Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 12, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

middot; Arizona Stories: Little Red Schoolhouse


  • This Wickenburg icon has served the town for decades.
Guests:
  • David Berns - Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security
  • Paul Johnson - Former Phoenix Mayor, the chair of the city bond election committee


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," efforts to find jobs for the victims of hurricane Katrina. The plan to move parts of ASU to downtown Phoenix. And a Wickenburg icon, the little red schoolhouse on Arizona stories.

>> "Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. Welcome to "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. John Roberts appearing today before the Senate judiciary committee on the opening day of his confirmation hearings. Roberts nominated by President Bush to fill the vacancy of chief justice on the Supreme Court. That position, of course, previously held by the late justice William Rehnquist who died of cancer earlier this month. Roberts rejected what he called judicial activism in his opening remarks.

>>> Michael Grant:
Evacuees from hurricane Katrina who have been sheltered at veterans memorial coliseum in Phoenix have been finding places to live and jobs. The job fair last week, a successful event for many evacuees looking for employment. On Thursday nearly 45 people found a job. Here now to talk about the efforts being made to find gainful employment for the victims of hurricane Katrina is the director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security David Berns. David, welcome back.

>> David Berns:
It's nice to be here.

>> Michael Grant:
Focusing on employment, I know obviously D.E.S. performs a variety of different functions here, but focusing more on employment, what's the process for evacuees? Has D.E.S. actively been down at the coliseum?

>> David Berns:
We've established what we call a transition center where it's not just D.E.S. but all of the human services types of activities and health services, and we have a great presence there. Part of that are job opportunities and the registration. As people get the services, of course, they need to have their immediate needs, their healthcare, their food, their shelter, things of that nature, but as they make decisions that they want to stay for at least a while, we register them into our system, find out their skills, their interests, and the out pouring of interest in our local employers has been phenomenal in being able to match up the people, the evacuees, with available jobs in this area.

>> Michael Grant:
There is obviously constantly lines of communication between employers and Department of Economic Security. Can I safely assume, though, that you have seen a spike directly in relation to the evacuees and the hurricane here in the past couple of weeks?

>> David Berns:
Very much so. In a couple different areas. First off, there's a lot more coming forward saying we have a job here, others coming forward saying we will hire just as many as what you can send to us. But they're also coming in with packages of other supports like offering of housing, offering of initial transportation, assistance in helping them finding tools and other supports in order to take the job. So it's been fantastic the outpouring of support from the employers.

>> Michael:
Of course, for an evacuee, I would think, to a certain extent, it's trying to figure out -- well, get over the shock, of course, but also try to figure out well, what, should I do? I mean, my home is not here. On the other hand, may look around and say, well, gee, maybe it could be. But there's got to be just a terrible transition --

>> David Berns:
Think about it ourselves, if we were faced with this, we would want to go back home, and so that would be the first priority, and as -- their decisions may change by the hour, and certainly by the day as to what their options are and what they need to do as they get more information about the status of their homes, the status of their loved ones back in the state from which they came, and so we're leaving the decision, of course, on whether they want to even seek employment in Arizona up to them. We're letting them know about all of the opportunities and certainly encouraging them to make their own decisions, and if they decide they want to stay, we give them all of the options that we possibly can.

>> Michael Grant:
Is there a mix of job opportunities available that could span that gap? I mean, in other words, you know, an employer saying, "that's all right, a person could work for me for a couple of months, this doesn't have to be a long-term commitment"?

>> David Berns:
Very much so. We've had employers that have had employees in the affected area saying "we'll take any of our old employees and move them here for just as long as they want to stay." Others saying this could be a permanent job. Others saying, a couple weeks is fine, we'll do whatever we can to support them. So the options are unbelievable.

>> Michael Grant:
Give me some idea of the universe in terms of pay levels, job types, those types --

>> David Berns:
We've had many well-paid jobs coming forward, employers coming forward, 15, $20 an hour or more. But then we have to match that up against the skills and the interests of the people and so we have other jobs averaging probably close to $10 per hour for those that are getting jobs. We've had people come in and offer minimum wage jobs in probably not particularly good settings, and, of course, the market is such that, I think, the evacuees don't need to settle for minimum wage jobs. They have other options.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. David, final question... Veterans Memorial Coliseum seems to be winding down somewhat. I think they were down under 200 people at this point in time. I take it that the Department of Economic Security continues these efforts elsewhere in some of its usual offices?

>> David Berns:
That's a great point. Yes, all of our financial assistance offices, and they exceed 80 across the state, will provide a full array of services for evacuees, realizing that there's probably more self-evacuees than people that flew in on the planes. So they're coming in to Bullhead City and Yuma and all over the state. We're providing a full range of services wherever they come, and we also just opened today a transition center at the Salvation Army at 2702 East Washington where people can come and get a full range of services, including help with employment.

>> Michael Grant:
That Salvation Army facility has been seeing a lot of activity here the past week or so. David Berns, thank you very much for joining us. Voters in Arizona going to the polls tomorrow to decide a number of issues, among them Peoria voters will vote on proposition 300. That authorizes a transportation sales tax. Both Goodyear and Avondale voters will vote on proposition 400, which would require residential fire sprinklers for all new homes in those cities. El Mirage voters asked to allow the city to borrow money for water and wastewater improvements and to approve the sale of some city land. Phoenix voters will elect city council members. Larry Lemmons shows us how the election tomorrow could impact a Phoenix bond election next year.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Today the intersection of 1st street and Van Buren in the heart of downtown Phoenix resembles a typical city scene, traffic and parking but if the City of Phoenix government and Arizona State University have their way this intersection would be roughly the southeast corner of a complex of university facilities called the downtown Phoenix campus. This ambitious project becomes a reality if Phoenix voters approve part of an $850 million bond program in March 2006. Mayor Phil Gordon and the incumbent city council are for the ASU expansion, and tomorrow's Phoenix city council election, one issue that separates some challengers from the incumbents, is support for this plan. So tomorrow's election is one of the first opportunities for Phoenix voters to express their preference. The rhetoric has already been heated.

>> Bob Robb:
It's very early in the political game. The bond measure isn't on the ballot until March, even though the city is going to proceed with advance funding for the first year's class. And the bond committee hasn't made its recommendations. Nevertheless, even though four long-shot candidates for city council have apparently shared skepticism to opposition to using 200 to $250 million of city money to build a downtown ASU campus, the reaction from Mayor Gordon was fairly remarkable. He said, shame on them! You know, there are points of political view that are truly shameful. Racism, false accusation of racism. Questioning the prudence of spending 200 to $250 million and a quarter of a bond proposal for a downtown ASU campus simply doesn't qualify as a shameful attitude. It's the sort of thing that ought to be debated.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Looking over the area, Arizona Republic columnist Bob Robb isn't certain a downtown campus will be right for the area.

>> Bob Robb:
I am not sure what it will do for the downtown area. And I think one of the undiscussed issues is the compatibility of sort of campus life with the kind of downtown that is hoped to be created. For example, right here we're going to have the convention hotel, which is going to be directly across the street from the student dormitories, and whether those are compatible and complementary groups of people or whether their interests and tastes diverge and they might get in each it's way I think is an underdiscussed question.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Voters will choose between the following candidates in the Phoenix city council election, in District 2 challengers Andre Campos and Marky Warren are running against incumbent Peggy Nealy. In District 4, they will choose between incumbent Tom Simplot or Chad Campbell. In District 6, incumbent Greg Stanton is running against Warren Severin. Finally, in District 8 incumbent Mike Johnson is running against Jarret P. Maupin II and Sylvia Pinky Moreno. Proposition 1 in Phoenix would establish the Mayor's salary at $88,000 a year and would establish each council member's salary at no more than 70\% of that. Proposition 2 would establish a line of success for the office of Mayor during times of great emergency. Proposition 3 is a proposed amendment clarifying the requirements for write-in candidates. After the election tomorrow, Bob Robb thinks there may develop a more clearly articulated opposition to the downtown plans.

>> Bob Robb:
At present, the shared opposition or skepticism about the large city investment in -- for a downtown campus is not necessarily politically significant, but it may be suggestive of a larger debate down the road. There are lots of potential grounds for public concern about this particular proposition. You have, first of all, a large city investment in what has traditionally been a state function, which is the building of university facilities. You then have the fact that the investment, 200 to $250 million, out of a bond issue of $750 to $850 million is a fairly large hunk of what the city's looking to invest in its infrastructure. The city has always had a bond committee that sort of sorted through the needs of the city and has narrowed it down, and there's always far more wishes for investment than there's money available to invest. Well, this time with the -- depending upon what falls off the table through the bond proposal, there may be a sharper tendency to compare the value of what's not being funded to the very large amount of money that's being taken up out of this bond issue from the downtown ASU campus. So while there is very strong support among community leaders, it may end up being a controversy and one of the most significant bond controversy controversies the city has faced.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is the chairman of the Phoenix bond committee which began work only last Thursday. He is, of course, former Mayor of Phoenix, Paul Johnson. Paul, haven't seen you for a while.

>> Paul Johnson:
I haven't been here for a while.

>> Michael Grant:
Well, it's by design.

>> Paul Johnson:
That's right.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's start with Bob's last point first. It is -- essentially you have a -- to plug numbers here, but you have around 200 million or so, you say, okay, we're going to do that. I could see it generating some opposition from the standpoint of people saying, hey, listen, that $200 million is going to cost us these parks or these fire stations or these police stations or -- fill in their blank. Do you create a constituency you might not otherwise see because there are the -- they're the have notes and downtown this is the haves.

>> Paul Johnson:
The thing that I found in being Mayor of Phoenix is that, first, there's always a controversy that exists along that line. When we did the 1998 -- excuse me --9888 bond election, it was a huge amount of money going into downtown cultural projects and there was a sense from some people that the citizens might oppose it, in fact there were some people who opposed that election to help try to promote their own campaigns, and when they were done, one, they weren't successful. Two, the bond election won. This is a pretty bright electorate. Phoenix is a place on the move. It understands to grow we have to be progressive in our thinking. We're not going to do anything. At the end of the day, this is up to the voters. The voters are going to get to see all of these items. They're going to get to make a decision as to how it is they want to see their city grow. All the bond committee can do is make a recommend recommendation to them as to how we believe this should move forward.

>> Michael Grant:
What about the point that, hold it, higher education is a state function. What's the city doing building a campus downtown?

>> Paul Johnson:
We ought to ask our legislature that, I would say, but higher education may be a legislative state function, but the reality is it is so important to the city in its long term ability to have economic development and attract jobs and attract people into our community that you just can't separate it out. We saw all the way back in the early 1980s, we did an economic development study, and I'll never forget asking the group to eliminate education from the study because we believed that we didn't have any impact over it, and they came back and they said, all right, we've done what you asked to, but we need to stress you just can't simply remove education and the quality of life that's going to happen in Phoenix as well as your ability to be successful in economic development. It's just too inter-tied. To me one of the most exciting things that's going on with the bond proposal is the downtown educational facilities that we're looking to build, of which ASU is obviously a huge portion of that. But what's most exciting to me is that it's beginning to take education and truly integrating it into the community. Dr. Crowe, Mayor Gordon, Phoenix city council, they're not just looking for a downtown campus. They're looking for a way to utilize this to extend out into our high schools, K-12, into our community colleges with job training programs, and to make education a bigger component of what's taking place here.

>> Michael Grant:
That's the concept. What about the compatible uses point, though, that Bob made, the student dorm right next to the convention hotel, I mean, are we forcing square pegs into round holes?

>> Paul Johnson:
I love Bob Robb, but he's never thought we had a compatible use being built in downtown Phoenix. I think he has opposed most of those projects based upon a similar concept. The reality is downtown is everybody's backyard. It's the type of place where you need diversity. You don't need just low income housing. You need upper income housing. You don't need just mid-range homes, you need to have student housing. You need to try to bring in a diversity of people if you truly want to make downtown Phoenix work. The educational campus, there's no doubt it will do -- it will do wonders for downtown Phoenix. I just personally don't think that that's the only reason you should support it. In fact, I think that's one of the reasons that's lowest on the totem pole as to why it should be supported.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me go a little bit to the process because we're almost out of time but I do want to get in a couple of issues on that. What's the process the committee -- the committee is still formulating precisely --

>> Paul Johnson:
That's right. All we've done so far is we've had a group that studied the dollar amount and we've laid out to them our requirement that we not raise taxes. They've come back to us that within the existing tax rate we could raise about $850 million in bonds. Now we've had a recommendation by the city manager as to how that should be split up. We've gone back to our subcommittees. They're taking about $3 billion worth of requests and downtown and every other part of the city and they're going to go through those and try to determine within each one of their committees how they can get that job done. As to whether or not we stay with the recommendations, it's not necessary. We can change it. We can move it. It's up to the citizens bond committee and at the end of the day it's up to the voters who will eventually pass it as to whether they want any one of those individual items to be successful.

>> Michael Grant:
Paul Johnson, former Phoenix Mayor and current chair of the bond committee, I don't envy you the assignment. Thanks very much. It is a beloved national icon, the one-room schoolhouse. That image conjures up feelings of warmth and nostalgia for the days of long ago. Although the sight of this slice of Americana is on the decline, a few one-room schoolhouses can still be spotted in towns where the pioneer spirit lives on. One, in Wickenburg, Arizona, has become a symbol of the past touching the present. Producer Merry Lucero and videographer Richard Torruelas and Scot Olson bring us this week's "Arizona Story."

>> Merry Lucero:
At the turn of the century, in the town of Wickenburg, 50 miles northwest of Phoenix, mining had created a boom. The population was nearing 600, and the children of the town needed a school. So Ygnacio Garcia a pioneer land owner, deeded a parcel of land to Wickenburg for that purpose. Joe Garcia is his grandson.

>> Joe Garcia:
That's why he donated the land in the first place, because he wanted people to learn and go to school and learn what's going on in the world.

>> Merry Lucero:
A makeshift wooden schoolhouse was brought in.

>> Penny Pietre:
The school was in somebody's house up until then. They decided they need add larger one. So for $50, I think, they bought and set up a schoolhouse here. It was drafty and full of rodents as wasn't very comfortable but it lasted 10 years.

>> Merry Lucero:
Then in 1905 the school board passed bonds to fund a new school. Soon after, this red brick schoolhouse was built. That was a long time ago. But in Wickenburg, things seem to put down roots and so do people.

>> Dana Burden:
After here, you go onto high school, right, then onto college and onto life. Then you come back. And here I am. Sitting where I started.

>> Merry Lucero:
Many one-time students of this school still call Wickenburg home. The schoolhouse brings back rich memories of their days in pigtails and dungerees.

>> Alicia Quesada:
If you were good you got to clean the blackboard, and if you were good you got to feed -- we had a big pot stove that was our heating and you had to feed it coal or wood. So whenever that stove needed to be fed, if you were one of the good students, you got that privilege.

>> Royce Kardinal:
I remember in the afternoons you went to school all day in 1st grade, and I remember we were tired and we had to bring towels to take our -- we actually a nap period and you had to lay out on this floor and take your little nap.

>> Merry Lucero:
Eugene Quesada was a first grader here in 1933.

>> Eugene Quesada:
For instance, one time I was asked to go up to the chalkboard write out the alphabet, and at a certain point she asked me to write it backwards. So I wrote it backwards. You know, showing off. And I don't remember how she knew I could do it, but she knew I could do it.

>> I remember they used to ring the bell when it was time to come in from the playground.

>> Yeah, somebody was pulling the cord, pulling the rope, ringing that bell to start school or change classes.

>> The other privilege you got was to ring the bell when -- when it was time to ring the bell, you got to do that.

>> Owen Black:
The bell is there, and, you know with the cord hanging down it was always a thought of ringing that thing without them asking you to.

>> Merry Lucero:
The schoolhouse was later divided into two rooms. Many memories of schoolteachers remain, some fond.

>> Royce Kardinal:
This side Mrs. Mitchell was the teacher and on the other side was Mrs. Radas.

>> Eugene Quesada:
Mrs. Anderson was my first grade teacher. She was the most beautiful woman that lived. At the end of the year she got married. That was it.

>> Joe Garcia:
She was a nice big tall lady.

>> Merry Lucero:
Your teacher.

>> Joe Garcia:
My teacher. And she liked to sing. She had a little harp before we started classes she would -- tune on that harp and we started singing "Good Morning, Dear teacher".

>> Merry Lucero:
Others not so fond.

>> Leonard Hershkowitz:
Not the fondest, but the best memory is being sent out to the front stoop for causing a disturbance, about every day, talking, pinching the girls, slapping somebody. And I know they were glad to get rid of me. She was awfully glad to get rid of me out of the class.

>> Jorja Beal:
My first grade teacher was an old maid, Miss Anne Marie Radas and the day we graduated from first grade, she has us all file in single file down the stairs out that door right there, and we all had to kiss her on the cheek. She was standing by the stairs, so we were about the same level, because we were up on the stair, and she was on the ground, and we had to kiss her on the cheek, and I do remember that vividly, and it was like her cheek sunk in.

>> Merry Lucero:
1920s, 1930s, 1940s, Wickenburg continued to grow. A larger school building was built next door for the upper grades. Later, the little red schoolhouse was reduced to do a storeroom. But it still held a fascination for students.

>> So it was kind of a mystery place for us that we all wished we could get into. So during recess time, one of our sports was, myself and a couple of friends, we would get sticks and start to dig between the rocks that are holding this thing up, trying to dig our way into the basement of this thing, because we knew it was full of wonderful treasures.

>> Merry Lucero:
But in 1978, the new school building caught fire and was a complete loss. Progress brought change to the area. But the little red schoolhouse remained. Word of its demolition buzzed around town, but instead, the building was bought by a bank, renovated, and used as such. Until it was donated in 2003 to the Wickenburg chamber orchestra.

>> This building was built for the town and the children of this town. And it was -- served that purpose for many years and then became a commercial bank, and I feel that way exactly, that it's come back to the town, that it belongs to the town again.

>> Merry Lucero:
The W.C.O. dedicate much of its resources to the children of Wickenburg and the surrounding world areas, like Yarnell, where the members of this quartet live.

>> Marina Rauh:
We're rural. We're 45 minutes away from Prescott. We're 45 minutes away from Wickenburg. There's nothing for these kids to do. And music has become a huge part of their lives.

>> Kendra Delano:
And the W.C.O., I believe, is ready to work with the children in this building so that when children visit the W.C.O. can identify the gifted and talented musicians and make sure that all of those children have instruments to play if they'd like to.

>> Merry Lucero:
So, the little red schoolhouse has come full circle, back to its children, and back to the ones who were once its children.

>> Merry Lucero:
Arizonans are fuming about gas prices. Last week AAA reported the average gas price in Arizona was $3.13 a gallon, 8 cents higher than California's average of $3.05. Learn about anti-gouging legislation that's been attempted here in Arizona, why it failed, and what's on the radar screen for next year's legislative session. That's Tuesday on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
Thursday ASU law professor Paul Bender is going to be here to talk about the Roberts confirmation hearings. Friday, don't forget to join us for the Journalists Roundtable review of the week's news events. Thank you very much for joining us on a Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Phoenix Bond Commitee


  • Former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson, the chair of the city bond election committee, joins Michael Grant to discuss what decisions voters will face this March.
Guests:
  • David Berns - Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security
  • Paul Johnson - Former Phoenix Mayor, the chair of the city bond election committee


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," efforts to find jobs for the victims of hurricane Katrina. The plan to move parts of ASU to downtown Phoenix. And a Wickenburg icon, the little red schoolhouse on Arizona stories.

>> "Horizon" is made possible by the friends of Channel 8, members who provide financial support to this Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
Good evening. Welcome to "Horizon." I'm Michael Grant. John Roberts appearing today before the Senate judiciary committee on the opening day of his confirmation hearings. Roberts nominated by President Bush to fill the vacancy of chief justice on the Supreme Court. That position, of course, previously held by the late justice William Rehnquist who died of cancer earlier this month. Roberts rejected what he called judicial activism in his opening remarks.

>>> Michael Grant:
Evacuees from hurricane Katrina who have been sheltered at veterans memorial coliseum in Phoenix have been finding places to live and jobs. The job fair last week, a successful event for many evacuees looking for employment. On Thursday nearly 45 people found a job. Here now to talk about the efforts being made to find gainful employment for the victims of hurricane Katrina is the director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security David Berns. David, welcome back.

>> David Berns:
It's nice to be here.

>> Michael Grant:
Focusing on employment, I know obviously D.E.S. performs a variety of different functions here, but focusing more on employment, what's the process for evacuees? Has D.E.S. actively been down at the coliseum?

>> David Berns:
We've established what we call a transition center where it's not just D.E.S. but all of the human services types of activities and health services, and we have a great presence there. Part of that are job opportunities and the registration. As people get the services, of course, they need to have their immediate needs, their healthcare, their food, their shelter, things of that nature, but as they make decisions that they want to stay for at least a while, we register them into our system, find out their skills, their interests, and the out pouring of interest in our local employers has been phenomenal in being able to match up the people, the evacuees, with available jobs in this area.

>> Michael Grant:
There is obviously constantly lines of communication between employers and Department of Economic Security. Can I safely assume, though, that you have seen a spike directly in relation to the evacuees and the hurricane here in the past couple of weeks?

>> David Berns:
Very much so. In a couple different areas. First off, there's a lot more coming forward saying we have a job here, others coming forward saying we will hire just as many as what you can send to us. But they're also coming in with packages of other supports like offering of housing, offering of initial transportation, assistance in helping them finding tools and other supports in order to take the job. So it's been fantastic the outpouring of support from the employers.

>> Michael:
Of course, for an evacuee, I would think, to a certain extent, it's trying to figure out -- well, get over the shock, of course, but also try to figure out well, what, should I do? I mean, my home is not here. On the other hand, may look around and say, well, gee, maybe it could be. But there's got to be just a terrible transition --

>> David Berns:
Think about it ourselves, if we were faced with this, we would want to go back home, and so that would be the first priority, and as -- their decisions may change by the hour, and certainly by the day as to what their options are and what they need to do as they get more information about the status of their homes, the status of their loved ones back in the state from which they came, and so we're leaving the decision, of course, on whether they want to even seek employment in Arizona up to them. We're letting them know about all of the opportunities and certainly encouraging them to make their own decisions, and if they decide they want to stay, we give them all of the options that we possibly can.

>> Michael Grant:
Is there a mix of job opportunities available that could span that gap? I mean, in other words, you know, an employer saying, "that's all right, a person could work for me for a couple of months, this doesn't have to be a long-term commitment"?

>> David Berns:
Very much so. We've had employers that have had employees in the affected area saying "we'll take any of our old employees and move them here for just as long as they want to stay." Others saying this could be a permanent job. Others saying, a couple weeks is fine, we'll do whatever we can to support them. So the options are unbelievable.

>> Michael Grant:
Give me some idea of the universe in terms of pay levels, job types, those types --

>> David Berns:
We've had many well-paid jobs coming forward, employers coming forward, 15, $20 an hour or more. But then we have to match that up against the skills and the interests of the people and so we have other jobs averaging probably close to $10 per hour for those that are getting jobs. We've had people come in and offer minimum wage jobs in probably not particularly good settings, and, of course, the market is such that, I think, the evacuees don't need to settle for minimum wage jobs. They have other options.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. David, final question... Veterans Memorial Coliseum seems to be winding down somewhat. I think they were down under 200 people at this point in time. I take it that the Department of Economic Security continues these efforts elsewhere in some of its usual offices?

>> David Berns:
That's a great point. Yes, all of our financial assistance offices, and they exceed 80 across the state, will provide a full array of services for evacuees, realizing that there's probably more self-evacuees than people that flew in on the planes. So they're coming in to Bullhead City and Yuma and all over the state. We're providing a full range of services wherever they come, and we also just opened today a transition center at the Salvation Army at 2702 East Washington where people can come and get a full range of services, including help with employment.

>> Michael Grant:
That Salvation Army facility has been seeing a lot of activity here the past week or so. David Berns, thank you very much for joining us. Voters in Arizona going to the polls tomorrow to decide a number of issues, among them Peoria voters will vote on proposition 300. That authorizes a transportation sales tax. Both Goodyear and Avondale voters will vote on proposition 400, which would require residential fire sprinklers for all new homes in those cities. El Mirage voters asked to allow the city to borrow money for water and wastewater improvements and to approve the sale of some city land. Phoenix voters will elect city council members. Larry Lemmons shows us how the election tomorrow could impact a Phoenix bond election next year.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Today the intersection of 1st street and Van Buren in the heart of downtown Phoenix resembles a typical city scene, traffic and parking but if the City of Phoenix government and Arizona State University have their way this intersection would be roughly the southeast corner of a complex of university facilities called the downtown Phoenix campus. This ambitious project becomes a reality if Phoenix voters approve part of an $850 million bond program in March 2006. Mayor Phil Gordon and the incumbent city council are for the ASU expansion, and tomorrow's Phoenix city council election, one issue that separates some challengers from the incumbents, is support for this plan. So tomorrow's election is one of the first opportunities for Phoenix voters to express their preference. The rhetoric has already been heated.

>> Bob Robb:
It's very early in the political game. The bond measure isn't on the ballot until March, even though the city is going to proceed with advance funding for the first year's class. And the bond committee hasn't made its recommendations. Nevertheless, even though four long-shot candidates for city council have apparently shared skepticism to opposition to using 200 to $250 million of city money to build a downtown ASU campus, the reaction from Mayor Gordon was fairly remarkable. He said, shame on them! You know, there are points of political view that are truly shameful. Racism, false accusation of racism. Questioning the prudence of spending 200 to $250 million and a quarter of a bond proposal for a downtown ASU campus simply doesn't qualify as a shameful attitude. It's the sort of thing that ought to be debated.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Looking over the area, Arizona Republic columnist Bob Robb isn't certain a downtown campus will be right for the area.

>> Bob Robb:
I am not sure what it will do for the downtown area. And I think one of the undiscussed issues is the compatibility of sort of campus life with the kind of downtown that is hoped to be created. For example, right here we're going to have the convention hotel, which is going to be directly across the street from the student dormitories, and whether those are compatible and complementary groups of people or whether their interests and tastes diverge and they might get in each it's way I think is an underdiscussed question.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Voters will choose between the following candidates in the Phoenix city council election, in District 2 challengers Andre Campos and Marky Warren are running against incumbent Peggy Nealy. In District 4, they will choose between incumbent Tom Simplot or Chad Campbell. In District 6, incumbent Greg Stanton is running against Warren Severin. Finally, in District 8 incumbent Mike Johnson is running against Jarret P. Maupin II and Sylvia Pinky Moreno. Proposition 1 in Phoenix would establish the Mayor's salary at $88,000 a year and would establish each council member's salary at no more than 70\% of that. Proposition 2 would establish a line of success for the office of Mayor during times of great emergency. Proposition 3 is a proposed amendment clarifying the requirements for write-in candidates. After the election tomorrow, Bob Robb thinks there may develop a more clearly articulated opposition to the downtown plans.

>> Bob Robb:
At present, the shared opposition or skepticism about the large city investment in -- for a downtown campus is not necessarily politically significant, but it may be suggestive of a larger debate down the road. There are lots of potential grounds for public concern about this particular proposition. You have, first of all, a large city investment in what has traditionally been a state function, which is the building of university facilities. You then have the fact that the investment, 200 to $250 million, out of a bond issue of $750 to $850 million is a fairly large hunk of what the city's looking to invest in its infrastructure. The city has always had a bond committee that sort of sorted through the needs of the city and has narrowed it down, and there's always far more wishes for investment than there's money available to invest. Well, this time with the -- depending upon what falls off the table through the bond proposal, there may be a sharper tendency to compare the value of what's not being funded to the very large amount of money that's being taken up out of this bond issue from the downtown ASU campus. So while there is very strong support among community leaders, it may end up being a controversy and one of the most significant bond controversy controversies the city has faced.

>> Michael Grant:
Joining me now is the chairman of the Phoenix bond committee which began work only last Thursday. He is, of course, former Mayor of Phoenix, Paul Johnson. Paul, haven't seen you for a while.

>> Paul Johnson:
I haven't been here for a while.

>> Michael Grant:
Well, it's by design.

>> Paul Johnson:
That's right.

>> Michael Grant:
Let's start with Bob's last point first. It is -- essentially you have a -- to plug numbers here, but you have around 200 million or so, you say, okay, we're going to do that. I could see it generating some opposition from the standpoint of people saying, hey, listen, that $200 million is going to cost us these parks or these fire stations or these police stations or -- fill in their blank. Do you create a constituency you might not otherwise see because there are the -- they're the have notes and downtown this is the haves.

>> Paul Johnson:
The thing that I found in being Mayor of Phoenix is that, first, there's always a controversy that exists along that line. When we did the 1998 -- excuse me --9888 bond election, it was a huge amount of money going into downtown cultural projects and there was a sense from some people that the citizens might oppose it, in fact there were some people who opposed that election to help try to promote their own campaigns, and when they were done, one, they weren't successful. Two, the bond election won. This is a pretty bright electorate. Phoenix is a place on the move. It understands to grow we have to be progressive in our thinking. We're not going to do anything. At the end of the day, this is up to the voters. The voters are going to get to see all of these items. They're going to get to make a decision as to how it is they want to see their city grow. All the bond committee can do is make a recommend recommendation to them as to how we believe this should move forward.

>> Michael Grant:
What about the point that, hold it, higher education is a state function. What's the city doing building a campus downtown?

>> Paul Johnson:
We ought to ask our legislature that, I would say, but higher education may be a legislative state function, but the reality is it is so important to the city in its long term ability to have economic development and attract jobs and attract people into our community that you just can't separate it out. We saw all the way back in the early 1980s, we did an economic development study, and I'll never forget asking the group to eliminate education from the study because we believed that we didn't have any impact over it, and they came back and they said, all right, we've done what you asked to, but we need to stress you just can't simply remove education and the quality of life that's going to happen in Phoenix as well as your ability to be successful in economic development. It's just too inter-tied. To me one of the most exciting things that's going on with the bond proposal is the downtown educational facilities that we're looking to build, of which ASU is obviously a huge portion of that. But what's most exciting to me is that it's beginning to take education and truly integrating it into the community. Dr. Crowe, Mayor Gordon, Phoenix city council, they're not just looking for a downtown campus. They're looking for a way to utilize this to extend out into our high schools, K-12, into our community colleges with job training programs, and to make education a bigger component of what's taking place here.

>> Michael Grant:
That's the concept. What about the compatible uses point, though, that Bob made, the student dorm right next to the convention hotel, I mean, are we forcing square pegs into round holes?

>> Paul Johnson:
I love Bob Robb, but he's never thought we had a compatible use being built in downtown Phoenix. I think he has opposed most of those projects based upon a similar concept. The reality is downtown is everybody's backyard. It's the type of place where you need diversity. You don't need just low income housing. You need upper income housing. You don't need just mid-range homes, you need to have student housing. You need to try to bring in a diversity of people if you truly want to make downtown Phoenix work. The educational campus, there's no doubt it will do -- it will do wonders for downtown Phoenix. I just personally don't think that that's the only reason you should support it. In fact, I think that's one of the reasons that's lowest on the totem pole as to why it should be supported.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me go a little bit to the process because we're almost out of time but I do want to get in a couple of issues on that. What's the process the committee -- the committee is still formulating precisely --

>> Paul Johnson:
That's right. All we've done so far is we've had a group that studied the dollar amount and we've laid out to them our requirement that we not raise taxes. They've come back to us that within the existing tax rate we could raise about $850 million in bonds. Now we've had a recommendation by the city manager as to how that should be split up. We've gone back to our subcommittees. They're taking about $3 billion worth of requests and downtown and every other part of the city and they're going to go through those and try to determine within each one of their committees how they can get that job done. As to whether or not we stay with the recommendations, it's not necessary. We can change it. We can move it. It's up to the citizens bond committee and at the end of the day it's up to the voters who will eventually pass it as to whether they want any one of those individual items to be successful.

>> Michael Grant:
Paul Johnson, former Phoenix Mayor and current chair of the bond committee, I don't envy you the assignment. Thanks very much. It is a beloved national icon, the one-room schoolhouse. That image conjures up feelings of warmth and nostalgia for the days of long ago. Although the sight of this slice of Americana is on the decline, a few one-room schoolhouses can still be spotted in towns where the pioneer spirit lives on. One, in Wickenburg, Arizona, has become a symbol of the past touching the present. Producer Merry Lucero and videographer Richard Torruelas and Scot Olson bring us this week's "Arizona Story."

>> Merry Lucero:
At the turn of the century, in the town of Wickenburg, 50 miles northwest of Phoenix, mining had created a boom. The population was nearing 600, and the children of the town needed a school. So Ygnacio Garcia a pioneer land owner, deeded a parcel of land to Wickenburg for that purpose. Joe Garcia is his grandson.

>> Joe Garcia:
That's why he donated the land in the first place, because he wanted people to learn and go to school and learn what's going on in the world.

>> Merry Lucero:
A makeshift wooden schoolhouse was brought in.

>> Penny Pietre:
The school was in somebody's house up until then. They decided they need add larger one. So for $50, I think, they bought and set up a schoolhouse here. It was drafty and full of rodents as wasn't very comfortable but it lasted 10 years.

>> Merry Lucero:
Then in 1905 the school board passed bonds to fund a new school. Soon after, this red brick schoolhouse was built. That was a long time ago. But in Wickenburg, things seem to put down roots and so do people.

>> Dana Burden:
After here, you go onto high school, right, then onto college and onto life. Then you come back. And here I am. Sitting where I started.

>> Merry Lucero:
Many one-time students of this school still call Wickenburg home. The schoolhouse brings back rich memories of their days in pigtails and dungerees.

>> Alicia Quesada:
If you were good you got to clean the blackboard, and if you were good you got to feed -- we had a big pot stove that was our heating and you had to feed it coal or wood. So whenever that stove needed to be fed, if you were one of the good students, you got that privilege.

>> Royce Kardinal:
I remember in the afternoons you went to school all day in 1st grade, and I remember we were tired and we had to bring towels to take our -- we actually a nap period and you had to lay out on this floor and take your little nap.

>> Merry Lucero:
Eugene Quesada was a first grader here in 1933.

>> Eugene Quesada:
For instance, one time I was asked to go up to the chalkboard write out the alphabet, and at a certain point she asked me to write it backwards. So I wrote it backwards. You know, showing off. And I don't remember how she knew I could do it, but she knew I could do it.

>> I remember they used to ring the bell when it was time to come in from the playground.

>> Yeah, somebody was pulling the cord, pulling the rope, ringing that bell to start school or change classes.

>> The other privilege you got was to ring the bell when -- when it was time to ring the bell, you got to do that.

>> Owen Black:
The bell is there, and, you know with the cord hanging down it was always a thought of ringing that thing without them asking you to.

>> Merry Lucero:
The schoolhouse was later divided into two rooms. Many memories of schoolteachers remain, some fond.

>> Royce Kardinal:
This side Mrs. Mitchell was the teacher and on the other side was Mrs. Radas.

>> Eugene Quesada:
Mrs. Anderson was my first grade teacher. She was the most beautiful woman that lived. At the end of the year she got married. That was it.

>> Joe Garcia:
She was a nice big tall lady.

>> Merry Lucero:
Your teacher.

>> Joe Garcia:
My teacher. And she liked to sing. She had a little harp before we started classes she would -- tune on that harp and we started singing "Good Morning, Dear teacher".

>> Merry Lucero:
Others not so fond.

>> Leonard Hershkowitz:
Not the fondest, but the best memory is being sent out to the front stoop for causing a disturbance, about every day, talking, pinching the girls, slapping somebody. And I know they were glad to get rid of me. She was awfully glad to get rid of me out of the class.

>> Jorja Beal:
My first grade teacher was an old maid, Miss Anne Marie Radas and the day we graduated from first grade, she has us all file in single file down the stairs out that door right there, and we all had to kiss her on the cheek. She was standing by the stairs, so we were about the same level, because we were up on the stair, and she was on the ground, and we had to kiss her on the cheek, and I do remember that vividly, and it was like her cheek sunk in.

>> Merry Lucero:
1920s, 1930s, 1940s, Wickenburg continued to grow. A larger school building was built next door for the upper grades. Later, the little red schoolhouse was reduced to do a storeroom. But it still held a fascination for students.

>> So it was kind of a mystery place for us that we all wished we could get into. So during recess time, one of our sports was, myself and a couple of friends, we would get sticks and start to dig between the rocks that are holding this thing up, trying to dig our way into the basement of this thing, because we knew it was full of wonderful treasures.

>> Merry Lucero:
But in 1978, the new school building caught fire and was a complete loss. Progress brought change to the area. But the little red schoolhouse remained. Word of its demolition buzzed around town, but instead, the building was bought by a bank, renovated, and used as such. Until it was donated in 2003 to the Wickenburg chamber orchestra.

>> This building was built for the town and the children of this town. And it was -- served that purpose for many years and then became a commercial bank, and I feel that way exactly, that it's come back to the town, that it belongs to the town again.

>> Merry Lucero:
The W.C.O. dedicate much of its resources to the children of Wickenburg and the surrounding world areas, like Yarnell, where the members of this quartet live.

>> Marina Rauh:
We're rural. We're 45 minutes away from Prescott. We're 45 minutes away from Wickenburg. There's nothing for these kids to do. And music has become a huge part of their lives.

>> Kendra Delano:
And the W.C.O., I believe, is ready to work with the children in this building so that when children visit the W.C.O. can identify the gifted and talented musicians and make sure that all of those children have instruments to play if they'd like to.

>> Merry Lucero:
So, the little red schoolhouse has come full circle, back to its children, and back to the ones who were once its children.

>> Merry Lucero:
Arizonans are fuming about gas prices. Last week AAA reported the average gas price in Arizona was $3.13 a gallon, 8 cents higher than California's average of $3.05. Learn about anti-gouging legislation that's been attempted here in Arizona, why it failed, and what's on the radar screen for next year's legislative session. That's Tuesday on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
Thursday ASU law professor Paul Bender is going to be here to talk about the Roberts confirmation hearings. Friday, don't forget to join us for the Journalists Roundtable review of the week's news events. Thank you very much for joining us on a Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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