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August 2017

Graysen Hipps, 9, carries a building at a recent “Cardboard City” event at Mesa Red Mountain Library.

Tough Tie might be Mesa’s next booming business

Las Sendas chess club carries on tradition under new leadership By Erica Apodaca

By Becky Bracken

Kevin Shoemaker (left) and Skylar Bennett recently launched The Tough Tie. (Special to Nearby News)

Skylar Bennett, 28, and Kevin Shoemaker, 27, are a “Shark Tank” dream come true. These two Mesa guys are running their new venture out of a one-room office near Falcon Field, but odds are they won’t be there long. Their 6-month-old business, The Tough Tie, is going places. Both Bennett and Shoemaker started wearing ties regularly on their LDS missions. They still get animated recounting the sweat soaking through their collars after hours on their bikes. Then the two went on to pursue careers in commercial real estate. “The daily uniform was a shirt and tie,” Bennett

Ties ...continued on page 6

Joan Harmonick and her two sons, Daniel and Ryan (Special to Nearby News)

Chevalier Noir Academy Chess Club is shaking up its leadership after 16 years. The club’s owner and founder, Joan Harmonick, will be passing the club on to Michelle Carr, a homeschool mother and valued participant of the club. Chevalier Noir began in 2001 when Joan and her three boys moved from Minnesota to Mesa and found it hard to locate a chess club both challenging and welcoming enough for her boys. It was then that she decided to start her own club with her eldest boy. “He and I were the inspiration that started this,” Harmonick said. The club was held every week in the

Chess ...continued on page 8

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w e N

Win prizes n! when you i complete w o t your Scramblers puzzle y wa Successfully fill out this month’s Scramblers puzzle on Page 15 and you could win a gift certificate!

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Watch for our announcement of the winner in next month’s edition. If you see your name, write or email us by September 5, 2017, at the above addresses or call 480-898-5614 to claim your prize. Good luck!

For more information visit our website at The Breeze has made every effort to authenticate the information printed herein, however, we do not assume responsibility for any products or services advertised or information printed. Views expressed are representative of the author and not necessarily The Breeze.

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August 2017


community spotlight

Teens help make hospice patients’ final dream come true By Jessica Suriano

For some people, the 1998 film “Patch Adams” with Robin Williams is just a two-hour story about an aspiring doctor who wanted to make his patients laugh. Caitlin Crommett found it an inspiration to start a national foundation that makes hospice patients’ dreams come true. Now, she is extending her mission to the East Valley. Crommett began volunteering with the Hospice Care of the West group at age 12. Three years later, she started the DreamCatchers Foundation. Eight years after its beginning, DreamCatchers has fulfilled over 100 dreams for patients in hospice care, and it has chapters in 13 states and 23 schools. “DreamCatchers is taking hold here

in the Valley,” said Ashley Trussell, the foundation’s executive director. One emerging DreamCatchers club is at Mesa’s Red Mountain High School, where juniors Zach Molina and Shaq Daniels are helping to spearhead the club. On June 28, they fulfilled their first dream – for Paul Piaskoski, a stagefour cancer patient who had wanted dinner with his family and friends from his favorite restaurant, The Roaring Fork. Crommett even flew from her home in Los Angeles to join the students at the dinner. “It was awesome just to see the smile on his face,” Zach said. Zach said he joined DreamCatchers because his grandfather recently

Founder Caitlin Crommett (left) meets Mesa DreamCatchers Zachary Molina and Shaq and Tatum Daniels. (Special to Nearby News)

died from cancer, and his death made him realize it is important for youth to make meaningful connections with older people in the community. The visit seemed to energize Piaskoski for a while, said Trussell. “The doctors were really impressed by how he seemed to be after that dinner.” Piaskoski told Zach he enjoyed fish-

ing in Canada before he was diagnosed. That hit home for Zach, whose grandfather used to take him to fish there every summer too. “I think everybody should be in a group like this because it helps you get out of your comfort zone,” Zach said. “You don’t want to get used to only

Teens...continued on page 12

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COMMUNITY The Tough Tie team at the Tough Mudder finish line (Special to Nearby News)

Ties...continued from page 1 said. Their primary complaint: They were poorly constructed, too expensive and not machine washable. So they came up with a few ideas on how to improve the design of the basic tie. They improved the flimsy stitching. Both fathers of toddlers, Bennett and Shoemaker said they lost several ties to sticky fingers pulling the single thread holding their ties together. So their Tough Tie design includes a sturdy, small “iron lock” stictch that goes all the way up the

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seam on the back of the tie and is built to last. The other problem with standard ties? The felt insert placed inside to give the tie its shape. So the two figured out how to design and manufacture a tie with fabric that is fused to the rest of the tie and stays in place, even through a cycle in the washing machine. The Tough Tie also recently started manufacturing ties with liquidresistant performance fabric, able to stand up to the sloppiest soups and sauces. They also tweaked the

placement of the loops on the back of the tie, called “tie keepers,” so that even the tallest wearers will be able to get the back strap looped to the front and skip the Scotch tape to hold the whole thing together. Besides the basic design that makes Tough Ties machine washable, they added one incredible feature: a microfiber tip specifically intended to wipe screens clean. Bennett confesses that was his wife’s stroke of genius. So what do these miracle ties cost? They range in price from $29 to $36. “Because that’s what we can afford,” Bennett said, pointing across the office’s adjoining desks toward Showmaker. “We wanted to make ties for guys like us.” Now hundreds of neatly hung ties line the wall of their office with samples and swatches of more designs to come. To prove their ties were indeed the toughest, The Tough Tie sponsored a team for a recent Tough Mudder run. Everyone on the 15-person team wore Tough Ties thoughout the race. Afterward, they threw the ties in the wash and they came out just like new. So far, the duo has sold more than 300 ties both online and through two

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retailers: Pomeroy’s Mission Store in Mesa and Preach Supply in Gilbert. There’s also a patent pending on the Tough Tie design. “We want to become self-sufficient so we can give back to the community,” Bennett said. Both partners explained they have plans to create a trade-in program to donate and recycle old ties replaced by their Tough Ties. “We got our Tough Ties in the mail,” one happy customer, Katie Bodell, said about her purchase. “They were not taken out of the package and were carefully hidden under my bed. Our 9-month-old lab found the package today and destroyed the package. The ties and remains of the package were scattered all over the lawn. Crazy dog!  But true to their name, our Tough Ties didn’t even have a thread out of place. Thanks for making a lasting product that will serve our family’s needs.” Two hometown entrepreneurs with one simple, smart idea: reimagine the way men wear, wash and buy their ties. Sometimes the very best ideas are right under your nose – or even wrapped around your neck. For more information on The Tough Tie, visit

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meet your neighbor

looking back By Angie Sullivan, Mesa Historical Society

El Portal: Mesa’s first luxury hotel looking back


On Valentine’s Day in 1928, ground was broken on Mesa’s first luxury hotel, El Portal. The decision to build a luxury hotel in Mesa came after Arizona adopted its comprehensive highway plan in September 1927. Four federal highway routes were proposed along Main Street, U.S. 60, 70, 80 and 89. El Portal was to attract automobile travelers. The leader of the Chamber of Commerce selected the name El Portal, which is Spanish for doorway or entry. The El Portal reflected the city’s brand at the time, “Mesa, the Gateway City.” The El Portal was open less than two years before the Great Depression hit and the hotel became a victim of the Depression when it

was foreclosed June 29, 1931, just three years after opening. The hotel stayed closed for several years but was occasionally used for filming movies during that time. Toward the end of World War II the El Portal reopened its doors and returned to its former glory. In 1950, the minor-league Oakland Oaks became the first professional baseball team to make headquarters at the now-named Maricopa Inn. Two years later, the Chicago Cubs moved into the hotel during their spring training seasons at Rendezvous Park. In January 1972, the El Portal/Maricopa Inn was torn down, making way for the First National Valley Bank.

El Portal is Spanish for “door” or “entry.” (Special to Nearby News)

Ground was broken on El Portal on Valentine’s Day 1928. (Special to Nearby News)

Chess...continued from page 1 Harmonicks’ Las Sendas home – an hour-and-a-half class for the younger students with the older kids after. Tournaments were held on Saturdays. Harmonick is passing the club on because her boys have grown up and moved on to careers that require their full attention. “When we first started, we had just a few neighborhood kids, and then we grew and eventually became just a homeschooling chess club,” Harmonick said. “We were looking to support the homeschool community. But it wasn’t just about chess. We were encouraging good sportsmanship, manners, kindness. I saw it as a way to give back to the homeschooling community.” Chess was not the only priority of the club. The club was known for its tendency to give back to the community. “Beyond just our chess club, we also volunteered in the community,” Harmonick said. “We had started a family chess night. We would meet at the Mesa Public Library for some time, and then we moved it into our home. We are still going to that. We just want to teach and share the love of chess with the community,” Page 8

Sixteen years and more than 170 trophies later, Harmonick is handing over the club to Carr. (Special to Nearby News)

Chevalier Noir volunteered with Meals on Wheels preparing food for the weekends, when Meals on Wheels doesn’t deliver. The club also donated their time to prepare, serve and entertain in senior homes during the holidays. Sixteen years and about 170 trophies later, Harmonick is handing the chessboard over to Carr. “She is a mother and a homeschooler,” Harmonick said. “We not only love the chess, but we love the kids and it is a commitment. This isn’t something you can wake up one day and say, ‘I don’t feel like doing this today.’ You make a commitment, and we were always there. Every week, we had written

lesson plans,” Harmonick said. “Michelle has that commitment, as do her children, to continue that legacy.” Carr first found Chevalier academy when she and her kids moved from San Diego to Mesa. “I did a search online for a homeschool chess club,” Carr said. “We left a really strong homeschool community back in San Diego, and we had a hard time finding that when we moved to Mesa.” Carr later attended a family chess night held by Harmonick and fell in love with the program. The following August, her kids joined the club. Carr will now run the club out of her Estate Groves home under the name of

Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

Papiyon Academy. “That’s how much we have enjoyed it. And we want to keep it in the values she set. It’s not so much about chess, but about the community and helping each child succeed and be the best them,” Carr said. The club welcomes all students with an interest in learning or improving their chess skills. “We take in children of any abilities. Whether they have any special needs. We’ve had dyslexic. We’ve had deaf. We never ask; we just deal with that. We’ve had autism. I don’t like labels. Any student that is able to sit and interact with other students is welcome in our chess club,” Harmonick said. Chaveleir Noir, now Papiyon Academy, consists of roughly 24 kids ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. “There are no words. For me as a homeschooling mom, it was much more for me – it was about working with children and supporting them and their development,” Harmonick said. “It has been a wonderful experience for me and I will miss it terribly.” For more information about how to get involved in Papiyon Academy chess club, call 480-374-0988 or email August 2017

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“Ole’s Boys” top row, from left: Harrison Evans, Louis Huyter, Michael Anthony, Grant Williamson. Bottom row, from left: Preston Wright, DJ Peters, Johnathan Evans. Not pictured: Matthew Schoonmaker, Jace Larsen and Stephen Long. (Special to Nearby News)

The Mountain View High School football team will host a community event called “Friday Night Lights” from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 18 on the Coach Jesse Parker Field. This event is free for community members and Toro families to attend. “We are providing this fun event to bring the community together during the football team’s bye week,” Susie Eastwood, football booster chair member said. “This is all about community fun and support!” During the event, the Toros will unveil new uniforms, a new scoreboard and the highly anticipated Toro Tunnel. The scoreboard is sponsored by six alumni who played for the late Coach Jesse Parker. The field was named in his honor last year, and this is the perfect night to unveil it to the community. The Toro tunnel is sponsored by Falcon Air Conditioning and several young men in the community. The men donated funds in honor of John “Ole” MacQueen. Ole was a retired police officer who became a mentor and surrogate grandfather to the young men after he met them at a local cafe years ago. He attended their sporting events and family gatherings. He taught many of them how to drive, had meaningful discussions with them and encouraged them to do well in school and in life.   Upon Ole’s passing, many of the boys decided to honor his legacy and donated funds for the Toro Tunnel. Although most of “Ole’s Boys” have graduated and will never have the chance to run through the tunnel as a player, they wanted their fellow Toros to have the

August 2017

opportunity to become familiar with Ole. “Ole was a great example that we can all learn from and he saw us for our potential,” one of Ole’s boys, Louis Huyter, said. When asked why he wanted to donate this tunnel in Ole’s honor, Michael Anthony, another young man who built a relationship with Ole, said, “It will give the players something to play for and it feels like he is still there.” Preston Wright added: ”He taught us to invest in others and yourself.” Friday Night Lights will provide many events for all family members including interactive drills with players, a 7-on-7 hamster ball game and performances by the MVT pom, cheer and band.  Food trucks will include: Boca Taqueria, Seven Brothers Burgers, Sodalicious, Hot Cookie Truck and Kona Shave Ice. To raise funds during the event, the Booster Club is selling $25 family-offour dinner tickets that will include an entry in the Cow Chip Bingo Game. The dinner is sponsored in part by Caldwell County BBQ and the Bing Game is sponsored by the Slim Hatch Herd. If one of the cows “plops” on your square first, you win $1,000, second place wins $500 and third place $250. Purchase tickets in advance at Grid numbers will be randomly drawn as tickets are purchased. Winners do not need to be present to win. Please join Mountain View’s “Friday Night Lights” for music, food and fun and to celebrate our community. For more information, please contact Allison Evans at

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By Jessica Suriano A Mesa teen battling a terminal illness will turn 15 soon – and all he wants for his birthday is 100,000 greeting cards. Jacob Priestly, whose birthday is Aug. 28, was diagnosed with a disease when he was 10 that has caused most of the mitochondria in his cells to die. This has left him easily exhausted and with a diminished energy supply. “Any time someone sends me a card, I get filled with joy,” Jacob said. “If I read it and see people – random strangers – signing cards to another stranger, it makes me have joy.” The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation says mitochondria are responsible for creating more than 90 percent of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and organ function. There are currently no known cures for the disease. Aside from his condition, Jacob is just like other boys his age and enjoys joking around with his parents and younger brother, playing video games and listening to music. Some of his favorite games are Minecraft, World of

Jacob Priestly asks the public to send him cards for his birthday on Aug. 28. (Photo by Kimberly Carrillo)

Warcraft and Call of Duty. He still completes school classes from home. History and science are his favorite subjects, and he is not a fan of language arts.

Last year, Jacob and his family made a goal of opening 10,000 birthday cards but ended up receiving double that amount. So far, he has received cards from

Barack Obama, Matt Damon, a postcard from Pixar, a signed guitar from country music artist Harry Luge and a flag from the U.S. Army that traveled from Iraq to Germany. He has also received cards from abroad, including India, Hong Kong and the Philippines. His family has collected about 12,000 cards for his birthday this year so far. Jacob said cards from prison inmates are some of the best ones because most have detailed drawings and supportive messages. Jacob’s mom, Britney Priestly, said the idea for the birthday card campaign came about two years ago, when his condition was declining and he was bed-bound most of the time. “We had no idea what to give him for his birthday,” she said. “We got like 200 cards, and we gave them to him on his birthday and he was so excited. He was so happy.” His parents said the way Jacob handles adversity and his smile are

Cards...continued on page 12

Is your estate plan current? Have you had it reviewed recently? Estate plans don’t ‘expire.’ However, personal circumstances and laws do change. Reviewing your plan is an opportunity to make sure it still fits your current needs. You should have your estate plan reviewed if: 1. Your plan was not created in Arizona; 2. Your plan was created more than four years ago; 3. You are unsure whether your trust addresses potential capital gains and/or income tax issues; or 4. You, your spouse or your named beneficiaries have had a change in circumstances (financial or personal). There are several more reasons to have your plan reviewed, including the importance of understanding the plan you have in place and how it will impact those you care about. Call 480-385-1700 to make an appointment for a complimentary review or download a guide on living trusts at Morris Hall was ranked the #1 Estate Planning Law Firm for 2017 20th Anniversary 1997-2017

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Turning 15 and facing death, Mesa boy just wants birthday cards


Cards...continued from page 11 their favorite qualities about him. “He can be in pain and hurting, but he has a joke or is singing a song,” Britney said. “He’s just a happy kid, and that’s everybody’s favorite thing about him.” Jacob said he’s grateful for all his parents do to help him succeed and stay as healthy as possible.

“They’re an inspiration to me,” he said. “They help me go through all of this. Without my parents, I don’t know what I would be.” Jacob’s favorite types of cards either have animals on them or funny jokes. To learn more about Jacob’s life and mission to receive 100,000 birthday cards, visit his Facebook page (Adventures with Mighty Jake) or his Twitter account, @mightyjake828.

Want to help Jacob and his family reach their goal this year? Send cards and letters to:

Jacob Priestly P.O. Box 855, Queen Creek, AZ 85142 Official Shipper & Authorized Drop-off Site for: 1106 N. Gilbert Road #2 Mesa, AZ 85203 SW corner of Gilbert & Brown Phone: 480-844-0079 Fax: 480-844-0048 Store Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Visit us on Facebook!

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Teens...continued from page 5 helping out people your own age.” Shaq said he sees DreamCatchers as a great opportunity to try to improve others’ lives, if only for a while. He learned a lot from Piaskoski and his family at the dinner, saying it gave him a new perspective on life. “They’ve experienced our age; we haven’t experienced theirs,” Shaq said. “So, it’s fun getting to know what they have to offer.” Piaskoski died Thursday, July 13. Trussell became executive director in February because the foundation is getting large enough that Crommett felt it needed someone to mind its growing scope of chapters. Crommett hopes one day the foundation will grow as large as the Makea-Wish Foundation for children with life-threatening medical conditions, partly because DreamCatchers serves the opposite end of the age spectrum. “It’s bridging those generational gaps,” Crommett said. “That’s a huge part of our mission that we are really proud of – that we’re connecting generations and bringing people together in our communities that don’t usually interact.”

“I never pictured it getting to this level when I started it,” Crommett said. “I sometimes have no words because it makes me so happy.” Crommett said the biggest challenge is making sure affiliated clubs maintain constant contact with hospice care centers. High school and college students run the clubs, and most have already-packed schedules and busy lives. The clubs and final dreams they fulfill rely on donations. Clubs must find ways to fundraise, among other responsibilities. “I think it helps people look beyond themselves and see what’s important later in life,” Crommett said. “I’ve seen it really change people’s outlook on life and a lot of these students come back to me and say it’s changed their lives altogether… so that’s been honestly the most rewarding thing to see happen.” If you want to donate to DreamCatchers, start a local club, become a Dream Team volunteer or know someone who could use a dream come true, visit







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August 2017

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eFamily mitylitime maF

It’s an Urban Jungle in there Story and Photos By Crystal Lewis Brown It’s been open for about only five months, but if the line on a recent weekday morning is any indication, Urban Jungle Fun Park has quickly become one of the coolest play spots in town. And with 18,000 square feet of obstacles, trampolines and fun, it definitely makes sense. David Allen, Urban Jungle’s general manager, said the park aims to get kids up and moving while also having fun. And truth be told, no matter what your kids try to tell you, it was lots more fun than playing video games and watching the umpteenth episode of “Teen Titans Go.” “We want the kids to come in and get fit but have fun,” he said. Since the park is such a popular spot, save time by signing waivers for yourself and your kids online. If it’s your first visit, you can either bring your own jump socks (those sticky, grippy socks you can find at a trampoline park) or buy some from the front desk

for $2.50 to reuse for next time. You can choose 60 minutes, 90 minutes or 120 minutes of playtime. Each person in your party gets a colored wristband that indicates when your time is up (don’t worry, they’ll call it out over the intercom). And then the fun begins. We went during a peak time, about 10 a.m., so the park was already buzzing by the time we arrived. During the summer, the park opens at 8 a.m. so you can come early and beat the crowd (and get a $2 discount). Allen said the crowd dies down after 5 p.m. as well. Since it was our first visit, I chose to join in the fun. Parents pay just halfprice if they decide to play, which is perfect for those with younger kids. That meant that I could keep up with my preschooler while letting my older son have run of the park. And there’s tons to do. “We have a little bit of everything,” Allen said. “It’s hard to get bored.”

Jordan, 4, explores a “water” feature in the toddler play park.

Page 14

The park is divided into a few different sections, which means that if your kid decides he’s tired of meting out slam dunks on the trampoline basketball goal, he can join in a ball war in the huge, climbable mega-structure. There was a wrecking ball, ball cannons (don’t wor- Cameron, 8, reaches the top of one of Urban Jungle’s several climbing walls. ry, the balls were soft) and more. After sliding face-first off one use a credit card to choose how long of the obstacles, I decided I’d leave the of a massage you’d like), you can hang rest of the fun to the kids. out while your kids do their thing. In addition to the other trampolines, There’s even free Wi-Fi. super-slides and the spider tower (I “We wanted parents to be able to didn’t even try to squeeze myself into relax while their kids have fun,” Allen that one), there was a yard-size plastic said. bowling game and an obstacle course. Urban Jungle also has three differThe climbing walls were also a popular ent types of birthday party packages attraction. and four private rooms if you’d like There’s also a section made espe- to celebrate your kids’ big day there. cially for kids 5 and younger that has a Allen said they also host corporate, kid-proof gate. That means if you have school and other group events. to check on another kiddo or run to With everything there is to do, the restroom, you don’t have to worry there’s really only one thing you need about your child leaving the area. to bring: energy. I know what you’re thinking: That sounds like a lot of fun – for my kids. IF YOU GO But what am I going to do for an hour or two while they tire themselves out? What: Urban Jungle Fun Park Mesa Where: 5741 E. McKellips Road The answer to that is one of Urban Mesa, AZ 85215 Jungle’s best-kept secrets: the Adult Info: 480-508-7030, Chill Zone. With plush chairs, TVs and massage chairs (you can simply

Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

August 2017

By Eva Dwight

Empty closets and full hearts My older son got married a month ago and we moved him and his wife to Denver last weekend. He cleaned out his closet one last time, and it’s… really empty. There’s something so final about that. When it was half-full of ASU shirts and high school yearbooks, and when there were still some shorts and ties in his dresser, there was always the promise of all sorts of interactions that kept him a part of our family rhythm throughout his college years. I anticipated crying when we left, but he and my daughter-in-law were so happy to be unpacking boxes and feathering their first nest, I couldn’t do anything but smile and silently cheer, “Yay you! You made it to the next stage!” And, “Yay us! We helped you get there!” When I dig down into those cheers, an important truth reveals itself: We helped him get there by stepping back during his young adulthood – not by micromanaging or telling him what to do. It’s hard to know, sometimes, when to step in or step back. Many parents step back too soon, before kids are developmentally ready to make important decisions for themselves. Others hover over their young adult children, holding the safety net so close the kids almost trip over it. Parenting adult children is another opportunity for learning, like parenting at every stage since they were born. Here’s what I’ve learned about stepping back so our kids can step forward:

1. Ask

“What are some choices you are considering? What are you leaning toward? Would you be open to some input?” If the answer is “no,” respect that. It’s hard, but it’s probably what you would want someone to do for you.

of the issues? Do they seem pretty confident of their direction? Are they looking for advice/input? (Refer back to #1.)

3. Look

Give your child the edge they’ll need in life.

At who they are; who they have been; who they are becoming; the learning they have taken from past mistakes and successes.

4. Trust

That they want what’s best for themselves, too. Face it: Do any of us, with as much life experience and knowledge as we have, always make the right decision? Or do we do our best, learn from the decisions we make and move on to new possibilities with stronger skills? (This is known as resilience.)

5. Support

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Ask what they need from you. If they say “nothing,” support them by keeping your mouth shut and letting them make their decision. Be ready with a hug, whether things go well or not. My husband and I haven’t achieved mastery of this parenting stage yet. We are practicing, though, and when we step in too far, our kids let us know and we step back again. Thankfully, they don’t expect us to be perfect. They love us and they promise to visit. So the closet may be empty, but our hearts are full.

Eva Dwight offers individual, parent, and couples coaching to adults and teens. For more information, go to www.

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480.807.3317 Mail to: PUZZLE EDITOR 1620 W. Fountainhead Parkway, Suite 219, Tempe, AZ 85282 OR type your answers into an email with “Scramblers puzzle” in the message line and send to:

2. Listen

Do the answers they give indicate an awareness

August 2017

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navigating parenthood

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Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

August 2017

around the neighborhood Photos by Cheryl Haselhorst


In July, kiddos in grades K-5 met up at the Mesa Red Mountain Library to hone their architecture skills and build a cardboard city. 1. Sophie Richardson, 4, cuts paper. 2. Liam Richardson, 7, tapes construction paper onto the carboard city. 3. Sara Nash, youth services librarian, talks to the group and asks where they want to place a building. 4. Ruby Smith, 7, arranges cars in the middle of the cardboard city. 5. Spencer Yelverton, 10, left, and Justin Prebe, 8, arrange the cardboard city. 6. Haley Lemke, 6, works on her carboard candy shop, “Yum Yums.� 7. Putting the finishing touches on his cardboard building is Alex Venti, 16, a teen library volunteer.




7 6

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nearby news community map


What’s Missing?

ee something missing from the map? We would like to add local landmarks and businesses serving our community. Please email anything you see missing to, and we will see that it gets added. Thanks for the help!

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Page 19


top 10 family events August 2017 1

The Little Mermaid

Head under the sea for this liveaction musical version of the classic Disney animated film. When: Wednesdays-Sundays, Aug. 2-Aug. 19 Where: Hale Centre Theatre Cost: $22-$32 Info: 480-497-1181 or


Flashlight Tours

Experience the sights, smells and sounds of the desert at night, and learn more about our fascinating environment. When: Thursdays and Saturdays, Aug. 3-Sept. 2, 7-9:30 p.m. Where: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix Cost: Included with admission ($24.95 adult, $12.95 ages 3-17) Info: 480-941-1225 or


Prowl & Play: Dinosaurs!

Dig for dino bones, meet Raja the baby T-Rex, play in the water, make crafts, get awesome photos and more. When: Saturday, Aug. 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Where: Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix Cost: $8 Info: 602-286-3800 or


Teen Science Social

Teens get exclusive access to the entire Arizona Science Center, plus they can solve science puzzles and attempt escape rooms to win prizes. When: Saturday, Aug. 5, 6-10 p.m. Where: Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix Cost: Free (Reservation required) Info: 602-716-2000 or arizonasciencecenter


Public Star Party

Join the East Valley Astronomy Society for an interesting lecture and an evening of stargazing through telescopes. When: Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m. Where: Gilbert Riparian Preserve, 2757 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert Cost: Free Info:


Straight No Chaser and Postmodern Jukebox

originals and covers to modern pop hits played in older musical styles. When: Friday, Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m. Where: Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix Cost: $29.95-$135 Info: 602-379-2800 or


Shrek The Musical

Everyone’s favorite ogre and his sidekick, Donkey, hit the stage for this entertaining musical presented by Valley Youth Theatre. When: Thursdays-Sundays, Aug. 11-27, times vary Where: Herberger Theatre Centre, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix Cost: $20-$38.50 Info: 602-252-8497 or


Parents’ Night Out

Drop off kids ages 3-11 for a night of snacks and fun activities while you take a welldeserved break. When: Friday, Aug. 18, 5-8 p.m. Where: Mesa Family YMCA, 207 N. Mesa Dr., Mesa Cost: Free (members), Call for nonmember pricing Info: 480-969-8166 or


Downtown Summer Art Market

Head downtown to see arts and crafts from local artisans. This is the summer version of the Downtown Mesa Festival of the Arts (formerly MACfest). When: Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: SW Herb Shop & Gathering Place, 148 N. Center St., Mesa Cost: Free Info:

10 Joseph and the

Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Based on the Old Testament story of Joseph, this hit musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber features plenty of great songs and offbeat humor. When: Wednesdays-Saturdays, Aug. 25-Oct. 7 Where: Hale Centre Theatre Cost: $20-$32 Info: 480-497-1181 or

Get a double dose of music the whole family can enjoy, from fun a cappella

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August 2017


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biz spotlight

financially speaking

mom cents

pasta vixen

on the town By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski on the town

comm. spotlight



law talk

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looking back

events calendar

meet your neighbor

expensive homes

Raging Bull bucking trends in East Mesa Dominic LaLicata just wants to make his customers happy at Raging Bull Sports Bar and Grill. Guests who have dined at the restaurant since it opened May 1 have requested live music and pool tables. Only a few months into his business, LaLicata accommodated those requests by redesigning his layout. “It’s funny because my older clientele are the ones who requested it,” LaLicata said. Raging Bull Sports Bar and Grill, on Power Road between Main Street and

Raging Bull’s tacos (Special to Nearby News)

Page 22

Broadway Road, is the former home of Chubby Hubby Barbecue Sport and Grille, Damon’s Grill, Fahrenheits and Conti’s Bar and Grill. LaLicata said the 7,000-square-foot building was the perfect location. “Being across the street from Banner Baywood and a retirement community, that helps,” he said. “When the winter visitors come back, there will be a lot of people living around here.” He founded Raging Bull Sports Bar and Grill to fill a void in the area without stepping on his competition’s toes. He was very mindful of that. “I’m trying to be something a little different,” he said. “I wanted it to be a touch higherend, newer and fresher – without trying to take too much away from the competition. They have a loyal following.” L a L i c a t a describes the menu as “limited.”

tomatoes and a port wine reduction. Wings and salads are $9.50 to $12.50. LaLicata said his establishment is known for its heaping prime rib French dip ($14.50) and The Ultimate Reuben, another oversize dish ($12), topped with tortilla strips and pickled red onions ($12.50). “Guests say the Reuben is one of the best or the best they’ve ever had, which really wasn’t our intent,” he said. “I know it’s a good Reuben. “Our grilled cheese is amazing. It has basil and tomatoes and you can add turkey or ham. We have a prime rib French dip, too. It’s actual prime rib. We make it ourselves and then we slice it. It’s a big sandwich. All the burgers we have are really flavorful. We’re using good meat. The elk burger is expensive, in terms of cost. It’s $13 on the menu, but it’s very popular.” LaLicata describes his happy hour as “aggressive.” It’s held from 2 p.m. to close Mondays; 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. “They’re pretty long hours,” he said. “The most popular thing we have is $1.50 domestic drafts.” Sporting events play an important role in Raging Bull Sports Bar and Grill. He has 20 65-inch TVs and four 120-inch projector TVs. The restaurant opened on May 1. (Special to Nearby News) “For the size, it’s a lot of televisions,” He would rather be successful at a LaLicata said. “We did really well for the few dishes than be overburdened NBA playoffs. We turned the volume with a larger food array. The offerings, on for the game instead of music. I’m served on a paper-lined trays, will be looking forward to football season. expanded soon, he said. We’ll see how the first year goes.” Appetizers include soft pretzels LaLicata is just happy that Raging ($8.50) served with spicy mustard and Bull Sports Bar and Grill is making its housemade cheese sauce and jalapeño mark on East Mesa. white cheddar cheese curds ($8.50). “So far, so good,” he said. “I love being Raging Bull Sports Bar and Grill has busy. I want to make money, but I’d seven signature burgers for $12 to $13. rather it be a little slower to make sure There are a variety of choices, including we can handle it. It’s all about making The Angus, a traditional burger topped the customer happy.” with Thousand Island dressing for $11, and The Bull Elk ($13), a patty Raging Bull Sports Bar made with fresh ground elk, seasoned and Grill with roasted garlic, fresh thyme and 155 S. Power Road smoked sea salt. It is then grilled to Mesa 85206 order, topped with provolone cheese, 480-912-4211, thick housemade smoked bacon, Opens daily at 11 a.m. caramelized shallots, oven-roasted

Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

August 2017


Cobbler Cake in a Jar

what’s cooking?

For 4 half-pint Mason jars:

By Jan D’Atri They’re so popular for so many purposes, we sometimes forget that Mason and Ball jars were designed strictly for canning. But these days, they are a favorite in crafting, decorating and, believe it or not, baking a really fun, simple and ultratransportable cake! Cake in a jar? Yes, that’s right. I said jar. Half-pint wide-mouth jars make perfect single-serving cakes that you can bake in the oven, cool down, seal and take to a party or pack in a lunchbox. I’ll admit I was skeptical about putting Mason jars in the oven until I researched and discovered that the same jars you use for canning are designed to withstand very high heat and are sturdy enough to bake in. Then I found out that although the Mason jar has been around since 1858, making cake in a jar is one of the newest baking crazes. With cake in a jar, there’s no need

- 3 cups fresh or frozen fruits in season - 3/4 cup flour - 3/4 cup sugar - 1/2 teaspoon salt - 4 tablespoons butter - Whipped cream for topping - 1 package dried beans Directions: In a bowl, mix together fruits of choice equaling 3 cups. Pour equal amounts of the fruit in each of the four jars. In another bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt until well combined. Pour equal amounts of dry ingredients on top of the fruit. Add one tablespoon of butter on top of dry ingredients. Place the (Photo Credit/Jan D’Atri)

to make the batter to pour into the jar. Simply spoon the raw ingredients into the jars, add a slice of butter on top and watch the magic happen in the oven. Then serve the tasty treats right from the jar. Here are two variations of my new favorite single-serving sensation.



Half-Pint One-Pan Éclair: For delicious cakes in a jar that don’t need baking, try the half-pint éclair! Place a graham cracker on the bottom of each jar. Combine one small box of vanilla pudding and one cup of milk, mixing until thickened. Add ½ small tub of Cool Whip and mix until well blended. Spoon a dollop on graham

four jars into a square baking dish, a few inches apart. Spread dried beans around the jars to keep them steady while you’re moving them in and out of the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool. When cooled, twist on lids and refrigerate until ready to serve. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. cracker. Repeat process until layers are just below the neckline. Melt one container of chocolate fudge frosting in microwave for about 45 seconds. Pour several tablespoons of melted frosting over the top of each jar of graham cracker layers. Refrigerate for 24 hours to soften graham crackers before serving.


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Red Mountain alumnus building career as drummer By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski When Tanner Siegfort was a Red Mountain High School student, he had nothing on his mind but becoming a drummer. He sat behind the kit for the first time at age 5 and was adamant that he would make it in music. He never looked back. Inspired by his drummer father, Siegfort has had the opportunity to play with local heavy hitter Colton Avery, who is in England being mentored by The Script, and country singer-songwriter Laura Walsh. “I joined my first band at age 12,” said the 23-year-old Siegfort. “Pretty much from the first time I was on stage, I thought, ‘This is fun.’ I was born into it. “I’m glad I went in that direction. There’s nothing else I could imagine myself doing.” Siegfort plays Red’s Bar and Grill at The Wigwam in Litchfield Park from

6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays with fledgling country singer Jacob Morris. “I’m really excited about him,” he said. “He’s an original country singer who I met on Facebook. “I haven’t seen a lot of original talent that good in Arizona in so long – except for Laura – who are amazing in their own ways. We’re going to Nashville together on a networking vacation in September.”

Longtime goal Siegfort’s first drum teacher was his father. He segued to a drum instructor a few years later and continued until he was 10. After joining his first band at age 12, Siegfort taught himself guitar and started singing lead. He continued to master his craft in middle school by being first chair drummer/ percussionist in jazz and advanced band. “I just keep developing myself

and doing everything I can,” he said. Working with Avery and Walsh have been highlights of his career. “Colton was a ton of fun,” he said. “It was the most fun when he was just starting out. We grew together, and it’s cool to see where he is Tanner Siegfort (Special to Nearby News) now.” Each band on his resume has it was incredible,” Siegfort said. “It’s taught him something different about incredible the talent that that band himself. The act Buskin Cuffs was had at such a young age. They were especially interesting. “I was probably 15 at the time, and Drummer...continued on page 27


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August 2017

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Simply A Cappella seeks choral director By Nearby News Staff

Simply A Cappella, an East Valley chapter of Sweet Adelines International, is looking for a choral director. Experience and knowledge of the barbershop style of singing is desirable. The women sing a variety of familiar tunes: golden oldies, modern, holiday and patriotic music. They perform year-round at various facilities and functions, but in the spring, they compete in the Sweet Adelines Region

21 contest. Rehearsals are held from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursdays in the choir room of Family Life Center at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Ave., Mesa. All applications will be considered. For more information, call Pat Bowen at 480-399-9799 or email pat. For more information about the group, visit

Groves author releases new book for tweens By Nearby News Staff Mesa author Debe  Branning  has released her new chapter book for tweens, “The Adventures of Chickolet Pigolet – You Ought to Be in Pig-tures.” This is the third book in a series of adventure tales about a misguided pig, Chickolet Pigolet. This time, Chickolet’s mother wins a cookie jingle contest that sends the family on a trip to Hollywood. Chickolet travels along filled with his Hollywood dream of becoming a famous motion pig-ture star. He soon learns that Tinsel Town is not all made of glitter and lights as he anticipated. But, what really matters is becoming a trusted friend when it matters the most.   “Chickolet Pigolet is really my alterego”, Branning said, “Many of the events that challenge Chickolet has happened to me in my life – only this time the final outcome is up to my sense of humor.”

Tickets Start at $15! Tickets at$15! $15! TicketsStart Start at

Branning’s latest book for tweens is titled, “The Adventures of Chickolet Pigolet – You Ought to Be in Pig-tures.” (Photo courtesy of Debe Branning)

Branning adds she plans on holding Mesa Library signings of her new title. Visit for more information.

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probably two years older than me, but they were amazing. I learned so much from that band. “They were a different genre, more of a bluesy-rock-jazz type of band. Unfortunately, it never went anywhere. We were all so young. You never know what we’re going to do when you’re so young.” The country cover outfit Western Fusion forced Siegfort to realize he was becoming a bit cocky about having played the drums for a “long time.” “When I left the band, I reflected and thought about how much I learned from some of the players,” said Siegfort, who teaches drums at his Mesa home and plays for his church, Desert Foothills Lutheran Church in Scottsdale. “It’s been a diverse career. I could play for 10 people in a honky-tonk on a Friday, and on the Fourth of July play the Mesa Amphitheatre for 2,000 people. “It was making me diverse in knowing what to play. I was fortunate that Western Fusion took me in. All the guys are in their 30s. They took a chance on an 18-year-old drummer.

That’s amazing.” There is one common thread that has run throughout his career. “I try to make every band I’m in perfect,” he said. “I’m a perfectionist in that way. I’m very passionate, and I love making music. I love making music unique. “I’m not one to sit down and say, ‘Let’s play the song just like the record. If we’re going to cover Katy Perry, I want to make things our own with the cover. With originals, I have a lot of fun taking on the role of band musical director. I was able to do a lot about that with Laura Walsh.” Siegfort said he believes he has the ideal job. “Playing four hours isn’t a hard job,” he said. “Making it a career is much, much harder than people like to think. You have to work hard to make a living, but you want to have fun at the same time. Sometimes I have to give myself a reality check: ‘I’m getting paid to play an instrument I picked up because I love to do it.’ Everybody who plays music for a living should consider themselves blessed.” For more information about Tanner Siegfort, visit

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events calendar

Wide Awake U2 Tribute Band

August 2017

Solar Eclipse Safety Program A solar eclipse is coming up August 21. Find out how to observe it safely from “Dr. Sky,” Steve Kates. When: Wednesday, Aug. 2, 3-4:30 p.m. Where: Red Mountain Library, 635 N. Power Road, Mesa Cost: Free Info: 480-644-3100 or

Ethiopian Fest Cafe Lalibela hosts an evening celebration of Ethiopian food, dance, music and other customs and festivities. When: Saturday, Aug. 5, 6:30-11 p.m. Where: Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St., Mesa Cost: $40 Info:

participate in raffles for a chance to win great prizes. When: Saturday, Aug. 5, 6-9 p.m. Where: Broadway Recreation Center, 59 E. Broadway Road, Mesa Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door, Free for kids 13 and under Info:

2nd Friday Night Out Attend Mesa’s monthly street festival. This month, the theme is “Hotter Than Hades.” Dress up in a toga, play trivia, listen to live bands and explore the work of local artists. When: Friday, Aug. 11, 6-10 p.m. Where: Main Street. between Center and Country Club, Mesa Cost: Free Info:

Princess Ballet Your little princess ballerina can get a beginner lesson from Cinderella and two other princesses, and then meet them in person. Dressing up encouraged. When: Saturday, Aug. 5, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Where: Ms. Carol’s Gymkids, 116 N. Lindsay Road, #11, Mesa Cost: $15 Info: 480-777-1033 or

Saturday Night Live Action Roller Derby Bout Watch hard-hitting roller derby action from the Arizona Rollergirls, plus

Enjoy the music of U2 as you knock back some beers and enjoy other fun at Desert Eagle Brewing Co. When: Saturday, Aug. 12, 6-9 p.m. Where: Desert Eagle Brewing Co., Falcon Field, 2613 N. Thunderbird Circle, Mesa Cost: Free Entry Info:

Dennis DeYoung Styx founding member and former lead singer Dennis DeYoung brings his six-piece band to play the band’s greatest hits, including “Come Sail Away,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Too Much Time on My Hands,” and more. When: Friday, Aug. 11, 8 p.m. Where: Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St., Mesa

Mesa Cost: Free Info: 480-644-3005 or

Mesa Made Browse handcrafted items at this local air-conditioned market. There will also be workshops where you can stretch your creativity. When: Friday, Aug. 25 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 26, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Where: Mesa Convention Center, 201 N. Center St., Mesa Cost: Free Info:

Cinematic Pop

Herbie Hancock The legendary pianist and composer brings six decades of musical talent and a wide range of styles in this mustsee concert. When: Thursday, Aug. 17, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Where: Mesa Arts Center, One East Main St., Mesa Cost: $38-$66 Info: 480-644-6500 or

Ask a College Student Help your high schooler prepare for their college journey. They can meet area college students and get tips on how to be successful. When: Friday, Aug. 25, 4-8 p.m. Where: Mesa Counts on College Access Center, 635 E. Broadway Road,

Hear iconic songs like “Everyone Wants to Rule the World,” “Hallelujah” and “More Than a Feeling” covered by talented soloists and backed by an orchestra and 100-voice choir. When: Saturday, Aug. 26, 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. Where: Mesa Arts Center, One East Main St., Mesa Cost: $20, $32, $39 Info: 480-644-6500 or

SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference Learn about the future of science and technology education in Arizona. Get resources to promote STEM in your community and network with fellow educators and enthusiasts. When: Thursday, Aug. 31, 7:45 a.m.-4 p.m. Where: Mesa Arts Center, One East Main St., Mesa Cost: $40 public, $30 educators, Free for students Info:



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August 2017


business spotlight By Alison Stanton

Mesa Swim Club Seadogs offers programs for all ages Janine Simioni first began swimming for the Santa Barbara YMCA when she was 7 years old. As a young girl, she achieved the most records for her age group five years in a row. In high school, Simioni held all of the team records in every event three years straight. And she trained for the 1980 Olympics time trials at the age of 15, where she excelled in a number of events. Now, as director of the Mesa Swim Club Seadogs, Simioni enjoys instilling the same love of swimming in children that she discovered as a young girl. Simioni started the swim club in July 2001. She and her staff currently offer a number of programs to choose from, including private lessons, infant rescue swim lessons, pre-competitive team, competitive team, masters and

a mermaid program. “Our infant rescue starts at 6 months and our pre-competitive program starts with 3 years old and up,” she said, adding that competitive team is for ages 5 and up, masters is 18 and up, and the mermaid program is for kids ages 5 and up. One of the things that helps Mesa Swim Club Seadogs stand apart, Simioni said, is their devotion to getting to know each and every team swimmer. “We are a technique team and make sure that the swimmers don’t get injured so they can swim into their adult years without injuries. Most other teams don’t look at that,” she said. “We are also very family-oriented. We keep the team small so we can

The club offers swim lessons in addition to competitive teams. (Special to Nearby News)

make sure every swimmer gets the right workout and what they need to succeed.” In order to help reach these goals, Simioni said she and her staff host a lot of events that include the whole family. “In addition, the coaching staff also sits with the swimmers and families at swim meets so the swimmers get

to know the coaches and help the swimmers overcome the nervousness,” she said. This approach has definitely paid off, Simioni said, because the swim club has had a large number of successful swimmers who have received college scholarships. “We have swimmers that have been

Swim...continued on page 30


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Swim...continued from page 29 with the team for 10-plus years now. Some have even become coaches for our team,” she said. It is also quite common for members of the same family to join the swim programs at the swim club. For example, Simioni said siblings often start swimming together, with the younger brothers and sisters in the family joining later on. “We also get swimmers that see our team at swim meets and see how smooth and graceful our swimmers are and also find out that we take the time for our swimmers and train them the right way and not by a number,” she said. Simioni said she truly enjoys working with the kids every day and watching their progress and seeing the happy smiles on their faces when they master a new technique. “I really like teaching the swimmers to swim with the proper technique and watching them progress and get the times that they want and the hard

Taylor Curtis (Special to Nearby News)

work they put into it to succeed in the sport,” she said. The Mesa Swim Club Seadogs swim at Red Mountain Country Club, 6425 E. Teton Circle, Mesa and at Skyline Aquatic Center, 845 S. Crismon Road, Mesa. They also swim at Power Ranch, 4444 E. Haven Crest Drive, Gilbert. For more information, call 480-8073317 or visit

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Katelyn Kinnaird swimming butterfly at the Jr. Olympics. (Special to Nearby News)

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Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

August 2017


law talk By Nathaniel H. Wadsworth

Shakespeare, Fox News and employer liability At his army’s camp at Agincourt on the eve of battle, Shakespeare’s Henry V, without disclosing his true identity, wanders among some of his soldiers. A conversation soon ensues regarding what guilt a king may have for his soldiers’ deaths. Though some try to place all the blame on the king, Henry V not surprisingly argues a different position. In explaining that each man is responsible for his own choices, Henry V uses multiple examples to make his point, including how a father who sends his son out on business is not responsible for the son’s wicked mismanagement of that business. He concludes that “the king is not bound to answer the particular endings of his

soldiers, the father of his son, nor the master of his servant.” Though eloquently and forcefully made, the king’s argument might not prevail in court today in the employer/ employee context. In fact, under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior (Latin for “let the master answer”), an employer often is held responsible for the acts of its employee. This would explain why 21st Century Fox, as recently reported, paid $10 million related to settlements of pending and potential litigation, presumably related, in part, to allegations that former Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly engaged in sexually harassing others at the network. In Arizona, this doctrine of

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respondeat superior holds an employer responsible for the actions of its employee, if the employee is acting within the scope of his/her employment. This means that: • The act was the kind that the employee was employed to perform; • The act occurred substantially within the authorized time and space limit of the employment; and • The act was motivated, at least in part, by a purpose to serve. Under these principles, Arizona courts often find employers liable for the acts of their employees. In one case, for example, an employer was found liable when its employee, working outside of his regular hours and in an intoxicated state but driving a company vehicle, crashed on his way to pick up a costumer. Likewise,

where the facts support that the employee is acting within the scope of his employment, an employer can be liable for the employee’s acts of sexual harassment, even though such acts are not authorized by the employer. The question of whether an employer is liable is not always easy to determine and must be analyzed on a case-bycase basis. You can learn much from Shakespeare, but if you are involved in a matter involving potential employer liability, whether as an employer, an employee, or an injured victim, you should also discuss the matter with a qualified attorney. Nathaniel H. Wadsworth is a partner Rowley Chapman & Barney. His practice consists of Business Law and General Litigation. Mr. Wadsworth received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in 2003 and his law degree from J. Reuben Clark School of Law, Cum Laude in 2006.

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Retail renovation complete on former Kmart center By Nearby News Staff

Red Mountain Group has announced the completion of the $5 million redevelopment of the 130,000-squarefoot shopping center located on the northeast corner of Main Street and Lindsay Road. The newly renovated center will host Big Lots, Ross Dress for Less, Melrose Family Fashions, and the Shoe Dept. Big Lots will occupy 35,000 square feet, while Ross Dress for Less will occupy up to 30,000 square feet. “Red Mountain Group has successfully revitalized this corner of central  Mesa,” Mayor John Giles said. “The redesign has updated the look and feel of one of our older retail neighborhoods.”  The retail center was initially built in 1975 as an 85,200-square-foot Kmart department store. Several years later, an additional 42,000 square feet of retail space was added to the east side. For more than 30 years, the Kmartanchored center was a vibrant revenuegenerating asset for east Mesa. “This is a great reuse of an existing

Page 32

Ross Dress for Less will occupy about 30,000 square feet. (Special to Nearby News)

building that will bring more jobs and future development to the area” District 2 Councilmember Jeremy Whittaker said. “Red Mountain Group made a significant investment in a property that is more than 40 years old, and we are thrilled they have made this commitment to District 2.”

With the downturn of the economy, Kmart suffered as customers moved their patronage to newer retail developments. Kmart permanently shut its doors at the center in October 2015. Red Mountain Group has renovated the original space and has plans for

Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

a second phase to redevelop the additional 42,000 square feet and possibly add pad sites along the Main Street frontage. “We are very excited to complete this redevelopment project in  Mesa  and the feedback we’ve received from the community has been overwhelmingly positive,” Michael Mugel, CEO of Red Mountain Group, said. “Bringing new, quality retailers into the shopping center and creating beauty through new architectural design is exactly what we are all about – enhancing retail centers and enhancing the quality of life for the surrounding neighborhoods by increasing home values, creating jobs, and providing a safe and attractive place for everyone to shop.” Vertical Design Studio was the architect for the project and Frontera Building Company served as general contractor. Westwood provided civil engineering services and Welker Development Resources provided entitlement consulting.

August 2017

By Wayne Schutsky

A new type of ATM has arrived in Mesa, but users will not be able to use it to withdraw cash from their bank. Rather, the new machine – from Texas-based Coinsource – is a onestop shop for bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that uses encrypted peer-topeer networks to facilitate online transactions and does not rely on traditional banks or government entities. The currency’s value fluctuates, and one bitcoin is currently worth roughly $2,300 USD. Coinsource’s ATMs offer users a variety of functions, including the ability to buy bitcoins and exchange bitcoins for cash. The new ATM in Mesa is located at Max Mart at 735 E. McKellips Road. It opened in July as part of the company’s first foray into the Arizona market. It opened four other bitcoin ATMs in Phoenix and Peoria. Coinsource chose to move into the Valley due to the Phoenix area’s strong

demographics, market demand and the state’s approach to blockchain technology, Coinsource CEO Sheffield Clark said in a press release. Blockchain technology is a key component of bitcoin transactions. In March, the state of Arizona officially recognized blockchain signatures and smart contracts when Governor Doug Ducey signed HB 2417 into law.

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Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

August 2017

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HAULING DAVE'S DUMPING & HAULING I haul it all! Yard/construction debris, junk, furniture, appliances, clean-outs, etc., etc., etc., Jobs both big & small I’m a 6th grade Mesa teacher working his 2nd job. Phone Estimates Dave 480-360-5865 or 480-360-JUNK See my ad in the Biz Box Section

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Award-winning Arizona builder for 38 years. Blandford Homes specializes in building master planned environments with a variety of amenities and charm. Many offer resort-style amenities such as pools, spa, fitness, tennis, event lawns, and lifestyle activities, you’ll find the perfect community to fit your lifestyle. A Mountain Bridge in Northeast Mesa – Resort-Style Master Planned Community 6 BRAND NEW REVOLUTIONARY MODELS FOR 2017 Villa Collection • From the mid $300’s • 480-988-2400 Vintage Collection • From the high $300’s • 480-988-2400 Craftsman Collection • From the low $400’s • 480-641-1800 Artisan Collection • From the low $500’s • 480-641-1800 Master Collection • From the low $700’s • 480-641-1800

B Mulberry – “New Old-Home Neighborhood” GRAND OPENING NEW PHASES! Arbor Collection • From the low $240’s • 480-895-6300 Americana Collection • From the $260’s • 480-895-2800 Centennial Collection • From the low $300’s • 480-733-9000 Heritage Collection • From the mid $300’s • 480-733-9000

C The Estates at Thirty-Second Street NOW SELLING Estate single-level homes with 4 to 6 car garages and optional RV garages and carriage houses • From the low $700’s • 480-750-3000

D The Estates at Las Sendas NOW SELLING Northeast Mesa Resort-Style Master Planned Community

Estate single-level homes on 30,000 sq. ft. lots with 4 to 6 car garages and optional RV garages and carriage houses From the high $700’s • 480-641-1800

E Sienna Hills – 124th St & Shea in Scottsdale COMING SOON! Luxury single level estate homes from the low $900’s

Page 36 Not all photos shown are representative of all communities. Terms and conditions subject to change without notice.

Nearby News • For News Around Our Neighborhood

August 2017

The Breeze - August 2017  
The Breeze - August 2017