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Out & About . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Hot Dog Giveaways for Kids . . . 88

Library Online Resources . . . . . 96

“THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY”

THE

PINAL COUNTY

EDITION In Every Edition:

The ROX Interview: JACKOB ANDERSEN President & CEO Saint Holdings, LLC

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Hot meals served to the homeless and hungry

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Senior adults engaged in activities to help mind, body and souls

Successful community garden growing seasons producing fresh produce shared with families in our programs

385

Patients needs met through MACC

24%

Patient needs met through monthly Stanfield medical clinic

27%

LANGUAGE ARTS

MATH

Afterschool kids report card grade increase

Over 700 people made 20,400 visits to our various programs in 2019. Thank you for helping us improve lives in our community!

UNITING CASA GRANDE 175 6,367 Active volunteers across all programs

Volunteer hours donated

14 $161,913

Different churches invested time, money or resources

Monetary value of volunteer hours donated

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Different community group partners invested time, money or resources

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Out & About . . . .

Hot Dog Giveaways

. . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

for Kids . . .88

rces . . . . .96

Library Online Resou

“THE VOICE OF

EARLY SUMMER 2020

Y” THE COMMUNIT

THE

PINAL COUNTY

EDITION In Every Edit

The ROX Interview:

EN JACKOB ANDERS & CEO

President LLC Saint Holdings,

ion:

• $4.95 Complimentary GOLDENCORR

IDORLIVING.C

OM

IDOR GOLD EN CORR EDIT ON OF A SPEC IAL

ON THE COVER: Downtown Florence shines after a brief rain storm. Photo by Michael Joseph Baca, a Florence based photographer. You can visit his studio, Casa de Baca Studios at 315 N. Main St in Florence to see more of his work.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

EARLY SUMMER 2020

LIVIN G

The ROX Interview:

Special Section:

Jackob Andersen

Pinal County

President & CEO, Saint Holdings, LLC

Local News:

Pinal County Press

10

12 Pinal County’s Trail System

32

66 AARP Volunteer Reading Program

16

38

Economy, Finance & Business

Health, Happiness & Education

Casa Grande’s Best Days Are Still Ahead of Us. . . . . . . . . . . 19

Continuing Education Needed for Our Children About Drugs and Alcohol . . . . . . . . 40

Discover Downtown Doors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Maricopa Students Take a Break to Learn Lifesaving Skills . . . . 22

CAC Students Selected for AllArizona Academic Team. . . . 44 Take Your Exercise Outside for Big Benefits. . . . . . . . . . . 60

G OLDENCORRIDORLIVING .COM

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Letter from the Editor

BUSINESS INDEX Absolute Homes / Vivid Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Academy Mortgage - CG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Explore Our Entire County; You Will Be Delighted at What You Find

B

eyond the I-10 Corridor, our Golden Corridor of vibrant communities between Phoenix and Tucson, Pinal County spreads out offering history, mystery, the state’s longest eco-zip line tour and Elvis. In this issue we’ll continue letting you know what’s going on along the corridor, but we go farther afield, giving you an overview of the entire county from the Copper Basin towns in the east to Maricopa and the Ak-Chin Indian Community in the west. As you’ll be reading, there are many more gems to be discovered within the county line. At the base of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction has a population of 40,000 and is at the north-central tip of Pinal County. It draws its fame from the fabled Lost Dutchman mine believed to exist somewhere in that imposing range, as well as a state park bearing the mine’s name with hiking trails, cabins and activities for all ages. Superstition Mountain-Lost Dutchman Museum’s comprehensive exhibits on mining, geology and Native American life are complemented by two sets rescued from the Apacheland Movie Ranch fire of 2004, including the Elvis Memorial Chapel. Just to the east is Goldfield Ghost Town, reconstructed from the 1890s and featuring several attractions — Arizona’s only narrow-gauge railroad, the Superstition Zipline, a museum, gold mine tours, gold panning and gunfight shows.

Annie-Mac Home Mortgage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 B & G Automotive Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Brutinel Plumbing & Electrical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Capital R Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Casa Grande Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Casa Grande Family Dentistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Casa Grande Main St . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Casa Grande Union High School District . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Evidence can be found in San Tan Valley, the County’s newest and largest population center, of farming Bea Lueck activity by the Hohokam from the 12th century. Scattered mines and a stagecoach trail left their marks on this area just north of Florence, but it didn’t see much other activity before the first housing starts took root near the turn of the millennium. Now it is home to an estimated 95,000 people, San Tan Mountains Regional Park and several golf courses. Most of it remains unincorporated, though several neighborhoods were recently annexed by Queen Creek, giving that town a bigger foothold in Pinal County. A 72-mile drive to the southeast of San Tan Valley sits Oracle, founded in 1878 and the southern gateway to the Copper Corridor, which consists of friendly, mining-based small towns and spectacular mountain scenery along state routes 77 and 177. Oracle now has about 4,000 inhabitants, and the state park that bears its name has 4,000 acres of hiking, biking and horseback trails, including the Arizona Birding Trail and Arizona’s longest eco-zipline tour. It also encompasses the off-road trails and caves of Peppersauce Canyon on the back road to Mount Lemmon. Biosphere 2, about 10 minutes

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

Central Arizona College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Chris Buys AZ Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Coldwell Banker ROX - Property Management . . . . . 25 Coldwell Banker ROX Realty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

31, 97

Cypress Point Retirement Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 DM Family Dentistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Dreamstyle Remodeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Grande Innovation Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Mission Heights Preparatory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Mitchell & Crosby Dental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Norris RV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 ROX Casa Grande Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Seeds of Hope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Shearer Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Shearer Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Star Towing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Sun Life Family Health Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 The Box Meat Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Theta Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Title Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Two Brothers Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

west of central Oracle, was the site of two well-publicized experiments in the 1990s when crews were sealed inside the facility, meant to replicate the closed ecosystem of a space colony. Today it is owned and operated by the University of Arizona for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth,

its living systems and its place in the universe. There are so many more corners, canyons, junctions, byways and highways to explore in this County, the crossroads of Arizona and the Desert Southwest. Join us!

–Bea

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G OLDENCORRIDORLIVING .COM PUBLISHER Elaine Earle, CPA EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Bea Lueck DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Laurie Fisher ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES Jamie Brashier Scott Metteauer COPY EDITOR/WRITER Blake Herzog CREATIVE DIRECTOR/GRAPHIC DESIGNER Tim Clarke GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Linda Lee Mauri Shannon Price CUSTOMER SERVICE/AD TRAFFIC MANAGER Jamie Brashier PUBLIC RELATIONS & MARKETING MANAGER Julie Turetzky COMMENTS & IDEAS editor@roxco.com CALENDAR INQUIRIES calendar@roxco.com • goldencorridorliving.com/calendar

VOICES Angela Askey Executive Director, Public Relations and Marketing, Central Arizona College Angela is the Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Central Arizona College. Prior to her arrival at CAC, Angela served as the Media Relations Coordinator at Mesa Community College and the Community Relations Coordinator at Idaho State University College of Technology.

Joel Belloc Mayor, City of Eloy Mayor Belloc was elected as mayor of the City of Eloy in November 2014. He has also served as a member of the Eloy City Council from 2002-2012 and as Vice Mayor from 2012-2014. He graduated from Central Arizona College with an AAS degree in drafting/ design, attended Pima College and the University of Arizona, where he enrolled in landscape architecture. He currently manages his family’s farming business Belloc Inc. Mayor Belloc is a longtime resident of Eloy and has been married to his wife Cecilia for over 40 years. Together they have three children, 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Mila Besich Mayor, Town of Superior Mila Besich, a fourth-generation resident of Superior, was elected as the Town’s Mayor in 2016. She wears many hats in her community and region, serving as Executive Director of the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition and Advertising Director for Copper Area News Publishers.

SUBSCRIPTIONS info@roxco.com • goldencorridorliving.com/copies ADVERTISING INQUIRIES info@roxco.com • goldencorridorliving.com/advertise (520) 426-2074 442 W. Kortsen Rd, Ste 101 Casa Grande, AZ 85122

Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie Certified Physical Trainer, CPT, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, WickedFiTT Tiffanie is the owner of WickedFiTT in Casa Grande, AZ. She is a well-known personal trainer, group fitness instructor and allaround fitness junkie. Tiffanie specializes in weight loss, strength and conditioning and general fitness.

Tim Kanavel Golden Corridor LIVING is published by Raxx Direct Marketing. Editorial content is provided by affiliates of Raxx Direct Marketing, community members and local organizations. © 2020. All rights reserved. No part of this publication, including but not limited to editorial content, illustrations, graphics and photographic images, may be republished, reproduced or reprinted without the prior express written consent of the publisher. 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 CORRID LI V ING 8 GOLDEN forming their own opinions.OR Real estate information is as of 5-1-20 and is subject to current availability and pricing.

Economic Development Program Manager, Pinal County Tim graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in regional development. His career in Arizona has taken him from the former Greater Tucson Economic Council to the Arizona Department of Commerce, to private enterprise at the Tucson Airport, to president/CEO of the Wickenburg Regional Economic Development Partnership, and to his present position as the economic development program manager for Pinal County. THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


of the

Community

Renée Louzon-Benn

Holly Rakoci

President, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce Renée became President of the Chamber in May, 2019. She has had 22 years of involvement with the local business community and the Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce. Renée and her husband enjoy “living local,” dining at local eateries, walking the downtown area and hiking Casa Grande Mountain.

Director, Casa Grande Main Street Holly is a Casa Grande native who graduated from Casa Grande Union, attended the University of Arizona, and came back. She grew up loving this town and its community, and is excited to be able to help it grow.

Donna McBride

Bob Shogren

Councilwoman, City of Casa Grande Donna is the Program Administrator/Public Information Officer and Supervisor for the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Unit for Pinal County Juvenile Court. She 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. She is a current member of the Casa Grande City Council.

Director, Casa Grande Alliance Bob is a longtime resident of Pinal County. He has been an educator, school district administrator, community organizer and nonprofit board member. He also served for many years at the state and national level, working with AmeriCorps and other volunteer programs.

Craig McFarland

Jon Thompson

Mayor, City of Casa Grande Born and raised in California, Mayor McFarland has lived in Casa Grande since 2005. He is a graduate of California State University, Fresno and retired from Golden Eagle Distributors in January 2015 as VP of Sales after a 10-year run with the company. He has spent 36 years in beverage business-sales management, marketing and operations. McFarland began his first term as Mayor in December 2016.

Mayor, City of Coolidge Mayor Thompson graduated from NAU in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was first elected to the Coolidge City Council in 2002 and served as Vice Mayor from 2006 to 2010. He gave up his council seat to run for Mayor and since being elected has retired as Division Director for the Pinal County Adult Probation Department after 30 years.

Gigi McWhirter

Tori Ward

Resident Animal Whisperer Conceived in a plane behind the Airport Tavern, Gigi is living proof that it takes a village to raise a kid properly. She is married to the best man and lives in what she calls the “Best Dog House in Casa Grande” shared with a bunch of dogs, two parakeets and a finch called “Rusty”. Lived in Alaska, drove on the Arctic Ocean, walked on the Great Wall of China and drank Guinness in Ireland. But none of this compares to her profound love of animals and Flying Leap wines!

Cruise and Resort Specialist, ROX Travel Victoria “Tori” is a cruise and resort specialist with a master’s degree in political science. She has completed more than 30 certification courses with the cruise and tour industry including the most advanced certification, Commodore, from Princess Cruise Lines. Tori is a member of the Cruise Lines International Association.

Christian Price Mayor, City of Maricopa Mayor Price is serving in his third term as Mayor. Mayor Price is an entrepreneur and small-business owner and is a partner of the Sierra West Group, a financial advisory firm. Raised in Tucson and a graduate of Northern Arizona University, he participates in numerous regional and national coalitions including serving as the Treasurer on the Executive Committee of the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

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PINAL COUNTY by Blake Herzog

• A RIZONA CIT Y • CASA GR ANDE • COOLIDGE • ELOY • FLORENCE • M A RICOPA • A RIZONA CIT Y • CASA GR ANDE • COOL

Maricopa City Council Expected To Reduce Property Tax

T

2019, Hexcel had about 590 employees at its site at 1214 W. Gila Bend Highway. The plant was established in 1965 and produces much of Hexcel’s honeycomb core, a light weight, aluminum structural element for commercial and militar y aircraft, helicopters and other industrial applications. It’s more recently expanded into a noise-reducing honeycomb barrier for aircraft options. “The layoffs affected both hourly production workers as well as salaried employees. In all cases, employees were offered severance packages that provided salary continuation for a period of time, generally depending on their

he City of Maricopa’s proposed operating budget of $85.2 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year is on track to include an approximately 6% property tax rate reduction, despite the projected loss of anywhere from $2.5 to $4 million in revenue to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. City Manager Rick Horst said the City has kept its property tax rates level over the last five years, but “we had hoped to reduce our property taxes ever since we adopted our budget last year. “Obviously with the COVID-19, that made it a little more challenging this year, but at the same time we still felt comfortable moving this tax reduction forward because the city has been very prudent and very conservative in our budgeting, and we felt that a big part of our recovery is to put the money back into the hands of our citizens and business owners so they can make those investments into their businesses,” he said. The preliminary budget for fiscal year 2020-21, unanimously approved by the City Council May 5, is based on a primary property tax rate of $463.09 per $100,000 assessed valuation and a secondary property rate of $93.48, for a combined rate of $556.57, Horst

Continued on page 34...

Continued on page 35...

Hexcel Announces Job Cuts at Casa Grande Plant

H

e xcel Corporation, one of Casa Grande’s largest employers, has laid off workers at its plant there as the aviation industry continues to get hammered by the drastic reduction in travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “With air travel at a virtual standstill and customer plants idled around the world, Hexcel faces an enormous challenge to ensure our continued viability as a company and to continue to employ as many of our talented employees as possible, ” company spokeswoman Kaye Veazey said. “Currently, job reductions are affecting almost every Hexcel site, region and function as we restructure our

10

GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

business to align with lower customer demand,” she added. Rose said Hexcel is not releasing the number of employees being let go, but media reports have estimated they number at least several hundred. Hexcel, based in Stamford, Connecticut, says on its website it has more than 7,000 employees in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Rose said the Casa Grande manufacturing site continues to employ more than 400 people, and “Hexcel Casa Grande is an essential part of our company, producing critical parts for our customers.” According to “A Growing Horizon,” an economic development brochure for the City of Casa Grande published in

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


PRESS

Visit GoldenCorridorLiving.com for Up-to-date Local News from Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine

LIDGE • ELOY • FLORENCE • M A RICOPA • A RIZONA CIT Y • CASA GR ANDE • COOLIDGE • ELOY • FLORENCE • M A RICOPA •

Lucid, CAC to Build Manufacturing Training Center on Signal Peak Campus C entral Arizona College is collaborating with luxury electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors, the Arizona Commerce Authority and others to build a high-tech training center for employees of Pinal County’s incoming advanced manufacturers. The 13,000-square-foot facility is still in the design phase but expected to be operational and supporting training at the Signal Peak Campus by the end of 2020, according to the commerce authority. The projected $4 million project will be funded by a combination of federal grant money and nongeneral-fund state money dedicated to workforce development, the ACA said. The building will house training equipment used for a three-week course for recent hires of Lucid and other firms, driven by a first-ofits kind unified curriculum created last year to meet the workforce needs of advanced manufacturers coming into the state.

CAC, the Maricopa Community College District and Pima Community College launched this program last year as the Arizona Advanced Technology Network, under the guidance of the commerce authority’s Office of Economic Opportunity. A rigorous curriculum was designed with input from Lucid and other Arizona manufacturers about the kind of workforce needed to fill high-paying, high-technology advanced manufacturing jobs, which can involve running and maintaining robots, 3D printing, reading and writing machine programming code and knowledge of hydraulic and electrical systems. The Arizona Advanced Technology Network’s Automation Industrial Certificate is aligned to National Institute for Metalworking Skills competencies, which are considered the foundation for entry into the advanced manufacturing industry. The City of Casa Grande, Pi-

nal County, CAC and the Arizona Commerce Authority are working together to establish this training center, expected to be a regional and statewide asset for all manufacturers and employees who can benefit from the curriculum. Lucid is expected to be the first company to send its workers through the course at the training center and is on track to complete construction and begin production at its Casa Grande facility at the end of this year, despite the economic uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic, ac-

cording to company statements and local officials. The total number of students undergoing training will be determined by the manufacturers who send employees to receive training. CAC has already been collaborating with Lucid for several years, with the college allowing the company to temporarily use some of its office space in Casa Grande and modifying some curriculum to align with the needs of Lucid and other manufacturers.

New County Website Has Resources for Workers and Employers

P

inal County officials have launched a website with information and links helpful to local businesses and workers struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pinal Works, found at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/pinal-works, is a resource library produced with Arizona@Work Pinal County, the local arm of the state’s workforce development program. It is a network of service provid-

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

ers focused on assisting people seeking employment and training assistance and businesses seeking services to address labor force needs. Individuals who have lost their jobs, are working reduced hours or have otherwise been affected in the recent economic downturn can find information about applying for and receiving unemployment benefits, education and training opportunities and

other re-employment services including resume and interview preparation and career coaching. Individuals with additional questions can submit them by email to answersaboutwork@ rescare.com or call a representative at 800-409-5153. Pinal County Board of Supervisors Chairman Anthony Smith said in a video introduction to

Continued on page 64... GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

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Hiking the Grand Canyon


The ROX Interview

Jackob Andersen President & CEO, Saint Holdings, LLC Interview by Rock Earle

I

first met Jackob Andersen sometime in the early 2000s, introduced by a contractor partner, Tim Smith. He and I were in the final stages of our ownership (and redevelopment) of Eloy Industrial Park things were popping and everything was rosy. The purpose of the introduction was to acquaint me with a new civil engineering firm that had been recently formed by Jackob and was looking for projects in the Casa Grande area. Fast forward a couple of years: Eloy Industrial Park had sold, the Great Recession had begun, and I was off traveling, but Tim had taken his expertise in rail-served industrial development to Jackob, and along with his longtime partner Joe Jarvis, they bought the 160-acre farm which would shortly become Central Arizona Commerce Park. And the rest is history, I guess, as they say. As you will read, Jackob brought his keen eye for macro trends and his nuts-and-bolts experience in developing real estate to what we here at ROX Group like to call “Arizona’s Golden Corridor” — presciently observing that its location, coupled with land availability and infrastructure would be, in the long run, an absolute winner.

GC LIVING: I’m with Jackob Andersen from Saint Holdings. Start with telling us about yourself, about your family, where you grew up and went to school and such. JACKOB ANDERSEN: I’m Danish by nationality, but I was born in the United Kingdom, and I’m the middle one of three boys. We were put into the English boarding school system, which I guess people would think is a little bit like a Hogwarts. You go to school wearing a little felt cap and a little felt blazer and shorts, with a little green tie, black shoes and socks pulled up to your knees. You go to chapel every morning, and you have a pretty rigid system. The first school I went to was called Saint Christopher’s,

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

mission on the deals you do. You start with some basic things that give you a leg up. I was good at it and very quickly became the top sales guy for the then-largest private realtor group, Keith Cardale Groves. GC LIVING: What type of real estate were you pursuing — residential? JACKOB ANDERSEN: It was mainly residential, but the residential and commercial market in London is a little bit different than here. I could be dealing with condos or a single-family house one day and a commercial ground-floor space with residential above the next day and the following day, converting a Victorian house from the 1800s into four condos. The first road in the world to be called Billionaire’s Row was in my territory, and I was one of the top producers there by the time I was in my late 20s.

which is where the name Saint Holdings came from. That’s where Joe (Jarvis) and I met when we were 4 years old in kindergarten. It’s a friendship that stretches back now 42 years, and he’s like a fourth brother to me. GC LIVING: How did you get into real estate? JACKOB ANDERSEN: After my parents separated and moved back to Denmark, I remained in England and did a hotel and catering administration course at college. I was told by a then-girlfriend of my father that I would be excellent in real estate, so I interviewed for a real estate job. In England, you work for a company and get a car, a basic salary, a telephone, plus a com-

GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

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The ROX Interview (continued) My business partner Joe was dealing with real estate too and developed the land that makes up the area to which the Heathrow express terminates in London. The area is Paddington Basin and Paddington Square and today’s phase is called Merchant Square. GC LIVING: How did you meet your wife? JACKOB ANDERSEN: My father had met his soon-to-be third wife, and they invited my brothers and I as part of the wedding to go on a cruise around the Caribbean. It was on that cruise ship in September 1999 I met my wife, Jamie. She was on a six-month sabbatical from ASU. She worked on the ship

for the theatrical department as a dancer for the shows. She was a Phoenix Suns cheerleader and had danced all her life. A month later I flew back to Miami to that very same cruise ship she was working on to explore whether or not what we thought we had was real. In April 2000 she came to England to see what I was doing. The best way for us to be together was for her to transfer from ASU to a college in England. She applied to the American Intercontinental University in Central London. I had to fly to Arizona and ask her dad’s permission to allow her to go to university in England. Luckily, he was cool with it.

Jackob, Jamie and their children

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OR LI GOLDEN CORRID CORRIDOR LIV VING ING • THE INTERV IE W

Jamie’s mom and dad lived in Mesa and we were visiting regularly. Her dad was a contractor in the ‘80s with a company called Square G Electric. They are a fifth generation Arizona family, coming from Utah in the late 1800s and settled in Prescott. Her father started a company called GSS later in life with a couple of young lads. His name is Gosney and the “S” and “S” stand for Smith Smith, which are two brothers, Tim and Mike Smith. GC LIVING: So that is how you came to meet Tim Smith. What led you and Tim into starting the Central Arizona Commerce Park? JACKOB ANDERSEN: Long story. Jamie has a lot of family in Arizona, and we decided to make our home in Arizona for a better quality of life and thought it would be a great place to raise our children. She got a job raising money for Special Olympics. I was trying to get into real estate, but everyone and their mother was in real estate at the time as the market was growing. Money was free. Everything was rocking and rolling, and no one who wanted to help anyone as they were all doing their own thing. I had to put in my time and learn the language of real estate by doing real estate. In England, you have exchange of contracts and completion of contracts. Here, you have opening and closing of escrow. When you have the same language separated by different terminology, you need to figure it out, otherwise you look like a fool when you walk into someone’s office and start talking to them. I had done a lot of refurbishment of older buildings in England, and we were looking at various opportunities. I was introduced to Tim, who then introduced me to various brokers. Tim told me about Pinal County and what was going on with his construction company and with some international companies in Eloy and Casa Grande. At the time, the projects I was looking at where in Tempe and Phoenix and led me to meetings with quite interesting characters. So why Pinal County? One of the people I met was the Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. I was sitting in his waiting room. He had five maps on the wall and those five

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Jackob and Jamie

maps were a decade of growth per map. As I looked at these maps, these red population dots were all centralizing in Pinal County. I started asking questions to people about it, and they said the people who deal with these things talk about this being one of the first metropolises in America where you have this big city of Phoenix and this big city of Tucson coming together in the middle. It just sort of went “click” for me that maybe I should look down there. About that time, I was introduced to a friend of Tim’s, Mark Richmond, who’s still a friend today. He founded what is now the Central Arizona Commerce Park in Casa Grande. It was an alfalfa field owned by one of the well-known Casa Grande farmers. The broker on the other side was Kirk McCarville. That’s how I became such good friends with Kirk through that original transaction 15 years ago. GC LIVING: Yes. Tim and I, and some other guys, bought the old Eloy Industrial Park in the late ‘90s and spent two or three years rehabbing and shining it up and fixing this and that. We learned about the rail and the industrial aspects and that’s the knowledge Tim took over and hooked up with

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

you, and then found that 160 acres because the rail was critical to what we did in Eloy. JACKOB ANDERSEN: I come from an area that was very widely using trains, and I understood goods moving on rail. We’ve got that across Europe with the rail. I saw the I-8 and I-10 corridors, the confluence of that. I saw these red dots growing on the map. I saw the international companies that Tim was building for and I went to talk to the city. The mayor at the time was Bob Jackson and city manager Jim Thompson. We clicked, and I thought this is a town I can do business in. One of the things I thought was strange was seeing all the residential sales and the development agreements for all these blue lakes and fancy ramadas and barbecues and no one’s concentrating on the industrial and employment and job growth. To me, in that area, I thought, “Well that’s a bit of a niche market, maybe we should look into that.” The housing market was growing and going. We thought we would attract the steel guy, the glass guy, the concrete guy, the drywall guy, the pool fence guy. So that’s kind of how we designed that whole park

with Union Pacific and the potential needs at the time. And it was pretty successful. GC LIVING: You built 160 acres of finished lots with rail and everything. And yet your huge success wasn’t those smaller lots. It was the megaprojects that came in and you needed real soon to buy a lot more land and then even more than a lot more land. And that leads us to today when all these mega projects are being talked about. JACKOB ANDERSEN: We annexed and zoned the property in Casa Grande, we learned how to convert water rights, we learned how to deal with all the utilities and roadways and fully developed what today is CAZCP — Central Arizona Commerce Park. Then, the real estate market crashed! We had quite a lot of lots in escrow and tied up in the park and then lost a lot of the buyers in the financial crash. So, we then hunkered down and said, OK, let’s park this. We kept working on infrastructure and environmental and archeological matters regionally, we worked with the city, county and neighbors on better roads and access. We stopped spending money, managed ev-

continued on page 36...

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P

inal County has been a key setting for Arizona and the Southwest since about 300 B.C. when nomadic tribes from central Mexico met and merged with others who followed the Gila River, forming the Hohokam culture. The transcontinental railroads of the 1800s made it possible for the area to become a center of agriculture and metal production. Now interstates, air travel and rail are making the County the launchpad of choice for visionaries who need space to build new dreams with new technology, while staying a heartbeat or two away from the globe’s largest markets.

Pinal County’s wide-open opportunities for all.

Civilian Labor Force:

191,835 (Dec 2019)

Total Employer Establishments:

3,713

Unemployment:

4.7% (Dec 2019)

(2017)

Pinal County Tax Total Annual Payroll Rate: ($1,000):

1.6%

$1,910,110 (2017)

AREA: PINAL COUNTY

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5,374 square miles THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Economy • Finance • Business

Pinal County population: (est July 1, 2019)

462,789

386,673 in 2012 - % increase 19.7 52.1%** 47.9% Median Age:

38

EDUCATION: High School or higher

86.8% Sources: azeconomy.org, census.gov, city-data.com, datausa.io, pinalcountyaz.gov, *COVID-19 unemployment not included ** includes prison population

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME

$59,058 (2018)

Housing Units:

181,388 (July 2019)

Owner-occupied:

74.4%

Median Property Value:

$200,200 (2018)

GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

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Casa Grande Strongly Steps Up to Support Local Businesses by Renée Louzon-Benn, President, Greater Casa Grande Chamber of Commerce

W

hen reflecting on the many communities throughout Arizona, the United States and the world who are trying to ensure a healthy, well-functioning and stable business environment, I feel so grateful to be living in Casa Grande. The way our community has responded to our local businesses during the pandemic has been so caring and creative that it makes me proud to be a part of it. For instance, the Casa Grande-Maricopa Takeout and Delivery Facebook page was developed and administered so that our local restaurants could post their daily specials, hours, and whether they offer in-store/take-out/curbside and/or delivery to customers. The Chamber, City and APS created the www.casagrandeisopenforbusiness.com website, which is a directory of local businesses (free to all businesses), who can list their business contact information so that customers can communicate with them and do business with them using the proper social-distancing measures. Other area organizations, such as Casa

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Grande Alliance, have reached out to help students in our community by gathering and giving donations of school supplies to local students. Other groups have provided meals or discounts on meals to first responders and other essential workers in Casa Grande. There are so many more examples of people caring and sharing with our friends, neighbors and colleagues — showing, once again, that together we CAN make a difference. We are CG Strong, part of Pinal County — which remains an awesome place to stay, play and visit. Stay safe, stay healthy and shop local!

Business Opportunity Community

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Casa Grande’s Best Days Are Still Ahead of Us by David A. Fitzgibbons III, Partner, Fitzgibbons Law Offices

A

mong the many takeaways from our bout with the coronavirus is this: The future defies prediction. However, while we cannot predict the future, we can exert some degree of control over what we believe will happen and what we are going to do with that belief. As I write this article, neither the coronavirus infection rate nor the extent of damage to our economy has reached its peak; grocery shelves that normally bulge with bathroom tissue and paper towels are too often barren; and a statewide stay-athome order is in effect. Looking forward, I cannot know what is going to happen or when, but here is what I strongly believe: Things will get better. This virus will burn itself out, workers will return to their jobs, students to school, worshipers to church, the stock market will improve, and as a society we will settle in to a new normal — perhaps wiser and more cautious than we were a couple of months ago and ready to move forward.

Betting on Pinal County I believe these things because I choose to, and because I have history on my side. As the saying goes, “Nobody ever got rich betting against the United States of America,” and I am not going to start now. I am also going to continue betting on Casa Grande and our surrounding communities. Like our father before us and generations of civic leaders, my brother Denis and I look forward to and are counting on the ongoing fulfillment of this area’s destiny. The arrival of large companies, the small businesses that support them, and the new families who will live and work here and strengthen, lead, and enrich our community paint a compelling picture of Casa Grande in the very near future and beyond. Inevitably, Casa Grande will change — I believe for the better. For those of us who are already here, the pivotal choice is whether we will: • passively allow our longawaited economic boom to

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

take us where it will, or • proactively retool our community in anticipation of the boom, to maximize the boom’s positive impact on current and future residents and businesses. Making the most of our economic growth calls for a fresh look at every sector of our community and its role in our future: • Arts • Charitable and service organizations • Faith-based organizations • Financial institutions • Health care • K-12 education • Local government • Locally owned businesses. National companies • News media • Public safety • Recreation • Vocational education • Youth organizations and activities How each of those sectors has interacted with the broader community has yielded the

Casa Grande of today. Our shared challenge is to up the ante with the expectation that purposeful improvements in every sector will yield a visionary Casa Grande that meets the needs and surpasses the expectations of our future employers and, more important, our future neighbors — who may have come here to pursue a job, and decide to stay here because this is the home they want for themselves and their children. After the last economic downturn, Denis and I wrote to our law firm’s clients that the best days of Casa Grande lie ahead of us. We still believe that. Take care of yourselves and your families, businesses and employees. Keep washing your hands. We will see you on the bright streets of Casa Grande on the other side of this. David Fitzgibbons can be reached at 520-426-3824 or david@fitzgibbonslaw.com.

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PHOTOS BY EMILY RAKOCI

Discover Downtown’s Doors to Local History by Holly Rakoci, Director, Casa Grande Main Street

C

asa Grande Main Street’s commitment to historical preservation, while also serving as an excellent method to cultivate community engagement, fosters the education of residents and non-residents about the unique history of Casa Grande. What used to be a somewhat well-known piece of historical information by those who live here — that Casa Grande was constructed as the last stop on the railway — seemingly disappeared when the train station burned down in 2009. Although those of us who lived here and were around prior to the destruction of the station still remember, what about those who have come after? Do the new residents of Casa Grande know

that our City’s name was originally Terminus? Will future generations be aware that Casa Grande was one of John Wayne’s favorite towns? Every town has a story, and we are committed to educating current and future generations on our City’s one-of-a-kind history. I’m sure that as you’ve driven through Historic Downtown you’ve noticed a few of our completed historical preservation projects. The beautifully painted doors on the side of the building at the corner of Florence and Third streets and the brilliant Neon Sign Park are two of our more noticeable preservation efforts. However, have you ever stopped at either to learn why they are there? Have you read about each of the Doors to the Past? Have you learned the significance

of each business whose sign is standing tall in the Neon Sign Park? Even just a few minutes at each of these locations can provide insight into our City and its individuality. We’ve all taken history courses in school — American history, world history, ancient history, etc. However, our local history is up to us to learn on our own. I encourage everyone in Casa Grande to visit the Historic Downtown and learn a little bit about it. Whether you make a trip to where the train station once stood at 201 W. Main St., the Neon Sign Park, the Doors to the Past, the mural on Fourth Street, or walk around reading the plaques located at historical sites, take some time to educate yourself on our City!

Historic Downtown… Experience the Difference

110 W. 2nd St., Casa Grande 520-836-8744 www.cgmainstreet.org 20

GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Kearny Little League Gives Back to its Hometown Grocery by Blake Herzog

W

orkers at grocery stores and other “essential businesses” have been getting widespread recognition during the Covid-19 pandemic as frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic. But one gesture of support still caught Norm Warren of Norm’s Hometown Grocery in Kearny by surprise. “It came at a perfect time. Very uplifting. Our customers give us their business all the time, and they gave something back,” Warren said. It happened at the end of March when he and his wife Myra were trying to keep their store’s shelves stocked as the panic-buying wave was cresting and many links in the supply chain were temporarily broken. Norm’s normally serves a population of about 5,000 in Kearny and surrounding communities as their only full-service grocery, but people from larger metro areas were also traveling there to stock up, exacerbating the shortages. “Our shelves, we just weren’t looking that great, and it’s not like us. We usually have good, full shelves; we pride ourselves on running a clean store,” Warren said. “When this happened, and we realized we couldn’t get stocked fast enough, it was a blow to not only our ego, but professionally because you just want your store to be ready for business and we couldn’t do it, it was out of our hands. It was very frustrating,” he added. At the same time, the Kearny Little League was stuck with a bunch of burgers and hot dogs in its concession stand freezer to sell at the start of the season, which had been de-

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

layed indefinitely and was later canceled. League President Lisa Migliore, who works at Ray Unified School District and had helped prepare sack lunches to hand out to students all week, said she and her husband Mike, also on the league’s board, stopped by Norm’s, a longtime Little League sponsor, one Friday night to find something for dinner. “Limits were everywhere, you could see the toll the lack of shipments, dealing with new guidelines, and let’s face it the amount of mental drainage with Norm’s workers was apparent as we trotted through the store. “We thought how on earth can we finish dinner with this one bag of frozen potatoes for our family of six? My husband then reminded us that they’re just doing the best they can,” she said. On the way home there were several stressors on their minds, including what to do with the food in the concession stand. Migliore said as soon as she brought up the subject, “Mike immediately answered we need to do something for these workers like the bags you’re doing at the school, can we do that? I thought, ‘Of course that’s where it needs to go.’” The rest of the board agreed. The Migliores then went back to Norm’s to talk to the store manager, and saw Warren in the parking lot on their way out. “We had a great talk, and of course ran it by him. Emotions running wild, it was a bit hard not to cry. See, we need this local grocery store. Things have come and gone in this area. This place keeps us fed, keeps us with

vital things to living in a community that is so far away, especially for those who can’t travel. Our needs are at this local store,” Migliore said. The board members met at the concession stand the afternoon of March 27 and from a safe social distance, grilled and bagged more than 30 hot dogs and hamburgers, a bit more than what Warren requested. “Of course, we counted two extra knowing Norm and Myra would’ve never included themselves in this number,” Migliore said. The bags were set out on a table in the rear of the store, where employees in groups of one or two could pick them up while social distancing. “Myra and I got a little emotional,” Warren said of that night. They’re both Kearny natives, and he was the store manager for a quarter-century before the couple purchased it in 2015. “I guess we’re important to the town,” he said.

GOLDEN CORRID CORRIDOR OR LI V ING BIZ! • GOLDEN

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Maricopa Students Take a Break to Learn Lifesaving Skills by Nathan Ullyot, CPRP Director of Community Services, City of Maricopa

T

he importance of water safety is always at the forefront of people’s minds as summer approaches. Unfortunately, drownings continue to occur despite increased awareness. Global Water and the City of Maricopa have partnered with Maricopa Unified School District to combat these preventable tragedies by eliminating barriers to water safety for area youth. With the support of our local school district we hope to provide basic water survival education to every Maricopa youth by the time they reach third grade. This is important because statistically, if a child doesn’t learn to swim by third grade, they’re more likely to never learn.

How It Works

Throughout the fall, the City and MUSD scheduled schools to participate in a four-week program specifically designed to give children a greater chance at survival if they fall in the water unattended. Each class attends a weekly 45-minute lesson at Copper Sky’s

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Aquatic Center as part of the students’ school day. Children are assessed based on the national standard for swimming ability and placed in the appropriate curriculum. Children receive instruction in the water and learn water safety education including personal awareness around water and how to react if they see someone else struggling in the water. We establish benchmarks that indicate each child’s improvement and, most importantly, their ability to safely return to the wall or edge after jumping or falling into a body of water. Every participant receives a report card with a preand post-assessment showing their growth. The program is designed to remove barriers to receiving lessons including: cost, transportation and time. By generously supporting the program financially, Global Water provided funding for the initial pilot and expansion of the program for the first three years. This support also provides transportation to and from the schools. At present, this program is not a budgeted school function, so this was critical to the partnership.

MUSD staff saw the vision and value of the Maricopa Swim program and identified the best opportunity to conduct a pilot program during school time so first graders at Maricopa and Butterfield elementary schools could attend. Through this partnership, 198 first-grade students received water survival lessons.

Positive Results

Of the 198 students, only 15 indicated they had some formal swim lessons prior to this program. At the first-day assessment, 160 of the 198 children were afraid to jump into water 3 feet deep. None of the participants were able to complete the assessment to the Starfish Institute’s national standard for swimming skills. After the program, 190 of the 198 children were able to jump into water over their head and return safely to the wall. Providing the children with the skills and awareness to survive was our primary goal and measurement for success. We surveyed the parents and only 50% of the parents believed

their child would survive falling into the water unattended when the program started. After the program 89% of parents believed their child now had a chance to survive, and 100% saw an increase in their child’s confidence in and around water. All parents saw the program as a good use of school time. Going into the 2020-21 school year we hope to schedule every elementary school in Maricopa for the program. We also wish for this program to become a part of the curriculum and fabric of our local education system for first graders. A special thanks to our sponsor Global Water Resources and its board, especially Ron Fleming, Jon Corwin and Beth Huerta. Thank you also to Maricopa Unified School District and its staff including Superintendent Tracey Lopeman, Principals Jennifer Robinson (Maricopa Elementary) and Janelle Hildick (Butterfield), and P.E. teachers Paul Krigbaum (Maricopa) and Steve Sorenson (Butterfield), who supported us when they’re already doing so much to help our community.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Regenerating Superior: Group Distributes Weekend Meals to Families by Blake Herzog

A

community-based group in Superior is providing weekend meals to schoolchildren through the remainder of the academic year and working with St. Mary’s Food Bank to extend the program through the summer months. Chris Casillas is executive director of Regenerating Sonora, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to begin “regenerative development” in and around Superior by nurturing a locally sourced, circular community. Casillas said his organization’s board members talked about what the group could do to serve the area after the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, which led to formation of the Superior Community Action Network, comprised of his group and other local residents. Superior CAN quickly decided to supply meals to Superior Unified School District students on weekends. It’s a Title I district, which means all students qualify for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches during the week, but there is no food distribution on Saturday or Sunday. “With or without COVID this is still something we need to do. That’s what makes it so obvious to make it a place of focus,” Casillas said. A GoFundMe page raised an initial

$4,600 for the effort, while Superior CAN looked for a reliable food source and the right place to distribute it. The food ended up coming from Bonsall, California-based nonprofit Sharratt Provisions Inc. The perfect distribution spot turned out to be Leo’s Community Development Center at 52 N. Pinal Ave., a former grocery store and Superior “cultural heritage site,” Casillas said, which became Regenerating Sonora’s headquarters last year. The first food distribution event May 2 was a team effort between Superior CAN; school bus drivers, who posted the details on their vehicles and social media; the Save Money Market, which donated bags, cups and gloves; VFW members, who packed food bags; Superior Junior/Senior High School council members who handed out the bags; and many others. Casillas, a fifth-generation Superior native, said, “I love the fact that this story is about the community as a whole, and I’m just the portal and gateway into the community.” The group provided more than 200 meals that day, packed into 74 bags and given to 27 families, helping to feed a significant percentage of the school district’s nearly 300 students.

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

The organizers wanted to create a fun atmosphere around the event, and the kids sometimes helped out, Casillas said. “At one point the parents drove up in their truck and they park and we looked, and we didn’t see any kids, we’re just giving food to our young citizens,” he said. “So we looked and looked and then, boo! Two kids popped out of the truck bed. “And it was so dang cute and perfect. Like that’s exactly what we’re looking for, let’s have fun with this while we’re doing what we’re doing.” Superior CAN has committed to giving the food to students on weekends through the end of the academic year, cranking up the fun factor with a DJ, live performers laid off from this year’s canceled Arizona Renaissance Festival in Gold Canyon and a cruise through town on Pinal Avenue. And St. Mary’s Food Bank is working with Regenerating Sonora to continue the weekend distributions into the summer, loaning the group some of its freezers and helping to fill gaps in the food supply. It’s also working on a similar feeding program in Gila Bend. “We keep seeing potential instead of problems,” Casillas said. For more information on Regenerating Sonora and Project Happy Face, email letstalk@regeneratingsonora.org.

With or without COVID this is still something we need to do. That’s what makes it so obvious to make it a place of focus

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CITY

SPEAK

LOOK AT WHAT WE’LL DO WHEN WE COME OUT OF THIS COVID-19 FIGHT by Craig H. McFarland, Mayor, City of Casa Grande

E We are fortunate to have two economic engines in the heart of our industrial corridor served by Union Pacific Railroad, I-10 & I-8.

ach of us believes we have a good idea about what things might be like after the pandemic — but do we? It has changed our lives, some for the good and some for the bad. But it’s how we react and what we do next that will define us! Results will come if we are prepared to get everyone back to work. We need to get our restaurants and bars and small shops like our beauty salons, nail shops and barber shops open. Casa Grande has industry, technology and distribution facilities, too. We are fortunate to have two economic engines in the heart of our industrial corridor served by Union Pacific Railroad, I-10 & I-8.

2. Nacero • Manufacturing cleaner gasoline from domestic natural gas with zero sulfur that will produce 35,000 barrels a day. • Jobs — 265 (direct, high-paying, full-time jobs), 2,000 (construction jobs over four years beginning 2021). • Capital Investment — $3.2 billion. • Economic output — $6.9 billion (over 40 years, income tax not included).

1. Lucid Motors • Electric car manufacturing plant. • Jobs — 2,200 (direct), 2,600 (indirect) for a total of 4,800. • Capital investment — $300 million (phase one), $400 million (phase two) for a total of $700 million. • Economic output — $32 billion (over 20 years). • Plant is well underway and expect the first car produced by end of December 2020.

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The process of making gasoline from natural gas produces two gallons of water for every gallon of gasoline, so the system will self-generate 80% of the water it needs. The remaining 20% will come from the Casa Grande wastewater treatment plant. An estimated 4,000 acre-feet currently used to grow alfalfa on the 1,000+ acre Nacero site will be left in the ground, which will help our groundwater shortages. Additionally, 100% of the facility’s peak electricity will come from an onsite solar photovoltaic power plant.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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COOLIDGE, ARIZONA CENSUS COUNT IS PIVOTAL TO MANY PROGRAMS BENEFITTING COOLIDGE by Jon Thompson, Mayor, City of Coolidge

T The Census takes a count of cities and towns and uses that data to distribute federal funds to programs used in that community.

his month I’d like to take an opportunity to talk about the 2020 Census and how important it is to the community. The Census takes a count of cities and towns and uses that data to distribute federal funds to programs used in that community. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure the questionnaire is completed to ensure those dollars are put back in the community. I want to highlight some important programs where Coolidge benefits from federal funding. It’s estimated each person counted in Arizona receives $3,000 a year in services. Over 10 years in Census counts, that’s $30,000 per person!

Roads Roadways are important infrastructure that everyone uses to get around. Whether that’s by auto, bike or simply walking around, our citizens have rated roads a top priority. Coolidge receives money to help rebuild and maintain the miles of roads around the City. Some of the projects completed in our downtown area feature new roadway, sidewalks and other amenities such as benches to provide a safe and updated look. These include Central Avenue as well as new roadway surrounding San Carlos Park. This enhances the downtown area and showcases the area’s vibrant shopping, eateries and other businesses. We’re also maintaining much-needed roadway across the City. Census figures help determine how much funding Coolidge receives to help our roads. With this in mind, our Public Works department has been working on programs to actively maintain newer roads while completely rebuilding older ones in our downtown area. Construction is in the process along Main Street to chip seal aging roadway and help bring a renewed feeling to the neighborhood. All of this work wouldn’t be possible without monies received by our federal, state and local partners.

Transit Coolidge has been a leader with a phenomenal transit system that started with a van back in the ‘90s. In the last few years, the Cotton Express has expanded by offering service across multiple cities in Pinal County with the CART buses including Eloy,

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Florence and Casa Grande. The CART in recent years has been a major way to transport workers across Pinal County. This is especially true with stops at County complexes, the Greyhound bus stop in Eloy, and Central Arizona College. Since the transit system receives federal funding, the community is able to have a safe, reliable and effective means of travel to popular stops.

Housing Rehabilitation Our housing rehabilitation program helps low-income residents make repairs to their property and in some cases, rebuilds their entire house. This program has helped many families who need to replace their air conditioner, heating system, water heater and more. It also assists those in need of major repairs to their home. These grants improve items like plumbing, electrical and structural problems that could render the home uninhabitable. Each year the program aims to help as many as possible. The funding is based on population counts and Coolidge is able to assist about nine families a year. If our population count increases, we hope the program can expand and help additional residents with their needs.

Schools Coolidge is proud to have such a strong base of educational choices between public and charter schools. Each year, schools receive federal monies for a variety of programs that helps students succeed. These include the national school lunch and breakfast programs, special education grants, career and technical education grants, the Title IV-E foster care program, Section 8 housing assistance, Head Start programs and more. All these programs are funded in part by federal allocations that are determined by population counts. Many Coolidge residents have benefitted directly from these programs, which ultimately help students grow and prosper. In closing, you can see how the small list of programs above illustrates how important the Census is to our community. Please take a moment to fill out the Census 2020 questionnaire. In most cases it will take just 10 minutes. Those counts are very important to everyone who lives, works and plays here!

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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thetawellnesscenter.com EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

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SUPERIOR, ARIZONA SUPERIOR’S BEAUTY, ATTRACTIONS UNCHANGED BY SHUTDOWN by Mila Besich, Mayor, Town of Superior

A Superior’s small-town, neighborly values have strengthened our community’s resolve to remain focused on what makes us a special community.

s America and Arizona prepare for a “reopening” of modern-day life, work and business, in Superior we, too, have advanced our plans for the resumption of social and economic activity. Superior’s small-town, neighborly values have strengthened our community’s resolve to remain focused on what makes us a special community. Throughout our entire storied history, Superior has been a community where people care about one another — longtime, multigenerational residents as well as newcomers. Perhaps one of the things we treasure most about our community, in addition to our neighbors and fellow citizens, is our surrounding natural beauty, which has afforded all Superiorites and Arizonans the ability to connect with nature, get exercise and experience wide open spaces. As one of Pinal County’s most important outdoor recreational destinations, Superior is nestled at the base of Apache Leap Mountain in the high desert and is surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, the fifth largest national forest in the U.S., covering close to 2.9 million acres extending north from Superior to the Mogollon Rim. Throughout the entire coronavirus shutdown Superior’s spectacular natural environment has been “open for business.” Renowned nationally and internationally as a destination outdoor recreation mecca, Superior’s wealth of outdoor recreational opportuni-

PHOTOS BY MAYOR MILA BESICH

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ties has provided enthusiasts with spaces that support safe and wholesome physical activity with the room to respect social distancing. The area surrounding Superior offers a diversity of climate zones from desert vistas to mountainous areas with snow and waterfalls. This stunning natural landscape creates the perfect setting for such recreational activity as hiking, camping, birding, hunting, biking and other outdoor pursuits. Three local segments of the Legends of Superior Trail (LOST) were recently completed, making Superior an Arizona Trail Gateway community. The popular 800+ mile Arizona Trail crosses through Superior on its route across Arizona from the Utah border and the Grand Canyon to the Mexican border. Superior also is proud to be home to the internationally acclaimed Boyce Thompson Arboretum, where a stroll through the gardens can envelop you in the beauty of nature and give you a glimpse of deserts from faraway lands like Australia, Madagascar, India and many other places. Created in 1924 by William Boyce Thompson, a mining magnate with a fascination for plant protection, this Arboretum is the largest and oldest botanical garden in the state of Arizona. Visitors are able to access the park via reservations by calling 520-689-2723. As we all move forward in unison to restore our personal, professional, work and business lives and livelihoods, I invite you to visit Superior and experience firsthand the majestic and restorative beauty of our town. You will be warmly welcomed to our community, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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Service • Sales • Parts WHICH HOME LOAN IS RIGHT FOR YOUR HOME? 5 MYTHS ABOUT 5 MYTHS ABOUT Below are the most popular mortgage options in the United States. See basic information and DOWN PAYMENTS DOWN PAYMENTS minimum down payments to determine which loan may be best suited for your next home purchase. Many people have ideas mistaken ideas about down Many people have mistaken about down payments that keep them from becoming homeowners. payments that keep them from becoming homeowners. Here are five down payment myths and why they’re false: Here are five down payment myths and why they’re false: MYTH 1: I must pay a 20% down payment. MYTH 1: I must pay a 20% down payment.

Not true. The typical down payment today is between 5% and 10%.* Not true. The typical down payment today is between 5% and 10%.*

MYTH 2: My down payment has to be all my own money. MYTH 2: My down payment has to be all my own money. Not true. Homebuyers have several options for saving for a house, including: gifts from family, such as wedding gifts; grants from Not true. Homebuyersnonprofit have several options for saving for a house, gifts from family,programs; such as wedding gifts; grants from agencies or public institutions; state including: down payment assistance and employer assistance. nonprofit agencies or public institutions; state down payment assistance programs; and employer assistance.

MYTH 3: Down payment assistance programs are only for first-time homebuyers. MYTH 3: Down payment assistance programs are only for first-time homebuyers. Some programs are just for first-timers, but others are not. In addition, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Some programs are just forbroadly first-timers, butaothers arehomebuyer not. In addition, the U.S. who Department of Housing Urban first-time as someone hasn’t owned a homeand in the pastDevelopment three years; a single parent who (HUD) defines a first-time someone who hasn’t a home theother pastcategories three years; single parent who (HUD) broadly definesonly owned ahomebuyer home with aas former spouse while stillowned married; and ain few ofaborrowers. only owned a home with a former spouse while still married; and a few other categories of borrowers.

MYTH 4: Down payment assistance programs are only available in big cities. MYTH 4: Down payment programs are onlyare available insmall big cities. Down payment assistance and homebuyer assistance programs available in and large communities. Down payment and homebuyer assistance programs are available in small and large communities.

MYTH 5: Down payments are always required. MYTH 5: Down arehave always required. VA payments and USDA Loans 0% down payments for eligible homebuyers.

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Loan Scenarios: (1) $200,000 purchase price; $194,000 loan amount: 3% down payment; $1503/month (PITI); 30-year fixed 5.49% interest rate; 6.321% APR. (2) $200,000 purchase price; $193,000 loan amount; 3.5% down payment $1,451/month (PITI); 30-year fixed 5.50% interest rate; 6.619% APR. All mortgage products are subject to credit and property approval. Rates, program terms, and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are avaiable in all states or for all amounts. Additional conditions, qualifications, and restrictions may apply. Please contact Academy Mortgage for more information. MAC221-1468709

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EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

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ELOY, ARIZONA COVID-19 WILL NOT STOP ELOY’S PROGRESS by Joel Belloc, Mayor, City of Eloy

D We will continue to monitor federal, state and County announcements to make sure Eloy uses “best practices” to serve its residents, workers and visitors with essential services while continuing to meet day-to-day challenges.

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ear Eloy and Pinal County residents: As I write this, we continue to face numerous COVID-19 challenges. It is my sincerest wish that we all make it through safely. During this time, the City’s goals were and are to keep our residents and staff safe while supporting Eloy’s businesses. In March, the governor of Arizona declared a state of emergency, and Eloy was quick to follow suit. In addition to making Eloy eligible for federal assistance, the declaration sent a loud and clear message that the City Manager and City Council were not only aware of the situation but taking quick and decisive action. To keep in lock step with the evolving recommendations to fight this virus, Eloy adopted the recommendations put forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We will continue to monitor federal, state and County announcements to make sure Eloy uses “best practices” to serve its residents, workers and visitors with essential services while continuing to meet day-to-day challenges. On another note, and throughout the last few months, work has continued on several projects that will have a long-lasting and positive effect on the community. One is the 2020 Census. Even though social distancing has dimished our Census activities, I want to thank all of you for completing and submitting your census questionnaire. Your participation will benefit Eloy through direct and indirect support of many Eloy programs from education to health care to housing. For everyone counted, Eloy will receive approximately $30,000 over 10 years. I also wanted to thank the school districts for stepping up to assist with the Census effort. The Eloy and Toltec Elementary School Districts and the Santa Cruz Valley Union High School District have all been a great help in educating our students about the Census and prompting parents to fill out their forms. In addition, Councilman Jose Garcia and I would like to extend a big thank you to the Eloy residents who served on our Complete Count Committee to support our efforts for the U.S. Census. These dedicated folks started meeting a year and a half ago and

some even appeared in the Census support videos. Those videos can still be seen on YouTube, just type in Eloy Census 2020 on the search line. I hope that everyone has seen them and trust they were helpful in communicating the importance of completing our Census forms. Finally, my thanks to our local branch of Great Western Bank for their dedication in getting the word out and wearing our T-shirts! Changing topics, another big effort currently underway is the refurbishment of Main Street, scheduled for completion by the end of 2020. The goal is to restore the sidewalk overhangs and paint the front of the buildings to improve curb appeal. Our intent is to improve our “front door” in the hope new investment will occur and that it will also help existing merchants increase their sales of goods and services. This effort, proposed by the Eloy Downtown Advisory Commission and approved by the City Council, is in the process of refining the scope of work, obtaining bids and awarding the construction contract. Throughout the year, I want to encourage you to shop local. Please consider spending your shopping dollars in Eloy at independently owned businesses, as many studies have shown that at least two-thirds of locally spent dollars get recirculated in the local economy — not only good for Eloy, but good for Pinal County. Keeping and spending your money in Eloy supports the programs you rely on daily. Wishing you a safe, happy and fun summer!

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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New Website Offers Virtual Tour of Pinal County’s Trail System

by Blake Herzog

P

inal County has unveiled a new GIS-based virtual map of its trail system that incorporates detailed information about stops along its recreational paths, as well as its newly designated birding trail. Users can find it at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/OpenSpaceTrails/Pages/Home. aspx, and the site is mobile-friendly. Both the birding and hiking trails are mostly in the eastern third of the County drawing users to the vistas of the Superstition Mountains in the north and along the Copper Corridor’s landscape between Superior and Oracle on the Arizona Trail. The County’s Open Space and Trails Director Kent Taylor said he began to consider revamping the county’s trails page more than a year ago, since “the maps were static and the photos were less than up-to-date.” The ball didn’t get rolling, though, until the GIS and IT departments approached him about bringing it to life. “They’re really the ones all the credit should go to,” he said. “They reached out to me, and said ‘Hey, we’re doing web development that’s more in a GIS model, which fits better to outdoor trail-oriented activities.’” Work on it began toward the end of last summer and the new product debuted at the beginning of March, just before COVID-19-mandated social distancing requirements closed off most other entertainment and recreation options. Taylor doesn’t know whether views of the new website have been higher than projected as a result, but all other indications are that use of outdoor open spaces are surging in the County, like almost everywhere else. “We saw an explosion of use in the outdoor trail and recreationist community,” he said. While every part of

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the County’s trail system has seen increased numbers, most of it is too remote to get overrun as many urban spaces have. The new map only shows the approximately 60 miles of Pinal County-owned or managed trails, including short segments along the CAP Canal near Picacho Peak and at West Pinal Park, near the junction of state Route 84 with Interstate 8. But its trails are concentrated in the east county and so is the new Pinal County Birding Trail, which follows the Gila and Lower San Pedro rivers. The San Pedro between Winkelman and San Manuel is recognized as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society, with habitat supporting wild turkeys, hawks, owls, roadrunners and many more species. Though many of the highlighted birding locations are on or near the Arizona Trail, “a birding trail is a bit different than a recreational trail,” Taylor said. “A birding trail is a collection of sites (over a long distance) that offer folks an opportunity to view different species of birds. It is a great passive recreation and family activity.” Birding can also be an economic driver by bringing tourists to stay in rural areas they may not frequent otherwise, he said. “Pinal County viewed the development of the birding trail as a way to showcase a wonderful natural resource in the County while promoting responsible outdoor recreation and economic development opportunities,” he said. As of now there are no signs marking the stops along the birding trail; they will come after the launch of the Arizona Birding Trail it is a part of, said Charles Hofer, urban wildlife planner for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. He said he hopes that will

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


happen next year. Taylor said he and his counterparts across the state not only are busy taking care of their trails and other outdoor spaces in light of more users and new sanitation requirements, but looking ahead at how to make sure

users keep coming back after other venues open up. He said they’re asking, “How do we keep their experience positive, and how do we keep them coming back when things return to something closer to normal?”

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

He added, “There’s an education process, but I think most of these people are going to find out hiking is pretty fun; we can take the whole family, we can do it fairly inexpensively as long you have the right information to do it safely.”

The new map only shows the approximately 60 miles of Pinal County-owned or managed trails, including short segments along the CAP Canal near Picacho Peak and at West Pinal Park, near the junction of state Route 84 with Interstate 8.

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PINAL COUNTY PRESS A R IZONA CIT Y • C A SA GR A NDE • CO OLIDGE • ELOY • F LOR ENCE • M A R ICOPA

CONTINUED…

Casa Grande DJ Throws ‘Virtual Grad Party’ for Pinal Students, Families

T

he COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the traditional school schedule and traditions, with students ready to transition to the next stage of their education hit especially hard. Social distancing not only has blown up the classroom schedule most are used to, but it has destroyed their chance to have a graduation ceremony, prom, senior trips or the other traditions they may have been primed to experience. So Andy and Jessica Salazar of Casa Grande, owners of Big Tyme Entertainment, stepped up April 25 and produced a three-hour Facebook party, something they do every Saturday, but this time

HEXCEL...cont. from page 10 years of service with the company, ” Veazey said. Other cost-cutting measures announced by the company in late April include pay cuts and unpaid furloughs for all remaining salaried employees, elimination of all contract labor and reducing spending to essential purchases only, Veazey said.

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showing photos sent in by parents of their graduating high school seniors, eighth graders, and a few kindergarteners and college grads. “I think we had a total of 190 students,” said Andy Salazar. The vast majority were from Pinal County, with a few from Hamilton High School in Chandler and Phoenix and Tucson schools. More than 50 gift cards with a total value of about $500 were raffled off to the graduates from local eateries ranging from McDonald’s to Ochoa’s, as well as Amazon and other vendors. The evening’s sponsors were Mike Valdez of Valdez Landscaping in Casa Grande, Heritage Motors on Pinal Avenue in Casa Grande and Ruben Duarte, finance and sales manager for Heritage Motors. Salazar said the party garnered 1,300 views and some 600 comments on Facebook: “They were family members, friends, parents, the kids. … It was real emotional, just seeing all the parents’ comments and just knowing we did something good for them.” Putting on the show was a family affair, like so many other things these days, as the Salazars worked the night with two

of their daughters and other relatives. But their connection to the surrounding community was strong. Andy Salazar’s Facebook page, which hosted the livestream, is flooded with comments and posts by people congratulating their favorite grad while thanking the Salazars for giving them their deserved moment in the spotlight. “You guys put on an amazing (Facebook) live show last night for our graduates. Us parents and even our kiddos appreciated it. Seeing all the pics and familiar faces was awesome,” Shanna Gastelum wrote. Anjelica Rodriguez posted: “This made it that much more real. My baby is graduating this year. W/all the hoopla & drama going on during these crazy times, it’s felt unreal. Especially w/them not having a graduation ceremony it’s made it so hard to get really into the moment.” Andrea Costales-Ortega told Golden Corridor LIVING she sent her daughter Elizabeth’s photo to the Salazars as soon as she heard about their grad party plans. Elizabeth will be the first in their family to graduate from college, earning a degree from Arizona State University

in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in construction management and design. “As I was watching, me and my oldest daughter decided to donate two gift cards for all these wonderful kids who won’t get the chance to walk. It felt so good to see so many kids smiling faces,” she said. “I am so grateful to Andy for this.” Salazar said, “We just wanted to make sure they had a good night, that was all.”

Earlier in the month Hexcel and Woodward Inc., which makes control system components for the aerospace and industrial sectors, called off a planned merger valued at $5 billion. Hexcel had already lost some revenue to Boeing’s troubles with the 737 MAX aircraft. City of Casa Grande Economic Development Director Richard Wilkie said given the state

of the travel industry, it’s not surprising Hexcel is having to cut back. “It’s a leader in the commercial aviation industry, and this virus, it’s really thrown the whole aviation industry into chaos, ” he said. Lucid Motors and Nacero Inc., newer manufacturers building or planning to build factories in Casa Grande may not be as

affected by the crisis. “I don’t see this virus as having as big an impact on those companies, because they’re not selling anything yet, ” Wilkie said. The City continues to support those plans while it focuses on helping local small businesses weather the current economy, so they can continue creating jobs once the recovery begins, he said.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


PINAL COUNTY PRESS A R IZONA CIT Y • C A SA GR A NDE • CO OLIDGE • ELOY • F LOR ENCE • M A R ICOPA

CONTINUED…

Pinal County Improves Flood Insurance Rating

T

he Pinal Count y Flood Control District recently announced county property owners who have flood insurance should see a 5% decrease in their premiums due to the district earning a class 6 rating with the National Flood Insurance Program’s community rating system. Pinal County must submit a report to the NFIP every five years about how its floodplain management program exceeds its minimum standards for protecting residents from major flood events, after which it receives a rating. Those living in the Special Flood Hazard Area shown on the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s maps are expected to see a 20% overall discount in their premiums, and those in other areas will have a total discount of 10%. The changes take effect May 1 and will apply to all new and renewed policies, according to the County. Submitting the required reports are always a complex task,

PROPERTY TAX..cont. from page 10 said. He added last year’s combined rate was $597.16. Public hearings will then be held during May and June, with final budget adoption by the council required by Aug. 7 under state law. Primary property tax mostly funds daily government operations and secondary taxes pay off bond debt, which Horst said has been renegotiated to a more favorable rate this year. Another recent development that Horst said is helping the City

a County press release said, but flood district staff dove into the task last year and were able to improve the rating as a result. Communities must be a participating member of the NFIP for residents to be eligible to purchase flood insurance, which is a requirement for federally backed mortgages. County officials recommend homeowners who live in or near

a floodplain and aren’t required to buy the insurance still buy a “preferred protection” plan for any flood damage they might experience, which probably won’t be covered by their homeowners insurance policy. Policies with contents coverage are also available, for renters as well as property owners. Residents can go to the County’s flood district website at www.

pinalcountyaz.gov/PublicWorks/ FloodControl/Pages/Home.aspx for more information and can click on the “Am I In A Floodplain?” page. Requests for information can also be submitted at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/PublicWorks/FloodControl/Pages/ FloodInfoRequest.aspx. For more information call 520-866-6411.

now is the creation of a $1 million “disaster contingency reserve” for the current year’s budget. “So we actually put monies away anticipating we might have a disaster sometime in the future, and lo and behold, guess what, we do, but because we put money aside for that we’re better prepared,” he said. Horst said Maricopa has other contingency funds equaling about 60% of the general fund budget, so officials aren’t expecting to furlough or lay off employees or reduce any services to the public.

Population growth is expected to continue pulling new property tax revenue into the city, he added: “Obviously we’ll have some new dollars because we have more new homes and more assessed value because we’ve built almost 1,000 new homes in the last year alone, plus the commercial and retail properties.” He said additional demand on social service-related programs in the area hasn’t become too much of a concern, with nonprofits and faith-based organizations able to help many who are struggling in the current economy.

“There might be some isolated cases out there we’re not aware of, but for the most part our citizens are doing well, and those needs are being met because of the generosity of neighbors. And that’s part of what makes Maricopa unique, is that we are a pretty diverse community, but very unified in a lot of ways,” he said. Horst said the City’s rapid population growth doesn’t show any sign of stopping, with more than 100 new housing permits issued during April. “Our future is bright,” he said.

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

Read more news on page 64...

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The ROX Interview (continued)

Jackob and his sons

...continued from page 15 erything in-house and built relationships, but we did keep moving. We also looked at the opportunity of larger land holdings where there would be potential for future developments in the path of growth. The idea was not empty desert but farmlands, so you’re staying true to sort of the yesteryear’s growth of Arizona and the farming creates some sort of cashflow and reduced taxes. We quickly found out that there’s not much margin in farm leases. But the world has a need for food security, and so Joe and I went out and took on some leases and started buying a couple of pieces that led us to becoming a farming entity with about 18,000 acres in Arizona and Southern California’s Imperial Valley. I’m not a farmer, but with our new team we quickly learned to manage them. We put good people in place and had a staff of about 100 people, and we were picking up

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OR LI GOLDEN CORRID CORRIDOR LIV VING ING • THE INTERV IE W

farms. I flew to China and the Middle East for feed and hay deals. We had bought a hay cuber in Stanfield, so I wanted to create a retail market here in the U.S. for us and was trying to get the company into Tractor Supply Company’s retail shops. They had 1,500 of them on the east side of the USA and wanted to double their presence by coming west. One of my sales guys in the retail farming business told me there was going to be a big hay convention at Tractor Supply’s headquarters in Nashville and asked if we could get our products into their stores. So, I went to the convention with them to help them and spend a couple of days in Nashville. While I was there, I heard from the Arizona Commerce Authority that potentially Tractor Supply Company had the desire to come to the West Coast. I hadn’t heard of this project, and I thought that was strange. Whilst there at the headquarters, I asked, “Do you have a real estate department?”

They said, “Yes.” I said, “Can I speak to someone?” And they’re like, “Well, you’ll have to wait.” And I said, “Well, I’ll wait.” I also happened to have one of my brochures with me for the Central Arizona Commerce Park. I left it with the lady and said, “Get in touch with me. If you’re looking for this area, Walmart Distribution is right next to us. We’re right by the I-10, I-8. We’re ideal to service this entire region.” I got a call the following business day from the site selector who was working on their behalf and the Arizona Commerce Authority. I met with their site selector, and they were blown away by what we had available. It was us bringing them to the table, bringing the City of Casa Grande, Pinal County and the ACA quietly together. No one else knew about it. And we went in and we said, “This has got to happen, and it’s got to happen quickly.” Casa Grande made it happen with us. That’s how we landed Tractor Supply Company. That helped put us on the map. I think it’s was the first Fortune 500 company to come to the area for many, many years. It showed how well we operated with the state, the county, the city and how we could get a deal done. There was a coming together, a camaraderie of all involved being formed in Pinal County with the pro-business growth attitude. So along comes Lucid. Their site selectors are coming into town. They are talking to the ACA. We get to put in our PIF — project information form — and we tick all the boxes. That is what we worked on. That is what is so important, getting every bit of information out with all the answers and requirements met so that you get to the top of the pile, and you get that first meeting. The ACA was phenomenal working in the background with them. But boots on the ground and introducing them to the city helped make this work. Larry Rains, Casa Grande’s current city manager, had literally been on point on everything I’ve done, and I praise him for the work he did and is doing. We are listening to their needs, and we quickly realize workforce is super important. Today, I sit on the board for Arizona@ Work in Pinal County. It’s helpful for the board to know about the jobs we’re creating and what we’re seeing for needs. Jackie

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


NTER MENT NITIES E

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

10 MILES TO I-8 SELMA HWY

DATA CENTER OPPORTUNITY

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back and forth from LA-Long Beach. But the City of Mesa purchased the property and it was taken off the market until we purchased it. That’s how I met Darrell Wilson because he used to have a company called CMX, and they did a lot of due diligence there for another company that we inherited, all the

VAIL RD

Elliot had recently taken over as the president at Central Arizona College. One of the guys from the Lucid team was their point man. If he was going to have a workforce, if he was going to be running the factory, it was going to be on his head that everything was going to be set up. So, I introduced this individual to Jackie. She has such a great operation and such an enthusiastic attitude. She was very creative and immediately thought of an advanced manufacturing course that she could put together that would be beneficial to them and fits the betterment of general needs for training and education in the region. Advanced manufacturing is not just automobiles. It can be many different things. Today, that course is up and running and has been very successful for three years. It helps us attract more business and is why Pinal County is ready for business and open for opportunity. Once we got the “yes,” they’re going to be here, they want to be here, the team pulled it together. The way the County operated with talking to Casa Grande with roads, infrastructure, foreign trade zones, Tim Kanavel seeing them through the process, us all holding hands, grabbing the ball and running with it. Once we got the ball positioned it was just incredible, it was a score. That leads us to how and why Nikola was so quick and so successful in their site selection and working in unity with us and all the agencies. GC LIVING: Before we get into Nikola Motors, how did the Inland Port Arizona come to be? JACKOB ANDERSEN: As we’re doing all this with Lucid, we’re noticing the recession is hitting hard, and all the little users have gone away. But what we’re noticing is the RFPs are coming in from bigger projects, 50 acres, 80 acres, 100 acres, 300 acres. Our Casa Grande industrial park is already platted into smaller parcels. But we have this other land, the Mesa water farm, which has the big southern area, which today we call Inland Port Arizona. Today that is the Nikola Motors location. Our plan was to create Central Arizona Commerce Park on steroids with the rail over there. It had been looked at in the early ‘80s by Union Pacific as an inland port for them to have a shuttle service running

FUTURE NORTH/ SOUTH FREEWAY

archeological and environmental studies, all the data that we then refreshed to our own standard when we took over and took from just due diligence to actual buildable zoned, annexed park Because of the Lucid deal and getting

continued on page 56...

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If you would like to contribute images of area events, people, pets and scenery, please post on our Facebook page or email to: photos@roxco.com

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JOSH WUCHTER

JESSE NEITZEL

JOSH WUCHTER

KEVIN WEAD

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Health • Happiness • Education

JULIE TURETZKY

AL FARR

MICHAEL KETTERING

TERRY EVERETT

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

ELAINE EARLE

KAREN MORPHEW

JASON BUCHHOLZ

LAURA GILLOON GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

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Continuing Education Needed for Our Children About Drugs and Alcohol by Nicole Youcupicio, Prevention Specialist, Casa Grande Alliance

Talking with and educating our children about drugs and alcohol is of critical importance. This important and continuing conversation can seem daunting and overwhelming, but we are here to help walk you through it.

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hen it comes to raising children there are several big hurdles faced by parents and caregivers to help their children grow into positive, productive adults. Some of these include teaching children healthy values, learning to listen to them, validating their ideas, thoughts and feelings, and finding meaningful ways to support school success. Talking with and educating our children about drugs and alcohol is of critical importance. This important and continuing conversation can seem daunting and overwhelming, but we are here to help walk you through it. The Arizona Youth Survey tells us the average age of first-time drug use in Casa Grande is 13 years old.1 Some report first use as young as 9 years old. Due to this, we recommend beginning the conversation by at least age 8. This will be an ongoing conversation that will change based on the age of your children. By beginning this conversation young, we open the lines of communication so they feel safe and comfortable to come to seek our advice in

commonly misused substances by Casa Grande youth currently include alcohol, e-cigarettes and marijuana. These are the drugs our youth are hearing about the most and might be misled by their friends to try. • 1 in 8 middle school students in Casa Grande and 1 in 4 high school students regularly drink alcohol.1 • 1 in 7 youth in Casa Grande use e-cigarettes.1 • 1 in 9 middle school students in Casa Grande and almost 1 in 6 high school students use marijuana.1 the future. Reminder: consistency and repetition are key. When conversations between youth and parents include factual information about the dangers of substance misuse and addiction, it increases the odds our child will not use alcohol or drugs. Teens whose parents talk to them regularly about these dangers are 50% less likely to use, but 48% of Casa Grande youth report they do not have these conversations with their parents.3,1 Simple ways to bring the topic up in conversation include using a news story, movie, TV show or song as an opportunity to invite our children to share what they know and think. Youth are far more likely to engage in ongoing conversations than pay close attention to a lecture from a parent, even the most well-meaning. The best times to have these kinds of conversations are at dinner, in the car, while working in the yard, or at any other time when we are spending quality time with our children. To effectively talk with children about drugs and alcohol, parents/ caregivers need a basic understanding about current trends. The three most

But there is hope. Seventy-four percent of Casa Grande youth choose not to use alcohol or drugs because they do not want to disappoint their parents. This is huge! The majority of Casa Grande youth not using drugs and alcohol have parents and caring adults who have helped to strengthen their resiliency and have helped our youth to resist peer pressure. There are many great resources and websites for parents and caregivers to use for factual and up-to-date information about youth drug trends, some of these include: NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and our website: www.casagrandealliance.org. You are invited to stop by our office to pick up available resources to learn more about the services provided to youth and families, Alliance partner agencies, and to learn more about substance misuse and addiction. Additionally, if you are struggling with talking with your children, we can help! Please call 520-836-5022 or stop by our office at 280 W. McMurray Blvd. in Casa Grande.

1. Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, Arizona Youth Survey. (2018). 2. https://www.centeronaddiction.org/addiction-prevention/teenage-addiction. Accessed electronically March 27, 2020. 3. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, Parents: What You Say – and What You Do – Matters to Your Kids. (March 2011).

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THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


kids & stress During this time of uncertainty and change, it is normal for youth to be uneasy, anxious, and stressed. Their “normal everyday life” has been taken away from them & that can be scary. did you know? to help Here are some suggestions • On an average day in December, more thanpositively: 11,000 youth will use your child(ren) cope alcohol for the first time. That is approximately 70% more per day compared to other months throughout the year. (SAMHSA, 2012)

• Talk about thoughts and feelings. •The average age Casa Grande youth start drinking is between 12 and 13 • Explain the change in the simplest terms. years old. • Provide frequent reassurance of safety and love. don’t loseand hope because... • Limitbut media exposure spend time processing • Teens havehave good relationships their parents are two time less whatwhothey seen andwith heard. likely to use alcohol. • Find creative ways to talk to friends & family. • Teens whose parents talk to them regularly about the dangers of (FaceTime, emails, etc.) drugs and alcohol write are 50%letters, less likelysend to use drugs, yet less than 50% of Pinal Countytime teens report havingand these have conversations with their parents. • Spend together fun together! (ACJC, 2018)

(Center on Addiction, 2012)

(Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 2011 & ACJC, 2018)

Please reach out to the Casa Grande Alliance at 520-836-5022 if you need assistance navigating resources to help your child cope with stress. Drug Misuse Prevention and Treatment Referrals 280 W. McMurray Blvd. Casa Grande, Arizona 85122 520-836-5022 www.CasaGrandeAlliance.org Facebook: CGAlliance | Twitter: @CG_Alliance


AARP Volunteer Reading Program Benefits Students and Engages Adults “First students learn to read, and then they read to learn.”

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his old saying is as true today as it ever was and is the driving force behind a program coming to Casa Grande. This program is called the AARP Foundation Experience Corps, and it has been implemented in 22 cities nationwide. The program brings volunteers 50 years and older into the classroom to work directly with first, second and third graders to help them learn how to read. Right now in Arizona, only 44% of our third graders are reading as well as they should be; the Pinal County rate is 37%, and here in Casa Grande we are at 30%. This is despite the hard work and dedication of our teachers. They just do not have the time to help many of our students make these first critical steps to becoming a reader. This is where the volunteers come in. They work with the students one-on-one to give them the help they need to improve their reading. AARP has set up a very structured program that allows volunteers from all walks of life to become effective tutors. Multiple studies from Johns Hopkins and Washington universities show that 62% of the students in the 22 existing programs improve their reading by a half grade level or more. The volunteers also have improved wellness and quality of life. Volunteers feel a greater sense of purpose and have stronger

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social connections. This new AARP Experience Corps Pinal-Casa Grande program is a partnership of the City of Casa Grande, Casa Grande Elementary School District, AARP Foundation and Achieve Pinal. Achieve Pinal is a local vol-

unteer organization dedicated to developing a competitive workforce for current and future jobs by improving educational attainment in Pinal County. Achieve Pinal is an initiative of Pinal Alliance for Economic Growth. Casa Grande is the first rural community in Arizona to be selected as an Affiliate of the AARP Foundation and joins programs in Tempe and Phoenix as the third in the state. This is a two-year pilot program in Casa Grande and will be offered to other communities in Pinal County in year three. Volunteer applications for AARP Experience Corps Pinal-Casa Grande are now open through Sept. 18. For details on informational sessions or to apply to become a volunteer, please contact Caryl Chase at caryl@ achievepinal.org.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Enrolling Now! The Grande Innovation Academy is a state chartered, tuition free Kindergarten through 8th grade school. We foster a creative campus designed to develop individual thinkers, offering an academic culture that takes education beyond the textbook reading, writing, and arithmetic. We focus on the skills scholars will need throughout their lives. Tuition Free

Full Day Kindergarten

Lunch Program

Full Time Gifted Program

Small Class Sizes

After School Enrichment

Outdoor Garden

Spanish, Arts and Sports

Fab Lab We are now accepting enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year.

Enroll today at: GrandeInnovationAcademy.com

GRANDE I N N O VA T I O N ACADEMY

We are proud to announce the opening of the Little Innovators Preschool, offering a full-time and part-time program with 5, 4 and 3 day schedule options. For information on tuition, schedules and enrollment, visit LittleInnovatorsPreschool.com.

950 N. Peart Rd, Casa Grande, AZ 85122 • (520) 381-2360

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www.mitchellandcrosbydental.com EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

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CAC Students Selected for All-Arizona Academic Team by Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing, Central Arizona College

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even Central Arizona College students have been selected to the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society All-Arizona Academic Team. All-Arizona students demonstrate academic excellence and intellectual rigor combined with leadership and service that extends beyond the classroom to benefit society. Phi Theta Kappa and five more organizations help these students reach their educational goals by awarding scholarships and issuing tuition waivers to Arizona’s three state universities. FIRST TEAM MEMBERS ($1,000 SCHOLARSHIP) Byron Kouris from the San Tan Campus, who currently

serves as the CAC Student Government Association district president, is considering transferring to the University of Arizona to complete a degree in business administration and graduate work in the education field. As a student researcher, Skyler Wyly from the Signal Peak Campus is studying the application of a growth mindset in an academic setting. He plans to transfer to the University of Arizona in pursuit of a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology. SECOND TEAM MEMBERS ($750 SCHOLARSHIP) Shae Lee Gray is the Phi Theta Kappa president at the Aravaipa Campus and serves as a math

Students as pictured left to right – Skyler Wyly, Byron Kouris, John Chapman, Julianna Juarez, Shae Lee Gray, Laryssa Torrez, Kimberly Reteguin

tutor. She will transfer to the University of Arizona and pursue a degree in computer science. Julianna Juarez of the Signal Peak Campus is a National Society of Leadership and Success member and an active volunteer. She intends on transferring to the University of Arizona’s College of Psychology to earn a Master of Psychology degree. THIRD TEAM MEMBERS ($500 SCHOLARSHIP) John Chapman (San Tan Campus) plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University to earn a bachelor’s degree in hotel

and restaurant management and ultimately a master’s in business administration. He hopes to open and cook in his own restaurant. Kimberly Reteguin (Maricopa Campus) will transfer to Arizona State University to earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice with the goal of working in the forensic field to help solve criminal cases and bring justice. Laryssa Torrez (Aravaipa Campus) hopes to transfer to the University of Arizona and complete a bachelor’s degree in the science of nursing and ultimately plans to further her education to become a nurse practitioner.

In these ever-changing times, Central Arizona College’s

primary goal remains: to provide quality learning opportunities while keeping students, faculty, staff, and community members safe.

For more information visit: www.CentralAZ.edu/covid19

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All COVID-19 measures and updates from President Dr. Jackie Elliott can be found at centralaz.edu/covid19. We thank everyone for their continued support of Central Arizona College as we navigate current events to continue to serve students and the community.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Juvenile Court and Sheriff’s Office Work to Reduce Arrests for Youth of Color by Donna McBride, Pinal County Juvenile Court Program Administrator II

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t was 2017 when Pinal County Juvenile Court Services decided it was time to look at racial and ethnic disparities. Officials wanted to find out if there were more youth from one race or ethnic background being arrested than others. An analysis was conducted by looking throughout the system from arrest to disposition. It was found that the greatest disparity of arrests was at the point of arrest for African-American youth. Further analysis revealed which cities and neighborhoods had the highest arrest rates for African-American youth. This information was shared with the Pinal County Sheriff’s Department, leading both agencies to realize action needed to be taken. Juvenile Court Services and the Sheriff’s Department hosted a collaborative meeting with community partners to discuss what was contributing to disproportionately high arrest rates for youth of color. This frank discussion looked at how the agencies could work together to create solutions. There were over 40 participants including representation from the bench, local behavioral health agencies, Board of Supervisors, Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, HOAs, County Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders’ Office and local school districts. The group reviewed crime maps and statistics, discussed identified disparities and potential contributing factors, and ultimately decided that to create sustainable change, relationships between community members of color and law enforcement needed to be strengthened.

Local law enforcement needed to get to know the children and families in their jurisdictions, and vice versa, so there could be mutual trust and respect. The group created a planning committee for Community Outreach Events (CORE), an effort to put on community events in neighborhoods with high arrest rates for youth of color. The goal was to provide opportunities for youth and families to build and strengthen relationships with local law enforcement. The CORE Planning Committee, under the leadership of Juvenile Court and the Sheriff’s Department, put on events in four neighborhoods in 2019. Every event had over 1,000 community members attending. There were face painters, bounce houses, recreational activities and raffles. Attendees were given “police officer autograph cards” and had to introduce themselves to local police officers to obtain their signatures, which could then be redeemed for raffle tickets. Culinary students from a local community college barbecued, providing free meals. More community members showed up than the planning committee could have hoped for. Resembling neighborhood block parties, there were police officers playing basketball with kids, families enjoying activities with court staff while learning about issues in their own neighborhood. Juvenile Court Director Denise Smith attributes the success to “the partnerships we have established over the past three to four years. My staff have done an excellent job at recruit-

ing and engaging our youth system partners, nonprofit, county leadership and communities. When we develop these partnerships, there is an expectation that we deliver improved and innovative solutions, and that, I believe we have accomplished.” Sheriff Mark Lamb says, “CORE events give us the opportunity to interact with teens and children, to make that crucial positive first impression. If we can form good relationships with our young people now, we have a better chance of not seeing them pass through the juvenile court system.” The CORE Planning Committee is identifying which neighborhoods to go to next. Members will continue their mission to eradicate racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice and expect to see greater reductions in arrest rates for youth of color as they continue to strengthen relationships between community members and law enforcement. For more information on Juvenile Court Services visit www.pinalcountyaz.gov/juvenilecourtservices or call 520-866-7065.

Data shows: Since the start of this committee, there has been: A 15% decrease in all juvenile arrests. A 28% decrease in African American juvenile arrests county-wide. In the targeted areas where community events have taken place: A 27% decrease in all juvenile arrests. A 38% decrease in African American juvenile arrests.

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

GOLDEN CORRID CORRIDOR OR LI V ING YOU! • GOLDEN

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THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


p epaP e a re tr r e ” ” “Pr“ ! ! d d eoe ee

S u cc

S u cc

Mission Heights Preparatory High School is a tuition-free public college prep school with a family atmosphere featuring: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Highly Qualified Teachers Top AzMerit Scores in the county Dual Enrollment and Early College Options on MHP’s campus Digital Arts programs including cutting edge competitive Esports program and Photoshop Competitive sports including volleyball, cheerleading, wrestling, men and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and track Music and Drama programs Competitive Robotics Team Nationally recognized Youth Entrepreneurs Program and community internships that teaches students business and encourages marketing of their own skills A Travel Club that experiences 20 days in Europe CAVIT program A wide variety of clubs & extracurricular activities AVID Program

m/enroll Enroll Enroll today online today or at mhprep.com/enroll stoponline by for or stop aat bytour! formhp a tour! Out Out of 70 2017of Graduates, 70 94% 2017 went to a Graduates, university, 94% went to a university, How Prepared Your for College? How Prepared is Your Child for College? community community college or the military collegeis or the Child military 2015 Spring AZMerit Scores

2015 Spring AZMerit Scores

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

11th Grade Math

11th Grade Math 11th Grade English

State Average

MHP Average

State Average

11th Grade English

MHP Average

High Performance on AZMerit High Performance on Exams AZMerit Exams

Grades 9-12 Grades 9-12 1376 E. Cottonwood Ln. 1376 E. Cottonwood Ln. Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Casa Grande, AZ 85122 Accredited by AdvanceED Accredited by Advanc www.mhprep.com | 520.836.9383 www.mhprep.com | 520.836.9383 Amanda Mace, school leader Amanda Mace, school leader


CGUHSD:

Focused on Workforce Development

by Dr. Steve Bebee, Superintendent, Casa Grande Union High School District

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he Casa Grande Union High School District was founded in 1920 and presently encompasses 1250 square miles. Currently, there are approximately 3650 students enrolled in the district. Our district has two comprehensive high schools, Casa Grande Union High School and Vista Grande High School. The Casa Grande Union High School District receives students from the Casa Grande Elementary School District, Stanfield Elementary School District, Toltec Elementary School District, and Sacaton Public Schools. As a district, we are very proud of the rich traditions that have been established at both of our schools and the opportunities that living in a small-town community provides to all of students. In CGUHSD, we are focused on preparing our students for both college and career as they graduate high school and move on into our community, our state and our nation. CGUHSD has a variety of academic offerings that will prepare our students for whatever path they choose beyond their time with us. In our core classes of Math, English, Science and Social Studies we also offer honors, Advanced Placement, and dual enrollment courses that provide the appropriate level of rigor they may desire to prepare for their careers beyond high school. We offer a variety of elective classes from Career and Technical Education, Fine Arts, JROTC, Physical Education, and World Languages that offer our students a well-rounded education. We are also very proud of the partnership that we have with CAVIT and the opportunities we have for our students to both receive and

AP Spanish become certified in industry-level standards and skills in a variety of courses that provide students real world experiences. CGUHSD understands the importance of the information age and 21st century skills for our students. We are a 1:1 district and all our students are issued a laptop device for their personal use for the school year. We also understand the importance of educating the whole child and we encourage all our students to plug in and find a way to get more involved in their school. Our schools offer a variety of both athletic and extracurricular opportunities for our students interests and desires. Athletically, both schools are members of the Arizona Athletic Association with Casa Grande Union being a part of the 5A Sonoran Region and Vista Grande a part of the 4A Black Canyon Region. We believe that it is those extracurricular opportunities that complete the high school experience for our students and become the memories they

have for the rest of their lifetime. Our focus is to inspire excellence by providing globally competitive educational and career opportunities for all students. Our teaching staff meets regularly in Professional Learning Communities to ensure that all our students learning needs are being met. We focus on increased student engagement through highly effective instructional strategies, integrated technology in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning and workforce development by developing the workforce of tomorrow. This past school year in conjunction with our workforce development initiative, we have also now added Automation Robotics and Graphic Digital Design as a part of our Career and Technical Education program. As a district we strive to personalize learning because we believe that every student is unique and deserves the power to shape their personal paths toward success.

Professional Learning Communities

FFA

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THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Casa Grande Union High School District

A 21st Century Education with 21st Century Choices!

CAMPUSES

Every Student Access 1:1 Schools Two comprehensive campuses

STAFF

Led by 152 qualified teachers

STEM PROGRAM AT CGUHS

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

COMMUNICATIONS

Websites, PowerSchool, Schoolway App, direct email to staff, weekly news

ACTIVITIES

COURSE OFFERINGS

Choir and Drama, FFA, FBLA, FPS, Robotics, Marching Band, National FCCLA, DECA—state, national and international awards

LIBRARY AND RESOURCES

CAVIT, CAC, private corporations, City of Casa Grande

Over 200 course offerings

More than 10,000 volumes at two campuses

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Professional Learning Communities with emphasis on effective instructional practices and 21st Century Skills and Student Based Learning

TUTORING

Available four days a week on all campuses

COLLABORATION ALTERNATIVES FACILITIES

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

ATHLETICS

Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Football, Track, Cross Country, Soccer, Golf, Spiritline, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

www.cguhsd.org • (520) 316-3360


Special Section:

Squeezing Your Best Home Office Out of a Maxed-out Floor Plan by Blake Herzog

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orking from home has suddenly became the norm for millions of people since social distancing requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 took hold. According to the Brookings Institute, up to half of American workers are now telecommuting, more than double the percentage that did, at least once in a while, two years ago. Since this is new for so many people, some are having trouble finding the room for a decently sized office space in homes filled up by their family’s play, entertainment, schoolwork and hobby spaces. Many want to keep intrusion from the outside world away from kitchens and bedrooms. But plenty of human ingenuity has already been devoted to carving out a small space and making it functional for doing much if not all your work from home. Here are some solutions that can work in just about any overtaxed abode.

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DROP DESKS

The ultimate in space savers, these feature a flat work shelf on a hinge which can be pulled down, as a unit installed directly onto a wall or as part of an armoire or dresser placed against the wall. Your needs can determine the size of the shelf you buy. Of course, the wall-mounted varieties, also known as “floating desks,” need to be installed properly, but if that’s not a barrier they’re the ideal for squeezing yourself into a living room or bedroom, or even a closet where one can be easily concealed. If you’re up for a standing desk they can be installed at the right height, and you won’t even need a chair!

convenient if you have a larger desktop computer that can be put right in the joint of the “L,” filling all that space without impeding anything else. Tall corner units built with shelving above create a huge amount of storage and display space, though the higher shelves can be difficult for reaching files or cleaning.

CORNER DESKS

Particularly when they’re L-shaped, these can be more spacious than most floating desks and can be stuffed into corners, providing a little privacy in the most chaotic of households. L-shaped desks are especially THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


NOOKS, HALLWAYS, STAIRCASES, LANDINGS, LOFTS

Nearly any unused floor space can be converted into a small office area — that weird nook in your bedroom, under a staircase, on a floor landing, even some hallways can be converted without impeding traffic. Getting creative with your awkward spaces can often be the best solution to fitting your workspace in.

WHAT ABOUT THE COFFEE TABLE? Some newer coffee tables have lift tops that can easily be used for a laptop and a couple piles of paper, or the DIY-inclined can convert one into a desk by putting new legs on it or even add a lift-top feature to a standard coffee table. Even if you’re stuck with one there are hacks to make it more functional, like placing a shelf on top of it to put a laptop at a comfortable height.

WORKING IT OUT

Integrating fitness into sedentary office work has never been this easy. You can sit on a yoga ball without standing out or worrying about minor mishaps going public. Your workspace can double as a storage area for weights, tension bands, yoga mats, punching bags or any other fitness accessories your family is using. Placing it in a corner behind a treadmill or indoor bike creates a little bit of a privacy wall and gives you plenty of healthy excuses to take a break.

WALL-MOUNTED MONITORS The panoramic views of today’s 27-inch, 32-inch or even larger desktop monitors are dramatic and extremely useful, and your tiny desk doesn’t need to be a barrier to those if

you just treat it like your TV and put it on the wall. This will give you plenty of elbow room around your keyboard and mouse for notes and paperwork, or even dinner (though we do hope you’re not having to eat at your desk — that’s really the whole point of these space savers, keeping your stuff off the kitchen or dining room table).

LAPTOP CARTS

If you’re in the opposite circumstances, with a laptop and not much need for designated floor space, these mobile carts let you work just about anywhere, and with the adjustable-height ones you can stand as well as sit. Already standard-issue in many health-care settings, the lighter-duty versions are a lower-cost alternative to many other space-saver options but may not have much room for anything else, sometimes not even a mouse.

MAKING IT HOMEY AT HOME You can make your small space more pleasant and calming, even if you’re literally working out of a closet. A splash of paint or wallpaper can give it more definition, and shelves, pegs and cabinets make it easier to have those things you need and want close by. Placing your desk close to a window saves on overhead costs by maximizing natural light, EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

as well as making it more appealing to sit there for hours on end. Big corkboards or chalkboards can hold mementoes and notes both above and below the desk’s surface. If you have supplies and paperwork that don’t really fit in what little workspace you have, check out storage solutions you’d use for anything else — under the bed, inside the hollow ottoman, or the garage in a pinch.

VIRTUAL BACKGROUNDS

Once you find that perfect productive space for your new home office, it may still be hard to hide messy rooms or personal items you’d rather not broadcast to all of your colleagues during video conferencing. These backdrops eliminate that aesthetic issue. Now-ubiquitous Zoom has a plethora of backgrounds, from the formal to the cartoonish to the outlandish (as in the moon or Starship Enterprise). They’re also available for Skype, Facebook Messenger Rooms and several other apps.

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THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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Special Section: Home & Garden

6 Tips for Driving Safely during Rainy Days Monsoon season will be here before you know it. Bad driving habits, ones that don’t cause trouble when the road is dry, can be deadly in the rain. Here is a refresher on tips all drivers should be aware of.

1. Don’t drive toward the sides of the road

5. Don’t drive too fast for conditions

Roads are constructed so that they’re highest in the middle to allow water to run off the center hump and drain toward the edges. If you’re driving in the rain you want to avoid standing water, which means that you want to be where the water isn’t - and that’s in the center of the road. While the center won’t be dry either, especially if it’s still raining, it’s going to be the driest place on the road.

Speed limits exist to tell you how safe it is to drive under good conditions. When conditions are bad and roads are wet, you should drive slower than posted speed limits. The worse the conditions, the lower the speed you should drive.

2. Turn on your headlights When it’s raining, headlights can help others see you better. In the gloom of a rainstorm, even a light drizzly one, the lack of sunlight casts a grayish tone over everything and it’s harder to see other objects. Driving with your lights on in these conditions reduces the chance of someone not seeing your car, and hence there is less chance of a collision.

3. Don’t drive if the windshield is so covered with rain that you can’t see You shouldn’t drive if there is too much water on the windshield. It’s easy to miss dangers such as stopped cars or pedestrians in your path when the rain is thick, and your wipers can’t keep up with the deluge. When visibility gets low, pull over as quickly as it’s safe to do so. Stop your car and wait out the torrent until your wipers can clear the water properly.

6. Hydroplaning The worst danger of driving too fast in rain is hydroplaning. Usually your tires can slice their way through the water in front of them and keep in contact with the surface of the road. But when the road is wet and you’re going too fast, your car can actually begin to float on top of the water and the tire tread loses contact with the road surface. When that happens, you can no longer steer or brake. This is what happens when you hydroplane. And you often don’t know that you’re hydroplaning until you hit the brakes and the car goes skidding out of control. If you do start to hydroplane, don’t hit the brakes, because that just makes it worse. Let up on the accelerator so that any remaining traction can slow your speed.

If you would like a quote on your home or auto insurance, give ROX Insurance a call at 800.690.7660.

4. Don’t drive through flooded areas If you see water flowing across the road from one side to the other and don’t know how deep it is, don’t try to drive across it! Every year, hapless drivers figure their cars won’t be harmed by fording a tiny little stream of rainwater and then find themselves swept away. Even if the water isn’t moving, if the bottom isn’t visible you don’t know what is or isn’t underneath it. There could be a large pothole in which your vehicle could get stuck. And never, ever go around a road-closed barrier. Arizona’s stupid motorist law exists because of these situations. 54

CORRID OR LI LIVING V ING • SPECI A L SEC TION GOLDEN CORRIDOR

520.836.7660 roxinsurance.com

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


Trust your car insurance with a company named for those it serves. We’ve been taking care of auto owners since 1916. Why trust your insurance with anyone else?

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The ROX Interview (continued) ...continued from page 37 very familiar about electric vehicles, I got a call from someone who said, “Hey, there’s this hydrogen-electric trucking company up in Utah that may be looking for a site. You should get a hold of them.” I didn’t know where to look. I looked on YouTube and Googled them. Then I saw Trevor Milton standing on the stage with the alpha version of the truck. So, I Googled some more and found a phone number in Florida. Which turned out to be one of their media contacts. She said, “Perfect timing. You need to call this guy who’s the site selector, Tom Stringer, in New York.” I get on the call and on comes this guy with a New York accent and I’ve got my London accent. I tell him, “You need to be on my site. I’ve got the perfect location.” He replies, “Whoa, cowboy. You sound like you’re obviously not from that area. I appreciate your attitude. I appreciate your push to get me down there. I’ve already been down there, and I’ll keep in mind. But let me just deal with what I’m dealing with.” I respected that because there’s a site selection process they go through. I didn’t hear anything and suddenly they announced the west side of metro Phoenix. Out of the blue I get a call from Tom Stringer, “I need your help and we need to execute quickly, and there are timing issues with the area we’ve chosen. I want to be honest with you, there was a concern of ours when we first talked as the Lucid project was down there. Would the Nikola project be hindered by being close to the Lucid project in terms of workforce and competition? We were a little nervous about that. But now a couple years have passed and Lucid’s doing their thing. And we’ve seen the growth in the workforce, the capabilities in Pinal County, the transportation corridors you’re working on, everything you’ve achieved. We see you in the news, and we’ve been keeping it in the forefront of our minds as actually our best option.” The ACA sat down with us and confirmed the need for a rescue package. They’ve got another site in another state, and we need to sort this out in 90 days. I had just booked a vacation with my wife and sons to go to France. So, I said, “Here’s the deal. I’ll get it done in 60 days for you, so that I’m not stressed out in those last 30 days while on

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Jackob, Jamie and sons

vacation with my family — that always seems to happen ...” and it did again. It took 90 days. I spent a lot of vacation-time pacing on the phone. And so, we all rallied, the City of Coolidge and Pinal County and our amazing legal team at Rose Law Group. It wasn’t our first rodeo. We had done this with Lucid. We knew what it would take. We worked with Tim Kanavel and Pinal County in setting up the foreign trade zone. We worked with the college and job training. We worked with the state. And we just all put our arms

around it and made it happen. GC LIVING: Perfect. How is it to work with the County government? JACKOB ANDERSEN: The County supervisors for the last many years have created a strong, solid, cohesive staff that works well with the cities and business. Greg Stanley was a great collaborator and an incredible administrator. He kept his supervisors informed and worked well with his staff. The people he relied on yesterday are now the leaders today. Lou Anderson, Himanshu

continued on page 98... THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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Activities & Parties • Pet Friendly • Shuttle Service • Beautiful Single Level Grounds with Walkways • Friendly Community Atmosphere EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

Se habla español

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Dear Community, So many things have changed over the past month because of COVID-19. For many, some changes have been tough. But in some cases this need to change may have also been overdue and in the end will bring us more long-term advancement, efficiency and connection. This health crisis has caused people to look at everything they are doing and see if there is a new or better way to do it. I think one of the best changes to develop at Sun Life Family Health Center, and health care in general, is that providers are using TeleHealth to meet patient needs. Telehealth is a way for providers to use technology to safely take care of their patients. At Sun Life, we’re using video visits to still see our patients so they don’t have to come to one of our offices. We can, using this technology, provide the same services you’re used to receiving from a normal visit and it’s really simple to use. Once your appointment is scheduled, patients receive an email with a link. At the appointment time, patients log in using the link and follow the onscreen instructions. Your provider will join you and you’ll be able to see each other and talk just like you would in the office. They will order labs, place referrals, and send your prescriptions just like normal. Sometimes, they may recommend that you come in for an in-person visit so they can do an exam or check things like your blood pressure. A staff member will call and help you set this up. So far, my patients have loved being able to use this technology so they can still receive their care. It’s been great to continue taking care of patients while keeping them safe at the same time. If you want to schedule a video visit, please call 520-381-0392 to speak with one of our Video Visit specialists. They’ll guide you through the process and help answer any of your questions. We look forward to continue serving our community with compassion, excellence and innovation. Please visit us at www.slfhc.org to learn more.

Thank you, Jonathan R. Willms, D.O., M.S., F.A.C.O.G., Director of Obstetrics & Gynecology

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GOLDEN CORRID CORRIDOR OR LI LIVVING ING • YOU!

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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Take Your Exercise Outside for Big Benefits by Tiffanie Grady-Gillespie, Certified Physical Trainer, Certified Corporate Wellness Coach, WickedFiTT

Y

es, it is true, this is my favorite time of year. I love the sun! With winter finally over, it’s back to warm weather, plants blooming and the days getting longer. All of this provides the perfect opportunity for all of us to spend more time outdoors, not just to relax, but of course to exercise. Let’s talk about taking our fitness routine outside the gym. Here are some great reasons to work out outdoors. TO LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE: Spending time outdoors is beneficial for our hearts. Simply getting fresh air and soaking up the sun can lower stress, anger and tension, in turn, lowering your blood pressure. A recent study estimated that nearly 10% of people with high blood pressure could get their levels under control if they spent at least 30 minutes in a park each week, partly because of the heart-related benefits of getting fresh air. YOU MIGHT WORK HARDER: When people exercise outside, they tend to spend more time doing it. One study found that older people who were active outdoors did at least 30 minutes more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week than those who only did it inside. It also made them feel healthier. MAKE IT FAMILY TIME: Playing at the park or playground, going for a hike, riding bikes or playing a sport are a few ways to be active with your kiddos. Playing at a park together might not be as good a workout as your favorite HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class, but chasing your kids around and climbing the playground equipment (if it’s still open) can help you build up a good sweat. And make some memories.

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GOLDEN CORRID CORRIDOR OR LI LIVVING ING • YOU!

GO CRAZY, GET CREATIVE: When you go outside, you can be creative. You can go running, and if you come across a bench, you might do some dips or step-ups. See a spot as you are riding your bike, take some time to get off your bike and do some push-ups or sit-ups. Use all the space to your advantage and create some new, original workouts. HELPS WITH INSOMNIA: When you exercise outdoors, you get fresh air, which helps to alleviate insomnia. Regular exercise and fresh air will help you to fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep! INCREASE THOSE VITAMIN D LEVELS: Did you know that vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin?” While you can get this vitamin through supplements, which many people do in the winter months, you can get it naturally from being outside in the sunshine. Here are just a few more reasons in case you are not convinced: • Improve your short-term memory. • Has a de-stressing effect. • Fight depression and anxiety. • Improve your ability to focus. • Increase your creativity. So get out there – nature is waiting for you! Remember, if you have any health issues, talk to your doctor before starting an outdoor fitness program, and ask any questions you have about upping the intensity of your fitness routine or jumping back into fitness if you’ve been inactive for a while. If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact us at www.WickedFiTT.com, email us at wickedfittgym@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


What the Heck is a D.R.I.? by Gigi McWhirter When a dog goes “off course” during a walk and quickly cuts in front of the walker, it is not uncommon for the person to fall and quite possibly get hurt.

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was prompted to write this after seeing a billboard in Phoenix offering trial lawyer services for dog bite wounds. Dog Related Injury (DRI) is an injury caused by a dog. The first thing we think about is bites. Your own dog can and may bite the hand that feeds it if startled or scared. A few years ago, Martha Stewart received nine stitches in her face after she bent down to whisper “adios” to her sleeping dog. Her dog was apparently spooked, jumped up and knocked her on her face, which resulted in lacerations on her face. I have my own story. I was sitting in the loo when my two Scottie dogs decided to join me. They got into a scuffle, and out of fear that one of them would bite my calf, I pulled them apart and one of them bit my hand. Because her rabies vaccine was current (yes, I reported it to Animal Control), she was

GOLDEN CORRID CORRIDOR OR LI LIVVING ING • YOU!

put under “house arrest” for 14 days, rather than impounded, where we could monitor her for signs of rabies. If you want to freak yourself out, go online and look up injuries from retractable leashes. Besides the dog running into traffic because the person on the other end lets the lead run too long or is too busy on their cellphone and doesn’t realize the dog is in a hazardous situation, you will find very scary photographs of humans with leash burns and even stories of amputations – like the story about the woman whose leash was pulled tight when her dog bolted. She noticed a human finger lying close by and was super freaked out when she realized the finger belonged to her! When a dog goes “off course” during a walk and quickly cuts in front of the walker, it is not uncommon for the person to fall and quite possibly get hurt.

Here are some tips on how to avoid a DRI: First, use common sense. Secondly, train your dog early and well. Next, use leashes, collars or leads appropriate for your dog’s size and personality. Take your dog with you to the pet store when choosing. They will allow you to try things on. Remember to always wear good shoes while walking your pet. Learn the right way to use retractable leads. Always hold the leash handle flat in the palm of your hand. Do not wrap it around your wrist or fingers. One wrong pull can result in fractures, torn ligaments and/or tendons. Keep an eye on your surroundings, look for other dogs, cats, anything that might be a distraction to the dog. Stay off the darn phone while you are with your pet. Enjoy the time you have with your dogs. To them, you are everything! Happy Tails to You!

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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PINAL COUNTY PRESS A R IZONA CIT Y • C A SA GR A NDE • CO OLIDGE • ELOY • F LOR ENCE • M A R ICOPA

CONTINUED…

Plans for Maricopa’s Second High School Coming Together

T

he Maricopa Unified School District is moving toward building a scaled-back second high school with state School Facilities Board funding, district leaders announced at the beginning of May. The new campus, scheduled to open in July 2022, will be built at the southeast corner of Farrell and Murphy roads near the eastern edge of town. The MUSD Governing Board approved the purchase of 80 acres from Maricopa 240 LLC on April 22. District Business Director Jacob Harmon said in a district press release the site was selected from several options reviewed because “it is priced the best, it is not impacted by the flood plain and is in an area of our city that is predicted to see substantial growth.” The press release said plans for the second high school call for an initial phase including classrooms, a gymnasium, band and choir facilities and more, which can be expanded to meet future needs. The district is projected to as much as double its current enrollment of 7,600 over the next eight years. MUSD Superintendent Dr. Tracey Lopeman said, “We are stewards of taxpayer money, and

we are committed to building a high school that maximizes every dollar in the first phase while providing an infrastructure set for expansion into future phases.” In November 2018, the facilities board set $22 million aside for construction of a new high school campus and another $3.5 million for purchasing land to reduce crowding at Maricopa High School, which is now about 600 students over capacity at an enrollment of 2,466, the district said. The facilities board approval requires construction of 125,000 square feet with space for up to 1,300 students in grades 9-12, but the funding was intended to cover just a portion of the cost of a comprehensive campus similar to Maricopa High. The rest was expected to come from district funding, but voters rejected a $68 million bond issue to finance that project and maintenance at other campuses by 57% last November. MUSD is now planning a campus composed of four modular career academies or “small learning communities,” which can be expanded as enrollment grows and funding becomes available. Each one of these academies would hold up to 325 students and have

PINAL WORKS..cont. from page 11

business service representative. Staff is available to assist with obtaining local, state and federal COVID-19 resources for businesses and help those looking to hire employees by customizing a plan to link them to qualified candidates. Other links on the site include: • Gov. Doug Ducey’s Arizona Together page at www. arizonatogether.org. • Arizona Commerce Authority at www.azcom-

the website, “The good news is, we have strong companies that are still hiring.” Business owners and representatives can also visit Pinal Works for help with averting layoffs, assisting affected employees and real-time labor market information. They can submit additional questions to employereesources@rescare.com or call 800-409-6153 to speak to a

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an expected teacher ratio of 1 for every 25 students. Design elements will include safety considerations like limited access points and open spaces for ease of student monitoring, as well as flexible classroom space, the press release said. Discussions about focus areas for each of the four academies are in the early stages, but some themes emerging are agriculture, global learning, additional career-technical education options and bringing in a community college partner. Governing Board President AnnaMarie Knorr said, “I am excited for the children in our city. The

additional high school will not only address overcrowding but will arrive with its own identity and focus. It is not meant to be a cookie-cutter replication of Maricopa High School, this is about expanding opportunities. It is important to us that each school continues to develop its own unique culture and programming to meet the diverse needs and interests of all our scholars.” The district said the new campus is “on track” despite the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, with project managers reporting there should be enough construction workers and materials to complete the project.

merce.com/covid-19. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce at www. uschamber.com/co/ small-business-coronavirus. The U.S. Small Business Administration — www.sba.gov/page/ coronavirus-covid19-small-businessguidance-loan-resources.

are eager to bring the region through the health concerns and economic turbulence of the pandemic and watch companies such as Lucid Motors and Nikola Motor Company complete their projects. “We want to regain our momentum by opening several new manufacturing companies, offering hundreds if not thousands of new jobs and building the most vigorous economy in Arizona,” he said.

Smith said county leaders

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


PINAL COUNTY PRESS A R IZONA CIT Y • C A SA GR A NDE • CO OLIDGE • ELOY • F LOR ENCE • M A R ICOPA

CONTINUED…

Nikola Motors Returns $4.1 Million in Federal PPP Funding

N

ikola Motor Company, the commercial electric vehicle manufacturer planning to build a factory in Coolidge, will return a $4.1 million loan it received from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Founder and CEO Trevor Milton had defended the decision to apply for and accept the money because the company was awaiting federal approval of a $3.3 billion merger with publicly traded special acquisition company VectoIQ and had few other ways to raise money to pay employees in the meantime. However, Milton announced in an April 29 tweet he’s now confident the merger will go through in a timely manner. “Second-round merger comments came today & we are confident of timeline. Because we now have clarity on funding timeline, @nikolamotor is excited to repay #PPP so other businesses can survive. I hope others repay when possible too,” he said. The statement also appeared on the official Nikola Twitter account. Media reports about Nikola receiving the loan, despite the multibillion-dollar value attached to its merger and Milton’s purchase of a $32-million estate in Idaho, drew criticism for the company, but Milton said in interviews and statements the company legitimately qualified for the money and wasn’t the reason other, smaller businesses didn’t get any. “Nikola is exactly the kind of company PPP was created for. … We’re one-fifth the size of what SBA calls a small business (in the manufacturing sector). We’re a small company, we’re paying these people, we’re actually hir-

ing people. That’s what it was really made for, to get this market going again,” Milton told CNBC. The PPP program became controversial after companies generally not regarded as “small” were approved for large loans. Some have said they will return the funding, including AutoNation ($77 million) and Shake Shack ($10 million). Restaurant and hospitality businesses with fewer than 500 employees per location were permitted to apply. The SBA began accepting a second round of applications April 27 after the initial $349 million appropriation ran out in less than two weeks, with the larger companies getting much of the blame. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said all PPP loans over $2 million will be reviewed. The loans will be forgiven by

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

the federal government if all the recipients’ employees are kept on the payroll for at least eight weeks and the money goes toward paychecks, rent, mortgage or utilities. Phoenix-based Nikola and New York-based VectoIQ announced the merger agreement in early March, and when approved will create a publicly traded Nikola Corporation. VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. was founded in 2018 for the purpose of buying or merging with transportation startups focused on electrification, autonomous vehicles or several other hightech fields. The merger is intended to speed up production of Nikola’s zero-emission vehicles in Coolidge to 2021. Nikola spokeswoman Nicole Rose said the factory’s groundbreaking

remains on track for the third quarter of 2021, which was less certain before Milton’s recent announcement. In 2019, Nikola purchased 400 acres in the Inland Port Arizona development, just south of Coolidge and east of Eloy, for a production facility projected for completion in 2022 and creation of as many as 2,000 new jobs in Pinal County by 2024. Nikola reports more than $10 billion in lease reservations for its electric and hydrogen fuel-cell powered commercial trucks and semis, and its plans include building a worldwide network of hydrogen stations for those trucks. The company has about 350 employees in Arizona, including some hired with the PPP funding, Milton said in the recent interviews. GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

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Special Section:

Pinal County T Birding Trail

he Pinal County Birding Trail showcases the area’s best sites to find birds and other wildlife. By using this interactive map, the trail allows visitors to set their own itinerary to explore the best the County has to offer. All sites along the trail are public with easy access and parking. Most sites also offer walking and hiking trails as well as other amenities such as restrooms or picnic areas. Whether you’re new to birding or an experienced birder, the Pinal County Birding Trail is the perfect tool to explore the region. The Pinal County Birding Trail was developed in collaboration with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Eastern Pinal County and the surrounding areas are full of green, open spaces, creating a home for a rich diversity of birds and other wildlife. The Pinal County Birding Trail is focused on two of the region’s major highlights: The Lower San Pedro River and the Gila River. These delicate desert rivers offer rare surface water and mature stands of towering cottonwood and willow. As a result these areas are some of the most biodiverse in all of the desert southwest. More than 400 species of birds use these riparian areas throughout the year, whether it’s for breeding, migration corridors, or wintering habitat. No matter what time of year, there’s always great birding in Pinal County!

Black Throated Sparrow

Cactus Wren

House Finch

Western Bluebird 66

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THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


3

7

8 9

Greater Roadrunner

11 10

6 4

2 5

Map #

1 13

18 20 14 12 15

16

17 19

All sites that are included in the Pinal County Birding Trail are public and offer easy access with parking. However, sometimes the boundaries of these sites are not clearly marked and can border private property. Please respect our neighbors when visiting the sites along the Pinal County Birding Trail. Dusky Flycatcher

Great Horned Owlet EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

Site Name

Elevation

Habitat

1

Shores Recreation Site

2000

Riparian, Sonoran Desert

2

Christmas Recreation Site

2105

Riparian, Sonoran Desert

3

Round Mountain Park

3770

Sonoran Desert, Urban Park

4

El Capitan Pass

4802

High Elevation Vista, Oak-Pine Forest

5

Kearny Lake City Park

1939

Wetlands, Sonoran Desert

6

Superior Visitor Center

2849

Sonoran Desert, Urban Park

7

Queen Creek Trailhead

2813

Riparian, Sonoran Desert

8

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

2474

Aboretumn, Gardens, Wetlands

9

Picketpost Trailhead

2400

Sonoran Desert

10

Pinal Peak Campground

7500

Ponderosa Pine-White Fur Forest

11

Oak Flat Campground

3980

Scrub Oak Woodland

12

7B Ranch

2350

Sonoran Desert, Mesquite Bosque, Riparian

13

Winkelman River Park

1930

Riparian, Sonoran Desert

14

Mammoth Ponds

2383

Water Treatment Ponds, Urban

15

Tiger Mine Trailhead

4000

Desert Grassland

16

Oracle State Park

4300

Desert Grassland, Oak-Mesquite Mixed Forest

17

American Flag Trailhead

4422

Desert Grassland, Oak-Mesquite Mixed Forest

18

Aravaipa Canyon

2630

Sonoran Desert, Riparian, Canyons

19

Peppersauce Campground

4700

Oak Woodland

20

Lower San Pedro River Wildlife Area

2148

Sonoran Desert, Riparian, Mesquite Bosque

GOLDEN CORRID OR LI V ING

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Special Section: Pinal County

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THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


PHOTO BY TRACY FULTZ/BLUSHING CACTUS PHOTOGRAPHY

Special Section: Pinal County

A

pache Junction, the gateway to the Superstition Mountains, offers a myriad of attractions within easy reach of Phoenix. Made famous by the legend of the Lost Dutchman Mine, Apache Junction and the Superstition Mountains offer history, outdoor activities and adventure. This is the start of the Apache Trail, with its many attractions. The drive up the trail, alone, is worth the trip for its breath-taking scenery. Stops include Lost Dutchman State Park, a wide array of hiking trails, and Family Camping, Junior Ranger and Junior Buddy programs, along with many special events. Cabins for camping are available. Don’t miss the Superstition Mountain Lost Dutchman Museum, operated by the Superstition Mountain Historical Society. In addition to its comprehensive exhibit galley and

many free lectures and events, the museum has the only two surviving sets from the Apacheland Movie Ranch, the famous Movie Ranch Barn and the Elvis Memorial Chapel, built for the movie Charro (available for weddings and special events), along with the only 20-stamp mill ore crusher in Arizona and a G-scale model railroad exhibit. Just down the road is the Goldfield Ghost Town, a completely reconstructed 1890s gold mining town.

Entrance to the town is free, with fees for a number of the attractions, which include a zip line, a narrow gauge railroad, mine tours, the Historic Goldfield Museum, gold panning and many more, along with free gunfights. Apache Junction offers a number of hotels and several local restaurants: Add in golfing, horseback riding, a stop in nearby Gold Canyon or at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and boating jet skiing, and fishing at Canyon Lake. Plan to stay awhile.

The drive up the trail, alone, is worth the trip for its breath-taking scenery.

Bucket List

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Lost Dutchman State Park

Superstition Mountain Museum

Goldfield Ghost Town

Hiking and mountain biking

The Arizona Renaissance Festival

Canyon Lake

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asa Grande is the largest incorporated city in Pinal County and a major economic engine for the region. Founded in 1879 as a temporary terminus for the Southern Pacific Railroad, it was named Casa Grande in 1880 for the nearby Casa Grande ruins. It’s centrally located between Phoenix and Tucson and growing rapidly. The Museum of Casa Grande offers a detailed look at the area’s heritage with artifacts and exhibits ranging from pre-history to the modern day, with many special programs and events each year. Golf has become a major attraction, with three of the finest courses open to the public, including the Dave

White Municipal and Mission Royale courses. The Francisco Grande Hotel and Golf Resort was built in 1959 as the San Francisco Giants’ spring training facility by owner Horace Stoneham. Its Duke Bar was named for frequent guest John Wayne. The adjoining Grande Sports World has been recognized since 2010 as the best soccer training facility in the country by U.S. Soccer. With eight professional-grade soccer fields and a 58,000-square-foot training facility, it is also the training home of the FC Barcelona residence academy. Volunteers have built 17 miles of new hiking trails. The annual Casa Grande Cowboy Days and O’Odham Tash event is a truly memorable festi-

val and carnival full of Native American arts/crafts, rodeos, and much more. And no one should ever leave town without visiting the one-of-akind Casa Grande Neon Sign Park. You’re sure to leave smiling.

Bucket List •

Grande Sports World

The Museum of Casa Grande

Casa Grande Neon Sign Park

Casa Grande Mountain Park

3 golf courses open to the public

17 miles of hiking trails

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he Pinal County portion of Arizona’s Copper Corridor runs from Superior in the north to Oracle Junction in the south, encompassing some of the most interesting geography in the state - along with a fascinating slice of the state’s history and scenery. Developed by the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition and named for the enormous wealth that has been producead by the mining activity throughout the region, it provides a look at the past, the present, and the future of the Copper State. The mining history and physical linkage to the rest of the state makes it a truly special part of Pinal County. Arizona is the number one producer of copper in the country and, as many different precious metals tend to be found in the same strata, the results here have been astounding. The corridor includes a history of successful mines all the way from Superior in the north to Oracle in the south, with more to come. Here’s a brief look at some of those mining successes. Superior, the northern gateway to the corridor, is about 60 miles east of Sky Harbor Airport, on Highway 60. Their history began in 1875 with the Silver King Mine, Arizona’s richest ever silver mine. The Silver Queen Mine followed in 1881. Among those attracted to the new boomtown were Wyatt Earp, his common-law wife Mattie, and Doc Holiday. When Wyatt and Mattie broke up after the 1882 gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, she returned and is buried in the Pinal Cemetery. The Silver Queen became a major copper mine when

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the silver played out and, as a result, Picket Post Creek became known as Queen Creek, flowing down hill to lend its name to Queen Valley and the town of Queen Creek. The town was named Superior in 1902 after the mine’s owners. Magma Copper took over the mine in 1910 and it became a huge producer. When it ceased production in 1996, the mining operation had processed over 27 million tons of ore, producing approximately 1.3 million tons of copper, over 36,000 tons of zinc, 686,000 ounces of gold, and over 34 million ounces of silver. Further exploration has now found what is purported to be the largest copper deposit in North America, some 7,000 feet below the surface. It’s estimated to include over 1.6 billion tons of ore, and is projected to be a $64 billion project over the next 60 years, providing over 25% of the country’s copper needs for decades. Using modern techniques and a projected $6 billion investment by Resolution Copper (the largest investment in Arizona history), work is under way by to recover it. The Ray mine, a little over 10 miles to the south, has been in production for 140 years. Primarily known as a copper mine, the deposit also includes gold, silver, molybdenum, zinc, and lead. The open pit mine continues to process some 250,000 tons of ore per day, with proven and probable reserves of over 800 million tons. It is projected to produce until at least 2044 and has been directly responsible for the development of the towns of Kearny and Hayden. From Winkelman, at the confluence of the San Pedro and Gila Rivers, to Oracle,

mining is joined by cattle ranching and offers a stunning selection of riparian and wilderness area access points along the San Pedro River Valley for outdoor exploration and activities. Mammoth is another town with a very successful mining history - with a potential for even more in the future. It became a major source of molybdenum during World War I, adding to its gold mining heritage. The nearby ghost town of Copper Creek is known to contain a major copper deposit, including over 500 mineralized breccia pipes of concentrated ore, raising new interest in developing the claims. In the 1980s, the San Manuel mine was rated the largest underground copper mine in the world in terms of production capacity, size of ore body, and infrastructure, later adding an open pit operation, producing almost 800 tons of ore. They had the largest smelter of its type in the world and developed geologic modeling techniques that are still in use by geologists worldwide to locate and estimate the size of ore bodies.

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oolidge is the home of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This was the first prehistoric cultural site to be protected by the United States government when President Benjamin Harrison signed the Executive Order proclamation on June 22, 1892. And what a treasure it is. The four-story building was built by the Hohokam Indians who had settled along the Gila and Salt rivers by about 300 and began irrigating the area. Their Classic Period began in the 1100s when they began developing large communities like this one. The Casa Grande (“Great House”) was completed in about 1350 and abandoned in about 1450. The first modern report of the ruins came from missionary Father Eusebio Kino in November 1694. He’s the one who called it Casa Grande. A steel roof structure was placed over it in 1932 to help protect it from the elements. This is an absolute must-see in Arizona. The Town of Coolidge came later. It was founded in 1925 during the

planning for the construction of the Coolidge Dam, which was completed in 1930 and named for President Calvin Coolidge. The new source of water made this a very productive agricultural area. The City incorporated in 1945 and is now rapidly becoming a dynamic manufacturing center, as well. Home to Central Arizona College,

it has also become a creative center. Plan to take some time to visit the Pinal Geology & Mineral Museum. The displays are truly fascinating. And explore the Artisan Village of Coolidge, the Copper State Heritage Museum, the Glass Studio and the Artisan Village Art Gallery. You’ll be very glad you did.

Plan to take some time to visit the Pinal Geology & Mineral Museum. The displays are truly fascinating.

PHOTO BY TRACY FULTZ/BLUSHING CACTUS PHOTOGRAPHY

Bucket List

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Casa Grande National Monument

Pinal Geology & Mineral Museum

Artisan Village of Coolidge

Copper State Heritage Museum

Glass Studio

Artisan Village Art Gallery

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ext along the Golden Corridor is Eloy, strategically located just south of the junction of I-8 and I-10. Long recognized as an important cotton-growing center, Eloy is now experiencing dramatic industrial growth thanks to, as they say, location, location, location. That’s true throughout Pinal County, and it’s certainly true here. The City was founded in 1902, but how it got its name was a mystery until recently. One favorite story was that a railroad engineer stepped off his train onto a rattlesnake and hollered out “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtini” (My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?), the last words of Christ on the cross, and the name stuck. The truth is much more prosaic. The Southern Pacific train from Yuma arrived in 1902 and construction halted for awhile, causing the place to be called the East Line of Yuma, or Eloy. Your first stop should be the Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum in the Old Toltec Elementary School, operated in conjunction with the Sunland Visitor Center. Learn about history and gather current information at one stop. The Hohokam history exhibit is something special. It’s a short distance to Picacho Peak State Park, site of the farthest west battle of the Civil War. Visit the Robson Ranch Resort Community and Golf Course. Meeting rooms are offered there and also at Desert Rose Bahá’í Institute. Eloy has become a world-recognized sky diving center thanks to SkyDive Arizona, the world’s largest parachuting resort. It has hosted many national and world championships, and the Bent Prop Saloon & Cookery at the airport has become quite the gathering spot.

PHOTO BY TRACY FULTZ BLUSHING CACTUS PHOTOGRAPHY

Bucket List

PHOTO BY TRACY FULTZ BLUSHING CACTUS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Santa Cruz Valley Historic Museum

Sunland Visitor Center

Picacho Peak State Park

SkyDive Arizona

Bent Prop Saloon & Cookery

Robson Ranch Resort Community

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lorence is a living history museum. The sixth oldest non-Native American community in Arizona was founded in 1866. By digging out and using the prehistoric irrigation canals from the nearby Gila River, the newcomers created a successful farming community. The Arizona Territory created Pinal County in 1875, naming Florence its county seat. Silver was discovered nearby that year and the community boomed. It remains the county seat and evidence of its long history is everywhere to be seen, along with many modern amenities. McFarland State Historic Park is home to the Florence Visitor Information Center. It’s housed in the original Pinal County Courthouse. Built in 1878, it’s the oldest courthouse still

standing in Arizona, as well as the state’s largest surviving pre-statehood adobe structure. For a deeper look into history, the Pinal County Historical Museum offers many authentic artifacts featuring antique farm equipment, American Indian exhibits, bullet and barbed wire collections, ranch and cowboy displays, prison collections, furniture, wagons, a trading post display, and the Tom Mix collection. The downtown area is a National Historic District with over 25 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The second courthouse was built in 1891 and, recently restored, is still in use today. Florence is also home to Saint Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, which welcomes visitors. The

Poston Butte Golf Course was named for Charles Poston, regarded as the “Father of Arizona” for his role in convincing Abraham Lincoln to create the Arizona Territory in 1863. His pyramid tomb is located atop Poston Butte. The Windmill Winery doubles as a winery and a wedding and special event venue.

The Arizona Territory created Pinal County in 1875, naming Florence its county seat.

Bucket List

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McFarland State Historic Park

Pinal County Historical Museum

St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery

Historic Downtown Florence

The Windmill Winery

Poston Butte Golf Course

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arana anchors the southern end of the Golden Corridor and makes an excellent base camp for regional exploring. With a myriad of hotels and restaurants, it’s easy to stay here and take the back roads to Saguaro National Park West, Old Tucson and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. With its favorable location on the Santa Cruz River, the area was long home to Native Americans, as evidenced by the recently discovered Las Capas archeological site, the oldest known agricultural irrigation system in the U.S. Marana became a successful farming and cattle ranching community that has grown to become a business and commerce hub, with

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

Marana gastronomy tours

The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain

White Stallion Ranch

Wild Burro Canyon petroglyphs

Tortolita Mountain Park

Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse

easy access to Tucson and the vistas of Pinal County on its doorstep. Many hiking and biking trails offer stunning views and all levels of challenge. Look for the petroglyphs on the Wild Burro Canyon Trail. Or visit the TopGolf Marana complex. Or go shopping at the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall at Marana Center. The White Stallion Ranch has been featured in over 100 classic western movies. The private guest ranch offers tours (for guests only) and has been rated the No. 1 Family Resort by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The nearby Li’l Abner’s Steakhouse has been feeding cowboys and movie cowboys since 1947. The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort offers true 5-star luxury with a 27-hole golf course, 26 miles of hiking trails, its huge pool complex and a luxurious spa. And Marana has now become a center for the farm-to-table and farmto bottle movements. Fodor’sTravel recently featured two Marana gastronomy tour offerings, one culminating at the Ritz-Carlton, the other at the Catalina Brewing Company.

Many hiking and biking trails offer stunning views and all levels of challenge. Look for the petroglyphs on the Wild Burro Canyon Trail. Or visit the TopGolf Marana complex. Or go shopping at the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall at Marana Center.

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In addition to open spaces, it offers ballfields, courts, ramadas, a competition-level disc golf course and a skate park. Maricopa is one of the first municipalities in Arizona to offer an esports arena.

aricopa is a vibrant city in the Gila River Valley south of Phoenix. When Father Eusebio Francisco Kino visited in 1694, he reported finding a Native American farming community. In the 1800s, it became an oasis in the desert, growing up around its wells and watering holes. The Gila and Santa Cruz rivers provided an abundance of water to the area historically, and the peaceful and friendly Native Pima and Maricopa farmers sold supplies to the many migrants traveling through. It was a key relay station along the San Antonio-San Diego Mail line and the Butterfield Overland Mail route, playing an important role in the region because of its reliable water and food resources. An east-west railroad provided optimism, but when a promised connecting line to Phoenix failed to be built, it seemed the area’s time

had passed. Until recently. Maricopa has become one of Arizona’s most progressive and fastest growing cities. The population grew from barely 1,000 in 2000 to 54,000 today; the City offers many unique activities for its residents and visitors in a modern, clean, inviting setting. Sitting in the heart of the City is the 98-acre Copper Sky Recreational Complex, including the Copper Sky Regional Park, Aquatic Center and Multigenerational Center, a 52,000-square-foot recreation center designed for all ages, interests and skill levels. In addition to open spaces, it offers ballfields, courts, ramadas, a competition-level disc golf course and a skate park. Maricopa is one of the first municipalities in Arizona to offer an esports arena. The park hosts more than 80 athletic tournaments yearly in baseball, basketball, disc golf, lacrosse, rugby, football and esports.

Bucket List •

Copper Sky Regional Park

APEX Motor Club

Duke Golf Club at Rancho El Dorado

Arizona Soaring

Skydive Phoenix

Copper Sky Multigenerational Center

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n adventuresome would-be gold-miner was sailing from Boston around South America to California on a ship named Oracle when the ship sailed up the Gulf of California by mistake. He decided he’d had enough sailing and headed overland, making it as far as Tucson, where he joined other miners filing claims on the north side of the Catalina Mountains. When they applied for a post office, they were calling their town American Flag. The Post Office Department said the name was too long for their small town, so they re-named it Oracle. Today Oracle marks the southern end of the Copper Corridor and offers a multitude of attractions and activities for visitors, including many fine restaurants and guest ranches. Oracle State Park is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge providing more than 15 miles of hiking, biking and horseback trails for everything from picnics to serious pack-trips and offering many educational programs. Check out the Arizona Birding Trail

and tour the Historic Kannally Ranch House. Arizona Zipline Adventures offers Southern Arizona’s first and longest eco-zip line tour. Peppersauce Canyon, on the back road to Mount Lemmon, offers picnic and campground sites, offroad trails, hiking and cave exploring. Biosphere 2 is now a University of Arizona Earth-Science research facility. The enclosed ecological system is the largest closed system ever built. TimeLife Books called it “one of the 50 must-see wonders of the world.” The Oracle Historical Society is headquartered in the Acadia Ranch Museum, with mining and ranching exhibits, and has hosted a Smithsonian traveling show. The American Flag Ranch, which includes the oldest existing original territorial post office in Arizona, dates to 1881.

Oracle State Park is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge providing more than 15 miles of hiking, biking and horseback trails for everything from picnics to serious pack-trips and offering many educational programs.

Bucket List

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Oracle State Park

Biosphere II

Arizona Zipline Adventures

Oracle Historical Society

Guest ranches

Peppersauce Canyon; cave tours

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omposed of two cultures, Tohono O’odham (“Desert People”) and Pima Akimal O’odham (“River People”), Ak-Chin is the only Native American community located totally within Pinal County. It takes its name from the O’odham word “ak-chin,” which means “mouth of the wash” or literally, “the place where the wash loses itself in the sand. It became a very successful farming community based on the seasonal water flow from the now generally dry Gila and Santa Cruz rivers. The Spanish and their successors called the people Pima Indians because they answered the newcomers’ questions with the native language phrase abbreviated as “pi mac” meaning “I don’t know.” Harrah’s Ak-Chin is Arizona’s first and only tribal casino with an international management partner — and it offers worldwide benefits through its

Caesars Rewards program. Celebrating its 25th anniversary last year, it recently completed a $180 million expansion. It offers 529 luxurious guest rooms, a spa and fitness center, a pool with swim-up bar, conference facilities, great entertainment and restaurant options, along with slot machines, video poker, video keno, live action poker and blackjack, and the only bingo hall in the entire Caesar’s organization. The UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle offers 12 movie auditoriums, from 300-patron theaters to the 21+ Star Class theaters with in-theater dining and drinks to private theater suites accommodating six to 20 people. Other options include an arcade center, laser tag area, Gamers Cave, bowling alley, pool tables, Golden Tee Golf, soft tip darts, foosball, and the 14-screen Luxe Lounge sports bar with multiple dining options, and the Elements Events Center for family parties and corporate events.

Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino is Arizona’s first and only tribal casino with an international management partner — and it offers worldwide benefits through its Caesars Rewards program.

Bucket List

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Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino

Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle

Ak-Chin Him-Dak Eco-Museum

Masik Tas “Birthday” celebration

Him-Dak celebration

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Florence Restauranteur Relishes Hot Dog Giveaways for Kids by Blake Herzog

Owner Pete Koulouris hands out a free hot dog lunch for a child in the parking lot of Mt. Athos Restaurant and Cafe in Florence.

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ete Koulouris, owner of Mount Athos Greek Restaurant & Cafe in Florence, said he knew he wanted to keep at least a few of his employees on the payroll, somehow, after Arizona’s restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms to help slow the spread of COVID-19. “I figured to keep the people employed, I’m gonna call my (food wholesaler) Sysco rep to see what he could do to get me hot dogs, fries, and mayo, ketchup, mustard and relish packets. So we started a program where we were giving out free hot dogs to kids,” he told Golden Corridor LIVING. Hot dogs have never been on the menu since Mount Athos opened 15 years ago, but Koulouris ended up buying 2,000 all-beef franks, plus the sides and condiments, and

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put some of his staff to work fixing and distributing free lunches to cheer up families trying to navigate the new normal. “So if that’s the only break those kids are getting that are going through a hard time, that their parents or guardian or whoever drives them around and gives them a little hot dog, then God bless it, you know? It’s all about spreading positivity as much as we can,” Koulouris said. He said families are invited to drive up to the parking lot of the restaurant at 444 N. Pinal Parkway Monday through Friday for free lunches, “until we run out of hot dogs and money.” Call 520-868-0735 for more information. The restaurant began handing the lunches to kids and parents through car windows at the end of March, giving out close to 500 hot dogs out to the community. After Gov. Doug Ducey added more business closures to his prior stayat-home order on April 3, Koulouris sought advice from Town of Florence officials and decided to pause the program in consideration of social-distancing requirements. By May 1, some donations had come in from the community to extend the hot dog program, and regulations had eased to the point he felt comfortable restarting it. “(The children) are always very grateful, roll down their windows and say thank you with a big smile on their face. That’s the most important thing,” he said. He said he also sometimes picks up clues that the families inside the car are worried or suffering. “Some of the cars that go by, just the moms wanting to get out of the house with one of her kids. You have other cars that

come by, these guys seem … you can kind of get a hint of something that they’re going through a hard time,” he said. A few people pick up the hot dogs without their kids in the car to take home to them, and on a few occasions he’s given them to grownups, too. “I like to get a feel for it and kind of pick it out. Most people, they don’t want one, they want to leave it for the kids. But if someone’s hungry, I’m not going to let them go hungry. That’s not what I went into the restaurant business for,” Koulouris said. Mount Athos also reopened May 11 for dine-in service from the regular menu, which includes gyros, burgers, salads and more Greek, Italian and American favorites. The restaurant’s menu is available at www.mountathoscafe.com.

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ith a deep-rooted history of farming and agriculture, Queen Creek offers small town charm with modern amenities, featuring a number of unique “agritainment” destination venues. Family-owned and operated, the Queen Creek Olive Mill is Arizona’s only working olive farm. Over 7,000 olive trees are grown sustainably, and olives are pressed to produce high-quality extra virgin olive oil. The mill offers hourly classes, daily tours and an expansive retail store, along with a Tuscan-inspired eatery. The nearby Schnepf Farms is another family-owned working farm that offers tours, amusement rides, a U-Pick organic garden with a wide array of fruits and vegetables and a farm-fresh bakery, along with a full schedule of

seasonal festivals, concerts and special events. And it’s available for weddings and special events. Hayden Flour Mills at Sossaman Farms is yet another family-owned operation. Owners are dedicated to providing stone-ground artisan always fresh, never bleached or enriched flours from ancient heritage grains, using sustainable methods from seed to table. Wheat has been growing here for over 100 years. Tours, classes, celebrations and special dinners are available. Queen Creek Town Center offers a wide variety of shopping and dining options with an array of unique eateries and traditional restaurants. Stroll down Ellsworth Road and relax at Picket Post Square in the heart of the community. Walk, bike or ride horses along the expansive trail system running along

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Queen Creek and Sonoqui Wash. The 48-acre Mansel Carter Oasis Park offers an inclusive playground, ship-wreck-themed splash pad, 5-acre community fishing lake, and sports courts and fields. The Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Center features equestrian events, car show and more.

Bucket List •

Queen Creek Olive Mill

Schnepf Farms

Hayden Flour Mill at Sossaman Farms

Mansel Carter Oasis Park

Queen Creek Town Center

Picket Post Square

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djoining Queen Creek is the unincorporated community of San Tan Valley. There’s evidence of agriculture during the classic Hohokam era from 1100 to 1450 A.D. There was little activity in the modern era pre-millennium other than occasional prospecting (more than 50 claims are still in place) and cattle grazing. A stagecoach trail ran through the area. It formally took the name San Tan Valley from the nearby San Tan Mountains in 2009. With an estimated 95,000 residents, it is now the newest and largest named community in Pinal County, spreading from the San Tan Mountains into the surrounding desert. A major area attraction for visi-

tors and residents alike is the San Tan Mountain Regional Park. It was designed in 1986 to preserve open spaces and provide an escape from the fast-paced life of nearby Phoenix. The visitor center was added in 2005. It provides over 8 miles of easy to strenuous multiuse trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, ranging from 1 to more than 5 miles. Look for petroglyphs and native Sonoran plant and animal life from javelinas and coyotes to Gila monsters. Numerous events are held at the park, including stargazing programs, with the park providing the telescopes. The golfer has multiple options in San Tan Valley. The Links at Queen Creek Golf Course is a par 70 championship course with multiple tee boxes

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

catering to all playing levels. It features five lakes and two running streams and offers daily rates, rental clubs and the Ironwood Grill with a terrace overlooking the course. The Golf Club at Johnson Ranch is a quality, value oriented daily-fee club, with two very different nines. The Mountain nine offers elevated tees and stunning views while the Valley nine offers generous fairways and longer holes. The Terrace Restaurant is available for weddings, special events and corporate outings. The Encanterra Country Club features a par 72 Tom Lehman-designed core-style course with panoramic views of the Superstition and San Tan mountains. The layout makes it easier to walk than many courses.

The golfer has multiple options in San Tan Valley. The Links at Queen Creek Golf Course is a par 70 championship course with multiple tee boxes catering to all playing levels.

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Special Section: Pinal County

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Special Section: Pinal County

Bucket List

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uperior sits at the crossroads of Arizona’s history. In the early 1870s, legend has it that 75 Apache Indians (probably actually Yavapai Indians, who were then called Mohave-Apaches) leaped off of Picket Post Butte rather than surrender to the U.S. cavalry. The cliff has been known as Apache Leap ever since and the small, shiny pieces of obsidian found in the area are called Apache Tears. The town, at the western edge of the Pinal Mountains, was once called the “Mayberry of the Southwest” by Sunset Magazine because of the friendliness and “niceness” of its people. It has an astonishing mining history

as reflected in its position as a gateway to the Copper Corridor and much for the visitor to see and do. It’s an ideal place to create your own adventure with its multitude of hiking trails and outdoor activities. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum, founded in 1924 by Magma Copper’s first president, is the oldest and largest botanical garden in Arizona, with over 6,000 plant species, and a sanctuary for over 150 species of birds and wildlife in a 323-acre setting with multiple trails. It’s on Highway 60, along Queen Creek. The Bob Jones Museum houses the Superior Historical Society in the home of Arizona’s sixth governor. The Historic Magma Hotel, a frequent

EARLY SUMMER 2020 • THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Bob Jones Museum

The Caboose Park & Superior History Trail

The Magma Hotel Complex

The Pinal Cemetery

Legends of Superior Trails

movie location built in 1912 and fully restored to boutique elegance in 2019, offers rooms and tours. A must-see in Superior is the Highway 60 Caboose Park and Superior History Trail, featuring the Ore Cart Trail exhibit, play areas, a dog park, mining equipment displays and the Red Caboose Visitor Center.

It’s an ideal place to create your own adventure…

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Casa Grande Public Library

Casa Grande Library Has Free Resources For Kids Online

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ooking for fun and free educational opportunities for your kids online? Look no further than the Casa Grande Public Library website at www.cglibrary.org. With a library card, kids have access to a wealth of student resources located under the research tab of our library homepage. Here kids can learn about everything under the sun with free access to Britannica Library. Kids can explore biographies, atlases, the animal kingdom, and educational videos guaranteeing them a win at your next family trivia night. Younger library users will also find a winner with our Kids Infobits database. This database features age-appropriate, reliable, curriculum-related content covering a broad range of educational topics kids will love. If you’re looking for help with K-12 math, science, English, Spanish, social studies, or the SAT check out www.tutor. com. Tutor.com connects library users with a real tutor online who can help with everything from reviewing papers and career help, to resume reviews and test prep help. It’s a one-stop shop for advancing your kids’ education from the comfort of your own home. Thinking of teaching your kids another language, but can’t invest in expensive software? Give Duolingo a spin for a chance to learn Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian. Don’t stop there; after exploring Duolingo check out our expansive supply of free ebooks and audiobooks with Libby. Download the Libby app and read digitally with your kids today. These online educational resources are just the tip of the iceberg. Explore what your library offers online today at www. cglibrary.org.

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www.tutor.com www.cglibrary.org THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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The ROX Interview (continued)

Jackob, his father Jens, and brothers Jesper and James

...continued from page 56 Patel, Leo Lew, Tim Kanavel — it shows they are cohesive. There’s no infighting. They just get on and get the job done. They are a delight to work with. They get things fasttracked quicker than other places in Arizona. They are pro-development. They’re tough and strict with the rules, do things by the book, but they get it done. GC LIVING: What other projects are you involved in? I’ve seen solar, fiber optic and data distribution, not to mention alfalfa farming! (laughs) JACKOB ANDERSEN: We had seen solar deals in the past, but they seemed to have gone away. And then suddenly out of the blue, you start getting calls about solar and the need for solar. We were trying to look at all this land. We basically took the Mesa water farm and we land-planned two bookends. The first was about 2,800 homes off Eleven Mile Corner. The other the industrial park to create jobs. In between we land-planned

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the highest and best use for the future of the area. What’s still industrial? What’s still residential? We spent about two years interviewing 50 or 60 different solar companies, individuals, brokers, land guys, trying to meander through who was who. None of them could give us a straight answer until we met some of the bigger groups such as NextEra and S-Power. Both groups we ended up doing deals with. An added bonus to what we’ve created today is solar is not a forever use for the land, the land will come back to be developed in 25-30 years. In the meantime, the land has a use. There’s way less water being used and, of course, it’s green energy. Our County supervisors like to say, they want to be the greenest county in the USA. And as we were working through solar and doing the developments with Nikola and Lucid, fiber suddenly becomes a question. In Pinal around our land, we have an abundance of major infrastructure that

crisscrosses in our area. We have a 640-acre corner piece at Selma and Highway 87, next to Inland Port Arizona which is a great location for a data center. The advantage with us is we can offer a 640-acre piece where they could create 50 megawatts of power to potentially sell back into the grid or serve themselves on 50% of the land and use the other 50% to build a mega data center. GC LIVING: Earlier this year a new foundation was announced. Tell us about it. JACKOB ANDERSEN: Joe and I had talked about what can we do in the future to give back in Pinal County following further sales and successes that come. That was the extent of my conversation with Joe. In the background, he wanted to surprise me with a foundation. He worked with Jordan Rose at Rose Law Group to set it up. She announced it in February at the Pinal Partnership breakfast, then COVID-19 hit a couple of weeks later, so we’re still in the process of setting it up. 

THE PINAL COUNTY EDITION • EARLY SUMMER 2020


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Profile for ROX Media Group

Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine  

Early Summer 2020

Golden Corridor LIVING Magazine  

Early Summer 2020

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