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AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS www.ahwatukee.com

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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Tempe Union, Kyrene to ask voters for financialNEWS help AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS TARGET: OPIOIDS

Coming clean

BY PAUL MARYNIAK AFN Executive Editor

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oth school districts that serve Ahwatukee will be asking voters this fall for financial help by continuing budget overrides in the face of what officials and some citizens call the state Legislature’s continuing refusal to adequately fund public education in Arizona – particularly adequate teacher pay. Tempe Union High School District’s governing board last week approved a ballot question for a 15 percent operations and maintenance budget override by a 4-1 vote, with its only Ahwatukee member, Brandon Schmoll, voting against it. Kyrene’s governing board last month unanimously approved three ballot questions – two allowing continuation of 15 percent operating and 10 percent capital budget overrides and a third authorizing the district to borrow up to $116,750,000 in bonds over 10 years. Both boards’ actions climaxed several

months of study and discussion by scores of business and property owners, parents and community leaders who had volunteered to study the two districts’ financial challenges and recommend solutions. Despite a plea last week by one of those citizens for a united front in Tempe Union’s campaign, Schmoll opposed the override question because much of the way the money would bolster teacher and staff salaries. Although he made no statement at the board’s June 7 meeting, he told AFN: “It is risky for the district to allocate the money towards permanent expenses using temporary income, especially since we will be maxed out on overrides and unable to receive more funds.” He also was critical of the $300,000 cost of the all-mail election. “Regardless of the outcome of this override, I think it’s important for the state legislature to properly fund K-12 schools so that we don’t have to

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS P

‘MUNCHKIDS’

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ANIMAL DENTIST

(Dianne Ross/AFN Contributing Photographer)

Jim McAllister beams as brightly as the Mountain Pointe High School band/orchestra’s instruments did after he and scores of others cleaned them up. For details, see page 22.

See

OVERIDE on page 11

Promoter says time growing short for a fireworks show in Ahwatukee BY PAUL MARYNIAK AFN Executive Editor

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HAPPY DECADE

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ike a quarterback heaving a Hail Mary pass to the end zone in a football game’s final seconds, Tim Matykiewicz hopes to save an Independence Day fireworks show in Ahwatukee. But he’s going to need his “teammates” – neighbors in the community he’s called home for more than a decade – to cross the goal line. Matykiewicz, president/CEO of Arizona Events Group, has given himself a Father’s Day deadline to raise the $18,500 he needs to put on the show and party on July 2. So far, he’s collected $80, adoring to gofundme.com/help-keep-fireworks-inahwatukee. The site is his collection point for donations.

“I just like fireworks,” he said. “I’m thinking about the community. It’s down to quality of life. People ask what’s the big deal about events. It’s a big deal. That’s why I am in business. I want people to enjoy themselves.” Like thousands of other residents, Matykiewicz was bummed by the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce announcement last month that it couldn’t afford to put on its popular Red, White and Boom! Independence Day party and fireworks show this year. The chamber had hoped to partner with an unidentified organization that had been interested in financing the 41st annual party, but the group pulled out at the last minute. Chamber President/CEO Lindy Lutz Cash said that didn’t leave enough time to find another partner.

Besides, she said, finding a site in Ahwatukee to stage the fireworks was next to impossible because the South Mountain Freeway construction eliminated the Pecos Road staging site. Matykiewicz said he has been working with city officials to stage fireworks July 2 at Desert Foothills Park, with a party running 6-11 p.m. in the nearby parking lot of Native Grill and Wings on East Chandler Boulevard near Desert Foothills Parkway. Native owner Rod Ticknor is helping him plan the party, which would include a beer garden with food, bounce houses, vendors and other attractions – similar to the chamber’s pre-fireworks festivities. The last two years, that festival was held at Pecos Park. See

FIREWORKS on page 9

Ahwatukee Foothills News - June 14, 2017  
Ahwatukee Foothills News - June 14, 2017