80 episodes

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 azcentral.com 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 valley101podcast.azcentral.com or reach us on Twitter @Valley101pod.

Valley 101 The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com

    • News
    • 4.7, 174 Ratings

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 azcentral.com 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 valley101podcast.azcentral.com or reach us on Twitter @Valley101pod.

    What's the history of Phoenix Union Station? Will Amtrak return there?

    What's the history of Phoenix Union Station? Will Amtrak return there?

    Phoenix is the largest metropolitan city in the U.S. without passenger-rail service, but that wasn't always the case. 
    In 1923, Phoenix Union Station opened. And in 1926, a transcontinental line was completed, meaning someone could take the train anywhere in the country. 
    In this episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, we're exploring the history of passenger-rail service in the Valley. We'll look at what caused the decline in ridership, as well as future plans that could revive rail service to the historic building.

    • 21 min
    What's it like when you or someone you know gets COVID-19?

    What's it like when you or someone you know gets COVID-19?

    For several people in the Valley who've contracted COVID-19 or watched someone they love contract it, a switch flipped afterward. They felt compelled to convince others to take the disease seriously. 
    Jimmy Flores, a 30-year-old man from Tempe, told Arizona Republic reporter Audrey Jensen he thought COVID-19 was a joke. He figured he was too young and healthy to be susceptible to any significant danger.
    After a night out at the bars, Flores contracted COVID-19 and was subsequently hospitalized. He tried to persuade friends and family to be more cautious. He posted on Facebook about his experience and tried to steer clear of politics, hoping it might help detractors or skeptics grasp reality.
    Others trying to spread awareness, though, are diving head first into politics. Mark Urquiza was a 65-year-old resident living in Phoenix's Maryvale neighborhood. He died on June 30 from COVID-19. His daughter, Kristin Urquiza, blames Gov. Doug Ducey. 
    She published an evocative obituary for her father in The Republic calling out, "the carelessness of the politicians" for jeopardizing public health and "brown bodies." In an interview, she said Ducey has "blood on his hands." 
    This week's episode of Valley 101 shares the stories of Flores and the Urquiza family. It examines the confusion some felt about Arizona's reopening and the potential effects of returning to life as usual. 

    • 25 min
    How spring training created the Cactus League in Arizona

    How spring training created the Cactus League in Arizona

    As a lifelong Valley resident, I would often drive by the spring training stadiums for the Chicago Cubs or the Los Angeles Angels. I always wondered why we had outside teams playing in the Arizona.
    The reason dates back to the 1940s before the state even had its own Major League Baseball team. Arizona's relationship to Americans' favorite pastime started with a coalition of baseball teams that would eventually become known as the Cactus League.   
    This week on Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, I look into the history of that league, while answering my own question, "Why is Arizona home to the Cactus League?" 
    In this episode, you'll hear:

    How the Cactus League got its beginning in Arizona. 

    How the league planted the seed of integrating the city in the 1940s.

    The economic impact spring training has in the Valley. 

    • 17 min
    I live in Tempe, but I can get a library card in Phoenix. Why is that?

    I live in Tempe, but I can get a library card in Phoenix. Why is that?

    This episode goes out to all of the book lovers. 
    Did you know that if you live in Tempe, you can get a Phoenix Public Library card? One of our podcast listeners knew that, but he wasn't sure why, so podcast editor Katie O'Connell found out. 
    In this week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, we're exploring peeking behind-the-scenes at our local libraries. This includes looking at how services have been updated during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the popular summer reading program for kids. 

    • 13 min
    Introducing the latest season of Rediscovering, this time on SB 1070

    Introducing the latest season of Rediscovering, this time on SB 1070

    Arizona is a battleground state in national elections and could sway the outcome of the 2020 presidential race.  
    But how did we get here? How did the state go from reliably red to purple, with the possibility to shift blue in 2020, in just a decade? To understand, go back to 2010 when Arizona surprised the nation by passing Senate Bill 1070, a sweeping and highly controversial immigration law, otherwise known as the "show me your papers" law. 
    That's what Valley 101's sister podcast will explore in season two of Rediscovering. The five-part series will examine what led to the bill, what its proponents sought to do, how the community and nation reacted, and how its effects linger still today. 
    This week on Valley 101, host Kaila White will speak to the hosts of Rediscovering: SB 1070, The Arizona Republic's national political reporters Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen. They also host our political podcast, The Gaggle. They'll take you behind the scenes for a sneak peak of what to expect in the new series. 

    • 19 min
    Explaining Phoenix's street grid: What is and isn't logical about it

    Explaining Phoenix's street grid: What is and isn't logical about it

    Live in the Valley long enough and you’re bound to have a conversation about the Phoenix grid system. 
    You might hear how convenient and logical it is. Avenues on the west, streets on the east. Central in the middle. You might think the only flaw is that there's no pattern to the east-west extending named streets. That's true. 
    But that's not the only problem. Midtown Phoenix resident Scott Wilken spotted major inconsistencies between the number of blocks between each major named street when a driver is traveling north and south. He also discovered the blocks when traveling north and south are not equivalent to the blocks plotted going east and west. 
    So, why is that? Plus, who created Phoenix's grid system? What's its history? This week's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, answers Wilken's question. 

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
174 Ratings

174 Ratings

Sad TV watcher ,

Great Resource

As a relatively new person to the area, I delight in learning about my new home. Keep up the good work!

MJF 1960 ,

I keep listening, hoping it will get better.

Great concept. Arizona has an interesting history, and many of its residents did not grow up here.

However, the execution of this show is awful. The narrators sound like seventh graders reading from a script. They also, obviously, know very little about the history of the state. Sometimes the show is carried by someone who is interviewed, sometimes not.

Also, the show is marred by political correctness. As an example, the most recent show talked about the interstate highway act of 1956, which was a seminal law and had a great impact on this country. The first thing these people could say about it? That it might have perpetuated segregation in certain neighborhoods. OK, we got it. You are woke.

Handled by better editors, better narrators, and with an approach geared more toward adults, this could have been pretty good. I guess that, in a microcosm, it is a pretty good representation of where the Arizona Republic stands today. Dumbed down and politically correct.

mcole77 ,

Many interesting shows here!

I listen to very one. The best ones discuss the history of the area. Be forewarned tough, some shows especially the latest Covid one, have a lot of politics in them.

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