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  • Arizona official says proposed school regulations need tweaking

    An Arizona school superintendent testified last week that, without changes, proposed regulations implementing the law to replace No Child Left Behind could throw the state back into an “unfortunate” debate like the one over Common Core.Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Gail Pletnick was part of a panel of local education officials who told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that they welcome the law, but worry about the Education Department’s proposed regulations.“In Arizona, mandating what was viewed as national standards was hotly debated,” Pletnick testified. “It was unfortunate that we wasted a great deal of time and energy in an emotional and divisive Common Core debate.”Pletnick, from Surprise, and the three other witnesses said they believe the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act is a definite step up from the old No Child Left Behind law, which critics said was too heavy on testing and tried to force all school districts into one mold.But they worried about Education Department regulations to implement ESSA, including rules for school assessment systems, the timeline for action and the perception that federal regulators would be allowed to override state decisions.Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, speaking to concerns about the school evaluation provisions, noted that they had received support from the Council of Chief State Officers and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

  • Kyrene’s new assistant chief kisses 100-mile commute goodbye

     For new Kyrene School District Assistant Superintendent Laura Toenjes, working in the East Valley again is like a homecoming.As she settled into her office at the district’s Tempe headquarters last week in early July, Toenjes (pronounced Ten-yes) said her commute to work just got a whole lot easier.For the past year, Toenjes had driven 100 miles each way five days a week from her Chandler home to Tucson where she served as Director of School Improvement in the Sunnyside Unified School District.In Tucson, she worked with Kyrene’s new superintendent, Jan Vesely, who was assistant superintendent for the same district.The two had worked closely prior when Toenjes served as Arizona Department of Education deputy associate superintendent, heading the state’s school improvement unit.

  • Inspire Kids Montessori to offer toddler tech classes

    Even toddlers can get a little geeky.At least that’s what the thinking is at Inspire Kids Montessori, which will start offering technology classes to kids as young as 2 and 3 years old next month.For both toddlers and a new primary program for children 3 to 6 years old, the school has developed the FutureKiddie Puterbugs program, designed to introduce them to basic computer skills and the fundamentals of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The 30-40 minute classes are available bi-weekly to students for an additional fee.Diana Darmawaskita, the founder of Inspire Kids, said in a release, “These classes teach children how to use technology properly and how to respect it as a meaningful tool that they will use throughout their lives.”  The program uses software and special mini-laptops designed for small hands. They teach through storytelling and games. Children wear bands with letters to become familiar with the layout of a keyboard.Each session starts with an overview of the lesson, followed by instruction on how to use a mouse, navigate a computer and other exercises.

  • Hot pets and the law

    Failure to provide a pet with adequate water, shelter and/or leaving a pet in a car on a hot day is a violation of Arizona Revised Statute 13-2910, which defines cruelty to animals.Most owners who leave their animals in hot cars are prosecuted by the state for a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a punishment of a fine up to $2,500. The maximum jail time for a Class 1 misdemeanor is six months.“Normally, it’s a fine and it can result in probation or jail time,” said Chris West, emergency animal medical technician at the Arizona Humane Society. “I don’t normally see jail time, but it can occur.“Jail time is very rare for an individual who leaves an animal in a car.”Meanwhile, should you break the window if you see a dog trapped inside a heated car?  “Under the state statute, there’s nothing that says who can or cannot break a window,” West said. “But under certain municipal codes, an animal control officer or a law enforcement officer that has the authority to break the window.”

  • Pet Safety Tips and Signs of Heat Exhaustion

    Pet safety tips:• Keep pets indoors.• Provide pets access to cool water at all times, whether indoors or out.• Never chain your pet; if they get tangled up, it will be difficult for them to access shade or water.• Do not exercise your pet during the sweltering afternoon heat (hot pavement will burn a dog’s paws). If you are planning to walk your pet, do so in the very early morning hours or very late in the evening.• Do not exercise your pet strenuously—avoid long walks, hikes or excessive play. They will not know when to slow down and will not be able to ask for help until it is too late.

  • 10 questions Kyrene parents ask about kindergarten

    Why is Kyrene school a good choice for my child’s kindergarten?Kyrene is one of the premier districts in Arizona. We hire highly-qualified teachers who strive to create engaging and innovative learning environments for every student.  Our parents are involved and are encouraged to be an active part of their child’s learning experience.Our “Kyrene Teaches with Technology” program has been honored by the National School Board Association. It provides students with access to age-appropriate computer devices that are used to enhance their learning.There are 19 elementary schools in Kyrene: nine in Ahwatukee, five in Tempe, and five in Chandler. To see a district map:  www.Kyrene.orgAt what age can my child enter Kindergarten?We recommend your child be age 5 by Sept. 1 of the current school year.  However, early entrance exceptions can be made for children born between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

Ask Mikey Book Reviews Movie Reviews Recipes

  • Movies on Screen

    Star Trek Beyond – Opens Friday, July 22The Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.Rated PG-13 Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie – Opens Friday, July 22Appropriate for their big screen debut, Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London's trendiest hotspots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!

  • Everything’s Goldy: D-backs first baseman talks family and fun

    Sitting at his locker in the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse amid a flurry of players, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is all business. But there are two things that make Goldy smile—his love of the Valley and his 9-month-old son, Jake.“Honestly, this is home now,” Goldschmidt says of North Scottsdale. “I grew up in Texas. I lived there almost my whole life, same with my wife.”“When I got called up (to the majors), we decided to stay out here in the off season, just to see what it was like. We really fell in love with it. We did it again the next year and then eventually decided to make this our home. We’ve made a lot of friends out here. We love the people here in the community, the city, and the state.”He and his wife, Amy, adore their home and the surrounding neighborhood. They love the nearby stores and restaurants—especially Tom’s Thumb.“Who doesn’t like it?” he says with his crooked smile.The Goldschmidts have made friends in and around the Valley, where they enjoy the proximity to hotspots.

  • ‘Eyes Wide Open’: With a new vision and book, Welch has different outlook on Korn

    Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch was addicted to methamphetamines and living dangerously more than 10 years ago.Yearning to clean up his life, he left Korn and found God, which helped him kick the habit and properly raise his daughter, Jennea.As he grew closer to her, he learned a hard lesson: She was cutting.With three books under his guitar strap, Welch just released a fourth, “With My Eyes Wide Open: Miracles and Mistakes on My Way Back to Korn.”Welch, who returned to Korn in 2013, said writing the book was an emotional rollercoaster.“It’s hard sharing my daughter’s story,” said Welch, a former Valley resident. “When I wrote it, I thought it was funny and really sad in parts. I was laughing because I was remembering all of this stuff. Then, I was actually crying about my daughter.”

  • Soul Asylum’s leader seeks more fuel for his fire

    David Pirner has accomplished many things as the frontman for alt-rockers Soul Asylum. However, thanks to English Beat, he recently crossed another activity off his bucket list.“I sat in on trumpet with the English Beat the other night,” said Pirner, whose band was touring with the ska legends. “They talked me into it. I was nervous, but it was really cool. I always wanted to be in a brass section, but it never really happened for me.”Pirner, who played the trumpet in high school, tries new things that excite him to fuel his musical desire. He still goes to the record store and buys records. He tours with some of his favorite bands, like Arizona’s Meat Puppets, with whom he hit the road last summer. He returns to town to play the Marquee on July 23.Recording new music is still interesting to Pirner as well. Soul Asylum’s new record, “Change of Fortune,” is a natural progression for the band.“I wanted to take all of the experiences we’ve had in the past and put them into a record,” Pirner said. “It’s a pretty satisfying record. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars recording records. I know what it’s supposed to sound like.“It’s pretty up to snuff as far as I’m concerned. I wanted to try to make something that’s durable or timeless. I think that’s part of the goal—if there is a goal.”

  • Ballet Arizona classes helps people with Parkinson’s disease

    Dance is Ed Coyoli’s passion.He became a classically trained ballet dancer 45 years ago. He met his wife as a dancer, holding her aloft in a pas de deux.He retired not as a dancer, but after a career in sales.Two years ago, after the trembling in his hands showed the first signs of Parkinson’s disease, he returned to dance.Coyoli attends a Ballet Arizona class every week for people diagnosed with Parkinson’s, with dance easing the symptoms of the degenerative nerve disease marked by tell-tale tremors and a slowed gait.“My physical therapist said that my return to dance helped me improve almost better than any single activity I was involved in,” said Coyoli, 70. “When I finish I’m really happy because it loosens up my body, and improves my attitude.

  • Movies on Screen

    The Infiltrator – Opens Wednesday, July 13The story of undercover U.S. Customs agent Robert Mazur AKA Robert Musella, who became a pivotal player for drug lords cleaning their dirty cash.He traded on mob connections to become the confidant to scores of the international underworld, and the bankers who enabled them.Laying his life on the line, he infiltrated the globe's largest cartels and discovered just how deep into society their influence extended.Their arrests would lead to the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, and shake the underground economy to its core.Rated R

  • Lend a helping hand during National Volunteer Month

    April is National Volunteer Month. It’s a time for nonprofit organizations to thank the people that help them do the work they need done, and it’s an opportunity to invite more people to become volunteers. For some organizations, such as Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA), volunteers are vital for the success of their programs. TCAA needs volunteers to help stock and distribute food at the food pantry, help operate the homeless shelter, and deliver meals to homebound seniors and disabled persons. One such “super volunteer” is Shari Hamblin of Tempe. After her retirement, Hamblin initially spent time completing a list of jobs in her home and yard that she had always wanted to get done. But, once those were finished, she decided to look for a way to volunteer.“I enjoy meeting people,” Hamblin said. “I saw a news story looking for volunteers to drive/deliver meals for Tempe Community Action Agency.”So, in 2006, Hamblin went to talk with the agency to learn more. A staff member took her along on a meal delivery route. “I enjoyed meeting these clients, mostly elderly, and I decided to volunteer,” she said.Since then, Hamblin has delivered more than 1,000 nutritious meals to the homebound. She is scheduled to deliver meals to clients once a week, but she also delivers on other days if needed.

  • Cigna celebrates each Cardinals kick

    Cigna presented a $10,000 donation to the Foundation for Blind Children at the Arizona Cardinals game on Jan. 3, as a sponsor of the Cardinals Charities “Kick for Kids” program.For the sixth consecutive year, Cigna contributed funds to Cardinals Charities for every field goal the Cardinals made during the season — up to a total of $10,000. As a result of Cigna’s sponsorship, Cardinals Charities has donated a total of $60,000 to area organizations focused on wellness, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, Florence Crittenton of Arizona, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

  • Pitman named to Hamilton College dean’s list

    Kyle J. Pitman, son of Ronda Pitman of Ahwatukee and James Pitman, also of Ahwatukee, has been named to the dean’s list at Hamilton College for the 2015 fall semester.To be named to the dean’s list, a student must have carried throughout the semester a course load of four or more graded credits with an average of 3.5 or above.Pitman, a junior majoring in economics and mathematics, is a graduate of Desert Vista High School.

Phoenix police investigating deadly hit-and-run involving a pedestrian

PHOENIX - Police are investigating after a vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian Friday night. Officers said the crash happened near 43rd Avenue…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 10:54 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Scottsdale FD: Teen stuck between boulders on Tom's Thumb Trail rescued

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Scottsdale firefighters helped a teen down the mountain after he became stuck while hiking near 128th Street and Cactus. Offi…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 10:57 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-northeast-valley/…

Arizona Cardinals preseason depth chart

That smell in the air.  It’s here.  It’s time for the Arizona Cardinals and the rest of the NFL to begin their summer ritual of going to train…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 10:30 pm @ http://raisingzona.com/2016/07/22/arizona-cardinal…

Lost in America (6/10) Movie CLIP

Find out why Loading... The interactive transcript could not be loaded. Loading... Loading... Rating is available when the video has been rent…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 8:28 pm @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?sns=tw&v=3Eh8lDJpwZc

Praising Kaine: How Clinton's choice of a widely respected senator drives a deep wedge into the GOP

Hillary Clinton announced her selection of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate late on Friday evening, and something incredible has al…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 8:26 pm @ http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/7/22/1551229/…

Lost in America (6/10) Movie CLIP

Find out why Loading... The interactive transcript could not be loaded. Loading... Loading... Rating is available when the video has been rent…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 7:58 pm @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=3Eh8lDJpwZc

Girl, 14, killed by lightning while on personal watercraft

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 14-year-old girl has died and a woman was hospitalized in critical condition after lightning struck the personal water…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 7:56 pm @ http://bigstory.ap.org/article/da876e9c8df5466084a…

Radical Rant: The Diminishing Returns of Legalization

At a recent event, I had the chance to interview Rob Kampia, the head of the Marijuana Policy Project. I asked him about the four states – Ari…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 7:28 pm @ http://hightimes.com/culture/radical-rant-the-dimi…

Jesse Wilson update: Police not ruling out foul play yet in boy's disappearance

BUCKEYE, AZ - Buckeye police say they aren't ruling out foul play yet as they continue to search for a missing 10-year-old boy. Police are usi…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 7:27 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-west-valley/bucke…

Gila Monsters Declining From Climate Change, Drought

One of only two venomous lizards in the world, the Gila monster (pronounced HEE-luh) remains an enduring symbol of the Southwest U.S. But thes…

Published: July 22, 2016 - 6:28 pm @ http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/gila-mo…

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