Not Our Fault

Written by Craig Outhier Category: Valley News Issue: August 2014
Group Free

Residents in the East Valley got a minor scare on Saturday, June 28 when a nighttime trembler rippled across southeast Arizona. Though not large by, say, Californian standards, the 5.2 earthquake was a generational event for some seismic virgins in the Valley. Just how rare are earthquakes in Arizona? On its website, the U.S. Geological Survey bothers to list just one: a 5.6 trembler on July 21, 1959, in the northern Arizona town of Fredonia. And that wasn’t even a true tectonic-type earthquake. It was caused by a rock slide in the Grand Canyon.

According to USGS geophysicist Rafael Abreu, Arizona – located in North America’s Basin and Range zone – has numerous faults, but none of the grinding, intercontinental plate tectonics that bedevil places like California, Japan and Alaska. “In Arizona, you experience a stretching, extensional process... your valleys are essentially a legacy of that.”

What’s more, the June 28 earthquake wasn’t even really ours. The epicenter was somewhere in western New Mexico. We just borrowed it.


“I think I did what I was supposed to do. I was respectful. I asked for clarification. I asked to be treated with respect, and that was it.”
– Arizona State University English professor Ersula Ore on CNN’s New Day, giving her version of the jaywalking incident in Tempe that led to her arrest in May. Video obtained by KTVK shows her kicking the arresting officer while being handcuffed.


So SoSco?
Word on the street: There’s an effort underway to rebrand south Old Town Scottsdale – where restaurants like Brat Haüs and Rehab Burger Therapy do business – as “SoSco.” But why stop there? Every Valley sub-neighborhood should have its own sticky, city-council-approved nickname:
“PhoPho”: You know that stretch of 19th Avenue in Phoenix with all the great Vietnamese restaurants? Now you do.
“NorGil”: The northern half of Gilbert. As in: “Let’s grab a pint at Arizona Wilderness in NorGil.”
“CenGlen”: Central Glendale. This one is kind of cool, actually.
“PeeWad”: Where Peoria meets Waddell. Lovely place.



{Epicurean Events}
It’s August in the Valley of the Sun – not exactly hiking weather, no? Luckily, Phoenix food-and-bev pros have provided you with five excuses to stay inside.

1. Ancient Ales, Modern Science at the Arizona Science Center (August 9). Learn about ancient Egypt, drink some craft beer. We don’t see a downside here. $50. 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, 602-716-2000,

2. Phoenix Cooks! at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa (August 30). Featuring a dependably excellent selection of food booths, demonstration stages and chef events. Our favorite summertime food fest. 6902 E. Greenway Pkwy., Scottsdale, 602-374-6135,

3. Summer Cocktail Camp at The Gladly (August 10 and 24). It’s like Meatballs, only with less Bill Murray. And more gin. PHOENIX mag editors will emcee. $30. 2201 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, 602-759-8132

4. Cowboy Ciao Alumni Dinner (August 22). Cowboy Ciao owner Peter Kasperski is like the Dr. Dre of Valley restaurateurs – more protégées than you can count, including Bernie Kantak and Richie Moe. 7133 E. Stetson Dr., Scottsdale, 480-946-3111,  

5. Tacos Atoyac reopening. After a one-month shut-down – and the departure of its co-founder – our favorite North Phoenix taco shack is back. Now it’s called Restaurant Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca. Whatever. Just keep the birria coming. 1830 W. Glendale Ave., Phoenix