It lies along the Salt River in the south-central part of the state, about miles km north of the Mexico border and midway between El PasoTexasand Los AngelesCalifornia.
Phoenix plays a prominent role in the economy of the Mountain West region of the country, serving as a financial, communications, and transportation hub.
Area square miles 1, square km. Like its California counterpart, Phoenix is a metropolis with not one but many centres, all at considerable distances from one another.
From its historic heart to the west of Sky Harbor International Airport, the greater metropolitan area—of which Phoenix is only a small part—has grown to take in a vast expanse of land that stretches nearly from the Gila River far to the south to the tall plateaus and volcanic mountains of the north and east and out into the broad desert valley to the west.
Growth is a constant in Phoenix life as thousands of new residents and millions of visitors find their way there each year. Landscape City site Phoenix lies near the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers and is situated at the extreme northern part of the Sonoran Desertan arid ecological zone whose characteristic plant is the nationally protected saguaro cactus. To the east of Phoenix are the rugged Superstition Mountains, a large complex of volcanic calderas that formed about million years ago; the mountains reach to about 3, feet metres at their highest point.
The Mazatzal Mountains rise to the northeast; the Verde River flows to the west of the mountains, entering the Salt River east of Phoenix. Phoenix, ArizonaPhoenix, Arizona, and the surrounding desert. The Phoenix metropolitan area—the Valley of the Sun—stands at an elevation of 1, feet metres above sea level.
The northern and eastern ends of this valley rise into the surrounding volcanic peaks; the remainder is level terrain, dotted with small volcanic mountains of granite and schist. Camelback Mountain, Squaw Peak, and South Mountain are the most prominent of these urban peaks, reaching elevations of about 2, to 2, feet to metres. The desert soil is alkaline, and the water in the river and in local wells is saline and contains other minerals.
Many irrigated areas in the Phoenix area are encrusted with dried mineral deposits, which accumulate and reduce the productivity of the soil. Water is strangely abundant, given the fact that the city lies in one of the most arid regions on the continent; the valley overlies a subterranean sedimentary bowl that can hold vast quantities of groundwater.
However, these stores have been substantially depleted, and Phoenix increasingly has come to depend on water from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project CAPan artificial waterway miles km long extending from Lake Havasu on the California border to Tucson. In addition, water from subterranean stores is piped into the valley from outlying areas.
Climate Phoenix has a dry, warm climate that in the winter months attracts tens of thousands of visitors. It is almost always sunny throughout the year.
Precipitation averages less than 8 inches mm annually, divided almost evenly between the winter and summer months. In summertime, the so-called monsoon season, much of this precipitation returns to the atmosphere almost immediately through evaporation or transpiration.
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None of the mountains ringing Phoenix to the north and east reaches an elevation high enough to attract much moisture. The city depends almost wholly on groundwater that flows from the Salt and Gila rivers, as well as supplemental water brought in by aqueducts via the CAP. City layout Until relatively recently, some three-fifths of the land within the Phoenix city limits was undeveloped. Instead, however, the city pursued a policy of annexing surrounding communitiesexpanding outward to accommodate its growing population.
Phoenix has grown to absorb many satellite communities, and it is surrounded by other independent municipalities that have boomed on their own.
People The population of Phoenix is predominantly white i. More than two-fifths of the people identify themselves as Hispanic. The Hohokam were the earliest permanent Native American inhabitants of the Phoenix area. Several reservations are located to the south and northeast of the metropolitan area.
African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans live primarily in the southern portion of the city, below the downtown district. Open ethnic conflict is rare, except as it is played out by rival gangs of mostly young inner-city residents. Despite the large number of retirement communities in the area, the overwhelming majority of the population is under the age of The majority of the people also tend to be relatively new to the region, many residents having lived in Phoenix for less than a decade.
Maricopa county was one of the top urban agricultural producers in the country inbut farming has since steadily lost ground to urban growth; now only a small portion of the labour force is engaged in food production. Light industry is predominant, especially the manufacture of electronics, transportation equipment, aerospace technology, foodstuffs, and cosmetics.
The principal crops are cotton, durum wheatfruits, and vegetables. Only a small proportion of the workforce in the private sector belongs to labour unions, which, along with tax incentives, has made Phoenix attractive to relocating corporations, many of them engaged in the manufacture of semiconductors and other electronic components.
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The region has thus emerged as a centre of high-technology production. A well-developed electronics infrastructure also has made Phoenix a capital of the telecommunications industry. More than half the labour force works in banking, finance, and other service activities. Phoenix is well served by roads, railways, and airlines. Automobiles are the most popular method of transportation, which has led to severe air pollution.
All streets within the city limits were paved byfar ahead of many metropolitan areas in the country. Phoenix is served by a system of freeways, most of which were built in the last two decades of the 20th century to alleviate congestion.
Construction of a light-rail system began in Regular airline connections to Phoenix began in the late s. Several airports serve the metropolitan area; the most important of these is Sky Harbor International, southeast of downtown. Until the late s, powers were evenly divided between the two entities, with council members able to reward political patronage. Vulnerable to corruption, this system ended when the Charter Government Committee—led by department store executive and later Republican Party presidential nominee Barry M.
Goldwaterwho became a member of the city council in —implemented several key organizational reforms. By the late s, Phoenix had developed a business-oriented city government headed by a city manager appointed by the city council. The council, made up of eight elected members, sets city policy, enacts ordinances, and appropriates funds for long-term city projects. The mayorelected at large, serves as the head of the council for a four-year term.
Individual members are elected by district; they initially serve two-year terms and can be reelected to serve subsequent four-year terms. Municipal services Phoenix, in concert with the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, provides a range of services for its citizens.
The city has an extensive network of public parks, notably Encanto and Papago parks and the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, a 6,acre 2,hectare natural park in a desert-foothills setting. The 17,acre 6,hectare South Mountain Park, one of the largest city parks in the country, lies on the south side of the city.
Health The system of health care in the Phoenix area has experienced severe setbacks, especially since the s.
Managed-care corporations have assumed control of most medical facilities and imposed cutbacks on services. The Arizona State Hospital provides inpatient mental health care.
San Quentin up close.
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San Quentin prisoners on recreation Alejandro Avila: Sentenced to death in Convicted with Carol Bundy of multiple murders in Los Angeles. D'Arcy was sentenced to death in Orange County on April 11, Famalaro abducted and murdered Denise on June 3, The attacker was dubbed the "Grim Sleeper" because he appeared to have taken a year break from his crimes from to The subject of the made-for-television movie Detention: The Siege at Johnson High.
Sentenced to death in for the murder of five people in Known as the Clairemont Killer. Convicted and sentenced to death in for killing six women. Founding member of the Symbionese Liberation Armyconvicted in of the murder of Marcus Foster.
Sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Serial rapist convicted of 75 counts including a first degree murder charge, felony kidnapping, burglary, rape, and other sex offense charges against numerous victims.
Sentenced to death in California on September 11, Sentenced to death in, and He died of natural causes on March 10, while awaiting execution. FBI most wanted fugitive who reformed and became an author he wrote a novel set in San Quentin  and actor. Was sentenced at age 17, the youngest inmate at the time.
Convicted of marijuana possession in A member of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters. He is currently at Corcoran State Prison. American composer convicted on a "morals" charge in American character actor TV and film and screenplay writer. Sentenced to four years for armed robbery.
Later part of a movie cast which filmed scenes inside San Quentin. Retried insentenced to life. Transferred to Salinas Valley State Prison.
Exonerated and released from prison inat age Korean independence activist who assassinated former American diplomat Durham Stevens in Japanese American martial artist who brought the art of Kenpo to the United States starting in the late s.
He was sentenced to death alongside his brother in InJustin tried to kill himself after stabbing his own eyes with pencils, leaving him blind. However, despite the Suicide Surveillance which he has been put on, he finally committed suicide by hanging himself on April 14, Ed Morrellaccomplice to the Evans-Sontag rail robbery gang; spent five years in solitary confinement;  known as the "Dungeon Man" of San Quentin;  pardoned in and became a well-known advocate of prison reform.
San Francisco political boss, for bribery. He wrote a best-selling auto-biography entitled My Shadow Ran Fast. Kennedysent to death row at San Quentin in May Died in of cancer. The chamber was converted to an execution chamber where lethal injection was used. Subsequently, a new lethal injection chamber was built. At age 76, he was the oldest person ever executed in California by lethal injection on January 17,