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A special event for veterans is Thursday, and this weekend includes the annual Relay for Life walk against cancer and a student-directed play at Maricopa High School. Below, Yoland Ewing talks about the annual project Prom Fashion Show to make the big night affordable. For details on these and other listings, see


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


Canyon Lake Dolly Boat Tour leaves at 9 a.m. from Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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

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

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

Youth Council meets at 6 p.m. at Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, Multipurpose Room A, 45345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Charcoal Drawing for Everyone is at 6:30 p.m. at Central Arizona College – Maricopa Campus, 17945 N. Regent Drive.


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

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


Maricopa Town Hall and Resource Fair is at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Circle Plaza.

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


Prom Fashion Show by Families First CDC is at 6 p.m. at Maricopa Performing Arts Center, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

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


Community Service Project is at 7:30 a.m. at Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Relay for Life is 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park, 55345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

“Wit” is produced by Maricopa High School Theatre Company featuring MHS faculty at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre at Maricopa Performing Arts Center, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.


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

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SeniPhoto by Raquel Hendricksonor Jackson Stensgard got the win on the mound Friday. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Accumulating 10 hits, the Maricopa High School baseball team defeated 5A Metro rival Ironwood 12-2 at home Friday.

Coming off a dismal loss to Mesquite the night before, the win evened the Rams’ overall record to 7-7, a non-tournament record of 4-2.

Maricopa scored six runs in the second inning and gradually added enough to employ the 10-run rule by the bottom of the sixth for the victory against Ironwood (3-8). The Ram attack came from the plate and the mound, and almost everyone had a hit.

Senior Jackson Stensgard batted 2-for-3, including a double, and knocked in three runs. He also pitched all six innings, giving up five hits and an earned run and striking out eight.

Sophomore Devin Fiala was also 2-for-3 and picked up an RBI. Sophomore Malachi Hogg smacked a two-run double. Junior Carter Paine, junior Taylor Belcher and senior Marcos Cano all also drove in runs.

Against Mesquite the day before, the Rams had managed just three hits in the 12-0 loss. They struck out 11 times against sophomore Davis Heller. Meanwhile the Wildcats tagged Maricopa for three home runs.

Maricopa is batting .314 as a team this season, led by Paine’s .452. Taylor Belcher leads in runs batted in with 14. The team ERA is 5.70. Paine leads in innings pitched with 24 and a third and strikeouts with 21.

The Rams are 1-0 in 5A Metro and next travel to Kellis on Tuesday.

By Michelle Chance

Maricopa resident Robert Caron, 47, is a U.S. Army veteran who said he drives 52 miles to the Phoenix VA from his home in Hidden Valley.

In two months, Caron is due for his fifth back surgery from an injury he sustained during his time in the service. The pain is bad enough to keep him up at night, he said, and a shorter commute would help ease his physical pain, as well as the cost of commuting.

Additionally, Caron said he would like to see an expanded center that offered mental health care and access to his primary care physician.

“(A VA center) anywhere in Maricopa would benefit me greatly. That would save me so much,” Caron said.

Is sues like this will be part of the discussion at the annual Maricopa Town Hall and Resource Fair, which takes place March 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. at City Hall. See flyer

Among those attending to take VA healthcare questions from Maricopa veterans, their supporters and families will be RimaAnn Nelson, the director of the Phoenix VA Medical Center, and Wanda Wright, director of Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services.

The annual event is sponsored in part by Councilmember Julia Gusse, who said the town hall is an opportunity for veterans to express their praise or concerns to top veteran officials in the state.

“The only way we’re going to get a seat at the table is for us to have these conversations and steps like these,” Gusse said regarding the town hall.

Veterans make up nearly 10 percent of Maricopa’s geographic population, including vets living in unincorporated portions of the city, Stanfield and the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Gusse said.

Gusse’s ultimate goal is to land a VA medical clinic in Maricopa, and she said she hopes voices heard at the town hall will encourage officials to consider it.

“These are questions that vets have been posing to me for years and I haven’t been able to give them a straight answer because there are no services in Maricopa.”

Currently, local vets seeking medical care through the VA have two options: travel to Phoenix or commute to Tucson.

“It’s a burden because many of our vets are disabled and they cannot do the drive on their own,” Gusse said. “So it’s taking a toll on many of our vets, and many of (them) would rather go without the service.”

Local veterans who bring their military ID and DD214 form can receive information on their VA health benefits by meeting with on-site VA healthcare system administrators.

Event sponsors American Legion Post 133 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12043 will also be in attendance, as well as Blue Star Moms, Vet’s Community Connections and VetIt, Inc. Additionally, The Ripple Effect organization will be on hand to address the veteran suicide epidemic.

In the future, Gusse said she is working with Wright to organize a veterans town hall specifically for local female military vets who she said might feel stigmatized by sexual harassment and other issues they experienced during their time in the military.

“I actually helped write a resolution a couple of years ago regarding the sexual trauma of PTSD, so we are trying to address this on a national level, but it starts at home and we need to open up these conversations here,” Gusse said.

For additional information please contact: Sara Delgadillo at 520-316-6827 or

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Cast members of "And Then There Were None" include (clockwise from bottom left) Tyler Curtis, Lindsay Hubbard, Kade Kruse, Jacob Loomis, Erick Livingston, Hannah Panter, Haley Lemon, Lys Bailey and the first corpse Ethan Stradling.

High school theater students are having fun with Agatha Christie, and so is the audience, this weekend in a student-performed and student-directed production of “And Then There Were None” at Maricopa High School. It is the first time an MHS play has been completely student-produced. The MHS Theatre Company production is directed by senior Dylan Stradling.

Ten strangers, each with a secret, are drawn together to an island resort, where they are bumped off one by one by an unknown assassin. Can they (or the audience) find the killer before there is no cast left at all?

“And Then There Were None” stars Jacob Loomis, Ivie Keene, Tyler Curtis, Kade Kruse, Erick Livingston, Lys Bailey, Lindsay Hubbard, Haley Lemon, Ethan Stradling, Hannah Panter and Brady Hunsaker.

The play opened Thursday and will have performances Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. in the Lecture Hall. Donations go to help state-qualified performers attend the International Thespian Festival in June.

April 1, MHS Theatre Company presents another student-directed play, the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Wit,” which will feature MHS faculty members. It is directed by senior Carlos Venegas. Performances will be in the Black Box Theatre in the MHS Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

MHS students who received scores of “Superior” this year at the Central Arizona Festival of Theater to qualify for nationals (and benefit from all donations made during these two student-directed productions) were Dylan and Carlos along with Britney Montgomery, Nikolas Mase, Hannah Panter, Kjirsten Lemon, Ivie Keene, Taryn Story, Joycelyn Cabrera, Adrian Perdomo, Jalen Reyes, Alyssa Hollingsworth, Kari Beijmowicz, Chaienne Zoller, Kade Kruse, Morgan Lee.

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Darrell Handy-Johnson comes in for a landing in the triple jump.

Maricopa High School’s track and field teams have had a busy March, and there is more to come.


The boys have won three meets, including the Gaucho Relays in Glendale. The Rams defeated Notre Dame in a head-to-head meet March 8 with a score of 84-53. At home March 22, Maricopa beat McClintock 84-59.

In the Gaucho Relays March 10, Maricopa was one of 20 teams in competition. The Rams proved strong on the track and in the field, earning six first-place finishes.

Among them, Phillip Austin won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.13. Jesse Gaines won the 800-meter run in 2:01.98. Darrell Handy jumped his own height in the high jump at 6-foot-4 for another victory.

Maricopa’s  4×100-meter relay team took the gold in 43.94. The 4×400 team also won, posting a time of 3:29.92.

Also earning points with high finishes, Austin was second in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 9 inches. Terrell Handy was second in the triple jump at 42-10. Frank Jones was third in the 100 at 11.28, Darrell Handy was third in the triple jump at 42-9, and Terrell Handy was third in the high jump at 6-4. The 4×800 relay team was fifth in 8:39.05. Terrell Hardy was sixth in the long jump at 20-4, followed by brother Darrell in seventh with 19-10. Logan Taylor was seventh in the 110-meter high hurdles in 16.94. Xander Benitez was in a seventh-place tie in the high jump at 5-6. Dakota Halverson was seventh in the discus throw at 120-5, and Johnny Smith was 13th in the same event at 112-7 to earn points for the team.

The junior varsity competed at the Goldwater Underclassmen Invite in Phoenix March 17, finishing fifth out of eight schools.

Jacob Cowing picked up two first-place finishes. He ran the 100 in 11.6 and the 300-meter hurdles in 43.66 for the victories. Taylor picked up his pace in the 110HH to win in 16.47.

The 4×400 relay team placed second in 3:55.47. Taylor was third in the 300 hurdles in 45.79, and the 4×100 relay team finished third in 47.20. David Skelton was fourth in discus at 99-4, and he finished fifth in the shot put with a toss of 33-3. James Cutajar was fifth in discus at 95-1. Jake Meyer was sixth in shot at 32-6.5.


The girls have a win this season, defeating McClintock 105-21 on March 22. The lost to Notre Dame on March 8, 70-57, and JV had a good showing at the Goldwater Underclassmen Invite on March 17

In the Goldwater, the young Rams finished second by just nine points. Alayja Reynolds, Italy Brookshire and Eveyln Corliss won two events apiece.

Reynolds won the 100 in 13.46 and the 200-meter dash in 27.99. Brookshire was first in the triple jump at 27-11 and in the high jump at 5-0. Corliss won the 1600-meter run in 5:48.55 and the 3200-meter run in 13.34.32. The 4×100 relay team was also a winner in 53.10.

Saneya Cowing was second in the 100 in 13.5 and third in the 200 in 28.22. Reynolds finished second in the long jump at 14-8.5. Katherine Gores was second in the long jump at 27-10. Isabella Moe was third in the shot put at 24-8 and fourth in discus at 69-3. Bailey Davis ran fourth in 400 at 1:10.03. Destinee Chavis was fifth in the 100 at 13.97 and in the 200 at 29.12. Brookshire was sixth in the long jump at 12-4.

At the March 10 Gaucho Relays, the girls finished 15th.

Those scoring points were Brookshire with a tie for second in the high jump at 5-0, Leilena Young with third in the shot put at 33-2, Kayla Boich with a tie for fourth in the high jump at 4-10, and Moe with a 14th place in shot put at 26-4.

The team next competes Friday and Saturday in the Chandler Rotary Meet. Maricopa hosts its annual Ram Twilight Invitational on April 7 starting at 3 p.m. at Ram Stadium.

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Rising Native American fashion designer Loren Aragon of ACONAV will present his latest collection at the fourth annual Native Fashion in the City (NFITC) in downtown Denver, Colorado. The event kicks off Friday night.

The Acoma Pueblo designer and artist, who resides in Maricopa, returns to NFITC for a second year and will debut his first-ever 2017 autumn/winter collection. After a successful launch of his brand in the acclaimed Phoenix Fashion Week, Aragon continues to seek greater recognition for his work by presenting on another premier stage focused on showcasing emerging indigenous talents all across North America.

Loren Aragon
Loren Aragon

“I want to represent the culture of my people with the hopes of inspiring future generations in our community,” Aragon said. “I feel that we [Native Americans] need a greater presence in the fashion industry, and this experience allows me to respectfully represent a part of the indigenous culture in North America.”

ACONAV returns as one of the featured NFITC designers with designs that incorporate design elements that are authentically inspired by the Acoma Pueblo traditions and pottery art culture. Shows such as NFITC have been a great venue for gaining exposure to the uniqueness of ACONAV. In the year prior, ACONAV was invited to be a part of the experience allowing Aragon to continue in his mission in fashion.

NFITC is produced by Kelly Holmes, chief editor and founder of Native Max Magazine and her Denver-based team. Holmes’ Native Max publication connects its readers with the fashion realm of Indian country in both the traditional and contemporary categories.

“At last year’s NFITC, ACONAV was definitely one of the showstoppers,” Holmes said. “We certainly can’t wait to see the newest ACONAV collection on this year’s runway.”

DT Comedy Show performers will be (clockwise from left): David Ottley, Big Rob Rodriguez, Andrew Horneman, Eric Barnett and David "DT" Trujillo.

Heading into another season, the DT Comedy Show returns to the UltraStar Multi-tainment Center March 25.

Heading into the fourth year, with host “Big” Rob Rodriguez, the DT Comedy Show will feature award-winning comedians such as David Ottley, winner of Arizona’s Funniest Comedian. UltraStar’s own David Trujillo, the man behind The DT Comedy Show, will also entertain.

Andrew Horneman and Eric Barnett also promise to deliver a lot of laughs. Both comedians got their start in Tucson – Andrew in 2011 and Eric in 1996.

“The DT Comedy show has definitely made its mark in Pinal County and is now one of the most talked about shows in the comedy scene,” said Trujillo, promotions and events manager. “Our unique blend of comedians at our shows reaches all walks of life. Comedy evolves everyday just as jokes do, you can be sure the DT Comedy Show will evolve right alongside for years to come.”

The show is for adults only, age 21 and up. Doors open at 8 p.m., and show time is 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, with a cash bar available.

The big after-party will again be held upstairs in the Luxe Lounge, where guests can hang out with the comedians after the show. Luxe Lounge features 21 HD flat screen TVs, Big Screen, pool tables, Golden Tee Golf, soft tip darts, and foosball, great food and drinks.

To purchase tickets for the event and for more information on this event and others visit

Arizona Department of Public Safety announced it will have a special detail in place Wednesday on State Route 347 north of Maricopa.

The detail will be on the lookout for speeding, aggressive driving and dangerous lane changes after receiving requests from residents for more enforcement. State Troopers will also patrol for intoxicated or distracted drivers.

Gila River Police Department will participate in the detail in case a tribal member becomes involved in a stop.

The detail is set for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

DPS runs a special detail every 28 days, and Maricopa was selected this month.

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Global Water Resources will host a forum for customers March 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Elements Event Center, 16000 N. Maricopa Road, Room 200. Elements is located next to UltraStar.

During a public meeting hosted by the City of Maricopa in February to air customer grievances, Global Water CEO Ron Fleming said the company would consider having open forums for customers to bring problems, concerns, complaints and any other feedback.

There will be refreshments.

A look back in time

A Global Water Timeline

March 2017 – Global Water hosts customer forum.

February 2017 – City of Maricopa hosts meeting to air public complaints about Global Water.

January 2017 – Global Water begins upgrading meters.

January 2017 – Water main breaks in Province.

November 2016 – Water main breaks on Porter Road.

November 2016 – Water main breaks on Honeycutt Road.

November 2016 – Global Water negotiates with Maricopa Fire & Medical over removal and prevention of sediment buildup at hydrants.

April 2015 – Residents of Senita, Rancho El Dorado, The Villages at Rancho El Dorado and Province complain about fees to clean up 404 Wash.

January 2015 – New Global Water rates go into effect, raising monthly water bills 4.4 percent to begin an eight-year, annual series of rate increases as approved by Arizona Corporation Commission and agreed to by City of Maricopa, Residential Utility Consumer Office and 14 HOAs.

April 2014 – Water main breaks on Honeycutt Road.

August 2013 – Settlement agreement filed with Arizona Corporation Commission increases wastewater bills 10.5 percent and water bills 42.5 percent; rate increases will go into effect in 2015, and Global Water is prohibited from requesting another rate increase until May 2017.

May 2013 – Public hearing on proposed Global Water rate increases.

February 2013 – City of Maricopa applies with Arizona Corporation Commission to intervene in rate case.

January 2013 – City forms task force to respond to rate-increase proposal.

July 2012 – Global Water says it is getting no rate of return in Maricopa as determined by the Arizona Corporation Commission and is seeking a rate increase.

June 2011 – Maricopa City Council adopts Amended MOU with Global Water “to maintain appropriately priced, high-quality water and wastewater services.”

June 2011 – Maricopa City Council adopts Resolution No. 11-40 to support use of Infrastructure Coordination and Finance Agreements as a means for financing water, wastewater and recycled water infrastructure.

August 2010 – Arizona Corporation Commission approves rate increase that will take average residential water/sewer bill from $76 to $96 by 2012.

July 2010 – Administrative Law judge recommends decreasing Global Water’s requested rate increase by 40 percent

December 2009 – Global Water pledges to spend $150,000 each year for five years to implement water-conservation practices for its larger water users.

December 2009 – Arizona Corporation Commission holds hearing in Maricopa as part of three weeks of hearings over proposed increase in Global Water rates.

November 2009 – Global Water seeks 34 percent gross revenue increase from Santa Cruz system and 130 percent gross revenue increase from Palo Verde wastewater system.

August 2007 – Global Water shuts down Smith Well over water quality.

January 2006 – MOU goes into effect. Global Water will pay $50 per residence fee for connections in city limits and $100 per residence fee outside city limits.

December 2005 – Global Water and City of Maricopa enter public-private partnership for water and wastewater services in Maricopa and outlying areas.

June 2005 – Global Water agrees to purchase 387 Domestic Water Improvement District from Sonoran Utility Services, serving HOAs south of the railroad tracks.

2004 – Global Water purchases Santa Cruz Water Company and Palo Verde Utilities Company, acquiring 175 square miles of service area.

2003 – Global Water Resources forms.

2001 – Palo Verde Utilities Company and Santa Cruz Water Company merge into one limited liability company.

1998 – Palo Verde Utilities Company files for Certificate of Convenience & Necessity from Arizona Corporation Commission to provide sewer service.

A mixed-media gallery featuring Maricopa artists including Tiffany Yazzie (left) debuts Tuesday night. Maricopa Music Circle's Springtime Serenade is Friday, and Maricopa's annual Salsa Fest is Saturday afternoon.

Ready for salsa? The highlight of Maricopa’s many events this week is the annual Salsa Fest. Below, Niesha Whitman and David Noble of the City of Maricopa talk about what to expect at this year’s event. Check out other events as well, and for details on these listings and others, or to add your own, visit


Scholastic Book Fair is all week during school hours at Pima Butte Elementary School, 42202 W. Rancho El Dorado.


Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee meets at 4 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

Parent University, with guest speakers Rob and Lucinda Boyd, is at 6 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 Maricopa Community Church, 44977 W. Hathaway Ave.


Wired: A Social Media Networking Event is at 8 a.m. at Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, 20800 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 108.

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

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

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

Mixed-Media Gallery of Maricopa Arts Council has an opening reception at 5:45 p.m. at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

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

Charcoal Drawing for Everyone, via Copper sky programing, is at 6:30 p.m. at Central Arizona College – Maricopa Campus, 17945 N. Regent Drive.

Citizen Police Academy is at 6:30 p.m. at Copper Sky Police Substation training room, 17985 N. Greythorne Drive.

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

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


Stotz Equipment Grand Re-Opening is at 10 a.m. at Stotz Equipment, 37021 W. Highway 84 in Stanfield.

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

Lions Club Meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at Sequoia Pathway Academy, 19287 N Porter Road.


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


MWMS Talent Show is at 6 p.m. at Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.

Springtime Serenade by Maricopa Music Circle is at 7 p.m. at Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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


Tortosa Community Yard Sale is from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at various homes in the Tortosa HOA.

Salsa Festival is 2-8 p.m. (with a Rocket Challenge at 11 a.m. as part of Science City) at Copper Sky Regional Park, 55345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


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

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Photo by Dean Crandall

An extravaganza of airplanes and vintage cars drew pilots and motorists to Chuck Millar‘s airfield and Vietnam Aviation Veterans of Arizona museum in Maricopa on Saturday. The day included a death-defying aerialist, a big band, breakfast, a biplane air show and more.

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Chad Chadderton

Chad Chadderton has been involved in the Maricopa real estate market since 2001 and has an affinity for old cars, old guns and trains.

Hometown: West Hempstead, New York
Resides in: Ahwatukee
Maricopan since: 2001
Occupation: Broker/Owner
Family: Daughter Kelly, son in law JD, granddaughters Gillian, Caylie & Dillon in Austin
Pets: Dogs Mai & Wesley. My parents middle names.
Cars: Hyundai Tucson, 70 Olds 442, 74 Norton, 83 V-65 Magna
Hobbies: Trains, historic guns, landscaping, traveling and learning about new places
Pet peeve: Selfish and inconsiderate people
Dream vacation: Australia and New Zealand
Like most about Maricopa: Still has small town feel
Like least about Maricopa: Getting stuck at RR crossing

Favorite …
Charity: United Blood Services
Book: “Daily Reflections”
Movie: King of Hearts
Actor: Jack Nicholson
Song: “Spirit In The Sky”
Musician: Cat Stevens
Team: Cardinals
Athlete: My dad
Food: Chinese
Drink: Tea
Meal: Lobster and shrimp in butter and garlic
Restaurant: Montes Venetian Room in Brooklyn
Getaway: Rocky Point
Quote: Lead, follow or get out of the way
Words to live by: To thine own self be true
Anything else we should know? Been working since 8, paid for my own ticket to Ireland at 12, bought my first house and got my real estate license at 21.

Fused glass artist Rocky Dunne has two pieces in the City Hall exhibit. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa Arts Council announces the first Mixed-Media Gallery at City Hall with an opening reception from 5:45 to 7 p.m. on March 21 in conjunction with the City Council meeting. Access to the gallery and the opening reception is free and open to all.

"Enchantment," a quilling piece by Deb Jay.
“Enchantment,” a quilling piece by Deb Jay.

Genuine fruit of MAC’s continuing three-season, all-arts expo, “Got Arts, Maricopa,” the Mixed-Media Gallery idea arose out of the success of February’s two-day Studio Crawl  No. 1.

Cynthia Portrey, participating artisan in the February Crawl and a central member of the organizing committee for Art on the Veranda, conferred with other Maricopa fiber artists to gauge interest in assembling a core of works for display. She then approached the Arts Council with the idea, and ensuing discussions broadened the reach to other types of Maricopa artisans who also work in shallow three-dimensions.

The art corridor at City Hall does not yet have the capacity to showcase sculpture or other fully three-dimensional pieces, but shallow-depth pieces will be displayed on a wall.

Participating artisans include creators specializing in fiber art (rugs, wall-hangings, quilts, wearables); a quilling specialist (curved-paper art); a fused-glass master;  and examples of works created by scratch-out on scratchboard, embossing on tin plates, and molded from chalk.  Among the artisans in this gallery are a Navajo weaver now living in Maricopa and a quilter whose paintings have also been seen in earlier City Hall galleries.

The full roster of creators included in this gallery is:

Beth Soucie – rugs
Nelda Mullins – embossed tin
Cynthia Portrey – weaving
Pam Sutton  – quilts
Crystal Dennis – quilts and jewelry
Rocky Dunne -fused glass
Deb Jay- quilling
Susan Adams – rugs
Malies Belksma – fused glass
Tiffany Yazzie – rug

Weaver Tiffany Yazzie
Weaver Tiffany Yazzie with one of her pieces in the show. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

The City Hall Mixed-Media Gallery continues the gradual shift in MAC’s Expo from Fall and Winter’s focus on the performing arts to the visual realm for spring.  More expo special events will continue in April and May.

Rug artist Beth Soucie with three of her pieces. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson
Rug artist Beth Soucie with three of her pieces. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson
Artists busily hanging art for the gallery at City Hall. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson
Artists busily hanging art for the gallery at City Hall. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Brian Winter, a former athletic director and assistant principal at Maricopa High School, has been dean of students this school year but will again be assistant principal next year. Photo by Michelle Chance

By Michelle Chance

Maricopa High School will see changes in its administrative staff beginning in the fall. The current dean of students, Brian Winter, will reprise his role as assistant principal beginning in July, after previously serving that position at MHS five years ago.

His new position comes after the June resignation of Jesse Roth, one of the school’s two current assistant principals. Stephen Ybarra is the other assistant principal at the high school.

Winter said he is excited to return as an administrator whose main duties will be dedicated to curriculum and assessments.

New math curriculum will be implemented at the district in July when Winter transitions into his new position.

He said math is always a challenging subject for students, but he hopes the new curriculum “means that we can get the alignment in place so that when students come to Maricopa High School, they have a foundation to better build off.”

Improving test scores and the graduation rate are also on Winter’s agenda. The most recent data from fiscal year 2015 showed the graduation rate at MHS is 69 percent.

In order to increase that number, Winter said he hopes to assist in freshman readiness, to ensure the high school’s youngest students are prepared for the crucial academic years ahead of them.

Maricopa Unified School District to purchasing a new math curriculum this year.
Maricopa Unified School District to purchasing a new math curriculum this year.

“If we can get them off to a good start as freshmen, they’ve got a better chance to complete their requirements within the four years,” he said.

In addition to new curriculum, Winter will also be working with a new school calendar beginning in 2018. Among some of the changes include the expansion of fall, winter and spring breaks – extra time he sees as opportunities for students who have fallen behind academically.

“We are hoping to use those intersessions where we have two week breaks to possibly bring students in for re-teach opportunities and maybe credit make-up,” he said.

Winter has 29 years of experience motivating a variety of student populations in different settings and positions. He has worked as a coach, educator, athletic director and administrator – career experiences he said have shaped his philosophy as an administrator.

“I’m a servant leader and I want to be able to be able to provide support to students as well as staff,” he said.

After leaving MHS following his year as assistant principal and Athletic Director for the rams in 2012, Winter worked as an assistant principal and the athletic director for schools in the West and East Valley.

However, something keeps drawing him back to MHS.

“There is something to be said of Maricopa and it has just kind of grown on me for whatever reason,” he said.

Currently, Winter is interviewing candidates to fill his own seat as dean of students for the upcoming school year.

The position is largely responsible for ensuring the safety of staff and students and overseeing the team of four security guards at the school, as well as doing the bulk of student discipline.

“It needs to be a person who is thoughtful, patient and willing to build relationships certainly with students, but also hold them to a high standard from a behavior aspect,” he said.

Winter said he hopes to announce who that person will be by next week.

The annual Fly-in/Military Show at the Vietnam Aviation Veterans of Arizona is Saturday at 8 a.m.

The day is the 10th annual Spring Break Extravaganza Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Airplane and Helicopter Show as presented by Maricopa Wings & Wheels.

A free breakfast is served at 8 a.m. There will be an 18-piece big band playing, a giveaway drawing and a chance to see military souvenirs and vehicles.

Mike Kerr, museum coordinator for Col. Chuck Millar’s airfield, said they never know how many people will bring vehicles to show. Last year there were 45 airplanes and 45 cars.

“Chuck will bring out the half-track and give rides in the desert, and the kids love that,” Kerr said.

Millar Airport is at 53510 W. McDavid Road. For pilots, that’s 2AZ4. Air traffic is asked to use 122.9, remain east of Hidden Valley Road, use right-hand pattern for 34 and watch for power lines at the north end. Park aircraft on the northwest lag of the runway.

There will be awards for best cars and planes. For more information, call 602-571-1059.


A rocket takes flight at Maricopa Wells Middle School during the Maricopa Rocket Challenge. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Michelle Chance

The 2017 Maricopa Science City at the Salsa Festival will not only be spicy, but STEAM-y as well.

Six hundred students will participate in the event that promotes STEAM education. More specifically, it provides students access to exhibits based on subjects in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Local businesses and organizations will offer hands-on demonstrations at the event, which will take place on March 25 at Copper Sky from 2 to 8 p.m.

David Noble with the City of Maricopa said the event is part of an initiative by the Arizona Commerce Authority called the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Maricopa Science City is “a science-at-work exhibit where businesses or organizations come and present some science-based aspect of what they do,” Noble said.

This year, Harrah’s Ak-Chin will return to the event to show students the science behind making ice cream. Other local exhibitors like Central Arizona College and Maricopa Outdoor Adventures will also be on-hand.

Returning technological exhibitor, Microsoft, will give students and attendees the opportunity to look through virtual reality goggles.

Come early for the Rocket Challenge

New to Maricopa Science City this year will be the Rocket Challenge, which will start at 11 a.m. in the soccer fields south of the festival. It will feature 300 middle school students firing off rockets they built themselves.

The two portions of the competition include level-one students who compete in an altitude test to see how high their rockets can fly. The second level students attach an egg on their rocket and are challenged to bring the egg back down to earth intact.Rockets2

Councilmember Nancy Smith has spearheaded the rocket challenge for the past three years and said having the event included at Maricopa Science City this year will allow students more exposure to opportunities in STEAM.

“Any time you can engage children in learning more about science, math, art and engineering – and those more technical aspects — you have the ability to interest them in those career fields as well,” Smith said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in STEM occupations (the report did not include the arts), will grow 9 million jobs between 2012 and 2022.

City officials said events like the Maricopa Science City are designed to align students with opportunities in these growling fields.

“I think the focus is ensuring that our students are properly qualified to enter the workforce and to interest them in STEAM education, and STEAM related employment down the road,” Noble said.


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The Buffalo Soldiers of Arizona told fascinating stories of the 9th and 10th Cavalry from the Plains Wars to World War II. Photo by Mason Callejas

Maricopa Historical Society hosted its annual symposium “A Morning of History” Saturday at City Hall, with diverse presentation from Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Buffalo Soldiers of Arizona and State Historian Marshall Trimble, who also provided some ballads of the West (see below).

Spring Break for most students is this week, and there will be some activities for those staying in town. Below Matthew Reiter of the City of Maricopa talks about this weekend’s Copa Color Run (get out your ’80s sweatbands) and more things to do. For details on these and other listings, or to include your own, visit


Spring Break Fun & Fitness Camp is 1-5 p.m. each day at Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


P&Z 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.


MCE Professional Series is at 11 a.m. at Copper Sky Multigenerational Center, 44345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. 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.

Citizen Police Academy is at 6:30 p.m. at Copper Sky Police Substation training room, 17985 N. Greythorne Drive.


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

Maricopa 101: Better Together is at 5 p.m. in the Zephyr Conference Room at Maricopa City Hall, 39700 W. Civic Center Plaza.


Free Diabetes Education Class is at 5:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Health Clinic, 41600 W. Smith Enke Road, Building 15.

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


St. Patrick’s Day Music is 2-5 p.m. at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 Maricopa Road.

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


Annual Millar Fly-in/Car Show starts at 8 a.m. at Millar Airport, 53510 W. McDavid Road.

Preschool Providers Open House is at 10 a.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

Copa Color Run is at 11 a.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park, 55345 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


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

Submitted photo

Maricopa Music Circle chamber orchestra will perform an evening of music from around the world March 24.

If You Go
What: Springtime Serenade
When: March 24, 7 p.m.
Who: Maricopa Music Circle
Where: Maricopa Agricultural Center, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road
How much: $12/adults; $10/children at the door or via
Info:; 520-316-6268

Titled “Springtime Serenade,” the full-length program welcomes spring with a program of works fully expressing MMC’s tagline “Orchestra of Soloists” with music for the full ensemble plus individual and sectional solos. In line with the music’s wide-ranging, adventurous spirit is the concert’s location at a non-traditional performance site, the University of Arizona’s Maricopa Agricultural Center.

“Springtime Serenade” explores the wealth of musical riches from four continents and across four centuries in an evening of appealing and inventive music, balancing toe-tapping rhythms and the spirit of exuberance with introspective and peaceful works.

From North and South America come the infectious rhythms of Joplin’s ragtime and Darktown Strutter’s Ball, Piazzolla’s tangos, and Barroso’s Aquarela do Brasil. From Asia flow haunting melodies for solo flute. And from across Europe are music by Mozart and Beethoven, Grieg’s Two Elegiac Melodies, Mendelssohn’s Scherzo from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Debussy’s Rêverie and solo viola Beau Soir, and Bizet’s richly depicted orchestral duo from the opera “The Pearlfishers” – “sung” here as a duo for trombone and euphonium.

Add to these spirituals, music from film and stage and more, written by inspired composers.

“Springtime Serenade” begins at 7 p.m. at the conference center of University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center. The evening will conclude with light refreshments for the audience and performers, offering a perfect chance to mingle with the musicians.

This story appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

The same life stressors – job demands, kids, money and, yes, even an intense exercise and nutrition regimen – can create life champions or runners up. So what separates the two? Becoming a champion of life and reaching your full potential is about finding your stress sweet-spot and using it to propel you to your goals.

Where are you currently?

Stress too low:
•    Lethargic
•    Bored
•    Unfocused
•    Directionless
•    Purposeless

Stress too high:
•    Anxious or obsessive
•    Depressed
•    Panicked and flailing
•    Stuck or numb

Stress just right:
•    Energized
•    Engaged and interested
•    Actively moving toward goals
•    Learning and growing

Reach your Full Potential without Crashing and Burning:

For Inspiration and Energy:

1.    Set effective goals. Goals that motivate are:
•    Specific and measureable.
•    Challenging but realistic.
•    Broken down into small sections.
•    Focused on process vs. outcome.
•    Documented as a plan of daily, weekly, monthly behaviors.

2.    Start with one action a day. Commit to do it for two weeks. (Be sure it’s something you’re confident you can do every day.)

3.    Track you progress. Document behaviors, processes, and outcomes. How do you feel different? How do you look different? What have you learned? What are you proud of? What frustrations did you have?

4.    Spend time with a coach or mentor. Getting help from someone you admire who will hold you accountable makes the process of change and growth much easier.

For Rest and Recovery:

1.)    Practice total mind/body relaxing and rejuvenating activities, such as:

Walking outside
Yoga, slow stretching
Moderate sun exposure
Enjoying nature
Low-key music
Having Sex
Hot tub or sauna
Green tea

2.)    Meditate. Meditation:
•    Boosts the immune system.
•    Supports the development of new brain cells, neural connections and gray matter.
•    Sharpens focus, metal clarity, attention, memory and recall.
•    Improves sleep, mood, emotional regulation and circadian rhythm.
•    Lowers blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormones and inflammation.

3.) Get outside. Being outside lowers stress hormones and heart rate and improves mood and immunity, giving you motivation and energy to cope with you next challenge.

4.) Balance you exercise routine. Exercise relieves stress by increasing blood flow, getting you outside, burning calories and stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system. Most effective is a mix of intense strength training conditioning, cardio and low- intensity recovery. When stressors are up, decrease intense exercise; when they’re down, increase it.

5.    ) Practice self-compassion. Ask for help/support when needed. Get coaching if you feel stuck. Get counseling if you feel helpless. Know you limits, honor them. Unplug at least once a week.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is owner of Longevity Athletics.

This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

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Dakota Halverson (center) with the MUSD board (from left) Joshua Judd, AnnaMarie Knorr, Gary Miller, Superintendent Steve Chestnut, Patti Coutre, Torri Anderson and coach Erick Fierro. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Senior Dakota Halverson was formally recognized Wednesday by the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board for winning the state wrestling championship in Division II, 285 pounds.

Coach Erick Fierro and Dakota Halverson
Coach Erick Fierro and Dakota Halverson

Head coach Erik Fierro: “I am very proud to be Dakota’s wrestling coach. I started two years ago, so I met him two years ago. He was already a tremendous athlete, and I found myself in a very fortunate position to be able to coach a very talented athlete. I always tell him, I don’t know how much I actually did because he’s the one who wrestled. He’s the one that won the state championship and not me. Dakota Halverson, I’m always going to remember you as my first state wrestling champion.”

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Cadet Major John Blodgett (center) was recognized at meeting of the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board Wednesday - from left, board members Joshua Judd and AnnaMarie Knorr, Lt. Col. Allen Kirksey, board member Gary Miller, board President Patti Coutre, Superintendent Steve Chestnut, board member Torri Anderson and CTE Director Michele Shaffer. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Senior John Blodgett was recognized by the Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board Wednesday after being appointed to West Point Academy. Set to be the co-valedictorian for the class of 2017, Blodgett is a cadet major in Maricopa High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC, a member of the National Honor Society and a student tutor.

From JrROTC instructor Lt. Col. Allen Kirksey: “He’s a teacher assistant as well. He is part of the first robotics team in Chandler, a member of the Si Se Pueda Foundation, which is a bridge-builder and leader providing programs improving the quality of life for communities, families and children here in Maricopa and in Chandler, empowers children and families to participate in science, technology, college readiness as we mentioned earlier, mentoring, sports, neighborhood revitalization, the arts, lifeskills, education, and in his spare time he tutors. We’ve had the distinct honor of having him in our program for the past four years. I’ve been there since April, and this is his first full year with me. I suspect he’s going to tell you he lost a little bit of weight with me. The position that he held with us was division support squadron commander. The reason I’m saying commander with emphasis; this young man is going to be a commander some day. We have a couple of sections that work underneath him, and those sections were crucial to us passing our ROTC inspection. All the activities I’ve described were accomplished while remaining at the top of his class, currently ranked No. 1 out of 448, and he’s a Boys State delegate, so congratulations to Cadet Major John Blodgett.”

Maricopa Ace Hardware owner Mike Richey is selling purple buckets, with all proceeds benefiting Relay for Life. Photo by Michelle Chance

By Michelle Chance

Maricopa Cancer survivors and their supporters will experience this year’s Relay for Life during the daytime and in forecasted sunshine.

In previous years, the event was held overnight and participants were subjected to chilled winds and cloudy skies during the outdoor relay.

This year the annual event, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, will take place April 1 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Copper Sky Recreation Center.

Relay for Life Community Manager Laura Theobald said she hopes the daytime event will provide for better conditions this time around. However, she said it will continue rain or shine.

“No matter the weather, cancer still exists,” Theobald said. “So we are going to keep relaying no matter what.”

Eighty-six people and 23 teams are registered for the event. Organizers plan to raise $55,000 and so far teams have contributed over $7,000.

Currently, Relay for Life veterans Carol Machovec and Evan Grace are the top participant fundraisers for the event.

Theobald said she is optimistic over the fundraising momentum due in part to a $15,000 donation the Caesars Foundation and Harrah’s Ak-Chin will give to the organization Friday.

Photo by Michelle Chance
Photo by Michelle Chance

Another community business has contributed to the fight against cancer, albeit in a colorful way.

Mike Richey, owner of Maricopa Ace Hardware, said all proceeds earned in March from purple Relay for Life buckets will be donated to the organization.

Additionally, the store is offering customers an option to round-up their purchase to the next dollar, with all of those proceeds also benefitting Relay for Life.

Richey said he has taken all of his other bucket inventory off of the store’s floor and replaced it with a sea of stacked purple buckets to encourage sales.

Since the beginning of March, Richey said the store has already raised over $1,300. At the same rate, he predicts his store could possibly donate over $5,000 by the end of the month.

Participants have until the day of the event to register and donate by going online or by calling 1-800-227-2345.

Photo by Michelle Chance
Photo by Michelle Chance

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By Jim Chaston

1.    Congress has gotten serious about correct Employee vs. Independent Contractors classification and increased penalties drastically. Penalties can be more than 100 percent of payments for misclassified employees. Listen to a tax professional, not other business associates and friends. Classification is based on behavioral control, financial control and a relationship test; NOT a written contract.

2.    Identity Theft is a huge issue. Congress changed the deadlines for filing W-2s and 1099s up to Jan. 31 instead of Feb. 28. This is so the IRS can match W-2s and 1099s to tax returns before they issue refunds.  Refunds were delayed until Feb. 15 this year because of fraudulent returns and identity theft.

3.    The annual required election to expense repairs and small equipment – Repairs and Small Equipment Regulation – has increased from $500 to $2,500 with election on tax return.

4.    Section 179 Depreciation is $500,000 for 2016.

5.    You can still get a tax credit for implementing a retirement plan in your company for up to 50 percent of the cost of implementation.

James A. Chaston CPA

This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

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During Pinal County food inspections Jan. 16-Feb. 15, five Maricopa eateries out of 23 received marks below excellent.

Li’s Garden had no hot water in a hand-washing sink, raw meats were stored without wrapping or lids, dust and debris was found on refrigerator handles, a pot of chicken coating was on the kitchen floor and soy sauce containers were improperly reused.

Culver’s staff was requested to not overload the cold-holding unit, which had some food items at 49 degrees instead of the required 41 degrees or below. Employees also had to remove a bread rack that was blocking access to a hand-washing sink.

Jersey Mike’s Subs had sliced tomatoes in cold-holding at 45 degrees.

The McDonald’s on Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway had to repair a sink compartment and attain a supply of sanitizer test strips.

Arby’s had food in its cold-holding prep table at 50 degrees.

Excellent [No violations found]
Brooklyn Boys Italian Restaurant & Pizza
Butterfield Elementary
CAC Cafe
CAC Culinary
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Good 2 Go
The Green Zone Nutrition
Maricopa Shell-Dairy Queen
Maricopa Elementary
Maricopa Wells Middle School
McDonald’s, 20700 N. John Wayne Parkway
Province Clubhouse
Raceway Bar & Grill
Sonic Drive-In
Starbuck’s Maricopa Station
Taco Bell

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
Culver’s of Maricopa
Jersey Mike’s Subs
Li’s Garden
McDonald’s, 41710 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately, requiring follow-up inspection]

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of operation]

This article appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Dick Barkley

1. 42466 W. Blue Suede Shoes Lane

The most expensive home sold in Maricopa Jan. 16-Feb. 15 was a 12-year-old house in the adult community of Province, where it sits next to a man-made lake. It sold for $19,000 under its asking price after having three attempted sales cancelled during the past three years. The home is on one level and includes a fireplace inside and a built-in barbecue outside.

Sold: Feb. 13
Purchase price: $330,000
Square feet: 2,598
Price per square foot: $127.02
Days on market: 109
Builder: Engle
Year built: 2005
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3.5
Community: Province
Features: Waterfront property with gated courtyard and guest casita, lots of upgrades and natural lighting
Seller’s agent: Debra K. Johnson, Cactus Mountain Properties
Buyer’s agent: Herbert Budwig, Realty ONE Group

2. 42293 W. Good Vibrations Lane, Province, $317,500
3. 42138 W. Baccarat Drive, Province, $300,000
4. 43228 W. Knauss Drive, The Villages at Rancho El Dorado, $295,000
5. 40430 W. Parkhill Drive, Rancho El Dorado, $267,500

This article appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

1. 45059 W. Paraiso Lane

The least expensive home sold in Maricopa Jan. 16-Feb. 15 was in Acacia Crossings. It sold for $26,550 under its list price and 53 percent lower than its last selling price in 2006. The lender-owned, 12-year-old house has basic features and took less than three weeks to be snapped up off the market.

Sold: Jan. 25
Purchase price: $114,450
Square feet: 1,456
Price per square foot: $78.61
Days on market: 16
Builder: Unknown
Year built: 2005
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Community: Acacia Crossings
Features: Extended garage, entertainment niche, grass in backyard, great room and eat-in kitchen
Seller’s agent: Marlene Cerreta, Cerreta Real Estate
Buyer’s agent: Anthony Schumacher, The Maricopa Real Estate Company

2. 42512 W. Monteverde Drive, Glennwilde, $118,000
3. 46109 W. Sheridan Road, Maricopa Meadows, $129,000
4. 35875 W. Costa Blanca Drive, Tortosa, $129,000
5. 44333 W. Cypress Lane, Desert Cedars, $130,000

This article appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

Submitted photo

By Betty Beeman

Betty Beeman
Betty Beeman

According to the National Gardening Association, tomatoes are the most popular vegetable among backyard gardeners.

According to a 2014 survey, one in three American households has a vegetable garden and nearly 9 in 10 of those gardens include tomatoes. Nothing tastes as good as a ripe, home-grown tomato.

There are thousands of tomato varieties, but all fall into a few broad categories:

1. Cherry tomatoes, such as Sun Gold, or Sweet Millions, have a sweet-tart tomato flavor and are great for salads and snacking on whole. Because the fruit is small, these are the first to mature.

2. Sauce tomatoes, such as Opalka, San Marzano or Grandma Mary’s Paste, have a rich flavor and much lower water content than other varieties. They are the best ones for spaghetti sauce.

3. Beefsteak tomatoes, such as Cherokee Chocolate, Brandywine or Homestead, have the biggest fruit and the greatest range of flavor and form. They are commonly sliced for sandwiches or cut up and added to salads, though the best varieties can be eaten like an apple.

MARCH TIPS: Plant seeds now for beets, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, green onions, spinach and sunflowers.

There are also many all-purpose tomato varieties that have traits from each category. Most of the round tennis ball-size tomatoes at the supermarket would be classed as all-purpose. These are usually modern hybrids that rarely match the complex flavor – and diverse appearances – of heirloom tomatoes.

Tomatoes grow best in moist soil and when the temperatures remain steadily in the 70 to 80 degree range. Our spring season is short, 60 to70 days for the optimal temperatures between 50 to 90 degrees.

Consider mixing peat moss into the soil to improve drainage. Prepare soil by digging down two feet. The hole needs to be deep enough that you can plant your transplant where only the top quarter of the plant will be sticking out of the ground.

Carefully take transplants out of pots and try not to disturb the roots during the transplanting process.

Mix native soil with equal amounts of peat or potting soil. Place a scoop of compost in the bottom of the hole. This will give your plant an extra boost and keep the plant from going into shock from transplanting. Fill in with garden mix and native soil, pat soil gently around tomato to firm. Water thoroughly.

To avoid the dreaded blossom end rot, be sure to keep the soil consistently moist and avoid letting the soil dry out. As the temperatures heat you should consider using a shade cloth over tomatoes.

Tomatoes are heavy feeders. Use Starter solution for transplants. Side dress 1-2 weeks before the first tomatoes ripen with 1½ ounces 33-0-0 per 10 foot row. Side dress again two weeks after the first ripe tomato with a balanced fertilizer such as 5-10-5. Repeat one month later.

Check out YouTube “Growing a Tomato Plant in the Desert” also “Desert Gardening with Carol Stuttard” (Master Gardener from Scottsdale) for more information.

Contact a Master Gardener volunteer

This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

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Pat Lairson

By Pat Lairson

The Pathway to Purchase Loan Program has been the lending choice for many Maricopa homebuyers in 2016 and 2017. This program grants the buyer 10 percent of the purchase price of the home, up to $20,000, to be used toward a down payment and closing costs.

There is no payback if you own the home for five years. This program has really opened the door for home ownership for many people who otherwise would not have been able to buy.

This may be the last call for buyers who want to use this program. The funds are scheduled to run out by end of March or early April. If you get prequalified for the program and are approved before the end date, you will still be able to use the program even if your house closes after the end date.

Many renters have become homeowners and even people who want to upgrade and keep their current home but buy a second home to live in sometimes qualify. There is a slight chance the grant program could be renewed, but there will be an end to this program.

The market as a whole has been moving in Maricopa. There are currently 273 active listings for sale in an HOA subdivision. Of these, 54 are in Province, the 55+ community in Maricopa, so this leaves 219 active listings for a buyer to choose from outside an active adult community.

One hundred twenty-nine HOA subdivision homes closed in Maricopa between Jan. 1 and Feb. 13. This is about a 12-percent increase in closed listings from the same time last year. The average days on market is 88, but most homes are selling much quicker than that.

There are only 32 non-vacation rental homes available in Maricopa. This creates a competitive rental market and can increase the rental rate for tenants.

If you are thinking about selling your home, choosing a local Maricopa Realtor who understands the local market will give you the edge you need for a quick sale.

Pat Lairson, Realtor
The Maricopa Real Estate Company

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March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to the Center for Disease Control, 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations or deaths in the United States were associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The Facts
TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30 percent of all injury deaths. Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities that may last the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking, memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing) and emotional functioning (e.g. personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.

What is a TBI?
A TBI is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild” (i.e. a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to “severe” (i.e. an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury). Most TBIs are mild, commonly called concussions.

Traumatic Brain Injury Causes
Falls 40.5%
Unintentionally struck by/against object  15.5%
Traffic accidents 14.3%
Assaults 10.7%
Unknown 19%

TBI Risk Factors  
Men are nearly three times as likely to die as women.
Rates are highest for persons 65 years and older.
Falls are the leading cause of death for persons 65 years or older.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause for children and young adults ages 5-24 years.
Assaults are the leading cause for children ages 0-4.

    Source: Center for Disease Control