DC Ranch News - April 2015

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Ranch News

A publication of the DC Ranch Communit y Council

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The Homestead Ranch DC Ranch Playhouse Association sparks Film Club imagination Boardwith Candidate showcases ASU spring production Forum students’ films

D C R a n c h . c o m | V o l . 7 N o . 4 | A p r i l 2 015


Wildlife abounds in preserve; what to look for, what to avoid


Garden coach shares 3 keys to a perfect compost

Mars Rover landing at DC Ranch ASU Mission to Mars scientist to present at Spotlight Speakers Series


Gorgeous DC Ranch Camelot Villa Offered at $869,000

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Ranch News | April 2015

It never rains in sunny Arizona Mission:

April showers bring May flowers. Thankfully this is not true in Arizona, as April hosts one of DC Ranch’s most popular outdoor events—Eggstravaganza. This year’s theme, Dr. Suess, is sure to bring surprises and fun for both the young and the young at heart. I’m sure there will be a full cast of characters to meet. Do you suppose they will have green eggs and ham?

Ranch News is a not-for-profit newspaper published monthly by the DC Ranch Community Council to share timely and relevant information with residents. The publications seeks to build community by connecting neighbors through stories and pictures and to offer a product valuable to advertisers. Ranch News celebrates and perpetuates the values of the DC Ranch community.

The DC Ranch Community Council facilitates a connected and welcoming community that instills pride and

Other outdoor activities on the Ranch include a Starlight Concert on April 10 and the TGIF kickball tournament on April 17.

a sense of belonging in

This month’s cover story “Postcards from Mars” showcases Dr. Jim Bell, professor at ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration. As featured speaker at the next Spotlight Speakers Series on April 15, he is one of the scientists involved with the Mars rovers and is gearing up for a new mission. His presentation will be fascinating and educational.

programs and operates

480.585.1641 communications.team@dcranchinc.com dcranch.com

If you prefer something more down to earth (no pun intended), celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Challenge your family to adopt a new green practice this month that may help the environment. Find ways to conserve water, use less electricity or repurpose an object instead of throwing it away.

events, publishes Ranch

A division of Republic Media, 200 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

Regardless of how you decide to spend your time in April, enjoy that it will not be under an umbrella!

Community Engagement Director Jona Davis Senior Communications Manager Jeremy Stevens Communications Coordinators Elizabeth Dankert Terri Raimondi Beatrice Shelton

each DC Ranch resident. The Community Council Desert Camp Community Center and The Homestead Community Center, hosts a variety of community News and provides the community website.

General Manager Cami Kaiser

Christine Irish

Creative Development Director Isaac Moya

Community Council Executive Director

Editor Jim Williams

DC Ranch: Community values

Senior Managing Art Director Tracey Phalen Editorial Coordinator Nick Kostenko

Advertising Regina Key, 602.444.6865 rkey@republicmedia.com

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP We value the beauty of our Sonoran Desert surroundings and are committed to sound, long-term stewardship of the

natural environment. We will continue to be sensitive to the natural landscape, maintain the ecological integrity of the area and respect the adjacent Preserve lands.




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April 2015 | Ranch News




he path and trail system within DC Ranch is one of our crown jewels, and the Ranch Association wants to keep these areas as pristine and peaceful as possible. That’s one reason the Association recently adopted a formal policy prohibiting the operation of motorbikes, mopeds, ATVs and all other types of motorized vehicles on any path or trail in our community. In addition to the obvious safety issues associated with the operation of motorized

operation of motorized vehicles is limited to other, non-recreational areas of DC Ranch. The Ranch Association’s policy mirrors a long-standing City of Scottsdale ordinance governing public trails. Certain types of motorized vehicles may be operated on private roadways within DC Ranch subject to restrictions. Motorcycles, motorbikes, mopeds, ATVs, golf carts and other gas- or electricpowered vehicles that are properly registered and operated by licensed drivers fall within the approved category. So do electric-powered scooters and skateboards

Keeping paths and trails free of motorized vehicles vehicles on trails that were principally designed for hikers, dog walkers and other pedestrians, these vehicles would also pose a risk to the environment. Gas-powered motorbikes, for example, would create noise pollution, spoiling the peace and quiet that residents have come to expect when enjoying a walk or run in the Sonoran Desert. Dust concerns and potential damage to the trail system are additional reasons that the

operated in daylight hours by children 14 or older who wear helmets and ride only on residential streets with a posted speed limit of 15 MPH. For riders under 14, these motorized play vehicles must be operated under the direct supervision of a responsible adult.

Important dates to remember!

Water audit helps to dry up costs

Ranch Association Board of Directors Election Monday, April 6 | 6 p.m. The Homestead Community Center Modification Committee Tuesday, April 14 and 28 | 4 to 5:30 p.m. Ranch Offices on Market Street

To obtain a complete version of the policy, please visit DCRanch.com or contact The Ranch Offices on Market Street at 480.513.1500.

Environmental stewardship is an integral part of DC Ranch. Preservation and conservation are fundamental in development and management of the 4,400 acre community. Improving the water efficiency of the several thousand valves that irrigate the common areas, parks and play-grounds can add up to substantial savings. The Ranch Association board recently commissioned a water audit to determine the reliability of the current system and any necessary upgrades to improve performance.

Safety and Security Subcommittee Wednesday, April 8 and Mondays, April 13, 20 and 27 | 4 to 5:30 p.m. Ranch Offices on Market Street

Initial data indicates the need to improve communication between the controller boxes and the main computer system and the need for reliable weather data. Management plans to refurbish a weather station previously used by the Country Club golf course, as the first step to address water audit improvements. Additional costs to increase watering efficiency will be presented to the board for approval in the coming months.

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Ranch News | April 2015

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April 2015 | Ranch News


The Homestead Playhouse presents Sing Your Own Adventure

Monthly Planner The following is a list of events and activities at DC Ranch in April. Some activities and events may have admission. Please see DCRanch.com for more information and an up-to-date calendar of activities. ADULT SOCIAL CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES Mahjong Mondays | 12:30 to 4 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178 Duplicate Bridge Tuesdays | 1 to 4 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center Please call Gerrie Hinson at 480.585.4699 to RSVP

Thursday, April 30, to Saturday, May 2 | 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3 | 3 p.m. The Homestead Community Center

DC Ranch Film Club ASU Student Film Screening Monday, April 13 | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.342.7178 FITNESS ACTIVITIES Pickleball Open Play Tues and Thur | 3 to 5 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.538.3585

Zumba Tues and Thur | 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.342.7178 Shallow Water Exercise Mon and Wed | 4 to 5 p.m. Wed and Sat | 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Desert Camp Community Center Pool 480.342.7178 CHILD, YOUTH AND TEEN ACTIVITIES

Yoga Tues and Thur | 9 to 10 a.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178

Storytime Thursdays | 9 to 10 a.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.585.1641 ‘Dr. Seuss’ Eggstravaganza

Social Bridge Wednesdays | 12:30 to 4 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178

Saturday, April 4 | 9 a.m. to Noon Desert Camp Community Center “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.� Celebrate the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss as children of all ages enjoy a traditional egg hunt and festive springtime activities. Don’t forget your baskets! Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and ages three and under are free. Limit 6 tickets per family. Purchase tickets on DCRanch.com

DC Ranch Women’s Club Trip to Taliesan West and lunch Wednesday, April 8 | 9 a.m. 480.342.7178


Creative minds run free during The Homestead Playhouse youth theatre’s spring production. This musical—written by cast members— showcases individual expression, character creations, and imaginary locations. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children. Purchase tickets on DCRanch.com.

TGIF: Little Wranglers Christopher the Magician Friday, April 17 | 6 to 8:30 p.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178 TGIF: Tweens Dodgeball Tournament Friday, April 17 | 6 to 9 p.m. The Homestead Community Center 480.342.7178 COMMUNITY EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES Trailblazer Breakfast Thursdays | 8 to 10 a.m. Desert Camp Community Center 480.342.7178 *New residents invited to a special breakfast presentation April 9



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Postcards from Mars: Using Rovers to Search for Evidence of Life on the Red Planet Renowned ASU professor to share Martian findings and plans for future exploration at Spotlight Speaker Series 8

Ranch News | April 2015

On April 15, DC Ranch welcomes Arizona State University professor and astronomer Dr. Jim Bell to deliver a presentation on the Mars rover exploration, as part of the Community Council’s Spotlight Speaker Series. The talk is presented in partnership with ASU Foundation's Presidential Engagement Programs and School of Earth and Space Exploration, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Professor Bell is the president of The Planetary Society and has been selected to head an international team that will design and oversee the color cameras for NASA’s Mars mission scheduled to launch in 2020. “The new rover will explore a place on Mars that has signs of water and past habitability,” said Bell. “It will collect samples to be sent back to Earth by storing them and providing



with Dr. Bell

What has been the most vital information received from the rovers currently on Mars? That early in its history Mars was a habitable planet that was much more like the Earth, that it had water on its surface, and that its atmosphere must have been thicker and the temperatures higher. How did you become interested in space, more specifically, Mars? When I was a kid there were guys driving cars on the moon, and that was just really cool to me. I have always been interested in the space program. I got a telescope when I was a teenager and eventually became an amateur astronomer. I also had some great mentors, teachers and advisers who helped guide me along the way. them for a transfer to a future robotic mission, or maybe even a human mission.” During the presentation, Dr. Bell will share the latest stories, photos, and scientific results from Mars, and will discuss plans for future exploration on the Red Planet. In the past decade, NASA has successfully landed three rovers on Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity, in some of the most ambitious missions of robotic exploration ever attempted. Dr. Bell is one of the leading scientists in charge of the color camera systems on these rovers. Since 2004, he has had an amazing front row seat for the photographic and geologic adventures of these sophisticated exploring robots. “Just knowing there was at least one other habitable environment in our solar system is really interesting,” said Bell. “Perhaps life formed there, or was developed there, or might still be there.”

Dr. Bell will discuss the major scientific findings made by Spirit for its six-year adventure, by Opportunity during its more than 11-year mission, and by Curiosity during its first two years of exploration on Mars. His current research focuses mostly on the geology and mineralogy of Mars. Dr. Bell is also interested in studying the surfaces of the Moon, planetary satellites like Europa, outer solar system asteroids, and comets. The presentation is Wednesday, April 15, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at The Homestead Community Center. Spotlight Speaker Series presentations are complimentary for residents.

Spotlight Speakers Series welcomes Dr. Jim Bell Postcards from Mars Wednesday, April 15 | 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Homestead Community Center Adults and teenagers interested in science and space are encouraged to attend this exciting presentation. Complimentary snacks, soda, and wine and beer are provided beginning at 6 p.m. Program begins at 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP on DCRanch.com.

More speakers on the horizon The 2015-2016 series of speaking engagements is currently in development and focuses on medical breakthroughs, arts & culture, and local history beginning October 2015. Be sure to visit DCRanch.com in the coming months for a full announcement of speakers.

Can you give us an overview of ASU’s involvement in the Mission to Mars program? Much of it has been here at Tempe campus, primarily with researchers in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. We’re involved with every major mission in the Mission to Mars program.

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Travel “turned up” a notch with K2 Adventure


new merchant on Market Street at DC Ranch defines what it means to connect and travel like never before seen. Ranch News spoke with co-owner and co-founder Kristen Salcito Sandquist to learn more.

meet. In addition, our non-profit, K2 Adventures Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) which works locally and internationally to provide services and support to individuals with disabilities. We provide adaptive equipment, resources, and camp opportunities so that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

Q: What makes K2 Adventure Travel so unique? A: All of our trips offer individuals an opportunity to visit incredible destinations and serve the communities in which they travel. That can include supplying food to villagers in Africa or playing with children at one of our orphanages in Nepal, Peru, or Tanzania.

Q: How experienced of a traveler must a person be to go on one of your trips? A: We work with individuals of all abilities and offer training hikes on a weekly basis. Our climbs range from non-technical to technical. Destinations include a trek into Machu Picchu, a hike up to Mt. Everest Base Camp in Nepal, a climb on Mt. Kilimanjaro or a safari in Tanzania. For the most advanced traveler, we offer a climb up 22,000-foot Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina.

Q: You call this unique concept ‘Voluntourism’— what is the philosophy? A: K2 travelers make a connection with locals and are able to make a difference in someone else’s life. Often, our travelers set out on a journey to climb or hike, but their greatest memories come from working with the locals they

Q: What has been the response from your travelers? A: Many of our trips are on a “bucket list” and we are able to help traveler’s reach their personal goal. By adding the aspect of community service in the

destination, our travelers meet locals and are able to make a difference in someone else’s life. The combination of both community service and travel experiences are life-changing. Q: Arizona is such a beautiful place to live. What are some fun mini trips people can take right at home? A: K2 Adventure Travel offers free weekly hikes at various trailheads through-out the valley. In the spring, we climb Mt. Humphrey’s in Flagstaff. Mt. Humphrey’s stands at 12,800 feet and provides great altitude training. In the fall, we hike rim to rim in the Grand Canyon and also offer a Grand Canyon white water rafting trip. Q: How can someone learn more about your trips? A: Visit K2AdventureTravel.com and read about the various destinations. Then feel free to contact Kevin or Kristen at 480.797.2950 to set up a meeting.

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Thank You!  The 11th annual Run for Ryan House at DC Ranch on March 7 raised money for children and families served by Ryan House.


Food Truck Night  DC Ranch families enjoyed Food Truck Night out at Desert Camp Community Center, for an evening of tasty eats from Aoli Burger.



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April 2015 | Ranch News


Spring production written and performed by cast



OW FUN WOULD IT BE TO STAR IN YOUR VERY OWN ADVENTURE? Actors at The Homestead Playhouse are currently writing a one-of-a-kind musical for the spring production called Sing Your Own Adventure!

Children are natural storytellers with limitless imaginations. And when they are involved and invested in the creation of a show, they take the process of art-making more seriously. The actors actually become the playwright and learn to appreciate the hard work that goes into writing a production. The cast is directed by three local actors: Jamie Sandomire, Colin Ross, and Jennifer Gantwerker.

Sing Your Own Adventure! cast rehearses scenes and original music at The Homestead Community Center.

The directors are seasoned performers who have worked with multiple Arizona theatre companies including: Childsplay, Scottsdale Community Players, and The Palms Theatre. They bring a vast amount of knowledge, quick wit and energy to the Playhouse.

Sing Your Own Adventure! Thursday, April 30 to Saturday, May 2 | 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3 | 3 p.m. The Homestead Community Center

Sing Your Own Adventure! features superheroes, villains andother characters of all shapes and sizes. The young cast helped select all the songs that will be sung during the play—some of which are from popular music heard on the radio along wtih a few from musicals and movies. The Homestead Playhouse empowers kids to embrace their creativity and become confident on stage. Put on your imaginary hats and join the journey of make believe. Tickets for the show go on sale April 1 on DCRanch.com.


The end of the school year will be here soon, and DC Ranch offers an assortment of summer camps for kids. Workshops for Youth and Families (WYF) is an award-winning community partner that hosts a series of week-long day camps for kids of all ages at The Homestead Community Center. Workshop offers a safe, playful, and educational environment where preteens and teens gain knowledge and tools to strengthen their self-expression and self-awareness. Learn more about WYF camps and register at Workshopsaz.org. • The Community Council hosts a variety of other summer camps for children including theatre and multi-sports programs. Learn more on DCRanch.com or look for upcoming May issue of Ranch News for a complete guide to summer camps in DC Ranch.

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Ranch News | April 2015

Relay for Life of north Scottsdale Saturday, April 11 | 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Desert Canyon Middle School Relay for Life is a community event where participants come together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost, and do their part to finish the fight against this terrible disease. The North Scottsdale community will unite on Saturday, April 11, at Desert Canyon Middle School and will continue throughout the day with activities, entertainment, and ceremonies to honor loved ones lost to cancer and survivors. Register today at relayforlife.org/nscottsdaleaz.

DC Ranch Film Club to showcase ASU students’ films BY BRANDON CURTIS | RECREATION MANAGER


ince developing the DC Ranch Film Club three yearsago, the Community Council has hosted private screenings of feature films and documentaries. This year the Film Club is providing young filmmakers a forum to showcase their efforts to film enthusiasts throughout the community. The DC Ranch Film Club and the Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture at Arizona State University are excited to team up for the first ever DC Ranch Student Film Showcase. “This unique opportunity for students to show and discuss their films provides them valuable experience as they continue their development in film making,” said ASU Center's Director Peter Lehman. Current ASU students and recent alumni were invited to submit short films for selection and viewing. Student filmmakers will be on hand to comment on their films and answer questions immediately following the screening. The curated pieces will include a wide selection of films, including early class assignments to complete films that have already been accepted to festivals.

“The presentations will illustrate the journey of hands-on learning that ASU students receive while working towards their film degree and hopefully moving on to a career in the industry,” said Cat Hartmann, faculty affiliate at the ASU Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture. Focus, one of the short films to be showcased, was the capstone project for Matt Chesin during his senior year which involved a large group of student filmmakers. Focus has been accepted into several film festivals and received recognition for best narrative short and screenplay. Chesin, along with several other cast and crew, will discuss his experiences during and after filming this production. “This showcase represents another great cultural partnership with DC Ranch,” said Lehman. ASU Student Film Showcase Presented by DC Ranch Film Club Monday, April 13 | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Homestead Community Center Advanced registration required on DCRanch.com


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April 2015 | Ranch News


The DC Ranch Community Garden is devoted to sustainable organic practices.



1. Start with a container Purchase a bucket or container to hold the ingredients together, so the beneficial bacteria can work effectively. Compost bins come in two types: stationary and rotating. Both must have their contents turned periodically to provide oxygen and combine the decaying materials. Select a container based on how much plant matter (grass, leaves, weeds, stalks and stems from last year’s garden) you have at your disposal, how large your yard is, and how quickly you need to use the finished product. 2. Get the ingredient mix right A low-maintenance pile has a combination of brown and green plant matter, plus some moisture to keep good bacteria processing.

Shredded newspaper, wood chips and dry leaves are ideal for the brown elements; kitchen waste and grass clippings are perfect for the green add-ins. Skip meat, fish and dairy for outdoor bins because they tend to attract pests.

Three essential elements for perfect compost Soil building is essential for a healthy garden. And the good news—it’s extremely easy. Unlike weeding or double-digging, which take lots of time and physical effort, a compost pile pretty much takes care of itself.

3. Remember the upkeep Taking care of a compost pile is simple, and just a few steps make a huge difference. Add material regularly to give the bacteria fresh food to consume and enough insulation to keep the process warm. Turn the pile with a pitchfork or compost aerator every week or two to make sure that all of the materials are blended in and working together. After mixing, grab a handful of material to see if it’s slightly damp. Too little moisture will slow the decomposition process and too much will leave you with unusable material. In a few months, the finished product should be a dark, crumbly soil that smells like fresh earth.

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