Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

September 3, 2009


Host: Ted Simons

Arizona's Nonsoon

  |   Video
  • ASU Professor of Climatology Randy Cerveny discusses the monsoon that turned out to be more of a “nonsoon” and how the once fierce Hurricane Jimena could bring some rain to our state.
Guests:
  • Randy Cerveny - Professor of Climatology, Arizona State University


View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. Today, Governor Brewer signed one of the eight budget bills she has on her desk. The bills signed provide funding for the department of public safety and addresses other criminal justice needs. No word on what she'll do with the remaining bills. She has until Saturday to sign them. Once a fierce category 4 hurricane, Jimena has been downgraded to a tropical storm and expected to weaken more but may bring needed moisture to Arizona. Here with an update is Randy Cerveny professor of climatology at ASU. Good to see you, thanks for joining us.

Randy Cerveny:
My pleasure.

Ted Simons:
Let's talk about the hurricane and the monsoon, or shall we call it the non-soon? What has happened to the rain this summer?

Randy Cerveny:
This has been a dry summer. Normally we have about two and a half inches of rain for a normal monsoon. We only had half an inch at sky harbor this year. The big thing that's missing is moisture. It's like you need a gun, you need ammunition to put into that gun and the gun -- the moisture is our ammunition for the storms we have in the valley.

Ted Simons:
So ok, we didn't have much of a monsoon. Anywhere else around the state have one?

Randy Cerveny:
The extreme southeast part of the state has had a little bit more activity, but most of the moisture activity this year has been located in New Mexico than Arizona.

Ted Simons:
Is that something that habitually happens or as far as monsoons, this is a bad one?

Randy Cerveny:
I've never seen a normal monsoon, I think. But one thing we're interested in is the idea that the shift might have taken part as a result of El Nino. We're starting to see a warming of the Pacific Ocean which changes the air flow around the world. That may be part of the reason why there's a shift more to New Mexico this year.

Ted Simons:
If we're seeing an El Nino, doesn't that mean good winter rains?

Randy Cerveny:
In the past, the southern part of the United States and in particular the southwest, does experience winter rainfall and snowfall during an El Nino event. The question is how intense and we're watching it develop.

Ted Simons:
And El Nino is warming of the Pacific Ocean that happens at a certain time in a certain spot?

Randy Cerveny:
It refers to the Christ child because we see it normally in December. And happens off the coast of Peru. And that warming causes the jet stream to move and change from its normal location. To us, it brings up tropical moisture into Arizona and we get most rain in most monsoon years.

Ted Simons:
The last time we had a good El Nino, we had a hurricane.

Randy Cerveny:
1997 we had hurricane NORA that followed a track close to this one, but kept moving up and actually made landfall near rocky point, near Yuma, and it had died out, but it actually did dump about two and a half inches of rain in Yuma. So it gets that much rainfall, that's noticeable.

Ted Simons:
We could have some -- all signs point toward rain this winter.

Randy Cerveny:
And in particular this weekend. The storm itself, Jimena is not going to get into Arizona. But the remnant moisture, the water that's a part of it is going to be pushed up by Friday night.

Ted Simons:
Our closest brushes, was it NORA?

Randy Cerveny:
Probably was, that was almost a tropical storm when it made landfall near Yuma.

Ted Simons:
They're gangbusters and get to Baja and bump against the coast and --

Randy Cerveny:
Jimena was a category 4 and almost 5 before it got up to Cabo San Lucas. The other thing is that the ocean temperatures right along the Pacific Ocean, near the coast of Baja are cold. And that kills a hurricane rapidly.

Ted Simons:
Are we still in a drought?

Randy Cerveny:
Depends on how you define drought. We like to think of it as how much water is in reserve and they've been doing a good job of holding water in reserve. Farmers like to think of it, how dry is the ground? It's dry right now. So we're in a drought. It could be turned around by a couple of good storms but we're in a drought situation here.

Ted Simons:
Last question: No rain, very little rain this winter -- this summer, I should say, and we've got a hurricane wandering around out there. Global climate change at play at all, or no way to tell?

Randy Cerveny:
The fact that it's been such a mild hurricane season in the Atlantic and we've had more activity in the Pacific probably has to do with El Nino. Causes more hurricanes in the Pacific.

Ted Simons:
It was a pleasure to see you.

Randy Cerveny:
My pleasure.

Chandler History Program

  |   Video
  • We’ll take a look at the City of Chandler’s History in Your Own Backyard Program that shares local history with permanent signage in city parks featuring stories and photographs of the people and places that once existed in the surrounding area. The program is a winner of an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.
Category: Education   |   Keywords: chandler history, chandler,

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
This past weekend, the city of Chandler received an award for history in your own backyard. Let's see what the program is all about.

David Majure:
The Chandler, Arizona, we know today was shaped by its many yesterdays. By pioneer families who farmed this land and community leaders who formed this city. Their stories are enshrined on informational kiosks in city parks.

Boyd Dunn:
We take the history to the location where the history was made and this allows people to get an appreciation of what was here before their neighborhoods were here and brings the history to the forefront.

David Majure:
It's Chandler's history in your backyard program, a reminder of the past and the people who lived there.

Dorothy Ruoff:
And here's our park, right across the street.

David Majure:
People like Dorothy, who before marrying her husband, spent her life as Dorothy woods at what became known as the silk stocking neighborhood. It's located near downtown Chandler, where this little park was built.

Dorothy Ruoff:
If you come around on this side, you can see some of the houses that were here in the silk stocking neighborhood. This is my house. 245. My brother and sisters and I. I'm right here. My younger sister, my older sister and my brother.

David Majure:
Dorothy's house was built in 1921. Her parents owned it many years later.

Dorothy Ruoff:
They bought the house when I was three months old and moved in 1937. Dr. Chandler had in the original design of the city; he designated what it costs to build houses in certain areas. And if you built a house north of Cleveland Street, which is now Chandler Boulevard, if you built a house north of Cleveland Street, it had to cost $3,000, and the idea was if you could afford a $3,000 house, you could afford to buy your wife silk stockings. And so it became kind of, you know, jokingly called the silk stocking neighborhood. They bought this for $2,050. We have the bill of sale for the property. Whoever built it got a bargain.

David Majure:
Chandler's roots are in agriculture. It was a small urban island surrounded by miles of farms and fields.

Dorothy Ruoff:
To go to Phoenix was always an adventure because there were only a few paved roads.

David Majure:
It was an adventure some African American students experienced almost every day as they were bussed from Chandler to the all-black carver high school in downtown Phoenix. One of those students, Willie Arbuckle is pictured here at Arbuckle Park.

Willie Arbuckle:
That's me in my military uniform and I enjoyed playing soldier.

David Majure:
That ended in 1949 when schools were integrated and Willie sent to Chandler high.

Willie Arbuckle:
Four of us. We were the first to attend Chandler high school. 1951, Robert Turner and I were the first African Americans to graduate from Chandler high school.

David Majure:
That's his history, but the park is named for his mother, Emma Jean. They moved to Chandler to work the fields picking cotton. Her husband died when Willie was eight. And she cared for them and just about everyone else in the African American community.

Willie Arbuckle:
All during the '50s, she was just a force for good.

David Majure:
She became a community leader who will always be remembered as a peacekeeper.

Willie Arbuckle:
1968, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther king, a number of African American males wanted to go down through town breaking up stuff. She calmed them and talked them into a solidarity march.

David Majure:
In other parts of the city, more stories are told.

Man 1:
Always been proud to say that Chandler was my hometown. [Applause]

David Majure:
They're the stories of people who made this city what it is today. A city where learning about history is a walk in the park.

Ted Simons:
And here with more on the history in your own backyard program is Jean Reynolds. Thank you for being with us tonight.

Jean Reynolds:
Thank you.

Ted Simons:
This is fascinating stuff. How did this program get started?

Jean Reynolds:
Back in 2004, and it was a program that was in the initial beginnings, the assistant services director, David, started the idea through our public history master plan that looked at bringing in historical signage as a way to bring history out into the community.

Ted Simons:
And kiosks, why was that chosen?

Jean Reynolds:
It was an interesting way to get the history out into the community where people are living and a permanent display.

Ted Simons:
How many of these are in Chandler right now?

Jean Reynolds:
Seven. They have one more being dedicated on September 26th.

Ted Simons:
Pretty much citywide or -- kind of concentrated in the downtown area? That's where the action was, wasn't it?

Jean Reynolds:
It's kind of scattered right now. We tried to reach out and go to different regions so we can hit different populations.

Ted Simons:
How are the locations chosen and how were the people chosen that you wanted to show? I mean, it must be fantastic to walk in a park and say that's my old house.

Jean Reynolds:
Yeah, we generally look at the whole area of Chandler and try to get them evenly dispersed throughout the city. And basically had to do research on the area. Like a square mile that's around the park and research who was in the area and generally who farmed in the area and that kind of thing and then go out and look for people who have those photographs and memories they want to share.

Ted Simons:
Do families lobby the city -- we should have our own kiosk?

Jean Reynolds:
That's happened in the past.

Ted Simons:
And you've got to work through the system, correct?

Jean Reynolds:
Work through the system.

Ted Simons:
The cost of the kiosk?

Jean Reynolds:
Anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000 and then there's my time associated with that. If we do any kind of internal graphic design then there's that cost as well. But that's taken in through our budget.

Ted Simons:
Speaking of budgets, everybody has tough times going on right now. How about the city of Chandler and this program? The downturn affecting this program?

Jean Reynolds:
It is to some extent. The funding's been cut through our ongoing budget and we're seeking to continue the program but looking for outside funding through sponsors or other partnerships with other departments within the city.

Ted Simons:
Are you getting sponsorship interest in something like this?

Jean Reynolds:
I'm working right now on a couple of partnerships with our environmental education center, which is in our recreational division and public works to do historical signage along the canals.

Ted Simons:
You have to be careful with sponsorship. I want my family to have a kiosk and you've got to pay for it. You've got to walk that line.

Jean Reynolds:
Exactly.

Ted Simons:
How is it affecting museums and historical entities in general?

Jean Reynolds:
I think a lot of historical societies and archives that are struggling right now, whether it's the state archive or any smaller museums out there, everybody is impacted right now. And I think one of the things that relates back to the history kiosk program, you have to find ways to be innovative and make people understand that history and your culture is relevant to you and people will support you even if there's not a federal or local government supporting it.

Ted Simons:
What are the best ways to do that? To remind folks that history is important and it takes money to fund these things.

Jean Reynolds:
I think it's getting the story out to the community and also being an educational resource for the community. Because people understand that's important for them.

Ted Simons:
As far as the future for the kiosk program, I'm assuming it's still up and operational, correct?

Jean Reynolds:
Mm-hmm.

Ted Simons:
What is the future?

Jean Reynolds:
I think the future is to go out and continue to seek funding and get more kiosks out in different parks and look for other ways to share the history with the community in other places. Potentially, in other city facilities, having some signage. We've got a new city hall building coming out where we can do historical information there and, of course, we've got a new museum in 2012.

Ted Simons:
Talk about the award the city won and you won. What is this all about?

Jean Reynolds:
This was through the American association of state and local history and they choose historical entities of different kinds to give them an award of merit, they call it. And it's for sort of the best in creative programming or exhibits or that kind of thing that's going on in the country at that time. And I think there were about 49 organizations throughout the country that got the award this year.

Ted Simons:
And did you learn some things from the award -- get ideas from other communities and municipalities?

Jean Reynolds:
I did learn quite a bit. There were interesting -- other programs out there.

Ted Simons:
What were the most interesting other programs that you saw?

Jean Reynolds:
There was a little place in Illinois, and they were doing an exhibit about the knitting industry, and they came up with a program called sock monkey madness where they actually connected that piece of our popular culture to the knitting industry and did creative things that involved families and kids and stuff.

Ted Simons:
So sock puppets all over the landscape in Illinois?

Jean Reynolds:
Sock monkeys.

Ted Simons:
Congratulations on the award and it must be a lot of fun for folks to walk around in their neighborhoods and parks and look up and say this is a part of what has been and part of us.

Jean Reynolds:
Definitely.

Ted Simons:
Great.

Jean Reynolds:
And I think it's great that the city is really, you know, caring about its history and providing that information to the community.

Ted Simons:
All right. Very good. Thank you for joining us tonight.

Jean Reynolds:
Thank you.

Community-College Growth

  |   Video
  • Community-colleges in Maricopa County are showing an increase in enrollment this year. Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the Maricopa Community College District, talks about what the district is doing to keep up with the growth.
Guests:
  • Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick - Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the Maricopa Community College District
Category: Education   |   Keywords: maricopa county community college,

View Transcript
Ted Simons:
Maricopa county community colleges are seeing an increase in enrollment. Up 14% over last year. One of the colleges seeing the largest is Mesa.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez:
Maricopa community college district are seeing a surge in student enrollment for the first time in years. Enrollment for school year 2009 jumped by more than 2,500.

Sonya Pearson:
Generally in community college higher education you see standard trends that develop when your economy is doing very well, people are employed, the unemployment rate is low, so a lot of people are out working. When you see the economy at a decline that certainly contributes to our enrollment growth. People want to come back for retraining. We have individuals who want to promote our -- or gain additional job security. So we're seeing the effects of that in many ways but we have our traditional population. Anywhere from 18 to 26.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez:
In early 2009, state universities announced the tuition and fees increase. As high as $1,000. At the same time, the Maricopa community college district assured residents they would maintain $71 credit hour. They have options, including online classes with various start dates and shorter class terms ranging from 14 to 18 weeks. And officials say they're seeing a large number of veterans taking advantage of their increased benefits for education.

James Mabry:
Looking at the numbers from the enrollment increases, they were spread all the way across our programs and that was the one thing we were following closely. Where we added about 100 additional sections this semester. We didn't add them in any particular program. We very carefully watched enrollment trends and added as we needed them. We also, you know, led us to hire more adjuncts to staff these classes and also our full-time faculty took additional sections.

Nadine Arroyo-Rodriguez:
Community college officials say regardless of the economic problems, their goal stays the same. To offer quality education.

Ted Simons:
Joining me now is Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, vice Chancellor for academic and community affairs for the Maricopa community college district. This increase in enrollment, expected it?

Maria Harper-Marinick:
It's not unusual to see an increase in enrollment when the economy declines.

Ted Simons:
I was going to say, compare and contrast.

Maria Harper-Marinick:
Very similar, depending on the region in the nation, you may see a larger increase in the enrollment, but this is typically what happens. A variety of reasons. People who come back to college because they need to re-career, enhance their skills, either by choice or required by the employers. But we're also seeing a larger number of students graduating from high school who are choosing college as an option.

Ted Simons:
Because of the price of a major university, the increase in cost there, the surcharges and things, or because of the mat program. Talk to us more about that. It's a way to get my community college and then move on to another college later on.

Maria Harper-Marinick:
I think both. Some people, the economy is impacting their ability to pay for tuition, so I believe the fact that our tuition did not increase, its $71 a credit and that was what it was before too, helps people who don't have the ability to pay a higher price. I do believe the fact we have strong partnerships with the university, primarily ASU, for some people is the best -- ASU, is the best value in town. Get on what we call a mat with Arizona State and then transfer to the university.

Ted Simons:
And also, as we learned in the package and talked about as well, older folks, students, going back to re-career. What are the options available there?

Maria Harper-Marinick:
We have many options. Flexibility is what we do. We provide access to many programs. We have over 10,000 courses offered by the Maricopa colleges. So the need for any program, or course, we have the flexibility of time of day, format, online, more traditional hybrid courses and many of them, actually coming to the healthcare area. That's where we see a large increase of people trying to re-career.

Ted Simons:
Are there also what used to be referred to as vocational classes?

Maria Harper-Marinick:
Absolutely, that's part of our mission as well.

Ted Simons:
Are businesses helping out and saying we want to partner with community colleges because we need this kind of employee?

Maria Harper-Marinick:
Yes. We have those partnerships as well. We've always done that, so we're able to tailor training to the specific needs of employees and business and industry. Many times they're sending them to the colleges to get the training at the colleges, either way, in partnership with on-site training but also the flexibility and ability for people to come to the colleges and enhance their skills or get a new career.

Ted Simons:
Quite an increase in enrollment from all sorts of students. Are you able to handle it?

Maria Harper-Marinick:
Yes we are. We knew because of the economy was declining, we expected growth. We are an open door institution so it is not easy to predict how many students would come. We're still registering students this week. But we expected the growth and were able to adapt. Increasing the number of sections and students in sections and hiring more part-time faculty. But certainly we were able to adjust to the growth.

Ted Simons:
And planning to adjust for more growth, I would imagine.

Maria Harper-Marinick:
Planning to adjust for more growth. Expecting it will probably, as the economy continues to be in the state it is today, that we will see more students coming. We see more high school students coming because of the partnership with the universities so I don't foresee that population declining in the near future.

Ted Simons:
Very good. Thank you for joining us on "Horizon."

Maria Harper-Marinick:
Thank you for having me.

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