Arizona Illustrated Episode 528

Arizona Illustrated Episode 528


(passionate guitar music) – This week on Arizona Illustrated, we bring you our 2019
Murrow Awards special, recognizing Arizona
Public Media journalist and their award-winning work. (sensual guitar music) Welcome to Arizona
Illustrated, I’m Tom McNamara. Each year the Edward R. Murrow Awards honor outstanding achievements in broadcast and digital journalism. The Murrow Awards recognize
regional and national stories that exemplify the importance
and impact of journalism as a vital service to
the community at large. Let’s get started. Tucson artist, Alvaro
Enciso, has made it his goal to remember and honor
the lives of migrants who have died in the Sonoran Desert. In the category, Feature Reporting, this is an excerpt from Where Dreams Die. (low-pitched whistle) (insects scuttling) – A month ago, I found a dead
person out in the desert. And it really gave me the jolt that I needed to understand how horrendous is to die from lack of water out in the desert. You know, we could have prevent this, we could have prevented this death. (somber music) – [Robin R.] A vast, painful, and violent humanitarian crisis has been unfolding in southern Arizona that is largely ignored and largely erased in the national discourse
about immigration. – We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrations to permit the kind of abuse
of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must do more to stop it. (audience clapping) – Families are searching without answers, calling and calling and calling with the terror in their
voice of not knowing. And then in the meantime, this national narrative vilifying immigrants and their families. – [Man] President Trump
continues to hammer the issue of illegal immigration. – [Donald] These aren’t
people, these are animals. They bring in crime, they’re rapist. – [Robin R.] It leaves
those who are mourning feeling like their tragedy
is completely ignored. But know that there’s
someone who acknowledges that this is happening out there. (paintbrush swishing) – I’m trying to honor the courage of the people who make the trip (electric motor whirring)
and keep a voice to the suffering and the dreams and the hopes and the disappointments. (wood hammering)
And at the same time, point fingers, hey, this person died here, this one here, this one here. But I don’t want that
to determine who I am. I don’t wanna be
identified as an activist. I’m an artist, I’m a human being. I react to injustice. (heavy footsteps) Back in the ’60s, I was homeless. I came to the U.S. thinking that everything is possible here. Everything is possible here
but it’s not that easy. I was born in Colombia, South America. I came from a very poor family. Then I knew that my future was limited. I went to Vietnam as an infantry man because that was my only option. I didn’t wanna go back home defeated. Being in the army sort of helped me get an education, get a job, and I was hired by the government as an expert in cultural issues. It wasn’t until 1989 that I decided to drop it all and become an artist. When I moved here, I immediately wanted to
connect with the people who were putting the water in the desert. And I saw the mass of red dots, almost covering the
geographical detail of the map. I knew right then and there, I needed to take the red dot to where the tragedy occurred. Every time they collect the body, they put a GPS marking
where the person was found. So the night before, I look
at how am I gonna get there? How far are we gonna have to walk and be prepared for it?
(pen scratching) The ultimate goal is
to get to the location one way or another. – There’s no way.
(Alvaro chuckles) – I just had a birthday.
– Huh? – [Man] I know that’s not good. – We try to put four
crosses every time we go. It’s a red dot mark, a location, and we operate in an area
that is 40,000 square miles. We’ll stop by three points right at the left, wait for you.
– Yeah, yeah. – [Man] That’s not good. – [Alvaro] I got an email from a woman whose brother died here and she says, “Could you
put a cross for my brother?” – When did he die, I wonder?
– 2013. I have a friend who’s my GPS person who’s able to guide us
to the exact location. – Well, it looks like there might be a couple of ways to connect to it, but the one I think is– – [Alvaro] Sometimes, you have to find– – Three miles.
– Roads, that the map doesn’t even show. You see it? Okay, okay.
– Yeah, right here. – [Alvaro] Okay, I gotta put
this on four-wheel drive. I think the rain collapsed the road. I don’t wanna get in here. – [Man] Okay, but you don’t wanna get in there either.
– No, so I’m gonna have to go this way.
– Right. – [Alvaro] Most of the migrants
who died out in the desert were off the trail. They were left behind,
they got lost, disoriented, and they ended up walking in circles until they ran out of water and died. It’s a tragedy that has
a lot of ramifications. There’s a void in that family. – After years spent numbing her pain with drugs and alcohol and multiple attempts to end her life, Danielle McFarlin found her reason to live and embarked on a new spiritual journey. In the category, Excellence in Video, this is, The Survivor. – [Narrator] Due to the
sensitive nature of this content, viewer discretion is advised. (TV static hissing)
(phone dial clicking) – Hello, can you hear me?
– Yeah. – [Danielle] This is Danielle
McFarlin, you remember me? – [Man] Yeah, what’s up? – [Danielle] I’m just calling, just to let you, I guess, more of less, what my life has been like due to having been molested
by many guys as a kid. – Okay.
– You know, five, or six, seven, eight. It was just too horrific to
handle it all. (voice cracks) – [Man] Yeah I don’t
know anything about it. (background music drowns out speaker) (somber music) – By the time I was in kindergarten, I’d already been sexually abused by three different people. I was raped when I was three years old. And they all made me promise
never to tell anybody. One of them told me that if I did, that my parents weren’t
gonna love me anymore, that I was like officially unlovable and they would disown me and
kick me out on the streets. Another one threatened to kill my dog. Nobody knew, it was all, just my little secret or my big secret. I grew up in Nogales, Arizona. I never really felt like I fit in, but I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere because I was putting on this mask of trying to pretend to
be somebody I wasn’t. This was definitely during the dark years. I’m trying to figure out how old I was. I was trying to pretend
that I wasn’t a survivor, trying to pretend that I
wasn’t dealing with trauma. Trying to pretend that I was normal and I never felt normal. (static hissing)
Scar is deep and it scars through every vein of my body and if you’re hiding it, I mean I wish you guys would’ve burned me so I’d have physical scars ’cause that’ll be easier to
cope with than the emotional. I mean, I look at myself in the mirror and you know, it’s just a constant memory of what you guys did to me. (sighs) Any of my traumas have been so impacting. They completely shifted my life. Every single one of them sent
me in a different direction, off course of where I was headed. (camera clicking) When I got into high school, I started hanging out with some people. He invited me out one night. He would find me after school and kind of signal very sternly, like I’m giving you a ride home, they didn’t want to do
anything that night. I said no, I’d get in the car and he would have other friends with them and then it was expected
that I would take care of whoever he brought along as well. And I was terrified, so I got backed into a corner and had to give in. He threatened that if I ever told anybody, they could go look for my body in Mexico ’cause that would be
where they would find me. So there was no talking
about it then either. I graduated early because I was just done and I wanted to get out of that town. And I moved out to Philly and was lonely. I didn’t know a single soul out there. On my weekends, I had nothing to do. I’d run up and go visit
the friend of the family that lived in Long Island
(heart beating) and then I woke up in
the middle of the night to him having sex with me. I thought I had something that said, Abuse Me, on my forehead. The week after, I was ready
to jump off of a bridge and someone had called the police. They showed up, they took
me to a hospital that night. A month later, I tended to overdose, am I pumped in, four more attempts, so I can kill myself right. Emotionally, I was starting to crack. I could feel that I was
becoming less stable and I felt like I needed to come home. The lady that gave this to me said she got it from Nogales. – Really?
– Yeah. I met Robin after I
moved back from Philly. As soon as we met each other, we just kinda hit it off. She definitely kept me in the light a whole lot longer. Well, I’m glad you said yes
(Robin laughing) to coming today, this is a lot. It feels more complete. – It’s an automatic yes. Everywhere we went, I just remember people would look at us or wanted hang out with us and ask us out, it was just fun, it was just really good time. Up until that weekend that we decided to go to Nogales and then we parted ways
for around ’bout 16 years. – [Danielle] Feel it like in your body and it’s starting to hit you and you’re like, oh yeah,
there’s no turning back now. – [Robin L.] Oh, yeah. – [Danielle] Point of no return. – Come on.
– There it is. – [Robin L.] There it is. – [Danielle] We started
out at a restaurant where we were just drinking margaritas and we decided to cross the
street over to Cucarachas and we were not feeling well. And it would be much more than having the alcohol effect. And I didn’t even realize at the time that we most likely had been roofied. – Robin, I write this letter with absolutely no expectations. I’m so sorry for any and all
of the pain I’ve caused you. I’m sorry I shut down after Mexico. I had completely blocked the memories of the second part of that night. The employee came up behind
me and pulled my pants down. As he plunged into me from
behind, I began to puke. Fortunately, that got him to back off. You became a trigger for all the pain (sniffs) and in that in
turn triggered memories of all the unhealed sexual
trauma from my past. Things got so incredibly dark for me. I spent many nights on the floor of my bedroom on River Road with a gun in my mouth. I couldn’t pull the
trigger. (tongue clicks) – I feel sad for this
right now, I’m not angry. You just have a heavy heart. (somber music) – Ever since Glen Canyon
Dam was completed in 1963, people have talked about tearing it down. The lake that it holds has
survived these 56 years, mostly on the fringe. But as a long, hot drought
marches into it’s 20th year, and levels on Lake Powell drop, some are again asking the question, is now the time? In the category, News Documentary Radio, this is Resurrecting Glen Canyon. (audio reverses) – [Woman] Ever since Glen Canyon
Dam was completed in 1963, people have talked about tearing it down. – [Man] People have
always resented that dam and a lot of people consider it to be our country’s biggest
environmental mistake. – [Woman] A mistake that killed the canyon and damaged a river. – [Katie] Rivers are suppose to run. They’re not supposed to be dammed up. – [Woman] Edward Abbey wrote about a plot to blow up the dam in his
novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang. Here he is talking about the dam and the infrastructure around it. – [Edward] I see this as an invasion. This look like a creature from Mars to me. – [Woman] The dream of
bringing down Glen Canyon Dam and draining the lake that it holds, has survived these 55
years, mostly on the fringe. But as the West heads into
it’s 19th year of drought, and water levels on Lake Powell
and the Colorado River drop, isn’t a dam whose time has come? (catchy guitar music) – [Announcer] Hello,
people holding tickets for the 10:30 tour for Glen Canyon Dam. We’re now ready to start securities for– – [Woman] I’m in northern
Arizona, near the Utah border, with the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation’s Marlon Duke. – [Marlon] Yeah, I’m Marlon Duke. I’m the Public Affairs Officer for the Upper Colorado Region out at Salt Lake City. – [Woman] Can you describe
to me where we are right now? – [Marlon] Oh yeah, this so we’re on top of Glen Canyon Dam, looking
north at Lake Powell as it curves around the sandstone, up over the hill is Wahweap Marina, where you can put your boats in. If we turn and look south,
then you see the river, and you see that river in the water that’s going to the south. To me, that’s an interesting image, as we see, the water that we store here for the upper basin, the
water that we release there for the lower basin. And all the people that are not supporting 40 million plus people,
who rely on this water. – [Woman] Those 40 million
people, live all over the West, from Denver to Phoenix and
Tucson, San Diego, even L.A. We all depend on that ribbon of water, which of course, is the Colorado River. Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell are two fundamental pieces in the puzzle that is Western water infrastructure. Before we get to the future
of Glen Canyon Dam though, let’s talk about it’s past. (soothing guitar music) – [Eric] Glen Canyon,
before the dam was put in, was considered by a lot of
the early river runners, and explorers, and native peoples, to be kind of the Panacea
of the Colorado Plateau. A lot of the early river runners considered it to be more beautiful than the Grand Canyon. – [Woman] That’s Eric Balkin. He runs the Glen Canyon Institute, one of the organizations
that’s pushing the idea of draining Lake Powell. Eric’s 31, so the dam
had already been standing for more than two decades
by the time he was born, meaning he never got to see the canyon before it was filled with water. I didn’t either, but a few years ago, my colleague, Gisela Telis, interviewed Katie Lee,
a Hollywood starlet, a singer, writer, and environmentalist who died last year at 98. – [Katie] I’m probably best known for my bad mouth and my activism. I wish I were recognized
more from my writing because I don’t think my
writing is bad at all. – [Woman] One of the other
things she’s remembered for is a series of nude photos taken of her in the canyon before it was flooded. (soothing guitar music) – [Katie] Eden couldn’t
have touched this place, no. The breezes, they talk to you and you can talk back, get answers. Some of the vistas were so beautiful, we just stood there and cry. (cries) How come? Here it goes. – He started skateboarding
when he was five years old. Now he’s pursuing his dream of
competing as a professional. In the category, Sports Reporting, this is Liam Pace. (skateboard sliding) – It just always came natural, it was just something that I can do and no one could tell me what to do. Every trick I learn was all me. No one could ever tell
me how to skateboard. (formidable music) I pretty much had like two friends throughout elementary and middle school. I literally spent every waking moment of my free time on my skateboard. I wanna be a professional skateboarder. I’ve been working really
hard to get in the X Games. After that, it’s the Olympics because that’s gonna be a really
big thing for skateboarding and to be one of the first people ever to be on the U.S. Olympics
skateboarding team, it’s something that I
can push myself to do. – Yeah.
– More 2×4’s too though. – Yeah, we need a lot for the railing.
– Yeah. (machine drilling) (dog barking) Dad!
– Yeah? – [Liam] We’re gonna have to
move this one in the center. – [Logan] Or we can just lag bolt it. – Try now.
(wood banging) The only reason it’s a challenge is because we’re so high up. (tool clanging) Hand me another one?? Anytime I want to go skate a vert ramp, we had to go to California. – We’ve been talking about this project probably for least three of four years. When he started riding all pro events, it just made sense. – [Liam] Alright. – [Logan] We’ve kinda been
best buds since he was little. – [Liam] I don’t think I would be anywhere close to the person I am or where I am in
skateboarding without him. (dog barking) Why the over rouse? No! No!
(metal tools clanging) I started skating when
I was five, almost six. When I was seven or eight,
they built Santa Rita and after that, is when skating took off. (clapping beat) It was a better skate park. (catchy bass groove) ♪ Well I came and I saw ♪ ♪ And I hurt, I was confused ♪ ♪ But I proved and learn ♪ ♪ to pretend I understood ♪ ♪ Oh yeah ♪ (playful rock music) – Your airs are nuts, dude.
– Thank you. – Liam kills it, every
time I see him skate. I’ve seen him skate for
six, seven years now and he’s just getting better,
and better, and better. That’s just blowing my mind, I know it. – It’s an amazing feeling. It’s natural, floating through the air, slow motion almost. Everything’s kinda free and
nothing has to be harsh. – The kid’s got it going on, I mean, he can do just do about anything. I’ve known him since he was itty bitty since he first started skating. And I mean, he killed it back then, and he kills it now. It’s not a thing you do over night. I mean, he’s putting the time. – Hi, my name’s Liam Pace and I’m eight years old. Please enjoy my video. – [Logan] He was always the smallest kid, but that was something he could do well and he just understood
the way he needed to be, his body placement, the lines. A couple people when he was really small, they just, out of the blue was like, “Is he good in mathematics?” I’m like, yeah, that’s
kind of an odd question, but okay, yeah. If you ever think about it, there’s a direct correlation in being able to understand
the lines and the physics. – [Liam] The only college
I’ve applied to is the U of A. And I got in, I’m in the
College of Engineering in an aerospace major. (dogs growling) I still plan to go to
college while skating and I help out with my sister because my dad raises
us as a single parent. – Yeah, you were. – [Liam] Thank you for pointing it out. – [Sister] We are a awesome family and no one can change it. – [Logan] Him being the older sibling, sometimes he does have to
take on more responsibility than a normal kid his age would. (soft music) (broom sweeping) (muffled skateboard thud) – [Liam] Nothing runs through my head. I tune out the world around me and the only thing I’m focused
on is the trick I’m doing. – There was so much buzz and I walked over and I watched him skate, and I said, is this kid, pro or what? When I found out he wasn’t sponsored, I immediately, of course,
wanted him on the team. Being a vert skater in Arizona
and Tucson, in particular, is starting out with a
handicap right there. This isn’t the capital of vert skating. – You got this!
(camera video dings) – [Garrett] And his dad is so supportive that he let him build
this huge monstrosity in the backyard. – Thank you for joining us,
here on Arizona Illustrated. To see the full version of those Murrow Award winning
stories, go to azpm.org. I’m Tom McNamara. See you next week. (somber acoustic guitar music) (dramatic violin music)

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