We’re looking for writers who can help us tell the story of downtown Phoenix: where we came from, where we are and where we’re going. We say “we” because at DPJ, we are more than just observers of downtown. We are active participants, engaged with the people and places that make it what it is and what it will be. We are invested in and excited about the future of this vibrant, fun and ever-evolving community. In short, we love downtown Phoenix. Do you?
If you would like to help tell the story of the people and places that make downtown Phoenix great, we invite you to apply to be a contributor to DPJ. You can find the application below.
We look forward to hearing from you!
A Little About Us . . .
“DPJ caters to residents who support our downtown and savvy visitors who want to Go Where the Locals Go. Whether it’s community news, food, shopping or sports, think of DPJ as that friend in the big city. Our site is filled with everything you need to know as it relates to the urban lifestyle. We offer a friendly, straightforward insider’s view of all things downtown, from world-class restaurants and museums to events to plan your day around. We’re here as you Explore Your Core™.”
Now A Little About You . . .
In recognition of National Independents Week, Local First Arizona will honor locally owned and independent businesses across the state from Saturday, June 27, through Sunday, July 5. The nationwide Independents Week campaign, coordinated by the American Independent Business Alliance and known as “Indie Week,” takes place during the week of Independence Day with the purpose of enlightening consumers to the importance of supporting local businesses.
“Independence Day is a time for us to reflect on what makes our state and country great,” says Kimber Lanning, Director of Local First Arizona. “Arizona’s independent business community is the backbone of our local economy and the driving force behind what makes us proud to call Arizona home. Up to four times more money stays in the local economy when consumers choose an independent business over a national chain. Independents Week is our way of drawing attention to the important role independent businesses play in our daily lives.”
This year’s Independents Week will feature the return of the Golden Coupon, an Independents Week contest with great prizes, and fun events with local businesses in the Phoenix Metro area and across the state:
TAKE THE ‘BUY LOCAL’ PLEDGE
Arizonans are encouraged to take the pledge to ‘Buy Local’ and support Arizona’s independent businesses during Indie Week. Anyone can take the pledge by visiting http://localfirstaz.com/independents-week/ and filling out the simple form. Pledgers can choose to publicly have their names listed on the Local First Arizona website or remain anonymous. All pledgers will be entered in a raffle to win a Phoenix staycation package, which includes a one-night stay at the Clarendon Hotel, a $100 gift card to the Vig and admission for two to the Phoenix Art Museum.
THE GOLDEN COUPON RETURNS
The popular Golden Coupon, printed by Think! Graphic and Printing Solutions, is the ticket to saving 20% off purchases from hundreds of locally owned establishments including auto repairs, home furnishing stores, boutiques, florists, restaurants, yoga studios, nurseries, and more. Individuals can simply print out the Golden Coupon from the LFA website or download the coupon on their smart phone and use it at as many participating locations as they please throughout Independents Week. The Golden Coupons present the perfect opportunity for consumers to visit participating stores that they have wanted to try and to find new spots they may not have known about, all while spending locally and saving money.
INDEPENDENTS WEEK EVENTS
Independents Week is always accompanied by several events celebrating local businesses:
5th Somewhat Annual Phoenix Independents Bowl: Grab your friends (and a ringer or two) on Sunday, June 28, and set up your teams for this sometimes annual bowling tournament supporting Local First Arizona. Organized by Steve Chilton of Psyko Steve Presents & LFA, this is a fun get-together at locally owned Let It Roll Bowl in Phoenix.
“Painted Skies” by Lisa Olson & Terry Pisel at Modified Arts: Lisa Olson and Terry Pisel invite you to join them in celebrating the striking beauty of Arizona. From the sprawling spectacle of the Grand Canyon to the gridded streets of Phoenix, Arizona holds a dramatic and ever-changing variety of landscapes. Native Arizonans, photographers, friends, and collaborators, Olson and Pisel use their photographic skills to showcase some of the unique features of our state set against its biggest asset—the sky. Using hand-transferred photographs altered using unconventional mediums, the artists portray a series of wide-ranging scenes: from cactus to pine tree, city to mountain, valley to mesa. Their wood panels feature interpretive regional landscapes giving homage to the forests, deserts and majesty of our home. Opening reception is Third Friday, June 19, at 6:00 p.m.
Independents Week Pub Crawl: Local First Arizona is taking over Old Town Scottsdale on Friday, July 3, for our annual Independents Week Pub Crawl. Hit the streets with us as we trek around sipping libations in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. Each local stop along the way will feature one $4 drink special exclusively for attendees. Attendees can participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the evening for the chance to win prizes. Pub Crawl stops include Brat Haus, Craft64, 5th and Wine, and Hula’s Modern Tiki. Free to attend, guests are responsible for purchasing their own beverages. Find more details on Independents Week at http://www.localfirstaz.com/independents-week/
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Students serve their community at Day of Service in downtown Phoenix
Students, faculty, staff and supporters gathered at the Human Services Campus in central Phoenix for a Day of Service, organized by Arizona State University’s College of Public Programs.
It is the second time that the daylong event has been held at the campus. Last year, the group helped in a number of areas on the 12-acre campus – from general cleanup and organizing, to working in the community garden.
David Bridge, managing director of the campus, notes that volunteer efforts at last year’s inaugural event made the pilot of the Brian Garcia Welcome Center possible – and since then, more than 5,000 people have come through the welcome center and been assessed and directed to needed resources.
“This event brings together students, faculty and staff for a special, invigorated recognition of the work that is being done on the Human Service Campus, and also showcases opportunities and needs for student volunteer service, applied research, student internships and many other forms of college support throughout the entire year,” says Dale Larsen, director of community relations for the College of Public Programs.
The Human Services Campus is a unique collaboration of over a dozen service agencies and community partners. Each day, clients coming to the center find shelter, medical, employment and housing resources. The campus is also home to a community garden, which provides over 2,000 pounds of food and valuable training to clients on the campus.
Bridge noted that the campus is working with its partners to implement evidence-based best practices, including collaboration and housing solutions that make it possible to “end homelessness in our community.” Phoenix has already demonstrated the effectiveness of these strategies by becoming the first city in America to end chronic homelessness for veterans. Bridge was excited to have ASU be a part of these community efforts.
“The solutions are there,” says David Smith, COO, St. Vincent de Paul. He told students that they “are the cusp generation to take knowledge gained of homelessness and recidivism, and actually solve them.”
Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs, says that the work during Day of Service touches on every aspect of the college.
“The campus connects the substance of our programs – social work, criminology, nonprofit management, public administration – to the actual challenges and solutions in our community,” he says.
“No matter what you are studying, this is an opportunity to apply those lessons to real life,” he told students at the event. “Your work contributes to the success of the campus and has an impact on the lives of the people here.”
This year, the event was planned by students in a PRM 486 class taught by college events manager, Michelle Oldfield.
Michelle Green, a general studies student in the School of Letters and Sciences, said, “Not only did I get to participate as a volunteer, but I got to assist in planning this Day of Service that reached so many people.
“The Day of Service is an awesome opportunity for college students to get out into their community and really give back. I believe events like this are extremely beneficial; they help those less fortunate, and allow for students to get out of their comfort zone and gain a sense of purpose,” she said.
“I’ve been a part of a few ASU Day of Service events in Tempe before, but this was my first time doing one based out of the Downtown Phoenix campus,” says Ellyse Crow, a management and business communication major in the W. P. Carey School of Business. “It was unique because the location that we were serving was so close to campus, and the facilities serve a population that I see regularly when I’m downtown. So it was cool to know who I was helping.
“I want to work in university administration one day,” Crow explains. “Sharing with others the importance of giving back to your community is an important life lesson, and one that is especially powerful in college. University students have so much influence that is never realized. I think being active in the community and opportunities like this bring some of that out.”
Editor’s Note: If you are inspired by the service of these students and would like to volunteer, please visit VolunteerMatch.org.
Photos courtesy of Bryan Mok/ASU.
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
MAYOR UNVEILS NEW BIKE SHARE AT ‘DESIGNING CITIES’ CONFERENCE
New system, called GRID, extends transit in city’s core, encourages users to “ride happy!”
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton today unveiled the name and logo for the region’s new bike sharing program before attendees at the National Association of City Transportation Officials at the Hotel Palomar. Called GRID, the system will employ a fleet of fluorescent green bicycles that are rentable by the hour or through annual memberships. The bikes are emblazoned with an upbeat, smiling logo, and encourage users to “ride happy!”
“GRID is going to be a fun, healthy and affordable way to extend the reach of our transit system for residents, commuters and visitors,” Stanton said, noting that approximately 50 other U.S. metro areas will have similar programs in place by next year.
“If our region is going to compete globally, we need GRID to help attract those high-wage employers and bright, educated young workers who want livable cities and multiple transit options.”
Stanton said the Grid Bike Share name speaks to the many connections that link the neighborhoods and communities throughout the Valley, which was planned and built on a “grid” network of streets.
CycleHop, LLC has been contracted to establish and operate the new bike share network that will include up to 500 bicycles throughout the city of Phoenix, followed by another 500 in Mesa and Tempe. Using the most up-to-date bike sharing technology available, users will be able to make reservations, purchase day passes or longer-term memberships at kiosks, online or via smartphone apps. GRID’s “smart bikes” are equipped with solar-powered, GPS-enabled locks, and can be parked at any of the special kiosks or traditional public bike racks, providing users immense flexibility and convenience.
For more information, go to GRIDBIKES.COM.
At last! Today was the day we got official word on the mysterious goings-on at the old Beef Eaters building at 3rd Ave. and Camelback Road.
Rumors have abounded and well over 100 people, including families from the neighborhood, business people, bankers, builders and just plain folks, gathered at 10 a.m. this morning to celebrate the plans to revitalize the site. The excitement was palpable on everyone’s smiling faces.
From 1961 through 2006, Beef Eaters was a central gathering place for Phoenicians to share meals, celebrate special events, and craft the business deals that shaped our Valley. When owner Jay Newton died in 2006, the restaurant shut its doors and the building sat empty. Now adaptive reuse developers Venue Projects have stepped up with a remarkable vision to bring the site back to life.
Central Phoenix-based Venue Projects principle Lorenzo Perez told the crowd of Venue’s dedication to finding and adapting buildings with history, a story to tell, and a strong sense of place. Jon Kitchell, another principle with Venue added, “We’re salvage hounds and love finding materials worthy of putting back into place, like black leather booths and the Queen Creek adobe bricks of this place.”
Working with John Douglas Architects, they’ll be uncovering the bones of the building and incorporating the treasures they discover back into the new uses for the site.
“Jay Newton’s Beef Eaters legacy will continue with a new interpretation of his iconic gathering place,” said Kitchell. To honor the past, the new complex will be called The Newton.
The Newton is co-owned by Venue Projects and two of the three businesses that will comprise the site. Co-owners include the nationally renowned, independent, community-based bookstore, Changing Hands, which will open its second Valley location at the site; and Justin and Michelle Beckett, current owners of Beckett’s Table, who will open a new neighborhood restaurant concept at The Newton. The third occupant will be The Lively Hood, a co-working space for creative professionals. Construction has begun and the goal is to reopen on November 1.
These three businesses will continue Jay Newton’s Beef Eaters legacy. Located just across the street from the light rail station, the bookstore, restaurant and co-working space will be active community gathering spaces that energize the neighborhood and encourage people to work together.
Shannon Scutari of Sustainable Communities Collaborative summed up the thrill experienced by everyone gathered when she referenced an old African proverb. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others. This place,” said Scutari, “is going to be about going it with others.”