AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS, DECEMBER 7, 2022

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Ahwatukee schools shine in new state grading

For the first time in two years, Arizona district and charter schools have re ceived letter grades, and for those in Ah watukee, it’s bragging rights all around.

Eight district and two charters received an “A” while the rest in Ahwatukee got a “B,” ac cording to the state Department of Education.

Of the more than 1,700 public district and

charter schools across Arizona that received preliminary grades, about 27% were given “A;” 42% got “B;” 23% C; 5% D and 2% failed. Statewide, public school districts outper formed charter schools in many of the main categories. Districts had only 1% with an “F” while 3% of charters flunked.

And 28% of district schools earned an “A” while 27% of charters got that grade. Howev er, charters did better when it came to overall

totals for a “B” grade. Among charters, 47% got a “B” compared to 42% of district schools.

Federal law requires states to measure schools’ performance using objective indica tors, and since 2010, state law has required schools to receive a letter grade correspond ing to those performance measures.

Grading was suspended the last two years

Rebranded ‘Nutcracker’ to unfold for 23rd year Ahwatukee’s Christmas classics coming

ACT expands its scope with ‘A Christmas Carol’

AChristmas Carol” to many people cel ebrates the miracle of Christmas.

And to a large degree, it’s also a mira cle that the Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre will be able to present a time-honored local rendi tion of the holiday classic

It will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Kroc Salvation Army Center for the Arts, 1375 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix. General assigned seats are $20 and the $25 VIP ticket includes a custom cookie from Lookie It’s A Cookie! in addition to the musical rendition of Charles Dickens’ novel. Tickets can be bought at azact.org.

Nothing short of a miracle saved the theater

It was 23 years go when the “Ahwatukee Foothills Nutcracker Ballet” debuted at the Desert Vista High School theater.

This year, the 23rd local holiday classic pre sented by Dance Studio 111 and owner Kim berly Lewis, the ballet has a new name and new stars with 65 performers, ages 3 to 18, as well as a smattering of parents filling smaller roles and scores of backstage crew members.

“Arizona Nutcracker” is the new moniker for the venerable production – which Lewis said more accurately reflects the growing Valleywide appeal of a production that initially was largely an Ahwatukee one.

Now it attracts youngsters and teens from across the Valley who are eager to perform

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INSIDE This Week BUSINESS 32 Ahwatukee seafood eatery owners are expanding their reach. COMMUNITY ...................... 26 BUSINESS .......................... 32 SPORTS ............................... 36 GETOUT ............................... 40 CLASSIFIEDS ...................... 47 COMMUNITY 26 Ahwatukee decorator recalls her wrangling summer in a new book. NEWS ................................ 11 Conservative Purple for Parents emerging as school board force.
Foothills sells for $4.7M / RE1 see ACT page 19 see GRADES page 12
see NUTCRACKER page 14 The latest breaking news and top local stories in Ahwatukee! www.Ahwatukee.com .com JUST A CLICK AWAY
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King are central to Dance Studio 111 owner Kimberly Lewis’ 23rd annual presentation of a local classic she has re branded “Arizona Nutcracker.” (Zachary BonDu rant/AFN Contributor)
2 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022

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Club West hearing delayed, Edge lawyer slams Conservancy

ASuperior Court hearing on The Edge’s request for a dismissal of a lawsuit by the Club West Conser vancy was abruptly moved from last week to Dec. 14.

The Conservancy, a group of Club West homeowners, want Judge Timothy Thompson to permanently ban the sale of any portion of the 164-acre course for homebuilding.

While The Edge owns the declarant rights to the course, the Conservancy con tends that Shea Homes – which passed those land-use rights to The Edge – had followed the lead of the original home building company in that community by marketing the 18-hole executive course as a nearly permanent feature.

The Conservancy also contends that both homebuilders signed sales agree ments with homebuyers that guaranteed a championship golf course.

In the latest filing on behalf of The Edge, attorney Daniel Dowd reiterated his argu ment that the Conservancy has no stand ing to even bring the suit.

“There is no case, statute, restatement or other persuasive authority provid ing strangers to a contract with standing to obtain a declaration interpreting, en forcing or challenging a contract,” Dowd wrote, referring to the property declara tion governing the site’s use.

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Contending that an outright dismissal of the Conservancy’s bid would save the court time and money compared to a pro longed legal proceeding, Dowd claims only direct beneficiaries of the contract are entitled to bring an action in court.

And he said the Conservancy does not fit that bill, even though it filed a list of about 50 Club West homeowners who were listed as an attachment to its amend ed complaint. He also said that the Con servancy is ignoring a portion of the con tract that gives the course owner the right to remove any restrictions that would bar

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the site’s use for purposes other than golf.

“Here, the Property Declaration con tains no term identifying CWC, or adja cent property owners, as intended benefi ciaries, only a statement that the parties to the Declaration believed the ‘develop ment’ and attractiveness of Club West would be enhanced if the Property was used as a golf course,” he stated.

Dowd also labeled as “absurd” the Con servancy’s contention that UDC, the first homebuilder in Club West that was later acquired by Shea Homes, have a legal right to demand that the site be main tained for golf.

The Conservancy has focused on the fact that some 360 homeowners paid premi um prices for lots adjacent to the course.

“CWC knows it does not hold declarant rights and that its members do not own even an inch of property subject to the declaration,” Dowd wrote.

“The Property Declaration expressly states that the purpose of the use restric tion is to enhance and protect the Proper ty (not adjacent Club West homeowners) and only the Property owner (not Club West homeowners) benefits from the terms of the Property Declaration,” Down asserted.

He also said the Conservancy has mis interpreted case law in Arizona in a way “that somehow permits it to enforce the Property Declaration without being a par ty or third-party beneficiary.

“This characterization is false,” Dowd continued. “CWC and its members are non-parties and non-third party benefi ciaries to the Property Declaration. CWC cannot seek a declaration to interpret or enforce the Property Declaration.”

In essence, Dowd is asserting that the judge must dismiss the Conservancy’s case as a matter of law, virtually without hearing any evidence.

“The Property Declaration is a con tract. Whether CWC or its members have standing must be determined as a matter of law by applying well-recognized and governing contract principles,” he wrote. “The inescapable reality is that CWC lacks standing because it is not a party to or third-party beneficiary of the Property Declaration.”

Dowd also attacked the Conservancy’s assertions that homeowners’ property values have been harmed by the site’s bar ren state.

“CWC alleges its members’ damage as follows: ‘Abandoning the Golf Course and leaving it as a field of weeds has negatively impacted the values of Club West’s mem bers’ homes and substantially degraded Club West’s members’ lifestyles.’

“The golf course was first closed, how ever, in 2016,” he wrote, contending that means that each homeowner who claims their property values have suffered would have to appear in court so the judge could hold “mini adjudications” as to whether each had legal standing to have their claim of harm heard. 

When the former entrepreneur who own the Club West Golf Course briefly couldn’t pay his water bill, the City of Phoenix turned off the tap in February 2018. Two months later, as this file photo shows, the only remnant of irrigation was the small lake near the clubhouse. But that vanished by summer of 2018. (AFN file photo)

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Ducey admits demands for session on school spending

Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday he won’t call a special legislative session to deal with schools’ Ag gregate Expenditure Limit until he gets a promise by lawmakers to deal with some issues on his own agenda –includ ing more money for school vouchers.

And that could scuttle any chance of giv ing schools an immediate assurance they won’t have to cut more than a billion dol lars from their spending plans by July 1.

The governor acknowledged Monday that he had agreed to bring lawmakers back to the Capitol to waive the cap if he could be shown that the votes were there.

Such a move requires 20 of the 30 sena tors and 40 of the 60 representatives. Lawmakers from both parties who sup port the waiver said last week they have the votes.

But Ducey, whose term is up at the end of the month, said that’s not enough.

``There are things in addition to the AEL that I’d like to see get done,’’ he said. The governor would not elaborate.

But Daniel Ruiz, his chief of staff, said providing even more state funds for vouchers for students to attend private and parochial schools is ``certainly a pri ority that’s been discussed.’’

Kyrene School District Chief Financial Officer Chris Herrmann last month said that unless the cap is waived by March 1, the district would essentially lose 66% of its spending power in the final quarter of this fiscal year.

In other words, it would be unable to spend some $20 million it already has in the bank because of the voter-approved cap, which became part of the state Con stitution in 1980.

“It’s impossible to make budget reduc tions of this size without talking about impacting those areas,” Hermann said, noting the freeze also would crimp the district’s ability to offer teacher contracts for the 2023-24 school year.

Last week, outgoing Rep. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa, who chairs the House Education Committee, said lawmakers approved a $1 billion increase in funding this past session for K-12 education.

That new money bumps total state and

local education funding against a 1980 voter-approved cap in school spending. Adjusted for inflation and student growth, that limit now is $6.4 billion.

But school districts already have prepared budgets and are on target to spend nearly $7.8 billion this fiscal year based on the funding that lawmak ers approved.

Udall said that Katie Ratlief, Ducey’s deputy chief of staff, said her boss com mitted to calling a special session only on two basic conditions.

First, a lawsuit challenging a voterapproved income tax hike for education needed to be resolved. That was done.

Second, said Udall, the governor wanted proof that there were the necessary votes. That list, she said, was presented to Ratlief in October.

Sen. Sean Bowie, D-Ahwatukee said the bipartisan state budget Ducey want ed would not have gotten the necessary Democratic votes – there were holdouts among the majority Republican caucus –without that promise.

Michael Wright, superintendent of the Blue Ridge Unified School District, said cutting spending in just the last three months will wreak havoc, with required layoffs of teachers and support staff and possible school closures.

The other risk of waiting is that there will be a fresh crop of legislative leaders in January. And that runs the risk that the spending cap won’t be a priority.

Risk aside, Udall said bumping the deci sion to the next legislative session would be inappropriate.

Ducey press aide C.J. Karamargin said following the press conference that his boss wants to be sure that schools get –and can spend – those extra dollars.

“We are having discussions with law makers,’’ is all that Karamargin would say about Ducey actually following through and using his constitutional powers to call lawmakers back to the Capitol.

Outgoing House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa, said he’s ready to bring lawmak ers back to the Capitol to waive the spend ing cap on schools. He said there appears to be a coalition of Democrats and some

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Republicans who can provide the neces sary votes for approval.

“Personally, I’m OK with it,’’ added Sen ate President Karen Fann, R-Prescott.

But Fann told Capitol Media Services that she first needs to see the measure.

Potentially more problematic, she said, is that some lawmakers argue that if there is to be a lame-duck special session they want other issues addressed, rang ing from adding some accountability for public schools to demands for changes in election laws.

Udall conceded that some of the people on the list she presented to the governor’s office also have other ideas. But she in sisted that each has committed to vote to waive the spending cap if that is the lone issue in the session.

What is causing the current problem is the convergence of several unusual fac tors.

First, the limit is always based on the prior year’s school numbers. Enrollment remains down due to COVID.

The bigger problem is actually due to one the legislature created in seeking to

provide financial help.

In 2000, voters approved Proposi tion 301 to levy a 0.6-cent sales tax to fund education, including teacher sala ries, for 20 years. Voters exempted those revenues from the aggregate expendi ture limit.

Facing expiration of that tax, lawmak ers agreed in 2018 to a new, identical levy to pick up when the old one expired. That would keep the money flowing through 2041 without interruption.

Only thing is, the Legislature never ex empted what the new levy would raise from the expenditure limit. Chuck Essigs, lobbyist for the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, said that alone amounts to anywhere from $600 million to $800 million of the money now coming into schools.

Moreover, to balance the budget last de cade, lawmakers cut dollars from various capital funding accounts.

With the state flush in revenues, those accounts are now fully funded. But the additional dollars that were restored to schools also helped to push total state wide expenditures above the constitu tional limit. 

Correction

The Ahwatukee Foothills News last week incorrectly identified the 2023 legislative session Re publican House Speaker. Republi can Ben Toma of Deer Valley is not recorded as having voted on the bipartisan waiver of the Aggre gate Spending Limit that spared school districts in the 2021-22 school year.

The new Senate President next year, Sen. Warren Petersen of Gil bert, voted against the waiver.

The retiring Republican leaders in the Legislature, Senate Presi dent Karen Fann and House Speak er Rusty Bowers, both supported the waiver and marshalled enough of their fellow party members to approve a waiver this year for the 2021-22 school year.

9 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS
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www.ahwatukee.com Subscribe here Receive your digital flip-thru edition every week in your e-mail box! www.ahwatukee.com @AhwatukeeFN @AhwatukeeFN PAUL MARYNIAK AFN H partof rapidlydiminishingbreed member Greatest Gen eration,thoughwhenyouaskhimwhat thoug mindwhen on days as telegraph operator in the peantheaterduringWorldWarII.FloydCasey hesitation ys: weather.” “The weather was so damn recalled Floyd, ho becomes centenarian on 20 already the resident at the rise Chandler assisted living community. ou couldn’t think every you went out the wintertime summertime wassohotyoucouldn’tbreathe.” ButFloydsurvivednotjusttheweatherbut everybulletandshell Germanscouldfling against his units in major WWII clashes like the the Ardennes, Battle Cen tral Europe, the Battle of Rhineland all BY Editor AprivateAhwatukeeschoolandits ers have denied they or the school shar anyblamefor 19-monthsex ual relationship the an under agestudent hetaughtthere. espondingto lawsuitbroughtby now 18-year-old victim, attorneys for James Walters,owners DesertGardenMon tessoriSchool,andlawyers schoolsaid couplenortheschoolbear sponsibilityfortheactionsof son,Justin Walters. The Walters’ attorneys in the case, Eliza denials by Fitch and McCarthy and school attorneys Sean Healy and Gina Batto iled June 30 with Superior Court Judge eter Thompson in response law suit filed by Chase Rasmussen of Rasmussen Wednesday, July 13, 2022 INSIDE: COMMUNITY 28 BUSINESS 33 P. 36 PORTS P. 38 GETOUT CLASSIFIED P. 44 CENTENARIAN Local man to lead 100th birthday tribute to his WWII dad School, owners deny fault in student’s sexual abuse COMMUNITY 28 Festival Lights supporters rev up fundraising campaign. SPORTS 38 Vista football cementing his legacy. NEWS 3 Lovebird deaths danger for residents, warn. INSIDE This Week HEALTH WELLNESS Jungle Bring the Outdoors In with our Moving Glass Wall Systems Thomas 602-508-0800 liwindow.com Mon-Thurs 8:30-5pm 8:30-4pm Sat 9-2pm ROC#179513 Easy-To-Read Digital Edition who their son had bethFitchandCraigMcCarthy,saidthatwhile the must prove any damage she suffered resulted from their actions, and all dam agessufferedbytheplaintiffwere resultof Injury La on May the same day Walters, 29, of Tempe, sentenced four years prison and lifetime probation for his www.ahwatukee.com @AhwatukeeFN @AhwatukeeFN INSIDE: COMMUNITY AROUND AF OPINION X BUSINESS P.X |HEALTH WELLNESS P. GETOUT P.X SPORTS P. CLASSIFIED PAUL MARYNIAK AFN T Phoenix Planning Commission on Aug. dealt 30-daysetbacktothe de velopers’ timetable for the massive Up per Canyon development in Ahwatukee after expressing confusion over their request questioning city staff’s analysis of related trafficstudy. Blandford Homes and subsidiary Reserve 100LLChave zoningtobuild1,050mostly single-story houses, 150 build-to-rent houses and 329 apartments on the 373-acre State Trust parcelalongChandler between19th avenues. Butthey CityCouncilapprovalof pro posal to leave South Chandler Boulevard at three lanes downgrade the classification of 27th between the and South Mountain Freeway from “arterial” “collector”street. They hopedtogetPlanningCommission approvalduringlastweek’svirtualhearing timeforCityCounciltoacton atits postsummer-vacation meeting Sept. Blandford Reserve100aim startsellinghouses But timetable was thrown off by at least 30 after the Commission directed them to more clearly explain the impact of so manyhomesontrafficandroadsafety light their opposition to widening South Chan Boulevard. commission also com plained Blandford’s reasoning confused them le residents who opposed the plan said Blandford toavoid roadwid eningandhave andfor Residents fear for ability of emergency vehicles access not Upper Canyon but communities there PromontoryandCalabria. Among those expressing concern was John Barton, one of developers of those communities. Stressing that he supported the Upper Can yondevelopment,Bartonneverthelessripped Blandford’s request, noting that the nearest fire station miles away and city has no immediate plans to build one western Ahwatukee. Wednesday, August 10, 2022 COMMUNITY BUSINESS 29 OPINION 31 SPORTS P. 33 GETOUT 37 CLASSIFIEDS CANYON page ELECTIONS page Traffic concerns snarl Upper Canyon’s bid for city approval SPORTS 33 frosh Everest Leydecker already champ. BUSINESS 29 Local man’s supply compan milestone. INSIDE This Week Whether you’re home renovating one, your choices when comes ully designe Milgard windows doors. Strong, beautiful, and durable. Milgard patio doors are stunnin architectural performance. secure your investment industry leading, Warranty that includes Milgard offers beautiful, comfortable, energy efficient vinyl windows nd doors for your home 4454 Rd. Phoeni 2-508-0800 liwindow.com on-Thurs 8:30-5pm Fri 0-4pm Sat 9-2pm ROC# LD 12 contests appear set, GOP senate race tight NEWS 3 Court fight continues over candidate’s residency. GET OUT 37 Company offers marijuanaflavored cocktails. scene from out to be th 22nd last presentation ”The Ahwatukee Foothills Nutcracker.” No, the community Christmas tradition one of Ahwatukee’s oldest isn’t going away ut been rebranded Arizona Nutcrac where this taken from may surprise you too, you’ll read on page 23. (Tubitv.com) ‘Nutcracker’ made new MARYNIAK ExecutiveEditor The General Election the three legislative seats representing watukee appears battle the sexes sorts as an all-male Republican slate will threeDemocraticwomen. The two Ahwatukee women running five-wayracefor DemocraticHouse nations in Legislative District 12 topped and the all-Ahwatukee contest Republican Senate nomination appeared won

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Meticulously cared for 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom 1,244 sf condo in the luxurious gated community of Bridges at Ocotillo! Ground floor, single level unit with north / south exposure and a private covered back patio; no neighbors behind! TWO CAR GARAGE! Open kitchen - family room floor plan! Kitchen boasts new Samsung stainless steel appliances, new sink and faucet and a breakfast bar. New ceiling fans throughout! The master suite has a walk in closet, double sinks, and separate shower and tub (new shower head!) Master bedroom has its own Arcadia door

Scottdale Springs – Old Town

10 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 www.kyrene.org/JobFairs • 480-541-1000 “Key to Kyrene” Certified Career Fair Inspire a Passion for Learning, Leading, and Achieving! Now hiring for these key Kyrene positions: Certified Teachers Special Education Teachers Speech Language Pathologists & Assistants Certified Occupational Therapists & Assistants Psychologists and Counselors Resource Teachers and Interventionists Kyrene certified career fairs are highly competitive Candidates must reserve interview slots online at www.Kyrene.org/jobfairs. Induction and mentoring programs Competitive medical plan Strong employee engagement AZ pension plan rated among best in the U.S. teachers are key to kyrene! Extraordinary Real Estate Services Lisa Miguel Top 1% in Sales 480-444-6058 • www.Lisamiguel.com The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra! Call me for a FREE Home Value Report! Sun River Listed for $825,000 Beautifully updated 4,247 sf home with 5 bedrooms, office, finished base ment and four full bathrooms! Nearly a ¼ acre with a north facing back yard. One bedroom and one bathroom downstairs. Kitchen boasts rich, dark finish cabinetry, 2022 Quartz counter tops, center island, pantry, large eat-in casual dining area. All flooring replaced in November 2021; wood look vinyl plank flooring throughout with upgraded carpet in bedrooms and on staircase. 2021 baseboards throughout. 2022 interior and exterior
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including a
Open

Purple for Parents becoming school board force in EV

Parental rights advocates in Arizona are celebrating huge gains, both in the Legislature and at the ballot box.

Purple for Parents, a parental rights organization, endorsed 38 candidates in November’s school board elections across Arizona and unofficial results show that 20 of them won seats – includ ing two in Scottsdale, one each in Gil bert’s two main districts, one in Chandler and one in Mesa. No candidate endorsed by the group ran in the Kyrene or Tempe Union races.

“We’re very happy,” said Michelle Dillard, the president of Purple for Par ents. “It’s great to have school board members elected that support parents’ rights and will promote academics in the classroom.”

The electoral victories follow success last spring, when the state Legislature passed and Gov. Doug Ducey signed the Parental Rights Bill. It further enhances the Parental Bill of Rights passed in 2010.

The newer legislation gives parents the rights to all written and electronic records from a school about their child. That includes any counseling records, even notes taken during a conversa tion. Parents can sue school districts if a teacher does not comply.

“I think that enforcement is going to be something that all parents are going to have to be keeping an eye out, we’re go ing to have to be very diligent and making sure that they actually follow the laws,” Dillard said.

She pointed to a school board meeting she watched where the board members changed the policy to comply with state law, but said repeatedly they were not happy to do so.

That was the case in Kyrene School Dis trict, where Governing Board members in September lashed out at laws preventing any mandate requiring kids to get COVID or HPV shots, requiring greater parental access and longer review policies for new library books, giving parents the right to get a list of all library books checked out by their children.

But the Kyrene board members’ harsh est criticism involved a ban on boys join

ing girls-only sports teams.

They initially planned to just amend the district’s policy on sports to say Kyrene conformed with Arizona law, until a board member prevailed on her colleagues to include the specific citation for the statute so that parents could find it more readily.

Critics of the parental rights law say it will have a chilling impact on students.

For example, critics contend, a gay teen who knows his family will not accept his or her sexual orientation will not be able to reach out to a trusted adult at school to talk about what they are going through because they risk their parents finding out and possibly kicked out of their home or forced to go to conversion therapy.

There were similar concerns about stu dents who are struggling with their gen der identity.

Dillard said that is part of the problem: There’s too much sex in schools.

“We don’t want the sexualization of our children to be continuing on this, I mean, it’s accelerated this upward trend,” she said. “The left, who has had control of our schools, wants comprehensive sex educa tion. And I think they call it ‘age appropri ate’ or whatever. Well, we have a disagree ment with that.”

Purple for Parents started in 2018 as a reaction to the Red for Ed movement, in which. teachers were demanding higher salaries and more funding for school districts.

Forest Moriarty, a Mesa husband to a

teacher and father to two special needs students, is credited as the founder. He did not return a message seeking an interview. Dillard said Purple for Parents has no ties to Patriot Movement AZ, which has been identified as a far-right hate group

and was ordered by a federal judge in 2019 to stop harassing churches across the Valley, including Chandler, that were offering clothing and food to newly bussed migrants awaiting transportation to other parts of the country.

Dillard said it is true that some of the founding members were also members of PMAZ, but rejected they were tied together.

“There were members of Purple for Parents that were in PMAZ,” Dillard said. “I mean, they’re parents too. They have children in schools. And so you know, they were in the group, but they had no influ ence, nor did they found it. That’s been a blatant lie that local media has pushed from the beginning.”

Purple for Parents really picked up mo mentum in 2019 after Fox News’ Tucker Carlson highlighted the Chandler Unified School District’s attempt to improve its diversity training. Carlson criticized the Deep Equity program from the Corwin Company as indoctrination.

Angry parents began showing up at

11 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS
see PURPLE
13
James Knox, the Queen Creek Unified Governing Board’s newest member come next month, was one of the school board candidates across the county endorsed by Purple for Parents who won their campaign. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
page

Tempe Union board member has a lot to juggle

Imagine being a student with three majors, holding a part-time job and a position as vice president of a school district governing board.

This is Arizona State University senior and Ah watukee native Armando Montero’s life.

Montero has three majors – political science, economics and mathematics – and is the vice president of the Tempe Union Governing Board.

“I have a part-time job, and finding the time to do my homework and go to classes is hard for me,” he said. “I have other friends who work part-time jobs while being a student, and we all struggle.”

Having to juggle all these responsibilities can be challenging.

GRADES from page 1

because of campus closures and related disruptions.

This year, the state made some chang es to its models, giving schools more credit if their students show a lot of growth in K-8 schools.

The letter grades are based on five quantifiable factors – academic growth from year to year, proficiency on the statewide assessment, English language proficiency and growth, high school graduation rates and indicators showing if a student is accelerating and ready for success at the next level.

An “A” grade means excellent; “B,” highly performing; “C,” performing; “D,” minimal ly performing and “F,” failing.

Grading schools is more complicated than scoring a multiple-choice test.

Depending on whether a school serves kindergarten through eighth grade, high school or both, either four or five mea sures assigned different weights go into each school’s grade.

K-8 schools are rated according to four factors, and high schools and K-12 schools are rated according to five factors.

For K-8 schools, 50% of the grade is based on “growth,” or how much individual student’s math and language performances improved between 2019 and 2022.

Another 30% of a school’s grade comes from performance on standard tests, and the rest of the assessment comes from “Ac celeration/Readiness” and English Learn er growth and proficiency.

“It’s definitely tough,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of trying to find that rhythm and being able to find a balance.”

He said that the primary way he can balance everything is by being very intentional about setting boundaries with the school board about what he can and cannot do that week.

“You know: ‘I’m not in the right headspace; let’s take maybe take a step back this week, I’ll get back into it next week,’” he recalled as his responses sometimes while at other times “just having very open communication with the other members of the board” help him to juggle his educational and board responsibilities.

While Montero said that being on the board has been one of the most rewarding and best experi

see MONTERO page 13

Tempe Union Governing Board Vice President Armando Montero juggles studying for three majors at ASU with a part-time job with his district role. (YouTube)

For high school and K-12 schools, the most heavily weighted factor is standard ized test scores, which is 30%.

Student growth, graduation rate and College and Career Readiness Indicator are each 20%.

Each year the State Board of Education decides the numeric cutoffs for each let ter grade.

So, the state board knows ahead of time how many schools will get each grade any given year, and the state Board of Education factors that knowledge into its cutoff decisions for how mnay schools will get each grade.

Along with the grades, the state also re leases the various scores that went into the grades, giving parents a chance to dig into the data to see where exactly schools performed better or worse. That data

can be found at azsbe.az.gov/f-schoolletter-grades.

For the K-8 schools, the state is using the same cutoffs it did in 2019.

For high schools, it’s using standard de viations – a statistical grouping of scores – which resulted in slightly higher grades than using the previous cutoffs.

Rebecca Beebe, director of government affairs for Arizona School Administrators, told the state board before the Oct. 17 vote setting the cutoffs that school letter grades can be demoralizing for staff.

Arguing against an “arbitrary” 70/80/90 model for determining school grades, which the board rejected, Beebe said low grades could be “a huge blow to our edu cators who have consistently gone above and beyond to serve Arizona students.”

“That’s the last thing we need in a time

like this – and it does not reflect the reality which is that schools are coming out of the COVID years and improving,” she said.

State board member Dr. Jacqui Clay echoed this sentiment.

“Regardless of what form of account ability we select, we will not and should not hold our schools hostage by data that does not take into consideration the whole-child approach,” Clay said.

“My concern is we have so many people who are not educators who are on the outside dictating and not really sitting down, listening, empathizing and under standing what’s going on in the schools,” Clay explained.

The State Board of Education encour ages parents “to have letter grade conver sations with their student’s school admin istrator and staff members.”

It cautioned that “qualitative measures, which will vary in importance from family to family, should also be considered. Some students thrive in a small school, while others seek the wide range of options a larger school offers.”

The new letter grades can be compared with the previous ones but with the caveat that some of the standardized tests used to measure student performance have changed since 2019.

For the 2021-22 school year, the state wide assessment shifted away from the Arizona Merit test in high school and grades 3-8, to the Arizona High School Achievement Test in the 11th grade and the Arizona’s Academic Standards Assess ment test in grades 3-8. 

12 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS

school board meetings in the Chandler and Kyrene school districts.

Stephanie Ingersoll, the executive direc tor of marketing and communications for CUSD, said the district no longer uses the Deep Equity program. Instead, the dis trict developed an Equity Advisory Board which is made up of staff, students, par ents and community members.

Purple for Parents advocates for school choice and parental rights, and wants to keep Critical Race Theory (CRT) out of schools. That theory is a law school class that is not taught at K-12 schools in Arizona.

However, Dillard said it is used as a catchphrase for programs like Corwin’s Deep Equity because it’s a phrase people know, having heard it from former Presi dent Trump. She said issues like that made it easy to find candidates willing to run in the 2022 election.

“I witnessed parents trying to stand up for their parental rights in education to be later ridiculed for doing so,” Heather Rooks wrote in an email about why she ran. She was elected to the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board.

“I heard from so many parents that their child was struggling and falling behind. I had heard from teachers who were afraid to speak up against the CRT ideology in the district,” Rooks said.

Parental rights issues were not the only reason for running.

“[I decided to run after] having witnessed the steady decline in meritbased academics, with test scores tank ing and teachers leaving the district in droves,” wrote newly elected Scottsdale Unified Board member Carine Werner.

“Even the 8-year age gap between my oldest and youngest has revealed stark differences in how our children are edu

Turning Purple

The parental rights group Purple for Parents endorsed 38 candidates for school boards in the 2022 general election across Arizona. Unofficial results show 20 won seats. They are:

Scott Brown and Jackie Ulmer, Cave Creek

Kurt Rohrs, Chandler

Paul Carver, Deer Valley

Dawn Densmore and Jennifer Drake, Dysart

Madicyn Reid and Libby Settle,

cated,” Werner said. “I couldn’t sit on the sidelines any longer.”

Chad Thompson, newly-elected mem ber of the Gilbert Public Schools Govern ing Board, wrote:

“As a father of multiple children that at tend GPS schools, I was very concerned about the decisions made by our board over the last few years. As our race de veloped, I became even more concerned about where our schools are headed.”

He campaigned against social emotional learning and any sex educa tion in schools and said at a candidates’ town hall:

“I think we’ve let way too much stuff come into our school that are distrac tions from education. Parents are awake; they are seeing this stuff especially after the pandemic. It seems like our schools today want to teach just about every thing except for education, actual math, science and language.”

Thompson also said that students need to be taught accountability and re sponsibility.

Parental rights candidates won two seats in each of three districts: Cave Creek, Dysart, and Scottsdale. Still, even with this success they will likely be in the minority when they are seated.

“It’s going to be frustrating for them to have to endure being in the minority,” Dil

ences of his life, he said he has faced many challenges along the way.

“A lot of the first couple of months of the campaign involved a lot of people question ing me as an individual and saying, ‘You know, you are, you’re too young for this, you don’t know what you’re talking about.’”

He turned this around and demonstrat ed how important it is for a young person to be on the board because he under stands students.

Fellow board member Berdetta Hodge, said, “Armando is the perfect person for the role that he is in on our board because he can understand things from the per spective of the students; he only gradu

Fountain Hills

Chad Thompson, Gilbert

Anna Van Hoek, Higley

Tom Carlson, Marana

Rachel Walden, Mesa

Sandra Christensen, Paradise Valley

Heather Rooks, Peoria

lard said. “But I do think that in all of these districts, there’s, a great group of parents … that will also be supportive.

“I think that they will have a voice on the board and so while they may not get certain items passed, or the votes aren’t going to land their way, at least they’ll have a voice and they can let the pub lic and the community and the parents know that … it’s being voted on.”

Some candidates welcome the challenge of being in the minority on the board.

“School board members are non-parti san positions and parental rights are en shrined in state statute,” Anna Van Hoek wrote. She won election in the Higley Uni fied School District. “Politics should be set aside, and the law followed by all elected officials, administration and staff.”

“If I am in the minority, I will work to bring transparency on what is discussed and voted upon and perhaps why I am not in support or support of a motion,” wrote new Queen Creek Unified board member James Knox. “Too often, items in QCUSD are put into the consent vote when they are not consenting items.”

Said Amy Carney, the other new Scott sdale Unified board member: “I plan to work alongside the other board mem bers to strengthen our school commu nities by supporting our students and educators and ensuring that parents feel

ated high school three years ago, so he is well-versed in the mind of high schoolers.”

Montero is a 2019 alumnus of Desert Vista High School.

“I believe that there were a lot of people that doubted what Armando would be able to do as a vice president, even some of the board members,” Hodge said. “But he has grown into an amazing leader that

James Knox, Queen Creek

Raul Rodriguez, Sahuarita

Amy Carney and Carine Werner, Scottsdale

Thomas Trask, Tanque Verde Val Romero, Tucson

heard and welcomed on our campuses.”

Purple for Parents was strategic in how its endorsed candidates ran for school board seats. Dillard said the group did not endorse any more candidates than there were seats available, so they wouldn’t split the vote.

In Chandler, she said they had their own caucus since there were multiple parental-rights candidates who want ed to run. She said each agreed to not run if they didn’t get enough support at the caucus.

Kurt Rohrs and Charlotte Golla ended up with the most support, so others stood down. Rohrs ended up with the most votes in his election. Golla finished third and did not win.

Dillard said she would like to see school board races become partisan, so voters can determine their candidates in a primary election and give them a better shot at winning in the general.

She said parental-rights board members will want to put the focus back on academ ics when they take their seats.

“Especially coming off of the end of the pandemic,” she said. “There are kids suf fering a lot of learning loss, and there are achievement gaps. And I do think that there could be different programs that the schools can have and focus on to help get our kids up to speed.” 

we all have so much respect for.”

As for his experience with the other members of the board, Montero said, “There are times that we might disagree on something, but at the end of the day, once we’re done with the meeting, you know, we can go back to just being good friends, and I am so very grateful for that.” 

13 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS
PURPLE from page 11
MONTERO from page 12
GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5647 or pmaryniak@timeslocalmedia.com

in a production featuring lavish costumes and intricate dance numbers.

For the third year, the extravagant stage show, complete with on-stage fall ing snow, richly-crafted period costumes and rhinestone-embellished tutus, will be held at the Madison Center for the Arts in downtown Phoenix 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 1 p.m. Dec. 18.

The 1 p.m. matinees typically sell out quickly.

The production moved from its home stage at Desert Vista during the pandemic shutdown of campuses.

“For the third year we’re doing the show at the Madison Center for The Arts – which is more centrally located and has brought us a whole new audience,” said Lewis.

“We now get people from all over the Valley attending and with the rebrand of our new name, we have more dancers from all over the Valley as part of our cast, which is so nice to see.”

This year’s production introduces 7-year-old Caden Jerger as Fritz, and 12-year-old Lauren Wiscombe as Clara. Both won their roles this past summer af ter auditions.

Caden Jerger is the youngest in 23 years to earn the coveted part of Fritz.

Serendipitously, they each have a parent onstage with them.

Caden Jerger’s mother Ashley Jerger, a choreographer in the Dance Studio 111 production, appears this year as a parent in the boisterous party scene.

“Caden and I both love being a part of this Nutcracker and the magic that’s all around it. As a choreographer for the show, I love watching my students grow more and more each year,” Ashely said.

“I love watching the joy in their faces from the time their roles are announced to the moment they are on stage,” added Ash ley, who began dancing at age 3 and has appeared in numerous Nutcracker ballets.

“Getting to share the stage with my son Caden is one of the most wonderful and special memories I’ve had in my whole life, and I cherish every moment that I get to do this with him. My two greatest loves are my boys and dance so the fact that I get to combine them during this time of year

is priceless for me,” she continued.

Clara’s father in this year’s production is played by her real father, explained Lewis.

“Her actual father, Brian Wiscombe, has played the role of Clara’s father in our Nutcracker for the past five years and this year is getting to have his own daughter as Clara. He dances with her onstage as Clara’s father,” said Lewis.

“That is very special as it’s only the sec ond time in 23 years this has happened. This is Brian’s sixth year playing the role; he waited a very long long time for his daughter to be Clara.”

“ It makes me very proud to have the op portunity to perform with my daughter as these situations do not align very often,”

said Brian Wiscombe of Lauren, a seventh grade student at St. John Bosco Catholic School who is in her eighth year dancing in Dance Studio 111’s Nutcracker ballet.

“Being selected as Clara for the Arizona Nutcracker is a huge honor and also a dream of many young girls including our daughter since she first started perform ing,” Wiscombe continued.

“As her parents and support crew we wanted to make sure that she’s able to en joy this momentous opportunity, and that the experience was memorable. Our role in helping make this happen is to support her and Dance Studio 111 as much as we can to help make the show a huge success.”

Wiscombe and his wife, Wanda, spon sored 16 billboards Valley-wide announc ing the 23rd annual production.

They also are the hosts of the “Clara Par ty” given for the entire cast on Dec. 10, one week before opening day and three days before their daughter’s 13th birthday.

For Lewis, this year’s production is a part of the magic that continues to sur round the family favorite Holiday event.

She recalled how the pandemic nearly decimated the annual production. Only through her tenacity were her young dancers and actors able to carry on with the ballet they’d worked on for so long.

She recalled the scramble in 2020 to find a theater to replace Desert Vista and at one point even considered staging the production outdoors at Desert Foothills Parkway Park.

14 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS
see NUTCRACKER page 16 NUTCRACKER from page 1
Jenna Hansen is the Queen of Sweets in Ahwatukee Dance Studio 111 owner’s presentation of a local classic she now has rebranded “Arizona Nutcracker.” (Zach BonDurant/AFN Contributor) Kentlee Razcon raises her arms above Presley Campos and Andi Benavidez durign a Thanksgiv ing weekend p[erformance of “Arizona Nutcracker.” (Zachary BonDurant/AFN Contributor) Kiki Reyes as The Nutcracker battes with the Mouse King, played by Ally Nash, as Lauren Wiscombe, playing Clara, looks on. (Zachary BonDurant/AFN Contributor)
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“I was able to find only one open theater in town, and that was The Madison Center for The Arts. We were told we could have a live audience, but at limited capacity.

“I wanted to keep some sort of normal routine for our children as so much was taken away from them due to the pan demic; it was very important to me to pull off this ‘Nutcracker,’” she said.

“One week prior to our opening night we were told that we couldn’t have a live audience due to a spike in COVID cases,” she recalled.

“I couldn’t let our cast down. The chil dren had been rehearsing every weekend from August through December, so the show had to go on,” said Lewis. “I was able to hire a live-feed company to come in at the last minute to stream our Nutcracker, so the show did go on. And I had my sound tech add in clapping sound effects so our dancers felt that there was an audience in attendance.”

The following year there was a respite, though yet ticket sales remained low.

“In 2021, with the vaccine available, we were able to have a live audience but our attendance was still low, and masks were required inside the theater, and we had other restrictions.

“I honestly didn’t know if we’d be able to continue our Nutcracker after such a financial loss in 2020 and 2021,” she ad mitted.

“We took a huge financial hit because without ticket sales, you can’t possibly cover the cost of such a large production.

“This year will be our first year since 2019 that we can enjoy the ‘Nutcracker’ without masks and other restrictions –which makes me happy,” she smiled.

Tradition is important in this annual holiday production, which remains the same regardless of their new name.

Among the annual traditions of this stage show is the visit from Santa, and the gathering of cast and audience following each of the 1 p.m. matinees.

“We get the entire audience to sing ‘Jin gle Bells’, Santa Claus comes out onstage and the entire audience follows Santa out to the beautiful lobby of The Madison

Center for the Arts where we have a cute Candyland scene set up for everyone to take photos with Santa,” Lewis explained.

“We also have the costumed Clara, Fritz, the Mouse King, the Nutcracker, our Sugarplum Fairy and all the Royal Queens in the lobby to sign autographs and take photos.

“If you have children, I highly recom mend attending one of the matinee shows because there’s so much that goes on af ter the performance that makes it so spe cial, and where the audience can connect with our cast.”

Ashley Jerger said the Arizona Nut crackerremains a must-see.

“I definitely encourage Ahwatukee fam ilies, and anyone and everyone of all ages, to attend,” she said.

“I had family members attend last year and they had nothing but wonderful things to say about the production. They said it was done so professionally and they are all coming back to watch it again this year,” said Jerger.

Lewis grew nostalgic as she further re flected on the production.

“So many memories. I am grateful to still have our Nutcracker and I am thank ful for everyone who has supported us these past 23 years. We continue to be the only Nutcracker in our country with our entire cast being young dancers ages three to 18.” 

If You Go...

To order tickets for the Dec. 17 and 18 Arizona Nutcracker performances at the 908- seat auditorium of The Madison Center for the Arts, see TheArizonaNutcracker.com.

The 160,000 square-foot Madison Center for the Arts is located at 5601 N. 16th Street. Free parking is avail able in their 375 covered-stall parking structure located directly south of the facility by the Madison Promenade.

Dance Studio 111 is at 4910 E. Chan dler Blvd. Suite 111 in Ahwatukee. For more information, see DanceStudio111. com

LA CASA DE JUANA

DELIVERS A KNOCKOUT WITH ITS FRESH, AUTHENTIC AND MOUTHWATERING FOOD

If you thought you have been to a Mex ican restaurant lately you probably need to reconsider and visit La Casa De Juana in Ahwatukee. The fare is authentic Mex ican, and when we say authentic we mean it, unlike many of the restaurant chains that call themselves Mexican. Upon en tering you’ll be dazzled by the colorful décor, the tables and chairs are beautiful, Mexican painted murals, colorful banners hanging from the ceiling and the gracious service with warm orange and yellow tones echoing throughout the restaurant will make this your favorite Mexican restaurant. With great lunch and dinner specials, we have Happy Hour Monday - Sunday from 2 - 6 PM with $5 House Margar itas, $4 Beers, $5.95 Cheese Quesadilla, $8.95 Chunky Guacamole and $9.95 Juana’s Nachos. Live music every Thursday night in our Ahwatukee location and every Friday at our Tempe location. In con clusion The flavorful salsa, the delicious margaritas, the extraordinary and well-priced food will definitely keep you coming back.

Don’t hesitate to stop by the Ahwatukee location 3941 E. Chandler Blvd. (S/W corner Chandler & 40th St) to make your next reservation call 480-823-2834 www.juanashouse.com

16 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS
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from the crushing blow dealt by the pan demic – or from what could have been a tough turn when ACT founder Michele Ru bino and her husband Michael moved to Kentucky last year for job reasons, leaving behind the theater she founded in 2020.

The Rubinos’ relocation followed the pandemic shutdowns, which impacted every studio and theater company in the state. It forced ACT to cancel classes and lose the lease on its studio.

“We have had to kind of work through a lot,” said Executive Director Melissa Snow, an ACT choreographer and show choir di rector since 2005 who is co-directing “A Christmas Carol” with Michele Rubino and Bailey Isenberg.

“COVID really shut us down. We were down to two of our classes that we were able to continue with but ran them out side so that they could sing – because we couldn’t sing indoors with everybody. And we basically gave up our lease on our stu dio.”

Enter the miracles, starting with the Ru binos themselves.

Michele has kept involved in ACT and she and her husband flew to Ahwatukee

for a weekend to work with Snow and Is enberg on setting up an entire show and its cast of 62 mostly teens and children.

“We put the whole show together with the choreography, the music – all of that,” Snow said.

Michael is reprising his role as Ebenezer Scrooge, which he’s played since ACT first

staged the musical more than two decades ago – before his wife even formed ACT.

“It’s a little bit of a crazy situation,” Snow conceded. “But it worked last year. It was our first time last year to see how it worked. And it wouldn’t be the same to not have them.”

The second miracle came in the form of

ACT’s landlord, who didn’t lease the studio at 11011 S. 48th St., in the hope the the ater company could recover and return.

“We have an amazing landlord,” Snow gushed, adding they moverd back in last fall. “It’s a great rehearsal space for us.”

Indeed, while ACT’s studio doesn’t have a stage – the troupe often uses the Foot hills Golf Club for that – it now has the lighting and even some seating that helps the cast get a feel for performing before an audience.

To the miracles of a committed core staff headed by Snow and the Rubinos and a kind landlord comes the miracle of a dedi cated cast in “Carol” that includes some actors and actresses who have been re turning one or more years to reprise roles.

Often there are several family members who make return engagements..

For example, Collin Bridge first per formed in “Carol” at age 5. He’s now a se nior at Desert Vista High School. His older brother Logan performed in “Christmas Carol” for six years.

“I love everything about it – the songs, the people, the jokes!” Collin said “We have such a fun time doing this show

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ACT from page 1
see
Patrick Keyser as Fred points the Charity girls to his Uncle Scrooge in the Ahwatukee Chil dren’s Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.” (David Minton/AFN Staff Photographer)
ACT page 20

and hopefully you can see that from the audience.”

While ACT has been polishing the cast’s performance and the crew’s technical mastery, it also is in the process of a re branding that for the first time will enable adults with an itch for the stage to partici pate in classes and more productions.

“This is kind of a new start for us this year,” Snow said, explaining that ACT, while keeping its name, is transitioning from a children’s to community theater.

“We’re rebranding and just really trying to use ‘Christmas Carol’ as a great plat form to show what we offer and what we can bring to the community,” she said.

ACT is planning to present its first adultcast presentation with “Momma Mia,” this spring.

“Working with parents, it’s amazing how many adults have theater in their background at some place,” Snow said. “Af ter COVID and having been secluded and not being able to be very creative, I was approached by a couple of parents and asked if I would be willing to do a show for adults. And I said ‘absolutely.’”

“The emphasis is still on children,” she continued. “We’re keeping the ACT name, we’re keeping our same logo. We’re re ally trying to make it an inclusive environ ment. ‘Inclusive’ and ‘community’ are kind of our big key words.

“And our logo has the rainbow chil dren on it. We’ve had that from the very beginning. So it’s very good right now with everything that’s going on with in clusiveness.”

But she added, “It’s kind of a minor re brand. It’s not going to be anything major. It’s more of us changing our vision and up dating a little bit.”

ACT also is starting a quarterly com munity service project, kicking that off by partnering with the Armer Founda

tion for Kids on a toy drive.

“We’re very blessed that our families at the theater are such loving, caring people and so accepting and we want to share that with everybody,” she said.”

ACT also is currently casing for its spring children’s show, “Annie,” slated for March 3 and 4 at the Krok. Sign up for auditions at azact.org.

Costumes for “A Christmas Carol” were assembled under the direction of Megan Snow. Jack Walton is lighting director and Jillian McDaniel is stage manager.

Cast members include Bradley Ash, Abby Gellman, Jeff Rudolph. Meredith Snow, Colton Harmon, Julia Fagerman, Kenzie Padilla, Samuel Nelson, Bella Gump, Sophie Harmon, Bella Klein, Aman da Gellman, Talya Myers’

Also, Jasmine Horvat, Amber Chen, Nora Nigro, Jesse Anderson, Darcy Syl vester, Gabby Padilla, Patrick Keyser, Claire Grider, Theo Feela, Evan Grider, Shuan Sullivan, Sheridan Reagan, Mia Egan and Erin Myers.

Bookkeepers and students include Em ily Bonner, Clara DeMaris, Will Foote, Vivi Foreman, Axol Hurry, Zosia Moldt, Char lotte Stewart and Zoe Stewart.

Ghosts and urchins are played by Abby Fedyski, Logann Flores, Olivia Lorincy, Sierra Ricks, Madelyn Thye and Danielle Olawski.

Townspeople include Anders Fager man, Julian Roman, Evie Walker, Danielle Olawski, Sierra Rcks, Amelicia Jonson, Cassidy Trembath, Brooklyn Harmon and Sooz Rudolph.

Carolers are Camryn Anderson, Bella Campisano, Phoebe Haslup, Teagan Kelly, Molly Lakritz and Dani Thomas.

Dancing carolers include Mirian An derson, Amelia Burt, Ayla Edwards, Tessa Fote, Brooklyn Harmon, Amelicia Johnson, Adeline Olawski, Violent Olawski, Alexis Rodriguez, Bella omen, Cassidy Trembath and Evie Walker. 

20 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS
ACT from page 19
Flanked by
as Young Master Scrooge and Nora
the
of Christmas Past,” Abby Gellman as Belle ruminates on the
(David
The latest breaking news and top local stories in Ahwatukee! www.Ahwatukee.com .com JUST A CLICK AWAY GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5631 or pmaryniak@timeslocalmedia.com
The Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol” includes, from left, Colton Harmon as Tiny TIm, Samuel Nelson as Peter Cratchit, Meredith Snow as Emily Cratchit, Jeff Rudolph as Bob Cratchit and, in the foreground, Julia Fagerman as Belinda Cratchit and Kenzie Padilla as Betina Cratchit. (David Minton/AFN Staff Photographer)
Patrick Keyser
Nigra as
Ghost
holidays.
Minton/AFN Staff Photographer)

East Valley law firm leads fight to ban abortion pill

AScottsdale law firm founded to defend what it says are Christian values in court is trying to block the most used method of abortion.

Attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom contend the “abortion pill’’ –technically, two separate medications used together – is medically unsafe and charge that the Food and Drug Adminis tration ignored that evidence when ap proving use, instead choosing “politics over science.’’

There was no response from the feder al agency to the lawsuit. But the agency, in its postings, said it has determined that mifepristone, the main drug in volved, “is safe and effective when used to terminate a pregnancy’’ in accordance with labeling instructions.

Brittany Fonteno, president of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said if the lawsuit is successful it will remove an important option for women here.

The state Court of Appeals is weighing whether to allow Arizona to once again enforce its territorial-era law that bans virtually all abortions.

If that occurs, the only option for wom en in Arizona would be to find a way to get a doctor from another state to pre scribe the drugs so they could manage their own abortions. That would cease to be an option if the lawsuit is successful.

The lawsuit, filed in Texas, is in the name of several medical groups that are opposed to abortion, including the Alli ance for Hippocratic Medicine, the Amer ican Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association.

Erik Baptist, the lead attorney, said that President Bill Clinton, on his sec

ond full day in office in 1992, directed his cabinet to legalize chemical abortion drugs in the United States. He said Clin ton then pressured a French company to donate for free the U.S. patent rights for mifepristone to the Population Council, an organization that does biomedical re search and has developed birth control methods.

It then got the approval of the FDA for use on Sept. 28, 2000, just over a month before the closely contested presidential election.

“The only way the FDA could have ap proved chemical abortion drugs was to use its accelerated drug approval author ity, necessitating the FDA to call preg nancy an ‘illness’ and argue that these dangerous drugs provide a ‘meaningful therapeutic benefit’ over existing treat ments,’’ Baptist wrote.

“But pregnancy is not an illness, nor do chemical abortion drugs provide a thera peutic benefit over surgical abortion,’’ he said, calling the FDA’s assertions “trans parently false.’’

Baptist said the situation only has got ten worse, with the FDA in 2016 expand ing the permitted use of the drugs from the first seven weeks of pregnancy to 10 weeks, reducing the number of required office visits from three to one, and ex panded who could prescribe the drugs beyond medical doctors.

And just last year, he said, the FDA is sued said it would stop enforcing its re quirement that abortionists provide inperson dispensing of mifepristone and instead would temporarily allow mailorder chemical abortions during the COVID-19 public health emergency. That was later made permanent.

“This decision not only harms women and girls who voluntarily undergo chemical abortions, but it also

further helps sex traffickers and sexual abusers to force their victims into get ting abortions while preventing the au thorities from identifying these victims,’’ Baptist said.

Several states, including Arizona. have since approved laws that prohibit ob taining these drugs by mail regardless of the FDA policy.

But Cathi Herrod, president of the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy which helped craft the state legislation, acknowledged to Capitol Media Services that blocking the drugs from being sent into Arizona from a pharmacy in another state or even another country could be logistically difficult.

This lawsuit is about more than mife pristone, also known as RU-486, which is designed to terminate the pregnancy.

Medical studies have said that drug does not always work by itself.

So the FDA added a second drug to the regimen–- misoprostal – to induce contractions to expel the fetus from the womb. Baptist wants the judge to order the FDA to withdraw it approval for that

drug, too.

Removal of the drugs would affect more than half the abortions performed in Arizona.

“I think it would be terribly devastating if access to abortion were further elimi nated by the abortion pill becoming un available,’’ Fonteno said.

“We know that at Planned Parenthood Arizona, and actually across the country, most patients prefer the abortion pill as their method of termination,’’ she said. “This is just another attempt to try to block access to essential health care.’’

Alliance Defending Freedom defines itself as “the world’s largest legal organi zation committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and God’s design for marriage and family.’’

Founded in 1994, it has been involved in a number of Arizona cases, including getting the state Supreme Court to rule that a Phoenix anti-discrimination ordi nance did not preclude two women from refusing to provide custom wedding invi tations to a gay couple. 

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Bell Bank Park tapping reserves to avoid default

Bell Bank Park operator Legacy Cares received authorization last week to dip into its last $22 million in cash as it scrambles to find a way out of default on a $280 million loan and maintain oper ations during talks with prospective lend ers who might take over its debt and give the park more time to become profitable.

The 320-acre family sports and enter tainment complex in southeast Mesa has struggled to generate sufficient revenue to cover loan repayments since opening in February, despite claims by Legacy that the complex has brought in nearly a mil lion visitors and over 3 million visits so far.

The $22 million in question is in an ac count set aside and authorized currently only for loan payments.

The change approved by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority Board, which served as the issuer for the taxexempt municipal bonds that funded the park, clears the way for Legacy Cares to use that money for operations, consul tants and other expenses associated with its bid to raise additional capital.

“The reason we’re asking for this amendment is so that we can continue to do our work, so that if and when this board approves the new refunding bonds … our audience, our clientele won’t miss a step. They can continue to have a good experience when they show up at Legacy Sports Park,” a representative for Legacy said at a Nov. 30 authority board meeting.

In October, Legacy Cares failed to make loan payments, and in an investor call later that month, the trustee for the bonds re ported that the park has never generated enough monthly revenue to cover loan pay ments since the completion of construction.

Additionally, Bell Bank Park has racked up $30 million in liens filed by unpaid con tractors who installed flooring, electricity, plumbing and other amenities at the facil ity. One of these contractors initiated fore closure proceedings to force payment.

During the AZIDA meeting, Legacy CEO Doug Moss blamed the park’s woes pri marily on the pandemic.

He said COVID-19 delayed the opening park and supply chain issues meant the facility wasn’t fully open until May.

“So as a result of all those issues, we

encountered various financial difficulties with respect to paying vendors, the land lord, cashflow – a number of financial is sues,” Moss said.

Currently, Legacy’s bondholders are working with the sports nonprofit to buy the project time and try to fix the mess.

They’ve extended “forbearance” on the loan payments to help the park continue operations and they are cooperating with Legacy on plans to restructure its debt.

Bell Bank Park’s major bondholders are institutional investors who manage investments for large organizations with retirement plans and other large funds. One bondholder, Vanguard, manages $7 trillion in assets.

A representative for Legacy’s bondhold ers supported using the reserve funds because “looking at the cash flows, it was decided we need to be in position to write checks if we need to in order to continue propping up Cares,”

Tapping the $22 million reserve will buy Bell Bank Park some time to keep the lights on, and a court has given the project at least two months to work on paying its contractors.

On Nov. 23, a Superior Court judge granted a stay on litigation related to the

contractors’ liens until Jan. 31, 2023.

One authorty board member asked Leg acy how long the $22 million left in reserve would last at the current cash burn rate.

Before anyone could give a definite an swer, an attorney on the call jumped in to say Legacy was still negotiating with the bondholders on how it would spend the money.

Authority Program Manager Pat Ray sought reassurance that Bell Bank Park could climb out of default and asked direct ly what was going wrong with the project.

“We don’t want to be associated with a default, particularly on a really large proj ect like this,” Ray said, while also stating his belief that a default by Legacy couldn’t hurt the authority financially or reputationally.

“This may not be a totally fair question, but I need to ask it anyway,” Ray contin ued. “Whenever we see a default on one of our conduit projects it’s because of some thing bad happening – it’s bad luck, maybe COVID, its bad management, bad opera tions, bad underwriting, bad actors.”

“I don’t think there’s any nefarious stuff going on, but from the bondholders’ per spective, what is the issue here?”

In response, bond counsel for Legacy Cares Tim Stratton fell back on COVID,

saying the project hit a “perfect storm” of pandemic-related hurdles, including sup ply chain and inflation issues.

“To the best of my knowledge, that’s the extent of the issues,” Stratton said.

Brian Barber, a representative for the majority of the bondholders, expressed optimism about the project and gave sup port for allowing Legacy to tap the $22 million in reserves and other measures designed to help fix the project.

“The holders have been very, very clear,” Barber said. “They want these bonds and they want them tax exempt. Also, they love the facility.”

“They have visited the facility, and they’re very excited about the success and commu nity impact,” Barber continued. “What we want to do is prop up (Legacy) Cares, be supportive of sports, and learn how to best monetize what we consider to be a very significant amount of attendance.”

As Bell Bank Park’s financial troubles be gan to surface in the late summer, Legacy Cares has put up a cheerful, optimistic front, even as they nearing conditions of default.

Just before the authority board’s vote to authorize the use of the reserved funds, a

22 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NEWS
Though home to numerous sports organizations and sporting events as well as other gatherings, Bell Bank Park, marking a year next month, has not generated enough revenue. (AFN file photo)
see LEGACY page 23

representative with Legacy, continued to give a rosy outlook.

“We opened the park in a perfect storm in terms of supply chain, the inflation, the COVID,” the representative said, “but at this point, the park has had over 3.6 mil lion visitors and we expect that to hit prob ably 4 million by the end of the month.

“So this is the busy season and right now the park seems to be sustaining it self. So we’re on the right track, and I just wanted to add that the park is going full throttle, right now.” 

WARNING!

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY AND CHRONIC PAIN TREATMENTS NOT WORKING!!

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 GREAT NEWS IS THAT THIS TREATMENT IS COVERED BY MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND MOST INSURANCES!!

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 December 31st, 2022 Call (480) 274 3157 to make an appointment

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

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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.

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Ahwatukee designer recalls time on the trail

Carol Sampson of Ahwatukee Foot hills had a successful career in the interior design field, but she also spent some time in 2003 as a horse wran gler at Trail Horse Adventure Rides at the former Pointe South Mountain Resort.

She’s written a book about those funfilled six months called Horse Wrangler Shenanigans, available through Amazon for $19.99 and at the bookstore at the Ari zona Grand Resort, which bought Pointe South Mountain.

The book is packed with memories of Sampson’s time on the trails.

“The reason I started writing the book was because there were so many things that happened that were funny, amusing, hilarious,” she said.

“I had notes everywhere about the hors es, the shenanigans they pulled, and the guest riders, the things they pulled, and the golfers, because we were right on the golf course. The wrangler boss, Ron, was

a real prankster, so he pulled a lot of stuff on us, too.”

It wasn’t the most lucrative job, however.

Sampson tried to impress Ron during the interview with her horse knowledge and skills, and he told her, “This is one of those jobs where you’re not going to be

paid,” she said.

“He said, ‘If you have any injuries or damages, you’re on your own.’”

Ron did, however, agree to split the tips.

“I didn’t care,” Sampson said. “It was about being able to ride several times a day for six months and have a chance to really enjoy the horses and get to know them.”

On top of that, Sampson added of her boss, “He was slender, handsome, with dark blue eyes and a mischievous smile. Sparks flew between us.”

During her time leading rides, Sampson also researched a good amount of history on the Ahwatukee area, such as back ground about petroglyphs in South Moun tain Park and Preserve and information about saguaro cactuses.

Also, many people had asked how Ah watukee got its name, “so I explored really deeply into that,” she said.

Once Sampson started compiling her memories, she thought, “I should really

Kyrene Foundation pleads for Wonderland donations

These are hard times for low-income families with young children.

Just ask Rick Richardson, Kyrene Foundation vice president.

He saw how great a need exists just within the boundaries of the Kyrene School District shortly before Thanksgiv ing when families invited by the school district’s social workers appeared at the Kyrene Family Resource Center to grate fully accept gift cards that the foundation and Sun Valley Church had collected for their Turkey and Trimmings event.

They ran out of gift cards before the line ran out.

“The need exceeded our projections by about 30% - we gave out over 300 grocery

gift cards,” Richardson said.

“I had to run out and buy 30 more grocery cards and the Resource Center had a huge donation of cards that saved our butts.”

Now the heat is on for the second phase of the foundation-Sun Valley Church effort to make the holidays a bit merrier for fami lies who are barely getting by – if that.

“Winter Wonderland is less than two weeks away and we are under 25% of our goal,” Richardson said. “We need to make a big push this and next week.”

Talk to anyone in authority at Kyrene School District – be they administrators, school board members, teachers – and one thing you’ll hear more than anything else is how generous the community is.

Whether it’s helping the district secure

a budget override or just to help a strug gling kid or family, the Kyrene community has always pitched in, they say.

Now, with Winter Wonderland close at hand, the foundation is looking for those helping hands again.

The foundation hopes to provide each designated family with a co-branded foun dation and Landings Credit Union VISA card for Winter Wonderland as well as gift cards for gifts and some gifts collected in previous years for each youngster.

In addition, organizers are sorting through toys collected from the previous live event and will be distributing those as well at Winter Wonderland.

“We anticipate the need to be much larg er this year,” Richardson said.

People are asked for cash donations

only as organizers are not collecting gift cards or items.

The 2021 donation drive “was a great success due to a tremendous outpouring of generosity from our community and partners,” Richardson said.

“The Kyrene Foundation, Sun Valley Church and the Kyrene District were able to ensure over 200 families and 700 chil dren did not go without the simple joys of the holiday season.”

And last year preceded the record infla tion of this year, as well as the full impact of soaring rents and fuel prices.

To donate, go to kyrenefoundation. org/winterwonderland. To reach the donation form: fundraise.givesmart. com/e/tCxMNQ?vid=vw5y9

26 COMMUNITY AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 @AhwatukeeFN | @AhwatukeeFN Community
27
see SAMPSON page
Ahwatukee resident Carol Sampson has penned an autobiography about her early life as a wrangler. (Geri Koeppel/AFN Contributor)

ACalifornia company that special izes in apartment and commer cial development has purchased the Foothills Golf Course for $4.7 million, leaving Wilson Gee and his partners with two left courses in Ahwatukee with a third in nearby Maricopa.

AZ Management & Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Ennabe Properties a mul tigenerational-family business, also has entered into an agreement with Troon to manage the 166-acre, 18-hole course.

Attorney Michael Ennabe, a member of the family-owners, told AFN that “al though we are in the early stages of ac quiring the golf club, we are planning on renovating the club house and the golf course in 2023. Troon has been great to work with thus far and we are still work ing out the details for the renovations in 2023.”

Ennabe said his company, has been in volved in Arizona real estate investment for 15 years and has multifamily prop erties in Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson and

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Businesses can take steps on rent concerns

Looking back, 2022 will be remembered as the year of high in flation, among other things. Inflation affects people and businesses differently.

For those that drive electric vehicles, the spike in gas prices is inconsequential and perhaps not even noticed. For the Ford F250 driver who has a long com mute to work, the higher gas prices are

likely a painful expense. For the farmer or businessperson who relies on heavy fuel consumption to produce its end-product, even more painful.

While some businesses can pass along the rise in raw materials costs to their end-users, others may struggle to do so.

Since inflation decreases the purchasing power of consumers, businesses that are dependent on consumer spending may experience a decline in revenue.

In the present economy, with uncer tainties about the future, many small busi nesses are struggling financially and are

concerned about the implications the rise in costs might have on their ability to meet ongoing expenses.

In particular, the reduction in profit some businesses are experiencing is threatening their ability to continue to pay rent.

Business owners might be wondering what options they have:

1. Commercial tenants should read their leases carefully to examine whether the landlord is in breach of the lease. As an example, many commercial leases require the landlord to be responsible for struc

tural defects.

If there is a foundation issue at the premises that is compromising the struc tural integrity of the building, the issue persists after notice from the tenant, the landlord could be in default of the lease.

2. While not common, some com mercial leases have early termination clauses or allow tenants to terminate a lease under certain circumstances. If so, the tenant should carefully review this clause and determine if it is feasible and

recently has been acquiring commercial properties in Chandler and Gilbert.

“This is our first golf course acquisi tion and although slightly outside of our wheelhouse, we love the Ahwatukee com munity and surrounding areas – which is why we thought Foothills Golf Club would be a good fit,” Ennabe said. “We hope to be a good partner to the Ahwatukee com munity and plan on making the golf club a place where the community can gather.”

He also had high praise for Troon, which he said “has been instrumental in the en tire process.” Troon is the world’s largest golf course management company.

“I originally engaged them for the due diligence process and quickly retained them to manage the property and they are running the day-to-day operations of the facility. I could not have done it without them ," Ennabe said, "and they have been great to work with throughout the entire process.”

The sale includes the course, the 12,000-square-foot clubhouse that was built in 1981, and two lofts totaling an

other 12,750 square feet.

And unlike its deteriorating neighbor, the Club West Golf Course, the Foothills’ future use is locked into golf under the community’s CC&Rs. That’s not the same for Club West, where the course itself has its own land use regulations, though a group of homeowners that banded to gether in a group called the Club West

Conservancy is asserting that the original homebuilder there and its successor, Shea Homes, promised to keep it an 18-hole course.

The Edge has not yet disclosed its plans for that site because of litigation that has lasted almost the entire time it has owned the property.

Gee sold that course in 2019 to the four partners who formed The Edge, which is fighting the Conservancy’s effort to have a Superior Court judge declare that homes can never be built on the 164-acre site.

Gee declined to discuss the Foothills sale, but said earlier this year when he put that course and The Duke in Maricopa up for sale that conditions were favorable for him and his partners to start divesting them selves of their courses. He and his partners still own the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course and the Ahwatukee Country Club.

Shortly after reaching a tentative deal with Ennabe, Gee took the 137-acre Duke

in Maricopa off the market because golf season was about to begin. That course had been priced at $8 million.

Designed by Tom Weiskoph and Jay Moorish, the Foothills Golf Course has been rated 4 stars by Golf Digest Places to Play and “meanders through a very up scale desert layout combined with a links flavor, minus the extreme carries that golf ers often associate with desert designs,” according to its listing on Loopnet.com.

The ad also touted the site’s “allure and challenge,” noting that the clubhouse in cludes a 160-seat theater, pro shop, room for restaurant outfitting and spacious pa tios and views of South Mountain “and an aesthetic quality that makes a round here memorable – as evidenced by the gor geous postcard quality backdrops behind the greens and tees.” 

re2 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 REAL ESTATE
Be Smart. Choose LendSmart. When you support your local Community businesses, we are all winners, making our Community stronger one closing at a time. Contact Eric Kinneman for your mortgage needs 602-757-2171. Eric Kinneman, Branch Manager - Ahwatukee Branch. NMLS #212062 | AZ License 0911709 O: 480.477.8464 | D: 602.757.2171 | F: 602.445.0913 | ekinneman@lendsmartmortgate.com | www.erickkinnemanloans.com FOOTHILLS from page RE1 see GOTTLIEB page 4
The 18-hole, 166-acre Foothills Golf Course in Ahwatukee has bene purchased by a longtime family-run real estate investment company that specializes in commercial and multifamily properties. (Tom Sanfilppo/Inside Out Aerial) Troon, the world’s largest golf course man agement company, will run day-to-day op erations at Foothills. (vizzda.com)

Data provides some hope for Valley home sellers

Abig silver lining for Valley home sellers could be emerging in the dark cloud hanging for the Valley housing market.

The Cromford Report, the Valley’s lead ing analyst of the local housing market, recently reported on two trends that of fer encouraging news for sellers – and dismal news for buyers.

On the one hand, it said, the weakening in the housing market in the last three months appears to be slowing down, sug gesting “the overall deterioration for sell ers is starting to decelerate,” the Crom ford Report said last week.

And despite a significant decline in demand, it noted, building permits issued for new single-family homes Maricopa and Pinal counties have plummeted – set ting up a return next year of the same dearth in inventory that helped pro pel the soaring home prices of the last two years.

“The single-family building per mit counts have collapsed, with only 1,149 being issued in October 2022 for Maricopa and Pinal counties,” it said. “This is the lowest monthly total since February 2015. It is also down 53% from October 2021.”

Noting that “the single-family permit count year-to-date is 24,442 which is lower than all years from 1996 to 2006,” it warned, adding:

“With such a drop in building plans, we are setting ourselves up for a shortage of supply next year should interest rates drop and demand for purchased singlefamily homes recover.”

That doesn’t mean building has stopped – it’s just not in the single-family arena.

“The situation is completely different with multifamily permits in Maricopa and Pinal,” the Cromford Report said. “The construction of multifamily units is accelerating and we now have 15,925 units year-to-date as of October 2022. This is up more than 30% over this time last year. 2022 will be by far the strongest year ever for multi-family unit permits. While square foot price continues a

This 2,623-square-foot house on S. 38th Street in Ahwatukee recent ly sold for $1.1 million. The four-bedroom, 3 1/2 -bath house, built in 1989, boasted a major remodeling over the last couple years, an oversized backyard with masonry Barbecue, jetted/current pool and other amenities. (Special to AFN)

downward drift, the report said, it has not occurred “at any alarming rate,” the re port stated, adding that the current price is $274 compared to $279 in September – a 1% decline but still above the square foot price of 2021.

“Although the lack of demand causes concern,” it noted, “the shortage of sup ply goes a long way to counter-balance this and downward pressure on prices is fairly light.”

At the same time, the Valley’s 17 hous ing submarkets also are showing encour aging trends for sellers.

“There are numerous signs that the situation is starting to improve gradually over the last two weeks,” the Cromford Report said, counting Phoenix and the East Valley among areas where inven tory is falling – thus counteracting any impact a decline in demand might have on prices.

“Only 6,713 new listings were added in

This 3,307-square-foot house on S. 20th Street in Ahwatukee, sold recently for $940,000. Built in 1996, the four-bedroom, 2 ½-bath house boasted an open-floor plan with lots of natural light and an oversized lot backing into the South Mountain Preserve. (Special to AFN)

the past four weeks,” it said in mid-No vember. “This is down 27% from last year and down 25% from 2020. What is most amazing is that these unusually low num bers of new listings come less than five months after the record high of 12,246 was set on June 28.

“Those who think the housing mar ket is a bursting bubble are obviously wrong,” the Cromford Report said. “In a bubble we have a stampede of sellers try ing to get out. You could be forgiven for thinking a bubble was bursting in June, but there is no evidence to support that conclusion today. We have a tired and low-volume market, but supply and de mand are both very weak.

“If new supply stays as low as it is now, it would not take a large increase in de mand to go back to a balanced market.”

It also predicted supply would continue to drop into next year.

As for demand, the report added. “With

mortgage rates stabilizing for a while at a rate around 6.6% to 6.7% for a 30-year fixed loan, demand for homes has also stabilized, though at a very low level.”

“Even so, we have fewer than 7,000 list ings under contract across all areas and types and we really should be well over 9,000 in a normal market,” it cautioned. “We almost achieved 9,000 in late Au gust but the Federal Reserve took an ax to chop that down.”

Still, it said, “there has been relatively little discussion about the weakness of housing supply.

“When we look at new listings arriving into the ARMLS database, we see a star tling drop off in all the numbers.”

However, in the southwest, this trend seems to be largely confined to the Phoe nix Metro area as “the Pacific Coast cities are severely affected by the downturn especially the extremely expensive loca tions of San Francisco and Seattle.” 

Sold recently for $915,000, this 6-year-old house on W. Thunderhill Drive has three bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. Located at the base of the Preserve, it boasts 10-foot ceilings with 8-foot doors, a kitchen with high-end appliances, and many other amenities. (Special to AFN)

GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5631 or pmaryniak@TimesLocalMedia.com

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 re3 REAL ESTATE

3. Assess whether the lease con tains an option to extend the lease period. And, if so, whether the new lease terms contain “locked-in” rental rates that are not in line with the current level of rent inflation.

While some commercial leases tie re newal rates to the Consumer Price Index, not all do. A landlord might be relieved to terminate a lease in this instance since they will likely be able to negotiate higher rental rates with a new tenant that con form with the current market.

4. Work out an agreement with the landlord to pay a sum of money to termi nate the lease, or to reduce rent temporar ily to accommodate the challenges the cur rent inflationary environment is posing.

5. Seek out a suitable tenant that would be interested in leasing the space.

Under Arizona law, a landlord has a duty to mitigate its damages upon a tenant

abandoning the premises, which requires the landlord to exercise reasonable efforts to re-let the space at fair rental value and credit the tenant accordingly.

Conversely, commercial landlords who have adjustable-rate mortgages or who have entered into gross leases and have experienced a hike in common area main tenance expenses may desire to evaluate options to either terminate or not renew the lease with the tenant under the lease’s renewal terms.

Landlords should likewise carefully re view the lease to determine if the tenant is in violation of any provision. Also, landlords should determine if the tenant properly ex ercised any options to extend the lease in accordance with the lease provisions.

Benjamin L. Gottlieb is the founding partner of Gottlieb Law and an Arizona Department of Real Estate-approved instructor who teaches continuing edu cation courses on real estate law to Re altors. Reach him at 602-899-8188 or benjamin@gottlieblawaz.com. 

Single-family home rentals growing in metro area

The number of Valley homes for rent is continuing to grow even as the for-sale home inventory is starting to shrink.

The Cromford Report last week said active rental listings on the ARMLS now exceeds 4,000 for the first time since January 2015 – a 123% increase over the same time last year.

“All dwelling types are affected by the huge increase in homes listed for rent,” the report said.

With single-family detached home rentals up are up 128%, townhomes are up 122% while gemini/twin homes are up 110%, apartment-style homes up 99% and patio homes, 75%.

“With all this competition, the rents

being asked have been falling for many months, which will please the Federal Reserve, but displease landlords,“ the Cromford Report said.

“The average rent being asked for a single-family detached home is now $1.43 per square foot per month, down from $1.76 per square foot per month one year ago, a fall of 19%.”

The Cromford Report said apartments rents “are much higher, because they tend to be located more centrally.”

But those prices are trending down ward as well, it added, noting that the av erage rent per square foot per month for apartments peaked at $2.26 in February and is now at $1.86.

All this may make the old argument

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GOTTLIEB from page 2
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Data company buys Chandler building for $115M

ATexas data center compa ny has shelled out $115 million for a nearly halfmillion-square-foot office build ing in the Continuum business park in Chandler

Aligned Adaptive Data Centers bought the 456,122-square-foot building at 2501 S. Price Road near Dobson Road as part of an effort to expand its Phoenix Metro footprint with two “mega campuses.”

Valley real estate tracker vizz da.com reported that 27-yearold building sites on 26 acres and that the sale also includes an 11,085-square-foot storage warehouse built in 1975 and an other 17-acre parking lot.

The sale price represented a per-square-foot price of $252 and that no debt was recorded with the purchase from South west Value Partners, vizzda said.

Southwest Value Partners is a real estate development firm cofounded by Robert Sarver, the controversial owner of the Phoe nix Suns basketball team.

Sarver’s firm owns the 152acre Continuum, which was a Motorola research site that was sold in 2009 to an Austin, Texas, real estate investment firm that began transforming the property

The Continuum business park totals 152 acres and was the old Motorola campus in Chandler. (Special to AFN)

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Impressive home with mountain views in highly coveted Ahwatukee Custom Estates. Dramatic entrance showcases Cantera fireplace in living room. Additional two-way fireplace between kitchen and family room. Eat-in kitchen boasts granite countertops, soft-close raised-panel cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, desk, pantry and wet bar. Travertine and wood flooring throughout. Custom wrought iron stair railing. Spacious master suite features access to oversized covered view balcony. Separate workout and hobby rooms accessible via deck. Huge laundry room with cabinetry and sink. 3-car garage with cabinetry and workshop with air conditioning. Private backyard with flagstone, covered patio, Pebble Tec pool and spa, putting green, pizza oven, lush landscaping and professional multi-sport “sport court” with basketball and pickleball. Listed for $1,475,000

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re6 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
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into a technology park with the backing of Chandler development officials, who felt it was not being used to its full po tential.

The city also in the early years of this century offered incentives to compa nies that wanted to build on the site and spent $10 million on infrastructure improvements that included new roads, water and sewer systems, landscaping and water features.

Sarver’s firm bought Continuum in February 2014 for $51.8 million.

Marketing materials supplied by vizz da show that Continuum is broken into nine other parcels besides the one pur chased by Aligned. Those ranged in size from 3.8 to 34 acres with office buildings ranging between 20,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet, according to mar keting materials.

The park is served by four cable com panies and can tap into more than 100 million gallons of water provided annu ally by the city and Salt River Project, ac cording to the marketing materials.

Aligned in a news release on its web site did not name the Chandler or the

other Valley site in announcing its expan sion, which it said “will provide custom ers with essential capacity and scalabil ity in one of the nation’s fastest-growing data center markets.”

Asked why the sites were not named, an Aligned spokeswoman said, “If the information is not disclosed it is confi dential.”

“Aligned is focused on meeting the ca pacity demands of our customers today, while constantly innovating across every aspect of our business to ensure their future data center requirements will be met long term,” said Aligned CEO An drew Schaap.

“Our expansion in greater Phoenix is an example of Aligned’s power-first ap proach to asset procurement as well as strategic investments across our design and construction, supply chain and ven dor managed inventory program, and team to deliver capacity at maximum speed and scale.”

The company also has operations in Chicago, Dallas, Maryland, northern Vir ginia and Salt Lake City.

In announcing its Arizona expansion, Aligned said, “In addition to extensive fi ber access and a diverse energy mix, the

Phoenix market is also a viable alterna tive to California as a Western data cen ter location due to its relatively inexpen sive power cost and low disaster risk.

“Aligned Phoenix customers can also take advantage of its 20-year sales tax exemption on data center equipment.”

Aligned bills itself as “a leading tech nology infrastructure company offering innovative, sustainable, and adaptive scale data centers and build-to-scale so lutions for global hyperscale and enter prise customers.”

“By reducing the energy, water and space needed to operate, our data center solutions, combined with our patented cooling technology, offer businesses a competitive advantage by improving sustainability, reliability, and their bot tom line,” Aligned says. 

about buying better than renting seems out of synch with market conditions, the Cromford Report said.

“With interest rates in the mid to high sixes, the case for purchase over renting is weaker than it has been for a very long time,” it said.

However, that “exacerbates the de mand problem that homes for sale are facing.”

After plunging in October, demand in November perked up “as buyers get accustomed to interest rates that would have seem horrible three months ago, but look reasonable after a period when they exceeded 7% by a comfort able margin,” the Cromford Report said. 

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 re7 REAL ESTATE
Summerhill Estates Ahwatukee Custom Estates 5 BR / 3.5 BA / 5,079 SQFT Impressive custom with mountain views. Abundant amenities including professional sport court in private backyard. Listed for $1,475,000 3BR / 3 BA / 2,166 SQFT Split master suite plus secondary bedroom could be a separate guest suite. 2015 kitchen remodel and AC. Listed For $749,500 Ahwatukee Custom Estates 5 BR / 4.5 BA / 4,405 SQFT Superb mountain views from single-level custom with 2022 interior paint and 2019 HVAC. Listed for $1,450,000 Club West 5 BR / 3 BA / 2,736 SQ FT Spacious former UDC model home with South Mountain views. Private backyard with large pool. Listed for $645,000 Ahwatukee Custom Estates 5 BR / 4.5 BA / 4,820 SQFT Custom home in the heart of Ahwatukee with ensuite bathrooms and 2021 exterior paint. Listed for $1,395,000 Ahwatukee’s #1 Team for Over 30 Years Mike Mendoza 602-430-3917 MendozaTeam.com Rob Castellini Sanctuary 5 BR / 5 BA / 6,455 SQFT Stunning panoramic views from privately gated luxury retreat with casita on elevated preserve lot. Listed for $1,950,000 SOLD! NEW! SOLD! SOLD! RENT from page RE4 GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5631 or pmaryniak@ timeslocalmedia.com CONTINUUM from page re5
re8 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 Calabrea $1,339,000 Pristine & Classy Gated Estate On A Premium 2/3 Acre Hillside Lot, Private Cul-De-Sac, 6 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths, 5200 Sqft Of Pure Luxury Finishes, Stunning Views In Every Direction, Iron Door, Butted Glass Windows In Entry & Kitchen, Custom Window Treatments, Decorator Paint, Dome Ceiling Foyer & Groin Vaulted Ceilings In Living Room, Travertine & Hardwood Floors Throughout, 7-Inch Baseboards, Media Room, Dream Kitchen Includes S/S Appliances, Slab Granite Counters, Alder Cabinets, Huge Island, Walk In Pantry, Large Master Suite W/Stone Fireplace, Master Bath W/Jacuzzi Tub, 3 Vanities & Snail Shower, Paradise Backyard W/Travertine In Versailles Pattern, Turf Grass, Pebbletec Pool/Jacuzzi, 4 Water Features, Large Covered Patio, Stacked Stone Bbq, 4 Car Garage W/Epoxy & Storage! Your Dream Estate Awaits!! Ahwatukee Custom Estates $1,375,000 Pristine & classy single-level gated tuscan estate! stunning curb appeal w/amazing south mountain views. Grand foyer, entertainment room w/full wetbar & scotsman icemaker, formal dining, family room w/canterra fireplace, kitchen incs :slab granite,alder cabinets,s/s wolf appliances,gas cooktop,miele dishwasher,copper sinks,island, & subzero, most amazing custom stonework ever seen in ahwatukee consisting of marble,canter ra,travertine, & granite, large master ste w/sitting area & 2 separate full baths, his/her alder & cedar lined closets, guest suite-2nd master w/ensuite bath & courtyard, extremely private backyard w/covered patio, pebbletec pool w/waterfalls, firepots, firepit, grassy play area, & fully equipped outdoor kitchen, fruit trees inc: apple, orange, lemon, & lime, this dream estate has it all! Canyon Verde $899,000 Mountain Park Ranch $679,000 The best view lot in all of club west!!! this stunning custom gated estate in canyon verde has the best privacy & views you will find in ahwatukee*grand foyer*formal living & dining room*executive office*kitchen includes: custom cabinets w/ antiquing, s/s appliances, cooktop, island, breakfast bar, pendant lighting, & walk-in pantry*butler’s pantry w/wine fridge*family room w/fireplace*upgraded fixtures throughout*large master suite w/sitting area*master bath w/jetted tub, snail shower, & spacious closet*guest suite w/separate entrance*all secondary bedrooms are large*paradise perfect backyard w/covered patio, pebbletec pool & spa, firepit, built-in bbq, flagstone, and putting green*oversized garage w/epoxy & built-in cabinets*this custom estate is a dream opportunity! welcome to paradise!! This one is a show stopper!!! over 4200sqft of luxury on a preserve hillside lot in a cul-de-sac, 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath with a bonus room, formal living & dining room w/soaring ceilings, family room w/fireplace, kitchen includes:s/s appliances, slab granite, island, & recessed led lights, breakfast nook, gigantic master bedroom with the most amazing preserve views, custom master bath w/walk-in shower, freestanding tub, his/her vanities, & large walk-in closet, all bedrooms are extremely large with walk-in closets, views from every room, laundry room w/built-in cabinets & sink, extended length 3 car garage w/ epoxy, guest bedroom downstairs, paradise backyard w/covered patio, grassy play area, firepit, & custom new pool & jacuzzi 2020, this amazing home is truly stunning and checks all of the boxes!! 5 bedroom / 3 bath, 3,506 SqFt, Cul-de-sac location with huge backyard, sports court, built-in BBQ, mature shade trees, very private backing to wash. Good size bedrooms, master downstai5. Features a large office with balcony, plus office/loft with built-in bookcase and 3 full baths. Th� home is perfect for family gatherings entertaining. Can be previewed with 24 hour notice and appointment only. Donna Leeds � ABR lf"fl! 949.310.5673 wwwBestAgentWUSA.com www.GenoRoss.com TOP REALTOR® Geno Ross 602.751.2121 SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! Foothills Reserve GORGEOUS HOME!! 3 bedroom 2.5 baths 2,469 sq ft. Soaring ceilings as you enter the Formal Living and Dining Area. Kitchen is a Cook’s delight-upgraded staggered Oak Cabinets with Crown molding and Corian Countertops with Island, Gas Stove. Bright Breakfast Nook overlooking beautifully maintained Backyard and Views of Preserve. Nice Loft upstairs and Tons of Natural Light and Mountain Views from Upstairs Bedrooms. Upgraded Ceiling Fans, Sparkling Play Pool with Rock Water Features highlights the amazing Lot position with no rear neighbors and a beautiful backdrop of Desert Preserve! Jenifer Bulfer 480-297-6968 jbulfer@westusa.com $599,500 Dobson Ranch This charming 3 bed, 2 bath offers impressive living area offering vaulted ceilings, neutral palette, wood-look flooring, a fabulous stone fireplace, & sliding glass doors leading to the back patio. The impeccable kitchen boasts plenty of light green cabinets, stylish custom backsplash, built-in shelves, & a peninsula with a breakfast bar. Double doors open to the bright primary bedroom featuring back patio access, an immaculate ensuite, & a trending barn door leading to the walk-in closet. Spend re laxing afternoons in the lovely backyard showcasing a covered patio & swaying trees! Marty Griffin 602-692-7653 martygriffin@q.com $399,900 Stetson Valley Gorgeous, 3638 sq foot Stetson Valley Stunner w/ 5 Beds, 4 baths (including one of each downstairs) plus a 24x12 den/office loft with beautiful custom built-ins is a MUST SEE! Gourmet kitchen with SS Double ovens, gas stove, walk-in pantry, granite countertops and staggered cabinetry which opens to spacious family room with custom media niche. Serene Owners suite has sitting area, lrg. walk-in closet, dual vanities and spa-like tub and shower. Upgrades include wood floors, plantation shutters, tile surrounds in baths, extended garage with Electric vehicle charging station. Backyard boasts a pebble-tec pool, built-in BBQ, gazebo & artificial grass. N/S exposure, Mtn Views & steps away from 2 greenbelts Jill Ostendorp 480-678-7308 jillo@homesbyjillo.com Chandler Immaculate, Move-In Ready Home That Has Split 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath w/ A Great Room. Highly Upgraded Including Bay Windows In Both Dining Area & Master Bedroom. Granite Counter Top & Upgraded Raised-Panel Maple Cabinets w/ Crown Molding In Kitchen & Laundry, Gas Fireplace In Great Room, Pre-Wired For Security, R.O. System, Plantation Shutters, Ceiling Fans, Vaulted Ceiling In Living Area & Master, 2’ Extension In Garage w/ Built In Cabinets, RV Gate, Landscape Professionally Done w/ Grass & Curbing Plus Extra Sidewalk In Back & Around The Side, Corner Lot Backing Common Area. Marty Griffin 602-692-7653 martygriffin@q.com $549,900 Thunderbird Farms South Custom home on flat 3.3 acres with horse arena and room to roam. City water! Custom Santa Fe style 4 bedroom with tons of upgrades. Travertine tile galore, family room and other bedrooms also have tile. Kitchen has been upgraded with quartz counter tops, white cabinets and all stainless steel appliances convey. Custom doors and woodwork throughout home. Also, lots of tile work in bathrooms and other upgrades. Over $30,000 spent on upgraded doors and windows. Carlos Martinez 480-751-8866 teammartinez11@gmail.com $580,000 Equestrian Estates Rare Ahwatukee horse property, EXTENSIVE REMODEL. 25-mile views in a multi-million dollar subdivision. Brand new roof, new paint inside and out. . Sparkling pebble pool, water slide & rock waterfall, over-sized Travertine stone deck. Sit and relax at the BBQ station. Huge grassy yard, remote-controlled horse gate AND a separate RV gate, adjacent to bridle paths. Master and guest baths are lavish, incl. snail shower. VIEWS, VIEWS from the balcony. Kitchen has upgraded cabs and counters, breakfast nook is cozy, part of the living room and stone fireplace. Full bath and bedroom, office downstairs. Link Paffenbarger 602-989-7221 linkpaff@gmail.com Foothills $499,000 One of the most amazing lots available in ahwatukee!! Located in foothills mountain ranch estates!! Over 5 acre hillside lot with stunning mountain views from every direction*build your dream custom estate or build multiple homes on this sight*zoned r3*the possibilities are endless on this rare opportunity*there is not another piece of land in ahwatukee that offers this many buildable acres*no hoa*located at the end of a cul-de-sac*be the king of the hill with views all the way to four peaks*plans available and other custom home options available from a well know ahwatukee cus tom home builder*do not miss this amazing hillside lot in an amazing location!!!! Ahwatukee Custom Estates $1,750,000 Amazing Remodeled Cus tom Estate with mountain views located at the end of a cul-de-sac.Over 8000sqft of pure luxury finishes.6 Bedroom,5.5 Baths.Custom Kitchen.Elevator.Executive Office.Basement Media Room.Dance Studio.Huge Backyard with Pool,
Turf, BBQ, Sportcourt.This Spectacular Estate has it all!!! SOLD! SOLD! Maricopa Home, sweet meticulously maintained home! 4 bed ‘’plus’’ a den and 3 bath! All nestled on a giant quiet cul-de-sac lot. Beautiful bright living area showcasing neutral tile flooring, designer palette, dramatic vaulted ceilings, arched doorways, & sliding glass doors leading to the giant backyard. The spotless kitchen boasts a plethora of wood cabinets with crown moulding, recessed lighting, built-in desk, & a center island with a breakfast bar. Double doors open to the primary bedroom featuring newer soft carpet, newer plantation shutters, a private bathroom, & a walk-in closet. Backyd w/ covered patio, built-in BBQ, & an impressive putting green. Apx 1/4 of Acre lot. Greenbelt across street. Two Community Pools. Ahwatukee Retirement Community Home backs up the 8th Fairway of the Ahwatukee Country Club with great view of South Mountain. Close to Golf, Restaurants, Shopping, the I-10 and Medical Facilities. Sit on your extended covered patio and watch the sun set. Enjoy all the amenities of the Ahwatukee Recreation Center with a large outdoor pool, heated indoor saltwater pool, Sauna, Spa, Gym, woodworking shop and more! Troy Royston 480-435-3461 troyston61@gmail.com $399,500 $699,900 $989,500 $457,500 # 1 Ahwatukee Agent 2020 bedroom 3 bath, 3,506 SqFt, Cul-de-sac location with huge backyard, sports court, built-in BBQ, mature shade trees, very private backing to wash. Good size bedrooms, master downstai5. Features a large office with balcony, plus office/loft with built-in bookcase and 3 full baths. Th� home is perfect for family gatherings and entertaining. Can be previewed with 24 hour notice and appointment only. Donna Leeds � GRI, ABR lf"fl! 949.310.5673 wwwBestAgentWUSA.com Ahwatukee Come True 1986 bedroom 3 bath, 3,506 SqFt, Cul-de-sac location with huge backyard, sports court, built-in BBQ, mature shade trees, very private backing to wash. Good size bedrooms, master downstai5. Features a large office with balcony, plus office/loft with built-in bookcase and 3 full baths. Th� home is perfect for family gatherings and entertaining. Can be previewed with 24 hour notice and appointment only. Donna Leeds � GRI, ABR lf"fl! 949.310.5673 wwwBestAgentWUSA.com SOLD! PENDING! Mike Foley 480-216-7878 mikefoley.homes@gmail.com SOLD! PENDING!
Jacuzzi,

Ahwatukee counselor slates holiday grief session

As a therapist and counselor in Ahwatukee, Gigi Veasey tries to help people heal.

And the holidays can be an especially hurtful time for people who have lost a loved one or look with regret on their past. That’s why Veasey, executive director of GNV Counseling and Consultation Servic es in Ahwatukee is opening her office from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, for a free and informal gathering.

People can come in, talk, listen, sing or simply, find comfort in the company of others who share their pain as part of Veasey’s special session.

Her “Jingle Jingle, Let’s Mingle” session is her acknowledgement of Naional Grief Awareness Week so that people who are grieving can honor their loved ones – and find some relief to the anguish.

“Grief can be overwhelming, especially during the holidays,” said Veasey. “We have experienced so much loss, especially over these last few years, sometimes with out the ability to grieve and honor those we love.”

write a book,” she said.

She began going to critique groups, which gave her insight on how to create a narrative and what to include.

“So many funny things hap pened,” Sampson said. “The hors es got loose on the golf course; there was a great escape.”

In another incident, she said, “I brought a bag of carrots, not realiz ing I was going to cause a riot. You give one horse a carrot and the oth ers find out about it; I didn’t know if the fence was going to come down. I call that the Carrot Caper.”

There were dangerous occasions, too.

Once, a woman who was an expe rienced rider signed up. “She didn’t want an old nag; she wanted some thing with spirit,” Sampson said. So they gave her Chance, a former racehorse.

Unfortunately, the woman kicked Chance a bit firmly, and the horse

That was a reference to a time that prob ably most people would life to put into the

thought he was back on the track. He took off so fast, she rolled right off his back, but was not hurt.

Each of the 15 horses has a story in the book because they all had a “fabulous personality,” Sampson remarked.

“Victoria had been a show horse and she had the attitude,” she re lated. “She was the head mayor in the group and she was always doing something. She showed one of the other horses, Buckeye, our teenage horse, how to slide the gate lock with her lips.”

The two of them got out and ate the grass on the golf course, which had been spray painted with nontoxic paint to look greener.

“When they got back, for a couple days, they were pooping green,” Sampson laughed.

The wranglers got to know all of the horses intimately so they could pair them with the right type of rid er, too, whether they were children or “city slickers,” casual riders or

rear view mirror as the crushing impact of the pandemic this time two years made it

experienced horse people.

Sampson also gives background in her book about how she came to be a horse wrangler.

“I’ve been horse crazy all my life,” she said, from the first time she rode a horse at age 12. However, she never had any training until she moved from Riverside, California, to Ahwatukee in 1989, and took English and Western riding classes from a woman in Queen Creek.

“It was the first time I took for mal lessons,” Sampson said. “I’ve ridden all over the state. My favor ite area is the Saguaro Lake Area— what beautiful scenery.”

After the Arizona Grand Resort bought Pointe South Mountain Re sort, it closed the trail rides. Samp son rode at Koli Equestrian Center for a while, but now has hung up her spurs for good.

She stays active sailing and camp ing, but will never forget the fond memories of her time on the trails.

“It was one of the best six months of my life,” Sampson said .

impossible for some people to say good bye in person to a dying loved one – or even gather for a memorial service.

“We will share pictures, stories and cre ate memory ornaments, said Veasey, who also hopes to read a few passages form her recently published book, “Me After You: Surviving the Loss of a Loved One.”

While she has seen many people strug gling with substance abuse, depression and anxiety, Veasey said that in recent years she has seen “so much more grief and heightened anxiety, isolation and re lationship problems.”

And while she has continued to deal with people’s struggles with issues rang ing from coping skills and career counsel ing to weight loss and relationships, her main focus these days is grief.

“I have been working with grieving cli ents for almost 40 years now and devel oped a therapeutic process to help with healing and I wanted to share it,” Veasey explained.

People who would like to join Veasey are asked to RSVP by emailing info@ bigsteptorecovery.com or texting 480496-9760. 

Though she hung up her spurs a while ago, Carol Sampson still has some artifacts recalling her days as a wrangler. (Geri Koeppel/ AFN Contributor)

27 COMMUNITY AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
AFN NEWS STAFF
Gigi Veasey, a therapist and executive director at Alcohol Recovery Solutions and GNV Coun seling and Consultation Services in Ahwatukee, wrote a book to help people deal with grief called “Me After You: Surviving the Loss of a Loved One.” Now, she’s opening her office for a free grief session for people who are finding it tough to handle the loss of a loved one during the holidays. (AFN file photo) SAMPSON
from page 26

Holiday stress can impact skin and body

The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many, they come with a lot of stress.

For example, family dynamics, the cous in you haven’t seen in a long time, decid ing on the right gift for dad, and getting all your baking and cooking done on time can weigh on a person’s psyche. Excessive eating and drinking are also common dur ing the holidays, adding an undesirable hurdle to combat in the new year.

Taking care of oneself during these months is imperative since stress levels often escalate.

The stress hormone cortisol is triggered when we are overwhelmed by stress. Cor

tisol can take a toll on your body and skin if you do not find ways to control it.

Stress affects individuals in different ways for a variety of reasons. People with oily skin may produce more oil, while those with dry skin may experience duller skin because cortisol can reduce the skin’s ability to retain water.

To lessen these occurrences, ensure you are drinking plenty of water and keeping the right kind of moisturizer for your skin type.

Another culprit of cortisol is the sagging of the skin due to reduced absorption of nutrients, leading to loss of collagen.

Maintaining a healthy diet with colla gen-boosting foods and topically apply ing vitamin c, and hyaluronic acid to the skin will help to minimize or even pre vent the damage.

Lack of sleep yields puffy eyes but taking

time to nourish the orbit around the eye, morning, and night can do wonders. Fur thermore, stress can bring on breakouts. Therefore, try to stick with a regular skin regimen to include cleansing, toning, and acne spot serums.

Quick 15–20-minute non-invasive chem ical peels are also a great way to keep your skin tissues healthy, especially during stressful times.

Moreover, stress can lower your im mune system, cause insomnia and anxiety, exacerbate muscle tension, and induce or worsen headaches.

We can do many stress-relieving activi ties to keep our bodies as healthy as pos sible. Exercise in any form you are willing to participate in; cardio workouts like run ning, walking, biking, and swimming are great options.

Meditation and yoga are other ways to

AROUND AHWATUKEE

Music Maker Workshops offering free recitals this week

Ahwatukee’s Music Maker Workshops are offering their winter recitals, free and open to the community, on tomorrow Dec. 8, from 7-9 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 9 6-9 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Recitals begin on the hour.

All 24 recitals are held at Esperanza Lutheran Church, 2601 E. Thunderhill Place, Ahwatukee.

This is the 25th anniversary year for Music Maker Workshops who are located in a 5,000 square foot facility on the Southeast corner of Chandler Blvd and 32nd Street.

Instrumental performances vary per recital and may include a combination of piano, voice, drums, guitar, strings, brass and woodwind solos. A special performance featuring an MMW fac ulty member will be included at the end of each hour-long recital.

For more details about the recitals and Music Maker Workshops, call or text 480-706-1224 or visit MMWaz.com

Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee needs help for foster kids in group homes

The Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee is again con ducing a drive for Christmas gifts for children and teens in group foster homes. The children, most ly teens, often have no one except each other and the club tries to add a bit of cheer with gifts.

Items they are seeing include stocking stuffers, such as $25 gift cards to Walmart, Amazon or AMC Theaters or $10 to $15 gift cards for fast

food restaurants; clothing in men’s sizes such as jogging and pajama pants, gym shorts and graph ic and colored T-shirts; and monetary donations.

There are multiple ways to help. First, go online to ahatukeekiwanis.org; second, send a check payable to the Ahwatukee Kiwanis in care of the club at PO Box 50596, PHX., AZ 85076.

There are also donation boxes at” Ahwatukee YMCA, 1030 E. Liberty Lane; Ahwatukee Swim Tennis and Activity Center, 4700 E. Warner Road; Dr. E Dentistry, 4206 E. Chandler Blvd., Music Makers Workshop, 3233 E. Chandler Blvd., West USA Realty, 4505 E. Chandler Blvd., Clearwater Senior Living, 15815 S. 50th St.; and Mountain View Lutheran Church, 1002 S. 48th St.

New 5K fun run this Saturday will benefit Festival of Lights, HOA

A 5K fun run will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 to benefit the Foothills Association HOA’s support of the annual holiday lights display on Chandler Boulevard.

The run will be chip-timed by Mangled Momen tum but there are neither age groups nor awards.

The event is raising money for the HOA’s sup port of the lights. Registration fees are $45 for adults and $35 for children through Nov. 30 and registrants are entitled to along=sleeve event T-shirt if they meet the Nov. 28 deadline. Fees rise by $5 through Nov. 9 and $10 for same-day registration.

A VIP package with a finisher medal complet ed with LED light, fleece jacket and event socks

is available for $60 until Nov. 28 and these items also can be purchased separately.

The route along Chandler Boulevard,. begin ning and ending at Desert Foothills Park, will have three themed stations along the way and cookies and hot chocolate will be served at the end of the run.

Sponsors include Kate’s Real Food, Illuminate You Fitness, The Holes Team Real Estate and LMNT Stay Salty. Additional sponsorship are available and interested parties can email info@ mangledmomentum.com.

For more details on the run and to register, go to millionlights5k.com.

Live Nativity returning Friday to Ahwatukee with a camel

The free live Nativity that has become an an nual staple in the community at Christmastime is returning

Featuring live animals – including a camel – it will be outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Lat ter-day Saints Chapel, 2955 East Frye Road, next to Desert Vista High School, 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

An outdoor luminary path to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.

Free hot cocoa is provided and free parking is at Desert Vista High.

Ahwatukee gym offers 6-week ‘transformation challenge’

Wholeistic Fitness in Ahwatukee is offering a 6-week “transformation challenge” form people

promote overall wellness.

Lastly, massage therapy can be lifechanging for people, particularly when our emotions are elevated. It is proven to have calming benefits, release muscle ten sion and aid the cardiovascular, lymphatic, and immune systems.

Whether you are looking forward to the holiday season or not, most people will undergo some form of stress. With limited time and busy schedules, putting our wellbeing at the forefront of our things to do is vital.

To my Ahwatukee community, I would like to wish you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.

Darla S. Hoffmann, a licensed aesthetician and massage therapist, owns Apeeling Faces Skincare and Massage Therapy in Ahwatukee. Information: ap eelingfaces.com 480-540-7555. 

who want to get fit through its one-on-one coaching, ice bath, sauna, red-light therapy and custom nutrition plans.

CEO Joshua Byrd noted that gym will help peo ple avoid adding weight through the holidays.

“The program includes three world-class workout sessions and three sessions in our re covery center a week,” he said. “A customized nutrition plan that is not restrictive that matches your goals and values. One on one accountabil ity coaching, and 24/7 access to a coach for questions and concerns.”

Information: 469-323-2434, hello@Wholeistic fitness.us or wholeisticfitness.us/

Holiday dance party with treats and lessons on tap at Cactus Jacks

Cactus Jacks Bar & Grill in Ahwatukee is host ing its annual Holiday Dance Party starting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 with line dancing lessons and open dancing.

The parting also includes treats and raffles and patrons are urged to wear an ugly Christmas sweater or holiday attire.

There is a $5 cover at the door. Cactus Jacks is) at the southwest corner of 48th Street and Elliot Road. Information: cmcneish@cox.net or dancemeetsfitness.net.

Armer Foundation launches toy, blood drives for needy families

The Armer Foundation for Kids – an Ahwatu

28 COMMUNITY AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
see AROUND page 29

kee-based non-profit that helps families with children who have extreme medical needs – is hosting its fourth annual holiday toy drive to benefit the Banner Children’s pediatric intensive care and oncology units.

It also has scheduled a blood drive 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, at 9830 S. 51st St., Ah watukee.

The foundation is looking for Valley business that would host a donation bin and serve as a drop-off location for the unopened toys to bring smiles and hope to children battling for their lives.

The foundation also is hoping for toy donations.

To sign up for a donation box, go toarmer foundation.org or call 480.257.3254.

Other items include: baby dolls, blankets, comfy socks, crayons, pajama pants, hair brush/ comb, hair ties, coloring books, kids’ games and books, puzzles and stuffed animals.

Information: armerfoundation.org/toydrive.

Kyrene earns national recognition for budget policies, presentation

Kyrene Elementary School District is the only Arizona school district to receive the prestigious

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29 COMMUNITY AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
AROUND from page 28 see
AROUND page 30
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AROUND

from page 29

Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) from the Asso ciation of School Business Officials International for fiscal year 2022-23. No district in the state has received that award in more than 10 years.

The awardrecognizes excellence in school bud get policies, practices, and presentation. To qual ify for the award, districts must develop a bud get report that is comprehensive, analytical, and demonstrates sound fiscal management. Kyrene has produced a comprehensive budget report for the last three years, but this is the first year the district submitted the report for an award.

Kyrene Chief Financial Officer Chris Herrmann said, “This award demonstrates that Kyrene’s budgeting practices and transparency are exem plary on a national scale as well.”

The district said in a release its budget report “has become a critical communications tool for the district, providing stakeholders a detailed accounting of Kyrene finances and demonstrat ing Kyrene’s commitment to transparency.

“The report allows the Kyrene community to have a better understanding of the overall bud get process, illustrates how resources are aligned with educational outcomes, and provides insight related to any budget issues for the upcoming fiscal year.”

Kyrene Superintendent Laura Toenjes added,

“We want our community to be invested in pub lic education, not only financially but personally.”

Ironwood Library offers free activities for all ages

Ironwood Library, 4333 E Chandler Blvd., Ah watukee, presents a variety of programs for chil dren, teens and adults. Unless otherwise noted, free tickets are required and available 30 min utes before programs’ start times at the library’s information desk.

For more information: phoenixpubliclibrary.org.

Polar Express Storytime

Children can wear their pajamas to a special reading of this holiday classic by Chris Van Alls burg and enjoy seasonal activities 9:30-10 a.m. Dec. 17.

Sit and stitch

Join fellow stitchers and work on your current project 3-4:45 p.m. Dec. 3, including knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, needlepoint. No regis tration required.

Teen hat ornament

Teens ages 12-17 will make yarn hat ornaments 2-3 p.m. Dec. 10. All supplies will be provided.

Next Chapter Book Club

This inclusive community-based book club is designed for people ages 12+ with intellectual

30 COMMUNITY AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 Christmas at Esperanza Lutheran Church Celebrate the birth of hope Midweek Advent Worship 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 7 Blue Christmas 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 14 Promesa de Esperanza Cantata 9 a.m. Sunday, December 18 Christmas Eve Saturday, December 24 - 2 Services 4 p.m. Children’s Worship Service 7 p.m. Traditional Worship Service of Holy Communion with Candle Lighting Christmas Day 9 a.m. Sunday, December 25 Service of Holy Communion Esperanza Lutheran Church 2601 E. Thunderhill Pl., Phoenix, AZ 85048 Chandler/Ray Road Loop esperanza@myesperanza.org | myesperanza.org 480.759.1515 facebook.com/Friends-of-Esperanza-Lutheran-Church A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America Our annual German Language Christmas service will return in person on Sunday, 12/18. Caroling starts at 4:10 pm. The service starts at 4:30 pm To watch it on YouTube, visit: https://bit.ly/weihnachtsgottesdienst2022inphoenix 10:00 am | Traditional Service of Holy Communion 3:00 pm | Children’s Worship Service (Birthday Party for Jesus) 5:00 pm | Contemporary Worship Service with Candlelight 7:00 & 9:00 pm | Traditional Candlelight Services with Holy Communion *Childcare available at 3pm, 5pm, and 7pm services **ONE s service available on Christmas Day at 10:30 am S AT U R DAY , D E C . 2 4 T H C e l e b r a t e C h r i s t m a s E v e w i t h u s ! www mvlutheran org 480 893 2579 11002 S 48th Street Phoenix AZ 85044 48th St South of Elliot Rd
see AROUND page 31
31 COMMUNITY AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 480.893.8770 3550 East Knox Road, Phoenix, Arizona, 85044 corpuschristiphx.org Christmas Eve, December 24 Masses at 4 pm, 6 pm & 11 pm Celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ! Christmas Day, December 25 Masses at 7 am, 8:30 am & 10:30 am 3550 East Knox Road, Phoenix Arizona, 85044 corpuschristiphx.org 480.893.8770 CORPUS CHRISTI CATHOLIC CHURCH 1401 E. LIBERTY LANE | 480.460.1480 | WWW.HORIZONCHURCH.COM Live Nativity Join us for a Celebration of Christ 5:30 pm-7:15 pm Dec. 14th Christmas Eve Service 5:00 pm Celebrate Advent every Sunday in December 10:30am and developmental disabilities who
de sire to make friends,
their
and
of current reading ability).
Book club
to
and
of Lies” by Katherine
Red Cross blood drive People ages 16+ can give the gift of blood dur
the
American Red Cross Blood Drive
can be
blood”
 AROUND from page 30 Submit your releases to: pmaryniak@ timeslocalmedia.com 5:00 PM Kid-oriented and family friendly service concluding with glowstick candlelight. 7:00 PM Service with Holy Communion, traditional carols concluding with candlelight. 2156 E. Liberty Lane, Phoenix (480) 460-1025 www.desertfoothills.org Christmas Eve Services Join us for Cookies and Cocoa after each service.
have a
explore
community,
read (regardless
The free event is 3-4 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 and 21.
Adult readers 18+ can meet up with fellow ad venturesome bibliophiles to share their thoughts about each month’s selection the first Wednes day of each month, 5-5:45 p.m.
discuss The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers Dec.
on Jan. 4, “Bottle
Eban.
ing
library’s
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 28, 10:00-3:00 p.m. Appointment times
found at redcross blood.org b selecting the “donating
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www.ahwatukee.com

Ahwatukee restaurateurs expanding to 2 cities

Business is bright for the Ahwatukeebased seafood restaurant Chesa peake Bay Bistro.

It recently opened a second location in Tempe and plans to open a third opera tion in San Diego, where co-owners James and Yolanda Brown lived for much of their 39 years of married life before settling in Ahwatukee.

The Browns in 2021 opened the Ah watukee location of Chesapeake Bay at 5033 Elliot Road in the space that had been occupied by the Fresko Mediterra nean Kitchen, which fell victim to the eco nomic onslaught of the pandemic.

And while the era of forced shutdowns is long gone, James Brown said the past year has been no picnic, thanks to infla tion and other economic factors.

Still, he is celebrating the expansion.

“For restaurant owners, the past year has been challenging with staffing, higher prices for food supplies and rising costs for rent and utilities,” said James. “Adding locations through a food-court style ex pansion makes sense on many levels.”

Cloud or ghost kitchens offer restau rants rental space in a shared facility shared with other eateries, reducing over head for all participants. Dining space is shared among the tenants, and all food is made to go. Each restaurant has its own kitchen and staff.

Chesapeake Bay Bistro joined Tem pe Food Court, near the Arizona State University main campus, at 1900 E. Fifth St., which is home to more than 15 sepa rate eateries.

They share common seating areas for those who’d like to dine in after pick ing up their orders. The bistro and other restaurants also offer takeout and delivery service.. The San Diego seafood bistro will will offer takeout

and delivery service only starting this month.

“We believe that the food delivery mod el is the future and allows us to fulfill our customer base request,” Brown said, add ing that 60% of his business comprises call-in and pickup now.

The new restaurant will offer the same great East Coast taste that customers have come to know at the Ahwatukee eatery, such as calamari, shrimp and an array of fried and grilled fish. The house specialty is blue crabs, when in season.

“Using cloud kitchen locations benefits small mom-and-pop restaurants like ours in several ways, allowing us to keep our labor and maintenance costs down,” Brown said.

The restaurant emphasizes freshness in its offerings, which includes crab flown in live from Maryland, a large selection of fresh fish both fried and grilled, salads, sandwiches, tacos and more.

Opening it culminated a long-held

dream of the Browns, who for about twoand-a-half years have been running a sea food catering business of the same name but had yearned to expand it to a brickand-mortar operation as well.

It also marked a personal triumph for James, who had beat prostate cancer prior to opening the restaurant.

That and the pandemic got him thinking, “You know what? This has been a dream of mine, a vision I’ve had, and I think it’s time to bring it to fruition,” he recalled thinking.

“My wife and I were sitting up and she was like, ‘you’ve been talking about it, we’ve been talking about it, let’s just do it.’ So we decided to do it.”

James has some restaurant industry in his DNA: both his mother and grandmoth er owned several restaurants in Virginia, including one that specialized in Southern cuisine and another in seafood.

That legacy and their former life in San Diego gave birth to James’ idea for Chesa

peake Bay Bistro.

“I combined the East Coast where I grew up and the West Coast where I met my wife 38 years ago,” he said.

The concept of Chesapeake Bay Bistro gives patrons a lot of choices.

First, they choose their entree, then pick from six different kinds of marinade and then pick from five different kinds of preparation – sandwich, salad, plate, taco or à la carte.

The eartery also offers appetizers from the sea, including fried calamari, crab cakes, mussels, crab claws, and sides like garlic noodles and seafood stuffing, fries, corn on the cob, hush puppies and others.

Being able to pick from this array rep resents what he calls “the Southern Cali fornia approach” to seafood restaurants while the east coast is represented mainly by just the availability of blue crab, James said.

“I give the consumer a little bit more interactive ownership of their meal,” he explained. “And you know you’re getting it cooked to order because we can’t precook it and leave it in a basket.”

Through the catering business, he said, “I’ve built some relationships with differ ent suppliers, some really great suppliers and I know some fishermen that fish off the coast of California to where I’m able to get fresh fish from them.”

His catering business also offers the same variety of choice not only in food but in occasions.

They cater everything from private par ties at home to larger office gatherings and offer a pop-up bistro – a portable grill with an iced display of raw fish and other seafood that guests can select from and watch it cooked.

“So, we bring the full experience of be ing in our restaurant.”

To check out their menu: chesapeake baybistro.com or call 480 590-3065. 

32 BUSINESS AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 Business
@AhwatukeeFN | @AhwatukeeFN
HAVE BUSINESS NEWS? SEND YOUR BUSINESS NEWS TO PMARYNIAK@TIMESLOCALMEDIA.COM
James and Yolanda Brown own Chesapeake Bay Seafood Bistro in Ahwatukee. (AFN file photo)

Here are some goals for the new year you might consider

As we approach the end of 2022, gas prices have dou bled and we have 40-yearhighs in inflation. The first six months of 2022 were the worst the stock market has had in 40 years. As of Nov. 28, the S&P 500 Index is down 17% and the Nasdaq Index is down almost 30% in 2022.

Mortgage rates for 30-year loans have more than doubled from 3% one year ago to a high of 7% recently. On a $500,000 loan the increased interest rates have raised the monthly mortgage payment from $2,103 per month to $3,307 per month, resulting in a sharp drop in home sales.

The Fed has raised interest rates sharp ly to fight inflation, though it may cause a bad recession. Large firms have recently announced thousands of layoffs.

Here are some goals and dreams my cli ents say they hope to achieve.

Losing weight and quitting smoking are

the two biggest New Year’s Resolutions. In 2022, a client needed $500 a month for a weight loss program that offered her the support she needed. She wanted a healthi er diet with more expensive organic foods and grass-fed beef.

Her increased retirement income strat egies easily covered this extra expense. In only three months, she reached her goal of losing 25 pounds and was able to fit into clothes she had not been able to wear in years.

More travel in retirement is the top bucket list item for Americans. A client’s life-long dream was to visit Antarctica. She found that a 14-day trip will cost $15-27,000.

Eight years ago, she had deposited $270,000 in a private pension account. In 2023, she will trigger her annual income of $27,000, guaranteed every year she is alive. She will easily be able to afford the Antarctica and other future overseas trips.

A safer income that is also steadier than stock market dividends or bond interest. Two years ago, an 80-year-old client was able to achieve this by buying

solar business equipment and leasing it out to huge food companies on a 10-year lease with a 10-year warranty that cov ers all repair costs.

The annual depreciation allows her to pay no income tax on an income that is tri ple what stock market dividends or bond interest pays.

Substantially increasing retirement in come. In 2019, a new client said that they currently spend $50,000 a year but want ed to spend $75,000 a year when they re tire in seven years. They also wanted to remove 90% of their financial assets from stock market risk.

A series of strategies were implement ed, that will generate a $120,000 annual retirement income in 2027. Also, a large Roth IRA Conversion was accomplished in 2020 without owing any federal income tax so that much of the wife’s retirement income will be tax-free for life.

Leaving a large legacy for your child is a worthy goal. In 2022, a retired widow did a $600,000 Roth IRA Conversion and had $250,000 of additional taxable income. By using advanced tax strategies, she owes $0

federal tax in 2022 and creates $2.5 mil lion more wealth to leave to her only child. What dreams and goals will you take ac tion on in 2023?

Free seminar and supper: 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Hyatt Place, 3535 W. Chandler Blvd. Chandler. The seminar is 6 fol lowed by a free catered supper. Topic is “Beat Inflation by Saving Taxes and In creasing Income!”

To RSVP for the seminar or schedule a free consultation, contact Dr. Har old Wong at 480-706-0177 or har old_wong@hotmail.com. His website is www.drharoldwong.com. Wong earned his Ph.D. in Economics at University of California/Berkeley and has appeared on over 400 TV/radio programs. 

33 BUSINESS AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
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Sports & Recreation

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Roster overhaul not fazing Pride basketball

In a matter of months, Mountain Pointe’s boys’ basketball roster went from Open Division Championship favorite along side Perry to overlooked.

The Pride had a strong showing in one of the premier brackets at Section 7, a massive tournament this past summer that pinned them against some of the best teams from across the western part of the United States.

But that was when Mountain Pointe had three of the top seniors in this year’s class and talented players behind them that fig ured to make a dramatic impact. But those players — Tru Washington, Mark Brown, Kevin Patton Jr., Kallai Patton and Marsai Mason — are all gone, most of which to prep schools.

So, the Pride have taken on a new iden tity: Underdog. And it’s one they embrace.

“I don’t really say much,” senior Jayven Price said. “See what we do. It’s time to

Mountain Pointe seniors and cousins Jayven, “left,” and Aiden Price have become the leaders of a Pride program that saw many players transfer out to prep schools. They enjoy being the center of attention and the ones younger players are leaning upon to lead them to a success ful season. (David Minton/AFN Staff)

shock the world, shock everybody who doubted us and thought we could only win

with a stacked team. See what we do with these younger guys and how they develop.

“They’re playing a lot more confident and getting used to the speed of the game.”

Cousins Jayven and Aiden Price knew they would have to take on a leadership role this season as seniors. But it’s become even more than that now.

This is their team.

They’ve been at the varsity level since they were sophomores, making starts at various times the last two years. They knew they had to take their play to a new level this season with the departure of others. They didn’t harp on the fact they left. They remain happy for those who made decision they felt will better their future. If anything, they’re thankful for the opportunity.

It’s a chance for them to shine in the starting lineup alongside Aiden’s younger brother, Amous, who they both feel will be the most talented of the three. It’s also a chance to pursue a championship one last time together with them leading the way. It’s something they’ve dreamt about for

Tempe voters to decide on Coyote stadium plan in May

The Arizona Coyotes are one step closer to finding a new home.

The City Council voted unanimously (7-0) to support a public referendum tak ing place on May 16, 2023 regarding the Coyotes’ proposed arena and entertain ment district in Tempe at Rio Salado Park way and Priest Drive.

“This was a great night,” said Xavier A. Gutierrez, Coyotes president and CEO. “The Arizona Coyotes and the Meruelo family (the team’s majority owner) are deeply thankful to the Tempe City Council for their unanimous support and cannot wait to move forward on this transforma tional development.”

This project is projected to cost $2.1

billion, which would be one of the larg est property developments in Arizona’s history. A common concern when a ven ue of this magnitude is proposed is how it will affect the residents of the city and whether taxes will skyrocket. However, the project is privately-funded and won’t cost residents a dime.

“It’s a private-funded project and the club’s prepared to execute a 30-year, nonrelocation agreement,” said Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner who flew to the Valley specifically to voice support for the Coyotes at the meeting. “All the things that say this club wants to be here, and frankly, the NHL wants the club to be here.”

It wasn’t a positive night for all parties involved. There were a few opponents

Arizona Coyotes’ new arena proposal will feature a 16,000-seat arena, practice rink, apart ments, two hotels, a restaurant row and a theater. (Courtesy of Arizona Coyotes)

36 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
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SPORTS
@AhwatukeeFN | @AhwatukeeFN
see PRIDE page 37
see COYOTES page 37
The

some time and now they have a shot with most of the weight on their shoulders.

“It’s amazing,” Aiden said. “We’ve put in the work every day, all over the summer. Now, come game day, we get to show it. We’re the center of attention, we have to go out there and perform.

“(The transfers) did what was best for them. At the end of the day, I want to see everyone succeed.”

Beyond playing alongside cousins and brothers, they play for their uncle, Kai marr, who enters his fourth season as the

COYOTES

from page 36

of the move at its Nov. 29 meeting, with most citing concerns revolving around the team’s ability to pay its bills.

“The past is prologue,” one Arizona resi dent said at the city council meeting. “The leopard will not change his spots. The scorpion will sting the frog because it’s his nature. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Glendale’s history for example.”

Last December, Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps informed the Coyotes that they owed $1.3 million, including the $250,000 they needed to pay the city. The Coyotes faced eviction from Gila River Arena if the debts were not paid and of ficially ended their partnership with Glen dale after the end of the 2021-22 season.

The proposed arena is expected to have a capacity of 16,000, which is 11,000 more people than the Coyotes’ current home

Pride head coach.

He has seen the two become leaders — Jayven the more vocal of the two. And their play on the court has also improved.

Aiden was recently honored at a tourna ment in the West Valley for his play.

“It’s bigger than basketball,” Kaimarr said. “They’ll be college students next year. They’ll be, not grown, but basically grown. Just to see those leadership skills that will eventually translate into life skills, they’ll develop those on the fly. It’s reassuring to know they’ll be OK once they leave home.”

Heading into Tuesday’s matchup with rival Desert Vista, the Pride were 5-2 on

at ASU’s Mullett Arena. The entertain ment district will include a practice rink for the Coyotes, a restaurant row, a retail center, two hotels, a private medical of fice campus,1,995 residential units and a 3,500-person theater.

Tempe is expected to gain $293 million in additional benefits from the entertainment district. With little financial risk and a po tential new entertainment district that can draw national attention to the city, propo nents of the project insist Tempe has little to lose by voting in favor of the proposal.

“I mean every other stadium or arena throughout the state of Arizona has prop erty tax abatements that are in perpetuity, right?” Tempe mayor Corey Woods said.

“The current arenas that have already been built are never going to pay any property taxes back to any of those jurisdictions. This one will. That alone by itself sets it apart from every other stadium facility deal that’s ever been done by the state.”

the year. The two losses, however, came in lopsided fashion where they gave up near ly 100 points in both games to Peoria and Millennium — two 5A contenders.

Kaimarr knows with a revamped roster filled with young talent there will be some growing pains. He also is aware the roster won’t be at full strength until the near mid way point of the season with transfers and injuries hampering some of his players.

But he doesn’t use that as an excuse. He’s led Mountain Pointe to two straight titles during his tenure so far, both times com ing when the team was an underdog to another program. He knows what it takes

While the construction of the enter tainment district has not officially been granted permission to start, the potential for the Coyotes is endless if they were to eventually move into the new arena.

“If we can take a landfill and make it a landmark in Tempe, we have a chance to become an elite NHL franchise right here in the city,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armtsrong said.

A state-of-the-art arena could give a spark to a team that has struggled to win games over the past couple of years. It could also mark a fresh chapter for the franchise.

Every championship team needs a strong culture. An entertainment district centered around the team, coupled with an up-andcoming young core of players, can help re build the franchise’s image and create an exciting culture that fans can get behind.

“My belief is if you can see it, you have a chance to be covered,” Armstrong said. “If we look at one of the premier teams in

to win and even now his goal remains the same: Open Division or bust.

“It’s the same as always,” Kaimarr said. “The results should be the same it’s just a different way to get there. Before, any time we stepped on the court I felt we had the best player on the court and the best overall talent. Now, that’s not neces sarily the case.

“Just like we lost games when we had the better players, we’re going to take those things that those other teams did to us that worked and instill it in us to do the same against Brophy and Perry and teams like that.” 

our league, it is Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay has a lot of similarities to where we sit today … They are two-time Stanley Cup winners. They are similar to us in the sense that they were built through the draft. They’ve got warm weather, they’ve got good tax es. And they’ve got a beautiful rink, sur rounded by an entertainment district with hotels, restaurants and condos.”

Bettman and the NHL are confident that hockey will continue to grow and pros per in Arizona. Bettman was enthusiastic about the Coyotes’ future plans and said he would love to host NHL All-Star games and drafts in Tempe.

The Coyotes always seem to be on the move. Since the team relocated to Arizona from Winnipeg in 1996, the Coyotes have played in Phoenix, Glendale and now Tempe.

Finally, they may have a stable spot at Rio Salado Parkway and Priest Drive, a place they could call home for years to come. 

SPORTS 37 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
PRIDE from page 36
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Annual cat show returns to Mesa this weekend

The cats are coming back.

No, fortunately it’s not the disastrous movie rendition of the Broadway mu sical – or even a musical – but the real thing.

The 29th annual Cat Fanciers Associa tion’s car show is coming back next Sat urday and Sunday to the Mesa Conven tion Center.

Arizona’s largest all breed cat show, dubbed “It’s Feline A Lot Like Christmas,” is hosted by Phoenix Feline Fanciers, a club of The Cat Fanciers’ Assoc. Inc., and will also include an adoption center spon sored by All About Animals AZ Rescue.

Over 40 distinct breeds of cats will be on hand for observers to watch, from the lean and swanky Siamese, the charmingly “na ked” Sphynx, the intoxicating Abyssinian, the giant Maine Coons, and the extrava gantly groomed Persians.

They also will be competing in eight judging rings for awards like Best in Show and Top Household Pet in Show.

The family-friendly event features both

RIGHT: Some cat owners and rescues decorate cages for the animals at the show. BELOW: A broad array of cat breeds will be on hand at the Mesa Con vention Center next week. (Special to GetOut)

pedigreed and household pets.

For cat owners who aren’t in the com petition, a “supermarket” of cat supplies and gifts will be available from a myriad

of vendors, including unique clothing, ar tifacts, jewelry, specialty foods and toys as well as top-of-the-line cat furniture. There will be a raffle and book sale as well.

And contestants will be competing in a kitty costume contest and another for best decorated holiday cage.

All About Animals AZ Rescue has been the only rescue partner for 12 years with Phoenix Feline Fanciers to facilitate all adoptions of purebred cats that have com pleted their showing career. Adoption fees are from $30-$900 and all the proceeds go to the rescue. Over 50 cats and kittens will be up for adoption, including: Abyssinian, Oriental Shorthair. Siamese, Persian, Oci cat, Manx and Savannah.

The show runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at the convention center, 263 N. Center St. Build ing C, Mesa and parking is free.

Tickets are $12 adults; $10 seniors/mil itary; $7 for children 3-12 accompanied by an adult, under 3 free,

A family pack is also available for two adults and two children under 12 for $28.

Family 4-pack $28 (2 adults, 2 chil dren 3-12). Information: phxfeline.com, which includes a $1 off coupon on adult admission. 

Salt River Fields ‘Enchants’ with radiant display

Patrons passing by Salt River Fields at Talking Stick off Loop 101 and Indian Bend at night may have no ticed that the baseball field beckons with a sparkling holiday wonderland.

Enchant presented by Hallmark Chan nel, which touts itself as the world’s larg est holiday light display, has witnessed success with its Scottsdale debut since opening Nov. 25.

Because of that, Enchant manager Ryan Harris said his team thought the area would be perfect a display that dazzles.

“Our creative team and operations team source markets and venues that can accommodate such an extravagant expe

rience as this – where we take over 10 acres of space. So, what’s most important is space,” Harris said. “We also look for a city that loves Christmas and Scottsdale seemed like the perfect choice.”

The next task became finding a venue large enough to accommodate the colos sal lights festival.

“In years past at other ‘Enchants,’ we’ve discovered that a baseball sta dium lends itself perfectly to the type of events (we do),” Harris said. “It is com mon to find an Enchant that is laid out where we have the ice trail and the light maze on the field level.

“So when you walk over the overlook of the concourse and peer down into the

40 GET OUT AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 @AhwatukeeFN @AhwatukeeFN www.ahwatukee.com
see ENCHANTS page 46
The Enchant presented by Hallmark Channel lights display at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick will dazzle guests. (David Minton/ Staff Photographer)

‘Big trains’ rolling into region for holidays

Model trains remind many people of Christmas as a child and for one local organization, that nostalgia lasts year-round.

The Arizona Big Trains Operators will hold its annual Christmas Open House tour 4-8 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11 and Dec. 17 and 18 with 14 homes across the Valley firing up their festive layouts that help keep the history of locomotives alive and keeps these grown adults kids at heart.

While their pastime can be expensive, the one thing these operators enjoy more than tinkering with the trains is the joy their displays bring to visitors.

“A lot of people still enjoy the history of railroads,” said Don Sorenson.

Sorenson joined the organization in 2006 but had an interest in trains long before that because his dad worked as a brakeman for Union-Pacific Railroad for five years.

He said some of the members have me chanical and engineering backgrounds and this keeps their minds occupied with something familiar.

Amtrak said it has seen a 5% decrease in its Arizona station usage between fiscal year 2018 and 2019.

“People don’t ride the trains anymore,” ABTO President Darrell Woolfolk said.

“There’s not many of the youth that have been on a train.”

That’s why sharing their hobby –espe cially with children – represents an inte gral part of the organization’s purpose “to promote and advance the interest in and educate the general public about Rail roads and large-scale model railroading,” according to their bylaws.

Much to his surprise, Woolfolk said the nonprofit’s membership has seen an uptick in the last two years with 19 new members, bringing their Valley-wide total to 77.

Woolfolk joined the organization in 2013 and has served as its president for

• Roger Crooks

1708 W. Dixon Circle, Mesa.

• Terry and Adrienne Haas 1861 E. Fountain St., Mesa

• Jim and Joanne Gardner 1355 E. Glenview Circle, Mesa

• Don Sorensen 6130 E. Colby St., Mesa

• Pam and Craig Morris 7214 E. Avesta Circle, Mesa

• John and Janet Vogt 1341 E. Folley Place, Chandler

• Danny and Amy Farrow, 767 E. Ivanhoe St., Chandler

• David Kitchin 9401 E. Jadecrest Drive, Sun Lakes

will be fascinated and adults will be remind ed of their own childhood when they visit Arizona Big Trains Operators member’s holiday displays the next two weekends. (Special to the Tribune)

the buildings with the appearance of snow throughout the setup for the holidays.

The layouts can have multiple zones and take anywhere from two to four weeks to get up and running, but prep work and layout begins as early as June.

The nonprofit holds seven public events throughout the year including one in the spring, but the Christmas Open House is the group’s biggest.

Besides the two open houses, ABTO maintains train layouts at Banner Chil dren’s at Desert and Hospice of the Valley at Ryan House.

Woolfolk said those layouts remain re stricted to patients at the medical facilities due to COVID-19 protocols, but members will still maintains the tracks weekly for the patient’s enjoyment.

the last five years.

He said that while only half of their members have layouts, they all meet to help each other collaborate and build “ex tremely elaborate” holiday villages.

“It’s not like setting up on a card table when you were a kid,” Woolfolk said.

The individual cars measure approxi mately 4-1/2 inches tall by 24 inches long with a handful of cars connected that run on tracks up to 500 linear feet winding through a festive holiday village.

The villages can take up a person’s en tire backyard and some include railyards, tunnels, ponds, and functioning lights on

“With COVID, everything’s been pretty much locked down,” he said.

Woolfolk said Christmas event draws hundreds of people per weekend to mem ber’s backyards to watch the layouts light up at night.

Woolfolk said trains have “gone by the wayside” with younger generations and the nonprofit helps rekindle that interest.

Sorenson said it’s an important part of our nation that young people should remember.

“I find that people are very enamored by railroad,” he said. “They’re part of our history.” 

• Steve and Judy Lewis 925 E. Saddelback Place, San Tan Valley,

• Wesley and Allison Schriver 1149 E. Saddleback Place, San Tan Valley, For closures due to weather and illness, or more info, visit: azbigtrains. org. 

41 GET OUT AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022
Children
Here are the East Valley locations people can visit 4-8 p.m. Dec. 10 and 11 and Dec. 17 and 18. GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5631 or pmaryniak@ timeslocalmedia.com The latest breaking news and top local stories in Ahwatukee! www.Ahwatukee.com .com JUST A CLICK AWAY

Lights at the Farm illuminates Mesa

An East Valley tradition that’s sure to brighten the holiday mood has once again opened in Mesa.

Daniel Dille, owner of Lights at the Farm, said his fifth year at Vertuccio Farms will be the first with a revamped color spectrum.

The display, which runs through Dec. 30, covers more than 10 acres at Vertuc cio Farm, on Power Road between Elliot and Warner roads. It has more than three million energy-efficient LED and RGB lights with over16 million color options in multiple themed section synchronized to Christmas music.

“We also want to provide an experience that can be enjoyed by everyone from toddlers to grandparents,” Dille said “Our displays offer something for everyone, no matter what their age is.”

The entire light setup will also have a “concert-level” audio system with 85 speak ers throughout that will keep guests “fullyimmersed” in the experience, Dille said.

“You’re not walking into a dead zone here at all,” Dille said. “You’ll always be in the audio field.”

Dille has worked in the lighting busi ness for 20 years creating residential, commercial and municipal shows across Arizona, Oregon and Washington.

Rather than a drive-thru event, Dille said this “complete walk-through” show allows people to spend more time with their families in a festive holiday setting.

“It’s a little bit more of an intimate feel ing for their family because they can spend the time that they want,” Dille said. “Rath er at drive-thrus, you get 12 minutes, get through, get out as fast as you can.”

Along with the well-lit holiday cheer, Lights at the Farm offers a miniature golf course, pony rides, petting zoo, pal let maze, family games, a rotation of local food trucks and refreshment vendors sell ing treats such as cocoa, fudge, cookies, pancakes, and popcorn.

A holiday festival wouldn’t be complete

without skating on a synthetic NHL-grade ice-like surface.

Dille said the outdoor skating surface is made of “the world’s fastest synthetic panels” has garnered praise from former NHL players who use similar surfaces to train in the offseason.

An enhancer that allows the skate blade to keep traction to the surface as if you’re on ice, Dille said.

“That enhancer that’s built into the plas tic when you’re skating around, that en ables the blade to keep the traction that it needs to be able to push off and stop as you’re going.,” Dille said. “It’s a very, very hard plastic surface that we use, it all snaps together at the seams. You don’t have any gaps or any bumps in it anywhere.”

The 4,000-square-foot skating rink can

hold approximately 70 skaters comfort ably and doesn’t require a Zamboni to re surface the ice.

Instead, Dille said they pressure-wash it initially and then use a rideable floor sur face cleaner in between sessions.

In the five years of using this skating surface, Dille said they’ve never had to call the manufacturer for a problem and have only had an occasional complaint from people who’ve never ice skated before.’

“If a skating rink was 10 out of 10, this is probably 8 out of 10,” Dille said. “You’re just not going to have that exact same feel as ice.”

Dille approached farm owner Cono Ver tuccio five years ago to host the event at Vertuccio Farms and it seems to have paid off for them.

According to Dille, it could outpace the 24th annual Fall Festival at the farm that ran from late September to the end of Oc tober this year.

That’s something that makes Cono Ver tuccio very happy he invested in such a deal.

“It’s like just a winter wonderland here,” Vertuccio said. “We just got a lot of fun.”

With 75,000 people that visit the farm annually, Vertuccio estimates 40,000 vis iting for the Fall Festival.

“It’s kind of a tradition,” Vertuccio said. “There’s so many people that come in and then they’re grown up now and then they’re bringing their kids.”

Dille estimated last year’s Lights at the Farm brought in more than 80,000 peo ple, with most of that coming from presale tickets.

Due to labor costs, Dille said he had to raise ticket prices $2, but he still estimates around 100,000 tickets sold this year.

That price increase comes from having to hire people to update some props and displays to accommodate the full colorchange equipment.

That change may prompt past frequent fliers of the show to say that there’s less displays but Dille insists it’s more of an ef ficient system they use now.

“If a light goes out in that now, all we have to do is cut one lamp and replace the lamp and we’re done rather than a whole string of 100 lights,” Dille said. “It changes the game completely.” 

If You Go...

What: Lights at the Farm Where: Vertuccio Farms, 4011 S. Power Road, Mesa.

When: Through Dec. 3, 5:30- 9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday

Cost: $18 Friday and Saturday, $15 Sunday-Thursday; Skating, $10. ood and beverages are not included in ticket prices. Parking is free.

Info: LightsattheFarm.com.

42 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 GET OUT
Brightly lit snowglobes are part of the attraction at Vertuccio Farms in Mesa this season. (Spe cial to GetOut)
Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5631 or pmaryniak@timespublications.com
43 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 334043 10 x 10 indd 1 334043_10_x_10.indd 1 11/28/22 2:06 PM 2:06

With JAN D’ATRI

Bubble-Top Brioche is a good-anytime recipe

Beautiful brioche. With its ir resistible buttery, light and tender crumb, brioche has holiday written all over it. Breakfast, lunch or dinner always seems a bit more special when rich and slightly sweet bread is served.

If you have time to bake this holiday season, give it a try. If not, save the recipe for this Bubble-Top Brioche, or “Brioche a Tete,” (12 servings) for a rainy day and then serve it up with rich, hot cup of cappuccino.

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup warm water

• 1/4 cup warm whole milk

• 3 teaspoons active dry yeast

• 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

• 3 large eggs, room temperature

Directions:

Combine warm water and warm milk in mixing bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Sprinkle yeast over liquid and gently stir. Let stand until yeast dissolves.

Add flour and salt to yeast mixture. Blend at medium-low speed for 2 minutes scraping down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Mix in sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until dough is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low. Add butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until blended after each addition, until dough is soft and silky, about 4 minutes.

Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and climbs paddle. Lightly butter large bowl. Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Lift dough around edges to deflate, then let dough fall back into bowl. Turn bowl and repeat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and chill. Repeat deflating

• 3 tablespoons sugar

• 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

• 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

• 12 Brioche molds or muffin tin

process one or two more times during the next two hours while dough is still rising. Chill overnight. When ready to bake, grease 12 fluted individual brioche molds (approx 3-inch) or large muffin cups. Pat the chilled dough into a 12x6-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 12 equal portions.

From each remove a small piece and roll into 12 (1/2-inch balls.) Roll remaining portions into 12 larger balls; place in prepared pans. Using your fingers, make a deep indentation in the center of dough ball. Brush with water.

Press small balls into indentations. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Place muffin pan on rimmed baking sheet. Gently brush egg wash over risen dough, being careful that glaze does not drip between dough and pan.

Bake brioches until golden brown, about 20 min utes. (Cover with foil if browning too quickly.) Transfer pan to cooling rack. Cool for about 10 minutes before removing brioches from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

44 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 GET OUT ACROSS 1 Singer Lovett 5 “Ben-Hur” studio 8 Beanies 12 “Madam Secretary” actress 14 Opposite of “sans” 15 Very hungry 16 Gambling city 17 Coq au -18 Painter Georges 20 Watched surreptitiously 23 Pot covers 24 Any time now 25 Stuffed Italian pasta 28 Boy king 29 Doctrine 30 NYPD alert 32 Gulches 34 Potter’s medium 35 New newts 36 Tint 37 Import duty 40 JFK info 41 Portent 42 Enraptured 47 Theater award 48 Eternally 49 Variety 50 Still, in verse 51 Playwright O’Casey DOWN 1 USPS delivery 2 Pro vote 3 Restroom, for short 4 Football team 5 Earth circler 6 Bearded beast 7 Written messages 8 Tenor Enrico 9 Say it’s so 10 Elizabeth of “Jacob’s Ladder” 11 Highlander 13 Oklahoma city 19 Redact 20 Retired jet 21 Serve coffee 22 Greek vowel 23 Highway divisions 25 Cheap way to live 26 Chorus syllables 27 Apple tablet 29 Squabble 31 “See ya!” 33 Like marble 34 Great divides 36 Commotion 37 Grabbed 38 Both (Pref.) 39 Check 40 Divisible by two 43 St. crosser 44 Weed whacker 45 Notable time 46 Lair Sudoku King Crossword PUZZLES ANSWERS on page 46
GetOut Columnist
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light maze, ice trail and some of our mar ket vendors, it looks like you’re peeking over into a Christmas Village.”

Because of that, the team selected Salt River Field at Talking Stick – the Arizona Diamondbacks spring training facility.

“There’s just something about descend ing into what was once a baseball stadium that is now an all-encompassing atmo sphere that looks like something that can be seen inside of a snow globe that is en chanting,” Harris said.

After locking in a site, a year of plan ning and months of assembly began.

“Our creative team and operations teams have been working all year since Enchant locations in 2021 closed and we began installing in Scottsdale right before Halloween since it’s about a month-long process to build Enchant,” Harris said.

After arriving in late October, crews be

If You Go...

What: Enchant at Salt River Field at Talking Stick Where: Salt River Field at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road

When: Through Jan. 1 Cost: Tickets start at $34 Info: enchantchristmas.com/scotts dale-az-salt-river-fields

gan 10- to 12-hour days hanging lights, erecting sets, and laying the foundation for an expansive ice rink made of real ice.

Once finished, the expansive light festi val covered 10 acres of the spring training facility filling the grounds with over four million sparkling lights, a 100-foot-tall holiday tree, and myriad entertainment — including a place to visit Santa.

Harris says guests can expect plenty of fun for the entire family during their visit to Enchant.

“We keep everyone in mind,” Harris said. “For the little ones, we have a little elf play place where they can frolic and have Sto rytime with Mrs. Claus and they can also meet the big guy himself and take photos.

For adults, we have our Merry Lodge, Our Tipsy Tree Tavern, and a Polar Ice Bar – which is chilled at 14 degrees and guests can sample three different types of vodka at a bar where the inferior is made entirely of ice.”

With all the options for fun at their feet, Harris expects guests to enjoy themselves and make merry memories that will last a lifetime and hopes Enchant becomes a staple at Salt River Field at Talking Stick moving forward.

“We know that the guests are going to enjoy themselves, they’re going to be overwhelmed by the 100-foot pine tree that’s completely made up with lights, they’re going to be overwhelmed by our RGB light tunnel as they walk through it,

Office Administrator

We are a growing tax accounting firm looking to

Qualifications:

to detail

• Strong customer service and creative problem-solving experience

• 1-3 years of experience working in an office environment in administration a plus

We

We are looking for someone that displays the following traits:

• Ability to demonstrate good judgment and discretion.

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Position is immediately available. Long term hire. Extended working hours & some Saturdays. Generous benefits include 401K with company contributions, holiday pay, PTO includes vacation and bonuses Compensation is based on experience.

46 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 GET OUT
and I know that we’re going to see just lots of joy on faces of children of all ages, adults, grandparents,” Harris said.
“The whole family is just going to be filled with joy and making them happy is going to make us happy.”
 ANSWERS TO PUZZLES AND SUDOKU from Page 44
page 40
ENCHANTS from
JOB SEEKERS jobs.phoenix.org 480-898-6465 CALL TO ADVERTISE 480-898-6465 NOW HIRING JOBS.PHOENIX.ORG LOCAL JOBS. LOCAL PEOPLE. Office Administrator We are a growing tax accounting firm looking to hire an Office Administrator. Ideal candidate takes pride in his/her work, organizational skills and attention to detail. He/ She appreciates an environment where superior work is encouraged, noticed and re warded and where individuals carry tremendous responsibility. He/She looks forward to learning an incredible amount on the job. Duties and job responsibilities include but are not limited to the following: • Supporting CPA’s, Staff Accountants, Partners and back up other administrators • Handle all incoming calls / Professionally greet clients • Perform clerical work – Scanning files, document management, filing, preparing packages for mailing • Read and process all email • Receive/disseminate mail and packages
• High School Diploma or equivalent work experience required • Proficient in Microsoft Office; Outlook, Word, Excel and Power Point • Strong verbal and written communication skills • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment with attention
Harper Plum, Sabrina McDonald, Megan Plum and Chloe Plum seem positively enchanted as they take a group photo in front of a light tunnel at Enchant presented by Hallmark Channel at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
Qualifications:
hire
his/her
organizational
and
is encouraged, noticed and rewarded and where individuals
and job responsib lit es inc ude but are not imited to the fol owing
Supporting CPA’s, Staff Accountants, Partners and back up other administrators
Handle all incoming calls / Professionally greet clients
an Office Administrator. Ideal candidate takes pride in
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attention to detail. He/She appreciates an environment where superior work
carry tremendous responsibility. He/She looks forward to learning an incredible amount on the job. Duties
Perform clerical work Scanning files, document management, filing, preparing packages for mailing
Read and process
email
all
• Receive/disseminate mail and packages
High School Diploma or equivalent work experience required
Proficient in Microsoft Office; Outlook, Word, Excel and Power Point
Strong verbal and written communication skills
Ability to multi task in a fast paced environment with attention to detail
Strong customer service and creative problem solving experience
1 3 years of experience working in an office environment in administration a plus
are look ng for someone that displays the following tra ts:
Ability to demonstrate good judgment and discretion.
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Marks the Spot for ALL Your Handyman Needs! “No Job Too Small Man!” Call Bruce at 602.670.7038 Ahwatukee Resident/ References/ Insured/ Not a Licensed Contractor Affordable, Quality Work Since 1999 2010, 2011 2012, 2013, 2014 Painting • Flooring • Electrical Plumbing • Drywall • Carpentry Decks • Tile • More! Marks the Spot for ALL Your Handyman Needs! “No Job Too Small Man!” Call Bruce at 602.670.7038 Ahwatukee Resident/ References/ Insured/ Not a Licensed Contractor Affordable, Quality Work Since 1999 2010, 2011 2012, 2013, 2014 Painting • Flooring • Electrical Plumbing Drywall Carpentry Decks Tile More! Marks the Spot for ALL Your Handyman Needs! “No Job Too Small Man!” Call Bruce at 602.670.7038 Ahwatukee Resident/ References/ Insured/ Not a Licensed Contractor Affordable, Quality Work Since 1999 2010, 2011 2012, 2013, 2014 Painting • Flooring • Electrical Plumbing • Drywall • Carpentry Decks • Tile • More! Marks the Spot for ALL Your Handyman Needs! “No Job Too Small Man!” Call Bruce at 602.670.7038 Ahwatukee Resident/ References/ Insured/ Not a Licensed Contractor Affordable, Quality Work Since 1999 2010, 2011 2012, 2013, 2014 Painting • Flooring • Electrical Plumbing • Drywall • Carpentry Decks • Tile • More! “No Job Too Small Man!” BSMALLMAN@Q.COM Call Bruce at 602.670.7038 Ahwatukee Resident / References Insured / Not a Licensed Contractor Hauling • Furniture • Appliances • Mattresses • Televisions • Garage Clean-Out • Construction Debris • Old Paint & Chems. • Yard Waste • Concrete Slab • Remodeling Debris • Old Tires Home Improvement • BASE BOARDS • DRYWALL • ELECTRICAL • PAINTING • PLUMBING • BATHROOMS • WOOD FLOORING • FRAMING WALLS • FREE ESTIMATES • GRANITE FABRICATION & INSTALLATION • CARPET INSTALLATION • LANDSCAPING Home Remodeling No Job Too Small! Senior Discounts! David Hernandez (602) 802 3600 daveshomerepair@yahoo.com • Se Habla Español NOT A LICENSED CONTRACTOR Glass/Mirror GLASS, MIRRORS, SHOWER DOORS Family Owned with 50 years' EXPERIENCE Shower and tub enc osures, Framed, Frameless or Custom Doors, We also install nsu ated glass, mirrored closet doors, window glass, mirrors, patio doors, glass tab e protectors If t’s glass, we can help you QUALITY SERVICE at Competitive Prices FREE Est mates WESLEY'S GLASS & MIRROR Call 480-306-5113 wesleysglass com SERVICING THE ENTIRE VALLEY Contractors Electrical Services C. READ & SON ELECTRIC for ALL your electrical needs www.readelectricaz.com 480-940-6400 44 years experience Ahwatukee Resident ROC #158440 Bond/Insured  Electric Car Chargers  Fans  Lighting  Troubleshooting  And much more 2008 through 2021 • Panel Changes and Repairs • Installation of Ceiling Fans • Switches/Outlets • Home Remodel HONESTY • INTEGRITY • QUALITY ALL RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL ELECTRICAL Call Jim Endres 480.282.7932 Over 28 Years Experience • ROC #246019 Bonded/Insured • Serving Arizona Since 2005 • Garage/Doors GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS REPLACED Licensed • Bonded • Insured SERVICE | INSTALLATIONS | REPAIRS 623-853-3311 ROC # 336907 Garage/Doors GARAGE DOOR SERVICE East Valley/ Ahwatukee Broken Springs Replaced Nights/Weekends Bonded/Insured 480 251 8610 Not a licensed contractor Flooring Honest & Affordable Floor Covering A family founded business that specializes in tile,vinyl plank, laminate, hardwood & more! FREE ESTIMATES! 5-Star Reviews on Google 20+ Years Experience Showers, back splash, fireplaces, baseboards & stairs Best Flooring Company in the valley now in Ahwatukee! Call or Text 480-527-6274 honestandaffordableflooring.com Licensed, Bonded & Insured 10%OFF ON INSTALL when you mention this ad CASH OUT!
49 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 CLASSIFIEDS See MORE Ads Online! www.Ahwatukee.com Irrigation ROC 304267 • Licensed & Bonded 480.345.1800 Sprinkler & Drip Systems • Modi cations • Installs • 20+ Years Experience • 6 Year Warranty Landscape Design/Installation Serving the Valley for over 28 years The Possibilities are Endless Custom Design and Renovation turning old to new Custom Built-ins, BBQs, Firepits, Fireplaces, Water Features, Re-Designing Pools, Masonry, Lighting, Tile, Flagstone, Pavers, Culture Stone & Travertine, Synthetic Turf, Sprinkler/Drip, Irrigation Systems, Clean ups & Hauling Call for a FREE consultation and Estimate To learn more about us, view our photo gallery at: ShadeTreeLandscapes.com 480-730-1074 Bonded/Insured/Licensed • ROC #225923 East Valley PAINTERS Voted #1 Paint Interior & Exterior • Drywall Repair Light Carpentry • Power Washing • Textures Matched Popcorn Removal • Pool Deck Coatings Garage Floor Coatings • Color Consulting 10% OFF We Beat Competitors Prices & Quality Now Accepting all major credit cards Family Owned & Operated Bonded/Insured • ROC#153131 Free Estimates! Home of the 10-Year Warranty! 480-688-4770 www.eastvalleypainters.com North Valley Landscaping Quality you deserve for a great price you can a ord. 480-388-9442 Call Brian ✔ Yard Clean-ups ✔ Maintenance ✔ Tree trimming ✔ Water features ✔ Irrigation / Repair FREE ESTIMATES! Landscape/Maintenance Pavers, Pavers, Pavers!!! All types of Paver installs! Many types, textures, colors! Also, beautiful Artificial Turf installed Call or text today for your free estimate Arizona Specialty Landscapes 480-695-3639 ROC#186443 WORKMANSHIP GUARANTEED! MD’S LANDSCAPING Drip Systems Installed, Valves/Timer Repairs Let’s get your Watering System working again! System Checks • Drip Checks FREE ESTIMATES! CALL 24 HOURS 25 Yrs Exp. I Do All My Own Work! Call Mark 480.295.2279 Referred out of Ewing Irrigation Not a licensed contractor. ROC# 256752 CALL US TODAY! 480.721.4146 www.irsaz.com Irrigation Repair Services Inc. Licensed • Bonded • Insured Specializing in Controllers, Valves, Sprinklers, Landscape Lighting, P.V.C. & Poly Drip Systems High Quality Results TRIM TREES ALL TYPES GRAVEL - PAVERS SPRINKLER SYSTEMS Complete Clean Ups Not a licensed contractor. 602.515.2767 Jose Martinez Arizona Specialty Landscape ROC# 186443 • BONDED New & Re-Do Design and Installation Free Estimates 7 Days a Week! Call/Text 480.695-3639 A ordable | Paver Specialists All phases of landscape installation. Plants, cacti, sod, sprinklers, granite, concrete, brick, Kool-deck, lighting and more! Landscape/Maintenance kjelandscape.com • ROC#281191 480-586-8445 • One Month Free Service • Licensed, Bonded Insured for your protection. • Call or Text for a Free Quote Complete Lawn Service & Weed Control Starting @ $60/Month! Painting ★ Interior/Exterior Painting ★ Drywall Repair & Installation ★ Popcorn Ceiling Removal ★ Elastomaric Roof Coating ★ Epoxy Floors ★ Small Job Specialist “We get your house looking top notch!” Scott Mewborn, Owner 480-818-1789 License #ROC 298736 Painting Openings Available in October 602.625.0599 Family Owned Suntechpaintingaz.com • High Quality Materials & Workmanship • Customer Satisfaction • Countless References • Free Estimates ROC #155380 Serving Ahwatukee Since 1987 In Best of Ahwatukee Year After Year Interior/Exterior Painting 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE Dunn Edwards Quality Paint Small Stucco/Drywall Repairs We Are State Licensed and Reliable! 480-338-4011 Free Estimates • Senior Discounts ROC#309706 HOME IMPROVEMENT & PAINTING PROFESSIONAL PAINTING Interior, Exterior House Painting. Stucco Patching. Gate/Front Door Refinishing. Quality work/Materials Free Estimate Ignacio 480-961-5093 / 602-571-9015 ROC #189850 Bond/Ins’d Landscape/Maintenance Your Ad can go ONLINE ANY Day! Call to place your ad online! Classifieds 480-898-6500
50 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 CLASSIFIEDS BROADCAST YOUR BARGAINS. REACH THOUSANDS OF BUYERS. CLASS@ TIMESLOCALMEDIA .COM 480.898.6500 Over 30 Years of Experience Family Operated by 3 Generations of Roofers! FREE Estimates • Credit Cards OK www.spencer4hireroofing.com ROC#244850 | Insured | Bonded Spencer 4 HIRE ROOFING Valley Wide Service 10% OFF with this ad Ahwatukee’s Premier Tile, Shingle & Foam Roofer! 480-446-7663 Roofing Tiles, shingles, flat, repairs & new work Free Estimates • Ahwatukee Resident Over 30 yrs. Experience 480-706-1453 Licensed/Bonded/Insured • ROC #236099 Plumbing NOT A LICENSED CONTRACTOR MARK’S POOL SERVICE Mark 602-799-0147 Owner Operated - 20 Years Ask About Filter Cleaning Specials! CPO#85-185793 Play Pools start at $95/month with chemicals Pool Service / Repair Call Juan at 480-720-3840 Not a licensed contractor. 25 Years Experience • Dependable & Reliable POOL REPAIR Pebble cracking, Plaster peeling, Rebar showing, Pool Light out? I CAN HELP! Juan Hernandez Pavers • Concrete • Water Features • Sprinkler Repair SPECIAL! $500 OFF COMPLETE REMODEL! Pool Service / Repair Ahwatukee! Ahwatukee! BESTOF 2019 Monthly Service & Repairs Available Licensed, Bonded & Insured ROC#272001 See our Befores and Afters on Facebook www.barefootpoolman.com 7665 Painting Plumbing PLUMBING (480)704.5422 AHWATUKEE’S #1 PLUMBER Licensed • Bonded • Insured A+ RATED We Repair or Install $35.00 Off Any Service Call Today! ROC # 272721 Plumbing Affinity Plumbing LLC 480-487-5541 affinityplumber@gmail.com $35 off Any Service Your Ahwatukee Plumber & East Valley Neighbor www.affinityplumbingaz.com Anything Plumbing Water Heaters Inside & Out Leaks Toilets Faucets Disposals Same Day Service 24/7 Bonded Insured Estimates Availabler Not a licensed contractor CONKLIN PAINTING Free Estimate & Color Consultation Interior Painting ● Pressure Washing Exterior Painting ● Drywall/Stucco Repair Complete Prep Work ● Wallpaper Removal 480-888-5895 ConklinPainting.com Lic/Bond/Ins ROC# 270450 PAINTING Interior & Exterior Residential/Commercial Free Estimates Drywall Repairs Senior Discounts References Available (602) 502-1655 — Call Jason — PLUMBERS CHARGE TOO MUCH! FREE Service Calls + FREE Estimates Water Heaters Installed - $999 Unclog Drains - $49 10% OFF All Water Puri cation Systems Voted #1 Plumber 3 Years In A Row OVER 1,000 5-STAR REVIEWS Bonded/Insured • ROC #223709 480-405-7099 Plumbing Drain Cleaning Experts, water heaters, disposals, water & sewer lines re paired/replaced & remodels Rapid Response If water runs through it we do it! 602-663-8432 Place YOUR Business HERE! Call for our 3 Month Trial Special! Classifieds: 480-898-6500 MORE CLASSIFIED ADS ONLINE! www.Ahwatukee.com
51 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 CLASSIFIEDS Need to hire some help? Call Classifieds Today! 480.898.6500 CLASS@TIMESLOCALMEDIA.COM class@timeslocalmedia.com or call 480-898-6500 SHARE WITH THE WORLD! Place a Birth, Anniversary, Wedding Announcement, In Memoriam, Obituary or any life event in this paper today! Call us for details. Roofing LICENSED | BONDED | INSURED | ROC #269218 $1000 OFF when you show this ad *on qualifying complete roof replacements Let Us Show You The IN-EX Difference! www.InExRoofing. c om Call 602-938-7575 for your FREE Roof Evaluation Today! PhillipsRoofing.org PhillipsRoofing@cox.net PHILLIPS ROOFING LLC Family Owned and Operated 43 Years Experience in Arizona COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL Licensed 2006 ROC 223367 Bonded Insured 623-873-1626 Free Estimates Monday through Saturday Roofing Family Operated by 3 Generations of Roofers! We have a “Spencer” on every job and every step of the way. FREE Estimates • Credit Cards OK www.spencer4hireroofing.com ROC#244850 | Insured | Bonded Ahwatukee’s Premier Tile, Shingle & Foam Roofer! 480-446-7663 Roofing Quality Repairs & Re-Roofs Call our office today! 480-460-7602 Family Owned & Operated for over 30 years Complimentary & Honest Estimates ROC #152111 Ask us about our discount for all Military and First Responders! www.porterroofinginc.com Licensed, Bonded, Insured ROC152111 Roofing AZROC #283571 | CONTRACTOR LIC. AZROC #312804 CLASS CR4 | FULLY INSURED TILE ROOFING SPECIALISTS 10% OFF COMPLETE UNDERLAYMENT desertsandscontracting.com Flat and Foam Roof Experts! FREE ESTIMATES 602-736-3019 FLAT ROOFS | SHINGLES | TEAR OFFS | NEW ROOFS | REPAIRS TILE UNDERLAYMENT | TILE REPAIR | LEADERS | COPPER ALUMINUM COATINGS | GUTTERS | SKYLIGHTS Commercial & Residential Family Owned & Operated Serving All Types of Roofing: • Tiles & Shingles • Installation • Repair • Re-Roofing FREE ESTIMATES sunlandroofingllc@gmail.com 602-471-2346 Clean, Prompt, Friendly and Professional Service Licensed Bonded Insured ROC#341316 MonsoonRoofingInc.com Licensed – Bonded – Insured – ROC187561 10% Discount for Ahwatukee Residents 100% NO Leak Guarantee Re-Roof & Roofing Repairs Tile, Shingles & Flat Roof 480-699-2754 • info@monsoonroofinginc.com Add a Background Color to Your Ad! Classifieds 480-898-6500
52 AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS | DECEMBER 7, 2022 NO MATTER WHERE YOU SEE IT, READ IT, OR HEAR ABOUT IT, SPENCERS IS GUARANTEED TO BE A LOWER PRICE! $ 219 • 1.8 Cu. Ft. Capacity • 2 Speed 300 CFM Exhaust • Digital Display • Timer FFMV1846VW CLOSEOUT Arizona’s largest independent dealer! Check Out Our Website WWW.SPENCERSTV.COM MESA SHOWROOM & CLEARANCE CENTER 115 W. First Ave. | 480-833-3072 AHWATUKEE 4601 E. Ray Rd. | Phoenix | 480-777-7103 ARROWHEAD RANCH 7346 W. Bell Road | 623-487-7700 GILBERT Santan Village | 2711 S. Santan Village Pkwy | 480-366-3900 GLENDALE 10220 N. 43rd Ave | (602) 504-2122 GOODYEAR 1707 N. Litchfield Rd | 623-930-0770 RECONDITION CENTER 160 EAST BROADWAY | 480-615-1763 SCOTTSDALE 14202 N. Scottsdale Rd. | 480-991-7200 SCOTTSDALE/PHOENIX 13820 N. Tatum Blvd. | (602) 494-0100 NOW OPEN - MESA 5141 S. Power Rd. | 480-988-1917 OPEN DAILY 9AM-9PM | SATURDAY 9AM-6PM | SUNDAY 11AM-5PM Due to current circumstances, some items may be out of stock. NO CREDIT NEEDED,OPTIONS AVAILABLE $ 329 •Normal Wash Cycle •Heated Dry On/Off •Standard Upper Rack HDA2000TWW CLOSEOUT DISHWASHER WASHER • 3.4 Cu. Ft. Capacity • 8 Wash Cycles • 3 Temperature Settings • Dual Action Agitator NTW450IXQ CLOSEOUT DRYER • Super Capacity • Multiple Drying Cycles • Automatic Dryness Control NED4500VQ CLOSEOUT OVER-THE-RANGE MICROWAVE $ 429 EACH “It’s Like Having A Friend In The Business” BUYS ALL 4 PIECES REFRIGERATOR • Adjustable Gallon Door Bins • LED Interior Lighting • Exterior Ice and Water Dispenser with EveryDrop™ Water Filtration • Hidden Hinges • Electronic Temperature Controls WRS315SDHM DISHWASHER • High Temperature Wash • 12-Place Settings • Heated Dry Option • 1 Hour Wash Cycle • 3 Wash Cycles WDF110PABS CLOSEOUT OVER-THE-RANGE MICROWAVE • 1.7 cu. ft. Capacity • 1,000 Watts • 220 CFM Venting System • 2 Stage Cooking • Quick Touch Settings WMH31017AS CLOSEOUT KITCHEN REMODEL $2399 RANGE • 4.8 Cu. Ft. • Self Cleaning Oven • Smooth Top • Proudly Made in USA WFE505W0HS CLOSEOUT • Deli Drawer •Crisper Shelves •LED Lighting STAINLESS STEEL 23 CU. FT. SIDE BY SIDE FFSS2315TS CLOSEOUT ** Minimum finance amount of at least $599 or more with their BrandSource Credit Card by Citi. No interest as long as balance is paid in full by January 1, 2024, minimum monthly payments. If the amount of the purchase is not paid in full by the end of the promotional period, interest charges will be imposed from the purchase date at the variable purchase rate on your account, which is 29.24% APR. This APR is as of May 16 2022 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. NO INTEREST UNTIL 1/1/24** DRYER • 7.5 Cu. Ft. Capacity • Steam Sanitize Plus • Sensor Dry • 12 Preset Dry Cycles DVE52A5500V WASHER • 5.0 Cu. Ft. Capacity • Super Speed • Smart Care • Active Water Jet WA52A5500AV $ $899 EACH $699 SALE NO INTEREST UNTIL 2024** 70” UHD 4K SMART HDTV • Crystal Processor 4K • Auto Game Mode • Works with Alexa, Google Assist • Wi-Fi Direct • Bluetooth • 2 HDMI Ports UN70TU7000 • Quantities Limited 70” $549
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