Category Archives: Geographic

Unconventional Storage

hoover damIn a recent article from SFGate.com, it was reported that in the recent heat wave that caused temperatures in parts of the Western U.S. to skyrocket into triple digits, snow melt was accelerated. With the high temperatures turning snow into water, 12 billion gallons of H2O poured into Lake Tahoe in the last week.  That’s over 18,000 Olympic sized swimming pools!

Lakes and reservoirs are one of the main ways we store water – and they are crucial in dry areas like the Southwestern United States.  After the outlet from a natural lake has been damned, the water level can then be regulated in order to match the amount of rainfall, snow melt, and needs of the surrounding community. Continue reading

Food Truck Culture in Mesa, Arizona

tacosIt is a 21st century fact that food from a truck has been elevated to high culinary art. It used to be something you would only eat if there were absolutely no other options. Now it is something people will drive miles and stand in long lines for. How did this happen? Well, some people point to the economic recession as a factor; others talk about the high cost of building out a brick and mortar restaurant. Continue reading

Spotlight on Eastvale

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The San Gabriel Mountains Behind Eastvale at Dawn

Eastvale, California is a burgeoning new city in northwestern Riverside County with a strong sense of community and an eye on the future. Incorporated in 2010, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the State of California, with a current population of over 63,000. Eastvale is bordered on the north by Ontario, on the south by Norco and Corona, on the east by Chino, and on the west by Jurupa Valley. It gets its name from the East Vale school district, which was on the record when Riverside County was created in 1853.

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Spotlight on Laveen

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The Estrella Mountains west of Laveen

Laveen is a community southwest of downtown Phoenix. The area was originally inhabited by Pima and Maricopa tribal members.  In the 1870’s, dairy farmers and cotton farmers settled in the area. By the early 1900’s, a large enough community had grown up that Walter Laveen was able to open the first general store, and the town became known as Laveen. Walter also became Laveen’s first postmaster, and later a Sheriff for Pinal County.

Laveen was long separated from Phoenix by the Salt River, which has water in it year-round.  As the twentieth century progressed, more bridges were built and Phoenix kept on growing, until the previously rural Laveen finally became part of the larger urban area of the city of Phoenix. Continue reading

Spotlight on Chandler

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Chandler’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree

Chandler, Arizona has grown from a small townsite established in in 1912 (the year Arizona became the 48th state), to a prominent suburb of Phoenix, with a population of over 230,000 residents. Originally, the town’s economy was based on agriculture (cotton, corn, and alfalfa), but these days Chandler is home to businesses like Intel, Verizon Wireless, and Microchip Technology.

In addition to its impressive business resume, Chandler is very popular with tourists, and hosts many colorful festivals, including the annual Ostrich Festival, a tribute to the days when ostrich farms in the Continue reading

Spotlight on Mesa

mesaMesa, Arizona is beautiful, bustling city that is located in Maricopa County, 15 miles east of Phoenix. It is a must-see destination for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts, as well as a thriving community in its own right. Mesa is the third largest city in the state of Arizona, with a population of 439,041 according to the 2010 census, and still growing. Considered part of the larger Phoenix Metropolitan Area, it is bounded on the north by the Tonto National Forest, 3 million acres of rugged and beautiful country which includes the legendary Superstition Mountains. To its west lies Tempe, to its east lies Apache Junction, and to the south is Chandler. Continue reading

Spotlight on Henderson

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Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada

Henderson, Nevada was “Born in America’s Defense” in the 1940’s when the Basic Magnesium Plant was opened to mine the much-needed ore for the war effort. Around 14,000 people flocked to a previously uninhabited area of the desert between Boulder City and Las Vegas, which in 1941 was a tiny railroad watering station. From that historic beginning, Henderson has grown from a small “company town” to the second largest city in Nevada, with a population of over 275,000.

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Spotlight on Tucson

Tucson, ArizonaLocated 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and just 60 miles north of the Mexican border, Tucson is the second largest city in the state (after Phoenix) and a major city in the Arizona Sun Corridor.

With an elevation of 2,643 feet, and surrounded by five mountain ranges, Tucson is cooler and wetter than Phoenix. It has a monsoon season from late June through early September, and averages a surprising 11 inches of rain a year, even though it is a desert climate, with highs in the summer routinely exceeding 100 degrees. Continue reading

Spotlight on Corona

CoronaCABecause of the sky-rocketing cost of living in Los Angeles, Corona is sometimes thought of as a bedroom community for people working in L.A. But Corona has a lot more going for it than affordable housing. With a heritage spanning over a century, a population of 154,000, more than 394 acres of parks, a historic downtown district, and iconic cultural and educational centers, Corona is home to a diverse, well educated, family-oriented community. Recently, businesses in Northern Orange County have been relocating to Corona to be close to their work force and take advantage of a favorable economic climate.

Some of the things we love about Corona:

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