Phoenix City Councilman Phil Gordon and his wife, Christa Severns, are proud new parents.
They took their adopted infant son, Jacob Clark Gordon, home on Friday evening. Friends had littered the area around their front door with baby gifts, including many bare necessities--Catholic Social Services had informed them that the newborn would be theirs shortly after his birth on Thursday.
"The next morning we just started being parents," says the irrepressible Severns, who was reached on her cell phone en route from a shopping spree at Baby USA.
Severns, a partner in the political consulting firm of Grossfeld/Severns, says she and Gordon were chosen by the birth parents, whom she describes as "wonderful young kids."
She says "a very open adoption" is planned, in which the birth parents can be a part of their child's upbringing.
Such relationships are "becoming more common as they find it's really good for the children," Severns says. "The old tradition is kind of changing. The birth mom has carried this baby, she loves this baby. She's made the decision that for whatever reason she can't raise the baby. It was just so heart-wrenching to watch--we're so happy, but here's this young woman who had to make the hardest decision of her life to leave the hospital without her baby."
So the adoptive parents have already had the birth parents over for pizza. "This seems just a very healthy way to raise a child," Severns says. "The more adults that love that baby, the better off he is."
Severns says Gordon is taking some time off from his duties at City Hall and is heavily into nesting, making a 4:30 a.m. trip to an all-night Home Depot to buy such baby-unspecific things as light bulbs and air-conditioner filters.
Parenting is nothing new to Gordon, who fathered two children and adopted another in an earlier marriage.
Severns says that when she discovered she couldn't conceive children, the decision to adopt was not a difficult one.
"I know this is going to change my life, but we're so ready," Severns says. "It's time to raise a baby. It's what we want to do."
Torpedo the Dams
Rumors spread by Tempe City Council candidate Fritz Tuffli that Tempe's Town Lake is leaking vast quantities of water beneath the downstream dam have no foundation.
In fact, the rubber dams and lake continue to perform above expectations and sailed through last week's heavy rainstorms without a hitch.
Tuffli last week told the Flash that a "scary" situation was developing because so much water was leaking from beneath the downstream dam.
While it is true there is a copious flow of water just west of the downstream dam, the water is coming from a 108-inch storm drain that is located just downstream from the dam, says Tempe engineer Eric Kaminski.
The storm drain is fed by smaller drains that divert storm water from almost all of the downtown Tempe area, ASU, and much of central Tempe north of the Superstition Freeway.
"Many people seem to be ignoring the basic fact that this is still a river, where all the storm water is going to eventually drain to," Kaminski says.
Last week's heavy rains gave the lake its first test of facing upstream flows. The rubber dams easily handled flows of 300 cubic feet per second coming down the Indian Bend Wash and flowing over the top of the upstream dam.
"The storm-water flows entered the lake, flowed through the lake, and flowed downstream over the western dams, as designed," says Kaminski.
The rubber dams can remain inflated and pass water through the lake with flows up to 36,000 cubic feet per second. Any greater flows will require the dams to be fully deflated.
Seepage from the lake's bottom has also been far less than expected. Kaminski says the lake was filled with 4,500 acre-feet of water, substantially less than the 6,000 acre-feet that was predicted. (An acre-foot is approximately 380,000 gallons.)
While the amount of water in the Town Lake may seem like a lot, it's literally a drop in the bucket of what Arizona farmers use to grow cotton on nearly one million acres. The 4,500 acre-feet in the lake would barely meet the needs of a typical 1,000-acre cotton farm for one growing season.
Give Me an Effluvia
This mildly amusing list showed up in the Flash's e-mail. Its genesis is unknown, and, frankly, uncared about. Unless there are copyright or intellectual property issues. Then the Flash cares, in spades. But until then, whatever:
Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
A day without sunshine is like, night.
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.
Honk if you love peace and quiet.
Remember, half the people you know are below average.
Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how popular it remains?
Nothing is foolproof to a talented fool.
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Borrow money from a pessimist--they don't expect it back.
If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?
Mind like a steel trap--rusty and illegal in 37 states.
The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
Support bacteria--they're the only culture some people have.
If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving isn't for you.
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required on it.
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The hardness of butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread.
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the ability to reach it.
To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
Monday is an awful way to spend one-seventh of your life.
You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
Get a new car for your spouse--it'll be a great trade!
Plan to be spontaneous--tomorrow.
Always try to be modest, and be proud of it!
If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand . . .
Feed the Flash: voice, 602-229-8486; fax, 602-340-8806; online, email@example.com