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Wednesday, April 17, 2019


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Church adds a float to 43-year parade record BY COTY DOLORES MIRANDA AFN Contributor


@AhwatukeeFN |


hen the late Mountain View Lutheran Pastor Don Schneider sketched out his ideas for a float to represent Ahwatukee’s first church – his own – he couldn’t foresee the congregation and community rallying to put it into reality. But when the 43rd annual Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee Easter Parade steps off at Warner Road and 48th Street, Mountain View Lutheran Church (MVLC) will be rolling out a new permanent float as it continues its unbroken record of appearances since the local tradition began in 1976. It will join 79 other entries – including the first appearance of the Arizona Emerald Society Pipes & Drums – that will wind their way

north on 48th to Cheyenne Drive to the delight of a projected 10,000 spectators. Upon rediscovery of Pastor Schneider’s float idea sketched on an 8 ½ x 11-inch piece of paper, friends of his from both Mountain View Lutheran and the Kiwanis Club – which he helped found – rolled up their sleeves to make it a reality. Schneider, who passed away in 2018 at age 87, served as a community leader as well as pastor for decades. “The Kiwanis Club came to me and asked if I’d help build the float,” said Ken Schacherbauer of Ahwatukee who retired after 40 years from Tutor Perini Building Company. The business built several iconic Phoenix structures, including Chase Field and Gila River Arena. Together with current Kiwanis Club Pres-

ident Dale Mathison, and a member of the Woodworking Club at the Ahwatukee Rec Center, Pastor Schneider’s float concept was transformed into a 12-foot-long rendition of Mountain View Lutheran Church, located on the parade route at 11002 S. 48th St. The float was carved into three large parts that, due to its size, will be assembled Friday night on a flat-bed trailer. Mathison said it is so heavy that several people are needed to lift each section. “We wanted to do it for the church and in his (Pastor Schneider’s) memory,” said Mathison. “Everybody liked Don; he had a large following in the community. He did a lot of things for Ahwatukee.” Deeming the float “substantial,’ Mathison

see EASTER page 12

Ahwatukee teen’s death brought life to 4 BY KAYLA RUTLEDGE AFN Staff Writer


ugs were shared and tears were shed last week as an Ahwatukee couple met the recipient of their late granddaughter’s kidney – one of four people whose lives were saved by the 16-year-old’s organs. The reunion, hosted by Phoenix Children’s Hospital, was part of Heroes for Hope – an effort by the Donor Network of Arizona to educate the public on the importance of organ donations and encourage them to register as donors. Zoe Mar, an Ahwatukee native, was 16 when she died of a brain aneurysm, but the memory of her giving nature lives on through Jovani Perez. The 7-year-old Chandler boy’s health was declining because of a defective kidney he was born with when fate stepped in. Today, Jovani dances and runs to prove his newfound resilience as a result of Zoe’s gift of life. “I get to play now and be with my friends,”


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When 16-year-old Zoe Mar of Ahwatukee died suddenly in May 2017, some of her organs were transplanted to four people on the verge of death, including 7-year-old Jovani Perez of Chandler, who, with his parents, met her grandparents in an emotional meeting last week. (Left: Special to AFN/Right: Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer)(Special to AFN)

said Jovani. “I tell them [a kidney is] a thing that needs a lot of water and it helps your body be healthy.” Jovani’s life is filled with laughter and love;

a year and a half ago, he was just a shell of the boy he is today.

see ORGANS page 18

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To the left of this lot, where the Quik Trip, would be located is Cottonwood Lane, the only way in and out of Foothills Paseo II, Cottonwood leads onto 40th Street. (Tom Sanfilippo/Inside Out Aerial)

Freeway, ADOT loom large over Quik Trip plan BY PAUL MARYNIAK AFN Executive Editor




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he Arizona Department of Transportation and the South Mountain Freeway loomed large in a contentious meeting of Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee Monday over the impending construction of a Quick Trip gas station near a small subdivision off 40th Street. And by the time the nearly two-hour discussion by the committee was over, little appeared to have quelled the anxiety of many of the approximate 180 homeowners in the Foothills Paseo II HOA. More than 100 people showed up for the meeting in what was the committee’s most contentious session since members of the Gila River Indian Community showed up in the summer of 2016 to protest an informational presentation by ADOT on the progress of the freeway. similar to that session, the freeway and ADOT generated consternation and frustration – far more than the gas station itself. Not that Quik Trip was free of criticism and anxiety from homeowners, who worried how the station’s proximity to some homes, its sale of beer and its 24/7 hours of operation would affect the community. However, ADOT became the main target when it was disclosed that it will not give Quik Trip access to and from 40th Street – forcing all service station traffic onto two-lane Cottonwood Lane, the only way in and out of Foothills Paseo II. ADOT said it would be too dangerous to allow the service station access to that thoroughfare because an exit ramp from the freeway’s eastbound lanes will lead right onto northbound 40th Street where the Quik Trip will be less 400 feet away. ADOT officials told the meeting that the agency bought the rights to 650 feet of frontage along 40th Street north from the freeway to prevent any kind of left or right turns onto anything but Cottonwood Lane. While ADOT could grant a waiver, they said it was

see PLANNING page 6

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PLANNING from page 3

highly unlikely. The prospect of battling Quik Trip customers just to come and go from their neighborhood was troubling enough for the homeowners. Worse was the prospect of tanker trucks, delivery vehicles and other big rigs making wide turns from 40th Street onto Cottonwood to get to Quik Trip. “Losing 40th Street is really a major thing,” said committee member Mike Hinz. After one homeowner recounted how she and her husband have a challenge every time they make turns onto Cottonwood with their 33-foot RV, resident Brie Neilsen told the committee and Quik Trip lawyer Charles Huellmantel: “If ADOT is so concerned about safety and traffic, it’s not going to help dumping all the traffic onto Cottonwood. This Foothills Paseo resident Alvaro Diaz said the plan is “detrimental to our community” during a meeting Monday of the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee on Quik Trip’s plans to build a gas station at 40th Street is going to be a nightmare for our neigh- and Cottonwood Way. (Pablo Robles/AFN Staff Photographer) borhood. For anyone using Quik Trip. It’s should be reexamined in light of that fact The committee also had to recommend going to be a mess.” – though both Quik Trip’s lawyer and a approval of a new site plan that replaces Yet it appears to be all but a done deal. Huellmantel and city planner Cody city planner indicated that would be un- an earlier service station site plan. Those modifications are scheduled to White stressed that the 3-acre site has likely and not mandated. The only issues that were before the go before a Phoenix Planning Department L u ~ x s been zoned for a service station since u g r u y inyl ~ Area Rcommittee were Vrequests C m to approve hearing officer today, April 17, at City Hall o o 2001 – far longer than most of the homes t u s nter ~ Cuaround. s r t a few changes to landscaping and the – along with two other stipulations added e in Foothills Paseo II have been o w ps Sho inate ~argued ~ Lam Residents that the site’s zoning height of overhangs above the gas pumps. by the planning committee that request

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ADOT and Quik Trip to work on resolving the 40th Street access issue. Huellmantel said Quik Trip would evaluate all the residents’ comments. The lawyer stressed that Quik Trip’s design gives clerks a full view of the entire lot, and that the company has a reputation for building more visually appealing facilities than its competitors – particularly Circle K. Huellmantel also repeatedly stressed that the lot’s owner always envisioned a service station there and that it was zoned for that use – meaning that even if the site plan was different, it was still zoned for a gas station. “The time now is for us to build on the site,” said Huellmantel, not mentioning the fact that Quik Trip will be the first and, for now, the only service station along the Pecos Road segment of the freeway. A 48-hour traffic study of 40th Street by the city of Ahwatukee in 2017 found that about 1,000 vehicles traversed the thoroughfare in either direction – many using the large park-and-ride lot just a few hundred feet south of the Quik Trip site. An ADOT spokesman said at least 7,000 vehicles would be using that stretch of the freeway every day. With the prospect of an untold number

see PLANNING page 7

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PLANNING from page 6

of those vehicles stopping at Quik Trip either to or from the freeway, neighbors hammered on the impact of that traffic on Cottonwood. They noted that southbound traffic on 40th could be stacking up to make left turns onto Cottonwood to reach Quik Trip while traffic on Cottonwood heading toward 40th would stack up as cars waited to make left turns onto southbound 40th. Because Cottonwood has only two lanes, neighbors worried emergency vehicle access to their homes would be impeded by all that traffic. Still others raised concerns about the gas pumps – some only a few hundred feet from homes – and what would happen in the event of a hazardous chemical spill that would require an evacuation. “There are a lot of things we think are detrimental to our community with this,” said resident Alvaro Diaz. Neither Diaz nor most Quik Trip opponents appeared reassured by ADOT’s pledge to install a traffic signal at 40th and Cottonwood – especially because no one could tell them and the committee if the signal would have delayed green lights to permit left turn traffic to move


smoothly. Some residents were surprised when it was revealed that 40th is now under ADOT’s control, frustrated when told Cottonwood remained a city street – and exasperated by the prospect of dealing with two transportation bureaucracies. When planning committee member Alexander Benezra asked if Quik Trip would give up some of its property so Cottonwood could be widened, Huellmantel replied, “Potentially.” “If we can make our store run more efficiently, we will consider it,” he said. While the site plan that the hearing officer will rule on today is different, it may make little difference in the long run as far as residents’ fears are concerned. Both city officials and Huellmantel stressed that the city cannot legally block access to private property. And because the land is already zoned for a gas station, it also is unclear what recourse residents have – especially if the hearing officer approves the modifications Quik Trip is seeking today. Unlike a zoning change, that decision is not subject to City Council action, leaving most of the residents’ concerns up to the willingness of Quik Trip, the city and ADOT to work together to figure out a solution.

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Mt. Park Ranch remains were those of missing neighbor

ing the fire as a possible arson but determined there was insufficient evidence to find the cause. The house has been an eyesore in the neighborhood since the fire, but Mountain Park Ranch Executive Director Jim Welch said that’s hardly unusual. He said many times insurance companies can tie up a home’s restoration for years, though he was unaware of the particular circumstances surrounding the home where the body was found because it’s located in a sub-HOA.



forensic examination has yielded an answer to the question of whose remains were buried under the rubble of an Ahwatukee house that caught on fire two years ago. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the remains as those of Gary Lee Duffield, 59, who was reported missing by a neighbor days after the fire March 19, 2017, in the 13600 block of South 38th Way. Duffield’s skeletal remains were found by a cleaning crew April 4. The crew was hired by the house’s new owner to prepare the building for a rebuild project. It appears that Duffield was buried when the fire caused the houses’ roof to cave in, leaving a gaping hole. “I’m pretty convinced he’s been there for quite some time,’’ said Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman. Thompson said police still consider Duffield’s death as the subject of a homicide investigation. From a procedural standpoint, this allows police to look at all possible causes and facts that might



Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5647 or Police were called to this home in the 13600 block of South 38th Way two weeks ago when work crews discovered what appeared to be human remains. They were identified last week as those of Gary Lee Duffield, who lived in the home at the time of a fire in 2017. (Pablo Robles/AFN Staff Photographer)

explain what happened. A Phoenix Fire Department spokesman declined comment, saying the fire scene is under investigation by police. A neighbor who spoke with a televi-



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DiCiccio hails judge’s ruling on light rail initiative BY PAUL MARYNIAK AFN Executive Editor


uch to the delight of Ahwatukee’s City Council representative, a Superior Court judge has rejected a contractors’ association attempt to derail an August referendum on the only light rail line currently still alive in Phoenix. Judge Sherry K. Stephens found no merit to an argument by the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America that claimed election petitions provided a misleading explanation of the initiative sought by opponents of the proposed rail line to South Phoenix. “This could be one of the biggest rulings of the year,” said Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who wants the city’s share of light rail projects diverted into improving city streets and roads. “The government tried to take away their livelihoods, and these folks fought back,” the Ahwatukee councilman added. “This is a huge win for them, and a huge win for taxpayers across the city. This allows our crumbling, dangerous and embarrassing streets to be repaved today. $1.6 billion is needed today just to bring up the streets to standard.” DiCiccio noted that the light rail opponents, organized as Build a Better Phoenix, submitted twice the number of required signatures for a referendum on the light rail line project on the ballot, Yet, he said, “Build a Better Phoenix still found themselves defending the ballot access they earned against a fully-funded and city-supported effort to circumvent the will of the people.” The contractors group said the petition summary “creates a significant danger of confusion or unfairness” because it did not state that any funds diverted to infrastructure work could not be used on the existing light rail system. It also said the petition did not advise people that millions in federal funds would be lost, and that it misleadingly suggested that terminating the project would generate revenue. But the judge noted that a petition summary “is not a complete description of the measure but need only describe the major aspects of the proposition.”

“It is unreasonable to expect a summary that cannot exceed 100 words to fully describe the complex funding process for light rail projects and all variables related to that funding process,” Stephens said. “As written, the 98-word summary here fairly describes the matters of primary importance in the initiative,” she added. She also rejected the group’s characterization of the summary, noting the petition “correctly explains that revenues will be redirected to fund infrastructure improvements” and that upkeep of the existing light rail system could be funded by other city money. “The initiative summary accurately describes that revenues (funds received from taxes) are implicated and does not state “all funds” (to include federal and regional funding sources) as suggested by the contractors,” the judge said. Light rail funding comes from federal and regional sources as well as a Phoenix sales tax increase established by Proposition 104. Proposition 104 established a dedicated sales tax of 7/10 of a cent through 2050 to support a comprehensive, multi-modal transportation plan that includes street infrastructure, bike lanes, light rail and buses. The only funds the city can redirect are from Proposition 104, not the federal grant money. The judge noted during the hearing that Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith testified. Mr. Smith testified that the initiative summary is misleading because it does not disclose the potential negative impact on air quality, the environment, jobs, transportation planning in the Phoenix regional area as well as utility companies that already have initiated construction activities for light rail expansion. If voters approve the initiative, it could effectively terminate further light rail expansion since the City Council has already delayed approval of funding for two other projects. Mayor Kate Gallego has vowed to fight for the system, though it is unclear if she has the votes on Council to make her vow a reality. It is unclear if the contractors group intends to appeal the ruling.

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EASTER from page 1

said he and Schacherbauer built it at the ARC woodworking shop using materials supplied by the church, which is now led by the Rev. Glenn Zorb. “As soon as I saw the sketch, I said I’d love to be part of it,” said Schacherbauer, a Mountain View parishioner for more than 30 years. “This float is really a tribute to Ahwatukee’s first church. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.” Constructed of 2x8’ pieces of wood and plywood with a stucco finish wood siding, the float soars 13 feet high with the addition of the iconic cross – just as it does on the actual church structure. “It’s a sculpture. It’s gorgeous,” said Margaret Ramsay, a Kiwanis member and a Mountain View Lutheran parishioner. She recalled when she first heard of Pastor Schneider’s idea. “Don, for some reason the year before he died, said ‘Margaret, I’ve got a great idea for a float and I want you to make it happen.’ He loved the church from the bottom of his heart, and he wanted it to say ‘1st Church of Ahwatukee’, and we had a banner made that says that,” she said, emotionally recalling the conversation. “And this has been a labor of love,” Ramsay added. “All the community came to-

Mountain View Lutheran Church on 48th Street in Ahwatukee was the inspiration for the late Pastor Don Schneider’s idea of creatin a permanent float in the Ahwatukee Kiwanis Club’s annual Easter Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Warner Road and 48th Street. (Special to AFN)

gether – the church, the Kiwanis, the Ahwatukee Rec Center’s Woodworking Club, the Ahwatukee Board of Management who provided the trailer and even their Swim Club that donated time to paint it for this parade.” Ferrying the hefty church replica float down the Easter parade route will be church members Mike and Diane Fitzsi-

mons, Ahwatukee residents for 34 years. “The truck is a Dodge Ram and we just got it a couple of months ago to pull our retirement trailer. Mike hasn’t pulled the float before,” said Diane Fitzsimons, who was director of Ahwatukee Preschool on the church campus from 1992 until her retirement two years ago. Her younger son, Brian, 37, was a preschool

student there. The Ahwatukee Preschool – Ahwatukee’s first – was started by Pastor Schneider. “As the first church in Ahwatukee and the first preschool in Ahwatukee, we as a community are very happy to be a part of the parade. We’ve had an entry in the parade since its inception. Isn’t that phenomenal?” said Leslie Franzmeier, assistant preschool director since 2004. “Our preschool students and families have such a good time coming together in their decorated bikes, strollers and wagons and handing out candy and invitations to our church and school. It’s truly a happy day for all of us,” said Franzmeier, adding her students are once again fashioning giant Easter eggs to embellish the float’s skirt. Among the VIP cars preceding the MVLC float will be a car carrying Pastor Schneider’s widow, Shirley Schneider, and Arlene Johnson, the wife of Mountain View Lutheran Church’s first pastor Rev. Ken Johnson. According to Kiwanis Club member Mike Schmitt – who has worked on every Easter Parade for 40 years, including 27 as “Parade Boss” – this year’s parade in-

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Petition to RECALL three of the Foothills Community Board of Directors (BOD) We understand how busy we all are and how difficult it is to attend monthly board meetings. We have been attending these meetings and feel the information from those meetings along with a little investigation is worth noting. Here’s what was discovered; 1. In 2006 the President of the HOA entered into a consent judgment with the Arizona State Attorney General for allegations of Consumer Fraud. The entire BOD became aware of this $250,000 judgment last year yet they continue to allow him to preside over the HOA board. 2. In 2014 the Presidents business, Perfekt Marketing, LLC entered into a consent judgment with the State of Wisconsin Attorney General for allegedly scamming consumers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and free airline tickets. watchdog/pi/two-firms-reach-50000settlement-with-state-in-travel-scamb99334841z1-272053671.html reedsburgtimespress/business/ companies-fined-for-marketing/ article_78d40398-bbca-5123-a0493ce8a083cb47.html 3. We visited the Better Business Bureau website for their review of the HOA Presidents business, the BBB gives Perfekt Marketing, LLC an F rating? profile/workathome-companies/perfektmarketing-1126-97007505 4. As of 2018, the Foothills Community Associations Reserve Fund is over funded, the Reserve Fund is more than 50% over funded? Review of the 2019 monthly budget indicates each members dues could be reduced by $25 per year and continue to meet the associations obligations.

Why has the BOD been raising our dues for the past several years? 5. The current President of the HOA does not live in the Foothills, he lives in Tempe? 6. Within the past couple of months, the BOD under the direction of the President, Bill Fautsch, unilaterally increased the number of board members from 5 to 7 without community participation. Why? The BOD appointed 2 NEW board members, Gary Walker and Mark Moskal, both with no HOA governing experience. Even when asked at an open meeting about the members deciding who should serve, especially when the annual meeting was only a couple months away the BOD went ahead and appointed these two members to the board for 2-year terms. The members should decide who serves, not the BOD. Why was the board increased to 7 members without an open vote? Was it because if the 3 newly elected board members, which are available at this years annual election, were not aligned with the views of the 2 ongoing members, Bill Fautsch, President and Sandy Salvo, Treasurer, then these two members may be scrutinized for their actions? 7. This year, with an increase in neighborhood crimes, home invasions and burglary within our communities, a few neighborhoods have asked the board for help. The current board has denied help and has stated that it is not an HOA matter to help with security? They suggested forming a neighborhood watch program? We believe this to be the farthest from the truth. The HOA is responsible for our safety and welfare. The BOD can decide how they want to conduct business, the board should be for the members, the board works for the members. We could easily afford to have security patrol our neighborhoods. 8. The President, Bill Fautsch has served on the Board since 2006, that’s over 13 years? Why is it so important for him to be on this board? We also reviewed some of the HOA financials and meeting minutes;

There appears to be a few vendor contracts that may be over priced or inflated, why?

that will serve the members wishes and establish clear and open communication, recall ALL 3 of these board members.

a. One of those contracts appears to be the Landscaping contract.

Please send in the petition found on this page to RECALL Bill Fautsch, Gary Walker and Mark Moskal as soon as possible. You may return your petition to us via Email, Fax or US Mail.

b. Another contract that we feel may be over priced is the recently increased management fee to our management company, Premier Community Management. The board recently increased their monthly fee to $15000 or $180,000 a year. Add that to the home sales transfer fees, according to last years management contract, this could have paid Premier over $124,000 last year. That’s $300,000 per year! (Financials available on request through Premier Community Management) With the Presidents background, business dealings as well as the rushed appointment of 2 NEW board members without the community’s involvement, we are requesting a recall of these 3 directors to allow the members the opportunity to decide who they would like to represent them on the Associations BOD. We are asking for your support with this recall effort. Please help create a BOD

When the Special Meeting has been called, a ballot will be sent out with instructions to vote for or against the removal of the board member. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for April 29th. There are at least three candidates who have volunteered to serve on the board and are truly qualified members with great NEW ideas for our community. You may view their bios and review their candidate platforms online at *You may receive a communication from these individuals and/or management company during this process, We ask that you scrutinize what is being presented. Concerned Citizens of the Foothills Community

PETITION FOR RECALL OF THREE FOOTHILLS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS, WILLIAM (BILL) FAUTSCH, GARY WALKER AND MARK MOSKAL In accordance with the Bylaws of the FOOTHILLS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION and Section 33-1813 of the Arizona State Legislature, the following members of the Association demand a Special Meeting to recall William (Bill) Fautsch, Gary Walker and Mark Moskal of the Foothills Community Associations the Board of Directors: Member Name: ___________________________________________________ Member Signature: ________________________________________________ Property Address: _________________________________________________ Date: ___________________________________________

To complete this recall petition, please print, sign and return using any of the following; • Email: • FAX: 480-706-9533 • US Mail: PO BOX 93682, PHOENIX, AZ 85070




EASTER from page 12

cludes at least 10 other floats and innumerable school bands, dance groups, local Girl and Boy Scout troops and two rock music schools. VIPs include this year’s Parade Grand Marshall Paul Maryniak, editor of the Ahwatukee Foothill News and other Times Publication newspapers, and “a dozen little cars driven by Shriners,” said Schmitt, adding “no parade would be complete without them.” Schmidt said he originally got involved when Ken Schacherbauer was Kiwanis president. “He talked me into doing my first Easter Parade,” chuckled Schmidt, who not only is in charge of organizing the line-up and assuring all runs smoothly on parade day, but also writes the script read by the parade announcers. Another parade highlight for the third year is the 1967 Hughes OH6 Cayuse, a Vietnam-era helicopter nicknamed “Loach” that is pulled by a two-and-ahalf ton military truck holding members of Cub Scouts Pack #178, which is sponsored by Mountain View Lutheran. The Easter Parade is the only the beginning of pre-Easter fun. The after-party Spring Fling has also become a must-do.

This is a replica of the massive Easter Parade float built by volunteers from Mountain View Lutheran Church, the Woodworking Club at the Ahwatukee Recreation Center and the Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee. (Special to AFN)

Open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ahwatukee Community Park on Warner Road just west of the parade start, the Kiwanis Spring Fling offers carnival rides, ongoing Easter egg hunts for children, photo ops with the Easter Bunny, live entertainment and a myriad of craft

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and merchant booths including food and drink vendors. More than 5,000 residents are expected to once again gather for the festivities. “I’m always excited about the parade and Spring Fling because it brings the community families together for a fun

Jeffery A. Kohler, D.D.S. RECEDING GUMS?

day,” said Spring Fling organizer and longtime Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee member Andi Pettijohn. “In addition to Easter Egg Hunts that go on all day, we’ll also have pony rides that were very popular last year.” Noting “100% of the proceeds go towards the charitable projects of the Kiwanis Club, mostly involving children,” Pettijohn added: “Many of our projects involve helping foster youth and we’re happy to say we have several teen boys who are in foster care volunteering at the event.” “For a small club, we do a lot,” said President Mathison in his typical, understated manner. adding that about 40 Kiwanians will be pitching in Saturday. Dignitaries who will speak at the 1:30 p.m. awards ceremony for best floats will include Mayor Kate Gallego, Police Cjief Jeri Williams and Assistant Police Chief Shelly Jamison. For more information on the day’s events, see

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Young mom killed, 8 injured in Ahwtaukee shootout AFN NEW STAFF


ystery continues to surround the human trafficking investigation that led to a wild shootout in Ahwatukee April 11 that claimed the life of a young mother and sent eight others, including four federal agents, to the hospital. The midmorning shootout began as U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents were trying to serve a search warrant and make the arrest of an unidentified male in the area of 48th Street and Elliott Road. Agents tried to stop a vehicle to make an arrest in the case. Police say the agents and the suspects shot at each other, exchanging as many as 20 shots. Five people were in the suspect’s car, including Theresa Juan, in her 20s, of Sells, Arizona, who was fatally shot. News reports said she was not a suspect and her grandparents said she was the mother of a young child. The four others in the car suffered

A wall was knocked out by a truck and bullets flew in both directions as federal agents tangled with suspected human traffickers on Elliot Road near 48th Street, (Channel 15)

non-life-threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital, police said. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees Homeland Security investigations, said in a statement that agents shot two suspects. Four agents were also injured and hospitalized for medical evaluation. Police did not elaborate on the type of injuries sustained by the eight people involved. TV news footage from the scene showed

a bullet-riddled SUV and a huge hole in a homeowners’ backyard wall caused by a bystander’s pickup truck that had been hit by one of the vehicles involved in the shootout. Published reports said agents had fired


when a man in the front seat of the suspect vehicle pulled out an assault rifle. ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing the incident and declined comment. Phoenix Police are handling the investigation of the incident.

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ORGANS from page 1

Stationary in a hospital bed for weeks on end, the Perez family looked on as Jovani’s health rapidly declined. The Perez family had known since he was born that Jovani was going to need a new kidney. They waited first for the moment he was old enough to handle a transplant, and then for the right kidney to become available. That word came in May 2017 when the Perez family received news about an available kidney. But they knew their gain of a kidney had been another family’s loss of life. “It’s a lot to swallow on day one and from that point you just take it a day at a time,” said Jovani’s father Ben Perez. On the other end of the miracle was the heavy-hearted Mar family. Though Bob and Trena were Zoe’s grandparents, she was “our daughter in every respect,” said Bob, whom Zoe referred to as “dad”. Zoe would snuggle between Bob and Trena when she had trouble sleeping. On the night of her death, she had crawled into bed with them.


“Even at her age she would cuddle with us and I think that’s something I miss most now,” said Trena, with tears in her eyes. “She was making a weird noise, which is why we tried to wake her. It was like a wheezing. We didn’t know what it was, so we tried to wake her up but she wouldn’t respond. So, we called 911 and they had us put her on the floor and the paramedics came,” said Bob. Bob and Trena didn’t know it then, but Zoe was brain dead in their bed before help arrived. The couple was told Zoe did not suffer. The family was sent to Chandler Regional Hospital, where they thought Zoe’s problem would be identified and resolved. But when she was put on a helicopter and sent to St. Joseph’s for treatment, Bob and Trena realized there was a chance they may never get Zoe back. At the hospital, they learned of Zoe’s aneurysm. They were told a calcium buildup indicated Zoe was most likely born with it. It was positioned at the base of her skull, and if Zoe had gotten an MRI and doctors had caught it, the aneurysm’s position made the mass inoperable. Bob and Trena didn’t delay donating

Trena and Bob Mar look on as members of Jovani Perez’ family and others speak during a ceremony last week at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer)

Photos of Zoe Mar before she died at age 16 in 2007 were posted during the emotional meeting last week between her grandparaents and one of the four recipients of her organs. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer))

Zoe’s organs because they knew their daughter wouldn’t have it any other way. “The Donor Network approached us and gave us time to share who Zoe was. Until that point it had never crossed our mind. I mean — she was 16. But there was no second thought or hesitation, we just said yes, this is what she would want,” said Bob. Bob and Trena described Zoe as giving and gracious to everyone she met. The two grandparents said Zoe was built for the stage and spread joy through her performances with the Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre Select Show Choir. Bob said he misses the little things she would do or say throughout the day, but what he misses most is the opportunity to watch her grow. “Maybe it’s not the things that have been done, maybe it’s the things I was looking forward to. Zoe had talent, but more than that she had grit, so I knew she was going to be a great performer one day. I miss looking forward to the day I was going to sit in a huge crowd and cheer her on,” said Bob. “I’m still in the phase where I just miss her.” Although Zoe is gone, her room is still

pink, filled with hearts and dolls. Trena sets up Zoe’s pink Christmas tree each year — though some years prove to be harder than others. Yet, meeting Jovani has given Bob and Trena newfound hope that their daughter’s memory lives on. “I guess parents are supposed to be the ones to give the joy and the love and all that, and you just don’t think it’s the child that’s giving it to us, but she just, she was our life,” said Trena. “Seeing [Jovani] run around and be the same bolt of energy Zoe was, it just fills a part of me that has been empty for a long time.”

recognition,” said Petersen. “By getting government out of the way and letting qualified professionals get right to work, HB 2569 will increase economic opportunity, create jobs and grow Arizona’s economy.” The governor insisted this is different than his decision to allow Uber to test its driverless cars on Arizona roads – halted after one of them hit and killed a pedestrian. And he said it’s not the same as another

bill he signed allowing Theranos to sell its novel blood tests to Arizona residents, tests that were subsequently found to be inaccurate. “It’s apples and oranges,” Ducey said. If nothing else, he said there needs to be some proof that the qualifications of someone with a medical license from another state must meet Arizona’s minimum standards.

How to help

You can join the more than 3.5 million Arizonans who are registered as organ and tissue donors by signing up in honor of Zoe Mar and PCH at Arizonans can sign up when they apply for or renew their driver’s license or ID at the MVD. Register online at or by calling 1-800-94-DONOR.

EV lawmaker hails Ducey for signing his license bill BY HOWARD FISCHER AFN Staff Writer


ilbert lawmaker Warren Petersen was all smiles last Wednesday as a first-of-its-kind bill he sponsored was signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey. Petersen, the House Majority Leader, praised Ducey for signing HB 2569 into law. This makes Arizona the first state in the nation to grant licensure to individuals who establish residency in Arizona, hold

a comparable license in another state and meet certain criteria. Applicants must be in “good standing” in the state in which they are licensed, pay applicable fees in Arizona to obtain licensure, not have a criminal history and satisfy other standards. The bill received bipartisan support in the legislature. “I’m grateful to Governor Ducey and my colleagues in the legislature for making Arizona the first state in the country to offer universal occupational licensing

see LICENSE page 21



EVIT chief jettisoned with golden parachute BY JIM WALSH AFN Staff Writer


he suspended superintendent’s long career at the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) is coming to a rocky end, but at least Sally Downey will enjoy a cushy landing. Downey, 71, who spent 19 years as the face of EVIT, agreed to a lucrative separation agreement approved by the EVIT governing board after months of controversy set into motion by an election that overhauled its makeup. The agreement includes Downey’s resignation, effective April 30, giving the technical school an opportunity for a fresh start – a development cheered by EVIT employees and retirees who spoke at a board meeting. The district provides vocational-technical instruction for about 3,900 high school juniors and seniors – including about 200 from Scottsdale Unified. Downey, who signed a three-year extension from the previous governing board that paid her more than $188,000 a year, will not leave penniless, according to the terms of her separation agreement. Her exit deal calls for her to receive her base pay from May 1, 2019, through Feb. 28, 2020, a sum of $157,177. In addition, she is scheduled to receive another $33,333.33 as an annuity payment and to cover taxes during the same period. Her state pension will be based on the highest three years of earnings. Downey also is entitled to receive another 133 vacation days and 277 days of accrued sick leave, minus what she has used since she was placed on administrative leave by the new board in January shortly after the election. The agreement would appear to relieve EVIT and taxpayers from the burden created by the third year of Downey’s contract extension, which was to run through 2021. The politically well-connected Downey has many fans who have come to her defense, including former Mesa Public Schools governing board president Ben Smith and longtime EVIT supporter Shon Rasmussen. But her impending departure was cheered by those attending the meeting. They broke into applause after the board met in executive session to confer with an attorney before approving the separation


agreement. Another separation agreement for Assistant Superintendent Steve Waldvogel was discussed in executive session. The board voted to authorize attorneys to follow the advice that was discussed in private, but a final agreement has not been reached. “I feel a real shift in the energy. It is a positive change,” said Kelley Grantham, a 3D animation teacher. “The atmosphere is more collaborative.” “Even me being able to speak to you is unheard of and this is new to EVIT,” she said. Kim Foulger, an interior design and fashion teacher, said that she and other teachers feel liberated by Downey’s departure. “There was a lot of fear for your job if you stepped out of line,” Foulger said. “There’s been a lot of ongoing suppression of teachers. There wasn’t a lot of freedom.” Foulger thanked the new board, which has been criticized by Downey’s allies. “Thank you for endeavoring to create a new culture of liberation at EVIT,” Foulger said. “It is 2019 and time for a positive change at EVIT.” Foulger said the atmosphere created by Downey revolved around fear and retaliation. She said one example was Downey’s insistence that EVIT remain open during the Red for Ed movement last year and her refusal to allow teachers to participate.

see EVIT page 20

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EVIT from page 19

“No one dared to wear a red shirt,” Foulger said. “I am excited to be part of the new EVIT organization.” Joyce Hinrichs, a former principal, said she was forced into retirement by Downey. “She would often espouse a plan and we would say, ‘you can’t do it,’” Hinrichs said. Downey would respond, “‘Well, who says I can’t do it?’ Well, the law says you can’t do it.” An investigation by Susan Segal, an attorney and expert in education law hired by the new board, found a list of potential violations of contract and procurement laws, along with an Open Meetings Law violation, that are under investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office. Among the allegations was the failure to bid contracts with consultants properly, including one with former legislator and Tempe city council member David Schapira. No wrongdoing has been alleged on Schapira’s part and there reportedly is a disagreement between the previous board and Segal over whether his contract had to be bid. The selection of a construction supervisor on the expansion of the East Valley SALE PENDING!! MULTIPLE OFFERS!!

campus also may have been improperly handled and may have to be re-bid. Smith, who attended EVIT, defended Downey by saying any potential infractions were “minor stuff’’ and that she deserved only a reprimand, rather than losing her job. Smith said the board had removed Downey’s picture from a foyer near the meeting room in anticipation of approving the separation agreement. He said her opponents were invited to attend, and that she has been muzzled until her resignation takes effect. Once Downey officially leaves EVIT, she plans to tell her side of the story, Smith said. “She has impacted thousands of lives and impacted the quality of life of young adults and working professionals,” Smith said. “She understood the value of a technical education and used that to make connections for students.”

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Veteran law enforcement official named new constable AFN NEWS STAFF


he Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has named a 27-year law enforcement veteran as the new Kyrene Justice Court constable/ Ben Halloran was selected from among nine applicants for the position vacated by newly elected Kent Rini, who resigned on Valentine’s Day after he was threatened with suspension for failing to perform his duties. “I’m excited to be back after a break from my law enforcement career,” said Halloran, who for a couple of years was substitute teaching in the Kyrene School District. Halloran has worked for law enforcement agencies and in corporate security after serving six years in the U.S. Air Force. Maricopa County constables serve official documents including eviction notices and orders of protection. The Kyrene Justice Court encompasses Ahwatukee and portions of Tempe and the Town of Guadalupe. Halloran will have to run in a special election next year fill the remainder of the term until the 2022 election. “I always enjoyed working with the


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LICENSE from page 18

And as for other professions, like architects and engineers? Ducey dismissed the concerns as irrelevant. “I think you are taking hypothetical examples in terms of the obstacles that are in front of people that are moving to Arizona and can’t find work,” the governor said. He also brushed aside a question of whether allowing anyone with any license from any other state to practice in Arizona will be bad for those already here, potentially driving down wages as there are more people offering the same services. “Not only is our GDP growing but so are our wages,” Ducey said. “We have more jobs available than people to fill them.” The state’s jobless rate is almost a full point higher than the national figure. For Ducey and supporters, the argument is that there is no need for Arizona to require new residents to prove to regulators here they can do their jobs. “We know that whether you make your living as a plumber, a barber, a nurse or anything else, you don’t lose your skills simply because you pack up a U-Haul truck and make the decision to move to Arizona,” he said. Some states, including Arizona, already have reciprocity agreements for certain

licensed there, a move they said will effectively make the standards in Arizona the lowest in the nation. Ducey has been at the forefront of deregulatory efforts. In 2015 he inked his approval to legislation to make it easier for companies to market blood-test services to Arizona consumers. That law, sought by Theranos, removed all the limits on the kinds of blood, urine and other tests that patients can order State House Majority Leader Warren Petersen of Gilbert cuts a ceremonial themselves. In a ceremony red piece of tape with Gov. Doug Ducey to symbolize the significance at the company’s Scottsdale of his universal licensing bill that was signed into law last week. (Howard offices, the governor said Fischer/Capitol Times Media) he was “proud to sign’’ professions: Arizona will honor another legislation for “reducing burdensome state’s licensing if that state does the same barriers and red tape.” for those with Arizona licenses. But this As it turned out, the company later is believed to be the first situation in the admitted that the tests it was offering nation where a state has unilaterally agreed – involving just a small sample of blood to allow those licensed in other states to – were not always accurate. More than practice here, with no requirement for like one out of every 10 of the test results treatment of Arizonans. given to Arizonans by the company were Critics have argued this move will mean “ultimately voided or corrected.” that Arizona has to accept whatever The company agreed to refund more other states believe is acceptable to getB:10” than $4.6 million to Arizonans who got T:10”


the tests and may have been defrauded. A year later, Ducey welcomed Uber to Arizona, allowing the firm to test its selfdriving vehicles on Arizona roads. That occurred even before the state adopted rules for their use. That came after Uber rejected the demand of California transportation officials that these vehicles be specially licensed and registered as test vehicles. Ducey, in making the announcement, said the move shows that Arizona is friendlier for businesses than its neighbor to the west. But the governor on that day sidestepped a question of whether he should be held personally responsible if someone is injured or killed in Arizona as a result of problems with one of those vehicles. Ducey suspended the ability of Uber to continue testing last year in the wake of an accident that showed an Uber test vehicle, with someone behind the wheel but not paying attention, striking and killing a pedestrian in Tempe. The governor’s decision also came a day after the New York Times reported that Uber’s efforts to put autonomous vehicles on the road was having problems even before the accident in Tempe.


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Some lawmakers fought repeal of ‘no promo homo’ BY HOWARD FISCHER AFN Staff Writer


he state’s controversial “no promo homo’’ law is on its way out – but Gilbert Sen. Eddie Farnsworth thinks it’s a bad idea. Gov. Doug Ducey last week signed legislation repealing sections of state sexeducation laws that prohibit teachers from promoting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle. Those same laws also spell out that if schools teach about “safe sex’’ they cannot say there is any such possibility when it involves homosexual conduct. His action came less than an hour after a 19-11 vote by the Senate; The House gave its approval on Wednesday. Sen. Tony Navarrete, D-Phoenix, said he wished that the 1991 law had not been on the books when he was going to school. “Things could have been a lot different and I could have come out sooner,” he told colleagues. And Sen. Victoria Steele, D-Tucson, discussed the problems that her son, who is gay, faced while he was going to school. But Republican Farnsworth said there’s

a good reason the law is on the books: medical evidence. He said 67 percent of new AIDS cases are among gay men. “This was not in 1991, nor is it for those of us who are voting ‘no,’ intended to be discriminatory,” he said. “It’s intended to reflect that a certain lifestyle actually lead to certain spread of this particular disease.” Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, said she doesn’t believe that schools are a proper venue to discuss sex education and AIDS, no matter whether homosexual or heterosexual. The law officially will come off the books 90 days after the end of the legislative session, meaning likely sometime this summer. Lawmakers moved to repeal provisions of the bill rather than try to defend it in court. On a 55-5 margin, the House of Representatives voted to strip making illegal any course that “promotes a homosexual lifestyle,” a second forbidding anything that “portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative lifestyle,” and one banning teachers from suggesting that

It wasn’t just legislative leaders who backed the repeal. Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, said she agreed with the decision by lawmakers that repeal is probably the way to go. “There’s no purpose in the state going through years of litigation over these contested provisions,” she told Capitol Media Services. That is a major departure for Herrod, whose organization lobbies on behalf of what it says are “family values” and marriage, and which unsuccessfully fought against allowing same-sex marriage. After the lawsuit was filed last month, Herrod said the challenged provisions were important for “the safety of our children.” So what changed? “I had not reviewed the lawsuit,” said Herrod, who is an attorney. Anyway, Herrod said, it’s not like the legislation will leave those teaching about HIV and AIDS free to tell students whatever they want. “The intent of the law can be carried out without the contested provisions,” she said.

“some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.” There is no similar bar on teaching “safe” heterosexual sex. The action came less than 24 hours after Attorney General Mark Brnovich told lawmakers he did not intend to mount a defense to the lawsuit filed in federal court last month by Lambda Legal and Educational Foundation on behalf of Equality Arizona and two students who are gay. That lawsuit charged the state statute “facially discriminates against nonheterosexual students on the basis of sexual orientation and places them in an expressly disfavored class.” State schools chief Kathy Hoffman, who called for repeal of the law earlier this year in her State of Education speech, said she had no interest in trying to defend it. The state Board of Education, also named as a defendant, had been set to meet Monday to choose whether its members wanted to try to defend the law. Brnovich, in his letter to legislative leaders Tuesday, told them they are free to take on the legal fight. Instead, the decision was made to repeal it.









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Festival of libations Among guests at the Ahwatukee Festival of Lights Committee’s annual Wine and Beer Tasting Festival last Friday were 1) Jimmy Maler and Noeleen Sese of Vintageous Life; 2) Danae Lossing, Jerry Brewer, Tara Astigarvaga and Scot Lossing of Brewer’s Heating and Air Conditioning; 3) Kenny Holman, Josh Tencate and Courtney Strand of Safeway; 4) Eva Willis; 5) Samirah Ruiz of Tukee’s Tamales; 6) Dani Martinez and Cindi Borquez of Bell Mortgage; and 7) Victoria and Mike Casarez of Big O Tires. The annual festival was back at Foothills Golf Club after being held for several years at Rawhide. The event helps raise funds for the annual holiday light display along Chandler Boulevard.


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Hairy deregulation bill gets Dems’ dander up BY HOWARD FISCHER Capitol Media Services


rizonans who are having a bad hair day could soon get relief from people who are not licensed by the

state. On a 31-26 margin, the House on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation that says people can wash, dry and style someone else’s hair without being licensed as a cosmetologist. That includes the use of curling irons and hair dryers, but no chemicals or scissors. More to the point, these stylists would legally be able to charge for their services despite the lack of a state license. Within minutes of that final approval, Gov. Doug Ducey sent out a Twitter message calling SB 1401 a “big win for freedom and Arizona workers,” saying he is “looking forward to signing this bill!” Last week’s vote came over multiple objections from Democrats, who pointed out there are diseases that can be spread from customer to customer. They said that a fully trained cosmetologist gets extensive training on not just identifying disease, but safe practices.

Instead, SB 1401 would require only that stylists take a course on safety. But Republicans called the concerns overblown. “You would think we were talking about operating a nuclear reactor here,” complained Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills. He said that hundreds of millions of Americans manage to shampoo and dry their own hair daily without any training “beyond reading the label.” “This is like a total no-brainer,” Kavanagh said. But Kavanagh, under questioning from Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley, D-Tucson, conceded he never had his hair blown dry or styled with a curling iron. She and others talked about the chances of being burned by someone without training. Other foes mentioned diseases like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA, which they said can be spread by using the same styling tools on customers. But Rep. Randy Friese, D-Tucson, who is a doctor, conceded he has never treated anyone who caught MRSA from a hair stylist. The legislation is the latest move to carve out exceptions to state laws that

can require upwards of 1,000 hours of training at a state-licensed school to be a cosmetologist. Lawmakers already decided more than a decade ago that stylists who only braid hair do not need state-mandated training and licensing. And the Board of Cosmetology, facing a lawsuit, has stopped trying to enforce training requirements on those whose total practice consists of plucking eyebrows. This, however, goes too far for some Democrats. Powers Hannley said people who go to a hair salon expect that everyone working there is both trained and regulated by the state. This legislation, she said, would require only that any salon employing a hair stylist post a sign informing consumers that isn’t the case. “The idea that a sign on the wall saying, ‘This activity is unregulated,’ they’re not going to understand that,” she said. Powers Hannley said if her Republican colleagues are determined to go this route, the sign should read, “This person has not been trained to do your hair, so buyer beware.” That, she said, customers would understand.

“This puts the public at an unnecessary risk,” Powers Hannley said. Others, however, didn’t see the danger. Rep. David Cook, R-Globe, pointed out that nearly every hotel provides shampoo, conditioner and hair dryers for guests. “Maybe we should look at removing those for safety,” he said. For Rep. Noel Campbell, R-Prescott, the issue was more basic than who is qualified to style hair. “What we’re really talking about is the right to work,” he said. Campbell said he has talked with cosmetologists and does understand their belief that only those with proper training should be doing this kind of work. And he said that there are arguments to be made for training. But he said that is not enough to overcome his philosophical objections to regulation. “I’m going to choose the side of free enterprise, workers’ rights to work without being encumbered,” Campbell said. That philosophy did not sit well with Rep. Isela Blanc, D-Tempe.

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Guitars a canvas for DV sophomore artist BY COTY DOLORES MIRANDA AFN Contributor


esert Vista High School sophomore Allie Ophardt is an artist and entrepreneur who credits a fifth-grade art teacher and her current employer as inspiring her to pursue her craft. The 16-year-old lacrosse player said her interest in painting was sparked by discovering the works of myriad artists while attending Kyrene del Milenio Elementary School. Today, the Ahwatukee teen and her artworks have a fan following on social media, with new commissions resulting. Her recent canvases have ranged from Jordan Air and other canvas shoes to skateboards, jean jackets, an electric guitar and even cornhole boards. All are brilliantly colored, and geared to the interests of customers commissioning her to not only paint, but often create the design itself. She said she prefers to interview the

commissioning client before proceeding with any work. “I’ll talk to them and sometimes they have something specific in mind but other times they’ll say ‘you’re really creative, you come up with something.’ I usually know what they like, so that makes it easier,” she said. Many. but not all, her clients are school friends, and she said she adjusts her prices for them. “I don’t try and high-price high school students cause none of us have money,” she laughed. She started her business by painting band logos on her jean jackets, heading to the local Goodwill stores to find new “canvases.” Friends and family and even strangers took notice and started asking if she could do artwork for them. Since last summer, her business – though still a hobby – has grown. But her success has come through inspiration of others, she said. “I started getting really interested in

painting in fifth grade at Milineo,” she said. “I had Mrs. Yorio as my art teacher. I had a really good time in her class and she inspired me.” Referencing Stephanie Yorio, who still teaches art at Milenio, the teen recalled how their elementary class learned about classic art and artists. “We did a lot of different types of art inspired by different artists. I remember we tried to do our own Picasso artworks and a lot of impressionists like Manet. Even Van Gogh. We covered a whole range of styles.” She admitted her years at Akimel a-Al Middle School weren’t a productive art period for her, but entering Desert Vista High, her interest was rekindled. “My freshman year I started taking art classes and really getting into it again. I started with Art and Design with Ms. (Samar) Waterworth and

see GUITAR page 27

Budding Ahwatukee artist Allie Ophardt painted this design on her boyfriend’s electric guitar to capture his interest in comic books, pop art and space themes. (Special to AFN)

Student, credit union team up for a teacher AFN NEWS STAFF


ometimes teaching has rewards that money can’t buy. Just ask Desert Vista High School AP World History teacher Carly Kazanas. She recently received a new laptop after sophomore Gabriel Granillo launched a fund-raiser on – and Desert Financial Credit Union found out about it. Recently, Gabriel posted a plea on, starting with the explanation that “I did not know what I was getting myself into signing up for AP World History.” As hard as the subject matter was, he said, “One thing that made my year was my teacher, Mrs. Kazanas. Mrs. K gives all her attention and effort to every student she has. She has helped me grow as a person as well as a student. Her teaching is very good and she helped everyone grow skills for the AP exam and college too.” But Gabriel thought she could do even more – if she had the right tools.

Desert Vista High sophomore Gabriel Granillo is flanked by Christine Mijares, left, of Desert Financial Credit Union and history teacher Carly Kazanas after they presented her with a new laptop.(Special to AFN)

“One thing that holds her back though is the outdated computer she teaches from

every day,” he wrote. “She’s had breakdowns over the age of her computer and

how it affects her daily life. We, her students, would love to show our appreciation for her and buy her a new laptop. With your funds, you can help us gift our favorite teacher a gift she’ll remember for years to come.” Gabriel had raised less than a fifth of his $1,800 goal when fate intervened. Desert Financial Credit Union was alerted to the GoFundMe by a local branch employee. As part of its Random Act of Kindness program, the credit union covered the entire cost of the laptop on behalf of all of the supporters – and gave Gabe with an iPad to recognize his act of kindness toward his teacher. “We were so impressed with Gabriel’s effort to fund the laptop for Mrs. Kazanas, a teacher who clearly inspired him,” said Cathy Graham, senior vice president and chief marketing and strategy officer for Desert Financial.

see TEACHER page 29



GUITAR from page 26

we worked with a lot of different mediums, we used graphite and oil pastels and we actually did printmaking, too.” Between her freshman and sophomore year in summer 2018, her personal art took flight. “I started out painting for fun. Simple things to start out with. Then I started painting band logos on my jean jackets,” she said. And that is where it all changed. “I started showing them to my friends and some of them hadn’t seen my artwork and they were like, ‘Hey, we didn’t know you could paint like this.’ They asked me to do something for them.” She said she began painting shoes. And not just any canvas shoes, but Air Jordans for her friend Callie Shoemaker, who raves about the results. Callie’s white shoes now sport yellow and orange flames on the outside of the right shoe, and on the left a front-flowing blue and white wave similar to “The Great Wave” by Japanese artist Katsushika. “Allie by far made me the coolest shoes I own, and trust me, I own a lot of shoes,” Callie said. “She far exceeded my expectations of what the final product would look like. I get so many compliments when I

Allie Ophardt, left, credits her Milenio Elementary art teacher Stephanie Yorio for inpsiring her to pursue art. (Special to AFN)

wear them out, or just to school.” The Altadena Middle School eighth grader added, “Every time I wear them, I get another person telling me how cool they are. I love knowing the shoes are unique to me, and I remember one time I was at the mall, shoe shopping, and all the store employees were totally drooling over them!” But Allie wasn’t to be limited to clothing

or shoes. Her cousin Aubrey Fuller had a longboard skateboard she thought could use the artist’s touch. “All I did was give her a preference of what I wanted on it and she did the rest, and it was way better than I could have ever anticipated,” said Aubrey, a Horizon Honors Middle School stu-

dent, adding: “I can’t go around my neighborhood without getting a compliment. Her variety is amazing and I can recommend her to any age of audience, and I guarantee they will love it.” The longboard, titled “Space Unicorn,” combines Aubrey’s love of space and unicorns, and it’s done with great creativity

see GUITAR page 29

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and panache. New additions to Allie’s portfolio include a cornhole board with a Led Zeppelin design similar to their “Mothership” album cover. This was done as a gift to a friend of her father. One of Allie’s most labor-intensive works is an electric guitar painted for her boyfriend, Ty Parker. “He helped by explaining what he wanted – a space theme, comic book art style and pop art,” she said. “It took me about three weeks.” Besides playing for the Thunder lacrosse team – a sport she’s played since fifth grade – Allie also is an artist employee at Ahwatukee’s Artist Studio. She credits owner Sandra Marshall as yet another of her inspirations. ‘She proves it’s possible to have a career in art,” she said The admiration is returned. “Allie has a great work ethic and is a very talented artist. We’re lucky to have her at our studio,” said Marshall, artist and owner of Artist, which recently marked its fourth anniversary. “My parents always believed that you should do what you love and the money will come. If it is your passion, you’ll make





Mahnah Club marks 65 years of service

GUITAR from page 27

a living out of it if you have a good work ethic. I know Allie will have a very successful career as an artist because its in her heart, and she has the drive,” Marshall said. Allie’s fifth art grade teacher Stephanie Yorio ran into her former student at the studio. “I have kids at Desert Vista so I’ve seen some of her breathtaking work, and I’m thrilled she continued her passion for art,” said Yorio. “She was always completely engrossed in anything I was teaching; she didn’t miss a word.” “She has the intrinsic desire to grow artistically and her work really shows that,” Yorio added. “I’m most proud of Allie for consciously choosing to focus on what makes her happy, and block out potential obstacles. I can’t wait to see the amazing things she’ll do in the future. “ For now, the teen, who has been in numerous plays at her school and Mountain View Lutheran Church, continues painting at home but in a new space. “Her work has always been done at our kitchen table that was usually always covered with whatever current project she was working on,” said her mother Holly Ophardt. “I finally got tired of clearing off a tiny


F Allie painted this cornhold board to echo the design of the cover for Led Zepplin’s “Mothership” album. (Special to AFN)

spot for all five of us to squeeze in to eat, so we purchased an artist work table for our front room,” she added. “She blows me away with her creativity.” Allie has two siblings, Cal, 13, and Olivia, 11. “My younger sister is an artist, too,” said Ophardt with a smile.

or 65 years, Mahnah Club of the East Valley, Inc. has helped others, many others, improve their lives. Its list of charities and families helped is nearly endless, and as the club moves toward seven decades of service, its members continue their largesse. The nonprofit club comprises women who took the name from the Hopi word “mahnah,” which they interpret as “leading women of the community.” The 65 members are indeed women leaders who have, since the club’s founding in 1954, served the East Valley communities not only by financially supporting nonprofits and awarding post-secondary school scholarships, but volunteering with charities they support. “We’ve given hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities and scholarships, and our members donate more than 5,000 volunteer hours annually,” said member Connie Little. “And we’ve done this continually for 65 years. That’s a lot for a club that’s

100 percent volunteer.” Little, who has been with the club 17 years and was co-chair with Karen Shoemaker for the 65th anniversary event’s fashion show, continues to be especially proud of the organization’s founding of the Child Crisis Center in Mesa 38 years ago. After merging with Crisis Nursery three years ago, the nonprofit is now Child Crisis Arizona, but its mission is as it was when it was founded by Mahnah Club: “Safe Kids and Strong Families.” Chris Scarpati, the CEO of Child Crisis Center from its founding until her retirement three years ago, said Mahnah Club never ceased to amaze her with its financial and physical support. She was a main speaker for the Mahnah Club’s anniversary celebration. “I reminded them Saturday that because of their foresight in seeing the need for a shelter in the East Valley decades ago, they’ve touched the lives of tens of thousands of children who needed to feel safe

see MAHNAH page 29

St. James

Episcopal Church Christmas EveWednesday — April 17 Holy 6:00pm The Family service with Waycandlelight of the Cross 6:30pm A Godly Play Christmas

April 18 Maundy Thursday 7:00pm 9:00pm Traditional candlelight service April 19 Good Friday Noon & 7:00pm Christmas Day ~ 11:00am April 20 The Great Vigil of Easter 8:00pm April 21 Easter Sunday 8:30am & 10:30am

Come, Lord Jesus, Come! The Rev. Susan E. Wilmot 975 E. Warner Rd | Tempe, AZ 85284


The Rev. Susan E. Wilmot 975 E. Warner Rd | Tempe, AZ 85284 480-345-2686



MAHNAH from page 28

“Mahnah Club paved the way for all the positive outcomes for those families.” Scarpati recalled the Child Crisis Center’s first year in 1981, working with Mahnah Club members to renovate the first little building so it could be licensed for seven infants and children who needed a safe place while their future was determined by the courts, “or while we worked with the parents to help them through a crisis,” she said. “They worked tirelessly cleaning, painting and at the same time putting together their annual fundraising event to fund the center,” Scarpati said. “We were all thrilled and exhausted when the First Lady of Arizona, Hattie Babbitt, celebrated our open house towards the end of that year,” she added. “We welcomed the first of thousands of babies and young children into our shelter around Thanksgiving of that year.” She said Mahnah members stayed

and loved; 17,000 during my 34 years,” said Scarpati. “Because of them, thousands of families received hope through the many and diverse services we provided. Although the club never sought recognition and would probably never see many of the lives they touched, it was my pleasure to remind them and honor them at their anniversary event,” she said. Scarpati thanked them “for allowing me the privilege of serving children and families in such a special way.” She recounted how a small shelter “became an agency filled with long-term, dedicated and passionate staff, and hundreds of volunteers, all with the same goal, no matter which program they worked in – that of making life better each day for one child and family at a time.” All that was made possible because

TEACHER from page 26

involved year after year, volunteering hands-on in countless ways, assisting in capital drives for needed expansions and serving on committees and the board. Two members – Betty Kerr, now deceased, and Nancy Sheridan – served as board chairs. Scarpati said it was “only fitting” that the first wing of the larger 42-bed shelter was named Mannah Wing. “As the center added buildings and programs, they walked the walk with us,” she said. Ann Randall of Mesa has been a Mahnah Club member for 30 years, serving as a past president and personally volunteering with area nonprofits supported financially by the club. “From 1954 until now, women in the East Valley have worked to contribute to other families and children in many ways,” she said, “from rocking babies to wrapping gifts, providing food for those in need over the holidays and throughout the year.”

or our founders by continuing their legacy of supporting educators.” Credit union officials, along with high school staff and students surprised Kazanas with the laptop. Even Gabriel’s parents came out to witness the event. “I think it is amazing what Desert Financial is doing, recognizing random acts of kindness in the community,” Principal

“The 15 teachers who founded Desert School Credit Union 80 years ago did so with only $78.75,” Graham added. “With that small amount, they inspired who we are today. Though the credit union’s name has since changed, and membership opened to all Valley residents, we can hon-

Christine Barela said. “Gabe recognizing Mrs. Kazanas is a really special thing – it shows that Desert Vista students care about their education and their teachers.” Gabriel is just happy that his teacher has a much-needed tool. “Mrs. Kazanas gives her all into that class, and her students are very grateful to have her,” he said. “Today’s generation will help pioneer

the world of tomorrow, so I believe that it is essential to respect and embrace the teachers we have now. I see this gift as a great opportunity to show the well-deserved gratitude towards one of my favorite teachers,” he said. “Whether in elementary, middle, high school or college,” he added, “a teacher means all the difference.”

Easter Brunch





OMELETTE STATION Carving Station featuring Beef Tenderloin with Au Jus & Horseradish Honey Glazed Ham Scrambled Eggs • French Toast Bacon • Sausage • Breakfast Potatoes Yogurt Parfait • Fresh Fruit Display Danish • Pastries • Cinnamon Rolls Muffins • Bagels & Cream Cheese Smoked Salmon • Chicken Mashed Potatoes • Asparagus • Antipasto Salad • Fresh Italian Rolls DESSERTS Mini Cheesecakes • Red Velvet Cake Tiramisu • Brownies Assorted Cookies DRINKS | $15 each Bottomless Mimosas • Bloody Marys




KIDS 6-12 yrs


$ .95

Bloody Mary Bar 5 Bottomless Mimosas

$ .00


$ .95


34.95 CHILDREN 6-12 $ .95 14 FREE Admission for $

Children 5yrs & under Gold Card Members 10% Discount Club Members 15% Off

*Tax + 20% Gratuity will be added to final bill


2201 E Clubhouse Dr Please call 480.460.4653 x 193 or email for reservations

Visit from the Easter Bunny


Scrambled Eggs • Bacon • Sausage • Country Potatoes • Yogurt Fresh Fruit • Assorted Pastries • Pancake Bar: Chocolate Chips • Strawberries • Blueberries Chocolate Sauce • Strawberry Sauce • Maple Syrup • Whipped Cream Pineapple Baked Ham - Mashed Potatoes w/ Gravy • Mac & Cheese Green Beans and Assorted Breads 12432 S 48th St • Phoenix, AZ 85044 | Reservations Only 480.893.1161


As with many social/service clubs, Mahnah Club of the East Valley, Inc. is struggling to find new and younger members. But, said Randall, they remain undeterred even if it means a little downsizing. “We are struggling with membership. It is such an amazing club, with lots of fun and friendship and bonding that’s been so special over the years, but younger members aren’t easy to attract,” she said. Members agree it’s an old-school kind of service club with each membership meeting beginning with the recitation of the Mahnah Club pledge, followed by singing of ‘The Mahnah Song’, written by Addaline Gates with a musical arrangement by Mary Fulop. The fourth stanza echoes their mission: “We reap what we sow, Our special star will shine, Give help along the way, And never failing to be kind.” Information:


CARVING STATION featuring Prime Rib Scrambled Eggs Bacon and Sausage Creamy Tuscan Chicken French Toast Station Biscuits and Gravy Garlic Mashed Potatoes Vegetable Medley Silver Spur Salad Pinwheels Caprese Skewers DESSERTS Mini Fruit Parfaits Assorted Muffins Chocolate Fountain with Assorted Fruit


21.95 CHILDREN 6-12 $ .95 12 FREE Admission for $

Children 5yrs & under Gold Card Members 10% Discount Club Members 15% Off

*Tax + 20% Gratuity will be added to final bill


42660 W Rancho El Dorado • Maricopa Please call 480.844.1100 x 3 or email for reservations



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Barrow seeks Alzheimer’s drug trial participants

heimer’s disease, when memory and thinking problems interfere with daily life,” she added. “What really excites me is that troriluzole has the potential to improve cognitive symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s disease.” Barrow Neurological Institute is one of more than 40 sites in the U.S. partic-




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Dr. Anna Burke, director of neuro[sychiatry at Barrow Nuerological Institute, said the new drug poses some good news for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. (Special to AFN)

hasn’t been a new treatment in 15 years.” To enroll in T2 Protect AD, participants must be between age 50 and 85, diagnosed with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and already being treated with Alzheimer’s medications for at least three months. Participants must have a study partner who has regular contact with the trial participant and can attend study visits. An estimated 5.7 million people in the U.S. suffer from mild-to-moderate AD, with those numbers expected to triple by 2050 without prevention or cure. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative dementia that accounts for 60 - 80 percent of dementia cases. Although there are FDA-approved medications for symptomatic treatment of AD, their clinical benefits are generally limited. Barrow Neurological Institute at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center is an internationally renowned medical center that offers care treats brain and spine diseases, disorders, and injuries. Information: 602-406-7054.

S Priest Dr


arrow Neurological Institute is now screening participants in a new, national Alzheimer’s disease clinical research study evaluating the potential benefits of an investigational medicine for people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study, called T2 Protect AD, is evaluating the drug troriluzole, which the institute said “may have the potential to protect against, slow down, and even improve memory and thinking problems that increase as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.” Troriluzole is a drug that affects the brain chemical glutamate, which is important for healthy brain function. High glutamate levels in the brain can lead to brain cell dysfunction and disease, including Alzheimer’s disease. Troriluzole normalizes glutamate levels in the brain. “We are hoping this drug truly makes a difference in this illness,” said Dr. Anna Burke, director of neuropsychiatry at Barrow Neurological Institute. “We badly need symptomatic therapies for mild to moderate stages of Alz-

ipating in the T2 Protect AD study. The study is sponsored by New Haven-based Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd., and is coordinated by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study, a large clinical research consortium based at the University of California, San Diego. The Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study  (ADCS) was formed in 1991 and is a major initiative for AD, addressing treatments for both cognitive and behavioral symptoms. The ADCS seeks to facilitate the discovery, development and testing of new drugs for the treatment of AD. The T2 Protect AD trial comes at a time when Alzheimer’s research is focused on earlier stages of the disease and there are not as many clinical trials for people already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “Simply put, we need to identify more and better treatments for the millions of people already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and the T2 Protect Study is designed for that population,” said Burke. Added a spokeswoman: “There are fewer and fewer clinical research opportunities than ever before. Alarmingly, there

10 Frwy







Hawthorne Court slates workshops on estates, retirement

Hawthorn Court at Ahwatukee, 13822 S. 46th Place, Ahwatukee, has scheduled two workshops this month for seniors and caregivers. Hawthorne Court offers residents an active, engaging lifestyle that promotes wellness and independence and links them to resources and opportunities that will fulfill their needs and interests. Both workshops will take place at Hawthorn Court and people wishing to attend must RSVP at 480-5981224. The first workshop is 6-6:45 p.m. May 1 and will feature Payal Theophilus from Northwestern Mutual discussing planning for long-term care and retirement. From 6-7 p.m. May 9, Shelice Millett from Millett Law is offering a workshop titled “The 5 Common Mistakes in Estate Planning.”

Ahwatukee Chamber slates ‘KenTUKEE Derby Party

The Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the Kentucky Derby with a scholarship fundraiser called KenTUKEE Derby 2-5 p.m. May 4 at Uncle Bear’s Grill & Tap, 4921 E. Ray Road, Ahwatukee. It benefits the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber Foundation and its community programs and scholarships for Ahwatukee youth and women in business. The Kentucky Derby will be live-streamed on 25 TVs. Each ticket includes appetizers and one drink ticket. The first 100 guests receive a commemorative KenTUKEE Derby whiskey glass. Guests can enter multiple horse draw 50/50 pools. Derby attire is encouraged and guests will compete for Best Hat, Best Dressed Woman

and Best Dressed Man. Sponsor Partnerships are open. This is an 18 and over event; ID required for alcohol consumption. Tickets: $25.

Kyrene Foundation schedules biannual shred-a-thon

The Kyrene Foundation, which helps needy families in Kyrene School District, will hold its biannual shred-athon 9-11 a.m. April 27 at Monte Vista Elementary School, 15221 S. Ray Road, Ahwatukee. Bring documents and some healthy snacks to donate to the Kyrene Family Resource Center, and volunteers will take care of the rest. Helping out are Boy Scout Pack 878, Old Republic Title, Arizona Mortgage 2-10 Home Warranty, King Home Inspections, Muscular Moving Men and Ahwatukee Carpets. Information:

Mountain View Lutheran Church slates Holy Week event

Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 S. 48th Street will host “The I AM Words of Jesus – A Time of Meditation & Prayer” 7:30-9 p.m. Holy Thursday, April 18 at its worship center. It will lead participants through the seven “I am” words of Jesus and is a self-guided event lasting 45 minutes. The multi-generational church has been serving Ahwatukee and beyond for over 40 years. Information:, or call us at 480-893-2579

Tickets on sale for Kimberly Lewis’ summer production of ‘Frozen’

Ahwatukee dance instructor Kimberly Lewis is usually associated with the elaborate production of Nutcracker she’s been mounting at Desert Vista High School the last 19 holiday seasons. But the owner of Dance Studio 111 also puts on a summer production and this year she’s the first in Arizona to have the rights to put on “Disney Frozen Jr.,” based on the popular animated film. Tickets are now on sale for either the noon or 2 p.m. June 22 performance. Seating is assigned and tickets are $15, available at

Free shredding offered Saturday by real estate, bank pros

A free shred-a-thon will be held 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 20, during the Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee’s Spring Fling at 4700 E. Warner Road. Naveen Vadhwa, a loan officer with Bell Bank Mortgage, Branch Manager Lori Roberts of title company Empire West and Realtor Vani Vadhwa of Call Realty will have a shredding truck in the parking lot.

“Sabrina was an intelligent, artistic and physically active young woman who traveled the world and enjoyed the great outdoors,” Jaglieski said, noting the yoga class will be held the day before Sabrina’s birthday. Participants should bring a yoga mat, towel and water and meet at the ramadas near the play area. A “Donations for Sabrina” account has been set up with the Arizona Federal Credit Union, or donations can be mailed to Donations for Sabrina, PO box 50591, Phoenix, Arizona 85076. Donors should include their postal mailing address so they can get a deduction letter. Information:,

State Sen. Mesnard to address Ahwatukee Republican Women

The Ahwatukee Republican Women will meet at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at Ahwatukee Country Club and will hear from state Sen. And former House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, R-Chandler. The meetings are open to all males and females. Information: ARW President Cindy Casaus 602-300-4185 or

Sunset yoga event commemorating Ahwatukee chapter of Moms In Prayer can help cancer victim People who would like some prayer power on behalf Ahwatukee resident Donna Jaglieski has planned a “yoga in the park at sunset” event to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and raise money for the fight against it. Her husband Phil Sliwiak’s daughter Sabrina died over the Christmas season from the disease and Jaglieski is holding the yoga event at 6:30 p.m. April 26 in Pecos Park to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance.

Voted “One of the Best” a Record 20 years in a row!!!

of their children can contact the Ahwatukee chapter of the national group Moms in Prayer. The group meets once a week for an hour, praying for children and their school. Grandmothers are welcome to come and pray for their grandchildren.

see AROUND page 33

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AROUND from page 32

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ARC shred-a-thon to help overseas troops

The Ahwatukee Recreation Center is holding a shred-athon to raise money for its Support the Troops program. The group sends packages of nonperishable snacks and toiletries to servicemen and women overseas. The shred-a-thon is 8-11 a.m. April 27 in the ARC parking lot, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive, Ahwatukee. Cost is $2 per 15x12x10-inch box.

Tennis-swim center offering Zumba class on Tuesdays

The Ahwatukee Community Swim, Tennis & Event Center, 4700 E. Warner Road, is offering a Zumba and Zumba Toning class 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays. Zumba involves dance and aerobic movements while Zumba Toning uses toning sticks. The class is for all levels of experience and ages. Cost is $9 drop-in or people can buy a punch card for $32 for four visits, $75 for 10 classes and $140 for 20.



Magic Tree House Book Club

Read the book at home and then do fun time-travel activities at the library. Kids can read this month’s Magic Tree House series titled Night of the Ninjas by Mary Pope Osborne on their own or with family to prepare for hands-on activities that bring the story to life. May’s book: Afternoon in the Amazon by Mary Pope Osborne.   DETAILS>>  Wednesday April 17, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Ironwood Library, 4333 E Chandler Blvd. Ages 6-11. Free. No registration required.

Drawing and watercoloring

Art in the Garden Studio will teach watercolor and drawing techniques. Beginners to advanced students are welcome. Individual attention given to each student. This is the perfect way to learn watercolor painting as it all starts with your sketch. People are free to bring wine or beer. DETAILS>> 7-9 p.m. $35. Supplies Included. 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee.


Fashion Jewelry with Kyoko

Submit your releases to pmaryniak@


All supplies are included for pieces you’ll make in class. DETAILS>> 10 a.m.-noon, $35 includes supplies. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee. Sign up

Alcohol ink painting

Study alcohol ink painting with Lindsey. This new art

form involves rubbing alcohol and ink on tiles, coasters, pictures. Learn a variety of ways to customize your contemporary ink art. DETAILS>> 7-9 p.m. $35 includes supplies. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee.

Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee. Feel free to bring your own beer or wine.


Learn to draw florals. “Tulips” is the picture Pam will be teaching. DETAILS>> 1-3 p.m. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd., #123, Ahwatukee. artinthegardenstudio. com

Freestyle acrylic painting

Expressive or freestyle painting is a one-of-a-kind painting experience. Spend a morning with Kyoko, a professional artist who makes art fun. DETAILS>> 10 a.m.-noon. $35. Supplies included. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee.

Soaps and scrubs

Learn to make handmade soaps and scrubs with Tish, a seasoned artist who will guide you in making and understanding the soap making process and you choose the scents and molds that you want to use. Scrubs are a new addition to the handmade personal care series. DETAILS>> 1-3 p.m. $35. Supplies included and you take home what you make. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee. artinthegardenstudio. com.

Acrylic painting lemon

Pam will teach how to blend a portrait background, shadowing and blending. You’ll have a picture you’ll be proud to hang in your home or gift. DETAILS>> 7-9 p.m. $35, all supplies included. Art in the



Drawing techniques

Watercolor art package

Spend the evening – including dinner – with Norm and learn drawing, watercolor techniques and paint a watercolor painting. A great Saturday night date night or girl’s night out! Feel free to bring your own wine or beer. DETAILS>> 4-9 p.m. Supplies included. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd., #123, Ahwatukee.


Watercolor Cards

award-winning artist will teach drawing and painting. You will have a set of handmade watercolor cards to take home. DETAILS>> 10 a.m.-noon. $35, supplies included. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee.

see CALENDAR page 34


6:00, 7:30, 8:45, 10:00, 11:15AM

E A S T E R B R E A K FA S T YO U T H F U N D R A I S E R 7 - 1 1 : 3 0 A M


Death, where is your sting? | 480-893-2579 11002 S. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85044


CALENDAR from page 33

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 Hat corsage

Kyoko will teach hair adornments for babies, weddings and upcoming Kentucky Derby parties. A fun morning and we have a multitude of supplies. Bring your hat if you want to embellish it, otherwise we will make clip bases and teach you how to make your fascinator. DETAILS>> 10 a.m.-noon. $35 includes supplies except hat. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E. Chandler Blvd. Ahwatukee.

Lighthouse at dusk

Acrylic painting, “Lighthouse at Dusk,” with Pam. DETAILS>> 7-9 p.m. $35, supplies included. Art in the Garden Studio, 4221 E Chandler Blvd. #123, Ahwatukee, Feel free to bring your own wine or beer.

Medicare explained

Insurance expert Greg Geryak will offer “medicare 101” to explain all the ins and outs of the program. Appetizers and refreshments will be served and the event is free. DETAILS>> 3 p.m., La Stalla Cucina Rustica, 4855 E. Warner Road, Ahwatukee. RSVP: 480-797-5615 or greg.


One-day widow retreat

A one-day widow retreat titled “It’s a New Day!” aims to help widows connect with each other and find renewed



DETAILS>> 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Mountain Park Church

upstairs meeting room, 16461 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee. $39 includes lunch and a book. Details/registration: Questions: Marie at 602-769-3219.



Explore hands-on creative ways to design, experiment, and invent while learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) through tinkering DETAILS>> 2-4 p.m., Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Ages 6-11. Free. No registration required.  

Bible study

Foundations of Our Faith Bible Study a journey through Leviticus that is biblically accurate and understandable for everyone. Learn the historical perspective which reveals the love of God for all His people. Technology and questions are both encouraged. DETAILS>> 9:15 a.m. Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee. 480-893-2579.    

Learn gardening from pros

Learn desert gardening by getting your hands dirty with the Ahwatukee Community Gardening Project. Share in the knowledge, the produce, and the smiles. All ages welcome Bring sun protection and water, tools optional. DETAILS>> 8-9:15 a.m. in the northwest corner of the park at 4700 E. Warner Road, Ahwatukee, behind the guitar player at the Ahwatukee Farmers Market, which is open 9a.m.-1 p.m. Information: or 480759-5338.

Chess, knitters clubs

Two new clubs meet in Ahwatukee every Sunday the chess club for players at all skill levels and Knitters Anonymous for all levels of knitters and people who crochet. DETAILS>> The Chess Club meets at 11 a.m. and Knitters Anonymous meets at 2 p.m., both at the Early Baker, 4025 E. Chandler Blvd,, Ahwatukee. For either club, call 480-246-1912 for more information.


Friends and Neighbors

Ahwatukee Foothills Friends and Neighbors (AFFAN) is an organization of women who meet regularly to socialize through groups/activities and provides educational and cultural information for its members. General luncheon meetings are the fourth Monday of every month. DETAILS>>   For more information:


This learning handbell choir teaches you how to ring those bells! The group present occasionally during worship services and special holiday throughout the school year. DETAILS>> 6 p.m.  Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee. 480-893-2579.

Power Partners meet

The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce’s Power Partners meets. It’s a category-specific networking and leads group. Non-Chamber members can attend one event to “check it out.” DETAILS>> noon-1 Native Grill and Wings 5030 E.

Ray Road, Ahwatukee. Contact: Gina Jenkins 480-9905444

LD 18 Dems meet monthly

Legislative District 18 Democrats gather monthly, usually the second Monday, to share news, opportunities, food and laughter. Meetings include guest speakers, legislative updates, how-to sessions and Q&A. Volunteer or just enjoy an evening with like-minded folks. DETAILS>> For times and places: calendar.

Babytime for walkers

Babies up to 23 months who are walking and are accompanied by a favorite adult enjoy Babytime with Sign Language for Walkers, with songs, activities to promote movement, rhymes, books and playtime in each lively session. DETAILS>> 9:30-10 a.m., except April 1, Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Ages walking to 23 months. Free. Tickets are limited & available in the library 30 minutes before program start time.  

Babytime for crawlers

Accompanied by a favorite adult, babies birth to crawling can enjoy songs, music, rhymes, books, interactive stories, simple sign language words, activities to promote movement, and playtime. DETAILS>> 10:30-11 a.m., except April 1. Ironwood Library, 4333 E Chandler Blvd. Ages birth to crawling. Free. Tickets are limited & available in the library 30 minutes before program start time.   

see CALENDAR page 35

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CALENDAR from page 34 Digital City

Children can let their digital creativity flow in this self-guided tech “playground.” We provide hands-on beginner bots, exercises to build fine motor skills, and Chromebooks preloaded with links to code-learning environments, 3D modeling, and digital art programs. DETAILS>> 4-5 p.m., except April 1, Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Ages 5-12. Free. No registration required. 

Desert Pointe gardeners meet

Desert Pointe Garden Club meets on the first Monday of the month with special programs. DETAILS>> 9 a.m., Ahwatukee Rec Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive, Ahwatukee. Information: 602 478 6732 or


Patriotic playgroup

Parents looking for playtime for their kids and, for themselves, stimulating conversations rooted in family, faith, and conservatism can gather ever second Tuesday of the month. DETAILS>> 9-11 a.m. Pecos Park playground. 17010 S. 48th St., Phoenix. Check for more details or contact:

Estrangement support

Although rarely discussed, family estrangement is far more common than most people realize. The estranged suffer from loneliness, lack of self-esteem, guilt, anger and depression. Desert Foothills United Methodist Church provides a support group that meets the first Tuesday of every month. The public is invited to the “Living Loss” sessions. No questions asked, and anonymity will be respected. DETAILS>> 7 p.m., first Tuesday of every month; 2156 E. Liberty Lane, Ahwatukee. Free. Information: 480-4601025 and  

Prayer night offered

Ahwatukee Health and Recovery holds a weekly prayer night. The public is invited. DETAILS>> noon-1:30 p.m., 16515 S. 40th Street #119, Ahwatukee. Free.

Watercolor painting with Judy Lokits

During this four-week course, participants will learn how to paint with watercolors, and complete two paintings. Beginners welcome and all materials provided. Supported by the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library Ironwood Chapter. DETAILS>> 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, March 5-26, Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Ages: Adults. Free. Registration is required via the calendar at

Coloring for grown-ups

Adult coloring promotes mindfulness, reduces stress, and improves cognitive motor skills. We’ll provide the markers, crayons, colored pencils, and coloring sheets; you just bring yourself and your friends. DETAILS>> 1:30-3 p.m. Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Adults. Free. No registration required.

Chair yoga featured

Inner Vision Yoga Studio offers chair yoga to help seniors and people recovering from injuries to stay fit. DETAILS>> 1:30-2:30 p.m., 4025 E. Chandler Blvd., Ah-

watukee. $6 per class. Information: 480-330-2015 or

Exam & Digital X-rays

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Toastmasters sharpen skills

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Improve your speaking skills and meet interesting people at Ahwatukee Toastmasters meetings DETAILS>> 6:45-8 a.m at the Dignity Health Community Room, 4545 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee.



Power Partners available

The Ahwatukee Chamber offers Power Partners every Tuesday except the second Tuesday of the month, when attendees are encouraged to attend the Wake Up Ahwatukee Morning Mixer. Unlike our Monday Power Group, this group will be non-category specific, meaning you can have more than one member in each business category. DETAILS>> 7:45-8:45 a.m. Jason’s Deli, 7230 W. Ray Road, Chandler. Free. Information:. Gina Jenkins, 480990-5444.

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Toddlers 24-47 months-old, accompanied by a favorite adult, enjoy interactive activities that encourage emerging language skills such as stories, songs, games, and playtime. Children and caregivers also practice Baby Sign Language, a great way to help young children develop communication skills, in this active session.  DETAILS>> Wednesdays, 10:30-11 a.m., Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Ages 24-47 months. Free. Tickets are limited & available in the library 30 minutes before program start time.   

Sit, Stay, Read!

Emerging readers of all ages can sign up for reading time with a registered therapy animal & human team. Read to Truffles on Wednesdays. # DETAILS>> Wednesdays, 3-4 p.m., Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. All Ages. Free. No registration required.   

Chiming Cherubs

This “ringing and singing” choir is perfect for the younger kids who love music and want to learn to ring the handbells and/or enjoy singing. Chiming Cherubs present occasionally during our worship services and special holidays throughout the school year. DETAILS>> 5:45 p.m.  Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St. Ahwatukee. 480-893-2579.  

Joyful Noiz Children’s Choir

Upbeat children’s choir with music and a message that kids can get excited about. This choir usually sings monthly during our worship services and presents a Christmas Musical. DETAILS>> 5:30 p.m. Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St. Ahwatukee. 480-893-2579.  

Lectionary Bible Study

Study and examine the Scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday at a deeper level. This weekly class dissects the passages for the upcoming weekend, giving you time to study and understand the historical background. DETAILS>> 6:30 p.m. Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St. Ahwatukee. 480-893-2579.

see CALENDAR page 36


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CALENDAR from page 35

The Boy Crisis Book Study

Boys are failing to thrive in nations throughout the world. This trend has been accelerating for the past 50 years. Why aren’t we paying attention?  What is contributing to “The Boy Crisis,” and what can we do to change it? DETAILS>> 6:30 p.m. Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St. Ahwatukee. 480-893-2579.   

Sanctuary Choir

If you enjoy singing and want to play a role in worship, the Sanctuary Choir is your next step! This choir sings regularly at our 9:15 a.m. worship services and is a part of our Cantata Choir that presents around Christmas and Easter. DETAILS>> 6:30 p.m.  Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St. Ahwatukee. 480-893-2579.   

Fun with watercolors

People can get step-by-step instruction in water-coloring whether they are beginners and intermediates. DETAILS>>2-4:30 p.m. in instructor’s home studio off Ranch Circle North in Ahwatukee. Four classes for $90. To register: Judy Lokits 480-471-8505, or jlokits@yahoo

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is a Biblical 12-step program that helps you find hope and healing from all of life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Whether it’s addiction, loss, anger, or stress, you can find the freedom you’re looking for. DETAILS>>6:20 PM, Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 South 48th Street, Ahwatukee. 480-8932579,  

Montessori holds open house

Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori holds an open house weekly. It includes a short talk about Montessori education, followed by a tour of its campus. DETAILS>> 4 p.m. Wednesdays, 3221 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee. Information: 480-759-3810

Foothills Women meet

An informal, relaxed social organization of about 90 women living in the Ahwatukee Foothills/Club West


area. A way to escape once a month to have fun and meet with other ladies in the area. Guest speaker or entertainment featured. DETAILS>> 7 p.m. second Wednesday of the month, Foothills Golf Club, 2201 E. Clubhouse Drive. Contact Shelley Miller, president, at 602-527-6789 or

Parents can ‘drop in’

Parents are invited to join a drop-in group to ask questions, share ideas or just listen to what’s going on with today’s teenagers. DETAILS>> 5:30-7 p.m. second Wednesday of each month. Maricopa Cooperative Extension, 4341 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix. Free. RSVP at 602-827-8200, ext. 348, or

dler and Tempe, meets weekly. DETAILS >> 7:45-8:45 p.m., Tukes Kafe, 15815 S. 50th St., Ahwatukee. Information: 602-418-3645.  

Teen Thursdays

Ironwood Library provides the snacks and fun every Thursday; teens just bring themselves and a friend for gaming, movies, Kahoots and crafts.. First Thursdays: video games; second Thursdays: art-making; third Thursdays: Upcycling Makerspace. Fourth Thursdays: Library Volunteer Opportunities. DETAILS>>  4-5:30 p.m., Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Ages 12-18. Free. No registration required.

Kiwanis meets weekly

Legislative District 18 Democrats gather for an informal chat. DETAILS>> Free and open to the public 7:30-9 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month at Denny’s, 7400 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. RSVP: or 480592-0052.

The Ahwatukee Kiwanis Club meets weekly and welcomes newcomers. Here is the speaker schedule: March 28, Jennifer Underwood, Tempe Union High School District; April 25, Ahwatukee YMCA; May 9, Shirley Coomer, Kyrene Foundation; May 23, Roy Tatem, East Valley NAACP; June 13, Nicole Wolf, Save Our Schools. DETAILS>>7:30 a.m. Biscuits Restaurant, 4623 E. Elliot Road, Ahwatukee. Information: mike.maloney2003@

Grief support

Preschoolers’ moms gather

‘Dems and Donuts’ set

Hospice of the Valley holds a grief support group for adults on alternating Wednesdays. DETAILS>> 6-7:30 p.m. at Pecos Community Center, 1710 S. 48th S. The assigned classroom varies signs will be on premises. It is a drop-in group and there is no need to call or register. Meeting dates this year: Jan. 23; Feb. 6 and 20; March 6 and 20; May 1, 15 and 29; June 12 and 26; July 10 and 24; Aug. 7 and 21; Sept. 4 and 18; Oct. 2, 16 and 20; Nov. 13 and 27; and Dec. 11.


MOPS – Mothers of Preschoolers

This group is designed for moms whose kids are aged birth to kindergarten. They meet in a safe place “to navigate the world of motherhood, faith and life together.” Free child care for ages 0 to 5. DETAILS>> 9-11 a.m. every other Thursday starting Aug. 23. Foothills Baptist Church, 15450 S. 21st St., Ahwatukee. Information: 480-759-2218 or mops.

Networking group meets

ACT Networking Group, standing for Ahwatukee, Chan-

Free child care for ages 0 to 5. DETAILS>> 9 a.m. second and fourth Thursday, Foothills Baptist Church, 15450 S. 21st St. Call Kim at 480-759-2118, ext. 218.

Financial peace

Financial Peace University is a nine-week video and small group class that teaches God’s plan for handling money. It will help you: pay off debt, save for the future and give like never before! DETAILS>> 6:30 p.m.  Mountain View Lutheran Church.  11002 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee 480-893-2579.  or


Toastmasters meet

The Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce has a weekly Toastmasters meeting. DETAILS>> 8-9 a.m., First American Title conference room, 4435 E. Chandler Blvd. #100, Ahwatukee. Information: Tessy Bryan 480-330-6528 or vppr-1811442@

Fish fry for anyone

You don’t have to be a member of the Ahwatukee Country Club to enjoy its weekly fish fry dinner, featuring allyou-can-eat deep-fried battered cod, eat as well as your choice of sweet potato fries, French fries or a baked potato with freshly made coleslaw and tartar sauce. Soft drinks, beer/wine, cocktails available. DETAILS>> 4-7 p.m. $13.95. 12432 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee. 480-893-1161. Reservations accepted.  

Fresh produce in Ahwatukee

Amadio Ranch, a small family farm in Laveen, grows fresh organic fruits and vegetables and sells it in Ahwatukee in a vintage Peach Truck for a mobile farmers market. Not only do they offer fresh picked seasonal produce but home-made fruit pies, turnovers, cobblers, cinnamon rolls, jams, apple butter, pickles and local raw honey. DETAILS>> 3:30-6:30 p.m. every Friday, 3930 E. Chandler Blvd., in front of the Century 21 offices. Information: or Facebook at Amadio Ranch Farm Store.


Sit, Stay, Read!

Young readers & listeners can sign up for reading time with a registered therapy animal & human team. First and third Saturdays: Read with Raven and Cassie. Second & Fourth Saturdays: Read with JoJo. DETAILS>> 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Ironwood Library, 4333 E. Chandler Blvd. Ages 5-10. Free. No registration required.  Fun with watercolors People can get step-by-step instruction in water-coloring whether they are beginners and intermediates.   DETAILS>>10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in instructor’s home studio off Ranch Circle North, Ahwatukee. Four classes for $90. To register: Judy Lokits 480-471-8505, or   

Alzheimer’s support group

Caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients can find support monthly. DETAILS>> 10-11:30 a.m. Ahwatukee Alzheimer’s Support Group meets the first Saturday of the month at Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 S. 48th St.

Submit your releases to pmaryniak@

Couple’s Mesa center first in state for drug babies BY JORDAN HOUSTON AFN Staff Writer


medical facility designed to care for newborns suffering from drug withdrawals is now open in Mesa, making it the first of its kind in the state and the fourth of its kind in the country. Jacob’s Hope, 1150 N. Country Club Drive, is a new interim care center specifically for babies born to moms who are or have been on addicting drugs.

Founded by Jo Jones and operated by her and her husband, Brian, the facility provides an alternative to a hospital newborn intensive care unit, where drug-addicted babies are generally treated. Every year, hundreds of babies in Arizona are born exposed to opioids, according to the Arizona Statewide Task Force on Preventing Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol and Other Drugs. From 2008 to 2015, more than half a

see JACOB page 37

Jo and Brian Jones this weekend opened the state’s first non-hospital facility for treating newborns that are suffering drug withdrawal symptoms. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographger)



JACOB from page 36

million newborns were exposed to some type of drug during pregnancy, while neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – where newborns experience withdrawal symptoms – increased from 145 cases to 470. An increase of 224 percent. NAS can cause low birth weight, body shakes, excessive crying and physical and mental challenges later in life. Hospital units are “not really equipped for this because we’ve learned, from doctors out there, that drug babies are typically healthy but they’re suffering from symptoms that cause bedlam,” said Brian, who is executive director of the facility. “Oftentimes, they get put into a corner of a NICU and they’re given fairly massive – not big – doses of morphine.” “What we’re trying to say to the medical profession out here is, as politely as we can, we know that you really don’t have a facility that’s equipped for these babies. That’s what we’re here for. That’s what we’re made for.” The couple dedicated the sanctuary to their son, Jacob, who was adopted as a drug-exposed newborn in 1988 and later died during a drug-related incident in his mid-20s. Jacob’s Hope is licensed as a behavioral healthcare facility under the Arizona Department of Health Services and offers immediate short-term care, a detailed plan for withdrawal and therapeutic nurturing techniques. The nonprofit will serve six infants per month before ramping up to 10 a month for a year – eventually catering up to 12 newborns at a time. Unlike the high-paced atmosphere of the NICU, the care center will provide a quiet, calm environment, which is key for

babies struggling through withdrawals, the Joneses said. “This looks like a nursery, and yet when you see the oxygen and feeding tubes and all those types of things that we have, you quickly realize that the level of care we’re equipped to give is significantly higher than just a nursery,” said Brian. Each of the six rooms can house up to two newborns, complete with a rocking chair, cribs and pastel colored walls. A bathing room sits down the hall, stacked with diapers, onesies, warm towels and washcloths, while a small kitchen is available for the nursing staff to prepare bottles and meals for themselves. The ultimate purpose of the center, Jo explained, is to prevent what happened to their son from happening to other drug-exposed newborns. Jacob was 3 days old when Jo and Brian took him in. Medical officials warned he may have been exposed to drugs during his mother’s pregnancy, but other than

with a photographic memory. “We used to say to him, ‘You should have been an attorney. You can convince people that the sky is yellow,’” said Jo. “I mean, he just was incredible, smart and

what it’s like creating an entity “ Imagine in the state that doesn’t exist.

There’s no map. There is no list, there is no blueprint. There is nobody out there to tell you this is what we did. That’s what this team for Jacob’s Hope has done.

that, no resources or information regarding the possible long-term side effects were provided. Growing up, Jacob had large brown eyes, tan skin and a handsome smile. He was charismatic, charming and brilliant,

Supporters from across the street have donated cash, furnishings and clothing to the Joneses for Jacob’s Hope. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer)

The Jonese has equipped six rooms, each capable of helping housing two babies, with cribs, clothing and other accessories for the newborms who are brought to their center for care. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer)

all of those things.” But looking back, the mother said she now recognizes the warning signs of prenatal substance exposure. When Jacob approached his teens, he started exhibiting behavioral and emotional problems. “When he turned 15, it was like everything just hit. He started having emotional issues and we were taking him to doctors and counselors and psychiatrists,” said Jo. “He had a volatile temper. It would just build up and then he would kind of explode. It wound up being difficult.” At some point, Jacob was introduced to drugs and alcohol, beginning a lifelong battle with addiction. He went on to serve in the military for four years before he died at the age of 25 after consuming a bad batch of cocaine. Devastated by her son’s death, Jo found solace in a book that changed her life – Barbara Drennen’s “Caring for Drug-Exposed Infants.” The book details the crippling side effects drug-exposed newborns face and highlights the author’s original care facil-

ity, the Pediatric Interim Care Center in Washington state – which soon became the model for Jacob’s Hope. It was in this moment that Jo realized her son met the criteria of those newborns. With Barbara’s work as her inspiration, Jacob’s Hope was born about a year and a half later. But the road to success wasn’t easy. The two parents quickly realized the difficulties of starting a nonprofit, especially one that had never existed in the state of Arizona before. “We have had countless situations where a door was closed and God was out there saying, ‘Just keep going, keep going because this is going to happen,’” said Brian, adding: “Imagine what it’s like creating an entity in the state that doesn’t exist. There’s no map. There is no list. There is no blueprint. There is nobody out there to tell you this is what we did. That’s what this team for Jacob’s Hope has done.” After two and a half years of renovating, retrofitting, inspection and licensing reviews, Jacob’s Hope finally secured a license from the Arizona Department of Health Services. The final step of gaining its Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System insurance provider information is in the works and will be completed soon. Both Brian and Jo attribute the facility’s success to its dedicated team as well as donations from supporters across the state. They estimate they have received up to $160,000 in donations and products so far. While the facility only caters to newborns at the moment, Brian expressed that there is a possibility it could expand to caring for the mothers down the road. The facility is in its beginning stages of opening and expects to have its first patients by May.





Elizabeth Estes


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Kyrene inclusion efforts are for ALL children BY DR. JAN VESELY AFN Guest Writer


he core values of the Kyrene Strategic Plan 2022 are clear: • Kids. All students are at the center of our work. • Integrity. We consistently use honesty and respect to support the well-being of our students and staff. • Dedication. We are committed to fostering a culture of collaboration, accountability and communication to achieve our shared vision and mission. • Strength. We pride ourselves in creating and maintaining strong, engaging and compassionate relationships amongst students, staff and community. It really is all about kids. The needs of ALL Kyrene students are our utmost priority. That is why Kyrene School District has made a commitment to creating and nurturing a culture of equity and inclusion for our diverse community. For the past year, we have been involved

in a process of analyzing data to identify gaps in achievement, discipline and opportunity. We have listened to the voices of our parents, community members, students and staff, and we have looked at the experiences of other districts, all with the goal of creating a framework for equity for Kyrene that will result in sustainable and meaningful change. Two years ago, we began laying the foundation for our equity work by improving instructional support for students. In the 2017-18 school year, district-level positions were reduced in order to hire academic interventionists on every single campus, to provide direct instructional support services to students. Kyrene also introduced multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), a blueprint for school improvement that focuses on structures to serve both academic and non-academic needs of students. Additionally, we rolled out a new middle school design focused on responsive instruction and student agency. This included the addition of an advisory period

to provide social-emotional lessons and the addition of counselors/social workers to support student needs. We are now focusing on discipline gaps, recently revising our discipline matrix, in collaboration with our legal team, to ensure all children are treated fairly, through restorative justice opportunities. The next layer of equity work is being incorporated into our elementary design, which will include the development of social-emotional curriculum and additional school counselors in grades K-5. Social-emotional learning at a young age encourages empathy and begins teaching children to treat peers with respect. The task of creating an equity framework is not easy. Kyrene has recently retained the services of a professional consulting firm, Corwin, to help build systems of support that identify and eliminate hate, bias and bigotry. Services will include professional development for staff, support for culturally relevant teaching strategies, and the development of practices for attracting candidates from diverse backgrounds.

I want to personally invite the Kyrene community to attend an upcoming summit on diversity, hosted by members of the Community/Superintendent Council. The summit, “Kyrene Community Voices – A Conversation about Equity and Inclusion,” will be held at Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School on 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 27. There is no cost to attend, and free childcare will be provided. Information on registration can be found at Corwin’s belief statement reads, in part, “We believe in the fierce urgency of now.” Kyrene shares that sense of urgency. We have no tolerance for any child being mistreated or feeling excluded on the basis of race, gender, income or ability. Lasting improvement in the areas of equity and inclusion takes time, but we, here at Kyrene, are committed to ensuring that we realize our vision of all students achieving at their maximum potential to become problem-solvers, creators and visionaries of tomorrow.

tick in 23 percent more calls and texts for support from our teens. While the finality of prom, graduation and “becoming an adult” sounds fun, for many it marks the end of a journey, and an unknown step to a new beginning. State testing, final exams and the loss of connection to friends can also provoke feelings of anxiety as summer looms. As a consultant to schools and nonprofit agencies, I travel regionally and nationally almost weekly. There is not a zip code that I have visited that is not facing this crisis. Last week, a young man at one of my presentations in Lake Havasu City waited until the very last question was asked and then stood up asking where the administration was from his high school? How had he been encouraged to come to share solutions to stop the mental health crisis yet the adults had not? The room was eerily silent as the adults looked to each other with no response for this young man.

We have to show up, stand up and speak up to save lives. A coalition of thoughtful and civic-minded children as part of Arizona March For Our Lives have drafted with bipartisan support a Student Bill of Rights as part of HB 295. School districts would be required to create a school-safety plan, which would outline how each school will respond to students in mental-health crises. It would also mandate that schools develop partnerships with outside community organizations or agencies that students can be referred to when counselors cannot provide long-term care. The alarm has been sounding in the Valley of the Sun for a while, specifically in the zip codes through which we in the East Valley drive. A verse in a song written by Joseph Malins and performed by John Denver says: “Let us stop at its source all this hurt,” cried he.

Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally. If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense With the ambulance down in the valley. Mayors are mobilizing, Superintendents are acting. Church leaders are calling for prayers of immediate healing. Kids are asking for help. The building of the fence is long overdue. As we enter May, Mental Health Awareness month, I hope you will join forces with me in your own communities by building a sturdy fence of prevention resources to protect our most important assets so there won’t be a need for ambulances or 14-year-old funerals. Arizona Teen Lifeline phone or text: 602-248-8336.

- Dr. Jan Vesely is superintendent of Kyrene School District.

Kids, teens need a sturdy fence of prevention BY KATIE MCPHERSON AFN Guest Writer


new study out of the United States Centers for Disease Control looked at data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and found there were 1.12 million emergency room visits for suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts by children ages 5 to 18 years in 2015. That number had risen sharply from 580,000 in 2007. Of those visits, 43 percent were ages 5 to 11 with the average patient age of 13. Statistics in most college mental health clinics across the country are reporting help seeking is up 168 percent. Our Pre-K-12 population is trending the same need. Spring is the time of year that we see a spike in the need for crisis supports. Our local nonprofit Teen Lifeline logs an up-

- Katie McPherson is an East Valley educator and advocate for improved mental and emotional support for young people.




Go beyond autism awareness this month BY REBEKAH MCCONNELL AFN Guest Writer


he month of April is very special to me. April is Autism Awareness Month. As with most “awareness” months, it’s an opportunity to create awareness for something that affects so many. Rather than just making people aware of the fact that autism exists, I’d like to see everyone take the extra step and promote acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities. Fourteen years ago, my husband and I were blessed with twins, a boy and a girl. Sarah and Josiah were like most kids. They liked cartoons and animals and steered clear of activities deemed “no fun,” like brushing their teeth. But something about Sarah was different and it would be years of doctor appointments before we came up with any

answers. When Sarah turned nine, she was diagnosed with pervasive developmental and attention deficit disorder. The doctors added Asperger’s and anxiety to the diagnosis later that year. After a bit of research, we discovered the Southwest Autism Center of Excellence. They threw us a lifeline and we gladly grabbed it. SACE’s philosophy of serving Autism Spectrum Disorder members throughout their life span promotes high quality community-based services that are tailored to each member and family, delivering services in the most appropriate setting, in a timely fashion and while respecting the member’s and family’s cultural heritage. Individualized treatment plans are developed for each individual and their family, adapted to fit their particular strengths, needs and goals. SACE also offers comprehensive services that include medical, developmental and mental health providers in one setting – something we really needed.

A comprehensive evaluation provided the much-needed insight that allowed a team to put an action plan together for our daughter. Traditional cognitive behavioral therapy wasn’t working and SACE suggested and offered an alternative applied behavior analysis therapy in our home. We learned the motivation, questions and “why” behind Sarah’s behaviors. Our ABA therapist showed and taught us how to gain Sarah’s cooperation and design behavior modification strategies. Victoria also taught us how to parent without having emotional reactions to Sarah’s behaviors, which has created a much calmer home environment. It allows us to expect the behaviors and then work to modify them – parenting the child you have, not the one you were expecting. We still have hurdles with creating schedules, hygiene, time management and working independently, but we’re

making great strides. Sarah has also shown incredible progress in managing aggression, defiance and the need to harm herself. SACE’s psychiatric and nursing care has been amazing. Parenting classes and support groups provide a much-needed community for sharing challenges and wins with a group of people that really understand what you’re going through. I wish that people could understand that autism doesn’t take away a child’s humanity, dignity or desire for relationships. Individuals with autism have unique talents and gifts. They may need accommodations and parents may need extra patience, but every goal accomplished is precious. - Rebecca McConnell lives in Mesa. The Southwest Autism Center of Excellence is a collaborative effort of Southwest Behavioral & Health Services and Southwest Human Development. Information: or

Forget the tip. Pay employees a decent wage BY DAVID LEIBOWITZ AFN Columnist


aving recently endured another in a long line of lunches with my friend Bad Tipper Guy, I feel compelled to wonder aloud if it isn’t about time that we as a nation phased out the archaic custom of tipping service workers like restaurant servers and valet parkers. For one thing, tipping creates a business model that screws customers and employees in favor of increasing employer profits. And don’t we all have enough guilt and shame in our lives without piling on still more every time we dine out, visit a coffee shop, ride in an Uber or have a pizza delivered? Me, I’ve had enough guilt tripping – and guilt tipping – for three lifetimes. Take the aforementioned lunch. Because I know Bad Tipper Guy will do one of two things when the lunch check

t o Gews? N

arrives – deliver a dissertation on the 1938 federal Fair Labor Standards Act and sub-minimum wages or simply leave a single crumpled dollar bill on the table – I feel duty bound to offer to pay for lunch. Sometimes, BTG loudly insists that it’s his turn to buy. Him winning that argument means I have to lag behind as we leave the restaurant, usually by lying about needing to use the restroom. Then I have to double back to our table and add enough cash to his buck to get us to a 20 percent tip, minimum. Why go to all that trouble? Partially it’s my fear of bad karma. But mostly it’s the years I spent waiting tables for more Bad Tipper Guys and Gals than I care to remember. I earned $2.13 an hour in those days and was obligated to “tip out” a percentage of each check to the host staff and busboys. If a diner stiffed me or left behind a buck, that meant I actually paid for the privilege of waiting on their

table. A quarter century later, I still go out of my way to tip well, even though I strongly dislike the concept – and the way “tip creep” seems to be impacting more areas of society. Nowadays, there’s a tip jar on every counter: the bakery, the ice cream shop, the pet groomer, the car wash. That often leads to customers standing register-side, 53 cents in hand, waiting for the barista to return for the ceremonial dropping of the coins. Because if a tip falls in a Starbucks and no employee sees it or hears it jingle, was it really a tip at all? Then there’s the newfound popularity of Square, the app that allows anyone with a dongle and an iPad to take credit cards. Each Square transaction comes with a gratuity opportunity and suggested amounts – no tip, 15%, 20%, 25% – helpfully pre-calculated. Talk about a chance to feel like a

grinch. Now I find myself tipping people for labor-intensive acts like handing over an empty self-serve coffee cup or stuffing a wienie in a hot dog bun. The latest weird tip request? As of Jan. 1, cheapo airline Frontier has started encouraging tips for flight attendants who sell travelers a pre-packaged sandwich or a can of soda. What’s next? Maybe a dental hygienist with a tip jar next to the tool tray. Or it’ll become customary to start slipping the minister a folded twenty after a particularly moving eulogy. Or, better yet, maybe we will move away from the gratuity model and instead pay people what they’re worth – even if that means a price hike. I’d rather hear Bad Tipper Guy complain about paying an extra two bucks for his stromboli than listen to him whine one more time about how tipping encourages indentured servitude in 21st century America.

Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5647 or



Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee presents the 43rd Annual...

We support the 43rd Annual Easter Parade & Spring Fling - Thank you, Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee .

Easter Parade Spring Fling Carnival & Craft Fair

Saturday, April 20, 2019 Join us for the kick-off at 10am along 48th Street between Elliot & Warner The Spring Fling Carnival & Craft Fair is from 11am to 4pm at the Ahwatukee Community Park at Warner & 48th St. for more information visit




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Mother-daughter herbal team marks 2 decades BY COLLEEN SPARKS AFN Staff Writer

A Chandler holistic center designed to boost customers’ minds, bodies and spirits is celebrating 20 years in business. Mother and daughter team Vicki Greener and Brittney Sounart aim to spread wellness at their Desert Sage Herbs retail store at 1728 N. Alma School Road. The center, which sells medicinal herbs, essential oils, spices, crystals and many different gift items, held a 20th anniversary party April 6. “We have holistic health,” Greener said. “Our main thing is herbs, medicinal herbs, herbal teas, black teas, green teas. We have about 350 jars of herbs. All our herbs are organic or wildcrafted. It’s very important to us that everything is non-GMO (genetically modified organism). “We’re known for our essential oils; they’re all high-grade, therapeutic grade – well-crafted, authentic, pure oils,” Greener added. “We just provide a really great service so people can buy small amounts

with these products. We also have gift items and some crystal.” Desert Sage Herbs sells about 350 different jars of herbs and some popular ones are chamomile, nettle leaf, lavender and peppermint. Customers can buy loose herbs, which they usually prepare as teas or can buy them as tinctures that are mixed with water for drinking. Sounart is a registered herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild and she provides private, herbal consultations where her clients get their own blended teas customized to treat their ailments. She also has a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in business from Arizona State University. A mother of girls Siena, 15, and Kali, 11, Sounart helps women with fertility and the process of going through pregnancy without medication. She also dvises them on ways to use herbs with babies after they are born. “My mom and I do lots of community classes at the shop on herbs [and] essential oils, making a lot of natural bath and body products,” Sounart said, adding:

Brittney Sounart, left, and her mother, Vicki Greener, own Desert Sage Herbs. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer)

“I like to support the new process of bringing new life into this world but in a more natural way. I like to help bring us back into that.” Greener taught in elementary schools for 20 years and has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from ASU, and has done graduate work in elementary

education. She also previously taught parenting classes in community colleges in the Valley. She studied as an aromatic specialist and continues her aromatherapy training. She is also a certified Feng Shui practi-

see HERBS page 44

Mom realizes dream, opens Burn Boot Camp here AFN NEWS STAFF


mother of two realized her dream of becoming a small business owner over the weekend as she opened up a Burn Boot Camp in Ahwatukee. Tammy Opfer opened the fourth Burn Boot Camp in Arizona at 4625 E Ray Road, Suite, D3. Opfer said she identifies with busy women and wants to help them become the best they can be for themselves and their families. She said after her children were born, she found herself not in the place physically she felt she should be. Thinking of son, Caleb, 12, and daughter, Teagan, 9, she decided, “I wanted to leave a health and wellness legacy for them.” As her children grew older and headed to school, she entered “corporate America,” but that became more stressful. Yet, this experience propelled her into owning her own Burn Boot Camp franchise, joining the current 243 locations

Tammy Opfer wanted to opened up her own business as an inspiration for her daughter Teagan Post, 9, and son Caleb Post, 12, and she got her wish when she opened a Burn Boot Camp on Ray Road and 46th Street, Ahwatukee. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer)

nationwide established since the North Carolina-based company began franchising in 2015.

“Last year proved to be a very challenging year at my job. It was filled with countless re-orgs and downsizing amid merger

talks,” she said “I was saved, but my job transitioned to a new area, and the new leadership was difficult,” she said. “I knew I needed to move on and contemplated what I really wanted to do at this stage of my life, what legacy did I want to leave for my children?” she added. “So, I left corporate America to pursue my dream of owning my own business.” Opfer said Burn Boot Camp “has a profound effect on everyone who goes through it.” Its mission is “to empower women through a community focused on mindset, burst training, strength training and organic whole nutrition.” Each camp or class involves a circuit-style, 45-minute workout composed of different styles and 20 different formats. The workouts change regularly to keep the body from getting stagnant.

see BURN page 44




HERB from page 43

tioner, as well as a soul and past life coach. “Anything that deals with making a healthy home or healthy families, that’s where I’m coming from,” Greener said. Customers can try custom blends of essential oils Greener developed, including ones to decrease pain or help the immune system or reduce stress. Lavender, citruses and frankincense are among some of the popular essential oils shoppers buy at Desert Sage Herbs. Many customers are stressed, having trouble sleeping, overly worked and in pain, Greener and Sounart said. Sounart said one customer said her father had started chemotherapy and had sores “all over his mouth.” The client bought carrier oils, including one with St. John’s Wort that her father rubbed on his sores. The carrier oils are essential oils that are more concentrated. Desert Sage Herbs offers bottles and jars and carries oils in bulk so shoppers can buy just an ounce of an oil if that is all they want. “Really there’s probably 20 to 30 different things one herb can do,” Sounart said. Greener said she recommended essential oils in a tranquility blend for a man who had “terrible, terrible anxiety” and

BURN from page 43

“Here you have 45 minutes of an intense and varied workout, yet you’re in and out,” Opfer explained. “And every member gets unlimited focus meetings with our head trainer one-on-one where you can talk nutrition or anything specific to you.” Each Sunday, the Burn Boot Camp App, Instragram account and Facebook (Burn Boot Camp Ahwatukee) page posts the week’s scheduled programming. By design, the Burn Boot Camp program never uses the same muscle group two days in a row. “What I want people to know is that these are unlimited 45-minute camps, no reservation needed,” she explained. “And we offer complimentary child-watch for ages 12 weeks through 12 years, and that’s child-watch, not childcare; there’s no diaper changes or feeding.” “And we offer personalized nutrition and focus meetings to help you meet your goals,” Opfer said. Until May 14, Opfer is offering a special of $30 for 30 days. Information: and Facebook or 480-7449800.

Crystals are sold at Desert Sage Herbs, as are many gift items including jewelry. (Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Staff Photographer)

could not go near people. After using the aromatherapy and taking deep breaths, he said he could go into a mall again for the first time in a long time. Desert Sage Herbs also sells books about herbs and oils, as well as a variety of spices including turmeric and ginger people could use in dishes such as curry. The center also sells spices that can be used for therapeutic purposes to make

their own capsules or mix in smoothies. Some other spices offered are cinnamon, clove, coriander, basil and oregano. “We also carry blends of spices, too, like Mexican seasoning or Italian seasoning or herbs de Provence,” Sounart said. Several independent practitioners provide healing treatments in the building. An esthetician offers facials using all-natural products; a reflexologist treats feet,

hands, faces and ears; and a neuromuscular therapist offers deep tissue massage techniques to help alleviate injuries and improve alignment. After previously running their business out of space in a strip mall on the southwest corner of Ray and Rural roads, Greener and Sounart bought the building where Desert Sage Herbs is located on Alma School Road, just south of Warner Road. “That was always my dream,” Greener said. “When we were in that strip mall, it was nothing but retail. We wanted space where people could get support physically on their bodies.” The business offers a lot of community classes including a popular one on using herbs to get better sleep and reduce stress and anxiety. Shoppers can choose from jewelry and crystals they can carry in their pockets or large crystals with lights in them. “We’re just here to educate the community and so we can empower them, help their own life and their family,” Sounart said. Desert Sage Herbs is located at 1728 N. Alma School Road and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Information:

Arizonans may have a beef with food prices HOWARD FISCHER Capitol Media Services


ising beef prices are pushing up the cost of eating at home. New figures from the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation put the cost of 16 typical “market basket’’ items at $48.30 for the first three months of the year. That’s up more than $2 from the last quarter of 2018. Seasonal fluctuations being what they are, it’s only slightly higher than the same time a year ago. According to the organization’s Julie Murphree, what’s keeping the shopping bill where it is are unexpectedly high prices for beef. “Our beef supplies have grown in the last two years,’’ she said. “At the same time, retail prices have remained higher than you’d think in a well-supplied food commodity market.’’ What that suggests, said Murphree, is a continued high demand for what she said is the “quality beef America produces.’’ But be prepared to pay. That sirloin tip roast that was sell-

ing for $5.82 a pound at the end of last year? The latest survey found an average price at Arizona grocery stores just short of $7 a pound. Even ground chuck will set you back $3.75 a pound, fully 50 cents higher than three months earlier. But there are alternatives for meat eaters. Most notably, the price of boneless chicken breasts has dropped a whopping $1.38 a pound, to just $2.36. Elsewhere on the shopping list, milk is running 24 cents a gallon higher now than three months ago, with a spike in the price of shredded cheddar cheese, up from $3.45 a pound at the end of last year to $4.83 now.

But there have been offsets, including a 48-cent-a-pound drop in the cost of a five-pound bag of russet potatoes and smaller declines in the cost of orange juice, salad mix and vegetable oil. How to save money? The Farm Bureau survey is based on what its shoppers find the cost of the selected items at stores throughout the state. It includes discounted specials. But what it does not include are some additional markdowns that can be available to customers who have their “affinity’’ cards that provide either online coupons or other specials. Farm Bureau officials also say that the best way to stay within a budget is to create a list – and stick to it. The cost of getting out the door gets higher when impulse items end up in the basket. They also suggest not shopping on an empty stomach, with some studies saying that could increase the total purchase costs by up to 15 percent. And, along the same lines, leaving the kids at home may avoid some demand for a not-really-necessary item.



Main Street Ahwatukee


Brought to you by the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce



Ahwatukee Trophies & Awards 4949 E. Warner Road, Ahwatukee 480-785-5292

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Ahwatukee Trophies & Awards sells trophies, plaques, acrylic awards, medals, ribbons, plastic signs, name badges, whistles and more. They create amazing designs for your award ceremony or corporate event. Traditional and laser engraving are does in the shop to accommodate you. High quality products and customer service.

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MidFirst Bank 4750 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee 480-755-0937 MidFirst Bank has a variety of accounts and services to meet your business and personal requirements. In addition, MidFirst Bank is a strong supporter of the communities they serve, investing time and money in important educational, charitable and civic organizations. Their volunteerism is powered by MidFirst Bank employees.

Uncle Bear’s Brewhouse Grill 4921 E. Ray Road, Ahwatukee 480-961-2374 In addition to an excellent food menu, this neighborhood restaurant and sports bar features house drinks and a selection of craft beers brewed on site in their stateof-the-art display brewery. Bring your friends, family and co-workers to enjoy an upbeat, fun atmosphere or watch a game. Pets are welcome on the patio.

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Hannah Murray, owner of Bella Wigs, and Loretta La Barbera, owner of Loretta’s Jewelry get their Buck for Luck from Andrew Hayewa. (Special

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Cruises Inc. 15865 S. 1st Ave., Ahwatukee 480-256-1494

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Jeff and Damien Ludwig, along with little Raelyn Ludwig, get their Buck for Luck from Chamber Executive Director Andrew Hayes. (Special to AFN)


Our bookkeeping services are suitable for business of all industries. We offer daily, weekly, and monthly services based on your needs. Payroll processing services give you peace of mind knowing that your payroll needs are being met in a timely and accurate fashion. BookSmart is here to help you and your business with any bookkeeping needs.

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For more info on these and other upcoming events, visit

Today, April 17

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Member orientation Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce 1345 E. Chandler Blvd. Suite 115 Ahwatukee Members only

Today, April 17

5:30-7 p.m. After 5 Evening Mixer On the Border Ahwatukee 5005 E. Ray Road Ahwatukee Free for members $15 general admission

April 25

8-9 a.m. Chamber and Entrepreneur U – Get Social Media Smart Mountain Park Senior Living 4475 E. Knox Road Ahwatukee Free

April 26

6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Chamber Masters Golf Tournament Foothills Golf Club 2201 E. Clubhouse Drive Ahwatukee

May 3

4–5 p.m. Ribbon Cutting Grace Labyrinth Wellness Center 16515 S. 40th St. Ahwatukee Free

Tournament, new scholarship benefit on horizon BY ANDREW HAYES AFN Guest Writer


wanted to thank everyone for their congratulations and good wishes over the last month and let you know that I am honored to serve as your new executive director for the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. In March, The Chamber, along with the Ahwatukee Foothills News, were proud to feature “The Best of Ahwatukee,” highlighting all of the strong community and family-based businesses, along with our outstanding educators. We are blessed to live in a community where our business owners, leaders, educators and families understand we all have a certain responsibility of creating and maintaining economic growth and success within our village. Live, work and play in Ahwatukee! The goal of the Chamber is to work with businesses and families to improve the quality of life for everyone in Ahwatukee through business initiatives, events, seminars, scholarships and more. The Chamber is proud to partner with local community businesses and families throughout the year to help support the Village of Ahwatukee.

As the executive director, I am excited to work alongside our dedicated board, whose vision is to see continued business growth and prosperity. If you are not a member of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce, please join us today. Your membership will benefit the community, and more importantly, your business will benefit through our many programs. One way to get involved immediately is with the 22nd annual Chamber Masters Golf Tournament. The tournament will be held on Friday, April 26 at the Foothills Golf Club, with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. Many in the community have rallied already. Brewer’s Air Conditioning and Heating, with support from Trane, is our title sponsor. San Tan Ford, a long-time supporter of the Chamber, is our golf shirt sponsor once again this year. Before the tournament begins breakfast will be served by Chick-fil-A, with beverages provided by Barefoot Pools and Nextdoor Realty. Following that, MacQueen & Gottlieb will hand you Titleist Pro V1 golf balls just before you tee it up. On the course, you will get multiple opportunities to win prizes from Long Drive to Closest to the Pin. Thank you to our community businesses leaders for their support of the Chamber - Realtor Christie Ellis Team, Cox Business, Landings Credit Union,

Humana, Orcutt & Winslow, Reliable Glass, Eat the Frog, HomeBridge Financial Services, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Dignity Health, Interstate Auto, Sundance Studios, Two Men and a Truck, On the Border, Epic Produce, Wells Fargo, Urban Air, TouchDown Insurance, AZ Disc and Spine, Engrave My Memories, Bell Bank Mortgage, Dream Vacations, Nick Hale Human Capital Management and Andrew Hayes Financial Services. You can also register for the golf outing at www.ahwatukeechamber. com by clicking on “Events” and then Chamber Masters Golf Tournament. Or feel free to stop by our offices at 1345 E. Chandler Blvd, Suite 207, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Finally, we have a brand-new Scholarship event this year, put on by the Ahwatukee Chamber Community Foundation—The KenTUKEE Derby! Proceeds raised will directly fund scholarships for area high school seniors and Women in Business. Hosted by Uncle Bears Bar and Grill, the event will feature multiple Derby horse draw 50/50 pools where the winner gets half of the pool while the scholarship fund receives the other 50 percent. Tickets are only $25 and can be purchased at or at the event, which begins at 2 p.m. Work, live and play in Ahwatukee! -Andrew Hayes is the Chamber’s executive director.



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Illusionist uses a psychological twist BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI Get Out Editor


van Amodei prides himself on being a “different” sort of illusionist. It’s interactive, without awkward pauses, and the setting is dramatic. Set on the dark and deserted streets of Paris, Amodei’s show is based in the Louvre, where a musical muse escorts guests through galleries. During the virtual trip, Amodei uncovers life’s mysteries, one illusion at a time. Amodei brings his show to the Herberger Theater Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2. He said guests will face their greatest fears, while others track down love in unexpected places. “My show is built around my experiences going to the Louvre in Paris and seeing the paintings,” Amodei said. “I started to build the show around the meaning of the paintings, and destiny and purpose. Everybody has a purpose. We find out what each person’s purpose is through the illusions I create.” Other illusionists’ shows may be


preachy, but Amodei said his have tense moments, when guests actually run off the stage crying. “That’s women or men,” he said with a laugh. “They say, ‘I’m not participating in this. See ya.’ Ultimately, people really love

how I convey my message. It’s like facing their fears and making the right choices.” The Sicilian-born Amodei has known he wanted to be a illusionist since he was 5 years old, when he saw a family member killing time with card tricks. He obsessed over magic through college, working at restaurants, corporate events and graduations. “I never really had goals,” said Amodei, who also runs his production company. “I didn’t need to be famous or on TV. I just wanted to do this.” Amodei found his niche as a resident performer at The Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California, where “Pretty Woman” and “Entourage” were filmed. His show ran for 10 years. “It was almost 2,500 shows,” he said. “After the third year, people were contacting me saying they wanted to see the show, but they don’t live in Los Angeles. I

decided to take the show on the road, just once a month.” It worked. “Fans love seeing my brand and style,” he said. “There’s a lot of audience participation. You don’t just sit and watch the performer. You have to talk to me, participate, give me feedback and make suggestions.” Amodei stresses his show is family-friendly. “I never say a bad word,” he said. “You can bring a 3-year-old or a 98-year-old. Nobody is ever offended by anything. It’s not a children’s magic show, though. It’s more of a psychological show.”


What: “Secrets & Illusions” Where: Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix When: 7:30 p.m. May 2 Tickets: $43-$79 Info: 602-252-8497,

Dance raising teen-suicide awareness, funds BY OCTAVIO SERRANO Get Out Staff


ou Are Not Alone,” a new fulllength spring production, draws upon experiences from its dancers and artistic director Bridgette Borzillo to create an emotionally charged show with themes high school students often experience. “I have been working in high schools for about three years now and I cannot believe how much it has changed due to cell-phone use, social media and the rise

IF YOU GO What: ‘You Are Not Alone’

Where: Mesa Arts Center Nesbitt-Elliott

Playhouse, 1 E. Main St., Mesa When: Friday, April 19, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 20, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets: Tickets: $26 general, $21 students, $45 VIP (quantities limited) Info:,

in teen suicide,” Borzillo said, adding: “My hope is that this show will create dialogue between parents, teens and everyone in between to let them know that they are not alone in their emotions and experiences, that all we need to do is look up, reach out and know that there are many people that care.” “You Are Not Alone,” performed by the CaZo Dance Company, premieres at 7:30 p.m. April 19 and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 20 at the Mesa Arts Center Nesbitt-Elliot Playhouse. Portions of all proceeds will be donated to Chandler-based JEM Foundation to provide services to those in need. Heart Spoke Clothing will be selling items from its line, with proceeds donated to NAMI-Southern Arizona. The production is geared toward anyone who has ever felt alone in a crowd or wondered if they would be missed if they didn’t show up some place. According to a 2018 loneliness index

“You Are Not Alone” draws upon experiences from its dancers and its artistic director to create an emotionally charged show with themes that high school students often experience. (Stephanie Tippi Hart/Dragonfly Studio Photography)

prepared by Cigna, 46 percent of Americans, mostly younger individuals, feel lonely, isolated or left out. Whether dealing with bullies, peer pressure, coming out, thoughts of suicide or wearing a mask to fit in, everyone has struggled to

find their place. “I was involved in countless activities in high school: softball, soccer, cheerleading, dance team, Black Student Union, but I never felt like I truly belonged anywhere,” Borzillo said. “I was always the friend everyone asked for help, and many times it was never reciprocated. It felt very lonely at times.” The struggles of being a teenager in the age of social media are revisited with this emotional journey that Borzillo hopes leads to discussions among loved ones and friends about those personal battles. Borzillo’s decision to use her dancers’ and her own experiences came after hearing a few of their personal stories. “It was amazing to find out how closely related to one another we all were based solely on the experiences we all had in high school,” Borzillo said. “The moment I heard some of these stories I knew I wanted to find a way to perform them onstage to create dialogue.”



KUPD marks 40 years with Mesa fest BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI Get Out Editor


he jokes start the minute guests enter KUPD’s studio, helmed by program director Larry McFeelie and morning show host John Holmberg. “If you want to sell a magazine, you want to find a male model,” Holmberg says with his dry sense of humor. “Not me.” McFeelie and marketing/promotions director Mark Randall show pity. But it’s that humor, along with KUPD’s knack for chasing trends, that has kept the “Big Red Radio” afloat for 40 years. McFeelie and Holmberg are feeling it. McFeelie has been with the station since 1995, and Holmberg, since the early 2000s. “We don’t have turnover here,” Holmberg says frankly. “We’ve been a family as long as the station has been around. The cool part of it is we’ve been here for a good majority of it together.” KUPD is bringing the 40-year celebration to Mesa Riverview Park for U Fest with Limp Bizkit, Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, P.O.D., Fever 333 and Ded on

Saturday, April 20. “It’s been pretty cool that we all get to celebrate the 40th and really feel like we’ve put in our piece,” McFeelie says. “Like John had mentioned, it feels like we’ve grown up with the radio station.” In some sense, that’s true. Listeners frequently tell the jocks they’ve been listening to them since they were kids. “That just makes me say, ‘God, no. You did not just say that,’” McFeelie said. “But it’s great,” he added. “It’s really neat because you don’t get that in a lot of markets. Arizona loves KUPD. We have this great relationship with our listeners.” Holmberg is a longtime Arizona resident, whose father brought the family to the Grand Canyon State while working as a stadium contractor when Phoenix was a “Podunk town.” “When we were little, we moved a lot,” says the Dobson High School graduate. “Larry was born here, but I grew up here, for the most part, since I was in the fifth grade. Up until then, I didn’t really have

see KUPD page 49

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | APRIL 17, 2019 KUPD morning show host John Holmberg, left, and program director Larry McFeelie have been at KUPD for more than 15 years and are preparing to help the station with its upcoming festival in Mesa. (Special for Get Out)



KUPD from page 48

a home. Phoenix became our base. I watched it grow from 1983 to today. It’s a totally different place.” Holmberg calls it “Podunk,” but it’s more of an affectionate term. He’s fallen in love with the Valley, the same way its rockers have taken to him. “It’s a big city and it plays like a big city now, which is kind of neat,” Holmberg explained. McFeelie and Holmberg toss around the term “family,” and that extends to their friends as well. Their tenure at KUPD has afforded them experiences their 13-yearold selves would be crying over. “There’s a sports analogy,” Holmberg says. “It’s like getting drafted by your favorite team. That’s the cool part. I’m a Cubs fan. It would be great, if I ever got into baseball, to play for the Cubs. That would be a dream.” Like all radio stations, KUPD has seen technology change. What was solely terrestrial is now streaming as well. Playlists have changed, too. Radio stations aren’t hyper-focused on one particular genre. “When we first started, I think referencing pop music was like, ‘Oh, don’t do it!’” Holmberg says with mock anger. “Now, everybody gets a taste of everything.

You have your preference, but everybody bites off something.” As much as KUPD has grown, Phoenix has, too. “There’s some really great stuff coming from Phoenix,” McFeelie says. “With all the rock Phoenix has going on, we should have our own sound. We’ve never really put our feet in cement on that as much as we probably should at this point. “We have watched the birth and growth of the coolest stuff, as we do at this radio station.” Throughout the 40 years, there’s been a key to KUPD’s success. “Everybody is kind of fly by the seat of their pants,” Holmberg says with a laugh. “We’re all easy going. We really don’t have a someone who’s an ‘anchor,’ so to speak. The whole crew can play.” Information:

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Hale rolls out 2019-20 season productions GET OUT STAFF


ale Centre Theatre in Gilbert has unveiled its 2019-2020 season of eight musicals and three comedies starting this August. Season tickets are available at the Hale Centre Theatre box office by calling 480­ 497-­1181, or by visiting The theater is at 50 W. Page Ave. in Old Town Gilbert, across from the historic Gilbert Water Tower Park. The lineup includes: Bright Star. First up is this Broadway musical, a sweeping tale of family, love and redemption set against the backdrop of the American South in the 1920s Find GetOut in and ‘40s. “The story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and moving performances,” Hale said of the production, which runs Aug. 23-Oct. 5. John Loves Mary. This charming and romantic 1940s comedy revolves around Mary, who has waited faithfully two years for her fiancé John to return

home from the war, only to discover that he has taken a wartime bride … or has he? The movie starred Ronald Reagan and Patricia Neal. Will run Sept. 24 through Nov. 19. Hello, Dolly! The show is about Dolly Levi, a New York based matchmaker who merrily arranges things … like furniture, daffodils and lives. A widow, Dolly finds herself in love with a “half-a-millionaire” and weaves a web of romantic complications involving him, his clerks, a pretty shopkeeper and her assistant. Playing Oct. 10-Nov. 23. A Christmas Carol. This Hale holiday classic for 17 years includes traditional carols, stunning costumes and magical special effects. Begins Nov. 29 and concludes on Christmas Eve. Barefoot in the Park. Fresh off a honeymoon at the Plaza Hotel, free-spirited Corie and her buttoned-down husband Paul find themselves struggling to adjust to married life in their run-down New York apartment. Opens New Year’s Eve

see HALE page 50

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The Hale Theater is currently undergoing a massive renovation, although shows are still going on, as it looks forward to the 2019-20 season. (Special for Get Out)

28-June 16. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This captivating and amazing production of Disney’s magical classic, in the intimate setting of Hale’s in-the-round staging, comes alive with stunning cos-

tumes, staging, special effects and an award-winning score May 14 through June 27. Matilda. Hale’s 2019-2020 season concludes with the Tony Award-winning story of a precocious young girl who

through her astonishing wit, intelligence and magical gifts overcomes numerous obstacles leading to a better life. This Hale premiere is packed with high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs. Runs July 2-Aug. 15.

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and plays through Feb. 8, 2020. Always...Patsy Cline. Based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honkytonk in 1961. The musical, complete with down home country humor and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits. Runs Jan. 14-April 14. Guys and Dolls. Set against New York City in the 1940s, this Broadway musical returns with classic songs like “Luck Be a Lady,” “Take Back Your Mink” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” Playing Feb. 13 through March 28. Brigadoon is a major Broadway musical hit with one of the most romantic scores ever written. The story revolves around a mythical Scottish town that appears once every hundred years and an American tourist who becomes mesmerized by the town’s charms. Runs April 9-May 9. The 39 Steps. A spellbinding Hitchcock murder mystery and spy novel, this includes a generous dash of Monty Python zaniness. A cast of four actors portray more than 150 characters in this mad-cap, entertaining adventure. April

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Keep thosemore eyesbakin’ smiling byathis No fakin’: No for Calzones than pizza’s Cheeto Chili a cheesy Peach-a-berry pie sitting down to this Irish meal chocolate-cherry delight ‘red-sauced stepchildren’ way to have dinner winning combo

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But which a columIlist, know thata bit for of you, Itintakes ofmany planning nist defending Cheetos is a don’t guilty pleasure, ahead,was and worry if, es“pizza’ forgotten red-cake, pecially the spicy varieties. when sassembling the sauced So, layers I stepchild.” approached this recipe the aren’t perfect. “If the are and with attitude that this is Once thecalzones cake freezes pizza’ s kid brother, thenand stromboli just tothebeoutside fun, since is like the annoy- sauce from Trader Joe’s, so that’s where I started. you going enrobe with e’re approaching peak of season different pots and then layered the fruits in the pie cousin,cream always tothebutt onpeach the fun. it’ing s homemade chili, cheese and Onewon’t package two but calzones. The filling whipped andtrying then slice the incake, layersThe of You get makes the height, the delicious, rich isbuta in Arizona. But you can always find frozen shell. That way, with each bite you distinctly taste stromboli isgraham a pinwheel, likechocolate a rolled sandwich cheetos. (Thecombination cheetos flamin’ hot baked avocado, bad can it more be?white delicious mixture of pepperoni, ground beef,version sauchocolatehow crackers, pudding subtle flavor of cherries, chocolate and peaches in pizza. the freezer section of your gro- the peaches and the blueberries. than an soinside-out Ifaresauce is on the side, is justvegetables ascream tasty.) Make up some homemade Wrong, wrong. téed and cheese. If youand bake up, andI was dots ofwrong. cherry pie fillingwrong, a gorgeous surprise. whipped comes through loud clear.these chili cery store. the pie I generally buy a brand. packagePour of or For choose yourcrusts, store-bought you’re looking at a so calzone. It’ sbread that simple.” IIfloved this dish much that it shot right to the you may decide asfavorite I did, that calzones are not just you don’t have a 12x4 inch loaf pan (which If you’ r e looking for a new way to wow, this cake is deep dish pie shells. I’ll sprinkle a little sugar Whether fresh or frozen, when you pair peaches two chiliI’veover the Sprinkle liberally It’of that simple to too. I happen to love the athe top my go-to recipes list foralways just any pizza’ sCheetos. red-sauced stepchildren! Paddy’ s Day maymake, be gone, but it’about s use never toooccalate Here, provided thechocolate five-ingredient versionwith as give layers), you can athe cake pan. stunning show of cherry over the first pie shellwith andavocado blind love. bake which is with freshlots or of frozen blueberries, you have begincheddar dot andforit,finish with refrigerated, ready towatching, bakefeast. pizzakid’dough and night, pizza well sion; luck,this game s cooking topotenjoy tasty Irish as thecheese, recipe that my family has used decades! it halfway (about 15 minutes or to a light nings of a truly delicious fruit pie. I’ve been making cooking cilantro. pool Here’ parties, picnics, etc. about corned beef and cab- Itchopped s what is so great offers just a few more spices to give your brisket peach-a-berry pie for years, so I was surprised to golden crust) so thatdoesn’t the shell crusty and firm, Theflavor. description do stays this dish justice. You I’m It’ sure you’re withcomes Frito Pie. s a corned combi- extra bage: s easy! Thefamiliar spice packet withIt’the No luck-o-the-Irish and not soggy from the fruit juice. learn that for many people, it’ s an unusual combinahave tohere. just trust give it a try. Because I have nation of chili, chips.carrots and po- needed beef brisket, youcheese provideand thecorn cabbage, Just ame pot,and brisket The second goesChili rightisover tion. Ingredients: a pretty good unbaked idea thatcrust Cheeto goingthetotop Well, move over Frito Pie.later, You it’ have justtomet tatoes and a couple of hours s time eat. your and veggies. But these two fruits go together like cookies ‘n of the fruit and then it goes into the oven until it too 2 sleeves (12 full-size, 5”x21/4”) Nabisco be one of your new favorites, too. flamin’ hot match. Let me paint the delicious picture bakes up to a golden brown. So now you can head cream. By the way, I wondered where the saying Honey Maid Chocolate Graham Crackers for you. for the produce section or the frozen food area of “cookies ’n cream” came from, and it’ s actually an 2 boxes (3 oz.) Instant Hershey’ s In a bowl, you pour some flamin’ hot crunchy Directions: iceIngredients cream milkshake combination that apparently your grocery store and bake up your own Peach-AWhiteor Chocolate Pudding Boil Pie, thewithbrisket 1 (54 lb.) corned beefpudding) brisket (plus packet) became the best-selling flavor of spice ice cream in 1983. Berry plenty with cups milk (for the contents of the spice 12When small red potatoes of vanilla ice I started making this pie, I wanted both fla1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling for sauce, severaldivided hours or until fork-tender. In 6Ingredients: large carrots Ingredients: 1cream. cup pizza vors come through separately, 2tocups heavy whipping cream so I cooked them in packet olive oil another pot, steam the veggiesmilk until fork tender. 1 2green cabbage 1¼tablespoons pint fresh white mushrooms, diced small 1 small container (16 oz.) whole ricotta cup powdered sugar 121large sweet yellow onion, diced Slice the corned beef, surrounded with steamed Olive oil and vinegar for drizzling over vegetables, tablespoons butter 1 8 oz. package shredded mozzarella bar (approx. 3.5 oz.) dark chocolate bar 4Ingredients: cloves garlic, veggies drizzled with olive oil and vinegar. optional 2 large tablespoons olive oilminced 8 thin slices of pepperoni 221/2 pounds leanpieground largedish onion, minced 4-5 large leaves of basil, rough chopped deep shells beef 26-8 teaspoons chili powder or 2 (16 oz.) packages 4 tablespoons milk 1Directions: leek,cups diced fine sliced peaches Line a 12x4 bread loaf pan with enough plastic wrap1 to linebag therefrigerated, bottom and have plenty over 1frozen teaspoon smoked 3-4 cloves fresh garlicpaprika 16 oz. bakehanging pizza dough peach slices cloves, peppercorns, ready garlic toand onion. Pour Ingredients: the side to wrap over the cake when layered. Pinch of red pepper flakes pound ground beef Salt for sprinkling doughthe corned beef. 1 quart fresh blueberries or 2 spice packages frozen enough water in on pottop to ofcover 3-4 lb. Corned Beef Brisket with packet Open can of cherry pie filling and reserve 10-12 cherries for the top. 1 tablespoon (7butter, oz.) Chipotle in Adobo tablespoons dividedPeppers and cook on medium high for several 34Directions: bay leaves pudding Prepare according to package instructions. Cover Set aside. Sauce, chopped fine orequal baked variety 1 cup sugar plus 4 cookies tablespoons hours orportions. until tender. beefletpackage 5-6 cloves Place pizza dough on a floured surface and cut in two Cover with(corned a cloth and rise for Lay 2 full-sized side by side in the bottom of the bread pan.fork 1 (15 oz.) can crushed or petite diced tomatoes 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese as well.) should have cook time instructions 10about peppercorns, optional two hours. Meanwhile, make the filling. a thin layersauce of white chocolate pudding over 2the cookies. diced Spoon about 3 tablespoons of cherry 1Directions: (15Spoon oz.) can tomato avocados, When corned beef isbrowned. cooked, turn heat 3-4 cloves fresh garlic a large skillet, heat ground butter addpepper mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are Remove and off set pieIn filling over pudding. Repeatand process until you have 6cup layers, ending with a layer of chocolate graham Kosher salt and freshly black 1 fresh cilantro, chopped Preheat oven toskillet, 350 degrees. and cover pot with lid. Inand another pot, add cab1 aside. large sweet yellow onion, quartered In the same heat olive oil and sauté onion, leek and garlic until soft translucent. crackers. 1 (8.5 oz.) bag Flamin’ Hot Crunchy Cheetos, fried Sprinkle one pie 1 tablespoon sugar and bake until golden brown,and about 12-15 minutes. bage potatoes Add 3-4 1 large head green cabbage, quartered Add in the mushrooms, stirring toplastic combine. Add beef andquarters, cook browned. Add ¼carrots. cup pizza sauce, Carefully seal theshell cakewith with the wrap, gently pressing theuntil sides together to compress. Slip cardSet aside to cool. inches of water to steam veggies. Keep checking 6Directions: large carrots peeled and cut into thirds stirring to combine. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done, set aside to cool. In a bowl, board or cake board pieces in between the plastic wrap-sealed cake and the pan to compress even more. In a in saucepan, heat peaches, ½ cup6 hours. sugar and 2 Using tablespoons of butter. (If enough peaches are add toAdd make have water in tart, the pot. 12combine small redfreezer potatoes ricotta and shredded mozzarella. Set aside. a rolling pinyou orand by hand, roll firsttoo pizza dough Place to harden least In a large skillet, heat theforoilat over medium-high heat. thesure onion garlic andout sauté until soft and more sugar.) Cook over medium high heat until peaches are softened. Add more ifround, needed. vegetables until fork Olive oil and vinegar forbeef drizzle intoWhen approximately 8-inch rounds. Spread pizza sauce over entire leaving inch and border. On the ready serve, beat whipping creamAdd andchili powdered sugar toCook stiff1/2 peaks. translucent. Addtothe andtogether cook until browned. powder, smoked paprika red pepper Inand another saucepan, do the4 same with the blueberries. Consistency should remain fairly thick tender. potatoes may take few minutes Salt pepper to taste bottom halfcake ofto the dough, place slices of Remove from freezer andchipotles spread whipping ondiced top(The and sides of tomatoes cake. flakes, stirring combine. Add inpepperoni. adobocream sauce, or crushed anda tomato sauce, with both fruits. longer to cook.) Mustard for spreading on corned beef, optional Spread half of the cheese mixture on top of the pepperoni, and then add four to six tablespoons Usingtoacombine. carrot peeler or paring knife, scrape chocolate bar to create chocolate curls or shavings. Sprinkleof stirring Pour fruits onto baked pie shells in basil layers, pera pastry layer. brush, Reserve a few berries and Place beef, sliced the peach grain, the filling on cheese. Sprinkle overisone top.fruit With brush outer of the over cake.with Dottop topofand ofthethe cake with reserved cherries. Cake will take about one hourthetooragainst thaw completely. Season salt pepper to taste. (If chili too mild, addcorned more adobo sauce chili edges powder.) slices for top of pie. on a platter. Surround the corned beef with Directions: dough. Slice and serve. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often. In a serving bowl, add 1 cup of Flamin’ Hot Crunchy CheePlace remaining pie shell over topthat of fruit andfilling. seal the edges with your fingers. Place Remove spice packet fromdough brisket. Place brisvegetables. Drizzle virgin Carefully fold half2uncooked of the the on half has the Press together toextra seal.Sprinkle Brush Bread Pan Alternative: tos. Sprinkle about tablespoons ofover cheese top ofsteamed Cheetos. Spoon chiliedges over top with of cheese. reserved fruitpot in the center for garnish. Sprinkle with 1with tablespoon sugar.dough. Bakeand for pepper about 25 minutes ket in a large or Dutch oven. olive oil and vinegar. Salt the vegeentire calzone with milk. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat second pizza Bake at 350 degrees for 8x8top inch pan instead of avocado bread loafcubes pan, you get 2-3Serve layers. Line with enough moreIf using cheeseanon of cake the chili. Dot with and may freshonly cilantro. immediately. or until25-30 top minutes is golden brown. Servebrown. with good vanilla ice cream. Add contents of spice packet, bay leaves, tables as needed. Serve with mustard if desired. about or until golden Serve immediately with a side of the remainder pizza sauce. cookies to cover the bottom and follow above instructions until ingredients are used up. Watch my how-to Watch my my how-to how-tovideo: video:

W SNo Bake Black Forest Cake

Jan’s Family Corned Beef and Cabbage (Serves 4)


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Thunder, Pride pitchers throw no-hitters Mtn. Pointe’s Ward is pitcher perfect against DV DV’s Childers makes it special against Corona BY ZACH ALVIRA AFN Sports Editor


athan Ward recalls the energy in the Mountain Pointe dugout as abnormal. “It was a little weird,” Ward said. “Usually they’ll talk to me but it was kind of quiet. Nobody was saying anything, but it was fun.” Usually greeted with cheers and high-fives from teammates, Ward was met with lackadaisical messages of encouragement after each frame. The 6-foot-8, 220-pound pitcher knew why he was receiving this type of reaction. He was only a few outs away from a no-hitter. But he and his teammates didn’t Mountain Pointe junior pitcher Nathan Ward was ecstatic when he threw his first-ever no-hitter. It was even sweeter having come against want to acknowledge it. Ward was on the mound rival Desert Vista. (Zach Alvira/AFN Staff) against rival Desert Vista April 4, a spe- and players into a frenzy, as Ward was cial game in itself given the relationships mobbed by teammates. Mountain Pointe he has with many Thunder players from beat Desert Vista 6-0. The no-hitter was their time in club and youth baseball. But complete. “It’s a special thing to see,” Mountain as is the case with every opponent, Ward Pointe coach Matt Denny said. “He’s a flipped a switch. The friendly, well-spoken junior turned hard-working kid and he deserves it. into a dominant pitcher playing with a Against DV it’s a little sweeter but he did chip on his shoulder. He has a constant an unbelievable job.” Ward was just two batters away from will to prove his doubters wrong, a feeling that stems from when he was younger. An throwing a perfect game, as he walked one assistant coach once told him he would in the first inning and the other in the sevnever make a varsity baseball roster. But enth. But the two walks didn’t matter. His 11 strikeouts showed vast improvement he did that as a sophomore. “I’ve been proving people wrong for- after a rough start to the season. “I knew that it wasn’t where I wanted to ever,” Ward said. “I used to be one of the most unathletic kids. I was still an alright be,” Ward said. “I don’t want to be just anpitcher, but now I’ve been able to do what other pitcher. I want to be the best.” Ward opened up his junior campaign for I wanted to do all along.” Throwing a no-hitter, however, was one Mountain Pointe on March 1 against Santhing Ward believed he may never accom- dra Day O’Connor, the 2018 6A champion. plish during his career. But just like he In just 2.2 innings, Ward gave up 5 runs – proved those in the past who had doubted 4 earned – and walked 5 batters. He didn’t have any strikeouts. It was a humbling exhim wrong, he did the same to himself. A grounder off the bat of a Desert Vista hitter sent the Mountain Pointe faithful see MP page 54



t took three innings before Brandon Childers realized he was on track for something special. The senior pitcher was dealing for Desert Vista against Corona del Sol April 9, striking out batters and getting through frames with ease. When he looked at the scoreboard and realized he was on track for a no-hitter, that’s when he settled in. “I looked out there and was like, ‘holy crap I have a no-hitter and didn’t even realize it,’” Childers said. “I just looked at my teammates and told them to not say anything. It was kind of funny.” Childers didn’t let the Desert Vista senior pitcher Brandon Childers had always dreamed of thought of capturing his first pitching a no-hitter. That dream became a reality on April 9 against career no-hitter get to him. Corona del Sol (Zach Alvira/AFN Staff) “It’s a little easier to take when thinking He remained calm on the mound and conabout it in that way,” Brassfield said. “It was tinued to pitch at his own pace. By the fifth inning, Desert Vista had al- hard at the time and it still is. There’s some ready jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Accord- good kids around here (in Ahwatukee), a ing to the governing body of prep sports lot of good talent. That makes it fun.” Childers has done it all for Desert Vista in Arizona, the game would end after the fifth inning if a team was winning by more this season. The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is 6-4 on the mound with a 2.92 ERA. He has than 10 runs. Childers delivered the final three outs. a team-high 49 strikeouts and has walked The no-hitter was complete. He struck out only 18 batters. The batting average of opponents when nine batters and walked two more. Two facing Childers dips to .194 when he is on pitches away from a perfect game. “It’s hard to describe how it felt,” the mound. In 36 innings pitched, he’s givChilders said. “It’s something I’ve always en up just 15 earned runs. “I just make sure I’m happy with my dreamed of. It’s crazy, you don’t hear about no-hitters very often, especially in bullpens before I go out there and I’m feeling good,” Childers said. “I just make sure high school. It’s crazy.” The no-hitter came as a form of redemp- I’m ready to go for gameday.” Childers has been able to transfer his suction for Desert Vista, which was on the receiving end of a no-hitter against rival cess on the mound to the plate on offense. In 40 at-bats this season, he has a .375 avMountain Pointe the week prior. Desert Vista coach Cody Brassfield was erage with 13 RBIs and 4 home runs. Against Corona del Sol, he went 2-for-2 still reluctant to talk about it, and for good reason. But he admits the thought of two in the batter’s box with a 2-run homer to no-hitters in five days from programs just see DV page 54 a few miles a part is something special.




DV from page 46

MPfrom page 53

perience for Ward, but one he was determined to bounce back from. Seven days later, he gave up just 1 earned run to 2018 6A runner-up, Mountain Ridge. Ward walked 3 batters and struck out 5 in 4.1 innings of work. In his five appearances leading up to his no-hitter against Desert Vista, Ward gave up just 2 earned runs and struck out 16 batters. He walked five more. Ward took the mound against Basha April 9, five days after his no-hitter. He struck out five batters and gave up 3 earned runs in 6 innings as the Pride beat the Bears 11-3. Despite a slow start in the first inning, in which Basha managed to get two of its three runs, Ward settled in to bring his overall record to 4-1. Mountain Pointe endured early struggles as a team early in the season, losing three out of its first four games. Since then, however, the Pride are 19-3 and on a 13-game winning streak since March 25. They were No. 12 in 6A heading into their April 16 game against Corona del Sol. Mountain Pointe sits a game behind the Aztecs for the lead in the Central Region. But with two games remaining against Corona, the Pride could take sole possession and win the region.

Mountain Pointe baseball coach Matt Denny says he is proud of pitcher Nathan Ward for his ability to bounce back from a rough start to the season. Ward threw his first no-hitter of his career against Desert Vista on April 4. (Zach Alvira/AFN Staff)

Given Ward’s success, it’s likely he will have a chance to pitch his team to a title. “We’ve wanted to win a championship even before tryouts,” Ward said. “That’s all we’ve wanted and that’s what we are going after. That’s our goal.”

add to the Thunder’s impressive offensive performance. “I just felt comfortable all day,” Childers said. “Everything was working.” When Childers’ no-hitter was complete last Tuesday, there wasn’t the type of celebration you would imagine. The team didn’t rush Childers, as is common when a milestone that great has been achieved. “I just told my guys that as much as it was a really sweet moment, we just beat a team 14-0 and we didn’t need to rub it in their face,” Brassfield said. “We celebrated in the dugout in our own way. We were all happy for him.” Corona managed to get the best of Desert Vista on Saturday, beating the Thunder 11-3. But splitting the season series kept Desert Vista in the hunt for the 6A Central Region title as the regular season nears its end. The Thunder currently sit two games behind Corona for the lead, with two games against region rival Queen Creek still to be played before finishing the season against Hamilton April 22. No matter where the Thunder end this season, the no-hitter will always be remembered. For Childers, it’s another accomplishment added to his already impressive career before he heads off to play baseball

Desert Vista coach Cody Brassfield knows what its like to be on the receiving end of a no-hitter, as it happened just days before Thunder pitcher Brandon Childers threw one himself. So once Childers’ accomplishment was achieved, Brassfield said it was a special moment. (Zach Alvira/AFN Staff)

at Lander University in South Carolina. Even though he is going across the country to continue his career, Desert Vista will always hold a special place in his heart. “It’s gone fast,” Childers said. “It’s been a lot of fun. My teammates have been great all four years. I really can’t ask for anything better.”

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DV volleyball honors fallen student with fundraiser

JDRF Walk,” Peggy Schapler said. The effort from both teams to raise money for type 1 diabetes research is just another way for them to remember Alex. “Having the Desert Vista volleyball teams raising money and awareness is very emotional to all involved,” Rick Schapler said. “All of these young ladies not only dealt with a tragic loss but rose up to honor her by wearing pink.” “Raising money and awareness is something Alex would have been very proud of,” said Rick Schapler. Donations for the ADP Pretty in Pink team are open until June 30. For more information and to donate, visit www2.jdrf. org/site/SPageServer?pagename=walk_ homepage and search for “Pretty in Pink.”



t’s been one year since the Desert Vista community was caught off guard by the passing of senior Alex DePriest after complications with type 1 diabetes. She was 17. “Alex was very close friends with many of the girls on the team. Alex had a very amazing impact on all the people she came in contact with,” said Desert Vista beach volleyball coach Rick Schapler. Schapler’s son, Davis, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 2. “Having a son with type 1 is a 24/7 challenge of balancing life and blood sugars,” said Rick Schapler. “It’s a disease that never gives you a day or minute off.” Alex played indoor volleyball at Desert Vista, and was beloved by all of those around her. In the fall, the indoor team wore pink shirts– Alex’s favorite color – in her honor. On April 3, the one-year anniversary of her death, members of the beach team wore pink uniforms against Marana. The two teams came together to form the ADP (Alex DePriest) Pretty in Pink

Members of the Desert Vista beach volleyball team wore pink in honor of Alex Alex, who passed away last year after complications with type 1 diabetes. (Kim Carrillo/AFN Staff)

walk team to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The team walked in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk on April 6 in Mesa and has raised over $7,000. “I got to speak to Alex’s mom and she

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Specializing in Controllers, Valves, Sprinklers, Landscape Lighting, P.V.C. & Poly Drip Systems

Call Lance White


ROC# 256752

Landscape Maintenance Juan Hernandez

Juan Hernandez





Not a licensed contractor

25 years exp. Call Now (480) 720-3840

25 Years exp (480) 720-3840

D&L SPRINKLER SERVICE Landscape Lighting Wi-Fi Irrigation & Lighting timers

Affordable | Paver Specialists All phases of landscape installation. Plants, cacti, sod, sprinklers, granite, concrete, brick, Kool-deck, lighting and more!

Free Estimates 7 Days a Week!


Complete Lawn Service & Weed Control

We will give you totally new landscaping or revamp your current landscaping! Tree/Palm Tree Trimming Storm Cleanups Sprinkler Systems

Starting @ $60/Month!

Desertscape • Concrete Work Gardening • Block Wall Real & Imitation Flagstone

Free Estimates

602-471-3490 or 480-289-1673 ROC#276019 • Licensed Bonded Insured

PROFESSIONAL PAINTING Interior, Exterior House Painting. Stucco Patching. Gate/Front Door Refinishing. Quality work/Materials Free Estimate Ignacio 480-961-5093 602-571-9015 ROC #189850 Bond/Ins'd


The Valley’s Premier Painters

We Do Installs! Warranty On All Work


Proudly Serving Ahwatukee for 15 Years! Family Owned & Operated Residential • Commercial • Best Painters EVER!

Not a Licensed Contractor

• Epoxy Floors & Concrete Coatings • Stucco & Drywall


“Professional, Punctual & Clean”

Jose Dominguez Painting & Drywall SEE OUR AD IN DRYWALL! Quick Response to your Call! 15 Years Exp 480-266-4589 Not a licensed contractor

Interior/Exterior Painting RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL

References Available

Call Jason:

Like us on Facebook to stay current & Receive 5% Off Services



• Free Estimates • Drywall • Senior discounts

• Licensed, Bonded Insured for your protection.

ACP is 100% Veteran Owned

Licensed - Bonded - Insured ROC 290242

Not a licensed contractor

• Call or Text for a Free Quote

East Valley PAINTERS Voted #1 • ROC#281191

Landscape Maintenance

Classifieds 480-898-6465

UNDER $100

• One Month Free Service


Not a licensed contractor



ROC# 186443 • BONDED


LEE'S SPRINKLER REPAIR 30 years experience Timers - Valves Heads Leaks FREE ESTIMATES Ahwatukee Resident Call 480-282-7222

Misting Systems

Arizona Specialty Landscape

New & Re-Do Design and Installation

Landscape Maintenance




Serving Ahwatukee Since 1987 Interior / Exterior • High Quality Materials & Workmanship • Customer Satisfaction Free Est imates • Countless References • Carpentry Services Now Available Visit us at or view our video promo at:


ROC #155380

Family Owned • Free Estimates


Paint Interior & Exterior • Drywall Repair Light Carpentry • Power Washing • Textures Matched Popcorn Removal • Pool Deck Coatings Garage Floor Coatings • Color Consulting

10% OFF

We Beat Competitors Prices & Quality Free Estimates! Home of the 10-Year Warranty!

480-688-4770 Family Owned & Operated Bonded/Insured • ROC#153131

Now Accepting all major credit cards







Pool Service / Repair

Affinity Plumbing LLC 480-487-5541

CLR Pool Service LLC

Interior/Exterior Painting 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE

Your Ahwatukee Plumber & East Valley Neighbor

Dunn Edwards Quality Paint Small Stucco/Drywall Repairs

Anything Plumbing Same Day Service

We Are State Licensed and Reliable!

Free Estimates • Senior Discounts





Inside & Out Leaks





Estimates Availabler

$35 off

Any Service

Charles Rock - Ahwatukee Resident

Monthly Service & Repairs Available


480.399.ROCK (7625)

1st Month of Service FREE


Not a licensed contractor

Off 40work done

Call Now!

Ahw Resident • Owner Operated Maintenance & Repair Professional and Superior Service

People are looking in the Classifieds Every day!

$25 OFF

Filter Cleaning!

For a limited time ®


Excellent Service... First time, Every time!



Water Heaters

Pool Service / Repair

Email Your Job Post to:


See our Before’s and After’s on Facebook

or Call 480

7 6 6 5

Licensed, Bonded & Insured ROC# 272001



We maintain, repair and service all types of pools, equipment, filters, cleaning systems, fresh water and salt water systems


Call me, Howard:

480.231.9651 BBB Member Not a licensed contractor.

Tiles, shingles, flat, repairs & new work Free Estimates • Ahwatukee Resident Over 30 yrs. Experience



Licensed/Bonded/Insured • ROC #236099



We offer personalized service for our customers. We use the best materials that we can find.

Owned and Operated by Rod Lampert Ahwatukee Resident Serving Ahwatukee for over 25 years

Member of ABM

Our services include: Sinks, Toilets, Faucets, Water Heaters, Garbage Disposal, Drain Cleaning, Pressure Reducing Valves, Pressure Vacuum Breakers, Hot Water Circulation Systems, Main Service Valves and Hose Taps.


Licensed • Bonded • Insured ROC 223367

All employees verified Free estimates on all roofs 36 Years experience in AZ Licensed contractor since 2006

Licensed • Bonded • Insured • ROC 189848

$35.00 Off Any Service Call Today!


We Repair or Install ROC # 272721

AHWATUKEE’S #1 PLUMBER Licensed • Bonded • Insured








Juan Hernandez

Pavers • Concrete • Water Features • Sprinkler Repair


Pebble cracking, Plaster peeling, Rebar showing, Pool Light out?


25 Years Experience • Dependable & Reliable

Call Juan at

480-720-3840 Not a licensed contractor.

Add a Background Color to Your Ad! Classifieds 480-898-6465





HIRING? People are looking at the Classifieds Every day!

aOver 30 Years of Experience aLicensed, Bonded & Insured

is your roof

Email Your Job Post to: class@times

Monsoon Ready? Let seasoned pros

or Call

handle all your


roofing needs


WINDOW CLEANING The Owners Clean Your Windows!

480-201-6471 Power Washing Available

1-Story $145

1000 OFF when you show this ad $

Valley Wide Service 480-446-7663

on qualifying complete roof replacements

Let us show you the IN-EX Difference! • New Roofs • Re-Roofs • Repairs Tile • Foam • Shingles • Patios

10% OFF with this ad

2-Story $165 Screens Cleaned $3 ea.

Inside & Out Up to 30 Panes Fans|Lt. Fixtures|Mirrors

Unbelievable Prices Insured•Licensed•Locally Owned

PROFESSIONAL WINDOW CLEANING Winter Window Cleaning Special up to 32 Panes *1-Story Home only $140 total *2-Story Home only $165 total WE ALSO REPAIR SCREENS

Family Owned & Operated for over 30 years

ROC #152111

Quality Repairs & Re-Roofs

Call Shine Master LLC

480-269-6133 Windows

Complimentary & Honest Estimates

Call our office today!


Serving The Valley Since 1996

Ask us about our discount for all Military and First Responders! | 602-938-7575 Call for your FREE Roof Evaluation

Ahwatukee’s Premier Tile & Foam Roofer!

Window Cleaning

Additional Panes $3 ea.



Step Up To Comfort. Upgrade to Simonton’s ProSolar™ Shade Glass for Free

Licensed, Bonded, Insured

Check Us Out

For a limited time, Imperial Windows & Sunscreens is offering a FREE Upgrade to the ProSolar Shade Glass on Simonton DaylightMax™ or Madeira™ windows and doors. It’s the perfect energyefficient solution for warmer climates that require more help with cooling. Hurry, offer ends May 31, 2019.

FREE Estimates • Credit Cards OK ROC#244850 | Insured | Bonded

Offer valid on DaylightMax or Madeira window or door purchases only.

Licensed • Bonded • Insured ROC # 269218



Authorized Simonton Premier Dealer

Tim KLINE Roofing, LLC 15-Year Workmanship Warranty on All Complete Roof Systems Licensed-Bonded-Insured Five-Star Rated on Yelp and Google


Roofs Done Right...The FIRST Time!

Get started today! Call us at 480.350.7886

Imperial Windows & Sunscreens

The Most Detailed Roofer in the State


Window Cleaning


FREE Estim a and written te proposal

R.O.C. #156979 K-42 • Licensed, Bonded and Insured


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Ahwatukee Foothills News - April 17, 2019  

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