Coop De Grace

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Valley News Issue: November 2014
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Here’s something you know about political campaign road signs: They’re ugly as hell. Here’s something you might not know: You can turn them into chicken coops.

Greg Peterson will be happy to demonstrate. As longtime owner and operator of The Urban Farm in Phoenix, Peterson is always on the lookout for unsightly rubbish to neutralize and repurpose. And then it occurred to him: What could be more unwanted on November 5 than a “Vote for Andy Thomas” sign? Now Peterson spends every post-election Wednesday plucking these corrugated plastic eyesores off street corners Valleywide. “They make good siding and roofs, basically,” says the urban farmer. “They keep things dry... and they also make great [molds] for concrete.”

Peterson embraces his role as Election Day pilot fish, nibbling bits of dead flesh off the body politic, but might we read something else into his hobby? Is it, maybe, the sweet justice of seeing so-and-so’s name covered in chicken poop? “No comment,” he says.

Other Uses for Campaign Signs
Makeshift Bobsled.
If you thought Tom Horne slid fast in the polls, just wait ‘til you get him on the slopes come winter.

Compost heap.
Decomposition turns your garbage into fertilizer. “Kyrsten Sinema for Congress” does the rest.

Bee colony.
Don’t let the sting of Vernon Parker’s failed Corporation Commission candidacy prevent you from courting nature’s little miracles.



Value of Pie
At PHOENIX magazine, we hold the Jack Daniels Pecan pie at Rock Springs Cafe in near-religious esteem. The downside: You have to drive to Rock Springs to get it. Or do you? Through the holidays, the cafe’s proprietary pies will also be available at The Market by Jennifer’s, a nifty combo eatery/market/wine bar in Arcadia’s Gaslight Plaza. In the pie world, this is a fairly sensational pairing, like Jay Z sharing a mic with Bono. Or something. $20-$23.50. 3603 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix, 602-626-5050,


“Police departments spend a ton of money defending themselves when people accuse them of wrongdoing. A camera would bolster what they’re saying is the truth.”
– Scottsdale DUI attorney Craig Rosenstein to the Arizona Republic, arguing for universal installation of cameras in police cruisers in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri riots


Can we all agree that the “selfie” phenomenon is the most unfortunate byproduct of the social media revolution? Yes? Good. And where is ground zero for selfies? According to online lifestyle tracker, it’s Scottsdale. Using a formula that considers sunny days per year, number of municipal parks, cell phone store saturation and, yes, #selfie tweets per capita, the website anointed Scottsdale the “best city in which to take a selfie.” Sort of a back-handed compliment, we would argue, but it definitely beats “best city in which to take a People of Walmart pic.”