East Valley Tribune

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  • MSCO confirms Salt River horse was shot to death

    MESA, AZ - The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday that the horse that was found dead on Sunday has indeed been shot. On Thursday, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group said via Facebook that a horse was found shot to death in the Coon Bluff Campground area. The 12-year-old horse, Dotty, was shot four times--three times in the head and once in the shoulder.After MCSO's Animal Crimes Unit investigated the death and completed a necropsy (animal autopsy) it concluded that the horse had indeed been shot. This is not the first time a horse was killed due to gunshot wounds.Last year, another horse was found after being shot twice in the chest. Two other horses survived their gunshot wounds within the last year. 

  • Northern Arizona University shooting: 1 dead, 3 wounded in shooting at NAU

    A Northern Arizona University student is dead and three others are injured after a shooting on campus early Friday morning.NAU officials have identified the student killed as freshman Colin Brough, of Colorado. Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring, also freshman, are currently being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center. Their current conditions are unclear.NAU tweeted out just before 3 a.m. that the suspect, 18-year-old Steven Jones, is in custody.Flagstaff Police Chief Greg Fowler said Jones opened fire during a fight between two student groups that were arguing.Fowler said Jones had a handgun but stopped shooting once an officer arrived."Steven was taken into custody by NAU PD. He stopped his action with his handgun and everything calmed down for a few minutes as our officer arrived,” he said.ABC15 has confirmed that Jones and one of the victims attended the same high school in Glendale.

  • Chandler police searching for child sexual assault suspect

    CHANDLER, AZ - Authorities are searching for a suspect who they say sexually assaulted a young girl Thursday morning in Chandler.Chandler police say the incident happened around 10 a.m. while the girl was waiting for a daycare bus near Arizona Avenue and Pecos Road.Officers are going door-to-door to gather more information and warn neighbors to be alert.The suspect is described as a white male, 20-30 years old with short black hair, a moustache and goatee. He was wearing a black baseball cap, black t-shirt and dark pants. Officers say the suspect fled on foot and no vehicle was seen.If you have any information, you are urged to contact the Chandler Police Department.

  • Tempe’s Oktoberfest about more than just beer

    Oktoberfest is a time-honored tradition world-wide. It’s a time to get together and not only eat, drink and enjoy good company, but also a chance to give back to the community.At least that is what Four Peaks Brewing Company is doing as the title sponsor of Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake Oct. 9-11, which helps benefit Tempe Sister Cities.It is Four Peaks’ third year sponsoring the free event after a brewery expansion afforded them the ability to provide enough beer for the event.“Prior to that we just didn’t have enough beer to support an event that size,” said Greg Ross, Four Peaks’ marketing director. “Once we had the beer it made sense to be able to do it.”Tempe Sister Cities, a program that offers student, professional and humanitarian exchanges, provides many of the volunteers for the event and much of their fundraising comes from event proceeds of Oktoberfest, which is in its 43rd year.“This is the No. 1 biggest thing we put on all year,” said Bobbi Jones, event coordinator for Oktoberfest. “This is the single most (important) event that raises the money for the kids’ trips... It’s all paid by Oktoberfest.”

  • Organization helps build Mesa business community

    The goals of the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) are relatively simple.They are to help Mesa businesses become better, to create better business corridors in the community, and to influence and advocate for good community development, NEDCO Executive Director Augie Gastelum said.NEDCO is a community development financial institution. Such institutions were created in the 1980s when banks were red-lining particular areas and not opening branches in those low-income communities, Gastelum said. So, Congress responded by passing the community reinvestment act, designed to get banks in low-income neighborhoods. When that failed, the U.S. Treasury Department created the community institutions because the federal government said those areas needed capital for investment in order to improve the neighborhoods, he said. NEDCO was created in 1997.Today the financing of businesses is just a small portion of what NEDCO does. Much bigger, he said, is the community development work the organization does.“We help the community develop around business districts,” Gastelum said. And, NEDCO works with businesses and neighborhoods to educate residents about nearby businesses and to connect residential and business communities.“Even though our main reason for existing is to provide capital, our goal is to create healthier corridors,” Gastelum said. NEDCO staffers are hearing a lot about “a desire for more night life” in downtown Mesa, along with more retail stores and more boutique stores, he said. And, they’re working on those angles.

  • Kyrene Traditional Academy recognized as Blue Ribbon School

    In just its fourth year offering structured education to East Valley students, Kyrene Traditional Academy (KTA) in Chandler has been selected as a Blue Ribbon School. The prestigious designation, given by the Department of Education to only four Arizona schools this year, is bestowed on elementary, middle and high schools that either achieve high levels of performance or succeed in closing the achievement gap – Kyrene won in the latter category. It is the first school in the Kyrene School District to be selected as a Blue Ribbon School.This achievement gap refers to the gap in success between certain subgroups where children, due to a disadvantaged upbringing or disability, often perform poorer as a whole than their peers. Schools where 40 percent or more of students are from these disadvantaged groups that are able to close this gap in achievement are eligible to be nominated as a Blue Ribbon School.“Closing the gap involves getting these students to where they need to be at grade level by providing targeted intervention for those students that are performing at a lower level than their peers,” said Dr. Marianne Lescher, principal at KTA.This targeted intervention is chief among the programs to which Lescher attributes KTA’s success. The program, meant to raise the performance of students who have not met the school’s standards, is used in conjunction with benchmark baseline data that tracks the performance of students over the course of the year. Above all, it is a program that is adaptive and caters to what each student requires.“We give small group intervention aimed at their specific needs,” Lescher said. “If a child is in fifth grade but reading at a third-grade level we will have daily meetings with them to slowly bring them up to level and provide individual support when needed.”These high standards the students are expected to meet are formed around KTA’s adherence to the Spalding Method, a child-centered educational philosophy based in an interactive and multi sensory approach to instruction. Teachers at KTA must undergo more than 80 hours of additional and on-going training in order to teach using the Spalding Method.

  • Sanmarga

    Silambam Phoenix, a school of Indian dance, presents Sanmarga — The continuum of a glorious tradition. On Oct. 23 and 25, the local non-profit dance school will be performing gorgeous Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian dance, to honor its 15th anniversary in a two-day festival at the Mesa Arts Center. This classical form of dance originated in southern India and began as a form of religious expression performed at temples. The dances typically tell a story, very often about one of the Hindu dieties. Through powerful beats, gorgeously articulated gestures and mudras, viewers will be transported beyond their seats into a realm of beauty and transcendence. There will be live music on the Friday performance, which is sure to give you tingles.Srimathy Mohan is the founder and teacher behind Silambam Phoenix. She spoke with GetOut about the this ancient dance form and what it takes to put together a festival of this size. See a behind-the-scenes video with Mohan and her dancers at EVTrib on YouTube.All proceeds from the anniversary festival will be donated to various social causes and those specifically aimed at helping children around the world.DETAILS>> 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 23 and 3:30 p.m., Sunday Oct. 25. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $10-$50. Contact: silambamphx@gmail.com or mesaartscenter.com.

  • Silambam Phoenix, a school of Indian dance, presents Sanmarga — The continuum of a glorious tradition. On Oct. 23 and 25, the local non-profit dance school will be performing gorgeous Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian dance, to honor its 15th anniversary in a two-day festival at the Mesa Arts Center. This classical form of dance originated in southern India and began as a form of religious expression performed at temples. The dances typically tell a story, very often about one of the Hindu dieties. Through powerful beats, gorgeously articulated gestures and mudras, viewers will be transported beyond their seats into a realm of beauty and transcendence. There will be live music on the Friday performance, which is sure to give you tingles.

    GetOut Spotlight: Silambam Phoenix

    Silambam Phoenix, a school of Indian dance, presents Sanmarga — The continuum of a glorious tradition. On Oct. 23 and 25, the local non-profit dance school will be performing gorgeous Bharatanatyam, a traditional Indian dance, to honor its 15th anniversary in a two-day festival at the Mesa Arts Center. This classical form of dance originated in southern India and began as a form of religious expression performed at temples. The dances typically tell a story, very often about one of the Hindu dieties. Through powerful beats, gorgeously articulated gestures and mudras, viewers will be transported beyond their seats into a realm of beauty and transcendence. There will be live music on the Friday performance, which is sure to give you tingles.

  • Art as protest

    Ai Weiwei. The name might not be familiar to you, but chances are you have heard of him. The dissident contemporary Chinese artist who was under house arrest until this past June has always had an interest in social issues, which he explores through his art. Often times his direct and poignant works angered the Chinese government to the point of physically harming him. Yet the government’s brutality did not stop him and the intrepid artist continued to create and be a voice of dissent, even when he was under house arrest.The Phoenix Art Museum is proud to exhibit Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads, which opened Oct. 3. The busts are of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. Ai Weiwei’s gilt bronze sculptures were created in response to the sudden reemergence of the original zodiac animal heads in Paris auction back in 2009.The original animal busts were part of a very sophisticated fountain at the Old Summer Palace outside Beijing, which is now in ruins. The heads were looted from the palace in 1860 during the Second Opium War and taken back to France and England.“This has become quite a point of contention for the Chinese,” said Janet Baker, Asian art curator at the museum. “There you have one of them being auctioned in Paris. This caused a huge brouhaha in Beijing and elsewhere in China: ‘How dare you auction off our treasures, which should be returned to us!’”At the moment, only seven of the original heads are known to still exist. Five are yet missing: the dragon, the snake, the ram, the rooster, and the dog.“We don’t know where they are,” Baker said.

  • 'Sicario' doesn't pull its punches

    Sicario starts close to home, with an FBI hostage rescue team storming a house in Chandler, Ariz. The raid uncovers a gruesome sight — walls lined with dozens of bodies, victims of violence along the border.We are introduced to this bleak world in much the same fashion as Agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) who as the leader of the team sees the discovery as an ominous sign of the violent saga to follow.As the newest film by French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, Sicario is dripping with tension from start to finish much like his last two films, Enemy and Prisoners. Villeneuve has consistently struck a chord over the last few years with an audience searching for mature suspense that lacks the sometimes heavy-handed approach of his contemporaries. Although thoroughly saturated with violence and gunplay, Sicario remains true to this trend, approaching the script with subtlety and refinement.After that first raid, Macer, who has been “kicking down doors since day one” is offered a position on a shady task force headed by the deceptively casual Matt Graver (Josh Brolin). Questions really begin to emerge when Kate encounters Graver’s partner, the mysterious agent known only as Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), whose presence and dubious devotions immediately force Kate to confront the true nature of her team’s mission.The first trip the team makes south of the border into Juarez is a cinematic descent into hell that might remind viewers of Hank Schrader’s introduction to the seedy world of border violence in Breaking Bad. As they pass by walls lined with posters of missing people, the false sense of security given by the armed men who surround them soon slips into nonexistence, revealing the dangerous path ahead for the team.As the audience struggles with Kate to guess what is around each corner they are constantly lead astray — as Alejandro tells Kate when she asks him to explain how cartel politics works, explaining the border is like explaining how a clock works, it is no simple task.

  • Enter the Fear Lab!

    Think you're brave? Can you handle the best of scares? Find out at the Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Fear Lab today at Tempe Oktoberfest!Fans can test their fear threshold by viewing exclusive fear-inducing footage in 3D, have their vital signs measured, and receive an action-shot photo. Friday, Oct. 9 from 5 p.m.-midnight at Oktoberfest at Tempe Beach Park, 80 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe. Admission is free!

  • Driving with Gass...Man!

    Our first station fundraiser is finally here, this Saturday, Oct. 10, at Pho Cao in Scottsdale. The night will be filled with great music and prizes for our raffle as we raise money for KQCX 99.1FM and “Don’t Be a Chump! Check for a Lump!” breast cancer awareness campaign. They provide free mammograms and wigs for women undergoing chemotherapy. Founder Holly Rose is a breast cancer survivor of over six years now. She’s been giving back to the community with her charity, helping many women receive custom wigs. Every year they hold their “Wig Out” event in July. Their mission is clear to both men and women, that self-examination is extremely important for early detection. Know your body: checkforalump.org.The event is called the 10 for 10 show and it will cost $10 at the door. The first 100 people who pay will receive a free car wash courtesy of Clean Freak Car Wash. They have eight locations across the Valley too and they can be found online at cleanfreakcarwash.com. By the way, that’s a $9 car wash.The night’s entertainment will be provided by four bands and an acoustic act. Starting the night will be Truckers on Speed. This will be my first time seeing them as they came highly recommended. Carol Pacey and the Honeyshakers will follow. Their brand of rock and roll will get you off your feet and moving. Pacey is one of the hardest working women in rock we have here in Phoenix and her energy and performance prove it every show. Johnny Lee will provide the acoustic guitar. He’s been writing songs his whole life and he is my personal favorite. There’s just something about his lyrics that are both real and uplifting that just grab your attention. The way he constructs his songs are relatable to everyone, along with the rhythm he brings with his six-string. No doubt you’ll remember one of his songs after watching him play.The headliner is The Pleasure Victims. They were my first choice to play this event. Not only is their name taken from Berlin’s second album, but this sexy group brings a new dimension to rock music that brings in a slice of late ’70s punk to ’80s synth rock with today’s mind splashed all over. Their suggestive songs and likewise performance from lead singer Ginger Fields will lighten up the room. She’s on synthesizer and acoustic guitar, too.Outlaw Cody James brings an amazing talent to the guitar that will be on display in every song, which is a true treat to behold. Nigel L’Amour is the four-string lover laying down the groove that gives the band its jive. He also plays the synthesizer. And keeping it all in place on the skins is Randalite. What I also like about the band is that everyone sings along. They’re a real fun band to watch and even the way they describe themselves plays into what you can expect to see and hear Saturday night. They refer to themselves as progessive-alternative, drama rock and theater rock.Closing the night will be a new band to my ears called, Why Ask Why. As they like to say about their music: “Straight up and down rock ‘n roll.”

Tech Data Doctors Deals

  • H&M opening at Tempe Marketplace Oct. 8

    H & M, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M) fashion retailer will open its new store at Tempe Marketplace at noon Thursday, Oct. 8.In celebration of opening day, the first 200 shoppers in line will receive an H&M T-shirt and Access to Fashion Pass, valued from $20 to $200, in addition to other opening offers and giveaways.H&M is the first fashion company to roll out a global garment recycling program. H&M customers at Tempe Marketplace can help by donating unwanted pieces of clothing from any brand while in the store. Customers will receive a voucher for 15 percent off their entire next purchase for each bag of donated clothing.To kick off the recycling program on opening day, customers who bring garments to be recycled before the store opens at noon will also have the chance to win H&M gift cards valued between $20 and $200 in addition to receiving the voucher.The new location will offer collections for ladies, men, young ladies, young men and separate “store within a store” sections for accessories and lingerie. The Tempe Marketplace location will also carry H&M’s children’s collection, from newborn to 14 years.The retailer has hired about 30 people for the store at Tempe Marketplace, almost all of them hired locally.

  • French Fry Heaven is heaven on earth for ASU students

    Eating French fries for dinner is the new norm for Arizona State University students thanks to the new French Fry Heaven restaurant at Vista Del Sol marketplace.French Fry Heaven is revolutionizing the way Americans see French fries and the new Tempe restaurant is the first in the state, and is now one of 14 French Fry Heaven locations nationwide. French Fry Heaven owner, Scott Nelowet, is an ASU alumnus and opened his first location in Florida in 2011. Nelowet came up with the concept of French Fry Heaven after traveling to Europe and seeing French fry stands on nearly every street.Savannah Miller manages the Tempe location and has been there since the beginning.“I started working here right when we opened up,” Miller said. “I was in the back unloading boxes of all the fryers and putting stuff together.”Unlike other restaurants that serve French fries as a side dish, French Fry Heaven makes French fries the main entrée.“You’re not coming in here for pizza, you’re not coming in here for a deli sandwich, you’re coming in here for French fries, something that usually just comes on the side of a meal with a drink,” Miller said.

  • Mesa employee earns vet tech award

    Julie Carlson, a Pima Medical Institute employee in Mesa, received the hero veterinary technician award from the American Humane Association. She was chosen from a field of five nominees.Carlson teachers CPR at the Mesa campus and is a certified veterinary technician. In 2008 she started Vets for Vets’ Pets, a group which coordinates veterinary services for military veterans’ pets during the Arizona StandDown, an event that provides services to homeless veterans.Carlson trains, organizes and oversees more than 100 volunteers who provide boarding, foster care, spay and neuter surgeries, vaccines, wound care, grooming, food and supplies for veterans’ pets.A tribute video featuring Carlson can be seen at www.herodogawards.org.

  • Travel agent offers new phone app

    Dave McNeill, a travel adviser with American Express Travel in Mesa, can help travelers with a new phone application for cruises.Cruise Planners Mobile is a free application and can be downloaded to either Apple or Android phones. The application allows customers to access all the details of their cruise once it’s booked. And, people can book cruises through the app. It also includes a direct connection to the travel adviser who booked the trip.McNeill can be reached at 602-592-8644 or online at www.fstopngotravel.com.

  • The Huntington Apartments acquired for $34.6M

    Cushman & Wakefield announced Thursday the $34.6 million sale of The Huntington Apartments on behalf of owner Gelt Inc.Located at 4130 S. Mill Ave., the complex was constructed in 1973 and 1980 and features 442 apartment units totaling 347,460 square feet. The property, which includes 37 buildings, is 96 percent occupied. It was built in two phases and previously operated as two separate propertiesThe successful merger of Cushman & Wakefield and DTZ closed Sept. 1.

  • House of Barbers opens in Chandler

    House of Barbers, a full-service salon that serves men, women and children, had its grand opening in Chandler Sept. 22.Owner Richard Moonsammy and his crew of five full-time stylists hosted the Queen Creek High School Orchestra, whose renditions of Journey, Michael Jackson, and other pop favorites were played during the grand opening.House of Barbers is located at 961 W. Ray Road.

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  • Spiritual Side: You will add value

    When a person commits violence that takes a life it does not matter if it happened close to home or not. We are all affected and it always hits close to home. After the recent slaying of innocents that occurred in an Oregon community college, we all mourn because of the senseless loss of life. There is much discussion in our country about what and who is to blame. We demonize the perpetrators. We argue about gun laws. We wait to see when it will happen next and worry about our own children, schools, and communities. We often feel helpless and do not know what to do. Often times, the blame game allows us to escape from taking any personal responsibility.In this column, I seek to place the possibility that each of us can contribute and take personal responsibility in potentially preventing such nonsensical, violent behavior. I have worked in and studied systems for more than 20 years. Systems theory reminds us to take notice to the integration of all the parts of a problem. No societal problems can easily be solved if all the parts are viewed in isolation from the interconnected components of the whole society. That is what makes solving the problem about killings with guns so difficult. One party might argue that it is about getting rid of the guns. Another might advocate for greater tracking of psychological illness, etc. Another says it is not guns, but people that kill. Each of these parties usually focuses on a part of the problem and it becomes a blame game. Thus releasing our party from responsibility. Systems thinkers see a world where we need a new system — a system (community) where all the parts (people) work together to obtain a common solution to a societal problem. Each person asks what they can do to contribute to the benefit of the whole.My faith leads me to believe that we are all created by God (we are all interconnected) and that God loves all people (we all have great value). Even for those who do not maintain such a belief, we can all agree that as humans we are all a part of the same system — the human race. None of us exist in isolation. We are all living with interdependence. If you can believe that we are interdependent, then we all have the possibility to be a part of the solution to any human problem. Instead of passing blame, what if each person in our communities took action and personal responsibility? Maybe, just maybe, we could prevent at least some of the reoccurring acts of violence.One of the government’s responsibilities is to keep people safe or secure, but it is obvious that at the government level we are not making much headway. What if we each took up arms? I am not arguing that we all arm ourselves with weapons, but rather inviting all of us to open our arms to people in our lives. If each human in our community took responsibility by opening our arms to coach, mentor, encourage, train, validate or even love our neighbors, we would definitely prevent at least some of these senseless acts. We have learned that the perpetrators of these acts are often lonely or radical groups that give them meaning influence them in negative ways. Maybe each of us as humans could give them healthy meaning or meet them in their loneliness.Some of us might choose to put on a coaching hat with people in our lives. As a coach we practice the gift of generosity. Generous coaches look for people who they wish to invest time in for the purpose of adding value. As a coach you do not need to have all the answers in life. You do not need to tell people what to do for their lives. Coaches simply walk with others as they play out their life and you encourage them. You ask questions. You invest in them. You allow them to come up with solutions to their life problems, but you show them you are there for them and that they are not alone.Sometimes we might be able to be more of a mentor. As a kid, car enthusiasts mentored me. As a kid, I had no idea about cars except that I thought they were cool. Men who knew a lot about cars took me under their wing and taught me. I was more of a student. As a mentor, you might have a love for something. You might have a certain expertise that you could help teach to other people in your life. This mentoring will give meaning. The encouragement and knowledge you pass on can add so much healthy value to others. It sometimes will last a lifetime. To this day, I love old cars. I thank those that took an interest in me and mentored me as a kid.

  • Spiritual Side: The other Francis

    The visit last month by Pope Francis rightly captured a great deal of attention in the country. In some very visible ways, he seems to be a different kind of Pope that has inspired Roman Catholics, other Christians, and non-Christians as well.Oct. 4 was the feast day of the Pope’s namesake, Francis of Assisi. Born Giovanni di Bernadone in 1182, Francis was the son of a wealthy silk merchant in central Italy. His father, who had been travelling on business when he was born, was angry that his mother named him for John the Baptist, and called him Francesco because he had made a great deal of money in France.Much of his privileged youth was spent on high and carefree living. Typical of young noblemen, Francis joined the military as an officer in 1201 hoping to earn knighthood. In a skirmish with a rival town, most of Assisi’s army was killed while the sons of nobles were held for ransom. Francis spent a year in a dungeon.Following his imprisonment, Francis returned to his lavish lifestyle and again sought military glory by joining the Fourth Crusade. Barely a day’s ride from his hometown, Francis had a dream in which God told him to return home. He did so and found shame rather than glory. Ultimately he renounced his wealth, returned all of his money and clothing to his father and lived the life of a beggar.I first met Francis by accident over 50 years ago. I lived across the street from Marian College in northwest Indianapolis. I had no idea what a Franciscan was then, but the college campus had a large woods with a pond and a swamp that was a kid’s paradise. One day while playing in the woods, I came to a small previously unknown clearing where there was a statue of Francis, surrounded by deer and squirrels with birds, both real and in stone, perched on his head. Seated on the bench nearby was a nun, in full black habit.We often saw nuns at the school buildings, but never in the woods. I had been instructed by my Catholic friends to say, “Good afternoon, Sister,” which I did, and then began a hasty retreat. I don’t remember her name, but she invited me to stay and told me the story of St. Francis and how he preached to the birds and once made a pet of a wolf the townspeople wanted to kill. She invited me to come back to the clearing anytime, adding that it was her favorite quiet place on the campus.

  • The Constant Traveler: Malibu Beach Inn

    I was sitting on the high terrace of the Malibu Beach Inn waiting for breakfast to be served when I spotted a flock of paddle-boarders madly striving against the tide to get out to sea. It reminded me of that last line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”I supposed it was the hard paddling and crashing through the surf that made me flash on the Gatsby quote, but it could have been the local ambiance as well. Below me was the sandy stretch of Malibu called Carbon Beach, or in the vernacular of locals, Billionaire Beach. Gatsby, if he was living in Malibu today instead of East Egg, New York, in the 1920s, would probably be considered a billionaire.While one doesn’t have to be a billionaire to stay at the Malibu Beach Inn, it did take a billionaire to create it. For about 30 years, until the 1980s, the stretch of coast where the hotel stands today was a Polynesian restaurant called Tonga Lei. It was replaced by the tiki-tacky Don the Beachcomber Inn. Then about eight years ago, music and film mogul David Geffen bought the property and rebuilt and redefined it as the Malibu Beach Inn. Recently, he sold it to The Mani Brothers, a Los Angeles real estate group. I don’t’ know if the Mani Brothers are billionairesActually, that’s not important, what is important is that the Malibu Beach Inn is the most unique hotel in all of Malibu because it is the only hotel on the ocean side of the Pacific Coast Highway, the main thoroughfare through the city. Just from a quick perusal of Malibu properties, it is probably the only luxury hotel in a city of luxury homes.The Malibu Beach Inn is not a big property, just 45 rooms, plus a spa suite and meeting space. I visited on an early summer weekend and the place was completely sold out. Since the property fills a sliver of land between the highway and the Pacific, the rooms are not large, but they do boast some of the best views along the coast.One of the big treats for guests is to book a spa treatment, which is done through local skin care legend, Veronica. Don’t ask, everyone in Malibu is a legend and many have just one name, such as David Geffen’s former wife, Cher. The list of spa treatments isn’t extensive, mostly facials and massages, but the view over the Pacific from the spa room is to-die-for. I’m told couples massages are very popular.

  • Spiritual Side: High Holy Days -- Asking essential questions, reaching for new heights

    The Jewish New Year is here. Rather than celebrate, however, my people gather to contemplate and pray. We perform t’shuvah – the act of introspection that prompts us to make improvements in our lives.The High Holy Days help us return to our true selves. We are prompted, through liturgy, quiet and fasting, to ask and answer questions we suppress during the daily grind of payroll and car pool. We ask ourselves the essential questions we’ve forgotten to ask – or have been too busy to ask – about who we are and how we are to live. We remember that we are powerful, vulnerable, curious and complicated human beings.We are beings who love. We are beings who mourn. We are beings who crave and wonder. We are beings who give life and care. We are beings who fail. We are beings who die. It’s astounding how we forget what’s essential, and live our days largely unaware of those core truths. Because they are awkward and uncomfortable. Because they are slippery as moss. Because they don’t make anybody any money.During the High Holy Days, we move away from all the important but transient relationships that fill our days and years. We go to the essential place, the rock on which we stand, and tend to the hurts within us, the joys that fill us, the dreams that inspire us, the questions that plague us. The prayer book, called a machzor, is a technology that reminds us of those essential aspects of ourselves that are so regularly shunted aside, taking their place in the queue after the laundry that needs doing and the papers that need grading and the nose that needs wiping. The High Holy Days themselves are technologies that allow us to set those concerns aside for just a few hours, knowing that we’ll get back to them, and get back to the fullest dimensions of our humanity: our loss, our joy, our guilt, our shame, our hopes, our relationships. We tend that inner garden for just a while.It is official: The New Year has begun. Each of us has taken the first step on a 365-day-long path. Standing at the end, waiting for you to arrive, is a welcoming party … a welcoming party of one. There you are, exactly one year older than you are now. Who will you be? Will you be glad to meet that new self, or will you be disappointed? The answer is entirely up to you.• Rabbi Dean Shapiro is the spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel of Tempe. Contact him at rshapiro@emanueloftempe.org and visit his “Rabbi Dean Shapiro” page on Facebook.

  • The Constant Traveler: Angama Mara, Kenya

    One of the most famous opening lines of a book reads: “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of Ngong Hills.” The book is Out of Africa, written by Isak Dinesen, which was a pseudonym for Danish writer Karen Blixen. It was written in the 1930s and the Academy Award-winning movie from the book was filmed in the mid-1980s. The very handsome couple, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, starred.The director of the award-winning film was Sydney Pollack, who had to overcome a significant obstacle when filming on location in Kenya. The once rural Ngong Hills was, even in the 1980s, a populated suburb of Nairobi. So he needed to find a location to substitute for the original Ngong Hills and he found a stunningly beautiful site in an area of the country called Masai Mara, about a 45-minute, bush-plane ride from Nairobi.The Serengeti grasslands stretch north from Tanzania into the Mara Triangle of Kenya until it meets the Oloololo Escarpment. The unusual word, “Oloololo” is Masai for zig-zag because the escarpment runs erratically along the topography of southwestern Kenya. The escarpment is distinctive but not a true wall, because at some points the land simply rises not dramatically but in a perfectly gradual slope from the plains to the top of the escarpment as if the Creator decided the migrating beasts of East Africa needed a pathway from the lowlands to the highlands. Indeed, if you are lucky enough to be in the Masai Mara, you will see all means of animals migrating along the slopes of the escarpment, from the grazing impalas and elands to the bulky elephants and ungainly giraffes.When Sydney Pollack and crew arrived, they found a perfect location atop of a rocky promontory, where the view of the plains below was clear, unobstructed and seemingly unending. Not all the movie was filmed there, but many key moments. For example, when Blixen’s paramour, Denys Finch Hatton, died and was buried near the Ngong farm, that scene was shot atop the promontory under a tree that still stands. Broken cement marks the setting of the cinematic funeral. In addition, the famous poster for Out of Africa, featuring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, was shot here in a bridge between two koppies. My wife and I thought we would capture that moment anew and sat in the very places where Meryl and Robert posed some 30 years ago. It was a great photo -- and it was such a surprise to me that no one mistook us for that original couple!We were there at the point on the escarpment because a lucky, South African couple, Nicky and Steve Fitzgerald, had gained the lease to the Masai land and built a beautiful camp – I would call it a resort – called Angama Mara. I had run across Nicky and Steve many years before when they were in the process of building out a chain of glamorous safari camps across Africa and India. They retired, but upon hearing the property was available for lease decided to go back into the tourist world because this was the location Steve most desired in Africa.Safari camps of Africa come in all types of flavors and I’ve tasted a few of the best over the years, but Angama Mara is the endgame for Nicky and Steve and they put all their dreams and desires into it. Now I could rave about the beautiful, semi-tent accommodations of the architecturally significant common buildings, but the truth is Nicky and Steve had something few other safari camps have, the most stunning location atop the escarpment with nothing but the endless African plains below.

  • Spiritual Side: Family investments are important

    We are blessed to live in a community that is rich with diverse family units. Families are made up of children, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, great grandparents, and other extended family. If we look deeper, we realize that our families have many other impact members who might not be a part of our blood, yet these people are truly a part of the family. These teachers, coaches, friends at church, and in the neighborhood all have an impact in our lives. Living in this context it is no wonder that when parents are asked what they value most in life — the top answer is family.As a parent, this is true for me. A top priority in my own life is my family. However, I often question how this top value gets my attention, my time, and my full, undivided attention. Sure I see my family, yet am I engaged? Recently, I asked some youngsters what they wish their families would do for or with them. This informal research taught me a lot about my own hunger for meaningful family relationships. The summary below is an action plan for families who seek to truly connect with one another.Sacred presenceOne of the greatest gifts we can give to another is to be there for them. There is great value in just being in close proximity with another person. In our modern way of life we often spit up. We have multiple rooms in the house with multiple TVs. We run in different directions. We might not sit together for meals. Being present is a gift. One of the greatest gifts we can give to one another in families is a caring sacred presence. The word sacred, related to being holy, is often thought of as a word reserved for religious vocabulary. Being sacred means to be set aside or special. Our willingness to set aside special time to simply be present with one another is a powerful gift in and of itself.Did you have a good day?As parents we ask a lot of questions. Most of these questions are about practical matters of school or chores. Many times these familiar, rather redundant questions, get answered by our children in short, one word, replies. What would happen if in our investment in being present we made the time to engage in conversation in what our children want to talk about? We all would benefit by asking more open-ended questions. Questions on topics that our kids love to talk about. Think about how you get excited when you get to talk about things that are important to you. The key is to value what our children value. Then show interest in letting them teach you about their passion.

Northern Arizona University shooting: University sets up resource center, information line

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Published: October 9, 2015 - 3:15 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-northern-az/flags…

1 dead, freshman arrested in N. Arizona University shooting

Police say a physical confrontation between two student groups broke out on the campus of Northern Arizona University early Friday morning. On…

Published: October 9, 2015 - 2:45 pm @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/10/09/one-…

at Northern Arizona University

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1 dead, 3 injured in Ariz. college shooting

Officials say one is dead and three wounded after an early morning shooting at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff.Authorities said…

Published: October 9, 2015 - 1:43 pm @ http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/256477…

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