of its key employees did not discriminate against one of its tenured professors who had brought a lawsuit against the school, a federal judge has recently ruled. The case was highlighted in an August 2009 story in PHOENIX magazine, titled ASU’s True Colors.

Read more: ASU Discrimination Case

Tempe Flour Mill Plans

New plans to breathe life into Tempe’s Hayden Flour Mill are being fast-tracked, but will the project be derailed like so many concepts before it?

Read more: Tempe Flour Mill Plans

Light Brigade

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Fortunately for connoisseurs of Phoenix’s fading heritage of mom-and-pop roadside businesses and their eye-popping neon displays, Michael Levine has equipment few people possess. “A lot of people want old signs, but not many have the machinery and space to salvage and house them,” Levine says. The energetic Brooklyn native has rescued some of the city’s last remaining historic neon signs – one-of-a-kind pieces of promotional art that were installed when cars sported tail fins and Van Buren Street was the main drag for cross-country motorists.

Among the signs salvaged by Levine is one from the Sun Villa Motel, formerly located at 2529 E. Van Buren. “Its scale is incredible,” Levine says. The sign is so tall that only the top 15 feet can be displayed in his Levine Machine Complex building, located in the Warehouse District. Levine was lucky that its neon tubes were intact. “All we had to do was fire it up!”

Levine wasn’t so fortunate with the lower portion of the sign. “I power-washed out 40 years of pigeon poop and bird skeletons,” he says. “It was unbelievably putrid; I couldn’t get the smell out of my head for a week.” So why does Levine do such dirty work? Of his passion to preserve the Valley’s architectural elements, Levine says, “It’s really simple. Once they’re gone, they’re gone, and they won’t be coming back.”