Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

August 19, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

supai Flooding


  • Flash Flooding force the evacuation of the Supai Village on the Havasupai reservation near the Grand Canyon over the weekend. Judy Kioski, Public Information Officer of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management, updates us on the situation.
Guests:
  • Judy Kioski - Arizona Division of Emergency Management
  • Dr. Tara Blanc - Associate Director, Cronkite-Eight poll
  • Dennis Doby - Arizona Department of Commerce


View Transcript
Ted Simons:
>>> Tonight on "horizon" flash flooding caused evacuations in a remote area of the Grand Canyon and a popular camping area there.

Ted Simons:
>>> Plus, who are Arizonans likely to vote for in the presidential election? Find out, in our latest Cronkite-Eight Poll.

Ted Simons:
>>> And the jobless rate is at its highest in years. But as some employment sectors are losing jobs, others are on the rise. Those stories coming up next on "Horizon".

Ted Simons:
>>> Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. I'm Ted Simons. Severe thunderstorms and heavy rains in northern Arizona on the weekend caused a flash flood in a remote area of the Grand Canyon. Dozens of tourists and residents were evacuated from Supai, a Havasupai village west of the Grand Canyon national park. State, county and federal agencies coordinated in the effort to rescue people who had been caught in the flooded canyon area. Joining me now with more on what took place and being prepared for an event like this is Judy Kioski with the Arizona division of emergency management. Good to have you on the program. Thanks for joining us. Where did this happen?

Judy Kioski:
>> As you mentioned it is in northern Arizona close to the Grand Canyon. What I think is interesting is over a two-day period there were excessive monsoon periods that caused excessive flooding in the watershed. The watershed is a plateau above the canyon that has a many tributaries that acts like a funnel. The water that goes to the tributaries is funneled down to the canyon floor where the creek is. The creek becomes overloaded with the water that triggers the flash flooding that occurred in the Supai village and the Supai campground.

Ted Simons:
>> The flash flooding story is, there's sun ahead how come a water of wall comes down?

Judy Kioski:
>> Exactly. You talk about other canyons it's very common. You think I'm really not going to be impacted. When you are out in the areas, maybe the creek is not running very fast. You have to be aware of the kind of surrounding. Have the good situational awareness of what other rain events could be happening.

Ted Simons:
>> How many people in total were evacuated?

Judy Kioski:
>> Around 450 were evacuated that includes tribal members and people visiting and camping.
Ted Simons:
>> And every one is accounted for?

Judy Kioski:
>> Yes, thankfully every one is accounted for.

Ted Simons:
>> As far as emergency management resources, talk about how many were put into place for these rescues.

Judy Kioski:
>> It's amazing how many agencies come to bear on this. We have all levels of government. Waste volunteer agencies. The Red Cross helped setting up a shelter. You have a your local peach springs fire department helping out and county emergency management and state emergency management and other agencies. We have the tribe and supai and the neighboring county that supported it. If I had to guess there were over a dozen agencies that participated to make sure there was a strong response to the incident.

Ted Simons:
>> You need that kind of coordination I would guess in such a remote area. The more difficult locations, people think there's always someone around to rescue. Not necessarily.

Judy Kioski:
>> The good news is what we have built in the state is good redundant communications. We have a way to reach out to others to help. It's not so important that one agency have the communication effort that they can reach out to their neighbor who might have that capability to help support them.

Ted Simons:
>> Talk about what campers and hikers and those who are going out into the wilderness whether the Grand Canyon or other parts of the state, what do you need to be aware of? Besides clear overhead and a flash flood could be coming your way, what other things to keep in mind.

Judy Kioski:
>> You have to listen. They said they heard a roar. Be aware of sounds you are not prepared to hear. Make sure you are letting people know where you are going. It sounds really simple but how important that is. Those people that were in the campgrounds, they had to register at supai village, that was important because that was a way of knowing who was in the canyon. Again letting someone know where you are going to be, making sure you have a plan. And doing those two things and making sure that you have a way to communicate out. Maybe you could have a radio that you can hear some stuff that's going on. Maybe you have a cell phone because many people can get text messages. Understand how you might be able to communicate or receive communications.

Ted Simons:
>> You were talking about cell phones and if it gets washed away and somebody needs to know who to call for you, a lot of folks don't remember numbers because they don't press buttons anymore.

Judy Kioski:
>> Absolutely. That's what I tell people. If you can do one thing to make sure you are prepared whether a disaster or house fire or anything, make sure you have a communication plan. What I mean by that is, do you have any where written down the important contact numbers you would need? Imagine as you said, if one of these people had their cell phone washed away. They get rescued and return to the top of the mountain and they want to reach out and tell their family members, hey, I'm okay. It's important they know the number to call. If it was in the cell phone and they don't have it written down, obviously, they will figure it out at some point. It's the angst it will cause for 5 you and your family members. Have a written plan.

Ted Simons:
>> As far as this particular area, I imagine it's dangerous up there.

Judy Kioski:
>> Absolutely. They are not allowing visitors. The waters are receding and they need to do a good assessment to make sure it's safe for people to return.

Ted Simons:
>> As far as more information regarding monsoon safety and making sure you have what you need when you go out in the wilderness. Website?

Judy Kioski:
>> It's az211.gov. You can learn what to do.

Ted Simons:
>> Good information, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it. Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>>> No big surprises in the latest Cronkite-eight poll. Senator John McCain leads his home state by 40\% to 30\% for Obama, with Ralph Nader and Bob Barr getting negligible support and 28\% undecided. The poll was conducted august 14th through the 16th. 402 registered voters were interviewed, and it has a margin of error of 4.9\%. Here to talk about the results is Dr. Tara Blanc, associate director of the Cronkite-eight poll. Good to see you again. Thanks for joining us.

Tara Blanc:
>> Nice to see you, too.

Ted Simons:
>> First set of numbers here McCain versus Obama 40-30\% a bit of surprise there?

Tara Blanc:
>> No, no. All the polls we have done so far head to head between McCain and Obama, McCain has had pretty much the same lead in the polls. He is polling the same thing for the national firm. A poll here in Arizona is the same thing.

Ted Simons:
>> There was talk some polls showing in Maricopa county he was slipping and then another stronger than ever. This poll shows not a lot of change.

Tara Blanc:
>> There's not a lot of change, from poll to poll depending on who you are talking to and how you ask the question. You will see differences from poll to poll. Overall McCain's held the lead in Arizona unless something really unusual happens, it's probably reasonable to expect McCain will keep the lead.

Ted Simons:
>> As far as the strength of McCain's support the next panel shows it's 74\% are very strongly in support of senator McCain. 25\% not very strongly. 1\% don't know and no opinion. 74\% pretty on base here for the numbers he's getting.

Tara Blanc:
>> I think so particularly when you see where his base is. I think you will probably find that for both candidates. The people who made up their minds in the election made it up quickly and feel pretty strongly about their candidate. There's not a lot of doubt in their minds shall we say.

Ted Simons:
>> Indeed the next question is why would you vote for senator McCain? I found this interesting in that it seems as though there's a lot of people that are voting for john McCain. But as you see by the numbers, 30\% would be more against Obama. What does that tell you?

Tara Blanc:
>> What is interesting about that. We asked people if they are voting more for john McCain or more against Barack Obama. What's happened in the last few weeks in particular if you paid attention to john McCain, well both campaigns but john McCain in particular, they have been running some fairly negative advertisements. John McCain has taken Obama to task for what he and other people perceive about Obama's experience. If people had doubt in their minds where Obama's experience wasn't and where they wanted it to be, they would vote for McCain against a vote of experience if that makes sense of the negative ads are working. People are saying we don't want Obama and our only choice is McCain.

Ted Simons:
>> In terms of strength and durability for a vote. Voting against someone can be just as strong as being excited for someone else.

Tara Blanc:
>> It can be. It can be. It depends on the person, of course. If somebody feels really strongly that the other candidate would not be a good choice, that strength of the vote would be strong for positive for the person they are voting for.

Ted Simons:
>> comparing the strength for McCain which is the next panel strength for Obama as opposed to voting against McCain. We see 80\% very strongly support Obama. Only 15\% not very strongly. You have the true believers on one side and other side McCain side are not believing at all.

Tara Blanc:
>> There's not that much difference if you look at the sampling. The strength is on both sides with the support on both sides with very little weak support, if you will. People who want to vote for Obama, feel very strongly about him. They are very excited about what he has to say. They are looking forward to the changes he's promising to bring.

Ted Simons:
>> Number six panel on the poll here shows what kind of campaign do voters think senator McCain is running? It looks as though most people think or close to 48\% say a positive or very positive campaign as you can see here. 26\% negative, 12\% very negative and 14\% apparently are not paying attention. As far as these numbers now, what are they tell you?

Tara Blanc:
>> They are telling us people are noticing what is going on. McCain has been working from what I understand with some of Karl Rove's people to look at how they might attack Obama. They have attacked him on lack of experience and other things and it's working. On the national polls we've seen that McCain actually has gained six points on Obama. Many people attribute that to the negative campaigning that he's been doing. I noticed that they seem to kind of go back and forth. Some of the most recent ads of McCain and Obama focus on the positive that they will bring and the negative ads have gotten attention and apparently they are impacting what voters are thinking.

Ted Simons:
>> It's interesting in the sense that a lot of folks are not sure if barrack Obama can be an effective negative campaigner because it's positive one of hope and change and all these things. Once you get to the other side of personality, it may not be flattering. You ask what kind of campaign barrack Obama is running a lot of people think it's positive or not negative.

Tara Blanc:
>> There's not as many people who perceive barrack Obama as being negative in his campaign as McCain, that's for sure. I suspect what you say has a lat to do with it. People see him as a positive force change. They have a hard time seeing him in a negative light.

Ted Simons:
>> There was some support in McCain conservative democrats and evangelicals. Talk about that.

Tara Blanc:
>> One of things we talked about was McCain and crossovers democrats voting republican and vice versa McCain is polling 2-1 democrats as Obama is polling republicans to his side. The conservative democrats apparently are looking at voting for McCain plus the independent vote which is interesting. That's usually McCain's strong holds. He's splitting the independent vote with barrack Obama in Arizona. That brings out questions when you look at voter turnout and who's going to go to the polls about what kind of effect that might actually have at the polls, the independent voters tend to be a little bit younger, a little bit probably more anti-war. But we have also seen that some of these voters may or may not go to the polls. The voter turnout will be really interesting to see what kind of effect these kind of crossover things have.

Ted Simons:
>> In terms of pure speculation with 10 point lead like this at this time and holding steady for McCain and there's a lot of talk whether barrack Obama will show up in Arizona to do much campaigning and those in the down ticket on the democratic side are interesting in that as well. Is this the kind of emergency that can be eaten into the point where you think a presidential candidate might make some campaign stops here?

Tara Blanc:
>> It's possible when you look at the high undecided portion of the voters which is 28\%. Many of those are independents. So that because that's one of the groups that Obama is polling from that could be attractive in terms of trying to create some support here for Obama. On the other hand, Arizona is a republican state and john McCain is an Arizona senator. My guess is Obama will spend some time here but not a top priority.

Ted Simons:
>> Thank you for joining us.

Ted Simons:
>>> While the jobless rate is at it's highest in years, some employment sectors are showing positive growth. The Arizona department of commerce says the restaurant and hospitality industry is one of those. In a moment more on that. First, Merry Lucero profiles an employer that is expanding here in the valley and hoping to fry the competition.

Dunkin' Donuts Supervisor:
>> All right, everyone, welcome to your first day of training at Dunkin' Donuts. How are you doing today?

Merry Lucero:
>> These employees are cheering for a reason. They have jobs. This is a training session for workers at seven newly made over Dunkin' Donuts stores in the valley.

Will Kussell:
>> We're going to create over 2000 jobs in the Phoenix market over the next 18 months.

Merry Lucero:
>> It's the rollout of all new Dunkin' Donuts in the Phoenix market, says Dunkin Donuts chief brand officer, Will Kussell.

Will Kussell:
>> We're bringing a new energy to Dunkin Donuts to the Phoenix market. We'll have a fresh new facility design we have great new crews we have some great new products all underpinned by great franchisees and I think the combination of all of that is going to bring a tremendous new energy and newness to the Phoenix community.

Merry Lucero:
>> They are sporting a sweet new look and putting a special emphasis on brewing the perfect cup of joe. The highlight is on coffee first and then baked goods.

Will Kussell:
>> We're really proud of our donuts we think we have the best donuts in the world and a great variety and freshness but we're really proud of our coffee and our coffee heritage. We're the number one coffee brand in the United States and we have great original Dunkin Donuts coffee in addition to our iced coffee and our coolattas, which are frozen slush drink.

Merry Lucero:
>> Kussell says speed, convenience and value will give Dunkin' Donuts the edge over less successful franchises.

Will Kussell:
>> We think we're really well positioned. We offer great quality, great portion sizes at a very fair price, and we think the value orientation of value for money is perfect for our brand. We really serve mainstream America we really appeal to the middle class. Really, our spirit is America runs on Dunkin'. And it's really about everyday customers coming in and us taking really good care of them and we think that our pricing is going to be very attractive for the quality that we offer.

Merry Lucero:
>> Taking care of those customers--employees who are rising to the occasion.

Worker 1:
>> One express dozen.
Worker 2:
>> Good job.

Will Kussell:
>> At the end of the day the most important thing is the people we have working in the restaurant. It's providing meaningful jobs, growth, a career path. When you're going to open up the number of restaurants that we plan on doing it creates a logical career path for our employees in addition to great benefits that we offer and most importantly a great environment and great people to work with.

Merry Lucero:
>> The company plans to further expand aiming for 150 new stores over the next 36 months in the Phoenix area.

Ted Simons:
>>> Dennis Doby from the department of commerce joins us to talk about employment in Arizona. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.

Dennis Doby:
>> Glad to be here.

Ted Simons:
>> Overall employment numbers in Arizona, where do we stand?

Dennis Doby:
>> Over the year total non-payroll employment is down pi 1.6\% that's an overall year loss of 41,700 jobs.

Ted Simons:
>> Are we seeing incremental increases? What are we looking at?

Dennis Doby:
>> Unemployment rates seems to be incremental rates. We have gone from 3.9\% in April of 2008 to 5.1\% in July of 2008. That's a little over a percentage point in three months.

Ted Simons:
>> I know seasonal factors impact these numbers to a certain degree. Do they impact them now as much as they may have 20-30 years ago?

Dennis Doby:
>> I don't think they do. I think as the economy as grown and the industry structure as changed, there's more year-round businesses and there's certainly seasonality and seasonal industries but less seasonality going on and it's related to the climate and north south portions of the state. The fact we are larger and more diversified economy than we are 10 years ago tempers that seasonality.


Ted Simons:
>> diversify.

Dennis Doby:
>> Yes.

Ted Simons:
>> When that in mind what employment sectors lost the most jobs?

Dennis Doby:
>> Most job losses over the year occurring in construction employment followed by financial activities. Those are related to the housing problems experienced not only in Arizona but across the country.

Ted Simons:
>> When you take the numbers now compared to the before the housing boom, are you seeing much less in the job loss?

Dennis Doby:
>> You compare like in the construction industry, the equivalent of what it is today is what it was before the housing-related industries. So but what we're seeing is continued foreclosures and still some permit activity that isn't what it used to be. Until those houses move off the market, residential construction will have problems. We're seeing weakness also in the commercial and industrial sectors in construction as well.

Ted Simons:
>> I would imagine the real estate industrial as well seeing change in turnover there.

Dennis Doby:
>> Turnover and change and job losses, consolidations, things are moving as the economy weakens.

Ted Simons:
>> Those are the ones showing the most losses. How about the better gains.

Dennis Doby:
>> The best gains are occurring in the educational health services. The health services sectors the hospitals. That may be in part due to the fact that we have the baby boomers who are aging and some reached retirement age and health is a growth industry.

Ted Simons:
>> is it as of a growth industry now as it has been in the past?

Dennis Doby:
>> There doesn't appear to be that much slowing in the health services sector. It's a steady trend upward. Some of the other industries that are growing are natural resources and mining has a small base up 1300 jobs over the year. Educational and leisure and hospitality is growing that includes restaurants and bars and other service showing over the year growth like repair services like auto repair and government has shown growth over the year mainly federal and local government.

Ted Simons:
>> The auto repair industry is interesting in the sense that folks are not buying new cars 15 anymore. They are getting the older ones fixed.

Dennis Doby:
>> I think that's going on. People are getting things fixed instead of making big-ticket new purchases.

Ted Simons:
>> I was surprised to hear about the restaurant industry. We saw the Dunkin' donuts' story. It seems to me there's a lot of the restaurants. This is a nature of the beast that some don't survive and come and go. I hear some of the restaurants are not doing that well this the slowing economy. You're saying the jobs are still there.

Dennis Doby:
>> It appears they are still there when you look at food services and dripping places employment. That's up by 900 over the year. That may not be strong growth but it's still positive growth. One of industries that showing employment gains over the year. It's weak growth and may be holding its own but doing better than some others like construction and financial activities.

Ted Simons:
>> In general overall the slowing economy, how much is that playing into a numbers?

Dennis Doby:
>> A lot. The slowing of the economy is having an impact throughout the Arizona economy. Even the industries that are showing growth over the year have been slowing through 2008.

Ted Simons:
>> Can you compare and contrast what's happening in Arizona and around the country.

Dennis Doby:
>> I think what's happening in the Arizona is the housing related woes are stronger in Arizona than other parts of the country. I think Nevada is having some of the same issues with housing problems that Arizona is. Other areas like Texas where with the energy-related industries are showing fairly good growth.




Ted Simons:
>> As far as business is concerned a lost people who own their own business are trying to figure out is this the best time to expand or best time to hunker down for the best. Are there opportunities out there for economic and job climate to expand?

Dennis Doby:
>> I think the industries related to like selling discount items. The discount retailers seem to be doing good. People are changing spending habits. Certainly more is being eaten up by gas and oil and gasoline purchases. For those areas in certain industries, there's growth opportunities. If you are looking into getting into the construction business, now would not be the time.

Ted Simons:
>> No kidding. Growth in Arizona was a growth industry, still is in many respects a growth industry.

Dennis Doby:
>> Yes.

Ted Simons:
>> Whether that always keep us a little bit ahead of lion's mouth?

Dennis Doby:
>> I don't know over time. It certainly the fact that we're an attractive place and that we draw a lot of people into the state, we will continue to grow. But my concern for the future is resource limitations. There's only so much land and water and things like that. I think we're going to continue to grow, that we have opportunities out there for industry and businesses that make us an attractive place to land. I think those will continue.

Ted Simons:
>> Quickly. Last question regarding all of these numbers, do you consider these lagging indicators or leading indicators?

Dennis Doby:
>> I think the unemployment rate for the last year has been a lagging indicator. The employment is more of a concurrent type of indicator.

Ted Simons:
>> Thank you for joining us.

Dennis Doby:
>> Thank you.

Ted Simons:
>>> The democratic national convention starts next week, and Arizona governor Janet Napolitano will be a featured speaker. Hear what the governor plans to say as she makes her regular visit to "Horizon." that's Wednesday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Ted Simons:
>>> For video and transcripts of this program please visit our web site at azpbs.org/horizon. That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thanks for joining us. You have a great evening.

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