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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 Meet Arizona's First State Poet Laureate Alberto Ríos | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 914

Arizona created a state poet laureate position to celebrate the state's centennial.  A unanimous panel chose Alberto Ríos to fill the post in 2013. His role as poet laureate was to undertake a major literary project to expose quality poetry to residents who might not otherwise be.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, host Kaila White interviews Alberto Ríos.  In this episode you'll hear how Arizona shaped Ríos and what lead him to poetry. You'll also hear him recite some of his poetry. 

 Rerun - Population part 1: How did the Valley get so big? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1362

Our team is taking a week off for Memorial Day. However, we wanted to bring back an earlier episode breaking down how the Valley go so big. The answer, interestingly enough, goes back to World War II. Be sure to listen to part two where we explore the future population of the Valley. Enjoy and we'll be back next week with a brand new episode. Want your question about metro Phoenix answered? Submit it at And follow us on Twitter @valley101pod. 

 Why are there so many attorney advertisements in the Valley? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1392

Whether you're driving past a billboard, listening to the radio or watching TV, it seems like advertisements for attorneys are inescapable.  But why are there so many of them? And why are so many of them about personal injury lawsuits? Turns out, until 1977, attorneys were prohibited from advertising. Times certainly have changed. Arizona lawyers, law firms and legal-services providers spent $32 million on advertising last year. And that number doesn't include spending on social media campaigns. If you're curious about this phenomenon, podcast editor Katie O'Connell got to the bottom of it in this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and where we answer the questions you ask about metro Phoenix.  In this episode, you'll hear from: Van O'Steen, a Phoenix attorney who sued for the right to advertise Mark Breyer, a Phoenix personal injury attorney who currently advertises on TV Patricia Sallen, a Phoenix attorney who works in legal ethics Nancy Gray, a professor at Arizona State University

 BONUS Segment: Is what I'm feeling right now normal? Advice for living through a pandemic | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 619

It's normal to experience a wide swath of emotions during times of stress and uncertainty. Living through the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. In this bonus episode, producer Taylor Seely interviews associate professor of psychology Michelle Shiota on how to pinpoint unhealthy behavior and tips for living as best we can right now. 

 Good news: Spotlighting acts of kindness during the pandemic | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1358

This episode talks about the positive stories that are taking place during this pandemic. The acts of kindness that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Because, believe it or not, it's not all doom and gloom. Good news stories are out there. And they're plentiful. 

 What's the story behind the angel on top the Arizona state Capitol? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 896

At the end of the 1800s, Arizona had aspirations to become a state. In order to prove they were ready, they built a humble state Capitol building. The architect chose to put an angel at the top. Overs the years, that winged statue has caught the attention of many onlookers.  One Valley 101 listener submitted this question, "What is the story behind the angel on top of the Arizona state Capitol?"  This week on Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, we dive into the history of the angel. We also dig deeper into the history of the Arizona State Capitol.  In this episode, you'll hear from: Stephanie Mahan, an administrator at the Arizona State Capitol Museum Michael Cady, a retired teacher and volunteer at the Arizona State Capitol Museum

 Why are there so many car washes in Phoenix? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1066

In some neighborhoods, it seems like there's a car wash every few blocks.  Eric Wulf, the CEO of the International Car Wash Association, said that Phoenix is one of the top markets for car washes. The reason for that traces back to a few things, including our weather, our growing population and changes in the industry overall.  To find out more about this subject, podcast editor Katie O'Connell talked to trade experts and car wash owners alike. Listen to this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, to find out more. In this episode, you'll also hear from: Dave Cheatham, the president of Velocity Retail Group Brian Gleason, the owner of Mr. Shine Car Wash in Peoria

 How do you garden in Phoenix? And why are so many doing it? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1330

If you noticed all your friends and family on social media have taken up gardening recently, you're not alone. Universities are hosting online gardening tutorials, nurseries are filling their schedules with appointment-only shopping visits and at least one local garden's how-to email inbox is full daily. But the coronavirus pandemic isn't the first time people began gardening during difficult epochs. In World War I and II, self sufficiency took on new importance as Americans had to cope with food shortages and rationing. Out of it came "victory gardens," named after the war-time campaign slogan asking Americans to begin gardening and, "sow the seeds of victory."  Although we do not face the same food shortages today, the comfort of gardening remains the same.  In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, host Taylor Seely asks experts the step-by-step process of how to begin a garden and speaks to locals about their newfound love of horticulture. Plus, what to do if you want to garden in an apartment or would prefer to start with houseplants. 

 How to find black culture and a sense of community in Phoenix | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 855

Elizabeth Montgomery, a Community Relations and Events Producer for The Arizona Republic, is teaming up with Valley 101 in this week's episode.  During Black History Month, she wrote a column about moving to Metro Phoenix. Montgomery had lived her whole life in Atlanta, Ga. After moving here, she realized quickly that Atlanta and Phoenix are very different.  One of the biggest differences is the population of African Americans in each city. Atlanta is 52% African American, while Phoenix is just under 7%. Soon after her arrival, Montgomery searched for her community, for the people, businesses and art that would help her feel at home. And she found it. In today's episode, she's sharing her tips to learning to love your new home. Montgomery teamed up with producer Maritza Dominguez to share her journey of finding a community in Phoenix. 

 Why do 3,000 North Dakotans gather annually in a Mesa park? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1195

Before social distancing became the norm, people used to gather. We'd get together for barbecues and cocktails, catch a movie or see a concert.  But in world shaped by the coronavirus pandemic, the thought of 3,000 people from North Dakota congregating in a Mesa park seems distant. Still, that's exactly what happened on March 1.  Perhaps the largest gathering of North Dakotans outside of the state, the North Dakota picnic gives transplants like reporter Rachel Leingang the chance to reconnect with those who sound and feel like home. A first-time attendee, Leingan decided to play a game: she attempted to find an unknown relative on a Saturday morning, 1,400 miles away from her hometown.  Did her experiment work? And how did she feel afterward? Find out in this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and Producing the episode this week is podcast editor Katie O'Connell.

 The history of The Swindall Inn, a boarding house for black tourists in Phoenix | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1310

Before anti-segregation milestones like Brown vs. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, black tourists were prohibited from staying at most hotels. One of the few options for minority travelers in Phoenix was The Swindall House, also known as the Swindall Tourist Inn. Located at 1021 E. Washington Street, the inn is named after its second owners, Golden and Elvira Swindall. But its story begins with a Belgian immigrant in 1913. And rumor has it that famous black performers like jazz pianist Count Basie and athlete like baseball player Jackie Robinson stayed there. But efforts to locate a guestbook to verify those claims have failed. In fact, much of the building's history has been lost to time. Producer Taylor Seely spent two months uncovering the Swindall House's rich history, significance and lasting legacy for this episode of Valley 101.

 Was Sparky the Sun Devil created by a Disney animator? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 886

In 1946, the Arizona State College mascot was the Bulldogs. But the Bulldog mascot was one of the most popular, then and now, so the football booster club decided it needed a new mascot that was more unique. That's when local attorney and member of the organization Water Craig suggested the Sun Devil.  Craig also knew the illustrator who would bring Sparky the Sun Devil to life. Berkeley Anthony was a former Disney animator in the 1930s and early 1940s. But the story of Berkeley's time at Disney, as well as his creation of Sparky afterward, has many twists and turns. Producer Maritza Dominguez will explore that story on this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and In this episode, you'll hear: How a small time Disney animator created the iconic mascot for ASU How Sparky came to live on the football field  How the legacy of Sparky the Sun Devil Continues 

 BONUS: Coronavirus FAQs answered | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1003

Stories about the new coronavirus are inescapable right now. The Valley 101 podcast team understands that can be overwhelming and difficult to parse through. So this week we're releasing a 15-minute bonus episode answering the essential frequently-asked questions about COVID-19. In this episode, health-care reporter Stephanie Innes tells you what you need to know to keep yourself and your family safe and informed during the outbreak.   Here's what we answer:  What's the difference between the coronavirus and COVID-19? How's it different from the flu? How does it spread?  How do you stay safe? What's social distancing? Why are people doing it? What does "flattening the curve" mean? Why flattening the curve is especially important in Arizona What's the worst-case scenario that could happen in our community? How long could this last?

 What is valley fever? And what are its symptoms? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1242

Each year when monsoon season hits, so do the headlines about valley fever. But what is valley fever? The answer lies in our soil. There's a type of fungus that lives in the first few inches of the soil in the southwest. When that fungus dries, it turns into microscopic spores. When those spores are swept up in haboobs, we run the risk of breathing them in, which could lead to an infection in our lungs. And it's not just humans who are at risk. Our pets can develop valley fever too. In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and, podcast editor Katie O'Connell finds answers about valley fever before monsoon season hit. In this episode you'll hear: What valley fever is and what causes it What are the symptoms of valley fever Options for diagnosis and treatment of valley fever How to tell if your pet might have valley fever

 What's a haboob and when did we start using that word? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 930

During monsoon season, from June to September, large dust storms often overwhelm Arizona. The storms grow more severe when the preceding spring and winter seasons are dry, which allows dirt to loosen. When dust storms hit certain criteria, they're considered "haboobs."  Haboob is an Arabic word that essentially means big, blasting winds, according to Andrew Deemer, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Phoenix and former linguist.  In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast that answers your questions about metro Phoenix,  Producer Taylor Seely breaks down the components necessary for a dust storm to be considered a haboob, plus how and when the word entered Arizona's lexicon. 


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