Valley 101 show

Valley 101

Summary: Whether you're a longtime Arizona resident or a newcomer, chances are there's something you've always wondered about the Valley. From The Arizona Republic and comes Valley 101, a weekly podcast where our journalists find answers to your questions about metro Phoenix. From silly to serious, you tell us what to investigate. You can submit questions at or reach us on Twitter @azcpodcasts.

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  • Artist: The Arizona Republic and
  • Copyright: USA TODAY Network


 West Nile virus in Arizona | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1567

The number of West Nile virus cases in Arizona continues to grow, making 2021 a record year for cases. As the number of probable and confirmed cases rise, Maricopa County is working on prevention methods.  Cases of West Nile can range from mild to severe. This year, the number of severe cases is also on the rise. So what is West Nile virus, and how is it being prevented and researched?  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Alexandra Watts answers questions about West Nile virus in the state and why the number of cases is increasing this year. 

 Where in the world will the Arizona Coyotes play next? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1273

In August, the City of Glendale announced it will be cutting ties with the Arizona Coyotes after this season. The relationship between the hockey team and Glendale has been a long and rocky road from nearly the very  beginning.  But the team hasn’t announced where they’re going next. There isn’t another NHL-sized arena in the Valley so it begs the question, where in the world will the Arizona Coyotes play next? In September, the team proposed a $1.7 billion hockey arena and entertainment district in Tempe. Even if this does come to fruition, the Coyotes will have a minimum of two years without an arena to call home. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, reporters Joshua Bowling, José Romero and Paulina Pineda join the show. We discuss how the Coyotes and the City of Glendale came to an impasse and what the future could hold for the Valley's NHL team. 

 The history of Phoenix's canal system | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 977

When you think of water canals, you might think of Venice, Italy, Amsterdam in the Netherlands or even Venice, California. You probably don’t think about Phoenix.  But metro Phoenix actually has more miles of canals than all three of those places combined. The city's canal systems are operated by the Salt River Project and the Central Arizona Project for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. But Phoenix has had canals long before the Reclamation Act was signed in 1902. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out the history of the canal system dating back to 400 A.D. and how it helps us live in the desert today.

 The rise, the fall and rebirth of the 'Diving Lady' neon sign | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1268

Drivers on a dark and lonely stretch of desert highway knew they had made it to the outer edges of the Phoenix area when they saw the bright, flashing lights of a motel sign.  It was the 1960s, and the neon sign that served as a beacon to travelers was dubbed the Diving Lady. The motel sign on Main Street in Mesa continues to hold a special place in the hearts of many. What is the history behind this 70 foot motel sign and how did it become a rallying point for Mesa? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez dives into the iconic landmark’s history, its efforts to keep it standing and what it means to local residents in the Valley.

 How houses can be built along Arizona's mountains | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 688

If you ever been driving past Camelback Mountain or Piestewa Peak, you may have looked out the car window and seen a house perched along a ridge. From the road it looks as if it's almost built into the mountain. But in reality it's built beside the mountain. The process is costly and arduous, but wanting an unrestricted view of the Valley is a trend that's nearly 100 years old. And even before it was a trend, it was a necessity to build up into the mountains. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out the history of mountainside houses and how they're built.

 The history of the Latino farmworkers who helped develop the southwest Valley | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1296

Before the southwest Valley was filled with grocery stores, an airport and real estate, it was home to Latino farmworkers employed by Goodyear Farms.  Hundreds lived in five different camps made up of tents and wood-framed houses.The tight-knit communities were the first permanent residents of what is now Litchfield Park.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez walks us through the history of the Mexican laborers who were recruited to work in Arizona’s cotton industry, the campsite communities on Goodyear Farms and the Latino farmworkers' impact on the development of the southwest Valley.

 What you need to know about marijuana in Arizona | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1961

In November 2020, voters passed Proposition 207, the Smart and Safe Arizona Act legalizing recreational marijuana in the state. Since January of this year, Arizonans over the age of 21 with a valid ID have been able to purchase marijuana in dispensaries across the state within limit. Now that there are regulations and rules, long time users, medical patients or beginners all have questions about what legal recreational marijuana means in Arizona.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we share how Arizona's history with legal marijuana, dispensary basics, and what is within your rights.

 Four generations reflect on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11. We bring you their stories | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1500

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Andrew Bird,13, woke up to the sounds of his mother running down the hallway and into his older sister's room. As he made his way into the room, Bird saw on the television footage of American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  Bird, now 33, remembers thinking to himself, “I think dad is around there somewhere. I think something is very wrong there and we are in a lot of trouble right now.” His father, Gary Bird, was the only victim from Arizona to die in the attacks. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Many of us remember exactly where we were when the Twin Towers fell. Some weren’t old enough to create memories of that day, but recognize its significance. And for others, it changed the trajectory of their life. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez speaks with four people, all of whom represent a different generation, that were impacted directly and indirectly by that day.

 Tuberculosis remains a killer after thousands of years and Phoenix was once a haven for its patients | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 958

Before COVID-19, the human civilization was plagued by tuberculosis, a disease that dates back thousands of years. In the late 1800s physicians encouraged people with tuberculosis to travel to Phoenix where it was believed was the warm, dry climate would help. With an influx of TB patients to Phoenix, it wasn't long before the city pushed them outside Phoenix and would become known as Sunnyslope. Although help was given, tuberculosis continues to be a worldwide killer of millions each year.

 What are the pros and cons of monsoon season? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1187

Summers in Arizona mean heat, triple-digit temperatures, and desperately trying to stay cool. But summers in Arizona also mean monsoons - big, bright thunderstorms returning rain to the desert.  During the summer monsoon season, Phoenix receives one-third of its annual rainfall, a necessary relief to help combat the drought that 83% of the state is experiencing, according to the National Weather Service.  While monsoons bring reprieve from the extreme heat and aid in the drought, they are sometimes responsible for power outages and extreme flooding.   Flooding in urban areas, such as Phoenix, often causes minor headaches such as traffic congestion on surface streets and highways. However, in parts of the state outside the Valley, floods can be dangerous, and occasionally deadly.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we share the good and the bad of monsoon season in Arizona.

 What is the delta variant of COVID-19? Are vaccines still effective? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1040

Health experts have been tracking a new variant of COVID-19 they say is nearly twice as contagious as previous strains and causing more breakthrough infections. That strain is called the delta variant.   First identified in India, the delta variant is now the dominate strain in Arizona.  What is the delta variant? What does it mean for us? Are vaccines mitigating community spread of the variant? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we answer those questions. 

 Why is the Valley expanding out, not up? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 862

Why do home builders continue building out instead of up, and what's the deal with basements in the Valley? In this week's episode, producer Keith Reed speaks with experts about caliche, a hard surface deposit consisting of multiple compounds such as sodium nitrate and chloride, which hinders efforts to dig deep in the ground. The Valley 101 also met with a City of Phoenix official and a local architect about how efforts are being made toward building more high-rise residential buildings in downtown Phoenix.

 Valley 101 explores the history behind Mesa's independent energy center | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 804

Within the city of Mesa is a five and a half square mile section that gets its energy from the city's Energy Resource Department. It covers most of the downtown Mesa area from Brown Road to Broadway Road and Extension Road to Stapley Drive. It's not a perfect square, but the area covers about 17,000 people. While the Salt River Project and Arizona Public Services electric serve the rest of the state, Mesa has owned and operated its own electrical utility since 1917. At that time, the city purchased it from Dr. A.J. Chandler, the city of Chandler's namesake.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we share why Mesa manages their utilities and the history of how they came to own it.

 Jagger Eaton, Olympic bronze medalist sits down with Valley 101 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 662

Jagger Eaton, 20, grew up in Mesa with the hopes of making it to the Olympics competing in skateboarding. He reached his live long goal on July 24, when he won the first ever bronze Olympic medal in street skateboarding. Eaton is now back in California and joined producer Maritza Dominguez for a one-on-one conversation.

 From backyard pools to Tokyo Olympics, the history of skateboarding in Arizona | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1279

USA Skateboarding, the official governing board of the sport, announced in June the first Olympic skateboarding team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The team includes 12 skateboarders, three of which have Arizona ties.  Jagger Eaton, Alana Smith and Brighton Zeuner all started their career in Arizona.  How are there so many Arizonans on the team? What impact has the Valley had in the growth of the sport? In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we dive into the skateboarding community in the Valley and its history.  In this episode, you'll hear from people who have been skateboarding in the Valley since the mid-1970s, and from a local skateboard coach who hopes to continue growing the skating community. 


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