East Valley Tribune

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  • Soured Apple, glass maker deal to remain secret

    Apple Inc. has reached a deal with a synthetic sapphire glass maker that will allow details of contracts between the companies and the business problems that led GT Advanced Technologies to a financial crisis to remain secret.A Tuesday filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Hampshire shows a settlement that will allow sealed documents filed by GT's chief operating officer and Apple last week to be withdrawn and all copies destroyed.Apple hasn't commented beyond saying it was surprised by the bankruptcy filings and was working to retain jobs at the plant.GT is shutting down a new sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona, and laying off 724 workers.Apple advanced GT $429 million to outfit the plant under a contract announced last November.

  • Jurors given conflicting views of Jodi Arias

    A prosecutor at the sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias showed jurors two photos Tuesday of her ex-boyfriend and victim Travis Alexander.One was an unremarkable picture of his face taken some time before his death. The other was a crime-scene photo showing his slit throat."She loved him so much that this is what she did to him," prosecutor Juan Martinez said in his opening statement, describing the gruesome suffering Arias inflicted on Alexander before his death in 2008."There are no mitigating circumstances in this case. None," Martinez said. "The only just punishment for this crime is death."Arias has acknowledged killing Alexander but claimed it was self-defense after he attacked her. Prosecutors said it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage after the victim wanted to end their affair and planned a trip to Mexico with another woman.Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi said Tuesday that Arias was the victim of profound sexual humiliation by Alexander, and that she is mentally ill and a victim of child abuse.

  • Book examines the life and death of Chandler boxer Zora Folley

    The mystery surrounding the death of former heavyweight boxer Zora Folley, including what actually occurred the night the Chandler resident died more than four decades ago, is the subject of a new book by author and former reporter Marshall Terrill.Terrill released his e-book titled “Zora Folley: The Distinguished Life and Mysterious Death of a Gentleman Boxer” on Sept. 17 and is anticipating to release hard copies within one to two months. It is Terrill’s 18th book and is currently available on Amazon.com for Kindle devices.Folley, called “Chandler’s most famous son” by Terrill in both the book and an interview, lived in the city for the majority of his life. Chandler has named a street, park and community pool after the boxer, who, according to the book, was the first internationally famous figure to come out of the city.Terrill’s book describes every facet of Folley life, from growing up in Chandler in the 1940s, joining the military, his boxing career and his title fight against Muhammad Ali in 1967, to retiring to become a successful businessman and Chandler’s first black city councilman.Folley died in 1972 at age 41 after suffering severe head trauma in a Tucson motel swimming pool. The mysterious circumstances surrounding his death left many with unanswered questions.To Terrill, Folley’s death was “the one story that always bugged me that I couldn’t solve.” Saying he didn’t feel satisfied after writing a three-part newspaper story on the event in 2003, Terrill said the story still had many “brick walls” at that time, including the autopsy and police reports on the case seemingly being long lost.

  • Dec. 3 hearing set in Arpaio's profiling appeal

    A court has set a Dec. 3 hearing to hear arguments in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's appeal of a ruling that concluded his officers have systematically racially profiled Latinos in its vehicle patrols.Attorneys on both sides of the case will make their arguments before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.U.S. District Judge Murray Snow ruled in May 2013 that Arpaio's office has singled out Latinos in its regular traffic and immigration patrols.The sheriff vigorously denies that his officers have racially profiled people.Arpaio isn't appealing the ruling on the immigration patrols and instead is challenging the judge's conclusions on regular traffic patrols.In a training session a year ago, Arpaio's top aide predicted the appeals court would uphold Snow's ruling.

  • Leading Edge converts old Albertsons to new K-12 campus in Gilbert

    Having to account for growing student enrollment, Leading Edge Academy came up with a unique solution to the problem — open up a brand-new facility at a former grocery store.Located at 717 W. Ray Road in Gilbert — just over the border of Chandler — Leading Edge remodeled a long-vacated Albertsons and converted it to a kindergarten through grade-12 campus.Leading Edge, which has campuses in Mesa, Queen Creek and Maricopa, opened the new location for the current school year as a means of consolidating two campuses that served elementary students and high school students. Both sets of students attend the same school, although elementary school Principal Lori Anderson said the students are divided by floors; the older students attend classes upstairs while the elementary school is on the bottom floor.The building contained a small upstairs area before Leading Edge remodeled it, but it wasn’t anywhere near as expansive as it is now. High school Principal Vicky Hallam said adding a complete second floor was one of the many changes the school made to make the facility fit Leading Edge’s needs. It also had to fix the lights, clean the place up and even remove murals containing fruits and vegetables from what used to be the produce section.“The transformation from the first of June until now is amazing,” Anderson said.Despite all the reworking, what makes the location so useful for Leading Edge is the sheer size of the building. It’s large enough for the school to add in that second floor, enough classrooms to fit up to 300 elementary students and 350 high school students, and a small lunch room. It also provided sufficient room to build a rather sizable basketball court.

  • Man arrested in connection with Mesa apartment fire

    Mesa police say they have arrested a man in connection with a fire that left dozens of people displaced from their homes early Monday morning.Mesa Police spokesman Steve Berry said Irineo De La Cruz is facing arson charges and six counts of endangerment in connection with the blaze sparked in a downstairs unit at the Sunset Apartments near Main Street and Horne.According to court paperwork, De La Cruz admitted to authorities that he started the fire.De La Cruz said he had been hearing his neighbors' voices in his head saying they were going to hurt him.The suspect then went on to say he had used meth the night before and had not slept because of the voices in his head.Court paperwork indicates De La Cruz told police he put his couch in front of his front door just in case the voices came through the door.

  • ASU and Changing Hands host sci-fi extravaganza

    ‘Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future’ is the first anthology from Arizona State University’s Project Hieroglyph, which aims to reignite humanity’s grand ambitions for the future through the power of storytelling.The 532-page book unites twenty of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson—to contribute works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff.On Wednesday, Oct. 22, ASU and Changing Hands Bookstore will co-host a group of nine science fiction authors, scientists, engineers and experts who will share their collective vision of a better future and sign copies of ‘Hieroglyph.’Ed Finn, who is the founding director for ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination, co-edited ‘Hieroglyph’ with New York-based writer and critic Kathryn Cramer. Finn spoke to Get Out about the new book, why science fiction is important to innovation and how storytelling leads to grand ambition and thinking.Q: What’s the premise of how the Center for Science and Imagination and more specifically, how ‘Hieroglyph’ got started?EF: In 2011, New York Times best-selling author Neal Stephenson and ASU President Michael Crow were on a panel together at a conference in Washington, DC, to change the conversation around science, technology, and public policy. Neal was making the argument that we've lost the practical, hopeful ambition that drove our scientific and technological progress in the early and mid-20th century: the imaginative capacity and willingness to think big and take risks that drove the moon landing, large-scale infrastructure projects like the interstate highway system, and the development of the automobile, the airplane, the microchip and other transformative advances. Crow joked, "maybe this is your fault!"

  • Magic couple takes audience across the globe with ‘Carnival of Illusion’

    Husband and wife duo Susan Eyed and Roland Sarlot are bringing their magic show, “Carnival of Illusion: Around the World in 80 Minutes,” to the Mesa Arts Center.After six seasons of performing “Carnival of Illusion,” Eyed and Sarlot have honed their skills to bring the best possible show for their audience.“We love performing all of our tricks, some more than others. Our show is always evolving,” Sarlot said.The show has been performed on both small and large stages, but the performers say they prefer the intimacy of a small room and unraised stage.“It’s close up, it’s intimate and it’s fun. It’s all about them (the audience). Sometimes they’re celebrating special events or are having a hard time. It’s just that break, that wonderful chance to escape,” Eyed said.The two performers met while Sarlot was just beginning his magic career, and they began working together to create to their act. Eyed said she had always loved magic, and working together is both fun and enchanting.

  • Larry The Cable Guy brings laughs to Chandler

    Daniel Lawrence Whitney, commonly known as Larry The Cable Guy, is making audiences across the country laugh on his latest comedy tour, which makes a stop in Chandler on Oct. 18 at the Chandler Center for the Arts.Since kicking off his comedian career in 1985, Larry has collected many accolades, including a Grammy nomination and Billboard Award. He also starred in several “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” movies and voiced Mater in Disney’s successful “Cars” franchise.Here’s a snapshot of his recent conversation with GetOut, discussing his career, his most current tour and his favorite part of the job:Q: How did you get into comedy?A: I was a bellhop at the Hyatt and I started making money. I was always making (the guests) laugh. So a buddy of mine persuaded me to go onstage one night at an open mic night at a bar … and I went onstage for the first time in 1985 and I never stopped, I just fell in love with it.Q: Can you talk a little bit about your career as a comedian?

  • Explore pop culture at ‘Comic Media Expo’ in Mesa

    Get together your geek-gathering gear and garb, there’s a new pop culture convention in town, and its name is Comic & Media Expo (or CMX for short.) They will be making their inaugural run at the Mesa Convention Center from Oct. 17–19, and showcasing local talent as well as nationwide notables from comics, cosplay, television and movies.Included on the CMX guest roster is comic book veteran Marv Wolfman, the renowned writer of Marvel’s “The Tomb of Dracula,” the title where he co-created the character of “Blade.” (Halloween hint: I honestly can’t think of a better Halloween gift than a Marv Wolfman-signed “Tomb of Dracula” comic book!)Additional guests include local heroes and comic creators Denny Riccelli (Cousin Harold) and Eric Mengel (Ocho), cosplayers Allen Amis and Lindsay Elyse, and celebrities like Amy Okuda (“The Guild”) and Dante Basco (“The Legend of Korra.”)The CMX programming schedule includes everything from discussions on “Steampunk Anime” and “The Social and Political History of Doctor Who” to Q&A sessions with Wolfman, Basco and a gaggle of genre authors. There are also crafting workshops and costume contests, and educational themed panels like “Photoshop 101.”Get detailed information, advance registration (tickets) and more about the Comic & Media Expo event at their website, ComicMediaExpo.com.• Bob Leeper, co-owner of pop culture and alternative art network Evermore Nevermore, writes for Nerdvana, Arizona’s original geek blog. Follow it at evtnow.com/nerdvana.

  • Family Promise brings hope for homeless

    A family of four entered a local shelter with tattered clothes and tired eyes, carrying three old garbage bags holding their only belongings. A wave of relief washed over the family as they cautiously walked into the shelter, greeted by barking dogs, a clean playground and an onslaught of accommodating volunteers.Homeless shelters across the Valley offer assistance to those in need in the form of food, a safe place to sleep and even programs to help individuals get back on their feet. Tempe is one of the many large cities across the nation that works to combat the growing homelessness community.“We have a similar homeless population compared to other big cities,” said Theresa James, city of Tempe homeless coordinator.Common faces found on streets are single men, teens escaping violence or addiction at home and families with nowhere else to go, she added.Almost 24 percent of residents in Tempe lived in poverty from 2010-2012, according to the Tempe Community Action Agency, an organization dedicated to assisting those with low income. Roughly 27 percent of children younger than 18 were living below the poverty level during the same time frame.However, the impact of family homelessness is harder to visualize by the public eye, as families find ways to keep their struggle isolated, James said.

  • Photos: Fall League Baseball

Tech Data Doctors Deals

  • Soured Apple, glass maker deal to remain secret

    Apple Inc. has reached a deal with a synthetic sapphire glass maker that will allow details of contracts between the companies and the business problems that led GT Advanced Technologies to a financial crisis to remain secret.A Tuesday filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Hampshire shows a settlement that will allow sealed documents filed by GT's chief operating officer and Apple last week to be withdrawn and all copies destroyed.Apple hasn't commented beyond saying it was surprised by the bankruptcy filings and was working to retain jobs at the plant.GT is shutting down a new sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona, and laying off 724 workers.Apple advanced GT $429 million to outfit the plant under a contract announced last November.

  • Beer Research Institute to open in Mesa

    Craft beer fans in the East Valley will have another option to taste a wide variety of brews with the grand opening of a new brewery this fall.The Beer Research Institute, which will offer a number of different types of beer, will open in Mesa at 1641 S. Stapley Drive next to AMC Grand 24 theaters in the coming months. The owners, Matt Trethewey and Greg Sorrels, have researched the art of crafting beer one pint at a time for eight years.Craft breweries have become increasingly popular amongst the East Valley, but the story behind the B.R.I. is what separates this microbrewery from the rest. It began when Sorrels moved from northern California to Phoenix where he met Trethewey, who had been brewing beer in his garage for about a year.“We were out in the garage to get a beer when he saw my home brew set-up,” Trethewey said. “Greg had always been a big fan of craft beer so he started to come over and brew with me.”After receiving gold medals for their farmhouse saison and vanilla porter ales in the Arizona Society of Homebrewers Oktoberfest competition, they decided to take their skills to the next level and open their own microbrewery. The B.R.I. focuses on Belgian and West Coast American style ales. The core lineup includes a Vanilla Porter, West Coast IPA, Red IPA, Belgian Saison, and more.The brewpub’s menu consists of predominately Southwestern styles as well as a se-lection of barbecue entrées, sandwiches and burgers. Everything on the “tacos and not tacos” menu will be made in-house from scratch.

  • Chandler breaks ground on new downtown apartment complex

    Officials from the city of Chandler expect an incoming apartment complex will create a more urbanized feel to the downtown area.The project, Alta Steelyard Lofts, is a 301-unit luxury apartment complex located along Arizona Avenue and Frye Road that is expected to become the first apartment complex in the downtown region with an elevator. The city and real estate developer Wood Partners broke ground on the location on Oct. 14.The company and city are hoping that the apartments boost the economy while structuring a more urbanized downtown community.“We have 301 units so we expect about 450 people to live here when it’s full,” said Clay Richardson, the development associate for real estate company Wood Partners. “That’s a significant presence in Downtown Chandler.”Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny said the apartment complex complements the city’s attempts to increase the downtown’s pedestrian presence and create a “cool urban vibe” in the area.“This project creates a walkable experience that we hope will lure new city dwellers to our downtown businesses,” he said.

  • Family owned resale store opening in Chandler

    The owners of the new Uptown Cheapskate resale shop are looking to families new and old as they develop a broader clientele base.The family-owned business located adjacent to Chandler Fashion Center purchases used clothing and items like jewelry and purses and resells them to customers. It is currently in its buying phase — paying for products from customers in order to stockpile its inventory — and co-owner Brenda Spezzacatena said it will make its grand opening Nov. 7.Spezzacatena and her mother, Molly Varner, have managed the Ahwatukee Kid to Kid resale store — a shop that buys and sells clothing and accessories for children — for 10 years.Uptown Cheapskate and Kid to Kid are owned by the same parent company, BaseCamp Franchising, and they run the same business model. Uptown Cheapskate, however, targets clients between ages 18 and 35, and many of its customers are grown-up Kid to Kid shoppers.“We just felt this was the next logical step to take, that those parents who started with us in the beginning can now come over to a new concept, and that we can gear to a whole other demographic now,” Spezzacatena said.Spezzacatena said those families have anchored Chandler’s Uptown Cheapskate during its buying phase, but a new market is emerging.

  • State minimum wage to increase Jan. 1

    What would you buy with an extra $6 a week?Two gallons of milk?A Big Mac meal?A venti half-caf sugar-free latte?That's how much more those at the bottom of the pay scale will be making come Jan. 1 when the minimum wage in Arizona goes to $8.05 an hour. Before taxes.It's not that businesses necessarily want to pay their workers more. It's that Arizona voters in 2006 mandated that the state have its own minimum wage not tied to the federal figure.

  • Tempe Farmers Market connects shoppers with local food

    People looking for a quick, easy meal may consider In-N-Out Burger their best bet, while diners who want a fancy Italian, Mexican or Japanese dish have many restaurants on Mill Avenue to satisfy this craving. But for fresh, local ingredients ready to make any type of meal, the Tempe Farmers Market is the place to go.The Tempe Farmers Market, located at 805 S. Farmer Ave. in Tempe, is home to hundreds of freshly made, locally grown products, ranging from breads to dog treats to salad dressings. The Farmers Market also has a coffee and sandwich bar where the order is prepared for customers as they browse the aisles.“We’re a main source of natural, unmodified foods,” said Peter Taji, a Farmers Market employee and regular buyer. “We do the best we can to source locally; there’s just a certain freshness and organic feel about all the food here.”The higher quality comes with a cost, although Taji said the product is worth the extra expense.“You always get what you pay for,” he said.Stacey Dutton, owner and head of marketing for the Farmers Market, said she has noticed a lot of changes since the Farmers Market first opened in 2009.

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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?

  • Keeping the Faith: Dancing, not marching

    There is a story about two monks walking along the road when they come to a shallow, muddy river. A beautiful woman in a long white dress is standing there. She can’t figure out how to continue her journey without ruining her outfit.So one of the monks picks her up in his arms - something he was absolutely forbidden to do, for touching a woman was against his vows — and he carries her across to the other side. Then, all parties continued on their journey.After a few hours, the second monk was unable to remain silent about this breach of conduct. He blurts out, “How could you pick up that woman when you knew it was against the rules?” The first monk replied, “Are you still carrying her around? I put her down hours ago.”This is an instructive tale about two different approaches to spirituality. One can view faith as a tightly controlled, carefully managed list of “dos and don’ts,” or one can move with the spirit, so to speak. While the latter is not without its pitfalls, the former is certainly rife with peril. Managing our spiritual lists becomes a heavy, taxing burden.This point is eloquently driven home by pastor, author, and scholar Eugene Peterson. When he discovered that his congregation was failing to connect with the Bible, he did something radical. He rewrote it. Technically, he paraphrased the original language, crafting a translation for the contemporary context called “The Message.”Beginning with the book of Galatians, and taking more than a decade to work his way through both Testaments, Peterson “hoped to bring the Scriptures to life for those who hadn’t read the Bible because it seemed too … irrelevant and those who had read the Bible so much that it had become ‘old hat.’”

  • Catholic Charities offers counseling to Valley residents

    Catholic Charities of Arizona is offering a variety of counseling services to those who might not previously have been able to afford them. Holy Cross Catholic Church, on Power Road in Mesa, is one of many locations where East Valley residents can seek help for a variety of needs.Rebecca Sauer, a program manager for Catholic Charities, supervises a team of paid and intern counselors who are available to the general public at reduced rates, based on the individual’s ability to pay.“I’m very passionate about this program,” Sauer said. “Catholic Charities has a mission statement to help the most vulnerable of the population. We have made an effort to keep our fees very low so that those who would never be able to come to counseling can come.”She estimates the program has served some 4,000 people directly or indirectly connected to the 902 families who have sought counseling in the last year. Counseling is also available for individuals as well as couples, with marriage counseling being common as well. Spanish-speaking counselors are available and the program operates on Saturdays as well as evenings to meet busy schedules.Hourly rates range from $25 per hour for an intern to $35 per hour for a licensed counselor and move on a sliding scale from there based on income.Where the program really distinguishes itself is in Sauer’s work with the interns. Most of the time, she said, interns are supervised by other counselors who struggle to deal with their own caseloads and help their charges succeed as well. Sauer is able to devote her time to case reviews and mentorship, ensuring that the program’s interns are well-served, as well as those they counsel.

  • Take me Home: Handsome Jax is playful, sweet

    Jax is a big beautiful boy, about 3 years old. He’s very playful and sweet. Thus far he’s gotten along with most cats he’s met. It isn’t sure if he’d be happy living with dogs. Jax has been at the shelter for quite some time so when he does get adopted, the family should understand it might take him some time to adjust to a home environment. His last person ended up having to return him due to allergies. Jax would like to be brushed sometimes to keep that wonderful mane of his looking its best. He seems to understand there’s a price to pay for being so handsome so he doesn’t mind it.Jax is neutered, up to date on vaccinations and tested FELV/FIV negative. His adoption fee is $85. If interested in adopting Jax, contact Friends for Life Animal Rescue, 143 W. Vaughn Ave., in downtown Gilbert at (480) 497-8296 or visit www.azfriends.org.

  • Shapiro: Love deserves society’s support

    Love always wins. It may be denied for a time, but not forever. When it can’t flourish, it burns and breaks us. When love is allowed, it transforms, improves and heals. It makes us deeper, kinder, more caring people. When we love, we see beyond ourselves, and come to experience another person’s full humanity. When we recognize another person’s full humanity, we can see it in everyone else, too. The more love the better.What’s true for individuals is also true for societies. Love strengthens the bonds between people. In so doing, it transforms us into more caring communities. That’s why love deserves society’s support in all the many ways a culture can promote and protect it. The more love the better.How magnificent, then, that marriage equality is coming to Arizona. When all couples share in the joy, security, and context of marriage, love is allowed to flourish, individuals fuse into families, and our society becomes warmer, more caring, more inclusive. This is a change that’s been dreamt about for decades. I didn’t expect to see it in my lifetime.Some people are thrilled by marriage equality; others are terrified. What does it mean to us?I can tell you one thing it does not mean: I, as a clergyperson, will not be required to officiate at any wedding I don’t support. I have always had the right and ability to decline to perform marriages. That will remain the case under this change in law. I would decline to officiate at a wedding if I don’t believe the relationship to be a healthy one. I would decline to do so if I feel that Judaism isn’t at the heart of the new home — after all, I’m a rabbi, not a Justice of the Peace. The state does not and will not tell me whom to marry. In this way, neither my religious beliefs, nor those of any other clergyperson, are infringed by marriage equality. Our individual moral compasses remain intact.What I won’t have, and neither will you, is the right to deny what the state has called legal and binding: the self-declared relationship between two other people. You don’t need to bless it, but you aren’t allowed to trample it, either. Why would you? Like a sapling, love is tender and fragile and good, and therefore merits support.

  • Keeping the Faith: The Gospel according to Jesus

    While traveling in Central America, I had the opportunity to worship at an international, interdenominational, English-speaking church. The congregation contained Africans, Italians, Spaniards, Latinos, Americans, and Asians. We sang old Irish hymns and modern, Australian worship choruses. The service was a mixture of Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal elements. The welcome was given by a Canadian, a German read the Scripture lesson, and an American did the preaching. It was a wonderful, diverse experience, and for a little while I thought the kingdom of God had come.This, I thought, is what worship should be: People of various Christian traditions, streaming together from all tribes and nations, gathered in an idyllic setting, worshiping Christ together. Then the sermon began, and things changed. The pastor’s sermon could have been heard in many an evangelical congregation in North America. It was about who was “right” and who was “wrong,” who was “in” and who was “out.” He summed up his sermon, and his philosophy for life, with these words: “Real life is full assurance that you will go to heaven when you die. That is the gospel.” At great risk of being misunderstood, I could not disagree more.As those words were spoken in that Latino church, the surrounding countryside had just endured its worst flooding in five decades. Gang graffiti clung to the walls and sidewalks just steps from the church’s front door. Thousands of people were trying to survive grinding poverty. To say to all these people and in all these of conditions, that “real life” is checking out of this life for the next one, is a mockery of reality and a refusal to heed the gospel that Jesus actually proclaimed. When Jesus began preaching his gospel in the Galilean hills, his message was clear and singular: “The Kingdom of God is at hand. It is here and now,” he said. “It is today.”Jesus’ intention, it seems, was not to rescue people from earth, per se, transporting them to a far removed heaven. His intention was to put heaven inside of people. A gospel that ignores this fact — and this current world — because our status in the next world has been properly secured, is a distortion of Jesus’ redeeming message.Thus, the gospel according to Jesus, is not just about a harp-playing, cloud-riding, hymn-singing, glory-praising, pie-in-the-sky heaven. It is holistic, all-encompassing deliverance, now. I’m not denying the existence of the afterlife; no, not at all. But I do not believe that we have to die to personally experience the life God has for us.Jesus’ first disciples did not have the benefit of two-thousand years of Christian tradition and theology. All those disciples had were Jesus’ words: “Follow me, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” They had no promises of a big heavenly payoff. No fluttering angels’ wings, no crossing over the River Jordan to the Hallelujah Shore, no promises of golden streets or pearly gates, no “full assurance that you will go to heaven when you die.” All they had was the invitation of Jesus to “Follow me.” For them, that was enough.

Attorney General Forum - Question 1

Attorney General candidates Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini debate at ...

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