Page 1

May 2016

Relentlessly local coverage of Gilbert and our neighboring communities

Jamie Stack shows Ethan Fritz how to pull in a roped calf

Stack was promoting the Gilbert Days Rodeo during the recent Gilbert Global Village Festival. Photos, page 18.

Town planning for tourism You may not think of Gilbert and tourism in the same breath. But the town is pushing to change that in the near future. “We have the opportunity to grow tourism. We need to be strategic in how we do so,” said Mayor John Lewis, addressing a Mayor’s Ambassador Forum held recently at the newly opened Falls Event Center in Gilbert. A huge part of the push involves educating residents, who are the best–and the most natural–ambassadors of the town. Amanda Elliot, economic development administrator, said that people have the concept that tourists visit a place just for one Michele Renahan, right, the town’s new tourism attraction. “When people think of tourism, we’ve seen comments administrator, with Gilbert resident Pat Krueger at see TOURISM page 8

the Mayor’s Ambassador Forum at the Falls Event Center in Gilbert. GSN photo by Srianthi Perera

Investigation concludes fire was accidental; safety personnel lauded BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Gilbert Fire and Rescue investigators have determined that the cause of the recent fire at the Broadstone Gilbert Heritage apartment complex near Gilbert and Warner roads was accidental. After interviewing more than 60 individuals, among them firefighters, construction workers, security guards, witnesses and the property owners at Alliance Residential Company, investigators found the only known heat source in the area of the fire’s origin was a torch being used by roofers, according to a Town release. The property, its buildings reduced to rubble, has been turned back over to the owner. Civic Center Drive, see FIRE page 6

2 Community 16 Neighbors 22 Business 28 Neighborhood Map

After the devastation caused by the fire, not much remains of the buildings under construction at the Broadstone Gilbert Heritage apartment complex near Gilbert and Warner roads. Submitted photo

36 Youth 44 Spirituality 46 Arts 52 Opinion

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4 May 2016

Community

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The Heritage District is awash with neon these days, and offers plenty of dining options, such as Zinburger. But patrons would like retail and entertainment to improve as well. Submitted photo

Calls for more shopping, entertainment at Heritage District BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Visitors to Gilbert’s Heritage District may tuck into breakfast at Snooze A.M., have a street tacos lunch at Barrio Queen or linger over a glass of pre-dinner wine at Postino East. While dining choices are aplenty, there isn’t much by way of shopping or entertainment. A new public survey has shown that the shortcomings regarding the Heritage District fall in line with what the town plans to work on in the next year or two. The nine growth areas are retail, land development, parking/traffic circulation, connectivity, special events, arts, wayfinding, waste management and updating the redevelopment plan. “I’m very happy to see that the respondents were in line with the areas we felt were critical,” said Amanda Elliot, Heritage District liaison in Gilbert. The 21-question, Web-based survey of how the public views the past several years of redevelopment included multiple choice and open-ended questions. Asked which type of development participants would like to see more of in the Heritage District, 59% marked retail shops while 58% selected entertainment venues. When asked about types of special events, 69% selected concerts, while 65% wanted more farmers markets and 52% asked for more children’s events. Downtown’s lack of retail hasn’t gone unnoticed by the town. Retail, however, is mostly driven by density, Elliot said.

Within Heritage District, there are some older single family homes and a few buildings with multi-family housing. In 2015, the town estimated a residential population of 1,137. The number is set to increase following the construction of a multi-family residential development located on 7.5 acres to the south of the park-and-ride lot. District Lofts will have 170 units. Just north of Bergies Coffee Roast House, Ticket Force is due to begin constructing a three-story building that will contain its staff and a co-working space. Farther north, St. Xavier University is building its enrollment with a nursing program that opens in the fall. “As we see housing, offices and as we see increasing enrolment at St. Xavier University, that type of density creates a continual stream of prospective customers,” Elliot said. Downtown’s retail establishments include C&J Antiques, Flashback Antiques, Art Intersection, Norwood Furniture and Petit Party Studio. Tuft & Needle is due to open at Heritage Marketplace later this year. Elliot said that retailers are “looking.” However, development takes time. Among other results, 91% said they felt that the Heritage District is very safe or safe, and 68% indicated that they would like to have an additional parking structure. Last year, the Town worked with three consultant studies related to parking, traffic and circulation, and real estate in the Heritage District.

Barrio Queen features a huge patio and an open bar; it’s just one of the plentiful dining options offered in Gilbert’s Heritage District. Submitted photo

The consultants recommended that the Town build two more parking structures as the downtown nears buildout. The survey indicated that 68% strongly or somewhat support an additional parking structure. The Town received more than 4,000 responses to the survey and included 136 results from live polling. “We are thrilled to have received this level of public input for the Heritage District, the symbolic heart of the community,” stated Councilman Eddie Cook, in a release. “The responses from this survey will help guide recommendations for critical growth areas. In 2018, the Town is due to update its Heritage District Redevelopment Plan,

which was last updated in 2008. The survey is one of the first steps to creating the update, and will help provide direction, Cook further stated. While all manner of development takes place, maintaining the historic character of the Heritage District is of utmost importance to residents. “That’s absolutely a first priority for us,” Elliot said. “We really think of the Heritage District as a symbolic, historic center of the community and we want to ensure that we focus on that character as we move into the 2018 redevelopment plan.” Access the survey at gilbertaz.gov/ home/showdocument?id=14157


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May 2016

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6 May 2016

Community

FIRE from page 1

which had been closed from Palm Lane to Warner Road, is reopened to traffic. The five-alarm fire at the construction site was so extensive that the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives was called in to help the Gilbert Fire Department in its investigation. More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze, said to be one of the worse in the town’s history, and prevented the winds from causing further damage. Three police officers were treated for smoke inhalation and one firefighter was treated for minor burns. Residents of the nearby Reserve apartment complex were evacuated on the day of the fire, but allowed to return to their homes by the next day. Deputy Fire Chief Mike Connor said an evacuation center set up at the amphitheater of the Public Safety Complex housed about 70 people. Those close to the scene offered praise for how the public safety personnel handled the situation. Mayor John Lewis expressed his appreciation to the Town’s fire and police departments and for the nine-member regional partnership, including the fire departments of Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Queen Creek and Apache Junction, that quickly came to Gilbert’s aid.

“In spite of the great tragedy and how serious it was because of the wind, it was inspiring to see our public safety officials in action,” Mayor Lewis said. “We hope that we don’t have events like this very often, but this is what our heroes are trained to do.” Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Company was constructing Broadstone Gilbert Heritage, a 250-plus unit, gated apartment complex adjacent to the Gilbert Civic Center. In 2015, the company purchased the nearly 14-acre land parcel for $3.85 million. The pedestrian-friendly area has many restaurants, shops and parks and the complex was poised to benefit from the access to the employment center and the overall dearth of multifamily sites. The company, in a statement, said: “We have re-secured the construction site and are also working with the Town of Gilbert to implement a plan for clean-up and rebuilding.” Gayle Schmidt, who owns a Buffalo Wild Wings in the area, said the firefighting was an ultimate display of expertise. “If you ask these heroes about the event, they say they were trained and were just doing their job. I’d say, with the heat intensity high enough to melt cars, the street, and fire hoses, that they

risked their lives out there to protect ours,” said Schmidt, who sent meal vouchers to all personnel in the nine cities that rallied around the Town and also organized a fundraiser to benefit Gilbert’s police and fire personnel. Town Councilwoman Brigette Peterson, who watched the proceedings closely, said she was struck by how the community came together at a time of crisis. “I was impressed by the response from our Automatic Aid partners in the East Valley, residents offering firefighters and police officers cold water, and local restaurants donating food for evacuees and public safety personnel,” she said. Lewis toured the site in its aftermath. “As a mayor, we are focused on building, and what I saw as I was walking through was just the opposite, where devastation and destruction had occurred,” he said. “I had a chance to talk to one of the owners of the property. Yes, it was devastating. They’d done so well and had great momentum and had these buildings ready to go, and that was hard.” “But, at the same time, we rebuild,” Lewis said. “So as I was walking through the devastation, the feeling was that we’ll clean this up and we’ll build again. That’s what communities do.”

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Gilbert awarded Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grants The Arizona Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has awarded the Gilbert Police Department with traffic safety grants to conduct traffic enforcement and purchase safety equipment during federal fiscal year 2016. The grant period is Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2016. The Gilbert PD received a DUI enforcement grant in the amount of $80,000, and a DUI van refurbishment grant in the amount of $26,033. Gilbert PD will use this funding for overtime- and employee-related expenses to staff drug and alcohol enforcement, periodic DUI warrant arrest details and conduct Know Your Limit details. Know Your Limit details are educational tools used to inform pedestrians at or near bars of their blood-alcohol content and how this will impair their driving ability.

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8 May 2016

Community

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Jonathan Buford, the founder of Arizona Wilderness Brewery, at the Mayor’s Ambassador Forum at the Falls Event Center in Gilbert. Submitted photo.

Michele Renahan, the Town’s new tourism administrator, created the tourism guide, Discover Gilbert. Submitted photo.

TOURISM from page 1

Illinois, to research the feasibility of a conference center in one of three key areas: the Gateway Employment Area (near Banner Gateway Medical Center), the Heritage District and the Central Business District bordering the Loop 202. “We’ve got a lot of opportunities for corporate meetings, but we’ve never had a lot of the facilities that we needed,” Renahan said. Building on the work done previously with the Discover Gilbert brand, Renahan created additional marketing materials: a tourism map and guide and bubble cards. She enhanced discovergilbert.com with MapIt, a mapping tool that allows searches for businesses, events and specials, and also writes a blog. Leading up to National Tourism Week May 1 to May 7, she designed a concept to get residents out in the community: a “get to know Gilbert” passport that requested people, during April, to take and post selfies in spots around the town, stamp the passport at five local hotels and rewarded them with a bar glass. From 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 7, Discover Gilbert will have a table at the Gilbert Farmers Market, where the participants are eligible for more rewards. Staff members said that tourists to Gilbert could be people coming from as near as Scottsdale or the West Valley and as far as Yuma. They also see potential to attract visitors from states bordering Arizona, such as California and New Mexico. “It has to be the ripple effect,” Renahan said. “Ideally, we’ll start with people who’ve always gone to Scottsdale. Where else can they go and

such as “it must be a tough nut to crack” and “you don’t have the Grand Canyon,” she said. So what’s there for Gilbert residents to promote? Among the many reasons for people to visit from out of town or state are: culinary tourism following the newly developed dining offerings at the Heritage District; the nationally known farm-to-table movement practiced by Agritopia; sports tourism with seasonal events held at facilities such as Topgolf and Big League Dreams; the trails system that connects with the entire state; the Important Bird Areas of Gilbert’s riparian preserves at Water Ranch and Neely Ranch as designated by the National Audubon Society; and medical tourism as a result of the state-of-the-art facilities that were established. The Ambassador Forum focused on tourism and featured a panel of presenters. Stephanie Dowling, deputy director, Arizona Office of Tourism, said that tourism, the largest industry sector in the state, is often the very first stage in economic development. “When people come into the Valley to experience it, they’ve often left with ‘I want to live there’ or ‘I want to move my business there,’ so it’s a really important part of the process,” she said. An assessment of tourism in Gilbert has found that the top three reasons for people to come here is to visit family and friends, on business and for youth and amateur sports.

However, Lewis said, “Gilbert is not capturing the tourism dollars that other surrounding East Valley communities are capturing.” During 2014, visitors to Arizona spent a total of $20.9 billion, out of which just $215 million was spent by visitors in Gilbert (Legislative District 12). Meanwhile, visitors spent $1.95 billion in Phoenix/Tempe (LD 27), $1.02 billion in Mesa/Tempe (LD 26) and $933 million in Phoenix/Scottsdale (LD 28). In addition, Lewis said, visitors staying in a Gilbert hotel are spending 75% of their dollars outside of the community. Gilbert earned $180,000 in tax collection from Food, Entertainment and Retail Sales, known as FERS, but the community has the potential to earn $725,000 annually, the mayor said. With six hotels and 655 rooms available in 2015, Gilbert earned nearly $550,000 in bed taxes, representing a 52% growth in five years. “But we still have the potential to capture more,” Lewis said. Hence the importance of a strategic plan. Last fall, Gilbert hired Michele Renahan, with experience in regional marketing for a hotel group, as its tourism administrator. Renahan is facilitating the Town’s work with a Chicago, Illinois-based consulting company, Minding Your Business Inc., to formulate a five-year strategic plan on tourism efforts. It will be ready in July. The Town has also contracted with HVS, a convention, sports and entertainment facilities consulting company also based in Chicago,

what else is there?” At the end of the day, they concede that Gilbert’s residents are its “biggest advocates.” “It’s about helping them understand what it is that’s so great about Gilbert,” Elliot said. “So when they’re sitting on a plane next to someone, they can tell them that this is a place you want to come and visit.” - Srianthi Perera

Ten Places to Visit in Gilbert These places have received national media recognition as hot tourism spots for visitors. • Arizona Wilderness Brewery • Topgolf Gilbert • Golf Courses: Greenfield Lakes Golf Course, Kokopelli Golf Club, Seville Golf & Country Club, Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch and Western Skies Golf Club • SanTan Village • Agritopia: The Farm at Agritopia, Joe’s Farm Grill and The Coffee Shop • Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch and Gilbert parks • Heritage District • Art Intersection • Hale Centre Theatre • Gilbert Historical Museum Source: Town of Gilbert


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10 May 2016

Community

www.GilbertSunNews.com

Gilbert Classical Academy to share Mesquite Jr. High campus BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Resort Lifestyle Communities representatives treated members of the Gilbert City Council and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce to a groundbreaking celebration and presentation luncheon for the upcoming retirement community of Copper Springs. GSN photos by Tim Sealy

Well-heeled senior living coming to town BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Gilbert’s soon-to-be-built resort-style senior living community is a reason to look forward to the winter years. Nebraska-based Resort Lifestyle Communities broke ground in April for Copper Springs Resort Lifestyle Retirement Community, located at the southeast corner of Higley and Baseline roads. Opening is scheduled for fall 2017. At a presentation following the groundbreaking, marketing representatives Julie Loder and Kelly Jo Hinrichs indicated that Copper Springs will spare nothing in the way of luxury and convenience. Food and dining program with all meals made from scratch every day and with any special dietary needs taken into consideration? Check. Chefs’ pantry and sandwich and pizza station? Check. Fine dining with tableside service to entertain guests? Check. Weekly housekeeping? Check. A maintenance staff to summon to change a lightbulb or to hang a big screen television? Check. Transportation to medical appointments and to activities in the area? Check. Concierge services? Check. A lifestyle director to organize activities ranging from art classes to Zumba and partner with local entertainers for shows? Check. The monthly rents for living in one of Copper Springs’ 128 immensely livable apartment homes will set you back a few dimes as follows: studio $3,100, one

bedroom $3,000, two bedrooms $3,900 and three bedrooms $4,400. Seniors 55 and older may pay one of these amounts in a single check, and be entitled to all meals and snacks, utilities and a laundry list of amenities. There are no buy-ins or long-term leases. Hinrichs said that the company’s research indicated the Southeast Valley’s need for a community for seniors to remain in the area. The company provides independent living that bridges the gap between owning a home and needing assisted living. “We offer an independent, all-inclusive resort lifestyle so that families can stay in the Gilbert area,” she said. “It’s a place where families will have an incredible peace of mind.” Resort Lifestyle Retirement Community is not new to the senior retirement business; it has established 20 other luxurious communities around the country. Copper Springs will have a 150-seat theater open free for community events; conversation centers, a cabana lounge with a bar and other areas where seniors may spend time with their family; library; wellness and fitness center; resource center; communications center; a man cave and the list goes on. A part-time bank, hair salon and pharmacy/gift shop will also be available on the premises. Home healthcare, assisted living and memory care will be offered in partnership with a local provider. “We’ll be a community with a core in the center,” Hinrichs said.

Kelly Jo Hinrichs of Resort Lifestyle Communities gave a detailed presentation about the amenities that will be available to residents of Copper Springs.

Meanwhile, a charter resident program provides early members the opportunity to select specific apartments by layout and location. The company plans to hold a job fair to hire more than 30 employees for its food and dining services, marketers, a live-in manager couple and other needs. But before that happens, there is the construction to get through. If there are issues, the company, and its contractor Cameron General Contractors, would like to hear from the public at (480) 798-1683. “We’re thoughtful neighbors,” Hinrichs said. “We’re going to pay a lot of attention to traffic patterns and build employee schedules around it. Being thoughtful neighbors means we want to hear from you.” For details, visit www copperspringsretirement.com

Putting fears of a junior high school closure at rest, Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board voted to relocate Gilbert Classical Academy to Mesquite Junior High as a shared campus during the board’s April meeting in the GPS conference hall. Member J. Charles Santa Cruz proposed the motion, which was seconded by member Julie Smith and the board voted 4-1 with member Daryl Colvin casting the dissenting vote. The audience of educators, parents and students broke out in loud applause when Santa Cruz announced that the two junior high schools “should remain open and continue to serve the students and families in their respective areas.” The two other options on the table were the repurposing/closure of Gilbert or Mesquite junior highs. Colvin offered a substitute motion to table the item until the district completes a reboundary process as well as traffic impact and safety studies for any school site proposal. With no support for the motion, it lapsed. GPS Superintendent Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto said that the district will invest $1.5 million to $2 million to add classrooms, science labs, STEM laboratories and similar facilities to Mesquite Junior High, and that the two principals, Dan Johnson of Mesquite Junior High and Dan Hood of GSA, “will come together as co-leaders on this campus. “Both schools need to go through a year of planning to look at entrances, timelines, whether there’s an interest in a particular theme, design on the Mesquite site,” Kishimoto said. Since the beginning of the school year, the district attempted to find a permanent home for the high performing academy for the 2017-2018 school year, now on temporary digs on Greenfield Road. A committee charged with the task, together with the board, presented 16 options at a forum, which included choices to renovate current buildings, utilize district owned land, share school buildings and for two consolidations that would include the closure of a junior high. The costs of the proposed options ranged from $3 million to $30 million for new construction, Kishimoto said. During the whole process, the district reached for the public’s input. In January, the board whittled its choices to three, held two forums that attracted hundreds from the three schools’ communities and listened to often emotionally charged speeches and established an email address for stakeholders to further voice their views.


www.GilbertSunNews.com

11

Community

May 2016

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12 May 2016

Community

www.GilbertSunNews.com

Gilbert Feeding Families to raise 240,000 meals BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Gilbert’s estimated population of 240,000 has additional significance this month. The Town is planning to donate that many meals to the United Food Bank in Mesa following its annual Gilbert Feeding Families drive during May. “You just don’t think that they have hungry people, but they do. And it’s just not broadcast,” said Melissa Forrester, community outreach manager at the food bank. A community needs assessment in 2014 indicated a lack of food resources for needy residents. According to the assessment, out of 38,663 students enrolled at Gilbert Public Schools, 10,480 (27.1%) were eligible for reduced school lunch in 2014. The percentage was 19.8 in 2009. As the need increases, so does the goal, from 1,349 meals in 2010 to the current 240,000. Last year, the Town had a goal of 72,600, equal to its square miles, and surpassed it with 120,400 meals. Ian Millar, a founding member of the drive, who is on the Town’s Purchasing Team, said that it was established when

“a kind-hearted employee pleaded to an internal committee to help.” “Diane Rocush (no longer with the Town) emphasized the statistics of hunger in our region and requested that we consider volunteering our time and resources for the betterment of our community by holding a food drive,” Millar said. “Once other departments started getting involved, the sky was the limit.” Nowadays, in addition to staff and councilmembers, organizations such as churches and schools and residents participate. Each year, preschools hold a competition to gauge which school can collect the most meals, and the winning school is rewarded with a visit by Mayor John Lewis, who spends time with the children. The children receive milk and cookies. “We receive more community involvement and support each year that allows us to increase our contribution,” said Kim Couturier, administrative assistant. Councilwoman Brigette Peterson said that Gilbert is fortunate to have loyal

The shelves of the United Food Bank become empty during summer due to increased demand. Hence, the Gilbert drive is held in May. Submitted photo

supporters of the cause, who support with monetary and in-kind donations and food drives of their own. “We are always looking for additional participation and support from the community,” she said. This year, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce has changed its drive to coincide with Gilbert Feeding Families,

while Sun Valley Community Church in Gilbert is holding a water drive also at the same time. United Food Bank distributes Gilbert’s collection via two agencies, Open Arms (522 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 103) and One Last Chance (6050 E. Baseline Rd.), phasing them through the year. see FEEDING FAMILIES page 14

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14 May 2016

Community

www.GilbertSunNews.com

FEEDING FAMILIES from page 12

May is the ideal time to fortify the food bank because summer is particularly hard for the agency, which distributes food to five counties in Arizona. “Summer time is the time when the demand goes up and yet donations start slowing,” Forrester said. “Those are the months when the kids are not going to school and are not getting that free or reduced breakfast or lunch. “The folks who are struggling to provide one meal now have to provide three, so that makes it harder,” she said. About 60% of the food at the agency goes to feed seniors and children. In the summer, seniors are challenged with having to pay higher electricity bills. “At the same time, their income doesn’t go up. So now you’ve got to choose between air-conditioning, paying your bills, getting your medication and food,” Forrester said. Here’s how you can help: • Donation boxes will be placed in the Town of Gilbert municipal buildings, at fire stations, and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. Visit www.gilbertaz.gov/ residents/town-programs/gilbertfeeding-families • Suggested donation items: peanut butter; canned meat, fruits and vegetables; whole grain, low sugar cereal, soups, stews, chili, beans; canned or dried milk; rice and pasta.

During May, the United Food Bank will have a presence at Gilbert’s municipal complex to remind people to donate food. Gilbert Feeding Families has set an aggressive goal to accomplish this year. Submitted photo

• Special events: May 12 and May 26: during Concerts in the Water Tower Park May 7, May 14, May 21 and May 28: at the downtown Farmers Market; May 21, the MidFirst Bank Coin Van will collect change and match up to $500. May 3: SubZero Ice Cream and Yogurt will donate 10% of total sales for the day. May 12: SoCal Fish Taco Company will donate 10% of total sales for the day. May 17: Flancer’s will donate 15% of total sales for the day. May 18: Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10% of total sales for the day. May 26: Zappone’s Italian Bistro will donate 10% of total sales for the day.

Identifying vessels Cryptologic Technician Technical 3rd Class Jonah Rossi, from Gilbert, left, and Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Mark Benavidez, from Hugoton, Kansas, identify unknown vessels as USS Porter (DDG 78) returns to Haifa, Israel, from exercises at sea April 14. Porter, an Arleigh Burke-class guidedmissile destroyer, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. Submitted photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)

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Community

www.GilbertSunNews.com

May 2016

Memorial Day observance at the Gilbert Historical Museum

“A” Team 528, a support battalion, and captained 5th Special Forces Group, a decorated active duty group. McClintock serves as the deputy grand commander of Knights Templar (a Catholic military order) of Arizona. In past years, the focus has been on families in attendance who have lost loved ones who were actively serving, Kolar said. Over the years, the museum has focused on Blue Star Mothers (those who have children serving in the military) and Gold Star Mothers (those who have lost a child who was serving in the military) and those Gilbert residents who died in action. “Sometimes we open new exhibits relating to the military,” Kolar said. “Sometimes we just come together to remember.”

BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Gilbert Historical Museum, together with American Legion Post 39, will once again organize a morning of remembrance on Memorial Day. The public is invited to gather on the front lawn of the museum at 9 a.m. Monday, May 30. Kayla Kolar, museum executive director, said that the brief ceremony has become a true community event during the past 11 years. “Eleven years ago, we had about 50 people and now we have close to 500 each year,” she said. “We have many military and retired military personnel who join us on this day as well as community members who just want to take part in a day of remembrance with others in Gilbert.” The program on May 30 includes a flag and wreath ceremony, performance by the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band and remarks from local dignitaries, including Mayor John Lewis. The guest speaker will be long-time town resident Ret. Major Darius “Mac” McClintock, who served in the Vietnam War and in the United States Army from 1970-77 as a green beret. He commanded

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Neighbors

Rancho de Tia Rosa is where Mexican food becomes a work of art. GSN photos by Kathy Kerby

The soaring walls at Tia Rosa are covered with hundreds of art objects.

The mango chicken salad is a great choice for a The entrees had the perfect amount of spice, colorful and tasty appetizer. enough to excite your taste buds without stinging.

Rancho de Tia Rosa elevates food to a work of art BY KATHY KERBY

Walking into Rancho de Tia Rosa in Gilbert is like strolling into a Mexican fiesta. The adobe and straw walls with colorful ceramic tile are literally covered with hundreds of art objects. Paintings, pottery, hammered tin, flowers, and many other interesting and very eclectic items beautifully decorate the soaring walls and high ceilings. Diners can admire the decorations from the massive main dining room, as well as several smaller dining areas and a lovely wrap-around patio to enjoy our Arizona weather. The brightly tiled tables and chairs with comfy cushions along with a dozen booths that sit under California patios add to the festive interior. But more important than the vibe is the food—and we were ready to dig in. Our server, Marco, brought warm, thin corn chips with both red and green salsa. Luke, our other server, quickly appeared with our menus

and some suggestions about the specialties. The five-page menu offered appetizers, sopas (soups), ensaladas, main entrees, Baha-style mariscos (fish), grilled steaks and a fine list of white and red wines as well as signature drinks. We made our selections and munched on the tasty chips and spicy salsas. My husband, Lou, and I made a great choice with the chicken mango salad ($10.99) for an appetizer. The tender pan-seared chicken, red leaf lettuce, fresh mango, caramelized onions, red bell peppers, tomatoes, cheese and croutons bathed with a green chili chutney dressing was as scrumptious as it was nutritious. For our entrees, we wanted to select dishes that we had never tried at a Mexican restaurant. The ancho peach-glazed chicken ($12.99) and porterhouse pork chop with adobo chili rub fit the bill perfectly. The chicken was so tender that it just fell apart with the touch of a fork and it was accompanied by chipotle

potatoes, sautéed chili corn, fresh cantaloupe and grapes. The thick pork chop was served with ancho potatoes, chili corn and fire-roasted chili chutney. Both entrees had the perfect amount of spice; enough heat to excite the taste buds but not enough to sting. I’m a native Arizonan and Mexican food is always my go-to food, whether I dine at home or in a restaurant. I wholeheartedly give two thumbs up to Rancho de Tia Rosa. The party-like hacienda, delicious food and attentive servers make it the perfect place to enjoy a tasty meal with friends and family. Rancho de Tia Rosa’s mantra of “Where Mexican food becomes a work of art” couldn’t be any truer. Rancho de Tia Rosa 891 N. Higley Rd. Gilbert 85234 (480) 396-8787 or ranchodetiarosa.com

www.GilbertSunNews.com

Ford dealerships collecting water for Salvation Army Ford Motor Company and Big Surf Waterpark have teamed up with the Salvation Army to launch the fourth annual Fill an F-150 Bottled Water Drive, taking place through May 15 at all 13 Metro Phoenix-area Ford dealerships. That includes San Tan Ford at 1429 Motorplex Loop, Gilbert. Its phone number is (480) 621-3700. Ford dealerships are collecting cases of water to support the Salvation Army’s Extreme Heat Hydration Program, which was launched in 2006 to distribute water and provide respite and safety information to those in need at mobile hydration stations in Metro Phoenix on days with excessive heat warnings. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, more than 1,500 weather-related deaths from exposure to heat have occurred in Arizona since 2000. Big Surf Waterpark will provide halfoff admission vouchers (up to a $14 value) to each person who donates at least one case of water (16 ounces or larger, 24 or more bottles). Maximum number of vouchers a person can receive and redeem at one time is four (for a donation of four cases of water). The discounted admission tickets will be available at the Ford dealership where the donation is made and are redeemable at Big Surf Waterpark between Monday and Thursday through July. “This is our fourth annual water drive in partnership with the Salvation Army, which is very much in line with Ford’s mission to serve the communities where we do business and help those in need,” said Steve Papanikolas, Phoenix regional manager for Ford Motor Company. “We hope our Ford customers—and those new to Ford—will stop by a dealership with their water donation and, in turn, get a little fun out of their good deed with discounted admission to Big Surf Waterpark.” Ford’s goal is to collect 70,000 bottles of water during the threeweek drive in support of the Salvation Army’s goal of collecting 200,000 water bottles. Ford will seed the drive with a $10,000 grant in support of the water drive and other Salvation Army programs courtesy of Ford’s Operation Better World Arizona campaign.


www.GilbertSunNews.com

Cheesecakes all about berries this summer at Grimaldi’s With a location at SanTan Village, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria will be featuring a strawberry cheesecake and a blueberry cobbler cheesecake as its summer cheesecakes this year. The locally owned and operated pizzeria changes its cheesecakes based on what ingredients will be available seasonally. “One of the best parts of summer is the fresh berries,” Cory Lattuca, executive chef of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria said. “These tangy, yet sweet, cheesecakes are a great addition to our summer menu.” The blueberry cobbler cheesecake is a vanilla and fresh blueberry combo served with a crunchy granola topping and whipped cream. The strawberry cheesecake will be served with fresh

Neighbors

strawberries and whipped cream. These seasonal cheesecakes will be available from the beginning of May through July. With more than 100 years dedicated to its coal fired brick-oven pizza-making traditions, Grimaldi’s has everything down to a science. The restaurant only uses the freshest ingredients and has a secret recipe for its dough and pizza sauce, all of which contributes to it being one of the most award-winning pizzerias in the United States. Grimaldi’s is expanding in Arizona and opened its eighth location in the state in Flagstaff. The SanTan Village location is at 2168 E. Williams Field Rd., Suite 502, Gilbert. For more information, call (480) 814-7722.

New YMCA CEO vows to make a difference BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

As the new president and CEO of the Valley of the Sun YMCA, Bryan Madden said he can change the world. “Every day I go into work and figure out how to make people’s lives better,” Madden said. “That’s a pretty exciting position to be in.” He plans to emphasize the importance of swim lessons in Arizona. Having just moved to the Valley from Bryan Madden. Submitted photo South Carolina, Madden was surprised to hear there is a large number of drownings in the Grand Canyon State. “How can we be the secondleading state for drowning?” he asked rhetorically. “How does that happen? I have to turn that and make sure there is a change possibility. “I have heard people say, ‘Only worry about the things you can change.’ I think, in my position, we can change the world. If you only worry about the things you can change, and you say you can change the world, that’s a lot of things to worry about.” One thing that Madden does not worry about is maintaining the legacy of the Y. He’s excited about the opportunity to be a part of a change agent organization.

“It’s a 16-branch organization,” he said. “It’s a pretty big Y—one of the largest in the United States. “My position is the president and CEO. I have the responsibility to set the strategic direction along with the board of directors. We have a great tradition. It’s not that we need to tear it apart and build it back. We need to build upon our base. I always say I’m the guy who sits underneath the trees that someone else planted. We have 124 years of history and now it’s time to continue to grow that tradition.” Besides stressing the importance of swim lessons, Madden wants to make sure that all of the facilities are focused on family activities. “That’s our area of expertise,” Madden said. “We are the largest provider of child care in the nation. “I read that 1- to 2-year-old males are most likely to drown and most likely it’ll happen in the backyard. Swim lessons are a big part of how we move forward and change that direction. The Y is uniquely situated to be a part of that discussion.” But the Y doesn’t just focus on youngsters. Dubbed the nation’s leading exercise program for active older adults, SilverSneakers is a big part of the Y, as are other wellness programs. “We can’t be everything to everybody,” he said. “We offer child care, programs for older adults, wellness programs, swim lessons. Those are programs that help you raise your family.”

May 2016

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May 2016

Gilbert Global Village

Neighbors

www.GilbertSunNews.com

The Gilbert Civic Plaza was filled with visitors to the Gilbert Global Village Festival. Diverse displays of dance, music, food and culture from a myriad of countries dazzled the crowds of folks who took in the perfect spring morning. Sights and sounds of all kinds entertained and informed everyone who attended. GSN photos by Tim Sealy

Artist Damian Charette gets on the ground to add detail to a chalk art piece.

Originally a saxophonist, Ryan Nemec’s love of Australian culture brought him to use his musical talents to play the didgeridoo exclusively.

Rocco Toccafondo plays an African drum.

Leah and Jessie Anderson get a taste of Indian culture with their fine silken wraps.

Dancers of the Bedouin Tribe give a beautiful and entrancing display of traditional Middle Eastern dance.

Chareis Hoeffel makes a wide swing with a rope.

The Ho’okahi I Ka Hula dance troupe entertains the crowd with a bit of flare from the Pacific Rim.

Aaron and Jayla Ruiz get a taste of the Wild West while panning for gold.

Katherine Bacon puts more color in a piece of beautiful collaborative chalk art.

A good example of Native American culture is on display in a traditional dwelling.


Neighbors

www.GilbertSunNews.com

May 2016

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Golfers needed to support local charity Registration for the first MHB Golf Tournament to benefit My Hope Bag, a local nonprofit that supports the breast cancer community, is underway. Online registration is being accepted at www. myhopebag.org. The tournament will take place Saturday, May 14, at Trilogy Golf Course at Power Ranch, 4415 E. Village Pkwy. The shotgun start begins at 7:30 a.m. Golfer check in begins at 6 a.m. The four-person golf scramble is $100 per golfer and includes golfing, continental breakfast, lunch, golf goodie bags and complimentary chair massages by Willow Massage & Spa. There will be a silent auction, raffle drawing, game prizes for golfers and more. My Hope Bag is a local nonprofit, 501(c)(3). For more than five years, My Hope Bag has devoted its energy to passionately supporting the breast cancer community. Whether it’s a handdelivered bag of HOPE filled with local

resources and other comforting items, regular communication or emotional support, My Hope Bag is committed to making sure no one faces breast cancer alone. For more information, visit www. MyHopeBag.org.

Freestone Recreation Center hosts health and fitness open house

Freestone Recreation Center. Submitted photo

Join Gilbert Parks and Recreation for the Health and Fitness Open House at Freestone Recreation Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7. There will be various events and activities for all ages including group exercise classes, kids’ activities, safety awareness information, wellness and fitness vendors and more. Freestone Recreation Center members and newly enrolled members can also enter to win

Founder of My Hope Bag, Sarah Ellery, delivers a bag to a woman with breast cancer. Submitted photo

various giveaways and drawings. Not a member? No problem. Come explore all that Freestone Recreation Center has to offer free of charge. You can sign up to become a member onsite and receive a free T-shirt. For more information, visit www. gilbertaz.gov/freestone-reccenter or call Freestone Recreation Center at (480) 503-6202. The rec center is located at 1141 Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert. ZIN_GilbertSunNews_Zinfull_4.9x11.indd 1

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Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists offering ultra-short radiation trial BY ALISON STANTON

When Kelly Bernabei was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in March 2015, she was understandably concerned about her treatments and prognosis. While she was grateful that two subsequent lumpectomies were successful, Bernabei, a Fountain Hills resident and mom of a special needs teenager, was unsure how she could fit dozens of radiation treatments into her already-busy schedule. Bernabei, whose husband had died from lymphoma, expressed her concerns to Dr. Robert Kuske, her radiologist and co-founder of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists.

Dr. Robert Kuske. Submitted photo

During their conversation, Kuske, who is also an oncologist, told Bernabei about a trial of advanced radiation therapy that dramatically cuts treatment time from the usual 33 daily treatments over six and a half weeks to just three over two days. “While we were talking he told me he thought I was the perfect candidate, and I ended up being the first patient in the state to take part in the trial,” she said. As Kuske noted, Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists—which has offices in Scottsdale, Gilbert and Deer Valley—is one of a select group of medical centers in the nation that is embarking on this new ultra-short treatment. The new treatment protocol, which is called the TRIUMPH-T Trial, utilizes brachytherapy, which Kuske said is a form of internal radiation that delivers radiation directly to the targeted area of the breast where cancer could recur. Because it is not involving irradiation of the total breast, the trial also spares surrounding tissues from unnecessary radiation, he said. Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists is partnering with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and six other cancer centers across the country to investigate this new treatment protocol, Kuske said. Kuske said he is excited to offer

women the chance to participate in the TRIUMPH-T Trial and cut back on their radiation treatment time by 90 percent. “Women have busy lives, and they have lives outside of breast cancer. So to have equal results in terms of treating the breast cancer and to get it done in two days is a winner,” he said. To qualify for the trial, Kuske said women must meet certain criteria. For example, women must be 45 years or older, have been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and have had a lumpectomy, he said, adding that although men can be diagnosed with breast cancer, only women can participate in the TRIUMPH-T Trial. In addition, Kuske said, patients’ tumors must be 3 centimeters or less in size, and they must have clear margins and negative-node breast cancer, which means it has not spread to lymph nodes in other places like the armpits. So far, Kuske said, a few dozen women have taken part in the trial, many of whom have traveled to Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists from other states and countries. “It has been popular with women, and we will have another trial coming up. We definitely want to keep it rolling,” he said. Bernabei said having 26 catheters

inserted into her breast area was uncomfortable at times and she felt tired. In general the two-day treatment went smoothly. “Because of my situation with my son, it could not have been any better. I really don’t know what I would have done if I had to do 33 radiation treatments.” Bernabei, who recently had a mammogram that showed that everything is clear and cancer-free, said she also liked the way the protocol didn’t cause her skin to burn. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better, and Dr. Kuske is amazing,” she said. To find out qualifications for enrollment and more information on the TRIUMPH-T Trial, contact Kristina Allen or Renee Robles Schein at (480) 922-4600.

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May 2016

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Rivulon’s first corporate entity is Isagenix International, a global health and wellness company housed in a 150,000-square-foot building. Submitted photo.

Rivulon welcomes Isagenix International, its first corporate tenant BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Gilbert’s emerging employment corridor along the Loop 202 received a huge boost recently, with the opening of Isagenix International at Rivulon, the town’s new and ambitious mixed-use development. The 150,000-square-feet, glass facade building near the corner of Gilbert Road and the Loop 202 was constructed in what was just recently a vast expanse of hay fields and open sky. It’s now the headquarters for the global health and wellness company founded locally in 2002 by John Anderson, Jim Coover and Kathy Coover, and houses 580 employees. “The building is an iconic building; it has tremendous presence,” said Dan Henderson, director of economic development in Gilbert. “And it’s the first, large single-use tenant on the site.” Flags flutter from flagpoles installed on the grounds; one each from the 14 countries that distribute Isagenix products via direct marketing—it’s a retail operation in China—and contribute to its success. The company has more than 450,000 customers from around the world, and posted revenue of $900 million in 2015. Company sources said it has exceeded $4 billion in cumulative sales over the 14 years in business. Direct Selling News recently ranked it 22nd among nutritional companies in the global direct sales industry. Last year’s ranking was 27. With a vision to impact world health and free people from physical and financial pain, Isagenix develops and sells products for weight loss, energy,

performance and healthy aging. You may not buy them at health food stores, instead, they are available through a network of independent sales representatives located around the world who sell person-to-person and online, said Chris La Fleur, director of corporate communications. Nowadays, there are more than 100 products, packs and systems, but the original weight loss shake developed 14 years ago is still the most popular, Le Fleur said. Employee wellness is the focus of the state-of-the-art facility, according to a company release. “Exterior glass walls decrease the need for electricity and provide natural daylight, which, studies show, increase team productivity and overall health,” it stated. Other employee amenities include an on-site cafeteria with healthy food options. Considering its global operations— there are about 1,000 employees overseas—each room contains personal technology hookups to support domestic and international video connectivity. The facility also has a 300-seat auditorium on the ground floor, which leads to a patio, and laboratories dedicated to developing its food and health products. Prior to the move to Gilbert, Isagenix was located in three buildings, one in Chandler for eight years, and two in the Ahwatukee Foothills. “Over the eight years, we gradually outgrew it and we had to outsource our employees to different buildings,” La Fleur said. “Now, we’re finally back

together under one roof. That’s been really important to our growth and to our culture; to be together and to function together as a team.” Every Friday, groups of enthusiastic Isagenix representatives, many from out of Arizona, come in through the sweeping entrance and gather in the lobby for a tour. They take pictures with the giant steel sculpture of the company’s logo and watch a short movie about the company. Tucked a few spaces away from the entrance is the Harley Davidson that Anderson gifted to the Coovers before persuading them to join his enterprise. Among the tour highlights, participants pause before the 100-pound club wall— which also includes pictures of those who lost 200, 300 and even 400 pounds while using Isagenix products. Even before the Isagenix building opened in Rivulon, it welcomed an LA Fitness location a short distance away. “You can imagine how natural it is to have these two next to each other; a health company promoting wellness next to a gym,” said Amanda Elliot, who handles communications for Gilbert’s economic development office. Rivulon, which is being developed by Columbus-based Nationwide Realty Investors, has also opened a 17,000-square-foot retail building nearby. Sauce Pizza & Wine plans to open there, while Jersey Mike’s Subs is already operational. A four-story office building located to the north of Isagenix is also complete and has been leased to Finance of America

The Isagenix lobby features a giant sculpture of its logo. GSN photo by Srianthi Perera

Mortgage and Thomas Title & Escrow. Recently, Mercedes-Benz of Gilbert broke ground for a 70,000-square-feet automotive dealership on 7 acres. But this is just the beginning for Rivulon, a 250-acre, $750-milion business district that will include 3 million square feet of Class A office space and 500,000 square feet of retail and hospitality use when it’s completed. The timeline for that can take up to 20 years. “The significance of that number is that our total office inventory in Gilbert is 3.3 million square feet,” Henderson said. “It just about doubles our office inventory.”


Business

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May 2016

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May 2016

Business

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BackFit Health and Spine offers comprehensive care to patients

BY ALISON STANTON

Dr. Greg Vogel knew he wanted to be a chiropractor since he was in the seventh grade. Plagued with frequent headaches as a young boy, Vogel said his parents took him to many doctors, all of whom recommended a variety of tests. “The doctors just kept medicating me as a young child,” he said. Against the advice of the doctors, Vogel’s parents took him to a chiropractor, who soon figured out that he was sleeping improperly and putting undue stress on his neck. After learning how to sleep properly and being properly evaluated by the chiropractor, Vogel’s headaches disappeared within a few weeks. Then and there, Vogel said, he decided that when he grew up, he too would help others who are suffering from pain. Vogel achieved his boyhood goal, and is now a chiropractor and one of the owners of BackFit Health and Spine, which has five Valley locations including one in Gilbert. “We pretty much run a multidisciplinary practice with a medical doctor, physical therapist, and a chiropractor on staff. We can help people with a wide variety of health issues,” he said, adding that everyone at BackFit Health and Spine strives to treat people as naturally as possible. “We can also address things like nutrition and allergies. The goal behind our company is comprehensive care. We don’t want to just medicate people, but we work together as a team to figure out what the root causes are.”

BackFit Health and Spine, which has five locations including one in Gilbert, offers a variety of natural ways and state-of-the-art equipment that will help patients feel better. Submitted photo

This multidisciplinary approach not only helps to set BackFit Health and Spine apart, but it also helps make it easier for patients to schedule their appointments. “In this day and age, everyone is so busy, and it can be hard to get all of your medical appointments done. But here it’s easy and people can see who they need to in one visit,” Vogel said. “Some patients will see one or all or some of us. And because our office is

so comprehensive, we really can get to the root of people’s problems.” People of all ages come to BackFit Health and Spine, Vogel said, including newborns and seniors as old as 98. “We see a wide variety of people, and we provide a very comprehensive level of care.” Vogel said it has been very fulfilling for him to successfully work with his patients and— as he experienced firsthand as a boy—come up with

natural ways to treat them. “People are tired of taking pain medications. Here, we truly care and it’s very safe and effective,” he said. “I love what I do, and I love seeing my patients. How could I do something for 15 years and not love it?” BackFit Health and Spine is located at 754 S. Val Vista Dr., Suite 105 in Gilbert. For more information, call (480) 4972900 or visit www.backfithealth.com.

Chamber hosts series of events through May Throughout the year, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce offers a variety of luncheons and meetings for its members and the community. Events are held throughout the town. The chamber office is at 119 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 101. For more information about events or to register, call (480) 892-0056 or visit www.gilbertaz.com. Chamber Chat—Midday Presented by Silver Fox Plumbing, AC, Heating Meet up with other Chamber members for lunch. This informal gathering is a fun way to share conversation with other professionals and learn more about businesses in the community. No agenda, no script—just good food, great company and friendly

conversation. No charge; attendees responsible for the purchase of food, beverage, tax and gratuity. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 4 Firehouse Subs 2894 S. Santan Village Pkwy., Suite 101 Gilbert 85295 Leadercast Live 2016: Architects of Tomorrow This simulcast event will focus on what it means to be a visionary leader. Visionary leaders have the ability to see a preferred future, operate in the present, and utilize the resources around them to architect a clear path to a new destination. They work tirelessly to empower those around them to bring a vision to life. Admission is $99.

7 a.m. - registration begins 8 a.m. - simulcast begins Friday, May 6 The Bridge Recreation Center 824 W. Germann Rd. Chandler 85286 The 411 Presented by Printwerx The 411 is a comprehensive membership orientation at which you will learn how to maximize the benefits of your Chamber investment. Gain an insider’s view of our programs and services, ask questions of the staff, and develop an action 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 11 Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, 119 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 101 Gilbert 85234

Commercial Filming for Members Presented by 4th Wall Productions LLC The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and 4th Wall Productions LLC have once again teamed up to produce high-quality commercials on behalf of our members. The chamber is grateful to Anthony Miles for this continued partnership and look forward to providing this opportunity to our members. To participate, you must hold a Chamber membership at or above the Business level and your account must be in good standing. Admission is $50. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 25 Gilbert Chamber of Commerce 119 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 101 Gilbert 85234


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Business

Russ Lyon Sotheby’s opens office in SanTan Village Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty has opened an office at SanTan Village, 2200 E. Williams Field Rd., Suite 400. The chic shopping and elegant eateries at SanTan Village perfectly reflect the quality experience that Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty offers, officials said. “The new office is a great addition for our company and will strengthen our already existing commitment to the housing market in the Southeast Valley,” said Jim Lyon, chairman of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. “The location is a great fit for our brand and we look forward to being part of the SanTan Village shopping center.” The renewed focus on economic development and a well-rounded selection of work and play has led to a revival of the Southeast Valley. Gilbert has been one of the nation’s

fastest-growing communities in recent years and has become the fifth most populous community in Arizona. This boom has been assisted by Apple’s massive move to Mesa, the addition of the General Motors IT Innovation Center in Chandler, and the coming expansion of Orbital in Gilbert that is adding mostly six-figure jobs. This technology expansion has brought more families to the Southeast Valley and has created extensive growth in the past few years. But, there are more than just big companies moving to the area. From Upward Projects’ Postino Wine Café to Barrio Queen and Fox Concepts Restaurant’s Zinburger, the explosion of restaurants in Downtown Gilbert and the influx of new jobs in the region are creating the perfect environment for new and growing families to flourish.

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Two businesses hosting free dinner seminars on IRA planning Gilbert estate planning attorney Becky Cholewka is partnering with independent financial professional Shanna Tingom of Heritage Financial Strategies to host a two-part seminar “IRA Planning Pitfalls Now and Later.” The free event, which includes dinner, is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, and Thursday, May 19, at The Falls Event Center. The first evening attendees will learn the top IRA planning mistakes people make while earning and managing their retirement plans. The second evening will highlight the most common mistakes made when planning to leave IRAs to others through a trust or otherwise and how to avoid them. Guests are invited to attend one or both evenings, however seating is limited, and registration is required by calling (480) 497-3770. The Falls Event

Center is located at 4635 E. Baseline Rd., Gilbert. Established in 2010, Cholewka Law represents clients in all areas of estate planning, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, probate, and trust administration. Founding attorney Becky Cholewka is passionate about proactively educating the community of Gilbert where she lives and works Shanna Tingom is an independent financial professional and the founder of Heritage Financial Strategies. Her specialty is working with female entrepreneurs, business leaders, and individuals experiencing life transitions. Tingom keeps active as a member of the Gilbert Small Business Alliance and Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please visit www.GilbertLawOffice or www.HeritageFinancialAZ.com.

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Business

May 2016

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Luxury homes with a ranch feel coming to South Gilbert BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Taking advantage of the busy real estate market in the Southeast Valley, Shea Homes has announced plans to build another housing development in South Gilbert, adding to its existing five communities in the area. “The Reserve” will be a gated community with 90 luxury homes on 45 acres, located south of the southeast corner of Val Vista Drive and Riggs Road. The equestrian facility, Welcome Home Ranch, parks and hiking amenities are nearby. The models will be ready by the end of the year, and it will be open for the first sales in early 2017. A press release stated that the company paid $7.1 million for the land. The homes will be on quarter-acre sites and range in size from 3,200 square feet to 3,900 square feet and priced starting in the high $300s, according to Ken Peterson, vice president of sales and marketing for Shea Homes Arizona. Peterson said that the architects looked at home designs in the area and tried to create a fresh look. The homes’ exterior elevations were given a ranch flavor considering their proximity to horse properties.

“The Reserve” by Shea Homes will be a gated community with 90 luxury homes located near Val Vista Drive and Riggs Road in South Gilbert. Submitted photo

“We’re focusing on the livability of the space and the engagement of the outdoors,” he said. Accessibility to the outdoors was improved to make the backyard an extension of the living space. “So we have very generous covered patios, and huge, sliding glass doors to really open up the backyard.” Peterson said.

Among the features, the main living areas have 12-feet ceilings, while the rest of the home’s ceilings are only 10feet high. Some of the homes have four-car garages and bonus space for bicycles, lawn tools or hobbies. The floor plans are flexible, too, with options to personalize, and one option

is oversized laundry rooms. Peterson said that while the market is vibrant, it’s a challenge to find adequate trade labor. “We could sell more homes, but are selling to our production capabilities because of limited trade labor,” he said. For more information, visit http:// bit.ly/1MSjIJt.

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May 2016

May 2016

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Help us fill in the map! W

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SE Regional Library

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Riparian Institute Christ’s Greenfield Lutheran school

Gilbert Community Center

you would like to see on the map, including local landmarks, businesses serving our community and other relevant items to mapit@gilbertsunnews.com.

Gilbert Boys & Girls Club

Gilbert Arts Academy

Post Office Gilbert Historical Museum

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Business

May 2016

Russ Ortiz, center, runs 2GG Apparel with Justin Silverstein, left, director of content/media, and LJ Richardson, vice president of operations. Submitted photos

LJ Richardson is vice president of operations for 2GG Apparel in Mesa.

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Scott Yarborough models one of the many designs offered by 2GG Apparel.

Former D-backs player pitching golf fashions BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

When Mesa resident Russ Ortiz was in the minor leagues in San Jose, California, his coach had one piece of advice for him and his teammates if they made it to the majors: Give back to the community. Formerly of Gilbert, Ortiz took that to heart during his 12-season MLB career and beyond. Three years ago, the retired All-

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“When I was given a uniform, it was to represent a city. I had a great opportunity to be seen and known and my stage just became bigger. Once I got a taste of it, I became passionate about that.” 2GG Apparel is built on Ortiz’s passion for golf and for helping others. The active golf apparel brand’s mantra is to look good and do good, while combining style and comfort. It features men’s and women’s polos, skorts and more, ranging in price from $34.72 to $87.72. Customers can view and purchase items online at www.2GGapparel.com, and in select pro shops worldwide. “It’s definitely fun,” Ortiz said about his business. “People ask me all the time, ‘Did you ever think you would be designing men’s and women’s apparel?’ Not at all. “The people who I’ve worked with have been great. It’s nice to be able to dialogue about what colors we want to use. For women’s, are we using regular polos? Sleeveless? Skorts? How are those going to look? “With the men’s stuff, we decide on design and color and how many pieces are we going to offer? It’s hard to keep up with color trends and stuff like that. But we try to do the best job we can to keep up with original designs and not have it just be like everybody else’s clothing.” Ortiz has an active hand in the everyday business dealings, along with his four employees. He gets that some celebrities wouldn’t be willing to do that much work, but it’s important to him. “If I’m going to make a mistake, or if I’m going to make a decision that doesn’t work, I’d rather have it be on my shoulders than having to tell somebody else, ‘You didn’t do that right,’” he said. “I’m not the person who says, ‘If you want something done, you have to do it yourself.’ It’s about making sure you have the right

people around you who you can trust and who are willing to listen. I’m willing to listen as well. I’ve been a part of teams my whole life. That’s the way it works best—when everybody works together. If there are too many individuals on a baseball team, or a business like ours, it’s not going to work really well.” Running 2GG Apparel has been a learning experience for Ortiz. “It’s not about, ‘Get this design and slap it on a polo and hope people like it,’” he said with a laugh. “I think about what people may like—the color, the design, the look. “We’re finding out that most women don’t like horizontal stripes on their polos, even though they look nice. We want the best design, look and feel with our performance material. When we get a lot of great compliments, it’s cool.” Ortiz primarily gives to three charities: Feed My Starving Children, Josie’s Angels and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “We help other endeavors as well,” he said. “I wanted to make sure, when I decided to do this, that it wasn’t going to be a hobby. It was going to be a real clothing brand and make a real difference in other people’s lives. “I sat down and really looked at it. I thought I’m not going to take anything from the company so how much do we give away? We definitely wanted to give something away. We’re not a nonprofit, we’re a not-for-profit. Our aim is to make a great product.” He is proud of what he has accomplished. “I was blessed with talent—enough good talent—to play in the major leagues for 12 seasons,” he said. “The other opportunity it gave me was to fall in love with the game of golf and to fall in love with giving back. That’s something that’s been important to me and my family. It will continue to be important to me as long as I’m still breathing.”


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May 2016

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May 2016

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Gilbert Rotary and Tri-Sigma sorority sisters receive a handmade thank you sign from the patients. Submitted photos

The toy shelves at Phoenix Children’s Hospital are full.

Rotary, Tri-Sigma fill Phoenix Children’s Hospital toy shelves When the sorority Tri-Sigma asked the Gilbert Rotary to participate in a project that would help ill children, it didn’t take long for the international service organization to lend a hand. The two organizations spent several weeks—and $2,500—searching for the right toys to fill the chest at the new Phoenix Children’s Hospital Pediatric Wing at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. “While our group was shopping, we were very intentional in picking out just the perfect toys,” said Rotarian Jane Meyer, who also serves as a sales representative for the Gilbert Sun News. “We thought that some of these kids would be playing in their hospital beds or have limited movement or energy. We

also considered the families who would be supporting them. We wanted to provide an escape for them—even if it was just for a few moments.” The Rotarians and Tri-Sigma saw the fruits of their labor during a breakfast in the hospital’s healing garden. “The toys and books are tools of my trade,” said the hospital’s child life specialist, Anica Herrera. “My job is to help kids understand what is happening to them during their treatment by teaching them through toys and playing.” Tri-Sigma additionally funded the locked cabinets that were opened to show the toys children can use for fun and to aid in their healing.

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May 2016

TOP RATED ORTHODONTIST IN GILBERT Dr. Danyluk provides outstanding orthodontic care for the entire family in a clean, relaxing atmosphere, conveniently located in San Tan Village!

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Team Orthodontics’ 5-star service sustains company in competitive industry in the United States. The technique, which involves fitting braces behind the teeth, is much more difficult to learn, hence the paucity of orthodontists offering it and correspondingly, its relative lack of popularity, Danyluk said. He began learning its intricacies many years ago, and also tried it on himself, and used the experience to fashion them more comfortably in others. Danyluk also made contact with one of the most prominent practitioners of the technique, who happened to be from Tokyo, Japan. A few months ago, after two years of communicating with the Japanese orthodontist, Danyluk visited him in his clinic. “I learned more in two days than I could have sitting in a classroom trying to learn it,” he said. Danyluk has been offering lingual orthodontics for more than a decade, and has treated about 2,000 people, representing about 15 percent of his clientele. His supplier of lingual orthodontics brackets deems Danyluk to have the largest practice for the technique in North America, he said. Because of his familiarity with it and the fact that he doesn’t spend too much more time than he would with outside braces, the cost is nearly the same, the orthodontist said. The visit to Tokyo wasn’t the end of the matter, however. Almost as important as perfecting the technique is popularizing the service and his experience of it. “Our next step after the visit is

BY SRIANTHI PERERA

It used to be that a dentist or orthodontist could hang out their shingle and start seeing patients without further ado. That was then. “Those days are gone, they are long gone; so you have to think a lot differently,” said Dr. Ken Danyluk, owner of Team Orthodontics in Ahwatukee Foothills and Gilbert. The industry has changed, and it’s not just with respect to more advanced treatment options. The biggest change has been in the actual business of developing the practice. “It has become much more competitive; as a result, we have to wear an additional hat of a businessman,” Danyluk said. Undaunted, the Canadian transplant – he came to the Valley from Winnipeg, Manitoba, with wife Jacquie in 2000 – began thinking out of the box. That thinking has sustained the practice he established, first in Ahwatukee Foothills in 2002 and then in Gilbert in 2007. “The biggest thing for me is continuing education,” Danyluk said, “seeking out the best in the world to try and become the best that you can be.” This leads him to conferences, online course and overseas training. It also led him to lingual (hidden) braces. A method to straighten teeth in an undetectable way, lingual braces is more popular in Europe and the Far East than

regaining an understanding of how a lingual orthodontics practice works and promotes itself,” Danyluk said. He didn’t set out to specialize in lingual or other type of orthodontics. It didn’t appeal to him at the outset of his career. “I wanted to take care of people, and I loved working with my hands. That was the biggest reason for going into dentistry,” Danyluk said. After practicing for a number of years and starting to learn more about orthodontics, he realized that it fits his personality. “It’s very analytical, yet there’s an artistic side to it,” Danyluk said. “It’s a very personable profession – you spend a lot of time speaking to people as opposed to taking care of teeth. It’s right up my alley.” Another distinctive aspect of Team Orthodontics is its “five-star” customer service. “It’s a phrase that’s thrown around,” Danyluk said. “But we’ve worked really hard over the years ensuring that every person gets individualized treatment experience, not just with what’s in their mouth but how we take care of them.” Realizing that orthodontics takes an antiquated view of customer service, Danyluk trains his 18-strong staff with no less than consultants from the hotel industry. It’s no mean feat because this means that the company strives to give individual care and attention to the 1,500 or so patients the orthodontist sees between the two offices each month. Other attentions include a school

Dr. Ken Danyluk of Team Orthodontics has offices in Ahwatukee Foothills and Gilbert and sees about 1,500 patients each month. Submitted photo

shuttle service he began in 2003 so that working parents can still get their children transported to appointments (without an extra charge), the availability of Saturday appointments and no-interest payment plans. The company sends out regular surveys, “asking those hard questions,” to find out any holes in the practice. “So we look into the mirror a lot,” Danyluk said. “We work at it constantly at a team level. I think that’s what sets us apart.” Team Orthodontics SanTan Village 2080 E. Williams Field Rd., Suite 104 Gilbert 85295 (480) 759-3333 or teamorthodontics.com

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The Joint has opened a chiropractic clinic at SanTan Village, joining a family of 358 facilities nationwide and 24 in the Valley. Located at 2765 S. Market St., Suite 105, The Joint is a walk-in clinic that is open evening and weekends, with a mission to improve the quality of life through routine and affordable chiropractic care. The initial visit takes approximately 15 minutes, depending on health history, and consists of the consultation, exam and adjustment. Follow-up visits take approximately 5 to 10 minutes depending on the number of patients in the clinic at the time. Once patients are registered with The Joint, they can walk into any location, and scan their card to check in. All patient data travels with the patient. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday

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Home-grown robotics team participates in world competition

BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Five boys from Chandler and Gilbert, who built a robot in their home garages for more than a year, have just returned home after an unforgettable trip. Connor Nail, 15, Davie Hayward, 16, and 17-year-olds Timothy Graunke, Nick Ruiz and Nathan Rossi were in Louisville, Kentucky, recently to participate in the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship. They performed very well, but they didn’t win, said Timothy’s mom, Kathryn Graunke. “They ended up in 32nd place in their division, which, roughly translated, means they were in the top one-third.” The contest is the robotics equivalence of the Super Bowl. “They like to call it the Super Bowl of Smarts,” Timothy said. The teens, all whom are homeschooled except for Nick, who attends Campo Verde High School,

together comprise Arizona’s best high school robotics team, if judged in the context of the VEX Robotics Competition. The “Phoenix Lights,” as they call themselves, won the state championship in March. So they took along Chompy the Robot to compete with the best 850 teams drawn from 30 countries around the world. Each year, the VEX Robotics Competition, presented by Greenville, Texas-based Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, throws an engineering challenge in the form of a game. This year’s “Nothing but Net” game consists of a robot collecting and shooting balls into a net across a field to score in a 2.5-minute robotic basketball game. The game has two teams, and the teens had to drive the game. “It’s challenging; you are not only

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trying to be able to score, but to be able to do it quickly and to get as many points as possible,” Nathan said. Meeting three times a week, the teens worked on programming, design, prototyping, building, mechanics and electronics to create Chompy. “There are a lot of mechanisms,” Timothy said. “We try to make sure everything is close to perfect. We have a very high level of quality we want to get to, when you want to be the best, and it takes a lot of time and effort to get there.” The VEX Robotics Competition seeks to develop STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—subjects and also teach life skills to junior high and high school students. Among them is team building. The teens, who worked together for more than a year, assigned different tasks to each member and said that they trust each other’s judgment. Nick, who has good hand- and eyecoordination and performs well under pressure, drove the robot; Timothy handled mechanics and manipulated the many components; Connor mainly did the programming; while Nathan decided on the mechanical design, strategy and how the game was played. In addition, the whole team painstakingly kept up an engineering notebook to document each season’s work, ideas and strategies that together presented the whole picture of how they got to this point. Fundraising is another aspect of the project that they had to tackle by

themselves. Without the backing of a school or a sponsor, the teens washed more cars than they care to remember, and taught robotic skills camps to junior high students to raise the $3,000 they needed. They also recycled parts from previous year’s competitions. Becoming the best team in Arizona took hours of work, many sleepless nights and sacrifices, they said. However, they didn’t sacrifice their school work, the Boy Scouts meetings, swimming and the myriad other activities that highlight the typical teen years. “We’re not going to let our grades drop because we have a robotic program,” Nathan said. The boys alternated their meetings and work sessions at each of their homes, and enjoy the support of their parents. Graunke said that robotics has grown in the United States. “Most people don’t realize how much its grown in the United States, how many teams there are, how many kids are involved in this,” she said, noting that robotics is a varsity lettering sport in Arizona and that colleges actively recruit those who have engaged in it. More than anything else, it was keeping her son—and his friends— productively engrossed in a wholesome activity. “What else do I want my kids to do on Friday nights?” she asked. To contact the Phoenix Lights, write to davidjh@future-call.com.

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From left, Connor Nail, Nick Ruiz, Nathan Rossi and Timothy Graunke with Chompy the Robot. Together, they comprise the Phoenix Lights team that participated in the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, recently. GSN photo by Srianthi Perera


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Youth

Teenager takes role of Anne Frank seriously The play is based on true events during Sarah Pansing was anxious to become the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam in the next Anne Frank at the Hale Centre World War II and is influenced heavily by Theatre. The 15-year-old freshman at the Anne Frank’s personal writings, later titled Arizona School for the Arts, however, “The Diary of a Young Girl.” Sarah read missed the auditions for her first Anne Frank’s diary to prepare for the role professional role. and said she took notes Sarah was a member on what Anne said that of a Peoria performance would help develop her troupe who had own interpretation of the prepared all year to character. perform at Disneyland “She has a really wide in May. The Hale Centre range of emotions; 1 Theatre’s “The Diary minute she’ll be happy of Anne Frank” runs and the next minute she’s through May 14, so she crying,” she said. “It’s thought she would definitely hard to channel bypass the opportunity all the things that are and attend the going through her head Sarah Pansing. Submitted photo Disneyland performance. but reading the diary However, the troupe’s performance helped me understand her a bit more.” was delayed until June, so even though Sarah admitted she was intimidated at auditions had passed, she worked hard to first, being a child actress stepping into a get the Hale Centre Theatre to consider professional adult production. However, her. Officials let her audition during the entire cast and the director, M. Seth callbacks and now she’s onstage several Reines, were welcoming. times a week. To learn more about Anne Frank, a “I was so excited,” Sarah said. “I’ve holocaust survivor named Elly Orrin wanted to play this role for a really long visited with the cast. Sarah, who is Jewish, time because I’ve always had a really said she learned about the holocaust in strong connection with Anne, and I was school and in her temple’s Sunday school. just so excited when I got this part.” Learning from a survivor, however, helped

May 2016

BY ELLIOTT ADAMS

The cast of “The Diary of Anne Frank” learned about the Holocaust from survivor Elly Orrin. From left are: Fred Gerle, Nicholas Gunnell and Rob Stuart. Middle row: Molly Jisa, Kellie Dunlap, Ami Porter, Wayne Peck, Bonnie Romney and Matthew Cary. Front row: Director Seth Reines, Holocaust survivor Elly Orrin and Sarah Pansing. Submitted photo

her further relate to Anne. The play isn’t all about the story. She said there are striking technical components. Sarah said the set, sound and lighting of the play add to the emotion of the story and enhance the audience’s overall experience when watching the play.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” plays at the Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, through May 14 at various times. Tickets are $18 to $28. For more information, call (480) 497-1181 or visit haletheatrearizona.com.

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HIGLEY HAPPENINGS

Chaparral students work on circuit boards provided by Intel volunteers. Submitted photo

Intel brings science lessons to Higley’s Chaparral Chaparral fourth-grader students are studying circuits, electricity and conductivity. Recently, Intel representatives offered to bring the concept of circuits and conductivity to life in the classroom and brought

circuit boards for our students to investigate. Teams of students used materials provided, the circuit boards and a laptop to discover what materials make good conductors. By discovering which materials would conduct electricity, students were able to play a piano on the computer using PlayDoh keys and make a cat meow and dance by touching a metal cookie cutter as a key. The hit of the day was controlling and playing PacMan using whatever materials they could to make a game controller. Some students chose materials in the kits and others discovered that the hands of each group member could become part of the game controller. Students discovered through inquiry, exploration, questioning and explanation what would conduct an electrical charge. Students were very surprised to find out that Play-Doh and hand sanitizing gel are conductors.

Higley High students place at language competition

Brooke Lindsey, a junior from Higley High School, won first place in the fifth

annual Chinese Speech Competition at the ASU Language Fair. Sophomore Shelby Seipert finished sixth. The competition was attended by more than a dozen school districts. The Higley Unified School District offers Mandarin language classes at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

a row a Williams Field High School student has received this honor and the fourth time for the school. Stephen, an experienced drum line member, recently received a scholarship from Winter Guard Arizona (WGAZ). He is also a finalist for the prestigious Dorrance Scholarship.

Williams Field High School senior named ASU Leadership Scholar

Stephen Marqueling, a senior at Higley’s Williams Field High School, has been selected as member of the ASU Leadership Scholarship Program. He has been accepted in to the WP Carey School of Business with a major in business communications. Only 25 students receive the honor to take part in the four-year Leadership Scholarship program. In addition to a scholarship, students in the program receive mentors to guide them throughout their college career with leadership, career planning and more. Students in the cohort also organize service projects and take on leadership roles on campus. This is the third year in

Williams Field High School senior Stephen Marqueling is an ASU Leadership Scholar. Submitted photo

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May 2016

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May 2016

Making Friends

‘Sesame Street Live’ explores cultural differences BY JASMINE KEMPER

Little monsters can learn about friendship and cultures through song and dance while having plenty of fun when “Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend” comes to the Valley. Join Grover and the rest of the “Sesame Street” gang when they meet Grover’s new friend from India, Chamki. The show focuses on embracing new traditions and learning that even though someone may be different doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. The 90-minute performance includes songs that kids can dance to like “The Elmo Slide,” “Rakhi Road” and “ABC Hip Hop.” Other tunes include parodies of modern pop hits from artists like Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars. “Sesame Street Live” performer Chris Blackmon plays a few different parts in the show, but he likes to say he’s best friends with Cookie Monster. He loves “Make a New Friend” because it can be enjoyed by any age group. “It’s a Broadway-style show, so there are lights, effects and confetti,” he said. “The music is so much fun, the songs get stuck in your head [and] the dancing is amazing. We do the show for ages 2 to 5 in general, but parents and older kids will love it. I am 30

WHERE YOU START THE JOURNEY CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

and I enjoy watching the show myself.” He enjoys the plot-driven storyline as well. Kids can learn an important life lesson thanks to Chamki and her new friends. “It’s nice to learn about different cultures,” Blackmon said. “It makes you more empathetic and sympathetic, and it makes you a more well-rounded person. It’s nice to know that not everyone is brought up the same way. People have different ways of life, and different ways of approaching situations based on how they were brought up. Learning about those differences will make you a better person.” In all, the audience will learn that everyone is special in their own way—no matter where they come from. “You shouldn’t be afraid to make friends and if at first you don’t understand someone try to find a common ground. It’s OK to have differences but you can still be friends,” Blackmon said. Sesame Street Live comes to the Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, on Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15. Tickets are $15 to $45. For more information, call (602) 379-2800 or visit www.sesamestreetlive.com.

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STUDENT CHRONICLES Know a student who’s doing something remarkable? Send items for Student Chronicles to christina@timespublications.com. Persophine Reid Tiapula, Lisa Tshuma and Marieke Davis, all of Gilbert, were recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. All of the students attend ASU. The three are among approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation and requires nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10% of seniors and 7.5% of juniors, having at least 72 semester hours, are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10% of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction.

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Francis Leonidas of Gilbert graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor of science degree in nursing in October from Upper Iowa University. Honors qualifications are awarded as follows: Summa cum laude is awarded to those with at least a 3.9 GPA; magna cum laude (3.7-3.9 GPA), and cum laude (3.5-3.7 GPA). A total of 60 graded semester credits must be earned at Upper Iowa University before magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors may be granted. Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,800 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus, 25 U.S. education centers, as well as centers in Malaysia and Hong Kong. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.

Members of Student Council at the Feed My Star ving Children event earlier this year.

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1515 S. Val Vista Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85296 • 480.813.1151


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May 2016

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New office now open!

As president of the No Sunday Fútbol Club, Travis Breinholt (third from left, pictured with sons Nathan and Caleb, wife Jessica, son Zachary, daughter Grace and son Jacob ) is excited to give kids and teens the chance to play soccer and still enjoy family time on Sundays. Breinholt’s four boys all play soccer. Submitted photo

NSFC Strikers emphasize quality soccer instruction and family time BY ALISON STANTON

As many soccer moms and dads know quite well, the sport can take up a lot of time. From practices to games, it’s not unusual to spend hours every weekend shuttling kids to and from different parts of the Valley. Travis Breinholt knows this all too well. He grew up playing soccer in Tempe and played on some of the highest level teams. When Breinholt’s four sons started playing and he began coaching club soccer, he realized that a lot of kids were missing out on the chance to play because the time required to play on weekends was too much of a burden for their families. “It is a major commitment level to play club soccer. And if they have multiple kids who play, parents feel like they spend their entire weekend on the soccer fields. They feel like the games run their lives.” In an effort to give soccer families back one day a week for family, religious and other times, Breinholt helped to launch the No Sunday Fútbol Club (NSFC) in January. “For kids and families who have struggled with soccer schedules before, this gives them another avenue,” he said. Breinholt, who is president of the club, said the NSFC Strikers are already extremely popular with families who are eager to enroll their kids ages 6 to 17 in a soccer program that respects family time. “We knew it would be a niche, and we knew a lot of people would be interested, but we never knew the amount of interest that we would get,” Breinholt said. The program has players from all over the Southeast Valley, including Gilbert, Chandler and Ahwatukee. “If our numbers hold, we will be in the top seven soccer clubs in Arizona in about

three more months.” Even though the NSFC Strikers are not active on Sundays, Breinholt said parents should not assume it offers less than other clubs. The club emphasizes a high-quality brand of soccer, he said, and the staff is made up of directors, coaches and office administration with over 30 years combined experience in the world of soccer. “This has been a great effort by many people including a great board of directors. It was spearheaded by our director of the board, Jeff Erickson from Gilbert,” Breinholt said. “Our coaching director is Sasha Hunter, who is the current soccer coach at Chandler High School; he’s just done an incredible job.” From May 3 to May 7, Breinholt said the NSFC Strikers are holding assessments for kids and teens who are interested in joining. “We don’t call them tryouts and we will not cut kids. We find a place for everybody,” he said. The club is constructing 10 new fields at the northeast corner of Sossaman and Warner roads on the Mesa-Gilbert border. “Our goal is to have them completed by the end of this year,” he said. Breinholt is grateful for the outpouring of support from the local community, including businesses that have sponsored the club and donated money. He is also happy to help provide a way for kids who want to play soccer to get that chance. “Parents have literally come to me in tears. I had one mom tell me ‘I’ve been praying for something like this,’” he said. For more information about the NSFC Strikers, visit www.nsfcstrikers.com.

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Want to make a difference? The Gilbert Roadrunners’ special needs athletes, their partners, coaches and volunteers are trying to raise at least $20,000 by the first week of November to participate in a Special Olympics Football Competition in Brazil. Submitted photo

Roadrunners need help to participate in Special Olympics BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Six special needs athletes and their typical peer partners from Gilbert Roadrunners have a significant journey forthcoming. Come November, they plan to board a plane to Brazil to participate in the Special Olympics Football Competition to be held in Rio de Janeiro from Nov. 21 through Nov. 30. (The games are not part of the Summer Olympics.) There’s one hitch, though. The Unified Sports team, which includes the athletes, their partners, coaches and volunteers, has to raise at least $20,000 by the first week of November. Special Olympics Arizona is footing most of the total $70,000 that the group will require for the trip. Gilbert Roadrunners have created a Go Fund Me account, and it has so far yielded about $1,300, as of press time. Volunteers are also organizing car washes, raffles and other activities to help top up the fund. The nonprofit organization is hoping to garner the public’s support for the trip. “Many of our kids have never traveled out of Arizona, much less got to go out of the country. So this is a trip of a lifetime for all of them,” said Eve Vance, who runs the Gilbert Roadrunners’ program and is head of the delegation. To show its appreciation, the group is giving a plaque to those who donate more than $500. Unified Sports differ from regular sports because special needs athletes are partnered with typical athletes. The pair work together through the season and participate in area and state competitions. The Roadrunners’ soccer team–called “football” in Brazil–has been invited

to an exchange program with Special Olympics Brazil. The players are Brighton Smith, Daerick Dalton, Devin Trinosky, Haily Mendias, Janet Brown and Jorge Marquez, while the partners are Reanna Vance, Jonah Phung, Jordan Phung, Layna Lupe and Viviana Marquez. “We will be playing a game against the Brazilian team and showing how we play Unified,” Vance said. “Next year, the Brazilian team will come to Gilbert, so we can host them.” One of the players, Janet Brown, 16, is partnered with Reanna Vance, also 16. “I’m happy and so excited,” said Janet, who is autistic. The two of them have been partners for seven years, with Reanna acting as Janet’s coach on the field; running, jumping and playing soccer with her. “They may not necessarily be the best players,” Vance said. “All of the kids have been playing together on the soccer team for the last five years. So they all know how to communicate with each other, and they know how to work together.” Reanna, a student at Mesquite High School, said she learned to be patient and understanding around the students. “I like how they smile all the time when they get their rewards for doing these things,” she said. Reanna said she was honored at the opportunity to travel to Brazil. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show people what we do,” she said. “Our athletes always work really hard and they’re very, very excited to be getting the opportunity to go,” Vance said. “This is just really exciting for all of them.” For more details, go to www. gilbertroadrunners.com. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/wfu4vx58.

Best Buddies Arizona is now recruiting for our new Young Business Professionals Board! We are seeking 8-10 aspiring young professionals who are looking to make a difference in their communities by helping us develop a specific event with fundraising and programmatic goals. Best Buddies is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). To get involved, please contact State Director Timothy Bolen at timothybolen@bestbuddies.org today!


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May 2016

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Spirituality

May 2016

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints 3301 S. Greenfield Rd., Gilbert 85297 (480) 822-5000 www.lds.org/church/temples/ gilbert-arizona?lang=eng For more information about the church, visit the website above.

Worship guide There is a place of worship for a variety of religions in Gilbert. Here is a partial list of some of the congregations in the town. Want to be added to this list? Email christina@gilbertsunnews.com. The Bridge Church 860 E. Warner Rd., Suites 101 & 103 Gilbert 85296 480-294-7888 www.bridgechurchaz.org Services: 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sundays We exist to show the world who Jesus is, and we believe that when people get to know Jesus as He really is, their lives will change forever. Therefore, it is our passion to help people know Jesus throughout Gilbert, Metro Phoenix and the world.

Central Christian Church—Gilbert 965 E. Germann Rd., Gilbert 85297 www.centralaz.com
Services: 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sundays While the Bible itself is the church’s official document of faith, the website lists a variety of statements that fundamentally define the church. Please visit the website for more information.

No perfect people allowed Whoever you are, and wherever you are on your spiritual journey… …you are welcome at the Bridge

Sundays at 10:00 am New Location 645 N Gilbert Rd, Suite 180 Gilbert, AZ 85234 (Southeast corner of Gilbert & Guadalupe south of Big Lots) Pastor Kent Bertrand 480.294.7888 www.bridgechurchaz.org

E. Guadalupe Rd. N. Gilbert Rd.

Sermon Series on James Continues in May

awaken that which lies dormant within your

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Wed., May 11, 7 am

Pranic Healing By donation. No one turned away Sat., 10 am - Noon All levels welcome Wed., 1 - 2:30 pm Rev. Julianne Lewis, Sr. Minister 952 E. Baseline, #102, Mesa, AZ 85204 ~ Ph. 480-593-8798 Please visit www.interfaith-community.org/ for more information/events

First United Methodist Church of Gilbert 331 S. Cooper Rd., Gilbert 85233 (480) 892-9166 www.gilbertumc.org Services: 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. (traditional services) and 11 a.m. (contemporary service) Sundays There are two traditional services—8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.—with the Chancel choir and traditional worship. The 11 a.m. service has a contemporary feel, with music from the Praise Band. The 9:30 a.m. service generally has the largest attendance. Gilbert Presbyterian Church 235 E. Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 892-6753 www.azgpc.org Services: 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays Gilbert Presbyterian Church is called to be a Christ-centered covenant family nurtured by the Holy Spirit to worship God and to share God’s love. Living Water United Methodist 
Fellowship Highland Park Elementary School 230 N Cole. Dr., Gilbert 85234 www.livingwaterum.org Services: 10 a.m. Sundays Living Water exists to bring people in to meet Christ, build people up to follow Christ and send people out to share Christ. Mission Community Church 4450 E. Elliot Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 545-4024 www.mission68.org Services: 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Sundays The Bible is God’s word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth and without error in the original manuscripts. Redemption Gilbert 1820 W. Elliot Rd, Gilbert 85233 (480) 632-2220 www.gilbert.redemptionaz.com/ about/a-brief-overview/ Services: 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays Gospel means good news, but it is truly

www.GilbertSunNews.com the most profound and glorious truth ever revealed. It is not advice, nor is it a system or philosophy to add to the congregants’ lives. It is an exclusive truth claim, a holistic worldview, the true story of the whole world, which by its very nature must redefine and recolor everything else. Resurrection Episcopal Church Meets at Gilbert Community Center, 130 N. Oak St., Gilbert 85233 (480) 719-5343 www.resurrectiongilbert.org Services: 10 a.m. Sundays Resurrection officials say the congregation is a church you can believe in because you belong. This means it welcomes and embraces all people because God already has. Come for worship, fellowship and Bible study on Sundays and join the group on a spiritual journey to better understand God’s plan for our lives. San Tan Bible Church 1424 S. Promenade Lane, Gilbert 85296 Phone number not available. www.santanbible.org Services: 8:30 a.m. (Bible hour); 9:30 a.m. (Café 2:42) and 10 a.m. worship service Sundays The church believes the glory of God is the chief end of all we do. Sun Valley Community Church 456 E. Ray Rd., Gilbert 85296 (480) 632-8920, www.sunvalleycc. com Services: 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Sundays The atmosphere is casual and friendly at Sun Valley Community Church. It places high value on authentic Christian living and placing Christ at the center of all our teachings. The church also offers worship music that is current and uplifting, along with focused weekend sermons that break down the Bible in a way that makes it easy to connect the word of God with today’s busy life. Two Rivers Church 326 E. Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 892-2435, www.2riverschurch. org Services: 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish) Sundays Two Rivers Church exists to help lead congregants into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by encouraging and equipping them to love God intimately and serve others. It has a casual environment with a serious faith.


Spirituality

www.GilbertSunNews.com

May 2016

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May 2016

Arts

www.GilbertSunNews.com

The orchestra director says the community’s prime location is a draw for players. GSN photos by Tim Sealy

CGCC orchestra director looking for string players BY SRIANTHI PERERA

If you are an old hand at the viola—or violin, cello or other string instruments— the Chandler Gilbert Community College would like to hear from you. The college’s new orchestra director, Amber Dudley, is looking for people of any age who are adept at playing a string instrument at an upper high school level to join the program. To make it easier, there’s no daunting audition to overcome. “No audition because that scares a lot of people away,” said Dudley, who also directs orchestra at Campo Verde High and counts 17 years of teaching experience in Gilbert high schools. “We’re trying to give people in the community an opportunity to play in an orchestra setting,” said Randy Wright, division chairman, communication and fine arts. “It’s a community-based orchestra and

Amber Dudley.

members can join from school-age kids all the way up to seniors.” The only caveat is that aspirants must be enrolled in the community college, even for just one credit. For seniors, a reduced tuition fee is available. The CGCC has a vibrant performing arts department based at its main college campus at the intersection of Gilbert Road and Pecos Avenue in Chandler. The Arnette Scott Ward Performing Arts Center has been the stage for all manner of arts since 2002. Last fall, the campus remodeled one of its original buildings with an environmentally friendly design and infrastructure. The 39,000-square-foot Agave Hall is used for performing arts instruction and rehearsal for students participating in band, choir, dance, orchestra and theater. Agave Hall features acoustically adjusted instrumental music and vocal choir rooms. It also has a recording studio, ensemble room, student practice rooms, instrument lockers, piano lab, and a music library and instrument repair room. With the new infrastructure in place, Dudley has been entrusted with developing the music program and building a large string orchestra. Building on the current 30 enrollees, the college wants to establish a day music program with about 50 members and an evening program of music education students, arranged perhaps in a chamber orchestra, consisting of about 30. Even further down the road is the possibility of extending it into a full symphony. Nowadays, when a symphony concert is presented, the college pulls members from its band program. Among the old timers in the orchestra is

Jessi Pederson, a veterinarian at a hospital in East Mesa, who has been playing with the group for six years. Pederson said she took a hiatus of about eight years from her violin when she was in veterinary school and resumed it easily “like riding a bike again.” She finds the college setting laidback, yet challenging. “It’s not a professional orchestra, but at the same time, we play professional orchestral music. So it’s a challenge, which is a good thing for my brain to do something other than veterinary medicine,” she said. Dudley is seeking others like Pederson— those who have graduated from high school, are home-schooled, or who have played a string instrument in the past and would love to resume at any life stage. Seniors would also fit this bill. Pederson said it could be a good opportunity for seniors to join and would benefit the younger generation as well. “It could be good for the kids, the younger people, to have that mentorship and to be able to play with someone of that age and ability,” she said. Dudley said she believes that the location of CGCC, straddling Chandler and Gilbert, as well as its close proximity to Mesa, will attract students and audiences. “We’re in a prime location and people don’t want to drive an hour to go to a community college orchestra class,” she said. “Within the East Valley area, there is a lot of emphasis on string education within the schools. And that perpetuates: when they graduate, what are they going to do with that string education?” Another of Dudley’s roles is to enroll

CGCC String Orchestra at practice in the Agave Hall.

more music education students, a task for which she, herself, is the perfect role model. She plays the violin and the viola. “I love everything string; that’s why I teach string,” she said. “To me, there’s no other sound in the world.” A native Arizonan, Dudley attended NAU and earned two bachelor’s degrees; in music education and viola performance. She lives with her Realtor husband, Chris, who is a trombone player and a former band director at Basha High School in Chandler, and their four daughters ranging in age from 1 to 10 years. Dudley also plans to develop collaborative music opportunities with youth in the Valley. She’s hoping that in the future, the college’s orchestra would be the first that comes to mind when someone thinks of a community orchestra in the Valley. “That’s what I would like,” she said, “but my first task is to recruit students.” For more information, visit www.cgc.maricopa.edu/performingarts.


Arts

www.GilbertSunNews.com

May 2016

Hale Centre Theatre announces 2016-2017 season BY DON ANDREWS

Continuing its tradition of “powerhouse musicals, outrageous comedies and clean shows,” the Hale Centre Theatre has unveiled its 2016-2017 season of seven musicals and three comedies starting in August. “The Drowsy Chaperone” First on the bill is “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that’s a sidesplitting satire on 1920s musicals. Called “a musical within a comedy,” “The Drowsy Chaperone” has all the comical elements including mistaken identities, bumbling ‘20s gangsters, a puffed-up Broadway producer, a stiff-lipped butler, a ditzy dowager and a tipsy chaperone. The fun starts Aug. 26 and runs through Oct. 8. “You Can’t Take It With You” The Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy “You Can’t Take It With You” appears next on the Hale stage. Written by the famous Broadway team of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the fun features a more than slightly offcenter big-city family. One member concocts fireworks in the basement while another wants to be a ballerina but is a laughably wobbly dancer. The family patriarch never pays his taxes and another offspring prints and hands out antigovernment leaflets. Hilarity ensues when the entire family is arrested by federal agents. “You Can’t Take It With You” runs at Hale from Sept. 13 through Nov. 15.

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” The musical comedy “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” will be staged Oct. 13 through Nov. 26. Nominated for Broadway’s Tony Award, it’s set in an Old West town in the mid1800s where seven roughhewn brothers are seeking brides. They find them but the girls are not always pleased, and good-natured rivalry erupts during the laugh-filled performance. The movie version of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” won an Academy Award for best music. “A Christmas Carol” A Hale holiday tradition, “A Christmas Carol” will delight the entire family again this season. The show is an enchanting musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of three Christmas spirits who visit the miserly taskmaster Ebenezer Scrooge. They show him the error of his tyrannical ways, transforming Scrooge’s life. It’s a message of hope and renewal that holds a special place in our hearts each holiday season. A Christmas Carol begins Dec. 1 and concludes on Christmas Eve. “Is He Dead?” Ring in the New Year in grand style at the Hale with a performance of Mark Twain’s hilarious farce “Is He Dead?” Twain’s 1898 manuscript wasn’t discovered until well after his death and wasn’t published until 2003. The action involves a struggling French artist who

has trouble selling his paintings, so he fakes his death to make them more valuable. False identities, romantic intrigue and social satire all combine to comically ponder the issues of fame, greed and the intrinsic value of art. “Is He Dead?” plays from New Year’s Eve through Feb. 11. “The Marvelous Wonderettes” Following sold-out performances of the current season’s “The Andrews Brothers,” Hale will stage another of Roger Bean’s riotous jukebox musicals, “The Marvelous Wonderettes.” Set in a 1960s high school, four girl singers step up to save the day at the senior prom when the scheduled act suddenly can’t make it. Enjoy and hum along to such ‘50s and ‘60s hits as “Mr. Sandman,” “Sincerely,” “It’s My Party,” “Son of a Preacher Man” and “Respect.” The fun starts Jan. 17 and continues on Mondays and Tuesdays through April 18. “Thoroughly Modern Millie” The thoroughly funny musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” then takes center stage with its sendup of 1920s flappers, newly independent women, speakeasies, police raids and wine spilled on the famous New York columnisthumorist Dorothy Parker’s dress. The winner of six Tony Awards on Broadway including Best Musical, the movie version of Millie also won an Oscar for best music. Thoroughly Modern Millie dances onstage at the Hale between Feb. 16 and April 1. “No Time for Sergeants” The hilarious military comedy “No Time for Sergeants” appears next on the Hale stage. The action centers around a group of extremely diverse World War II draftees who manage to rock the Army Air Corps boat, getting everyone into hot water from lowly recruits to the commanding general. The play by Ira Levin is based on the best-selling book by Mac Hyman, who was inspired by his own experiences in the Army Air Corps. The Tony Award-winning play ran for nearly two years on Broadway and launched the career of the popular comic actor Andy Griffith, who was nominated for a Tony Award. “No Time for Sergeants” runs from April 6 until May 13, 2017. “Aida” Sir Elton John’s and Sir Tim Rice’s spectacular Broadway hit “Aida” is to be the penultimate performance of the Hale’s new season. The musical garnered four Tony Awards and played on Broadway for more than five years. It’s based on a storybook version of Verdi’s Aida by the internationally acclaimed opera soprano Leontyne Price. In the show, the principals, Amneris, Radames and Aida, are entangled in conflicted loyalties and emotions. Heartfelt and soaring songs magically transport the audience back to ancient Egypt, including “Every Story is a Love Story,” “The Past is Another Land,” as well as Elton John’s top 40 hit “Written in the Stars.” “Aida” plays at Hale from May 18 through July 1, 2017.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid The Hale Centre Theatre’s new season concludes with the thoroughly entertaining Disney musical “The Little Mermaid.” It’s a touching reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s book of the same name. The young mermaid Ariel becomes bored with undersea life and pines to be part of the wide world above the ocean’s surface, even though that’s forbidden in her culture. She disregards underwater convention and saves the life of the handsome Prince Eric, who falls overboard from his ship during a

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raging storm. The two fall in love, are married on a beautiful beach and sail off into the sunset to live happily ever after. Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” appears at the Hale from July 7 through Aug. 19, 2017. Season tickets are available at the Hale Centre Theatre box office by calling (480) 497-1181, or by visiting the Hale website at www.HaleTheatreArizona.com. The Hale is located at 50 W. Page Ave., in Gilbert, just across the street from the historic Gilbert Water Tower Park.

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May 2016

Arts

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Art exhibit on discarded objects force look at illegal immigration dilemma BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Belying the manner in which they must have been discarded, the rosaries, water bottles and Snickers bars are arranged in an orderly fashion in artist/photographer Tom Kiefer’s art prints. Art must have been the furthest from the minds of the owners of these personal objects. The food, medicine, soap, toothpaste, Bibles, pre-paid telephone calling cards and the dozens of other items that comprise Kiefer’s images once belonged to migrants and smugglers apprehended by Border Patrol agents. They were considered nonessential items and dumped in the trash while the individuals were being processed at a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility in southern Arizona. Kiefer’s art prints form “El Sueno Americano” (The American Dream), and are on display in Gallery 4 at Art Intersection through June 18. They reveal a hitherto unknown side to processing illegal immigrants at our Southern border. Kiefer, who was raised in the Seattle area and lived 20 years in Los Angeles, worked 11 years as a part-time janitor/landscaper at the U.S. Border Patrol facility in Why. During this time, he transported more than 60 tons of discarded food to the food bank in Ajo. “When I first started working, the agents themselves would bring the food that was not thrown in the trash to our local food bank,” Kiefer said. “In 2005, after a change of leadership at the station, a decision was made that all the food had to remain in the trash and be disposed of in the trash and taken to the landfill.” In 2007, as the volume of migrants and smugglers peaked, so did the food and other belongings. Kiefer volunteered to transport the food to the food bank. “They really appreciated that gesture,” he said. “One day, there was this big group of toothbrushes, and, from an ecological standpoint, I thought that these shouldn’t go to the landfill, so I just set aside the toothbrushes,” he said. “That’s when

I started collecting the personal belongings.” Kiefer resigned from his job in 2014 to work on El Sueno Americano and plans to make about a 1,000 images for the project from the enormous archive of material he has gathered. While some prints have been shown in public since last year, the Gilbert gallery’s exhibition of 60 prints is its first official showing. According to a release from the gallery, the initial images from the project, released in August 2015, received immediate recognition from contemporary photography sites LensCulture’s Top 50 Emerging Photographers and Photolucida’s Critical Mass Top 50. Alan Fitzgerald, owner of Art Intersection, said that violation is one of the first emotions that Kiefer’s body of work provokes. “What is particularly interesting is the sense of dehumanization by taking simple, yet important, objects like rosaries and Bibles away from these people and not returning them,” he said. “This exhibition is intended to create a connection because many of these objects are things that we have or use in everyday life.” Kiefer, who declared himself an artist and not an activist, said that he’s merely creating an awareness of what is happening and a platform for dialogue. “We just can’t keep, as the politicians think, kicking the ball down the road,” he said. He noticed that many individuals who are crossing into the United States are not doing it for the first time. “They’ve lived here two to three years, for decades. They had to go down to Mexico because they are not going to miss their grandfather’s funeral,” he said. “And they were aware of the risk that when they went down, they may not be able to return and they could be captured and arrested. Fitzgerald said that the messaging is about a lack of reasonable immigration laws. “Laws that perhaps we might be able to enforce because they’re plausible, they’re reasonable and we

“Water Bottles:” Water is the main source of hydration when crossing the desert. In the Tucson sector of the U.S./Mexico border, heavy-duty nonbiodegradable black plastic bottles are commonly used as canteens and are occasionally covered or insulated with remnants of clothing or blanket. Tom Kiefer/INSTITUTE

don’t continue to create this illegal immigration issue,” he said. Gallery 4 has previously exhibited portraits of the Lost Boys of Sudan, homeless men from the social project I-Help Chandler, a religious festival of Venezuela and the Holocaust death camps in Central and Eastern Europe. The gallery is devoted to visual art exhibitions with strong social, environmental and cultural messages using mediums of photography painting, mixed media and the spoken word. “The exhibitions are intended to bring the other side of art, the social side of art rather than the fine art side,” Fitzgerald said.

Art Intersection, located at 207 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 201, in downtown Gilbert, promotes the intersection of photography with related art forms. El Sueno Americano runs through Saturday, June 18 and admission is free. A gallery talk and book signing will take place from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18. Call (480) 361-1118 or visit www.artintersection.com More on the photographer at www.tomkiefer.com


Arts

www.GilbertSunNews.com

Still Rockin’

Night Ranger sees revival thanks to clucking chickens BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

Night Ranger is all about keeping its music alive—even if it means putting up with chickens clucking to its song “Sister Christian” in a Foster Farms TV spot. “When you look at it in the long run, it really does help,” said drummer/vocalist Kelly Keagy with a laugh. “In that way, we can kind of be OK with it. But when people come to see us, they hear songs like ‘Sister Christian’ and we feel we’ve done our job.” Keagy, along with bassist/vocalist Jack Blades, guitarist Brad Gillis, guitarist Keri Kelli and keyboardist Eric Levy, will do his job on Friday, May 13, at Wild Horse

Pass Hotel and Casino’s Ovations Live Showroom. Fans can expect songs like “Sister Christian,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America,” and even tracks by Blades’ side project with Ted Nugent, Damn Yankees. “We like to be really spontaneous on stage,” Keagy said. “We just make stuff up. We might break into a cover—who knows. We play some Damn Yankees in the set because those songs really fit our style.” That spontaneity keeps the music fresh for Night Ranger, which was founded more than 30 years ago.

May 2016

“We try not to play the songs exactly the same way every night or every week,” Keagy said. “That really helps after 30-plus years of doing this. We just try to keep it light and loose on the stage.” This year is shaping up to be a busy one for Night Ranger. The band has been in the studio working on a new album for the last few months. It is expected to be released in October. “We’re excited about the material, but making a record is tough,” he said. For now, though, Night Ranger’s musicians are happy with commercial, TV and movie placement to keep its career alive. “Sister Christian” has been particularly beneficial,

as it was part of a key scene in the film “Boogie Nights.” “Oh my God,” Keagy said with a snicker. “Before we saw that in the theater, we had no idea. They had sent us scripts and stuff, but you can’t see the visual. Jack and I felt like we had been there—back in 1985.” Night Ranger performs at 8 p.m. Friday, May 13, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler. Tickets are $25 to $70. For more information, call (800) 946-4452 or visit www.wingilariver.com.

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Arts

May 2016

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ON STAGE

Chandler Symphony Classical Series, Sunday, May 1, CCA. The Chandler Symphony Orchestra provides quality symphonic and orchestral music performed by a wide range of volunteer musicians. Chandler Children’s Choir: Simply Sonic, Saturday, May 7, CCA. Join the Chandler Children’s Choir for a collaboration with Simply Three. Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science, Thursday, May 12, MAC. Fans can expect more comedy, talk show antics, multimedia presentations and music.

FLAMEXICO!, Friday-Saturday, May 13-14, MAC. A musical reflection of two cultures forming a new vision. Spain’s Flamenco and México’s Mariachi come together while dancers move your soul. “The Diary of Anne Frank,” through May 14, HCT. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is a true story about a Jewish girl in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam in World War II. Yen-Li Chen Ballet School, Saturday, May 21, CCA. The school performs “Giselle.”

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Arts

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Opinion

May 2016

Be safe around water BY DENNY BARNEY

When I married my wife and asked her to return home to Arizona with me, her agreement required my promise to live near a swimming pool. I followed through on that promise, and the pool has helped my whole family get through the summer heat. Summer fun in the pool is a big part of how we recreate here in Arizona. As thousands of Denny Barney Maricopa County Submitted photo residents kick off Memorial Day and a summer break from school, we must remember that fun can turn to tragedy in a matter of seconds. All of us have been touched by someone having a water-related accident. Gov. Ducey recently proclaimed May 2016 as Water Safety Month, and I want to encourage you to make water safety a part of your family’s summer. Maricopa County’s many backyard swimming pools put us at high risk for drowning tragedies. We must teach children and their caregivers fundamental water safety skills and remain vigilant when children are around water. Here are some things you can do to help keep everyone safe: • Proper supervision is critical. A recent report by the Arizona Department of

Health Services recounted that the youngest children, infants to age 4, were most often in the care of a parent or grandparent when a life-threatening pool incident occurred. As the parent of four children, I know how easy it can be to be distracted by another child or a phone call, but when it comes to children and water, nothing requires our attention more than the children’s safety. Never leave a child unattended in or near water—and don’t assume someone else is watching the child. • P ool barriers must be used properly and be in working order to provide safety. A pool fence that is not locked or does not latch properly doesn’t provide a barrier and may serve as an enticement to a young child. State law and local ordinances require various criteria for pool barriers. But the pool barrier can’t do the job if it isn’t used properly, such as a propped open gate. • S wim lessons should be part of every family’s water safety plan. Ensuring that every child can swim is critical with all of the backyard pools, water parks, community pools, and lakes in our region. But no child is ever truly “water-safe” and lessons for the children may not be enough. You ought to be able to provide a safe environment for yourself as well as for the children. Basic water safety and swimming lessons can be taught at an early age, but you are never too old to

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Is there anyone else out there who is fed up with the noise from aftermarket mufflers on these little cars running through the neighborhood at all hours of the night and morning? Well, if so, use this venue and others as much as you can to have your voices heard and let’s call for the police to get them off the streets. Senate Bill 1440 transfers all assets of the once top-rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum from the Arizona Historical

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Society to the Arizona Geological Survey. The AHS gained control of the museum in 2010 and then locked the doors in 2011 for unknown reasons. Since then, 40,000 children per year have been deprived of a lifetime learning experience. The Arizona Geological Survey, an extraordinarily efficient and effective state agency, will reopen the museum and restore the K-12 education programs if SB1440 becomes law. Senators and representatives should vote yes on SB1440, and the governor should sign it.—Dick Zimmerman

improve your own swimming abilities. Adult and youth lessons are available at municipal pools, YMCAs, and through other organizations. • Teach children to enjoy the water but also to respect the dangers it can pose. Even if you don’t have a pool, your family will likely be near the water at some point this summer. Think of biking along a canal, fishing off a dock, or relaxing at the beach. In all of these scenarios a nonswimmer could enter the water unexpectedly. Children should learn to respect fenced properties, to obey warning signs, I think cellphones are a good thing and a bad thing. I hate seeing people at restaurants glancing at their phones and not even barely talking to each other! Can anyone go out and just enjoy face-to-face time with their family anymore? Our society is becoming a bunch of slaves to technology. I’m not liking it one bit! And no, I do not have a cellphone. I have two landlines in my house—and that is it. I am still able to exist! Go figure! Just a follow-up: So, you don’t agree with the crabby old lady’s comment about the ignorant people on TV. Remember, this is the trash that’s being taught to your children. You’re as dumb as they are. Poor kids. No wonder they’re fighting for survival. David Cameron and Barack are good friends and saving the rest of the world—at least until November. What are we going to do after you know who becomes president? Oh boy, another chance to thank all the wonderful developers of the Valley of the Sun. Four out

and to listen to lifeguards. Suitable flotation devices should also be worn where recommended. I equate summertime with happy memories of spending time with family and friends. No family’s memories should involve a water-related tragedy. I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe summer. Denny Barney is a Gilbert resident and a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

of five railroad accidents are their faults for pushing to be just like back east. Oh boy do we hate these developers, who ruin more than they develop. Blame the railroads, of course. No, blame the developers and don’t ever forget it. Now they’re taking their water. Imagine this, if America elects Hillary in 2016, how high will the misery index get when you have Hillary, Bill and Obama serving as president for four more years. Whoa. Lord have mercy. Well, it looks like some of the criminals are solving the gun problems. They’re switching to knives. They’re a little harder to trace that way. Where are you? Stupid system. The TV needs to start bleeping out all the foul language that’s allowed today. It’s not funny when 2-year-olds learn to say “F you” to adults. “It’s so cute.” No it’s not. It’s ignorant and it’s bleeding this nation of intelligence.


www.GilbertSunNews.com Clean up your crummy thoughts as well. The crummy nudity. Shame on all of you people. The Walter Cronkite School needs to go back to teaching spelling and grammar to those who do not know the difference between picture and pitcher. Ban the word “got” while we’re at it! Before voting on Proposition 123, which will fund public schools, voters, please investigate who is pushing this bill. Always follow the money. Find out what people and what organizations are encouraging the “Yes” vote on this. Find out what they have coming to them after voting on this bill. Don’t believe the propaganda on television and in the newspaper. During a recent interview with Chris Wallace, Obama stated that nobody is above the law. This comes from a guy who has consistently violated the constitution of the United States. When is someone of power going to do something about this annoying credit card company and Beverly and her daily calls that annoy people to death. You’re waking up children. You’re waking up grandma. Stop calling this number. You have been told over and over again. There’s got to be something done with these people. Beware of the scam of ripping off grandma by saying her grandchildren have been arrested. I think they must have a rotating file.

lso our

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Opinion That’s the second time grandma has been called. They’re good actors and they’re begging for money. Just call the police and report it. Don’t let it go. I think they come with the snowbirds and it’s really sad. Does anyone know if there are any decent radio stations with good old enjoyable American music of the 1940s through 1960s? There’s nothing on commercial TV, either, except for Channel 8, thank goodness. Radio is even worse with the noise and jumping jazz. Even good old western American classics, they’re not on TV anymore. There’s nothing but junk on TV and radio. What’s happened to the best of America? The world is changing and much of it has us in some form of consternation. When mail delivery was invented, people probably said the same, “Johnny used to go see his friends, now he just mails them.” Same with the telephone. Somehow we didn’t instill our values in our kids, etc. So someone is to blame. If the phone was not invented, they would be knocking on your door. Get an answering machine and mute the ringer. I can’t mute the ringer so set it for two rings. Guess what? They hang up. Upset with your representatives? Then vote them out. Cleaning up Washington is the voter’s responsibility. Maybe someone woke up and realized it was a lost cause. It was better to fund everything and avoid another shut down. I guess some think it is

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better to do harm for a philosophy than deal with the problem. To the writer about ammunition: I have a more aggressive stance on that. I think not selling or making it illegal to possess manufactured ammunition is the key. If you want to limit ammo, then have the gun owner load their own. If you read about the frontiersman, they melted lead into balls and used a powder horn to load their guns. I feel the same about cigarettes. Stop making them. If smokers want to smoke they can roll their own. Give them a bag or can of tobacco and rolling papers, no machines, and have them go at it. I don’t understand why people think the only liar in Washington is Obama. The economy is not good but it is better than when he took office. The writer thinks terrorists are behind every tree and bush and is ready to pounce. There have been “lone wolves” who were inspired by whatever terror organization you choose. A workplace shooting does not measure up to a terror incident. A person in Muslim garb, whatever that looks like, and shooting seals the deal on being a terrorist. If I picked up a gun and ran into a building wearing white tie and tails, I guess that could be seen as a white collar crime. The same for a hooded sweatshirt. Everyone who wears one is wearing a thug label. To the writer about Hillary Clinton considering appointing Obama to the Supreme Court. Considering is not the same as doing. What is your source about his trampling

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the Constitution? Be specific. Be specific as to what he has done. I guess you are upset because he did something because the Congress hasn’t. Flash, we elected these people to work for us. Instead, they block and name call. Obama has issued less executive orders than Bush. Sorry, them’s the facts, people. To the writer who quoted the poll, thank you. Congress is corrupt and did become more so under Obama. You missed one point largely because of the conservative court at the time sided with Citizens United. Civics lesson: Three branches of government check and balance each other. Each is separate from the other. Special interests funnel in huge amounts of money to influence votes. Get rid of that and maybe, just maybe, the Congress will listen to their hearts and not the lovely sound of money falling into their pockets or off shore accounts. RE: Religion in public schools. Just Christianity and just one form of Christianity. Discounting science and teaching of creationism. I respect religion and the adherents. Just don’t go into the school that is publicly funded and force everyone to learn what I say is a fairytale. There are schools for that. Religious schools. There you can teach whatever you want to from your Bible. Religion is a belief system not something to be sold door to door or forced onto everyone to “save” them. I hear people say they talk to God, then the ones who have broadcast quite literally and get completely different information. I am a fan of the late George Carlin. I think like he did: we can live very well with three of the Ten Commandments. The golden rule is not in the Bible as quoted. We just need to respect, if not love, each other. Be kind to each other. Don’t covet your neighbor’s wife, etc. Don’t kill each other or steal from each other. Just be a good person. I think your God would be happy with you.

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