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  • Chandler dentist offering veterans discounted work

    San Diego resident and Navy veteran Jim Jengeleski walked into a Chandler dental office with a request.“I said, ‘I’m a veteran. I don’t have dental insurance. What can you guys do for me?’ ” he said.The J. Philipp Centers for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry office set him up with a 10 percent discount, a perk available to all veterans this November. The Department of Veterans Affairs projected between 350,001 and 650,000 veterans live in Arizona, and Dr. Justin Philipp said they comprise 10-15 percent of his clientele.“I think the community around me is really supportive of veterans, but it always seems like there’s something else that could be done,” he said. “So we thought we’d give it a try to help out this year.”In addition to the discount, his office will donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit founded for awareness and support of post-9/11 injured veterans. Every crown procedure will result in a $50 donation.“It seemed like a good activity to be involved in,” he said. “They do a lot to help get people back on their feet, help injured veterans try to get back into the normal life here and get back up to speed.”

  • Tempe Elementary override renewal to keep class sizes low, expand programs

    Tempe voters’ decision to pass a 15-percent override renewal for the Tempe Elementary School District will provide almost $8 million in funding for smaller class sizes, full-time teachers and special subject classes.The Tempe Elementary School District Governing Board asked for voter support for its 15-percent maintenance and operations override, which passed with 64 percent of the vote during the Nov. 4 election.“I’m the luckiest superintendent in the state because I have a community that values what we do and has a tireless support for our children,” said Superintendent Chris Busch. “We have been very responsible with the resources that we have, and voters see that.”The override allows districts to overspend their budgets by the percent approved by voters subsidized by property taxes. The district’s approved override renewal will provide an estimated more than $7.9 million for the 2015-16 fiscal year.“With the 15-percent M&O, it allows us to go above our budget and ask the voters to fund those things that we couldn’t fund,” Busch said.The override has been in place in the district since 1987, and was last renewed in March 2010.

  • Elevation Chandler finally razed to make way for new project

    Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny said it was the most commonly asked question he receives as mayor regarding the old Elevation Chandler project: What is that thing and when it is coming down?The answer: Thursday, Nov. 20, as Tibshraeny hopped behind the controls of the massive machine that began to tear down the unfinished building.“It was a good symbolic gesture that I was able to participate in,” Tibshraeny said. “Kind of fun actually.”It was equally fun for Chandler residents in attendance.BCS Enterprises Inc., an Arizona-based demolition company, began to tear down the husk of Elevation Chandler on Thursday in preparation for the construction of Chandler Viridian, a mixed-use development to be built where Elevation Chandler used to stand.Hines, an international real estate firm, is building Chandler Viridian, and Chris Anderson, a managing director for Hines, was glad to see the eyesore come down.

  • Tempe earns high marks for LGBT support

    The city of Tempe has become a national front-runner in LGBT equality after scoring a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.The Municipal Equality Index (MEI) is a rating system the organization uses to evaluate cities on how they create equal opportunities for the LGBT community. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, and the acronym has extended to include queer, question, asexual and intersex.The MEI has 47 criteria, all of which fall under one of six categories: nondiscrimination laws, relationship recognition, municipality’s employment policies, contracting nondiscrimination requirements, inclusiveness of city services, law enforcement and municipal leadership on matters of equality.Only 38 cities out of a total of 353 that were indexed nationwide achieved a perfect score of 100, including Tempe, Phoenix and Tucson.“Here in Tempe, we have a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 1999, we were one of the first cities to provide domestic partner benefits for our employees, and just this year, we approved an anti-discrimination ordinance and Tempe voters cemented it into place by voting overwhelmingly to add anti-discrimination language to our city charter,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell during a press conference on Nov. 12.The Tempe City Council has worked to increase its MEI rating after achieving a score of 72 in 2013, the first year it received a rating.

  • Gilbert Public Schools delays outline of textbook redactions

    Community members who reside within the Gilbert Public Schools’ boundaries will have to wait a little longer to find out exactly how the district will redact several of its textbooks, a decision that may have become finalized during the meeting.District Superintendent Christina Kishimoto was scheduled to present a plan as to how Gilbert will alter several of its textbooks — specifically the honors’ biology book “Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections” — after the governing board voted to do so during its Oct. 28 meeting. The board’s 3-2 vote — members Jill Humpherys and Lily Tram voted against it — was rooted by concerns it violated Arizona Revised Statute 15-115, which requires references to abortion that aren’t coupled with references to childbirth and adoption as preferred options.Kishimoto was set to provide a plan as to how the district would implement the decision — board president Staci Burk said via email the plan is to redact the books this summer — but the board instead decided to kibosh the discussion due to its placement on the agenda along with the rest of her superintendent’s report. Board clerk Daryl Colvin said the board attorney recommended withholding the vote because it wasn’t placed as its own item on the agenda.The move came after the board ended up tabling a separate item in which the board would clarify exactly what the district would do to change the textbooks. The item was brought by Burk, who said Kishimoto received different directions about the board’s October vote from different members.She added the decision could be read to have the district remove all references to abortion in the book and not the mention on the one page discussed in October.“The way the motion reads, it says ‘all references to abortion.’ I had a differing opinion; I wanted to mirror the law,” she said.

  • Hamilton defense fends off Brophy, vaults Huskies to 7th-straight championship game

    Some things don't change.Not only is Hamilton back in the state championship game, but the Huskies on Friday used a familiar recipe to get there.Top-seeded Hamilton dominated the second half behind its stingy defense and hard-nosed run game to beat Brophy 24-7 in the Division I semifinals at Chandler High.The Huskies will face rival Chandler in next week's championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium. It will be Hamilton's seventh straight title game appearance and its 11th in 12 years. The only time since 2003 Hamilton didn't make the championship game was in 2007, when Brophy knocked off the Huskies in the semifinals.The fourth-seeded Broncos appeared ready to do so again on Friday but missed multiple scoring opportunities in the first half. That was all Hamilton needed.After it veered from its tried-and-true formula a bit too much in the first half — which resulted in two interceptions and a mere 69 yards — the Huskies came out of halftime and marched down the field in nine plays to, for all intents and purposes based on their defense, put the game away on a 19-yard pass from James Sosinski to Ian Anderson.

  • 'Mockingjay – Part 1” serves as a solid prelude to war

    Three films into the four-movie franchise and “The Hunger Games” series remains one of cinema’s biggest teases. For two years the series has offered an underlying promise of some grand battle between good and evil loaded with flaming arrows and bodies being tossed about with little regard for the lives of the stunt people.It didn't happen in films one and two — scenes of violence in those films are pretty well contained to the arena — and the third, “Mockingjay – Part 1,” has even fewer action sequences than either of the first films. Yet that doesn't prove problematic for the entertainment level on screen; rather, the first half of the final chapter does a very good job showing the machinations of revolution and continuing the unraveling of torture of poor Katniss Everdeen's mind and soul.“Mockingjay” picks up right after from the end “Catching Fire,” with Katniss, once again portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, and fellow tribute Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) undergoing medical treatment in District 13 as a result of the last games. Lawrence's healing is interrupted by a request from district president Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and former game designer cum Capitol traitor Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to serve as the face of the rebellion, aka the titular mockingjay. It’s an obligation she prefers to avoid, but her mind changes after visiting the remains of her home in District 12 and watching love interest Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) shill on behalf of the villainous Snow (Donald Sutherland).The goal is to brew a revolution through a series of propaganda pieces sent out to the outlying districts featuring Lawrence, Claflin, and the series’ second love interest, Gale Hawthorne (handsome Liam Hemsworth). Also on board to help are a film crew, mentor Haymitch Abernathy (Wood Harrelson), daffy Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), genius tribute Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), her sister and mother (Willow Shields and Paula Malcomson, among others), and a collection of new faces.There's not much more to add to the outline aside from a few funky character names and some hyper-specific plot points due to the aforementioned dearth of on-screen action. There are glimpses from rebellious districts, executions, and one scene with Lawrence, an explosive arrow and a pair of bombers that ends as one would expect from that scenario; the rest is talk about war and overturning Sutherland's oppressive regime.Everything is, in essence, a promise to what will come in 2015, when the final film and the back half of the finale comes out. It's a promise to what should be an epic spectacle, a showdown between Sutherland's troops and the angry district denizens led by Lawrence and Moore, as well as the fulfillment of the dreams many fans have had since the series started.

  • Score affordable art at ASU Student Art Market

    It’s hard to be an art collector on a budget, but this weekend, you can purchase original works of art, crafted by local student artists, for as little as $30, at a student art market in downtown Tempe.The market (nicknamed SAM) is the creation of five Arizona State University School of Film, Dance and Theatre graduate students in an Arts Entrepreneurship seminar. The market will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Casey Moore’s, a restaurant and bar at the corner of Ninth Street and Ash Avenue in Tempe.The five ASU grad student entrepreneurs — Kara Chesser, Mollie Flanagan, Shelby Maticic, Ashley Laverty and Emily May — are working together to help student artists support themselves through their art.“It wasn’t until we did our research that I realized how enthusiastic people would be about a student art market”, said May. “It really helped us to understand what appeals to the people we hope to draw to the market.”Linda Essig, professor of the Arts Entrepreneurship seminar at ASU, wrote the following in her blog, CreativeInfrastructure.org: “How can young artists learn not just about ‘marketing,’ the skill, but about ‘market’ as a social system? Without realizing they were doing so, the students in my graduate seminar have created an opportunity to do just that.”SAM (Student Art Market) was created to connect the local community to student artists. Offering student art to the community allows the local public to interact with artists while enjoying their work.

  • Shuttered Monti’s in Tempe to auction off decor, other items

    Monti’s La Casa Vieja on Mill Avenue in Tempe closed on Nov. 17 after nearly 60 years in business — and now dozens of items and memorabilia from within the historic home-turned-restaurant will be sold in a live auction on Thursday, Dec. 4. The auction will be held at Monti’s starting at 7 p.m. A preview of the memorabilia begins at 5 p.m.“This is bittersweet. Monti’s has been Tempe’s most historic home for decades, and all of these items are personal and very special to my family,” said Michael Monti, the restaurant’s owner, in a press release. “We never imagined we would have so many people reaching out and wanting the same special keepsake from the restaurant. So we decided it is only fitting we open this up to a community auction and allow all of our friends and customers, who have supported us over the years, to take part in the auction and take a piece of Monti’s home with them.”Surplus Asset Management will conduct the auction. Auctioneer Daren Shumway will give bidders the chance to score dozens of historic framed pictures, like a large carved frame by renowned artist Dee Flagg, as well as maps, vintage menus and sports memorabilia.Additionally, a second auction of furniture, fixtures and equipment will held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 8, at Monti’s. The preview for that event begins at 8 a.m.A full catalog of the auction items is available online at SAMAuctions.com. Bids may be made in person or online. To register to bid, call (602) 442-4554.

  • Reel deals: Stretch your dollars at the theater

    AMC offers unlimited ‘Interstellar’ ticket to loyalty membersIf you’re an AMC Stubs member and a fan of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” you can purchase an unlimited ticket to the space thriller starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. The ticket, which ranges in price from $19.99 to $34.99 depending on location, allows AMC Stubs members to see the film as many times as they’d like, as often as they’d like. Stubs members who have purchased a ticket to the film can upgrade to an unlimited ticket for $14.99. There are a limited number of tickets available. Contact your local AMC Theatre for details.Harkins 2015 Loyalty Cups now on saleLooking for a gift for that difficult-to-buy-for friend or family member? Why not pick up a Harkins Theatre loyalty cup and T-shirt, which reward the owner with $1.50 soft drink refills (loyalty cup) and a free medium popcorn (T-shirt). The cups and shirts are $5.25 and $25, respectively, and can be purchased at any Harkins Theatre or online at HarkinsTheatres.com/store. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the 2015 Harkins Loyalty T-shirt will be donated to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

  • Copperstar Repertory Co. closing its doors

    After over six years of producing and teaching theater skills to local youth, Copperstar Repertory Co. in Chandler has one show left before it permanently drops the curtain.The nonprofit theater company has staged numerous shows over the years that were showcased at the Mesa Arts Center, but Copperstar closed suddenly at the end of October due to limited funding.“They just couldn’t keep going, as their expenses far outweighed their income,” said Katy Henthorne, a parent volunteer at Copperstar Repertory Co.The theater is selling its props and costumes as well as looking for another company to take over the Chandler location’s two-year lease.The sudden closing of Copperstar Repertory Co. was a shock to those involved with the theater.“They had such a great season of shows lined up too that my daughter Leah was looking forward to being a part of. In fact, she had already rehearsed and performed in two numbers from two of the shows during a season opener at the Mesa Arts Center back in September,” said Henthorne.

  • Ageless Don Rickles dishes on seven-decade showbiz career

    Don’t let the act fool you; Don Rickles is actually a very nice man.The world’s most famous insult comedian is engaging, studied and surprisingly low-key. His humor, however, is still bombastic as ever.Rickles took his first step toward national fame in 1957 when he spotted crooner Frank Sinatra in the audience at a Miami Beach nightclub. Sinatra enjoyed Rickles’ act so much that he encouraged all of his celebrity friends to see him. Sinatra’s continued support helped Rickles become a popular performer in Las Vegas in 1959; he has been a headliner ever since.The 88-year-old Rickles spoke to GetOut from his Beverly Hills home to promote his Nov. 21 show at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino. Rickles was forthcoming about his seven-decade career, his friendship with Sinatra, and why he’s still on the stage.Q: Was there a lot of laughter and joking around in your household growing up?DR: Oh, yes. My mother was fun and my father, who was from Russia, was what we called a ‘kibitzer.’ He told a lot of great stories and was easy to talk to. Ours was a happy home.

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  • Seminar at Banner Desert in Mesa to focus on pelvic health

    Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa will host a free seminar about pelvic health on Dec. 4.Urogynecologists Dr. Ryan Stratford and Dr. Kelly Kantartzis will discuss issues like leaky bladders, incontinence, and pelvic prolapse. Attendees can also ask questions to the doctors during the event.The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Banner Desert, located at 1400 S. Dobson Road.

  • Chandler dentist offering veterans discounted work

    San Diego resident and Navy veteran Jim Jengeleski walked into a Chandler dental office with a request.“I said, ‘I’m a veteran. I don’t have dental insurance. What can you guys do for me?’ ” he said.The J. Philipp Centers for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry office set him up with a 10 percent discount, a perk available to all veterans this November. The Department of Veterans Affairs projected between 350,001 and 650,000 veterans live in Arizona, and Dr. Justin Philipp said they comprise 10-15 percent of his clientele.“I think the community around me is really supportive of veterans, but it always seems like there’s something else that could be done,” he said. “So we thought we’d give it a try to help out this year.”In addition to the discount, his office will donate to the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit founded for awareness and support of post-9/11 injured veterans. Every crown procedure will result in a $50 donation.“It seemed like a good activity to be involved in,” he said. “They do a lot to help get people back on their feet, help injured veterans try to get back into the normal life here and get back up to speed.”

  • Let Joe Know: Job seekers: Beware when posting your résumé on state website

    If you’re looking for a job, you may have posted your resume on the state website, azjobconnection.gov. It’s required if you collect unemployment benefits in Arizona.That’s why Dan Thompson posted his resume on the site. He’s looking for middle management manufacturing work.He read me one of the replies: “Hello Dan, how are you doing? I’m Robert Wayne Ford from Jindal Steel and I’m contacting you in regard to your resume posted on azjobconnection.gov.”It’s one of several replies he received just a few days after posting.But instead of being delighted, Thompson was angry.“I replied to him, ‘I’m turning you into the authorities,’” he says.

  • Elevation Chandler finally razed to make way for new project

    Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny said it was the most commonly asked question he receives as mayor regarding the old Elevation Chandler project: What is that thing and when it is coming down?The answer: Thursday, Nov. 20, as Tibshraeny hopped behind the controls of the massive machine that began to tear down the unfinished building.“It was a good symbolic gesture that I was able to participate in,” Tibshraeny said. “Kind of fun actually.”It was equally fun for Chandler residents in attendance.BCS Enterprises Inc., an Arizona-based demolition company, began to tear down the husk of Elevation Chandler on Thursday in preparation for the construction of Chandler Viridian, a mixed-use development to be built where Elevation Chandler used to stand.Hines, an international real estate firm, is building Chandler Viridian, and Chris Anderson, a managing director for Hines, was glad to see the eyesore come down.

  • Tempe Elementary School District to interview for teaching positions

    The Tempe Elementary School District will interview for a series of open teaching position at the fall teacher recruitment fair on Dec. 2.The district is hiring for several teaching positions, and interviews for those spots will last for 20 minutes.The interviews are at the district’s governing board room, located at 3205 S. Rural Road, from noon to 4:30 p.m. Email Nidia Lias at nlias@tempeschools.org to schedule an interview.

  • Montessori School opens in Gilbert

    Creo Montessori School opened its doors in Gilbert with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 17.Creo is a private Montessori school for students in Gilbert and the surrounding area from age 15 months to elementary school. Information about it is available by visiting (480) 208-0256 or visiting creoschool.org.

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  • Engineering for Kids Summer Camp

    Engineering for Kids offering STEM Based Summer Camps at Primavera in Chandler. Announces Summer Camp Open House on May 17thWhat is East Valley Engineering for Kids?Engineering for Kids is an enrichment program that teaches concepts on a variety of engineering fields in classes and camps for kids’ ages 4-14. We want to spark an interest in the kids for science, technology and engineering. The camps are all themes based and require the kids to work in teams to address engineering challenges and problems. All programs meet national education standards for STEM and align with Common Core for math and science. Engineering for Kids has operated since 2009, is in 26 states and 4 countries. When and what is the open house for?The open house on May 17th is an opportunity for parents to come and see the facility, meet the staff from Engineering for Kids, and get their questions answered. The summer camps will be offered at Primavera Blended Learning Center at 2451 N. Arizona Avenue in Chandler. The open house is from 11 am to 3 pm.  From 1-2 pm we’re having our popular robotics workshop where the kids will build, program, test and improve the robots. At the end of the workshop, the kids will compete against each other in a Sumo Bot tournament. An RSVP is highly recommended as seating is limited. Please email your RSVP to eastvalley@engineeringforkids.net. What is Primavera Blended Learning Center?

  • 12 Days of Holiday Cookies: Day 2 inspired by Twix

    So how do you eat a Twix bar? Do you use your teeth to scrape all of the chocolate-caramel topping off, then go back and eat the naked crunchy cookie? Do you nibble first some chocolate-caramel, then some cookie, then back to chocolate-caramel, and so on? Or do you wholesale devour it, cookie, caramel and chocolate all at once?With our cookies, it doesn't much matter. We've taken those three things we love about Twix and combined them into one terrific bar cookie you can eat however you like.GOLD BARSStart to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active)Servings: 241/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 12 Days of Holiday Cookies: Day 1 inspired by Butterfinger

    You may not lay a finger on anyone's Butterfinger, but you will want to grab a plateful of this Butterfinger-inspired holiday bark. Like the candy bar, this sweet treat is jammed with peanut butter, has a satisfyingly crunchy-flaky bite and — of course — sports plenty of chocolate. But to keep your enamel intact, we made it slightly less sweet and a little more grown up.CRACKLE BARKStart to finish: 20 minutes, plus coolingServings: 181 tablespoon coffee beans, finely crushed or ground3 tablespoons barley malt syrup

  • Dreams of drone-assisted farming are taking flight

    NAPA, Calif. — Hot air balloons drifting in multicolored splashes against a blue heaven are a common sight in the Napa Valley. But lately, more than balloons have been taking to the wine country skies.A few pioneers are experimenting with unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, exploring their potential for such agricultural chores as monitoring, irrigation and crop spraying.Drones make sense for wine country, especially on the steep slopes associated with high-end wines, says Steve Markofski, spokesman for Yamaha Motor Corp. USA, which has been testing its RMAX remote-controlled helicopter for spray applications with the University of California, Davis.Tractors may be defeated by the narrow rows and hilly terrain, but a drone can skim over the rows no problem. They also don't tamp down on the earth like tractor tires, a problem that can starve roots of oxygen among other things.Once strictly a military machine, drones have been slowly moving into civilian life. Civil rights groups have raised concerns over possible invasions of privacy, especially in the context of law enforcement use, but the Napa Valley test flights, limited to private property, didn't encounter opposition.Yamaha, which has used its RMAX drones for agriculture spraying in Japan for over 15 years, isn't the only company interested in viticulture. A Canadian company, PrecisionHawk, has modified a drone to resemble a hawk, initially using it to scare away grape-eating birds from vineyards in the Niagara wine region. They later realized they also could collect useful data on things like insect populations and diseased vines during the flights.

  • Turkey production down, wholesale prices up

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Turkey production is at its lowest level in nearly three decades and wholesale prices are at an all-time high, but Thanksgiving cooks probably won't see much difference in the price they pay at the stores for their frozen birds.This year's anticipated stock is 235 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service — the lowest since 1986, when U.S. farmers produced roughly 207 million birds.While the estimated 2014 number doesn't indicate a shortage of turkeys, which can remain in cold storage for a year or longer, it does reflect a pullback in recent years by poultry producers who were forced to reduce their flocks to remain afloat."Last year was a bloodbath. It was bad," said John Zimmerman, a farmer in Northfield, Minnesota, who produces about 300,000 turkeys a year. He said scaled back his numbers in recent years because higher feed and transportation prices, among other things, cut into his bottom line. Even the price of soybean meal — which accounts for about 30 percent of turkey feed — is at a historical high, he said.All areas of livestock production — poultry included — were drastically cut after the widespread 2012 drought in an attempt to stifle losses, says Corinne Alexander, a Purdue University agricultural economist. Plus, many farmers are using feed that they bought in the wake of the drought, which cost more than the current market price."What's happening in the turkey sector is a mini-story of what is happening in other sectors, where the impact has been really dramatic," Alexander said. "If you look at beef cattle, we have the smallest beef cattle herd since 1951, and prices for beef are up 17 percent this year."

  • Town organizing interfaith Thanksgiving event

    The town of Gilbert will have its annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration at 7 p.m. on Nov. 25.The event will include music from local artists and church choirs as a means of promoting understanding and unity among the town’s diverse population, along with the implementation of the Golden Rule.Admission is free, although people can provide a voluntary cash donations to support the House of Refuge and Family Promise. The event is at First United Methodist Church, located at 331 S. Cooper Road.

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