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March 15 – April 4, 2014

Nachie Marquez named assistant city manager

Ozzie Smith, Clydesdales visit downtown Chandler



Nachie Marquez is no stranger to a challenge. Second youngest of six children, Marquez never questioned whether she would become the first in her family to earn a college degree. She’s embraced challenging roles in life since, forging enthusiasm among coworkers and family along the way. On March 17, Marquez will end her 14-year stint as Chandler’s communications leader and leaps into a new role as assistant city manager, following an exhaustive interview process. “It’s still a little surreal to me. But I think it sends a super strong message that communications continues to be very important in Chandler,” Marquez says. “I think my interpersonal skills not only established with employees, but with community contact, in partnering, building coalitions—that’s a huge advantage as well. I’m passionate about community service.” Her No. 1 goal is one also repeated by employees who City Manager Rich Dlugas says played an important role in the hiring process: Creating infectious enthusiasm about the City’s work. Employees joined City management and elected officials to serve on finalist panels, as the municipality whittled down 150 candidates in a

Downtown Chandler was transformed into a production set when Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith and the worldrenowned Budweiser Clydesdales, with a little help from Coach and Willie’s, worked to persuade baseball fans to sign a petition to make Opening Day a holiday. Fans lined up along Boston Street outside Coach and Willie’s as eight majestic Budweiser Clydesdales were secured to the Budweiser coach and special guest Smith took the infamous horses around downtown Chandler for the filming of the commercial. Smith explains “We’ve had some surveys done and there are 22 million Americans that have played hooky from school or work and it really is an unofficial holiday that we’re trying to make an official holiday by getting 100,000 signatures. “We’re halfway there after about a week of starting the campaign. So we feel pretty good about our chances of making it. When you get 100,000 signatures on any proposition then you can take it to D.C. and they have to take a look at it.” The first video is posted at www. and the newest video shot in Chandler is due out the week of March 17. “(We’re) just making our trips around the country to try to drum up support

NEW ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER: Longtime Chandler communications director, Nachie Marquez, works with Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. Marquez was named the city’s new assistant city manager. Submitted photo

national search. “I’m looking forward to adding her to the city manager’s staff in terms of her enthusiasm and her willingness to tackle issues and projects,” Dlugas explains. “I think she’s going to bring a new enthusiasm. She’s also one of those people who really think outside of the box. She’s very creative and has a lot of good ideas.” Her experience as the city’s first communications and public affairs director yields an emphasis on SEE ASSISTANT


FAN FAVORITE: Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith takes center stage in downtown Chandler. Smith filmed a commercial to promote the petition to make MLB Opening Day a national holiday. STSN photo by Tracy House

for this and if this is any indication of how people feel about it, then we’ll do pretty well,” Smith says of the turnout in Chandler. Smith says that Opening Day “was my life.” SEE OZZIE SMITH PAGE 4

Rattlers’ Kerry Reed ready to get the ball rolling

Hamilton Aquatics hosts ‘Water Safety Awareness Day’



Sitting at a patio table with planes from Falcon Field flying overhead, Kerry Reed is exhausted after a training session with his fellow Arizona Rattlers at Gene Autry Park in East Mesa. The 6-foot 2-inch, 210-pound wide receiver from Chandler emerges from the Rattlers’ office with a white towel covering his head and a wide smile that reveals a gold tooth. His demeanor perks up, however, when asked about the Rattlers’ forthcoming season that begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at US Airways Center against the Philadelphia Soul. It’s a rematch between last year’s Arena

Spring is around the corner and summer is close behind. In Arizona that means swimming weather and to get ready for the season the City of Chandler Aquatics and Chandler Fire Department are teaming up to bring Water Safety Awareness Day to the community. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 22, Chandler Aquatics is hosting the free community Water Safety Awareness Day at Hamilton Aquatic Center, 3838 S. Arizona Ave. The facility will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. for swimming and water fun. Hillary Bellus, aquatic coordinator at Hamilton Aquatic Center, says Salt River Project (SRP) will be out there in addition


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to the fire department which will offer demonstrations and answer questions. “We’ll do some demonstrations of rescues in the water and we’ll also swim test children so that if parents want to they can know what class to sign their children up for swimming classes in Chandler. We will be raffling off free swimming lessons and other prizes and goodies.” Bellus says there will be food available to buy and participants are welcome to bring in their own. The pool will be open for swimming throughout Water Safety Awareness Day. The Chandler Fire Department will demonstrate hands-only CPR—basic skills

F E AT U R E STO R I E S Living the good, healthy life in Chandler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMMUNITY . . . . . . . . . . Page 8 Tootsie’s Boutique features flip-flops and more. . . . . . . . . . . . BUSINESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 17 RAK Summer Camp Fair brings camps to community. . . . . . . YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 26 Train enthusiasts chug to twice yearly tour. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NEIGHBORS . . . . . . . . . . .Page 45 Reinvention on Blues Traveler’s itinerary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 60

CLIP-IT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Center Section


More Community . . . . . . 1-16 Business . . . . . . . . 17-25 Youth. . . . . . . . . . 26-38 Opinion. . . . . . . . 43-44 Neighbors. . . . . . 45-59 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . 60-66 Spirituality . . . . . 67-70 Directory . . . . . . .71-72 Classifieds. . . . . . .73-74 Where to eat . . . 75-78


March 15 - April 4, 2014

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March 15 - April 4, 2014


“It became a trademark strictly by accident but it was one of those things people looked forward to,” Smith says. “It meant the start of a new season and, for most fans, it’s all about optimism. After you come out of Spring Training you get to Opening Day, it’s a new slate and you can start anew and the promise of what the season could be. This could be that magical year. That’s what it’s all about.” Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, Osborne Earl Smith also known as “The Wizard of Oz,” played for the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals, retiring in 1996. The acrobatic shortstop, known for his backflips, is a 13-time Golden Glove Award winner with more than 2,400 hits and 500 stolen bases in his 19-year career. More information about Smith can be found at Shooting for the video began at 1 p.m. and wrapped up around 2:15 p.m. but the production company was out readying the scene well in advance. Smith says the long day is well worth it and the project is a big undertaking. “Anytime you bring the horses out you get overshadowed.” The Clydesdales made their first appearance in 1933 and have become an American icon and the symbol of Budweiser beer. Their presence in downtown Chandler was a crowd pleaser to the many fans that gathered for the event. Smith explains that the fans are what it’s all about. “Opening Day is about family and friends you can spend time

OPENING DAY: Chandler was chosen for the production of an online video to support Budweiser’s campaign to make MLB Opening Day a holiday, via direct petition to the White House. STSN photo by Tracy House

with. Going to the ballgame and having a Budweiser and some hot dogs. There’s nothing better.”

Choosing Chandler It didn’t take long for things to start rolling once the decision was made to film in Chandler. Kevin Grojean, of Coach and Willie’s, explains that this all began when a location scout came into the restaurant looking for sports bars in which to shoot the commercial. Within nine days the Chandler restaurant was chosen. Things started happening fast once Grojean received the word. Within 24 hours, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, the City of Chandler and the Chandler Police Department laid out the

PARADE THROUGH THE STREETS: Ozzie Smith aboard the Budweiser Clydesdales hitch exchanges a handshake with Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. STSN photo by Tracy House

specifics. “Terri Kimble, the president of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, was my first call because she’s fantastic and she gathered up the troops. We met here (Coach and Willie’s) the next morning. I think I emailed here at 9 p.m. and we were meeting at 9 a.m.” Grojean says Coach and Willie’s was chosen because it’s such a beautiful upscale restaurant, but continues “I think it’s a testament to the City of Chandler and the Chandler Chamber of Commerce and downtown Chandler for being such a fabulous looking, fabulously cooperative place in which people can unite very quickly to make anything happen to benefit downtown Chandler.

“The generosity shown by the mayor, the generosity shown by the chamber, the generosity of time is purely reflective on what a great job this community does as a whole. We couldn’t be more proud to be here. We couldn’t be more proud to be a corner spot of it. We love it here and we hope we bring as much to the table as we get.” Grojean says he’s met Smith before. “It’s not just the icon that Ozzie Smith is. I grew up in St. Louis and grew up 5 miles from the stables and the brewery. The Clydesdales and the wagon—they’re world famous, iconic...Everybody knows the Clydesdales and everybody knows who Chip the Dalmatian is, and everybody knows who Budweiser is. So that to me is more iconic of the two things. Ozzie is an ambassador not only to Major League Baseball but to the human race and today was a great day on many different levels.” The 2014 official Opening Day is Saturday, March 22, when the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks begin a twogame series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia. Coach and Willie’s is located at 1 E. Boston St., Chandler. For more information, visit www.coachandwillie’s. com. To sign the petition and view the video content, baseball fans 21 and older are encouraged to go to www.budweiser. com/openingday. Tracy House is the news editor for the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at

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Bowl contenders; the Rattlers were victorious. “We’ve seen these guys five times in the last two years or so,” says Reed of the Soul. “It’s going to be a pretty interesting game. Of course they lost to us in the Arena Bowl. It’s a new season. I know those guys are going to come out on fire. We have to protect the home field and come with our ‘A’ game.” The “A” game begins with practice at the park, which bears a large banner proclaiming the facility “Rattlers Country.” “We’ve got a good camp going on right now,” he says. “We’re having fun out here. There are a lot of guys competing, which is a good thing. We’re just ready to get the ball rolling.” This is Reed’s fourth season with the Rattlers, an organization he dubs “first class.” “Everybody carries themselves first class,” he says. “We do things first class here. I love it. I couldn’t ask for anything more.” That’s because football is in Reed’s blood. Born in Miami 29 years ago, Reed has also played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens. He suited up in college for Michigan State University after attending South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla. With that experience, Reed realizes that he’s in a special place. “I tell the guys, ‘There are plenty of players who would love to be in your

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privileges they have. “You have the gift of working with a professional that doesn’t charge anything,” Reed imparts. “I’m just doing it for the love and I want to see those guys move on and be successful. There’s no sense in moping and crying. You come out here. You’re going to do the work. That’s something I love to do. I hope that when my career is done, I can go into coaching and coach high school.”

shoes.’ I say, ‘Get excited. Have fun with it. You have to enjoy it while you’re still playing it,’” says Reed, who listens to Rick Ross and T.I. to pump up for a game, and Beyoncé to chill out. “You gotta love what you’re doing. You gotta get up in the morning, come out here, put the work in and enjoy it while you’re doing it. Everybody doesn’t have this opportunity. You don’t know if it’s your last play or your last day playing here. You gotta love it.” Quarterback Jason Murrietta is just as fond of Reed as the player is of his team. “Kerry is a reliable receiver who plays consistently and knows the game,” Murrietta says in an emailed statement. “You know what you’re going to get from him every day. He has great hands—maybe even arguably the best hands.”

Reed doesn’t just share his wisdom with his teammates. In the offseason, he can be found mentoring youths he meets around Chandler. “I was training high school kids that were in my position—wide receiver— and trying to get them on the right path on and off the field, giving them the knowledge that I know, especially in the classroom,” says Reed, who is unmarried and has no children. He does have “a woman,” though. “I’m trying to get the kids prepared for taking tests and the next step— college. Some of the things I was

March 15 - April 4, 2014

WARMING UP CROWD: Arizona Rattlers wide receiver Kerry Reed pumps up the audience at a 2013 game. Photo courtesy of Yeung Photography

teaching is kind of new to them. They haven’t done the exercises before. It was great to see kids go from not doing exercises to coming along and getting the exercises down pat. It’s a wonderful sight to see.” He tells kids he meets that there aren’t a lot of folks who have the

When the season begins on March 15, Reed will be ready to repeat the Arena Bowl championship, but he’s not taking the team’s success for granted. “The biggest challenge I would say is, as a whole, we just can’t get complacent. We can’t think everybody is going to bow down because we’re the Rattlers and we went to two straight Arena Bowls and we won two back to back,” says Reed who prepares for games by reading Scripture and relaxing around his house. “I think each day we have to practice hard and show up on Saturday or Sunday and come with our ‘A’ game.” Christina Fuoco-Karasinski is the editor of the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at



March 15 - April 4, 2014


increasing communications among staff. She adds that she plans to continue to encourage employees to become ambassadors about the city to the community. Marquez says her first priority is to delve deeper into her current relationships with department heads. “One of the first things I will do is become intimately familiar with every department,” she says. “I’ll be able to work that much closer with departments, in terms of the intimate level of the projects, challenges, and opportunities within the department.” Empowering and motivating employees will be vital to her own success, she adds. It’s key that every employee understands how vital their role is, she says. “The reason I am going to be successful is because it will be all of us working together,” Marquez says. “I’ll just be one of the key components of every single employee contributing every single day.” Marquez fills a position left vacant by Assistant City Manager Pat McDermott, who retired in February. But after Dlugas left his own role as an assistant manager to be first interim and then official city manager, the City has operated often with only one assistant manager. Marquez joins Assistant City Manager Marsha Reed, hired in April 2013, in a two-woman team who will split the departments who report to them. “We’re excited to be getting fully

ENTHUSIASTIC: Chandler’s new assistant city manager, Nachie Marquez, promises to focus on bringing new enthusiasm and motivation to City employees and residents. Submitted photo

staffed up again,” Dlugas said. “It will free up more of my time to spend with mayor and council and working with them.” Dlugas adds that despite qualified candidates applying from around the nation, he’s proud that three of the four finalists were internal city leaders. The other finalists were Dawn Lang, Chandler’s management services director, RJ Zeder, Chandler’s


transportation and development director, and Rick Buss, Gila Bend town manager. Marquez was named the first communications director in September 2000. She has more than 25 years of experience working in city government, including in Phoenix and Tempe following a career in broadcast journalism. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism in 1985 from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts degree in vocational education from Northern Arizona State University in 1989. While working for the city of Tempe, Marquez lead numerous panels and extensive two-year coordination for the state’s first Super Bowl. It was that experience that gave Marquez confidence in leading important city operations. The appointment comes at an important time for Chandler, as the city undergoes its budget process in the midst of a transition from building to complete build out. For local governments, that’s a key change in revenue needs, from relying on home building fees, to ensuring a strong tax base exists to continue to support functions like police, fire, roads and parks. Economic development will continue to be a core priority for management staff, based on council policy direction, Marquez says. “We’re not growing as fast as we used to,” she explains. “We’re still the fourth largest city in the state, third in Maricopa County.”

“Everything has hit build-out. And we’re landlocked. Economic development is at the core of everything—jobs to employ our residents, and taxes coming back into the city to help with our roads.” Marquez is married to her high school sweetheart and retired professor Juan Marquez, with whom she has two sons, ages 23 and 21. Always an athlete in her youth, she says she thrives on teamwork. Today, her example has led to both of her sons embracing a college education— as well as numerous nieces and nephews turning to her for motivation and encouragement. A 2007 recipient of Valle del Sol’s Profile of Success Exemplary Leadership Award, Marquez is proud to represent the Latino population in Chandler. She often speaks to youth in the community about her success, gained through hard work. “I’ve been blessed with a lot of great opportunities,” she says. “I think it sheds light to them, on the fact that with dedication, hard work and education. As my parents always told me, if you get these things you will excel in life.” The City has not outlined its process to fill the communication director role, which Marquez will continue to oversee as one of her departments in her new role. Beth Lucas is a freelancer for SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at

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to help in a water incident. It will also support the aquatics division with a fire truck and personnel on hand. Tom Dwiggins, of the Chandler Fire Department, says, “The aquatics and the fire department work together. They’re really the lead people on the whole Hamilton pool event and we’re the lead on the actual walks, where we go around and walk and put door hangars on the doors with our water safety message. It’s a supportive role. We support them in turn by teaching CPR lessons and then they support us by bringing out volunteers and helping us distribute fliers.” Firefighters will be on hand to talk about water safety, including the eye-toeye campaign, pool fences and the need for a barrier between children and a pool, and the importance of CPR and the role it plays in determining the outcome of drowning. Parents can have children tested for the appropriate swim level and sign up for swim classes on that day. “We have swimming classes year round in the City of Chandler,” Bellus explains. “Whatever works for them. December is the only month of the year when we don’t have swimming lessons.” The day will also be promoting sun safety. “We have a little booth where we talk about ways to stay safe in the sun. Not only staying hydrated and wearing sun screen, but all the things you can do—sunglasses, hats, long sleeves, staying in the shade—just little tips and tricks,” Bellus says. She says that last year more than 200

SAFETY FIRST: Hamilton Aquatic Center is hosting Water Safety Awareness Day March 22. The free event offers the opportunity for children to be tested for swimming levels and sign up for swim classes. STSN photo by Tracy House

people participated in Water Safety Awareness Day. She estimates that 30 to 35 kids were swim tested last year as well and adds the aquatics facilities test children for swim levels at any time—no appointment is necessary. “In 2013 we had 9,690 participants in swimming lessons,” Bellus says. “It’s a lot of fun. We have a lot of people and we teach a lot of swimming lessons. We have six facilities and four of those teach swimming lessons in the morning and the evening.” The need for water safety awareness is something that the city and the fire

department take seriously. According to Dwiggins, in 2012 Chandler had more than 18 water-related incidents. In 2013 Chandler recorded seven water related incidents, unfortunately one of those was a fatality. “That’s all it takes is one,” says Dwiggins. “That’s all it takes for us to continue to be aggressive and getting the message out there about watching your kids around water.” While there has been a decrease, Dwiggins says he hopes to see the trend go downward. “We make it a point that any time we’re out in the public...we have a few messages. Make sure you have a functioning and working smoke detector and then especially around the summer time, we talk about drowning—making sure to watch the kids around water.” The message is something that resonates year round. Dwiggins explains that CPR classes are available throughout the year. “You can go through our website, which is www. and get information about CPR lessons. You can call down to our headquarters and you can sign up for classes monthly.” This includes certification in CPR. “Part of our campaign—the education portion of it—is not only CPR, but getting your child in swim lessons,” says Dwiggins. “The sooner we can get our kids swimming lessons and teach them tools that they need to learn how to swim, the better it is.” The Chandler Fire Department is sponsoring a water safety walk on March 29. “We’re going to walk 15,000 homes and

March 15 - April 4, 2014


put fliers out there. It basically gives our message of water safety,” says Dwiggins. The department is looking for volunteers to help distribute the fliers. Interested volunteers can meet at 9 a.m. at the Desert Oasis Aquatic Center, 1400 W. Summit Pl. to help. Groups and organizations are welcome to participate in the water safety walk. For more information call (480) 782-2175. Chandler aquatics facilities welcomed 301,000 participants last year. “We get a lot of that over the seven or eight weeks over the summer,” Bellus comments. She says that each of the facilities has one night per week of free swimming and one night for the entire family to swim for $1. “Those days you can pretty much go to any one of the six facilities and swim for free or pay a dollar.” Information about these nights is available on the Chandler Aquatics calendar. Hamilton Aquatic and Mesquite Groves Aquatic, 5901 S. Hillcrest Dr., Chandler, will be open for spring break. For a list of specific dates and times, visit content/14SpringBTPage21.pdf. “We are a fun facility. We are a fun city,” Bellus says. “Have some good oldfashioned fun outside before it gets too hot.” For more information about Water Safety Awareness Day, visit www. or call (480) 7822749. Tracy House is the news editor for the SanTan Sun News. She can be reached at


City of Chandler Insider

March 15 - April 4, 2014

A word from the mayor on spring cleaning Some people believe that the term “Spring Cleaning” comes from Persia. It is when families would perform “khooneh tekouni”—where everything in the house was thoroughly cleaned before the first day of spring—which also marked the Persian New Year. Here in Chandler, spring is the perfect time to do a little cleanup of your wellness routine. If you do not have a regimen for sustained health, think about starting one. If you do have a routine, maybe shake it up a little. The perfect place to start is the Mayor’s Health Connect Expo, set to take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Tumbleweed Recreation Center, located at Tumbleweed Park on the southwest corner of McQueen and Germann roads. Chandler has plenty to offer in terms of wellness and fitness, but my Health Connect initiative is also aimed at connecting residents with resources to make sure they also have good mental health and strong finances. With all of the products and services on the market that are geared toward fitness and a more productive lifestyle, it can get a little confusing as to which ones can help jump-start your new

devotion to a more fit routine. That is why we have brought together an array of displays, vendors and more, to help you make some Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. new healthy Submitted photo choices. The Tumbleweed Recreation Center will be buzzing with demonstrations, speakers, and close to 30 nonprofit organizations and retailers. Demonstrations include cooking, Zumba and more. There will be plenty of giveaways and the entire event is free! The expo is co-sponsored by our good friends at Dignity Health, and Chandler Regional Medical Center. The event will take place at 745 E. Germann Rd. at Tumbleweed Park Recreation Center in Chandler. For more information, visit www.

Living the good, healthy life Mayor Jay Tibshraeny is leading the way to a healthier Chandler with the Health Connect Expo. He and Tim Bricker, president and CEO of Dignity Health’s Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers, will kick things off with a group cycling class in the morning. The expo will include safety demonstrations, games and healthy cooking tips. “It’s a fun way to encourage residents to keep on track with fitness, and let them know what great resources we have in Chandler, such as our local businesses and amenities like the Tumbleweed Recreation Center,” says Tibshraeny. “This is an event for the entire family, and a great way for parents to connect with their kids around healthy choices.” In addition to the hands-on activities throughout the morning, Dignity Health is offering two important free events: Aging and Your Memory by Dr. Jonathan Hodgson and Concussions by Dr. Mark Garrett. “Dignity Health is an important partner for the City of Chandler, and we are grateful to have such a rich resource right in our own backyard,” says Tibshraeny. Preventative services will also be offered, including health screenings, child IDs and dental sealant.

This is the second annual expo, and it is part of the mayor’s ongoing Health Connect initiative to promote overall well-being for Chandler residents in a three-pronged approach, including physical, mental and financial health. Financial health is promoted through a prescription drug card that can save residents as much as 59 percent on prescription drug rates. Last year, residents saved $208,103 through the program. Additionally, the mayor emphasizes good mental health through his twitter account, @jaytibshraeny. The Health Expo is free and open to the public and runs 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Tumbleweed Recreation Center, 745 E. Germann Rd. For more information, visit connect.

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Health Seminars Dignity Health is offering two free seminars at the Tumbleweed Recreation Center in conjunction with the Mayor’s Health Connect Expo. The seminars are free, however seating is limited so RSVP is required for both events. To RSVP, call (480) 728-5414 or email Aging and Your Memory, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. with Dr. Jonathan Hodgson, a boardcertified neurologist. He earned his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Hodgson completed his neurology residency and clinical neurophysiology fellowship at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa. Hodgson also serves the East Valley as the Dr. Jonathan Hodgson. Submitted medical director of the photo Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, Stroke Center. Concussions, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mark Garrett, M.D. Garrett earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience at Brigham Young University and attended medical school at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. He went on to complete his neurosurgical residency at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix where he

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received extensive training in skull base neurosurgery and completed fellowships in complex spinal disorders and stereotactic radiosurgery. Garrett also spent time in Tanzania, Africa, where he was part of a Barrow initiative to Mark Garrett. train neurosurgeons in Submitted photo developing countries. Garrett treats patients with complex and simple cranial and spinal disorders, utilizing the latest in surgical techniques and instrumentation, often employing minimally invasive approaches. Schedule of Events 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Special Apex student warm-up for Chandler Schools 9 a.m. Event Opens booths, demonstrations and activities 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Aging and Your Memory, Dr. Jonathan Hodgson 10 a.m. Cycle Class, led by Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and Tim Bricker 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Concussions, Dr. Mark Garrett 12 p.m. Event closes Information provided by the City of Chandler Communications and Public Affairs Department.

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March 15 - April 4, 2014



March 15 - April 4, 2014


Tax help is available to Chandler residents It’s time to file taxes and Chandler’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is here to help by offering free preparations. Running through early April, those earning less than $52,000 last year are eligible to take advantage of the VITA program by visiting one of the seven locations across Chandler. Chandler’s VITA program began in 2004 after a statewide tax force was convened by Arizona to focus on the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refund that

often goes unclaimed. Those earning less than $51,567 in 2013 are eligible for the EITC of up to $6,044 per household. Volunteer tax preparers, translators and screeners make the Chandler’s VITA program possible each year. All volunteer tax preparers go through a training program and are certified by the IRS. “Much thanks goes to everyone who has contributed to the success of this program,” Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny says in a news release. “It has far exceeded our expectations thanks to those who

have graciously volunteered their time and experience over the past decade.” In the 10 years of Chandler’s VITA program, it has helped families collect more than $9 million in tax returns, including more than $2.7 million in returns from the EITC. Free tax return services are available on a walk-in, first-come, first-serve basis at seven locations with varying operating days. The locations include; the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Chandler CARE Center, Chandler Christian Community Center,

Chandler Downtown Library, ChandlerGilbert Community College, First Credit Union and the Sun Lakes Country Club. Those seeking tax services should bring W-2 forms, photo identification and social security cards for all household members. A copy of last year’s tax return as well as information for all deductions and credits, and form 1099 if applicable are also items needed to complete tax forms. For more information about Chandler’s VITA program, locations and times, visit

Sunset Library’s ‘Our Stories’ to cover Spring Training baseball


REFINED TECHNIQUE: Chandler firefighters demonstrate a rescue from a wrecked car. STSN photo by Kimberly Carrillo

The Chandler Sunset Library is hosting a speaker series called “Our Stories.” On Saturday, March 15, the topic will be the “History of Spring Training Baseball in Arizona.” The session will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will include a brief history of Arizona’s Cactus League, including Spring Training baseball at Chandler’s Compadre Stadium. The “Our Stories” series is presented by the Chandler Museum, Chandler Historical Society and the Chandler Public Library and is held at the Chandler Sunset Library at 4930 W. Ray Rd. in Chandler. This free event will include a presentation by Rodney Johnson, president of the Arizona Chapter for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

His presentation will delve into the more than 60 years of Spring Training history in Arizona and will include presentations of rare photographs and a question and answer session. Johnson is also an official scorer for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the historian for “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience,” an exhibit presented by the Mesa Historical Museum. The “Our Stories” series continues on April 12 with a presentation on Arizona music history with legendary Valley radio DJ Johnny D. Then in May the series will include the history of the Ocotillo area in South Chandler. For more information on these and other Chandler Museum events, call (480) 782-2751 or visit museum.



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Bike with mayor at Chandler Family Bike Ride Join Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny for a bike ride along the scenic Paseo Trail during Chandler’s sixth annual Family Bike Ride scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 26. The 7.4-mile ride will start at Chandler’s Park and Ride lot, 2100 S. Hamilton St., and travel the Paseo Trail along the Consolidated Canal to Crossbow Park. “This is one of my favorite events,” Tibshraeny says. “I love the gathering of families, the cool morning air, and the smiles and laughter this event generates.” The free event is held in conjunction with Valley Bike Month (April)

and provides families with a great opportunity to get a little exercise and celebrate bicycling for recreation or commuting. Participants will receive information about bicycle safety, transit services and related topics. Plus the first 100 people who preregister will receive a free T-shirt. Preregister online at www.chandleraz. gov/transit until Thursday, April 24, or the day of the event beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Chandler’s Park and Ride lot. All riders must wear helmets. For more information, contact Ann Marie Riley at (480) 782-3442 or

CRUISING: Mayor Jay Tibshraeny leads the ride. Submitted photo

March 15 - April 4, 2014

City of Chandler hosts ‘Let’s Pull Together’ annual weed-pulling effort Chandler residents are encouraged to contact the City’s Neighborhood Programs Office with addresses and contact information of elderly and disabled residents or others in the community struggling to keep their properties free of weeds. City staff and volunteers will work with residents to obtain authorization to clean their properties during Chandler’s annual “Let’s Pull Together” weed-pulling campaign organized in conjunction with For Our City-Chandler. “This will be the fifth year of our annual weed-pulling crusade and it is having a significant impact on the lives of both volunteers and those being helped,” says Councilman Kevin Hartke, who also serves as director of For Our City–Chandler.” Volunteers will be organized into weed eradication teams on consecutive Saturdays beginning Saturday, March 29, and ending Saturday, April 12. Volunteers will pull weeds from yards and alleys, assist with front-yard maintenance, and pick up trash from vacant or abandoned homes. The “Let’s Pull Together” campaign was a finalist for the best neighborhood program in the country in 2012 as chosen by Neighborhoods

PULLING TOGETHER: Volunteers gather in the community effort to pull weeds from neighborhoods. Submitted photo

USA, a national nonprofit organization committed to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations. For more information call (480) 782-4348 or email judy.



March 15 - April 4, 2014



18 miles of city streets being resurfaced Over the next few months, 18 miles of Chandler streets will be resurfaced as part of an annual street repaving program. The repairs will occur along 87 sections of residential streets and be performed by M.R. Tanner Construction Inc. of Gilbert. The $4 million repaving project will continue through early summer and involve removing the top inch-and-a-half of old asphalt and replacing it with new pavement. This type of repair, called Mill and Inlay, becomes necessary when the existing pavement is in a condition that

can no longer be maintained with slurry seal or microseal applications. The work is taking place on neighborhood streets in various parts of the city, including areas north of Ray Road between Alma School Road and Arizona Avenue, west of Hartford Street between Chandler Boulevard and Ray Road, west of Bullmoose Drive between Knox and Warner roads, and north of Chandler Boulevard between Country Club Way and the Price Freeway frontage road. Maps showing specific locations

can be found by clicking on the Road Construction and Street Closures link on the Transportation page of the City’s website at transportation. Notices to homeowners and businesses fronting the streets will be provided in advance. Access will be maintained to residences and businesses during the construction. For more information, contact the Chandler Street Division at (480) 782-3500.

Environmental Education Center hosts annual Earth Day Celebration The City of Chandler Environmental Education Center (EEC) at Veterans Oasis Park is looking for vendors and exhibitors to share their environmentally friendly products and services with guests during the annual Earth Day Celebration and Arbor Day Commemoration from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 25. This free, family friendly event—which is also a celebration of the EEC’s sixyear anniversary—will include hands-on activities, live animal presentations, food and beverage vendors, and information booths featuring a variety of organizations and businesses promoting “green” products, conservation and ways to live a more ecofriendly, sustainable lifestyle.

For more information about the event or to request a vendor application, contact or (480) 782-2894. The EEC is located at 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd., just east of Lindsay Road, and is open six days a week: from 8 a.m. to 8

p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The EEC is closed on Sundays and on City of Chandler holidays. More information is available online at veterans-oasis or at (480) 782-2890.

March 15 - April 4, 2014


Survey shows Chandler provides favorable quality of life More than 700 individuals submitted their responses to the Citizen Budget Survey focusing on issues relating to the city budget as well as municipal government performance and community quality of life. The survey showed that a large majority believe city leaders are managing the City’s operations well, and that the City Council’s financial decisions are in line with citizen priorities and expectations. A total of 747 people submitted survey responses which will help Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and the City Council develop budgetary priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. Chandler residents are invited to attend the budget briefing to the City Council Friday, May 2, in the Council Chambers, 88 E. Chicago St., in downtown Chandler. Comments and questions will be welcome at several subsequent council meetings prior to the adoption of the budget on June 12. Public input is always available by contacting councilmembers or staff directly. Complete survey results and additional information are available at


March 15 - April 4, 2014


Outstanding volunteers honored at inaugural recognition event Eleven individuals accustomed to working behind the scenes were instead front and center at Chandler’s inaugural Volunteer Recognition Breakfast held Feb. 12 at the Chandler Center for the Arts. The city joined with the Chandler NonProfit Coalition (CNPC) and For Our CityChandler to recognize volunteers for the time, talents and energy they contribute to the betterment of the Chandler community. Faith-based groups, nonprofits, schools, businesses and other groups utilizing volunteers were encouraged to nominate individuals for one of eight awards. In addition, a Mayor’s Choice and People’s Choice Award were presented and six individuals were inducted into a 1,000 Hour Volunteer Club for contributing more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service in 2013. The recognition event was headlined by CNPC President Melissa Jimro, Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and For Our CityChandler Director and City Councilman Kevin Hartke, who also emceed the affair. “The volunteer breakfast began as part of the celebration of Chandler’s 100th birthday, but upon seeing all the wonderful faces and hearing all the moving stories at that gathering, we decided to make this an annual event to recognize your tremendous service,” Hartke told those in attendance. “I think it is fitting we take some time each year to honor those who put in so much time to enhance our way of life,” Tibshraeny added. Fifty-one nominations were received

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: Mayor Jay Tibshraeny and People’s Choice Award recipient Glenn Klassen at Chandler’s Volunteer Recognition Breakfast. Submitted Photo

and up to two honorees could be selected in each award category. To be nominated, honorees had to perform their service primarily in Chandler. Award recipients were: Ernesto Sidi, Innovation Award (This volunteer brings especially creative and unique solutions to the job.): Lauded for his creative fundraising ideas as a volunteer at the House of Refuge, Sidi is credited with helping raise nearly $15,000 in donations. Patti Bruno, Longevity Award (This

volunteer has worked for an organization for many years, providing a commitment and dedication to service that is aweinspiring.): Bruno’s involvement with ICAN during its first year of operation in 1991 helped to surge it forward both in terms of community recognition and financial support. In addition to her extensive board service, she consistently volunteers her time for additional holiday activities and in-kind collection efforts. Russ Puckett and Roger Hogle, Makes

It Happen Award (These volunteers work for many organizations, with the goal of contributing anywhere and everywhere, in any way they can.): Puckett has been a volunteer tax preparer for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for more than 15 years and instructed or mentored more than 400 volunteers. Hogle is a VITA site coordinator and has instructed new and returning volunteers for nine years. Anthony Vizcarra, Multitasking Maestro Award (This volunteer is someone who takes on a diverse array of multiple assignments, jobs or objectives at the same time and can juggle them effectively, while accomplishing all of them successfully.): Vizcarra’s volunteering spans a wide range of activities, responsibilities and organizations. He coordinates Intel Corp.’s participation at several volunteer events and leverages his computer and development skills as a volunteer at the Chandler Christian Community Center and the Clothes Cabin. Al Leibowitz, Strong Arms Award (This volunteer is not afraid to take on any job no matter how “down-n-dirty” it may be. This nominee may also be called the jackof-all-trades in an organization.): Leibowitz is a retired New Jersey Volunteer Fire Chief and the “Go-To Guy” for the Chandler Fire Department. This year alone, he has given more than 450 hours of his time to the fire department, including participation in a recent smoke detector walk in downtown Chandler. Scott McDonald, Sunbeam Award (This volunteer is the most cheerful person in the


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March 15 - April 4, 2014


Gilbert Road improvements update Crews are working to complete the pouring of curb, gutter, sidewalks and ADA ramps on the east side of Gilbert Road, from Powell Place to the canal. Crews are working to place and grade the subsurface of the east side of Gilbert Road, from south of Chandler Heights Road at approximately Leo Place, to the canal. This work will continue for two to three weeks as crews prepare for paving of the east side of Gilbert Road in early March. Crews are also working to install a valley gutter on the east side of place! They have the best personality, attitude, and they are always smiling and helpful.): McDonald volunteered more than 500 hours in service to the Chandler Police Department last year as a Motorist Assist, helping numerous members of the public and establishing a great relationship with the officers and his co-workers. Radhika Arora, Youth Award (This category is for youth, 17 and younger. The nominee is dedicated, positive and hardworking or otherwise stands out from the crowd.): Arora desires to pursue a career in public service and has served in local youth councils, at Chandler Regional Medical Center, and volunteered as a tutor at an afterschool program. She serves on the Governor’s Youth Commission, plays competitive tennis for Chandler

Gilbert Road across Powell Place. Valley gutters are concrete gutters in the asphalt which aid in channeling water across the road to nearby catch basins or scuppers. Crews are also working to remove trees and re-grade retention basins at Meade and Brooks Farm; as well as fine grading and installing scuppers for all retention basins on the east side of Gilbert Road. Electrical crews have completed installing conduit on the east side of Gilbert Road for the SRP conversion. High, and participated in fundraising events for the less fortunate. Vinnie Holmquist, Inspiration Award (The recipient of this award exhibits a work ethic and behaviors that inspire those around them.): Vinnie is 14 years old and started the community youth volunteer program and coordinates various monthly events for Boy Scout Troop 280. He volunteers for the iHelp ministry of Sun Valley Church, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Chandler Food Bank. Brian Walsh, Mayor’s Choice Award (This award is not subject to nomination, but instead is selected by the Chandler Mayor.): Walsh has spent untold hours reaching out to the homeless community in Chandler. In addition to helping connect them with resources and services, Walsh spends

SRP crews will soon begin pulling wire so that the power poles can be removed. Gilbert Road traffic is shifted to the west side of Gilbert Road, one lane in each direction from approximately Mead Drive to just south of Ocotillo Road. Feel free to continue to patronize your local businesses during construction but be cautious when driving through the construction zone. For more information visit www.

weekends with a team of volunteers serving breakfast to the homeless community in a downtown Chandler park. Ironically, Walsh was not present to accept his award because he was fulfilling a volunteer commitment. Glenn Klassen, People’s Choice Award (The recipient of this award was chosen from those in attendance at the Chandler Volunteer Recognition Breakfast.): A Chandler resident since 2003, Klassen maintains and repairs safety equipment as a volunteer for the Chandler Fire Department and serves on the boards of the Chandler Coalition on Youth Substance Abuse and the Phoenix Air National Guard Patriots which help support the families of Guard members deployed overseas.


DEADLINES FOR SANTAN SUN NEWS The deadline for news and advertising is noon Wednesday, March 26, for the April 5, issue of the SanTan Sun News. All news must be submitted to News@SanTanSun. com by that day to be considered for the next issue or by filling in the “submit a news release” form on the newspaper’s website at To send an item for consideration in the SanTan Family Fun, email it directly to Send advertising files and information to account reps or contact For deadline information, visit and click on “About us” and call (480) 732-0250 for advertising rate details.


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March 15 - April 4, 2014


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