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Roger Wagner directs music at Desert Wind Middle School. Photo by Kyle Norby

 

For Desert Wind Middle School music teacher Roger Wagner II, classes are about more than sick beats and woodwinds.

In addition to teaching kids how to play instruments and compose music using digital tools, Wagner II is also helping develop their social and life skills. For Wagner, who is also assistant marching band director at Maricopa High School, and his wife Michelle, music teacher at Legacy Traditional School, music is part of daily life.

Wagner received his bachelor’s degree in music from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and began teaching in Maricopa in 2013. At that time, Desert Winds had around 90 kids in band and orchestra. The school’s choir was defunct. Further, he learned many elementary schools in the Maricopa Unified School District didn’t have any music education.

“They could realistically could go K through 12 without having a music class,” Wagner said.

Wagner immediately set out to revamp the school’s music programming and restart its choir. He estimates more than 300 students now participate in the school’s band, orchestra and choir.

Working toward his master’s in music education from Arizona State University while teaching at Desert Wind, Wagner began developing his modern music class in 2014. The class gave him an opportunity to experiment with a new kind of music education for his students.

“When you get in your car and you flip on the radio, you’re probably not listening to concert band,” Wagner explained. “There’s a cognitive dissonance not only for me internally, but for the profession about what’s the future.”

Photo by Kyle Norby

Wagner happened to be in the right place at the right time and met the brand manager for Ableton Live, a company that produces tools for creating and arranging music digitally. At first just using Ableton’s software, which the company gave to him through an educational partnership, Wagner began creating a course that would help prepare students to create and play their own music.

“In music education, we call that [course] more of a music industry sort of thing,” Wagner said. “What we’re working towards is having almost a little boutique record label.”

At first Wagner didn’t have instruments for the class, so he began by making instruments from reclaimed materials, what the unpretentious teacher preferred to call “trash.” Eventually, he was able to secure a number of guitars from a tax credit and later ukuleles as well. After reducing the class size slightly, he had enough instruments for each student.

“I’ve seen him grow that program considerably since he’s been here with the integration of technology,” said Desert Wind Principal June Celaya. “I think some of that is because he uses some really cool assessment approaches so that kids can really evaluate their own personal growth with it and how they’re playing.”

Celaya noted Wagner has also been very successful in engaging the community by partnering with ASU, CenturyLink and others. He also worked to integrate school music more deeply into Maricopa, helping make the band a fixture at parades and other public events.

Bella Ebner. Photo by Kyle Norby

While his integration of technology and contemporary music have done much to help him build his school’s music programing, his passion and humor are still key to his success as a teacher and music director.

“It’s really cool because he’ll use fun analogies when teaching us about intonation and notes and stuff like that,” said eighth grader Bella Ebner, who is also president of the school’s Band Club. “He just likes to make sure that we’re all on the same page and that we’re all getting better together.”


This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Photo by Kyle Norby
Photo by Kyle Norby

Mayor Christian Price speaks to fourth graders at Sequoia Pathway, Photo by Jim Headley

Fourth graders grilled Maricopa’s mayor and city manager on meaty issues of the day, from economic development and traffic to cows. Tuesday, Christian Price and Rick Horst visited the students at Sequoia Pathway Academy, where the mayor’s children are enrolled.

It was a lesson in civics and local history.

“Are we perfect? Do we always make the right decisions? We don’t,” Price said. “We do our best. We spend money on things we think are going to work out. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re wrong.”

The students’ tough questions belied their age on topics like getting big-box stores and chain restaurants to Maricopa, “that way we don’t have to waste gas going out of town.”

“The city’s just a little bit older than you guys,” Horst said. “One of these days the city’s going to retire, believe it or not. Retirement means when the city is all built out and all the land’s developed. And we want to make sure everyone enjoys the same quality of life in retirement as they do when they’re working.”

He and Mayor Price explained their jobs and challenges without patronizing the youngsters.

“Costco and Target, when will they to come to the city?” Horst asked the students, drawing from a pre-set question on the board. “They’re going to come as soon as they think they can make money. They won’t come just because we want them to come.”

Horst said the magic population number for “getting everything we want here” is probably 70,000. Maricopa’s current population, as estimated by the Census Bureau is closer to 51,000.

The kids asked why most of the restaurants were fast-food.

“Why do we have so many fast-food places?” Horst echoed. “’Cause you keep going there.”

Price fielded questions about the possibilities of having trick-or-treating only on Saturdays and a visit from the pony express. He explained how Maricopa had moved three times during its history but was only 15 years old as an incorporated city.

“Government isn’t in charge of moving stores here, but we can help entice them by putting together pieces of the puzzle to bring it all together,” Price said. “Ultimately, it’s the private sector, it’s the Target and the Costco, etc., it’ for them to decide, ‘That little Maricopa over there, they got it going on.’”

A child told Horst the dairy cows near Maricopa “give pollution by their poop” and asked when the dairies would move farther away.

“Cattle farms were here first, and we’ve encroached on them,” he said. “But they will move out when someone comes up and says, ‘Hey, I want to buy your land so I can build more houses or shops or other things.’ Then they’ll take that money and go further out and buy land that’s even cheaper.

“Frankly, they’re looking forward to someone buying their land, because that’s probably how they’re going to retire someday.”

He said a dairy farm off State Route 238 already has an interested buyer.

City Manager Rick Horst talks to fourth graders. Photo by Jim Headley

Michael Aaron Pomeroy

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office arrested 36-year-old Michael Aaron Pomeroy of Mesa on Nov. 8 on suspicion of sexual extortion.

PCSO began its investigation in October after a woman called to report that she was getting blackmailed by someone she met online eight years ago. The victim, who was 19 years old at the time, said she met Pomeroy through an online dating website. At the time, Pomeroy may have had an account set up under the name of Matt Rogers.

The two went out on a date, and later, they went back to the suspect’s townhome near 1600 block of West Village Way in Tempe. The next day, the victim met with the suspect, and Pomeroy informed her she signed a consent form to make a sex tape and audition for his porn company. The victim did not remember doing anything with the suspect or signing any consent form. She did not recognize the signature the suspect showed her.

They argued and she asked the suspect not to post the video. Pomeroy told the victim she would have to continue to have sex with him to keep the video from being posted on the internet. She had no contact with the suspect after that.

Oct.29, Pomeroy called the victim, identifying himself as “Matt Rogers.” He told the victim he was going through some of her “old footage” and wanted to be compensated for keeping it off the internet for all these years. In a recorded conversation, Pomeroy told the victim he would agree to release the video to her if she would have sex with him three times.

“This victim was smart enough to use an app to record Mr. Pomeroy’s demands and call the Sheriff’s Office immediately,” said Sheriff Mark Lamb. “If Michael Pomeroy was willing to extort this woman for sex or money, we are afraid there are more victims out there, and we ask them to come forward.”

Pomeroy claimed to have a porn business and was hosting auditions at his home. If you believe you are a victim or have any information related to this case, please call the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office at 520-866-5111.

If you are dating, PCSO offers some precautions:
– Limit alcohol intake.
– Take separate cars.
– Do your own research into the individual you are going out on a date with.
– Let others know who you will be with and where you are going.

And whether it is the first date, you’re in a serious relationship or just texting your friend, be mindful of the images you send to others because they could get into the wrong hands or could be used improperly.

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 A child’s school break doesn’t need to be a break from mental stimulation. At Children’s Learning Adventure, students are always gearing up for a new adventure. When school is out, it is ‘in’ to join the fun by attending camps. Each school break and summer camp at Children’s Learning Adventure offers a specialized, uniquely designed curriculum that encompasses STEAM learning and literacy. Each theme is developed to engage students of all levels in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.

In providing a loving, nurturing environment, Children’s Learning Adventure’s goal is to help Maricopa children become confident, independent learners who develop a strong sense of self-worth, enabling them to make positive life choices. To ensure that every child has the proper tools to grow, STEAM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) learning curriculum is incorporated into all Children’s Learning Adventure’s school break camps. By infusing multiple activities into their STEAM-based curriculum, Children’s Learning Adventure builds on a child’s natural problem-solving skills building the foundation for critical thinkers.

CEO Rick Sodja explained further, “A high priority of ours is to instill a love for learning in students through fun and interactive activities. These activities allow students to discover and explore areas they are interested in while learning about something new.” Working collaboratively with parents, Children’s Learning Adventure is committed to developing students into lifelong learners.

To help students develop into lifelong learners it is important for them to get ‘plugged in’ and stay engaged in their educational development throughout the whole year, both inside and outside of their school environment. Children’s Learning Adventure has created six programs, from infant care to after school to promote and help students of all ages grow and learn.

Students at Children’s Learning Adventure are presented with specific instruction providing opportunities for rich vocabulary learning, collaboration with peers, and acquisition of scientific knowledge. Children’s Learning Adventure’s curriculum engages students in hands-on learning activities to spark curiosity and open new avenues for engagement.

To learn more about Children’s Learning Adventure and their upcoming 2018-2019 holiday break Camps in Maricopa please call (520) 485-0131 or visit www.childrenslearningadventure.com.

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Maricopa Master Gardener Trudy Fuller with her desert willow. Photo by Ivanka Kim

By Trudy Fuller

There is nothing more humbling than gardening on the low desert of Arizona. It has been five years since we moved to Maricopa from the Southeast. Greeting us in the Maricopa backyard were waist-high weeds on steroids and struggling trees and bushes.

Things have gradually progressed since then. Two important things were responsible for a very modest turnaround. One was by chance finding a copy of the magazine called Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert: A Guide to Growing More Than 200 Low-Water-Use Plants compiled by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (also available online at AMWUA.org/Plants). The other was finding and enrolling in the Garden and Landscape Short Course at the Maricopa Agricultural Center here in Maricopa.

One low-water-use native tree included in the previously mentioned Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert is the heat-loving desert willow known in the botanical world as Chilopsis linearis. You may think planting this fast-growing, multi-stemmed tree means you don’t have to water at all. These trees originated on the banks of washes, creeks and streams, so there was at least occasional water available in their natural habitat.

Due to the long-standing drought here on the low desert in the city of Maricopa and Pinal County, one definitely needs to water deeply during the intense heat of summer at least once a week. In addition to having the characteristic of a sprawling, large bush, the desert willow can also be started from a cutting as a single-stemmed tree. When the single-stemmed tree is young, allow some of the lower branches to remain on the trunk for a couple of years, as this will encourage the trunk to grow thicker.

Pruning needs to be done in the winter after the leaves have dropped. Here in Maricopa, this leaf drop occurs after our first period of cold weather, usually from mid- November until after the new year. Those who maintain swimming pools need to be aware of this phenomenon. The desert willow delivers filtered shade as opposed to dense shade, so wind usually progresses easily though its branches with few, if any, dropped limbs during the monsoon season.

When given adequate water, the desert willow will bloom from April through October. On the eastern edge of our city, the most profuse blooming occurred this year in April and May. The delicate fragrance of these trumpet-shaped blooms, ranging from pink and lavender to purple and even white, attract hummingbirds, butterflies and pollinating bees. Another plus for our environment is this tree is not susceptible to pests or diseases. All it asks is full sun and a soil that drains well. However, sometimes these trees can tolerate some shade too, as can be seen on the west side of my two-story home.

In parting, note that the desert willow is not a willow at all but belongs to the family of the pink and red trumpet vine. Who knew?

520-374-6263

macmastergardener@gmail.com


This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

 

By Joan Koczor

Joan Koczor

Persons of any age can become a victim of a scam. Senior citizens are the most susceptible.

Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent they are now considered “the crime of the 21st century.” Why? Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts. And they are especially susceptible to perpetrators of a scam because they grew up in a more trusting time and were raised to be polite and trusting, making them easy targets for con artists.

However devastating, too often older adults are embarrassed to report the crime, causing financial scams to be considered a “low risk” crime and difficult to prosecute.

It is not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. They can be committed by an older person’s own family members, most often their adult children. Oftentimes, they have solid credentials – social workers, lawyers and financial advisors – offering a variety of help from taking care of personal business to managing their legal and financial matters.

A few common scams to be aware of:

The Grandchild Scam is a high-pressure scam working on your fear for a loved one. You receive a home call – usually late at night – advising you your grandchild or other relative is in trouble, in an accident or arrested, and needs cash immediately. Hang up immediately and contact the relative in question. If you are unable to reach them, get your family involved. Never wire money to anyone you don’t know personally.

The Disaster Charity Scam is a phone request from someone claiming to be a representative of an organization that serves people involved in a recent disaster, usually an event that has been on the news to add credibility to their request. Unless you have verified the request with the organization in question, do not donate money over the phone. If you do, a credit card or bank information will be needed to complete the transaction. This will give the scammer unlimited access to your money.

Online prescription drug purchases also create opportunities for crooks. Scammers are prowling the Internet, enticing consumers who buy prescription drugs online. Scammers sell drugs to unsuspecting consumers and then pose as drug enforcement agents threatening to sue the victims for buying drugs illegally if they do not pay up.

 

The Mayo Clinic recommends buying only prescription drugs prescribed by your doctor from licensed pharmacies. If you’ve bought drugs online and are being scammed, the Drug Enforcement Administration advises you to hang up and report the incident to the DEA.

Be especially cautious as the holiday season approaches when you are most stressed. And most vulnerable. Scammers will prey on your vulnerability.

ConsumerFraudReporting.org
MPD (520) 568-3673

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

A studio crawl, arts and crafts and a free Farm Day are all part of this week’s activities. For details on these and other events, or to add your own, visit InMaricopa.com/Calendar.

MONDAY

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

Senior Bowling is at 10 a.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Narcotics Anonymous meets at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) meet at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Behavioral Health Services, 21300 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 103.

TUESDAY

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

Maricopa Family Fishing Day registration opens at 7 a.m. for the January event.

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.

WEDNESDAY

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

Babytime is at 9:30 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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 Meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Maricopa Unified School District, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy.

THURSDAY

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

Seniors play Farkle 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.

Family Story Time is at 4 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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

FRIDAY

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

8-Bits Video Gaming 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.

SATURDAY

Fall Fling Craft and Vendor Event is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

Province Community Garage Sale starts at 9 a.m. at various locations.

Wobble Before You Gobble 9-11:30 a.m. at Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Family Farm Day is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Santa Rosa Fall Festival is at 2 p.m. at Santa Rosa Elementary School, 21400 N. Santa Rosa Drive.

Artists’ Studio Crawl is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at various locations.

SUNDAY

Artists’ Studio Crawl is noon to 4 p.m. at various locations.

Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

 

Maricopa Arts Council presents its fourth Artists Studio Crawl Nov. 17-18. See the map

One of MAC’s more popular events, the crawl is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. It has served as an inspiration for the artists to share their most creative moments, the tools they use and works in progress.

The Studio Crawl is a drive-yourself, fun day to varying artists’ studios in Maricopa.

“We are surely a lucky town to have so many incredible talents who are opening their homes and studios to all of us and in doing so may possibly inspire others to take the creative leap,” said Susan Cameron, whose home studio is on the tour. “Enjoy the day with the family and see some amazing pieces of artwork.”

Featured artists:

·         Diane Hebert, glass bead and jewelry maker

·         Linda Taylor, gourd artist

·         Rocky Dunne, fused-glass artist

·         Herman Neuberger, artist and metal sculptor

·         Brad Kammeyer, oil painter

·         Sommer Mills, upcycled floral designer

·         Susan Cameron, pastels and acrylic painter

·         Tiffany Yazzie, weaver

MAC will distribute maps to the studios and information on the artists in flyers to be available at Honeycutt Coffee, the Chamber of Commerce and Maricopa Public Library.


This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation hosted STEAM Day Nov. 8 at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center with a mixed bag of hands-on experiences for kids. Booths included rockets, martial arts, a 3D printer, popcorn, robots and much more. STEAM emphasizes new and future occupations being created through science, technology, engineering and math.

Maricopa’s second Veterans Day Parade drew a crowd along Bowlin and Porter Roads to honor its many military veterans. The hour-long parade included veteran groups, school organizations and other clubs thanking those who served and showing their patriotic colors.

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Sandra Kennedy (from left), Kiana Sears, Rodney Glassman and Justin Olson

While all eyes are on the U.S. Senate race, there has been a switch in the Corporation Commission as ballot-counting continues across the state.

Democrat Sandra Kennedy has moved into second place among the four candidates seeking two seats on the powerful regulating body.

Justin Olson, an incumbent Republican, retains his lead overall, but his fellow GOP candidate Rodney Glassman fell into third behind Kennedy. The other Democrat, Kiana Maria Sears, is a distant fourth.

Kennedy’s lead over Glassman was briefly more than 2,000 votes but now stands at 1,602.

All current commissioners are Republicans. Kennedy is a former commissioner trying to return. On Twitter, Kennedy urged everyone to have patience before the counting is done.

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Kyrsten Sinema (left) and Martha McSally

Pinal County Elections Department estimates it has 20,000 early ballots and 6,800 provisional ballots left to count.

Statewide there are an estimated 400,000 outstanding ballots. As the U.S. Senate race is thisclose, the methodical count and inconsistent policies on “curing” mail-in ballots have political party leadership on edge. The Republican Party in four counties sued Wednesday night and took particular aim at the recorders in Maricopa and Pima counties for allegedly not following a uniform standard by allowing voters extra days to fix or “cure” the ballots when signatures did not seem to match registration records.

Friday, they reached a settlement that allows rural counties to “cure” their early ballots in the same way until Nov. 14.

At issue is the battle for Jeff Flake’s senate seat between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally. McSally had been slightly ahead of Sinema since early counts began to be announced Tuesday night until late Thursday afternoon. As of 3:45 p.m. Friday, Sinema had a 9,097-vote lead.

The only other race that flipped in such a manner was for superintendent of public instruction. Democrat Kathy Hoffman had trailed Republican Frank Riggs in the early count but overtook him Thursday and now leads by more than 20,000 votes.

Meanwhile Democrat Sandra Kennedy quietly has edged closer to Republican Rodney Glassman in the election for Corporation Commissioner. There are two seats available. Though Republican Justin Olson is the top vote-getter so far, the top three candidates are separated by less than a percentage point. Kennedy is behind Glassman by 6,733 votes.

U.S. Senate
Kyrsten Sinema 943,099 votes 49.8%
Martha McSally 934,002 votes 48.6%

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 Young children are exceptionally impressionable, which is why it is crucial to set good examples early on. Children’s Learning Adventure in Maricopa teaches their students to make healthy lifestyle habits and be responsible for their choices through fun, exciting, and rewarding learning activities and interactions.

Children’s Learning Adventure believes it’s important to provide a fun, positive, and engaging atmosphere for their students. They offer innovative lesson plans and enjoyable learning activities that are developmentally-appropriate. Children’s Learning Adventure creates a welcoming and nurturing environment that encourages parents and families to be actively involved with their children’s learning experiences throughout the year.

To encourage a healthier way of living, Children’s Learning Adventure curriculum introduces beneficial habits such as better food choices, exercise, hygiene, and safety practices to lay the foundation of lifelong healthy living. Children’s Learning Adventure also works hard to ensure that each of their campuses is clean and well-maintained. A clean campus promotes a healthy environment for both their students and staff members and affects health and learning.

In addition to creating a healthy learning environment, children are taught how to develop lifelong well-being skills through physical activities. Equally important to a child’s well-being and health is their motor development. At Children’s Learning Adventure, children experience a variety of meaningful, physical activities in a climate controlled indoor gym and outdoor play area. Children develop socially and physically as they interact with peers and teachers daily, building understanding of team and individual sports.

CEO Rick Sodja states “Children begin developing healthy habits early on. We believe it is important to implement hands on experiences into curriculum when teaching children about creating healthy habits.”  One way this is done at Children’s Learning Adventure is through their interactive learning experiences provided by Nature’s Nook. This classroom was designed to provide each child with a hands-on experience that leads him/her to a greater understanding of nature and all it has to offer. Exploration of nature provides opportunities to learn about plant cycles, gardening, and the different seasons.

Children’s Learning Adventure in Maricopa is holding an open house on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Families can stop by any time between 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

To learn more about Children’s Learning Adventure in Maricopa please visit http://www.childrenslearningadventure.com/day-care-maricopa .

 

For more information, please contact:
Kyle Greenberg
kgreenberg@childrenslearningadventure.com
Creative Manager

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Bret Roberts talks on election night. (Kyle Norby)

Ballots are still being counted in Pinal County and not all Pima County precincts have reported, but Republican showed up strong for their candidates in District 11.

Maricopan Bret Roberts is on course to join Mark Finchem in the state House of Representatives. Both have almost 38,000 votes each in the unofficial count. Democrats Hollace Lyon and Maricopa High School teacher Marcela Quiroz trail by around 10,000 votes.

“It’s been a long year and a half,” said Roberts, who is finishing his term as constable this year. “Those days that you get tired and sometimes you don’t necessarily want to leave your house, you just keep going.”

He spoke outside WingStop, where some local Republicans gathered on election night.

That included Glenn Morrison, who has a strong lead over Democrat Andre LaFond and is likely to be the next constable for District 4.

“Hard work pays off,” Morrison said. “It was wonderful meeting so many people in Maricopa.”

If the numbers hold up for Roberts, he will be replacing Vince Leach, who opted to run for Senate in LD11. That effort looks be successful, with Leach having a large lead over Democrat Ralph Atchue.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting and thousands of ballots remaining to be counted, the unofficial results as of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday:

(Projected winner in purple)

U.S. Senate
Martha McSally (R) 49.37%
Kyrsten Sinema (D) 48.39%
Angela Green (G) 2.25%

U.S. House of Representatives District 1
Tom O’Halleran (D) 53.2%
Wendy Rogers (R) 46.8%

Governor
Doug Ducey (R) 57.9%
David Garcia (D) 40.1%

Secretary of State
Steve Gaynor (R) 51.3%
Katie Hobbs (D) 48.7%

Attorney General
Mark Brnovich (R) 53.4%
January Contreras (D) 46.6%

State Treasurer
Kimberly Yee (R) 55.7%
Mark Manoil (D) 44.3%

Superintendent of Public Instruction
Frank Riggs (R) 50.2%
Kathy Hoffman (D) 49.8%

Mine Inspector
Joe Hart (R) 53.3%
William Pierce (D) 46.7%

Corporation Commissioner (vote for 2)
Justin Olson (R) 25.98%
Rodney Glassman (R) 25.9%
Sandra Kennedy (D) 24.97%
Kiana Marie Sears (D) 23.16%

State Senator District 11
Vince Leach (R) 55.6%
Ralph Atchue (D) 43.5%

State Representative District 11 (vote for 2)
Mark Finchem (R) 28.69%
Bret Roberts (R) 28.59%
Hollace Lyon (D) 21.74%
Marcela Quiroz (D) 20.98%

Pinal County Constable District 4
Glenn Morrison (R) 53.8%
Andre LaFond (D) 46.05%

Pinal County Justice of the Peace District 4
Lyle Riggs (R) 95.95%
write-ins 4.05%

Clerk of the Superior Court
Amanda Stanford (R) 97.12%
write-ins 2.72%

Prop 125 (Government retirement system)
Yes 51.7%
No 48.3%

Prop 126 (Service taxes)
Yes 65.15%
No 34.85%

Prop 127 (Renewable energy)
Yes 30.19%
No 69.81%

Prop 305 (Expanding education empowerment scholarships)
Yes 34.9%
No 65.1%

Prop 306 (Clean Elections change)
Yes 56.09%
No 43.91%

Central Arizona College hosted its annual Veterans Day Commemoration Tuesday with Julia R. Gusse, a veteran and member of the Maricopa City Council, as keynote speaker. CAC student Timonyeh Shines read a poem, and the Maricopa High School Air Force Junior ROTC presented the colors.

The event also awarded high school and middle school students for their Veterans Day art submissions. In the middle school division, Chloe Adams of Leading Edge place third, Marco Bandin of Leading Edge placed second, Vinnie Fisher of Maricopa Wells Middle School placed first, and Diane Harris of Legacy Traditional received the Artistic Excellence award. In the high school division, Michelle Rodriguez Chavez of Maricopa High School placed third, Katelyn Quigg of MHS was second, Jacquelyn Bui of MHS was first, and Lillian Largo of MHS received the Artistic Excellence award.

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Friday, Maricopa Ace Hardware is launching its first Ladies Night from 6-9 p.m. Besides special deals, gift bags and raffle prizes, there will be live music. The event benefits Against Abuse and its local domestic violence shelter.

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Jim Chaston

By James A. Chaston, CPA

Changes to Individual Taxes

Taxpayers either take itemized deductions or the standard deduction whichever is greater. In 2017, the standard deduction for a married couple was $12,700, for 2018 it is now $24,000. As a result, most people that used to itemize

now will just claim the standard deduction. Which also means, that your mortgage interest, state taxes, charitable deductions, work related expenses and medical expenses will provide NO TAX BENEFIT when you claim the standard deduction. Singles are half of Marrieds and Heads of Household is 75% of Marrieds.

Personal Exemptions, which in 2017 provided a deduction for each person and dependent of $4,050 is now gone. It has been replaced by an increased or new dependent credit. For dependents 16 and under, the credit increased to $2,000 from $1,000 and the phaseout of this credit increased from $110,000 to $400,000 which means that for many two income homes, they will actually get this credit now. For dependents over age 16, there is a new $500 credit per dependent.

Mortgage interest is only deductible for proceeds that go directly to purchase or improve the property, proceeds that pay for other items are not deductible and you must prorate the deductible and nondeductible portion, this includes wrapping refinance costs into the new loan, interest for these costs are no longer deductible. Only interest for loans up to $750,000 for up to two properties is deductible, loans above this is not deductible.

Work Related Expenses are no longer deductible for those that can still itemize deductions.

State Taxes paid are limited to $10,000 for those that can still itemize deductions. This is only for Federal Taxes, Arizona

did not change the standard deduction, it is still $10,336, so many taxpayers will claim the standard deduction for Federal, but still have to track and file itemized deductions for Arizona.

Alimony, moving expenses, investment expenses, casualty losses, union dues, tax preparation fees all no longer deductible.

 Changes to Small Business Taxes Small Business Owners get a 20% deduction for Qualified Business Income, this is quite convoluted and not as straight forward as you might think, talk to a tax professional about this one. But basically, if you make $50,000 of qualified business income you get a $10,000 deduction and pay tax on $40,000, not $50,000.

Entertainment is no longer tax deductible, but just recently the IRS clarified that business meals are still 50% deductible.

Depreciation changes, for the most part you can depreciate 100% of equipment purchases and much more on vehicles than prior years.

Like-kind exchanges only available for Real Property and more clarification that they are not available for fix and flips.

Cash Basis is available for all companies with less than $25 Million in gross sales and they can automatically change back.

Flat rate for C Corporations of 21%.


This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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By Davis Plunkett, Manager of Integrated Behavioral Health and
Maria Villalobos, Community Relations Coordinator Sun Life Family Health Center

Life can be messy and busy. We go through our day, juggling work, errands, children, sports, housework … the list goes on. Too often we go about the day that when we have a moment to reflect we have difficulty remembering what we did. There is such a rush to get things done or be somewhere that we don’t feel as were present in the moment but simply going through the motions. Many of us look for methods of not only being able to enjoy the moments life brings but being able to be present in those moments.

Mindfulness is simply being in the present moment and accepting it without judgment. There are many mental and physical health benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors. Mindfulness improves well-being by making it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helping you become more engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to handle adverse events.

Mindfulness improves physical health as it can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, and improve sleep. Mindfulness improves mental health by helping treat depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, conflict, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Mindfulness meditation builds upon concentration practices that primarily involve concentration. Concentration meditation techniques such as tai chi, yoga, focusing on the sensation of breathing can induce relaxation response which reduces the body’s response to stress.

Here are some tips to get started with mindfulness meditation:

  • Just go with it. Begin by focusing your attention. Just observe your natural state, your thoughts and emotions as they are today. Each day may be different. Each moment may be different. Just observe your thoughts without judgment.
  • Sensory awareness. Notice each of your five senses. What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What sensations can you notice in your body?
  • Mindfulness is a skill. Just with any skill it takes practice. Mindfulness may feel uncomfortable at first. It may not even seem relaxing. That’s okay- just notice those reactions without judgment.
  • Accept exactly where you are. Practice having compassion for yourself and where you are today. The goal is to accept each moment without judgment. If you become distracted, (which is expected!) gently redirect your thoughts to the present moment.

 Aspects of the above information were adapted from www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefitsof- mindfulness.htm#exercises and Seligman, M.E.P., Rashid, T., Parks, A.C., American Psychologist 61(8), Nov 2006, 774-788.


This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

The Maricopa High School Air Force JROTC honor guard presents the colors at the Central Arizona College Veterans memorial ceremony Nov. 9 at the Maricopa Campus. Photo by Mason Callejas

Veterans events, including the big parade, a high school production of “Peter Pan” and a presentation on an 1857 battle on the Gila are among the activities in Maricopa this week. For details on these events, or to add your own, visit, InMaricopa.com/Calendar.


MONDAY

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

Senior Bowling is at 10 a.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

The 1857 Battle on the Gila will be discussed by Maricopa Historical Society at 5:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Narcotics Anonymous meets at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) meet at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Behavioral Health Services, 21300 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 103.

Maricopa Healing Rooms are at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Healing Ministry, 19997 N. Justin Drive.


TUESDAY

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.

Veterans Day 100-year Commemoration is at 4 p.m. at Central Arizona College – Maricopa Campus, 17945 N. Regent Drive.

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

City Council Work Session is at 6 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza

Celebrate Recovery Large & Small Group Meeting is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

City Council Regular Session is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.


WEDNESDAY

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

Babytime is at 9:30 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

CAC Pig Roast, a lunchtime fundraiser for the Central Arizona College Culinary Art Department, is at noon at CAC, 17945 N. Regent Drive.

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.


THURSDAY

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

Seniors play Farkle 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.

Family Story Time is at 4 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

STEAM Day is 4-7 p.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Maricopa Healing Rooms are at 6:30 p.m. at Maricopa Healing Rooms, 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.

“Peter Pan” will performed by MHS Theatre Company at 7 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

FRIDAY

Veterans Day Breakfast is at 8 a.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.

Free Movies for Veterans and lasagna are available 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

ACE Ladies Night is at 6 p.m. at Maricopa Ace Hardware, 21542 N. John Wayne Parkway.

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

“Peter Pan” will performed by MHS Theatre Company at 7 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.


SATURDAY

Veterans Day Parade is at 9 a.m. on Bowling Road and Porter Road.

Free Movies for Veterans and lasagna are available 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

“Peter Pan” will performed by MHS Theatre Company at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.


SUNDAY

Free Movies for Veterans and lasagna are available 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Narcotics Anonymous is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

Maricopa Mud Run 2018 wound up Saturday with families enjoying warm, sunny rounds through the obstacles, unlike the early rounds in October that became so drenched in rain the rest of the annual event had to be postponed. Around 700 people registered this year in all rounds, with some finishers returning to compete again in Round 2. Those who beat the time set by Mayor Christian Price received medals. The Mud Run is a city-created event.

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Arizonans are deciding the fate of five statewide propositions in Tuesday’s election. They cover state pensions, taxes on services, renewable energy, school choice and Clean Elections.

Prop 125

Prop 125 allows the Legislature to adjust retirement plans based on cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for corrections officers, probation officers, surveillance officers and elected officials. It would implement Senate Bill 1442 and House Bill 2545.

Currently, the maximum increase allowed is 4 percent and is based on the inflation rate for the Metropolitan Phoenix-Mesa Consumer Price Index. The adjustment would cap the increase at 2 percent. According to the state Constitution, Arizona retirement system benefits cannot be diminished or impaired. That creates the need for a constitutional amendment to allow the adjustments requested by the Legislature.


Prop 126

Proposition 126 would amend Article 9 and Article 13 of the Arizona Constitution. It prohibits state and local governments from making any changes to taxes on services. That includes creating new taxes or increasing taxes for services in Arizona.

Services that could avoid taxation under the proposal include medical visits, banking, fitness, salon services, real estate transactions and more. The Arizona Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors are major backers.

Watch the discussion



Prop 127

Also called the Renewable Energy Standards Initiative, Prop 127 would increase the minimum amount of electricity electric utilities are required to produce from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. The state standard currently mandates that utilities achieve 15 percent by 2025. The proposition increases that to 50 percent by 2030.

Prop 127 coincides with a similar measure in Nevada, and both are financed by NexGen Climate Action, founded by Tom Steyer, who wants both states to be closer to the California standard in their solar goals. Electric utilities and co-ops stand against the proposal.

Watch the discussion

Candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission also talked about Prop 127


Prop 305

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts currently allow children with disabilities to opt out of public education to attend private school or be home-schooled. An ESA is funded at 90 percent of what the state would have paid for the student in a district or charter school. Prop 305 would make all schoolchildren in K-12 to be eligible for ESA funding by 2021.

Prop 305 is a veto referendum on Senate Bill 1431, a bill signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey. A “yes” vote would put SB 1431 into effect. A “no” vote agrees with Save Our Schools Arizona, which collected enough signatures to force a public vote on the matter.

Watch the discussion


Prop 306

Prop 306 wants to change the Citizens Clean Election Act, which provides public funding for participating political campaigns. The ballot issue would make two significant changes in the current law. One change would prohibit Clean Elections candidates from transferring their campaign funds to a political party or organization that influences elections. The second change removes the autonomy of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC), subjecting it to the procedures of the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council.

The first part of the proposition is said to be a response to the 2016 election when Democratic candidates gave an estimated $80,000 from their Clean Elections funding to the Arizona Democratic Party. The second part, however, is the result of a long-running battle over so-called “dark” money and the CCEC’s recent rule-changes requesting more disclosures of campaign funding.

Watch the discussion

 

Last year's parade was a first-time event. Photo by Mason Callejas

By Michelle Chance

IF YOU GO

What: Veterans Day Parade
When: Nov. 10 at 9 a.m.
Where: Porter Road
Cost: Free
Info: http://alpost133az.org/Auxiliary.html

It was a morning decorated with patriotism and appreciation for the men and women who served our country.

Veterans from many eras, young and old, participated in Maricopa’s inaugural Veterans Day Parade last November. Many said they are looking forward to doing it again this year on Nov. 10.

Maricopa resident Gary Lee Erickson served from 1969 to 1971 as the cannoneer in a M42 Duster tank in the 6th Calvary, 1st Brigade of the U.S. Army. A member of the local American Legion Post 133 and participant in last year’s parade, Erickson said he was humbled by the support displayed by spectators.

It’s also a way for veterans themselves to pay respect to the nation.

“Marching in the parade is not for glory, but to show our pride in our country and our flag,” Erickson said.

Organizer Gabriela Potter, president of the American Legion Auxiliary of Maricopa Post 133, said she and an array of other volunteers, began organizing and fundraising for this year’s event almost as soon as last year’s ended.

The celebratory event is one that has come together in its first two years entirely by the community, Potter said. Staff from many city departments, Ak-Chin Indian Community, Tortosa Homeowners Association, local veterans’ groups, schools, restaurants and small businesses have contributed their time to the effort.

“We want to thank the community for helping us make it a success last year, and we hope that this year we can do great things to continue this tradition for many years,” Potter said.

The route along Porter Road is much the same, but instead of beginning at Legacy Traditional School, participants will meet just east of the charter school campus at Central Arizona College on Bowlin Road.

The parade will end at Leading Edge Academy, where veterans will again be treated to a complimentary luncheon and performances by schoolchildren.

Veterans will also have free transportation at the beginning of the event from Leading Edge Academy to CAC provided by the city’s COMET service and Totalride.

It’s a labor of love done to promote patriotism and education of our country’s brave soldiers, Potter said.

Veteran Don Sazama served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965. The Maricopa resident for the past decade said the city’s first parade made veterans feel very appreciated.

His view from a parade float granted him the view of grateful civilians. “There were a lot of people standing in their yards and waving at us and it made us feel good,” Sazama said.

Besides the common expression of thanking veterans for their services, servicemembers said there are other ways to acknowledge veterans during events like this.

“Civilians honor us just by attending the parade and when the colors pass they should put their hands over their hearts,” said Erickson, the Army veteran.



This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Students from Holsteiner show off their costumes.

Maricopa kids (and some grownups) greeted Halloween with enthusiasm, from schools to the Maricopa Public Library to the streets. See our growing gallery.

Dan Miller of Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation invites the community to STEAM Day at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center.

Science, technology, engineering, arts and math take the spotlight on National STEAM Day Nov. 8.

The Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation will feature STEAM-related, hands-on demonstrations for the whole family from 4-7 p.m. at UltraStar Multi-tainment Center. The event is sponsored by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.

Santa Rosa and Saddleback elementary schools will demonstrate engineering activities. There will also be coding, virtual reality, 3D printing and STEAM in art. Business and college organizations will offer STEAM exhibits and activities, too.

STEAM Day is supported by the Arizona SciTech Festival, which will have Street Team members leading and showcasing the “STEMonstrations.” Come meet the newest chief science officers from Maricopa, Pinal County and Arizona.

The STEAM Foundation’s goal is to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce by increasing kids’ opportunities for engagement and awareness of STEAM-related disciplines.

 

IF YOU GO
What: STEAM Day
When: Nov. 8, 4-7 p.m.
Where: UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road
How much: Free
Info: Dan Miller, President/CEO, Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation, Inc., dan.miller@maricopasteam.org, 520-840-3727
Donna Jagielski, Technology Integration specialist, MUSD, djagielski@musd20.org, 520-568-5100 ext. 1086.



This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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Submitted photo

By Ivan Pour
MHS Band and Orchestra Director

Oct. 20 and Oct. 27, the Maricopa High School Marching Rams performed in Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association (ABODA) competitions at Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe and Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson.

The band finished in seventh place at Corona Del Sol with a score of 57.575. The band turned things around quickly at Ironwood Ridge, finishing in fourth place with a big one week jump in score to 64.313. The average of these two scores put the Rams into the top 20 bands in ABODA’s Division II. The Rams will advance to the State Marching Band Festival this Saturday, Nov. 3, at Hamilton High School. The Marching Rams perform at 3 p.m.

The band had its best performance of the year to date at Ironwood Ridge High School, highlighted by earning second place in the music caption and third place in percussion. They earned praise for good characteristic tone and balance and creating shape in musical lines. The band also posted significant gains in the visual performance caption. This performance truly showed off the hard work our students have put in this year.

We invite the Maricopa community out to the state festival on Saturday to cheer on the Rams! Admission to the event is $10 and children under 5 are free.

As always, we want to acknowledge our awesome, hard working parent volunteers as well as our staff – Roger Wagner – Assistant Director, Eliana Araiza – Colorguard, David Hales – Percussion Head, Stuart Delaney – Front Ensemble. Without these people, our success this year would not be possible!

In addition to ABODA State Festival, the Marching Rams will support the football team for their playoff game at Williams Field High School on Friday, Nov. 2, and they will perform in the Maricopa Veterans Day Parade and AzMBA Championships at Perry High School on Nov. 10.

We also have our “Pass in Review” concert in the MHS Performing Arts Center on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Thank you for your support of the Maricopa Marching Rams and the Arts in MUSD.

Submitted photo

 

IF YOU GO
What: Maricopa Music Circle “Autumn Musicale”
When: Nov. 4, 3 p.m.
Where: 43356 W. Courtney Drive
How much: Free

Maricopa’s premier music ensemble ushers in its 10th season with a free special event Nov. 4. Maricopa Music Circle chamber orchestra’s “Autumn Musicale” is a fundraising event for the orchestra and includes both a concert and a silent auction of fine-art works on paper and canvas.

The concert’s theme riffs on the foliage’s perennial change of colors in fall. Composers often think of individual orchestral instruments in painterly terms, like expressions of a palette of colors with each instrument possessing its own color and degree of transparency or opaqueness (along with high or low range and other features).

MMC’s “Autumn Musicale” will shed its spotlight on music for solo instruments and smaller ensemble combinations, along with music for the full ensemble. The natural pairing with the music will be the silent auction of fine-art works by established artists such as Colorado’s Sandy Day Selbert and several Maricopa-based artists.

The concert highlights the individual artistry of MMC’s own dedicated musicians and includes several rarities – a newly-discovered work for viola and piano by Russian master Dmitri Shostakovich (an Arizona premiere) and a Mozart piece for glass harmonica now arranged for mixed quartet. Other program music is by Glazunov, Bartok, Tchaikovsky, Bach and U.S. composers Edward MacDowell and Scott Joplin, the ragtime king.

The free event includes a light reception. It will take place from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Rancho El Dorado at 43356 W. Courtney Drive, where there is ample on-street parking.

Samples of MMC live performances at bit.ly/YouTube_MMCmin and bit.ly/YouTube_MMCbran


This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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Twenty-eight homes are participating in this year’s Mysterious Mansion Mayhem, ranging from Cobblestone Farms to Tortosa and from Rancho El Dorado to Alterra. The Parks, Recreation and Library Committee judged house Wednesday and Thursday. The community at large may judge Oct. 26-28 and vote online. The top prize is $250.

More information