85085 Magazine - September 2019

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Classic rocker Mark Gus Scott finds new musical calling Desert Dragon Pottery





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SEPTEMBER 2019 | Volume 6 | Issue 9

Publisher Steve T. Strickbine steve@timespublications.com


Vice President Michael Hiatt mhiatt@timespublications.com

20 24 Remembering Jane Austen A New Bag of ‘Trix’ 85085’s Mark Gus Scott trades rock for power ballads

Executive Editor Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Graphic Designer Shannon Mead

Take a trip to Chawton to trace the author’s life

Staff Writers Eric Newman, Octavio Serrano



fresh 6

Wedding Bells x Four


News Briefs


Curtis’ Corner

Contributors Pastor David Bowen, Jan D'Atri, Shannon Fisher, C.A. Haire, Sherry Jackson, Shelley Sakala, Judge Gerald Williams, Srianthi Perera, Kayla Rutledge, Curtis Finch, Jadyn Fisher, Laura Latzko, Heather Maxwell, Dr. Kelly Collins, Dr. Joshua Abrams


29 License to Kiln

Pottery shop wants to build relationships with the community

Starlight’s show shares shapes of marriage, with a touch of Elvis

home 30 A Pleasant Aroma

DVUSD relentlessly pursues greatness

31 Floral Fun

These crafts show flower power can be crafty

10 Team Spirit

Football is the most popular way of showing school pride

11 Time to Expand

DVUSD will soon host groundbreaking for new school

12 Giving Hearts

Great Hearts hopes to raise $500K through ‘A Wrinkle in Time’

14 You’ve Been Hacked

Phoenix event will serve tips on breaches

32 Extraordinary Rides

At $90K, the Mercedes E450 is an excellent street machine

34 What’s Cooking? with Jan D’Atri Tuscan Butter Salmon

36 Cultural Collision

Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant brings Irish and Latin flavors together


18 The Law of Attraction

A dog and owner bond over real estate

40 Bringing the Zen to the Military Yoga teacher offering free classes to ease PTSD and other stressors

22 Spiritual Warrior

Former Ninja, Alexio Gomes, joins Crossroads Church


42 Fall in Love with Your Skin

Autumn is the time to combat damage and dryness

28 Rolling Out the Red Carpet

Anthem Area Chamber presenting its business awards

44 Total Disc Arthroplasty

Is all back and neck surgery the same?

On the cover: Mark Gus Scott Photo by: Pablo Robles

85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

Production Manager Courtney Oldham Circulation

85085 Magazine sets high standards to ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial and economically viable manner. This issue was printed on recycled fibers containing 10% post consumer waste, and with inks containing a blend of soy base. Our printer is a certified member of the Forestry Stewardship Council, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and additionally meets or exceeds all federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act standards

Steve Wolff can bring the sweets, whether it’s boba, donuts or ice cream



Marketing Director/ Social Media Manager Eric Twohey eric@85085magazine.com

38 Desert Donuts

16 Things To Do


Advertising sales@85085magazine.com (623) 299-4965


15 A Civics Lesson

There’s nothing wrong with our form of government

Staff Photographers Kimberly Carrillo, Pablo Robles


@85085mag | #local85085

85085 Magazine is published 12 times a year for full saturation distribution in Sonoran Foothills, Norterra, Fireside, Deer Valley Airpark, Dynamite Mountain Ranch, Carefree Crossing, Valley Vista, and Amber Hills. You can also pick up 85085 Magazine at many businesses including specialty shops, salons, spas, auto dealerships, libraries, children’s and women’s specialty shops, boutiques, restaurants, health clubs, hotels, medical offices, and many rack locations. Statements, opinions, and points of view express written consent by the writers and advertisers and are their own, and do not necessarily represent those of the publishers, editors, or 85085 Magazine staff. Although 85085 Magazine has made every effort to authenticate all claims and guarantee offers by advertisers in the magazine, we cannot assume liability for any products or services advertised herein. No part of 85085 Magazine can be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the express written consent of the publisher. Publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter at any time. Postmaster: Please return all undeliverable copies to AIM, 1236 W. Southern Avenue, Ste 105, Tempe, AZ 85282. Yearly subscriptions available; twelve issues mailed directly to your mailbox for $19.95 per year (within the U.S.). All rights reserved. ®2019 Affluent Publishing, LLC. Printed in the USA.

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Wedding Bells x Four Starlight’s show shares shapes of marriage, with a touch of Elvis By Kayla Rutledge


he Valley is cordially invited to attend a ceremony of holy matrimony—or four—during Starlight Community Theater’s rendition of “Four Weddings and an Elvis.” Though the ceremonies lack a reception with dinner, Director Van Rockwell says members of the audience can instead spend the evening entertained while filling up on laughter. What Rockwell says was fi rst a more serious script, has metamorphosed into a giggling truth of the many shapes marriage can take on—not all of which are so tender and sweet. “I took the opportunity not just to look at the material, but to see if I could make it funny because life is funny,” Rockwell says. “We, as human beings, are clumsy, but that gives us our dynamics as individuals and I think that’s something we can celebrate.” The play is set in an Elvis-themed chapel situated off the Las Vegas Strip. The owner of the chapel, Sandy, played by Michelle Johnston, has seen couples of all types walk, or more often stumble, into her business ready to get hitched.


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

While she has witnessed the nuptials of the world’s wildest pairs, a series of ceremonies will throw the wedding world under her roof into high gear. One pair is set to exchange vows as a publicity stunt, another has a little more bite and a little less bark, and exchanges vows to get revenge on their exes. A third vignette highlights an odd couple consisting of a good ol’ Nebraska boy and a Jailhouse Rock, rough and rowdy ex-con recently out of prison on parole, trying to tie the knot before the police arrive as a final act. All the ceremonies build up to the hilarious wedding of Sandy herself, who couldn’t help but fall in love with “the one.” The series of vignettes come together to create a dynamic play fi lled with laughter and a whole lot of genuine, or so not genuine, love. Rockwell says while the script itself is funny, the humor is honest, deeply rooted, “and not like a ‘Th ree Stooges’ skit,” because of the collective experiences the cast has in their own love lives. The director says because he has never been married, to create a genuine portrayal

of love in its varying shades he has relied heavily on the cast, costume crew, and set design staff to take on all types of relationships. “I’d like to think I am a director that has a vision but I’m not a control freak. I value everybody’s input,” Rockwell says. “I don’t want anyone to be a caricature of anyone, I don’t want anyone to be a parody or a farce. These are real people, playing character who, sure, may have some outrageous experiences, but the people playing them can relate to that in some way, and I think that helps the audience connect to them as well.”

“Four Weddings and an Elvis”

Various times Friday, September 27, to Sunday, October 6 Starlight Community Theater, 1611 W. Whispering Wind Drive, Phoenix $15 starlighttickets@hotmail.com, starlightcommunitytheater.com

NEWS BRIEFS By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Avenue 27 open for public dining Deer Valley Unified School District’s Career Technical Education program recently added Avenue 27, a fi ne-dining restaurant integrated into Barry Goldwater High School. The student-run, Friday-night restaurant opened to rave reviews. In August, it served salad; melon and prosciutto with fresh mozzarella, balsamic reduction and black pepper; grilled salmon with sauce puttanesca and olive oil smashed potatoes, roasted airline chicken breast with crispy spätzle, haricot vert and whole grain mustard reduction; roasted ratatouille pasta with basil pesto drizzle; and deconstructed peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh raspberries. To secure a reservation, email avenue27@ dvusd.org or visit dvusd.org/bghs to learn more.

Elevate Coffee continues music series

Music continues to fill Elevate Coffee Company at the Shops at Norterra, 2530 W. Happy Valley Road, Suite 1273. Upcoming acts include: Dirtykeyz Duo, September 6; Sophia Humbert, September 7;

Just Jimmy, September 14; Cold Soup, September 20; Colour Blinde, September 21; and Elle Sloan and Chancer and Spencer, September 27. Info: 602-341-5480, elevatecoffee.com.

Times Media Group acquires Southland Publishing

Times Media Group, 85085 Magazine’s parent company, has acquired Southland Publishing, which produced several newsweeklies, magazines and digital media properties. “Our primary goal at Times Media Group is to grow the number of readers we serve with community news, because we believe telling great stories and bringing tangible value to our advertising partners is a recipe for continued success, not just in Arizona, but anywhere,” says TMG President Steve Strickbine. TMG owns the Pulitzer Prize-winning East Valley Tribune and the award-winning Scottsdale Progress. “The Southland publications have always been special in their connection with the communities they serve,” Strickbine says. “We can’t wait to further solidify that connection and do even more to demonstrate our commit-

ment to our readers, our advertisers and our neighbors.” Strickbine called the Southland purchase a strategic expansion step into Southern California, further increasing the reach of TMG’s successful community news operation. The TMG purchase includes Pasadena Weekly, LA Downtown News, The Argonaut, VC Reporter and San Diego City Beat. TMG has also purchased Southland’s three monthly magazines: Arroyo Monthly, Playa Vista Direct and Ventana Monthly. Southland’s associated digital properties are also included in the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Strickbine, 48, quit his job as a CPA in 1997 to start a small community newspaper in North Scottsdale. Today, TMG publishes the East Valley Tribune, the Ahwatukee Foothills News, the West Valley View, Nearby News, the San Tan Sun News, the Gilbert Sun News, College Times, Scottsdale Airpark News, Lovin’ Life After 50, Lovin’ Life in Tucson, The Entertainer! Magazine, North Valley Magazine, 85086 Magazine, 85085 Magazine and the travel and information website Phoenix.org.

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Curtis’ Corner DVUSD relentlessly pursues greatness By Superintendent Curtis Finch Deer Valley Unified School District


uhammad Ali, Steffi Graf, Michael Jordan, Richard Petty, Annika Sorenstam, Johnny Unitas and Deer Valley Unified School District. What do the above have in common? The relentless pursuit of greatness. Each of these legends had help along the way, made calculated decisions and were dedicated to their craft. The “Good to Great” (G2G) series of business books has organizational principles that DVUSD uses in its own pursuit of greatness. The work by Stanford Professor Jim Collins and his research team is a chronological march through the Great Recession of 2008 and the rise and fall of similar companies. The premise of the books is to look back at several comparative 100-year-old companies like Walmart and Kmart, or Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and discern the influential traits of those who stayed “good” and those who became “great.” The seven principles discovered were eventually expounded upon in a G2G “Social Sectors” supplementary book—schools, hospitals, foundations, etc. are not businesses, but share some of the same characteristics.

Three additional books in the series include “Built to Last,” “Great by Choice” and “How the Mighty Fall.” A key concept in the “Social Sectors” edition is the importance of collecting a “body of evidence” to make good decisions and evaluate progress. In the business world, profit and stock price are indicators of success, but not in the social sectors. DVUSD’s best data comes from comparing ourselves to similar Arizona public school institutions such as Paradise Valley, Gilbert, Chandler, Peoria, Scottsdale, Dysart and Cave Creek. Here are seven interesting data points in relation to our peers that help us monitor our march toward greatness. Of the peer group, DVUSD has the lowest student-teacher ra-

tio; above-average dollars spent in the classroom; the second-most A-rated schools (65%); the highest percentage of A and B schools (95% - tied); the highest percentage of A-plus School Of Excellence Awards (41%); among the lowest administrative costs per student; and above the average of students-per-administrator. These data points indicate we are on the right path, but there is always work to do. As the G2G series so eloquently says, “good is the enemy of great.” In the last four months, two awards have also come to DVUSD from outside sources. KTAR’s annual rating of the “Best Public School District” has ranked DVUSD as the No. 2 district in Arizona, while forbes.com just bestowed upon DVUSD a Top 50 “America’s Best Employers by State” Award. DVUSD is the only school district in Arizona on the list. These two recent awards demonstrate DVUSD’s hard work and progress. Our staff is committed to moving from “good to great” the old-fashioned way with collaboration and hard work. DVUSD is striving to be the greatest school district in all of AZ and with our community’s help and the dedication of our 4,000 #Extraordinary employees; we will get there together.

Dr. Curtis Finch is the DVUSD superintendent and can be reached at superintendent@ dvusd.org.


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

SCHOOLS The Sandra Day O’Connor football team recently attended camp in California. (Photo courtesy Aiden Simonton)

Team Spirit Football is the most popular way of showing school pride By Jadyn Fisher


Sandra Day O’Connor High School sophomore Aiden Simonton is entering his second year on the football team. (Photos courtesy Aiden Simonton


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

t any high school, being involved in clubs or sports or just showing team spirit is what can make or break those four years of your life. There are plenty of opportunities for involvement, but one of the most mainstream and popular options is sports, especially football. Most people sit in the stands and cheer for their team with their friends, but for some, being on the field is a huge part of their high school lives. Sandra Day O’Connor High School sophomore Aiden Simonton is entering his second year on the football team and they recently participated in the football camp in California. The camp helped then home their skills and build chemistry, which is what makes their team so strong. Simonton says it’s a great way to build a strong group of friends and meet lots of new people. “The summer camp has definitely helped me with conditioning and practice,” Simonton says. The experience helped Simonton bond with teammates he may not have otherwise spoken to. “Our coach put us in rooms with people we didn’t know so we would talk,” he says. “Camp helped us become a family because

we were not allowed to have our phones at camp so the friends that I made at camp I never thought I would have.” With morning runs at 5 a.m. followed by two practices (morning and afternoon), they still found some time to visit Six Flags or the beach. This further enhanced their bonds that will only grow in the following few years. If that sounds like a lot, try their schedule for the normal school year. They have to be at school early every day and then have a lifting class the last few periods of the school day. They practice for two hours a day, six days a week in the evening. Football also inspires them to do well in school and focus on their classes to stay on the team. “Football has enhanced my high school experience because it has allowed me to make new friends and has motivated me to do more with high school,” Simonton says. “The advice I would give people just starting out on the team to never be late and pay attention in school. School is the most important part about football because if you have bad grades you won’t be able to play until you get them up.” For more information to get involved with sports on your campus, visit your home school website or contact the head of athletics.

A rendering of the new Deer Valley Unified School District school that will be funded from the district’s 2013 bond authorization. The construction cost is estimated at $17 million. (Rendering courtesy ADM Group)


Time to Expand

DVUSD will soon host groundbreaking for new school By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski


he Deer Valley Unified School District Governing Board has approved the contract for the construction of a new elementary school in the Union Park development near 19th Avenue and Happy Valley Road. The totally construction contract amount is $17 million. “We have not started work yet, but we expect the contractor to mobilize in the next several weeks,” says Jim Migliorino, Deer Valley Unified School District’s deputy superintendent of fiscal and business services. “Shortly thereafter, we will be holding an official ground-breaking ceremony, but this date has yet to be finalized.”

Hosting preschool to eighth-grade students, the school will have an administration building, a multipurpose building, and two connected two-story classroom buildings. Expected to open for the 2020-21 school year, the school will have a playground, basketball courts, multiuse building, choir, art and science—“all the things you typically have in an elementary school building.” However, “no school boundary decisions have been made yet,” he says. “We anticipate working on that in November or December.” This project will be funded from the dis-

trict’s 2013 bond authorization, he says. “With all the growth and new development and what we’ve identified so far as for the number of students in that vicinity, we don’t have enough capacity in the existing campuses,” Migliorino says. The district will allow the community members to name the school and chose the mascots and colors. “We’re excited about the building,” he says. “It’s a fairly involved process or trading existing land for the new school site. It’s starting to pay its dividends.”

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"A Wrinkle in Time" will support the faculty and the Teacher Excellence Fund to keep Great Hearts Academies' classical education intact.(Submitted)

Giving Hearts Great Hearts hopes to raise $500K through ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski


reat Hearts Academies is working to keep their classical education intact by hosting the benefit “A Wrinkle in Time” from 5:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, September 28. The event is set for Chateau Luxe, 1175 E. Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix. Tickets for the signature event are on sale and support the faculty and the Teacher Excellence Fund. Sponsorships packages are still available for the event. Single tickets start at $250. Single tickets and tables can be purchased at gala. greatheartsamerica.org. “Th is event brings together members of the schools, community, and all of those that support our incredible teachers,” says Erik Twist, Arizona president of Great Hearts. “It’s a night full of food, fun and incredible entertainment—all for a good cause.” Brenna Norris, major gift officer, adds the network is hoping to raise $500,000. As a charter school network in Arizona, Great Hearts receives almost $2,000 less per


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

student annually in public funding compared to public district schools. The Teacher Excellence Fund rewards Great Hearts’ top teachers based on the academic and cultural impact they have on their students and the overall school community. “A Wrinkle in Time” includes hosted cocktail hour, dishes from Chateau Luxe, performances from students and teachers across Great Hearts’ network of schools, and silent and live auctions. Founded in 2003, Great Hearts grew from a single school to become the highest performing nonprofit charter school network in Arizona. The mission of Great Hearts is to develop great scholars and young men and women with character to serve a greater purpose. “Our curriculum is classical liberal arts curriculum, developing the whole child through the arts, also through athletic and outside programs,” Norris says. “It’s really an environment that cultivates the heart and minds of students. They can go on and use those skills to be productive leaders of society for hearts and minds.” Genevieve Peterson, vice president of development for Great Hearts Arizona, says the school wants its students to be more than a

proficient test taker. “We want them to be great-hearted leaders capable of success,” Peterson says. “Our mission is to cultivate the hearts and minds of students with a robust liberal arts curriculum. It allows for children to explore the arts with a hands-on approach with arts the music on a daily basis, and allow them to grow through beautiful work in the classroom.”

Great Hearts’ “A Wrinkle in Time”

5:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, September 28 Chateau Luxe, 1175 E. Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix Tickets start at $250 gala.greatheartsamerica.org

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C LO S E TO H O M E Bagels and Breaches: A CyberSecurity Buffet 8:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday, September 19 One Step Secure IT, 22520 N. 18th Drive, Phoenix • Admission is free. Reserve a seat by going to eventbrite.com and searching “Bagels and Breaches.” • To find out if your personal information was impacted by the Experian data breach, go to eligibility. equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility • Data breach? Lost wallet? Hacked account? You’ll find a comprehensive list of links and instructions for protecting yourself at identitytheft.gov/ databreach

You’ve Been Hacked Phoenix event will serve tips on breaches By Shelley Sakala


n 2017, the Equifax credit reporting agency experienced a three-month data breach, which exposed their customers’ personal and financial information. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the breach included the names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers of 143 million people. If that weren’t enough, another 200,000 customers had their credit card numbers stolen. Ouch. For a large, well-established and presumably well-protected company, a data breach of this magnitude is nothing short of shocking. The entirety of their business centers around the handling of confidential customer data. One would think the company has the necessary protections in place. This massive attack by hackers will cost Equifax upward of $700 million in fines, with more litigation on the horizon. While that’s a huge penalty to sustain, it’s manageable for a $16 billion company like Equifax. But what happens when a small business falls victim to data breaches, credit card theft or consumer fraud? Just about every business, from restaurants to retail stores to goods and services, participate in some form


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

of electronic banking and payment, which leaves the door open for information theft. So, what’s a business to do? Small business owners in the North Phoenix/Anthem area might consider an upcoming event that addresses ways to secure your business: The event is “Bagels and Breaches: A CyberSecurity Buffet,” from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday, September 19, at One Step Secure IT, 22520 N. 18th Drive, Phoenix. During this 90-minute session, IT professionals will help business owners identify and resolve cybersecurity risks like cyberat-

tacks, vulnerabilities and the cost of breaches. Speakers will also share best practices to help you secure your network. And yes, continental breakfast will be served. If your day-to-day business involves payment methods more high-tech than cash, or you maintain any type of customer info database, you could be susceptible to a data breach of your own. Most small businesses can ill-afford any fines or litigation resulting from a breach (not to mention the hit your company’s reputation would suffer). It may be worth your while to attend Bagels and Breaches. Food for thought. Shelley Sakala is a local Realtor with The Sakala Group, and an 85085 resident.


A Civics Lesson There’s nothing wrong with our form of government By Judge Gerald A. Williams


bout now is the time students are facing major tests or project deadlines. Students in government classes may be learning about the various roles of the three branches of our federal government. However, if they watch the news, they are seeing government that looks very different from the one in their textbooks. For example, why is the judicial branch making so much public policy? Why is it OK for the president to essentially amend statutes by issuing executive orders? Why doesn’t Congress do more, or stated another way, is the president too powerful because Congress has gotten lazy? Let’s look at some examples of what the Constitution says, and then what actually happens. While the president is commander-in-chief of our military, Article I, Section 8, Clause 11, of the Constitution states only Congress has the power “to declare war.” However, Congress does not declare wars anymore, which is critical, because it means that there is no debate and no vote before we send our troops somewhere. The Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and our military deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq all occurred without an actual declaration of war. On September 18, 2001, Congress passed an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) “against those responsible for the recent attacks against the United States.” On October 16, 2002, another AUMF was adopted authorizing deployments to Iraq. These AUMFs have been subsequently used as the authority for both the Obama and Trump administrations to pursue military operations throughout the Middle East, including against ISIS, which did not exist at the time the AUMFs were adopted. Congress has arguably also dropped the ball when it comes to federal spending. Article I, Section 9, and Article I, Section 8, gives Congress the authority to appropriate, to tax, and to spend federal money. This

is sometimes called the power of the purse. However, Congress has not passed an actual budget in approximately 10 years. Instead, the legislative branch passes continuing resolutions and we go from one self-inflicted government shutdown alarm to another. As if this was not enough, recent presidents have been governing in part by executive order. If Congress rejects a bill they suggested, they just issue an executive order doing the same thing. That is not how our government was designed to function. The second President Bush extended a bill authorizing the purchase of “troubled assets from any fi nancial institution” to the auto industry. President Obama implemented “Cap and Trade” through an interpretation of the Clean Air Act after Congress failed to approve the bill. Whether you like our current president always, sometimes or never, it is worth pausing to think about the ever-expanding role of the executive branch and the corresponding decrease in Congress’ role. I get frustrated whenever I hear someone claim that our government is “broken” because there is nothing wrong with our form of government. However, there are and have been some elected officials who view our Constitution as only a suggestion. Judge Gerald A. Williams is the justice of the peace for the North Valley Justice Court. The court’s jurisdiction includes Anthem and Desert Hills.

Why separation of powers matters

The Constitution describes a government that is based on a belief that the best way to prevent the abuse of power is to separate it among three branches of government. Over time, the legislative branch has allowed many significant policy decisions to come only from either the president or from the U.S. Supreme Court; so it may be debatable whether our original checks-and-balances system still exists. However, that was the fundamental plan. In a dissenting opinion from 2012, some of the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court wrote, “The Constitution, though it dates from the founding of the Republic, has powerful meaning and vital relevance to our own times. The constitutional protections that this case involves are protections of structure. Structural protections—notably, the restraints imposed by federalism and separation of powers—are less romantic and have less obvious a connection to personal freedom than the provisions of the Bill of Rights or the Civil War amendments.” “Hence they tend to be undervalued or even forgotten by our citizens. It should be the responsibility of the court to teach otherwise, to remind our people that the framers considered structural protections of freedom the most important ones, for which reason they alone were embodied in the original Constitution and not left to later amendment. The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our government is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril.” SEPTEMBER 2019 |





SEPTEMBER By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski


Azool Grill’s 15th Anniversary Celebration The event features live music from Terry and Charlie and prime rib specials. Azool Grill, 3134 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, search Azool Grill on Facebook, 6 to 9 p.m., free admission. Cars Café and Flea Market Vintage cars are just part of the fun the first Saturday of each month. Free coffee and biscuits and gravy are served this morning. Area residents are welcome to sell their goods at Cars Café and Flea Market as well. My Crossroads Christian Fellowship, 42425 N. New River Road, Phoenix, 623-465-9461, myccf. church, 8 a.m., free admission.


Daisy Mountain Fire & Medical’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training Developed by the Department of Homeland Security for Local Community Preparedness, this training session is provided for free. It’s tailored to the Phoenix area and more specifically, the Daisy Mountain communities. Training is open to anyone who is at least 18 years old. The class is eight consecutive Thursdays, and students must attend all eight to receive a certificate of completion. If a disastrous event overwhelms or delays the community’s professional response, CERT members can assist others by applying the basic response and organizational skills that they learned during training. These skills can help save and sustain lives following a disaster until help arrives. Daisy Mountain Fire Station 141, 43814 N. New River Road, New River, 623-465-7400, ext. 202, paul.schickel@dmfd.org, https://goo.gl/r79fv1, 7 to 10 p.m., free.


Norterra’s Community Series: Read a Book Day Visit the free pop-up library and read a book today at Norterra. Shops at Norterra, 2460 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix, 623-582-9599, redevelopment.com, free admission.


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019


CPR Training Class format is partially lecture and partially handson. Completion of the course requires students to demonstrate proficiency on mannequins while on the floor. The $25 must be paid at the start of the class, payable with exact change or check made payable to Daisy Mountain Fire & Medical. Daisy Mountain Fire Station 141, 43814 N. New River Road, New River, 623-465-7400, ext. 202, paul.schickel@dmfd.org, https://goo.gl/r79fv1, 6 to 10 p.m., $25.


Veterans Town Hall This event will offer veterans the opportunity to speak with VA leadership, service line managers and subject matter experts in reference to their care at the VA Anthem Clinic. Anthem VA Clinic, 41810 N. Venture Drive, Building B, Anthem, prescott.va.gov, aarp.org, 4:30 p.m., free admission.


Tech Slam This recurring program allows guests 6 to 7 minutes to informally discuss the subject of their choosing—a program, a book, etc. It doesn’t need to be a formal

presentation with slides and videos. They are just invited to share ideas. Anthem Civic Building, 3701 W. Anthem Way, Anthem, 305-302-7536, bigideasforum.info, bigideasforum@gmail.com, 7 to 8:30 p.m., free admission.


Wooden Cactus Project by Stencil Studios To create this project, guests will glue wooden cactus pieces, placing the cactus arms wherever they like. They’ll then color-wash the cactus in their choice of three colors: frost green, bright green or teal. Guests will then stain the wood box in their choice of three wood stain colors: white wash, brown or gray. Finally, they’ll paint their chosen stencil onto the front of the box in white, frost green, bright green, teal or gray. The ticket price includes one wooden cactus project. Plant Bar, 46135 N. Black Canyon Highway, New River, plantbaraz.com, 6 to 8 p.m., $25. Norterra’s Community Series: Positive Thinking Day Write a positive chalkboard message and inspire others at Norterra. Shops at Norterra, 2460 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix, 623-582-9599, redevelopment.com, free admission.


Saturday Morning: Free Vinyasa Yoga This 60-minute, free “vinyasa” yoga class is for folks of all levels. This morning’s yoga class will focus on coordinating movement with breath along with special attention to form and alignment. Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.” Vinyasa is the most popular style of yoga for all levels. Back to Health of Anthem, 41930 N. Venture Drive, Suite 110, Anthem, eventbrite.com, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., free. An Evening of Messages from the Universe Join certified psychic medium/clairvoyant for an evening of messages from loved ones and spirit. Everyone will receive either a verbal or written message. Hampton Inn, 42415 N. 41st Drive, Anthem, bit. ly/33HrMHL, 6 to 8 p.m., $40 in advance, $50 at

the door. Twenty seats available.


Anthem, New River, Desert Hills Community Meeting Topics TBA. Daisy Mountain Fire Department Station 145, 1120 W. Desert Hills Drive, Phoenix, noon, free admission.

Institute curriculum and certified instructors. Class format is partially lecture and partially hands-on. The $25 must be paid at the start of the class, payable with exact change or check made payable to Daisy Mountain Fire & Medical. Daisy Mountain Fire Station 141, 43814 N. New River Road, New River, 623-465-7400, ext. 202, paul.schickel@dmfd.org, https://goo.gl/r79fv1, 6 to 10 p.m., $25.


Not Fade Away: A Buddy Holly Tribute Not Fade Away pays tribute to Buddy Holly along with Bill Haley, The Beach Boys, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and The Beatles. Anthem Country Club, 2708 W. Anthem Drive, Anthem, cofare.io, 7:30 p.m., $45-$55.




Meeting the Spirit of Water: A Navajo and Yavapai Perspective Laura Tohe, an award-winning poet and the Navajo Nation Poet Laureate for 2015-2019, will be joined by her musician son Dez Tillman, for a music program. The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation will share its historical connections to the landscape surrounding Black Canyon City and the importance of water through stories. The Pioneer Masonic Lodge No. 82, 19055 E. K-Mine Road, Black Canyon City, 602-738-8381, facebook.com/blackcanyonheritagepark, waterways@blackcanyonheritagepark.org, free admission.

Synthetic Biology Terms like cell cultivation, stem cells and CRISPR-Cas9 appear more and more often in the media, but one field is so new that it is still under the radar: Synthetic biology. It’s the science of creating “life forms” from scratch in the laboratory, including life forms that have never existed. The group discusses how far scientists have come and what it holds for the future. Anthem Civic Building, 3701 W. Anthem Way, Anthem, 305-302-7536, bigideasforum.info, bigideasforum@gmail.com, 7 to 8:30 p.m., free admission.


Great Hearts’ “A Wrinkle in Time” Great Hearts Academies’ signature event, “A Wrinkle in Time,” raises money to support the faculty and the Teacher Excellence Fund. This year’s theme, “A Wrinkle in Time,” includes hosted cocktail hour, dishes from Chateau Luxe, performances from students and teachers across Great Hearts’ network of schools, and silent and live auctions. Chateau Luxe, 1175 E. Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix, gala.greatheartsamerica.org, 5:30 to 11 p.m., tickets start at $250.

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The North Valley Jewish Community Association’s Rosh Hashana Services Celebrate Rosh Hashana during the evening and morning services, led by Rabbi Janet Bieber. Annual membership, which includes high holiday services, is $70. Call for location, 623-322-0957 or email fkesselman@cox.net.


First-Aid Training This class teaches first aid for the community and workplace, utilizing the American Safety and Health

Have an event you’d like to include in the calendar? Tell us about it! Send details to christina@timespublications.com.

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The Law of

Attraction A dog and owner bond over real estate

By Sherry Jackson


pero Pagos wanted a dog. But not just any dog. He and his then wife didn’t want to just go to a shelter and get the first dog who jumped in their lap and licked their faces. They had a lengthy list of requirements: the dog couldn’t bark excessively, bite or shed or get on the furniture or want to eat people food. His friends laughed and said all those things are the very definition of a dog. But Pagos had a system using sales techniques he acquired throughout his careers in sales. He’s a big proponent of using the Law of Attraction, the belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person’s life. The couple wrote down what kind of dog they wanted. She chose Shih Tzu and he wanted a black lab. They knew they had to compromise and looked at local shelters, but none met their criteria. Within 30 days, Pagos was out walking in his Sonoran Foothills neighborhood and came across a homeless dog with no tags and no collar. It was a black, 25-pound Schnauzer that met all the qualities they were looking for. “I felt like we ordered him, and literally he was delivered,” Pagos says. “It’s amazing how powerful it was.” Oliver, the dog named after the orphan in “Oliver Twist,” is a powerful story Pagos tells new real estate agents in his marketing presentations. In addition to believing in the Law of Attraction, Pagos uses visualization boards and projection strategies in his personal life and in his career as a Realtor with Platinum Living Realty. He didn’t start out in real estate, though. Pagos grew up in the suburbs of Chicago,


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

As a self-taught pianist since age 8, Spero Pagos spent his early career years pursuing music and aspired to be a famous musician or songwriter.

spending his high school years in choir and sports. He’s Greek; his mother is from Cyprus and his father from Greece. As a self-taught pianist since age 8, Pagos spent his early career years pursuing music and aspired to be a famous musician or songwriter. He got a job selling keyboards at a music store and started meeting people in the music business. “I started projecting the kind of job and life I wanted and that was working at a recording studio,” he says. He did that for about 15 years and was moderately successful producing songs for radio and television. “I lived out that big dream I had as a young

boy and teenager playing in garage bands.” When he was 35, Pagos transitioned to selling audio-visual equipment and found he was good at sales, often earning top salesperson awards and higher-profile positions. Working at Circuit City, he decided he needed a more “grown-up” job. He moved to Arizona and in 2007 worked for a company that installed expensive audiovisual systems in new construction, highend luxury homes. During that time, he and his now ex-wife spent every weekend going to open houses, foreclosures and looking at homes in their pursuit to fi nd a home and investment properties.

“We started putting in offers and working with Realtors, but I soon became disappointed with the interaction,” he says. “They weren’t listening to our needs. They weren’t getting answers to our questions and ultimately I ended up doing the Realtor’s job.” Deciding he could be more proficient, Pagos got his real estate license, around the same time as the housing market bubble hit the Phoenix area. When Pagos was laid off in 2010 from his audio-visual sales position due to the recession, he got a job with Keller Williams Northeast Realty as a real estate agent and set loft y goals for his first year. He didn’t meet them. “I wrote down very specific things, such as how much I wanted to earn and how many clients I needed to work with. I even started projecting myself as the ‘King of Sonoran Foothills.’ I hadn’t even sold one house yet, but I wanted to see myself and project that image.” During walks with Oliver, Pagos told people about his new career. He met a neighbor who was looking to buy a bigger house in the same neighborhood. Pagos was invited to parties and neighborhood events. The first year he had one listing in the neighborhood. But then business started ramping up. A neighborhood open house resulted in 12 deals over the next 18 months. He helped clients avoid short sales and foreclosures and was successful in getting top dollar. In some cases, they were well over comparable prices, for his listings. Pagos has sold more than 120 homes in 85085, more than any other agent. “Business started exploding. It was directly from walking Oliver in the neighborhood and the people I met and being ambitious.” Pagos has built his career over the past eight years. While he moved recently from Sonoran Foothills, to Union Park at Norterra, he still has a rental property in the Sonoran Foothills, sponsors community events and keeps in close contact with the neighborhood he credits to his success. “In the beginning, it was pure ambition and self-motivation. I learned early on to do what other successful agents were doing, just a little bit better,” he says. “Now that I’m a more experienced agent, I now understand how buyers buy homes.”

Oliver is 11 years old, but nonetheless a great marketing tool for Spero Pagos.

Pagos is a solo agent and handles his own marketing, social media and sales. He ensures client listings have professional photos and works with homeowners to declutter the homes for showings, even moving furniture himself and removing personal belongings to make the home more attractive. “The home needs to look the price and have a wow factor,” he says. “Homebuyers are buying online. The same house handled by another agent may not have the same effect. I understand marketing and know what people are looking for. It’s the attention to details.” As a divorcee, he enjoys fine dining, travel

and learning about ancient civilizations, but his focus is predominantly on his work. “I struggled financially all my life, living paycheck to paycheck,” he says. “Once I got into real estate, I made as much money in five years as in the previous 30 years. Now that I have this opportunity, I’m playing catch up financially to make up for lost time.” Oliver is getting up in age now. He’s 11. “He’s a little hard of hearing and we’ve started graying together,” Pagos jokes. Together the two are “keeping their nose to the grindstone” and have their sights set on becoming well-known in their new Union Park neighborhood.

A look at real estate statistics in the 85085 85085 - NORTH GATEWAY REAL ESTATE STATS ALL AGENTS Total Homes Sold Average Sale Price Average Price per Sq Ft Average Days on Market

January 2019 - July 2019 2018 2017 300 528 473 $400,000 $375,000 $372,000 $155 $151 $146 74 74 84

SPERO PAGOS Total Homes Sold Average Sale Price Average Price per Sq Ft Average Days on Market

January 2017 - July 2019 50 $453,000 $155 68




A New Bag of

‘Trix' 85085’s Mark Gus Scott trades rock for power ballads By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski


s Trixter’s drummer, Mark Gus Scott hid behind his kit, pounding to songs like “One in a Million” and “Rockin’

Horse.” Now the 85085 resident has stepped to the forefront to explore adult contemporary music with the heartfelt ballad “With You.” “For the past few years, I have pursued music outside of rock ‘n’ roll in hopes of touching just one person. To be on the receiving end of so much love and support from so many around the world is a gift I never expected,” Scott says. “I wrote this song just to tell one person

how deeply I feel. Now I want everyone to hear.” Set to debut September 12, “With You” combines an ’80s-style power ballad piano riff, symphonic orchestration and powerful melodic hooks—a big surprise for one of rock’s most well-known drummers. “I’ve never sang before,” he says. “I’m not playing just drums. I play all the instruments on the cut, except guitar. I’m a horrible guitar player. “I wanted it done right and I wanted what’s best for the song. That’s more important than me playing all the instruments. I’ve never felt so strongly about putting words down on paper. I was trying to be emotional. I always thought I sucked as a songwriter, but something clicked, and I felt passionate about it. This one’s right on target.” CDs and downloads will be available through Apple iTunes, Amazon Music, Google Music and CD Baby. Autographed CDs can be purchased at MarkGusScott.com. He previously released “Christmas Miracle,” a holiday album that included his version of “Ave Maria.” The video features Scott performing among iconic Washington, D.C., landmarks like the World War II Memorial. He frequently supports veterans by playing taps at cemeteries in New York City and the Valley to honor fallen heroes during Veterans Day and Memorial Day. “The Christmas album was a real deal, adult contemporary Christmas record,” he says. “I thought I should be opening for Bing Crosby. The band was doing ancillary projects. Now I had a focus and I knocked it out of the park. I love the way it came out.”

The parade drum

Scott’s family knew he would be a musician when he was about 7, after his grandmother bought a “big parade drum.” At the same time, his mother gave him his first album, “Elvis’ Golden Hits.” “I turned ‘Hound Dog’ on and I beat the


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

living crap out of that parade drum,” he says with a laugh. “It made me feel wonderful. I broke the drumhead, and I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’ So I fl ipped it over and started pounding the other side.” His first concert was “Foreigner 4” in 1981 at age 13. Immediately, he knew his calling. “When that bass drum busted the waves of the room, I said, ‘OK. I know exactly what I want to do in life.’” As a sophomore in high school, Scott received the NAJE Special Citation for Musical Excellence and was granted admission to the University of Hartford’s Hartt School of

Music. He attended three summers studying piano, drums, trumpet and a curriculum that included jazz, classical, chamber music, rock, music theory and composition. He also put his knowledge to use as a musician/songwriter, and toured high schools and colleges throughout the country as a guest lecturer, teaching and promoting music, DARE and his drum instructional video/ teaching method, “Rock Solid.” With Trixter, Scott sold more than 3 million albums worldwide, had three No. 1 videos on MTV, four Top 20 adult-oriented rock hits and hit No. 26 on Billboard album charts. Trixter toured extensively in the United States, Canada and Japan in support of its five major-label releases. They shared stages with Kiss, The Scorpions, Bret Michaels, Poison, Ted Nugent, Night Ranger, Cinderella, Twisted Sister, Dokken, Warrant, Great White and Firehouse. Perhaps Trixter’s most wellknown tour was 1991’s “Blood, Sweat and Beers” with Warrant and Firehouse. “Together, we did something that only people dream about,” Scott says. “We didn’t realize the scope of what we were doing. We played the amphitheater in Chicago, which was 33,000, and it was sold out. Who the hell would have thought that?” The tour included the payper-view special, “Lie from the Cajundome.” Scott is speculating that the three bands may reunite for the tour’s 30-year anniversary in 2021. “To put it back together would be something,” he says. “I’ve done a few shows in the last five years with those guys and they’ve killed. They’ve been fantastic. We’re all such close friends. “We would welcome that sort of thing. If someone says, ‘Gus, let’s do

it’ I’m the first one on the bus.” Trixter is on hiatus, which is why this was the perfect time for Scott’s single. “Some people don’t make the band a priority any longer,” he says. “In any business with four guys, if you all don’t agree on what you’re going to do with the business, the business suffers.”

Moving to Arizona

Scott considers Arizona his home, after living throughout the United States in and out of suitcases on tour. “I was going through a divorce and was very unhappy,” he says. A friend asked him to consider moving to the Valley. “My first day of exploration, I was sold before lunchtime,” Scott explains. “I literally went to breakfast, saw mountains, went over there and knew I was sold. I’ve been here four years and I can’t tell you how much I truly embrace the area. “I can get anywhere in 20 minutes. I’m outside the circle of the 101. It’s more rural. I’m not in the thick of the madness of Phoenix. I look outside every morning and I can breathe. Everything comes alive. It’s quiet—until I make some fricking noise (with music).” Scott has friends in the area, including rock drummer Mick Brown, who played with

Dokken. The two spend their weekends riding motorcycles around Cave Creek. “There’s something very comfortable about doing that just about every weekend,” Scott says. “We do it 52 weeks. It may sound repetitive, but there’s something comfortable about it. We have a special gang of five members. We’re a tight-knit group. It’s a wonderful brotherhood and the motorcycle riding here is the best in the country—there are no potholes.” Scott and Trixter singer Pete Loran spend time recording music for video games and movies. “The whole thing started when we were doing sound effects for a video game and I started getting punchy,” Scott says with a laugh. “I pulled out the trumpet from the back of my car and it sounded really good.” First and foremost, Scott is excited for the world to hear “With You.” “I’ve never felt so strongly about a song,” he says. “This one, I believe, is worthy of my time and attention. I hope fans find it enjoyable as well. “I’ve put clips on social media and the response was extremely favorable. I wrote it for a young lady who I felt very strongly about.” The couple has since broken up but, he quickly adds, “I got a good song out of it. It was worth every moment.” SEPTEMBER 2019 |



Spiritual Warrior

Former Ninja, Alexio Gomes, joins Crossroads Church

By Laura Latzko


or “American Ninja Warrior” Alexio Gomes, carving his own path has brought him to Anthem to the Crossroads Church, where he is the new youth pastor. Gomes just started in his new position in June, moving to Anthem from California after graduating from Hope International University. He competed in seasons seven through nine of “American Ninja Warrior,” and on season three of “American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja” with his brother, Lucas. The pair were known on the show as the “Brazi Bros.” As the new youth pastor at Crossroads, Gomes will work with sixth graders through high schoolers. Soon, he will incorporate his fitness and ninja training into his work at the church through a series called “Tough Mudder.” He’ll share his experiences as an athlete and competitor during these talks, but he’ll emphasize the importance of godliness and religious study and devotion. “As hard as we’re willing to work for whatever sports we’re involved in, or maybe even to get to the level of professional athlete or be on a TV show where you can win a million dollars, all of the efforts and hours of practice that we put into that, we should see there’s more value into putting that effort and hours of practice into a relationship with Jesus,” Gomes says. Gomes and his brother wrestled in high school in southern Florida, but their family pursued fitness more seriously after their mother had a heart attack in her 40s. Born

in Pasadena, Gomes says the majority of his family still lives in Florida. Being away from his family has been difficult, especially while his father is being treated for cancer. Crossroads has been supportive and allowed him the time he needs to be there for his family. “It’s been hard because I’ve been pulled back home, and I also have responsibilities here and things I really want to accomplish here,” Gomes says. “That’s been hard because my focus has been split between work and my dad and family.” Gomes’ brother is a worship pastor; his sister, an assistant attorney and his mother, a personal trainer. Back home, he often felt like he was living in the shadow of his family. He is still in a period of adjustment to his new surroundings. “I think being uncomfortable is something that no one wants to be, but that helps us grow. It strengthens us to find ourselves, to become a little more independent,” Gomes says. The most difficult part is he doesn’t see a strong community of people in their 20s here. “I grew up always having people my age around me, and now moving to a place like this, it’s just really hard to find community around, especially my age,” he says. He hopes in the future, people in their 20s will become a big part of Anthem. “I would love to see that group of people rise up and bring a powerful culture for students because it’s our job to bring up the next generation,” Gomes says.

Working out He is no longer competing in ninja competitions, but continues to stay healthy by rock climbing at a local Phoenix gym and working out at his apartment’s gym. When he goes back home, he trains with his brother, who made it to the city finals round on “American Ninja Warrior” season 11. Gomes believes his background as an athlete and competitor will allow him to connect with others like him. “I want to use it to reach athletes and students that already know how to have discipline in their life when it comes to physical fitness. I want to show them that there’s a good translation there when it comes to church ministry,” Gomes says. Gomes initially got involved with “American Ninja Warrior” because of his brother’s interest in ninja training and competition. The community he found made the experience more meaningful for him. “I just realized there is this crazy camaraderie in the ninja community and that kept me involved,” Gomes says. During his first two seasons, Gomes made it to the national finals in Las Vegas. His most memorable moment was during season seven when he completed the salmon ladder to advance to Vegas. Three months earlier, he broke his nose during the obstacle. “It was this big moment where I was terrified because I had literally touched the salmon ladder two or three times after I had broken my nose because I was so petrified of it,” Gomes says. “I got up the four rungs and that was enough to punch my ticket to Vegas.” Having his brother on the sidelines, cheering him on, made the experience more special. He says the show has taught him the importance of having a support system. “I think the biggest thing for me that I’ve taken from that show is that no matter what obstacles we face in life, we always want someone on the sideline cheering us on,” Gomes says. “It makes the world of the difference if you have to face something that maybe you broke your nose on before or maybe you know you are not capable of competing and accomplishing, but you look to your left or your right and you see family there, cheering you on. That’s what the church is supposed to be. We’re supposed to be the family alongside us that’s cheering us on through the obstacles of life.”

Finding Anthem

As the church’s new youth pastor, his biggest goal is to support youth in taking on leadership roles, doing nonprofit work with


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homeless people and foster children and taking part in other outreach efforts. Gomes leads youth programming during the Sunday services, which start at 10:45 a.m., and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. He’s looking forward to challenging his high schoolers “to be the church.” “You are not the future,” he says. “You are the church right now.” As youth pastor, he will help to create programming for all youth-based activities and events, including summer camps and allnight lock-ins. A drummer, Gomes is creating a student-led band. Church has been a part of Gomes’ life for as long as he can remember. When he was little, he was always in young groups, and he once won a Bible for memorizing verses. While he was growing up and in college, Gomes took on leadership roles within different church communities. In high school, Gomes served as his youth group’s speaker and teacher, as well as a drummer in a church band. While he was in college, he helped to start Messy Church, a church service for homeless people who shared meals and worshipped together. “We would set up a table, and we would

share Chinese food together with people from the community. Our message was that at Jesus’ table, everyone was invited,” Gomes says. Gomes found this work to be meaningful. He hopes to encourage others to work with the homeless and other underserved communities in Anthem. He learned this lesson from his dad, who took in homeless people and helped them to get back on their feet. “My hope is that I continue to lead by ex-

ample and that I see my high school students start initiatives like that,” Gomes says. “Leaders don’t create followers. They create leaders. So, I want to be a leader who creates leaders.”

Crossroads Church 42105 N. 41st Drive, Anthem 623-466-7964, thecrossroads.church



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Remembering Jane Austen Take a trip to Chawton to trace the author’s life By Srianthi Perera


t is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen fans would make their way to the sites associated with their beloved author to ingest the world that shaped her novels. One good spot to start this reverence, as I did, is the Jane Austen’s House Museum located South of England in the tiny village of Chawton, near the town of Alton in Hampshire. The village also boasts Chawton Estate, an Elizabethan manor associated with the famous author’s family. The museum recently celebrated its 70th anniversary 202 years after Austen’s death. The daughter of a clergyman with modest means, Austen lived here during the last eight years of her life. The house inspired and nurtured her literarily. That’s where she revised and published three novels, including the classic “Pride and Prejudice” in 1813, and wrote three more. The dwelling was part of the Chawton Estate that belonged to Austen’s brother, Edward, who had the good fortune to inherit it from the childless Knight family for little more than a change of surname and an endearing personality. Edward allowed his mother, Cassandra, sisters Jane and Cassandra, and their friend Martha Lloyd to live in the home rent free for life. Those days, chickens clucking about the

outhouse, grunting pigs and a donkey carriage would have been commonplace sights and sounds. Nowadays, what’s usual are tourists — more than 40,000 flock to the museum annually. About 30% come from overseas and many of the most loyal and enthusiastic fans travel from the United States. Getting to the picturesque English village of Chawton is half the fun. Once off the A31 Motorway that leads south from London, the drive to the heart of Jane Austen country features wooded areas lined roadside by wildflowers. Helpful museum signposts begin about 15 minutes before the destination, but my companion and I still managed to lose our way. However, it added to the experience: meandering through the lanes, we were rewarded with sights of thatched-roof cottages, a quintessential feature of the English countryside. The verdant Chawton countryside remains as unchanged today as it did in the 19th century, when the Austen family resided. “Many of the buildings would have been known to Jane Austen, and we know that she used to walk to visit friends and family locally,” says Jen Harris, the museum’s marketing manager. “During her time here, the road directly outside the house would have been busier than it is now, as it was the main coaching route from Winchester to London.” Chawton House is an Elizabethan manor with extensive gardens that Jane Austen’s brother Edward inherited from the Knight family. (Photo by Srianthi Perera)


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A woodcut of an 1870 sketch by Cassandra Austen is supposed to be the best likeness of the author. (Photo courtesy of Jane Austen’s House Museum)

The traffic, however, would have been of horses and carriages. The first glimpse of the 17th century redbrick house with white-framed windows is poignant. Th is is the only dwelling where Austen lived and wrote that is open to the public. The museum describes it as the most important Austen site in the world also because this is where her genius flourished. To think of the technology and facilities at the disposal of modern writers is to bring to focus what little was available to Austen, and marvel even more at her talent. These thoughts are reinforced in the Dining Parlor. Placed in a corner is the three-legged table at which Austen devised plots, engaged her sparkling wit and weaved social commentary into endearing prose. (The table base is dated later, but the top is original.) At this round walnut table top, a little bigger than an extra-large pizza, she described the privileged landed gentry of the 19th century and women’s dependency on marriage for existence; hence the stuff y social gatherings where matchmaking was ceaseless, the gowns, the balls with their rigorous etiquette, the conquests and the animated sibling conversations that followed. Here she created the matchmaking Emma Woodhouse, starched the pompous Mr. Collins, and outlined sense and sensibility in the form of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne.

This fictional world was created with a quill pen dabbed in ink. (The nib pen was not in use until a few decades later.) You could have knocked me over with a feather. As the story goes, after breakfast each day, Austen would settle at this table for a morning of writing. Remarkably neat, she pinned together about 20 smallish sheets and wrote on them in her sloped handwriting. She hid the manuscript from prying eyes by giving ear to a creaky swing door that was prevented from getting attention. Now there’s no Austen writing by the window, so there’s no need to safeguard manuscripts. Hence, the door doesn’t creak and is used as a fire door. Research indicates that Austen was developing cataracts in her eyes, which drove her to move the table through the house in tandem with the light; hence her preference to using a small work surface. Another item that gives visitors pause is the lock of straw-colored hair kept upstairs in a glass case. The lock was snipped off by sister Cassandra upon Austen’s death at age 41 in 1817. It was presented to the museum by its American owner at the museum’s opening in 1949. And then there’s the mystery ring. Was it purchased by her or was it a gift? Is the stone turquoise or the cheaper odontolite? It’s hard

Jeremy Knight, the fourth-great nephew of Jane Austen, volunteers as a guide at Chawton House. (Photo by Srianthi Perera)

Jane Austen’s Bedroom, which she shared with sister Cassandra. (Photo by Peter Smith, Jane Austen’s House Museum)

to verify. On the subject of rings, in 1802, Austen entertained a marriage proposal from Harris Bigg-Wither, but changed her mind overnight. Did the insight and emotions she imparted on romantic matters in her novels not translate to real life? Or, did Cassandra, with whom she shared a bed and room since The mahogany dining table at the Great House, childhood, nudge her to remain where Jane Austen would have dined when she single, as she herself stayed? visited. (Photo by Srianthi Perera) The museum preserves the first editions of Austen’s books, newspaper clippings from The Courier and Janeites would do well to bump into volunThe Morning Chronicle announcing the pub- teer guide Jeremy Knight, who happens to be lishing of her books, dozens of hand-written the fourth-great nephew of Jane Austen and letters and other documents, a coverlet, the grew up in the Great House. It is now leased Rev. Austen’s bookcase and the family car- in trust for 125 years. riage. In Austen’s bedroom hangs her likeness The Chawton House Library conserves a sketched by sister Cassandra, considered the rare collection of early women’s writing, from only accurate portrait of her because Cas- 1600 to 1830, which was neglected during sandra was a talented artist. the 20th century. While Jane Austen is the It’s best to visit early in the day because the most famous woman novelist of her time, true Janeite will need a good length of time to others such as Aphra Behn, Mary Shelley and browse the objects and peruse the documents. Mary Wollstonecraft, also paved the way to Visiting early would also allow time to walk the modern novel. the few minutes to Chawton House, past the Fans eager to connect the Great House to sloping meadows. Austen would often make Austen would note that the library contains her way there, to get away from the smaller the first editions of her novels. She also would confines of the cottage where privacy was elu- have read the books that are in the shelves. sive. While the House Museum is the obvious “Some of the books from the Knight coldraw, the “Great House,” as Austen called it, is lection that the librarian had worked out that no less interesting to “dawdle away” the time. we know Jane would have read,” Knight said. Chawton House, in the Knight family since “She would have come up here and got per1582, doesn’t quite boast the grandeur of Fitz- mission and read them. So there are books william Darcy’s Pemberley. Researchers be- that she would have touched and read herself. lieve that Mr. Knightley’s Donwell Abbey in We know she came up here to the library quite Emma was modeled on this estate. regularly.” SEPTEMBER 2019 |



Jane Austen’s House Museum is located in Hampshire, south of England. (Photo courtesy of Jane Austen’s House Museum)

The Dining Room bears the same long mahogany table at which she dined with her brother’s family when she visited. She would have eaten out of her brother’s Wedgewood dinner service; some of its pieces are in the house museum. Knight inherited the crockery set as a wedding gift from his family. The Reading Alcove in the Oak Room was one of Austen’s favorite spots from where she would look down the drive. Among the many portraits is one of her favorite niece, Fanny Knight, while another, a 1783 silhouette, depicts a young Edward Austen being introduced to the Knight family. During the final part of her life, an ailing Austen moved to Winchester to be closer to her doctor. She died in 1817 and is buried in Winchester Cathedral. After the author’s passing, her mother and sister continued to live at the house for the rest of their lives. They are buried in the church in the Chawton Estate. In 1845, the house was split into three dwellings to provide homes for staff on the Chawton estate and the building remained in this state until it went on sale in 1947. Following an appeal by the Jane Austen Society, the house was bought by a lawyer from London, T. Edward Carpenter, who opened it as a museum in 1949. A registered charity, it’s independent and receives no regular public funding. Jane’s Fund, launched in 2017, raises funds to help protect and restore the home, an ongoing process. The museum continues to collect her memorabilia and build its collections. A campaign


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In this 70th anniversary year, a special exhibition titled Making the Museum relates the story of the characters, hard work, luck and determination that has gone in to preserve this place of pilgrimage for Austen devotees. Sadly, she didn’t strike riches when she could have used them; her lifetime’s work earned her as much as her father earned annually. Like many authors that contributed to English literature, she, too, was ushered into greatness posthumously. Especially after the BBC’s dramatization of Austen’s novels, new legions of fans have discovered her writing and often make their way to the museum. Some are inspired to don a bonnet and gown, which are available to those who want to try yesteryear’s fashion, or dip a quill pen in the ink pot and scratch their names. Some Janeites have even received offers of marriage in the gardens. “I know of at least two proposals,” Harris says. “The last we heard about was in 2018 and involved a couple from the States. “The young girl was a huge Jane Using a quill pen, Jane Austen wrote Austen fan. Her boyfriend booked her novels at this small three-legged her the holiday of a lifetime, brought table. (Photo by Srianthi Perera) her to Jane Austen’s House, and then surprised her with his proposal in in July raised 35,000 British pounds to re- the garden. He’d even booked a local photrieve a letter that she wrote. The Bank of Eng- tographer to capture the moment.” Austen would have approved. land placed her portrait in its new 10-pound Details: jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk note, and the museum asks fans to donate their notes to Jane’s Fund, set up to protect the home. Chawton House Library preserves a unique collection of women’s writing from 1600 to 1830. (Photo by Srianthi Perera)


Rolling Out the Red Carpet Anthem Area Chamber presenting its business awards By Heather Maxwell


he Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce will host its 16th annual Business Awards Ceremony at the Anthem Golf and Country Club on Saturday, December 7. The winter gala is a black-tie optional event with all the trappings of a Hollywood award night. “Our area business owners are truly rock stars who deserve the red-carpet treatment,” says Chamber President Nanette Miller of State Farm Insurance. The sell-out gala is the must-attend holiday event for the North Valley business community and is made possible thanks to the generous donations from Proskill Services, Signature Sponsor; Anthem Golf


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& Country Club, Cocktail Hour Sponsor; Miller, After-Party Sponsor; Matt Word Insurance Agency, Valet Sponsor; and Andrew Z Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, Diamond Sponsor. Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with a cocktail hour featuring champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a live jazz ensemble. A threecourse dinner will be served at 7 p.m. followed by the 16th annual Business Awards Ceremony. After the 2019 award winners have been announced, guests are invited to dance the night away in the Ironwood Grill. Cash bars will be open throughout the night. Nominations for the 16th annual Business Awards are open through Sep-

tember 13 in the following categories: Business Person of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Economic Impact, Community Impact and Commercial Design. Nominations for these awards are accepted from anyone in the Anthem area community, regardless of chamber affiliation. “There is no greater honor than to be recognized by your community and your peers for a job well done,” says Sawana Grimmett, owner of the Salt Spa. “I encourage local business owners and residents to take the time to recognize and nominate a deserving business in our community for one or all of the award categories.: Business leaders and residents can download the nomination form at anthemareachamber.org. For more information about the winter gala or to purchase tickets, email hmaxwell@anthemareachamber.org.


License to Kiln

Pottery shop wants to build relationships with the community By Octavio Serrano


ishy Katz had some experience with pottery when she was a kid, but when she walked into the art studio during her college years, she fell in love with the craft. “I walked into the studio at ASU in 1970 and had not really done clay, and that was it for me,” Katz says. Katz graduated with a bachelor’s in fine arts and ceramics in 1982, and eventually began sharing her passion for pottery. Desert Dragon Pottery has been teaching the craft since 1999, and its goal is to provide a fun workspace for people. Its diverse set of skill classes, rural feel and flexibility make it a special place for the community. Desert Dragon Pottery’s subjects include pottery wheel, sculpture, paint on pottery, glazing, and custom creating and repair. Its ability to adapt to the skill level of its students is what turns rookies into seasoned veterans. The pottery wheel class gives students the basics to establish a solid foundation and moves on from there. Key points include how to center the clay and crate a cylinder. Students’ creations are dried, fired to bisque and ready for students to glaze in a second session, with additional instruction. This leads to sculpture basics, where students will learn hand building. “We have the ability to learn hot to use a pottery studio without the wheel, which is sculpture and handling,” Katz says. “We also have the opportunity to learn how to use the potter wheel. They (students) want to learn how to use the gadget and it’s a really cool tool that allows you to make things quickly. “I have had people come in over the years as total beginners and they are now professionals.” Desert Dragon Pottery, however, is not a typical brick-and-mortar establishment. From the moment people step inside, they are welcomed by an air of close-knit relationships. Katz says she enjoys Desert Dragon Pottery’s flexibility. “It’s not in a shopping center, it’s in a rural location, so that’s always different than what people expect,” she says.

Top, Desert Dragon Pottery includes classes like sculpting and pottery wheel, as well as repairs. Bottom, Desert Dragon Pottery has been working on repairing and polishing pieces like this. Left, Mishy Katz graduated from ASU in 1982 with a degree in fine arts and ceramics. She has been sharing her love for pottery for over 20 years. (Photos by Octavio Serrano)

What truly speaks to Katz about pottery is the hands-on experience and the ability to create and art piece from scratch. She finds this is a feeling she shares with most of her students. “The universal appeal to people, the tactile qualities of it and the texture of it and the hands-on quality,” Katz says is why people enjoy pottery. In the last year, Katz added music to make Desert Dragon Pottery more energetic. “We have added live music once a month on Friday nights and it’s been a year now and it’s been going really well, so I’m thinking about adding some Sundays,” Katz says. “The events will coincide with some of the pottery stuff so people can have something extra special to enjoy.” Katz wants to create more than a studio to create pottery. She wants people to know this

is a community built with people in mind. She has taught pottery at PetSmart, GoDaddy and American Express. “I have three couples who have met here and gone on to get married,” she says. “It’s really neat to see that growth and people learning clay and loving clay.” She has also reached out to the disabled community. “We have offered, all summer long, free classes for autistic kids and adults and we will continue to do that,” Katz says. “It’s free to anyone on the spectrum and it’s giving them the opportunity to gain some confidence.”

Desert Dragon Pottery 25037 N. 17th Avenue, Phoenix 602-690-6956





A Pleasant Aroma By Pastor David Bowen Standing Stones Community Church Standing Stones Christian Academy


akeries do not play fair. If there are any bakers out there, let me call you out and say; you do not play fair. The smell of fresh baked goods, especially bread, is too irresistible. Even when I am not thinking about bread, walking near a bakery, which purposely allows the incredible smell of freshly baked bread to seep into the aisle, and walkways, well, it’s just not fair. All of a sudden, I find myself having a tremendous urge to have bread. The aroma is just too enticing! The sense of smell differs from most other senses. The smells we experience affect how we associate memories and places. Studies have shown that after a year, people can remember a scent with 65% accuracy while after only a few months visual memory slips to 50%. Research has also shown that smell has a strong influence on our emotions, meaning smell can affect our behavior. In Japan, they found smells have increase alertness which in turn results in higher productivity rates. When lemon oil was diffused throughout a Japanese


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office building, productivity among data entry operators increased by 54%. OK, let me ask a personal question. What is the aroma you give off ? What about your family? See, aroma represents the sensation one has when they experience an interaction. When I ask, what is the aroma people remember, what are the emotions people express when interacting or speaking of you or your family, I’m asking, is that aroma sweet? Or is it not so pleasant? Is in character? Is it like that smell of freshly baked bread wafting throughout the deli or storefront, attracting people to its amazing, intoxicating aroma? Whatever your answer is, here is the good news. You can continue to expel a sweet, sweet aroma, or you can make some changes and redirect the scent expel. How does one do this? It all begins with attitude and behavior. I know essential oils are popular. I understand the attraction to using these oils, but sometimes their aroma can be overwhelming. Th is can be a life lesson, when working on your attitude and behavior, just be you, don’t try to overdo it. You know the area(s) where your behavior needs some

attention. Here are some practical suggestions to improve or change the aroma you leave with others. Work on having a purpose. Why do you do what you do? People aren’t attracted to people who grumble or complain. Don’t run away from challenges. Life happens, things come our way that cause obstacles to appear. Do what you can to push through and meet these challenges head on. When you succeed, don’t brag or speak down to others who haven’t yet achieved success. Be humble and supportive; that’s a sweet aroma. FYI, arrogance has a putrid aroma. I think the easiest way to sweeten the aroma that people experience while interacting with you is to be loyal and faithful. Stand strong for your family and friends. Be sensitive to their feelings, understand where they are coming from. That behavior becomes addicting. We all want to be around people like that! Lastly, don’t be afraid to laugh; laughter is contagious and sweet smelling. I hope this is helpful, I’m off to the bakery for some sweet smelling freshly baked bread.


Floral Fun These crafts show flower power can be crafty By Shannon Fisher


lowers can make great crafts from simple things you probably have in your home. These three show flower power. Pom pom flowers are fun and can be made from extra yarn you have around. You can wrap around a fork or two fingers. Wrap the yarn around about 60 times. You can wrap less for a less fluff y pom or more for a bigger poof. After you have wrapped the yarn around, now slide off and place on a piece of longer string of about 6 to 8 inches. Carefully tie around your string as tight as you can and knot so it is secure. Next, cut the loops with scissors. Use your fork to fluff the yarn if needed and then trim with scissors to shape if you want it more uniform. You can use a pipe cleaner for a stem or any other

item you want to create a flower look. Enjoy your fluff y flowers! Bookmarks can be a great way to preserve flowers and keep a memory close to you. We had some small dry flowers from a theater performance. You can press the flowers in a book first to make the next steps easier. Start with clear contact paper. Place the dried flowers on the sticky side of the paper and cover with another sheet sticky side down. Press together to get the air bubbles out. Cut the paper to a size of bookmark you want leaving space around the flowers, so they do not fall out. Last, hole punch the top for ribbon or string to tie on and you have a personalized flower bookmark. Rustic flower boards can be a great addition to any room. We found pallet board frames for $5 on a Swip Swap site. Any craft stores will have them or you can make your own. We took a bundle of silk flowers and used

a staple gun to attach the board. Once the flowers were attached, we used wire cutters to trim the extra length of the stems off. You could use hot glue if you do not have a staple gun, but it is best to pretrim the flowers and arrange them before gluing down. This made a fun addition to my daughter’s room and took less than 5 minutes to complete. You can add anything to a pallet board, but the floral bouquet was fun and easy. I hope you enjoy another month of crafting!

Ever wished for Breath Mints for Dogs? Well, we’ve got a solution. Pets have bad breath because they have periodontal disease (gum disease and other yucky things in their mouths). September is Dental Month at the Pet Wellness Center and we want all our patients freely giving kisses. Have you ever tried to look inside your pet’s mouth? Ya, its not easy. But we’re here for you, dental cleanings are performed under general anesthesia, so we can get a comprehensive oral exam. Of all cancers found in dogs, 6% are in the mouth, up to 12% in cats. It’s not just about pleasant kisses, its about finding those cancers early.




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Talk to all of us at The Pet Wellness Center about other Dental Hygiene products during the month of September.

2750 W. Dove Valley Rd, Suite 150, Phoenix, AZ 85085 (623) 594-7466 • www.PetWellnessaz.com SEPTEMBER 2019 |




The Mercedes E450 4Matic Cabriolet ’s cornering ability on tight mountain roads is first class.

At $90K, the Mercedes E450 is an excellent street machine Text & Photos by C.A. Haire


he E-Series is the more popular model in the Mercedes lineup. This one, the E450 4Matic Cabriolet convertible, brings fun in the sun driving to a smaller, personal-sized vehicle. Like most German luxury machines, the base price is low, and then climbs when the option list is tacked on. This one starts at $69,800. How about adjustable air suspension at $1,900? A leather package is $4,200 with another $2,550 for safety gear. For long trips, $950 for massage seats is money well spent. That eye-catching maroon metallic paint job looks nice and only $720. In all, there were 14 option packages that added a hefty $20,855. This gave a total tab of $90,645. For this financial damage, we expect an excellent street


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machine — and we get it. Under the hood is a potent 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine cranking 362 horsepower, and hooked to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Steering wheel paddle shifters allow the driver to shift gears manually if needed. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive provides excellent traction to the pavement. Fuel economy is listed at 19/26 mpg. This motor is a pleasure to use, being very strong, smooth and quiet. This car has one of the better soft tops I have used. First, the operation is simple. Just press a button, and it lowers or rises quickly. More important, the fabric build quality is superb and has very thick construction. It is obvious performance took priority over cost. At freeway speed, wind noise around this raised soft top is just as quiet as most hard top cars. With the expensive beige leather trim, this

cabin is very luxurious. No fast food or drinks were allowed inside on my watch. There are more switches and buttons than a 747 airliner, and a learning curve is required to master them. A more useful switch gives a setting for eco, comfort, sport, sport+ or individual driving mode. To make room when the top is retracted, the trunk is very small, and no spare tire is provided. A set of golf clubs will fit, but it’s not much bigger. We put more than 600 miles on this car, and I have no complaints. The performance is excellent, with strong acceleration, fantastic cornering ability and brisk cruising speeds. The cornering ability on tight mountain roads is first class. This is a great car to use for a long interstate trip, limited only by cargo capacity. No big deal if you ship your luggage ahead of time.



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W H AT ' S C O O K I N G

Tuscan Butter Salmon By Jan D’Atri


ou can pan fry it, poach it, roast it, grill it, wrap it in parchment paper or tuck it inside a square of puff pastry. Then, there is another way to prepare fresh salmon. That is seared to a beautiful golden brown and then finished off in rich, flavorful Tuscan butter sauce with cherry tomatoes, basil and fresh garlic. If you really want to get fancy, add a few jumbo shrimp to the mix and you have a delicious twist on a dinner favorite. (You’ll be serving one piece of salmon and three jumbo shrimp per serving.) Th is recipe is as easy as it gets, but there are always questions about how long to cook salmon. With this recipe you’ll be searing it first and then letting it continue to cook in the butter sauce for a few minutes. The USDA recommends cooking salmon to an internal temperature of 145 degrees, but some (many chefs and America’s Test Kitchen included) fi nd that 145 degrees renders the salmon overcooked and prefer an internal temperature of 125 to 130 degrees. A good general rule of thumb is to cook salmon until the cen-


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ter is translucent but will still flake when you put a fork to it. I love this recipe because not only do you get a really flavorful piece of salmon (and

shrimp), but you also get a gorgeously rich and creamy sauce that goes beautifully next to a bed of rice or a big piece of crusty bread to scoop up “pan goodness.”

Tuscan Butter Salmon Ingredients: - 2-3 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil - 4 (6 ounce) salmon fillets, patted dry with paper towels - 12 jumbo raw shrimp, washed peel with tail left on, optional - Kosher salt - Pepper - 3 tablespoons unsalted butter - 3 cloves garlic, minced - 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half - 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or julienned - 2/3 cup half and half - 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan - 1 lemon, sliced in wedges Directions: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Pat salmon dry and season all over with salt and pepper. Add salmon skin side up and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. With a spatula, flip salmon over and cook 2 more

minutes. (When salmon is done, you can leave the skin on or remove.) Transfer cooked salmon to a plate. Add shrimp to the skillet and cook until pink, about 3 minutes. Remove shrimp to the plate. Add butter to the hot skillet. When butter has melted, stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and basil, stirring to combine. Add half and half and Parmesan and stir well. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce thickens. Return salmon and shrimp back to skillet and spoon sauce over the top of fish. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more. Garnish with more herbs and lemon wedges. Serve with rice if desired.

Watch my How To Video for Tuscan Butter Salmon here: https://jandatri.com/jans-recipe/oneminute-kitchen/


Cultural Collision Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant opened in 1978 when Corey O’Brien was a child. After graduating from NAU, he entered the family business.

The décor of Carlos O’Brien’s is a mix of Arizona, Mexican and Irish culture.


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Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant brings Irish and Latin flavors together By Octavio Serrano


orty years ago, opening a restaurant that blended Mexican and Irish dishes was risky. But, after four decades, the O’Brien family has proven it works. Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant bases its entrees on Arizona-style Mexican food with an Irish twist, including traditional Irish drinks. “The concept is it’s an Irish family running a Mexican restaurant and we do it well,” says owner Corey O’Brien. “We’ve done it for over 40 years.” During that time, Carlos O’Brien’s has developed a loyal following among locals, including those in 85085, where the restaurant opened two years ago. “One of our most popular dishes is our No. 1, which is a cheese enchilada, beef taco, rice and beans,” O’Brien says. “The pollo fundido is probably our most popular individual item.” The pollo fundido ($14.50) comes with a chicken chimichanga, covered with jalapeno cream cheese and cheddar cheese and served with rice and beans. Another signature dish is salmon with mango salsa ($16.95), served with rice, black beans or grilled vegetables. The eatery is known for its lunch specials, like the chicken or shredded beef chimi ($10.95), both of which are covered with green sauce, topped with sour cream and served with rice and beans. Among the Irish dishes is fish and chips ($10.95). Other pub fare includes chicken wings ($10.95), fish sandwich ($10.95) and a cheeseburger ($11.95). The family is working to expand its Irish half and embrace the restaurant’s pub side. “We’ve slowly been embracing the Irish side, meaning the bar, and trying to embrace the pub side of the restaurant business,”

One of Carlos O’Brien’s Mexican Restaurant’s specialties, pollo fundido is a chicken chimichanga covered with jalapeno cream cheese and cheddar cheese, and served with rice and beans. (Photos by Kimberly Carrillo)

O’Brien says. The margarita de fruta ($7.50) blends fresh fruit and tequila. Strawberry, banana, raspberry, peach and mango are available. “We do happy hour 3 to 6:30 p.m., seven days a week, which includes some upgraded margaritas, and we have a pretty decent draft beer selection at all three locations,” O’Brien says. Carlos O’Brien’s is a legacy restaurant that started when O’Brien was a child. He says his father, Sean O’Brien, was inspired to open his own eatery in 1978 with Jeff Lipson after working at Garcia’s to get through college. “My dad worked his way to manager at Garcia’s,” he says. “Garcia’s was bought at some point and that’s when he decided to open his own place.” Corey O’Brien attended NAU, where he majored in small business management with a background in photography. Afterward,

he knew he wanted to be part of the family business. “I love Mexican food. I grew up with it, so it’s kind of in my blood,” O’Brien says. Along with its customer base, O’Brien’s built a stellar reputation with a staff that develops connections with customers. “We have great staff,” O’Brien says. “A lot of them have been with us for 30-plus years and our recipes are from the original Carlos O’Brien’s. We have a pretty broad spectrum, but I think we do everything well and our customers are happy with that. “We’re still the same restaurant we have been for 40 years. We still have great food and great service and you can bring your family or sit by yourself at the bar and we’re going to treat you right and you’re going to get a great meal for a good price.”


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Desert Donuts Steve Wolff can bring the sweets, whether it’s boba, donuts or ice cream By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski


teve Wolff knows how to promote a business. Shortly after taking ownership of Desert Donuts, he dressed as a donut and stood on the corner encouraging folks to try his sweets—in the 101-degree heat. Now he’s promising that guests will have their best donut at Desert Donuts. “We make the donuts for you fresh on a machine,” Wolff says. “You or I can dip the donuts, according to how the customer wants it. About 98% of the customers will say that’s the best donut they’ve ever had. There’s nothing like a hot, fresh donut.” After 18 years in the trucking business, Wolff decided to hang up his keys. He could have gone in many directions, but he chose the gooey goodness of donuts. Desert Donuts, at 3134 W. Carefree Highway, Suite A10, Anthem, has been a hit since Wolff purchased the coffee and sweets shop, which now has boba tea, ice cream and gelato. Created in Taiwan in the 1980s, boba tea has “pearls,” chewy tapioca balls, in different flavors.

Wolff offers samples to those who are a little unsure of boba. “You have your base teas— black, green, Thai, jasmine— and then it’s like making a bar cocktail,” he says. “I add a flavor shot, like mango or passion fruit. “It’s just a refreshing fruit drink with caffeine. The bursting boba has fruit juices. They break and add flavor to the shot of liquid you’re getting. It’s hard to try to explain sometimes, but they’re big among teenagers. If one teenager puts it on Instagram, then two more come in the next day to see what the heck that was all about.” Wolff uses only the best ingredients as well. He eschews fructose for brown sugar. Among the donuts’ various flavors, the Bacon Blast is a favorite, with its cinnamon sugar bottom and bacon bits. He enjoys the apple pie—with cinnamon sugar, apple filling and caramel drizzle. “Some people say the Bacon Blast is like

a warm pancake,” Wolff says. “I’ve given them out to people who say it’s going to be awful, or people who have never tried a donut. Usually, I see them a couple days later—after they’ve given us a try. We have that good of a draw. “I get complaints, too, about the $2 per donut price. I give discounts, though, for people who want just plain or cinnamon sugar. But they can have as many toppings as they want on it.” Thrift y Ice Cream is the perfect snack for the summer or guests coming from nearby Echo Sushi, he says. Chocolate Malted Krunch sells out the door. Wolff enjoys the freedom of being an independent business owner. “Not being a franchise, I love the idea of adding whatever I want to the menu,” he says. “There are some restrictions I have to follow, but I love encouraging guests to try this, that and the other thing.” Wolff is a Midwest native who realized he wanted to move to Arizona after visiting his sister in Cave Creek on a Thanksgiving vacation. He wanted to get away from the cold of

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85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

Minnesota and North Dakota but hadn’t fully explored the west. “I was only a local driver when I drove a truck,” he says. “I haven’t seen a million places.” When he decided he wanted to give Arizona a go, he worked with a broker to find a company to purchase. “I always went to Starbucks,” he says. “I know I was spending

a fortune every month on Starbucks. I was lucky to fi nd an already established coffeeshop that also did donuts. “I got more information, came out here and had a donut and coffeeshop. How could I go wrong? It’s still a risk. It’s crazy not to have college experience, but I’ve been told I’m a very good people person. If you’re stuck in a truck long enough with nobody to talk to, your natural instinct is to want to talk to everyone.” An avid comic book fan, Wolff made Desert Donuts more comfortable, with the addition of booths, televisions and Thor’s hammer. “They always say to do what you enjoy,” he says. “I just didn’t know it was going to be this industry. I’m a big comic book fan. I have Thor’s hammer on the shelf. Sometimes I take the hammer down and say, ‘Are you worthy?’ “The kids will try to lift it. It’s 25 pounds. They’re so excited when they can lift it. Then we have a chemo center nearby and the patients are encouraged to have sugar afterward. It’s awesome help people out in a rough time in their life. If I see a mother with kids, I’ll put cartoons on the television to give her a few moments of peace.”

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Bringing the Zen to the Military Yoga teacher offering free classes to ease PTSD and other stressors By Kayla Rutledge


icole Fonovich has seen “astonishing” results when she has veterans and active duty military members in her yoga classes. So, throughout the year, her Valley-based company, Nicole Anne Yoga, is offering free classes to them to show yoga and meditation can be an avenue to healing. “When I see the changes that have taken place, it’s astonishing,” Fonovich says. “It’s the shedding of that ‘I need to be tough’ shell that they needed in order to do the job that they did but might not need here at home. It’s asking them to put on a different uniform for that hour of our practice.” Nicole Anne Yoga is a mobile yoga company and offers services such as in-home yoga and meditation; however, the classes being offered for free are also open to the public in shared spaces. The classes do not require a membership. While participants are encouraged to sign up in advance, Fonovich says the military can feel free to arrive the day of the event. “I really just want to give the military members in our community every incentive to give this a try, because the results are truly remarkable,” Fonovich says. Participants can choose how far they push themselves during the session, and each class caters to all skill levels. Through-

out the yoga classes, the instructor demonstrates modified poses, allowing those of all abilities the chance to benefit from the practice. That goes with Fonovich’s goal when she started her company in 2017. She wanted to make yoga and meditation feel much more accessible and far less intimidating for people. Instead of building just another brick-and-mortar yoga studio, she and other highly trained instructors travel around the Valley bringing calming, therapeutic

yoga classes directly into people’s homes, retirement communities, corporate work spaces and other facilities. The yoga instructors who work as independent contractors for Nicole Anne Yoga bring with them the serene look and feel of a yoga studio. They’re equipped with yoga mats, bolster pillows, yoga blankets, an eye mask, and even a yoga therapy table. A graduate of the Southwest Institute of Holistic Arts in Tempe, Fonovich earned her holistic practitioner degree and advanced yoga training (500 hours certified). She specializes in teaching yoga nidra, sound healing, restorative yoga, holistic nutrition and life coaching. Born with a weak back and diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Fonovich suffered from pain, depression and weakness. She says learning yoga—and eventually learning about sound healing and meditation—helped increase her strength mentally and physically. She is also a survivor of childhood trau-

More Info

To find class locations and more information, call 1-847-840-7277 or visit nicoleanneyoga.com.


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

ma. She turned to yoga and meditation for self-healing instead of prescribed medication. After finding success in a holistic approach to her mental health, Fonovich started to help those facing similar struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder by offering free yoga to those who needed it most. “You don’t have to look too far or too hard to figure out the people who could probably use this practice is right here in our military communities,” Fonovich says. “They face so many struggles and internal chaos, what I wholeheartedly believe can really help is guided stillness and silence.” Fonovich stresses that yoga does not always require moving, stretching and twisting like a pretzel. There are several types of yoga, including yoga nidra, that only requires participants to lie on the floor, breathe deeply and relax. The owner and instructor says her goal is to give veterans the tools necessary to incorporate what they learn into their everyday lives. “We want to rebalance them, to recalibrate these veterans so they can live a happy and healthy, adjusted life here instead of carrying the trauma that they’ve been carrying to be stronger in a different way,” Fonovich says.

“We offer a space to work through some of those unspoken issues while they’re in complete control as to what their practice looks like. There’s a sense of peace and freedom that comes from what we do.” Fonovich also encourages military members to bring their spouses, who are also not

obligated to reserve a spot in advance. “The family will grow stronger together as they heal together,” Fonovich says. In addition to yoga and meditation, Fonovich says there are a wide variety of offerings that can aid military members in their healing and recovery from trauma.

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Fall in Love with Your Skin Autumn is the time to combat damage and dryness By Dr. Kelly Collins


all is right around the corner and before you know it temperatures will start dropping below 100 degrees! As the weather cools down, it is a good time to address all the damage your “fun in the sun summer” did to your skin. Now is the time to repair and rejuvenate sun-damaged skin and to also make adjustments to your daily routine as the season changes. This is the time of year that your skin needs extra love and care to combat damage and dryness caused by the seasonal change. So, what is the best approach to healthy, glowing, rejuvenated skin this fall? Here are some of our top recommendations. Start by treating your skin from the inside out by adding a few key supplements to your morning routine. Probiotics: Research has shown a direct link between a healthy gut and clear, radiant skin. Because probiotics have been proven to help maintain good digestive health, it makes sense that adding this supplement to your routine will result in clearer, healthier and younger appearing skin. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help fight and neutralize free radicals thus assisting in slowing down the aging process. Vitamin C aids in your skin’s regeneration process, helps to repair damaged skin cells, and can help boost immunity. Collagen: A recent double-blind placebo study found that women who took the oral peptide form of collagen regularly for eight weeks saw a 20% reduction in wrinkles. The women in this study found after consuming a collagen supplement their skin had higher elasticity and moisture levels. The next step is to evaluate and adjust your

Dr. Kelly C. Collins is the owner and medical director of Premier Wellness Center in Anthem.


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019

daily at-home skin care routine. Be sure to add moisturizing products to your morning and evening routine to combat the drier, cooler air temperatures. Also, add a skin brightener/lightener to help reverse any hyperpigmentation that occurred from all of the summer sun exposure. Two of our favorite products to add into your fall routine are: Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex 30%: Reveal a brilliant glow, more even skin tone and a more youthful appearance. Infused with patent-pending MelaPATH technology that illuminates, refines and rejuvenates. Defending and correcting the skindamaging effects of free radicals generated by dust and high-energy visible light. SkinBetter Science Trio Rebalancing Moisture Treatment: Patented formulation that uniquely brings balance back to dry, aged skin. Triple-action formula that helps to hydrate a compromised barrier and bring moisture back to the skin. Receiving in-office medical treatments will provide the most immediate and significant changes. In-office clinical treatments are always the “biggest bang for the buck” for those that desire the most dramatic and noticeable results. Clinical treatments of choice would include laser resurfacing, photo facials, injectable treatments, microneedling and chemi-

cal peels. Before deciding what treatments to undergo, is always best to schedule a skin care consultation and meet face to face with a medical provider so the provider is able to conduct a full evaluation your skin thus enabling them to develop a custom and specialized treatment protocol that meets you individual goals. Don’t delay, now is the time to take the steps to fall back in love with your skin.


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Total Disc Arthroplasty Is all back and neck surgery the same? By Dr. Joshua Abrams


ow back pain is a significant cause of disability in the United States, as well as worldwide. It is estimated that 75 to 85% of people will experience low back or neck pain at some point in their lives. Most episodes of neck and back pain are self-resolving, often aided by conservative measures like physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Degeneration of the intervertebral disc or “degenerative disc disease” is a common cause of back pain. It can be a very painful condition that can greatly affect the quality of one’s life. The intervertebral disc is a specialized structure that lies between two adjacent vertebrae. It acts as a shock absorber, absorbing the impact of the body’s daily activities. While disc degeneration is a normal part of aging, some individuals have an accelerated process or other conditions that make it very painful. Some individuals develop chronic low back pain. Symptomatic degenerative disc disease can radiate to the hips, thighs or buttocks while walking. As for the neck, similar pain may radiate into the upper back near the shoulder

blades or down the arms. This pain may increase while sitting, bending, lifting and/or twisting of the back and/or neck. This condition may also occur after an injury, when some discs may become painful due to inflammation. When pain from a degenerative disc becomes severe, traditional nonoperative treatment is often ineffective. On first glance, the word surgery can provoke many different feelings. Spine surgery has had many advancements in recent years. Lumbar spine surgery that was performed 10 to 15 years ago is dramatically different than what is often performed today by spine surgeons at Abrazo Scottsdale Campus. Artificial disc replacement is a newer surgical procedure for relieving low back and neck pain for patients with degenerative disc disease. Similar to hip or knee joint replacements, a disc replacement substitutes a mechanical device for an intervertebral disc in the spine. The device is meant to restore motion to the spine by replacing the worn, degenerated disc. This is an alternative to lumbar or cervical spine fusion with the goal of reducing and/or eliminating pain and si-

multaneously maintaining motion. Spinal fusion, more commonly performed, locks two or more spinal vertebrae together so they cannot move. This may alleviate the pain, but does not allow motion or flexibility, permanently alters the biomechanics of the spine and has the potential for accelerated degeneration of the discs next to the fusion. Artificial disc replacement was designed to avoid these shortcomings. Artificial discs for spinal vertebrae originally gained approval for use in the United States in 2004. Since that time, the design has improved and patient satisfaction has, too. To determine who is a good candidate for disc replacement, the surgeon may require a few tests. These may include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), discography, computed tomography (CT or CAT scan), and X-rays. These tests will also help the surgeon determine the source of the pain. Good candidates for disc replacement have the following: • Back pain or neck pain localized to one or two discs • No significant facet joint disease or bony compression on nerves • Not excessively overweight • No prior major surgery in the lumbar spine • No deformity (scoliosis) Most patients are able to go home the same day (cervical) or the following day (lumbar). Walking is encouraged in the first 24 hours. Early motion may translate into quicker recovery. To understand more about lumbar spine surgery and artificial disc replacement, contact your physician.

Dr. Joshua Abrams is a fellowship trained and board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon and a member of the medical staff at Abrazo Scottsdale campus. In October, his office will open at 33423 N. 32nd Avenue, Suite 2200, Phoenix, 85085. (Photo courtesy Abrazo)


85085 | SEPTEMBER 2019


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Most service advertisers have an ROC# or “Not a licensed contractor” in their ad, this is in accordance to the AZ state law. Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC): The advert-ising requirements of the statute does not prevent anyone from placing an ad in the y e l l ow p a g e s , o n business cards, or on flyers. What it does require under A.R.S. §32-1121A14(c) www. azleg.gov/ars/32/01165.htm is that the advertising party, if not properly licensed as a contractor, disclose that fact on any form of advertising to the public by including the words “not a licensed contractor” in the advertisement. Again, this requirement is intended to make sure that the consumer is made aware of the unlicensed status of the individual or company. Contractors who advertise and do not disclose their unlicensed status are not eligible for the handyman’s exception. Reference: http:// www.azroc.gov/invest/licensed_by_law.html As a consumer, being aware of the law is for your protection. You can check a business’ ROC status: http://www.azroc.gov/.

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Thinking of buying or selling?

Call us about our free individual Real Estate Strategy session for you and your family R. Bryan & Andrea Crouch

R. Bryan: (602) 377-2332 • Andrea: (602) 320-2780 www.RealEstate85085.com 2060 W. Whispering Wind Drive, Suite 264-3 Phoenix, AZ 85085

We are excited to welcome Billee Jo Winskowski to The Crouch Group to better serve you!