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February 16, 2012

Host: Ted Simons

Arizona Centennial: “Arizona: A History

  |   Video
  • A revised comprehensive book on Arizona History is being released on the state’s birthday. “Arizona: A History,” is a scholarly work on the Grand Canyon state’s history by Dr. Thomas Sheridan, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Dr. Sheridan will talk about his latest book.
  • Dr. Thomas Sheridan - Professor of Anthropology, University of Arizona
Category: Community   |   Keywords: arizona, centennial, official, state, history,

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Ted Simons: Arizona's rich and complicated history is explored in a recently released book titled "Arizona: A History." The book is written by our next guest, U of A anthropology professor, Dr. Thomas Sheridan.

Thomas Sheridan: Nice to be here, Ted.

Ted Simons: This is an interesting book, this is a revised edition. When did you first write this?

Thomas Sheridan: The first edition came out in 1995. So there's been about 17 years in between.

Ted Simons: I'm guessing that the revised edition covers a lot of ground. When you wrote it in '95, when you revised it recently, your views of writing “Arizona: A History,” Your views of Arizona history? Change at all?

Thomas Sheridan: Not really. I added more information on the border, more information on Mexican issues, and also a lot more information on water, because that's really fundamental to our history.

Ted Simons: Talk about the history of water rights and water usage in Arizona.

Thomas Sheridan: Well, we live in an arid land, so water is the critical resource. And Arizona history has been one long struggle to get access to that resource. And it will continue. I think the interesting thing about the 21st century is that there's no more -- there's no pot of water at the end of our rainbow anymore. The Central Arizona Project was the last major infusion of water, and so now I think water politics are going to focus on how we distribute what we have already.

Ted Simons: Interesting. Your book is very comprehensive, it's really something you've covered so much ground. And when you talk about a history of Arizona, you're talking history. The book opens with woolly mammoth hunters in the area. Why did you decide to go prehistoric?

Thomas Sheridan: I think the distinction between history and prehistory is artificial. People have been living here at least 12,000 years. And I wanted to acknowledge that. The fact that it's been occupied for a long time, and Native Americans were here first.

Ted Simons: I got the idea that your book, and the way you see history, correct me if I'm wrong, as not necessarily linear. Fit and starts, booms and busts, these sorts of things.

Thomas Sheridan: Right.

Ted Simons: Correct?

Thomas Sheridan: Absolutely.

Ted Simons: Explain, if you would.

Thomas Sheridan: I think this idea that we're just progressing towards something, it doesn't always happen. Look at what's happened in the last 10 years. This is the second major real estate boom and bust that I've lived through in Arizona in my lifetime. And I've lived here since I was 3. So things are not always progressing in one direction.

Ted Simons: The role of the federal government in Arizona is addressed as well. Talk to us about that and why it seems to be something a lot of folks aren't aware of or don't want to think about.

Thomas Sheridan: We pride ourselves on our rugged individualism, but yet the federal government has been absolutely critical in Arizona history since it's become a part of the United States. First of all, the U.S. army was sent in to pacify the Apaches, and then secondly, private capital could stock the ranges, plant the cotton, mine the copper, but it could not dam Arizona's rivers. So farmers and later cities really had to turn to the federal government, and that's what the Salt River project and Roosevelt Dam was about.

Ted Simons: Has the attitude in Arizona toward the federal government, do you see it changing? Do you see it ebbing and flowing in terms of positive and negative over the years, over the centuries?

Thomas Sheridan: I think it's always been ambivalent. And I think in part that may reflect our dependency on the federal government. I work a lot with ranchers in the state. And most ranchers in Arizona are mosaics of land tenure, they may have a little bit of private land but they also have graze can allotments off and on federal lands. So there's this kind of love-hate relationship.

Ted Simons: When you're done with a book like this and you look back on it, all of your research, and there's so much research in this, what do you think we in reading the book, you in researching, what can we all learn from Arizona's history? Or is it so volatile, is it such a fast growing and changing state you just got to ride with it?

Thomas Sheridan: I think one thing, because we're kind of a transient society, people come and go, that makes history all the more important. We need to know what has shaped us and what will continue to shape us. And I think water is, you know, the big issue. Our water supply unless they can figure out how to desalinize the ocean, is not going to grow, and I think with climate change it will actually shrink. So there's going to be a lot of jockeying for water in the 21st century. And I think one of the most interesting things I realized when I did the revisions was that Native Americans are going to be real players in this game because of their water rights, in addition to casino revenues. So I think they've gone from being a marginalized population, but I think in the 21st century we're going -- they're going to have more economic and political power.

Ted Simons: If the world is flat, by Thomas Freedman's imagination, if the world really is flat, where is Arizona's place on it and how has that changed?

Thomas Sheridan: I think one thing we have to accept the fact that we live on the U.S.- Mexico border and rather than seeing that as a threat, I think we need to see it at an opportunity. I also think that recently we've had the worst assault on Mexican immigrants and Mexican society since early statehood. And I think we need to recognize these -- this bilingual population that's been such an important part of Arizona history, again, as an opportunity, not a threat. Because this is a global world, and if we position ourselves right, we stand at the gateway to Latin America and the Hispanic world. And that should be seen again as an economic and a cultural opportunity, not as something to be afraid of.

Ted Simons: Last question, about 30 seconds left here. In terms of researching the book, what did you target? What were you focused on, and did you find up having that as focused in the book?

Thomas Sheridan: I knew I had to write a new chapter on Arizona in the 21st century. And so I concentrated a lot on financial matters. My father was in the savings and loan industry. So I grew up in the old financial world in Arizona. So I've always been interested in that topic. And obviously it continues to play a huge role in modern Arizona history.

Ted Simons: It does indeed. The Keating Five and The Keating scandal is mentioned in your book. This is really a good read. Thank you for joining us. We do appreciate it.

Thomas Sheridan: My pleasure, Ted. Thank you.

Guns on Campus

  |   Video
  • ASU Chief of Police John Pickens shares his views on a bill that would require Arizona’s public universities to allow anyone who has a concealed-carry permit, and who’s at least 21 years old, to carry a gun on campus.
  • John Pickens - ASU Chief of Police
Category: Law   |   Keywords: gun, campus, law,

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Ted Simons: Police chiefs from across Arizona's public universities presented reports on campus safety to the Arizona board of regents today. Included in the presentation was a discussion about senate bill 1474, which requires the state's public colleges, community colleges, and universities to allow anyone age 21 or older with a concealed carry permit to carry a gun on campus. Earlier today I spoke with ASU police chief John Pickens about the bill. Chief, thanks for joining us on "Arizona Horizon."

John Pickens: Thank you.

>> Before we get to the gun bill in your thoughts along those lineups, I know you did a presentation, the university police chief’s presentation to the board of regents today. What did you tell them?

John Pickens: We conveyed the fact all three universities were safe campuses. And we talked about all the things that we have in place, educating the students, teaching the students, working with the students, partnerships, and the things we do to make the community safe.

Ted Simons: The difference between policing a community and policing a university campus or in your cases campuses. Talk to us about that.

John Pickens: I think the environment we're in, we're dealing with the younger generation. We're able to do more education with them, we have more time. As a matter of fact that's why we subscribe to community-based policing. We're dealing with similar crimes that the other agencies deal with, but on a less frequent basis. We are in a more densely populated area, and we get to do this one-on-one intervention, interaction with the students to assist them in a way -- in any way we can. We teach them, go on ride-alongs, we allow them to get assistance from us with their school work.

Ted Simons: With all of that in mind, let's get to the guns on campus bill, just the concept of allowing guns on university campuses. What are your thoughts?

John Pickens: My thoughts are, I've been doing this for quite some time, my thoughts are that I don't think it is the appropriate environment to have weapons on campus. One, if the intent of this legislation is to provide more individuals on campus to make it a safe campus, it's missing the mark. That's not going to happen. One of the reasons being is that the concealed weapons permit -- permit has been weakened, it's been watered down. You don't have to have any required training in terms of -- like we do ongoing training requirements were eight hours at one time. It's good for five years. Now you can be a veteran with a DD214, there's no provision that says how long you've been a veteran. You can do an online course or take a course that's supported by the Arizona game and fish similar in another state. You can also fire a pellet gun or .22 rifle. And there's no guarantee that you are qualified or trained or proficient with the weapon that you carry.

Ted Simons: So how does -- let's say the bill passes. Let's say the bill becomes law. How does that change policing on your end?

John Pickens: I think it's going to be a significant change. I think that one, you're going to have to do the gun lockers. We have to look at strategically adding staff. And from a proactive standpoint, I think we have to look at maybe offering some further education, gun safety, etc., but I think it's an unfunded mandate.

Ted Simons: The idea, those who are for this idea say safety would increase if guns were law -- allowed. It's an effective deterrent to violence on campus. How would you respond to that?

John Pickens: I don't buy into that argument. One, if that was the case, our statistics would not reflect that we have a safe campus. Number two, guns -- more guns does not equate to a safer campus. I think there are other things involved, such as target identification when it comes an active shooter, it will take an officer responding, a first responder a little more time to identify the correct target, if not more innocent people will get hurt. You've got the factor of unintentional discharge. We have a campus environment that is very complex, we also have day care centers, we have charter schools, we have school children of all ages doing tours on the campus.

Ted Simons: You also have in Utah they allow guns there. We also have in Colorado at least Colorado State University I believe. They allow guns on campuses there. And again, the pro side says we're not hearing any incidents there, why would we be worried here?

John Pickens: One, I think they're different environments. Two, I think we're larger, and I think that another reason would be that I'm not sure that what they apply there will apply here. We have a lot more students, we have a lot more faculty and staff, we have a lot more potential for things to go wrong. And I'm not sure what their certification or training requirements are for the concealed weapons permit.

Ted Simons: And that's a major concern for you, the fact of training. You mentioned it earlier, and it bears repeating, you don't think the training right now is up to snuff.

John Pickens: Absolutely. We train and we continuously train, we train, and we're not sure how we're going to respond. Once you get the adrenaline flowing, we miss our target not most of the time, but some of the time when we practice and we train. And so that is safety -- safety is the first thing on our mind.

Ted Simons: So last question, when the other side says, people push this, safety will increase on campus when more folks are armed and people have their rights to protect themselves on campus, your final say on this is?

John Pickens: No. I think that, you know, again, more weapons and all the things that I just mentioned is going to increase. I think you're putting officers at risk when they respond, I think it's going to have an impact on the suicide rate, homicide rate. Right now what we experience on campus, we may experience simple assaults, sometimes it might escalate, but now you got weapons. There's no cooling-off period. You got the weapon, you get into a debate, and quite frankly, people get upset when they don't get the grade they deserve. The campuses are institutions where it welcomes debate. And sometimes they get a little, you know, different, a little heated sometimes. And so when you got another recourse there, then you add those two together, and we think the potential is there for more serious injuries.

Ted Simons: All right. Chief, it's good to have you on the show. Thanks for joining us.

John Pickens: Thank you.

Legislative Leaders

  |   Video
  • State Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin discuss the current legislative session.
  • Steve Pierce - Arizona State Senate President
  • Andy Tobin - House Speaker
Category: Legislature   |   Keywords: legislature, leaders, law,

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Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons.

Ted Simons: State legislative leaders will appear on "Arizona Horizon" each month during the session to talk about bills and other issues at the capitol. Here now is Senate President Steve Pierce and Speaker of the House Andy Tobin. Good to see both of you.

Both: Good to be here.

Ted Simons: Let's start with the budget and where you guys stand on the budget and we'll try to figure out if the governor's in the same ballpark.

Sen. Steve Pierce: We have the budget, we have numbers that we put together, presented to her, we have met with her, and we're just trying to get our staff to work with her staff and start moving along.

Ted Simons: As far as numbers are concerned, what does the budget have to come in, and where does that differ from the governor's?

Rep. Andy Tobin: I think you first have to understand there's a lot of pressures we're not in control of. We're still looking at Obamacare moving forward, hopefully the federal government will start tightening their belt. That will reduce some funds going to the states. Our members are fearful about what that means not just getting by the sales tax going away, but what that means in your 14 or 15, I applaud the president and the senate and our members of the house, they're trying to take a look at this as if they're running a business, and saying, OK, what does this look like? Not just for this year, what's it look like for next year? We haven't been down there to have a good time with the budget, we've always been cutting it. We don't want to come back to where we've been, and our members are being very cautious about the spending. We're still about 800 million, I think that's probably the difference before we negotiate.

Sen. Steve Pierce: And like Andy said, we did do projections out to 2015 and that shows 700 million dollar deficit without additional spending. So we're just trying to be cautious and that's a long ways out to plan, but we're just trying to make sure we have everything covered. We don’t want to go back to where we’ve been.

Ted Simons: The idea, no cuts no, restoration, no sweeps. Is that viable?

Sen. Steve Pierce: It is for us, yes. We just do not believe you should take all the agencies' money, there's $200 million to be swept, and table them, you can’t go back and raise rates on people. That isn't right. We just don't need to spend the money. There's other things we, do.

Ted Simons: Other things to do?

Rep. Andy Tobin: There are, but the president is saying, we're trying to make sure there's some stability in a government budget. And the revenues are there right now, but we want to make sure we're looking at -- that's a carry-forward. We're not looking at the surplus dollars. This is carry-forward money, and the whole idea is to make sure -- there might be some places we miss things, we're all fine with going ahead and starting -- maybe we made a mistake, and let's go back and look at those and see what we have to put back. To further reduce the -- a lot of these agencies isn't on the table, and sweeping them isn't on the table for us right now either.

Ted Simons: You were quoted a couple things, the governor's office was not being very cooperative. And in another point she may not understand, her folks may not understand your caucus. What your caucus is interested in may not have the same strength there on the ninth floor. Talk to us about that.

Sen. Steve Pierce: My caucus is very conservative. And we are more cautious. We just want to make sure we have money there when the time comes that we need it. The cliff we're talking about in 2014, the one cent sales tax goes away, and Obamacare could be kicking in, access is going to be costing us more money and we're going to have to be prepared. We're going to have to have a lot of money set aside for that. Our budget that we presented, we have money set aside, there's a rainy day fund and other funds that we'd like to wait and -- until May of next year to allocate them. So we can see what happens with the election, what happens with Obamacare, with lawsuits, and then maybe we can use it.

Ted Simons: Last question on this, the idea of the governor maybe wanting some sweeps, maybe wanting to buy back the capitol, expenditures along these lines. Is there a disconnect there? What's going on?

Rep. Andy Tobin: I think it goes back to the same point. We're trying to make sure we're paying down debt every month as it is. And that doesn't -- none of us want that debt. But if we hit those points down the road, where maybe interest rates have gone up and we've already paid down some debt that we wanted to but now the interest rates are higher, and now we're running into these pressures I spoke about with the feds, we may have to go back to the borrowing and members have done it before, they really are cautious, they don't want to find themselves in that position again. Neither do I. So -- but this is the best budget negotiation we've ever been in. I know it's February, but we made all the tough choice year ago. Give us a chance to get Arizona on the right footing, so I'm sure we'll find a way.

Sen. Steve Pierce: We'll get through it. We have a good relationship the governor.

Ted Simons: One of those choices made in the past involved enrollment free for AHCCCS. Arizona Supreme Court basically did not -- they're not going to look at it, so it stands as it is. I want to ask you the same question I asked when the debate is strong. I'm still hearing from critics, is this good for Arizona, is this good for Arizona's economy?

Sen. Steve Pierce: We have to do what we can afford. I think it is. If we had gone ahead and had not done this, no telling -- we would be in worse shape now than we are. Andy's mentioned with the surplus people talk about, it isn't a surplus. That money is already spent. We're in the hole already. There are people that probably need to be covered, there are things we need to look at. We probably need to restore some parts of AHCCCS. But, no, we did the right thing. It was a hard decision, but look where we are now. We're talking about a surplus that really isn't a surplus.

Ted Simons: But 100,000 childless adults losing coverage, if they wind up going to hospitals, hospitals are already feeling it and they're going to feel it even more now. Good for Arizona, and again, if those folks lose coverage is that good for the economy?

Rep. Andy Tobin: I think we have to look where you're going. You have one in five people on AHCCCS. It's not sustainable. Any business that's out there would be able to share -- how do you sustain that? Your option is assist to raise taxes. That's not going to create a job. We're trying to have a fair balance, make sure the dollars get to those folks who are the most at need. It wasn't easy making some of these reductions but calling for us to go back to a place where we've just come from, which bled the state dry for the overspending we have is not something that the legislature is going to tolerate moving forward. And neither is this governor. I'm not saying these aren't difficult choices. But the best thing we can do is get jobs moving. That takes people off AHCCCS, that takes people -- they get into paying mode, they're buying things and the economic packages we're looking at moves is going to help.

Ted Simons: The governor's personnel plan, very important to her, obviously mentioned it during her State of the State speech and it sounds like it's been introduced. What took so long?

Sen. Steve Pierce: We had things we had to do first. Our obligation down here, our constitutional duty is to pass balanced budget. That's what we've been working towards is the budget. She wants that done, we are moving it, she asked Andy and I two weeks ago to get it moving. And we did. We had it in our caucus last week, Andy had it in the House last week. And then it was introduced today. So we're moving ahead. And there isn't a lot of opposition. There's parts between -- it's not -- there isn't a lot of opposition.

Rep. Andy Tobin: Representative Olsen is in testimony as we speak, the legislature's in session, we're moving along, representative Robson has calendared the bill in the House, and so we're having that debate as we speak. We're happy to bring that to the governor's table.

Ted Simons: Last question, anti-union measures, it's getting a lot of attention, where do they stand?

Rep. Andy Tobin: I have to go to the senate president for that one.

Sen. Steve Pierce: OK. One bill is passed out today, the other three are sitting -- they're still being worked with members. There's discussions on them. I don't know if they're going to get out, all four of them, but they've moved some.

Ted Simons: But we're hearing reports maybe the ban on collective bargaining might be in for some tough sledding.

Sen. Steve Pierce: I think it probably will be. But my caucus is a real conservative caucus. I will have to wait and see where we go on it. It's not really appropriate at this time to say, hey, they're all going forward or they're not. But I know one was passed out, the one on paycheck protection, 1484 was passed out today. So -- out of Cal. I take it back. We voted on it too. We did it all today and it was voted on, passed out, I think we had 19 votes for it.

Ted Simons: Gentlemen, good to have you here.

Sen. Steve Pierce: Thank you.

Rep. Andy Tobin: Good to see you.