Ahwatukee Foothills News

  • Police still searching for recent bank robbery suspect

    Police have dubbed a man responsible for five bank robberies in the area the “High Jump Bandit.”The suspect, described as a white male, 35 to 40 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches to a little over 6 feet tall, and 180 to 200 pounds, has a shaven head and a tan completion. Police say he enters the bank, verbally threatens employees, and then jumps the counter demanding money.The suspect has hit five banks since May 21 when he robbed two banks in Ahwatukee Foothills, BMO Harris and MidFirst Bank. The latest case was at the Bank of America, at 5065 E. Elliot Road on July 15.The man is also suspected of robbing the Sun West Credit Union, at 302 E. McDowell Road in Phoenix, and the MidFirst Bank, at 787 E. Elliot Road in Tempe.No vehicle has been seen. The suspect has always been seen fleeing on foot, police said.“To this point no one has been injured by the suspect but the suspect may have cut his forehead during the first robbery, when he was pushed to the ground by an employee,” said a statement from Phoenix police.

  • Stanton, mayors send letter to Congress seeking protection after court’s birth control decision

    Mayor Greg Stanton is one of nine mayors who recently signed a letter to congressional leaders urging them to craft legislation to safeguard against the Supreme Court’s ruling that exempts certain companies from paying for insurance coverage of some contraception methods.The mayors say the decision could undermine anti-discrimination laws. The city of Phoenix passed a sweeping anti-discrimination ordinance last year.“The ruling may have far-reaching consequences if lower courts use the Supreme Court’s interpretation in broader matters of religious freedom at the expense of our anti-discrimination laws,” the letter said. “While the decision is narrowly focused, the implications as they relate to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) may encourage efforts to revive dangerous proposals that enable individuals and business owners to discriminate on the basis of ‘religious beliefs,’ such as Arizona’s SB 1062 — a law that would have allowed business owners or individuals to use religious beliefs as grounds to deny service to others based on their sexual orientation.”Signers of the letter include Jonathan Rothschild of Tucson; Edwin Lee of San Francisco; Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles; Pedro Segarra of Hartford, Conn.; Michael Coleman of Columbus, Ohio; Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; Angel Taveras of Providence, R.I.; and Ed Murray of Seattle.The mayors say that while the ruling is narrow, some groups will try to use it as a justification to weaken anti-discrimination laws.The letter was sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

  • Ahwatukee clinic using new technology to treat skin cancer without slicing

    New technology is making treating certain types of skin cancer easier than ever before with treatments so nonevasive that they can be done in a dermatologist’s office.Electronic brachytherapy (eBx) uses a targeted, precise form of radiation applied directly to the skin to treat nonmelanoma cancer cells. The radiation is powerful enough to kill the cancer but gentle enough that in most cases it leaves no scarring, and the treatment can be given in almost any doctor or dermatologist’s office. This new technology is being used to treat several skin cancer patients at Ahwatukee Skin and Laser in Ahwatukee Foothills.“Skin cancers by nature are superficial,” said Dr. Richard Levy, director of radiation oncology at Ahwatukee Skin and Laser. “In order to give radiation treatment to a superficial area, the energy of the radiation beam you need to create is much smaller than you need to do treatments on the interior of the body. A small machine can create the low-energy beam and that has several advantages.”Patients with common types of skin cancer like basal or squamous cell carcinoma can come into the office, lie down on a table and be treated by a machine set up to send radiation beams to the exact area that is affected. Treatments take an average of three minutes per site, and most patients need between eight and 12 treatments, Levy said. Most patients come in three times a week for treatments and are in the office for about a half-hour.The most common side effect is a small red spot, resembling a sunburn, where the radiation hits the skin or possibly peeling at the site. Both go away with time.The electronic brachytherapy treatment is unique because there is no cutting.

  • Ahwatukee Foothills Police Blotter July 7-13

    1. On July 7 at 4:10 a.m., police took a report of a weapons violation in the 5100 block of East Ray Road.2. On July 7 at 4:30 a.m., police took a DUI, possession of narcotic drugs and threats against a police officer report in the 5000 block of East Ray Road.3. On July 7 at 7 a.m., police took a DUI report in the 14600 block of South Desert Foothills Parkway.4. On July 7 at 7 a.m., police took a criminal damage and graffiti report in the 4600 block of East Chandler Boulevard.5. On July 7 at 11 p.m., police took a report of a hit-and-run accident in the 5100 block of East Piedmont Road.6. On July 8 at 1:45 a.m., police took a domestic violence assault report in the 4700 block of East Thunderhill Place.

  • Forum to grant voters 1-on-1 access to GOP candidates

    Republican candidates will sit down to meet the voters this Wednesday at Arizona Community Church in Tempe.Legislative District 18 Republican Committee and Ahwatukee Republican Women will host a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Arizona Community Church, 9325 S. Rural Road in Tempe. The forum will give residents a chance to meet Republican primary candidates for several offices.Fourteen candidates are participating: Ken Bennett and Doug Ducey for governor, Mark Brnovich for attorney general, Jeff DeWit, Hugh Hallman and Randy Pullen for treasurer, Justin Pierce for secretary of state, Doug Little and Tom Forese for the Corporation Commission, Diane Douglas for superintendent of public instruction, Andrew Walter for U.S. House of Representatives in District 9, Tom Morrissey for State Senate in District 18, and Jill Norgaard and John King for state House of Representatives for District 18. All candidates for these offices were invited.A social hour for the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.Attendees will be asked to sit down at a table and candidates will rotate from table to table so attendees will have a chance to meet the candidates in a more intimate setting than most forums and ask questions unique to their situation.“It gives everybody a chance to be heard, have their questions answered,” said Mary Fritsche, first vice chair of LD 18 Republicans. “Most people by now have heard the candidate speeches, but they may have questions about where candidates stand. This gives them that opportunity … It gives them a chance to interact one on one with governor candidates and AG candidates — people they wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to talk to.”

  • Ahwatukee charity looks to double initiatives, acquire more space

    Furniture Bank, Inc., in Ahwatukee has been assisting families around the Valley furnish their newly acquired home for the past two years, and the charity plans to double its initiatives after receiving it 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.The tax-exempt status, which was given in June, will not only give Furniture Bank the opportunity to serve more families in need, but will also further its immediate goals from acquiring larger warehouse space to formalizing relationships with commercial moving and logistic services.“It gives us more credibility, but it also gives us the ability to go to corporations for additional funding,” said Tami Jackson, founder of Furniture Bank.Last year, Furniture Bank was able to serve 50 families and as of this month, they’ve served 32 families with four in the process of receiving assistance.Jackson also stretched out the cause to families in the Kyrene School District who are in need of assistance.“I recently met with Kyrene Foundation to coordinate helping families in the local school district. The Kyrene families will be assessed by Kyrene to be in need of assistance, and then put in contact with a Furniture Bank volunteer who handle initial requests,” she said.

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  • Ahwatukee man’s board game lets players explore national parks

    Ahwatukee resident Charlie Binkele and his family have collaborated together to create “Trekking the National Parks,” a board game that focuses on exploring America’s different national parks.“The idea behind ‘Trekking the National Parks’ was to create a themed board game that would be entertaining, educational, engaging and inspiring,” said Binkele. “We wanted to develop a game that would captivate the interest and enjoyment of those who play it for many years to come, a strategic game with an infinite number of replay possibilities, with the central focus being our country’s 59 major national parks.”In a combination of Binkele’s design skills as a freelance artist and his parents’ extensive knowledge on the national parks, they created a game that shared the wonder of visiting some of America’s natural wonders.“My family has been visiting the parks since I was a small child. In 2009, my mom and dad set out to visit all 59 of our country’s major parks. So far, they’ve had the pleasure of trekking about 43 of them!” said Binkele. “A little over a year ago, my father suggested we combine our passion for the parks with my artistic and game design abilities and let others share in experiencing the parks in a fun and competitive way by creating an engaging game centered on these incredible landscapes.”The game can be played by two to six players and takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete, but can be replayed an unlimited amount of times.“Those who have helped us play-test ‘Trekking the National Parks’ say the game is fun to play, easy to learn and requires strategic and tactical thinking in order to master,” Binkele said.

  • Don’t judge unless you’ve walked a mile in another’s shoes

    Dear Mikey,Lately, I have witnessed a family member go through some very difficult circumstances in her life. I as well as a few of my other family members have offered her help throughout the last few years off and on, and whether she has taken it or not, she always ends up just burning more bridges than she did before we offered our help. It got so bad to where she has burned so many bridges that we do not want to offer her help anymore because we feel like she would just continue to take advantage of us.This time, she got herself in a real mess to where there is nothing we can do for her except pray. Although she burned her bridge with me, it is extremely difficult to watch someone that I care about finally hit that brick wall we have all been trying to prevent her from hitting for all of these years.Some family members are being very judgmental with how her choices have led her up to this point in her life; however, I will have to disagree with their judgment. Lately, although I am very frustrated with the family member, I have tried to put myself in her shoes to try to attempt to grasp an understanding as to why she made all of the choices she did.Do you think it is wrong for all of us to judge her? Or do we have a right because we have witnessed her downfall all of these years?— Looking for empathy in the family

  • ‘Boyhood’ ambitiously condenses 12 years of youth

    If there’s one movie that every new adult should see this year, it’s “Boyhood.” While we’ve gotten a lot of great coming-of-age stories in the past couple years like “The Spectacular Now” and “The Way Way Back,” Richard Linklater’s extraordinary film takes the genre to unfeasible new levels.In 2002, young Ellar Coltrane was cast to play the film’s protagonist, a little boy named Mason. “Boyhood” was then filmed and written over a 12-year period, following Mason from age 5 to age 18. Throughout this entire process, Coltrane continued to reprise his role as Mason.Not only is “Boyhood” one of the boldest coming-of-age stories ever put on film, it’s one of the absolute boldest experimental films ever made. The fact that a picture like this got off the ground at all is an achievement in itself.Anyone who grew up this previous era will connect with “Boyhood” in some way, shape, or form. The film perfectly captures a generation consumed by iPods, Facebook, “Dragon Ball Z,” Britney Spears, “Harry Potter,” “Twilight,” “High School Musical,” “The Dark Knight,” “Halo,” and “Wii Sports.”“Boyhood” does so much more than merely reference popular culture highlights from the past decade, however. It’s a picture-perfect slice of life that feels all too real to be fiction. Had it only cast unknown actors, it probably could have been mistaken for a documentary.Of course, then we would have been deprived of a couple of career-best performances.

  • How strong is that drink? Calculator helps figure

    How strong is that pina colada? Depending on how it’s made, it could contain as much alcohol as two glasses of wine.The National Institutes of Health is trying to spread the word: Take a look at its online alcohol calculator to see how much you’re really drinking with those summer cocktails.A “standard drink” is the amount of alcohol in a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits. It’s a useful way to track alcohol consumption. But the multiple ingredients of mixed drinks make for a harder count.“Most people don’t realize how much alcohol is actually in a drink,” said Dr. George Koob, director of the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.“Obviously it depends on the bartender and who’s mixing the drinks,” Koob adds.Recipes matter: The calculator’s pina colada example, for instance, assumes it contains 3 ounces of rum. Plan on using 2 ounces instead? The calculator adjusts to show it’s like 1.3 standard drinks.

  • ASU to host free workshop on privilege in Ahwatukee

    On Monday, July 14, Arizona State University’s Project Humanities will attempt to uncover the meaning of privilege and how it impacts society with a free workshop in Ahwatukee.Project Humanities will help participants to uncover biases in everyday life and consider ways to combat these prejudices during the Perils and Perks of Privilege series from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Pomegranate Café.“This is not about shaming anyone or making anyone feel guilty. Rather, it is about personal and private self-reflection such that we better understand the perspectives of others,” said Ahwatukee resident Dr. Neal Lester of ASU, leader of the six-part workshop series.The Perils and Perks of Privilege workshop will also be hosted by filmmaker and author Yvette Johnson, and this session will feature special guest Dr. Allison Parker, a faculty member at South Mountain Community College. Parker specializes in African-American literature, rhetoric, and women and gender studies.The facilitators at the workshop will encourage a safe and respectful environment while providing structure to the discussion, but it will be up to the attendees to influence the conversation with their own diverse thoughts. Facilitators will also encourage participants to consider strategies for combatting the systemic biases that can result from privilege.The Perils and Perks of Privilege workshop is not limited to the less-privileged but is extended to all in order to obtain diverse opinions and viewpoints. The workshop was created with the belief that each and every person both suffers and benefits from the biases and privileges associated with different categories of people.

  • Rethinking sushi rolls for a filling packed lunch

    With a new school year on the horizon, it’s time to think about what’s for lunch. Brown bagging it is plenty economical, but a steady diet of sandwiches becomes boring pretty quickly, to say nothing of the fact that all those servings of refined carbs simply don’t provide the energy necessary to power you through a long afternoon.So here is an alternative to the typical sandwich — colorful veggie/protein rolls that are light, yet still substantial. I modeled it on a sushi roll, but swapped out the rice for quinoa, and the fish for turkey.By now, most folks have heard of quinoa, an ancient grain-like seed. It’s not only a protein-rich food, it’s also gluten-free and a terrific source of many nutrients, including fiber. But flavor-wise, quinoa isn’t exactly a powerhouse. So I add a little lemon juice and olive oil, which makes it quite tasty.Another of quinoa’s charms is that it’s quick to cook, unlike most grains. White quinoa is the most common variety, but you’re welcome to substitute black or red in this recipe (though the end result will not be as pleasing to the eye). Be sure to check the back of the package to make sure the quinoa has been pre-washed. If not, rinse it well yourself before cooking. It can be bitter otherwise.This lunch roll is formed with a double layer of sliced turkey breast, which ensures that it won’t fall apart. Lean roast beef would perform the same task, if that’s more your style. I’ve filled it with carrots and red peppers, but any vegetables cut into thin strips will do. Likewise, you can substitute the lettuce of your choice for the spinach I specify. This recipe is very adaptable.Quinoa Lunch Box Rollups

  • Local residents named to spring 2014 Bucknell dean’s list

    Courtney Nelson and Alyssa Rollando, both of Ahwatukee, were named to the Bucknell dean’s list.Nelson is the daughter of Bruce and Jaclynn Nelson. Rollando is the daughter of Robin Rollando and Michael and Cathy Rollando.A student must earn a GPA of 3.5 or higher on a scale of 4.0 to receive dean’s list recognition.Stephan graduates from Fort Lewis CollegeKristin Stephan of Ahwatukee graduated from Fort Lewis College on May 3 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration - tourism and hospitality management option.

  • Kinney graduates from Emory University

    Melissa Kinney of Ahwatukee received a Doctor of Philosophy from the Laney Graduate School of Emory University in Atlanta at its 169th commencement ceremony on May 12.

  • Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation adds 2 board members

    The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation welcomes two passionate advocates for education from the business community to its Board of Directors.Kirk McClure, director of business development for McCarthy Building Companies Inc., and Misha Patel Terrazas, metro east area president for Wells Fargo Arizona, assumed their new roles July 1.

Jordan Burroughs at ASU

Olympic Gold Medalist Jordan Burroughs finishes up a days work out after a U.S. World Team tra...


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