Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 14, 2006


Host: Michael Grant

Pandemic Flu Plan


  • Is Arizona prepared for possibly the greatest public health challenge of our time ---an influenza pandemic? The Arizona Department of Health Services has recently released an updated Influenza Pandemic Readiness Plan. Will Humble, Bureau Chief for the State Department Of Epidemiology & Disease Control joins Michael Grant for a discussion. For more information on the Readiness Plan go to www.azdhs.gov.
Guests:
  • Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell -
  • Karen Osborne - Elections Director
  • Will Humble - U.S. Department of health and human services


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on horizon, what you need to know when you go to vote. How proposition 200 has changed the way we vote in our state. And speaking of voting, we'll take a look at the upcoming Phoenix bond including the plans for a downtown ASU campus. We continue our four-part series on the Phoenix bonds. Plus the state now has a plan in place in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. We'll have details. Those stories next, on Horizon.
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to Horizon. The Phoenix bond election March 14 will be the first election that identification will be required in Maricopa County as you go to the polls. The requirement of course the Result of the passage of Proposition 200 in 2004. Joining us to explain in detail what voters can expect at the Polls next month is Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and the Elections Director Karen Osborne. I always know when you're here elections must be near.

Helen Purcell:
Must be election time.

Michael Grant: I
s this, Helen, a pretty big scene change for a whole lot of people, including the election personnel?

Helen Purcell:
Yes, it is. I think we really have to look at some things this time. Because people have never had to take ID with them when they went to the polls. I can remember at my precinct a lot of people would swing by the Poll when they were out jogging. They're not going to be able to do that anymore because they're probably not going to have Identification with them.

Michael Grant:
And that really is the key difference. We'll get into some of the details. But you have to show up with Identification.

Michael Grant:
Absolutely.

Michael Grant:
What sort of -- Karen, I Guess let's start with the basics. The first basic is this doesn't apply to you if you're voting by mail.

Karen Osborne:
That's correct. We already check your signature up against the voting file if you're voting by mail. That identification has been taken care of. This is for the people who go to the polling place to cast their ballot.

Michael Grant:
And is the theory at least there because there is the Electronic Signature Verification system that ties into the database on driver license, the voting by mail?

Michael Grant:
You can confirm citizenship, Residency that way?

Karen Osborne:
Yes. And the citizenship is for the registration when you're registering to vote. And the identification, that's very, very different. At the polls that's why we check your signature. For the early ballots we've confirmed that is you. But now when you come to the polling place we hopefully want to see your driver's license or picture ID.

Michael Grant:
Helen, I think that's the logical next step. What sort of identification -- Let's say you're going for your jog. What kind of things do you need to put in your jogging clothes?

Helen Purcell:
Well, I'd like you to bring your driver's license with you with a picture ID by the Government. It's got your address on it. And present that.

Michael Grant:
And show up with your picture drivers license and that will do it.

Helen Purcell:
If that driver's license has your current address you can go ahead and vote regular ballot. If it has a different address you can still vote but by a provisional ballot.

Michael Grant:
Karen, that's one of the concerns, is it not, that people are going to show up and have their driver's license showing the wrong address?

Karen Osborne:
Right. We have a number of people. We talk to these groups every day. When you ask them to pull out their driver's license they have moved and maybe contacted MVD to have their address updated but didn't pay the four bucks to have the card sent to them. They have their old address. Those have to match or they need to be provisional. It's a long wait for them and also time consuming and it's a cost to get those processed.

Michael Grant:
Really you have to go through a two-step process. One is to get the revised license and then also to reregister.

Karen Osborne:
Yes. We need you to register at your new address.

Michael Grant:
Okay. Let's say that doesn't work. What other forms of ID can I show up with and it will still count?

Helen Purcell:
Well, if you don't have a picture ID you can bring us two other forms of ID, let's say two different utility bills. We will be sending out a card prior to the election, which will show your address and also give a map of where your polling place is. That can be used as ID. So two different forms of something that are issued by a utility, or by the government, that shows your current address on it.

Michael Grant:
Okay. How much of the -- and we're focused on the Phoenix bond election, obviously, but there will be a number of other city elections going on throughout the valley at the same time.

Karen Osborne:
16 different elections going on. If you look at it's from Wickenburg to Queen Creek, Buckeye up to Scottsdale. In the entire east valley it is completely an over layoff all of Maricopa County. Very rare, where you're not going to be involved in some form of election.

Michael Grant:
Now, there is a process, and unfortunately I think this is going to happen to some people. They're going to show up and not going to have correct identification, the current driver's license, the alternative forms you mentioned. What happens then?

Helen Purcell:
They will vote a provisional ballot but it will be what is called a conditional provisional ballot. That way if they bring us within three days after let's say March election or go on to the general election in November they have five days. But if they bring us that Identification we are allowed to count that. They've got either 3 or five days to do that.

Michael Grant:
Now, we just talked about the variety of different elections going on. They've got to physically get that to an office. Downtown Phoenix?

Helen Purcell:
We have partnered with the city clerks in other entities around the county so that they wouldn't have to come necessarily to downtown Phoenix. They can certainly do that if they want to. But there will be a number of other locations they can go, particularly city clerks offices, which they're usually familiar with.

Michael Grant:
Karen, these kinds of special elections are notoriously low turnout lections.

Karen Osborne:
They are.

Michael Grant:
What's a "good" turnout for the city of Phoenix?

Karen Osborne:
A good turnout I would think would be 20 to 25\% would be an excellent turnout. In some of the other locations. And it depends on how interested People are. The city of phoenix enjoys the Ability to have you ask, let me Stay on your list for early Ballots and mail them to me. The county does not have that Ability to do that. But the school districts and some of the other cities have that as well. But the -- historically the turnouts are pretty low, sometimes in the 3 and 4\% urn Fortunately.

Michael Grant:
Now, in the statewide Elections I know that the voting by mail experience up to about 50\% or so. Does it track the same kind of Percentages on these local and Special elections?

Karen Osborne:
It tracks just about the same. Everybody -- it seems to be that they're about half the people that like to go to the polls if going to cast a ballot, about Half of them enjoy voting at Home where they can take their Time and mark their ballot.

Michael Grant:
Is that your feel too, Helen, that maybe it will move around that 50\%, then? Because we obviously have been creating pretty rapidly from the first time we used the Mail in or early ballots. Do you think it's plateaued?

Helen Purcell:
I don't think so. I think It's going to move a little slower now. We've seen a great increase we have reached maybe somewhat of a plateau. It's going to increase but not to the extent we have seen it over the past few years.

Michael Grant:
Karen, you've been in business for a long time. You and I were talking a long time ago. How legitimate are the concerns about illegal aliens voting?

Karen Osborne:
I can tell you, Michael, that we have not found illegal Aliens voting. Mr. Thomas, our county attorney, is currently prosecuting about 12 people for voting when they were not citizens but these were not illegal aliens. These were people who carried a Green card, were here on visas and had be for whatever reason Talked into registering and Voting. But if have yet to find an Illegal alien that has voted.

Michael Grant:
It always did, Helen, seem Sort of counter intuitive to me that if you were here illegally that you would be running to vote.

Helen Purcell:
I would think that maybe that would be someplace you'd want to avoid in case there might be somebody from the government there.

Michael Grant:
I guess for all the joggers of the world, we'll find out pretty soon how this is going to work. Helen Purcell, thank you very Much for joining us. Karen Osborne, always a pleasure. Tonight we are continuing our four-part series on the Phoenix bond program. Phoenix Bonds 101. Each night we're taking a look at some of the propositions Phoenix voters are going to be deciding March 14 and also by Early voting. Let's take a look at Proposition 3. That would help bring an Arizona State University campus to downtown Phoenix.

Mike Sauceda:
This is First Street and Van Buren in downtown Phoenix where new downtown Arizona state University campus is planned. The biggest portion by far of Prop 3 would be spent on the Downtown campus for ASU $184 million out of a total of 198-point p million. Millions would also be spent on other educational endeavors, like a university college of Pharmacy and high school partnerships.

Phil Gordon:
Proposition 3 is about Investing in our future and Public safety. Investing in public education is the best and smartest thing that we can do. If we want to stay competitive in this global economy. Not only are we building an University where we'll be Training 15,000 students a year To lead this state to come up With a new ideas that will make Us competitive in the global Economy, provide new jobs for Those within our city and Throughout the valley. But we'll also be investing in new high schools, 21st century, smaller high schools so children can go to school and learn those Careers that are going to be needed in the future, technology. In fact, we're right now about Ready to open up a science high School in partnership with Phoenix union using last time's Bond campaign. We're also helping to build a New medical school downtown Phoenix with the university of Arizona and a new pharmacy school that's not only going to Train new doctors and pharmacists but help prevent disease in the future for all The residents throughout the state.

Mike Sauceda:
Mayor Gordon says Proposition 3 would have effects not only downtown.

Phil Gordon:
It's about the whole city. Creating new revenue and new Jobs, new technology, it's about Knowledge. This is about educating our Community.

Michael Grant:
The next proposition will Focus on is about renovating parks, creating new parks and helping to preserve open space. Here is more on proposition 4.

Mike Sauceda:
Proposition 4 would spend $120.5 million to help increase Recreational opportunities for Phoenix residents with new parks and with upgrades to parks like Papago Park in southeast Phoenix. It would also help preserve open Spaces. The money would be spent on Parks throughout the city. Also money would go to the Phoenix zoo, desert Botanical Gallon garden and various other projects.

Phil Gordon:
This city is such a Beautiful city. Go outside. 78 degrees in February. It's a city that other cities are just so envious to be looking at especially this time of year. Why? Not only the climate but It's a beautiful city. We have open, preserved space. We have the mountain preserve. The largest mountain preserve in the country. We now have desert preserves to maintain the beautiful space so That development can't encroach Responsibility those areas within the city of Phoenix that our residents determine we need to preserve. But it's also about building new Parks within established Neighborhoods or new Neighborhoods and revitalizing Our neighborhoods so children Can play softball and swing on The swings just like you and I Did growing up. This city's investment in these Programs is as critical to Public safety as it is having Officers on the street. That's not just the mayor saying that but the chief of police and men and women that protect us, Phoenix's finest officers saying that.

Michael Grant:
The final phoenix bond measure we'll talk about tonight would provide money for a wide Variety of cultural facilities Including the ballet, theater, libraries, museums, youth and senior center and help for the homeless. This is more on proposition 5.

Mike Sauceda:
A rehearsal session of Ballet Arizona would receive over $6 million in funding if Proposition 5 is passed. Proposition 5 would provide libraries; also provide facilities for phoenix's youth and elderly as well as cultural Cents. The 133 high-pressure $8 million measure would help other cultural organizations besides the ballet like the Theater center. There would be money for a Homeless shelter and senior center.

Phil Gordon:
This is a number of items. It's serving our community Request new libraries, cultural Centering, youth centers. Just opened one up in west Phoenix, state-of-the-art Computer library and also recreational center for other Teens to play in and learn in, To just have a great time. That was built by the last bond campaign. That's what we're talking about this time with more of those. We're also talking about helping those that are physically challenged. The ASA requirements to upgrade our facilities and make sure everyone has access to all the Great equipment. We're expanding our library system. That's so critical. Without a library so many people would be without the ability to get on computers or read books or learn about those issues that they need.

Michael Grant:
Tomorrow we'll continue the Series on the phoenix bond with A look at parts of the program That would help provide Affordable housing and also Storm drain improvements. Is Arizona prepared for Possibly the greatest public Health challenge of our time? Influenza pandemic. It would cause major disruptions for virtually every segment of Society. Arizona department of health services has recently released an updated pandemic readiness plan, that new plan Incorporating strategies recently developed by the U.S. Department of health and human services. Here to talk about it is Will Humble. I'm always so pleased when I get through your title.

Will Humble:
Thanks for the opportunity.

Michael Grant:
Will, how are you?

Will Humble:
Good.

Michael Grant:
We talk about pandemic flu plan. But obviously our most recent and I suppose the most feared would be bird flu, if it translates -- if it crosses into human flu.

Will Humble:
Right. I mean, that's sort of the sense of urgency that we're sort of Feeling in public health is that If this virus that everyone is Calling the bird flu becomes a virus that can transmit from person-to-person, that would mark sort of the beginning or at least the potential of the beginning for a flu pandemic. So that's really the sense of urgency that we're feeling and part of the reason why we're stepping up our plans here in Arizona and also nationally to get folks ready in case it does happen. It may not and we hope it doesn't. But we need to be ready.

Michael Grant:
Didn't I hear recently that cases of bird flu in birds, I would quickly add, had reached Europe?

Will Humble:
Yes. Southern Europe and Italy and then also shortly tight within the next couple of Days we heard of some birds in Nigeria, in West Africa, same Thing. H. 5 n 1 virus. Not in people.

Michael Grant:
Yes. We keep sitting around Waiting, fearing the next shoe to drop. I guess the first time I got into this subject I wasn't aware But actually the health community has been keeping an eye on this for quite some time.

Will Humble:
Oh, I mean, this is a big deal for anybody who's in healthcare, for example hospitals and community health centers. Folks know about what a flu pandemic could do. And they've been getting their plans ready. And of their minds that this could be potentially a big deal that they would have to contend with. But what you're starting to see throughout society is folks throughout society in schools and so forth and businesses are starting to realize that a flu Pandemic could really effect their business, their school, their church, their community. So what we really have been pushing and the feds have been doing as well is to really drive pandemic, influenza planning deeper into the community.

Michael Grant:
Is that sort of the key update aspect of the Arizona pandemic plan? Because first version was crafted what, about 5 years ago or so?

Will Humble:
Yes. The first version was in 2000. And really the big leap forward that we took recently was right after the federal government health and human services releases their federal plan. We started looking at that and actually formed our work groups at the department of health services shortly thereafter and really started crafting our state plan to sort of fold into the federal plan. Because the federal plan is really very comprehensive I've and Impressive document. We really found that to be a big help in improving our Arizona plan.

Michael Grant:
All right. Now, how do schools, business, community organizations, I mean, I'm having a little trouble figuring out -- I can certainly understand how they would be affected by all this would be affected.

Will Humble:
Right.

Michael Grant:
But how do they roll into the plan?

Will Humble:
Well, I think the best place for them to start is on our Website at azdhs.org. We've got a series of checklists that they can go through. If you're a business, for example, there's a checklist that you can go through and find out where you are in your pandemic readiness and figure out what areas that you need to improve on. And they're simple things.

Michael Grant:
Give me some examples.

Will Humble:
Do you have a telecommuting program set up right now ready to go so that when folks, if they had to stay home with their sick kids, would you be able to continue your business? Would you be able to have key people that are cross-trained so that if you've got somebody who's a key person In accounting that you can't miss, you've got to have them on board, have you done your cross training so that if that person's home sick taking care of their kids is there somebody else who can fill in? If you're a big business, a lot of folks would be out at home taking care of sick kids or under home -- voluntary home quarantine that wouldn't be able to come into work. Well, do you have the ability to do an onsite child care center so that you could bring your folks to work, they could still watch their kids while they're at work and it wouldn't be a barrier for them to come into work. So, there's a lot of simple, easy to do things that improve your readiness for a pandemic Influenza that help you every Year during seasonal influenza or merge emergencies.

Michael Grant:
We had seen a spike just about six weeks ago or so in the normal flu in Arizona.

Will Humble:
Right.

Michael Grant:
Incidentally, has that ramped down?

Will Humble:
We call that seasonal flew in our business. That is really dropping pretty dramatically here in Arizona. At the same time that this seasonal influenza is falling we're starting to see sort of a peak in what we call our RSV season, which is a childhood virus pretty cake dangerous to Newborns. At the same time that the Regular flu is dropping we're starting to see a rise in RSVP.

Michael Grant:
Good advice?

Will Humble:
If out you've got a newborn or kid 6 months of age it's a good time to keep them home at least for a few weeks because we're seeing a peak in RSV. It's dangerous for little kids.

Michael Grant:
There are a couple reported cases of the Hanta virus close to home.

Will Humble:
In northwest Maricopa County We had a case of this virus. The gentleman died, unfortunately. It can be a serious disease. It had be a disease that we had normally associated with the North Country. We had an outbreak in the early 19 90's up on the Navajo Reservation. We are starting to see it at lower elevations. One of the reasons I think is it sort of ties into the drought. Because there was a lot of baby mice born last year. And without any rainfall at all in the last 100 or so days there's really not a whole lot to eat. So those deer mice are looking for a meal in people's houses. So it's important to look out for that.

Michael Grant:
Okay. And Hanta virus, there's really not much you can do if you contract it, right?

Will Humble:
Well, once you have symptoms. So the key is prevention. Which means when you're sweeping out your garage and you see mouse droppings be very careful, spray bleach water, don't create a lot of dust. Basically just be careful. I should also point out, incidentally, that roof rats which are common throughout the Valley now do not carry this virus. Roof rats are something that you don't have to worry about for this virus. Just a nuisance.

Michael Grant:
All right. Will Humble, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate the information. Incidentally for more Information on the state's pandemic flu plan you can go to www.azdhs.org or you can link to that website from our website. To do that you can go to www.azpbs.org. You can also get transcripts of Horizon as well as information on upcoming shows.

Producer:
At Arizona continues to cope with the longest dry spell in recorded history; northern region emergency crews have already started combating forest brush fires. What does this mean for the state in terms of long-term effects, cost and man power? We will answer these questions Wednesday at 7 on Horizon.

Michael Grant:
Of course on Friday we'll have the journalist roundtable edition where we will recap the week's news events. Thank you very much for joining us on this Valentine's Day and statehood day. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Phoenix Bond 101


  • HORIZON examines Proposition 3 - For building small high schools, higher education and health science facilities; Proposition 4 - For new parks and open spaces. and Proposition 5 - For libraries and youth, senior and cultural centers Find out more, visit the companion Web site.
Guests:
  • Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell -
  • Karen Osborne - Elections Director
  • Will Humble - U.S. Department of health and human services


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on horizon, what you need to know when you go to vote. How proposition 200 has changed the way we vote in our state. And speaking of voting, we'll take a look at the upcoming Phoenix bond including the plans for a downtown ASU campus. We continue our four-part series on the Phoenix bonds. Plus the state now has a plan in place in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. We'll have details. Those stories next, on Horizon.
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to Horizon. The Phoenix bond election March 14 will be the first election that identification will be required in Maricopa County as you go to the polls. The requirement of course the Result of the passage of Proposition 200 in 2004. Joining us to explain in detail what voters can expect at the Polls next month is Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and the Elections Director Karen Osborne. I always know when you're here elections must be near.

Helen Purcell:
Must be election time.

Michael Grant: I
s this, Helen, a pretty big scene change for a whole lot of people, including the election personnel?

Helen Purcell:
Yes, it is. I think we really have to look at some things this time. Because people have never had to take ID with them when they went to the polls. I can remember at my precinct a lot of people would swing by the Poll when they were out jogging. They're not going to be able to do that anymore because they're probably not going to have Identification with them.

Michael Grant:
And that really is the key difference. We'll get into some of the details. But you have to show up with Identification.

Michael Grant:
Absolutely.

Michael Grant:
What sort of -- Karen, I Guess let's start with the basics. The first basic is this doesn't apply to you if you're voting by mail.

Karen Osborne:
That's correct. We already check your signature up against the voting file if you're voting by mail. That identification has been taken care of. This is for the people who go to the polling place to cast their ballot.

Michael Grant:
And is the theory at least there because there is the Electronic Signature Verification system that ties into the database on driver license, the voting by mail?

Michael Grant:
You can confirm citizenship, Residency that way?

Karen Osborne:
Yes. And the citizenship is for the registration when you're registering to vote. And the identification, that's very, very different. At the polls that's why we check your signature. For the early ballots we've confirmed that is you. But now when you come to the polling place we hopefully want to see your driver's license or picture ID.

Michael Grant:
Helen, I think that's the logical next step. What sort of identification -- Let's say you're going for your jog. What kind of things do you need to put in your jogging clothes?

Helen Purcell:
Well, I'd like you to bring your driver's license with you with a picture ID by the Government. It's got your address on it. And present that.

Michael Grant:
And show up with your picture drivers license and that will do it.

Helen Purcell:
If that driver's license has your current address you can go ahead and vote regular ballot. If it has a different address you can still vote but by a provisional ballot.

Michael Grant:
Karen, that's one of the concerns, is it not, that people are going to show up and have their driver's license showing the wrong address?

Karen Osborne:
Right. We have a number of people. We talk to these groups every day. When you ask them to pull out their driver's license they have moved and maybe contacted MVD to have their address updated but didn't pay the four bucks to have the card sent to them. They have their old address. Those have to match or they need to be provisional. It's a long wait for them and also time consuming and it's a cost to get those processed.

Michael Grant:
Really you have to go through a two-step process. One is to get the revised license and then also to reregister.

Karen Osborne:
Yes. We need you to register at your new address.

Michael Grant:
Okay. Let's say that doesn't work. What other forms of ID can I show up with and it will still count?

Helen Purcell:
Well, if you don't have a picture ID you can bring us two other forms of ID, let's say two different utility bills. We will be sending out a card prior to the election, which will show your address and also give a map of where your polling place is. That can be used as ID. So two different forms of something that are issued by a utility, or by the government, that shows your current address on it.

Michael Grant:
Okay. How much of the -- and we're focused on the Phoenix bond election, obviously, but there will be a number of other city elections going on throughout the valley at the same time.

Karen Osborne:
16 different elections going on. If you look at it's from Wickenburg to Queen Creek, Buckeye up to Scottsdale. In the entire east valley it is completely an over layoff all of Maricopa County. Very rare, where you're not going to be involved in some form of election.

Michael Grant:
Now, there is a process, and unfortunately I think this is going to happen to some people. They're going to show up and not going to have correct identification, the current driver's license, the alternative forms you mentioned. What happens then?

Helen Purcell:
They will vote a provisional ballot but it will be what is called a conditional provisional ballot. That way if they bring us within three days after let's say March election or go on to the general election in November they have five days. But if they bring us that Identification we are allowed to count that. They've got either 3 or five days to do that.

Michael Grant:
Now, we just talked about the variety of different elections going on. They've got to physically get that to an office. Downtown Phoenix?

Helen Purcell:
We have partnered with the city clerks in other entities around the county so that they wouldn't have to come necessarily to downtown Phoenix. They can certainly do that if they want to. But there will be a number of other locations they can go, particularly city clerks offices, which they're usually familiar with.

Michael Grant:
Karen, these kinds of special elections are notoriously low turnout lections.

Karen Osborne:
They are.

Michael Grant:
What's a "good" turnout for the city of Phoenix?

Karen Osborne:
A good turnout I would think would be 20 to 25\% would be an excellent turnout. In some of the other locations. And it depends on how interested People are. The city of phoenix enjoys the Ability to have you ask, let me Stay on your list for early Ballots and mail them to me. The county does not have that Ability to do that. But the school districts and some of the other cities have that as well. But the -- historically the turnouts are pretty low, sometimes in the 3 and 4\% urn Fortunately.

Michael Grant:
Now, in the statewide Elections I know that the voting by mail experience up to about 50\% or so. Does it track the same kind of Percentages on these local and Special elections?

Karen Osborne:
It tracks just about the same. Everybody -- it seems to be that they're about half the people that like to go to the polls if going to cast a ballot, about Half of them enjoy voting at Home where they can take their Time and mark their ballot.

Michael Grant:
Is that your feel too, Helen, that maybe it will move around that 50\%, then? Because we obviously have been creating pretty rapidly from the first time we used the Mail in or early ballots. Do you think it's plateaued?

Helen Purcell:
I don't think so. I think It's going to move a little slower now. We've seen a great increase we have reached maybe somewhat of a plateau. It's going to increase but not to the extent we have seen it over the past few years.

Michael Grant:
Karen, you've been in business for a long time. You and I were talking a long time ago. How legitimate are the concerns about illegal aliens voting?

Karen Osborne:
I can tell you, Michael, that we have not found illegal Aliens voting. Mr. Thomas, our county attorney, is currently prosecuting about 12 people for voting when they were not citizens but these were not illegal aliens. These were people who carried a Green card, were here on visas and had be for whatever reason Talked into registering and Voting. But if have yet to find an Illegal alien that has voted.

Michael Grant:
It always did, Helen, seem Sort of counter intuitive to me that if you were here illegally that you would be running to vote.

Helen Purcell:
I would think that maybe that would be someplace you'd want to avoid in case there might be somebody from the government there.

Michael Grant:
I guess for all the joggers of the world, we'll find out pretty soon how this is going to work. Helen Purcell, thank you very Much for joining us. Karen Osborne, always a pleasure. Tonight we are continuing our four-part series on the Phoenix bond program. Phoenix Bonds 101. Each night we're taking a look at some of the propositions Phoenix voters are going to be deciding March 14 and also by Early voting. Let's take a look at Proposition 3. That would help bring an Arizona State University campus to downtown Phoenix.

Mike Sauceda:
This is First Street and Van Buren in downtown Phoenix where new downtown Arizona state University campus is planned. The biggest portion by far of Prop 3 would be spent on the Downtown campus for ASU $184 million out of a total of 198-point p million. Millions would also be spent on other educational endeavors, like a university college of Pharmacy and high school partnerships.

Phil Gordon:
Proposition 3 is about Investing in our future and Public safety. Investing in public education is the best and smartest thing that we can do. If we want to stay competitive in this global economy. Not only are we building an University where we'll be Training 15,000 students a year To lead this state to come up With a new ideas that will make Us competitive in the global Economy, provide new jobs for Those within our city and Throughout the valley. But we'll also be investing in new high schools, 21st century, smaller high schools so children can go to school and learn those Careers that are going to be needed in the future, technology. In fact, we're right now about Ready to open up a science high School in partnership with Phoenix union using last time's Bond campaign. We're also helping to build a New medical school downtown Phoenix with the university of Arizona and a new pharmacy school that's not only going to Train new doctors and pharmacists but help prevent disease in the future for all The residents throughout the state.

Mike Sauceda:
Mayor Gordon says Proposition 3 would have effects not only downtown.

Phil Gordon:
It's about the whole city. Creating new revenue and new Jobs, new technology, it's about Knowledge. This is about educating our Community.

Michael Grant:
The next proposition will Focus on is about renovating parks, creating new parks and helping to preserve open space. Here is more on proposition 4.

Mike Sauceda:
Proposition 4 would spend $120.5 million to help increase Recreational opportunities for Phoenix residents with new parks and with upgrades to parks like Papago Park in southeast Phoenix. It would also help preserve open Spaces. The money would be spent on Parks throughout the city. Also money would go to the Phoenix zoo, desert Botanical Gallon garden and various other projects.

Phil Gordon:
This city is such a Beautiful city. Go outside. 78 degrees in February. It's a city that other cities are just so envious to be looking at especially this time of year. Why? Not only the climate but It's a beautiful city. We have open, preserved space. We have the mountain preserve. The largest mountain preserve in the country. We now have desert preserves to maintain the beautiful space so That development can't encroach Responsibility those areas within the city of Phoenix that our residents determine we need to preserve. But it's also about building new Parks within established Neighborhoods or new Neighborhoods and revitalizing Our neighborhoods so children Can play softball and swing on The swings just like you and I Did growing up. This city's investment in these Programs is as critical to Public safety as it is having Officers on the street. That's not just the mayor saying that but the chief of police and men and women that protect us, Phoenix's finest officers saying that.

Michael Grant:
The final phoenix bond measure we'll talk about tonight would provide money for a wide Variety of cultural facilities Including the ballet, theater, libraries, museums, youth and senior center and help for the homeless. This is more on proposition 5.

Mike Sauceda:
A rehearsal session of Ballet Arizona would receive over $6 million in funding if Proposition 5 is passed. Proposition 5 would provide libraries; also provide facilities for phoenix's youth and elderly as well as cultural Cents. The 133 high-pressure $8 million measure would help other cultural organizations besides the ballet like the Theater center. There would be money for a Homeless shelter and senior center.

Phil Gordon:
This is a number of items. It's serving our community Request new libraries, cultural Centering, youth centers. Just opened one up in west Phoenix, state-of-the-art Computer library and also recreational center for other Teens to play in and learn in, To just have a great time. That was built by the last bond campaign. That's what we're talking about this time with more of those. We're also talking about helping those that are physically challenged. The ASA requirements to upgrade our facilities and make sure everyone has access to all the Great equipment. We're expanding our library system. That's so critical. Without a library so many people would be without the ability to get on computers or read books or learn about those issues that they need.

Michael Grant:
Tomorrow we'll continue the Series on the phoenix bond with A look at parts of the program That would help provide Affordable housing and also Storm drain improvements. Is Arizona prepared for Possibly the greatest public Health challenge of our time? Influenza pandemic. It would cause major disruptions for virtually every segment of Society. Arizona department of health services has recently released an updated pandemic readiness plan, that new plan Incorporating strategies recently developed by the U.S. Department of health and human services. Here to talk about it is Will Humble. I'm always so pleased when I get through your title.

Will Humble:
Thanks for the opportunity.

Michael Grant:
Will, how are you?

Will Humble:
Good.

Michael Grant:
We talk about pandemic flu plan. But obviously our most recent and I suppose the most feared would be bird flu, if it translates -- if it crosses into human flu.

Will Humble:
Right. I mean, that's sort of the sense of urgency that we're sort of Feeling in public health is that If this virus that everyone is Calling the bird flu becomes a virus that can transmit from person-to-person, that would mark sort of the beginning or at least the potential of the beginning for a flu pandemic. So that's really the sense of urgency that we're feeling and part of the reason why we're stepping up our plans here in Arizona and also nationally to get folks ready in case it does happen. It may not and we hope it doesn't. But we need to be ready.

Michael Grant:
Didn't I hear recently that cases of bird flu in birds, I would quickly add, had reached Europe?

Will Humble:
Yes. Southern Europe and Italy and then also shortly tight within the next couple of Days we heard of some birds in Nigeria, in West Africa, same Thing. H. 5 n 1 virus. Not in people.

Michael Grant:
Yes. We keep sitting around Waiting, fearing the next shoe to drop. I guess the first time I got into this subject I wasn't aware But actually the health community has been keeping an eye on this for quite some time.

Will Humble:
Oh, I mean, this is a big deal for anybody who's in healthcare, for example hospitals and community health centers. Folks know about what a flu pandemic could do. And they've been getting their plans ready. And of their minds that this could be potentially a big deal that they would have to contend with. But what you're starting to see throughout society is folks throughout society in schools and so forth and businesses are starting to realize that a flu Pandemic could really effect their business, their school, their church, their community. So what we really have been pushing and the feds have been doing as well is to really drive pandemic, influenza planning deeper into the community.

Michael Grant:
Is that sort of the key update aspect of the Arizona pandemic plan? Because first version was crafted what, about 5 years ago or so?

Will Humble:
Yes. The first version was in 2000. And really the big leap forward that we took recently was right after the federal government health and human services releases their federal plan. We started looking at that and actually formed our work groups at the department of health services shortly thereafter and really started crafting our state plan to sort of fold into the federal plan. Because the federal plan is really very comprehensive I've and Impressive document. We really found that to be a big help in improving our Arizona plan.

Michael Grant:
All right. Now, how do schools, business, community organizations, I mean, I'm having a little trouble figuring out -- I can certainly understand how they would be affected by all this would be affected.

Will Humble:
Right.

Michael Grant:
But how do they roll into the plan?

Will Humble:
Well, I think the best place for them to start is on our Website at azdhs.org. We've got a series of checklists that they can go through. If you're a business, for example, there's a checklist that you can go through and find out where you are in your pandemic readiness and figure out what areas that you need to improve on. And they're simple things.

Michael Grant:
Give me some examples.

Will Humble:
Do you have a telecommuting program set up right now ready to go so that when folks, if they had to stay home with their sick kids, would you be able to continue your business? Would you be able to have key people that are cross-trained so that if you've got somebody who's a key person In accounting that you can't miss, you've got to have them on board, have you done your cross training so that if that person's home sick taking care of their kids is there somebody else who can fill in? If you're a big business, a lot of folks would be out at home taking care of sick kids or under home -- voluntary home quarantine that wouldn't be able to come into work. Well, do you have the ability to do an onsite child care center so that you could bring your folks to work, they could still watch their kids while they're at work and it wouldn't be a barrier for them to come into work. So, there's a lot of simple, easy to do things that improve your readiness for a pandemic Influenza that help you every Year during seasonal influenza or merge emergencies.

Michael Grant:
We had seen a spike just about six weeks ago or so in the normal flu in Arizona.

Will Humble:
Right.

Michael Grant:
Incidentally, has that ramped down?

Will Humble:
We call that seasonal flew in our business. That is really dropping pretty dramatically here in Arizona. At the same time that this seasonal influenza is falling we're starting to see sort of a peak in what we call our RSV season, which is a childhood virus pretty cake dangerous to Newborns. At the same time that the Regular flu is dropping we're starting to see a rise in RSVP.

Michael Grant:
Good advice?

Will Humble:
If out you've got a newborn or kid 6 months of age it's a good time to keep them home at least for a few weeks because we're seeing a peak in RSV. It's dangerous for little kids.

Michael Grant:
There are a couple reported cases of the Hanta virus close to home.

Will Humble:
In northwest Maricopa County We had a case of this virus. The gentleman died, unfortunately. It can be a serious disease. It had be a disease that we had normally associated with the North Country. We had an outbreak in the early 19 90's up on the Navajo Reservation. We are starting to see it at lower elevations. One of the reasons I think is it sort of ties into the drought. Because there was a lot of baby mice born last year. And without any rainfall at all in the last 100 or so days there's really not a whole lot to eat. So those deer mice are looking for a meal in people's houses. So it's important to look out for that.

Michael Grant:
Okay. And Hanta virus, there's really not much you can do if you contract it, right?

Will Humble:
Well, once you have symptoms. So the key is prevention. Which means when you're sweeping out your garage and you see mouse droppings be very careful, spray bleach water, don't create a lot of dust. Basically just be careful. I should also point out, incidentally, that roof rats which are common throughout the Valley now do not carry this virus. Roof rats are something that you don't have to worry about for this virus. Just a nuisance.

Michael Grant:
All right. Will Humble, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate the information. Incidentally for more Information on the state's pandemic flu plan you can go to www.azdhs.org or you can link to that website from our website. To do that you can go to www.azpbs.org. You can also get transcripts of Horizon as well as information on upcoming shows.

Producer:
At Arizona continues to cope with the longest dry spell in recorded history; northern region emergency crews have already started combating forest brush fires. What does this mean for the state in terms of long-term effects, cost and man power? We will answer these questions Wednesday at 7 on Horizon.

Michael Grant:
Of course on Friday we'll have the journalist roundtable edition where we will recap the week's news events. Thank you very much for joining us on this Valentine's Day and statehood day. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Voter Identification


  • The Phoenix Bond Election is the first election impacted by the passage of Proposition 200. Voters will be required to present various forms of identification before they are issued a regular ballot. Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and Maricopa County Director of Elections Karen Osborne explain what voters can expect.
Guests:
  • Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell -
  • Karen Osborne - Elections Director
  • Will Humble - U.S. Department of health and human services


View Transcript
Michael Grant:
Tonight on horizon, what you need to know when you go to vote. How proposition 200 has changed the way we vote in our state. And speaking of voting, we'll take a look at the upcoming Phoenix bond including the plans for a downtown ASU campus. We continue our four-part series on the Phoenix bonds. Plus the state now has a plan in place in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak. We'll have details. Those stories next, on Horizon.
Good evening, I'm Michael Grant. Welcome to Horizon. The Phoenix bond election March 14 will be the first election that identification will be required in Maricopa County as you go to the polls. The requirement of course the Result of the passage of Proposition 200 in 2004. Joining us to explain in detail what voters can expect at the Polls next month is Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell and the Elections Director Karen Osborne. I always know when you're here elections must be near.

Helen Purcell:
Must be election time.

Michael Grant: I
s this, Helen, a pretty big scene change for a whole lot of people, including the election personnel?

Helen Purcell:
Yes, it is. I think we really have to look at some things this time. Because people have never had to take ID with them when they went to the polls. I can remember at my precinct a lot of people would swing by the Poll when they were out jogging. They're not going to be able to do that anymore because they're probably not going to have Identification with them.

Michael Grant:
And that really is the key difference. We'll get into some of the details. But you have to show up with Identification.

Michael Grant:
Absolutely.

Michael Grant:
What sort of -- Karen, I Guess let's start with the basics. The first basic is this doesn't apply to you if you're voting by mail.

Karen Osborne:
That's correct. We already check your signature up against the voting file if you're voting by mail. That identification has been taken care of. This is for the people who go to the polling place to cast their ballot.

Michael Grant:
And is the theory at least there because there is the Electronic Signature Verification system that ties into the database on driver license, the voting by mail?

Michael Grant:
You can confirm citizenship, Residency that way?

Karen Osborne:
Yes. And the citizenship is for the registration when you're registering to vote. And the identification, that's very, very different. At the polls that's why we check your signature. For the early ballots we've confirmed that is you. But now when you come to the polling place we hopefully want to see your driver's license or picture ID.

Michael Grant:
Helen, I think that's the logical next step. What sort of identification -- Let's say you're going for your jog. What kind of things do you need to put in your jogging clothes?

Helen Purcell:
Well, I'd like you to bring your driver's license with you with a picture ID by the Government. It's got your address on it. And present that.

Michael Grant:
And show up with your picture drivers license and that will do it.

Helen Purcell:
If that driver's license has your current address you can go ahead and vote regular ballot. If it has a different address you can still vote but by a provisional ballot.

Michael Grant:
Karen, that's one of the concerns, is it not, that people are going to show up and have their driver's license showing the wrong address?

Karen Osborne:
Right. We have a number of people. We talk to these groups every day. When you ask them to pull out their driver's license they have moved and maybe contacted MVD to have their address updated but didn't pay the four bucks to have the card sent to them. They have their old address. Those have to match or they need to be provisional. It's a long wait for them and also time consuming and it's a cost to get those processed.

Michael Grant:
Really you have to go through a two-step process. One is to get the revised license and then also to reregister.

Karen Osborne:
Yes. We need you to register at your new address.

Michael Grant:
Okay. Let's say that doesn't work. What other forms of ID can I show up with and it will still count?

Helen Purcell:
Well, if you don't have a picture ID you can bring us two other forms of ID, let's say two different utility bills. We will be sending out a card prior to the election, which will show your address and also give a map of where your polling place is. That can be used as ID. So two different forms of something that are issued by a utility, or by the government, that shows your current address on it.

Michael Grant:
Okay. How much of the -- and we're focused on the Phoenix bond election, obviously, but there will be a number of other city elections going on throughout the valley at the same time.

Karen Osborne:
16 different elections going on. If you look at it's from Wickenburg to Queen Creek, Buckeye up to Scottsdale. In the entire east valley it is completely an over layoff all of Maricopa County. Very rare, where you're not going to be involved in some form of election.

Michael Grant:
Now, there is a process, and unfortunately I think this is going to happen to some people. They're going to show up and not going to have correct identification, the current driver's license, the alternative forms you mentioned. What happens then?

Helen Purcell:
They will vote a provisional ballot but it will be what is called a conditional provisional ballot. That way if they bring us within three days after let's say March election or go on to the general election in November they have five days. But if they bring us that Identification we are allowed to count that. They've got either 3 or five days to do that.

Michael Grant:
Now, we just talked about the variety of different elections going on. They've got to physically get that to an office. Downtown Phoenix?

Helen Purcell:
We have partnered with the city clerks in other entities around the county so that they wouldn't have to come necessarily to downtown Phoenix. They can certainly do that if they want to. But there will be a number of other locations they can go, particularly city clerks offices, which they're usually familiar with.

Michael Grant:
Karen, these kinds of special elections are notoriously low turnout lections.

Karen Osborne:
They are.

Michael Grant:
What's a "good" turnout for the city of Phoenix?

Karen Osborne:
A good turnout I would think would be 20 to 25\% would be an excellent turnout. In some of the other locations. And it depends on how interested People are. The city of phoenix enjoys the Ability to have you ask, let me Stay on your list for early Ballots and mail them to me. The county does not have that Ability to do that. But the school districts and some of the other cities have that as well. But the -- historically the turnouts are pretty low, sometimes in the 3 and 4\% urn Fortunately.

Michael Grant:
Now, in the statewide Elections I know that the voting by mail experience up to about 50\% or so. Does it track the same kind of Percentages on these local and Special elections?

Karen Osborne:
It tracks just about the same. Everybody -- it seems to be that they're about half the people that like to go to the polls if going to cast a ballot, about Half of them enjoy voting at Home where they can take their Time and mark their ballot.

Michael Grant:
Is that your feel too, Helen, that maybe it will move around that 50\%, then? Because we obviously have been creating pretty rapidly from the first time we used the Mail in or early ballots. Do you think it's plateaued?

Helen Purcell:
I don't think so. I think It's going to move a little slower now. We've seen a great increase we have reached maybe somewhat of a plateau. It's going to increase but not to the extent we have seen it over the past few years.

Michael Grant:
Karen, you've been in business for a long time. You and I were talking a long time ago. How legitimate are the concerns about illegal aliens voting?

Karen Osborne:
I can tell you, Michael, that we have not found illegal Aliens voting. Mr. Thomas, our county attorney, is currently prosecuting about 12 people for voting when they were not citizens but these were not illegal aliens. These were people who carried a Green card, were here on visas and had be for whatever reason Talked into registering and Voting. But if have yet to find an Illegal alien that has voted.

Michael Grant:
It always did, Helen, seem Sort of counter intuitive to me that if you were here illegally that you would be running to vote.

Helen Purcell:
I would think that maybe that would be someplace you'd want to avoid in case there might be somebody from the government there.

Michael Grant:
I guess for all the joggers of the world, we'll find out pretty soon how this is going to work. Helen Purcell, thank you very Much for joining us. Karen Osborne, always a pleasure. Tonight we are continuing our four-part series on the Phoenix bond program. Phoenix Bonds 101. Each night we're taking a look at some of the propositions Phoenix voters are going to be deciding March 14 and also by Early voting. Let's take a look at Proposition 3. That would help bring an Arizona State University campus to downtown Phoenix.

Mike Sauceda:
This is First Street and Van Buren in downtown Phoenix where new downtown Arizona state University campus is planned. The biggest portion by far of Prop 3 would be spent on the Downtown campus for ASU $184 million out of a total of 198-point p million. Millions would also be spent on other educational endeavors, like a university college of Pharmacy and high school partnerships.

Phil Gordon:
Proposition 3 is about Investing in our future and Public safety. Investing in public education is the best and smartest thing that we can do. If we want to stay competitive in this global economy. Not only are we building an University where we'll be Training 15,000 students a year To lead this state to come up With a new ideas that will make Us competitive in the global Economy, provide new jobs for Those within our city and Throughout the valley. But we'll also be investing in new high schools, 21st century, smaller high schools so children can go to school and learn those Careers that are going to be needed in the future, technology. In fact, we're right now about Ready to open up a science high School in partnership with Phoenix union using last time's Bond campaign. We're also helping to build a New medical school downtown Phoenix with the university of Arizona and a new pharmacy school that's not only going to Train new doctors and pharmacists but help prevent disease in the future for all The residents throughout the state.

Mike Sauceda:
Mayor Gordon says Proposition 3 would have effects not only downtown.

Phil Gordon:
It's about the whole city. Creating new revenue and new Jobs, new technology, it's about Knowledge. This is about educating our Community.

Michael Grant:
The next proposition will Focus on is about renovating parks, creating new parks and helping to preserve open space. Here is more on proposition 4.

Mike Sauceda:
Proposition 4 would spend $120.5 million to help increase Recreational opportunities for Phoenix residents with new parks and with upgrades to parks like Papago Park in southeast Phoenix. It would also help preserve open Spaces. The money would be spent on Parks throughout the city. Also money would go to the Phoenix zoo, desert Botanical Gallon garden and various other projects.

Phil Gordon:
This city is such a Beautiful city. Go outside. 78 degrees in February. It's a city that other cities are just so envious to be looking at especially this time of year. Why? Not only the climate but It's a beautiful city. We have open, preserved space. We have the mountain preserve. The largest mountain preserve in the country. We now have desert preserves to maintain the beautiful space so That development can't encroach Responsibility those areas within the city of Phoenix that our residents determine we need to preserve. But it's also about building new Parks within established Neighborhoods or new Neighborhoods and revitalizing Our neighborhoods so children Can play softball and swing on The swings just like you and I Did growing up. This city's investment in these Programs is as critical to Public safety as it is having Officers on the street. That's not just the mayor saying that but the chief of police and men and women that protect us, Phoenix's finest officers saying that.

Michael Grant:
The final phoenix bond measure we'll talk about tonight would provide money for a wide Variety of cultural facilities Including the ballet, theater, libraries, museums, youth and senior center and help for the homeless. This is more on proposition 5.

Mike Sauceda:
A rehearsal session of Ballet Arizona would receive over $6 million in funding if Proposition 5 is passed. Proposition 5 would provide libraries; also provide facilities for phoenix's youth and elderly as well as cultural Cents. The 133 high-pressure $8 million measure would help other cultural organizations besides the ballet like the Theater center. There would be money for a Homeless shelter and senior center.

Phil Gordon:
This is a number of items. It's serving our community Request new libraries, cultural Centering, youth centers. Just opened one up in west Phoenix, state-of-the-art Computer library and also recreational center for other Teens to play in and learn in, To just have a great time. That was built by the last bond campaign. That's what we're talking about this time with more of those. We're also talking about helping those that are physically challenged. The ASA requirements to upgrade our facilities and make sure everyone has access to all the Great equipment. We're expanding our library system. That's so critical. Without a library so many people would be without the ability to get on computers or read books or learn about those issues that they need.

Michael Grant:
Tomorrow we'll continue the Series on the phoenix bond with A look at parts of the program That would help provide Affordable housing and also Storm drain improvements. Is Arizona prepared for Possibly the greatest public Health challenge of our time? Influenza pandemic. It would cause major disruptions for virtually every segment of Society. Arizona department of health services has recently released an updated pandemic readiness plan, that new plan Incorporating strategies recently developed by the U.S. Department of health and human services. Here to talk about it is Will Humble. I'm always so pleased when I get through your title.

Will Humble:
Thanks for the opportunity.

Michael Grant:
Will, how are you?

Will Humble:
Good.

Michael Grant:
We talk about pandemic flu plan. But obviously our most recent and I suppose the most feared would be bird flu, if it translates -- if it crosses into human flu.

Will Humble:
Right. I mean, that's sort of the sense of urgency that we're sort of Feeling in public health is that If this virus that everyone is Calling the bird flu becomes a virus that can transmit from person-to-person, that would mark sort of the beginning or at least the potential of the beginning for a flu pandemic. So that's really the sense of urgency that we're feeling and part of the reason why we're stepping up our plans here in Arizona and also nationally to get folks ready in case it does happen. It may not and we hope it doesn't. But we need to be ready.

Michael Grant:
Didn't I hear recently that cases of bird flu in birds, I would quickly add, had reached Europe?

Will Humble:
Yes. Southern Europe and Italy and then also shortly tight within the next couple of Days we heard of some birds in Nigeria, in West Africa, same Thing. H. 5 n 1 virus. Not in people.

Michael Grant:
Yes. We keep sitting around Waiting, fearing the next shoe to drop. I guess the first time I got into this subject I wasn't aware But actually the health community has been keeping an eye on this for quite some time.

Will Humble:
Oh, I mean, this is a big deal for anybody who's in healthcare, for example hospitals and community health centers. Folks know about what a flu pandemic could do. And they've been getting their plans ready. And of their minds that this could be potentially a big deal that they would have to contend with. But what you're starting to see throughout society is folks throughout society in schools and so forth and businesses are starting to realize that a flu Pandemic could really effect their business, their school, their church, their community. So what we really have been pushing and the feds have been doing as well is to really drive pandemic, influenza planning deeper into the community.

Michael Grant:
Is that sort of the key update aspect of the Arizona pandemic plan? Because first version was crafted what, about 5 years ago or so?

Will Humble:
Yes. The first version was in 2000. And really the big leap forward that we took recently was right after the federal government health and human services releases their federal plan. We started looking at that and actually formed our work groups at the department of health services shortly thereafter and really started crafting our state plan to sort of fold into the federal plan. Because the federal plan is really very comprehensive I've and Impressive document. We really found that to be a big help in improving our Arizona plan.

Michael Grant:
All right. Now, how do schools, business, community organizations, I mean, I'm having a little trouble figuring out -- I can certainly understand how they would be affected by all this would be affected.

Will Humble:
Right.

Michael Grant:
But how do they roll into the plan?

Will Humble:
Well, I think the best place for them to start is on our Website at azdhs.org. We've got a series of checklists that they can go through. If you're a business, for example, there's a checklist that you can go through and find out where you are in your pandemic readiness and figure out what areas that you need to improve on. And they're simple things.

Michael Grant:
Give me some examples.

Will Humble:
Do you have a telecommuting program set up right now ready to go so that when folks, if they had to stay home with their sick kids, would you be able to continue your business? Would you be able to have key people that are cross-trained so that if you've got somebody who's a key person In accounting that you can't miss, you've got to have them on board, have you done your cross training so that if that person's home sick taking care of their kids is there somebody else who can fill in? If you're a big business, a lot of folks would be out at home taking care of sick kids or under home -- voluntary home quarantine that wouldn't be able to come into work. Well, do you have the ability to do an onsite child care center so that you could bring your folks to work, they could still watch their kids while they're at work and it wouldn't be a barrier for them to come into work. So, there's a lot of simple, easy to do things that improve your readiness for a pandemic Influenza that help you every Year during seasonal influenza or merge emergencies.

Michael Grant:
We had seen a spike just about six weeks ago or so in the normal flu in Arizona.

Will Humble:
Right.

Michael Grant:
Incidentally, has that ramped down?

Will Humble:
We call that seasonal flew in our business. That is really dropping pretty dramatically here in Arizona. At the same time that this seasonal influenza is falling we're starting to see sort of a peak in what we call our RSV season, which is a childhood virus pretty cake dangerous to Newborns. At the same time that the Regular flu is dropping we're starting to see a rise in RSVP.

Michael Grant:
Good advice?

Will Humble:
If out you've got a newborn or kid 6 months of age it's a good time to keep them home at least for a few weeks because we're seeing a peak in RSV. It's dangerous for little kids.

Michael Grant:
There are a couple reported cases of the Hanta virus close to home.

Will Humble:
In northwest Maricopa County We had a case of this virus. The gentleman died, unfortunately. It can be a serious disease. It had be a disease that we had normally associated with the North Country. We had an outbreak in the early 19 90's up on the Navajo Reservation. We are starting to see it at lower elevations. One of the reasons I think is it sort of ties into the drought. Because there was a lot of baby mice born last year. And without any rainfall at all in the last 100 or so days there's really not a whole lot to eat. So those deer mice are looking for a meal in people's houses. So it's important to look out for that.

Michael Grant:
Okay. And Hanta virus, there's really not much you can do if you contract it, right?

Will Humble:
Well, once you have symptoms. So the key is prevention. Which means when you're sweeping out your garage and you see mouse droppings be very careful, spray bleach water, don't create a lot of dust. Basically just be careful. I should also point out, incidentally, that roof rats which are common throughout the Valley now do not carry this virus. Roof rats are something that you don't have to worry about for this virus. Just a nuisance.

Michael Grant:
All right. Will Humble, thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate the information. Incidentally for more Information on the state's pandemic flu plan you can go to www.azdhs.org or you can link to that website from our website. To do that you can go to www.azpbs.org. You can also get transcripts of Horizon as well as information on upcoming shows.

Producer:
At Arizona continues to cope with the longest dry spell in recorded history; northern region emergency crews have already started combating forest brush fires. What does this mean for the state in terms of long-term effects, cost and man power? We will answer these questions Wednesday at 7 on Horizon.

Michael Grant:
Of course on Friday we'll have the journalist roundtable edition where we will recap the week's news events. Thank you very much for joining us on this Valentine's Day and statehood day. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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