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  • AFN Christmas Lights Contest in full gear

    The Ahwatukee Foothills News’ Holiday Lights Contest is open to nominations for only one more days.The contest is for all of the residents who go that extra mile and festoon their homes with the glitz and glitter of Christmas. The deadline is midnight tonight.Have you noticed a neighbor's elaborate decorations for the season? Have you been inspired by them—or more than a little irritated? Do you think yours are more tasteful?You don't even have to know the homeowner's name. Just send in the address and whip out your smartphone to snap a photo just to give us an idea of what's special about it.Go ahead and write a note about why you nominated it. And, yes, you can nominate yourself as well. We do need your name, address and phone number as "official nominator" for any contenders you send along.What makes for the best lighting display? We'll be the judge of that. The AFN will award prizes in a few different categories. (And we'll figure out what those are after we look at the nominees.)

  • Needy kids get holiday treat from Ahwatukee Knights of Columbus

    The Knights Kids Program, a social-aid program sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Council 10062 of Ahwatukee, is taking underprivileged children Saturday on a holiday adventure at the JC Penney on Ray Road in Ahwatukee.The concept sprang from a Christmas program sponsored by a national veteran’s organization and George Notarpole, an In-Country Vietnam Veteran and a Knight of Columbus, suggested his fellow Knights in Ahwatukee do the same here.“Good fortune prevailed when Gary Ryan, another Knight of Columbus who worked at the JC Penney’s store on Ray Road was instrumental in creating a decades-long relationship with the managers of JC Penney and the Ahwatukee Knights of Columbus,” said Knights Council spokesman Jim McGrath of Ahwatukee.“This event is so special with Penney employees that many request to be scheduled during the two hours involved; an additional 60 volunteers show up at 6 a.m. to help with this project,” he said.The children are selected by a local school official that deals with the poorest of families in its district.“In most cases, these children would not have a Christmas without the Knights Kids Program,” McGrath said.

  • Holiday win-win: Get decorating ideas and help others

    When you need holiday home decorating ideas, turn to pros who offer more than half a century of experience. This week, Desert Club unveils its 59th annual Christmas Idea House.If you aren't familiar with this popular tradition, the all-volunteer women's service organization Desert Club selects a luxury home in the East Valley and decorates it from top to bottom in the latest holiday style.“Every year, we take a different house and in essence turn it into a boutique,” Desert Club member Michelle Tetschner explains. “We have thousands of items from candies in the kitchen to throws in the master bedroom to dining- and serving-ware in the dining room.”The Desert Club members make many of the items themselves from ideas on Pinterest and other sources. Even store-bought items get a touch of glitter or other custom holiday enhancement to match the theme, which for 2016 is “Wrapped in Red.”To hold this year's decorations, Desert Club selected an 11,000-square-foot custom home in Gilbert. The massive multi-level home even includes an indoor basketball court.“They're huge U of A fans, unfortunately,” Tetschner jokes about the owners.

  • Residents can grill True Life about Ahwatukee Farms next week

    The owner of the defunct golf course at Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Club has scheduled its own public forum to give residents a chance to grill its experts on its proposed “agrihood” for the 101-acre site.True Life Companies will have six to eight stations devoted to specific aspects of the plan during the meeting at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 in Mountain Pointe High School cafeteria, 4201 E. Knox Road, Ahwatukee.Attendees “can have a dialogue with experts and ask questions about specific parts of the vision for Ahwatukee Farms and the process to make it a reality,” spokesman Drew Sexton said. “Residents can spend as much time at each station as they would like and learn more from these experts.”The stations will be manned by:Aidan Barry, Todd Severson and Quentin Thornton of True Life, who will discuss the overall vision of Ahwatukee Farms and how community-supported agriculture fits into the community;Shetal Walters and Sonia Carver of Desert Garden Montessori School, who will focus on their plans for the new school campus;Darrell Wilson of the civil engineering firm Hilgart Wilson, who will provide residents with information on flood control plans and the area’s hydrology;Don Dyekman of Dickinson Wright and Jason Morris of Withey Morris, who will explain the consent form, and “how it protects residents and what the legal process is,” according to Sexton;Chuck Wright of Kimley Horn, who will discuss the steps being taken to reduce traffic in the area.

  • Trump triggers angry words from DiCiccio about Phoenix mayor

    President-elect Donald Trump’s statements on immigration triggered a war of words two weeks ago between Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilman Sal DiCiccio, whose district includes Ahwatukee.Trump told 60 Minutes on Nov. 13 that he would deport illegal immigrants that have criminal records once he takes office. He put the number around two to three million people, but federal authorities have put it closer to less than a million."We are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate. But we're getting them out of our country, they're here illegally," Trump said.Three days later, Stanton said in reaction to a TV reporter’s question: “The Phoenix Police Department will never turn into a mass deportation force, even if the new government in Washington, D.C., threatens to revoke federal dollars. This is something worth fighting for, and we will not be bullied into taking backward steps on civil rights.”“Phoenix is an incredibly diverse and welcoming city where we endeavor every day to protect our community while treating residents with dignity and respect, no matter who you are, who you love or where you come from,” Stanton added, stating:“It says much about who we are as a people that Phoenix is considered one of the safest and most welcoming cities in the United States for those seeking refuge from the violence of war-torn countries.”

  • Mt. Pointe students to present holiday comedy this weekend

    The Mountain Pointe Theatre Company aims to start the holiday season on a fun note by presenting “Inspecting Carol,” a comedy that was described as “’A Christmas Carol’ meets “The Government Inspector’ meets ‘Noises Off’” when it debuted in Seattle.It will be presented at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Mountain Pointe High School, 44th Street and Knox Road, Ahwatukee. Tickets are available at the door and are $7 for adults, $5 for students.The play is about a small professional theater company in a midsized city that strives to maintain funding and learns it will be inspected for a possible grant as it is preparing to produce “A Christmas Carol.”The quirky theatre troupe includes a child who is a little too old to be playing Tiny Tim, a visionary Ebenezer Scrooge who has a few too many ideas, and an emotional, eccentric director. Confusion sets in when a mysterious "actor" arrives to audition.A variation on a play by Nikolai Gogal, "Inspecting Carol” was described by Seattle critics as a “razzle dazzle of funny characters and ingenious jokes” and a “rollicking farce.”Mountain Pointe alumus Corey Quinn, now a biology teacher at the school as well as one of the student troupe’s mentors, is directing.

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  • AFN Christmas Lights Contest in full gear

    The Ahwatukee Foothills News’ Holiday Lights Contest is open to nominations for only one more days.The contest is for all of the residents who go that extra mile and festoon their homes with the glitz and glitter of Christmas. The deadline is midnight tonight.Have you noticed a neighbor's elaborate decorations for the season? Have you been inspired by them—or more than a little irritated? Do you think yours are more tasteful?You don't even have to know the homeowner's name. Just send in the address and whip out your smartphone to snap a photo just to give us an idea of what's special about it.Go ahead and write a note about why you nominated it. And, yes, you can nominate yourself as well. We do need your name, address and phone number as "official nominator" for any contenders you send along.What makes for the best lighting display? We'll be the judge of that. The AFN will award prizes in a few different categories. (And we'll figure out what those are after we look at the nominees.)

  • Holiday win-win: Get decorating ideas and help others

    When you need holiday home decorating ideas, turn to pros who offer more than half a century of experience. This week, Desert Club unveils its 59th annual Christmas Idea House.If you aren't familiar with this popular tradition, the all-volunteer women's service organization Desert Club selects a luxury home in the East Valley and decorates it from top to bottom in the latest holiday style.“Every year, we take a different house and in essence turn it into a boutique,” Desert Club member Michelle Tetschner explains. “We have thousands of items from candies in the kitchen to throws in the master bedroom to dining- and serving-ware in the dining room.”The Desert Club members make many of the items themselves from ideas on Pinterest and other sources. Even store-bought items get a touch of glitter or other custom holiday enhancement to match the theme, which for 2016 is “Wrapped in Red.”To hold this year's decorations, Desert Club selected an 11,000-square-foot custom home in Gilbert. The massive multi-level home even includes an indoor basketball court.“They're huge U of A fans, unfortunately,” Tetschner jokes about the owners.

  • Movies on Screen

    Man Down– Opens Friday, December 2When U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer returns home from his tour in Afghanistan, he finds that the place he once called home is no better than the battlefields he fought on overseas. Accompanied by his best friend Devin Roberts, a hardnosed Marine whose natural instinct is to shoot first and ask questions later, he searches desperately for the whereabouts of his estranged son, Johnathan, and wife, Natalie. In their search, the two intercept Charles, a man carrying vital information about the whereabouts of Gabriel's family. As we revisit the past, we are guided in unraveling the puzzle of Gabriel's experience and what will eventually lead us to finding his family.Rated R Ali & Nino – Opens Friday, December 2Ali Khan and Nino Kipiani live in Baku, the cosmopolitan, oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan, which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, is a melting pot of different cultures. Ali is a Muslim, with his warrior ancestors' passion for the desert; and Nino is a Christian Georgian girl with sophisticated European ways. The two have loved each other since childhood and Ali is determined that he will marry Nino, despite their cultural differences, but there is not only the obstacle of their different religions and parental consent to overcome. The First World War breaks out and Baku's oil becomes the focus of Russia's vie for power. As the war plays out and control of the Caucuses changes hands, Ali and Nino find themselves swept up in Azerbaijan's fight for independence.Not Rated

  • Mt. Pointe students to present holiday comedy this weekend

    The Mountain Pointe Theatre Company aims to start the holiday season on a fun note by presenting “Inspecting Carol,” a comedy that was described as “’A Christmas Carol’ meets “The Government Inspector’ meets ‘Noises Off’” when it debuted in Seattle.It will be presented at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Mountain Pointe High School, 44th Street and Knox Road, Ahwatukee. Tickets are available at the door and are $7 for adults, $5 for students.The play is about a small professional theater company in a midsized city that strives to maintain funding and learns it will be inspected for a possible grant as it is preparing to produce “A Christmas Carol.”The quirky theatre troupe includes a child who is a little too old to be playing Tiny Tim, a visionary Ebenezer Scrooge who has a few too many ideas, and an emotional, eccentric director. Confusion sets in when a mysterious "actor" arrives to audition.A variation on a play by Nikolai Gogal, "Inspecting Carol” was described by Seattle critics as a “razzle dazzle of funny characters and ingenious jokes” and a “rollicking farce.”Mountain Pointe alumus Corey Quinn, now a biology teacher at the school as well as one of the student troupe’s mentors, is directing.

  • More than good music: Children's choir aims to make good people

    Depending on your past experience, the phrase “children's choir” might cause an involuntary cringe. Little kids are cute, but you can only take so much off-tune singing before the cuteness wanes.The award-winning Phoenix Children's Chorus promises—and delivers—a completely different experience. According to Artistic Director Ron Carpenter, who also teaches choir full-time at Dobson High School, audience members regularly tell him how surprised they are.“There are about 100 students who sing in [our youngest] choir and they always steal the show because they're cute. But also, because people are astounded because those kids can stand up there straight, without fidgeting, and sing with good vocal technique,” he says.And the musicianship only improves from there. While the youngest members begin in second grade, the 350-singer chorus membership extends through high school seniors. Some members may stay with the organization for 10 years.As kids grow in age and skill, the choir offers more advanced groups, from the younger Prep and Cadet choirs to the high-school Bravo and Encore. PCC also boasts a larger Concert choir that tours the world, and the a cappella Dolce for smaller venues.While PCC's groups perform at a high level, and members take ongoing music education classes, musicianship remains a secondary goal.

  • For its 48th year, Tempe Festival of the Arts looks to the future

    Twice a year, Tempe's famous Mill Avenue—along with its cross streets between University and 3rd—closes to traffic and a sea of white pop-up tents appears. The closure means the eagerly awaited return of the Tempe Festival of the Arts. This nearly five-decade tradition—48 years for the Fall Festival—sees upwards of 400 artists from all over the country arrive to show their original works. Offerings range from the traditional paintings, sculptures and jewelry to more modern categories like “Cottage Edibles & Crafts” and “Upcycled/Creative Reuse.”The push toward more cutting-edge categories led to this year's introduction of Sixth + Mill Makers. Located at Sixth and Mill—naturally—this new market-within-a-festival offers curated hand-made works from more than two dozen local artisans.According to the festival's press release, items on display and for sale include “buttons, cards, ceramics, children’s clothing, concrete planters, floral arrangements, hand‐made jewelry, letterpress stationary, upcycled furniture, watercolors, woodworks and more.”In addition to these handmade products, visitors to the market can enjoy “artisan finishing salts, cocktail mixes, a lounge and 'make and take' booth for hands‐on types who like to physically make memories at the event.”Samantha Thompson, co-founder of Standard Wax, which curates Sixth + Mill Makers, sees this addition as vital for the future of art in Tempe.

  • Ahwatukee teen musician wins a nod in Alice Cooper contest

    Joe Vitagliano of Ahwatukee earlier this month almost won rock legend Alice Cooper’s Proof is in the Pudding talent search for a soloist under age 25 to perform in his annual Christmas season concert.But the 17-year-old Horizon Honors High School senior is pretty content with his second-place prize because it helps him continue developing his ambition to become a professional songwriter/performer.Joe, who has adopted a stage name of Joe Vito “because it’s easier to pronounce and remember” than his family name, won a spot on Cooper’s Christmas CD, a photo session and two hours of professional studio time.He competed with scores of musicians over a period of several months and had to perform his own songs, cover tunes and even some holiday music.Placing second was a great accomplishment, he said.“I’ve been lucky to have a lot of opportunities given to me by my family and family,” said Joe, the son of David and Jennifer Vitagliano. “I have a home studio but it’s going to be very nice to go into a professional studio and not to do the post-production work.”

  • Ahwatukee’s share of billions in street improvement money: No one knows

    Phoenix officials plan to spend over $2.3 billion on street improvements over the next 35 years, so what can Ahwatukee residents expect as their fair share?Turns out the Street Transportation Department doesn’t think of allocations that way.“It’s not necessarily based on fair share but rather on our data on the condition of the streets,” department special projects administrator Eileen Yazzie told the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee on Monday.That didn’t sit too well with several committee members.Yazzie gave an overview of the street-repair portion of the city’s Transportation 2050 plan, which is built on the projected $17.7 billion in total revenue expected from the 0.03 percent increase in the sales tax voters OK’d last year. That brought to 0.07 percent the total fraction of sales tax that goes to transportation-related expenditures.Committee Chairman Chad Blostone and member Michael Hinz both complained about the absence of data showing either the amount of money or total miles of improved roadway that local residents will see from the program—especially since spending decisions are made without any public input.

  • In Your Neighborhood: Ahwatukee teen wins Veterans Day Parade essay contest

    Ahwatukee resident and Seton Catholic Prep junior Dillon Shipley won first place in the annual Phoenix Veterans Day Parade essay contest with a piece about his uncle’s return from the Vietnam War.In the essay, Dillon, 15, focused on his uncle’s anticipation of returning home, the soldier’s eye always on his DEROS, or Date Eligible for Return from Overseas.  “DEROS was something that kept our troops going, especially my uncle, former 2nd Lieutenant Rick West,” Dillon wrote. “As his time got closer, he created a plan to take the cash that he had, $1,300, to buy a motorcycle and tour the country.”And he used his essay to give the warm welcome that many Vietnam veterans felt they didn’t received when they came home.Dillon is the son of Wes and Lori Shipley.“We are very proud,” Seton Principal Pat Collins said. “Seton Catholic Preparatory feels it is important that our students are aware of the sacrifice our veterans have made for our country.”

The Best Way to Stop Trump Is at the Local Level

Of course we think first about Congress. But Democratic governors, mayors, and state legislatures are the ones now with the real power to stop…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 11:46 am @ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/03/t…

Trump Warns US Companies There Will Be "Consequences" For Outsourcing Jobs

by Tyler Durden Dec 1, 2016 6:52 PM Emboldened by his "victory" with Carrier Corp, which agreed to keep 1,100 workers in the US instead of out…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 11:15 am @ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-01/trump-war…

My Kid Packs Heat

There is no greater joy than seeing the wide-eyed look of wonder in a child's face the first time he's successfully shredded a target with a f…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 11:16 am @ http://reason.com/archives/2016/12/03/my-kid-packs-heat

Ford Miffed by EPA's 'Eleventh-Hour Politics,' Turns to Trump

Find Reviews by Make: Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields doesn’t have kind words for the Environmental Protection Agency’s surprise decision t…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 11:11 am @ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/12/ford-miff…

Fake Cowboys and Real Indians

For most of this past week, a winter storm has lashed at the North Dakota prairie camp where the Standing Rock Sioux are making a stand to kee…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 10:45 am @ http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/opinion/fake-…

What Exactly Is “Military Artificial Intelligence”?

We are in an era of existential fear of technology. Luminaries like Bill Joy, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking have warned against emerging tech…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 8:44 am @ http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_te…

11 holiday activities to do around Arizona this weekend

It's beginning to look a lot like... Never mind, you get it. It was starting to get that way long before even Thanksgiving. The Christmas musi…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 8:12 am @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/11-holiday…

11 Holiday DIY and Crafting Events in Metro Phoenix This December

Lauren Cusimano A A From making your own ornaments and Christmas cards to make-and-take painting classes and building your own hand drum, the …

Published: December 3, 2016 - 7:44 am @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/11-holiday-diy…

What's the most Instagrammed place in every state?

From the White House to the Grand Canyon, the United States has a lot of iconic places to photograph. Did you really visit if you didn't post …

Published: December 3, 2016 - 7:08 am @ http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2016/12/01/what…

A-10s to do flyover during USS Arizona memorial's dedication

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Air Force attack jets will fly over the University of Arizona mall Sunday as part of a ceremony marking the 75th annivers…

Published: December 3, 2016 - 7:12 am @ http://www.dcourier.com/news/2016/dec/03/-10s-do-f…

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