On the surface, the West Valley Resort controversy appears to be a tête-à-tête between two West Valley cities: anti-casino Glendale vs. pro-casino Peoria. Glendale mayor Elaine Scruggs has tirelessly fought the casino using every legal implement at her disposal, while Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett has given hearty endorsements of the plan. But are the two warring cities merely surrogates for two opposing tribes, the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Gila River Indian Community?
As Glendale’s casino controversy draws to a close, West Valley residents put their cards on the table.
At 74, Jerry Williams is a human spark plug with a sailor’s bark and a gambler’s heart. The former newspaperman retired to Peoria from Southern California six years ago – plenty of time to develop strong opinions about the HBO-style political showdown unfolding between nearby Glendale and the Tohono O’odham Nation.
After the Canadian ski team sung its praises two years ago, neurofeedback is expected to generate even more buzz at this year’s London Olympics.
The method involves mapping activity patterns in the brain to identify under- or over-stimulation. If there’s unhealthy variability, non-invasive processes – such as listening and reacting to a series of beeps – can be used to adopt more stable patterns and send them back to the brain.
Neurofeedback has a thriving home in Scottsdale at Dr. Sanford Silverman’s Center for Peak Performance and Center for Attention Deficit and Learning Disorders. There, he helps pro athletes – including Philadelphia Eagles guard Evan Mathis – and amateurs control their minds. “You’re conditioning people to manipulate how their brain is firing,” Silverman says. “They can turn on their focus and quiet their mind.”
he Valley has become a hotbed for Olympic Games training – not only for star athletes, but also for the coaches, doctors and therapists who treat them.
The hair on the right side of Joe Micela’s head is turning gray. He blames it on Sarah Robles. “Actually, blame might be the wrong word,” the athletic trainer says, laughing. “Let’s just say I’ve dedicated it to her.”
Worldwide production of frankincense – the favored aromatic resin of wise men and infant messiahs – is dying off. One Valley man is trying to save it.
Jason Eslamieh wants you to help stop extinction – of Boswellia trees, that is, and the rewards are rich: a personal supply of fragrant, spiritually-renowned, holistically-healing frankincense. Anyone longing for some botanical beguilement should consider adopting one of its 19 species. “This is not your typical cactus or petunia,” Eslamieh says, smiling and shaking his head as if talking about a rebellious teenager.
ASU’s “Woody Allen of cosmology” finds joy in a universe without meaning.
Lawrence Krauss is a big believer in nothing. The universe started from nothing, he believes, and it will end that way, too.
The celebrated ASU scientist and professor also believes that nothing gets a bad rap. We tend to fear it, and condition our kids to reject it. “We beat it out of them, but children are natural scientists,” says the author of the New York Times bestseller The Physics of Star Trek. “How the universe began, where did we come from, where are we going – these are the questions that everyone [starts out] asking themselves.”
Undeterred by the infamous Sedona sweat lodge tragedy, Valley groups use the sacred tradition to battle addiction and strengthen community.
The lodge is pitch black as the meditation, prayer and songs begin. Steam leaps off a pile of red-hot river stones as the ceremony leader fans them with water from a wet sage switch. Cedar chips are thrown on the sizzling rocks – to “facilitate healing,” someone tells me later.
Soon, steam and heat fill the lodge. The smell of cedar fills my nostrils. And once again I feel a wave of uncertainty. I remember some friends’ joking warnings: “What are you thinking? Don’t you remember Sedona?”
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