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March 20, 2014

Host: Ted Simons

AZ Artbeat: Deer Valley Rock Art Center

  |   Video
  • It’s one of the best examples of American Indian Petroglyphs in existence. The Deer Valley Rock Art Center is located in North Phoenix. You’ll get a glimpse of some of the petroglyphs on display at the center.
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: the arts, artbeat, deer valley, rock, art, center, petroglyphs,

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Shana Fischer: The deer valley rock art center is like most museums. Sure there are paintings... And there are sculptures. But what makes this museum different is its setting.

Casandra Hernandez: The DVRAC is an archaeological site on 47 acres in our Sonoran desert preserve.

Shana Fischer: The museum is nestled into the hedgpeth hills near i-17 & deer valley. It's home to one of the best examples in the world of petroglyphs.

Casandra Hernandez: For thousands of years people came to this place either during travels and some of them stayed and decided to make marks in the form of carvings in rock. We call these marks petroglyphs and these give us an idea perhaps you know what life was like in prehistoric times. We have the largest concentration of rock in phoenix so we have over 1500 marks in one hillside.

Shana Fischer: Museum curator Casandra Hernandez says although we may recognize symbols: human stick figures... Deer... Fish... Archaeologists can't say for sure what the symbols mean. But they do know this was the earliest form of communication between tribal people. The petroglyphs were discovered after a series of floods in the 1970s.

Casandra Hernandez: So the Army Corps of Engineers built Adobe Dam here. And at the time the dam was going, tourist development was coming to this part of Phoenix so they recommended that a museum was built to preserve the petroglyphs and also to function as an interpretive center where people could learn about the history of Arizona.

Shana Fischer: Hernandez says the best time to enjoy the petroglyphs is in the morning when the sun isn't overhead and you can see the carvings clearly.

Casandra Hernandez: So if you come early in the am you will get a chance to stroll through the acres of landscape. we have I think we can hear quail right now We are a nature preserve so we have many animals and plants that you can learn about and also look at the exhibits and learn something about the people that were here before and left the marks and then also maybe come for one of our events.

Shana Fischer: Tourists come from all over the world to enjoy the scenery. Chanele casaboun is from montreal.

Chanele Casaboun: Smelling the plants. It sounds really weird but I really enjoy it. I am used to the very piney smell of Canada. This is a very different feeling.To kind of get an experience just outside of the city is also nice… to feel like you are a little far away from everything else it’s really nice.

Shana Fischer: For New Zealander Kristy Williams, the combination of the manmade drawings and the nature-made backdrop picqued her curiosity.

Kristy Williams: We are out here looking at the petroglyphs and looking at all the different plants being told about all the different uses, medicinal and there are edible plants. Apparently every single plant out here can be used in one way or another so that was really interesting.

Casandra Hernandez: We should all be invested in preserving places like this not damaging them and being able to share them with future generations. But beyond that to use them as a point for our own understanding. These places give us access to, I want to call them emotional geography, the way we connect to a place, to history, to time, to landscape. And it is also something we want to preserve for other people to enjoy, for other people to have that opportunity to reflect upon their own lives and way, so it's really important we leave things untouched and there for centuries to come.

Clinton Global Initiative University

  |   Video
  • The seventh annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University will take place this weekend at Arizona State University in Tempe. Former President Bill Clinton, Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton will meet with more than 1,000 student leaders from around the world. The students will work at developing solutions to human rights abuses, women’s social and economic empowerment, and HIV/AIDS in the United States. Jacqueline Smith, ASU Executive Director of University Initiatives, will talk about the event, along with two of the student participants: ASU students Kathleen Stafanik and Josue Macias.
  • Jacqueline Smith - Executive Director, University Initiatives
  • Kathleen Stafanik - Student, ASU
  • Josue Macias - Student, ASU
Category: Education   |   Keywords: education, clinton, global, initiative, asu, university, event, social, economic,

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Ted Simons: The 7th annual meeting of the Clinton global initiative university will take place this weekend at ASU. Former president Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Clinton foundation vice chair Chelsea Clinton will meet with more than 1,000 student leaders from around the world in an effort to find solutions to pressing concerns of the millenial generation. Here to talk about the event is Jacqueline Smith, ASU executive director of university initiatives. Also two student participants. Kathleen Stafanik is a psychology major. And ASU public policy major Josue Macias. Welcome to the show.

Jacqueline Smith: This is a weekend to celebrate students who are committed to solving pressing challenges like you talked about. We're hoping we will create a supportive community for these students and we're welcoming them from over countries around the world.

Ted Simons: What are some of the major focuses here?

Jacqueline Smith: We're focusing on five major areas. Education, health, poverty alleviation, climate change and human rights. Students here today are just two of the that are tackling these challenges through innovative projects they developed.

Ted Simons: Are these students who have already tackled or are attempting to tackle or those who are just beginning or even curious about the process?

Jacqueline Smith: That's a great point. The students are submitting and have committed commitments to action. They are at a variety of stages. Some have begun their ventures and the new feature they are advancing may be working with a new community or new geographic area. Others are at that early stage so need support and ideas and resources about the next steps to take.

Ted Simons: There are a number of big names, leaders, recognizable folk who will be here. Basically as mentors? What's that all about?

Jacqueline Smith: Sure. We have four large plenary sessions where big names will be addressing some of the ideas that they have and helping to inspire them to maintain their commitments to action, then smaller, more intimate working sessions where students will gain insight about how to take their ideas forward.

Ted Simons: They range from John Mccain to Jimmy Kimmel and all stage in between. I know you were working with folks in Peru. What got you started and how has it turned out?

Kathleen Stafanik: Well, this project actually started as a class exercise at ASU. We were asked to help with some problems that happened with their crop production. We researched that and focused on a method called Terra Preta, an ancient method that had been lost. Anthropologists rediscovered it in the s. It has very high carbon content so there's a lot of charcoal in it. We think these ancient farmers probably really discovered this quite by accident.

Ted Simons: You're basically talking about improving modern farming by going back to an ancient technique?

Kathleen Stafanik: Yes. It's really exciting. It came from the Amazon and we're working in that region on our pilot study and hope to spread this technology around the world.

Ted Simons: Why this project? Why you?

Kathleen Stafanik: You know, none of us were soil scientists, but interestingly enough, we have had so much help from ASU professors and even professors from all over the world. ASU's global resolve has been invaluable in helping create partnerships. When you go to work in another country you have to have local partners to work with. That was really essential to our success.

Ted Simons: Sounds like quite a success. We have seen S. visual images there. Josue, let's talk about you. Seems like more activism, advocacy going on. What are you involved with?

Josue Macias: It's not necessarily advocacy. What we're focused on is using our education and applying it to advanced human rights in a very innovative way. The mission of local exchange global change is wholeheartedly with Nelson Mandela's quote, using education as the most powerful weapon that we have to change the world. So using our focus is to help the , students at Arizona State University to transform communities locally and around the world.

Ted Simons: Again, it's called local exchange, global change. Sounds like you're connecting students to refugee and immigrant concerns?

Josue Macias: Yes. It was built on the belief that if we connected educated minds with a strategic support system, empowered them through high impact transformative experience with a local host family, then and supported their commitments to help that family overcome the challenges of their development as active citizens, then we can strengthen our communities.

Ted Simons: So basically, it sounds like you're training students to recognize and in some cases advocate against injustice.

Josue Macias: Yes.

Ted Simons: Kathleen, you have a very interesting story. From what I was looking at you kind of came from a tough beginning to get where you are now. Talk about that.

Kathleen Stafanik: I did. I grew up in extreme poverty. I really understand what our farmers in rural Peru are dealing with. In rural Peru three of four people live on less than $. a day and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. This technology is so effective that studies have shown that it can increase crop production by up to %. That's life changing for these people.

Ted Simons: We have got -- obviously working with people in Peru, working with ASU students to understand refugee and immigrant concerns, how do you go from -- that's a great idea, to possibly seed money to get these things really up and going?

Jacqueline Smith: Absolutely. So at Arizona State University part of why we were selected to host this prestigious event is we have a strong commitment to entrepreneur on all four of our campus. Resources where students can go for example a place called change maker central, so a student who identifies as being a change maker, they want to make an impact either locally or globally, they find out about the resources and tools that they can use. For all of the students who are coming to campus, CGI has helped with their own seed funding competition called the resolution project. This weekend actually $, in seed funding will be distributed to participants.

Ted Simons: Folks like ho Jew and Kathleen, they go to people and say, here's my idea?

Jacqueline Smith: For the resolution project in particular there's been students selected to pitch. So on Saturday there will be a period where students will be delivering short elevator pitches and a panel of judges will decide who gets to take home some of the seed funding.

Ted Simons: This commitment to action, turning ideas into action. Were there challenges along the way?

Josue Macias: Most definitely. I think the key insight that we have gotten as a student group is learning the gift of collaboration. Harnessing that gift. Building collaborative relationships not just with other student leaders but also with community partners, which are helping us develop our models.

Ted Simons: Sounds very busy for all of you this weekend. Congratulations. Continued success. We'll look forward to hearing what comes out of this initiative.
All: Thank you.

Voter Registration

  |   Video
  • A federal judge ruled that Arizona and Kansas can require people to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote using a federal form. Both states sued the Federal Election Assistance Commission after the commission refused to add a state-mandated proof of citizenship on federal registration forms. Arizona State University law professor Paul Bender will talk about the case.
  • Paul Bender - Law Professor, Arizona State University
Category: Government   |   Keywords: government, law, arizona, commission, citizenship, kansas, federal, state,

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Ted Simons: Good evening. Welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. A federal judge ruled yesterday Arizona and Kansas can require people to provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote using a federal form. ASU law professor Paul Bender is here to talk about the case. Good to see you.

Paul Bender: This is very complicated.

Ted Simons: Something we talked about before during a Supreme Court review. What did the federal judge rule?

Paul Bender: The federal judge ruled that Arizona could require -- it's complicated. The federal commission, which is called the U.S. elections assistance commission, which is supposed come up with a form that you can use to register to vote in federal elections. The court ruled that Arizona and Kansas can require that form to require people when they register to have proof that there citizens. Birth certificate, driver's license, something like that. The Supreme Court had held last June, U.S. Supreme Court, that Arizona could not do that because the federal law which is called motor voter law, passed in 1993, is intended to make it really easy to register to vote. The Supreme Court held in an opinion by Scalia, not liberals against the conservatives, held the federal law preempts the state law. The state law said -- the federal law says you just have to sign something that says I'm a citizen. It says under penalty of perjury. The Supreme Court says that's why federal law intended. Arizona cannot impose that except it said at the end of the opinion, a hint, you could go back to the commission, they tried this once before and the commission turned them down. You could ask the commission to change the federal form for Arizona and say on the federal form for Arizona that you have to have proof of citizenship. You can ask them. They should give it to you if you need to have them do that in order for you, Arizona, to be able to enforce your requirement that people be citizens to vote. They went back to the commission. The commission turned them down again in a big, long opinion and they went to a federal District Court and Scalia says if the commission turns you down you can take it to federal court. The court overturned the commission and said the commission was wrong, the commission had to give them this change and had to let them. Remember, we're only talking about federal elections. That's one thing that makes it complicated there are federal and state elections. Federal elections are ones for Senate and Congress and presidential electives. Everything else is state. The Supreme Court's decision said you can't require people to prove citizenship to vote in elections. The state was planning to have two different registration systems. This decision yesterday if it stands relieves the state of that obligation because you would have one registration system and to vote in any election you would have to register to vote and prove you're a citizen.

Ted Simons: We should note that this case was heard at the -- the federal judge heard this in Kansas as opposed to Arizona, which is untheun th circuit for obvious reasons.

Paul Bender: The 9th circuit has ruled in this area before the Supreme Court decision. Supreme Court digs involved Arizona. They had ruled against Arizona. Very close decision, by the way, I think 6 to 5. Sure, they wept to a different circuit. They figured they would lose in the 9th circuit.

Ted Simons: Talk about the judge's reasoning, why he decided what he did.

Paul Bender: That's a hard question to answer. The opinion is so bad, it's very hard to understand the reasoning behind it. What the Supreme Court said in June, it said, look, under the federal law you don't need to prove citizenship to register to vote in federal elections but the federal law has a provision that let's states go to this commission and make changes in the federal law that is state specific. You could go back to the commission, and if you could convince the commission that you need this to make sure that only citizens rote, then -- vote, the commission should give you this change. The commission said you don't need that. There are all kinds of ways you can get noncitizens off the voting rolls. Let them register first, then if you think they are not citizens you can challenge them and take them off the rolls. It makes a big difference, Ted, because under the Arizona system, which this judge is now permitting them to use, you can filter out a whole lot of people who are eligible to vote, they come to register, they don't have a birth certificate. Sorry, you have to get a birth certificate. It's hard to get, it costs money, it's a pain in the neck, so thousands and thousands of eligible people will be stopped from voting because they Don have the document with them whereas if you do what the commission said you should do, you let all those people register, then if you think some of them are not citizens you can challenge them individually. There you get the noncitizens off the rolls but you won't keep the citizens who you keep off the roles by this pre-challenge requirements of having birth certificates when you register.

Ted Simons: Sounds like a judge said the elections commission had no right to deny the state's request. That's what he said. Does that make sense?

Paul Bender: No. No. It doesn't make sense even in Scalia's opinion. He said you can request the commission to give you this if you can prove you absolutely need it. The judge says they have a right to get it from the commission.

Ted Simons: Basically why request it? Basically wait for the answer yes.

Paul Bender: If this judge was right Scalia would have said you have a right to this. Go to the commission and they have to give it to you. He didn't say. That that's why I think the opinion is so weak. I would suspect there will be an appeal.

Ted Simons: Does it survive an appeal?

Paul Bender: I wouldn't think so.

Ted Simons: Does it go to the Supreme Court?

Paul Bender: It could very well be. They had this case once before. They frequently take a case they have had before.

Ted Simons: The issue of we should mentioned Secretary of State said he was delighted with the decision. The Attorney General said that it's a victory for election integrity and voter fraud is a significant problem in Arizona. How big an issue is voter fraud in Arizona?

Paul Bender: That's something, there's some controversy about that. The commission's opinion talks about there is very, very little evidence of voter fraud of this kind in either Kansas or in Arizona. It's a tiny, tiny, like one thousandth of 1% of voters who try to register to vote are not citizens. It's a tiny, little problem. What you have is a solution to basically a nonproblem. The commission said, not only don't you need this but you don't have any real problem to work on. It's a tiny problem. In order to solve a very, very small problem a lot of people worry about illegal immigrants. If you were illegal would you try to register to vote? You're turning yourself over to immigration authorities by doing that. There are not going to be a lot of people who try to register to vote. The kind of thing the Arizona thing does, as I said before it stops a whole lot of people from registering who have a right to register but don't have the document with them. And in order to solve a problem that's a tiny little problem of maybe a few people will fall through the cracks and vote where they are not citizens.

Ted Simons: You mentioned motor voter law and how this was the impetus for getting this federal form that is easy to fill out under penalty of perjury.

Paul Bender: It was Miami International Airport to be something you did with a postcard. You can't attach a birth certificate to a postcard.

Ted Simons: From does that play into what Congress wanted as opposed to what Arizona wants?

Paul Bender: This is a preemption case. I have been saying it's really complicated because there are state elections and federal elections. The state gets the right to say what the qualifications are for a voter. But Congress gets the right to monitor -- make the rules for federal elections to how they proceed, registration rules and things like that. So when Congress exercises this power to regulate federal elections it's exercise of power predominates over the state. The state has a right to require you to have birth certificate to register to vote in state elections, but if Congress says, no, we don't want that for federal elections, Congress' right is superior. That's what the court held in June.

Ted Simons: Thus the two-tier system, which probably will be in play if this is appealed, correct?

Paul Bender: If it is stayed on appeal and reversed there would be a two-tier system unless the state gave up on prop and said okay, we'll let them register to vote in state elections without that and we'll do what the commission said they could for state elections as well as federal. If you see people who are registering and you don't think they are citizens, attack them by removing them from the rolls.

Ted Simons: Timetable on this? What do you see?

Paul Bender: I think there would be a motion for stay before the 10th circuit tomorrow or early next week. Then there will be an appeal. Appeals can take several months at least before the appeal would be argued. There's no real -- when is the next election?

Ted Simons: Primaries are in August.

Paul Bender: So the court may think there's some urgency to it so they may do it but won't do it any faster than a few months.

Ted Simons: All right, always a pleasure. Good to see you.