Ahwatukee Foothills News

  • Rogers comes out on top in CD 9 primary

    With close to 60 percent of the votes in the Republican primary Wendy Rogers will face Kyrsten Sinema for the Congressional District 9 seat in the November General Election.Unofficial results released Tuesday night have Rogers ahead of competitor Andrew Walter. With 63 precincts reporting Walter had 40.93 percent of the votes while Rogers had 58.58 percent.Rogers celebrated with volunteers at Manuel’s Mexican Food in Tempe. She stood to address the crowd as soon as politico.com called the race.“We’re going to win this district,” she said. “I will represent you in the United States Congress. I want to make sure I don’t forget to tell you that we ran a spirited campaign. I’m grateful to my opponent Andrew Walter. I really truly look forward to him getting on board with us, his supporters and his friends… We’re one step closer but the 69-day race starts right now.”Rogers has an extensive military background, which her campaign has focused on. She also owns a small business and is a mother. Her grown children stood by her side Tuesday night.“I will be a worker and a fighter,” she said. “Who will we face? Our congresswoman, Kyrsten Sinema, who has been a cheerleader for the President. Who has been a career politician. We will change that. I’m going to Washington and I will fight. I will fight for families. I will fight for policies that grow our economy, increase our incomes, reign in wasteful spending and I’m going to keep it short because you know what we’re going to do tomorrow morning? We’re going to wake up and have a big meeting.”

  • Chandler’s Seton Catholic installs high-tech crisis alert system

    Seton Catholic Preparatory High School recently added a high-tech alert system that furthers communication between first responders and school administration in the event of a crisisSeton is the first school in Arizona to install Sielox’s Crisis Lockdown Alert Status System (CLASS) onto its campus to help indicate exactly where and what is happening when a serious safety problem arises.“Seton Catholic has consistently demonstrated a commitment to safeguarding their students and teachers with a variety of security measures,” said Michael Baum, business development manager at Technical Systems, Inc., headquartered in Gilbert and Sielox CLASS local integration partner, in a statement. “Sielox CLASS exponentially enhances Seton’s crisis communications. The system pinpoints where the danger is in your school and provides local law enforcement and emergency responders with critical information to respond in a safe and timely manner.”In addition to adding the new crisis alert system, Seton also hired Jack Barten, a full-time security officer for the school.Barten, a retired Chandler Police Department sergeant, worked with the Chandler department for the past 31 years, during which he served in different capacities such as SWAT, patrol, criminal investigations and community services.Teachers and administrators were trained on the system before the end of the previous school year. The system is connected teachers’ computers and its accessibility is simple; in an event of a crisis, teachers use the system to indicate how serious or minimal the crisis is by selecting a color for their room.

  • DV alum’s son to be featured in Down syndrome video in NYC

    A little boy with Down syndrome is getting some big exposure Sept. 20 when his photo will be featured on Times Square’s Jumbotron in New York City to kick off Down Syndrome Awareness Month.Tracy McAuliffe, a 1999 Desert Vista High School graduate, entered a photo of her son Everett into a contest held by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). Her photo was selected from thousands to be used as part of the NDSS’s annual Times Square video presentation that kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The video presentation will be followed by the 20th annual Flagship Buddy Walk in New York City.Everett was born on May 5, two weeks before his due date, with trisomy 21 Down syndrome.At 4 weeks old, his mom saw some newborn photos on Pinterest of a baby in the pocket of his father’s Army uniform. Everett’s dad is in the Army and so McAuliffe decided to give the photo a try.“He was still so small and I wanted to show how tiny he was even at 3 weeks old,” Tracy said. “I put him in the pocket and he struggled for about three seconds and then he fell right asleep. It was perfect weather. He fell right asleep. He stayed like that for the five minutes I was taking the photos.”Tracy entered the photo into a smaller photo contest in Kansas City, where the family currently resides, and won. It was the organizer of that contest that encouraged her to enter the national contest. Tracy said she was thrilled when they found out they were selected.

  • Ahwatukee Foothills Police Blotter: Aug. 12-17

    1. On Aug. 12 at 1:34 p.m. police took an assault report in the 5100 block of East Piedmont Road.2. On Aug. 12 at 1:34 p.m. police took a theft by fraud report in the 11000 block of South 51st Street.3. On Aug. 12 at 10:42 a.m. police took a commercial burglary report in the 1200 block of East Brookwood Court.4. On Aug. 12 at 9:46 p.m. police took an assault report in the 4000 block of East Equestrian Trail.5. On Aug. 12 at 9:36 p.m. police took a residential burglary report in the 4600 block of East Piedmont Road.6. On Aug. 13 at 12:37 p.m. police took a theft report in the 17000 block of South 48th Street.

  • City fees showing up on water bills

    The small fees meant to boost the city’s general fund and make up the budget deficit are taking effect across the city.Water bills now contain a $1.50 city services tax for all Phoenix residents. Commercial properties pay $1.50 to $75 per month depending on the size of the meter. That tax is estimated to bring in an additional $9.5 million per year to the city’s general fund each year and has no sunset date.“There were no taxpayer protection provisions put into that,” said City Councilman Sal DiCiccio. “Just like the city collects a jail tax and put it on the water bill, they did the same thing here. More and more the city is using — which I completely disagree with — water as a way to fund general operations. The water department was designed to fund itself. Now they are using the water bill to fund general operations. It was never designed to do that, ever.”Water bills are not the only way the city is now generating extra funds this fiscal year. Fees at all community centers have also been doubled — though an annual pass is still only $40 for a nonresident and $20 for a resident. The city is moving parking meters to a demand-based pay system. Now the city is considering putting parking meters at hiking trails.“They try this every two or three years and people are just furious right now,” DiCiccio said. “I don’t blame them. If you hiked every day, it could cost you $1,500 a year just to use the park. What it does is puts an even heavier burden on those people who can’t afford it.”The locations being proposed at this point are the main Piestewa Peak access point, Echo Canyon and the Pima Canyon areas of South Mountain. All other trailheads would remain free.

  • Ahwatukee Preschool brings toddlers aboard

    Ahwatukee Preschool recently started its new toddler program, Noah’s Ark, in efforts to meet the demands of its school community.Noah’s Ark is structured similarly to other classes at Ahwatukee Preschool; students from 18 months to 3 years old enjoy hands-on activates, sharpen their fine-motor skills and participate in arts and crafts workshops.Students also are given time to play in the school’s playground.The director of Ahwatukee Preschool, Diane Fitzsimons, said Noah’s Ark was designed for parents who needed a few hours to complete their everyday tasks.“We decided we wanted to branch out a little bit more and add a chance for siblings to come to school for a short time,” she said. “It gives them a chance to begin a preschool experience and not be too rigid in time.”Mary Adams, teacher of Noah’s Ark, said preparations for Noah’s Ark occurred over the summer, where she and Fitzsimons laid down the foundation of what the class would offer.

Ask Mikey Book Reviews Movie Reviews Recipes

  • An interview with ‘When the Game Stands Tall’ director Thomas Carter

    I got the chance recently to chat with Thomas Carter, director of “When the Game Stands Tall.”Spake: Do you think sports films have significantly evolved in the pasty decade or so?Carter: I haven’t really tracked them. I guess in “Friday Night Lights” we saw an edgier look. It was more of a critical eye of our obsession with sports and the damage it can do.Spake: What draws you to sports movies like “Coach Carter” and “When the Game Stands Tall?”Carter: “Coach Cater” I was interested in because I’m a big champion of education. That movie was very much about a coach who took a bold stand to focus on student rather than athlete. “When the Game Stands Tall” is just an inspiring story because coach Bob Ladouceur is interested in building young men or character not just on the field, but off the field. A sense of loyalty, commitment, brotherhood, selflessness, discipline, personal responsibility, he wants to instill these principles in these kids. He’s as much a teacher as he is a coach.Spake: I find it interesting that most sports movies focus on a team’s rise to victory, but in “When the Game Stands Tall,” the Spartans are already on top and have everything to lose. Then when their streak does finally end, the film plays like a tale of redemption.

  • ‘When the Game Stands Tall’ doesn’t transcend or revolutionize the sports movie formula

    Pretty much every inspirational sports movie from the past two and a half decades follows the same basic recipe for success. A struggling team of misfits, or sometimes just one underdog, has nowhere to go but up. Then through strenuous training montages and the support of a dedicated coach, the team and/or underdog achieves sweat victory. “When the Game Stands Tall” doesn’t transcend or revolutionize the sports movie formula. It consists of many archetypes and plot points we’ve already seen a million times before. The film does change up the formula in some respects, however, making for a slightly less conventional picture than initially expected.Inspired by the true story of the De La Salle High School Spartans and Neil Hayes’ book of the same name, “When the Game Stands Tall” begins where most sports movies would have ended. Instead of following this high school football team from the start, the film picks up just as they’ve won 151 games straight. They hold the longest winning streak for any American sport so naturally the team has nowhere to go but down with everything to lose. The Spartans do indeed eventually fumble and lose the first game of the season, bringing their reign of triumph to a close. From here, “When the Game Stands Tall” plays less like an underdog’s road to glory and more like a tale of redemption.After being tortured and nearly crucified by Mel Gibson, Jim Caviezel is finally starting to make a comeback in the mainstream movie market. He gives one of his best performances as coach Bob Ladouceur, who has been with the Spartans since they won game one of their winning streak. Although he’s under constant pressure and has unbelievable expectations to live up to, he doesn’t care that much about what the folks in the bleachers think about him or even about the streak. All he really cares about is teaching his players what it means to be a team and to grow up. Ladouceur doesn’t deviate much from the familiar motivating coach character who comes complete with all of these sports movies. Nevertheless, Caviezel offers just the right amount grit, sincerity, regret, and restraint to sell this character to us. The same can be said about pretty much all the other actors.This isn’t a movie full of original characters with Laura Dern as Ladouceur’s supportive wife, Matthew Daddario as Ladouceur’s neglected son, Michael Chiklis as the assistant coach, Alexander Ludwig as a running back trying to please his abusive father, Ser’Darius Blain as a player with an uncertain future, and Stephan James as another player with a tragic fate. None of them make for fantastic characters you remember walking out the theater like in “Friday Night Lights” and “Remember the Titans.” Part of that’s because the screenplay can occasionally feel awkwardly paced, juggling a lot of characters and only giving a handful of them solid character development every fifteen minutes. The actors all make the most of their screen time, however, creating people we can’t help but root for.The message behind director Thomas Carter’s film is that football isn’t about records and legacies. It’s about how you play the game. Is “When the Game Stands Tall” the greatest game ever played or the greatest sports movie ever made? No, but it is a very well assembled, well shot film with strong performances and a moral it never backs down from, most notably in the inspired climax. If you’ve been officially worn out by the very prospect of another sports movie, this one probably isn’t for you. For all those sports movie junkies out there, though, “When the Game Stands Tall” provides just enough new and old material to keep the fans cheering.• Ahwatukee native and Arizona State University graduate Nick Spake has been working as a film critic for nine years, reviewing movies on his website, NICKPICKSFLICKS.com.

  • Mickey Rourke still the standout in ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

    It took almost eight years for a sequel to Frank Miller’s “300” to hit theaters. Then when “300: Rise of an Empire” finally came out five months ago, it quickly became clear that this sequel never needed to exist in the fist place. The best characters were all dead, the most interesting part of the story had been told, and there was really nothing left to do but throw the same flashy visuals at the audience. It’s taken even longer for Miller and Robert Rodriguez to get a sequel to 2005’s “Sin City” off the ground. Unlike “300: Rise of an Empire,” however, there’s still more than enough character, story, atmosphere to warrant another visit to Sin City.The original “Sin City” was one of the most visually distinctive, gloriously violent, and flat out fun action pictures of the past decade, literally bringing Miller’s striking neo-noir comic to life. “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is pretty much guaranteed to entertain anybody who was a fan of that film. It’s still not as fresh or funny as the original. How could it possibly be? The film does deliver exactly what one would want out of a “Sin City” sequel, though. Stunning black and white cinematography, sharp dialog that walks a fine line between being over the top and laughable, ridiculous hard-R violence, classy nudity, and Mickey Rourke.Like the first film, “A Dame to Kill For” mainly consists of three intertwining tales, two of which were written exclusively for this movie. The most engaging story of the bunch stars Josh Brolin, taking over for Clive Owen as Dwight McCarthy. He’s been attempting to leave his former life of sin behind, but gets sucked back in by his ex-lover Ava (Eva Green). She’s a seductive little vixen who is being terrorized by her billionaire husband and needs Dwight to take her away. As the classic film noir plot thickens, Dwight finds that there’s a greater scheme cooking up behind the scenes. While Owen is missed, Brolin is a natural choice to step into Dwight’s antihero shoes. Green, who was easily the best part of “300: Rise of an Empire,” was tailor-made for this material and always knows just how much of the scenery to chew up.Our second tale introduces Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Johnny, a cocky gambler who comes to Sin City to score big while also settling a personal score. He sets his eyes on Senator Roark, played by Powers Boothe who has based his entire career on playing corrupt politicians. Johnny isn’t the only one with a grudge against Roark. Jessica Alba returns in what’s still the best role of her career as Nancy, a stripper who never actually gets completely naked. Although to be fair, Eva Green more than compensates for that. Nancy is gunning for revenge after the death of Bruce Willis’ Hartigan in the last film and won’t rest until Roark has a bullet in his head. The problem is that she just can’t quite bring herself to pull the trigger.Not every storyline in “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” has a magnificent payoff. There’s a particular subplot involving two cops played by Christopher Meloni and Jeremy Piven that could have been cut out altogether. Yet, it’s easy to let this slide because all these characters are just so darn interesting to listen to. You could listen to one of them monologue about picking out furniture from IKEA and it would be awesome. Like any good noir story, “Sin City” is all about characters and it has more than enough to go around.Throughout the various stories, fan favorites like Jamie Chung’s Miho, Rosario Dawson’s Gail, and Jamie King’s Wendy/Goldie all drop by. The standout is still Mickey Rourke as Marv, an unstoppable human tank with nothing to lose. Although he got the electric chair in the last film, “A Dame to Kill For” takes place before Marv’s “The Hard Goodbye.” Good thing as one movie wasn’t enough to contain Marv, who plays an active part in every chapter here. This is the role that rebooted Rourke’s acting career, making leeway for him to land parts in movies like “The Wrestler.” He’s reason enough to keep coming back to “Sin City” for seconds and maybe even thirds somewhere down the line. Actually, if they ever make another “300” movie, Marv would be the ideal candidate to lead the Spartans to victory. Crossover, anyone?

  • Turning your zucchini abundance into no-fry fries

    Those darn zucchini! There’s an army of them occupying your garden right now and each one is as big as a blimp.What if I told you there’s a way to transform the whole lot of them into a delicious dish resembling French fries, but without all the calories? The secret involves cutting your zucchini into fry-like sticks, then cooking them in a way that delivers that signature crunch, but without the deep-frying.Cheesy Zucchini Fries With Smoked Paprika Dipping SauceStart to finish: 35 minutesServings: 41 cup panko bread crumbs

  • Top 5 Robin Williams performances

    It’s hard to think of many actors from the past few decades who were one of a kind, but Robin Williams was truly a performing force unlike anything that’s ever existed. No one will ever be able to fill his now sadly empty shoes. The fact that his life was taken in such a lonely, horrific fashion after a long struggle with depression only makes this loss more tragic. For now, however, let’s focus on how Williams lived as apposed to how he died. What a life he lived and what an unparalleled career full of laughs, inspiration, and flubber he’s left behind. In honor of this great talent, here are my five personal choices for his best performances in film.5. “Dead Poets Society”“Dead Poets Society” is one of those movies that I should unconditionally hate as it has so many frustrating clichés, i.e. rebellious kids that want to be free, adults that just don’t understand, and a sanctimonious teacher who goes against the social norms. Despite having so much going against it story wise, Peter Weir’s wonderful film is a surprisingly inspirational feat and a lot of that is because of Williams. In a performance that established once and for all that he wasn’t just a comedic genius, but a serious dramatic actor too, Williams plays John Keating. He’s your dime-a-dozen inspirational teacher archetype who pushes his students to seize the day and make their lives extraordinary. On paper, Keating might come off as too self-righteous, if not manipulative. Regardless, Williams takes this fairly conventional archetype we’ve seen a million times before and morphs him into a charismatic, rousing, and believable leader. Had another actor been given the role, you might have a hard time rallying behind this familiar character. With Williams acting as Keating’s vessel, though, you’d passionately follow this teacher in a heartbeat. It’s too bad Williams couldn’t make this archetype work as well in the panned, yet inexplicably successful, “Patch Adams.” As far as his work in “Dead Poets Society” goes, though, Williams will have anybody standing on their desk chanting, “O Captain! My Captain!”4. “Mrs. Doubtfire”Movies that center on men having to dress up like women couldn’t possibly be more hit and miss. For every “Some Like It Hot” or “Tootsie” there’s a “White Chicks,” “Sorority Boys,” “Juwanna Mann” or “Big Momma’s House” trilogy. In “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Williams manages to pull off what Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Dustin Hoffman had done so miraculously in their iconic drag performances. Williams realized that it wasn’t enough to just look like a woman. He knew for this material to work, he had to convince us that Mrs. Doubtfire was an actual person with an identity of her own. After watching this character for a while, you don’t see Williams anymore. You don’t even see Daniel Hillard, the man pretending to be this Scottish nanny in order to get close to his children. You just see the kindly Mrs. Doubtfire in the flesh. Heck, if you walked into the film halfway through with no prior knowledge of the story, you likely wouldn’t even realize that’s Williams under all that Oscar-winning makeup. It’s also quite seamless how Williams is able to so convincingly jump between being two different characters in a matter of seconds, but we all knew that’s what he was best at. Only four months ago, it was announced that Williams would be reprising his role as Mrs. Doubtfire after more than two decades. Although the project hasn’t been officially cancelled yet, it’s impossible to imagine the studio moving forward without the man who made this project a success. It’d be like doing a sequel to “The Mask,” “Dumb and Dumber” or “Bruce Almighty” without Jim Carrey ... oh wait...3. “The Fisher King”

  • Sangria, roasted peppers make entertaining easy

    When it comes to summer entertaining, it’s not hard to impress. But it’s easy to get yourself in over your head trying to do so.Which is why I have a few rules about summer gatherings. About all entertaining, actually. But this menu is better suited to summer, so we’ll call it that. My rules are thus:• I don’t bake. Not even seasonally appropriate berry pies, or cupcakes or muffins or quick breads. Baking is a fall and winter activity. In summer, that’s what bakeries are made for.• I don’t fuss with individual cocktails. If I can’t make it by the pitcher or in a blender, or if it doesn’t pour directly from a bottle into your glass or your mouth, it doesn’t get served.• I make judicious use of the grill. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but still. There’s no cleanup!• I don’t worry about mains and starters and sides and such. I make what I feel like making. I put it out. You eat it. Done. If that means we nibble on five starters and drink a bunch of wine, that works. If it means we graze over several slabs of juicy meat off the grill while tearing hunks of baguette to sop the juices, that works, too.

  • Fresh Start Women’s Foundation awarded Charity Navigator 4-star rating

    Fresh Start Women’s Foundation was recently awarded the prestigious four-star rating by Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. The rating signifies good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. Fresh Start Women’s Foundation is one of only 29 Arizona non-profit organizations will such a high rating.Charity Navigator works to help charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by assessing the financial health of more than 7,000 charities nationwide. The rating calculation is based upon several criteria, including how much is spent per dollar raised, what percentage of funds goes to programs verses administrative and fundraising expenses, and the organization’s long-term financial health. It then assigns a rating from one to four, with four being the highest rating.

  • Scout revisits alma mater, Keystone Montessori for Eagle Project

    Michael Debbins and his Boy Scout Troop 16 completed a major outdoor renovation project at Keystone Montessori in Ahwatukee, providing a functional backyard environment for the lower elementary classrooms. The project included repurposing existing pavers, relocating composters, moving existing ground-level planter beds and stonework, and adding custom-made raised planter boxes and handcrafted benches to create a more beautiful outdoor space for the school children. Over 150 man-hours were invested on project day.Debbins started his project earlier in the summer by first scoping the effort with administration staff at Keystone Montessori. Once the design was finalized and approved by Keystone, it went to Troop 16 Eagle Advisor Mark Blayney-Moore for preliminary BSA approval permitting the fundraising and advanced construction phases to begin. Debbins’ fundraising effort yielded over $1,000 in cash donations he invested over 200 work hours in pre-project preparations, including the construction of the raised planter boxes and benches.Over 27 scout volunteers and friends came to assist Debbins in completing the project in time for the school year.

  • Desert Vista musicians win national marching championship

    Jacob Stillwell was on a plane to Oakland just hours after playing his euphonium (a baritone horn) in the Wind Ensemble at the Desert Vista High School graduation in May. And just hours after landing, he joined the other 149 members of the Blue Devils B drum and bugle corps in rehearsing their 2014 show, titled “Noir Nuveau.” The drum corps, known as “BDB” for short, competes all summer against other groups from around the nation in the Open Class of Drum Corps International (DCI). During the second week of August, all of the competing corps converge on Indiana for Championships Week, with the Open Class Finals in Michigan City. The World Class Finals are at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.Stillwell was spending his second summer marching with BDB, but a week into rehearsals, he learned that they were short one euphonium player. He made a call to his Desert Vista Thunder Marching Band section-mate, Roman Sandoval, and a few days later BDB had two DV marching musicians.In addition to Stillwell and Sandoval, BDB’s show was designed by Jacob’s brother, Zak Stillwell, also a graduate of Desert Vista. As BDB’s “Visual Caption Head,” Stillwell was responsible for designing the movement on the field, and training the performers on how to all do it the right way.The corps alternated between 12-hour days of rehearsal, days spent traveling between competitions, and of course, “show days,” which always included morning rehearsals followed by a contest against six or more other Open Class corps. The schedule took them from the Bay Area to San Diego, then they flew to Chicago and toured the Midwest before ending their season at Finals.At the DCI Open Class Championship on Aug. 5, BDB came in seeded first, ahead of the defending champion Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets. They not only held onto their lead, but they won by an even greater margin, and they were awarded the gold medal with a score of 82.65. The Cadets won the silver with an 81.65. Genesis, from Austin, Texas, took the bronze with a 77.90.Later in the week, Desert Vista alumnus and current ASU music student David Willers, a member of the Blue Devils “A corps,” also achieved success, winning gold at the DCI World Class Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Not only did his Blue Devils corps win their 16th championship, but they also were awarded the highest score in the history of Drum Corps International, a 99.650 (out of 100.) The previous record was 99.15.

MP talent contest - WRs

Isaiah Banks and company flips out to win it all

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