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  • Arizona still a prime market for utility-scale solar projects

    A month after it announced plans to develop a new solar power plant in Gila Bend, Vasari Energy was back late last year to double down on its Arizona investment, expanding the plant’s capacity to power more than 7,000 homes.For California-based Vasari Energy, it was a smart business move to bolster the company’s planned solar portfolio. But experts said it was just more evidence that Arizona is an ideal state for utility-scale solar projects, a status they expect will continue as the infrastructure needed for solar plants becomes more affordable.“Arizona is a terrific place,” said Sean Gallagher, the Solar Energy Industries Association’s vice president of state affairs. “It’s got a lot of sun, a lot of clear days. There’s been a lot of installations on utility-scale projects. Which really contribute a lot to the numbers.”Arizona currently ranks second in total installed solar capacity after California, the nation’s undisputed leader, despite rising challenges from new competitors across the South, such as North Carolina and Texas.More than 100 solar facilities are operating or under construction in the state, according to SEIA data.These projects could have a large effect on the Arizona economy, said Auriane Koster, a solar expert with the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

  • Governor had encouraging words for education, business owners

    Last week, Gov. Doug Ducey gave his State of the State address, sharing his goal of ensuring Arizona continues as a state with “boundless opportunity.” He further shared his belief that every child deserves a quality education that will lead them to that opportunity.  Broadly, his key focus points were education, human services and helping business by reducing governmental red tape.When it comes to education, we in Ahwatukee can be very proud of the caliber of our schools, both public and private.The Kyrene and Tempe Union school districts continue to achieve high rankings and we are fortunate to have so many quality educators as role models and mentors for our children.One way the Ahwatukee Chamber Community Foundation’s leadershipis giving local students support through additional learning and mentoring opportunities is through our Young Entrepreneur’s Academy (YEA!).Currently, nearly two dozen local business people are involved as mentors, instructors or other capacities to support this program.

  • Here are two income-producing investments retirees might consider

    As an investor, your main goals will change at different times in your life.During your working years, you need to grow as many resources as possible for retirement. Once you retire, however, you will likely need to focus more on getting income from your investments.But what are your options?  There’s no shortage of income-producing investments, of course. You might immediately think of bonds, which can provide regular interest payments and probable preservation of principal, provided the bonds are considered “investment grade.”Still, if interest rates are low when you retire, bonds might not provide you with as much income as you need. And just as importantly, the income you receive from most bonds won’t rise over time, leaving you susceptible to inflation and the loss of purchasing power.Consequently, you may also need to explore other types of income-generating vehicles, including dividend-paying stocks and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

  • Two Ahwatukee residents now head Kyrene schools governing board

    Two Ahwatukee residents, one of whom is a local rock star of sorts, have been elected the leaders of the Kyrene School District’s governing board.John King was elected president last week while Kristin Middleton was elected vice president.The elections came during the board’s reorganization meeting, during which newcomers Michael Myrick and Michelle Fahy, both of Tempe, were sworn in.King is the bass player for Uncorked the Band, which has earned a steady following during its frequent appearances at Va Bene restaurant in Ahwatukee and other area nightclubs and casinos.King, who started his second term on the board, is a longtime community volunteer and belongs to the Festival of Lights Committee and the Ahwatukee Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy Foundation.Asked during the campaign last year what accomplishments he was proudest of during his first term on the board, he cited the “strategic focus” he brought to the board as it contends with falling student population and heightened competition for students from nearby school districts and charter schools.

  • Horizon Presbyterian gets interim pastor as it marks 25 years

    Horizon Presbyterian Church has a transitional pastor.The Rev. Joe Surin will lead the church, which has not head a pastor since June, until a permanent one can is selected.He will work with Horizon’s Session (the governing body for the church) board of deacons and various ministry and mission teams, including God’s Garden Preschool and Child Development Center.A Midwesterner originally from the Chicago area, “Joe brings a unique blend of experiences and gifts to Horizon,” according to a release.He was ordained 17 years ago and has served churches as pastor-head of staff, executive pastor and a variety of specific roles.  Most recently, he has directed family ministries for The Spring, a sister church in the new ECO Denomination.  The ECO, or Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, was established in 2012 by former congregations and members of the Presbyterian Church who were unhappy over the latter’s decision to allow gay and lesbian pastors. As a Presbyterian church, it adheres to Reformed theology and Presbyterian governance.

  • City to probe complaints of service delays in afternoon RAPID bus service

    The Phoenix Public Transit Department will look into complaints that the I-10 East Rapid bus serving Ahwatukee has been chronically unreliable during the afternoon rush hour.“We will work with our service provider and plan to make some observations for locations from which the RAPID routes are operated to monitor the I-10 East route and work ways to improve it, not just in the p.m. outbound routes, but as a whole,” said department spokesman Lars Jacoby.He was reacting to questions about two emails received by the AFN about service on the route.“At least one day out of three, we have a bus that either doesn't show up or comes 10 minutes or more late,” said one patron. “This route is the only one with the issue as several other rapids come and go while we all wait.”The patron went on to complain, “We all have called, over and over, but nothing ever changes. In fact, nobody even returns our calls. So many of us are so fed up that we're going to start writing to try to get this fixed. They tell us that it's "traffic" but that makes no sense. The buses are late no matter what the traffic is like.”Another email said the afternoon outbound buses “regularly arrive late or, just as often, do not show up at all. At least twice a week, we have a missing bus so two routes worth of people are forced to crowd into a single bus with a dozen or more people standing.”

Ask Mikey Book Reviews Movie Reviews Recipes

  • Maricopa film festival featuring 56 movies of all kinds

    The finalists have been chosen for the inaugural Copa Shorts Film Fest being held at UltraStar Multi-Tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle in Maricopa during Presidents Weekend.Organizers have selected 56 films and will offer special showcases for juried student and Native American film blocks.  Four screenplays will be honored for the table reads, with local actors reading the short scripts.Finalists are from Arizona as well as several states and Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Australia and China.  Comedies, dramas, sci-fi, documentaries, animation, and foreign films are part of the event Feb. 17-19.  Seven two-hour film blocks including question-and-answer sessions, a table read screenplay, and a Best of the Fest compilation are included.Many of the finalists are comedies, which received some of the highest ratings from the Arizona State University Film School reviewers and local judges.Award-winning film composer Brent M. Davids will offer tips for filmmakers on "Film Scoring for Film Makers" in a complimentary workshop Feb. 18 at Elements Event Center.

  • Bowling rolling to more popularity in Ahwatukee region

    Ahwatukee has none of them, but residents don’t have far to travel to become part of a sport that swept the country decades ago and is making a comeback, striking a chord with an even wider audience.Local bowling centers are on a roll when it comes to attracting players of all ages and abilities.They are no longer called “lanes,” but “centers.”And those in Chandler, Mesa, Tempe and Gilbert offer happy hours, as well as “laser” or glow-in-the-dark bowling pins, popular music videos flashing above lanes and specialized leagues.That mix is attracting people who enjoy mixing some relatively inexpensive entertainment with friendly competition, exercise and a chance to unwind over drinks.Some bowling centers even offer miniature golf, arcade games, laser tag, restaurants, bars, catered parties and movie theaters to lure families and singles. Others focus more on league play.

  • Tapacubo brings eclectic Latino food to Tempe hotel

    Chef Jon Andersen has had the dream jobs. Kai in Chandler. Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley. Disney’s Grand Californian in Anaheim.He’s enjoying himself no less—perhaps a lot more—at Tapacubo, the festive cantina inside the Graduate Tempe hotel on Apache Boulevard near College Avenue.“It’s a fun place to work,” he said. “It’s just good food. We’re not re-positioning satellites here.”He has definitely elevated the menu offerings.Classically trained at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and of Norwegian descent, Andersen puts an interesting and unpredictable spin on Latino cuisine—his favorite. Sweet chili shrimp tacos, for instance, get a spicy-sweet Thai twist, with a little bit of burn provided by Fresno pepper and lots of crunch coming from shaved cabbage and radish.The delicious smoked chicken tortilla soup is an excellent way to get your lunch or dinner started. Andersen favors tomatoes over stock in his version and grills the marinated chicken for smoke flavor. If you’re more of a traditionalist, try the garlicky Tapacubo wings, grilled quesadilla, Mas Nachos or nibble on chips & salsa. The salsas and guacamole are superb.

  • Movies on Screen

    The Brand New Testament (subtitled) – Opens Friday, January 20God exists, and He's a jerk. He lives in a high-rise apartment in Brussels and never gets out of His pajamas. He takes sadistic delight in dreaming up new "laws" to torment humanity and He's a petty tyrant to His wife and ten-year-old daughter, Ea. Like her brother before her, Ea has had enough of her Father's abuse and when she spies the right opportunity, she hacks into His computer and leaks to the entire world - by text message - the only thing He has over them: their inevitable death date. Ea, after escaping and with her Father in pursuit, gathers apostles and writes her own New Testament to try to fix the mess her Father has made of humanity.Not RatedThe Founder – Opens Friday, January 20This drama tells the true story of how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.Rated PG-13

  • Illusionists create magic on Gammage stage

    At age 10, Kevin James knew what he aspired to be.“A magician came to our school and did a show, and I instantly knew that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” says the magician known as “The Inventor” in the Broadway magic show, “The Illusionists.”“That never changed. In college, I had friends who were 20 years and old and still didn’t know what they wanted to do. I did,” James recalls.At the ASU Gammage Theater now through Sunday, “The Illusionists” features seven major magicians, each with a different specialty and persona. The cast could be dubbed “The Avengers” of magic, with James called “The Inventor.”“The director said, ‘Imagine you’re a magic superhero. What would your superpower be?’ And because I create all my own illusions, ‘The Inventor’ came to mind.”James was hooked on magic at a young age, not because of the tricks involved, but because of the emotions of wonder and surprise that surround a magic show.

  • Rick Astley talks No. 1 album, ‘rickrolling’ and never giving up

     English soul singer Rick Astley remembers the exact moment he wanted to be a pop star.“I was on a school trip to a big house in the country, where we would do projects and blah, blah, blah,” Astley said via telephone from England. “On Thursday, we watched ‘Top of the Pops,’ and Depeche Mode was on it. All the girls just reacted to it in a certain way.“I said, ‘Yep. That’s what I want to do.’”Astley had that effect on women since the ’80s, when he scored hits with “Never Gonna Give You Up,” “Together Forever” and “It Would Take a Strong, Strong Man.”He’s once again become hip, thanks to the rave reviews he’s received for his eighth album “50,” his U.S. release since 1993’s “Body & Soul.” In the United Kingdom, it hit No. 1.

  • Neighbors: Mountain Pointe High chess players reviving the school’s club

    Mountain Pointe High School chemistry teacher Rick Carter is surprised and delighted by what he’s seen with the chess club this year.As the club mentor, he has had to sit out interscholastic tournaments the last couple years.But that’s not because of video games or social media.“Getting students to commit to weekends has been difficult,” he said.But not this year.Thanks to the recruitment efforts of club president Vlada Markov, the club has attracted enough committed students that it is fully back in the game.

  • In the Neighborhood: Computer organization for women honors Skylar Smith of Ahwatukee

    Several Ahwatukee young people have been cited for scholastic or other achievements in recent weeks.Leading the pack is Skylar Smith, a junior at Xavier College Preparatory, who, along with classmate Gillian Vaughn, received an honorable mention in the National Center for Women and Information Technology organization’s "Aspirations in Computing" program.Skylar was cited for her “demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post‑secondary education.”The daughter of Rhonda and Clark Smith, Skylar is an honors and AP student at Xavier, and maintains a 4.5 weighted (4.0 unweighted) great point average.  She is involved in numerous campus groups, including the student newspaper (X-Press), yearbook (Xavierian), Key Club, mock trial team, and robotics club.  She also volunteers in the neurological unit at St. Joseph's Hospital and recently won a Scholastic Art and Writing Award.NCWIT is a community of more than 850 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies and non-profits working to increase girls' and women's participation in technology and computing.

  • Two Ahwatukee neighborhoods discouraged by city response to complaints of street conditions

    Residents in two nearly adjacent Ahwatukee neighborhoods have learned that when it comes to Phoenix City Hall, the squeaky wheel sometimes gets only partially greased.Residents around Ray Road and Ranch Circle North and homeowners in two developments less than a mile west say that even when the city Street Transportation Department has responded to their complaints about the condition of their streets, crews end up doing a shoddy job.“I went from being highly encouraged to discouraged,” said Julie Freemole, who last fall took Mayor Greg Stanton at his word during his appearance Sept. 30 at a breakfast sponsored by the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce.During his speech, Stanton talked of the estimated $3 billion the city would raise over the next 30 years for street repairs as the result of a sales tax voters approved when they voted for Proposition 104 in 2015.Encouraging residents to complain if they run into rugged stretches of streets in Ahwatukee, he said: “If you know of a particular pothole, let me and Councilman (Sal) DiCiccio know, because you did vote for Proposition 104.”Freemole wrote to both officials, expressing her unhappiness with the condition of Ray Road in her neighborhood.

Gov. Brown Appoints New Public Utility Commissioners to Replace Florio and Sandoval

Martha Guzman Aceves and Clifford Rechtschaffen both come from the governor’s office with strong environmental protection backgrounds. Martha …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/gov.-…

Kerry’s Blunt Words for Israel Denounced by Lawmakers in Both Parties

A bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, upset with President Obama’s decision last week to allow the passage of a United Nations resolution condemni…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:14 am @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/28/us/politics/john…

Obama preparing to penalize Russia for hacking

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to penalize Russia over the hacking of Democratic officials during this year's presidential…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:16 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/1…

Mail truck tips on Mesa street

MESA, Ariz. - A mail truck ended up on its side in a crash Wednesday. Mesa police say a single-vehicle collision left the United States Postal…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 10:12 am @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/mail-truck…

Reports of mall disturbances light up social media

A flurry of reports of mall melees and disturbances rippled across social media Monday on a day Americans swarmed shopping hubs for post-holid…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:51 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/12/…

Graham, McCain want Russia sanctions after election hacking

Top Republican senators said Wednesday that the incoming Congress and President-elect Donald Trump should impose new and tougher sanctions on …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 9:13 am @ http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/12/28/graham-…

Immigration Is the Only Hope for States That Helped Trump

The decline of manufacturing does not explain the decline of Wisconsin. Photographer: Daniel Acker/BloombergFacebook Twitter Email Print Share…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:17 am @ https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-28…

Creator of the Red Solo Cup dies at 84

FOX 32 NEWS - The creator of the Red Solo Cup died on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 at the age of 84. Robert Leo Hulseman lived in Northfield, …

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:07 am @ http://www.fox4news.com/trending/225996868-story

12 Cars You Can Legally Import to the US in 2017

slide-4320347 There were plenty of great vehicles produced abroad that Americans (outside of Canada) haven't been able to import until they hi…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 7:06 am @ http://www.autoblog.com/photos/cars-you-can-legall…

Raw sewage bubbles out of ground, Mesa apartment residents fed up

MESA, AZ - People who live at one apartment complex in Mesa said they have a problem that stinks — raw sewage bubbling up out of the ground an…

Published: December 31, 2016 - 6:35 am @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/…


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