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DEC 2–15 , 2017 | www.SanTanSun.com

Relentlessly local coverage of Southern Chandler and our neighboring communities

Tumbleweed tree lighting kicks off holidays Christmas tree. They put 50 gallons of flame retardant on it and spraypainted it white before tossing 70 pounds of glitter on it, then layering about 1,200 holiday lights around it and topping it with a star. The city has been making the tree of tumbleweeds since 1957, when resident Earle Barnum came up with the idea after seeing a similar one in Indiana built out of cone-shaped chicken wire with pine boughs stuck in holes. “We all look forward to doing it every year,” said Mike Quihuis, Chandler park maintenance supervisor. “It gets a lot of attention. We’ve had a lot of people come by and look at it. There’s just so many people, and just to see the rewards of all the work we’ve done from start to finish, it’s pretty rewarding.” Quihuis said the tree-lighting ceremony is probably the city event people look forward to the most in Chandler

BY COLLEEN SPARKS Staff

Chandler is a long way from its early days, when cotton, grain and alfalfa crops were huge businesses. But the city still celebrates its agricultural heritage with an unusual Christmas tree – as it will again today, Dec. 2. The city will light its tree made out of tumbleweeds at a popular ceremony tonight at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park on South Arizona Avenue, slightly south of Chandler Boulevard. Tumbleweeds attached to chicken wire in a cone shape make up the iconic tree, which will be 35 feet tall with its star on top. The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony and Parade of Lights starts at 4:30 this afternoon at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. The parade kicks off at 7 p.m. and the tree will be lit at 8. City workers have spent several weeks gathering tumbleweeds from empty lots, private companies and fields, and putting them in chicken wire in the shape of a traditional

Hopes high for reopened TechShop

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Photos by Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer

Jesus Casarez fi lled chicken wire to build the city’s iconic tumbleweed Christmas tree at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, and then mounted a cherry picker to top it off.

TUMBLEWEED page 4

Agencies offer new hope for abused spouses

BY WAYNE SCHUTSKY Staff

BY JIM WALSH Staff

TechShop Chandler – the maker space for small business owners, hobbyists and students throughout the East Valley – may have a new lease on life after unexpectedly closing on Nov. 15 in the wake of a bankruptcy announcement by its parent company. The facility provided entrepreneurs, hobbyists and students from across the East Valley who paid $150 a month to use its well-equipped space to create a range of products, from woodwork to complex CO2 filters for coal mining. Dan Rasure, a Kansas resident with a background in manufacturing, is in talks with the parent company to purchase the

Flo knew the beatings at the hands of her alcoholic husband had to stop. She knew it not just from her own injuries, but from the look in her children’s eyes as they watched. Pinned to a couch on a day that would change her life forever, Flo was getting beaten again by her manipulative husband, who was constantly accusing her of imaginary infidelity – making her check in with him from stores while shopping, even saying that another man was the father of one of their children. Experts say it is a classic scenario for domestic violence. It can take the form of belittling psychological abuse, designed

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TECHSHOP page 4

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F E AT U R E STO R I E S ICAN founder Henry Salinas passes away. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . COMMUNITY . . . . . . . Page 15 One Chandler team a champ, another becomes one today . . . .SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4 Chandler Service Club helps less fortunate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NEIGHBORS . . . . . . . . Page 49 Fanfest offers space-age thrills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 57 Valle Luna marks 20 years of good eating. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 72

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DOMESTIC page 14 More Community . . . . . . 1-28 Business . . . . . . . 29-34 Sports . . . . . . . . . 43-47 Opinion. . . . . . . . . . . .48 Neighbors. . . . . . 49-56 Arts . . . . . . . . . . . 57-64 Faith. . . . . . . . . . . 65-67 Directory . . . . . . 68-69 Classifieds. . . . . . .70-71 Where to Eat . . . 72-74

SanTan Sun News - December 2, 2017