SanTan Sun News - 11.21.2021

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November 21, 2021 | www.santansun.com

Relentlessly local coverage of Southern Chandler

An edition of the East Valley Tribune

City gets $2M to start ‘Flex Transit’ in S. Chandler BY KEN SAIN Staff Writer

The city of Chandler has been awarded a $2 million grant for a pilot micro-transit program called Flex Transit. “The concept originally started as looking at just the Price Employment Corridor,” said Jason Crampton, the city’s transportation planning supervisor. “For a number of years those employers have been asking for better transit service. Right now, all we have is one bus route that operates during a few hours in the morning and a few

This rendering shows that the “Flex vans” the city is purchasing will look like. (City of Chandler)

hours in the afternoon.” He said planners have been looking

to be available to more than just those businesses along Price Road. The pilot program will operate in an 18-square mile area from Price Road to Arizona Avenue and between Chandler Boulevard and Chandler Heights Road, with some exceptions. Vans will travel outside that area to specific destinations, such as Chandler High School, the Center for the Arts or the mall. About 31,000 residents in that area will be able to sue the service when it starts in the second half of 2022.. “It’s not a rigid boundary, and with

at the corridor for a long time, but ultimately decided the new service needed

See

TRANSIT on page 3

Chandler readies a merrier Christmas celebration While last year’s event was only online, “itt was better than we hoped,” said Hermilinda Llamas, the city’s special events coordinator.

BY KEN SAIN Staff Writer

More than 1,900 people watched Chandler kick off the holiday season last year – but only online because the pandemic forced folks to stay home. This year, Chandler is ready to welcome citizens back in person with its traditional Tumbleweed Tree Lighting and Parade of Lights is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4.

Chandler’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree is supported by an intricate wire framework. (David Minton/Staff

“We were able to get a lot of participation from city’s departments. We were still able to provide something of high quality to the families, to give them some sort of holiday cheer.” The city produced a show of about 40 minutes that aired on Facebook Live and public access TV for a virtual holiday celebration. Now, with vaccinations available and

Photographer)

See

TUMBLEWEED on page 6

How your community rates Honoring veterans for celebrating Thanksgiving BY PAUL MARYNIAK Executive Editor

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving in Chandler, a survey says you could be doing a little better next door or to the north. But cheer up: You’re far better off celebrating the holiday here than in, say, San Bernardino, California. The financial website wallethub.com analyzed 100 cities and towns across the country and came up with this conclusion: Scottsdale is the third best place to spend Thanksgiving while Gilbert pulled No. 11. And Chandler is only the 26th best to celebrate Thanksgiving, it sad. Sadly, though, those municipalities – and the other Arizona communities covered in the recent survey – have lost some

luster from their pre-pandemic status. In 2019, WalletHub declared Scottsdale the second-best place in the nation for Thanksgiving, with Gilbert taking 6th place and Chandler in 11th. In the 2021 version, all the other Arizona municipalities WalletHub looked at took a beating. Mesa tumbled from 13 to 43; and Phoenix plummeted from No. 39 to a humbling 76 – even below 72nd-ranked Tucson. Glendale stayed at 65th. Scottsdale is sandwiched in the top five for 2021 between Atlanta, Georgia, and Orlando, Florida, at 1 and 2, respectively, and Miami, Florida, and Raleigh, North Carolina, at 4 and 5, respectively. And virtually every Arizonan can be See

BEST on page 6

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City officials on Veterans Day dedicated the new Field of Honor Veterans Memorial at Veterans Oasis Park – a visually stunning creation inspired by both the American and Arizona flags. For details, see page 4. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)

F E AT U R E STO R I E S Big moves in Chandler Unified . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .COMMUNITY . . . . .Page 10 More houses, but higher prices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .REAL ESTATE. . . . . Page 28 Chandler student, 11, designs helpful app . . . . . . . .NEIGHBORS. . . . . . Page 39 Hamilton rules Arizona Avenue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .SPORTS . . . . . . . . . Page 35

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Community . . . 1-27 Real Estate . . . 28-29 Clip-It . . . . . . . 30-31 Business . . . . . 32-34 Sports . . . . . . . 35-37 Opinion . . . . . . . . 38 Neighbors . . . 39-43 Arts . . . . . . . . . 45-50 Faith . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Directory . . . . 52-53 Eat . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54