SanTan Sun News - November 20, 2022

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Rohrs, Serrano win board race as Mesnard takes LD13

Voters are sending two candidates from opposite sides of the political spectrum to the Chandler Unifi ed School District Governing Board.

Kurt Rohrs and Patti Serrano were elected in the Nov. 8 general election, according to unoffi cial results, with 24% and 23% of the vote, respectively.

Rohrs was endorsed by the parental rights group, Purple for Parents. Unlike Charlotte Golla, who also earned their endorsement, he took more hard-core

positions during the campaign.

Golla placed third with 20%, followed by incumbent Lara Bruner with 19% and Marilou Estes with 14%.

Serrano was backed by liberal activists online who urged voters to cast a single vote on the ballot that allowed up to two votes. She had the endorsement of Arizona List, which describes itself as “a statewide membership network that works to recruit, train, support and elect pro-choice Democratic women running for offi ce in Arizona.”

Serrano also is the fi rst Latina elected

to the Chandler board.

“Parents won,” Rohrs said. “School board members who represent the concerns of parents were elected in districts all over the Valley. Those concerns will now be addressed.”

Purple for Parents saw endorsed candidates win one seat on the Higley Unifi ed and Gilbert Public Schools boards and two on Scottsdale’s board.

Serrano was elated with her victory.

“This is a moment of joy,” Serrano said. “We are more than proud to have secured our community seat on our

Chandler Unifi ed School Board. This win is a testimony of our community-centered campaign and together, we elected our fi rst Latina school board member in CUSD.”

Both will begin in January to work with the three current members, Jason Olive, Joel Wirth and President Barb Mozdzen. Current board member Lindsay Love decided not to seek reelection. She was among those endorsing Serrano with the single-vote strategy.

Chandler Council OKs non-discrimination ordinance

The advocates for a non-discrimination ordinance gathered outside Chandler City Council Chambers to celebrate even before the Nov. 10 meeting was offi cially over.

Chandler is no longer the largest city in Arizona without an NDO.

“I think tonight was a very, very important step forward, and culminates a two-year process,” said Tyler Conaway,

co-founder of Chandler Pride and who chairs the Chandler Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.

“It’s inspiring to be part of a bigger process that’s intended to make Chandler more inclusive, and make everyone feel like they have a place to belong. So, I’m very excited.”

Support from businesses may have been the key to adoption.

The Chandler Chamber has been

Chandler’s new chicken law could face referendum

The Chandler City Council approved allowing backyard chickens in residential neighborhoods on a divided vote.

But the fight may not be over.

Les Minkus of South Chandler, who has been leading the opposition to the change, said he and like-minded residents intend to get enough signatures so local citizens can vote on the measure in a referendum.

If that fails, then he hopes the new and reconstituted City Council may revisit the issue in January after Angel Encinas and Jane Poston replace Rene Lopez and Terry Roe.

“We’re going go for it,” Minkus said after the council’s 5-2 vote Nov. 10. “Let’s see what’s going to happen in January, because they may repeal it, right?”

It took years for Council to approve backyard chickens, which was rejected by one vote in 2013. Lopez had made passing the change a priority before he left office.

“I can appreciate those that … have concerns about this,” Lopez said. “We’re not breaking ground. Every city around us allows chickens.

“It’s not like we have a mass exodus from other cities that are seeking refuge in Chandler because of chickens.”

There are only two scheduled meetings left for the current council. Encinas and Poston are scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 12.

To force a referendum, opponents must collect 5,619 verifiable signatures of Chandler residents in a 30-day window that will start after the measure’s fi nal adoption, scheduled for Dec. 5.

That number is determined by the number of votes cast in the last certifi ed city election, which in this case is the August Primary. They need 10% of the 56,181 votes cast in that election to overturn a council decision.

That is only one option.

In his presentation before the vote, he said both Encinas and Poston indicated they would not support changing ordinances to allow for backyard chickens. Both Lopez and Roe voted in favor.

So Minkus is hopeful that combined with the two no votes last week from OD Harris and Matt Orlando, they might be able to repeal the change once the new council is seated.

If the change stands, here is how Chandler residents can own backyard chickens:

• There is a limit of five hens, no roost-

lobbying hard for the adoption. During the Nov. 10 meeting, Thomas Barr of Local First Arizona called on the Council to pass the the non-discrimination measure.

He’s the vice president for business development for the group that supports small businesses in Arizona.

“Having worked closely alongside organizations advancing equality for all Arizonans, we’ve seen small business-

es continue to advocate themselves for inclusive policies for the LGBTQ community,” Barr said. “That makes Arizona a great place we’re all proud to call home.”

The ordinance prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, national origin,

The holiday season arrives


Businesses hopeful for holiday shopping. . . . . . . . . News . . . . . . . . . . . Page 7

Ferguson's opens huge center in Chandler . . . . . . . . Business. . . . .... Page 31

Chandler teams ready for Open fight. . . . . . . . . . . . Sports . . . . . . . . Page 35

Chandler teachers get their wishes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NEIGHBORS . . . . . Page 38


Real Estate. . . . . 28

Clip-It . . . . . . . . . 30

Business . . . . . . . . 31

Sports. . . . . . . . . 35

Neighbors . . . . . 38

Faith . . . . . . . . . . 42

GetOut. . . . . . . . 44

Directory . . . . . . 46

November 20, 2022 |
Relentlessly local coverage of Southern Chandler An edition of the East Valley Tribune Chandler residents can celebrate the arrival of the holiday season next Saturday when the popular interactive Sugarland exhibit returns to downtown. That exhibit is just the beginning of festivities planned both locally and in the East Valley, as you’ll read on pages 6 and 22 (Special to SanTan Sun News)
See ELECTIONS on page 4 See NDO on page 8 See CHICKENS on page 12
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Both Serrano and Rohrs voiced their hopes and general plans once they join the board.

“I want to bring about a more pragmatic approach to achieving student success in our schools,” Rohrs said. “In talking to hundreds of residents during the campaign, the general consensus appears to be that there is far too much concentration on social and political ideology and not nearly enough on practical academic learning and job skills training that have real applications in the world.

“Students need to graduate from our schools with tangible skills they can use,” Rohrs said, adding:

“Parents’ concerns will now be heard instead of being largely ignored as they have been in the past. I also believe that teachers really want to get back to the academic teaching of their students instead of being called upon to parent


Serrano said, “I hope to help us better respond to the consistent request from students to hold some more formal and meaningful input and dialogue with the district beyond limited two-minute comments at board meetings.

“I also hope to improve on more accurate translation and transparency of data; better activate responses to data analysis and improve on future data collection (whether it be surveying students, educators, staff or parents; or pulling queries from existing data).”

“I am honored to be a reflection to many of our students, educators, staff, parents and our Latino community that have never had the opportunity to have such a reflection on our board.”

Meanwhile, incumbent Republican state Sen. J.D. Mesnard won another term in Legislative District 13, which includes Sun Lakes and part of Gilbert as well.

Mesnard garnered 51.8% of the vote

to 48.2% for Democratic challenger Cynthia Hans. Within a few days of the election, Mesnard was named chairman to the Senate Finance Committee by Senate President Warren Petersen of Gilbert, who had no opposition in his re-election bid.

In the House race incumbent Rep. Jennifer Pawlik, the only Democrat in the race, handily defeated Republicans’ efforts to oust her by capturing 35% of the vote, leaving a dogfight between Republicans Liz Harris and Julie Willoughby for the second seat.

Harris, a Realtor, was leading the race with 32.5% of the vote to Willoughby’s 32.3%, unoffi cial results showed. It was unclear if that means an automatic recount will be needed after canvassing is fi nished. Harris got a total 43,651 votes to 43,389 for Willoughby.

In another legislative race with local ties, two Democratic political newcomers thumped the two Chandler Republicans who were hoping to win the House seats in LD12, which represents northern and western Chandler as well as Ahwatukee and a small part of Tempe and Mesa.

Termed-out Chandler Councilman Terry Roe and and Chandler CPA Jim Chaston got only 21% of the vote to the 29% garnered by Ahwatukee residents Patty Contreras and Stacey Travers.

Winning the LD 12 Senate seat was Democratic state Rep. Mitzi Epstein of Tempe, who was vying to replace Democratic Sen. Sean Bowie of Ahwatukee, who opted not to seek another term. Epstein defeated Ahwatukee Republican David Richardson 58% to 42%.

Democratic and independent voter registration outweighs Republicans in LD12, which has been all blue since 2016.

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Sugarland debut downtown kicks of holiday season here

Downtown Chandler is known for its bars and restaurants, filling the night air with live music and fun. There are other businesses, however.

The new executive director of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership said Sugarland is for them, offering giant treats as a lure to help retail and service businesses.

“Our tagline is going to be, ‘Give Authentic, Shop Local,’ highlighting more retail service and experience,” said Rebecca Hill, partnership executive director and president. “We spend a lot of time highlighting the bars and restaurants. We want to give the other businesses some love too.”

Hill is only a couple of months into her new job. She previously was the executive director for Power Ranch HOA in Gilbert, a community with 20,000 residents.

She said they timed the debut of this year’s Sugarland for Small Business Saturday On Nov. 26 to encourage residents to do some holiday shopping downtown.

Hill said she was surprised by the number of service businesses there are downtown, including barbers, salons and a gym.

Sugarland is just the first of a number of holiday events. Chandler’s Parade of Lights is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3.

Last year the parade returned after being shut down because of the pandemic. Hermelinda Llamas, Chandler’s special events coordinator, said there were a lot of smiles.

“They were ecstatic they were able to get out there and be around other peo ple,” Llamas said. “The community was just that, a community. They realized that they missed it.”

Last year there were fewer floats, about three dozen. This year 44 floats are expected to dazzle fans.

The parade starts at 6:45 p.m. The

lighting ceremony for the Tumbleweed Christmas Tree is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Llamas said there is one new wrinkle to the holidays this year. They have made a slight change to Santa’s house, which will allow more family members to get into the photo.

Previously, only a child or two could have their photo taken with Santa. With the change they made they say most of the immediate family should be able to take their photo together with Saint Nick.

There will be entertainment for people who arrive early to get the best seats for the parade.

Three dancing and singing groups are scheduled to per form starting at 4:30 p.m.

Llamas advises residents to check the road closure maps, arrive early, and use any of the parking garages in the area.

She said the city does work with the partnership on Sugarland, helping coordinate where the interactive candy displays go and providing them with whatever resources they need.

Hill said she expects some special guests for the Sugarland debut on Nov. 26.

“We’re just hoping to grow bigger and better each year and make it enjoyable for the kids,” Hill said. “You know, the parade and the lighting of the Christmas tree can get a bit hectic with thousands and thousands. This is more of an intimate, fun way to kick off the holiday season.”

Sugarland’s giant pieces offer an amusing accent to downtown Chandler‘s landscape, (David Minton/Staff Photographer)

If you go


When: Nov. 26-Jan. 2

Where: Downtown Chandler

Parade of Lights

When: 6:45 to 8 p.m., Dec. 3

Where: Along Arizona Avenue, starting at

Frye, going to Erie

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: 8 p.m., Dec. 3

Where: A.J. Chandler Park

Sippin Santas Pub Crawl

When: Dec. 10; Nice list: Noon to 3 p.m.; Naughty list: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets: $20

Region begins to sparkle with Christmas cheer

Residents across the East Valley looking for places get into a festive spirit have many events to choose from.

Starting this weekend, cities will be lighting up their downtown areas and even some neighborhoods will join the fun with boat parades. Here’s a look at some of the regions highlights.


Continuing with a long-standing tradition, Downtown Mesa will start looking like something out of a Hallmark holiday movie.

B right lights will be wrapped around light poles and festive decorations will glam up Downtown and Valley Metro’s light rail will be transformed into a Christmas train.

And a massive four-story Christmas tree on Macdonald and an accompanying ice rink are among the big attractions all season long as part of the eighth annual “Merry Main Street” celebration.

“ There’s been a long tradition of celebrating the holidays in downtown Mesa,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles.

“When I was a kid growing up here, it was a big deal when the city would roll out decorations that would be hung on the light poles and downtown Main Street, so we have tried to rekindle that.”

An annual performance to kick off the holiday season that has Giles the most excited.

Giles is a star in the returning rendition of the play “The Man Who Killed Santa Claus” – which is based on the

true story of how merchants in Mesa during the Great Depression came up with the idea of pushing a dummy dressed as Santa Clause out of a plane and deploying a parachute.

The parachute failed to open, traumatizing hundreds of kids.

In an attempt to rectify the traumatizing blunder, former Mesa Tribune editor John McPhee donned the red coat and hat but the damage was done.

H e was remembered from there on as “The Man Who Killed Santa Claus” and has since been immortalized with a play recreating the botched stunt.

“ It’s a very funny, very true story about this tradition of downtown Mesa being the place to come to celebrate the holidays and we’ll have some great, talented professional actors reenacting the story,” Giles said.


Just south of Mesa, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park in downtown Chandler will glitter with a magical candy land known as Sugarland.

What began as a way to get coopedup residents out of their homes and outside in a safe manner during the height of the pandemic has since become a tradition for Chandler residents, according to Downtown Chandler Community Partnership spokeswoman Jessica Walrath.

“ Sugarland began in 2020 as a way to bring Christmas to Downtown since it seemed like everything was closing and there wasn’t going to be Christmas because people couldn’t be around each other,” Walrath said. “It was born out of

See EVENTS on page 22

Businesses hopeful as holiday shopping revs up

Slammed as much as their customers have been this year by inflation and supply line disruptions, Scottsdale and East Valley small business owners hope the Christmas shopping season will bring them a little cheer.

Buoying those hopes are reports like one earlier this month by Catherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer insights for the National Retail Federation and NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, who predict healthy hol iday sales as consumer spending continues to reinforce economic activity.

“Almost regardless of what’s going on in the economy, consumers want to celebrate holidays,” Cullen said. “They want to give gifts to their loved ones, and they want to make this time of year feel special.”

But while Kleinhenz predicted holiday retail sales would grow by 6-8% this year, the federation noted that its research also shows “consumers are feeling the impact of inflation in different ways.

“Higher-income consumers are plan ning to spend more than they did in 2021, while lower- to middle-income individ uals are more cautious when setting budgets for the holiday season,” the federation said, echoing similar predic tions by other experts.

Regan Amato, vice president and

retail specialist for the global real estate investment company Jones Lang Lasalle said, “Local performance and sales num bers among metro Phoenix restaurants, retailers and most services are strong” and that the Valley is “in a very good position going into the holiday season, which traditionally only further boosts sales.”

“In-store shopping has experienced something of a renaissance this year,

beating online ordering for the top shopping method,” JLL’s annual holiday shopping survey said. “After two years of dealing with the pandemic by staying close to home, consumers are ready to get back to shopping in stores.”

Against this backdrop, area business owners are keeping their fingers crossed even though the pandemic gave way to continuing supply line disruptions, higher costs and staffing shortages.

“After everything opened back up again, we were charged around a 7% sur charge added to the delivery fee,” said Ana Wells, owner of urbAna in the Scott sdale Quarter. “I think the main driver of that was the cargo ships that were getting stuck and the delay on that.”

The surcharge has impacted long-standing businesses like The Paper Place in Old Town.

“ I just had to go re-order our bags and that was a 20% increase,” said The Paper Place co-owner Betsy Hendricks. “I mean, 18 to 20% is almost the standard in everything we’re buying and because of that, we had to increase the prices.”

Wells said she had to do the same, ex plaining, “My vendors are increasing their prices a little bit and because of that, we’ve had to raise our prices.”

Businesses across the East Valley re ported similar challenges.

T iffany Shultz, who started Sip and Shop boutique store at the SanTan Village in Gilbert in November 2020, said inflation forced her to raise prices be tween 5% and 10% on various products such as wood.

Rebecca Hill, executive director of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership, said businesses “do feel like the season has started a little bit slower, but I think it’s still too early to tell if it’s

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Like many Scottsdale and East Valley retailers, the Bass Pro Shop in Mesa got an early jump on the holiday shopping season by bringing in Santa a week after Halloween. Jerry “Zippy” Gibbons donned jolly the traditional attire, delighting Kate, Emmet and Natalie Smith. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)

High court upholds Arizona’s 8-member juries

It’s not allowed in 44 states but the U.S. Supreme Court refused last week to void an Arizona law that allows criminal trials to be conducted with juries of just eight people.

Without comment, the majority of the justices upheld the statute that says that a 12-member jury is necessary only when the crime charged carries a prison term of 30 years or more.


from page 1

sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, disability, marital status or familial status.

It covers all contractors, vendors and consultants who do work on behalf of the city. It also provides for equity in employment and public accommoda tion within the city.

Any company found in violation of the NDO would not be given any city contracts.

During study sessions, council members learned that very few complaints actually go to that conclusion. Most cases are worked out through mediation.

The City Attorney told the Council that there has only been one case in Arizona that went to the state Supreme

They saw no reason to even address the law given that Ramin Khorrami faced no more than 12.5 years on charges of theft and fraudulent schemes in connection with his bid to extort money from a married woman with whom he was having an affair.

The high court in 1970 refused to disturb a Florida law that allowed someone to be convicted by a six-member jury.

But the decision not to even review

Court. In that case a Phoenix printer refused to create wedding invitations for a gay couple. The court ultimately ruled there must be exemption to NDOs for religious viewpoints.

Conaway and Eduarda Schroder, the other co-founder of the LGBTQ-rights group Chandler Pride, said there may need to be adjustments made to the NDO in the future.

“As far as revisiting, if you look at the other cities that passed fast, quicker versions, Scottsdale, and in particular Mesa, they’ve made slight adjustments as they’ve gone back in and said, ‘does this make sense? Do we need this any more?,’” Conaway said.

Schroder said during public comments that she would like to see tougher penalties for violators.

“There should be consequences, cen sure or a monetary fine,” she wrote in

the law drew a stinging dissent from Justice Neil Gorsuch, appointed to the court in 2017, who said that 1970 ruling “was wrong the day it was decided.’’

“It remains wrong today,’’ he continued. “And it impairs both the integrity of the American criminal justice system and the liberties of those who come before our nation’s courts.’’

Only Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with Gorsuch.

According to court records, Khorrami

a text. “Or both. Chandler Pride hasn’t zeroed in on something yet.”

Harris pushed for the passage of the NDO, crediting Matt Orlando and Christine Ellis for helping him draft the final version in a subcommittee.

“I’m proud today and I’m excited today,” Harris said. “I could not be more proud of the work that we did –for almost two years, working on this tirelessly.”

Ellis said she was happy Council took its time to get this right.

The mayor issued a proclamation in the spring of 2021 calling for an inclusive community. Council then decided to pursue a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) survey, hiring an outside contractor to run it.

In it they found that 13% of city employees strongly disagree that the city is an inclusive place to work.

began a romantic relationship in 2012 with a woman living in Arizona. She told him she planned to leave her husband. A year later the relationship soured and he threatened to tell her husband unless she paid him $30,000 and continued the affair. Eventually after paying him another $4,000 she realized he would not keep his end of the bargain and told her husband, who reported

If there was any reluctance by this Council to pass a NDO, there was pressure to act now.

Incoming council members Angel Encinas and Jane Poston both cam paigned on passing a non-discrim ination ordinance and easily won election. With Harris and Orlando already on the record voting for the measure, that would have given them a majority.

“It makes a statement, and it’s the statement that I believe always described Chandler, is that we are not a city that is known for discrimination,” said Mayor Kevin Hartke.

He said during last year’s campaign he would oppose the NDO because he thought it put too big a burden on businesses.

Hartke said this one is not onerous. “I’m very proud to live in this city.”

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The City of Chandler is launching a web portal that is designed to improve transparency and make the city more accountable to its residents.

People who have any question about the city may find it a good place to look for answers on questions like:

• What is the median household income? $97,000.

• How many planes land and take off from the airport each year? 57,000.

• What’s the average response time by police to a priority one call? 4:13.

• How many miles of bike lanes are in the city? 354.

Those are just some of the nuggets of information that the dashboards, which can be found at performance. It launched on Nov. 7 and city officials gave the mayor and council members a tour during a work session.

“We want to show today our movement in that direction to show how we can support all of our actions with numbers and be accountable and transparent to our residents through this through this portal,” said Steven Turner, the assistant to the city manager.

The information is broken up by the Council’s strategic framework focus areas: Economic vitality, Innovation & Technology, Mobility, Neighborhoods, Quality of Life, and Good Governance.

The quality of life category is broken up even further into three subsets: Public safety, cultural development and recreation.

One of the goals of the dashboard is to show the city’s progress in achieving its goals. For example, if the goal is for police’s average response time to a priority one call to be under 5 minutes,

then it would state that. It would also show when the city is falling short of its goals.

Those goals are usually highlighted in a different color to make them stand out. For example, the city’s goal is for customers to give an average rating of at least 4.5 out of five at the Tumbleweed Recreation Center. It’s currently

at 4.3.

Another goal is for the average pavement quality index to be 70 or higher. The city is currently at 68.5. The only other metric that is falling short of city’s goals now is the average wait times customers experience when they

Chandler launching information web portal
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really the impact from inflation.”

“In some instances, there have been some delays for shipping for sure and I think everybody’s feeling the additional cost.”

Because of this, Hill said businesses have become more proactive in ordering products to sit on shelves this holiday season.

But many retailers also found ways to mitigate drastic cost increases.

Lacey Barta, who owns The Boutique in downtown Mesa said she has man aged to circumvent significant wholesale cost increases by “sourcing correctly,” resulting in only a 3% to 4% increases in her prices.

She said she carefully selects suppliers in both Arizona and across the country with an eye toward value.

“I haven’t had that huge of an issue,” Barta said of her product costs. “And it’s because we’re sourcing where we need to be sourcing.”

Labor shortages another issue

Though staffing shortages have been a consistent thorn in area businesses’ side for at least a year, owners find particular challenges as they beefed up their staff to support an expected influx of shoppers flooding into their doors during Black Friday and Small Business Saturday as well as most days from now until Christmas.

Though she’d like to add four more employees, Shultz said finding employ ees has remained difficult.

Shultz said she’s fielded about 50 applications recently but only three showed up for an interview.

“ We have a good staff,” Shultz said. “But I’m always looking to hire more people because it has been difficult to find people.”

Barta also is relying on her core staff to push her through the holidays.

With two full-time employees and three part-time, Barta said she’s pre pared for the holiday shopping season but could use the extra help and would eventually like to expand.

“In the past few years, they’ve been great and consistently getting better, and were just growing,” Barta said. “Even though the economy might be a little scary right now, it doesn’t mean that we have to be scared about holidays or anything.”

On the other hand, Julie Judd who serves as the store leader for Altar’d State in Scottsdale Quarter said she was able to hire seven new employees for

Back in stock

Area stores have begun to see products return to shelves.

“ I think what we’re seeing this year is a lot of easing of the supply chain chal lenges that people had last year and the retailers have some inventory on their shelves this year, which is great,” said Scottsdale Quarter marketing manager Christina Calhoun.

Barta said it wasn’t long after the 2021 Christmas shopping season that “we were already planning for next holiday because we know fresh what didn’t work, what did work.”

“With what is thrown at us, we pivot, and so we’ve got a lot of plans here for this holiday and we’re excited,” she said.

Added Calhoun, “One thing that we’re noticing that’s different this year is that everyone’s starting their holiday much earlier.

“A lot of stores began putting up their holiday displays immediately after Halloween and I think the reason that we saw that was because everyone finally had that inventory in stock and they want to make sure they get it out on the shelves, so people had plenty of time to shop early,” she said.

Shultz said inflation does not seem

to have impacted the level of customer activity.

“We’ve still seen the same number of customers in the same volume that we’ve seen in the past, despite having to raise prices due to the economy right now,” Shultz said.

Overall, Shultz said she saw a rebound in her sales ahead of last year with consum ers going out “ready to support local.”

“ We’re seeing that again this year, So far despite inflation and the way the economy is,” she said, “we’re ahead of where we were last year.”

Barta said the clothing store has also seen a gradual increase in sales, a sign of a return to normal.

“The pandemic just really made people want to get out and go shop ping,” Barta said. “And so, it really kind of helped with that and growing ourselves.”

Area retailers also are ratcheting up their appeals to customers to think local when they start looking for gifts.

“I’m a big advocate of shopping small and the small businesses are what makes the heartbeat in the communities,” said Lisa Garber, owner of Galicia Fine Jewel ers in Scottsdale.

“ We are the ones that people come to when they need donations here in the school, for charities or anything else. So, I always remind people – ever so kindly

and ever so respectfully – to remember us not just when you want to ask for something.”

Despite the anxiety among business owners as they gear up for the holiday shopping season, many are still hoping for the traditional jolt it receives from the Black Friday rush as well as the next day, Small Business Saturday.

Judd says she and her team at Altar’d State are excited to open their doors for its first Black Friday sale.

“It’s our first year, so we’re excited,” Judd said. “Our plan is just to wow every one with the fashion that we have over there and honestly, it’s the most fun day of the year for me. I’ll bring in candy canes and hand them out to everyone and I’ll be wearing a Santa hat.”

Merchants also are hoping that area municipalities’ special tree lighting cele brations will entice crowds to downtown shops.

And the global tax and audit consult ing brand Deloitte said retailers also can take heart in one fact.

“The bottom line is that despite the obstacles, consumers will likely find ways to make the holidays special,” it said. “And savvy retailers likely will be the ones who find ways to engage with evolving spending priorities to shine this holiday season.”

the holiday season.
SHOP from page 7
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Tiffany Shultz of Sip & Shop in Gilbert said that while “we have a good staff,” she is “always looking to hire more people because it has been difficult to find people.” (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
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Council OKs downtown Chandler project after assurances

Chandler City Council members made sure the developer of the Downtown District understands they are worried they’re being promised lots of tax-generating retail business but will end up with only multifamily housing instead.

And they won’t be happy about it. Council on Nov. 10 approved a rezoning and preliminary development plan for the proposed multi-use development on about 45 acres on the southwest corner of Arizona Avenue and Pecos Road.

The plan includes about 800 apartment units; a hotel, about 100,000 square feet of retail space, and more than 364,000 square feet of offi ce space.

“My concern has always been the retail on this issue,” Councilman Matt Orlando said during the Nov. 7 study session. “That drives… the sales tax that goes towards the parks, the [recreation], the police, the fi re, all the amenities that Chandler has become used to

in its quality of life.”

The developer has promised to build two two-story offi ce buildings at the same time as the fi rst and larger of two residential buildings is constructed during phase one.

A stipulation was added to the development agreement during the Planning and Zoning Board hearing on this case that construction on the second and smaller multifamily building could not begin until all the retail shops along Arizona Avenue were built.

The developer does not have any contracts in hand to occupy those spaces. Because of the lack of affordable housing in Chandler, it’s unlikely they will have any problems fi lling up the multi-family units.

The city currently has a 5.1% vacancy rate for retail, according to the city’s economic development office and a 16.2% vacancy rate for office space.

“It is highly unusual in today’s market, as we know, that is ever-evolving, ever-changing, for a developer to commit to build so much … on speculation,”

Ray said his client is prepared to build 70,000 square feet of offi ce space and 30,000 feet of retail without having contracts in place with the tenants.

Orlando said that they gave him additional assurances that more retail would be built before the second apartment building is started, and that was enough to ensure its passage.

What concerned Orlando, and other members of Council, is that there are only five buildings of retail planned along Arizona Avenue. The vast majority of the retail space is either behind that, or along Pecos. And the developer would not have to build those before constructing the second multi-family building.

“What are the guarantees that we get the class A offi ce space that Microchip desperately needs?” Council member Mark Stewart said. “What are the guarantees that we get the hotel and convention space, which is what was zoned for this particular plan when it was purchased?”

The plan is for a 180-room hotel. Council members told Ray repeatedly that there is a huge need for about 20,000 more square feet of meeting space for corporate events.

Vice Mayor Terry Roe said. “But for me, the greatest concern is, I just want it done.

“I can think of five or six projects right now that are still incomplete,” Roe said. “Those all came with great intention and promise and they are still not completed. And so what would disappoint me the most is to have two new multi-housing projects with a lot of undeveloped land.”

In other Council business, Mark Stewart cast a no vote on one consent agenda item . It was a plan to change the city code to raise the maximum dollar amount that staff can spend on projects without Council approval.

In some cases, it’s doubling from $50,000 to $100,000. The proposal is being made because inflation has increased costs, so a lot more of the city’s contracts are passing the $50,000 threshold.

“One of our main responsibilities as council members is to be a budget watchdogs and ensure taxpayer dollars are accounted for,” Stewart wrote in an email. “In my opinion the old limits were high enough for Council approval.”

The mayor and other council members voted in favor and the proposal passed.



from page 1

• This is for single-family lots inside city limits. Homeowners Associations may have their own rules that prohibit chickens.

• Chickens must be contained in a side or back yard. The coop must be at least five feet away from all property lines.

• Any coop that exceeds 7 feet in height, or 120 square feet overall, will need a building permit. Any coop with any utilities (water or electric) needs a building permit.

Avondale and Fountain Hills are the only Valley towns that ban backyard chickens on residential properties. Glendale allows them, but only on lots

10,000 square feet and bigger.

“I appreciate the input from the public saying that just because a couple of council members are coming that we shouldn’t be making decisions for the city,” Lopez said after a couple of speakers suggested leaving this decision for the next Council to decide.

“I fi nd that kind of disingenuous, because that means every vote for the last six months then are not valid. I just I have concerns with that line of thought, because we were elected also to do a job and to represent our community.

“And there’s loads of people that are encouraged and want to have chickens, we also need to consider their inputs,” Lopez added. “So I’ll leave it at that.”

said Brennan Ray, a lawyer with Burch & Cracchiolo is representing the owner and developer, Meridian West AZ/202, LLC.
“It’s not really my place to tell you what to put where, and what kind of street paving to use or what design,”
Shannon Ellingson, a Chandler mother of two, and her husband spent $3,000 building a chicken coop in their backyard last year, only to have city inspectors tell them they couldn’t use it. (David Minton/ Staff Photographer) Council approved a rezoning and preliminary development plan for a multi-use development on about 45 acres on the southwest corner of Arizona Avenue and a Road. (City of Chandler) Council was satisfied the developer won’t just build apartment buildings on the land. (City of Chandler)
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Report says taxpayers could save big with city EV fleet

The Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund and Frontier Group says taxpayers can save a lot of money – about $80 million for 10 large cities in the state – by converting to a fleet of electrical vehicles (EVs).

Chandler officials say it’s more complicated than that.

The two advocacy groups teamed up to release a study detailing how cities could save money by switching to EVs. They also argue it will improve air quality for Arizona residents as well.

The study claims Chandler could save about $5 million by replacing light-duty fleet vehicles at the end of their life with electric vehicles. Its authors urge cities to develop a plan to convert their light-duty fleet to EVs.

The survey looked at 10 large Arizona cities and determined the bulk of the savings would come from lower costs for fuel, maintenance and repair. It estimates the 10 cities would need to replace about 4,000 vehicles over the next 10 years.


from page 8

Khorrami to the police.

The eight-member jury unanimously convicted him of the two charges. He was placed on probation which includ-

“Currently, we have eight electric vehicles, we have three and we just received five new ones,” said Steven Turner, the assistant to the city manager. “And we have an order for about nine hybrid vehicles, which would bring our total of hybrid vehicles to 26.”

Michael Hollingsworth, the city’s facilities and fleet manager, said converting to a fleet of electrical vehicles isn’t easy.

“I’m hoping the other cities have expressed difficulties in supply chain,” he said. “You know, it’s really difficult to get delivery dates, even on the hybrid vehicles, much less than electric ones.

The [Chevy] Volts that we ... ordered, they were probably pushed out two or three times before we actually received them.”

And once you have an electric vehicle, you need some place to charge it.

“Infrastructure is an issue and it’s also one that gets expensive,” Turner said.

“The reason we went with a solar-powered car charging station down at fleet was because … the cost of the infrastructure to put it in was [high].”

ed a two-month jail term. Only later, on appeal, did he say he was constitutionally entitled to a 12-member jury, an argument rejected by the state Court of Appeals which the Arizona Supreme Court refused to overturn. That led to his petition to the

Hollingsworth said it cost about $90,000 to buy and install the solar-powered charging station at the fleet facility. And not every building is set up for a charging station. So buying and installing more charging stations to handle more EVs is going to cost money.

“In order to install the charging stations and transformers right now, they’re long lead time items as well,” Hollingsworth said.

Chandler is currently partnering with Salt River Project for a detailed look at its electric vehicles and its fleet. It’s being paid for with a grant.

“We’re engaging with SRP ... to take a look at our fleet,” Hollingsworth said. “So which ones does it make sense to be electrified.”

Turner said the city is partnering with the Maricopa Association of Governments on improving the infrastructure needed for an electric vehicle fleet.

“They’re trying to find the best locations as a region where those [charging] stations will … most makes sense,” Turner said.

Hollingsworth said they hope to have

U.S. Supreme Court.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich urged the justices to spurn the request, citing the precedent of the 1970 decision. And he argued that reversing that ruling would upset not just the law in Arizona but also in Connecticut, Florida,

the results from the SRP survey in the spring.

The PIRG study concluded Chandler would save $4,993,319 by switching its light-duty fleet to electric.

Phoenix would save the most, more than $25 million. Other cities would save: Tucson, $14.7 million; Scottsdale, $11.4 million; Mesa $9.6 million; Peoria, $3.8 million; and Gilbert, $3.5 million. Tempe, Goodyear and Surprise would all save more than $2 million.

The study said with the cost of electric vehicles coming down, and new infrastructure being added each year, it is finally an affordable option for cities.

“Electric vehicles currently in Arizona municipal fleets are driven fewer miles on average than gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles,” study authors Diane Brown and Tony Dutzik wrote.

“Municipalities seeking to reap the full benefits of electrification must carefully integrate EVs into their fleets, aligning charging and use schedules to ensure that EVs are able to replace as much gasoline- and diesel-fueled travel as possible.”

Indiana, Massachusetts and Utah.

Gorsuch, however, called that 1970 ruling an aberration to what he said has been centuries of understanding and precedent requiring a 12-member jury.

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The Traffi c Section was allotted $28,000 of this grant to fund civilian motorcycle training, with an additional $25,000 to enforce Arizona’s seat belt and child safety seat laws. An additional $50,000 was awarded to combat excessive speeding, as well as distracted and aggressive driving.

The DUI Unit will use $97,338 to fund offi cer overtime, related equipment and supplies to work DUI enforcement during select times of the year to combat impaired driving, and $35,000 for the Know Your Limit non-enforcement, education program, the department said in a release.

The Traffi c Section was also allotted $50,000 to fund pedestrian and bicycle safety overtime associated with the campaigns to raise awareness through education and enforcement.

The Vehicular Crimes Unit got $5,000


from page 14

It starts, he said, with the Sixth Amendment requiring a trial by jury.

“A mountain of evidence suggests that, both and the time of the amendment’s adoption and for most of our nation’s history, the right to a trial by jury for serious criminal offenses (ITALICS) meant (ROMAN) a trial before 12 members of the community -- nothing

for accident investigation training related travel, materials, and supplies associated with collision investigation.

Nominations open for inaugural MLK Awards

The City of Chandler is accepting nominations for its inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards, which will be presented in January.

There are three categories: The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes someone who has done extensive work promoting social and economic justice, defending civil rights and enhancing the dignity of all people in Chandler.

The Emma Arbuckle Empowerment Award recognizes someone who works to empower the community by creating leadership opportunities, racial equality, and solidarity. It’s named after a South Chandler leader, advocate and mother figure.

The Youth Action Award recognizes a student (18 and younger) who is working

less,’’ he wrote in his 10-page dissent, adding:

“By the time of the Sixth Amendment’s adoption, the 12-person criminal trial was an institution with a nearly 400-year-old tradition in England.’’

Gorsuch also pointed out that the court itself addressed the situation as far back as 1898 when it concluded a 12-person jury was clearly the intent of Congress.

All that changed in 1970, he said,

to promote nonviolence, commitment to service and courage amongst their peers.

Nominations are due by Dec. 2. The winners will be notifi ed the week of Dec. 19.

Chandler is now accepting applications for CIVIC program

The City of Chandler is accepting applications for residents who want to be part of its CIVIC program. The deadline for applications is Dec. 2.

The program is 13 sessions that provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the city is run. Participants meet with city leaders and tour facilities.

The program launches in January and most sessions will be between 4:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays. For more information, visit

FuelFest is coming next month to Wild Horse Pass

FuelFest is returning to the Valley on Dec. 10 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Dec. 10. Money raised from the

when the majority simply assumed that the 12-member rule “rests on little more than mystical or superstitious insights’’ and suggested there was no reason to assume a smaller jury would be less fair.

“None of this supplies a sound basis for judicial tinkering with an ancient tradition,’’ Gorsuch said.

In fact, he said, evidence presented to the justices eight years after the 1970 decision suggested that smaller juries are less likely to foster effective group

event benefits Reach Out WorldWide, the nonprofit started by Fast & Furious star Paul Walker, who died in a car collision in 2013. His brother, Cody, runs the nonprofit now.

The event brings together racing fans, celebrities, music, food and art. There will be hundreds of custom, exotic, rare and exclusive cars and trucks to view, as well as live racing and interactive exhibits.

Tickets are $35. Visit for more information.

Hadassah chapter invites Chandler women to join

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is a volunteer organization that inspires a passion for and commitment to the land, the people, and the future of Israel. Devorah Hadassah is the Southeast Valley, which is inviting area women to join its activities.

For more information contact: Eliana Bar-Shalom at 860-377-7126 or

deliberation and raised doubts about the accuracy of results. There even was the conclusion that as juries become smaller, the variance works against the defense.

And Gorsuch said there has been other research since.“These studies suggest that 12-member juries deliberate longer, recall information better, and pay greater attention to dissenting voices,’’ he said. “Respectfully, we should have done just that.’’

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Family of crash victim seeks $25M from Chandler

The family of a 26-year-old father of three has filed claim for $25 million against the City of Chandler and others in the wake of his death.

It is among a handful of claims filed against the city in October.

Brandon Yazzie was driving his motorcycle on the night of April 18 when he was killed in a collision and his family’s attorneys are alleging the accident would never have occurred if a stop sign at Palm Lane at Pecos Road was not down at the time of the crash.

A woman driving southbound in a SUV made a left-hand turn from Palm onto Pecos Road, hitting Yazzie’s motorcycle.

The lawyers also argue that the design of the intersection is flawed, with views of oncoming traffic obscured.

“Failure to maintain the stop sign in proper position and the design flaw of the intersection caused the collision and Mr. Yazzie’s death,” the lawyers wrote in the claim.

Yazzie had three minor children. The claim is also being filed on behalf of his girlfriend and parents. The lawyers are offering to settle for $25 million.

The majority of claims are resolved directly by the law department as the

City Attorney is authorized in city code to settle claims at or below $25,000.

Negotiated settlements above that amount could be discussed in an executive session, but are required to be approved by the City Council in an open public meeting. These settlements could occur as a result of a claim or lawsuit being filed.

In other claims filed against the city last month:

• Ian Buszka was driving northbound on Price Road on May 3, 2022 when he became involved in a police chase.

Derek Cevedia was fleeing from officers after they allegedly found him asleep be hind the wheel and observed evidence of drug use. When they woke him, he fled, hitting police cars to get away.

There are reports that he was driving at times between 80 and 100 miles per hour. The chase ended when Cevedia’s vehicle collided with Buszka’s. The suspect ran a red light at Price and Warner, hitting two other cars.

Buszka was trapped inside his vehicle and suffered serious medical issues as a result of the collision.

The legal claim says the officers following Cevedia did not take proper steps to protect the public and were not trained how to handle such an aggressive chase. It also faults them

for allowing Cevedia to flee when they initially tried to arrest him.

The lawyers provided documentation of the medical issues, which were redacted by the city. However, the total price of more than $101,000 is visible.

The attorneys are offering to settle the claim for $2 million.

• A Chandler woman who was arrested for an outstanding warrant from Gilbert is asking the city to reimburse her the cost of a new cell phone.

During the arrest the only property she had with her was her cell phone, which she willingly surrendered to officers. She claims that the officer put her phone on the top of the police car, then forgot about it.

They didn’t realize it was lost until she asked for it later so she could get a phone number out of it. She says the officer admitted to losing her phone and she’s asking for $1,300 to buy a new phone.

• A Phoenix man is asking for $1 million because he claims Chandler Police officers struck him multiple times until he became unconscious.

Kameron Zimmerman says he was under an incoherent schizophrenic state of mind at the time of the confrontation.

He claims he was beaten so badly he

wasn’t able to stand up to use a urinal.

The police report says officers were responding to a welfare check after a man was reportedly yelling at cars in front of an apartment complex.

An officer arrived and Zimmerman allegedly began walking toward his car, ignoring other moving cars in the street (McQueen Road). The officer claims a truck had to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting him.

The officer led him off the road and asked Zimmerman to sit. He complied, according to the claim.

The officer said he showed behavior consistent with someone who had taken drugs, and he feared the suspect was a danger to himself, others and officers. He planned to handcuff him for his own safety.

Another officer arrived and the two tried to put the handcuffs on. Zimmerman resisted, standing up, and then charging the first officer in a manner that suggested he intended to tackle him. Other officers arrived and they were able to subdue him.

During a search afterwards, they found what they describe at a meth pipe. When Chandler Fire personnel arrived, they sedated Zimmerman and treated him for his injuries. He was taken to a hospital for further treatment.

Woman’s claim against Chandler demands return of 2 dogs

A Chandler woman has filed a legal claim against the city to get back custody of her two German shepherds and $50,000 for her trouble.

Melyssa Peraziana said police seized the dogs after arresting her on animal cruelty charges that were later dropped.

“Although Ms. Peraziana could sue for significant damages based on the clear violations of her constitutional and other legal rights, she would like to resolve this enormously painful chapter expeditiously,” attorney Hayleigh Craw ford wrote in the claim.

“Accordingly, Ms. Peraziana is willing to enter into a full and final settlement of the foregoing claims in exchange for $50,000, the return of Kellan and Remus, and an agreement to stipulate to the clearance of Ms. Peraziana’s record.”

Kellan and Remus were her German shepherds.

Peraziana’s attorney, Jennifer Booth, said she is advising her client not to do media interviews until after the appeal is decided on her civil case.

On April 25 of this year, Peraziana was walking Remus at a dog park near her apartment complex. She claims the dog broke free of his leash and began running toward another dog that she

says had a history of aggressive behavior toward canines.

Peraziana says she was able to restrain Remus by grabbing the scruff of his neck holding him between her leg and the fence.

However, the police report says a cam era at the apartment complex filmed her. It shows Perziana is about to enter the dog park when she “abruptly grabs one of the German shepherds and slams the animal on the ground twice.”

That short video led to a complaint of animal cruelty. Two days later, police and investigators from the Arizona Humane Society arrived for an interview and to check the dogs for possible injuries.

The claim says neither the officers nor the investigator found anything wrong with the dogs and there was no basis to proceed with the complaint.

The police report says there is another short video that shows Peraziana striking one of the German shepherds with an object, which they say was likely a leash.

The claim notes that both videos are very short, and there could be important context missing.

Both the claim and police report say the Humane Society investigator found no evidence of injuries to either dog and that both animals interacted normally with people and other dogs.

On April 28, the police went back and seized both dogs and took Peraziana into custody. There is no explanation in the police report as to what led to the arrest.

The final entry in the police report states that officers continued to seek the longer video of the two incidents. On June 8, the longer videos were uploaded. There is no comment about what happened in the longer videos.

Peraziana said she has owned 10-yearold Remus and 3-year-old Kellan since they were about two months old. The claim says she learned on May 10 her dogs were shaved to their bare skin so they could be checked for injuries.

The claim says the dogs showed no pain, were in good condition and the only bruising or scrapes on them were likely caused by the shaving or normal behavior.

The Arizona Humane Society placed the two dogs up for adoption, despite an appeal pending in civil court. The two dogs were quickly adopted by different families, forcing them to be separated.

The Humane Society later contacted the two families and gave them three options: They could return the dogs to the Humane Society immediately; they could agree to foster the dogs until a final custody decision was made; or they could keep them and deal with possible

legal ramifications later.

The claim says they believe the family that adopted Remus chose option two, and the family that adopted Kellan took option three and does not plan to return him.

Booth said the criminal charges against Peraziana were dropped at a Sept. 7 hearing at the request of the prosecuting attorney.

Peraziana filed her claim against the city in October.

On Oct. 17, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge held a hearing on the civil complaint.

The claim says the state admitted there is no record to show the dogs were seized legally, and there was no new evidence in the three days from the first interview and inspection to the day of arrest to justify that action.

“At the end of the day, Ms. Peraziana is a dog lover who, out of fear and concern, reacted in the heat of the moment to prevent a loose dog situation from escalating into something more dangerous,” Crawford wrote in the claim.

“The court records in the seizure proceedings themselves confirm that Kel lan and Remus never should have been taken from her, much less adopted out to total strangers in direct violation of court order. Respectfully, we ask that you help make this right."

GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5647 or

States, Congress seek social media controls to protect kids

The word “crisis” dominates the headlines about the mental health of children these days, with experts and advocates pointing a finger at one factor in particular: social media.

Following recent reports about the impact of platforms like Instagram on teen well-being, several groups have sued tech companies, and in September, California enacted a first in the nation law requiring firms to do more to protect the privacy and data of children online.

Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician who studies the intersection between technology and


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call City Hall. The goal is a minute or less. The current wait time is 1:53.

The dashboard “keeps city staff City Council accountable and transparent to our constituents, and ultimately provides a culture of excellence,” Turner said. “Everybody’s kind of working together on a common theme and common purpose.”

Turner and City Manager Joshua Wright asked the council members to consider changing their focus areas to make it easi er for them to measure progress.

“The current strategic framework,

child development, has seen firsthand what this youth crisis looks like.

“Media now is so good at interacting with our psychology that you can imagine that sometimes it’s going to play upon our strengths, but other times it’s going to play upon our weaknesses,” said Radesky, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School.

“We’re seeing it with tons of referrals to the medical center for everything from eating disorders to suicide attempts. There’s no doubt that there’s a mental health crisis that existed before the pandemic – and is now just worsened.”

A U.S. surgeon general’s advisory,

as it is currently written, is difficult to measure quantitatively,” Turner said.

“There’s a lot of great goals and great focus areas in there, however, it is hard to track quantitatively.”

Turner offered an example.

He said Council could agree to spend $1 million more on parks. That would be hard to hold people accountable because there’s no direction how to spend the money or what the priorities should be. However, if Council said the goal is that there is a park within a five-minute walk of every Chandler resident, that is something they could work on.

The mayor and Council plan to meet in February to go over their strategic

issued in December, warns that more young Americans are facing mental health struggles. The COVID-19 pandemic is to blame, it said, but so, too, is technology as youth get “bombarded with messages through the media and popular culture that erode their sense of self-worth – telling them they are not good looking enough, popular enough, smart enough, or rich enough.”

Tech companies tend to prioritize engagement and profit over safeguarding users’ health, the report found, using methods that may increase the time kids spend online and, in turn, con tribute to anxiety, depression, eating disorders and other problems.

During the pandemic, the time

framework and make any adjustments they deem necessary. The two new members of council, Angel Encinas and Jane Poston, will be sworn in on Jan. 12.

Most of the items on the dashboard can be clicked on to provide more information. That may include a chart showing the trend for that category.

Some of the items will updated month ly, but others less frequently. Many of the economic data statistics are updated quarterly. Some, such as number of air port flights, are updated annually.

There are some numbers that may need further context.

For example, one of the dashboards says there are 345 sworn police officers

youngsters spent in front of screens for activities not related to schoolwork rose from an average of 3.8 hours a day to 7.7 hours a day.

Radesky specifically worries about social media apps that use algorithms to constantly feed content to the user. Her concern is when a child’s viewing habits or online behaviors reveal something about them to the platform. A user who constantly engages with violent videos might tell the app that they are a little impulsive, for example.

She noted that TikTok and Instagram use such algorithms, while on the platforms Twitch and Discord, users have to

in Chandler. Police Chief Sean Duggan said during a Council presentation there are not that many officers right now, because the department has been unable to fill 31 positions.

“The reality that we face right now is that the number of individuals that are willing to be police officers, has shrunk considerably,” Duggan said. “And of that pool of people, the number of people that are qualified to be police officers, let alone Chandler police officers, is even smaller.

“So we are in a constant struggle local ly, in a very saturated market, a market where every city, every police depart ment is vying for quality folks to join the ranks, and the pool is very small.”

See MENTAL on page26

Native American vets dedicate national monument

WASHINGTON – Arizona veteran Darryl Blaine laughed and waved to onlookers as he marched toward the National Mall on Veterans Day, surrounded by fellow Native American vets and his family members from the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Blaine, a Marine Corps veteran, was one of 51 Native veterans from Arizona – part of a contingent of 1,500 from across the country – on hand for the formal dedication of the National Native American Veterans Memorial.

“This is something all Natives should be proud of, whether they served or they didn’t,” Blaine said. “We’re here for all of them.”

The marchers ranged from the remaining Navajo Code Talkers of World War II to veterans of more recent wars. The procession, hosted by the National Museum of the American Indian, was filled with veterans in uniform and in traditional clothing, carrying tribal and military flags to a stage just across the street from the U.S. Capitol.

After speeches and performances there, they returned to dedicate the National Native American Veterans Memorial, a stainless-steel circle placed on a carved stone drum surrounded by water. The installation is surrounded by four lances, placed around the memorial, where visitors can tie cloths for prayer and healing, according to the

museum’s website.

Blaine said the day’s festivities offered a chance for Native American veterans to gain the respect they deserve and to give respect to those who came before him.

And there is a long line of Native Americans who have served.

According to the USO, Native Americans serve at five times the national average and have served in every major conflict since the Revolutionary War, including the 29 Navajo Code Talkers in World War II. Since 9/11, around 19% of all Native Americans

have served in the U.S. military, compared to 14% for all other ethnic groups in the country, the USO said.

Harvey Pratt, the artist who designed the memorial, has said he was inspired by healing ceremonies that Indigenous soldiers went through after their ser vice. On any other day, the memorial is a quiet, contemplative garden setting just off the National Mall.

Michael Chiago Sr., a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, said the chance to be a part of the procession

and see the new memorial was something he never imagined he could see with his own eyes.

And he loved the wide range of media from all sorts of Native American artists.

For Blaine, the museum is a testament to Native American history all under one roof, something you can’t find anywhere else in the country.

“Seeing how far back we go and how far back our traditions go, seeing all the people here today, it makes me proud as a Native American,” Blaine said.

He and the other veterans flew to D.C. as part of an Arizona Honor Flight, a charity that flies veterans to visit the memorials erected in Washington in their honor. Last week’s flight was scheduled specifically to participate in the National Native American Veterans Memorial dedication.

Honor flights began flying nationally in 2005, with local “hubs” around the country. Flight costs are covered by donations made to the hubs, so that veterans can make the trip at no cost to themselves. The Southern Arizona hub has flown more than 1,000 veterans to Washington since 2011, with this week end marking the 31st flight, according to a press release on the organization’s Facebook page.

Goup members said they were also excited to be able to see the other memorials to their service, honoring them as just veterans..

The National Native American Veterans Memorial is a stainless-steel ring on top of a stylized stone drum with falling water. Around the memorial site are benches for visitors as well as four poles representing lances, where people are invited to tie prayer cloths.
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(Ryan Knappenberger/Cronkite News)

a way just to bring everybody together safely outside and with this interactive display.”

Since its humble beginnings two years ago, Sugarland is aiming to be bigger than ever this year.

“We are going to kick off Sugarland with a big reveal and then there are a ton of events planned for Saturday Nov. 26 – which is Small Business Saturday,” Walrath said. “We’re going to have street performers perform live music on the street for patrons as they stroll and shop locally in downtown Chandler or grab a bite to eat.”

This year’s display will include lightwrapped trees, a fruit roll-up slide, large gumdrops kids can climb on, and several other candy-themed interactive installations.

Chandler will light its Tumbleweed Christmas Tree at 8 p.m. Dec. 3 in downtown’s A.J. Chandler Park. It will be preceded by family-friendly activities 4-6 p.m. and a parade at 6:45 p.m.

At 35-feet tall and 20-feet wide, the tree has nearly 1,000 tumbleweeds covered in 65 pounds of glistening glitter, 25 gallons of white paint and 20 gallons of fi re retardant. The tree is wrapped in more than 1,200 LED lights.

Known nationwide, the iconic tree has been featured on several Travel Channel shows and Saturday Night Live.

The Tumbleweed Tree debuted in 1957, making 2022 its 66th year.


Scottsdale plans to kick off its monthlong Scottsdazzle festivities with a tree lighting ceremony and holiday-tune singalong on Saturday, Nov. 26.

“We kick off the holidays with a huge, wonderful event called the ‘Sing-Along and Tree Lighting Ceremony that happens down with the Scottsdale waterfront,” said Karen Churchard, city director of tourism and events.

“It’s just very dazzling,” she said. “We have a full orchestra – MusicaNova –that performs and we have different local celebrities that sing and lead the attendees in song.”

After nearly a dozen classic holiday tunes, the fanfare will climax with the lighting of the 40-foot-tall Scottsdazzle

tree and three smaller trees atop the Marshall Way Bridge.

Scottsdazzle’s a calendar is chock full of over 30 events counting down the days to Christmas Day, beginning with deals during Small Business Saturday, a chance to meet Santa at the Old Town Farmers Market, and wine cork crafting at the Holly Jolly Wine Cork.

“We want to showcase Old Town Scottsdale as the place to do your holiday shopping, to do your holiday celebrations, and to come out and get in the mood,” Churchard said.

Tempe and Gilbert

No desert celebration of Christmas is complete without a boat parade and the East Valley hosts two of them.

At 7 p.m. Dec. 3, The Islands in Gil-

bert, located off Warner Road between Cooper and McQueen roads, will see scores of brightly colored boats cruising the community’s lakes.

A week later, form 4-9 p.m. Dec. 9 along Rio Salado near Tempe Town Lake, the annual Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade is the centerpiece of a festival that includes food and other fun.


Even Ahwatukee gets into the spirit thanks to Millie’s Hallmark shop, which for more than 30 years has hosted a helicopter arrival of Santa and Mrs.Claus and a few elves.

Entertainment precedes Santa’s arrival beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25 in the Ahwatukee Plaza, 5027 E. Elliot Road, Ahwatukee. The event is free and includes kids’ activities like face paniting.

Here’s a guide to the region’s holiday events:


Hidden in the Hills:

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25-Sunday, Nov. 27

Where: See the website for a map Cost: Free Info:

Scottsdale Quarter

When: Friday, Nov. 25: Dicken’s Carolers 11 a.m., Mrs. Claus and Grinch 11 a.m. and LED Violinist 5 p.m. Where: The Quad at Scottsdale Quarter,

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Chandler will light its traditional tumbleweed tree at A.J. Chandler Park downtown on Dec. 3. (Special to SanTan Sun News)

15279 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.

Cost: Free Info:

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park Holiday Lights

When: 6-9:30 p.m. nightly starting Friday, Nov. 25 to Friday, Dec. 30.

Where: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale Cost: $15 Info:

Immersive Nutcracker:

When: Saturday, Nov. 26, and Sunday, Nov. 27. Dec 1 through 31

Where: Lighthouse Artspace, 4301 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Cost: $30 Info:

Frosty Margarita and Taco Tour

When: 11 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays beginning Saturday, Nov. 26 through Dec 22.

Where: 7142 E. 1st St., Scottsdale Cost: $145 Info: ta-and-taco-tour/

Prancer’s Puzzle Rides

When: Saturday, Nov. 26 through Saturday, Dec. 31; Various times Where: various locations Cost: $79 Info:


Holiday Weekend Entertainment at Scottsdale Quarter

When: Saturday, Nov. 26: The Santa Social 2 p.m. and Holiday Movie in The Quad 6 p.m. Where: The Quad at Scottsdale Quarter, 15279 N. Scottsdale Road, Scotts dale. Cost: Free Info:

Scottsdazzle Holiday Lights Tour

When: 6:15 p.m. nightly from Saturday, Nov. 26 to Tuesday, Dec 27 Where: 7142 E. 1st Street, Scottsdale

Cost: $125 per vehicle Info:

Jake Shimabukuro:

When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 Where: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd Street, Scottsdale. Cost: Tickets start at $48 Info:

Holly Jolly Wine Cork Crafting

When: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 Where: 7134 E. Stetson Dr, B110, Scottsdale Cost: $40 Info:

Scottsdazzle Sing-Along & Tree Lighting Ceremony

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26

Where: Scottsdale Waterfront, 7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale Cost: Free Info: sing-along-tree-lighting-ceremony

M eet Santa at the Market/Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 Where: Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market Cost: Free Info:


Arizona Lights in the Night: When: Wednesday, Nov. 23 through Thursday, January 5 Where: Thompson Events Center, 1901 N. Alma School Road Mesa Cost: at $39.95 per vehicle Info:

Mesa Turkey Trot: When: 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 24 Where: Red Mountain Park, 7745 E. Brown Road Mesa Cost: $15-$35 Info:

Merry Main Street: When: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 Where: 20 E. Main Street, Mesa Cost: Free Info:

The Man Who Killed Santa Claus When: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25 Where: One E. Main Street, Mesa Cost: $10 Info:


Tumbleweed Tree Lighting When: 4-8:30 p.m. Dec. 3, Where: Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West, 3 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler Cost: Free


When: 5 p.m. to 10 pm. Saturday, Nov. 26 – Sunday, January 2 Where: Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West, 3 S. Arizona Avenue, Chandler Cost: Free Info: land

Ballet Etudes Nutcracker: When: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, Saturday, 7 p.m. Nov. 26, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26 Where: Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave, Chandler Cost: $29-$31



Queen Creek Extreme Bulls: When: 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, and Noon Saturday, Nov. 26

Where: Queen Creek Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre 20464 E. Riggs Road, Queen Creek. Cost: $20

Info: queen-creek-xtremebulls/

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Scottsdale’s month-long holiday Scottsdazzle celebration will start making the city spar kle with a holiday sing-along and tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 26. (Special to SanTan Sun)

Ducey continues fight over shipping containers at border

Using old shipping containers isn’t a permanent or effective solution to secure the southern border, as state and Yuma offi cials know. Now, the move is embroiled in a legal battle with the federal government.

In August, Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order to place empty shipping containers in several gaps in the border fence near Yuma. The containers, stacked two high, are topped with razor wire. The goal isn’t to stop everyone, which Ducey said is impossible, but he’s confi dent the big metal boxes will slow the flow of border crossings.

“The idea behind the shipping containers is that they’re available,” Ducey said in a news conference in September. “They are affordable and they’re effective. I think the ideal situation is more of a permanent solution, and there’s no perfect solution.”

At the border later that month, the multicolored containers sat while steel beams that were to be installed in the gaps over the years were loaded onto 18 wheelers and shipped to other parts of the border where gaps exist in the fence. As the trucks crawled along a dirt path adjacent to the border, Ducey stood proudly in front of the shipping containers.

Javier Flores, who was driving one of the trucks, doesn’t think the containers

“Do you think they are of much use?

I have a video of the people on top of the containers yesterday,” he said in September.

In August, some of the containers toppled over, which the governor’s offi ce attributed to people knocking over the 8,800-pound metal boxes. To date, 130 containers have been placed on the border.

Rafael Martinez Orozco, assistant professor of Southwest Borderlands at Arizona State University, said policy and security involving the U.S.-Mexico

simplistic solutions.

“I think it’s part of a Band-Aid solution that is only thinking about the border wall as this regiment – as this standalone – that’s going to solve our issues,” Orozco said.

The containers also are controversial for environmental reasons. Sierra Club borderlands director Erick Meza said the bulky containers could be obstacles for migrating animals in the Yuma area.

“I think no wall is the solution,” Meza said. “Remove some of the segments of the walls on these priority areas using technology if you want. But really, I

think the keys on the solutions are on addressing root causes” of migration.

On Oct. 14, the Bureau of Reclamation sent an email to the Arizona Department of Homeland Security and the Arizona Division of Emergency Management saying that the placement of the containers is trespassing on federal land and requesting the state stop placing containers on federal and Cocopah tribal land.

In the same email, the bureau said Customs and Border Protection already had awarded a contract to fill the gaps along where Arizona placed the containers. It also said the state was actively interfering with the process the bureau had underway to fill the gaps – and that it was a violation of federal law.

Ducey responded with a lawsuit Oct. 21, claiming he had the power to make the decision to place the containers on the border through his gubernatorial “emergency powers.” In August, Ducey declared a state of emergency regarding the increased flow of migrants crossing the border illegally, and as a result, he authorized the placement of the containers.

According to CBP data, the Yuma sector of the U.S.-Mexico border saw more than 300,000 with Border Patrol offi cers in fi scal 2022. This is an increase of over 170% in encounters in fi scal year

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Shipping containers fill several gaps in the border fence near Yuma. The bureau says Arizona’s placement of the containers there constitutes trespassing on federal land. ( Alexia Faith/Cronkite News)

seek out content.

“We need the digital ecosystem to respect the fact that kids need space and time away from tech and they need to engage with content that’s positive and hopeful,” she said.

California has passed a law that could serve as a model for other states.

The bipartisan legislation prohibits companies with online services from accessing children’s personal information, collecting or storing location data from younger users, profi ling a child and encouraging children to provide personal info.

A working group will be required to


from page 25

2021, which leads the nation by a wide margin. It also is the third busiest corridor for illegal border crossings in the country, according to CBP.

Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls said in September that despite the state’s stopgaps, they still “won’t have a dramatic impact” until federal help comes in and fi lls the gaps with steel beams.

The sentiment that Yuma is powerless in its immigration problem is shared by both city and county officials. Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines knows the federal government is the only entity that can create a permanent border barrier.

“We really need them to step in and

determine how best to implement the policies by January 2024.

The measure, heralded as a fi rst in the U.S., was modeled after a similar measure passed last year in the United Kingdom, where the government mandated 15 standards that tech companies, specifi cally those that collect data from children, have to follow.

Common Sense Media, a San Francisco nonprofit that advocates for safe and responsible use of children’s media, backed the California measure. Irene Ly, policy counsel for the organization, called it a fi rst step toward forcing tech companies to enact changes to make the internet safer for kids.

Ly said companies have made “intentional design choices” to drive up en-

resolve this situation,” Lines said. “It’s their responsibility to take care of the borders. It’s not a state responsibility, and it certainly isn’t a county responsibility or a city responsibility.”

Lines, Nicholls and Ducey said the state stepped in because of the increased demand and lack of resources that Yuma and other border cities have been facing as a result of migrant influx. Plugging holes in the border fence with the containers gives them more “operational control,” they said.

“Until you maintain control, you can’t really address the overall problem of legal immigration. You have to get control of the border of the situation fi rst,” Lines said.

Orozco said that because of this

gagement, such as automatically playing videos when users scroll and using algorithms to feed targeted content to users, and argued companies are more than capable of making changes that protect young users.

“It’s overdue that businesses make some of these easy and necessary changes, like offering young users the option to have the most privacy-productive settings by default and not tracking their precise location automatically,” Ly said.

Ly said privacy protection goes handin-hand with protecting mental health, given that adolescents are uniquely vulnerable to the influences of online content.

“They’re not going to develop the

year’s midterms, the phrase “operational control” is being used to appease voters’ anxieties about the border, which becomes a “figurative character” to voters around election time and the complexities around border policy go ignored.

“I think the idea of having control of the border is very mythical,” he said. “Operational control, I think, is just playing to a lot of the particulars or massaging a lot of anxieties during this election cycle.”

Lines said Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., has been the lone voice in the federal government who has acknowledged the help needed to secure the border, but no offi cial timetable has been set for when help will arrive. Kelly’s offi ce did not respond to a request for comment.

critical thinking skills or the ability to distinguish between what is an ad and what is content until they’re older. This makes them really ill-equipped to assess what they’re seeing and what impact that can have on them.”

An April report from advertising watchdog group Fairplay for Kids that found Instagram’s algorithm was promoting eating disorder accounts that had garnered 1.6 million followers.

“Algorithms are profi ling children and teens to serve them images, memes and videos encouraging restrictive diets and extreme weight loss,” the report stated.

“And in turn, Instagram is promoting and recommending children and teen’s eating disorder content to half a million people globally.”

In August, Kelly, along with fellow Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and two other senators, introduced a bipartisan bill to increase the wages and ranks of Border Patrol agents. Kelly also has sponsored a bill to use newer technologies to deter drugs, including fentanyl, from coming across the border.

Although Lines and Ducey highlighted drugs as the reason for plugging gaps in the fence, Nicholls said overall safety and control of the situation were top priorities. The only option is to rely on the federal government, he said, and the permanent solution can only come from them.

“The ball is in their court,” Nicholls said. “We’re always willing to be at the table.”

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Chandler gets so-so ranking as Thanksgiving destination

People going to Chandler for Thanksgiv ing could do a lot worse – and a lot better – for a place to celebrate the holiday.

Chandler ranked 29th among 100 cities across the country for best places to spend Thanksgiving in the financial web site WalletHub’s annual survey. Chandler slipped three places from last year’s placement at 26 in that survey.

With Atlanta, Georgia, topping the list most Arizona cities and towns improved in their rating from last year’s Wallethub survey with Gilbert leading the list of seven Arizona municipalities included in the roundup.

Gilbert climbed from 11th last year to number 5.

Phoenix climbing from 76th in 2021 to 60th, Tucson from 72nd to 49th, and Glendale from 65th to 52nd.

Several cities across the Grand Canyon State dropped. Scottsdale fell from third place in 2021 to twelfth while Mesa fell from 43rd to 50th.

But all of the Arizona municipalities did a lot better than Hialeah, Florida, which ranked dead-last among the 100 munici palities, right behind Anchorage, Alaska.

The study used 20 metrics to rank the cities across a cornucopia of factors in cluding celebrations & traditions, afford ability, safety & accessibility, volunteer opportunities and number of volunteers for charities, and weather.

The study predicts that 31% of people will travel this Thanksgiving. Of those traveling, 29% will fly while 47% will drive to their destination.

Fang Meng, professor at the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at the University of South Carolina said to avoid peak travel days and use your own car are somewhat obvious ways to save money when flying the coop for Turkey Day.

When people do arrive at their desti nation, the survey said the hosts may be crying foul on the price of that fowl.

According to CNBC, expect a whole frozen turkey weighing between 8 to 16 pounds to set you back roughly $1.99 per pound, a 73% increase over last year’s average price of $1.15.

WalletHub found the average 16-pound whole frozen turkey will cost a little more

than $25 this year. Overall, it also found hosts will spend an average of $392 for food, drinks, and home décor for the day.

WalletHub found hosts spend more than nine hours preparing their feast, and Meng suggested they should not be be afraid to try another economical option.

“Do not feel shy to ask your guests to bring something to share (appetizer, side dish, dessert, drinks, etc.) for the party – it is more fun and cost-effective,” Meng said.

Across a five-day period in 2021 that included Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the study found that 180 million people went shopping and that the average American spent $301 over that time period.

Andrew Burnstine, associate professor at the College of Business and Manage ment at Lynn University said you could participate in “No Spend November,” a pledge for participants to set rules and boundaries on their spending.

Burnstine said shopping at local farmer’s markets for your Thanksgiving meal and replacing Black Friday and Cyber Monday with “Upcycle” – repurposing items for holiday decorating and gift-giving – can save money and the environment.

Fred Hurvitz, a professor of practice for Retail Studies at Smeal College of Business at Pennsylvania State University, said setting a gift-giving budget will save a lot headache once the bruises from Black Friday shopping have subsided.

“We have to remember how important the holiday season is to the profitability of many retailers,” Hurvitz said. “The early commercialization of the holiday season has been occurring for several years now.”

Whether you spend the weekend with family or hunting for deals at retail stores, working hard or relaxing at home, Burnstine said the holiday weekend really sets itself apart from the rest of year in term of what we value. Although Black Friday may encroach on that.

“In the end, while we can speculate as to the reasons why it is so, the fact is that Thanksgiving really sets itself apart from the rest of the year in the way that it draws the focus to a different kind of value,” he said.

Information: best-places-to-go-for-thanksgiv ing/67603

Sun Lakes nonprofit plans concert fundraiser

A nonprofit that cares for elderly people living in their own places in Chandler, Gilbert and Sun Lakes is holding a benefit holiday concert bt the Chandler Symphony Orchestra.

Neighbors Who Care is sponsoring the Deck the Holidays Concert at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at Risen Savior Lutheran Church Worship Center, 23620 S. Alma School Road, Sun Lakes.

The Risen Savior Choir will join the symphony for some of the renditions of classic holiday tunes. Seats are first come first serve and $15 tickets are available at (search Deck The Holidays Concert).

People also can pay at the Neighbors Who Care office, 10450 E. Riggs Road, Sun Lakes. All tickets are being sold online but NWC will provide a voucher to use at check-in.


Buyers backing out latest trend in real estate

If you’re worried about what to do if a buyer backs out of a deal, you’re not alone.

Between the rise in interest rates and depreciation in the real estate market, buyers are currently backing out of real

estate deals at an alarming rate. When they do, it can leave sellers worrying about the fi nancial hit they’ll take – whether they can sell into to complete another transaction, or even whether they’ll be able to move out of state on time.

Fortunately, sellers have protection

once the relevant contingencies are completed.

For transactions under the standard Arizona Association of Realtors form, the most common way to get out of a contract is to cancel during the inspection period. During this time, buyers can cancel the sale with no penalty.

This is their chance to vet the house, get it inspected and make sure it’s up to their standards. Prior to the end of the inspection period, the buyer may cancel for any reason.

When the inspection period ends, the loan contingency often becomes the focus for buyers looking to renege. However, that’s a more limited source of relief.

The standard Arizona Association of Realtors contract explicitly states that failure to lock an interest rate is not an unfulfi lled contingency. That means if the buyer signs a contract with rates at 5% and then the lender o ers a 7% loan to close, the buyer cannot back out because of that.

In other words, the loan contingency is a contingency of whether a loan is made, not whether it’s at an acceptable interest rate.

This particular contingency often spawns disputes when buyers attempt to manipulate it to avoid the binding e ect of their contracts. The language of the loan contingency requires that a buyer make a “diligent and good faith e ort” to obtain loan approval.

It imposes a deadline to submit a loan application and requires the buyer to promptly supply the lender with the documents it requests for underwriting. Therefore, buyers cannot get away with simply dragging their feet on the loan process until closing day.

After buyers wrongfully renege on their commitment, sellers may accept the earnest money as their damages, but it isn’t required.

The standard Arizona Association of Realtors form contract makes it very clear that doing so is the “seller’s option.” The other option is to bring a claim for damages. In an environment of rising interest rates and declining real estate prices, the suit for damages will often be the better option.

In a damages claim, sellers can be compensated for all their losses resulting from the buyer’s decision to back out. Often, this starts with whatever additional price reduction the seller must make to complete the transaction with a new buyer.

In addition, buyers will have carrying costs for the property, including interest on their own mortgage, utilities and maintenance. Some sellers will also be harmed in connection with other transactions.

For example, if the seller was planning to buy another property and depending on his own sale proceeds to make the payment, a lost opportunity to complete that transaction could entitle the seller to substantial lost profits.

Sellers can protect themselves by proactively monitoring the loan. The standard contract requires that buyers and lenders provide updates on loan status “upon request.”

In addition, sellers shouldn’t be shy about soliciting backup o ers. Finally, when a buyer backs out, they should talk to a lawyer early to understand their options.

Samuel Doncaster is owner and lead attorney at Fraud Fighters Law Firm here in Phoenix.

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Are you confused about the status of new short-term rental laws and court rulings? Hopefully the information below will help to clarify things.

When dealing with regulations pertaining to short term rentals, there are two primary sets of laws that may be applicable to your situation: (1) those imposed by the government; and (2) those imposed by a homeowners association (“HOA”), if your property is situated within an HOA.

In short, all short-term rentals are subject to restrictions or requirements imposed by the government – i.e., those imposed by the State of Arizona and/or your local government. The Arizona legislature recently passed new laws pertaining to short term rentals and these new laws are outlined below.

Additionally, those with properties in an HOA may be subject to additional restrictions or requirements.

The recent Arizona Supreme Court decision in Kalway v. Calabria Ranch limits the extent to which an HOA can amend Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”) to restrict short term rentals, but you should nonetheless understand that HOAs can restrict short term rentals in certain situations.

As to the governmental restrictions and requirements, cities and towns now

have much more authority in regulating short term rentals. Specifi cally, new short-term rental legislation, which became e ective September 24, 2022, provides, among other things:

• Short term rental owners must have liability insurance of at least $500,000; Cities/towns can impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 against an owner, if the owner fails to provide the required contact information to the city/town;

• Cities/towns can fi ne owners for violating their regulations. These fi nes can be up to $3,500 for three violations within twelve months;

• The Arizona Department of Revenue can suspend an owner’s transaction privilege license if there are three violations of city/town regulations within twelve months.

These are just a few of the new regulations that became e ective on September 24, 2022.

As to the restrictions and requirements that an HOA can impose on owners, the recent decision by the Arizona Supreme Court provides some guidance.

Specifi cally, the Court ruled that principles of notice and foreseeability limit an HOA’s ability to amend CC&Rs.

In other words, amendments to CC&Rs, including those pertaining to short term rentals, are permitted only if they are foreseeable refi nements

laws can be confusing

to existing obligations contained in the CC&Rs. This ruling is retroactive in nature and casts doubt on the ability of an HOA to ban short term rentals in communities with CC&Rs.

In sum, it is now more important than ever to understand the restrictions and regulations imposed by cities and

Top seller

towns. And, it is now more important than ever to understand whether, and to what extent, your HOA can restrict short term rentals.

If you have any questions, or would like a copy of the new laws, feel free to email real estate lawyer Patrick MacQueen at

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Ferguson opens giant automated warehouse in Chandler

Chandler is welcoming another business heavyweight to the city after Ferguson, North America’s leading distributor of plumbing and HVAC supplies, opened a new market distribution center on Queen Creek Road Nov. 15.

The facility is one of the ways the company with 37,000 suppliers hopes to improve supply-chain slowdowns that have plagued companies since the pandemic began.

The Chandler location is the second such distribution center the company has opened open as part of this new strategy, following the original in the Denver area. Eventually, the company hopes to have more than 30 of these centers.

The Chandler center adds 75 new jobs to the area and employs approximately 200 associates. The 365,000-squarefoot facility distributes residential plumbing, lighting and appliances, commercial and industrial products to all of Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas.

“We’re looking at between 32 and 35 distribution centers,” said James Ogden, the Southwest director of branch operations for the company. “There’s a general rule, every NFL city should have a MDC.”

Chandler was the choice for the Phoenix market.

“As we went through this process to find land in the valley of Phoenix, we

will call it, there were many site toured, many things worked out, and I can tell you we’re very happy and thrilled that we ended up in Chandler,” said Marty Young, the company’s Southwest Dis trict Manager. “It’s worked out wonderfully for us.”

A market distribution center includes both a retail store for consumers and a giant warehouse for contractors. The goal is to have whatever part anyone is looking for available for quick delivery.

Even at 385,000 square feet, the

warehouse turned out to be not big enough. That’s one of the problems with being one of the first ones built, company officials said. The next one to open will be in the Houston area.

“We finally figured out on Houston how to do it correctly, because although this one runs great, it was undersized before we ever moved in,” Ogden said. “So we outgrew it before it was ever built.”

Both Young and Ogden said they plan to expand their new center. Ogden said

they own 10 acres of land behind the current warehouse and hope to build another 240,000 square feet as quickly as it can be approved and built.

To improve efficiency, Ferguson is relying on robots to hunt down whatever customers need. The company dedi cates a three-story area of the warehouse to a team of robots that scuttle about a honeycomb like structure.

Whenever a box is opened for a part, the unsold products are put into a crate. The computer knows and tracks the exact location of that crate. When another customer wants the same part, the robot goes over to where it’s located and gets it.

What if the crate they need is at the very bottom of that three-story structure?

“This is a test they did,” Ogden said. “And something on the very bottom is needed for a customer that’s standing at the counter, it takes about 12 and a half minutes to do.”

Ogden said that probably won’t happen often, because the slowest-moving products will naturally end up at the bottom over time.

“The robots work all day and night, saving on traditional warehouse costs and allowing us to fulfill orders quickly for faster same-day product availabil ity,” said Michael Jacons, Ferguson’s southwest vice president of supply

Chandler restaurant offers range of Indian cuisine

One of the first things that let’s diners know Feringhee’s is not your typical Indian food restaurant, is what they won’t hear.

The waiter isn’t going to ask you how spicy you want your meal.

“We want you to taste it as is,” said head chef Karan Mittel. “But if you want to make it spicier, we can do that.”

The other sign is if you go looking for curry or vindaloo, which are staples at most Indian restaurants, you won’t find them on the current menu.

“India is a very diverse country, from the north to the south, to the east, to the west, it’s completely different ingredients, using different language, religion and everything,” Mittel said.

“And this is our simple small step in paying homage to that beautiful diversity just in a beautiful manner.”

Feringhee, which translates to “foreigner” in Hindi, brings other Indian dishes to Chandler Village Center at Frye Road and the Loop 101 Price Road Freeway.

“Our chefs are here to talk about it,”

said owner Madhavi Reddy. “I mean, they really know what they’re doing. And they’re really bringing the best from India to here. And in a very, not only delicious, but how we present it is completely different.”

Reddy’s goal in opening Feringhee

earlier this year was to bring a fine dining experience to Indian food, something she said has been lacking.

“You know Indian restaurants are more of something where it is a very standard menu of what they do, and which even I personally ran some of

those restaurants,” Reddy said.

“I thought there is something missing in what we are doing. So we wanted to say more things about Indian community, like you know what’s the best we could do.”

Food and Wine Magazine named Mittel the rising star chef of the year in 2018 in Dublin, Ireland.

“The whole point of this restaurant, or this whole cuisine that we’re bringing in, is to get those home recipes, get those authentic, those traditional cur ries, or the kinds of dishes that are still cooked at home, bringing that old age tradition just in a new light,” Mittel said.

The restaurant takes its time in preparing the food.

“We have a couple of classics as well we call [Old Delhi] Butter Chicken, which is I think is the most complicated dish ever,” he said. “Because the chicken is marinated for three days, it’s cooked fresh in tandoor, which is a charcoal oven that we have.

“Even the sauce is made with fresh tomatoes and it takes eight hours of

For more community news visit 31 THE SUNDAY SANTAN SUN NEWS | NOVEMBER 20, 2022
Owner Madhavi Reddy believes Feringhee Modern Indian Cuisine in Chandler will intro duce patrons to the broad range of India’s cuisines. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
See FERINGHEE on page33 See FERGUSON on page33
Marty Young, Ferguson southwest vice president, cut the ribbon on the company’s dis tribution center in south Chandler on Nov. 15. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)

Mesa flight schools help ease pilot shortage

Outside a nondescript building along Sossaman Drive at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport last month, the sun shined while rain poured from an irongray sky inside the cavernous structure.

On a powerful flight simulator that cost more than a real airplane, a flight student checked his instruments as the image of a propeller on a large wraparound screen began to hammer away in the rain and he prepared to take a digital plane into the storm.

Behind him, a flight instructor scrutinized a computer monitor.

Scenes like this are typical at the University of North Dakota Aerospace flight school at Gateway Airport as instructors stay busy training aviators amid a shortage commercial plane pilots.

Americans’ wallets are being hit with inflation pressures, but after the pandemic, they are still digging into their bank accounts and traveling with a passion.

The good news is that Mesa’s numerous flight schools are seeing an increase in people interested in learning to fly.

The bad news is, it will take time –years probably – before today’s newly certified pilots impact a travel industry hobbled by delays created by the pilot shortage.

Mesa’s two airports began as facilities to train pilots for the U.S. and allies during World War II, and the tradition continues with at least 10 flight schools operating in the city today.

Local flight instructors say that even though the communities surrounding the airfields have transformed since World War II, the conditions that made Mesa good for training then still remain: there is wide-open airspace nearby, plenty of sunny days and lots of airports.

Rex Ginder, associate director of Phoenix flight operations for UND Aerospace, said the school’s Mesa campus now has the highest enrollment it’s ever had.

UND offers a six-semester collegiate program, and also recently added an

accelerated 12-to-13-month program to meet the high demand for commercial pilot training.

The school also partners with Chandler-Gilbert Community College on an associate’s degree program that enables students to complete their degree with a private pilot’s license.

Matthew Johnston, president of California Aeronautical University, which operates a school at Mesa’s Falcon Field, said CAU is also seeing elevated interest in training. He thinks even more students would be interested with greater awareness of the profession.

Pilot jobs are “plentiful, they’re porta ble worldwide and they’re profitable,” he said. “It’s a great industry to pursue.”

Johnston also told career seekers not to ignore training for aviation mechanics, noting that a shortage of them is also grounding planes.

“When there’s a problem with an

aircraft, someone’s got to look at it,” he said.

Ginder agrees that jobs await students who stick with the programs.

He said UND currently has 100% job placement record with regional airlines for students who graduate and work as a flight instructor to help reach the required 1,500 hours of flight time to enter the pilot pool.

While flight schools are filling seats at a time when pilots are badly needed, Ginder and Johnston cautioned that alleviating the pilot and mechanic shortage is going to take many years.

Getting the commercial pilots license takes 250 hours of flight time, and that leaves a lot of flying left to reach the needed 1,500 hours.

Another bottleneck in the pilot pipeline is at the highest levels: the final classes pilots take with airlines to get checked out on specific aircraft and routes.

These sorts of final onboarding classes are generally taught by senior pilots, Ginder said, and the airlines lost a disproportionate number of these seasoned pilots during the pandemic, offering buyouts as travel restrictions grounded the industry.

Ginder sees evidence of the loss of trainers as airlines are hiring pilots but telling them to stay in their current jobs until space in an onboarding class opens up.

Consequently, travelers should buck le in for full flights for some time.

A side effect of the pilot shortage is the commercial airline industry has notched the highest “load factors” – the percentage of seats filled on the plane – in two decades in recent months.

Gateway Airport is no exception.

In August, the national average load factor nearly hit 90%, about 5% higher than a normal high of 85%.

Gateway President J. Brian O’Neill told the airport’s board of directors that Mesa has seen load factors rise above 90% this year.

Fuller planes have helped Gateway maintain revenue and continue serving record numbers of passengers even though airlines reduced their number of flights out of Mesa this summer.

In August, Gateway served a record 119,403 passengers for the month on 13% fewer flights than the previous year.

But high load factors can become too much of a good thing.

“Ninety percent (load factor) is almost a disservice to the market because if there’s ever a disruption because of a mechanical or because of weather related cancellations, you don’t have any seats available to absorb those people and get them into the system,” O’Neill said.

He said the airport is interested in working with the airlines to bring load factors down – for passenger experience and for meeting the airport’s vision.

“Across the board, our ability to expand and offer new service certainly is hampered by a pilot shortage,” Gateway spokesman Ryan Smith said.

Ginder predicts that the future will always be bright for aviators.

The swift return of air travel following restrictions has driven home that “Americans are in love with the ability to get on a flight to travel,” he said. “So I think the training organizations like ours are going to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.”

Rex Ginder is associate director of Phoenix Flight Operations at the University of North Dakota Aerospace hangar at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. (David Minton/Progress Staff Photographer) Jacob Ogden goes through his pre-flight checklist in the cockpit of a flight simulator as instructor Thomas Johnson monitors his attempt at the University of North Dakota Aerospace simulator bay at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. (David Minton/Tribune Staff Photographer)

from page 31

cooking to get it right. The consistency, the taste, the texture of the chicken, and the sauce needs to be married in the perfect manner.”

Reddy said they have been embraced by the local Indian community, eager to taste native meals they can’t fi nd at other Indian restaurants.

And non-Indians have enjoyed the chance to experience new dishes from India.

“Defi nitely [there has been a] very positive response from all the reviews and response,” Reddy said.

“It’s a pure joy for us to treat and


from page 31

chain. “The system also decreases manual handling of materials.”

In addition to the automation technology, the facilities were built with effi ciency at the forefront. Ferguson uses a special machine to make custom boxes based on the dimensions of each product to minimize packaging waste.

Each building features LED motion detector lighting systems to conserve electricity.

There are 120 people employed in the warehouse area and another 100 or so in the front offi ces. Before moving to the MDC model, Ferguson relied on regional centers. The one that served the Phoenix area before this was located in Perris, California, and relied on a 1.3-million square feet facility.

Ogden said the biggest factor causing supply chain issues in their industry wasn’t necessarily the short shutdowns caused by COVID-19. It was the shortage of semiconductor chips.

“The microchip thing killed us,” he said. “Appliances, absolutely killed us. A lot of a lot of different things that you’re doing pumps with electronic

take care of our guests. We love to talk to them, we want to make sure that they’re happy.”

Chef Karan Mittel said Feringhee Modern Indian Cuisine patrons won’t be asked how spicy their food is. We want you to taste it as is,” he said. “But if you want to make it spicier, we can do that.”

(David Minton/Staff Photographer)


Modern Indian Cuisine

3491 W. Frye Road 480-534-7178

controls, a lot of that stuff. It really was the microchips and that part is still bad. We’re still struggling through that.”

You don’t have to be a contractor or company to shop in the Ferguson retail store. It’s set up just like a home supply business. You will pay retail prices, but if you’re looking for a specifi c, hard-tofi nd part, it may be your best bet.

You just may have to wait 12 and a half minutes to get it.

But Allison Finerfrock, Ferguson general manager of southwest district, noted: “Supplementing our workforce with the new technology allows distribution centers like ours to process more orders in a shorter amount of time. We are excited to better serve the contractor community with the products they need, when they need them.”

An automated conveyor system moves blue product boxes through the new Ferguson Enterprises distribution center in south Chandler. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)

Ferguson 675 E. Queen Creek Road, Chandler 602-495-8300

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Hamilton club gets girls interested in technology

The gender gap in technology is closing, but it still remains huge.

The global professional services company Deloitte reports that only 25% of the employees at large tech companies this year are women. And there’s only one woman for every four men in leadership roles at tech companies.

One Hamilton High School club is trying to change that. Girls Who Code is offering boot camps to elementary school girls to try and get them interested in pursuing tech as a possible career.

“It’s predominantly male, but I hope to close the gender gap in the future years,” said club President Chloe Zahn. “I do know that many girls who join our programs are super excited to learn coding, and they’re even more excited to learn after they leave.”

The November boot camp taught girls how to build their own web pages with HTML code. In October, they learned how to create their own games.

“We taught kids how to make games using Scratch,” Chloe said. “That was really fun. They made a game where they could take a quick quiz, or games where they would have to catch flying objects around the screen.”

The classes are held at the Chandler Library on the Hamilton High campus.

Girls in the area can sign up for the next boot camp by visiting the Hamilton library’s web site. Look under events.

Chloe said a future boot camp will teach girls her favorite programming language, Python.

“Python is great,” she said. “It’s the most intuitive language, I’d say because the logic is very clean. And I really liked how you can apply Python for data analysis. I’ve been mainly using Python to do modeling and data analysis, because of the increasing amount of data

around us.

“Python is really useful in fi nding trends and data making predictions using that data.”

It was the Girls Who Code club that got Chloe interested in programming.

“I joined Girls Who Code my freshman year, and I became super interested in coding because the previous president did an amazing job,” Chloe said.

The high school junior said many of the meetings the past few years have

been online only because of the pandemic. She said she was lucky enough to take over when they were meeting in person again.

At the boot camps, members of the club work individually with the girls as they try and complete their assigned task. They keep the lesson short, about an hour, and try to make it fun and encouraging.

After all, the goal is to spark an interest in coding so that some of the girls may wish to pursue it as a career.

According to TechCrunch, 74% of girls desire a career in science, math, engineering or technology. However, says on 18% of undergraduate computer science degrees went to women.

So clubs like Girls Who Code still have work to do.

“When I started learning coding, a lot of the adults in my classes actually said how they wished they had been exposed to coding more in their childhood,” Chloe said.

“They said they only started learning in the mid-30s and 40s. That’s why we’re doing these community boot camps.”

Girls Who Code

Follow on IG: @gwchamilton

To sign up for a boot camp, visit Hamilton High’s library page and look under events.

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Kristal Stewart helped Maryan Abdullah, 9, as Hamilton High School’s Girls Who Code Club members teach a boot camp class earlier this month that introduced elementary-age girls to computer science at the Chandler Public Library Hamilton Branch. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)

Chandler teams ready for the Open Division

It’s been widely regarded by national media outlet MaxPreps as one of the top football postseason tournaments in the county.

Arizona’s Open Division has had its critics in the past, especially those who believe it may no longer be needed with some of the top programs in the state all at the 6A level. But it’s remained intact, and the Arizona Interscholastic Association has said it will continue to be.

What that brings to Arizona high school football coaches, players and fans is a new level of excitement on Nov. 25. The best against the best. And Chandler is yet again well represented.

No. 2 Basha vs

No. 8 American Leadership Academy – Queen Creek

Basha locked up the No. 2 seed in the tournament after taking down Hamil ton and Chandler in consecutive weeks, a first for the Bears in their history. At the time, both programs were nationally ranked – Chandler as high as No. 9 in the country.

It was two of four nationally ranked


over Hamilton, Chandler, Casteel and Perry to close out the season. Simply put, it helped Basha reset.

“Liberty got us last night and it definitely set off the fire to get ready to face Hamilton and Chandler,” Basha assistant coach Blake Silberschlag said. “The mindset is ALA – Queen Creek is up first. They score a lot of points, and they have a lot of really talented kids. They’re going to get our best shot and we’re going to get their best shot. We’ll see what happens from there.”

Like all other Open Division teams, Basha used the week off before the postseason to recover and prepare for American Leadership Academy – Queen Creek, the only 5A team to make it in the elite eight.

Key matchups will include Basha’s talented secondary featuring Oregon commit Cole Martin and another star on the other side in Miles Lockhart against ALA wideouts Ryan Meza, Jayden Williams and athlete Bubba Agne – who splits time at running back with Mitch Jensen.

The Patriots made a big jump to get

Hamilton beats Chandler with walk-off field goal

Matthew Krneta had confidence his offense would give him a chance with 50 seconds remaining and Hamilton trailing by a point to rival Chandler.

He just had to settle himself and make sure he was prepared for a potential game-winning kick.

When Hamilton quarterback Beck ham Pellant found wideout Dylan Lord for a 43-yard pass that set the Huskies up at the 10, Krneta knew his time was coming. A play later with just 2 sec onds left, he connected on a 28-yard field goal that gave the Huskies the 19-17 win over the Wolves in yet an other classic in the Battle for Arizona Avenue.

“I’m ecstatic, man,” Krneta said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better. My first field goal … I should’ve made it, it was just a bad mishit. I’m just glad I had a shot to redeem myself.

“Offense stepping up there at the end, defense stepping up, perfect snap, perfect hold. I couldn’t ask for a better operation.”

Krneta’s performance earned him an MVP trophy at the end of the game, which was part of the Great American Rival Series.

Early on he missed a field goal wide to the right. But he connected on his next four kicks from 27, 35, 21 and the

28-yard game-winner. He didn’t harp on the missed kick that would’ve tied the game early on.

He kept faith in his team to rally behind him and himself. That led to him making perhaps one of the biggest field goals of his career so far.

“I didn’t even hear them call field goal,” Krneta said. “I was just walking down the sidelines and I was like, ‘Man, let’s just not fumble.’ We can’t lose the ball here.

“Thanks to this guy (Pellant) we went down there. I just went out there know ing we were going to make it.”

Both offenses struggled throughout most of the game.

The two teams traded punts as both defenses dug in and didn’t allow much in the way of production. For Hamilton, it was linebackers Alex McLaughlin and Aaron Loughren getting pressure on Raiola. Chandler was much of the same as the defensive line made their way

to Pellant and linebacker Roman Kupu stuffed running lanes.

Hamilton’s first score of the game came on a 2-yard run by Pellant late in the first half. A personal foul for a late hit by Chandler helped set the Huskies up inside the red zone to eventually get into scoring position.

It was one of several penalties by the Wolves, who had eight total for 80 yards. Four were personal foul or unsportsmanlike penalties. The others were pre-snap miscues.

Krneta connected on a field goal on the third to give Hamilton a seven-point advantage. Then near the midway point of the fourth Chandler went to a double pass to find the end zone.

Raiola lateraled to wideout Tyre eq-styles Obichere who found Justice Spann wide open 29 yards down the field. Two more field goals gave Hamilton the six-point advan tage. Then, defensive miscues by the Huskies.

“Pass interference and the defensive back fell down,” Zdebski said. “Misfortunate incident and it happens.”

The pass interference and defender falling helped set Chandler up at the 9-yard line with less than a minute to play. Raiola then connected with tight end Kaden Anderson for the go-ahead

For more community news visit 35 THE SUNDAY SANTAN SUN NEWS | NOVEMBER 20, 2022
See HAMILTON on page36
Hamilton players surround senior kicker Matthew Krneta (93) after he hit a game-winning field goal as time expired against Chandler in the Battle for Arizona Avenue Conference on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, at Jerry Loper Stadium in Chandler. (David Minton/Staff Photographer) opponents Basha faced this year. The Bears beat California’s Los Alamitos, which featured two of the top players in the country, to start the season and fell to Liberty out of Peoria, the No. 1 team entering the Open Division playoffs. loss to Liberty came before wins
See CHANDLER on page36
Chandler junior quarterback Dylan Raiola has led the Wolves to the No. 3 ranking in the Open Division playoffs. Chandler will face No. 6 Centennial on Friday. (David Minton/Staff)

into the Open Division. They were behind both Sandra Day O’Connor, the No. 8 seed, and Highland, a team most wanted to see in. But ALA got the nod, and head coach Ty Detmer said his players are up for the challenge yet again.

ALA made the Open Division last year at the same position dan faced Hamilton. The Patriots played the Huskies close for a half before a lack of depth got the best of them.

They feel they’re better off this season, but it comes against an opponent that yet again features one of the top quarterbacks in the country in junior Demond Williams. Basha’s high-powered offense with Deshaun Buchanan at running back and Bryson Dedmon at wideout, among others, will challenge the Patriots.

But this ALA team is one that has scored over 40 points in all but one game this season with Drew Cowart leading the way at quarterback. They have fire power, too.

“We’re gelling at the right time,” Detmer said. “This group hangs in there, they play hard together and they trust each other. I’m really proud of the effort they’ve been able to give week in and week out.

“We’re the type of team that can give some teams problems because our coordinators are really good and we’ve got 26 seniors that have a lot of maturity and experience. It’s a great group.”

No. 3 Chandler vs No. 6 Centennial

One of the surprises of the Open Division was Chandler remaining at No. 3 over No. 4 Hamilton, which beat the Wolves in the final game of the regular season two weeks ago.

But Chandler coach Rick Garretson said he and his team have put that behind them. They know what they’re capable of, and they have the talent to



from page 35

With 50 seconds left Pellant began working the Hamilton offense down the field. It was perhaps the biggest drive of the season for the junior who took over the offense after starter Roch Cholowsky went down with a knee injury.

But he remained poised and even tually found wideout Dylan Lord wide open 43 yards down the field. From there, Pellant knew Krneta would win them the game.

“We’re down one and we have such a good kicker, if we get to the 35, something like that, he’s going to make it,” said Pellant, who finished 10-of-18 for 149 yards through the air and 57 on the ground.

“We got out of bounds and moved the ball down the field. The whole team had my back, and we went from there.”

The win for Hamilton is the second

make it happen.

“I’ve always thought that if we play our A-game, I like our chances,” Garretson said. “We didn’t play our A-game the other night on offense. We didn’t play our A-game against Basha. It’s time to gear it up.”

Chandler will open the postseason against Centennial, a scrappy team that has once again become a power out of the West Valley. Garretson knows they have a strong defense and offense that, if given the opportunity, can pour on the points.

The Wolves, just like they did entering the season, feel overlooked. They’ve heard the critics say they’re not as strong as they used to be. They have heard early predictions from some that say Centennial will pull off the upset.

But that doesn’t matter to them. They have confidence in junior quarterback Dylan Raiola. They have confidence in sophomore running back Xavi-

er Valdivia, who may once again lead the backfield with junior Ca’lil Valentine injured. And they know they’re defense is still one of the best in the country.

“Our defense played very well both of those games,” Garretson said of his team’s two losses. “We prep hard. Our kids prep hard. Our coaches prep hard. You do everything you can as far as preparation and let the chips fall where they may.”

No. 4 Hamilton vs No. 5 Saguaro

Perhaps one of the best matchups of the four is Hamilton hosting Saguaro. The two have become rivals in recent years, meeting in the semifinals of the Open Division in 2019, a nationally televised game in 2020 and last year again in the semifinals.

The Sabercats upset the Huskies last season, but both teams know they’ve reloaded since then.

The Sabercats enter as the No. 5 seed after losing three games in the regular season. They felt counted out. They felt overlooked. They set out to prove themselves and have played a good brand of football since adopting the mindset that playoffs started for them early in the regular season.

“We knew if we wanted to get in, we had to win after that Liberty game,” Saguaro coach Jason Mohns said. “The biggest thing early on we were strug gling with was execution. We watch film and we walk away knowing we are right there. It forced us to have way more urgency and to show up and execute.”

Devon Dampier has once again proven himself at quarterback, and the duo of Jaedon Matthews and Zaccheus Cooper at running back with him have complimented his game. Saguaro has once again dealt with injuries, but it still managed to win out and secure the Open Division spot.

But in comes a Hamilton team fresh off a win over rival Chandler. The Huskies also felt disrespected that Chandler remained ahead of them in the rankings. But now they’ve put that behind them.

Quarterback Beckham Pellant has been electric since taking over for the injured Roch Cholowsky. He almost led Hamilton to a win over Basha and orchestrated a game-winning drive against the Wolves. He’s ready for the spotlight, and so are all the players around him.

“For us, it’s getting ready for the next game but with that, somebody’s season is going to end,” Hamilton coach Mike Zdebski said. “They’ve ended our season the last two out of three. At some point, we need to fix that, correct that and get over that hump. We need to play a complete game.

“We need to win this game.”

The winner of Hamilton-Saguaro will face the winner of No. 1 Liberty vs No. 8 Sandra Day O’Connor. The Open Division playoffs kickoff Friday at 7 p.m.

between the two rivals – including the postseason – that are separated by just four miles. And while many of those have been lopsided regular season or playoff matchups, Thursday night’s battle was yet another instant classic in the series.

Hamilton entered the game against No. 3 Chandler as the No. 5 seed. Despite the win, the Huskies didn’t pass the Wolves in the final Open Division rankings of the season. They did, however, move up to No. 4, securing a home playoff game in two weeks when the tournament begins.

That was the goal for Zdebski and his team. And they accomplished it in dramatic fashion.

“Beside that this is the most import ant game on our schedule, we knew this was for a home game,” Zdebski said.

since Mike Zdebski took over the program. He said he still remembers the beat down his team took against the

Wolves in their first meeting in 2019. But after that, they’ve been competitive.

It was the 30th meeting all-time

“We can’t get too overconfident or anything because everyone is good. We went 5-0 at home and 3-2 on the road.

“We’re going to have to play in a couple weeks.”

Hamilton head coach Mike Zdebski gets dunked after defeating Chandler 19-17in the Bat tle for Arizona Avenue Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, at Jerry Loper Stadium in Chandler. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
page 35
Hamilton junior quarterback Beckham Pellant has been electric since stepping in for the injured Roch Cholowsky. He now plans to lead the No. 4 Huskies in the Open Division playoffs against No. 5 Saguaro in the first round Friday.

Vacation Watch Program

If you are planning a vacation, don’t forget to let the Chandler Police Department in on your plans. When a resident of Chandler goes on vacation, the Police Department can offer extra patrols to check on your property. Submit your request at least a week prior to your absence. Complete and submit the Vacation Watch form at


10 Chandler teachers get their wishes, $2,500

Ten Chandler teachers are among the 400 recipients of $2,500 each as part of the Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities’ annual Wishes for Teachers program.

The program is part of the Fiesta Bowl Organization’s annual tradition of “honor ing, supporting and celebrating educators throughout Arizona,” organizers said.

Presented by Salt River Project, the overall batch of awards means that “nearly 212,000 students across 321 schools and 95 districts will be positively impacted by their teachers’ wishes with this year’s group” which collective ly represents “more than 5,300 years of experience in the classroom,” they said.

Recipients included people teaching the arts to science, both gifted and spe cial education, and languages and life skills amongst a diverse group of subjects.

“The 400 wishes granted will benefit teachers who will aim to enrich the lives of their students through technology improvements, addition of educational programs and fitness equipment and much more,” organizers said.

Randal Norton, Fiesta Bowl board chair, added, “ “Teachers are truly selfless individuals who help shape the futures of our students here in Arizona and we

are proud to play a part in supporting our teachers to do more in the class room for the leaders of tomorrow.”

Kory Raftery, manager of external affairs at Palo Verde, added that he is “excited and humbled to be part of such an incredible program that invests in teachers who are inspiring tomorrow’s leaders both inside and outside of the classroom.”

“One of our principles at Palo Verde

Created in 2016, the Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers program grants classroom wishes to Arizona teachers. Public and charter school K-12 teachers across the state are invited to apply each fall with the recipients verified and selected by a random drawing.

This year’s $1 million total donation brings the Wishes for Teachers’ seven-year cumulative grant total to $5.7 million awarded to 1,600 teachers, impacting more than 700,000 students across Arizona.

“Providing teachers with the tools and resources they need benefits Arizona’s children. Partnering with the Fiesta Bowl on the Wishes for Teachers campaign is one of the many ways SRP supports teachers,” said Andrea Moreno, program manager of SRP Community Stewardship.

“Our future workforce relies on the support that we provide to educators and non-profit organizations today.”

Here are the Chandler teachers and what they will sue their money to buy:

Kayla Edwards, a Spanish and AVID teacher at Paragon Science Academy, lap desks and flexible seating for their classroom.

Sara Evans, a technology teacher at Fulton Elementary School, robotic and coding equipment for their classroom.

Bonnie Flores, a math teacher at Bogle Junior High School, new VEX Robotics equipment for their students.

Cheryl Garland, a reading intervention teacher at Paragon Science Acade-

Chandler man authors books on dementia’s impact

Dementia has touched Chandler resident Larry Calkins so deeply that he recently published two books about the disease’s impact on him and his family.

“Memories and Forgetfulness” fo cuses on how the disease first claimed Calkins’ grandmother and then his father, Travis Calkins, and how their affliction affected him and his family.

He tells his story with “Letters to Sarah” and “Failing Memory,” the first about his grandmother’s affliction.

“Both books describe the difficult tasks of caring for a person who is forgetful and provide anecdotes or short stories about caregiving, love, loss and grief as loved ones navigate with the person with this debilitating disease,” he said.

He said he drafted the stories as “riveting accounts of the interactions, told with humor, introspection and the serious business of finding the right mix of caregiving” and says the books are “a must read for those who find themselves as family members or those caring for patients with dementia.”

“I initially wrote both books for myself as I processed my own grief,” Calkins said, “but I also wanted my family to remem ber the remarkable people who raised me and I wanted to explain the struggles they had coping with this formidable disease.

“So, I wrote for family members so they could understand how I remem

bered the senior members of our family. Yet, other folks in other families also struggle with the care of loved ones inflicted with dementia. My hope is that they also read the books and find a degree of peace or solace from my experiences and that they are not alone in their feelings of grief.”

“Letters to Sarah” is his father’s mother and the letters his dad wrote to his dad’s sister helping her manage the disease.

“Later in the book, my father discusses his forgetfulness and how he is dealing with the onset of his disease,” Calkins said. “The letters end when the disease steals his ability to write further.”

In “Failing Memory,” Calkins explores

the relationship he had with his father from the moment he told him about his disease to his passing in 2009.

“In the end he is placed on hospice and I write about the agonizing decisions my family and I made,” Calkins said.

A Chandler resident since 2017, Calkins said he worked an environmental field in Oregon.

“I have been told the books are touching and emotional and that the reader sometimes needed to keep tissues handy,” he said. “I believe the books pro vide a glimpse into the day to day impacts of dementia on family members, caregiv ers and the person receiving care.”

Calkins said his father was 73 when di-

agnosed with dementia and he was 46.

“I was not a full-time caregiver for my father, but during the mid stages of his dementia, I gave my mother a periodic re prieve for a few weeks at a time,” he said.

The books are not Calkins’ first foray into writing.

He also has published “To Endure,” which he said was “inspired by my grandparents’ struggle through the Great Depression.

The books are available on amazon. com or through Calkins. Write him at

For more community news visit 38 THE SUNDAY SANTAN SUN NEWS | NOVEMBER 20, 2022
is putting people first and Wishes for Teachers allows us to partner with an orga nization that supports some of the most important people in our communities.”
Fiesta Bowl Charities’s mascot was on hand when the winning Chandler teachers’ names were drawn. (Courtesy of Fiesta Bowl Charities) Larry Calkins said his father, Travis Calkins, was diagnosed with dementia at age 73
See TEACHERS on page41
Chandler author Larry Calkins has au thored two companion books about the impact of dementia’s impact on his loved ones. (Special to SanTan Sun News)

Exchange Club hosts Wreaths Across America

For the first time since 2013, the Arizona State Capitol will join more than 3,000 locations across the U.S. and international sites to host National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 17.

And keeping an East Valley tradition, both the Exchange Club of Chandler and Valley of the Sun Mortuary and Cemetery are planning their seventh annual participating in the nationwide effort to remember the sacrifices of veterans who have passed away.

The Exchange Club of Chandler started the local observance but over the years, organizations such as Chandler Elks Lodge #2429 and the Exchange Club of Phoenix in Ahwatukee have become involved in remembering over 3,100 veterans buried at the Valley of the Sun Cemetery, 10940 E. Chandler Heights Road, Chandler.

Last year, approximately 2,800 wreaths laid on graves in Valley of the Sun Cemetery, according to Mark Whitaker, who leads the wreaths campaign for the Exchange Club of Chandler.

“We will need help from the community to achieve the goal of sponsoring 3,100 wreaths,” he said.

The annual event consists of laying out the wreaths after a memorial ceremony. Volunteers gather around 8 a.m. Dec. 17 – coffee, hot chocolate and donuts are provided – and at 9 a.m. begin laying the wreaths.

“Each wreath symbolizes the com-

mitment to remember and honor our nation’s veterans and teach our children about freedom and the sacrifice required to maintain our freedom,” Whitaker said.

“There will be an educational activity for children to help them learn about veterans. As wreaths are laid, we ask that the volunteers respectfully remember the veteran by saying the veteran’s name aloud.”

The formal ceremony will start at 10 a.m. and will be streamed on Facebook Live!

Until Tuesday, Nov. 29, people can sponsor a wreath with a $15 tax-deductible donation to wreathsacrossamerica. org/AZ0084P.

“Whether you sponsor a wreath or

Basha High program teaches cyber security

The FBI has alerted Americans to the dangers of cyber crime.

“Malicious cyber activity threatens the public’s safety and our national and economic security,” it said.

The FBI warning echoes a similar warning from the National Crime Agency in Great Britain, which reported:

“We have seen a significant growth in cyber criminality in the form of high-profile ransomware campaigns over the last year. Breaches leaked personal data on a massive scale leaving victims vulnerable to fraud, while lives were put at risk and services damaged.”

A program at Basha High School aims to prepare students to counter cyber criminals.

As part of the Career and Technical Education program, a series of seven courses have been developed to train students in cyber security.

The program began in 2019 and is directed by Janet Hartkopf, a CTE teacher with 15 years of classroom experience, including four years at BHS.

Cyber security students may receive

dual enrolment credit through Chandler Gilbert Community College and the University of Arizona, giving a student up to 31 hours of college credit by taking these courses.

Currently, 150 Basha students are in the program, engaging in courses such as: an introduction to computer sys-

not, we will need many volunteers to help,” Whitaker said.

Nationally, the nonprofit created to “Remember, Honor, and Teach” young people about those who have served is responsible for wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery lays more than two million wreaths across the country.

In addition local memorial ceremo nies Dec. 17, there will be a ceremonial wreath laying at the State Capitol Building, Wesley Bolin Plaza,1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix.

“I hope this will be an annual tradition for Arizona and remind us, particularly during the holidays, of how much has been given by our service members,” said the State Capitol WAA Coordinator Kelly McDonald.

The 2022 theme is, “Find a Way to Serve” and the inspiration for this year’s theme was Rosie the Riveters, also called “Rosies,” McDonald said.

“These women pulled together to do the work that needed to be done for our freedom during WWII and encourages youth to get involved in their own communities to serve,” McDonald said.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, a Maine family that started this tradition got an eager reception to their proposal.

“Several volunteers stepped up to help, including veterans from American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts and a truck company owner who transported the wreaths to Arlington, Virginia, where a small ceremony was held at the cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” according to department.

This remained a small yearly tradition for nearly 15 years until a photo taken at the 2005 ceremony went viral.

“Almost immediately, thousands of people wanted to know how to help or how they could begin a similar tradition in their states,” the Defense Department said.

By 2008, it had become a tradition at dozens of cemeteries across the coun try and has continued to grow, with more than two million graves at over 2,100 cemeteries.

The last day to sponsor a wreath for 2022 is Nov. 29, which is Giving Tuesday.

Rotarian of the Month

The Rotary Club of Sun Lakes named Sharon Flood its November Rotarian of the Month. The Chandler resident represents State Farm as a corporate member. She has been associated with State Farm since 1989 with underwriting and customer ser vice experience and holds various insurance broker licenses. Since joining RCSL in September 2021, Flood has become active within various committees and commu nity service projects. She has served and/or volunteered at: Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels projects/events, membership committee, Sun Lakes Open Houses, dictionary project, peace committee, and more. Information: (Dr. Honora Norton/Contributor) The Wreaths Across America program has blossomed over the last decade and thou sands of veterans who have passed away have been honored. (File photo)
See CYBER on page40
Janet Hartkopf

Sun Lakes Jewish Post 619 hosts veterans panel head

The Jewish War Veterans Copper State Post 619 in Sun Lakes is scheduled today, Nov. 20, to host Robert Dalpe, chair of the Chandler Military and Veterans Commission.

His presentation will be at 10 a.m. in the poolside building of Oakwood Country Club, 24218 S. Oakwood Blvd. in Sun Lakes.

The Chandler Military and Veterans Commission was established after a multiyear campaign of several veterans’ leaders including Dalpe. The commission was created to honor, represent, and support the military and veterans in Chandler.

Several events are planned, including a veterans town hall and an event to honor those willing to join the military scheduled for May.

Complimentary bagels, lox, and coffee start at 9:30 a.m., followed by the speaker at 10 a.m.

“Dalpe is a familiar name to every

tems, hardware/software, networking, the Linux operating system, security fundamentals, security ethics and the Python programming language.

What is the next step after participating in this program?

veterans organization in Phoenix as he is the person they call when they need help,” Post 619 spokeswoman Nancy Sutman said.

“The request may come from a con gressional or senate office, any one

One recent graduate is pursuing a degree in cyber security at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Another is getting an associate’s degree in cyber at CGCC. Several students have been awarded internships in industry to work in cyber security.

There are about 19,000 open po sitions in cyber security currently in

of the many 501 c 3 veterans’ organi zations, or a veteran in need of help. Veterans’ organizations have their specialties and an informal network. Bob works with all of them and knows the right place to send someone for help.”

She said his main contact is the Veterans Medical Leadership Council focusing on the Native American Sustainability programs.

“He has helped them with housing issues, establishing a Veterans Nursing home in the Navajo Nation, and organizing a program to deliver solar systems and refrigerators to 11 members of the Navajo Veterans’ community who were not connected to the electrical grid, thereby providing refrigeration to store insulin for their diabetes,” Stutman said, adding:

“Bob also assisted in organizing a donation of nearly a million dollars’ worth of hand sanitizer to the veteran’s community of the Navajo Nation

Arizona and a total of 769,000 po sitions available across the U.S. For complete information about careers in cyber and cyber education, visit

Chandler High is starting a similar program.

The technology required for a CTE program is expensive and that is a


“It’s impossible to imagine how Bob Dalpe, an Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame member, accomplishes his veterans volunteer work and can still hold down a fulltime job. It’s because General Dynamics Mission System, where he’s an engineer technician, supports all that he does for veterans and allows him a flexible schedule.”

JWV Post 619, which meets the third Sunday of the month from Septem ber-May, boasts members who repre sent a wide range of religious affiliations and participates in philanthropic activities to help Jewish and non-Jewish veterans.

Fundraising activities enable the Post to accomplish their mission of supporting hospitalized, at-risk and veterans experiencing homelessness.

To learn more about JWV activities and membership, contact Commander Chuck Wolin at 602-300-5913 or

stumbling block in efforts to expand the number of cyber security education programs.

Another concern is finding a suf ficient number of people with the right experience who are willing to teach. A cyber security technician can expect a salary far exceeding a teacher’s salary.

Robert Dalpe
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Dementia education comes to a doctor near you soon

It’s staggering to think that 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. You may even know a relative, friend or neighbor who has it.

With the highest growth rate for dementia in the nation, Arizona is projected to reach 200,000 cases by 2025.

Family members who are suddenly thrust into the “caregiver role” are desperate for support, unprepared to face a disease that lasts years and becomes more challenging as it progresses. The lack of healthcare professionals trained in dementia care affects us all.

Hospice of the Valley’s Dementia Care and Education Campus is launching an unprecedented education project aimed at training more than 3,000 health providers over the next 14 months to enhance dementia care for those with early and moderate stages of the disease. The extensive campaign is being funded by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“Half of all primary care physicians feel the medical profession has little to no preparation for serving the burgeoning numbers of people living with dementia,” said Hospice of the Valley Dementia Program Director Maribeth Gallagher, citing a recent Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures Report.

“There is a tremendous and critical need for dementia care education and training that will help providers deliver evidence-based skillful and compas-

sionate care,” Gallagher said. “And that need will only grow as the incidence of dementia rises each year.”

This education project covers a wide variety of topics, from assessing and diagnosing mild dementia to understanding which medications help or harm dementia patients.

The presentations also give doctors practical tools they can share with family caregivers, such as the soothing effects of “Vitamin M” — music — or ways to decode behaviors that express unmet needs like fear, anxiety or pain.

Hospice of the Valley already offers an in-home Supportive Care for Dementia program at no charge to family caregivers who are caring for loved ones — from pre-diagnosis through the early and middle stages of dementia. This new initiative focuses exclusively on medical professionals, equipping them with tools to help their patients manage early and moderate stages of the disease with knowledge and dignity.

“We can educate providers — and through them, families — to improve quality of life for people living with all types and all stages of dementia,” said Supportive Care for Dementia Medical Director Gillian Hamilton.

Call 602- 767-8300 or email to schedule presentations for healthcare providers.

Lin Sue Flood is director of Community Engagement at Hospice of the Valley. Visit

at Mesa Virtual Campus, new fitness equipment for students to be able to use at home for their online classes.

my, flexible seating for their students.

Cecilia Loera, a Spanish teacher at Chandler Traditional Academy, will create a “Reading Corner” with Spanish books and flexible seating.

John Mahnke, a physical education teacher at Bright Beginnings Elementary School, new equipment for their physical education class.

Alisha Nischan, a physical education, wellness and nutrition teacher

Elizabeth Peco, a kindergarten to sixth-grade teacher at Sirrine Elementary, flexible seating for their students.

Miranda Saenz , a technology and STEM teacher at Shumway Leadership Academy, STEM resources for their classroom.

Meghann Sarnicki, a literacy teacher at Frye Elementary School, a Zenimal device for each classroom at their school.

Favorite songs engage and enliven people living with all stages of dementia. (Courtesy Hospice of the Valley)
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from page 38

Memories, hope can sustain us as we age

Life, it has been said, is strange. Perhaps there are things that occur seeming to be strange, but in essence the strange aspects contain surprises we never expected or even anticipated.

Perhaps our description should include words like unusual, or unfamiliar. I would go even further and describe them as exotic or mysterious.

These thoughts, and more, came to mind as I endeavor to understand, more and more, the difficulties we experience as we get older.

I remember very vividly a member at a congregation I served who was approaching the magic number of eighty and was crying uncontrollably.

I asked him why he was in tears, and his reply remains with me to this day, and even resonates more today. His

answer: “I am now at the end.”

I was in my twenties and did not really comprehend his comment or the thoughts bringing him to this sadness. In those days, this age not only represented a milestone, but also defied statistics. Today, longevity seems to be a given.

Even more so, it is not an end, but rather a new chapter in a journey that takes us into uncharted waters.

I look at the years, not as a detriment, but rather as lessons in the mystery of survival. Life, as we know it is something we do not fully understand, and perhaps never will.

I think about the time we seemed to be vital and energetic, and even daring. Now we, for the most part, are afraid to travel life’s road.

Once we stood tall in the sunshine, now we look for shade. Our days seem to blend with other days, and the nights never end.

I believe that exotic and mysterious are the most wonderful expressions about our travels into a new dimension

called maturity. We are more vital and still have so much more to offer.

We are essential to our friends and family. Most of all we need to realize that we are indispensable to ourselves. To age requires grace and dignity because we have an advantage few have enjoyed.

I believe that to remain young requires us to remain relevant. We have outlasted some friends, but we have gained new ones.

Groucho Marx once remarked that at a certain time in our life we go to bed hoping that we will feel better in the morning. Now we go to bed hoping there will be a morning. On the surface it may seem funny, but if we concentrate on the end rather than the continuation, we will have defeated the value of our endurance.

When we were younger, we had dreams. Some of those dreams may have been realized, and some not. But our obligation is to continue dreaming.

We may, occasionally fall back to thinking about and reminiscing about

those days long gone, but now more than ever we need to remind ourselves of our vibrancy, our usefulness, and our relevance.

Yes, life may be strange, and we may fall back to the thoughts of those were the days, but to remain in that vegetated frame of mind truly undermines the value of life.

Gaining age gives us the advantage to enjoy the flow of time. Ageing is not the end of the road, but rather a path that helps us understand that best is yet to be.

We may have a pain or two, but hopefully they will go away. We may face defeats, but victories lie in our perseverance and determination. We may lose a friend or family member, but memories can sustain us.

Look at a rainbow and understand that there is always hope. Is there a better way to gain age and enjoy the best that is yet to come?

Rabbi Irwin Wiener is the spiritual leader of the Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation.

For more community news visit 42 THE SUNDAY SANTAN SUN NEWS | NOVEMBER 20, 2022
GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at 480-898-5647 or

Floridino employee the hostess with the mostest

When people eat out, they almost always notice when they get poor service. Some, however, don’t always recognize great service.

The online directory Yelp is hoping to change that by starting the Servies Awards to recognize great service at restaurants around the nation. Chandler is taking home one of the first Servies being handed out.

Felicia Tobin of Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta won the Best Host category.

“My husband mentioned that you’re being recognized for something that people just go to the restaurant and take for granted,” Tobin said in the video Yelp put together to recognize her award.

Tobin received a trophy, a $3,000 gift card, and a pair of Snibbs shoes, which are designed for long days on your feet. When Yelp officials presented the award to Tobin, they surprised the staff by giving them $3,000 as well.

“I don’t want to discredit her by any means,” said Lindsay Gilliland, who is the front of house manager for Floridinos. “But I think it was a whole team effort. Like she has been an amazing

representative for it and I think she 100% deserves it. But she stands out because the trust that her team has in her.”

Yelp recognized eight workers. Tobin was the only Arizona winner. The other categories were Best Server, Best Front of House team, Best Hustle, Best Bartender, Best Team Player, Best Manager,

Best Vibe in addition to Best Host.

Tobin said a lot goes into being a good host.

“Attention to detail,” she said. “I host Monday nights and Monday nights are really intense. So we get crazy busy. And you have to … pay attention to detail, you got to be present, you got to know what’s going on with other serv-

ers, you got to know who you can sit and who you can’t sit, and how they’re doing.”

Gilliland said Tobin could easily have won other categories as well and she wasn’t the only employee who was deserving.

“We looked at all the categories,” Gilliland said. “And we’re like, ‘Well, you know someone that could win every single one of these categories.’”

Like many restaurants, Floridinos needed to change to survive during the pandemic. The pizzeria shut down for only a week after one employee tested positive for the coronavirus. But other than that, they were able to stay open and keep everyone employed.

Tobin said before COVID-19 they used to have a line of people lined up at the register waiting to pick up to-go orders. The pandemic forced them to streamline their curbside service, improving it greatly.

Now, they have 12 parking lot spaces dedicated to to-go orders. She said it’s not unheard of for all 12 to be occupied and others waiting for someone to leave.

Mr.’s exhibit on display at Phoenix Art Museum

One of the world’s premiere anime artists, Mr., from Japan, is bringing his exhibit “You Can Hear the Song of This Town” to the Phoenix Art Museum through March 23.

“People could see and experience his artwork and the audio associated with it that ties back together with his artistry,” said Joel Coen, Men’s Arts Council president.

A self-described member of the otaku subculture – characterized by obsessive interests in anime, manga and reclusion into virtual fantasy worlds – Mr. creates feverish, graffiti-inspired paintings and cartoon-like sculptures, installations and video works that combine high and low culture to examine themes of desire, fantasy and trauma within Japanese society and among a global audience obsessed with social media.

The Men’s Arts Council funded the exhibition, along with an anonymous donor, Ronald and Valery Harrar, Isabelle Georgeaux, Kevie Yang, The Japan Foundation-Los Angeles, and the Museum’s Circles of Support and Museum Members.

“We are very grateful to Men’s Arts Council for their ongoing support of the museum’s exhibitions,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Sybil Harrington direc-

tor and CEO of Phoenix Art Museum.

“For more than 55 years, MAC’s generosity has helped bring art from around the world to engage audiences in Arizona. With their support of ‘Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town’ and the exhibition’s admission-free First Friday opening celebration, MAC is ensuring community members and visitors are exposed to artworks by one of Japan’s most popular living


Phoenix Art Museum was recently surprised with a $175,000 check from the Men’s Arts Council, a nonprofit member organization of Valley philanthropists devoted to supporting the museum’s community outreach initiatives via annual contributions.

“Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town” will be the first of many to benefit from this donation.

“This gift to Phoenix Art Museum is the latest instance of the long- standing relationship between our organiza tions and will empower the museum to provide the community with unique, high-quality exhibitions,” Coen said.

Many of Phoenix Art Museum’s exhibitions are funded by the Men’s Arts Council, which was founded in 1967 to back the museum’s programs and activities. MAC can support the museum in a number of ways, thanks to the efforts of its over 200 members.

The Men’s Art Council has been working with the museum for more than 50 years, starting as security guards. They transitioned into volunteers who assist with the museum.

“Over time, we’ve built up a series of events that take place throughout the Valley, like the Copperstate 1000, Copperstate Double Gun and Copperstate Overland,” he said.

“These events pull people from all over the world. We use the funds to promote the arts through the museum each year. The Mr. exhibit was included in our give. We’re really trying to focus on youth and trying to get the youth involved.”

He said from his perspective Phoenix is an art desert. The scene retracted through the pandemic.

For more community
Felicia Tobin of Floridino’s Pizza and Pasta in Chandler won Best Host in the United States in the first Servies Awards presented by Yelp to celebrate front-of-house restaurant em ployees. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
See FLORIDINO on page 44 See MUSEUM on page 44
In typical kawaii style, Mr. sometimes depicts childlike features (round faces, wide eyes, colorful hair) with innocent undertones, according to global art gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin. (Special to GetOut)


“It’s an amazing place,” said Tobin, who has worked at Flo ridinos for five years. “We have a lot of regulars come in every single day, every week. And then, sometimes we’ll have events going on and those events will bring in new people that have never been here and they’ll like the food … and they continue to come back.”

Tobin and others credited their customers for voting and helping her win Best Host. She was nominated by a co-worker. They sent in photos of her at work and the nomination letter explain ing why she was deserving. Yelp then selected finalists. The winner was chosen by people voting across the nation.

Floridino’s General Manager Jason Stephens said helping Tobin win was a team effort.

“Everybody here was on board right away,” he said. “They were voting every day, they were telling their tables to vote for her. And then when she won, everybody was excited. ... Yelp decided to match the $3,000 for the whole team. So Felicia got her prize money, but then they gave us prize money to

us for the whole team.”

Stephens said he will use that money for the restaurant’s holiday party.

Floridino’s has been a Chandler destination for 26 years.

“Everybody puts their egos aside and just comes together and gets things done,” Stephens said.

If you go

Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta 590 N. Alma School Road, Chandler 480-812-8433


“We don’t see as much influence within the educa tional programs anymore,” he said.

“Funding (problems) is removing arts from schools. We funded multiple projects. We get families access to museums for free and we fund that on certain days each quarter. If kids aren’t exposure to art, it sullies their future. We want to make sure they have the opportunity.”

Gallery owner Emmanuel Per rotin said, “Contrasting with the bright cheerfulness of his all-powerful characters, a wid er reflection on solitude, social anxiety, and fear underlies” Mr.’s work. (Special to GetOut)

“Mr.: You Can Hear the Song of This Town”

When: Through March 23

Where: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix Cost: General admission is $20 adults; $17 seniors; $15 students (with valid ID); $5 youth ages 6-17; free for museum members, youth 5 and younger and U.S. military personnel

Info: 602-257-1880,

1 Cigna will reduce your monthly Medicare Part B premium by $100.

2 Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/service area. Limitations, exclusions, and restrictions may apply. All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation. The Cigna name, logos, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/service area. Limitations, exclusions, and restrictions may apply. Contact the plan for more information. This information is not a complete description of benefits, which vary by individual plan. You must live in the plan’s service area.

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A board at Floridino’s Pizza and Pasta in Chandler notes each day’s special. (David Minton/Staff Photographer)
GOT NEWS? Contact Paul Maryniak at
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Count on this chili recipe for a crowd pleaser

I’m always looking for “the one.”

You know, the one recipe that you can count on time and time again to be a crowd pleaser.

Sometimes you’ll send me recipes with in-depth stories about the memories behind the meals, which I love. Sometimes I’ll simply get a recipe saying it’s a family favorite.

I’ve come to know that if you believe the dish is good enough to pass along, more than likely it’s a winner, and I’m grateful that its landed in my lucky hands.



• 1 cup flour, browned

• 2 TBSP butter

• 1 large sweet yellow onion, diced

• 5 cloves of garlic, minced

• 2 lb. lean pork meat (boneless pork chops, pork loin or pork shoulder), small cubed

• 2 TBSP cup olive oil, divided

• 4 cups chicken broth

• 1 tsp salt or more to taste

• 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

• 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

• 3-4 cups green chilies – roasted, peeled and chopped

• 1 tsp fresh oregano or dried Mexican oregano


• Chopped green onions, grated cheddar cheese, sliced avocado and tortilla chips.


• 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

• 3⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

• 1⁄2cup yellow cornmeal

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1 egg, beaten

• 3 tablespoons milk

• 1 1⁄2 tablespoons cooking oil

Now you have another one in the Southwest cuisine category – a fabulously simple, incredibly tasty recipe for New Mexico Chili Verde. There’s a great technique in the recipe that really adds to the flavor of the chile verde, one that I have come to use often in stews and chili.

It’s flour that you heat up in a dry skillet until it turns light brown and imparts an amazing toasted nut aroma. Get those flour tortillas warmed up and pour yourself a big bowl of New Mexico Chile Verde.


In a heavy frying pan over medium high heat, cook flour, stirring constantly, until flour is a light toast color. Set aside to cool.

In a Dutch oven or large skillet, add the butter and sauté the onion for 10 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Adad garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the pork until seared on the outside and cooked.

Add the onion and garlic mixture and salt, stirring to combine.

Stir in the browned flour, mixing thoroughly. Add chicken broth and over medium heat, cook until thickened.

Add tomato sauce, tomatoes green chile and oregano.

Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cheddar cheese, cornmeal, and baking powder. In a small bowl, mix beaten egg, milk, and oil.

Add to flour mixture, and stir with a fork until just combined.

Drop dumplings by tablespoonfuls into chili.

Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through.

Gilb 480-613-3439: 1/2 pg, 4.9”W x 10”H

Stay Connected

Gilb 480-613-3439: 1/2 pg, 4.9”W x 10”H web

with everyone that matters most to you.

Clarendale senior living keeps you in touch with everyone that matters most to you.

Clarendale senior living keeps you in touch with everyone that matters most to you.

Stay Connected

It’s the lifestyle you love—only better. Clarendale is a community focused on “connected living.” You simply can’t beat the convenient location. You’ll have a maintenance-free residence with exceptional senior living services and amenities and still stay close and connected to all your neighbors, friends and family.

It’s the lifestyle you love—only better. Clarendale is a community focused on “connected living.” You simply can’t beat the convenient location. You’ll have a maintenance-free residence with exceptional senior living services and amenities and still stay close and connected to all your neighbors, friends and family.

Clarendale senior living keeps you in touch with everyone that matters most to you.

Stay Connected


Clarendale senior living keeps you in touch with everyone that matters most to you.

It’s the lifestyle you love—only better. Clarendale is a community focused on “connected living.” You simply can’t beat the convenient location. You’ll have a maintenance-free residence with exceptional senior living services and amenities and still stay close and connected to all your neighbors, friends and family.

It’s the lifestyle you love—only better. Clarendale is a community focused on “connected living.” You simply can’t beat the convenient location. You’ll have a maintenance-free residence with exceptional senior living services and amenities and still stay close and connected to all your neighbors, friends and family.




It’s the lifestyle you love—only better. Clarendale is a community focused on “connected living.” You simply can’t beat the convenient location. You’ll have a maintenance-free residence with exceptional senior living services and amenities and still stay close and connected to all your neighbors, friends and family.


5900 S. Gilbert Rd. | Chandler, AZ 85249


5900 S. Gilbert Rd. | Chandler, AZ 85249







5900 S. Gilbert Rd. | Chandler, AZ 85249

5900 S. Gilbert Rd. | Chandler, AZ 85249

5900 S. Gilbert Rd. | Chandler, AZ 85249

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