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October 31, 2012

Host: Ted Simons

Fighting Heart Disease and Stroke

  |   Video
  • Lynne Love, Chairman of the American Heart Association’s 2012 Phoenix Heart Ball, talks about some of the programs the annual fundraiser supports, such as the Halle Heart Children’s Museum in Tempe.
  • Lynne Love - Chairman, American Heart Association 2012 Phoenix Heart Ball
Category: Community   |   Keywords: fighting, heart, disease, stroke, fundraiser, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: The American heart association's Halle Heart Children's Museum in Tempe teaches kits about heart healthy living through interactive exhibits designed to be informative and entertaining. It's one of many programs made possible by the Phoenix heart ball, an annual fund-raiser that takes place each November. Here is Lynne Love, the 2012 heart ball chairman. Good to have you here.
Lynne Love: Thank you so much. I'm so honored.
Ted Simons: Let's hear more about the Halle heart museum.
Lynne Love: The Halle Heart Children's Museum is the only interactive cardiovascular museum in the nation, or anywhere, for that matter. It has eight major exhibits that teach children about how to have heart health and it's fun and interactive and the major exhibits that are really exciting to kids are -- let's see. Follow your dreams.
Ted Simons: There you go. What about this 911 action theater? What's that all about?
Lynne Love: It's really cool. Kids go in there and it's this interactive theater, and kids actually have a chance to figure out how not to have -- what to do if someone is having a heart attack and it gives the steps. Call 911. Stay with your person. Make sure that 911 comes and it's actually geared for second graders and also fifth graders. We have two versions of that.
Ted Simons: I love how they show the elephant with a heart. Everyone has a heart. The idea is just to get kids just familiar with the idea of the heart and heart health. Correct?
Lynne Love: Absolutely right. All creatures great and small exhibit has these hearts of an elephant, a hummingbird, a giraffe. Kids can listen and try to figure out which animal has which kind of heartbeat.
Ted Simons: isn't that something. The marketplace sounds interesting as well with food labels and these sorts of things.
Lynne Love: I have to say that's my very favorite exhibit, if I can be partial. Actually it's like a little grocery store, very charming. There are two great big stalks of asparagus on the outside, tomatoes, you walk in and you can take your food off the shelf and scan it to try to figure out if you've got it right in terms of how much fat, how many calories, if you have the right grouping of foods to have a balanced meal.
Ted Simons: and I read 30,000 kids a year visit this museum.
Lynne Love: 30,000 kids a year. We're hoping actually to take that up to 40,000, so that's one of the things that the heart ball hopes to achieve. It's about 1,000 kids a day that are bussed in. It meets 18 different state mandates for education, which is really great. It really is very educational and you know helps kids in terms of their curriculums also. Let's talk about the heart ball. The museum was built with funds from this particular event.
Lynne Love: Absolutely. The 2010 heart ball made it possible to open the Halle Heart Children's Museum. Each year we will support the museum we believe very strongly along with all the American heart association programs here in Phoenix.
Ted Simons: What is the heart ball?
Lynne Love: The heart ball is a ball with a lot of history and legacy. This is actually the 53rd ball. The very first heart ball was chaired by Mrs. Barry Goldwater in 1959, so it's a heart ball with legacy and tradition, and it's on November 17th at the Phoenician resort and spa. We have the Jean press orchestra, a society band from New York that will be in. The theme of this year's ball is put a little love in your heart.
Ted Simons: Okay. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, $30 million raised over the past 50 years.
Lynne Love:Impressive, isn't it?
Ted Simons: Yes, it is. On it goes.
Lynne Love: Exactly. I have to say the heart ball committee is a very dedicated group of women leaders from across the valley. They work very hard. It's a year long process to get ready for the ball. The ball is actually celebration of our year and our successes and what we're able to raise and help the American heart association with.
Ted Simons: In terms of helping the association, I know education and outreach efforts are very important, and you hear about the Halle Heart Children's Museum, efforts there. Is it working? We hear a lot about childhood obesity and it seems this is not going away.
Lynne Love: you know, this is a huge problem, one that I feel personally very concerned about. Nutrition is certainly something I care a lot about and exercise. Right now we have a generation of children that may not outlive their parents. That's the first time we have had a statistic like that since the civil war. It's really scary. In Arizona, it's an enormous problem. In fact, from 2003 to 2007 we had a 91% increase in overweight children, girls specifically, an obese girls. So just to give you an idea of what it looks like, it's a big problem.
Ted Simons: So at the museum how do you get this to the kids without haranguing them, without making them feel ashamed -- it's a sensitive topic. How do you inform kids that eating right and exercises does make a difference?
Lynne Love: Well, the Halle Heart Children's Museum makes it really fun. So again, everything is bright and colorful, and everything is really fun to do. For instance, with this golf exhibit, which is sort of an anti-smoking and exercise thumbs up, you can actually golf. You can putt through the chambers of the heart. It's a little putting Green. It's all really fun. There's also an exhibit that the Phoenix Suns have sponsored. Kids are actually jumping up and down and exercising as part of it with the gorilla from the Suns. It's just all very fun. The kids love it.
Ted Simons: The kids love it. What about -- for those of us a little old for a children's museum, heart or otherwise, how do you get the information to the adults that the kids need to maybe change some habits, change food habits, exercise habits, how do you do that?
Lynne Love: One thing about the museum is the kids leave and they are very pumped up about going home and sharing what they have learned with their parents. They do that. And so often there are take-aways to go home with the kids so they can share with their parents as well. Things they should be eating, some of it exercises that they should be doing, and certainly our hope is with outreach through the Halle Heart Children's Museum and the American heart association that parents model this for their kids at home. Take your kid on a run. Make sure that they are making good food choices rather than sugary sodas and other kinds of things that cause other problems besides just obesity.
Ted Simons: I imagine American heart association is always obviously target parents as well. It's nice that Halle Heart Children's Museum is one thing but you gotta get mom and dad active and eating right too.
Lynne Love: Absolutely. We're the role models for our kids.
Ted Simons: congratulations on the museum's success. Good luck with the heart ball. It's good having you.
Lynne Love: Thank you. There are still a few tickets left government to, there's a place to buy ticket. We appreciate any support we can get.
Ted Simons: Phoenix heart Very good. Thank you.
Lynne Love: Thank you so much.

Spanish Language Voter Misinformation

  |   Video
  • Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell talks about efforts to combat misinformation on Spanish language election materials.
  • Helen Purcell - County Recorder, Maricopa
Category: Elections   |   Keywords: elections, voting, 2012, language, voter, misinformation, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening. Welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The Maricopa County recorder's office is currently running an ad campaign designed to correct misinformation sent on some bookmarks and voter I.D. cards. The material in question gave the election date as November 8, two days later than the correct date November 6th. Here to talk about this is Maricopa County recorder Helen Purcell. Thanks for joining us.
Helen Purcell: Thank you.
Ted Simons: this outreach program now for Spanish speaking voters, why is it necessary?
Helen Purcell We had some information that we had produced at the counter. If somebody came in and wanted a voter I.D. card it's part of a packet, and on that packet there was a date that showed the 8th of November in Spanish.
Ted Simons: That was -- We're looking at that now. That's just in Spanish only. The English date is still November 6.
Helen Purcell: That's correct. Somebody came in and asked for a card at the counter. So we know there was probably less than 50 of those produced. We sent out 2 million new cards to everybody with the right date on it.
Ted Simons: There were also bookmarks.
Helen Purcell: in addition there were bookmarks that were produced. We print them three up, so on the first column there was the correct date. On the other two there was an incorrect date of November 8. We think what happened is that the November 8th was the date for the election in 2011. It just wasn't changed when we changed it to 2012. Those things are taken to community events, they are not something we send out in the mail. So none of this material went out in the mail. It's all done from our office that we do at community events. But we wanted to make sure that everybody understood that and we worked very closely with the Hispanic community to get the information out. We're spending some money to have radio ads, to have flyers made, in print media, on television, anything we can find to get out to the Hispanic community that the date is November 6th.
Ted Simons:Anything like this happen before?
Helen Purcell: Not to this extent I don't believe. There are always some I think errors that you have to correct. Either before election day or on election day, but not to this extent that we felt we needed to do something for the community to make sure that there is no confusion.
Ted Simons: As far as the wrong dates are concerned, have changes been made to keep something like this from happening again?
Helen Purcell:We certainly will have double checks as we do in a number of areas. We will certainly see that we have that double check.
Ted Simons: again, you say 50 some odd people with the counter stuff. A thousand, 2,000 bookmarks?
Helen Purcell: 2,000.
Ted Simons: any indication of how many folks got hold of this information?
Helen Purcell:I have no idea. We have only had one person who came in with the counter card that they were given with that information on it. We have not seen any others.
Ted Simons: we have heard critics say this is an attempt to disenfranchise Latino voters.
Helen Purcell: That would be the last thing we would want to do. We don't want to disenfranchise anyone. Our whole purpose is to produce elections that everyone can participate.
Ted Simons: some say this is part of a concerted effort to suppress the vote.
Helen Purcell:no. It would never happen.
Ted Simons: Not even close.
Helen Purcell: No. Been doing it for 24 years. We have never done that. Never would.
Ted Simons: Spanish language media, top two TV stations, radio stations as well. Are you getting response? Are people paying attention?
Helen Purcell: I think they are. We haven't had any actual response but we hear back from the community that it has made a difference. The flyers that people are out there in their neighborhoods with flyers and so forth, so we think that will make a great deal of difference.
Ted Simons: we got that figured out. We hope that doesn't happen again and you'll work on that obviously.
Helen Purcell: Right.
Ted Simons:Last minute voting information. What do people need to know as far as early voting or voting in person early.
Helen Purcell:If you have an early ballot and have not dropped it in the mail I wouldn't drop it in the mail after tomorrow. After Thursday. I think starting Friday if you haven't mail that ballot back, take it to the polling place, to any polling place on election day.
Ted Simons: any polling place.
Helen Purcell: you can drop it off at any polling place on election day so we be sure we have it by 7:00. If you put it in the mail and we don't get it by 7:00 on election day it does not count. We want to be sure you drop it off at a polling place.
Ted Simons: Now what about voting early in person?
Helen Purcell: You can still vote early in person at a number of locations around the valley. Those are on our website. You can do that in person up until 5:00 on Friday.
Ted Simons: I think a lot of people don't realize you can vote early in person. Do a lot of people do that?
Helen Purcell: Yes. We have had lines at all of our locations for the last week.
Ted Simons: really.
Helen Purcell: people voting in person.
Ted Simons: really. Some folks aren't quite aware than others. As far as getting some of these ballots counted, you have started already?
Helen Purcell: Yes, Ted. After we do the Secretary of State does a test on our equipment, then we do a separate test. That was done yesterday. We started counting ballots this morning. We have already gotten 613,000 ballots back in the house out of the 1,100,000 that we mailed out. So we already have those to work on. They all have to be processed. I understand that we counted about 58,000 today. We'll probably do 100,000 maybe every day. We'll do that up until the morning of election day. Then we'll stop about noon on election day to get ready for the results to come in from the polling places that night.
Ted Simons: All right.
Helen Purcell: First results that you see at 8:00 on election night will be the results of those early ballots counted up until then.
Ted Simons: so early ballot first, then other things rolling. Last question, this whole business with the wrong date, is that -- you have been around a while. Done your job a long time.
Helen Purcell: 24 years.
Ted Simons: Is that about as bad as it's gotten for the office do you think?
Helen Purcell: I don't think it's as bad as it's gotten. There are mistakes, probably, there are processes that we need to change in every election. This is just one of those things that we have to do. It was an error that I think was a bad error. We had to make sure that the community understands we don’t want to disenfranchise anybody. We want to make sure everybody knows the proper date so that's why we went to the media and said, you've got to help, and they did.
Ted Simons: Helen, Always a pleasure. Thanks for joining us.
Helen Purcell: Thank you.

VOTE 2012: Voting on Judges

  |   Video
  • Mike Hellon, Chairman of the Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review, explains how voters can get informed about the judges who appear on the November ballot.
  • Mike Hellon - Chairman, Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review
Category: Vote 2012   |   Keywords: vote, 2012, vote 2012, judges, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Arizona's merit selection process calls for the governor to appoint state appellate court judges to six year terms and trial court judges and Maricopa pima and pinal county judges to four year terms. At the end of the terms voters get to decide which judges should keep their jobs. To better inform voters the judicial performance review commission provides information and recommendations on judges up for retention. I recently spoke with the commission chairman Mike Hellon. Thank you for joining us.
Mike Hellon: My pleasure. Good to be here.
Ted Simons: Let's get some basic definitions now. Judicial performance review commission. What are we talking about?
Mike Hellon: It's a constitutional commission set up as part of the broader merit selection system to select judges for the superior court and Pima, Maricopa and Pinal County and the appellate courts. It's sort of the back end of the process. Our role is to evaluate a judge's performance prior to the election and recommend to the electorate whether we believe he or she should be retained or not.
Ted Simons: who is on the commission?
Mike Hellon: It's a 30-member commission. 18 public members of which I'm one, six judges and six lawyers.
Ted Simons: how are they chosen --
Mike Hellon: They are all appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. There has to be geographical representation. I'm from Pima County. We have people from Mojave, Pinal, Maricopa County. From around the state.
Ted Simons: Okay, performance standards are considered. Performance standards are evaluated. What kind of performance standards?
Mike Hellon: Well, we look at a number of things. We look at legal knowledge. We look at the application of laws appropriately in the courtroom. We look at how jurors evaluate the judge, was the judge clear in his or her communication with jurors about what their role was in the process. We hear from litigants. Do they feel they were treated fairly? Were they treated with respect? We hear from staff, how does the judge interact with his or her staff? We review literally thousands of questionnaires from this wide array of people who have knowledge of the judge's performance in the courtroom. We evaluate their input and where we find some potential problems we'll bring the judge in and talk to him or her about those problems.
Ted Simons: You mentioned a questionnaire. Is it mostly a survey? Are there other ways to accumulate information?
Mike Hellon: We hear directly from the public. People are allowed to communicate directly with us about problems they have, and we evaluate all of. One of the important things is we don't want a judge to be rated strictly on the basis of one decision at one time. That's too narrow. What we want is a broader view of the overall performance in the courtroom. But we'll take any information anybody has that they believe is relevant.
Ted Simons: if there are not as many surveys returned for one judge as for another, what point do you try to weed out information, inaccurate information?
Mike Hellon: The more information we have the better we're able to do that. There are occasionally situations -- look, this isn't perfect. There are situations where we sometimes feel we don't really have quite enough information to work with. We have actually on a couple of occasions sent out a second array of questionnaires to try to broaden the input. We do the very best we can to make sure we have a wide array of data to work with.
Ted Simons: And if memory serves, the vast majority of these judges, the commission does recommend retention, correct?
Mike Hellon: Yes. Again, it's part of the merit selection system. On the front end these judges are vetted very, very carefully by the appointment commissions. And I will tell you right now as we speak, there are a number of judges in the state that are under investigation for various kinds of misconduct. Not a single one of them is a merit system judge.
Ted Simons: Interesting.
Mike Hellon: we believe that's because they are vetted more carefully on the front end and they know we are going to be evaluating their performance on the back end.
Ted Simons:so does it make a difference, if a voter looks at this and says, everyone has recommended you. No one is a no. Everyone is a yes. Does it make a difference?
Mike Hellon: It is beginning to. We have noticed in about the last two or three cycles that the vote or two against a judge on our commission, while it doesn't keep the commission as a group from recommending retention, it can cost that judge a point or two on the retention ballot. We have one judge this time that got six or seven or eight no votes as I recall, and I'm going to be very curious to see how that judge's numbers show up as a consequence of that vote. The public is starting to pay closer attention to what we're doing.
Ted Simons: has there ever been a judge where the commission said, this person really does need to go, need to be reconsidered, has the voting public ever gone ahead and reconsidered?
Mike Hellon: Not to my knowledge. There were a couple of judges back in the '80s in Pima County that were frankly somewhat notorious in terms of off the bench activities, and it was very close, but they both were retained. We had a judge up in Maricopa County, two cycles ago, that we recommended not be retained, and the voters retained him anyway. All we can do is the best we can in terms of providing the information. It's still up to the voters to decide what they want to do. They have to do their own due diligence.
Ted Simons: Is there a way in the process that you could see as far as improvement, something you would like to see changed?
Mike Hellon: I would like to see some of the lawyers, for example, return the questionnaires, the surveys, a little bit more quickly and thoroughly than they have. I'm not satisfied that we always get all of the information we need from all of the groups, but it's getting better. With each cycle it gets a little bit better.
Ted Simons: Is there a self-correction aspect as well when the judges find out that maybe I'm not such a swell guy and no one thinks -- I think of myself as this but the results show that. That seems to be therapeutic in and of itself.
Mike Hellon: That's a whole other part of the process. We have what we call conference teams. We have three people sit down with each of the judges and go over in greater detail some of the performance evaluations, and we have had judges take additional training in areas of anger management, let's say, or courtesy or understanding how people read body language. There are a lot of those kinds of things where we actively try to get the judge to improve his or her performance. I also think that the very fact that they know that we're doing what we're doing is always in the back of their minds, and for those who may be living on the edge a little bit with respect to anger management know that we're going to be looking and I think that helps the process.
Ted Simons: If voters want more information, find out what the commission thinks of certain judges, a trial, an appellate, where do they go?
Mike Hellon: Our website, You can see how the commission voted on each judge, look at the voter pamphlet. I don't care how people are going to vote on each judge, I want them to go to the back end of the ballot and vote the whole ballot all the way down, do their own due diligence, make their own decisions.
Ted Simons: It’s good to have you here. good information. Thanks for joining us.
Mike Hellon: My pleasure.