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July 6–19, 2019 | www.SanTanSun.com

Relentlessly local coverage of Southern Chandler and our neighboring communities

Downtown businesses fret over construction work BY COLLEEN SPARKS Contributor

Downtown Chandler business owners say construction in and near the intersection of Arizona Avenue and Chicago Street is steering away customers and denting sales. Traffic has been limited to one lane in each direction on areas of Arizona Avenue since May 13 while improvements are made in preparation for the opening of the New Square development across from Chandler City Hall. New Square is a mixed-use development that will offer retail, office and restaurant spaces, as well as a Hilton Garden Inn. A traffic signal will also be needed to

Construction on and near the intersection of Arizona Avenue and Chicago Street is impacting businesses in downtown Chandler including ImprovMANIA Comedy Club, pictured here behind the fence. (David Specht/

accommodate additional traffic expected as drivers head to a parking garage with about 930 parking spaces at the corner of Chicago and Oregon streets. Crews are beginning the second phase of Arizona Avenue obstructions as they close the west side of the street between Frye Road and Boston Street, with drivers able to use one lane in each direction on its east side. That work is expected to be finished in August. The construction work has left people with fewer parking spots near businesses and more congestion and delays, some business owners say. Brandon Fisher, owner of Crisp Greens at 250 S. Arizona Ave., said his three-year-

ImprovMANIA Comedy Club)



Water dangers extend beyond death for children BY JIM WALSH Staff Writer

Doctors saved the life of Rose Bennett’s son, Ethan, their efforts finally paying off after several failed attempts to resuscitate him. But while the doctors were able to restore Ethan’s heartbeat, the happy 6-year-old boy she knew was gone forever that day, 10 years ago. It was “the worst-case scenario’’ when it comes to non-fatal drownings, the severe cases where a patient no longer has a heartSee

DROWNINGS on page 16

As an emergency room doctor at Banner Cardon Children’s Hospital, Dr. Blake Sherman has seen tragedies in both fatal and non-fatal drownings, so he is not taking any chances with his 7-month-old son Jaxson, who is taking swimming lessons. (Kimberly Carrillo/Tribune Staff Photographer)

City Council lays out bold vision for Chandler’s future BY KAYLA RUTLEDGE Staff Writer

Along with a new logo and tagline, the City Council has made some major changes to its vision for Chandler. Since February the council and directors of all city departments have collaborated to create a five-year framework for enhancing economic development and bringing more people to Chandler. The framework helps bridge council members’ vision for Chandler with the

VOTE NOW eastvalleytribune.com

City Council approved this new logo for Chandler/ (City of Chandler)

departments and policies necessary to make it a reality. Council envisions for Chandler as a leader in government trust and See



Good hair day

Ethan Towamyckyj, 3, beams as Jenna Reichwein cuts his hair at the Verde Salon in south Chandler. The business was started by longtime stylist Stephanie Schmidt and her husband in 2011 as a result of her son's genetic disorder, which inspired her to build her business around healthy beauty products. For a closer look, see page 22. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

F E AT U R E STO R I E S CUSD board OKs election for district's biggest bond ever . . . . . . Community . . . . Page 6 Chandler Regional offering home medical visits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BUSINESS . . . . . . . . Page 25 Golds Gym re-emerges in Chandler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SPORTS . . . . . . . . . Page 37 Community advocate named new city magistrate . . . . . . . . . . . . NEIGHBORS . . . . . . . Page 41 Copper Still Moonshine Grill offers eclectic menu . . . . . . . . . . . . EAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 61

STFF ................................................................... Center Section

More Community . . . . . . 01-21 Business . . . . . . . . 22-28 Sports . . . . . . . . . . .37-38 Opinion. . . . . . . . . 39-40 Neighbors . . . . . . . 41-50 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51-54 Faith. . . . . . . . . . . . .55-56 Directory . . . . . . . .57-58 Classifieds . . . . . . 59-60 Where to Eat. . . . .61-62

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Help needed for Operation Back to School


Organizers are still looking for more shoes and other types of support for Operation Back to School, a one-day event that helps children and teens in need get school supplies and other essentials to start the academic year on a strong note. The event — 6:30-10:30 a.m. July 20 at Chandler High School, 350 N. Arizona Ave. — is organized by the city Diversity Office and For Our City Chandler. “The idea is for one-stop shop for kids to get prepared for school,” said Niki Tapia, city community resources and diversity supervisor. “We usually have over 50 organizations participating in some way or another through donation drives, planning committees, sponsorship funding, the community resource area.” Each student who shows up will receive a new backpack filled with school supplies including pencils, pens, highlighters, spiral notebooks and other items. While supplies last, students can also get socks, underwear and shoes, as well as clothes that can be worn for school uniforms including red or white shirts, as well as khaki shorts. The Salvation Army and Mathew’s Crossing Food Bank help collect shoes for youths. Last year about 950 pairs of shoes were given to children and teens at Operation Back to School, Tapia said. Tennis shoes in any sizes for boys and girls are great to give students. “We’re always looking for shoe

Operation Back to School is an annual event where children and teens get free backpacks filled with school supplies, as well as socks, underwear and shoes while supplies last. (City of Chandler)

donations,” Tapia said. More opportunities to volunteer at Operation Back to School are also available. The event could also use more cash scholarships so organizers can buy more school supplies to give youths. Shear Outreach, a nonprofit organization, is coordinating free haircuts for children and teens who come to Operation Back to School. The more hair stylists who come to the event, the more haircuts can be given. About 75 haircuts

can be given and those who are first in line get served first. “The event runs so well each year,” Tapia said. “We’re trying to fix holes. Every year we find better ways to do it.” For Our City Chandler is a group of faith-based organizations, nonprofits and business community representatives that help Chandler. Children are not as engaged in school if they begin the year lacking the supplies and materials they need, Tapia said.

Operation Back to School helps them begin their classes on a positive note. “They’re going on their first day and they’re excited,” Tapia said. “It’s going to be a better opportunity, a better experience.” It is hard to know exactly how many children and teens who live in Chandler do not have the financial means to buy supplies they need for school, she said. However, about seven or eight schools in Chandler are Title I schools, meaning they have a high percentage of students whose household income is low enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, Tapia said. “There are people who are struggling in every zip code,” she said. Last year almost 2,200 families and students from 43 different schools participated in Operation Back to School. Students must have some connection to Chandler — either living in the city or going to school in the city — in order to be eligible for the free items at the event. Parents should bring a form of identification with them. Besides providing supplies, several organizations and companies will provide information about community resources including reduced-price Internet plans and Chandler Public Library offerings at Operation Back to School. To learn more and volunteer call Tapia at 480-782-2214 or visit forourcitychandler. org/operation-back-to-school

Celebrating 15 years of service to the local community!

Special thanks to our terrific team!





from cover

transparency and fostering a contemporary culture that embraces unity. The translation of the council’s vision to actual projects is being supported by a recently approved $927 million operating budget and $937 million budget for capital improvement projects.  Community members can expect to see the city focus on infill and redevelopment, innovation and technology, mobility, neighborhoods and quality of life.  Various projects that align with council’s vision for the city include the maintenance of parks, utilities, roads and technology as well as the construction of an airport runway extension and the first phase of Lantana Ranch Park. Each major theme comes with an umbrella of focus areas department heads can look into for creating the policies council can vote on. Mayor Kevin Hartke said looking forward, the themes will also provide a framework for future councils to use to guide them in their decision making. “I’m proud to be laying the groundwork that we are that will set a foundation for Chandler,” said Hartke. “As future leaders take over our seats, we know that we’ve really done a good job of giving them direction on how to follow this as well as we have with those that have preceded us,” Hartke added. 


The council wants the City to use various marketing tools and economic development strategies to maintain existing businesses as well as plan for future businesses to enter the area.

With some land still available for light industrial and related development like this stretch in south Chandler, City city officials hope to lure more companies by touting Chandler's quality of life and commitment to innovation (File photo)

In order to complete the City’s vision, city departments suggested increasing efforts to repurpose vacant retail spaces and using unique experiences and events that can only be found in Chandler to attract visitors to the area. The City will also be putting an emphasis on workforce development and providing high-quality educational opportunities to employees. Additionally, the City will be adjusting their approach to infill projects and annexation. 

Innovation and technology

Chandler, known for being a test ground for new and innovative technology, has no plans of slowing down on that front any time soon. The city recognizes high-tech industries are drawn to Chandler for their

talented and educated workforce. Currently, 43 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher and 92 percent have a high school diploma.  With the population projected to grow by over 48,000 people in the next 11 years, the council wants to continue encouraging large corporations to plant roots in the city.  To do so, the council would like see leveraged partnerships with businesses, departments to continue marketing Chandler as a premier location for the tech industry to set up shop and for the city to invest in smart and sustainable solutions to improve the overall quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors. “City leadership is dedicated to ensuring a high quality of life, diverse job opportunities and safe neighborhoods that our residents

value and have come to expect,” said Hartke in a strategic plan pamphlet. Through public and private partnerships, participation at the state and national levels and constant civic engagement, we will continue to invest in the necessary improvements and changes as a community of innovation,” Hartke added.


City Manager Marsha Reed said the city has done an excellent job in planning arterial street networks that filter traffic into three major highways; however, the council has expressed they want to expand city transportation offerings moving forward. See


City workers getting a lift from Waymo vehicles BY KAYLA RUTLEDGE Staff Writer

City employees are hitching hands-free rides from Waymo to save time and be more efficient when traveling for work. City officials are interested in seeing how much time and money can be saved if the city utilizes self-driving vehicles. The partnership is a test-run of sorts that started this week and will run until the end of next June. Economic Development Director Micah Miranda said the pilot program will help the city determine the direction of city employee transportation. “The big thing is we’re looking at this to evaluate human capital efficiencies, cost efficiencies and advancing our brand,” said Miranda. The program serves three major purposes.  The most pressing, Miranda said, is giving employees the ability to work while on the road.  Currently, city policy requires employees to place any and all devices that could lead to distracted driving away while in a city vehicle. Because some departments spend large amounts of time traveling, employees lose time to respond to emails, look over documents and essentially get work done for large portions of the day.  “Human capital efficiency is a major expense to the city,” Miranda said. 

Waymo's ubiquitous autonomous vans can now be summoned by city government workers, who can get some work done while heading to a job assignment instead of driving. (File photo)

“We’ve opened [the pilot program] up to several dozen city employees. They range from parks and recreation employees to individuals in the city manager’s office. It is a wide spectrum,” he added. The reason to test the program on such a variety of employee types is to receive diverse sets of data from each department. After each ride, employees have to fill out a survey regarding their trip and turn in ride receipts online.

Rides are not discounted for city employees, and each trip must start and end at the designated pick-up and drop-off zone at City Hall. Destinations are limited to Waymo’s current service area in the East Valley. The program will also serve to relieve stress from current city vehicle fleets.  While city vehicles will still be used, “we always have a crunch of vehicles that are in demand so this will take the pressure off from a scheduling perspective,” said Miranda. Utilizing Waymo’s services, he added,

will also keep city vehicles viable for a longer period of time. The study is part of what Chandler is known for — being on the cutting-edge of technological advancements.  “From the economic development perspective, Chandler is known for innovation. We’re open to testing new technologies and that in and of itself is economic advancement from a business attraction perspective,” said Miranda. Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke agreed, and said, “we’ve worked closely with Waymo for the past several years and it’s a natural progression to utilize their technology,” in a release.  Chandler has been the testing ground for Waymo’s self-driving vehicles since 2017 just after the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan was added to their fleet.  The minivans, now commonly seen around town in Chandler, were the company’s first mass-produced vehicle with a fully-integrated hardware suite.  “We’ve been driving in Chandler for more than three years and the City has been extremely supportive of our work to deploy self-driving technology to make our roads safer,” said Dezbah Hatathli, Waymo Local Policy and Community Manager. “We’re thrilled that City employees will now be able to ride in Waymo vehicles to get around for work. Our hope is that this collaboration allows the City to realize its goal of reducing its vehicle fleet and lowering costs,” Hatathli added.




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CUSD OKs election on biggest bond in district history BY KAYLA RUTLEDGE Staff Writer

Chandler Unified officials want voters in November to pass a $290.25 million bond issue — the largest in the school district’s history. While school districts in Mesa and Gilbert are doing the same this fall to maintain existing facilities, CUSD wants to use the bond proceeds to open two new schools to accommodate an influx of students on the city’s east side near the Val Vista Corridor.  If the bond is approved, the $1.28-per$100,000-assessed-valutation tax rate used to pay off a $196 million bond from 2015 will remain consistent. CUSD Chief Financial Officer Lana Berry said the need for another bond election results from insufficient state funding for education. Over the last 11 years, the district has seen a net loss of nearly $127 million in state funds, Berry said. “In our elementary area we have to be able to meet the needs of our community down the Val Vista Corridor. It’s ultimately going to grow…and the parents ultimately want their kids to go [to school] in their neighborhood,” Berry said at a June board meeting.  “We know we need new schools and one of the reasons we know that is because our secondary arena is growing, and our promise has always been to keep class sizes low and to pay our staff well,” Berry added. Along with a $70 million tab for

the new schools, the bond will cover a plethora of capital improvement projects. After meeting with the bond committee, parents, the Chamber and others, CUSD officials said one of the largest concerns among district stakeholders is safety within the schools. The concerns prompted the district to direct $25.5 million of the bond money toward safety upgrades such as fencing, security cameras and access control. “These are the security pieces that just their appearance feels good to parents and just lets them know their children are safe when they come to our facilities,” said Berry. Associate Superintendent for Support Services Frank Fletcher said the upgrades to CUSD’s software protection is one of the most pressing purchases for the district at this time.  “Our battle right now is we are under attack by hackers. We have spent a significant amount of money in the last 12 to 24 months to protect all of our users — all of our information,” said Fletcher.  “Greater than 60 percent [of technology funds] is going into the classroom but if we can’t protect the classroom there’s no point in having them. So, we’re spending a lot of money on defense,” Fletcher said. Another $31.25 million will be directed toward classroom additions, renovations, playground surfaces and more at the elementary level. Secondary schools will see $29 million improvements to general renovations, band uniforms, pool renovations and weight rooms. 

Technology, which includes network hardware, printers, servers and teaching tools will have a $28 million facelift under the bond, and the transportation department will receive another $25 million. The bond will also be used to relieve pressure from general upkeep and maintenance costs. Being the second largest district in the valley and the second largest employer in the city, CUSD shells out millions per year on upkeep. Maintaining the facilities costs the district anywhere from $30 to $35 million annually.  “Just on our basic maintenance we will use at least half of this bond — for just keeping up the status quo rather than doing any upgrades or technology or other things we see as a need in this district,” said board President Barb Mozdzen. The 15-year anniversary on many of the schools’ HVAC units is quickly approaching. Along with many other key structures like roofing and lighting, Fletcher said the district is due for some upgrades.  “If you start in 1998 and go to today, out of 5 million square feet under roof you’ve built 74 percent of the district in the last 20 years,” said Fletcher. “We do know we have some things aging,” he added.  The last approved bond of $196 million from 2015 still has $17 million left to spend, some of which will be used to purchase the land for the district’s new elementary school.  

The bond has supported $81.5 million worth of construction, acquisition and improvements to schools. $53.8 million improved security or site improvements and building renovations. $39 million upgraded buses, technology, furniture, equipment and school furnishings. The rest has gone toward heating and air conditioning and support facilities. While meeting with stakeholders to discuss the current bond election, Lana said the district gained valuable insight on what is most important to community members regarding public education in Chandler.  The bond committee gathered feedback both from community meetings regarding the bond as well as through only survey questions.  About 300 stakeholders were in attendance at the meetings and 91 people completed the online survey. At the various meetings those who attended included business owners, administrators and CUSD staff, parents, students, council members, board members and PTO and Boosters.  Berry said although the online survey only received 91 responses, a wide variety of opinions from all sectors of the community was represented.  The surveys reflected safety as the major concern and a close second was district textbooks, furniture and software while energy management ranked third.  The community also said the next bond election should not include furniture or textbooks.

Schools can replace officers with counselors BY PAUL MARYNIAK Executive Editor

Five East Valley school districts will now have to decide whether grant money they currently use to pay for security officers should be diverted to hiring counselors or social workers. The state Superintendent of Public Schools has advised that Chandler Unified, Tempe Union, Mesa Public Schools, Tempe Elementary and Kyrene can reexamine their use of School Safety Program grants they now get for school resource officers. Meanwhile, districts that don’t have schools on a current waiting list for grant money won’t be getting any of the $20 million the State Legislature authorized for hiring resource officers, counselors or social workers. And while the 87 schools on that waiting list will be sharing in that new money, it’s unclear when. That list includes five CUSD schools – Basha, Casteel and Chandler high schools and Andersen and Santan junior highs. The state Education Board last week voted to hold off immediately distributing those funds before the 2019-20 school year begins. “The State Board ruled to hold the money for the 87 schools on the wait list for the 2019-20 school year until the process for dispersing funds to either SROs and/or counselors is further discussed,” said Stefan Swiat, spokesman

for the state Education Department. “The schools that are already on the program – and about to go into the third year of the cycle of the program – are allowed to continue to those receive funds,” he added, explaining: “The State Board just wants more time to discuss the process of administering funds to schools who would like either an SRO and/or a school counselor or social worker in their schools.” The board doesn’t meet again until Aug. 26. School officials across the state had hoped that the $20 million appropriation would help them address the worst counselor-student ratio in the nation. Arizona’s student-to-counselor ratio is 905-to-1 – well above the national average of 455-to-1 and the recommended ratio of 250-to-1. “With the amount of school shootings and the importance of mental health in schools, we think it’s time that Arizona starts to lower that ratio,” Janine Menard, a member of the Arizona School Counselors Association’s board and a counselor with the Tolleson Elementary School District, told KTAR Radio after the board vote. Grants are awarded every three years, and by law, the next round of applications are due by April 15, 2020. Schools that previously applied for a safety grant did so more than two years ago, at a time when the program exclusively funded school resource

officers. But most Education Board members indicated an unwillingness to distribute the money until all schools can apply – something that they can’t do before next April. Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman cast the sole vote against holding onto the money – and possibly making it unavailable before the 2020-21 school year. A week before the board meeting, Hoffman had issued a directive to schools that state: “Given the limited period between when the school safety legislation and budget passed and the start of the upcoming academic year, there simply is not enough time for (the Education Department) to launch a new grant process for all schools following the criteria of the law. Moreover, if (the Education Department) were to release a brand-new application for all schools in 2019, schools would still need to reapply in Spring 2020.” Throughout late last year and early this year, students appeared before numerous school boards urging them to hire more counselors and social workers. Some knew students who had taken their lives – or attempted to – and said they could have been helped if counselors were on their campuses. They expressed frustration that the counselors that were at their schools were overwhelmed not only by their huge

caseload but also by responsibilities that had nothing to do with student emotional and mental well-being. Instead, the students said, counselors were focused on college prep programs and other responsibilities handed them by the administration. They also argued that counselors and social workers were more effective than SROs in preventing violence in schools because they were better equipped to address the problems that can provoke a troubled student into attacking classmates. Among the 114 schools that have grants that pay for SROs, Mesa has 13, Tempe Union, seven; Chandler and Tempe Elementary, three each; and Kyrene two. Mesa uses its money for SROs at all six of its high schools and at Fremont, Rhodes, Taylor, Carson, Summit Academy, Poston and Kino junior high schools. Chandler is funded for SROs at Hamilton High and Bogle and Willis junior high schools. Kyrene uses its grant for SROs at Aprende and Pueblo middle schools. Although some parents have urged Kyrene officials to put money into SROs at its other four middle schools, the board has opted not to use any district funds in its 2019-20 budget for armed officers. Feedback the district received from various citizen and business advisory groups indicated little sentiment for putting money into SROs instead of academic and other programs.



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Stay safe during the summer months, Chandler advises BY THE CITY OF CHANDLER

Headed out of town for summer vacation? Before you leave Chandler, be sure to let the Chandler Police Department know about your plans. The Department’s Vacation Watch Program is intended to give residents peace of mind while they are out of town. One week before your departure, visit bit.ly/PD-VacationWatchForm to complete the vacation watch form on Chandler Police’s website. Residents also have the option to submit the form by calling 480-782-4000. Be aware that the Vacation Watch program is not intended for periods of time greater than four weeks or homes for sale. Another way to protect your home during the summer (and throughout the year) is to be aware of crime or suspicious activity taking place in your neighborhood. Chandler Police recently joined the Neighbors app by Ring, a home security manufacturing company best known for its outdoor motion-based cameras and doorbells. The free Neighbors app provides realtime, local crime and safety information – essentially it’s a virtual block watch. Users can use the app to view neighborhood activity, share crime and safety-related videos or photos and receive real-time safety alerts from neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team. Chandler residents may text


from page 4

Council members want projects that provide more convenient connections to the rest of the East Valley while the city ensures safe and well-managed roadways. They also want to update and modernize the airport to drive economic development, along with create more multi-use paths to connect developments and neighborhoods, and generate “hightech, multi-model transit options for residents and visitors.”


“Chandler boasts a mixture of modern homeowner associations, mature traditional neighborhoods, apartments, condominiums and other housing types,”

Chandler police Officer Robin Atwood can help residents be safe by directing them to city programs. (City of Chandler)

‘CHANDLERAZ’ to 555888 from their smartphone to download the app for free. Several other police departments around the Valley also have partnered with Neighbors by Ring. Staying safe involves much more than protecting your home. As a parent, guardian, caregiver, teacher or social worker, it’s important to protect and

said Reed. “To sustain an exceptional quality of life for Chandler residents and keep Chandler safe, clean and beautiful, the preservation and enhancement of neighborhoods is paramount,” Reed added.  The council would like each neighborhood to maintain its own image and character, but wants to take a holistic approach to overall neighborhood improvement. By coordinating with city departments, nonprofits, business partners, faith agencies and community members, the council wants to generate communities that align with the needs of the people that live there. They also want to promote aesthetics, safety and community vitality. 

guide children. The Chandler Police Department offers a free Guardian Academy to educate the public about various life situations children are exposed to daily, and the warning signs of criminal or risky adolescent behavior. The next Guardian Academy will be held Thursday evenings on Sept. 12, 19, 26, and Oct. 3 and 10. The five classes will be from 6-9 p.m. at the Chandler Police Department’s Main Station Community Room, 250 E. Chicago St. Registration will open one month prior to the start date, so mark your calendar for August and get ready to register online at chandlerpd.com/guardian-academy/. The academy is free, but registrants are required to attend all five classes. During the academy, a variety of topics are discussed that include: social media, Internet safety, bullying and cyberbullying, current drug trends, digital leadership, family communication tools, teen brain and development, human trafficking, mental and behavioral health, building resiliency, suicidal self-harm and suicide awareness and prevention. These free programs are tools that the public can take advantage of to stay safe, but Officer Robin Atwood, crime prevention specialist, encourages everyone to always be aware of their surroundings. When you’re out and about, it’s important to put your phone down to avoid distractions. It’s easy to become

Quality of Life

Though council’s vision revolves around maintaining and improving the high quality of life for residents, this particular theme, Reed said, “includes a renewed focus on arts, culture and recreation.” The council wants to see “re-imagined” public spaces that can be used year-round, destination parks and more open spaces. They also want to utilize existing and new partnerships to provide entertainment and recreational fun for families and residents. Along with the key themes covered by the council, the city’s communications and public affairs department has redone the city’s logo, tag line and brand statement. “The brand statement is really an identity of who we are now as a

a victim of a crime if you aren’t paying attention. For questions about these programs, contact Officer Robin Atwood at robin. atwood@chandleraz.gov.

Additional tips from Chandler Police to protect your home while away on summer vacation: • Notify a friend, relative or trusted neighbor that you’ll be away and leave emergency phone numbers with them in case they need to contact you. • Be sure all doors, windows and gates are locked when you leave. • Manually lock your garage door from the inside and disengage your electronic device. This eliminates the possibility of thieves entering with garage door decoders. • Be sure to stop your mail and newspaper deliveries or have a friend, relative or trusted neighbor bring it in for you each day. • Put a couple of indoor lights and your radio on a light timer. This gives the illusion someone is home.

community. The vision is an aspiration, a direction, that council has set for the community to go. Our brand is who we are today,” said Communications and Public Affairs director Matt Burdick. The new brand statement will read, “a safe community that connects people, chooses innovation and inspires excellence,” and was determined after various meetings and public input to gain insight of how residents view their city.  “We’ve been using ‘Chandler the innovation and technology hub of the southwest’. That’s difficult to fit on a business card, so we have condensed that down to something really that is referencing our community today,” Burdick said.

Chandler cigarette smuggler’s scheme up in smoke BY JIM WALSH Staff Writer

A Chandler man’s thriving business in black-market Vietnamese cigarettes went up in smoke when he was sentenced to eight months in prison by a federal judge. Vien Tang and his ex-wife, Lien Tang, were accused by federal authorities of selling 8,000 cartons of illegally imported Vietnamese cigarettes in the parking lots of East Valley markets and restaurants that cater to Asian customers between 2014 and 2018, according to federal court documents. The all-cash sales occurred outside popular and well-known Asian businesses in Mesa and Chandler such as Mekong

Supermarket, Mekong Sandwiches and Lee’s Sandwiches, according to Vien Tang’s plea deal. “The Tangs operated in a close community, in a specific part of the city, and to fellow immigrant individuals and businesses,’’ a federal sentencing recommendation said. U.S. District Court Judge David G. Campbell earlier this month sentenced Vien Tang to eight months in federal prison, $275,000 in restitution and three years of probation for Unlawful Importation of Tobacco. He had previously pleaded guilty. Lien Tang had previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months of probation, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Rather than choosing gainful employment to help their immigrant family flourish in the United States, Vien Tang and his then-wife Lien Tang chose instead to finance their comfortable lifestyle through crime,’’ according to Vein Tang’s sentencing memorandum. “Defendants V. Tang and L. Tang engaged in a multi-year smuggling operation to bulk import and sell Vietnamese brand cigarettes for cash,’’ the document said. The court documents said that bulk shipments of Vietnamese cigarettes, concealed in boxed packages, were delivered to the couple’s Chandler home every week. Shipments typically contained 31 cartons. The cigarettes were disguised in wrap-

ping paper to appear as if they were gifts, the court document said. “On a daily basis, defendant Tang would load his various vehicles with cartons of cigarettes and sell them directly to individuals in the parking lots of businesses,’’ the document said. Prosecutors said that Lien Tang would handle the cigarette sales when her husband was on one of his regular trips to Vietnam. Federal authorities accused him of using those trips to make arrangements to smuggle cigarettes without paying taxes. The scheme allowed the Tangs to evade more than $278,000 in state and See

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federal excise taxes — the basis for Tang’s restitution. Cliff Levenson, Tang’s defense attorney, said a police report revealed that federal authorities got onto the case when a package came open at the post office and someone noticed the Vietnamese cigarettes inside. “I have every confidence that he (Vien Tang) will get the minimum’’ of prison time, by earning an early release through good behavior, Levenson said. “He’s a good man.’’ Levenson said Tang’s sentence was based upon prosecutors making a case that importing and selling Vietnamese cigarettes illegally was Vien Tang’s occupation. “I was very impressed with his family support. That will serve him well,’’ Levenson said. “I have every confidence that he will do fine.’’ Krissa Lanham, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said, “The criminal activity was discovered through the U.S. Postal Service’s routine monitoring of the postal system. Our office is not aware of related cases outside our district.’’ But beyond the Tangs’ case, black-market cigarettes are a major issue nationally and around the world. In the U.S., much of it involves cigarettes being trucked from lower-tax, and tobacco-producing states, to higher tax states such as New York that have imposed stiff taxes to discourage smoking. Klaus von Lampe, a German university professor, has researched the illegal

While a Chandler man was convicted of smuggling cigarettes from VietNam into Arizona, Vietnamese officials burn thousands of cartons of cigarettes smuggled into their country. (Vietnam Inverstment Review)

trafficking and sales of cigarettes for years throughout the world. “Cigarettes are among the highest taxed commodities and provide a significant source of revenue for governments. While the level of taxation varies across jurisdictions, in many countries taxes account for as much as 70 to 80 percent of the price smokers have to pay for a pack at a legal retail outlet store,’’ he wrote in a 2011 research paper. “Through a number of different schemes, suppliers and customers circumvent the taxation of cigarettes. As a result, cigarettes are being made available at a cost below legal retail prices, providing both lucrative profits for suppliers and significant savings for consumers, while

causing substantial losses of revenue to governments, estimated at around $40 billion USD globally in 2007, and at the same time undermining public health policies that aim to discourage smokers through high tobacco taxation,’’ von Lampe wrote. In Australia, which has aggressively worked to reduce smoking, a staggering $40 price per pack appears to have stimulated a trade in Chinese black-market cigarettes that are not only much cheaper, but likely even more toxic and dangerous than conventional cigarettes. Tests on counterfeit cigarettes from China have shown that each cigarette packs a highly unhealthful mix of up to 80 percent more nicotine and emits 130 percent more carbon monoxide, according to


asbestos.com. Some of these cigarettes have been found to contain such impurities as rat poison, traces of lead, dead flies, human and animal feces and asbestos, a known carcinogen linked to mesothelioma and other life-threatening respiratory diseases. Smoking is still commonplace among men in Vietnam, according to the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Atlas. It says Vietnam’s male smoking rate is 38.7 percent, while only 0.9 percent of women smoke. Ironically, Vietnam has tried to crack down on smuggling cigarettes for more than five years — with penalties far stiffer than what the Tangs received. According to the Vietnam Investment Review, “The illicit cigarette trading typically violates health laws, reduces taxes to the state and damages sales of legitimate dealers.” It said offenders who smuggle 1,500 to fewer than 4,500 packs of cigarettes will be subject to six months to three years in prison; from 4,500 to fewer than 13,500 packs, three to seven years, and from 13,500 packs or more, seven to 15 years. Smuggled cigarettes were estimated to cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars, the newspaper said, adding, “What’s worse, almost all of smugglers trade in cash, which results in foreign currency drain out of the country.” Smuggling also has cost tobacco farmers months of work, leaving farms stuck with as much as 17,000 tons of unprocessed tobacco leaves and consuming as much as 20 percent of the market share — about 800 million packs, the paper said.

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Mesa lands $1B deal with Google for a data center BY JIM WALSH Staff Writer

Technology giant Google is coming to Mesa, lured by a tax incentive agreement to build a massive data center in the emerging Elliot Road Technology Corridor. In a major coup for Mesa, Google will join fellow tech heavyweight Apple, which already operates a large data center in the same area of southeast Mesa. The Mesa City Council is primed to approve the Google development agreement at its meeting on Monday. Steve Wright, a city spokesman, said he does not know specifically how many jobs will be created at the Google data center. He said the city is limited on how much it can say about the project and that more details may become available when the agreement comes before the council Monday night. “They’re very guarded in what they say,’’ Wright said. “Obviously, building out the facility, there will be a lot of jobs in construction.’’ Google issued a statement acknowledging the company’s interest in the data center, but it provided few details. “Google is considering acquiring property in Mesa, AZ., and while we do not have a confirmed timeline for development for the site, we want to ensure that we have the option to further grow should our business demand it,’’ a Google spokesperson said. A council report posted with the agenda also does not mention a number of jobs, but sets a series of milestones for development of the data center, including con-

struction of at least a 250,000-square-foot building by July 2025 with a $600 million investment. By July 2027, the company would need to meet a 500,000 square foot requirement, with a minimum investment of $800 million. In July 2029, a 750,000 square foot requirement is imposed, with at least a $1 billion investment. The entire deal is outlined in a 35-page development agreement. Google also would be required to pay the city $10,000 a year in rent to cover the administrative costs associated with the agreement. “In terms of a financial deal, this is home run. This is a great day,’’ Mayor John Giles said, after the council discussed the deal Thursday during an hour-long executive session. Giles said there are still elements of the project that need to be worked out, such as Google buying the property, 186 acres located at Elliot and Sossaman roads in southeast Mesa. Giles said Google’s decision to build the data center in Mesa means that the Elliot Road Tech Corridor will be anchored at each end by one of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple and Google. “There’s no city that wouldn’t be envious of that,’’ Giles said. He said the project has been known to insiders by a code name, “Project Red Hawk,’’ for more than a year because Mesa signed a confidentiality agreement with Google. Vice Mayor Mark Freeman said that Google would be buying the property from the Morrison family, long time farmers in the southeast Valley who have been selling off parts of their holdings for different types

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of developments — including the Morrison Ranch subdivision in southeast Gilbert. Bill Jabjiniak, Mesa’s economic development director, played a major role in the negotiations. In a slideshow after the executive session, estimated the Google project will produce $156,567,507 in revenues for the city. The slideshow said the property would produce $3,604 in property tax in 2019 as an agricultural use and $162,007 during a 25year period if the use remains unchanged. If the tax incentive plan takes effect, the projected revenue to the city in excise taxes is estimated at nearly $33 million during the same 25-year period, as opposed to nearly $49 million if Google were to build the data center without the tax incentive. The city anticipates generating another $28.1 million in revenues, at minimum, from a combination of construction sales tax, electricity sales tax and property taxes, Jabjiniak said. “It’s an economic development tool approved by the Legislature. We have been very judicious about using this over the years,’’ Jabjiniak said. He said the incentive plan, called a “GPLET,’’ would be in effect for 25 years if it is approved by the council. A GBLET, an acronym for government property lease excise tax, is calculated based upon the gross square footage of a building and is an incentive that reduces a project’s operating costs, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority’s web site. The financing tool, approved by the legislature in 2013, requires that the land be conveyed to a government entity and leased back for private use, the website said.

Jabjiniak said during his presentation that the data center would cover a staggering 750,000 square feet. “Data centers are the engines of the internet,’’ Jabjiniak said. “We are talking about a $1 billion corporate investment.’’ He said Google would join Apple, AT&T, and Boeing as top Fortune 500 corporations with operations in Mesa. The agreement also requires Mesa to make available 1,120-acre feet of water to Google initially, and that the amount of water can eventually grow to 4,480-acre feet per year if Google reaches certain development milestones. Jabjiniak said data centers use the water for evaporative cooling. He said the availability of electricity from Salt River Project also was vital in Mesa’s efforts to recruit Google. Google has up to five years to begin construction on data center and up to 10 years to finish building it, under the terms of the agreement, Jabjiniak said. “That could be as much as five years or it could be sooner,’’ Jabjiniak said. “We were trying to give them some flexibility.’’ Jabjiniak’s presentation did not include job projections, but it did say the typical salary would be $65,000 or more per year. An economic impact report on Google’s six data centers nationwide, as of April 2018, said they support 11,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in economic activity, according to Oxford Economics. Google also maintains several data centers in other countries. The study said that in 2016, the U.S. centers generated $750 million in labor income and $1.3 billion in economic activity, with 1,900 employees working on the campuses.







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State panel backs off changes in schools’ sex education BY HOWARD FISCHER Capitol Media Services

Facing a barrage of parental criticism, the state Board of Education decided Monday to scrap a proposal to remove certain language from the rules on sex education. Several members of the appointed board said they are unwilling to consider the kind of changes being proposed — not just by gay rights advocates on one side but a coalition of parents on the other who want even more restrictions on what can be taught. Armando Ruiz said that is the purview of elected state lawmakers. “We’re not the Legislature,’’ he said. Monday’s decision is most immediately a defeat for Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Glendale, and allies on the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network. They sought to remove verbiage that now bans the teaching of “abnormal, deviate or unusual sexual acts and practices.’’ Instead, that proposal sought to spell out that sex education instruction must be “medically and scientifically accurate’’ and that courses provide “medically accurate instruction’’ on methods to prevent the transmission of disease. That provoked a firestorm of protest, with more than four dozen foes showing up to tell the board to back off. It also raised questions from Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa. “Who decides what’s medically accurate?’’ she asked the board, suggesting that scientific studies often reach the result de-

Under criticism by various people, including an Ahwatukee parent, State schools Superintendent Kathy Hofman, is defended by board President Luke Narducci. (Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services)

sired by the organization that funded the research. But board members also chose not to consider vastly different proposals by some parents for what they would change in the rules. Suggestions ranged from requiring that abstinence be the only thing taught in sex education to an outright pro-

hibition on mentioning masturbation, oral or anal sex. During the approximately four hours of testimony several parents took swipes at state schools chief Kathy Hoffman, who took office in January, for even putting the Quezada proposal on the agenda. “You’re injecting your political beliefs,’’

said Scott Weinberg of Ahwatukee, who said he has two children in the Kyrene Elementary School District. “I understand that you won that election,’’ he said. “But that doesn’t give you the right to change the curriculum for all of our children.’’ Lesa Antone was more direct, focusing on the state’s low rankings nationally in scores on reading, writing and math. “Why don’t you spend more time focusing on that and less time trying to sexualize little innocent babies, because that’s what they are,’’ she said. “And you want to put them in makeup and make them drag queens and make them sexualized individuals,’’ Antone continued. “Shame on you!’’ Hoffman insisted that she was not trying to push a specific agenda. Instead, she told those in the audience that she was simply putting forward the suggestions from Quezada for the board to consider. “I thought this was worthy of discussion,’’ she said. “I would give the same respect to any senator.’’ But former schools chief Diane Douglas, defeated in last year’s Republican primary, accused Hoffman of giving “priority status to your most favorite organization over every other concerned parent that’s sitting in this room today.’’ Douglas did not publicly identify the organization. Animosity to Hoffman, however, predates Monday’s proposed rule change. She used her first State of Education See

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old restaurant is feeling the crunch of the construction. “Many of my customers have told me that it’s hard to get in and out and it’s hard to access because it’s down to one lane,” Fisher said. “It’s stressful because trying to get through with one lane — it’s a wait,” he added. “Construction is right outside our store. They keep the entrance open and we’re very thankful. It is a hindrance.” He said the construction workers and everyone involved in the project have all made an effort to make businesses accessible but that the “general situation” remains difficult. People that know about Crisp Greens are likely to still go there, but those not familiar with it might not walk by and discover it as often with the construction going on, Fisher said. “While we do get a lot of walk-by traffic and people that would pop by, that part’s dwindled a little bit but we’ve got a lot of great customers that we are just so thankful for because they’re willing to put up with some of these difficulties to come see us and try our great food,” he said. Fisher said the New Square development and the new parking garage once they are in will benefit his business and other local companies. “In the long run it’s gonna help us,” he said. “In the long run we’re gonna have new customers, a larger customer base. There’s gonna be a hotel, a lot of things going on down here. It’s just getting through the temporary obstacle.” The Local, at 55 W. Chicago St., is also feeling the impact of construction. “Obviously with a limited (number) of lanes it’s definitely affected our business for sure,” owner Mike Smith said. “I do see the bigger picture and am very excited about New Square and the parking garage,” he added. “Being a small business, we don’t have multiple locations to rely on. We don’t have the support of leaning on another restaurant or store to support us.” Smith said The Local temporarily lost its regular parking lot due to construction so he leased a 20-space parking lot next to his restaurant. A dirt lot the public

Above: The work has been limiting traffic to one lane in each direction on areas of Arizona Avenue. Right: Michelle and John Wolfe own Sibley’s West: The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop at 72 S. San Marcos Place, John said the construction work downtown is affecting businesses but Sibley’s already has steady clients. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

downtown because the parking used to be so close by but fortunately a lot of the businesses have been around for several years so they’ve attracted steady clientele who will find a way to get to the business,” John said. He added, “I also think that the opening of the parking garage next to Flix (Brewhouse) has been a big help, the Overstreet garage. People are recognizing it’s there and using it. The other nice thing has been the Wave shuttle service. That’s been a really nice addition Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday nights.” The Wave is a free shuttle service from four parking garages in downtown Chandler to destinations around the downtown area. John said the construction on Arizona Avenue at Chicago Street came up

It’s definitely affecting businesses in downtown “because the parking used to be so close by but fortunately a lot of the businesses have been around for several years so they’ve attracted steady clientele who will find a way to get to the business,

– John Wolfe could use for free parking is gone as New Square is being constructed there. Smith said he believes The Local has seen at least a 10 percent decrease in its overall business since the construction project began. “What’s nice is we have support of our local customer base,” Smith said. “We really appreciated their support. It’s harder to create new customers.” John Wolfe, who co-owns Sibley’s West: The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop with his wife, Michelle Wolfe, sympathizes with fellow downtown merchants. Sibley’s is at 72 S. San Marcos Place. “It’s definitely affecting businesses in

suddenly. “The Arizona Avenue at Chicago Street kind of sprung up on us quickly and I was a bit disappointed that it started in May,” he said. “I think if they had waited till June or July it would have been better.” John said he has put information on the Sibley’s Facebook page and in an e-newsletter he sends reminding people to keep visiting businesses downtown that are affected by the construction including The Local, ImprovMANIA Comedy Club, Crisp Greens and Pirate’s Fish & Chips. “The lane reduction has been kind of a distraction but it has not gotten to the stage of massive backups,” John said.

“People who are aware of it are using Alma School (Road.) There’s not a long wait when you’re at Frye Road. We’re fortunate because we’re a destination.” David Specht, who co-owns ImprovMANIA Comedy Club with his wife, Colleen Specht, at 250 S. Arizona Ave., is keeping a sense of humor about the construction work. He said people used to park right on the street in front of his business but now they have to find other places as construction work is going on right there. “The good news is a lot of what we do is online reservations,” David said. “It’s not been too bad. The downside are the walkins, the people who would walk to see us can’t get through. It just looks like our site is under construction. I’m sure people think we’re under construction or that we’re closed down for a little bit.” He created and shared a video on Facebook showing the construction going on, making light of the fence near where crews are working on the road near ImprovMANIA. David also posted photos showing the work on Facebook and videos on Instagram. He is encouraging people while the construction is going on to park at the free parking garage near Chandler City Hall, which is across Arizona Avenue from ImprovMANIA. Kim Moyers, cultural development director for the City of Chandler, said the city understands the concerns businesses

have about construction affecting their traffic and the city’s trying to minimize the disruptions. “We’ve really tried to work with the downtown business community on the timing of our projects,” Moyers said. “The heat of the summer is when the businesses are at their slowest. We’ve tried to time these projects during their slow time. We know it impacts them but were trying to impact them as minimally as we can.” Downtown Chandler has four parking garages open, providing a total of more than 1,800 parking spaces in garages, not including on-street parking spots, she said. “We’ve been talking about this project for almost a year,” Moyers said. “As we started defining the timelines we met with the businesses. We understand that no matter what, it’s an inconvenience. We want all of the businesses to succeed down here. We need to continue to redevelop, which will bring in more people for them to continue to prosper. “We’ve put a tremendous amount of signage up letting people know they’re still open for business. We have pedestrian signs and vehicular signs to help with flow. We’ve worked really hard to not block any access. We’ve done a lot of social media; taking pictures; letting people know these businesses are still open for business,” she added. Information: chandleraz.gov/explore/ downtown-chandler



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beat and is brought back to life. He was left a spastic quadriplegic in need of care around the clock, his brain damaged from being cut off from oxygen for too long. Non-fatal drownings such as Ethan’s are not tracked as carefully as fatal drownings — which demonstrate the need for public safety campaigns and constant, uninterrupted vigilance by parents and others when children are around water. With families across the region planning holiday gatherings around the backyard pool and others heading for vacation spots near water, these non-fatal drownings carry a message no one should ignore: Lives compromised by long-term, neurologic damage are another important consequence in water-related incidents, leaving lasting damage from preventable incidents. Dr. Blake Sherman, an emergency department doctor at Banner Desert Medical Center, estimates that as many as two-thirds of victims who have lost a pulse — but have been revived and brought back to life — end up with some form of neurologic damage. A state Department of Health Services report last year by Dr. Timothy Flood, bureau chief for health statistics, provides a snapshot of Arizona’s drowning problem during 2016, the latest available year for data. Flood reported that 174 children were admitted at Maricopa County hospitals for water-related incidents, with 14 children younger than 5 dying from their injuries. He estimated that four victims were left “impaired’’ neurologically, based upon them spending seven days or more in the hospital and being discharged to a rehabilitation center rather than their home. Flood noted that there is not adequate funding to do a long-term study on the neurological consequences of non-fatal drownings. Phoenix had the largest number of victims admitted, 86, with 53 of them


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speech to call on lawmakers to repeal a law that prohibits any courses on AIDS and HIV from portraying homosexuality “as a positive alternative lifestyle.’’ Hoffman, a Democrat, told members of the House Education Committee at the time that the verbiage “contributes to an unsafe school environment’’ and leads to discrimination and bullying. Hoffman got her wish — but only after gay rights groups filed a federal court lawsuit and Attorney General Mark Brnovich

children less than five years old. Mesa had 31 water-related victims, with 20 of them children; Chandler had 23 victims, with 17 children; and Gilbert had 19 victims, 17 of them children. Mesa’s Banner Desert Medical Center treated the most victims, 63, with 52 of them small children. Phoenix Children’s Hospital had similar numbers, with 48 of the 58 children admitted four years old or less. But Flood’s report also reflected major progress on the reduction of small children drowning. The highest death rate was 22.2 deaths per 100,000 in 1986. The rate dropped steadily after the state passed a pool fence ordinance in 1990. In 2016, the rate dropped to 5.9 deaths per 100,000 statewide. Sherman, an emergency room physician at Banner Desert Medical Center and Banner Cardon Children’s Hospital, said he typically treats two or three childhood drowning victims a year and he would be thrilled to never encounter another one. So far this year, the East Valley cities of Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Tempe recorded 17 water related incidents, with nine involving children 5 or under. Five drowning victims have died, but all of them have been adults, according to the Children’s Safety Zone web site. In Phoenix, there have been 22 water-related incidents, with nine involving pediatric victims. Five victims have died, including one small child and four adults, according to the web site. Last summer, Sherman said he attempted to save two sisters, 11 months and 3 years old, who drowned in a particularly tragic case, but without success. He said there is a dramatic difference in the outcome of children involved in near-drownings and non-fatal drownings, such as Ethan’s case. “Lots of times, when they still have a pulse, and they do CRR, the kids usually do OK,’’ he said. One key question that Sherman asks

paramedics when they bring victims to the hospital is whether the drowning was witnessed and when the last time the child was seen outside the pool. The answers help him understand how long a child might have been underwater. “The point is to get them back alive and be able to walk out of there,’’ Sherman said. But in the non-fatal drowning — when there is no pulse detected after the victim is pulled from water — the odds of death or survival with neurological damage go way up, based largely upon how long the brain is deprived of oxygen, Sherman said. The brain is one of the first organs to die without oxygen, usually in about six minutes, so restoring the flow of oxygen quickly is of critical importance, he said. “Essentially, they are dead,’’ Sherman said. “The longer you are without adequate oxygen and without adequate circulation, there is neurologic damage.’’ He said it’s difficult to predict the degree of neurologic damage that a patient will suffer in a non-fatal drowning, but he estimated that less than a third will leave the hospital without neurologic damage. Patients might emerge with a varying degree of neurologic damage, mostly less severe than Ethan’s, such as a limp or damaged cognitive ability, Sherman said. Bennett cares for Ethan non-stop, waking up every two hours to turn her son over so that he doesn’t get bed sores. She feeds him through a feeding tube. It is an endless, continuous cycle. But in the end, Bennett would rather have Ethan, even in a highly compromised state, rather than not at all. “As bad as your life is, you have to say, what is the positive?’’ Bennett said. “If I ever get more than two hours sleep, I dread that day, because that’s the day my son is no longer on earth.’’ Ethan has limited, uncontrolled movements of his arms and legs. He can’t hold a pencil. He still attends high school as a student with special needs. He sits and

listens in class and can answer some yes or no questions, but not verbally. “I will cry every day of my life for the things he can’t do. He lost to ignorance,’’ Bennett said, adding that her son’s brain damage was entirely preventable. Bennett quit her job at the former University Medical Center, the same hospital where Ethan was treated when he drowned on June 2, 2009. Ethan spent 7 and a half months in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Tucson and in Phoenix, where the boy was treated at Barrow Neurological Institute and at Hacienda Healthcare. She said her son was not adequately supervised, with no one noticing he had slipped under the water. The lack of CPR exacerbated his injuries. The matter was settled in a lawsuit, but no amount of money can restore Ethan’s previous life. “I’m glad he’s alive, but to this day, I cry,’’ Bennett said. “For the rest of my life, I will never hear my son’s voice.” Lori Schmidt, a spokeswoman for the Scottsdale Fire Department and past president of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, said Bennett has devoted her life to Ethan and her care has helped improve his condition. “She has taken the care of Ethan upon herself and he has thrived because of her,’’ Schmidt said. She said families of non-fatal drowning victims typically suffer two tragic losses. “They grieve the death of the child the day he died. They grieve a day 10 years later when his body gives out,’’ Schmidt said. After experiencing the anguish and heartbreak of treating drowning victims, Sherman is doing everything he can to protect his son, Jaxson, 7 months, from suffering a similar fate. He has installed a fence around his pool at his Scottsdale home and is participating in swim classes with his son. “We went this morning,’’ he said. “It was incredible.’’

declined to defend the law. And the board last month separately repealed an existing rule that had required sex-ed classes to “promote honor and respect for monogamous, heterosexual marriage,’’ a provision also challenged in the federal court lawsuit and demanded by plaintiffs to drop their lawsuit. Hoffman, in defending herself Monday, also said that sex-ed classes operate on an “opt-in’’ basis, with parents having to give consent. “That is not changing,’’ she said. “It’s always the parents’ choice of whether or not their child participates.’’

Michael Clark, attorney for the Center for Arizona Policy, separately objected to another proposed change which would have allowed — but not required — schools to have co-ed sex-ed classes. Madeline Adelman, speaking for GLSEN, said those choices should be left to local school boards. The board could get some direction from the Republican-controlled Legislature this coming year on what changes, if any, to make. Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, vowed to propose a law that absolutely forbids sex education of any type before the fifth

grade; existing law allows — but does not require — schools to provide instruction on AIDS and HIV from kindergarten through Grade 12. And Allen, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, made it clear she’s not particularly pleased with what is being taught at all grade levels. “Schools should never be in competition with what parents are trying to teach at home and how they are directing their children,’’ she said. Allen also took a broader swipe at public education, saying it is moving away from instruction and instead to “social engineering’’ of children.


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Around Chandler Nozomi Dog Park to close for 5 weeks for maintenance

Nozomi Dog Park will close from July 8 to Aug. 20 for general maintenance and turf re-establishment. Crews will be aerating, top-dressing, fertilizing and re-seeding bare turf areas. Irrigation repairs and landscape maintenance will also be performed, the city said in a release. Dog owners can use Paseo Vista Dog Park, 3850 S. McQueen Road every day except Thursday; Shawnee Dog Park, 1400 W. Mesquite St. except Tuesdays; and Snedigar Dog Park, 4500 S. Basha Road except Wednesdays. Information: 480-782-2752.

Chandler woman wins ADOT sign alert contest

After tallying more than 5,000 votes for the 15 safety message finalists, Mitzie Warner of Chandler was one of two winners for submitting a message that says: “Drive like the person your dog thinks you are.” Her message flashed on LED overhangs on state freeways recently. “These messages are wonderful and because the public invested their time into voting for their favorites, hopefully they carry a little more meaning and driver’s will take the messages to heart when they see them this weekend over Arizona’s highways,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “Even as a cat owner, I can appreciate the sentiment of wanting to live up to being the people our pets believe us to be.”

Warner said she “probably was overthinking it” before coming up with a winning message. “Dogs see the best in us,” Warner said. “If we all drove like the people they believe us to be — a little nicer, a little more courtesy — it’d be much better.”

New docent-led tours offered at Chandler Museum

The Chandler Museum will begin offering docent-led tours three days a week starting Sunday, July 7. The hour-long tours will include multiple stops around the campus of the Chandler Museum, including the new building and the historic living room in the adjacent McCullough-Price House. Docents will be available at the conclusion of each tour to provide additional insights to current exhibitions. “These tours are a great chance to learn about the architectural and artistic components of the campus,” said Tiffani Egnor, curator of education. “Our docents have gone through extensive training, so they are well versed in the content of the museum.” “It’s a vibrant architectural space with a contemporary design,” said new docent Joan Clark, who also guides tours at Taliesin West in Scottsdale. “It really has evolved into a cultural destination, where guests can learn about people, places and events that make Chandler an outstanding city.” Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. No registration or fee is required for tours and participants should meet at the front desk of the main

Museum building. Groups may request a docent-led tour by calling the Chandler Museum at 480-782-2717.

$40M Ocotillo community opens new amenities

Arista at Ocotillo, a luxury mid-rise apartment community developed by Gilbane Inc. in Chandler, recently opened its latest amenities to its residents. “The Yard” features bocce ball, corn hole, an outdoor fireplace, fountain, gas grills, TVs and a dog park. The $40 million community is part-owned by P.B. Bell, a specialist in multifamily housing development, management and acquisitions. Located at 3200 S. Dobson Road, Arista offers 211 luxury apartment homes and more than 20 floor plans ranging from 538 to 1683 square feet for residents to choose from. Each apartment is smart home life ready, equipped with smart light switches and smart thermostats provided by Cox, a contemporary kitchen layout with white quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, an open concept living area, wood style flooring throughout, walk-in showers and more. Information: aristaocotillo.com.

Western State Bank promotes Deanna Painter

Deanna Painter was recently promoted to vice president/cash management officer at Western State Bank in Chandler.

She serves as the primary contact for cash management services in Arizona and provides product support to Western’s other locations. Painter joined Western in 2009 as a personal banking officer/customer service representative supervisor. She began her role as cash management officer in early 2014. Painter attended Coconino Community College in Page and is involved with the Chandler Service Club. Western State Bank is a 117-year-old employee-owned, community bank with assets totaling over $1 billion.

Bell Bank promotes 2 employees at Chandler office

Bell Bank has announced two promotions at its Chandler office. Denise Holm has been promoted to VP/branch manager at Bell Bank, 1850 E. Northrop Blvd. In her new position, Holm will assist new and existing customers with personal and business checking and savings accounts, as well as loan products. She will perform all branch management duties of supervising, scheduling, reporting, auditing and compliance. She has been in the banking industry for more than 30 years. She worked for 18 years at Alerus Financial, joining Bell Bank in 2007. She previously held positions in the cash management division. Holm lives in Gilbert with her husband, Jeff. They have three children and grandchildren. See

AROUND on page 20


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from page 18

Aaron Cooper has been hired as VP/ commercial lender. He will provide financing for professional real estate investors and developers that are either acquiring or refinancing existing properties or need construction financing for new ground-up projects. Cooper received his MBA with a concentration in finance from Western International University and has over 15 years of experience in commercial banking. Cooper lives in North Scottsdale with his wife, Jill, and their two sons. Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota, Bell Bank is one of the nation’s largest independently owned banks.

Chandler youth earns Boeing scholarship to Embry Riddle

Brennan Acevedo of Chandler was named among the first 22 Boeing scholarship recipients attending Embry Riddle University this fall. He was selected based on academic achievements as well as demonstrated financial need. Each scholarship ranges from $5,000 to $7,500, and will be awarded annually for two years. The Boeing scholarships were established to help students interested in pursuing degrees in aviation science, aircraft maintenance and other fields at Embry Riddle, an aviation and aerospace institution.

‘Stuff the Bus’ at Chandler mall Fulton Homes and KEZ FM99 have kicked

off their annual “Stuff the Bus” effort to collect school supplies through July 14 at Chandler Fashion Center. The campaign will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley, specifically the Compadre Branch in Chandler. At the end of the campaign thousands of backpacks and tons of supplies will be handed out at a July event at Compadre. A full-sized school bus will be parked inside the Macy’s Courtyard with painted paper handprints and the name of each child in need. Those handprints contain a list of items each child requires for a successful school year. Supporters can donate to a specific child or make a general contribution of requested items, such as pencils, pens, notebooks, backpacks, school uniforms and shoes. Shoppers can also return the handprint with school supplies to the mall’s guest services area.

Veteran’s Day Desert Classic golf tournament scheduled

Scratch Golf Events plans a four-day golf tourney to benefit veteran’s charities at Whirlwind Golf Club Nov. 8-11. The tournament will benefit local and national veteran’s charities. Fold’s of Honor will be the main national recipient with numerous local veterans charities sharing in the donations from this tournament. The goal for this event is to raise $1 million dollars for Veteran’s charities. The event will be a series of four separate tournaments on Veteran’s Day Weekend. Each day will feature a unique

tournament and format. Each day will also feature a $1 million shootout contest. Also appearing will be Dan “Smackintosh” McIntosh, a seventime long drive tour championship contestant who will show off his skills while allowing teams the opportunity to use one of his long drives on a par 5. Information: 480-532-0858 or Rbrown@scratchgolfevents.com

Farmboy Market slates 'meet with producers' event

Farmboy Market, Meats and Sandwiches on Queen Creek Road in Chandler will hold a “Meet the Producers” event 5:30-7 p.m. July 18, featuring a casual reception and wine tasting with local purveyors including Kim and Phil Asmundson, owners of Deep Sky Vineyard, and Wendell Crow of Crow’s Dairy. Guests can enjoy sips of these Arizona wines as well as samplings of chevre and other goat cheeses from Crow’s Dairy along with plates of local cheeses, meats, grains and produce. Cost is $45 per person. Information: 480-361-2153 or farmboyaz.com.

Area Mark-Taylor complexes helping Children's Hospital

Several Mark-Taylor apartment communities in Chandler are collecting donations for Phoenix Children’s Hospital from now until Aug. 31. Donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and on Saturdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m. They will be used to make “love bags” for the pediatric cancer unit at Phoenix

Children’s Hospital. This is in conjunction with a nonprofit, wearelovesociety.com, which helps parents and children in tough situations. Mark-Taylor will be hosting a love event for children with cancer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in September. Specific items are sought at each complex: Stone Oaks, 2450 W. Pecos Road, organic lip balm/Chapstick; San Valencia, 11450 W. Germann Road, kids activity books; Waterside at Ocotillo, 4800 S. Alma School Road, card games; San Hacienda, 1600 N. Arizona Ave., loofahs;

Intel employee volunteers generate $1.2M in grants

Intel employee and retiree volunteer hours generated $1.2 million in grants from the Intel Foundation for Arizona schools and nonprofits. In 2018, more than 6,200 volunteered a record 159,000 hours with schools and nonprofit organizations based in Arizona. The foundation provides a $10 match for every employee or retiree volunteer hour recorded with a qualifying nonprofit. “The support that Intel employees and retirees provide at Chandler Unified schools is critical to our ability to educate, engage, and challenge our community’s future leaders,” said Diane Hale, principal at Tarwater Elementary. Intel Arizona Community Engagement Manager Theresa Niemeyer said, “We have some of the most generous people working here at Intel in Arizona. When we invest our time and our talent with local organizations, we make a tremendous difference all across the state of Arizona.”



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Son’s disorder inspires holistic salon business BY COLLEEN SPARKS Contributor

A longtime hairstylist says her son’s genetic disorder prompted her to learn more about healthy beauty products and open her own salon. Stephanie Schmidt and husband Kevin opened Verde Salon, a non-toxic business that uses holistic hair, skin, nails and body products, at 1900 W. Germann Road in 2011 and another location at 950 E. Riggs Road in 2017. Their son, Christian, 19, has hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, a disorder that “means he has minimal sweat glands,” Stephanie said. “He’s really the impetus for Verde,” she said. “I wanted to move our world into a more organic lifestyle. The largest organ of his body isn’t expelling any toxins. I knew I was going to be more careful with him. We’ve really tried to live in a non-toxic environment.” A hairstylist since 1991, Stephanie said her son is okay when the weather is cool but when it is hot outside, she and her family members take precautions to keep him cool. “In the summer he lives in the cool,” she said. “We autostart our cars. We can’t park long distances out and walk. We have to emulate sweating. We’ve got cooling vests. He gets hot. He gets fatigued very quickly. We don’t just walk outside and do things casually. We have to prep and

Kevin and Stephanie Schmidt are the owners of Verde Salon, which has locations at 1900 W. Germann Road and 950 E. Riggs Road in Chandler. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

think in advance. We always have water on board.” While Christian could not play any outdoor sports due to his disorder, he did not have to miss much school. He graduated from Tri-City Christian Academy and is starting classes at Grand Canyon University in the fall. The family had an “amazing pediatrician” to help them while they were living in Texas when Christian started showing symptoms

of the disorder when he was about 2, Stephanie said. In 2006, inspired by creating a healthy environment for her son, family and clients, Stephanie ordered an organic line of hair color called Organic Colour Systems to use on her customers. She was working by herself, renting space in a Gilbert salon. The response from her clients was good and doctors, who heard about the organic color

treatments, also liked it. The doctors started referring cancer patients and anyone dealing with hair loss, thyroid issues and gluten allergies to her. “Our homeopathic doctor began sending his patients to me,” Stephanie said. “Pretty soon I just got really busy with cancer patients and people suffering from hair loss. I decided I needed to do something on a larger scale.” She was working with hair stylist Marianne Altieri at the time and Altieri had her own issues. When she was using other hair products on clients, Altieri would break out in hives on her head. Since using the healthier products, Altieri has been doing well and not having reactions to beauty treatments, Stephanie said. Altieri now works for Stephanie at the Germann location of Verde Salon, as do hair stylists Brittany Piracci and Jenna Reichwein, who have been at Verde since it opened there in 2011. When she opened her salon, not many hairstylists were willing to use organic products, Stephanie said. “It was unusual that these stylists would be willing to jump on board when holistic, green, organic was not so common,” she said. “They were really in there with me, helping to build this and get the word out.” Verde Salon carries Oway, an organic, See

VERDE SALON on page 26

Upscale senior complex coming to Ocotillo BY KAYLA RUTLEDGE Staff Writer

Snowbirds flock from around the country to enjoy Arizona’s cooler months, but many developers are projecting a future influx of senior citizens who will stay here beyond the winter season. With an eye toward that influx — and down-sizing baby boomers who already are here, Cadence Living recently purchased land on the corner of Queen Creek Road and Arizona Avenue for a $46-million upscale senior apartment complex. Cadence at Ocotillo will offer 191 new studio, one- and two-bedroom upscale apartments “for seniors seeking an active, healthy and social lifestyle,” said company spokeswoman Patty Johnson. The 206,283-square-foot community will boast a Spanish-influenced design and offer independent living, assisted living and memory care options. Upscale amenities will include restaurant-style and bistro dining, walking paths, raised garden beds, theater, art studio, swimming pool and fitness center. “We saw a unique opportunity to fill a gap in the market by offering seniors a lifestyle-focused community that delivers the kind of highly desirable living options being sought by individuals and couples today,” said Eric Gruber, principal at Cadence Living. “Our culture of wellness,

The 206,000-square-foot Cadence at Ocotillo will offer options for independent and assisted living as well as memory care with 191 studio and one- and two-bedroom units when it opens spring of 2021. (Cadence Living)

engagement and fun is something we’re very proud to be introducing in Chandler.” The number of Arizonans aged 65 and older is expected to increase 174 percent from 883,014 in 2010 to 2,422,186 in 2050. Regan Smith, a long-term care ombudsman program director for the Area Agency on Aging, said the burst in

the state’s senior population has much to do with the baby boomer generation aging out. “With the baby boomer population aging, we have communities that are trying to meet those potential needs,” said Smith.  Plus, Smith suggested developers

“could be in preparation for a potential influx of population coming to Arizona. Plenty of people want to retire here.” Developers are projecting seniors don’t want run-of-the-mill living quarters. “Luxury facilities are everywhere, and See

CADENCE on page 24



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if you look at how many that have built in the East Valley in the last couple of years, it’s amazing. They must feel they are going to be able to have residents that can afford those fees,” said Smith. Rates at Cadence at Ocotillo have not yet been set. However, at Cadence’s facility in Mesa rooms range from just

We saw a unique “ opportunity to fill a gap in the market by offering seniors a lifestyle-focused community that delivers the kind of highly desirable living options being sought by individuals and couples today.

– Eric Gruber over $1,000 to about $7,000 per month, depending on necessary space and level of care required. Renters can choose between furnished and unfurnished apartments. If residents opt for a furnished apartment, Johnson said they will have the ability to choose from several styles “to

no reason to leave. Atop of the various places to go onsite, a calendar filled to the brim with intellectual, artistic and entertainment-based programming seniors won’t run short on things to do. Cadence at Ocotillo will also offer red carpet concierge services, which Johnson said brings luxury to an everyday lifestyle. “Those are just special concierge services for residents, so if someone wanted to plan some sort of special outing we have people that can assist them in doing that. It’s customized concierge services for the residents. Food coming up to their apartment — all of the things that you would expect from high level hospitality facilities,” said Johnson. Construction will be underway by fall and completion is set for spring 2021. Cadence does not anticipate any lane restrictions on Arizona Avenue during construction. Partners on this project include Chandler-based Whitneybell Perry as the architect, and locally based Drive Development Partners as the construction manager. Opportunities for room rentals Spanish influences will be reflected in the design of Cadence at Ocotillo when it opens in a couple of years as the influx of seniors and aging of baby boomers continue. (Cadence Living) will be available closer to the facility’s opening. “[This year] has been an exciting ensure their space reflects who they are.” and a 24-hour emergency line. The facility year for us and for Arizona’s senior Johnson added residents will be able to has medical services but is not a skilled community,” said Rob Leinbach, principal bring some personal belongings to further nursing facility. at Cadence Living. “It’s exciting...to see our in making the place their own. With a casual bistro, walking paths, vision for offering seniors a chance to live Each apartment also comes with a full raised garden beds, theater, art studio, their best lives becoming a reality here in kitchen, washer and dryer, walk-in shower swimming pool and fitness center, there is Arizona.”

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Chandler hospital offering home visits BY COLLEEN SPARKS Contributor

Some people who have asthma, pneumonia, dehydration and other pressing medical conditions will be able to get treatment and check-ups at home through a new program Chandler Regional Medical Center is offering. CommonSpirit Health announced recently it is introducing the new hospitallevel home care operation, Home Recovery Care, which will allow many patients to avoid repeat visits to the hospital. The Catholic health care nonprofit was created through the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health, and CommonSpirit Health hopes to expand its service throughout all of Dignity’s hospitals. This type of hospital-at-home model has been in existence for a long time but it has not seen widespread use. Home Recovery Care’s complex outpatient care management provides better health outcomes, boosts patients’ satisfaction and reduces readmission rates to hospitals, among other benefits, according to a news release. When a patient comes to the emergency room at Chandler Regional Medical Center, after being evaluated at the hospital he or she can get visits as needed from a nurse in their home and regular physician check-ups through video visits over the course of 30 days. Dr. Yagnesh Patel, vice-president of medical affairs for Dignity Health – East Valley, and a longtime internal medicine

Any of us who have ever had to spend time in a “ hospital as a patient, it’s noisy, there’s a lot going on, It’s not familiar. At least if you’re home you can tolerate a lot more. I think it’s amazingly wonderful.

- Judith Karshmer specialist, said it is an “interesting program” with various benefits. “A lot of patients desire to be treated at home rather than a hospital,” Patel said. “Being in a hospital is stressful to a lot of people. There is a convenience factor at home.

‘All the anecdotal statements we’ve heard from other patients (say) patients do recover quicker because they are at home. They feel much more safe and secure in their own environment other than being out of the house.” Patel noted “all sorts of stuff that happens

in a hospital that cannot happen at home, cross contamination from other patients.” “We try to prevent it; there’s still a risk,” he added. The program will likely relieve some of the “constraints” at Chandler Regional Hospital, where there is high patient volume at times, he added. People with certain conditions will be able to take advantage of the Home Recovery Care program but they are not obligated to use it. The goal is to later expand it to patients who go to Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Nurses will visit patients at their homes once a day or once every few days at their homes and be on call to address any issues. Home Recovery Care will contract with nurses at a home health company to offer the services, Patel said. “When we send a nurse (to a) home, that nurse has to be trained to a certain degree to answer questions, to be able to monitor the recovery of the patient, changes in therapy,” he said. Patel said some conditions this new service will be ideal to handle are skin and soft tissue infections, as well as pneumonia, congestive heart failures and exacerbations of asthma. The diagnostic work of figuring out what is wrong with a patient will first have to be done in the hospital. Judith Karshmer, dean of the Edson See

HOSPITAL on page 27

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Left: Hair stylist Emily Ward, who has been with the salon for six years, works on client Samantha Babcock . Right: Stephanie Schmidt, owner of Verde Salon, works on client Lucinda Frizzell of Chandler. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

amazing,” Clark said. “I’ve only seen Stephanie (for services); she’s an amazing person. I just love how they really care about what they’re using on their clients and the product that they’re using. If you go to other salons they’re usually using whatever products (are) the latest and

The greatest comment that I get, (is) people sitting “ under a dryer and tell me, ‘my eyes aren’t burning and it doesn’t itch. Clients come to us with things they’re looking for. They know our products are beautiful.

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Stephanie is thrilled to be running her salons. “I love the business,” she said. “I can’t imagine being at a desk all day. We play Christian radio…we laugh a lot. I love the women I work with and I love what I do. We just kept doing what we do. Now we have this incredible, loyal following. You have beautiful results.” She said while her son, Christian, does not talk much about it, she knows he is proud of her for opening successful salons. Stephanie and her husband’s daughter, Rebecca Schmidt, 21, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Grand Canyon University next year and she will become a full-time bookkeeper for both Verde Salon locations. “It’s really a family affair,” Stephanie said. “Ultimately it comes down to the golden rule. Christian….he was my blessing. God is using him to help others and he sees that. That has been maturing for him as well.” Information: verdesalonaz.com

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Don’t be like Aretha Franlin: protect your estate now BY JAMES PHELPS Guest Writer

When Aretha Franklin died in August of 2018, she left behind an estate valued around $80 million. At the time of her death from pancreatic cancer, no will

was found. Probate Court has been making big news lately. In the past three years there have been two high profile cases involving celebrities who died and left enormous estates without wills or trusts in place to designate how their assets were to be distributed. There is also a third case in the news involving a rock star who did have a trust when he died, but whose named


from page 25

College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University, loves the idea of Home Recovery Care. She is a longtime psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. “In a word it’s brilliant,” Karshmer said. “It’s exactly where health care needs to be moving. You can heal better at home. You heal better with your friends, your family, your loved ones.” She said the home health care also means “less wear and tear” on the hospitals and patients will be exposed less often to “dangerous things in the hospital.” “This is where I think health care is

sole trustee is being sued by two other inheritors because of ambiguous language in the trust. The stakes are high in these three cases, and they illustrate the need for a solid, clear, bulletproof estate plan. Because Aretha died intestate, her property and estate went to probate in Michigan. Aretha had four sons who have since filed a petition with the court as interested parties in the estate. In Michigan, the court decides the validity of claims and divides the estate equally among the heirs; in this case, the four sons. Another interested party is Ms. Franklin’s ex-husband/manager, whom Aretha had fired a number of years prior for mismanagement. He is now suing for royalties on some of her recordings that were done while he was her manager. To make matters more interesting,

less than two weeks ago, on May 20, 2019, three handwritten wills were found as some of her belongings were being moved into storage. Two of the wills were from 2010 and one was dated March, 2014. With such a broad sweep of valuable assets, the court will need to hire industry professionals to determine the true value of the estate. Unique items such as gold records, Grammy awards, stage clothing, etc., will need to be valued alongside memorabilia, houses and vehicles. Needless to say, there will be many expensive lawyers, consultants and accountants who will be paid from the estate. The final settlement could take years, which is not good news for the heirs. It’s an especially difficult challenge for Aretha’s son Edward, who is a person with special needs.

going,” Karshmer said. “In some ways much of this was originally motivated by when a patient gets hospitalized and discharged, the changes in reimbursement policies. “If a patient is readmitted within 30 days (to the hospital), that will be a payment reduction (from a health insurance company) to the hospital. It’s a game-changer for health care and I think it’s going to be the kind of thing that people are going to expect.” Patients will feel more comfortable being ill in their own homes, she added. “Any of us who have ever had to spend time in a hospital as a patient, it’s noisy, there’s a lot going on,” Karshmer said.

“It’s not familiar. At least if you’re home you can tolerate a lot more. I think it’s amazingly wonderful.” She predicted this type of home health care program will expand to more hospitals. “It’s gonna take off,” Karshmer said. “We are going to see more and more of this. Hospitals are going to love the fact that they’re going to be able to have a connection with their patients.” She said there will be some challenges to it and organizers need to carefully plan what types of conditions they will treat at home. “These are the kinds of innovative

Much of this drama could have been avoided with a fully funded trust. It is likely that Aretha knew she was dying. Why did she procrastinate in drawing up a professional estate plan? Was it distrust, fear or denial? We will never know the answer to that. But it does serve as a lesson to those who deny the eventuality of death. No matter how large or modest your estate, a trust is an established means for you to decide beforehand what happens to you and your estate, should you become incapacitated. And with the right trust, you — not a probate court — decide what happens to your belongings when you die. It’s protection for you and a lifeline for your heirs. James Phelps is managing partner of Phelps Law. Information: PhelpsLaw.com. approaches to the future of health care that we at Edson College really support,” Karshmer said. “It’s about the patient and it’s not about the provider.” For now, Humana health insurance is the only health insurance company participating in the program, helping to cover some of patients’ costs through the service out of Chandler Regional Medical Center. However, Chandler Regional Medical Center is negotiating with other health insurance companies and Medicare to try to determine payment mechanisms, Patel said. “It’s innovative,” he said. “It is definitely the way of the future.” Information: contessahealth.com


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Unrealistic baby boomers face a retirement crisis BY HAROLD WONG Guest Writer

A recent study “Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2019,” released last month by the Insured Retirement Institute study looked at baby boomers, born between 1946-64. Nearly half are already retired. Expectations. Boomers have unrealistic expectations of their needed retirement income. The average amount spent by Americans 65-74 is $55,000 per year and yet 60-70 percent of boomers say they will need less. Annual retirement needed. The study showed those who said they needed less than $35,000 accounted for 44 percent of boomers in this study; Those who said they needed $35,000-$55,000 comprised 26 percent; $55,000-$75,000, 16 percent; and those who said they needed more than $75,000 represented 14 percent. This means 60-70 percent of boomers think can live on less income in retirement

and that’s unrealistic. Boomers do not realize that there are three phases of retirement: the Go-Go Years; the Slow-Go Years; and the No-Go Years. When one first retires, that’s the time they want to do their Bucket List items such as adventure/foreign travel, hiking the Grand Canyon or pursuing expensive hobbies. One’s spending can easily exceed the level spent during one’s working years. If one has three kids (and grandkids) living far away, just visiting each twice a year is six trips a year. Boomers have been told they only need to spend 70 percent of their working year income, but that’s simply not true for most boomers that I’ve met. You now have unlimited time, but do you have enough money? The three-legged retirement stool. This does not exist for most boomers. The three traditional “legs” of the retirement “stool” consist of Social Security, an employer pension, and personal savings. In 2017, retired workers received an average $1,404 in monthly Social Security

benefits and spouses $732. For a married couple, this is $2,136 per month, or $25,632 per year. Only 23 percent of boomers age 56-61 expect to receive income from a private company pension. That means that the overwhelming majority of boomers only have two “legs”: Social Security and income from their private savings. Retirement savings. The savings levels for this study’s group of individuals is much higher than other studies that claim zero retirement savings for 25-45 percent of the population. The results of the study showed the percentages of those with the following savings: Less than $100,000, 28 percent; $100,000-$250,000, 23 percent; $250,000$500,000, 15 percent; $500,000 or more 20 percent; and 14 percent didn’t know. Savings of $500,000 may seem impressive, but it won’t generate much income today. Ever since the 2008 financial meltdown, interest rates have been the lowest in history. You can expect to earn a maximum 2-2.5 percent from a bank or 10-year treasury bond.

The average dividend yield has been only 1.98 percent for the first 19 years of this century. Even if you saved $500,000, it will only yield about $10,000/year. When one adds it to an average $25,632 of SS benefits for a married couple with no pension, their total retirement income is $35,632. Since the average couple age 65-74 spends $55,000 a year, not many can handle a 35 percent drop in income, or about $20,000/year. What this means. By the time you’re an older boomer, you’ve either saved a lot or not. Most won’t have an employer pension. This means you should work until at least 70 (which 31 percent plan to). For a couple waiting until 70 to take their SS benefits (when it will be the maximum), this can be $10,000-20,000 more in Social Security retirement income. -Harold Wong earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of California/Berkeley and has appeared on over 400 TV/radio programs. Reach him at Harold_wong@hotmail.com.

Chandler Chamber discusses workplace diversity BY CASEY FLANAGAN Contributor

Business leaders and city officials in Chandler are working together to increase workplace diversity by raising awareness of unconscious bias and setting an example of inclusion for the next generation of workers. Tyler Conaway, a member of Paypal’s risk management team, spoke at a round-table discussion held by Chandler’s Chamber of Commerce last week, teaching local business owners how to spot their own biases in the hiring process and elsewhere. “The easiest way to have bias and prejudice is to not recognize when you have it,” he told them. Conaway is also a leader within Paypal Pride, the online company’s LGBTQ affinity group. He said the group’s goal is to “take the values we have; respect for each other, valuing uniqueness, really trying to create that all-inclusive environment,” and “take it outside of our walls.”

He said Paypal Pride works with other organizations worldwide that share the same vision; and that the Chandler Chamber was one of those. Niki Tapia, a community resources and diversity supervisor for the City of Chandler, said she hopes to work in association with the Chandler Chamber on a campaign welcoming people from all backgrounds to work in the city. Tapia said this isn’t necessarily a new idea, and many chambers already advertise their cities as “open for everyone.” Specifically, she said, Scottsdale already has a campaign in place titled “Scottsdale for All.” Tapia also shared her plans to work with elementary and middle schools in Chandler to show students representations of different backgrounds within career paths. She said kids seeing people similar to them in successful positions can be a great motivator. “Girls seeing women like them, maybe

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who live in the city, in positions of an engineer, a lawyer or a CEO, themselves,” she explained. “Seeing that can happen for them to help motivate them, I want to work on a program like that.” The Kyrene School District is taking similar steps to introduce kids to the concept of diversity, according to Joelle Green, who works in communications and marketing for the school district. Green noted that Kyrene’s superintendent council has plans to discuss “equity, inclusion and biases,” with students in the coming school year. Green said she plans to suggest exercises she learned at the Chamber event for the superintendent council to show students. Green said the school plans to partner with the consulting company Corwin to train employees on diversity as well, including “everybody, all the way from our building managers, to teachers, transportation folks, all that.” Principals and administrators will start




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training in July and the rest of the staff in August. The Chandler Chamber of Commerce has held round-table discussions involving diversity and inclusion multiple times over each year since in 2017, according to Chamber President/CEO Terri Kimble, who added that over 100 different businesses will attend the diversity events over a year. A study conducted for Mckinsey and Company’s quarterly magazine found companies with more diverse executive boards are significantly more successful than those with less diversity. After researching 180 publicly traded companies in the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K., the study said companies in the top quarter of executive team diversity experience 53 percent more returns on equity overall than those on the bottom quarter. It also said the top quarter companies realize 14 percent larger profit margins before interest and taxes overall than those that have the least diverse management.

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SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019


STEM camps occupy kids’ minds in summer

July 2019


What’s inside Page 2, 3 Santan Family Fun Calendar

Children and teens can stay cool indoors while they build robots, design video games, make movies, create instruments and write code in unusual classes and day camps in Chandler this summer. Various businesses offer activities focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects designed to help kids stay fresh academically and explore fun lessons that could someday help them in careers. All Around Math Learning Center offers many STEM-focused summer day camps for children ages 8 to 14 this month at Gravity Extreme Zone Trampoline and Adventure Park at 190 S. Kyrene Road, No. 5 in Chandler. “Everything has a STEM focus,” Kate Rozsa, a math professor and owner of All Around Math Learning Center, said. “I think that’s kind of the future with all the technology. They need to make connections, apply math; apply their engineering skills. The teachers are amazing. We’ve been doing this a number of years.” One of the popular summer day camps at All Around Math Learning Center is the My First Robotics camp for youths ages 6 to 8. It gives little ones an introduction to robotics using the Lego WeDo construction sets from 9 a.m. to noon July 8-12. Another popular day camp at All Around Math Learning Center is My First STEM camp, also for 6 to 8-yearolds, from 9 a.m. to noon July 8-12. The customized curriculum has been designed to help students learn from the attractions in the Gravity Extreme Zone Trampoline and Adventure Park. For example, students make robots and then set them up to move on a

Steven Parker, an instructor, works with children in one of the day camps focused on STEM subjects at All Around Math Learning Center at Gravity Extreme Zone Trampoline and Adventure Park at 190 S. Kyrene Road, No. 5 in Chandler. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

balance beam. They explore physics, math, engineering and biology while doing bungee jumping, as well as jumping on trampolines, navigating zip lines and climbing rock walls. The children will learn about air resistance, friction, speed, acceleration, energy and human anatomy as they explore the equipment in the adventure park. Youngsters ages 6 to 8 can let their imaginations run wild in the My First Computer Game Design camp from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. July 8-12 and from 9 a.m. to noon July 15-19 at Gravity Extreme Zone. They will learn a simple visual computer language called Kodu to make, edit and play a computer game. The kids will create landscapes, move around different terrain, add characters and take other actions they can show off later to their parents. Campers are usually eager to reveal

race tracks they design and program and they will learn mathematical concepts including rotation, elevation and zooming. Children get an introduction to programming and designing a computer game in the camp. Older kids can also have fun tackling STEM subjects through All Around Math Learning Center’s summer camps. In one such popular camp, Game of Drones, youths ages 8-14, become drone engineers and pilots. They use construction skills to navigate drones through challenge courses and compete with other drones for the best challenge course designs, piloting ability and problem-solving skills. The next such camp is from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. July 8-12 at Gravity Extreme Zone in Chandler. “They do all kinds of engineering but See

STEM on page 30

Museum offers a good i.d.e.a. for family fun BY SRIANTHI PERERA Contributor

With summer around the corner and road trips beckoning families, the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa has just opened an exhibition to spur those plans. “Roadside USA,” running through Sept. 6, aims to stimulate young imaginations with artwork, information, fun activities and games featuring 10 states. The exhibit is based on the American tradition of the summer road trip. Before starting on the real journey, however, there’s the exhibition to indulge. A few minutes into opening day, groups of little boys and girls descended on the museum and settled themselves happily at the various stations with the confidence that comes from practice. “Who wants to come to my store?” piped a little girl looking around at a makeshift trading post colored a lovely lilac. The Sebold siblings, Calvin, 6, and Logan, 4, were already engrossed in a craft station. “We like to come here; it’s just much more relaxed, and they love it,” said their mom, Megan Sebold. “We stop at every art station, we do the map every time, they really do engage in it every time

As 3-year-old Kaylee Edwards found out, the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa offers a plethora of engaging activities. (Cheryl Haselhosrt/Special to SanTan Sun News)

we’re here.” The art is open-ended. Parents are encouraged to help, but not instruct the children in any way. “We want kids to use their imagination and really create from their heart versus follow instructions,” said museum spokeswoman Yvette Armendariz. “It’s supposed to help with problem solving, if you can think out of the box and not be told what to do.” The Sebolds have been museum members practically all their lives and visit each new exhibition about four times. Although it’s a temptation to escape –

quite literally – to a cool place, they also come for other reasons. The children’s museum is attractive because of its manageability, Sebold said. It’s easier for little feet to get around and less overwhelming than at the larger See

MUSEUM on page 32

July 2019


SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019













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from page 29

they also fly the drones,” Rozsa said. “They create the landing space and fly the drones and compete with drones. That’s a really fun one.” Youths 8 to 14 can also build robots in the Robotics I, II and III day camps from 9 a.m. to noon July 15-19 at Gravity Extreme Zone. Budding robot designers are placed in small groups according to their ages and abilities in Robotics I and they are taught about building and programming Lego Mindstorms robots that can follow sound commands, talk and lift objects, among other human-like capabilities. Students will learn the basics of programming robots once they’ve been created. In Robotics II, youths will build more advanced robots with the emphasis more on learning the programming language. These robots will be tested in challenge courses and troubleshooting skills will be integrated into the camp daily. Children and teens who have previously participated in All Around Math Learning’s Robotics Summer I Camp or taken part in

its After School Robot Club are eligible to take the Robotics II day camp. The Robotics III day camp is ideal for students who want to train for the FIRST LEGO League competition or those who want to join the All Around Math Learning Center’s third week of robotics. Participants design and build robots to adhere to competition requirements. This camp is where all the building, programming and designing skills reach an advanced level. Children and teens in the camp will engage in critical thinking skills and teamwork as they do challenging, hands-on activities. In all the summer day camps, All Around Math Learning Center is offering students have a chance to play and run around on the equipment in Gravity Extreme Zone when they take breaks from doing the computer and STEM activities. Typically about 8 to 12 students participate in each camp. Students can sign up for the day camps one week at a time or a month at a time or the whole summer. “Parents, they love it,” Rozsa said. For prices and more information on All Around Math Learning Center’s summer camps visit allaroundmath.com. Many of the campers return year after

year for the programs. All Around Math Learning Center is a full-service learning business that offers tutoring for youths and adults year-round. The business, which offers tutoring and other programs except for the summer caps at 7571 S. Willow Drive in Tempe, works with high school students preparing to take Advanced Placement (AP) tests, as well as students trying to get into Ivy League universities. Students are tutored mostly in math but also in English, science and other topics. Rozsa also works with gifted children and homeschooled students in the one-on-one tutoring. “We work with a lot of different learning styles and needs,” she said. All Around Math Learning Center also provides STEM classes including in robotics and computer design as part of the regular academic day and afterschool in various schools. Information: allaroundmath.com Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro also provides summer day camps with STEM activities in Chandler, Ahwatukee and other parts of the Valley. Upcoming camps in Chandler will take place July 8-12 and then July 15-19 and then July 22-26 at Vector Prep & Arts Academy

CALENDAR page 31

at 2020 N. Arizona Ave., No. 5. The “Juniors” camp for children ages 4 to 7 will focus on the theme “Musical Adventures with Scratch and Makey” in the mornings of July 8-12 at Vector Prep & Arts Academy. The morning session runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. With the musical adventures, children will make instruments and then play them using software they code, Lan Hoagland, co-owner of Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro said. She and her husband, Ron Hoagland, own the Valley franchise, part of a global operation that offers classes, camps and programs to help children explore engineering. The afternoon session for “Juniors” July 8-12 will take children on a journey through “Magic Beans: Fairy Tale” from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Children will build Lego creations following the theme of different fairytales including “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Youths ages 8 to 14 years old can sign up for the “Apprentice” camp at Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro July 8-12 at Vector Prep & Arts Academy. In the morning, the theme is “Creative See

STEM on page 31

SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019


from page 30

6, 13, 20, 27 Flashlight Tours, 7 p.m. Escape the heat and explore the desert at night. Follow the nocturnal Garden explorers down the many winding paths of the Desert Botanical Garden and try to find the animals that come to life in the dark. Also be on the lookout for plants that only bloom at night. Guests must bring their own flashlight. Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, free with general admission, 480-9411225, dbg.org. 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 ImprovMANIA, 7 p.m. Join ImprovMANIA on Fridays and Saturdays for family-friendly comedy shows. ImprovMANIA’s improv performances are fast paced, like the show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Prepare for a night of laughter in downtown Chandler. ImprovMANIA, 250 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler, $10, 480-699-4598, improvmania.net. 7 Phoenix Mercury, 3 p.m. Watch the Phoenix Mercury take on the Atlanta Dream at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, $11 to $150, 602-379-7878, talkingstickresortarena.com. 8 Monday Movie Matinee, 2 p.m. Stop by the library and watch a special screening of “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” Free popcorn will be available. Downtown Library Copper Room, 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org.

9, 16, 23, 30 Lapsit Babytime, 11:30 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. Read books, listen to music and interact with fun puppets at play time. All activities are designed for newborns to 18-month-old children. One parent for each child is recommended. Basha Library, 5990 S. Val Vista Drive, Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 9, 16, 23, 30 Lego Club, 4 p.m. Meet new friends and have fun building with Lego. Lego are supplied, imagination required. No registration required. Lego Club is a Vertex program, where Chandler Public Library intersects with STEAM and makerspace. Sunset Library Monsoon Room, 4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 9, 16, 23, 30 Family Storytime, 6:30 p.m. Read books, sing songs and play with puppets at Family Storytime. This week, families will build forts, select books and read. Materials to build the forts will be provided. Sunset Library Monsoon Room, 4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler, free. 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 9, 16, 23, 30 STEAM Club, 4 to 5 p.m. Come to the Chandler Library STEAM Club and have fun every Tuesday with science, technology, engineering, art and math. Win prizes just for showing up. Ages 6-11. STEAM Club is a Vertex program, where Chandler Public Library intersects with STEAM and makerspace. Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org.

8, 15, 22, 29 Read & Play Group, 11:30 to 11:55 a.m. Network with other parents while children read and play games. Different child development experts may visit on certain days. Hamilton Library, 3700 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org.

10, 17, 24, 31 Ready, Set, Preschool!, 9:15 and 11 a.m. Preschool-age children prepare for kindergarten through singing and activities. This program requires active participation by both the child and the caregiver to be able to learn how to apply these skills at home. Hamilton Library, 3700 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org.

9, 16, 23, 30 Toddlertime, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Toddlertime features singing and puppets to engage the children. Sunset Library Monsoon Room, 4930 W. Ray Road, Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org.

10, 17, 24, 31 Lapsit Babytime, 10 and 11 a.m. Read books, listen to music and interact with fun puppets at play time. All activities are designed for newborns to 18-month-old children. One parent for each child is recommended.


from page 30

Storytelling through Game Design,” where students will design video games using blocks to create their own characters. They will take pictures and impose them into their video games and then play the games. In the afternoon session July 8-12, the “Apprentice” youths will take part in the “LEGO EV3 Robotics: Olympiad” program, where they will build robots from scratch. Students will work on different teams and program them to move and complete different challenges in the afternoon camp. In the July 15-19 Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro camp at Vector Prep & Arts Academy, the topic for the morning session for “Juniors” ages 4 to 7 is “Jr. Scratch Coding: Space Pioneers” and the afternoon theme will be “LEGO Robotics: StarCAMP.” The children will do introductory, Scratch coding, which is a block-based visual programming language and online community geared mostly towards children. They will make characters and atmospheres and program them to do certain things in the morning. In the afternoon session, the “Juniors” will explore an outer space motif by making

“satellites” and other “large rovers” using LEGO robotics in these mechanical engineering lessons, Lan said. The “Apprentice” students ages 8 to 14 will explore “Drones: Hovercraft & Aviation” in the morning and “Cinematography: What’s News With You” in the afternoon camp July 15-19 at Vector Prep & Arts Academy. In the morning, the campers will build drones and program them to move through various obstacles and challenges, learning safety and flight operation, as well as coding. In the afternoon they will make movies, with the theme of “news,” including broadcasting, interviews and productions. They could pretend to be meteorologists and afterwards will share their movies. Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro will also have summer day camp at Vector Prep & Arts Academy July 22-26. The morning theme for the “Juniors” is “Famous Architecture with Virtual Reality” and in the afternoon that group will do a “Build Your Own Bot with Cubelets” curriculum. Children will use bricks to build smaller versions of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame or other famous structures and then use Virtual Reality goggles to “visit” monuments visually. The students in the afternoon will create their own code and build bots in

Downtown Library Copper Room North, 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 11, 18, 25 Toddlertime, 9:15 and 9:45 a.m. Toddlertime features singing and puppets to engage the children. Basha Library, 5990 S. Val Vista Drive, Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 11, 18, 25 Ready, Set, Preschool!, 10:15 to 11 a.m. Children ages 3 to 5 prepare for kindergarten through songs and activities. Basha Library, 5990 S. Val Vista Drive, Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 11, 18, 25 Toddlertime, 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. Songs and puppets engage toddlers during this 30-minute event. Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 “The Addams Family,” times vary. Take a vacation with the most horrific family around. In this installment, watch daughter Wednesday introduce a man to the rest of her family — and the crazy dinner that ensues. Herberger Theater, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, $44 to $73, 602-252-8497, herbergertheater.org. 13 Winter in July, 7 a.m. Escape the summer heat and celebrate winter at the Phoenix Zoo. There will be almost 35 tons of snow to play in along with water play zones and a toddler snow pile for the little ones. Every hour, watch out for a snowy “blizzard” Firefighters from the Phoenix Fire Department will be there to teach about water safety and to give tours of the fire truck. Guests can also watch animals eat icy treats made special for the event. Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix, included with zoo admission, 602-286-3800, phoenixzoo.org. 17 Phoenix Mercury, 12:30 p.m. Watch the Phoenix Mercury take on the Dallas Wings at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, $9 to $150, 602-379-7878, talkingstickresortarena.com.

modular robotics lessons. They will be able to make them spin and move forward and backward. Students ages 8 to 14 in the “Apprentice” program can participate in the “Against the Elements: Survivor Camp” in the morning and “Virtual Reality Game Design” in the afternoon July 22-26 in the Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro day camps at Vector Prep & Arts Academy. In the survivor camp, kids will be tasked with tying knots, doing scavenger hunts and engaging in water purification, among other activities they would have to do to survive. The youths in the “Apprentice” level of the day camp will create and program their own Virtual Reality games and then get transported through their game in 3-D while wearing VR goggles. The Engineering for Kids of Phoenix Metro has held the summer camps for six years but this is the first year it is being offered at Vector Prep. “It definitely has a lot of space and a lot of potential,” Lan said. She said she expects about 3,500 children will participate in all the company’s summer day camps. “They definitely love our camp because they get to do things they don’t get to do at a traditional school,” Lan said. “It definitely enhances their learning and gets them prepared when they do come back from summer to get more engaged.”


18, 19, 20, 21 Diamondbacks Game, times vary. Watch the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field. Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $15 to $120. 480-3395000, mlb.com/dbacks. 20 Arduino Meet Up Group, 2 p.m. Learn about microcontroller technology from people wellversed in Arduino, a computing platform. This event is perfect for all ages to participate in the monthly CREATEduino workshop. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, free, 602-716-2000, azscience.org. 21 First Friday Make ‘N Take at CREATE, 5:30 p.m. Kids can stop by the Arizona Science Center during First Friday and make decorative wall art. Painting supplies will be available for children to create a masterpiece. Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix, $5, 602-716-2000, azscience.org. 22, 23, 24 Diamondbacks Game, times vary. Watch the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the Baltimore Orioles at Chase Field. Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix. $15 to $120. 480-3395000, mlb.com/dbacks. 23 Phoenix Mercury, 7 p.m. Watch the Phoenix Mercury take on the Indiana Fever at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, $11 to $150, 602-379-7878, talkingstickresortarena.com. 25 Lego Club, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Meet new friends and have fun building with Lego. Lego are supplied, imagination required. No registration needed. Lego Club is a Vertex program, where Chandler Public Library intersects with STEAM and makerspace. Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org. 27 Read to a Dog, 10 to 11 a.m. Children of all ages are welcome to practice their reading skills with a certified therapy dog. Downtown Library Copper Room, 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, free, 480-782-2800, chandlerlibrary.org.

Summer camp prices for Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro start at $175 per week for the half-day program and $250 a week for full-day sessions. Extended care is available until 6 p.m. for $65 per week. Information: engineeringforkids.com/phoenix-metro Nerding, L.L.C. also offers many STEM-focused classes this summer in Chandler. Classes are held at Desert Sun Child Development Center at 1512 W. Elliot Road. Room is still available in many classes this month at the business. Nerding’s founder, Niecy Westmoreland is a certified K-8 grade teacher, who taught in the Kyrene School District for many years. Westmoreland and Micah Beverly, a longtime musician who taught guitar lessons, are the Nerding co-owners. “We only hire certified teachers,” Beverly said. “It’s really important to us that the person that is teaching the class is a teacher first. Our philosophy here is to prepare kids for 21st century skills and STEM. Our second mission is to support teachers. We pay really well. Every single one of our teachers is a teacher during the (academic) year at a school.” One popular class, 3D Printing has space left in two sessions this month, from 1 to 4 p.m. July 8-12 and from 9 a.m. to noon July 15-19. The classes are for children who will be See

STEM on page 32


SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019


from page 31

going into grades fourth through seventh in the fall. Students will learn about the history of 3D printing, design their own 3D prints and learn how it is effective in the prosthetics industry as well as for construction of homes and in space. Children will learn the math and spatial reasoning needed to find their way around the 3D design environment. Another well-liked class at Nerding is Wizard Science, which is also for children going into grades fourth through seventh in the fall. The next Wizard Science class will be held from 9 a.m. to noon July 8-12. Youths will experiment with chemical reactions in transfiguration, static electricity, acids and bases. They will make “fun potions” in the class that has a “Harry Potter” theme. Students can dress up in wizard robes, make a wand and make invisible ink. Filmmaking is another fun class at Nerding, where youths heading into grades fourth through seventh will study film clips, storyboard movies and plan and execute shots. They will use the iMovie program to edit their own footage to create movie trailers and short films. The students will also explore video making techniques and special effects and use a giant green screen to shoot things “on location.” The filmmaking class will next be held from 1 to 4 p.m. July 8-12. Children can play sleuth and work in teams as they solve mysteries in the Escape Room: World Wonders classes at Nerding. The next such class will take place from


1 to 4 p.m. July 8-12 and the one after that will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. July 15-19. In this class, youths who will be going into grades fourth through seventh crack codes and solve puzzles as they learn about exotic places and ancient civilizations around the world in order to access a box with gems and other interesting items inside it. The kids will use logic and work as teams. Another fun and popular class at Nerding is Graphic Design and the next one will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. July 15-19 for kids going into grades fourth through seventh. Youths will learn basic graphic design principles and design their own T-shirts and stickers. They will get lessons in how to use 2D design software to make their own vector images and send the images to a vinyl cutter to make their own custom stickers and T-shirt designs. The students will use a heat press to apply their designs to their T-shirts and can take those and the stickers Wes Harder, an instructor at All Around Math Learning Center, teaches students about drones in a summer day camp at home. Gravity Extreme Zone Trampoline and Adventure Park in Chandler. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer) “Fonts and type faces are actually very interesting and they affect our Slime class will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. They will also experiment with forces lives more than we think,” Beverly said. July 8-12 and another one will be occurring that shape the universe and build and test Younger children also have lots of from 9 a.m. to noon July 15-19. squeeze rockets, make comets and touch classes to choose from at Nerding. In the Children who will be starting second real meteorites. Secrets of Slime class, kids going into and third grades in the fall can also take a “They take a lot of stuff home,” Beverly grades second and third will learn about Space Explorers class at Nerding from 1 to said. “We pack a lot in. We also try to states of matter, polymers and linking 4 p.m. July 8-12 and then from 1 to 4 p.m. make sure that we’re very educational molecule chains while they make different July 15-19. In that class, youngsters learn and fun. Hopefully it’s building a little kinds of slime. about the solar system, including history excitement about something.” They can see if their slime will be fluffy, and recent discoveries. Information: nerding.org stretchy or tasty. The next Secrets of

from page 29

establishments. “They can actually interact with exhibits and see things and stop and take their time, versus you go somewhere huge and you’re just everywhere and I’m stressed trying to keep them,” Sebold added. The atmosphere at the i.d.e.a. Museum also lends to parents and children spending constructive, educational time together. A gallery guide, a.k.a. a “travel guide” in this exhibition, is given to each child to stamp at the stations pertaining to the states on the map. During their trip, they also learn about places of interest, such as the Space Needle in Seattle, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and the Kennedy Space Center in central Florida. “There’s information on each stop and when they go through, they’re learning something, not just seeing art or just playing,” Armendariz said. “Hopefully, it provides that quality time with the parent and child.” This exhibition features 59 artworks from 21 artists from around the United States, including Arizona. They include paintings, digital art, ceramics, quilts, photographs, video and a mixed-media collage. Phoenix artist Deborah McMillionNering has been presenting work at the museum for many years. Her current contribution consists of two digital collages using an iPad technique and a collection of historical postcards. “Mermaid Motel” and “The

Artist Deborah McMillion-Nering shows off her rendition of The Diving Lady neon sign that became a beloved landmark in Mesa for decades. It’s part of the Radshow exhibit at the i.d.e.a. Museum. (Cheryl Haselhorst/Special to SanTan Sun News)

Kaylee Edwards is fascinated by a computer exhibit at the museum (Cheryl Haselhorst/Special to SanTan Sun News)

Diving Lady” harkens to mid-last century’s motel swimming pools in the West. “Since my parents drove around the country and we painted in the backseat, this is definitely my atmosphere, staying in these kinds of hotels,” she said. Besides the changing exhibitions, the perennial kids’ favorite, Artville, is a permanent exhibition and activity area for children from birth to four years. Set up as a small-town environment, features include a lending library, café, lemonade stand, veterinary clinic, art studio, performing art stage and train.

The i.d.e.a. Museum, first called the Center for Fine Arts and then the Arizona Museum for Youth, was founded in 1978 by John O Whiteman, who passed recently. It’s owned by the City of Mesa and supported by the i.d.e.a. Museum Foundation. The names changed over the years, but the concept stayed the same: exhibit, teach and interact with the fine arts from a young age. The “i.d.e.a.” in the name stands for imagination, design, experience and art. According to Sunnee D. O’Rork, executive director, the museum receives visitors from around the Valley and tracks about 90,000 annual attendance and a running membership of 1,500 family households. This compares favorably with the 65,000 annual attendance a few years ago.

“It’s really grown,” she said. During the 2018 general election, a proposed bond of $5 million passed. Now, the museum is gearing for a capitol campaign in the future. “We plan on really just building out the museum, renovating it, not totally building a new building,” she said. O’Rork said stakeholder meetings have been held and that a site master plan has been completed with the idea of reutilizing the space better. Plans call for tripling the size of Artville, creating a larger birthday party space, a café so that visitors may linger and more interactives. Other plans include raising the ceiling and placing an overhead bridge, renovating the atrium to include a climber, constructing a stage and an area in the grounds for school buses.

SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019



Chandler Parks & Recreation!

It’s time to kick-off your summer activity game plan! Whether you’re looking for something to do over summer break or you want to soak up every ounce of fun in the sun any day of the week; Chandler Parks & Recreation offers action-packed plays that are sure to score you serious MVP (Most Valuable Parent) points. Enjoy family-friendly fun all month long in celebration of Park and Recreation Month.


Fall Break Time hits newsstands

For more ways to get your game on pick up a Break Time Recreation Guide at Chandler facilities,

visit chandleraz.gov/breaktime or call 480-782-2727.



Billiards MON.-FRI. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Fall League Registration Open Chandler Adults Sports always serves up a good time. Play the field (or court) and connect with new friends each season through weekly practices, games and socials. Leagues offer varying degrees of competitiveness and time commitment. Registration for Adult Sports Fall Leagues open this month and features the highlyanticipated arrival of Co-Rec Kickball. Sports return to the field in September. Get into the game!  chanderaz.gov/registration.

Chandler Senior Center Rack ‘em up! Enjoy tournament quality tables and equipment when you play Billiards at Chandler Senior Center, where fun is always in the pocket. Whether you’re a novice or pool shark games are free to play. DROP-IN 55+



rd 3Annual

SAT., AUGUST 17 | 9:30–Noon Chandler AMF Lanes

Got spare time? Strike up some fun and form a bowling team to support Chandler’s Therapeutic Recreation Program. Each team may have up to four players. Grab your socks and favorite bowling ball and head over to Chandler AMF Lanes, for our 3rd Annual RAD Bowla-thon. This family-friendly event requires pre-registration and is sure to be right up your alley. Bowler registration fees include shoes and two hours of bowling. Be bowled and sign-up at bowlathon.net/ event/rad-bowlathon-2019/.




WED., JULY 17 | 5:30–7 p.m. Tumbleweed Recreation Center

Do emojis make your kids go ? Then you’ll want to express yourself at this month’s Emoji Extravaganza! Whether or the , you and you’re into the your little ones can make it happen with a little creativity and fun crafts and games.  chanderaz.gov/trc.

Stay connected with us!

Friday, July 19

Chandler Aquatic Facilities From splash pads to spraygrounds and award-winning aquatic centers, Chandler is a treasure trove of ways to beat the heat. Dive into savings this summer by taking advantage of $1 Admission for the entire family and Free Swim opportunities at any of Chandler’s six aquatic facilities now through August.


  Chandler Recreation



SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019

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Summer Camp Registration is now available! aspirekidsports.com

$30 value. New enrollment only. Not valid with any other offer. Please enter promo code SANTANSUN at time of registration. Expires 7-31-19.


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SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019




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SANTAN SUN NEWS | July 6–19, 2019

Sports & Recreation



For more community news visit SanTanSun.com

Gold’s Gym makes return to East Valley BY ZACH ALVIRA Sports Editor

It’s been nearly five years since the last Gold’s Gym location in the East Valley changed ownership and rebranded under a different name. But thanks to Jad Awale, a 29-year-old fitness enthusiast, Gold’s Gym has made its return with a new location in Chandler. “It was extremely important to me to bring the brand back to the Valley,” Awale said. “I felt there was a need for this type of concept, especially with our fully redesigned studio. I’m extremely excited.” Before the change in ownership in late 2014, there were six Gold’s Gym locations across the Valley. They were part of a franchise with 16 total gyms in the region, with the other locations in Nevada and Southern California. In January 2015, every location was rebranded under the Eos Fitness name. The new Gold’s Gym, in the Sunset Plaza center on Ray and Rural roads in Chandler, opened its doors in late May, but a grand opening with raffles, vendors and other events will likely take place sometime in July. Growing up in Tucson, Awale became a fitness enthusiast at a young age. He recalled being in awe of the fitness magazines he would see at local grocery stores. As he got older, his love for fitness grew. “It’s amazing how a little bit of money can transform your body and your whole life,” Awale said. “You feel like you have more energy, you feel less stressed.

The brand new Gold’s Gym in Chandler offers an expansive, clean environment with plenty of machines for users. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

Overall, you’ll have a much healthier and happy life.” Awale used to workout at Gold’s Gym locations in Tucson when he was younger. He knew he would always be part of a health club, but he never imagined he would be able to call one his own. “I’ve always been (submerged) in business and I wouldn’t have it any other

way,” Awale said. “I’ve been talking to this company for about three years now and I’m excited we can bring this concept back to Arizona.” Awale’s uncle is a franchiser on the East Coast, so the passion for owning his own business runs in the family. He already has four other Gold’s Gym locations paid for, though exact locations

have yet to be determined. But he doesn’t plan to stop there. He anticipates he will open several other Gold’s Gym locations in the near future. “This first location is kind of like a training ground,” Awale said. “We want to work out all the little kinks and make the next one better. That’s what we are aiming to do across the Valley.” The new facility is the most up-to-date design in the Gold’s Gym family. The 40,000-square-foot gym offers state-of-the-art equipment and amenities, including a full studio package with Gold’s Burn, Gold’s Fit and Gold’s Cycle. It also includes Gold’s 3D, which measures every part of the body to track results. The gym floor is equipped with several treadmills, ellipticals and other cardio equipment. Two areas fitted with artificial turf offer gym-goers an area for a variety of workouts, including TRX racks, punching bags, tire flips and rowers. Traditional machines that work a variety of muscles occupy one side of the facility. But where this Gold’s location sets itself apart from other gyms is the large area for free weights. See

GOLD’S on page 38

Cardinals’ camps aim to enlighten Arizona youth BY ZACH ALVIRA Sports Editor

The Arizona Cardinals have long made it a priority to make a difference in the youth across Arizona through camps. Several times throughout the year, the Cardinals’ community relations department — along with several volunteers — come together to provide an outlet for kids to learn the game of football as well as important life lessons revolving around education and staying on the right path. The latest installment of these camps took place on Saturday, June 1 at Gilbert Christian High School, as several former players came together for the Football Skills and Education Camp presented by Gatorade and Dignity Health. “It’s an event that has been going on for a while now and it’s something we want to continue to offer for the kids,” said Horace Raymond, the director of community relations for the Cardinals. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to get an hour of classroom instruction learning about the game and character building as well as getting out here on the field with former players and coaches. “It’s a big deal for us to offer it to the masses.” Several kids from all across the Valley and state ranging from 7th to 12th grade took part in the camp at Gilbert Christian. Some had experience playing

football for a youth team or high school.

audience the most,” Richman said.

Several kids from around the Valley and state participate in the Arizona Cardinals Skills and Education Camp presented by Gatorade and Dignity Health on Saturday, June 1 at Gilbert Christian High School. The campers were coached by several volunteers and former players, and had a classroom session to learn about becoming high-character athletes on and off the field. (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

Others had never played before. Raymond and Adam Richman, the Cardinals community relations and alumni program coordinator, made it a priority to target kids who had little to no experience playing football. To them, it is important to show that the camps are for everyone, regardless of skill level. “We want to really target that

“Letting them get the opportunity to learn from guys who have played in the NFL is a great experience.” The camp began with an hour-long classroom session centered around hydration and the importance of maintaining good grades in school. Once finished, the campers made their way out to the field, where Mo Streety,

the Cardinals manager of youth football, led them in stretching and plyometrics before breaking off into each drill led by several former Cardinals players. From throwing drills for the quarterbacks, to route running and pass deflections for the wide receivers and defensive backs, each position group learned from former pros how to properly play their respective position. Among the coaches was former running back Marcel Shipp (200107), former offensive linemen Rick Cunningham (1994), Jerome Daniels (1998) and Anthony Clement (1998-2004). Former Cardinals tight end Lorenzo Diamond (2004), defensive back Robert Tate (2004-06), defensive back Carlos Brooks (1995), as well as kicker Neil Rackers (2003-09) also helped coach. Ray Perkins, former linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys and current athletic director at Tolleson Union High School, was also present along with Qualen Cunningham, Rick’s son and Hamilton High alum who recently graduated from Texas A&M where he played defensive end for four seasons. “It’s really important for guys like us who have played at a high level to be here for them,” Cunningham said. “A lot of these guys that are younger than us look up to us as icons. “Some of the stuff we need to be doing is laying the brick for them to go on and See

CARDINALS on page 38



Left: Qualen Cunningham, a Hamilton High and Texas A&M alum, was one of several coaches participating in the camp. His father, Rick, who played for the Cardinals in 1994, was also among the several former pros coaching the campers. (Pablo Robles/AFN Staff) Right: Carlos Brooks, a former defensive back for the Cardinals, used his experience as a player and father to teach the camp attendees how to become high-character athletes. Brooks’ son, DeCarlos, was one of the top running backs in the state this past season as he helped lead Chandler High to its third straight state title. (Pablo Robles)


from page 37 become good people and do great things.” During a Q & A session after the field work completed, Cunningham explained how he was still just a 17-year-old kid when he arrived to Texas A&M. He played against grown men, but had trust in his ability and became successful for the Aggies. “That’s the biggest thing,” Cunningham said. “Stay true to who you are. At the end of the day, I think we all know what we should or shouldn’t be doing and we know what is good enough. Don’t let anybody manipulate you into something you aren’t.” Brooks, whose son, DeCarlos, just graduated from Chandler High as one of the top running backs in the state, shared much of what he taught his own kids to those at the camp. To him, it’s about being confident. A trait he believes football helps develop. “I want them to believe in themselves,”

Brooks said. “I think that is what is missing with a lot of these kids. They get discouraged or quit. Whatever you do, compete like you do on the football field. “Whether it’s in the classroom or on the field, take the same tenacity and work as hard as you can.” Several campers personally thanked each player following the conclusion of the camp. Some even asked for extra pointers to use in the classroom and on the field. All walked away with smiles on their faces, projecting a sense of confidence and motivation to be in the same position as the former pros. It’s that type of motivation to succeed the Cardinals hope will leave a lasting impact. “There’s a lot of opportunities here to enlighten communities and make a difference,” Raymond said. “We want to use our brand to make a difference in the community. “We want all of these kids that come here to become our friends, fans and just good people in the community.”

from page 37

The gym is equipped with several Breaker Olympic Flat Benches. On a traditional bench press, the weight is lifted from behind the head. The Breaker Bench moves forward once the person using it lays down, allowing them to lift the weight from their chest to reduce the risk of injury. Once finished, the bench moves back to allow a clear path to get up. Each half rack is equipped with sound dampening platforms to reduce noise if weights are dropped. There are also machines that will count an individual’s repetitions and time the workout. “It’s like the ultimate fitness playground in here,” Awale said. “There are very unique areas that will cater to whatever it is they want to train.” A former 300-pound bodybuilder, Awale designed the gym with results in mind. But he also made it a priority that every piece of equipment could be used by every member. “One of the greatest things about it is the unity of people,” Awale said. “Everyone has a perception of what the brand is and when they come through the doors they evolve. It’s very results-driven and a positive environment.” Awale has received strong feedback from early members. From the layout and look of the gym to the overall atmosphere, it’s been a positive experience for all who have walked through the doors. But Awale welcomes criticism. To him, that presents an opportunity to make each new facility he opens better than the rest. “I like to look for the negative because that’s where I want to improve,” Awale said. “It’s a lot of good stuff. We are excited for the expansion and ready to see where it all goes.”

Jad Awale, a 29-year-old fitness enthusiast, brought Gold’s Gym back to the Valley after the original franchise was rebranded. Besides his Chandler gym, Awale hopes to open a few more in the Valley. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

More information about the new Gold’s Gym in Chandler, including membership pricing and hours can be found at www.goldsgym.com/chandler-az/.

Golf, softball: Andersen siblings have it covered BY MATTHEW ROY Cronkite News

Abby and Mason Andersen have a lot in common. They are siblings. They are star athletes at Arizona State. And, said their dad, they are best friends. “They are super close,” Richard Andersen said. “They’ve got somebody to talk to whenever they want. They will eat breakfast once or twice a week together and they will talk and lay it all out there. It’s stuff that they can’t tell mom and I see that.” Mason, 20, a Hamilton alum, is a sophomore golfer and is the older of the two. He was named the Arizona Golf Association’s Player of the Year in 2017, played in the 2017 U.S. Open and posted the fourthbest ASU freshman scoring average (71.95) in the last 34 years. That’s better than Phil Mickelson’s freshman scoring average (72.14), and Mickelson won three national championships at ASU. Abby is a freshman pitcher for the softball team and will be 19 in June. ASU began recruiting her when she was a freshman at Hamilton High School in Chandler, where both of the Andersen attended school. As an outfielder and pitcher, Abby led the Huskies to three consecutive 6A state championship games and two titles while posting a 2.32 ERA through her first three years at Hamilton. Simply, the Andersens are good. And the fact that they both chose ASU was not a coincidence. Abby, who is 9-7 and led the softball team as a freshman with a 4.15 ERA, said

Left: Mason Andersen was named the Arizona Golf Associations player of the year in 2017 and also played in the 2017 U.S. Open. Right: Although it’s hard to compare golf and softball, Abby (left) and Mason Andersen are always competing to see who is the best athlete. (Courtesy of Andersen family)

she finds solace in knowing that her brother is here with her and they are both going through the grind of being Division I athletes. “100 percent, like, that’s my best friend,” Abby said. “I turn to him for a lot, and I look up to him in so many ways. And just knowing that he is always here, and he can sit down for lunch if I’ve had a bad day, and he will sit there and talk me through things.” Going to the same school as his sister and having her around is “pretty cool,” said Mason, who has been a key to the Sun Devils winning four out of their last five golf tournaments. ASU golf coach Matt Thurmond said

that most of the heart-to-heart conversations he’s had with Mason have revolved around family. “He loves his mom and dad deeply, loves his sister deeply and he has a great connection with them,” Thurmond said. “Seeing that closeness is really cool.” Mason’s parents and sister even meet the team at the airport sometimes when the Sun Devils return from an out-of-state tournament, Thurmond said. Richard and Jennifer Andersen, their parents, have lived in the Phoenix area since 1985, moving from Washington. Jennifer is an elementary school teacher and Richard a land surveyor. As Abby and Mason grew up, their par-

ents assured them that if they stick with something and give it their best efforts, they would find a way to pay for them to pursue it and make it happen. “Family is something that means a lot to me,” Mason said, adding: “Without my family and my parents, I wouldn’t be here. They are the No. 1 reason I am where I am today.” With Division I athletes, a certain level of competitiveness is expected, and Abby and Mason were two of the most competitive kids that Richard had ever seen as they were growing up, he said. Mason recalled having a ping-pong table at home and challenging anyone who wanted to face him, including Abby, who wouldn’t back down. Abby said she has tried, but failed, to beat Mason at golf. Likewise, Richard said Mason can’t hit Abby’s best pitches even though “Mason will tell you he can hit it.” “It’s hard to be competitive sometimes because we play different sports,” Mason said, smiling. “Really, we are just trying to see who can be better at their sport.” The Andersen siblings have always been close. And being at the same school with the opportunity to be around each other is irreplaceable, according to Mason Andersen. “It’s been kind of nice,” he said. “I have been pretty fortunate to have a sister who is pretty easy to get along with.” They are athletes. They are siblings. They are best friends. “He’s my rock, and without having him I don’t know what I would do,” Abby said.




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Most of us think police officers deserve better BY DAVID LEIBOWITZ Columnist

Running an errand this week, I watched two Phoenix police officers offer a bottle of water to a homeless man grabbing some shade outside a local grocery store. One of the officers was still there when I came out and I said what I always say when I pass a cop on the street. “Thank you for your service. Stay safe out here.” He thanked me for thanking him. We went our separate ways. The moment stayed with me, however. Remembering it called to mind a number I looked up not long ago. $31.08. That’s the average hourly wage for a police officer in Arizona, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s a good living in a state where the

average worker makes less than $24 for an hour work. Police work typically comes with decent health insurance, the opportunity to advance into management and solid retirement benefits. It’s also a job I couldn’t imagine doing — not now, not in the 21st century, not in the present moment we find ourselves in as a Valley, a state, a nation. Not for $31.08 an hour. Not for 100 times $31.08 an hour. A caveat: As I have explained before, my day job involves helping people and organizations tell their stories and answers reporters’ questions. My clients include virtually all the state’s law enforcement organizations. That means, among other things, that I am paid to help tens of thousands of cops explain the truth about their profession. It also means I generally support and respect the men and women who do the job — a job I could never fathom doing myself. Not for $31.08 an hour. My rationale for chickening out has

little to do with the danger police officers face every day — though that danger has never been more real. Instead, when I think about not being a cop, I think mainly of the frustration occasioned by working in a profession where everyone else is an expert despite never walking a day on a beat. I think, as well, of having my work judged not by what I do myself, but by the conduct of a handful of my colleagues — a minute of video here, an allegation of abuse there. I don’t think I could handle it. In fact, I doubt many of us could. Americans, as a general rule, value personal responsibility, individual accountability and the concept of innocence until guilt has been proven — except when we judge an entire police department or the entire profession through the lens of a single frozen moment in time. Then, instead of rational thought, the screaming begins. “The Phoenix police this.” “The Mesa cops that.” “The Tempe

police this.” “The west side cops that.” Before you start screaming, please understand I am not excusing a single bad act committed by a police officer, nor am I arguing that any cop should above the law. Bad acts committed in uniform should be punished accordingly, using the same investigative and prosecutorial tools and laws that govern holding accused criminals responsible for their crimes. My point? That we appear to be choosing sides these days. There are those who view every police officer as inherently evil. There are those who believe wearing a badge entitles the holder to be judge, jury and executioner. Then there’s the rest of us. We think that putting yourself in harm’s way to protect a community merits respect, not disregard. We see the man and the woman, not merely the uniform, not merely the video snippet. We think that maybe cops who work an hour deserve better than 31 bucks and all the disrespect an angry mob can muster.

Know the nonprofit you’re supporting with your money BY DAN SHUFELT Guest Writer

There are so many challenges to running Arizona Helping Hands. We are a growing nonprofit organization — the largest provider of basic needs to the 14,000 children in our state’s foster care system. Moving into our new building last fall, installing a new technology system to track the vast quantity of merchandise that flows through our facility to meet ever increasing needs of kids — the issues sometimes seem insurmountable. Then factor in all of the financial challenges. We need to raise enough funding to provide beds and cribs to 3,500 children in 2019. These are kids who have been victims of abuse and neglect, and their foster families come to Arizona Helping Hands seeking assistance. The men and women who step up to help these children don’t have nine months to prepare for the placement of an infant, or to get ready for the sibling group they will take in tonight. There is no way to be properly prepared for the unexpected, and frequently foster parents, including grandmas, grandpas, aunts and

uncles don’t have the financial resources to acquire needed items in an instant. That’s where Arizona Helping Hands steps in. Our programs provide health, safety and permanency to fill the void. We make lives safer and more comfortable for boys and girls in need. Confusion over recent tax law changes resulted in a reduction in contributions for most charitable organizations. Giving USA reports that individual giving declined last year by 3.4% in inflation-adjusted dollars. For our rapidly growing charity, we felt the pain. It’s hard work to raise funds for charity. We focus on sharing our mission — how we work incredibly hard to make a difference for children. We tell stories of remarkable people like the 25-year-old aunt who overnight became the 24/7 parent to her five nieces and nephews. We provided beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, birthday gifts and home safety items to help this young lady take on huge responsibilities. We manage our donor dollars as effectively as possible, utilizing volunteers, stretching our people as far as is reasonable, all in an effort to keep our overhead low. We reported on our last federal tax return that 93 cents of every dollar

donated to us went to provide services to children in foster care. I am incredibly proud of the work we do, and the way we manage our operations effectively. That’s why recent news of a charity operating with much different objectives drives me up the wall. Paying “fundraising reps” to sit at tables and collect donations to “help kids in foster care” is not the method we choose to solicit support for our work. According to the federal tax return filed by Foster Hope Foundation, less than 20 cents of each dollar raised went to program services. The balance was paid to those table sitters and the company executives. All of those dollars could have gone to buy cribs for infants being released from the neonatal intensive care units, or to give birthday gifts to teenagers who have never celebrated their own special day. The lesson to be learned — know the charity you are supporting. Unless you are familiar with the results of a charitable organization and their impact in our community, NEVER donate cash. Do your research on the organization. You should be able to access financial reports right on the charity’s website. If you are moved to donate on the spot, ask the person seeking your donation if they are a


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volunteer or a paid solicitor. Our donors are loyal to Arizona Helping Hands because they see the impact we have on kids in foster care throughout the State of Arizona. Thousands of children are sleeping safely tonight, going back to school this summer with new backpacks filled with school supplies, celebrating their birthday — as every youngster should — and feeling just a little better because of our work and because of community supporters who recognize its value. Please take the time to learn where your charitable dollars are going — they are the lifeblood of all of us who are working so hard to make a difference in our community. Thank you to all who choose to give your hard-earned dollars to Arizona Helping Hands. I encourage everyone to research us, as you should any charity. I am confident that you will learn that dollars donated to support our work will be responsibly used to Bring Hope to Arizona’s children in foster care. Dan Shufelt is President & CEO of Arizona Helping Hands, the largest provider of basic needs to Arizona’s children in foster care. Reach him at dshufelt@azhelpinghands.org. or azhelpinghands.org.

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Northwestern Mutual honors kid’s cancer network


More children and families impacted by cancer will get support and resources to build brighter futures thanks to a $50,000 grant Northwestern Mutual has awarded to Children’s Cancer Network. The Arizona office of Northwestern Mutual, a financial planning company, was chosen as a recipient of Northwestern Mutual Foundation’s 2019 Childhood Cancer Impact Awards for its work helping Children’s Cancer Network. Joe Morris, managing director for Northwestern Mutual – Gilbert, presented the $50,000 grant to Patti Luttrell, executive director of Children’s Cancer Network, on June 20 at the cancer network’s office on West Chandler Boulevard. Morris is also on the board of directors for Children’s Cancer Network, a nonprofit organization that provides gas and food cards, as well as other practical items, along with holding social events and offering many other services to families affected by cancer. The grant will allow Children’s Cancer Network to provide more gas and grocery store gift cards to families who have a child who has cancer, as well as give more admissions bags with journals, teddy bears, water bottles, resource lists and other niceties to families with a newly diagnosed member, Luttrell said. The money also will help support a scholarship program, where those who

Patti Luttrell, executive director of Children’s Cancer Network, receives a $50,000 grant from Joe Morris, managing director for Northwestern Mutual – Gilbert on June 20 at the Children’s Cancer Network headquarters. (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

have survived cancer, as well as their siblings, get funding for tuition, books, room and board to colleges, universities and trade schools, she added. Scholarships range from $500 to $12,050. “We feel so honored, so honored

to be partnering with such an amazing organization and to be recognized in this manner and just to feel, to realize the impact that that can make locally,” Luttrell said, adding: “The support and passion comes from

the top down, from an organization from the very top down to every level that’s involved. What a difference it will make to our families. These families go through so much within their journey.” Luttrell and her family started Children’s Cancer Network in 2004. She and her husband, Brett, have two adult children, Jenny, and Jeff. A graduate of the Art Institute of Phoenix, Jeff is a multitime cancer survivor. When he was 12, he needed a bone marrow transplant after fighting cancer for several years. When Jeff was in the hospital at the time, a little girl in the room next to him died due to her cancer. The girl’s family did not have any money to put gas in their car to drive home after her passing. Jenny, Jeff’s sister, who was 15 at the time said it was not fair and that they would make a difference. She suggested that her family organize a fundraising fashion show where childhood cancer survivors could take the spotlight as models. The success of the fashion show prompted the Luttrells to start Children’s Cancer Network. Morris said while his family has not been immediately impacted by childhood cancer, he had friends Patti knows well who were impacted by the disease years ago. The Northwestern Mutual office Morris heads, as well as other Northwestern Mutual offices in the Valley, have helped See

CANCER on page 50

Community activist named new city magistrate BY COLLEEN SPARKS Managing Editor

A passionate Chandler community advocate with an extensive judicial background is excited to be working in his new position as presiding city magistrate for Chandler Municipal Court. David Fuller, who has lived in Chandler for nearly 18 years, took the reins in the court on June 3. Born on the south side of Chicago, Fuller received his law degree from DePaul University College of Law in that city and has spent 30 years in the legal profession. Fuller, 55, replaced Michael Traynor, who retired on June 21 after working as Chandler’s presiding city magistrate for the last 34 years. “I am thrilled,” Fuller said. “I think my background is ideal for it and I’m entirely invested in our community. I have nothing but love for Chandler. I wanna keep us going in the right direction. “Judge Traynor has been a wonderful leader and I hope to continue his path of excellence. I’ve been involved in a lot of different things here. The community is just perfect for us. It’s been great to my wife and me and my kids.” He came to the Chandler court after having worked as the assistant director of the Office of Court Appointed Attorneys, of public defenders, for Phoenix since 2014. For most of the time he worked in Phoenix, Fuller also served as the liaison

David Fuller, who has lived in Chandler for nearly 18 years, is Chandler’s new presiding city magistrate. (City of Chandler)

for Maricopa County Regional Homeless Court. Once a month the court is conducted in downtown Phoenix and other locations for homeless people to resolve outstanding minor, victimless, misdemeanor offenses and warrants. The defendants are diverted to the

court if they are committed to ending their homelessness, though outcomes can include punishment as well as treatment and services in supervised, rigorous rehabilitation programs. “I used to refer to that as my favorite court docket of the month,” Fuller said. “There’s a lot of success stories. A lot of people who have risen out of their situation and they did it.” Often the homeless people who went through the court system owed money and would perform community work that would “greatly exceed what they owed,” he added. Fuller, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in economics from Northern Illinois University, began his career as a county public defender. “My best friend moved out here while I was in college,” he said. “I just fell in love with Arizona.” Fuller worked for five years for the county, but was “lured back” to Illinois as a trial attorney at a personal injury firm. After some time, he was asked to create, open and operate a satellite office and met his wife, who is a judge in Tempe. Fuller was offered a partnership with the law firm and agreed, but was torn because he knew if he became a partner at the firm there he would not get back to Arizona until he retired some day. He signed an agreement for the partnership but then decided not to go through with it. “I said, ‘I’m really sorry,’” Fuller said. “I

tore up the agreement. I told him I felt I wouldn’t get back to Arizona until I retired.” He moved back to Arizona and went back to work for the county before becoming assistant town prosecutor for the Town of Gilbert. He worked in that position for about two years. Fuller saw benefits to working as a defense attorney and as a prosecutor. “I like them both because there’s a balance to the law that you have to have,” he said. “Having done both sides and personal injury and other types of law, it gives me a really broad-based perspective for this position.” Fuller opened up his own law firm, which he ran for about 15 years. His wife, Tara Fuller, was a Maricopa County Attorney’s Office prosecutor and after they had their second child, she joined her husband’s firm. David then became assistant director of the Office of Court Appointed Attorneys for Phoenix, keeping that position for nearly six years. “It was a bigger city,” David said. “I personally like the size of Chandler much, much better. This is just an unbelievably wonderful place. It’s my community, it’s my home. It’s where I was very involved.” He served as a coach and then a manager and board member for Chandler American Little League for many years See

JUDGE on page 49


Soccer to ‘em



Chandler youngsters recently got some professional guidance from German soccer coaches at Willis Junior High in Chandler as part of a program aimed at strengthening German-American friendships. 1) Emilia Lockery and Joseph Iker tangled over a ball while 2) Shane Uhl, center, and Luke Mello suited up. 3) Shane later drove the ball down the court and 4) Frankfurt, Germany coach Matthias Eiles taught the students some soccer strategy. All photographs by Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer



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Boy Scout Pack 325 in May volunteered at Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank in Chandler, packing 750 weekend backpack meals delivered to local elementary schools on Friday. (Special to SanTan Sun News)

Extra state funds help food banks expand SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

A big boost in money by the State Legislature will help food banks in Chandler and around the state quickly and safely distribute more perishable food to people in need. The Association of Arizona Food Banks

(AAFB) and its members recently thanked lawmakers for a one-time allocation of $950,000 for the statewide food bank network. The money is needed to safely store and quickly distribute an increasing amount of perishable food to people in Arizona struggling with hunger.


In the 2017-18 fiscal year, the statewide emergency food network — comprising the Association of Arizona Food Banks, as well as churches and food pantries — distributed 185 million pounds of food to working families, older adults and other clients who needed it. That is equivalent to about 150 million meals.

The network also got another 689 truckloads of food via the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which is a part of the federal administration’s short-term trade mitigation package. See

FOOD BANKS on page 47

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Former Gilbert detective continues to help kids

child victims of abuse,” Arenas said. The foundation’s three-member board includes Arenas; her husband, Ramon Arenas, a deputy chief in the Gilbert Fire Department; and communications specialist Mia Belk. The charity’s supporters include Foothills Women’s Club, Big O Tires, AC Hotel Phoenix Biltmore and AC Hotel Tempe by Marriott, East Valley Firefighter Charities, Karsten Pest Technologies, as well as private individuals. To raise funds and awareness, the nonprofit last year organized “Lace Up to End Child Abuse,” a 5k run/walk in Gilbert that drew 200 participants. Arenas, an Arizona native, grew up in Phoenix and has been in Gilbert since 1993. She and Ramon have five adult children and 10 grandchildren. Arenas, who herself was abducted by a stranger when she Above: The Giving Trunk Foundation held its first fundraising 5k was a child, said she has a passion run im Gilbert last year, calling it “Lace Up to End Child Abuse” and for this work, which led her from drawing about 200 participants. (Special to STSN) Left: Former sex an investigative role to that of an crimes detective Terri Arenas continues to help children who are advocate. victims of abuse (Srianthi Perera/GSN Contributor ) It’s not a job or role that everybody can readily undertake. fund a playground cover for a family advo“I have had numerous children share the cacy center, among many achievements. most horrific details of their abuse with “Our wish is to have the financial means me. I know firsthand that their physical to continue sponsoring children for counseling and to support organizations that offer confidential care and support to See on page 47


Physical and sexual abuse of children are all too common in Gilbert and beyond. Just ask Terri Arenas. She worked as a detective for the Gilbert Police Department for 25 years — 15 of them investigating in the Child/Sex Crimes Division. Arenas also served on the Arizona Child Abduction Response Team, a statewide missing-child response outfit, where she worked directly with victimized children and their families. “It happens every day. I don’t think that abuse only really happens with low-income families or with underprivileged kids. I think it happens everywhere, across the spectrum,” she said. After retiring last year, Arenas began working to strengthen her nonprofit, Giving Trunk Foundation, which she established in 2016 from her Gilbert home. Giving Trunk Foundation helps raise funds for organizations that provide confidential care, support and advocacy for child victims of abuse; allowing them to help heal, educate and empower survivors. Chief among the help is financial assistance to counseling. “We also help to fulfill items family advocacy centers have on their respective wish lists, such as toiletries, clothing, shoes, and meet any immediate needs of victims and their families,” Arenas said. The charity has been instrumental in the purchase of medical equipment for a new forensic medical program; helped

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from page 45

wounds heal, but the psychological and emotional trauma they experienced can last a lifetime, requiring ongoing therapy and support,” she said. “I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. Child abuse is everyone’s business,” she added. “At Giving Trunk Foundation, we believe every child deserves the support he or she needs to succeed. If we can help one child overcome their adversities, then our hearts are full.” As a detective, Arenas came across dozens of abuse cases, some very graphic,


from page 44

The package aims to bring temporary relief to American farmers and producers who could not sell their products overseas because of the ongoing trade disputes. “Our food banks have been grateful for the high-quality foods coming from the USDA trade mitigation efforts because, with higher prices, our clients don’t often have access to these items,” Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the Association of Arizona Food Banks said. “But the amount of food stretches our network beyond capacity. “Without these additional resources from the state, we run out of cooler space to store all the milk, pork and other perishables we’re getting. We’re just very excited for the opportunity. We’re thrilled that we’re going to be able to distribute

emotional and heart-rending. The kids ranged in age from very young to teenagers, and also to adult victims. She has seen kids who have been seriously physically abused by parents or boyfriends to where they are in the hospital with head fractures. Sometimes parents don’t have a good sexual relationship, and so they turn to their own children or their adopted children, she said. “Working these types of investigations for 15 years, I’ve seen a lot and I’ve heard a lot,” she said. At any given time, each of the six detectives in Gilbert was working on about 12 cases, Arenas said.

She noticed that after school holidays, cases ramped up, when teachers reported things they’d seen or things they’d heard. Then, a lot of cases came when children confided in their friends who told their parents and they called the police. The main thing is for them to confide in somebody to get help, somebody that they trust. “There were enough cases to keep all of us busy. You never know how long it’s going to take to finish a case. Some close pretty quickly, and some have to be worked on for months,” she added. Community resources to help abused children are many, but young people may not be aware of them.

Child hotlines are available, and talking to an adult, such as a teacher, is also a good way to report the problem. In the East Valley, Family Advocacy Centers are available in Chandler and Mesa, where an agency team of multi-disciplinary professionals work together to minimize trauma to victims. How can the community help? “Be more aware and talk about it. Nobody wants to talk about this issue. It’s a very sensitive topic to a lot of people and it makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable,” Arenas said. “People need to know that this is a big issue and that it happens, even in Gilbert.” Details: givingtrunk.org

more food to families who need it. The food we have been getting is very healthy.” The Association of Arizona Food Banks is a private, nonprofit organization established in 1984 that serves five regional food bank members, as well as a network of nearly 1,200 food pantries and agencies. It helps with the transportation and procurement of food and works with schools and other community organizations to provide children with more access to school meals and food during the summer. The nonprofit organization also tries to help support communities in acquiring the resources they need and educates policymakers about good nutrition policies, Rodgers said. “There are some wonderful food banks in Chandler,” she said. One of them is Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank at 1368 N. Arizona Ave., a nonprofit organization that helps

individuals and families in need in the East Valley. That organization got $11,911 from the state allocation and used the money to buy a third refrigerator. Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank has also had a chance to get more produce. The new cooler is invaluable to the local nonprofit. “Capacity’s always a problem for small nonprofits like Matthew’s Crossing,” Jan Terhune, executive director of Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank said. “Now we have three coolers and two freezers. Demand for our emergency food assistance program has grown exponentially,” he added. “If we didn’t make a concerted effort to address capacity, we would have just had to stop. Allocations like this and others have allowed us to get more space, to get more cooling units. We’re excited to be in this position.” Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank had

expected to serve more than 120,000 people in the fiscal year that just wrapped up June 30. The organization also received an Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Award of $100,000 to buy a refrigerated van. This will be Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank’s second refrigerated van. “When you’re a small nonprofit there are limited resources for capital improvements if you will,” Terhune said. The USDA announced on May 23 that its trade mitigation attempts would continue in fiscal year 2020 and include an even greater volume of food purchases to be distributed through food banks, schools and other outlets that help working families and low-income people. That means a higher volume of perishable items are coming to Arizona’s food banks, as well as a bigger need for support.

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Regional band conductor retires his baton By Coty Dolores Miranda Contributor

When the 70 musicians in the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band closed out their 2018-19 season with a free concert last week, they also bid farewell to the man who has directed them for five years. Conductor Marty Province retired from the group of talented musicians — who come from Chandler, Gilbert and other East Valley cities to perform in the nonprofit, community-based and adult band that has entertained Arizona for more than 20 years. Musicians rehearse weekly, August through May, at Kyrene Middle School. The band was formed in 1990 by Crawford McClue, a long-time Ahwatukee resident who died in 2011 at age 100. Province said the Ahwatukee Foothills portion of the name is kept in his honor even though the group membership has expanded beyond the Phoenix community. Province, who holds a Ph.D. in music and a Master of Music in instrumental conducting, also retired last month as director of music at Gilbert Methodist Church, but is retaining his role as conductor/music director with the Gilbert Symphony Orchestra. Even as he steps away from the conductor’s podium, he said he hopes to be a part of the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band’s annual Veteran’s Day Concert in November. Music has been a part of his life for decades. “I’ve been conducting for over 45 years. Most of my career was spent in colleges and universities with a much different repertoire than the Ahwatukee group,” he said. “I hadn’t conducted a community band since the mid-90s, and it was fun for me to get back to working with marches and other popular patriotic music like that of the upcoming concert,” he added. Province, who plays guitar, banjo and autoharp, is also a member of the tribute group Peter, Paul and Mary Remembered — a trio that with fellow musicians Dave Dumas and Sharron Owen, entertain throughout the Valley and U.S. He also recently began singing with country band Desert Dust. “I’ve played and or sung in a number of groups from classical to rock and roll, country, and folk. As a listener or a performer, I can’t imagine a life that did not include all of these genres,” said Province. This weekend, for example, he was slated to perform at the June 29 Flagstaff Folk Festival, then play the banjo at his church in Gilbert the next day. Current band president Scott Plummer, a veterinary neurosurgeon and 27-year Ahwatukee resident, is a clarinetist with the band and joined it 22 years ago after seeing a notice in the Ahwatukee Foothill News. He said he enjoys the camaraderie of playing with a group of like-minded musicians. “I joined because it’s a great hobby and a good way to relax and unwind after a day of work, although many band members are retired. And it’s a great group of people to interact with,” said Plummer. “In fact, our band is having a potluck party after our last concert.” Trombonist Craig Erwin of Chandler is

The Ahwatukee Foothills Concert BVand, which draws musicians from Chandler and other parts of the East Valley, rehearses and performs from September through June. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

another 22-year member. “At Christmas time in 1996 I heard a small group playing holiday music at the Target Store in Ahwatukee,” Erwin recalled, adding: “I asked the leader about the group and learned they were from the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band. My first practice with the group was in January 1997. What I found was a wonderful

Erwin said since his retirement as a manufacturing engineer, the community band means even more. “Playing in the band is something I look forward to every week. I like the mental and physical challenge, the feeling of being part of something greater than just your individual contribution. The friendship and interpersonal relations are also very special,” said Erwin who is the

Playing in the band is something I look forward to “ every week. I like the mental and physical challenge, the feeling of being part of something greater than just your individual contribution. The friendship and interpersonal relations are also very special.

– Trombonist Craig Erwin director, Mr. Dan Neville, and a warm and friendly group of musicians,” he said, referencing the band’s former conductor. Like others, Erwin said he retired his trombone after college after playing “in every imaginable type of group from string orchestra to jazz combos” because he wanted to focus on career and family. “Then two things happened,” Erwin said. “My daughter reached the age where learning to play an instrument was a practical option, and the company I worked for decided to form an in-house dance band. So, my daughter learned to play the cello and I got my trombone out of storage and started to play again.” As a member of other music groups like the Sonoran Swing Big Band,

band’s music librarian. And he will miss his retiring conductor. “It’s been a great honor to play under his baton,” he said. “He’s made every rehearsal and performance something to look forward to. His rapport with the audience and music preparation is outstanding. Marty always gave back more than we were able to give him. The band is better for his contributions and I will miss him.” Donna Normington, immediate past president of the band, is a 16-year band member who plays clarinet. “I started clarinet in sixth grade and played all through high school and college. After college, I did alumni band once a year, but since moving away from my

college, I’d stopped even doing that,” said Normington, who moved to Mesa from northern Virginia in 2003. “Almost immediately I began looking for an adult community band. I found AFCB through the Association of Concert Bands website and contacted them,” said Normington, a laboratory administrator. “I don’t consider it a sacrifice in terms of my time. I consider it a privilege to be able to come together with my friends and play music. I tell everyone they let me hang around,” she laughed. “It’s very personally fulfilling to be a part of something bigger than myself. I have a lifelong love of music and concert bands and I am thrilled these outlets exist.” Band members say they are especially proud of providing the annual scholarships that are used to help pay for better instruments, band camps, outside school music activities and, occasionally, private lessons. “For me, this is a special thing we’re able to do,” Erwin said. “Schools now aren’t able to provide the same music opportunities that I enjoyed. Resources are too thin and other demands too great. “Many families may not be able to afford good instruments, lessons and the support aspiring young people need to become proficient and really enjoy making music.” Erwin added, “These are the things so important for developing the student’s interest and talent. When I read their applications and then see the joy on the faces of the awardees, I know that the future of a groups like the Ahwatukee Foothills Concert Band is secure. Society as a whole will benefit from this investment in the arts.” Information: AFCBand.org



Nonprofit celebrates dementia patients’ minds BY JORDAN HOUSTON Staff Writer

A local nonprofit is creating an outlet for people with cognitive impairments to express themselves through the arts. Oakwood Creative Care — a club that specializes in dementia care — displayed more than 200 pieces of artwork recently to celebrate the minds of its 40 members living with Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s and other physical and cognitive impairments. In a cozy room with wooden floors and fairy lights, the Art Gala at the Town Center Campus featured a collection of mixed media pieces, refurbished furniture and a boutique of items for sale, all of which were created by members of the club. This was the organization’s first attempt at hosting the exhibit in an effort to showcase that dementia is not a “death sentence,” said Oakwood Creative Care President/CEO Sherri Friend. “I am so proud of our staff for their passion and love for what they do,” she added. “I’m proud of our members and that they have accomplished such incredible things, leaving a legacy for their families with the art they’re creating.” The organization strives to provide treatment “beyond a pill” by offering “dignifying, engaging and person-centric services,” while stepping away from bingo and other traditional measures. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million Americans are living with the disease — and the number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Projects involving art and music can create a sense of accomplishment and purpose for those living with dementia, explained Friend. Art can also provide opportunities for self-expression. “We’ve found that the creative center of the brain doesn’t deteriorate through the disease process,” she said. “Although somebody may have never picked up a paintbrush before in their life, at this point, they’re able to and use it as their voice.” “They may not be able to speak, but they can paint amazing works of art,” she continued. Oakwood Creative Care offers a variety of daily classes for its members


from page 41

while his son, Michael, 17, was playing baseball. When Michael got too old to play in Little League, David became an umpire. David also volunteers with ChandlerTullamore Sister Cities, an organization that aims to cultivate and keep a strong, reciprocal relationship between Chandler and Tullamore, Ireland to encourage cultural understanding, community involvement, educational exchanges and economic development. Both their children — daughter Sarah is 18 — were ambassadors for the Sister Cities program. Sarah visited Tullamore, Ireland and Michael is going there this

Bruce Bartsch, who has Parkinson’s disease, admires the painting he produced as part of Oakwood Creative Care’s mission to celebrate the minds of patients with neurogoligcal disorders. (Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer)

to participate in, including painting, woodshop, sculptures, singing and yoga. Bruce Bartsch was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease —a progressive disease of the nervous system involving tremors, muscular rigidity and slow movement — in 1994. The Vietnam War veteran has been attending the Creative Care center for a year now, and said his visits have helped keep his mind sharp. “We don’t do the same things everyday, that would be boring,” said Bruce. “If you keep your cognitive skills pushing, you live more of your life.” “You can feel the deterioration, but you fight it and you do what you can do to keep it from taking over your life,” he added. Bruce, the proud owner of one of the largest paintings on display, said he enjoys taking part in the painting classes.

When asked about the inspiration for his piece, which illustrated a mountainous setting marked by hues of bright pinks and yellows, he said it came to him naturally. “The concept of the skill to actually do it is something I picked up from a magazine,” said the senior. “It just comes to you like any artist, I suppose.” Heidi Bartsch, Bruce’s wife, said that the couple found Oakwood Creative Care through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs — the federal Cabinet-level agency that provides healthcare services to eligible military veterans. After several unsuccessful attempts at other daycare centers, she said she was thankful to stumble upon the Mesa nonprofit. “We’re so grateful that some place like this exists because it makes such a difference in your life,” she said. “To be

able to come here and get a good meal, associate with people, exercise and get stimulation — whether its woodworking, arts and crafts, singing or whatever — it’s amazing.” One of the main goals for the center, said Friend, is to integrate its members with the community as much as possible. Workers at Oakwood Creative Care are encouraged to wear normal clothes instead of scrubs. “We don’t ever want them [the members] to feel like they’re a patient, we want them to feel that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves and still a part of the community,” said the CEO, adding: “Our folks can choose from different classes they’re interested in and that creates a reason to wake up in the morning and a reason to be excited about the day.”

year. The Fullers also have hosted Tullamore exchange students. David is also a big support of ICAN, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower youths to be productive, selfconfident and responsible members of the community. The new magistrate also volunteers with Special Olympics Arizona. Previously he also was a volunteer for the East Valley Regional Veterans Court, which tries to restore veterans to being successful, contributing members of the community by focusing on ensuring veterans in the criminal justice system get connected with programs to assist them. In the past David served on the Arizona

Attorneys for Criminal Justice Board of Directors. David is active in the Arizona Celtic Bar Association as both his parents were from Ireland. About a year ago he graduated from Valley Leadership, an organization that offers a year-long program designed to empower, leverage and mobilize leaders to impact important issues Arizona faces. “It was very impactful to me,” David said. “It gives you a big, broad base of knowledge for the entire Valley, from water needs to criminal justice needs, social service needs.” David and his family foster dogs and he volunteers with One Dog Arizona, a dog rescue organization. He is excited to be in his new position

as Chandler magistrate. “One of the reasons is at this stage you can really impact people’s paths,” David said. “If they are unfortunate enough to have to go through the criminal justice system we’re in a good position to give them the resources they need to better their lives. You can really be a positive force for their lives.” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke called him “a tremendous asset to the City Council and to our community.” “He brings a wealth of judicial experience and a true passion for Chandler and the position of City Magistrate,” Hartke said. “I look forward to working with him well into the future on matters important to the City and our residents.”





from page 41

Children’s Cancer Network in many ways. It has sponsored Run to Fight Children’s Cancer, bought back-to-school items for families struck by cancer, volunteered at the organization’s lunch and fashion show and assembled goodie bags for cancer survivors reentering school and their siblings. The Gilbert Northwestern Mutual office also hosted a Backyard Bash fundraising event for families and children the Children’s Cancer Network serves. Employees of Northwestern Mutual locally have even cleaned out Children’s Cancer Network’s warehouse. Morris is grateful the Arizona office of Northwestern Mutual was honored but even more thankful to help Children’s Cancer Network. “What a cool thing and being new to the board, it was just pretty cool that I was able to help deliver this check for $50,000,” he said. “I get to see firsthand how it works. What a cool opportunity when I learned about CCN (Children’s Cancer Network) because they were based in Chandler. At the time my office was in Chandler. It’s more of a passion of giving back.” Northwestern Mutual launched its Childhood Cancer Program in 2012 with the goal of finding cures and offering support to families and patients, as well as those struggling with the long-term impacts of treatment. The program has given more than $20 million to the cause, with the help of its employees and financial advisors around the country, and that has paid for more than 240,000 hours of research.

Joe Morris, managing director of Northwestern Mutual-Gilbert enjoys a snack during a small celebration around his check presentation to the Children’s Cancer Network with Lynn Carroll and her two children, Anthony, 8, and Makenna, 10. (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

Northwestern Mutual’s Childhood Cancer Program also leverages nonprofit partners including Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Beads of Courage to offer patient, parent and sibling services to help families affected by cancer live their lives to the fullest.

The Arizona office of Northwestern Mutual won the award of $50,000 that it gave to Children’s Cancer Network after being chosen out of other Northwestern Mutual offices in the western region. It submitted a video to show the work it has done to support families affected by cancer

in order to be considered for the honor. “We’re just so thankful to Northwestern Mutual,” Luttrell said. “They take every opportunity to make a difference.” Information: childrenscancernetwork. org and northwesternmutual.com

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Something’s fishy about Chandler theater’s next musical BY COLLEEN SPARKS Contributor

Children and teens swayed, slithered and danced in smooth movements to the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls” as they practiced portraying an evil sea witch, her tentacles and eels. They were rehearsing the Chandler Youth Theater’s presentation of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.” and one of the musical’s many animated, creative scenes in human and sea creature roles. The company will present the musical July 26-28 at Seton Catholic Preparatory, 1150 N. Dobson Road. Rehearsals are at Chandler Youth Theater, part of ImprovMANIA Comedy Club at 250 S. Arizona Ave. About 40 actors ages 7 to 17 will aim to make a splash in the classic tale about a mermaid named Ariel and her aquatic friends based on Hans Christian Andersen’s popular story and also portrayed in a well-known animated movie. “It’s just magical, hardcore Disney magic,” said Audrey Ryan, director of productions at Chandler Youth Theater and director of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.” “I’m excited to design the set. It’s a spectacle. It’s gonna be really cute,” she added. “We have so much talent.” The musical gives more than one young actor a chance to play big roles in

Anna Iverson, 18, of Chandler, center, rehearses in the role of sea witch Ursula, while J.P. Garcia, 13, of Chandler, left, portrays Jetsam, an eel, and choreographer Caitlyn Deely, 18, of Chandler, fills in and shows the actors the movements during a rehearsal of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.” (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

different performances. Sofia Lindsey, 13, of Chandler, an eighth-grader at Horizon Community Learning Center in Ahwatukee, plays Ariel in the shows at 5 p.m. on July 26 as well as those at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on July 28. “I have always loved Ariel as a kid,” Sofia said. “She speaks her mind and I think that’s a really important trait for people to see.” While it is her first show at Chandler Youth Theater, it will be the 10th show she has performed in around the Valley. Sofia has acted in Limelight Performing Arts

musicals and in a theater in Ahwatukee. “Our cast I think is just so cool and so amazing,” she said. “It’s super welcoming. I love this and I’m so glad I get to spend my summer doing something I love.” Sofia’s best friend, Eliana Anglada, 13, of Phoenix, who will also be in eighth grade at Horizon Community Learning Center this fall, plays Ariel in the 5 p.m. July 27 show and serves as the understudy for the lead character in the other performances. “Usually I get the more out-of-the-box characters,” Eliana said. “It’s like a good change of pace. It’s more sweet.”

She is also enjoying the experience of acting at Chandler Youth Theater. “The directors are so amazing,” Eliana said. “They’re so nice. I like how they do it with you.” She started acting in musicals at age 6 and loves diving into her role as Ariel in the classic show. “It’s the best show ever,” Eliana said. “She’s my favorite princess. I get to share it with my best friend.” She added that Sofia helped her get into acting. One of the girls playing Ursula is Alina Pierzga, 13, of Chandler, an eighth-grader at Chandler Online Academy. She will play this role on July 27 and at the 5 p.m. July 28 shows. Embodying the mean underwater witch is a kick for the teen. “It’s so fun,” Alina said. “It’s a big change. It’s a big learning experience.” She also enjoys the plot in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.” “I like the storyline,” Alina said. “It’s really like a family piece, just the story of Ariel finding herself. I think our cast is really great.” Anna Iverson, 18, of Chandler, who just graduated from Chandler High School, plays Ursula in the performances on July 26 and July 28 at 2 p.m. When she is not playing Ursula she plays Aquata, one of Ariel’s sisters. See


Chandler native leaps into NYC Ballet role BY COLLEEN SPARKS Contributor

A Chandler native who starting dancing at age 2 is “en pointe” academically and on stage after polishing her performance skills in The School of American Ballet in New York City and getting ready to balance new positions as an apprentice in the New York City Ballet and a student at Columbia University. Malorie Lundgren, 17, is eager to leap into more artistic and academic pursuits after graduating last month from Arizona Connections Academy, an online school based in the East Valley. The academy is a tuition-free, K-12 grade online public school available to students around Arizona. Students engage in structured lessons and self-paced learning in the online school so they can complete their academics on their own schedule while pursuing other passions. George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein founded The School of American Ballet in 1934 in their quest to start an American ballet company. New York City Ballet was born 14 years after the school started. The school has been the ballet company’s official academy since that time, training dancers for other companies around the world as well. Located in the heart of the city’s classical performing arts area, the school provides modern studios, dressing rooms, lounges and physical therapy and Pilates

Chandler native Malorie Lundgren, 17, dances with partner Samuel Melnikov in the School of American Ballet’s 2019 Workshop Performances on June 1 in New York City. They were performing a dance by George Balanchine called “Bourrée Fantasque.” (Paul Kolnik)

centers, as well as living quarters in several floors of the attached Meredith Willson Residence Hall. Malorie first began dancing at Ballet Etudes in Gilbert and enjoyed performing in “The Nutcracker” and a spring ballet at Chandler Center for the Arts. Her drive and love of dance prompted her to move to New York City at 14, when she began training in The School of

American Ballet. Malorie had began taking classes at Arizona Connections Academy at age 13 while still living in Chandler. “My mom just put me in (dance) and since then I would dance around everywhere,” she said. “I loved doing it. I did want to have a flexible schedule (so) that I could dance more, take more ballet classes and focus on ballet.” Malorie enjoys living in the dorms in

New York City, dancing often and seeing New York City Ballet perform frequently. Arizona Connections Academy made it easy to take the jump from being a Chandler resident studying at a local dance studio to an aspiring professional ballerina in New York. “They were really flexible,” Malorie said. “I didn’t have to be at school. I had every one of my teachers’ numbers that I could call whenever I had questions. The communication was really easy.” She could also talk to her teachers during live chats on the computer. She went to Chandler Traditional Academy — Gilbert Campus for kindergarten through sixth grades and then went to American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek for a year before starting at Arizona Connections Academy in eighth grade. Alexandra “Alex” Houseman, a high school science teacher at Arizona Connections Academy, said Malorie was sweet, polite and did not seem stressed juggling academic coursework and an active dance calendar. She taught Malorie science and was also her homeroom teacher. Houseman said the school’s homeroom teachers check in with students on the phone every three weeks and answer students’ questions about classes, deadlines and anything else, making sure they “stay on track with lessons.” See

BALLERINA on page 53


Children’s Choir teens sing praises of Chicago trip BY COLLEEN SPARKS Contributor

Teenagers in the Chandler Children’s Choir are on a high note after singing their hearts out at an historic church, displaying their vocal talents on the iconic Willis Tower and performing near the lions’ den at a zoo during a recent trip to Chicago. The 27 boys and girls, ages 13 to 17 years old, in the Cantus Choir, Chandler Children’s Choir’s most advanced group, last month visited Chicago, where they performed in different venues, explored popular sights and saw the musical “Hamilton!” “We do a tour every year,” said Aimee Stewart, artistic director and co-founder of the Chandler Children’s Choir and director of the Cantus Choir. “This was our first time to Chicago,” she added. “Everyone agreed it was just a wonderful experience. It was educational, it was musical; it was also just a real adventure. It was really fun.” The choir hit the ground running, performing a concert at Old St. Patrick’s Church their first night in Chicago. Irish immigrants founded the church on Easter morning in 1846 as the first Englishspeaking parish in the city, according to the church’s website. The Chandler choir sang a variety of songs in the church, including a Renaissance period piece called “Cantate Domino” by Heinrich Schütz; “O Praise the Lord with Heart and Voice” by Franz Joseph Haydn; an Irish song called “Shule Aroon” arranged by Ruth Elaine Schram;

The Cantus Choir, part of the Chandler Children’s Choir, performed at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago last month. (Adam Stewart)

Reagan Metz, 16, a Cantus Choir member and a senior at American Leadership Academy in Queen Creek, loved performing in the church. She said they could hear their notes reverberate in the structure. “It was so gorgeous,” Reagan said. “The acoustics were phenomenal. It was so, so beautiful and we had some really nice songs where we had so many high notes. They have so many pretty stained glass windows.”

The Cantus Choir, part of Chandler Children’s Choir, was directed by Aimee Stewart, the artistic director and co-founder of the Chandler Children’s Choir. (Adam Stewart)

“Chili Con Carne” by Anders Edenroth; and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,” arranged by Rollo Dilworth. “That was an amazing venue, just incredible acoustics,” Stewart said. “It was just such an honor to perform there. We took our audience on an adventure, like we had done our whole season. The audience really loved it. The church staff were so generous and complimentary of our students’ behavior and their musical abilities.” She said the students “really love to perform,” including for new audiences. The people watching the concert in the church were mostly parishioners and also some of them were also local residents who know the choir members.

Performing at the Willis Tower, formerly called the Sears Tower, was also memorable. The teens sang for about half an hour at the iconic, 110-story building, one of the tallest buildings in the world. “It was so fun,” Stewart said. “We did a whole performance up there. We brought a keyboard up there.” The Cantus Choir accompanist, pianist Andrew Campbell performed with the group. Reagan also liked singing in the towering, steel frame skyscraper. “It was so high up,” she said. “The skyline is so pretty. We could see it from where we were standing when we were signing. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.”

Later that night the teens in the choir, as well as the adults in their group, attended “Hamilton!” at CIBC Theatre. “That was so good,” Reagan said. “I’d been wanting to see ‘Hamilton’ since I first listened to it a few years ago and it lived up to my expectations so far.” The Cantus Choir visited the Chicago History Museum before performing at the Lincoln Park Zoo, where it performed two, 25-minute sets for anyone walking by. They sang near the lions’ den and after their performance the students walked around the zoo. “The zoo was so cool,” Reagan said. “It was more casual. A lot of people just sat down and listened to the whole thing. Everyone was like so friendly and they cheered us on even though they didn’t know who we were.” She was also impressed that the Lincoln Park Zoo is free for the public to visit. Even after their performance, members of the choir did not want to stop singing at the zoo. “When we were walking around the zoo, we just started singing out of the blue,” Reagan said. She said it was great getting to know the other teens in the choir during the trip. “It was really fun,” Reagan said. The choir students and adults also took a Chicago River architectural boat tour where they saw and learned about buildings in the city. They visited Millennium Park and saw the famous steel mirror sculpture called Cloud Gate, which has the nickname “The Bean,” and also heard performers in a blues festival. Stewart said the trip to Chicago helped the young singers spread their wings musically and socially. “So many of them had never been to Chicago,” she said. “It’s such a part of our American history…it’s such an inspiring city. They’ve done a lot of projects to encourage commerce and build their city.” The singers had a chance to perform in places with different acoustics than they were used to in Arizona while in Chicago. “It’s so good for them to be adaptable to new situations and be ready to perform,” Stewart said. “Whether you’re tired or a little jet lagged you’ve gotta be ready and give these people a good show. “When we’re in rehearsals we are working so hard. We don’t have a lot of down time or connecting time. This

really bonds our choir together. We saw friendships form that we hadn’t seen before all season.” The teens also learned how to manage their own money and be responsible for getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods, as well as figuring out how to take public transportation and “navigate a new city,” she added. Stewart also enjoyed traveling with the choir in Chicago with her husband, Adam, who is co-founder of the Chandler Children’s Choir and president of the organization’s board of directors. The couple also brought their daughter, Ivy, 13, a member of the Cantus Choir, who will be a freshman at Corona del Sol High School this fall, as well as their son, Eli, 16, who will be a junior at Corona del Sol, and Oliver, 9; who will be a fourth-grader at Kyrene de la Paloma Elementary School, on the trip. Ashley Arp, tour manager and executive director of the Chandler Children’s Choir, who is also a parent of a choir member, also came on the trip. Four other parents of choir members also accompanied students as chaperones in Chicago. Reagan has enjoyed singing in the Chandler Children’s Choir since 2009. The choir is divided into different groups according to boys and girls’ ages and levels. “It’s kind of just another home for me,” Reagan said. “No matter how bad the week could be or whatever’s going around in school it’s a really nice place to go and be with friends and get to sing. “We sing lots of different songs. Our range of songs is so wide. We sing in lots of different languages. That’s really interesting for me. It’s just a very closeknit family-type environment. I’ve made friends with little nine-year-olds. We’re all just there for each other.” The Cantus Choir traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, last year and the year before they had visited New York City and prior to that they had toured San Francisco. Next year the choir will visit Salt Lake City and the group is saving money to visit England and Ireland in 2021. Fundraisers are held during the season and choir members have babysat and held bake sales to raise money for the trips. Information: chandlerchildrenschoir.org




Longtime actress finds new youth theater role in Seton’s summer theater camps. She worked with Audrey Ryan is shining in her dream job at students in grades Chandler Youth Theater after a whirlwind kindergarten through few months that included graduating high school seniors. from Arizona State University and getting She loves working married. with youths. Ryan, 22, of Mesa, was hired last month “I’ve always as director of productions for Chandler enjoyed it,” she Youth Theater, part of ImprovMANIA said. “I love their Comedy Club at 250 S. Arizona Ave. in enthusiasm. They downtown Chandler. have…a wider Though it is a new position for her, she imagination than is no stranger to Chandler Youth Theater. most adults. It’s been Previously, Ryan, a 2015 graduate of really rewarding to Seton Catholic Preparatory, had worked pass down all my for about a year as a director for the knowledge to the youth theater operation, while she was an younger generation.” ASU student. Ryan also She recently graduated Summa cum previously taught laude with her bachelor’s degree in youths at a Christ theater with a certificate in secondary the King Catholic Audrey Ryan is enthusiastic about her new job as director of productions at education with a focus in theater from School in Mesa, in Chandler Youth Theater and director of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.” ASU. a drama club and a (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer) She also married her longtime drama class, for about boyfriend, Owen Ryan, June 1, and Chandler Youth Theater offered her the two years while she squeezed in a quick honeymoon to job as director of productions. was a student at ASU. Sedona though their official honeymoon “I said, ‘This is my dream job,’” Ryan “I was stressed and busy all the time will be a vacation to Dublin, Ireland in said. “I love teaching drama. This is more but it’s all stuff I love to do,” she said. December. Several days after her wedding, exciting getting to do a theater company.” After high school, Ryan started she began her new job at Chandler Youth Despite her relatively young age, she performing as part of the main stage Theater. has extensive experience teaching and comedy improv group at ImprovMANIA “It’s interesting how well and how fast performing in local theater. and then Specht asked her if she would my life all came together,” Ryan said. “I “I feel really young but at the same like to work in youth theater. She started don’t have time to process everything. It’s time I’ve been teaching theater over 10 directing the shows when the Chandler all good things.” years,” Ryan said. Youth Theater was launched. Besides directing musicals the youth While still in high school, she “It’s an interesting dynamic being a theater performs, Ryan also teaches volunteered to help choreograph dances teacher and a student at the same time,” drama classes in her new role. and assist the directors in a Seton Ryan said. She said she had considered teaching Catholic Preparatory summer camp. Now she also teaches improve to kids drama at a high school and then Dave After graduating from high school, and teens and teaches summer camps at Specht, co-owner of ImprovMANIA and Ryan worked as a regular teacher/director Chandler Youth Theater.

“It’s really fun,” Ryan said. “It’s really busy. I love it. It’s hard because I care so much about what I’m doing. I give so much of myself. At the same time it makes me feel like I have a good purpose in life.” She has also performed extensively and said acting and blocking are her strengths. Ryan performed in show choir at Seton and while at ASU performed and helped write music for shows. She acted and composed/performed music for ASU Mainstage Productions of “She Kills Monsters” and “Brooklyn Bridge” and was nominated for an ariZoni as best supporting actress in a play for “Brooklyn Bridge.” Ryan also worked as a deviser, performer and musical composer for Vessel’s production of “Conference of the Birds,” which premiered at The Unexpected Gallery in Phoenix. David and his wife, Colleen Specht, the co-owner of ImprovMANIA and Chandler Youth Theater, said they are “thrilled” to have Ryan in their work family. “Ryan has been directing productions for us since January 2018, and we couldn’t wait for her to graduate so we could hire her full time,” the Spechts said. “In addition to directing our full productions, Ryan teaches Kids & Teen Improv as well as facilitating the camps over school breaks.” She said to expect great things to come in the future for Chandler Youth Theater. “Chandler Youth Theater is going to be growing quite a bit in the next few years,” Ryan said. “We have a lot of big plans in the midst.” Those plans will include a new, larger space.


she added. “To do really well like Malorie, you have to be very driven and motivated, self-motivated,” Houseman said. “She was dedicated to education; she was dedicated to dance.” She was happy to hear Malorie was accepted to The School of American Ballet. “It was so exciting to hear about it,” Houseman said. “I knew that was a dream of hers. To see her hard work pay off, that was wonderful. She’s very sweet, very polite, very sociable.” Getting accepted to The School of American Ballet was thrilling for Malorie. “It was really exciting,” she said. “I had so much fun. I was so happy to be at the school. It had been my dream for a long time. I didn’t really get homesick because there was so much going on.” As a student in the prestigious ballet school, Malorie took two ballet classes per day weekdays and one ballet class on Saturdays. She was in the ballet school from September to June and goes home to Chandler for Thanksgiving, as well as winter, spring and summer breaks. Malorie recently performed in an end-of-year show on stage at Lincoln Center, which was electrifying to be in the same venue where so many talented, professional dancers have entertained audiences. “It’s kind of hard to believe,” she said. Malorie also enjoyed performing in the same program as New York City Ballet during her first year in The School


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“Every time I would check in with her for homeroom I was just amazed by how good her grades were,” she said. “She was always on track with her lessons. She never seemed too stressed out. She seemed to handle the load of dancing full-time and going to school full-time very well. She always seemed happy and very pleasant.” Students can email or call their teachers at Arizona Connections Academy for help anytime from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The youths can participate in live lessons where they see their teachers’ faces online instructing them if they like. They can also complete lessons on their own without doing live lessons if they choose. The children and teens can use their microphones to talk to the teachers during the live lessons. Students must take standardized tests in person in Arizona when required since Arizona Connections Academy is a public charter school. “Malorie was pretty independent, able to get through pretty much everything on her own,” Houseman said. “She was a great student.” She said many Arizona Connections Academy students are dancers, as well as ice skaters, swimmers and gymnasts. Some are actors who travel frequently to Los Angeles. The students are required to do at least five hours of schoolwork a day and

Malorie Lundgren, who grew up in Chandler, rehearses in a ballet technique class at the School of American Ballet in New York City. (Rosalie O’Connor)

it’s all completed on computers. Arizona Connections Academy provides the textbooks and novels students need for their classes but all classes also use online textbooks. The maximum enrollment is 2,500. “We have a good handful of athletes

and kids involved in other activities that take up a lot of their time,” Houseman said. Some students like to attend the online school because they do not like the drama and chaos often found in traditional, brick-and-mortar high schools,


BALLERINA on page 58


The Payson Book Festival hosts area authors

State University’s Piper Creative Writing Center in Tempe. He writes both poetry and fiction, and has won several awards for his work, including first prize in the 2018 Tempe Creative Writing contest for his poem, “Window on the Square,” judged by ASU faculty and students.

• At a time of life when most people begin to slow down, Kathy Peach decided to head for the Southwest to live near family after being in Tennessee her entire life. She followed her dream of earning a college degree and writing a children’s book. Peach graduated from Arizona State University in December 2014, with a degree in early childhood/early childhood special education. It was during the children’s literature class where she was introduced to a method of writing quality children’s literature. In developing “The Tiniest Tumbleweed,” she tries to convince readers they can believe in a life filled with limitless possibilities. • Another festival author will be Nan C. Cataldi of Ahwatukee. Born and raised in a small town in western Pennsylvania, she raised her two children in Richmond, Virginia, and ultimately retired from the medical profession and moved out west. Since she was youngster, she has had a talent for story-telling and a great imagination. Her first book, “Rafie the Rattlesnake, Come Home!” is a children’s picture book that recently received a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite. She is currently finishing the third book of the “Keys of Being” trilogy and will have a new picture book, “Silver Light and the Red Canyon,” coming in 2020.

J.P. Garcia, 13, of Chandler, an eighthgrader at St. Mary-Basha Catholic School, also is soaking up the fun of playing an evil character. He plays Jetsam, a vicious eel, and also plays a sailor in the musical. Dominic D’Amico will play Flotsam, the other main eel, as well as a sailor, for all the shows. “I just like the directing of characters and the cast,” J.P. said. “The directors are very supportive and they help us a lot. You’re surrounded by people and it’s fun to be in someone else’s place in life.” Paul Burnsed, 11, of Tempe, a Pueblo Middle School student, is having a great time playing a sailor, an eel/tentacle and a member of a sea band: “Chub, who plays the tub” in the musical number “Under the Sea.” “It’s a talent I have I guess,” Paul said.

“I like just expressing my outer self and telling everyone what I’m made of.” He has danced in recitals before and likes seeing how everything flows in rehearsals for the musical. “It seems really brilliant,” Paul said. Whitney Pierzga, 11, of Chandler, Alina’s sister, plays Flounder, a fish, at the 5 p.m. July 26 performance, as well as the 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. shows on July 28. Cassie Cruz, the understudy, will play Flounder at 5 p.m. on July 27. Whitney, a student at Chandler Traditional Academy — Independence Campus, said she likes playing Flounder because he transforms in the musical. “He’s super shy,” Whitney said. “He comes out of his shell. I love the ‘Little Mermaid.’ It’s one of my favorites because

it has a lot of good songs.” Caitlyn Deely, 18, of Chandler, who will be going to Arizona State University to study dance in the fall, is the choreographer for the musical. She recently graduated from Arizona Connections Academy, an online K-12 school. “I love working with kids and dancing,” Deely said. “I’ve done musicals all my life.” Maya Chavez, 21, of Tempe, a student at Rio Salado College studying the arts, is assistant director and music director and Marie Tucker, 22, of Tempe, a theater student at ASU, is the stage manager. “I grew up on this show,” Chavez said. “I love it. This is my era. It’s very musical.” Information: improvmania.net/ chandler-youth-theater

of New York City Ballet were trained at the School of American Ballet and entered the company via the Apprentices Program, which is managed jointly by New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Only students who are enrolled at the School of American Ballet are eligible to become apprentices; the New York City Ballet does not hold auditions for these positions, according to the School of American Ballet website. Apprentices take classes and rehearse with the New York City Ballet six days a week and learn roles in various works from the ballet company’s expansive repertory and they can perform up to eight ballets a season, in addition to the season of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker.” The apprentices are paid the equivalent of a first-year corps member’s salary, which is prorated based on the number of performances they danced every week.

Apprentices still receive the same benefits as students in the School of American Ballet, including continued scholarship support and housing in the school’s residence hall, as well as access to Pilates, physical therapy and nutritional and psychological counseling. After a maximum of one year, the New York City Ballet and apprentices must decide whether the dancer will become a permanent member of the New York City Ballet. Malorie is hoping to be offered a position with the ballet company after her apprenticeship is completed. Dancers can also audition for other ballet companies if they choose, but Malorie hopes to one day perform as a professional in New York City Ballet. “That would be my goal but I know it’s really hard to do that,” she said. In the meantime, Malorie has been accepted into Columbia University’s School of General Studies, a liberal

arts college that offers returning and nontraditional students a rigorous, traditional Ivy League undergraduate degree part-time or full-time. She will take classes part-time starting in the fall and she hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in history. Houseman is pleased her former student will be attending Columbia University and said Malorie has the skills and dedication to succeed in college. “It’s very exciting,” she said. “I’m so impressed. Whenever a student makes it into a prestigious school you’re just so excited for them.” Regardless of what twists and turns her artistic endeavors take, Malorie said she has grown as a dancer and a person living in New York, studying at the well-known ballet school. “Living on my own I grew up a little,” she said, adding she had to make herself sit down every day to do her academic work.


Area authors will be among some 90 Arizona writers who will be featured at the fifth annual Payson Book Festival. The festival — 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. July 20 at the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino on Highway in Payson — is sponsored by the Rim County Chapter of the Arizona Professional Writers. The free, family-friendly celebration of books and literacy offers something for all ages. Youngsters can have fun in the Kids’ Zone with story times, activities and a children-produced puppet show. Workshops run all day with favorite authors and western singers. Three Chandler authors are among the writers who will be at the book fest: • Marc  David is a veteran journalist who’s writing career spans four decades, during which time he has covered the sports spectrum from world boxing champions to the Olympics. He has written for lifestyle and health magazines. The Pennsylvania native, who now resides in Chandler, writes books, contributes articles to newspapers and is available for speaking engagements. He is an everyday runner who enjoys travel. He has written three nonfiction books: “The Addicted Runner,” “Available Male Tale” and “1,001 Things You Didn’t


from page 51

Anna has performed off and on in musicals for several years and wanted to do something with her sister, Amy Iverson, 12, who is in the ensemble for “Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.” this summer. In the fall Anna will go to The University of Arizona. “It is so fun,” Anna said. “It is one of those larger-than-life (characters). Being the villain is always fun. This is one of my favorite Disney movies. I’ve always liked the songs from this.” She said she likes her cast mates and does not mind being one of the oldest. “These kids are really funny,” Anna said. “They’re talented and well-behaved.”


from page 53

of American Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater, part of the Lincoln Center and home of New York City Ballet. The dancers at the school performed different ballets than the New York City Ballet but to share the stage with them the same night was an honor. “That’s really exciting because that stage has a big history,” Malorie said. “It’s really famous.” She said she enjoys taking classes taught by New York City Ballet dancers, who guest teach at The School of American Ballet. “That’s really fun because you get to see them on stage the night before,” Malorie said. Becoming an apprentice in New York City Ballet is another honor. Almost all of the current members

Book lovers last year flocked to the fourth annual Payson Book Festival and this year it promises to be even bigger. (Marie Fasano/Guest Writer)

Want to Know.” •D  ebut novelist Howard Gershkowitz’s work has appeared in print and online, in such prestigious publications as Michigan State University’s quarterly and the Arizona Consortium of the Art’s Blue Guitar. An avid science fiction fan and history buff, he’s studied at Arizona




For more community news visit SanTanSun.com

Enjoy life as it was intended, but plant seeds BY RABBI IRWIN WIENER Guest Columnist

In ancient writings we are instructed to remember that a person will be called to account on Judgment Day for every permissible thing that he might have enjoyed but did not. Not for sins or destructive attitudes or not following the Law…but for not enjoying life as it was intended. Think about it — we concentrate on the punishment we supposedly will receive for the evil we perform… and yet we are reminded that our only punishment will be for not enjoying children or parents, or loved ones, or the beauty of trees and flowers — the smells of the seasons. Some of us think about what could or should have been and get stuck in the mire of things we cannot do anything about. We can’t change the past and, in some

instances, have no control over the future. We think that things happen because they are “ordained.” As if some mystical power was dictating our destiny. If that were true then there would be no need to do anything — just sit back and let things happen. We would still be in the Garden of Eden prancing around in the grass or picking fruit from the trees without a care in the world. Choice is not an option. The great statesman Disraeli wrote that man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men. So here we are in the twilight of our years and still worried about what might have been or thinking if we had it to do all over, we would. Our concentration should be about the legacy we leave, the impact we have had and the beauty of the time left. The past is gone — the future is just ahead. What can we leave — what impact can we have — what value is there to the life ahead? We should take the time to think about tomorrow. Now is the time for

rejoicing, not for experiencing guilty feelings. Now is the time to take stock and realize that we still have life in these old bones — these tired muscles — these war-torn bodies. It is a time for us to realize that life has been good — there are rough roads ahead as we venture into unchartered waters. Some of us will celebrate milestones. Some of us will encounter turbulence. Some of us will realize that the journey of life includes all that we are capable of enduring. There is the story of the elderly man who was planting trees in his back yard. A neighbor asked him why he was planting the trees because for sure he would not be there to see them grow. His reply was very simple. He remarked that the generations that preceded him had planted the trees that now give him shade and fruit and enjoyment — and it was his responsibility to plant for the next generation as did the generation past. The legacy we leave is everlasting. The memory of who we were will resonate for eternity. Death is not the end of our journey

but just another part of that journey. Sometimes we concentrate too much on the end and not enough on the middle. Some of us are concerned about eternal life and not enough about the life we are living. Some of us are concerned with eternal reward and not about the rewards we encounter every day. We must not devote our energies toward death but rather life — we can’t have a life if we are not alive. Let us remember that these days are for rejoicing in the fulfillment of enjoying our lives, for that is the message of the ages — the message encased in the wisdom we inherited — the message that we will be judged on the satisfaction we receive in living life to the fullest. Most of all, however, will be what we plant for the future. Dr. Rabbi Irwin Wiener, D.D., is a National Chaplain of Jewish War Veterans-USA and he is the spiritual leader of the Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation.

Ravens lead to a revelation amid Red Rock BY LYNNE HARTKE Guest Writer

The name of the location — Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness — said it all. Wilderness. Check. Mountain. Check. Red Rock. Check. And that secret bit? It may have been a well-known fact to some people, but my husband Kevin and I had never heard of the arch in Fay Canyon until a trip to Sedona in early June. With the temperature pushing into the upper eighties, we shuffled down the loose sand trail through oak, juniper and manzanita, stopping to admire the wildflowers still in evidence: the tiny fleabane, the spindly pink stalks of desert penstemon and the bright red paintbrush.

We took several wrong turns down a dry wash, as we searched for the side trail to the arch, before stumbling upon a cairn next to a flowering sacred datura, the huge trumpet flower wilting like crumbled tissue paper in the afternoon heat. The arch blended into the surrounding red sandstone, so at first glance it appeared as an ordinary rock overhang. As our eyes adjusted, we detected the 97-foot span and scrambled up the steep incline through yucca and prickly pear cactus for a closer view. Advertised as heavily trafficked, we were surprised to have the arch to ourselves—alone, that is, except for a pair of ravens nesting near the top of a nearby 100-foot cliff. As we approached, they circled like wraiths above us — their four-foot wingspan the most prominent feature of their all-black bodies. The ravens cawed their displeasure

at our trespassing into their established territory. We saw no evidence of their bowl-like nest formed of large sticks and twigs, and lined with softer grass, deer fur, feathers and mud, but the cascade of white droppings down the red rock indicated a nesting site above us. Once we disappeared under the arch, they settled down, only to arouse whenever we ventured out to snap more photos. Nevermore. Nevermore. My dad had croaked out the famous words of the narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe whenever he heard the word raven. As a teenager I thought it was weird and downright embarrassing, but now that my dad has been gone for over six years, I miss his raspy raven voice. Dad had grown up in a poor farming family where books had been read by his mother after the evening meal. Later, as a teacher, Dad had read aloud to his

students in the last remaining minutes of a class, including Poe’s poem, The Raven. The poem mourns the sadness of lost love, but the pair circling above the arch carried no hints of melancholy. Up until this point, I was more familiar with the scavenger side of the bird, an opportunist searching for an easy handout in an overfilled trash can at a trailhead parking lot. But this sight — a pair of lifelong mates soaring with rasping calls on rising thermals — was a regal secret I had not expected to find in the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness. He gives wild animals their food, including the young ravens when they cry. Psalm 147:9 ISV Lynne Hartke is the author of Under a Desert Sky and the wife of pastor and Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. She blogs at lynnehartke.com.

Tuesday Nights Together continue in Sun Lakes church BY BEV TARPLEY Guest Columnist

Sun Lakes United Methodist Church (SLUMC) located at 9248 E. Riggs Road continues to host Tuesday Nights Together, a series of free summer programs on Tuesday evenings. Topics vary from light and entertaining to more serious and informing. Everyone is welcome and no reservations are required. July 9 – Denny Steele: A View and Usage of DNA Fingerprinting Denny Steele is a Chandler resident who has done a great deal of research into the use of DNA in searching into his own family

background and ancestry. Join us tonight as we discover how DNA fingerprinting works, why it’s so effective and its many uses in victim identification, paternity suits and — of course — criminal investigations. July 16 – Apollo 11 Anniversary Where were you on July 20, 1969? Think back to what was going on in your life on that day. On that day two brave astronauts who were in a tiny capsule, 238,900 miles away from home. Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin were hoping this would be the day they would walk on the moon. Join Bev Tarpley and Suzan Bawolek to celebrate

this amazing event with people all over America. July 23 – Exploring Space Through NASA’s decades of many missions and spacecraft, the images we have been able to see have brought amazing views of places millions of miles away from Earth, beyond Pluto, and our own Solar system. Will we ever forget seeing the Mars rovers driving themselves all over the surface of Mars and sending back their photos? Join Susan Bawolek and Bev Tarpley as they look back at those amazing images and then look forward to what NASA has in store for us as we move into 2020 and beyond.

July 30 – Arizona Justice Project The Arizona Justice Project’s mission is to represent Arizona inmates whose claims of innocence or manifest injustice have gone unheeded. Every time an accused goes to prison without receiving a fair trial, we are one step closer to the loss of our own freedoms. Join the staff of the project to hear about their work and actual cases that brought freedom to inmates that were innocent or wrongfully imprisoned. To date, the AJP has received over 6000 requests for assistance and currently has between 40-50 cases in post-conviction relief proceedings under the supervision of a review team.


Spiritual Connections

1222 E. Baseline Road, Suite 103, Tempe 480-792-1800

WEDNESDAYS Panic Healing

7 to 9 p.m. every Wednesday Receive a 15-minute energetic tuneup. Unity of Tempe, formerly Unity of Chandler 1222 E. Baseline Road, Suite 103, Tempe 480-792-1800


Women’s Empowerment & Awakening

7 to 8:30 p.m. third Thursday Release negative beliefs. Unity of Tempe, formerly Unity of Chandler 1222 E. Baseline Road, Suite 103, Tempe 480-792-1800

A Course in Miracles



10:30 a.m. Sundays All with peaceful beliefs are welcome to this inclusive, loving, thriving UNITY Community. Join the group at 10 a.m., preceding the service, for fellowship. Youth and toddlers meet during service. Interfaith CommUNITY Spiritual Center, 952 E. Baseline Road, Suite 102, Mesa, 480593-8798, interfaith-community.org

7:30 p.m. Mondays Six-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute and presented by Rabbi Mendy Deitsch of Chabad of the East Valley, designed to help parents at all levels of Jewish knowledge develop their own parenting philosophies and techniques. Cost is $99. Pollack Chabad Center for Jewish Life 875 N. McClintock Drive, Chandler 480-855-4333, rabbi@chabadcenter.com

The Art of Parenting

Celebration Service

Kids’ Sunday School

10 to 11 a.m. Sundays Unity of Tempe, formerly Unity of Chandler 1222 E. Baseline Road, Suite 103, Tempe 480-792-1800


Silva Class and Meditation

6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays Learn the Silva method with Lois Britland. Unity of Tempe, formerly Unity of Chandler

Sun Lakes Counseling Services A ministry providing confidential individual, couples and family counseling services by experienced professionals on a sliding fee scale.

7 p.m. first, second and fourth Thursday Unity of Tempe, formerly Unity of Chandler 1222 E. Baseline Road, Suite 103, Tempe 480-792-1800


Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation

7 p.m. second Friday of each month Sun Lakes Chapel 9240 E. Sun Lakes Blvd., Sun Lakes sunlakesjewishcongregation.org


Spirit Night – Psychic Fair

4 to 8 p.m. third Saturday of each month The “Lightworkers” offer a wide range of services, including Reiki, facials, mediums, drumming, tarot, angel messages and more. Services range from $20 to $30. Cash only.

Interfaith CommUNITY Spiritual Center 952 E. Baseline Road, Suite 102, Mesa interfaith-community.org heatherposey70@gmail.com


Jewish Women International Avodah Chapter 1581 Monthly luncheon. Social Box Eateries, 1371 N. Alma School Road, Chandler RSVP: 480-802-9304, 480-655-8812

Bible Study

Meets twice a month Members of the Women’s Life Group study the Bible and discuss how the lessons can relate to their lives. Sun Lakes United Church of Christ, Chandler Jan Olson, 480-802-7457, Joy King 480588-1882

East Valley Jewish Couples Club

Offers once-a-month social activities such as dining, movies and plays for Jewish couples in the 45- to 65-year-old age range. Melissa, 480-785-0744, beadlover@cox.net Let us help you publicize your church or temple’s events in the Spirituality section by emailing details to news@santansun. com. Include a brief description of the event, times, days, dates, cost or free, if registration is required, venue, address, publishable phone number, website if applicable and contact information for verification purposes. We welcome photos, which must be 300 dpi JPEGs or taken on a digital camera on the “best” or “highest quality” setting. Information is due 10 days prior to publication date. Submission does not guarantee placement.

Chandler United Methodist Church Making and Deploying Disciples for over 100 Years. Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

Thursday Evenings: Aug 1st - Sept 26th, 2019 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


At 8:30 am & 10 am

Purchase Materials at https://fpu.com/1091269

Anxiety/Fear • Depression • Stress • Grief/Loss Veterans and/or Family Members Dr. Julian Pickens, EdD, LISAC, LMFT, BRl-11

Licensed in Arizona as an Independent Substance Abuse Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist. Specializes in couple and family counseling and substance abuse counseling.

480-963-3360 | www.chandlermethodist.org | 450 E. Chandler Heights Rd.

Deb Ralston, MC, LPC, NCC

Licensed in Arizona as an Independent Professional Counselor and certified as a National Certified Counselor.

Call 480-895-8766 today for a complimentary initial consultation. A counselor will promptly return your call. Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, 9248 E. Riggs Rd.,Sun Lakes, AZ 85248 www.sunlakescounselingservices.org

Come, Worship the Lord

Praise Him

Glorify His Name



ROC156315, ROC285317


FREE ESTIMATES! FREE DIAGNOSIS! OPEN 24/7/365 (480) 524-1002


Call us at 480-898-6465 or email classifieds@santansun.com Proud member of

LANDSCAPING Four adsHANDYMAN for $116.73



FREE Estimates!




Pet Odor & Stain Removal Pro & Truck Mount Steam

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Able Handyman Service LLC Not a licensed contractor

Plumbing Electrical

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Jim • 480.593.0506 Ablehandyman2009@gmail.com



Carlos Medina - 602-677-3200




East Valley PAINTERS Voted #1 Paint Interior & Exterior • Drywall Repair Light Carpentry • Power Washing • Textures Matched Popcorn Removal • Pool Deck Coatings Garage Floor Coatings • Color Consulting

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We Beat Competitors Prices & Quality Free Estimates• 3 Year Warranty


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Bonded/Insured • ROC#153131

Now Accepting all

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Black Sheep Motorsports & Transmission Repair Services


Trans Rebuilding & Repair All Vehicle Types FREE ESTIMATES FINANCE AVAILABLE 14421 E VALLEJO ST CHANDLER 82549

Dunn Edwards Quality Paint Small Stucco/Drywall Repairs We Are State Licensed and Reliable!

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Black Sheep


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25 $ 500


A group of local business representatives and owners committed to development of local businesses in the Greater Chandler Area. Providing a forum for local businesses to promote themselves. We also work with and promote several non-profit organizations. Each member is required to assist or fund a non-profit organization as a show of support to our community.

RESIDENTIAL & SMALL BUSINESS CLEANING SPECIALISTS SINCE 2007 Weekly, biweekly, tri-weekly, or monthly; same talented crew each visit Flexible, customized services to meet individual needs of each client GREEN eco-friendly products used to clean and sanitize Move-in/move-out and seasonal deep cleans Small, family-owned company with GUARANTEED high quality services Always dependable, excellent references, bonded, and insured



Gift card to Lowe’s with Quote off project

Family owned in Chandler since 2002





• Daily Visits to Your Home • Multiple Visits to Your Home Don’t feel guilty for leaving your pet ... Sandi will keep those tails waggin’

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Remodeling License ROC #183369 • Bonded, Insured

www.sandistailwaggers.com Member of the PSI and Chamber of Commerce Licesed, Insured and Bonded






Planning a new business in Chandler?


Check in with the Chandler Chamber of Commerce for help.

House Painting, Drywall, Reliable, Dependable, Honest! QUICK RESPONSE TO YOUR CALL! 15 Years Experience • Free Estimates

480.266.4589 www.chandlerchamber.com

josedominguez0224@gmail.com Not a licensed contractor.


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• Sprinkler/Drip Repairs • New Installs Poly/PVC • Same Day Service



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Cutting Edge LLC • ROC 21671



Four ads for $116.73




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SanTan Sun News Classified Ads


480-892-5000 480-726-1600

To Place Your Classified Ad 480-898-6465 class@timespublications.com

Read our paper online: www.SanTanSun.com

BEAUTY SERVICES Offering Lash extensions and Permanent Make up at Cindy's Hair salon located in Chandler 1076 W Chandler Blvd Suite 110 Lash Extensions Classic Set $65 Refills $40 Permanent Make-up $175 Call or text RoAn Y Welch 480-781-8277



Discounts to all: • Seniors • Military • First Responders

BIG JOHN'S CARPET CLEANING Our truck-mounted steam cleaning system will deep clean your carpets, ridding them of unwanted dirt, bacteria, fungus and chemical residues. Upholstery cleaning also available. Tile and grout cleaning. For a clean and healthy carpet, call 480-786-6610 or 602-989-8311 John Downs, Owner/Operator, Ocotillo Resident. Call for monthly specials.


Since 1968



WINDOWS/ CLEANING John’s Window Cleaning The Owners Clean Your Windows!

1-Story $145 2-Story $165 Inside & Out Up to 30 Panes Additional Panes $3 ea. Screens Cleaned $3 ea. pane Power Washing Available

480-201-6471 POOL SERVICES


• Brush Walls & Benches • Remove all Debris from Surface of Water • Empty all Baskets (skimmer, leaf canister, pump baskets, etc.) • Inspect Equipment for any Repairs, Leaks, Etc., and Report to Customer if Anything is Needed • Backwash as Needed • Check & Balance Chemicals • Basic Chemicals Included with Monthly Service!

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Lifetime East Valley Arizona Native! • Locally Owned & Operated • • Honest & Reliable • TONY ALMADA OWNER 602.574.7690 • WINGMANPOOLS@YAHOO.COM


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MUSTANG CARPET & TILE CLEANING Carpet, Tile & Grout, and Upholstery Cleaning. Family owned, truck-mounted steam cleaning. We off 1/2-hour appointment time frames, so no waiting around. We include pre-spraying, mild deodorizer and degreasers for high traffic areas at no charge. Member BBB with A+ Rating! "We clean like it's our own!" 480-688-3003

CLEANING SERVICES HOUSE CLEANING The lowest prices in the Valley! We provide all cleaning supplies. 20 years experience Trustworthy and dependable We pay attention to details Excellent References Call Vicky 480-227-1890



MELISSA'S CLEANING SERVICE Make Your House Sparkle & Shine.

Dave's Tile Installation 25+years experience Floors, countertops, back splashes, showers, exterior patio BBQ's & repairs. Any tile of your choice. Quality Work at a reasonable price. Free Estimates. Please call 480-748-9826 480-748-1545

Reliable Energetic Cleaning. Reasonable Rates. Free Estimates. giada42607@gmail.com 480-395-8757


I SHOW UP! 480-406-3610

GLASS SERVICES GLASS, MIRRORS, SHOWER DOORS Family Owned with 50 years' EXPERIENCE. Shower and tub enclosures Framed, Frameless or Custom Doors We also install insulated glass, mirrored closet doors, window glass, mirrors, patio doors, glass table protectors. If itʼs glass, we can help you. QUALITY SERVICE at Competitive Prices. FREE Estimates WESLEY'S GLASS & MIRROR

Call 480-306-5113 wesleysglass.com SERVICING THE ENTIRE VALLEY


LANDSCAPING BERNIE'S LANDSCAPING Mowing, Clean-Ups, Gravel, Winter Grass, Irrigation Repair, Tree Removal & Pruning. Landscape Maintenance FREE Estimates (not a licensed contractor)



A Professional and Reliable Maintenance Company. Services Include, Weekly and Bi-Weekly Maintenance, One Time Clean Ups, Weed Control, Tree Work and More. Call Rick For a Free Estimate 480-250-6608 or email: Kuttingedgelandscape@cox.net

and Visit:


LEGAL SERVICES Mobile Notary Services Tamika Thompson, Notary Public Available via appointment. Evenings and weekends OK! (480) 547-0032 tamikathompsonnotary @gmail.com

Honey-Do List Electrical, Plumbing, Drywall, Painting & Home Renovations.


Call Greg 480-510-2664 AFriendInMeHandyman @gmail.com

Custom Crafts by: Vet Thompson. Woodworking & Laminates Beautiful Handmade Wooden Swings on 4 adjustable chains. 34" high, 32" Deep & 72'' long. $400 Call to come see. 480-363-2105

Not a licensed contractor.

UNIVERSAL HOME REPAIR Small projects, house maintenance and renovations, house/apartment preparation for new tenants. Air conditioning repairs. Call Jack @ 480-213-4005 jacekwrona@cox.net SanTan Sun News Classifieds & Business Directory Ads WORK!

Place your ad today! Call 480-898-6465 or Email:


MOVING IN OR OUT MOVERS Professional, hardworking, excellent service. No hidden fees. Whether you are moving in or moving out LEAVE THE LIFTING TO US! Serving the East Valley. www.inoroutmoversphoenixmetro.com

Call Terry at 602-653-5367


CLASSIFIEDS PLUMBING ABC PLUMBING & ROOTER CHANDLER/GILBERT *$79.00 OFF with this ad* 110% Guarantee*/OWNER OPERATED Small & Large REPAIRS 24/7 Slab leak, water main, hot water heaters, & sewer repair specialist. Water softening specialist, water filters, and reverse osmosis. 100-year warranty on parts & labor. * BBB A+ Rating. BBB Ethics Award Winner. Chandler Chamber of Commerce Employer of Choice Award. ROC#153202/213288 *Call for details 480-726-1600

REAL ESTATE MANUFACTURED HOMES (SALE) BRAND NEW NEVER LIVED IN 2 BED / 2 BATH HOMES $48,900 Financing Available. Also Available Affordable Homes Between $5K - $15K 55+ Mobile Home Park in Great Chandler Location. Call Kim 480-233-2035

Classified Works! 480-898-6465

Roommate needed? Classifieds can Help!



Call us at 480-898-6465 or email classifieds@santansun.com Proud member of




ABC PLUMBING & ROOTER 480-705-7772 SERVICE NOW!! 110% Guaranteed/100 Year Warranty. OWNER Operated (Licensed, Bonded, Insured). 20% OFF Seniors/Military. A+ Rating with BBB, Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, AZ award winning. If it's plumbing, we do it! 24-hour flood restoration services. Financing approval in minutes with NO MONEY DOWN & ZERO INTEREST. ROC#153202/213278

DIRTY WINDOWS? Call Fish Window Cleaning @ 480-962-4688 and you will have the cleanest windows and screens on the block. Below is the list of services we offer: Windows – Interior & Exterior Screens – Sunscreens and Regular Tracks, Ceiling Fans, Light Fixtures Power Washing - Your driveway, sidewalks and patios. Follow us on InstaGram @FISH_WCEASTVALLEYAZ

"MOM WAS RIGHT" Appearance Counts! PROFESSIONAL WINDOW CLEANING Detailed Service and Tidy Inside Your Home! 1 Story-$100 & 2 Story-$140 Up to 30 Panes. Price Includes Inside and Out. Screens Cleaned $3 Each. Pressure Washing and Fixture Cleaning Also Available. 21 Years of Accumulated References! CALL RON at 480-584-1643 A+ Member of BBB Bonded & Insured

Inside Sales - FT - Tempe

Candidate will be responsible for developing new business for targeted specialty publications. Primary responsibilities include strategic prospecting, sales acquisition via the phone, account retention and must be able to work collaboratively with clients and internal staff. Top candidate will possess excellent communic-ation skills, phone presence, and enthusiasm, be able to meet critical deadlines, have a positive, professional attitude and the ability to work as part of a fun team.

Qualifications/Requirements • High School Diploma or GED; BA/BS in advertising, Marketing or related field a plus • Minimum of 3 yrs sales experience; advertising preferred; knowledge of print media a plus • Excellent customer service skills internal and external • Strong computer skills, Word, Excel, Gmail, Google docs and spreadsheet knowledge helpful • Excellent written and verbal communication skills • Valid Driver’s License and Proof of Vehicle Insurance Benefits, 401K, PTO, Paid Holidays Please send your resume to ecota@timespublications.com

Call for dental coverage today to help save money on big dental bills.

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Req’s installment agmt & new line of svc on elig. postpaid voice plan (min. $45/mo. after discounts start w/in 2 bills). AT&T Door to Door and Local Service Providers only. *Limited-Time Offer. Req’s port-in. AT&T Door to Door and Local Service Providers on Claim w/in 75 days. $30 Activation, add’l fees, taxes & other charges, & restr’s apply. See below for details.

Call us, your AT&T Preferred Dealer. IV SUPPORT HOLDINGS LLC


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Where To Eat


For more community news visit SanTanSun.com

Copper Still goes eclectic on spirits, spicy foods BY COLLEEN SPARKS Contributor

People craving entrees and appetizers that go beyond the typical bar fare can indulge in an unusual, eclectic mix of flavorful meals at Copper Still Moonshine Grill in two locations. Copper Still Moonshine Grill opened at 2531 S. Gilbert Road in Gilbert four years ago, and their second location opened in November 2017 at 7450 W. Chandler Blvd. The two locally owned restaurants are the top seller of Ole Smoky Moonshine in Arizona, Chuck Smeriglio, co-owner of the restaurants said. He and Stephen Wipf also own the Gilbert restaurant along with their wives, Amy Smeriglio and Raquel Wipf. Chuck works primarily at the Chandler location while Stephen spends most of his time at the Gilbert restaurant. “We’re kind of unique in we have items you won’t find in other American bars and grills,” Chuck said. “We do sell a ton of food. People always say, ‘This is not bar food.’ We’ve been cooking our whole lives.” He and Stephen are longtime restaurant industry veterans who had previously worked at another business together. “We decided we wanted to open up our own place,” Chuck said. “We thought

Katie Feldman, manager and bartender at Copper Still Moonshine Grill in Chandler, holds two meals at the restaurant. (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

restaurants until he started college. “It really is family-owned and operated,” Chuck said. “We consider our staff family.” The owners also support the community. Copper Still benefits charities by hosting poker nights, golf tournaments and kickback nights (where proceeds from food and drink sales benefit entities).

Copper Still Moonshine Grill carries moonshine in nine different flavors. (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

moonshine was the next up and coming spirit. We fill a niche people really like.” Copper Still Moonshine Grill is a family affair as Chuck and Amy’s son, Trevor, 24; is a manager at the Chandler restaurant, and their son, Hayden, 22, is a bartender at the Gilbert location. Chuck’s niece, Madison, is a server at the Gilbert Copper Still Moonshine Grill. Stephen and Raquel’s son, Ethan, had worked at the Chandler and Gilbert

Their events benefit local breast cancer facilities; Gompers, a nonprofit that develops innovative opportunities for people with disabilities; area schools, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC). “Me and Stephen really feel like we are really fortunate,” Chuck said. “We try to support local businesses, too. We want to give back.”

Chicken fajita tacos, as well as sweet Sriracha chicken, shrimp and fish tacos are also on the menu. Diners can expect lots of spices in appetizers and burgers. While many restaurants and bars serve jalapeno bites, Copper Still Moonshine Grill offers a beefier version of the popular appetizer with jalapeno boats filled with hand-stuffed bacon, cream cheese and cheddar cheese that are fried in house-made beer batter. All the produce at Copper Still Moonshine Grill comes from Willie Itule Produce, Inc. in Phoenix. The bread is made fresh at Capistrano’s in Phoenix and the restaurant uses meat from Midwestern Meats, a butcher in Mesa. Copper Still Moonshine Grill lives up to its name with many different flavors of moonshine, as well as numerous house drinks that have moonshine in them.

Many people have expressed their appreciation for Copper Still Moonshine Grill on Facebook. “We just had lunch here today for the first time,” Char Plevyak posted on Copper Still

Moonshine Grill’s Gilbert location Facebook page. “The food was excellent, I recommend the shrimp tacos. The service, prices, environment and overall experience was great as well. We will definitely be coming back!!” Amy M. Fiala also is a fan of Copper Still Moonshine Grill. She shared her praise on the restaurant’s Gilbert Facebook page. “I went to Copper Still last night for the first time,” Fiala said. “Wow! What a refreshingly awesome place!!! The food is great! I loved having a black bean burger option. But it’s the staff that really shined!!!!” She added that the staff members were fun, professional and courteous, as well as “on top of their game.” Among unique menu offerings is a chicken poblano penne pasta with chicken sautéed in a roasted poblano cream sauce served over penne pasta, garnished with tomatoes, parmesan cheese and cilantro paired with a garlic baguette. A different take on Mexican staples are the chipotle moonshine chicken tacos. They have Chipotle Moonshine marinated chicken, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, chipotle ranch and fresh limes. “It’s a very unique flavor,” Smeriglio said.

Copper Still Moonshine Grill offers an unusual take on pasta with its chicken poblano penne pasta. (Pablo Robles/Staff Photographer)

One popular drink is The Peach Pit, a concoction with Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine, Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, Sprite and a splash of orange juice served in a mason jar. The fruity house drink Orange Moonshine Margarita has Ole Smoky Big Orange Moonshine, triple sec, sweet and sour, a splash of orange juice and fresh lime. The restaurant’s Copper Mule blends Ole Smoky White Lightnin’ Moonshine, Regatta ginger beer and a muddled orange served in a copper mug. A great summer drink is the Hunch Punch Chiller, a mix of Ole Smoky Hunch Punch, lemonade, cranberry juice and Sprite, Chuck said. The restaurant also offers more than 23 different whiskeys and bourbons, including Copper City Bourbon, made from locally grown grain and corn created by Arizona Distilling Company in Tempe. Rittenhouse Rye gives customers a See

COPPER STILL on page 66





from page 65

fruitier taste with scents of peaches and bananas, that strikes the palate with white pepper and spice, according to the menu. Customers can sip lots of locally made brews including Four Peaks Brewing Company’s Kilt Lifter, a Scottish-style ale; Four Peaks’ 8th Street Pale Ale; Huss Brewing Company’s Copper State IPA, as well as Pedal Haus and SanTan Brewing Company’s beers. La Vida Rita has Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine, as well as triple sec, sweet and sour, float of Grand Mariner, served on the rocks with salt. Clyne is the lead singer and a guitarist in the legendary group Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. Copper Still Moonshine Grill carries all three of his Mexican Moonshine brands. It’s easy to catch deals at Copper Still Moonshine Grill, which has from 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. During happy hour, customers can order a small domestic draft for $3 and a large one for $4.25, as well as a small premium draft for $4.25 and a large premium draft for $5.50. Moonshine is $5.25 during happy hour. Cheeseburger sliders are $2.75 each and diners can get $2 off each for several foods including hummus, garlic French fries, nachos and mozzarella sticks. Also every week for “Moonshine Mondays,” guests can get $4 moonshine and $2 off a dozen chicken wings. Every week customers can take advantage of “Whiskey Wednesday,” where children ages 10 and under eat free

and whiskeys and bourbons are $4.75 each. A combination of two cheeseburger sliders and six chicken wings are $9.95 on Saturdays and Sundays. Copper Still Moonshine Grill makes it easy to stay entertained while eating lunch or dinner and enjoying moonshine and other drinks. The Chandler restaurant has 28 big screen televisions ideal for watching football and other games. Customers can participate in Jack Trivia Fridays starting at 8 p.m. Fridays and Team Trivia Wednesdays beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Texas Hold’em tournaments are held starting at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, at 8 and 11 p.m. Fridays; at 7 and 10 p.m. Saturdays and at 7 p.m. Sundays. The Texas Hold’em winner gets $50 while the second- and third-place participants receive gift cards to the restaurant. “We have a little bit for everybody,” Smeriglio said. “Ladies night out, happy hour. Every Wednesday kids eat free. Teenagers come in, they love the food.” Football fans can get breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays during football season. About 15 different breakfast foods, including biscuits and gravy and breakfast tacos, are offered. Copper Still Moonshine Grill is located at 7450 W. Chandler Blvd. and it is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays. During football season the restaurant opens at 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Information: chandler. copperstillmoonshinegrillaz.com

t o Gws? Ne Contact Paul Maryniak at

480-898-5647 or pmaryniak@timespublications.com E N J O Y B R E A K FA S T, L U N C H & D I N N E R !



Your Continued Support! Tank You For



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FREE Breakfast

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Marvel- Chandler | 19051 S. Arizona Ave. | Chandler, AZ 85286 | P: 480.424.2860 Paver + Brick + Veeners + Travertine + Turf Outdoor Lighting + Block Landscape Materials Sealers + Tools + Barbecues + Fireplaces

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SanTan Sun News July 6–19, 2019  

SanTan Sun News July 6–19, 2019

SanTan Sun News July 6–19, 2019  

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