Here and Now Archive

President Barack Obama will make his first trip to Mexico since the election of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Erik Lee of Arizona State University's North American Center for Transborder Studies says the two presidents will discuss trade and security issues.

When the legislative session began, increasing funding for Child Protective Services seemed like a foregone conclusion, but progress has stalled in the House.Representative Kate Brophy McGee of Phoenix talked about the delay and her expectations about the higher funding eventually being approved.

The issue of Medicaid expansion made the 2013 legislative session a contentious one, but Arizona Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Glenn Hamer and Childrens Action Alliance President and CEO Dana Naimark both give the legislature high marks for the expansion, increased funding for Child Protective Services and business-friendly bills.

At the end of June, the state transportation board decided that part of Arizona State Route 260 West of Interstate 17 needed to be widened at a cost of more than $65 million. It  will be the biggest rural highway project in the state over the next several years, but Arizona Department of Transportation engineers did not even recommend the work. So how did it get approved?

Arizona Republic transportation reporter Sean Holstege answered that and other questions.

Author and conservationist William deBuys argued in a recent Los Angeles Times Op-Ed that the future of Phoenix is unsustainable, largely because of the impact of climate change. deBuys and Grady Gammage, attorney and Morrison Institute Senior Research Fellow, debated whether Phoenix has done enough to prepare for a hotter future. Gammage said Phoenix is far ahead of other western cities like Los Angeles and Denver, particularly in terms of planning related to water supply.

The Herberger Theatre Center will host a one-night production of "8" by Dustin Lance Black. The play's focus is the federal trial of California's Proposition 8, which restricted recognized marriage to opposite sex couples.

Steve Goldstein talks with the producer of the show — Neil Giuliano, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and former Mayor of Tempe.

Arizona's 3rd District Representative, Democrat Raul Grijalva, said he is in favor of the Senate's immigration reform plan, especially when compared to what is being considered in the House, which Grijalva said is too punitive.Congressman Grijalva also discussed his support for the Affordable Care Act, and he revealed whether he wishes he had been named U.S. Interior Secretary.

State Sen. Rich Crandall, one of the early Republican supporters of Medicaid expansion, looks back at the 2013 session. Crandall plans to leave in the middle of his two-year term to pursue other plans, including State Schools Superintendent in Wyoming, but Crandall said he may come out of retirement to support other GOP legislative moderates.

Wildfire season in Arizona and the West is getting longer, and the potential for catastrophic fires is growing. Journalist Michael Kodas has been in Arizona following the aftermath of the Yarnell Hill Fire. He is author of the upcoming book "Megafire."

Dr. Daniel Von Hoff of Scottsdale Healhcare and TGen spoke about efforts to cure cancer, including the dream teams of physicians coming together with complementary areas of expertise.Von Hoff was featured in the latest edition of Time Magazine in the cover story, "How to Cure Cancer."

Arizona's 9th Congressional District Representative Kyrsten Sinema is working to get her fellow congressional members to focus on the importance of college affordability. In two months, student loan interest rates will rise unless Congress acts.

Representative Sinema also gave her perspectives on comprehensive immigration reform. She believes elected officials are ready to have a serious discussion about what reform needs to include.

The 1 cent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2010 as Proposition 100 expires on Saturday. The vote occurred while Arizona's economy was in the middle of the recession and the state's budget was deep in a deficit. The funding from the higher tax was intended to help fund K-12 education.

Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, supported Prop 100. Farrell Quinlan, Arizona Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, was an opponent. Sanders and Quinlan talked about the tax's impact.

The Phoenix arts organization, Artlink, will gather its volunteers and community members Wednesday night to discuss upcoming plans for "First Fridays" and "Third Fridays," two of its major efforts. Artlink Interim Co-President Catrina Kahler talked about the annual meeting and the organization's mission.

Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia has made some changes to the department’s leadership. A few were promoted, while others were demoted. With more on the story is Arizona Republic reporter JJ Hensley, who wrote about it in Wednesday morning’s paper and online at Azcentral.com.



After a four-decade ban, the Scottsdale City Council has approved the return of ice cream trucks to the city's neighborhoods.

Leo Blavin, who helped the charge to overturn the ban, explained why he thinks it is a good idea.

The Jodi Arias murder trial in Phoenix has dominated coverage on local television stations and national networks. Arizona Republic critic Bill Goodykoontz offered insights on why the case has attracted so much attention.Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods talked about whether lawyers change their approach when they are involved in high-profile cases.

The WNBA's Phoenix Mercury has added top draft pick Brittney Griner to the lineup this season. The 6-foot-8-inch Griner is nationally known for her dunking and defense. Griner's presence is expected to help the organization on and off the court.

Paola Boivin, sports columnist for The Arizona Republic, talked about Griner and how the Mercury's popularity compares with that of the NBA's Phoenix Suns.

Arizona Theatre Company's Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein will leave the position in December after more than 20 years. Goldstein said he is ready for new career challenges, including the opportunity to direct plays in other cities.

The Arizona Republic arts writer and theatre critic Kerry Lengel discussed the budget deficit Arizona Theatre Company is facing. Lengel wrote about the financial problems in Saturday's paper.

The business of health care. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has many providers and physicians wondering about what is to come, and both for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals and health care systems are exploring mergers. Earlier this year, Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network announced they would pursue an affiliation, not calling that dalliance an official merger. The Valley's St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center is actually run by San Francisco-based Dignity Health.

Last month, it was announced that Vanguard Health Systems, which operates Abrazo Health Care in Arizona, would be bought by Tenet Health Systems of Dallas for nearly $2 billion.

Paul Levy and Eugene Schneller talked about the practical reasons for mergers and their possible effect on patients and consumers.

Levy is the former president and CEO of Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. You can read his observations of running a hospital on his blog. He is also the author of the 2013 book "How a Blog Held Off the Most Powerful Union in America."

Schneller, is co-director of the Health Sector Supply Chain Research Consortium at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The recent murders of prosecutors in Texas have put prosecutors across the nation on alert.

Scott Decker, Director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, provided background on who is involved in targeting prosecutors and what the public needs to be most aware of.

Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles talked about efforts by prosecutors to be aware of their surroundings and realize the potential dangers, even as they are working to prosecute criminals.

In recent months, Governor Jan Brewer has taken part in job expansion announcements in Arizona. Go Daddy's operations in the Valley are growing, and General Motors is bringing a new information technology center to Arizona.Economist Jim Rounds talked to Steve Goldstein about why the announcements are important and how the state has improved its approach to attracting jobs.

Is the United States relying too much on importing fossil fuels at the expense of national security? Retired Army Captain Brett Hunt and retired National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Joe Knott talked about ongoing efforts at the U.S. Department of Defense to use more renewable energy. It is part of helping facilities, including military bases, become more sustainable in case of a natural disaster or enemy attack.

Valley temperatures are expected to climb to 118 degrees by Saturday.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Ken Waters said the very hot highs may give way to our first dose of monsoon-related humidity.

How often are you tempted to eat something that may not be very good for you? Many scientists, doctors and journalists have blamed process foods for the obesity epidemic in the U.S. 

The current issue of The Atlantic explores whether ignoring Americans' taste for so-called junk food instead of fruits and vegetables is exacerbating food-related health problems.

Steve Nickolas is the founder of the Scottsdale-based Healthy Food Project. He has also been in the bottled water business for a couple decades. He talked about healthy eating and processed foods.


Comic Amy Donohue talked about her decision to donate a kidney and her efforts to serve as a spokesperson for organ donation.

Donohue explained how social media stole her kidney. She donated hers to the mother of a woman she met on Twitter.

Starting next week, Ballet Arizona will stage of series of performances, Topia, outdoors at the Desert Botanical Gardens.Ballet Arizona's Artistic Director Ib Andersen explained his inspiration for Topia and how the setting affects the dancers and members of the audience.

Former Arizona Attorney General Gary Nelson passed away last month. He argued the state's side in the U.S. Supreme Court's Miranda v. Arizona.

The Supreme Court gutted the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday. San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO and former Tempe Mayor Neil Giuliano talked about the ruling's impact on efforts to expand marriage equality in the U.S.

The merits, legality and logistics of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program have spent a lot of time in traditional courtrooms, even after a majority in the court of public opinion approved it at the ballot box in 2010.

As of last week, 35 medical marijuana dispensaries are open, after inspections and approval, and according to state Department of Health Services Director Will Humble’s blog, about 90 percent of Arizona residents live within 25 miles of an operating dispensary.

Humble joined Steve Goldstein in studio for an update on that and other public health issues.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is planning to file a lawsuit challenging the city of Bisbee's new civil union ordinance. He's also continuing efforts to challenge marshals in the polygamous community of Colorado City.

Horne tells Steve Goldstein that he's not opposed to civil unions but says the move by Bisbee would create problems.

Horne also decried Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's attempts to make him pay for alleged campaign finance violations. Horne continues to assert that he didn't violate state law.

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