Gilbert Sun News - 05-17-2020

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Tubing starts, virus in mind

Man’s mystery death probed

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An edition of the East Valley Tribune

INSIDE

This Week

REAL ESTATE SECTION

NEWS................................ 9 Heritage Square project advances.

SPORTS...................... 26 Little League play down the drain.

COMMUNITY.......................................20 BUSINESS............................................. 22 OPINION................................................24 SPORTS.......................................26 PUZZLE....................................... 27 CLASSIFIED..........................................28

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Town offering drive-in movies as it reawakens BY CECILIA CHAN GSN Managing Editor

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s COVID-19 lingers on for the foreseeable future, Gilbert is bringing back a relic of the past – drive-in movies for people at Desert Sky Park. The offering is something residents said they wanted in a town survey that gauged their comfort level in returning for Parks and Recreation services. The department was hardest hit by the pandemic restrictions that closed down programming, community pools, recreation centers and park amenities. Gov. Doug Ducey last Tuesday further eased his executive orders, allowing pools and gyms to re-open – a day after restaurants

were allowed to resume inside dining with social distancing guidelines. The department is kicking off the drivein movie series on Friday night, May 22, Recreation Supervisor Denise Merdon told the Parks and Recreation Board last week. The department plans to host the movies Fridays and Saturdays, May 22 to June 13 with 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. show times. Each weekend there will be two different movies offered, Merdon said. However, the department’s Facebook page says the movie time is “7 p.m.-10 p.m.” This weekend’s showings are “Sonic the Hedgehog” at 8 p.m. and “Jumanji: The Next Level” at 10:15 p.m. “Both were not able to be released in theaters,” Merdon said. “We’re looking to

have 130 cars per movie.” Merdon said staff spent four weeks preparing for the entertainment opportunity that also maintains the social distancing that is still in effect. Online tickets went on sale late last week – $25 per car for the 8 p.m. show and $20 for the 10:15 p.m. movie. Vehicles will be parked in every other spot and people will be required to stay inside their vehicles unless they are using the restrooms, Merdon said. Two food trucks will be on site and people will have to bring the food back to their cars to eat. Merdon said staff will be at the site to help direct cars and to help ensure socialdistancing guidelines.

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School chiefs cite need for reopening guidance BY CECILIA CHAN GSN Managing Editor

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hen schools re-open in the fall, students could either be back at their classroom desks or at home in front of a computer screen. Superintendents from three East Valley school districts last week said how learning will look like was still up in the air as they wait for direction from state and federal officials. “One thing that most school districts need across the state of Arizona is information right now,” said Higley Unified Superintendent Mike Thomason. “We’re stuck in limbo on how to move forward to fall’s opening. We need to know from the state government and CDC how many people we can have in a setting.”

Higley High seniors began showing up for their virtual graduation filming last week. (Pablo Robles/GSN Staff)

Thomason, Gilbert Public School Superintendent Shane McCord and Mesa Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Andi Fourlis participated in Gilbert Chamber of Commerce’s second weekly Non-Profit Town Hall. Fourlis will assume the superintendent’s job July 1. Thomason said his district in southeast Gilbert has devised different plans based on various size restrictions that might be in place – from opening up at half capacity to full online learning – and needed guidance before knowing which direction to take. He said whatever comes down from state officials can’t be on short notice. If the district has to wait on implementing a plan until mid-June to

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NEWS

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SCHOOLS from page 1

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early July, it’s “too late,” according to Thomason. McCord echoed his peer’s comments. “We have plans A to Z available but don’t know which one to enact,” McCord said. He said a plan to re-integrate students back into the school system could range from no change to a drastic change of fully on-line learning and variations in between. “They’re not plans now, just thoughts and ideas, sketches until we hear more from the state,” McCord said. “Every school district was hit by this. Everyone expected it to last a couple of weeks and then go back.” He said his district, the fifth largest in the state, successfully rolled out remote learning and made sure all families had the resources they needed for it. However, the novelty of distance learning has worn off for students – who are missing their friends – he said. “They get most of their energy from each other – that is what they are missing,” he said. Fourlis noted state Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman has assembled a task force to come up with guidelines for re-opening schools, which is due out May 30. In the meantime, the district – Arizona’s largest – is spending a lot of time trying to mitigate “learning loss” since Mesa students have been out of school since March 6, Fourlis said. She said the district was making sure there are daily check-ins with pupils to help on that front but it’s not been 100 percent at all the schools. During an MPS Governing Board meeting last month, Marlo Loria, district executive director of innovative partnerships, said an estimated 7,000 students – many from homeless households – had neither a digital device nor internet service to access online courses. “One of the most glaring disparities that we knew existed pre-COVID-19 but has been really exacerbated by this crisis is what we call the ‘digital divide,’” she said. “We know that in a remote learning environment, online instruction

While school officials fret about whatb the 2020-21 school year will look like, Higley High seniors Alison Chinboukas, left, and Kayla Dixon were happy to get their diplomas after showing up for a filming of Higley High’s virtual graduation. (Pablo Robles/GSN Staff Photographer)

provides many more enrichment opportunities that are so much better than just a one-dimensional packet” of printed lessons, Loria said, adding that at this point, all high school seniors had devices. But she also noted that even some seniors are challenged when they have siblings who have to share that laptop or computer, “If there’s only one computer in a home with five siblings, that device is going to get stretched pretty thin,” Loria told the board. Some Valley districts are anticipating some kind of classroom socialdistancing and already are examining space availability in their schools. In addition, there is some concern in districts over how many parents might not want to send their kids back to school at least for the early part of the 2020-21 school year as well as over how many teachers may be reluctant to return over fears of getting infected. During the Chamber forum, Fourlis said MPS also is making sure to take care of its staff, adding that a recent “Employee Pulse Survey” found many felt “incredibly disconnected with their students” because they have not been with them in classrooms. She added the district is aware that

upon reopening for the new school year, it will need to focus its energy on assessing the students on where they are academically so administrators will know where to direct resources and staff. “We absolutely need direction from the state right now,” she said. “Lots of school districts are navigating with limited information that is constantly changing.” McCord and Thomason also gave an update on their districts’ feeding program for students, 18 and younger, during the closure. About 40 people listened in on the Zoom event. Thomason said HUSD was handing out an average of 6,000 meals a day at seven sites. He added the district has a weekly cost of $750 for a refrigerated truck to deliver the meals to the sites. McCord said GPS gives out between 6,500 and 7,000 meals a day at eight locations. The town hall also featured Rachel Milne, assistant director of Maricopa County Housing and Community Development, who spoke on efforts to help the homeless population – including those who have COVID-19, those suspected of having it and those who don’t have it but are in a high-

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SCHOOLS from page 3

risk population – 65 and older or have underlying health issues – and want to self-isolate. Michelle Albanese, Mesa director of housing and community development, reported the city has allocated $1 million in Emergency Solutions Grants from the CARES Act to five nonprofits, such as A New Leaf, to help those affected by the pandemic. The act is a $2 trillion relief package Congress passed in March to help residents and businesses in the country deal with the economic fallout from

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

COVID-19. Albanese said the Mesa has not yet decided how to use the $2.3 million in Community Development Block Grant. Mesa also received $90 million from the U.S. Treasury for COVID-19 relief and was using some of it to help re-energize small businesses with grants, according to Albanese. Melanie Dykstra, Gilbert Community Resources supervisor, said the town received $568,000 in CDBG monies from CARES and may receive funding from the state but has not heard on that yet.

The state has received more than $7.2 billion in CARES funding and some of that money is expected to be distributed to municipalities. Only Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson and Maricopa and Pima counties qualified for direct CARES funds because their populations exceed 500,000. During a separate discussion with business leaders across Arizona on May 7, Gov. Doug Ducey said his office has been contacted by several mayors inquiring about the CARES Act funding. Ducey said he will be devising policies in the near future for its distribution.

“We know it’s something that needs to be addressed and we’re gonna have good policy on it going forward,” he said. Gilbert gave nonprofits two weeks to apply for some of the HUD grant money and Dykstra said the town received 12 applications totaling over $1 million – nearly twice what it received from the federal government – and so choices need to be made. A recommendation for awarding the grants is expected to go for Council approval in the first meeting in June, she said.

Higley ponders virus relief grant spending BY CECILIA CHAN GSN Managing Editor

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igley Unified School District is awaiting an estimated $608,120 allotment from the federal CARES

Act. The district’s share is computed at 70 percent of its Title 1 allocation of $868,743 for this year. “The district has not even received these funds as of yet,” Executive Director and CFO Gary Holland told the Governing Board last week. “So, of course not all of these monies will be spent in the 2020 school year so there will be a carry-over going into 20-21,” he said. “We are waiting for final numbers.” Part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed in March provides funding to local school districts for pandemic-response activities. Those costs can include planning for and coordinating during long-term school closures, purchasing educational technology to support online learning for all students, and additional activities authorized by federal elementary and secondary education laws. “With the CARES Act money that we are anticipating can you give a brief description as to what we plan to use that money for,” board member Kristina Reese told Holland. “It’s additional money, it’s not something we had allocated

Higley seniors will be filmed accepting their diploma from a hologram of their high school principal, who is in another room when each grad walks across the stage. (Pablo Robles/GSN Staff Photographer)

before. What is our intention for that $608,000?” Holland said there is a committee meeting being scheduled to evaluate how to use the funds. For example, he said the district could spend some of the money for more technology or for more curriculum. “It kind of depends on whatever the committee comes up with,” Holland said. Reese said the CARES Act is huge but wants clarification on what they money can be used for. The one thing it cannot be used for is

plugging any revenue gaps created by shortfalls. All school districts rely to some degree on sales tax revenue, which has plummeted as a result of business closures. The impact, while significant for schools, is not nearly has big as it is for state government and most Arizona municipalities. “I know that there is also other discussion on that money for school districts and I believe part of that is to ensure that we’re appropriately prepared for whatever our schools will look like in the

future,” Reese said. “We don’t know. We haven’t gotten there yet. So is that this money or is that separate money. “If we have to have hand-washing sinks at every entrance I mean there is a cost to that. If we have to have hand sanitizers at every entrance, there is a cost to that. Is that this money? Is that other monies?” Holland said the anticipated federal money could be used for items she mentioned. “We haven’t had this meeting so I don’t want to necessarily speak for the group as a whole,” he said. “But I would think that we take all of that into consideration because true, we don’t know what next year will look like and so we would be setting aside a portion of that for any of these types of other expenses. “Plus, we are always continuously looking for additional funding that may become available to help with any unforeseen type of expenses going forward.” The Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board has not discussed the issue yet so there was no information about the CARES money to be released, according to spokeswoman Dawn Antestenis. In addition to $7.2 billion in CARES Act funding that Arizona received for state governments and municipalities and counties with a population of less than 500,000, the state received $275 million to be distributed across school districts.


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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NEWS

VIRUS

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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“We’re looking at what communities are doing and this is very well-received,” she said. “We’re excited to be able to kick this off for the community.” During their heyday in the late 1950s, there were about 50 drive-in theaters operating in Arizona, including one in Scottsdale that closed in 2011 and was demolished around 2014, according to driveinmovie.com. Today, there’s one left in the state, West Wind Glendale 9 DriveIn. With COVID-19 shuttering theaters and other entertainment venues, drive-in movies reportedly have become popular again, popping up temporarily in the Valley and elsewhere in the country. Talking Stick began offering them last month and in Chandler, a Realtor organized one that drew about 30 carloads of about 100 fans. Drive-in movies, movies in the park and parades were the top three special events residents said they are interested in attending this year, according to Robert Carmona, Parks and Recreation director. The survey, conducted April 30 to May

4, drew 2,282 respondents, a majority indicating interest in returning to facilities and programs this year. “It’s really great feedback for us as we look at re-opening,” Carmona said, adding other communities want to copy the department’s survey. “We are in full planning for recreational programming for the rest of the summer.” The programs that were of the most interest among the residents were aquatics, health and fitness, and sports with 62.4 percent of residents preferring in-person programs for the remainder of the year, according to Carmona. Residents prefer to see “as many as the event venue can accommodate while still allowing for social distancing” and some wanted medium-sized groups of five-10 people in future programming, according to the survey. The online survey also queried residents on their levels of concern in returning this year to Parks and Recreation services, facilities, programs

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Gilbert’s 2 libraries to remain closed

GSN NEWS STAFF

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t’s uncertain when the public can enter Gilbert’s two libraries even as most of the state reopened for business last week. Southeast Regional Library and Perry Library will continue to offer curbside pickup. “Maricopa County Library District will continue restricting public access to its libraries in order to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our staff and community safe during this crisis,” said spokeswoman Samantha Mears. “We will be using this time to implement new operating policies for each library, adjusting floor plans and installing new self-serve equipment that will help to limit physical contact,” she added. Gilbert contracts with the Library District, which has 18 locations, to operate

both branches in town. Gilbert owns the land, building and contents at Southeast Regional Library and shares ownership of the contents at Perry Library with Chandler Unified School District, which owns the land and building. Mears said the district’s MCLD Now continues to stream programs and its Book-A-Librarian service is available for one-on-one professional assistance for the public. She added the district’s eMedia resources also provide access to thousands of books, movies, music and television and its electronic research and learning platforms give access to classes, professional development and more. “At this moment, we do not have a date for reopening, but look forward to when we can fully open our doors again and come back together as a stronger community,” Mears said.


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

NEWS

Gilbert death tied to missing kids ruled natural he Maricopa County Medical Examiner has ruled that a Gilbert man whose death was suspected of being linked to a bizarre missing children case in Idaho died of natural causes but town police are still investigating the death. Alexander Cox’s death last Dec. 12 was one of several peculiar events that preceded a criminal investigation into Lori Vallow, Cox’s sister, and the whereabouts of her two children. Vallow was arrested in February on felony charges of child desertion and remains in police custody. Her 17-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son have not been seen since last September. Vallow’s case has attracted national media attention, in part because of several suspicious deaths that occurred in the months leading up to her arrest. Her estranged husband Charles was shot and killed by Cox last summer during a domestic dispute inside the family’s Chandler residence. Authorities initially

determined Cox had acted in self-defense and and not immediately pursue criminal charges against him. According to public records, Cox told Chandler Police he shot his brother-in-law after Vallow grabbed a baseball bat and threatened to harm the family. Vallow told investigators an argument erupted between them after she confronted her husband about “plotting something” against her. About six months after Charles Vallow’s death, Cox was found unresponsive by Gilbert Police at his home and died shortly after he was taken to the hospital. The autopsy reports released this week conclude Cox died from a blood clot in his lungs. The Medical Examiner’s report suggests Cox had been suffering from cardiovascular disease, which may have been a contributing factor in his death. Cox’s wife allegedly told authorities he had complained of chest pains about a week before his death, according to autopsy reports. A toxicology report indicates Cox had ingested naloxone, a medication used to

and special events. On a scale of 1-5 with 1 for “no concern” and 5 for “highly concerned,” 27.54 percent of the respondents said they had no concerns while 14.38 percent said they were highly concerned. Residents also gave feedback on what safety measures they expected to see in place, Carmona said. The top concern for 1,036 residents was for the department to post clear cleaning/sanitizing schedules of the facilities while 873 residents wanted limited class sizes, followed by 655 who wanted limited facility occupancy and 443 who wanted all three in place. Only 315 residents favored everyone at a facility to be required to wear a mask, according to the survey. Residents said they would most likely want to return to facilities, programs and special events and “whichever allows for social distancing.” The survey showed 1,265 would return

to the facilities and programs, 686 would participate in special events while 336 would participate in tournaments and 336 would rent fields or other amenities. While less than 40 percent of the respondents showed an interest in remote recreation offered during the closures, there is a market for it, according to staff. The department just finished hosting a free, four-week eSports Tournament series that allowed participants to test their gaming skills in a virtual area. That attracted over 300 participants, Merdon said. “We got some sponsors interested in this and some (participants) are willing to pay for it,” she said “Moving forward we are adding this to our event platform.” With the governor lifting most restrictions, Gilbert began opening park amenities last Friday – Freestone Recreation Center, playgrounds, courts and drinking fountains. This Monday, McQueen Park Activity

BY KEVIN REAGAN GSN Staff Writer

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VIRUS from page 6

quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, shortly before his death. No other substances were found in his system. Despite the recent rulings by medical examiners, local law enforcement agencies have not yet officially closed their investigations into the deaths surrounding Lori Vallow. Gilbert Police said detectives are reviewing Cox’s autopsy reports and the investigation into his death remains active. Chandler Police said its investigation into the death of Charles Vallow is also open and ongoing. Vallow moved out of her Chandler home shortly after her husband was killed and relocated to Rexburg, Idaho – the last known place Vallow’s children were seen alive. Cox’s connection to the case didn’t end with the death of his brother-in-law. Surveillance footage recovered from a storage center in Idaho suggests Cox may have helped his sister drop some items off at the family’s unit last October. Rexburg Police later searched Vallow’s unit and recovered several items belonging to her two children. The investigations into Vallow’s missing

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children have sparked infighting within her own family, with some relatives accusing others of practicing cult-like behavior. A Gilbert man who had been married to Vallow’s niece has repeatedly claimed that some members of the family belong to a radical doomsday cult. Melani Pawlowski, Vallow’s niece, has denied any assertions made by her ex-husband, according to statements from her attorneys. Authorities in Idaho have additionally been investigating the untimely death of a woman who had been married previously to Vallow’s latest husband. Tammy Daybell’s death in October had initially appeared to be the result of natural causes, but local law enforcement later exhumed her body on suspicion she may have been the victim of foul play. Daybell’s husband, Chad, married Vallow within weeks of her death. He has not been charged with any crimes related to Vallow’s missing kids. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office claims it has not yet received the final results of Tammy Daybell’s autopsy, according to local media reports.

While parks in Gilbert have been closed to users, the town has been busily working on new amenities at the Gilbert Regional Park as part of the development’s Phase 1B, slated to open this summer. (Town of Gilbert)

Center gymnasium opens, followed by fields, armadas and room rentals this coming Friday, according to town spokeswoman Jennifer Harrison. The town’s four public pools are scheduled to open Saturday, she said,

adding limited usage and hours may apply for these facilities. Carmona also told the board work continues on Phase 1B of Gilbert Regional Park, which includes pickleball courts, tennis courts and a 7.5-acre lake


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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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Parking, height changes sought for Heritage District project BY CECILIA CHAN GSN Managing Editor

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he developer behind a mixeduse development that includes a 150-room, six-story hotel in the Heritage District is requesting a 20-percent reduction in the required number of parking spaces. The Heritage North project proposes four buildings of retail, restaurants and offices, the hotel, a stand-alone parking garage and a multi-family project with a parking garage at the southwest corner of Gilbert Road and Juniper Avenue. The Phoenix-based developer will fund the entire 500,000-square-foot project. “Before the whole coronavirus thing kicked in, that’s a pretty busy area especially on the weekends,” said Planning Commission Chairman Brian Andersen at a recent study session. “Parking right now is pretty hard even with the new parking structure there, so I would throw some caution into how much of a reduction you allow,” Andersen said. “Personally, I would not allow a reduction but if it’s done administratively it sounds like we don’t have a say on that so I would just ask, ‘please be cautious about that’” But the commissioners did have a say on use permits for residential on the ground floor of the 313-unit multi-family building and for height deviations for buildings, The developer wants to reduce the minimal height of two buildings from the required 35 feet – two stories down to 20 feet, or one story – and increase the maximum height of four buildings. Among the latter, the developer wants to raise the 55-foot/five story maximum for the multi-family and hotel to 76 feet and six stories, according to senior planner Ashlee MacDonald. That height would exceed the tallest building in the Heritage District –the town-owned University Building, which is 68’8” high, MacDonald said. He said town staff is conscious not to impact the view of the town’s iconic 123-foot-high water tower. MacDonald told commissioners that staff has requested the developer redesign the buildings planned for retail and offices along Gilbert Road.

Heritage North would include a hotel, some kind of multi-family project, a parking garage, offices and retail and restaurants downtown, under the plan proposed by the developer. (Town of Gilbert)

The developer wants to drop the height on that building but staff wanted a taller one to preserve the street appearance. She said staff was working with the developer and that perhaps a redesign could make staff comfortable with a one-story building there. Commissioner David Cavenee said he had no problem with the request for a shorter building let people see what’s behind it and perhaps draw people to the development. He also supported the use permits. Gilbert last year sold the 10.8-acre site downtown to Heritage North Partners, LLC. Charles Huellmantel, who represented the developer, did not respond to requests for comment. The vacant land sits behind a Burger King and was a temporary downtown parking lot until Hearne Plaza Garage opened in early 2019 as the second parking garage for the Heritage District. The developer plans to remove the fast-food restaurant. The development won’t have fencing except at the hotel’s pool so that the complex would be free-flowing with its surround-

ings, according to staff. Heritage North’s parking spaces include 593 for the stand-alone garage and 518 for the attached garage. MacDonald said the town’s code requires the development provides 1,354 parking spots and the developer is asking to provide 1,169 spaces instead because there is a proposal for shared uses. Commissioners Jan Simon and Cavenee also were concerned with parking. “I know that this particular lot currently gets lot of overflow parking from the nightlife that has been created there in the Heritage District,” Cavenee said. MacDonald said staff completed the first review of the project and has asked the developer for more information, including how it thinks the site will function. “That is something we are looking very closely at,” she said. The two commissioners also voiced concerns with increasing the height of buildings to the south along the canal. Si-

mon said he felt it could potentially wall off the Heritage District. Simon also asked if the multi-family units would be condos or apartments, saying he feels the town has approved many apartment complexes but, to his knowledge, no multi-family condominiums. MacDonald said she was unsure and would get that clarified. Andersen, who lives within walking distance of the Heritage District, asked if there were any feedback from single-family homeowners near the proposed multi-family project. MacDonald said she’s heard positive comments about the proposed development at one neighborhood meeting held so far. Andersen also asked if a hotel was needed for the area. McDonald said the hotel was another amenity the town wanted to offer in the Heritage District when it went out for requests for proposals. Commissioners generally liked what they saw in the project Cavenee said it was a good example of a mixed-use project. Added Commissioner Nathan Mackin: “This project to me is a no brainer. “You give them as much flexibility as possible,” he said. “It’s a much higher and better use than the current development and given the fact as long as if flows with the current Heritage District and doesn’t detract from that usage I think it’s a wonderful complement to that district. “I can see they know what they are doing. By allowing them to determine how best to develop it according to the market is wise on our part.” Andersen said the proposed project is definitely what the area needs. “It’s a great spot for it, it looks like a nicely designed project,” he said. “It’s exciting to see. Hopefully this will continue going forward and getting built.” The project involves five applications with only three needing to go to the Planning Commission later or approval, according to MacDonald. “At this time, no dates have been set for future action,” she said in an email after the study session. “Staff and the applicant continue to work together closely through the review process.


10

NEWS

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Gilbert a leader in Census response rate

May Is Better Hearing Month! It is widely accepted that:

BY PAUL MARYNIAK GSN Executive Editor

Vision screenings are performed annually.

W

ith millions of federal dollars and boundary lines for congressional and legislative districts at stake, the U.S. Census self-reDental check-ups occur sponse rate for Gilbert apparently is the every six months. highest in Arizona – and well above the state and national rates. Census Bureau data show 70.1 percent of Gilbert residents have respondAdults 55 years of age and older ed to the simple online questionnaire at 2020census.gov. should have their hearing checked That percentage is well above Arizoon an annual basis. na’s 55.5 percent response rate and the nnual hearing screenings are just enings are just to make sure annual hearing screenings are just nation’s 59 percent. It’s time al check-ups and vision screenings Chandler is second among East Valision screenings as much a norm as dental check-ups and vision screenings ley municipalities with a 66.1 percent About 20 percent of adults in the United States — an estimated response.Call Mesa to is atmake 58.9 percent an and 48 million — report some degree of hearing loss. How many more Phoenix is at 58.9 percent.for your appointment haven’t reported any loss or don’t know what they can’t hear? Maricopa County’s 60 percent reFREE sponse rate could spell big trouble, s are just We’re here to provide diagnostics and hearing health treatment BATTERIES according to the Fair Census Project creeningsfor all patients especially those age 55 and older. and Civis Analytics – a national consultant-software company that helps govIt’s time to make sure annual hearing screenings are just nannual estimated ernment, agencies, nonprofits and busihearing screenings are just ntal check-ups and vision screenings as much a norm as dental check-ups and vision screenings nesses with data analytics. ow many more dults in the United States — an estimated They estimated that Maricopa County Call to make an States — an estimated About 20many percent in the United me degree of hearing loss. How more of adults can’t hear? would sustain the second appointment for your Call to make an most serious oss or don’t know what they can’t hear? 48 million — report some degree of hearing loss. How many more financial impact from an undercount FREE appointment for your diagnostics and hearing healthreported treatment any loss or don’t know what they can’t hear? lth treatment among all counties in the nation. haven’t BATTERIES lly those age 55 and older. Getting an accurate and complete We’re here to provide diagnostics and hearing health treatment count in the once-a-decade census is BEST AUDIOLOGIST for all patients especially those age 55 and older. even more difficult this year because of 2058 S. Dobson Rd., the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Census Bureau last month deSte. 9, Mesa, AZ 85202 layed at least until Aug. 11 door-to-door 480-456-0176 | www.fynesaudiology.com visits in Arizona to pick up the many BEST AUDIOLOGIST stragglers who have failed to go online. “Because the duration and spread of son Rd., the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be AZ 85202 highly unpredictable, it’s critical (peo76 | www.fynesaudiology.com ple) are reminded of the easy option to self-report to the Census online,” Census BEST AUDIOLOGISTBureau supervisor Nuvia Enriquez said. “The more people self-report right now, the lower the risk will be for Census 2058 S. Dobson Rd., workers later on. Ste. 9, Mesa, AZ 85202 “It’s imperative that we get an accurate count,” Enriquez added. “Data col-

What about HEARING?

It’s time to make sure annual hearing screenings are just ts in the United States — an estimated tes — an as estimated Call toscreenings make an much a norm as dental check-ups andan vision Call to make degree of hearing loss. How many more appointment for your loss. How many more appointment for your— an estimated or don’t About know what they can’t 20 percent of hear? adults in the United States t they can’t hear? reporttreatment some degree of hearing loss.FREE How many more FREE gnostics 48 andmillion hearing—health ng healthhaven’t treatment BATTERIES don’t know what they can’t hear? those age 55 andreported older. any loss or BATTERIES older. Call to make an We’re here to appointment provide diagnostics and hearing health treatment for your

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lected from the Census will be used over the next decade to determine funding allocations for social services, disaster relief, education, and more. “As millions of Americans are sheltering at home, one of the most important civic duties that we can all do is self-respond to the Census.” She stressed that the results also determine “how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental-health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” Terri Ann Lowenthal, a nationally recognized census expert in Connecticut who was a senior staffer to the congressional committee overseeing the Census, said the Covid-19 crisis has created an “unprecedented challenge” to an accurate count – and at precisely the worst time. “The Census Bureau was just launching its peak operations, and within days had to pull back from any activities involving personal contact,” she said. Besides citizens who might not want to open their doors to Census workers – just as they were reluctant to answer when candidates for political office knocked to get signatures for their ballot petitions – the bureau could find few staff willing to venture into the field and risk the coronavirus exposure, she said. In addition, workers are being stymied in their efforts to reach traditionally undercounted minority and immigrant populations because conventional gathering places like churches have been shut down. Lowenthal called those closings “equally consequential” to fewer doorto-door visits that could lead to a “significant distortion of the Census.” “A vast and unprecedented network of national, state and local organizations were going to team up when the covid response had to end much of those

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see CENSUS page 11


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

NEWS

Project near Mercy Gilbert gets panel’s nod

11

the requests of the General Plan and zoning. I look forward to seeing what the people bring in who buy all these parcels.” The development, called Mercy Val Vista Center, proposes a premium commercial center with office buildings, retail stores, the hotel and restaurants Efficient phasing will enable the successful implementation of the proposed development plan, according to a report from attorney Reese Anderson, who represented owner and applicant Victoria Lund Foundation. The five lots will be developed as market conditions allow, he said. It was anticipated that the individual freestanding sites will be developed first, followed by the hotel, retail and office buildings. The development will feature nine buildings; over 15,600 square feet of retail/restaurant with 24,900 square

feet of office in addition to a sixstory, 107-room hotel, according to attorney Anderson. Mercy Val Vista Center proposes to provide 427 parking spaces, 57 spaces above the town’s requirement. In a February study session town Planning Commission like the proposal for the preliminary plat and openon the project, The space plan for part of a huge piece of vacant land on Val Vista Drive across from Mercy planner Keith Gilbert. (Town of Gilbert ) Newman said the proposed restaurant and commercial Medical Growth Area, which the town will be highly used by people who work anticipated will continue to grow with nearby and provide services currently medical offices, general offices and not offered on the east side of Val Vista business-park land uses supported by mixed-use, commercial and hospitality Drive. The site is located within the Val Vista uses.

reystar is proposing a 201unit 55-and-over apartment community on the northwest corner of Recker Road and Somerton Boulevard. Planning commissioners had a favorable reaction to the project at a recent study session. “I think they are doing a great job,” Commissioner Jan Simon said. “I like the look and feel of it.” The project is proposed on 13.98 acres in the Cooley Station neighborhood. On-site amenities include a pool, two barbecue areas, a community garden, a

Zen garden, yoga lawn, dog park, pickle ball courts, amphitheater and outdoor game lawn. The project also includes improvements to Somerton Boulevard along the southern edge of the project, meeting up with future Verde Drive to the west, according to staff. The developer proposes different building types. A main three-story building would include a one-story main entrance and a covered entrance large enough for vehicles to drop off passengers. The building will be located at the center of the development with first-floor units allowing for direct access to a sidewalk. The casitas will be one-story duplex-

es with two patios and two-car garages. Those units will line the northern property line along Somerton Boulevard and a pedestrian corridor connecting to a future transit station southwest of the site, according to the staff report. The corridor will lead up to Verde at Cooley Station commercial center and Williams Field Road. Casitas located along the corridor will have direct access from their patios. And the villas, proposed along Recker Road, will be two stories with three pedestrian access points along the rightof-way to a sidewalk. The development will be gated because of the age restriction, according to planner Stephanie Bubenheim.

However, to promote connectivity and street aesthetic around the site, staff has encouraged little to no use of walls and fences within the project site. Instead, the buildings will act as walls with fences placed in between buildings set farther back from property lines, according to Bubenheim. The main entry to the development will be from Recker Road. Pedestrians and bicyclists will have an additional access point on the westside of the property as part of the Cooley Station pedestrian trail. The development will be 45 percent landscaped, which exceeds the requirement of 40 percent for multi-family, according to Bubenheim.

plans,” she said. “This massive effort in the works for years came to a halt. The public health crisis clearly has had an effect on this crisis.” Ironically, an undercount also will affect future disaster aid from FEMA, which

is currently trying to address shortages of protective gear and other issues related to the pandemic. The Trump administration has asked Congress for a 120-day data collection extension and delivery of redistricting data

to the state by July 31, 2021. A Census Bureau spokeswoman also said her office “is adapting or delaying some of our operations to protect the health and safety of our staff and the public and make sure we get the same popu-

lation counted another way.” Current plans are for all Census employees to return to their workplaces but rely on “the most current guidance from authorities to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public.”

GSN NEWS STAFF

T

he Gilbert Planning Commission recently approved a preliminary plat and open-space plan for a mixed-use development that includes a six-story hotel and retail across the street from Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. The 8.97-acre vacant site at the southeast corner of Val Vista Drive and Mercy Road can now be subdivided into five lots, ranging in size from 126,693 square feet to 33,957 square feet, for the project. Council in April approved a minor General Plan amendment for the project that called for 97,730 square feet of building space. “I like this project, I’ve always liked the project,” Vice Chairman Carl Bloomfield said at the May 6 meeting. “I think it looks great. It’s met all

55-and-over complex proposed near Cooley Station GSN NEWS STAFF

G

CENSUS from page 10


12

NEWS

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Tubing season begins under social distancing BY JIM WALSH GSN Staff Writer

F

or about a month, tubers, boaters and others seeking to cool down on nearly 100-degrees days flouted Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order and Tonto National Forest’s parking restrictions. Their rebellion against measures designed to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, apparently based upon soaring temperatures and boredom rather than politics, plunged the normally picturesque Lower Salt River into traffic and parking chaos. Salt River Tubing and the popular Blue Point Recreation Area were part of a long list of closures ordered by Tonto officials to discourage large crowds from congregating. But as temperatures rose, the tubers and boaters came anyway – even though there was no place to legally park. Hundreds of cars were parked illegally along Bush Highway north of Mesa despite a considerable and obvious law enforcement presence. While tubers carried rafts and floatation devices for long treks up and down rolling hills to the river, five or six Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies stuck orange tickets on their cars, scrawling the ominous message “tow zone’’ on them. A group of tubers, who appeared to be in their 20s, said they were bored, because so many other forms of entertainment were closed or unavailable. Robin, who did not give her last name, said she wanted to cool off from the heat. “We’re going to risk it,’’ said Ryan Gates, another tuber who came to the river with Robin and a couple of other friends. Another young woman simply said, “because we’re stupid,’’ when a reporter pointed out the heavy police presence. Sgt. Bryant Vanegas, an MCSO spokesman, said the parking issue had become an ongoing problem near Blue Point. He said the cars were being ticketed for parking illegally, but no one had been towed even though they were parking in a tow zone. “The temperatures are getting up there right now. That’s when people are going to

It might be hard to enforce social distancing for tubers once they’re afloat on the Salt River but they’ll have to wear masks when they’re on the bus that takles them from the parking lot to the water. (Special to GSN)

the lake,’’ he said. The pandemonium may soon fade, however, as the area settles into its usual pattern of summertime fun and revelry. But this time with a dose of social distancing added to the mix. After Ducey announced last Tuesday that he was letting his stay-at-home order expire, Salt River Tubing announced it is now open for the season – just in time for Memorial Day weekend. The Tonto National Forest also announced that it is lifting closures in virtually all developed recreation areas. But it warned visitors that overcrowding is likely and said visitors permits will be required at the many fee areas in the forest, including Blue Point. “In conjunction with Governor Ducey’s phased reopening of Arizona, we are opening many popular sites on the forest for public use and enjoyment,” Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth said in a release issued Thursday. “We recognize the importance of providing recreational opportunities to forest visitors while providing for the safety of our employees and the public,” he said. “We ask visitors to avoid crowded areas and parking illegally. Over the past month,

Before last week’s restrictions at Tonto National Forest that closed parking lots, tubers and others who found parking lots closed illegally parked on the road leading to the Lower Salt River and found tickets on their windshields when they returned that were issued by the Maricopa County Sheriff ’s Office. (Jim Walsh/GSN Staff Writer)

the entire forest has seen unprecedented visitation numbers,’’ Bosworth said. “While opening additional recreation sites will help address crowding and parking issues, we anticipate visitation will continue to exceed capacity in some areas.’’

Bosworth asked visitors to be good stewards of the land by leaving no trace behind. He also asked visitors to follow social distancing guidelines.

see TONTO page 13


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

TONTO

from page 12

The opening of Salt River Tubing gives the tubers a better option than parking illegally – but they also will have to follow social distancing. By lifting the closures, Tonto is eliminating an unusual situation in which trails, rivers and lakes were technically open to public use, but access was greatly restricted. “People are drawn to the water when it gets hotter. We have not closed the forest,’’ Anne Thomas, a Tonto spokeswoman, said during the closures. “I think what’s happening is they see one car; they park behind it and it gains momentum.’’ She said that nationwide, public lands are experiencing an uptick in visitation, with a lack of other recreational choices during the pandemic contributing to that trend. Thomas said the forest does not formally track visitation numbers, but that longtime employees have reported that they have never seen larger crowds. “People have their favorite places,’’ Thomas said. “I know people are trying to

NEWS

get to the water.’’ Lynda Breault, a spokeswoman for Salt River Tubing, a permittee of Tonto, said she was notified by a ranger in an email that her company was “good to go’’ for opening its 40th anniversary season on Saturday. “We are very excited about opening and hoping the public will cooperate with us’’ about social distancing, she said. “It’s almost an experiment.’’ Visitors park in the Salt River Tubing parking lot for $19 plus tax per person to use a tube and to take a shuttle bus to the river and back to their car. Salt River Tubing will pass out a bandana to everyone who wants to use their service. All visitors will be required to use the bandana or some other face mask during the roundtrip bus ride. “They are free bandanas we’re giving to everyone. We’re saying, hang onto it,’’ Breault said, because it is also required for the ride back to the car. She suggested that tubers wear the bandanas around their necks during their ride on the river.

“We want to keep our employees safe as well as our guests. We are encouraging them to be responsible,’’ Breault said. She said she witnessed some “backlash’’ at Costco, which is requiring employees and shoppers alike to wear face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but she decided to still require the face coverings. Anyone who refuses to wear the bandana will be denied service. “It’s your choice. To go tubing with us, your choice is contingent on wearing the bandana,’’ Breault said. She said other social distancing measures will include limiting the number of passengers per bus to 15, even though the buses seat as many as 72 passengers. But only last week, on May 9, there was little or no evidence that the tubers were paying attention to the CDC guidelines. They were clustered in groups, including a family with small children. Swimming trunks, bikinis, tank tops and flip flops were way more popular than masks. In anticipation to opening day, Breault said she was sending crews to the area

13

near the Blue Point Recreation Area to clean up the trash left behind by the tubers who defied the parking restrictions. “We want the river to be clean and beautiful, like we left it,’’ at the end of last summer, Breault said. Ducey gradually has allowed restaurants, hair salons, retail stores and health clubs to re-open, but only if they adopt social distancing measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. “This doesn’t mean to return to normal. This is the next step forward,’’ Ducey said. “I would like them to feel safe, based upon the gradual decisions we have made over time.’’ But while the transmission of COVID-19 appears to have slowed, the death toll continues to mount, with 624 deaths in Arizona through Thursday morning, 781 patients still hospitalized, and 201 on a ventilator. “We are making gradual, responsible decisions along the way. What an Arizonan decides to do is up to them,’’ Ducey said.

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NEWS

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Virus-related scams bedevil law enforcement

BY JOSHUA GERARD GARGIULO Cronkite News

T

o get an idea of how fast scams are developing around the coronavirus, just ask Katie Conner, a spokesperson for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It seems like every day … a new scam pops up,” said Conner, who said her office has been closely monitoring consumer fraud claims. “And we are really trying to stay ahead and get these warnings out there.” But Brnovich’s office and other consumer groups said the threat of COVID-19 and the national focus on it have combined with the speed and anonymity of the internet to spread scams that have left watchdogs across the country scrambling. “We are updating our site about every 30 minutes, working to provide tips to consumers and information to consumers as frequently as possible,” said Diane Brown, executive director of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Groups say the scams themselves are not new, coming in the form of phishing emails, investment scams and supposed miracle products. What’s different, they say, is the intense focus on COVID-19 and the “creative” use of the internet to spread messages, often false, about it. “With social media, scammers can quickly spread the news about a fake miracle cure or fake product. We have seen just about everything in the last couple weeks,” Conner said. “That’s why we really want consumers to remember there is no cure for COVID-19.” Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean of public health at Johns Hopkins University, said that sham treatment can be fatal. That was the case where a Mesa man last month died after he and his wife

drank fishtank cleaner because it contained a chemical that President Donald Trump had cited as a possible treatment. “We have had these horrible reports of people ingesting these large quantities of different chemicals, in hopes they might protect themselves, and actually getting very sick or dying from that,” Sharfstein said. Sharfstein and U.S. Attorney for Maryland Robert Hur said in a recent online conference that people need to “stay skeptical” and look to reputable sources for information. “There is a lot of fraud and misleading information out there about different types of things people can do with … medicines, or supplements or vitamins to protect themselves,” Sharfstein said. Prosecutors in Missouri recently sued televangelist Jim Bakker for promoting the sale of colloidal silver as a possible COVID-19 treatment. It came two days after the Food and Drug Administration issued cease-and-desist letters to Bakker and six other companies for selling unapproved coronavirus treatments. Chuck Bell, programs director of Consumer Reports, believes part of the problem is that no one has the time to

GOT NEWS?

check claims as was done in the past. W h e n Trump cited hydroxychloroquine, the chemical implicated in the Arizona death as a possible treatment and later suggested that bleach might be used to defeat the disease, the comments went out live. Trump later claimed he was being sarcastic with his bleach statement, but not before the makers of Lysol issued a statement that “under no circumstance” should disinfectants be used on the body. “There is less mediation, there’s not necessarily a doctor or a journalist that is standing between that product and the consumer,” Bell said. “In the old days … you would have a lot of reporters that would criticize a fraudulent product. But what has happened is, the sellers and retailers can go right to the consumer.” Consumers have to bear some of the blame as well, he said. “Consumers are very trusting,” Bell said. “We are assuming that that doctor has our own best health interests at stake. So you have to look behind it and realize there is a commercial interest.” Brown said Arizona PIRG is constantly updating its website in hopes of keeping

consumers aware of the latest scams. But it is also working to pull together information consumers can rely on, she said. “Arizona PIRG is also working to compile trusted resources in the state,” she said. “We may not have all the answers, but we are trying to compile them.” She said her group is “working to provide tips for consumers and make sure that government officials are aware of false advertising or any potential illegal schemes.” In recent weeks, the Arizona Attorney General’s office has posted notices of three potential scams, and members of the state’s congressional delegation have also posted online warnings on their websites. Hur said the best defense for consumers is a healthy dose of skepticism. “Please be skeptical, please be leery,” Hur said. “If you think you have a lead on some helpful information, go directly to the source. Don’t click your way through something that reports to be from Johns Hopkins, go directly to the Johns Hopkins website. There, you can be assured that you are getting accurate genuine information.” Conner added that slowing the spread of misinformation can be as simple as thinking before clicking “send.” “It is very easy for posts to share, and for people to like and comment. So that is why consumers need to keep their guard up,” she said. “If people can remember this it will be helpful – if you did not initiate the contact, it is probably a scammer. “We need consumers to be as vigilant as possible during this very difficult time, do their research and consult with health experts and their doctors about any cures or medicines,” Conner said. “And if you have been a victim of fraud, don’t hesitate to call.”

Contact Cecilia Chan at 480-898-5613 or cchan@timespublications.com


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Court ruling likely kills some initiative drives BY HOWARD FISCHER Capitol Media Services

A

rizona groups still trying to put measures on the November ballot are going to have to try to get needed signatures the old-fashioned, face-to-face way despite the COVID-19 outbreak. In a brief order last week, the Arizona Supreme Court rebuffed pleas by several organizations to allow them to use an existing online signature-gathering system available to candidates. The court, in its 6-1 ruling, was not swayed by arguments for special permission this year only because of the pandemic but gave no reason for the decision. Attorney General Mark Brnovich, whose office argued against allowing the change, said the justices could not provide the relief sought. “Arizona has had a provision in its constitution since statehood that provides that signatures in the initiative process have to be done by an actual human being,’’ he told Capitol Media Services. The online E-Qual system has no circulators, with supporters “signing’’ online petitions by providing identifying information through a web site maintained by the secretary of state’s office. Only Justice Ann Scott Timmer voted to grant the request. Last Wednesday’s action may seal the fate of initiative drives that had not already collected sufficient signatures by the time Gov. Doug Ducey directed Arizonans to stay home. A similar request was rebuffed by a federal judge and upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That leaves the question of what will be on the ballot for voters to consider. One measure that appears to have at least the bare minimum 237,645 signatures needed is the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, which seeks to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults.

Dawn Penich-Thacker, a leader of the East Valley-based Save Our Schools, said that her group likely will have to give up a petition effort for an initiative limiting state aid to charter schools. (Capitol Media Services)

Spokeswoman Stacy Pearson said circulators already have more than 300,000, enough to provide a margin should some signatures turn out to be invalid and challenges are made to other petitions. Less clear are the fates of two other measures. One would put a 3.5 percent surcharge on taxable income above $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples to raise about $940 million a year for public education. The other would allow judges to impose shorter prison sentences than now required under “truth in sentencing’’ laws and permit inmates sentenced for non-dangerous offenses to be released after serving 50 percent of their time versus the current 85 percent. Pearson, who represents both, said the signature gathering had continued through the governor’s stay-at-home or-

Groups seeking online capaility for signing petitions to get initiatives on the ballot only found a sympathetic ear from Justice Ann Scott Timmer when the State Supreme Court turned down their request. (Capitol Media Services)

der. She said circulators put the petitions on a clipboard, stepped back, let the person sign it in their presence, and then picked it up. The deadline to file petitions is not until July 2. Other proposals, though, are dead. That includes the Save Our Schools Act, which sought to ask voters to limit the number of vouchers of state tax dollars that parents can use to send their children to private and parochial schools. It would have prohibited the state from issuing vouchers to more than 1 percent of total children enrolled in public schools. With about 1.1 million students in traditional district and charter schools, that would have set the cap at about 11,000. “We had a robust start and, had that continued, we would have been fine,’’

said Dawn Penich-Thacker, one of the organizers. She also said the group did not have a lot of money to hire paid circulators. “Our own network is passionate about the issue,’’ Penich-Thacker said. “But they’re not comfortable going door to door, not social distancing, and we’re not going to ask them to do that.’’ Also dead is a proposal that was being pushed by the National Credit Alliance to overturn virtually all of the laws that now limit annual interest charges on loans to 36 percent a year. Sean Noble, who was managing the campaign for the lenders, had called it a “stand against socialism.’’ Brnovich said that’s not a decision for courts to make. “The constitution is very clear on this,’’ he said. “If petitioners don’t like what the constitution says they need to work on changing the constitution.’’

Check us out and like the Gilbert Sun News on Facebook and follow @gilbertsunnews on Twitter.


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Candidate proposes Gilbert Serving by sea business rebirth plan BY CECILIA CHAN GSN Managing Editor

A

mayoral candidate in Gilbert has proposed a plan to help revive town businesses hammered by the pandemic. Lynne King Smith’s “Gilbert Together” plan takes a phased approach that also includes recommendations on how to help residents’ mental and physical health resulting from the crisis. “I know that as a community we can come together, and come out of this stronger, but it will require strong leadership that inspires creativity and innovation and brings Gilbert together,” King Smith said. Other candidates running for the mayor’s post in the August primary are Brigette Peterson, Gary Livacari and Matt Nielsen. King Smith, a businesswoman, said the

federal aid is temporary and that longterm economic recovery will require local and regional coordinated efforts to help businesses and people regain their economic footing. Her suggestions for businesses include creating teams of workers that would be on duty on alternative days and or shifts to allow for safe distancing at work stations; letting at-risk employees telecommute; having bar and restaurant make servers wear masks and gloves and adjust hours to allow for increased disinfection procedures; and reducing restaurant seating to enable physical distancing. King Smith said the overall recovery plan also needs to include resources such as on-site counseling and opportunities for rest and meditation during work hours for employees’ mental well-being.To read the full plan: lynnekingsmith.com/gilberttogether

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17

Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class Tyler Tafoya of Gilbert troubleshoots forklift brakes in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the Mediterranean Sea. A 2016 graduate of Desert Ridge High School and the son of Jennifer Lynn Eaton and Christopher David Tafoya, he is on a ship supporting maritime security in international waters. (Courtesy U.S. Navy)

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NEWS


NEWS

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

FDA relaxed some regulations to spur blood donations BY GABRIELLA KHALAJ Cronkite News

W

ASHINGTON – It’s a familiar ritual to anyone who has donated blood – after the finger prick and before the needle stick comes a medical history form that includes a long list of factors than can exclude or defer a donation. The list is still long, but in an era of COVID-19, the deferrals are not. The Food and Drug Administration in April eased a number of restrictions on blood donations in order to help blood banks across the nation keep up with the demand for blood. It came as infection concerns and stay-home orders were leading to widespread cancellations of blood drives and donation appointments. Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the changes had been under review for some time, but the coronavirus “emergency essentially accelerated the need for us to get those through the pipeline.” “We’ve actually been working on changes in our donor deferral policies over the past, we continually work on them,” Marks said. “But over the past number of months, there were a num-

Chairs have gone empty at blood donation centers during the pandemic despite agencies’ assurances donors are not at risk. (Special to GSN)

ber of things that were essentially in the works.” What the change means is that people who used to have to wait full year to give blood, depending on their circumstances, can now donate after just three months or less. That applies to people who have gotten a recent tattoo or piercing as well as men who had sex with men or a woman who had had sex with such a man. The previous year-long wait to donate had been aimed at reducing transmission of HIV through blood transfusions, but officials are confident a three-

month wait is just as secure. The change also trims the wait for people who have traveled to a list of countries where malaria is prevalent, allowing them to donate after just three months – or less if FDA-approved devices are used to treat the blood for the malaria pathogen. And it eliminates the wait for people who had spent some in some European countries or served on military bases in Europe that was aimed at preventing transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Marks said the changes are not revo-

corn, and even bring it out to the curb for you. The Department of Health Services has released its guidelines for how the theaters should operate, covering everything from seating to butter dispensers for popcorn. Only thing is, these are being phrased as suggestions and recommendations. And that leaves a lot up to individual operators – and, ultimately, to customers to see if they feel safe. As to other recreational opportunities, don’t hold your breath waiting to see the first pitch of the season. Ducey has said that games can go on,

albeit without fans. But Major League Baseball isn’t ready yet, either. The latest news show team owners looking for a start in early July – assuming some arrangement can be reached with players. “Although we are not planning to reopen our theaters now, we are anxious for the day we can safely and responsibly welcome guests back into our theaters to watch movies on the big screen, where they are meant to be seen,’’ reads a statement from Harkins Theatres. The company says it is working with public health officials and industry partners to finalize a reopening plan and

lutionary but were modeled after existing policies in place in Canada and the United Kingdom that have been deemed safe. “We actually think that it could potentially even make the blood supply … even be safer,” Marks said. Despite the rash of donation cancellations, officials with the American Red Cross said they have been able to meet blood demand for now, but they welcomed the new guidelines for donors as one step to make sure the blood supply remains steady. And they are urging potential donors who are in good health to step up and donate, and to call if they have questions about eligibility. “We are seeing schools, businesses, college campuses close and that is a source for the American Red Cross’ blood supply. And as a result, more and more blood drives are getting cancelled,” American Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern said of the shortfall. Marks said that while the FDA changes were enacted in response to the coronavirus, he expects they will be here to stay. “Unless there were to be some finding that there was something that said there was a safety concern, we fully expect those to be permanent,” he said.

Multiplexes can open, but won’t be BY HOWARD FISCHER Capitol Media Services

C

ome Saturday, you can legally go catch a flick at your local theater. Gov. Doug Ducey says it’s now

OK. But don’t pack the kids in the car just yet or fill your purse with candy from the dollar store. Theater operators contacted by Capitol Media Services say they’re not ready to open the doors just yet – if for no other reasons than there simply isn’t anything new to throw up on the screen. But they are willing to sell you pop-

safety protocols. “Another necessary criteria is a reliable and continuous slate of great new theatrical films,’’ the company said, saying it is waiting for the planned release of anticipated summer blockbusters like “Wonder Woman 1984’’ and “Mulan.’’ Potentially the first up could be “Tenet,’’ the latest film from “Batman’’ director Christopher Nolan scheduled for release on July 17. AMC, the other big player in Arizona, did not immediately return calls seeking a schedule. The company is not listing any showtimes for the immediate future.


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

19

VAL VISTA LAKES RESIDENTS ... The deadline for the RECALL balloting is June 1st. The failed leadership our community has already experienced under the current VVL HOA Board President and Vice President includes: • An attempt to create a Social Media Policy INHIBITING MEMBERS’ FREE SPEECH if it is critical of community leadership • Threatening CEASE & DESIST LETTERS sent to homeowners at the expense of the community for posted comments the leadership disliked • New drastic limit of 2 minutes to residents’ comments/questions at community meetings • VVL HOA’s failure to answer residents’ questions or concerns at HOA meetings • Failure to provide residents with requested documents as dictated by Arizona Statute §33-1805

“Board members that act only in their own best interest or in the interest of a small group of the community membership have no place in HOA governance and NEED TO BE REMOVED from their position on the Board.” – The Arizona Homeowners Coalition

• The VVL Board appointed two homeowners of their choice to the Board while ignoring suggestions from the community for other candidates who had the most votes in the previous election • Complete abdication of their fiduciary responsibility to the community • Lack of ability to appropriately prioritize expenditures of community funds - i.e., repainting common walls was prioritized over addressing UNSAFE issues including potentially hazardous conditions on playground equipment

VOTE

YES

to RECALL! Voting begins on or about May 15th. The result will be announced on June 1st. We all have an obligation to exercise our right to vote to ensure the VVL Board is operating in the best interest of our community. We urge you to use the paper ballot which is mailed directly to the attorney overseeing the election. Please visit

www.saveVVL.com

Unsafe Electrical Equipment

Health & Safety Hazard! (sharp, rusted protrusions on playground equipment)

to view a series of short videos which clearly and accurately articulate the inappropriate behavior of the current VVL HOA Board President and Vice President.


COMMUNITY

Community

20

GilbertSunNews.com

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

For more community news visit gilbertsunnews.com

/Gilber tSunNews

People ‘adopting’ Higley Class of 2020 kids and some of them twice.” Although recognizing many faces posted on the page, Davis he class of 2020 may not be said they were being snatched up able to walk at graduation rather quickly by other members like planned but the Higley of the group. She was finally able High School community is rallyto adopt a student whose family ing around to show their support and hers have a long history toby “adopting” seniors, sending gether. them small gifts and cards to cel“I remembered bonding with ebrate their accomplishment. him over that very coincidence,” The Facebook group “Higley said Davis. “It just seemed right High School Class of 2020-Adopt that I would get to ‘adopt’ him.” a Senior & Graduation Parade,” Burke and the other group adcompiled pictures and profile inministrators have been working formation such as their plans afdaily to update the list of those ter high school, hobbies, and a list still needing to be adopted in an of their favorite things. effort to try and get all 439 stuLisa Burke, a Higley Unified dents accounted for. teacher whose daughter is also In addition to the Adopt-a-Separt of the graduating class at nior efforts, the group is also Higley High, started the group aforganizing a parade on May 20 ter hearing about a similar effort as a way to honor the graduates Mary Burke and Ross Butcher are among the Highley High seniors who have been “adopted” by the community as a result of efforts elsewhere. while following social-distancing by Mary’s mother, Lisa Burke, to give some love to them and their classmates since commencements across the country have been “I wanted to make sure my disrupted by the pandemic. (Special to GSN) guidelines. daughter felt the outflow of exThe plan is for the seniors to citement leading up to graduabe driven by a family member tion,” said Burke. “The communithrough a route within Cortina ty also really needed something to lift utes, a family that we knew adopted Burke said she did not want to es- and Power Ranch neighborhoods. their spirits too.” her.” tablish too many rules or monetary Residents and others wishing to Burke created the group on April 24, A couple days later, Rylee received expectations for gift-giving in an effort participate will stand with posters in inviting other parents of the senior her first gift: Hurts Donuts dropped off to make it a fun event for everyone, no driveways or on sidewalks cheering on class to join and post pictures of their at her doorstep with a note saying: “We matter their budget. the graduates as they pass by. kids. know everything ‘hurts’ right now but The private group has grown to nearMembers of the Facebook group have In just a week, 260 students out of the we hope this helps.” ly 900 members comprising neighbors, already raised money to pay for a DJ 439 graduating class had been posted “It’s been really exciting to have these family members, friends, teachers and to lead the parade, the same DJ who and almost all adopted. gifts to look forward to,” said Rylee. other district personnel. would have been at this year’s prom. Haleigh Rohner – Burke’s colleague “We can look at the situation and defiAmy Davis, a former Higley teacher, Burke said they are also trying to coat Sossaman Middle School and whose nitely feel disappointment, but we can said she was excited to join the group ordinate food trucks and assemble a daughter Rylee also is rgaduating from also look at it and see it as a memora- and adopt a senior after building a balloon archway for graduates to pass Higley High – received the invitation to ble time. We are being recognized in unique connection with the Class of through. join the group but was a little uncertain so many other ways right now and this 2020. “I’m incredibly impressed by the outabout it at the time. will be a part of history.” “I transitioned from an eighth-grade pouring of the community and people “I put my daughter on there to supThose adopting the students had the teacher to a ninth-grade teacher the who are willing to help,” said Burke. port what Lisa had started,” Rohner option of dropping off small gifts each same year these students went to high “It’s a nice way to come together and said. “I honestly wasn’t sure how it week leading up to graduation or do- school,” Davis said. “Because of that, give these seniors something memorawould be perceived, but within 5 min- nate one large gift at the end. I’ve taught a large percentage of these ble to look back on.” BY MONIQUE SELEEN GSN Contributor

T


GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Highlight your graduating senior in your local paper. High Schools will have their own section highlighting their students and achievements throughout the year. Share your graduates achievements, accolades, plan for the future or a favorite moment of high school. Let your senior take a bow for all of their accomplishments!

DATES FOR PUBLICATIONS Gilbert Sun News - Sunday, May 24 Mesa Tribune - Sunday, May 24 Scottsdale Progress - Sunday, May 24 SanTan Sun News - Sunday, May 24 DEADLINE - MAY 18 Ahwatukee Foothills News - Wednesday, May 27 West Valley View - Wednesday, May 27 DEADLINE - MAY 20 Peoria Times - Thursday, May 28 The Glendale Star - Thursday, May 28 DEADLINE - MAY 21 Chandler Arizonan - Sunday, May 31 DEADLINE - MAY 26

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22

BUSINESS

Business GilbertSunNews.com

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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Gilbert woman helps female business owners BY MELODY BIRKETT GSN Contributor

B

ossTalk is not a typical networking group. For starters, it’s for women only. And it’s not just an opportunity for businesswomen to exchange business cards and promote their goods and services. Gilbert author-speaker La’Vista Jones created the monthly meeting in July 2018 as a “place for us to come together to share stories about what’s going on along the entrepreneurial journey and to share vulnerabilities with one another about the struggles, issues with overwhelm that we all deal with.” “It’s a place for us to come and get needs met,” Jones said. “The hope is that a woman here in the room either has an answer to that problem or is connected with someone who is.” Jones launched a consultant company, 31Marketplace, in 2005 but returned to corporate work from 2008 to 2014. Her company helps small business owners with their operations and self-care and merging the two together. Her BossTalk group meets monthly with a focus on different topics, such as how to use “love language” in business. At a recent gathering before social-distancing guidelines were issued, the group looked at “love-building a business” through words of affirmation. “It’s about how you share the love with your customer as you’re on-boarding them,” she explained, “how you take care of the people you do work with and also making sure you have a system in place to collect testimonials so you’re actually getting those love letters sent to you.” “If your love letter is high on words of affirmation, than that’s just going to help recharge your battery as you’re just doing the normal day-in and day-out stuff in your business.” Jones, who currently runs the monthly

said. “I think a lot of the times we see the highlight reels from other people in the business, and it’s like, ‘She’s out there speaking or she’s got this book or this is happening or that is happening.’ “And that’s great but you don’t see the struggle behind the scenes, where she got rejected from that speaking engagement.” She aims for women to get encouragement from those stories. Over 150 business owners have BossTalk owner-facilitator La’Vista Jones, carrying her son, “The Cub,” says her networking come through at sessions are designed at helping businesswomen help each other with practical issues. least one Boss(Special to GSN) Talk session. Jones records sessions virtually at lavistajones.com every session and releases them to memduring the widespread closure of busi- bers, whether they attend or not. Up to nesses, takes the approach of sharing the 30 women attend a normal meeting at an journey of each person’s story by inter- admission of $20 per session. viewing one participant. For a monthly membership of $25, “Typically, I sit down with an entrepre- members get recordings, a Facebook neur and I interview her,” Jones said. “And group to network with women in between I talk to her about different aspects of her the BossTalk sessions, access to memjourney – like what causes ‘overwhelm,’ bers-only events, a business directory for what has been the biggest failure in the members and monthly guest passes. business and learning from that failure. She also focuses attention on members’ “The hope is the story will resonate with personal health, both physical and mental. one of the other women in the audience to “Once we get the business running more let them know, ‘I’m not the only one that smoothly and more streamlined, they’ll deals with this stuff in my business,’: she have some free time to focus on them-

selves and make them a priority in the business,” said Jones. “But it’s also building those systems with love languages incorporated in it so as you are actually working in the business, the business is recharging you instead of draining you.” By discovering a better way to run a business, Jones tells women, “you can get back to making yourself and what you love a priority.” Ilana Myerson was part of the inaugural BossTalk group. “It doesn’t feel like your typical networking group – which I love,” said Myerson. “So, with my business, this focuses me and really sets my mindset. Instead of having the pressure of making a sale, I feel like I’m finding joy in what I’m doing. The happier I am the more I attract.” After attending the first BossTalk session, Myerson hired two people and gained another five customers within the month “just by being happy.” “It’s a great place to connect people to what they need,” Myerson said. “Jones does a real good job of finding out what people need and everybody is like, ‘ooh, I can help with that, I know this.’” “A lot of times we don’t say what our actually company is or what we actually do,” explained Myerson. “We say how we service the community…You’re not pressured to give an elevator pitch.” The group is not for someone unemployed but for someone who owns their own business or at least has an idea for starting one. And it’s not for women seeking an 8-5 job. She gears her talks to “business owners who want more from life than frazzled days and sleepless nights” and urges them “to add time back to your day by streamlining processes, identifying operational gaps and outsourcing.” Information: thirtyonemarketplace. com/boss-talk γ


23

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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24

OPINION

Opinion GilbertSunNews.com

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@Gilber tSunNews

Republicans should stop attack on ACC

My son Anthony was born with a congenital heart defect severe enough that at just six weeks old doctors performed a heart transplant. He developed blood clots in his legs and arms, forcing doctors to amputate part of his right foot and most of his fingers. He’s 4 and facing a lifetime of expensive procedures. Because of Anthony, I pay close attention to what elected leaders say and do when it comes to health care. And since Martha McSally was elected to Congress, she’s told Arizonans that she’s looking out for people like Anthony. But she’s voted against them at every turn. And she’s not alone.

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

For more opinions visit gilbertsunnews.com /Gilber tSunNews

Since they were elected, President Donald Trump and Gov. Doug Ducey have, like Senator McSally, made it a priority to roll back the health care needs of Arizona families like mine. And President Trump’s recent appearance in Arizona is just another example of how wrong their priorities are when it comes to our health care. Trump came to Arizona to tour a mask factory and slap our governor on the back for lifting our state’s stay-at-home order. That same day, Arizona announced its highest increase in COVID cases since the outbreak began. Senator McSally was there too, also endorsing a strategy that is going to harm Arizonans, specifically those like my son who have a pre-existing condition. Senator McSally’s appearance with

DESIGN CENTER

Trump brought to mind the three-year anniversary this week of her rallying her Republican colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which according to the Congressional Budget Office, would have forced 23 million people off of their insurance. Fortunately, her repeal bill was defeated by a “no” vote from our late Senator John McCain. The day the House repeal bill passed, Senator McSally publicly celebrated her repeal vote, cheering and applauding the effort to take away protections from my son and so many Arizonans. While the ACA survived that vote, the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming months will rule on the law and determine whether Anthony will be able to continue to

COMING SOON!

benefit from the protections it provides. But that ruling could also mean that we go back to the days when Anthony could be denied coverage. Senator McSally supports this lawsuit, for reasons I cannot possibly understand. As Arizona opens back up, we need our leaders to be transparent about the ongoing risk of coronavirus, especially since those with pre-existing conditions are at higher risk. And we need Republicans to drop their support of the ACA repeal lawsuit and to stop trying to repeal the law that is saving lives. The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that health care is more important than ever. It’s time for Senator McSally to protect Arizonans’ care and start telling the truth about her record. -Steve Gomez

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Sports & Recreation 26

SPORTS

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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Campo Verde hires Ryan Freeman as football coach BY ZACH ALVIRA GSN Sports Editor

R

yan Freeman, who spent the last 15 years working under Max Ragsdale as an assistant, has been hired as head coach of the Campo Verde football program. “I really wish I could put it into words, the level of excitement I have,” Freeman said. “It’s something has played with my mind and heart the last few years. ‘Is it time to step away from coach (Max) Ragsdale and Campo and move out on my own and take a head coaching job somewhere else?’ “But for this opportunity to come up, it’s comfortable. My kids go to school 200 yards from me so to not have to uproot them and change their lives was amazing for me.” Ragsdale stepped down as head coach of the Campo Verde program in early April to become the new athletic director for the school. He and principal Krista Cox immediately began the search for the

to talk in practice and specific meetings,” Ragsdale said. “I didn’t say a word. I felt it was important for the players to hear their voice. Defense has always kind of led the way for us and he’s had a huge hand in that.” Freeman spent the last nine seasons as defensive coordinator at Campo Verde, helping lead the Coyotes to a playoff appearance in all but one season. His defense played a pivotal role in Campo Verde’s run to its first ever championship appearance this past season. As he transitions to head coach, Freeman hopes to be able to step back and oversee the program as Ryan Freeman, who spent the last 12 years working under Max a whole. But that depends widely Ragsdale as an assistant, has been hired as head coach of the on their ability to find a new coorCampo Verde football program. (Photo courtesy Ryan Freeman) dinator that is willing to run the same defense. With COVID-19 putfootball program’s new head coach. The thought of hiring from within ting a halt to all sport-related activities, into keep continuity within the program stalling a new defense in a limited amount of time has Freeman on edge. played a key role. “With the limited prep time, none of us “Our coordinators were always the two

know when we will be able to come back and work with the kids,” Freeman said. “Putting in a whole new defense in a limited time frame is a scary thing for me. If it turns out that I need to run it this year, that’s what I’ll do. But I would like to take a step back and focus on everything and not just one thing.” Freeman anticipates a smooth transition as players within the program are already familiar with him. But even then, he can’t help but feel pressure given all the program had accomplished under Ragsdale since its inception. “In all honesty, there is a lot of pressure,” Freeman said. “Max is a good friend of mine. He’s always been supportive of me, so I feel a lot of pressure to carry on the traditions and great things he set in motion at Campo and all the success he’s had.” “I’m going to respect everything he put in place and build on it rather than tear it down and bring in new ideals. I want to get going, we just don’t have that chance just yet. But I’m excited.”

Taylor was hired to resurrect the Arcadia football program in 2018 after the Titans won just two games in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. After he led Arcadia to a 6-4 record in his first season, he was recommended for termination following a warning issued by the AIA against the program for recruiting allegations and mandatory offseason practices. Taylor was reinstated after players and parents expressed their discontent with the school. He led Arcadia to a 6-4 record the next season and announced his decision to step down in November. Taylor will now lead a San Tan Charter program that went 13-6 the past two seasons, winning the CAA Charter League championship both years. “It’s a great group of kids,” Taylor said.

house just 20 minutes from where he grew up and attended Hamilton. The lure of being only 10 minutes away from home, especially with a 2-month old son, was part of what drew Taylor to San Tan Charter. “I wanted to be at a school close to home,” Taylor said. “My son is 2 months old so being closer was important, so I wasn’t commuting a couple of hours like I was last year.” With schools closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Taylor will be unable to physically meet with San Tan Charter players until it is deemed safe to do so by state health officials. In the meantime, he plans to begin video chatting with each player one-by-one on Wednesday, getting to know more about them and their families.

Kerry Taylor to lead San Tan Charter football program BY ZACH ALVIRA GSN Sports Editor

K

erry Taylor, who recently stepped down after two seasons as head coach of the Arcadia football program, has been hired for the same position at San Tan Charter School in Gilbert. Taylor takes over a program that will make the jump from the Canyon Athletic Association to the Arizona Interscholastic Association next season and compete at the 2A Conference level. “It was a perfect opportunity,” Taylor said. “There is an incoming principal that I trust and know. I thought the administration was great. The superintendent reached out to me and told me what he wanted, and our visions aligned.”

“It’s a good chance for me to come in and move them up to the AIA and continue to grow the program. This team is used to winning, they expect it.” Taylor was a standout wide receiver at Hamilton High School before going on to play at Arizona State University, where he had 112 catches for 1,433 yards and seven touchdowns from 2007-10. He then went on to play for the Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars and was part of the practice squad for several other NFL teams. He was hired in 2016 to be the head coach at Salt River High School in Scottsdale, which competes in the CAA. He then joined the staff at Oregon State University before being hired at Arcadia. He and his wife, Alanna, recently built a


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In accordance with Federal Law, Leading Edge Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, or disability. In accordance with Federal Law, Leading Edge Academy does not discriminate on the basis of race, religi color, national origin, sex, or disability.


28

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Obituaries

Employ ment

Norman Lyle Knox

Obituaries Rita Lessard

99, 4/16/1921 – 5/7/2020 Born in Oakwood, ND, Rita was the third of five children. She met Arsene Lessard in Grafton, ND; married him in 1941 and had two chil-

dren, Art and Jim. They moved to Mesa where they worked at McDonalds, attended catholic church, and played BINGO at Fort McDowell Casino. In 2009 she moved to Washington where she passed away peacefully. Rita is survived by her sister, two sons, three grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. Rita’s ashes will be laid to rest in Grafton’s Saint John’s Cemetery; no services now. In lieu of flowers, please share memories and hug your loved ones.

Ross James Van Duser

Born July 6, 1933, passed April 29, 2020 in Kirkland, Washington. He was born in Rochester New York to John and Margaret Van Duser. He proudly served in the U.S. Coast Guard during which time he served in the Vietnam War, participated in the Bering Sea patrol and finally retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He pursued a second career as a Machinist with Boeing before eventually retiring to Arizona. He was a proud Mason, Moose and Elk. His hobbies were league bowling, RV’ing and dancing with his wife, Earline and many friends throughout the years. Ross is survived by his wife of 65 years Earline Van Duser, and four children and their spouses - John (Ilona), Stacy (Jim) Trudy (Michael) and Keith; also his brother Tom of Loveland, Colorado. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brother Jack. Because of the ongoing corona virus a celebration of his life will be held later this summer. In remembrance you may choose to make a donation to the charity of your choice in his name. See you later alligator.

Norman Lyle Knox quietly passed away Monday, April 27th, 2020, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. Norman was born to Orval A. and Leota Neely Knox in Chandler AZ in 1933, and was grandson of Arizona Pioneers, T.A.”Alex” and Martha Knox. He had two younger sisters, Muriel and Barbara. Norman attended Chandler schools, graduating from Chandler High in 1951. While there, he played in various bands, played baseball, was involved in student government, and sang in the choir. He was an avid Chandler High booster and received recognition for his work and support over the decades. Norman went to ASU for one year (rooming with Jamie Sossaman) then transferred to UC Davis, to major in Agriculture. While there, he joined Theta Xi fraternity as well as Alpha Zeta and was involved in many campus activities as well as the marching band. He graduated in 1955, came home and 4 days after arriving home, married Barbara Jean Gaddis. After honeymooning, Norman and Barbara settled into married life and farming. He farmed with Orval and on his own from 1955 to 2005. At the time of his death, he was still involved in the family citrus operation in Tulare Co., CA. Norman farmed cotton, alfalfa, small grains, corn, sugar beets, and several varieties of native plants for seed. Norman and Barbara had 2 sons, Lyle and Alex. Norman was very active both in and out of the agriculture community. He served on PCA and FLB boards, Chandler Ginning board, CALCOT board, Western Farm Credit Bank and US AGbank boards, RWCD board, Maricopa Co. Pollution Control Board, Chandler Hospital board, AZ Grain board, and AZ Cotton Growers, to name a few. He was particularly proud to be a member of the Otto and Edna Neely Foundation board. As a lifelong member of the Chandler United Methodist Church, he served on many boards, committees and was a youth advisor for many years. He also supported the FFA, YMCA and Scouting. Norman also loved flying and received his private pilot pilot’s license in 1957. In 1958, he and Barbara joined the Arizona Flying Farmers and both remained members until their deaths. Here, too, Norman served as a Chapter officer on many occasions. He served as a Regional Director on the Flying Farmer international level and he and Barbara were Teen Advisors for the yearly convention. Norman was also selected as a Man of the Year for the Arizona Chapter. During his flying days, Norman achieved both Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings. Norman was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara and his younger sister Muriel (Roger) Fry. He is survived by his youngest sister, Barbara (Max) Butcher, two sons, Lyle (Sue) and Alex (Ellen), four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. At this time, services are pending, due to restrictions on gatherings. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to any of the following groups: Salvation Army YMCA of Chandler Chandler Education Foundation Chandler Service Club Theta Xi Fraternity – Beta Epsilon Chapter at UC Davis Chandler United Methodist Church FFA

Need help writing an obituary? We have articles that can help guide you through the process. For assistance with Obituaries, In Memoriam or other Life Events, please call 480-898-6465 or visit obituaries.EastValleyTribune.com.

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29

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

Gilbert Sun News

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30

GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

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R.O.C. #156979 K-42 • Licensed, Bonded and Insured

Published East Valley Tribune May 17, 2020 / 30642

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IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF LYON COUNTY, KANSAS JUVENILE DIVISION IN THE INTEREST OF: CARSON BUCKRIDGE, RESPONDENT CASE NO. 2018-JC-000120 DOB: 2012 A MALE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS SHELBY SUMPTER, MINOR CHILD CASE NO. 2018JC-000121 DOB: 2009 A FEMALE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS Publication - Notice of Hearing NOTICE OF HEARING TO: Dustin Montgomery, Putative Father of Shelby; Unknown Father of Shelby; Unknown Paternal Grandmother of Shelby; Paternal Grandfather of Shelby Wayne Pitts, Paternal Grandfather of Carson; Carl Sumpter, Maternal Grandfather or any Known or Unknown Relative of Carson Buckridge and Shelby Sumpter. A Motion to Terminate Parental Rights has been filed in this court requesting that the court terminate parental rights. You are required to appear before this court on the 4th day of June, 2020, at 09:00 AM, or prior to that time and file your written response to the pleading with the clerk of this court. If, after a child has been adjudged to be a child in need of care, the court finds a parent or parents to be unfit, the court may make an order permanently terminating the parent's or parents' parental rights. Stuart N Symmonds, an attorney, has been appointed as GAL for the child. Each parent or other legal custodian of the child has the right to appear and be heard personally either with or without an attorney. The court will appoint an attorney for a parent who is financially unable to hire one. Meghan Morgan, #23102 Assistant Lyon County Attorney 430 Commercial, Ste 202 Emporia, KS 66801 620 341 3263 Published: East Valley Tribune, May 12, 19, 2020 / 30547


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GILBERT SUN NEWS | MAY 17, 2020

ARIZONA’S LARGEST GROWER DIRECT NURSERY FOR FOUR GENERATIONS!

s? uestion Plant Q e Whitfill Th Call ow arden Sh Nursery G7-9 am Sat KFYI 550AM m Sun 7-9 a KTAR 1230FM

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TREE SALE!

Now’s The Time to Plant & We’ll Do the Diggin’

GIANT HUGE 24” BOX TREES Mesquite • Oak • Pistachio Ash • Elm • Acacia

PLANTED & GUARANTEED

379

$

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149

CITRUS TREES $ BIG 5-6 Year Old Many With Fruit!

Includes Dwarf Trees:

36” UPBOX TREES TO 15’ TALL

Lemon • Lime Grapefruit • Oranges

15 GAL.

CASH & CARRY

Mesquite • Thornless Mesquite Palo Verde • Acacia • Palobrea • Ironwood Sissoo • Oak • Ash • Elms & more

599

PLANTED & GUARANTEED

$

FROM

Compare at $1000

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Hours: Monday - Saturday 8AM - 5:30PM • Closed Sunday

Valleywide delivery just $75 MAIN TREE FARM • 602-268-9096

EAST VALLEY • 480-892-2712

2647 E. Southern Ave. (Phx)

Cooper (Stapley) & Guadalupe

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SHADE TREES Monster 48” Box Trees 1000’s to Choose From

1800

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All offers limited to stock on hand. • No other discounts apply. • Not valid on previous sales. Multi trunk, jumbo size, and field dug trees slightly higher. LICENSED, BONDED & INSURED • RESIDENTIAL - C-21 - 125878 • COMMERCIAL - A-21 - 125879

SALE ENDS 5/27/20

Price is good with ad only.


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