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About Rogue Columnist
Rogue Columnist: Award-winning commentary about Phoenix, Arizona, and the nation
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Henry Garfias, the son of a Mexican general, was elected Phoenix's first town marshal in 1881. Already famous for apprehending the stagecoach "ghost bandit" as a county deputy, Garfias (above, courtesy of Duran Lugo) was said to have shot dead... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Rogue Columnist
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Carl Muecke illustration America's, er, national conversation follows a predictable trajectory every time some psycho shoots up a place leaving multiple innocents murdered. From the media and everyplace to the left of center: Finally we'll get gun control! Why does... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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Once upon a time defining beauty in Phoenix was relatively easy. The old city was shady, grassy, and well landscaped. From there moved circles of citrus groves, flower fields, pastures, and farms in one of the most fertile alluvial river... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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Before "master planned communities," freeways, gravel, palo verdes, and endless pavement, Phoenix was closely surrounded by groves and farms, shade trees and virgin desert. It lasted until the 1960s and 1970s. I remember my grandmother taking me for a picnic... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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When the Republican-controlled Legislature isn't busy with voter suppression laws or bills to further the National Rifle Association wish list, it can still make time for brilliance such as this: Allowing community colleges to award four-year degrees. Legislation to make... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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I operate the Arizona History Shop for journalists, amateur historians, and curious civilians — free and an email or phone call away. It's sometimes shocking how little Arizona's millions know about their (mostly adopted) state. The situation is even more... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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When today's Arizonans think about the state's most important U.S. Senators, they go to Barry Goldwater and John McCain. A few will remember Carl Hayden, one of the longest-serving members of the Senate and, after the assassination of President John... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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It's difficult to find another major metropolitan area where most of the suburbs are as populous as in Phoenix. Consider: The "town" of Gilbert alone held more than 254,000 people as of 2019. It's only the fifth-largest municipality in metropolitan... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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First the good news. The monstrous Trump is out of office — can you even imagine our situation if he had prevailed or swung the election through the courts or Congress? We have a decent, competent president who is restoring... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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Midtown wasn't planned. It simply escaped...any coherent city planning, zoning, or vision. Some say it was Phoenix's attempt at Los Angeles' Wilshire Boulevard, the nearly 16-mile avenue from downtown LA's financial district to Santa Monica. Maybe. But Phoenix never had... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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Remember, remember the Sixth of January! For the first time since the foolish War of 1812, the U.S. Capitol was invaded. In this case, the attackers were not the redcoats but American citizens, whipped up by the president to overturn... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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Proud Boys march in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday morning. Soon a rightwing mob, incited by Donald Trump, stormed the U.S. Capitol. (Elvert Barnes photo). I feel obliged to put up a forum for commenters... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2021 at Rogue Columnist
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The longest economic expansion in history crashed into recession this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment skyrocketed to Depression-era levels before recovering...some. Industries such as airlines, hotels, tourism, restaurants, and brick-and-mortar retailers were savaged. I've written about this extensively... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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Once upon a time, schools weren't built to resemble prisons with walls and steel fences, along with no shade and heat-radiating concrete and gravel. Even in early Phoenix, most were built to inspire. In 1873 (above) an adobe school at... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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I use quotation marks because this term encompasses many distinct — sometimes overlapping — conditions. Its continued use makes it difficult to seriously explore this phenomenon, much less propose constructive actions ("solutions" aren't possible). Worse, it makes the situation appear... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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Joe Biden won Arizona. But, as the Duke of Wellington said of the Battle of Waterloo, "it was the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life." Biden prevailed with about 11,000 votes, or 0.3 percentage points, over the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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In addition to my popular column and gallery on Phoenix Union Station, I've written about the Ghost Railroads of Arizona, the many lines that helped build the state that have mostly disappeared. Another column detailed the difficult enterprise of building... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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Or so go some headlines and social-media posts I've read. In today's denuded newspaper environment, with thousands of reporters laid off and spreading news deserts, in-depth reporting is hard to find. Anyway, this salutary news was reported by KJZZ, KPHO/KTVK,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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Whatever else, we had to defeat Donald Trump this year or it was curtains for the republic. And Joe Biden is now President-elect of the United States and Kamala Harris is Vice President-elect. As with climate change and the science... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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Carl Muecke illustration We are heading into an election like no other. So rather than writing an essay on another topic — which few would read because of the voting — or putting up a history gallery...here's a revolving open... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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In March 1943, the photographer Jack Delano made a remarkable journey across northern Arizona on the main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. He was working for the federal Office of War Information, documenting the massive work... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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In 1977, when I was working on the ambulance as an EMT-paramedic, I was temporarily exiled from the city and worked for Aids Ambulance (the former Mesa Ambulance Service). This involved rotating to stations in Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and Apache... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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Carl Muecke illustration Joe Biden appears to have a commanding lead in the polls. This gives me little comfort. Hillary Clinton held what appeared to be a similar unstoppable advantage four years ago. And although she won the popular vote... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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The trouble with Central Avenue is it's not central to anything now." So a real-estate mogul told me in 2001. He was totally bought into endless sprawl at the expense of Phoenix, but he was also wrong. With the metroplex... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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The McCulloch Brothers, who have left a priceless archive at ASU, were primarily commercial photographers. Their work, which spans from 1884 to 1947, offers a variety of images of business in the young, growing city. Most of this gallery is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at Rogue Columnist
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