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April 6 – 19, 2013

Real estate rebounding

SanTan Sun area giving way to stiff competition by Miriam Van Scott

“Sizzling” might be the word for the SanTan Sun area’s housing market, as Chandler and Gilbert are among the hottest sales activity spots in the metro Phoenix region. Local real estate agents are seeing an increase in asking prices, a decrease in average days on the market and a surge in demand for area homes. “The East Valley market has seen the price for square feet jump from $114 to $122 in the last six months,” reports Keller Williams agent Carol Royse, rated the No. 29 Realtor in the nation by the Wall Street Journal. “There have also been instances of multiple offers on properties in price ranges from $250,000 to $750,000.” This upward trend is expected to continue through the busy summer buying season, although perhaps at a somewhat slower pace. “The outlook for the next several months is more of the same, but likely with a moderation in the rate of price increases,” says Mark Stapp of Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. “Gains will

WANTS PARK: Old Stone Ranch resident Stephanie Jarnagan and husband Tim with Kayden, 9, Connor, 6 and Kendall, 2. Jarnagan grew up in a neighborhood with a city park next to the school. She wants the same for her children. STSN photo by Ron Lang

Promised parks priority for Council, community By Tracy House

see Real estate page 6

ON THE BLOCK: This home, for sale in Cooper Commons, is part of a stronger housing market in the SanTan Sun area. STSN photo by Ron Lang

ABLOOM: Wildflowers are blooming around the SanTan Sun area, and colors abound at Veterans Oasis Park at 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd. at Lindsay. STSN photo by Ron Lang

Parkland near Old Stone Ranch at Ocotillo and Gilbert roads should be grass covered, with playground equipment and picnic tables, but all that stands is a fenced-in dirt lot. “Citrus Vista is the vacant land adjacent to Ryan Elementary School,” says Stephanie Jarnagan, an Old Stone Ranch resident since July 2012. “It’s been fenced off since the development started.” The school campus and park are the centerpiece of the Old Stone Ranch community, which is already built out. Still, the park is unfinished. “During the downturn, I understood there’s no money,” Jarnagan explains. But now that the economy seems to be bouncing back, Jarnagan is questioning when Citrus Vista Park will be completed.

see Parks page 8

Survivor, Jewish group keep Holocaust lessons alive by K. M. Lang

Otto Schimmel will never forget the Holocaust, the man-made catastrophe that deprived him of homeland, youth, parents, brother, sister, grandmother – his entire world. The Hungary native will turn 86 this month – one week after Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 7 – and though he’s been a Valley resident for 40 years and an American citizen since 1953, it’s it’s clear when speaking to him that the tragedy of his youth is still fresh in his memory. He says he still struggles to comprehend the purpose of such unspeakable suffering. “My question to God is why?” he says. “Why was this allowed?” Schimmel’s query – one echoed

by the loved ones of an estimated 11 million Holocaust victims, including ethnic, religious, sexual and political minorities – remains unanswered. Schimmel, however, sees the disaster as a direct consequence of unchecked bigotry and hatred, including the antiSemitism he experienced growing up in Budapest. Along with religious prejudices, he recalls the hostility of dissatisfied neighbors who viewed all Jews as millionaires and movie-industry moguls. “Envy is poison,” he says simply. Schimmel was a young leather goods apprentice when he was sent to his first concentration camp at the age of 17, and he spent nearly a year and a half in the notorious

Auschwitz and Dachau camps, along with a third, smaller camp. He was liberated on May 5, 1945, when he was 18 years old, and arrived in the U.S. in 1948. His wife, Betty, who passed away in 2011, was also a Holocaust survivor, and Schimmel recalls her terrible dreams, when he would wake to find her weeping beside him, reliving the real-life nightmare of her youth. Preventing such nightmares for future generations is the goal behind Chandler’s planned Center for Holocaust Education & Human Dignity, a joint project of the East Valley Jewish Community Center (EVJCC) and the City of Chandler. The center, which will be the only see Holocaust page 9

REMEMBER: Holocaust survivor Otto Schimmel receives a standing ovation at the Chandler Center for the Arts during a recent presentation. Submitted photo

F E AT U R E STO R I E S Eddie Basha dies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . community . . . Page 4 UltraStar offers entertainment . . . . . . . . business . . . . . . Page 14 LibCon treats sci-fi, fantasy fans . . . . . . . . youth . . . . . . Page 26 Table 49 opens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . neighbors . . . . Page 45 Teen Talent Fest at CCA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . arts . . . . . . . Page 56

Kids, concussions . . . . SanTan Family Fun . . Center

More Community . . . . . . . . . 1-13 Business . . . . . . . . . . 14-25 Youth . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-34 Opinion . . . . . . . . . . 35-36 Neighbors . . . . . . . . . 45-51 Spirituality . . . . . . . 52-55 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56-61 Directory . . . . . . . . . 62-64 Classifieds . . . . . . . . 65-66 Where to eat . . . . . 67-72


April 6 – 19, 2013



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See it to believe – panoramic views overlooking private waterway, boat dock and golf course. Ocotillo Lakes. $449,900. Call Allen Gordon, 602-430-3740.

Spacious 3BR + office and bonus room. Formals + family room. Desert backyard backs to huge common area. $278,000. Call Cheryl Lambdin, 480-861-3045.

Single story. 3BR + additional room for den or office. Chandler near freeway plus shopping. $329,900. Call Mike Tsangaris, 480-540-2425.

Cul-de-Sac w/extended AZ room and wraparound patio in Cottonwood, adult living w/many activities and clubs. $172,500. Call Dorothy Harrison, 480-251-7380.

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Mountain views from front patio in this 2BR Retreat Model in Solera. It has everything! $179,000. Call Mitch Kudla, 480-262-0671.

Beautiful home overlooking 12th Tee in Palo Verde, an active adult community. 2BR + den. Many upgrades. $315,000. Call Diane Siems, 480-694-2072.

Lovely upgraded stucco home with many features, clubhouse amenities and golf. $99,900. Call Mitch Kudla, 480-262-0671.

Expanded Barcelona in Oakwood w/casita on no impact golf lot. Custom murals. $355,000. Call Dorothy Harrison, 480-251-7380.

Desirable single level w/upgraded kitchen, doors, fans + energy efficient package. Nauvoo Station. $159,000. Call Cheryl Lambdin, 480-861-3045.

Jay Gallipo 480-229-4466

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April 6 – 19, 2013

Eddie Basha dies at 75

Eddie Basha

Grocery store magnate Eddie Basha of Chandler, son of the founder of Bashas’ Family of Stores, died March 26. According to the company website, Chairman Basha attributed the success of the company to the “outstanding efforts” of the 11,000plus members who work for Bashas’ and to the long-standing relationships Bashas’ shares with its vendor partners and associates in the food industry. The Bashas’ headquarters along with Eddie Basha’s beloved Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery of Western American and Native American Art are in the Southern Chandler area. While the company dates its

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founding to 1932, when the name Bashas’ first appeared on a building, the history of the Basha family’s fortunes in America began in 1884, and it was the 48-year span to 1932 that laid the foundation for that first grocery store. Basha’s son, Edward Basha III, president and CEO of Bashas’ grocery stores, wrote to employees of his father’s death. “To us, and to many of you, Eddie was always larger than life, and he gave his heart and soul to Bashas’ Family of Stores. Ironically, Eddie never saw himself that way. He considered himself to be a Bashas’ member, no different than any other, and he considered all Bashas’ members to be a part of his family. During Eddie’s lifetime he faced many challenges, the last few years being among the most challenging. But his desire to serve the people of the state he loved so well, and to take care of the members that he cared for so much, always gave him strength in the face of adversity.” The Bashas’ Family of Stores includes Bashas’, Bashas’ Diné, AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City. The company now has more than 130 stores serving every county in Arizona, as well as Needles, CA, and Crownpoint, NM. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Sat., April 6 at ASU Gammage auditorium in Tempe.

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CGCC breaks ground on student center

BUILDING A FUTURE: Maricopa County Community College District governing board members and leaders and Chandler-Gilbert Community College President Linda Lujan participate in the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Coyote Center on CGCC’s Pecos Campus. The new 74,859-square-foot facility will provide a variety of services to students ranging from admissions and enrollment to advising and access to fitness, wellness and athletic programs. The new building is targeted for completion in June 14. Learn more at Submitted photo

One of the Valley’s healthiest employers is Maricopa Community Colleges, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. “Working at Maricopa Community Colleges can be good for your health,” says Nikki Jackson, vice chancellor of human resources. “Over the past decade, we have worked hard to create a culture of wellness. It has proven positive impacts on employee health and productivity, can be done effectively and with little expense and

it’s the right thing to do. We’re proud to receive this award and congratulate all employers who invest in their employees’ well-being.” Among the culture of wellness at Maricopa Community Colleges are 100% tobacco-free properties, an on-site smoking cessation program for employees and healthy food dining options. ChandlerGilbert Community College is part of Maricopa Community Colleges. For more information, visit


Chandler clinches another A+ One of the nation’s most transparent local governments on the web is the City of Chandler. For the third year in a row, Chandler gets an A+ rating by the nonprofit Sunshine Review for being proactive in the disclosure of public information on its website, Only 247 of more than 7,000 government websites ranked by Sunshine Review earned a Sunny Award. “In Chandler, we hold in high regard the value of open access to government, so it is very gratifying to see that we continue to be recognized as a leader in web transparency by the Sunshine Review,” says Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. Sunshine Review is a nonprofit organization that reviews government websites for information about budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes.

The group conducts a website evaluation based on a 10-point transparency checklist that measures the availability and comprehensiveness of the site’s content. Editors looked at content available on government websites against what should be provided. Chandler was highlighted for full disclosure of key documents and information, such as campaign finance reports, the annual budget and financial audits, lobbying reports and ease of use for obtaining building permits and zoning information. Sunshine Review collaborates with individuals and organizations in the cause of an informed citizenry and a transparent government. Since 2008, Sunshine Review has analyzed the websites of more than 6,000 state and local entities in all 50 states. For more information, visit

Free tax help Low- and moderate-income residents are offered free tax preparation services through mid-April at the following Chandler locations and times: • Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through April 9 at Chandler Christian Community Center, 345 S. California St. • 5 to 8 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through April 10 at First Credit Union, 25 S. Arizona Pl. • 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays through April 12 at ChandlerGilbert Community College, Room C107, 2626 E. Pecos Rd. • Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through April 13 at Chandler CARE Center, 777 E. Galveston St.

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through April 13 at Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, 2145 W. Elliot Rd. • 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mondays through April 8 at Sun Lakes Country Club, 25601 N Sun Lakes Blvd., Sun Lakes. An appointment is unnecessary. Residents should bring W-2 forms, photo identification, Social Security cards including those of all dependents, Form 1099 if applicable, a copy of last year’s tax return and information for all deductions and credits. Go to for a complete list of required documents. Contact Jeanne Bosarge at 480-782-4358 or for more information.

April 6 – 19, 2013

Residents can report underage drinking

Residents who suspect underage drinking or adults supplying alcohol to youth can call on the Party Patrol. Party Patrol is a collaborative project between the Chandler Police Department and the Chandler Coalition on Youth Substance Abuse (CCYSA) that allows officers to focus on shutting down and preventing parties where underage drinking occurs. Community members are encouraged to call the Chandler Police Department’s nonemergency line at 480-782-4130 to report the illegal activity, giving police officers the chance to immediately resolve the situation and acquire valuable information that can be used to identify the areas most troubled by underage alcohol consumption. While filing the police report, residents should be prepared to supply dispatch with location and approximate size of the party as well as approximate ages of people attending the party. If any information is unknown, CCYSA and Chandler police encourage local residents to continue filing the report, as any information is useful. CCYSA and their partners are continuing to distribute informational posters, stickers and door hangers to urge Chandler residents to partake in efforts to prevent underage drinking. For more information, call CCYSA at 480-821-4207.


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April 6 – 19, 2013


Real estate from page 1

be based on specific locations, but the Southeast Valley is definitely the most desirable sub-market.”

Seller’s market

These new numbers reveal a major transition in local real estate over the past year. The oncesaturated housing market, where homes sat for months without selling or drew only low-ball Mark Stapp, director of the Master of Real offers, has given way to a thriving Estate Development marketplace of stiff competition (MRED) program at for a smaller pool of available the W. P. Carey School properties. of Business at Arizona “This combination of increased State University. pricing, shorter days on market Submitted photo and multiple offers does indicate the East Valley has shifted from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market,” Royse reports. “The market is strong in all price ranges, especially in the starter prices and the move up buyer price range of $300,000 to $450,000 where multiple offers are the norm. The luxury market is coming back, and well-priced homes are selling in three to four months with list price to sales price ratios in the 98% range.” The number of homes currently listed for sale is down significantly, compared to past figures, fueling the bidding wars and indicating the SanTan Sun area may be ready for a fresh wave of new home construction. “Inventory is still very low relative to demand and this causes prices to rise,” explains Stapp. “New homebuilding will help add needed inventory and push toward a more balanced supply and demand, but we can’t yet build enough homes to create an absolute balance.”

Fewer short sales, foreclosures, investor buys

In the years immediately following the housing bust, a large percentage of area sales were distressed properties purchased as investments. Foreclosures,

short sales and bank owned homes flooded the market and caused housing values to plummet. Investors were able to snap up homes for a fraction of their former list price in all-cash deals to desperate sellers. But that trend, too, is beginning to turn around as the local market stabilizes. “Investors drug us off the bottom,” says Stapp. “They are still a big but diminishing market force.” Realtors are seeing the same shift back toward traditional sales in the SanTan Sun area. “Outside investors are not as prevalent in the East Valley as they are in Phoenix and the West Valley,” Royse notes. “Short sales are not in play as much as they were six months ago. Fewer homeowners are underwater today, and those who can will wait until they have equity to sell. Of course, we are still seeing ‘flip’ houses in the East Valley, but they are at market value, completely remodeled and this is a bonus for the market.”

Some lingering concerns

Despite the encouraging indicators, there are still some residual problems within the system that continue to plague the area’s housing market. Sales prices are up but too often the appraisals are coming in lower than the contract amount, causing problems for buyers seeking mortgage loans. “The issue of rising prices is tempered with appraisers who are looking back at historical data – homes that have closed in the last six months – instead of looking at current data and pending sales,” says Royse. “In my opinion, this is keeping the market artificially low. Buyers are certainly willing to offer list price from homes, their Realtors are doing comparables and seeing the market trend moving upward, but appraisers are appraising at a lower-than-offer price, even in cases with multiple offers.” Another hindrance is what real estate analysts call “lender comfort.” Banks are still very reluctant to issue mortgage loans after being burned by the recent deluge of defaults, squeezing buyers who don’t have deep

TRADITIONAL: Real estate agents are seeing more traditional sales in the market, such as this Cooper Commons home, and fewer investor and distressed property transactions. STSN photo by Ron Lang

pockets or stellar credit ratings. “Cash is still king and a much larger percentage of sales have been all cash,” Stapp explains. “This makes it tough for buyers who need a mortgage in order to buy. Because of the paperwork and verification, if you don’t have near perfect credit it’s almost impossible but loans are being made.” Even with these lingering hurdles, area experts are optimistic that local real estate is poised for a strong and sustained recovery over the next few years. “I think we are still 18 to 24 months from a fully recovered market – assuming no national or global economic problems and no big regulatory changes to the industry and the Fed stays the current course,” says Stapp. “People need to heal financially. People need cash to buy. People need reliable jobs with sufficient wages and benefits to afford homes. We are moving in the right direction but are not there yet.” Miriam Van Scott is a former Kerby Estates resident who can be reached at


April 6 – 19, 2013



April 6 – 19, 2013


Parks from page 1

Budget sessions starting

As the Chandler City Council prepares to meet in May for budget discussions, it’s tasked with finding ways PARKS BUDGETS to pay for the DISCUSSED: On May 3, promised parks. the Chandler City Council will have an all-day “For the budget meeting where entire council, departments will present parks have their financial proposals. been a priority Submitted photo for us,” says Councilmember Trinity Donovan. “Unfortunately, the recession put a wrench in our plans in terms of developing all of the park sites that we had. While we have had to move that out a little bit, we still have a commitment to develop the parks that we purchased.” Community input is overwhelmingly in favor for neighborhood park improvements and repairs, according to the city’s 2012 Budget Connect survey where 84% of respondents indicated neighborhood park maintenance is a “very important” service, following fire emergency services and police patrol services, and ranked neighborhood parks in the “Top 10” capital projects. Mickey Ohland, park development and operations manager for the City of Chandler, explains the city is currently working on the 2013-23 Capital

Improvement Project (CIP) and the budget for the fiscal 2013-14 year. “The CIP is a 10-year document, kind of like a blueprint for capital PARK BUILDS: When the development,” recession hit, park builds Ohland explains. were delayed. The focus “Each year we then became maintaining review the CIP. the existing parks. That includes Submitted photo parks as well as streets and various other projects. The first year, 2013-14 of the CIP will become our capital budget.” He says the CIP is reviewed each year by staff and City Council and changes are made where necessary. “The budget drives what we can and can’t do ultimately,” says Ohland. “We look at different things as far as timing of building parks and improvements, but the necessary funding has to be there for us to proceed.” “Before the recession, it (park construction) was based on when we got the land, when the development was going to come in and if there was a school by the land,” Donovan says. “Now, basically all of the areas are developed and multiple ones have schools by them. We’ve just kept the order that we had and worked on how we can move additional parks up.”

UNBUILT PARKS: A map of the City of Chandler’s parks illustrates the total number of parks, including unbuilt parks in parentheses. Submitted photo

Costs to build parks

While parks are a priority, budget considerations include construction as well as operating costs of a park. Greg Westrum, City of Chandler budget manager, notes capital funds are required to build new parks and money is needed for people and utilities to run the park. “If you can’t afford to maintain it later on, you don’t want to build it too early,” Westrum says. Ongoing park maintenance for a 7- to 12-acre park is approximately $14,800

annually, but this doesn’t include groundskeepers and other employees to maintain the park, Westrum explains.

Park schedule

There are six neighborhood parks scheduled for completion in the next 10 years, and the Council is looking at different options to get those parks built within that timeframe. Roadrunner Park, south of Germann, east of Gilbert and north of Queen Creek roads on the eastern canal is being built this year at a cost of $1.7 million.

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WAITING: Old Stone Ranch resident Tim Jarnagan plays with his children in a lot that is supposed to be a city park, but isn’t in the construction schedule for another five years. STSN photo by Ron Lang

Centennial Park, situated between Queen Creek, Gilbert, Ocotillo and Cooper roads, is scheduled for fiscal year 2013-14. The Council is considering ways that would allow Valencia Park, between Chandler Heights, Gilbert, Riggs and Lindsay roads, to be designed and constructed as well in fiscal year 2013-14. This doesn’t give Jarnagan much comfort. Citrus Vista Park isn’t scheduled for construction until fiscal year 2018-19, according to one of the options being considered. “To me, it’s all young families that are moving in and building homes,” Jarnagan says. “This community started in 2005. That would be almost 15 years before a park is built. All the kids would be in high school before the park is built.” She also views the empty lot next to the school as a safety threat for children. She mentions the builders use the parks as a selling point for these communities, but Citrus Vista hasn’t come to fruition. “It is one of the more disappointing aspects of building a new home.” Tracy House is a freelance writer living in Ironwood Vistas with her husband and four children. She can be reached at

Otto and Betty Schimmel

Otto Schimmel

one of its kind in Arizona, is planned for a 4.5-acre parcel adjoining EVJCC’s site near Alma School and Ray roads, and city backing includes up to $2 million for infrastructure and roadway improvements. A year ago, the center received a Holocaust-era railcar, which was displayed at the Chandler Center for the Arts as part of EVJCC’s annual Holocaust commemoration. “Approximately 2,500 people viewed and toured the rail car that day,” recalls EVJCC CEO Steve Tepper. “Since that time we have employed a worldclass preservationist who has been investigating the roots of the car, as well as developing a plan to preserve it.”


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a genocide prior or since, I don’t believe, that has all of the elements that are included in it. It can be and should be an amazing teaching tool that, if used correctly, should help us prevent other atrocities from happening and should help us learn – that’s part of the goal.” Schimmel is doing what he can to keep the lessons of the Holocaust alive. The octogenarian still speaks of his experiences in local schools, urging others to embrace tolerance and learn to see similarities instead of quarreling over differences in culture, ethnicity and religion. “All you need is love and understanding,” he says. “Everything else is nonsense.” For information on EVJCC’s Center for Holocaust Education & Human Dignity or how to help, email Tepper at K. M. Lang lives and writes in Sun Groves. To contact her, email

In the meantime, EVJCC is moving forward with fundraising efforts. Tepper expects the finished center to draw visitors, young and old, from around the state, and points out that while World War II took place “far, far away, there are incidents here of hate, intolerance and prejudice every day.” “Unfortunately, I don’t think the Holocaust is the only genocide that’s ever occurred,” he adds. “We’ve had genocides before and genocides since, and that is a horrible thing, because you would hope we would learn from our past history. Having said that, the Holocaust was a very, very complex and intricate genocide, HISTORY: Thousands of people visited a Holocaust-era railcar on display in and there hasn’t been Chandler last year. Submitted photo



April 6 – 19, 2013

Dignitaries sign off on medical center expansion Day for fitness is April 6

THEIR JOHN HANCOCK: Dignity Health and City of Chandler leaders sign a steel beam to be used as part of the tower’s infrastructure. From left to right: Aaron Peace, president of Dignity Health Foundation - East Valley; Marvin O’Quinn, senior executive vice president/ COO of Dignity Health; Brian Tiffany, M.D., chief of medical staff for Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers; Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers; City of Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny; and Linda Hunt, president and CEO of Dignity Health Arizona. Submitted photo

A steel beam for a new patient tower at Chandler Regional Medical Center is now officially signed by guests who attended a recent steelraising ceremony instead of a traditional groundbreaking ceremony. Currently under construction, the project will add 96 beds and 200 jobs, generating an annual payroll of $22 million. Attending the celebration were community leaders in business and government, along

with philanthropic supporters and key leadership from Dignity Health and Kitchell, which is building the tower. Among the attendees were Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, several members of the Chandler city council, State Sen. John McComish, Rep. Jeff Dial, Rep. JD Mesnard, Gilbert council members Jenn Daniels and Ben Cooper and Gila River Indian Community leaders. “This is an exciting time for Chandler,” says Tim Bricker, president and CEO of

Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers. “Fifty years ago we were a small community hospital, and today marks Chandler Regional’s latest expansion to continue to bring advanced technologies and services to our neighbors. We know it will have a magnetic effect on the community by retaining existing physicians and attracting new practices, medical service vendors and other businesses to the area.” The five-story addition will expand emergency services and the hospital’s medical-surgical unit and will add 32 intensive care rooms and six operating suites. The $125 million project is scheduled to open in late 2014 and is expected to employ more than 1,000 workers during the construction phase. “Many things go into a great community, and leading-edge medical care is among those critical factors for success,” says Tibshraeny. “I look forward to our continued partnership with Chandler Regional and to witnessing their continued progress.” For more information, visit


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A free, family friendly event featuring dozens of healthconscious vendors, fitness and cooking demonstrations, speakers and free giveaways runs from 9 a.m. to noon, Sat., April 6 at the Tumbleweed Recreation Center, 745 E. Germann Rd., Chandler. There will also be racquetball and ping pong tournaments, and visitors can get moving with Zumba, relay races, an obstacle course, Stacy J. Dance Time and a Let’s Get Up & Move class. At 10 a.m., Mayor Jay Tibshraeny leads a spin class in the center’s courtyard. Dignity Health is the Health Connect Expo cosponsor, and Tim Bricker, Dignity Health president and CEO, joins the mayor in leading the class. “Chandler has plenty to offer in terms of wellness and fitness,” says Tibshraeny. “My health initiative is also aimed at connecting residents with resources to make sure they also have good mental health and strong finances.” The expo includes: • CPR training and child seat checks, by Chandler Fire Department • Quick Kid Treats, by Storybook Kitchen • Healthy Meals, by Chef Brian Rocco, Dignity Health • Parenting, by Ruth Lucas, Dignity Health • Wills, Trust and College Planning, by Brett Fallon, Momentum Financial Partners • Aging and Your Memory, by Jonathan Hodgson, D.O., Dignity Health • Understanding Depression, by Daniel Merrill, M.D., Dignity Health • Blood Sugar Screening, by Dignity Health • Oral screenings and fluoride varnish applications, by First Things First • EZ Child I.D. Kits, by Chandler Police Department Tibshraeny launched the Health Connect initiative last August to create a healthier city by promoting financial, physical and mental health. The initiative began by offering residents a prescription drug savings card program that has saved residents more than $35,000. The mayor also offers suggestions on how to deal with stress via his Twitter account @jaytibshraeny. Residents are encouraged to interact with Tibshraeny through this account. For more information, visit


April 6 – 19, 2013

Dispose of medications properly

Irish sister city delegates visit Chandler Delegates explore Chandler business, development

SISTER CITIES: Delegates from Chandler’s sister city Tullamore, Ireland meet with Chandler business people and city officials in a recent visit. Submitted photo

Anyone who heard an Irish brogue spoken in Chandler recently wasn’t hearing things. Delegates from Tullamore, Ireland came to visit their sister city, spending time with the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and Chandler Economic Development Director Christine Mackay. Jerry Sanniec, president of Laser Creations, and Joe Eragitano showed Tullamore, Ireland Town Councilmember Tony McCormack and Mackay how their company operates and

MEMENTO: Joe Eragitano, Christine Mackay, Jerry Sanniec and Tony McCormack model sister cities T-shirts during the visit. Submitted photo

revealed inside tips to what makes it stand out from other promotional businesses. “Jerry and I were thrilled to have Anthony come visit our location,” Eragitano says. “He stepped away knowing more about what we do as a company and that’s what having a sister city is all about, making connections and having the knowledge of local companies to be able to promote each other.” Meanwhile, Irish airline Ryanair has inked a $15.6 billion deal to purchase 175 Boeing 737s planes produced in the U.S., according to the Chamber, which is a large-scale example of what Chandler and its sister city are working to accomplish on a smaller scale. “Foreign direct investment is a key to economic development in any market,” says Mackay, the city’s economic development director. “By creating connections between our companies we could see international marketing of products from Chandler and Tullamore, driving growth in both markets.” Among the Tullamore business people


RE-SIGNING: Tullamore, Ireland Town Councilmember Tony McCormack and Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny sign an agreement reaffirming the sister cities’ relationship between Chandler and Tullamore. Chandler and Tullamore started a relationship in 2008 to encourage cultural understanding, community involvement, economic development and educational exchanges. Submitted photo

who visited Chandler is Angela Mahon, the founder and director of a new Irish company called Truzees, which recently launched a baby milestone card product. Other Tullamore-based businesses that traveled with the delegation were McCormack, who, in addition to being a Tullamore councilmember, owns a company called Print Plus, and Noel Joyce who co-founded Applydea, a manufacturer of a magnetic stylus for iPads and tablets. Along with cultivating business relationships and exchanging economic development ideas, the Tullamore visit included opportunities to share practices and a tour of the Innovations Technology Incubator established by Chandler in 2010 to provide startup companies with space to work and grow as they develop their businesses. A similar innovation center is being considered for development in a Tullamore business park. For more, visit

Unused, expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications can be turned in for proper destruction from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat., April 27 at the Target store located at 3425 W. Frye Rd. in Chandler. Target, in partnership with the Chandler Police Department, is conducting the community drug turnin event. Medications should be in their original containers. Thermometers, needles or other medical waste cannot be accepted. For more information, call Sgt. Greg Howarth in the Police Crime Prevention Unit at 480-782-4928.

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April 6 – 19, 2013

Rewards of rot taught in composting class

Chandler employees yell ‘Yeehaw!’ Take top trophy at MSA Rodeo

FIRST PLACE: Streets Crew Leader Corey Hillman uses a rake as Streets Specialist Jose Razo helps show their pavement patching skills. Submitted photo

Street maintenance employees from the City of Chandler take first-place honors in the Tom Sheetz Memorial Equipment Rodeo organized by the Arizona Chapter of the Maintenance Superintendents Association (MSA). Nineteen members of Chandler’s Streets and Traffic Divisions displayed their skills working with concrete and asphalt and operating various types of equipment

HEAVY EQUIPMENT: Streets Specialist Shannon Gladem and Streets Crew Leader Corey Hillman watch as Streets Specialist Jose Razo uses a roller to compact an asphalt patch as part of the MSA Equipment Rodeo held in Gilbert. Submitted photo

STREET RODEO WINNERS: Chandler employees finishing in the top three in their events are: first place, Asphalt Crew: Corey Hillman, Jose Razo, Shannon Gladem and Mariano Robles; Concrete Crew: Jacob Granillo, Jose Matus and Troy Pekoske; Master Equipment Operator: Tim Wakefield; Street Sweeper: Adam Klein; second place: Backhoe: Derek Blake; third place, Motor Grader: John Domingues; Golf Cart Derby: Luis Gamez and Jacob Granillo. Submitted photo

during the event held at the Town of Gilbert Maintenance Yard. The annual competition gives public works maintenance employees from around the state an opportunity to compete and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with working in a specialized field. Chandler placed first in four events, second in one event and third in two events, securing the rodeo’s overall traveling trophy with most wins and places in all events. The City of Mesa placed second in this year’s competition. The Town of Gilbert won the traveling trophy last year, which was previously held by Chandler. MSA was established in 1966 for public agency employees and private vendors working to improve standards and practices for the maintenance and operation of public works facilities and services. It promotes the exchange of information and professional development for employees in the public works field.

Decomposition and decay are frequently viewed as undesirable, but not in Chandler’s popular composting classes. A backyard composting workshop is being offered by the city’s Solid Waste Services Division from 9 a.m. to noon on Sat., April 27. The workshops will be held at the Chandler City Hall east lobby entrance, 175 S. Arizona Ave. Composting is nature’s way of recycling, and residents will learn the best way to make this happen with their grass clippings, leaves and kitchen scraps. The result is a beneficial organic soil material that can be used in yards to improve soil texture, increase the ability of soil to absorb water and air, suppress weed growth, decrease erosion and reduce the need for commercial soil additives. In composting, organic material such as leaves, grass clippings, prunings and fruit and vegetable scraps are mixed together in a pile or bin, where millions of tiny microbes digest the material and turn it into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Enrollment priority will be given to Chandler residents receiving cityprovided refuse service. Nonresidents will be placed on a waiting list. The workshops are free, but registration is required by calling 480-782-3510.

Deadlines for SanTan Sun News The deadline for news and advertising is noon, Wed., April 10 for the April 20, 2013 issue of the SanTan Sun News. All news must be submitted to by that day to be considered for the next issue or by filling in the “submit a news release” form on the newspaper’s website at To send an item for consideration in the SanTan Family Fun, email it directly to Send advertising files and information to account reps or contact For deadline information, visit SanTanSun. com and click on “About us” and call 480-732-0250 for advertising rate details.

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Learn about HOAs at academy


April 6 – 19, 2013

Mayor’s Listening Tour April 9

A look at many city resources available to neighborhood associations; discussions about conditions, covenants and restrictions enforcement; and tips on amending association documents are among the topics covered at Chandler’s 2013 Spring HOA Academy. Offered 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through April 24, the academy is an opportunity for homeowner association board members to network and gain a better understanding of their roles and importance in their neighborhoods.


On April 10, learn how to maintain and when to amend association documents, as well as how to document and maintain financials to protect the association from theft. A summary of Arizona legislation that could affect neighborhood associations is presented. “Seven Secrets of a Successful HOA” and how they help a community association properly serve the members and steer clear of potential liability is presented on April 17. The final workshop on April 24 provides an overview of how to effectively utilize City of Chandler resources. Classes are free, but if they reach capacity, enrollment priority is given to Chandler residents and people who live in registered neighborhoods. You do not have to participate in all the classes to be part of the academy. Classes are held in training rooms A & B on the second floor of Chandler City Hall at 175 S. Arizona Ave. The final class is held in the council chambers adjacent to City Hall. The academy is presented by Neighborhood Programs in partnership with Mulcahy Law, P.C. and Shaw & Lines, LLC. To register, call 480-782-4354 or download applications at

ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES: Mayor Jay Tibshraeny will welcome attendees and discuss areas of concern and how they can work with the city to address them at the April 9 Mayor’s Listening Tour-Public Outreach meeting. Submitted photo

Meet Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and representatives from various city departments when Chandler’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee hosts the Mayor’s Listening Tour-Public Outreach meeting at 7 p.m. Tue., April 9 in the Multipurpose Room at Galveston Elementary School, 661 E. Galveston St., Chandler. Residents can speak out on challenges facing their neighborhoods and receive information on city resources and services, including the Neighborhood Registration Program and Neighborhood Grant Program, which provides up to $5,000 to assist with neighborhood revitalization. The meeting features a welcome from the mayor and neighborhood resources director, including an overview of city news and a crime report from police officers serving the immediate area. Participants will break into small groups to discuss areas of concern and how they can work with the city to address them. Complaints and code violations are entered into a database by city staff for tracking and follow up. More than 160 neighborhood issues have been addressed in the first two years of the listening tour. Attendees are invited by notices mailed to area residents, schools and neighborhood associations. For more information, call 480-782-4348.


SanTan Sun Chronicles Lydia Ortiz and Maria Meli, two City of Chandler employees, are thanked for their years of service at a recent Chandler Council meeting. Ortiz, a senior accounting specialist in the Management Services Department, was recognized for 20 years of service. Meli, an administrative support specialist II in the Information Department, was recognized for 15 years of service. Volunteers for the city’s Adopt-A-Park program are recognized for providing more than 1,500 volunteer hours keeping city parks clean. The honorees are Pilot Mortgage for adopting Arbuckle Park with 10 volunteer hours; The Gordon Family for adopting Shawnee Park with 10.25 volunteer hours; Ellen and Carl D’Amato for adopting Blue Heron Park with 34 volunteer hours; Chandler Kiwanis Club for adopting Ryan Park with 55 volunteer hours; Verizon Wireless for adopting Desert Breeze Park with 56.5 volunteer hours; Chandler Rotary Club for adopting A.J. Chandler Park with 72 volunteer hours; Cholla Neighborhood Girl Scouts for adopting Pecos Ranch Park with 73.5 volunteer hours; Bank of America for adopting Apache Park with 124 volunteer hours; Bank of America for adopting Pequeño Park with 131 volunteer hours; and the Desert Rivers Audubon Society for adopting Desert Breeze Hummingbird Habitat with a total of 273 volunteer hours. Bank of America receives the “Group of the Year” award from Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny for adopting San Marcos Park with a total of 382 volunteer hours. This award recognizes and honors the group that accumulates the most volunteer hours in its park.

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