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by LOCAL Luminaries

Celebrating Our Local

SCHOOLS! The Interview: The Fitzgibbons Brothers


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by LOCAL Luminaries

Celebrating Our Local

SCHOOLS! The Interview:

Contents Features:

Holiday 2015


Denis & David Fitzgibbons


Education Special Section


14 Holiday Recipes


The Fitzgibbons Brothers


Economy & Local Business

Health, Wealth & Education

Travel, Dining & Entertainment

Helping Educators Excel. . . . . . 15

Holiday Recipes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

The Reluctant Adventurer. . . . 84

What’s Up Downtown . . . . . . . . 18 The Year in Review: 2015. . . . . 26 Leadership – The Politics of Getting People to Follow. . . . . . 32



The Best Traditions . . . . . . . . . . 92 Taste of Casa Grande. . . . . . . . . . 72

All I Want for Christmas . . . . . . 82

10 Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season Without Gaining Weight!. . . 95 My day with The Lady. . . . . . . . 99


Letter from the Editor

Out with the OLD and in with the NEW!

T Bea Lueck

his is our last Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine edition of 2015. Our highpoint of this year was our 100 Year Celebration edition. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we had working on it. This edition is our Holiday & Education theme. Our community is very fortunate to have a choice of quality education for our children. Kudos to our educators! This is the time of year when people across the globe give thanks. All too often we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the present to really sit back and think about what we have to be thankful for. Things I am thankful for: •

My family: my husband of 32 years, our children and now our grandchildren. You can never spend enough time with your loved ones. I love you dearly, even if I don’t say it enough.

My friends: those crazy people who like me in spite of everything. True friends are the ones you can call in an emergency and they drop everything to help. You may not see them for days, weeks or even months at a time – but they are there for you.

My work family: I spend as many if not more hours with you than at home. I can’t say how much I appreciate everyone.

My health and lifestyle: I have a roof over my head (sorta – we’re remodeling at home and currently looking at 2x4s HAHA), a career I love, plenty of food to eat and everything I want or need.


People come and go throughout your life. They move away to a new adventure. Or sadly, they die much sooner than you want to let go. Cherish each moment, it’s precious, and easily lost and can never be regained. But life continues with your memories. It’s much the same for businesses, they come and go. We’ve seen several businesses open in our area this year – and we’ve lost a few that have been around for a long time. Change is inevitable. Consumer support dictates the success – or failure, of a business. Look at the major companies such as Coca Cola, McDonalds or Nike. Do they sit back on their success or do they constantly look at ways to improve based on the wants and desires of their customers? Not everything they do is a success – look at New Coke as an example of an idea gone astray. Its how business adapts to the demands of their paying customers that defines whether they succeed or perish. There has been much chatter locally about recent businesses closing and ‘buy local’. It is a great idea to support local business. Every dollar spent in your community is paid back to the community many times over. But what is a local business? Is it limited to one owned by your neighbor? Or is it any business that chooses to operate in your community? Just because they are owned by a corporation and shareholders profit by the success doesn’t make it any less of a ‘local’ store. That manager and the staff live here and depend

on the job for their family. The loss of several big box stores has a strong economic impact on our community. Tax dollars don’t stay here to help fund city and county needs. Salary dollars are lost. And people move to where the employment is strong. We need a vibrant and diverse business community; mom & pop retailers as well as corporate big box to satisfy our community’s wants and needs for product and employment. Without a diverse selection, dollars will once again bleed to the metropolitan markets of Phoenix and Tucson. So support our community stores this holiday season – locally owned and operated and corporate employers. We need both. WELCOME 2016 – our future is looking bright!






Bob Jackson

Born in Whitefish, Montana, Mayor Robert Jackson has lived in Casa Grande since 1991. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, holding a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He retired from the City of Casa Grande as Public Works Director in 2002 and is now serving his fourth term as mayor ending in 2015.

Helen Neuharth

Helen was hired as the President/CEO of the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce in August 1991 and is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management from Boulder, Colorado. Helen is an active member of the Arizona Chamber Executives


Donna McBride

Donna McBride is the Program Administrator/Public Information Officer and Supervisor for the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Unit for Pinal County Juvenile Court . McBride is actively involved as a Board Member for Casa Grande Alliance, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, BlackBox Foundation, Mayor’s Reading Program, Pinal County Town Hall Vice-Chair, Parks and Block Watch Captain for the Casa Grande Police Department. A freelance writer and photographer, Donna and husband Mike enjoy white water rafting, kayaking and spending time with their 2 sons and 3 grandchildren who live in the valley.

(520) 426-2074 442 W. Kortsen Rd, Ste 101 Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Harold Kitching

Harold has worked for newspapers across the country. He was city government reporter for the Casa Grande Dispatch for 11 years until he resigned after the newspaper began downplaying local news.

Golden Corridor LIVING is published by RAXX Media. Editorial content is provided by affiliates of RAXX Media, community members and local organizations. The publishers of Golden Corridor LIVING 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. Golden Corridor LIVING 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 Golden Corridor LIVING Information contained within submitted articles had not been verified for accuracy and readers are responsible for forming their own opinions. Real CORRID OR ING HOL 20 15to current availability and pricing. 8 GOLDEN estate information is asLIofV11-6-15 andIDAY is subject


of the


Jim Dinkle

Jim is currently the director of the Access Arizona, the area’s regional economic development foundation. He came to Arizona as a 24 year veteran of economic development from Indiana.

Erica Herman

Erica is a Casa Grande native who knew she would be an artist and writer since she first started holding a crayon and still resides in Casa Grande and lives with her husband Matt, two teenage daughters and four Chihuahuas.

Jim Rhodes

Jim is the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Central Arizona College and has a diversified work background in public administration; business administration; sales management; and new business development. Jim has taught leadership and senior management courses at several colleges and universities.

Bryan Harris, Ed.D

Bryan Harris is the Director of Professional Development for the Casa Grande Elementary School District. During his career, he has served as a classroom teacher, Instructional specialist, elementary school principal, and district-level administrator.


BUSINESS INDEX 10 100 26 29 72 28 79 30 87 36 2 25 52 71 60 19 50 61 16 48 46 62-63 74-75 81 87 89 47 78 37 11 34 17 35 3 35 54-55 93 79 56 87 67 91 58 57 89 84 77 4-5 82 93 40-41 37 88 81 38-39 86

Avocado Nursery Academy Mortgage - CG Access Arizona Adrenalin Motorsports Against Abuse Agave Dentistry Airport Traven Ak-Chin Indian Community American Family Ins-Hobbs Annie-Mac Home Mortgage Arizona Luxury Lawns Banner / CGRMC Boys & Girls Club Brutinel Capital R Construction Casa Grande Alliance Casa Grande Elementary Casa Grande Family Dentistry Casa Grande Main St Casa Grande Union High School District Central Arizona College Coldwell Banker ROX Realty Coldwell Banker ROX Realty Coldwell Banker Rox Realty - Connie Rush Cottonwood Medical Center Desert Sky Dental Dick & Mitchell DDS DM Family Dentistry Farmers Insurance - Bryant Foothills Bank Fitzgibbons Law Offices Greater CG Chamber of Commerce International Minute Press Iron City Polaris Jenkins Chiropractic Legacy Traditional Schools Lucky Chinese Restaurant Mankel Mechanical Mission Heights Preparatory Natures Nook Phoenix Patio Systems Planet Fitness - Casa Grande PPEP Tech High School Premier Ortho Rotary Club of Casa Grande ROX Expeditions Rox Insurance CG Rox Travel CG Seeds of Hope Star Towing Sun Life Family Health Center Title Security Trinity Southern Baptist Church Yang and Horsley Dentistry Yost Realty Group - RE/MAX of Casa Grande ZONTA Club HOL IDAY 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING


• Cactus • Agave & Yucca • Sonoran Desert Plants • Honey & Seasonal Produce • Community Garden Specialist November 14th Creative Farmers Market November 21st National Tamale Daye November 23rd Christmas Tree (Eldarica Pine) arriving December 7th Meeting BBEG (Black Butte Experimental Garden) Community garden anyone welcome at The Avocado Nursery December 12th Creative Farmers Market December 19th Workshop-Humming Bird Feeders and Feeding-by Doug Loney (check our Facebook page for schedule!)

Thanks for considering us for all your gardening needs!


6855 N. Overfield Road, Casa Grande 10 10 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING HOL IDAY 20 15

To contact Casa Grande Smart Shopper Call 520-426-2074




Tuesday Marketplace - 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM - Southwest corner of 4th St. & Florence St (every Tuesday)


2 4


Arts and Humanities Commission 4:30 p.m. - City Council Chambers

The Backyard Market Casa Grande - 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Herbalicious-423 N. Florence St


Downtown Street SceneElectric Light Parade Pre-Party - Downtown-3rd St. & Florence St.


Villago Middle School Titans PTO Presents 2nd Annual Craft & Vendor Fair and 1st Annual Car Show - 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM - Villago Middle School 574 E Lakeside Parkway, Casa Grande.


21st Annual Electric Light Parade - 5:00 PM - Colorado St & Florence Blvd. to Florence St

5 6

Christmas on Main Street 12:00 PM - CG Mainstreet

CAC Choral & Handbell Concert - 3 pm - Signal Peak Campus, Pence Center

Miracle! - 7:00 PM - Robson Ranch 5687 Robson Blvd., Eloy, AZ

Market on the Move - 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM - AZ Home Furnishing-2300 E. Tanger Dr M.A.S.H.-655 W. Cottonwood




3rd Annual Bazaar for Christians Forward Southeast Asia; 9am to 3pm at Grace Lutheran Church, 1805 E. Sierra Parkway,

12 13

Central Arizona Speedway - 7:00 PM - Central AZ Speedway-512 Eleven Mile Corner,


Day Out Downtown & Historic Walking Tour - 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM - Main Street PatioAlley behind Cook E Jar




20 26 31

NAMI CONNECTION / PINAL COUNTY - 5-6 p.m - Sun Life Casa Grande CAC Dance Company Concert 3–4:20pm - Signal Peak Campus, Pence Cente


CG Booster Club IncNutcracker - 8 – 10pm Pence Center for the Performing Arts


The Backyard Market Casa Grande - 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM Herbalicious-423 N. Florence St (Every Friday)

Santa at Coldwell Banker ROX - 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

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Holiday Boogie 20Skydive Arizona - Skydive AZ-4900 N. Taylor Road, Eloy Member FDIC Member FDIC

Santa at Coldwell Banker ROX - 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Pancake Breakfast at the Airport - 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM

1433 N. Pinal Avenue, Casa Grande, AZ 85122

New Year’s Eve Extravaganza - 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM - The Paramount Theatre Cost $30.00

Add Your Event to the Community Calendar!

32 Karen Pines Street Dedham, MA 02026 978.264.3264


As a business owner, you want a bank with great resources, sophisticated solutions, and smart ideas. Youaalso want aowner, bank that genuinely values you as a As business you want a bank with great customer. Well, you’ll find all this at Foothills Bank. resources, sophisticated solutions, and smart ideas. You’llalso getwant the level of that expertise you’dvalues expect from You a bank genuinely you as aa big bank, with friendly, personalized attention from customer. Well, you’ll find all this at Foothills Bank. a localget business just’d Superior service You’ll the level of like expertise expect from a without a superior attitude? Consider it done. As abank, business youpersonalized want a bankattention with greatfrom big withowner, friendly, As a business owner, you want a bank with great sophisticated and smart ideas. aresources, local business just like solutions, yours. Superior service resources, sophisticated solutions, and smart ideas. 520.423.4900 You also awant a bank that genuinely values you as a without superior attitude? Consider it done. You also want a bank that genuinely valuesMember you asFDIC a customer. Well,Shea you’ll find all this at Foothills Bank. Nieto, customer. Well, you’ll find all thisCCIM at Foothills Bank. You’ll get the level of expertise you’d expect from a 520.423.4900 Regional President You’ll get the level of expertise you’d expect fromFDIC a Member big bank, with friendly, from (520)personalized 423-4910 attention big bank, with friendly, personalized attention from a local business just like yours. Superior service a local business just like yours. Superior service without a superior attitude? Consider it done. without a superior attitude? Consider it done.

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1433 N. Pinal Avenue, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Client:

Foothills Bank

Live Area: N/A


ROX! Magazine

Trim: 3.85” (w) x 10.375” (h) Art Director:

Insertion Date: May/2014 Client: Foothills Bank

Scale: 100% Actual Size Live Area: N/A

Creative Director: B. Pruet

C. Matzk

Account Mgr: R. Walsh Creative Director: B. Pruet

JOB NUMBER: FHB-008 FILE Grande, NAME: Publication: ROX!N. Magazine Trim: 3.85”FHB_Suit-3.85x10.375_RoxMag_May-14 (w)AZ x 10.375” C. Matzk 1433 Pinal Avenue, Casa 85122(h) Art Director: Insertion Date: May/2014

100% Actual Size Account Mgr: HOLScale: IDAY 20 15 GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING R.11Walsh

The Casa Grande H Page Article


Santa Cruz Crossing

CG News


by Harold Kitching or

Schools & Cities: Who Rules What


n Arizona, there’s a church-state wall when it comes to cities and schools. Cities don’t run local schools districts, something that often puzzles winter visitors and people who have moved here from areas such as the East Coast or Midwest where education is often a part of city functions. But that doesn’t mean cities in Arizona can’t operate with school districts on mutually beneficial projects. City Manager Jim Thompson pointed out that Casa Grande for years has had agreements with local districts, varying from Little League to sharing facilities for recreation activities to the joint-use library at Vista Grande High School. Lighted crosswalks on city streets were coordinated with school districts. “Little League is probably our longest standing one, where we are utilizing the Little League area which is on elementary school district property,” he said. “We did the joint use library (Vista Grande) which was another big agreement


that had a long term impact that will exist for a long period of time, as most schools do and most of our buildings.” When the city began thinking about lighted crosswalks it met with school officials to discuss where schools believed they were needed most. “We were the first in the state to jump out and do it, where we put the lighted crosswalks,” Thompson said. “Since that time, the city’s been trying to do two a year” “What we do is sit down with the elementary school district and talk about where they feel the greatest needs are. And we worked with the Arizona Department of Transportation to get one on Pinal (north of McMurray Boulevard) and that was a huge success because traditionally they won’t allow those on state highways. That was one of the areas that the school district had the greatest amount of concern.” As part of city-school safety moves, Thompson continued, “We rolled out


a program a few years ago — we never took it to the full fruition — where we were trying to get kids to bike, walk or otherwise. Safe Routes to Schools was the program. “A few years back we started meeting with some of the parent-teacher organizations and started asking what can we do? And a lot of it had to do with safety and putting people along those routes to provide that safe route, putting people onto buses and things like that to try to drive alternative ways to get to school other than just parents driving their kids, which creates traffic congestion, which creates other concerns when you have a lot of pedestrians as well as motorized vehicles colliding in one area at one time of the day. “And one of the outbursts of that, of course, was us continuing with trying to put two in a year of the lighted crosswalks in those areas to provide a safety

he latest project to bring life to the corners of Trekell and Rodeo roads has moved ahead with approval of a major site plan for part of the long discussed, long delayed Santa Cruz Crossing project. Initially promoted as a residential/ business community, the design has shifted over the months to include senior citizen areas. In this case, the site plan is for a single-story 102-bed assisted living facility with a memory care unit for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia or other such problems. Approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission during its November meeting includes the condition that as part of the first phase of Santa Cruz Crossing the developers must complete upgrades to the frontage road on the north side of Rodeo and the widening of Rodeo. The frontage road has been a concern of residents on the north side whose driveways connect to it. The upgrade will be a two-way street rather than the one-way idea initially proposed. “Part of Phase One includes all the improvements to Rodeo Road, which also includes the frontage road,” City Planner Jim Gagliardi told the commission. “And the frontage road has been designed to be two-way. It includes a screen wall and run from Amarillo Road to Colorado Street. “It also involves the development of Pueblo Drive south of Rodeo, which would include channelization and drainage beneath Pueblo and improvements made to the tributaries to the Santa



Local News from Golden Corridor Living Magazine



SMILE – You’re on Camera!


ack in April of this year, the Casa Grande Police Advisory Board was told that the Police Department was making a move toward equipping officers with body cameras, joining a trend across the nation. Acting Chief Chris Vasquez said the department had submitted a proposal, including funding, to bring in body cams over a five-year period. Capt. Reginald Winston, who commands the Patrol Division, added that, “When we look at body cameras it takes a lot of research on our part in order to implement something like that, because we not only look at the system itself but the data storage, the cost involved and how it affects our community with that additional cost. “It does take a lot of research to implement a new program and we don’t want to provide something to our community members and find out six months later this isn’t really what we were looking for, it’s not serving the purpose.” Fast forward to now. Although a grant has been received to begin purchasing the cams, studying all of the legal ramifications and other issues and setting a policy is still in progress, City Manager Jim Thompson said. Among the questions are, what kind of security is needed, who in the city would be allowed to access the videos, what parts

of them could be released to the public, how much will the storage of cam videos cost, given the massive amount of space they use, how long must they be stored. “The biggest thing is to roll out a policy before we start instituting cams,” Thompson said. “I think that’s the challenge, because there have been some recent rulings out of courts, in particular in New York City the courts intervened a little bit and had some discussion regarding them and we’ll continue to see that, so we’re going to roll out something that protects everyone’s interests.” Among questions, Thompson continued, is “whether or not the officer can access that video at any given time to write his report or to do otherwise, should they be given access or should it only be held for an investigation or a review of an incident that occurred? “And, when to turn them on, who has look-only ability and to what level do they have that ability? Among areas still being studied, Thompson said, are: • What can be released to the public and when? • Storage issue is a cost issue, how much storage will be provided? Are videos stored off-site, or on the cloud? On the cloud, videos must be encrypted. What

Santa Cruz Crossing (continued) Cruz River that’s running east and west through the site.” All of the work must be done before the city will issue a certificate of occupancy for the 82,619 square feet assisted living facility, Gagliardi said. Commission member Stephen Gentzkow asked if the frontage road construction will create problems for residents and how long may they expect the construction to last. “Well, it was agreed to do the enTHE THEEDUCATION EDUCATION EDITION EDITION

tire length of the frontage road at once instead of doing it in accordance with what’s being developed within the SCC planed area development,” Gagliardi responded. “That way, it doesn’t create a start-stop cycle where only a portion of the frontage road is put in when the assisted living facility is built and then as development occurs further to the east then it picks up again. “The primary travel route of Rodeo as it is now is going to be shifted slightly to

level of encryption is another question. Will there need to be cloud storage, backed up by on-side storage or a separate off-site area? • Do officers share cameras or are they assigned directly to an officer for his use only. • On what calls do officers turn on a camera, when do they turn it off? • Or, will they always be on? • If officers are wearing cameras, are the on-board cameras in patrol cars still needed, or will both be used?

Privacy issues are a concern and need to be set into any policy. “It goes back to what you can release and not release if there’s an inquiry as to it,” Thompson said, “because you’ve got victims that you don’t tend to want to share that information, certain privacy rights that those individuals have. “You enter people’s homes, and are you going to allow that to be released and to what level, or are you only going to allow what’s releasable in the public areas and to what extent.” As Thompson sees it, “It isn’t where we’re not going to have body cameras. That seems to be where we need to be and that’s the newest and best technology available to us. “It’s not too far off. I think within the next 30 days they should have the policy pretty well defined, maybe 60 days. They’re working hard on it.”

Ambulance Service in Casa Grande


mergency service by Southwest Ambulance in Casa Grande has degenerated to the point where the city will apply to the state for a certificate of necessity to operate its own service through the Fire Department. The situation and what it means was outlined to the City Council during a study session.

“About 10 months ago, we started noticing that we didn’t have the coverage in the city that we needed for response to medical calls,” Fire Chief Scott Miller told the council. “We started keeping track of times we were at Level One, which meant we only

the south because they have to accommodate room for that frontage road, so there’s going to be some slight shifting of the travel lanes to widen Rodeo.” Gentzkow asked if residents will have access to their driveways during the construction. Yes, Gagliardi said, adding that, “I think the agreement to do a two-way frontage road helps assure that at the end of the day it makes it much easier to access any one of those homes regardless of which direction you’re traveling on Rodeo.”

A representative of the developer told the commission that upgrading the frontage road will be done one half of the street at a time, allowing access to the driveways. Overall, he said, the road work and assisted living building will take about a year and a half to complete. The project is the latest sign of development at Trekell/Rodeo, complementing businesses that during the past few months have moved into the long vacant commercial center at the northwest corner of the intersection.

continued on page 80...



Celebrate the Season by Robert “Bob” Jackson, Mayor, Casa Grande

T While we have a number of events in December and January I always look forward to the Downtown Street Fair in mid January.


he holiday season is here. For me one of the best ways to get in the spirit is the Electric Light Parade. I am one of the few people that have been involved in the event since the start. I remember the first one 21 years ago. We only had about ten entries; the route was essentially from what is now the Library thru the downtown area. It lasted about twenty minutes and while we didn’t count the crowd then we probably had less than five hundred people viewing the parade. Over the years the route has changed multiple times and the current one starts on Florence Blvd near Lowe’s and ends downtown at Florence Street and 2nd. We currently average between 75 and 100 entries and a crowd estimated to be over 50,000 watching. The quality of the floats always impresses me. My job since the first year has been to work in the staging area helping to line up the entries and then travel to the end of the route to make sure everybody turns onto 2nd Street and completes the parade safely. It gives me a unique perspective on the event because I get to see the floats being set up in the staging area, see the size of the crowd and then watch the parade at the end. In the 20 years of doing the parade we have really only had bad weather a couple of times but the parade goes on no matter what the weather looks like. The energy of the people who have created the floats and organized their groups to participate is always friendly and they all love each other’s floats. I think that most of the entries could care less about the awards but look forward to sharing the holiday spirit with their friends, family and the community.


The parade is always the first Saturday in December and starts about six. Depending on where you are on the route has some bearing on how long it takes but the last entry generally leaves the start about an hour after the first one and it takes about an hour to traverse the route. It is a great community event that is free. Come out and enjoy this signature community event and get into the Holiday spirit. While we have a number of events in December and January I always look forward to the Downtown Street Fair in mid January. This is another community event that started small and has steadily grown to become one of the premier events in Pinal County. In addition to arts and crafts booths there is an abundance of good food and one of the best car shows in the area. The event generally takes place over the Martin Luther King weekend and is a must see for all our residents and winter visitors. I have lived in all size cities across the west and have always felt that Casa Grande is a growing community that has managed to retain its small town feel with many of the family oriented community events we hold throughout the year. There are a number of resources you can use to keep up to date with the events going on in town including this magazine. Other resources include the Chamber website and the City’s website, Check out these websites regularly to keep up to date with our community events. In closing I hope you and your family have happy and healthy holiday season, see you at the Electric Light Parade, number 21 for me.




Page Article

Economy • Local Business

Helping Educators Excel by Helen Neuharth, President/CEO, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce

Help Our Educators and Students This year the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce is encouraging you to go to, an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students and teachers. School teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on this site. Donors can find projects or classrooms that most inspire them and make a donation. When a project reaches its funding goal, will ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give more than $50 and you’ll also receive a hand-written thank-you from the students. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will match $1 million in donations to Donors need to enter the code JUMPSTART to have their donation matched.

Area Educators and Business Person Recognized Hero of Public Education (HOPE) is a statewide created and launched by the Arizona School Boards Association as the annual theme to kick off 2015.The intent of the campaign is to spotlight educators, parents, legislators, business partners and community members that inspire and unconditionally influence students throughout Arizona. HOPE recipients will be showcased on the Arizona School Board Association’s website, Facebook and Twitter sites and printed in various publications. The Arizona School Boards Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting elected local governance of public education and continuous improvement of student success by providing leadership and assistance to school district governing boards statewide. ASBA represents more than 1,000 school board members and more than one million Arizona children.


Helen has recognized the critical relationship between education and economic development, and she has been a tireless champion and supporter of public education.” The Casa Grande Elementary School Governing Board will recognize the three of us at their meeting at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, October 13. We will also be recognized at the Arizona School Board’s Association Pinal County meeting on Tuesday, October 20 in the library at Combs High School in San Tan Valley.

2016 Home Show Coming Soon HOPE represents public figures who advocate the many needs and challenges in Arizona’s local public schools. Heroes of Public Education possess super-powers in their own way that positively impact the lives of students. In August, Dr. Frank Davidson, Superintendent of the Casa Grande Elementary School District, nominated two district educators and me. Nominators were limited to a one-sentence reason for nominating that individual. All three of us were selected for the “Heroes of Public Education” Award in the following categories: Certified employee: Katheryne Lairmore, Ironwood Elementary School – “Mrs. Lairmore provides a safe and nurturing academic environment for students who frequently experience significant emotional turmoil.” Classified employee: Lisa Flores, Cactus Middle School - “Besides being a great teacher, Lisa has coached the Mock Trial teams at Cactus Middle School for several years, and has an impressive record for developing the skills of middle school students in public speaking, writing, reasoning, and logic.” Community member: Helen Neuharth, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce “Throughout her 24 years of service to the community as the Executive Director of the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce,

The Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce is, once again, providing a venue for you to meet with businesses in the community. The 2016 Home, Health & Garden Show will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2016, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, at CityGate (formerly the Outlets at Casa Grande) at Jimmie Kerr Blvd. and I-10 (Exit 198). Previous years have seen more than 2,400 people attend during the one-day show. A fun day to learn more about the business community, enjoy the music, beer garden and stroll through the incredible car and truck show, this event is FREE to the public to attend. Plan to join us Saturday, January 9, 2016!

Happy Holidays I am sure many of you have said this: “My, how time flies” and “I can’t believe 2015 is almost over.” On behalf of the Board of Directors and Staff of the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, I extend to you warmest wishes for a safe and happy holiday season. For more business and area information stop by the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce, 575 N. Marshall Street; Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Visit the Chamber’s website for community events, job board, customer discounts and much more.



merchants open late! Museum exhibits open Page Casa Article Grande Main Street- 6:00pm 12:00pm

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andwiched in between the barrage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday press is a little thing called Small Business Saturday. On (520)Weekend 836-2223 Thanksgiving when the official shopping season is supposed to begin, this quiet little Museum exhibits open 12:00pm - 4:00pm event takes place. Unfortunately, one day does not a season7:00pm make, Special Event particularly when small businesses, just like major retailers, count on the season sales to survive the rest of the year. Why can’t we make every Saturday “Small Business Saturday”? You or contact our office for the latest update on can opt out of website security breaches available exhibition spaces, car show applicaand mall madness this season. Discover the tions and volunteer opportunities. treasure trove of one-of-a-kind gifts and a Casa Grande Main Street is a non-profit return to holiday shopping bliss in our histor501(c)3 organization working on downtown ic downtown. revitalization and historic preservation. The Here, local artisans and mom-and-pop Main Street program is designed to improve shops offer uniquely crafted treasures for all aspects of the downtown experience. all tastes and price ranges. Our downtown Strengthening public participation and 9:30am - 2:00pm is pedestrian friendly and you won’t have making downtown a fun place to visit are as to find a new parking space to go from one critical to Main Street’s future as drawing Street Patioa gift cerstore toMain the next. How about new business, rehabilitating structures and behind Eday? Jar tificate(Alley for wellness classesCook or a spa expanding parking options. Visit our website Florence Maybeat your speed is a Street) romantic dinner and at for more infortickets for live music, theatre or dancing at mation on our mission, memberships and Walking Tour one of Historical a variety of entertainment venues?10:00am upcoming events. The Merchants talk of the townScavenger is the openingHunt of Old and Town Ale House where you can share a craft Outdoor Market brew with a friend in an upscale pub setting while checking off your shopping list. Every Tuesday and Friday, local artisans line up at the air market at 4th and Florence Street next to Herbalicious to offer one-of-a-kind gifts for those selective shoppers. 520-836-8744 As the year draws to a close, we’ll be 110 W. 2nd St. gearing up for our 16th Annual Street Fair Casa Grande and Car Show on January 16th and 17th, 2016. Street Scene and Day Out Downtown events will be dark January as we prepare to welcome crowds from all over the Southwest, hundreds of exhibitors and car show of Casa Grande110 W. 2nd Street • Casa Grande participants. Be sure to checkCity our website

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Main Street Strip


Saturday, January 9, 2016 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at Arizona

Home Furnishing Outlets (Formerly CityGate)

2300 E. Tanger Dr., Ste. 128 & 130 Casa Grande, AZ 85122

MORE THAN 60 INDOOR EXHIBITORS + + + OUTSIDE - FAMILY-FUN CAR & TRUCK SHOW...FOOD...MUSIC...BEER GARDEN Participate in the Passport–Card Challenge for a chance to win one of several pre-paid Visa Card! NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN! Sponsors:

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Page Article

During the Holidays - Your Presence is Worth More Than Presents by Nicole Youcupicio, Casa Grande Alliance - Prevention Specialist, ACPP I Youth look to their parents and other caring adults for guidance, boundaries, and positive support.

1. SAMHSA, The National Survey on Drug Use and Health Report. (July 2012) 2. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, The Importance of Family Dinners VIII. (Sept. 2012) 3. Partnership for DrugFree Kids, Parents: What You Say — and What You Do — Matters to Your Kids. (March 2011). 4. Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona Youth Survey. (2014). 5. Students Against Destructive Decisions & Liberty Mutual Insurance, Teen’s Today Research. 6. American Medical Association Survey (2005)



ore than likely your to-do list this holiday season includes buying presents, but does it include being present? Being physically, emotionally, and mentally present with your child(ren) is crucial, especially during the holidays. On an average day in December, more than 11,000 youth will use alcohol for the first time.1 That is approximately 70% more per day compared to other months throughout the year. As you can see, December is a hot spot for underage drinking. But don’t lose hope! The silver lining in all of this is that YOU can prevent your child from using alcohol! Teens who have good relationships with their parents are two time less likely to use alcohol.2 So, what do you need to do? Well, there are a few steps you can take to help your child stay away from alcohol, they include: talking with your child(ren) about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, being a good role model, not allowing your child to drink at home, monitoring their activities, and setting clear rules and consequences. • Talk early and often with your child(ren) about drugs and alcohol. Communication and repetition is key! Teens whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of drugs and alcohol are 50% less likely to use drugs, yet less than 42% of Casa Grande teens report having these conversations with their parents.3,4 These conversations


need to happen sooner as well; the average age Casa Grande youth start drinking is between 12 and 13 years old. Nearly 1 out 5 eighth graders, 1 out of 4 tenth graders, and 1 out of 3 twelfth graders in Casa Grande report using alcohol in the last 30 days.4 • Be a good role model. If you use alcohol, set a good example and drink responsibly, teach your child good decision making skills. Your actions inadvertently tell them what is and what is not acceptable. What are your actions telling them if every time you have a bad day you immediately come home and have a beer? • Monitor your child’s activities. Always know where your child is and who they are with, and limit the amount of time your child spends unsupervised, even at home. In 2014, 17% of Casa Grande teens report obtaining alcohol from home and 2 out of 3 teens aged 13-18 said it is easy to get alcohol from their own homes without their parents knowing.4,6 The City of Casa Grande has a Social Hosting & Unruly Party Ordinance (Ordinance No. 1397.09.05) which states that it is against the law to have underage drinking in your home, whether you knowingly supplied the alcohol or not. The entire ordinance can be seen at • Do not allow your child to drink at home. Over half of high school

teens who report their parents allow them to drink at home (even just once in a while) report that they also drink elsewhere with their friends.5 In 2014, 20% of Casa Grande youth report obtaining alcohol from a parent or guardian which has increased approximately by 55.8% since 2010. Allowing your child to drink at home is usually done with good intentions, but it will send the wrong message and can cause more harm than good to both you and your child. • Set clear rules and consequences. Set and enforce a ‘zero tolerance’ policy which clearly states that there is to be no underage drinking or drug use in your home. Enforce these rules with consistency and appropriate consequences. As you can see youth (yes, even teenagers) look to their parents and other caring adults for guidance, boundaries, and positive support. Half of Casa Grande teens who don’t use drugs and alcohol choose not to because they don’t want to disappoint their parents or another adult in their life.4 Our kids need and want our presence over presents. So, I challenge you; I challenge you to be purposefully present this holiday season. If you would like more information on how to talk with your child about drugs and alcohol, go to: or call 520-836-5022.


Presence vs. Presents

This year, give the gift of time. Spending quality time together really makes a difference! When we praise, encourage, and give positive attention to children, it helps prevent substance use and problem behaviors. Drug abuse prevention and treatment referrals 901 E. Cottonwood Lane—Suite C Casa Grande, Arizona 85122 520-836-5022 Facebook: Casaus Grande Alliance | Twitter: @CG_Alliance Follow on Twitter: @CG_Alliance Source: Arizona Youth Survey, Casa Grande results 2014

The LIVING Interview


hen you are young as I was and just beginning your career in a smaller town you tend to meet most everyone pretty quick. As a result I was introduced to David A. Fitzgibbons, Jr. by John McEvoy at a Casa Grande Town Hall gathering somewhere back in the mid to late 1970’s. I remember the man’s wit. You had to pay attention or the offered brevity would fly over your head until you got it five minutes later. I saw many “community leaders” come and go from this place, but Mr. Fitzgibbons quickly established himself as an attorney in Casa Grande and you just seemed to know he would be instrumental in shaping the future of our town. Indeed. However, his most important legacy to us was his



two sons Denis and his namesake David A. III. He taught his sons well and they have continued his impact on our community within the field of Jurisprudence. When David Jr. passed away it affected most everybody because he knew everybody. He was that type of Guy. I sat down with Denis and “Red” Fitzgibbons recently to hear what they had to say about their Dad and enjoy a few anecdotes. One thing is for certain, the boys loved and respected their father very much and it was a treat to hear what they had to say as you will read. — Brett Eisele October 2015


The LIVING Interview

Denis & David Fitzgibbons Fitzgibbons Law Offices Interview by Brett Eisele and Rock Earle GC LIVING: Where were you two born? DENIS: Estherville, Iowa. GC LIVING:  What is your first memory of growing up there? DENIS:  We had a forest and river behind our house, I remember running around in there. GC LIVING:  So ... it’s the same story as everybody else, you had a forest in the back yard? And of course you had a paper route and delivered in the snow? DAVID: We did, actually. GC LIVING:  Obviously your first years were spent growing up in Estherville; when did the family move to Casa Grande and what grade were you in school? DAVID: 8th grade. DENIS:  I started in 5th grade here at St. Anthony’s. GC LIVING:  Your mom and dad decided to move out of Estherville, why? DAVID:  My dad had rheumatoid arthritis and he needed to be in a warmer, drier climate. GC LIVING:  Really? And of all places why’d they choose Casa Grande? DAVID:  They we’re from Estherville which is a small town so they wanted to be in a rural community. They came out, multiple times, looked in Yuma, Sierra Vista and even Tucson because at the time Tucson was small enough. DENIS:  When they drove up from Tucson, they took the first exit to Casa Grande (now Jimmie Kerr Blvd.) and turned right around and went back to Tucson! They were supposed to meet I think with Tom McCarville or Tom Spies, another Iowan at First Interstate Bank. GC LIVING:  Why were they meeting Mr. Spies from First Interstate bank? DAVID:  He was an Iowa guy meaning there was an Iowa connection. Tom came here from Iowa.


“The pictures of him passing the bar all have his hands wrapped up because of the writing required for the bar exam caused his arthritis to flare.” GC LIVING: And he introduced them to Tom McCarville? DAVID: Yes. Spies said to my dad, “I understand you’re a Creighton University grad. There’s another Creighton grad here who’s an attorney and his name is Tom McCarville.” The McCarvilles were from Fort Dodge, Iowa and Tom had attended Creighton as well. GC LIVING: Your dad and two uncles, all practiced law? DENIS:  Our uncles Leo and Fran practiced law for a long time in the Northwest part Iowa. My dad is the youngest in the family and so he had joined them after the Korean War and started practicing with them. DAVID: There was a fourth brother and he became a doctor. GC LIVING:  Were they just country lawyers or did they have a specific type of law they practiced? DAVID: I think they would have said they were country lawyers. GC LIVING:  And again, all three of them work together at one point? DAVID: Yes.

GC LIVING: So what was the name of the firm? DAVID: Fitzgibbons Brothers. DENIS:  They all grew up in ... they grew up in Armstrong. My ... our granddad was like the conductor of the railroad in Armstrong, which is 10 miles from Estherville. Our grandparents also ran the theater and my grandma was a teacher.All the children were born four years apart because my grandma wanted to make sure they all got out of college. She didn’t want two kids in college at the same time because she knew she and my grandfather couldn’t afford it. GC LIVING: It was all pre-planned? DENIS:  As much as it could be for an Irish Catholic family in the early 1900s. GC LIVING: At what age did your dad start realizing he had to get out of the snow? Was he still a young man? DAVID:  I think he was around ‘42. My dad’s got 7 kids and the doctors told him you have to leave the cold because of his rheumatoid arthritis. He’d been practicing law with his brothers in Estherville for 15 years. At the time, Arizona required every lawyer regardless of experience to take the bar. So he worked as a law clerk until he passed the Arizona bar exam. GC LIVING: Where’d he work? DAVID:  At Stanfield, McCarville, Coxon, and Cole. And so he worked as a law clerk supporting seven kids that way. DAVID:  And, the pictures of him passing the bar all have his hands wrapped up because of the writing required for the bar exam caused his arthritis to flare and his arms to swell. GC LIVING: What’d your mom do? DENIS:  Our mother, Agnes, was a nurse, but she ran the house. (laughs) She was raising the kids, she had seven kids. GC LIVING: And your dad was surviving on pay



Back row: Robert Yates, Kevin White, Gloria Auger Denis Fitzgibbons, Judge E.D. McBryde (Ret), David Fitzgibbons III

as a law clerk before he took the bar? DAVID: They had saved money to come out. GC LIVING: Where’d y’all buy your first house? DENIS: Rancho Grande. 1137 East Delano Drive DAVID:  From Harlyn Griffiths, Mi Casa Builders. GC LIVING: You guys were way outside of town. DAVID: Oh yeah. GC LIVING:  Because there was nothing between town and there. DAVID:  We walked home ... seriously, had to walk home sometimes. (laughs) GC LIVING:  So you grew up in a very learned atmosphere. Did your Grandmother preach to you how important is to get your education? DAVID:  My ... our grandmother ran the show. There was no question from anyone’s perspective. My grandma told her boys what to do and they did it. We were around our grandma before she died, I don’t remember how old I was when she died, but it was before we’d left Iowa. She was stern! She expressed clearly to the older grandkids her expectations. And then, you know, in our house too, our mom and dad were focused on education. There was no question whether you’d go to college, it was just where and when. And, it was that way from the time we were little kids.Every child knew they were going to college. GC LIVING:  Did all your uncles attend



Creighton? DENIS: No, our uncle Leo was at Iowa. My uncle Fran was Notre Dame. Dad and Uncle Bob were Creighton. GC LIVING:  So how did your dad and Tom McCarville get along when your dad first came to Casa Grande? DAVID: I think they got a long good. They were both Creighton guys, you know, Irish Catholic guys. Each had big families. Tom and JoAnne were very welcoming to our family. GC LIVING: This was in the 70’s? DENIS: Yes, we came out in ‘74. GC LIVING:  Did you two ever hang out in his office and find interest in law, want to find out what was going on? DAVID:  After football practice at high school or after whatever activity, how we got back home was we’d walk over to the office and get a ride. Some of it was by osmosis. You sit there and you see him, or hear him on the phone talking to somebody, trying to help somebodyand him getting all fired up and you thinking, “Hey. That’s something I think I could do.” GC LIVING: Did you hear or see a lot of trials? DAVID: Dad did a lot of trial work. It was a different practice back then. We say country lawyer, but again was Casa Grande country sized? I don’t know. But, he did every type of legal work under the sun and pretty much every attorney in town did everything under

the sun. GC LIVING: I was one of the lucky few that knew him. When did he leave Stanfield? DAVID: ‘86 ... I was out of law school by then. In ‘86 Frank Coxon went on the bench. Stanfield retired. Cole had already left to go over and join with O’Neil. DAVID: And so Dad left. Dad, I and Bob Yates went up to Cottonwood Lane in the old Mahoney building at Kadota and Cottonwood Lane. GC LIVING: Denis, where were you at the time? DENIS: I had just graduated from college. I was ASU Law, so I was a first year student. I went to Columbia for undergrad. GC LIVING:  You went to Columbia, graduated, came back and finished law school at ASU. Why didn’t you want to stay back in an eastern law school? DENIS:  You know what? That’s a great questionI was accepted into Columbia law school late and so I wasn’t really sure because I wanted to be back here, but everyone told me I should stay and go to Columbia. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do. I had lunch with a lawyer in Phoenix, Frank Lewis, who was a Columbia undergrad and law grad and we talked about it... I thought Frank gave me great advice. He said, “Hey. If you want to be in politics or anything like that, you have to stay and go to Columbia.” He also told me if I wanted to practice law


The LIVING Interview (continued) in the southwest, especially in Arizona and knew I wanted to be in Arizona, “I should go to ASU and get to know people. Get to know the lawyers you’re going to practice with.” And so I decided to stay in Arizona.I think it was great advice. I practiced in a firm in Phoenix. I practiced at Snell and Wilmer for several years. GC LIVING: Did you clerk for them? DENIS: Yes. I clerked for them after my second year of law school at ASU and then stayed on for four years or so and then came down and joined my dad and my brother. GC LIVING: And that experience had to be good for you because you’re in a large firm. DENIS:  Snell and Wilmer was just a great atmosphere, a lot of Iowa, midwestern lawyers. A lot of great training went on there. They had some very fascinating cases at that time. They were national counsel for Ford at that time and did all the Bronco II rollover litigation all over the country. And so it was really a fascinating time, because it was right when the internet and computers were being first used in litigation. But it was really opening a lot of doors for the plaintiffs lawyers, because now instead of just trying a case in Georgia and not knowing what Ford said in South Dakota in a case, these guys were able to all communicate, and were able to identify exactly what they got for answers in depositions, or discovery all across the country. So it was important for Ford to make sure they were consistent. And they needed a national counsel that oversaw all of that litigation around the country. GC LIVING: And were you involved at all? DENIS: Well, as a young lawyer, I did discovery type work. GC LIVING:  Meanwhile David you’re working with your Dad and have passed the bar? DAVID:  Passed the bar in ‘87 and right away started working with Dad. I was sitting here listening to Denis talk about his experiences starting out. I had different experiences. He mentioned doing the discovery work on the Bronco II litigation, which is all pre-computer, so it’s just paper pushing, voluminous paper pushing. And I just laugh, because my Dad, Yates and I saw litigation become a paper mill too in our cases. GC LIVING: Well, where did you clerk? DAVID:  I worked over at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse as a clerk for Judge Mc-


Bryde, Judge Don, Judge Bean. GC LIVING: Now that had to be an experience. DENIS: It was. They all had very different personalities.I was lucky enough after my first year of law school to clerk at the Pinal County Courthouse as well. GC LIVING: David, you finished law school and you went right to work with your Dad? DAVID: I did. GC LIVING: What did he have you doing? DAVID:  Every type of law under the sun. I remember getting my bar license and on the

“My Dad would be telling me: ‘objection, objection,’ but I didn’t want to object. …finally Judge Bean stopped it and says, ‘Do one of you Fitzgibbons have an objection? … Senior apparently thinks you do.’”

Monday following that, I was doing depositions with six lawyers from Tucson and Phoenix. GC LIVING: So your Dad threw you right under the bus. DAVID: Or threw me right in the fire.He’d walk in and say, here’s your case, go over to Justice Court, you need to try it tomorrow... But that was the way he trained both of us. Obviously he was there to answer questions but you needed to figure out how to get it done. GC LIVING:  Did he at least let you second chair on a trial or two before you had to try the case? DAVID:  Well, it depended on the case that he thought you could handle. A Justice Court or City Court case, no, it was just go do it. But there were also cases in Superior Court that I went over and tried with him serv-

ing as his second chair. Dad would be first chair and he’d take most of the witnesses, and then I’d take some of the smaller witnesses. I’d start going through my questions and Dad would sit right there and still try to run the show. I’d start asking questions that he didn’t want me to ask. And he would start in on me ... so there would be this jostling at counseling table! The rule was whichever lawyer questioned the witness had to make the objections. I recall one case before Judge Bean that we both tried. My Dad would sit there and the other lawyer would be asking my witness questions and my Dad would be telling me: ‘objection, objection,’ but I didn’t want to object. I didn’t think it was a good objection, and finally Judge Bean stopped it and says, “Do one of you Fitzgibbons have an objection?” GC LIVING: (laughs). DAVID:  “Senior apparently thinks you do.” Bean said. (laughs) Finally I had to move to the other side of the courtroom away from him because I just couldn’t hear anything but him. GC LIVING:  What are the other things you remember about your dad? Obviously he’s a good teacher. Was he good in the courtroom? DAVID:  Yes. And I think judges and his peers would say that he was very good in the courtroom. My dad was very passionate. If you were a client, you knew my dad, a), knew you and your case well and, b), cared deeply about you and your case. Sometimes, he’d scream at lawyers and others. He felt so passionately. DENIS:  It was nothing, as kids, this was always funny; you’d be sitting out in the lobby waiting to go home. My dad sometimes went to 5:15 Mass - - if he didn’t make it to 7:00 Mass. And so, we’d hearing him screaming, maybe cussing, at somebody on the phone, all of a sudden he’d come flying out the door, we’re going to be late for Mass. GC LIVING: (laugh) GC LIVING: I remember in his office there was a brick. What was that brick about? DAVID:  The brick, um ... my grandfather, the original David Fitzgibbons, was the depot agent in Armstrong, Iowa. And so, that’s where Dad and his brothers grew up. Years later, they were going to tear down the de-



Banner Casa Grande HEALTH

New Occupational Health Services by Tammy Gabel, Public Relations Specialist, Banner Casa Grande Medical Center

By offering these services, we hope to not only give our community the best health care possible, but also empower them so they understand their treatment options.


n an effort to help reduce medical costs for employers in Casa Grande, while improving and maintaining the health and well-being of their employees, Banner Health expanded its Occupational Health Services program starting on Monday, Nov. 2. “We’re excited to introduce a robust Occupational Health program to employers in our community, and to our own employees,” said Rona Curphy, CEO of Banner Casa Grande Medical Center. “The comprehensive list of pre-employment, wellness and other service will complement the services Banner already offers the community.” Banner Occupational Health Services are available to those who work for a company that participates in the service. Located on the north side of the Urgent Care building at 1676 E. McMurray Blvd., Suite 2, services include employment screenings, physicals, worker injury care, immunizations, vaccinations, wellness programs and classes. The clinic will be open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. With the addition of this new service, Curphy said, it’s important to understand when it’s appropriate to use Occupational Health, vs. primary care, urgent care or the Emergency room at the hospital.

Occupational Health Occupational Health offers a variety of pre-employment and employee programs. In general, your employer will advise you when it’s appropriate to visit Occupational Health. Some of the services offered include: • Worker injury care • Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals • Drug testing • Breath alcohol testing (BAT) • Customized physical exams • Executive physicals • Fitness for duty exams



• • • •

Vaccinations and immunizations Health risk assessments Wellness programs CPR & First Aid classes

Primary Care It’s important to have an established primary care provider before you get sick. Primary care providers will have an understanding of your medical history and, in non-emergent cases, should be the first call you make to guide you in your next steps, whether that’s an office visit, a specialist referral, urgent care or hospital. Even those in good health should visit their primary care provider for an annual physical.

Urgent Care Urgent care centers are appropriate when you: • Can’t get in to see your primary care physician • Need medical treatment after your physician office has closed • Need prompt medical attention but the services are not emergent The following list doesn’t cover every potential condition, but does offer some general guidelines for the types of conditions appropriate for urgent care: • Minor burns or injuries • Minor cuts • Sore throat • Sprains or strains • Cold or flu symptoms • Ear infections • Mild asthma • Animal bites • Minor broken bones • Urinary tract infection Unlike an Emergency room, urgent care centers are not equipped to address life-threatening condi-

tions such as heart attacks, strokes or trauma. If you’re not sure if you or a loved one is experiencing a potentially life-threatening medical illness, treat it as an emergency and go to the nearest Emergency room or call 911.

Emergency Department You should go to the nearest hospital Emergency room with any of the following symptoms: • Chest pain • Difficulty breathing • Abdominal pain • Loss of consciousness • Poisoning or overdose • Heavy or uncontrolled bleeding • Sudden change in mental ability • Sudden onset of sharp or severe pain • Sudden severe headache • Dislocated joint • Broken bones with deformity or that break the skin • Vaginal bleeding during a pregnancy • Major burn • Severe reaction to an insect bite, medication or food It’s important to remember that children may display different symptoms than adults, and symptoms that are serious for a child may not be as serious for an adult. Children may also be unable to communicate their condition, which means an adult will have to interpret the behavior. Always get immediate medical attention if you think your child is having a medical emergency. “By offering these services, we hope to not only give our community the best health care possible, but also empower them so they understand their treatment options can make the best choices when it comes to their health and the health of their loved ones,” Curphy said.


The best way to fight breast cancer is to find it early. Mammography is the single best tool for finding breast cancer. And at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, we offer digital mammography. That means you can benefit from less radiation exposure, shorter exam times and enhanced image clarity resulting in 28% more breast cancer being detected. Early detection is the best way to protect yourself from breast cancer.



Mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women are provided through a grant from Susan G. KomenÂŽ Central and Northern Arizona (Komen CAN AZ). Call (520) 381-6744 to learn more. THE EDUCATION EDITION




The Year in Review: 2015 by Jim Dinkle, Executive Director, Access Arizona

During 2015 Access Arizona hosted several seminars of interest, including ones on business succession planning and what Central Arizona College can do for your business.



he year 2015 signaled a rebound in the Pinal County economy. Countywide unemployment started the year at 7.0 percent, but dropped to as low as 5.6 percent in May, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fortune 500 corporation Tractor Supply Company (TSC) opened its 650,000-square-foot Casa Grande distribution center in the Central Arizona Commerce Park late in the year. TSC plans on hiring as many as 250 employees. The company also opened a retail store in Casa Grande at 1988 East Florence Boulevard. As part of its Business Retention and Expansion program to recognize and celebrate the contributions of existing businesses, Access Arizona initiated a Pinal County Business of the Month award mid-year. The 2015 recipients were Hexcel Corporation, Casa Grande (June); Stinger Bridge and Iron, Coolidge (July); Sun Life Family Health Center, Eloy (August); National Vitamin Company, Casa Grande (September); Robson Ranch, Eloy (October); Quemetco Metals Limited, Casa Grande (November); and Otto Industries, Eloy (December). The City of Eloy and the Urban Land Institute Arizona on April 30th convened an all-day technical assistance panel (AzTAP) of experts to discuss the long-term future of the City’s central business district and the steps necessary to revitalize the downtown core. Union Pacific Railroad, a strategic partner in regional economic development, underwrote the costs for the event and the result by year-end has been an upswing in business and developer interest in Eloy’s Main Street corridor. Ongoing downtown revitalization can also be seen in Casa Grande’s central business district. New streetscaping, an active Main Street program and an engaged and vibrant chamber of commerce have driven down storefront vacancies, brought visitors and


special events to the downtown and created a fun, welcoming atmosphere that marries the past with the present. One of the area’s future developments will be the over 1,300 acres known as Centerpoint of the Southwest at Interstates 8 and 10 in Casa Grande. The property is ripe for residential, retail, office, hospitality/resort and/or light industrial, while also offering Union Pacific rail access. The site is engineered for an interchange off of Interstate 8 at Henness Road. A wealth of mapping and marketing information about the property is available at The global sourcing center PhoenixMart made great strides in 2015 as construction on the foundation began. By the end of summer, there were 780 footers poured to support the 1,500,000-square-foot global commerce center, which will house 1,700 tenant suites for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers in each of PhoenixMart’s six major product areas: home/hotel, auto/industrial, food/beverage. office/recreation, fashion/variety and electronics/accessories. The development captured the interest of Forbes with an article published in July and in September by Bloomberg Business. More information about PhoenixMart is available at The coming year will present chal-

lenges and opportunities. Casa Grande will say goodbye to Mayor Bob Jackson in December 2016, while welcoming his successor. Mayor Jackson, who serves on Access Arizona’s board of directors, has been a champion of regional economic development, establishment of the Sun Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization and building the Casa Grande recreation center that was approved by voters in 2006. Mayor Jackson had the distinction of being the City’s chief executive on the 100th Anniversary of Casa Grande’s incorporation. A ceremony organized by Casa Grande Main Street was held November 6 to honor the occasion. Governor Ducey signed legislation on October 29 stemming from a special legislative session that he convened to pump $3.5 billion into public education funding over the next 10 years. Arizonans will ultimately decide the fate of the legislation signed by Governor Ducey when voters go to the polls on May 17 for a special election to vote the initiative up or down. Access Arizona has long been concerned about the correlation between schools and economic development. We have closely followed the lead on education issues set by the Arizona Business and Education Council (ABEC), of which we are a member. During 2015 Access Arizona hosted several seminars of interest, including ones on business succession planning and what Central Arizona College can do for your business. Both sessions were well attended and we plan more such programming in 2016. Feel welcome to contact Access Arizona when we can be of service to your business with site selection, access to capital, marketing and to network you with others who can help with job training and workforce development. We look forward to hearing from you at either or by calling 520.836.6868. Happy holidays and best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy 2016!



A place to grow your business, raise your family and walk your dog! Access Arizona is the regional economic development authority helping businesses to locate or expand in Pinal County. Let Access Arizona help grow your business! Contact Access Arizona at either 520.836.6868 or

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Ak-Chin Page Article LOCAL BUSINESS

An Office/Warehouse Location that Could Be Just Right The Santa Cruz Commerce Center sits in a gateway region, out of the fray of the metropolitan congestion of Phoenix, but central to major centers of commerce and ports in California, Texas and Mexico.


or local start-up businesses or small regional companies looking to expand, finding the right lease space can be a little like being Goldilocks & the Three Bears. In one market, the spaces might be too big; in another, they may be too small or don’t exist at all. In another location, the lease rate may be too high and in another, there may be no place to expand. And if you’re looking to serve both the Casa Grande and City of Maricopa markets, the travel time and cost from locations that have more choices may well outweigh the benefits. However, there is a location in between that may be just right.

Ak-Chin’s Advantages Make It Easier to Meet You Halfway On the eastern edge of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, just 14 miles from the heart of Casa Grande and only 8 miles from the center of the City of Maricopa, the Mesquite Building at Santa Cruz Commerce Center offers some unique advantages. Built in 2010, this multi-tenant complex features hard-to-find office/warehouse space that can be customized to your needs. Another advantage is the complex’s low lease rates. The base lease rate in the Mesquite Building historically has run about 20% below current base leases in the surrounding areas. Utility savings are also a benefit of being a Mesquite building tenant. That’s because, except for telecommunications and natural gas, Ak-Chin owns and establishes its own rates for the majority of utility services and those rates typically are lower than other competitive utilities in the area.

Positioned for Success

Located at 12501 N. Murphy Road on the southwestern side of the Commerce Center, the Mesquite Building has great visibility from the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. It houses five suites that feature two offices, a unisex 30


bathroom, and a large flex space. This makes them ideal for small manufacturing operations, distribution centers, or even kids’ recreation facilities. This is what Beth Mundell, owner of Fryestorm Cheer, found when she was looking for space for her business. A Mesquite Building tenant since August 2013, Ms. Mundell is enthusiastic about her location. “I loved that the space was PERFECT for my business!” she said. “For a new business starting out, the price was affordable and terms doable for us. We could not have made this dream a reality anywhere else.”

Room to Grow

Should a business outgrow its space in the Mesquite Building, there’s still room to grow in the Santa Cruz Commerce Center. Currently, the Commerce Center has approximately 50 acres of leasable land that can be used for an owner-built or a build-to-suit facility. With lots starting at 1.2 acres and up, the Commerce Center can offer Mesquite Building tenants who have established a good track record with Ak-Chin some favorable terms to expand. For example, a tenant can typically amortize construction costs over a long-term lease that will give them a customized facility without the sizable upfront capital outlay.

Convenient to Transportation Hubs The Mesquite Building, like all businesses that locate in the Santa Cruz Commerce Center sits in a gateway region, out of the fray of the metropolitan congestion of Phoenix, but central to major centers of commerce and ports in California, Texas and Mexico. It is close to major transportation arteries like Interstate 10, Interstate 8, and it fronts the Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway (Hwy 238). Moreover, it is less than 5 minutes from the Community’s own general aviation airport, Ak-Chin Regional Airport, which has undergone a series of renovations to improve its utility and safety and to reactivate its self-serve fueling island. In 2016, runway lighting and an AWOS system will be added and additional improvements are planned to continue.

The Deciding Factors

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right location for your business: lease rates and terms; initial capital outlay for tenant improvements; utility costs; space size and expansion ability; cost and time of travel and transportation, as well as access to markets. For all these reasons, the Mesquite Building at Santa Cruz Commerce Center could be just right for your business. THE THE EDUCATION EDUCATIONEDITION EDITION

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Leadership – The Politics of Getting People to Follow by Jim Rhodes, Long time small business advocate


eadership and leadership training have become corporate buzzwords that refer to nearly everything an executive or manager does. As leadership has become watered down to the level of an organizational commodity the challenges of determining the impact of leadership have increased. As a managerial skill leadership appears in a variety of forms. None of these are particularly exciting. The other day an acquaintance was saying that it ought to be against the law to talk about leadership while driving because of the danger of nodding off. It is when leadership can be connected with organizational results that it becomes a tad more interesting. Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision, values, charisma, and intelligence, among others. For example organizational leadership can be studied looking at the anatomy of the managerial group. This type of study would involve looking at the relationship between power, authority and status. Breaking down the general concept of leadership into these three elements allows a look at how leadership influences behavior. We’re looking here at an academic picture of leadership influence. Leadership lectures often recall how someone during a time of great turmoil or stress has risen above “it all” and turned in a noteworthy performance. Those involved in training recognize that when the going gets tough people do not “rise to the occasion”. Instead, they fall to their level of training. Now back to leadership. The three facets of power, authority and status do not exist in a relationship dependent upon one another. Rather, they exist separately. Power may be viewed as the degree of indispensability of the person employing it. As an example, powerful political operatives or elected officials “get things done.” There are very few of these folks in existence today. Power is not inferred from an organization chart. As an example it may come from a position or a number of other elements of the organization. Authority is a relationship where one person makes decisions guiding the actions of other persons. Authority is usually limited to certain zones



or spheres of influence. As an example police officers often have authority within their jurisdiction or the boundaries of the political subdivision that employs them. Elected officials may have some limited authority within the boundaries of the political subdivision from which they were elected. Status requires an evaluation. For it to exist those conferring it must be able to place or evaluate other persons. Also it is related to the degree of conformity to the group. Conformity may have diminishing returns such as when somebody is “sucking up”. For those who would be leaders the most important individual characteristic is leadership confidence. Dan McCarthy, the Director of Executive Development Programs at the University of New Hampshire has written a research piece on developing leadership confidence. Leadership confidence is not universal among leaders. McCarthy has developed the following strategies to help develop leadership confidence. 1. Learn about leadership. 2. Network with other leaders. 3. Develop your own realistic self-awareness about your leadership skills and needs. 4. Make a habit to help others be more successful. 5. Openly celebrate your wins or the wins of your colleagues. 6. Pay attention to your appearance and a look confident. 7. Learn and practice positive psychology. 8. Develop your emotional intelligence (EQ). This is not something you’re born with but it can be learned and developed. 9. Project confidence. Learn to “fake it till you make it”. 10. Do not hesitate to ask others for help. 11. Learn to make decisions without asking permission. 12. Develop a sense of humor. It will be difficult to work on all of these at the same time. Try picking one or two at a time. Look for incremental improvement. As our economy struggles to return to profitability, a key competitive advantage will be mastering the art of changing quickly. Organizations today are charged with si-

multaneously sustaining growth and delivering revenue results. What used to be done in a three or five year plan now may occasionally need to be done in a matter of weeks or months. Adaptability describes an important characteristic of modern business. Let’s look at leadership from an operational perspective. Whether a public or private organization, top management has the same set of responsibilities. These include articulating the organizational mission; instilling in the workers the necessary competencies and accountability; getting and keeping everyone on the same page of the “plan”; and, controlling for results or making sure that everyone does what’s expected of them in such a way as to keep the organization moving ahead. For whatever reasons business leaders sometimes have difficulty imagining themselves as community leaders. If we look at the numbers there is a large percentage of executives who believe they and their counterparts should have a greater role in social and political issues than they currently enjoy. They admit they would like to play a greater role in shaping debate on education, foreign policy and health care. They believe that volunteerism is important. I recall about 45 years ago while working as an hourly employment hiring manager at General Motors that my boss called me in and said I am in charge of the commercial division of the United Way for the coming year and I’d like you to help me. I said I would help and off I went. It didn’t take long to figure out I had been snookered. I began spending much less time hiring “seasonal visitors” from Kentucky who made Corvair’s and more time tracking down exceptionally crafty CEOs to get their corporate United Way donations. The wonderful residual is a certainty that the United Way is a valuable organization and it remains one of my favorite volunteer activities. There are a number of ways for business executives to have an impact on public issues. In the big picture they may operate through their companies or they may operate as private citizens. Some may like public interest organizations and others may take on a leadership role themselves. A leadership role would be one in which the executive was


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attempting to shape the debate about public issues and perhaps even leading efforts to address those issues. Bottom line is that more executives thought they should play a leadership role than were actually playing a leadership role. An interesting distinction between executives assuming community leadership roles is what factor or factors motivate them. As in the past there is a disparity between perception and practice. Many executives say they do not play a community leadership role. This is similar to an informal survey done a year or so ago here in Casa Grande that found those who we thought would be obvious community leaders were not willing to own up to that. The majority of executives who are willing to admit community activism did so because it was important to their company to be good corporate citizens. Going back to our process for studying leadership we find that volunteer work in the public sector


typically did not provide an authority pay off but did provide a status payoff. Looking at the gap between the large number of executives who would like to see more executives taking leadership roles and the much smaller number of executives who actually play a role we can discover some influencing factors. Executives who are community leaders have a network of business associates who come to work each day with an existing interest in public issues and an effective understanding of public issues. Finally executive leaders are often found in companies with supportive values and a culture that tends to be helpful to executive leaders. Underpinning the value and importance of business executives to community based leadership are various community educational resources. In Pinal County which is part of the Golden Corridor planning area the institution closest to the voters is Central Arizona College. CAC provides business

outreach; a basic business college level curriculum; several new business incubator facilities; and, annual business round tables where business owners come together to share experiences and develop business improvement strategies. CAC also houses the Small Business Development Center which provides hands-on one-on-one business launch and business growth services to area entrepreneurs. CAC is particularly valuable because of its ability to assess the business environment and to quickly maneuver into place the resources necessary to support important business activities. CAC is also able to offer up all of these resources to extraordinary students such as physically challenged veterans. Every student who can access these resources can avail themselves of leadership training at the college level. And every business in the community college district has the opportunity to participate in priority development for future programming.



Fitzgibbons Page ArticleLaw

Negotiating a Commercial Lease Includes Asking the Right Questions

Asking good questions can prevent unfair advantages, avoid legal action, and help produce a lease that is fair to both sides. by David A. Fitzgibbons III


s our local economy builds steam, leasing transactions between commercial landlords and tenants are on the rise. Landlords are filling up space that was formerly occupied by VACANT signs, and many new and growing businesses are becoming commercial tenants for the first time. This article explores some basic lease terms that you may assume you know, but, by focusing on the right questions, may take on new meaning and importance.

Good Questions

In his recentbook, Good Leaders Ask Great Questions, best-selling author John Maxwell explores the risks of thinking we know the answers to questions (when we don’t) and of refraining from asking a question for fear of looking uninformed or silly. In short, asking good questions opens doors to information that would otherwise remain closed to you. For parties negotiating a commercial lease, good questions can prevent unfair advantages, avoid legal action, and produce a lease that is fair to both sides.


Parties. In a lease, the parties are usually described as “Landlord” and “Tenant,” or “Lessor” and “Lessee.” Simple, right? Not necessarily. The significance of those terms can go far beyond simple terminology. Consider: If a party is a corporation, should just the operating corporation be listed as the party? Or should the parent corporation be listed, also? For newly formed corporations or LLCs, when does it make sense to list their owners? If you can add individual shareholders or members, can they be required to guarantee payment and performance under the lease? In light of these considerations, asking who should be listed as the landlord or tenant should no longer seem like an uninformed or silly question. Property. The“property” is usually defined as the space to be leased. If an entire building is subject to the lease, the mailing address and tax parcel number should be sufficient to identify the leased property. But if the leased space is only a portion of the building or parcel, then the parties need to describe precisely what is being leased. Interior space? Roof? Interior and exterior walls? A full suite? Specific parking spaces? Are there common areas – such as sidewalks, conference rooms, kitchen facilities, landscaped areas, parking – for which the tenant will be charged? It is critical to ask questions, so that both parties understand and are in agreement on what “property” the lease covers, and what does and does not go with it. Rent. In a commercial setting,


“rent” may simply be a specific dollar amount per month. Or it might include a percent of the tenant’s income or revenues, or some of the landlord’s operating costs, such as landscaping, exterior maintenance and utilities. A commercial lease’s rent provisions might also include annual increases. Are such terms part of your pending agreement? Or how about these: Can a tenant offset its rent obligation by making improvements to its space? How is the tenant’s rent affected by vacant space? These are all important issues that should be part of the negotiations. Term. The “term” of the lease seems obvious:from the beginning to the end. But when does the lease begin? When the lease is signed? When the space is ready for occupancy? When the tenant opens its doors for business? When does a tenant have an insurable interest in the proper-

ty – when it signs the lease or when it begins to occupy it? Who has the right to extend the term of the lease, and for how long? Each of these questions should be thoroughly discussed between the parties before they agree to a final lease term.


It’s been said that “the future belongs to the curious.” Before signing a lease, be curious; think about your business goals and needs, ask good questions, and negotiate a lease that is fair to both parties and will help you achieve a profitable future.

Business and real estate attorney David Fitzgibbons serves the community as vice chairman of Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, president of the Casa Grande Industrial Development Authority, chairman of the Casa Grande Regional Medical Center Foundation, and president of the Casa Grande Art Museum.


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Dos and Don’ts when Buying a Home

by Rudy Benitez, Annie-Mac Home Mortgage • Mobile: 602-481-3967 • Office: 520-836-7776 • efax: 602-324-0800 211 North Florence St. Ste.#102-103 • Casa Grande, AZ 85122 • Email


hile you are considering the purchase of your home, you should not do anything that will have an adverse affect on your credit score or employment while your loan is in process. We know it can be tempting. When you are moving into a new home, you might be thinking about purchasing new appliances or furniture, but this is really not the right time to go shopping with your credit cards. You’ll want to remain in a stable position until the loan closes and give us the opportunity to help you close your loan as smoothly as possible. DON’T APPLY FOR NEW CREDIT OF ANY KIND You will receive invitations to apply for new lines of credit, do not respond. If you do, the company will pull your credit report and this could have an adverse effect on your credit score. Likewise, don’t establish new lines of credit for furniture, appliances, computers, fences, etc. DON’T PAY OFF COLLECTIONS OR CHARGE OFFS Once your loan application has been submitted, don’t pay off collection unless the lender specifically asks you to in order to secure your loan. Often times, paying off old collections will cause a drop in your credit score. DON’T CLOSE CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS If you close a credit card account, it can affect your ratio of debt to available credit which has a 30% impact on your credit score. If you really want to close an account, do it after you close your mortgage. DON’T MAX OUT OR OVER CHARGE EXISTING CREDIT CARDS Running up your credit cards is the fastest way to bring your score down and it could drop up to 100 points overnight. Once you are engaged in the loan process, try to keep your credit cards below 50% of the available credit limit. DON’T CONSOLIDATE DEBT TO ONE OR TWO CARDS Once again, we do not want you to change your ratio of debt to available credit.



Likewise, you want to keep beneficial credit history on the books. DON’T RAISE RED FLAGS TO THE UNDERWRITER Don’t co-sign on another person’s loan, or change your name or address. The less activity that occurs while your loan is in process, the better it is for you. DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYMENT Changing jobs, being laid-off or taking medical leave can adversely affect your mortgage. Lenders verify your employment on the day of closing. If your employment status changes, please consult your loan officer right away. DO STAY CURRENT ON ALL EXISTING ACCOUNTS Late payments on your existing mortgage, car payment, rent or anything else that can be reported to a credit reporting agency and can cost you dearly. One 30 day late payment can cost you 30-75 points on your credit score.

DO CONTINUE TO USE YOUR CREDIT AS YOU NORMALLY WOULD Red flags are easily raised within the scoring system. If it appears you are diverting from your normal spending patterns, it could cause your score to go down. For example, if you’ve had a monthly service for Internet access billed to the same credit card for the past three years. DO NOT DEPOSIT LARGE SUMS OF CASH Do not deposit large sums of cash into your accounts unless you can provide documentation and a complete paper trail. If you have any deposits that are not related to payroll, tell your loan officer right away. GETTING GIFT MONEY Make sure you speak to your loan originator before receiving, depositing or using any gift money. It is very important to follow the proper procedures. DO CALL YOUR LOAN ORIGINATOR If you receive notification from a collection agency or creditor that could potentially have an adverse effect on your credit score call me so we can try to direct you to the right resources and prevent any derogatory reporting to credit bureaus.


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Sa e D Appom intmeany (Based ts! On Av ailabilit





Hablam Diabetes Awareness Month:

Sa e D Appom intmeany (Based ts! On Availab ility)

Managing your blood CENTER FOR CHILDREN sugar & dental health



by Lindsey Gemme, Community Relations Coordinator, Sun Life Family Heath Center, INC.

Education classes, health fair and screenings this month at Sun Life We accept most insurance-AHCCCS-Medicare Uninsured? We can help! Enrollment assistance with AHCCCS, and Sun Life’s discount programs.





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Also, don’t miss out on our FREE community Diabetes Health Fair & Screening event on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. in the parking lot of our Sun Life office at 865 N. Arizola Road in Casa Grande. You can ask questions, get diabetes literature, and learn more about managing your blood sugar and dental health. The event is sponsored by the Pinal County Diabetes Coalition, where you can also take part in: •

We accept most insurance-AHCCCS-Medicare Uninsured? We can help! Enrollment assistance with AHCCCS, and Sun Life’s discount programs.




• • • •

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The LIVING Interview (continued) continued from page 23... pot, and one of Dad’s childhood friends from Armstrong went down and chopped out that brick, and then mounted it on this board-and sent it to him with a note, “I took this out of a spot I think your dad would have crossed daily when he was the depot agent”. And so he sent to him in Arizona and that meant a lot to dad. GC LIVING: Did he like Arizona? DENIS:  Absolutely I think he did. I think he thought he brought a lot of opportunity, not only for himself but also for his kids. And I think he always was glad, obviously wasn’t happy about having the disease, but he never complained about it, never complained about his physical limitations but always knew he made the right decision to move out here. I think he felt, not only professionally for him, it was great, but it was also

great for his kids. DAVID: I just want to go back and add something to what Denis said. My dad loved being out here. There’s no question. He made great friends out here. You know, John Hemmings, Johnny O’Donnell, Eddie Higgenbotham, John McEvoy, Mel Anderson, Cecil Kinser, Tony Serrano, all those guys became very good friends of his. My dad, in terms of law practice, loved going over there to Florence



to those judges he personally knew. It was a small tight-knit group. And you know, the bar was small then. My dad enjoyed a good relationship with other local attorneys too. GC LIVING: Well, the day your dad passed away was a sad day in Casa Grande. Most everyone was touched by it bless his heart. Where did it go from there, as far as the two of you and the practice? DAVID: We just... you knowGC LIVING: You decided to carry the mantleDAVID:  Yes, clearly. Then we were trying to figure what do we do here - because he’s always been the guy that ran everything. He’d given us things to do to prepare us to run the place, but the administration of the place had always been pretty much him and our mom. You know, mom did the payroll and did accounts payable. DENIS: Lupe Mendez has been there since she was eighteen years old, with my dad. He hired her and now she’s our office manager. She runs the whole show. DENIS:  Well, just to piggyback on what David said, we knew that day was coming and some of the funniest conversations we ever had were trying to buy the practice from my Dad. And, thank God for Mel Anderson, because Mel Anderson ended up being our mediator during those discussions, because it was heated at times. And Mel was right next door at Henry & Horne. GC LIVING: So he talked to your dad when you two were trying to work out a deal to buy the practice and it just wasn’t working? DENIS:  It wasn’t so much that it didn’t work, but we were sitting there and the price for his practice started going up exponentially and we finally got up and started walking out, and he’s like, where are you guys going? And we said this conversation’s getting too expensive for us and he says “sit your ass down”. (laughter) DAVID: Because he was intense in everything, including the value of his own practice. GC LIVING: Who drew up the papers? DAVID: We shook hands. DENIS: We shook hands, and we’ve honored it. DAVID: My dad died and we paid our mom. Mel was in the negotiations, he knew what the terms were, and that’s the way we did it. GC LIVING:  Did your mom stay on for a while and do your books? DAVID: For a while. DENIS: It kept her busy after Dad passed.

GC LIVING: Because you two were living out on your own now, I’m curious as to why you didn’t call it “Fitzgibbons Brothers”? DAVID:  You know, it’s funny. Tom Cole told us we should do that. That was advice he gave us, and it was probably good advice, but it would take our dad’s name out of it and you know ... this is really his deal. And that’s kind of the way we see it today. I know our name’s on the door so it’s kind of disingenuous to say that it’s not us, but from our perspective, putting ‘Brothers’ on there took away from him and so we didn’t want to do that. GC LIVING:  How about some final thoughts or anecdotes? DENIS:  I think the one thing that has helped us through the years for the most part is consistency. Our family has been practicing law in this community for 40 years since ‘74. We’ve been blessed with great clients. We’ve been able to expand that. I think our dad felt it was very important to produce high quality work at a very reasonable price. He always felt by doing that and bringing that to your client’s everyday was the best way to be successful. And he always felt that no matter where you practiced you could deliver high quality work if you put in the time. He was all about putting in the work. One of the funny stories was, (laughs)…., I think right after I got down here, most of the other young attorneys in town had all gone out for golf one Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm. And so, Red and I thought, “Hey, let’s go join them.” So we did. DENIS:  (laughs) So the next day on Saturday we come in, we both come in to 2 mounds of files on our desk. I mean both of them were at least 2 ft. high with a note, “If you’ve got time for golf, you obviously have time for these files.” (laughs) DAVID:  and “I didn’t know you had so much time on your hands” Dad wrote. I think that unfortunately my dad’s health was obviously robbed at a young age. So he didn’t get a chance to do those types of things that he loved to as when he was younger, but he could work. I think that’s what he knew he could do. It was important for him to provide for his family... and he did. DENIS:  He was incredibly gifted as a lawyer because he had worked so hard. He was a


The LIVING Interview (continued) very deep person too. He had a very close relationship with his God and he understood who his God to be. And he had a very close relationship with my mother - when you move your kids out here to a community where you don’t know anyone, that’s important. I mean, thank goodness for John and Boots O’Donnell and Tom and JoAnne McCarville and their families.Those were big families in town ... John and MaryAnn Hemmings, they all befriended him and Mom early and that was helpful. But I think they grew incredibly close over time because of him having to do that. And so, I think one thing we take from him, is that consistency about trying to come to work every day and trying to be committed to the excellence that he demonstrated in not only how he practiced law but how he lived his life. It drives both of us every day in what we do and we’ve been fortunate to

“And there was just dead silence on the phone. And he said, ‘Son is your dad Dave Fitzgibbons?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he said ‘Oh my God.’” have great people as clients, but also with gifted people around us. The people in our office are very, very good peoplethat have, stayed with us through thick and thin. Because I know after dad died, some people were wondering whether the payroll was going to get paid and it did. DAVID: Denis said it well. I agree with what he says. I’d say that as I was sitting here listening, I think it’s all correct. I’d add to it, my dad was highly motivated to work not only because he was in poor health, but had 7 kids to educate. And, you know, he helped each one of us get through college. And that’s what his legacy for us was as kids, our education. He got us all educated. His legacy in terms of work ethic, De-


nis summarized it. As a firm, we’ve gotten a lot of help along the way, not only from clients, but from our attorneys and staff. There’s my brother in law, Dan Harrington, has been with us for, I don’t know how many years, but a lot of years.Dan’s a great lawyer who regularly gives us sage advice. We’ve got a great group of attorneys and staff people at the office that we have the privilege of working with daily. And honestly, you asked that question about what happened after dad died? It was that people gave us a chance. They probably shouldn’t have. We were young lawyers, but they gave us a chance. And for that, we feel a debt to those that did. DENIS: One of my best dad stories is-I had finally decided to go to Columbia. A couple days later my dad was outside reading. Later he came inside and he asked, “Did you tell West Point you’re not coming?” And I said, uh, “No.” And he said, “I want you to call. When you call and tell them you’re not coming, talk to this guy.” I was kind of a punk. You know, 18-year old, so I’m like, “Whatever, dad, that’s fine with me.” So I called and I’ll never forget. It’s Colonel Ordway. And I said, “Colonel Ordway, my name is Denis Fitzgibbons. I just wanted to let you know I’m not coming to West Point. I decided on not coming.” He said, “Okay, I appreciate you calling.” And I finally just said because I thought this was really strange. (laughs) And I finally said, “Colonel Ordway, could I ask you a question?” He goes, “Yeah.” And I said, “My dad wanted me to call you.” And there was just dead silence on the phone. And he said, “Son is your dad Dave Fitzgibbons?” I said, “Yeah.”And he said “Oh my God.” He goes, “I never ever thought you were Dave’s son.” He said, “Has he told you who I am?” And I said, “No.” He said, “We were tent mates in Korea.” He said, “The last time I saw your dad, he was getting on a helicopter to go home with his brothers back in Iowa.” So he said, “When I saw your name come up on the board, I noticed the last name because it came out of Arizona. I didn’t think anything of it.” And it was the funniest thing ... He apologized. He goes, “Tell your dad I apologize.” You see the only football game my dad ever saw me play in was when we were freshmen and we played West Point. Ordway had coached the JV for West

Point. Dad came from Arizona for that game and they saw each other that day. It was the only (laughs) game that dad came back for and it was to see Colonel Ordway. GC LIVING: Give us a sense of how big the law practice was when you Dad passed away DAVID:  Attorney-wise, at that time, it was Denis, myself, Dad, Kevin White had not come down, he was thinking about it… and Bob Yates. DENIS: Right. And Judge McBryde. DAVID:  But, but the thing that I guess I’ll always remember most about the practice when my dad died; our largest client was probably The Mahoney Group. John McEvoy was president/CEO of The Mahoney Group and dad dies. So, here’s Denis and I, we’re pretty young attorneys, relatively speaking, and we were concerned what’s going to happen to our firm work. So, my dad dies, we bury my dad, Denis and I return to the office and uh, we get a call from John McEvoy and we think “Okay, there’s ... DENIS: “There it goes!” DAVID:  Here start the floodgates! We’re way too young for that guy. And, uh, John McEvoy came over, had a cup of coffee with Denis and me and explained to us where we were at. First thing he told us is that The Mahoney Group would not be leaving our practice, that he wanted to give us an op-



Education Special Section




Education Special Section

The Classroom is A Stage by Donna McBride, Pinal County Juvenile Court Volunteer Program Administrator

“How was school today”? I guess it depends on who you are asking.


ith issues surrounding the Arizona Department of Education, local teacher shortages and budgetary restraints, it seems the future of education is sinking faster than the Titanic. Though there are many problems with Arizona’s education system, there’s a lot of things right too.I went searching for what is so attractive about being a teacher with a starting salary of roughly $32,000 and living by the bell system. Not to mention teaching in Arizona when we are ranked 47th in the nation when compared to other states. It came to me while watching a local production at Central Arizona College recently. A teacher is like an actor on stage. A classroom is the audience while lesson plans equal a great script. Parents are on the sidelines, much like an agent, hoping to reap the benefits of both. Without the three supporting each other, the curtain will fall and there will be no Emmy Award. I decided to put the spotlight on a few parents and teachers to help me understand the real talent of teaching. According to longtime Cactus Middle School teacher Lisa Flores, “When you are a teacher, every day is a new day”. With all the obstacles she faces, it is the students that make her walk into the classroom every day. People ask Lisa how she can work with middle school kids. It’s easy: the kids are really great. Yes, they talk and sometimes misbehave but for the most part, they are ready and willing to learn. Planning a lesson in history that will grab a student’s interest motivates her. She enjoys bringing a topic to life and seeing the excitement build in them. And every once in a THE THEEDUCATION EDUCATION EDITION EDITION

while a student will come back and reveal what they learned in her class. They care so she cares. Lisa even believes the politicians and decision makers actually care too. That’s why she is still teaching. Six months ago Rachel Hernandez tried to walk away from teaching. She had plans of never returning. It didn’t take her long to realize something was missing. And when she walked back into the classroom at Coolidge Imagine Prep this fall, someone asked why she could ever go back to the education system in Arizona. The answer was easy for Rachel, “I love what I do. No, it’s not easy worrying about students in the middle of the night or making sure my lessons are top notch but those who love our craft and children enough know we can do it despite the challenges”. Just a few weeks back, Rachel had students write thank you notes to teachers or coaches who they felt made an impact in their lives. It was inspiring for her to see how much students appreciated teachers who expected the best of them and knew they could do whatever they set their minds to. She loves it. What is more exciting - being a teacher or being voted into office? Doug Coleman couldn’t decide so he decided to tackle both! Doug retired from Apache Junction High School a few years ago and was elected to the Arizona House of Representative in January 2013. This fall he walked back into the classroom to share his love of teaching with real life experiences in government. Teaching part time gives him the best of both worlds. Doug admits the students are the motivating factor for him. “It’s all about them. I get paid (albeit very little) to hang out with the

next generation and hear their thoughts and ideas and to share my own with them. I get the opportunity to help them shape the future. What could be more important than that?” There is no doubt that teachers must be supported by parents. Even when life’s challenges get in the way – parents have to be involved. Is it worth it? Does it work? Christina Forbes thinks so. Her daughter attended a “non-traditional” program at San Tan Foothills High School. The program caters to kids who need to be out of the mainstream environment due to social struggles. The teachers are there to provide advice, answer questions, provide a shoulder to lean on, all the while giving the student the freedom finish on their own schedule. On more than one occasion, Hannah would tell her mom that her teacher sensed when she was having a bad day and allowed her to deal with it –whether it was taking a walk or running errands on campus – it gave her time to get back into the “learning mode”. Christine shared that the teachers were always available by phone or email, even after hours. This resulted in both forming special bonds with the teachers as her daughter succeed. “The 4 year high school took my daughter just over 2 years and she graduated at 16. I credit her emotional stability and education-

al success to the teacher (Claude Osborn) as well as Coolidge District Administrator Steve Adolph”. Roxanne Garcia feels lucky to have her children Ariana and Philip attending Imagine Coolidge Prep. From the first day five years ago, she noticed that the teachers, principal and other staff were caring. “As my children struggled in different areas of their education over the years, the teachers have always went above and beyond to help them succeed. The teachers show their passion for teaching and give countless hours to make sure each child is achieving academically,” shared Roxanne. The school continues to make Roxanne proud to send her kids there every day. She loves their communication level to keep parents informed andshe knows her children are safe. I look back when my own sons attended high school. One went to a public high school magnet program in South Phoenix, the other a private Christian high school in Central Phoenix. Two different worlds, two unique experiences. It was a different time then as they are both in their early 30’s now. What is not different all these years later is the clear message. Education is important. Our teachers deserve a standing ovation. Our parents need to help write the script. And our kids… well, they deserve a production that earns an Emmy.



Education Special Section

CAC Assists Adults 50 and Over in Completing Degrees or Certificates by Angela Askey, Director of Marketing


s part of a national effort to train 10,000 baby boomers for new jobs in health care, education and social services, Central Arizona College has joined the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program. This national program, sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), is designed to assist adults age 50 and over in completing degrees or certificates in high-demand occupations that give back to the community. The program offers skill updates and career makeovers for baby boomers. Central Arizona College can now, for example, prepare older adults for careers as certified nursing assistants with a new fast track certificate program that is stackable to a degree. Registration for the spring 2016 semester is currently underway. Pinal County citizens interested in CAC’s Plus 50 opportunities are encouraged to meet with an advisor to begin the process of taking their knowledge to the next degree.

Since 2008, AACC and its network of Plus 50 Initiative colleges have supported baby boomers coming to college and helped them prepare for new careers. It’s a program that works. Eighty-nine percent of students participating in AACC’s Plus 50 Initiative told an independent evaluator that college workforce training helped them acquire new job skills, and 72 percent attributed landing a job to such training. “Baby boomers who are out of work or want to transition into new career fields need to update their skills. Community colleges are affordable and working to help baby boomers, even if they’ve never stepped on a college campus before,” said Mary Sue Vickers, director for the Plus 50 Initiative at AACC. Vickers added that many of the plus 50 adults who participate in the program also find great meaning and purpose in their work after they get hired. “Jobs in health care, education and social services give baby boomers

a way to give back to society, so plus 50 adults find these careers to be particularly rewarding,” said Vickers. The Plus 50 Encore Completion Program is funded through a $3.2 million grant to AACC provided by Deerbrook Charitable Trust and supports AACC’s work to increase the number of students who finish degrees, certificates, and other credentials. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Community Colleges is the leading advocacy organization representing more than 1,100 community, junior and technical colleges nationwide. Community colleges are the largest and fastest growing sector of higher education, enrolling 13.4 million credit and non-credit students each year. For more information about the Plus 50 Initiative at CAC please contact Joel Beck, Plus 50 Encore Completion Coordinator, at joel.beck@ or 480-677-7721.

Enroll Now for Spring!

Academic degrees and certificates, university transfer courses, weekend college, high school outreach programs, career training, personal enrichment and continuing education classes. Campuses:

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Superstition Mountain Campus 805 S. Idaho Rd. Apache Junction, AZ 85119 480-677-7700 Corporate Center 540 N. Camino Mercado Casa Grande, AZ 85122 520-494-6600


Aravaipa Campus 80440 E. Aravaipa Rd. Winkelman, AZ 85192 520-357-2800 Florence Center 800 E. Butte Ave. Florence, AZ 85132 520-494-6801

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Education Special Section

Assessing Students’ College and Career Readiness by Melani Edwards, Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, Casa Grande Union High School District


istorically, educational reform is determined by the needs of the citizenry, to promote nationality, to meet changing career and technical needs, and to achieve global competitiveness. Educational reform does not take place without much debate and discussion from all stakeholders about how the reform translates from theory into practice within the classroom, ultimately impacting success for students. The most recent reform to education requires that all students are college and or career ready. Arizona’s adoption of the College and Career Ready Standards in 2010 reflects the state’s commitment to ensure all students are successfully prepared to enter the next grade level and ultimately find success in the college or career of their choice. This latest educational reform, like many before it, begs the question of how to assess students, and what that measuring stick in the form of assessment, and course requirements looks like. In spring 2015, students took the AzMERIT assessment for the first time. This assessment is aligned to the more rigorous math and English Language Arts (ELA) standards for all Arizona students. The Arizona State Board of Education unanimously voted to set the AzMERIT proficiency levels at a college and career ready level. The acceptance of these standards sets a new baseline for us to measure our students’ progress; it raises the bar and gives us a goal for where our students should be post high school, whether entering college or the work force. There are four performance levels for the AzMERIT assessment. These are Highly Proficient, which indicates an advanced understanding of the content in the course or subject area; Proficient, which indicates a strong understanding; Partially Proficient, which indicates a partial understanding and possible need for additional support; and Minimally Proficient, which indicates a minimal understanding and probable need for additional support. These levels were determined based on



what students at each grade level should know to move on in the subject and be successful in the next grade or course. In an attempt to improve student achievement, and to meet the requirements of the elevated standards, the Casa Grande Union High School District has been working diligently to implement rigorous curriculum that encapsulates the College and Career Readiness Standards. AzMERIT is another step on the path to defining student proficiency in those higher expectations. The student results on the spring 2015 AzMERIT were released to school districts on October 6, 2015, however those scores have been embargoed by the Arizona Department of Education until the end of November. AzMERIT measures different skills and knowledge than the former state assessment known as AIMS. Because of this, AzMERIT and AIMS cannot be compared. Statewide, fewer students were proficient on AzMERIT than AIMS. This was expected by school districts throughout the state as the rigor of the test has soared. AzMERIT and the new standards are a reset — a new baseline measurement of student achievement. These initial scores highlight what the NAEP (a rigorous multi-state assessment) results have shown us for years. If we want our students to be more globally competitive and for Arizona to be the best place to live and do business, then we need to embrace these results and take action to make education a top priority in our state. As students and teachers adjust to the increase in rigor of this assessment, we anticipate proficiency levels will increase over time. School districts in Arizona are aware that there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure more students are proficient in every grade. Casa Grande Union High School District has taken steps to realign English, math, social studies, and science to meet the needs of our students as we continue teaching to the rigorous standards of College and Career Readiness. Literacy has been declared a goal of the district and teachers have taken steps to embed the College and Career Literacy standards into their classrooms in support of the increased rigor of the standards. The implementation of new standards without revising the instructional practices in the classroom is useless. Teachers and administrators are coming together weekly before school for professional collaboration and professional learning to improve instruction and increase the rigor in a way that transitions students to a more systems thinking approach, the interconnection of skills, which requires deeper-level understanding of concepts and ideas than prior standards. We are confident that if we provide resources to our educators and support our students, they will be successful and we will see improved outcomes for students at every level. In an effort to provide students with a diverse academic experience, and to prepare them for college or career, Casa Grande Union High School

District offers more than 200 courses from which students may choose throughout their high school experience. Many of the courses offered allow students the opportunity to receive college credits, including advanced placement courses, which offer students the opportunity to participate in college level course content with the potential of receiving college credit. Participation in Career and Technical courses are supported in the district and students are encouraged to enroll beginning in their sophomore year of high school. According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers students opportunities to form postsecondary partnerships and clear pathways to certification and degrees. CTE courses prepare students to be college-and-career ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills and technical, job-specific skills. According to the ACTE, a person with a CTE-related associate degree or credential will earn on average between $4000 and $19,000 more a year than a person with a humanities associate degree (ACTE). What can we do as parents to support our students and our schools during this rigorous transition? Ask your students what they are learning in their classes. If you notice your child’s grades slipping, encourage them to take advantage of the free before-school, lunchtime, and after-school tutoring sessions. Call your student’s teachers to ask for specific ways in which to support your child. As with any new endeavor, change takes time. The College and Career Readiness Standards coupled with the 21st century skills, have forced an entire redesign of the curriculum and instruction our classrooms have followed for the last several decades. Teachers are being asked to take risks to move beyond a textbook-driven and teacher-centered classroom to being the facilitator for students to be more independent thinkers and learners. Be supportive of your students as they shift from a passive mode of learning to being active participants in their education. Students are thinking on a deeper level, analyzing information, constructing meaning for themselves, and processing information independently. Please visit the sites below for more information on how to read your student’s AzMERIT results, as well as general parent information on the standards and AzMERIT. Sample ELA 9 test printout: az-paper-sample-grade-9-ela.pdf Sample Algebra I test printout: files/2012/10/az-paper-sample-eoc-algebra-i.pdf General parent and family information: Sources: Mesa School District and Association for Career and Technical Education THE THE EDUCATION EDUCATIONEDITION EDITION

Education Special Section

Casa Grande Union High School District st

A 21 Century Education with 21st Century Choices! CAMPUSES:

Two comprehensive campuses, one STEM Academy and a Learning Center Program


Led by 148 highly qualified teachers



PowerSchool, School connect, direct email to staff, weekly news


Over 200 course offerings

LIBRARY AND RESOURCES: More than 10,000 volumes at two campuses

FFA, FBLA, FPS, ROBOTICS, MARCHING BAND, National FCCLA, DECA, Academic Decathlon claiming state, national and international awards

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Emphasis on effective instructional practices


CAVIT, CAC, private corporations, City of Casa Grande


Available four days a week on all campuses



Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Casa Verde

Professional Culinary Arts Kitchen, FFA greenhouse, Art, Auto Shop, Computer Labs, Theater Arts Auditorium


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Education Special Section

A Parent’s Guide to Understanding AzMERIT Questions and Answers about Arizona’s Statewide Achievement Test for Students by Bryan Harris, Ed.D., Director of Professional Development & Public Relations Casa Grande Elementary School District On the AzMERIT test, students are expected to apply knowledge and skills in ways that the AIMS test did not.


zMERIT is the required state achievement test taken annually by students in grades 3-8 to test their knowledge and skill development in reading, writing, and math. AzMERIT measures a student’s proficiency on Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards through an untimed exam that helps students, parents, and teachers understand how they are doing in relation to the standards. Q: How do AzMERIT scores compare to AIMS scores? A: The AzMERIT exam assesses students on a different set of standards than did the AIMS test. The new AzMERIT test serves as a check up on Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. As a result, the scores are different but it does not mean that students are doing worse or performing more poorly than previous years. AzMERIT provides a new baseline for comparisons in years to come. Q: Are the new standards harder? A: The new standards are not necessarily “harder” but they do require that students approach demonstration of mastery in a different way. On the AzMERIT test, students are expected to apply knowledge and skills in ways that the AIMS test did not. This focus on application rather than rote memorization is a fundamental difference between AzMERIT and AIMS. Q: What is the District doing to prepare students for AzMERIT? A: The teachers and staff of the Casa Grande Elementary School District are committed to helping students succeed. We have taken multiple



steps since 2010 to ensure student success: all the standards and curriculum utilized by teachers and students are aligned to standards; teachers and administrators utilize student data to customize instruction; students are provided with time in computer labs to learn about online testing formats and procedures; and, teachers spend considerable time developing meaningful and relevant learning experiences for students. The best method to prepare a student for a test is to ensure that they know the content in a deep way and are able to transfer their knowledge to unique circumstances. Q: How can I help prepare my child for AzMERIT? A: Parents and families can best help by ensuring that their students are engaged in the activities and learning opportunities provided by their teachers. The projects, assignments, discussions, and coursework provided by teachers are designed to meet the expectations of AzMERIT and the state standards. In addition, parents

and families can use AzMERIT test results to help determine any areas where students might need additional resources or support. Q: Who do I contact if I have specific questions about AzMERIT? A: For more information about AzMERIT, see the resources listed below or contact any school principal. To learn more about AzMERIT, check out the following resources: • The Casa Grande Elementary School District has a webpage dedicated to providing up to date information on AzMERIT. departments/curriculum_instruction/az_merit/ • Expect More Arizona is a non-profit organization that promotes and advocates for Arizona’s K-12 students. • The website for the Arizona Department of Education includes information for parents, families, and community members.


Education Special Section

Success for Everyone – The Responsibility is Yours and Mine ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT

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Casa Grande Elementary Schools Leading the Way Percentage of Casa Grande Parents Providing the 12 Schools an “A” or “B” Rating 97 96


















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Education Special Section

Partnering to Make A Difference by Matt Lemberg, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley


few weeks ago, I attended the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Pacific Leadership Conference. While there, I had the opportunity to meet with Jim Clark (President of Boys & Girls Clubs of America) and a few other club professionals to discuss the state of the Boys & Girls Club movement. One of the main themes of this conversation (and the conference in general) was the importance of developing and strengthening partnerships with other youth-serving organizations, especially local school districts. For different reasons, many of the Clubs represented in this meeting did not have effective relationships with their local school district. As I sat there and listened to the issues they were facing, I just couldn’t relate- we work primarily with two local school districts (Casa Grande and Toltec Elementary School Districts), and we have a great relationship with each of them. In fact, if it wasn’t for our partnerships with these two districts, we wouldn’t be able to serve the youth of these two communities! We began serving youth in August, 1998 because of our partnership with the Casa Grande Elementary Schools District (CGESD). Our organization was incorporated in 1997 and had entered into an agreement with the City of Casa Grande (another partner with whom we owe much of our success) to lease the old high school gym. But the gym wouldn’t be ready for us until the summer of 1999, so we needed another home for the first year of our after-school program. Superintendent Davidson and Principal Sam welcomed us with open arms at Saguaro Elementary School. Not only did the district allow us to use one of its schools for our after-school program, it


also transported students from every other district schools to this Club every day after school (which is a service that they still provide today). That first year, we were able to serve more than 100 Club Members. We moved into the old high school gym in June, 1999, and after running a successful summer program, our initial after-school program in our new home started in August, 1999. Just as they had the year before, CGESD transported students from every district school to our new Club. And the number of members that we saw every day began to grow. By 2004, we were serving more than 150 kids every day! In early 2004, Pinal County Sheriff Roger Vanderpool (who was also a member of our Board of Directors) proposed that we open a Club in Arizona City. After meeting with Toltec Elementary School District (TESD) and other key partners, we decided to open a Club at Toltec Elementary School beginning in August, 2004. Again, we were welcomed with open arms by Superintendent Lesher and Principal Mejia. And similar to our partnership in Casa Grande, TESD also agreed to transport students from their other school to our Club. When we opened this Club, we were expecting/hoping


that 30 members would come on the first day. You can imagine our surprise/excitement when 85 members actually showed up! In early 2007, our attendance figures continued to increase in Casa Grande. So that spring, we approached Dr. Davidson about opening a school-based Club in Casa Grande. He and the district were very receptive to the idea, so he invited the principals from three schools to a meeting to determine at which school this new Club would located. But before the meeting could even be scheduled, Principal Howell (Ironwood Elementary School) indicated that we didn’t need to have a meeting because she wanted the Club at her school. This Club opened in August, 2007, and by the end of that year, our organization was serving more than 300 members from Casa Grande every day! Our Average Daily Attendance figures at our two Casa Grande Clubs began steadily increasing again in 2013, so last year we began looking into the possibility of opening another school-based Club in Casa Grande. CGESD was again very receptive to our proposal, and it was decided that this new Club would call McCartney Ranch Elementary School its home. This Club opened two months ago, and we are proud of

the fact that it has allowed us to serve more kids more effectively! So as we sit here today, we have one traditional Club and three school-based Clubs (one in Arizona City and two in Casa Grande). Superintendents Davidson and McCleney (TESD) continue to be wonderful supporters of these partnerships. We also appreciate the efforts and support of Principals McClintic (Ironwood), Quinones (McCartney Ranch) and Rogers (Arizona City) and their respective staffs. A number of years ago, I thanked Dr. Davidson for their partnership. He replied, “Matt, these aren’t just our students from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm- they are our students 24 hours a day. And we want to do everything we can to make sure that our kids are in a safe environment like the Clubs as much as we can.” Last month, we served over 500 local youth each day, and all of these young people had the opportunity to attend one of our Clubs because of our partnership with their school district. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, we would not be able to serve the youth of Arizona City and Casa Grande without the support of our two local school districts. So on behalf of our organization (and all of the youth that we serve) - Thank You!


Education Special Section

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Casa Grande Valley and How Your Tax Credit Dollars Matter

Jacob Green, 2015 Youth of the Year (pictured in suit) “When I think of the Boys & Girls Club, I think of how it was my escape. It was a safe and secure place where I had friends and support. It has been a safe haven for me when things in my life have been hard. When it was hard to understand why I was mad, upset or just didn’t want to talk to anyone, I would come to the Club and instantly, I was a kid at home.” In March, 170 of our Club Members over the age of 9 participated in the National Youth Outcomes Initiative (this was the second consecutive year that our members participated in this survey) This survey is part of the Boys & Girls Club Movement’s effort to measure and demonstrate our collective impact on the youth that we serve. Our organization is very pleased with the feedback that we received from this survey, and we look forward to using this information to help us deepen our impact on the lives of the youth that we serve. Some of the survey highlights include: • 83% of our Club Members reported that they have a “sense of belonging” at our Clubs • 77% of our Club Members reported that we are doing a good job of making our Clubs “fun” • 93% of our Club Members reported that they feel that attending and doing well

in school is very important (nationally, only 84% of survey participants felt this way) • 93% of our Club Members reported that they expect to graduate from high school • 84% of our Club Members reported that they expect to attend college A recent national study found that over time, young people who participated in Boys & Girls Clubs more often demonstrated greater positive outcomes. With these results in mind, the Club recently partnered with the Casa Grande Elementary School District to compile the 2013-14 AIMS scores of Club Members

and compare them with district averages. For the second year in a row, members who attended Club programs more than 104 days were more likely to pass both portions of the AIMS test than those students who did not attend one of the Clubs. Last year, 127 students attended the Club more than 104 days. Of this number, 68% passed the math portion (10% more than the district average) and 78% passed the reading test (5% more than the district average). We recently opened our 4th Club at McCartney Ranch Elementary School. This new Club will allow our

organization to serve more kids more effectively. We served more than 500 members in on day (507) for the first time on August 26, and our Average Daily Attendance for the month of September was 508.

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84% reported that they have a “sense of belonging” at our Clubs. 81% reported that we are doing a good job of making our Clubs “fun”. 70% reported that they had a “strong” connection to at least one staff member.



94% reported that they expect to graduate from high school. 85% reported that they expect to attend college

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Education Special Section

Essay Contest A Victorious Battle by Jaden Pate


itting under the canopy of a glorious tree to escape the sweltering heat, I nervously awaited the results of my anticipated math contest, a math contest against hundreds of students in Arizona. Little did I know, I would come out victorious in this long battle for mathematical fame through my devotion studying and grit. Jumbling out of the sour-smelling, yellow school bus, I arrived at Central Arizona College in Casa Grande, AZ, and I followed the signs with black arrows pointing to the bone white registration building. Along the walkway, I admired the desert scenery -- cacti and red rock -- and I smelled freshly mown grass. After

Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine reached out to the various schools in our area with an essay contest. We asked the students to submit an essay on “What was your greatest moment in school?”. Here are just a few of the many great contributions we received.

successfully completing registration, I followed my peers to a rectangular field of green grass. Once everyone was there, we divided ourselves into groups based on our skill levels. The first level was algebra; the second was trigonometry, and the third was calculus. The competition began soon. After we were organized into the different testing groups, I followed a commanding lady with dark hair and dark red lipstick. She had the air of an army drill sergeant. Soon, she marched our groups to the college cafeteria. Upon entering the room, I glanced around for an empty table where my friends and I could sit. In no time at all, the competition was underway, and I was completing a timed, short math test to see if I could qualify for the finals. All around me I could hear pencils frantically scratching white paper in front of them. After the completion of the individual contest, everyone chose a partner and completed a longer and challenging, timed math test. Fortunately for my partner and me,

we both qualified for finals! Next, I trekked toward the glistening basketball court to compete in the finals.The finals would be difficult because the questions were a combination of all three skill levels. I sat at an faux wood grain table and finished three complicated questions covering math topics I had never practiced; then I was quickly disqualified along with my partner because of our lack of Calculus acumen, at least we felt we had done poorly. Meanwhile, I consoled myself at lunch where I watched the teenage contestants swarm like ants elbowing for position at the buffet line. After lunch, we all migrated back to the same rectangular field of grass to hear our scores. Despondent, I rested myself against the strong trunk of a Cottonwood tree to escape the sun’s bright frown. This moment was what I had been waiting for all day, and now I felt sad. I had studied every mathematical equation I knew the night before and felt

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Education Special Section as if my partner and I had done reasonably well on our tests, yet a voice of doubt made me want to hide behind the tree. As the announcer began, my heart pounded like a drum beat at what I hoped would be a celebration, or would it be a funeral dirge? I reluctantly listened as the announcer called off the names of the Algebra 2 winners. A deep voice rang through the crowd and said, “And the first place winners for the Algebra 2 team contest are...Jaden Pate and Emilie Cuevas from Mission Heights Preparatory High School here in Casa Grande!” Triumph and clapping roared in my ears! We marched up the walkway to the podium inside the green tent and accepted our gold medals with green ribbons and suspended them from our necks with pride. After walking from the green tent through the green grass , I found myself boarding the same yellow bus. However, it was not as sour-smelling this time. Something had changed. We made the long journey back toward my beloved school, Mission Heights Preparatory High School. Not only had we won, but my school won, too. I walked into school, green ribbon and gold medal around my neck, beaming with confidence. That addition of the math contest will forever be one of my greatest moments in school!.

Mountain of Memories by Jordan Reinholtz


ave you ever wanted to see from a lofty point the entire world around you? The experience of hiking a mountain could be good or bad depending on the person, but I loved my experience. During the fourth quarter of my sophomore year, 2014, Mr. Hall, the outdoor program director at Mission Heights Preparatory High School in Casa Grande, AZ, hosted me and five classmates on a weekend campout to seven thousand foot Mt. Ord in northeastern Arizona. It was my most enjoyable moment in high school to date. I woke up at nine that Saturday morning, which I hated because I normally sleep until twelve in the afternoon on the weekend. My step dad drove me to school where the trip was to begin. With is windows down, I winced as I smelled the rank stench of manure from the cow fields along the way. I thought, “I hope the mountain air is an improvement!” Arriving at school, I waited for the bus, which was delayed since the school leases transportation, and Mr. Hall had to wait until

the morning we left to pick up the white Dodge minivan. When Mr. Hall arrived, we loaded up our gear, buckled up, and set coordinates for the mountain. Along the drive toward the northeast from Casa Grande, AZ, we watched the land change from flat and dry with cacti and dust devils to a more undulating terrain and ultimately to lofty mountains with evergreen trees. It was obvious this area received more rainfall. Trees actually grew here! After about two hours of highway driving, we approached the mountain on a circular path that spiraled up and up and up. Looking ahead, we could see Mt. Ord, which seemed to pierce the turquoise sky from the height of it up close. Soon, we departed highway 87 and entered a winding, six mile one-lane, dirt road that snaked its way out of sight to the back side of the mountain. We drove very slowly to be safe. Some parts of the road had deep ruts, but Mr. Hall knew how to maneuver the van around these obstacles. After about thirty minutes, we ended our ascension! We arrived at one campsite, but after walking around to inspect it. Mr. Hall decided to move to another more secluded locale with a better view to the west. He continued on page 60...

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Education Special Section

Flexible Learning in Small Classrooms by Wayne Tucker, Superintendent PTHS


PEP TEC High School is proud to welcome Mr. Keith Greer as the new Lead Teacher of the Alice Paul Learning Center in Casa Grande. Mr. Greer is very familiar with the Casa Grande community, owing to his long history of award-winning service in the region. Notably, he spent 6 years as principal of Casa Grande Union High School, steering that school to higher academic achievement and a dramatic reduction in the drop-out rate. Mr. Greer brings his professional and innovative leadership to PPEP TEC High School’s Blended Learning environment which has been designed to offer students more flexibility

than they find in a traditional classroom and more support and direct instruction than they can get in an online program. Parents and students often ask: “What is Blended Learning?” Simply put, Blended Learning combines elements of computer-based learning with good old-fashioned teaching and mentoring. At the Alice Paul Learning Center, students work, for much of the school day, with a web-based curriculum, which is aligned to state academic standards and structured to provide students with the range of skills and content necessary to become college and career ready. Of course, many parents and

students are familiar with webbased curricula through their experiences with online schools. They are also familiar with the frustrations a student can encounter in an online environment because it can be so difficult to ask questions or receive support by email. PPEP TEC students, however, avoid that frustration because they have an actual, highly qualified teacher with them in the classroom. This blend of web-based curriculum and live, one-to-one instruction affords PPEP TEC students the flexibility to earn their necessary high school credits at an accelerated pace, coupled with the support of a

dedicated, professional teacher in a small-class setting. It is, truly, the best of both worlds.

EARN YOUR CREDITS QUICKLY! PPEP TEC High School Alice S. Paul Learning Center 220 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande


AZ High School Diploma Individualized Attention From Highly Qualified Teachers 58



Education Special Section

Essay Contest More Entries!




Education Special Section ...continued from page 55 had camped here a number of times and said,”We will not be bothered here or bother others as well!” Once parked, we unloaded the van. Some of us stumbled out from lack of leg use like sailors walking after a long boat ride. We set up camp -- tents, sleeping bags, hammocks, fire pit -- and from there, we were free to explore on our own terms as long as “We stayed within sight of the camp,” so directed Mr. Hall. Consequently, half of us went further up the mountain to find a view. Low and behold, we found one, reaching the top, smelling the fresh pine in the air, and the view was marvelous. We could see thousands of trees in a cluttered forest leading down to a scorching desert in the distance, two climate zones in one view!. It felt like I could could see for hundred miles. Later, as night began to cover us, we sat back at the campsite around an orange, glowing fire. Even though the moon shined like a bright star, my vision was that of a mole. We watched the fire (camper’s TV) and stayed up very late communicating about life. We shared school stories and stories of other campouts and roasted marshmallows, all of the camping

traditions. Now and then a noise would catch our attention, and we would all make nervous guesses as to its source. Mr. Hall said it was the wind or a UFO landing to abduct teenagers who might wander away from camp after dark. We all laughed. The next day, I was a late riser because everybody was up except for one other person. I consumed a few decent pancakes made by Mr. Hall, sipped with reluctant hand a cup of coffee because it was scalding hot, and we packed up the campsite, making sure no trace of our camp, save the already existent fire ring, remained. Mr. Hall walked about the camp with other students and filled a plastic bag. It was immaculate. But the best was yet to come. About a mile and a half from our camp the summit of Mt. Ord awaited our trek! We had not camped at the top. Mr. Hall told us that the government subsidized a firetower and electronics installation at the summit, and we would take a stroll up there to complete the experience. Once I started the hike, it seemed like an eternity. The trail was a steep one. Every step slowed me down to the point that I had to rest at least three times. I acquired a walking stick to help me walk after the first rest, and the stick scraped my hand with

every step but supported me up the trail. The view was already impressive halfway up the trail, but once we reached the top, there were no words to describe the vista other that extravagant! I imagined I was an eagle soaring through the gusting winds over miles and miles and miles of stretching hills and forests, feeling like I was able to rule it all. Lying in the sun and sipping my water and munching on trail mix, I felt completely happy! Before we descended from the heavenly views, which included Roosevelt Lake to the southeast, we walked about the man-made structures -- the green firetower, the eggwhite electronic dish installation and even a small cottage where the firetower ranger lived. We could not decide if he was there because the stairway to the top of the fire tower was locked, and we saw no car or truck nearby. But we were respectful and like at camp left no trace. In the end, we returned to the school, went in our cars, and went our separate ways for the rest of the weekend. It felt like an eternity that I spent on that camping trip, but if given the choice, I would repeat it all again in half a second. Experiencing that mountain felt like a perfect dream, and hiking up it, though hard, made me feel I could do anything.




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Education Special Section

Sad Cheer by Samantha McIntyre


remember last year during a halftime routine we cheerleaders got in trouble. It was mid-football season at the old cougar stadium in Casa Grande, AZ. Let me set the stage. It was early October for our homecoming game. I was a freshman and very wide-eyed about cheering and dearly wanted to do my best. From this experience, however I learned an important lesson. I learned that “back popping” is apparently inappropriate for a high school cheer team. In the days before the game, our cheer coach had told us what music we would be using for the cheer routine. Of course, the explicit phrases would be edited, and that was fine. As cheerleaders, we were all quite excited about this impending performance. We thought it was going to be very comical. We knew the song was inappropriate, but we thought nothing of it since the profane lines had been cut out. He also taught us the moves for the routine. He put us in a formation that would look organized. He placed four of us in front and six in back. He instructed us on the

y p p a H

sequence of moves. The choreography was planned to the detail. But before we started, he asked, “Would your parents be okay with you guys back popping at the football game?” We all said they would agree because back popping is a common maneuver in the cheerleading routine everywhere. After we got the back popping question out of the way, we added in jump formations, transitions, tumbling passes, and, of course, stunts. For the stunts, we chose a “half with a cradle” and a “barrel roll.” We also practiced a “half t-cradle.” For jumps we practiced the following:”toe touch,”” pike,”” right and left hurdler,” “straight,” and a “double.” We worked hard on getting everything down perfectly and on time. We had been practicing the routine for a couple weeks to make sure everything was perfect. Finally, the game arrived, and we performed the routine. We had all been anticipating the arrival of halftime with much energy since we wanted to display the result of our hard work at practices. When the time came, we all made our way out onto the field for halftime. We moved into our formation and waited for the music to start. When it did start, we executed the

! s y a d i l Ho

performance perfectly. There were people recording and cheering, and I felt like everyone liked the routine, but unfortunately I was wrong. When I got to school on Monday, everyone was talking about the routine, negatively, We heard that many parents had disapproved of our perfect performance. We had a talk about it at the next practice. We told our coach about the complaints we had. He laughed and said “They said we were twerking? Clearly they don’t know what twerking is.” We then talked about how the principal at the time liked our routine. We just simply could not figure out why we had gotten in trouble. We all thought it was unfair that we got in trouble for a simple cheer move. The routine was fun and showed off some of our tumbling skills. It was by far my favorite routine. I learned from the experience that art, whether it is performance art like cheering or tactile art like painting or sculpting, is a subjective experience. The artist cannot please everyone. Nothing in the routines we executed showed any impolite elements. In fact, as mentioned, we took great pains to conform to the standards of cheering throughout the country. It simply showed that our audience here in this area was not “up with the times.”


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Nice lender owned 2685 Sq.ft two story with 4BD and 2.5BA. Dramatic vaulted ceilings in entry way and living room, family room off the kitchen, formal dining. Upgraded cabinets, stainless steel appliances and the breakfast bar in the kitchen plus a small breakfast area.. Back yard is landscaped with pavers buts needs a little TLC to make is show case.

This move in ready 2BR, 2BA plus den/ office or possible 3rd bedroom home has all the features you are looking for! LOCATION - lake front property with water level boat dock! UPGRADES new paint inside & out, new appliances, new granite counters in kitchen & baths, new lighting and fans, plantation shutters and gorgeous Saltillo tile floors. AMENITIES - private courtyard and backyard for entertaining on the lake complete with outdoor beehive fireplace and BBQ. All this home needs is YOU!

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This home is just perfect inside and out. An inviting foyer leads to a very spacious, open concept great room featuring a large living room, dining area and kitchen with abundant cabinets, plentiful counter space, breakfast island and walk-in pantry. There are 3BD 2 BA, 1,851 SF plus an Arizona room with HVAC. The large master suite has a huge walk-in closet and luxurious bath. All the appliances are included. The landscaping is carefree front and back.


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What a delightful home with 4 BD, 2 BA plus powder room, great room, and inviting country kitchen, The master suite is on the first floor and features a beautiful bath and walk-in closet. The kitchen boasts dramatic upgraded granite, new range/oven and gorgeous glass, metallic and stone mini tile backsplash. The covered patio, 2 pergolas and large yard have a panoramic view of the greenbelt.

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Backyard Oasis with pool and waterfall. Spacious 5BD, 3.5BA, 2267 SF home with family room with fireplace, formal living room, dining area overlooking backyard, breakfast area. All this sits on a large 10M SF lot with RV Gate and 2.5 garage. All this for $235,000 in Clearview Ranch.


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4BR, 3BA, 3,741SF. Spectacular home centrally located with many outstanding features; split floor plan, formal living and dining, family room, eat-in professional kitchen, marble floors, custom blinds, wet bar, fireplace, stainless steel appliances, kitchen island, a back yard oasis with a pebble tech pool.

Unique two story offers a separate guest quarters with private entrance. 4 BD + den, upgraded kitchen, new wood laminate floors in dining, den and LR. Must see!


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1919 N. TREKELL RD. CASA GRANDE ©2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. *Listing must be active as of the 10th of the month to qualify.


Esther Turner Cotton Nadine Turner Hackler is my dearest friend, a woman of strength, character, and compassion who has made a very real difference in my life. Born in Prescott, Arkansas, her family moved to Casa Grande in 1938. Each time I have wanted to confirm facts about Casa Grande’s history for articles I have written, Nadine, without fail, has been my source of details and information. Her memory is as sharp as her wit. Nadine called me a few weeks ago, disturbed when she read an interview that stated that in the early days Casa Grande was crime-ridden. “That is not true. This was a good place to live. There are so few of us left who remember the way it was. ‘Hack’ (Melvin Hackler, Nadine’s husband of 69 years) is 91 and I will turn 89 in a month. We don’t know how much more time we have, and I think it is important for the memories not be lost.” Nadine’s parents, A.L. ‘Buck’ and Effie (Machen) Turner married in 1923 in Camden, Arkansas. Buck was a dirt farmer, logger, grave digger, cabinet maker and carpenter. They raised four children: J.T. (John Thomas, known to his friends as ‘Buck’), Nadine, Esther, and Opal Lavone (Bonni). Effie’s father was a Confederate Veteran of the Civil War. J.T. retired a Colonel in the U.S. Army, serving in WW II and the Korean Conflict. Esther became an LPN and x-ray technician, and has lived in Bisbee since 1951. Bonni worked as the office nurse for Dr. J.B. Tucker for many years, and lived in Casa Grande until her death in 2000. Growing up, music was always part of their lives; Buck was “an old fashioned hoe-down type fiddler”, J.T. played the guitar, and Nadine played the organ and piano by ear. To this day, they remain a close-knit family. In the early 1970’s, Nadine’s sister, Esther, began writing for her children a memoir of her life in Arkansas and Arizona. In keeping with Nadine’s wish, Esther is sharing the following excerpt from that work. – Georgia F. Schaeffer

“God, what is poor?” by Esther Turner Cotton In fond remembrances of Mother and Daddy Dedicated to Nadine, my sister


any books and stories have been written and many movies have been made telling about dirt farmers and share croppers in the South. They tell about the migration of some of these people from their homes in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma to new hope and dreams out West. There are true stories, fictional stories, humorous and sad stories, some good and some bad. I was a part of that migration and my story is true. It is written with the assurance of a legacy more precious than wealth – good memories. I didn’t know we were poor. My sister told me years later that the only reason she knew we were poor folks was that some “really poor” neighbor kids told her so. When I revealed my plans to write my story, Daddy who was quite ill, requested that I say something for him. He said, “somewhere in your book will you say that you kids were never hungry, we were never on welfare and your daddy always worked when a job was available”. You’re right Daddy, and it wasn’t a bad life.

Chapter 1 ………….Fall and winter of 1937 was not good for daddy and his logging business. It rained –

rained and rained. The roads into the woods were so flooded and muddy, it was impossible for the tree cutters to go in, let alone the trucks for hauling the logs. When there was a break in the weather, daddy would leave home about 4:30 in the morning and not return until 9:00 that evening, working long hours trying to make up the time lost. Times were not good. In December, 1937 daddy had an offer that ultimately changed our entire lives and future. A group of people, two families and several individuals asked daddy if he would use his big truck to haul them and their meager possessions to Arizona. They had heard that Arizona was like a promised land for people who needed jobs. Arizona was just beginning to develop as one of the biggest cotton producing states in the nation. Besides regular cotton, a new species of long staple or Pima cotton (named for the small community in the Safford Valley where it was first planted), dams had been built on the major rivers to conserve precious water run-off, deep electrically pumped water wells were drilled,

Georgia is a Casa Grande native and Associate Broker at Coldwell Banker ROX Realty.




Esther Turner Cotton

Far Left: Buck Turner with Nadine & J.T. Prescott, Arkansas, 1928; Bottom Left: Effie & Buck Turner in their first car in 1924; Left: Charlotte Frances (Ma) Turner, Buck Turner, Effie Machen Turner & Charlotte Blanche Machen in 1923.

and acres of arid desert had been changed into green cotton fields. The growers needed workers to chop the young cotton and pick it when it was ready for harvest. These job opportunities were the salvation of many “Arkies” and Okies”’ at the climax of the Great Depression. We stood at the gate and watched as Daddy, with our thirteen year old brother beside him, drove away. The truck was loaded high and covered with a canvas tarp. The people were huddled behind the tail gate in whatever space was

available for them to sit. Mother did not recall how much each family paid, but it wasn’t much because she said Daddy came home “broke”. They were gone about two weeks, so they didn’t stay long in Arizona. When they returned they were excited and had many things to tell about the trip. It was then that the plan was finalized for our move to Arizona. There were many decisions to be made. Would our Ma go with us or stay with Uncle Nadge, daddy’s brother? Who would keep our dog and would

there be room for furniture, and tools and if not which ones could we leave behind? Daddy sold some things and we used the money to buy new clothes. Mother ordered new coats for Nadine and me from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. They were long, princess-style, royal blue and cost $1.98 each. Then we took a trip to Bluff City to Harvey’s General Store and each of us got a new pair of shoes. They were called oxfords, black in color and had about a one and one-half inch heel. We also got a new pair of anklet socks each. I don’t recall what our younger sister got, but I’m sure both she and J.T. got new clothes also. Monday morning a few days after the first of March 1938, we left our beloved Granny Ma, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, the woods, creeks, farms, our small school and oh so many memories. …to be continued.

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The LIVING Interview (continued) continued from page 43... portunity, anything we previously worked on for him, we had done a good job and that would continue until we made a mistake. Denis continues to represent The Mahoney Group today. GC LIVING: Fantastic. What a great story! DAVID:  And then John proceeded to tell us, “I’m one of your clients. Everybody wants to know, it’s personal to them. Your dad’s dead. He was the guy that ran the show. Your clients want to know “What’s happening with my file?”, so you need to get a letter out quickly answering that question.” And so, Denis, I and everybody at the office worked on weekends, nights, going through every single file we had, wrote to every client we had and said, “Here’s where you are at, and Denis, I or Bob Yates will be responsible for your file. DENIS: Right, I mean we should point out that my dad never retired. DAVID: (laughs) DENIS:  He actually did time sheets the night before he went into the hospital... GC LIVING: No way! DENIS:  Oh yeah, he was hardcore. So towards the end, he was at home and his office was actually at home. A lot of people didn’t know when they called, they’d be put through to him but he would actually be picking it up at his house. A lot of people met him out of his house, where he practiced a little bit toward the end but just like John McEvoy, John Hemmings, who ran Bank of Casa Grande at the time was the same way, Tony Serrano, you know, a lot of people that we thought very highly of, who talked very highly of my dad, wanted to make sure that they were behind us and, I think all of them made it a point too, that you get an opportunity to prove you can do the work. We’re not going to be here if you can’t do the work but you’ll get the opportunity, to keep the work if you can do it. And uh, so I mean, there were a lot of just really good families in town. Cecil Kinser, Al &Riley’s - another guy who was right there and very close friend of my dad and he very much wanted to make sure that we knew that we would continue to do his work and we still to this day, David represents Al &Riley’s, to this day and we always have so we’ve been fortunate to do that. And so we’ve had a lot of people like



“I’m one of your clients. Everybody wants to know, it’s personal to them. Your dad’s dead. He was the guy that ran the show.” that who respected my father a great deal and so they were happy to at least give us a shot. GC LIVING: It’s safe to say that the sons furthered the family legacy? DAVID:  Well ... (laughs) I think Denis and I both say that; my dad would say that we haven’t screwed it up . . . yet. DENIS: (laughs) DAVID:  Probably, but yeah. We tried to - our dad was a great guy so we tried to carry on his good name. Because in the end, that’s all they leave you, is your family name, right? GC LIVING: Do you find that you guys are more involved civically than he was - around town, on boards and efforts here and there? DAVID:  First I’d say there’s two of us so the answer is probably yes, but second I’d say that, when my dad was younger and in better health, my dad was on P and Z, my dad was in Rotary, my dad did all those things, but as he got older, his health declined, they were fewer and fewer. DENIS: My mom was also active, I mean, she’s a registered nurse and, once the kids were out of the house, or towards the end when my little brother’s grown up, she went back and did some nursing but, she was one of the main people that started St. Vincent de

Paul in town and so, I think, she was very active, she also was part of a new group the Presbyterian church started... DAVID: Seeds of Hope? DENIS:  Seeds of Hope, that she was involved in, so she was very active too and, and, in a different way that my dad was. GC LIVING:  So describe to us, the uh, magnitude of the law practice now. Tell us what you do? What you’re good at. DAVID: I’d saythat it’s certainly changed since my dad was practicing law. I mean, we’ve now got a lot more lawyers than when my dad was there. It’s computerized. Our practice areas are different too. And our clients are different than when, my dad was there and, andin part that’s because of the nature of the practice. People have moved on, or passed away, and new companies have come to town. So, I think that we’ve certainly expanded the practice areas.We have one lawyer who only does divorce, one lawyer does personal injury and one lawyer does bankruptcy, Denis represents the City of Coolidge and the City of Maricopa. We have lawyers in the office who assist in that. And, I do business and real estate. Denis does that too and another lawyer does estate planning. So, I think we do more than we used to do. I would also tell you that my dad would take on cases just because he thought it was right or thought somebody was being you know, mistreated. My dad would take those cases on and then we’d put work in and they were horrible money losers but, my dad felt it was unfair to get treatment like that, and so uh, we don’t do those uh,... DENIS: (laughs) DAVID: …anymore because ... DENIS: We don’t try to do them. (laughs) DAVID:  Yeah. (laughs) That’s right. We don’t try to do them. But, you know, sometimes you end up that way. But my dad would take a lot of those cases, but we can’t take those cases anymore and so I think it’s changed in that way too. DENIS:  He was funny because I think it must have been right about the time I came down to practice with him, and it was real treat because he was very old school and so, the first time, when I came down, I hadn’t seen a lot of clients before, just because that wasn’t the nature of the practice I came from and so I think within a week or so, I


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Holiday Recipes! Everyone has a special family recipe that brings warm memories and are part of your cherished holiday traditions. We asked friends, family and local readers to submit their personal favorites.

From our families to yours - HAPPY HOLIDAYS! My Sister’s Chicken Salad Dip

By Dawn Svoboda, Academy Mortgage “This is the BEST chicken dip and great for football games. People have been known to get married over this dip. Give it a try. Super easy to make. It is best 4 hours in the fridge. PS. Do NOT use fat free cream cheese. “ 1pkg - Knorr Veggie Soup Dry mix 2 - small or 1 - large can of white chicken 1/2c - Celery chopped finely 1/2c - Green Onion chopped finely

Homemade Oreo Cookies By Courtney Davis, Agave Dentistry

2 packages of Devils Food cake mix 1 1/2 cups shortening 4 eggs 2 Tbsp milk Cream Ingredients together. Roll into small balls and bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. Cool on pan.

Add first 3 ingredients in bowl, use a hand mixer to blend, then add in celery and green onions.

Frosting: 1 package cream cheese 2 2/3 cups powdered sugar 3/4 cup butter softened

Jezebel’s Sauce

Shaker Town Corn Pudding

Cream ingredients together. Frost bottom of a cooled cookie and top with another to make an oreo!

By Jim Dinkle, Access Arizona “This is an appetizer that people ask me to make at the holidays. I usually pour it over a brick of Philadelphia cream cheese and eat it on crackers. Just like Jezebel in The Bible, this sauce is spicy and has a kick to it!” 1 jar (16 to 18 oz) pineapple preserves or apricot preserves 1 jar (16 to 18 oz) apple jelly 1/2 cup horseradish

3 tablespoons dry mustard 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill. Pour over a brick of cream cheese and serve with crackers. Makes 4 cups.

By Jim Dinkle, Access Arizona “This is the recipe that I bake annually at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. I add a dollop of sour cream and a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese to liven it up a little. I don’t cook, but when I do this is what people ask me to make!” 3 tablespoons butter, softened 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.



3 whole eggs, slightly beaten 2 cups frozen corn 1 3⁄4 cups milk

In a large bowl, blend the butter, sugar, flour and salt. Add the eggs, and beat well with a rotary beater or mixer on low --. Stir in the corn and milk (if using frozen corn, chop it up a little first to release the milky juices). Pour the ingredients into a buttered flat 10x6” casserole and bake at 325* for 45 minutes, stirring once halfway through the baking period. When done, the pudding will be golden brown on top and a knife inserted in the middle will come out clean. THIS MIXTURE CAN BE PREPARED AHEAD OF TIME AND KEPT IN THE REFRIGERATOR. STIR WELL, THEN POUR INTO A BAKING DISH AND BAKE AS INSTRUCTED.


Health • Wealth • Education ChipaGuazu

By Frank Davidson, Superintendent, Casa Grande Elementary School District “When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay from 1979-1982, this was a favorite meal. It still appears in our house around Thanksgiving and Christmas. “Chipa Guazu” is Guarani for “Big Chipa.” 3 diced onions 3 16 oz. bags of frozen corn (thawed) 8-12 oz. of farmer’s cheese or mozzarella cheese, grated

4 eggs, well beaten 1 ½ cup of milk salt and pepper 3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil shortening (for baking pan)

Preparation: Preheat the oven to 350o. Add the oil to a sauté pan and, when it is hot, add the onions. Cook until translucent. Add the milk, and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the onion-and-egg mixture, the cheese, the beaten eggs, the corn, and the salt and pepper. Pour the contents into a greased 9” X 13” pan, and bake until it is golden on top. Let it stand for five minutes before serving it.

Sticky Buns

By Jackie Guthrie “When Tom and I owned the River Bottom Saloon in Florence we served free breakfast to the customers at midnight every New Year’s Eve. Sticky Buns were always part of the menu.” 18 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls ½ C butter ½ C brown sugar 1 pkg butterscotch pudding (not

instant) ½ t cinnamon walnuts or pecans (chopped)

The night before, grease bundt pan, sprinkle handful of nuts on bottom, place frozen rolls in pan. Melt butter & sugar in sauce pan. Remove from heat, add pudding and cinnamon, spoon over rolls. Sprinkle nuts on top. Cover and let rise overnight. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Turn pan over onto a serving plate immediately after removing from oven – remove pan after 3 minutes.

Texas Sheet Cake

By Shelby Smith, Administrative Assistant, AnnieMac Home Mortgage 1 cup butter 1 cup water 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 cups granulated sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla Frosting, below ***Frosting*** 1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk 1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar, sifted (4 1/4 cups sifted) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

1. Cake: Combine 1 cup butter, water, and 1/4 cup cocoa in saucepan over medium heat; heat until butter 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

melts. Add sugar, flour, salt, eggs, soda, sour cream, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla; mix well. Pour into a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Frost while still hot. Frosting: When the cake is almost finished baking, combine 1/2 cup of butter, 1/4 cup of cocoa, and milk in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Add the confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla mix well with electric mixer. Stir in pecans, if using, and pour over the cake. Spread to cover the hot cake.

Magic Wonder Bars

Lorrie Carter, State Farm Agency “This is a terrific, easy holiday cookie recipe that doesn’t take a lot of prep, and the results are absolutely sinful. You may find yourself making multiple batches of these cookies, because once eaten, they disappear fast and are in high demand! I often mix peanut butter and butterscotch chips in with the chocolate, as well, and if you have a real sweet tooth, you can drizzle caramel on top. Hope you enjoy -- and from all of us at Lorrie Carter State Farm, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!” ½ cup butter 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (6 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips) 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 bag flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 (325 if using glass dish). In a 13 X 9 inch baking pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter and mix evenly. Press into pan. Pour condensed milk evenly over crust, then top with chocolate, nuts, and coconut. Bake 25-30 mins, until coconut is lightly browned. Cool THOROUGHLY before cutting. Cover and store at room temperature.


Cream Cheese & Chocolate Chip Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

By Debbie Yost, Yost Realty Group at RE/MAX Casa Grande “This is my EASIEST Dessert Recipe and it came from my grandma, who has been gone for many years and I miss her ALOT. This recipe works great for mini cupcakes, regular sized cupcakes or for a bundt cake. The unfrosted cupcakes also freeze well.”

1. 2.


Mix a batch of chocolate cake batter from any store bought brand but do NOT use a mix with pudding as it will become too moist and fall apart. Fill cupcake tins/papers slightly more than half full. Separately cream 1 package of cream cheese at room temp with 1 stick of butter at room temp. Add 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Blend well. By hand, stir in 8 oz of mini chocolate chips. Drop 1 teaspoon full into each cupcake. Bake per the instructions on the mix. Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Blend 1 stick unsalted butter at room temp with 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temp. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until well mixed. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla then increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 1 minute longer. Use the frosting at once.



More Holiday Recipes! Simon & Garfunkel Turkey

By Bea Lueck “Sing the song for the ingredient list - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme” 1 Turkey, size depending on needs 1/4lb - butter, softened 2 to 3 TBS - minced garlic in oil 1 to 3TBS each of dried parsley,

sage, rosemary, thyme Salt & Pepper to taste 1-large size turkey cooking bag

Oven temp: 325 degrees Cooking time: depends on size bird used. Approximately 4 to 4.5 hours for 18-22 turkey. [Chef’s note: we cook our bird overnight at 200 degrees against all the official rules. Our grandmothers did this, our mothers did this, we do this and have yet to die from food poisoning. Prepare this way at your own risk!]


2. 3.


Defrost turkey so it is totally ice free on the inside. Rinse and pat dry. Prepare your favorite stuffing and stuff the bird at both ends. Use skewers or twine to lace up the cavity. Bird can also be prepared unstuffed - cooking time will be decreased. Carefully place bird in cooking bag according to directions. This is best accomplished with two people. Don’t forget to flour the bag. (If you forget, the bird will stick to the plastic! I know this from bad experience!!) Mix together the butter and garlic. You can adjust the quantity of garlic according to personal taste. Using your hands, slather the bird with the softened garlic butter mixture, working chunks under the skin of the breast and legs wherever possible. Wash and dry your hands before the next step. Mix all the herbs, salt and pepper together and again using your hands gently pat the herb mix all over the bird. The bird ends up green! Cook until 170° F in thigh and 155° F in breast and remove plastic cooking bag to brown. Finish browning in oven until 180° F in thigh and 165° F in breast. Let rest covered on counter for 15 minutes before carving.

Cornbread, Bacon & BACON Stuffing By Rock Earle “I always make more in a casserole dish because it is so good to eat all by itself. The recipe calls for 4 strips of bacon. I always add more bacon, you can never have too much bacon!”


Crockpot Cheesy Potato Casserole By Bea Lueck

1 - 26-32 ounce bag frozen hash browns (thawed) 1 - 8 oz container sour cream 1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup 1/2 cup onion, chopped fine 8 oz bag shredded cheddar cheese

4 oz bag shredded parmesan cheese 8 oz cream cheese - diced ½ - cup butter, melted salt and pepper, to taste (about ¼ teaspoon each)

1. In a large bowl add the hash browns thawed or frozen, sour cream, soup, onion, shredded cheeses and melted butter.

2. Mix to combine. 3. Spoon hash brown mixture in a 5 quart slow cooker that has been sprayed with nonstick spray

4. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until done.

5. The casserole should be crispy on the sides and bubbly throughout. 6. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Steve Miller’s Blue Ribbon Cookies

By Elaine Earle

1 lb sweet potatoes 1/2 cup sour cream 1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cinnamon 3/4 cup marshmallows

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Boil potatoes until soft. Put potatoes in a mixing bowl and beat with hand mixer until smooth. Mix all ingredients (except marshmallows) together with mixers and put in a casserole dish. Top with marshmallows. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes then put on broil in over for last 1-2 minutes untl marshmallows on top are browned. Let cool for 5-10 minutes then serve!



[EDITORS COMMENTS] County Supervisor Steve Miller won a blue ribbon for his Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies at the Pinal County Fair March 2015. In response to my email blast for recipes, he sent in a scan of her recipe card. When asked for the instructions, he laughingly responded “I don’t know if I want to do that … That’s the secret to winning the blue ribbon! I need to think about it. It is so automatic after making them for fifty years, I’ve never had to write anything down.” Next time you see Supervisor Miller, ask him how to make his award winning cookies!


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600 E. 1st St., Casa Grande, AZ 85122 THE EDUCATION EDITION



Page Article Taste of Casa Grande

29th Annual

by Jo Anne Pinto, MS Children’s Counselor, Against Abuse, Inc.

Every year we are privileged to watch women and children who have given up hope find the will to dream again when they experience the generosity of the community during these holidays.


e at Against Abuse, Inc. can scarcely find the words to thank everyone who made the 29th Taste of Casa Grande the success it was. Thanks to our exceptional participants, our generous sponsors and contributors, and especially our energetic volunteers, who made it all possible, the Taste was hugely successful. Now it is time to move on to the next series of events that will help us continue to provide direct services to anyone needing shelter or assistance in battling violence and abuse in their lives. The incredible generosity and levels of support we have received over the years makes it possible for us to provide services to a wide range of women and children who suffer from abuse, neglect, domestic violence and myriad other forms of exploitation and maltreatment. Our work is ongoing, as is our need for support, and as the holiday seasons approach, we must once again depend upon the generosity of our communities. Without the stunning generosity that never seems to fail, we are able to provide Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas joy to the families with whom we work. For anyone wishing to reach out and pay something forward, there are many ways to help Against Abuse, Inc. and the people we serve. For example, donating gift cards to supermarkets will provide extra ‘goodies’ for people who would not otherwise be able to afford

2015 Door Prize & Raffle Donors Against Abuse, Inc. Thrift Store Alex Griffen AMC Theaters – Centerpoint 11 / Tempe Andrea Little Angela Griffen Apache Gold Casino & Resort April Parrillo Arizona Cardinals Arizona Coyotes Arizona Diamondbacks Avi Resort & Casino / Laughlin


Bearizona Biosphere 2 Big 5 Sporting Goods Bill Miller / Intrepid Enterprises Billie Dalrymple / Your Quilted Dreams Buffalo Wild Wings Cactus Bowl Casa Grande Dispatch / Donovan Kramer, Jr. Casa Grande Family Dentistry Casa Grande Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / CrossFit Arizona


a Thanksgiving dinner. Angel trees will be appearing in businesses around the county; take an angel, buy a gift and return it to the tree. Everyone in services with Against Abuse, Inc. receives gifts from the angel trees. Every year we are privileged to watch women and children who have given up hope find the will to dream again when they experience the generosity of the community during these holidays. One year, a young mother with three small children could not stop the tears of joy as she watched her children stare, open-mouthed, at the tree and presents brought to them through the kindness and bigheartedness of a group of community members whose neighborhood decided to adopt the family. The angel trees answer many prayers. On a more serious level, there is another opportunity to support Against Abuse, Inc. by donating through your State of Arizona income tax. On the Arizona State income tax form, at the bottom, there are a series of charities to which one can donate, and preventing child abuse is one of them. A person can put any amount they like in that spot and the money goes directly to Child Abuse Prevention Arizona, which then distributes the money collected to local councils in each county. In Pinal County, the Pinal County Child Abuse Prevention Council, for which Against Abuse, Inc. is the fiscal agent, sponsors events that raise awareness of ways and means of preventing

Chandler Center for the Arts Chili’s Grill & Bar Chris Leavitt / Exlipse Cash Service Chrissie & Dennis Jenkins City of Casa Grande Community Services Department Cooper Painting, Inc. Cottonwood Medical Center CrossFit Arizona Debbie & Denny Haught / Family Tys/ Assisted Living Home

Desert Botanical Garden Dillards Discount Brake Tune N Lube Distinctive Earthscapes at the Avocado Enchanted Island Amusement Park Erica Herman Studios Estate Sales Conducted on Site / Bob & Chris Osterman Gara Godbold Gary Godbold Gene Irvin / Artist

Did you know you can donate up to $400* to Against Abuse, Inc by December 31st and take an State of Arizona income tax credit for the same amount? See your tax professional for details! *$200 single and $400 married taxpayers.

child abuse. The Council sponsors the annual Resource Round-up as well as the annual Child Abuse Awareness Conference. If any group in the county needs a speaker for a program, the Council is happy to provide someone knowledgeable on the subject. It is simply a matter of calling Against Abuse, Inc. and asking for a child abuse prevention speaker. The Council’s signature color is royal blue and our symbol is the pinwheel. Whenever you see a blue pinwheel, remember it is for child abuse prevention awareness. At City Hall you will see the children’s garden being planted and in amongst the flowers, you will see blue pinwheels, a symbol to help you remember the children. And remember Against Abuse, Inc., an agency that, with your continued help and support, works tirelessly to help raise women and their children out of the depths of darkness of violence and into the light of taking their rightful places in their communities.

Gilbert Tellez / Mejia Barber & Beauty Gina Weatherly Gloria Carrillo Gloria Smith (Gran Ma Gigi) Golfland Entertainment Centers Grand Canyon Deer Farm Grand Canyon Railway Green Orchid Salon / Tracy Hailey Geard Museum Helen Denton Heritage Funeral & Mortuary

Hilda Granados Holly Valdez-Bizon Ida Zertuche / Hair Affair i.d.e.a. Museum Inge’s Fashions International Minute Press In Touch Center for the Healing Arts / Lisa Siggard J. Warren Funeral Services Janie Miller Jeff Fairman JoAnne Pinto Judy Kitching THE THE EDUCATION EDUCATIONEDITION EDITION

The Board of Directors and Staff of Against Abuse, Inc would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who made the 29th Annual Taste of Casa Grande a success.

We couldn’t have done it without you!

2015 Sponsors: PREMIER ($5,000): APS • The Property Conference Center/Bedillon’s DIAMOND ($2,500): Banner Casa Grande Medical Center • Pinal County Attorney’s Office PLATINUM ($1,500): Living Magazine/Smart Shopper(In Kind) • N & D Designs(In Kind) • Shamrock Foods (In Kind) • SRP • Thomas Erickson, M.D. • Wal-Mart Distribution Center #7013 • Walton International Group (USA), Inc. GOLD ($750): Cooper & Rueter, LLP • Pinal County Federal Credit Union • Electrical District No. 2 • Henry & Horne, LLP SILVER ($500): Abbott Nutrition • David Snider Consulting • First American Credit Union • Foothills Bank • Garnet of Casa Grande • GEO Group AZ State Prison Florence West • GEO Group Central AZ Correctional Facility • Iron City Polaris(In Kind) • John & Deborah McEvoy • Moore’s Golf Cars (In Kind) • Sun Life Family Health Center • Villas by Mary T • Western Bank

Participating Restaurants: Banner Casa Grande Medical Center • Big Brew Coffee House • Big House Casa Grande • Buffalo Wild Wings • Café Manuel • Carlito’s Authentic Mexican Grill • Chili’s • Coldstone Creamery • Cook E Jar • Crescent Crown Distributing • Culvers • Cupcakes N More • Eegee’s • Flashback’s Dine In / Dine Out • Golden Eagle Distributors • IHOP • Mi Amigo Ricardo’s • Mimi’s Café • Native Grill / Wings • O! Cupcakes • Olive Garden • Petite Sweets • The Property Conference Center / BeDillons Restaurant • Central Arizona College / Pinal Gila Senior Foundation • Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers • Red Estilo Mex • Robson Ranch • Spike Beverage • Suki’s BBQ

Special Thanks to Our MANY Fabulous Volunteers Who Made This Day A Great Success! CGUHS DECA Club and Our Shuttle Drivers – you are so appreciated! A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MICHAEL & NANCY JACKSON, RUSSELL STEPHENSON (EVENT COORDINATOR), AND THE STAFF OF THE PROPERTY CONFERENCE CENTER FOR HOSTING THIS YEARS TASTE OF CASA GRANDE Katrina Rodriguez Laser Quest Phoenix Laura Gutierrez-Laurent Laurete Gamma Alpha Chapter PL3082 Lazy Dog Party Rentals / Kevin Oursler Laura Bagby / Merle Norman Cosmetics Lillian “Peart” Hoover Lourdes Ochoa Maria-Elena Ochoa Mary Jane’s Gilfts, Floral Designs and Collectibles

Merle Norman Cosmetics & Day Spa: Brandy Prescott; Kelsie Pate; Danna Lambert; Laura Bagby Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) National Comedy Theater Nature’s Nook / Sandi Salcido Nutrition 4 Life / Ronnie & Ysela Craig Oasis Pavilion Nursing & Rehabilitation Center: Ken Opara; Patty Caywood; Debbie Wyman; Susan Dean; Terry Miller; Joe Kovach; Kim Clark; Mark

Heimberger; Sandra Hernandez Office Max Old Town Custom Framing & Gifts / Regis Sommers Party & Cake Depot Pat & Jim Petroski Pat Miller Paula Foley Phoenix Art Museum Phoenix Rock Gym Phoenix Symphony Powell’s Feed & Supply Pristine Cleaners

Purcell Tire & Auto Service Ramona & Al Milsten RCS State Fair / Charlene & Guy Leavitt Regis Sommers Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch Roy Friedman / Yost Realty Group Rubio’s Serendipity Day Care / Lorraine & Curtis Lewis Shawna’s Top Notch Grooming

Southwest Shakespeare Company Susan Versluis Sylvia & Mike Aguilar The Little Barrel Antiques & Collectibles The Studio of Dance, LLC. The Shops at Maricopa Village / Dominic Palmieri & Curtis Lewis The Winner’s Circle / Barbara Kunz Tina Heward / Shear Elegance Tommy’s Bistro

Toni Salcido Travis Fitzpatrick Tucson Symphony Valerie Williams Verde Canyon Railroad VooDoo Tutu: Beth Rumbo; Jackie Merritt; Nancy Dicke Walton Orthodontics / Dr. Grant Walton Westworld Paintball Adventures Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium Zonta Club of Casa Grande Valley

Donna Anderson

Robin Armenta

Sherry Balentine

Jim Beck

Sarah Campbell

Come Meet

Bea Lueck

SANTA! at Coldwell Banker ROX Realty

Dave Miller

FREE Photo Available*

Saturday December 12th - 10am to 2pm Linda Pixler

Coldwell Banker ROX Realty - 1919 N. Trekell Ave - CG Professional photographer, Tina Cates with Elegance N Images will be on-hand taking photos* Stop by the various holiday vendors for last minute gifts, located outside in the parking area. Donations of non-perishable food items and new, unwrapped toys accepted. Donated items will be delivered to Casa Grande Food Bank and local charities for distribution.

Santa will return for a second photo opportunity the following week on Sunday, December 20th from 10am-2pm. *Photos will be printed and available for pick up at Coldwell Banker ROX Realty December 21st through December 23rd during our Open House 8am to 5pm and from 8am to noon on December 24th.

Connie Rush

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WE ALSO DO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT! Don’t let the middle of the night phone calls keep you awake! Our professional staff will handle all aspects of your rental properties including: tenant find and screening, accounting, collections, evictions and repairs. Call 520.423.8250 or email:

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The LIVING Interview (continued)

continued from page 66... had a client, coming into the old office.He had me all the way in the back and so I’d had to walk up and there was a door he looked around to see if anybody was in the waiting room so I must have come up twice at most and finally, I must have come up a third time or something and he screams out from his desk because he could see everything from where he was sitting and he’s like, “Why don’t you get a hat?” And I’m looking around, like, “What?” He’s like, “If you’re going to be my doorman, why don’t you get a hat and a uniform?” DAVID: (laughs) DAVID:  Denis, before he came down here was Snell & Wilmer which is, I don’t know how many, but, several hundred lawyers now but it’s a large firm so... DENIS:  Yeah, it had a much different practice than he did. But it worked great, because we had clients that could use some of their services because Snell & Wilmer had specialists in certain areas so they’ve always been very good to us and helpful when we need them. GC LIVING: So obviously you don’t regret coming back from Snell & Wilmer? DENIS: No, no, not at all. One of the managing partners now, a man by the name of John Bouma who was from Pocahontas, Iowa, I



remember when I went up to tell him I was thinking of coming down. He said, “Listen, I think you’re going to enjoy that a lot and if you don’t, come on back but I think you’d really enjoy practicing with your dad and brother. Sounds like a great opportunity”, so, I have not regretted coming back. GC LIVING: So is the firm growing? Or seeking to grow? Do you like it just the way it is? I know you have a really nice new office, I don’t know if there are any extra offices sitting around waiting for new lawyers but, what’s your target for growth? DAVID:  I think we’d say, yeah, we always look at the opportunity to grow. We certainly have more offices there for lawyers. But it depends on where this economy is going. There are various times Denis and I have talked and said, “Oh, the economy, we finally turned a corner”, and then three months later we said, “Oh that was an illusion”. GC LIVING: We’ve said that once a year for the last eight years. DAVID: Yeah, that’s it. DENIS: I mean I think, not only are those pressures there with the economy but the practice has changed dramatically, I mean you now have Summit School of Law putting out a great number of new lawyers - and I think it puts a ton of pressure on the practice. And you also now have document preparers or

registered document preparers and so they have created a lot of different challenges in the practice, and so there’s a lot more competition that’s out there. A lot of it’s probably good for the practice but a lot of it can be difficult, because when you get an attorney that only know a very narrow area and they’re trying to put something globally together, it is a challenge. DAVID: And just thinking about what Denis said, I do think that there’s a place for everybody but what we do is more sophisticated and costs more money. So, the document preparers have a place; anybody can set up an LLC but, if the LLC is going to have an Operating Agreement, if there’s going to be more than one person, you start to have issues of succession and who buys who out if you get in a fight, who has voting control, all those things, you need somebody more than I think just a document preparer. And the other thing I’d just add is that, civil litigation used to make up a significant part of our practice and that’s just changed. People think long and hard before they get into a lawsuit where you’re going to be paying somebody per hour, the rates that we charge, the dispute needs to be significant and they have to feel pretty strongly that they’re right, otherwise, people pause before embarking on suits . . . and they should. And, today, there’s arbitrators and all those options that weren’t there when dad was practicing that’s different. GC LIVING: Well let’s talk about the city then. What do you think about the changes in the city from twenty years ago, since the anniversary of your dad’s passing to today, how has it changed in your view, both as citizens but also as practicing lawyers and business people? DAVID: My view is that physically it has grown since twenty years ago when dad passed away. I would say there is less of a cohesive sense of community. People don’t seem to me to get involved. Denis and I both graduated from high school here, so it was kind of expected - this is our community. In days gone by, people held the view, this is your community and you have an obligation to get involved and move it forward. I just don’t think people care as much today about that as they used to. That is my sense and I know people lead busy lives and they get involved


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SCHOOLS & CITIES...cont. from page 12 environment for those that are walking to school or riding their bike or alternative means to get there.” There are other agreements. Elliot Park on Florence Street south of the tracks is owned by the elementary district, but is maintained by the city under an agreement allowing public use. The city also tries to provide police resource officers to school districts. “That one’s been hit-and-miss,” Thompson said. “The schools had funding, then the funding went away and so we try to balance that out through grants and other means to be able to provide that. We also believe by having officers there that we probably head off situations that would have occurred, and creating a safer environment.” Cooperation is a continuing project, Thompson pointed out. “A couple of years ago, we engaged at a whole new level,” he continued. “We brought in a whole bunch of groups. “What we had is a scenario where we were seeing some of our new businesses in town starting to have issues potentially with recruitment, retention, so forth, so we said let’s look at what the school have. “Interesting enough, both (districts) had a ton of programs that are vocational type, for training for jobs, but there wasn’t this consistency throughout both, because you’re dealing with two different districts. So we kind of worked with all those groups and realigned that.

AMBULANCE SERVICE ...cont. from page 13 had one ambulance in the city, or Level Zero, where we had no ambulances; in other words, there was none that could response to an emergency call if it was to occur.” It is not uncommon to hear emergency dispatchers for the city advise that Southwest is at certain levels or that it is a Level Zero, bringing in an ambulance from Coolidge or Maricopa, or sometimes as far away as Maricopa County. “Deputy City Manager Rains and I have had meetings over the last eight to 10 months with Southwest Ambulance vice president and their operations person,”


“You probably see on channel 11 (city cable channel) that we’ve run some programming with some of the people that grew up here, went to high school here then went off to college, came back and are successful, and what it takes to be successful and so forth. “We started a program that kind of built that consistency through both the districts and then off to CAC, because CAC was part of that, as well. Job training was part of it, Helen Neuharth from the chamber was part of it, and so it was a consistent effort. Richard Wilkie on our city development side participated heavily in developing these programs and the consistency. “At the end, our goal was for those who may not go off to college and other choices to give them the skill sets that they need to be successful in the work environment and if they planned on continuing in the community we would have that workforce in place. “So that’s been a very successful program and I think that we’ve been out and we’ve done quite a bit in that whole area in keeping that consistency and that training so they have the skill sets to know what it takes to be at work, how should you act, dress, all those different etiquette type things that traditionally have been missed.” Several years ago at a community meeting, the then president of Central Arizona College said the college was realigning its concepts of what should be taught. A survey of local businesses, he said, found that

CAC wasn’t producing graduates with the skills needed by those businesses. That all ties in with current meetings and discussions, Thompson said. “Just the discussions we had around that table, I think it refocused a lot of them on what’s important and where our future is and what the communities, not only ours but those others that they serve truly need. And I think there was a refocusing of that. “I think what they do on the job training side from the state level, the office here, and the arms have all been positive impacts. “But I think if you start to look and you take kids that are entering junior high and then into high school, if you catch them at that elementary school level first and get them to start thinking about it, some of the programs that they have now are kind of what you’d call feeder programs but it’s a direct link now, a relationship that’s the high school. “When you have different entities, which we do, that consistency may not exist and I think that thread has improved by the discussions. We sat around for about three years there, rolled out quite a few programs from it.” The city also keeps an eye on what’s ahead. “On the planning side we continue to look at where the school placement will occur in the future,” Thompson said. “There have been a lot of sites that some of the large developers donate a site to the school district or at a minimal cost to serve

the future. “We’re trying to look at the roadway structure on where those are placed to ensure that we don’t have some of the hiccups that we’ve had in the past, to be honest. And that’s just adequacy of the road. If you’ve got one road coming in and one road coming out, it’s created some challenges.” Mitigating that includes traffic lights, such as the ones installed at Trekell Road and O’Neil Drive and at Cottonwood Lane and Colorado Street. “So we continue to try to do the best we can on that transportation side,” Thompson said. “We have historically — and we’re looking to have those again — is where we go meet with the school districts and they bring in their senior staff and we take our senior staff, like the public works director, and talk about roads and where is the future of our infrastructure needs. We’ll talk about financing - just different things where we kind of have these group meetings. “We were doing them pretty regularly there for awhile; we kind of backed off for a little bit. We’re going to have those again here shortly because there’s been a new drive. Like the three P’s or the two P’s in this case, your public-public partnership where you look to define where else can you share some resources that one another have to minimize the tax burden on the taxpayer. So we’ll start having some more of those discussions to see what areas or opportunities that may exist for us.”

Miller continued, “and we have been discussing and looking at this kind of agreement and we’ve finally gotten to this point where we’re both good with moving forward on it. “It was basically to look at the coverage within our community that just wasn’t there.” Under the proposed agreement, Southwest and the city would both provide basic and advanced life support ambulance service, but Southwest would be basically limited to inter facility calls. “Inter facility calls is running from hospital to hospital and maybe from a nursing home to the hospital or from a doctor’s office,” Miller said. “They will continue to do that.”

Reaching a new emergency ambulance transport agreement with Southwest and getting a certificate from the state for the city’s ambulance service will be a lengthy process, the council was told. Miller said the CON application “is probably two inches thick, where it’s a document that we have to put together and there’s a chapter of items that we would have to submit. “We’re estimating that putting that application together will take four to six months in order to get that application. “It goes to the state Department of Health Services. DHS currently has six to 12 months in order to hear it and have it out. Right now, the director has indicated that if

nobody intervenes in it, we have the letter of support from Southwest, they can go ahead and waive any CON hearings and they will have that done within a six-month period. “So you’re looking first at four to six months and then six months at DHS, so you’re talking almost 12 months out, right there. “And then from there we have to make a determination on when are we going to launch and go operational.” Miller said the Fire Department now has one ambulance transport unit “and we have another one in our budget this year for purchasing. Conceptually, we’re looking at three 24-hour cars that would be out there eventually for coverage dedicated in the city.”



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WOW! NO HOA, RV Gate and RV’s OK. 4BD 2.75BA 2128SF with formal dining room, family room, huge kitchen with large island and gas range, jetted tub in master, 2 bedrooms with attached baths, outdoor kitchen, large covered patio, extended patio pavers, shed/shop detached, 2 car carport. $146,000

Honey LOOK!! NO HOA, RV Parking and Full hookups 50AMPS. Home has 2BD, 2.5BA, 1682SF fully furnished, Den/office, Arizona room, Chef will love the upgraded kitchen, Master has jetted tub, both bedrooms have attached baths. Shop, shed, gazebo and lots more. $149,900

GREAT GETAWAY! 1.25AC , 2BD, 1BA 840SF Hideaway. Fully fenced acre, with porches on two sides, vaulted ceiling, shop with water, electricity & roll up door, second storage unit with electricity, several RV gates and plenty of room for toys or RV or horses OK too. Enjoy the fantastic sunrises, sunsets and mountain views. This entire property is gorgeous. $60,000

Furnished & RV’s OK. 55+ Community with heated pool and rec room! Home is 2BD 1.75BA, 1188SF Split floor plan. Both bedrooms have attached bath, large laundry with build in desk, kitchen has gas range and plenty of cabinets, very open floor plan, huge covered patio, and attached shed/shop. $98,000

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All I Want for Christmas is a Job for Life by Terri Durham, Office Coordinator


oliday displays and decorations have been in stores for weeks. Tree lots will dot the corners of busy intersections any day now. Christmas catalogs will arrive in the mail shortly. We’ll soon be buying the perfect gift for a loved one, attending holiday performances, baking special desserts and spending time with family and friends. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! For most people that is. But what if you are out of work and can’t afford gifts for loved ones, or tickets to a holiday performance, or extra groceries to bake special desserts? Yes, we all know Christmas is more about spending time with family and friends, but let’s be real. Christmas is a $465 billion dollar industry. And if you

are jobless, Christmas is stressful. There are great organizations in Pinal County that help alleviate some of that stress and assist families in need with food, gifts, and money this time of the year. But what if we could do more? For years churches and nonprofits have engaged in breaking the cycle of poverty by meeting immediate needs first – food, clothing, housing. At the bottom of the list has been work. But without employment, and the means to actually provide for themselves and their families the cycle continues. Seeds of Hope believes we can flip that list with Jobs for Life. Jobs for Life addresses the devastating effects of unemployment and poverty by helping individuals experience the dignity of work

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– through honest relationships, mentoring, Biblically-based training, and an ongoing community of support. By flipping the way we use our time and resources on behalf of those in need, we will be flipping the way our community views the church and the poor. If you want to know more about Jobs for Life, how to be a volunteer, how to be a student, or are a business interested in partnering with Seeds of Hope to offer JFL graduates entry level employment, visit our website at www.seedsofhopeaz. com or call 520-5603612 and be a part of #flipthelist.

The LIVING Interview (continued) continued from page 76... in their micro-life but don’t look at the macro, what can we do for the community. I think that is why both of us get involved on boards and civic affairs; it was that,to be a good citizen. GC LIVING: That problem isn’t just local, it is societal in general, across the state, county, and globe probably or do you think it is more local? DAVID: No I think it is a societal problem. That is my sense. DENIS:  I think it is too, I think part of it is driven economically with the downturn in the economy. I think a lot of people kind of looked inward and thought; hey I gotta take care of my own house and my family first and then maybe just are starting to kind of look out. But, I do know that Coolidge just got done with an election where they had several people running, Maricopa has always had very active elections. I think both those two communities have strong programs where they have citizen academies or they train citizens on what the city government is about, the opportunities to serve, and things like that. So I think that is a good way and I think each city is more unique. I think Maricopa is unique because it has a strong retirement community with a lot of active people who want to be active in the city. Also it is such a young city that even though you hear the “good old boys club”, I don’t think people believe it as much because this city has only been around for twelve years now, but they seem to have pretty active...their council meetings are broadcast live on TV, but still at least seventy five, eighty percent of the room is full for all of their council meetings. So I think it’s just always been that way out there. DAVID:  Yeah, I think people were more involved 30 years ago, because there was more of a sense of community in Casa Grande. I think it gets back to some of those things we talked to you before about. You know, there were people living here, John Hemmings, John McEvoy, and all those people who could get things done, and that has kind of gone away. GC LIVING:  Okay in any conversation like this about the town, where it is, and where it is going I could say that economic develop-


ment has to come up and it has been a pretty lean five or six years.You guys are both involved on various levels with the government; where do you think that effort should head? Will it come back with the economy in general? DENIS: You know, for me, I think the days of putting pretty pictures and the sun on the internet and hoping for the best are gone. I really think what we need to do from a community standpoint is address workforce. I think that from our position, from my position on Access Arizona, sometimes we have heard that where we’re getting criticized by our competitor is our workforce. I think that we need to seriously consider, how do we address this workforce problem? How do we use the resources in the community from the school system to CAC [Central Arizona College], and ask how do we address this? How do we also, and I am not one to really understand CAVIT [Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology] as well as I probably should. But, I know they train in the health care profession. I know they train fire and police, but is there something more they can do? I mean we hear about some of these manufacturing plants and the different machinery they have, you know, are we preparing people to work in those areas and what do we need to do to better our workforce? I think, although we hear sometimes that that’s the big negative, we also have success stories, like Louie Sanchez out at WalMart. Their plant consistently ranks I think in the top five of the Wal-Mart distribution centers around the country. So, he clearly is getting the workforce he wants, needs, to be successful. So how do we address those concerns, because to me we can’t just ask companies to come here because we have available land and we are near I-10 and I-8. We must address, and put the last piece of the puzzle together, which is a workforce, a high quality workforce that can do what they need to be done. DAVID: And as we figure out our workforce, we also must ask: what is going to be a real, livable wage for them? And are builders able to build homes that they can qualify for? So if our workforce is going to be comprised generally of people at twenty dollars an hour jobs, then how do we work with city government, how do we work with developers to

“I think people were more involved 30 years ago, because there was more of a sense of community in Casa Grande.” construct a home that a young family could afford? Maybe it is going to be smaller, maybe there will be no yards. I hear millennials want to travel; they don’t want to have a yard to care for. Well okay how can we work together to make that work for the community too, so that our workers live here, can enjoy life and they have a chance at success, just like all of us want? GC LIVING: So, what institution is poised to take those two issues into the future, and to take those questions, and come up with answers? You think it is Access Arizona? DENIS:  Access Arizona had a strategic planning session a month or two ago and one of the things that they talked about is, their funding has gotten lower with different communities not belonging. Really, when you go back and look at the beginning of Access Arizona and look at when that was started by McEvoy, Kramer, all those guys who started that, it was primarily run by private money. I think with the downturn in the economy that funding sources completely flipped around and now it is primarily funded by public money and I think that Access Arizona is going to have to address that issue and try to bring back the private



Page Expeditions ROX Article

The Reluctant by Jerry Chinn

We quickly left behind the few shops and paved roads of Maun, as we made the drive to the Moremi Game Reserve and the tent camp, where we would spend our first night in Botswana.



n part I, Jerry persuades his wife, Tori, to join him on his latest photo safari to the wilds of the African bush. A self-defined “city girl,” Tori leaves hair dryer and shopping mall behind, to venture into the domain of lions, elephants, zebras… and the unexpected. Tori: The first time Jerry ask me to join him on one of his photo workshop safaris in Africa, the image that popped into my head was me hot, sweaty, and longing for a cool drink and air conditioning.

Arriving in Botswana

The Maun airport, is small simple brick building, absent restaurants and shops, and a far cry from the crush-of-humanity at the Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle airports familiar to Tori. However, for her and the rest of our group, feelings of excitement quickly surpassed those of apprehension. After a head count and assuring all bags were accounted for, we entered the adjoining airport lobby. There, smiling and waving were our two driver-guides, Moss and Des. They led us to our soon-to-be-familiar open-air safari vehicles waiting outside. In short order, Moss and Des had our group and bags loaded and on the road. We quickly left behind the few shops and paved roads of Maun, as we made the drive to the Moremi Game Reserve


and the tent camp, where we would spend our first night in Botswana. Along the way, donkey carts mingled with cars, children waved and livestock exercised their right-of-way. “What are those about?” Tori asked, pointing to a white plastic chair and green bucket tied to a pole alongside the road. “That’s an address,” I replied. With everyone’s curiosity peaked, I explained that they don’t have house numbers here. So, people put something unique along the road to identify their house. That way, instead of saying as we do… “I live at 2242 so-and-so street.” They say, “I live at the white chair and green bucket.” All agreed, it’s a pretty clever solution.  

Why Did the Ostrich Cross the Road?

To our guides, a pair of ostrich crossing the road hardly warranted slowing down. However, as our group’s first wildlife sighting, it elicited a rush of excitement and a barrage of clicking camera shutters. Even Tori was clicking away with the camera I loaned her. Then, a little further on, we came across a small herd of ten or twelve impala, contently feeding on the abundant green grass. They paid us little attention and remained calm. Not so our group. Again, everyone was out of their seat with camera clicking away. Several impala were showing off the ‘M’ marking on their backside. Des joked that they had been, “hired to advertise for McDonalds.” Before long, we came to the entrance of the Moremi Game Reserve. We checked in at the ranger station, then drove another 30 minutes or so along a narrow dirt road. Finally, we came to a clearing, shaded by large trees. There, eight Native men dressed in matching khaki shirts and trousers, greeted us with waves and smiles. They had arrived the day before and set up

camp. Also waiting for us were refreshing wet towels and a light lunch.

Welcome To Bush Camp

I wasn’t sure what Tori’s reaction to bush camp might be. However, I hoped that the pristine beauty of the Botswana bush and friendly crew would make a favorable impression. She did take note that our bags were waiting in our assigned tent. She began taking inventory of her home-away-from-home: en-suite toilet, check; washbasin, check; mirror, check; shower, check; comfy beds and bedding, check. Hmm… no electric outlet, no TV, no hairdryer. I wondered if she would feel the sense of freedom I get, realizing what all I can get along without? “It’s not so bad,” she said. “Kind’a cozy, actually.” What a relief. This was going better than I hoped.   Backstory – Botswana gained independence from Britain in 1966. It is the longest, continuous democracy in Africa, and the largest producer of diamonds. The economy is strong and stable, and it’s ranked “low risk” for common African diseases. With 39% of its land conservation-related, Botswana has the world’s largest population of free-roaming elephants. We relaxed and settled in until about 3:30pm, when we joined the others for “high tea” in the group tent. There, we were offered finger sandwiches, fresh-baked pastries and hot or cold drinks. After about 30 minutes, Des announced it was time for the afternoon game drive. Anticipation ran high, as I reminded everyone to watch for “defining moments,” and how to set up their cameras to best to take advantage of the late-afternoon light. Only a short distance from camp, we spotted a small gathering of zebra, including a youngster. I’d never seen Tori so excited. She was clicking away like a pro. The afternoon continued that way,


ROX Page Expeditions Article

Adventurer – Part 2 with one wildlife sighting after another, and hundreds of photos being taken. Alas, daylight faded into sunset, and it was time to call it a day. Reluctantly, we returned to camp, where each tent had a warm and welcome shower ready. Refreshed, Tori and I joined the group gathered around the campfire to share impressions of a remarkable day, along with a glass of wine. Tori enthusiastically joined the conversation, clearly forgetting any fear about not fitting in with more experienced photographers. Shortly, we were called to the group tent for dinner. After everyone was seated, as is the custom in safari camp, the chef announced the four-courses to be served. Which elicited enthusiastic applause. Tori, who takes pride in being a consummate dinner host, was pleasantly surprised by the elegantly presented and served dinner. The group eagerly devoured every morsel. This was NOT going to be the loose-weight safari.

Night Comes to Bush Camp One of the first questions I usually get from prospective participants is, “what happens at night?” My first response is to tell them what we do at night in bush camp. I tell them that it’s a time for relaxing and socializing around the campfire with a beverage, a time for exchanging stories, and an opportunity to learn about the environment and wildlife from our guides. It’s also the time to talk about the day’s photo shoot, and expectations and preparations for the following next day. Although they might not express it, I know prospective participants also want to know how safe they’re going to be at night, with us and the wild animals only separated by canvas tents. First of all, animals see the tents simply as solid objects. They don’t know they’re just a layer of canvas fabric. Shhh… don’t tell them. Also, the guides and camp crew are very experienced and prepared. Lanterns and the camp-


fire are kept burning all night. Before turning in, I took Tori’s hand and pointed to the brightest stars in blackest sky she’d ever seen. It had been a remarkable day, and our beds felt warm and welcoming. We heard two distinct prides of lions near camp “talking” to each other, and a hippo munching grass a few yards away. The amazing sounds soon became our lullaby as we drifted into peaceful sleep. Tori’s Tips: Pack a headlamp. Everything is easier in the dark with both hands free. Also, take along packets of disposable antibacterial, no-rinse body wipes. With these, you can freshen up any time, most anywhere… like the airplane bathroom, at the end of a long flight. You can usually find them at medical supply shops or on the Internet.

Just A Normal Day… On Safari Our first full day in bush camp, we settled into the normal routine, as “normal” as a day on an Africa safari can be. Its 5:00 am and still dark outside. We were awakened by a sweetly hesitant, “Good morning,” as our tent steward fills the basin with warm water. Tori and I washed quickly and dressed for the cool morning game drive. By 5:30 am, we were at the communal campfire, where hot coffee, fresh pastries, yoghurt and the best-ever oatmeal waited to start the day. Then at 6:00 am, we all gathered our photo gear and boarded the safari vehicles. The morning air was brisk and refreshing, as daylight crept onto the bush. This is the time when the animals are most active… and hungry? It also offers some of the best light for photography. On this morning’s drive, as is typical, we saw and photographed nearly a dozen different species of wildlife within a short time

and distance from camp. Being on our own schedule, we were able to stop for any photo opportunity and stay until everyone’s had a chance to get the shots they wanted. Midday, while hot, isn’t so hot for photography. It’s also the time most wildlife seek out a shady spot to nap. So, taking our que from the animals, we headed for the shade of camp and a hardy waiting lunch. The afternoon downtime also gave us time get together to share our photos, and do the photo workshop part of the safari. Then again, it was high tea around 3:30pm, followed by the evening game drive. Obviously, there’s much more and many more stories that can be told. But nothing can truly convey the feeling and exhilaration of being so close to nature in its most undisturbed beauty and natural balance. You have to experience an Africa safari yourself. As for Tori? She came away with new friends, fond memories, some great photos, and a whole new perspective.   Tori: I wish I had gone on safari years ago, and hope to go again next year. The thrill of hearing lions roar in the night, feel the earth vibrate and my entire body reverberate is indescribable. It’s a unique sensory experience that comes with the realization that these beautiful wild creatures and pristine habitats might not be around much longer.

It’s a unique sensory experience that comes with the realization that these beautiful wild creatures and pristine habitats might not be around much longer.

Jerry Chinn an insatiable globe-trotter and award-winning photographer. As Program Director for ROX Expeditions, he develops and coordinates unique small-group (6-12 persons) and special-interest tours. Currently available tours for 2016 include photo workshops-tours to Cuba, India, Iceland, South America, and Antarctica, as well as a June wine/culinary river cruise of Bordeaux, France. For more information, Jerry can be contacted at:



Thank you! to our sponsors Thank You To Our Sponsors:


In Memory of Linda Godbold for

her years of service to Zonta, an

Thank You To Our Sponsors: Thank You To Our Sponsors:

organization dedicated to improving the status of women

Against Abuse worldwide. Linda will remain Amy’s Jewelry Boutique an inspiration to us all for her Be Dillions courage, grace and humor. Bill Thomas—Airplane Ride 1940—2015 1940—2015 Contributed By Dr. Deborah Hudak Bruneau’s Hair & Nail Salon In Memory of Linda Godbold for In Memory of Linda Godbold for Buffalo Wild Wings her years of service to Zonta, an her years of service to Zonta,Carlitos an organization dedicated to imCookie Jar organization dedicated to improving the status of women Cottonwood Medical Center proving the status of women worldwide. Linda will remain Creative Café an inspirationworldwide. to us all for herLinda will remain D’s Hair Lounge courage, grace and humor. Denny’s an inspiration to us all for her Contributed By Dr. Deborah Hudak Dr. Deb Nelson—Balloon Ride courage, grace and humor. Francisco Grande Hotel & Golf Resort Contributed By Dr. Deborah HudakFoster’s Fashions Gene’s Pen & Ink (Gene Irvin) Golden Eagle Distributors Jim Grider Laura Osborn Hair Stylist Liquor Factory Lucky’s Sushi Marvelous Mutts in Motion (Susan O’Driscoll) Mi Amigo Ricardos Nature’s Nook (Sandy Salcido) Carmie Boatwright - Pianist Regal Nails Salon Miele Entertainment - Photo Booth Seeds of Hope A Very Special Thank You to The Property Conference Center and Golden Susan Conn-Hood Eagle Distributors, Inc. for providing the venue and our food and beverages. Tommy’s Bistro Ursula Cleaning Service Another Special Thank You to our Auctioneer, Jim Grider, for making our Vapor, Etc. evening so lively and Special!! Wash N’ Roll All Zonta Members

Zonta International What is Zonta?

Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to empower women worldwide through service advocacy. Thank Youand To Our Sponsors: Zonta includes more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 clubs in 67 countries.

Objectives of Zonta International?

*To improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health, and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy. *To work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of executives in business and the professions. *To promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.


In Memory of Linda Godbold for her years of service to Zonta, an organization dedicated to im-

What does the Zonta Club of Casa Grande Do?

We are a dynamic group of women working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy both within the community and internationally.

How to join Zonta?

Meetings: Second Thursday of the month, dinner meeting 6:00—8:30 p.m. Contact Membership Chairman: Leslie Snyder: 520-840-9378 (Casa Grande Valley);

proving the status of women worldwide. Linda will remain an inspiration to us all for her courage, grace and humor. Contributed By Dr. Deborah Hudak

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Celebrating Communion at the Garden Tomb by Dr. Philip W. Calvert, Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church


REGULAR SUNDAY SCHEDULE: First Morning Worship Service 8:00 am to 9:15 am Sunday School 9:30 am to 10:30 am Second Morning Worship Service 10:45 am to 12:00 pm

REGULAR WEDNESDAY SCHEDULE: Wednesday Prayer Warriors & Praise Band Rehearsal 6 pm to 7 pm Youth Group meets at 7 pm Grades 6-12 Children in Action at 7 pm Grades 1-5 Adult Choir Practice 7 pm to 8 pm



his past week I had the tremendous blessing to join several folks from Trinity and two other churches on a trip to Jerusalem. It was an amazing experience. We saw many of the sites where Jesus walked, including the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Temple Mount. Perhaps one of the most poignant sites was the Garden Tomb, which is located in a beautiful area of trees and pathways. It is situated not far from a skull-like erosion in the nearby limestone cliff. This site was first proposed by Scholar Otto Thenius in 1842 as the authentic tomb in which Jesus’ body was placed after His crucifixion. The tomb itself was discovered in 1867. Of course, the tomb was empty because Jesus is risen! As we entered the garden, located just outside of the Damascus Gate of the ancient city of Jerusalem, we found ourselves in the midst of hundreds of people from around the world. There were people from Latin America, Africa, India, and China, as well as Americans and Europeans. As we walked past the many sitting areas we could hear the sound of Christians singing praises to the Lord in a variety of languages. This is no doubt a perfect picture of what it will be like one day when the multitudes gather around the throne of God singing praises in their native languages! This global tone heightened our awareness of the significance of this place! After entering the tomb where it is believed Jesus Christ was placed, and from which He arose from the dead, we emerged again into the garden with a sense of awe and wonder. Find-

ing a quiet place in the garden, we then celebrated the Lord’s Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:23–26 says, “For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way, after supper He also took the cup and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant established by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”* As we celebrated communion together, our group of some 25 people representing three different churches was unified in our love for Christ and for each other. This is what Jesus meant when He said in John 13:34-35, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”*And, that is one of the lessons of our journey to Jerusalem…the beauty of biblical love and unity among brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. That is what Christ wants for us. That is the message of Jerusalem today. I encourage you to travel to that special place to enjoy the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and to bask in the love and unity of Christians from around the world. In Christ, Pastor Phil Calvert *All scripture is from The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.


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DENIM & DIAMONDS 31 Annual st



able February 1st through school academic advisors. Application are accepted through the high schools during the months of February and March. To raise money for our scholarships, The Rotary Club of Casa Grande holds an annual auction themed “Denim and Diamonds”. This premier event showcases donations from our local community. The 31st Annual Auction will be held on April 30, 2016, location to be determined. Llike us on Facebook @ https://www. For more information contact Kara Guidotti 520-836-1332 or and Louie Sanchez 480-266-9386 or




otary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. Rotarians provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary motto is “Service above Self”. Since its formation in 1926, the Casa Grande Rotary Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 Million in scholarship money to local students and the total grows every year. The Rotary Scholarship is open to all Casa Grande high school seniors. The application is avail-



Service Above Self Since 1929



Casa Grande Rotary Club Auction

Saturday, April 30th, 2016 6:00pm

(520) 423-0022


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Why I love Planet Fitness by Evan Thomas

Hassle-free facilities that are filled with tons of brand-name cardio and strength equipment, and a lot of happy people.



hen I discovered Planet Fitness I thought it was a regular gym. Having worked there now for a few years I’ve learned that it’s so much more than that, and I love my job. Perhaps the most exciting thing for me is when I can tell that our members are grateful for our dedication to friendliness and cleanliness. Very often I have members come up and tell us how much they appreciate how clean our facility is. Even more awesome is when I hear about how well everyone is doing on working towards their


goals! A common story is, “If it wasn’t for your facility I don’t think I ever would have gotten started. Now I’ve lost a ton of weight and feel great!” Working as a trainer for our Unlimited Fitness Training that comes included with all of our memberships, I get to get even more in touch with my clients. All over Arizona I’ve had the pleasure to work with countless seniors, veterans, and young adults alike. Every time I hear, “My pain is greatly reduced and I have better range of motion,” or, “I’m sleeping so much better now thanks to your program,” its music to my ears. In fact, because Planet Fitness had so much positive feedback and member success they actually created an entire social media platform for their members to share their experiences, struggles and success, and fitness/life journey’s. It serves as a great way to give or get motivation and feel great about your progress. It’s called Planet of Triumphs,! The whole concept of what we do starts with The Judgement Free Zone. This is a comfortable, non-intimidating environment where everyone can feel accepted and respected. We do not allow any dropping of weights or excessive grunting in order to maintain

a friendlier environment. We don’t have any salespeople, and we don’t bother with all the extras like juice bars and childcare that drive up costs. Instead, we’ve boiled our business down to the things that you really want in a health club – clean, stylish, hassle-free facilities that are filled with tons of brand-name cardio and strength equipment, and a lot of happy people. But let’s be honest, the amenities in the Black Card Spa are where the real fun is at. We have relaxing Hydrotherapy Massage Beds and Massage Chairs, as well as high-end lay down and stand up Tanning Units. Our unique Total Body Enhancement machines use Red Lights and a vibration platform to help rejuvenate skin and relax muscles. With our Black Card Membership you get use of all of that as well as the ability to bring a guest to workout with you once per day! Planet Fitness provides memberships starting at only $10 per month. That membership will get you everything you need to begin or continue your fitness journey; a free t-shirt, access to our fitness trainer and their classes, appointment to meet with the trainer and design a program for you as well as explain proper use of our


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equipment, full service locker rooms with day use lockers, individual showers and private changing rooms, and of course a key tag to check into our facility which is open and staffed 24/7. Looking for more from a membership? You will love our Black Card Membership at only $19.99 per month. Our most popular membership gets your access to the Black Card Spa described previously, guest privileges, nationwide access to over 1000 clubs, half price on most cooler drinks, as

well as other cool discounts such as 20% off Reebok online and outlet store and 10% off products and service at Regis Salons and Master Cuts. If you like a great deal and you’re looking for a comfortable, friendly place to exercise, then you’ll love Planet Fitness. To sign up online visit or just stop in for a tour. We are located at 1325 E Florence Blvd #13, Casa Grande, AZ 85122. Any questions feel free to call (520) 788-6200.


Okay maybe not this.


$10 a month 1325 E. Florence Blvd. Casa Grande | 520.788.6200 To join online visit THE THEEDUCATION EDUCATION EDITION EDITION



*Home Club only. Billed monthly to a checking account. Subject to $29 annual membership fee. Includes T-shirt. Must be at least 18 years old, or 13 with parent/guardian. Incentives offered for enrolling in other memberships. Participating locations only. Planet Fitness facilities are independently owned and operated. ©Planet Fitness




The Best Traditions by Erica Herman


My mom would string the branches with these gigantic colored bulbs that seemed to glow even into my bedroom at night and then let my brother and I start hanging the decorations. 92

n my opinion, the best part of December is the small rituals that we, as families, perform to celebrate our beliefs. They don’t have to be elaborate or expensive to be meaningful, but they all have one thing in common – traditions bring you together with the ones you care about. Growing up in Casa Grande, we had lots of traditions from making holiday decorations at school to waiting for Charlie Brown’s Christmas special to air on TV. Looking forward to these special rituals seemed to help the holidays arrive faster. A tradition that I have loved ever since childhood is decorating the tree. Growing up we always had an artificial tree that was brought out sometime in December and set up in front of the living room window. Getting the tree out of storage signaled to me that presents were in my near future. Once the tree was set up, it was time to make it look festive. My mom would string the branches with these gigantic colored bulbs that seemed to glow even into my bedroom at night and then let my brother and I start hanging the decorations. Boxes of these trinkets were pulled out of the attic and consisted mostly of handmade ornaments my brother and I had created throughout the years. Blown out eggs rolled in glitter, pasta shell frames with our pictures in them, salt dough shapes painted like wreathes, all of these went on the tree with a few shiny glass bulbs thrown in. By looking around the tree, you could see how my brother and I had grown. Once that was done, we drenched the tree in silver tinsel, the more the better, and hung a few candy canes around any area that was left open. As a kid, the tree seemed so big and majestic; glowing at night after all the house lights were turned off. Once I had my own place, my mom passed on the tree to me and bought herself a new one. When I was going to decorate for my first Christmas in


my apartment, I was surprised at how small and wimpy the tree looked. The branches had been squished throughout the years and were stuck into an old broomstick, since the original middle piece had been lost. However, once it was decorated with pink bulbs and purple lights, it turned from a goose to a swan. Another event that was celebrated each year was the viewing of the lights. Usually by the week before Christmas, house decorating was at its peak around town and it would be decided that a trip around town was in order. My brother and I would put on our pajamas and pile into the backseat of my mom’s car, excited to be out on a school night once it got dark. We would drive around the neighborhoods of Casa Grande, which didn’t take long back then, and look for the best decorated abode. There were no flashing lights or singing trees, but even in the Seventies and Eighties, homeowners got creative. I always loved the houses that put glowing Santa’s or reindeer on the roof and was in awe of those who spelled out a message in lights on their shingles, sending a message to Santa in the sky. My favorite block was (and still is) Markley Drive, with the tall palm trees lighted all the way to the top. Decorating the tree and looking at lights were activities I loved, but the best tradition of all was opening one present on Christmas Eve before I went to bed. Since anticipation for the big day usually had me high strung, my mom must have figured that opening this present would calm my brother and I down and hopefully allow us to get to sleep at a decent hour. In a way she was right, and as I counted down the days until December 24th, I would begin debating which present should be selected. Since my mom

placed packages under the tree as she got them wrapped, my mind would often change as to what present would be the one. It was in this tradition that I learned a hard lesson about greed. One year there was a square box under the tree addressed to both my brother and I. This was the first time a package had been specified for both of us. Not only was it small and compact, but it was heavy. My brother and I agreed early on that this unique package would be the one we would open on Christmas Eve. When the night finally arrived, we pulled the box out from under the tree. My mom explained that if we chose to open that one - that was it until the next day. We didn’t care; we had to know what would be so special that it would be for both of us. With bated breath we both started ripping paper off at the same time. Imagine a balloon loosing all of its air. That is what happened to my brother and I when we saw the box. It was an electric pencil sharpener. We were dumbfounded and couldn’t believe we had wasted our free pass on that! I am still haunted by the sound of my mom laughing like crazy in the background as this happened. These are but a few of the best traditions I partook in while growing up, and have carried them with me into adulthood, sharing them with my own children. What I realize now is that these activities not only helped mark the passage of time until we celebrated, but they also helped build some of the best memories I have of growing up Casa Grande.


Sushi & Chinese




asa Grande’s only internet based TV show will be almost 10 years old! This online show is on 24/7 at www. It’s the OFFICIAL TV SHOW GUIDE TO CASA GRANDE, hosted by RAMB-OH! This season we feature new places to dine, events in and around town even a “re-run” of the day in the life of the Mayor Bob Jackson, as an honor to his honor. Yes the Mayor has had a great run! Featured on the show is the hottest new restaurant in town, RED ESTILLO MEX, at the gateway to downtown. It’s the sister restaurant to the Big House Cafe with the same tradition of excellent food and warm friendly service. You will see the food and hear from the patrons who will tell you how good it really is. The customers brag about the HAPPY HOUR specials, for beer, drinks, even 99 cent food specials, WOW! We’ll make a RED margarita that

is also very special, using real fruit juices! Just go to, click on CASA GRANDE and you’ll be seeing RED! Also see the BIG HOUSE CAFE and the new Coffee and tea and eater-y, BIG BREW on Cottonwood. They deliver anywhere in town and use organic coffee! See local happenings like the Friday Downtown Street Scene, and what’s happening on the golf scene with Jay Wilson of Robson Ranch golf club. He’s got golf tips for you and if a better swing is your thing, you want a lesson with Jay. From the Fly-In to the County Fair, see it all online any time. You never know what you might see on this stimulating, informative TV show. It can get pretty wild-WILDMAN PHIL, that is! So check it out anytime as it changes regularly. www. To contact Rambo-OH, it’s

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The Museum of Casa Grande Page Article

Preserving the history and heritage of Casa Grande by Berlin Loa

“Heritage Hall” at The Museum of Casa Grande” 2014

The Casa Grande Historical Society and Museum was founded in 1964 by members of the Woman’s Club, an organization that provided “literary and artistic culture” in the community.


n 1879, the Southern Pacific Railroad was being built eastward from Yuma. The tracks came to a dusty halt that summer near the Gila River amongst the Akimel O’odham and Tohono O’odham people. The railroad called this temporary stop Terminus until work resumed almost a year later. In 1880, the town was renamed Casa Grande after the nearby prehistoric ruins. The town quickly matured and was incorporated in 1915. The Museum of Casa Grande, located at 110 West Florence Blvd., offers a glimpse into the colorful history and heritage of the little town called Terminus that has since grown into a modern rural city. The Casa Grande Historical Society and Museum was founded in 1964 by members of the Woman’s Club, an organization that

First Presbyterian Church 1971

provided “literary and artistic culture” in the community. The founding members worked to raise funds that ultimately resulted in purchasing the “old stone church” and adjacent buildings that are now the museum campus. Fifty years later, in 2014, the historical society officially began using the name The Museum of Casa Grande as a reflection of its core mission and modern vision to foster cultural experience and education through exhibits, events, and programs. The museum consists of three historic properties and half a city block of indoor and outdoor exhibits. It is recognized as one of Arizona’s finest small museums and is certified by the Arizona Historical Society. Visitors can journey to the past to experience history through the on-site historic buildings, original fire trucks, and period exhibits. The historic buildings are listed in the National, State, and Local Registers of Historic Properties. The exhibits portray the lifestyles and heritage of early settlers, the expansion of the railroad and mining industries, pre-historic cultures and artifacts, the diversity of local cultures, and so much more. By partnering with local and state organizations and with local artists the museum offers cultural events, public history programs, family craft activities, educational seminars, and professional development workshops. And,

for those with an interest in research, the collections provide rich source for the study of the Casa Grande region and the role it has played in the development of the southwest. The artifacts, archives, photographs, and reference materials are available for research year-round by appointment. For a relaxing afternoon, guests may browse the museum gift shop which offers an array of artisan crafts, jewelry, Native American crafts, southwestern and historical books, cookbooks, postcards, and unique gift items. The museum also offers many programs, events, and guest speakers throughout the year. The History Speaks! Series features a wide variety of historic presentations twice a month. Second Saturdays feature family craft activities at 1pm and live performance events at 7pm on the Second Saturday of each month year round. Additional evening performing arts, hands-on activities, school programs, and special events occur seasonally. Visit the website to learn more about upcoming events and programs. Visit the museum to discover Casa Grande! The Museum of Casa Grande 110 West Florence Blvd., Casa Grande, AZ 85122 • 520.836.2223 Facebook: Twitter: @cgvhs





Holiday Eating Tips HEALTH

10 Tips

for Enjoying the Holiday Season Without Gaining Weight! by Susan Conn-Hood - Certified Yoga /Fitness Instructor & Juice Plus whole food Educator 1. Focus on weight maintenance vs. weight loss during the holidays. If you are currently overweight and want to lose weight, this is not the time to do it. Maintenance of your current weight is a big enough challenge during the holiday season. 2. Plan on NOT dieting after the New Year. Anticipation of food restrictions sets you up for the binge-type eating over the holidays. Besides, restrictive diets don’t work in the long run. They increase your loss of lean body mass vs. fat, slow down your metabolism, increase anxiety, food preoccupation, and binge eating, and make weight re-gain more likely. 3. Be physically active every day. Often the busy holiday season schedules bump YOU off your exercise routines. Physical activity, especially aerobic activities (brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming), can help relieve stress, regulate appetite, and burn up extra calories from holiday eating.


4. Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties. It is NOT a good idea to arrive at a party famished. Not only are you more likely to overeat, but you are less likely to resist the temptation of eating the higher fat and higher calorie foods. Try eating a piece of fruit, a small carton of yogurt, or even string cheese before you go. 5. Make a plan. Think about where you will be, who you will be with, what foods are available, what foods are really special to you (that you really want to eat) vs. those that you could do without, and what your personal triggers to overeat are and how you can minimize them. 6. Take steps to avoid recreational eating. To avoid recreation eating, make one plate of the foods that you really want (2-3 small bites of each food). Eat it slowly-savoring and enjoying every tasty bite. When you are done, pop a mint or piece of gum in your mouth, get a tall glass of water and sip on it

throughout the night. Reduce the fat in holiday recipes. There are plenty of low fat and low calorie substitutes that are amazingly tasty. Magazines are full of reduced calorie and reduced fat recipes. Give them a try, and share cooking creations with friends and family. 8. Choose your beverages wisely. Alcohol is high in calories. If you chose to drink-choose light wines and beers, and limit your intake to 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per occasion. 9. Enjoy good friends and family. Food can be a big part of the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be the focus. Holidays are a time to reunite with good friends and family-to share laughter and cheer, to celebrate and to give thanks. Focus more on these holiday pleasures. 10. Maintain perspective. Overeating one day won’t make or break your eating plan. If you over-indulge at a holiday meal, put it behind you. Return to your usual eating plan the next day without guilt and despair! 7.

Anticipation of food restrictions sets you up for the binge-type eating over the holidays.



BlackBox Foundation

Connecting Community with the Arts by Ken Ferguson, Director BlackBox Foundation


he fall and winter are typically a busy time for those in the performing arts world! And Casa Grande is no exception! Seeing the progress of our community youth is one of the greatest gifts. Recently, Stacey and I had the privilege to be cast in Footloose the Musical at Central Arizona College. The cast consisted of many students we have had the chance to work with throughout the past years, some as far back as their middle school days. On the second night of our Footloose show BlackBox Foundation’s Youth Theatre had a performance of Seussical The Musical at BlackBox Studio for the Arts. The cast consisted of middle school and high school students from Casa Grande. What many families and kids don’t know is that the possibility for quality performance skills training and experience exists right here; all the way through to Central Arizona College. West Side Story is in rehearsal now at Vista Grande High School and our own first production of Miracle: A Christmas Musical is in rehearsal now with performances at Robson Ranch, Hermosa Ballroom the weekend of December 11th. Miracle is an all ages community production written by local Arizona City resident Frank Maguire. In October alone we had The Wilburns, who are in National Traditional Country Music Association’s Hall of Fame. The Heart of it All workshop from Nancy Elliott, and our biggest act we have ever brought to the community yet, Esteban, the world renowned guitarist! The arts bring people together in a way that is unique. Every Tuesday




from Noon to 1PM, our FREE Brown Bag Lunch Concert is our informal invite to bring your lunch and listen to local artists share their music with stories about the genre or personal stories that connect the song to the artist. In October we featured our very own Stacey Seaman on the piano, Jim Patterson and his guitar, Dennis Beye with classic acoustic rock, and Frank Maguire playing piano and singing a variety of tunes! The Museum of Casa Grande, among the many things they already do, presented a free screening of Power’s War from Arizona filmmaker Cameron Trejo. And there is so much more to come! Be sure to support your local arts scene before heading out of town. Help to continue Connecting Community with the Arts! BlackBox Foundation is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit performing arts & education organization and operates the BlackBox Studio for the Arts in historic downtown Casa Grande, AZ.


The LIVING Interview (continued) continued from page 83... investors. But I do think Access Arizona should take the lead at trying to figure out how to really bring parties together to address those workforce issues. We are in a unique position to look at that and try to figure out what is the best way to go forward. We have members from CAC, we have members from the elementary school district. So I think we could start looking at that. GC LIVING: Anytime that we get the workforce issues up and affordable housing, education is right in there. I know you guys have been heavily involved, and we do what we can, in fact this issue of the magazine that is coming up is the education special. This interview is not necessarily about that but I know you guys are involved in education. Give us a sense of what you see the current battle field. I mean on the one hand it is assumed that we have bad education, primary education is substandard but that simply isn’t true. We have good education systems here but it’s either we are not getting the message through to the public or it is not efficacious after that step. I don’t know, what is your take? DENIS: I think there’s a lot of pressure on public education, and I think that because of the funding source, the funding mechanism, property taxes, and charter schools, I think they’re clearly under assault, and I appreciate that. I think the quality of education, is a big issue and, and we need to do what we can to address that issue, and, and I think that part of that’s going to be too, is really kinda in some ways try to, uh, rally around and support our teachers. We’re products not only of this community, but, were both products of some unbelievable teachers and coaches. When we went through school here, the administrators, teachers and coaches created a great environment. We got a great education . . . a good start . . . we met great friends. DAVID: I agree. . . Denis and I are both products of Casa Grande schools, so we’re thankful for all the opportunities that were created by the foundation we got there, and I think we both agree we got it from great teachers, coaches, but we’re not going to name them, because then we’ll get in trouble. GC LIVING: (laughs).


DAVID: Today, there are success stories both in high school and at the elementary school level, that just don’t get told; they’re not communicated well. I know one day I was talking to Frank Davidson [Superintendent Casa Grande Elementary School District], and I was floored by all the success they had. And then, when you talk about graduates from high school, and you hear these scholarships that these local young people get, those facts don’t get communicated. GC LIVING:  So find a way to tell our audience that things are going to get better. In your own words. (laughs). DAVID:  We’ve had some success in a down time, but we think the future of Casa Grande is bright. Not just because, as Denis said, the two freeways come together here, but I also think there’s lots of opportunity here for us and for those who follow us. There’s affordable land; there’s a good core of leadership;there needs to be improving a workforce that can afford homes and wants to live here. We believe in Casa Grande, Pinal County. Denis and I wrote a note to our clients last year that said that with no disrespect to our father, the best years of our firm and this community lie ahead of us. DENIS:  I agree wholeheartedly. I think the good thing about Casa Grande is there has always been a willingness to work together,

to address issues and work together.It goes back to when the two mines closed, those community leaders came together to build an organization to attract the Ross-Abbotts, the Frito Lays, and I think thatwe know too that we have to address those issues, and I think we have good community leadership to do that. I think that, as we get above 50,000 population there is going to be a lot more opportunity. When you look at sending your child to school, from public schools to charter schools, there’s a lot of different opportunity and a lot of variety. I do think that as a community one thing we’ve shown that were good at is trying to come together when we have to, to address these issues. For example,two years ago on the bond vote for the high school. That was critical for the high school. They needed it, and people understood that, and people were willing to do that, and I think that shows the type of people that live in this community and I think we just need to have the courage to identify issues and address those issues. GC LIVING: Well we agree with you about the future here and that’s why we go through the trouble of publishing this magazine, and visiting with leaders like you. DAVID: Thanks for the opportunity. DENIS: Thanks, yes, thank you very much. 



Page Article Library Creative Writing Contest

Scary Night by Ian Kent


t was a dark and stormy night. I was walking home from school. I took a wrong turn and saw the scariest thing ever. It was a vampire. I tried to run away but I fell in a mud puddle and then a cow walked right in front of me. I ran away, took the right path home, tripped over a stone and went home.

Have your child stop by the Vista Grande Library in Casa Grande to enter the Golden Corridor LIVING essay contest!




My day with The Lady by Keith LaVoo, Managing Broker, Coldwell Banker ROX Realty


iving most of my life in Arizona, the opportunity to visit the east coast doesn’t happen too often. So when I found out I was going to the corporate conference I checked into a couple of things and found out I would be very close and would be able to tack an extra day onto my trip. I was able to buy one of the last available tickets for the day I would be there, 90 days in advance....YES, 90 days out, they are booked up. I was scheduled for the first boat off the dock at 9am; I arrived at 8am just to be sure. It didn’t matter. The ferry boat wasn’t cleared for passengers and the TSA agents doing the security screening didn’t start working until 9:15 am. Yes,TSA...the first of 2 full security screenings. The ferry boat can hold over 350 passengers, all eagerly watching for a glimpse, trying out their new sea legs as the ferry bounced along on the windy cloudy day. And then, there she was. Probably the most recognizable symbol of our Country, a national


treasure... can this boat go any faster? Off the boat, another line, the 2nd security screening. There are lockers for your convenience as nothing is allowed in other than a camera (no camera bags) and a bottle of water. Finally it’s my turn, I was one of the few...I have a ticket for “crown” access. Very limited numbers are allowed and I got mine 90 days ago! Up the stairs, lots and lots of stairs, in fact the equivalent of 20 floors worth! I made to the top of the pedestal, had a look around, then to the special access section to go up in the statue. WOW! I’m actually here. Up a tiny spiral staircase that seems to never end but I’m enjoying every step. Then I was there, in the crown, OF THE STATUE OF LIBERTY!! What an amazing feeling! I did end up making my way back down, going through the museum, marveling at the craftsmanship, the engineering, how many people have seen her and what she represents to so many, understanding the importance of all the strict security to protect her…… and just overall enjoying my day with Lady Liberty.



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Profile for ROX Media Group

Golden Corridor Living Magazine  

Holiday 2015

Golden Corridor Living Magazine  

Holiday 2015