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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 BONUS: Valley 101 shares what covering the 1993 Phoenix Suns in the NBA finals was like | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 982

For the first time in 28 years, the Phoenix Suns are playing in the NBA Finals.   Their appearance in the NBA Finals is unexpected since it was only two years ago that the team won only 19 games. After that disappointing season, the Suns brought in a new head coach, Monty Williams, who managed to end last season on an exciting 8-0 run in the NBA bubble. The Suns finished just under .500.  This season, with a 51-21 record, the Suns are different. Adding future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul to the roster was the missing piece to the team’s puzzle. His veteran leadership paired with Devin Booker style and Deandre Ayton’s energy helped propel what was once a mediocre team at best, into a capable contender.  The last time the Suns made it to the finals was in 1993 and things were different. The team had been playoff contenders the last few seasons and at the time, the missing piece was star Charles Barkley. And Barkley always gave reporters something to write about on and off the court.   In this bonus episode of Valley 101, Arizona Republic reporters Bill Goodkoontz and Kent Somers share what it was like to cover the 1993 finals and what the atmosphere in Phoenix was like the last time the Suns rallied the Valley. 

 What is "Sonoran sushi" and what is its history? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1041

Have you ever wondered what traditional Japanese sushi and Mexican food create? Several years ago in Mexico, a combination of Mexican food ingredients and Japanese style were used to create a fusion dish known as Sonoran sushi. Traditional Japanese sushi’s main ingredient is vinegared rice. Sonoran sushi rolls have those base ingredients like rice and seaweed, but with their own twist.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we're diving into how this fusion began and why it's becoming more popular.  We'll break down the episode into three parts. First, we’re taking a trip down to Puerto Peñasco, commonly known to Arizonans as Rocky Point, to check out a local sushi restaurant. Then The Republic's dining critic, Andi Berlin, will join Valley 101 to give listeners a sense of how Tucson and Southern Arizona has made itself known for its Mexican Sushi.  And finally, you’ll hear from a local Valley restaurant owner who was one of the first to introduce this food trend to metro Phoenix. 

 Valley 101 highlights some of Arizona's LGBT+ icons | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1223

When Marshall Shore first came to Arizona 21 years ago, he was told that Arizona had no LGBT+ history. But every time he would venture around the state, whether by car, bike or foot, he would hear stories of people and places that he thought were amazing. Shore is most known by his moniker, "The Hip Historian," a name given to him in 2009, as a way to distinguish him from Marshall Trimble, the state's official historian. Through his work as project manager for the Arizona LGBT History Project, he has worked with Arizona State University to create an archive of the community. On this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, Shore shares some of the stories he's come across about the icons in the state's LGBT+ history. 

 How did Christown Spectrum get its name? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 699

The history behind the Christown Spectrum name spurred Valley 101 listener David Thelen to ask: “What is the background and history of the man who served as the inspiration of the part of Phoenix named after him?” In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we’re diving into Christown’s namesake and the cultural impact the mall had on Phoenix after opening in 1961.

 How the Rio Salado Project connects the Valley through water | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 977

Tempe Town Lake sits as a small oasis in the middle of the desert, alongside a freeway. The shimmering body of water is one of Arizona's most visited public attractions, but is more than just a place for music festivals, marathons and regattas.  It all began with James W. Elmore, the founding dean of the College of Architecture at Arizona State University. He challenged the College faculty in 1966 to transform the Salt River, a dry riverbed, from an eyesore into a greenbelt attraction.  One year later, an ASU professor and 16 graduate students proposed The Rio Salado Project, “a vast reservoir of open space unique to the heart of a great city.” Thirty-three years later, the first developed phase of the project was realized when water from the Central Arizona Project flowed into the dry riverbed and Tempe Town Lake was born. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we explores the project’s history and how it connects the Valley together through the unexpected ways of water. 

 FAQs about Arizona highways answered | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 925

Highways and roadways impact Valley drivers on a daily basis. Valley 101 listeners often submit questions to the Arizona Republic's podcast team to dive into these topics. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we’re answering three of those questions.  We'll take a brief dive into the history of Arizona toll roads, a look at the future of Interstate Highway 11 and then how Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway has impacted the Valley. In this episode you'll hear from:  Laura Douglas, a communications project manager with the Arizona Department of Transportation Philip Vandermeer, an emeritus professor of history from Arizona State University Eric Anderson, the executive director for the Maricopa Association of Governments. 

 Memorial Day special | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 330

Whether you celebrated the long Memorial Day weekend by getting out of town, exploring Phoenix or relaxing at home, the Valley 101 team has a few suggestions of past episodes to listen to.

  A Valley bucket list for tourists and locals alike | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1076

As Maricopa County continues to be one of the fastest-growing counties in the country, interest in the Valley expands. More travelers and potential new residents want to check out all the unique destinations of the desert. One Valley 101 listener plans on making Phoenix their new home. They asked us to put together a bucket list of activities and places they should check out in the Valley. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we’re doing just that. Even if you’re an Arizona native, there might be some activities on this list you haven’t heard. We spoke with one expert and a couple of Arizona Republic reporters to share their picks of places to check out in the Valley. You’ll hear about quick day trips and some hidden gems.

 Valley 101 remembers history of lost all-Black community in Arizona | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1327

In a dried up flood zone just south of Buckeye once lived a lively and vibrant community. Despite nearly 500 residents at one point, the community was absent of good water and sanitation. The community lacked stores, mail delivery, streetlights or even stop signs. This was the town of Allenville. In the 1940s when part of the town was sold by Lee North to John Allen, the town's namesake, it was the only area of town where Black people could own land. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, and with the help of Taylor Seely, The Arizona Republic's Southwest Valley reporter, we uncover the hidden past of this all-Black community and how it was destroyed by a series of floods in 1978.

 Native American food in Arizona: The history of fry bread and food scene in Metro Phoenix | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 745

Corrections and Clarifications: In a previous version of this episode an incorrect date was given for the Long Walk and treaty signed by Navajo leaders. Those dates are 1864 and 1868. Valley 101 listener Genevieve Hall asked: "What's the best Native American restaurant in the Valley?"  That depends. There are 21 federally recognized tribes in Arizona and more than 500 in the United States. Each have their own traditions and nuances. However, there is one restaurant that stands out. In this week’s Valley 101 episode, producer Maritza Dominguez spoke with two Valley chefs who specialize in Native American food. They discussed the history of a popular dish and how their culture and community have influenced their cooking style.  

 Valley 101 tells you how to best prepare for bad air quality this summer | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 888

If you lived in Phoenix in August 2020, you probably remember waking up to what felt like an unusually cloudy day. The sun was bright orange and looking directly at it didn't hurt your eyes. But those were not unseasonable clouds, it was smoke from fires in Northern Arizona and California that traveled into the Valley. With the majority of the state in a drought, the potential for an active fire season and big dust storms blowing into the Valley this summer, has one Valley 101 listener asking what they can do to protect their lungs. In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out what is in store for us this summer and the best practices we can adopt for healthier lungs. Producer Amanda Luberto has more.

 There's no such thing as the city of Anthem. We found out why | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 779

Picture this: you’re headed to Sedona from downtown Phoenix. As you drive north on Interstate 17, you pass the Outlets by Anthem.  What you might not know is that the section of Anthem with the outlet mall — the western section — is actually part of the city of Phoenix. The larger portion of Anthem, its eastern counterpart, is in unincorporated Maricopa County. There’s no such thing as the city of Anthem.  In this week’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we’re answering two questions from our listeners. We’ll look at why Anthem as a whole isn’t located in Phoenix. Then we’ll explore whether the master planned community will ever be fully incorporated into Phoenix. 

 What's the history of the Beet Sugar Factory in Glendale? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 673

On 52nd Avenue and Glendale Avenue, a five-story building stands empty. It's fenced off from the public with faded red brick and bordered-off windows. Arizona Republic readers picked the Beet Sugar Factory as one of the worst West Valley eyesores.  The factory captured the interest of Valley 101 listener Garret Godfrey. He asked us about the history of the Beet Sugar Factory and about future plans for the building.  It turns out that building has a connection to the development of Glendale. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, producer Maritza Dominguez takes a deep dive about the Beet Sugar Factory. Have more questions about Metro Phoenix for the Valley 101 team? Submit them here.  

 Why are the streets downtown Phoenix named after United States Presidents? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 780

If you drive downtown Phoenix, it's likely you have turned down Van Buren Street, Roosevelt Road or another roadway named after a President. Phoenix famously has a grid system for its roads. Roads running North to South are numbered and roads running East to West are named streets.  But one of our listeners asked why the streets in Central Phoenix are named after United States Presidents. They grew up on Portland Street, one street over from Roosevelt and always wanted to know why names of past Presidents adorned the street signs of Phoenix.  In today’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we find out how this came to be and what it would take to continue it. Producer Amanda Luberto has more.

 What is xeriscaping? And what are its benefits? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 798

Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden boasts more than a mile of native plants. Every step of the way, you’ll find plants that are uniquely attended for survival in the hot, dry desert.  In fact, there are more than 200 plants that thrive in our desert climate.  “One of my favorites is the chocolate flower, that spring or fall will grace your morning grand with the aroma of sweet chocolate,” said Kirti Mathura, the Smartscape Program Coordinator at the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension.  Using local or adapted plants like the chocolate flower, in favor of turf or non-native plants, is a type of gardening called xeriscaping. Xeriscaping not only helps conserve water, but it’s beneficial for local wildlife as well.  In this week’s episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, podcast editor Katie O’Connell digs into xeriscaping. You’ll find out the benefits of having a xeriscaped space, as well as some hints for achieving one.


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