Saturday, May 23, 2015


Anatomy of a Zero-Energy Home

PHM0215Flash-1-ZeroEnergyArizona’s first “net-zero energy” townhomes were unveiled in Scottsdale last October. Designed by late architect Graham Downes (Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego) and constructed by Valley developer MODUS Icon, the townhomes at 7301 E. Minnezona Ave. – dubbed MZ – boast several energy-saving features (see key below). “Our goal,” MODUS Development president Ed Gorman says, “is to produce as much or more [power] than we consume.” That’s the technical definition of a “zero-energy” home.

Read more: Anatomy of a Zero-Energy Home

Hops Crop

City of Suds

Another month, another batch of newly-opened Valley microbreweries. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. The rate of new breweries is outpacing our ability to try them all. But here’s a map in case you want to give it a shot.

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Durant’s on Film

PHM 500x500 FPOA new indie film seeks to capture the mythologized man behind Phoenix’s most storied eatery. Does anybody in town really know Jack?

A specter of the past greets you at the restaurant’s unofficial entrance – which, in Goodfellas style, is the back door, through the kitchen – and leads the way as you navigate a maze of tuxedoed waiters into the dining room, pass the iconic L-shaped bar, and finally settle into one of the plush red tuck-and-roll leatherette booths that once seated such bygone legends as Marilyn Monroe and mobster Bugsy Siegel.

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That New Bus Smell

PHM 500x500 FPOValley Metro puts 120 new buses on Phoenix roads, minimizing the pains of outdated public transportation.

Any bus with a lifespan stretching from the era of flattop haircuts to the era of flat-screen televisions is going to have issues. According to the Federal Transit Administration, the average life expectancy of a bus is approximately 13 years, with each traveling about 40,000 to 50,000 miles per year. That adds up to approximately 600,000 miles for the life of a bus. At one point, Valley Metro’s Phoenix fleet had buses that were more than 20 years old, and had as much as a million miles on their odometers.

Read more: That New Bus Smell

Get the LED Out

Phoenix is slowly switching to brighter new streetlights. But who will pay for them?

Phoenix is looking brighter these days.

We’ve got about 95,000 streetlights in the Valley of the Sun. We wait in traffic at about 1,100 traffic lights and 9,000 pedestrian signals. And they’re all going green – or, to be more accurate, a “brighter white.”

Read more: Get the LED Out

All-Star Hors D’Ouevre

PHM0115PF06In a sporting coup, Michael Bidwell brings the Pro Bowl to Glendale a week before the Super Bowl.

If Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill doesn’t make history by both hosting and winning Super Bowl XLIX, he’ll get something of a consolation prize – several Cardinals would likely play before a home crowd at the Pro Bowl in Glendale on January 25.

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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