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The Maricopa team took the CERT lead for exercises in Florence on Saturday. Submitted photos

Maricopa’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) joined volunteers from Florence and Oracle and more than 250 first responders to participate in an active-shooter exercise at Pinal County Superior Court Saturday.

Law enforcement and fire personnel from Pinal and Maricopa counties practiced the full-scale scenario in the daylong event.

Maricopa volunteers led the CERT operations. They brought in a CERT trailer, popup shade shelters, rehab cooling chairs, six ice chests, cooling towels, bottled water, ice, radios, tables and chairs to assist. There were 21 CERT volunteers from the three agencies.

CERT also assisted in staging area resource management, the medical treatment tent and participant accountability.

“The exercise required planning, radio communications, inter-agency cooperation and confidence, and to practice vital CERT skills under the Incident Command System in real time,” Maricpoa CERT Safety Lead Bill Robertson reported.

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My Maricopa Plumber

By Terry Leamon, My Maricopa Plumber

Summer is a great time to encourage homeowners to perform a maintenance check on their plumbing.

Water usage soars during the summer months from heat and summertime activities. As they play and swim, many

families will find themselves with a few extra loads of laundry per week and maybe a few extra showers.

Homeowners can start the season off right with a quick check throughout the home and property to conserve water and avoid a hefty repair bill.

In the Home

Check washing machine hoses for bulges, leaks and cracks. Washing machine hoses should be replaced every three years.

Be sure your washing machine is at least four inches from the wall, so hoses won’t kink and damage.

Do a thorough cleaning on your dryer lint trap regularly to avoid buildup.

Don’t send grease, fats or food down the drain. When washing foods like corn, be sure the strings don’t go down the drain and clog your pipes.

Heat and humidity will cause ducts to create condensation, which can easily back up drains if they are not clear. Check for leaks and condensation on your pipes regularly.

Clean up your garbage disposal by placing a cup of ice inside. Then, while running cold water, turn on the unit. Repeat a few times to ensure it’s clean. Then place a capful of vegetable oil down the disposal, which will act as a natural lubricant.


Inspect hoses and outdoor faucets for leaks and cracks.

Don’t just turn off the hose nozzle; turn it off at the connection. A leaky hose could burst under pressure if water is still pumping, causing water loss and ruining your equipment.

Set up a rainwater barrel to collect water for your plants.  This not only helps conserve water for the environment, but also will help you save money on your water bill.

Extended Trips

Going away for a while? Turn off the water and turn down the temperature. This will save energy while you’re away and in the event of a leak or break, prevent a bigger mess from occurring.


By Christian Price

With materials and labor costs rising as much as 40 percent in the past year alone, this carefully choreographed dance between land developers, building contractors and business owners is getting trickier and trickier.

Mayor Christian Price (submitted photo)

As many of you know, last month, a contingent from Maricopa, which included myself and City staff,  participated in the International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC) in Las Vegas.

This particular show is a veritable “who’s who” of developers, financiers, site selectors, place makers, retailers, hoteliers and so much more. More than 35,000 attendees congregate in one place looking to make connections, build relationships, get to know new areas and land sites and start the lengthy process of making deals to potentially pull new “stuff” out of the ground.

When it comes to this type of economic development, cities like Maricopa are often prevented from revealing information to the public until the business itself gives us permission.  And although we may be bursting with pride when a business expresses an interest in our city, we must abide by their wishes before making any big announcements.

But something we can share is how the business and development community look at expanding their product to a market, specifically one like Maricopa.

Each market or land site within a city, county or state has a long list of challenges to overcome, long before development can ever be considered, and the way a developer or business perceives a given market has to fit into their “proprietary formula for success” that is specific to their industry, market conditions, economic and consumer trends, political certainty, financial opportunity, availability to capital and so on.

Almost all businesses have and use these formulas to calculate the amount of risk they are willing to make when considering a multi-million-dollar investment into the market. Some company formulas, in my opinion, are more open to trying something new, non-conforming or taking new risks, but many are not. And almost every company swears their formula is “tried and true” based on their years of operations as a business. Trying to get them to deviate, even just a little bit, from these calculated formulas of success is almost impossible. And of course, for each company, each type of business, every different brand within that company or industry type, they are all different!

Whether we agree with them on how Maricopa fits into their formulas or not, we understand that they do change and evolve over time for a variety of reasons — which, in and of itself, is a reason to never give up trying to meet with them, tell them our story, expound on our virtues and persuade them on the merits of a new location for their enterprise here within the borders of our fair city. But the reality is, there are real barriers in locating to any market, even one like Maricopa.

Economies change, CEOs and boards of directors change. Risk tolerances and policies change. Markets change. Progress with “shovel-ready sites” changes.

Site challenges change with infrastructure improvements and other growth-related issues.  Population and rooftops matter immensely to these folks. And the perception of what other businesses have done recently or the growth or successes of other businesses in the area may all come into play when decisions are being made.

Thus, as we continue to meet and speak with a variety of businesses, many of which you have shared with me on Facebook that you’d like to see come to Maricopa, and even more that you haven’t, we are literally wading our way through and trying to address these various challenges that are made evident from our very first encounter.

Sometimes a business is simply looking for “the easy sure thing” when it comes to development, and who can blame them? I would do the very same thing. But looking for that easy-to-develop, with-no-challenges site is a little like looking for a unicorn in today’s marketplace. Of course, we all know a business can choose to move heaven and earth if they really want to be located in a given market, but again most need shepherding and lots of encouragement, stats, data, hand-holding and reminders to the decision-makers that we want them here in Maricopa.

We are a young (16-years-old) city. We are not an already-built and established city.  We rely on our partners and developers whom we have been fostering relationships with for years that understand the market and are interested in working with us to get new businesses into their soon-to-be-developed buildings.

With materials and labor costs rising as much as 40 percent in the past year alone, this carefully choreographed dance between land developers, building contractors and business owners is getting trickier and trickier.

During our time at ICSC we had a very direct discussion with one of our partners, a developer who is actively working with us to attract new businesses and pull buildings and businesses out of the ground that our community has expressed interest in. We expressed our community’s wants and desires; he is willing to work with us, but explained that getting to where we want to be is a process. That we have to build slowly and deliberately, that each new business allows us to attract other businesses. Such is the life cycle of a growing city.

When a business locates to a new area and is successful, it creates development momentum.  Their success also sends a ripple effect through the system that the development community takes note of. This drives their interest in a city to further investigate and ultimately participate in the marketplace.

For example, many of our residents have expressed a desire to have a sit-down restaurant or a “nice steak house.” But to get there you must first start with a fast casual restaurant.  Once that restaurant is here and doing well, they expand. And others take notice and consider locating here as well. Which, in turn, prompts other restaurants until eventually the “nice steak house” in Maricopa is a reality.

While there are always exceptions to the above mentioned rules, generally speaking, that is the standard life cycle of a city and how businesses, restaurants, retailers and others make their decisions.

We are very hopeful that this next phase of development for Maricopa will see some of these new businesses that we are all looking for.  Our city staff and others are working alongside the developers and the owners of the properties on this vision for our city.

I don’t share this with you as an excuse or to push off our goals of growing our economy and our quality of life here within the city. (If that were the case I certainly wouldn’t have walked over 30+ miles in dress shoes to talk to all these folks!)  But rather to have you walk a mile in those shoes, understand the process and the conversations that we’ve been having that convey to the business decision-makers what our community wants.

There are bright and exciting days ahead for this marvelous city. But the process in which economic development occurs, new buildings are built, new stores and businesses open, is not one that happens overnight and it doesn’t typically happen without a little assistance and guidance.  With so many moving parts that must align perfectly in order for things to come out of the ground, development can certainly be challenging, but definitely not impossible.

And in my book, the City of Maricopa is most definitely worth the effort.

Christian Price is the mayor of Maricopa.

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By Angela Askey, Executive Director Public Relations and Marketing

Central Arizona College recognizes the reality of food insecurity among its student population and the extent to which hunger affects communities.

In the United States, an estimated 40 million people, including 12 million children struggle with hunger. In Pinal County alone, nearly 60,000 people struggle with food insecurity on a regular basis.

The CAC Food Pantry is part of a larger initiative intended to improve student success and increase upward mobility by combating the negative effects of hunger.

CAC Food Pantry locations are now open at all Central Arizona College library locations. To receive assistance, students may visit any library location and ask an employee for access to the CAC Food Pantry. No identification or personal information will be required to receive goods.

Library locations and hours are:

Aravaipa Campus: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
80440 E. Aravaipa Road, Winkelman

Maricopa Campus: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
17945 N. Regent Drive, Maricopa

San Tan Campus: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
3736 E. Bella Vista Road, San Tan Valley

Signal Peak Campus: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge

Superstition Mountain Campus: Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
805 S. Idaho Road, Apache Junction

*Please note that all libraries are closed Friday through Sunday.

CAC Food Pantry locations are continually being re-stocked. Those in need are invited to visit and take items as needed.

For those interested in helping to support the CAC Food Pantries, canned or non-perishable items can be dropped off to any CAC Library. The most requested items include Peanut Butter & other nut butters, dry pasta, pasta sauce, ramen cups, canned meat/fish, granola bars, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, and toiletries (soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste).

Monetary donations may be made through the CAC Foundation at Select “Other” under “Please direct my donation to:” and note CAC Food Pantry in “Additional Information.”

For additional information, please visit

Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

Joan Koczor

Robocalls, those prerecorded, unsolicited annoyances that are becoming all-too-frequent in many households, have reached epic proportions. They are the largest source of consumer complaints to the FTC.

In 2018, a record 48 billion robocalls were placed to phones in the United States, according to YouMail, a company that blocks and tracks robocalls. That is 57 percent more robocalls than there were in 2017.

Legal or Not

Political parties and candidates, as well as charities, are legally allowed to autodial you with a prerecorded message to your home landline. The same is true of callers whose messages are purely informational: the pharmacy telling you that your prescription is ready, your child’s school to say there’s a weather delay, your doctor’s office to confirm an appointment.

Autodialed telemarketing calls from legitimate outfits to your home landline are also legally permitted, provided the person on the other end is a human being; for prerecorded messages, your written consent is required.

Payment reminder calls to your landline — for example, when your credit card company robocalls you to alert you that your payment is due — are generally legal without prior consent. Robocalls from debt collection agencies, which are also payment reminders, are legal to landlines and require no previous consent to be called. Moreover, these calls are not covered by the Do Not Call Registry.

Almost all autodialed or prerecorded calls made to your cell phone – charities, political parties to name a few – are illegal unless you have given permission to be contacted this way or a call is for an emergency. If you get these calls to your cell phone and don’t remember giving permission, it’s possible that you checked a terms-of-service box or provided a phone number during a sign-up process. Doing either can constitute consent to be called, per FCC regulations.

What can you do?

Many companies, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon, have services that alert you an incoming robocall may be from a scammer or spammer.

While the carriers’ systems can notify customers of calls that may be problematic, they are far from perfect. Scammers can still spoof legitimate numbers.

Instead of simply being alerted to incoming robocalls, a call-blocking app can intercept robocalls before they reach you. Though some apps don’t access your contact lists, some of the free apps do. If you’re planning to download a robocall-blocking app, read the app’s privacy policy first.

One option available from some phone companies is to automatically reject anonymous calls. If you turn this feature on, all anonymous calls are instantly rejected, preventing the caller from even leaving a message.

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

This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Coyote Joe Daigneault. Photo by Erin Ward

By Jim Headley

“I came to Maricopa to create a music scene, and it’s damn hard here.”

Coyote Joe began playing music when he was 7. Today he’s one of the busiest musicians in the Valley.

Blame his wife. Joe Daigneault said he met his wife Cathy at 12 and knew she was the one for him.

“I’m the first boy that ever kissed her,” Coyote Joe said. “We got married at 21. I said, ‘Kathy, I’m going to work really hard for five years and pay the house off. As soon as I get the house paid off, I’m going to go and be a ful-ltime musician.’ I paid the house off when I was 57.”

Kathy told Joe to become a full-time musician and live up to his end of their deal.

“If you want to have health insurance and a new car every four or five years, maybe go on a vacation now and then and fix the air conditioning unit when it breaks, you better have a different career than music,” Joe said.

He said playing music in Arizona allows him to make some good pocket money.

“The average guy, who’s a weekend warrior in Arizona, goes home, if he’s lucky, with $80 a night,” he said. “I do a little better than that, but I play a lot. This time of year, I play all the time. Sometimes, I’m playing because I want to play. Sometimes, I’m playing because I want the money.”

Coyote Joe playing at Copper Sky in 2018. Photo by Bruce P. Jones

Instead of Daigneault, he’d rather just be called Coyote Joe, on and off stage. It gives him an identity as he tries to rally Maricopa musicians to gather and mentor each other.

“I think I’m doing who I am,” Coyote Joe said. “I came to Maricopa to create a music scene, and it’s damn hard here. The Raceway Bar and Grill has been great, and I play there often. I also play at A Latte Vino in Casa Grande. It is our job for every musician in this town to get to know each other. What this town is missing is some of those more soulful things. We need some cool little coffee shops and a little wine bar.”

While best known for his five seasons as host and writer for ABC15’s Emmy Award-winning television cooking series, “The Sonoran Grill,” Coyote Joe has also made over 400 appearances on ABC15’s “Sonoran Living” and authored an impressive catalogue of southwestern cookbooks.

He also sculpts and writes poetry.

Coyote Joe said he’s been “serious about playing” for several years now. He spent almost two years learning one specific guitar-picking technique and “getting it right.”

It is a hybrid method with strumming and a finger pick at the same time.

“I try to get my music down first, then I think of a melody and then I think about lyrics,” he said. “I’m thinking about the drums and I’m thinking about the baseline. Then there’s a melodic line over the top. At the same time, I’m thinking about the kick and the snare.”

What this all boils down to is Coyote Joe’s unique sound on stage.

Professional musician J.C. Scott is one of Coyote Joe’s friends and they often play music together. Scott said he first met Coyote Joe about 10 years ago.

“His nickname is actually Mad Coyote Joe,” Scott said. “When we first met him, he was delivering bread and food to people. He is a musician who is very entertaining. His selection of songs – he’s the only musician I know that plays a plethora of TV tunes. He has a very eclectic group of songs, and he has a broad range.”

Coyote Joe developed his style inside a group of peer/mentor musicians in the Valley. He works a lot with Blade Wilson of Blade Wilson and the Mixups and Tim Brady with T-Bone and the Bastards.

“For me, what has been the valuable part of learning has been this peer/mentor relationship,” he said. “When you first start playing with somebody and I say, ‘you’re not getting your pitches,’ what most people hear is … you’re a bad person and you don’t deserve to be an artist. I need a group of people that will dispassionately analyze my music with a critical eye and understand how to deliver that information in a way that I’ll understand.”

Scott said Coyote Joe is well known in Cave Creek, where he is “one of the crew” among a group of musicians.

Coyote Joe plays around the area including at Raceway Bar & Grill, The Havoc at Harold’s and Buffalo Chip Saloon in Cave Creek, and hosts A Cuppa Joe, every Saturday morning at Janey’s in Cave Creek, The Tavern at Tarbell’s, JJ Madison’s in Mesa and many more locations.

This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Rep. Bret Roberts. Submitted photo

Bret Roberts (R-District 11) just completed his first session as a state representative. He shared some of his experience.

How was your first legislative session?

Rep. Bret Roberts
Age: 46
Hometown: Bowling Green, Ohio
Community of residence: Maricopa
Previous occupations: Detention officer, mortgage banker, constable
Committees: Regulatory Affairs (vice-chairman), Appropriations, Commerce, Judiciary
Primary sponsorship: HB 2521, which adds properly trained/certified constables to list of peace officers who may be allowed to carry a firearm; HB 2675, which validates unambiguous contract provisions negotiated by parties represented by attorneys.

I really enjoy being up at the Capitol representing District 11. Being vice chair of one and sitting on three other committees is a lot of work, but it does have its rewards. You get much more exposure to the issues you have come through your committees.

What have you learned that will help you in year two?

There was the obvious learning curve. The first few weeks to a month was a blur. Back-to-back, 30-minute meetings with individuals wanting to meet with you to discuss issues on bills. Learning who all the staff is and how they can help you. If you’re not in committee or on the floor, you’re in a meeting. The more committees you’re on, the more individuals want to meet with you. Which is great, you get to learn about so many issues. Next year, none of the day-to-day will be a surprise. Work can also be done in the interim to get a head start on any bills I may want to run.

How would you see the “Wayfair bill” (House Bill 2702) impacting Maricopa?

HB2702, or Wayfair, has to do with taxes being collected on products that are purchased online out of state. This would bring parity and fairness to any brick-and-mortar business that is currently collecting sales tax on products sold. Any time a product is purchased out of state online by an individual located in Arizona, that out-of-state vendor would have to collect sales tax and send it back to Arizona; just like our businesses are doing for those states. Forty other states have done this already, which means our businesses are currently at a disadvantage, meaning our businesses are collecting taxes for out-of-state vendors and sending taxes back to those states. Once we get this in place, those states will have to do the same for Arizona.

You were emotional during testimony about suicide prevention training for schools during this session. Share your thoughts on why that bill was important?

Yes, this was an emotional bill for many, including myself. This was also a great example of a bill that had tremendous bipartisan support. In my opinion this bill is important for many reasons but what stood out the most in my opinion [is that] today with social media, it’s a very different time than when most likely you or I went to school. Bullying is a much different animal today. Something could happen with a student and in mere moments it could be spread to pretty much the entire student body. This can lead to tremendous pressure on kids. The required training in the bill will help all school staff, not just teachers, to recognize signs that a student may be in distress, whether it be from an issue at school, home or anywhere for that matter and know how to act on that to prevent these tragic losses of life.

This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

The City of Maricopa included more than 50 potential capital improvement projects in its 2020-24 fiscal planning, some with higher priority than others. City Manager Rick Horst unveiled the tentative budget in May, showing it is filled with $33.95 million in capital projects. Many of those have been on the city’s “wish list” for years. Here are just 10 of the projects.

  1. The only project marked “critical” is the placement of a traffic signal at the intersection of Honeycutt Road at White and Parker Road in fiscal year 2020. That junction is currently a four-way stop, with one four-lane road squeezing down to two lanes in the process. Funded with impact fees. Cost $322,273
  2. The City of Maricopa plans to build a new library south of the City Hall plaza.

    The construction of a new library south of City Hall is in FY2020, funded by current bond from 2008. It would share the City Hall parking lot and have additional access from the south funded with impact fees. Cost $10.8 million

  3. Santa Cruz Wash flood control is considered the single most important project for the development of Maricopa. Planned for FY2020, it intends to reroute floodwaters from the Santa Cruz to the Santa Rosa Wash, removing 3,000 acres from the floodplain established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and funded by General Government CIP. Cost $913,330

  4. The Santa Rosa Wash covers the north crossing of Rancho El Dorado Parkway.

    An emergency flood-warning system on Rancho El Dorado Parkway’s two wash crossings is planned for FY2020. It would include water level sensors and message boards, funded with Highway User Revenue Funds. Related to that is an FY2021 and FY2022 project to elevate the north crossing near Pima Butte Elementary, funded by county road tax. Cost of warning system $55,000; cost of elevated crossing $905,000

  5. A study for a State Route 347 truck bypass to SR 238 is in FY2020. It will look at the possibility of building a road off SR 347 north of Cobblestone Farms to run west and then south to SR 238 to remove several heavy trucks from the SR 347/Smith-Enke Road intersection. The study would be funded by Direct Industrial Fund. Cost $50,000
  6. White and Parker at Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

    Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway improvements in FY2020 would widen the roadway to four lanes from Porter Road to White and Parker Road and create turn lanes at the White and Parker intersection. Funded by county road tax. Cost $4.997 million

  7. Plans are to convert the current library into a community center for seniors and veterans.

    Repurposing the existing library (FY2021) and the veterans center (FY2022) comes in the wake of building a new library. Plans are to make the current library on Smith-Enke Road into a shared-purpose senior center and veterans center. The current veterans center on MCG Highway would become a museum for Maricopa Historical Society. Both projects are funded by General Government CIP. Cost of library renovation $30,000; cost of vet center renovation $100,000

  8. Summer flooding of Porter Road at the Santa Rosa Wash is not uncommon.

    Beginning construction on the East-West Corridor, an important element of the Pinal Regional Transportation Authority, includes improving Farrell Road from SR 347 to Porter Road and a five-lane bridge on Porter Road across the Santa Rosa Wash, funded by Direct Industrial Fund in FY2020, FY2021, FY2022 and FY2023. Cost $21.6 million

  9. Estrella Gin Business Park.

    The installation of a 20,000-square-foot shell building in the Estrella Gin Business Park is in FY2020. The property was purchased and the roadway completed in hopes of luring industry. The new building is expected to spur development and would be funded by HURF. Cost $1.1 million

  10. Adding lanes to SR 347 from the south junction of Cobblestone Farms Drive to the north city limits is in FY2020 and FY2022. The plan is to add a third northbound lane from South Cobblestone to Lakeview Drive and then add a northbound acceleration lane off Lakeview Drive onto SR 347. Funded by HURF. Cost $3 million

    This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Joe Whittle with his kids in his backyard garden. Photos by Ivanka Kim

By Trudy Fuller

Trudy Fuller

Joe Whittle and his young family have lived in Maricopa four years, bringing with him 12 years of gardening and professional landscaping experience.

He also has completed a permaculture course taught by Geoff Lawton, based on the original permaculture book written by Australian ecologist Bill Mollison. By following these principles, Whittle has created a profusion of edible and medicinal plants along with those plants that are beneficial for wildlife such as hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

Working with rather than against nature is a permaculture philosophy. Here in the low desert, the U.S. Climate Data lists the average rainfall for Maricopa as 7.87 inches, which poses a challenge of making the most of a very modest rainfall.

Whittle has devised a passive rain water harvesting system to supplement his garden’s irrigation system, utilizing rain gutters that channel precipitation onto sunken gravel covered walkways below the soil level of the garden beds. In this way, the moisture seeps into the various root zones.

Companion plantings allow for taller plants to shade the understory plants, allowing the soil to stay moist longer. For example, a mulberry tree shades an artichoke, a sweet acacia provides shade for several types of citrus, and a guava plant receives shade from 10-foot sugar cane stalks.

Permaculture strives to keep the soil covered with moisture-providing plants, including weeds. There is a basic strategy for weeds in this garden. Eventual growth of vegetable crops will shade out weeds. Before they go to seed, weeds are added to the compost pile, along with seasonal tree leaf drop, providing minerals to the compost.

Moisture-preserving vegetable ground covers, including radishes, turnips and spicy mustard, improve the soil and eventually replace weed growth. Other ground cover found in this garden include sweet alyssum, deep-rooted dichondra clover, marshmallow herb and sweet lavender. Moisture is further saved through different mulches and finely ground wood chips. The moist soil created from these plantings encourages the earth worm population.

A shade-providing mulberry tree is thriving in this garden due to the extra moisture created from the permaculture strategy. Some shade is needed here in the desert, and this tree’s roots, among others in the garden, open up the soil to create air channels needed to promote plant growth.

To learn more about Joe Whittle’s garden, visit Whittle Bitty Farms on Facebook.

The next landscape and garden course will be offered at the Maricopa Agricultural Center beginning in late August. To get on the mailing list, write to

Trudy Fuller is a Tortosa resident and a Pinal County master gardener.

This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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This year was not the first time Maricopa Ace Hardware has taken home the Chamber's top prize. Photo by Jim Headley

By Jim Headley

Maricopa Ace Hardware was honored as the Large Business of the Year by the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce April 27.

Owner Mike Richey said he is honored his business was chosen again for this prestigious award.

“This is the third time that we’ve been honored by the Chamber of Commerce for the Business of the Year,” Richey said. “It is the second time that we were honored as the Waz Business of the Year.”

The Waz is presented in memory of Bill Wasowicz, a Realtor in Maricopa.

“He was very active in the community, the Chamber of Commerce and in his church. His wife, Patty Wasowicz, is still a Realtor and operates the Wizards of Waz agency. Bill passed away and there was a push to honor Waz in some way,” Richey said.

Richey said the chamber decided to choose large and small businesses of the year from among its membership, with the Waz as the large business award.

“Having known Bill and having known his activity and community involvement, this means even more to us,” Richey said.

“Receiving an award for this is great because of our view on customer service, our view on community involvement and that is our big focus on things. It is a big thrill to win the Waz award from the Chamber of Commerce.”

“It is an honor,” said William Gonzales, assistant manager. “I am glad to represent Maricopa Ace and the community here. We focus on the community. We focus on the people and the other small businesses. We support them also. We try to shop local ourselves.”

Gonzales said while the award is important, it is the recognition their company received for all the hard work that is welcomed.

“It is what we do for the community and what the community does for us. We work as a team. It just shows that we have the right people in the right place in the store. Customer service is our number one priority,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales has worked at Ace for the past five years. That dedication to customer service isn’t just inside the walls of Ace Hardware, he said; it’s also outside in the community every day.

“Maricopa has supported Maricopa Ace Hardware, Jacquie and myself in amazing ways,” Richey said. “This is part of the reason why we give back. The store mantra is to be part of the community – it is one of our core values to be involved in the community. It is a responsibility we have as a local business and something we take seriously.”

This story appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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The DSPA Gems went to the movies for their 13th annual recital June 8 at the Maricopa High School Performing Arts Center. With performances in the afternoon and evening, the all-ages troupe (from age 2 to adult) showed off what they have learned this year, dancing to cinematic choreography in large and small groups.

Josh Turner will perform at the Events Center at Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino in September. (Submitted photo)

Josh Turner, MCA Nashville recording artist, will be bringing his rich bass/baritone and distinctive sound to The Events Center at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino on Sept. 28.

Who: Josh Turner
When:  Saturday, Sept. 28 Doors:  7 p.m. Show Time:  8 p.m.
Where:  The Events Center at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
How much:  Starting at $35; Tickets on sale through Ticketmaster
Ages: All

As one of country music’s most recognizable talents, Turner has been honored with multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM award nominations, as well as received six Inspirational Country Music Awards. Turner is known for his unique voice and many hits, including “Your Man,” which topped the country charts and went platinum in 2006, “Would You Go With Me,” which was also a No. 1 single, and his self-penned, debut smash hit “Long Black Train.”

In addition, Turner is one of the youngest members inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, selling more than 8 million units and topping more than 1.5 billion in global streaming and populated radio.

Along with his success as a musician, Turner has also tackled the written word as an author. He released his first book, “Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family and Fatherhood,” in 2014, highlighting songwriting and performing in his childhood. In support of early music education, Turner created The Josh Turner Scholarship Fund to assist other children following the same path and mirroring his own upbringing.


Monsoon season is back.

While the exact moment of when the first massive wall of dust will rise up from the desert floor isn’t known, we do know this: It’s coming.

With June 9-14 officially proclaimed Monsoon Awareness Week by Governor Doug Ducey, now is the perfect time to brush up on the actions drivers can take to stay safest when confronted with blowing dust.

The No. 1 thing motorists can do to stay out of harm’s way? Do. Not. Drive. Into. A. Dust. Storm.

That’s a really bad idea. Visibility can drop to zero and turn pitch black, meaning you’re driving blind and so is anyone else on the road with you. But maybe you’re curious and wonder, “Just how dark and dangerous could it be?” Well, we’ve got the answers. This video shows how quickly visibility is reduced to nearly nothing after driving into a dust storm.  And this video shows the aftermath of a 19-vehicle collision that occurred in 2013 in dust storm on Interstate 10 near Picacho Peak that resulted in three fatalities and a dozen injured people.

ADOT  developed the “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” dust storm safety driving tips, which can help motorists survive a blowing dust event.

  • If you encounter a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle (front, back and to the side) and begin slowing down.
  • Do not wait until poor visibility makes it difficult to safely pull off the roadway – do it as soon as possible. Completely exit the highway if you can.
  • Do not stop in a travel lane or in the emergency lane. Look for a safe place to pull completely off the paved portion of the roadway.
  • Turn off all vehicle lights. You do not want other vehicles, approaching from behind, to use your lights as a guide and possibly crash into your parked vehicle.
  • Set your emergency brake and take your foot off the brake.
  • Stay in the vehicle with your seat belt buckled and wait for the storm to pass.
  • Drivers of high-profile vehicles should be especially aware of changing weather conditions and travel at reduced speeds.

More information on dust storm safety can be found at and safety tips for driving in rainstorms can be found at


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The following list of Central Arizona College students represents the May 2019 graduating class that attended the Maricopa campus. The listing is organized alphabetically by campus and includes the certificate and/or degree the student received.

CAC-Maricopa Campus

Mitchell Allen, Associate of Business       

Darrin Benson, Accounting Certificate

Alexis Bivens-Licudine, Arizona General Education Certificate – Arts

Abel Castaneda, Jr., Mechatronics Certificate & Programmable Logic Controller Certificate

Christina M. Chitwood, Associate of General Studies & Associate of Arts*

Koriana J. Cyrus, Communication Studies Certificate

Elaine Madeline Cluff, Associate of Arts*

Chris Stewart Cook, Associate of Arts

Steven Davis, Associate of Business

Ashley Dobbs, Associate of Arts

Patience F. Fenteng, Associate of Arts* 

Yanira Guadalupe Ferrer, Associate of Applied Science Accounting

Bianca Inez Guzman, Associate of Arts

Laura Hernandez, Arizona General Education Certificate – Business            

Jennifer Hill, Associate of Applied Science Business

Mysia Hudson, Associate of General Studies

Ashley Jackson, Associate of Arts

Nora Jackson-Foutz, Business Certificate

Esequiel Jauregui, Associate of Science                   

Jahnei Johnson, Associate of Arts             

Rebekah Julicher, Associate of Science*

Anthony Kalnasy, Associate of Arts

Cynthia Kennedy, Associate of General Studies  

Alexis Nikole Lindsay, Associate of Arts*

Devanair Janssanique Louise Murphy, Associate of General Studies

Austin Wayne Luiz, Associate of Science

Jeremy Merz, Associate of Arts

Mathilda Reyna Miguel, Associate of Applied Science Live Audio and Lighting        

Kevin R. Martinez, Network Administration with Cyber-Security Fundamentals Certificate

Rebecca Montes, Arizona General Education Certificate – Arts

Melissa Mullen, Associate of Business*  

Kelly Myszewski, Associate of Arts*

Annie Nguyen, Communication Studies Certificate & Associate of Arts

Joann O’Hare, Arizona General Education Certificate – Arts

Maria O’Hare, Arizona General Education Certificate – Arts

Sandra O’Neal, Business Certificate

Brittany Nicole Petersen, Associate of Science

Kenya Payne Rivers, Communication Studies Certificate & Associate of Arts           

Samantha Ricardo, Culinary Arts I Certificate, Culinary Arts II Certificate & Associate of Applied Science Culinary Arts

Zachary John Reinhard Thompson, Arizona General Education Certificate – Arts

Peggy A. Rider, Associate of Applied Science Computer Programming*

Taylor Leigh Roberts, Associate of General Studies

Katherine Siebert, Associate of Arts

Ashley Spires, Associate of Science

Jackson Stensgard, Associate of Science*

Zachary John Reinhard Thompson, Associate of Science*

Stephanie Valdez, Associate of Applied Science Early Childhood Education

Cory J. Ward, Business Certificate

Tyler Williams, Arizona General Education Certificate – Arts

Maria Christina  Yubeta, Early Childhood Education Certificate, Associate of General Studies & Associate of Applied Science Early Childhood Education  

*Denotes those who graduated with honors.

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Murray Siegel

By Murray Siegel

Murray Siegel

In a March 1 Your Turn column in the Arizona Republic, Mike McClellan, a retired Mesa high school English teacher, used a football analogy to point out the weaknesses of the AzMERIT test.

A team is facing a big game. The players are apathetic when the coach gives his pre-game pep talk. Their play during the game reflects their lack of concern, and the team is severely beaten by their rival. After the loss, the players have no accountability, but the coach is fired. McClellan furthermore asks about the value of the coach reviewing game film from the loss if the only information provided by the film is the final score?

The point made by Mr. McClellan is students are not accountable for their performance on the AzMERIT, only the school and the teacher are graded. So, why should a student care about preparing for the test? Furthermore, he indicates the school’s letter grade is more about the socio-economic level of the families of the students rather than a proper assessment of the school or its teachers.

A test used to evaluate schools and faculty does not provide meaningful feedback so that school can address the needs of students who underperformed, and a student’s score provides no consequence for that student. There must be a better means of testing.

The Arizona Department of Education and state Legislature should consider using a criterion referenced test (CRT) to replace AzMERIT. A list of specific criteria is provided for each grade and subject tested, allowing schools to ensure their curriculum covers what is being tested. Students take the appropriate grade-level CRT at various points in their elementary and middle grades education.

At some point, generally tenth grade, a CRT is taken, which determines if a student receives a high school diploma. A 10th grader who fails CRT can re-take the test each year through twelfth grade. Once the student passes, the testing is complete. If a student continues to fail the test through 12th grade, that student receives a certificate of attendance, in lieu of a diploma, once he or she has completed twelfth grade.

CRT is aligned with the curriculum, and every teacher knows what must be taught. The students are aware of the consequences of failing the test and schools receive feedback since each CRT tests specific criteria. I believe those who agree this is a much better way to assess educational growth must call their state representatives and urge them to consider the value of using a CRT.

Murray Siegel, Ph.D., has 44 years of experience teaching mathematics. He is in his fourth year as a volunteer at Butterfield Elementary School.

This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Brandi Homan

By Brandi Homan

Brandi Homan

Now that graduation is over and summer is here, don’t forget to talk to your kids about the risks of underage drinking.

Teens who drink before the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol problems in adulthood, including a higher risk of addiction. While it’s hyped up in culture, the good news is you have a strong influence over the choices they make, even now.

For many, drinking is social because it can lead the individual to feel less inhibited. Others drink just because others do and it’s just easier to do what everyone else is doing. Despite a teen’s reasons for drinking, the fact remains they are at risk when they consume alcohol.

Actions have consequences and the consequences of alcohol abuse include motor impairment, confusion, memory problems, concentration problems, and excessive drinking leads to poisoning. Teens are also more likely to be polysubstance users.

Your teen might feel invincible since they graduated high school, but they aren’t. And we parents aren’t here to just let our kids become another statistic. So here are some important facts to discuss with your teens as they go into the next chapter in their life.

  1. Drinking before you turn 21 is illegal. You can be cited by the police and arrested for underage drinking.
  2. Drunk driving kills about 4,000 teens each year. Do not ride with friends who have been drinking. If someone who has been drinking offers you a ride, say, “No, thank you.” They might say they are fine to drive and pressure you to ride. Give them an excuse like, “I want to stay at the party a bit longer” or “I already told another friend I would ride with him.” The best solution is for them not to drive at all.
  3. Your brain is developing until your early 20s. Drinking during this time may damage your brain. Teens who drink alcohol have more memory impairment than those who do not drink.
  4. Using alcohol may put you at higher risk for dropping out of high school and even college. Your child has worked too hard for this. Encourage them to continue to make positive, healthy choices.

We’ve taught our kids to stand up for what’s right, even if it means standing alone. Their life and future are more important than a drink., Facebook

Brandi Homan is the co-founder of Be Awesome Youth Coalition. Be Awesome helps develop confident, connected and successful youth.

This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Lucinda and Rob Boyd. Submitted photo

No Way Out Films is working on developing a film project about Maricopa’s Rob Boyd and his younger days of gang activity starting at the age of 10 on the east side streets of Detroit. Boyd described the project as “the 100-percent real, never-before-told story about the gangster and the woman, Lucinda, who would come into his life and change the path of darkness and destruction.”

The film is to reveal Boyd’s past of guns, violence and drugs how he met his wife Lucinda and then formed their organization The Streets Don’t Love You Back, which has programs in 155 prisons across the country helping inmates develop the tools needed to stay out of the system.

The Boyds will be making a trailer for the film in Maricopa June 23.


Autumn Fausz. Submitted photo

By Bernadette Russoniello

Maricopa High School seniors received honors and recognition for academic, athletic and private scholarships totaling more than $8 million at the May 7 Senior Honors Night. Autumn Fausz, like many other 2019 graduates, earned a full-ride, university scholarship.

Fausz graduated as an AFJROTC cadet and leader. She has been a JROTC cadet since her freshman year, following in the footsteps of her father and brother. She will attend Northern Arizona University pursuing a major in criminology/forensic science with a minor in forestry. Her career goals involve working as a Game and Fish Warden or a national park ranger, “anything where I’m out in the woods.” Fausz grew up in wooded areas of North Carolina and fell in love with the forest.

Fausz moved to Maricopa mid-sophomore year to be closer to extended family after losing her father Wayne Fausz in a car accident. U.S. Army Command Sgt. Major Wayne Fausz led the Wolf Pack battalion of the 82nd Airborne. The Fausz family was involved in a head-on collision caused by a sleeping driver. Her father passed away in flight to the hospital; Autumn and her brother were also critically injured in the crash.

The Marine Gunnery Sgt. John David Fry Scholarship provides post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty or while on active duty after Sept.10, 2001. Autumn learned of the scholarship through her mother and applied early this fall. The scholarship covers the full cost of attendance at any U.S. university. Autumn selected NAU.

Fausz was also recognized at the AFJROTC Awards Ceremony for the Bri Barnes Community Service Scholarship presented by Jim and Alice Shoaf of the Maricopa Pantry. The award honors the AFJROTC cadet who made the biggest impact and commitment to community service. Autumn was selected because she leads the Community Service team for AFJROTC and led the community-wide canned food drive for the Maricopa Pantry. Additionally, Autumn frequently volunteers at Feed My Starving Children to pack food boxes for children in need.

Although Fausz and her family have been through a lot over the past nine years, she attests “we are definitely stronger from the experience.” She expresses gratitude to her parents, Natasha Faust and Gary Hysop, for the support and love they provide, for always pushing her to do her best. “Although no one can replace my dad, I never imagined someone could fill that role in my life, to be a father figure.”

Fausz is ready for adulthood, ready to move forward, and looking forward to her life at Northern Arizona University.

Bernadette Russoniello is the career and college coordinator at Maricopa High School.

This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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By Brian Petersheim

Brian Petersheim

The month of May is one of the busier months for buying and selling homes in Maricopa, and May 2019 was no different. The market will continue to heat up, much like the weather, as many buyers and sellers use summer vacation as a good segue to move before the new school year starts.

May’s median list price in Maricopa was $238,495 (up $1,500 from last month)
Average price per square foot was $117 (up $2 per square foot from last month)
Average days on the market was 59 (which is a seven-day decrease from last month)
Homes under $200,000 averaged 51 days on the market, while more expensive homes over $300,000 averaged 75 days on the market

  • 363 Homes currently available for sale, not under contract, looking for offers
  • 264 Homes currently under contract (should close escrow within 45 days pending inspection, appraisal, etc.)In May 2019
  • 191 homes were sold in May
  • 50 of the sold homes had a built-in private pool.

$162,500 Least expensive home sold – Notes: 3bed/2bath 1,041 sqft in Tortosa, 19296 N. Costa Verdez
$385,000 Most expensive home sold – Notes: 3bed/2.5bath  2,325 sqft in Province (lakefront +loaded with upgrades+owner solar), 41673 W. Harvest Moon Drive.

  • 9 Homes sold in Province (active adult community)
  • 33 Of the sold homes were new build/spec homes

Number of bedrooms – 191 sold homes
2 bed – 11
3 bed- 80
4 bed – 81
5 bed – 17
6 bed – 2
7+ bed – 0

Garage parking: of the 191 sold
2 car- 138
3 car- 51
4 car- 2

Price ranges of the 191 sold:
$150,001-175,000—- 8
$175,001-200,000—- 52
$200,001-225,000—- 44
$225,001-250,000—- 38
$251,001-275,000—- 20

RV Garages

The biggest news in real estate in May was the “roll out” of several new floor plans in Palo Brea (diagonal from UltraStar) that will feature the upgrade of an attached RV garage.

In April, Maricopa Meadow’s lots were purchased by K. Hovnanian Homes and they will be building 6 different single story floor plans. There are about 90 vacant lots that a brand new home can be built on.

Alterra’s lots were purchased by Lennar homes which will offer single story homes. There are approximately empty 150 lots in Alterra that can be built on! Model home construction has started.

Tortosa had a very large parcel purchased by a developer last year, and plans for those homes are in the works, but in another section of Tortosa, where there are currently homes, builder DR Horton has started construction of several homes in South Tortosa. Currently the subdivision has about 1,400 vacant lots.

Final thoughts: The past few weeks the RE market has stayed relatively stable in terms of Sales to Inventory, however, inventory is low enough to keep us in a slight seller’s market.

Any questions about value or the market, please reach out to me.

Brian Petersheim- Realtor
call/text 602.206.9644


Silver Spur Grill at the Duke at Rancho El Dorado.

All but one eatery inspected by Pinal County health inspectors April 16-May 15 received excellent marks. The Silver Spur Grill at The Duke at Rancho El Dorado, however, had some cold-holding and other problems to fix.

By law, refrigerated food must be held no warmer than 41 degrees F. The inspector found one refrigerator at 59 degrees and another at 50 degrees. A refrigerator was also leaking condensation. Some food items were found with expired date marks and may have been incorrectly dated. Several items were discarded. The person in charge was instructed to repair equipment, review date requirements and make a hand-washing sink more accessible. The restaurant was given a “satisfactory” mark.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]
Barro’s Pizza
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Cilantro’s Mexican Cocina
CVS Pharmacy
Firehouse Subs
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Good Donuts
Good to Go Store
Gyro Grill
Little Caesar’s Pizza
McDonald’s, Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway
The New HQ
Papa John’s Pizza
Pizza Hut
Plaza Bonita
QuikTrip – Kitchen
Rosati’s Pizza
Say Sushi
Sunrise Preschool
Walmart – Deli

SATISFACTORY [Violations corrected during inspection]
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]

UNACCEPTABLE [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Jake Lenderking

Jake Lenderking, director of water resources for Global Water Resources since March 2018, was appointed to the board of the Pinal County Water Augmentation Authority in May.

Jake Lenderking

PCWAA supports the development water planning and management in the Pinal Active Management Area. The Pinal AMA includes portions of Pinal, Maricopa and Pima counties in Central Arizona.

“This important appointment reflects Jake’s senior leadership experience with water resource management in Arizona,” said Global Water Resources President and CEO Ron Fleming. “This includes his roles at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, as well as at some of the largest municipal and private water utilities in the state. We believe his work in Pinal County — an area critical to our state’s economic development goals and which could benefit from augmentation — makes him an ideal addition to the PCWAA board.”

Before joining Global Water, Lenderking’s experience included being a water resource manager for the largest investor-owned water utility in Arizona and a water resource specialist for the City of Phoenix. He began his career at the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Sponsored Content

A teary-eyed mom popped into our youth theater office, as we looked at each other wondering what she was going to complain about. “Oh dear, here we go” we thought collectively.

“I just want to tell you that you have created a miracle,” she began.  “My boy is in 6th grade and he has never quite fit in—sort of a nerd you know—then you cast him as the lead in Oliver.  By the way, what were you thinking?  He has never acted before!”

“How did that go for him?” we asked carefully, still wondering where this was heading.

“He loves it!  He has become the celebrity of his school.  All the kids treat him as if he is famous, even asking for his autograph!  He is a completely different boy, and so happy with life!  I cannot express my thanks to you and your director! We prayed for a miracle for him, and you delivered!”**

A year after this, he was cast again as the lead in Broadway Palms’ version of Oliver.  The boy could act!

This is simply a typical example of what youth theater and performing arts can do for kids. Research has shown that children’s brains grow better cognitively, emotionally, socially, collaboratively and neurologically when they are involved in performing arts!  They also show increased retention, confidence and independent thinking. (see arts should be in every school)

Life is all about growing and expanding who we are as humans.  Who would not want to encourage the creative thinking and problem-solving side of ourselves? Now is the time to get your children involved in maximizing their potential.  Offer them performing arts opportunities early!

**The Director was Marcus Ellsworth, new Drama Teacher at Heritage Maricopa, who served as Executive Artistic Director and founder of Actors Youth Theater in the East Valley, producing 5+ shows a year since 2001, being awarded countless Zoni Awards for outstanding Youth Theater in Arizona.  He also currently directs for Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

An 8-year-old from Maricopa was a winner in Bashas’ annual statewide “Donut Flavor Craze Contest,” creating a new doughnut that will be offered in stores starting Friday, National Donut Day.

Identified only as Glory, she won the kids category with a doughnut called “Spiky Cactus.” It is a raspberry-filled doughnut generally shaped like a saguaro with green icing and white sprinkles “so it looks like a cactus in bloom.”

The adult winner was a Chandler resident, who created the “Haboob Crème Filled,” which is filled with vanilla pudding and topped with crushed vanilla wafers.

Ten percent of Bashas’ doughnut sales on June 7 will go to the Salvation Army programs. Glory will receive a dozen doughnuts a month for a year and a Bashas’ gift card.


Aragon's design is matched with colors before all the cutting and sewing begins.

Loren Aragon, who founded the Native American fashion-design portion of ACONAV in Maricopa with his wife Valentina, will see one of his creations on the red carpet at the 73rd annual Tony Awards in New York City June 9.

Loren Aragon (submitted photo)

He is an alumnus of Arizona State University, and fans from his alma mater connected him with Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU vice president for Cultural Affairs and executive director of ASU Gammage. She is also Arizona’s only voter to the 2019 Tony Awards and chose an ACONAV dress for the big night.

See below to see how the dress came together

“I was excited to hear that Colleen requested me to design a custom gown for her red-carpet experience,” said Aragon, who was named Phoenix Fashion Week Couture Designer of the Year in 2017 and was commissioned by Walt Disney World for a dress in an Epcot Center display.

Aragon’s clothing and accessories are inspired by the patterns of the pottery for which his native Acoma Pueblo is renowned. He creates his own prints and, as a former engineer, designs styles with interesting outlines and colors that are instantly identifiable as ACONAV.

“His work is bold, innovative and evokes the global empowerment of women,” Jennings-Roggensack said. “It will be deeply moving to wear Loren’s work, which is dedicated to share, educate and connect the artistry of Acoma ways of life.”

The Tony Awards will be presented June 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, broadcast on CBS starting at 7 p.m. local time.

This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

How an idea becomes a dress

Colleen Jennings-Roggensack with Loren Aragon at ASU Gammage. Submitted photo

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Photo by Jim Headley

The least expensive home sold in Maricopa from April 16 to May 15 went for 33 percent more than its last sale in 2007, the year it was built in The Lakes subdivision. It was snapped up in just a month for $2,900 under its asking price.

  1. 41270 W. Cahill Drive, The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado, $167,000

Sold: May 14
Purchase price: $167,000
Square footage: 2,212
Price per square foot: $137.78
Days on market: 32
Builder: Unknown
Year built: 2007
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Community: The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado
Features: Full master suite, large kitchen, cover patio, two-car garage, low-maintenance landscaping
Listing Agent: Dayv Morgan, HomeSmart Success
Selling Agent: Dayv Morgan, HomeSmart Success

  1. 19336 N. Ibiza Lane, Tortosa, $170,000
    3. 40089 W. Bonneau St., Smith Farms, $170,000
    4. 21784 N. Liles Lane, Rancho El Dorado, $170,000
    5. 20613 N. Ancon Ave., Acacia Crossings, $173,000

    This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Jim Headley

The most expensive home sold in Maricopa from April 16 to May 15 was a three-bedroom Gardenia model with a casita. The one-owner house, which is 12 years old, had solar panels installed three years ago with a prepaid 20-year lease. It was on the market nearly a year while the original asking price was dropped $19,500.

  1. 42264 W. Rummy Road, Province, $366,000

Sold: May 1
Purchase price: $366,000
Square footage: 2,337
Price per square foot: $156.61
Days on market: 243
Builder: Engle
Year built: 2007
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3.5
Community: Province
Features: Guest house, gourmet kitchen, two master suites, butler’s pantry, custom cabinets in two-car garage, covered patio with built in barbecue
Listing Agent: Kim Gillespie, Cactus Mountain Properties
Selling Agent: Debra K. Johnson, Cactus Mountain Properties

    1. 43350 W. Desert Fairways, Rancho El Dorado …………………… $360,000
    2. 18911 N. Falcon Lane, Glennwilde ……………………………………… $336,900
    3. 40997 W. Coltin Way, Homestead North ……………………………. $319,900
    4. 44239 W. Sedona Trail, Cobblestone Farms ……………………….. $318,000

      This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Chandler Chang, May 23, 2019, Maricopa High School.

Maricopa High School graduate Chandler Chang delivered this valedictorian address to the Class of 2019 during graduation May 23. A Flinn Scholarship recipient, he has lived in Maricopa 14 years.

By Chandler Chang

Hello, Class of 2019. It is my absolute honor to be speaking here tonight to such a talented group of individuals.

I’m valedictorian and I don’t know how to drive, I’m so bad at cooking I’ll burn water, and I wrote this speech at midnight the day after I was supposed to submit it. If grades were an absolute indicator of success and potential, none of that should be true!

My name is Chandler Chang, but if you only know me from the media, then you might know me as Chandler “Change.” I’ve even received college letters with the same error. Yes, that’s a typo, please don’t make it again.

Before I go any further, I would like to thank everyone whose support made tonight possible. I would personally like to thank my family, friends and teachers for inspiring me to achieve the success I have found myself in today. On behalf of the class of 2019, I would like to thank all parents, teachers, staff, administration, school board members. Your support has empowered us to become the determined young men and women we are now. I’m sure it wasn’t easy putting up with us for four years, or if you’re the parents, a mild seventeen to eighteen years.

Preparing this speech has been a harrowing task. Just a few weeks ago I had no idea what I wanted to say, so I looked to my fellow Flinn Scholars for advice. Actually, allow me to rephrase that. I was desperate for ideas because my speech had to be submitted the next day, so I spammed our group chat. Anyways, here’s what they had to say. Keep in mind these are supposedly the brightest minds in the state.

“Just say ‘peace out y’all’ and sit down.” Too late for that. Someone suggested to “spill everyone’s tea.” I’ve been informed that it means to reveal everyone’s secrets. And lastly, “chug a bottle of apple cider and shout ‘Feel the Burn 2020!’” I’m not even going to pretend like I considered that one.

So, I’m back at square one, and when I reflected on our high school experience and the struggles we have all shared, I found the message I need you all to hear. High school has emphasized the importance of your grades, about presenting colleges this nice three-course meal of grades, test scores and, if they like dessert, extracurricular activities. Our teachers constantly encourage us to avoid this perspective that your grade is a measure of your success, but societal pressures always seem to prevail. It emphasizes grades so much that we pull all-nighters to study for a test or outright skip school to avoid taking the test. It promotes the idea that your grades are a measure of your worth.


Your high school transcript only tells 10 percent of your story, if that. It doesn’t mention that while you were in school you were working two jobs and trying to support your family financially. It doesn’t mention that you have hundreds of volunteer hours at food banks, local churches or rescue shelters. It doesn’t mention that you’re an amazing, kindhearted person with a contagious smile – Dauvian I’m looking at you! Those kinds of things define who you are, your character, not a test score and not a column of letters on a page.

It’s a grim reality that society values that test score and column of letters more than those things. I think the system of awarding scholarships based exclusively on GPA, SAT scores and ACT scores is flawed, but colleges nationwide promote this. Even when such a system tells you otherwise, I urge you all to remember that your grades are not your labels.

I’m valedictorian and I don’t know how to drive, I’m so bad at cooking I’ll burn water, and I wrote this speech at midnight the day after I was supposed to submit it. If grades were an absolute indicator of success and potential, none of that should be true!

I know this advice might come across as condescending coming from the valedictorian, Flinn Scholar, etc., and I don’t want it to. If you feel that way, that means my message hasn’t reached you yet. At the end of the day, I’m someone who enjoys the company of his friends, someone who wants a well-paid and fulfilling job, but doesn’t have the clearest idea of how to obtain that; someone who wants happiness, someone who gets absolutely stressed out over testing and public events such as tonight. I just happen to do well in a classroom setting, and if you don’t, there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you put forth your best effort.

I’m not here to devalue the concept of grades. If good grades and a college education are what you need to be successful, then absolutely go for it. I encourage you to do so. That being said, that can’t show every amazing quality you have. To those of us who are not college-bound, I’m sure we envy that you have a plan for life that doesn’t involve another four years of this, but now with massive student loan debt. To those of us that are college-bound, take what I said to heart, and remember, C’s get degrees! I mean, you are not defined by your grades.

Congratulations Class of 2019! I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

This address appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

Dayv Morgan

By Dayv Morgan

Dayv Morgan

With the average home in Maricopa at least 10 years old, it is imperative for homebuyers to budget for unexpected home repair costs.

If something fails, the cost and time can be a shock. The water heater may be nearing the end of its life span, the cooling system may have been installed in 2006 or you may not know the condition of your roof underneath the exterior tile. Do you even know how old your plumbing is?

The exterior paint can show signs of fading after only a few years, and your homeowners association may ask you to repaint after you’ve been in your home only a few months.

A home warranty plan is an important part of buying a home. While home insurance can cover you against structural damage and theft, a home warranty can repair or replace systems and appliances that stop working due to normal wear and tear.

A study by Zillow found homeowners spend $8,000-$9,000 a year on unexpected home maintenance costs. Studies also found a quarter of Americans have saved less than $500 for home repairs.

Many homes in Maricopa were built in 2004 or 2006 during the boom. Even if you are dutifully changing your filters and oiling your garage door mechanism, age will catch up with your systems. Appliances have a certain life expectancy.

A good home warranty plan helps off-set these unexpected costs.

What does a home warranty cover?

Plans vary, and it depends how much you want to pay. A basic plan costs $400-$500 and covers:

Garbage disposal
Water heaters
Electrical systems
Inside plumbing
Ceiling fans

Upgrade options

Spa/Pool systems
Garage door openers

What is not typically covered?

Outdoor items/systems
Faucet repairs
Pre-existing conditions
Code violations
Improper installation

Typically, when something does break or wear out, you can call your home warranty representative first, and they will send over a repair professional in their network. Some companies, like America’s Preferred Home Warranty, lets you pick your own repair company. Always examine a home warranty carefully and discuss it with your agent before signing.

Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Success.


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

As Maricopa Unified School District debates seeking a bond election for the construction of a second high school, the state approved an education budget that will chip in more than $32 million toward that cause.

HB 2749, the education bill, was approved by the Legislature May 24 on a 31-28 vote. All the “aye” votes were Republicans. The state budget was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey May 31.

The measure directs the School Facilities Board to use $3.75 million to purchase property for a new school in Maricopa. It also allocates $14.23 million for MUSD in fiscal year 2020 and again in fiscal year 2021 to go toward the construction of a high school.

“Maricopa is one of the fastest growing cities in the state, so I’m proud that this year’s budget includes funding for a new high school in the city,” Maricopa resident Rep. Bret Roberts (R-District 11), stated in a press release. “The funding for Maricopa’s new high school, over $32 million, certainly fills a need in our community and demonstrates Republicans’ commitment to K-12 education.”

Democrats and education leaders argued the education funding, in the second year of Ducey’s three-year 20-by-2020 plan, did not go far enough, especially in light of the state’s $1 billion surplus. State Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman called it “disheartening” that many funding requests were ignored. Education spending remains below its pre-recession level, behind by about $700 million.

“If the state cannot bring itself to fully fund education during a year with a massive budget surplus, when will it do so?” Hoffman said.

“There’s a lot for residents of LD-11 to like in the Republican budget, including this funding for Maricopa’s new high school,” Rep. Mark Finchem (R-District 11) stated. “It’s a shame that not one Democrat voted for the K-12 education budget bill, which also included funding for teacher raises.”

The money earmarked for MUSD will not completely fund a new school but is a boost. The governing board is contemplating bond options of $75 million, $50 million or $35 million. If the board decides to ask voters for a bond, it would likely be a special election this year.

“Students in Maricopa will soon have a new high school thanks to this year’s budget, which includes over $6 billion in education spending,” Sen. Vince Leach (R-District 11) said. “I’m pleased that the budget will address the needs of a rapidly growing area of our district.”


UPDATE: The deceased driver has been identified as Alex Beckley, 42, of Maricopa. A passenger in the vehicle was also injured.


UPDATE: ADOT says SR 347 is now open in both directions. The incident is now listed as a fatality.


UPDATE: Southbound lanes have now re-opened. There is no estimate for opening the northbound lanes.


At least one person was critically injured in a one-vehicle crash on State Route 347 that caused the current closure of northbound and southbound lanes between Casa Blanca Road and Riggs Road.

According to the Department of Public Safety, the incident was reported at 3:43 p.m. south of Riggs. The initial report indicated a northbound passenger vehicle had rolled over and crossed into southbound traffic lanes. Two people were reported to be involved but one is unresponsive, a DPS spokesman stated.

Gila River Indian Community first responders are on scene. Investigators are interviewing multiple witnesses.

According to DPS, tire failure may have been a factor.

There is no estimated time to reopen the highway, according to the Department of Transportation. Traffic is being directed to Interstate 10 at both ends of the affected area.

RIGHT NOW: Crews are on the scene of a serious crash near State Route 347 between Riggs and Casa Blanca Roads near Maricopa.DETAILS:

Posted by FOX 10 Phoenix on Friday, May 31, 2019