Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 25, 2009


Host: Ted Simons

Goodyear Ballpark

  |   Video
  • There’s a new gem in the Arizona Cactus League. Take a tour of the new spring training home of the Cleveland Indians located in Goodyear, Arizona.
Keywords: baseball, goodyear, spring training, cleveland indians,

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Good news for baseball fans. The first cactus league spring training games of 2009 were played today. Arizona has two new teams. The Los Angeles Dodgers will be playing at Glendale’s new Camelback Ranch stadium. But that stadium doesn't host its first game until Sunday. But producer David Majure and photographer Scot Olson did find a game in Goodyear. Here’s a look at the new spring training home of the Cleveland Indians.

David Majure:
In the words of the baseball legend Yogi Berra, it's like déjà vu all over again: spring training in Arizona for the Cleveland Indians and their fans.

Announcer:
Once again, good morning, baseball fans, Goodyear residents, visitors one and all, welcome to beautiful Goodyear Ball Park for spring training 2009.

David Majure:
The team trained from Tucson for 46 years, but spent the last 16 in Winter Haven, Florida. Now the Indians are back in Arizona. The city of Goodyear is their new spring training home.

Fan:
This is an awesome day! We have a chance to open up a ballpark.

David Majure:
The Goodyear Ball Park is part of a $108 million spring training complex for the Cleveland Indians who next year will be joined by the Cincinnati Reds. About two thirds of the cost will be covered by rental car and hotel taxes collected in Maricopa County and distributed by the Sports and Tourism Authority. The rest of the money comes from the people of Goodyear.

James Cavanaugh:
You’re not only providing one third of the total capital cost, but you’re also providing the entire upfront costs. Until about the mid to latter part of the next decade, Goodyear is bearing this load. So this is your park. You own it. And you're going to use it.

David Majure:
The weekend before the start of the 2009 spring training season, the city opened the stadium to players and fans.

Mindy Aleman:
Go tribe! We're so excited for you at this fabulous facility. No bugs, no humidity, fabulous weather. I know you're going to have a dynamite season. Go Tribe!

Zack Jackson:
It’s absolutely beautiful. It's great to have the fans out here. And they did a great job, obviously.

David Majure:
The stadium seats about 10,000 people. It includes six suites on the second floor of the grandstand and space for large groups on the third floor terrace. From there, you can see the neighboring Goodyear airport and lots of open space ready for commercial development.

Cliff Lee:
It’s nice, it's nice. This is my first time to be here and it's definitely new and clean. Yeah, I have no complaints.

Grady Sizemore:
I like it a lot. It's a great thing for us, it's exciting to have a new ballpark, and be part of a new city.

Mark Shapiro:
That ballpark is important and it’s a showpiece, and it’s very important to the people of this community who funded the project. What's most important to the Cleveland Indians is the development complex.

David Majure:
This 47-acre player development complex just south of the ballpark is why the Indians moved spring training further way from their fans in Ohio.

Mark Shapiro:
We explored every possibility to remain in Florida. That made more geographic sense, it made more sense to our fan base. But in the end, what's most important was that we create a training facility. It was clear that the vision was here with the people of Goodyear and everyone we dealt with out in Arizona and not only the vision, but a clear strategy and plan to make it an actuality.

David Majure:
The Cleveland Indians’ Andrew Miller showed us around the training center. It includes six practice fields. Four of them are for city use outside of spring training.

Andrew Miller:
We’re standing on the scout tower. Our scouts and coaches will stand up her and watch both fields one and two.

David Majure:
Coaches aren’t the only ones watching. High definition cameras record the action. They are robotically controlled in a video room where players can come to view their pitching or batting mechanics. More gadgets are out in the batting cages.

Andrew Miller:
Pretty much anything you can think of, this thing can throw. This should be a curve ball. There it was.

David Majure:
Video pitch machines throw a variety of pitches, and again, cameras can capture it all.

Andrew Miller:
Hitting coaches can literally take a guy out of the cage and into the video room and break down, frame by frame, every swing.

David Majure:
A 4,000 square foot weight room helps players stay in shape.

Andrew Miller:
It allows our minor leaguers and our major leaguers to work directly with our strength coaches throughout the year as well as in spring training.

David Majure:
And here in the major league training room, athletic trainers help players prevent and care for injuries. Right next door is a hydrotherapy room that features an underwater treadmill.

Andrew Miller:
The platform raises up to ground level, so a rehabbing player can walk out on the platform and they lower him into the water and do running or swimming exercises.

David Majure:
Throughout the building are reminders of the Indians' proud history. There are two locker rooms for minor leaguers players.

Andrew Miller:
We have 120 lockers over in the other minor league locker room, and 76 in this room.

David Majure:
The major league clubhouse is a little bit nicer; something for minor leaguers to aspire to. It has 60 lockers, and the elliptical shape is meant to maximize space, eliminate corners, and encourage team unity.

Mark Shapiro:
With only a few financial limitations, this is our wish list. It's a value engineered wish list.

David Majure:
Shapiro says careful planning went into the complex. After all, it's a rare opportunity to gain a competitive advantage to over clubs in larger markets with far greater economic resources.

Mark Shapiro:
We’re never going to bridge those revenue gaps, so we look for incremental opportunities to gain competitive advantages over those teams. This is one such opportunity.

David Majure:
It’s an opportunity to train better and more efficiently, since spring training stadiums are closer together than in Florida.

Mark Shapiro:
We’re not going to spend anywhere between two and three hours on the road every day. We're going to be training and getting our players off the bus and onto the field. That’s what this is about.

Mark Shapiro:
The bottom line is, it means a lot of tourism dollars and at a time when we obviously really need it.

David Majure:
It’s a partnership, expected to produce benefits for both the city of Goodyear and the Cleveland Indians.

Mark Shapiro:
And we look forward you watching us sow the seeds of a championship here in Goodyear, Arizona. Thank you very much.

Legislative Update

  |   Video
  • Jim Small from the Arizona Capitol Times reports on the latest from the State Capitol.
Guests:
  • Jim Small - Arizona Capitol Times
Category: Legislature

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon." I’m Ted Simons. This week at the state capitol, Democrats released their own budget proposal. And a plan to cut property taxes cleared a house committee. This as state lawmakers size up the state’s share of the federal stimulus money. Here with the latest legislative news is Arizona Capitol Times reporter, Jim Small. Jim, good to see you back. Thanks for joining us.

Jim Small:
Thanks for having me, Ted.

Ted Simons:
Before we get to all that other stuff, it sounds like today the governor kind of went off a little bit on legislative leadership. What was this all about?

Jim Small:
She was reacting to comments earlier in the week primarily from senate Republican leaders who questioned some of the cuts that agency heads have released in the past couple of weeks since the budget fix was approved. You know, agencies like ACCESS, DES, the Department of Health Services. They’ve announced a large number of layoffs. Thousands of workers and lots of furloughs and programs being cut wholesale. The agency directors were given control over the budget. You know, the legislature said okay, you need to cut x number of million of dollars out of your budget, you know your programs best so we’ll let you do it. We need to act quickly. We’ll let you go ahead and take care of the program. Well, they did it, and now a number of republican lawmakers are saying, why did you cut these programs? We think you did it merely to get support for no more cuts in the future, and that it was politically motivated. Governor Brewer came out and said the agency directors did what they needed to do. What did Republican lawmakers expect? They passed millions of dollars in state agency cuts. You're going to lose some programs, you’re going to lose some employees. You know, the agencies acted not politically but in the best interests of the budget.

Ted Simons:
And this is the governor, in the end, defending the agency heads she put in place.

Jim Small:
Absolutely. Some are them are interim heads and some of them are people she's put in permanently and she's defending the budget that she signed as well. And I think this kind of -- it's part of the natural tension you get between an executive branch and the legislative branch. There’s always that check and balance, and I think this is part of that.

Ted Simons:
And we also have another round of budget cuts on the way, correct? What are you hearing down there?

Jim Small:
Right now, lawmakers are trying to put together a budget proposal for the upcoming budget year. They're hearing from agencies still. Really, the big news has been the federal stimulus plan and finding out what's involved, how much Arizona’s going to get, and really what strings are attached and how that plays into developing the budget.

Ted Simons:
Are we getting more information on that?

Jim Small:
The total the state’s going to be getting is about $4.2 billion. About @2.2 or $2.3 billion of that looks like it’s going to be direct aid to address budget shortfalls. There’s a lot of discretion in terms of how they want to break that up, whether they want to go back and backfill some cuts they just made or whether they want to use -- the fix they just passed isn't going to hold up. Possibly a $400 million shortfall again this year and certainly take some forward into next year.

Ted Simons:
Democrats come out with their own budget plan, as far as bridging a $3 billion deficit and it sounds like no cuts?

Jim Small:
Yes, the Senate Democrats yesterday held a press conference and announced their budget options or strategies and it was a page-long list of things. It involved everything from securitizing and selling off lottery revenue, future lottery revenue, doing the same with prison buildings, deferring payments to ACCESS, DES, to universities to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Which basically means rolling it over and not making the payment in June, making it on July 2nd and moving it from one fiscal year to the next. The only cuts really in the proposal were keeping the $580 million in cuts approved three weeks ago. That was it. There were no new additional cuts, so the media pressed them on it and said, so you guys have a $9 billion budget and a $3 billion hole and couldn't find any other room for cuts? And they said, no, not really, the only thing they really threw out there was taking money away from Joe Arpaio.

Ted Simons:
Is this even going to be considered?

Jim Small:
I imagine there will be some Republican lawmakers who look at the individual items, but by and large, the Republicans don't need to. They've got solid majorities in the House and Senate, and they’ve got a Republican governor on the 9th floor.

Ted Simons:
We’ve got Republican lawmakers looking at big tax cuts for businesses and also looking at permanent repeal of the state property tax. Those two things cruising right along?

Jim Small:
Yeah, the big thing was the permanent repeal of the state property tax. It was suspended three years ago, and it's due to come back on the books if the legislature doesn't act and Republicans have made it a top priority. They're going to try and get it permanently repealed. That’s about $257 million this year. And it's aimed at homeowners and businesses. Democrats have criticized it and said it only helps special interest, large businesses like utilities and doesn't help homeowners, only about $3 or $5 a month and it makes the problem worse. You’ve got a $3 billion deficit, and if you take $250 million away, you're even further in the hole.

Ted Simons:
Real quickly, the Governor, who has floated the idea of a tax increase, at least taking it to a public vote, is she making noises about this permanent repeal?

Jim Small:
We haven't heard a whole lot. I imagine she'll sign it, that's certainly the hope from legislative leaders who said they've talked to her office. They're confident she'll sign it.

Ted Simons:
All right. Jim, thanks for joining us. We appreciate it.

Jim Small:
Thanks, Ted.

New State Bar CEO

  |   Video
  • John Phelps, the new head of the Arizona State Bar, discusses issues facing the Bar and his experience organizing the inauguration of President Obama.
Guests:
  • John Phelps - CEO, State Bar of Arizona
Category: Law   |   Keywords: Barack Obama, presidential inauguration,

View Transcript
The state bar of Arizona has a new leader. John Phelps is the new C.E.O. of the state bar, a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. Besides regulating Arizona’s lawyers, the bar also provides education and development programs for lawyers and the public. Before taking the job, Phelps served as the Chief of Staff of the U.S. General Services Administration. He also helped organize president Obama’s inauguration. Joining us now is John Phelps. Welcome to the program, thanks for joining us.

John Phelps:
Good evening, Ted. Nice to be here.

Ted Simons:
C.E.O. of a state bar, is that something you aimed for? Talk to us about it.

John Phelps:
I had the opportunity to work with the state bar prior to going to Washington, in my capacity as Chief Operating Officer of the American Red Cross. The state bar as some people may know helped with the shelter we set up here in Phoenix and provided volunteer lawyers and it was through that connection, the state bar president at the time worked with me and as I was looking to come back from my tour of duty in Washington, I sent her a note and let her know I was coming back and she let me know there was a opening at the state bar and thought it would be a great fit and it's a good combination for me. It matches my legal background with executive leadership. So I couldn’t be more delighted to be given the opportunity.

Ted Simons:
I want to get to your tour of duty back in Washington in a second. But as far as the bar is concerned, what are your goals? What do you see as the most pressing issues, and what would you like to see accomplished?

John Phelps:
The bar has been around since the 1930s and it's a great organization. It is a value-driven organization. And so my role as Chief Executive Officer is to really advance that mission. To promote justice, to provide for the professionalism of the bar. To provide a home for Arizona lawyers, a place they can come to get education and information. And it also performs a disciplinary role for those lawyers that don't match up to the standards, meet the standards. It is the arm of the court that makes sure that the bar is providing the level of service that citizens expect. So my role in that is to advance that. So I don't have a personal goal in mind other than to do that important work.

Ted Simons:
Quickly, back to the bar. As far as a legal community in general, is there a pressing issue there you would like to see addressed? Is there something that the legal community is looking at and saying, we need to keep an eye on this?

John Phelps:
I think the legal community, like many of the other professional communities in our -- in the American society, is feeling the pressure of the economy and so, you know, how to continue to provide service when resources are becoming more scarce. Lawyers are faced with that and the bar is doing things to help with that. I think the -- one of the themes certainly that the current board of governors and we're over the organizations overseen by a board of governors that govern the organization, one of the themes is professionalism, to really make sure that the lawyers that are licensed in our state are providing the highest level of competent, professional, courteous, compassionate service that citizens expect. And so professionalism is certainly one of the focuses of the current board. And I think it's a good one, and I think it’s a national focus.

Ted Simons:
You mentioned providing assistance, you mentioned the economy in particular, and providing assistance, and we have a website we're going to show to folks who may be in tough economic times and need help and might be able to go to this website and get information. With that said, I do want to get back to you in Washington and you were -- you had a pretty prominent role in the inauguration of President Obama. How did that happen?

John Phelps:
I’m not sure how prominent it was, but certainly in my position with the General Services Administration, I had a role in helping to plan and support the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, and the inter-agency efforts to plan for the inauguration itself and for the parade and all of the support activities that go into that. The buildings, opening buildings to allow folks a place to get warm. Security issues. Emergency preparedness and all of those things and the General Services Administration had the responsibility for supporting all of those logistically from a planning perspective and so, yes; I had a chance to be involved in really a history-making event.

Ted Simons:
Interesting, as far as working with the GSA back in Washington, history making events -- and by the way we're showing the website right now as far as folks who might need legal help through the state bar, especially in tough economic times, it's a good resource -- but do you miss being back in Washington during what I guess could be called exciting times?

John Phelps:
Washington is an incredibly exciting place, as you know. And I think there's a certain energy there. But it's great to be in Arizona. I love this state. It's our adopted home. I spent most of my professional career in the military but my roots, my family, is back here and it's great to be back here. I love the environment here. The people. The culture. And so although I miss some of the exciting aspects of Washington, and it is a beautiful city, I don't miss it that much.

Ted Simons:
The interesting times can get a little too interesting at times! A reminder, again, the website at the bottom of the screen is for those looking for assistance or legal help and especially in tough economic times, you can't go wrong with something like that. Thank you for that service, and thank you for joining us on "Horizon," and welcome back to Arizona.

John Phelps:
Thank you very much, Ted.

Ted DeGrazia


  • Ted DeGrazia is one of the best known artists in the world, and he was born in Arizona. He created thousands of pieces of artwork that have been recreated and sold internationally. The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson is holding a yearlong celebration to commemorate what would have been the artist's 100th birthday.


View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Ted DeGrazia is one of the best known artists in the world, and he was born in Arizona. He created thousands of pieces of artwork that have been recreated and sold internationally. The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun in Tucson is holding a yearlong celebration to commemorate what would have been the artist's 100th birthday. Tony Paniagua has our story.

Ted DeGrazia:
I couldn’t afford a brush, so I thought the next best thing to do would be to start using a palette knife.

Tony Paniagua:
Ted DeGrazia was born in a small mining camp in southern California, but he attained fortune and fame around the world. DeGrazia’s parents were Italian immigrants who settled in Morenci, and their son embraced the regional influences of his native state. He was a fan of Native American, Mexican and southwestern cultures, capturing their essence on canvas and other mediums in his own unique style.

Lance Laber:
It's important that we honor DeGrazia and remember him on his birthday. He brought a lot of culture to Tucson and the whole state. The whole country, for that matter.

Tony Paniagua:
DeGrazia died in 1982, but his influence perseveres in multiple countries.

Lance Laber:
In 1960, he gave UNICEF the rights to use one of his paintings, called “Los Ninos.” It’s children dancing in a circle. And they made greeting cards and sold millions and it made him the most reproduced artist in the world and as far as we know, he still has that title.

Tony Paniagua:
Kristine Peashock director of collections and exhibitions at the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. The gallery has more than 15,000 original artworks in its collection, but it’s putting on a special exhibition for the artist’s birthday. The celebration is called “100 Years, 100 Works.” It's a fraction of his accomplishments, but it aims to represent his colorful history and evolution.

Kristine Peashock:
People get to see the works they love but find out more about the man and his life and why he was doing certain types of art at certain times. For example, a lot of people know in 1976 he burned 100 of his paintings in a protest against the inheritance tax. In the show, we're going to have two watercolors rescued from that fire, which have never been shown before.

Tony Paniagua:
You’ll also see works that are considered atypical for DeGrazia, such as this one: titled, "New York."

Kristine Peashock:
This is one of the only depictions of a big city scene that we have. It's not dated but we guess it’s probably the mid-'50s, when he was in New York.

Tony Paniagua:
This other painting was larger and controversial. The power of the press made a presence at DeGrazia’s alma mater, but did not survive the critics’ disdain.

Kristine Peashock:
Most people would assume this was a DeGrazia work. It's actually a study for a mural that DeGrazia painted in the student union of the University of Arizona, where he earned three degrees. It's a political work, maybe critique of modern education. They ended up painting over this because some people were not fans of this at the University of Arizona, but we fortunately have this study.

Tony Paniagua:
The year-long celebration will also include better known pieces, such as “Don Quixote.” Like the rest of his numerous oil paintings, this bright yellow depiction was created with a palette knife. Not a brush.

Kristine Peashock:
This was said to be his favorite painting. He served as his own model for this. He rode in the Superstition Mountains wearing this red serapi and had someone take pictures of him and then he created this painting from that.

Tony Paniagua:
But even if you don't care for his artwork, the gallery says DeGrazia is much more than a successful and famous artist. He's an essential part of our region and its contributions.

Lance Laber:
He’s just an important figure. He was quite a guy. And he brought a lot of attention to our state. Brought a lot of attention to himself. Brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people.

Kristine Peashock:
His life as a native son of Arizona is very interesting. Just his evolution, you know, along with the times provides a historical context what was going on in Arizona and also just this place that he built, this gallery in the sun on 10 acres. It’s an Arizona landmark, we're on the national register of historic places. And if you're at all interested in modern art, 20th century art, or Arizona architecture, any of that, then DeGrazia is relevant.

Lance Laber:
You’ll never see anything like it anywhere else. It's all hand-built. He put himself into everything here. Painted all of the ceiling planks by himself and the walls by himself. 15,000 square feet of DeGrazia.

Tony Paniagua:
It’s a taste of one of Arizona’s most famous sons who added to the art scene internationally.

Ted DeGrazia:
As a matter of fact, all my paintings are completed but never finished. The onlooker can participate. I want them to come back and back again.

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