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Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

As we age, there is a greater emphasis on fitness to maintain health, independence and functionality.

Physical activity on a daily basis is one of the best things you can do for your health. Controlling weight, strengthening bones and muscles and improving your mental health and mood are just a few of the benefits. You may also notice an increase in your ability to do daily activities.

Any amount of exercise is better than none. If your current lifestyle is that of couch potato, any increase in exercise or physical activity is beneficial. I’m not talking about running a marathon or a strenuous workout each day. Start with simple exercises such as a 15-30-minute walk each day.

Think you need more? Check out senior aging classes such as Silver Sneakers. Copper Sky offers fitness classes and water aerobics with seniors in mind.

Choose a fitness program best suited to your needs and more importantly one you will stick with.

What are your physical abilities? Do you have a medical problem that prohibits certain exercise? Are you confined to a wheelchair? Do you have mobility issues? A low-impact fitness program can be done from a chair or wheelchair.

Not ready for a structured fitness program? Consider moderate- or low-impact exercises, something you might ordinarily do every day and actually enjoy like walking, biking, gardening or water aerobics.

Attitude is important. Before you start any fitness program, ask yourself why you are doing this. Do you want to make lifestyle changes? Are you tired of being unable to perform everyday chores?

Set your goals and keep track of your progress. Keep a chart on the refrigerator – that way when you reach for a snack you may think twice and reach for something healthy.

Most important, check with your doctor before you begin any fitness program. Information is out there – just ask or go online.


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



This column appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Deven Daniel Garay

Deven Daniel Garay of Maricopa passed away Dec. 8, 2017, in Maricopa. He was 22 years old.

A memorial will be held in the MPR building at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave., on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m., with Rusty Akers officiating.

Deven was born May 26, 1995, in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Terry Garay and Danny Garay, who survive him. He is also survived by his stepfather Kirk Brumbaugh, grandmother Pat Hoerig, sister Samantha Setliff, brother Sean Brumbaugh and niece Arizona Setliff.

Deven had a smile that could light up a room and a hug that could melt any worry away. Among his many passions, music, family and friends were definitely at the top of the list.

Deven went to school to become an audio engineer. The music he created is phenomenal.

As a football player in high school, he rocked the field. His athletic abilities were off the charts. Deven’s loyalty to his family and friends never withered. Anyone who got to know Deven knew he had the most genuine soul a person could have. Because of all of this, we called him the gentle giant.

Rest in peace, sweet boy.

 

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MUSD teachers accepted the Golden Bell Award at the Dec. 14 ASBA Annual Conference. Submitted photo

The K-8 blended learning program of the Maricopa Unified School District was presented with the 2017 Arizona School Board Association’s “Golden Bell Award” for excellence in education programs.

MUSD’s blended learning program was one of three school district programs in the state of Arizona that were recognized.

The presentation was made today in conjunction with the ASBA Annual Conference. The outstanding work of all 18 blended learning teachers from Maricopa Wells Middle School, Desert Wind Middle School and Santa Rose Elementary were recognized by this award, including: Erin Bell, Jennifer Cameron, Nicole Cantrell, Rebecca Drury, Jackie Hahn, Janell Hudson, Kyrie Hughes, Shannon Hull, Amy Hunt, Brittany Parsons, Robyn Rice, Jennifer Szoltysik, Joe Szoltysik, Laura Tietz, Jennifer Titus, Kasey Turik, Jacque Witte and Mindy Ma.

In addition to being recognized at the awards luncheon, teachers from the blended learning program were asked to present a 50-minute informational session for conference attendees that afternoon. Teachers making the presentation included Nicole Cantrell, Shannon Hull, Amy Hunt, Robyn Rice, Jen Szoltysik and Joe Szoltysik.

MUSD began the blended learning program in 2012 for 50 students in grades 6-8 at Maricopa Wells Middle School. Since then the program has increased in size at MWMS to 180 students and six teachers. Desert Wind Middle School has an almost identical program with 135 students and four teachers, so there are now 315 middle school students enrolled. In addition, all classrooms at Santa Rosa Elementary School in grades 3-5 serve 169 students in blended classrooms. For 2017-18, the total number of students in grades 3-8 enrolled in blended learning is 484. All MUSD schools use some blended learning, but these three schools have emphasized it the most.

In blended learning classrooms students experience personalized learning. Much of their academic work is done on a personal laptop completing teacher-made lessons and using online curriculum materials. Students receive large and small group instruction with an emphasis on project based learning.


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A total of 43 Maricopa High School students participated in the Junior State of American fall competition. Submitted photo

Saturday, the Maricopa High School’s Chapter of Junior State of America (JSA) competed at the Fall State competition in Tucson. Forty-three MHS students met with students from all over Arizona and held debates, discussions and learned about campaigns.

“This was by far, the most successful conference we have attended to date,” Advisor Jason Goodwin said. “We had multiple debate winners, best speaker awards and a scholarship recipient.”

Best Speaker winners were Zyled Rodriguez and Freya Abraham. Submitted photo

Debate Winners:
Hannah Bailey
Pro: Resolved: Kneeling during the National Anthem is an appropriate form of protest
Freya Abraham
Con: Resolved: Access to higher education is a human right.
Mahonri Santos
Pro: Resolved: The United States was responsible for providing emergency relief to Puerto Rico in a timely manner.
Rachel Knight
Con: Resolved: The United States is justified in leaving the Paris Climate Agreement.

Best Speaker Winners:
Freya Abraham
Zyled Rodriguez

JSA Summer School Scholarship:
Jasmin Dimas was awarded a half scholarship to attend Princeton University for JSA Summer School.

For more information about JSA and their summer school programs, please visit www.jsa.org.

 

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Photo by Mason Callejas

A “Grand Holiday Concert” Dec. 9 was an annual musical event with music, singing and dancing as Maricopa Agricultural Center played host to Maricopa Music Circle, Maricopa Chorus and Desert Sun Performing Arts.

Click photo to enlarge:

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Photo by Mason Callejas

To celebrate the Christmas season, a living nativity was performed Saturday outside Community of Hope Church on Honeycutt Avenue. The set was peopled by church members in costume, aided by local farm animals. It was the church’s 14th annual production.

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Photo by Jerry Debeaumont

Province raised more than $3,000 for a local charity with its annual Holiday Golf Cart Parade

In the past, the community used the parade to collect food for the F.O.R. food. This year, Province collected food at two earlier events, netting 945 pounds of food and $545.

For the Dec. 3 parade, the route was broken into smaller areas with two area captains running the show. The total collected – $3,377.89 – was presented to F.O.R. Executive Director Wendy Webb on Tuesday.


Things to do this week range from public meetings to a Chamber of Commerce gathering. Below, Library Manager Erik Surber and friends invite the community to a cookie exchange. 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.

Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting is at 6 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

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

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) meet at 7 p.m. at 19395 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 16.

TUESDAY

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

Daytrip to Tombstone leaves at 9 a.m. from Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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

Coffee with Friends of the Maricopa Library is at 1:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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 N. Maricopa Road.

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

AWANA is at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 18705 N. John Wayne Parkway.

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

THURSDAY

Chamber Holiday Breakfast Mixer is at 7 a.m. at Elements Event Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

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.

Movers & Shakers meet at 9:30 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Li’l Explorers meet at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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

“Tracks” is performed at 7 p.m. at MHS Lecture Hall, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

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.

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

SATURDAY

Cookie Exchange & Sale is at noon at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

SUNDAY

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

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The first Maricopa drug store, on the left in this south-facing photo, opened in 1956 and was owned by Dave and Nellie Kimball. Photo courtesy Maricopa Historical Society

By Maricopa Historical Society

David Patton Kimball opened the first drugstore in Maricopa in 1956. He and his wife, the former Nellie Nash, came from hardy pioneer families of Arizona.

Kimball was Maricopa’s first druggist and had been very active politically in Maricopa County. He owned and operated the first drug store chain in Phoenix and throughout Arizona called Apache Drug Stores. He was one of the oldest members of the State Board of Pharmacy and gave exams to all Arizona druggists.

Dave Kimball served as publicity chairman for the Rotary Club’s first Stagecoach Days in 1959, which also provided momentum for the new hat he was wearing the following year as Rotary’s president. Kimball was not short on references for this responsibility or for any other endeavor. He had previously served on the Phoenix City Council, was the acting mayor of Phoenix, a former supervisor of Maricopa County and a state senator.

Dave Kimball’s cousin was Spencer W. Kimball, later the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their grandfather was Heber C. Kimball. St. David, Arizona, was named for Dave’s father.

Kimball was raised on a farm in Thatcher and helped his father in the freighting business. He married Nellie when he was 21, and they became parents a year later. After Kimball returned from an LDS mission to Australia, Dr. Harvey Platt, the only physician in the Thatcher area, took him aside.

Kimball’s son Thomas later wrote: “The good doctor was very capable of expertly diagnosing illness and prescribing medicines for treatment, but had no pharmacist to formulate the medicine. Dr. Platt recognized that Father was an exceptionally intelligent and ambitious young man, so he approached him with a proposition. Dr. Platt would assist him financially if he would enroll in the school of pharmacology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and upon graduation return to Thatcher and serve the area in association with Dr. Platt as a pharmacist.”

With a growing family, Kimball took Platt up on the offer. While studying in California, he took a side job as a bookkeeper for vendors at a local farmer’s market, which also provided the Kimball family with free fruit and vegetables.

After earning his degree, Kimball and his family returned to the Gila Valley so he could fulfill his obligation to Platt.

In 1919, he opened the Apache Drug Company, reported to be the first drug store in Phoenix with a college-trained pharmacist. It was on the northwest corner of First Avenue and Adams Street.

Nellie Kimball frequently talked about the experiences of owning and operating a drug store across from the capitol building in Phoenix in the ‘40s and personally knowing most of the politicians. Also, she served for many years as chairman of the Democratic Party.

The Kimballs opened stores in Mesa, Casa Grande, Chandler, Gila Bend, Litchfield Park, Thatcher, Flagstaff, Superior, Yuma and, of course, Maricopa.

Mrs. Kimball served lunches and other goodies at the long fountain in the drugstore in Maricopa. Every day she made a huge pot of chili beans that was a favorite of the farmers. The farmers not only appreciated the food but enjoyed teasing her about current political events. She was a most devout Democrat (not a pinto Democrat, heaven forbid) and she never stood on the fence or crossed it. She had rock-solid convictions and was not afraid to voice or act upon them. She was a unique individual with a kind heart who was much-loved by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

Maricopa historian Patricia Brock wrote: “Dave and Nellie Kimball were not only loved and appreciated by the citizens of Phoenix and Maricopa, but also played an important role in my life. They allowed me to finish high school by providing me employment in the Maricopa Drug Store around my school schedule and by giving me the opportunity to live in their Phoenix home during the summer months while taking classes at a nearby high school. Their generosity will forever be remembered and treasured by all who were touched by their kindness … and especially by me.”

Nellie Kimball died in 1965. David Kimball died in 1978. They are buried at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix.


This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Maricopans were asked the tough question: What was your favorite gift every received during the holidays?

Marie Costner

Marie Costner:
“Being with my family; to me, that’s the best gift in the world. I don’t care about gifts, they don’t care about gifts, just being with family and having a nice dinner together; that’s our love.”

Mark Claus

Mark Claus:
“My wife bought me a telescope for Christmas. I’m a retired science teacher, so it was especially right.”

Tonna Coffey:

Tonna Coffey

“My stuffed horse named ‘Star.’ He’s been everywhere with me. My mom’s barrel horse was named Star and she was like our babysitter, so I relate her to my horse. She’s been to Vegas; I went to the National Finals Rodeo and I took her with me and she stayed with me in the hotel. She’s been to Illinois, Texas and New Mexico. She sleeps with me at night.”

Paul Gorney

Paul Gorney:
“Probably the greatest Christmas gift was the birth announcement of my first granddaughter in 2005. Her name is Cecelia Alicia.”

Aaron Hopewell:

Aaron Hopewell

“I’d have to say probably the set of Callaway golf clubs my wife got me last year for Christmas. I have got a lot of good use out of them, you can bet on that.”



— Michelle Chance and Joycelyn Cabrera



This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Maricopa Police Foundation named Jonathan Schueller (left) Officer of the Year, and Elliot Sneezy Sergeant of the Year.

Maricopa Police Foundation honored Maricopa’s “finest” its annual award ceremony Nov. 4. MPD veteran Elliot Sneezy was named Sergeant of the Year, and newcomer Jonathan Schueller was named Officer of the Year. Shawna Thies was named Civilian Employee of the Year and Dreama King Explorer of the Year. Barry Vogel and Kelly Hayden were named Volunteers of the Year.


Officer of the Year Jonathan Schueller

Hometown: Primghar, Iowa
Current residence: Chandler
Years as a police officer: 1½
Serving Maricopa since: 2016
Family: Married nine years to Jamie Schueller, a kindergarten teacher
Like most about Maricopa: Support from the community
Favorite part of the job: No two days are ever the same
Least favorite part of the job: Knowing I or one of my brothers or sisters may not go home at the end of our shift.
Proudest moment on the job: The day I got hired because becoming a police officer has been my lifelong dream.
Scariest moment on the job: I have no fear; I have full faith and trust in my fellow brothers and sisters in this profession.
Why did you become a police officer? I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. When others say they won’t go or won’t do it, I will go.

Sergeant of the Year Elliot Sneezy

Hometown: San Carlos
Current residence: Phoenix
Years as a police officer: 23
Serving Maricopa since: 2007
Family: Wife Isabella and daughter Aili
Like most about Maricopa: I like how supportive the community is toward our officers. I have witnessed the random acts of kindness displayed by the kids and adults.
Favorite part of the job: Being in the company of heroes. The officers I have worked with throughout my career have done amazing things that most people will never hear or see. I get to see and hear it weekly.
Least favorite part of the job: The political aspects related to policing.
Proudest moment on the job and why: When I received the Sergeant of the Year award in 2014 my daughter, who was 7 years old at the time, and my wife were there to witness it. The team that helped me earn the award was one of the best teams I had the pleasure to work with. At that time the officer of the year also came from our team.
Scariest moment on the job: In 1996 I responded to a person who cut both of his wrists. While talking to him he backed into his backyard. As I was getting closer to him he grabbed a pitchfork that was on a table facing me and tried to stab me in the stomach. Luckily he only stabbed me in the palm of my hand to my wrist. I pulled out the pitchfork and wrestled him to the ground.
Why did you become a police officer? When I left the Marine Corps I needed a job. There were no jobs that had much of a future. I applied for the police department and was selected. I didn’t realize it, but I became the fourth generation in my family to be a police officer. In 1994 I was nearly killed by a gang member. From that point my passion for working gangs became my reason for staying in law enforcement.

 


This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

 

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Winter garden herbs. Submitted photo

By Tina Frank

Tina Frank

Growing up in a cold state, our family always thought citrus was the only produce that comes from Arizona gardening. Being a resident to Arizona now for 30-plus years has changed my perspective dramatically. Arizona, I believe, is one of the best places to have a winter garden.

For our family, a winter garden is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time together. We plan through the warm months, so as soon as the weather changes we can get things rolling. Because we still get down to freezing in the winter, we like to plant early. The earlier you plant, the longer your harvest season is. Our ideal planting window for our winter garden is mid- to late-September. But it’s not too late if you want to plant right now. You can still enjoy your veggies until the heat hits again in the springtime.

  1. Preparing the soil

If you had a summer garden, then turning the soil and pulling out anything undesirable is the first step. We pull out things like perennial weeds and grasses. We will then follow up with compost. You can purchase compost or make it yourself with your leftover veggie pieces.

If you are just preparing your space for the first time I recommend you put some manure and fertilizer in your garden space a couple of weeks before planting. Work it into the soil with a shovel and/or rake, water it down, and let it sit. The day you plant you will want the soil to be moist. You can add a little more fertilizer or compost, if needed, at this time.

  1. Choosing vegetables

Now the fun part begins. Focus on root plants and greens. The fastest way to get things producing is to purchase seedlings and plant them. If you start early, seeds can also be a great option. A seed catalogue gives you a bigger variety of options. Our family does a little of both.

I find if you start planting with your root vegetables first (carrots, beets, turnips) and then your greens of choice, you will have the best results. The greens propagate better in cooler weather, so I usually plant my root vegetables a few weeks ahead of my greens. Some of our favorite greens are swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach and lots of varieties of kale, cabbage and lettuce.

Something else we like to grow in winter are fresh herbs. Herbs are relatively easy to grow, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time maintaining them. They also smell great. Most herbs prefer full access to the sun, good air circulation and well-drained soil. You can plant them in a small plot outside or put them in a flower pot. They’re versatile plants that will add some flavor to your meals. Some even have medicinal uses. Some of the herbs we enjoy are mint, dill, cilantro, basil and oregano.

  1. After planting

Once your seeds and plants are in, I recommend a layer of mulch. You can use any kind you like. We put about ½ to 1 inch of mulch in our bays or pots to help keep things moist. This allow us to water less often. We do have a drip system in our planting plots, but we water our pots by hand.

Enjoy your winter garden.

 

Tina Frank is a resident of Rancho El Dorado and a master gardener.



This column appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Photo by Mason Callejas

Quad roping, jackpot team roping and saddle roping are just part of the rodeo events that are signatures of Masik Tas at Ak-Chin Indian Community. Saturday will feature a native-only junior rodeo followed by a bull bash and wild horse race for everyone. Saddle roping is set for Sunday. Learn more at http://www.ak-chin.nsn.us/_masiktas/ 

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Photo by Mason Callejas

Maricopa vocal students performed a winter choral recital Dec. 7 at the Performing Arts Center. High school and middle school choirs participated.

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Dayv Morgan

By Dayv Morgan

When it’s time to put a home on the market, many sellers don’t think about the impact high fees will have on resale. It is important to keep in mind what buyers in the area will consider when shopping for a home in Maricopa, including homeowners association fees.

HOA monthly dues

Acacia Crossings $71.50
Alterra $62.92
Cobblestone Farms $92.82
Desert Cedars $66.00
Desert Passage $99.00
Glennwilde $76.35
Homestead North $48.50
Homestead South $85.15
Maricopa Meadows $73.10
Palo Brea $55.00
Province (detached homes) $220.00
Province (villas) $286.52
Rancho El Dorado $42.63
Rancho El Dorado Phase III (Lakes) $62.92
Rancho Mirage $91.67
Santa Rosa Springs $68.00
Senita $65.00
Sorrento $63.30
Tortosa $86.98
Villages at Rancho El Dorado $83

It’s also important for buyers to research costs associated with nearby HOAs and how that may affect their purchasing power.

Let’s take a look at an example: At a 4.5 percent interest rate over 30 years, $50 a month in HOA fees equates to about $10,000 in purchasing power. We’ll say that a buyer is qualified for up to a maximum of $160,000 and the lender estimated the HOA at $50 per month. The buyer could make a purchase in Homestead North, where the HOA is $48.50 a month at $160,000. But, if he purchases in Desert Passage where the HOA fee is almost double that of Homestead, he will only be able to afford a home up to $150,000, assuming taxes and interest are the same.

Another cost often overlooked is HOA fees that must be paid at closing. Palo Brea, for example, has over $1,500 in disclosure and capital improvement fees, compared to Rancho El Dorado’s $400 disclosure and transfer fees. While these are often paid by the sellers, the fees could be negotiated to be paid by the buyer. However, the buyer will likely want a lower price in return.

Even worse, the buyer could walk away altogether at the thought of having to pay the HOA over $1,500 in the future.


Dayv Morgan, HomeSmart Success

844-811-7653

DayvMorgan@gmail.com


This column appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Named 5A Metro First Team from Maricopa High School were (from left) Kemo Akins , Tylen Coleman, Jacob Cowing and Edward Donaldson.

Nine Maricopa High School football players have been named All-Region in recent 5A Metro voting.

Wide receive Jacob Cowing, a junior, and senior running back Kemo Akins were named First Team, as were junior defensive lineman Tylen Coleman and senior linebacker Edward Donaldson.

Cowing led 5A Metro in receiving yards with 1,081. He scored 13 touchdowns for 78 points, tied for fourth in the region. Akins was third in rushing yards, with 1,040. His 18 touchdowns and 108 points were third in Metro.

Coleman collected by far the most sacks in the region with 13.

Named to 5A Metro’s Second Team were seniors Taylor Belcher, Zion Saole, Brenden West and Baylen Redfern and junior Stefon Nelson.

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Submitted photo

Three of four middle school Robotics teams from Leading Edge Academy Maricopa made it to the finals at the Robotics tournament held at Orangewood Elementary School in Phoenix on Nov. 18.

This was the second tournament of the year for the middle school teams, and each team improved its previous performance.

The Gray Wolves finished fifth with 82 points, the Tundra Wolves were sixth with 65 points and the Arctic Wolves placed seventh with 63 points. Robotics coaches James Larson and Susanna Cabello have challenged their teams to make a design that will earn 100 points or more for their upcoming events to place high enough to complete at the state level.

An eighth place out of 24 was achieved by the Leading Edge Academy Maricopa elementary Robotics team when they attended a tournament hosted by Sequoia Pathway in Mesa, also on Nov. 18.

Leading Edge Academy Maricopa will host its first ever tournament at their Porter Road location on Dec. 16. Details about the event are available on RobotEvents.com under Leading Edge Academy Maricopa Ringmaster Qualifier through the VEX IQ Challenge program.

Submitted photo

Murray Siegel

By Murray Siegel 

This is the second of a two-part column on preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs. Read Part 1

There are two methods to promote learning in elementary math classes that have proven to be successful.

The first is to have all students in a particular grade have math at the same time. During that time students are assigned to a classroom based on their individual mathematical abilities and achievements. This method allows for flexibility, so a student is not “stuck” in a class if the student’s level of math ability changes. A student in the remedial class who catches up and can now function in a grade-level class can be moved.

Some teachers are concerned that this type of program puts all the behavior problems in the lowest class. This concern is not realistic since students are placed based on ability. Some weak students become behavior problems when they see no hope for progress. By placing students in a class at an appropriate level, loss of hope quickly disappears. Any disciplinary role is the responsibility of the principal.

It is important each teacher is properly equipped to teach math at the level to which he or she is assigned. The teacher of the remedial class must believe all students can learn if taught properly and the teacher must have the appropriate tools, including alternate arithmetical methods that engage the students.

The second method is to have an elementary math specialist assigned to each elementary school. This method has been used successfully in Texas. Qualified teachers could be provided with appropriate professional development. The specialist would teach an advanced math class in grades three, four and five. All classes in a grade would have math at the same time. For the remainder of the school day, the specialist would work with individual students or small groups, especially in remediation. The specialist would work with teachers conferences, classroom observations and demonstration lessons.

Besides having a qualified teacher responsible for the mathematical learning of the most able students, using a specialist means the math classes would be reduced in size since some students would be attending the advanced class.

Concerns may be raised before either method is adopted, but the overriding concern must be to develop the math skills of more American children who will be the scientific leaders of the next generation.


Murray Siegel has a PhD in MathEd and 42 years of teaching experience. He and his wife Sharon are volunteer teachers of advanced math classes at Butterfield Elementary School.


This column appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Arizona’s Children Association has a new Parents as Teachers program for families in Pinal County. This free program, funded through First Things First, is designed for families who are pregnant and/or have children birth to 5 years. First Things First, approved by Arizona voters, works to ensure that our youngest children have access to quality early child experiences so that they will start school healthy and ready to succeed.

The Parents as Teachers home visiting program will consist of parent and child activities that support the parent as the first and best teacher in their child’s life. Parent Educators will facilitate two home visits per month with fun and easy activities to support and enhance a child’s skills and prenatal home visiting for each trimester to help support expecting parents. Developmental, vision, and hearing screenings for infants and children, and group meetings with other parents as support and networking, are also offered. As needed, consultation for resources and referrals to community resources may also be provided.

Arizona’s Children Association staff are early childhood educators who are nationally certified to bring this evidence-based program to Pinal County families. With over 30 years of research, this parent and child curriculum supports advanced language, problem-solving, cognitive development, and social development skills necessary for school readiness. Families who have participated in the Parents as Teachers program have children who arrive to school ready to learn and score higher on kindergarten readiness tests and in standardized measures of reading, math, and language tests in elementary grades.

Arizona’s Children Association has a team of Parent Educators who will travel throughout Pinal County to conduct home visits. Registration for this free program is now open for enrollment and participation in the program is open to all families throughout Pinal County and is not contingent upon income or need.

WHO:               Arizona’s Children Association
WHAT:             Free program for families who are pregnant or have children ages birth to 5 years.
WHEN:             Enrollment is now open
WHERE:           Pinal County

For more information about Parents as Teachers, please contact Shelley Tellez at 480-261-9937 or PCarder@arizonaschildren.org. Parents as Teachers is also available La Paz, Mohave and Yavapai County. www.ArizonasChildren.org

FirstThingsFirst.org

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Alex Hurley. Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

By Joycelyn Cabrera

Alex Hurley had never participated in a poetry slam prior to October’s All-Maricopa Slam. Hurley, a junior at Maricopa High School, competed against a few teens and many adults.

Each competitor prepared three poems for three rounds, each round judged on a 1-10 scale by a panel of five judges. Alex was a favorite from the beginning with enthusiastic audience reception.

Being one of the youngest participants in the slam, Hurley surprised the judges and audience with powerful, evocative poems filled with emotion. With original poetry “The Gun,” “Beauty” and “Bitten Fingernails,” Hurley’s themes of struggle earned him first place at the slam, opening a spot for him to compete at the All-State Poetry Slam in January.

“The Gun” was written in reference to the end of Hurley’s sophomore year after his participation with the MHS spring musical, Beauty and the Beast.

“I was feeling very fake, everything felt fake and unreal,” Hurley said. He created a metaphor describing both his identity struggles and his support system – contrasting the two different sides of his life at the time.

Hurley’s most recent poem, “Beauty,” was performed while unfinished at the poetry slam.

Alex has been writing since his freshman year, beginning as a coping mechanism. He wrote “Bitten Fingernails” over the summer of his sophomore year. His interest in poetry grew as he noticed the rhythm that comes with poems and the ability to communicate emotion through poetry.

“It makes people realize something about themselves and about other people. It sends a message,” Hurley said.

He gets his inspiration from his own struggles and the struggles of others around him.

Hurley describes performing at the All-Maricopa Slam as a nerve-racking and exhilarating experience. “It was kind of like achieving a dream.”

Hurley plans to bring old and new pieces to the All-State Poetry Slam, including “Bitten Fingernails.”

Bitten Fingernails

By Alex Hurley

my fingernails are tapping on piano keys
my fingertips used to be the only things that came out of my throat
and surely, i was done with my tweezing teeth
the clippings of sound that came out of my mouth
when i was unsure or clearly just bored
were comforting
a steady routine
a bad habit
a consistency i could depend on
an addiction
something i loved but its friction made my bones hurt with affliction
my fingers are always on restriction
bloodied and bruised
i often mused to the sound of pain coming from my brain


This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

Maricopa Subway received a technical knock from the health department last month.

Of the 15 Maricopa-area eateries inspected by Pinal County health department Oct. 16-Nov. 15, all but received top grades of “excellent.” Subway received a technical tick as the inspector had to provide hand-washing stickers and a fecal/vomit cleanup policy.

Excellent [No violations found]
Barro’s Pizza
Bashas’ – Bakery
Bashas’ – Deli
Bashas’ – Starbucks
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Helen’s Kitchen
Honeycutt Coffee
Jersey Mike’s Subs
Raceway Bar & Grill
Rob’s Convenience
Shamrock Farms
Sonic Drive-In
Taco Bell
Water and Ice

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
Subway

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by MPhoto by Mason Callejasason Callejas

Members of the Maricopa High School Performance Company, part of the school’s dance program, performed their winter recital, “Dedications,” Friday and Saturday in the Performing Arts Center. Dances were choreographed by artistic director and instructor Alexandra Biggs and students Sara Brock, Danielle Anderson, Natasha Nechvatal, Riley Bell, Averi Pepper, Myka Borunda, Fides Bernales, Jalen Reyes, Samuel Peters and Stirling Luckey.

Click photos for larger images.

Photo by Dean Crandall

A company was granted a permit Nov. 9 to fill in an aesthetic opening between the first and second floors of Copper Sky Multigenerational Complex. Architekton, a subcontractor, is filling in the oculus opening that allows members in the workout room to see into the lobby. The $10,000 project is part of a larger project by CORE Construction to create room for more exercise equipment on the second floor to help Copper Sky’s revenue.

HRW Builders was granted a site-improvement permit Nov. 1 for a possible Jiffy Lube. The property is at 42100 W. Maricopa Casa-Grande Hwy.

Global Water-Santa Cruz Water Company received a rezoning permit Nov. 1 for the campus on the northwest corner for The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado as part of ongoing construction for its water reclamation facility. Global also received zoning permits for 30-foot antenna poles at Rancho El Dorado, Province, Homestead, Cobblestone and Smith-Enke Road.

Maricopa Renovations received a permit Oct. 18 for an illuminated black aluminum sign at 20024 N. John Wayne Parkway. On Nov. 7, Edison Pointe received a permit for two banners for the property at 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway.

Nov. 2, the City of Maricopa received a temporary use permit for its 2nd Saturday Maricopa Market at Sequoia Pathway Academy.

SAC Wireless was granted a permit Oct. 26 for a cell tower modification in Glennwilde. The project is valued at $9,000.


This item appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Victor Moreno

The 10th annual Masik Tas celebration included a Light Parade Sunday, the first time the parade has been at night. Entrants decked out floats, vehicles, people, instruments and horses in strings of lights and glow-in-the dark items to light up the night along Farrell Road. The finale of the parade, the Ak-Chin Fire Department truck carrying Santa and his reindeer, won the “biggest and brightest” award. Themes were a mix of Masik Tas and Christmas,  to the entertainment of the crowd that gathered along the route.

Ak-Chin Indian Community has more big events planned this week.

A little of everything is happening this week in Maricopa.

This is one of the busiest weeks of the year, with a December array of events in store, from concerts and art displays to shopping opportunities and Ak-Chin’s Masik Tas. Below Ak-Chin Chairman Robert Miguel invites the community out to the many events that celebrate Masik Tas. For details on these and other listings, or to add your own, visit http://www.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

Masik Tas Golf Tournament starts at 10 a.m. at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, 48456 W. Hwy. 238.

Chipotle Fundraiser for DSPA is 5-9 p.m. at Chipotle, 21423 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 105.

Maricopa Historical Society Meeting is at 5:30 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 Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.

Parents of Addicted Loved Ones (PAL) meet at 7 p.m. at 19395 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 16.

TUESDAY

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

ZooLights daytrip leaves at 9 a.m. from Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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

Coffee with Friends of the Maricopa Library is at 1:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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

Faces of Maricopa Art Exhibit opens at 6 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

City Hall Tree Lighting Celebration 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.

Pass in Review by MHS Music Department is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Performing Arts Center, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

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

WEDNESDAY

Creative Sisterhood is 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 is at 3 p.m. at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 N. Maricopa Road.

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

AWANA is at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Maricopa, 18705 N John Wayne Parkway.

THURSDAY

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.

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

Li’l Explorers is at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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

Masik Tas Jackpot Roping is at 6 p.m. at Ak-Chin Circle Arena, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

MAC Artist’s Reception is at 6 p.m. at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, 20800 N. John Wayne Parkway, Ste. 108.

MHS Fall Vocal Concert is at 6:30 p.m. at Maricopa Performing Arts Center, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

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.

Masik Tas Senior Quad Roping is at 9 a.m. at Ak-Chin Circle Arena, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Masik Tas Carnival opens at 4 p.m. at Ak-Chin Circle, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Clay Walker & Parmalee are in a free concert for Masik Tas (gates open at 6 p.m.) at Ak-Chin Circle, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

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

SATURDAY

2nd Saturday Market is 8-11 a.m. at Sequoia Pathway Academy, 19265 N. Porter Road.

Coffee with the Chief is at 8 a.m. at Maricopa Police Department, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza South.

Maricopa Marketplace is 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the parking lot at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, 20800 N. John Wayne Parkway.

Masik Tas Junior Rodeo (native only) is at 9 a.m. at Ak-Chin Circle Arena, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Maricopa Arts Festival is at 10 a.m. at The Duke at Rancho El Dorado, 42660 W. Rancho El Dorado.

Fire Department Ride for Toys is at 10 a.m. at Pacana Park, 19000 N. Porter Road.

Masik Tas Carnival opens at 10 a.m. at Ak-Chin Circle, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Living Nativity Maricopa is 5-8 p.m. at Community of Hope Church, 45295 W Honeycutt Ave.

Grand Holiday Concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road.

SUNDAY

Masik Tas Roping Events are at 9 a.m. at Ak-Chin Circle Arena, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

Masik Tas Carnival is at noon at Ak-Chin Circle, 16000 N. Maricopa Road.

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



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Maricopa Chorus will be part of the music at the Grand Holiday Concert Dec. 9.

A series of arts events culminate Dec. 9 when Arts Day closes with a musical flourish in Maricopa Music Circle’s Grand Holiday Concert at University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center.

IF YOU GO
What: Grand Holiday Concert
Who: Maricopa Music Circle, Maricopa Chorus, Desert Sun Performing Arts
When: Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road
How much: $12 adults age 12 and older; $8 age 11 and younger
Tickets: BrownPaperTickets.com
Info: MaricopaMusicCircle@yahoo.com, 520-316-6268

MMC is joined by dancers from Desert Sun Performing Arts and Maricopa Chorus carolers to make the event a feast for both ears and eyes. Projections, caroling, and dancing added to seasonal orchestral favorites both familiar and new, from both sides of the Atlantic, convey the many moods of Christmastime.

A rich program includes Tchaikovsky’s entire Nutcracker Suite, Fauré’s haunting Sicilienne, Irving Berlin’s beloved White Christmas, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (whose familiar melody was composed by Felix Mendelssohn), Jingle Bells, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, some toe-tapping Grieg, Ravel’s great Pavane, carols galore – and of course several movements from Handel’s monumental Messiah.

The evening will close with a sing-along to the Hallelujah Chorus – so be ready to join in.

Founded in 2010, MMC performs throughout Maricopa and nearby cities. Maricopa Chorus, led by John Janzen, adds joyous caroling around town every holiday season. DSPA Dancers are local standouts in their movement skills and inventive choreography.

Arts Day starts with the Maricopa Arts Festival 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at The Duke, a marketplace of creative works by the city’s artisans and artists, directed by painter Kaui Wilson. It follows the Dec. 5 unveiling of “Faces of Maricopa,” the newest exhibit at City Hall’s Maricopa Artists’ Gallery. Graphic artist Carl Diedrich has created a novel photography showcase capturing the faces and thoughts of various Maricopans at unplanned moments around town, each picture taken on a different day of the year. Dec. 7 is the opening reception at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship for Pam Sutton’s inspired and beautiful paintings and quilts.

Maricopa Music Circle is a central part of the concert.

This story appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.


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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The fourth annual Merry Copa festival drew a crowd to Copper Sky on Saturday. See the growing gallery of photos (and send in your own at News@InMaricopa.com). A zone for kids included the snow slide and skating rink, ornament decorating and cookie decorating. Gingerbread houses were judged, and scores participated in the one-mile Santa Run around the lake.

Senior Josh Johnson (1) is pursued down-court by Campo Verde on Friday. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The Maricopa High School boys’ basketball started the season 4-1 after defeating Campo Verde, 71-50, Friday. Though the Coyotes took an early lead, the Rams’ tenacious style of play proved unstoppable in front of the home crowd.

Senior guard Josh Johnson scored 33 points and had five rebounds and five steals. Junior Jelani Elliott scored 15 points and had nine rebounds and three steals. Senior El Jones had 10 points and seven rebounds. The Rams continue their home stand through the next three games, hosting Poston Butte Tuesday, Mountain View Marana Friday and Willow Canyon Dec. 12.

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Some of the MHS participants in the Arizona State Thespian Festival. Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

A Maricopa High School senior scored straight marks of “superior” for her musical solo at the Arizona State Thespian Festival in November. The performance landed her a scholarship.

Britney Montgomery. Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

 

Britney Montgomery performed “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide, impressing the adjudicators. She earned the Amy Bennett Musical Theatre Memorial Scholarship, one of the highest scholarship honors available.

MHS Theatre and Technical Theatre students were among 3,000 performing at the Phoenix Convention Center, where they also attended workshops.

Britney wasn’t the only MHS student with high scores.

The Tech Team took first place among 64 teams in knot-tying. Senior Collin Martin and junior Antonio Gonzales also earned the top score of superior for their musical duet “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” from Kiss Me, Kate.

The group musical number “You’re Goin’ Back to Jail” from Bonnie and Clyde, performed by juniors Kjirsten “Kiki” Lemon and Aleyna Call and seniors Jalen Reyes and Lisa Moore, scored overall excellent. Junior Alex Hurley scored excellent with monologues from Picnic and Death of a Salesman.

Collin Martin (left) and Antonio Gonzalez. Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

MHS also performed a one-act presentation of Tracks by Peter Tarsi, with Adrian Perdomo, Logan Spaulding, Aidyn Curtis, Taryn Story, Carlos Aguilar, Antonio Gonzales, Rachel Knight, Chaienne Zoller, Collin Martin and Ivie Keene. Maricopans will have an opportunity to see Tracks in performance Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. in the MHS Lecture Hall. Admission is free, and the performance is in partnership with the Health and Wellness program at MHS. 

Jalen Reyes, Aleyna Call, Kiki Lemon and Lisa Moore. Photo by Joycelyn Cabrera

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From left: Beth Amoroso, Harrah’s director of human resources; Christine Todd, Harrah’s business process improvement site leader; Chairman Robert Miguel, Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal Council; Alvin Antone, Councilman, Ak-Chin Indian Community Tribal Council, and Angie Groeneveld, Harrah’s director of hospitality operations.

As part of its multi-million-dollar expansion, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino has completed construction on its new multi-level parking garage.

The parking garage adds an additional 730 parking spaces and allows direct access from the structure’s third floor directly into the casino and a direct connection to Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle.

The grand opening of the parking garage on Nov. 30 is part of phase one of the expansion. Phase one activities also include the opening of a new bingo hall, the opening of a new restaurant, Oak and Fork, a new diamond lounge for Total Rewards members and the expansion of the buffet.

Robert Livingston, general manager of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, said direct access to the casino and Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle from the parking garage will allow for easier access for guests to enjoy the many entertainment options offered by The Ak-Chin Indian Community.