Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 26, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

Arizona Stories: Biltmore


  • Discover the history of a Phoenix icon that launched Arizona tourism.
Guests:
  • Amy Milliron -


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," this year's fire season, the worst on record, we see who is taking steps to prevent a future fire disaster. City of Chandler has found itself in the middle of a breast-feeding controversy and is now awaiting word from the breast-feeding task force. And the Arizona Biltmore resort and spa, the first of many resorts that helped make Phoenix a winter destination. The Biltmore's history and impact on tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Announcer:
"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. As we near the end of the 2005 fire season, it is worth noting that the huge Cave Creek complex fire was one of many that scorched the state this year. However, it alone consumed nearly 250,000 acres. This is the worst year on record in terms of Arizona acreage burned. Nearly 700,000 acres going up in smoke. All over the west, wildfires take an increasing toll each year on wild lands, property and sometimes lives. Larry Lemmons traveled to the Payson Ranger district to take a look at the steps they're taking to prevent the fiery devastation that's punished the forests and deserts so far.

>> Gary Roberts:
I mean these wild lands are more central to how we view ourselves as Americans than we might wish to acknowledge.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Gary Roberts is passionate about the wildlands. He is the district fire prevention officer for the Payson Ranger district. He is taking us around the area to show us how the Forest Service is taking proactive steps. The stakes couldn't be higher. The Cave Creek complex fire this past summer burned hundreds of thousands of acres. It was just one of many destructive blazes that contributed to the worst fire season on record in Arizona. More acres were burned this year than in 2002, which suffered the Rodeo-Chediski fire. A few miles outside of Payson this monument honors the lives of the six firefighters killed in the Dude fire in 1990. It's a silent testament that speaks loudly of the lurking danger that exists in this beautiful pine forest.

>> Gary Roberts:
Actually where I'm standing right now is not real far from the canyon where in 1990 six firemen lost their lives fighting the Dude fire. As you can see, this is an area that's very rugged, very steep. It's difficult terrain. It's very brushy.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We're overlooking Bonita Creek Estates up the road from Payson. It's clear why people are drawn to this area. The view is stunning. The access is somewhat remote. Once the landscape was different.

>> Gary Roberts:
Prior to the dude fire, the area here was dominantly Ponderosa pine, and as you can see now, most of that pine is gone and has been replaced by lots of Chaparral types that -- such as Manzanita and these sorts of things will burn very intensely. People have built back in this area and actually in this area, this particular homeowners group, has been very active at creating defensible space around their homes which is important.

>> Larry Lemmons:
While homeowners chose to rebuild after the dude fire the forest hasn't recreated itself in the same way. We love trees, but Roberts says a forest space can only accommodate a certain number of them

>> Gary Roberts:
73 million acres of national forests on the verge of ecological collapse. Now, there's a lot of contributing factors to that problem, but none, and I mean none, loom larger than the fact that far too many trees crowd our forests vying for too few resources.

>> Larry Lemmons:
And this situation affects everything from water to nutrients. Nature on her own maintains that balance. Here, on the urban wildland border, human needs and nature's lack of consideration for those needs create an uneasy co-existence.

>> Gary Roberts:
We just feel in that this district we want to try to get ahead of the curve as opposed to just always reacting to fires. We're always going to have wildland fires. They're going to be there. We're never going to completely eliminate those. We know

>> Larry Lemmons:
They're doing a lot of building over here.

>> Gary Roberts:
But we don't want to just react to fire. Can't you imagine this area forested as opposed to the way it is today.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Okay. Was the dude fire down in here also, right?

>> Gary Roberts:
Yes.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Can't you see some areas -- like you can see some burned areas that, I guess, are still there, it's just that all this other growth is coming up around it?

>> Gary Roberts:
Right.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Gary directed us to an area near whispering pines to show us the work the Payson ranger district has been doing.

>> Gary Roberts:
This is a very good example of a positive fuel reduction program where we've mechanically thinned. As you notice, we don't have a lot of fuel along the forest floor. If you were to get a fire in here, it's really not going to take off. It doesn't have the ability to create a crown fire. It just doesn't have the fuel to carry it. As we go onto this side of the road, we have exactly the opposite. If you notice in this area the fuel loading is much more than the other side of the road. You've got lots of ladder fuels here. If you get a fire in this, it will climb up into one bush, climb a little higher, get a little hotter, climb higher, get hotter, until it gets up in the tops of these trees and now they're so close together you're going to have a fire that carries across the forest as crown fire. It's key for us to win this battle against catastrophic fire by changing the American mind set about what a healthy forest is and is not. We're currently in an area that we've mechanically thinned getting out weaker, sickly trees and we've opened up the contiguous canopy here and you can see this is an area that would have great difficulty in carrying a crown fire.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The residents of Whispering Pines apparently understand the importance of defensible space and how that concept can help minimize fire damage.

>> Gary Roberts:
This is a good example of how we've opened up the canopy in this area, and if there were to be a fire in here, the likelihood of it reaching this home is greatly diminished. Notice they don't have a lot of brush and trees stacked right up against the home. These trees are well spaced. There's an open canopy. It's not going to carry a crown fire to the home.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Although the efforts of homeowners are vitally important, Roberts knows he and his rangers have a massive job controlling the threat of fire.

>> Gary Roberts:
You know, the problem of overly dense forests and heavy fuel loads really are found all over America, and the problem is a huge one, and you can stop and think, well, where do we begin? Well, we must begin, and it's kind of like an elephant, how do you eat an elephant? Well, one bite at a time. That's what we're trying to do on this district. Since 2001, on this district, we've mechanically thinned 4500 acres on very critical high priority acreage around small community areas. We have prescribed burned 14,000 acres. This past fall we did a phenomenal task of burning more than 33,000 debris piles, and we also were able to put in a 330-foot wide fuel break completely around the communities of Pine and Strawberry. Is that a guarantee against catastrophe inside the community? Absolutely not. But it's a strategic start.

>> Larry Lemmons:
That's pretty.

>> Gary Roberts:
Yeah.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The beautiful communities of Pine and Strawberry, the lush forest obviously creates a pleasant living experience but the number of trees and underbrush in this area are a constant danger.

>> Gary Roberts:
Virtually all forests sooner or later will burn, and our concern here in Rim Country is that Pine and Strawberry are at very high risk of catastrophic wildfire danger. We have prevailing winds from the southwest that will push a fire to the northeast, and in the past several years we've had several fires put these communities in the cross hairs of cat catastrophic wildfire danger. Our goal here on the Payson ranger district is to reduce that catastrophic wildfire danger. We know that if we can mechanically thin 5,000 acres a year over the next five years, that we can significantly move communities like this and other ones within the rim country out of harm's way.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Unfortunately, as is the case all over the country, despite the truism that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Roberts says the lack of proper funding is hampering the district's efforts.

>> Gary Roberts:
We've accomplished much, and we're clearly headed in the right direction, but here's the hitch. We have adequate funding for the planning process and for doing prescribed burns, but we lack the funding for doing the mechanical thinning.

>> Larry Lemmons:
And residents could help. There are areas around homes that contribute to the spread of fire. As beautiful as the Payson Ranger District is, the rangers work to protect it grows ever more difficult

>> Gary Roberts:
We are at the end of another fire season here in Arizona. This one being a record-breaking fire season already with about 700,000 acres in the state that have already been charred. Just on this forest alone we've had 350,000 acres already and again the season is not over. The rim countries dodged the bullet from catastrophic wildfire, especially the communities of Pine and Strawberry, but we can't dodge the bullet forever. The passion in my life is the outdoors. It goes back to when I was a small child, and it really is a passion of mine that we preserve these places that are really every American's heritage. To lose them would be a terrible thing. For me, to preserve these places, not only are they places of beauty and recreation, but also they're places that restore your soul.

>> Michael Grant:
It was a typical day for Amy Milliron. She went to a public pool in Chandler with her family and friends. Her baby was hungry so she did what many mothers do who are breast-feeding their child, but that single event was the catalyst for several events that subsequently followed. Joining us to talk about what happened, what she did about it, is Amy Milliron. Welcome to the program

>> Amy Milliron:
Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
We should mention we invited a representative from the City of Chandler to appear and they said that they wanted to wait for the recommendations of the task force before making a comment.

>> Amy Milliron:
Okay.

>> Michael Grant:
I want to get to the task force in just a minute, but tell us what happened that day. Let's put this in some context.

>> Amy Milliron:
Well, at that -- at the Chandler pool on that day I was nursing my baby, and I was completely covered while I was nursing him and after I finished nursing him I was burping him, and a lifeguard approached me and said that in the future I would need to use the restroom to feed my baby, and I don't feel that the restroom, especially at a city pool, is an appropriate place to feed my baby. So I asked the manager on duty at the time at the pool if that was the case. He confirmed that, yes, for future they do ask that breast-feeding mothers use the restroom. I went further up the chain of command to the Aquatics Superintendent of the City of Chandler, and she explained to me that people -- some people do find breast feeding offensive, and I didn't feel that that was a good basis for creating a policy, whether written or unwritten. So I decided to take it to the city council, and that's where we're at today.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. Was there a complaint against you?

>> Amy Milliron:
At the time --

>> Michael Grant:
Because I've heard different versions as this story has been reported in the media.

>> Amy Milliron:
At the time of the incident, no one told me of a complaint. It wasn't until I spoke with the Aquatics Superintendent, a little -- almost a week later, that someone had complained. But that was the first time anybody mentioned that to me. The only thing I knew was that for future I would need to use the restroom. That would tell me it wouldn't have matter if anybody complained.

>> Michael Grant:
So it went up through 3 levels of review before you heard about a complaint, causing you to think there was not a complaint.

>> Amy Milliron:
I'm just not sure. That was the first time I had heard of it.

>> Michael Grant:
Some have suggested that you are a lactivist. Do you consider yourself a lactivist?

>> Amy Milliron:
I find that an interesting word. That word has been floating around for a little while, and I consider myself actively involved in helping our children have the right to breast-feed. The word lactivist is just an interesting way to have play on words. So I don't know if I necessarily consider myself a lactivist but I consider myself actively involved.

>> Michael Grant:
As you probably are aware Barbara Walters made a comment that she observed a mother breast feeding on a plane and it made her feel uncomfortable, which in some quarters brought down the wrath of God on Barbara Walters. That's a different subject. Can you understand that some people do not feel comfortable with the activity?

>> Amy Milliron:
Well, I find it interesting that people would have a problem with the act of breast-feeding. If I am not exposing myself, I don't understand what the problem is. There is nothing to see. There is nothing to be offended. My child is merely eating, period. So I don't understand why people would have a problem with the act of breast-feeding. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing.

>> Michael Grant:
Is there -- well, let me go to this first. There was a restroom facility there. Is your concern there the cleanliness of the restroom?

>> Amy Milliron:
Yes, the cleanliness of the restroom I would take into account. It wouldn't matter if it were at the pool or any other location. It's beyond being asked to use the restroom. Not only do restrooms usually not have a place to sit, therefore, you would have to sit on a toilet to other nurse your baby if someone were to ask you, but it goes beyond that. I had my 6-year-old daughter with me at the pool that day, and I would have had to take her into the bathroom with me for the duration of feeding my child, and she shouldn't have to be taken from her activity just so that I can feed her brother.

>> Michael Grant:
For those uncomfortable with it, even though you don't understand, is there a way that -- I mean, to make the activity more subtle, going to some less traveled area of a business or a public pool or whatever the case may be.

>> Amy Milliron:
Well, I asked people this question when I am asked that question; do you people want a screaming baby? Because that is what they will usually get. If my baby is hungry or my child is hungry and the most private location I can find would be, maybe, across the mall several stores down, then people are going to hear a screaming child the entire way. What is going to be more disturbing, me probably breast feeding my child discreetly is going to be something that people don't even notice I'm doing, but I am going to draw a lot of attention to myself if I have a screaming child.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. Let me go to the task force aspects. First, who is on the task force?

>> Amy Milliron:
Okay. It is a member of the -- it's actually the assistant city manager, one of the assistant city managers, the -- a representative that is also a business owner, a restaurant owner actually in Chandler, and a member of the chamber of commerce, and four mothers.

>> Michael Grant:
Is the city attorney on the task force?

>> Amy Milliron:
The city attorney is not on the task force --

>> Michael Grant:
But advising the task force?

>> Amy Milliron:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Has the city attorney made a recommendation on at least one form of ordinance that the task force will take to the council?

>> Amy Milliron:
Yes.

>> Michael Grant:
Because I think that's probably the best way to structure this. What is the city attorney proposing in terms of an ordinance?

>> Amy Milliron:
The city attorney and I'll put this in layman's terms, the city attorney's is proposing, there are three sections to the proposal, one is the mothers have the right to breast feed in any location public or private, wherever she and the child are otherwise authorized to be. There are two more sections to that proposal. One would be that basically a reminder puts mothers on notice that state and federal laws would trump anything that the city would do anyway, so, hmm, you probably need to check and make sure you're not doing anything in violation of maybe state indecency exposure laws. And C talks about how private business owners would still have the ability to refuse service or have a mother leave their location if the private business owner chose to not have the mother breast feed there.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. That's one option. I think you and, am I correct, the other mothers on the task force believe it should just be item number 1, you have the right to breast feed wherever?

>> Amy Milliron:
Several other mothers on the task force and myself do believe it with should just be the first section, mothers have the right to breast feed wherever they have the right to be.

>> Michael Grant:
As you know, the second issue involved here involves private property rights. That's element number three of the attorney's recommended ordinance. Why is that not appropriate so that a restaurant owner would go to you and say, for example, that's making several of my patrons uncomfortable, we don't allow that here. Why shouldn't that be a private business owner's right?

>> Amy Milliron:
I think it would be a mistake for a private business owner to make that move, and the reason why is because I am a guest at that location. I am paying money just like everyone else. My child needs to eat. My child is not taking a bottle, and unless they were going to approach a bottle-feeding mother the same way they approach me, then I would consider that discrimination, personally.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. Almost out of time. How soon do you think the task force will report to the city council?

>> Amy Milliron:
We are hoping to have something ready for the October 13th council meeting.

>> Michael Grant:
Just a couple weeks or so?

>> Amy Milliron:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Amy Milliron, we appreciate you very much joining us and talking a bit.

>> Amy Milliron:
I appreciate it.

>> Michael Grant:
From the moment it opened February 23, 1929, the Arizona Biltmore resort and spa marked the birth of Arizona's tourism industry. Over the decades it's been a playground for the rich and famous. It remains one of the Valley's premier destinations. Although today it is located in the heart of the urban landscape, when it was built it was surrounded by miles of desert. Producer Larry Lemmons, videographers Richard Torruellas and Scot Olson bring us tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Vernon Swaback:
Now, here's a building which is built with concrete, exposed, no marble, no plaster, no FAUX finishes, no fanciness, and so here is this building which is just absolutely exposed in the most authentic way, and yet it carries with it a power that money alone could never buy.

>> Larry Lemmons:
In 1929 the Arizona Biltmore resort was born in the hot, dry desert north of Phoenix. Then as now, this oasis was known as the jewel of the desert and whose very existence was symbolized the potential of the gracious life in the midst of an arid uncultivated landscape. It sparked the development of Arizona's tourism industry, but more than that, it stands as a testament to the power of architecture.

>> Vernon Swaback:
It's the unquestioned symbol of appropriate design. The unquestioned symbol of living elegantly. And it does it by greatness rather than exaggeration. One of the great legacies of the Biltmore, one of its striking messages, is this thing which we refer to as architecture is actually real. It's not a matter of opinion or taste. It's not a matter of fanciness or budgets. It's a matter of appealing to the human instinct for beauty. It's a soulful level. It's almost a mystical power.

>> Larry Lemmons:
If mysticism indeed imbues the Biltmore's design, it's due to the architect on record, Albert Chase Macarthur, and his collaborator and teacher, Frank Lloyd Wright. Construction of the resort was costly and Macarthur's brothers, who originally owned the hotel, lost it the year after completion to chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. Controversy remains as to the extent of Wright's contribution to the design. His influence is evident in many ways but specifically in the Biltmore block, precast blocks made from desert sand on site.

>> Vernon Swaback:
Everybody agrees that Wright worked on this building. There's no question about that. Everybody agrees that Albert Chase Macarthur and he came to a parting of the ways and so the whole question is what did he do while he was working on it? And those of us feel strongly about some understanding of Wright's philosophy and the expression of his architecture just see the unmistakable imprint of his designs.

>> Mae Sue Talley:
It was also very gracious establishment in those days, and I think that enriched the community because people were able to enjoy that way of life when they came here. When Mr. Wrigley owned it, when we owned it, it was the number one resort in the nation. It was the only five star hotels in Arizona. So, of course, wealthy people sought the best, and when they saw the Biltmore was the number one resort in the United States, they came here. Also there was a very loyal following in the early days, namely when Mr. Wrigley owned it, of eastern families who would come and spend the bulk of the winter. They would take one of the cottages or a suite, and they enjoyed the wonderful clean air we had then. It was open spaces. It was beautiful desert, 1200 acres of open land all around the hotel. As well as there wasn't much beyond it in those days. So it had a special magic. I mean, people really loved coming and enjoying that.

>> Larry Lemmons:
In 1973, the Biltmore caught fire shortly after the Wrigley family sold the hotel to Talley Industries. Rather than raise the cherished Arizona institution, the Talleys decided to rebuild.

>> Vernon Swaback:
The Taliesin architects of the Frank Lloyd Wright foundation were engaged to undertake the restoration, which had to happen in a period of 90 days. Up until that time all the resorts in Phoenix basically closed for the summer, which was the Biltmore's pattern. So it was closed when the fire started. Price Waterhouse was the first convention booked in for September, September 23rd, and so a decision had to be made whether to go into high gear, you know, like three shifts a day, and get the hotel ready, which meant horrendous expense and effort, or to miss a whole season. So the decision was made to restore the hotel quickly.

>> Mae Sue Talley:
We did somehow manage to finish it. They were laying the carpet in the lobby at 3:
00 a.m. the morning that we opened for our first guests to come.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Today the hotel is under new management, but the jewel still sparkles, and the legends endure of the place where Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas, where guests could get around prohibition, where a multitude of celebrities and politicians continue to stay. The Arizona Biltmore is not overtly lavish, nor especially exclusive. It is simply one-of-a-kind.

>> Vernon Swaback:
There's only one Biltmore, and it's that because it's authentic, it's genuine, it's of the place, it's of the time, it's true to its sense of materials, it has a sense of space which is not about grandeur or bigness but about responding to the human scale, the human feelings, and when that occurs, wherever it is, on the face of the earth, it endures.

>> Merry Lucero:
In the latest KAET poll we ask people their thoughts on the response to hurricane Katrina, plus Phoenix symphony hall has a whole new look from the lobby to the stage. We look at the renovation and expansion as Ballet Arizona and Arizona Opera prepare a gala event for their return to symphony hall, Tuesday on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
Wednesday we'll take a look at an unprecedented picture of the human family tree through DNA testing. Thursday, Medal of Honor recipients are honored in Phoenix. And Friday please join us for the Journalists Roundtable as we wrap up the week's news events. Thank you very much for being here on this Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Fire Prevention


  • Find out what measures the Payson Ranger District is taking to battle forest fires.
Guests:
  • Amy Milliron -


View Transcript
>> Michael Grant:
Tonight on "Horizon," this year's fire season, the worst on record, we see who is taking steps to prevent a future fire disaster. City of Chandler has found itself in the middle of a breast-feeding controversy and is now awaiting word from the breast-feeding task force. And the Arizona Biltmore resort and spa, the first of many resorts that helped make Phoenix a winter destination. The Biltmore's history and impact on tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Announcer:
"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. As we near the end of the 2005 fire season, it is worth noting that the huge Cave Creek complex fire was one of many that scorched the state this year. However, it alone consumed nearly 250,000 acres. This is the worst year on record in terms of Arizona acreage burned. Nearly 700,000 acres going up in smoke. All over the west, wildfires take an increasing toll each year on wild lands, property and sometimes lives. Larry Lemmons traveled to the Payson Ranger district to take a look at the steps they're taking to prevent the fiery devastation that's punished the forests and deserts so far.

>> Gary Roberts:
I mean these wild lands are more central to how we view ourselves as Americans than we might wish to acknowledge.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Gary Roberts is passionate about the wildlands. He is the district fire prevention officer for the Payson Ranger district. He is taking us around the area to show us how the Forest Service is taking proactive steps. The stakes couldn't be higher. The Cave Creek complex fire this past summer burned hundreds of thousands of acres. It was just one of many destructive blazes that contributed to the worst fire season on record in Arizona. More acres were burned this year than in 2002, which suffered the Rodeo-Chediski fire. A few miles outside of Payson this monument honors the lives of the six firefighters killed in the Dude fire in 1990. It's a silent testament that speaks loudly of the lurking danger that exists in this beautiful pine forest.

>> Gary Roberts:
Actually where I'm standing right now is not real far from the canyon where in 1990 six firemen lost their lives fighting the Dude fire. As you can see, this is an area that's very rugged, very steep. It's difficult terrain. It's very brushy.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We're overlooking Bonita Creek Estates up the road from Payson. It's clear why people are drawn to this area. The view is stunning. The access is somewhat remote. Once the landscape was different.

>> Gary Roberts:
Prior to the dude fire, the area here was dominantly Ponderosa pine, and as you can see now, most of that pine is gone and has been replaced by lots of Chaparral types that -- such as Manzanita and these sorts of things will burn very intensely. People have built back in this area and actually in this area, this particular homeowners group, has been very active at creating defensible space around their homes which is important.

>> Larry Lemmons:
While homeowners chose to rebuild after the dude fire the forest hasn't recreated itself in the same way. We love trees, but Roberts says a forest space can only accommodate a certain number of them

>> Gary Roberts:
73 million acres of national forests on the verge of ecological collapse. Now, there's a lot of contributing factors to that problem, but none, and I mean none, loom larger than the fact that far too many trees crowd our forests vying for too few resources.

>> Larry Lemmons:
And this situation affects everything from water to nutrients. Nature on her own maintains that balance. Here, on the urban wildland border, human needs and nature's lack of consideration for those needs create an uneasy co-existence.

>> Gary Roberts:
We just feel in that this district we want to try to get ahead of the curve as opposed to just always reacting to fires. We're always going to have wildland fires. They're going to be there. We're never going to completely eliminate those. We know

>> Larry Lemmons:
They're doing a lot of building over here.

>> Gary Roberts:
But we don't want to just react to fire. Can't you imagine this area forested as opposed to the way it is today.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Okay. Was the dude fire down in here also, right?

>> Gary Roberts:
Yes.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Can't you see some areas -- like you can see some burned areas that, I guess, are still there, it's just that all this other growth is coming up around it?

>> Gary Roberts:
Right.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Gary directed us to an area near whispering pines to show us the work the Payson ranger district has been doing.

>> Gary Roberts:
This is a very good example of a positive fuel reduction program where we've mechanically thinned. As you notice, we don't have a lot of fuel along the forest floor. If you were to get a fire in here, it's really not going to take off. It doesn't have the ability to create a crown fire. It just doesn't have the fuel to carry it. As we go onto this side of the road, we have exactly the opposite. If you notice in this area the fuel loading is much more than the other side of the road. You've got lots of ladder fuels here. If you get a fire in this, it will climb up into one bush, climb a little higher, get a little hotter, climb higher, get hotter, until it gets up in the tops of these trees and now they're so close together you're going to have a fire that carries across the forest as crown fire. It's key for us to win this battle against catastrophic fire by changing the American mind set about what a healthy forest is and is not. We're currently in an area that we've mechanically thinned getting out weaker, sickly trees and we've opened up the contiguous canopy here and you can see this is an area that would have great difficulty in carrying a crown fire.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The residents of Whispering Pines apparently understand the importance of defensible space and how that concept can help minimize fire damage.

>> Gary Roberts:
This is a good example of how we've opened up the canopy in this area, and if there were to be a fire in here, the likelihood of it reaching this home is greatly diminished. Notice they don't have a lot of brush and trees stacked right up against the home. These trees are well spaced. There's an open canopy. It's not going to carry a crown fire to the home.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Although the efforts of homeowners are vitally important, Roberts knows he and his rangers have a massive job controlling the threat of fire.

>> Gary Roberts:
You know, the problem of overly dense forests and heavy fuel loads really are found all over America, and the problem is a huge one, and you can stop and think, well, where do we begin? Well, we must begin, and it's kind of like an elephant, how do you eat an elephant? Well, one bite at a time. That's what we're trying to do on this district. Since 2001, on this district, we've mechanically thinned 4500 acres on very critical high priority acreage around small community areas. We have prescribed burned 14,000 acres. This past fall we did a phenomenal task of burning more than 33,000 debris piles, and we also were able to put in a 330-foot wide fuel break completely around the communities of Pine and Strawberry. Is that a guarantee against catastrophe inside the community? Absolutely not. But it's a strategic start.

>> Larry Lemmons:
That's pretty.

>> Gary Roberts:
Yeah.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The beautiful communities of Pine and Strawberry, the lush forest obviously creates a pleasant living experience but the number of trees and underbrush in this area are a constant danger.

>> Gary Roberts:
Virtually all forests sooner or later will burn, and our concern here in Rim Country is that Pine and Strawberry are at very high risk of catastrophic wildfire danger. We have prevailing winds from the southwest that will push a fire to the northeast, and in the past several years we've had several fires put these communities in the cross hairs of cat catastrophic wildfire danger. Our goal here on the Payson ranger district is to reduce that catastrophic wildfire danger. We know that if we can mechanically thin 5,000 acres a year over the next five years, that we can significantly move communities like this and other ones within the rim country out of harm's way.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Unfortunately, as is the case all over the country, despite the truism that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Roberts says the lack of proper funding is hampering the district's efforts.

>> Gary Roberts:
We've accomplished much, and we're clearly headed in the right direction, but here's the hitch. We have adequate funding for the planning process and for doing prescribed burns, but we lack the funding for doing the mechanical thinning.

>> Larry Lemmons:
And residents could help. There are areas around homes that contribute to the spread of fire. As beautiful as the Payson Ranger District is, the rangers work to protect it grows ever more difficult

>> Gary Roberts:
We are at the end of another fire season here in Arizona. This one being a record-breaking fire season already with about 700,000 acres in the state that have already been charred. Just on this forest alone we've had 350,000 acres already and again the season is not over. The rim countries dodged the bullet from catastrophic wildfire, especially the communities of Pine and Strawberry, but we can't dodge the bullet forever. The passion in my life is the outdoors. It goes back to when I was a small child, and it really is a passion of mine that we preserve these places that are really every American's heritage. To lose them would be a terrible thing. For me, to preserve these places, not only are they places of beauty and recreation, but also they're places that restore your soul.

>> Michael Grant:
It was a typical day for Amy Milliron. She went to a public pool in Chandler with her family and friends. Her baby was hungry so she did what many mothers do who are breast-feeding their child, but that single event was the catalyst for several events that subsequently followed. Joining us to talk about what happened, what she did about it, is Amy Milliron. Welcome to the program

>> Amy Milliron:
Thank you.

>> Michael Grant:
We should mention we invited a representative from the City of Chandler to appear and they said that they wanted to wait for the recommendations of the task force before making a comment.

>> Amy Milliron:
Okay.

>> Michael Grant:
I want to get to the task force in just a minute, but tell us what happened that day. Let's put this in some context.

>> Amy Milliron:
Well, at that -- at the Chandler pool on that day I was nursing my baby, and I was completely covered while I was nursing him and after I finished nursing him I was burping him, and a lifeguard approached me and said that in the future I would need to use the restroom to feed my baby, and I don't feel that the restroom, especially at a city pool, is an appropriate place to feed my baby. So I asked the manager on duty at the time at the pool if that was the case. He confirmed that, yes, for future they do ask that breast-feeding mothers use the restroom. I went further up the chain of command to the Aquatics Superintendent of the City of Chandler, and she explained to me that people -- some people do find breast feeding offensive, and I didn't feel that that was a good basis for creating a policy, whether written or unwritten. So I decided to take it to the city council, and that's where we're at today.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. Was there a complaint against you?

>> Amy Milliron:
At the time --

>> Michael Grant:
Because I've heard different versions as this story has been reported in the media.

>> Amy Milliron:
At the time of the incident, no one told me of a complaint. It wasn't until I spoke with the Aquatics Superintendent, a little -- almost a week later, that someone had complained. But that was the first time anybody mentioned that to me. The only thing I knew was that for future I would need to use the restroom. That would tell me it wouldn't have matter if anybody complained.

>> Michael Grant:
So it went up through 3 levels of review before you heard about a complaint, causing you to think there was not a complaint.

>> Amy Milliron:
I'm just not sure. That was the first time I had heard of it.

>> Michael Grant:
Some have suggested that you are a lactivist. Do you consider yourself a lactivist?

>> Amy Milliron:
I find that an interesting word. That word has been floating around for a little while, and I consider myself actively involved in helping our children have the right to breast-feed. The word lactivist is just an interesting way to have play on words. So I don't know if I necessarily consider myself a lactivist but I consider myself actively involved.

>> Michael Grant:
As you probably are aware Barbara Walters made a comment that she observed a mother breast feeding on a plane and it made her feel uncomfortable, which in some quarters brought down the wrath of God on Barbara Walters. That's a different subject. Can you understand that some people do not feel comfortable with the activity?

>> Amy Milliron:
Well, I find it interesting that people would have a problem with the act of breast-feeding. If I am not exposing myself, I don't understand what the problem is. There is nothing to see. There is nothing to be offended. My child is merely eating, period. So I don't understand why people would have a problem with the act of breast-feeding. That's why I'm doing what I'm doing.

>> Michael Grant:
Is there -- well, let me go to this first. There was a restroom facility there. Is your concern there the cleanliness of the restroom?

>> Amy Milliron:
Yes, the cleanliness of the restroom I would take into account. It wouldn't matter if it were at the pool or any other location. It's beyond being asked to use the restroom. Not only do restrooms usually not have a place to sit, therefore, you would have to sit on a toilet to other nurse your baby if someone were to ask you, but it goes beyond that. I had my 6-year-old daughter with me at the pool that day, and I would have had to take her into the bathroom with me for the duration of feeding my child, and she shouldn't have to be taken from her activity just so that I can feed her brother.

>> Michael Grant:
For those uncomfortable with it, even though you don't understand, is there a way that -- I mean, to make the activity more subtle, going to some less traveled area of a business or a public pool or whatever the case may be.

>> Amy Milliron:
Well, I asked people this question when I am asked that question; do you people want a screaming baby? Because that is what they will usually get. If my baby is hungry or my child is hungry and the most private location I can find would be, maybe, across the mall several stores down, then people are going to hear a screaming child the entire way. What is going to be more disturbing, me probably breast feeding my child discreetly is going to be something that people don't even notice I'm doing, but I am going to draw a lot of attention to myself if I have a screaming child.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. Let me go to the task force aspects. First, who is on the task force?

>> Amy Milliron:
Okay. It is a member of the -- it's actually the assistant city manager, one of the assistant city managers, the -- a representative that is also a business owner, a restaurant owner actually in Chandler, and a member of the chamber of commerce, and four mothers.

>> Michael Grant:
Is the city attorney on the task force?

>> Amy Milliron:
The city attorney is not on the task force --

>> Michael Grant:
But advising the task force?

>> Amy Milliron:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Has the city attorney made a recommendation on at least one form of ordinance that the task force will take to the council?

>> Amy Milliron:
Yes.

>> Michael Grant:
Because I think that's probably the best way to structure this. What is the city attorney proposing in terms of an ordinance?

>> Amy Milliron:
The city attorney and I'll put this in layman's terms, the city attorney's is proposing, there are three sections to the proposal, one is the mothers have the right to breast feed in any location public or private, wherever she and the child are otherwise authorized to be. There are two more sections to that proposal. One would be that basically a reminder puts mothers on notice that state and federal laws would trump anything that the city would do anyway, so, hmm, you probably need to check and make sure you're not doing anything in violation of maybe state indecency exposure laws. And C talks about how private business owners would still have the ability to refuse service or have a mother leave their location if the private business owner chose to not have the mother breast feed there.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. That's one option. I think you and, am I correct, the other mothers on the task force believe it should just be item number 1, you have the right to breast feed wherever?

>> Amy Milliron:
Several other mothers on the task force and myself do believe it with should just be the first section, mothers have the right to breast feed wherever they have the right to be.

>> Michael Grant:
As you know, the second issue involved here involves private property rights. That's element number three of the attorney's recommended ordinance. Why is that not appropriate so that a restaurant owner would go to you and say, for example, that's making several of my patrons uncomfortable, we don't allow that here. Why shouldn't that be a private business owner's right?

>> Amy Milliron:
I think it would be a mistake for a private business owner to make that move, and the reason why is because I am a guest at that location. I am paying money just like everyone else. My child needs to eat. My child is not taking a bottle, and unless they were going to approach a bottle-feeding mother the same way they approach me, then I would consider that discrimination, personally.

>> Michael Grant:
Okay. Almost out of time. How soon do you think the task force will report to the city council?

>> Amy Milliron:
We are hoping to have something ready for the October 13th council meeting.

>> Michael Grant:
Just a couple weeks or so?

>> Amy Milliron:
Right.

>> Michael Grant:
Amy Milliron, we appreciate you very much joining us and talking a bit.

>> Amy Milliron:
I appreciate it.

>> Michael Grant:
From the moment it opened February 23, 1929, the Arizona Biltmore resort and spa marked the birth of Arizona's tourism industry. Over the decades it's been a playground for the rich and famous. It remains one of the Valley's premier destinations. Although today it is located in the heart of the urban landscape, when it was built it was surrounded by miles of desert. Producer Larry Lemmons, videographers Richard Torruellas and Scot Olson bring us tonight's "Arizona Story."

>> Vernon Swaback:
Now, here's a building which is built with concrete, exposed, no marble, no plaster, no FAUX finishes, no fanciness, and so here is this building which is just absolutely exposed in the most authentic way, and yet it carries with it a power that money alone could never buy.

>> Larry Lemmons:
In 1929 the Arizona Biltmore resort was born in the hot, dry desert north of Phoenix. Then as now, this oasis was known as the jewel of the desert and whose very existence was symbolized the potential of the gracious life in the midst of an arid uncultivated landscape. It sparked the development of Arizona's tourism industry, but more than that, it stands as a testament to the power of architecture.

>> Vernon Swaback:
It's the unquestioned symbol of appropriate design. The unquestioned symbol of living elegantly. And it does it by greatness rather than exaggeration. One of the great legacies of the Biltmore, one of its striking messages, is this thing which we refer to as architecture is actually real. It's not a matter of opinion or taste. It's not a matter of fanciness or budgets. It's a matter of appealing to the human instinct for beauty. It's a soulful level. It's almost a mystical power.

>> Larry Lemmons:
If mysticism indeed imbues the Biltmore's design, it's due to the architect on record, Albert Chase Macarthur, and his collaborator and teacher, Frank Lloyd Wright. Construction of the resort was costly and Macarthur's brothers, who originally owned the hotel, lost it the year after completion to chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr. Controversy remains as to the extent of Wright's contribution to the design. His influence is evident in many ways but specifically in the Biltmore block, precast blocks made from desert sand on site.

>> Vernon Swaback:
Everybody agrees that Wright worked on this building. There's no question about that. Everybody agrees that Albert Chase Macarthur and he came to a parting of the ways and so the whole question is what did he do while he was working on it? And those of us feel strongly about some understanding of Wright's philosophy and the expression of his architecture just see the unmistakable imprint of his designs.

>> Mae Sue Talley:
It was also very gracious establishment in those days, and I think that enriched the community because people were able to enjoy that way of life when they came here. When Mr. Wrigley owned it, when we owned it, it was the number one resort in the nation. It was the only five star hotels in Arizona. So, of course, wealthy people sought the best, and when they saw the Biltmore was the number one resort in the United States, they came here. Also there was a very loyal following in the early days, namely when Mr. Wrigley owned it, of eastern families who would come and spend the bulk of the winter. They would take one of the cottages or a suite, and they enjoyed the wonderful clean air we had then. It was open spaces. It was beautiful desert, 1200 acres of open land all around the hotel. As well as there wasn't much beyond it in those days. So it had a special magic. I mean, people really loved coming and enjoying that.

>> Larry Lemmons:
In 1973, the Biltmore caught fire shortly after the Wrigley family sold the hotel to Talley Industries. Rather than raise the cherished Arizona institution, the Talleys decided to rebuild.

>> Vernon Swaback:
The Taliesin architects of the Frank Lloyd Wright foundation were engaged to undertake the restoration, which had to happen in a period of 90 days. Up until that time all the resorts in Phoenix basically closed for the summer, which was the Biltmore's pattern. So it was closed when the fire started. Price Waterhouse was the first convention booked in for September, September 23rd, and so a decision had to be made whether to go into high gear, you know, like three shifts a day, and get the hotel ready, which meant horrendous expense and effort, or to miss a whole season. So the decision was made to restore the hotel quickly.

>> Mae Sue Talley:
We did somehow manage to finish it. They were laying the carpet in the lobby at 3:
00 a.m. the morning that we opened for our first guests to come.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Today the hotel is under new management, but the jewel still sparkles, and the legends endure of the place where Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas, where guests could get around prohibition, where a multitude of celebrities and politicians continue to stay. The Arizona Biltmore is not overtly lavish, nor especially exclusive. It is simply one-of-a-kind.

>> Vernon Swaback:
There's only one Biltmore, and it's that because it's authentic, it's genuine, it's of the place, it's of the time, it's true to its sense of materials, it has a sense of space which is not about grandeur or bigness but about responding to the human scale, the human feelings, and when that occurs, wherever it is, on the face of the earth, it endures.

>> Merry Lucero:
In the latest KAET poll we ask people their thoughts on the response to hurricane Katrina, plus Phoenix symphony hall has a whole new look from the lobby to the stage. We look at the renovation and expansion as Ballet Arizona and Arizona Opera prepare a gala event for their return to symphony hall, Tuesday on "Horizon."

>> Michael Grant:
Wednesday we'll take a look at an unprecedented picture of the human family tree through DNA testing. Thursday, Medal of Honor recipients are honored in Phoenix. And Friday please join us for the Journalists Roundtable as we wrap up the week's news events. Thank you very much for being here on this Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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