Work Samples

Work program trains unemployed oil and gas workers in solar technology

Publication: Denver Post

DENVER — The coal industry has been painted with a bleak brush in recent years. Production has plummeted. Plants have closed. Jobs have been lost.

And while mining communities grapple with neighbors moving away, increasingly empty schools and fewer tax dollars, a separate industry is blooming: renewable energy.

National rhetoric pits the two energy producers against each other. But in Delta County, one organization is targeting unemployed coal miners in the hope of transitioning them into the solar industry — and leaving politics out of the conversation.

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Kate Paul: From “dirt poor” and covered in kidney guts to CEO

Publication: Denver Post

DENVER — Kate Paul came home from high school one day and announced that she was going to become a nun.

“Kathryn Ann,” said her mother, a registered nurse, “no daughter of mine will be a nun or a nurse. You have more potential than that. Get over it.”

“So that was the end of that,” joked Paul, who at nearly 70 is retiring for the second time.

She was at her most recent gig, president and CEO of Delta Dental, for 15 years, growing revenues 122 percent to $358 million. It was a job she took after her self-described “failed retirement” from Kaiser Permanente, where she had been president of western operations.

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Renewable energy, foreign money keeping the lights on in Nicaragua

Publication: Cronkite Borderlands Project

Cattle cross a field in Rivas, Nicaragua, in front of wind turbines on March 11, 2015. IC Power rents the land for Amayo from locals who still use it to ranch, Pentzke said. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Cattle cross a field in Rivas, Nicaragua, in front of wind turbines on March 11, 2015. IC Power rents the land for Amayo from locals who still use it to ranch, Pentzke said. (Danika Worthington/JMC 470)

RIVAS, Nicaragua — Javier Pentzke rests at the base of wind turbine 17 watching paper-white blades chase each other against Nicaragua’s blue sky.

He pulls out his phone to take a photo of the sun poking between the spinning blades.

“I love to see the blades going right in front of me,” Pentzke said, imitating the sound of a turbine. “It’s kind of, I don’t know, it’s kind of relaxing — to me at least.”

The 263-foot tall machine and its 29 sisters at Amayo I and II wind farms contribute to a national electric grid that just 10 years ago regularly lost power for four to five hours a day to the 64 percent of the country with access to it.

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Salmon’s surprise retirement throws open the race for his House seat

Publication: Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Rep. Matt Salmon’s surprise announcement Thursday that he will not seek re-election to his seat in Congress shook up what was expected to be a sleepy campaign in a solidly Republican district this fall.

The Mesa Republican, who had no challengers from either party before his announcement, said he decided to step down after his latest two terms because he was no longer willing to trade time away from his family for congressional duties.

Political analysts said the announcement could open the floodgates to potential GOP candidates, attracted by an open seat in a district where there are more than twice registered Republicans as Democrats.

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Businesses use Pokemon Go to lure more customers

Publication: Denver Post

DENVER — Pokemon Go, the phone-based app that has people of all ages scurrying across town trying to catch virtual Pokemon at landmark locations, quickly became a cultural phenomenon after Niantic dropped the game in the U.S. on July 6.

And businesses have been paying attention.

Many have hopped on the Pokemon Go bandwagon, some a bit literally, and used the game to market their own companies. In return, they’ve seen higher attendance numbers, more foot traffic and boosts in revenue. The fervor surrounding the game even birthed a Denver-based company in a week.

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McSally raises $3.2 million, but analysts still expect a tight race

Publication: Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – Rep. Martha McSally’s aggressive fundraising gives her an edge over her competitors in the 2nd District House race, say experts, but they caution that the district will likely still be competitive come November.

The first-term Tucson Republican raised more than $3.2 million last year, topping all but a handful of House members, and had $1.9 million on hand at the end of the year, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

While $3 million is a lot for challengers to overcome, analysts say other factors, such as the eventual GOP presidential nominee and outside funding, could have a large effect in the district, which is almost evenly split between Republican, Democratic and independent voters.

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The economics of human rights: An unwelcome perception may hinder economic growth following same-sex marriage legalization

Publication: Phoenix Business Journal

lgbt

PHOENIX — The legalization of same-sex marriage here is expected to provide a boost of millions of dollars a year for Arizona’s wedding and tourism industries. But the state’s negative image regarding civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community could hinder any positive business impact.

On Oct. 17, the state dropped its legal efforts to protect a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman after a federal court ruled it unconstitutional. That stopped an exodus of LGBT couples who were traveling to other states to take their vows.

It also stemmed the loss of money to local businesses, said
Drew Coleman, event producer with Life Design Event Planning and representative of MRSter.com, a blog and business that specializes in same-sex unions.

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Side bar: Next targets for gay-rights activists in Arizona: same-sex benefits, employment protections

Photo Portfolio

Portraits

Bertha Maria López uses light from the window to cook breakfast on March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. López works in the solar-powered restaurant in her community and makes $20-40 a month. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Bertha Maria López uses light from the window to cook breakfast on March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. López works in the solar-powered restaurant in her community and makes $20-40 a month. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
Klee Benally of the Navajo Nation protests pollution from abandoned uranium mines outside the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on Friday,  Jan. 29. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)
Klee Benally of the Navajo Nation protests pollution from abandoned uranium mines outside the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 29. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, spoke to reporters after a news conference where he and other senators called for the appointment of Roberta Jacobson as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, spoke to reporters after a news conference where he and other senators called for the appointment of Roberta Jacobson as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)

General News

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, leads other lawmakers in urging support for religious freedom ahead of Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing for Zubik vs. Burwell. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Glendale, leads other lawmakers in urging support for religious freedom ahead of Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing for Zubik vs. Burwell. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)
Klee Benally of the Navajo Nation sings during a rally against pollution from abandoned uranium mines outside the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on Friday,  Jan. 29. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)
Klee Benally of the Navajo Nation sings during a rally against pollution from abandoned uranium mines outside the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 29. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)

Environmental Portrait

A Quechan family poses for a picture near Cuzco, Peru, on Dec. 27, 2014. The Quechas, the indigenous people of Peru, are agriculturally-based and farm in the mountains of Peru. (Danika Worthington)
A Quechan family poses for a picture in the mountains of Peru near Cuzco, Peru, on Dec. 27, 2014. The Quechas, the indigenous people of Peru, are agriculturally-based and farm in the mountains of Peru. (Danika Worthington)

Pictorial

A man walks by a mural on the outside wall of art gallery Legend City Studios along Van Buren Street near Grand Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The art gallery has several murals painted on its walls by different artists downtown. (Photo by Danika Worthington)
A man walks by a mural on the outside wall of art gallery Legend City Studios along Van Buren Street near Grand Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The art gallery has several murals painted on its walls by different artists downtown. (Photo by Danika Worthington)
Alex and Jemma Covelesky, former Sierra Vista residents, at the march. Alex’s childhood as a foster kid sparked his pro-life sentiments.
Alex and Jemma Covelesky, former Sierra Vista residents, at the march. Alex’s childhood as a foster kid sparked his pro-life sentiments.
A woman stands in the remains of a doorway in Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains of Peru on Jan. 3, 2015. (Danika Worthington)
A woman stands in the remains of a doorway in Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains of Peru on Jan. 3, 2015. (Danika Worthington)

Detail

Klee Benally of the Navajo Nation plays a drum while leading other protesters in a chant against uranium mines outside the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on Friday,  Jan. 29. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)
Klee Benally of the Navajo Nation plays a drum while leading other protesters in a chant against uranium mines outside the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 29. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite News)

Photo stories

“Solar energy illuminates lives in small Nicaraguan village”

Publication: Cronkite Borderlands Project

Bertha Maria López cooks in her kitchen with her husband, Juan Luis Alvarado, and granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez on March 10, 2015, in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. The family lives in a rural area without electrification from the country’s energy grid. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Bertha Maria López cooks in her kitchen with her husband, Juan Luis Alvarado, and granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez on March 10, 2015, in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. The family lives in a rural area without electrification from the country’s energy grid. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)

Bertha Maria López uses light from the window to cook breakfast on March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. López works in the solar-powered restaurant in her community and makes $20-40 a month. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Bertha Maria López uses light from the window to cook breakfast on March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. López works in the solar-powered restaurant in her community and makes $20-40 a month. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
The López family house is calm at midday in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua on March 9, 2015. The family built their house when they moved to Sabana Grande in 2007 and lived with only diesel lamps for light for several years. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
The López family house is calm at midday in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua on March 9, 2015. The family built their house when they moved to Sabana Grande in 2007 and lived with only diesel lamps for light for several years. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
Bertha Maria López stands in the kitchen doorway with her granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez, on the morning of March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. Martínez stays with López while her mother, who is sick, is treated in the city. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Bertha Maria López stands in the kitchen doorway with her granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez, on the morning of March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. Martínez stays with López while her mother, who is sick, is treated in the city. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
Bertha Maria López flattens masa to make tortillas for breakfast on the morning of March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. She cooks the tortillas on the improved cookstove in her home, which decreases smoke and was built by the nongovernmental organization Grupo Fénix. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Bertha Maria López flattens masa to make tortillas for breakfast on the morning of March 10, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. She cooks the tortillas on the improved cookstove in her home, which decreases smoke and was built by the nongovernmental organization Grupo Fénix. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
A solar panel on the López family home draws from the fading sun to store energy to power the home at night on March 9, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. The panel can power four lightbulbs at night and play music or charge a cellphone during the day. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
A solar panel on the López family home draws from the fading sun to store energy to power the home at night on March 9, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. The panel can power four lightbulbs at night and play music or charge a cellphone during the day. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
Juan Eliezer Alvarado and his cousin, Ricardo Felipe Perez, sit together talking on the night of March 9, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. They are able to stay up later with the light provided by the solar panel on the home installed by nongovernmental organization Grupo Fénix. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Juan Eliezer Alvarado and his cousin, Ricardo Felipe Perez, sit together talking on the night of March 9, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. They are able to stay up later with the light provided by the solar panel on the home installed by nongovernmental organization Grupo Fénix. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
Bertha Maria López holds her granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez, under the light in the main passage of her home on the night of March 9, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. When Martínez gets sick during the night, López is able to use the solar-powered lights in her home to find medicine. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Bertha Maria López holds her granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez, under the light in the main passage of her home on the night of March 9, 2015 in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua. When Martínez gets sick during the night, López is able to use the solar-powered lights in her home to find medicine. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)
Bertha Maria López and her granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez, stand under the light in the walkway to López’s house in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua, on March 9, 2015. The family’s life has improved with solar power, allowing them to stay up later and do work with more ease. Danika Worthington/JMC 470
Bertha Maria López and her granddaughter, Samantha Noely Martínez, stand under the light in the walkway to López’s house in Sabana Grande, Nicaragua, on March 9, 2015. The family’s life has improved with solar power, allowing them to stay up later and do work with more ease. (Danika Worthington/Cronkite Borderlands Project)

“Photo story: A local artist’s trials and triumphs”

Publication: Downtown Devil

Local artist Travis Vallance, 26, drags from a cigarette in front of {9} the Gallery in the Grand Avenue arts district of downtown Phoenix on Thursday, Nov. 7. Vallance was recently evicted from his apartment and stayed a week in the gallery's storage shed while the owner, Laura Dragon, visited New York, Dragon said.
Local artist Travis Vallance, 26, drags from a cigarette in front of {9} the Gallery in the Grand Avenue arts district of downtown Phoenix on Thursday, Nov. 7. Vallance was recently evicted from his apartment and stayed a week in the gallery’s storage shed while the owner, Laura Dragon, visited New York, Dragon said. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)

Vallance groans into his hands while mumbling about not being able to show his art at {9} the Gallery until March 2014 on Thursday, Nov. 1. Vallance had asked gallery owner Laura Dragon if she could hold a group show with him and his roommates but she said she didn't have time until March.
Vallance groans into his hands while mumbling about not being able to show his art at {9} the Gallery until March 2014 on Thursday, Nov. 1. Vallance had asked Dragon if she could hold a group show with him and his roommates but she said she didn’t have time until March. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
Vallance sets up chairs to prepare for a concert in {9} the Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 1. After he finished a demanding design project at a local company, Vallance took a break from work and has helped Dragon at her gallery.
Vallance sets up chairs to prepare for a concert in {9} the Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 1. After he finished a demanding design project at a local company, Vallance took a break from work and has been helping Dragon at her gallery. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
Vallance stamps the hands of people who paid for a concert at {9} the Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 7, when a woman walks by and asks Vallance for a cigarette but he says no. The woman had taken Vallance's apartment after he was evicted, Vallance said, but as she walked away, Vallance ran to catch her and gave her a cigarette.
Vallance stamps the hands of people who paid for a concert at {9} the Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 7, when a woman walks by and asks him for a cigarette. He said no because the woman had taken Vallance’s apartment after he was evicted. But as she walked away, Vallance ran to catch her and passed over a cigarette. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
At First Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix on Nov. 1, Travis Vallance sets up three canvases that he plans to paint on during the night. Vallance said he mainly sells his artwork at First Fridays.
At First Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix on Nov. 1, Vallance sets up three canvases that he plans to paint on during the night. Vallance said he mainly sells his artwork at First Fridays. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
Vallance paints a landscape on a canvas during First Friday artwalk in downtown Phoenix on Nov. 1. After several people at previous First Fridays told Vallance they liked his trees, he said he became annoyed and decided to paint a desert landscape instead.
Vallance paints a landscape on a canvas during First Friday artwalk in downtown Phoenix on Nov. 1. After several people at previous First Fridays told Vallance they liked his trees, he said he became annoyed and decided to paint a desert landscape instead. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
Vallance works on a landscape while people stop to look then walk on at First Friday on Nov. 1. Some people took photos of Vallance working, others just watched and a few stopped to talk with Vallance.
People stop to watch Vallance work on a landscape before continuing down the street. Some people took photos of Vallance working, others watched and a few stopped to talk. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
Frasier (left) recants stories from the past night with (middle left to right) Michelle Sasonov, Vallance and roommate Ralph Muzio on Friday, Nov. 15. Frasier and Vallance stayed up till 7 a.m. and woke up around 5:30 p.m.
Vallance’s roommate Frasier (left) recants stories from the past night with (middle left to right) Vallance’s girlfriend Michelle Sasonov, Vallance and other roommate Ralph Muzio on Friday, Nov. 15. Frasier and Vallance stayed up until 7 a.m. and woke up around 5:30 p.m. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
Sasonov (front) sets up her shot for pool while Frasier (far left) and Vallance (far right) watch and Muzio (back) works on Friday, Nov. 15. A deceased friend of Muzio use to live in the house but after he past away, his partner let Muzio and three other artists temporarily live in the house.
Sasonov (front) sets up her shot for pool while Frasier and Vallance watch on Friday, Nov. 15. A deceased friend of Muzio used to live in the house but after he passed away, his partner let Muzio and three other artists temporarily live in the house. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
Vallance paints a panda blue while Sasonov (back left) and Frasier (back right) play pool on Friday, Nov. 15. Although it was Third Friday, a less attended art walk in downtown Phoenix, Vallance did not plan to show his art that night because he said typically few people buy work.
Vallance paints a panda blue while Sasonov and Frasier play pool. Although it was Third Friday, another monthly art walk in downtown Phoenix, Vallance did not show his art because fewer people buy art during the less attended art walk, he said. (Danika Worthington/Downtown Devil)
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