About Mike Padgett

Posted By Mike Padgett


Mike Padgett, Journalist, with more than 30 years experience in newspapers, mostly in Arizona. Received many writing awards. Currently focusing on literary journalism and photography. Media experience includes:

• www.ArizonaNotebook.com: 2008 – present. Founder, writer and photographer.

• The Phoenix Business Journal: 1998-2006. Senior reporter.

• The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.: 1997. General assignment reporter.

• The Phoenix Gazette, Phoenix, Ariz.: 1987-1997. General assignment, features.

• The Mesa Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.: 1978-1987. Police, fire, courts and features beats.


In 1983, a horse named Crow was my ride to the top of the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix. My friend was riding his other horse, Ringo.

My friend offered the ride to give me a mountaintop view of the desert from horseback. We followed a narrow game trail to the top of the mountain and back. In a few places, our horses slipped and sat down on the loose gravel and rock.

Over the years, I’ve looked back at that ride as a glimpse into the future. It occurred to me when I was flying in a helicopter over central Arizona, from Casa Grande to Chino Valley. I was writing about freeway construction, urban sprawl and the state’s water supplies. It was during those flights in helicopters, and once in a two-seater kit airplane, that I remembered seeing the future from the back of a palomino broomtail named Crow.

For more than 40 years, I have watched Phoenix and its suburbs march across the desert. The growth can be compared to an approaching storm or the first rays of a new dawn, depending on one’s perspective.


I arrived in central Arizona in 1968. I was transferred from the NATO base in Iceland to the public information office at Luke Air Force Base west of Glendale. After graduation from Arizona State University, I worked as a reporter for the Mesa Tribune, The Phoenix Gazette and The Phoenix Business Journal. I wrote about the light rail system, the expansion of the freeway network and the perennial efforts to redevelop the downtowns of Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.

Since my decision to take early retirement in 2006, my Best Friend and I have been traveling. We have visited Australia twice, Ireland, England, France, Turkey, Washington DC several times, Southern Arizona’s Whetstone Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and several states. Arizona ranges from scorching deserts and evergreen forests to take-your-breath-away canyons.

This state is resilient and fascinating. On this blog, I plan to tell you about our travels in Arizona and elsewhere. I also will write about new projects in the state’s high-growth regions. I’ll be chatting with architects, contractors, city planners, developers, business owners, and homeowners. All have stories to share.

I also hope to catch up with a few long-time residents whose links with Arizona’s history can help sharpen the business community’s collective focus for the future.

There are no maps showing the boundaries of this electronic media frontier, so your input and your ideas are welcome. Thank you.


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Jul 11th, 2008

10 Comments to 'About Mike Padgett'

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  1. Kevin Small said,


    Great job this writing quality is non-existent in the print media world in Phoenix. It hasnt been that way since you left the PBJ. I look forward to reading and contributing to the success of your blog.Talk to you soon.

    Kevin Small
    Kitchell Contractors Inc.

  2. Colleen Eddy said,

    Nice design, clean and direct. I enjoy meeting you in photo. There is good feeling to this site. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Stephanie Jarnagan said,

    Mike, congrats on launching this! I look forward to following it. You certainly have the background and contacts to make this a must-read!

  4. Stephanie Balzer said,


    Congrats! I look forward to following ArizonaNotebook, too. It will remind me of the days when we sat desk to desk…

  5. Jeffrey Hecht said,

    Congratulations on launching the site! Your wealth of knowledge, contacts, and positively stellar reputation for reporting will serve you well, and I am sure that before long, the ArizonaNotebook will become the Valley’s most important source for industry news. All the best!
    Jeff Hecht
    PR Consulting

  6. Jeff Nelson said,

    Look at you, Mike….a blog, podcast, RSS feed? What are these strange things you speak of? My last cell phone was the “brick” so don’t you go expecting me to download any RSS thingy or get an iPOD. I’ll just click on your bookmarked link (that’s the extent of what I can do online) and enjoying more of your wonderful writing as often as I can.

  7. Angela said,

    Congrats on the blog, Mike! It looks great.

  8. Mike,

    What a great read. I will definitely add this to my list of sources for good information.

    RuthAnn Hogue
    Whiptail Publishing
    Desert Sunrise News
    More Maricopa

  9. Matt DePinto said,

    Mike, Congrats on the site. Great info from a great reporter that I have enormous respect for. Loved our long talks about real estate and life back in the PBJ days.

  10. Lisa Schnebly Heidinger said,

    I’d not seen your work before, and love what you’re doing. Thanks!

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