Scottsdale Progress 12-11-22

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Mercado project dies a second time before Council

The controversial Mercado Courtyard apartment complex planned near the intersection of 92nd Street and Shea Boulevard is dead –

again – while its controversial neighborwas abruptly pulled from the agenda.

Scottsdale City Council voted 5-2 to reject the rezoning application and site plan for the 262 unit project on 8.52 acres on Dec. 7, scuttling the project for the second time this year. Councilwoman Linda Mil-

Iconic Scottsdale service station's owner reflects on 53 good years

Mark Combs, 70, sat back in his chair, sporting a blue Combs Auto Repair polo shirt and matching pair of shorts.

He grinned and reflected back to the beginning of the iconic Scottsdale vehicle repair service that his father started in Scottsdale in 1969 as an ARCO gas station and repair shop at the corner of Scottsdale and Shea roads.

After 53 years in business – the last 22 on W. Adobe Drive – Mark closed the doors for good.

As a kid, Combs didn’t want any part of the family business. He was a champion competitive swimmer who trained with seven-time Olympic Gold medalist Mark Spitz.

Swimming took up all of his time in

high school but after he graduated in 1970, Combs started working at the shop part-time during the summer before heading to the University of New Mexico on a swimming scholarship.

But when his father took ill, Combs finished his sophomore early and came home to help in the shop. His father never recovered enough to come back all the way so Combs stayed on fulltime.

“I found out, I guess, it was in my blood,” he said. “I really enjoyed the full service of customers and talking, fixing cars and all that stuff.”

But Combs said he reached a point where he decided, “It’s time.”

“My wife and I need to get to know each other again,” he said.

haven and Vice Mayor Tom Durham cast the only “yes” votes in favor of the complex.

Originally known as 92 Ironwood, the original developer pulled the Mercado from

Remembering a hero

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An edition of the East Valley Tribune City's most expensive ZIP / P. 14 INSIDE This Week NEIGHBORS 19 BUSINESS 23 ARTS 25 CLASSIFIEDS 27 BUSINESS 23
helps create Old Town pub's "experiential" atmosphere.
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Scottsdale school bands help drive Fiesta Bowl Parade.
Scottsdale official has doubts about electric vehicle savings. Jan Evans, who now lives at Westminster Village in Scottsdale, recently returned to NASA headquarters to celebrate the 50th anniversary of America’s last manned mission to the moon, the Apollo 17. She is the widow of Apollo 17 Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans and shared her memories of that exciting time. See the story on page 19. (David Minton/Progress Staff Photographer)
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City official sees need to go slow on electric vehicles

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group and the Frontier Group say taxpayers can save a lot of money – about $80 million for the state’s 10 largest cities – by converting to a fleet of electrical vehicles.

Scottsdale Public Works Director Dan Worth says it’s more complicated than that.

The two advocacy groups teamed up to release a study detailing how cities could save money by switching to electric vehicles. They also argue it will improve air quality for Arizona residents as well.

The study claims Scottsdale could save about $11.4 million by replacing lightduty fleet vehicles at the end of their life with electric vehicles over the next 10 years. Its authors urge cities to develop a plan to convert their light-duty fleet to electric.

The survey looked at 10 large Arizona cities and determined the bulk of the savings would come from lower costs for fuel as well as maintenance and repair. It estimates the 10 cities would need to replace about 4,000 vehicles over the next 10 years.

“At some point in time, we will be able to achieve savings with electric vehicles but we’re not there yet. I’ve seen this study and other studies make similar claims and there are several problems that I’ve seen with studies like this,” Worth said.

First on Worth’s list of concerns is the claim that maintenance would be cheaper on electric vehicles.

“They all claim we’re going to get maintenance savings from electric vehicles but we haven’t had them around long enough to know we are going to get a life cycle maintenance cost reduction,” Worth said.

A survey of Arizona’s largest municipalities by the Arizona Public Interest Research Group and the Frontier Group found the most popular electric vehicles currently are light trucks. (PIRG)

that problem. I’ve not found how we can qualify for them. Most of them are tax credits. The municipality doesn’t pay taxes so we can’t take advantage of that.”

And he has concerns about the vehicles’ range between charges in a city that is 40 miles across from north to south.

“We’re looking at the performance claims from the manufacturers and as best as we can tell, most of the performance claims, when they talk about the range of their vehicles in particular, how far they can drive before needing a charge again, are based on pretty controlled conditions and don’t take into account what we have to put up with when we do business,” Worth said.

rather than later.”

But heavier vehicles are still a ways out, he said..

“Some of the claims are premature,” Worth said. “I think there’s going to be a day when it will all bear out.” he said. “We’re looking very closely. We’re following the industry. We’re evaluating.”

The city has piloted a couple of electric heavy vehicles, such a street sweeper and a garbage truck.

“They’re creating some good products,” Worth said. “Again, there’s going be a day and we’re ramping up for it.”

The city is dedicating $3 million over six years to build electric vehicle infrastructure, such as charging stations.

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Replacing a battery alone can run between $4,000 and $20,000.

Worth also has concerns about electric vehicles’ price.

“Most studies point out that (electric vehicles) are still more expensive than gas vehicles,” Worth said. “Several of them say there are credits available from the federal government now that solves

“They’re testing pickup trucks without a full load in them … if I take a midsized or a full-sized pickup truck and fill it with plumbers’ tools and parts and put a lift on the back end of it, I’m adding a couple thousand pounds and that significantly reduces the range. (It’s) the same with the heavier equipment, a solid waste truck. One I’ve got loaded with six tons of garbage, the range changes.”

Scottsdale currently has no electric vehicles other than 10 carts used in the parks, but Worth anticipates some of the city’s fleet could be replaced “sooner

For instance, the city should have a station capable of handling charging equipment ready at Via Linda and 90th Street by February or March.

The study concluded Scottsdale would save $11,420,301 by switching its lightduty fleet to electric.

It said Phoenix would save the most, more than $25 million. Other cities would save: Tucson, $14.7 million; Mesa, $9.6 million; Chandler, $4.9 million; Peoria, $3.8 million; and Gilbert, $3.5

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Combs said momentous change in vehicles, people and Scottsdale during his decades at the shop: The city grew immeasurably, cars became computerized and everyone got in a hurry.

Combs started out as a “gas jockey,” pumping fuel, cleaning up and doing oil changes when he came back to help his father.

“The next thing you know, I was tuning up vehicles and learning how to rebuild carburetors,” Combs said.

That was back when cars had carburetors.

“I got as far as EFI (electronic fuel injection) ... I said, ‘That’s enough,’” he explained. “When they started getting a little more computerized and fuel injection, I started going more into management.”

That was sometime in the late 80s.

“Back then, you could work on (vehicles),” he said. “It was very simple to work on cars compared to today. Today you have to be highly educated. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get in there and get lost real


Back in the day, before Loop 101 and the Piestewa Highway, the intersection of Shea and Scottsdale was a hive of activity.

Combs had eight nozzles and sold upwards of 400,000 gallons of gas a month.

The service shop also did a solid business selling inner tubes too. One of the very popular things to do was to go tubing down the Verde River.

“People from Phoenix and wherever would come by Scottsdale and Shea to go out to the Verde,” Combs said.

In general, it was a more civil time as well, said Combs, adding that the relationships he developed with customers made the job worthwhile.

“We got very bonded, too,” Combs said. “I actually had a lady call me when she was being broken into at her house. Her husband was out of town. I still remember her calling, ‘Mark, someone’s breaking into the house, what should I do?’

‘Call the police, I’ll be at your house as fast as I can get there.’”

That was in the early 70s.

“There’s quite a few people who use

to tell me when they were going out of town, that their daughter or son was going to be staying, you know 16, 17 or whatever ... We shook hands, ‘If they need anything, don’t worry, I’ll take care of it when I get back.’ There was more trust in relationships.”

Customers used to just toss him the keys and say, “Hey there’s a noise, take care of it, whatever it is.”

But Combs always called before he did the work because “I didn’t want any surprises.”

Then one day in 1991, Combs saw a 19-year-old kid with hair down past his shoulders at a bowling alley with his parents. The next day the kid, Eric Schock, came into the shop, applying for a job with his hair cut short.

Combs said he was so impressed, he hired Schock on the spot to work in the back room. Then he promoted Schock to cashier and then to manager, a position Schock held for the last 30 years.

“It’s easy to work for a guy who’s honest, who respects you as a person,” said Schock, who calls Combs “Pop.”

“If you got a personal problem, even with some of our bad employees, Mark would always try to be there to help,” Schock said. “Most of the time with the bad employees, Mark would get bit.

“You know the old saying, ‘No good deed goes unpunished,’ but working for Mark, you knew you’d come to work and you’d get treated fairly and he cared

about you as a person.”

That mentality transferred to the customers too.

“Even back in the day when I first started for Mark, there was a handful of customers that he pre-warned me: ‘Eric, if Mrs. Slans comes in, if you see her car pull in, you need to drop what you’re doing and go out there, fill her tank and see if she wants her windows done.’”

Combs added, “Her husband had died.”

It was always all about the customers.

“What made this business was the loyalty of so many good customers, and the bad ones could sure ruin your day fast,” he said with a chuckle.

Combs also had his share of celebrity customers too: Mickey Rooney, John Denver, Bob Uecker, Charles Barkley, Keith Tkachuk.

Bob Crane came into the shop to fix a flat tire the night before his murder.

Eventually, Arco started pressuring Combs to get out of the service industry.

Combs wasn’t having it so in 2000 he got out of the gas business and moved the auto service shop to Adobe Drive.

He claims to have been the last ARCO gas station in the country to offer repair services.

Combs and his wife of 40 years, who took care of the business’ books, were involved in every stage of building the new facility, from sketching drawings for the architect to watching over the construction crews.

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General Manager Eric Shock and owner Mark Combs of Combs Auto Repair closed the service shop’s doors after 53 years in Scottsdale. (David Minton/Progress Staff Photographer)

Neuropathy Is Often Misdiagnosed

Muscle cramping, difficulty walking, burning, tingling, numbness, and pain in the legs or feet are symptoms of neuropathy people live with every day,” explains Dr. Kerry Zang, podiatric medical director of CIC Foot & Ankle. “The thing is PAD has very similar symptoms. So similar that in many cases, people are told it’s neuropathy when it may not be.”

Medicine is often prescribed. “Pills aren’t a cure, they just suppress the symptoms,” says Zang. “If neuropathy

isn’t causing the symptoms, the real problem could get worse.”

It’s important to determine if PAD (peripheral artery disease) is causing the pain or making it worse. PAD is plaque in the arteries which causes poor circulation. “Blood brings oxygen and nutrients to your feet which they need to stay healthy,” explains Zang, “When your feet aren’t getting an adequate supply, they start sending signals.” Those signals include pain, burning, tingling, numbness, or cramping.

The good news is PAD is treatable in

an office setting. Dr. Joel Rainwater, MD endovascular specialist explains, “We go into the bloodstream to find the blockage using imaging guidance. Then with small tools that can go into the smallest arteries, remove the blockage, and restore blood flow.”

Getting the proper diagnosis is the first step to getting better. “It’s all about finding out what’s causing the problem,” says Zang. “When your feet burn, tingle, or feel numb, it’s your body telling you it needs help, and you should listen.”

If your neuropathy medication is not working, your symptoms may be an indication of another condition.

Stiff Joints Interfere with Everyday Living

One in 40 people over the age of 50 may find themselves limiting their activity because of a condition called hallux rigidus. It’s a degenerative disease of the big toe joint. As it progresses, the pain in the joint increases and motion decreases.

talking to

Our doctors can help tell you what they are saying.

Does foot pain prevent you from doing your favorite activity?

Do you have burning or tingling in your legs or feet?

Do you have leg or foot cramps with activity or at rest?

“People don’t realize the impact their big toe has on their life. It plays a role in balance, shock absorption, and forward movement as you walk,” explains Dr. Daniel Schulman, of CiC Foot & Ankle. “When the joint is stiff, it’s not able to bend and rotate properly, and it changes how we walk without us even realizing it.” These changes can lead to back or knee pain as well as discomfort in other parts of the foot.

“It always concerns me to hear that someone is playing less golf or staying home because they’re in pain,” says Schulman. “There are ways to help.”

The goal is to protect your feet from the repetitive stress of everyday activities. “We have several treatment options to not only relieve foot pain but help improve how your feet work. If we can help your feet function better, in many cases the need for surgery can be avoided or at the very least postponed,” says Schulman. “Patients are always happy to learn about ways to alleviate their symptoms.”

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“One night I was sitting out there and I just started crying, you know, because my father couldn’t see it,” he said.

Combs, Schock and crew spent 22 years at that location.

There are moments Combs can laugh about today. Once, a customer brought his brand new Porsche for its first oil

change. Combs performed the procedure and went to start the car up.

“I forgot it was a stick, and it kicked,” he said. When it “kicked,” the car knocked a whole bucket of grease atop the middle of the engine.

“We’re sitting there trying to scoop it out with our hands,” Combs said.

The customer walked in the very next minute, saw what happened and exclaimed they do the most thorough lube jobs in town.

“He was so cool,” Combs said. “He said,

‘I completely understand because of the way you guys are. Just as long as you get it cleaned up I have no problem.’”

Now, Combs said, “I’m tired.”

He added that he two or three customers cried when he told them he was shutting down for good.

“It’s hard when the customers are crying,” Combs said.

“I want to say thanks to all the great employees over the years and our customers,” he said. “We’ve had some fantastic customers.”

million. Tempe, Goodyear and Surprise would all save more than $2 million.

The study said with the cost of electric vehicles coming down, and new infrastructure being added each year, it is finally an affordable option for cities.

“Electric vehicles currently in Arizona municipal fleets are driven fewer miles

on average than gasoline- and dieselpowered vehicles,” study authors Diane Brown and Tony Dutzik wrote.

“Municipalities seeking to reap the full benefits of electrification must carefully integrate EVs into their fleets, aligning charging and use schedules to ensure that EVs are able to replace as much gasoline- and dieselfueled travel as possible.”

The original Combs Auto Repair, which opened in 1969 at the corner of Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard, which is now an AM/PM gas station. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
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Mark Combs shows off a sign that summarizes the history of the now-closed Combs Auto Repair. (David Minton/Progress Staff Photographer)

the council’s agenda in February when it didn’t look like it had the votes to make it past council.

Meanwhile, the 94 hundred Shea project, which proposes 219 apartments on 11 acres adjacent to the Mercado Courtyards, was pulled from the agenda. It faces an uphill battle tas it relies on an access point onto the property where the Mercado would have been located.

Council did approve an apartment project near the intersection of N. Scottsdale Road and E. Earl Drive in downtown Scottsdale called Scottsdale 3200 North.

Mercado Courtyard

A standing-room-only crowd of about 100 people showed up to either support or oppose the Mercado Courtyard and 43 members of the public spoke on the project – 15 in support and 28 against.

Opponents cited fears of too much traffic and excessive water use while

others voiced general opposition to any more apartment projects in Scottsdale.

“This city was built on hard-work-

ing, law-abiding people who saved and invested and moved here like myself and others,” said Mike Crooker. “They worked all their life to come


“Now we’re going to water down the area with apartment after apartment after apartment … If we’re going to improve Scottsdale, we want to bring in people from all over who are going to buy and have ownership in this city. They’ll follow the rules and laws and more than that they’ll take care of their area.”

Others, like Jason Phillips, a local paramedic and firefighter, said he was anxious to take advantage of price breaks that Mercado developer Caliber of Scottsdale had proposed for essential workers.

He said he lives in a rented house with several other people and welcomed the idea of being able to get into his own place closer to where he works.

“The next generation coming up – people who want to stay in Scottsdale and stay where we’re from – we’re just asking for affordable housing and good options to live at,” Phillips said.

The project called for a 10% dis-

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A standing-room-only crowd of Mercado project opponents and supporters appeared before Scottsdale City Council Dec. 7. (J Graber/Progress Staff Writer)
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count on leases for medical staff, teachers and first responders as well as anyone working within a mile of the site.

Application fees would also have been waived for those people and there would have been a 5% cap on rental renewal increases. They would also have been given a 90-day head start to apply once the units were ready.

There would have been no cap on how many essential workers could take advantage of the program.

Also, 10% of the units would have been reserved for seniors.

The project also called for Caliber to install a traffic light at 92nd street and Cochise Drive, 109,700 square feet of open space and a 544-space garage.

Landscaping would have been irrigated with gray water from the site and the project would have complied with the international green building codes.

Caliber also presented a stipulation in a letter earlier in the day that said it could not draw a building permit for the property until it provides the city with 525 acre-feet of water.

But Mayor David Ortega called “a one pager” provided at the last minute “pretty inadequate.”

Maricopa County Supervisor Tom Galvin, who was present as an attorney representing Caliber, described the letter as “an effort in good faith” to address the concerns of people worried about water use.

Councilwoman Betty Janik admonished project opponents for sending threatening correspondence to Council. “I beg all of you to think about what your words do,” she said. “They provoke violence and we don’t need any more of that.”

But she also didn’t support the project, stating, When we move into a neighborhood, we investigate the zoning that surrounds us. It is a promise to the community to stick with that zoning. In this instance, I believe we need to stick with that zoning.”

Councilwoman Solange Whitehead said, “Most of you live in a house that some city council changed the zoning, but the point of changing the zoning is to make sure the value that is given to

the developer is returned to the community.

“I strongly believe we’re not there yet. We’ve got to balance community need … with the benefit to the applicant.”

Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield said, “This is obviously not wanted by the Scottsdale citizens.

“I think we all heard pretty loud and clear when we read through all of our emails, only some of which showed up here tonight, and by listening to the citizens tonight,” Littlefield said. “They are against this by a pretty large margin.”

Vice Mayor Tom Durham said by providing housing near the hospital in the area, it would cut down on traffic and air pollution.

He also disputed Littlefield’s claim that the four-story medical office building on the site was allowed to deteriorate by Caliber.

After one person opposed to the project quoted Durham’s campaign promise to rein in developers, Durham explained:

“When I ran for council, we were talking about 15-story buildings. Now we’re talking about three-story buildings or stories that present three stories to the street. That’s what I meant by smart development.”

Councilwoman Linda Milhaven said, “If not this, then what? I think that is a very important question for us to answer.

“If not this then I think there are two options, one is we continue to have a vacant building or vacant lot … or as the vice mayor said, we get a four-story office building,” she continued. “Those are our two choices.”

Chris Loeffler, Caliber CEO, pointed out the company invested $20 million in the site and will ultimately build something there.

Milhaven added that an apartment complex “creates the fewest number of car trips including the allowed office and if it were retail, it would create even more traffic.”

Milhaven moved to continue the hearing but that motion died 4-3 with Ortega, Whitehead, Littlefield and Janik voting against it.

Scottsdale 3200 North Council then approved the five-story Scottsdale 3200 North, which will abut Old Town on just 2.4 acres.

It required an amendment to the zoning code to increase the density from the 50 dwelling units per acre currently allowed to 55.8 dwelling units.

The project will also have up to 135 apartments, though property owner Dan Smith has agreed to reduce that number to double the commercial space from 4,000 square feet to 8,000.

The higher density will allow the developer to build more and smaller apartments. The project comprises one- and two-bedroom units. A one-bedroom will

be 675 square feet and a two-bedroom will be 850 square feet.

While the idea is to offer the apartments at market rate, keeping them smaller and using more modest fixtures in the them will keep rents down.

Parking would be housed in a threestory garage with one level located underground and two levels above ground. There will be screening on the sides and top of the garage, which will include a pool. The walls of the garage will also include a “fin” type decoration to break up the view.

The proposal also includes 28,000 square feet of open space, though none is required by the city.

Trees will surround the property on all four sides. There would be a fire lane to the north. A courtyard and a pedestrian thoroughfare connecting Scottsdale Road and 71st Street would be on the south side of the project.

Got News? Contact J Graber at
The Mercado Courtyard proposal called for 262 units on 8.5 acres. (City of Scottsdale)

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Local ZIP code ranks high for median home price

It’s not news that houses cost a lot in Scottsdale, especially in the northern part of the city, but just how expensive they are was detailed in a new report by real estate listing website

It said 85262 – which covers most of northern Scottsdale – has the second highest median price for homes in the state.

The median cost of a house in that ZIP code? $1.4 million.

That’s behind only Paradise Valley’s 85253, with a $2.9 million median price that made it 34th in the nation.

The 85253 ZIP code has been in the country’s top 100 priciest the last four years in a row, but this year’s showing was the highest yet with a 33% yearover-year price increase.

“The wealthy enclave remained strong compared to the rest of the region, where transnational activity slowed and price growth faltered in the latter part of the year,” the report says.

Coming in right behind Scottsdale’s 85262 ZIP code was Carefree’s 85377, which has a median house price of $1.2 million.

The report drew on actual closing sales in order to reflect real market conditions instead of listing prices, which represent sellers’ goals.

Those goals can be lofty though.

Online real estate site Zillow has homes listed in the 85262 for as much as $2.8 million while Russ Lyon Sotheby’s, a high-end real estate agency in the area, has homes listed in the ZIP code for as much as $7.6 million.

The law of supply and demand is starting to even out in 85262, according to Tami Henderson, a Realtor with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty who has 15 listings in the ZIP code.

Over the last few years, sellers were in the driver’s seat and in some cases, they were able to put enormous price tags on even the most modest homes and realistically expect bids that were at or over asking price, she said.

But with including soaring mortgage interest rates slowing down the demand, buyers are again gaining an equal footing with sellers.

That means not only are buyers getting nicer homes with more amenities for their money, they are also getting homes that are ready to move into immediately, Henderson said.

Another benefit of an even market is that buyers now may submit an offer on a home without having to compete with dozens of other buyers for the same home.

During the peak of the last housing rush, sellers had more ability to offer their homes “as is,” meaning they were pushing necessary repairs onto the buyers while not offering any price discounts, Henderson said.

That’s not the case anymore though.

“There is more negotiation on both sides now,” she said.

Many of today’s buyers are seeking similar amenities in luxury homes, Henderson said.

Often, they want single-story homes with grand views. Many are looking for elevated homes.

Large kitchens with back and pantries are popular now. Especially sought are luxurious back pantries that offer workspace for meal prep along with extra sinks, dishwashers and sub-zero freezers.

Glass walls creating seamless transitions from inside to outdoor living areas are also at the top of the list.

Also in demand are outdoor living spaces with deep covered patios, seating areas with large-screen TVs, zero-edge pools and outdoor kitchens.

While contemporary homes are still in high demand, “we are now seeing people gravitate back towards old world elegance, modern farmhouse and rustic ranch style to name a few,” Henderson said.

The ZIP code with the highest median price homes in the country is 94027 in San Mateo County, California, with $7.9 million. California had 18 of the top 25 ZIP codes in the country.

“As mortgage rates reached 20-year highs and the economy began to falter, the overall U.S. housing market saw sales drop and price growth slow,” the report says.

“Yet, among the 100 most expensive

Scottsdale’s northernmost ZIP has the second-highest median home price in the state, a survey said. (Special to the Progress)

zip codes in the U.S., prices were on the upswing in even more locations this year than last, with 86% of zips experiencing increases.

“That said, prices did grow at a slightly slower pace this year compared to 2021. More precisely, medians increased by 25% or more in just 16 zips in 2022 compared to last year’s 25. Overall, 2022 median price changes ranged between +39% and -41%.”

SUSD board candidate’s campaign report missing

Robb Vaules, who unsuccessfully ran for one of the two open seats on the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board last month has yet to file an October pre-election campaign finance report, according to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Elections Department.

The report was due Oct. 29.

Vaules says that he has filed the report and is working with the department to get the issue resolved.

“It was submitted on time,” Vaules said.

If the report was in fact not filed, Vaules faces a late fee of $10 per day for the first 15 days and then $25 a day after that. After the fine reaches $1,000, an election official cannot accept nomination papers for that candidate for other races.

In the meantime, Tim Stratton, who unsuccessfully ran for the Scottsdale City Council seat being vacated by Linda Milhaven, filed his post primary election report 13 days late.

The report, which covers from July 17Sept. 19 was due Oct. 15. Stratton has not yet paid the $130 late fee he owes

Scottsdale City Clerk Ben Lane’s office.

Stratton started the period with $32,382 and raised $12,800, spending $34,481.

He raised $10,000 from in state contributions over $100. He also raised $2,500 from out of state individuals and $300 from the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona political action committee.

Stratton’s largest in-state contribution was $6,500 from Scottsdale developer Bennet Dormace. He also got $1,000 from Scottsdale developer Kevin Ransil, Scottsdale investor Glenn Leier and Scottsdale Dr. Eduard Rivera.

Stratton also received $500 from

Scottsdale developer Ryan Waggner with DMB Associates.

His sole out-of-state contribution came in the form of $2,500 from Sean Cunningham, of Coronado, Calif., whom Stratton lists as self-employed in the real estate market.

Stratton spent $24,481 in operating expenses and repaid loans to himself totaling $10,000.

He spent $22,018 with Scottsdalebased Adobe Basin for campaign materials and $1,197 on Facebook for advertising and $1,266 on what he lists as “campaign support” in Scottsdale.

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Boardwalk decks the halls with merry events

Guests visiting OdySea Aquarium or Butterfly Wonderland may have already seen that the attractions have integrated holiday decor and fanfare into exhibits and programming.

“Butterfly wonderland has gone big this year, bigger than past years, with its Christmas in the rainforest events,” said David Widoff, Arizona Boardwalk director of events.

“It added holiday lighting in the conservatory, which is fantastic,” he said. “It kind of brings the conservatory to another level and a whole other dimension since it's already such a beautiful space. It's something that has been successful and is getting a lot of positive feedback.”

Across the sidewalk at OdySea Aquarium, the underwater attraction has brought back its hit SeaTREK Santa experience after early success last year.

cant event of the holidays, the two-day Family Fun Holiday Fair Dec. 17 and 18.

The fair, celebrating its third anniversary, will have snow, a visit from Santa, face painting, and the chance to score a $500 shopping spree to the various shopping facilities within AZ Boardwalk.

Widoff is most excited about the addition of a second day of the fair. “We wanted to make it available for really the majority of the community who may not have been available on one of the particular weekend days,” he said.

“I hope to see a lot of smiling faces,” Widoff said. “I also like to see guests get into that festive mood and we are starting to see guests come to our events with their holiday wardrobe and it's just great to see them embrace that.”

Arizona Boardwalk has stocked up on fun for the whole familyfor the holidays.

Remaining on its calendar of merry festivities are the Family Fun Holiday

Fair & Marketplace, Candlelight Open Air Concerts, and holiday-themed experiences inside its various attractions.

“We are a family-friendly destination and we're a great place for people to remember that we have things to do that can work for every member of the family,” said AZ Boardwalk spokeswoman Karin Gallo.

OdySea Aquarium’s popular voyager attraction has received a holiday spin.

The ride now features Santa on the microphone with holiday-themed music, and journeys guests through some of the aquarium's most significant exhibits that are also festively decorated.

However, AZ Boardwalk is most excited to treat fans to perhaps its most signifi-

If You Go:

Family Fun Holiday Fair

When: 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17 and 18

Where: AZ Boardwalk, 9500 E. Vía de Ventura/ Cost: Free.


Laptop component triggered school lockdown here

Scottsdale Police have no regrets that a student’s call prompted a lockdown of Cactus Shadows elementary and high schools Dec. 2 even though it was a false alarm.

In fact, they said the caller did exactly what they hope people will do – even though the student whom the caller thought had a gun was carry a laptop


Police last week issued a follow-up on their investigation of the incident and said that video surveillance footage and interviews showed that a student the caller feared was carrying a gun had checked out laptop equipment from the high school tech room.

Part of that equipment was a power brick with a cord that “was hanging down and resembled the barrel of a pis-


“Believing they had seen a student-aged person with a gun on the school campus, the reporting student promptly reported what they saw to the on-site school resource officer,” police said.

“The reporting student was very cooperative with officers during the entire investigation and there is no reason to believe this was done as a hoax.”

Police stressed, “The reporting student did exactly what law enforcement encourages people to do: ‘See something? Say something.’

“This allows law enforcement and the school to work in partnership to make everyone safe until the situation is resolved,” police said.

No students are facing school discipline or criminal charges in connection with the incident.

Returning for the third year, AZ Boardwalk will again host its Family Fun Holiday Fair & Marketplace next weekend, featuring festivities like snow, face painting, a visit from Santa, and a chance to win a shopping spree. (Special to the Progress)
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Scammers claim to be local cops with a warrant


Anew phone scam going around involves people claiming to be Scottsdale Police.

The scammers use caller ID software to pass themselves off as police officers. They claim to have a warrant out for the person’s arrest unless they pay them immediately over the phone with credit cards, gift cards or money orders.

The scammers will try to convince potential targets this is real and a very serious matter and threaten arrest if they don’t not pay up.

The scammers may even have personal information gleaned from open-source internet sites or social media outlets.

“Police employees will never ask for payment over the phone to clear a warrant,” Scottsdale Police spokeswoman Stephanie Hirata said. “Hang up if you receive one of these calls and then report it to the police non-emergency number at 480-312-5000.”

People who are concerned there be a warrant out for their arrest can contact the court or go to their nearest police department. Warrant information is not released by phone.

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NASA widow recounts husband's trip to the moon

Jan Evans, 89, remembers the day her late husband, Ron Evans, soared into outer space like it was yesterday even though it happened 50 years ago this month.

In the years since his ascent into space on Apollo 17 in December 1972, – NASA’s final Apollo mission sending men to the moon – she recalls most frequently being asked the question “weren’t you scared?”

She wasn’t.

When Jan first met Ron in Topeka, Kansas, in December 1956, he had been on leave from the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, where he was learning basic flight training that he would

eventually put to use during the Vietnam War.

He was home for two weeks and a friend of his had introduced him to her.

“He was a very nice guy,” Jan recalls.

The two hit it off and spent every day of Ron’s leave together and continued staying in touch through letters and the occasional, expensive long-distance phone call in between scattered visits at various naval bases around the country.

He proposed in one of those letters.

“When he was deployed, I got a message from him asking ‘Do you think that if I could get leave and get home around Christmas, we could get mar-

Local businesswoman pens heartfelt book

Jodi Low is no stranger to the role of a leader, having been CEO of her company, U & Improved, the last 15 years and leading other businesses and organizations before that.

During that tenure, Low said, she has trained thousands of entrepreneurs, Fortune 100 executives, small to medium sizes companies and their teams on how to build a successful business, master a mindset for success and achieve the lifestyle they desire through heartfueled leadership.

“I have an unbridled passion for helping others achieve greatness; it’s my absolute calling and purpose on this planet, and I wanted to create a company designed to do just that,” said Low, who grew up in Scottsdale and attended Kiva Elementary and Saguaro High


“U & Improved was designed to help individuals and organizations reach beyond their current levels of success and achievement and reach new heights in leadership, communication, and teamwork, and I am so proud of the work we get to do each day,” she said.

Over time, Jodi Low recalls being told countless times “you should write a book.”

Then, in June of 2021, she did just that.

“I had written countless notes and ideas down for the book over the years, but it wasn’t until June of 2021 that I truly dedicated myself to the process,” Low recalls. “I completed the book in March of 2022, so it took 10 months actually to write the book and then an additional seven months for proofreading, editing, and publishing.”

“From Me to U” – a title coined from

her company’s name – is a guide for people looking to maximize their potential, she said.

“I wrote it for everyone who is actively seeking ways to improve one or more areas of their life,” Low said.

“This book is designed for the CEO who is looking for that recharge and mental reset, for that mom or dad who feels overwhelmed and is looking for the light out of the darkness and pressures of parenthood, and for the college student who is seeking their own next best steps into their bright and bold future.”

Low discusses the challenges throughout her career through a collection of short personal stories that examine ways to make the most out of tough situations – like Low was able to.

After nearly a quarter century in leadership roles and being told hundreds of times to write a book, Scottsdale businesswoman Jodi Low decided to do just that by penning “From Me to U.” (Special to the Progress)

l @ScottsdaleProgress
This photo shows Jan Evans and her children as they watched the splashdown of Apollo 17 on Dec. 19, 1972. Her late husband, Astronaut Ronald Evans, was the Command Module Pilot for Apollo 17, the last American mission to the Moon. (David Minton/Progress Staff Photographer) see NASA page 20

ried and back out here in two weeks?’” Jan said.

Her “yes” had to be delivered to Ron through the military grapevine.

“The message went in communications, into the scooper, to the skipper then to the executive officer before it ever got to Ron. Everybody already knew that something was up. He was kind of embarrassed,” Jan said with a laugh.

Nearly a year after their initial meeting, Jan and Ron Evans were married at the Westminster Presbyterian Church of Topeka.

But not long after their nuptials, it was back to war for Ron – the only time during the couple's three decades-plus of marriage when she was scared for her husband.

“There he was getting shot at,” Jan said.

So, when she got wind that NASA had been recruiting a new group of astronauts in 1963 and military members could apply, Jan, who had since birthed children Jaime and Jon, volunteered Ron for the job.

“I couldn’t say it then, but I would have rather had him go to space than the third tour in Vietnam,” Jan said. “You couldn’t say it back then because everyone had brothers or cousins or sons over there, but that’s how I felt.”

Though Ron was not initially picked, NASA in 1966 said he met the basic qualifications, cutting short his second tour in Vietnam.

On May 2, 1966, he reported to NASA, his family following after relocating from San Diego, California to a four-bedroom home that initially had no electricity — and no furniture for some time –in El Lago, Texas, a lakefront town near Houston.

So began six years of training as Ron prepared to go where few men had gone before.

“(He was) constantly training. He was in a group of 19 and as a group, they would go for geology training, survival training, and all kinds of training,” Jan said.

The training paid off on Dec. 7, 1972, when Ron, serving as command module pilot aboard the Apollo 17. took off for the moon, 238,900 miles away, for a trip that ended with splashdown on Dec. 19.

Jan remembers getting so excited to see her husband in his space suit that she sliced her bottom lip on his helmet while trying to kiss him.

The following 12 days would see crowds of neighbors congregating in two sections of the Evans residence.

The kids congregated in one corner of the home while the adults gathered in another, both listening the chatter among the crew members.

Ron spent long, busy days orbiting the moon while Eugene “Gene” Cernan and Harrison Schmitt walked the moon.

Ron set a record for the most time in lunar orbit – a record that still stands today.

Though Ron never brought any artifacts home, he did take 12 personal items with him, including his and Jan’s wedding rings, which were tied together to count as one item.

“When we turned into El Lago, one of the streets was lined with flags for two miles in and, on and all the cul-de-sacs, all the kids were bicycles and tricycles and horses all had red, white and blue on them somehow or other flags,” Jan said.

“It's one of those chilling types of things that you never forget.”

After his trip, Evans retired from the U.S. Navy as captain on April 30, 1976, after 21 years of service, though he remained active in NASA’s space shuttle program for another year.

After his retirement, he decided to travel westward in search of warm weather and an acre of property he could call his own.

“We always said ‘we wish we had money (at that time) we'd like to buy an acre of land and this is just where we would like to live someday,’” Jan said. “Oddly enough, my parents moved out to Sun City before we ever

got out here and tt was just where we wanted to go.”

By 1978, the Evanses saddled up for one last move to Scottsdale, where they settled on Mescal Street.

Ron found work with an energy corporation as the director of marketing and later with the manufacturer of electronic components for spacecraft before starting his own consulting company.

In 1989, Jan decided to reach out to other wives of astronauts to begin planning meetups that she calls “The Great Escape” and has since had a dozen great escapes with as many as 56 astronauts' first wives – including Janet ShearonArmstrong, whom Jan now calls one of her best friends.

Ron passed away in his sleep from a heart attack on April 7, 1990.

After his passing, Jan had her wedding ring melted into a cross which she wears as a necklace every day along with a medallion from her husband's mission to the moon 50 years ago.

Through Jan remained at the acre lot she and her husband dreamed about for over two decades after his passing, Jan moved 10 years ago to the independent living facility Westminster


The not-for-profit life Westminster Village provides multiple levels of care for seniors, offering all residents access to world-class amenities, chef-led dining options, state-of-the-art health and fitness equipment, and countless social events.

All revenue generated at Westminster Village is funneled back into the community, which is guided by a communitybased volunteer board of directors along with a nine-member residents’ council to ensure residents’ needs are identified and met.

At Westminster Village, Jan leads an active and social lifestyle in a home decorated with art, books and an entire wall of images of her late husband’s mission to the moon.

Jan continues to be the hub for the Apollo 17 families.

And along with her friends and family in Arizona and Texas, Jan traveled to Houston to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 17 earlier this month that made her husband a national hero.

���� PAGE 19
Jan Evans wears a necklace with a silver medallion with the Apollo 17 mission patch on the front that went on board Apollo 17 and a gold cross made from her and her husband’s wedding rings, which also went with him to the Moon and back (David Minton/Progress Staff Photographer)

“I know there are people just like me out there…those that have been through the fires and are seeking to emerge better for it,” she said. “This book is for them. I wanted to create a place for my personal stories to be the impetus to another person taking a shift in their mindset to find the gifts and lessons in their hardships and use them to catapult themselves forward.”

One of the biggest hurdles discussed in the book involves what Low calls a low point in her life.

“My life has been a compilation of lessons, perhaps the biggest and most defining one being a very abrupt, ‘overnight” divorce,’” she said.

“I found myself as a single mother to my two infant daughters with no income and a lot of business debt. It was a rock bottom moment that was the launching pad to my creating U & Improved, and all that it is today.”

Low also writes about her struggle with trusting others as another challenge she had to overcome.

“I have had a lot of betrayal and abuse

of my trust within my life, and those situations and circumstances have truly shaped me and my way of thinking,” Low said

“I have never let them be a reason to stop trusting or believing in others, instead I have used them as steppingstones to better understand why we do what we do as human beings…at a much deeper level…so that I can help others better connect and build trusting relationships and teams throughout their own lives and businesses.”

Low feels her story had to be told authentically and with bits of humor drizzled in.

“One of my core values is authenticity, '' she said. “I knew my book needed to be…and had to be…truly and purely me. I am 100% open and transparent in all that I share because that authenticity in life, and even in business, is what makes the defining difference for people.

“Additionally, I believe that if you aren’t having fun in your life and your business, then you are doing it wrong! That



Mesa, AZ – When it comes to chronic pain and/ or neuropathy, the most common doctor-prescribed treatment is drugs like Gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Neurontin. The problem with antidepressants or anti-seizure medications like these is that they offer purely symptomatic relief, as opposed to targeting and treating the root of the problem. Worse, these drugs often trigger an onset of uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes harmful side effects.

The only way to effectively treat chronic pain and/or peripheral neuropathy is by targeting the source, which is the result of nerve damage owing to inadequate blood flow to the nerves in the hands and feet. This often causes weakness, numbness, balance problems. A lack of nutrients causes the nerves degenerate – an insidious

cannot survive, and thus, slowly die. This leads to those painful and frustrating consequences we were talking about earlier, like weakness, numbness, tingling, balance issues, and perhaps even a burning sensation.

The drugs your doctor might prescribe will temporarily conceal the problems, putting a “Band-Aid” over a situation that will only continue to deteriorate without further action.

Thankfully, Mesa is the birthplace of a brandnew facility that sheds new light on this pressing problem of peripheral neuropathy and chronic pain. The company is trailblazing the medical industry by replacing outdated drugs and symptomatic reprieves with an advanced machine that targets the root of the problem at hand.

1. Finding the underlying cause

2. Determining the extent of the nerve damage (above 95% nerve loss is rarely treatable)

3. The amount of treatment required for the patient’s unique condition

Aspen Medical in Mesa, AZ uses a state-of-the-art electric cell signaling systems worth $100,000.00.

Th is ground-breaking treatment is engineered to achieve the following, accompanied by advanced diagnostics and a basic skin biopsy to accurately analyze results:

1. Increases blood flow

2. Stimulates and strengthens small fiber nerves

3. Improves brain-based pain

The treatment works by delivering energy to the affected area(s) at varying wavelengths, from low- to middle-frequency signals, while also using Amplitude Modulated (AM) and Frequency Modulated (FM) signaling

It’s completely painless!


The number of treatments required varies from patient to patient, and can only be determined following an in-depth neurological and vascular examination. As long as you have less than 95% nerve damage, there is hope!

Aspen Medical begins by analyzing the extent of the nerve damage –a complimentary service for your friends and family. Each exam comprises a detailed sensory evaluation, extensive peripheral vascular testing, and comprehensive analysis of neuropathy findings.

Aspen Medical will be offering this free chronic pain and neuropathy severity evaluation will be available until December31st 2022. Call (480) 274-3157 to make an appointment.

Due to our very busy office schedule, we are limiting this offer to the first 10c allers. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER ANOTHER MINUTE, CALL (480) 274-3157… NOW!!

We are extremely busy, so we are unavailable, please leave avoice message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

As displayed in figure 1 above, the nerves are surrounded by diseased, withered blood vessels. A lack of sufficient nutrients means the nerves

Effective neuropathy treatment relies on the following three factors:

Depending on your coverage, your peripheral neuropathy treatment could cost almost nothing – or be absolutely free.

Aspen Medical 4540E. Baseline Rd.,Suite 119 Mesa, AZ, 85206

“From Me to U” written by Scottsdale businesswoman Jodi Low hit shelves in early November. (Special to the Progress)
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is what I looked to do in my book, in my training and speaking, and throughout my life…be transparent, have fun, and be 100% unabashedly me.”

Low said the biggest lesson she has learned is trusting her instincts.

“I have learned countless lessons in my 23 years in the field of leadership development, the biggest one being, to listen to and trust your gut instinct,” she said. “Sometimes the head can get in the way of the gut and the heart,

however, whenever I listen deeply and trust my intuition and knowing, I always find countless ideas and solutions.”

“From Me to U” is currently available for purchase on Apple Books and can be ordered at Amazon Books and Barnes & Noble retail stores and Low said the reviews have been sparkling so far.

“I have received such incredible feedback so far (but) the common theme I hear is that people go from laughing to crying and back again, which is beautiful to me,” Low said.

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Scottsdale cactus nursery blooms in winter

This is the prime season to put in a desert landscape as cacti rise from their dormant state, Chris McKaig advises.

He ought to know.

As the owner of Cactus Curators for 15 years, McKaig considers his nursery as much a hobby as a business.

“It’s a labor of love,” said McKaig.

“While cacti are desert plants, they go dormant in the summer,” he explained. “Cactus doesn’t like the summer. I don’t think anything living likes the summer in Arizona.”

He is a veritable encyclopedia of information about cacti as he ticks off information about those that are native to Arizona, including compass barrel, saguaro, Ferocactus, Mammillaria and

prickly pear.

“Saguaros and compass barrels are a few of the hearty ones,” McKaig said. “Everything else comes from Central America or South America. Cactus is not native. People like to think it’s native but it’s not.”

Nor is cactus best at home in Arizona, he said, noting, “Inland San Diego where it’s overcast is ideal for cacti. Cactus grow best when it doesn’t have heavy UV rays.

“If you go into a greenhouse that’s growing cacti and you put your hand over the top, if you see your shadow, that’s too much direct light. You have to diffuse the light so you don’t see your shadow.”

McKaig carries dozens of varieties of cacti at his 2-acre nursery, which describes as a country garden.

“People will call me and send me a

picture of what they’re picking up. I’ll text them the price. Most of the people around here know me.”

He used to use a lot of chemicals, fertilizer and water but soon realized much of that wasn’t necessary.

“Cactuses are a lot easier than I thought,” said McKaig.

He recommends not watering cactus for the first four weeks after planting until you start to see growth with roots forming.

In addition to running the nursery, McKaig offers landscaping services, adding, ““I like to get into the more unusual.”.

The cost of a desert landscape with cacti is about the same as a grass lawn but it’s the long-term cost where McKaig said people will save money.

“The amount of water used with

50 Shades of Rosé blooms with color in Old Town

Longtime club and restaurant operators Justin Massey and Ben Foreman explored Scottsdale and found it needed a place for adults to go and play.

They recently opened Old Town’s effervescent 50 Shades of Rosé, and, coming soon, the adjacent dance club, Almost Famous.

“This used to be a town where you had all these bars everywhere,” Foreman said.

“After a nice dinner, you had a choice of going to places and now you have to go all the way to Arcadia or Downtown Phoenix. There isn’t a place for adults to go to because all these bars have become predominantly much younger. Some people don’t feel as comfortable going to


If dancing is for Almost Famous, then 50 Shades of Rose is the perfect spot for chatting.

“People can have conversations here,” Foreman said.

“It’s not like we’re blaring them out of the room. You can drink a cocktail, a glass of wine or a bottle of wine. You want to be able to share those moments and memories. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

The cozy room is an experiential establishment where customers can immerse themselves in original art installations that bring the building to life, a beautiful blush bar with creative combinations of colors, textiles and fabrics that transform the space, a curated bar and a scratch kitchen with seasonal menu.

“We spared no expense when it comes

to details including tens of thousands of flowers that cover the walls, a unique piano that serves as a focal point, as well as an incredibly gorgeous bar that gives off Garden of Eden vibes,” Foreman said.

The visual elements and crafty cocktails served at 50 Shades of Rosé makes the space one of Scottsdale’s most Instagrammable locations. The full bar features a beer and wine list, creative spins on rosé beverages, as well as fun cocktails conjured up by mixologists.

Signature favorites include Sangin’ In The Rain (rose, blueberry tea, peach brandy, strawberry), Glucose Guardian (old grand dad, scotch syrup, angostura bitters, maple syrup), Tijuana Mama (maestro dobel, ghost tequila, watermelon, lime) and Southside (awayuki

l @ScottsdaleProgress /ScottsdaleProgress SCOTTSDALE PROGRESS | WWW.SCOTTSDALE.ORG | DECEMBER 11, 2022 23
des- Cactus Curators owner Chris McKaig and his wife Anna Loh celebrate the annual “coming out” of cacti this time of year. (Melody Birkett/Progress Contributor)
see CACTUS page 24 see ROSE page 24
Designer Sydney Crimmins of Garden Party Girls LLC attached each of the 10,000 flowers on the walls at 50 Shades of Rosé. It took her four weeks. (Special to the Progress)

ert plants isn’t that much. Not a lot of chemicals are needed,” he said, adding the amount of water and maintenance with a grass lawn can be expensive compared to caring for desert plants.

Some plants in the winter need to be covered to protect against frost. Other plants need a shade cloth in the summer.

“People with second and third homes want to be able to leave and come back and not have a problem,” said McKaig, adding he doesn’t recommend getting rid of shrubbery since it’s good for shade.

“I like trees. I just minimize my shrubs and make sure the shrubs are mature and bigger than the space we put them in.”

Before doing a desert landscape, McKaig recommends going to municipal buildings and residences to take pictures of favorite landscapes.

On average, he said people will need dozens of cacti to landscape a home.

“A 3/4 acre lot will need about 50 cacti with some shrubs, trees and maybe some boulders,” McKaig said.

“We’re horticulturists. We do everything. We’ve seen everything. We know the chemicals to use, and how to fix certain problems because we’ve experienced them. We’ve killed more plants than everyone else so we’ve learned the hard way. Having a nursery, you learn.”

He recommends during the winter months to water cacti once a week for a 1/2 hour on a 1/2 gallon drip and leafy

plants on a 1-2 gallon drip depending on the type.

McKaig’s inventory is hand-selected. He has six shade houses and wants to devote a couple of them to succulent topiaries. This is the base from where he pokes holes and plants different colored succulents.

One of his Top 10 is the Aloe Hercules. “When they get large they look prehistoric,” he said.

“I’m also propagating a Queensland bottle tree – Brachychiton rupestris –and one genus of plant called mangave. All the growers are competing with different varieties so you'll see maybe 20 different colors out there now.” - 16308 E Cavedale Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85262(480) 833-5333

strawberry gin, giffard, lime).

There’s a secret menu as well, with a fun cotton candy cocktail.

“Our original drinks are whimsical and fit the decor while our brunch menu is sure to impress,” Massey said. “Let’s just say we did everything in our power to make sure this place is always buzzing.”

Designer Sydney Crimmins of Garden Party Girls LLC attached each of the 10,000 flowers on the walls at 50 Shades of Rosé. It took her four weeks.

“With any job, I ask my clients first and foremost how feel when they walk in the space; what they want the experience to be,” she said. “Ben said he wanted really girls, whimsical and comfortable, but a little more casual.

“That’s the direction I was headed. I really wanted to incorporate very sim-

ple white flowers with a lot of greenery and a little pink, so it wasn’t so girly. Men feel comfortable, too.”

Crimmins came up with the brightly colored piano as a conversation piece and a place for guests to sit. Her design and the drinks are so pleasing that Massey and Foreman enjoy hanging out there.

“Here, you just want to chill,” Foreman said. “You want to talk and, even if there’s loud music, you can still at least chill.

“We want to be here all the time. It’s mostly because it’s our bar, but we enjoy this. We’ve been operators for a long time. There’s no other place we want to be.”

Cacti come in all shapes and sizes at Cactus Curators. (Melody Birkett/Progress Contributor)

50 Shades of Rosé in Old Town offers more than just food and beverages to patrons as an experiential establishment. (Special to the Progress) Shades of Rosé 7914 E. Indian Plaza @50shadesofroseaz Open Thursday to Sunday Become a Published Author with Dorrance. We want to read your book! Trusted by authors for nearly 100 years, Dorrance has made countless authors’ dreams come true. Complete Book Publishing Services FIVE EASY STEPS TO PUBLICATION: 1. Consultation 2. Book Production 3. Promotion 4. Distribution 5. Merchandising and Fulfillment Our staff is made up of writers, just like you, and we are dedicated to making publishing dreams come true. Call now to receive your FREE Author’s Guide 855-977-5138 or ROSE ���� PAGE 23

Scottsdale entertainment infuses Fiesta Bowl Parade

The Fiesta Bowl Parade will march along the streets of downtown Phoenix for the 50th time on Saturday, Dec. 17, with a healthy representation of Scottsdale in the form of bands and other entertainment.

The parade, with over 3,000 performers, will begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Bethany Home Road and Central Avenue

and re�lect some exciting changes by the new leadership team planning the event.

“It's going to be a fun year because we have a group at the of�ice that it's their �irst year being involved,” said Ben Smith, who is serving his �irst year as the parade chair. “We've had lots of new, fresh ideas from the team across the board and it's going to be seen from the experience side.”

Smith, who has worked on the parade committee for 18 years, equates the parade to a “live version of Tik-Tok.”

“As someone that's been involved in it for so long, I have contemplated what is it that keeps a parade like this relevant and it comes down to not (being) the same every year,” said Smith.

“We do have different balloons; we're going to be highlighting some stuff that’s been in storage for the past 20 years and it's always going to be a fun new and exciting experience where these kids that are used to getting instant grati�ication staring at their phones are going to get that without staring at that screen.”

Since the Fiesta Bowl Parade touts itself as the largest balloon parade in the west, Smith says this year could see some fan-favorite balloons from years past piercing the sky as marchers strut down the streets of downtown Phoenix.

Smith teased that the parade’s lead sponsor, VRBO, will break out a surprise balloon that has been in storage for nearly two decades and Donate Life Below could break out a gargantuan cactus that will scrape the sky.

Adding to the festivities, marching bands from around the state –including Desert Canyon Middle School and Saguaro and Coronado High School – reminded Smith, a Coronado High alumnus, of his favorite event as a child.

“Growing up as a kid before I got into high school, my friends and I would go watch the parade and it inspired a love for music amongst me and a lot of my friends, who ended up playing in some of those bands that marched in the parade,” Smith said.

Though Smith said that he hopes the parade will spark the same af�inity for

music as it did for him, he also hopes that kids �ind joy in the cast of characters representing the Marvel and DC comic pantheons as well as the Star Wars franchise.

“For the kids, I hope that what they get out of that is it's just a passion for the community to get excited about the opportunity they get to see the characters that they see on TV and in movies,” Smith said.

The parade will also feature longtime play-by-play commentator for the Phoenix Suns Al McCoy, the grand marshal; Scottsdale-based lawyers Lerner & Rowe, who are the presenting sponsors; and an abundance of performers riding in cars, on �loats and on horseback past an expected audience of over 200,000 plus patrons.

“I've been involved in a parade for 18 years and although I haven't seen the parade for that long," Smith said, “it's really exciting for me to be a part of that and to be able to give that to the community.”

If You Go:

Fiesta Bowl Parade

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17

Where: Central Phoenix, N. Central Avenue and Montebello Avenue, Phoenix.

Cost: Free.


/ScottsdaleProgress SCOTTSDALE PROGRESS | WWW.SCOTTSDALE.ORG | DECEMBER 11, 2022 25 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT l @ScottsdaleProgress
The Fiesta Bowl parade is set to return for its 50th anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 17 bringing a slew of performers including acts from Scottsdale. (Special to the Progress)
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