Authors Articles byRaquel Hendrickson

Raquel Hendrickson

Raquel Hendrickson
898 Articles 3 COMMENTS
Raquel, a.k.a. Rocky, is a sixth-generation Arizonan who spent her formative years in the Missouri Ozarks. After attending Temple University in Philadelphia, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and has been in the newspaper business since 1990. She has been a sports editor, general-assignment reporter, business editor, arts & entertainment editor, education reporter, government reporter and managing editor. After 16 years in the Verde Valley-Sedona, she moved to Maricopa in 2014. She loves the outdoors, the arts, great books and all kinds of animals.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the City of Maricopa and Private Motorsports Group after a lawsuit by a resident.

Bonita Burks filed suit last year alleging a permit granted to PMG by the City for a private sports car recreation facility called Apex would cause her personal harm. Burks’ home in Rancho El Dorado is 5.2 miles east of the proposed racetrack. The decision was filed Monday.

The three-judge panel agreed with Pinal County Superior Court Judge Robert Olson that Burks did not present any evidence that there would be particular injury to her and therefore had no standing to sue.

“They agreed with us,” Mayor Christian Price said. “How are you being harmed in the middle of Rancho El Dorado?”

The judges also declined to waive the “standing” requirement as requested by Burks’ attorney, Timothy La Sota, who wanted to put the zoning actions of the city council before the judiciary.

“We, too, recognize that zoning is an important issue with potentially widespread impact,” Judge Garye Vazquez wrote for the court. “However, this specific zoning issue is restricted to Maricopa and stems from the transition between Maricopa’s old zoning code and new zoning code.  We, therefore, disagree with Burks that this case presents an issue of statewide importance that is likely to recur.”

The court also ruled the City and PMG are entitled to costs.

Though Maricopa had recently adopted a new zoning code, it granted PMG a permit for Apex Motor Club under the old zoning.

Price said the council was within its legislative rights, which the court affirmed.

“It was new zoning. There has to be a phasing period,” Price said. “With a big project, you don’t add it like that.”

He said the City may make that more clear in the future.

La Sota could not immediately be reached for comment.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


Mixed stratified water and blooming algae are the suspected culprits in a massive die-off of fish in The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado, a not uncommon result of monsoon runoff.

Some residents estimated 2,000 dead fish. Resident Tod Antell said residents were very upset with the sight and the smell.

“It’s an ungodly smell. You can’t walk out and breathe correctly,” resident Danelle Mayfield said. “There’s probably close to 800 plus fish in my visual view of what I’m seeing on my little part of the lake.  The ducks are not even getting in the water. They are staying on the shore at this point. There’s still multiple fish gasping for air.”

The situation was noticed last week during monsoon rains.

Megan Perry, a Maricopa resident who worked for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, took a look at the situation and believes the monsoons played the biggest part in the die-off.

“It’s natural and nothing to panic about,” she said.

In summer, water levels stratify in lakes, she said, with warm, low-oxygen water on the bottom and cool, higher-oxygen water on top.

“When an event happens like a temperature shift or monsoon or even sometimes an algae bloom, the warm low-oxygen water on the bottom and cool, denser water on the top suddenly mix as they try to switch places,” she said. “This causes the oxygen levels overall to suddenly fall, suffocating the fish and causing a large die off.”

The fish, other than being dead, look to be in normal health, with no indication of poisoning or other unnatural cause, Perry said. She noted the small minnows are still alive because they live closer to the oxygen and have less oxygen demand.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Meanwhile, monsoons can also cause algae bloom, which can be fatal to fish as well when soil is washed into the water. The soil creates an overload of nitrates. Algae bloom, eat the nitrates and then die. Bacteria devour decaying algae and, in the process, use up much of the oxygen in the lake.

That kills the fish.

In the Lakes, it was apparent some fish were dying last week. By Monday morning, the result was thousands of dead fish, affecting every reach of the lake.

H2Ology, the company hired by the HOA to take care of the lake, said these kinds of fishkills are “an unfortunate part of ornamental lake systems in the summer.”

Mayfield, the resident, said she had contacted the homeowners association, Associated Asset Management, which is responsible for the lake conditions.

“I contacted the HOA emergency line last night,” she said. “They said that they would be dealing with it today. I have contacted Fish and Game Department. They advised that the HOA needs to deal with it. I have contacted the company that handles the water for the lakes and they stated that they are taking care of it. I have contacted the health department and also, again, the HOA today. I left a message again; no call backs. As of right now, we have not seen anybody coming out to address any of the issues so far this morning.

“We haven’t had anything like this. I know one of the other neighbors was talking about it and they’ve lived here six years and they’re all on the water, too, and they’ve never seen anything like this.”

Perry, the local fish expert, said water features can help mitigate the situation.

“Those fountains like those you see at the entry of Rancho El Dorado and the Villages, they’re are not just for show,” she said. “They help aerate the water.”

The Lakes does use landscaped water falls and other aerators in some locations to churn the water, when they are functioning.

According to H2Ology, a crew will be removing all the dead fish that have surfaced today, and “measures will be taken to stop future kills.”

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Staff reporter Michelle Chance contributed to this story.


All seven candidates for three seats on the Maricopa City Council participated in a primary election forum at Maricopa Unified School District on Saturday. The Junior State of America Club at Maricopa High School organized and hosted the event, which allowed every candidate to answer a handful of questions submitted by the community. Maricopa Rotary Club was the presenting organization. Some responses:

Who has a plan for attracting more businesses and jobs?

Linette Caroselli: “To bring them here, we have to show the value of being here. When you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream.” Caroselli, an MUSD teacher, said the city needs to be customer-based.

Vincent Manfredi: “I think we need to concentrate on small-business owners who will grow.” The incumbent said Maricopa needs more office space, light industrial and infrastructure.

Bob Marsh: An IT consultant, Marsh said he might pull some industry strings connected to the Belmont smart city proposed by the founder of Microsoft. “I would contact Bill Gates and see if they could test some of their concepts here.”

Cynthia Morgan: The Maricopa Chamber of Commerce stalwart said the city should be “talking one-on-one” with companies that have potential to move to town.

Leon Potter: “Shop local.” The former councilmember and current write-in said the city needs to tap into local organizations like Maricopa Economic Development Alliance and Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

Paige Richie: “Hard work and accessibility.” The youngest candidate said the city should ask companies like car dealerships and call centers why they don’t locate to Maricopa.

Rich Vitiello: Asserting international business experience, Vitiello said he plans to “Work hard and meet people we need to work with.”

Henry Wade: The incumbent said the current council may have not always been successful, “but we didn’t quit.”

What is Maricopa’s water future?

Wade: Holding Arizona Corporation Commission’s feet to the fire, Wade said, relies on elections, and scrutinizing Global Water is less difficult “if the right folks are making decisions.” He said the city had looked into buying the private utility, but the subsequent tax rates would have been enormous.

Vitiello: Also saying the council needs to “stay on top of” Global Water constantly, Vitiello said it will take work. “I have a pool. My bills are pretty big.”

Richie: The city needs to work with Global Water, Richie said, “to find more cost effective and more sustainable options.”

Potter: “Regulating water is not within the city’s jurisdiction.” Potter said he intends to work with Global Water but also listen to constituents. “It takes a lot of negotiation and going in front of the Corporation Commission.”

Morgan: “We’ve all tried to fix the problem,” said Morgan, who led a push to take Global Water before the ACC and make a deal on fees. Because Global Water invested a lot of money in Maricopa, it won’t be leaving anytime soon, and she said the best solution is to keep talking with GWR staff one-on-one.

Marsh: “Developers aren’t going to build subdivisions without a 100-year supply.” Marsh said Maricopa had a “secret” water supply with the Santa Cruz. He said developers made the “stupid” decision to create green landscaping to lure Midwesterners into buying desert homes. “We’ve got to stop that.”

Manfredi: With current regulations and Global Water’s wells, Manfredi said, “I don’t believe we’re going to have a water problem for a very long time.”

Caroselli: To assure affordable water, Caroselli said the answer is to “elect a Corporation Commission that’s actually going to do something.”

About 90 attended the forum, which was sponsored by the Maricopa Monitor and Helen’s Kitchen. The candidates will next share the stage Aug. 4 during the Town Hall.

Vincent Manfredi is a minority owner of InMaricopa.

In a resident’s lawsuit against the City of Maricopa and a sports-car club, both sides presented their cases to the Arizona Court of Appeals on Wednesday.

Bonita Burks sued the City and Private Motorsports Group after a permit was approved for Apex Motor Club. Apex is intended to be a private club for sports car enthusiasts, with a clubhouse, private racetrack and garages.

During oral arguments, the judges were trying to determine if Burks had legal standing to sue and, if not, whether the requirement should be waived. To show “standing,” Burks would have to prove she would be more impacted than the “community at large” by the potential noise, odor and traffic she complained of.

If the appeals court sides with Burks regarding her “standing,” it would open the legal case to the meat of the matter. That is, whether the City acted illegally in allowing Private Motorsports Group to obtain its permit under the old zoning code.

Pinal County Superior Court Judge Robert Olson has already written his opinion the City did not act correctly in that matter. That opinion, however, was not binding because it was an aside to his ruling Burks had no standing to sue.

The Apex site is at the northwest corner of State Route 238 and Ralston Road. Burks’ home is in Rancho El Dorado, 5.2 miles from the site.

For that reason, the City and Private Motorsports Group have argued Burks does not have standing to file suit. It was a point argued previously before Olson.

“Our argument is, she did not allege or establish at the hearing any facts of personalized injury,” said Roopali Desai of Coppersmith, Schermer & Brockelman, the law firm representing Private Motorsports Group.

Burks’ attorney, while arguing she could have standing because Rancho El Dorado is closer to the Apex site than several other subdivisions, sought to have the whole “standing” requirement waived.

“The zoning matter is a big deal in Maricopa,” said attorney Timothy La Sota, who took over Burks’ case late in the appeals process. He added the statewide concern with zoning issues qualified the case to have the “standing” requirement waived.

La Sota represented Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers in a previous suit against the City that also went before Judge Olson. That was a disagreement over whether the City had taken legislative action or administrative action in granting the permit. MCPT claimed it was legislative action that could be subject to referendum and thus placed on a ballot. The City claimed it was administrative action and not subject to referendum.

Olson ruled in favor of MCPT, but that ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeals in September. However, La Sota brought up that sore spot again during Wednesday’s arguments.

The City, he said, changed its actions to administrative “to get around the referendum” and was trying to do something similar by denying Burks’ standing in the case.

Desai argued the state sets an “incredibly high standard” for establishing standing, and for a reason. She rebuffed attempts by the judges to set up hypothetical situations, saying Burks might have standing if she had to drive SR 238 to work every day but that is not a fact in the case.

“She does not use 238 to access her subdivision,” Desai said.

She also noted facts not in the record from the lower-court case, that three master-planned communities, 1,000 homes, railroad tracks and some business properties lie between the Apex site and Burks’ home. She said a noise study and traffic study refuted attempts to claim personal injury.

La Sota said taking the appellee’s “linear” approach to judging impact of the space between was separating the case from the “true standard” of determining personal injury.

The judges pushed La Sota on the definition of “community at large,” saying the attorney had not supplied evidence Burks is being personally impacted more than the rest of Maricopa “other than saying she is more affected because I say she is.”

The Court of Appeals, Division II, in Tucson has taken the arguments under advisement. Both sides now await its decision. If the court waives the “standing” requirement, the City and Private Motorsports Group would have to again defend the City’s action on permits and zoning.

Though City Attorney Denis Fitzgibbons was present at Wednesday’s hearing, he did not make a presentation to the judges.

Medical offices planned for the southeast corner of Edison Road and John Wayne Parkway are designed to be two buildings with a connecting breezeway.

Maricopa Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved the development review.

Kazi Haque, the city’s lead planner, said the elevation “is a little bit different” and the city worked with the applicant to make some changes. As currently designed, doors to the buildings will be on the south side, with some spaces added to the already existing parking lot. The north elevation, facing Edison Road, will be the back of the building.

The lot shares the area with Big O Tires, 99 Cents Only and Aaron’s.

Edgar Felix of the RKAA Architecture firm said though Maricopa Police Department had expressed some concerns with the possibility of the breezeway hiding nefarious activity, the area will be fully visible from Edison Road.

The project next goes before city council.

Members of the Maricopa High School volleyball team had their annual car wash Saturday to raise money for camps and extras not paid for by the school. Sonic allowed the girls use of its parking lot for the event. The season start Aug. 28 with a home match against Camelback.

Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The most expensive home sold in the city of Maricopa from May 16 to June 15 was a half-million-dollar looker on a lake in Province that is the priciest of the year. The large house on a large lot included a casita and a private pool. There were tons of upgrades, from flooring to window treatments. Though on the market for nearly nine months at $14,000 above its eventual selling price, the results were apparently worth the wait.

  1. 19815 N. Puffin Drive, Province

Sold: May 31
Purchase price: $505,000
Square footage: 3,102
Price per square foot: $162.79
Days on market: 253
Builder: Engle
Year built: 2006
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
Community: Province
Features: Orchid model with stainless steel appliances, formal dining room, fireplace, waterfront views, full master bedroom, granite counters, play pool, patio, guest house
Listing agent: William G. Menkhus, HomeSmart
Selling agent: Jill K. Dames, Realty ONE Group

  1. 22496 N. Sunset Drive, Cobblestone Farms ………… $375,000
  2. 18955 N. Falcon Lane, Glennwilde …………………….. $322,000
  3. 18620 N. Tanners Way, Smith Farms ……………….… $319,000
  4. 19131 N. Toya St., Senita ………………………………….… $319,000

This item appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.

Northbound traffic on SR 347 north of the gravel pit is at a near stand-still as troopers work a five-vehicle crash in the blowing dust. ADOT photo

A multi-vehicle accident on State Route 347 north of the gravel pit stopped northbound traffic this morning.

According to the Department of Public Safety, five vehicles were involved. The incident occurred at milepost 185 at around 10:28 a.m.

“Troopers and emergency personnel are on scene working to clear the road,” said DPS spokesman Quentin Mehr. “At this time, I do not have information on the number of injuries or severity.”

Blowing dust has been affecting the flow of traffic all morning on SR 347, and dust has been particularly heavy in that area.

Southbound traffic is meeting a wall of blowing dust on SR 347. ADOT photo

Financial Secretary Cindee Ross-Beecroft and President Vero Sanchez lead a meeting of the Blue Star Mothers. Photo by Mason Callejas


Looking for something meaningful to do this summer?

Maricopans are often accused of good-deed-doing, so it probably comes as no surprise that nearly 100 nonprofit organizations call the small town home. And that doesn’t even count the churches and parent-teacher organizations that also qualify as tax exempt.

Some nonprofits are focused on community service while others are focused on specific events. Some raise money for a charitable cause; others raise money for kids’ sports programs.

Blue Star Mothers provide military support from home front

Currently in good standing in the Internal Revenue Service Files are these organizations, minus churches and PTOs. (Note: Some organizations are inactive but maintain their nonprofit status. This list is not intended as an endorsement.)

Aid 4 Greys
EIN: 20-2574239     Web:
Raises funds for greyhound rescue groups.

American Legion
EIN: 27-2110284     Web:
Creates programs for military veterans.

American Legion Auxiliary
EIN: 27-3655841     Web:
Creates programs for spouses of military veterans.

Arizona Foundation for Social Justice Children and Youth Service
EIN: 80-0491866     Web:
Provides family services.

Arizona Greyhound Association Inc.
EIN: 86-6053033     Web: none
Raises awareness of greyhounds and greyhound rescues.

Arizona National Guard Historical Society
EIN: 71-2468937     Web:
Operates Arizona Military Museum.

Arizona Poodle Rescue
EIN: 87-0799983     Web:
Rescues and re-homes standard poodles.

Assist You With Inc.
EIN: 27-2704971     Web:
Provides property and personal information protection.

Association of Rehabilitation Programs in Computer Technology
EIN: 75-3003211     Web:
Provides professional development for support of people with disabilities.

Atlas Pet Rescue
EIN: 81-5281750     Web:
Provides rescue and adoptions of all breeds.

Az Knights Inc.
EIN: 39-1722440     Web:
Provides fundamentals in youth sports.

Baby Fox Foundation
EIN: 82-2796191     Web:
Provides in-home preschool daycare.

Be Empowered to Be Inc.
EIN: 36-4699294     Web:
Provides educational services to women and girls 12 and older.

Blue Star Mothers of America Inc.
EIN: 36-4774227     Web:
Provides auxiliary support of military personnel.

Boy Scout Troop 993
EIN: 20-8803738     Web:
Creates achievement environment for Scouts 11-18.

Chains of Brotherhood S.C.
EIN: 81-4194470     Web:
Raises awareness of charitable events.

Copa Grande Rattlers Soccer Club
EIN: 46-4602217     Web:
Teaches soccer skills to youth players.

Copa Shorts Film Fest Inc.
EIN: 81-0902509     Web:
Presents short films and educational programs.

Desert Dogz Safe Haven
EIN: 47-3596008     Web: none
Provides animal rescue.

Dream Catchers Youth Academy
EIN: 81-3976638     Web:
Develops youth character through sports.

EIN: 80-0469117     Web:
Creates events and provides training in performing arts.

Dwarf Car Museum Inc.
EIN: 45-3761173     Web:
Provides funding for ongoing museum display.

E5 Life Strategies
EIN: 82-2933527     Web:
Engages in spiritual, supernatural empowerment.

F.O.R. Maricopa Inc.
EIN: 26-0527262     Web:
Provides food and essentials to families in need.

Families United Inc.
EIN: 51-0578429     Web:
Provides assisted living options.

For the Love of Pete
EIN: 45-1610424     Web: none
Provides animal-rescue opportunities.

Fraternal Order of Police (Lodge 78)
EIN: 27-1685692     Web:
Provides resources and legal access for law enforcement officers.

Goodwill Offering Inc.
EIN: 51-0552645     Web: none
Undefined cause.

Graysmark Schools Corporation
EIN: 27-0575484     Web:
Provides private education for preschool-kindergarten.

Helping Orphaned Hounds Rescue
EIN: 27-1868373     Web:
Finds homes for dogs and promotes spaying/neutering.

International Association of Railway Operating Officers
EIN: 06-1034133     Web:
Provides operating/technical information for railroad management.

International Association of Safety Environmental Professionals
EIN: 47-1938317     Web:
Helps businesses create safe workplaces.

Keep the Beat Inc.
EIN: 81-3575032     Web:
Offers music training and community service opportunities.

Knights of Columbus
EIN: 45-5089097     Web:
Performs volunteer service in parish and community.

Little League Baseball Inc.
EIN: 20-0616188     Web:
Provides youth sports opportunities.

Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation Inc.
EIN: 45-5489047     Web: none
Cultivates a love of learning science and math. 

Maricopa Amateur Radio Association
EIN: 46-2297818     Web:
Presents activities and testing in amateur radio operations.

Maricopa Arts Council
EIN: 46-3796208     Web:
Creates opportunities to showcase community arts and entertainment.

Maricopa Community Alliance Against Substance Abuse
EIN: 86-0731529     Web:
Creates positive, empowering activities and learning experiences for youth.

Maricopa Community Theatre
EIN: 27-3193374     Web:
Presents live theater productions and youth performances.

Maricopa Cultural Activity Center Inc. (Friends of the Maricopa Public Library)
EIN: 94-2933340     Web:
Supports and enhances the public library.

Maricopa Dukes
EIN: 47-1468853     Web:
Provides training and games for youth baseball.

Maricopa Economic Development Alliance
EIN: 27-0924554     Web:
Seeks strategies and solutions for economic growth.

Maricopa Education Foundation Inc.
EIN: 260273602      Web:
Provides academic and cultural enrichment for students.

Maricopa Football Boosters
EIN: 81-4514608     Web:
Provides opportunities and resources for Maricopa High School football.

Maricopa Golf Classic Incorporated
EIN: 47-5276824     Web:
Raises money for American Service Animal Society and 100 Club of Arizona.

Maricopa Historical Society
EIN: 27-3047891     Web:
Preserves historical materials and educates through special programs.

Maricopa Lions Club
EIN: 47-3132480     Web:
Provides community service and fundraising.

Maricopa Multi Cultural Consortium
EIN: 81-2253575     Web:
Seeks resources for construction of senior/community center.

Maricopa Pantry
EIN: 81-3081927     Web:
Provides food bank services.

Maricopa Police Foundation Inc.
EIN: 80-0540115     Web:
Provides support and resources for Maricopa Police Department.

4-H Clubs & Affiliated 4-H Organizations
EIN: 20-8837543     Web: none
Advances youth development.

Maricopa Sandlot
EIN: 82-1774844     Web:
Provides competition opportunities for girls fastpitch softball.

Maricopa Seniors Inc.
EIN: 90-0502807     Web:
Provides resources for senior safety.

Maricopa United Soccer Club
EIN: 81-3559665     Web:
Provides competition for year-round soccer.

Maricopa Youth Football
EIN: 01-0832741     Web:
Provides recreation and instruction for youth.

Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA
EIN: 32-0316136     Web:
Provides resources to combat-wounded veterans.

Moms Club
EIN: 55-0889732     Web:
Provides mutual support for mothers.

Nelson C. Lathan Counseling Center
EIN: 46-1079110     Web:
Provides youth programs for emotional health and education.

North Hidden Valley Fire Department
EIN: 45-2628478     Web: none
Provides fire protection in unincorporated area.

Parent Information Distribution Center Inc.
EIN: 35-2019678     Web: none
Improves lives of children by assisting families.

Pet Social Worker Tails of Hope
EIN: 26-1974172     Web:
Offers information on lost/found and adoptable pets.

Powerpack Copa Inc.
EIN: 47-5488722     Web:
Provides weekend meals for school children.

Pride & Joy Learning & Development Center Inc.
EIN: 41-2205048     Web: none
Provides reduced-rate daycare services for qualifying families.

Rocking 4dFoundation Inc.
EIN: 81-0864768     Web:
Provides community service.

Rotary International
EIN: 86-6038197     Web:
Provides community service.

Sassy S Sisters Happy Haven Animal Sanctuary
EIN: 891-4382642   Web: none
Provides animal rescue.

Silent Heroes
EIN: 81-4088924     Web: none
Hosts golf tournament to benefit first responders.

The Streets Don’t Love You Back
EIN: 47-3208272     Web:
Provides education and resources to prevent youth crime and recidivism.

Support Team for Education and Learning Associations Inc.
EIN: 26-2352793     Web:
Supports higher learning for children in developing countries.

Toastmasters International (Club 00003256)
EIN: 86-0988503     Web:
Develops communication and leadership skills.

Vetit Inc.
EIN: 47-3420223     Web:
Helps veterans transition to civilian life.

Vietnam Aviation Veterans of Arizona
EIN: 86-1003308     Web: none
Hosts a museum of military aviation history.

Viper Club of America – Arizona Region Inc.
EIN: 80-0010718     Web:
Offers automotive activities for Viper owners.

Blue Star Mothers of Maricopa will turn 5 years old Aug. 5, five years of looking out for military servicemembers whose mothers call Maricopa home.

A private nonprofit, it was designated Chapter AZ7 by the national organization, which was created during World War II. Started locally by Tracy Davis and Lisa Durst and now led by Air Force mom Vero Sanchez, Blue Star Mothers offers support for moms who have children on active duty in the armed forces or are veterans. They send “Packages from Home” to those serving, celebrate homecomings and find resources for troops and their families.

Navy mom and club Treasurer Gail DeLair said Blue Star Mothers made her feel at home quickly. “I had someone I could talk to instantly.”

The group includes mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians. They want to reach out not only to those whose children are deployed but also those whose kids are entering basic training. Mothers of servicemembers who have already been discharged have remained members of Blue Star Mothers to offer support to moms still working through the process of having a child in harm’s way.

A highly patriotic club, Blue Star Mothers is a visible presence at many community events, such as the Great American 4th and the Veterans Day Parade. They meet the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.  at Maricopa Veterans Center, 44240 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.

Blue Star Mothers plans a fund-raiser at Freddy’s, 21467 N. John Wayne Parkway, on July 12, 5-9 p.m.,

Boy Scout Troop 993 creates adventures

In 2007, Boy Scout Troop 993 started with five boys. Today, there are more than 40 enrolled with a solid 22-25 active any given week.

Gerry Hahn started the troop after discovering Maricopa had no community troop of Boy Scouts of American, only those associated with churches. He said he wanted to give boys unaffiliated with other organizations a chance to learn new skills and be part of something.

“We go camping about 10 times a year, a weekend almost every month,” Hahn said. “We have competitions within the county. We plan six months ahead of time.”

Whether its tug-o-war or cooking competitions, the Scouts have an opportunity to show their stuff in a wide range of activities at camporees. Scouts range in age from 11 to 18. The troop’s success relies on consistent leadership and fundraising.

As a tax-exempt organization, how does Boy Scout Troop 993 spend money it raises with popcorn sales, face-painting booths at city events and other efforts?

Along with campouts and miscellaneous adventures, the troop uses donations for supplies and program expenses.

“We went to the Bahamas, and the next year we went whitewater rafting,” said Mark Yonts, advisor for Venture Crew 2993, a coed program within Scouting that existed before the national organization announced it would admit girls and change its name to BSA. They are in their fifth summer as part of Troop 993.

“Last year we went kayaking in Canada,” Yonts said.

Troop 993 Scout Master Sean Handwerk said he’s enjoyed watching his son grow from a Tiger Scout to an Eagle candidate. His son Michael, a former troop member, joined the U.S. Army while his younger son Cody has risen to leadership position in the troop. Gerry Hahn’s brother Damon Hahn is also a leader.

Cody Handwerk, a senior patrol leader, said he was “forced” to join Boy Scouts four years ago, but set his sights on being the troop’s youngest Eagle Scout at 14.

“It really helps in your future career options, and in job interviews it boosts your resume,” Cody said.

His Eagle project was creating an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant walkway to the ramada at Maricopa Veterans Center. He said scouting has helped him hone is leadership skills.

“It got me out of my comfort zone,” he said. “I never used my voice that loud before.”

Raul Rivera, 17, joined Troop 993 because of the lure of adventure. He has stuck like glue. Even though he and his family moved away three years ago, he continues to travel to Maricopa to be with 993.

“It looked like a lot of fun, with campouts, and I’ve always been a big outdoors guy,” Rivera said. “That really appealed to me.”

This year, his Eagle Scout project was reflooring part of his church, Foothills Baptist in Ahwatukee. Eagle candidates are required not just to work but also to organize several volunteers and raise funds and resources.

Scouts can be members of Troop 993 and Crew 2993 simultaneously. Both emphasize empowering kids to take responsibility.

“We usually have a big summer adventure, and then we have our regular meetings throughout the year, learning skills to whatever the kids decide to do,” Yonts said. “They come with all their ideas, they discuss them, they plan the calendar out and decide what they want to do.

“We have five active troop members right now. We had more, but one left to go to the Coast Guard, one left to go to the Army, and two went to college.”


Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation cool with science

Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation Inc. was founded in 2012 to promote science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics in school-age children.

From rockets and robots to LEGOs and microscopes, the nonprofit engages programs and students in learning activities. Executive Director Dan Miller is planning a big STEAM event Nov. 5-9 during National STEAM Week, including hands-on demonstrations.

The foundation is organizing companies, government entities and industry specialists for presentations that enhance ongoing STEAM-themed programs at local schools.


Lions Club has clear vision of community service

Maricopa Lions Club is a fairly new chapter but has been very busy since its inception. The Lions have adopted a highway and picked up trash. They have contributed resources and labor for the local Against Abuse shelter. They have helped at F.O.R. Maricopa food bank and at Relay for Life. They have chipped in at the Maricopa Police Foundation’s Shop with a Cop holiday program.

Lions International was founded in 1917. Its Lions Eye programs gained renown for the organization by organizing vision screenings, raising awareness of eye diseases and collecting used eyeglasses. The Maricopa Lions, founded in 2015 by Dave and Berta Bock, continue that mission while engaging in other ways to help the community.

Fundraisers have included an annual golf scramble and golf ball drop raffle. Club president is Marc Tremblay, who can be reached at 520-350-2908.


PowerPack Copa feeds kids for the weekend

PowerPack Copa was formed out of noticing a need in Maricopa. While children participating in the free/reduced lunch programs at their school could eat breakfast and lunch, there was a gap for the weekend.

Launched by Church of Celebration in 2013, the nonprofit collects food items, packs them into food bags and takes the packs to eight Maricopa schools for distribution to the children who need them. With the early start to the school year for most Maricopa children (July 23), PowerPack Copa is also getting started early.

The next PowerPack Copa Packing Party is July 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Villages clubhouse. The packs will then be taken to the schools on Friday, July 27, in time to be distributed for the weekend.

This story appears in the July issue of InMaricopa.


Maricopa dancers Hannah Struckmann, Crystabel Sanchez, Giselle Sanchez an Katie Sherrod perform Erin Hildick's choreography of "Fix You." Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopan Eddie Perry, 19, won the Maricopa Arts Council’s second Choreography Showcase Saturday.

Edde Perry accepts his award from MAC’s Susan Cameron and DSPA’s Ceylan Gentilella.

The competition at the Maricopa High School Performing Arts Center was voted on by the audience. The event, sponsored by DSPA Gems and performed by Onyx dancers, was book-ended by the Desert Sun Performing Arts dance recital. Perry graduated from MHS in 2017. Other competing choreographers were the team of Grace Becking, Destinee Chavis and Myka Borunda, whose “Weight in Gold” finished second, Erin Hildick, whose “Fix You” finished third, Samantha Perry, Jalen Reyes, Lexie Vargas and Katie Sherrod. Themes ranged from suicide to partying. All of the choreographers also danced in each other’s numbers. Other Onyx performers were Tatum Roeske, Crystabel Sanchez, Giselle Sanchez and Hannah Struckmann.

Photo by Michelle Chance

It was “field day” for the Maricopa Amateur Radio Association this past weekend. From Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon, members participated in the annual emergency preparedness exercise with others across the country. The overnight event was held inside the Maricopa Police Department’s Copper Sky Substation.

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The Fröms, from left, Cortney holding Atlys, Derick holding Rowan, Archer, Troy and Maddex, with Maricopa Ace Hardware owner Mike Richey. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


With more than 40 fathers nominated as the Best Dad in Maricopa for Father’s Day, it took a lot of social media support to come out on top. In the case of the winner, it took enthusiastic support from military buddies to win the coveted prizes from Maricopa Ace Hardware.

Cortney Fröm nominated her husband Derick Fröm very late in the competition, which was based on InMaricopa’s Facebook page. But then she started sharing it. Within hours, Fröm had accumulated 400 and then 500 votes and more.

The win brought Fröm a new Traeger grill, pellets and accoutrements from Ace owner Mike Richey.

Fröm said he thought it was “cool” that his wife entered him in the contest but was “shocked” that he came out on top.

“I just didn’t think we were going to win, we entered so late,” he said.

In her nomination, Cortney Fröm stated, “We have five children, and he is pretty much super Dad. He does so much for his family and works so incredibly hard to make sure we are all taken care of. His love for all five of his children is amazing. Plus he’s a pretty great husband, too.”

Derick Fröm spent eight years in the Arizona Army National Guard. His continuing relationship with current and veteran service members, especially a group calling itself Drinkin Bros: Dads, was key to totaling nearly 600 “likes” on Cortney’s nomination.

The Fröms, who include Maddex, 9, Troy, 7, Archer, 3, Rowan, 2, and Atlys, 1, have lived in Maricopa just three months, moving from Mesa. Derick and Cortney have been together seven years and married three.

One person who voted for Derick Fröm, Philip Bateson, called him “a class act. Works himself to the bone for his fam. He’s a great coworker and a generally funny guy.”

Another supporter, James Layne, took it even further: “When Superman wakes up in the morning, he wants to be like this dad.”

Jase Leonard with his sons Caden and Jaxon, with Mike Richey. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Finishing in second place in the Best Dad contest was local Realtor Jase Leonard. He and his two sons, Caden, 10, and Jaxon 8, took home a Yeti cooler from Ace.

“There are a lot of dads that wear multiple hats in their family and that is no different in ours,” his wife Stacy Leonard wrote in her nomination. “We rely on this dad to take care of us and our home. He is our breadwinner, soccer dad, professional wrestler, joke teller, tickler, lunch maker, homework helper, sports lover, dog walker, breakfast maker. Like many, he loves his family more than life itself. He helps people every day by making their dreams come true at work. We don’t know where we would be without him to provide, love and take care of us.”

“It’s cool,” Jase Leonard said of being in the top three finishers. “We always try to do a lot in the community.”

The Leonards have lived in Maricopa for 12 years.

Kandi Crowe, who “liked” Leonard’s nominations, commented, “No surprise. I have known him 18 years and always knew he would be an awesome dad! Team Jace!”

Jason and Andrea Foree with daughters Audra and Joy and Ace owner Mike Richey. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

There was a fierce battle for third place in the contest that went down to the wire. In the end, Jason Foree claimed the 30-ounce and 20-ounce tumblers.

A highway inspector by trade, Foree has been battling leukemia for the past year and is currently in remission.

“He’s always putting his family first,” his wife Andrea said. “Even when he first received the diagnosis, the first thing he said was, ‘What about my daughters?’”

The girls are Audra, 3, and Joy, 1.

Supporter Carlene Croonenberghs commented, “He has put his trust in God for the fight of his life. He is the father of two beautiful girls. The love between him and his wife Andrea is a testament to everyone who knows them. He is one of the strongest men I’ve ever known.”

Chris Marshall (submitted)

Foree just edged out Chris Marshall. Marshall’s “likes” continued to come in even after the June 14 deadline.

In nominating him, Marshall’s wife Marlene said, “He works selflessly for us everyday. He is faithful, kind loving and the definition of strong all in one. He gives up his free time to help the youth in Maricopa and is active in our children’s school. He always finds time to teach, pray and play everything from sports, Nurf guns, bowling – our kiddos simply adore him, I adore him. He is the greatest man I know.”

All of the top four finishers received more than 100 likes.

See all of the great Father’s Days tributes among the nominations at

Still in early stage, a proposal for a Dutch Bros. Coffee store, with drive thru, came before the Heritage District Committee on Thursday.

Dutch Bros. Coffee is proposing a store in Maricopa, and the Heritage District Citizen Advisory Committee received an early look at plans Thursday.

That’s because the committee gets an opinion on any development in the Heritage District. Dutch Bros. Coffee’s proposal is on the north side of Fast & Friendly Car Wash.

City planner Rudy Lopez said the project still has to go through site plan review and meet criteria currently under discussion. Developers are also seeking a variance.

The project uses an existing access from John Wayne Parkway, but Lopez said there is an easement on the frontage.

“It’s like a no-build zone,” Lopez said, “so they’re going for a variance.”

Project Manager Michael Oakleaf of Archicon Architecture & Interiors said the current plans make sacrifices to fit into the area. That included abandoning some elements and using a color scheme that would “blend in” with the neighboring car wash.

Oakleaf said those concessions are unusual.

“We’re giving up a lot,” he said.

In what Chairman Brian Foose called “a formality,” the committee unanimously voted its support for the project.

Construction has been a growing major sector in Arizona's employment. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Arizona lost 7,200 nonfarm jobs from April to May, but the state’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent.

“Building construction recorded its largest over-the-year gain in nearly 12 years.” — Adam Turk

The Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity released the jobs report Thursday.

Compared to May 2017, the state added 70,700 total jobs. Economist Adam Turk said manufacturing, education and construction were drivers in job creation in May.

“Building construction recorded its largest over-the-year gain in nearly 12 years,” Turk said.

There were 5,100 jobs added in the subsector of building construction, a 17.8 percent increase.

In particular, the construction subsector of specialty trades saw job growth up 9.1 percent compared to last May. In the United States, that number is 4.2 percent, reflecting the increased construction activity in Arizona.

Manufacturing has seen a recent upsurge in hiring. Overall, the sector grew 5.5 percent since last year and 1.3 percent since April. That is an increase of 8,900 jobs, the largest gain in 20 years.

Turk said manufacturing of computer and electric parts – “a sector where we, for the past several years, have seen job losses month over month” – has turned around since the final quarter of 2017 to post job growth. Its year-over-year increase was 9.7 percent.

The education and health services sector grew by 14,100 jobs over the year, the biggest increase in the state. Turk said that was primarily driven by additional education hires, possibly due to the state’s new education budget.

In Pinal County, the biggest employers were in the service industries, though that showed a month-to-month loss of 50 jobs. A number of sectors were down slightly in May compared to April, including manufacturing, business and professional services, hospitality trades and trade, transportation and utilities.

Construction jobs increased in Pinal County, as did government jobs and education.

Overall, the county’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent in April to 4.1 percent in May.

Maricopa resident Tiffany Yazzie and one of her "eye dazzler" weavings. Photo by Mason Callejas

As the next generation in a legacy woven into the long shadows of Monument Valley, Tiffany Yazzie carefully blends tradition and innovation on her loom.

A weaver of the Navajo tradition, Yazzie makes her own style of rugs that demonstrate why textiles are not just cloth but an art. One of her most popular patterns is the “eye dazzler,” giving the appearance of techno pulsating.

“I really wanted to start with the turquoise and the black and the grays, so I really originally thought I would start with this,” she said, pointing at a piece she displayed for a “Textile Extravaganza” in May, “but I couldn’t help myself with the sun color.”

She calls the piece “Supernova.” She said it took eight months to weave. She was gratified to hear an exhibit visitor tell her it was the most spectacular piece in the room at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship.

Before the extravaganza with other textile artists, Yazzie had her own show at MCE.

“Her work and her backstory of weaving through family heritage are so interesting,” MCE’s then-office manager Tracy Schmalenbach said.

Yazzie and her husband moved to Maricopa eight years ago for the same reasons as many other residents.

“It was the small-town feel and the jobs were here,” she said. “I didn’t necessarily want to live in the city. When my husband drove out here, I thought, ‘No, don’t take me far away from home.’ But when we got here, the houses were beautiful, and we both fell in love with it. And I thought, ‘OK, if we’re going to stay here and work, this is the place.’”

Now a stay-at-home mom with three daughters, she grew up in the Navajo Nation in a family closely associated with the land along the Arizona/Utah border.

As a child, she watched her mother and both grandmothers weave. She wanted to try, too, but it was not yet her time. Yazzie first had to learn carding and spinning and taking care of the sheep.

“I just wanted to do what my grandmother and my mother did, just getting to the weaving part once everything was done,” she said. “Now I can do that.”

Her paternal grandmother was Susie Yazzie, who demonstrated Navajo weaving techniques for decades in Monument Valley and became an icon of the art. Photographed repeatedly by Arizona Highways and other publications, she died in 2013 in her 90s – as befitting a legend, her birth year was always in dispute.

Tiffany Yazzie still uses her grandmother’s weaving comb. She has family members in Navajo Nation bring her the wool and goat hair yarn she uses in her weaving. She can point out the shine the goat hair brings to the finished piece. As a member of the Maricopa Arts Council, she has had her work exhibited several times in Maricopa.

She said her works are often function as much as art.

“If you look at this size, this is 30-by-59, you can fold this and it’s about the size of a saddle blanket, so it’s just a fancy saddle blanket,” Yazzie said. “With this size, a lot of cowgirls back home like to just cover themselves when they’re out on the range. But a lot of people like to just use it as a wall tapestry because it absorbs ambient noise, so you don’t get a lot of sound bouncing.

“But some people like to throw it over their couch. It’s just more added texture. And I love how tactile it is. I just want to go up and touch it.”

Click on photos to enlarge

This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Bridger Kimball


Bridger Kimball is withdrawing from the legislative race.

The Maricopa resident had been campaigning for the state House of Representatives in District 11. He is a former Maricopa City Councilmember.

Kimball, a Republican, said a group in Saddlebrook challenged the validity of 73 signatures on his petition. The Pinal County Recorder’s Office went through the petitions and tossed about 61 signatures, according to Recorder Virginia Ross.

“I had collected 28 signatures over the minimum, so I ended up 32 short,” Kimball said.

Ross said signatures were invalidated because people signed who were not in the district, were in the wrong party or were not registered to vote. Though he could have challenged, Kimball said it would have required a court appearance and around $7,500 in legal costs.

“So, I decided to drop out,” he said. “I’m filing my withdrawal papers today.”

That leaves incumbent Mark Finchem of Oro Valley, Bret Roberts of Maricopa and Howell Jones of Maricopa on the GOP side and Democrats Hollace Lyon of Tucson, Barry McCain of Casa Grande and Marcela Quiroz of Maricopa in contention for two seats.

The Primary Election is Aug. 28. There will be a Town Hall forum with the candidates Aug. 4 at Maricopa High School’s Performing Arts Center.

A garage wall shows damage from an electrical fire.

A home set to go on the market this week suffered fire damage Monday morning.

According to Fire Marshal Eddie Rodriguez, the home on Patricia Lane in Desert Passage was a new construction. Most of Patricia Lane consists of new homes and homes under construction.

Rodriguez said it was an electrical fire in the garage. Damage was apparently limited to a garage wall.

Earlier in the morning, cleaning ladies had smelled something odd, he said. When a work crew arrived shortly after, they smelled smoke and called 911.

The home was supposed to go on the market Tuesday, now delayed for repairs. There were no reported injuries.



The Goldwater Institute’s lawsuit against the Pinal Regional Transportation Authority Plan (RTA) is in the hands of a judge as of May 21, and a ruling is expected at the end of June or the beginning of July.

Whatever the outcome, RTA officials are moving forward with preparations to put the voter-approved project in motion. The project includes additional lanes on State Route 347. The half-cent sales tax to pay for the RTA went into effect April 1.

Andy Smith, RTA general manager, said the organization has been working with Maricopa and Casa Grande to seek grant opportunities for the east-west corridor. That four-lane, 21-mile project connecting Maricopa with Interstate 10 in Casa Grande was estimated in the election pamphlet to cost $67.2 million. That has now been refigured to $74 million.

The east-west corridor had been marked for Phase I but is now in Phase III (years 2029-33).

The widening of State Route 347 from Maricopa to the Maricopa County line has seen its estimated cost reduced from $28.8 million to $23 million. That work is slated for 2021-22, Phase I of the RTA.

Smith told the Pinal County Board of Supervisors the RTA is working with Maricopa Association of Governments and Gila Riva Indian Community.

“The RTA has pledged $100,000 to $150,000 to help facilitate funding” to help create a design concept report for SR 347 for the entire stretch from Maricopa to Interstate 10 in Maricopa County, he said, adding the City of Maricopa is part of the discussions as well.

He said the Department of Revenue is two months in arrears on its tax collections. The collections that started in April are held in escrow.

District 4 Supervisor Anthony Smith of Maricopa encouraged RTA officials to start moving as they await the ruling on the Goldwater case.

“Get as many things as shovel-ready as possible, especially the priority-one projects,” he said. “Because hopefully there will be a federal transportation bill that will come at some point or there will be grant opportunities.

“If we are prepared and we’ve got the engineering done and we’ve got maybe some of the right-of-way acquisition – and the more steps we have so that we’re truly shovel-ready – the more we’re going to get mileage out of the money that we put into this.”

Andy Smith said the RTA wants a representative of Arizona Department of Transportation on its board to help with more collaboration. Mayor Christian Price is on the board, Maricopa Public Works Director Bill Fay is on the technical Transportation Advisory Committee. Maricopa’s Tena Dugan and Terri Crain are members of the Citizen Transportation Advisory Committee, answering to the Board of Directors. Dugan chairs the committee.

The RTA includes 15 transportation improvement projects around the county.

This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

InMaricopa File Photo

Maricopa Police Department has seen a dramatic drop in property crimes compared to the first quarter of 2017.

Crimes of burglary, theft and vehicle theft fell by about 50 percent. Though MPD is too cautious to call it a trend (second-quarter numbers may still show something different), the department does credit public engagement.

“We partnered with the Vehicle Theft Task Force and a car-watcher program,” MPD spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said.

In the first quarter of 2017 (January, February and March), there were 15 vehicles reported stolen. This year, over the same time period, eight vehicles were stolen.

Theft, including shoplifting, is Maricopa’s top crime. There were 146 such incidents reported in the first-quarter last year. This year, it was down to 73.

Alvarado said MPD implemented programs and reached out to shopkeepers to explain how they could “change little things to cut down on shoplifting.” Businesses seem to have been receptive, he said.

Residents have also responded to MPD’s requests to call in any suspicious activity, Alvarado said, with MPD making that a little easier with its app.

Whether the first-quarter numbers are a trend or a temporary impact, Alvarado said MPD is glad to see the public engaged in preventing and reporting crimes.

Dunkin' Donuts is planning a grand opening Friday morning. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


Dunkin’ Donuts is planning its grand opening Friday morning.

The store will open at 4 a.m., but the ribbon-cutting with Mayor Christian Price, the city council and Maricopa Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. It will be the first Dunkin’ Donuts in the city.

Owner Alex Apodaca said he’s celebrating his 10th year of owning Dunkin’ stores in the Valley. He’s part of a group of partners that own 39, with 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada, and seven more in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Friday, from 7 to 10 a.m., there will be a variety of activities, and the weekend will also include a live remote with radio station KESZ. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to F.O.R. Maricopa Food Bank and two other Phoenix-based charities, Changing Lives Center for Women & Children and a teen suicide prevention organization.

There will also be face-painting, mascots and a bike-pinstriping demo.

Rather than selling a franchise at a time, Dunkin’ sells territories, which is how Apodaca and his partners spread so quickly. It came about, he said, when a friend called him a decade ago in California with an idea.

“He said, ‘I think I found a concept to drag you out of San Diego,’” Apodaca said.

At the time, he saw that Dunkin was “coming out West and coming out strong.” It was just before the Great Recession, he said, “and it turned out doughnuts and coffee were the right thing to be in when the recession hit.”

Apodaca said the partnership had been trying for years to come to Maricopa, struggling to find the right real estate. They wanted the property to be on “the morning side of the road” and in an area that was the middle of activity.

The Maricopa store is in the Edison Pointe shopping center on the east side of John Wayne Parkway. Edison Pointe has some stores open and others still under construction. Along with 1,800 square feet of store space it is a drive-thru. Apodaca said 95 percent of his stores have a drive-thru.

He said the store will have baking on site and will also have product brought in from the Valley when necessary volume dictates.

Apodaca said Maricopa is one of those “outlying” cities like Flagstaff that he and his partners enjoy so much. In the culture and in the community, it feels like family.

“They are so receptive to what we’re doing,” he said.

The last item going up for the Dunkin’ Donuts store is usually the first thing – its signage. The store currently has a banner but not its permanent sign. Apodaca said he hopes it is in place by the grand opening.

Other businesses soon to open in the same stand-alone building within the plaza are a nail salon and a Wingstop. The latter received its liquor license this week.


Angelina Martin among her creations in her home workspace. Photo by Mason Callejas


Angelina Martin calls her clothing designs “exotic and eclectic and also eco-friendly.”

“I’m Mexican American, and so I base a lot of Latin American designs and geometric silhouettes in wearable art.” — Angelina Martin

Martin has owned AnymMystik Art & Apparel, a home-based design studio in Maricopa, since 2016, but she has spent a lifetime creating.

“Some of it is ready-to-wear apparel where you can wear it all day and then take it home and wash it,” she said. “And then some of it is paint.”

Her garments are always colorful and often incorporate large bold images like a guitar or a cat’s face. She uses recycled material, cast-offs given to eco-fashion designers by fabric manufacturers. An instructor for eight years at The Art Institute, Mart employs techniques in quilting and layering for constructing garments and may combine that with painted textiles.

“The painting, the quilting, the layers, the various textures kind of sum up my whole wearable art in fashion,” Martin said.

Feedback from fashion shows indicates she should include more painting, and listening to potential customers can impact her direction.

She was one of seven designers participating in the first Arizona Eco Fashion Week in April at the Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center (FABRIC) in Tempe. That is the home of the Arizona Apparel Foundation and is built to foster and network local designers.

Its goal is “to be Arizona’s first and most comprehensive resource for independent fashion companies that connects them to each other, to the community and to all of the fashion-related services that they need to operate and grow their business.”

Angelina Martin (center) talks about her bright attire as it is modeled. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Martin raves about FABRIC.

“They manufacture small lots for people,” she said. “People go in there with their ideas and then they literally help you from the beginning doing the technical… from choosing patterns, to cutting it and making it for you.”

Earning her spot in fashion shows has also been a boon.

“I did Phoenix Fashion Week, and then after that opportunities kept coming,” she said. “People kept asking me to do their shows.”

The reasons go beyond the creative.

“I’m always on time and always organized. I have the tag with the model’s name, the order they’re walking in. And then I see the chaos of everyone else. You see the fashion sub-culture. You mix the hair, the models, the designers, the makeup, all those people, all those artists, and you see some craziness. I just stand there and don’t say a word and mind my own business. I think that’s why.”

She has exhibited her work at LabelHorde Fashion Show, Sacramento Fashion Week, Arizona State Fair (three blue ribbons), Costume Society of America and more.

Martin has two master’s degrees. She was working on her Master of Fine Art at University California-Davis when she had her son Collin.

“Everyone thought I was the Mexican nanny,” she said. “I would walk around campus with him, and they’d ask ‘Oh, who are you babysitting for?’ I’d say, ‘That’s my kid. Just because he has blond hair and green eyes, it doesn’t mean I can’t claim him.”

In his own way, her son has become part of the business. Collin and his friends have modeled Angelina’s clothes for her collections. He graduated from Maricopa High School in May.

Photo by Mason Callejas

And Martin’s heritage has informed her decisions as a designer and artist, notably creating a “coral creature” sculpture that was photographed and turned into a print.

“I’m Mexican American, and so I base a lot of Latin American designs and geometric silhouettes in wearable art,” Martin said. “And that’s where I got the coral creature. I was learning about Mayan rubber process and Mayan leather making. It’s reed and wire with fabric wrapped around it and rubberized with a Mayan latex rubberizing process.”

Two years after earning her first master’s degree, Martin became an instructor and director at The Art Institute. She first taught in Austin, Texas, then in Sacramento, California.

She earned a Master of Humanities in art and visual media at Tiffin University in 2015. “And that’s when I focused on digital prints. So, it’s been within the last two years that I’ve really pushed the boundaries and discovered who I wanted to be.”

This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Photo by Mason Callejas

Dunkin Donuts is going conducting employee training in preparation for its June 8 opening date.

The following businesses received business licenses from the City of Maricopa between April 16 and May 15:

Commercial: Dunkin Donuts, Nessy’s Kustoms, Ross Dress for Less, True Hearts II

Home-based: Child Care, Equilass, Fashion and Beauty Guide, Ford’s Home Services, Forever Fiberworks, Four Directions, HealthyNow LLC, Hula Handyman, Hummingbird Lane, J. Walker Signs & Lighting, La Vie Group Home, Maricopa We Care, The Social Baboon, Society’s Air LLC, Specialized Pest Control

Out of town: Bark and Purr Pet Grooming, Bay Alarm Company, Carlos Landscaping, Core Valuation Group, Dame 1 Entertainment, Dutchmaster Electric, Elontec LLC, Garth Vacuum Truck Service, Holbrook Asphalt, Junior’s Landscaping, Newbridge Electrical, Pacific Aquascape International, Pedro Perez, Pop A Korn, Structural Steel, Venture West Construction, Zpotes Food Truck

Nonprofit: Hearts and Hooves of Arizona, Troop 943 Boy Scouts of America

Peddler/Solicitor: Arm Security

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Businesses within the area affected by grade-separation construction apply for temporary sign permits. (City of Maricopa)


Maricopa City Council approved a temporary sign permit on May 10 for businesses impacted by the construction of the overpass in midtown Maricopa.

The permit applies to businesses and nonprofits within 300 feet of the affected roads – John Wayne Parkway between Hathaway Avenue and Desert Cedars, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway between John Wayne Parkway and the Maricopa Unified School District office, and Honeycutt Road between John Wayne Parkway and the MUSD Transportation office.

The temporary signs include a 32-square-foot banner and a 32-square-foot ground sign. They cannot be placed within 40 feet of another sign and cannot interfere with pedestrian or vehicle traffic.

Applications are available at City Hall. The application packet includes examples of specifications. The application process takes up to five days.

Interim City Manager Trisha Sorensen said the program is similar to the temporary holiday sign program the city offers.

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Apex Motor Club, owned by Private Motorsports Group, wants to open a private track in Maricopa.

A lawsuit against the City of Maricopa over its zoning approval for Apex Motor Club is still slogging through the appeals court. Thursday, the court ruled on a transcript filing that was in dispute.

Until a decision is reached by the Court of Appeals Division 2 in the case of Bonita Burks v. City of Maricopa, Private Motorsports Group will keep its Apex plans idling. PMG spokesperson Mike Scerbo simply said there were no new developments.

“It’s the City’s practice to not elaborate on legal matters,” spokesperson Jennifer Brown said.

However, the new attorney for Burks said his client is awaiting a decision on his request for an oral argument. The timing of that is unknown.

Timothy La Sota, who previously represented the committee Maricopa Citizens Protecting Taxpayers in its failed actions against the City of Maricopa and Apex, took over Burks’ appeal from Grant Woods and Michael Riikola in April. His arguments for Burks are similar to those he made for MCPT, a case which was also first heard by Superior Court Judge Robert Olson.

In September, Olson ruled Burks did not have standing to challenge the issuance of the permit because she could not prove her claim that potential noise, odor and traffic from the motorsports track would cause her injury. Noise studies conducted for PMG indicated nearby trains were louder than sportscars would be.

“We have a situation where a Superior Court judge has found the City’s actions to be unlawful but that Ms. Burks does not have standing to challenge the unlawful actions,” La Sota said. 

That reference is to Olson’s addendum in his ruling against Burks, a non-binding opinion that also suggested the City was wrong to grant the permit. That is the crux of Burks’ appeal, which was filed in November.

Riikola, one of Burks’ previous attorneys who took the case to the Court of Appeals, was granted extensions for filing briefs in April. Soon after, La Sota applied to be substitute counsel in place of Riikola and Woods.

May 5, La Sota requested an oral argument.

Yet to decide on that request, Presiding Judge Gary Vasquez did rule on a debate about the transcript Thursday.

La Sota had filed a copy of the transcript from the September hearing with the appellate court. The City claimed the filing did not abide by the rules, and “absent portions of a record supports the trial court’s ruling,” something Burks’ counsel denied.

Vasquez struck Burks’ transcript filing. It is a small skirmish in a battle that delays any potential development of the property on the northwest corner of State Route 238 and Ralston Road.

La Sota’s earlier effort with MCPT to get the zoning matter on a ballot for a public vote was denied by the Arizona Supreme Court. Meanwhile, in the second suit, Burks’ previous counsel had argued the City had misapplied the zoning code in granting a conditional use permit.

“The City has done everything in its power to squelch our efforts to give the public a voice through a referendum vote on the City’s illegal actions,” La Sota said. “We will keep fighting to vindicate Ms. Burks’ rights as a citizen of Maricopa to have her elected city representatives actually follow the law.”

Gov. Doug Ducey, running for re-election, addresses the Pinal Partnership. Photo by Michelle Chance

Gov. Doug Ducey highlighted a major project in Maricopa during a Friday morning networking event in Casa Grande.

The discussion happened at The Property Conference Center June 1. The event was hosted by Pinal Partnership.

Ducey said he wants to bring “commitment for resources” toward infrastructure projects in the region like Maricopa’s future State Route 347 overpass.

“State Route 347 (overpass) is going to be traveled every morning and every evening,” Ducey said. “It can use some investment.”

The $55 million project was partially funded from the city, the Arizona Department of Transportation and a $15 million TIGER grant. The grade-separation is projected to transport motorists over the Union Pacific Railroad by 2019.

Ducey’s half-hour long speech touted legislative actions at the state level. On the top of the list were tax cuts and 160,000 new private sector jobs in Arizona since 2015, according to the governor.

“The last time unemployment was this low, you were renting your movies at Blockbuster,” Ducey said.

Education spending was also considered a victory.

Ducey approved funding for a 20 percent salary increase for teachers last month. One percent of that figure was dispersed to districts last school year.

“We just finished one of the most significant Legislative sessions in our state’s history. These are teachers that have earned this pay increase and they deserve it because Arizona children are improving faster in math and reading than any other kids in the country,” Ducey said.

Arizona is working to combat its challenges, according to its highest elected official.

Ducey outlined the state’s plan to combat the opioid addiction crisis that has stricken most of the country.

Tackling Arizona’s portion of the nation’s border security is an issue Ducey said requires a careful balance.

While combating human trafficking, drug cartels and illegal immigration at the Mexico border, Ducey said keeping a positive relationship with Arizona’s No. 1 trade partner is also priority.

“I don’t want to see us build a wall around the economy,” he said.

Adrian DeGuzman, playing Angel, rehearses with the company for the production of "Rent."

The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Rent” is coming to Maricopa in June.

What: “Rent”
Who: Maricopa Community Theatre
When: June 6-8, 7 p.m., June 9, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Where: Leading Edge Academy, 18700 N. Porter Road
How much: $10/advance; $15/door

Maricopa Community Theatre will present the rock musical in five performances June 6-9 at Leading Edge Academy. Director Carrie Vargas said it took two months to get royalties for the show. MCT is an AriZoni Theatre.

Vargas calls “Rent” a musical about “expressions of love,” whether love for others or self-love. She also said it will be a “unique interpretation.”

“Rent” was first performed in 1996, set during the AIDS epidemic of the late ‘80s in New York’s East Village. Inspired by Puccini’s “La Bohème,” it features characters trying to get ahead while dealing with poverty, drugs, loss and illness.

Randy Rice, who plays Mark, the narrator and a pivotal character in the ensemble, noted “Rent” was a “shocking and provocative show when it premiered. I don’t think you should go to anything that’s just comfortable.”

Like MCT’s “Sweeney Todd” before it, “Rent” is not kid-friendly and has adult content and language that Vargas describes as PG-13 or stronger. She said Maricopa has grown enough and evolved enough to be prepared for “Rent.”

“I liked how divine this show is,” said Adrian DeGuzman, an ASU student who plays eccentric Angel, a cross-dressing performer dying from AIDS who “brings everyone together.”

Maria Santillan plays Mimi in “Rent.”

Gay, lesbian or straight, many of the characters are artists in one medium or another. Several are HIV-positive but pushing forward, a fact that has continuing implications in the plot.

Jerry Allen, a familiar face for MCT, plays Roger, a songwriter whose girlfriend has died and left him in deep depression.

“I’m more like Roger than I think,” Allen said, adding that is what makes the character such a struggle for him. “The music is what pulled me in.”

The score earned one of the four Tony Awards given to the original Broadway version of the musical.

Brittany Randolph, also a returning MCT player, is Joanne, a lesbian and a confident lawyer with connections.

“I was extremely excited when I heard we were going to do ‘Rent,’” Randolph said. “I loved the story and the fact it is focused on love.”

For those who have only seen the film version, Randolph warns the stage version is different.

“It’s very human,” said Maricopa High School graduate Maria Santillian, who plays the complicated addict Mimi. “And it’s very real. It has a lot of awareness of things that are real.”

Residents confused by a mailing from a water line warranty company bearing the City of Maricopa logo might be throwing them away, but City Hall is encouraging them to participate.

City council unanimously agreed to a partnership with Service Line Warranties of America in a Sept. 5 meeting. The soliciting letters that went out last week from SLWA came unannounced.

“It looks like a scam,” said Jay Robertson, a Rancho El Dorado resident since 2002. “Why is the City involved in this? This is between us and the water company.”

A news release by the City of Maricopa late Tuesday explained an announcement to residents had been planned before the letters went out. “Unfortunately, the email alerting the City to the date of the mailing did not make it through the City’s firewall, so the mailing was sent without prior notification of residents.”

SLWA is asking residents to enroll in its repair coverage program to fix damaged water lines on private property. The program is $5.33 monthly or $63.96 annually. Enrollment is voluntary. The letter, which is nearly identical to a sample letter presented to city council in September, reminds residents that homeowners are responsible for repairs to water lines between their homes and the water utility connection.

This was reiterated in a quote attributed to Mayor Christian Price in Friday’s news release: “Many homeowners do not know that damage to the service lines on their property is their responsibility to repair. In the event of a service line emergency, the homeowner is responsible for scheduling the repair and covering the associated cost. As the City of Maricopa homes age along with the infrastructure serving them, SLWA repair plans provide homeowners with an optional peace of mind solution so they can be better prepared in the event of these unexpected repairs.”

The agreement with the city allows SLWA to conduct up to three campaigns per year comprised of up to six mailings to make homeowners aware of the service. The company also has the right to use the city logo on letterhead, bills and marketing materials.

The city receives 50 cents “per product” as a license fee.

The program is endorsed by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns and used by the City of Phoenix.

Robertson still wasn’t sold on the idea of paying a third party for repairs for which he normally pays a plumber. “It’s like pouring sand down a gopher hole,” he said.

The program is meant to cover residences served by a utility and those on wells and septic tanks.

Not all who receive the notifications from SLWA are homeowners. The company uses a mailing list drawn from zip codes with the four-digit extension and they also purchase a list based on deeds, Ashley Shiwarski of Utility Service Partners, which runs the marketing, told the council in earlier discussions.

The news release also included comments from John Kitzie, CEO of SLWA parent HomeServe USA: “Our service plans not only cover the cost of the repair; they also provide homeowners with reputable, local contractors who will do the best possible job.”

The company has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Though 17 of the 21 reviews there were negative, BBB takes into consideration a company’s longevity, response to complaints relative to the size of the business and transparency, among other factors, when deciding a rating.

According to the city, a second letter from SWLA is scheduled to be mailed on June 4.

Wildman Phil starts out the many summer activities at Maricopa Public Library. Submitted

With summer vacation in full swing and temperatures heating up, most Maricopa activities move inside or in the pool. Below, Wildman Phil invites kids to his show as part of the Maricopa Public Library’s Summer Reading season. Learn more about these events and more, or add your own, at


Seniors play Pinochle at 8:30 a.m. at Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.

Seniors play Canasta at 1 p.m. at Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.

Celebrate Recovery Coffee & Karaoke is at 5 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

Strength & Hope Al-Anon Meeting is at 7 p.m. at Community of Hope Church, 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave.


Creative Sisterhood meets at 9 a.m. at Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.

Harrah’s Club 777 Toastmasters meet at 3 p.m. at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 Maricopa Road.

S.M.A.R.T. Kids meet at 3:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Maricopa Police Explorer Post Meeting is at 5 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

MUSD Governing Board meets at 6:30 p.m. at Maricopa Unified School District, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.


Seniors play Pinochle at 8:30 a.m. at Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.

Seniors play Farkel at 9 a.m. at Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.

Seniors play Canasta at 1 p.m. at Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.

Wildman Phil introduces wildlife at 3 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Maricopa Healing Rooms are at 6:30 p.m. at 19997 N. Justin Drive.

A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Ak-Chin Social Services, 48227 W. Farrell Road.


Seniors play Pinochle at 8:30 a.m. at Santa Cruz Elementary School, 19845 N. Costa del Sol Blvd.

8-Bits is at 4 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Strength & Hope Al-Anon Meeting is at 7 p.m. at Community of Hope Church, 45295 W. Honeycutt Ave.


Movie in the Pool starts at 7 p.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park, 44345 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


A Ray of Hope meeting of Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

The Pinal County Forensic Examination Office is in the process of being created.


As Maricopa prepares to open its family advocacy center, Pinal County is starting its own Forensic Examination Office.

Because, County Attorney Kent Volkmer said, “We have a problem.”

Pinal County victims of sexual abuse often must travel an hour one way for appropriate forensic examinations. The ongoing agreements the county has with two providers – Phoenix Children’s Hospital and HonorHealth – are not meeting needs, according to the county attorney.

“Right now, if a child, a woman, a man – it doesn’t matter – is sexually assaulted, they are not receiving the sexual assault examination in our county,” Volkmer said.

When victims have to travel a long distance and then sit and wait for up to two hours for a forensic exam because they are lower in priority than Maricopa County residents, Volkmer said, it only adds to the trauma.

“It’s the worst time in this person’s life,” he said. “It is incredibly invasive, incredibly personal, an incredibly awful experience. The reality is they’re doing an examination for sexual assault.”

Anecdotal statements from detectives described victims often not going for the exam because they could not leave their children alone for that amount of time in what was already a stressful situation.

“We have a limited timeframe, not only for the collection of evidence, but we also have a limited timeframe for them to go forward and move with it,” Volkmer said of prosecution. “Otherwise, as a defense attorney, what they will say is, ‘Well, if it was really a rape, you would have [gone] there. Why did you wait a day; why did you wait two days? Why did you wait until it was convenient?’”

May 9, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors approved the creation of the Forensic Examination Office and the position of a full-time forensic nurse. The approval moved $165,000 from the County Attorney’s Office to the FEO with another $75,000 from the General Fund allocated to the new department.

Supervisor Steve Miller said it was the most “optimal option” as they looked at increasing costs from Phoenix Children’s and HonorHealth.

“We know the costs are going to go up because they’ve continued to,” he said.

The City of Maricopa agreed a year ago to facilitate a family advocacy center because of the lack of local services for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl said at the time the wait for forensic exams could interfere with prosecution. Yet, the family advocacy center is approached as a regional county issue.

As proposed, the FEO would not have a brick-and-mortar home but be a service provided to the two existing family advocacy centers and a new center coming online in Maricopa. A medical director would be hired to work eight hours a week, and the forensic nurse would work 40 hours a week.

Kent Volkmer

The FEO will be responsible for medical forensic exams, court testimony, training and education, and program development. The five-year plan is to build to 24/7 coverage.

“The idea is that these services will be provided in our family advocacy centers,” Volkmer told the supervisors. “Instead of driving to Scottsdale or downtown Phoenix, they’d be driving to Eloy or San Tan Valley or Maricopa.”

He said it would make it easier on victims, families and law enforcement.

Under its current contract, Phoenix Children’s Hospital has staff come to Eloy and San Tan Valley once a week and perform up to three examinations. The day and time are determined by Phoenix Children’s. Three years ago, Phoenix Children’s came down five times a week.

“The problem is they’ve cut it down to one day a week, and they’ve charged us more than they did when they were five days a week,” Volkmer said.

By state law, counties are obligated to pay for forensic expenses in cases of crimes against children and sexual assault. Though victims are usually treated in Maricopa County, Pinal County pays for those exams because that is where the crime occurred.

If the new Maricopa Family Advocacy Center were to enter into a forensic contract with an outside source like Banner or Dignity Health, for instance, Pinal County would still have to pay for the exams.

“We actually met with the team there at Maricopa and said, ‘Look, if we get this up and running, would you be willing to give us first option to provide these services?’ And they’re very supportive of it,” Volkmer said.

By the County Attorney’s Office numbers, the county contracts currently cost $302,000 annually before Maricopa comes online. To meet the real demand, including five days a week coverage, would cost an estimated $644,560. The county believes the proposal for the FEO will cost $297,377.

Forensic exams cost a minimum of $875 in the Phoenix hospitals, according to PCAO.

Mock City Council and other students celebrate Student Day. Submitted photo

The mayor was 12 years old. The director of the Economic Development Department was just 11.

And if they had the power, Maricopa would have a welcome sign on the north end of town.

The Mock City Council meeting Saturday saw Maricopa teens and preteens going through the actions of a real city government. Coming from eight schools, the students filled the seats of council, department directors, project designers, city attorney, city manager and city clerk.

The event was part of the Councilmember on the Corner series produced by Councilmember Henry Wade. He said it was a five-week process, with student holding an election to decide the councilmembers.

Wade said the exercise was meant “to bring the young folks into the fold and to understand what happens behind the scenes here with their government. We’re hopeful that this will encourage them to get actively engaged, actively involved as they grow older.”

The discussion of the mock meeting was a proposal for a monument sign to welcome visitors to town. After a brief work session with a presentation on the proposal by the pseudo economic development director and public works director, there was a “regular” in which actual community members spoke for and against the project.

Council and the city attorney, too, grilled the department heads about cost ($100,000-$250,000), location and energy source for an LED aspect to a monument sign. Ultimately, Mayor Deanna Lemorin of Legacy Traditional and her six-member council unanimously approved the project.

Lemorin also read a proclamation declaring May 19 Student Day in Maricopa. Speaking to the mock council, real Vice Mayor Peg Chapados said she would like to bring the monument sign proposal to the real council in the future.

Submitted photo

“I like Maricopa because it’s very small and tight-knit and because of that we can do things like this,” said 15-year-old Kadin Pulliam of Desert Vista High School who served as a councilmember.

Judge Lyle Riggs, the real city magistrate and justice of the peace, also invited the students to participate in Teen Court, which tries real cases.

Wade praised the dedication of the students who were part of the Mock City Council meeting. “They’ve got the ball and they’re ready to run with it when it comes time to do so.”


Submitted photo