Previous week’s games
11/12/09 Lakers 121, SUNS 102
11/15/09 SUNS 101, Raptors 100
11/17/09 SUNS 111, Rockets 105
This week’s games
11/19/09 SUNS @ Hornets 6 p.m., TNT
11/22/09 SUNS vs Pistons 6 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
11/25/09 SUNS vs Grizzlies 7 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
Down double figures? Trailing going into the fourth quarter? These are the types of things that would have caused the Suns to give up on games last year. This year, though, has been a much different story. This Suns team has a lot of fight in them. I realize everyone else in the blog world is already talking about the Suns’ new-found toughness, but why wouldn’t I do the same, considering this is what this year’s team has been all about up to this point.
Five times this year the Suns have won games after overcoming double-digit deficits. Five times! Last year, they did this a total of seven times (I believe) over the entire 82-game season. A huge part of the Suns’ grittiness this year has been the play of the bench. The second unit has kept the Suns in games by doing the little things that don’t show up in the box score at the end of the night. They keep the game close in the middle quarters, which allows the starters to come in fresh to close the games out.
Jared Dudley has been the biggest star off the bench through the first 12 games of the season. His defense and intensity have been a big lift for this team. Despite being obviously much slower than most the players he guards, and quite possibly the slowest player on the court at times, he still manages to stay in front of his man. I have no idea how he does this. It takes him 30 minutes to sprint down the court, yet he keeps the Rockets’ Trevor Ariza in front of him? Insane to believe, but inspiring to see.
Jaron Collins received his first significant minutes of the season Tuesday against the Rockets and what minutes they were. In roughly 13 minutes of play, Collins had six rebounds, two blocks and six points on 3-3 shooting from the field, including the basket that essentially sealed the victory off of an excellent pass from Amar’e Stoudemire. Collins showed he’s a real pro. Despite the limited playing and practice time, the guy came in and did everything you could ask him to and then some.
The hustle and heart of the role players is clearly bleeding over to the stars of this team as well. In the closing minutes of the game against the Rockets, Stoudemire and Steve Nash, historically known as the Suns’ two weakest defenders, came up with huge defensive stops on the same possession. First, Stoudemire showed some incredible footwork by moving his feet and staying in front of the über-quick Ariza and forcing him into a missed jump shot. Unfortunately, the Rockets got the offensive board; however, that’s when Nash showed his impressive D. On the offensive reset, Aaron Brooks tried to beat him off the dribble, and Nash would have none of that, forcing Brooks into one of his many missed jumpers on the night. That’s something Suns fans aren’t used to seeing, but could quickly grow accustomed to.
What has this new intensity and effort on the defensive end and boards led to? Just 24 tacos (two every time the Suns score 100 points) and the first team to 10 wins. Not too bad if I do say so myself, and I do.
This month’s RadiatePhx event is a bit unique. Usually the discussion centers on the great things happening around Central Phoenix. This time, RadiatePhx wants to hear what you don’t like about living in Downtown Phoenix. What can we improve? What needs fixing? How do we create a world-class Downtown that we can all respect? Don’t think of these points as complaints — think of them as constructive criticism. Join moderator Tyler Hurst at the event and let your thoughts be known. Tyler’s guest blog below is just the tip of the iceberg. See you on Tuesday. -Ed.
Downtown Phoenix isn’t about businesses, buildings or parks. It’s about people. Those that live, work and/or play here make this place what it is. It’s not that great. Sure, there’s plenty of potential and lots of usable space, but we really haven’t done much.
Copper Square was a failed experiment. Have you EVER seen that place busy? Elsewhere, it’s impossible to walk anywhere north of I-10. And what are we doing about it? Well, nothing, really. We’re having our little events and hoping that something good will happen. Then we congratulate each other. It’s time to stop flailing blindly and get on the same page. Let’s share our gripes and figure out ways to get better. Here are mine.
- Anything fun is spaced too far away. We have small little hives of activity connected with long, dark patches of absolutely nothing.
- A lot of the people living here are liberal artists. They don’t make much money, don’t understand how to make money and seem content with First Fridays for selling anything. Yeah, good luck with that.
- We have tons of groups, yet no one talks to each other. Go ask marketing people they’ll tell you the same. We all have our own thing on our own day, and they’re all sparsely attended.
- Everyone wants a creative class down here, but no one understands what the hell that even is.
- Most are against anything corporate or chain, yet they don’t understand that’s where the money comes from.
- Everything is shiny happy unicorn rainbows all the time. THE BEST EVENT EVER! First Friday was a blast! The little scavenger hunt we had changed my life (OK, that last one was actually fun)! It’s called perspective. Try it.
- No one looks around. Nice TwitterHunt last week, CenPho businesses. Didn’t bother to check that many of the people using social media had their own GeekWeekAZ and were too tired to participate, did you?
- Too many businesses think A) Twitter is the answer or B) don’t have a clue what the internet, much less social media, even is. I live downtown and I don’t hear a damn thing about what goes on down here, and I’m constantly searching social media channels. It’s about BALANCE.
- Everyone bitches, but no one bitches out loud and in public. Pissed about Modified Arts? SAY SOMETHING. Want to start a music venue? ASK AROUND.
- We want our Downtown to be just like someone else’s. It doesn’t work that way. While I love the Gaslamp District, our city leaders seem too concerned with north Phoenix to make that happen. You want to improve your city? DO IT.
- Phoenix thinks it has an image problem, when Phoenix IS THE PROBLEM. It’s foot-burning, nose-drying, armpit-sweating hot five months every year here, and we have a Downtown WITHOUT ANY SHADED SIDEWALKS.
- You built a park in the middle of the city and didn’t bother to shade it. Instead, we got a floating cervix that only looks good at night.
- The Arizona Republic still exists, apparently above questioning. Does anyone even read that rag anymore? Arpaio met with Biden? WHO’S REPORTING WHAT?
- Businesses think light rail is the answer. No, being amazing is the answer. Light rail is just a more efficient way of bringing people to you.
- Too often, criticism is passed off as complaining. Ever try asking a critic if they’re willing to help? I bet they are!
- ASU has been allowed to grow in the middle of Downtown, without any sort of clear plan as to what role it will play in the community. Right now, it offers residents limited WiFi. Woohoo.
- There’s always talk about shopping local, yet no one actually does it. Ever seen unmanageable lines at the Phoenix Public Market? Me neither.
- That people probably haven’t even read this far.
Agree or disagree, get down to Local Breeze on Tuesday, November 24 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and get your point across. You don’t count if you don’t show up. Let’s be constructive and make a difference.
Local Breeze is located at 606 N. 4th Ave. in Roosevelt (602.368.3613) — light rail station at Central/1st avenues and Van Buren Street.
On Tuesday, November 17, Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon took the stage at Civic Space Park for his sixth State of Downtown address. Instead of focusing on the tough economic times since last year’s speech, the mayor made it a point to look toward the future of Downtown Phoenix, with ASU’s promise, 1 million square feet of development, light rail’s success and better education and parks leading the way.
Below is the transcript of the mayor’s address. Leave your comments below… DPJ would love to know what you thought of the mayor’s focus for the upcoming year.
“The Time is Now”
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Let me thank Jeanine L’Ecuyer for doing such a great job as our emcee tonight. Let’s give her a hand.
And let me acknowledge our title sponsor, Freeport McMoRan for making this free event possible tonight. Freeport McMoRan continues to be the world’s largest publicly owned copper company – and a fantastic corporate partner. We’re proud to have their global headquarters in downtown Phoenix.
And I’d like to acknowledge my colleagues from the Phoenix City Council who have joined us this evening.
Let’s thank them for all the hard work they do for our community.
But what also makes this City run – is the best collection of city employees in the country. And they are all led by our very talented – and brand new – city manager, David Cavazos. Please help me thank them all.
And thank all of YOU so much for joining us for our Sixth State of Downtown Celebration – and the very first one to be held outdoors – where we can all mingle with people and actually SEE downtown Phoenix. And I know you’ll agree with me that what we have done is truly a unique revitalization of downtown.
Other cities have tried for decades to pump life into their downtowns – including us. Why? Because we have learned that for a City to be healthy – it must have a healthy heart. And that heart – that core – is its downtown. When a city is battling sprawl and decay, its heart grows weak. But when you have a healthy downtown – a healthy heart – the core grows denser and stronger, more active – and pumps new life into the entire city.
For those of you who have been coming to these events all along, we’ve experienced some interesting things together haven’t we? We were among the very first to gather in the expanded Convention Center – and to meet in our new Downtown Sheraton. We all rode the light rail a month before anyone else — and we welcomed the University of Arizona, to downtown Phoenix. I want to acknowledge the historic significance of that. The U of A put the interests of the State first and did something unprecedented in history – by expanding their medical school to Phoenix — AND they did it by partnering with ASU. Let’s give our visionary friends from the University of Arizona a big round of applause.
Some of you might even remember another “First” when, using incredible state-of-the-art technology, we all watched a giant video screen and saw a U of A doctor and Tucson medical students examine and diagnose Phoenix City Councilman Claude Mattox from 100 miles away. This means that rural communities and small schools can now access personal medical attention, literally, with a very small camera and the click of a mouse. It’s tremendously important and amazing.
Well tonight – we’re at our new Civic Space – next to the historic A. E. England Building which opened for the first time in 1929 – and now, has reopened 80 years later as a 21st Century Town Hall – a free resource for all in our community. And, of course, overhead, we are stunningly surrounded by one of Janet Echelman’s defining pieces of art – “Her Secret is Patience”. Though with all due respect to Ms. Echelman — when it comes to building a downtown – MY Secret is that I am NEVER patient. My secret is Nike’s motto – Just Do It.
And for the past six years, that’s EXACTLY what WE have been doing.
I’m not going to spend my usual 10 minutes recapping what’s been going on around here. You’ve seen it. You’ve eaten in the new unique restaurants, visited the galleries, enjoyed the NBA All-Star activities, continue to enjoy OUR “Best in the NBA” Phoenix Suns – and 17,000 of you watched the Phoenix Mercury – the GREAT Phoenix Mercury — win their second championship in three years.
And just last week, we hosted the International Greenbuild conference – bringing 28,000 people to Phoenix from all over the globe. So yes, our downtown really did have a year that made most cities “green” – and not just in an environmental way. In an envious way.
But that was yesterday. This year, I want to focus on this evening. And all our tomorrows.
Yes, it’s been a tough year economically for everyone. You’ve heard all about it, read all about and felt it.
But in spite of it all, we’ve still got a lot going on in downtown Phoenix. And it’s all good. In fact, as we gather here tonight, more than 1 million square feet of new space is currently under construction in downtown Phoenix.
And in ANY economy, a million is STILL a very big number.
A big part of that big number, is represented by CityScape. As you might recall, CityScape is truly a landmark project – $900 million dollars in private investment over 3 city blocks in the heart of our downtown. As of tonight, 74 percent of both its commercial and retail space has already been leased – six full months before its completion.
Six years ago, I got the biggest applause of my life when I announced that I wanted to bulldoze Patriots’ Park and replace it with something that would be a jewel for Downtown, and would honor our Patriots in a more inviting and inclusive way.
The new Patriots’ park is now under construction.
You all know that CityScape is going to take downtown to a whole new level. Restaurants, night clubs, our first REAL downtown pharmacy, a grocery store – it’s all incredibly exciting.
And ONE new addition to CityScape is VERY exciting. It’s called Lucky Strike. Lucky Strike is a bowling alley, but it’s not like any bowling alley you’ve ever seen. It’s a restaurant, but so much more. It’s a sports bar, but so much more. It’s simply “an entertainment experience”.
But until you can experience it for yourself – you’ll just have to SEE it for yourself. Recently, a Lucky Strike opened to RAVE reviews in Hollywood. And THIS is what it looks like. Please watch the screen.
I’m not a very good bowler – unless I can use those bumpers that my 10 year old son Jake USED to use — so let me ask my new friend to join me on stage and help us celebrate Lucky Strike by knocking down a few pins.
So CityScape will continue to change the face – and the dynamics – of downtown Phoenix for decades to come. And if you ask the folks from RED Development why they think NOW is the time to be downtown — they’ll tell you it’s because ASU thought it was time to be downtown. It IS time.
And ASU changed everything. That’s why we’re here – in this park – our first sustainable park in Phoenix. Because I want to say “thank you” to Dr. Crow and to ASU – and to highlight the steady heartbeat of Arizona State University – which continues to pump life into downtown Phoenix, continues to generate revenue for the State – and continues to do what universities are supposed to do: educate our residents, and prepare them to change the world for the better.
When Dr. Crow and I envisioned the 21st Century University in the heart of downtown Phoenix, many people thought we were crazy. OK, many still do. But not the voters – or our great bond committee – or our City Council. We told all of those visionaries that a downtown campus would create an economic benefit before construction, during construction and long after construction ended. We promised it would not only bring new life to downtown, but it would also restore old buildings and build new ones. That it would bring students. And faculty. And staff. And a 21st Century energy. And all the things that make a university, a university. And as promised, it’s done all those things: Enrollment is up 42 percent, with 8,000 students, faculty and staff downtown. The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications opened – with the freshman class growing by an amazing 45 percent. And the two big reasons, according to the Dean, are THIS beautiful building; and the fact that it’s in Downtown Phoenix. A $30 million dollar addition to the Nursing school just opened – as did the second tower at Taylor Place – that nearly 800 students now call home.
Some have said that ASU is our downtown “Sutter Mill” – where, in the 1840s, many miners stuck it rich with the gold nuggets they panned from the Creek. But ASU is much more than a few nuggets – it’s a gold mine. Because when you look beneath the surface — when you dig deeper – that’s where you strike the REAL gold.
And with ASU Downtown, Phoenix has hit the mother lode. We’ve struck REAL gold – (and a little maroon). And we’re just beginning.
There’s a classic line they teach in marketing class that cautions us to keep our eyes on the REAL ball. The line says: “When someone buys a hammer their goal isn’t to drive a few nails – their goal is to build something.” That’s an important lesson. We don’t invest in universities just to pound a few nails and hang a few doors. We build universities so thousands of graduates will be able to open thousands of their own doors.
Therefore, when we seek funding for universities, the goal is not to buy bricks and mortar, the goal is to move beyond even solar technology — creating clean, renewable energy from the simple motion of plants. To design smarter and greener cities. To advance and apply the science that will improve the quality AND the length of your life. The measure of a university isn’t what happens inside the four walls of a classroom. It’s what happens after students leave those four walls, and set out to change the world – and do.
That’s the end product. That’s why we invest in education. That’s why we focus on education. And it’s why communities with vision, communities like ours, support education.
Absolutely, ASU has brought excitement to downtown Phoenix. It’s brought students and professors. It’s attracted research grants, investment dollars, businesses, restaurants and galleries. And it’s sent a big signal to everyone – including our friends at CityScape – that for downtown, “Our Time is Now”.
Before I introduce you to today’s guest lecturer, let me tell you a few more things that I know about ASU, and why we should all care so much about it.
For starters, it is already creating over 2,500 good-paying jobs. Blue Collar. White Collar. Green Collar. That’s 2,500 families that can pay their bills and make purchases. And as we all know, “purchases = sales tax”. In fact, the construction phase of ASU downtown has produced more than Ten Million Dollars in state sales tax revenues from construction materials alone.
While our sales tax revenues have declined citywide, in downtown Phoenix, they are up by 13 percent. Those are the nuggets.
Now, for the gold mine: ASU has produced two Nobel laureates – one in 2004 and one just this year. Its freshman class is the largest and most academically qualified in university history. 31 percent were within the top 10 percent of their high school class – and 64 percent were in the top quarter.
ASU is in the top 10 producers of Fulbright Scholars — producing 92 in the past 6 years.
612 National Merit Scholars enrolled at ASU last year and 324 National Hispanic Scholars.
This year, research expenditures exceeded $300 million dollars for the first time in ASU history. Research laboratory space increased by 72 percent and, near and dear to my own heart – ASU founded the nation’s very first School of Sustainability. And I promise you, the greatness of a city in the future will not be measured by square miles or population – a city’s greatness will be measured by its ability to sustain itself into the next Century.
Organizationally, ASU has added thirty-one new schools in the past 7 years – including:
The School of Sustainable Engineering. The School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering. The School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering. The School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning. And, of course, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication – right across the street.
By the way, Brian Williams is anchoring the national NBC Nightly news from the roof of the Cronkite building right about now. So let’s all make a lot of noise and let the country hear us in Downtown Phoenix !!!
These new schools will produce thousands of students with unique degrees in those areas. And those thousands of students – armed with their new and excellent education — will keep Phoenix AND Arizona competitive as we charge into this new Century – and sustain into the next.
ASU is such a unique University. It has great professors, great students and, according to TIME Magazine a Top Ten President in Dr. Michael Crow. Like Phoenix, rather than letting the future define us – ASU is defining the future – and shaping courses that will shape that future. That’s why we’re partners with ASU. And thanks to our city employees, my colleagues, Arizona State University and all of you, the future we shape together will be bigger, better and brighter.
It’s not just buildings. It’s everything. Take a look.
Last year, I suggested that we all needed to see downtown for ourselves. And we hopped on a light rail car and did. This year, I want you to HEAR for yourselves, why ASU Downtown matters. And for that, I’ve set up a little classroom here tonight – and have invited a guest lecturer to make a short presentation to this very important class. By the way, there WILL be a short test afterwards, so listen carefully.
Please welcome ASU’s Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs, Dr. Rick Shangraw.
Thank you so much Dr. Shangraw. Before I dismiss this class, let me end with a heartfelt and passionate plea for everyone who cares about this community, this state, and our shared future – to keep investing in education. You’ve just heard a little bit about what universities mean to our future.
You have heard for yourselves the wisdom of our investment in the downtown campus. You know the progress it has sparked. You see the good work being done by students, teachers and researchers.
We invest in universities to seek and build a better world. To find new cures. To perfect new technologies. To protect our fragile planet. We invest in universities because life is complex and intertwined – and we need well-educated people to solve those complexities and connect all those dots.
Thank you for continuing to support what we’re doing in education. Thank you for continuing to support what we’re doing downtown. And thank you all very much for joining us this evening.
Don’t forget to grab your recycled gift bag on the way out – remember to “Shop Phoenix” — and PLEASE drive safely.
And with that…class is dismissed.
DPJ is proud to bring you the best Yelp reviews of your favorite Downtown restaurants, boutiques, venues and everything in between. Every Tuesday, visit DPJ for a finely crafted, tell-all account of a Downtown spot straight from the experts: the people!
Love love love this place.
My hair is always looking fabulous when I leave here, and everyone involved at this salon is highly skilled, compassionate, and friendly.
Whether you’re going for a run-of-the-mill cut, or you want blue hair, there is someone there who can fulfill your needs. Plus, they’re open until 9pm!!! No excuses, get your hair done. They also have a lot of cute things to shop for in the front of the salon. Plus, the bathroom rivals some of the greatest in the P-H-X. Can you say chalkboard walls? Yes, Hair Pollution wants to know your inner most thoughts about life, love, and scary movies.
Samantha, my stylist, is an expert colorist. She also so does an amazing cut, that can grow out a little, and not look too funky. Stretches the dollars a bit too! (Thanks Sam!) She will tell it like it is, so you don’t end up with orange hair….unless you wanted that kinda thing.
Be sure to say Hi to the owner Tad, who is a wonderful human being. Find him in a cowboy hat most days, rockin’ a couple of fab sleeves (the tattoo kind ppl). Um, they also have free soda, lots of great art books to peruse while your hair is “cooking” and the people watching is second to none.
There are a lot of stylists at Hair Pollution, my advice is to talk to the lovely lady at the front and ask her opinion (it is worth its weight in gold, trust me) on the best stylist for your needs. Don’t expect to pay $20 for a cut here, but you also won’t be dropping Scottsdiggity scrill either. You get what you pay for, so commit to looking fabulous, and make it a budget priority.
Hair Pollution is located at 1524 E. McDowell Rd. near Coronado. (602) 258.8600
The DPJ Yelper of the Week offers honest insight on a Downtown business to help you explore your core. DPJ hopes that by partnering with Yelp to spread the good word about well-loved Downtown spots, you’ll spread your patronage and support local business.
Yelp is a social networking and local search engine that provides the reviews of places and things that matter to you. Simply log in, pick a place and queue up your inner critic. You can write a beaming review of your favorite gelato spot, or a scathing portrayal of that rental car facility you had to use after that curb came out of nowhere. Yelp’s reviews are at once honest, uncensored, wildly hilarious and true. Heck, the site must be doing something right — it had 25 million viewers just last month!
Last week’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo wasn’t all about trade show booths and discussions. On Friday afternoon, conference attendees got out and explored some of the Valley’s green buildings and innovative sites. Of particular interest to DPJ readers was a tour of five urban infill sites in Downtown Phoenix.
The first stop on the tour was Arizona Biomedical Collaborative Building 1 at 5th and Van Buren streets. This building is the result of a unique partnership between University of Arizona and Arizona State University. It was built to support the two universities’ research in biology, chemistry and biomedical informatics. The ABC is the first building in Downtown Phoenix to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Along with receiving LEED points for being an urban infill project and proximity to public transit, the building was also lauded for its shower and cycling facilities, flexible laboratory and office planning, use of recycled and locally sourced materials and a series of energy and water conservation features.
The tour then progressed up 5th Street to Bioscience High School. Not only is the high school home to a unique curriculum of study, but the building itself is also a learning tool. It is designed as a facility that is both environmentally sensitive to its urban desert context and well suited to its academic purpose. The Bioscience High School campus employs solar hot water heaters (and is “wired” to accommodate photovoltaic panels in the future) and maximizes the use of natural light throughout the campus. It also employs flexible learning spaces. While time and budget constraints prevented the building from achieving LEED accreditation when it was first built, a student group is planning to seek accreditation as a school project. They hope to obtain a LEED Silver rating.
The next stop was the recently opened ASU Nursing and Health Innovation Building on the corner of 3rd and Fillmore streets. While there have been some concerns about the cost and sustainability of the building’s copper exterior, the tour learned that the 80% of the copper used was sourced from recycled materials and was much cheaper than the glass curtain wall prevalent on many buildings. In addition, the copper siding is almost maintenance-free, and will naturally patina as it weathers. Some other environmental features incorporated in the building include structural shade incorporated into the design of the building, the salvaging and replanting of the trees that were originally on the site, solar water heating and a 60% reduction of water consumption through xeriscaping and low-flow fixtures. The project is expected to earn Downtown’s second LEED Gold certification.
Next up was another ASU building: the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication/KAET Channel 8. This was a great day for the Greenbuild tour to take place, as the building was gearing up for the presentation of its LEED Silver certification by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) President Rick Fedrizzi later in the afternoon. Sustainability was an integral part of the design and construction of the building. Green features include the building’s orientation, which allows for maximizing daylight; its to mixed use of retail, classrooms, offices and television studios; and the use of condensation from the air handler in irrigating the building’s native and adaptive landscaping.
The last stop of the day was the city of Phoenix’s Civic Space Park. While not seeking LEED certification, the park is an example that going green does not mean sacrificing aesthetics. The focus of this stop was the park’s solar panels. These panels are integrated into the park’s unique shade canopies. Combined, the solar system generates 75,000 kWh annually (enough to power eight to nine residential homes), providing most of the park’s energy needs. The system is designed for expandability and future energy needs. Other sustainable features of the park include its brownfield site, the shade structures and its porous concrete walkways.
The participants in the tour were not only impressed by the sites we visited, but also by the fact that after three days of meetings inside the Convention Center, they were able to stretch their legs and witness firsthand how Downtown Phoenix is reemerging as a vibrant urban hub.