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February 14, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

Arizona ArtBeat: Phosphorus Sustainability

  |   Video
  • Art and science converge as an ASU School of Life Sciences' art show raises public awareness about the sustainability of phosphorus, an essential element of life.
Category: Sustainability   |   Keywords: art, ASU,

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Ted Simons: In tonight's edition of "Arizona artbeat," art and science converge. You've probably heard concerns about the world's depleting oil supply. But you might not know that the same is being said about a natural element critical to that supply. It's phosphorus. It's mined from phosphate rock and commonly used in fertilizer. But scientists say that we're using it at a rate that's unsustainable. ASU's global institute of sustainability recently brought together experts from around the world to explore the issue. And as David Majure reports, they got a little help from artists.

Narrator: This story starts with the letter P. On the periodic table, it stands for phosphorus. A chemical compound that happens to be stuff.

Mark Edwards: It provides our energy and provides the energy for every cellular organism on the planet, which is everything living. Our bones are phosphorus and provides our eyesight and teeth and hair and phosphorus is the base of our DNA structure.

Narrator: Scientists like ASU professor mark Edwards can go on and on about phosphorus and probably whip out a 100-page report if we asked him. But who would read it?

Mark Edwards: As scientists we're dull. You know? And words on a page just don't cut it.

Narrator: Acknowledging that a picture really can be worth a thousand words scientists recruited artists.

Blake McConnell: As far as the phosphorus issue, I didn't know much about it.

>> I had no idea.

Mark Edwards: And each artist paired with a scientist so they had the opportunity to talk with a scientist and brainstorm.

>> I never worked with someone who came at it from a scientific appropriate afternoon she had never worked with someone who was a creative mind.

Blake McConnell: I did experience some interesting, shall we say, communication issues with my scientist.

>> And for me, it was inspirational to see the -- it's way bigger than I could have completed myself.

Narrator: This exhibition is the product of that teamwork.

Angela: This is my first impression of -- whoa! -- the shakiness and overwhelmingness of hearing there's a phosphorus issue.
Narrator: They created a mixed media sculpture called "our floating days." It’s a metaphor for the information overload for this whole phosphorous thing.

Angela: And there may be a crisis but we don't know and there's cultural parts and financial parts and biological parts and ecosystems and it's just really hard to sort out.

Narrator: Rather than just try and sort it out, they're collecting people's opinions about phosphorus to include in a documentary that will part of the work in process.

Angela: At the end of the day, we'll destroy it and remake it into something more efficient and cohesive.
Narrator: Some studied how surface water runoff produced a toxic environment for some aquatic life and others on the unsustainability of phosphorus from mines,
Mark Edwards:it tells the story of sustainable phosphorus and how we need to recycle it rather than what we do now. We mine it, refine it, use it once and let it go into the waste stream.

Blake McConnell: I wanted something interactive and a game-like feel.

Narrator: Blake McConnell provided this and shows them the potential consequences of their actions.

Blake McConnell: I wanted it to be more like a dynamic portrait that would show the cycle and how choices affect other choices.

Christine: The process is cast concrete, glass fiber reinforced.

Narrator: Subsidized rhythms. The vertical panel examines the solutions but doesn't reach a conclusion.

Christine: The thing I like about art, it poses a lot of questions and so I think what happens, I'm hoping, people walk away and start to think a little bit more critically.

Narrator: And that's all the scientists were looking for. Another way to get people to pay attention.
Mark Edwards: Not just with words in science, but with art.

Ted Simons: The "phosphorus, food and our future" artwork is on display through Friday at the step gallery on ASU's Tempe campus. Hours are noon to 5:00 p.m. week days except for Friday, when the gallery closes at 3:00.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  |   Video
  • Arizona Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall talks about the team’s new spring training facility and hosting the All-Star game.
  • Derrick Hall - President and CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: baseball, ,

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Ted Simons: Pitchers and catchers began workouts today at Salt River fields, the new spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It's a big year for the D-Backs. They have a new spring training stadium, they're hosting the all-star game, and the D-Backs are commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the team's world series win. Earlier, I discussed all of that with Diamondbacks' president and CEO Derrick Hall. Thanks for joining us on tonight on "Horizon."

Derrick Hall: Thanks, Ted. Thanks for having me.

Ted Simons: Let's talk about the new facility. Why did the team move from Tucson up to the reservation up near Scottsdale?

Derrick Hall: Tough choices, we certainly enjoyed our relationship down there in Tucson and wanted to have coverage over the whole state which is why we had originally went there and but it became logically too tough. Once the Rockies left, The White Sox left, there were two left. Us and the Rockies. The Rockies announced their intention was to relocate up north. And there was no way we could be the only team there. And went together looking at options through a RFP process. And this one fell into our lap and we couldn't be more happy.
Ted Simons: What was it about the RFP that turned your head, which is traditionally done by way of municipalities and such.

Derrick Hall: There were no tax dollars and that was number one. The -- number two, the location. You go out there. The access, the 101, there's nothing like this. 140 acres right there where the pavilions lake golf courses was. It's the best.

Ted Simons: Is that thing going to be ready?

Derrick Hall: It's ready. February 14th, we're going to have pitchers and catchers out. Which is today.

Ted Simons: I'm worried about the game.
Derrick Hall: We're good. We're good, February 26th.

Ted Simons: All right. Ok. I got to ask this. My wife wants to know. She's a huge Diamondback fan and loves watching the team coming up and how they're doing. When spring training is over, it's not going to be empty. Could there be a minor league playing there.

Derrick Hall: That's something that we've talked about the tribes about. The possibility of having a triple A there. It will go used year-round, the purpose is to be for our spring training but the minor league hub and the rehab for the major league and minor league and extended spring training and fantasy camp and camps and clinics and we'll turn over about six fields to the community and they can go out in the offseason, and go out and book them for tournaments and have adult tournaments, youth tournaments and get it used 365 days a year. It's fantastic and it should be.

Ted Simons: Let's talk about what happened the past couple of years. What happened the past couple of years?

Derrick Hall: I'll tell you, you look at the team and for the most part, it was the same as 2007 and here's a young team that goes to the NLCS and got out-scored and didn't score as many runs and we come back in 2008 and we start 20-8 and the team is on the cover of SI and everybody is talking about world series and then the wheels came off and I think a little bit of the deer in the headlights and couldn't believe that the dodgers caught up and the players didn't respond well. But more importantly, the appropriate in philosophy changed. Unloaded the bullpen from 2007. When you lose Brandon Webb, who is your ace and when Dan HERRON is not there. We made changes that made us a lot stronger and, of course, made changes with the manager and general manager as a result as well.

Ted Simons: Talk about those changes. Again, you talk about priorities and the last leadership group seemed it was looking at one thing and neglecting others. Does it feel like there's more of -- I don't know, not inside baseball but -- help me here.

Derrick Hall: We've got individuals in there now and it's old school baseball. It's about the game itself. Individuals who respect the game and understand the game and had a lot of success in the game and we're back. Last week we had organizational meetings at our new site and to have every scout in the room and coach in the room and general managers, everyone on the same page. The tone was set by Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers, this is the way we want to play, this is the Diamondback way and not anyone in the room is more important than anyone else and it's back to basics and to listen to our coaching staff. When you have Alan Trammell, Don Baylor, Charles Nagy, Matt Williams, Glen Sherlock. Each taking about an half an hour to tell their philosophy and their expectations of the players, I'm excited about the upcoming season.

Ted Simons: Let's get to payroll. It's less than last year. 15 some odd million.

Derrick Hall: When you look at who was on the books -- Brandon Webb and Russ Ortiz.

Ted Simons: It was record low attendance, I'm a fan. How do you convince me that spending less as far as payroll means a better team?

Derrick Hall: Spending total in baseball is the same amount as last year. When you look at a budget of $100 million, which includes payroll and baseball expenses and operations and signings. This year we had two Top Ten draft picks and it's important to earmark for that cause. For you as a fan, you're going to see a different style of play. You hear from fans, why not play the fundamentals of baseball. That's frustrating and I get that. We have to go out there on a consistent basis -- when you play the St. Louis cardinals, you know it. The angels the same thing. I think GIBBY is going to be that type of manager and we need to show you and fans it's different.

Ted Simons: What's going on, when you come from record low attendance you can only go up. Anything going to change there.

Derrick Hall: I think we're doing I lot right it doesn't need a lot of fixing. To have two million fans when you lose 97 games is remarkable no one should have been coming to the ballpark. Where you know you have value pricing and kids can get a hot dog for $1.50. When you can get a cap for $8. That's not going to change. Everything we do around the game is spectacular and we've been called the most fan-friendly in all of sports. But now let's win. And we'll see the attendance go up.

Ted Simons: In the all star game. How much input does the home team have?

Derrick Hall: It's major league baseball show. I've spent -- we finally got it and it's a big change for us. This is a huge year. Opening up the spring training facility as we did today. Having the all-star game. The 10th anniversary from 2001. Let's win in addition to that. But the all-star game, hopefully world series, Ted, the all-star game will be outstanding and we deserve it and we'll showcase our ballpark, which is as good as any in baseball and it's fun and a point of pride for the fans but to have the fan fest all week and the Sunday futures game and the celebrity softball game and the home-run hitting contest and Tuesday, the game itself, there's something to celebrate every day.
Ted Simons: Is that added pressure not only for -- added pressure, as we saw recently with the Super Bowl, things can have hitches. Is it added pressure for you and the team in that the Diamondbacks need to be relevant come all-star time.

Derrick Hall: It is pressure. Not only to pull everything off without a hitch as you alluded to before. Because it's going to be a reflection of Phoenix and the Diamondbacks and we want to do everything perfect and if people walk away -- what a great organization, what a great ball park a great experience. In addition to that, we want the side story, how well the Diamondbacks are playing. If we had a all-star season last year, we want to have a competitive team, you know, we talked about roster, bringing in veterans. Something we were missing in the past. Kevin Towers, a Geoff Blum. Guys that can teach our players how to play. These are the stories we hope to hear along with a pitching rotation and bullpen.

Derrick Hall: Last question: You're a AC graduate.

Derrick Hall: A Sun Devil.

Ted Simons: What took so long to get a Sun Devil on the major league roster?
Derrick Hall: Willie is the first on the major league roster. We came close, but we have Willie and he's thrilled. One of the reasons he wanted to be with us. He's a great utility guy but he said I'm watching the thing being built in my backyard and I can't wait to get out there and play for the home town. We want that and we're going to get that from a lot of people. I can play all year in town.

Ted Simons: As a fan of the Diamondbacks, I can say good luck this year and let's see a bullpen that can keep the ball in the yard.

Derrick Hall: I hope we make you and your wife proud this year.

Ted Simons: Thank you.

Countdown to Arizona’s Centennial

  |   Video
  • On Arizona’s 99th birthday, we’ll take a look at plans to celebrate its 100th as the Countdown to Arizona’s Centennial begins. Guests include Karen Churchard, Director of the Arizona Centennial Commission, and Catherine May, Vice President of the Arizona Historic Advisory Council.
  • Karen Churchard - Director, Arizona Centennial Commission
  • Catherine May - Vice President, Arizona Historic Advisory Council
Category: Culture   |   Keywords: centennial,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Arizona celebrates its 99th birthday today, which means the countdown to the centennial is now in high gear. Here to tell us how Arizona is planning to celebrate and commemorate its 100th birthday is Karen Churchard, director of the Arizona centennial 2012 foundation. And Catherine may, vice president for the Arizona historic advisory committee. Hope I got that right. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate it. How do you plan a centennial?

Karen Churchard: One day at a time. We've been planning for a couple of years now and just really got a lot of different input from different constituents and agencies to talk about what type of projects and events we would like to plan from a statewide perspective.

Ted Simons: Have you looked at other states to see what they've done?

Karen Churchard: Absolutely. Oklahoma was the most recent in 2007. We actually went there and seen the projects and events taking place at that time.

Ted Simons: Ok. You were tasked by -- what? -- the legislature.

Catherine May: Yes.

Ted Simons: What kind of guidelines were you offered?

Catherine May: The historic advisory committee was already a commission in place and so they changed some of the legislation that already existed to add planning for the centennial. And this was a good seven, six years ago.

Ted Simons: Wow.

Catherine May: That's been going on for a while and the historic advisory committee developed a plan that included the legacy projects and started pushing out the ideas and we had workshops and stuff that supported that.

Ted Simons: Legacy projects, what are we talking about here?

Catherine May: The idea was that instead of just focusing on the wonderful events that always occur around centennial celebrations we would do something, left a legacy for the state. We would encourage people who think about how the projects might be turned a little bit in that direction and leave something for our generations that are to come.

Ted Simons: Do you have an example?

Catherine May: One would be the Arizona stories. And they have -- that all of the research that goes into that and the films are going to be around to help tell the history of Arizona into the future.
Ted Simons: Your group was charged by the governor, correct?

Karen Churchard: That's correct.

Ted Simons: And what were the goal there is? What were you told?

Karen Churchard: Our goals were to work on the marketing and the event side that Catherine mentioned. Reaching out to the communities to not only apply for legacy project status but official event sanctioning and our program of work is focused on projects and events that center around the statewide celebration.

Ted Simons: Give us a example of some of the those events.

Karen Churchard: The Arizona centennial copper chopper. A motorcycle that was custom built that's been traveling the state for the past few months and that's a fundraiser too. We're selling raffle tickets to win it and another event we kicked off last week -- project, is the Arizona centennial penny drive where we're encouraging K-8 children to raise pennies to shine up the capitol dome.
Ted Simons: What kind of response so far?

Karen Churchard: Very well received. The teachers and parents and principals are excited about participating and it's a great opportunity to teach not only the fourth graders required to learn our state history but engage all of the different classroom levels at this important moment in time.

Ted Simons: Are there commemorative items available as well? I thought I saw something on the website that you could buy stuff.
Karen Churchard: We have merchandise available to purchase. A company's been working with us. We had that out today at the state capitol and well received.

Ted Simons: How is the centennial being received? There's so much going on in the state right now and people hear, it's coming up. It really is now. Are people starting to get interested?

Catherine May: Absolutely, we saw that today. A wonderful turnout and seeing that with the response now to the legacy projects, people were applying slowly but now it's really picking up. Even checked with the committee chair to be sure she had enough people to handle what was coming.

Ted Simons: What do you think? Are you seeing more activity?

Karen Churchard: Much more. And being an event person, that's my background, I knew that January 2011, everybody would pretty much wake up and get engaged. We have over 130 legacy and official legacy events sanctioned so far and what I'm pleased to see, it's a grassroots effort. The counties and cities and nonprofits that have stepped up and are working on projects and events meaningful to them and their communities.

Ted Simons: You mentioned five, six years in the making, probably further back if you want to go back that far, but the concern regarding money right now in Arizona is -- overrides everything. Can you do a centennial the way you want with the economic conditions the way they are.

Catherine May: The way I want? Actually I think what happens when you face reality and what's been going on now in the state of Arizona is we've seen much more by way of collaborative effort so that people are joining together to come up with a project that might work really well for a number of constituent groups and that's always very, very help. A good example, the Arizona memory project. We were talking about that. That it is a terrific opportunity for repositories from all around the state to collectively put all their images into one location that they can then are shared with people across the state and outside, of course, of the state of Arizona.

Ted Simons: The impact of the economy and budget in general, the economic conditions on what you're try doing?

Karen Churchard: It's been challenging and we're working on getting all types of corporations and foundations involved in helping to support the festitivities and commemorations, it's not just a big party. There are a lot of projects that are involved that we're working on and collectively we need to find a way to fund-raise and it's been challenging.

Ted Simons: I was going to ask this when we talked about other states. So many other states have such a deep history. We have it here, but so many folks come from somewhere else. Is that a hurdle as well?

Karen Churchard: Surprisingly, it hasn't been. I've come to realize there are a lot more people who are interest here and have a true fourth, fifth generation homesteaders that do live here and they've been great and rallied around us and I've been pleasantly surprised to find that out. The other side, we know that the people who do live here now, how much they love Arizona and they really have been very engaged in the project.

Ted Simons: Is that what you see as well. Someone who moved from Chicago, seven, eight years ago, how do you get them excited.

Catherine May: They chose to move here and there was a draw. As a matter of fact, years ago, we started looking at that. What eight years from now, 10 years from now, when we were first considering what we were going to do, people coming to the state going to be looking for? What do the five Cs mean to them. It's a very different state than the historic state that we are. How are we going to roll that out.
Ted Simons: If someone wants to get involved, what do they do?

Karen Churchard: It's our website that we have a lot of information about the events.

Ted Simons:

Karen Churchard: Yes.

Ted Simons: Thank you for joining us tonight.