Mesa is working to revitalize its downtown, and make sure artists still have an affordable place to live. And, musicians are now on call to play for hospital patients.
Arizonans witness Boston Marathon explosions
Authorities now say more than 100 people are injured and two dead after bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Some people lost limbs in the twin blasts, which knocked spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattered windows and sent smoke into the air. There was no word on the motive or who may have launched the attack, and police say no suspect is in custody.
More than 200 Arizonans ran in the Boston Marathon. One of those runners was Mercedes Cimino from Mesa, who finished the race about half an hour before the blasts occurred. She and her family were several blocks away after leaving the race staging area when they heard a large boom.
"We were walking away from our meeting place to go to take a train, and that’s when we heard a really loud boom, and we didn’t really know what it was," Cimino said. "It sounded like it might be some construction equipment falling or a crane or something, and we just kept walking."
Cimino said the train station was evacuated shortly after they arrived, and that is when they found out there had been an explosion.
"From there we did go down to the train station to try and get to our car and were inside for maybe a minute or two and the transit authorities all started yelling that the station was closed and we needed to get out and that there had been an explosion," Cimino said. "That was the first we heard that it was an explosion."
Cimino said there did not appear to be anything different this year from other marathons she has run. She said Boston police and security were noticeable all along the marathon route.
Among the thousands of spectators and runners was a couple from Chandler. Jeff Breese was running with several Valley co-workers. His wife Elena Flores Breese was waiting for him at the finish line and was seated across the street from where the two blasts went off.
"There was a family in front of us, and my brother-in-law and I just crouched down and covered our heads and the second one went off and right away we just grabbed hands and ran, because the second one was almost closer to where we were, just way too close," Flores Breese said.
Breese said her husband had not finished the race when the explosions went off.
"There were people running across the line who had 'I just survived cancer' written on them, or 'I’m running for this person' or their kids were out there running with them helping them finish. It was just so happy and then it was just so sad really quickly and scary, really scary," Flores Breese said.
The couple was reunited about an hour later at a friend’s house where they are staying.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.