September 9, 2019
How have Latinos shaped Phoenix's development? Who are the Latinos that led the fight for civil rights in the Valley? It's a broad question, and an essential one: About one third of the people living in Maricopa County are Hispanic or Latino, according to U.S. Census data. We're looking at three stories that illustrate the impact Latinos had in the Valley and continue to have. We take a look into what Phoenix was like before it was developed and during the civil rights movement. September 15th is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. Celebrate by learning more about Latino history in Arizona with this episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and Valley 101 is intended to be heard. But we also offer a transcript of the episode script. There may be slight deviations from the podcast audio.In this episode, you'll hear:The History of the "Mother of Phoenix," Trinidad Escalante SwillingRay Martinez, a co-founder of the American Legion Post 41 and WWII U.S. Navy veteranMary Rose Wilcox, the first Latina to serve on the Phoenix City Council
September 2, 2019
Which Arizona team are we in the Valley the most loyal to? And why? People often talk about how long a team has been around or how much they're winning, but there's so much more to it than that. Which team do you love the most and why? Let us know on Twitter @valley101pod. And sign up for our email newsletter at
August 26, 2019
The American Lung Association ranked Phoenix the seventh most ozone-polluted metropolitan area in the United States in April. If you've ever seen a brown haze hanging over the Valley, you too may have questioned the safety of our air quality.While all residents can experience side effects of poor air quality, there are certain groups of people who are particularly sensitive and will endure more severe consequences. What can we all do to protect them? This episode will help you understand more about these pollutants; how they affect human health and who is most at risk; and how Phoenix's air quality has changed over time. LINKS: Subscribe to our Valley 101 Newsletter: For more info on the ADEQ vehicle emissions assistance program: Valley on Twitter @valley101pod. Follow Producer Taylor Seely on Twitter: @taylorseely95Follow Host Kaila White on Twitter @KailaWhite
August 19, 2019
What do you think of when you picture a palm tree?For some, palm trees bring to mind images of beaches, sand and the ocean waves — not the desert. But you can spot the high-rising plant pretty much anywhere you head to in town.That begs the question: Are palm trees native to Arizona? Why does Phoenix have so many?In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, podcast editor Katie O'Connell digs in on this fixture of our landscape. In this episode you'll hear:Liz Makings, collections manager for Arizona State University's HerbariumSteve Blackwell, conservation collections manager at the Desert Botanical GardenBrian Blake, owner of Whitfill Nursery: Main Tree Farm
August 12, 2019
Arizona is home to an array of wildlife unique to the southwestern U.S., including the often-misunderstood javelina. As Mesa resident Jim Albany asked, "Are javelina really dangerous?"This question took us on a journey to the Phoenix Zoo, a taxidermy-filled office room, and the Ben Avery Outdoor Archery Range in Phoenix. If you've ever run into a javelina in your neighborhood and not known how to react, you'll want to take a listen to this episode. Did you know that you can hunt javelina? We break down how it works and talk to local hunter Josh Kirchner about his adventures. To learn more, listen to this episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and In this episode, you'll hear:Devorah Young, a hoofstockkeeper at the Phoenix Zoo, talk about javelinas she takes care of. Darren Julian, of Arizona Game and Fish Department, speak about how to react when you run into a javelina.Josh Kirchner, a local hunter, talk about why he hunts javelina and how to do it. 
August 5, 2019
Odds are you’ve driven through the part of Interstate 10 in downtown Phoenix that dips into a tunnel. Phoenix natives call this the Deck Park Tunnel. But that is that is not its real name, and it’s technically not a tunnel. The real name is the Papago Freeway Tunnel and it's a series of 19 bridges. Big surprise, right?To dig in to this controversial history, listen to this episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and This episode contains clips of a video called "Soaring Sculpture" produced by Swartwout Film Productions in cooperation with the Arizona State Highway Department and the Bureau of Public Roads and U.S. Department of Transportation. Thank you to the Arizona Department of Transportation for letting us use parts of that video.
July 29, 2019
Legend City was an 87-acre Arizona theme park located between Phoenix and Tempe near Papago Park from 1963 to 1983. At its best, Legend City was a family oasis filled with fun western rides, talented performers and nostalgic penny arcades. At its worst, it had shoddy maintenance and only remnants of its original western theme. Despite Legend City's tumultuous history, filled with financial mismanagement, rapid ownership turnover and multiple periods of closure, the park was also a source of many fond memories for residents today. Producer Taylor Seely explores the story behind the park in this episode. Follow Valley 101 on Twitter: @valley101podFollow Taylor Seely on Twitter: @taylorseely95Find John Bueker's book on Legend City by clicking here.
July 22, 2019
Built before statehood, the Arizona capitol building grew in conjunction with the state's population. By 1954, the state legislature realized a third addition to the original structure was necessary.The state contracted with a group called the Associated State Capital Architects, but not everyone was pleased with their designs.Insert Frank Lloyd Wright. The famed architect offered an unsolicited design for the building in 1957, launching a public debate on which plan the government should pursue. And things got heated. Listen to this episode of the Valley 101 podcast from The Arizona Republic and to learn more.
July 15, 2019
If you drive around the Valley you're likely to see electric scooters on sidewalks, in neighborhoods and in popular areas like Mill Avenue in Tempe or Scottsdale Fashion Square.Bike-share programs that have docking stations have been in metro Phoenix since 2014. But once dockless bikes popped up in 2017 and dockless scooters in 2018, they immediately drew criticism. You might be wondering: Why are they here? Are they safe to ride? How are they changing the Valley? In this episode of The Arizona Republic and's Valley 101 podcast, we look at all the ways electric scooters and bikes are affecting our cities. In this episode, you'll hear: What it's like to be a charger for electric scooter companies like Bird and Lime.What safety issues scooters are bringing to the forefront in our communities?Whether or not scooters will change transportation as we know it.
July 8, 2019
Many major cities across the U.S. have a Chinatown, Little Italy or some other ethnic enclave where immigrants have settled together. Did we ever have an ethnic enclave in metro Phoenix?Yes! We had one. Or, well, two. Listen to this episode of the Valley 101 podcast from The Arizona Republic and to learn more.
July 1, 2019
From its time as "Apacheria" to rumors it was once brimming with camels, metro Phoenix is rich with history and myths. In this episode of Valley 101 podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we answer four of your questions about the history of Arizona and the Phoenix area. These include:What state in Mexico was Arizona before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo?Who named Camelback Mountain?What is the most iconic building in the downtown Phoenix skyline?How did Grand Avenue end up diagonal in a grid of roads?
June 24, 2019
As housing across metro Phoenix becomes more expensive, Valley residents are questioning whether it’s become a crisis, and how effectively cities are tackling the issue. Reporters from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.comhave covered this crisis extensively, finding that eviction rates and homelessness rates are rising every year in Maricopa County. In part, that’s because of an affordable-housing crisis across the Valley. To read the transcript of this episode, click here. Articles mentioned in the episode: – Eviction rate spikes again across Phoenix as affordable-housing crisis worsens – Federal report: Homelessness spikes in Arizona, rising 10 percent in 2018 – Renters in the housing crisis are often stuck between help and affordability – Follow us on Twitter: @valley101podFollow the producer of this episode, Taylor: @taylorseely95Follow the show host: @kailawhite 
June 17, 2019
Phoenix was built on agriculture. Without the efforts of early settlers to revive the Hohokam canal system to grow crops, we wouldn't be here today. But the abundance of land, good climate and accessible water drew new residents and businesses en mass. The more the population grew, the more land was converted to from agricultural land to residential land. The result? The west valley lost 31% of its agricultural land between 2000 and 2017. The east valley lost almost 54% of agricultural land during the same time. How are urban farmers in the Valley surviving? And what does the future of farming look like?If you're looking for more on this subject, read this story from Arizona Republic reporter Joshua Bowling.
June 10, 2019
Other big cities across the U.S. have been shaped by housing segregation and redlining, but did that happen here? Host Kaila White looks into this issue that reaches back to before Arizona was a state and it still impacts Phoenix today, maybe even affecting your neighborhood.References: - FDR recording “NNV 169-59 [dig].” from 1940 from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.- Ray Martinez recording from Arizona History, A Chicano Perspective (1985). F 820 M5 A77x 1985. Chicano/a Research Collection. ASU Library, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. - President Johnson Signing the 1968 Civil Rights Bill, April 11, 1968 from the LBJ Presidential Library.- Read Elizabeth Montgomery’s article on Lincoln Ragsdale, “the Arizona Civil Rights pioneer who helped integrate Phoenix.”
June 3, 2019
Have you ever noticed a clear wire, strung between poles in different parts of the Valley? You can see it at the intersection of Scottsdale and Camelback roads, crossing diagonally along the canal, near Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. That's an Eruv. A boundary for observant, usually Orthodox, members of Judaism. The wire, which surrounds parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, allows the community to carry certain items outside of their homes on Shabbat, otherwise known as Shabbos or the Sabbath.But why does this Eruv allow them to carry things? And why do the rules exist in the first place? Learn all about the Valley Eruv in this week's episode of Valley 101. Read the transcript of the episode by clicking here. Follow Taylor Seely on Twitter: @taylorseely95 Follow Valley 101 on Twitter: @valley101pod
May 27, 2019
It took months of planning, but on the night of December 23, 1944, 25 German prisoners of war POWs escaped from Camp Papago Park in Phoenix. They crawled through a handmade tunnel with hopes of heading home via Mexico. Later known as "The Great Papago Escape," it was the largest POW escape on American soil during World War II.  And it happened in our backyard — literally. There are houses now where the camp existed.  In this episode, editor Katie O'Connell explores what happened that fateful night. And what can we learn from it now?Follow Katie O'Connell on Twitter: @katieoc If you have additional questions about this story, you can reach out to historian Steve Hoza directly by clicking here.
May 20, 2019
If you love restaurants or cooking shows, or you care about Arizona’s farmers, ranchers, or tourism, or you just want people to know our state is cool, you should know about the James Beard Awards. Considered the "Oscars of the food world," the James Beard Awards are the top award American chefs can win. So why did Arizonans stop winning?In this episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, host Kaila White teamed up with The Republic's dining editor Lauren Saria to explore Arizona's history and future with the James Beard Awards. Read the transcript of this episode by clicking here. This transcript is created in part by audio transcription software and lightly edited by a producer, so there may be slight deviations from the podcast audio.Follow Lauren Saria on Twitter: @lhsaria Follow Kaila White on Twitter: @kailawhite Follow Valley 101 on Twitter: @valley101pod
May 13, 2019
If the saying goes, "You are what you eat," then Chicagoans are deep-dish pizza or Chicago dogs, Philadelphians are Philly cheesesteaks, and perhaps New Mexicans are green chiles. But what about Arizonans? Does the Valley have a food to call its own? And if it does, what does it say about our culture? Producer Taylor Seely finds out on this episode of Valley 101. And be sure to submit your questions at Follow Taylor on Twitter: @taylorseely95 Follow Valley 101 on Twitter: @valley101pod
May 6, 2019
Almost two million people in Arizona live in some sort of community association. How did we get here? The answer goes back to how the city developed after World War II. Valley 101 editor Katie O'Connell talked to real estate experts to find out the answer on this episode. Want your question answered? Submit it at Follow Katie O'Connell on Twitter: @katieoc.Follow Valley 101 on Twitter: @valley101pod.
April 29, 2019
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the federal government systematically took Native American children from their homes and shipped them to boarding schools across the U.S. to assimilate them into western society. Arizona is home to one of those boarding schools. How did it change from 1891 to 1990, to become more academic and even a point of pride for Native American students? And what was it like to be a student through the ages? Listen to this episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, to find out.Special thanks to The Heard Museum, for allowing Valley 101 to record in its exhibit and the audio of musician Russel Moore to be included in this episode. This story was reported by Shondiin Silversmith and produced by Taylor Seely. Follow Shondiin on Twitter: @DiinSilversmith Follow Taylor on Twitter: @taylorseely95Follow Valley 101 on Twitter: @valley101podSubmit your questions to Valley 101 at
April 22, 2019
Legend has it, the concrete pad and stone wall are all that's left of an upscale restaurant called Cloud Nine that mysteriously burned down in the 1960s. Who built a restaurant up there and how? What was it like in its heyday? And what led to its demise?Valley 101 host and producer Kaila White dug into newspaper archives and public records to find the truth, encountering some interesting characters along the way.Music in this episode includes “Arizona Moon,” “La Costilla,” and “El Tajo” by Blue Dot Sessions. Want your question about metro Phoenix answered? Submit it at And follow us on Twitter @valley101pod.
April 15, 2019
As we talked about in last week's episode, the Valley is going to grow. For part two in our exploration of our population, we're looking ahead. Just how many people are we talking about adding? And what will that additional population mean for our economy and housing? What about our transportation and water?Want your question about metro Phoenix answered? Submit it at And follow us on Twitter @valley101pod.
April 8, 2019
We've been collecting your questions for more than two months now and one topic keeps coming up: the Valley's population. So we're taking two episodes to answer your population-related questions. In this week's episode, we look at how Phoenix and the Valley got so big. When did we start growing? And what fueled that growth?  Be sure to listen next week when we explore the future population of the Valley.  Want your question about metro Phoenix answered? Submit it at And follow us on Twitter @valley101pod.  
April 1, 2019
Positioned just northwest of downtown Phoenix, the Melrose District's mile-long strip of gay bars, vintage stores and eateries line Seventh Avenue with pride flags, murals and a rainbow crosswalk. But how did the Melrose District gain its reputation as a queer-friendly space? What even makes it one?Valley 101 producer Taylor Seely and Arizona Republic reporter Garrett Mitchell trekked the "fruit loop" talking to historians, shopkeepers, bartenders and residents to get a glimpse at why the Melrose District is Phoenix's go-to gayborhood.Want your question about metro Phoenix answered? Submit it at And follow us on Twitter @valley101pod.
March 25, 2019
Is it related to the mythological phoenix, a bird that lived for hundreds of years, died in an explosion of flames, and would be reborn from its ashes? It would make sense, given that Phoenix summers set us on fire and yet here we are still. Who named our city? And was it ever called something else? To answer those questions, Valley 101 producer Téa Francesca Price dug into Phoenix's history.Want to submit a question for Valley 101 to answer? Visit
March 18, 2019
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has Terminals 2, 3, and 4. But have you noticed there's no Terminal 1? At least not anymore. Valley 101 producer Taylor Seely investigates why. Tell us your questions about metro Phoenix at or find us on Twitter at @valley101pod. You can reach Taylor on Twitter @taylorseely95.
March 11, 2019
Putting your recyclable items into a blue bin is only step one. After it’s picked up, where does it go? What happens to it? And what can you do to help the process? Kaila White, a reporter and editor for The Arizona Republic and, visited a materials recovery facility in north Phoenix to find out. Tell us your questions about metro Phoenix at or find us on Twitter at @valley101pod. You can reach Kaila on Twitter at @kailawhite.
March 4, 2019
What creates the brilliant red and pink sunsets in Phoenix? Local folklore says that the pollution in Phoenix shapes our sunsets. But is that true? Katie O'Connell, the head of podcasts for The Arizona Republic and, found out.  Tell us your questions about metro Phoenix at or find us on Twitter at @valley101pod. You can reach Katie on Twitter at @katieoc.
February 25, 2019
Every year, there are dozens of car crashes involving wrong-way drivers in Arizona. How does metro Phoenix compare with other metropolitan areas across the country? What is causing this problem, and can we do to stop it? Arizona Republic and producer Téa Francesca Price investigates.Tell us your questions about metro Phoenix at or find us on Twitter at @valley101pod. You can reach Téa on Twitter @_tfprice.
February 18, 2019
Some claim gentrification has ruined Roosevelt Street in downtown Phoenix. Others boast that the area is safer and more walkable than before. And is it still artsy? Arizona Republic and producer Taylor Seely investigates.Tell us your questions about metro Phoenix at or find us on Twitter at @valley101pod. You can reach Taylor on Twitter @taylorseely95.
February 5, 2019
Ever wonder what Roosevelt Row was like before it was developed? Or why there are so many wrong-way crashes in Phoenix?The Arizona Republic and podcast team will answer all of your Valley-related questions in our new show launching on Monday, Feb. 18. We'll pick one question a week to investigate and take you with as we report. Each episode will give you the facts in 10 to 20 minutes.We want to hear your questions! Submit your questions at Or follow along on Twitter @Valley101pod.
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