29 October 2015

Valley Metro Public Art >The Shadow of A Memory

 . . . with a monumental blast of color in a new pocket park/sculpture garden on Main Street along the path of the Central Mesa Light Rail Extension
This time with a repeated sense of Mesa history and the strong memory of an artisan harkening back when the city was an Agritopia or urban farm before that word became a registered trademark for the166-acre mixed-use planned development in Gilbert.

This new place in the New Urban Downtown Mesa is sited on the north side of Main Street between fast-food/casual Taco Bell and full-service Il Vinaio close to the Country Club Drive & Main Street Light Rail Station.
As you can see by reading the sign for Valley Metro's Public Art Program, orchards of pecan trees were once located adjacent to Main Street. Originally they served as crop trees and later as shade trees for the neighborhoods that replaced the groves.
For station artist Mary Shindell growing up nearby the images of these beautiful trees became a part of her memory producing these expressions of art recently installed at the Traction Power Substation.
Grapes flourished in this surrounding area in the 1880's and 1890's. The name of the restaurant is a reminder of those times.

Brushed acrylic/Plexiglas abstract-free form sculptures and benches are getting unwrapped and installed on the side. At the time yours truly was here today, two guys doing some electrical work didn't have much to say, but Cindy Ornstein - Arts & Culture Director for the City of Mesa - certainly had plenty of information at her fingertips about the interactive Twilight Garden @ Morris Park sending images via email at the same time.

Twilight Garden – A new public art project called Twilight Garden is located at Morris Plaza on the north side of Main Street, adjacent to Il Vinaio.  The City collaborated with a Tucson artist, Joe O’Connell (Creative Machines), to develop a concept that would be in harmony with the other public art features in close proximity such as Mesa Flora figure at the Country Club Light Rail Station and the Memory of a Tree pecan tree-themed screen wall at the Traction Power Substation.  With consultation from the Arts and Culture Department, Joe developed, fabricated, and installed four acrylic sculptures that are internally illuminated at twilight and are human scaled to encourage interaction.  The sculptures automatically cycle through all colors in the spectrum, but can be manually adjusted to a specific color by visitors pressing a button.  Since the installation of the piece, people of all ages in Morris Plaza are seen interacting with the artwork daily (changing the colors, sitting in them, taking pictures with them)!

The Kids Are All Right


IT'S WHAT YOU DO [Infographic in this post]

Hey! wazzup with that? We need both, right?

Big crowd of students today at Mesa Arts Center.
It was Manufacturing Day 2015 for Career and Technical Education students in Mesa Public Schools.
Today’s cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant career and technical education (CTE) prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers.
The Arizona Regents, thanks to a change in education policy by Gov Ducey, are stating that CTE and Fine Arts credits will now be accepted on applications for higher learning by the state's universities - it's way overdue for that to get recognized. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxihu13fvT6BSVRldWttY2xOeVk/view?pli=1


Students from Westwood High were happy to get into the picture with a robot that took first prize at a statewide competition last year
Way to go Westwood!

3-D Printer Display

The Manufacturing industry offers over 17 million jobs in the United States. Career opportunities include engineers, machinists, computer programmers and so much more. Mesa Public School’s CTE department is proud to sponsor MFG 2015 and educate students on the vast college and career opportunities available in manufacturing.

Really Retro Big Picture Show in Vacant Lot on Main Street

Creative Place Making + Pop-UP > 
How to turn empty land into an outdoor entertainment venue

RAILmesa and Valley Metro have been screening family-oriented movies on a blank wall in a "sliver lot" on the south side of Main Street near Country Club Drive for quite some time now - now it's a billboard for free movies on 2nd Friday Night's Out in the new urban downtown Mesa that developed from an idea by business owner/artist + community-building activist Amy Castillo.
The empty lot was one of the locations that owner Brian Marshall of Village Bloom talked about in the July 14, 2015 visit here by John Williams, head of the San Francisco Federal Bank featured in a post on this blogsite August 06.
The downtown tour was organized by Terry Benelli, executive director of LISC/Phoenix to focus on local initiatives for sustainable communities.

28 October 2015

Doing The Time Warp Again > The Rocky Horror Picture Show

WARNING: Viewer Discretion is Advised - Watch the trailer anyway
 . . be it

[It isn't the Junior Chamber of

It's the 40th Anniversary of this campy cult classic - the storyline goes like this: sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O'Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named "Rocky."

It's here in Mesa, slightly south of downtown on Country Club for a Halloween Party on October 31 at the Arizona Event Center
[see 411 below]


Maker-Space in The New Urban Downtown Mesa

Yours truly has been "on the beat" walking, synchronizing, absorbing and getting in-touch all around downtown for nine months, not exactly the new kid on the block birthing this blog site. 
For some mysterious reason I was always put off by, yet on the other hand very curious about  this location with performance art-on-the-couch in the window in the "historic and authentic" downtown. Heat Sync Labs is wildly wonderful . . . maybe it brought back times gone by, the wild and wonderful good high-energy creative 20-something + 30-something [yea, 40- and 50-something also] years living in cities like Philadelphia, Boston and New York > getting excited all over again . . . but here in Mesa?
Believe it.

ICYMI > Why Should You Be a Voice For Public Transit?

In case you missed it, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed a transportation bill with three years of funding with the possibility of longer-term funding after the three-year period. With strong bipartisan support, the Committee approved the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015.

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, there could still be a long road ahead of us. The full House still needs to vote on the legislation, and we will continue to advocate for the funding levels to be increased for public transportation. The next step will include the House and Senate reconciling their two bills into a final bill and then sending it on to President Obama.

Even though the House bill raises concerns about the need to increase the funding levels, this development will at least enable the process to move forward. We are hopeful that Congress will be able to pass a final bill with increased investment in public transit before the end of the year.
This is it—crunch time. The deadline for Congress to pass long-term transportation funding is just around the corner.

27 October 2015

Collaboration portal helping small business find funds

Arizona groups launch equity crowdfunding site to connect businesses with capital

By Devin Conley | Cronkite News | POSTED: Oct 23, 2015

The biggest challenge for Arizona entrepreneurs today is access to capital, said Dan Nienhauser, executive director of Arizona Collaboratory Inc.
To address the issue, the Arizona Technology Council has partnered with Arizona Collaboratory Inc. to launch the Arizona Collaboratory Capital Connectivity Portal.


The Arizona Technology Council is the driving force behind making our state the fastest growing technology hub in the nation; connecting and empowering Arizona’s technology community. As Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies, the Council is recognized as having a diverse professional business community. The Arizona Technology Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, managers, employees and visionaries to make an impact on the technology industry. Council members work toward furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona.
This online platform is the first aimed strictly at Arizona technology companies and investors, organizers said.
The portal has two goals: connect startups with investors to generate capital and prepare businesses to manage the funds.

Technology Advocacy & Technology Public Policy

The Council is one of the state’s leaders in driving a pro-growth, business-focused state and federal technology agenda. The Council serves as a voice for the technology community, testifying before the legislature on a regular basis and as part of the Council’s annual Governor’s Celebration of Innovation, its Public Policy Committee selects ten Arizona legislators with a track record of supporting the technology industry to be honored during the awards ceremony.

A Voice for the Technology Industry - The Council supports key ideas, goals, legislation, and initiatives that enable Arizona to:

  • Create an environment that supports technology related jobs
  • Improve the business climate for the technology industry
  • Provide sources of capital that encourage entrepreneurship
  • Train and attract the required talent to compete in a global innovation economy

26 October 2015

New Fashion Center on Main Street? > It's More Than That

The grand old man on Main Street architecture, The Pomeroy Building - one of downtown's "beige" buildings with a colonnade and red tile roof - Pomeroy's Men's Store & Mission Outfitter @ 136 has leased adjoining space under the same roof to Backstage Attire @ 138 that's been opened for about three weeks now.
Some may say that's an unlikely [and surprising] side-by-side retail business pair, but it goes to show the unexpected positive developments for the future of retail in the New Urban Downtown Mesa where the old welcomes the new. Both attract their own customers in their own ways for clothing and accessories. Pomeroy's has been doing that since 1959.

Backstage Attire has just started around October 1, 2015 with an entry that draws you into the store with large windows in front and on both sides with mannequins in rock attire, graphics, sculptures, and custom furniture,
The store is the brainchild of a cool, industrious corporate refugee from Phoenix who one day decided, after telling his wife, he wanted to do something new and quit his job . . . 45 days later, plans were made, a lease signed and it happened.
It was a pleasure to stop by and talk with Jim today - a Monday when few businesses are open downtown.
Having just made a post about the First Mesa Music Fest 2015 this morning, in walks a guy named Spaggs, an owner of Motormedia, who started plans for this live music event after talking with Mike Milano after the Super Bowl game year, figuring to feature 20-30 bands . . . it's now at 220+ for the two days in November.
Go see this new store and what it offers, meet the owner Jim  [link below to Facebook page]

The bronze statue of Wayne Pomeroy seems pleased with the arrangements - giving Backstage Attire and the Mesa Music Fest  a big High-5
You can find the store on Facebook >


1st Mesa Music Fest Will Rock U Nov 13-15

This has been planned for months . . . your MesaZona blogger is catching up on what's happening next month The first ever Mesa Music Festival will be coming to downtown Mesa, AZ on November 13th – 15th, 2015! Just announced on 10/15: and here of October 14th in this 04:16 YouTube video
Hit up the website/GET INVOLVED  > http://www.mesamusicfest.com/get-involved/
Just had the pleasure of meeting Spags at Backstage Attire - this started out with figuring 20-30 bands . . . it's now at 220 bands who will be performing live

Don't Just Talk About Infrastructure > Support Getting The Money

Countdown to October 29 Transportation Deadline
Thousands of Voices for Public Transit Advocates Share Their Views with Congress
The U.S. House of Representatives is moving forward with its version of a multi-year transportation bill, which will include provisions for roads, bridges, and public transit. While it is far from a perfect bill, it is at least reassuring to know that there is finally movement on the issue in the House.
- See more at: http://voicesforpublictransit.org/blog.aspx?id=10-21-2015#sthash.Putc5WVm.dpuf
Sometimes, Congress works—or doesn’t work—in mysterious ways. Take public transportation funding, for example. For more than six years, Congress has been unable to pass a long-term transportation bill with increased funding for public transportation. There are many, many reasons for Congress to increase federal support for public transportation. Below, we share our top 10 reasons why Congress should move forward and pass a bill that increases America’s investment in public transportation. - See more at: http://voicesforpublictransit.org/blog.aspx?id=10-22-2015#sthash.GRwqqdj9.dpuf

Here's a very clear  visual showing the catastrophic drop in infrastructure funding - get the picture? . . . and why YOU need to take action for long-growth - not these 60 or 90-day extensions

People Move + Jobs Move

NJ Tech Council Awards 2014
Wayside gets $2.6M tax break for Oceanport move
Wayside Technology Group Inc WSTG plans to move from its Shrewsbury NJ  headquarters to the Oceanport portion of Fort Monmouth instead of Arizona after it was approved Thursday for a tax break of up to $2.6 million over 10 years, the chief executive officer Simon Nynens [in image to the left] said in an article from October 15, 2015.
Wayside would move more than 100 employees and create another 35 jobs in Fort Monmouth instead of moving to Mesa, AZ where it has another facility, Lifeboat Distribution.

What is http://www.lifeboatdistribution.com/ ?
Lifeboat Distribution, a subsidiary of Wayside Technology Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WSTG), is an international value added distributor for virtualization/cloud computing, security, application and network infrastructure, business continuity/disaster recovery, database infrastructure and management, application lifecycle management, science/engineering, and other technically sophisticated products. The company helps vendors recruit and build multinational solution provider networks, power their networks, and drive incremental sales revenues that complement existing sales channels. Lifeboat Distribution services thousands of solution providers, VARs, systems integrators, corporate resellers, and consultants worldwide, helping them power a rich opportunity stream, expand their margin+ services revenues, and build profitable product and service businesses. For more information, visit http://www.lifeboatdistribution.com.
Lifeboat Distribution is a subsidiary of Wayside Technology Group.
In a July 30, 2015 Q2 results announcement Simon Nynens had this to say: "I am pleased to report solid financial results for Q2 2015. Overall, revenue increased 9% and Gross Profit increased 5% over the same period last year, due to continued strong performance from our Lifeboat Distribution team," said Simon F. Nynens, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "I am also pleased to announce that we have recently opened a Lifeboat Distribution sales office in Mesa, Arizona to enhance customer service for our Mid-west and West Coast customers . . .
Total sales for the second quarter of 2015 for our Lifeboat Distribution segment were $81.3 million compared to $70.0 million in the second quarter of 2014, representing an increase of $11.3 million or 16%.

You can watch this dynamic CEO here in this YouTube video link > https://youtu.be/HC3dv8VPpNQ

Back to CityLab London 2015 > What Mayors Say About One Big Thing

Mayors from around the world, including Boris Johnson, gathered in London last week to discuss solutions to transform cities around the world. Huffington Post UK featured some mayors from around the world, including John Giles http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/10/19/citylab-london-2015_n_8328842.html
CityLab explored income inequality, safety, mobility, infrastructure and other dynamics of modern metropolises to create more livable and sustainable cities.
Mayor John Giles was featured in an online chat for the Alpine Institute about infrastructure and innovation. In this post some excerpted comments from other mayors are included about the greatest challenges facing cities in the next five years.
More about what John Giles said about  innovation can be seen in a transcript of the online chat . . .
Ahead of the event The Huffington Post UK spoke to some of the influential leaders attending the event and asked one simple question: What is the one big thing that cities need to focus on or change in the next five years? Here's how they responded:

23 October 2015

Stairway to The Spirits > Creative Place Making @ MAC

Good example of how arts and culture intersect in Creative Place Making in this weekend's Day of The Dead here in the New Urban downtown Mesa at the Mesa Arts Center.
Here in a shot of the Community Altar - an ofrenda or offering to the spirits of the dearly departed by artist Kyllan Maney - that was the showpiece for all the festivities and activities attracting people to a celebration of life from centuries-old pre-Spanish cultures that thrived in Mexico and Central America. See a link below for more information about Day of The Dead

Forbes Magazine: Arizona #1 For Future Job Growth

65+ Heatmap from geometrx.com
What's all this about "Millennials"?? . . . It's migration, folks.
Same reason the birds do it, flying and making their nests/winter here/summer there/maybe year-round . . . "empty nests"? Baby Boomers? Maybe caused by climate change? Our attractive weather with over 100 days of temperatures over 100 degrees?
According to an article yesterday by Kurt Badenhausen, who covers sports business with a rare dip in education and local economies [good combination of interests, eh?]
"Baby boomers retiring to Arizona is the main driver for Arizona’s employment growth,” says Kyle Hillman, an economist at Moody’s focused on Arizona. This migration fuels jobs in healthcare and consumer services. Net migration into the state is projected to total 679,000 over the next five years. . .  
Companies and workers are also finding their way to Arizona as a more affordable option to West Coast locales like the Bay Area and Seattle. The state offers a diversified economy with a skilled workforce.
Did somebody say follow the money? Financial service firms have a heavy presence in Arizona with Wells Fargo WFC +1.85%, JPMorgan Chase JPM +1.59% and Bank of America BAC +6.25% among the 10 largest private employers in the state. . . "

Millennials Urbanizing, Boomers Suburbanizing in U.S.
RealtyTrac reported last year reported that many U.S. housing markets are now seeing a shift in both baby boomer and millennial population migration patterns.
According to the data analyzed, millennials are now going to urban city centers across the U.S. for higher income job opportunities, while retiring boomers are now opting for less dense,  lower-priced housing markets to retire.
Top Markets for Boomers Include Wilmington, NC, Punta Gorda, FL and Phoenix, AZ;
Millennials Migrating to Washington DC, New Orleans, LA and San Francisco, CA
Link to data analysis >> http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/north-america-residential-news/population-changes-in-us-realtytrac-report-millennial-migration-report-boomer-housing-report-median-household-incomes-lower-priced-housing-markets-8531.php

21 October 2015

The Internet Of Things >> A Third Industrial Revolution :)

Jeremy Rifkin: The global economy is slowing, productivity is waning in every region of the world and unemployment remains stubbornly high in every country. At the same time, economic inequality between the rich and the poor is at the highest point in human history. . . Now, a new economic paradigm is emerging that is going to dramatically change the way we organize economic life on the planet. The European Union is embarking on a bold new course to create a high-tech 21st century smart green digital economy, making Europe potentially the most productive commercial space in the world and the most ecologically sustainable society on Earth. The plan is called Digital Europe. The EU vision of a green digital economy is now being embraced by China and other developing nations around the world. . . Now, a new economic paradigm is emerging that is going to dramatically change the way we organize economic life on the planet. The European Union is embarking on a bold new course to create a high-tech 21st century smart green digital economy, making Europe potentially the most productive commercial space in the world and the most ecologically sustainable society on Earth. The plan is called Digital Europe. The EU vision of a green digital economy is now being embraced by China and other developing nations around the world. . . To grasp the enormity of the economic change taking place, we need to understand the technological forces that have given rise to new economic systems throughout history
Today, Europe is laying the ground work for the Third Industrial Revolution. The digitalized communication Internet is converging with a digitalized, renewable "Energy Internet" and a digitalized, automated "Transportation and Logistics Internet" to create a super "Internet of Things" infrastructure.  . For the first time in history, the entire human race can collaborate directly with one another, democratizing economic life. . . The digitalization of communication, energy and transportation also raises risks and challenges, not the least of which are guaranteeing network neutrality, preventing the creation of new corporate monopolies, protecting personal privacy, ensuring data security and thwarting cybercrime and cyber terrorism. . .
In this expanded digital economy, private enterprises connected to the Internet of Things can use Big Data and analytics to develop algorithms that speed efficiency, increase productivity and dramatically lower the marginal cost of producing and distributing goods and services, . . The marginal cost of some goods and services in a Digital Europe will even approach zero, allowing millions of prosumers connected to the Internet of Things to produce and exchange things with one another for nearly free in the growing Sharing Economy. Already, a digital generation is producing and sharing music, videos, news blogs, social media, free e-books, massive open online college courses and other virtual goods at near zero marginal cost. The near zero marginal cost phenomenon brought the music industry to its knees, shook the television industry, forced newspapers and magazines out of business and crippled the book publishing market. . .

20 October 2015

Inter-Generational > Back To The Future Part 2 | Future Hearts > Mesa MeltDown

Up for a surprise in the New Urban Downtown Mesa today during a too-quiet walk in the green space between the library and the convention center > hearing the sound of an amplified band.
My ears told me where to go in the direction of the Mesa Ampitheater - Womp! hundreds of people waiting in line!
This is a Tuesday afternoon just after 3 o'clock, the streets are usually devoid of people. What's goin' on?
My eyes were open to a whole new generation. I stopped and talked to find out ... Rain or Shine/All Ages

Take a look at concert poster [click on to enlarge]

Here's the crowd waiting in line in the image to the left, stretching back at least 150 yards going in one direction. This is on the walkway between the Mesa Convention Center  and the Mesa Ampitheater.

And here's the retail business district on Main Street at the same time . . . where are the people? You can see City Hall @ Center Street in the middle of the image.                                               
Bona fide WORLDWIDE SENSATION HERE IN MESA just a couple of blocks away
Here are the musicians that hit my ears with their music and who attracted a crowd in the center of the city at the outdoor entertainment venue Mesa Amphitheater
ALLTIME LOW here Rain or Shine | All Ages | Who is All Time Low??                       Billboard chart-topping American rock group.  They’ve repeatedly topped the charts, sold over 1.2 million albums worldwide, raked in 100+ million views on YouTube, toured with the biggest names in music, and have taken over airwaves around the globe… American rock band All Time Low is a bona fide worldwide sensation and they’re kicking off a whole new chapter in 2015.

More of the crowd, early admission
After a two-year writing binge, band members Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and Zack Merrick are back with what Alternative Press Magazine called the “most anticipated album of 2015”: their sixth studio album, Future Hearts.  The album, released on April 7th, debuted as the top selling album on the US and UK charts.

The massive buzz surrounding the new album triggered a fan frenzy among their 5+ million followers on social media.

Here's another group on today's program:



Just Havin' Fun > Time To De-Compress or To Compress? Doff N' Donner

The Doff N' Donner has won the prestigious "Innovation to Care" Award (I2C) at a recent Medical Trade Show in Europe. The Doff N' Donner is used by Patients & Medical Professionals in the Application and Removal of Compression Stockings.
Link to Press Release >> Doff N' Donner in PR Web
[This blog covers a lot of demographics, if you're wondering]
What's this all about?
Compression Stockings have always had a notoriously poor compliance rate due to the difficulty in donning and doffing the stockings onto the legs. The Doff N' Donner has now been awarded and duly recognized for its innovative solution to this major industry problem.
This Mesa-based company,in the compression stockings market since 2012, helps patients & medical professionals to put on and take off compression therapy garments with greater ease. It is quickly becoming the gold standard in its field and has so far helped over a hundred thousand people around the world.
More than you want to know > http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/10/prweb13016677.htm

Nammo Talley Back In The News >

According to a report 15 October in naval-technology.com Norwegian aerospace and defense group Nammo has received a contract from the US Army Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition (SMCA) to provide shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon (SMAW) common practice rocket (CPR) ammunition to the US Marine Corps (USMC).

Mesa AZ location
It is the first order under the USMC, SMAW ammunition contract worth more than $42.7million.

Initially awarded in September [as noted in a post on this blog on 10 July], this five-year, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract has options to deliver three types of 83mm SMAW ammunition, the company stated.

In another development, Nammo has received an order to produce the M141 Bunker Defeat Munition (BDM).
Oct 15, 2015 .defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Nammo AS; issued Oct 14, 2015)

RAUFOSS, Norway --- On September 23, Nammo was awarded Delivery Order 19 to the indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contract to produce the M141 Bunker Defeat Munition.
Work will be completed in Mesa, Arizona and Salt Lake City, Utah with delivery in December 2016. Maximum value of the multi-year contract is $567 million USD but actual value will depend on the total quantity of rounds supplied.
M141 BDM is a direct fire, man-portable infantry assault weapon comprised of a disposable launcher and an 83mm high explosive dual purpose round.

"Nammo Talley is proud to continue the M141 BDM program with our nineteenth delivery order on this contract. We'll work relentlessly to exceed the Army's expectations for quality, on-time delivery and safe manufacturing processes", says Scott Selle, Executive Vice President of Nammo Talley, a U.S. division of the Nammo Group.
This represents the delivery order 19 to the multi-year ID/IQ contract with a maximum value of $567m.
Work under this order will be performed in Mesa, Arizona and Salt Lake City and the system is expected to be delivered in December 2016.
Selle said: "Nammo Talley is proud to continue the M141 BDM programme with our nineteenth delivery order on this contract.
Nammo's M141 BDM is a direct fire, man-portable infantry assault weapon that includes a disposable launcher and an 83mm high-explosive, dual-purpose round.
Nammo Talley
Awarded M141 BDM Delivery Order
Wednesday, October 14th 2015


Chinese Spy-Chip Implant Story Gets Apple CEO Tim Cook To Say There's No Truth In It

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