Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

February 7, 2007


Host: Cary Pfeffer

M.C.C. Resignations


Guests:
  • Ken Strobeck - Executive Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns
  • Lori Klein - Homeowner Protection Effort
  • Larry Contreras - Captain, Community Education Specialist, Phoenix Fire Department


View Transcript
Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon", they fought over the passage of Eminent Domain Legislation, now cities and private property activists are at odds over waivers. A rare look at the old masters of South America---as a new art exhibit opens. And Phoenix firefighters go back to the classroom---to become bilingual. That's next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon." I'm Cary Pfeffer. Two Maricopa Community College Presidents are being asked to resign--- Mesa Community College President Larry Christiansen and Estella Mountain Community College President Homero Lopez are stepping down. The resignations come amid controversy over travel expenses and a lack of oversight at the schools. Since 2001, the Arizona Republic found Christiansen led a series of trips overseas that cost taxpayers more than 324 thousand dollars.

Cary Pfeffer:
The fallout from the passage last November of Proposition 207 continues. Prop 207 limited the use of Eminent Domain. That's the power of government to take private property for public use. Prop 207 defined on a state-level what public use would include. The proposition was a reaction to the United States Supreme Court's ruling in 2005 that local governments may force landowners to sell for private development. The Arizona Constitution's definition of the limitation of the power of Eminent Domain would prohibit that. Nevertheless private property activists cried foul and organized behind prop 207. Another part of prop 207 chilled cities and towns. Zoning changes could result in lawsuits. This "regulatory takings" aspect of the proposition was discussed before the election on "Horizon" with Michael Grant.

Ken Strobeck:
And the big part of the iceberg is this regulatory takings. In the sense that it would essentially free all zoning and land use regulations just the way they are today. Because any change in zoning, in mining regulations, farm and forestry, any kind of thing that -- limiting in any way the use of someone's land would trigger a potential for a claim. And that money would come straight out of state, city and county budgets that are used for other purposes.

Michael Grant:
Chuck, what about this proposition that, well, you know, hold it. You're kind of -- if this passes you're sort of freezing in place all of the decisions, bad and good, that we've made about land use planning generally, and any movement in the future is going to trigger a claim by somebody that, well, he's taking a chunk of my property value.

Sen. Chuck Gray:
Well, the interesting thing about this is that it's prospective. So nothing that happened in the past is affected. But when we take a look at what's going to happen in the future, and a property owner says to the city or to the county or to the government entity, "I want to change." If he initiates that then he has no claim for diminution in value. As a matter of fact his property value will probably go up so it won't be diminished. If we're talking about agricultural land that's as low as you can get already so they can't regulate it further. Except they could say you can't build anything on it. If they do that then the public at large must have a benefit for doing that. But why should that property owner pay for the benefit that the entire public enjoy are handing out waivers -

Cary Pfeffer:
So now cities are handing out waivers to Proposition 207 or planning permits. Some say it is being subverted. Joining me now is the first gentleman you saw on that piece, the Executive Director of the League of Arizona cities and towns, Ken Strobeck, and the Executive Director of the Arizona Homeowner Protection Effort, Lori Klein. Thank you both for being here.

Cary Pfeffer:
This is an issue that gets people hot under the collar, certainly lots of details that sort of need to be fleshed out in a way that is as understandable as possible. Ken I'll start with you. Why are we seeing these waivers? And are we seeing sort of variations on this? That's the sense I get within the various cities and towns around the state.

Ken Strobeck:
Yes. I believe we are. And I think actually there was an editorial in the Tribune a couple days ago that I think summed it up in the headline that said, if homeowners want a zoning change they should not be able to sue if their request devalues their property. That's really what we're talking about when we're talking about these waviors. And it applies only in a case when a city council or legislative body is planning to make a change in zoning that the property owner requests. Now in the provisions of prop 207, it says that there's nothing that prevents a city from asking for a waiver even for an action that homeowner is asking for. So that's all we're saying in this particular case with waivers is, if you come before the city council and say, would you please change the zoning on my property, and the council does that, we don't think it's fair for the property owner to then turn around and say, by the way, I'm filing a claim for a change in value. That's what this is all about.

Cary Pfeffer:
Lori, I want to get your take on this. Because this is an issue that is not sort of cut and dried in any way as far as you're concerned.

Lori Klein:
Well, I wish the cities and towns had limited themselves to what Mr. Strobeck has expressed. However, we have cities actually asking for waivers for such little things as electrical on their commercial property. They're not asking for zoning changes. They're asking for the bare essentials that they have a right to. And they're asking now to waive their rights just to get a planning permit on their property. So what its doing is, this is incensing private -- incensing private property owners who won a great battle. 65\% of our voters voted for prop 207. And it was only to put government in a position where they respect private property rights when they make zoning changes. And obviously if I go to the city and I want a zoning change by up or down zone I'm happy to sign a waiver that I'm not going to sue the city. And I think most reasonable property owners will be. But right now the cities are not being reasonable in how they exacting that's waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
Part of the discussion, Ken, focuses on the fact that these are being handed out in some cases with practically every permit that comes in, or it seems like it in a blanket sort of a way. For example, in Apache Junction is that --

Ken Strobeck:
We have put together a work group of various city attorneys and planners and people who have spent a lot of time looking at that proposition and have said what's the best way that we can make the law work and put it in place. Because that's our obligation. It's now part of state statute. It's not our job to protestor obstruct. It's our job to carry out the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. So we have issued guidelines about these waivers and guidelines about a checklist if anybody ever comes forward and says here's a claim. It says here's the things you need to demonstrate if you own the property. How can you demonstrate the loss of value and those kinds of things? There are also city attorneys who look at it in their own perspective and say if we have it in this case we should probably have it in that case. This is something they're deciding on a city by city basis and we're trying to get our experts together to give them guide lines and say this is where we ought to draw the line and not ask for these kinds of waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And the example I outlined with Apache Junction, what is your hope as far as that kind of action?

Lori Klein:
Well, I know that lawyer representing the proper owner there has asked the city attorney to step down because he basically said the waiver is illegal, unconstitutional and void on its face because it's asking for indemnification, it's asking for third-party indemnification for electricity to be applied on something that was preapproved for singular to have a pole on his commercial property. Which is obviously an up zone. So what the city is doing is actually forcing almost a trigger of diminution of value because they're forcing him to sign waivers. That's a whole another issue. Waivers that are forced? Since when are you going to withhold my right to electric, plumbing or even planning unless I sign away my rights? So I think this will go to court at some point.

Cary Pfeffer:
And ultimately, Ken, what you're saying is that the more likely direction for what your organization is suggesting is more along the lines of what was outlined earlier. In other words, if you have that request, you're then presented with a waiver and there's some sort of agreement at that time.

Ken Strobeck:
Right. The guidelines we issued we were Very clear in saying we think this should be used only in places where there are legislative or council decisions to be made not administrative decisioning. Because administrative decisions are those that everybody has a right to come in and pull a permit, file a claim, do whatever they want in terms of the regular routine processes without signing away their rights under prop 207.

Cary Pfeffer: Ultimately we're going to see court action specifically as far as Apache Junction is concerned and in other places in your estimatation?

Lori Klein:
Absolutely. I just got a call from the City of Phoenix. They want them to waive their rights just for an application for plans that they have for a building. So these are types of things that are administrative as Ken suggests. So I'm hoping that Arizona League of cities and towns, which oversees this, will be able to help with these guidelines. Because otherwise people are really feeling that their rights are being abridged. And the whole waiver system maybe overturned if that's the case. Where as I do believe there's some legitimate use for waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And in the last 15 seconds, it's your sense that the time frame for when the cities will adopt sort of this wording might be how long?

Ken Strobeck:
That's a very good question. I don't have an answer for you. But the fact with all this new language there will be litigation ultimately that will have to settle this.

Cary Pfeffer:
Ends up in court. That's an unusual story. Ken, thank you very much. And Lori, appreciate your being here as well.

Ken Strobeck and Lori Klein:
Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Well, you can get a rare look at the old masters of South America. 55 paintings from the 1600's are on display at the Tucson Museum of Art. Sue Yun Lee reports that this is the first such exhibition in South American history.

Sue Yun Lee:
55 paintings from 17th Century Peru are now on view at The Tucson Museum of Art.

Julie Sasse:
The exhibition is called the Virgin Saints and Angels. And it is a selection of works from the Marilyn and Karl Toma Selection with a variety of paintings from around 1600 to 1825. And they're all paintings from South America. Very old and very precious.

Julie Sasse:
The Tomas' were really fun to work with.

Sue Yun Lee:
Chief Curator of the museum, Julie Sasse.

Julie Sasse:
It's a selection of paintings basically ecclesiastical in nature. This was a part of that time and place so it's a history of art. The history of South America is quite fascinating. Of course Francisco Pizarro came from Spain to conquer South America in 1442. But it was over the course of the next 40 years that more Europeans came. With that of course came the Artisans and artists who painted for a variety of reasons. Of course many were painting religious subject matter as a way of converting the indigenous people to Catholicism which was one of the crucial mandates of coming to South America. But also as more and more mixed blood people became economically prominent, they also had a very vested interest in say decorating their government buildings or their palaces. So there are a lot of portraits that were commissioned. The monasteries were another element. They commissioned paintings to show narratives and the story of The Virgin Mary or about the history of the Christian religion as a way of teaching the indigenous people and therefore converting them to the religion.

Sue Yun Lee:
This is the first North American exhibit to focus exclusively on the paintings of this part of South America's history.

Julie Sasse:
This exhibition has been of course many years in the making. But we have been in touch with the Tomas' about this collection and about the exhibition for at least two years now. It was curated by their private Curator, Susan Stratton Pruitt. She is an authority in the field. So this is an exciting opportunity to bring this art to The Tucson Museum. It not only shows our deep commitment to art of Latin America, but it also shows the breadth of the type of art that we present here for the community. These are rare paintings that have not been seen anywhere in this part of the country, and throughout the country and beyond.

Sue Yun Lee:
There are a number of different themes in the exhibit.

Julie Sasse: And one of the types of groupings that you'll see are devotional images. And those are the images that you'll see around me. Those are primarily images that are focusing on the cult of the Virgin Mary. And they also deal with the story of Mary, the history of Mary. And some of them are very traditional in nature and some have their own special twist. Because there are many different cults that all focused on the devotion to the Virgin Mary. And also some wonderful scenes of say the annunciation. But there are also some very handsome paintings and portraits from people of that time period. So there's a nice range. It's not just strictly religious. But showing the history of South America and the European influence in the way of art.

Julie Sasse:
I'm particularly fond of this Area. This is the area of the portraits from the Toma Collection. For instance, this wonderful portrait of the contessa -- What's fascinating about these paintings is you can see how beautifully articulated the artist worked with the pearls and the jewels and the lace and the beautiful fabrics. As much as the European elite, the people of South America wanted to show off their new developed wealth. And they would commission artists to create portraits for their palaces and their homes. And this is a prime example.

Julie Sasse:
I am personally enamored with the work in this exhibition because of the incredible paintings and mastery. The colors to me are so exciting. The rich deep blues, the wonderful cardinal reds. To me it's just a visual feast of fabulous color and wonderful articulation of dark and light. So I can look at it from the formal concepts as much as the stories of Christianity.

SueYun Lee:
Curator Sasse reminds us to think about the importance of the learning the history behind these paintings.

Julie Sasse:
I think if anything what I'd Like to see is that people come away with an understanding of the development of the history of art. And the myriad forms that it took. In appreciating what has happened in the past, I think it helps to understand better not only politics and history but our culture as well. So to me its part of a wonderful tapestry of experiences and images and influences that makes up who we are today.

Cary Pfeffer:
Some beautiful pieces there. Well, more and more police and fire departments are training employees to speak Spanish in order to better serve the Latino Community. The Phoenix Fire Department is one of the first in the nation to offer in-house Spanish to emergency medical technicians and firefighters. In a moment Feliciano Vera talks to a firefighter about how it works. But first, Nadine Arroyo reports, it's a program firefighters say is a valuable asset to the job.

Capt, Frank Contreras:
We have different sounds in English on this, but in Spanish it's always one sound. That sound is ah. So everyone ah.

Everyone:
Ah.

Nadine Arrayo:
This is not your ordinary Spanish class. This is the Phoenix Fire Department's Spanish Immersion Program designed to prepare firefighters and its paramedics to better serve the people of Phoenix.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
More difficult ways to do something is to give you the Spanish and then you give me the English. So let's start with the guy --

Nadine Arrayo:
The fire department has been certifying their firefighters and paramedics in Spanish for more than four years. The program was designed to teach these emergency responders basic Spanish after realizing the need to better communicate with constituents during an emergency.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
We're getting or have been getting bigger influx of Latinos and Latinas. And they have problems, too. They call emergency 9-1-1. We respond to them. And there's a communication need that we're addressing.

Nadine Arrayo:
Fire department staff register for the class voluntarily. The program is a three to four-month intense course and staff attends class during the regular working hours. Most of the instructors of the class are former students themselves. All of those who attend the class say the benefits are endless.

Capt. Tom Taylor:
I feel like I'm able to provide a better service, really. I still have the same skills whether I speak English or Spanish. But I can get more to the point of what's really going on with someone. And it makes it -- you feel like you're really accomplishing your job versus kind of, I can't communicate with the patient, then you're not really sure if you're helping them or not. But this way as I'm expanding my vocabulary and my ability to communicate with them, I feel it makes me feel better about being able to treat them or help them out.

Nadine Arrayo:
In just two classes these firefighters can communicate Basic important questions, such as who's the patient, or --

Capt. Frank Contreras:
Many times there'll be crews, Non-Spanish speaking crews that will respond to some of these calls. And sometimes they may send a person to the hospital when they really don't need to go to the hospital. And when they're learning Spanish because they want to, to me, I tip my hat off to them.

Nadine Arrayo:
To assure the students have successfully immersed into the Spanish language they are given a final oral exam administered in Spanish. Once they pass and are certified as Spanish speaking staff they are rewarded with a minimum monthly bonus.

Feliciano Vera:
With us tonight to talk about the Spanish Immersion Program is Captain Larry Contreras, Community Education Specialist in Language Education Coordinator for the Phoenix Fire Department. Larry, welcome. How old is this program? This is something that's been around for over a decade now, is that right?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, quite honestly, formally it's about five years old. But we've been dealing with this problem for about 25 years. So it's actually a 10-year plan to get half of our members certified at this basic level. We're at five years now.

Feliciano Vera: So you've got roughly 25\% of your members are out in the field right now --

Capt. Larry Contreras:
We are right at 218. And we want to get to 750.

Feliciano Vera:
You mentioned that this is a problem that department has noticed for the last 25 some odd years. What prompted specifically the creation of the program?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, we've always had the idea that if we could ever have a station that was pretty much dedicated to this effort that we would. And what actually occurred is that Laveen Fire Department presented us with an opportunity to absorb -- observe their firefighters and then create the program without displacing any firefighters. So it was an opportunity. It was something that was born out of an idea from Chief Burnasini and our Labor President Bernie Schultz.

Feliciano Vera:
What's been the reaction from the community and from department members in general?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, the department members love it. We probably have 24 spots every four months available. And when we first began the program we had 200 letters of interest. And people have all kinds of different reasons why they want to come. Mostly just to improve their ability to deliver our services. And community-wide it's been tremendous. One of the efforts that we try to do in this instruction is involve the students in the community a lot. And so whatever is going on, if it's a health fair or a special event this Sunday, we're going to be down at the marathon and we're going to involve our folks just in that activity. And so we try to be visible, we try to get that experience connected with the effort of learning. And that's one of the secrets that I think we've been able to stumble into.

Feliciano Vera:
Based on your experience in the field, what's the difference between a member and a crew that is bilingual and linguistically competent and one that isn't.

Capt. Larry Contreras:
I'm happy to say that our members in general are very competent. They're highly skilled and highly trained. So you can imagine that when suddenly they run into the obstacle of not being able to communicate, it's a debilitating feeling. And it actually is debilitating to the person that's receiving the services, especially when it's critical. And there are lots of different life-saving maneuvers that require that communication, that require -- that are information dependent. So it creates that helpless feeling that everybody could have when they call 9-1-1. So we're hopefully -- we know for a fact that we are changing that feeling.

Feliciano Vera:
Nationally, what is the trend like with respect to developing similar programs to serve language minority communities? Have you had any conversations with your peers across country?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Absolutely. I get calls all the time from people that are interested in the program that we've developed. The idea of having people that speak Spanish, like you mentioned at the opening of the show is definitely there. There are organizations that are waiting, they are hiring practices, they are stimulating people to go to get that education. What we've attempted to do is just kind of emphasize that fact and improve on that by instructing our own folks. We just looked across our organization and said, is there anybody that has the ability to do this. And we found lots of folks. So we've kind of convinced that other organizations that that is possible. I just talked recently with a fell from Clark County. And they're interested in looking at our model and employing it there. We did do the same thing in a small tri-city area around Washington, D.C. They actually took our program. We assisted them. So this circumstance is nationwide. It's not just as you would imagine border cities. We're seeing it across the country. So the need is definitely there.

Mike Sauceda:
A countdown has started to Super Bowl XLII which will be hosted at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Hear what officials are doing to prepare. And for the first time since he was defeated by Congressman Harry Mitchell, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth speaks publicly. Hear what he has to say Thursday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Cary Pfeffer:
That will do it for our program. We'll see you. Good night.

Phoenix Firefighter's go back to the classroom


  • Phoenix Firefighters are going back to the classroom to become bilingual.
Guests:
  • Ken Strobeck - Executive Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns
  • Lori Klein - Homeowner Protection Effort
  • Larry Contreras - Captain, Community Education Specialist, Phoenix Fire Department


View Transcript
Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon", they fought over the passage of Eminent Domain Legislation, now cities and private property activists are at odds over waivers. A rare look at the old masters of South America---as a new art exhibit opens. And Phoenix firefighters go back to the classroom---to become bilingual. That's next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon." I'm Cary Pfeffer. Two Maricopa Community College Presidents are being asked to resign--- Mesa Community College President Larry Christiansen and Estella Mountain Community College President Homero Lopez are stepping down. The resignations come amid controversy over travel expenses and a lack of oversight at the schools. Since 2001, the Arizona Republic found Christiansen led a series of trips overseas that cost taxpayers more than 324 thousand dollars.

Cary Pfeffer:
The fallout from the passage last November of Proposition 207 continues. Prop 207 limited the use of Eminent Domain. That's the power of government to take private property for public use. Prop 207 defined on a state-level what public use would include. The proposition was a reaction to the United States Supreme Court's ruling in 2005 that local governments may force landowners to sell for private development. The Arizona Constitution's definition of the limitation of the power of Eminent Domain would prohibit that. Nevertheless private property activists cried foul and organized behind prop 207. Another part of prop 207 chilled cities and towns. Zoning changes could result in lawsuits. This "regulatory takings" aspect of the proposition was discussed before the election on "Horizon" with Michael Grant.

Ken Strobeck:
And the big part of the iceberg is this regulatory takings. In the sense that it would essentially free all zoning and land use regulations just the way they are today. Because any change in zoning, in mining regulations, farm and forestry, any kind of thing that -- limiting in any way the use of someone's land would trigger a potential for a claim. And that money would come straight out of state, city and county budgets that are used for other purposes.

Michael Grant:
Chuck, what about this proposition that, well, you know, hold it. You're kind of -- if this passes you're sort of freezing in place all of the decisions, bad and good, that we've made about land use planning generally, and any movement in the future is going to trigger a claim by somebody that, well, he's taking a chunk of my property value.

Sen. Chuck Gray:
Well, the interesting thing about this is that it's prospective. So nothing that happened in the past is affected. But when we take a look at what's going to happen in the future, and a property owner says to the city or to the county or to the government entity, "I want to change." If he initiates that then he has no claim for diminution in value. As a matter of fact his property value will probably go up so it won't be diminished. If we're talking about agricultural land that's as low as you can get already so they can't regulate it further. Except they could say you can't build anything on it. If they do that then the public at large must have a benefit for doing that. But why should that property owner pay for the benefit that the entire public enjoy are handing out waivers -

Cary Pfeffer:
So now cities are handing out waivers to Proposition 207 or planning permits. Some say it is being subverted. Joining me now is the first gentleman you saw on that piece, the Executive Director of the League of Arizona cities and towns, Ken Strobeck, and the Executive Director of the Arizona Homeowner Protection Effort, Lori Klein. Thank you both for being here.

Cary Pfeffer:
This is an issue that gets people hot under the collar, certainly lots of details that sort of need to be fleshed out in a way that is as understandable as possible. Ken I'll start with you. Why are we seeing these waivers? And are we seeing sort of variations on this? That's the sense I get within the various cities and towns around the state.

Ken Strobeck:
Yes. I believe we are. And I think actually there was an editorial in the Tribune a couple days ago that I think summed it up in the headline that said, if homeowners want a zoning change they should not be able to sue if their request devalues their property. That's really what we're talking about when we're talking about these waviors. And it applies only in a case when a city council or legislative body is planning to make a change in zoning that the property owner requests. Now in the provisions of prop 207, it says that there's nothing that prevents a city from asking for a waiver even for an action that homeowner is asking for. So that's all we're saying in this particular case with waivers is, if you come before the city council and say, would you please change the zoning on my property, and the council does that, we don't think it's fair for the property owner to then turn around and say, by the way, I'm filing a claim for a change in value. That's what this is all about.

Cary Pfeffer:
Lori, I want to get your take on this. Because this is an issue that is not sort of cut and dried in any way as far as you're concerned.

Lori Klein:
Well, I wish the cities and towns had limited themselves to what Mr. Strobeck has expressed. However, we have cities actually asking for waivers for such little things as electrical on their commercial property. They're not asking for zoning changes. They're asking for the bare essentials that they have a right to. And they're asking now to waive their rights just to get a planning permit on their property. So what its doing is, this is incensing private -- incensing private property owners who won a great battle. 65\% of our voters voted for prop 207. And it was only to put government in a position where they respect private property rights when they make zoning changes. And obviously if I go to the city and I want a zoning change by up or down zone I'm happy to sign a waiver that I'm not going to sue the city. And I think most reasonable property owners will be. But right now the cities are not being reasonable in how they exacting that's waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
Part of the discussion, Ken, focuses on the fact that these are being handed out in some cases with practically every permit that comes in, or it seems like it in a blanket sort of a way. For example, in Apache Junction is that --

Ken Strobeck:
We have put together a work group of various city attorneys and planners and people who have spent a lot of time looking at that proposition and have said what's the best way that we can make the law work and put it in place. Because that's our obligation. It's now part of state statute. It's not our job to protestor obstruct. It's our job to carry out the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. So we have issued guidelines about these waivers and guidelines about a checklist if anybody ever comes forward and says here's a claim. It says here's the things you need to demonstrate if you own the property. How can you demonstrate the loss of value and those kinds of things? There are also city attorneys who look at it in their own perspective and say if we have it in this case we should probably have it in that case. This is something they're deciding on a city by city basis and we're trying to get our experts together to give them guide lines and say this is where we ought to draw the line and not ask for these kinds of waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And the example I outlined with Apache Junction, what is your hope as far as that kind of action?

Lori Klein:
Well, I know that lawyer representing the proper owner there has asked the city attorney to step down because he basically said the waiver is illegal, unconstitutional and void on its face because it's asking for indemnification, it's asking for third-party indemnification for electricity to be applied on something that was preapproved for singular to have a pole on his commercial property. Which is obviously an up zone. So what the city is doing is actually forcing almost a trigger of diminution of value because they're forcing him to sign waivers. That's a whole another issue. Waivers that are forced? Since when are you going to withhold my right to electric, plumbing or even planning unless I sign away my rights? So I think this will go to court at some point.

Cary Pfeffer:
And ultimately, Ken, what you're saying is that the more likely direction for what your organization is suggesting is more along the lines of what was outlined earlier. In other words, if you have that request, you're then presented with a waiver and there's some sort of agreement at that time.

Ken Strobeck:
Right. The guidelines we issued we were Very clear in saying we think this should be used only in places where there are legislative or council decisions to be made not administrative decisioning. Because administrative decisions are those that everybody has a right to come in and pull a permit, file a claim, do whatever they want in terms of the regular routine processes without signing away their rights under prop 207.

Cary Pfeffer: Ultimately we're going to see court action specifically as far as Apache Junction is concerned and in other places in your estimatation?

Lori Klein:
Absolutely. I just got a call from the City of Phoenix. They want them to waive their rights just for an application for plans that they have for a building. So these are types of things that are administrative as Ken suggests. So I'm hoping that Arizona League of cities and towns, which oversees this, will be able to help with these guidelines. Because otherwise people are really feeling that their rights are being abridged. And the whole waiver system maybe overturned if that's the case. Where as I do believe there's some legitimate use for waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And in the last 15 seconds, it's your sense that the time frame for when the cities will adopt sort of this wording might be how long?

Ken Strobeck:
That's a very good question. I don't have an answer for you. But the fact with all this new language there will be litigation ultimately that will have to settle this.

Cary Pfeffer:
Ends up in court. That's an unusual story. Ken, thank you very much. And Lori, appreciate your being here as well.

Ken Strobeck and Lori Klein:
Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Well, you can get a rare look at the old masters of South America. 55 paintings from the 1600's are on display at the Tucson Museum of Art. Sue Yun Lee reports that this is the first such exhibition in South American history.

Sue Yun Lee:
55 paintings from 17th Century Peru are now on view at The Tucson Museum of Art.

Julie Sasse:
The exhibition is called the Virgin Saints and Angels. And it is a selection of works from the Marilyn and Karl Toma Selection with a variety of paintings from around 1600 to 1825. And they're all paintings from South America. Very old and very precious.

Julie Sasse:
The Tomas' were really fun to work with.

Sue Yun Lee:
Chief Curator of the museum, Julie Sasse.

Julie Sasse:
It's a selection of paintings basically ecclesiastical in nature. This was a part of that time and place so it's a history of art. The history of South America is quite fascinating. Of course Francisco Pizarro came from Spain to conquer South America in 1442. But it was over the course of the next 40 years that more Europeans came. With that of course came the Artisans and artists who painted for a variety of reasons. Of course many were painting religious subject matter as a way of converting the indigenous people to Catholicism which was one of the crucial mandates of coming to South America. But also as more and more mixed blood people became economically prominent, they also had a very vested interest in say decorating their government buildings or their palaces. So there are a lot of portraits that were commissioned. The monasteries were another element. They commissioned paintings to show narratives and the story of The Virgin Mary or about the history of the Christian religion as a way of teaching the indigenous people and therefore converting them to the religion.

Sue Yun Lee:
This is the first North American exhibit to focus exclusively on the paintings of this part of South America's history.

Julie Sasse:
This exhibition has been of course many years in the making. But we have been in touch with the Tomas' about this collection and about the exhibition for at least two years now. It was curated by their private Curator, Susan Stratton Pruitt. She is an authority in the field. So this is an exciting opportunity to bring this art to The Tucson Museum. It not only shows our deep commitment to art of Latin America, but it also shows the breadth of the type of art that we present here for the community. These are rare paintings that have not been seen anywhere in this part of the country, and throughout the country and beyond.

Sue Yun Lee:
There are a number of different themes in the exhibit.

Julie Sasse: And one of the types of groupings that you'll see are devotional images. And those are the images that you'll see around me. Those are primarily images that are focusing on the cult of the Virgin Mary. And they also deal with the story of Mary, the history of Mary. And some of them are very traditional in nature and some have their own special twist. Because there are many different cults that all focused on the devotion to the Virgin Mary. And also some wonderful scenes of say the annunciation. But there are also some very handsome paintings and portraits from people of that time period. So there's a nice range. It's not just strictly religious. But showing the history of South America and the European influence in the way of art.

Julie Sasse:
I'm particularly fond of this Area. This is the area of the portraits from the Toma Collection. For instance, this wonderful portrait of the contessa -- What's fascinating about these paintings is you can see how beautifully articulated the artist worked with the pearls and the jewels and the lace and the beautiful fabrics. As much as the European elite, the people of South America wanted to show off their new developed wealth. And they would commission artists to create portraits for their palaces and their homes. And this is a prime example.

Julie Sasse:
I am personally enamored with the work in this exhibition because of the incredible paintings and mastery. The colors to me are so exciting. The rich deep blues, the wonderful cardinal reds. To me it's just a visual feast of fabulous color and wonderful articulation of dark and light. So I can look at it from the formal concepts as much as the stories of Christianity.

SueYun Lee:
Curator Sasse reminds us to think about the importance of the learning the history behind these paintings.

Julie Sasse:
I think if anything what I'd Like to see is that people come away with an understanding of the development of the history of art. And the myriad forms that it took. In appreciating what has happened in the past, I think it helps to understand better not only politics and history but our culture as well. So to me its part of a wonderful tapestry of experiences and images and influences that makes up who we are today.

Cary Pfeffer:
Some beautiful pieces there. Well, more and more police and fire departments are training employees to speak Spanish in order to better serve the Latino Community. The Phoenix Fire Department is one of the first in the nation to offer in-house Spanish to emergency medical technicians and firefighters. In a moment Feliciano Vera talks to a firefighter about how it works. But first, Nadine Arroyo reports, it's a program firefighters say is a valuable asset to the job.

Capt, Frank Contreras:
We have different sounds in English on this, but in Spanish it's always one sound. That sound is ah. So everyone ah.

Everyone:
Ah.

Nadine Arrayo:
This is not your ordinary Spanish class. This is the Phoenix Fire Department's Spanish Immersion Program designed to prepare firefighters and its paramedics to better serve the people of Phoenix.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
More difficult ways to do something is to give you the Spanish and then you give me the English. So let's start with the guy --

Nadine Arrayo:
The fire department has been certifying their firefighters and paramedics in Spanish for more than four years. The program was designed to teach these emergency responders basic Spanish after realizing the need to better communicate with constituents during an emergency.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
We're getting or have been getting bigger influx of Latinos and Latinas. And they have problems, too. They call emergency 9-1-1. We respond to them. And there's a communication need that we're addressing.

Nadine Arrayo:
Fire department staff register for the class voluntarily. The program is a three to four-month intense course and staff attends class during the regular working hours. Most of the instructors of the class are former students themselves. All of those who attend the class say the benefits are endless.

Capt. Tom Taylor:
I feel like I'm able to provide a better service, really. I still have the same skills whether I speak English or Spanish. But I can get more to the point of what's really going on with someone. And it makes it -- you feel like you're really accomplishing your job versus kind of, I can't communicate with the patient, then you're not really sure if you're helping them or not. But this way as I'm expanding my vocabulary and my ability to communicate with them, I feel it makes me feel better about being able to treat them or help them out.

Nadine Arrayo:
In just two classes these firefighters can communicate Basic important questions, such as who's the patient, or --

Capt. Frank Contreras:
Many times there'll be crews, Non-Spanish speaking crews that will respond to some of these calls. And sometimes they may send a person to the hospital when they really don't need to go to the hospital. And when they're learning Spanish because they want to, to me, I tip my hat off to them.

Nadine Arrayo:
To assure the students have successfully immersed into the Spanish language they are given a final oral exam administered in Spanish. Once they pass and are certified as Spanish speaking staff they are rewarded with a minimum monthly bonus.

Feliciano Vera:
With us tonight to talk about the Spanish Immersion Program is Captain Larry Contreras, Community Education Specialist in Language Education Coordinator for the Phoenix Fire Department. Larry, welcome. How old is this program? This is something that's been around for over a decade now, is that right?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, quite honestly, formally it's about five years old. But we've been dealing with this problem for about 25 years. So it's actually a 10-year plan to get half of our members certified at this basic level. We're at five years now.

Feliciano Vera: So you've got roughly 25\% of your members are out in the field right now --

Capt. Larry Contreras:
We are right at 218. And we want to get to 750.

Feliciano Vera:
You mentioned that this is a problem that department has noticed for the last 25 some odd years. What prompted specifically the creation of the program?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, we've always had the idea that if we could ever have a station that was pretty much dedicated to this effort that we would. And what actually occurred is that Laveen Fire Department presented us with an opportunity to absorb -- observe their firefighters and then create the program without displacing any firefighters. So it was an opportunity. It was something that was born out of an idea from Chief Burnasini and our Labor President Bernie Schultz.

Feliciano Vera:
What's been the reaction from the community and from department members in general?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, the department members love it. We probably have 24 spots every four months available. And when we first began the program we had 200 letters of interest. And people have all kinds of different reasons why they want to come. Mostly just to improve their ability to deliver our services. And community-wide it's been tremendous. One of the efforts that we try to do in this instruction is involve the students in the community a lot. And so whatever is going on, if it's a health fair or a special event this Sunday, we're going to be down at the marathon and we're going to involve our folks just in that activity. And so we try to be visible, we try to get that experience connected with the effort of learning. And that's one of the secrets that I think we've been able to stumble into.

Feliciano Vera:
Based on your experience in the field, what's the difference between a member and a crew that is bilingual and linguistically competent and one that isn't.

Capt. Larry Contreras:
I'm happy to say that our members in general are very competent. They're highly skilled and highly trained. So you can imagine that when suddenly they run into the obstacle of not being able to communicate, it's a debilitating feeling. And it actually is debilitating to the person that's receiving the services, especially when it's critical. And there are lots of different life-saving maneuvers that require that communication, that require -- that are information dependent. So it creates that helpless feeling that everybody could have when they call 9-1-1. So we're hopefully -- we know for a fact that we are changing that feeling.

Feliciano Vera:
Nationally, what is the trend like with respect to developing similar programs to serve language minority communities? Have you had any conversations with your peers across country?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Absolutely. I get calls all the time from people that are interested in the program that we've developed. The idea of having people that speak Spanish, like you mentioned at the opening of the show is definitely there. There are organizations that are waiting, they are hiring practices, they are stimulating people to go to get that education. What we've attempted to do is just kind of emphasize that fact and improve on that by instructing our own folks. We just looked across our organization and said, is there anybody that has the ability to do this. And we found lots of folks. So we've kind of convinced that other organizations that that is possible. I just talked recently with a fell from Clark County. And they're interested in looking at our model and employing it there. We did do the same thing in a small tri-city area around Washington, D.C. They actually took our program. We assisted them. So this circumstance is nationwide. It's not just as you would imagine border cities. We're seeing it across the country. So the need is definitely there.

Mike Sauceda:
A countdown has started to Super Bowl XLII which will be hosted at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Hear what officials are doing to prepare. And for the first time since he was defeated by Congressman Harry Mitchell, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth speaks publicly. Hear what he has to say Thursday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Cary Pfeffer:
That will do it for our program. We'll see you. Good night.

Prop 207 Waivers


  • Private property activists are crying foul as valley cities hand out waivers to prop 207 to development planners and others seeking zoning changes. Ken Strobeck, Executive Director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, and Lori Klein, the Executive Director of Arizona Homeowner Protection Effort are guests.
Guests:
  • Ken Strobeck - Executive Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns
  • Lori Klein - Homeowner Protection Effort
  • Larry Contreras - Captain, Community Education Specialist, Phoenix Fire Department
Category: Elections

View Transcript
Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon", they fought over the passage of Eminent Domain Legislation, now cities and private property activists are at odds over waivers. A rare look at the old masters of South America---as a new art exhibit opens. And Phoenix firefighters go back to the classroom---to become bilingual. That's next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon." I'm Cary Pfeffer. Two Maricopa Community College Presidents are being asked to resign--- Mesa Community College President Larry Christiansen and Estella Mountain Community College President Homero Lopez are stepping down. The resignations come amid controversy over travel expenses and a lack of oversight at the schools. Since 2001, the Arizona Republic found Christiansen led a series of trips overseas that cost taxpayers more than 324 thousand dollars.

Cary Pfeffer:
The fallout from the passage last November of Proposition 207 continues. Prop 207 limited the use of Eminent Domain. That's the power of government to take private property for public use. Prop 207 defined on a state-level what public use would include. The proposition was a reaction to the United States Supreme Court's ruling in 2005 that local governments may force landowners to sell for private development. The Arizona Constitution's definition of the limitation of the power of Eminent Domain would prohibit that. Nevertheless private property activists cried foul and organized behind prop 207. Another part of prop 207 chilled cities and towns. Zoning changes could result in lawsuits. This "regulatory takings" aspect of the proposition was discussed before the election on "Horizon" with Michael Grant.

Ken Strobeck:
And the big part of the iceberg is this regulatory takings. In the sense that it would essentially free all zoning and land use regulations just the way they are today. Because any change in zoning, in mining regulations, farm and forestry, any kind of thing that -- limiting in any way the use of someone's land would trigger a potential for a claim. And that money would come straight out of state, city and county budgets that are used for other purposes.

Michael Grant:
Chuck, what about this proposition that, well, you know, hold it. You're kind of -- if this passes you're sort of freezing in place all of the decisions, bad and good, that we've made about land use planning generally, and any movement in the future is going to trigger a claim by somebody that, well, he's taking a chunk of my property value.

Sen. Chuck Gray:
Well, the interesting thing about this is that it's prospective. So nothing that happened in the past is affected. But when we take a look at what's going to happen in the future, and a property owner says to the city or to the county or to the government entity, "I want to change." If he initiates that then he has no claim for diminution in value. As a matter of fact his property value will probably go up so it won't be diminished. If we're talking about agricultural land that's as low as you can get already so they can't regulate it further. Except they could say you can't build anything on it. If they do that then the public at large must have a benefit for doing that. But why should that property owner pay for the benefit that the entire public enjoy are handing out waivers -

Cary Pfeffer:
So now cities are handing out waivers to Proposition 207 or planning permits. Some say it is being subverted. Joining me now is the first gentleman you saw on that piece, the Executive Director of the League of Arizona cities and towns, Ken Strobeck, and the Executive Director of the Arizona Homeowner Protection Effort, Lori Klein. Thank you both for being here.

Cary Pfeffer:
This is an issue that gets people hot under the collar, certainly lots of details that sort of need to be fleshed out in a way that is as understandable as possible. Ken I'll start with you. Why are we seeing these waivers? And are we seeing sort of variations on this? That's the sense I get within the various cities and towns around the state.

Ken Strobeck:
Yes. I believe we are. And I think actually there was an editorial in the Tribune a couple days ago that I think summed it up in the headline that said, if homeowners want a zoning change they should not be able to sue if their request devalues their property. That's really what we're talking about when we're talking about these waviors. And it applies only in a case when a city council or legislative body is planning to make a change in zoning that the property owner requests. Now in the provisions of prop 207, it says that there's nothing that prevents a city from asking for a waiver even for an action that homeowner is asking for. So that's all we're saying in this particular case with waivers is, if you come before the city council and say, would you please change the zoning on my property, and the council does that, we don't think it's fair for the property owner to then turn around and say, by the way, I'm filing a claim for a change in value. That's what this is all about.

Cary Pfeffer:
Lori, I want to get your take on this. Because this is an issue that is not sort of cut and dried in any way as far as you're concerned.

Lori Klein:
Well, I wish the cities and towns had limited themselves to what Mr. Strobeck has expressed. However, we have cities actually asking for waivers for such little things as electrical on their commercial property. They're not asking for zoning changes. They're asking for the bare essentials that they have a right to. And they're asking now to waive their rights just to get a planning permit on their property. So what its doing is, this is incensing private -- incensing private property owners who won a great battle. 65\% of our voters voted for prop 207. And it was only to put government in a position where they respect private property rights when they make zoning changes. And obviously if I go to the city and I want a zoning change by up or down zone I'm happy to sign a waiver that I'm not going to sue the city. And I think most reasonable property owners will be. But right now the cities are not being reasonable in how they exacting that's waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
Part of the discussion, Ken, focuses on the fact that these are being handed out in some cases with practically every permit that comes in, or it seems like it in a blanket sort of a way. For example, in Apache Junction is that --

Ken Strobeck:
We have put together a work group of various city attorneys and planners and people who have spent a lot of time looking at that proposition and have said what's the best way that we can make the law work and put it in place. Because that's our obligation. It's now part of state statute. It's not our job to protestor obstruct. It's our job to carry out the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. So we have issued guidelines about these waivers and guidelines about a checklist if anybody ever comes forward and says here's a claim. It says here's the things you need to demonstrate if you own the property. How can you demonstrate the loss of value and those kinds of things? There are also city attorneys who look at it in their own perspective and say if we have it in this case we should probably have it in that case. This is something they're deciding on a city by city basis and we're trying to get our experts together to give them guide lines and say this is where we ought to draw the line and not ask for these kinds of waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And the example I outlined with Apache Junction, what is your hope as far as that kind of action?

Lori Klein:
Well, I know that lawyer representing the proper owner there has asked the city attorney to step down because he basically said the waiver is illegal, unconstitutional and void on its face because it's asking for indemnification, it's asking for third-party indemnification for electricity to be applied on something that was preapproved for singular to have a pole on his commercial property. Which is obviously an up zone. So what the city is doing is actually forcing almost a trigger of diminution of value because they're forcing him to sign waivers. That's a whole another issue. Waivers that are forced? Since when are you going to withhold my right to electric, plumbing or even planning unless I sign away my rights? So I think this will go to court at some point.

Cary Pfeffer:
And ultimately, Ken, what you're saying is that the more likely direction for what your organization is suggesting is more along the lines of what was outlined earlier. In other words, if you have that request, you're then presented with a waiver and there's some sort of agreement at that time.

Ken Strobeck:
Right. The guidelines we issued we were Very clear in saying we think this should be used only in places where there are legislative or council decisions to be made not administrative decisioning. Because administrative decisions are those that everybody has a right to come in and pull a permit, file a claim, do whatever they want in terms of the regular routine processes without signing away their rights under prop 207.

Cary Pfeffer: Ultimately we're going to see court action specifically as far as Apache Junction is concerned and in other places in your estimatation?

Lori Klein:
Absolutely. I just got a call from the City of Phoenix. They want them to waive their rights just for an application for plans that they have for a building. So these are types of things that are administrative as Ken suggests. So I'm hoping that Arizona League of cities and towns, which oversees this, will be able to help with these guidelines. Because otherwise people are really feeling that their rights are being abridged. And the whole waiver system maybe overturned if that's the case. Where as I do believe there's some legitimate use for waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And in the last 15 seconds, it's your sense that the time frame for when the cities will adopt sort of this wording might be how long?

Ken Strobeck:
That's a very good question. I don't have an answer for you. But the fact with all this new language there will be litigation ultimately that will have to settle this.

Cary Pfeffer:
Ends up in court. That's an unusual story. Ken, thank you very much. And Lori, appreciate your being here as well.

Ken Strobeck and Lori Klein:
Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Well, you can get a rare look at the old masters of South America. 55 paintings from the 1600's are on display at the Tucson Museum of Art. Sue Yun Lee reports that this is the first such exhibition in South American history.

Sue Yun Lee:
55 paintings from 17th Century Peru are now on view at The Tucson Museum of Art.

Julie Sasse:
The exhibition is called the Virgin Saints and Angels. And it is a selection of works from the Marilyn and Karl Toma Selection with a variety of paintings from around 1600 to 1825. And they're all paintings from South America. Very old and very precious.

Julie Sasse:
The Tomas' were really fun to work with.

Sue Yun Lee:
Chief Curator of the museum, Julie Sasse.

Julie Sasse:
It's a selection of paintings basically ecclesiastical in nature. This was a part of that time and place so it's a history of art. The history of South America is quite fascinating. Of course Francisco Pizarro came from Spain to conquer South America in 1442. But it was over the course of the next 40 years that more Europeans came. With that of course came the Artisans and artists who painted for a variety of reasons. Of course many were painting religious subject matter as a way of converting the indigenous people to Catholicism which was one of the crucial mandates of coming to South America. But also as more and more mixed blood people became economically prominent, they also had a very vested interest in say decorating their government buildings or their palaces. So there are a lot of portraits that were commissioned. The monasteries were another element. They commissioned paintings to show narratives and the story of The Virgin Mary or about the history of the Christian religion as a way of teaching the indigenous people and therefore converting them to the religion.

Sue Yun Lee:
This is the first North American exhibit to focus exclusively on the paintings of this part of South America's history.

Julie Sasse:
This exhibition has been of course many years in the making. But we have been in touch with the Tomas' about this collection and about the exhibition for at least two years now. It was curated by their private Curator, Susan Stratton Pruitt. She is an authority in the field. So this is an exciting opportunity to bring this art to The Tucson Museum. It not only shows our deep commitment to art of Latin America, but it also shows the breadth of the type of art that we present here for the community. These are rare paintings that have not been seen anywhere in this part of the country, and throughout the country and beyond.

Sue Yun Lee:
There are a number of different themes in the exhibit.

Julie Sasse: And one of the types of groupings that you'll see are devotional images. And those are the images that you'll see around me. Those are primarily images that are focusing on the cult of the Virgin Mary. And they also deal with the story of Mary, the history of Mary. And some of them are very traditional in nature and some have their own special twist. Because there are many different cults that all focused on the devotion to the Virgin Mary. And also some wonderful scenes of say the annunciation. But there are also some very handsome paintings and portraits from people of that time period. So there's a nice range. It's not just strictly religious. But showing the history of South America and the European influence in the way of art.

Julie Sasse:
I'm particularly fond of this Area. This is the area of the portraits from the Toma Collection. For instance, this wonderful portrait of the contessa -- What's fascinating about these paintings is you can see how beautifully articulated the artist worked with the pearls and the jewels and the lace and the beautiful fabrics. As much as the European elite, the people of South America wanted to show off their new developed wealth. And they would commission artists to create portraits for their palaces and their homes. And this is a prime example.

Julie Sasse:
I am personally enamored with the work in this exhibition because of the incredible paintings and mastery. The colors to me are so exciting. The rich deep blues, the wonderful cardinal reds. To me it's just a visual feast of fabulous color and wonderful articulation of dark and light. So I can look at it from the formal concepts as much as the stories of Christianity.

SueYun Lee:
Curator Sasse reminds us to think about the importance of the learning the history behind these paintings.

Julie Sasse:
I think if anything what I'd Like to see is that people come away with an understanding of the development of the history of art. And the myriad forms that it took. In appreciating what has happened in the past, I think it helps to understand better not only politics and history but our culture as well. So to me its part of a wonderful tapestry of experiences and images and influences that makes up who we are today.

Cary Pfeffer:
Some beautiful pieces there. Well, more and more police and fire departments are training employees to speak Spanish in order to better serve the Latino Community. The Phoenix Fire Department is one of the first in the nation to offer in-house Spanish to emergency medical technicians and firefighters. In a moment Feliciano Vera talks to a firefighter about how it works. But first, Nadine Arroyo reports, it's a program firefighters say is a valuable asset to the job.

Capt, Frank Contreras:
We have different sounds in English on this, but in Spanish it's always one sound. That sound is ah. So everyone ah.

Everyone:
Ah.

Nadine Arrayo:
This is not your ordinary Spanish class. This is the Phoenix Fire Department's Spanish Immersion Program designed to prepare firefighters and its paramedics to better serve the people of Phoenix.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
More difficult ways to do something is to give you the Spanish and then you give me the English. So let's start with the guy --

Nadine Arrayo:
The fire department has been certifying their firefighters and paramedics in Spanish for more than four years. The program was designed to teach these emergency responders basic Spanish after realizing the need to better communicate with constituents during an emergency.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
We're getting or have been getting bigger influx of Latinos and Latinas. And they have problems, too. They call emergency 9-1-1. We respond to them. And there's a communication need that we're addressing.

Nadine Arrayo:
Fire department staff register for the class voluntarily. The program is a three to four-month intense course and staff attends class during the regular working hours. Most of the instructors of the class are former students themselves. All of those who attend the class say the benefits are endless.

Capt. Tom Taylor:
I feel like I'm able to provide a better service, really. I still have the same skills whether I speak English or Spanish. But I can get more to the point of what's really going on with someone. And it makes it -- you feel like you're really accomplishing your job versus kind of, I can't communicate with the patient, then you're not really sure if you're helping them or not. But this way as I'm expanding my vocabulary and my ability to communicate with them, I feel it makes me feel better about being able to treat them or help them out.

Nadine Arrayo:
In just two classes these firefighters can communicate Basic important questions, such as who's the patient, or --

Capt. Frank Contreras:
Many times there'll be crews, Non-Spanish speaking crews that will respond to some of these calls. And sometimes they may send a person to the hospital when they really don't need to go to the hospital. And when they're learning Spanish because they want to, to me, I tip my hat off to them.

Nadine Arrayo:
To assure the students have successfully immersed into the Spanish language they are given a final oral exam administered in Spanish. Once they pass and are certified as Spanish speaking staff they are rewarded with a minimum monthly bonus.

Feliciano Vera:
With us tonight to talk about the Spanish Immersion Program is Captain Larry Contreras, Community Education Specialist in Language Education Coordinator for the Phoenix Fire Department. Larry, welcome. How old is this program? This is something that's been around for over a decade now, is that right?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, quite honestly, formally it's about five years old. But we've been dealing with this problem for about 25 years. So it's actually a 10-year plan to get half of our members certified at this basic level. We're at five years now.

Feliciano Vera: So you've got roughly 25\% of your members are out in the field right now --

Capt. Larry Contreras:
We are right at 218. And we want to get to 750.

Feliciano Vera:
You mentioned that this is a problem that department has noticed for the last 25 some odd years. What prompted specifically the creation of the program?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, we've always had the idea that if we could ever have a station that was pretty much dedicated to this effort that we would. And what actually occurred is that Laveen Fire Department presented us with an opportunity to absorb -- observe their firefighters and then create the program without displacing any firefighters. So it was an opportunity. It was something that was born out of an idea from Chief Burnasini and our Labor President Bernie Schultz.

Feliciano Vera:
What's been the reaction from the community and from department members in general?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, the department members love it. We probably have 24 spots every four months available. And when we first began the program we had 200 letters of interest. And people have all kinds of different reasons why they want to come. Mostly just to improve their ability to deliver our services. And community-wide it's been tremendous. One of the efforts that we try to do in this instruction is involve the students in the community a lot. And so whatever is going on, if it's a health fair or a special event this Sunday, we're going to be down at the marathon and we're going to involve our folks just in that activity. And so we try to be visible, we try to get that experience connected with the effort of learning. And that's one of the secrets that I think we've been able to stumble into.

Feliciano Vera:
Based on your experience in the field, what's the difference between a member and a crew that is bilingual and linguistically competent and one that isn't.

Capt. Larry Contreras:
I'm happy to say that our members in general are very competent. They're highly skilled and highly trained. So you can imagine that when suddenly they run into the obstacle of not being able to communicate, it's a debilitating feeling. And it actually is debilitating to the person that's receiving the services, especially when it's critical. And there are lots of different life-saving maneuvers that require that communication, that require -- that are information dependent. So it creates that helpless feeling that everybody could have when they call 9-1-1. So we're hopefully -- we know for a fact that we are changing that feeling.

Feliciano Vera:
Nationally, what is the trend like with respect to developing similar programs to serve language minority communities? Have you had any conversations with your peers across country?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Absolutely. I get calls all the time from people that are interested in the program that we've developed. The idea of having people that speak Spanish, like you mentioned at the opening of the show is definitely there. There are organizations that are waiting, they are hiring practices, they are stimulating people to go to get that education. What we've attempted to do is just kind of emphasize that fact and improve on that by instructing our own folks. We just looked across our organization and said, is there anybody that has the ability to do this. And we found lots of folks. So we've kind of convinced that other organizations that that is possible. I just talked recently with a fell from Clark County. And they're interested in looking at our model and employing it there. We did do the same thing in a small tri-city area around Washington, D.C. They actually took our program. We assisted them. So this circumstance is nationwide. It's not just as you would imagine border cities. We're seeing it across the country. So the need is definitely there.

Mike Sauceda:
A countdown has started to Super Bowl XLII which will be hosted at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Hear what officials are doing to prepare. And for the first time since he was defeated by Congressman Harry Mitchell, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth speaks publicly. Hear what he has to say Thursday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Cary Pfeffer:
That will do it for our program. We'll see you. Good night.

south American Art


  • Arizona is playing host to a rare look at the old masters of South America. This is the first North American exhibition to focus exclusively on the paintings of South America's Visceregal period.
Guests:
  • Ken Strobeck - Executive Director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns
  • Lori Klein - Homeowner Protection Effort
  • Larry Contreras - Captain, Community Education Specialist, Phoenix Fire Department
Category: The Arts

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Cary Pfeffer:
Tonight on "Horizon", they fought over the passage of Eminent Domain Legislation, now cities and private property activists are at odds over waivers. A rare look at the old masters of South America---as a new art exhibit opens. And Phoenix firefighters go back to the classroom---to become bilingual. That's next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Good evening and thanks for joining us tonight on "Horizon." I'm Cary Pfeffer. Two Maricopa Community College Presidents are being asked to resign--- Mesa Community College President Larry Christiansen and Estella Mountain Community College President Homero Lopez are stepping down. The resignations come amid controversy over travel expenses and a lack of oversight at the schools. Since 2001, the Arizona Republic found Christiansen led a series of trips overseas that cost taxpayers more than 324 thousand dollars.

Cary Pfeffer:
The fallout from the passage last November of Proposition 207 continues. Prop 207 limited the use of Eminent Domain. That's the power of government to take private property for public use. Prop 207 defined on a state-level what public use would include. The proposition was a reaction to the United States Supreme Court's ruling in 2005 that local governments may force landowners to sell for private development. The Arizona Constitution's definition of the limitation of the power of Eminent Domain would prohibit that. Nevertheless private property activists cried foul and organized behind prop 207. Another part of prop 207 chilled cities and towns. Zoning changes could result in lawsuits. This "regulatory takings" aspect of the proposition was discussed before the election on "Horizon" with Michael Grant.

Ken Strobeck:
And the big part of the iceberg is this regulatory takings. In the sense that it would essentially free all zoning and land use regulations just the way they are today. Because any change in zoning, in mining regulations, farm and forestry, any kind of thing that -- limiting in any way the use of someone's land would trigger a potential for a claim. And that money would come straight out of state, city and county budgets that are used for other purposes.

Michael Grant:
Chuck, what about this proposition that, well, you know, hold it. You're kind of -- if this passes you're sort of freezing in place all of the decisions, bad and good, that we've made about land use planning generally, and any movement in the future is going to trigger a claim by somebody that, well, he's taking a chunk of my property value.

Sen. Chuck Gray:
Well, the interesting thing about this is that it's prospective. So nothing that happened in the past is affected. But when we take a look at what's going to happen in the future, and a property owner says to the city or to the county or to the government entity, "I want to change." If he initiates that then he has no claim for diminution in value. As a matter of fact his property value will probably go up so it won't be diminished. If we're talking about agricultural land that's as low as you can get already so they can't regulate it further. Except they could say you can't build anything on it. If they do that then the public at large must have a benefit for doing that. But why should that property owner pay for the benefit that the entire public enjoy are handing out waivers -

Cary Pfeffer:
So now cities are handing out waivers to Proposition 207 or planning permits. Some say it is being subverted. Joining me now is the first gentleman you saw on that piece, the Executive Director of the League of Arizona cities and towns, Ken Strobeck, and the Executive Director of the Arizona Homeowner Protection Effort, Lori Klein. Thank you both for being here.

Cary Pfeffer:
This is an issue that gets people hot under the collar, certainly lots of details that sort of need to be fleshed out in a way that is as understandable as possible. Ken I'll start with you. Why are we seeing these waivers? And are we seeing sort of variations on this? That's the sense I get within the various cities and towns around the state.

Ken Strobeck:
Yes. I believe we are. And I think actually there was an editorial in the Tribune a couple days ago that I think summed it up in the headline that said, if homeowners want a zoning change they should not be able to sue if their request devalues their property. That's really what we're talking about when we're talking about these waviors. And it applies only in a case when a city council or legislative body is planning to make a change in zoning that the property owner requests. Now in the provisions of prop 207, it says that there's nothing that prevents a city from asking for a waiver even for an action that homeowner is asking for. So that's all we're saying in this particular case with waivers is, if you come before the city council and say, would you please change the zoning on my property, and the council does that, we don't think it's fair for the property owner to then turn around and say, by the way, I'm filing a claim for a change in value. That's what this is all about.

Cary Pfeffer:
Lori, I want to get your take on this. Because this is an issue that is not sort of cut and dried in any way as far as you're concerned.

Lori Klein:
Well, I wish the cities and towns had limited themselves to what Mr. Strobeck has expressed. However, we have cities actually asking for waivers for such little things as electrical on their commercial property. They're not asking for zoning changes. They're asking for the bare essentials that they have a right to. And they're asking now to waive their rights just to get a planning permit on their property. So what its doing is, this is incensing private -- incensing private property owners who won a great battle. 65\% of our voters voted for prop 207. And it was only to put government in a position where they respect private property rights when they make zoning changes. And obviously if I go to the city and I want a zoning change by up or down zone I'm happy to sign a waiver that I'm not going to sue the city. And I think most reasonable property owners will be. But right now the cities are not being reasonable in how they exacting that's waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
Part of the discussion, Ken, focuses on the fact that these are being handed out in some cases with practically every permit that comes in, or it seems like it in a blanket sort of a way. For example, in Apache Junction is that --

Ken Strobeck:
We have put together a work group of various city attorneys and planners and people who have spent a lot of time looking at that proposition and have said what's the best way that we can make the law work and put it in place. Because that's our obligation. It's now part of state statute. It's not our job to protestor obstruct. It's our job to carry out the will of the people as expressed at the ballot box. So we have issued guidelines about these waivers and guidelines about a checklist if anybody ever comes forward and says here's a claim. It says here's the things you need to demonstrate if you own the property. How can you demonstrate the loss of value and those kinds of things? There are also city attorneys who look at it in their own perspective and say if we have it in this case we should probably have it in that case. This is something they're deciding on a city by city basis and we're trying to get our experts together to give them guide lines and say this is where we ought to draw the line and not ask for these kinds of waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And the example I outlined with Apache Junction, what is your hope as far as that kind of action?

Lori Klein:
Well, I know that lawyer representing the proper owner there has asked the city attorney to step down because he basically said the waiver is illegal, unconstitutional and void on its face because it's asking for indemnification, it's asking for third-party indemnification for electricity to be applied on something that was preapproved for singular to have a pole on his commercial property. Which is obviously an up zone. So what the city is doing is actually forcing almost a trigger of diminution of value because they're forcing him to sign waivers. That's a whole another issue. Waivers that are forced? Since when are you going to withhold my right to electric, plumbing or even planning unless I sign away my rights? So I think this will go to court at some point.

Cary Pfeffer:
And ultimately, Ken, what you're saying is that the more likely direction for what your organization is suggesting is more along the lines of what was outlined earlier. In other words, if you have that request, you're then presented with a waiver and there's some sort of agreement at that time.

Ken Strobeck:
Right. The guidelines we issued we were Very clear in saying we think this should be used only in places where there are legislative or council decisions to be made not administrative decisioning. Because administrative decisions are those that everybody has a right to come in and pull a permit, file a claim, do whatever they want in terms of the regular routine processes without signing away their rights under prop 207.

Cary Pfeffer: Ultimately we're going to see court action specifically as far as Apache Junction is concerned and in other places in your estimatation?

Lori Klein:
Absolutely. I just got a call from the City of Phoenix. They want them to waive their rights just for an application for plans that they have for a building. So these are types of things that are administrative as Ken suggests. So I'm hoping that Arizona League of cities and towns, which oversees this, will be able to help with these guidelines. Because otherwise people are really feeling that their rights are being abridged. And the whole waiver system maybe overturned if that's the case. Where as I do believe there's some legitimate use for waivers.

Cary Pfeffer:
And in the last 15 seconds, it's your sense that the time frame for when the cities will adopt sort of this wording might be how long?

Ken Strobeck:
That's a very good question. I don't have an answer for you. But the fact with all this new language there will be litigation ultimately that will have to settle this.

Cary Pfeffer:
Ends up in court. That's an unusual story. Ken, thank you very much. And Lori, appreciate your being here as well.

Ken Strobeck and Lori Klein:
Thank you.

Cary Pfeffer:
Well, you can get a rare look at the old masters of South America. 55 paintings from the 1600's are on display at the Tucson Museum of Art. Sue Yun Lee reports that this is the first such exhibition in South American history.

Sue Yun Lee:
55 paintings from 17th Century Peru are now on view at The Tucson Museum of Art.

Julie Sasse:
The exhibition is called the Virgin Saints and Angels. And it is a selection of works from the Marilyn and Karl Toma Selection with a variety of paintings from around 1600 to 1825. And they're all paintings from South America. Very old and very precious.

Julie Sasse:
The Tomas' were really fun to work with.

Sue Yun Lee:
Chief Curator of the museum, Julie Sasse.

Julie Sasse:
It's a selection of paintings basically ecclesiastical in nature. This was a part of that time and place so it's a history of art. The history of South America is quite fascinating. Of course Francisco Pizarro came from Spain to conquer South America in 1442. But it was over the course of the next 40 years that more Europeans came. With that of course came the Artisans and artists who painted for a variety of reasons. Of course many were painting religious subject matter as a way of converting the indigenous people to Catholicism which was one of the crucial mandates of coming to South America. But also as more and more mixed blood people became economically prominent, they also had a very vested interest in say decorating their government buildings or their palaces. So there are a lot of portraits that were commissioned. The monasteries were another element. They commissioned paintings to show narratives and the story of The Virgin Mary or about the history of the Christian religion as a way of teaching the indigenous people and therefore converting them to the religion.

Sue Yun Lee:
This is the first North American exhibit to focus exclusively on the paintings of this part of South America's history.

Julie Sasse:
This exhibition has been of course many years in the making. But we have been in touch with the Tomas' about this collection and about the exhibition for at least two years now. It was curated by their private Curator, Susan Stratton Pruitt. She is an authority in the field. So this is an exciting opportunity to bring this art to The Tucson Museum. It not only shows our deep commitment to art of Latin America, but it also shows the breadth of the type of art that we present here for the community. These are rare paintings that have not been seen anywhere in this part of the country, and throughout the country and beyond.

Sue Yun Lee:
There are a number of different themes in the exhibit.

Julie Sasse: And one of the types of groupings that you'll see are devotional images. And those are the images that you'll see around me. Those are primarily images that are focusing on the cult of the Virgin Mary. And they also deal with the story of Mary, the history of Mary. And some of them are very traditional in nature and some have their own special twist. Because there are many different cults that all focused on the devotion to the Virgin Mary. And also some wonderful scenes of say the annunciation. But there are also some very handsome paintings and portraits from people of that time period. So there's a nice range. It's not just strictly religious. But showing the history of South America and the European influence in the way of art.

Julie Sasse:
I'm particularly fond of this Area. This is the area of the portraits from the Toma Collection. For instance, this wonderful portrait of the contessa -- What's fascinating about these paintings is you can see how beautifully articulated the artist worked with the pearls and the jewels and the lace and the beautiful fabrics. As much as the European elite, the people of South America wanted to show off their new developed wealth. And they would commission artists to create portraits for their palaces and their homes. And this is a prime example.

Julie Sasse:
I am personally enamored with the work in this exhibition because of the incredible paintings and mastery. The colors to me are so exciting. The rich deep blues, the wonderful cardinal reds. To me it's just a visual feast of fabulous color and wonderful articulation of dark and light. So I can look at it from the formal concepts as much as the stories of Christianity.

SueYun Lee:
Curator Sasse reminds us to think about the importance of the learning the history behind these paintings.

Julie Sasse:
I think if anything what I'd Like to see is that people come away with an understanding of the development of the history of art. And the myriad forms that it took. In appreciating what has happened in the past, I think it helps to understand better not only politics and history but our culture as well. So to me its part of a wonderful tapestry of experiences and images and influences that makes up who we are today.

Cary Pfeffer:
Some beautiful pieces there. Well, more and more police and fire departments are training employees to speak Spanish in order to better serve the Latino Community. The Phoenix Fire Department is one of the first in the nation to offer in-house Spanish to emergency medical technicians and firefighters. In a moment Feliciano Vera talks to a firefighter about how it works. But first, Nadine Arroyo reports, it's a program firefighters say is a valuable asset to the job.

Capt, Frank Contreras:
We have different sounds in English on this, but in Spanish it's always one sound. That sound is ah. So everyone ah.

Everyone:
Ah.

Nadine Arrayo:
This is not your ordinary Spanish class. This is the Phoenix Fire Department's Spanish Immersion Program designed to prepare firefighters and its paramedics to better serve the people of Phoenix.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
More difficult ways to do something is to give you the Spanish and then you give me the English. So let's start with the guy --

Nadine Arrayo:
The fire department has been certifying their firefighters and paramedics in Spanish for more than four years. The program was designed to teach these emergency responders basic Spanish after realizing the need to better communicate with constituents during an emergency.

Capt. Frank Contreras:
We're getting or have been getting bigger influx of Latinos and Latinas. And they have problems, too. They call emergency 9-1-1. We respond to them. And there's a communication need that we're addressing.

Nadine Arrayo:
Fire department staff register for the class voluntarily. The program is a three to four-month intense course and staff attends class during the regular working hours. Most of the instructors of the class are former students themselves. All of those who attend the class say the benefits are endless.

Capt. Tom Taylor:
I feel like I'm able to provide a better service, really. I still have the same skills whether I speak English or Spanish. But I can get more to the point of what's really going on with someone. And it makes it -- you feel like you're really accomplishing your job versus kind of, I can't communicate with the patient, then you're not really sure if you're helping them or not. But this way as I'm expanding my vocabulary and my ability to communicate with them, I feel it makes me feel better about being able to treat them or help them out.

Nadine Arrayo:
In just two classes these firefighters can communicate Basic important questions, such as who's the patient, or --

Capt. Frank Contreras:
Many times there'll be crews, Non-Spanish speaking crews that will respond to some of these calls. And sometimes they may send a person to the hospital when they really don't need to go to the hospital. And when they're learning Spanish because they want to, to me, I tip my hat off to them.

Nadine Arrayo:
To assure the students have successfully immersed into the Spanish language they are given a final oral exam administered in Spanish. Once they pass and are certified as Spanish speaking staff they are rewarded with a minimum monthly bonus.

Feliciano Vera:
With us tonight to talk about the Spanish Immersion Program is Captain Larry Contreras, Community Education Specialist in Language Education Coordinator for the Phoenix Fire Department. Larry, welcome. How old is this program? This is something that's been around for over a decade now, is that right?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, quite honestly, formally it's about five years old. But we've been dealing with this problem for about 25 years. So it's actually a 10-year plan to get half of our members certified at this basic level. We're at five years now.

Feliciano Vera: So you've got roughly 25\% of your members are out in the field right now --

Capt. Larry Contreras:
We are right at 218. And we want to get to 750.

Feliciano Vera:
You mentioned that this is a problem that department has noticed for the last 25 some odd years. What prompted specifically the creation of the program?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, we've always had the idea that if we could ever have a station that was pretty much dedicated to this effort that we would. And what actually occurred is that Laveen Fire Department presented us with an opportunity to absorb -- observe their firefighters and then create the program without displacing any firefighters. So it was an opportunity. It was something that was born out of an idea from Chief Burnasini and our Labor President Bernie Schultz.

Feliciano Vera:
What's been the reaction from the community and from department members in general?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Well, the department members love it. We probably have 24 spots every four months available. And when we first began the program we had 200 letters of interest. And people have all kinds of different reasons why they want to come. Mostly just to improve their ability to deliver our services. And community-wide it's been tremendous. One of the efforts that we try to do in this instruction is involve the students in the community a lot. And so whatever is going on, if it's a health fair or a special event this Sunday, we're going to be down at the marathon and we're going to involve our folks just in that activity. And so we try to be visible, we try to get that experience connected with the effort of learning. And that's one of the secrets that I think we've been able to stumble into.

Feliciano Vera:
Based on your experience in the field, what's the difference between a member and a crew that is bilingual and linguistically competent and one that isn't.

Capt. Larry Contreras:
I'm happy to say that our members in general are very competent. They're highly skilled and highly trained. So you can imagine that when suddenly they run into the obstacle of not being able to communicate, it's a debilitating feeling. And it actually is debilitating to the person that's receiving the services, especially when it's critical. And there are lots of different life-saving maneuvers that require that communication, that require -- that are information dependent. So it creates that helpless feeling that everybody could have when they call 9-1-1. So we're hopefully -- we know for a fact that we are changing that feeling.

Feliciano Vera:
Nationally, what is the trend like with respect to developing similar programs to serve language minority communities? Have you had any conversations with your peers across country?

Capt. Larry Contreras:
Absolutely. I get calls all the time from people that are interested in the program that we've developed. The idea of having people that speak Spanish, like you mentioned at the opening of the show is definitely there. There are organizations that are waiting, they are hiring practices, they are stimulating people to go to get that education. What we've attempted to do is just kind of emphasize that fact and improve on that by instructing our own folks. We just looked across our organization and said, is there anybody that has the ability to do this. And we found lots of folks. So we've kind of convinced that other organizations that that is possible. I just talked recently with a fell from Clark County. And they're interested in looking at our model and employing it there. We did do the same thing in a small tri-city area around Washington, D.C. They actually took our program. We assisted them. So this circumstance is nationwide. It's not just as you would imagine border cities. We're seeing it across the country. So the need is definitely there.

Mike Sauceda:
A countdown has started to Super Bowl XLII which will be hosted at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Hear what officials are doing to prepare. And for the first time since he was defeated by Congressman Harry Mitchell, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth speaks publicly. Hear what he has to say Thursday at 7:00 on "Horizon."

Cary Pfeffer:
That will do it for our program. We'll see you. Good night.

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