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  • Ahwatukee delegates to party conventions play important role in democracy

    No matter what your politics, you have to give a lot of credit to Ahwatukee's delegates for both the Republican and Democratic national conventions. As we've detailed in stories last week and today, their service to their parties comes at no small personal cost – encroaching on both their wallets and their time. Yes, the cynic will say it's a convention, which means parties and free meals. 

  • Local companies, organizations lining up to feed starving children

     The Ahwatukee Foothills Chapter of the National Charity League believes in mother-daughter philanthropic giving and hands-on volunteering, and one of its longest-running activities is the annual Feed My Starving Children MobilePack.The local chapter will be joining many other Ahwatukee and East Valley non-profits, businesses and individuals volunteering to pack MannaPack meals at the Phoenix Convention Center July 29-31. Feed My Starving Children is aiming to pack 1 million meals for distribution to children worldwide.The National Charity League’s Ahwatukee chapter participated in only one other MobilePack, but its members have been supporting the Christian non-profit organization for 10 of the chapter’s 12 years.“Since 2014, we’ve donated 1,068 hours to Feed My Starving Children,” said Melissa Singer Pressman, the chapter’s vice-president of philanthropy.For this MobilePack, 58 pairs of mothers and daughters are volunteering, among them Singer-Pressman and her two daughters, Madeline, 15, and Meredith, 13, both Ahwatukee Basis students.

  • Red, White and Boom! co-chairman thanks sponsors, others who made it a success

    Forty-one years and counting.  The annual Red, White and Boom went into the history books as another fun filled evening for the local Ahwatukee community. Having the opportunity to co-chair this event for the past four years, it is exciting to see it all come together and have nearly 7,000 people from around the East Valley attend.     First, I want to thank the local business community who support this event to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day. This includes the sponsors, donors, and vendors who make it financially feasible to put it on each year.  Without their support, it would not be financially sustainable to do this year after year, so thank you. The 2016 sponsors were:Presenting Sponsor - SanTan Ford

  • How your child can eat healthy throughout the school year

     Most parents can relate to the hectic early morning rush before school each morning.Making sure everyone is awake, ready and out the door on time can be a challenge, especially coming off of a long summer break.On the days when everyone is running late, it can be all too tempting to skip out on making sure your kids are set up for a healthy breakfast and lunch. Skipping breakfast and turning to pre-made snacks for lunch may be easy, but they aren’t the healthiest options for your kids.The benefits of taking a little extra time to improve your children’s nutrition are endless. Before you hit the snooze button, consider the following tips for preparing nutritious breakfasts and packing healthy lunches for your kids before they head out the door to school.It’s common knowledge that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. After sleeping all night and not consuming food for so many hours, our bodies need to refuel so that they can provide us with the energy necessary to sustain a new day.

  • Many Bible verses show who God thinks you are

    I recently heard a speaker mention the temptation to despair. That sounded so strange, but as I thought about it, I realized what a real temptation that is for me.God used Elijah on Mount Carmel to show the prophets of Baal how mighty He was. (Read 1 Kings 18 and 19 for the fascinating full story.)Elijah exposed false prophets through an incredible victory and the people realized the Lord was God. But the wicked Queen Jezebel grew angry and set out to kill Elijah. Afraid for his life, he ran away and prayed that he might die.“'I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.” (1 Kings 19:4-5)These thoughts of despair came on the heels of a great victory. It's as though Elijah forgot all that God had done and was capable of doing. It should come as no surprise that if a mighty man of God was tempted to despair that I can be, too.David also had times of despair: “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:2) In Psalm 42:5, David says, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?”

  • Local charter schools rejoice over Prop 123 funding

    Ahwatukee charter school leaders are breathing a sigh of relief over the state attorney general’s decision that they are eligible for additional education funds unlocked by May’s voter approval of Proposition 123.“It makes a statement that charter-school students and staff deserve funding to support the excellent programs they deliver,” said Betsy Fera, executive director at Horizon Community Learning Center in Ahwatukee.“Charter schools have high levels of accountability, just like district schools, and deserve to have the money to continue to support programs for their students,” she said.The informal opinion came the same day that U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake allowed a private citizen, Michael Pierce, to amend his lawsuit challenging the measure.Pierce argues that Arizona cannot use state trust fund money as the proposition provides because amending the state constitution is insufficient. He said Congress must approve the change.That was one of the same questions that state Treasurer Jeff DeWit and the board asked Attorney General Mark Brnovich to answer.

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  • Ahwatukee line dancers find a welcoming home at Cactus Jack’s Bar

    If you think that line dancing is just for people who wear cowboy hats and boots, Gina Lombardi and Carrie McNeish urge you to drop by for happy hour Wednesdays at Cactus Jack’s in Ahwatukee.From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the nightclub-restaurant at 4747 E. Elliot Road, you’ll see some moves as sophisticated as those on “Dancing with the Stars,” said McNeish, of Ahwatukee.A certified fitness instructor as well as a line-dancing teacher at Pecos Community Center for years, McNeish had started the impromptu gathering of friends and neighbors in 2013 at a Tempe bar. It closed two years later, sending her distraught group in search of a new venue.Enter Lombardi, manager of Cactus Jacks, who gave the group a chance after reading about their plight.She hasn’t regretted the move.“It’s been great for us,” Lombardi said. “The energy is wonderful. Our oldest dancer is 91 years old and she’s a hoot.”

  • 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.

  • 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 man, Gregorio Villanueva, accused of stealing $10,000 in electricity

PHOENIX - While the rest of us are sweating to pay our electric bills, a Phoenix man is accused of stealing his for nearly three years. Court …

Published: July 25, 2016 - 2:56 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/crime/phoenix-man-gregor…

Dr. Brook Larson named Arizona Choral Director of the Year

Dr. Brook Carter Larson, artistic director of the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix, has been named Choral Director of the Year by the Arizona Ch…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 2:54 pm @ http://www.scottsdaleindependent.com/news/dr-brook…

Fight between driver, passenger results in crash on SR 51 in Phoenix

PHOENIX - Police say a car crash that critically injured a driver and shut down part of a Phoenix freeway was started by a fight between the m…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 2:53 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

Gilbert deli will hire and train young adults with autism

GILBERT, Ariz. - It's Not Your Typical Deli. That's what a new deli in Gilbert has called their deli/ bakery. They will train and hire young a…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 2:33 pm @ http://www.12news.com/news/local/valley/gilbert-de…

What to expect at the Democratic National Convention

The first day of the Democratic National Convention began on Monday, July 25, in Philadelphia, a little after 4:00 pm Eastern. The convention’…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 2:29 pm @ http://www.vox.com/2016/7/25/12268364/watch-dnc-de…

ACLU Praises New Illinois Limits on Cellphone Surveillance

A new Illinois law limits how police can use devices that cast a wide net in gathering cellphone data and are at the center of a lawsuit again…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 1:59 pm @ http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/aclu-pr…

Arizona State University Athletics

TEMPE, Arizona—The Arizona State University football team, under the direction of fifth-year Head Coach Todd Graham, will make its annual trek…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 1:59 pm @ http://www.thesundevils.com/news/2016/7/25/sun-dev…

FD: Three people rescued from Echo Canyon including 12-year-old boy

PHOENIX - Three people had to be rescued at Camelback Mountain on Monday afternoon including a 12-year-old child. The Phoenix Fire Department …

Published: July 25, 2016 - 1:56 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

“A Lady for President?” Third Graders Respond

In January, 1964, Senator Margaret Chase Smith, of Maine, entered the New Hampshire primary, becoming the first woman to run for a major-party…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 1:25 pm @ http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/a-la…

Toro Y Moi Shares New “Grown Up Calls” Video, Announces Tour: Watch

Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) has a new live album, Toro Y Moi: Live From Trona, out August 5. Today, he’s shared the video for the album’s “G…

Published: July 25, 2016 - 1:27 pm @ http://pitchfork.com/news/67059-toro-y-moi-shares-…

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