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A publication of the DC Ranch Community Council

Photo: Jeremy Stevens

April 2014 • Vol. 6, No. 4

DC Ranch is home to one of the country’s most energy-efficient neighborhoods and it’s fitting to highlight the community during Earth Month. Sterling at Silverleaf is a gold-level LEED-certified project that has garnered much attention for its unique building practices. Now a year after construction, hear from a homeowner to find out what it’s like to actually live in one of the houses, and see how much energy he’s saving every month. | Page 8

In This Issue Ranch News Highlights. . . . . . . . . 2

Arts and Culture. . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Community Updates. . . . . . . . . . . 3

Around Scottsdale. . . . . . . . . . 11

Community Council Board . . . . . . 5

Community Garden. . . . . . . . . 13

Eggstravaganza Volunteers . . . . . 9

Around the Ranch. . . . . . . . . . 14

The McDowell Sonoran Field Institute’s volunteer scientists meticulously documented plant growth and decay within the Preserve to track patterns of changing habitats.

Preserve’s flora and fauna documented in extensive survey to aid conservation efforts The McDowell Sonoran Preserve has an abundant and diverse population of desert

wildlife and plant species, according to a new three-year inventory survey. Dozens of volunteers and conservation experts participated in field work to gather informa-

tion for the report. The data will help scientists and McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Monthly Planner Thursday, April 3

Passport to Art: Karen Friend

5:30 p.m. | Desert Camp Community Center Monday, April 7

Ranch Association Annual Meeting

6 p.m. | The Homestead Community Center Friday, April 11

Starlight Concert Series: Marmalade Skies 6 p.m. | Market Street Park Saturday, April 19


9 a.m. | Desert Camp Community Center Community Calendar Pg. 7

(MSC) stewards monitor and maintain the Preserve so it may continue to thrive for generations. | Page 6 Neighbor Focus


Teen of the year shares inspiration for strong work ethic

New veterinarian office provides custom care to furry friends

Alexa Jenouri is not your average teenager. Not only is the high school senior focused on school work and college, she is also taking the lead to educate her peers about financial responsibility and volunteer service. Learn why Jenouri was chosen as a Youth of the Year by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. | Page 12

Offering complete healthcare for pets, Scottsdale Animal Healthcare focuses on partnering with pet owners to give the best treatment possible. With a veterinarian team offering 30 years of combined experience, your pet is sure to be in good hands at DC Ranch Crossing’s new animal clinic. | Page 4

Photo: Marianne Jensen

Silverleaf enclave cuts carbon footprint through efficiency

April 2014


Ranch News

April 2014 • Vol. 6, No. 4

Ranch News Highlights

‘Open’ up to a season of service and opportunity

is transforming lives and communities for a better future. Nearly 50,000 residential units across the United States have been certified under LEED for homes. On page 8, you can read more about one of the many LEED-certified homes in the Silverleaf community. Jona Davis Speaking of a better future, teen role model Alexa Jenouri has been named the 2014 Boys & Girls Club Thunderbirds’ Branch Youth of the Year. Turn to page 12 to learn about her personal story of triumph and transformation, and how the Club has shaped her life for a brighter future. Since April is National Volunteer Month, why not give back to the community during the annual spring celebration? Senior Event Manager Gabi Enriquez is encouraging residents to volunteer and help make this year’s Eggstravangza event the best one yet. Read more about volunteer opportunities on page 9. As I begin my new role as Community Council Director of Community Engagement, I also promise to be a good steward, shepherding and safeguarding the values others before me have embodied. I have opened my heart and mind to cultivate the collective vision for the benefit of the DC Ranch community. —Jona Davis, Director of Community Engagement

Spring Into Your New Dream Home! Marnie

Ranch News is a non-for-profit newspaper published monthly by the DC Ranch Community Council to share timely and relevant information with residents. The publication seeks to build community by connecting neighbors through stories and pictures and to offer a product valuable to advertisers. Ranch News celebrates and perpetuates the values of the DC Ranch community. Photo: Brighid Tomasik

Thanks to a season of plants and flowers blossoming, the ancient Romans gave this month the Latin name Aprilis from the verb aperire which means “to open.” The April Ranch News demonstrates that this month can also represent a time for you to open your heart and mind. What better way to accomplish this than through stewardship? When I think of stewardship, it reminds me of choosing service over self-interest. Throughout this issue, you’ll read stories of residents choosing to benefit the community in a variety of selfless ways. The McDowell Mountains and surrounding Sonoran Desert are unique. They are home to plants and animals that live only here and nowhere else in the world. Read on page 6 about how scientists volunteered their time to take inventory of the many species of plants and animals throughout the Preserve. These findings help develop an Ecological Resource Plan that will ensure the Preserve’s lasting protection. Through their discoveries, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is able to make certain our distinctive desert home remains healthy now and in the future—that’s environmental stewardship at its best. Another aspect of stewardship is living sustainably. Thanks to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system, sustainability is currently a foremost consideration in construction projects around the world. Green building has developed into a full-scale global movement that

Community Engagement Director | Jona Davis Senior Communications Manager | Jeremy Stevens Communications Coordinators | Brighid Tomasik & Elizabeth Dankert Phone: 480.585.1641 E-mail: Web site: Published by

Publisher | Rick McCartney Editorial Director | RaeAnne Marsh Graphic Design | Benjamin Little Senior Advertising Executives Alex Goff, Cami Shore For information on advertising in Ranch News, please contact InMedia Company at 480.584.3752 or InMedia Company, LLC 4455 E. Camelback Road • Building C, Suite 135 • Phoenix, AZ 85018 480.584.3752 | ©April 2014, DC Ranch Community Council, Inc. The DC Ranch® name and logos are trademarks of or licensed by DC Ranch L.L.C. All other trademarks, service marks and company names are the property of their respective owners and no rights or interest are claimed. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to DC Ranch Community Council, 20555 N. Pima Road, Suite 140, Scottsdale AZ 85255 This issue of Ranch News was printed on recycled fibers containing 10% post-consumer waste, with inks containing a blend of soy base. When you are finished with this issue, please pass it on to a friend or recycle it.

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Ranch News

April 2014

Spotlight on Ranch Association

3 Community Updates

Javelinas feed on plants near a house in the Country Club village. Javelinas are peccaries, hoofed mammals originating from South America and usually travel in herds.

Appreciate our wildlife neighbors from a distance

One of the many reasons people live in DC Ranch is its proximity to the mountains and natural areas. But that also means residents are more likely to encounter wildlife. Javelinas, coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats all call the Sonoran Desert and nearby McDowell Mountains home. Many wild animals pass right through the community looking for food and shelter. It is not uncommon to see javelinas or coyotes trotting down the side of the road, or even in a backyard. It may be nice to watch them from afar, but a concerted effort needs to be made to keep wildlife away from homes and yards. This will prevent wildlife looking for food, water, or shelter in the backyard, where they could destroy property or possibly hurt someone. The following are a few tips to make homes and yards safer from wildlife. • Feed pets indoors or immediately remove leftover food from outside. • Keep birdseed and water off the ground. • Secure garbage and compost containers. • Enclose gardens in secure areas. • Keep plants and bushes trimmed to prevent animals from nesting. • Install outdoor lighting. • Walk dogs on leashes at all times and do not let pets approach wildlife. • Supervise small children when outside. • Never feed or attempt to play with wildlife. • If approached by a wild animal, act aggressively. Act big, make noise, keep an eye on them, and move arms around. Do not turn and run away as it could engage the animal’s predatory nature. • If bitten, seek medical attention immediately from a qualified health care provider. • Call Arizona Game and Fish if bitten or attacked. If everyone in the community makes an effort to block access and remove attractants, then javelinas, coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats are more likely to keep their distance. To learn more on how to live safely near wildlife in our area, contact Arizona Game and Fish at 602.942.3000 or visit

Staff anniversaries

The following DC Ranch team members celebrate an anniversary in April. Please join us in thanking them for their service to DC Ranch. Community Council Jennifer Motherwell, Accounts Receivable Manager, 7 years Lynette Whitener, Guest Services Coordinator, 4 years Ranch Association Rafael Lopez, Maintenance Team, 8 years Raul Daniel Flores Arroyo, Maintenance Team, 5 years Jose Tafoya, Maintenance Team, 4 years Eduardo Hernandez Quintana, Maintenance Team, 2 years

Imagine surprising your mother on Mother’s Day. You made a homemade breakfast in bed accompanied with the newspaper. As she opens the paper, there’s a published and personalized message from your family just for her. For the May issue of Ranch News, families are invited to submit a 50-word message describing how much you appreciate your mother and why. Submissions should also include a digital image of your mother and family along with a photo credit. Please also be sure to mention the neighborhood where your family resides. The submission deadline is Wednesday, April 9. Submissions after the publication due date will be still accepted, and those messages will be posted on Messages, photo credits, and digital photos may be emailed to Communications Coordinator Brighid Constable at with the email subject “Mother’s Day Submission.”

Run for Ryan House raises $50,000

Nearly 1,400 athletes ran in this year’s Run for Ryan House at DC Ranch which took place on Market Street on March 1. Ian Chapple, 39, and Louise Turner, 42, both of Scottsdale, each won the half marathon in the men’s and women’s categories respectively. Net proceeds from fundraising efforts are estimated at about $50,000 and will benefit Ryan House, whose mission is to provide end-of-life and palliative care to children with life-threatening conditions.

New board members to be elected at annual meeting

The Ranch Association’s Annual Meeting is Monday, April 7, at 6 p.m. at The Homestead Community Center. Election results will be announced. An overview of projects undertaken in 2013 will be presented, along with a report on the Association’s finances and a preview of upcoming projects. The meeting will be followed by a reception with light food and drinks. Residents are encouraged to RSVP by calling 480.513.1500 or contacting Ranch Association Executive Director Andy Andrews at

Community standards committee to review design guidelines

The Ranch Association Board of Directors recently approved the formation of the ad hoc Community Standards Committee. The committee, chaired by board president Fred Green, will review and make recommendations for improvements and changes to the residential inspection processes. These include inspection procedures, educational resources, and communication tools, as they relate to the existing design guidelines and plant palettes for DC Ranch. The goal is to ensure that the design guidelines are reasonable for DC Ranch residents while keeping the original design vision and standards at the forefront. The Community Standards Committee will meet every other week until they are ready to make recommendations to the Board regarding what changes should be made to the policies and procedures for compliance related inspections.

Prepare landscape for hot months ahead

The weather is warming up as summer approaches. Winter grass starts to look dry and begins to fade in April. This is the time to increase watering times or days for grass that’s in sunny areas. The watering can remain the same for shady areas through April. Begin watering shrubs and groundcovers about once a week. Due to the increased temperatures, trees need to be watered once a week. As temperature rise throughout the spring, shrubs and groundcovers should be watered once or twice a week. April and May are also good times to trim trees. Check for dead branches or branches that are rubbing against each other and remove them. Trim tree branches that are blocking signs, sidewalks, or touching any structures.

Photo: Aprille Slutsky

Photo: Aprille Slutsky

Publish a personalized message for your mother

April 2014


Ranch News



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Scottsdale Animal Healthcare brings creature comforts to DC Ranch Crossing

Calling all pet lovers! A new facility for complete companion animal medical and surgical care will open in DC Ranch Crossing this month. Dr. Alex Casuccio, a veterinarian with over 30 years of advanced skills in animal dermatology, orthopedic surgery, ophthalmic surgery, and internal medicine recently spoke with Ranch News about his passion for pets.

First of all, could you share a little about your background with our readers? I’m originally from Morgantown, West Virginia. After graduating from veterinary school at Louisiana State University, I returned to my hometown to build a veterinary hospital that I owned for 22 years. In 2004, I started a new life adventure by selling the practice and moving to Arizona. I spent the first several years doing relief work for hospitals around the state. Then I settled into a single hospital in Scottsdale as a partner, and from there became a medical director for Arizona, coaching, mentoring, and supervising 50 veterinarians. In my personal time, I enjoy flying airplanes and spend most weekends riding my horse.

What inspired you to open your practice in DC Ranch Crossing? I live in the Rio Verde Foothills and drive by DC Ranch Crossing almost daily. I lamented to my wife that DC Ranch Crossing was the perfect location for a veterinary hospital, as it is located at the gateway to all residential communities served by North Pima Road. After watching for a few years and not seeing a hospital materialize, I knew it was time to act. My desire to own my own hospital again had grown, and the perfect location had presented itself. Do you provide after-hours emergency services? We have established a referral relationship with emergency care facilities in close proximity to DC Ranch Crossing and feel comfortable that our patients will be in very good hands in the event of an after-hours emergency.

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Now that hotter temperatures are upon us, what precautions should we take with our family pets? First, never leave a pet unattended in a hot car, as heat stroke can occur in just a few minutes. Next, be aware of pavement temperatures. If you cannot painlessly walk barefoot, neither can your pet. Third degree burns on feet are all too common. Consider booties (available from any pet store) for summer walks. Also, pets exhale a tremendous amount of water vapor when panting, so dehydration can occur very rapidly on a summer’s walk. Carry a water bottle and portable water bowl on Scottsdale Animal all walks. When you take a drink, offer Healthcare your pet one as well. Finally, never leave a DC Ranch Crossing pet unattended outside without available 15576 N. Pima Rd., Suite A-1 shade. That certainly invites a heat stroke. Mon., Tues., and Fri. | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You’ll find more tips for caring for pets Wednesday | 8 a.m. to Noon in Arizona and our free healthy pet exam Thursday | 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. offer, valid through Thursday, May 15, by visiting our website at ScottsdaleAnimalClosed Saturday Sunday | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ranch News

April 2014


Photo: G Man Studios

Community Council

Program Manager Brandon Curtis serves wine at a food-pairing series, one of many events planned and hosted by the Community Council throughout 2014.

Photo: Elizabeth Dankert

What is the Community Council and why is it so unique?

Has your family ever enjoyed the tricks and treats of Spooky Carnival? Do you love jogging with your pooch along our beautifully maintained paths and trails? Did you rent out a community center for your toddler’s birthday bash? Who makes all these things come to life? The answer is the DC Ranch Community Council. The Community Council is one of the governing bodies at DC Ranch along with the Ranch Association and the Covenant Commission. The Community Council’s mission is to facilitate a connected and welcoming community that instills pride and a sense of belonging in each DC Ranch resident. This mission fuels the sense of camaraderie you feel while attending DC Ranch Women get-togethers; the pride you get while watching The Homestead Playhouse productions; and the spirit of connectedness and friendship you experience while cooling off at Desert Camp’s pool. Chris Irish is the Executive Director of the Community Council and oversees 16 employees. A Board of Directors made up of residents of DC Ranch works with the Community Council. Tom Headley serves as President of the Board for 2014, with Vice President Marc Blonstein and Secretary/Treasurer Pat Simpson as officers. The full board rounds out with Susan Godfrey, Melinda Gulick, Debbie McKeighan, and Jill Edwards Resnick. Each director serves a three-year term, with the ability to serve two full terms. The board meets every other month at Desert Camp Community Center. Specific dates and times are available on calendar, with meetings open to residents. This year, the Board is excited to see the DC Ranch Community Garden at Copper Ridge School come to fruition after several years of planning. It is also helping to launch a new Speakers Series in the fall. “DC Ranch is one of only a few communities in the United States that has an organization like the Community Council to promote an active and welcoming community environment” said Headley. “It’s why our community stands out among other surrounding communities. The Community Council helps make DC Ranch the most desirable community in Scottsdale.” The Community Council staff and board alike encourage all residents to get involved in the plethora of activities available. Volunteering and interacting through clubs, programs, and even on the board itself will show you firsthand what exactly makes DC Ranch a special place to live, Community Council Board of work, and play. Directors President, Tom Headley —Erin May

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April 2014


Ranch News

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

McDowell Sonoran Preserve citizen scientists document the plants and animals of the Preserve

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You may not have heard of the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute or the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s (MSC) Citizen Science Program before, but that is about to change. The Field Institute, MSC’s research center, just finished a three-year survey to inventory the plants and animals of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and the results are impressive. The Field Institute is publishing a 60-page report that lists its findings. The report contains data that was collected to help guide landmanagement efforts by the City of Volunteer scientists from the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute sampled soil at Tom’s Thumb to Scottsdale and will be available for develop a baseline in order to gauge the Preserve’s sale to the public. health for future analysis. The biological inventory of the Preserve was unique in that it was done with 95 percent volunteers, from partner scientists to the people who completed the actual fieldwork. Field Institute-trained citizen scientists worked arm-in-arm with experts from other conservation organizations, historical associations, the City of Scottsdale, the Arizona Geological Survey, the Desert Botanical Garden, and Arizona Game and Fish Department to gather data about the Preserve’s flora, fauna, geology, and human history. The survey was split into seven sub-surveys based on plant or animal groups. The results demonstrated a great deal of variety in the Preserve. For example, the flora survey recorded 368 different plant species. The insect survey found 27 different types of spiders. Ninety-eight species of flying insects were documented, although that list is expected to grow as research continues. A total of 194 separate reptiles and amphibians were found, comprising 35 distinct species. This included 16 species of snakes, 15 species of lizards, one species of tortoise, and three toad species. The bird team documented 128 species, and confirmed breeding for 24 of them. The small mammal team used motion-detecting trail cameras, live-trapping, and netting to document 25 different small mammals. The large animal survey included the first helicopter survey since 2006 and located 65 mule deer and 70 collared peccaries. Although white-tailed deer, cougars, and bobcats have been reported in the Preserve, the team did not note any during the flight. This tremendous effort in research helps the Conservancy and City of Scottsdale to catalog baseline findings. Only by having a benchmark can we start to determine what changes are taking place in the Preserve, and how we should act now and in the future. The Preserve is the largest urban preserve in the United States, encompassing more than 30,000 acres. It is an incredibly diverse place for both plants and animals, a fact that MSC citizen scientists have now documented. There is a place for you on our citizen science team as our studies of the Preserve continue. You can learn more at I hope to see you on the trails, and in the field. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy champions the sustainability of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for the benefit of this and future generations. As stewards, we connect the community to the Preserve through education, research, advocacy, partnerships and safe, respectful access.

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Jace McKeighan | DC Ranch resident and Conser vancy steward

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Photo: Marianne Jensen

Caring For YOU like I Care For My Own

Ranch News

April 2014


Community Calendar

The following is a list of events and activities at DC Ranch this month. Some activities and events may have a fee or admission. Please see for more information and an up-to-date calendar of activities.

Wildflower Walk

Photo: Jodi Frasier

Photo: Community Council

Saturday, April 5 | 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Desert Camp Community Center Join Landscape Manager Gary Whitener II for the annual spring Wildflower Walk. This year, there will be two walks: one at 8 a.m. and the other at 10:30 a.m. Residents will enjoy light snacks before trekking through the trails to view the bright blossoms. RSVP by email to

DC Ranch Women: Cocktail Hour

Starlight Concert Series: Marmalade Skies Friday, April 11 | 6 to 8 p.m. Market Street Park

Thursday, April 10 | 5 to 7 p.m. Fleming’s Steakhouse on Market Street

Travel back to the 1960s with the classic Beatles cover band Marmalade Skies. Bring a picnic dinner and blanket, and sit under the starry sky while enjoying classic melodies including “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Yellow Submarine.” Popcorn will be provided by Whitestone REIT. Join 80s cover band, Rock Lobster, on Friday, May 9, for the final concert of the Starlight Concert Series. For more information, contact the Community Council at 480.342.7178.

Mingle with neighbors for conversation and complimentary appetizers. DC Ranch Women will meet on the patio at Fleming’s Steakhouse on Market Street. RSVP on to participate.

Adult Social Clubs & Activities

Fitness Activities

Passport to Art: Gourds

Barre Fitness

TGIF: Tweens

Eggstravaganza: Alice in Wonderland

Demonstration by Karen Friend Thursday, April 3 | 5:30 to 7 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center

Mondays | 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.585.1641

DC Ranch Film Club: Le Week-End


Games2U Friday, April 11 | 6 to 9 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178

Saturday, April 19 | 9 a.m. to Noon Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178 Register on

Thursday, April 17 | 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center

Tuesdays | 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.585.1641

TGIF: Teens

Trailblazer Breakfast

Arizona Diamondbacks Game Friday, April 25 | 5 to 10 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178

Thursdays | 8 to 10 a.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178


Community Meetings

Thursdays | 9 to 10 a.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.585.1641

Ranch Association Annual Meeting

Mahjong Mondays | 12:30 to 4 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178

Duplicate Bridge Tuesdays | 1 to 4 p.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.585.4699

Social Bridge Wednesdays | 12:30 to 4 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.513.6296

Community Events & Activities

Yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays | 9 to 10 a.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.818.3232

Zumba Tuesdays and Thursdays | 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.585.1641


Child, Youth & Teen Activities

Wednesdays | 9:15 a.m. to Noon Desert Camp Community Center 480.794.0222

TGIF: Little Wranglers

Children’s Dance

LEGO© Engineers Friday, April 11 | 6 to 8:30 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178

Wednesdays | 10 to 10:45 a.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.628.0881

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April 2014


Ranch News

Green living helps homeowners see more ‘green’ in Silverleaf neighborhood Patrick and Laura Gallagher hold a deep affection for the Sonoran Desert. The desire to minimize their carbon footprint while living in this unique environment is a priority, which is why they decided to purchase a home in the Sterling at Silverleaf community in Silverleaf village. When the Gallaghers purchased their home a year ago, Sterling at Silverleaf was Arizona’s only single-family new construction project to attain gold-level LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is measured through various categories of sustainability and efficiency. The Gallaghers have already seen substantial gains in their home efficiency and energy savings. “Our utility bill is less than half of what we paid each month at our previous home,” said Patrick Gallagher. “A lot of the savings comes from the home’s air-tight insulation which also makes the inside much quieter.” The spray-foam insulation used in the home is one of the innovative technologies that helped the builder achieve gold-level LEED status. The foam expands to fill all the openings in the framework for the roof and

exterior walls, whereas most fiberglass material still leaves occasional gaps. “Gaps in traditional insulation often times lead to energy leaks,” said Nathan Day, president of Cypress Development Group which built the Sterling at Silverleaf homes. “The spray-foam seals off the home to keep warm outside air out, and cool air-conditioned air in.” In fact, the material makes the home so airtight that it uses a separate system to bring fresh air into the home. It efficiently keeps out dust, pollen, and other allergens that can wreak havoc during sand storms. What’s more—the filter on the air system is highly efficient and only needs to be replaced once a year versus monthly for most air filters. “This community of homes is focused on energy efficiency. The intent isn’t to make energy, rather we are trying to save energy by making these homes more efficient,” said Day, whose main priority is energy conservation. Lighting is one energy area that can often be overlooked, but has a big impact on a home’s efficiency. Sterling at Silverleaf homes use all LED light fixtures which can last 15 to 20 years.

“Our utility bill is less than half of what we paid each month at our previous home.” –Patrick Gallagher

An iPad control system allows the Gallaghers to monitor their home’s energy use and cut down on excess consumption.

“LED blubs not only last longer, but they use a fraction of the energy of standard incandescent light bulbs,” said Gallagher. The garage is equipped with an outlet to plug in your electric car—a standard feature on the homes. “Currently I drive a hybrid vehicle, but the fact that I now have an outlet for an electric car makes me really want to pursue switching to that kind of vehicle,” said Gallagher. Another energy-efficient feature that comes standard is the home automation system controlled by an iPad. To cut down on unnecessary usage, the system will automatically dim the lights to 80 percent if no one is in a room. From the same iPad, the Gallaghers can turn on their fireplace, dim the lights, and arm the security system—even if they are away from home. “This system really helps us cut down on energy use,” said Gallagher. The building company has an energy consultant on staff to assess each new project and ensure maximum efficiency and return on investment. The end result speaks for itself. “These houses are 74 percent more efficient that a standard home as verified by a third party firm,” said Day.

Going for gold

Photo: Jeremy Stevens

The National Association of Homebuilders determines if a structure is LEED certified using five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. LEED certification levels from highest to lowest are: platinum, gold, silver, certified.

Patrick Gallagher can operate several electronic features of his home by using an iPad.

On average, LEED-certified homes use 20 to 30 percent less energy–with some homes reporting up to 60 percent less energy use–than a traditional home.

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Photo: Jeremy Stevens

Sustainable Living

Ranch News

April 2014


Photo: G Man Studios

Stewardship and Volunteerism

Community Council Executive Director, Chris Irish, helps residents at the candy house—one of the highlights at Eggstravaganza.

Volunteer at Eggstravaganza and receive two complimentary passes

Last year, it was a Candyland. The year before, Beauty and the Beast. And this year, it will be the magical world of Alice in Wonderland. No matter which year though, the spring celebration of Eggstravaganza has one thing in common: It continues to unite the community with enchanted experiences for life-long memories. Due to its popularity, Eggstravaganza continues to bring nearly 1,200 residents to Desert Camp Community Center. With that number in mind, the DC Ranch Community Council is asking for residents to get involved at the event. “Many people don’t know that there are only 15 team members who create these memorable events,” said Senior Event Manager Gabi Enriquez. “Eggstravaganza will only get bigger and better, and the saying rings true: the more hands, the better. We encourage residents to volunteer and help make this year’s spring event the best one yet.” Since April is National Volunteer Month, what better time to contribute to the community than during a spring celebration? Residents who volunteer for the Saturday, April 19, event will also be given two complimentary passes to Eggstravaganza. To volunteer, contact Senior Event Manager Gabi Enriquez at 480.538.3540. Registration volunteers check in residents who have already signed up for the event. For those who have not registered, volunteers sign up neighbors who need tickets. Volunteers who help with registration will spend time sitting while checking residents in; volunteers must be 18 and older. Ushers accompany registration volunteers and guide attendees around the event. From the egg hunt to the location of the brunch, ushers are the informational contacts for those needing guidance at the event; volunteers must be 18 and older. Activity volunteers are asked to help with separate interactive activities on the east lawn. These include fair games, classic lawn activities, and crafts with young children. Volunteers also set-up in the egg hunt area; volunteers must be 14 and older. —Brighid Constable

PriCed reduCed

Eggstravaganza: Alice in Wonderland Saturday, April 19 | 9 a.m. to Noon | Desert Camp Community Center

No need to be late for this very important date! Join the White Rabbit for the annual spring celebration with Alice, the Queen of Hearts, and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Wander through the magical world of Wonderland with games, crafts, a live deejay, and much more. The festivities include an egg hunt for children ages 9 and under. In exchange for their eggs, children will receive a prize candy box. Don't forget to bring your baskets!

Egg Hunt Schedule 10 to 10:15 a.m. 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. 11 to 11:15 a.m. 11:30 to 11:45 a.m.

And it wouldn’t be a celebration in Wonderland without the Mad Hatter’s tea party brunch. Parents and children will enjoy tea sandwiches, quiches, and desserts made especially for the occasion. Registration Tickets are $10; children 12 and under are free. | Limit 10 tickets per family. Register on by Wednesday, April 16, at 5 p.m. Pick up tickets in advance at Desert Camp Community Center. Parking Additional parking is available at The Homestead Community Center, with complimentary shuttles running throughout the event. Visit to register, or call the Community Council at 480.342.7178.

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April 2014


Ranch News

Arts and Culture | 480.315.6800

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During rehearsals of “The Poisoned Apple,” Bella Neilson (left) practices playing a cat who is best friends with the mean queen Drunella performed by Iris Lorett (right).

Photo: Molly Kurtz

What happens when a bald, evil queen is best friends with an opinionated feline? A whole bunch of laughter, that’s what. The Homestead Playhouse’s spring production, “The Poisoned Apple,” is an offbeat version of the classic children’s fairy tale “Snow White.” When Queen Drunella—the narcissistic ruler of Kingdom “Drune”—invites world leaders to a peace conference, her intent is to enchant them with her beauty. Yet the queen’s famously beautiful stepdaughter gets in her way. “Everyone knows the tale of Snow White, but this version has a ton of plot twists that will keep the audience on the edge of their seat,” said Arts & Theatre Coordinator Molly Kurtz. “When reading through scripts, I was looking for something that made me consistently laugh out loud.” Those “laugh-out-loud” moments won’t all be made by the typically “goofy” seven dwarves. Veteran playhouse actor, Bella Neilson, plays Domino, Queen Drunella’s best friend and the cat who only says “meow.”

“You would think that uttering one word throughout the play would be easy, but it’s not,” said Kurtz. “Bella only needs to memorize a single expression and it has such an impact on the comedy. Everyone involved with ‘The Poisoned Apple’ wants the audience to have fun and the cast’s performance guarantees that.” Performances of “The Poisoned Apple” are May 1-3 at 6:30 p.m. at The Homestead Community Center with a final afternoon performance on Sunday, May 4, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 on —Brighid Constable

Award-winning residents talk screenwriting and British flick Hollywood accolades are a major accomplishment for residents Greg and Sara Bernstein. And last year was another significant experience as the screenwriting couple relocated from Los Angeles to Scottsdale. “My wife and I have co-written many film scripts, including Trial and Error and Call Me Claus,” said Greg Bernstein who is currently an associate professor at Arizona State University’s school of Film, Dance, and Theatre. The duo’s film Trial and Error starred Charlize Theron, Michael Richards, and Jeff Daniels; Call Me Claus featured Whoopi Goldberg. Greg also co-wrote the film The Conspirator which was directed by Robert Redford. Aside from the star power inspired by their writing, the Bernsteins will help facilitate April’s DC Ranch Film Club and discuss the British movie Le Week-End. The couple hope to discuss a passionate topic—writing. Le Week-End is an “honest” film about love and marriage. Actors Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a long-time married couple on their second honeymoon in Paris. The couple is tested in their resilience to conjugal bliss after 30 years of marriage.

(Left to right) Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan star in the film Le Week-end.

“When thinking about what to write, the most important element is finding an idea that feels fresh and intriguing while also discovering a personal connection to the story,” said Greg, who served as the assistant executive director of the Writers Guild of America from 2004 to 2006. The married screenwriters encourage residents to note characterization, character arcs, and the film’s point-of-view in order to prepare for the club’s discussion. “We’ll be discussing the screenplay and any other elements of Le Week-End that seem noteworthy,” said Greg. “We’re especially looking forward to getting to know our neighbors since Sara and I are fairly new to DC Ranch.” This month’s DC Ranch Film Club is on Thursday, April 17, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Desert Camp Community Center. Please RSVP on —Brighid Constable

Photo: Film4

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Count on more.

Snow White parody is the ‘cat’s meow’

Ranch News

April 2014

Around Scottsdale

Scottsdale residents give high marks to city services and quality of life According to the National Citizen Survey, the majority of Scottsdale residents are pleased with their quality of life and with services provided by the City of Scottsdale. The City conducted the survey in late 2013. The overall quality of life in Scottsdale was rated “excellent” or “good” by 98 percent of survey participants–the highest percentage since Scottsdale began using the survey in 2003. Low crime, good schools, and an abundance of parks were some of the high-scoring reasons that residents enjoy living in Scottsdale. Complete survey results, along with a Community Livability Report, are available at

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Mayor’s Youth Council accepting applications

Scottsdale high school students can develop leadership skills, learn about government, and participate in service projects by serving on the Scottsdale Mayor’s Youth Council. Applications for the next program year are now available. Applicants must either live in Scottsdale or attend a Scottsdale school and be sophomores, juniors, or seniors during the 2013-14 school year. For more information, contact Daniel Morgan at 480.312.7922.

New Year, New Home and New Friends Join us for a complimentary breakfast each day this month. Please call us at 480-657-9000 today to RSVP.

Sink your teeth into the 5th annual Arizona BBQ Festival

This year’s festival will include an exciting line-up of bands to keep everyone rockin’, a mechanical bull riding machine, a flavored spirits tasting tent, and—of course—plenty of BBQ. All the fun is taking place on Saturday, April 5, at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. New this year: The Bacon Thing—it’s a bacon paradise for lovers of the food. To purchase tickets, visit

Dig in! Scottsdale Culinary Festival serves up fun April 8-13

Get set for fantastic food and entertainment! The 36th annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival brings another round of the nation’s longest running food festival to several delicious Scottsdale locations April 8-13. Expert chefs, scrumptious food creations, and enthralling entertainment are all part of the mix, culminating with the Great Arizona Picnic on the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall April 12-13. For more information, visit

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For the first time ever, your faithful four-legged family members will be a special guest at an Artwalk especially made for pet lovers. “Bone Appetite” Artwalk is Thursday, April 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Old Town Scottsdale. Art galleries and merchants will offer special treats for Fido all along the Artwalk route. Visit for more information.

Opportunity Expo helps teens find summer jobs

Job-seeking teens and hiring employers can explore opportunities for summer and year-round employment at Scottsdale’s Teen Opportunity Expo. The event is Tuesday, April 15, from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at SkySong. Representatives from teen volunteer and college/career programs will also be present. This event is recommended for teens 16 years and older. For more information, visit

April Pools Day is April 27

No fooling–let’s keep our kids safe around water. Scottsdale’s complimentary “April Pools Day” event takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the Eldorado Aquatic and Fitness Center. The goal is to educate children and families to prevent drowning. Features include raffles and prizes as well as exhibits and water safety demonstrations. For more information, call 480.312.2484.

Fire Department seeks volunteers

The Scottsdale Fire Department is looking for volunteers to teach safety to preschool and elementary age children, make deliveries to fire stations, answer phones, and schedule activities. Please contact Patty Jo Angelini at 480.312.1815 or visit the department’s volunteer webpage at

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April 2014


Ranch News

Neighbor Focus

Celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout 2014, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale is pleased to announce that Alexa Jenouri—a senior at Cactus Shadows—has been named the 2014 Thunderbirds Branch Youth of the Year. In addition to representing the DC Ranch-area branch as Youth of the Year for the next 12 months, Jenouri has also earned a $1,000 scholarship from General Dynamics C4 Systems. “From the moment I first saw the large thunderbird on the wall inside the Club, I knew that I was somewhere very special,” said Jenouri. “Now, no matter what might come my way, I know the lessons I have learned from my Club will guide me and allow me to be the best I can be.” Jenouri is an eight-year member of the Thunderbirds Branch in north Scottsdale and has been active in the Keystone Club, which focuses on community service. She volunteers monthly at a local food bank and assists with homeless shelters. The teen is involved in Leaders in Training, which allows members, ages 11 to 15, to volunteer and learn basic job responsibilities and work habits during summer months as unpaid staff assistants. Jenouri is also a participant in the Club’s Money Matters program, which promotes financial responsibility and independence among middle and high school-aged Club members. The initiative helps teens build basic money management skills. Jenouri was honored at the Celebrate Youth gala on Saturday, March 22, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort. Presented by Tiffany & Bosco and Great American Title, more than 600 civic and community leaders attended the gala to recognize Jenouri and nine other greater-Scottsdale branch Youths of the Year. “The Youth of the Year program is a premier character and leadership initiative which has been in existence for more than 60 years,” said Janet Caldarelli, co-chair of the Celebrate Youth gala. “Recipients of the award are chosen based on each final-

Alexa Jenouri (right) is the 2014 Boys & Girls Clubs Thunderbirds Branch Youth of the Year.

ist’s demonstration of moral character, life goals, leadership, poise, public speaking ability and service to the Club, community, and family.” The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale provides a positive, safe, and fun environment to help 17,500 youth of all ages and backgrounds develop the qualities needed to reach their full potential. “My Club made me the confident, driven, and caring young woman I am today, and I am forever grateful to be able to represent my branch as the 2014 Thunderbirds Youth of the Year,” said Jenouri. The Club offers more than 100 youth development programs emphasizing five core areas including: the arts; character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; and sports, fitness, and recreation. The organization’s nine branches and multiple outreach sites are located in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Fountain Hills, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Hualapai Indian Communities. For more information, visit —Kelly Potts, Ranch News contributor





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North Scottsdale teen named Youth of the Year

Ranch News

April 2014


Community Garden Updates

By the Numbers

Learn how watering and soil go handin-hand to produce quality plants Watering Watering from the top—using a hose with a sprayer, watering can, or sprinkler—gives better control of where the water goes, particularly on leaves, which gets water to the plants more quickly. If you water from the top, it’s best to do it in the morning so the leaves can dry before night. No matter what method you use, you should avoid the heat of the day. If you water from the top when it’s sunny and hot, there’s a good chance that the magnification of the sun through the drops could damage the leaves. Watering in the heat also wastes water because of the high levels of evaporation.

Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22, so get your hands dirty and show mother Earth that you care. There are plenty of opportunities to cultivate your green thumb at the DC Ranch Community Garden at Copper Ridge School.



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Composting Two elements are needed for successful composting: four parts carbon material and one part nitrogen material. The mix can vary up to 50 to 50, but never use more than 50 percent nitrogen (green) material. Carbon-Rich Material - Brown and dry Straw • Small branches • Dryer lint • Dry grass clippings • Dried plant materials • Sawdust • Shredded newspaper

Nitrogen-Rich Material - Green and moist Wet grass trimmings • Fresh plant clippings • Vegetable and fruit wastes • Alfalfa pellets • Tea bags • Coffee grounds and filters Source: Tucson Organic Gardeners, Home Composting in the Desert: Putting Life Back into the Earth


Visit the Community Garden page on to learn more about complimentary garden workshops offered this month. For more information about the DC Ranch Garden at Copper Ridge School, please contact Director of Community Engagement Jona Davis at 480.538.3582.

The average temperature is

3,000 81 types of organic,

GMO-free plants to grow


in DC Ranch in April

Shovel, hoe, and rake are the


basic tools

needed to cultivate your garden

April 2014


Around the Ranch

Ranch News

Here are some highlights from recent DC Ranch community events and programs.

Acrylic artist and DC Ranch resident Beverley Wolter displayed her paintings with an interactive lecture at Desert Camp Community Center on Feb. 13. The next Passport to Art is on Thursday, April 3. Credit: Gabi Enriquez

There were lots of laughs with shoppers and owner Brisann Smertz (left) of iBoutique on Market Street during a Valentine’s Day truck show. The boutique served champagne and cupcakes while residents perused the shop for the perfect date night outfit. Credit: Brighid Tomasik

Women mingled at Rhythm and Wine for cocktail hour on Feb. 13. The next DC Ranch Women is on Thursday, April 10. Credit: Kimberly Crowther Miller

Tweens enjoyed a very special Valentine’s Day night experimenting with different types of fondue and decorating cupcakes. The next TGIF: Tween night is on Friday, April 11. Credit: Jona Davis

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Ranch News

April 2014


Little Wranglers, ages 4 to 7, created personalized love letters to their families, incorporating various crafts, on Valentine’s Day. The next TGIF: Little Wranglers is on Friday, April 11. Credit: Brandon Curtis

Resident Debbie McKeighan took advantage of the cooler outdoor weather by walking her dogs Bama (left) and Sasha (right) at a neighborhood park on Feb. 25. Credit: Debbie McKeighan

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After seven years with the Community Council, Director of Community Engagement Kimberly Crowther Miller (right) bid farewell at her goodbye party on Feb. 24. As a parting gift, the staff created a personalized calendar of her active contributions throughout the years. Credit: Elizabeth Dankert

Despite the rainy weather on March 1, nearly 1,400 runners—including several Ryan House support teams like this one—showed up for the 10th annual Run for Ryan House at DC Ranch. Credit: Jeremy Stevens

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Profile for InMedia

April 2014 Issue of Ranch News  

April 2014 Issue of Ranch News