Stories in the ‘Life in the Southwest’ category …

Lady Luck Decides Town Council Winner In Arizona

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

(Cave Creek, AZ) Cave Creek, Ariz., is the kind of bedroom community where there are more saguaro cactuses than people. When last month’s Town Council race ended in a two-way tie, Mayor Vincent Francia thought it should be settled cowboy-style: “The two candidates would assemble downtown Cave Creek at High Noon and go at it with paintballs.” Instead they turned to Arizona law, which says tied local elections may be determined by chance: rolling dice, flipping a coin or cutting cards. Listen here.

This story aired on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Going Car-Free in a Car Crazy Society

Monday, April 27th, 2009

(Phoenix, AZ) The cars we drive pump out a lot of pollution. The average car puts out about 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year. So whenever we drive, we’re adding to the global warming problem. To cut down on that pollution, there are some people who are giving up their cars altogether. They’re joining a movement called the “World Carfree Network.” Rene Gutel reports on one of their members. Listen here.

This story aired on The Environment Report.

A Cartoonist Looks Beyond Newspapers

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

(Phoenix, AZ) Tony Carrillo went to his first national cartooning convention when he was 26 years old. Wandering around the convention floor, Carrillo was in awe of the cartooning heavyweights in his midst. Rene Gutel reports on the cartoonist behind the nationally syndicated strip F Minus. Listen here.

This story aired on NPR’s Day to Day and KJZZ.

The Mass Transit Paradox

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

(Phoenix, AZ) So with the government’s $787 billion stimulus plan now approved, a lot of folks in state and local government are thinking about the federal dollars that’ll float their way soon. Some mayors are especially eyeing the $8.4 billion for public transit. Rene Gutel looks at who wants to spend what. Listen here.

This story was produced for The Environment Report.

Obama to share mortgage payment plan

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

(Phoenix, AZ) President Obama is in Phoenix today speaking to homeowners about his plan to help those who are struggling reduce their mortgage payments. But some skeptics worry about what the plan will cost. Rene Gutel reports. Listen here.

This story aired on Marketplace.

The Get-Tough Sheriff of Maricopa County

Friday, February 13th, 2009

(Phoenix, AZ) Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona calls himself the “toughest sheriff in America.” Much of what he does is controversial and critics say he rarely makes a move without alerting the media. Arpaio not only advocates for local law enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws, he practices it. His latest move is to house “criminal aliens” in their own area of the outdoor jail known as Tent City. Listen here.

This story aired on NPR’s Latino USA.

Students Protest Arizona Education Cuts

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

(Phoenix, AZ) Students from across Arizona are demonstrating Wednesday at the state Capitol against budget reductions in education funding. Some of their professors canceled classes to allow them to attend the protest. Listen here.

This story aired on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Home Loan Program Benefits Rural Families

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

(Buckeye, AZ) Even though the country is in the midst of a financial crisis, it’s still possible to buy a house with no money down. A relatively small but growing number of Americans are turning to an obscure home loan program backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Listen here.

This story aired on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Retailers Try Catering To Immigrants

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

(Phoenix, AZ) Big chain stores have started catering to immigrants in a major way. They’re hiring sales clerks who speak different languages, offering childcare for family-oriented shoppers and stocking international brands of electronics to attract immigrants. Listen here.

This story aired on NPR’s Day to Day.

Phoenix Gets Light Rail

Monday, December 29th, 2008

(Phoenix, AZ) Phoenix opened its first light-rail line over the weekend. The 20-mile line begins in the suburb of Mesa, goes through Tempe to downtown, ending in North Phoenix. The project is the culmination of more than a decade of planning and a $1.4 billion budget. Listen here.

This story aired on NPR’s All Things Considered.