Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 9, 2014


Host: Steve Goldstein

Arizona ArtBeat: Celebrity Theatre

  |   Video
  • The Celebrity Theatre turns 50 this year. Find out about the theatre’s history and one man’s dream to own it.
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: the arts, celebrity, theatre, entertainment,

View Transcript
Steve Goldstein: In today's Artbeat segment we look at the iconic celebrity theater, now years old. The theater has hosted everyone from Sammy Davis, Jr., to Bruce Springsteen. Producer Shana fisher and photographers Ed Kishel and Scot Olson show us how one man turned his dream into a realty we can all enjoy.

As a little boy, Rich knew he would own the theater one day.

Rich Hazelwood: My paper route was across the street. I would ride by here going to my paper route when they started building it. Since I was an early morning republic paper boy we used to watch them bring all the cranes and stuff into the building.

Some years later his wish has come true. Hazelwood bought the theater in and has put more than $ million into renovating it.

Rich Hazelwood: I'm not a musical person. I'm a business guy. I looked at all of the things that I thought the positive parts that I could fix up and make the place really good. As you look around you see the incredible change that the place has gone through over the last or years. We keep getting a little nicer, a little bit cleaner, the acts get a little bit better. Those are the things that drive me. I'm not musical at all.

One thing that has not changed about the foot diameter theater, the intimate setting. It can hold , and there's not a bad seat in the house.

Rich Hazelwood: The experience I think you get from coming to a concert here is that you're in the middle of an act, especially a sold-out act, you just a part of it. The furthest seat is feet from the stage, so you're right in the middle of it. The act, you can tell the act because they know they are in the middle of it, and that enthusiasm builds throughout the whole place. It's an incredible feeling when everybody is on their feet and singing or dancing or screaming. It's incredible feeling.

Adding to the uniqueness of the theater is its degree rotating stage that puts an act directly in front of fans. Because of its small size and partly because of that round stage, it can sometimes be hard to book musical acts. So Hazelwood and his team worked hard to get the theater designated an historic landmark.

Rich Hazelwood: A lot of acts won't play a round theater. The fact that we have historical designation, believe it or not, it turns the acts on. I think when they come in and they know all these things and we try to relay that to them, they start to feel a little more important about playing here. So that's a big plus for us.

It's not just the building itself that has history. Step into the lounge and all around is memorabilia from the last years. A Bruce Springsteen concert t-shirt, a signed Stevie Nicks photo, a ticket stub from Diana Ross's concert and dozens of autographed guitars.

Rich Hazelwood: I think if we own something sometimes we take it for granted. I think that's the fun part of owning this place, knowing maybe last night or the night before we had an incredible act on the stage, and I own it. I think that's really exciting to me. Where is the show?

Steve Goldstein: The building was designed by architect Perry Neuschatz to be a multi-purpose convention center. The theater opened January , with the musical South Pacific. That's it for now. I'm Steve Goldstein. Ted will be back tomorrow. We hope you have a great night.

Around Arizona: Native American Education

  |   Video
  • Dr. Heather Shotton, former president of the National Indian Education Association and Dr. Bryan Brayboy, an ASU professor of indigenous education, will discuss Indian education issues, including student retention, graduation and higher education.
Guests:
  • Dr. Heather Shotton - Former President, National Indian Education Association
  • Dr. Bryan Brayboy - Professor, Arizona State University
Category: Education   |   Keywords: education, native, american, asu, indian, issues, student,

View Transcript
Steve Goldstein: An event will be held at Arizona State University's Tempe campus tomorrow to address issues regarding American Indian education, moving beyond the asterisk will look at the role universities can play in enabling the success of American Indian students. Joining me is one of the presenters, Dr. Heather Shotton, an assistant professor of Native American studies at the University of Oklahoma. Also here is Dr. Bryan Brayboy, an ASU professor of indigenous education. Welcome. How many students are affected by this and where did the problem originate?

Dr. Heather Shotton: I don't know in term of exact numbers. I would say the majority of native students are impacted by this issue of really relative invisibility on many campuses. It doesn't mean they are not there, but many of our institutions have a real lack of understanding of what issues native students face and how to help them to be successful.

Steve Goldstein: Why is the problem in existence in the first place? Is there a feeling Native American students have been deemphasized and ignored? You mention the word asterisk I think about the idea of just -- almost this idea that they are just there because we need to fill a gap that people think might exist, but once they get there we won't pay attention any more.

Dr. Heather Shotton: I think the asterisk represents a mentality pervasive in a lot of our higher education institutions. Oftentimes our data leaves out native people in general, creating this kind of asterisk mentality where we don't look at the issues, we don't think about native students or native people when we think about mainstream media or in our everyday curriculum in our schools. Native people are really seen in an historical sense. We don't see them in a contemporary context, so it's difficult for our institutions to address the needs of our students when we don't see them in a contemporary context.

Steve Goldstein: How much of a culture shock can it be for Native American students and what can colleges and universities do to limit that?

Dr. Heather Shotton: One, it's different for every student. To assume that all of our native students have the same experiences is a mistake. They come from different backgrounds, some from reservation areas, some from urban areas. Different tribes represent different experiences. But I do think that many of our students do encounter a different culture when they come on to our mainstream institution campuses. So it can be a bit of a culture shock. It's a different culture, a different context. I think that our universities can work with our students by understanding the tribal cultures from which they come and what values they bring with them and understanding what their unique needs are.

Steve Goldstein: Dr. Brayboy, how big a problem is this on campuses even across the west, which surprised me?

Dr. Bryan Brayboy: It's a significant issue. Heather's point is right on in terms of us needing to pay attention to native peoples in the contemporary sense. We continue to get framed as something from the past and I think these cultural issues are really important. It's also important not to just think about the cultures of their students but to pay attention to the culture of the institution. Sometimes we say this is just how they work. Part of the good work Heather and others are doing is pointing to the fact that there's culture within the institution that need to be spelled out. Sometimes rules need to be followed that are often implicit for many folks. Some of this is about making those rules and the ways the institutions work more explicit.

Steve Goldstein: Even before we get to culture on a campus per se I'm interested in how Native American students are drawn to certain universities. One thing that pops into mind for me is he wanted to make it clear some Navajo students would get in-state tuition. Many of us were surprised that didn't already exist. Because reservations are slightly different in some sense people are not treating those as in-state students. That's another problem we need to get over.

Dr. Bryan Brayboy: It is and I applaud her for her good work getting in-state tuition for members of tribal nations. Arizona's tribal nations, whether they live here or not, and reservation like Navajo covers multiple states. Students are drawn to a place like Arizona State University because of the excellence of its faculty, the excellence of the programs being offered to it. It's close enough to home to get back and forth easily via automobile or bus. And it's important to really think we're talking about the culture of the institution but that is a separate entity meaning students also want to try to go home for what some of us call cultural sustenance to try to figure out how to manage the institution while maintaining who they are as indigenous peoples.

Steve Goldstein: In general do universities do a good job of embracing diversity in a hard core sense not just paying lip service to it?

Dr. Heather Shotton: I think universities can do better. I think particularly when it comes to native students, it's important to understand that we often talk about diversity in terms of race. But what we're talking about native students we're talking about members of sovereign nations, and so universities need to do better across the nation in understanding the unique status of native students than they are citizens of sovereign nations and so with that understanding I think that that is an initial step in helping to serve native students.

Steve Goldstein: Dr. Brayboy?

Dr. Bryan Brayboy: I think that's exactly right. Sometimes what we do is fail to recognize this unique status that native peoples have. Sometimes it shows up in casinos. Why is it that we have these casinos but really what's embedded underneath that is really the unique status as tribal nations and paying more attention to that makes sense. I also think it's important that we pay attention to where institutions are located. A place like Arizona State is on land, these peoples have been living on for Millennia, having a fundamental understanding of what that is. I think most people are driving up the 101 headed north or south fail to realize they are traveling through native peoples' land that are still their lands whether they are shopping in places that are still native peoples' lands. Having a fundamental understanding that they are different places gets at the fact that we need to not move well beyond this as treating diversity as a racialized issue.

Steve Goldstein: Dr. Shotton, there shouldn't be a fear of this, of course, but there are always backlashes in these things if we start talking too much about one particular group, even one that in many ways has been ignored for generations. Is there a way to approach that so people don't feel threatened? Should we worry about that?

Dr. Heather Shotton: I think there's always that potential, especially when we're paying attention to one group. Oftentimes we hear that in our institutions, well, if we do this for native students then what about other students. We have to do it for everyone. Again, I think it goes back to our status as citizens of sovereign nations. So we're really dealing in a nation to nation approach. So one sovereign state is a sovereign to another sovereign. We're dealing with a political entity, so I think that's a really important way to approach the way that we're dealing with native students and with tribes.

Steve Goldstein: Dr. Brayboy, the generational difference. When we talk about folks who come from reservations or have a tribal background, how difficult is that in the sense as we have younger students perhaps the past generations didn't go to a large university like Arizona State, so it's even more of a culture shock than before. They don't necessarily have that relative they can lean on. How much of a challenge is that?

Dr. Bryan Brayboy: It's a tremendous challenge. If you look at the literature on this topic, what shows up is students often stay because of one really positive relationship. That positive relationship doesn't necessarily need to be with a native person, but with someone at the institution who helps navigate that institution, maybe someone who says you're going to this institution of higher learning to try to serve your community or try to make sort of make a future for yourself that's different maybe than your family's. The converse we have instances where people leave and they can often leave because of one bad relationship with an office, a individual, faculty member, staff or someone even not affiliated with the university. I do think there's a generation of people who didn't go to college, native peoples who didn't go to college, they don't necessarily know how to talk to young people about this. They are certainly committed to the issue, however, of having young people go to college. So there's support whether or not they understand the rules and the way the institution works is a different story. Fundamentally higher education is about relationships and relationships building.

Dr. Heather Shotton: I would absolutely agree. Many of our students are first generation, the first in their family, not just their immediate family, often their extended, larger family or in their communities pursuing higher education, undergraduate or graduate degree. So they don't have resources to tell them how to navigate this. Those relationships like Dr. Brayboy was saying are key. Having relationships with people on campus to help meal rate the issues, the isolation they may be feeling, not understanding how to navigate -- universities can be very complex systems. If you don't have that knowledge of how to navigate a system it can be very, very difficult to be successful. So relationships in having positive experiences are really key for native students.

Steve Goldstein: Talking about Native Americans in a monolithic sense, what should the goals be after what we hope is a good experience at a university? Is there the desire to go back and help communities? Should that be the main goal? Should it be to expand on what people are learned having left the reservation?

Dr. Heather Shotton: What we have found more and more is the motivation for college degree is to get back. Sometimes it's to give back in their home communities. How we define that is different. For some it may be giving back to the broader native community. Students are finding, graduates are finding different ways to do that. We have to do a better job of helping them figure out how to utilize their education in a way that gives back to communities and benefits the broader community seeing that that's a large motivating factor.

Steve Goldstein: Dr. Brayboy, brief conclusion?

Dr. Bryan Brayboy: I think that's exactly right. The evidence is overwhelming that for students, native students who finish institutions of higher education are motivated to give back to the larger communities. Part of our mission is to help make the society in which we live better.

Steve Goldstein: Thank you for the conversation.

Thank you.

Legislative Update

  |   Video
  • Ben Giles from the Arizona Capitol Times will give us the latest news from the State Capitol in our weekly political update.
Guests:
  • Ben Giles - Journalist, Arizona Capitol Times
Category: Legislature   |   Keywords: legislative, update, legislature, state capitol, politics ,

View Transcript
Steve Goldstein: Good morning. Welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Steve Goldstein. The legislature locked in a deal on the state budget this week. That means a light at the end the tunnel for sine die. Here with more is Ben Giles with the Arizona Capitol Times. Welcome. What's a few million between friends?

Ben Giles: Friends is a strong word when we're talking about our lawmakers at the capitol, but it was roughly $20, $30 million being haggled over throughout the weekend basically. We came back Monday and a deal had come out of nowhere it seemed. $9.23 billion was agreed on and the Senate passed it, the house passed it into the not so wee hours of Monday night, and all indications are it's a budget Governor Brewer is willing to sign and we can start for wrap up the session now.

Steve Goldstein: Where did the compromise begin, who gave and on what?

Ben Giles: The first real olive branch was last Thursday. You had Governor Brewer and House Speaker Andy Tobin come together with a joint proposal, a good indication the governor was ready for the stalemate to end. They presented it to Senate President Andy Biggs, who was hesitant at first to accept it, but after just a little more give and take, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in a $9.2 billion budget, there was finally a deal reached. We're talking K through 12 funding specifically for district charter schools, talking about university funding as well, $4.5 million to split between Northern Arizona University, the Arizona State University and U of A. We're also talking about finagling of money over CPS, but we have a deal.

Steve Goldstein: The district charter schools was a very controversial issue that caught many of us by surprise. Where is the compromise? How much had been allotted for in the past and how much for the next fiscal year?

Ben Giles: It's not so much allotted in the past. What happened was in fiscal 2014 there were roughly schools who for the first time decided to become district charters. In a search for more funding. A lot of superintendents will tell you that Arizona has not done enough lately to fund K through 12 education, so they are looking for any avenue. They found a completely legal one within Arizona's laws to get a little bit of extra funding out of the state. But lawmakers like Andy Biggs saw that and saw the escalating number of schools converting, public schools to charters, saw how much that was going to cost in the future and saw doom and gloom on the horizon if that was going to keep up. It was about $33 million estimated needed for those 59 schools in fiscal 2015. The final agreed upon figure, $24.5 million for them to operate. But the trick is after the upcoming fiscal year they are either going to have to operate as traditional charter schools outside the K through 12 public funding system or go back to being public schools.

Steve Goldstein: Can we look at that as kicking the can down the road to be faced by the next legislature?

Ben Giles: Not so much. The fact that they were able to agree on funding to even allow the schools to operate, maybe not at the full capacity they wanted to, but certainly there were proposals to not kick the can, just kick them in the teeth this year. Provide no funding at all. But I wouldn't be surprised if it's an issue that's revisited next year. The plan in this budget, we only actually budget for one fiscal year, but we do try to take a look, lawmakers at the capitol, at the next three years. There is no plan for funding in the two years following the next one, but it wouldn't surprise me if there is a push for more funding.

Steve Goldstein: You mentioned the Senate president on district charter schools. He's also not the biggest fan of a lot of increased funding for CPS or whatever the next agency is going to be. What's the next step? How likely are we to see a special session to figure out how much should go towards CPS?

Ben Giles: The governor's office has indicated that's needed and certainly she can call a special session whether the lawmakers want her to or not. That happened last year. But even the leadership in the Senate and house agree this is the likeliest scenario for how to deal with the creation of the new CPS, whatever it's called, the name was actually discussed at a CPS reform work group meeting last Friday, April 4th. They are still trying to decide what to call it. They are getting close. They are drafting legislation because you need to from a legal standpoint sever CPS as we know it from the Department of Economic Security and establish it on its own two feet as an independent agency. That's a massive undertaking. What a lot of lawmakers were discussing as a part of the budget negotiations was how much funding is going to be needed to make sure this agency succeeds, not just in becoming independent but going forward, succeeding in ways that CPS hasn't for decades it seems.

Steve Goldstein: Considering how much momentum there was for the governor's State of the State, emergency funding for CPS, should we be surprised it hasn't moved faster or there are a lot of complex issues involved?

Ben Giles: The CPS issue itself? I think it is a pretty complex issue. I think maybe an artificial deadline set to have legislation ready by May 1st was particularly ambitious given that they want to sever the agency July 1st. It's no easy task just to find where is the infrastructure going to be? What building are we going to put these employees in? Who do we need to hire, who do we need to transition. There's payroll needing to be discussed. A lot of technicalities have to be gone over. That's what they have been working on. Then there's also the more philosophical big picture things to consider about CPS. What do we want the agency mission to be? What do we want it to prioritize and certainly I think if you look at some of the missteps of CPS, particularly with the more than 6,500 uninvestigated reports of abuse and neglect, you're going to see a focus in those areas to make sure that those problems continue to be fixed and then don't pop up again.

Steve Goldstein: Ben very briefly, are you in a betting pool as far as when sine die is?

Ben Giles: I didn't put any money down this year. There is a sine die pool, but a lot of lawmakers are gunning for next Wednesday. If they are able to sine die on Wednesday of next week that would be the shortest session since 1969 and as Senate President Biggs said wouldn't that be an accomplishment? More realistically we'll be here through the end of next week. After that it could be sine die until the governor calls us back to fix CPS.

Steve Goldstein: Hallelujah. Thanks for the conversation.

Ben Giles: Thank you.

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