East Valley Tribune

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  • CVS expands operations into Chandler

    CVS, the national pharmacy chain, is expanding its operations into the Southeast Valley for the first time.The company, already a mainstay corporation in Scottsdale’s Cure Corridor, will be growing its presence in the East Valley to include a 120,000-square-foot facility located in Chandler.The facility, which is set to open this fall and will be located along the Price Corridor, will be dedicated to support operations for CVS/caremark and CVS/specialty, both a part of the pharmacy’s prescription benefits service. Specifically, the new location will handle medication that requires special handling, namely those that come in injectable form or any form considered non-traditional.The location will begin hiring at the start of September and will look to find some 700 individuals from a diverse array of backgrounds.“CVS Health is hiring pharmacists (including pharmacy supervisors and managers) and pharmacy technicians (and those in training) for consultative roles to help answer prescription-related questions and to provide pharmacy care services and disease management support for CVS/caremark members,” said Christina Beckerman, manager for corporate communications at CVS. “In addition, the company is also seeking highly-skilled customer care and benefits verification representatives for the CVS Health call center to help CVS/caremark members and CVS/specialty patients navigate their drug benefits and ensure they can access important therapies they need.”The expansion is in response to recent growth of the company’s pharmacy operations and is meant to supplement the role of facilities already operating in the Valley. The location was chosen, according to CVS, for its abundance of skilled labor and closeness to the Scottsdale locations.

  • MESA FIRM KEEPS CONCRETE OUT OF LANDFILLS

    A Mesa company has found a way to keep thousands of pounds of non-biodegradable material out of local landfills and, at the same time, provide products that are in demand at construction sites.Contractor’s Landfill and Recycling has a business motto of “We Take It and We Make It.” The landfill buys concrete, asphalt and dirt from demolition projects, or gets it from demolition projects done by its sibling companies.The concrete and asphalt gets processed and crushed and is sold for use at other construction sites. All of the recycled material is tested and certified to meet specifications. Most of it is used as road base, floor sub base and backfill material, according to Lee Morgan. Morgan is the business development and sales manager for the landfill.Her job involves getting product into the landfill to be repurposed and then pushing that recycled product out the door.There’s plenty of old concrete getting torn down in the Valley, Morgan said, but the landfill doesn’t accept all of it.If it’s got too much rebar inside or comes with wood or other construction materials, typically it doesn’t get into the recycling pile, she said. It simply takes too much manpower to remove those materials.

  • Book ‘Who is Gym?’ delves into state’s high school sports history

    It was a Friday evening some years ago when Scott Hanson, a 30-year high school football referee, walked onto the turf at Cactus High School in Glendale. As he entered he couldn’t help but notice the name of the stadium, M.L. Huber Stadium.He asked several people around but nobody seemed to know who Huber was or why the stadium was named after him. After calling the school the following Monday he found out Huber was Cactus’ first principal.This started Hanson on a quest, to chronicle the names of Arizona’s high school ball fields and gymnasiums. After three years of research Hanson finally had all the material needed to put together his book, “Who Is Gym?”“I talked to athletic directors and historians and librarians and family members of people who had stadiums named after them,” Hanson said. “Everywhere from Lake Havasu to Thatcher and Nogales to Fredonia.”Hanson also had a natural curiosity. A Phoenix native, he loved history and, combined with his officiating, the history of Arizona’s high school fields and gyms seemed like a natural fit for his passions.“I finally just pushed myself to power through it and get a book done,” Hanson said. “It was sort of a part of me. I’m a sports freak so it just kind of fit in to my whole M.O., I guess.”

  • Tempe crowd protests Planned Parenthood

    Across the Valley, from Tempe to downtown Phoenix, crowds gathered Aug. 22 to protest Planned Parenthood as a part of a larger coordinated national protest against the organization.The Tempe protest was sponsored by 40 Days for Life, an anti-abortion group that organizes annual rallies against organizations that provide abortions. Drawing upwards of 1,000 individuals to the Planned Parenthood location in Tempe, the protest proved to be one of the larger gatherings in the country.Although many of the supporters said that they had been to a protest against Planned Parenthood before, this particular day of action was in response to tapes recently released by the anti-abortion organization Center for Medical Progress that purportedly show the sale of fetal tissue by a Planned Parenthood provider, and is what the protesters claim is proof that Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of fetal tissue.“The recent videos show that Planned Parenthood is more concerned about the money in their pockets than the women in their clinics,” said Josiah Friedman, CEO of Voices for the Voiceless, an national anti-abortion student organization. “We have an organization that our tax money is going to but an organization that doesn’t provide comprehensive women’s health care and an organization that really thrives on profit.”Although the protesters faced little opposition in Tempe, a sizeable counter protest by Planned Parenthood supporters at the Phoenix headquarters drew hundreds who supported the organization and opposed what they saw as a movement driven by propaganda.“The unfortunate thing about the tapes is they are manufactured and incredibly misleading, especially to everyday folks who don’t deal with medical terminology and what medical care looks like, and we understand that, but the fact is there is no sale of fetal tissue happening anywhere in Arizona — period,” said Jodi Liggett, Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Arizona. “These protests were engineered as a part of a very cynical campaign that is aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood and ending women’s access to abortion.”

  • Mosquito-borne illness reports increase

    Two mosquito-borne illness outbreaks are under investigation in Maricopa County.According to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, more cases of West Nile virus have been reported, along with cases of St. Louis encephalitis.“Having outbreaks of these two diseases at the same time has never been reported,” Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine said. Sunenshine is medical director for the disease control division at the county health department.Sunenshine said it’s vital that people avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by using repellent and covering up when outside.So far this year, 46 cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Arizona, and 41 of those cases are in Maricopa County. And, 12 statewide cases of encephalitis have been reported, with 10 of them in Maricopa County. Three people in Arizona have died this year from West Nile virus and one death from encephalitis is suspected, she said. That case is awaiting confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control.Most years, only about 20 cases of encephalitis are reported in the entire United States, Sunenshine said. Generally, Arizona receives reports of about 100 cases of West Nile virus a year and no cases of encephalitis.

  • Transportation secretary praises Valley’s light rail

    A day before the first extension of the light rail system in the Valley opened, the U.S. secretary of transportation spoke in Phoenix about the value of public transportation and the developments it brings.Secretary Anthony Foxx was joined by Mesa Mayor John Giles, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Tempe Vice Mayor Corey Woods at a Friday conference to announce the infusion of $30 million from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Raza Development Fund to boost transit-oriented development along the Valley’s light rail line.According to Terri Benelli, executive director of the Phoenix Local Initiatives Support Corporation, transit corridors attract billions of dollars in public and private investment. That’s why her organization and Raza are “working to make sure that development efforts near the expanding light rail system ... benefit areas with high rates of poverty.”Nationwide, Local Initiatives Support Corporation has invested $355 million in projects along rail lines, she said, seeking “to revitalize neighborhoods and communities.”Among its biggest Valley achievements, Benelli said, is the development of Encore, an 81-unit housing development for low-income senior citizens in downtown Mesa. It was the first residential project built in downtown Mesa in 25 years. It’s estimated that the project leveraged an additional $53 million in public and private investment in the area, she said.Raza Development is the largest Latino community development financial institution in the U.S. It provides capital to organizations that serve Latinos and low-income families.

  • Fall movie preview

    Before We GoPG-13Sept. 4Chris Evans and Alice Eve star as two strangers whose chance encounter in Grand Central Terminal sparks a nighttime adventure through New York City that will change their lives forever. The Visit

  • ‘Learning to Drive’ a satisfactory, if unambitious, film

    Learning to Drive is the perfect settle film, a movie the attendees — more likely than not a couple — will feel comfortable watching. Settle films like Learning to Drive aren’t memorable pieces of cinema, but they have just enough to keep an audience engaged and satisfied for at least 90 minutes, and nobody leaves the theater overly upset with what he or she just watched.One thing Learning to Drive has going for it is a title that isn’t a misnomer: the film is literally about Sir Ben Kingsley teaching the great Patricia Clarkson (one of the few actors to earn the word “great” as part of his or her title) how to navigate an automobile. Clarkson never had a reason to learn before — as a native New Yorker she relied on subways and other people — but is inspired to do so after her husband (Jake Weber) leaves her for another woman. Taking a few driving lessons offers Clarkson an opportunity to escape her post-marital woes while at the same time serving as a means of connecting with her Vermont-based daughter (Grace Gummer, the GREAT Meryl Streep’s daughter).As Clarkson struggles with the end of her marriage, Kingsley is trying to create a domestic life of his own. An Indian Sikh who fled to America seeking political asylum, Kingsley works both as a driving instructor and as a taxi driver to support his nephew (Avi Nash) and his new wife (Sarita Choudhury) from an arranged marriage. Kingsley swears by the arranged-marriage system, although the match starts off on the wrong foot due to an initial intellectual and cultural divide between the newlyweds.As you probably guessed, the title Learning to Drive works as both a literal description of the film’s plot and a symbolic representation of what the act of gaining independence does for Clarkson’s character and what domesticity does for Kingsley. It’s a little less than subtle for sure, albeit a name that does serve as a pretty good indicator of the film’s tone. This film is exactly as agreeable as it sounds, complete with soft-chuckle inducing comedy (there is one exception courtesy a filthy Samantha Bee joke) and inoffensive drama in which the results perfectly satisfy what the audience would want given the circumstances. Surprises or any true sense of concern and danger do not lurk in the shadows of this film.It loses a few points for lacking such things, as well as a weird undertone of sexism with Kingsley’s character. (He gets upset at his wife for not leaving the apartment, even though it remains unclear whether or not he at least gave her a tour of her new neighborhood). Issues abound too with unnecessary dips into magical realism and the disparity between the moderately rich literati lifestyle Clarkson lives against the poverty Kingsley lives in; while it’s not quite snobs vs. slobs, the filmmakers do put a little more weight on Kingsley’s problems for economic reasons.Those issues are more like hills than mountains though, concerns worth stewing over without impeding upon the film’s enjoyment. The fun comes from watching Clarkson and Kingsley, both of whom are nothing less than terrific and put in nuanced performances that, in Clarkson’s case, only reach histrionics when the moment calls for it. They also have a terrific rapport, saying very much to each other without speaking more than necessary; the moments of silence both calm and awkward serve as their own form of communication.

  • Tongue Tied’s Homecoming dance

    It’s that time again! Homecoming is being hosted by Tongue Tied. Relive the high school memories and make new ones at this themed dance.You better say yes to this dance, which promises to have all the nostalgia with none of the acne and way more booze.Following the smashing success of last year’s Under the Sea theme, Tongue Tied let their fans set the stage through a poll hosted by their Facebook page. The winning theme for this year is Black and White Ball.Enjoy a night filled with the musical stylings of DJs Roya & Funkfinger, and party-goers can also expect a $50 gift card to be awarded to the best dressed of the ball as well as being crowned Homecoming King and Queen.The first 30 girls in the dance will receive a free corsage and everyone in attendance gets to feel like royalty as they all receive their own crown.Linger Longer Lounge will also be providing a photobooth for guests to commemorate the night and plenty of food to keep the party going — just be sure to order before 1 a.m.

  • Trail Mix

    San Tan Mountain Regional Park has a whole new roster of September fun that the entire family can enjoy. Check out these activities!Bug TheaterFans of all things that creep and crawl can bug-out in San Tan’s first park activity of the month: Bug Theater, Sept. 4, 8-9 p.m. Kids of all ages are invited to see the bug performers put on a show near the park’s Buddy Pond and search the grounds for desert bugs. Close-toed shoes are required and participants must bring water to keep hydrated. Don’t forget your flashlight or scorpion light. Viewers should also be sure to bring a camera to capture all of the family fun and keep a collage of all insects they encounter.DETAILS>> Sept. 4, 8-9 p.m. San Tan Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek. Meet at the flag pole. No registration required. $6 per vehicle. 480-655-5554. maricopa.gov/parks/santan.Desert Walk ‘n’ TalkFor those new to the desert landscape, or even those looking to discover the plant life of their own backyard, San Tan Mountain Regional Park has rolled out a special “walk and talk” nature hike. The trek welcomes all ages and hiking experiences. Interested hikers will meet up with park host, Robert, at the flag pole on Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. The walk is only one mile, but it covers a gorgeous stretch of trail. During the hiking you will learn more about Arizona’s beautiful deserts. Hikers can also expect to learn how to identify the cholla cactus, whether they actually jump, and what makes the saguaros so special. Remember to bring extra water and wear close-toed shoes.

  • ‘No Escape’ an atonal mess

    Society in the unnamed southeast Asian nation in No Escape has fallen asunder completely. A collection of brutal rebels have assassinated the country’s ruling despot, which results in mass rioting, chaos and murder on the streets. No citizen, soldier or tourist is safe from the roving mass of destruction consuming the streets, much of which is depicted with the darkest shades of red pouring onto the roads.Such an interesting premise, one overloaded with potential to document how people slip into brutality and vengeance so easily. Unless the people filming it are say sibling filmmakers John and Drew Dowdle, who instead focus on what effect a country at war has on a family of attractive white people.Sure, the American family in this film are indeed quite fetching. Occasional (cinematic) model Owen Wilson stars as an engineer moving his brood (lovely wife Lake Bell and obnoxious daughters Claire Geare and Sterling Jerins) to the undisclosed nation (although my money is on Cambodia for geographical and historical reasons) to begin work on a water facility. But, wouldn’t you know it, the family has just the worst timing: Wilson, Bell and the kids move across the world the very same day a revolution breaks out in the host country, leading a contingent of rather devoted rebels to hunt down and slaughter every foreigner they can find. Wilson is a prime target given his connection with the unpopular water project.All the family can do now is try to survive and escape through the dangerous streets of the chaotic city, forced to rely on ingenuity, desperation and a little help from mysterious British raconteur Hammond (Pierce Brosnan). Shenanigans involving clubs, tanks, small boats, guns, angry foreigners, and film clichés ensue.White people trying to survive angry foreigners sums up the fears of many an American tourist going abroad, and No Escape cranks those worries to 11 before breaking the amp due to overuse. A majority of the non-white characters are portrayed as sinister beings intent on destroying this poor, innocent family caught up in the middle of political machinations. Any sympathy for the rioters is mentioned via exposition by Brosnan as a passing thought before depicting more acts of anti-American violence. Before its left behind for more anti-American bloodshed. Realistically, the fear is rather silly; I’d be far more worried about the evil lurking within the Danish people than any Asian nation.Wading through the film’s overwhelming xenophobia and abundant racism, No Escape drops the ball when it comes to presenting a tense ambiance, even amid the aforementioned chaotic backdrop. The issue isn’t the milieu — that, once again, is established effectively — but to the Dowdle boys’ continued insistence of shooting themselves in the foot over and over and over again by using expired tropes and ridiculous shots to establish something resembling tension.

  • Family Campout Program open for registration

    If your family is adventurous, loves the outdoors and are eager to learn, then the Camping 101 Family Campout Program is for you.Registration is now open for programs sponsored by Arizona State Parks. Starting Sept. 26 families can sign up to learn camping preparation, effective techniques and activities to make it a memorable trip.For $70 a family of four get to see what the great outdoors has to offer by learning how to build a campfire and set up a tent, and participate in activities such as archery, fishing and hiking. For families larger than four, it’s $5 per extra family member. In addition to camping activities, families will work on a service project that varies by each park location.Your family can go on this weekend adventure starting in September through November and March through June at one of the nine state parks that are part of the program throughout the Valley. Pets and children under 5 are not allowed to attend the program.DETAILS>> Camping 101 Family Campout Program Registration. Dates and locations vary: September-November. Visit azstateparks.com/family for information or call 602-542-4174.

Tech Data Doctors Deals

  • CVS expands operations into Chandler

    CVS, the national pharmacy chain, is expanding its operations into the Southeast Valley for the first time.The company, already a mainstay corporation in Scottsdale’s Cure Corridor, will be growing its presence in the East Valley to include a 120,000-square-foot facility located in Chandler.The facility, which is set to open this fall and will be located along the Price Corridor, will be dedicated to support operations for CVS/caremark and CVS/specialty, both a part of the pharmacy’s prescription benefits service. Specifically, the new location will handle medication that requires special handling, namely those that come in injectable form or any form considered non-traditional.The location will begin hiring at the start of September and will look to find some 700 individuals from a diverse array of backgrounds.“CVS Health is hiring pharmacists (including pharmacy supervisors and managers) and pharmacy technicians (and those in training) for consultative roles to help answer prescription-related questions and to provide pharmacy care services and disease management support for CVS/caremark members,” said Christina Beckerman, manager for corporate communications at CVS. “In addition, the company is also seeking highly-skilled customer care and benefits verification representatives for the CVS Health call center to help CVS/caremark members and CVS/specialty patients navigate their drug benefits and ensure they can access important therapies they need.”The expansion is in response to recent growth of the company’s pharmacy operations and is meant to supplement the role of facilities already operating in the Valley. The location was chosen, according to CVS, for its abundance of skilled labor and closeness to the Scottsdale locations.

  • Financial Focus: Maximizing the estate planning value of life insurance

    What is maximizing the estate planning value of life insurance?Simply put, maximizing the estate planning value of life insurance means getting the most bang for your buck. That is, it involves keeping as much of the proceeds as possible away from the IRS and in the hands of your beneficiaries. When you die, all your worldly goods (e.g., your money, house, car, stocks, bonds, as well as your life insurance proceeds) become a pie. The pie is then cut into slices and served. One slice goes to your heirs and beneficiaries, one slice to the federal government, one slice to your creditors, and so on. The size of the slice that goes to the federal government can be as big as 40 percent (the rate for the estates of persons who die in 2013 and later years), and what goes to the federal government does not go to your heirs and beneficiaries. You need to plan now to make sure that the slice that goes to the federal government is as small as possible, leaving a biggerslice for your loved ones.How is it done?Understand how life insurance is taxedIf you want to reduce estate taxes, a good first step is to understand how the estate tax system works. Although this is a technical area best left to the experts, the basics can be grasped fairly easily and will give you some direction regarding how to make the wisest arrangements.

  • Sign company sales person earns award

    Mandy Pope, a sales staffer at Fastsigns of Mesa, received a sales award at the recent outside sales summit in North Carolina.The award recognizes outside sales professionals with sales between $300,000 and $499,999 from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. Just 52 people received the award from employees at 590 Fastsigns centers.

  • Chamber to host government roundtable

    The Gilbert Chamber of Commerece is set to host a government roundtable with representatives from Gilbert Public Schools in efforts to discuss the latest local, regional and national issues in education.The discussion will take place on Sept. 18 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Gilbert Public Schools Board Room, 140 S. Gilbert Road.For more information, visit www.gilbertaz.gov.

  • Chandler chamber readies for golf tourney

    The Chandler Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its golf tournament for Sept. 18.The tournament begins at 7:30 a.m. on the Whirlwind Golf Course. It benefits programs and events including the Chandler Chamber Community Foundation scholarship program.Register at www.chandlerchamber.com under the calendar date of Sept. 18. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Maryann@chandlerchamber.com or 480-963-4571.

  • New 20-acre development breaks ground in Queen Creek

    Thompson Thrift recently broke ground on a significant development for the Town Center, 20 acres located at the southeast corner of Rittenhouse Road and Ellsworth Loop Road.Serving as an economic driver for Queen Creek, the QC District will be anchored by Sprouts Famers Market and HomeGoods.The QC District will be built in two phases. Phase I is currently under construction and will encompass 16 acres of retail and dining options including Sprouts, HomeGoods, Starbucks, Red Robin and Orangetheory Fitness, among others. Phase II will be a 4-acre development slated to include either an entertainment district or high-density, upscale multi-family, mixed-use, residential-retail community which will be developed at a later date.

Pets Food Health TV Travel

  • Oz is looking for his forever home

    Oz is a 3 year old cat looking for a forever home. His funny lopsided ear and smile, his gentle and sweet ways, his funny nature and quirks will steal your heart for this easy going big lug of a kitty. He would love to snuggle with you, watch TV, play video games, hang out and of course loves to drink from the faucets when at all possible. He loves to just chill out, hang out and love on his family. He would be fine with nice kids, cat friendly dogs, and a small number of cats who would allow him to be the head kitty although he very sweet about it.If interested in Oz, contact Lost Our Home Pet Foundation at 480-540-9322 to arrange a meet-and-greet at the Tempe PetSmart, 1140 W. Elliot Road, in The Groves near Priest Road. See him and other adoptable cats and dogs with Lost Our Home Pet Foundation at www.LostOurHome.org. All cats are litter box trained, spayed/neutered, tested for FELV/FIV, current on shots, and 24PetWatch microchipped.

  • Worth the Trip: Dunton Hot Springs

    As the road winds through the Valley of the West Fork of the Dolores River, following the irregular course of the river, the asphalt ends and you are left with nine miles of dirt road before you arrive at Dunton Hot Springs, one of the most unique resorts in the West.Back in the 1800s, Horatio Dunton, attracted by the natural hot springs, founded a mining camp on the site. Soon it was a thriving little community and by 1906 could boast a population of 600. Eventually the gold and silver played out and Dunton became a ghost town. Then in 2001, the scion of a German industrial family bought the property and restored the old buildings into upscale cabins. Not all the buildings on site today were here originally; an old Pony Express cabin on the Denver-to-Utah route was taken apart and moved here. It is now the yoga studio.My accommodation was Christy’s Tent and it was, indeed, a tent – actually a very luxurious tent with a centerpiece bed, beautiful furniture, gas-burning (wood) stove and an attached bathroom with its own heating system.The centerpiece of the resort is the hot springs itself and one can approach the natural waters numerous ways. One can climb down to the original spot where the spring emerges and there is a bench down there, but it is really like sitting in a deep hole in the ground. There is also a hot springs pool on the outside of the bath house. Nearby to it is what looks like a wagon, but is really the sauna. The exotic way to attend to the hot springs is in the bath house. It’s not a large structure but extremely well appointed with a sitting area, cold-dip pool and steam-shower room – besides the naturally dug out bath, which is about five-feet deep. The natural hot springs water is about 105 degrees and thick with healthy minerals.Since the owners are European, bathing suits are optional for the baths. Most guests when I was there preferred to “bathe” au naturale.Mid-morning, we wife and I stripped down and slowly made our way into the pool. You are buoyant, which is good because even I had trouble touching the bottom. There’s a swinging bench so you can sit. Although I wasn’t even sick, I felt like yelling, “I’m healed. I’m healed.” Such are healing powers of hot springs.

  • Spiritual Side: The Hebrew month of Elul

    Release – like a check that’s been held by the bank or a man kept in prison. Release – like a falling leaf or a sigh after disappointment. This is the season of release.One year in seven, traditional Jews observe a Biblically mandated year of release – in Hebrew, shmitah. During a shmitah year, debts are forgiven. Property once leased is returned to its original owners. Farmland is allowed to lie fallow, unplowed, unworked, so that it can return to health and wholeness. This is a shmitah year, a time of release.Shmitah is not just about property, however. It is a spiritual practice as well. The release of shmitah extends to grudges. During a shmitah year, as at the High Holy Days – fast approaching – we are to release our resentments, permit them to depart from our lives and let us be. We know deep down that resentment does not serve us. In fact, resentment inflicts more pain on the person who holds it than it does on the source of their anger. We lead clearer, freer lives without it. Bearing a grudge, wisdom has it, is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.On Aug. 16, we enter the Hebrew month of Elul. It’s the lead-up to the Days of Awe: Rosh HaShanah (when the Hebrew year 5776 begins) and Yom Kippur. This is the time to prepare – to pause and take stock, to consider where we’ve lost our way, to set goals for the coming year. This is the season to evaluate what needs to be renewed, and what can fall away. What did we achieve? Where did we miss the mark? This process, called tshuvah, is not a passive one. It does not just happen. Rather, for it to be effective, we must designate some time away from distractions. We must go to the right place – whether it be a kitchen table, mountain top or therapist’s office. We must gather the proper tools – address book, journal, credit card receipts, prayer book. There, we can review the year, contemplate our choices. There, we can understand and evaluate our relationships.And this year, especially, in the spirit of shmitah, we can take the time to consider the grudges we hold. First, we name them and try to remember what prompted them in the first place. Then, we can honor them and thank them. Like scars on the soul, they are evidence of hurts we’ve suffered and survived. We can give ourselves permission to burn for a moment with bitterness and hurt. And then: Shmitah – release.We release them to the wind, allow them to blow away and plague us no more. Because holding onto them hurts no one but ourselves. Because we want to live free from the shackles of the past. Because we want to start a New Year fresh.

  • Keeping the Faith: Woodpeckers on the wall

    The coming week marks the anniversary of the division of Berlin, Germany. On the afternoon of August 12, 1961, leaders of the German Democratic Republic signed an order to close the border between East and West Berlin, and erect a massive Wall dividing the city. Later that evening the order was put into effect.Roads that ran into West Berlin were destroyed. Barbed wire and land mines were put into place. Apartment windows that overlooked the forbidden side of the city were enclosed or barred. Concrete and steel were piled into place along the 27 miles of city border.Guards were stationed along the Wall with orders to shoot anyone attempting to escape to West Berlin. And shoot they did. While thousands succeeded in scaling the Wall, scores of would-be defectors were shot and killed over the three decades the Berlin Wall stood, often in plain view of the West’s television cameras.But this Wall, like all things evil, did not last. On November 9, 1989, following weeks of unrest, the East German government announced that its citizens would be allowed to visit West Germany and West Berlin.The border guards, unable to control the huge crowds who were eager to exercise this new freedom, abandoned their posts altogether. Ecstatic East Berliners cascaded over, around, and through the iconic Wall that had separated families, friends, and a country for a generation. They were met on the other side by their brothers and sisters, who received them with open arms.The Berlin Wall didn’t fall down all at once, neither literally or figuratively. In the weeks that followed that revolutionary November night, people from all over the world came to Berlin with picks, shovels, and sledgehammers to knock a piece of the Wall down.

  • Keeping the Faith: In scorn of the consequences

    “If there was one last crust of bread in this town, it would be mine.” That’s a quote from a rather pretentious member of the clergy, stating how God would take care of him should the world come unhinged tomorrow. “Everyone else may starve,” he continued, “but God has promised me that I will always have enough.”This preacher quickly defended his statement by quoting Psalm 37:25 - “I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children out begging for bread.” This man considered himself godly; righteous; virtuous; favored by God. Thus, no harm would ever befall him or his family. They were guaranteed the divinely-charmed life with no worries about the future, for God had written them a blank check.The spiritual mathematics of such self-confidence looks like this: “I am godly, so I will always have what I want and will never go without.” The corollary for such a statement is also true: “If you are ungodly, then you will not always have what you need, and you will suffer.”To hear advocates of this position explain, those who please God always land on top of the heap. Their cupboards are always full, their gas tanks never empty, their table always running over, and their checks never bounce. The reward for righteous living is a full belly.But what about the godly Christians of yesteryear who did literally starve to death? Women like missionary Lottie Moon who gave her food away to the Chinese she loved and served, only to die of malnutrition herself? There is St. Lucian of Rome, and countless others like him, who was starved to death in a prison cell because he would not renounce Christ. What about the millions of souls facing starvation and persecution in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and beyond, many of whom are faithful Christians?And going without bread is not the only disaster to fall upon the truly devoted. Christians worldwide suffer daily under the ruthlessness of various regimes. Believers living in radicalized countries are persecuted at all levels of society. Many people of faith daily bear the economic and social consequences of living out their beliefs.

  • Creating fun lunches for school

    For kids, especially younger ones, lunch time at school is as much about the socializing as it is the food. How many times has your son or daughter come home with a lunch box that looks like it was not even touched? Kids are hungry and want to eat, but they would just rather socialize.In my home, we have encouraged better sack lunch consumption by applying the following tips:• Get the kids involved in the planning and making of their lunch. If you can do this the night before, you’ll save time in the morning rush to get out the door.• Keep the lunch balanced and colorful. According to federal dietary guidelines, children should eat two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables daily. And what could be more colorful than an apple or a peach or some broccoli florets?• Tack a cue from the culinary field where small bites and tapas are in. Make your own “Lunchables” meals, such as a combination of grapes, crackers, ham slices and cheese.• Feed the sweet tooth a bit. It is OK for children to have something small and sweet. Moderation is the key.

Can a Young American Entrepreneur Succeed Where Europe Has Failed?

A boat full of migrants, rescued on June 10 in the Mediterranean near Libya.  Photo: Marco Di Lauro The crew first spots the migrants' raft.  …

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Quantifying the relative irreplaceability of important bird and biodiversity areas

Accepted Article (Accepted, unedited articles published online and citable. The final edited and typeset version of record will appear in futu…

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Rethinking 'The Martian': Why Dust Storms Wouldn't Sabotage A Real Mars Mission

Matt Damon stars as a NASA astronaut stranded on the Martian surface in the forthcoming film adaptation of Andy Weir’s The Martian. Credit: Tw…

Published: September 2, 2015 - 1:32 am @ http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucedorminey/2015/08/…

Do It Before You Die: Hike to Havasu Falls

Havasu Falls in Arizona is paradise on Earth.  It is an incredible waterfall located in the Grand Canyon, Arizona.  Even though it’s not easy …

Published: September 2, 2015 - 1:02 am @ http://www.thisworldexists.org/blog/2015/8/30/havasu-falls

Carson Palmer ready to lead Arizona Cardinals; NFL mailbag

GLENDALE, Ariz. — So I saw 23 of the teams in the NFL in person this summer. While watching the last one, Arizona, play a preseason game, I be…

Published: September 1, 2015 - 11:32 pm @ http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2015/09/01/carson-palmer-a…

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