Plateau on the Radio: Episode 29 The Murder of Johnny Elden Jr.

Listen to Episode 29 HERE...

On this weeks episode we embrace a new pillar (as we like to call them) of our show. We are all about science, culture, nature and community, but today we will add history into the mix as the Plateau region is rich with many interesting tales. Join my wonderful guest, historian and author John Westerlund, as we dive into the story of the 1887 murder of six year old Johnny Elden Jr. in northern Arizona, shot by a wayward bullet from an angry muleskinner...or was he? And if it is not young Johnny Elden Jr. in the very famous gravesite at the base of Mount Elden, then who is in there?

Give a listen and find out, friends...

The well known gravesite of 6 year old Johnny Elden Jr.

And if you would like to purchase a copy of the Journal of Arizona History that features the 25 page article, “Flagstaff Pioneer John Elden: Murder and Mystery - Myth and History” by historian John Westerlund you can find it at both Pioneer Museum, 2340 N. Fort Valley Road in Flagstaff, AZ, and Riordan Mansion State Historical Park, 409 W. Riordan Road also in Flagstaff.

And John Westerlund's book titled 'Arizona's War Town: Flagstaff, Navajo Ordnance Depot, and World War II' can be purchased at the The University of Arizona Press.

Cover of Journal featuring John Westerlund's
article, with painting by Catherine Sickafoose.

Finally, if you are intrigued by this weeks episode and want to learn more about Arizona history, then head over to the archives of The Journal of Arizona History where you can read articles going back to 1965. And please consider donating to the great folks at the Arizona Historical Society

Plateau on the Radio: Episode 28 Celebrating Poetry and Literature

Listen to Episode 28 HERE...

On this weeks Episode we put science in the backseat and focus in on poetry and literature on the Plateau, as the great Northern Arizona Book Festival kicks off this week in Flagstaff, AZ.

In our very first phone interview (getting fancy these days!), we were extremely honored to have on the Poet Laureate of the Navajo Nation (2015-2019), Laura Tohe. Laura spoke about her childhood, her early encouragement by a professor to embrace her writing skills, life on the Dine Nation, and her many wonderful works of poetry. No Parole Today is a prose memoir on her experiences attending a government school for Native children and the challenge it presented to her socially, culturally, and expressively, and another book we discussed was Tséyi' - Deep in the Rock, Reflections on Canyon de Chelly where she collaborates with photographer Stephen Strom.

Author, Scholar of Native American Literature and Poet Laureate
of the Navajo Nation, Laura Tohe.

Also we had on the Executive Director of the Northern Arizona Book Festival, Jesse Sensibar to talk about the origin of the Book Festival as well as the other literary events Flagstaff has to offer writers and the community including the Narrow Chimney Reading Series, Poetry Slams and the Juniper House Reading events. Jesse also has a new book coming out titled Blood in the Asphalt: Prayers from the Highway where he chronicles a lifetime spent as a tow truck driver on the lonely highways of the American Southwest.

Author and Executive Director of the Northern Arizona Book
Festival, Jesse Sensibar
Special thanks to poet and DJ Erik Bitsui for helping to set this show up. Could not have done it without him.

Head to the links below to find these great books mentioned above for purchase and support Plateau writers:

No Parole Today by Laura Tohe

Tséyi' - Deep in the Rock, Reflections on Canyon de Chelly

Blood in the Asphalt: Prayers from the Highway by Jesse Sensibar

Further Information:

Narrow Chimney Reading Series 

Juniper House Readings

Plateau on the Radio: Episode 27 Bats of the Southwest

Listen to Episode 27 HERE...

This week on your favorite regional science show we explore the wonderful world of bats. An often misunderstood, but incredibly important part of our planet, especially right here in the Southwest.

We talk with the amazing biologist and bat researcher Clarissa Starbuck (Northern Arizona University) all about bats of our region, the things bats do for humans and the ecosystem that many folks might not realize, and about her important research regarding bat populations, landscape movements and how to lessen impacts from wind turbines in northern Arizona. Also, some info on how to get bats into your bat houses, and news from the white-nose syndrome front, a disease that is devastating bat populations in much of the US.

The Hoary Bat, one of our guest Clarissa Starbuck's
favorite species. Photograph by J. N. Stuart.
For more on bat and wind turbine fatalities check out this paper by Horn et al: Behavioral Response to Bats and Operating Wind Turbines

To learn more about White-nose Syndrome check out the White-Nose Syndrome Response Team's page.

And for more about proper placement of Bat Houses (Bat Boxes) head on over to Bat Conservation International.

Also on this weeks show, and continuing on this weeks High Desert Jamboree, the after-hours of your regional science show we discuss the recent news that several monitoring and adaptive management science programs are set to be completely de-funded on October 1st. This will impact  important science taking place on the Colorado River in Grand and Glen Canyon as well as the San Juan River Basin, and would devastate regional scientists livelihoods. For more on this important story please check out our friend Science and Technology reporter Melissa Sevigny's great report.