Author: Jessi

For homeless young adults, HomeBase offers structure, shelter and a way out

Lindsay Walker Monday, May 20, 2019 For homeless young adults, HomeBase offers structure, shelter and a way out PHOENIX – Clay Hollinshed found himself sleeping under the stars in a community park near Grand Canyon University in west Phoenix this past winter. But he wasn’t afraid. “I felt free,” he said, beaming ear to ear, his curly hair peeking out from inside the white bandana attempting to hold it in place. He had gathered his few belongings and left the group home where he had been living since 2016, tired of the chaos that surrounds the foster care system. He had just turned 18, had no place to go and no ties to his family. Hollinshed sounds mature but, in a Mickey Mouse T-shirt, looks innocent. The freedom he experienced under the stars now is limited to the walls of an emergency housing program for homeless youth called HomeBase, where he has been living about six months. That night in the park was Hollinshed’s only night on the streets. He crashed with an ex-boyfriend for a couple of weeks after that, sleeping in the boyfriend’s room at a nonprofit shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth. It was far from a permanent solution. There was no room for him. The place was already full. A social worker there found him a spot at HomeBase. Hollinshed now is back in high school...

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Final 100 miles of the Colorado highlight how badly the river is overtaxed

Luke Runyon Monday, May 20, 2019 Final 100 miles of the Colorado highlight how badly the river is overtaxed SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico – From above, tracing the Colorado River along the Arizona-California line in an airplane, it’s easy to see how it happened. As the river bends and weaves through the Southwest, its contents are slowly drained away. Concrete canals send water to millions of people in Phoenix and Tucson, Los Angeles and San Diego. Farms, ribbons of green contrasted against the desert’s shades of brown, line the waterway. Farther downstream, near Yuma, the river splits into threads, like a frayed piece of yarn. A massive multistate plumbing system sends river water to irrigate the hundreds of thousands of farm acres in Southern California and Arizona, hubs for winter vegetables, alfalfa, cotton and cattle. When the Colorado hits the final dam, on the U.S.-Mexico border, nearly every drop has been claimed. In a typical year, what’s left of the river’s flow – promised to Mexico in a 75-year-old treaty – is sent to farm fields in the Mexicali Valley and the cities of Tijuana, Mexicali and Tecate. This reliance on an overallocated river has left the Colorado’s final hundred miles as the ultimate collateral damage. Since the early 1960s, when Glen Canyon Dam impounded the river near Page, it has rarely reached the Gulf of California ....

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Lack of funds makes it more difficult for refugee women in Arizona to set up new lives

Molly Stellino Friday, May 17, 2019 Lack of funds makes it more difficult for refugee women in Arizona to set up new lives PHOENIX – During the farmer’s market on Saturdays outside Phoenix Public Market downtown, Rodain Abo Zeed sets up a quaint stand filled with falafel, fattoush, pastries, kubbeh and stuffed zucchini. Attendees stroll by under the afternoon sun, gazing at her exotic, hand-made Syrian dishes. Rodain’s Syrian Kitchen is still a relatively new business. And although Abo Zeed works hard each week on her homemade creations, there is still one thing she doesn’t have: a sign. It’s a big change from where she comes from. Before the Syrian civil war, Abo Zeed was the head chef at her family’s restaurant in Daraa, a city in southwestern Syria. And business was good. Customers filled the 50-table restaurant every day except Friday, the Muslim day of prayer. She remembers her favorite dish to make was cenefas de kataifi, a Greek pastry made with nuts and thin strands of dough covered in a sweet glaze. It “was the place to go,” she said in Arabic through an interpreter. Now, as a refugee living in Arizona, Abo Zeed has started a new life from scratch, under difficult circumstances and with what little help she’s been able to receive from humanitarian agencies that now are getting fewer federal funds. When her restaurant...

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Giants’ Tony Watson embraces special connection with civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.

Squire Harrington Friday, May 17, 2019 Giants’ Tony Watson embraces special connection with civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. SCOTTSDALE — The headstone at Rose Hill Cemetery in Shenandoah, Iowa, reads, “Thomas E. Offenburger, 1934-1986.” Across the top is engraved, “We Shall Overcome.”The marker is a reminder for San Francisco Giants reliever Tony Watson and his family of the small role his great uncle played in the Civil Rights Movement. “It’s a piece of family history that everyone’s held onto,” said Watson, born one month before Offenburger died. “I think it’s very cool, very significant.” It is a sports connection worth noting because Watson is in town today with the Giants, who start a three-game series with the Diamondbacks. It is also the anniversary of a key Martin Luther King Jr. milestone, when he stood at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. in 1957 and delivered his first national address, “Give Us The Ballot,” at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. Offenburger — known to the family as Uncle Tom — had served as a press aide to the civil rights figure and was part of the inner circle of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference that King led. The Watsons have kept Offenburger’s participation in the Civil Rights Movement alive by passing it down through the generations. “It’s something that was brought down to me from my parents and...

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