Gilbert Sun News - June 2016

Page 1

June 2016

Relentlessly local coverage of Gilbert and our neighboring communities

Horsing around

Kendall Maxwell, Reese Shain, Shelby Reed, Stella Opfel and Ivy Hasoel help Mercy at Rusty Ranch. Photos, page 16.

California Mercedes-Benz dealership Nonprofit calls town to move headquarters to Gilbert family-friendly again BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Gilbert’s new $20 million Mercedes-Benz facility, slated to open late summer, is expected to generate the largest sales volume for the brand in the Phoenix metro area in a few years. “We expect very rapid growth of revenue. We expect our sales well into the hundreds of vehicles per year,” said Charlie Alfano, owner and operator of Mercedes-Benz of Gilbert, speaking from his current location of San Luis Obispo, California. Alfano owns Alfano Motorcars, a Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet and Sprinter dealership that serves Gilbert’s new Mercedes-Benz facility, expected to open late summer, will be the central coast of California, see MERCEDES-BENZ page 7

a 70,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art complex on Gilbert Road and will be part of the town’s emerging mixed-use project, Rivulon.


Gilbert remains at the top of the list for family-friendly municipalities dedicated to expanding ways kids can play in their communities. The town was named a KaBOOM! 2016 Playful City USA for the 10th consecutive year on Wednesday, May 18. “We’re proud that Gilbert is a founding Playful City USA community,” said Mayor John Lewis. “Gilbert’s play opportunities are endless from our beautiful parks to our active recreations centers; there’s a playful opportunity perfect for every resident.” This year, KaBOOM! honored 257, 15 of which are in Arizona. Gilbert has earned the award every year since KaBOOM! started the recognition program in 2007, an achievement shared by just 12 other cities around the country including

2 Community 14 Neighbors 24 Business 28 Neighborhood Map

see PLAYFUL CITY page 7

36 Youth 46 Spirituality 47 Arts 52 Opinion

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4 June 2016

Vendors needed for Arizona Ataxia Awareness Extravaganza Applications are being accepted for arts and crafts vendors, commercial merchandise, prepackaged food, health care services, and community organizations to participate in the Arizona Ataxia Awareness Extravaganza, a family friendly vendor fair, being held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at St. Xavier University, 92 W. Vaughn, Gilbert. According to the Arizona Ataxia Support Group, ataxia is a rare degenerative neurological disorder with no cure or effective treatment. Symptoms include severe problems with coordination, balance


April Mooney. Vendors are needed for the Arizona Ataxia Awareness Extravaganza, a family-friendly fair, being held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at St. Xavier University, 92 W. Vaughn, Gilbert.

and speech. A progressive disease, ataxia affects children and adults, manifests at any age and may be inherited. All proceeds from the fair, which is being held to raise awareness, will go to the National Ataxia Foundation toward

finding a cure. To volunteer, email ArizonaAtaxia@ Info: 6ArizonaAtaxiaAwarenessExtravaganza.

Gilbert Hospital was the first facility of its type in the town.

Gilbert, Florence hospitals have new ‘vision’ Gilbert Hospital and Florence Hospital at Anthem have come together under a common ownership and management to form New Vision Health LLC. This new health care system offers administrative, operational and clinical changes that will significantly improve patient access to health care and the quality of care provided at both hospitals. “The union of Gilbert Hospital and Florence Hospital at Anthem reflects our commitment and partnership as a trusted and respected regional resource, offering local residents and the extended region a broad spectrum of services,” said New Vision Health Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, Bryan J. Hargis, CPA, CGMA, FACHE; and chief executive officer

and board member of Gilbert Hospital and Florence Hospital at Anthem. “Our board of directors, physicians, employees and the community have all pulled together to make this New Vision a reality. We remain committed to pairing the quality patient service that made ‘Door to Doc in 31 Minutes’ an industry benchmark, with more costeffective operations for the benefit of our patients,” he added. The unified operations structure of the two hospitals will help reduce cost, increase efficiency and provide the additional resources needed to enable the hospitals to offer more comprehensive healthcare services to their respective communities. By joining

together, they have expanded their capabilities and added new physicians to their medical staffs. Gilbert Hospital, the first hospital in the town, offers an array of hospital services including an emergency department, inpatient care, intensive care unit, diagnostic services, surgical services and more. New Vision Health LLC is a management and operating company that provides services to Gilbert Hospital and Florence Hospital at Anthem. Its health care executive management team includes Bryan J. Hargis, CPA, CGMA, FACHE; Dennis Rutherford, CPA, CHFP, CGMA; and Marla Meggers, MN, BSN, RN.

Woman gets five years for stealing from Gilbert employer April Mooney was sentenced to five years in prison after stealing approximately $240,000 from her employer, J.F. Ellis Corp., a construction business in Gilbert. Mooney was sentenced after a jury found her guilty of one count of theft and four counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices. Mooney used the money to pay for vacations, dining, shopping and ATM withdrawals at various casinos. “Mooney’s theft forced her former employer to lay off some of her coworkers and take out loans just to keep their doors open,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “This sentence holds Mooney accountable for stealing thousands of dollars from a small business that trusted her to be their bookkeeper.” From 2010 to 2014, Mooney worked at J.F. Ellis Corp. Gilbert Police Department investigators found Mooney used four different fraud schemes to steal approximately $240,000 from J.F. Ellis Corp. The court sentenced Mooney to the presumptive term of five years in prison on the theft count and to supervised probation with white collar terms for seven years on the four fraudulent schemes and artifices count. Assistant attorneys general Joseph Waters and Beverly Rudnick prosecuted this case.



June 2016

6 June 2016


Charlie Bink with his tabletop board game, “Trekking the National Parks,” which is educational as well as fun. GSN photo by Srianthi Perera

Bink illustrated and compiled the rule book and the park guide book with help from his father, John Binkele. GSN photo by Srianthi Perera

Local designer trekking the markets with his board game BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Artist Charlie Bink is getting ready to launch the second edition of his tabletop board game, “Trekking the National Parks,” which will be available at the Gilbert Art Walk when it continues in October. Unlike the first edition he introduced in 2014, which was manufactured in the United States, this one will be produced in China. The 32-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills man assumed the “Made in America” label will be a selling point for the board game he designed, illustrated and manufactured under his company, Bink Ink Inc. Trekking the National Parks sells face-to-face for $50 and for $59 online at www. “We thought that would matter to people,” Bink said. “The truth is, it doesn’t matter to people. It’s the price that matters, and it’s not just me saying it, it’s the people saying it.” Trekking the National Parks involves meeples (board figurines) “traveling” across the country with the help of “trek cards.” Players strategize to beat opponents to different parks, collecting tokens and earning points to win. They don’t encounter dragon-

slayers at the Grand Canyon, and things are fairly humdrum. But they do become aware of 59 of the nation’s 410 major national parks that are represented on it. Which makes the board game a hot item close to the holidays. “It’s fun and competitive without hurting the brain,” said Dawn Smith, who had played it earlier and subsequently bought a board at the Gilbert Art Walk. “You don’t have to wrap your brain around something complex to get drawn into it.” Unlike selling online, art walks, farmers markets and other local events that facilitate social interaction between a vendor and a prospective buyer work better, Bink said. “It’s a slow way to sell your products and your brand, but it’s also one of the most personal ones, so it’s been very successful for us; we can actually tell the story,” he added. Cheri Montgomery, who runs the seasonal Gilbert Art Walk, said Bink’s success at the art walk was due in part to the family-oriented, small business-driven community in Gilbert. “A lot of our artists are very successful because the community is accepting of them and they want to support local, they want to support

small business,” she said. “And what he has is fun, it’s something different and nobody else has it.” Trekking the National Parks was Bink’s brainchild, which he brought to fruition with a Kickstarter campaign that raised 372% of its original goal and the help of his parents, John and Terry Binkele. John wrote and produced the photography for the 32-page park guide that’s included with the game, while Terry helps with shipping and other business logistics, as well as organizes their visits to the parks. They, incidentally, are working through a bucket list of visiting all the parks and have gone to 55 out of 59 so far (Bink has been to 16). A graduate of Desert Vista High School and the Art Institute of Phoenix, Bink worked as an artist and a game designer for several years, and came off his job to design and self-publish his own work. He had his talents and experience at his disposal, and he also wanted to take advantage of the resurgence of family board games, during what seems to be an undisputed and lengthy reign of the video variety. Serendipitously, this year’s centennial of the National Park Service has

helped draw increased attention to his work as well. Last year, Trekking the National Parks was selected out of 60 mind games among one of five to earn a Mensa Select nod. The past two years have been educational for Bink, too, and it’s not just learning the location of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “One of the biggest struggles has been the financial side of this, trying to make it work. It costs five times more to make it in America,” he said. Bink has about 700 boards remaining from the first issue of 3,500 boards, which he plans to sell at the Phoenix Comicon from June 2 to 5. When the second edition comes out, he plans to retail them through the gift stores at the National Parks, and is working through managing the shipping costs and the “middle man” costs that come between him and the buyer. “That’s one of the challenges of making products in America,” he said. “It’s why so many make stuff overseas, because trying to be able to pay all the middlemen between you and your customer and have a bloated cost is really very difficult.” MERCEDES-BENZ from page 1

and plans to move its headquarters to Gilbert. “We’re going to move as many functions as we can handle remotely to the Gilbert operation,” said Alfano, adding that it made financial sense to move to Arizona, and that he expected the larger revenue to come out of the local operation. The 70,000-square-foot, state-ofthe-art facility is being constructed on 7 acres in Rivulon, the town’s emerging mixed-use project under development by Nationwide Realty Investors. The luxury automotive dealership’s location on Gilbert Road is just opposite the Chandler Automall. “We researched multiple locations, including the existing SanTan Motorplex, and chose the Rivulon parcel for its proximity and location to the Chandler Automall,” said David Litty of Enclave Enterprises, the consulting company that is overseeing the construction of the complex. The Phoenix metropolitan area, Litty said, is underserved by Mercedes-Benz which has just two facilities in Scottsdale and one in Chandler. He said that company research indicated “not only did it deserve a fourth new point, but a larger one” and that Gilbert, with its recent growth spurt and increasing affluence, was a good choice. The new facility incorporates a 20,000-square-foot open showroom in glass and steel with display space for about 20 vehicles. The building will also feature 28 service bays, detail bays, an automatic car wash and a parts department. With its many green features such as shading overhangs, daylight harvesting

Community and passive solar use, the building will conform to a silver level of the LEED green building certification; however, the company is not planning to obtain formal accreditation, Litty said. The luxury automotive dealership will employ about a 100 at the outset and increase to about 150 later. Perhaps nothing is more indicative of the new facility’s expectations than the owner’s plans to transfer his operational headquarters—and probably his home— from San Luis Obispo to Gilbert. It’s not confirmed yet whether they will settle in Gilbert or in another city in the Valley as a search for a home is ongoing. The couple have been married for 30 years and their three children are grown. Alfano finds Gilbert “a cross between Palm Springs and Orange County, California,” for its desert-like feel of Palm Springs and the commercial sophistication of Orange County. Meanwhile, the focus is on the construction of the facility. The Mercedes-Benz facility will host the brand’s signature programs including the AMG Performance Studio that offers individual customization with large wheel or other performance add-ons, a Digital Service Drive that enables customers to schedule appointments online and a Premier Express Service that offers convenience and speedy service. The brand’s large commercial vans, called Sprinters, will also be sold here. Alfano described his business as “a very family oriented group. “We want to push the family values and we want to join into the community and support the community that’s supporting us,” he said. To express any concerns during the construction, the public may visit www.

PLAYFUL CITY from page 1

Chandler and Tucson. “We are thrilled to recognize these communities that have invested their time and efforts to put kids first,” said KaBOOM! CEO James Siegal. “Balanced and active play is crucial to the wellbeing of kids and the communities that they thrive in.” Gilbert has made efforts to increase access to recreational opportunities for residents through free or affordable programming thanks to investments made by the town and grants awarded by community partners. There are three community centers, two public libraries, four public pools, nearly 50 miles of trail system, and more than 600 acres of developed parkland for people to enjoy. Gilbert Parks and Recreation has started the initial planning for a 272acre park and updated or replace seven playgrounds around the community. “We look forward to expanding our

play options with the development of Gilbert’s regional park that, at buildout, will be one of the largest parks in the Southeast Valley,” Lewis said. KaBOOM! is a nonprofit organization focused on cultivating opportunities for kids, particularly those in poverty, to play in their communities. The organization believes that play is critical to allow children to thrive and learn. It has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, has engaged more than 1 million volunteers and has served 8.1 million kids, according to its website. KaBOOM! also recently launched the Play Everywhere Challenge, a national competition to share ideas for making communities more playful through different and innovative ways, like adding playful elements to sidewalks, bus stops and vacant lots. The program is offering a share of $1 million to make the participants’ ideas a reality.


June 2016

8 June 2016


Chamber, SRP to host candidate forum series The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and SRP will host a series of candidate forums so the community can learn more about the candidates running for Gilbert’s Town Council, Legislative Districts 12 and 17, and local school boards. The Chamber’s candidate forums give attendees the opportunity to meet the candidates and hear from each about key issues affecting the business community. Town Council Candidate Forum Monday, June 6, St. Xavier University 92 W. Vaughn Ave., Gilbert 10:45 a.m.: Registration, meet the candidates and lunch 11 a.m.: Candidate forum begins 1 p.m.: Candidate forum concludes Admission: $20, includes lunch Legislative Districts 12 and 17 Candidate Forum Monday, June 13, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Agave Room 2626 E. Pecos Rd., Chandler 10:45 a.m.: Registration, meet the candidates and lunch

11 a.m.: Candidate forum begins 1 p.m.: Candidate forum concludes Admission: $20, includes lunch Gilbert Public Schools and Higley Unified School District Candidate Forum Monday, Aug. 8, at Higley Performing Arts Center 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert 6 p.m.: Registration, meet the candidates 6:45 p.m.: Candidate forum begins 9 p.m.: Candidate forum concludes Admission: Free All candidates have been invited to participate in these forums, sponsored by SRP, and are encouraged to set up tables with campaign literature for distribution to attendees. Each candidate forum will be open to the public; please RSVP online at www. The candidates’ responses at these forums, along with a written candidate questionnaire and an individual interview, will be used to determine the Chamber’s endorsements. Responses to the questionnaire

will be posted on the Chamber’s website on June 3 – www.gilbertaz. com/2016MeetTheCandidates. The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit, membership-based organization with more than 675 members ranging from home-based businesses to large corporations

and representing more than 52,000 employees. The Chamber proactively serves as a business advocate to strengthen the business climate in Gilbert. To learn more about or join the Chamber, contact (480) 892-0056 or visit


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10 June 2016


Senior living facility set for Gilbert

Plans are in the works for an 80,000-square-foot, two-story senior living facility near the corner of Lindsay and Williams Field roads in Gilbert. The facility will have 92 beds, including 36 memory-care units. Kaplan Cheng Investment Group LLC purchased the property for $1.3 million and was represented by Cushman & Wakefield LLC’s vice presidents Will French and Brian Rosella. American Healthcare Group purchased the land

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Naval Air Crewman (Helicopter) Airman Matthew Baris, from Gilbert, assigned to the Raptors of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, receives the Sailor of the Day award from Capt. Greg Huffman, USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) commanding officer, and Command Master Chief Trenton Schmidt. Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class

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Highland grad serving aboard Navy’s amphibious assault ship Richard sailors work rigorous hours filled with drills and training to assure that the ship is always mission ready. “Being stationed here means a lot to me because it allows me to help protect my family and friends back at home,” said Trisano.

Navy officials explained that the unit is highly motivated, and quickly adapts to changing conditions including a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills. “The Navy has provided my family with financial security, and for that I am thankful,” added Trisano.

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A 2010 Highland High School graduate and Gilbert native is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard the only forward deployed amphibious assault ship, USS Bonhomme Richard. Petty Officer 3rd Class Louis Trisano is a personnel Louis Trisano specialist aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan. A Navy personnel specialist is responsible for helping people when they

encounter administrative issues such as pay. “I get a lot of job satisfaction knowing that I can help shipmates that are experiencing unnecessary stressors,” said Trisano. With more than 50% of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment. With a crew of more than 1,000, Bonhomme Richard is 884 feet long and weighs approximately 40,000 tons. Resembling a small aircraft carrier, Bonhomme Richard is one of the largest of all amphibious warfare ships. Bonhomme Richard is equipped with a mix of helicopters and attack aircraft, launchers and machine guns and an extensive medical facility with 600 hospital beds. “The sailors in my crew never cease to amaze me with the effort they put into their daily work,” said Capt. Jeffrey A. Ward, commanding officer of USS Bonhomme Richard. “Their dedication and hard work make me proud to be in command of Bonhomme Richard and this crew.” According to Navy officials, Bonhomme




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June 2016

Nico’s fare has been described as West Coastinspired seasonal Italian.

Gio Osso created the menu based on his experiences living in Italy.

Gio Osso with son, Nico, and wife, Bethany, in 2015.

Family Heirloom Gio Osso blends old world recipes with new charm BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

For Gio Osso, creating Nico Heirloom Kitchen in the Heritage District was a family affair. His wife, Bethany, visualized the interior, which is as comfortable as it is luxurious. Aged brick finishes, modern white fixtures and an open, showpiece kitchen allow guests to watch Osso. Drivers traveling down Gilbert Road will see crisp white planters overflowing with fresh herbs. “My wife is an interior designer,” Osso said. “She spent just under 10 years in commercial design. She designed restaurants in all of the airports across the country. As a matter of fact, we met when I was working at the airport. “We went online and gathered ideas from online photos. We thought maybe we’d combine this, that or the other thing. We worked with Erin (Liston) of Iconic Design Studio. We just sat with her and said this is what we’re thinking of doing. LGE Design helped as well and made it happen.” Most important, the restaurant is named after the Ossos’ oldest child, son Nico. The couple also has toddler, Giuliana.

“He just turned 2 in March,” Osso said of Nico, with a wide grin. “He loves to cook with daddy and mommy. He really takes an interest in the food. He tries everything. He eats anything.” At Osso’s Scottsdale restaurant, Virtù, Nico watches the cooks and hands them tickets. At brunch, he walked around giving guests knuckle punches at the table. “He loves being around it,” Osso said about the family business. Family fare Nico’s fare has been described as West Coast-inspired seasonal Italian, with Osso’s emphasis on heirloom family recipes and local ingredients. Destination-worthy dishes include handmade pastas such as the Buccatini Con Le Sarde boasting fresh sardines, roasted garlic and breadcrumbs, and Cioppino, Osso’s inventive take on the classic Fisherman’s stew. There’s even Bistecca Tagliata, a 50-oz. prime tomahawk ribeye. “The menu has evolved since day one—and is still evolving,” said Osso, as he sits beside business partner Brad Kircher. “The original idea was, basically,

to take recipes from my family in Italy, and the states as well, and composing them with ingredients to make the peasant food—I hate the word ‘peasant’—I grew up with in Southern Italy. I present it in a more upscale way. “This location is one of the only chef-driven restaurants on the street. That’s going to make things a lot different. We truly take pride in our standards of the highest level. Our quality has certain expectations. We want the guests’ experiences to be of the finest quality.” Eventually, Nico Heirloom Kitchen will serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, but it won’t serve standard breakfast food. Osso cites an example of menu offerings: duck confit eggs benedict with foie gras hollandaise sauce. Kircher is responsible for front-ofhouse operations and financials at Nico and Virtù. He adds another task to his list of chores. “I keep them from using the woodfire oven too much,” he said, as he and Osso laugh. “No, I’m here to support the food. I’m there to shake hands and get to know people. I come from a corporate

background in the restaurant industry. The systems and procedures are engrained in my head. What we enjoy is that we can take a lot of that stuff from the corporate world and translate it into the restaurant.” Furthermore, Osso, Kircher and their wives say it’s important that guests are treated like family. “Gilbert is a very homegrown, familyoriented, tight community,” Kircher said. “We want to instill that in our staff. They need to have that feeling and that presence of a tight-knit community. “My role overall is to keep the standards up, our costs in line and to make sure that every guest who walks in this door gets the same experience as the next. The food speaks for itself—they’ll taste it and smell it. We want them to feel that service and that energy.” Nico Heirloom Kitchen 366 N. Gilbert Road Gilbert 85234 (480) 584-4760


June 2016


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June 2016

Rusty Ranch


Rusty Ranch in Gilbert hosted its “Drive in to Past Times” classic car show on April 23. Cars from many eras, both original and customized, were on display on a perfect spring day. Music and a movie rounded out the entertainment for guests. Proceeds from the event went to needy animals by way of the Arizona Animal Welfare League. GSN photos byTim Sealy

A great variety of styles and makes made for a spectacle of automotive pride.

No classic car show would really be complete without a ’65 Mustang Fastback, would it?

Jacob Parkinson struts among the classic cars.

Gabriel Baiza and Diana Morales design and sell custom decor pieces made from auto parts -‑ each piece is one of a kind.

Logen Elliston finds a shady spot for a giggle behind the row of classic cars.

Eddie Labelle is the proud owner of this unique ’54 Chevy Lowview Magazine’s editor, Niki White, - you won’t see any others adorned in Sunset Pearl! shares her publication with guests of the show.

Suzanne Mock brought her special line of “Molly Soaps,”a variety of soaps made from essential oils and goat’s milk.

Jimmy Chadwick gets low with his custom ’54 Chevy.

Friends Connor Coughlin and Patrick and Katie Belvel play with inflatable swords and toys at Rusty Ranch.

No classic would be complete without a little personality.

Each classic car has its own personality shining in every detail.


Gilbert author pens first fiction novel

Kathleen Murray came up with the idea for “Addicted to Love” after watching “The Dr. Phil Show.” BY TIM J. RANDALL

Gilbert resident Kathleen Murray is overjoyed with her first fiction novel, “Addicted to Love,” which follows young adult Sally Smithfield as she experiences childhood abuse and drama from her family while living in the Northern suburbs of Chicago. “Sally’s fictional story is set in a place and time that I love,” said Murray. Unfolding in the 1970s, the novel is, in many ways, historical fiction, as Murray imbeds places and events into the narrative that she remembers from her time living in north Chicago. “Writing this challenged me to imagine the fate of a child who could have been my next door neighbor,” Murray said. Interestingly enough, Murray also weaves the tale through the context of social upheaval occurring nationwide.

Writing this challenged me to imagine the fate of a child who could have been my next door neighbor.

“The story takes place during a decade focused on expanding civil and women’s rights, yet children’s protections against abuse were almost nonexistent with very few abusers being held accountable in any way.” Complete with psychological and physical drama, intrigue, suspense and intense emotion, Murray’s work is a complex examination of the human psyche as Sally discovers family secrets, the pain of abuse, a troubled relationship with her boyfriend, a frightening pregnancy and ultimately a haunting murder. The story’s many different elements work together to bring attention to the problems associated with trauma, coping and potential recovery. “It is only recently that the lifelong effects of chronic childhood trauma have been recognized and effective treatments developed,” said Murray. “Unfortunately, child abuse exists in every part of the United States.” The idea for the book came after Murray caught a brief piece of a segment from “The Dr. Phil Show” in which a family planned the murder of a young man who their daughter was dating. “I don’t recall much about the story except I remember waking up at three in the morning and thought ‘what about the young girl?’ I wanted to tell her story and the book developed from that point of view,” Murray said. With the release of “Addicted to Love,” Murray adds to her author credentials, as her first work “Alex, The West Nile Horse” recounts her 18 months working with a horse that is afflicted with West Nile Virus and suffers brain encephalitis. “Alex was expected to die, but made an amazing recovery,” Murray said. Along with her husband and now two college-aged children, Murray settled in Gilbert after graduating from the University of Illinois and spending a decade in Silicon Valley working in the technological sphere and ultimately for Motorola. “After the company imploded here in Arizona, I began teaching at Mesa Community College as an adjunct business professor,” Murray said. Murray is not taking any time off after her book, as she is already deep into her new novel as a selected participant in the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU. “I was accepted into the program, which offers a structured 18-month schedule for writers to develop a novel,” she said. According to the ASU website, the program “is the only online certificate program in the country for

June 2016

those looking to write young adult or science fiction/fantasy novels.” “The new story is set in Mesa and involves some of the same themes I explored in ‘Addicted to Love,’” she said. With the release of the book, Murray wants readers to understand her passion for the topic of child abuse and how victims deal with the effects. “I deliberately tried for a memoir




feel to Sally’s story so that those who understand the profile of a victim will recognize and relate personally to Sally’s maladaptive coping mechanisms of dissociation, codependence and flat affect or emotional regulation,” she said. Visit for more information on the author and book.



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June 2016

Star-spangled event returns to Central Christian Church BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI

Central Christian Church’s Dave Brown yearns to give the Gilbert community a family-friendly July 4 celebration. And for the ninth year, Brown, his team of 200 volunteers and town officials are coming together to offer “Fire in the Sky.” This year’s event is similar to that in 2015, however, the viewing points have slightly changed. “Usually, we have the fireworks on campus, but we sold the property to the south of us,” said Brown, the first impressions director and ENRICH financial ministry lead. The fireworks are launching from a field north of Germann Road, between Germann and the Loop 202. More than 10,000 will watch the show from the Central Christian Church campus, 965 E. Germann Rd. There are two alternative



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viewing areas: Campo Verde High School, as the fireworks will be shot from the field adjacent to the school. The Gilbert Soccer Complex, near Greenfield and Germann roads, will house 2,000 revelers. “Fire in the Sky” is so popular that residents line up early in the afternoon to get a good seat. “We publish that the event starts at 6 p.m., but we have a lot of people who get here at 1 or 2 and set up cabanas,” Brown said. “The concessions are all here at 4.” On July 4, patrons can purchase hot dogs, hamburgers, lemonade, cotton candy, kettle corn, pretzels, nachos, shaved ice and/or water. Free temporary tattoos will provide additional fun for kids. “We give away a lot of free things, too, like 2,000 beach balls and koozies,” he

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said. “We have shirts that we throw into the crowd to have a little fun.” There is $5,000 worth of prizes offered for participants in the contests that run from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “Our prizes range from iPads to free car washes and lots of things like that,” he said. “We have a watermelon contest, too. It keeps going for a couple hours.” Like previous years, the event is free, but the church is encouraging patrons to bring canned foods to donate to its

food drive with The United Food Bank. Collection bins will be located on the Gilbert campus, Campo Verde High School and the Gilbert Soccer Complex. But there’s one important change to this year’s festivities. “We’re encouraging tailgating,” said Brown, who will ask those families to park in the lot on the campus’ north side. “The fireworks are across the street; it’s not on our property. We want families to feel comfortable and have fun with us.”

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June 2016

Blood donors can win a VW Passat S Those who donate blood between June 1 and Aug. 31 will be automatically entered to win a 2016 VW Passat S. The seventh annual campaign is meant to inspire more people to give blood this summer. Blood donors receive a bonus entry card that provides two additional chances to win—register the entry code online and, for even better odds, deposit the card in any designated Volkswagen dealer showroom raffle box. Ten finalists will be drawn to participate in the grand prize drawing,

who will be unveiled throughout the summer on AZ-TV. For a blood donation appointment, call (877) UBS-HERO (8274376) or visit (enter your city or ZIP code). All blood types are needed, however, Type O-negative is always in greatest demand. Upcoming blood donation events: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, Town of Gilbert, 75 E. Civic Center Dr., Bloodmobile 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 7, LDS

Gilbert Stake, 777 E. Elliot Rd., Cultural Hall 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 11, LDS Greenfield Stake, 2740 S. Lindsay, Cultural Hall 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, June 12, First United Methodist Church, 331 S Cooper Rd, Activity Center 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, Power Ranch

Community Association, 4444 E. Haven Crest Dr., Bloodmobile 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18, Gilbert-San Tan Village RSMO, 2218 E. Williams Field Rd., Bloodmobile 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, June 26, St. Mary Magdalene-K of C, 2654 E. Williams Field Rd., Bloodmobile

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June 2016

The three-egg omelet with onions and cheese was cooked perfectly.

Oven baked pancakes are the specialty at JP Pancake.

JP Pancake shows flair with food, not décor BY KATHY KERBY

It’s pretty easy to tell what JP Pancake specializes in—and it does it well. Located on the southeast corner of Val Vista and Baseline roads, JP has built an excellent reputation for great food at great prices. I wanted to see if it lived up to my expectations, so I invited my five girls—two daughters and three granddaughters—for a fun Sunday brunch at this cozy eatery. JP Pancake is not large and flashy. The one-room dining area has black chairs and tables with black-checked tablecloths. The walls are covered with chalkboards that list the daily specials and the north and east walls are glass, giving an open feel to the inviting space. There are shelves of games and puzzles for children and on the morning we visited, all 15 tables were filled. Judy, one of the efficient wait staff, brought our menus and we were pleased

to find that it featured all of our family favorites. It didn’t take long for the three little girls to order from the “kid’s combos” menu and very quickly they were drinking their juice and chocolate milk as we visited together about our summer plans. Kyra, 11, Lexi, 7, and Hailey, 6, were excited when their specialty pancakes ($3.25 per order) arrived. Hailey thought her three silver dollar pancakes with M&M’s looked like Christmas pancakes. Lexi described her huge buttermilk pancake with a sausage link as “yummy” and Kyra savored each bite of her big pancake with a scrambled egg and sausage on the side. My daughter, Katie, loves biscuits and gravy which was on the “specials” menu and the peppery gravy with spicy sausage and large fluffy biscuit ($6.95) were a wise choice. Kara, my older daughter, is an omelet connoisseur and the three

farm-fresh egg creation with onions and cheese met her high standards. (Omelets are $7.25 and they come with a bowl of fruit, toast or pancakes. Omelet fillings are 50 cents for veggies and cheese and $1 for avocado, bacon, ham, sausage and chorizo.) My order was the banana bread French toast ($7.95), which was served with whipped cream and slivered almonds. We passed it around so everyone could try it. The menu also included eight different flavors of oven-baked pancakes ($8.75) which are Chef Shaun’s specialty. Similar to German pancakes, they take 20 minutes to puff up and bake to crisp perfection. Owner Vera Warhurst dropped by our table and let us know that JP Pancake has been in this location for about six years and she has owned it for one and a half. Her goal is for “people to have a great meal and really enjoy the experience.” Among the most popular items on the

Items on the “kid’s combos” menu cost just $3.25.

menu are the gluten-free options. Check out JP Pancake and you may just find a new place to call “home” for breakfast. JP Pancake 3641 E. Baseline Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 539-4435

Writing workshops scheduled for Gilbert, Chandler Award-winning writer and creative writing instructor Marilyn June Janson will conduct a series of workshops in June. A fiction writing workshop is set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays June 1 through June 22. This will focus on short stories, novels, novellas, YA, magna and children’s books. The charge is $28 for residents, $38 nonresidents. There is a $10 copy fee paid to instructor. The workshop will be held at the Chandler Community Center Downtown, 125 N. Commonwealth Ave., Chandler. To register, call (480) 503-2727 or visit Janson has scheduled a family history and memoir writing workshop for 10:30

a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays June 6 through June 27 at Chandler Senior Center, 202 E. Boston St. The charge is $28 for residents, $38 for nonresidents. A $10 fee is paid to the instructor. To register, call (480) 7822720 or visit Novels, short stories, creative nonfiction, young adult, children’s books, memoirs and family history will be touched on during a fiction and nonfiction writing workshop from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturdays June 4 through June 25 at the Southeast Regional Library, 775 N. Greenfield Rd., Gilbert. The workshop is $60; $10 copy fee paid to instructor. To register, call (480) 503-6200 or visit

Learn about author publishing and marketing during Janson’s workshop from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays June 4 to June 25 at the Southeast Regional Library, 775 N. Greenfield Rd., Gilbert. Janson will talk to authors about hard copy and

eBook submission packages and guidelines, traditional and POD publishing. The workshop is $60, with a $10 copy fee paid to instructor. Register at (480) 503-6200 or


June 2016

Barnone at Agritopia gathers craftsmen in unusual work setting BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Chad and Erin Romanoff’s plant-based eatery, Uprooted Kitchen, has found the ideal space to take root in Gilbert. Come November, vegetarian/vegan food lovers who tasted the couple’s dishes from their food truck may head to Agritopia’s old Quonset barn, which is being turned into an artisan workspace named Barnone. The Romanoffs plan to rent a 750-squarefoot space within the barn for a microrestaurant with 24 seats and an equal number on the patio. It may be tiny, as restaurants go, but it works for the duo who found a surprising demand for vegetarian food when their food truck operated in the farm-to-table environment of Agritopia. “Most everything on the menu is made from scratch. We’re also into whole foods, things that come directly from the earth, and don’t use packaged, processed or premade items,” Erin Romanoff said. “We want everything to be in its whole form and as close to how we ate many, many years ago.” The handcrafted, close to nature and more laborious approach goes hand in hand with Joe Johnston’s vision for Barnone. The project will consist of the 8,000 square feet historic barn, which will lease its spaces to 10 craftsmen, and two new buildings: one to sell Agritopia’s produce and another for a winery. “There are people that want to make

stuff with their hands, and they want to stay as small companies,” Johnston said. “They’re talented at what they do.” Johnston himself, as well as some family members, will be a part of this hive of industry. Johnston, who is an electrical and mechanical engineer by training, will run the Johnston Machine Company, which will design and build small, culinary-related and urban farming machinery. He plans to resume the manufacture of his coffee roaster, which was abandoned when other projects consumed his time, and also to design a grinder, brewer, expresso machine and chopsticks. Meanwhile, Johnston Arms owned by his brother, Steve, will manufacture high end hunting rifles. Johnston’s son, James, will operate Fire and Brimstone, which specializes in wood-fired cuisine. Other tenants include a florist, letterpress paper maker, graphic designer and a salon. All but one space has been rented, and the remaining space has been earmarked for a brewery. Meanwhile, a microfarm winery and craft distillery is coming to the new building. Garage East is a collaboration between Brian and Megan Ruffentine and Todd and Kelly Bostock of the award-winning Dos Cabezas winery in Sonoita.


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Joe Johnston’s latest project is Barnone, a project that involves leasing spaces within the Quonset barn to 10 craftsmen, and two new buildings: one to sell Agritopia’s produce and another for a winery.

The microbusiness is planning “agricultural preservation through fermentation,” which means types of wine and other fermented drinks from grapes and other fruit. “We’re starting our next chapter in life in a fun, unique setting,” said Brian Ruffentine, a battalion chief in Gilbert who plans to retire from his 25-year career in firefighting to work on this project.

The small batch productions at Garage East will be available by the bottle, or by the glass straight from the barrel, Ruffentine said. “It’s going to be like nothing else the Valley has. It’s going to look like a winery, smell like a winery and it’s going to be different than any other’s going to feel much like a backyard,” he said.

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June 2016

Fractured Prune opens SanTan Village location One of Arizona’s fastest-growing culinary franchises, Fractured Prune Doughnuts, opened its first location in Gilbert last month. The grand opening celebration, held on Tuesday, May 17, sent 12 patrons home with a dozen free doughnuts for a year, while 188 received a free two-pack of doughnuts. Located just east of Dillard’s at SanTan Village, the Gilbert Fractured Prune is the seventh Valley location to pop up in just more than two years. Local residents and co-franchisees Mark and Karen Prygocki introduced the Ocean City, Marylandbased chain to Phoenix in 2013, and have continued to expand. “People are amazed when they walk through the door and realize they get to create their own custom doughnut, from choosing the glaze to adding unique toppings like bacon or jolly ranchers,” Mark said. Karen added, “It’s fun, easy and always a hit with parties or corporate events, too, because the unique flavor combinations not only spark conversations but allow everyone to choose the perfect doughnut for their own tastes and preferences.” For more than 40 years, the East Coast cult favorite has become known for offering endless combinations of its

A box of Fractured Prune’s made-to-order cake doughnuts. Flavors pictured include Cookies & Cream, Death By Chocolate, Bacon Bomb, Morning Buzz, Lemonade, Chocolate Covered Cherry, Marshmallow Madness and Carnival.

Fractured Prune Doughnuts opened its first Gilbert location at SanTan Village on Tuesday, May 17.

signature doughnuts, which feature more than 19 glazes and 14 toppings. Locally, Fractured Prune also offers an array of expertly crafted favorites like Death by Chocolate, Marshmallow Madness, and Chocolate Covered Cherry, along with seasonal specialty combinations such as the Pig Pen, Peach Pie and Pumpkin Pie. “It’s hard not to fall in love with Fractured Prune’s endless combinations of doughnuts, which are always served hot and never mass-produced,” Mark said. “I was hooked from the first bite and have since worked extremely hard

our employees.” The team employs nearly 100 people throughout the Valley. The company will expand later this month when it opens a location in Flagstaff. The couple plans to add six more stores throughout the state and hopes to eventually employ more than 200 people. For more information on Fractured Prune Arizona, check out its Facebook page at, or visit locations/arizona.

to bring Fractured Prune Doughnuts to communities all across the state.” While the entrepreneurial duo is passionate about the brand’s unique product, their rapid expansion in Arizona is fueled by more than just a smart concept. “Fractured Prune allows us to do what we love most and that’s helping the communities where we work and live,” Karen said. “We are committed to not only providing an enhanced customer experience, but also giving back through numerous charitable initiatives and an unwavering dedication to the growth of

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June 2016

June 2016


Help us fill in the map! W

Fat Cats Gilbert Pioneer Elementary

e need your help in completing our new

community map, designed exclusively for Gilbert Sun News by talented artist Palmer Saylor III. Please email any additions

SE Regional Library

Studio 3 Performing Arts

Riparian Institute Christ’s Greenfield Lutheran school

Gilbert Community Center

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

Gilbert Boys & Girls Club

Gilbert Arts Academy

Post Office Gilbert Historical Museum

community map



June 2016

Chandler Corporate Center III is a flex/office building on 8.2 acres at the campus recently completed by The Rockefeller Group. The building is the company’s second spec complex in the office park.

New and ready for tenants, the Chandler Corporate Center IV, built by Rockefeller Group, has a flex concept and may accommodate office, lab or assembly use.

Rockefeller Group making inroads in Chandler, Gilbert BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Think Rockefeller and what comes to mind immediately are the landmark skyscrapers in New York City and their associated glory. Lesser known is the renowned real estate developer’s reach in Arizona. Since 2006, the Rockefeller Group, now owned by Mitsubishi Estate in Japan, has been buying property and constructing commercial buildings in the state. It owns five such sites in Chandler and Gilbert. In Chandler, there are the four distinctive office buildings spread on 31 acres in the master planned business park, Chandler Corporate Center, located in the northwest corner of McClintock Drive and Chandler Boulevard; Chandler Crossroads is an industrial building being designed on a 24-acre site located in the Chandler Airport Area near the 202 Highway; and Chandler 101 is a complex of mixed-use buildings on nearly 21 acres to come to the Price Road Corridor. In Gilbert, a 45-acre property at Gilbert Crossroads, on Germann Road in between Gilbert and Lindsay roads, is for sale; while Liv Northgate is a 402unit apartment community that has

completed its first phase and is part of the North Gateway master plan, which includes office, industrial and retail space. “I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else,” said Mark Singerman, vice president, regional director for Rockefeller Group Development Corp. “Of all the submarkets in the Phoenix metro area, it held up better than most during the recession. “As we came out of the recession, it has absorbed, percentage wise, a far greater amount of office and industrial space than most sub-markets.” In 2006, Singerman was instrumental in acquiring six properties—three in Chandler, two in Gilbert and one in Tucson—unaware that it was the top of the market and that “there was a cliff at the end of the road.” The recession that followed derailed the company’s plans, and it wasn’t until 2011 that the market started to pick up and the properties started to receive corresponding interest. Chandler Corporate Center’s first building leased easily and was sold in 2014. “Having Rockefeller develop a tentative building—they didn’t have a tenant at the time they started—it’s a really good show of confidence in our market,” said James

Smith, economic development program manager in the City of Chandler. The second building, also constructed speculatively, was recently leased to DaVita Rx, a full-service specialty pharmacy for patients with complex conditions and considered the nation’s most significant kidney care pharmacy. The Fortune 500 Company has operations in Florida, California and Texas, and its 76,000-square-foot operation in Chandler will employ about 550. “Based on the strength of that transaction, we started our third, and final, building of that project at Chandler Corporate Center,” Singerman said. The 86,000-square-foot office flex building, Chandler Corporate Center IV, is available for lease. The Rockefeller Group initially owned 80 acres near the Chandler airport, but sold 50 acres to FedEx, which constructed a massive distribution center there. On its remaining 24 acres, the company plans to build a 100,000-square-foot, flex industrial building. Groundbreaking is set for July and the building will be ready by December, according to Singerman. Meanwhile, the 402-unit premium

apartment complex on 160 acres at North Gateway, located on Warner and Recker roads in Gilbert, “has done exceptionally well,” Singerman said. North Gateway has 122 acres remaining to be developed. If that isn’t plenty, the company is looking for more sites in the two cities to build mostly apartment and industrial developments, although not necessarily the big box projects. “We’re really looking for that infill,” Singerman said. “And we’re looking to go way out on the fringe for that. These are smaller, 10- to 15-acre type projects where we can build the building, lease it and move on to the next.” Rockefeller Group was founded in 1928 by the Rockefeller family and has been a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate since 1990. “We’re a national developer and we have a long history of developing,” said Brian Mahoney, a company spokesman in New York City. “Arizona is a big market for us, and we have our development pipeline in about 12 states, including in California, Utah and Florida.” Visit for information.

NAPA celebrates grand reopening with family fun NAPA Auto Parts unveiled its newly revamped store in Gilbert with a familyfriendly celebration on Saturday, April 30. The 20-year-old store at 1022 N. Gilbert Rd. was remodeled to accommodate increasing demand for auto parts and supplies in Gilbert and the surrounding communities. The event featured appearances by Arizona Cardinal cheerleaders; Ron Wolfley, the voice of the Arizona Cardinals; Univision sportscaster Felipe Corral and KUPD’s John Holmberg. “For our many loyal customers who

have supported us for years in Gilbert, this is one way of saying thank you,” said Chris Rice, general manager of NAPA Auto Parts, Phoenix. “We think people will be impressed with the uncluttered and convenient layout, our dedicated customer service and know-how—plus hundreds of new products we’ve added to the line-up,” added Ron Swainson, Phoenix district manager. “We strive to be the top choice for consumers when they need auto parts—to help keep their vehicles running safely and efficiently for the long term.”

More than 2,000 members of the community visited the NAPA Auto Parts’ grand reopening celebration in Gilbert on April 30. The event featured kids’ face painting, appearances by Mayor John Lewis and “Voice of the Arizona Cardinals” Ron Wolfley, and photo opportunities with the Arizona Cardinals cheerleaders, the NAPA-sponsored Sprint Cup car and the NHRA Funny Car dragster.

Zerorez donates to police, fire, Riparian Preserve The staff at Zerorez carpet cleaning service recently volunteered at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch and donated supplies to a drive benefiting Gilbert Police and Gilbert Fire departments. Justin Hardy, controller for Zerorez, along with other members in the community, helped organize the donation drive in response to the five-alarm fire that recently happened to an apartment community in Gilbert. Through Zero 2 Hero, Zerorez donated 10 cases of water, 10 packs of Gatorade and hundreds of snacks to the donation drive. The drive also collected towels and new and gently used blankets and pillows to help replenish the supplies for the Gilbert Police and Gilbert Fire departments as it was dangerously low after the aftermath of the fire. “It’s amazing how quickly the community came together on this donation drive,” Hardy said. “We had four days to plan it and halfway through the morning we had to bring out a second truck to hold all of the donated supplies. I’m thankful for the support of Zerorez and I’m so proud of all of the Gilbert residents and other members of the


June 2016


community for making a difference to help our first responders.” Earlier that morning, Zerorez’s Blue Crew and their families volunteered through the company’s Rezoteer Volunteer Program at Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch by planting cacti at the park. This was the second time the Rezoteer Volunteer Program volunteered at the park with the first time in December during a park cleanup event. “Many of us that work at Zerorez live in the Gilbert and surrounding area, so it’s great being able to get out in our community, such as the Riparian Preserve, and do what we can to help serve our community and its people,” said Jamey Mason, executive administrator for Zerorez of Phoenix. The Rezoteer Volunteer Program provides the Zerorez staff and their family members a way to get involved with volunteer projects in their local communities and to share in the benefits of giving back alongside their co-workers. Zero 2 Hero helps to raise and donate funds to organizations serving children across the Valley. For more information, visit www.

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Scott Froehle Farmers Agency offers personal and friendly service

“That is one of the thrills of being in When people truly love what they do, business for over 25 years. The clients I it is usually easy to hear it in their voices watched come in when they were 25 are when they talk about their careers. now 45 years old with teenagers of their This is definitely the case own,” he said. with Scott Froehle, owner Unlike some other of Scott Froehle Farmers companies that require Agency in Gilbert. people to push multiple “If I could, I would talk numbers on their to people about their telephone before being insurance all day long,” connected with a live Froehle said. person, Froehle said he “I like bringing my clients enjoys answering his own in and talking with them, phone—a fact that often and I enjoy educating them amazes his clients. about their insurance and “People are thrilled reviewing what they have when I answer the phone and making sure they are and that they can talk covered. I don’t do a hard to me.” Scott Froehle, owner of Scott sell, but I never want my Froehle Farmers Agency in Gilbert, Froehle also likes prides himself on offering his clients to say ‘I thought I speaking in person with clients friendly, knowledgeable had towing’ or that they his youngest clients— and personalized service. thought their windshields newly minted teen were covered when they drivers. have a broken window.” “I just like to talk with them about Froehle began his career in the insurance driving and how insurance works and I want industry more than 30 years ago when he them to know the risks they face when got a job with the Prudential company driving a car,” he said, adding that a quick working in insurance administration. 15-minute talk is all he usually needs to He spent five years with Prudential explain the basics to eager young drivers. before deciding it was time to branch out Froehle said he also strives to stay on top and start his own insurance business. of the most current changes and updates “I had the desire to own my own to the insurance industry. business, and so I researched companies “I’m always trying to educate myself and and felt that Farmers was the best fit for I’m always learning.” me,” he said. As for the naysayers who claim insurance “It allows me to do my own thing and it does not really help people or is too costly, has worked out really well.” Froehle said he has seen countless cases In 1991, Froehle opened Scott Froehle over the years where this is not true. Farmers Agency in Gilbert. His company “From repairing a car and helping to keep offers auto, home, life, business and renters a family going and replacing a house that insurance, as well as home warranties and was damaged in a fire, insurance is really a recently launched pet insurance plan for helpful. It really does a lot of good.” dogs. Scott Froehle Farmers Agency is What helps to set Froehle apart from located at 1425 S. Higley Rd., Suite 107, the competition, he said, is the level of Gilbert. For more information, call (480) personal service he offers his clients— 831-1234 or visit many of whom span multiple generations. sfroehle. BY ALISON STANTON

Career Connectors sets summer meeting schedule Career Connectors is a nonprofit organization that connects professionals to high-quality resources and hiring companies. Events are held three times a month—all available at no cost—at Central Christian Church, 965 E. Germann Rd., Student Center, Gilbert. The upcoming meetings are from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays June 28, July 26,

Aug. 23, Sept. 27, Nov. 8 and Dec. 18. Each event includes professional career speakers with presentations on relevant job search topics, three to four featured hiring companies, networking, resume help, career coaches, LinkedIn coaches and business portraits. For more information, visit or call (480) 442-5806.

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Gilbert Leadership accepting applications for 25th class Gilbert Leadership, a program of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, is accepting applications from Gilbert residents and/or business leaders to participate in the program’s 25th class and will begin interviewing applicants in July. This 10-month program develops Gilbert’s current and future business and civic leaders through 10 issue days, six community tours and one class project. Gilbert Leadership influences the community by building leadership

capacity, increasing knowledge and awareness of community concerns, and nurturing future leaders. More than 400 individuals have graduated from the program, bringing together leaders with diverse backgrounds, including homemakers, entrepreneurs, town council members, and more. “Gilbert Leadership provided me

with an in-depth look into Gilbert’s infrastructure, issues, and leadership opportunities,” said Candy Body, Leading Edge Academy board member and Class XX alumni, “The blend of professional development, leadership training, networking, and team building dynamics make it the best leadership program in the Valley. I highly recommend it.”

June 2016

Gilbert residents and/or employees are eligible to apply. Interested candidates should submit a completed application by June 15. Program applications can be found online at Applicants will be interviewed by a selection committee in July and the program will begin in September. Enrollment is limited to 30 class participants. Learn more at www.gilbertleadership. com.

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June 2016

The Falls Event Center in Gilbert features two buildings with conference rooms, theater, games rooms, kitchens, bridal suites and the like, as well as state-of-the-art technology, to help facilitate many types of events.

‘Have your event your way’ is the philosophy behind The Falls Event Center BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Steve Down hopes to do for event centers, what Starbucks has done for coffee—make it ubiquitous. The entrepreneur from Salt Lake City recently opened The Falls Event Center in Gilbert, a $10 million, two-building complex with everything from serene bridal suites and huge, well-equipped kitchens to courtyards for wedding ceremonies and large conference halls. The plan is to build 200 of them around the country by end of 2022. The Gilbert event center is the fifth and Arizona’s first, and another is under construction in Peoria. The Falls has two features that may appeal to those looking for a rental space: flexibility and reasonable rates. “The people are able to have the flexibility of having the event their way because it’s essentially your building for the day,” Down said. “You can bring your own food, your own catering service— your Aunt Mary can actually cater the wedding.” Karen Hunt, general manager of the Gilbert location, said that the event center is “a blank canvas” for weddings, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras, seminars, conferences and similar occasions. “It’s your event, your way,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to have that freedom.” Clients could bring not just the food prepared in their home kitchens, but water, alcohol and even the decorations. Hunt said that rental rates are offered based on the client’s need. “We like to make sure we’re identifying the need before we give the prices,” she said. Down, who also owns a chain of sandwich shops called Even Stevens, and is the author of the financial education

The bridal room provides a serene atmosphere to relax prior to a wedding ceremony. GSN photo by Srianthi Perera

program, Financially Fit for Life, said that The Falls was born of frustration. Down organizes continuing education seminars for doctors and chiropractors around the country. He noted that rents were expensive, parking could be difficult and that the technology was often outdated at the places. “Since I’m a serial entrepreneur, I saw an opportunity to address frustrations in the marketplace when it comes to event centers,” he said. He also found that weddings were cost prohibitive for many families because a venue charges in the range of $14,000. If a venue would typically cost that much, Down said that it would cost about $6,000 at The Falls. Down said that the response to his enterprise has been “extremely positive.” The entrepreneur said that he was glad to provide employment across the country, while constructing the buildings and afterward. The Falls in Gilbert employs about 25 full- and part-time employees. He also practices a give back provision, social capitalism, in all his businesses.

Hardly an afterthought, the restrooms at The Falls Event Center are aesthetically pleasing. GSN photo by Srianthi Perera

At The Falls, this means that four local nonprofits will be chosen to receive unused inventory. “It’s a philosophy that’s really worked well for us,” Down said. “At the very first center, when we offered the give back, our event center thrived. Since then, sales have increased every month because the community’s behind us.” Later this year, Down is also planning to open an Even Stevens sandwich store in the town’s Heritage District. It will be one of six planned in Arizona. Here’s how the give back provision works there: for every sandwich served at Even Stevens, a sandwich of equal nutrition value is donated to the community’s hungry. “In Utah, we crossed 500,000 sandwiches served in the past two years to Utah’s hungry because of people who bought a gourmet sandwich from our restaurant,” Down said. The Falls Event Center is located at 4635 E. Baseline Rd., Gilbert. Find out more at gilbert

Maracay purchases 82 homesites at Adora Trails

Maracay Homes closed on 82 homesites at Adora Trails, an amenity-rich master planned community in Gilbert. Located near the southeast corner of Riggs Road and Val Vista Drive, Maracay’s parcel at Adora Trails will be developed into a new, single-family neighborhood scheduled to begin welcoming residents by next year, said Tom Lemon, Maracay Homes’ vice president of land acquisitions and development. Site development is underway. Model construction is expected to start by the end of the year, with a grand opening planned for first quarter 2017. Adora Trails was the fastestselling master planned community in metropolitan Phoenix in the first quarter of this year, according to Belfiore Real Estate Consulting in Phoenix. The community includes a club house, catch-and-release lake, miles of walking trails, a resort-style pool, an elementary school and numerous sports courts and recreation fields. Maracay Homes paid $9.8 million to buy the homesites from an entity controlled by Adora Trails’ developer, Taylor Morrison Homes. Lot sizes are 75 feet x 130 feet, allowing for larger backyards and an extrawide side yard. Lemon said four, singlelevel floor plans from one of Maracay’s most popular design collections will range from 2,494 to 3,323 square feet. Many of the homes will back up to open space and mountain views. “Adora Trails is a family-oriented, established master planned community that fits nicely into Maracay Homes’ long-standing practice of building homes located near the best schools, employment hubs, recreation and entertainment options,” Lemon said, adding that the community enjoys easy access to the Price Road corridor, Tempe and downtown Phoenix. “As we close out our two Bridges at Gilbert neighborhoods and continue building in our two new Morrison Ranch neighborhoods in Gilbert, Adora Hills gives us an opportunity to extend our position in this highly desirable East Valley submarket.” Maracay Homes is a member of TRI Pointe Group, a family of premium regional homebuilders supported by the significant resources, economies of scale and thought leadership of a national foundation. Together this makes TRI Pointe Group one of the largest homebuilders in the United States.


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June 2016




June 2016

Town urges businesses to avail of free water check-ups


On the heels of helping homeowner associations save about 300 million gallons of water—that’s 30,000 swimming pools’ worth—the town of Gilbert’s water conservation department has set its sights on helping businesses accomplish similar results. Water Wise Gilbert is a free program for commercial establishments to promote efficient indoor water use, which translates to saving money. And which business is averse to that, asked Water Conservation Specialist Haley Paul. Paul asks for only an hour or two of a representative’s time for what she calls “a water checkup,” when she, or a team member, will visit and examine the facility’s water uses and devices and proceed to write a report. Commercial water users account for about 21% of Gilbert’s overall water use. Churches, restaurants and businesses that have a high number of employees or constant public traffic stand to gain the most from the Water Wise Gilbert program. Also, it’s particularly useful if an establishment has an unexplained spike from one month to the next. The town representative could help figure out the cause. “It’s not some blanket prescription that everybody should do,” Paul said. “It’s totally

customized.” men’s restrooms. It also placed .5 gallon per The rewards of implementing the minute faucet aerators on handwashing recommended suggestions, she said, most sinks. often translates to dollar savings. Flancer’s General Manager Greg Ringle Besides the monetary gain, businesses said the restaurant uses less water as a receive promotional materials including a result of the changes. “It just makes perfect yard sign announcing sense, to try to save its conservation water wherever accomplishments. we can. I’m a big Snooze, an A.M. fan of conserving, Eatery, located in the reducing, reusing and Heritage District, was recycling,” he said. the first business to Among the main be designated Water recommendations Wise Gilbert. Flancer’s, for restaurants is the Arizona Wilderness use of a spray valve, Brewing Co. and a simple object Children’s Learning that Paul called a Adventure are also on “no-brainer,” used to rinse food off dishes the program. About six Water Conservation Specialist Haley Paul other businesses have examines the gallons per minute on the faucet at before placing in a dishwasher. Another had the water checkup a local business. option is a faucet and are involved in the aerator that drastically lowers water use. process. “We start with the low hanging fruit,” Snooze serves water on request, thereby she said. “Other things are not harder, but saving water in the glass and reducing the require employee engagement,” such as amount of dishes that need washing. It running toilets that can waste thousands of has installed pressure-assist tank toilets gallons a month. in its restrooms, which use only 1.1 gallons Buildings at the Gilbert Municipal per flush than the standard 1.6 gallons per Complex, including the one that contains flush gravity tank toilet and a pint flush the Council Chambers, the Freestone (uses .125 gallons per flush compared to Recreation Center and the Southeast the typical 1.0 gallon per flush) urinal in the

Regional Library were retrofitted in May with dual flushing handles and lower urinal volumes. The results of the water savings are to be used as a case study. While water saving help to commercial establishments was available for some time, businesses were not availing of the service, Paul noted. With the new push, and the addition of the recognition component, the three-member team hopes for more demand for water checkups. Meanwhile, the Landscape Irrigation Assistance program, which helps determine HOA common area landscape water costs, is now in its seventh year. Using a water budget tool, staffers help HOAs determine the amount of water that should be applied to common area landscape based on the water needs of its landscape plants. HOAs that have achieved 20% of their target water savings receive a yard sign to promote its effort. “We’re trying to add that recognition component,” Paul said. “If people are operating in a vacuum and they save water, but nobody knows, we like to tell them about all the good work they are doing.” To schedule a water visit, call (480) 5036896. For more details and to subscribe to the Monthly Water Scoop newsletter, visit

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Chamber hosts candidate forums, business awards event Throughout the year, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce offers a variety of luncheons and meetings for its members and the community. Events are held throughout the town. The chamber office is at 119 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 101. For more information about events or to register, call (480) 8920056 or visit Town Council Candidate Forum Presented by SRP The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce will host a series of candidate forums and invites residents to learn about the candidates. This forum will feature candidates running for Gilbert’s Town Council. The candidates’ responses at these forums, along with a written candidate questionnaire and an individual interview, will be used to determine the Chamber’s endorsements. Admission is $20, which includes lunch. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, June 6 10:45 a.m.- registration, visit campaigns and lunch begins 11 a.m. - candidate forum begins 1 p.m. - candidate forum concludes St. Xavier University 92 W. Vaughn Ave. Gilbert 85233 Chamber Chat—After Hours Share conversation with Chamber members and other professionals, and learn about businesses in the community. No agenda, no script— just food, company and friendly conversation. Admission is $10 per person; pay at the door. Price includes an appetizer buffet and tax. Attendee is responsible for purchase of beverage and gratuity. 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 9 La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen 638 E. Warner Rd. Gilbert 85296 Small Business Workshop: Social Media Marketing Presented by 910 West This Small Business Workshop features lifelong entrepreneur and owner of AKA Internet Marketing, Anthony Kirlew, who will show how to turn lackluster social media efforts into lead generation; proven techniques for putting Facebook campaigns into overdrive; the tools and best practices keys to success, and what not to do on social media. Kirlew generated business through social media since 1999 and has helped clients do the same. As a social

June 2016


media expert, he has been featured in several publications including Success, Mashable, Search Engine Land and CIO. Admission is $25 per session for members; $40 per session for nonmembers. 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Friday, June 10 St. Xavier University 92 W. Vaughn Ave. Gilbert 85233 Legislative Districts 12 and 17 Candidate Forum Presented by SRP The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce will host a series of candidate forums and invites residents to learn about the candidates. This forum features candidates running for legislative districts 12 and 17. The candidates’ responses at these forums, along with a written candidate questionnaire and an individual interview, will be used to determine the Chamber’s endorsements. 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, June 13 10:45 a.m. - registration, visit campaigns and lunch 11 a.m. - candidate forum begins 1 p.m. - candidate forum concludes Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Agave Room 2626 E. Pecos Rd. Chandler 85225 10th Annual Business Awards Luncheon Presented by American Furniture Warehouse This annual celebration highlights the Chamber’s Year-In-Review, honors the Chamber’s volunteers and announces the recipients of this year’s Annual Business Awards. Admission is $35 for members; $50 for non-members; and add $10 a person when registering after 11 a.m. Thursday, June 9. Sponsored table for eight is $350; which includes reserved seating for eight, a sponsor’s name on an event program, a logo on reserved table signage and priority placement within the area of other sponsored tables. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 15 Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert SanTan Elegante Resort & Conference Center 1800 S. SanTan Village Pkwy. Gilbert 85295

See related story page 34

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Gilbert Chamber of Commerce is getting ready to cast the spotlight on businesses and individuals for their many accomplishments. The 10th annual Business Awards are to be given during a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the SanTan Elegante Conference and Reception Center in the Double-Tree by Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert Hotel. The luncheon “celebrates the heart of our business community and the leaders who continue to shape our economic climate,” said Sarah Watts, community partnerships and communication director at the chamber. “This event is the culminating event of the Chamber’s fiscal year, and so we also recognize the professionals who make the Chamber the place to belong.” Watts said that the awards recognize small, mid-sized and large businesses, family-owned businesses and employers who provide an exceptional work environment for their employees. The recognition also extends to volunteers “who have exceeded expectations and given of themselves in extreme measures to support the mission of the Chamber,” Watts said. The recipients are determined by a panel of business professionals. Their final scores are submitted to the Chamber’s Board of Directors for approval and the results are sealed until the event. Being a nominee even without a win is an honor, Watts said. “It is a great achievement to put this title in your marketing material and it could mean even more growth and success for your business,” she said. The following are the nominees for

the 2016 Annual Business Awards: Large Business of the Year: Generations at Agritopia Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Seville Golf & Country Club Walmart Supercenter at SanTan Village Mid-Sized Business of the Year: Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. Rocket Media The Egg I Am, Gilbert Small Business of the Year: Arizona’s Dukes of Air LLC Associated Architects Elaine Kessler Photography Nedda Tax Accountant Inc. Willow Massage & Spa Volunteer of the Year: JW Rayhons, Rayhons Financial Solutions Eric Reber, SpeedPro Imaging, MesaGilbert Jan Simon, AAA Arizona Employer of Choice: Generations at Agritopia Isagenix International Zerorez Phoenix Family Business of the Year: A2Z Trophy Arizona’s Dukes of Air LLC Barnes Fine Jewelers Schorie Auto Repair Zappone’s Italian Bistro General admission for the annual Business Awards is $50; Chamber member admission is $35. To register, visit

(310) 322-2210 Fax (310) 322-0617


Chamber president Kathy Tilque, left, and Dignity Health’s Tim Bricker, right, present APS with the 2015 Employer of Choice award; it was accepted by Rustyn Sherer.


June 2016



June 2016


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

Roadrunners need financial help to participate in Special Olympics in Brazil BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Six special needs athletes and their typical peer partners from Gilbert Roadrunners have a significant journey forthcoming. Come November, they plan to board a plane to Brazil to participate in the Special Olympics Football Co=mpetition to be held in Rio de Janeiro from Nov. 21 through Nov. 30. (The games are not part of the Summer Olympics.) There’s one hitch, though. The Unified Sports team, which includes the athletes, their partners, coaches and volunteers, has to raise at least $20,000 by the first week of November. Special Olympics Arizona is footing most of the total $70,000 that the group will require for the trip. Gilbert Roadrunners have created a Go Fund Me account, and it has so far yielded about $1,465, as of press time. Volunteers are also organizing car washes, raffles and other activities to help top up the fund. The nonprofit organization is hoping to garner the public’s support for the trip. “Many of our kids have never traveled out of Arizona, much less got to go

out of the country. So this is a trip of a lifetime for all of them,” said Eve Vance, who runs the Gilbert Roadrunners’ program and is head of the delegation. To show its appreciation, the group is giving a plaque to those who donate more than $500. Unified Sports differ from regular sports because special needs athletes are partnered with typical athletes. The pair work together through the season and participate in area and state competitions. The Roadrunners’ soccer team–called “football” in Brazil–has been invited to an exchange program with Special Olympics Brazil. The players are Brighton Smith, Daerick Dalton, Devin Trinosky, Haily Mendias, Janet Brown and Jorge Marquez, while the partners are Reanna Vance, Jonah Phung, Jordan Phung, Layna Lupe and Viviana Marquez. “We will be playing a game against the Brazilian team and showing how we play Unified,” Vance said. “Next year, the Brazilian team will come to Gilbert, so we can host them.” One of the players, Janet Brown, 16, is partnered with Reanna Vance, also 16.

“I’m happy and so excited,” said Janet, who is autistic. The two of them have been partners for seven years, with Reanna acting as Janet’s coach on the field; running, jumping and playing soccer with her. “They may not necessarily be the best players,” Vance said. “All of the kids have been playing together on the soccer team for the last five years. So they all know how to communicate with each other, and they know how to work together.” Reanna, a student at Mesquite High School, said she learned to be patient and understanding around the students. “I like how they smile all the time when they get their rewards for doing these things,” she said. Reanna said she was honored at the opportunity to travel to Brazil. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show people what we do,” she said. “Our athletes always work really hard and they’re very, very excited to be getting the opportunity to go,” Vance said. “This is just really exciting for all of them.” For more details, go to www. To donate, visit

Teens place in Interscholastic Equestrian Association’s finals

Jessica Martinez and Julia Werhoven of Gilbert fared well in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association’s National Finals event in early May. Both of them were part of the RCR Farms team. Jessica placed sixth in the Varsity Open on the Flat Team Competition, while Julia was named Reserve Champion in the Future Novice Over Fences Individual Competition—making her second best in the country in this class. About 549 of the nation’s leading middle school and high school equestrians competed in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. The finalists represented more than 1,300 teams and over 11,000 student-riders from eight zones throughout the country. Individuals and teams participated in multiple competitions during regular season shows, regional finals and zone finals to qualify for the National Finals competition. During the week, riders competed in Hunt Seat Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat, as well as Western Reining and Horsemanship classes. The IEA format requires that riders compete in unfamiliar tack on unfamiliar mounts; therefore, they draw their horses the day of competition and enter the arena after a brief, if any, warm-up. For more information, visit www.


June 2016

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SPARK App League winners tame ‘Apocalypse’ BY SRIANTHI PERERA

Bobby Gilbert, the town’s namesake, takes center stage in the winning video game at the recent fourth annual SPARK App League, a coding competition for high school students.

The game, titled “Apocalypse,” have players tracking Bobby Gilbert as he tries to make human the zombies that are loose in the town. Characters walk around and jump on the buildings, while Gilbert, with the help of a gun,

Google engineer John Day-Richter, Desert Ridge High School students Elizabeth Dieringer, Dorian Waite and Jason Deguzman, teacher Rob Brandl and Town of Gilbert’s multimedia analyst Derek Konofalski at the fourth annual SPARK App League coding competition in Gilbert.

shoots needles with a cure. After the zombies are cured, players engage an ambulance that transports the zombies to the hospital all the while dodging cars. Juniors at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Elizabeth Dieringer, Dorian Waite and Jason Deguzman, took the Best Overall Game award with their concept. The school is in the Gilbert Public Schools district. “With only two days and a brilliant team, I felt that we did a fantastic job,” Waite said. “We had to take a lot of our ideas out for the sake of time, but it still turned out to be a pretty cool game.” Waite concedes to fluency in eight programming languages, however, he said that the code created was a team effort. Deguzman helped create the graphics as well as put together the music for the game. Dieringer, who functioned as the main programmer, said she valued equally the team building process of the total experience. The win was unexpected for her. “I was just happy to be there,” she said. “I wasn’t even nervous because I didn’t

care if I won or lost. It was just fun to be there in general and then we were so surprised (at the win).” The students were among more than 200 at the SPARK Game Jam, which entailed two full days of coding, creating and collaborating. Students, drawn from around the state, were taught the process of game development using the online coding tool, MIT Scratch. They then worked in teams of up to three students to compete for various prizes in the categories of best game design, best technical design, best visual design, model citizen award and best overall game. The annual competition is a collaboration between the town, ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and Google. Its aim is to spark creativity and help fill the workforce gap that exists with computing jobs. Dieringer and Waite are typical candidates, with their interest in coding, plans to study computer programming and hopes to work for Google. For more information, visit www.


June 2016



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Advanced programs draw families to Legacy Traditional School BY KEN ABRAMCZYK

Legacy Traditional School in Gilbert touts a “back-to-basics” approach, but the K-8 charter school embraces advanced programs as well. Parents who send their children to school there are drawn to Legacy’s advanced instruction in math, physical education and music, according to principal Valerie Merrill. “We cater to parents who are involved with their children and their academics, and whose children are motivated,” Merrill said. The tuition-free school, voted No. 1 Charter School by Ranking Arizona, received an A grade from the Arizona Department of Education. The school was built in 2013 on 12 1/2 acres. Today 1,225 students attend school there. Getting back to basics means that children have their own workspaces and teachers instruct the same material at the same time, Merrill said. “The kids become accustomed to routine and structure, and they thrive on that,” Merrill said. Advanced instruction may well set Legacy apart from other schools. Students receive math instruction at one grade level above their traditional age group, as the school offers algebra and geometry instruction for eighth graders.


Legacy Traditional School in Gilbert.

The Momentum Fitness program offers specialized instruction for four days a week of fitness, sports performance, nutrition and wellness for students in third through sixth grades. Those same grades can learn about music in the specialized Mozart Performing Arts program—learning piano, music history, voice and instrumental instruction. In language arts instruction of kindergarteners through sixth graders,


students learn sounds of the alphabet through the school use of the Spalding instructional method, which emphasizes the conditioning of the child’s auditory and visual skills, rather than traditional instruction of rote memorization, Merrill said. “When they come across new words, they have the ability to use this instruction to decode them,” Merrill said. The curriculum isn’t all about basics,

advanced and specialized classes. The school offers electives, such as Spanish for high school credit; a yearbook class and art class. “As a charter school, we offer electives for our kids that the community may not be aware of yet,” Merrill said. Parents are involved in the school, Merrill says, as they are encouraged to volunteer 12 hours a school year. The school also involves veterans in the school, inviting them on Veterans Day to speak with students, all part of the school’s focus on character building, patriotism and the responsibilities of citizenship. Admissions are not based on residency, as the school admits students who live in other communities. Legacy has a waiting list of parents who want to enroll children in the school. Merrill encouraged parents to get their names on the list, as it changes constantly. For enrollment and school information, visit Legacy Traditional School-Gilbert 2747 S. Recker Rd., Gilbert (480) 270-5438


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June 2016

Higley grad takes class lesson, plans global outreach Recent Higley High graduate Cassie In addition to her service work, Cassie Hancock earned a Marine Scholar & Athlete was a member of Higley High’s Best Buddies Excellence Award, the Ken Vandehei program and played volleyball three years. Scholarship from the Higley Classmate Brandon Achievement Foundation and Boyle, another Higley High scholarships to ASU, Southern graduate, said Cassie has, “a Virginia University and Brigham very big heart.” Young University. “Whether good things or But it’s her heart and bad things have happened, compassion for others that will she always has the biggest be remembered most by her smile. I’ve seen her all four teachers and peers, they say. years here and she’s never Cassie was one of 381 seniors discouraging to anybody,” who graduated from Higley High he said. School on May 26. One of her Boyle described Cassie classes this year was AP Human as “tenacious.” The two Geography, taught by Kerri of them enrolled in Mathew. During the class last fall, multivariable calculus with Cassie learned about the efforts differential equations this of the Edna Adan Foundation year, a high-level math to help improve the health of Cassie Hancock is planning course. Sometimes, when women and infants in Somaliland. to attend ASU’s Barrett, the the class moved quickly, Honors College, in the fall. Boyle said it Cassie spoke “Cassie was very taken with Edna Adan. She took hold of it up for all to ask for a and ran with it and she decided to raise review. money to support the cause,” Mathew said. “She wanted to make sure we all Cassie planned her first fundraiser last fall understand it,” he said. and hopes to eventually collect $25,000 to Cassie graduated in the top 5% of her support the organization. class. She plans to spend the summer “It was all her. That was impressive to at BYU taking her a few college classes me. She took something from class that before returning to the Valley in August for resonates with her,” Mathew said. her courses at ASU’s Barrett, the Honors

College. She plans to study biological sciences with minor or double in global health. She’s looking forward to the next move, noting Higley High has helped prepare her for the future. “The classes have been difficult. One of my favorite teachers said something

today that stuck: just because you tried something hard and didn’t do well, that doesn’t mean you failed. Trying something hard is a success,” Cassie said. “I’ve had teachers totally push me to do something I wouldn’t do. My teachers have given me that: Success is in the trying.”

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School Lunch Hero Days celebrated Mesquite senior wins Ramsey scholarship at Leading Edge Academy Between preparing healthy food, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies and offering service with a smile, Leading Edge Academy nutrition professionals have a lot on their plates. To celebrate their hard work and commitment, Leading Edge Academy schools celebrated School Lunch Hero Days on May 5 and 6. School Lunch Hero Day, celebrated annually since 2013, was designated by The School Nutrition Association and Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series. This day provides an opportunity for parents, students, school staff and communities to thank those who provide healthy meals to 30 million of America’s students each school day. All across the Leading Edge Academy network of schools, school

nutrition professionals were honored with thanks, cards and recognition from students and school staff. Customdesigned “Lunch Legend” aprons were given to each lunch worker along with a printed proclamation recognizing their valuable service. The importance and nutritional value of school meals are well documented. For many children, school lunch is the most important and nutrientrich meal of their day. Across the Leading Edge Academy network, an average of 500 children are served a healthy lunch each day. Get details about School Lunch Hero Day at www. To learn more about the school nutrition program for Leading Edge Academy, visit www. lunch-info/. In Gilbert, the school is located at 415 N. Gilbert Rd.

Bethany Bokel was awarded a $1,000 scholarship in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy Challenge. A senior at Mesquite High School, Bethany was one of three winners and the only one in Arizona. April was National Financial Literacy Month and, to celebrate, Dave Ramsey and Zander Insurance invited high school students across the country to test their personal finance knowledge by taking an online quiz between April 7 and 25. Any senior scoring 100% on the quiz was eligible for the scholarship. There was also a teacher appreciation contest, allowing teachers to enter a giveaway throughout the month of April to win one of two $5,000 vacations. The grand prize winners were from Louisiana and

California. Other prizes were given to underclassman and teachers that included Chromebook laptops, an assembly with Ramsey Personality Anthony O’Neal, $500 gift cards and Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum. Dave Ramsey created Foundations in Personal Finance, an easy-to-use, turn-key high school curriculum that teaches students the value of saving, spending and giving to guide them down the path of financial literacy. Foundations in Personal Finance can be used as a primary or supplemental resource to fulfill requirements in mathematics, economics, family consumer science, business mathematics and personal finance. For more information on the curriculum, go to school.

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June 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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First United Methodist Church of Gilbert 331 S. Cooper Rd., Gilbert 85233 (480) 892-9166 Services: 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. (traditional services) and 11 a.m. (contemporary service) Sundays There are two traditional services—8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.—with the Chancel choir and traditional worship. The 11 a.m. service has a contemporary feel, with music from the Praise Band. The 9:30 a.m. service generally has the largest attendance. Gilbert Presbyterian Church 235 E. Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 892-6753 Services: 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays Gilbert Presbyterian Church is called to be a Christ-centered covenant family nurtured by the Holy Spirit to worship God and to share God’s love. Living Water United Methodist 
Fellowship Highland Park Elementary School 230 N Cole. Dr., Gilbert 85234 Services: 10 a.m. Sundays Living Water exists to bring people in to meet Christ, build people up to follow Christ and send people out to share Christ. Mission Community Church 4450 E. Elliot Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 545-4024 Services: 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Sundays The Bible is God’s word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth and without error in the original manuscripts. Redemption Gilbert 1820 W. Elliot Rd, Gilbert 85233 (480) 632-2220 about/a-brief-overview/ Services: 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays Gospel means good news, but it is truly the most profound and glorious truth ever revealed. It is not advice, nor is it a system or philosophy to add to the congregants’ lives. It is an exclusive truth claim, a holistic worldview, the true story of the whole world, which by its very nature must redefine and recolor everything else. Resurrection Episcopal Church Meets at Gilbert Community Center, 130 N. Oak St., Gilbert 85233 (480) 719-5343 Services: 10 a.m. Sundays Resurrection officials say the congregation is a church you can believe in because you belong. This means it welcomes and embraces all people because God already has. Come for worship, fellowship and Bible study on Sundays and join the group on a spiritual journey to better understand God’s plan for our lives. San Tan Bible Church 1424 S. Promenade Lane, Gilbert 85296 Phone number not available. Services: 8:30 a.m. (Bible hour); 9:30 a.m. (Café 2:42) and 10 a.m. worship service Sundays The church believes the glory of God is the chief end of all we do. Sun Valley Community Church 456 E. Ray Rd., Gilbert 85296 (480) 632-8920, www.sunvalleycc. com Services: 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Sundays The atmosphere is casual and friendly at Sun Valley Community Church. It places high value on authentic Christian living and placing Christ at the center of all our teachings. The church also offers worship music that is current and uplifting, along with focused weekend sermons that break down the Bible in a way that makes it easy to connect the word of God with today’s busy life. Two Rivers Church 326 E. Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 892-2435, www.2riverschurch. org Services: 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish) Sundays Two Rivers Church exists to help lead congregants into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by encouraging and equipping them to love God intimately and serve others. It has a casual environment with a serious faith.


Marsha Gilliam and Karen Schmeiser discuss a work in progress at Schmeiser’s home studio in Gilbert. They plan to teach realism painting workshops at Gilbert Historical Museum. GSN photos by Srianthi Perera

June 2016


Marsha Gilliam holds “The Girl with a Pearl Earring,” the first painting she made at Frank Covino’s Art Masters workshop. Gilliam and fellow artist Karen Schmeiser are planning to pass on their skills to willing students.

Artists ready to teach the methods of the Old Masters BY SRIANTHI PERERA

East Valley artists Marsha Gilliam and Karen Schmeiser are looking for a dozen or so students who possess patience and determination n. The two traits, they said, are more valuable than skills or knowledge to learn the style of the Old Masters. “It’s hard work,” said Schmeiser. “And it’s better to have a blank slate.” The two should know. For more than a decade, they have been attending—and striving—at the workshops of art maestro Frank Covino, who flew to Gilbert twice a year for 12 years from Waterbury, Vermont, to teach a la Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Vermeer among other great European artists of yesteryear. The internationally known Covino died earlier this year at the age of 84, but not before sharing his knowledge. In turn, Gilliam and Schmeiser are planning to convey his legacy in Gilbert. “He taught us so much. We learnt more in a week from him than we had ever learnt before. That’s why we want to perpetuate his teaching,” said Gilliam, an English teacher who hadn’t painted before the workshops. “He’s told both of us on numerous occasions that we should really teach, but we just didn’t. But now we feel that we should.” The first five-day Art Masters Workshop is slated from June 27 to July 1 at the Gilbert Historical Museum; for a cost of $480, participants will learn to make a copy of a realist painting they admire. Twelve years ago for Gilliam, it was “The Girl with a Pearl Earring.” “When I walked into that room the first

time there are all these beautiful, halfway museums. finished paintings and I’m going around Covino’s instruction, the two artists thinking, oh my gosh I must be in the wrong said, included not just the step-by-step place, I can’t do this,” she said. “But halfway process of the style, but the whys and the through the week, I was there, and I knew wherefores of it. that I could do it “I’ve taken because he made classes from other me, he taught me artists and they why I was doing never explain to certain things you why you’re and then, it made doing what sense.” you’re doing,” Gilliam followed said Schmeiser, Covino’s process: whose home in the charcoal Gilbert hangs drawing, the many of her large underpainting or oil reproductions verdaccio and then of the Classical the application Renaissance era, of color to create among them a Johannes Vermeer’s startling likeness of masterpiece. William-Adolphe Her resultant Bouguereau’s Little work, the first Beggar Girls. painting she did, “You end up with was a perfect dozens of paintings replica of his unfinished because depiction of a I knew they needed young woman more but I didn’t sporting a blue and know what to do beige headscarf, a and I didn’t know single pearl earring Karen Schmeiser’s reproduction in oils faithfully why,” she added. and a sensuous Nowadays, the captures the earnest beauties in French painter look. It may well two artists have William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s “Little Beggar Girls.” have been on mostly moved loan from The from copying Mauritshuis in The Hague. originals to creating their own realism The one instruction that Gilliam didn’t paintings. follow was to make the replica in a Schmeiser is creating an intensely different size than the original, which is personal five-part series titled Journey of a general rule when reproducing work at Faith depicting the trials and tribulations

of her life using herself as the model on the canvas. Gilliam is working on a series themed on the Vietnam War years depicting real life situations that are devoid of weaponry. Visual fine art in realism, the artists said, is a means of human communication. If the work “speaks to the viewer,” he or she lingers because it evokes a feeling. Abstract styles, on the other hand, are less communicative, they contend. The fine art style of the Old Masters is not taught in American colleges, according to the two artists. Impressionism and the abstract movement, they believe, were the beginnings of the end of the laborious classical style. “It (abstract) was quicker, it was something new, there were many reasons why they did it,” Schmeiser said. “They’ve lost the methods of the Old Masters in America.” For the last five years or so, their mentor had been communicating that “the pendulum is swinging back toward the fine arts,” she said. A case in point is the “Finding of Moses” by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, which recently was estimated to be around $5 million but sold through New Jersey based Art Renewal Center for $35 million. Schmeiser, incidentally, is replicating it. “It’s so exciting to see the work of somebody we love sell for so much money,” Schmeiser said. “The public is starting to appreciate this type of art more.” To join the Art Masters Workshop, write to or or visit


June 2016

‘Me and My Girl’ dances into the Hale Centre Theatre Triple Tony Award winner “Me and My Girl” is dancing on the Hale Centre Theatre stage through July 2. The sparkling musical comedy tells the tale of Bill Snibson, an unsophisticated bloke from the unfashionable Cockney section of London, and his equally naïve fishmonger girlfriend, Sally Smith. Plot twists reveal that Bill is the longlost Earl of Hereford, much to the horror of his new, stiff upper-lipped family. Bill is schooled in aristocratic ways by Sir John Tremayne, an executor of the previous Earl’s will. A fancy party is given for poor Bill, who must assume upper-crust manners. Sally isn’t invited but attends anyway, leading to hilarious moments with the haughty aristocrats. Bill shows up the nobility by turning the tables and teaching them “The Lambeth Walk,” a popular dance of the time. But to Bill’s dismay, Sally announces she’s going back to Lambeth where she belongs. Later, Bill is to give a speech in the House of Lords and is coached by a Henry Higginstype character. Reminiscent of “My Fair Lady,” Sally arrives at a party in a tiara and fancy gown. Bill and Sally, now reunited, are finally accepted by Bill’s blue-blooded family. “Me and My Girl” combines memorable music with comedic dialogue to create a hilarious blockbuster evening of pure fun for the whole family. The Hale production of “Me and My Girl” is directed and choreographed by ariZoni Award-winner Cambrian James. Vinny Chavez returns to the Hale stage for his 12th production, portraying Bill Snibson. HeidiLiz Johnson plays Sally Smith, and the popular ariZoni Award winner Mark Kleinman appears as Sir John Tremayne. Charity Johansen has the role of Maria, Duchess of Dene, in her Hale debut. The music for “Me and My Girl” was penned by Noel Gay and includes the popular tunes “Me and My Girl,” “The Lambeth Walk” and “Leaning on a Lamppost.” The book and lyrics were written by L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber. The book was revised for modern productions by Stephen Fry with contributions by Mike Ockrent. The Broadway production was nominated for 13 Tonys and won three. The Hale is located at 50 W. Page Ave. in Gilbert, just across the street from the historic Gilbert Water Tower Park. Free parking is located nearby. Purchase tickets by calling the box office at (480) 4971181 or by visiting www.haletheatrearizona. com.


Thomas Muglia concert Music lovers gathered for a performance by onetime “American Idol” contestant Thomas Muglia as part of the Downtown Concert Series on April 28. A recent graduate of Mesquite High School, Thomas is a big fan of John Mayer and Ed Sheeran. GSN photos by Tac Colucccio

From left, Alyssa, Reagan, Ethen, Ally, Brynna, Dani and Lexi hang out in support of their former choir classmate, Thomas Muglia. Kids putt golf balls from the Topgolf tent.

Thomas Muglia brought his brand of pop music to downtown Gilbert. Thomas Muglia’s sister, 7-year-old Holly Muglia, sits with her cousin, Kyleen Perea.

Gilbert and surrounding city residents gather on St. Xavier University’s campus for a concert featuring “American Idol” alum Thomas Muglia.

2-year-old Brayden Bautista, of Gilbert, poses at the concert.


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June 2016

ON STAGE “Me and My Girl,” through Saturday, July 2, HCT. Unsophisticated Cockney Bill Snibson finds out he is the long-lost Earl of Hereford and must choose between fitting in with proper society or losing his girl. Reckless in Vegas, Wednesday, June 8, HACC. The power trio, fronted by singer/ guitarist Michael Shapiro alongside multiplatinum producer Dan Shea, performs a Billy Joel/Elton John tribute. Reckless in Vegas, Friday, June 10, HACC. Renditions of songs by 1960s Las Vegas golden-era performers, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis, Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash. The Dance Loft Presents “Pulse,” Friday, June 10, CCA. The seventh annual recital features performers from The Dance Loft. Los Lonely Boys, Sunday, June 12, CCA. Since their breakout 2004 self-titled album, which has sold over 2.5 million copies to date and garnered a Best Pop Performance Grammy for the No 1 hit single “Heaven,” Los Lonely Boys have released four more studio albums, toured all over the world and performed thousands of shows.

Jarabe Mexicano, Friday, July 29, CCA. Touring Mexico this summer under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, they take their name from the Spanish reference to traditional forms of mariachi music.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Sunday, Nov. 27, MAC. A genre-busting, rotating collective of musicians and vocalists who reimagine modern pop hits in the style of jazz, ragtime and swing classics of the 1920s-1950s.

The Music of Motown Starring Joe Bourne, Friday, Aug. 5, CCA. Joe Bourne, accompanied by his 10-piece band, will take audiences back to the 1960s with the music of Motown.

Chandler Symphony with Jim Curry, Saturday, Dec. 10, HCPA. Curry opens the show performing his John Denver holiday tribute followed by 18-time Emmy nominee Lee Holdridge conducting the symphony.

U.S. Navy Band Cruisers, Sunday, Aug. 14, CCA. This contemporary entertainment ensemble features eight of the Navy’s most dynamic performers. Tres Guitarras, Friday, Aug. 19, CCA. The band features Chris Jacome (flamenco), Bob Fahey (blues) and Stan Sorenson (jazz). “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Friday, Aug. 26, to Saturday, Oct. 8. When a diehard theater fan plays his favorite cast album, the characters come to life in this Tony Award-winning farce.

Straight No Chaser, Saturday, Dec. 31, MAC. Formed years ago while students at Indiana University, the group has reemerged as a phenomenon with a massive fan base, more than 20 million YouTube views and numerous national TV appearances. Roots & Boots Tour, Friday, Jan. 27, CCA. Country music Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Collin Raye.

Reckless in Vegas, Friday, June 17, HACC. The power trio, fronted by singer/guitarist Michael Shapiro alongside multi-platinum producer Dan Shea, performs Doobie Brothers songs.

Neil Sedaka with The Phoenix Symphony, Friday, Feb 3, MAC. His impressive 50-year career ranges from being one of the first teen pop sensations of the ‘50s, a songwriter for himself and other artists in the ‘60s, and a superstar in the ‘70s.

Tempe Dance Academy—Dance America, Dance!, Thursday, June 23, CCA. Welcome the dancers back from their nine-country European tour.

West Side Story, Thursday, July 7, to Saturday, Aug. 20, HCT. The ageless tale of Romeo and Juliet is set against the backdrop of NYC gang warfare of the 1950s. Lyle Lovett, Tuesday, July 12, MAC. Among his many accolades, besides the four Grammy Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award and was named the Texas State Musician.

CCA Chandler Center for the Arts 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler Tickets: (480) 782-2680, GCAC Gold Canyon Arts Council 6410 Kings Ranch Rd., Gold Canyon Tickets: (480) 983-2171, HACC Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino 15406 N. Maricopa Rd., Maricopa Tickets: (480) 802-5000,

Summer Roadtrip Playlist, Thursday, June 16, CCA. Marilyn Bostic’s Ballet Centre presents the 30th annual end-of-the-year performance that includes classical, ballet, tap and Broadway dance tunes.

Wagner Dance and Music—Toy Box, Saturday, June 25, CCA. Imagination runs wild in the whimsical production of “Toy Box!”


Bernadette Peters, Saturday, Oct. 15, MAC. The three-time Tony Award winner who can be seen in the second season of the Golden Globe Award-winning series “Mozart in the Jungle,” will perform signature songs from the multitude of iconic shows in which she has starred. Angela Cheng and Alvin Chow, Friday, Nov. 18, GCAC. This husband and wife concert pianist duo plays compositions for one-hand, two hands and then fourhand compositions, showing the physical intricacies of two performers sharing the same instrument and creating tonal colors across the entire keyboard.

HCPA Higley Center for the Performing Arts 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert Tickets: (480) 279-7194, HCT Hale Centre Theatre 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert (480) 497-1181, MAC Mesa Arts Center One E. Main St., Mesa Tickets: (480) 644-6500,

Glenn Miller Orchestra, Sunday, Feb. 26, CCA. With its unique jazz sound, the recent orchestra was formed in 1956 and has been touring consistently since, playing an average of 300 live dates a year all around the world.





June 2016

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June 2016

Clean Start helps jailed women return to society


More than half of Maricopa County’s budget is invested in public safety and criminal justice and that number is growing. With more than 100,000 bookings into county jail annually, the cost of incarceration is immense, not to mention costly to society. When I was first elected as your county Denny Barney supervisor in 2012, Submitted photo I brought into office a business mindset, which includes managing taxpayers’ money responsibly and making government more efficient. Public safety is a constitutional mandate for Maricopa County, so we can either develop new strategies to reduce our public safety costs or we have to sacrifice other services to support business as usual. One of the county efforts I am proudest of is our Smart Justice initiative. It aims to reduce recidivism among people already involved in the justice system who are at risk of committing

new offenses. Smart Justice has fostered collaboration among a wide scope of county departments including law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, correctional health, human services and judicial branch entities including adult probation. As you likely know, offenders released from jail are subject to probation, or a period of time under supervision to demonstrate good behavior. People on probation face numerous challenges, both personal and professional. Many struggle with basic job skills and successful reentry into the workforce. Their ability to earn money and support themselves is key to reintegration into the community. Maricopa County has recently launched a new pilot program called Clean Start. This program gives women on probation an opportunity to participate in a paid work experience in the jail laundry facility, while gaining occupational skills and cognitive behavioral change training. Participants working at the laundry operation gain transferable skills such as appearing for work on time, time management and getting along with coworkers. They also learn how to operate industrial equipment and utilize shipping and inventory systems.

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The collaborative Clean Start program begins with the county’s Adult Probation Department recommending women assigned to probation for the 40-hourper-week program. The women work in the laundry facility under the direction of the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office. The county’s Human Services Department provides career guidance services such as resume assistance and job interviewing skills throughout, and connects the women with potential employers during the 13-week program. Additionally, the women can continue receiving employment-related services after program completion. Clean Start helps women defy the odds of recidivism by giving them a real chance to be tax paying, law-abiding, selfsupporting women. Many of the women in the Clean Start program are single mothers and sole supporters of their families. The cost of keeping them out of jail is not just financial. It is also about breaking a cycle where children grow up parentless. Clean Start takes a novel approach to improving public safety, controlling costs, and supporting people on probation as they start new, crime-free lives. I hope this month’s first graduates from the

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Clean Start program use this opportunity to create a better future for themselves, their families and our community. Denny Barney is a Gilbert resident and a member of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

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Sound Off: WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! SOUND OFF was transcribed from our Sound Off line during the past month. Sound Off is a monthly editorial feature of Gilbert Sun News. We encourage you to participate. As long as it's not profane or libelous we will print it in our next issue. Calls are limited to one minute. Please leave your name only if you'd like it printed. Come on, get it off your chest!

e-mail us at:

Three ways to Sound Off: leave a message at:

(480) 348-0343 Option 8

Walking along the unpaved section of the canal, from McDowell to the Oak Avenue pedestrian bridge, there were 122 dog messes. Residents of Town and Country ought to be ashamed. As it is a law to clean the waste, SRP may ponder access to pets, if this crap continues.—Uncle Stinky Immigrants come to our country to find a better life. This is what I hear. Anyone who comes across the border illegally does not have any rights in our country. It is against the law. They can be Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, East Indian, etc. IF they do not apply for citizenship and follow the rules, they have no rights in our country. Do they try to be a citizen by learning our language? No, they expect us to learn their language. They have succeeded in having government laws and regulations printed in their language. They have stores and billboards in their language. In fact, they actually appear on TV and in the newspaper stating they are illegal and have rights to protest our government for not allowing them to get a driver’s license, or to stay in our country and work. I thought it was illegal to hire illegals in our country. We are subjected to protests demanding what they want


for themselves and what they say they are entitled to. When we go to urgent care or the hospital, we get the large medical bills for treatment. The illegals get it for free. Is that fair? Our schools have to cater to them by teaching them English and our children have to learn their language, in addition to the regular curriculum. Is this fair? Is any of it fair? President Obama wants to give them everything and let them know that it’s OK for them to come here and do whatever they want. Rob, cheat and steal, and even kill—life has no meaning—it’s OK with Obama, he’s giving our country away. I just heard that our most recent election had problems because the Spanish on the ballot was incorrect. I thought the right to vote was for legal citizens who knew how to read English and speak it. Why are our legal papers in Spanish? Become a legal citizen. I am tired of catering to people who think they can come here and take over our country.—Patricia Miller To the writer about language on TV. Here’s a solution: Walk to the TV and change the station. Extreme action? Turn it off. Maybe you would be happier with nudity and sex. Cable has that. What is your favorite

June 2016

show? What if I called in and asked them to take your show off the air? I am offended. This is what is called censorship and cuts both ways. To the writer about Obama overstepping his authority: A former professor of constitutional law probably knows a little more than you do about his boundaries. You’re probably upset that he did something your precious party didn’t. Google “constitution” and read what it really says, or better yet, have someone read it to you. Credit card and other calls: Get an answering machine. Get a wireless service where you can block calls. There is a “do not call” list. If they persist, note the number, the day and time they call and report to the FCC, SEC, etc. They can be fined for each call you get. You can answer the call and tell them to stop. Note the agencies when you answer. Grandma scam: When you got the call saying your grandkids were kidnapped, say, “Thank goodness somebody can watch over the little scamps,” or be very sarcastic and say “about time.” Really, hang up and call your kids and ask if the grandkids are OK. Note the number that called you. Report this to police. Not my taste in music: Turn off the radio. Get a subscription service on the computer or media player. Ask your kids or grandkids about streaming services. Flash—tastes change. The first thing I do is go to Sound Off. It brings a smile to my face. There is all this complaining and whining. The ignorance of the constitution is my favorite. The president is at fault for everything—I do mean everything. Well, he will be out of office by January of next year, so rejoice, you will get worse or even worse. Be happy you can complain more. Complaining seems to be the pastime here. Well, you can actually do something


about Congress, etc. It is called “voting.” Obama has not done much because he can’t. If you looked at the news or the paper, you will see Congress is now controlled by the GOP, the opposite of Obama. Guess what happens? Nothing. They pass ridiculous legislation only to have him veto it. The process then starts over again. The president and the Democrats want you to keep Medicare and Social Security. The other party wants to fiddle with it. Privatize it in some cases. The Democrats and the president say a lot of things, but they can’t do much if Congress is in the control of the opposite party. This is true no matter who sits behind that desk. Trump was created by the GOP and FOX. Both do not know what to make of him. He is a weathervane. He has flip-flopped on plans in just a few hours. He doesn’t make speeches, he tweets. He doesn’t speak, he rants. I don’t know what scares me more—him or the fact that the voters put him in as the presumptive nominee. It says so much about us. A lot fewer vote in primaries so a few have done this to the rest of us. If he is elected, I will see what he does to Social Security. If I can, I want to move to the Bahamas. It’s warmer than Canada and we won’t have to learn another language. Would you borrow $118,000 from each of your children and grandchildren so you can maintain your standard of living? Certainly not! However, that is exactly what you have done by allowing the federal government to borrow $19 trillion. Each year, we taxpayers are paying the interest on that debt, just like a house payment. Please demand that the government does not borrow any more money. Currently, the government is borrowing $5,000 per taxpayer per year.

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