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January 2014


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Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

You’re judged by the company you keep.

520-423-8250 Each office is independently owned & operated



9 12



The Honorable William J. O’Neil,

Presiding Disciplinary Judge, Arizona Supreme Court

20-21 72-73 10-11






520-836-7660 520-426-2074

16 22 24 25 YOU












78-79 MOUNT KILIMANJARO 520-836-8517








The spokestoon gets to take a break and let me say a word or two.


ife here in the production offices of ROX! Magazine is always at extremes; extremely busy or extremely quiet because everyone on hand is hard at work. My staff is simply amazing! They put up with our crazy ways and take a simple suggestion and make it happen. They are making me look so good! While my business cards say ‘Managing Editor’, reality is, I’m the new kid on the block. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, but hey – experience and knowing what you are doing is overrated. Sometimes flying by the seat of your pants is best. To say 2013 has been a year of rebirth and growth is an understatement. Our tagline, ‘It’s About LOCAL!’ is what we wholeheartedly believe in. • It isn’t about us; it’s about YOU, the reader and providing you with compelling, relevant articles that matter most. • It’s about YOU, the advertiser and providing the potential clients to see your message. Marketing is not an expense but an investment in your business. Our goal, our focus, our raison d’être is to provide you with a reason to pick up our magazine, enjoy the experience and to come away with a sliver of knowledge you lacked. Some say print is dead. We say print is alive and well IF you have something desired and valued. Without a value, there is no worth. We kick off 2014 with our Home & Garden edition. Next to come in March: Medical, Health & Wellness. I’d love to hear from you, the reader – what stories and topics you would like to see covered. Drop me an email at I look forward to what you have to say!




Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


Editor-in-Chief Bea Lueck

Editor/SpokesToon Roxy Rox

Contributing Writer Harold Kitching


MARKETING/ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES Jamie Wagner Leslie Garcia Ron Strasberg



Advertising Inquiries

Comments & Ideas

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(520) 426-2074

3151 N Piper Ave., Suite B117, Casa Grande, AZ 85122

It‘ s about LOCAL

gcROX is published by RAXX Direct. Editorial content is provided by affiliates of RAXX Direct, community members and local organizations. The publishers of gcROX assume no responsibility for errors or omissions of any advertisement beyond the actual cost of the advertisement. In no event shall the publishers be liable for any consequential damages in excess of the cost of the advertisement. gcROX shall not be liable for inaccuracies, errors, omissions, or damages from the use of information contained herein. Submitted articles do not reflect the opinions of the owners or management of gcROX. Information contained within submitted articles had not been verified for accuracy and readers are responsible for forming their own opinions. Real estate information is as of 12-28-13 and is subject to current availability and pricing.




100 LOCAL Pages of

2013 was a heckuva a year for us at ROX MEDIA, despite dire divinations from the national media over the disastrous diktats from our capital.


We try to not care very much about what the rest of the world is doing, and continue to focus on our own affairs here in Arizona’s Golden Corridor. Our last issue of ROX! Magazine, dedicated to local education, was a smash hit, and everyone wants more … local. So we grew our magazine once again to include MORE of everything local with this special issue, and we gained a very heartening momentum, with the local community jumping onboard our runaway freight train. So we kick off 2014 with a special Home & Garden issue full of information about your local Home & Garden scene - 100 pages of pure local JOY! In this issue we hear from the people who live here, work here, play here, spend here, and advertise their local services here in local media: local developers, contractors and subcontractors; pool, yard, and house cleaning services; interior designers and home improvement retailers; every possible category of local businesses involved in helping you make your house your home. And of course, we hear again from local leaders, institutions and trendsetters about all kinds of things going on in our community - just what you would expect from Golden Corridor ROX! Magazine.


As you may be aware, our sister publication Smart Shopper is now published in five markets, and has become an indispensable advertising adjunct to the marketing presence of ROX! Magazine. The tandem of both publications has become very effective at covering the publicity needs of most businesses in any given area. Accordingly, we are now making plans to begin publishing a new edition of ROX! Magazine in the spring - covering Prescott, Sedona, Flagstaff and all the towns around and in between.

have recently noticed not only improved sentiment amongst our customers but also an increased pace of actual business. To be sure, I have made erroneous proclamations of the end to this great recession several times in the last 8 years, and the world financial situation seems still precarious. But I think that American entrepreneurial will is so strong not even a socialist president, a completely dysfunctional congress and massive and massively incompetent federal bureaucracy can hold us back forever. Whether I am right or not, we here at ROX plan to continue investing in and for the future; won’t you join us?


Christmas is my favorite time of year; many of you have heard me say that’s because “Christmas is the perfect excuse to act the way we should all the rest of the year.” Thanksgiving is my second-favorite, for obvious reasons: thoughtfulness about and thankfulness for our manifest and bountiful blessings is the whole point of this wonderful holiday. New Year’s celebrations, on the other hand, for me usually bring trepidation if not outright fear, as I stare into the abyss and wonder how it can possibly all work one more time! Nonetheless, the future is only a concept, and the only thing any of us indisputably have right now is Now. And here in this Now, as our friend Wilson B. Dedman so aptly states, “everything is perfect just as it is.” So as we enter into a new and probably brighter year, let’s look ahead in time anyway and be thankful for the future opportunities that will come our way in this great country of ours. I know I am extremely grateful to all of our friends, associates, people we do business with, and even our competitors, for creating an environment in which we can choose to thrive..



Don’t quote me or take this to the bank, but there seems to be a slight uptick in business - speaking locally, for Arizona’s Golden Corridor, of course. The ROX companies here in Casa Grande

- Rock Earle


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


2/1 Coolidge Aviation Monthly Fly-In 8:00AM @ Coolidge Airport (520) 723-5354 2/1 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 7:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/1 First Saturdays on the Patio 7:00PM @ Main St Patio (520) 836-8744 2/2 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 2:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/3 Sam’s Club Weekly Monday Morning Mixer 9:00-11:00AM @ Sams Club Office-1004 N Promenade Pkwy Ste. 133 2/4 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 2/4 Downtown Street Scene-Western Heritage 5:30-9:00PM @ Historic Downtown (520) 836-8744 2/5 Great AZ Puppet Theater: Three Billy Goats Gruff 10:00AM @ CAC Pence Center $5 (520) 477-7469 2/6 Frederick Douglass: Starry Road-Freedom Play 5:00 & 7:00PM @ CAC Pence Center $5 (520) 477-7469 2/6 Sweetheart Dinner & Big Band Dance 6:30PM @ Paramount Theater (520) 836-4200 2/7-2/9 Wuertz Farm 9th Annual Gourd Festival 9:00AM-5:00PM @ Pinal Fairgrounds $8 (520) 723-4432 2/7 Country Western concert featuring Gene Gebo 7:00PM @ St. Anthony of Padua (520) 836-0601 2/8-2/9 Gun Show 9:00AM-5:00PM @ The Holiday Inn (928) 8480070 2/8 Golden Jubilee and History Makers Community Picnic @ CGV Historical Museum (520) 836-2223 2/8 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 7:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/9 Half Marathon and 5k for Central AZ Breast Center 6:30AM @ CAC $50 5K run, $75 Half Marathon (520) 233-1385 2/9 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 2:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/10 Sam’s Club Weekly Monday Morning Mixer 9:00-11:00AM @ Sams Office-1004 N Promenade Pkwy Ste. 133 2/11 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 2/11 3 Redneck Tenors 7:00PM @ Coolidge Performing Arts

Center $15 (520) 370-8132 2/11 Satin Slippers Ballroom Dance Club 7:00-9:30PM @ Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center $5.00 member, $7.00 non 2/13 Student Art Gallery Opening 3:00PM @ CAC (520) 477-7469 2/13 Bravo-Common Men, Uncommon Valor Independent Documentary 7:00PM @ Paramount Theatre (520) 836-1030 2/13 Central AZ Regional EDF Annual Lunch 10:30AM-1:30PM @ Holiday Inn (520) 836-6868 2/15-2/23 Cowboy & Indian Days @ Ed Hooper Park (520) 8367013 2/15 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 7:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/16 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 2:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/17 Sam’s Club Weekly Monday Morning Mixer 9:00-11:00AM @ Sams Club Office-1004 N Promenade Pkwy Ste. 133 2/17 The Great Gatsby Movie 6:00PM @ Coolidge Performing Arts Center $1 (520) 370-8132 2/18 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 2/20 Baxter Black-Cowboy Poet and Entertainer Charity Special 7:00PM @ CAC Pence Center $22 (520) 477-7469 2/22 Pancake Breakfast at the Airport 8:00-11:00AM @ Casa Grande Municipal Airport $8.00 2/22 Plein Air Painting 8:00AM-3:30PM@ Casa Grande Woman’s Club $20 Adult, $10 Youth (520) 421-8600 2/22 The British Invasion Concert 7:00-9:00PM @ Coolidge Performing Arts Center $10 (520) 370-8132 2/22 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 7:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/22 Seeds of Hope Annual Dinner 5:00PM @ First Presbyterian Church $40 per or $300 table of 8 (520) 836-6335 2/23 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 2:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 2/24 Sam’s Club Weekly Monday Morning Mixer 9:00-11:00AM @ Sams Club Office-1004 N Promenade Pkwy Ste. 133 2/25 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 2/25 Chat Chew & Chocolate Signature Event 5:30-8:30PM $20 per person or $36 for two (559) 361-1221 2/25 Empty Bowls-11th Annual 11:00AM @ CAC $10 (520) 477-

Casa Grande Oddities Photos by Harold Kitching

One of two signs on the outside west and south walls of 119 N. Florence St. warning of a cesspool.

A look at the architecture of the back of the Paramount Theatre, taken from the alley.

On the south side of First Street just west of Florence Street.



2014 February - march 7469 2/27 Senior Follies 6:00PM @ CAC Pence Center $7-10 (520) 421-8760 2/28-3/2 Coolidge Cotton Days @ San Carlos Park (520) 7233009

Mar 2014

3/1 Coolidge Aviation Monthly Fly-In 8:00AM @ Coolidge Airport (520) 723-5354 3/1 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 7:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 3/1 37th Annual AZ State Open Chili Championship 10:00AM6:00PM @ Ed Hooper Park (520) 560-2256 3/1 First Saturdays on the Patio 7:00PM @ Main St Patio (520) 836-8744 3/2 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 2:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 3/3 Sam’s Club Weekly Monday Morning Mixer 9:00-11:00AM @ Sams Club Office-1004 N Promenade Pkwy Ste. 133 3/3-3/4 Caywood Farm Tours 1:00PM @ Caywood Farms $10 per person, Reservations Required (520) 705-3889 3/4 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 3/4 Downtown Street Scene-Art & Jazz Fest 5:30PM-9:00PM @ Historic Downtown (520) 836-8744 3/6 Spring Health & Wellness Fair 9:00AM @ CAC (520) 4777469 3/6-3/8 Caywood Farm Tours 1:00PM @ Caywood Farms $10 per person, Reservations Required (520) 705-3889 3/6 Astronomy Night: Comets & Sci-Tech Night 6:00-9:00PM @ CAC, room M101 $6.50 (520)-477-7469 3/7-3/9 Ride for the Warrior III @ Paul Mason Park 3/7-3/8 56th Annual Cactus Antique Airplane Fly-In 8:00AM5:00PM @ Casa Grande Municipal Airport (520) 836-7447 3/8 Coolidge Cotton Royalty Pageant 5:00PM @ Coolidge High School Auditorium $2 (480) 772-6004 3/8 Ballet Folklorico Coolide Fiesta Concert 7:00-9:00PM @

Coolidge Performing Arts Center $10 (520) 370-8132 3/8 Golden Jubilee Night at the Museum Fundraiser @ CGV Historical Museum (520) 836-2223 3/8 Now That’s Funny-Stand up Comedy Night @ CGV Historical Museum (520) 836-2223 3/8 Cowboy & Indian Days Exhibit Opening 12:00-6:00PM @ CGV Historical Museum (520) 836-2223 3/8 Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Brunch 9:00-11:00AM @ Boys & Girls Club (520) 876-5437 3/8 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 7:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 3/8 Relay for Life of Casa Grande 6:00-8:00AM @ Cougar Stadium (520) 222-7028 3/8-3/9 Casa Grande Fine Art Explosion 7th Annual 9:00AM5:00PM @ Peart Park (520) 705-1343 3/9 Marty Haggard-A Tribute-Merle Haggard 2:00PM @ Paramount Theatre $25 (520) 836-1030 3/10 Sam’s Club Weekly Monday Morning Mixer 9:00-11:00AM @ Sams Club Office-1004 N Promenade Pkwy Ste. 133 3/11 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 3/11 Visual Arts Gallery Opening featuring Earle Wheatley 6:00PM @ CAC (520) 477-7469 3/11 Sounds of Signal Peak 7:00PM @ CAC (520) 477-7469 3/11 Satin Slippers Ballroom Dance Club 7:00-9:30PM @ Dorothy Powell Senior Adult Center $5.00 member, $7.00 non 3/18 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 3/22 CG Arts & Humanities Comm Ten-Minute Play Production 7:00PM @ Casa Grande Woman’s Club (520) 424-6821 3/22 Coolidge Native American Music Festival 7:00-10:00PM @ Coolidge Performing Arts Center $10 (520) 370-8132 3/25 Downtown Farmers Market 9:00AM-3:00PM @ Historic Downtown (480) 818-3092 3/29 Pancake Breakfast at the Airport 8:00-11:00AM @ Casa Grande Municipal Airport $8.00 Along the top of the wall on the northeast corner of Florence and Third streets. Initials are for the B & L Building, a project by M.M. “Bud” Bottriell and Louis Hammer, instrumental in developing most of the commercial property between Third and Fourth streets on Florence Street and on Fourth Street. The Casa Grande Valley Historical Society says the area was known as “Bud and Louisville” during the 1930s and 1940s.

A close look at the weathered Don Market sign on Florence Street just north of First Street shows that the sign was once lighted by neon tubing.

These support rod plates catch the eye on the south side of 211 N. Florence St.


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


The Honorable William J. O’Neil,

Presiding Disciplinary Judge, Arizona Supreme Court

The name O’Neil has been synonymous with the Casa Grande Valley for roughly the past 65 to 70 years. Example: the O’Neil building at Central Arizona College, the old Casa Grande Clinic, Dr. James O’Neil the nationally known surgeon and of course his son, the Honorable William J. O’Neil. This interview is with Judge O’Neil and it is just a glimpse of a storied life. Most of you may not recognize the names of people instrumental in Bill’s journey through life, but I was fortunate to meet and know a few of them and they are missed. Simply put, the Casa Grande Valley would not be where it is today without the profound involvement of the O’Neil family. If you are of the desire to know more after reading this interview, Bill likes the green chili mixed burro with white sauce at Ochoa’s in Casa Grande… Brett Eisele December, 2013

GCROX: Where did life begin for you? JUDGE O’NEIL: I was born here in Casa Grande in May of 1951. I have spent my entire life as a resident of Casa Grande. GCROX: Born in Hoemako hospital? JUDGE O’NEIL: No. Back then, as my parents said I came in the world with a bang, and so there was a story behind that, as well, but across from what is now town hall there was a small hospital behind the Little Sombrero. GCROX: That was the town hospital? JUDGE O’NEIL: It wasn’t really a hospital, but was like the medical center where they took care of you.

GCROX: Did Dr. Lehmberg deliver you? JUDGE O’NEIL: No, my dad did. GCROX: Your dad, obviously, was a doctor. Where did he come from? JUDGE O’NEIL: My dad grew up in Clifton, Arizona; eventually graduated high school there and then went on to medical school at Chicago Loyola. He actually started at the U of A, went to ASU for a short while and then received a scholarship back to U of A, got his architecture degree, designed one bridge that was built here in Arizona and then felt the call to medicine and went to medical school. GCROX: Did he come out of medical

school right to Casa Grande? JUDGE O’NEIL: He did his residency in Chicago and actually operated on folks like Elliott Ness, the owner of the Schafer pen company and others, then just wanted to return to a smaller community. He came back and went initially to Hayden, Arizona, and lived with the Rosenbaums. GCROX: Polly Rosenbaum? JUDGE O’NEIL: Polly and Rosey Rosenbaum. They were very good friends with my parents. Mom and Dad then went from Hayden to Coolidge, Arizona and then the war broke out. Dad immediately joined and mom lived once again with the Rosenbaums back


in Hayden. When dad returned from the war he became involved with the community and became very growth oriented but realized at the time that Coolidge wasn’t very responsive to growth so he moved to Casa Grande. GCROX: Let me back up. Polly Rosenbaum was very instrumental in the Arizona State legislature? JUDGE O’NEIL: Enormously. So was her husband - both of them were in the legislature. When he died, her legacy became immense. [Editors note: Representative William “Rosey” Rosenbaum served in the State Legislature until his passing in 1949. Polly was appointed to complete his term of office. She later successfully ran for the seat in 1950 and was reelected a total of 22 times. She retired in 1994 at age 95] GCROX: Where did you go to grade school? JUDGE O’NEIL: I started out at Central Elementary. That’s where Southwest Gas is now located. About, I want to say, two to three months into that first year, Evergreen opened and so I was in the first, first-grade class at Evergreen. . GCROX: When did you start getting interested in track, because you were quite the track man? Was it in junior high? JUDGE O’NEIL: No, it was before

junior high. I recognized that it was apparent I was not the physical specimen that was going to play football or those types of sports. I desperately wanted to be accepted by my classmates and some of them happened to be very good athletes. I realized the only way I could do that was to get involved with something the others weren’t interested in. So I began to run during PE hour. I began running in probably the fifth and sixth grade. I wasn’t very good in seventh or eighth grade, but I ran, did track and one of my great memories is -- I think it was in seventh grade, there was a classmate who was Native American, I think his name was David Antone, and we were running -- we had a half mile race and I looked at him and he’s wearing boots, and he killed me! Then I began high school and George Young -- he was part of an orientation for freshman and he said, “If you’re strong enough and brave enough and you really want to be someone, I will give you the opportunity”. So, I went out for freshman cross country and George made a real athlete out of me. GCROX: Did he see something in you? JUDGE O’NEIL: I’d like to think so. I worked hard and I think he admired that. I’ve always had an innate belief that if you work hard enough and if you


believe hard enough, you can do pretty much what you want to do. GCROX: Training was very important for you? JUDGE O’NEIL: Training – George Young -- you have to put it into context. You stand in all these people’s shadows in this community and they didn’t cover you, but rather lifted you up and George is one of those people. In those days, the Wild World of Sports on ABC was a fairly new program. There was some sports coverage in the press, but it wasn’t huge and here’s George Young on the cover of Sports Illustrated and that was THE magazine and he was setting world records. GCROX: He was an Olympian. JUDGE O’NEIL: He was a four time Olympian. Just this giant of a character and he was our guy and so it was a marvelous, inspiring time and he worked -- I don’t think anybody could work athletically harder than George. George could run anybody into the ground. He was tenacious and had that force of will. We all bought into it and with good cause, because if you followed his program you become a champion. I became a champion. We were a force in cross country and track to be reckoned with every year. GCROX: Let’s talk about that, because you were a champion cross country athlete. Touch on how it progressed and how good you became. JUDGE O’NEIL: When I started out my freshman year, what I remember is George coming to me saying come try out. I came out and you have to realize I ran like Fred Flintstone. There were no track shoes back then. You had canvas top shoes. I had crummy shoes on and I went out and I remember running one lap, 440 yards, and I’m keeping up with the top dogs and doing great, but I was thinking we were going to only run one or two laps. We ran 20 laps, fast, after the three or four, the Energizer Bunny rabbit was gone and I staggered through the rest, but I remember knocking my knees and they would become black and blue because I wasn’t very coordinated. I was very tall and slim. I think I was 135 pounds and 6 foot, but as the season progressed, I got better and better. In my freshman year, one of my best friends was Bob Lavario. He ran the half mile, mile and two mile race. Bob was better than me at the start of the season in the mile and half mile, but by the end of the season he couldn’t touch me in the half mile and we were pretty dead even in the mile. During my sophomore year I tended to be a bit better in the mile off and on with him. He was better in cross country running than I was, but when it came to the semi-finals, I got him. I was in the Continued on page 14


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

ROX INTERVIEW FROM PAGE 13 qualifying group and he wasn’t and I moved on for the championship round. I then worked hard during the summer and by my junior year I was the state champion in the mile and Bob was the state champion in the two mile. We were both very good in cross-country. The question though was getting a full team together. That summer George, using his influence, got me into training camp with the Olympic team. They didn’t have, at least I don’t think they had back then, quite the Olympic training camps they have today. GCROX: Where was that? JUDGE O’NEIL: In Flagstaff, because they had to be in altitude to train for the Mexico City Olympics. I got to room for a short time with Conrad Nightingale and Jim Ryan, who is a world record holder in the mile. I worked out with Billy Mills who was a gold medalist in the Olympics. GCROX: Were you in awe of those people, or did you just become one of the guys? JUDGE O’NEIL: I became one of the guys. When I look back, I remember I was trying to act older than I was. You put on a bit of a swagger because you think that’s what you should do and I remember running with Conrad Nightingale. We did this 10-mile run each morning and I remember trying to be buff and talk tough and when we finished, he says, “You know, Bill, you could have told me everything you wanted to tell me with half the words and I would have much more respect for you”. There were a lot of “growup” moments for me while in Flagstaff because they were great guys. GCROX: Then you advanced to some serious distance running and something happened to you? JUDGE O’NEIL: They were just putting in the interstate system in Flagstaff and you had these concrete sort of roads that were going to have asphalt laid over them and that’s what we ran on. I probably at that point began to injure my left foot. My leg was 1 inch short on my left side and I began to have some issues with that foot. I finished second in the state championship in cross-country that year. Our team took second, which was a bitter disappointment because we should have won it. George got me into the indoor season running against high schoolers around the country. I did well and received a lot of scholarship offers as a result. At the first meet of the outdoor season, I had run a really good time in both the mile and half mile and then on Saturday my appendix burst. Continued on page 32

That altered everything. My dad did the surgery. My dad was a very good surgeon and to make a long story short, he bandaged it up and told me ‘I did the surgery because I know you want to run’ and the next morning I ran 20 miles. The reality is we know a lot more today about healing sports injuries and I probably began to pound that left foot more and even though the shoes were a bit better, I was injuring the metatarsal tendon that runs down the center of your foot; it began to shred and my foot started failing me. It was a very painful failing. Someone in the medical community told my dad there was a new drug called cortisone, so dad checked with some specialists and they said try it. It’s kind of like glue and it should hold it together. Every morning I would get a shot in the middle of my arch, top of my foot and then the side of my foot with this cortisone. The same thing before I would go to bed. What they didn’t know is cortisone begins to dissolve tendons. One rainy day, my foot completely failed and this was probably two weeks before divisions and it was over. That’s the bottom line. GCROX: Did the scholarships go away? JUDGE O’NEIL: All the scholarships went away. I hadn’t applied to any colleges because I knew I was going on a sports scholarship and so it was horribly disappointing for George and me. GCROX: Enter into your life a gentleman by the name of Ben Day? JUDGE O’NEIL: Yes, Ben Day -- I had always been musical. My mother was a concert pianist for a short time. Music has always resonated with me. GCROX: Were you in the choir at church? JUDGE O’NEIL: Oh, sure. Still am. I sang my first solo in third grade. I sang “The First Noel” at Evergreen on stage for the Christmas program. I liked to sing, always have. When I left junior high coming into high school, my voice began to change and it became a little difficult singing. I was a high pitched kid and suddenly I was becoming a baritone and it’s a no-man’s land. But still, I got into musicals - I was in South Pacific. I met Ben Day there and he told me I really needed to get in the choir. Ben was the choir director and he got everybody into choir. He was one of the most marvelous people -again, one of these real giants. It’s unfortunate we lose sight of some of the giants this community has had and he was another one. So, again,

to make a long story short, I was AllState Choir. I received a gold medal singing solos. When everything fell apart with the injuries, I had no place to go to school. Dad had been very instrumental in getting Central Arizona College built. The Administration Building, as you know, was named after him, and he was the first chairman of the board there. He said go there. I was in depression, shock and misery. There’s no other way to put it and I didn’t have a clue where I was going. I dropped out of college and started to work at the Yellow Front off Florence Blvd. and I had no direction. I was truly floundering in every sense of the word. One day Ben Day comes into the store and he says, you know, Bill, if I buy you lunch and take you down to U of A, would you try out for a music scholarship? I said free lunch! Of course I’ll go and off I went to Tucson. There were a huge number of people applying for the scholarship and as fate would have it, I was literally the last person to audition. There was a guy in front of me -- the two of us were sitting there while another person was in auditioning and he starts firing questions at me and asking what my capabilities were. He was clearly more capable than me. He had been in AllState Choir, he was in All-State Piano,



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2028 N. Trekell Rd #107 Casa Grande, AZ 85122



Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine




elcome to ACCESS ARIZONA! We are central Arizona’s business corridor and we want to help locate or expand your business in Pinal County. We are a 30-year-old organization that helped locate such businesses to Pinal County as Elrus, Bridgestone, Abbott Laboratories, Frito-Lay, Ehrmann Dairy, Franklin Foods and PhoenixMart. Our office provides ACCESS to world markets, ACCESS to labor, ACCESS to training, ACCESS to capital, ACCESS to resources, ACCESS to developable land and available buildings and quick ACCESS to Mexico, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. We are YOUR access to everything in central Arizona! Attend our 2013-14 Annual Meeting Luncheon at the Francisco Grande near Casa Grande. We will honor our outgoing chairman Evelyn Casuga from APS and welcome Donovan Kramer of the Tri-Valley newspapers as our new chairman. We will review 2013, look to the year ahead and an interesting and informative presentation will be given by our marketing and rebranding firm about our new name, what their months of research uncovered and their and their perspectives on the keys to successful, sustainable marketing. ACCESS ARIZONA’s 2014 mantra will be the retention and expansion of existing businesses – businesses with rich histories

in Pinal County, businesses whose roots run deep here and businesses that are in growth modes domestically and internationally. ACCESS ARIZONA will be doing site visits and follow up calls to businesses to see what assistance we can give them to continue growing and flourishing in central Arizona. As part of our ongoing commitment, we will adding a staff person whose universe will be the retention and expansion of area businesses. ACCESS ARIZONA is a collaboration of economic development entities in western Pinal County. We work closely with the communities of Casa Grande, Coolidge and Eloy, as well as with Pinal County. Our other partners in regional economic development include the Arizona Commerce Authority, EDGE (the Economic Development Group of Eloy), area chambers of commerce, utility companies, Central Arizona College, financial institutions, brokerages, developers, the Pinal Partnership, the Arizona Department of Economic Security and our state and federally elected officials. So, we are ACCESS ARIZONA and we are now YOUR economic development advocate! Feel welcome to contact us in The Palm Center off of Florence Boulevard at Interstate 10 located at 540 N. Camino Mercade, Suite 2, Casa Grande, Arizona 85122, 520.836.6868,

The nation’s explosive region for growth.

Multimodal access. Solid infrastructure. Skilled workforce. Collaborative local leadership.

In Memoriam JANUARY


Submitted photo taken by Kaitee Doll. "Radiation Oncologist Ajay Bhatnagar, MD, Surgeon Ramon Mourelo, MD, and Surgeon Joyce Bonenberger, MD, conducting the first Intra-Operative Radiation Therapy (IORT) procedure in the state of Arizona at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center on September 30, 2011."

“Casa Grande Regional Medical Center (CGRMC) is deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy that occurred on Friday, December 13 when Dr. Joyce Bonenberger and her family were lost in a house fire. Joyce was an important member of our medical staff, but more than that she was a member of our CGRMC family. She had served this community for fourteen and a half years, providing surgical services to many community members and our own employees. As our Chief of Surgery since 2004, she helped to guide hospital policies and practices to ensure quality service for our patients. She will be missed by our staff who worked closely with her in the OR, as well as the staff who interacted with her on the floors. However, we will also miss her as a friend because Joyce’s contagious laugh and smile, her sense of humor and her genuine caring for people were all a part of who she was. CGRMC is a better place because of her contributions to it.” Rona Curphy, President and CEO


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

CITYSPEAK By Robert “Bob” Jackson, Mayor, City of Casa Grande


he City of Casa Grande Fiscal Year runs from July 1 to June 30. January marks the start of budget preparation for us and one of the first things we do is assess our revenues. City budgets are somewhat complex in that we have the General Fund whose revenue primarily comes from retail sales tax and property taxes; Enterprise Funds funding sewer and trash via monthly service fees; and Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) from gas taxes and vehicle license fees. The General Fund pays for Police, Fire, Community Services and general government, finance, human resources, development services for example. Currently the General Fund is about $30 million for our operating expenses and is basically unchanged over the past five years. During this period we have seen the sales taxes remain relatively constant and the property taxes decline causing us to look at creative

ways to trim our expenditures. The reason I have provided this “Government 101” summary is to help you understand how we prioritize our annual budget. Police and Fire constitute about 75% of the General Fund with Community Services the next largest group. The Council and senior staff are always tasked with looking at the need for Public Safety and balancing the Quality of Life needs of the City. For example if we decide to build and staff a new Fire Station we need to add three shifts of four fire fighters and a Battalion Chief at an annual total salary in excess of $1.5 million. Additionally we will need funds to build a new station and provide equipment for the new facility somewhere in the $8 to $10 million range. Knowing our General Fund is $30 million the increase in operating expenses is 5%. To generate this income we either cut back on other General Fund departments such as Community Services, Libraries, Parks, Recreation Programs, or raise additional revenue. For more than thirty years our City tax rate has been less than $1.00, actually dropping to less than 80 cents for several years. I think the entire City Council would agree that raising our tax rate above the historic levels, even though we legally could go to a rate of $1.05, is not likely to happen. Our combined sales tax rate with the State and County included is just under $.09, comparable to many cities in the Valley and among the lowest in Pinal County, leaving us little room to increase the sales tax to fund additional services. We believe part of the solution is to increase the tax base, both sales and property. One of the most common ways is to create more jobs in the local economy and bringing new industries to town. This not only increases our assessed valuation but also creates more money in our local economy to buy goods and services. Sounds easy but economic development is highly competitive and relocating and expanding businesses look at many things before they select a new site. Certainly among the criteria is available, qualified workforce, cost of doing business, location, and the Quality of Life issues. Casa Grande has been very successful in attracting new industries and helping with expansion for existing businesses and continuing to aggressively pursue new ones. The balancing act discussed above is our challenge to assure we remain competitive with the rest of the state and the country. As we work on the budget for 2014-15 we don’t expect to see major increases in our revenues but we will continue to try to balance the needs of our existing citizens and businesses with the delivery of services while at the same time trying to attract new businesses and encourage expansion of existing business in Casa Grande.

421 East Cottonwood Lane Casa Grande, Arizona 85122 Office: 520-426-4600 • Fax: 520-426-4699 Email:

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Cowboy and CASA E D N Indian Days A R G FEBRUARY 14 - 23 th






CG News

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By Harold Kitching


Additional Information On Census Information Casa Grande's unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent during November, the lowest it has been since June of 2008, also at 6.7, the Arizona Department of Administration said. That's down from 7.8 during October, 8.3 percent in September, 9.8 for August and 10 percent for July. By comparison, Casa Grande's jobless rate in November 2007, the year before the economy crashed, was 4.3. Casa Grande's average unemployment rate this year is 9.1 percent. The average for 2012 was 10 percent. The breakdown of statistics for the county and other cities and areas, with the November 2013 rate first, the November 2007 rate, October 2013 rate, and the 2013 year's average. Pinal County, 7.3 percent, 4.6, 8.3, 8.5. Pinal County without Indian reservations, 6.8, 4.2, 7.7, 7.9. Arizona City, 4.1, 2.5, 4.6, 4.8. Coolidge, 13.1, 8.4, 14.7, 15. Eloy, 10.8, 6.9, 12.3, 12.5. Florence, 16.1, 4.6, 16.3, 17.9. Maricopa city, 7, 5.2, 7.9, 8.3. Stanfield area, 16.1, 10.5, 18, 18.4. Ak-Chin Village area, 9.1, 5.7, 10.3, 10.7. Sacaton area, 28.7, 19.7, 31.6, 32.1. Chuichu area, 10, 6.5, 11.3, 11.7. Blackwater area, 22.4, 14.9, 24.7, 25.3. Gila River Indian Community, 22.9, 15.2, 25.4, 25.8. Ak-Chin Indian Community, 8.9, 5.6, 10.1, 10.3. Tohono O’odham Nation and off-reservation trust lands, 26.6, 17.7, 29, 29.2. To view Casa Grande quick facts, go to states/04/0410530.html Continued on page 30

CITY NEWS An army, they say, travels on its stomach. From watching the incessant, loud commercials on television you’d think the rest of us travel on sugary soft drinks and junk food. Should government be any different? Ah, that sugar rush! Casa Grande is asking for proposals to provide vending machine services at 10 locations -- although along with a warning that at least some of the items must be “healthy alternatives such as baked chips, granola bars, etc.” Drinks, the request says, should include water, juice, soft drinks and sports drinks. No cheap stuff, healthy or not, will be allowed. “Contractor shall provide products and services of a quality and price consistent with those presently being offered in this region in similar facilities,” the request says, adding that, “The city has the right to request changes to products in vending machines if products are not suitable for the facility.”

The plan, to be formalized with a contractor some time in January, won’t cost the taxpayers any money, except for electricity to the machines that require it. “All equipment, machinery, tools, supplies, or other materials necessary to install and operate the contractor’s vending machines shall be furnished at the contractor’s sole expense,” the request says. And, there’s a clause that the contractor has to pay you back if you lose your money Continued on page 30


Many small-business owners in Casa Grande will tell you that this past summer was the most brutal they have ever struggled through; customers down, sales down, income down. Through all of that, Birds n’ Blossoms, which began a year ago at 115 E. Fourth St., has both survived and continued to grow, offering a mix of floral arrangements, home decorations and specialty furniture. Survival bucked the national trend of a 55 percent small-business failure rate as charted by the U.S. Census Bureau and other studies showing that up to 85 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. Dean Vestal, the owner, chalks it up to being financially prepared to ride out the rockiness of a first year, paying attention to customers and reaching out to the community – all while offering something unique. “Well, it was a slow summer and we expected it to be,” Vestal said, speaking in the corporate ‘we’, “but we came prepared for that. We planned ahead to back the business until it grows. We still stayed busy all the time, we always had work to do. We had money to pay the bills because we planned to back it. It was slower, but it was pretty steady.” Continued on page 60




The Casa Grande Police Department has a couple of questions for residents: Is this your Neighborhood Watch sign? Does your neighborhood have an active Neighborhood Watch? “It doesn't take much to get one started,” the department said. “Give our Crime Prevention Unit a call and we'll help organize your first Neighborhood Watch meeting. “If this IS your sign, then it's probably time for a meeting AND a new sign, both of which we will gladly provide. Call 421-8711 ext. 6760.”

Harold Kitching

For more than 11 years, Harold Kitching reported on city government for the Casa Grande Dispatch newspaper before resigning. He continues that type of reporting on his private website. The website is not affiliated with the Casa Grande Dispatch nor has it been endorsed by that newspaper.

COMMUNITY It’s been around for a couple of years now, but many Casa Grande residents still don’t know that they can check crime and other incidents in their immediate neighborhood. It’s found at You type in an address and the service shows symbols for incidents around your area. Click on View Print List and it brings up the incidents. The service is updated every few hours and has a method for setting date ranges. You will be able to set a date range, do advanced searches and send crime tips to the Police Department. A separate version of the system allows officers on the street to view the updated maps, noting where certain crimes have been concentrating. The city’s website crime map, also powered by, is available at



Please stop telling your children that we will haul them off to jail if they are bad.

We want them to run to us if they are scared… …Not be scared of us. Thank you.


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


The complete story, photos and recognition of all the contributors is available on our website at In addition, The Casa Grande Valley Historical Society and Museum and its volunteer research team has created a Doors to the Past webpage that highlights the historic significance of each of the door icons. You can learn more at www. Casa Grande Main Street is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization designed to improve all aspects of the downtown experience. Strengthening public participation and making downtown a fun place to visit are as critical to Main Street’s future as drawing new business, rehabilitating structures and expanding parking options. Visit our website or stop by our office at 110 W. 2nd Street in the historic downtown for more information.

wn ne o t e st WHAT’S Downeet Sc TuFeir sdays Str CASA GRANDE 2013 - 2014 SEASON

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! First Tuesday Mornings Day Out Downtown • Main Street Patio Farmer’s Market • Bazaar • Walking Tours First Saturdays Main Street Patio • Comedy Improv featuring Exit 185 Second Saturdays Heritage Hall, GCV Historical Society and Museum • Event info: January 18 - 19, 2014 14th Annual Street Fair/Car Show March 8 - 9, 2014 Fine Art Explosion (Peart Park)

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pm 5:30to pm 9:00

November 5 Harvest Fair

December Winter Wo3n d


February 4 Western Heritage

March 4 Art and Jazz Fest April 1 Feria May S6plash Summer t


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visit for the latest calendar of events! Thank you to our sponsors Casa Grande Dispatch • First American Credit Union • Golden Eagle Distributors Great Western Bank • Western Bank




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Florence Boulevard



asa Grande Main Street announced in early 2013 a new project to bring more public art to historic downtown. At the time, it was only a pipe dream for arts and historic preservation advocate, Marge Jantz. Today, the completed project is a shining new example of the community spirit that made it a reality in our historic downtown. First, Marge found an enthusiastic property owner in Kelsie Pate of Merle Norman Cosmetics and Day Spa. Kelsie agreed to installation of the “Doors to the Past” on the side of her building, a highly visible 60 foot swath of blank wall on a key intersection. Marge had already salvaged some vintage doors during a motel demolition, and the rest of the doors were donated by the Salvation Army, JB’s Remodeling, In A Pear Tree and Adventures in Stained Glass. Casa Grande Main Street offered the seed money to start the project through a local Wings like Eagles grant funded by Golden Eagle Distributors and its employees. However, much more would be needed to complete the project, starting with artists who were willing to donate their time to bring the historic icons to life. Some thought it an insurmountable challenge to bring the artists together with a unified vision and tight deadline. Through Marge’s tireless efforts, it took just a few weeks to gather the artists and images that would represent the nine doors. When Bill Bridwell’s crew from Golden Touch Realty were prepping the wall, they uncovered original windows and metal letters from the era the building was originally built. Now, the wall has been repainted and refurbished to expose the original windows and add a brick border to the far right side of the wall, matching the existing brick detail and creating a finished “framework”. From partners like Sherwin Williams and Lowe’s Home Improvement generously donating paint and supplies, to CG Street Rods and Valley Pump and Machine Works stepping out of their comfort zone to refurbish salvaged metal awnings, community response has been overwhelming. At the intersection of 3rd and Florence Street, is the culmination of months of planning, thousands of dollars in cash contributions, supply donations, and hundreds of in-kind service hours from more than 30 local artists and community partners. What started as a public art project has become a testament to the tenacity and respect for our town’s history that motivated a broad swath of business owners and downtown friends to come together for a common goal.


By Rina Rien, Director, Casa Grande Main Street


Something to




Custom Jewelry • Watches • Engraving • Repair • We Buy Gold M, T, TH & F: 8:30am - 5:30pm W & SAT: 8:30am - 2pm


503 E. Florence Blvd. (Across from City Hall)

Casa Grande



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Local Support By Helen Neuharth Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce

is Vital


ou may not be fully aware of the impact you have on your future and the future of Casa Grande when you shop locally, but shopping locally really does make a difference. Every time you spend a dollar in Casa Grande, you are making a positive impact to our local economy. Out of every dollar you spend in Casa Grande, a portion of the tax goes toward our police and fire protection, streets, schools and other services that we, sometimes take for granted. The 2014 Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce Business Directory &Community Guide is an excellent resource to help you to become familiar with those businesses that support our community as members of the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce and it will assist you in locating the businesses that have the goods and services you may need. The publication will be available in the middle of January and is distributed free-of-charge, at the Chamber office and at This guide also provides information about the com-

munity, such as statistics and demographics; education; medical facilities; maps; an annual event calendar and much more. I invite you all to join us on Saturday, January 11, at HomeCenter Factory Direct (formerly Outlets at Casa Grande), at I-10 and Jimmie Kerr Blvd. from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm for the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce’s Home, Health and Garden Show. There will be a car and motorcycle show; beer and wine garden; food and music. At this popular Buy Local 1stevent, you can visit more than 60 businesses and have an opportunity to win cash prizes! Attending this event on Saturday, January 11 will provide you a great opportunity to meet many of Casa Grande’s local businesses and see what our community has to offer. Hope to see you at the Home Show! To my fellow residents of Casa Grande and Pinal County, I say: Let’s make it one of our resolutions for 2014 to really become a part of thisgreat community we live in and support it by buying local first.

Casa Grande Office 1175 E. Cottonwood lane, St 3 Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Phone (520) 494-8201 Fax (520) 494-8203





FROM OUR OFFICE TO YOU! By Dennis Fitzgibbons, Attorney, Fitzgibbons Law Offices, P.L.C.


reviously, we noted that we would use the next few articles to more closely examine popular Arizona business entities. Last edition, we examined the Arizona limited liability company. This month, we examine the corporation which, in our experience, is a popular choice for an Arizona business entity, especially when a desire/need exists to issue corporate stock. If there are any topics you’d like to see us address in a future article, feel free to email me at Now, let’s examine Arizona corporations. A corporation is a separate legal entity formed through a registration process giving it distinct legal rights and liabilities. Corporations can be established as either profit seeking companies or non-profit companies and are generally owned by shareholders and controlled by a board of directors. The Arizona corporation statutes, provide basic rules to govern the rights and obligations of a corporation and its directors and shareholders. To form a corporation, Articles of Incorporation are filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Once approved, the Articles of Incorporation are published in a local county newspaper. The Articles of Incorporation will set forth the name and address of the corporation, the general purpose of the corporation, the duration of the corporation if it will not be perpetual, the incorporators, the number of directors and the names of the initial board of directors, its statutory agent, the amount of stock authorized to be issued and whether the company will be classified as a subchapter S or subchapter C pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code. For a non-profit corporation, the Articles of Incorporation should also set forth necessary restrictions on the activities of the company and the transfer of assets upon dissolution. In addition to the Articles of Incorporation, each officer, director, trustee or incorporator who holds over a ten percent (10%) interest in the corporation must file a Certificate of Disclosure. The Certificate of Disclosure sets forth whether such individuals have been convicted of certain felonies, been subject to an injunction, judgment, decree or permanent order for certain actions or whether they have been involved in certain bankruptcy proceedings. There are no minimum limits on the number of incorporators, shareholders, members or directors for a corporation. Therefore, one person may start a corporation and serve as the sole incorporator, shareholder, director and statutory agent or there may be several incorporators, shareholders and directors involved. However, a corporation needs to be aware of several rules and regulations that may apply once certain stock thresholds are met. Such laws include, but are not limited

Fitzgibbons Law Offices, P.L.C. 1115 E. Cottonwood Lane, Ste 150 Casa Grande, AZ 85222 Phone: 520-426-3824 (Casa Grande) 520-723-9300 (Coolidge)

to, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Once a corporation is established, although not required, the directors should approve bylaws that govern the functions of the corporation including meeting procedures, roles and responsibilities of the directors and officers, rules and restrictions related to the issuance and transfer of corporate stock, dissolution and dispute resolution. Corporations are statutorily required to hold annual meetings and file annual reports with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Depending on the bylaws, it may also be necessary for a corporation to hold special meetings of the shareholders and/or Directors to conduct company business. Any actions not specifically authorized by Arizona statute or the bylaws should be approved by the shareholders and/or Directors. Directors and officers need to be aware of their statutory duties to the corporation. Although generally exempt from liability, directors and officers may be liable for corporate action or inaction which is not done in good faith. The business judgment rule presumes that directors and officers act in good faith, but this presumption may be overcome by clear and convincing evidence showing that good faith was not exercised. If such presumption is overcome, the director or officer may be held personally liable for their actions. Based on our experience, it is important for individuals wanting to form a corporation to decide at the outset how the affairs of the business and the individuals involved will be addressed. Having such foresight will assist the corporation when dealing with any unanticipated matters or disputes. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about the formation and maintenance of corporations, and can advise you on how to start your business venture. We can assist with formation, organization, governance and disputes as well as negotiating, reviewing and drafting contracts to protect the interest of the corporation.


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


New Estate Tax Rules in Effect for 2014

By Cindy Garcia, ROX INSURANCE Casa Grande


t the beginning of January 2013, the American Taxpayer Relief Act was signed. The new law outlined changes regarding gift taxes, federal estate taxes and generationskipping transfer taxes. However, there was one highlighted exception. Some of the changes include less favorable tax rates, but the gift tax, estate tax and generation-skipping transfer exemptions are more favorable. The federal estate tax exemption increased to $5.12 million in 2012 due to being indexed for inflation. For 2014, the federal estate tax exemption increased to $5.34 million. Estate tax rates for those valued higher than this increased from 35 percent in 2012 to 40 percent in 2013. The lifetime gift tax was the same as the estate tax exemption and increased equally. For 2014, $14,000 is the annual exclusion from gift taxes. The portability of federal estate tax exemptions for married couples was made permanent for 2014. During and

prior to 2009, they had to pass as much as two times the federal exemption using AB trusts. The need for trust planning was eliminated in 2010 when portability was added. Since this provision is now permanent, couples can pass as much as $10.68 million to heirs without federal tax penalties and without planning. However, even if the deceased’s estate is not taxable, the surviving spouse will have to file a Form 706 from the Internal Revenue Service to take advantage of this. If this form is not filed, the unused estate tax exemption is lost. In 2005, the pick up tax was removed by federal law, and it was not reinstated during the recent changes. This tax was a state estate tax, which was equal to a portion of the federal tax bill. State taxing authorities were responsible for collecting it. If state laws returned to the way they were in 2001, the pick up tax would have resurfaced in 2013, and that would have meant that several states would again collect state estate taxes.

However, states without freestanding estate taxes remain dormant in this area, and the pick up tax is not expected to reappear in the near future. For state estate taxes in some places, special planning is required. Hawaii is the only state that made the state estate tax exemption portable for married couples. With states where there is a difference between federal and state tax exemptions, couples must include special planning to use both exemptions. For generation-skipping trusts, special planning is required. As stated before, the estate tax exemption was made portable for couples. It is important to remember that generationskipping transfer tax exemptions have not been made portable. If couples want to take advantage of both spouses’ transfer tax exemptions, special planning is required. To learn more about exemptions and the new law changes, discuss concerns with an agent.

Why it is Important to Start Shopping

for LTC Insurance Now By Irene Rayrao, ROX INSURANCE Casa Grande

There is an old saying implying that although people pay for long-term care insurance with money, it is ultimately their health that will truly buy it. This is because some preexisting conditions disqualify people from obtaining coverage. Those who are in good health should start the process of shopping for and obtaining long-term care insurance as quickly as possible. The majority of Americans have one or more health issues. These could be anything from anxiety and depression to hypertension or cancer. Even those who have health conditions may qualify for specific types of long-term care insurance, but it is best to discuss options with an agent who specializes in this type of coverage before making a decision. Professional agents have access to a wider variety of options to offer consumers. Standards for health underwriting vary between insurers. They can also change from time to time, so it is important to work with someone who has expertise and will shop the market before submitting an application. This will help save time and money, and it will lower the chances of being declined for coverage. Good health can earn a person a preferred discount, which will save even more money. In addition to this, the discount is locked in, so it is not possible to lose the good health status and price break even if health issues change in the future. Researchers recently conducted a survey that showed the percentage of applicants who qualified for discounts and the percentage who were declined. They concluded that it was best to start the shopping and comparison process at an early age, and they said people who are in their 50s should definitely start shopping if they have not started already. There are several preexisting conditions that can make it impossible to qualify. People who have any of these


issues are usually wasting their time by requesting quotes: - Individuals who use crutches, multi-prong canes, oxygen, wheelchairs or walkers. - Individuals who need assistance with transportation, banking, using the phone or shopping. - Individuals who require care in a nursing home, assisted living facility, adult day care or in the home. - Individuals who need help with feeding, dressing, bathing, toileting, bowel continence, urinary continence and transferring between chairs and beds.

There are several specific illnesses and diseases that also disqualify people automatically from being approved for long-term care insurance. These include the following: - AIDS or HIV - Cystic fibrosis - Alzheimer’s - Dementia - Hemophilia - ALS

- Hepatitis C - Paralysis - Parkinson’s - Schizophrenia - Liver failure - Muscular dystrophy

- Memory loss - Kidney failure - MS - Cirrhosis - PPS - Lupus

When it comes to health and auto insurance, many highrisk individuals still have options but with higher price tags. Unfortunately, there are no other options for people with any of these disqualifying illnesses or conditions. Everyone should stress the importance of buying this valuable coverage before it is too late. Long-term care bills can pile up quickly and total into the tens of thousands in the span of several weeks. For those who are in relatively good health, now is the time to start shopping and planning on buying long-term care insurance. To learn what options are available, discuss concerns with an agent.


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A New Year’s Resolution By Dan Mace, CPA


s I started thinking about a topic that would be good for a “New Year” article, I kept thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I know that I have made lots of New Year Resolutions over the years, and they have typically lasted a few weeks (if that long) and were promptly discarded. However, a little over a year ago, I made a resolution that I have actually stuck with. Actually, my wife and I have both stuck with it, because if we were not on the same page, neither of us could have possibly made it work. We decided that we needed a written budget. Now, neither of us was very excited about the prospect of having a budget, but we both knew that it was going to be a necessary evil. Having a family budget can be very stressful and using a family budget is not something that can be forced upon someone. If your budget is going to be successful, everyone that is going to be using the budget is going to have to be on board. I did quite a bit of research on the internet about budgeting tools. There seemed to be scores of options available for helping to establish a budget. I also read lots of articles on the pitfalls of starting a budget. I realized that I was going to need to decide why I was going to use a budget if I was going to sell both myself and my wife on this. There are several factors that I considered important when determining how we were going to implement and use a budget. Several of those factors were:

ACCESSIBILITY I love technology, and I wanted to be able to access my information on my Smart Phone EASE OF USE I wanted something that was not going to be cumbersome and complicated FLEXIBILITY I wanted a budget that would be flexible While I did not want this article to be an advertisement for any particular budget software, the product that I chose was YNAB (which stands for “You Need a Budget”). I am sure that there are other capable programs, but this one has helped us stay on track and we are both very happy that we are using it. The biggest reason that I chose this software has not turned out to be the biggest reason that I really like it. My main motivation for choosing this software was its ability to synchronize between my computer and both of our cell phones. I thought that this was one of the most important features as if we had our budget at our fingertips, we would have no excuse for not at least trying to follow it. Now this particular budget software comes with some additional ideas. I say ideas, but it is actually a philosophy about your personal finances. I really had no intention of adopting their financial philosophy when I started this journey. However, a funny thing happened after a few months. After I began tracking my expenses and using the budget, I realized how much easier it would be if I just jumped into their philosophy. You can check out their website ( to see their “rules”. While all of their rules are very simple, they are not necessarily easy to implement. However, once you are able to adopt them, they allow you to have not only a better understanding of how you are spending your money, but help you have a plan as to how you want to use your money. I personally think Rule #4 has erased all of the money stress at our house. This rule

is “Live on Last Month’s Income”. Essentially, you do not budget any income you receive this month until next month. This allows you to have a “buffer”, and has allowed us to eliminate the stress that goes along with paying monthly bills. We no longer have to make sure that a paycheck is in the bank before we make a payment. We get a bill, check the budget category, and we pay it. Now, it is not like this was not possible before we started this whole budgeting process. We had the money in a savings account, but our checking account functioned as our budget. If there was money in that account, it could be spent. If we didn’t want to spend it, it was transferred to our savings account. Very simple, but it meant that we would just spend the checking account money, and when it was out, we had to wait for another deposit before we could spend anymore. This budgeting process morphed into getting us out of the paycheck-to-paycheck method of budgeting using our checking account. Using this monthly budgeting philosophy has allowed our household to erase the stress related to money. We no longer monitor the checking account balance to see if we can purchase something. We simply open up an app on our smart phones and see if there are funds available in the applicable budget category. We can also use our historical information to help us determine what we need to budget for the upcoming months. I can honestly say that the resolution to use a budget has turned out to be one of the best financial decisions we have ever made. Please do not get me wrong, creating and using a budget is hard work! Luckily, technology is making it easier. Smart phone apps and downloading transactions make keeping up on your budget easier, but this is not something that happens on its own. You have to be diligent and persistent, but if you ask me, it is well worth the energy to remove the stress related to spending. I do want to stress that the software that I chose is just one of many that are available. If you decide to begin using a budget, be sure to check out all of the possible software and strategies available for the one that works with your desired goal. Stick with it, maybe you will be like my wife and I and have a truly successful New Year’s Resolution! And one last thing, don’t forget to budget for the “fun” stuff! Dinner out, movies, vacations or whatever your “fun” is, that is one of the most important budget categories! Daniel Mace, CPA is a manager in the Casa Grande office of Henry & Horne, LLP specializing in individual and small businesses. He can be reached at or 520-836-8201.




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CG NEWS: HOME FROM PAGE 20 You can see additional Casa Grande statistics by clicking on Browse data sets for Casa Grande (city) at the top right of the chart For Pinal County or other area cities quick facts go to states/04000.html The federal Census Bureau has updated its quick facts about Casa Grande, along with other area cities, Pinal County and the state of Arizona. You’ll find that the 2012 Casa Grande popu-

lation estimate is 49,974, up from 48,583 in the April 2010 estimate. The new statistics, however, still show 2010 estimates having 7.9 percent of us at under five years old, 29.9 percent under 18 years and 15.8 at 65 or older. Woman hold a slight statistical edge, showing 51.5 percent of the population. The Arizona statistic is 50.3. The chart also shows 2010 estimates of racial characteristics. Between 2008-12, 77.6 percent of us had


in a machine “due to stock outage, equipment malfunction or other reasons.” The contractor also has to check for expired foods or drinks and replace any. There is also a requirement that products in a machine never be allowed to be below 25 percent. Some government agencies work out contracts that give them a percentage of profit from machines. Casa Grande will be different. “In lieu of paying the city of Casa Grande a monthly commission based upon a percentage of the gross sales or revenues from the vending machines, the successful contractor shall offer food and drink choices at a

lived in the same house, with 70.2 percent being homeowners. There were 22,400 housing units, 15.5 percent of which are multifamily structures such as apartments or condos. The statistics show 16,979 households, with an average of 2.79 people per home. Statistics show 5,531 of us are veterans, 85.5 percent are at least high school graduates and 18.9 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree. Between 2008-12, 17.5 percent of us were below the poverty level, close to the 17.2 prevent for Arizona as a whole.

discounted rate equal to the percentage to be paid in commission,” the request says. “In calculating gross sales or revenues, such amount shall be calculated based upon the total sales for vending machines located in public areas and no deductions, set-offs, or allowances will be made or permitted for goods or products which are spoiled or damaged.” (That’s government talk for get it to us at less cost, and it’s your dime if something goes wrong.) And lest you think Casa Grande is behind the times, all machines must provide multiple ways to pay, including credit cards.



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32 G o l d e n C o r r i d o r | R O X ! M a g a z i n e ROX INTERVIEW FROM PAGE 14

he had perfect pitch and I was, like I said, in a very, very dark place and I believed him. I asked myself what am I doing here and I’m hungry because I’ve waited all day and it is well past lunchtime. My turn finally came and I went in and there was John Bloom! Mr. Bloom was a world famous conductor. GCROX: He’s the one auditioning you? JUDGE O’NEIL: Big, craggy-faced guy and I just walked in and said, ‘Mr. Bloom, I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me, but let me save us both some time. The truth of the matter is I’m a college dropout. I haven’t been in an organized choir in over a year. I know the guy you just auditioned has been in three All-State choirs, All-State Piano, perfect pitch. I can’t match any of that. You’ve had a long day. Thank you for the opportunity, but I’m sure I’m not the guy for you. He shot right back and says: Mr. O’Neil, let me tell you what you have that no one else has. And I said: What would that be? He says: You have the recommendation of Ben Day, a man I highly admire. He says you have the most beautiful voice he’s ever heard. My only question for you is do you want this scholarship or not? So I sang my way back into life and got the scholarship. GCROX: What kind of scholarship was it? JUDGE O’NEIL: It was a scholarship, which I found out afterwards, in opera. When I say I love all music, I candidly don’t love opera, but I did opera for four years at University of Arizona, sang in a lot of different operas, with skinny tights, off and on. We’re talking the background music in the world at the time was The Doors and here I’m singing opera. After a time I realized music really wasn’t where my life passion was and changed my degree into business, but I kept singing. GCROX: What did you major in? JUDGE O’NEIL: Business administration. GCROX: You were about to graduate now, you’d gone through college. What did you want to do? JUDGE O’NEIL: You know, I knew it was going to be some kind of business, but I really didn’t know what kind. My roommate for a short time at the U of A was T.C. Coughlin, who is still one of my best friends in Connecticut, his dad was a judge, T.C. says: Look, why don’t you apply to law school? I said: when’s the admissions test? He said this weekend. So I went in and I tested in the top three, four percent. Now the world looked rosy again and I thought: Wow, here’s a real opportunity. Then U of A botched my Continued on page 34

transcripts! Computers were kind of new then and my matriculation number somehow in the FORTRAN language had become kind of a dump for people that dropped out, so none of my grades went out to the rating service. Every other dropout’s grade did, literally. The school said somehow your number got linked with this and we’re so sorry and they put out my new numbers, but it was too late for the fall semester and so I headed home. There’s an actual side story, because I was pretty good in singing and the question for me, I mean, I knew I had my business dream, but I also was singing a lot and getting paid to sing different solos. I was a waiter at the Skyline Country Club, a real top place back then, and there was a song I sang for a couple who were celebrating his father’s birthday at the Club. He was from New York and when he asked me if I would sing a solo for him I did, and he came up and -- I’ll never forget this because money was for this college student - a big deal. So the father tipped me a $100 bill. His wife tipped me a $50 bill. The son, who’s not an older guy, comes up and shakes my hand and I don’t have time to put the dollars into my pocket and he realizes his mom and dad tipped me. He looks at his wife and his wife gives me $100. I got a $250 tip, which was a ton of money! Then he came up and he said, look, I’m a producer out of New York and I do music and I think you could have a career in music. Would you consider doing that? He said I’ll fly you to New York and I said, sure, I might be able to do that, let me think about it. Well, I worked -- I was a busboy, I had been a waiter there at Skyline Country Club and then I worked the midnight shift at Circle K. That night I go to work at the Circle K where I relieved this guy and I don’t know what had happened, but there was what I thought was chocolate syrup running out of the store, and of course, I yell “you’ve got to mop the floor before you end the shift”. So I’m yelling for him and yelling for him and I’m thinking he’s already left! I went around behind the cash register and found he’d been held up and the robber had shot him point blank in the head and it was his blood that was running out, not chocolate syrup! You want to know what fear is, man, I felt like the guy’s probably still in the store. So I bolted out of there and looked for a phone! There were no cell phones in those days. I run into a hotel on the other side of the street and called the cops and brought them into the store. That was one of those altering

--another life altering moment. Finally the owner comes in and he says, well, you know what? We’re going to mop this up, and I said I’m not mopping it, I quit, I’m done. I mean, I quit cold turkey and I was through. I’m ready to graduate and I’m certainly not going to end up like this fellow. GCROX: Shot in the head. JUDGE O’NEIL: I go back to my room and on my bed is my mail. In it there is a notice of acceptance from the law school. So I’m thinking what will it be? Music, law school, music, law school, and I went for the safer course and went to law school in Florida. GCROX: Did you have good grades? JUDGE O’NEIL: No. I didn’t have great grades; I was a pretty average student. I did very well in the competitions, but I didn’t have focus. I was still kind of adrift. GCROX: Then you graduate law school. How long before you took the bar exam? JUDGE O’NEIL: Immediately. I drove home and was trying to decide do I stay in Florida and work there? I had had a job offer from a corporation there and I thought, do I want to do corporate work? Do I want to do trial work? I wasn’t sure. GCROX: Who was the corporation that offered you the job? JUDGE O’NEIL: Back then it was a little unknown place, a little restaurant string. They already had a lawyer, but they wanted somebody to work with them as they were trying to expand, a little place called Red Lobster. Always being able to look out for my own financial well-being, I said no to them and came back to Casa Grande and met with Lavell Harper. Lavell offered me a job at $800 a month. GCROX: Did you pass the exam the first time? Most people don’t. JUDGE O’NEIL: I didn’t on my first time, but you could take it again in the fall and I did and passed it. GCROX: Meanwhile you were working with Lavell? JUDGE O’NEIL: With Lavell. GCROX: Where was your office? JUDGE O’NEIL: It was at the Casa Grande Clinic. Dad had put Lavell through law school, and at the time Mike Echeveria, who was a very good lawyer, had been working with Lavell. Mike had begun to get into the corporate and computer area and decided to leave the practice. Now Lavell was a man short and it was perfect timing for me and as I said dad had put Lavell through law school. I went in and worked with him and it was a very good practice. GCROX: You passed the bar exam,



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34 G o l d e n C o r r i d o r | R O X ! M a g a z i n e ROX INTERVIEW FROM PAGE 32

where were you sworn in? JUDGE O’NEIL: Once you get the notification -- in those days you actually had to physically be sworn in and they would do swearing in at U of A or ASU. I went to ASU because it was closer. It was held at Grady Gammage auditorium. When I’m finished I drive home and I’m thinking now I can officially practice law, because I’ve been sworn in. I arrive at the office and Lavell says: You have a call from (Pinal County Superior Court) Judge Platt. I called Judge Platt and he appoints me to a death penalty case for Willard Breshears, and he says the trial is going to begin in four weeks and the attorney previously appointed has moved out of town. GCROX: That was your first case? JUDGE O’NEIL: First case. Oh, man. GCROX: And you never looked back after that because -- you never lost a case, did you? JUDGE O’NEIL: Never lost a jury trial, no. GCROX: Because you would find reasonable doubt -- but there’s a little side story to -- what was the case that caused you stop doing jury trials? JUDGE O’NEIL: I didn’t stop doing jury trials. I stopped doing criminal cases. My partner back then really enjoyed doing criminal work. GCROX: Who was your partner? JUDGE O’NEIL: Tom Cole and he enjoyed it. I didn’t quite have the affection for it, but it was an area -again, you work to make a living. In any event I used to -- for no good reason, always ask clients after we went to a jury trial: Did you do it? The answer was always no. I finally do this one case where the guy supposedly had run across the road, opened a window and entered a house and burglarized it in record time and the police caught him. I again used reasonable doubt. The witness didn’t see him well because it was twilight. He supposedly crossed the street in a matter of a couple seconds, opened the window in a second and I used the tape measure which the measured length ended up

outside of the courtroom and yelled at the jury, who can run this fast? How could you see the face and how could somebody open it, because it was a locked window -- how could somebody open a locked window in that space of time. Well, the jury, they were out -- my memory recalls it was 10, 15 minutes and they were right back with a not guilty. As usual, I’m just curious, and I said to the defendant “they can’t re-try you, did you do it”? He said, heck, yeah. I was like, what? I started thinking why am I doing this? GCROX : But there’s a side bar that involves a quarter. JUDGE O’NEIL: Yes! He explained it to me. I don’t know how many windows are that way now, but it was a sliding window that has a little latch about halfway up, a metal latch, and he says what you do is you stick a quarter between the two windows that are crossing and you just twist it sideways and it will pop the lock. How else do you get into a locked window that fast? He says: I’ve been doing that forever. Now literally that night my wife and I had gone out and we get back to our house and had locked ourselves out. I said wait a minute! I took a quarter from my pocket, stuck it in, the window pops right open and it was a cold water morning, as they say. It certainly woke me up. GCROX: Tell us the story about how you met your wife. JUDGE O’NEIL: After I got out of law school -- side story, but again, interaction with Ben Day. I’m at the Stetson law school which is in Florida. I’m kind of the same way as before. What do I really want to do with my life, and when class is over I walk out, who’s standing there? Ben Day. Now, this is in Florida as I mentioned and I said: What in the world are you doing here? Ben said: I had a music conference here and I just thought I’d come by and see -- he used to call me Willy J. He said I just wanted to see Willy J, so he took me to lunch. GCROX: So you finally got your lunch? JUDGE O’NEIL: So I finally got my lunch and he asked me, what church are you going to? I said, Ben -- wink, wink -- there are no churches nearby. Well, at Stetson you had to wear a tie to class. I had my tie on and I had to get back to class and Ben says I really would like you to go to church, so I said okay. He rolls up his window and my tie is caught in the window and he begins to drive, I’m yelling: Ben, Ben -- I’m banging on the window and he’s not slowing down and all of a sudden I realize not only is my tie caught in the window, he’s holding on to the end of

the tie and he rolls the window down and he says: Bill, what is that one block in front of us? I look and it’s a big crucifix. He says: You better pray that’s not a Baptist Church, and as we’re pulling closer the letters begin -- C-A-L. Ben says I’ll bet that says Calvary. Sure enough it was Calvary Baptist Church. He stops and says, Bill I’m going to level with you. Your mom has talked to me, knows that you’re having some struggles and I don’t have any conference here. I drove here to Florida from Casa Grande over Easter break and I have to turn around and drive straight back in order to be in class on time. The only reason I came here is to talk to you and I want you in that church on Sunday, and I was in that church on Sunday. GCROX: Wow. JUDGE O’NEIL: That was the kind of character Ben was. GCROX: So you graduate, come home……Wait a minute, there’s a difference between the Calvary and Trinity Baptist Church! JUDGE O’NEIL: Huge difference, yes. In Arizona I’ve been attending Trinity, because that’s where Ben was the music director. So I went to Trinity and one day they asked me to speak to a group of high schoolers. They were having what they call a progressive dinner where you go to one house and have salad and another house you have vegetables and the next house is meat and so on. Driving around like that is sort of a fun thing to do. In any event, there were two open seats on the bus, one on the right side of the bus with one girl, a high schooler, and one with a really beautiful gal whose name was Tammy. I sat next to her and we talked and I was fascinated with her. I mean, not just her being very attractive, but for her mind. She has such a marvelous mind. She’s so thoughtful, so deep in so many ways and I was just captivated by her, but you know, I’m a lawyer out of law school and she’s a senior in high school and so that’s pretty awkward, a nine year difference between the two of us. One day I had the opportunity and I asked her: would you entertain going out with me and she said, talk to my dad. I took that pretty much as a no. GCROX: Who’s her dad? JUDGE O’NEIL: Mac Holmes, and as I said I took that pretty much as a no. He was a big, powerful man, a wonderful man, but he was a big, powerful guy, scared the bejeebers out of me. In any event, she says, “no, really, that’s a covenant I made with my dad, if anyone asked me out, he’s got to approve of them and I do want to go,

but you need to talk to him.’ I drive out to their house and I’m walking out into the back yard and he’s, I think, lifting up a horse or something to put shoes on it. He was really strong. anyway, I looked behind me and I’m thinking why am I here-- I’m going to run, and I look behind me and there’s Tammy’s mom Sarah along with the two sisters’ and Tammy’s faces pressed against the window. I figure I’m doomed. GCROX: You’re out of your league. JUDGE O’NEIL: I’m out of my league and I went up and I talked to Mac, you know, affection for his daughter, regard, blah, blah and he says, sure, you can go out with her. So I did. We went out that night and went out the next day and the following week I asked her to marry me and that’s the story. GCROX: What was her answer? JUDGE O’NEIL: She said yes, and I said, well, don’t you want to pray about it? She said, I’ve been praying about it for years. She said,” You’re the one”. I married up in every sense of the word when I married Tammy Holmes. Best decision -- earthly decision I’ve ever made in my life. GCROX: You’ve sort of become a member of the family by now? JUDGE O’NEIL: Oh, yeah. Just a gracious, deep, thoughtful, glorious family; I married into a really good, wonderful family all the way across. Sarah, my mother-in-law, is just a wonderful person. When I say I married up, I am dead serious. But for my wife, I don’t have a clue what life would look like. She is that important to me in every sense of the word. My children have done well because of her, far more than me. I just sort of hang on and help pay the bills. She’s marvelous. GCROX: Was your dad happy with all this, was your family happy? JUDGE O’NEIL: Oh, they were very happy, yes! GCROX: When and how were you approached about becoming a Superior Court Justice? JUDGE O’NEIL: I’d been practicing law for a while and the reality is our firm morphed. We had stopped doing much criminal law, even Tom by then. Because it was a firm, we had all kinds of business coming in. I began to do less and less trial work because frankly, the work had to be done. In those days you couldn’t just represent the people that went to trial and not do other work for them because you didn’t have the preexisting client base that when they do have something major they would come back to you. They were going to go to somebody else. Tom liked doing the trial work. I kind of got stuck doing the day to day

work. I had a hearing in Florence and Bud McBride was then presiding judge. One day he was talking with me and said, you know, I’m considering retiring and I would really like you to run for my position. Would you consider doing that? I said: Yes, actually, I would. GCROX: Had you thought about this before? JUDGE O’NEIL: I hadn’t thought about being a judge. I was trying to decide should we change how we operate the firm? I was having all sorts of different thoughts that way. Tom and I candidly didn’t always see eye to eye on a lot of things. We were on really opposite political spectrums, and I believed in servicing your clients and trying to maintain them. We also had different views of management. GCROX: It was another one of those turning points of time in your life? JUDGE O’NEIL: It was another road that was dividing and I had to make a decision which way to go. When Judge McBride and I talked about it, I just really felt like this is probably what I ought to be doing. GCROX: Was this an appointment because it was at the end of his tenure? JUDGE O’NEIL: It would have been an appointment. It would have been -- the governor ultimately made an appointment, but there was too much political intrigue with it, so to speak. I had Polly Rosenbaum backing me and Boyd Johnson was also applying for the position. I’d heard Boyd was considering it and so I went to Boyd and asked if he was going to run for judge. At that point he had said no. So I thought I’m going to. GCROX: Now you have decided to run for the office? JUDGE O’NEIL: Right. What happened was the governor called both Boyd and I in and said: I’m going to make the decision and appoint Bill Platt. Bill Platt had been judge and then lost the election to Jimmy Don and so then he was reappointed with an agreement that he would not run. Bill Platt completed the unexpired term for Bud McBride and then I ran. I won and I became judge and I remember when Judge Bob Bean called me in. Bob was now the new presiding judge and candidly, he was very close to Boyd. I don’t think he was happy that I had won. He never mistreated me in any way, but his preference would have been that Boyd was there. Anyway, Judge Bean tells me I’m going to do one-fourth of everything plus I will be the new presiding juvenile judge. Nobody wanted that position. I saw endless opportunities in juvenile. At the time it was just open to endless possibilities, so I set out to completely change how juvenile court was dealt



with in the state. GCROX: And you did? JUDGE O’NEIL: I did. GCROX: Actually, on a state level you started working juvenile in Phoenix? JUDGE O’NEIL: Yes. Very swiftly Chief Justice Feldman (State Supreme Court) appointed me to chair the Committee on Juvenile Court. I chaired that for -- I want to say ten years, and that court oversees all the juvenile courts. In Pinal County there was such energy for it. It was a prime time. No one was doing, in my view, some of the innovative, thoughtful things. By way of example, you had Jack Harmon coming in as the County school superintendent and I said to him look, we put these kids in detention and they’re not getting educated. Why don’t you and I cut an agreement between ourselves -- the Jr. College had an educational trailer that was set up and I said if we can move that trailer into the detention yard we could be continuing classes for these kids. So we did it! One of my high school classmates, Rene Mejia, had a master’s degree and taught there and we got lessons from the teachers and continued the children’s education. Jack was very supportive of the concept. We started Teen Courts. I looked for different types of probation officers. Instead of having probation officers that were just probation officers I looked at Kendall Ryan and Mario Vaughn and guys that had been well-known in sports. Mario Vaughn played for the Dallas Cowboys for a little while. So these guys came in and I said, let’s dream. Let’s recreate how we get kids involved and get back in life. I believe as children grow up, they can grow out of childish behaviors, but they need to grow out of what can be a bad cycle of normalcy. So we created all kinds of programs and they were duplicated, frankly, around the state. We came up with community advisory boards. We had advisory boards in every community with representatives and we had got input from the citizens themselves. We asked what do you think? How do you think? What should we do? As a result we began to create and do. It was a very innovative time. GCROX: But there’s a rotation in the county court system. Eventually you had to move on to some other court? For instance Family Court. JUDGE O’NEIL: Right. After I became presiding judge, Chief Justice McGregor -- or no – Bud Jones was Chief Justice then and made me presiding judge. I was over everything like Judge Bean was and those administrative tasks became too difficult for me to do an equal share of everything plus all the juvenile. I began to back away Continued on page 86


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

Local School Newswire


By Dr. Frank Davidson, Superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District


n October 22, two elementary schools received word that both had been selected as semi-finalists for the Rodel Foundation’s ( Exemplary Principal Award. Ms. Debbie John (Evergreen Elementary School) and Mrs. Jennifer McClintic (Ironwood Elementary School) were selected for recognition because each have demonstrated a history of leadership that has earned them the respect of colleagues, students, staff, parents and community members. Each has also made a measurable difference in the lives of students and staff and local. The two principals from Casa Grande are in a select group of leaders, since, on average, just seven principals from throughout Arizona are recognized each year as Rodel Exemplary Principals. Ms. John and Mrs. McClintic are not the first Casa Grande principals to receive this honor. In fact, six principals in the Casa Grande Elementary School District have been honored as semifinalists for the award. Along with John and McClintic, this list of semifinalists for the Exemplary Principal Award includes: 2010 Jeff Lavender, Villago Middle School 2011 Joanne Kramer, McCartney Ranch Elementary School 2012 Jennifer Murrieta, Desert Willow Elementary School (although Mrs. Murrieta now serves as the principal at Casa Grande Middle School) 2012 Celie Downey-Foye, Saguaro Elementary School Mr. Lavender, Mrs. Kramer, and Mrs. Murrieta went on to be recognized as Rodel Exemplary Principals. School principals working in schools with a history of high student achievement and which serve needy populations are eligible to be

nominated for the award. School superintendents may nominate individuals who effectively demonstrate the ability to inspire their staffs and who have developed a campus that is high-achieving, safe, orderly, and welcoming. The Rodel Foundation also wishes to honor principals who focus on effective teaching and student management strategies, and who possess the ability and willingness to mentor individuals aspiring to the principalship. Each semifinalist for the award is visited by Rodel’s selection committee. Ms. John and Mrs. McClintic hosted their site visits in November. These visits include interviews of the principal and selected staff members, a campus tour, and classroom observations. A review of documentation during the site visit helps to determine which principals will become finalists and who among the finalists are best qualified to become Rodel Exemplary Principals. Exemplary Principals must commit to mentor Aspiring Principals for two year. Aspiring Principals are educators currently holding teaching positions, who show leadership potential, and who have the ultimate goal of becoming a school principal. Those individuals selected as Rodel Exemplary Principals receive recognition for making measurable differences in the lives of students, staff and local communities. In addition to receiving an honorarium, Exemplary Principals are recognized through local and statewide media. School principals have a significant effect on the climate, culture, and overall performance of a school. Casa Grande is fortunate to have these and other capable individuals leading the community’s schools.


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By Colleen Gunderson, Broker/Co-Owner, Coldwell Banker ROX Realty


f you’ve ever watched the Long Island Medium, you know how much people love to hear the future, and feel like they’ve gotten those nagging unanswered questions resolved. When it comes to the New Year and what the 2014 year will bring in terms of real estate, here are a few of my own “predictions”. The following readings from my crystal ball, are generally in alignment with the Economists from NAR, MONEY, TRULIA and INMAN, so if research by top economists, plus reviewing local market intelligence is cheating, well then I guess I am guilty!

1) My crystal ball says, Sellers’ will still have a slight edge, primarily due to inventory constraints. We have some distance to go before inventory numbers are back to normal. 2) Buyers get a 2014 advantage as well! Less investor competition will help them secure their position when making offers.

BREAK IT DOWN TO SIMPLE TERMS. If you are a buyer, your interest rates might be slightly higher BUT, you won’t get beat out by the investor demand, and the seller’s will need to be very realistic about their pricing in 2014. You will likely have more homes to choose from, and some of those attractive homes will be new builds. New home pricing has gotten down and dirty to try and compete with the re-sale market. If you are a Seller, you got the 2013 price increases under your belt and hopefully you are above the water line now. If not, hopefully you don’t owe more than the mortgage amount and 2014 could bring a more traditional increase of 4-6%. But remember, rising interest rates will have an impact on what buyers can qualify for and if you over price your home, you might find yourself chasing the market downward. Last prediction! The public has more information about real estate at their fingertips than ever before. If you believe everything you see on the internet relates to your local market, you may make mistakes and poor decisions. I encourage anyone thinking of buying or selling to talk to local experts who know the trends, the subdivisions, the communities, and get local intelligence - it’s the best advice I have for 2014.

3) Interest rates have edged up in 2013; it is likely they will edge up a bit more. This means that home values will not see the strong price increases from 2013, so sellers need not “hold” off thinking that another 3-6 months will provide substantially higher sales prices. Rates are forecasted to climb above 5%. 4) Building permits for small local builders will rise slightly! They will still struggle to compete with the pricing on the re-sale market but land values are still extremely low and if lenders re-create new build loan packages that aren’t ridiculous it will spark this all but dead portion of the market. 5) Investors will be hard pressed since the distressed homes market that they coveted and capitalized on will continue to dry up. 6) Good quality rentals will command a solid price, as investors “flip” their rentals and cash out for profits. Decreasing the number of rentals and possibly driving up the rental market in THAT segment of newer, nicely appointed rentals.

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Meet the Coldwell Banker ROX REALTY Agents Cathy Taylor

Brett Eisele

Annalisa Tapia

Bea Lueck

Cynthia Perry

Dawn Zimbleman

Dave Grangaard

Dave Streicher

David Schlagel

Dennis Callahan

Donna Anderson

Elaine Canary

Enrique Viezcas

Georgia Schaeffer

Gretchen Slaughter

Jim Beck

Joyce South

Kay Kerby

Keith LaVoo

Ken Hsu

Linda Pixler

Pam Behrens

Rock Earle

Robin Armenta

Sandy Wascher

Sarah Campbell

Charlie Weaver

Sherry Balentine

Connie Rush

Colleen Gunderson

Sue Pittullo

1919 N. Trekell Rd., Casa Grande


Each office is independently owned and operated. Colleen Gunderson, Designated Broker

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Load your horses and bring the stock trailer! 4600 W Lewis St – Eloy – $335,000

MLS# 5021796 • 3 Bd, 2 Ba, 2700 SF • 57 acres

HORSE TRAINERS DREAM!! This horse setup on 57 acres has a gorgeous 2,700 SF country home with open kitchen, large breakfast bar, great room, large bedrooms and master suite with snail shower. Horse setup includes 11 stall barn, 6 stall shed, large tack shed with bunk house, round pen, 140 X 400 arena, and 60 X 400 calf roping arena PLUS cattle loading chute, holding pen for all the roping cattle plus acres to turn them out on. Property is fenced. Covered arena is not included in the price but could be purchased separately along with some of the portable stalls. Just off I-10 and Toltec Rd with paved road to property.

10575 N Battleford Dr – Casa Grande – $99,999

MLS# 5032412 2 Bd, 2 Ba, 1360 SF

So many possibilities...This cute 2 bedroom/2 bath manufactured home includes the washer/dryer and refrigerator. It has a huge screened in patio, with an added bonus of RV hookup and a covered parking structure for an RV, 3 storage sheds with electric all situated on 4 lots for almost half an acre that is completely fenced. This is also horse property. New dishwasher, hot water heater and $2500 of netting in the RV structure to keep out pesky pigeons! Fencing materials are there to complete the dividing fence on the property.

8848 N Palo Verde Rd – Florence – $279,000

MLS# 4773801 • 3 Bd, 2 Ba, 1008 SF PLUS 570 SF Guest House • 8.3 acres Now this is Arizona Dreaming! This listing includes 5 parcels totaling 8.3 acres. Whatever your hobbies, there is room to do or store it on this immaculate property. In addition to the absolutely charming country home,(with 2bd & 1 ba)there is a 1369sq ft. M.D.Barnmaster custom built barn with 3 stalls, 3 paddocks, tack room, closet and a large covered porch. There are also two huge vehicle storing structures on the property(30'x50 ')and (30'x 40') one is over height for RV's. Another building contains 2 carports, 1 garage and a workshop. Behind the guest house (1 bd & 1 ba) there is a laundry room and an office. All of this and several pastures are surrounded by sturdy pipe fencing with chain link. There is 40 ft. round pen and feed shelter in the pasture.

9298 N Linnet Rd – Casa Grande – $319,000

MLS# 4885166 • 2 Bd, 2 Ba, 1936 SF • 2.38 acres Just imagine getting away from it all on your very own secluded 2.38 acres. This fenced and gated property features a sparkling self cleaning pool with a stone waterfall, 3 charming (and green) straw bale built structures, including the main house, a guest house and a large detached garage. Tongue and groove ceilings are featured in both houses. The straw bale construction provides 3 foot thick walls with an approximate R-60 valuation. It is amazing how even the temperature remains in summer and winter. There are many antique features in the home including but not limited to a 1917 servant's bath tub and interior door from 1919 with original hardware and working transoms. The garage has carriage house hardware from circa 1900.

4680 E Colt Dr – Eloy – $125,000 MLS# 5039482 • 3 Bd, 2 Ba, 1355 SF • 1.79 acres

LOOK AT THIS PRICE. This lovely and well maintained 3BR 2BA home has a two car garage, and a large 20 X 30 workshop with concrete floor and 220 amp service. The house has stainless steel appliances and an eat-in kitchen with a BRAND NEW DISHWASHER. Attractive 18’’ tile, ceiling fans, plant shelves, and good size bedrooms complete the package. Outside features a covered patio and fire pit area in the back yard. Property has a custom built aviary and 2 chicken coops - one with a/c, all of this on almost 2 acres

15801 W Hopi Dr – Casa Grande – $89,900

MLS# 5010546 • 4 Bd, 2 Ba, 2046 SF • 1.25 acre Country living on 1.25 acres with horses allowed and RV’s. Over 2,000 sq. ft. 4 bd, 2 bath manufactured home, with split floor plan, country kitchen with center island, living room, family room open to a 10x48 covered patio deck. Master suite has garden tub and shower, double sinks, walk-in-closet. Newer AC unit, new double pane windows, and doors have been replaced. This is your opportunity to own a nice home on acreage with quiet nights and room to roam.

1919 N. Trekell Rd., Casa Grande


Each office is independently owned and operated. Colleen Gunderson, Designated Broker



Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

on in By Kay Kerby, Georgia Schaeffer and Sandy Wascher

Robyn & Rusty Abbott’s Home I

f you have ever desired to travel to Colonial Mexico, Morocco, or the countryside of Italy, you will thoroughly enjoy this issue of “Come On In”. We invite you to join us touring the exotic, fascinating home of Robyn and Rusty Abbott here in the heart of Casa Grande. The couple purchased their home in 2001 and has completely transformed it. Robyn is an interior decorator who has worked with many homeowners to make changes and improvements in their homes. Rusty owns Rusty’s Body Works, an auto repair and restoration company. Together they have combined these talents to create a truly beautiful home. We feel certain there are many stories the Abbotts could tell about their acquiring and renovating adventures. Robyn designed (and her cousin built) a custom-made iron gate, situated between stately stone pillars, which leads into the private courtyard entrance. Leaded-glass double doors open into the foyer. Travertine tile laid in a Versi pattern flows throughout the entire home. The exposed rafters in the 12-foot ceilings of the great room add drama which is enhanced by the stone wall Robyn and Rusty had installed. Dennis Kirkland found the antique piano lying on its side without legs in an abandoned schoolhouse on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Chinle, Arizona. Dennis bought it, refurbished it and it ended up as a focal point in Robyn and Randy’s living room. It invites you to sit and play Bach or Chopin.


Rich, bold colors are used throughout the home. Robyn states that the most recent change in the home was converting a former sitting room into a classic “wine room”. Ambiance fills this room from the wine tasting table, a French riddling rack which holds 40 bottles of wine, and wet bar complete with a copper sink and hammered copper counter. Be enveloped in one of the overstuffed sofas while relaxing with a glass of wine in front of the elegant fireplace. Rusty would like to put up a 50” wall mounted television, but Robyn says she would never be able to get his attention! Even the most hesitant chef would be inspired by the fabulous kitchen. The island was designed around a mesquite table the Abbotts adapted to fit the space with custom designed cabinetry under-

neath. In addition to deep drawers for storage, there are microwave and refrigerator drawers tucked under the table top. Granite counters, an expansive breakfast bar, and huge distressed ivory sideboard top off this chef’s delight kitchen. French doors off the kitchen and wine room bring the inside out. Perfect for entertaining a crowd or an intimate gathering, the extended patios wrap around the home with brick pavers and acid-stained concrete flooring. It is difficult to decide where to light…there are numerous seating areas. One elegant area is located under a huge pergola with majestically draped, massive stone pillars imported from Mexico. A cluster of hand crafted hanging lamps provide mood lighting. Lime green cushions and a bowl of fresh oranges provide lively pops of color. Near-


by is a fire pit surrounded by a cushioned circular sofa adorned with accent pillows of blue and brown. A corrugated steel Ramada prevents the heat from escaping on cool Arizona evenings. The ripple of a classic water fountain brought from Mexico soothes your soul and a gas fireplace with a rustic mantle is located adjacent to the outdoor kitchen. Deep azure blue accents the exterior block walls setting off the brilliant green foliage and landscaping. From the outdoor living room, enter a grassy side yard through handsome wrought iron gates. An old pickup truck bed repurposed as a raised flower bed precedes a quaint garden house tucked in the corner. Robyn and Rusty have lovingly created a warm and inviting home for all seasons…truly an oasis in the desert.


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine



he holidays are over, the budget is over-spent and we have all eaten too much and spent too much. Is it time for some resolutions? Are you ready to give the frugal life a shot? Here are ten simple ways to get started:

activities such storytime and kids clubs. Parks and Recreation also has a great source of activities.


Buying books and movies gets expensive, and even renting can add up. Take a trip to your local library; and you’ll find all of the latest books and movies available free of charge. If you still like the idea of renting then give Redbox or Blockbuster a try. Rentals are just $1 a night, so the damage to your budget will be minimal. Cut out cable and try out cheaper rentals, Netflix or Amazon for entertainment.

Look for free activities that you can do by just being active outside. Casa Grande Mountain has several great hiking trails that even small kids or elderly can accomplish. Short and long hikes alike; there will is an option for everyone. Mountain biking is also welcome there! Our Golden Corridor also has many great city parks, some lakes and bikes trails through neighborhoods. With many, many days of sunshine, there is an opportunity to enjoy what nature has created for us here. You will save some hard-earned money and also get healthy at the same time!




Do you think that clipping coupons isn’t worth the time? Think otherwise! You can save a tremendous amount of money and still provide healthy food for your families. At least 2 major grocery stores in the area make all coupons worth $1, regardless of the face value of the coupon. This sometimes results in FREE food. Free? Yes, Free! There are free coupon blogs that you can read that match up the store’s sale with coupons available either in your local newspaper or that are printable online. Even just buying and freezing meat when it is on sale or clipping coupons for household or personal care items yields significant savings.


Eating out is fun, but far more expensive than eating at home. Challenge yourself to eat at home more often – even if it’s just once more a month, and watch your bank account grow. Then, find ways to minimize the cost when you do decide to treat yourself. Look for local restaurant coupons or go before 5pm when a lunch or happy hour menu is being served. Think about how much a restaurant meal costs and compare it to how much you can buy with the same money at the grocery store. Bring your lunch to work. Cook food ahead of time on the weekends so that you are prepared when time is short during the week. Cut out convenience foods and drink stops throughout the day (like the morning cup of coffee on the road). Brew coffee at home and take it in a travel mug. Buy a 24pack of bottled water and keep it handy in your car.


There are many forms of free entertainment available that are fun and safe for your family, especially for kids. Check out the local library again for

Bank service fees, overdraft charges, interest, credit card fees, etc. suck the life out of your hard-earned money. You worked hard to earn it; you should work hard to keep it! Shop your bank account and find one that offers an incentive to open an account and find one that offers free checking. Watch your balances and make sure you don’t incur ridiculously expensive overdraft fees. Pay your bills on time and avoid late charges. All of these fees can really add up over the course of a year. Learn to live without credit and stop paying interest.

7. DIY

Clean your own house. Change your own oil. Cut your kids hair. Deliver your own furniture. Move your own household items when you move. Think about how much all these things add up to!


Have your insurance re-quoted every few years for your home or your car and even your life insurance. Think about refinancing your house if interest rates have changed significantly since you purchased your home. Shop around online when you are making a significant purchases. There are many online sites that will help you with a price comparison.


This isn’t the easiest to do. Tally up how much you spend on cigarettes or alcohol and imagine what you can do with that money! Drinking alcohol in moderation can also save a bunch.


Let’s all think about how much we are blessed in our current state and not exceed to wanting more! Get a smaller house or car or learn to share a car with a spouse or a teenager. Save on gas, utilities and insurance. I am curious to see how much would be saved if even just a few of these tips were put in place. You might possibly be giving yourself a raise this year. Happy New Year! New You! New Budget!

Want to Ask Elaine a Question for future issues? :Email her at


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Not Just Another Resolution! By April Crimmins, ACE Certified Personal Trainer


he Eating Season is officially here. Precisely when you began the kick-off party, however, is simply a matter of personal preference. For some it is Thanksgiving, others have been on the Hot Dog Train since the 4th of July, and for many it was a random Tuesday in 2009 when the following words were boldly spoken, “I will start my diet on Monday!” The great thing about the dawning of a New Year is that it is a time to reflect, assess, and make resolutions, which unfortunately are often a thinly veiled translation for, “How can I set myself up to fail?” When it comes to health and fitness, there are a few simple strategies to get you on a path to a healthy lifestyle:


One of the biggest mistakes people make is not setting realistic goals. A New Year’s Day Resolution of kale for breakfast, beet juice for lunch, and a 3 mile run in shoes you bought before the baby was born usually winds up with an extra large pepperoni pizza for dinner, some stale Halloween candy and a Pop Tart that has been in the back of the pantry since the Eisenhower Administration. A realistic goal would be exercising 2 – 3 days a week at a moderate pace, and keeping a food diary to track intake, habits, and mood. When you can prove to yourself that you are successful, “reward” yourself with another session of exercise per week and another healthy food choice.


Planning is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle. It is time to put yourself on the top of your To Do List. Trust me, if you don’t, nobody else will. Block out time in your calendar for your exercise. Keep those appointments as a commitment to yourself. I’ll let you in on a little secret: Often I tell clients, family and friends that I am unavailable due to a 2pm (or whatever time) client appointment. They don’t need to know that the client is me. If I am not healthy, strong, and positive, I have nothing to offer the people that look to me for guidance. Planning holds true for your eating as well. If you don’t have an eating plan for your day, it is too easy to stop for a triple mocha choco choco ding ding, bag of chips from the vending machine, and a double double gooey heart attack special from the drive

through. Plan your breakfast, pack your food so that you are not tempted, and don’t allow yourself to get so hungry that you start chasing farm animals down the street.


Clients ask me all the time, “Don’t you get tired?” “Aren’t there days that you just don’t want to do it?” My answer is, yep, I get tired all the time. The trick is never to let anybody know it, and just do it anyway. A positive attitude and putting one foot in front of the other is something that you can get in the habit of doing. Try this: On a day when you are just not feeling it, give it the 10 minute rule. Promise yourself that you will exercise for 10 minutes, and then you can give yourself permission to quit. Usually after 10 minutes, you’re there anyway; you usually will finish... and feel better about yourself when you are done.


The car won’t start, you step in gum, and your first appointment of the day is a grumpy so-and-so. The kid has a fever and the dog threw up: it happens to everybody. You have a couple of choices: 1. Cut your losses and take the day off. Readdress and start again tomorrow. 2. 10 minute rule. Something is always better than nothing. 3. Forge ahead. Rearrange your schedule and make it work.


Negative people drain you, hinder your success, and don’t have your best interest in mind. Limit your contact with them. Negative language has the same effect. If you say, “I’m never going to be able to do this,” you will be right. If you say, “If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. I expect some challenges. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it,” you will be right.




Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

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Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


Capital R Construction


By Rusty Riggs

am grateful for this opportunity to introduce myself and Capital R Construction. I grew up in Casa Grande and graduated high school from Casa Grande when the school was still located in the buildings down town off Florence Boulevard. I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Construction Management and a minor in Business Management. I was taught the value of work at a young age, so while in school I worked part time for a general contractor in Flagstaff, took a summer internship with a home builder. Upon graduating from NAU, I worked for a commercial general contractor in the Phoenix area. In December of 2003, my

wife and I started Capital R Construction and were building custom homes and small commercial projects in Pinal County. When the market changed, so did what we specialized in. People were not building homes any more so we started to do remodels, concrete work, and landscaping. Like many people in the community, we had to diversify our skills so we can better meet today’s demands. I feel like these hard times have made our company better. We better understand the importance of budgets, timeliness of construction, and quality of work. I realize that it takes great communication, hard work, integrity, and a commitment to excellence to build a quality product.

Capital R Construction is a qualified KB-1 contractor in the state of Arizona. We are a member of the Better Business Bureau and member of the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce. We are proud sponsors of several of the youth sport activities within the community. We grew up here, live here, and are proud to have our construction business here. I feel strongly that our company has what it takes to make your project successful. Our company is made up of hardworking and dedicated individuals that believe in the success of each project. We believe in building lasting relationships and are committed to customer satisfaction.

I invite you to let Capital R Construction fulfill your construction needs.

Capital R Construction

We specialize in:

• Custom Homes • Commercial Projects • Casitas • Remodels

• Additions • Patios • Landscapes • Hardscapes

• Flooring, all types • Painting • Drywall • Blinds & Shutters

Call the office at 520-858-6501 to set an appointment for your free estimate. See our website,, for additional pictures and information.





teve Wallis, 55 arrived in Casa Grande from Flagstaff in 1983 and immediately set about developing land and building homes. Assisted by a young Brett Eisele of MAHONEY GROUP’S real estate brokerage division, he recalls selling lots for $10,000 with $1,000 down and payments of $100/month, and having to walk out to the street to sign contracts on the hood of the car so Brett wouldn’t get his penny loafers dusty! Over the years, Steve estimates that he has built over 50 homes, from design-build luxury custom homes on either clients’ or FOOTHILLS-developed lots to more modest abodes of all shapes, sizes and budgets, although that kind of contracting mostly stopped for him in about 2006. During the turbulent years since, Steve has kept very busy indeed with remodels and additions, primarily industrial and commercial, and has become known in the area as the industrial go-to contractor for high-quality, active jobsite safety-centric construction sites, and a reputation for unassailable integrity in all areas of contracting. And in the process, he says that the last three years have been the best ever for him. One of the hallmarks of Steve’s residential construction business has been the availability of finished lots due to his own land development efforts. All of Steve’s subdivision have

included paved-road access, underground utilities including natural gas and development standards of the highest degree. The two developments he has currently are both attractively located, are 1ac+, and zoned for equestrian uses with the added attraction of allowing for outbuildings, either conventional construction, or metal. Think about that: who doesn’t want a shop or guest casita or man cave or horse barn or tack room or RV garage or? Over the years, the typical custom home that ends up on either DESERT VIEWS or RANCH de SUEÑO lots is about 2,500 square feet, with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a “great” great room. Standard FOOTHILLS CONSTRUCTION custom home features also include: * 2x6 frame construction * 10' interior ceilings * granite counter tops * solid core wooden doors; upgraded door hardware * fireplace * 3-car garage * upgraded insulation package Such a house typically costs around $300,000 and with Steve’s long-term bank relationships, financing packages for the construction as well as permanent financing are relatively simple to arrange.

Let FOOTHILLS CONSTRUCTION create the home of your dreams on huge lots in one of two locations or WE’LL BUILD ON YOURS! 1+ac custom home lots starting from about $65,000, or custom home packages of around 2,500 square feet starting at around $300,000. All lots feature paved-road access, underground utilities and are zoned for equestrian activities as well as outbuildings such as horse/livestock facilities, metal shops and RV garages

Steve Wallis

Desert Views

Val Vista Rd.


I-1 0

520-421-0336 • 520-560-5678 Cell General Contractor #189138KB-01 • Licensed & Bonded

Colorado St.

Rancho De Sueno

Contact Imelda Amador for Your Home Financing Needs at 520-836-1727!

1412 E Florence Blvd • Casa Grande 520-836-1727 • 855-836-1727 Member FDIC


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


J.C. Tarasco Construction & Painting

GCROX: So share with us how you got started in construction TARASCO: Well, my dad was a builder in California’s Bay Area, and I cut my teeth in the industry working with and for him. We built all types of buildings, including apartments, single-family residential and commercial. GCROX: Where did you go from there? TARASCO: In 1992 I moved my focus out to the Central Valley, and Fresno was experiencing a bit of a boom. I built and sold several homes really quickly, and times were good! But the weather was not ideal - I kind of got sick of the tulle fog - and on a winter vacation to Scottsdale my wife and I said “this is it!”. So in 1993 we sold everything and moved to Mesa, where we became involved in purchasing, remodeling and re-selling houses. It was the tail end of the RTC crisis, and business was good for a while and we had some fun and experienced more good times. Then my wife died unexpectedly and I took some time off to refocus, recharge and work on my golf game. One day I happened to be going down to Tucson and just by chance got off the freeway and drove around Casa Grande. I stumbled into the foothills area northeast of town and discovered Val Vista Estates (VVE), a new development of 1+ ac lots with paved road, all utilities, and great views. I was so impressed that

I bought several lots and built myself a home, and that is how I came to be involved in Casa Grande. CGROX: So this was the mid-1990s, just ahead of an amazing boom in real estate interest; what did you do next? TARASCO: Yes, unbeknownst to me, my move to Casa Grande was the start of some very good times. At that time, there were lots of buyers looking around for custom homes on acreage lots. People would find their way into VVE, look around, run into me, take a look at my house and the extra-fine quality I built into it, and ask me to build for them. Eventually I built another five homes in the subdivision, and things worked out really well. CGROX: Were you building in any other markets during that period? TARASCO: No, I dedicated myself to custom homes in and around Casa Grande. CGROX: Well, we think everyone knows what happened next. TARASCO: Yes! Most of the construction I did in the boom times was for move-up customers who were ready to sell their existing homes and move up to a larger, more custom-designed home tailored to their personal tastes, and when real estate values plummeted, they could no longer access the equity they (thought they) had built up. So the custom home business here just died. Completely. GCROX: How did you adjust your business to cope with the so-called Real Estate Bubble and the “Great Recession”? TARASCO: We figured that people still want to improve

Val Vista Estates Lot 8 9121 N. Black Butte Lane

N 520-836-8780


their circumstances and environment even if and when they are not able to completely change their residential footprint, so we changed our focus to remodels and additions, both residential and commercial, and started looking at work back up in the Phoenix metropolitan area. We thought it was important to maintain the continuity of our business because of the quality of the workforce we had built up, including valued local subcontractors such as Brutinel Plumbing, K&M Roofing, Mid-State HVAC and AZ Central Supply. And that is just what we did. GCROX: What was your biggest surprise, or unintended consequence during these years? TARASCO: That gets back to the quality issue. We have always had an extreme insistence on quality; lots of people can build for budget, but it takes a real commitment to always get the quality right. So when most of the jobs being bid became more sensitive to cost than quality, we found we had to make more adjustments, or just not seek that work. GCROX: What is your current outlook for renewed custom home demand for 2014? TARASCO: After many years now of being falsely optimistic, we expect an absolute avalanche of new starts in 2014. We stay in close touch with our suppliers, and almost every one of them is seeing a huge increase in near-term future orders. GCROX: How will JC Tarasco, Contractor get its share of new business? What is your marketing plan? TARASCO: The biggest business generator for a builder like us is the local real estate broker community. People who have a desire to build a custom home generally need to sell their existing home and have a good idea of where they want their new one to be. Who has a handle on both of those needs? Local real estate

brokers! So we intend to stay very close to our local broker community, keeping them informed that we will treat their customers well. GCROX: What are the “hot” trends in custom homes right now? TARASCO: Master suites! (laughing) There is a continued movement towards personal space and luxury: separate sitting room, with fireplace, giant showers, dual heads, upgraded tile, giant jacuzzi tubs, you name it! And outdoor living spaces: large space for furniture, very wide rollaway doors, with fireplace and outdoor kitchen. Everyone wants a casita, too: separate entrance, with privacy for guests, mother-in-law, office, whatever. And we always suggest a cooktop in the island, with its own vent hood, which just increases the socialization possibilities in today’s great rooms - prewired, of course, for every type of sound and theater effect possible. GCROX: Tell us (briefly) about the standard specifications for a 3,500sf +/- JC Tarasco custom home, like the one shown in your ad. TARASCO: Glad you asked: 4br/3ba, great room, separate dining room, big master suite 2x6 construction, extra insulation everywhere 10’ ceilings, 8’ solid wood doors, upgraded hardware everywhere 3-car (minimum) side-loaded garage Complete site landscaping, with pool/water features (if desired) GCROX: Any final words for our readers? TARASCO: We really think Casa Grande is a super place to live and work. I have lived here for almost 20 years, love it, and intend to stay, even though we have had to seek contracting work elsewhere during the recent recessionary times; when we are at jobs up in Phoenix, I can’t wait to return home to Casa Grande. Happy New Year!

CALL US TODAY! 520-836-5802

toll free: 1-800-839-5802

“Integrity, Excellence, Strong Work Ethic”


FREE QUOTES call for more details

Call us for trustworthy service. Our people are exceptional. We are still learning from the Master….. Bob Brutinel.

600 E. 1st St., Casa Grande, AZ 85122


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine



Pool Company


Here’s Why SAN JUAN Fiberglass Pools!! • San Juan Pools started the fiberglass pool industry in 1958 and has been manufacturing the finest pools ever since. • San Juan Pools has almost 50 years of experience in building quality fiberglass pools. All other f/g companies have been manufacturing pools for far less. • San Juan Pools is the largest manufacturer of fiberglass pools in the world, with over 67,000 pools installed. • San Juan Pools is the leader in the fiberglass pool industry with numerous manufacturing facilities including seven distribution centers through out the United States and Canada. This provides us the ability to ship pools and spas within 10 days. • San Juan Pools manufacture and inventory over 65 pool models. The model selection includes a series of One-piece Pool and Spa combinations, Infinity Edge Pools, and Free-Form Pools. • San Juan Pools uses 100% vinyl ester resin throughout the entire laminate structure. Vinyl ester resin is the toughest, most impenetrable and most expensive resin used in the fiberglass industry today. San Juan Pools is the only manufacturer that uses vinyl ester resin throughout the entire process. • San Juan Pools have a minimum of five hand laid layers of fiberglass. Unlike other companies, we do not use chopped fiberglass, coring or other fillers that can make walls brittle and inhibit the flexural strength of the fiberglass. This allows our pool to expand and contract with expansive soils, earthquakes and freezing temperatures. • San Juan Pools uses a satin smooth 32-mil gel coat finish on its pool surfaces, consisting of two separate16-mil applications of gel coat. Our special formula white gel coat finish applied on our pool surfaces is much more resistant to fading than the colored finishes that other companies offer. Our white gel coat finish stands up to the test of time. • San Juan Pools offer a 25 year structural warranty; San Juan Fiberglass Pools has been in continuous business for almost 50 years. *Caution: Some companies offer a lifetime warranty (that means 7 years in most jurisdictions). • San Juan Pools incorporates a third party customer satisfaction survey upon job completion. At San Juan we are not happy until our customers are happy. San Juan Pools goal is to offer you the most elegant and durable pool made. POOL BUYING COMPARATIVE FEATURES

SAN JUAN Fiberglass Pools BENEFITS

vs Gunite Difference

vs Vinyl Liner Difference

All-weather tolerant, stress-free, pet friendly. 17x stronger than concrete (flexural strength)

Rigid, cracks with movement

Punctures and tears (not pet friendly)


Manufactured, controlled quality assurance process

On-site constructed, quality dependent on work force

Pre-fabricated liner, site assembled walls


Requires none (when well maintained)

Acid washes, remarcite, plaster & paint required

Liner replacements, tears, pulls from coping

Smooth, silky feel

Very rough, equal to 80 grit sandpaper

Slippery, rough seams

Algae-resistant, cannot adhere to pool surface

Constant, grows through walls, attaches to pores

Troublesome, grows in seams, mildews into soil through liner



Less than an hour weekly

5 hours/week

5 hours/week

Minimal required

Considerably more required (water and vessel)

Slightly more required (water and vessel)

65+ models


Can be limited

Circulate 4 - 6 hours/day

Circulate 10 hours/day

Circulate 6 - 8 hours/day


Within days (dependent on site conditions & options)

8 + weeks

2 - 5 weeks


Seamless stairs, swim outs, benches, sundecks

Shallow end stairs (additions at a cost)

Drop in type or ladders

25 year (structural) non-prorated

Commonly only one year by contractor

Only if seam separates/pro-rated






Let San Juan Make It Happen For You!

Family Fun Fiberglass Pools A Lifetime of Memories! • • • • • • • • • •

Over 900 Model/Color Combinations Green, Eco Friendly Construction Built-in Automatic Safety Covers Beach Entry / Tanning Ledges Swim Lane Pools & Spas Satin Smooth Color Finishes All Glass Tile Pools Salt Water Pools Self Cleaning Pools Hydro Therapy Spas

Prices starting at $20,000

Proudly Made in the USA – in Eloy, Arizona SAN JUAN POOLS We are the world’s leader in fiberglass swimming pool technology and have been crafting quality fiberglass pools since 1958

Badger Fence & Fiberglass Pools Your LOCAL San Juan Pools distributor



Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


Between a Mortgage Banker and a traditional bank when it comes to getting a mortgage? M

any people think that they should just contact their bank when they want to get a mortgage on a home. There are many differences between a traditional bank and a mortgage banker when it comes to getting a mortgage. A mortgage bank typically will work with as many as a dozen or more banks and mortgage companies thus allowing for greater diversification of loan programs and guidelines. This allows a consumer to have more options and often better rates than they might get by just contacting their local bank. Mortgage bankers such as VIP Mortgage, Inc. will process, approve and fund most of their loans locally and therefore much quicker than a bank who will often have a centralized location that handles much of the mortgage process. Because a mortgage banker does not just sell their loans to one specific bank they will typically have more programs available to them. Many banks have “overlays” or essentially make their own rules about lending on mortgages. Some of these overlays are much more stringent than the governing agencies such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and VA have. Basically they sent their own tighter lending rules. While mortgage bankers may have overlays as well –they are often operating with multiple investors they may be able to opt to place the loan with a bank or mortgage company that has

fewer or no overlays thus following the guidelines set directly with the government agencies. Because of this many people who may get turned down for a mortgage with their bank can often find it easier to get financed with a mortgage banker. Another major difference between a mortgage banker and a bank is with their Loan Officers. Loan officers who work for mortgage bankers must hold a license. To obtain this license they must have taken licensing courses and taken very stringent state and national tests. They must also take continuing education classes each year to maintain that license. Loan officers who work for federally chartered banks do not have to hold a license. Many times they have much less experience than a mortgage banker loan officer does. In this ever changing environment of mortgage lending more experience and knowledge is almost always better for the consumer. Working with a lender who works directly with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA and USDA will allow the consumer the greatest chance of getting their loan approved and closed quickly. For any questions or further information on this or any other mortgage related topics please contact Marcia Volin – Loan Officer with VIP Mortgage, Inc. at 602-228-7324.

Before you Buy or refinance a home

first take this step.

Start with a licensed and experienced loan officer. Recent changes to both FHA and Conventional loans could affect the ability of some people to qualify. Some people that may have previously qualified will find more obstacles and some that thought they could not qualify for several years may find that they can now qualify sooner than they thought. Many people think that you have to have 20% or more to put down on a home to make a purchase. Some areas require little or no down payment. How can you find out what type of mortgage you might be eligible for? The best way is to start is by talking with a licensed and experienced loan officer familiar with the programs available. You will then typically know what kinds of mortgages are available to you and how much you are able to qualify for. You can then confidently begin to shop for a home or begin saving money with a refinance. This process is free and takes only about 5-10 minutes over the phone. So, before you take your first step, step into our office.


Where the most important person is you.

V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc. does Business in Accordance with Federal Fair Lending Laws. V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc. is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or the Federal Government. V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc. is approved to participate in FHA programs but the products and services performed by V.I.P. Mortgage, Inc. are not coming directly from HUD or FHA. Regulated by the CO Division of Real Estate Mortgage Banker License No. BK-0909074

Marcia Volin NMLS# 205134 V.I.P. NMLS #397200

2900 W. Ray Rd; Ste 5 Chandler, AZ 85224

o. 480-588-3845 c. 602.228.7324

free appraisaL!

Up to $450. Reimbursed upon successful closing of mortgage. VIPRM1312

It’s Patio Season Beat the heat, get your shade on! JANUARY

Aluminum... • • • •

Lattice Patio Covers Solid Patio Covers/Carports Window Awnings Privacy Screens

Customizable • No Painting No Warping or Cracking Termite Resistant Lifetime Ltd Mfg Warranty




Patio Installation of $1000 or more Offer must be mentioned at time of purchase. Offer Expires 03-31-14.


520.836.9234 Since 1989 Licensed • Bonded • Insured • ROC#B3-124074



Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


Birds N Blossoms

Vestal goes on to say, “But overall it’s been really good. I mean, last winter and spring were great and then of course, this fall has been really good.” “Part of the success was from advertising in the local newspaper and in a now defunct lifestyles magazine”, Vestal said, “but much of it has been reaching out in the old downtown area.” “What we do as far as going out, is doing the flowers on tables in three restaurants [Cook E Jar, Big House Cafe and Feli’s Cuban Kitchen] and that really does help us”. “And we keep our business cards back to back on each arrangement and they disappear. And the people come in. They’ll even come on Monday and knock on the door when we’re closed and say we were at Mary Ann’s. That’s been really good.” “I think the other thing that we do – not that the other people don’t – is we have a lot of hospitality, we offer coffee and sometimes wine. We enjoy people and we enjoy them coming in.” Many people want to see the garden patio at the back of the building, passing through the arrangement area and dining room. Vestal said, “They want to see the dining room and we let them use it during business hours,” he continued, “we have a lot of little groups of eight around this table, or six around that table. In addition to floral, Vestal sells furniture and larger home

Local Decor & More!

décor item items. There’s no catalog. You tell Vestal what you’re looking for and he tries to find it while out and about. “We do go out scouting for people, we take orders for people,” he said. “Most of our furniture is from estate sales or second hand dealers. If there is something you would like, we’d be on the lookout for it, we’d take a picture of it and email it to you and say, hey, is this something that fits the bill. And if they say yes, then we buy it, bring it home and sell it to them.” “So I think the diversity is a lot of it, that it’s a lot of different things.” Vestal arrived in Casa Grande from Hawaii, wanting to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren. “We saw the ‘For Rent’ sign in this window out here and it got us thinking and scheming and planning,” he said. “I was a florist for nine years. I’ve had several careers, but over the years in different clumps of time I’ve done floral design full time.” The business now has one glassed floral cooler, but “we’re already planning to turn one of the rooms into a walk-in cooler,” Vestal said. “We’ll insulate the entire 12 by 12 room and chill it. It will be display space as well, it’s not just a refrigerator, it will be a display area - ought to be fun!” “It’ll be brightly lit with that new LED lighting that doesn’t have any heat to it and we plan to use rustic garden type furniture and display the arrangements on furniture in the cooler room. And we’ll have maybe a water feature in there and some


plants if they can bear the cold. Otherwise, we’ll have a grow light with a garden area outside the cooler room.” “I understand we’re going to be on the garden tour in April, which will be kind of fun, so we’ll try to beef that up a little bit


before then with some blooming plants and things like that.” “We like working with the local merchants, in the old downtown area and find Casa Grande a warm and welcoming place to be”.

Birds n’ Blossoms Flowers • Gifts • Home • Decor $

5 off $30 or more purchase


10 off $100 or more purchase

Showroom (520) 836-2458 115 E. 4th St., Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Dean Vestal Cell (808) 230-4061


MANKEL Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

MECHANICAL By Paula Leslie


started Mankel Mechanical in 1999 with Eddie Mankel - he's the brawn; I'm the brains. He is actually the qualifying party for the plumbing license and has over thirty years’ experience in the field. He began his humble plumbing beginnings at age twelve working for Vern Hancock at Hancock Plumbing. He worked for several companies mainly located in the Phoenix area where he honed his residential plumbing skills and learned commercial and industrial plumbing. Starting as a journeyman plumber for Beck Plumbing, he advanced to superintendent overseeing the plumbing for several multi-story projects in the valley. This experience ultimately gave him the confidence to begin his own company (with the help of me!). Mankel Mechanical plumbed houses in the Coyote Ranch, Mountain View Ranch and Santa Rosa subdivisions in Casa Grande. More recently, we have worked with Capital R Construction on the Odyssey Preparatory Academy in Casa Grande and another charter school in Phoenix. We are near completion on the second phase of the Tierra Pointe Apartments, and also had the privilege of working with FCI Constructors on the

Heritage Fire Station #575 in Maricopa. We were involved in the addition for the Pinal County Cowboy Church, and are now part of the total remodel of the historic Pink Pony Restaurant in Scottsdale. Mankel Mechanical has for the most part been geared toward new construction and remodel projects but with the addition of extra office staff and a service technician and fully stocked van, we are now venturing more into the service industry as well. Ed and I met in 1989 while working for the same plumbing company. So, the other half of this partnership is me! I have 30 years office management experience and a degree in journalism and marketing management. When there is a concern at a job site, you’ll more than likely deal with Ed. When there is a concern about paperwork for a project, you’ll more than likely deal with me. We may seem an odd couple at first, but it's worked for us. Mankel Mechanical will be celebrating its 15th year in business in 2014. That’s a great accomplishment for us and we wouldn’t have done it without a great crew and great customers.




Service & Repair

New Construction Remodels & Updates Drain Cleaning Gas Lines

• • • •

Re-Pipes Water Heaters Sewer Lines Backflows & Testing

520-316-9120 Licensed • Bonded • Insured AZ ROC 145043 • TX M - 39082

Serving Arizona Since 1999

All Of Our Employees Are Drug Tested & Background Chceked To Provide Better Service To You!




Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation C

“I Served our country now let me serve you!”

hacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. was established in August 1999 by Jose Antonio Chacon. Since its humble beginnings, Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. has become a local, state, and federally recognized service provider in the landscaping industry. Chacon’s

Landscaping has been providing landscaping and irrigation services to Casa Grande and the surrounding areas for over fourteen years. Chacon’s Landscaping & its affiliates have broad experience in providing quality services for commercial, residential, government and private entities.

SERVICES Jose Antonio Chacon is owner and president of Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. Jose has a wealth of knowledge and over twenty years of experience in the landscaping and irrigation fields and also has a Bachelors of Science of Business Management, University of Phoenix & Minor in Engineering from Central Arizona College

Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. offers a variety of services, which include but are not limited to the following: • Irrigation Installation and Repairs • Tree Trimming • Weed Control • Lawn Installation • Tree and Shrub Installation • Yard Maintenance • Landscape Rock Installation • Landscape Renovations • Pavers and Flagstone Installation


Chacon’s Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. personnel are knowledgeable, experienced, and highly motivated individuals who strive to provide our clients with quality service.



Call today to schedule an appointment New landscape installation, landscape renovation, irrigation systemS and testing & Repairs, Landscape maintenance preventitive residential & commercial weed control, lot clearing/clean-ups, tree pruning/stabilization/removal

Chacon's Landscaping & Irrigation, Inc. is one of the premier full service landscaping companies in the Casa Grande area.

(520) 421-3489


SDVOSB and OSHA certified

Don't trust your landscaping to anyone with a lawnmower!






520-826-3244 719 E. Cottonwood Ln Casa Grande, AZ GEBINS.COM


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

Tee Pee Sand & Gravel


ee Pee Sand & Gravel was started in 1990 by long-time Casa Grande residents, husband and wife team, Tim and Shirley Tate. Their primary goal was to service home owners in Pinal County. With a desire to provide customers with sand, ABC and river rock they started mining and washing their own products. In the early times of the business this goal was achieved with only one dump truck and one loader. As the business grew and flourished, and more man power was required, Tim’s father, Dee Tate, began helping by running the loader a few hours a day. He continued

to help out for the next 14 years. In the late 1990’s, as water conservation and natural desert landscaping grew in popularity, Tee Pee Sand & Gravel slowly began adding decorative rock products to their inventory. Today they have over 35 different colors in multiple sizes for their customers to choose from. They also carry rip rap, boulders, fill dirt, and topsoil. In 2006 Tim and Shirley’s son in law, Blaine Dominy, started working for them in hopes to carry on the family business. He has also helped to diversify Tee

Pee’s product line to include not only decorative rock, sand, and river rock: but also flagstone, bagged cement products, garden planters, and benches. Tee Pee Sand & Gravel continues to expand and grow to meet the needs of home owners, businesses and landscapers alike. For more information come visit us at our yard and check out our comprehensive display of decorative rock. We are located at the Northwest corner of Interstate 8 and Trekell Rd just south of Casa Grande. You can also check us out online at

Pick Up Or Deilvery Available Family Owned & Operated Since 1990

YOUR #1 Source for Decorative Rock in Casa Grande! • Decorative Rock • River Rock • Sand • ABC Visit our landscape display yard! SEE OUR AD IN CASA GRANDE

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(520) 836-3879 Serving Pinal County

4970 S. Trekell Rd. Casa Grande, AZ


Serving Casa Grande & surrounding areas including Maricopa, Florence and San Tan Valley

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We Do

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One life making Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

other lives better, one day at a time…

arded 1944 -

Silver Star Aw

Jaycees Community Clean-up



veryone at Brutinel Plumbing & Electrical wholeheartedly agrees that one person can make a difference in our world. One person can make his life count in such a way that he is an encouragement and a blessing to all with whom he comes in contact. You may ask, “How do we know this?” We have the honor and privilege of seeing such a man as this every day of the week. Bob Brutinel, founder of Brutinel Plumbing in 1949, is such a man. Bob has been a humble example of commitment, integrity, courage (he is a decorated WWII Marine here) and encouragement. He model’s such time-honored values as hard work, faithfulness to his God and family, helping his neighbor, honesty and fairness, and a genuine willingness to do whatever it takes to generously touch the lives of those around him. His presence in our business is the single most significant human factor that gives us all a sense of purpose as we attempt to serve our community and provide for each of our families. His strong character and moral compass continues to guide us and embrace us today with a life that beats brightly with a heart for serving and helping others. Let us share with you the story of how this man and his family came to Casa Grande. Bob’s father, Don Brutinel, was born to French parents who immigrated to the USA from Paris, France in 1889. They raised goats on San Clemente Island before relocating to Colorado City, Texas to raise sheep. Don Brutinel’s father, Bob’s grandfather, was killed by a cattleman when Don was 5 years old. Don’s mother returned to Paris following her husband’s murder to be with family to mourn her loss. Soon thereafter she received a letter that she needed to return quickly to Texas because the person she left her sheep business with was doing a very poor job and all would be lost if she did not come quickly. She left her son Don and her daughter in Brutinel, France with family members,

I guess we are moving to Casa Grande to open up our own Plumbing Shop!




with the intent of sending for them as soon as she had the business stabilized. Well it ended up being 8 years before Don and his sister Jenny were rejoined with their mother in Clifton, Arizona. Don Brutinel spoke only French when he returned to the states but he was a quick learner and adapted well to his reentry to the US. When World War I came along Don enlisted in the Army and served his country well. In fact, because he was fluent in both French and Italian, Don was able to be an interpreter between Italian and French Diplomats and American military commanders at the Treaty of Versailles in Paris at the end of WWI. While in Paris Don fell in love with a young Parisian girl named Emily. When WWI was over Don was shipped home but he left his heart in Paris with young Emily. He worked with his brothers growing cotton in Glendale, Arizona, but he was so forlorn for his beloved Emily that his brothers finally raised enough money for Don to return to Paris to be with his love, which he did. Don and Emily were soon married in Paris and Don was able to get a job with the US Government Grave Registration Department to help with identifying and returning the remains of US soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War. In 1922 Don and Emily had a daughter, Emily, in Paris and then moved to the United States in 1924. While traveling to return to Clifton, AZ, Bob Brutinel was born in Bob El Paso, Texas in September of that same year. Brutinel Bob Brutinel was raised in Clifton, Arizona and at the early age of 5 he and his sister Emily accompanied his mother back to Paris for her final visit to see her family. They ended up staying five months and when they returned Bob, just as when his father was a child, spoke better French than English. Bob had a happy childhood growing up in Clifton, always helping his father in the many enterprises that he had started, including renting space to the Cottonwood Inn Restaurant in the Brutinel Building, delivering mail to Morenci and even delivering ice cream. Bob had many friends growing up in Clifton and he loved playing football. He had two younger brothers, Donnie who later would lose his life while serving in the Korean War, and his youngest brother Maurice who would go on to be a very successful banker in Prescott, Arizona. WWII began and Bob enlisted in the USMC as soon as he was old enough. He did his basic training in San Diego and was soon shipped off to the South Pacific to New Caledonia. Bob and his Company were part of many landings in the South Pacific including the Guadalcanal, Vella Lavella, and Choiseul in the Solomon Islands, where the PT 109 captained by John F Kennedy picked up a few of Bob’s comrades who were being driven into the ocean by the enemy. H Company, 27th Marines, 5th Division, which Bob was a part of, was fully involved in the battle on Iwo Jima. Of the 360 men in his H Company only 45 made it out alive. Through his gallant and courageous efforts Bob was awarded the Silver Star for saving many lives by knocking out a machine gun pill box single-handedly with a flame thrower. Bob was wounded on Iwo Jima and spent a short time recovering at the temporary Iwo Jima base hospital. The doctor wanted to send Bob back to a real hospital in Guam but Bob refused to leave the island because he did not want to be separated from his outfit and he wanted to rejoin them as soon as possible. While in the hospital Bob began receiving letters from a young lady from Casa Grande, Arizona, Maxine Hancock. Maxine was attending the University of Arizona in Tucson and one of her classmates was from Clifton and she was a friend of the Brutinel family. She heard that Bob had been wounded and had suggested Maxine to start sending letters to “Bobby” to encourage him. Bob began receiving regular letters from Maxine and he wrote back thanking her for the encouragement and assured her when he got back home he would look her up. Shortly after the war ended Bob was honorably discharged and went home to Clifton. Soon thereafter Bob made his way to meet and visit with Maxine Hancock. He liked what he saw and so did Continued on page 70


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

Continued from page 69 Maxine and the two were married in June of 1947. While Maxine finished her last year of college at the U of A, Bob went to work for Don Means Plumbing in Tucson and went through the local union apprenticeship program. In early 1949 the economy slowed down and Bob was not able to find enough good work. Jay and Billie Wilson were a couple from Casa Grande that Bob and Maxine has become friends with and one weekend Jay showed up with a big moving truck and announced that he was there to move Maxine and Bob to Casa Grande so Bob could start a new Plumbing Company. Bob sheepishly confessed to Maxine that he and Jay had talked a little bit about this possibility but the thought of taking such a big step was a little intimidating. When Jay showed up with the truck, Bob looked at Maxine and said, “I guess we are moving to Casa Grande to open up our own Plumbing Shop!” That was 64 years ago in 1949. The first couple of years Bob worked out of his house and began to build his business with the same integrity that God had formed in him to build his life: Vacationing in work hard, be humble, treat people better than you Brutinel, France, 1990 want to be treated and always be generous, helping and fair. That first year if you were to call Brutinel Plumbing for a service call you would expect to get a bill charged out at $2.50 per hour plus material. Bob raised a beautiful family of four children, Mark, Patsy, Beth and Diane and today is reaping the benefits of being a grandfather and great grandfather. Bob is 89 years old today and still gets excited about coming into work every day. You may be asking, “Is this man for real?” We respond with a resounding YES!!! We love Bob Brutinel. As we complete 64 years of service to our community and look forward to many more years of service to come, our goal is to continue responding to the needs of our community in the same spirit that God has instilled within Bob Brutinel.

Dear LORD, thank you for Bob Brutinel.

LOS CONQUISTADORS photo circa 1965-1970

This was a local group of community leaders and business owners that formed an informal search and rescue group. One former member still in the area didn't recall ever being called to action, but did remember the monthly dinner meetings at the members homes, the comradery of four-wheel 'training' and exploring Arizona and the family outings to the mountains in search of the perfect Christmas tree. The group formed in the mid 1960s and ended in the late 1970s.

L-R: Bill Kephart, Bill Ehrdman, Ben Kortsen, Bill Poleet, Harlan Russell, Vern Walton, Bill Scott, Bob Brutinel, Duncan Butler, Jim Benedict, Doc (Jim) O'Neil

You and

your HOA By Liz Reynolds, CMCA, AMS


embers of our community association board have a big responsibility, and they have the legal authority to carry out their roles. Where do they get this authority? First, most states have statutes—such as a condominium act or homeowner association act— that legally empower elected volunteer community association boards to act on behalf of all owners collectively. Also, our association is subject to the state’s nonprofit corporation code, which confers on the board the authority to act on the corporation’s behalf. Second, the association’s governing documents— such as the declaration; bylaws; and covenants, conditions and restrictions—which are recognized by the state as binding documents, bestow legal authority on the board and define the scope of that authority. On the flip side, however, the same statutes and documents that gives boards’ legal authority to levy assessments and make rules, also create an obligation for elected board members to act responsibly. What is this entity that collects your assessments, mows the lawn and occasionally throws a party? One way to think of our community association is as a service organization that provides three types of services to owners and residents. • Community maintenance services - collecting trash, publishing the newsletter, orienting new owners, conducting meetings and sponsoring social activities. • Governance services - fulfilling legal obligations, resolving disputes, enforcing community policies, administering design review policies, and recruiting new volunteer leaders. • Business services - operating and maintaining the common areas, competitively bidding maintenance work, investing reserve funds, developing long-range plans and collecting assessments. The board and manager make every effort to deliver these services fairly and effectively to protect and enhance the value of our homes—and the lenders’ interests in our homes. They also strive, through collective participation and mutual decision making, to preserve that intrinsic value called “quality of life” that is at the heart of the community association concept.

BIO ABOUT LIZ: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/ Communications from Purdue University. I have managed a portfolio of community associations in Casa Grande for five years. I hold two national designations through the CAI (Community Associations Institute): Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) and Association Management Specialist (AMS).




1. Protect your self-interests. Protect your property values and maintain the quality of life in your community. 2. Correct a problem. Has your car been towed, or do you think maybe maintenance has been neglected? 3. Be sociable. Meet your neighbors, make friends, and exchange opinions. 4. Give back. Repay a little of what’s been done for you. 5. Advance your career. Build your personal resume by including your community volunteer service. 6. Have some fun. Association work isn’t drudgery. It’s fun accomplishing good things with your neighbors. 7. Get educated. Learn how it’s done—we’ll train you. 8. Express yourself. Help with creative projects like community beautification. 9. Earn recognition. If you would like a little attention or validation, your contributions will be recognized and celebrated. 10. Try some altruism. Improve society by helping others. As a homeowner in our association, you have certain rights—and responsibilities.


• A responsive and competent community association. • Honest, fair, and respectful treatment by community leaders and managers. • Attend meetings, serve on committees, and run for election. • Access appropriate association records. • Prudent financial management of fees and other assessments. • Live in a community where the property is maintained according to established standards. • Fair treatment regarding financial and other association obligations, including the opportunity to discuss payment plans and options before the association takes any legal action, and the right to appeal decisions. • Receive all rules and regulations governing the community association—if not prior to purchase and settlement, then upon joining the community. You also have the responsibility to . . . • Maintain your property according to established standards. • Treat association leaders with honesty and respect. • Read and comply with rules and regulations of the community and ensure that your tenants and guest do too. • Vote in community elections and on other issues. • Pay association assessments and charges on time. • Contact association leaders or managers, if necessary, to discuss financial obligations and alternative payment arrangements. • Request reconsideration of material decisions that personally affect you. • Provide your current contact information to the association so you receive all information from the community. As a recognized homeowners association, our community has a board to help our HOA run smoothly. The board consists of volunteers who execute a wide variety of tasks you may not be aware of; however, their work affects every single resident. One of the most important things the board does is create and enforce the association rules. While some residents may not like being told what they can and can’t do, ultimately the board is looking out for the greater good. By enforcing the rules, the board is doing its best to keep property value up and conflicts down. Of course, the board wants to make sure the rules are beneficial for the majority— and hopefully all—residents. You are welcome to raise concerns about the rules at open board meetings. Another major responsibility of the board is to collect assessments from homeowners. Collecting this money is important for the stability of the association, because the assessments pay for the common elements enjoyed by all residents. Assessments also help to replenish the reserve funds, which pay for any major repairs the association may need. The board is responsible for the association’s finances, and collecting assessments is how it ensures that the association remains solvent. Finally, the board acts on behalf of the association by hiring managers, attorneys, contractors and other professionals who help better the association. Board members also help conceive and lead many of the projects that will improve the HOA. While it’s a big job, board members are happy to serve the residents and make the community a great place to call home. So why not learn more about what these volunteers do by talking to your board members, attending an open board meeting or even running for a seat on the board during our next election? The more people we have looking out for our association, the stronger it will be.



Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


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Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


By William Rouland

Healthy Gardens Hydroponics & Aquaponics 520-510-3111 • 1115 E. Florence Blvd., Suite D • (Behind Compass Bank)


hroughout history, gardening has been an everyday way of life in all areas of Earth. Although many people believe the only true way to garden is the old fashion soil and seeds, times are changing. Versions of hydroponics and aquaponics have been around for many centuries. Technology makes the possibilities with hydroponics and aquaponics nearly endless. While being easy to maintain, the benefits for these systems outrank soil in many ways. With the need for truly organic plants on an upward spiral, Hydroponics and aquaponics are the way to go. A huge wall that blocks gardeners in Arizona is the fact that the soil is not very sustainable for gardening along with the heat and drought that we often experience; this is not a problem with hydroponics and aquaponics. What is hydroponics? Put simply hydroponics is growing without soil. You maintain your plants by directly giving the plant the nutrients through their roots. The benefit to this method is the fact that the plant does not have to extend its roots out through soil to search for the nutrients that they need. As the grower, we are responsible for ensuring that the plant receives the nutrients it needs directly into the reservoir which is fed to the roots. With that strain on the roots eliminated in hydroponics, the plant is able to produce much happier and healthier fruits. Along with knowing exactly what our plants are soaking up. They eat what we give them, no more guessing what harmful pesticides or soil bound diseases that our plants consume. This allows our plants to grow quicker and produce better yields. In Arizona, we all know about the heat, the sun and lack of rain, which can put a huge burden on what we want to plant. With hydroponics, you are able to plant, grow and produce virtually anything that you want. The grower controls the temperature, light, humidity and the water. Hydroponics surprisingly uses a lot less water than a soil based plant, plus the water can be recycled and reused repeatedly. Aquaponics, the mixture of hydroponics and aqua culture, basically means using fish, or other compatible species to maintain a truly organic and well-nourished garden without the use of soil. With this system you have the capability to start out small and scale up. There are three common types of aquaponic systems, 1.) The deep water raft aquaponics, which is commonly used for commercial means; this is floating styrofoam rafts in a deep aquaculture basin. 2.) The recirculating aquaponics (closed loop aquaponics) which solid media such as gravel or clay held in a grow bed which is flooded throughout the day, and 3.) The reciprocating aquaponics (flood and drain aquaponics) which is

a grow bed with a solid media which is flooded and then drained using types of siphon drains. With aquaponics you have the grow bed nourished with the fish tank water, resulting in a win-win situation. The fish grow the plants and in return the plants clean the ammonia (nitrogen) out of the water for the fish. The best part of this system is the only thing you need to maintain is keeping your fish fed and replenishing the water that you lose with the amount that the plants consume and evaporation. Not only are you able to harvest your produce but the fish are harvested as well. Around the world, aquaponics is becoming more popular and widely used by shelters, missionaries along with the military as a way to produce vegetables and fish in a limited space, also replenishing areas of the world that have no other means of fresh produce because of war, and poverty. This system is becoming widely used to feed the homeless, drug addicted, even our very own soldiers. Not only does aquaponics have the capability to nourish our people it also brings the opportunity to sell your harvest to support your very own family. Both hydroponics and aquaponics systems are extremely beneficial; with a little time and some research the results are endless. Any age, healthy, or disabled, you are capable of maintaining the gardens. These systems are the way to go. No more bending, no more weeds and no more tedious work. The benefits are tremendous. As a gardener, if you are looking for an easy, organic, stress free way to grow, I recommend these systems.



The 4rd Annual Casa Grande Garden and Landscape Tour By Richard Gibson - Extension Agent, Agriculture University of ArizonaPinal County Cooperative Extension Office College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


xcitement is building for April 5, 2014, the day of the upcoming Fourth Annual Casa Grande Garden and Landscape Tour. This popular event showcases some of the great home landscapes here in Casa Grande. The Garden and Landscape Tour is an annual event presented by local University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and other community volunteers. Cooperative Extension is a part of the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The tour committee is co-chaired by Master Gardener Marge Jantz and community member Robyn Abbott. Casa Grande Master Gardener Coordinator BJ Seemuth is also on the team. In its first three years, the Tour has drawn many people from local communities and from Phoenix and Tucson. The Tour has rapidly become known as a place to come enjoy and learn. The reason is this: there is a lot to see. Some participants focus primarily on growing mostly fruits and vegetables. They like edible landscapes. Others plant a variety of different types of trees and shrubs that they integrate into fascinating displays of color and form. Still others use plants to create pleasing outdoor living spaces that add space and allow easy

access from indoor areas. Some combine all three. No matter what the focus, each landscape has been pleasant to visit and experience. This year should be no exception. There are so many intriguing yards yet to see. Perhaps you would like to share yours? If so, the committee will start taking nominations beginning in January of 2014. If you or someone you know might be interested, please feel free to send your nomination to the Cooperative Extension office here in Casa Grande, 820 E. Cottonwood Lane, Building C, Casa Grande, AZ 85122. You may also call and leave a message at 520.836.5221, extension 204. The event committee is especially interested in looking for these specific kinds of gardens and landscapes: sustainable gardens with a vegetable garden or a citrus grove, xeriscape landscapes that showcases low water use plants; hardscape or gardens using specific design such as gardens built around fountains, patios and gazebos; specialty gardens, such as gardens with interesting features like butterfly gardens or outdoor sculpture; and community gardens that benefit the public. If you are interested in attending this exciting event, watch for the

announcements and directions that will start appearing in March of 2014. As soon as the tour details are finalized, maps and complete information will be made available. There will be notices in the newspapers, as well as on the Pinal County Cooperative Extension’s website, http:// Gardens and landscapes can provide many benefits to our homes and communities. From fresh food for the table to low water use plants that conserve water, plants add extra value to our property and our lives. Come help us celebrate outdoor living by attending the 2014 Casa Grande Garden and Landscape Tour, April 5, 2014. Those who come are sure to pick up great ideas for their own yards.

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520-426-1160 520-316-0502

Serving Casa Grande, Arizona City, Coolidge, Eloy & Maricopa Since 1982 Locally Owned & Operated ROC Lic. #15238BC

Associates in Pediatric & Internal Medicine Michael P. Ridge, M.D., F.A.A.P., A.B.I.M. Darryl R. Brown, M.D. LaTrecia M. Herring, M.D., F.A.A.P., A.B.I.M. Douglas E. Parkin, M.D., F.A.A.P. Craig W. Connor, PA-C Kevin G. Hall, PA-C Denise C. Sarsam, RN, MSN, FNP-C C. Marlene Hoeft, RN, MSN, FNP-C Derral E. Hawthorne, PA-C Kelsie D. Pate, RN, MSN, FNP-C

560 N Camino Mercado, Suite 7 Casa Grande, AZ 85122

(520) 836-5538 (800) 895-5538 Fax (520) 876-0878


Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine


that tucked away on the

West side of Casa Grande is a THRIVING

community garden?


eeds of Hope has many programs that promote opportunities to change lives. And one of those opportunities is located at 468 W McMurray Blvd. The Seeds of Hope Community Garden is a 90’x145’ parcel of fenced-in property adjacent to the Casa Grande Head Start facility. Through our partnerships with local civic and social services, we allow groups and individuals to plow, plant, water, and harvest edible and ornamental vegetation. Complete with a tool shed and compost containers, plots from 6’ x 20’up to 20’ x 20’can be adopted for an entire growing season at no cost! Seeds of Hope provides the water and tools necessary to help each garden grow as healthy as possible. The labor and love provided by each adoptive “family” can be seen at the end of each season when the earth has yielded a beautiful and often bountiful crop. For the past three years, the Seeds of Hope Community Garden has been a stop on the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Master Garden Tour. Gardeners of all levels have stopped by to take a look at what’s growing in our garden and ask questions from a Master Gardener. This opportunity to educate the community about planting the Arizona way has enabled us to reach out to another group of people in our area, teaching them how to be more self-sustaining through growing their own food. We encourage our gardeners to share some of the produce that is grown in our community garden with other fellow gardeners or with other Seeds of Hope programs. Some of the vegetables grown in the Community Garden have been used at our Hot Lunch Program, the After-School Program, and the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program. We always find a use for what is grown! If you have a green thumb and need a place to let your passion run wild, or enjoy sharing with others how to use the good earth to yield a bounty, we have a place for you!

HaveYou Have You Seen……




Italy by Roxanne Eck



remember Italy like it was yesterday! A few years ago, my friend and I visited with a great tour company. It was wonderful because you could choose to go with the group or do your own thing which we did. I first flew into Rome and was so amazed at how friendly the people were. I was working at a hotel at the time, so my friend and I met some of the hotel staff at the place we stayed. We ate at one of the local pizzerias near the hotel and from there went to a party at one of the local’s house overlooking the city. While in Rome I went to the Vatican - I was disappointed the Pope wasn’t in town. I just loved the Swiss Guards and their authentic uniforms, unchanged from bygone days. We went to the museum, which had the most amazing art; I was so impressed with the ancient statues and the Egyptian pieces. The Sistine Chapel was breathtaking; its one thing to see Michelangelo’s work in pictures but when you are standing in there it is such an emotional experience. I got to walk around the Coliseum and the Arch of Titus, the history is just amazing. I was sad to leave Rome but on to our next adventure. We drove through the countryside and stayed a night in Milan. The next day we took the boat over and arrived in Venice. Once again, I was just taken back by the beauty and the history. We went shopping in St. Marks Square where we sat and drank red wine and ate the best pasta ever. Touring the area, we watched a demonstration of the ancient art of glass blowing and I couldn’t wait to take the gondola ride under the Bridge of Sighs. With wedding season and Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I couldn’t think of a more romantic place to go for a destination wedding, honeymoon or just a Valentines surprise!!!




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Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

Mount Kilimanjaro

The Roof of Africa By Colby Carter

L-R Marty Brodsky, Chris Mallek, Colby Carter, Paul Hindman. Back Row: Mount Kilimanjaro


hree weeks ago I met Paul, Marty and Chris in Nairobi, we took a mini-bus to Moshi, Tanzania, it now seems years in the past. Each of us carried a mountain of cold weather gear we’d need for only one day of the trip…to summit Kilimanjaro. Day one I woke with chicken curry breath and a stomach gone bad; I slowly recovered on the drive to the Rongai Route trailhead. A three hour stroll in light rain on a well-groomed trail lined with corn, sunflowers and semi-tropical forest, we found camp one at 8,500 feet. Lounging at our outdoor table, the cook brought tea, popcorn, soup, and dinner. Each morning was porridge, eggs and a different type of sausage. Actually, fried hotdogs cut into a unique shape each day; the food was excellent. Two people with piles of gear are a bit cozy in a two man tent. Day two, another easy trail and I was thrilled to spot a chameleon. We camped in the clouds at 11,400 feet, a stunning view. One cloud came inside the tent as I wrote in my journal. All sense of order with gear and bags was gone, I shoved everything in and hoped Paul could help squeeze it shut. We woke up peeking down through the clouds at Tanzania before another relaxing hike to camp three, the trail faded. I sensed the altitude sleeping at 12,000 feet, but we felt good. A soft schedule, walk 3-4 hours each morning before lunch and a nap, a short afternoon climb to acclimate, then a succulent dinner and ten hours of sleep. Trees disappeared; every vegetation zone had one thing in common...amazing flowers everywhere. Breathing hard but going strong, it was all uphill to camp four at 14,150 feet. Instant cold at sunset sent us running for sleeping bags. We had two guides, a cook, and nine porters. Shorts and t-shirts ended abruptly heading for Kibo Hut at 15,400 feet; we collapsed in our tents, exhausted, hiding from frigid wind.

After lunch we collapsed again. We tried to sleep by sundown, the master plan was to wake at 23:00 and start climbing by midnight. Anticipation overpowered sleep, a tough day was coming. Three days later I wrote in my journal again, sitting on my bed in Moshi, looking out the window at Kilimanjaro. At that point I could hardly think or say Kilimanjaro without emotions welling up and spilling out my face. Preparing gear in that tent frustrated me before the climb, I didn't want to sleep, I just wanted to go. I couldn’t eat; I drank a little hot water with sugar. I wore seven layers on top, four below, two balaclavas, a wool cap, hood, snow boots, double wool socks, and high-tech mittens…all wind and water-proof. Out of the tent before midnight, headlamp glaring, I felt strong! Pitch dark, I saw only Paul's legs in front of me and a line of headlamps stretching to the sky. I lost all sense of time and space...just follow the legs, baby steps; a hypnotic rhythm of walking and breathing. An hour out of camp it hit like an unwelcome brick in the face…the entire mountain started spinning. I sat on a rock needing to vomit and black-out. I tried to lie down but heard Noah's authoritative voice, "Colby, do not sleep!" I sat back up, he handed me water, “Drink!” Five big gulps left me breathless. "Again! Again!” I snapped out of it, onto my feet, strong and ready. Minutes later it attacked with a vengeance, I hit the ground. I couldn’t sit up; the mountain was spinning too fast, I had to lay my head down and close my eyes. "Colby, do not sleep!" Noah again, our main guide; a thirty-year old with a bright smile I couldn’t see at the time, blinded by a circle of headlamps staring down at me. I told Noah to take the others on, I apparently wasn’t going. The only appealing thought in my dark mind was that toasty-warm sleeping bag still spread out in the tent below. Curl up out of the wind, sleep deep for 6-8 hours until they returned. Noah sent the others with Simon; he stayed with me, still


flat on the ground. Back on my feet I didn’t quit, I have no idea why. Had Noah called it, I wouldn’t have argued. We headed up through scree, ash and cinders pouring out from under every foot-hold. Frozen fingers in high-price mittens, Noah carried my backpack. It's all just a blur from there. Twenty steps up it hit; my left knee propped high against the slope, I leaned over it and buried my face in folded arms. Ten deep, powerful breaths…to inhale deeper would break ribs. Noah coaxed me; I slowly lifted with squinty eyes. Twenty more steps, lay over knee, ten deep breaths, Noah coaxed. Each upward glance caught a trail of headlamps reaching the stars. After a few hours I switched from ten breaths to fifteen. Later it took twenty to even consider moving on. How bored Noah must have been. I bickered with my balaclavas, a lesson in frustration with mittens. Over my nose and mouth I couldn't get enough air, when pulled away I froze instantly. Covered or uncovered, I couldn’t stand it! My dreary job for the day...count steps, control breathing, and referee fights between mittens, fabric, oxygen, cold, vomit and fainting. Ice crystals formed in my water; then it turned solid. Noah nursed me along like a baby bird, trying to sprinkle frozen granola crumbs in my mouth. Actually, that was the only hint of dignity I did save. He tried giving me water; I had to do it myself. He tried feeding me granola bar, I couldn’t let him do that. He would have wiped streams of snot from my face if I asked him. Instead it froze in my mask, down my jacket, mittens, and across my knee. A nibble of granola bar, Noah carefully wrapped it back up. I couldn't operate zippers, snaps, bottle caps or trekking poles; couldn't take my own mittens on or off. Noah did it all without a complaint. He kept coaxing, "Colby, come to this spot." I heard his voice and saw his light. He waited my twenty breaths, patted my back, told me I was a strong man, he said, “Let's do this!" I can hardly even write about it. Three hours, four, five, six hours…an uphill battle with scree. I never asked

how much farther, I didn’t want to know. The trail of headlamps still rose straight up to heaven. I knew I had that far to go, but settled for ten steps and twenty breaths. My hands were in trouble, time for 'Monster Mittens'. I bought them as a joke; they’re enormous, like for the North Pole or astronauts, or molten steel. They kept my feet warm at night, but I almost left them, they fill up my day-pack. Noah pulled them out and cracked open two more heat packs, saving my hands and me. I offered him my $200 frozen mittens. He held up cloth gardening gloves with finger tips cut off, smiled and said he was fine. He said it would be light soon and start to warm; a hint of sunrise brought hope. The horizon began to glow, he pointed up at rocks and people; it was light enough to see. "That's Gilman's Point,” he punched my arm, “you're going to make it! The hardest part will be over!” It towered like a skyscraper, the routine continued. Noah spoke up, “Stop resting, just keep going, don't be shy, go ahead and vomit!" My fear was blacking out; no stretcher rides for me! Gilman's Point was sweet and sour, a milestone with a hammering headache. I saw Uhuru Peak, looking so much farther and higher. Back to the routine, sharing trail with the other walking-wounded, looking like they couldn't climb a flight of stairs. They were pure determination. Half way to the summit I met my friends on their way back, shocked to see me like I was to be there. Paul was going strong, the true mountain man. Marty and Chris were hurting; they pepped up for high fives, but then turned pale again. An hour ahead of me; I missed my picture with them at the summit. I couldn’t ask them to go back, but I wanted to. Soon it leveled out; I saw the sign fifty yards ahead; tears started rolling. I don’t know why, I didn't expect that. I trudged along in front of Noah, tears and snot pouring from my face, gasping for air. The Roof of Africa sounds so romantic at 19,341 feet; we’ll all tell you it is enchanting, but one wickedly miserable place to be! A few pictures and Noah made it clear, "Let's go quickly


before the mountain sickness comes!" If what I already had wasn't the mountain sickness, then I wanted nothing to do with that! Too late…summit adrenaline faded, I felt worse than ever. Before turning to leave I had one more thing to do. I had to look Noah in the eyes and thank him; tell him I couldn't have made it without him. My little eyeballs get wet just thinking about it. I buried my face in his shoulder; he patted my back, “You’re a strong man, Colby, strong like Simba.” I ask myself why I kept going. I don't know, pride maybe? Ego? Pure stubbornness? We planned for years, I trained like a madman, and I hadn't come all this way to not make it. How could I explain that everyone made it but me? How would I look in the mirror? We all collapsed back at Kibo Hut, covered in powdery ash and sweat, dreading the nine mile hike to our final camp. I felt sundown was near; we would have to sleep there and I was happy. My watch said noon...I couldn't quite wrap my head around that. We scraped ourselves up, packed our gear and walked the nine miles. Only Paul could eat lunch and dinner. Our final twelve miles down the next morning; at first we chattered about our next trip, a higher mountain not on the list. We've been over 17,000 feet three times now, once I felt great, twice the mountain sickness came. Later we wandered the trail in silence, each of our minds wandering off to its own place. Down through the clouds, excited to see trees, damp forest, moss, ferns, and blue monkeys. A long walk with hot showers, a beer and a bed drawing us along. Marty and I had lunch; Chris couldn't eat until dinner. I slept like a warthog for eleven hours. My summit of Kilimanjaro wasn’t graceful, but feels like an accomplishment. We heard it many times and it felt good, "Congratulations! You are strong, strong like Simba!" A few days to rest, a safari was calling. By the way, they really do say 'Hakuna Matata' here. Take care, Colby

• 520-836-8517 lden Corridor | RO X! Magazine 80WWW.G oTEMPTATIONTRAVELROX.COM

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Whether you are planning a romantic honeymoon or couple’s getaway, a corporate retreat , a family reunion or even a fundraiser event - Sandals Resort is the perfect destination. Each location includes endless white sand expanses, exquisite turquoise waters and romantic sunsets. From Jamaica's warm reggae pulse to the Bahamas' sophisticated beat and from Saint Lucia's volcanic majesty to Antigua's exotic allure, Sandals provides the best beach resort experience in the Caribbean in a glorious all-inclusive package. Make Sandals your destination for luxury beach vacations. WHAT’S INCLUDED? • All meals, anytime snacks and fine dining • Scuba diving (if certified)* • Golf in Jamaica and Saint Lucia • Sailing, water sking, snorkeling & more • Land sports • Luxurious accommodations • Basic Wedding Package • Airport transfers • Top–shelf drinks • Exchange privileges • Free Beautiful Beginnings Weddingmoon® • All tips, gratuities and hotel taxes Call your travel experts at Temptation Travel ROX for details


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Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

1919 N. Trekell Rd., Casa Grande


Each office is independently owned and operated. Colleen Gunderson, Designated Broker



Gated 55+ Community, centrally located in Casa Grande near shopping, dining, entertainment and medical. Amenities include clubhouse with crafts, exercise room, billiards, card room, library, and kitchen. Outside you can enjoy the heated pool/spa, lawn games, outdoor pavilion with fireplace and more.

1576 E Manor Dr

1577 E Manor Dr

1580 E Manor Dr

2 Bd, 1.75 Ba, 1283 SF

2 Bd, 1.75 Ba, 1510 SF

3 Bd, 1.75 Ba, 1761 SF

This well designed & upgraded this Ironwood Village home comes complete with beautiful 6'' driftwood wood floors, granite counters, tile back splash & knotty alder cabinets enhanced by black appliances in the galley kitchen. Features include: custom paint, 9' ceilings, ceiling fans, upgraded carpeting, surround sound, low E windows, 2'' blinds and lovely custom stained glass panes and chandelier. The elegant master suite is split & has a bay window. Other upgrades include 20''ceramic tile floors, marble counters & surrounds, and comfort height vanities in both baths. The yard features privacy on the extended patio which overlooks the green belt. Insulated garage ceiling & doors help keep the home cool.

Model home perfect, this 1,510 sq. ft. beauty is ready for you to move right in! This home has many thoughtful upgrades including lovely, neutral 18’’ ceramic tile, upgraded carpet & 2’’ blinds throughout. The open concept great room has a bay window in the dining area & dramatic vaulted ceilings. The kitchen will delight any cook with raised panel cherry cider cabinets, black appliances, roomy pantry & breakfast bar. The bedrooms are spacious with ceiling fans & the split master has a bay window. The master bath features his & her vanities. Front loading washer & dryer, laundry sink, water softener & Multi-Pure water filtering system, too. The covered patio is extended & backs onto a green belt. Some furnishings included.

This 3 bedroom Ironwood Village beauty is fully furnished & fully upgraded! A leaded glass inset front door is the perfect entry to the open concept floor plan featuring 9’ ceilings, plantation shutters & reflective film on windows, neutral paint, 3 bay windows, lovely patterned ceramic tile, and sculpted carpet in 2nd & 3rd bedrooms. Granite counters, 42’’ upper cherry cabinets with crown molding, stainless Whirlpool Gold appliances, under & over cabinet lighting, tile backsplash & R/O system fill this dream kitchen. The master suite has a coffered ceiling, double sinks & mirrored doors on the roomy closet. Double doors open into the 2nd bedroom. The 3rd bedroom is tucked down a hallway for privacy. The two-car garage has insulated doors & pavers on the slab.

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IF YOU OWN A HOME IN IRONWOOD VILLAGE AND ARE THINKING OF SELLING, CALL THE LOCAL EXPERTS AT COLDWELL BANKER ROX REALTY FOR A FREE EVALUATION! 10100 N BURRIS RD – CASA GRANDE MLS# 4386752 • 1 ACRE • $45,900 Affordable custom home lot on one acre in Desert Vista. Incredible sunrises and sunsets with room to ride your horses or quads. Conveniently located with easy access to I-10, but close to Casa Grande amenities. Seller may carry. S. SERRANO DR – MARANA MLS# 5011564 • 10 ACRES • $65,000 Ten acres of pristine Sonoran desert available. Located about twenty miles north of Tucson, east of I-10 and two miles west of Owl Head Buttes, the acreage borders State Land on the north and can be split. Desert wildlife includes deer, coyotes, javelina and other various native critters. Lush natural vegetation includes giant native sagua-

LAND & LOTS ros, ocotillas, barrel cactus, cholla, mesquite and palo verde trees, chaparral, to name just a few. An old abandoned house is on the property. With mountain views in every direction, this property has several potential home sites. It is incredibly quiet with world famous Arizona sunrises and sunsets. A horse lover’s dream, this peaceful and private property is remote but accessible with endless room to ride on open range. 2950 E MOPAR DR – CASA GRANDE MLS# 4702137 • 5 ACRES • $150,000 Beautiful 5 acres of affordable residential property. Unlimited opportunities allow this parcel to be split into 1.25 acres pieces. Build your dream home, bring your critters, and enjoy the sunrises & sunsets with room to ride! Close to I-10, Rob-

son Ranch & Casa Grande shopping, medical services & amenities! 2892 E MOPAR DR – CASA GRANDE MLS# 4888430 • 21.92 ACRES • $330,000 Beautiful land within the city limits of Casa Grande, near Robson Ranch. Five separate parcels make up the 21.92 acres of horse property. With utilities close by, these parcels may be split into 1.25 acre pieces. Incredible mountain views and city lights with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets plus room to ride! Two parcels have septic systems on them, one parcel has phone to the property line, one parcel has electric to property line and one parcel has water to the property line. Seller is motivated and may carry with right offer!




January 21st “PIATIGORSKY FOUNDATION CONCERT” Marcus Thompson Violist, Doris Stevenson Pianist

January 22nd & 23rd WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” 7PM Showtimes Featuring Casa Grande Union High School’s Theatre and Show Choir Club Ticket prices: Adults $10.00 each Students with ID $5.00


Doors open at 6PM Featuring: Howard Schneider’s Dinner 6:30PM “BIG BAND ORCHESTRA” Benefiting: The Pinal Co. Veterans Memorial Foundation Tickets $30.00 Each-Tickets may be purchased at the door call for more information 520-836-4200 or visit


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7pm The 77-day Siege of the KHE Sanh Film produced by Casa Grande’s own Ken & Betty Rodgers! A story of Bravo Company 1st Battalion, 26th Marines during the Vietnam War Ticket prices: $10.00 each Tickets are available at the door or call for more information.

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Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

Writing is fun! The Vista Grande Public Library monthly Creative Writing Contest is a great way for kids of all ages in the community to get engaged in writing for pleasure.  Kids have the opportunity to write at our library’s Creative Writing Station and draw ideas from our story starter booklets and canister of creative ideas.  Stories can also be written at home and turned into the library before the end of each month.  All contestants need to leave their name and contact information on their story so that library staff can notify them if they have won.  Winners are chosen

based on the quality of the writing and the imaginativeness of the story.  All winners will receive a free book of their choice from the library’s collection of prize books, and will also have their photo taken to be framed and displayed in our Creative Writing Hall of Fame. Come to the Vista Grande Library and see where your imagination takes you!   -David Brown Youth Services Librarian Vista Grande Public Library

THE TURKEY’S PJS By Ruth Mountz, November Winner

There was a royal turkey family. There was a princess, prince, king and queen in the family. One night the king turkey was sleeping in his PJs and the next morning he was in his underwear! So, he was looking all day, but he could not find them. He did not look in one place! He did not look under his bed! He was too scared to look under his bed because he thought that there were a lot of spider webs under there. One day he looked to see if there was a spider web under his bed. His PJs were there so he took them but he could not get them off of the floor. So he lifted the PJs up and there were little miniature pilgrims holding on to the

PJs. He tried to get them but they were moving around. The king turkey had enough, so he tried to get them one more time but the little pilgrims ran away. The turkey started to follow them, but they ran all over the kingdom. So, the king Turkey tricked them to get his PJs back. He told them he would not run any more. The little pilgrims dropped the PJs and went away. So, the king Turkey got his PJs back from the little pilgrims. And the King Turkey lived happily ever after. That is the story about a turkey’s PJs that have been stolen from little pilgrims. The lesson is to never trust little pilgrims, EVER!



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Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

ROX INTERVIEW FROM PAGE 35 and I was also in a very serious car accident in 2001 - which was my first year as presiding judge. The accident laid me up for seven months. GCROX: That was on the freeway. You were coming home? JUDGE O’NEIL: Right, from a meeting at the Supreme Court. A lady coming home from the University of Arizona for the weekend had her Chevy Tahoe on cruise control and fell asleep, went through the median and as she says, she suddenly woke up. She panicked, intended to slam on the brake, missed the brake and hit the gas pedal instead and it vaulted her into my door at 75-plus miles an hour. GCROX: That must have really changed your life. JUDGE O’NEIL: Yes, the impact broke the femoral ball off of my leg and shattered my kneecap, completely fragmented my shin bone, broke my ankle, broke my back. I forget how many hours of surgery I was in. They did two surgeries and I think they were seven, eight hours each. The doctors told me they would have to amputate the leg it at the hip, and once again, one of those fun stories. I remember a Dr. Michael Sochacki came in and said we’re looking at amputating, but you know, I train residents here and you’re a fascinating case. Would you mind if we try to save the leg? I said Oh, let me think about it…..So that was a quick, easy decision. GCROX: And they did. JUDGE O’NEIL: And they did. They saved my leg and it was a long, long recovery. I worked at home- They put a halo immobilizer through my leg to keep me from moving my leg and it went on and on. I recovered pretty well because I work hard at things like that. GCROX: Did your spirituality expand at that point? Did you question anything? JUDGE O’NEIL: No, no. I’ve never -- I’m not one to question that way. I have a great deal of faith. GCROX: Because that happened, did some other positive things result? Is there a reason for it, in other words? JUDGE O’NEIL: You know, I think there’s a reason for everything. It’s just that the clarity isn’t always there. I certainly have a much greater appreciation for people who have disabilities GCROX: During your tenure as Superior Court Justice, you were presented with some offers. Weren’t you asked to serve on the State

Supreme Court? JUDGE O’NEIL: I’ve had two governor’s offices contact and ask me to apply for the Supreme Court. GCROX: And you said you didn’t want that. You were happy where you were. JUDGE O’NEIL: Yes, I think I know my limitations and I think people on the Supreme Court are a lot smarter than I am. GCROX: Let’s jump ahead just for a second; your children. JUDGE O’NEIL: Blessed. GCROX: One went into law? JUDGE O’NEIL: Yes. Chris graduated magna cum laude from ASU and then went to law school and graduated very high in his class. Chris has a lot of experience in a lot of areas and worked for a prestigious firm and decided to move back to Pinal County. He always wanted to live in Pinal County and his wife’s parents had moved to Casa Grande. He began working for the Superior Court and when an opportunity opened with the Casa Grande City Court he applied for the position along with others and City Council picked wisely, from my view. GCROX: Your other son Michael? JUDGE O’NEIL: Michael graduated again magna cum laude from the U of A in microbiology, was accepted into the U of A medical school and decided to go into vascular surgery. Now I believe there are only 26 slots open in the country and the top place for the last nine years has been the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. There were two openings there, hundreds if not thousands of applicants probably, and Cleveland picked Michael. So that’s where he is now. He’s learning what a real winter feels like. My daughter finished cum laude and is a librarian, and my son Kevin is at ASU and will graduate towards the top of his class as well next year. GCROX: Is it safe to say the children got their mother’s smarts? JUDGE O’NEIL: They got their mother’s smarts. And that’s the truth. Tammy is way smarter than me. Tammy had straight A’s her whole life and she is really bright. I think people that know her know that, but other people may not realize that fact. GCROX: Finally your career comes to an end. What are you doing now? JUDGE O’NEIL: When I finished my time as a Superior Court justice, I was determined to retire and I was in Phoenix at another one of these meetings. I’d been on and chaired a

lot of committees for the courts, and rewrote various rules and forms. I crafted the domestic violence rules for the state. I redid the juvenile rules. And so I’m involved in a lot of different committees, victim’s rights committees and the like. I was up there and somebody mentioned, gee, you know, have you ever thought about applying for this new position, presiding disciplinary judge? Now, I didn’t even know what that was. I didn’t know what they were talking about. So I talked to the administrative director, Dave Byers, and I said: What is this? Dave says “you’d probably be perfect for this. You ought to think about applying for it”. I applied for it and at that time the Supreme Court was changing how they do attorney regulation for discipline, for reinstatement, for disability. It had been a really slow process and they decided to have a single person preside over the cases as the presiding disciplinary judge. As I understand it, the only other state that was doing it at that point was Colorado and we were sort of mirroring that concept. I applied for it, interviewed and I’m sure by the narrowest margin, they picked me. I then became the first presiding disciplinary judge in Arizona. GCROX: Fascinating. In closing, when you retired was there anything you felt was left undone? JUDGE O’NEIL: I think during my years in law and in life, if there was a lesson I learned from my car accident it would be we are all food for the worms. Our time here is short. One day they will put us in a box, each one of us, say a few words and they’ll go to the church and they’ll have potato salad and you will be forgotten. So you move the water of life as best you can, but make no mistake. When your hand is withdrawn, the water will no longer move unless someone takes your place. I’ve tried as best I could in my latter years to begin to pass the baton. I hope I’ve done that. I think there are some very good people now in the system that I had a part in trying to get appointed and to help. I think I continue to do that, but again, make no mistake about it. You do the things while you can because your time will end. I’m satisfied with the career I had. I’m not satisfied with the career I have now because I’m not finished yet. I have more to do. However, I’m at the will of the Supreme Court. When they say you’re gone, I’ll be gone. GCROX: A proper ending to a great story, thank you Judge.



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Y OU R WA Y T O BE TTE R LIVING Decorate by using a balance of elements and color Literally translated, Feng Shui means wind and water and operates on the yin and yang principle, and the five elements. It is a very ancient Chinese art of arranging objects in a person’s environment in such a way that a person can achieve maximum harmony. Many people believe that by decorating or arranging their home or workplace using feng shui, they can actually achieve harmony for themselves and those around them. Since color plays an important role in the process, some feng shui experts say they can turn around a person’s life simply by painting rooms and arranging furniture. Some feel that the process is complicated and burdensome, but feng shui can be accomplished by following a few simple rules. Clutter-free surroundings, free-flowing energy, and the proper placement of windows and doors are some basic rules of Feng Shui decorating. Feng Shui is centuries old and in ancient times, buildings and homes were placed according to Feng Shui principles. Before the invention of the magnetic compass, natural environmental markers were used, including the placement of bodies of water and the position of the stars. Many people today swear that they can’t get a good night’s sleep unless their head is facing a certain compass direction. For example, if at home you sleep with your head facing north and you go out of town and sleep in a strange bed in which your head doesn’t face north—you can feel it and not sleep very well. This is the concept of Feng Shui—being in harmony with your surroundings.

Use of Color/Elements Feng Shui has evolved in recent years in the fact that it has gone from a new age trend to a decorating technique used by both professional decorators and amateurs alike. Decorating and Feng Shui are a perfect blend. Decorating with feng shui principles involves the movement of energy and moving blocked areas allowing energy to flow at a balanced pace around the entire home. A number of items could be used to achieve this harmonious balance; mirrors, water, plants, color, sound, or others items could be involved. Color is another important factor to consider when decorating with Feng Shui. Color can be a cultural thing, for example in China, red brings good luck so many front doors are painted red. Yellow, red, and purple are all considered important colors in Feng Shui. Generally speaking, dark colors can either be relaxing or depressing, and light colors can be uplifting or annoying. Have a room of the house that is upsetting to you or where you and your spouse always end up having a squabble? Feng Shui says, check out the color of the room or the way it is decorated. Be aware of your surroundings and how your body reacts, that will help you to begin to “see” and “feel” in a Feng Shui mind frame. Feng Shui Decorating Tips When decorating with Feng Shui, fabrics, composite materials, and colors all play a role in harmonizing a room. Here are a few pointers: Continued on page 90






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• oWhen decorating with plants, use Golden C rridor | ROX! Magazine

healthy, broad leaf varieties. Dried plants should not When decorating with plants, use be • used because they healthy, broad leaf varieties. represent sickness. Dried plants should not • Decorating with be used because they blue; blue walls represent sickness. and blue carpeting • Decorating with work well blue as blue blue; walls and blue carpeting represents water. well as blue Also, work decorating represents water. with fish in feng Also, decorating shui is positive with fish in feng as fish symbolize shui is positive wealth. as fish symbolize • Areas decorated in wealth. terracotta or tile with • Areas decorated in terracotta or tile with decorative yellows, oranges decorative yellows, oranges or browns represent earth or browns represent earth elements and symbolize health elements and symbolize health and knowledge. and knowledge. • The career area or workspace of the house should • The career area or workspace of the house should represent water and a small fountain or aquarium represent water and a small fountain or aquarium works well in these areas. Paintings of water scenes works well in these areas. Paintings of water scenes are also a nice Feng Shui touch. are also a nice Feng Shui touch.

Decorating Pitfalls Pitfalls Decorating There There are some very basic Feng Shui Shui pointers pointers that are some very basic Feng that will will help you to avoid negative energy. For example, avoid help you to avoid negative energy. For example, avoid homes that have very small rooms that make it difficult homes that have very small rooms that make it difficult

for Feng Shui energies to flow. Long hallways will allow energies to escape too quickly and bright for Feng Shui lighting energies to Long Avoid is flow. off limits. hallways will allow energies to sharp corners and only use escape too quickly and bright healthy plants, placing lighting is off limits. Avoid them in an appealing sharp corners and only use and plants, decorative healthy placing location throughout the house. them in an appealing and decorative location Arrange furniture that throughout house. people the will be sitting Arrange on furniture so that that they face people will be sitting the door but are sitting on so that they face in a way that they can the door but are sitting easily engage others in in a way that they can conversation. Finally, easily engage others in avoid an overabundance of conversation. Finally, avoid knickan overabundance of many knick- knickknack. Besides, too knack. Besides, too many knickknacks means spending a lot of time knacks means spending a lot of dusting—and who wants that?time

dusting—and who wants that? Feng Shui isn’t a difficult concept once you get the Feng Shui isn’t a difficult concept once you get the hang of it. But it does take practice and you need to hang of it. But it does take practice and you need to know some basic principles do it correctly. know some basic principles to do to it correctly. There There are many great books on the subject and perhaps you are many great books on the subject and perhaps you may even know someone locally that is an expert and may even know someone locally that is an expert and can loan you a hand. The bottom line is that you can can loan you a hand. The bottom line is that you can have positive energy by decorating in feng and have positive energy by decorating in shui feng shui and you’ll end up with a house that you will totally enjoy you’ll end up with a house that you will totally enjoy living in.

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WELL-Come to Arizona Coming to Arizona to take advantage of the great things our beautiful state has to offer is wonderful! However, it does not come without some hazards for your pets. Here are some of the not-so-wonderful things you should be aware of.

By Gigi McWhirter


While most animals avoid cactus, pets can easily become covered with cactus needles. The needles can become stuck in the animal’s skin and then stuck in the mouth as they try to remove them. Needles can cause infection. Removal of needles may be required by a veterinarian.


Foxtails are the dried seed heads of winter grasses. When the winter grass turns brown in the spring and summer, these seed heads break off. The foxtails are pointed on one side and spiked on the other, much like a fishhook. Foxtails attach themselves to your pet and begin to move into the skin. They may work their way into ears, between toes and the pads of feet, or eyelids. If you notice your dog tilting the head constantly, chewing and licking at the paw continuously, or squinting, contact your veterinarian to remove the foxtail.


Heartworm disease is a serious and life-threatening disease. It is spread by mosquitoes. Any dog living in the area where an infected animal lives is at risk. Mosquitoes can be found year-round in our area. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up blood and carries the immature parasite called microfilaria. The immature parasite then turns into the infective stage larva in the mosquito. When the mosquito bites another dog, it transfers the larva and infects that dog. The immature larva then travels through the tissue where it eventually reaches the heart. Once in the heart, it will develop into an adult heartworm. Heartworms can grow to be 6 to 18 inches in length. Dogs can remain symptom free or show one or more of the following signs, listlessness, labored breathing, coughing, or weight loss. Treatment is available and can be difficult. Contact your Arizona veterinarian to discuss testing and prevention. Cats can also get heartworm disease.


Heatstroke in Arizona is a serious problem. When pets are exposed to extreme high temperatures, heatstroke occurs. Animals require shade and cool water to maintain their normal

temperature. Pets cool themselves by panting and sweating through their footpads. Heatstroke frequently occurs when a pet is left in a parked car. Without proper ventilation, the temperature quickly rises and the animal is not able to properly cool off. Body temperatures can rise 5 10 degrees. Vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures often follow and death can occur within minutes. If you suspect heatstroke, apply cool water to the entire animal and IMMEDIATELY contact your veterinarian! While it is not always enforced, leaving your pet in an unattended car is against the law in our area. Simple rule of thumb; if you wouldn’t do it, then don’t do it to your pet!


Rabies is a deadly disease that is carried by a number of species including dogs, cats, rats, skunks, bats, bobcats, coyotes, foxes and bobcats. In Arizona, rabies is rarely found in dogs or cats. It has been found mostly in skunks and bats. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. The disease is transferred by the saliva containing the rabies virus. Rabies has been controlled by proper vaccinations. Your puppy or kitten can receive the first rabies vaccine after 12 weeks of age. The first vaccination provides immunity for one year and the following vaccination should provide immunity for three years. Current proof of rabies vaccine is required by law in Arizona. Vaccinations must be given by a licensed veterinarian to receive a rabies tag. Contact the animal control office in your area to find out about licensing requirements. If you find a dead bat, DO NOT TOUCH IT! Call animal control for proper removal.


Ticks are a huge problem for dogs in Arizona and can be found all year in certain areas. Ticks can spread disease and cause anemia from loss of blood. Tick Fever (ehrlichiosis), Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Lyme Disease can occur. Tick Fever is the most common of these diseases in Arizona. Currently, the tick that carries Lyme disease can only be found in remote areas of our state. Symptoms of all three diseases include listlessness, unexplained bleeding, seizures, joint


pain, and unexplained weight loss. Fleas can be can cause skin allergies, anemia, tapeworm and in some cases, plague. Plague has been seen in the Four Corners area of our state. Pets that are not allowed to roam freely can help prevent the spread of plague. Hunting and skinning of rabbits in areas where plague is suspected, should be avoided. Prevention of fleas & ticks is the best way to control these diseases. Prevention is simple. Talk to your veterinarian’s office to see which form of prevention would be best for your pet. All it takes is the bite of one tick or flea and your animal can become ill. One more thing, ticks and fleas can latch on to all mammals, including you!


The Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarious) commonly found in Arizona can be a real threat to your pets. Because toads have skin glands that contain toxins, mouthing or ingestion of this toad can cause a mild to severe

toxicity in dogs and cats. Most cases are diagnosed rapidly because owners have seen the pet playing with toads. Common signs of toad poisoning are mouth irritation and excessive drooling. Rapid intervention is required by the owner. The first step is to rinse the pet’s mouth thoroughly with fresh water. It is then necessary to contact IMMEDIATE veterinary care. Affected animals may develop heart arrhythmias, seizures, weakness, collapsing, vomiting and diarrhea. Severe toxicities, left untreated, can quickly lead to death.


Our area has been called the epicenter of Valley Fever. Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) is caused by a soil-borne fungus that lives in the southwestern parts of the United States and parts of Mexico. Dogs and humans are most likely to be affected -but it can affect cats. The fungus is inhaled through dust or digging in the soil. It then begins to grow in the lungs


where it can cause a low-grade fever and a cough. The fungus can spread from the lungs to other tissues, the bones and nervous system. Symptoms often include lethargy, lack of appetite, lameness, coughing, or seizures. A veterinarian can test for the disease and treatment is usually successful, but left untreated, it can lead to death. Valley Fever is not contagious. The University of Arizona has created the Valley Fever Center for Excellence. You may go to their website for more information: or contact your veterinarian. Some veterinarians in states not affected by valley fever may not be familiar with the symptoms, testing or treatment of this disease. Most local veterinarians will gladly work with your vet “back home” to discuss the diagnosis and treatment of valley fever. WELL-come to Arizona, have a nice stay!


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DAY TRIPPER: Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

Traveling Back In Time: OATMAN

Gold Mines,

Shootouts, Burros Story & Photos Courtesy of Lake Havasu Living Magazine


hose four words sum up what to expect when you visit the not-quite ghost town of Oatman located across the Colorado River, up from Laughlin, Nevada. This once-thriving gold mining town was once home to nearly 4,000 people, mostly miners, all looking to strike it rich. Today, only remnants of the once rich gold mining history remains with abandoned mine entrances, a saloon, and wild burros left over from their days as beasts of burden hauling gold and prospector supplies. During the halcyon days of prosperity, from the early 1900s to the middle of the 1940s, Oatman and nearby Gold Road were the largest producers of gold in the state of Arizona. The Drulin Hotel, built back in 1902, still stands today as the Oatman Hotel, and is still operational. Back in 1902, Ben Taddock staked his claim after finding gold, then sold his claim a year later to Judge E.M. Ross, who later sold the claim to the Vivian Mining Company. The town, nothing more than a tent city, was originally named Vivian. The $3,000,000 in gold mined between 1904 and 1907 meant rapid growth and the formation of a thriving economy. The town changed its moniker back in 1909 in honor of Olive Oatman, a young girl that was captured by the Apache Indians after they massacred her family. After living with both the Apaches and Mojave Indians, Olive was eventually rescued in 1857, near the site of where Oatman would eventually stand. In the 1920s, the original Route 66 was built and Oatman was one of the beneficiaries as the “Mother Road” ran through town. Oatman was thriving at the time and the road added to the area’s popularity. Route 66 was the first major interstate road that stretched from Chicago to California. In 1921, a fire torched much of Oatman, but the town was rebuilt in support of the United Eastern Mining Company. In the end, a new road was built in 1952 that bypassed Oatman in favor of the Yucca route. Oatman was soon reduced to near-ghost town status with today’s population around 60. But, enough about reading history, this day road trip is more about viewing history first hand and feeling as if you had

traveled back in time. The road to get you there is of course the old stretch of the famous Rte. 66—just driving on that road is like traversing history. In fact, the stretch of Rte. 66 that runs through that area is the longest contiguous stretch of that road anywhere in the country. Kick back, take your time, and take in the scenery just like those folks in their Model T automobiles did back in the 1920s when the road was freshly paved. Once you arrive in Oatman, stroll down the Main Street and take in the sights of what was once a thriving gold mining community. Walk Shootouts in Oatman are a daily around town and you’ll find a photo thing—but don’t worry, they’re put on solely for the entertainment of the many visitors opportunity around that flock to Oatman to relive a bit of the every corner. Old, Old West. abandoned mine entrances and wild burros provide a unique way to capture a bit of history. The burros are in fact a carryover from the gold mining days when prospectors used the to carry picks, shovels, and other supplies—and hopefully gold if they were lucky enough to strike it rich. Today those burros are protected under Federal law and it’s not uncommon to see a burro being scooted out of one of the town’s establishments. While probably not an everyday thing in the original town



of Oatman during its heyday, visitors are treated to a daily display of an old western ritual on Main Street thanks to the Ghostrider Gunfighters that shoot it out with six-guns blazing. And yep, just like in the movies, the shootouts are at high noon (there’s also one later in the day). A day trip to Oatman is more than a fun day out—it is a chance to relive history and view a slice of Arizona life that is part of the areas bygone days.


There are several ways to get to Oatman, but we suggest the scenic route that takes you down winding roads and a piece of history traveling along Route 66. Travel time from Lake Havasu is approximately 1 1/2 hour. Here’s how to get there: Head north on AZ Hwy. 95 and turn left on to Interstate I-40 W heading to Los Angeles/Bullhead City. Take Exit 1 toward Golden Shores/Oatman. Turn right onto Co. Hwy 10/Historic Rte. 66/Oatman-Topock Hwy. This scenic route will take you parallel to the Colorado River to the community of Golden Shores--continue past golden Shores all the way to Oatman. The drive is as scenic as it is nostalgic and offers many photo opportunities along the way that will have you pulling over to capture the beauty. Travel Tip: Why not get an early morning start from Lake Havasu and stop by the Rte. 66 Topock Resort and Restaurant for a delicious breakfast? They’re located off Exit 1 on the Golden Shore/ Oatman exchange and are easy to spot as you cross under the railroad bridge.


Quilters Golden Corridor | ROX! Magazine

By Kim Carlton



uilts make a house a home. There is nothing better than snuggling with a quilt during the cooler weather while watching TV or a movie, or while reading a good book. The quilt itself is a good read. If you’re wrapped up in a quilt that grandma, great grandma or mom made it can bring back many memories and

makes you feel safe at home. Quilts of long ago were a necessity and made to be used. They were made from many scrap pieces of fabric. A lot of the fabric came from outgrown and or worn clothing, flour sacks, and was traded during hard times. Many of these heirloom quilts are now showing signs of

wear and have been put away for safe keeping only to be brought out for special occasions. Today’s quilts will last even longer due to the improved quality of fabric available. There are basically two grades of fabric – Quilters’ Grade Fabric and Chain Store Fabric.

Quilters’ grade fabrics are made with high quality greige (gray) goods and will have thread counts higher than 60 by 60 threads square. Although premium raw materials are more expensive and add to the final price you pay, you get a far superior finished product. These premium brands typically make use of a higher number of colors used in the print, and are more complex and sophisticated engravings. The dye is set in a more time consuming and expensive process that creates the silken hand and superior colorfastness. The higher thread counts produce a silkier hand, less bearding when quilted, longer fabric life and better printing definition. Premier designers tend to

design for the premium fabric companies because of this attention to quality. World class design brings a unique dimension to premium quality fabric. It comes with a price, but it adds immeasurably to the special nature of quilters’ grade fabric. Most chain store cotton prints are made from less expensive greige goods that have a thread count that is less than 60 square. Domestic printers that typically cater to the chain stores use a faster and less exacting high speed rotary press and the fabric is either unfinished or poorly finished with a tendency to bleed badly and have a very coarse hand. Chain stores often carry a limited range of premium brands, but they are price driven. They

cannot easily sell the higher priced fabrics to their clientele. Quilt shops, the prime source of premium fabrics at fair prices, are well staffed with knowledgeable and friendly quilting experts. The classes and expertise is unmatched by the chains. Premium cottons offer a vast quality advantage over cheaper alternatives for just a modest increase in cost. When you consider the time, effort, skill and love that will go into your use of the fabric, you will get what you pay for. Casa Grande’s has a locally owned quilt shop. Check us out in downtown. Quilters Corner is here to serve you with premium fabrics, classes, and expertise. I’ll see you there!

-Information used in this article was with permission of Jim Salinas, Moda Fabrics representative.




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