Relentlessly local coverage of Gilbert and our neighboring communities
Relaxing on a sunny day
Stephanie Iden gets comfy on the hill with her boys Alex and Nicholas Gallardo.
Police deploy body-worn cameras Superintendent strives for 100 percent graduation rate BY SARAH MARMOLEJO
The Gilbert Police Department has deployed body-worn cameras in a pilot program for officers to use in the field in the hopes of improving police investigative efforts, and the safety of the public and the officers. The department deployed 155 cameras out of 170. Cameras were assigned to 12 patrol teams, traffic enforcement officers, crime suppression officers and the criminal apprehension team, according to police. Gilbert police set this pilot program in motion Oct. 6 and will continue through the end of the year. Officers were trained for several months and took 13 classes on how to operate the cameras. The 170 cameras, docking stations and other hardware cost $110,618.25, according to Sgt. Jesse Sanger. Other see CAMERAS page 6
BY IRENE MAHONEY-PAIGE
Chief Tim Dorn dons a body-worn camera, which will help in the department’s crime-fighting efforts. Photo courtesy of the Gilbert Police Department. Submitted photo
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto, superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools, said during her second State of the Schools address that the district is continuing to focus on digital learning. The approach is part of the second year of its strategic operating plan, she said on Oct. 8. “We are a state that leads in innovation,” Kishimoto said. “We need to be a district that is at the cutting edge of innovation.” This year, the district gave Chromebooks to all of its junior high school students and the impact has been felt. “Do you know that the greatest impact we already see is that young learner is engaging their learning not [only] in a class period of 40-plus minutes?” she said. see SUPERINTENDENT page 4
2 Community 16 Neighbors 24 Business 28 Neighborhood Map
Dr. Christina Kishimoto. Submitted photo
34 Youth 44 Spirituality 46 Arts 52 Opinion
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14 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Home for Sale GILBERT, AZ - According to industry experts, there are over 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. A new report has been prepared which identifies the eleven most common of these problems, and what you should know about them before you list your home for sale. Whether you own an old home or a brand new one, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. If not identified and dealt with, any of these 14 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. That’s why it’s critical that you read this report before you list your home. If you wait until the building inspector flags these issues for you, you will almost certainly experience costly delays in the close of your home sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers away
altogether. In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you’re looking for, and knowing what you’re looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones. To help homesellers deal with this issue before their homes are listed, a free report entitled “14 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection” has been compiled which explains the issues involved. To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report call toll-free 1-800-303-3049 and enter 8003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your free special report NOW to learn how to ensure a home inspection doesn’t cost you the sale of your home.
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7 Things You Must Know Before Putting Your Home Up for Sale
Gilbert, AZ - A new report has just been released which reveals 7 costly mistakes that most homeowners make when selling their home, and a 9 Step System that can help you sell your home fast and for the most amount of money. This industry report shows clearly how the traditional ways of selling homes have become increasingly less and less effective in today’s market. The fact of the matter is that fully three quarters of home sellers don’t get what they want for their homes and become disillusioned and - worse - financially disadvantaged when they put their homes on the market. As this report uncovers, most home sellers make 7 deadly mistakes that cost them literally thousands of dollars. The good news is that each and every one of these mistakes entirely preventable. In answer to this issue, industry insiders have prepared a free special report entitled “The 9 Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar”. To hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report, call toll-free, 1-800-303-3049 and enter 8005. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your free special report NOW to find out how you can get the most money for your home.
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4 November 2015
Gilbert superintendent named president of ALAS Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto has been named 2015-2016 president of the National Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (ALAS). ALAS was formally established in the summer of 2003, and is committed to bringing sharp focus to and support for Latino educational leaders and issues. Dr. Edward Lee Vargas, outgoing president of ALAS, announced, “My fellow board members and I are thrilled at Dr. Kishimoto’s appointment as our new president of ALAS. Under her leadership, ALAS will continue to flourish as the nation’s premier
Latino-driven educational leadership organization for school administrators and superintendents, now with over 4,600 members and growing.” More than 30 percent of public school students in Arizona are Hispanic and at the same time less than 5 percent of administrators are Hispanic. ALAS works to create and provide professional development and support programs for Hispanic educational leaders and leads the only national Latino Superintendents Leadership Academy to prepare future superintendents.
SUPERINTENDENT from page 1
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center delivers cancer care to patients in Arizona through a collaboration with Banner Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Submitted photo
Blue light procedure at Anderson helps doctor detect bladder cancer An innovative procedure at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center now enables a doctor to use blue light to better view certain bladder cancers, similar to the way black light makes deadly scorpions luminiscent. The facility is one of a select number of medical centers nationwide offering blue light cystoscopy used in detecting papillary cancer of the bladder. White light cystoscopy has been the primary method used to view suspicious lesions during surgery to remove bladder tumors. However, when used on its own, harderto-see tumors can be missed. Blue light cystoscopy works by illuminating the bad tissues with a fluorescent chemical (called Cysview). The chemical is placed in the bladder and absorbed by cancer cells, turning them hot pink when under the blue light. In blue light cystoscopy, the imaging solution is delivered into the bladder about an hour prior to the cystoscopy and is absorbed by cancerous tissues. After first using white light, the doctor will switch to blue light mode. Because of the absorption of the solution, other hard-to-see tumors that may be present become more visible, standing out against normal bladder tissue and making it easier for the doctor to identify and remove them.
“The potential of blue light cystoscopy and Cysview is to identify more bladder tumors and aid in a more complete resection, which is very important in optimally treating bladder cancer,” said Dr. Joseph Mashni Jr., a surgeon at Banner MD Anderson. Bladder cancer is a highly diagnosed cancer in Arizona, with even more new diagnoses annually than melanoma (skin cancer), according to American Cancer Society. For information, call (480) 256-6444 and ask about an appointment with a cancer specialist. Banner MD Anderson, located on the Banner Gateway campus, delivers cancer care to patients in Arizona through the collaboration of Banner Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner MD Anderson offers focused disease-specific expertise in the medical, radiation and surgical management of the cancer patient; an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to patient care; access to clinical trials and new investigative therapies; state-of-theart technology for the diagnosis, staging and treatment of all types of cancer; oncology expertise in supportive care services. For more information, visit www. BannerMDAnderson.com.
“They are engaging in learning in between their sports and co-curricular activities. They’re interacting and collaborating in groups. They don’t have to figure out how to get to each other’s homes to work on group projects. “It’s a whole mindset we are creating in our junior high school, learning what it means to be an educated person; what it means to be an engaged person; what it means to be an empowered person who has access to information that you can determine what you are going to do with that self-empowerment. We’re very excited about having students as explorers, as creators, as innovators.” More than 100 stakeholders—educators, and business and government leaders— came together for Kishimoto’s speech. The attendance stresses the ties that bind the school district and the community. “As the town’s largest employer, we have an important impact of economic stability of our community,” Kishimoto said. “We are also a community of a system that welcomes 38,000 children into our school buildings on a daily basis. Our educators have a tremendous impact, along with parents, in preparing our children for the future and to be ready for college and careers. “We need to think about our community holistically—including the tremendous impact that the quality and health of our education system has on the future and health of this community.” Kishimoto also discussed the future of the district and how it can ensure that all students graduate high school and are ready for college and/or careers. “We have a council. We have a board, community leaders and educators here who are all committed to making sure Gilbert Public Schools is not satisfied with just being good, that we have a vision to always be a great school district,” she said. “Good is not good enough for our kids.”
Right now, 90 percent of the students are graduating. “We have a great graduation rate,” she said. “I’m not going to be satisfied, my staff won’t be satisfied, until we have 100 percent graduation rate. “We have great access to college scholarships. We have teachers who are being recognized nationally for outstanding work in the classroom. We have principals who are being recognized for their leadership work. “Teachers hold our most important job in society today. Teachers have a tremendous impact on our lives and it is a position we need to think more deeply around on how we are allowing our teachers to develop their skill sets to be able to prepare students for this type of work environment. The work around supporting, growing and providing a very respectful environment for our teachers is critical for us to lead.” In June, GPS rolled out a technology institute for teachers—educators showing their co-workers how to use technology in the classroom. The institute maximizes the districts capacity as an employer of more than 4,000 staff members. Kishimoto said Gilbert Public Schools’ teachers, students, parents and principals need to collaborate to make sure children are prepared for the future. “One of the areas GPS is focusing on this year is to create a Parent University to think about how to train parents on policy, budget, in being involved in the larger policy discussion so they are not only involved locally, but at a state level,” she said. “Parent University can also help parents who have not had the experience with technology and help them to understand the way technology is used in the workplace and why and how GPS is using it in the classroom. Our goal should be that in the next 10 years, Gilbert Public Schools becomes a top 10 school district in the nation.”
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Guadalupe Road, just 1.8 miles east of the 202 Fwy, exit 32 Over 3,000 families have already joined our VIP Interest List. Join today at:
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No offer to sell or buy may be made prior to issuance of an Arizona subdivision public report. Offer, availability, pricing, terms and conditions subject to change without prior notice. Renderings are artist’s conceptions and remain subject to modification without notice. Blandford Homes has no control over Mulberry Marketplace as to actual timing of construction or even if is it ever constructed. Copyright 2015 Blandford Homes, LLC.
6 November 2015
CAMERAS from page 1
hardware was not specified but it was noted that one year of video storage, licensing, and software alone cost $187,200. ASU criminology professor Michael White admitted that the cameras represent a large expense for police departments nationwide. White worked as a deputy sheriff in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, for about two and a half years. Since then White spoke to a taskforce assembled by President Barack Obama. “Body cameras are expensive and
represent an enormous investment in resources and manpower,” White said. White also acknowledged the benefits of the cameras. “Body cameras have many expected benefits including a demonstration of commitment to transparency and accountability, and likely reductions in complaints against officers,” White said. “They may also reduce use of force by police, and can also be used to improve training” Councilman Jared Taylor said he believed there will be multiple benefits in using the body cameras. “This application will better protect the rights of both the police and
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those involved in the various calls for response,” Taylor said. “For me that’s what government is all about: protecting rights. Cameras will also enable our investigators to have better information, and cameras have also shown to change police behavior while on calls.” White believes that this change was a long time coming, as many other police departments have been deploying body cameras before scandals involving police officers across the country even broke out. “Many police departments had adopted body-worn cameras long-before the current crisis in policing,” White said. “Data show that in 2013, about one-third of all police departments had deployed body cameras. In a few years all police departments will have them in my opinion. Some are being proactive in response to the crisis, others are adopting because they see the value of the technology.” Police officials have seemed to embrace technology, including John Thompson, a commander at ASU Police Department. Thompson, who is also a professor of criminology at ASU, said the university will deploy body cameras to their officers over the next three weeks as well. “The reasons we decided to go this direction is consistent with the
www.GilbertSunNews.com reasons that most agencies are citing these days for why they are using body cameras; increased accountability and transparency, along with better evidence collecting. As I can’t speak for Gilbert, I would guess they too would probably cite many of these same reasons for implementation.” Gilbert police officials seem confident that the body cameras will only benefit that department. The department believes the benefits are to improve investigations, enhance employee safety and provide transparency to the public, according to a department press release.
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Learn to empower others to be a health care advocate in a crisis Gilbert estate planning attorney Becky Cholewka will host the seminar “Empowering Others to Be Your Health Care Advocate in a Crisis” from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at Red Mountain Active Adult Center in East Mesa. Cholewka will tell attendees which health care documents are specific to Arizona. She is also planning to discuss how to choose a power of attorney. Seating is limited and there is a suggested donation of $3.50 for class and lunch, or $6 for those younger than
60. Registration is required by calling (480) 218-2221. The Red Mountain Active Adult Center is located within the Red Mountain Multigenerational Center, 7550 E. Adobe St., Mesa. Established in 2010, Cholewka Law represents clients in all areas of estate planning, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, probate, trust administration, asset protection and bankruptcy. The attorney is an 11-year Gilbert resident who has an office in the historic district of downtown.
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8 November 2015
Local groups respond to recent heat-related child deaths BY GABRIEL CUSHING
On Sept. 8, 4-month-old Alex Rodriguez Jr. died after he was left in a hot car for more than 40 minutes on a Texas summer day. He, like 22 other children so far this year, became a statistic in a string of heat-related car deaths. Gilbert Fire Department personnel, along with the former owner of www. babysafetystickers.com, find these statistics alarming. With the number of deaths averaging 38 a year, there is concern that the number of victims will rise in the upcoming months. Even with the temperature in the 80s, it is still dangerous. The organizations in Gilbert are sharing vital information to remind adults to remove children from parked vehicles during the fall. The first heat-related car death this year was in Phoenix. While the number of deaths is expected to increase before the end of the year, some parents said they believe it would be impossible to forget their children in their vehicles. “I can imagine there are things on your mind, but how do you forget your child?” said Lillian Arnold, a Gilbert parent. “I think it’s part of the times. People are
maybe just so overwhelmed.” Bill Shields, who once owned www. babysafetystickers.com, an organization formed to educate the public about how to avoid leaving children in hot vehicles, discussed why parents can sometimes leave their children in a car by accident. “Most people say, ‘I would never do that,’” Shields said. “That’s why so many kids die in cars. It’s because of that mentality. There are cases where it is neglect but, for the most part, it’s just parents that get distracted.” Shields said rear-facing car seats contribute to the problem. “In the early ‘90s, with the invention of the front-passenger air bag, car seats went from the front-passenger seat to the rear seat,” Shields said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommended that
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the seat be turned around, but that recommendation also meant that the vehicle’s driver doesn’t see the baby at all when looking in the mirror, Shields said. “In 1990 to 1992, the total child heatstroke deaths were six. In 2010 they were 49, in 2013 they were 44,” Shields said. If the parent became distracted, began to argue with a spouse or was in a hurry, they wouldn’t be able to see and inadvertently may forget their child. Shields said the cooler fall temperatures can also be dangerous. “Heatstroke can occur in temperatures of 57 degrees or less,” he said. Shields communicated with KidsandCars.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to child safety, while operating babysafetystickers.org. Both organizations suggested that parents bring Teddy bears into a vehicle and place them on their
laps to remind them that their children are with them. Shields was forced to give up babysafetystickers.org, however, after it became too expensive to manage. A lack of business was the cause. “I spent money on advertising, I spent money on Facebook. I wasn’t getting responses so I shut it down. It never caught on,” he said. Children are also at risk when parents accidentally get locked out of their vehicle, as was in the case in Gilbert recently, according to firefighter Donna Ziegler of Gilbert Fire Department Station No.1. “Most people just lock themselves out of their car,” said Ziegler of an incident in Gilbert. “A lady started her car in the garage. Once she auto-started the car, she couldn’t get back in.” Ziegler found a replacement key and opened the door before fellow firefighters needed to break the vehicle’s windows. Ziegler said this situation can happen to anyone. “It’s just how prepared are you to overcome that kind of thing,” she said.
hanks to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit Law, A.R.S. 43-1088, you may be able to designate a donation to Chandler/Gilbert Arc and receive a tax credit. [The charitable tax credit is in addition to the education tax credits… you can take advantage of both tax credits in the same year.] Chandler/Gilbert Arc has been serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the East Valley since 1975, and provides community living, employ-ment and day treatment and training opportunities daily. For tax year 2015, contributions up to $400 may earn dollar-for-dollar tax credit on your Arizona Income Tax return. Taxpayers filing as single or unmarried head of household have a maximum credit amount of $200; married taxpayers filling jointly have a $400 maximum credit.
Check to see if your employer will match your donation! http://doublethedonation.com/cgarc
If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please make your check payable to:
Chandler/Gilbert Arc Charitable Tax Fund 3250 N. San Marcos Place Chandler, AZ 85225-7789
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For your convenience, you can make your donation on our website:
We also accept Mastercard, Discover and American Express. Please contact Barbara or Toni at (480) 892-9422 Chandler/Gilbert Arc is an IRS Section 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and is a qualifying charitable organization registered with the Arizona Department of Revenue. Contact the Arizona DOR at (602) 255-3381, or visit www. revenue.state.az.us
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10 November 2015
GOHS awards grant Supervisors endorse ‘100K to Gilbert Police Department Opportunities’ initiative
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awarded a grant to the Gilbert Police Department for the purchase of a new GPS Diagramming System. This technology is used for measuring collision scenes to assist with accurate collision reconstruction efforts for serious injury and/or fatal traffic crashes. This new equipment is much more technologically advanced than the equipment the department used
previously, which was over 15 years old. This new equipment will allow for more accurate and timely collision investigation and will translate into less road closure time when serious or fatal collisions do occur. Overall the new system will increase the capacity for the Gilbert Police Department to investigate collisions quickly and efficiently. The total grant award is $30,915.77.
The Gilbert Police Department’s new equipment will aid in the investigation of collisions. Submitted photo
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One in five young people in the Phoenix Metropolitan area are neither in school nor working. And to respond to this issue, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors joined a wide coalition to improve career opportunities for youth. The “100K Opportunities” initiative will mobilize public, private and nonprofit organizations to improve prospects for “disconnected youth” between 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor have a job. The effort sponsored an all-day Opportunity Job Fair & Forum on Friday, Oct. 30. More than 20 local and national companies interviewed applicants for jobs and careers. The five-member Board of Supervisors formally adopted a proclamation joining the initiative, aimed at decreasing the number of disconnected youth, estimated at 90,000 countywide, one of the highest in the nation. Specifically, the initiative aims at reducing the percentage of out-of-
school and out-of-a job youth from 18.8 percent to 11 percent. “We can talk about how troubling the high school dropout problem is, or we can do something about it,” explained Board Chairman Steve Chucri said. “Part of our strategic plan is to help increase the high school graduation rate, the labor force participation rate and raise per capita income in the county. This collaboration looks very promising.” Kathy Johnson, of the county Workforce Development Office, said her staffers have been “doing some serious outreach” in recent weeks to alert young people to the job fair. They should register beforehand if they want to interview for jobs. “They have to know it’s about them, that we are honestly connecting and listening to them,” Johnson said. Career guidance specialists were at the fair to assist in finding resources, help youth with their resumes and assist them in assessing their job skills, educational and training needs.
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Donate blood at various sites throughout Gilbert
It takes 500 donors of all blood types to maintain Arizona’s blood supply for just one day. Fall blood donors help kids like Madison, who is alive today because of more than 148 blood donors. The Arizona 8-year-old, whose last name was not given, was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare disease that prevents her body from producing red blood cells. She relies on the kindness of strangers to provide lifesaving blood transfusions about every three weeks at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “Blood donors deserve medals for their lifesaving actions,” said her mom, Aimee. “I am so thankful for people who donate regularly because they understand the need for transfusions is constant.” To make an appointment to Find the Hero in You, call (877) UBS-HERO (1-877-827-4376) or visit www.BloodHero.com (enter your city or ZIP code). All blood types are needed, however, Type O-negative is always in greatest demand. Gilbert residents can donate: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Spectrum Community, 2846 S. Spectrum Way, Bloodmobile 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, at SanTan Village, 2218 E Williams Field Rd., Bloodmobile 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, at Trilogy, 4369 E. Village Pkwy., Ballroom 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29, at St. Anne Knights of Columbus, 440 E. Elliot Rd., Church Hall.
Town to host Veterans Day ceremony Residents and leaders are honoring veterans with their annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Gilbert Town Hall on Thursday, Nov. 5. The ceremony will feature a presentation of colors, patriotic music by the Williams Field High School band, resources for veterans and a free catered lunch. Music will begin at 11 a.m. and the ceremony will start at 11:30 a.m., followed by lunch. The keynote speaker is Capt. Philip Roos. The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available at the Civic Center campus—50 E. Civic Center Dr. The Town of Gilbert Parks and Recreation Department and the Merrill-Mitchell American Legion Post 39 host this annual tradition. For more details about the event and its sponsors, visit www.gilbertaz.gov/ veteransday.
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Gilbert residents enjoyed a full weekend of fun and thrill-seeking rides at Crossroads Park. Patrons enjoyed rides such as the Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl and more. There were also plenty of challenging carnival games to win prizes. Of course, what would a festival be without food? GSN photos by Kimberly Carrillo
Kristi Hillier and Joanna Hillier laugh and slide. Maya Bradley and Ryan Contos look down from the ferris wheel.
The Igloo ride was one of the most popular rides.
Kids loved trying to win a real fish.
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Braydon Hicks and Sagan Breinholt try to pop some balloons.
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Cozy Gabriela’s Kitchen features comfort food with Mexican twist BY KATHY KERBY
Gabriela’s Kitchen is the newest addition to Patterson Landing on the northeast corner of Val Vista Drive and Guadalupe Road. Since opening in June, in the spot vacated by Holly’s Bakery, Gabriela’s is building a loyal following of people who want fresh, flavorful food with a Mexican twist. This little gem is cozy with just eight tables but the curtained glass windows in front, the large shelves stocked with bakery goods and the glass case and counter looking into the kitchen give a homey feeling that says “come in and enjoy some good home cooking.” We were greeted by Gabriela and her adorable cousin, Kaelynn, who gave us a menu and asked if we would like to begin with juice or a smoothie. We selected the mixed berry smoothie with yogurt for $5 and looked over the compact menu. There are eight breakfast options along with a nice selection of natural fruit juices, smoothies and coffees. For lunch, five
the homey atmosphere, the dinner different salads and seven sandwiches selections were braised beef ribs and are offered. meatloaf, so that made it easy to Dinner is different than any other order. We felt like restaurant I have we were eating in a visited. After 4 friend’s kitchen as p.m. each day Gabriela prepared two fresh family our food and Kaelynn dinner options cheerfully served are served. it. We finished our A rotating yummy smoothie and schedule is dove into a cup of posted on the delicious albondigas website and ($2.50). With mini each dinner is meatballs, squash, served with a onions, carrots choice of two and tomatoes, this sides (vegetable, chunky, spicy soup pasta, rice) and was nearly a meal in a roll. The green chili stew had large chunks of itself. A bowl of green Tita’s Daily pork swimming in thick green chili. GSN chili stew ($5) came Dinners are photos by Kathy Kerby out next and the huge $8.99 each or chunks of pork swimming in a thick four for $25. They include roasted green sauce was just right, not too hot turkey breast, stuffed bell peppers and and not too spicy. pot roast, just to name a few. Gabriela came out to visit with us as On the Friday evening that my she delivered our dinners. She told us husband, Lou, and I were enjoying
This meatloaf tastes just like the one grandma used to make.
that she had been cooking since she was 4 or 5 with her grandmother in Mexico. At 13 she was making pies and cakes and selling them in little shops. She attended Scottsdale Community College, taking culinary classes in addition to nutrition and business classes, and later graduated from ASU. Her dream was always to open a restaurant. Assisted by her three adult children, her brother and her sister, Gabriela’s vision is to help “mothers who work all day and don’t have time to prepare a home cooked meal and seniors who don’t want to cook but want to eat nutritiously.” We feasted on the braised ribs with beef so tender it fell off the bones and meatloaf that was meaty and flavorful. The ribs were served with a twicebaked potato and a fresh salad with mixed greens tossed with tangy cilantro vinaigrette dressing. Mixed vegetables, potatoes and gravy added color and taste to the rib plate. We enjoyed each bite and couldn’t get enough of the large, pillowy soft rolls that came with each meal. Gabriela had just finished baking fresh chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies ($2 for three) so we munched on those for dessert and took some home for snacks the next day. The cookies were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the perfect light dessert for a delicious meal. Gabriela works hard to prepare great food that is “inspired by the seasons and guided by flavor.” Gabriela’s Kitchen 891 N. Val Vista Dr. Gilbert 85234
The albondigas soup is chunky and spicy served with the pillowy rolls. GSN photos by Kathy Kerby
The shelves at Gabriela’s Kitchen are stocked with yummy baked goods.
Warm chocolate chip cookies served right out of the oven.
Gabriela’s Kitchen is the newest addition to Patterson Landing.
Zappone’s preparing to celebrate its renovation BY GABRIEL CUSHING
Zappone’s Italian Bistro is taking its annual wine tasting party to a completely different level. Sal and Dina Zappone will celebrate the restaurant’s third anniversary from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, by hosting the event and showing off recent renovations, which include new furniture and decorations. Dina Zappone said they deemed the improvements necessary because of changes throughout the three years. “In the last three years, we’ve grown in small increments, and then added pieces on,” she said. “We added more tables, more chairs; just small renovations.” Throughout Zappone’s Italian Bistro’s growth, many of its interior decorations and furniture became mismatched, or were older than other, newer items. Zappone decided it was time for a big change. “We decided to get an interior designer, and do an overhaul on the whole thing. We have matching furniture and matching decor now,” she said. The Dec. 5 party is more than a celebration of renovations and wine. The couple will show off new, seasonal entrees.
“We make a lot of our fresh pastas in house,” she said. “One of our featured pastas for the fall is our homemade pumpkin ravioli with a butter sage sauce. Every week we take different pastas and make them from scratch and feature them in our seasonal pasta. We make our own bread; we make a lot of our own pasta. We try to put a lot of love into making things homemade.” Zappone knows how to do it right. A 33year veteran of cooking, Zappone earned experience by cooking professionally in an Italian restaurant in The Mirage in Las Vegas, where she met her husband and the current sous chef The Gilbert location is a team effort, with Dina running the front of the store and Sal in charge of the kitchen. “I’ve always run the front of the restaurant and he’s always run the back of the restaurant, so we figured we’d make a pretty good team. So here we are,” she said. Zappone’s Italian Bistro 1652 N. Higley Rd., Suite 103 Gilbert 85234 (480) 218-2338
Zappone’s Italian Bistro will have completed renovations by the time it hosts a party on Dec. 5. Submitted photo
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Fall farmers markets
It’s the perfect time of year to check out these homegrown marketplaces BY MICHELLE TALSMA EVERSON PHOTOS BY KRISTEN CARTER PHOTOGRAPHY
Although it’s technically been fall since late September, the weather is just now starting to feel cool, fresh and crisp. To many, there’s no better time to visit nearby farmers markets to check out the fresh produce and locally made products. If you’re looking to visit a nearby farmers market, here are three to consider: Gilbert Farmers Market (GFM) 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturdays Located in downtown Gilbert, west of the water tower www.gilbertmarket.com A staple of the downtown Gilbert community, the GFM has nearly 100 vendors this fall offering a wide variety of locally grown produce and foods in addition to arts and crafts. There are also food trucks and entertainment each week. “The market features local, chemicalfree, organic produce from many local farmers, farm fresh eggs, meat, cheese, bread, sweets, coffee and tea, sauces, seasonings and many other locally made artisan products,” according to the market’s website. On Oct. 24, GFM celebrated its fifth anniversary. The market is open every Saturday except Nov. 21 and Dec. 26. According to GFM representatives, the market’s mission is “to promote local sustainability, healthy eating and green living practices among the town of Gilbert and its surrounding areas.” There is also a big focus on educating the public about local food and giving guests opportunities to meet area farmers and producers inperson. The Power Ranch Farmers Market 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays Located at The Barn at Power Ranch, 3685 E. Autumn Dr. www.raysmarket.net “The Power Ranch Farmers Market is all about relationships and community,” said Chris Ray, owner of Ray’s Markets. “We’re so proud to support small business owners of the East Valley and appreciate the opportunity to host this
Food trucks allow patrons to nosh while they peruse the produce.
Farmers markets are family-friendly events that even kids can enjoy.
unique market in the heart of the Power Ranch community.” The Power Ranch Farmers Market is a great midweek stop for fresh food vendors, food trucks, local artisans, and more—all of which varies per week. “Ray’s Market believes people need to have a relationship with the people who provide [food], not just food products, but the total family fun environment,” according to the market’s website. Ray’s Markets also hosts another weekly farmers market in Tempe on Saturdays. Steadfast Farm at Agritopia, Farm Stand and Food Trucks 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays 3000 E. Ray Road www.steadfast-farm.com/markets Steadfast Farm at Agritopia is described as a “certified organic urban farm in the heart of Agritopia, growing produce for our local community.” The farm produces organic herbs, vegetables, fruits and grains that are available for purchase and through a CSA, a community-supported agriculture program where locals receive weekly shares of farm produce. Every Wednesday, Steadfast Farm welcomes visitors from across the East Valley to its weekly farmers market and food trucks event. Usually, the farm will preview some of the fresh produce available on its social media pages before the event.
Small businesses are the heart and soul of farmers markets.
Arizona seasonal produce According to the Arizona Farm Bureau, there are more than 30 varieties of produce in season this fall in the Grand Canyon State. Some of these include arugula, basil, beets, broccoli, carrots, dates, scallions, herbs, a variety of greens, tomatoes, pumpkins, lettuce, sweet potatoes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, turnips and many more. To see a full list of seasonal produce available statewide, visit www.fillyourplate.org/produce-season.html. Food trucks and the nearby dining areas give visitors a break from walking around the farmers markets.
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Cold Items • Hot Items • Desserts • Kids Menu Chef-Attended Stations featuring:
Chef-Prepared Omelet Station with Assorted Fillings & Toppings Roasted Garlic & Herb Roasted Tom Turkey with Gravy & Cranberry-Orange Chutney Sour Local Orange & Agave Nectar Glazed Ham Herb-Encrusted Prime Rib with Rosemary Au Jus and Creamed Horseradish
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Energy therapist’s clients inspire new book
OPEN EVENINGS AND SATURDAYS! WALK-INS WELCOME!
BY MEGHAN MCCOY
Julie Holbrook spent nearly 20 years in the corporate world, struggling with personal issues like her weight and low self-esteem. But when she got a handle on overeating through personal healing and nutrition, she decided to embark on a new career path. The Gilbert resident is now helping others as an energy therapist through her business Shift 4 Success. “I work with clients who are struggling with things in their life—food issues and weight, struggling with relationships,” Holbrook said. “Clients come in and they say, ‘I know I have this unhealthy pattern. I know I am doing this with my relationship and I don’t want to do it anymore.’” Through one-on-one time with her clients, Holbrook helps them clear the negative blocks of energy. “My clients are incredibly type A,” she said. “They are smart. They are out there doing the big stuff in life. They are aware and say I know I am doing this. From the first session they start seeing changes in their lives. It is very results oriented. They are living their busy lives and seeing and feeling the changes of what’s going on.” Experiences with her clients led her to write her first book, “Hierarchy from Love: Divine Guidance for a Soul-Driven Planet.” Holbrook has always been a caring soul. When she was kindergarten aged, she was concerned about the trees and birds not being warm or fed enough. “I always liked hanging out in nature and talking to nature,” she said. “I remember asking about it. ‘Are we taking care of things?’ I remember being told to stop asking these silly questions.” Holbrook ended up blocking those questions for quite some time until she started witnessing more turmoil on this planet. Those questions she asked all those years ago resurfaced again, which were being echoed by her clients as well. “I was noticing that as my clients were getting healthier and they were asking me the same sorts of questions,” she said. With the guidance of Archangel Michael, the book became a reality. “He is the one who dictated the message in my book,” Holbrook said. That message is that we are all guests on this planet. “When you are a guest at someone’s house you want to take care of their
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Julie Holbrook released her first book “Hierarchy from Love: Divine Guidance for a Soul-Driven Planet.” Photo by Linda Radke
things, respect it, not overuse or disrupt the flow of things. If you look at the planet we are treating it as though we are guests.” She said when individuals become more aware of their thoughts, their actions are a result of love, which turns into taking care of the planet by using its resources wisely. “Businesses, families, groups, religions all have hierarchy. Doesn’t it make sense that our planet has one as well,” Holbrook asked. The “Hierarchy from Love” starts with the air, water, landscape, animals and then humans. “That is how the planet evolved,” she said. “We are here to support and take care of all the other levels of hierarchy. If we do that they will support us back to live an abundant life.” The goal of her book is to make her readers aware. Holbrook said when someone is aware, they are listening to their soul, which is a connection to love energy and being a guest on the planet. “Hierarchy from Love” was released Friday, Oct. 16. For more information, visit www.hierarchyfromlove.com.
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Holiday boutique scheduled for mid-November The Creative Designers Holiday Classic Boutique is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, in the Sierra Ballroom at Trilogy at Power Ranch, 4369 E. Village Pkwy., between Higley and Power roads in Gilbert. There will be beautiful handmade items for the entire family. Proceeds from the event will benefit schools and charities. Organizers have also arranged for Angel Trees that benefit underprivileged children from Gilbert Public Schools and Higley Unified School District. For information contact Rita Solko at (480) 219-1344.
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Free barbecue for Veterans at Famous Dave’s Nov. 11 In observance of Veterans Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Valley Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Ques—including Gilbert—would like to thank all former and current military personnel for their dedication and commitment to the United States by offering a free “Two Meat Salute.” The restaurants’ hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The “Two Meat Salute” is a choice of two different meats, including St LouisStyle Ribs, Georgia Chopped Pork, Texas Beef Brisket, Country Roasted or Barbeque Chicken, Traditional or Boneless Chicken Wings, Southside Rib Tips, Hot Link Sausage, Chicken Tenders or Beer-Battered Cod, served with a Corn Bread Muffin and a choice of one side. Valid for dine-in only. Valid only at Chandler, Peoria, Mesa Riverview and SanTan Village Famous Dave’s locations. Applicable to all military personnel with valid photo ID and proof of military service including U.S. Uniformed Service
ID Card, form DD-214 or current leave and earnings statement with photo ID. It’s valid only Nov. 11, 2015. “Supporting our local veterans is very important to me and our staff,” said John Erlandson, owner of the Valley’s four Famous Dave’s Restaurants and Catering company. Erlandson is not only an Army Reserves veteran, but also a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School. He is proud to be able to give back. “This is just a small way for all of us at Famous Dave’s here in Phoenix to show our appreciation for their selflessness and service to our country,” said Erlandson. There are four Famous Dave’s restaurants in the Valley including Chandler at 3250 W. Frye Rd.; Peoria at 16148 N. 83rd Ave.; SanTan Village in Gilbert at 2206 E. Williams Field Rd.; and Mesa Riverview in Mesa at 1011 Dobson Rd. Go to www.famousdavesbbq.com for full offer details.
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Downtown Gilbert Concert Series
The Downtown Concert Series is held at the Water Tower Plaza in the heart of Gilbert’s Heritage District. Residents and their friends and family are encouraged to pack a picnic basket or visit a local restaurant for take out to enjoy while listening to music at the base of the Gilbert water tower. GSN photos by Kimberly Carrillo
Swain’s World’s lead singer Jennifer Turner belts out great tunes for an enthusiastic crowd. Young Piper Kittelman shows she’s got rhythm possible new band member?
Jennifer Turner of the featured band Swain’s World get a crowd of young girls fired up to sing along!
Friends Linda Damiano and Donna Vitullo enjoy a lovely evening out in Gilbert. The Gilbert Water Tower shines like a beacon leading folks to the concert.
Heather Suess of concert sponsor Farm Bureau Financial Services welcomes people to the show. Stephanie Iden gets comfy on the hill with her boys Alex and Nicholas Gallardo.
Postino’s Jason Sousa and Joyride’s Midori Kota ply the crowd with scrumptious samples from their restaurants.
Recent Chicago transplants Lori and Betty Wilson and Linda Thomas enjoy a warm fall evening out at the concert.
Bella and Brody Kuster play in the fountains under the Water Tower.
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Air Force vet’s 30 jobs in 30 days will pay for a week of work BY KENNETH LAFAVE
Lance Whitford has worked bagging produce. He has also worked on an archery range. Then there were the jobs installing windows, washing cars, moving furniture, selling books, selling guitars and doing maintenance on aircraft, plus another dozen-plus gigs of assorted descriptions, with more still ahead. When the last of the jobs is done, Whitford will have worked 30 different jobs on 30 different days. And Whitford’s net after all that effort? Zip. He plans to use his earnings to bankroll a project that will employ 15 fellow veterans for week. A former Gilbert resident, Whitford is the founder and CEO of Vets2Work. US, a nonprofit organization with the goal of putting American veterans to work. Dubbed the “30/30 Veterans Employment Campaign,” Whitford’s 30-jobs-in-30-days project is his highprofile way of raising $6,500 to employ 15 veterans at $15 per hour, eight hours per day, in the five days leading up to Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Whitford has a passion for helping vets find their place in life-afterservice. “When I lived in Prescott, I took a sociology class at Yavapai College, and the teacher challenged us to prove that
Marine veteran Keegan Cooley works his new job at Quality Transport Services of Arizona, with supervisor Travis Russon. Submitted photo
one person can make a difference,” Whitford said. “Well, I’m one person and I’m trying to make that difference.” Raised in California and Oregon, Whitford settled in Gilbert in 1999 following 11 years in the U.S. Air Force. (He currently lives in Maricopa.) He moved temporarily to Prescott in 2012 for treatment at the VA hospital there. “I saw the hospital release veterans back into society without any connection to the community, without any help. I had issues when I separated from the service. I’ve been there and lived it. I decided to help,” Whitford said. Whitford came up with a three-part plan: • Contact 30 vet-friendly businesses and offer to work for each of them one day, in return for payment going directly to his nonprofit. • Use the proceeds to employ a group of veterans in a project benefitting the community. • Use the networking among the 30 employers to secure regular jobs for at least some of the vets. Whitford’s 30 employers included three Scottsdale Airportarea businesses: Caliber Wealth Management, Fender Musical Instruments and Executive Aircraft Maintenance. Working 30 different jobs was the fun part, Whitford said. Linking the employers to appropriate vets-for-hire is the more challenging task. “It’s not as easy as people might think. I’m trying to match the needs the company has with the skills the veteran has. Every person who meets with a company, I will meet with them first, because I am personally invested in that company,” Whitford said. Three match-ups have already taken place: Caliber Wealth Development hired a Navy veteran, Western Window Systems hired an Air Force veteran, and Quality Transportation Services of Arizona hired a Marine veteran, all because of Whitford’s project. “We know the vets very well, and know the situations facing our vets,” said Dana McWilliams, managing director at Quality Transportation Services. QTS serves the veteran and senior communities by providing nonemergency medical transportation. “We’re one of those things you don’t notice until you know about us,” McWilliams said. “We’re the
Lance Whitford. Photo by Tim Sealy
Google, Chamber want to put Gilbert on the map
niche market between an ambulance and a taxi. Many of out clients are wheelchair-bound or stretcher-bound.” When Whitford approached QTS, it was a “no-brainer,” McWilliams said, and the company hired Marine veteran Keegan Cooley as a dispatcher. Whitford’s campaign culminates with what he calls “Operation Serving Our Community.” That’s when the 15 vets he hires with money earned at 30 jobs will work painting the perimeter wall at Habitat for Humanity in Avondale. They will work there Nov. 6 through Nov. 7, and Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, but on Sunday, Nov. 8, the vets will shift their focus to American Legion Post No. 1 in downtown Phoenix. There, with the assistance of a second nonprofit. They will build a much-needed handicapped ramp. With those hard-working vets assembled at one location, Whitford has also decided to turn the workweek of Nov. 6 to Nov. 10 into “an impromptu job fair” by inviting human resources officers from a variety of Valley businesses to the work sites for interviews. The last of Whitford’s 30 jobs, hosting at a restaurant, actually overlaps with the vets’ workweek. It will take place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at Alexi’s Restaurant, 3550 N. Central Ave. The public can help Whitford’s final push for funds by making donations to that night’s buffet (suggested amount: $12), which will go to Vets2Work. For more information, email Lance@Vets2Work.US, or visit the website. Whitford insists he is not neglecting his own ambitions by putting 100 percent of his energy into helping fellow veterans. So, what does he think he’s getting out of it? “I’d like to think this shows I have entrepreneurial skills.”
The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Google’s Let’s Put Gilbert on the Map program, an effort aiming to put every town business online and better display correct local business information through the search engine. Ninety-seven percent of consumers look online for information about local goods and services, according to a user wave study by BIA/Kelsey, a media and advertising research company. Let’s Put Gilbert on the Map is a simple and free method for businesses to be included in consumer’s search-engine results. “This is an important effort for businesses of all sizes,” said Kathy Tilque, CEO and president of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce. “By having key information available online, it levels the playing field and increases the competitive nature of our local market, allowing businesses to expand their reach and grow.” Businesses can check the status of their company listing online. If a business is already listed, details can be confirmed and updated. Otherwise, a new listing can be created. To check the status of a business listing, watch an overview video about the program, or for more information about Let’s Put Gilbert on the Map, visit www.gilbertaz.com/onthemap or contact Macey Streeper at macey@ gilbertchamber.com. The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit, membership-based organization with more than 650 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, please contact (480) 892-0056 or visit www.gilbertaz.com.
Cooperation, innovation produce health care savings at Meritus BY KENNETH LAFAVE
Cooperation is competition at Meritus, Arizona’s only nonprofit, consumeroperated health plan. Meritus’ 55,000 members do the cooperating, and for-profit health insurance companies get the competition. “I look at this as an opportunity to put some pressure on the for-profits,” said R.J. Voth, a founding member of Meritus and chairman of the board’s finance committee. One of only 24 cooperative health insurance companies in the country, Meritus was founded in 2012 with a loan funded via the Affordable Care Act. Voth, a financial adviser, found out about the loans following a talk he gave on cash flow at a physicians’ conference. “Dr. Selvoy Fillerup approached me after the talk and asked if I had ever heard of Section 1322 of the Affordable Care Act,” Voth remembered. He had to confess he had not. “‘Well, part of it has funding for nonprofit health care alternatives,’” Voth recalled Dr. Fillerup saying. An investigation into the potential for a nonprofit alternative in Arizona led to the formation of a five-person board and an application for the federal loan. Meritus was the only nonprofit funded in the state. “The notion of a company owned and operated by its membership was a terrific one. We just needed to make it available to people,” Voth said. “It came together as a community effort,” said Meritus CEO Tom Zumtobel, picking up the narrative. “Individuals saw the opportunity and invested their own time and resources,” Zumtobel continues. Individuals founded the company, and individuals profit from its focus on lowering premiums. The plans are available through the ACA Marketplace during open enrollment. Meritus’ overall average premium for 2015 is $208.76. In Maricopa County, Meritus’ range is from $153 at the low end of its
bronze plan, to $259 at the top of its gold plan. Prices in other Arizona counties vary, and in some counties, Meritus offers only its PPO. The HMO figures compare with a statewide average of $229 for bronze plans and $319 for gold. Meritus has also made recent improvements to further lower costs. Copayments for lab work are now on a per-visit basis, rather than per test. In the past, each lab test would have generated a copayment. Now, a single copayment for a lab visit pays for as many tests as are required. Copayments have also been waived for visits to an ER due to an accident; an ankle broken during a soccer game, for example, would not incur an ER copayment. Innovation was required to get premiums to Meritus’ current low rates. In the company’s first year, the average price of a Meritus premium came in at just over the average for Arizona. The company attracted only 3,000 members. Then Meritus hit on the idea of what Zumtobel calls “a narrow delivery system”—a smaller number of service providers in its HMO network. That lowered underwriting costs, which in turn reduced premiums, causing pricing to go from over-the-average to under-theaverage. Membership exploded. More than 55,000 people are now member-owners of Meritus. Next year’s target is 85,000. “We sent more business to fewer facilities so we could get contracted rates as attractive as those of the 800-pound gorilla companies,” Zumtobel explains. The ACA loan was necessary because startup costs for an insurance company are formidable “It’s a capital-intensive business, where you need significant reserves,” Zumtobel said. Among Meritus’ immediate capital requirements were underwriters and pricing consultants. “Pricing insurance is not like pricing a car, something with a fixed cost. We have to price based on what our members’ needs are and how well we can manage those
Meritus CEO Tom Zumtobel. GSN photo by Tim Sealy
needs.” Part of the mandate attached to the ACA’s loans to nonprofit startups was the need for innovation. That’s something Meritus takes seriously, Zumtobel said. “We are the first health insurance company in this market to fully automate. All broker enrollments are automated. This industry has historically done paper enrollment. With us, it’s all online.” That not only makes it more convenient for providers, but streamlines interface between providers. “Lots of times, with paper enrollment, there’s a lag between one doctor and the next one,” Zumtobel said, resulting in the second doctor not always being current on the first doctor’s findings. Complete automation eliminates that lag. Cooperative insurance was once typical in rural areas of the country where forprofit service was either overpriced or nonexistent, Zumtobel observes. Many of those early cooperatives became mutual insurance companies. While both cooperatives and mutuals are owned by their members, a mutual’s objective is to make a profit. At a cooperative, any money left after claims and bills are paid goes
back into either lowering the premiums or enhancing benefits. Voth noted that the difference amounts to “the same dollar called something else.” “We don’t say the ‘p’ word. We call (leftover money) a ‘networking surplus,’” Voth said. Meritus is looking for more individual members and for employer-members as well. “If an employer likes the idea of local relationships, they will like Meritus,” Zumtobel said. “All our customer care occurs locally, all our sales people are based locally, and all our service of an account is local.” The ACA funding of cooperatives nearly did not happen. Both 2008 Nobel Prize Economics Laureate Paul Krugman and former presidential adviser Robert Reich stated when ACA was passed that they did not think cooperatives would have the effect of lowering health care costs. They were wrong. For the second year in a row, states with cooperatives have had lower overall premiums than states without them. Arizona’s premiums fell 3 percent this year.
Medical office condos sold Colliers International in Greater Phoenix recently completed two separate medical office condominium sales totaling $2.175 million in a triple net leaseback deal for Desert Pulmonary and Sleep Consultants in Gilbert. KMRS LLC purchased a portion of Building 9 located within the Spectrum Falls Professional Park, 2730 S. Val Vista Dr., from Desert Pulmonary for $1 million. Built in 2006, the Class A medical office condominium consists of 3,835 square feet and is minutes away from the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and Loop 202. It is also near the SanTan Village power center and high-quality retail shopping and
restaurants. The second property is a portion of Building 4 within the Executive Villas at Dana Point, 3303 E. Baseline Rd. It was purchased by Dana Point 208 LLC of Mesa, a private investor, from Desert Pulmonary for $1.175 million. The buyer’s broker was Tooraj Bakhtiari, senior commercial specialist, with RE/MAX Excalibur Realty in Scottsdale. Built in 2003, the medical office condominium consists of 4,561 square feet. The location is near Banner Gateway Medical Center and the U.S. Highway 60, and near the Dana Park Village Square. Both transactions were led by Steve
Gonzalez, senior vice president; Marcus Muirhead, vice president; and Greg Guglielmino, senior associate; all with Colliers’ Phoenix office. They are the exclusive representatives for the seller, which became the tenant, Desert Pulmonary and Sleep Consultants. The company provides comprehensive care for persons with lung disease and sleep disorders. “The seller desired to divest the real estate for long-term planning purposes and to focus on their core business in health care,” Gonzalez said of the second transaction.
2730 S. Val Vista Dr. Submitted photo
3303 E. Baseline Rd. Submitted photo
Amazon Coatings transforms generic floors BY ALISON STANTON
When she was growing up, Lori Davis-Mundo often helped her dad with his construction projects. Little did she know how much that would inspire her. As an adult, she quickly learned that an office position isn’t for her. Customer service in the construction business was calling her name. “I’m basically a grown-up tomboy, and I got tired of pushing paper,” she said. Davis-Mundo founded Amazon Coatings LLC in 2001 after purchasing the inventory of a concrete coatings company. The Mesa-based company offers decorative concrete coatings for driveways, garages, floors, patios and pool decks. Davis-Mundo, who runs the company with her husband, Rafael Mundo, said although they are licensed to handle commercial projects, they primarily work with residential customers who want to transform old floors into something attractive. For example, customers who have
a stained garage floor can choose a metallic coating that Davis-Mundo said has a “really cool look.” “We also do a lot of simulated flagstone coatings, and a lot of pool deck repairs,” she said. When Davis-Mundo started her company, she wore many hats, from office manager to salesperson and coatings applicator. These various job titles and hands-on knowledge stayed with her over the years, she said, and gave her a level of experience that sets her apart from the competition. “When speaking with prospective customers, they know that I’m speaking from experience, not from what I read in a book or someone told me,” she said. Taking the time to listen carefully to customers and understand what they are looking for in a decorative floor is also important to DavisMundo and her husband. “The main thing for us is the level of pride that goes into our work. We feel that we give a much greater value than the dollar amount we are
charging,” she said. “We actually do what we say—so when we say we will be there, we will be there. We stand behind our work and we do it in the time frame we say. We’re a small business with a lot of heart.” Customers definitely notice Amazon Coatings LLC’s commitment to them, Davis-Mundo said, adding that they get a lot of business through word of mouth and repeat clients. “In one case, a customer has moved three different times, and every time she does she calls us to do more work,” Davis-Mundo said. In addition to enjoying getting to know their customers, Davis-Mundo said she and her husband love seeing the finished product. “We like knowing that we can take a blank slate and when we walk away, our customer will have a work of art,” she said. For more information about Amazon Coatings LLC, call (480) 890-1141 or visit www. amazoncoatings.com or www. facebook.com/amazoncoatings.
Lori Davis-Mundo co-owns Amazon Coatings LLC with her husband, Rafael Mundo. She said they enjoy transforming old, plain and stained floors into works of art. Submitted photo
Amazon Coatings LLC offers a variety of decorative concrete coatings for floors, including garages. Submitted photo
Islands Chiropractic and Massage offers special rate Dr. Daniel Carlow, chiropractor and founder of Islands Chiropractic and Massage in Gilbert, is offering $39 chiropractic exams for new patients to introduce the community to the benefits of chiropractic care. This initial exam will identify patient problem areas through consultation, case history and a basic physical examination. A chiropractic doctor since 1993, Carlow said his goal is to enable patients to live better, fuller lives. “Helping people identify the source of their chronic pain or immobility is actually an empowering experience,” Carlow said. “When patients understand more about the underlying problem, they are more empowered to face the problem head on, rather than masking symptoms with medication.” Islands Chiropractic and Massage, 1447 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 103, is a full-service chiropractic office offering treatment for migraines and headaches, back pain, sciatica, neck pain and disc problems. The clinic offers traditional chiropractic adjustments along with exercise and stretch programs to help patients regain or maintain full mobility. In addition to adjustments, the clinic specializes in
massage techniques that treat spasms, tightness and problems related to scar tissue, which prevents the muscles from moving normally and cause pain. Patients often seek chiropractic treatment due to back pain caused by disc problems. Carlow’s office offers decompression therapy to reduce pain and nerve irritation. This nonsurgical procedure uses a computerized table to gently adjust the spine. This treatment helps to decompress nerves and relieve pain. “We treat a full range of chiropractic issues that may be caused by acute injuries, such as a sports-related injury, to issues that are chronic in nature, such as pain caused by ongoing disc problems,” Carlow said. “Often, chiropractic is a viable alternative medical treatment that can forestall or even eliminate the need for more invasive treatments like surgical procedures.” Carlow said he treats patients like they are members of his own family. “If people have never been to a chiropractor before, they may not know what to expect,” Carlow said. “Modern chiropractic methods are actually quite gentle and appropriate for all ages
from the very young to the elderly. At this introductory rate, new patients can come in, consult with me, and learn more about how I can help them alleviate pain and live a better life.” To take advantage of the $39 rate for new patients, contact Islands Chiropractic and Massage at (480) 5454580. The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. They are open for appointments Thursdays and Saturdays.
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Batteries Plus Bulbs opens new store Gilbert residents now have more options for lighting homes and businesses, powering essential items and fixing mobile devices with the opening of Batteries Plus Bulbs, 2811 S. Market St. The store is the 11th one operated by franchise owner Wayne Ohland. Batteries Plus Bulbs, a battery, light bulb and smartphone/tablet repair franchise, provides access to more than 50,000 different types of batteries, light bulbs and related products for household and business needs. The company offers a suite of tech services for replacing watch, keyless entry and smartphone batteries, rebuilding battery packs and repairing smartphones and tablets, including iPhone, iPad and iPod devices. While batteries and light bulbs are essential items for powering daily life, most Americans—about three in 10—do not consider themselves educated on these two categories, according to a 2015 nationwide survey conducted by Batteries Plus Bulbs and marketing research firm Kelton Research. Data also showed nine in 10 consumers own at least one batterypowered item that runs out of juice quickly or sooner than expected, with smartphones draining most frequently according to 57 percent of respondents. With the opening of the South Gilbert store, residents can get help with battery woes and assistance with power and lighting needs. Catering to the need for battery and lighting products, the company also launched a new website and e-commerce platform. Retail and business customers can easily check store availability for inventory
and select from multiple ordering options such as buy online or pickup in store. Since the opening of his first store in 1996 in Chandler, Ohland has continued to provide the Valley with access to battery, light bulb solutions and more recently, smartphone and tablet repairs, by opening additional stores. By following market trends and identifying target areas, Ohland made the decision to expand into southern Gilbert in order to make the store’s resources readily available to residents and the increasing general medical and surgical hospitals in that area. “I was first attracted to the Batteries Plus Bulbs business model in 1995 after seeing continued success from a good friend involved in the business,” said Ohland. “Being a part of the franchise for nearly 20 years has made me realize how quickly our product categories evolve as well as our Arizona customers’ ever-changing requirements. Seeing that the market demand continues to grow within the medical and tourism industries, my decision to expand was easy. More than ever before, local businesses and residents are in need of easy access to a specialty retailer that provides access to a wide array of light bulbs, battery products and specialized services such as smartphone and tablet repair.”
Batteries Plus Bulbs stores offer thousands of batteries for everyday items and devices, including watches, digital cameras, motorcycles, boats, laptops, smartphones, and cars/trucks. The specialty retailer also sells automotive accessories, including jumper cables, wiper blades, terminals and cleaners. Batteries Plus Bulbs’ lighting offerings range from recessed and track lighting and a full line of energy-efficient LED options to specialized light bulbs for cars, healthcare equipment, aquariums and projectors. The store also offers emergency lights, exit signs, parking lot lights, and other essential lighting products for businesses. Store employees are trained to educate consumers on the benefits and values of switching their bulbs to LEDs, and they can recommend color temperature and brightness options for specific lighting applications in various rooms of a home or building. The Gilbert store also offers an array of related services and programs including: Testing, conditioning and rebuilding battery packs for rechargeable household and business-to-business products Battery installation services for cell/ smartphones, watches, keyless remotes and automobiles Free automotive battery and electrical
system testing Battery, light bulb and select portable electronic device recycling using EPAapproved methods Business account programs that offer business customers volume discount opportunities, onsite needs analysis, energy savings programs, online ordering, and delivery and recycling services. In 2014, Batteries Plus Bulbs continued to evolve its franchise business and launched smartphone and tablet repair services nationwide. The 2015 survey revealed 39 percent of Americans are currently using broken smartphones, with 56 percent of the sampled group stating poor battery life as the primary issue. Results also found 56 percent of people do not fix their phone because of cost and 25 percent would rather use a damaged device than get it fixed. A separate 2015 survey conducted by Batteries Plus Bulbs discovered 61 percent of the 1,000 respondents weren’t aware that an iPhone battery could even be replaced. Batteries Plus Bulbs’ technicians can replace smartphone batteries. Technicians will test and diagnose the issue first, making sure to replace the parts that are causing the problem. The store also offers affordable, repairs for Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad and iPod, most Samsung devices and other manufacturer options. The entire suite of services includes: battery replacements, cracked screen, charge port, button and antenna repair, among others. Batteries Plus Bulbs provides a six-month warranty on all parts and workmanship.
Chamber hosts series of events through November Throughout the year, the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce offers a variety of luncheons and meetings for its members and the community. Events are held throughout the town. The chamber office is at 119 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 101. For more information about events or to register, call (480) 892-0056 or visit www.gilbertaz.com. Chamber Chat–Midday Presented by Silver Fox Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Heating 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 Zappone’s Italian Bistro, 1652 N. Higley Rd., Suite 103, Gilbert Meet up with other Chamber members for lunch. This informal gathering is a fun way to share conversation with other professionals and learn more about businesses in the community. There is no agenda, no script—just good food, great company and friendly conversation. Admission is $10, which includes a lunch buffet, beverage and tax. Additional
gratuity requested. The 411 Presented by Printwerx 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, 119 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 101, Gilbert The 411 is a comprehensive membership orientation at which members and prospective members can learn how to maximize the benefits of a Chamber membership. Gain an insider’s view of programs and services, ask questions of Chamber staff and develop an action plan for Chamber engagement and success. Free to attend. Small Business Workshop: Speak Your Way To Success Presented by 910 West 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13 St. Xavier University, 92 W. Vaughn Ave., Gilbert Learn to speak well and make every presentation a game changer. In this workshop with presenter Ed Phillips,
participants will learn the seven secrets for a knock-‘em-dead presentations, five things that turn an audience off, tips used by professional speakers and why a fear of public speaking may be a best friend. Member admission is $25; non-member admission is $40. 20th Annual Gilbert Community Excellence Awards Presented by APS 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday Nov. 13 Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert, SanTan Elegante Conference & Reception Center, 1800 S. SanTan Village Pkwy., Gilbert This formal evening is filled with celebration as attendees honor those who have excelled in areas of business, education and community involvement. The community event is supported with a partnership of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, Gilbert Public Schools, Higley Unified School District, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the Town of Gilbert
and the Gilbert Republic. The popular Taste of Gilbert showcases restaurants and samplings. A cash bar will be available for the purchase of soda and wine. General admission is $50. A reserved table for ten is $500; a sponsored table for ten is $625. Commercial Filming For Members Presented by 4th Wall Productions 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18 Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, 119 N. Gilbert Road, Suite 101 Gilbert The Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and 4th Wall Productions LLC have teamed up to produce high-quality commercials on behalf of Chamber members. Anthony Miles partnered with the Chamber for these commercials. To participate, members must hold a Chamber membership at or above the Business level and the account must be in good standing. Appointments must be scheduled.
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A hot recipe for success
El Sol Foods expands products nationwide, teams with Phoenix Suns
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BY MICHELLE TALSMA EVERSON
El Sol Foods CEO Ryan Bullock recently said that chips and salsa go together like Eric Bledsoe and a 3-point jump shot—a comparison that rings especially true for his salsa company that has now teamed up with the Phoenix Suns. Starting this season, El Sol Foods salsa will be the official salsa of the Valley’s NBA team and will be served at all of the games. It’s just one more successful milestone for the Gilbert-based family business that has been growing steadily for more than a decade. “Eleven years ago I had a dream of starting El Sol Foods to provide the freshest homemade salsa and to take that product directly to local markets for customers,” Bullock said. “After years of devoted work to the company and making the best salsa, and much sacrifice from my wife, Marisol, and family, we’re now having great success.” Dubbed the “Southwest Salsa King,” Bullock uses recipes that have been passed down from his mother-in-law for his salsas. El Sol’s salsas are sold at Bashas’, Safeway, Albertson’s, Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Nevada. The company has recently expanded nationally; beginning in 2016, a number of El Sol’s fresh salsa products will be available on shelves of Costco stores in the Southeast. The Costco Southeast deal comes quickly after Fry’s accepted El Sol’s products for its shelves. “I applied the same goals and strategies to get our products into Costco stores nationwide as we do to each of our customers: create the best product on the market and deliver that product to the customer,” Bullock explained. “It makes no difference if it is a large company like Costco or an individual shopping for a condiment for the next Phoenix Suns game. The same rules apply.” What stands out about this locally made salsa? Bullock said that it all comes down to the ingredients. “I think my favorite salsa ingredient is not an ingredient at all; it’s making sure all salsa ingredients are fresh,” he explained.
Ryan Bullock’s salsa company, El Sol Food, recently teamed with the Phoenix Suns. Submitted photo
“Using the freshest onions, tomatoes, corn, mangoes and spices naturally make the best tasting and most favorable salsas.” To go from a small kitchen-based startup to a national product line has been a worthwhile experience, Bullock said. For example, when he started El Sol Foods, he quickly discovered he needed certain types of machinery to make the best salsa. Those on the market at the time did not fit his demands or they were very expensive. Instead, he had his neighbor, Mike Campbell, custom-make the assembly line machinery he needed. “Our goal has always been to make salsa like it has been handed down for generations in our family,” Bullock said. “We have perfected a way to make a salsa that used to be prepared on a small scale in a tiny kitchen to today where we are making 50 gallons of salsa at a time.” Bullock said that he encourages other local business owners to follow their dreams. “John D. Rockefeller Jr. said the secret to success is to do the common thing uncommonly well. I think every business owner should subscribe to this advice,” he said. “...If you have a dream or a product you truly believe in, then it will become a reality. Taking a step toward a goal is one more step closer to your dream.” To learn more about El Sol Foods, visit www.elsolfoods.com.
El Sol’s salsas are sold at Bashas’, Safeway, Albertson’s, Costco, Sam’s Club and Walmart. Submitted photo
Send in your business profile for ‘Doing business’ The Gilbert Sun News would like to welcome new area businesses or existing ones that may be new to our readers. Submit information about your business for a “Doing Business” mini-business profile in an upcoming issue of our publication, which is distributed to 25,000 homes, racks and boxes the fifth of each month. Please include all of the following items: Name of business, name of owner(s), how long the business has existed, unique features, hours of operation, address, telephone number, website and email address. Also include an at least 300 dpi photo of the business owner or logo. Email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www. gilbertsunnews.com and click on the “Doing Business” form at the top of the page to submit.
Pure Barre opens in Gilbert Pure Barre, the largest barre franchise in the country, will open its newest location in Gilbert near SanTan Village in November. The new franchise studio, located at 2556 S. Val Vista Dr., Suite 103, is owned by Nicole Hines. “I have witnessed Pure Barre transform bodies as well as minds,” Hines said. “Designed for all ages and fitness levels, this method will prove that you are stronger than you think. It has literally changed my life and I know it will do the same for others in the Gilbert community.” The ballet barre workout has exploded in popularity since its inception in 2001. Focusing on the areas of the body that people struggle with the most, Pure Barre tones the thighs and upper body, and creates long and lean muscles through small isometric movements centered around a ballet barre. Since it began franchising in 2009, more than 320 Pure Barre studios have opened in 40 states. “We are thrilled to open our newest studio in Gilbert and bring the
excitement and results of Pure Barre to its residents,” said Carrie Dorr, founder and chief concept officer of Pure Barre. “The continued growth of Pure Barre studios across the country is a testament to the workout’s ability to quickly transform clients’ bodies, and we couldn’t be happier to bring this experience to Gilbert.” This location has just launched a pre-opening special of five weeks Unlimited Pure Barre classes for $99. The special can be purchased on this location’s website at www.purebarre.com/az-santanvillage. Follow this business on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ purebarreSTV. Class schedule will be released soon. The studio will operate seven days a week offering morning, afternoon and evening classes. For more information on Pure Barre Gilbert-San Tan Village, contact Nicole Hines at (480) 821-1515, visit www.purebarre.com or follow Pure Barre SanTan Village on Facebook at purebarreSTV.
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Ekberg performs with USA Synchro in Times Square BY MICHELLE TALSMA EVERSON
Seventeen-year-old Olivia Ekberg isn’t afraid to dream big. A synchronized swimmer since age 8, she hails from Gilbert but now calls Northern California home as she trains fulltime to pursue her Olympic dream. A member of the U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Team, Ekberg is training to compete for a spot on the Junior National Team. “I am only 17 so I still have one more year in that category [the Junior National Team] and I will also be training, traveling, and competing alongside my senior teammates this year,” she explained. “The Olympic Games are the light at the end of a very long tunnel, and this road inside the tunnel is no easy one, but it’s worth it. Light is always worth it, whether it’s an Olympic title or not.” The 2016 Olympic Summer Games take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Team USA has an ongoing campaign of promoting the “Road to Rio” to spread awareness of the athletes across all Olympic sports. In late September, Ekberg’s Road to Rio continued when she performed in a one-of-a-kind event called Swimming in Ink in Times Square. The event featured multicolored, seethrough swim tanks for a series of highenergy synchronized swim performances. Sponsored by Epson and Staples, the USA
Synchro team performances heralded the availability Epson’s new EcoTank printers. It took place on Sept. 24 and featured hourly performances from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ekberg was one of the performers. “The show in New York City was an absolute dream,” Ekberg said. “It was amazing to be able to jump in a tank, go underwater, and still see people instead of seeing a wall. It was surreal to be in the middle of Times Square, doing what I love, for the entire world to see. Synchro isn’t the most popular sport in America, and it was so nice to see people being intrigued by what we were doing, and stopping to see more.” USA Synchro officials said they were delighted to work with Epson on this “fun and truly unique event.” “This is a tremendous opportunity for our team to showcase this sport as we begin our preparations for the 2016 season,” said Kevin Warner, executive director of USA Synchro. The experience in New York City was a long time coming for Ekberg, who started synchronized swimming in local pools. “When I was 8 years old, a friend invited me to do a simple summer camp with her. During this summer camp I fell in love with synchronized swimming and progressed on to join a club team that fall,” she explained. “At that club, I gained a strong
relationship with teammates and coaches that helped push me through my career. After about eight years of swimming and competing on several national teams during the summers, I found myself taking a break from the sport due to other events happening in my life.” After a year off, Ekberg explained, she tried out for her current national level team. “After successfully making this team, I moved from the comfort of my home and family in Gilbert to take on a new life in Northern California to train full time for my Olympic dream.” When asked about her advice for young Olympic hopefuls, Ekberg had two words that stood out: keep dreaming. “I find myself dreaming of everything, even life outside synchronized swimming,” she explained. “Dreams are what keep your heart and soul alive, and it’s essentially what drives you to success and to work hard towards those dreams. “I dream of going to the Olympic Games, but I also dream of having a swing in my house someday, and both dreams drive me toward the other. If I didn’t dream, if I wasn’t taught to chase my dreams, I would not be where I am today.”
In late September, Olivia Ekberg and her teammates took part in Swimming in Ink in Times Square. Submitted photo
Olivia Ekberg. Submitted photo
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Read for the record
BMX champion Parker participates in a global reading experience BY MICHELLE TALSMA EVERSON
On Oct. 22, millions of children and adults from across the world participated in Read for the Record, a global campaign that annually generates public support for high-quality early learning by encouraging educators and students of all ages to take part in the world’s largest shared reading experience. Locally, the students at Arizona Connections Academy (ACA), a statewide virtual school with a campus in Gilbert, invited former pro BMX rider and X Games judge John Parker to read “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story.” According to Jumpstart, the national organization behind the Read for the Record initiative, the worldwide event encourages reading and attempts to break a world record for the number of people reading the same book on the same day. “We participate in JumpStart’s Read for the Record every year,” said Kerri Wright, principal of ACA. “Usually, our elementary level teachers host their own students and read the designated book together. This year we switched it up and we’re excited to have a guest reader.”
Parker, a Gilbert resident, was thrilled to participate as the event coincides perfectly with his own passions. “A friend turned me on to it [Read for the Record] because she knew it was right up my alley—books, kids and motivating future leaders to read and take action,” Parker said. Parker recently published his own book called “Whaddya Want?” The title is the first in the StuntMasters series. “It [the book] is my story really; my discovery of BMX at the perfect time in life,” he explained. “Like the main character, Levi Kraft, I had just started junior high. Suddenly the world got bigger, faster, and more demanding—scary! It was hard to fit in and be accepted with classmates having so many different interests and backgrounds. BMX helped me realize there is a huge world to discover and I get to choose my part in it all.” Parker has definitely come a long way since discovering BMX in junior high. “Since then I’ve traveled around the world continuously, competed at the X
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Gilbert resident and former pro BMX rider John Parker read “Not Norman: A Goldfish Story” during the world’s largest shared reading experience. He recently published his own book, “Whaddya Want?” as seen at right. Submitted photo
Games eleven times, toured with Tony Hawk, performed at the Olympics, won the MTV Sports and Music Festival twice, and been a part of hundreds of other events,” he continued. “Now I focus on my own action sports shows, motivational speaking and writing. You can learn a lot riding a bike!” As of press time it was not clear whether or not the JumpStart’s 10th annual Read for the Record global reading event had beat a world record. Wright added that the Read for the
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Record event was just one of many events that ACA hosts throughout the year. “We [also] have monthly Art in the Park activities,” she said. “During Art in the Park, teachers meet students at a local park, read a story aloud and then engage in a literacy activity and art project together.” To learn more about ACA, visit www. ArizonaConnectionsAcademy.com and to learn more about Parker, visit www. bmximpact.com. More information on Jumpstart can be found at www.jstart.org.
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Primrose hosting family-friendly Trunk or Treat Primrose School of South Gilbert is hosting Trunk or Treat on Friday, Oct. 30, and its mission is twofold. This serves as a family-friendly event and also gives the public the opportunity to tour the school during the festivities. Trunk or Treat allows children a safe place to trick or treat before Halloween and will include activities such as a haunted bus, face painting, fall crafts, snacks and more. The event is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct.
30 at the school, 3293 E. Williams Field Rd. Gilbert. Call (480) 633-5635 to RSVP. For more information about the school, visit www.primrosesouthgilbert.com.
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STUDENT CHRONICLES Know a student who’s doing something remarkable? Send items for student chronicles to email@example.com. Azusa Pacific University student Megan Wood made the academic dean’s list at APU. Wood is honored for a spring semester 2015 academic standing of a 3.5 or better gradepoint average. Wood is joined by 1,880 other students receiving the same honor at the Azusa, California, university. Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical Christian university committed to God first and excellence in higher education. With 71 bachelor’s degrees, 47 master’s degrees 18 certificates, 14 credentials, eight doctoral programs, and three associate’s degrees, the university offers its more than 10,700 students a quality education on campus, online, and at six regional centers throughout Southern California.
highest scholarship—the Trustee’s scholarship—for the 2015-16 academic year. Freshmen are eligible for the Trustee’s scholarship—$12,000 per year—if, upon entering the university, they meet the requirements of the scholarship. Approximately 4 percent of this year’s incoming class received this award. Students are considered for this scholarship upon admission to the university based on the combination of their GPA and SAT, both math and English, scores. According to Biola’s admissions department, the average recipient of the Trustee’s scholarship has a GPA of 3.91 and an SAT score, both math and English combined, of 1320. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.2 to continue to receive the scholarship the following year. Recipients of the Trustee’s Scholarship were scheduled to be honored at a special reception on Oct. 23.
Ryanne McLaren, a freshman at Biola University, was among 47 students who received the college’s
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Charter school receives International Baccalaureate distinction BY TRACY HOUSE
Eduprize Gilbert was the first charter school in Arizona, but now it’s notable for another reason. The Eduprize Gilbert High School campus recently achieved International Baccalaureate (IB) approval. “This means that the teachers, effective immediately, will be integrating the IB curriculum into their curriculum and focusing on making the kids successful in a world economy and better citizens and accepting of cultures and other ideas, and becoming a world student,” said Robin Dean, vice president of Eduprize’s Parent Teacher Alianza. EGH becomes the first IB school in Gilbert, and the first charter school in Arizona to achieve this. There are only 21 schools in the state offering the IB curriculum. There are about 1,850 students in kindergarten through 11th grade attending EGH, with about 100 students in grades nine through 11 high school. The Diploma Programme starts junior year, and six of the 28 juniors are pursuing the IB diploma. While it has been a three-year process, Scott Greenhalgh, IB coordinator for EGH, said, “It’s been two years of intense work to get to this point. IB wants to make sure we understand and embrace what it
means to be an IB world school.” Principal Charles Green said it was easy to get onboard with the IB program. “It really follows the Eduprize philosophy of providing students with a well-rounded, real-world education.” Greenhalgh said he anticipates the number of students taking IB courses to increase as the program continues. “We’re excited about what it can do for kids,” he said. “It affects the culture of our school,” Green said. “Everything we do is aiming toward the IB philosophy. That worldmindedness, being able to think about things in a positive way. That growth mindset. That’s what we’re trying to instill in all the kids.” Recently, teachers and students came together to celebrate the IB distinction and were honored by a surprise guest, Mayor John Lewis. “From an international perspective it is a great thing to learn about different cultures and what’s happening in the world, to be aware of it, and what you can be doing to make a difference,” he said. Lewis officially congratulated the school and spoke about the significance of having an IB school in Gilbert. He said it is an honor for the city, calling Eduprize a
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special place. “The No. 1 reason I think families come to Gilbert is education,” Lewis said. “From a Gilbert perspective, (EGH) has just
added another great asset, International Baccalaureate, right here in one of the finest schools, our first charter school in Arizona.”
Mayor John Lewis, shown here with the Eduprize Choir, surprised faculty and students by attending the celebration for the school’s approval as a International Baccalaureate school. GSN photo by Tracy House.
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HIGLEY HAPPENINGS Williams Field senior a finalist for PCA Triple-Impact Competitor scholarship Williams Field High School’s Mitch Shreeve started playing club lacrosse in fourth grade. It’s a sport, he said, he found more challenging than others. “I tried every sport. I liked lacrosse best because it was a mix of everything,” he said, adding that it requires a great deal of skill to be successful. Now a senior, Shreeve is a veteran player on the Gilbert Tiger Varsity Lacrosse team, one that’s produced players for ASU, BYU, Adam State University and more. The season kicked off in late September and lasts through the spring. “I’ve played with the kids on my varsity team since fourth grade. We have a lot of fun, even in games,” he said “ Shreeve said he hopes he can pass that fun and skills to future players. When not on the field practicing for his own team, he’s out coaching sixth-grade and under players, offering them advice and techniques to play the tough, physical sport. That dedication and desire to make
himself, his team and the game better have earned Shreeve a spot as a finalist for the Positive Coaching Alliance Phoenix Chapter’s Triple Impact Competitor Scholarship. Shreeve will earn later this fall if he’s selected. “I was surprised,” he said. “It was the first scholarship I’ve applied for.” It certainly won’t be the last. Shreeve is exploring his post-high school options to study either science or in the medical field. He’s as comfortable in a white lab coat in the bioscience class at Williams Field as he is on the lacrosse field, he said. He’s finishing his second year of the program and will graduate as a certified bio-technician. Class work includes DNA studies, biology and more. “Last week we did an experiment where we examined DNA from different people and one of them was a criminal. We had to do the process like the police do for DNA testing and figure out who was the criminal,” he said. Shreeve hopes to attend the University
of Utah, where he can put his skills to work in the labs. “I love science. It’s always been my big thing,” he said. “They discovered that a spider’s silk that is stronger than steel.” He’s also a member of the Williams Field Academic Decathlon team that competed at state for the first time last year.
Mitch Shreeve hopes to attend the University of Utah. Submitted photo
Higley High ‘Athletic Hall of Fame’ inaugural class inducted
With Higley High School embarking on its 15th year as a school, the administration announced the creation of the Athletic Hall of Fame. The inaugural class was recognized prior to kickoff at the homecoming game on Sept. 18, following a reception in the media center. More than 60 members of the Knights Athletic Program were invited to the special event. Twenty-eight individual state champions and four championship teams made up the population of the first induction class. Each student-athlete was presented with an individual picture commemorating the accomplishment. The Higley High Athletics Hall of Fame is sponsored by the UPS Store on Higley and Pecos roads. Business owners donated plaques, which will be put on display on see HALL OF FAME page 42
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HAPPENINGS from page 40
campus. For more information about the championships at Higley High, see the video produced by Higley High television production students: https://vimeo. com/140251765.
Chaparral teachers bring STEAM into lessons Danielle Edwards’ sixth-grade classes at Chaparral Elementary School in the Higley Unified School District are learning how more
Students in Danielle Edwards’ class at Chaparral Elementary School in the Higley School Unified District created a structure from toothpicks and gumdrops that can hold a book. It was part of a lesson on engineering design during sixth-grade science. Photo by Danielle Edwards
about science, technology, engineering, arts and math through STEAM challenges she is introducing this year. During a recent lesson, students tried to build a structure out of gumdrops and toothpicks strong enough to hold a textbook for 1 minute. Many students thought the challenge would be easy. “What they found, however, was completely different,” Edwards said. One student said, “I thought it was going to be pretty easy, but what my group found is that the prototype starts to hold the book, but then it slowly collapses to the side...It’s actually really hard, but it’s fun.” So far, students have put engineering techniques to the test in three building projects. Most recently, they learned about fingerprinting. The latter project involved looking at fingerprints from a “crime scene” to try to discover the criminal. Then students enlarged their own fingerprints and created an art piece using phrases and words they associate with themselves. Students are learning about math and science while discovering paths for their futures, Edwards said. “We went over the different types of engineering jobs available: structural genetics, engineering. It engages them in potential career fields,” Edwards said. “They didn’t realize that there were people whose job is to make structures earthquake proof. It was neat to see that spark of, ‘Here is this career I didn’t
know existed and hey, it’s actually fun.’” Edwards is learning alongside the students. “That first project was eye-opening to me. The kids who are identified as struggling found success in the project. The excitement has been my favorite, watching students open up and ask others, ‘How did you do that?’” she said.
Power Ranch Elementary earns Go! Grant
Power Ranch Elementary School teachers aim to make students more active through a Go! Grant awarded this past summer. Teacher Marissa Ames plans to use the $2,800 grant to fully operate the school’s Running Club. When students returned from fall break in October, the club started its new season. There are 70 students in kindergarten through sixth grade participating. “This grant will allow kids of all grade levels at our school to participate in a collaborative afterschool program,” said Ames. “Students in grades kindergarten through sixth will learn how to incorporate health and fitness into their daily lives and participate in some fun runs. This grant gives students an opportunity to make new friends while building relationships within the community as we do our runs.”
202 Gilbert 202
Tiffany Selene Musical Director
www.GilbertSunNews.com The students are excited for the next season to start. “Running Club helped me stay healthy by exercising regularly throughout the week,” said Colin Morgan, fifth-grade student. “Last year before I got started I was not motivated to run at all. As time went by, I got the hang of it and started to run faster and faster and wanted to do more laps around our school. I actually got my stamina up and I know am ready for more running club this year,” Jason Camaj, fourth-grade student. Students are preparing to run in a Tempe event—Battle of the Barriers—in November. The PHIT America Go! Grant was awarded by Kids in the Game, Sports & Fitness Industry Association and 20 national corporate sponsors. Of nearly 360 applications, 156 grants were awarded to schools in 22 states. Power Ranch was the only Arizona school to receive the funding.
Students from Power Ranch Elementary School’s running club participate in local running events, such as last year’s D-backs Race. The school was recently awarded a Go! Grant to support the club. Photo by Marissa Ames
*2015 Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards are based on the Brand Watch™ study from Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence. Award calculated among non-luxury shoppers. 2015 model-year vehicle’s projected cost to own for the initial ve-year ownership period is based on the average Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own data which considers depreciation and costs such as fuel and insurance. Vehicle’s projected resale value is speci c to the 2015 model year.
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 with everyone. Living Water United Methodist Fellowship Highland Park Elementary School 230 N Cole. Dr., Gilbert 85234 www.livingwaterum.org Services: 10 a.m. Sundays Living Water exists to bring people in to meet Christ, build people up to follow Christ and send people out to share Christ.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bridge Church 860 E. Warner Rd., Suites 101 & 103 Gilbert 85296 480-294-7888 www.bridgechurchaz.org Services: 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sundays We exist to show the world who Jesus is, and we believe that when people get to know Jesus as He really is, their lives will change forever. Therefore, it is our passion to help people know Jesus throughout Gilbert, Metro Phoenix and the world. Central Christian Church—Gilbert 965 E. Germann Rd., Gilbert 85297 www.centralaz.com Services: 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sundays While the Bible itself is the church’s official document of faith, the website lists a variety of statements that fundamentally define the church. Please visit the website for more information.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 3301 S. Greenfield Rd., Gilbert 85297 (480) 822-5000 www.lds.org/church/temples/gilbertarizona?lang=eng For more information about the church, visit the website above. First United Methodist Church of Gilbert 331 S. Cooper Rd., Gilbert 85233 (480) 892-9166 www.gilbertumc.org Services: 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. (traditional services) and 11 a.m. (contemporary service) Sundays There are two traditional services—8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.—with the Chancel choir and traditional worship. The 11 a.m. service has a contemporary feel, with music from the Praise Band. The 9:30 a.m. service generally has the largest attendance. Gilbert Presbyterian Church 235 E. Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 892-6753 www.azgpc.org Services: 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays
No perfect people allowed
Whoever you are, and wherever you are on your spiritual journey... ...you are welcome at the Bridge sus Who did Je ? claim to be
Pastor Kent Bertrand 480.294.7888 www.bridgechurchaz.org
What was the most important thing Jesus taught? How do we know what Jesus said is true?
Jesus: More Than a Man – Advent Sermon Series – Starts Sunday 11/29
S. Lindsay Rd.
Did what the Bible says about Jesus actually happen?
Meeting Sundays at 9:00 and 10:30 am 860 E. Warner Road (Northeast Corner of Warner & Lindsay beside Goodwill)
E. Warner Rd.
Mission Community Church 4450 E. Elliot Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 545-4024 www.mission68.org Services: 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Sundays The Bible is God’s word to all people. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth and without error in the original manuscripts. Real Life Church Church services at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert 85295 (480) 444-0231 or www.reallife.cc The church believes in one God consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is the creator of all things, including man. Redemption Gilbert 1820 W. Elliot Rd, Gilbert 85233 (480) 632-2220 www.gilbert.redemptionaz.com/about/ a-brief-overview/ Services: 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays Gospel means good news, but it is truly the most profound and glorious truth ever revealed. It is not advice, nor is it a system or philosophy to add to the congregants’ lives. It is an exclusive truth claim, a holistic worldview, the true story of the whole world, which by its very nature must redefine and recolor everything else. Resurrection Episcopal Church Meets at Gilbert Community Center, 130 N. Oak St., Gilbert 85233 (480) 719-5343 www.resurrectiongilbert.org Services: 10 a.m. Sundays Resurrection officials say the congregation is a church you can believe in because you belong. This means it welcomes and embraces all people because God already has. Come for worship, fellowship and Bible study on Sundays and join the group on a spiritual
www.GilbertSunNews.com journey to better understand God’s plan for our lives. St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church 2654 E. Williams Field Rd., Gilbert 85295 (480) 279-6737 www.smarymag.org A Roman Catholic parish that witnesses the love of Jesus Christ through evangelization, Catechesis and celebration of the Sacraments. San Tan Bible Church 1424 S. Promenade Lane, Gilbert 85296 Phone number not available. www.santanbible.org Services: 8:30 a.m. (Bible hour); 9:30 a.m. (Café 2:42) and 10 a.m. worship service Sundays The church believes the glory of God is the chief end of all we do. Sun Valley Community Church 456 E. Ray Rd., Gilbert 85296 (480) 632-8920, www.sunvalleycc.com Services: 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:59 a.m. Sundays The atmosphere is casual and friendly at Sun Valley Community Church. It places high value on authentic Christian living and placing Christ at the center of all our teachings. The church also offers worship music that is current and uplifting, along with focused weekend sermons that break down the Bible in a way that makes it easy to connect the word of God with today’s busy life. Two Rivers Church 326 E. Guadalupe Rd., Gilbert 85234 (480) 892-2435, www.2riverschurch.org Services: 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Spanish) Sundays Two Rivers Church exists to help lead congregants into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ by encouraging and equipping them to love God intimately and serve others. It has a casual environment with a serious faith. Valor Christian Center 3015 E. Warner Rd., Gilbert 85296 (480) 545-4321, www.ValorCC.com Services: 10 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Thursdays Valor Christian Center is a spirit-filled church that believes God’s word is relevant for today. Its mission is to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world and to see lives transformed by His power. Join the congregation for its Healing Service the last Sunday of each month.
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Experience the love of God at Christ’s Greenfield Lutheran Church!
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Kimmel’s sister, Jill Bryan, breaks out of his shadow BY SARAH MARMOLEJO
With a brother like Jimmy Kimmel, you would think breaking out of his shadow would be a difficult thing to do. Not if you’re Jill Bryan. Bryan is making a name for herself in comedy. By the end of it when someone mentions Kimmel, you’ll ask, “Who? Oh right, Jill’s brother.” It’s another day at the bland, dull office where “babysitting adults” and “political correctness” come hand in hand, Bryan said. Another day, another dollar, and one more day at the office was something Bryan could no longer take while working as an administrative assistant. That is why when Bryan heard of an open mic night in town she decided to give it a shot. After all, comedy clearly ran in the family. Bryan always loved acting and “making [her] friends laugh,” so standup comedy seemed like the way to go, but it was not until July 2006 that she gave it a shot and fell in love, at the age of 35. As Bryan began her late comedy career, the nagging factors were always there: the late start, the maledominated field, and just the idea of failing. But Bryan didn’t let anything get to her as she raced through the doorway to success. Bryan grew up around boys, her older brother, Jimmy, and younger brother, Johnathon, and was used to being
surrounded by male figures, especially male comedians as Jimmy rose to fame. As Bryan entered the field dealing with the overwhelming male majority, it was nothing new, and she didn’t let that stop her. It should not stop anyone, Bryan said. “I have had always had more male friends than female friends, so it felt normal to me. But I also won’t allow anyone to treat me poorly, so my gender hasn’t been an issue so far. My only advice to women who may want to try comedy is to be a funny woman. Don’t try to be a guy. Be a woman. And be funny. That’s the only way to go.” Gilbert is happy to stake its claim on Bryan as she breaks through comedic gender barriers here, but why here? Bryan has accomplished a great deal in her career and might be expected to live in Hollywood, but she said she loves it here; and not just because it’s a town that is slightly cheaper than Los Angeles. She was born in Brooklyn, and lived in Las Vegas between the ages of 6 and 15, then her family moved out to Gilbert and she has been here ever since. “I love my little house, my neighborhood...it’s easy to live here. Much cheaper than L.A., the traffic is barely existent, the schools are good. I may move to L.A. or New York if my career leads me in that direction, but for now I am very comfortable.”
Jill Bryan. Submitted photo
Bryan may enjoy living in Gilbert but that doesn’t stop her from traveling as she gets ready to go on her third tour for the U.S. military, where she will be joined by a few other comedians. For Bryan it’s not about being the most famous comedian, it’s about making people who need it smile. “I feel like any piece of America puts a smile on the faces of the men and women who are living elsewhere because of their service. If we come
in and tell a few jokes and make them smile and laugh for an hour or so...that is well worth the 12-hour flight stuck in a middle seat between two people with pointy elbows. Here’s a secret, though... it means a lot more to me than they realize. I’m happier about being there than they are to have me.” For information on Jill Bryan and upcoming shows, visit www.jillbryancomedy.com.
Hale to present the classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ in December
The holiday classic “A Christmas Carol” is returning to the Hale Centre Theatre from Dec. 3 through Dec. 24, with FOX 10 meteorologist Cory McCloskey returning as “Scrooge.” McCloskey is part of the “red” cast, which alternates with the “green” cast. A veteran of the stage and television, McCloskey has performed in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. His diverse roles range from the cross-dressing, saxophone-
playing “Josephine” in “Sugar,” to “Teen Angel” in “Grease” and then to young “Michael Hudson” on NBC’s “Another World.” McCloskey is a frequent big band frontman who also performs with the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute band, December ’63. The “green” cast showcases Mark Kleinman, reprising his role as Ebenezer Scrooge for the fourth time. An ariZoni award winner, Kleinman has performed in numerous Hale productions as
well as in opera, musical theater and dramatic repertory around the world. He provided the voice of “The King” in Amazon Studios’ grand prize-winning test film “12 Princesses,” and was a semifinalist for Amazon Studios Best Actor Award. Award-winning David Hale Dietlein will direct both casts and promises theater-goers that they are in for a true holiday treat. The show is an enchanting musical version of Dickens’ classic tale of the three Christmas ghosts who visit the miserly taskmaster, “Ebenezer Scrooge.” The spirits show him the error of his tyrannical, grasping ways transforming Scrooge’s life and, in doing so, remind us that it’s never too late to change for the better. Because of the popularity of this annual classic production, a recordsetting total of 43 performances will be presented this year. The Hale family tradition of
showcasing “A Christmas Carol” began with Ruth and Nathan Hale, who opened the first Hale theater in Glendale, California. In 1965, the Hales and the Dietleins staged their first production of “A Christmas Carol,” establishing a legacy that flourishes to this day with the 50th Glendale production already in rehearsal. In Arizona, Dietlein has received numerous awards for artistic achievement and has directed every production of “A Christmas Carol” since the Gilbert theater opened in 2003. Performance times and prices vary. Tickets range from $20 to $36 and sell out quickly. For more information, or purchase tickets, call the Hale Centre Theatre box office at (480) 497-1181 or visit www.HaleTheatreArizona.com. The Hale is located at 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, just across the street from the historic Gilbert Water Tower Park.
Asylum ’66 presented by CaZo Dance Company Asylum ’66, a new live dance show, will be presented by the CaZo Dance Company, at the Phoenix Center for the Arts Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5. Inspired by the true life events surrounding Whittingham Hospital Asylum in England, Asylum ’66 documents the events surrounding a journalist, Liza, in 1966 who enters the mysterious CaZo Asylum after hearing rumors about the mistreatment at the all-female institution.
Her intent is to bring attention to the asylum’s retched conditions, but what she ends up experiencing is far more than she bargained for. Tickets are $21 for general admission, $19 for students. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Third Street Theater at Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N Third St, Phoenix.
Asylum ’66 uses contemporary and jazz dance styles, all choreographed by CaZo founder Bridgette Borzillo, to tell an emotionally captivating story to make the audience laugh, cry, cringe and feel utterly disturbed. The owner of CaZo is a Gilbert resident. “After presenting an in memoriam to my grandparents with [CaZo’s first dance show] Remember When,” Borzillo said, “I wanted to switch gears to something darker and more in line with the style of character I personally like to portray.” To capture the eeriness and unsettling
vibe of a show that mixes horror with the bizarre (and yes, even an awkwardly weird love story), Borzillo turned to several sources, including niche films and television shows. “Ryan Murphey’s ‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ was one of the main triggers for my inspiration in turning to the insanity of an asylum as the basis for this show, but ‘Black Swan,’ ‘Requiem for a Dream’ and especially ‘May’ were heavy influences in deciding what types of mental illnesses these characters would have and how they dealt with them in the progress of the show as a whole.”
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Barnett to honor Cline at HCPA show BY GABRIEL CUSHING
Veteran Nashville performer Mandy Barnett will bring her show to the Higley Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Submitted photo
After months of touring internationally, country singer Mandy Barnett is making her way to Gilbert early this November to sing classic songs by legendary country artist Patsy Cline. Barnett, a Tennessee native and country vocalist, will perform at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts (HCPA) on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Gilbert will be her first Arizona stop and the 17th gig on her tour. She will perform songs by Cline like “Crazy,” “Walking after Midnight” and “Sweet Dreams.” “I have a long history with Patsy Cline because, back in 1994, I had auditioned for [what was] at the time a brand new musical called ‘Always Patsy Cline,’” she said. “The Ryman Auditorium is where Patsy Cline herself performed. It was going to be a brand new musical in a newly
refurbished Ryman Auditorium back in 1994, and that is kind of how I got my start in Nashville—doing stage plays. It’s how I got associated with Cline; I got to meet a lot of musicians and producers.” Barnett explained fans of classic country music should not miss her show. “I think that country music has changed so much over the years that it’s not every day you get to hear the timeless country classics done in a real authentic sort of way,” Barnett said. “So I think it’ll be a treat for people who love Patsy Cline, love classic country.” Pop purists will enjoy the concert as well. “She wasn’t just a country singer,” she said. “She crossed genres, and a lot of her material would appeal to someone that doesn’t necessarily like country music, but likes pre-rock pop
and the classics.” Robert Zucker, manager for the HCPA, said it was a coup to book Barnett. “Mandy Barnett is a country singer who has been around Nashville for many, many years,” he said. “One of her biggest claims to fame is there has been, for the past 10 years, a show running at the world-famous Ryman in Nashville, which was a tribute to Patsy Cline. Mandy played the Patsy Cline role in that show, and now she is touring internationally.” Tickets range from $26 to $45, with discounts available for seniors as well as Higley High School students. To purchase tickets, visit www. higleycenter.org or the HCPA box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. “I’m looking forward to coming,” said Barnett.
Aura is out of this world, claims she’s ‘too weird’ BY ALEXA D’ANGELO
She calls herself an alien, claiming she is not of this world. Her unique music may prove just that. Luna Aura is an up-and-coming Phoenix musician with two EPs under her belt, the second one just released in August. “I play with the alien thing. I make myself creepy instead of pretty,” Aura said. “What I’m trying to say is that I am not of anything that’s happening in this world. I am my own entity.” “You can’t put me anywhere, I’m too weird,” the 22-year-old Aura said. Aura often wears wigs, changes her hair (only her family knows her real hair color) and plays with different contact lenses to make herself more “alienesque.” And the look perfectly matches the music. Even Aura’s sad songs are uniquely upbeat, with her electronic, forward-thinking sound being the perfect addition to those weird, eclectic summer music festivals. Aura’s latest EP, “Supernova,” has five songs, including the single “Dancing with Your Ghost,” a catchy tune that Aura wrote in memory of her little brother, who passed away earlier this year. Aura says the song is a testament to the everlasting connection between two beings existing in two completely different worlds at once. “My little brother was my biggest
fan,” Aura said. “He always wanted to share my music with his friends.” “It’s funny, now the roles are reversed. He looked up to me for so long but now I’m the one looking up to him,” she said. Aura began singing at an early age, showcasing her unmistakable talent to only her close family. But at age 15 she began putting on live shows around Phoenix and writing her own music. For the last four years, Aura has been focused on making music to share her message, but now she she’s Luna Aura. Submitted photo hoping to share the positivity of her little brother in her music as well. Aura’s tunes have themes ranging from love to feminism and are all created using electric-based methods.
With this album she has had the opportunity to write with other artists and grow in her music. “You could say the writing was starstudded,” Aura jokes. “But really the EP had different writers, all of which are fantastic, and together we were able to create some really great songs.” Though the writers have changed, Aura says her music still has the same sound from her first album. “My sound has definitely matured with me, but it’s not a huge jump from the first EP,” Aura said. “It’s just very mature, with more mature themes, I think.” In the interim between the releases of her two EPs, Aura has been busy performing in Arizona and parts of
California. “I got the chance to perform at the Global Dance Festival at the Tempe Beach Park not that long ago and it was incredible,” she said. “I was on the same stage as some great artists and I just loved everyone there.” Aura puts on a commanding and wacky show, and her fans love every minute of it. Aura says that she writes music for her fans, not for herself. “It’s an opportunity to create something that other people can relate to,” she said. “It’s not like a write something so I can sit on my bed and jam out to myself,” she said with a laugh. But even though Aura has become an up-and-coming artist in the last year, she says she hasn’t let it get to her head. “My parents and my family keep me very grounded,” she said. “They are my biggest cheerleaders, but they also critique me in a way that helps me improve.” “I truly owe my parents for everything, they raised me to be very humble and keep me that way,” she said. Aura plans to tour with several dates in the Phoenix area in November. She will perform at Higley High School on Tuesday, Nov. 10. “I just want to make music and show everyone, girls especially, that it’s OK to be weird and to be whatever the hell you want.”
Community invited to free art show Southwest Visual Art League is presenting “GENERATIONS: A Fall Art Show” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at Art Intersection’s lower level Galley Four, 207 N. Gilbert Rd., Suite 201. Admission is free and hors d’oeuvres and prizes will be offered. The art show features nine local visual artists ranging in age from 19 to almost 80. Organizers are raising donations for charity through the art show with the sale of raffle tickets and the sale of art card packets. All proceeds from this will be donated to the following charities: • Operation Welcome Home.
Operation Welcome Home’s mission is to honor veterans and their families. Through a partnership with the Town of Gilbert, Operation Welcome Home is coordinating the efforts to raise funds to honor the veterans of Arizona through the AZ Wall Project. • Sunshine Acres. The goal of Sunshine Acres is to help these children establish long-term relationships with stable parental figures and prepare them for success in adult life. For more information about the show, visit http:// southwestvisualartleague.com/.
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• Breakfast: Sun - Thurs: 6 -11 am and 5 - 9 pm Friday - Sat: 6-12 pm and 5-10 pm
Happy Hour: 5 - 7 pm Tuesdays: 2 for 1 Drink Specials! Beautiful event spaces available for meetings, get together’s & parties.
Saturday January 9, 2016 at Kiwanis Park Join the fun at the inaugural Making it a Joint Effort Ortho Fun Run/Walk. This run has an event for everyone, including a 5K or 1 Mile Run/Walk and a 100 Yard Dash, so bring your family and friends! The fun starts at 8am.
Proceeds from the run benefit the Orthopedics departments at Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers, which support the Total Joint Replacement and Sports Medicine programs.
100 Yard Kids’ Dash
5K Run/Walk Through Dec 13 After Dec 13
1 Mile Run/Walk Through Dec 13 After Dec 13 Through Dec 13 After Dec 13
$25.00 $30.00 $20.00 $25.00
For more information call 480-728-3931 or visit events on our website at supportdignityhealtheastvalley.org
Etheridge shows off newfound freedom BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI
Melissa Etheridge has never felt so free. After being signed to a major label deal for most of her career, Etheridge is now doing things her way, and to celebrate, named her latest album, “This is M.E.” “The whole experience is different,” Etheridge said. “It’s my first independent record and I’m doing that in a whole different way—starting with the budget. “It used to be I’d get a budget from the record company. I’d write songs and find a producer. Now you don’t have that money up front.” Now, she’s rethought the financial end of it, and has partnered with producers to collaborate on songs and releases. In return, she gives them “back end.” “I wasn’t used to collaborating that much,” she said. “With some people, it didn’t work. The ones I worked with were amazing.” Her newfound freedom allowed her to explore uncharted territory, namely her R&B and soul roots. “I just loved that,” she said. “That’s where some of these sounds came from—the lush production. The songs are still me. That’s why I called it ‘This is M.E.’ This is no more
me than anything, even though it might sound different.” When she performs Friday, Nov. 13, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino’s Ovations Live Showroom, Etheridge will show an even different side of her—that of acoustic musician. “When I make a song, I have to be able to stand on stage by myself and make this song and love it and enjoy it and share it with the audience,” she said. “It can’t be a gimmicky song. It has to be a real song. I create each one of them with that in mind. The solo tour is a unique way of presenting the songs. “I’ve gotten much better at it now. I know what I’m doing. I have a looper, so I accompany myself a little bit more. It highlights my ability as a musician. I think a lot of people might not be aware of the type of guitar player I am.” Etheridge said she enjoys showcasing these skills at casinos, which have become premier venues over the last decade. “The casinos have really stepped up,” explained Etheridge, who has already begun work on a new album. “It used to be that, ‘Oh you’re playing a casino. It’s the bottom of the line.
“But casinos have made theaters that people can go to that are really great.” It’s rooms like those and the rabid fans they hold that makes her career worthwhile. “I love it,” she said about her career. “I will always love it and continue to love it. I’m so grateful for being able to make music for a living. When you have gratitude and enjoyment, it stays fresh. Every few years,
I change musicians and approach songs different. But that’s how I keep it fresh.” Melissa Etheridge performs at 8 p.m. Frida, Nov. 13, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino’s Ovations Live Showroom, 5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler. Tickets are $64 to $144. For more information, call (800) 946-4452 or visit www.wingilariver.com.
Melissa Etheridge will play Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino on Friday, Nov. 13, in support of “This is M.E.” Photo by Tarina Doolittle
Cornell’s forward-thinking approach to music BY CHRISTINA FUOCO-KARASINSKI
Chris Cornell feels nostalgic. During his solo acoustic shows, Cornell enjoys singing hits and deep cuts from his bands Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. But he wants to look forward, too. In an effort to do so, on Sept. 6, Cornell released the album “Higher Truth,” which is fodder for his one-man acoustic show. “After ‘King Animal’ came out from Soundgarden, the follow-up tours that were acoustic shows might have [featured] one or two songs that I wrote for that album,” Cornell said. “The shows are really a look back, mostly. I want it to feel like it’s going to be a look ahead as well. With the four years of acoustic touring and bringing my entire history of songwriting to this one show, my feet finally hit the ground as a solo artist—a solo artist with an identity.” The 51-year-old Cornell said he feels fortunate that he can switch gears between projects. “Whether it’s touring or a one-off show [with Soundgarden] or songwriting or recording, it’s a completely different focus in every way—the songwriting, the performing, being in a band and a collaboration versus being alone,” Cornell explained.
“There’s no confusing one or the other, in so many different ways and so many either. Two months on the road playing collaborations.” acoustic songs immediately transfers to He cites the Young-Daniel Lanois 2010 being on stage with a really loud band,” collection “Le Noise” as an example. he adds. “As “It was one soon as I’m of the coolest sick of one, things I’ve ever the other is heard,” he said. waiting.” “It came and This would went and he’s appear to off and running be the ideal doing other career. Cornell things. It’s pretty doesn’t inspiring, but necessarily it’s good for disagree. someone like “The closest me who’s had an thing I can see almost 30-year in terms of career, to look looking out at someone across the whose career is landscape of over 40 and it’s other American still just as vital songwriter and still inspired performers and moving would be like along. I’ve never Chris Cornell will perform Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Neil Young, seen a finish who seems to Orpheum in Phoenix. Submitted photo line for what I keep busy his do. I’ve never whole career doing pretty much viewed it as a job, so I never thought of just that. such a thing as retirement.” “He’s figuring out new ways of So Cornell keeps working and, besides exploring his songs and his songwriting his sold-out solo acoustic tour that and making albums and presenting them comes to the Orpheum in Phoenix on
Wednesday, Nov. 4, he’s in the beginning phases of a new Soundgarden album. (Tickets from the postponed September show will be honored.) “I’m working on new songs,” he said with a bit of hesitation. “There is no schedule of events. It’s definitely as fun as it’s ever been. I think it’s something that’s kind of better to always my one foot in. I think there were years when Soundgarden wasn’t together when I wasn’t really thinking about it. “I wasn’t automatically coming up with song ideas that were relatable to Soundgarden. Now that we’re together again, that happens automatically. “It feels really good. It’s a huge part of my musical identity. It’s this super close family member that I’m glad, at this point in my life, didn’t die or move to the other side of the planet where I’ll never see them. I think we’re lucky to have our band back again. I think we’re lucky to have it back on our own terms. It’s been nothing but great since it happened.” Chris Cornell and special guest Hemming perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Orpheum, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix. The show is sold out. For more information, call (800) 745-3000 or visit www. ticketmaster.com.
Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller, along with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting.
ON STAGE “Heaven Can Wait,” through Nov. 17, HCT. Joe Pendleton is not dead. He is sure of it, despite the fact that his spirit is in limbo. “American Myth,” through Sunday, Nov. 1, TAS. “American Myth” follows a young journalist who accuses his former history professor of fabricating accounts of his Vietnam War record. Sweet Dreams: Mandy Barnett Sings Patsy Cline, Wednesday, Nov. 4, HCA. Acclaimed performer Mandy Barnett takes patrons on a journey through the career of Patsy Cline. Youssou N’Dour, Thursday, Nov. 5, MAC. This world music superstar was first heard in the United States as the distinctive voice featured in Peter Gabriel’s hit song “In Your Eyes.” Red Grammer: “Hooray for the World,” Saturday, Nov. 7, CCA. Critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated recording artist Red Grammer has set the gold standard for writing and performing contemporary children’s music. Tower of Power, Saturday, Nov. 7, CCA.
Tower of Power’s rhythm section lays down a groove like no other band. Chandler Symphony Orchestra, Sunday, Nov. 8, CCA. The CSO provides quality symphonic and orchestral music. “Evil Dead: The Musical,” Tuesday, Nov. 10, through Sunday, Nov. 15, MAC. The hilarious, record-breaking Canadian musical tells the outrageous story of five college friends spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods after accidentally unleashing an evil force that turns them all into demons. Wyatt Earp: A Life on the Frontier, Saturday, Nov. 21, HCA. This one-man show has been performed more than 755 times throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Phoenix Children’s Chorus: When You Believe, Saturday, Dec. 5, HCA. Celebrate the season with the 350-member choir. Mannheim Steamroller, Sunday, Dec. 6, MAC. Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved
The Milk Carton Kids with Julian Lage, Monday, Dec. 7, MAC. Grammy nominated harmony duo The Milk Carton Kids are a refreshing alternative to the foot stomping grandeur of the folk revival. Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, Tuesday, Dec. 8, MAC. Their work has been viewed on the YouTube channel well over 100 million times. Arch Allies: The Music of Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx, Friday, Dec. 11, HCA. Arch Allies pays tribute to some of classic rock’s best songs. Mesa Arts Festival, Saturday, Dec. 12, Sunday, Dec. 13, MAC. The Mesa Arts Festival is the premier place to find unique gifts for the holidays. Dave Koz & Friends, Wednesday, Dec. 16, MAC. Saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz returns with his friends Candy Dulfer, Jonathan Butler and Bill Medley. Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science, Thursday, May 12, MAC. Fans can expect more comedy, talk show antics, multimedia presentations and music.
VENUES CCA—Chandler Center for the Arts 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler Tickets: (480) 782-2680, www. chandlercenter.org HCA—Higley Center for the Arts 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert Tickets: (480) 279-7194, www. higleycenter.org HCT—Hale Center Theatre 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert Tickets: (480) 497-1181, www. haletheatrearizona.com MAC—Mesa Arts Center One E. Main St., Mesa Tickets: (480) 644-6500, www. mesaartscenter.com TAS – Theatre Artists Studio 4848 E. Cactus, Suite 406, Scottsdale Tickets: (602) 765-0120, www. thestudiophx.org
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Robbery without a gun. On April 25, four season tickets were purchased by credit card in the amount of $1,016.40. The schedule shows the first show on Oct. 24. On Sept. 9, a notice was sent that the Palms Theater was closed and unable to refund. What happened to our money in such a short time? Couldn’t they tell they were in trouble without taking more money? This money is hard for seniors to lose. Red light cameras should be banned and yellow light cameras, too. I was flashed once. About a month later, I received a bill for $337 to pay or else. Another person only had to pay $250. He was
younger than me. I also received a picture showing a red light for thru traffic, my car making a left turn, a leftturn yellow arrow, and an 85-year-old woman. Bullying isn’t limited to school yards. Amazing. One American television station followed this historical, amazing week of religion in America. All the rest of the stations stayed on track just to make money. Hey you lame brains in Congress: Get your heads out of women’s business and pay attention to what Putin just did. He just started World War III and you don’t
even know it because you’re so busy bothering everybody else’s business telling them when or if to have a child. Why did anybody vote for you in the first place, you do-nothings. Wake up, there’s a war going on. This is my own personal quote: The crack of dawn was the beginning of the beginning. The dawn of crack was the beginning of the end. Crazy life. So all the new cars are super, super, super, but who goes to work on a racetrack or in a big Humvee? Yippie dippy doo. Why do all these lazy people who eat themselves to 500 pounds or more expect other people to take care of them when they finally need some help? Where are their brains? Where are the brains of the people who think it’s OK to help these people who have absolutely no selfcontrol? Get over it? They want to eat themselves to 1,000 pounds—let them. This message is important to all women: As an old woman sexually assaulted as a child who did not keep the tickling a secret,
www.GilbertSunNews.com I find these woman now complaining assault [by Bill Cosby] as teenagers disgusting. They did know as teenagers when you went into a private room with an older man, a celebrity chaser, exactly what they were exploring for—celebrity status themselves. So the latest news in history the country’s going to the dogs. So no one can control the manufacture of the guns, cars and drugs. But the laws of the people do control the drivers, the owners and certain mental attitudes. What’s the problem with Congress? It’s the people who forget to investigate the people they vote for to represent them. Nobody’s paying the attention to the history they’re in the middle of—and they’re losing the game. You’re just going to be a footnote in history, America. It’s your own doggone fault. Shame on all of you. Amazing news: Secondgeneration Latinos are improving America because they learned to speak English. Wake up you lazy Americans! Stop approving everything going to Spanish language. This is America, people succeed when they follow English rules. Wake up dummies.
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www.GilbertSunNews.com If you were just fortunate enough to hear Vice President Biden, you were watching the heart of America. There stands what every American should be. When the people of the press ask the usual who, what, when, where questions, they do not need to know all the whys of a military operation. It is necessary to keep some movement secret, so not to inform the other side what’s to come next. Where are their brains? Arizona school administrators must think we’re all Arizonaeducated. Many claim that their district holds an A-1 rating. But in a bottom 48-state national-ranking [that isn’t very good]. Saudi Arabia will not take one single solitary refugee, but they are planning to build mosques in Germany for the refugees. This is an obvious plan of Islam to flood Europe, destroy the economy and turn Europe in to Islamic nations. Why can’t people understand this? It is so obvious. Wake up America. The woman who helped the two murderers escape from the upstate New York prison has been sentenced to two to seven years, and will be able to keep her pension. She was responsible for the taxpayers having to pay millions of dollars to search for these two murderers. Again the taxpayers are getting the short end of the stick. Only in America does crime pay. We already know that ISIS has recruited Americans. Why has the Homeland Security Department not put in place the tools to revoke the passports of anybody who has gone to train and stop them from returning to our country where they will conduct terrorist attacks? Doesn’t make sense to me.
President Obama gave away the store to the Cuba dictators. Raul Castro showed his gratitude by targeting the United States during his speech to the U.N. American tourists supporting the Cuban slave state should be welcomed back to the U.S. with wellaimed pies in their faces for stupidity. When you see how difficult it is for eight firefighters to carry down a stupid hiker, they should be ashamed of themselves. They should also have to pay every penny for the cost of it. The firefighters worked themselves up the mountain and twice as hard to come down the mountain with them. Shame on them. If you think news and TV reporters are not sometimes despicable, then believe the trash talk that’s about Joe Biden’s grief. Shame on you, too. This is what America has become. A nation of shameful back stabbers. Why hasn’t some math genius figured out why the highway road trash always hits the back window of the car? Figure that out. There is a clue somewhere. My name is Patty and here’s what I wanted to say. Isn’t it great that we have free enterprise here in the Unites States? I love to see people with their vegetable stands and somebody selling trinkets in the corner. There are people on the corner with signs saying “I need money.” Anyway, you get the drift. Let’s help each other continue to have the freedom to what we need to do. Life is crazy, but life is beautiful. The Obama administration spent $500 million to train five Syrian rebels. Why is there not an outcry from our legislature demanding who got this money? This is a disgrace. It’s no wonder Americans are fed up
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with Obama administration. Whoever is handling their foreign affairs are idiots and they’re putting us all in danger. It is insane and dangerous to all Americans to bring thousands upon thousands of so-called Syrian refugees into our country. The majority are middle-aged men. They have been infiltrated by ISIS. We are $19 trillion
in debt. Cities and states are bankrupt. We don’t have jobs for our own people. Who is going to support these people? Let’s put a stop to this insanity.
Question: Why is suddenly all the runoff water from mines toxic? Wasn’t it toxic before mines were dug? Doesn’t nature take place of this?
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