Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

May 8, 2007


Host: Matthew Whitaker

Arizona Stories Apache Trail


  • It's a rough stretch of Arizona road that has enough mystique to draw in tourists from all over the world. Learn more about the Apache Trail and how it was built.
Guests:
  • Chris Brady - City manager, City of Mesa
  • Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh - Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders


View Transcript
Matthew Whitaker:
Tonight on "Horizon," Dial-A-Ride and Saturday Transit Services could be in jeopardy because of the budget gap. We look at what the city is considering. And we talk with Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. And we gaze back at a rough stretch of Arizona road that draws tourists from all over the world. The Apache Trail. Those stories next on "Horizon." Good evening. I'm Matthew Whitaker. Welcome to "Horizon." Certain bus and Dial-A-Ride services in the city of Mesa could be nearing a halt. Mesa's mayor is warning that transit system is headed for a shut down unless ridership is restricted. Contributing to the cost of Dial-A-Ride, Mesa pays for the service for people living in neighboring cities and county islands. In a moment I'll talk with Mesa city manager about the city budget and whether there are alternatives for balancing that budget. First Merry Lucero spoke with one Dial-A-Ride rider who is worried about losing the service.

[Singing]

Merry Lucero:
Enjoying some music at the east valley senior center is one thing Connie Ryan does in her busy life. She works part-time it Tempe and volunteers in other locations. She's blind. While always a user of public transit primarily uses Dial-A-Ride to get around.

Connie Ryan:
For instance I have what they call a subscription, which is the same call every week to take me to work. So I go three days a week to work. They pick me up and bring me home from work. Coming here, I just call them a few days ahead to come and bring me here. From here I go shopping, and from shopping I go home.

Merry Lucero:
Dial-A-Ride costs $2 each way for people who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For Ryan the service is a safe, affordable mode of public transit, but she particularly values how it helps her to be independent.

Connie Ryan:
I have never been one to depend on other people too much. We all have to sometimes. There's always good neighbors and friends who will help, but I would like to be able to come here when I want to come here and, you know, go if I want to go to church on Saturday afternoon be able to do it. I would not like that one bit it was cut.

Merry Lucero:
But Dial-A-Ride and all Saturday Transit Services in Mesa are in danger of being cut. The city is in a budget crunch and because federal law says Dial-A-Ride must be offered near city bus routes. The city council says that it could be cut to save costs.

Connie Ryan:
I'm going to hope that it doesn't happen. We're going to do all that we can to persuade the city council that transportation is a necessity like food, clothing and shelter is. And that you can't just be cutting people's transportation. People need to get where they need to get.

Merry Lucero:
Ryan works with the National Federation of the Blind and is active in the local blind community. She says many people in the East Valley depend on Dial-A-Ride.

Connie Ryan:
If anything happens with Dial-A-Ride on Saturdays in Mesa, we have of the national federation of the blind east valley chapter some of us won't be able to get to meetings because they would come by bus or by Dial-A-Ride. If there was neither, nobody would be able to get there. We would have to depend on somebody to bring us.

Merry Lucero:
A year from now funding for transit from Proposition 400 will solve the problem. In the meantime, the Mesa City Council could rework the budget to keep Dial-A-Ride and Saturday Transit operating or pull both services all together, leaving users like Connie Ryan waiting for options to get around.

Matthew Whitaker:
Joining me now to talk about the Mesa city budget is city manager Chris Brady. Thank you for joining us on "Horizon" this evening.

Chris Brady:
You bet.

Matthew Whitaker:
Before we get to the specifics of the over all budget plan, can you tell us where the budget process is right now?

Chris Brady:
Actually, we're right in the middle of the budget process. The city manager is responsible for rolling out a proposed budget which will happen this week. So we're very on the brink of very important decisions on the budget.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you speak to anticipated shortfalls in the budget?

Chris Brady:
The reality is that Mesa made a significant amount of cuts last year, and we have been able to put the position of the budget really our forecasts are hitting right on target. Revenues are coming in as projected. We don't have a whole lot of unforeseen expenditures except maybe in transit. From a budgetary standpoint, while it's a limited budget, we're able to make a lot of -- continue to provide the services we have committed to since last year.

Matthew Whitaker:
But still there are tough choices to be made.

Chris Brady:
The point is the city of Mesa budget is very limited compared to other cities because we have had to make a lot of cuts. We don't provide the same level services most other cities do in the area.

Matthew Whitaker:
Is there a preliminary draft of the budget yet?

Chris Brady:
The preliminary budget is due out to the council on May 10. That will be rolled out even though we have already started discussions with the different departments. By June, the council will then be making the final decisions for the budget, which will go into effect July 1.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. Now, the Saturday Transit and the Dial-A-Ride, those are service that a lot of citizens have come to depend on. Why cut those?

Chris Brady:
Well, absolutely those are very important. We recognize that. How many people depend upon that? This all began over a year ago when the city began to look at ways to begin reducing services across the board. We reduced services for senior dial-a-ride, many of those seniors moved into the A.D.A. Dial-A-Ride. That was unanticipated. A significant amount of seniors decided to get qualified under A.D.A., and that has created about a million and a half dollar shortfall or over-expense in that area. We're trying to find a way at least for the next year to bridge the gap in funding. If we can bridge it for one year we have dollars coming in from Prop 400, regional dollars, to help offset that cost. We're talking about a one-year period where we're having to make tough decisions about whether or not we will provide transit services on Saturday.

Matthew Whitaker:
The sort of large shift to A.D.A., do you have any idea as to why that happened?

Chris Brady:
Well, it was probably more than we expected. We did not believe all the seniors that were using senior dial-a-ride would qualify. There is not a very rigorous or certification process currently in place today to determine whether someone is really A.D.A eligible.

Matthew Whittaker:
The city of Mesa has no property tax. Is a property tax a possibility?

Chris Brady:
Well, we certainly are talking about that only in the perspective of supporting bonds. New bonds. The council has made a commitment if we build any new fire stations, police facilities or streets, those projects will have to be supported by a secondary property tax. First we would have to go to the voters for that proposition.

Matthew Whitaker:
Are sales taxes down?

Chris Brady:
Sales tax based on the forecasts that we have had in the past are hitting right where we have anticipated it. It's just right on target with where we are. We would like it to be more, but it's within our forecast model.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. Are there any anticipated reductions of employees?

Chris Brady:
No, not this year. We actually will continue to add a few more police officers and continue to replace most significantly those employees in the public safety that will be retiring. We'll be able to do that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Are there any other services that may be cut that citizens may notice that they have come to depend on?

Chris Brady:
There will not -- we're not proposing any new cuts this year. We're maintaining the cuts that took place last year.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay, and in terms of public hearings, are there any public hearings on transit?

Chris Brady:
Absolutely. The council will be making preliminary discussions about whether to go forward with public hearings. That decision will be made May 21. They will decide whether or not to move forward with public hearings in the future which will take place in June and July.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. There are a number of people concerned about possible cuts to police force. Any planned cuts?

Chris Brady:
Absolutely not. Public safety, fire and police are our number one priority. We'll be adding significant resources into those areas in the coming budget.

Matthew Whitaker:
I'm sure people will be happy to hear about that. Thank you for joining us.

Chris Brady:
Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
Autism is a disorder that remains enigmatic in many respects. Impaired social behavior, restricted communication and repetitive or hyper focused interest in activities are some of the systems. There's no known cure, but experts on the neurodevelopmental disorder say early intervention can be the key effective treatment. That treatment is the focus of a three-year state funded pilot program now in Arizona. It's the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Merry Lucero sat down with the founder's director dr. Doreen Granpeesheh.


Merry Lucero:
Thanks for joining me. How did you get involved in the treatment and study of autism?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
When I entered the U.C.L.A. program one of the earliest ways to get clinical experience there was a clinic for children with autism called the Austin project. Really, I would say it was the first child that I worked with, a little boy named Cory. He just -- he astonished me. He was pretty severely affected, but he had this incredible memory, and he -- I would take him to my house. The next two months later I would take him to my house and he would remember so many things, oh, the roof has changed or you changed the color of the walls! He had an incredible memory. So I really became intrigued and-this is back in the '70's --really, started to realize that these children are -- this is a completely misunderstood disorder. In those days people thought there's a high correlation with mental retardation. I spent years and years saying these kids are not mentally retarded. These kids are incredibly intelligent. We're testing them with verbal I.Q. tests. That's why they are not scoring well. They are just locked in there. I guess that was the fascination for me most of all, as well as just being able to see how we affect parents' lives, the whole family system. You have children; anyone who has children will know that they are the dearest things in your lives. Nothing else really matters once you have children. To have a child who is developing well and then to lose your child and see your child regress, for us to come in and be able to transform that situation back and gradually reverse and help the child become functional again, we're very blessed to be doing what we do. It's an incredible opportunity for us.

Merry Lucero:
Card is not a new organization. You're new to Phoenix, but not at all new. Give me a little background on the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and other cities where you are located.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
I founded the center for autism and related services, Card, in 1990. The first location was in Los Angeles. Since then, we have opened I believe Phoenix is the 19th location. So we now have nine centers in California, two in New York, one in Texas, one in South Carolina, one in Virginia, and now in Arizona as well as one in Auckland, New Zealand, one in Sydney, Australia, and London, England. We're right now focusing on opening in Chicago, Illinois.

Merry Lucero:
What is different about Card and how card goes about the study and treatment of autism?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
The type of therapy we do is called A.B.A., or Applied Behavior Analysis. Because we have been doing this with children with autism, it can be applied to many different things, but we have been using it for children with autism back until I started in 1978. So for a very long time. So we have sort of detailed and perfected the application of A.B.A. for children with autism. What's unique about Card is that we have developed a very intensive, detailed assessment tool that allows us to establish with each child what specific deficits they have, what specific strengths they have, and then we apply that, that knowledge, to a curriculum. We have a very extensive curriculum for teaching skills in the areas of language and social skills and cognitive skills and executive functioning, planning, social skills, areas that are very pertinent to autism. Our expertise is very specialized to just autism. There are many providers all over the United States, but I guess we're well known because of our curriculum and our assessment and our expertise with children on the higher functioning area of autism as well as our programs. We have two programs. Our second program goes for children past the age of 10 to adulthood.

Merry Lucero:
But you also focus on early intervention.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Yes.

Merry Lucero:
Why is it so important to focus on early intervention?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Back in 1987, when I was at UCLA, the first major study on autism and A.B.A. was published with Evar Lopez. I worked on that study. The study showed if you do intensive A.B.A., so 40 hours a week of this type of therapy with children who are diagnosed with autism, 47 percent of the children that we had recovered, and this was crassed to other types of therapy and lower intensity. In those two control groups where there was lower intensity or different type of therapy only 2 percent of children recovered. So this is a very significant study. Since then there have been maybe 200 replication that A.B.A. is very effective. This study showed, though, that it's important to try to get children as early as possible. We start children before 2 now, actually, and if you do this type of intensive therapy, you have a very good chance of turning children around, teaching them the skills they need so by the time they are five or six they can be mainstreamed, they can have normal cognition, I.Q. skills, normal language. They can be taught to interact appropriately and be mainstreamed into the normal world and lead very healthy lives.

Merry Lucero:
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, thank you for joining me.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Thank you very much. Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
Assessment, treatment and report writing services at card are provided on a flat hourly rate. For more information about Card, go to their website, thecenterforautism.com. Their phone number is 602-325-2485. Since autism encompasses educational delays as well as behavioral disabilities parents may be able to get partial funding for the card program. They can get it from their school districts for educational needs and partial funding from ACCESS for behavioral needs. Its allure is almost mystical. Every year thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Apache Trail, a 40 mile stretch of road. The winding, twisting, mostly unpaved road provides riders an up close look at the Sonoran Desert without leaving their cars. It was the advent of the car that made the trail popular. We get the story from Michael Sauceda and our videographer, Richard Torruellas.

Mike Sauceda:
Miles and miles of high Sonoran Desert northeast of Phoenix accessible by a road noted around the world. The beauty was noted by President Theodore Roosevelt. He said, the trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon
and adds an indefinable something that none of the others have to meet, is most awe-inspiring and sublimely beautiful. The Apache Trail runs 41.5 miles from apache junction to Roosevelt Dam. The creation of the road we know as the Apache Trail started with a dream to control the Salt River. In 1903, construction of Roosevelt Dam began and a road was needed to haul material to the site. It took two years to complete the additional path from the Salt River Valley through the Superstition Mountains to the slowly rising dam. Merchants in the Valley foresaw a potentially economic watershed.

Michael Sullivan (Tonto National Forest Archeologist):
A precursor for the project located the dam site. Found a good place for that. Also get irrigation water down to the valley. But what they lacked was a way to get from the valley up to the dam. At that time the way into the basin where the dam was located was out of globe. But that wouldn't do folks in Salt River valley any good. Those were the ones that were championing the project, so they wanted to be able to get the contracts to bring stuff up. They managed to get the road put in so they could have those contracts.

Mike Sauceda:
This abandoned section of the Apache Trail looks much as it did over 100 years ago. Michael Sullivan, an archeologist for the Tonto National Forest, as they try to improve the roads, says some sections of the trail follow paths used by Apache Indians before European arrival, but that's not why it's named the Apache Trail.

Michael Sullivan:
There are parts of it that we're pretty certain were used as apache trails, but the bulk of the trail, the Apache Trail as we know it today, was an engineered road put in in 1903, 1905, and the name came from later period in the late teens or late 20's when Southern Pacific started to bring tourists out here. They would bring tourists on their trains into globe and unload them on to wagons and take them around to visit Roosevelt Dam, which at the time was a huge engineering marvel. People came from everywhere to see it. Then they would come back down the trail through what we call the apache trail today and get back on the train in Mesa. To highlight it, one of the people that -- southern pacific came up with the name Apache Trail. Originally it was
the Mesa Roosevelt Road-not a real sexy name to sell people on.

Mike Sauceda:
Those who built the road are long gone. But Eva Tulene Watt's father and brothers worked on widening the road from 1919 t o1923. Her family camped along the Apache Trail during that time. Her younger brother sold water to workers and her mother cooked for them. She recalled the technique used by workers to widen the road, which was similar to the way it was built.

Eva Tulene Watt:
They used to clear the road how far this way and this way. Then start scraping it off. Put a wall, then they had to work on the road part. That's the way they used to clear it up with shovel and a pick. That's all they used.

Mike Sauceda:
Watt, who recalled her memories in a book about her life called Don't Let The Sun Step Over You, talked about the time when it was raining rocks.

Eva Tulene Watt:
We used to run every time they started blasting the road. They were right on top of us. There was a big boulder sitting way over on the side. We used to go close to that one, set behind it and all the rocks are all over our head.

Mike Sauceda:
Since the time when she lived on the trail much has changed. About one-third was paved in the 50's and 60's, but that stopped after public outcry. In the past the trail has been moved, at one point requiring a barge to take the entire trip when a portion that went through what is now Apache Lake was flooded.

Michael Sullivan:
Along the way if think there's two or three major changes. One is over a mile long. The other ones are much less than that. So while there have been these changes, by and large it's on the same route it was. You're pretty much on the road that was there from 1905.

Mike Sauceda:
The trail was built at a time when America was beginning its love affair with the car. But it was not built for the car.

Michael Sullivan:
It kind of represents that transition from the old wagon era to the automobile era. Clearly the automobile era won over on this thing. It's famous as an automobile road. Even in 1905 it already was. The potential was seen in 1905. The first car went up in 1908 all the way.

Mike Sauceda:
It was never meant to last. It may have allowed Americans mobility they never had before, perfect for a drive-through desert.

Michael Sullivan:
I used to think they loved the history, but they really don't. They come for the environment, the interaction with the desert. The road passes through two wilderness areas on either side. There's not a lot of stuff out here. It's where the desert - there's no shoulders on the road so desert is right up to the shoulder of the road. It's curvy. People get a sense of being in the country here in the desert. For many this is probably the only place they can get out and really touch the desert.

Mike Sauceda:
The road lives on even as reminders of the past like this old barrel hoop rusts its way back to nature. The highlights of the road also live on, the lakes, vistas, lost Dutchman, Superstition Mountains, the exhilarating drives along one of America's most famous roads, the Apache Trail.

Matthew Whitaker:
We will be featuring Arizona Stories segments each Tuesday night here on Horizon. Starting June 12, you can see the new series of the half hour program "Arizona Stories"
every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.


David Majure:
Combining elementary school districts with high school districts to form unified districts. Proponents say it will save money and improve education but not everyone agrees. We'll talk about plans to unify many of Arizona's 227 school districts Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Thanks for joining us this Tuesday evening on "Horizon." Be sure to join us this Friday for the Journalists' Roundtable. I'm Matthew Whitaker. Good night.

Autism


  • We talk with Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders about the study and treatment of autism.
Guests:
  • Chris Brady - City manager, City of Mesa
  • Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh - Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders
Category: Medical/Health

View Transcript
Matthew Whitaker:
Tonight on "Horizon," Dial-A-Ride and Saturday Transit Services could be in jeopardy because of the budget gap. We look at what the city is considering. And we talk with Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. And we gaze back at a rough stretch of Arizona road that draws tourists from all over the world. The Apache Trail. Those stories next on "Horizon." Good evening. I'm Matthew Whitaker. Welcome to "Horizon." Certain bus and Dial-A-Ride services in the city of Mesa could be nearing a halt. Mesa's mayor is warning that transit system is headed for a shut down unless ridership is restricted. Contributing to the cost of Dial-A-Ride, Mesa pays for the service for people living in neighboring cities and county islands. In a moment I'll talk with Mesa city manager about the city budget and whether there are alternatives for balancing that budget. First Merry Lucero spoke with one Dial-A-Ride rider who is worried about losing the service.

[Singing]

Merry Lucero:
Enjoying some music at the east valley senior center is one thing Connie Ryan does in her busy life. She works part-time it Tempe and volunteers in other locations. She's blind. While always a user of public transit primarily uses Dial-A-Ride to get around.

Connie Ryan:
For instance I have what they call a subscription, which is the same call every week to take me to work. So I go three days a week to work. They pick me up and bring me home from work. Coming here, I just call them a few days ahead to come and bring me here. From here I go shopping, and from shopping I go home.

Merry Lucero:
Dial-A-Ride costs $2 each way for people who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For Ryan the service is a safe, affordable mode of public transit, but she particularly values how it helps her to be independent.

Connie Ryan:
I have never been one to depend on other people too much. We all have to sometimes. There's always good neighbors and friends who will help, but I would like to be able to come here when I want to come here and, you know, go if I want to go to church on Saturday afternoon be able to do it. I would not like that one bit it was cut.

Merry Lucero:
But Dial-A-Ride and all Saturday Transit Services in Mesa are in danger of being cut. The city is in a budget crunch and because federal law says Dial-A-Ride must be offered near city bus routes. The city council says that it could be cut to save costs.

Connie Ryan:
I'm going to hope that it doesn't happen. We're going to do all that we can to persuade the city council that transportation is a necessity like food, clothing and shelter is. And that you can't just be cutting people's transportation. People need to get where they need to get.

Merry Lucero:
Ryan works with the National Federation of the Blind and is active in the local blind community. She says many people in the East Valley depend on Dial-A-Ride.

Connie Ryan:
If anything happens with Dial-A-Ride on Saturdays in Mesa, we have of the national federation of the blind east valley chapter some of us won't be able to get to meetings because they would come by bus or by Dial-A-Ride. If there was neither, nobody would be able to get there. We would have to depend on somebody to bring us.

Merry Lucero:
A year from now funding for transit from Proposition 400 will solve the problem. In the meantime, the Mesa City Council could rework the budget to keep Dial-A-Ride and Saturday Transit operating or pull both services all together, leaving users like Connie Ryan waiting for options to get around.

Matthew Whitaker:
Joining me now to talk about the Mesa city budget is city manager Chris Brady. Thank you for joining us on "Horizon" this evening.

Chris Brady:
You bet.

Matthew Whitaker:
Before we get to the specifics of the over all budget plan, can you tell us where the budget process is right now?

Chris Brady:
Actually, we're right in the middle of the budget process. The city manager is responsible for rolling out a proposed budget which will happen this week. So we're very on the brink of very important decisions on the budget.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you speak to anticipated shortfalls in the budget?

Chris Brady:
The reality is that Mesa made a significant amount of cuts last year, and we have been able to put the position of the budget really our forecasts are hitting right on target. Revenues are coming in as projected. We don't have a whole lot of unforeseen expenditures except maybe in transit. From a budgetary standpoint, while it's a limited budget, we're able to make a lot of -- continue to provide the services we have committed to since last year.

Matthew Whitaker:
But still there are tough choices to be made.

Chris Brady:
The point is the city of Mesa budget is very limited compared to other cities because we have had to make a lot of cuts. We don't provide the same level services most other cities do in the area.

Matthew Whitaker:
Is there a preliminary draft of the budget yet?

Chris Brady:
The preliminary budget is due out to the council on May 10. That will be rolled out even though we have already started discussions with the different departments. By June, the council will then be making the final decisions for the budget, which will go into effect July 1.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. Now, the Saturday Transit and the Dial-A-Ride, those are service that a lot of citizens have come to depend on. Why cut those?

Chris Brady:
Well, absolutely those are very important. We recognize that. How many people depend upon that? This all began over a year ago when the city began to look at ways to begin reducing services across the board. We reduced services for senior dial-a-ride, many of those seniors moved into the A.D.A. Dial-A-Ride. That was unanticipated. A significant amount of seniors decided to get qualified under A.D.A., and that has created about a million and a half dollar shortfall or over-expense in that area. We're trying to find a way at least for the next year to bridge the gap in funding. If we can bridge it for one year we have dollars coming in from Prop 400, regional dollars, to help offset that cost. We're talking about a one-year period where we're having to make tough decisions about whether or not we will provide transit services on Saturday.

Matthew Whitaker:
The sort of large shift to A.D.A., do you have any idea as to why that happened?

Chris Brady:
Well, it was probably more than we expected. We did not believe all the seniors that were using senior dial-a-ride would qualify. There is not a very rigorous or certification process currently in place today to determine whether someone is really A.D.A eligible.

Matthew Whittaker:
The city of Mesa has no property tax. Is a property tax a possibility?

Chris Brady:
Well, we certainly are talking about that only in the perspective of supporting bonds. New bonds. The council has made a commitment if we build any new fire stations, police facilities or streets, those projects will have to be supported by a secondary property tax. First we would have to go to the voters for that proposition.

Matthew Whitaker:
Are sales taxes down?

Chris Brady:
Sales tax based on the forecasts that we have had in the past are hitting right where we have anticipated it. It's just right on target with where we are. We would like it to be more, but it's within our forecast model.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. Are there any anticipated reductions of employees?

Chris Brady:
No, not this year. We actually will continue to add a few more police officers and continue to replace most significantly those employees in the public safety that will be retiring. We'll be able to do that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Are there any other services that may be cut that citizens may notice that they have come to depend on?

Chris Brady:
There will not -- we're not proposing any new cuts this year. We're maintaining the cuts that took place last year.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay, and in terms of public hearings, are there any public hearings on transit?

Chris Brady:
Absolutely. The council will be making preliminary discussions about whether to go forward with public hearings. That decision will be made May 21. They will decide whether or not to move forward with public hearings in the future which will take place in June and July.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. There are a number of people concerned about possible cuts to police force. Any planned cuts?

Chris Brady:
Absolutely not. Public safety, fire and police are our number one priority. We'll be adding significant resources into those areas in the coming budget.

Matthew Whitaker:
I'm sure people will be happy to hear about that. Thank you for joining us.

Chris Brady:
Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
Autism is a disorder that remains enigmatic in many respects. Impaired social behavior, restricted communication and repetitive or hyper focused interest in activities are some of the systems. There's no known cure, but experts on the neurodevelopmental disorder say early intervention can be the key effective treatment. That treatment is the focus of a three-year state funded pilot program now in Arizona. It's the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Merry Lucero sat down with the founder's director dr. Doreen Granpeesheh.


Merry Lucero:
Thanks for joining me. How did you get involved in the treatment and study of autism?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
When I entered the U.C.L.A. program one of the earliest ways to get clinical experience there was a clinic for children with autism called the Austin project. Really, I would say it was the first child that I worked with, a little boy named Cory. He just -- he astonished me. He was pretty severely affected, but he had this incredible memory, and he -- I would take him to my house. The next two months later I would take him to my house and he would remember so many things, oh, the roof has changed or you changed the color of the walls! He had an incredible memory. So I really became intrigued and-this is back in the '70's --really, started to realize that these children are -- this is a completely misunderstood disorder. In those days people thought there's a high correlation with mental retardation. I spent years and years saying these kids are not mentally retarded. These kids are incredibly intelligent. We're testing them with verbal I.Q. tests. That's why they are not scoring well. They are just locked in there. I guess that was the fascination for me most of all, as well as just being able to see how we affect parents' lives, the whole family system. You have children; anyone who has children will know that they are the dearest things in your lives. Nothing else really matters once you have children. To have a child who is developing well and then to lose your child and see your child regress, for us to come in and be able to transform that situation back and gradually reverse and help the child become functional again, we're very blessed to be doing what we do. It's an incredible opportunity for us.

Merry Lucero:
Card is not a new organization. You're new to Phoenix, but not at all new. Give me a little background on the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and other cities where you are located.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
I founded the center for autism and related services, Card, in 1990. The first location was in Los Angeles. Since then, we have opened I believe Phoenix is the 19th location. So we now have nine centers in California, two in New York, one in Texas, one in South Carolina, one in Virginia, and now in Arizona as well as one in Auckland, New Zealand, one in Sydney, Australia, and London, England. We're right now focusing on opening in Chicago, Illinois.

Merry Lucero:
What is different about Card and how card goes about the study and treatment of autism?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
The type of therapy we do is called A.B.A., or Applied Behavior Analysis. Because we have been doing this with children with autism, it can be applied to many different things, but we have been using it for children with autism back until I started in 1978. So for a very long time. So we have sort of detailed and perfected the application of A.B.A. for children with autism. What's unique about Card is that we have developed a very intensive, detailed assessment tool that allows us to establish with each child what specific deficits they have, what specific strengths they have, and then we apply that, that knowledge, to a curriculum. We have a very extensive curriculum for teaching skills in the areas of language and social skills and cognitive skills and executive functioning, planning, social skills, areas that are very pertinent to autism. Our expertise is very specialized to just autism. There are many providers all over the United States, but I guess we're well known because of our curriculum and our assessment and our expertise with children on the higher functioning area of autism as well as our programs. We have two programs. Our second program goes for children past the age of 10 to adulthood.

Merry Lucero:
But you also focus on early intervention.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Yes.

Merry Lucero:
Why is it so important to focus on early intervention?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Back in 1987, when I was at UCLA, the first major study on autism and A.B.A. was published with Evar Lopez. I worked on that study. The study showed if you do intensive A.B.A., so 40 hours a week of this type of therapy with children who are diagnosed with autism, 47 percent of the children that we had recovered, and this was crassed to other types of therapy and lower intensity. In those two control groups where there was lower intensity or different type of therapy only 2 percent of children recovered. So this is a very significant study. Since then there have been maybe 200 replication that A.B.A. is very effective. This study showed, though, that it's important to try to get children as early as possible. We start children before 2 now, actually, and if you do this type of intensive therapy, you have a very good chance of turning children around, teaching them the skills they need so by the time they are five or six they can be mainstreamed, they can have normal cognition, I.Q. skills, normal language. They can be taught to interact appropriately and be mainstreamed into the normal world and lead very healthy lives.

Merry Lucero:
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, thank you for joining me.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Thank you very much. Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
Assessment, treatment and report writing services at card are provided on a flat hourly rate. For more information about Card, go to their website, thecenterforautism.com. Their phone number is 602-325-2485. Since autism encompasses educational delays as well as behavioral disabilities parents may be able to get partial funding for the card program. They can get it from their school districts for educational needs and partial funding from ACCESS for behavioral needs. Its allure is almost mystical. Every year thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Apache Trail, a 40 mile stretch of road. The winding, twisting, mostly unpaved road provides riders an up close look at the Sonoran Desert without leaving their cars. It was the advent of the car that made the trail popular. We get the story from Michael Sauceda and our videographer, Richard Torruellas.

Mike Sauceda:
Miles and miles of high Sonoran Desert northeast of Phoenix accessible by a road noted around the world. The beauty was noted by President Theodore Roosevelt. He said, the trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon
and adds an indefinable something that none of the others have to meet, is most awe-inspiring and sublimely beautiful. The Apache Trail runs 41.5 miles from apache junction to Roosevelt Dam. The creation of the road we know as the Apache Trail started with a dream to control the Salt River. In 1903, construction of Roosevelt Dam began and a road was needed to haul material to the site. It took two years to complete the additional path from the Salt River Valley through the Superstition Mountains to the slowly rising dam. Merchants in the Valley foresaw a potentially economic watershed.

Michael Sullivan (Tonto National Forest Archeologist):
A precursor for the project located the dam site. Found a good place for that. Also get irrigation water down to the valley. But what they lacked was a way to get from the valley up to the dam. At that time the way into the basin where the dam was located was out of globe. But that wouldn't do folks in Salt River valley any good. Those were the ones that were championing the project, so they wanted to be able to get the contracts to bring stuff up. They managed to get the road put in so they could have those contracts.

Mike Sauceda:
This abandoned section of the Apache Trail looks much as it did over 100 years ago. Michael Sullivan, an archeologist for the Tonto National Forest, as they try to improve the roads, says some sections of the trail follow paths used by Apache Indians before European arrival, but that's not why it's named the Apache Trail.

Michael Sullivan:
There are parts of it that we're pretty certain were used as apache trails, but the bulk of the trail, the Apache Trail as we know it today, was an engineered road put in in 1903, 1905, and the name came from later period in the late teens or late 20's when Southern Pacific started to bring tourists out here. They would bring tourists on their trains into globe and unload them on to wagons and take them around to visit Roosevelt Dam, which at the time was a huge engineering marvel. People came from everywhere to see it. Then they would come back down the trail through what we call the apache trail today and get back on the train in Mesa. To highlight it, one of the people that -- southern pacific came up with the name Apache Trail. Originally it was
the Mesa Roosevelt Road-not a real sexy name to sell people on.

Mike Sauceda:
Those who built the road are long gone. But Eva Tulene Watt's father and brothers worked on widening the road from 1919 t o1923. Her family camped along the Apache Trail during that time. Her younger brother sold water to workers and her mother cooked for them. She recalled the technique used by workers to widen the road, which was similar to the way it was built.

Eva Tulene Watt:
They used to clear the road how far this way and this way. Then start scraping it off. Put a wall, then they had to work on the road part. That's the way they used to clear it up with shovel and a pick. That's all they used.

Mike Sauceda:
Watt, who recalled her memories in a book about her life called Don't Let The Sun Step Over You, talked about the time when it was raining rocks.

Eva Tulene Watt:
We used to run every time they started blasting the road. They were right on top of us. There was a big boulder sitting way over on the side. We used to go close to that one, set behind it and all the rocks are all over our head.

Mike Sauceda:
Since the time when she lived on the trail much has changed. About one-third was paved in the 50's and 60's, but that stopped after public outcry. In the past the trail has been moved, at one point requiring a barge to take the entire trip when a portion that went through what is now Apache Lake was flooded.

Michael Sullivan:
Along the way if think there's two or three major changes. One is over a mile long. The other ones are much less than that. So while there have been these changes, by and large it's on the same route it was. You're pretty much on the road that was there from 1905.

Mike Sauceda:
The trail was built at a time when America was beginning its love affair with the car. But it was not built for the car.

Michael Sullivan:
It kind of represents that transition from the old wagon era to the automobile era. Clearly the automobile era won over on this thing. It's famous as an automobile road. Even in 1905 it already was. The potential was seen in 1905. The first car went up in 1908 all the way.

Mike Sauceda:
It was never meant to last. It may have allowed Americans mobility they never had before, perfect for a drive-through desert.

Michael Sullivan:
I used to think they loved the history, but they really don't. They come for the environment, the interaction with the desert. The road passes through two wilderness areas on either side. There's not a lot of stuff out here. It's where the desert - there's no shoulders on the road so desert is right up to the shoulder of the road. It's curvy. People get a sense of being in the country here in the desert. For many this is probably the only place they can get out and really touch the desert.

Mike Sauceda:
The road lives on even as reminders of the past like this old barrel hoop rusts its way back to nature. The highlights of the road also live on, the lakes, vistas, lost Dutchman, Superstition Mountains, the exhilarating drives along one of America's most famous roads, the Apache Trail.

Matthew Whitaker:
We will be featuring Arizona Stories segments each Tuesday night here on Horizon. Starting June 12, you can see the new series of the half hour program "Arizona Stories"
every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.


David Majure:
Combining elementary school districts with high school districts to form unified districts. Proponents say it will save money and improve education but not everyone agrees. We'll talk about plans to unify many of Arizona's 227 school districts Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Thanks for joining us this Tuesday evening on "Horizon." Be sure to join us this Friday for the Journalists' Roundtable. I'm Matthew Whitaker. Good night.

Mesa Budget


  • Dial-A-Ride and Saturday transit services are in jeopardy of being cut by the City of Mesa because of its budget jam. We look at what the city is considering.
Guests:
  • Chris Brady - City manager, City of Mesa
  • Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh - Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders


View Transcript
Matthew Whitaker:
Tonight on "Horizon," Dial-A-Ride and Saturday Transit Services could be in jeopardy because of the budget gap. We look at what the city is considering. And we talk with Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. And we gaze back at a rough stretch of Arizona road that draws tourists from all over the world. The Apache Trail. Those stories next on "Horizon." Good evening. I'm Matthew Whitaker. Welcome to "Horizon." Certain bus and Dial-A-Ride services in the city of Mesa could be nearing a halt. Mesa's mayor is warning that transit system is headed for a shut down unless ridership is restricted. Contributing to the cost of Dial-A-Ride, Mesa pays for the service for people living in neighboring cities and county islands. In a moment I'll talk with Mesa city manager about the city budget and whether there are alternatives for balancing that budget. First Merry Lucero spoke with one Dial-A-Ride rider who is worried about losing the service.

[Singing]

Merry Lucero:
Enjoying some music at the east valley senior center is one thing Connie Ryan does in her busy life. She works part-time it Tempe and volunteers in other locations. She's blind. While always a user of public transit primarily uses Dial-A-Ride to get around.

Connie Ryan:
For instance I have what they call a subscription, which is the same call every week to take me to work. So I go three days a week to work. They pick me up and bring me home from work. Coming here, I just call them a few days ahead to come and bring me here. From here I go shopping, and from shopping I go home.

Merry Lucero:
Dial-A-Ride costs $2 each way for people who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For Ryan the service is a safe, affordable mode of public transit, but she particularly values how it helps her to be independent.

Connie Ryan:
I have never been one to depend on other people too much. We all have to sometimes. There's always good neighbors and friends who will help, but I would like to be able to come here when I want to come here and, you know, go if I want to go to church on Saturday afternoon be able to do it. I would not like that one bit it was cut.

Merry Lucero:
But Dial-A-Ride and all Saturday Transit Services in Mesa are in danger of being cut. The city is in a budget crunch and because federal law says Dial-A-Ride must be offered near city bus routes. The city council says that it could be cut to save costs.

Connie Ryan:
I'm going to hope that it doesn't happen. We're going to do all that we can to persuade the city council that transportation is a necessity like food, clothing and shelter is. And that you can't just be cutting people's transportation. People need to get where they need to get.

Merry Lucero:
Ryan works with the National Federation of the Blind and is active in the local blind community. She says many people in the East Valley depend on Dial-A-Ride.

Connie Ryan:
If anything happens with Dial-A-Ride on Saturdays in Mesa, we have of the national federation of the blind east valley chapter some of us won't be able to get to meetings because they would come by bus or by Dial-A-Ride. If there was neither, nobody would be able to get there. We would have to depend on somebody to bring us.

Merry Lucero:
A year from now funding for transit from Proposition 400 will solve the problem. In the meantime, the Mesa City Council could rework the budget to keep Dial-A-Ride and Saturday Transit operating or pull both services all together, leaving users like Connie Ryan waiting for options to get around.

Matthew Whitaker:
Joining me now to talk about the Mesa city budget is city manager Chris Brady. Thank you for joining us on "Horizon" this evening.

Chris Brady:
You bet.

Matthew Whitaker:
Before we get to the specifics of the over all budget plan, can you tell us where the budget process is right now?

Chris Brady:
Actually, we're right in the middle of the budget process. The city manager is responsible for rolling out a proposed budget which will happen this week. So we're very on the brink of very important decisions on the budget.

Matthew Whitaker:
Can you speak to anticipated shortfalls in the budget?

Chris Brady:
The reality is that Mesa made a significant amount of cuts last year, and we have been able to put the position of the budget really our forecasts are hitting right on target. Revenues are coming in as projected. We don't have a whole lot of unforeseen expenditures except maybe in transit. From a budgetary standpoint, while it's a limited budget, we're able to make a lot of -- continue to provide the services we have committed to since last year.

Matthew Whitaker:
But still there are tough choices to be made.

Chris Brady:
The point is the city of Mesa budget is very limited compared to other cities because we have had to make a lot of cuts. We don't provide the same level services most other cities do in the area.

Matthew Whitaker:
Is there a preliminary draft of the budget yet?

Chris Brady:
The preliminary budget is due out to the council on May 10. That will be rolled out even though we have already started discussions with the different departments. By June, the council will then be making the final decisions for the budget, which will go into effect July 1.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. Now, the Saturday Transit and the Dial-A-Ride, those are service that a lot of citizens have come to depend on. Why cut those?

Chris Brady:
Well, absolutely those are very important. We recognize that. How many people depend upon that? This all began over a year ago when the city began to look at ways to begin reducing services across the board. We reduced services for senior dial-a-ride, many of those seniors moved into the A.D.A. Dial-A-Ride. That was unanticipated. A significant amount of seniors decided to get qualified under A.D.A., and that has created about a million and a half dollar shortfall or over-expense in that area. We're trying to find a way at least for the next year to bridge the gap in funding. If we can bridge it for one year we have dollars coming in from Prop 400, regional dollars, to help offset that cost. We're talking about a one-year period where we're having to make tough decisions about whether or not we will provide transit services on Saturday.

Matthew Whitaker:
The sort of large shift to A.D.A., do you have any idea as to why that happened?

Chris Brady:
Well, it was probably more than we expected. We did not believe all the seniors that were using senior dial-a-ride would qualify. There is not a very rigorous or certification process currently in place today to determine whether someone is really A.D.A eligible.

Matthew Whittaker:
The city of Mesa has no property tax. Is a property tax a possibility?

Chris Brady:
Well, we certainly are talking about that only in the perspective of supporting bonds. New bonds. The council has made a commitment if we build any new fire stations, police facilities or streets, those projects will have to be supported by a secondary property tax. First we would have to go to the voters for that proposition.

Matthew Whitaker:
Are sales taxes down?

Chris Brady:
Sales tax based on the forecasts that we have had in the past are hitting right where we have anticipated it. It's just right on target with where we are. We would like it to be more, but it's within our forecast model.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. Are there any anticipated reductions of employees?

Chris Brady:
No, not this year. We actually will continue to add a few more police officers and continue to replace most significantly those employees in the public safety that will be retiring. We'll be able to do that.

Matthew Whitaker:
Are there any other services that may be cut that citizens may notice that they have come to depend on?

Chris Brady:
There will not -- we're not proposing any new cuts this year. We're maintaining the cuts that took place last year.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay, and in terms of public hearings, are there any public hearings on transit?

Chris Brady:
Absolutely. The council will be making preliminary discussions about whether to go forward with public hearings. That decision will be made May 21. They will decide whether or not to move forward with public hearings in the future which will take place in June and July.

Matthew Whitaker:
Okay. There are a number of people concerned about possible cuts to police force. Any planned cuts?

Chris Brady:
Absolutely not. Public safety, fire and police are our number one priority. We'll be adding significant resources into those areas in the coming budget.

Matthew Whitaker:
I'm sure people will be happy to hear about that. Thank you for joining us.

Chris Brady:
Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
Autism is a disorder that remains enigmatic in many respects. Impaired social behavior, restricted communication and repetitive or hyper focused interest in activities are some of the systems. There's no known cure, but experts on the neurodevelopmental disorder say early intervention can be the key effective treatment. That treatment is the focus of a three-year state funded pilot program now in Arizona. It's the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Merry Lucero sat down with the founder's director dr. Doreen Granpeesheh.


Merry Lucero:
Thanks for joining me. How did you get involved in the treatment and study of autism?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
When I entered the U.C.L.A. program one of the earliest ways to get clinical experience there was a clinic for children with autism called the Austin project. Really, I would say it was the first child that I worked with, a little boy named Cory. He just -- he astonished me. He was pretty severely affected, but he had this incredible memory, and he -- I would take him to my house. The next two months later I would take him to my house and he would remember so many things, oh, the roof has changed or you changed the color of the walls! He had an incredible memory. So I really became intrigued and-this is back in the '70's --really, started to realize that these children are -- this is a completely misunderstood disorder. In those days people thought there's a high correlation with mental retardation. I spent years and years saying these kids are not mentally retarded. These kids are incredibly intelligent. We're testing them with verbal I.Q. tests. That's why they are not scoring well. They are just locked in there. I guess that was the fascination for me most of all, as well as just being able to see how we affect parents' lives, the whole family system. You have children; anyone who has children will know that they are the dearest things in your lives. Nothing else really matters once you have children. To have a child who is developing well and then to lose your child and see your child regress, for us to come in and be able to transform that situation back and gradually reverse and help the child become functional again, we're very blessed to be doing what we do. It's an incredible opportunity for us.

Merry Lucero:
Card is not a new organization. You're new to Phoenix, but not at all new. Give me a little background on the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and other cities where you are located.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
I founded the center for autism and related services, Card, in 1990. The first location was in Los Angeles. Since then, we have opened I believe Phoenix is the 19th location. So we now have nine centers in California, two in New York, one in Texas, one in South Carolina, one in Virginia, and now in Arizona as well as one in Auckland, New Zealand, one in Sydney, Australia, and London, England. We're right now focusing on opening in Chicago, Illinois.

Merry Lucero:
What is different about Card and how card goes about the study and treatment of autism?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
The type of therapy we do is called A.B.A., or Applied Behavior Analysis. Because we have been doing this with children with autism, it can be applied to many different things, but we have been using it for children with autism back until I started in 1978. So for a very long time. So we have sort of detailed and perfected the application of A.B.A. for children with autism. What's unique about Card is that we have developed a very intensive, detailed assessment tool that allows us to establish with each child what specific deficits they have, what specific strengths they have, and then we apply that, that knowledge, to a curriculum. We have a very extensive curriculum for teaching skills in the areas of language and social skills and cognitive skills and executive functioning, planning, social skills, areas that are very pertinent to autism. Our expertise is very specialized to just autism. There are many providers all over the United States, but I guess we're well known because of our curriculum and our assessment and our expertise with children on the higher functioning area of autism as well as our programs. We have two programs. Our second program goes for children past the age of 10 to adulthood.

Merry Lucero:
But you also focus on early intervention.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Yes.

Merry Lucero:
Why is it so important to focus on early intervention?

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Back in 1987, when I was at UCLA, the first major study on autism and A.B.A. was published with Evar Lopez. I worked on that study. The study showed if you do intensive A.B.A., so 40 hours a week of this type of therapy with children who are diagnosed with autism, 47 percent of the children that we had recovered, and this was crassed to other types of therapy and lower intensity. In those two control groups where there was lower intensity or different type of therapy only 2 percent of children recovered. So this is a very significant study. Since then there have been maybe 200 replication that A.B.A. is very effective. This study showed, though, that it's important to try to get children as early as possible. We start children before 2 now, actually, and if you do this type of intensive therapy, you have a very good chance of turning children around, teaching them the skills they need so by the time they are five or six they can be mainstreamed, they can have normal cognition, I.Q. skills, normal language. They can be taught to interact appropriately and be mainstreamed into the normal world and lead very healthy lives.

Merry Lucero:
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, thank you for joining me.

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh:
Thank you very much. Thank you.

Matthew Whitaker:
Assessment, treatment and report writing services at card are provided on a flat hourly rate. For more information about Card, go to their website, thecenterforautism.com. Their phone number is 602-325-2485. Since autism encompasses educational delays as well as behavioral disabilities parents may be able to get partial funding for the card program. They can get it from their school districts for educational needs and partial funding from ACCESS for behavioral needs. Its allure is almost mystical. Every year thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Apache Trail, a 40 mile stretch of road. The winding, twisting, mostly unpaved road provides riders an up close look at the Sonoran Desert without leaving their cars. It was the advent of the car that made the trail popular. We get the story from Michael Sauceda and our videographer, Richard Torruellas.

Mike Sauceda:
Miles and miles of high Sonoran Desert northeast of Phoenix accessible by a road noted around the world. The beauty was noted by President Theodore Roosevelt. He said, the trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon
and adds an indefinable something that none of the others have to meet, is most awe-inspiring and sublimely beautiful. The Apache Trail runs 41.5 miles from apache junction to Roosevelt Dam. The creation of the road we know as the Apache Trail started with a dream to control the Salt River. In 1903, construction of Roosevelt Dam began and a road was needed to haul material to the site. It took two years to complete the additional path from the Salt River Valley through the Superstition Mountains to the slowly rising dam. Merchants in the Valley foresaw a potentially economic watershed.

Michael Sullivan (Tonto National Forest Archeologist):
A precursor for the project located the dam site. Found a good place for that. Also get irrigation water down to the valley. But what they lacked was a way to get from the valley up to the dam. At that time the way into the basin where the dam was located was out of globe. But that wouldn't do folks in Salt River valley any good. Those were the ones that were championing the project, so they wanted to be able to get the contracts to bring stuff up. They managed to get the road put in so they could have those contracts.

Mike Sauceda:
This abandoned section of the Apache Trail looks much as it did over 100 years ago. Michael Sullivan, an archeologist for the Tonto National Forest, as they try to improve the roads, says some sections of the trail follow paths used by Apache Indians before European arrival, but that's not why it's named the Apache Trail.

Michael Sullivan:
There are parts of it that we're pretty certain were used as apache trails, but the bulk of the trail, the Apache Trail as we know it today, was an engineered road put in in 1903, 1905, and the name came from later period in the late teens or late 20's when Southern Pacific started to bring tourists out here. They would bring tourists on their trains into globe and unload them on to wagons and take them around to visit Roosevelt Dam, which at the time was a huge engineering marvel. People came from everywhere to see it. Then they would come back down the trail through what we call the apache trail today and get back on the train in Mesa. To highlight it, one of the people that -- southern pacific came up with the name Apache Trail. Originally it was
the Mesa Roosevelt Road-not a real sexy name to sell people on.

Mike Sauceda:
Those who built the road are long gone. But Eva Tulene Watt's father and brothers worked on widening the road from 1919 t o1923. Her family camped along the Apache Trail during that time. Her younger brother sold water to workers and her mother cooked for them. She recalled the technique used by workers to widen the road, which was similar to the way it was built.

Eva Tulene Watt:
They used to clear the road how far this way and this way. Then start scraping it off. Put a wall, then they had to work on the road part. That's the way they used to clear it up with shovel and a pick. That's all they used.

Mike Sauceda:
Watt, who recalled her memories in a book about her life called Don't Let The Sun Step Over You, talked about the time when it was raining rocks.

Eva Tulene Watt:
We used to run every time they started blasting the road. They were right on top of us. There was a big boulder sitting way over on the side. We used to go close to that one, set behind it and all the rocks are all over our head.

Mike Sauceda:
Since the time when she lived on the trail much has changed. About one-third was paved in the 50's and 60's, but that stopped after public outcry. In the past the trail has been moved, at one point requiring a barge to take the entire trip when a portion that went through what is now Apache Lake was flooded.

Michael Sullivan:
Along the way if think there's two or three major changes. One is over a mile long. The other ones are much less than that. So while there have been these changes, by and large it's on the same route it was. You're pretty much on the road that was there from 1905.

Mike Sauceda:
The trail was built at a time when America was beginning its love affair with the car. But it was not built for the car.

Michael Sullivan:
It kind of represents that transition from the old wagon era to the automobile era. Clearly the automobile era won over on this thing. It's famous as an automobile road. Even in 1905 it already was. The potential was seen in 1905. The first car went up in 1908 all the way.

Mike Sauceda:
It was never meant to last. It may have allowed Americans mobility they never had before, perfect for a drive-through desert.

Michael Sullivan:
I used to think they loved the history, but they really don't. They come for the environment, the interaction with the desert. The road passes through two wilderness areas on either side. There's not a lot of stuff out here. It's where the desert - there's no shoulders on the road so desert is right up to the shoulder of the road. It's curvy. People get a sense of being in the country here in the desert. For many this is probably the only place they can get out and really touch the desert.

Mike Sauceda:
The road lives on even as reminders of the past like this old barrel hoop rusts its way back to nature. The highlights of the road also live on, the lakes, vistas, lost Dutchman, Superstition Mountains, the exhilarating drives along one of America's most famous roads, the Apache Trail.

Matthew Whitaker:
We will be featuring Arizona Stories segments each Tuesday night here on Horizon. Starting June 12, you can see the new series of the half hour program "Arizona Stories"
every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.


David Majure:
Combining elementary school districts with high school districts to form unified districts. Proponents say it will save money and improve education but not everyone agrees. We'll talk about plans to unify many of Arizona's 227 school districts Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Matthew Whitaker:
Thanks for joining us this Tuesday evening on "Horizon." Be sure to join us this Friday for the Journalists' Roundtable. I'm Matthew Whitaker. Good night.

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