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Clouds have been dramatic over Maricopa. Photo by Kyle Norby

After a rainy week, Maricopa’s weekend forecast is for pleasant weather, though the smell of rain may return before Thanksgiving, according to the National Weather Service.

Today saw heavy morning rain that have a 50% chance of returning overnight. The low will be around 44 degrees F under mostly cloudy skies.

Friday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high near 67 degrees followed by a night of mostly clear skies and a low around 41.

Saturday sees a sunny day and a likely high of 69 amid calm winds. The overnight low may be around 41.

Sunday‘s forecast also calls for sunny skies and a high climbing to 71. The night will likely have partly clouds skies and, again, a low around 41.

That pattern is expected to continue until Wednesday, when there is 20% chance of rain and mostly cloudy skies in the forecast.

Desert cemetery in Pima County
Al Brandenburg

By Al Brandenburg

Now that a true senior center is in the offing for next year, Maricopa Senior Coalition (MSC) is refocusing its efforts toward other amenities our seniors sorely need, like ageing in place, senior transportation, and in-home health and wellbeing services.

Having said that, a longer term need also requires attention. At the moment, aside from a local branch office, the only interment and funeral services available are in Casa Grande, including a cemetery. We need a cemetery somewhere within the boundaries of Maricopa with a funeral home where memorial services can be held.

Planning for a new cemetery requires determining in the first place whether a cemetery is needed at all. If it’s needed, what size should it be? Where can it best be located where it will not be an obstacle to municipal growth and where it will not be a public health hazard? Do cemeteries depress property values and, if so, how can real estate depreciation be minimized? How can the cemetery and the community be protected against future neglect?

The permanence of a cemetery as a land use makes decisions regarding it unusually important. The city planner knows any building can be expected to outlive its usefulness in two or three generations. The planner also knows if there is civic necessity for the removal of a building, the procedure is comparatively simple, although the cost may be high. This is not true of a cemetery. Not only will the cost be excessive, but legal obstacles can very well make removal impossible.

Cemetery land is, for the most part, situated in or near our cities, where land is not in oversupply.

A city planner tackling a problem involving a cemetery faces pressures, ideas and laws not paralleled in any other city planning question. The disposal of the dead is enmeshed in religious doctrine, custom, fear, superstition and complicated statutory law. Probably the most important single technique in handling the promotion of cemeteries is the delicate public relations job.

Having said all of this, MSC will make this one of our longer-term project priorities by working with regional funeral service providers and city government toward enabling a privately owned cemetery to be built in the next five years along with a full-service funeral home. With the upcoming 2020 census, there is a strong potential that Maricopa’s population will grow along with a strong increase of seniors needing services.

With the many city improvement projects ongoing and planned for the next three-plus years, more people with families and related seniors will be coming to the area to live and take advantage of available services; thus local internment capabilities will increase in importance.

Al Brandenburg is the director and secretary of Maricopa Senior Coalition.

Sources:, the American Society of Planning Officials

This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Kenton Wilson (left) and Brady McMullen with their teachers. Submitted photos

Central Arizona College’s math department recently hosted the 2019 Middle School Math Contest at the San Tan Campus. More than 130 students from 13 schools throughout Pinal County participated.

From Maricopa Unified School District, Kenton Wilson of Desert Wind Middle School placed second in the individual competition. Brady McMullen of Maricopa Wells placed third. The top individual competitor was Logan Pflugfelder of J.O. Combs.

Two-person teams from San Tan Heights placed first and second in the team competition while J.O. Combs was third.

Combs placed first in the school rankings, followed by Circle Cross Ranch and San Tan Heights

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Jason Plotke is co-founder of Apex Motor Club. (submitted photo)

Jason Plotke, co-founder and president of Private Motorsports Group, has joined the board of directors of Maricopa Economic Development Alliance (MEDA).

MEDA is the City of Maricopa’s private-public partnership for economic development. As a 501(c)3 corporation, the organization champions strategies and solutions that foster economic growth and prosperity in Maricopa by bringing together the business, government, education and civic sectors to identify and advance policies that facilitate investment, growth and workforce development.

Plotke, an innovator and entrepreneur, has founded several high-profile companies throughout his career. Private Motorsports Group owns and operates Apex Motor Club, a motorsports country club in Maricopa. Phase 1, featuring a 2.27-mile racing circuit and 48 private garages opened in April of 2019, with plans to add two more additional phases.

“The elected leadership and the city staff in Maricopa have been great partners to us as we continue to expand Apex Motor Club in the area,” said Plotke. “It is important to me as a business owner to be involved with the communities where we do business. With a commitment to smart economic growth, the mission of MEDA and its board of directors aligns with that philosophy. I look forward to working with this dedicated board of business leaders and elected officials to continue to bring business to Maricopa.”

MEDA’s board is comprised of the leading executives of Maricopa’s major business sectors, representing expertise and experience in utilities, finance, development, health care and infrastructure development. Equally important are the elected officials and public sector executives who bring the essential representation of the City of Maricopa’s City Council, City Management and Economic Development functions.

“The City of Maricopa and Private Motorsports Group have been connected for several years as Jason and his team brought Apex to Maricopa,” said Mayor Christian Price. “I am pleased that he will now be a part of the MEDA board of directors, knowing that his business acumen and commitment to our city will be beneficial as we continue to bring thriving businesses to Maricopa.”

The Maricopa-MEDA partnership is an important component of the city’s economic vitality and sustainability. Through the Maricopa Economic Development Alliance, the City of Maricopa and business and education leaders join forces to identify and support promising economic development opportunities for the City of Maricopa.

“MEDA’s mission is to work in partnership with Maricopa’s leaders and staff as well as the business community to identify and capitalize on opportunities that benefit the entire community,” said John Schurz, MEDA’s board chair. “Jason knows first-hand what it means to invest in a community and we look forward to his knowledge and expertise on our board.”

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Maricopa City Hall

In executive session Tuesday, the Maricopa City Council is scheduled to discuss “potential revisions to the Code of Ethics.”

The possible changes are “based on the application of the Code of Ethics since its adoption and prior investigations, and to give direction on how to proceed” pursuant to state law. City Hall did not respond to an inquiry about which section of the Code of Ethics had come into question.

Executive sessions are closed to the public.

The Code of Ethics is more than six pages long (see below) and applies to elected city officials. There are five possible sanctions attached to violations of the code.

The ethics code was adopted in 2013 at the suggestion of an investigating attorney a year after the council dealt with complaints of sexual harassment against then-Councilmember Alan Marchione. That investigation concluded Marchione did not sexually harass or threaten employees but was “abrasive.”

The ethics code was designed as a guide for elected-official behavior and to provide means of disciplining those who misbehave.

It was first used in 2014 when the council officially warned Councilwoman Julia Gusse after she called a former councilmember a bully during a public interview. At the same time, Gusse accused then-Councilmember Edward Farrell of violating the code when he used profane language in a private meeting to discuss email between Farrell and Gusse. The council voted that Farrell did not violate the code.

While the code has come into play in council discussions since then, even prompting investigations, it has not led to an official vote for or against censure.

Gusse, Mayor Christian Price and then-Councilmember Peg Chapados comprised the task force that created the Code of Ethics.


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Photo by Kyle Norby

The least expensive home sold in Maricopa Sept. 16-Oct. 15 was a former rental that was on the market just three days in Tortosa. The 12-year-old home is in an area undergoing lots of residential construction.

  1. 36558 W. Montserrat St., Tortosa

Sold: Sept. 16
Purchase price: $172,000
Square footage: 1,220
Price per square foot: $140.98
Days on market: 3
Builder: Elite Homes
Year built: 2007
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Community: Tortosa
Features: Split floor plan, washer/dryer

  1. 21463, N. Keystone Dr., Rancho El Dorado …………………………………….. $174,000
  2. 45777 W. Dirk St., Maricopa Meadows …………………………………………… $174,000
  3. 35951 W. Costa Blanca Drive, Tortosa ………………………………………………$174,999
  4. 42244 W. Calle St., Santa Rosa Springs ……………………………………………..$178,000

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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Source: City of Maricopa

The Heritage District is getting some TLC from the City of Maricopa. Before it inspired serious discussions about collective bargaining for trash service, the oldest residential area in the city received approval for more street lighting.

The Heritage District is an area south of Edison Road to the First Baptist Church of Maricopa and from Roosevelt Avenue east to Plainview Street. It includes residences and business sites that have been occupied since before housing developments came to town at the turn of the century.

Now, the City is transferring $180,000 toward the purchase and installation of 23 solar street lights to light what are considered underlit streets. The SolarOne lights are mounted on 27-foot-8-inch poles and have a high-efficiency, 300W solar skin.

Tentative placements for the lights are all west of Maricopa Road. They would include three along Lexington Avenue, four along Condrey Avenue and four along Taft Avenue next to Maricopa Unified School District, among others.

The city funding required amending the capital improvement plan to include the solar lights and approving the transfer of funds from the Grants CIP Fund to the Capital Projects Fund.

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The most expensive home sold in Maricopa Sept. 16-Oct. 15 is a five-bedroom house next to a greenway in Maricopa Meadows. It includes an extensively landscaped backyard with a pool and spa, which helped add market value that saw a 95% increase since it last sold in 2010. The property is a comeback kid, having once sold for $84,000 in the recession.

  1. 17798 N. Kari Lane, Maricopa Meadows

Sold: Oct. 7
Purchase price: $340,000
Square footage: 3,318
Price per square foot: $102.47
Days on market: 80
Builder: Elite Homes
Year built: 2006
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3.5
Community: Maricopa Meadows
Features: 3-car garage, balcony, private pool, water softener, loft, upstairs laundry

  1. 42488 W. Venture Road, Rancho El Dorado ……………………………$325,000
  2. 21923 N. Van Loo Drive, Rancho El Dorado …………………………….$317,500
  3. 40684 W. Parkhill Drive, The Lakes at Rancho El Dorado ………..$300,000
  4. 43223 W. Lindgren Drive, The Villages at Rancho El Dorado …..$297,000

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Repurposed refrigerators as garden beds.
Trudy Fuller

By Trudy Fuller

Master Gardener Reba Cook has been creatively refining the approach of using containers for vegetables and flowers to combat compacted soil since 1975.

About three years ago, Cook suffered a fractured kneecap making it impossible to get close to the ground. The idea to stand over a raised bed without bending the knees drew her to repurpose two inoperable refrigerators. By taking out the motor in each and drilling holes on the back, she then had sure-fire insulated raised beds for her year-round desert garden. These insulated beds are host to tomatoes and watermelons.

She also created beds from wooden pallets and corrugated metal that have a late summer crop of green beans. Large, salvaged tires have housed crops of potatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, garlic and cauliflower. A large wooden spool originally used for electrical wire, hold various containers at waist height. In fact, Cook refers to her yard as the “salvaged garden.”

Maricopa desert gardeners often gravitate to the use of containers for vegetables and flowers due to our compacted soil. Preparing the native soil can be labor-intensive, back-breaking work. Therefore, the idea of the outdoor container garden becomes more desirable.

Containers of various sizes and shapes are found on her acreage east of Maricopa. These include a re-purposed household fixture overflowing with flowering vinca to the large, corrugated steel livestock water troughs that serve as raised beds for tomatoes, peppers, okra and onions.

As nourishment washes away much faster in garden containers than it does in the inground garden, soil amendments for the containers and raised beds are a must. Just remember that every planter or container needs good drainage, so the lowest part of the soil is not too damp.

Cook shared a list of her usual choices to add to container garden soil. Organic amendments include compost, bone meal, earthworm castings, blood meal and various fertilizers such as purchased, aged, chicken manure and spent coffee grounds. As one might suspect, whether to add some or all of these amendments to a container comes from Cook’s accumulated knowledge of what a particular plant will need for optimal growth.

She cautions against just using the container soil alone, as the results are often disappointing. However, for those organic gardeners considering using animal fertilizers, the product needs to be properly aged. For most of us impatient gardeners, it would be wise to rely only on a purchased, trusted brand name.

Maricopa Master Gardeners in Pinal County

This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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Then: Photo courtesy of Maricopa Historical Society

After a 1931 fire destroyed Art Deal’s hotel and the railroad station, Jack and Clara Burkett decided to build another hotel. It was located at the southwest junction of the railroad tracks and Maricopa Road on the lot now occupied by F.O.R. Maricopa’s blue business barn. The new Maricopa Hotel included a basement, main floor and upstairs dance hall. It was reportedly the first place to buy liquor in Maricopa after Prohibition ended. The Burketts later added a café on the south side. For a time, the hotel also served as the post office. The hotel was destroyed by a fire in 1954.

Now: Photo by Victor Moreno

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Sponsored Content

Dayv Morgan
Dayv Morgan

By Dayv Morgan

At about 50,000 people, the city of Maricopa is significantly smaller than Maricopa County, which boasts a population of 4.3 million.

Despite our small-town nature, Maricopa almost doubles the ratio of VA home loans over the Maricopa County housing market.

Between January and September, VA loans made up 13.4% of the loans for closed home sales in the city. Maricopa County’s VA loan figure was 6.9% over the same period. In Pinal County, it was 11.1%.

Because VA home loans require veterans to occupy the homes they purchase, it could safely be assumed we have a very patriotic city with almost twice as many veterans and active-duty servicemembers purchasing homes per capita as the Phoenix area.

There are many benefits for those who qualify for a VA loan. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, generally there is often no down payment unless required by the lender, no private mortgage insurance, no credit score requirement and VA loans can also be used to refinance an existing home.

The new maximum loan amount for VA loans is $484,350, raised from $453,100 last year and significantly higher than the FHA loan limit of $314,827.

Veterans and active duty servicemembers who meet certain length-of-service requirements are usually eligible for a VA loan, along with other certain groups of individuals. To learn if you are eligible, call the VA at 1-877-827-3702.


Dayv Morgan, HomeSmart Success

This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Fifth-grader Max Gerena shakes hands with MUSD board members. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa Unified School District awarded its November spotlights to students, community members and staff during Wednesday’s meeting of the governing board.

Students honored were Abraham Hoopes, fourth grader at Butterfield Elementary, Max Gerena, fifth grader at Maricopa Elementary, Kendyll Raue, third grader at Pima Butte Elementary, Thonya Florez, first grader at Saddleback Elementary, Le’Neia Noreiga-Solig, third grader at Santa Cruz Elementary, Tayven Maybray, fourth grader at Santa Rosa Elementary, Elizabeth Coles, eighth grader at Desert Wind Middle School, Ashleymae Hulguin, seventh grader at Maricopa Wells Middle School, and Kanthikan Kanjana, senior at Maricopa High School.

Community members honored were Jennifer MacDonald, parent volunteer at Butterfield, Anna Schechenzubar, PTO member at Maricopa Elementary, Shawna Baca, parent volunteer at Pima Butte, Trisha Johnson, volunteer at Saddleback, Maegan Carter, business partner at Santa Cruz, Coree Adams, PTO president at Santa Rosa, Mike Pease, volunteer at Desert Wind, John and May Donohue, Kids Day Organizers at Maricopa Wells, and Elizabeth Witteman, parent volunteer and substitute at Maricopa High School.

Employees honored were Cindy Welch, second-grade teacher at Butterfield, Nancy Guggisberg, first-grade teacher at Maricopa Elementary, Tabri Hicks, first-grade teacher at Pima Butte, Sarah Rice, paraprofessional at Saddleback, Stephanie Arturet, third-grade teacher at Santa Cruz, Edith Martinez, administrative assistant at Santa Rosa, Misty McKenzie, bookstore and library assistant at Desert Wind, Jana Everett, administrative assistant at Maricopa Wells, Deana Paine, counselor at Maricopa High School, and Judy Valdez, substitute specialist and district receptionist.

Joan Koczor
Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

Effective Oct. 1, 2020, driver’s licenses in Arizona will not be compliant with the REAL ID Act, according to Arizona Department of Transportation. The REAL ID Act, which Congress passed in 2005, tightens requirements for identification presented by travelers at airports.

Arizona residents won’t be able to get through TSA airport security checkpoints with a standard driver’s license as identification. The non-travel license says “NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION” across the front.

The biggest visible difference between a standard driver’s license and the “voluntary travel ID” is a gold star on the top right corner of the new cards.

A travel ID costs $25 and is valid for eight years. Applications are available online at Travelers must bring completed application to a Motor Vehicle Division office or an authorized third-party driver’s license provider to apply.

Three categories of identification documents are required. All documents must be originals or copies in English certified by the issuing agency.

Bring one: Proof of identity (birth certificate, U.S. passport, passport card). If you need a certified copy of an Arizona birth certificate, you can request one from Arizona Department of Health Services.

Bring one: Proof of Social Security Number (Social Security card, W-2 form). To order a replacement Social Security card visit the Social Security Administration website and establish an account.

Bring two: Proof of Arizona residency via two printed documents with your current Arizona residential address (utility bills, credit card/bank statements, insurance policy). Note: If your current legal name is different from the one shown on a document, you must show legal proof of name change, such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order.

Those who don’t have the required residency documents must complete an Arizona Residency Affidavit and supply additional proof of residency.

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and Maricopa resident.

This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Lucinda Boyd will be added to CAC's Wall of Success during ceremonies Saturday.

Maricopa resident Lucinda Boyd, RN, is scheduled to receive the 2019 Central Arizona College Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award on Saturday and will be added on the Wall of Success at CAC.

The Wall of Success is designed to recognize outstanding alumni for their personal and professional accomplishments. Many factors go into selecting Wall of Success members, including volunteerism in the community; professional, local, regional, national or international recognition; and accomplishment in their field of expertise.

“I am truly blessed to have my nursing career,” Boyd said. “It has enabled me to take care of myself, my family, to help others and to have a better life. It has opened doors and has allowed me to be a blessing to others.”

Lucinda Boyd (center) on the job as a critical care nurse. Submitted photo

Boyd is a wife, mother and grandmother and has volunteered in many capacities over the years.

Boyd grew up in Benson, a small town in southern Arizona. She is the oldest of eight children. She was always active in church, sports and clubs. Her senior year she was the Benson High School newspaper editor and business manager. She graduated BUHS in 1981. After High School she moved to Phoenix and in 1984 moved to Maricopa to raise her family.

Lucinda worked with youth In Maricopa for many years teaching religious education classes and serving as a religious education coordinator from 1986 to 1996 at the St. Francis De Sales Catholic Mission in Maricopa, now our Lady of Grace. She was instrumental in starting the annual festival and carnival to raise money for the new building fund working with Deacon Bill and Helen McGinney.

Lucinda Boyd

It was started as the St. Francis De Sales Feast Day on Jan. 24, although the date and name have since changed several times. She served in the music ministry, and was the rectora (director), co-director and team member of many Women’s Cursillo retreats (a short course in Christianity) and was a member of the Parish Pastoral Council. She retired as the religious education coordinator to continue at CAC to pursue a nursing degree.

Boyd started with the CNA class, graduated and began working while raising her children and going to CAC. She completed two years of prerequisites before starting the nursing program. While in the nursing program she became the vice president of the local Student Nurses Association and was then elected as the secretary of the Arizona Board of Directors for the Student Nurses Association. Lucinda was on the Dean’s list. Upon her graduation in 1998 she received the Outstanding Student Nurse of the Year Award and the Army Nurse Corps Spirit of Nursing Award.

Boyd was invited to work at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, where she started on the Med/Surg floor, took classes in basic EKG, 12-lead EKG and ACLS and moved within a year to the Telemetry/Cardiac unit, where she became a charge nurse and worked for several years.

She then went to work as a critical-care nurse for Rural Metro/Southwest Ambulance. There, she took further classes in hemodynamics, ventilator and airway management, ACLS, PALS, Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program (CCEMTP), prehospital CCRN course, balloon pump and AIBP management.

After several years Boyd went to RN Case Management in Home Health and Hospice.

Although busy throughout those years she was the mom on the sidelines screaming for her kids and others at all their games. She raised two stepdaughters and four of her own children and took in many other teens from the community for periods of time to help them when needed.

In 2009 Lucinda and her husband Robert started an organization called “The Streets Don’t Love You Back” to educate the youth against gangs, drugs, violence and abuse and to empower them. They both have powerful stories of overcoming some of life’s traumatic circumstances. They want to help the youth and others heal and not go through some of the things they did.

Lucinda‘s journalism skills paid off as she edited two books for her husband. Lucinda then created and authored a Lifeskills Intervention Program, a curriculum to educate on skills and tools needed to overcome and be successful in life. The program is taught locally, in the Maricopa and Pinal County Detention Centers, ADOC and in over 155 prisons throughout the country. Lucinda has edited several books for various people including the mother of rapper Snoop Dogg, Beverly Broadus Green.

Boyd received a Humanitarian Award in 2015, graduated from the City of Maricopa Citizen Leadership Academy in 2016, served as a planning committee member at the Maricopa Teen Court in 2017, is a member of the Arizona Association of Conflict Resolution, a recipient of the Maricopa Chamber of Commerce 2017 Nonprofit of the Year Award, Maricopa Community Advocate Award in 2016 and HOPE Award in 2017.

The Streets Don’t Love You Back received a Certificate of Recognition and was introduced on the Arizona Senate floor by Sen. Catherine Miranda and Sen. Steve Smith two separate times and most recently they were recipients of the PCSO Challenge Coin and Volunteer Award from Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Mark Lamb for their volunteer service and lifeskills program at the detention center.

Boyd currently serves on the City of Maricopa Parks, Recreation and Libraries Advisory Board, she is a CAC Foundation director, president of the Zonta Club of Maricopa, and a Pinal County Juvenile Restorative Justice Advisory panel member.

“Like traditional nursing and the healing of our bodies, we must also heal our soul and minds and our hearts,” Boyd said. “Healing is our responsibility because we have the power to heal ourselves. We must let go of past pain and hurt, stop blaming others so that we can move forward in a positive manner. When we heal, we become the person we have always wanted to be or even better. We are not only able to metabolize the pain, but we are also able to affect real change in our lives, in our families and in our communities.”

The awards event Saturday celebrates CAC’s 50th anniversary.

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Douglas Ikeler

Douglas Ikeler, 63, of Maricopa passed away Nov. 11, 2019, in Chandler. He was the husband of Debbra Ikeler, and they shared 19 years together.

Douglas was born Dec. 14, 1955, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Dorothy Hiley and Harvey Ikeler. He was employed by Harley Davidson for five years before he moved to Arizona, where he worked for Nationwide Vision.

Douglas loved word puzzles, his grandchildren and his bologna sandwiches. He was best known for approaching life with humor and positivity.

Douglas is survived by his wife, Debbie; his daughters, Nicole (Joe) Strassman, Andrea (Derek) Ikeler, Arica (Andy) Hulce, Dawn (Scott) Martin-Minger; sons, Scott Martin, Derek (Tara) Westphal, Daniel (Tobi) Zvolena ; two sisters, Joan (Wayne) Scholz and Jackie (John) Mourning. He is further survived by 16 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy and Harvey, his daughter, Krystal Hayward and grandson, Damin Martin.

In accordance to Douglas’ wishes, a separate celebration of life will be held in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, in June.

What: MAC Family Farm Day
When: Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: University of Arizona MAC, 37860 W. Smith-Enke Road
How much: Free (please donate a can of food)
Info:, 520-374-6204

University of Arizona and Maricopa Agricultural Center invite all to the Family Farm Day Nov. 23, the weekend before Thanksgiving.

The day will be filled with activities like the corn maze, cotton-gin demonstration, water lab station, cricket-spitting and more. Check out farming equipment, farm animals and the Ag Village.

See how farming used to be done and catch up with modern technology. There will also be exhibitors and food vendors.

MAC is one of U of A’s agricultural experiment stations. Its main focuses are cotton, small grains, alfalfa and new, specialty crops that could be used to provide fibers, oils, pharmaceuticals, etc. Research projects are related to irrigation, soils, crop fertility, insects, cotton production, weed control, plant diseases and cultural management practices.

Master gardeners are also based at MAC and will offer tips to visitors during the event.

MAC Family Farm Day is free for all ages. Donations of canned food will support F.O.R. Maricopa food bank.

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

Maricopa High School Marching Rams achieved its best score to date in the AzMBA 3A Championship with its performance of “In the Cards” Saturday at Campo Verde High School in Gilbert.

The competition took place after the Rams had marched in the Veterans Day Parade in Maricopa that morning.

The score of 75.213 placed them ninth out of 24 schools. With higher-scoring bands like Mesa and Queen Creek unable to attend the Grand Championships, MHS qualified for the event Sunday at Mesa Community College. There, they finished 10th with a score of 71.51.

A grand championship judge said, “This year’s edition of the Maricopa Marching Band may be the one of the strongest groups of ambassadors to date.”

The Marching Rams are directed by Ivan Pour and Assistant Director Logan Harper. Colorguard coach is Eliana Araiza, volunteer assistants Dannie Bradley and Alyssa Harper, percussion caption head David Hales and front ensemble instructor Stuart Delaney.


Maricopa Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12043 officially established its auxiliary in a Saturday ceremony.
State President Sheila Lee-Eiler and other state officers were on hand at Maricopa Veterans Center to handle protocol. New members were sworn in, followed by a “Welcome, ya’ll” from Eiler. As their first act, they accepted transfers and then elected their first officers. VFW Auxiliary is comprised of family members of VFW members, with programs that benefit veterans and their families.
Janae Kemery was elected president. Senior vice president is Anita Martin, and junior vice president is Jim Mickelson. Matthew Dion is treasurer, and Sandy Hinners is secretary. Chaplain is Lisa Foster, conductress is Gwen Golden, and guard is Dawn Rud. Rainey Rose is first-year trustee, Pat Sommerfield is second-year trustee, and Deb Carpenter is third-year trustee.

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A Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall is planned at 40675 W. Honeycutt Road and received its commercial permit, valued at $793,000. Contractor is Sutherland Construction Company.

Volkswagen, 20053 N. Murphy Road, continues work on its new electric-vehicle charging station, receiving a commercial structural permit and a major electrical permit, which was valued at $1 million. It also received a permit for a hydrant flow test.

Buff City Soap, describing itself as a “soap makery,” received a permit to do some non-residential demolition for its new location in a storefront at 21101 N. John Wayne Parkway

Omni Storage, 42200 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway, a planned self-storage company off Stonegate Road, also ran a hydrant flow test as it moves forward with construction.

Mountain Trace Development, planning an apartment complex at 41337 N. Shea Way, received a permit for a hydrant flow test for its 5.83 acres at Oasis at the Wells, between Walmart and Banner Health.

A+ Charter School, a planned high school in Glennwilde, received a permit to run a hydrant flow test at 41949 W. Barcelona Drive. It has scheduled a Dec. 4 groundbreaking.

Meritage Homes received a subdivision final plat amendment for 41897 W. Friendly Place on Parcel 10 in Province.

New projects getting their fire sprinkler systems prepped were the electric charging station at Volkswagen, the new location for Domino’s Pizza, 20024 N. John Wayne Parkway, the new location for Mount Moriah Church, 19275 N. Gunsmoke Road, and F.O.R. Maricopa food bank.

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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Edison Place is at the corner of John Wayne Parkway and Edison Road. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson


The newly finished Edison Place on the southeast corner of John Wayne Parkway and Edison Road sold for $4.578 million to K&N Investors, according to county records.

The previous owner and developer of the lot was Signal Healthcare of Paradise Valley. K&N is based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The 9,000-square-foot commercial building is fully occupied by SimonMed Imaging and Heartland Dental.

The sale was brokered by commercial real estate firm Newmark Knight Frank. NKF announced the sale in October. The sale took place Aug. 30. It amounts to $531 per square foot.

“The Maricopa property is an example of how healthcare providers are occupying retail sites for convenient access and visibility for patients,” NKF Managing Director Trisha Talbot said in a media release.

This item appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

From left, Grant Hall, Samantha Bayless, Principal Brian Winter and winner Riley Burke. Photo by Kyle Norby

A freshman inspired by a Scooby-Doo mashup won Maricopa High School’s Red Ribbon Week Art Contest. The theme this year was “Stay Drug Free.” Drawing from a DeviantArt illustration by Darrin Brege placing the Scooby gang in Ghostbusters outfits, Riley Burke added a drug-free message for her winning entry.

In second place was senior Samantha Bayless, and in third was freshman Grant Hall. They all took home cash prizes. Honorable mention went to Kat Tolles, Benea Quintero and Ashley Crider Wallace.

Photos by Kyle Norby

Maricopa Unified School District hosted its annual Veterans Breakfast on Friday morning to showcase local veterans, especially those working or volunteering for the district. With breakfast catered by the culinary department, attendees sat in on a program that included Superintendent Tracey Lopeman expressing the district’s gratitude for those who served in the military.

Central Arizona College Veterans Services hosted its annual salute to veterans Thursday on the Maricopa campus, with help from the Blue Star Mothers and Maricopa High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

A warm, breezy weekend is ahead for Maricopa, according to the National Weather Service, with high temperatures hotter than usual.

Today, the high is expected to be around 87 degrees F. The average high for this date is 79. The overnight low will be around 54.

Friday, the forecast calls for sunny skies and a high again near 87 and winds at 5-15 mph. The nighttime low will be around 53.

Saturday also expects a high near 87 under sunny skies and breezes of 5-10 mph. The night will be partly cloudy with a low around 55.

Sunday again anticipates a high near 87 and sunny skies. Overnight, the low temperature will get down to 52.

Veterans Day on Monday is expecting more of the same. The rest of the week looks to be in the low 80s and high 70s.

Sponsored Content

Santa finds out what Roxie wants for Christmas.

Shamrock Farms will be transforming its working dairy farm and tour into a winter wonderland as they host their annual “Joy to the Herd” holiday celebration Dec. 7–8.

In addition to getting up close and personal with 10,000 cows on the guided tour, the event includes special added features including 15 tons of snow, holiday crafts, face painting and more. Of course, no holiday celebration would be complete without a special visit with Santa and Shamrock Farms own jolly spokescow – Roxie!

The holiday cheer includes festive décor added to Shamrock Farms Welcome Barn and tram as well as throughout the fun and educational guided Farm Tour, which takes visitors through a milking barn that accommodates 1,600 cows (milking 200 at a time), an interactive play zone, a calf nursery and much more.

Reservations and pre-payment are required. Tickets are $15 for children and adults and include all activities. Children under 2 are free. Lunch will be available for an additional cost.

To make your reservation today, click here:


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Brian Petersheim

By Brian Petersheim

Brian Petersheim

These are the numbers for the city of Maricopa for the month of October 2019. These numbers only focus on the homes in HOA’ed subdivisions, since the non-HOA areas are so diverse.

  • 329 Homes currently available for sale, not under contract, looking for offers
  • 238 Homes currently under contract (should close escrow within 45 days pending inspection, appraisal, etc)

In October, 28 of the sold homes had a built-in private pool.

Average sale price was $231,923
Average price per square foot sold $118
Average days on the market was 63

Least expensive home sold – $170,000 – Notes: 3-bed/2-bath 1,117 sqft in Rancho El Dorado, 21870 N. Braden
Most expensive home sold – $368,799 – Notes: 6-bed/4-bath 3,052 sqft upgraded new build (Fulton Homes) in Glennwilde with view fencing, 18976 N. Jameson

  • 6 homes sold in Province (active adult community)
  • 40 of the sold homes were new build/spec homes

Number of bedrooms – 183 sold homes

  • 2 bed – 5
  • 3 bed – 73
  • 4 bed – 80
  • 5 bed – 22
  • 6 bed – 3
  • 7+ bed – 0

Garage parking: of the 183 sold

  • 2 car – 159
  • 3 car – 23
  • 4 car – 1

Price ranges of the 183 sold:
$150,001-$175,000 —- 5
$175,001-$200,000 —- 36
$200,001-$225,000 —- 58
$225,001-$250,000 —- 38
$251,001-$275,000 —- 26
$275,001-$300,000 —-10
$300,001-$350,000 —-7
$350,001-$400,000 —-3

Bottom line: The market still remains with a “slight seller’s advantage.” Inventory and prices have remained static, with a slight shortage of homes for sale, so the market will continue staying level until the end of the year. Winter months in Arizona are generally the slowest real estate months of the year as many buyers and sellers choose not to move during the holiday season.

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

Brian Petersheim
HomeSmart Realty

The Klute will again be slammaster for the championship.

What: All-Maricopa Poetry Slam
When: Nov. 9, 6:30 p.m. (doors open at 5:15 p.m.); poets register by 5:30 p.m.
Where: Honeycutt Coffee, 44400 W. Honeycutt Road, Suite 109
How much: $5 admission

Maricopa Arts Council is adding to its spoken-word performance events by offering cash prizes to the three winners of its 2019 All-Maricopa Poetry Slam Championship.

City championship takes place Nov. 9 at Honeycutt Coffee. The evening will be a three-round elimination contest for poets of high-school age and up.

Poetry Slams are competitions of original poetry where poets perform their own work before an audience without costumes, music or scenery. All poets get three minutes per round.

All types of poetry are welcome, from street-wise rap and narrative performance poems to political rants and introspective confessionals. Because these are adult slams, they are free-speech events, meaning language and topics can get salty.

Slams are judged over three elimination rounds. Five judges are selected from among the audience, with each judge awarding a score to each poet. Highest and lowest scores are discarded, and the average of the remaining marks becomes the official score. The judges’ joint decision will be final.

The slam master, who runs the show, is nationally recognized poet Bernard Schober, who writes and performs as The Klute. He is a veteran of the National Slam and author of 12 books.

Doors open at 5:15 p.m., when participants and audience members can purchase refreshments and mingle. Only the first 14 poets who show up before 5:30 p.m. to register will have a chance to perform and should have three pieces prepared. The competition begins at 6:30 p.m.

Top prize is $150. Second place wins $75 and third $50. The top two qualify to perform at MAC’s All-Arizona Poetry Slam Championship on Jan. 25. The third-place poet will also perform at the all-state event as a “calibration poet” between the official rounds.

The All-Maricopa Slam Championship includes “Art On-the-Spot,” artworks created from 5 to 6 p.m. by a specially selected Maricopa artist.

This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.


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CPA Jim Chaston

By James A. Chaston, CPA

CPA Jim Chaston

With the increase in the standard deduction only about 12% of taxpayers will itemize and be able to write off mortgage interest, state taxes, medical and charitable deductions.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t donate to charities. The State of Arizona has some tax credit programs that allow you to choose how your tax dollars get used. The following Arizona tax credits reduce your tax liability dollar for dollar. Every dollar you give to the “qualified” charities reduces your taxes by a dollar. You don’t lose any money; just decide where it goes, and your chosen charity gets that additional funding. If you understand this, you will always
take advantage of it. Here are the Arizona state tax credit programs that you can participate in.

• Public Schools Credit
• Private School Tuition Organization
• PLUS Private School Tuition Organization
• Arizona Charities Credit
• Foster Care Credit
• Military Family Relief Fund

In addition, if you itemize your deductions on your federal return you can also take a deduction for these donations.

Here’s how it works. You give $400, the maximum for a married filing joint tax return, to a public school for something that qualifies for the credit. Then, when you file your tax return, you either get that $400 back or your liability is reduced by $400 from the State of Arizona, assuming you have that much in
liability. If you are in the 22% tax bracket for federal income taxes, you save $88 or 22% of the $400 donation from your federal taxes. The result is you give your public schools $400 and get $488 back from the government.

You combine all the credits at the maximum if you file jointly and itemize, and you could get up to $5,940 back from the government while giving $4,869 to your choice of schools and charities depending on your tax bracket (limit for filings other than jointly is $2,435). The overall limit of state tax credit you can claim this year is your state tax liability.

Example: You generated an Arizona tax liability of $5,000, you had $4,800 withheld from your wages, so normally you would owe $200 when you file your tax return. If you make the donations of $4,869, it would reduce your tax liability from $5,000 to just $131 and you would get a refund of $4,669, essentially getting your $4,869 back.

Then you would also get the $4,869 as a deduction on your federal return increased your refund or decreasing what you would owe.

Here’s a closer look at these credits. The credit for a “qualifying charitable organization” is one that spends at least 50% of its budget on services to Arizona residents who receive temporary assistance for needy families’ benefits or are considered low-income households. There is also an additional $500 and $1,000 credit if you give to a qualifying Foster Care Organization. Check for the most current list of qualifying charities. You must itemize deductions to claim the credit.

The credit for contributions made or fees paid to a public school must be made in support of extra-curricular activities or for character education programs. Fees paid to the school for your own child qualify for the credit. Also, you can just make a general donation whether you have children in the school district or not.

The annual credit limit for someone filing single or head of household is $200 and $400 for a couple filing jointly.

The private school tuition credit must be made to a tuition organization that provides scholarships or grants to qualified schools. Again, anyone can make a donation whether they have a child in the school or not. Most private schools have tuition organizations set up to handle these donations. A good list of
these organizations can be found at The annual credit limit for someone filing single or head of household has increased to $569 for single and $1,138 for a couple filing jointly.

These are non-refundable credits, they offset tax liabilities and allow your withholding to be refunded. Any unused credits may be carried over to future years.

There are several other credits, but many of them are specific to certain circumstances and you should consult your tax advisor to see if you qualify for those credits and your applicability to the credits discussed above.

The donation deadline for these donations for tax year 2019 is April 15, 2020. But make them before December to get the federal write-off also.

James A. Chaston, CPA
520-568-3303 Office
602-617-2449 Mobile
21300 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 110

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Alan Marchione

By Alan Marchione

Alan Marchione

A few years ago, I wrote an article discussing what I called “Kitchen Table Economics.” It’s the idea that in the course of balancing a budget, families sit down together at their kitchen table and balance their expenses with respect to incoming funds. We should expect our City and the MUSD to do the same, but I don’t feel the MUSD is practicing this most basic fundamental of personal finance with taxpayer funds. With regard to Proposition 437, I see red flags. I’ll explain further.

The largest component of Prop 437 is the construction of a new high school for the district, which, on its own, would be a cumbersome request of the taxpayer. However, where the problem lies, is what’s to be done with the remainder of the $113 million in principle and interest.

The first red flag is the request to use funds for the “repair and replacement of systems and infrastructure like HVAC, roofing and weatherization of aging buildings and facilities.” This request sends the message MUSD has failed to proactively budget for operations and maintenance of its existing facilities. There’s no contingency? There’s no reserve fund to anticipate eventual maintenance and repairs of existing assets? Even HOAs are required to maintain reserve funds for just this purpose.

Let’s get this straight, for the taxpayer: The MUSD wants you to approve a bond for $113 million, over a period of 28 years, in part for operation and maintenance of existing facilities, all while requesting funds to build more facilities, without providing a budgetary roadmap for similar operation and maintenance expenses in the future, whereas the items being purchased with bond funds won’t last the life of the bond. Where’s the common sense in that?

A second red flag of the bond request is “facility enhancements to increase security and promote safety.” Once again, taxpayers would be paying interest on items with a life expectancy less than the 28 years they’ll be paying on them – all while providing no roadmap for operation and maintenance. If security technology is included, then I would ask what the life expectancy is of such items when compared to the pace at which technology is moving? As a reference, how long before your current cell phone is considered “old school?”

It’s extremely unwise to bond maintenance and operations. The MUSD should not be given bond funds to build new capital assets if they can’t provide the taxpayer with a roadmap in their budget allocating for operations and maintenance of the new facility, or even their existing facilities. This entire program is robbing Peter to pay Paul on steroids and is a huge red flag.

There are those in the community that’ll approve any measure that contain “school” and “tax” in the same sentence, and there are those who will vote no on any measure that contains the word “tax” in any sentence. Just because taxpayers ask questions on why taxes need to be increased does not mean they don’t care about children and/or teachers.

Questions are good, and spawn effective debate.

Taxpayer money is not monopoly money, and we need to hold public entities accountable on how taxpayer funds are spent. The position towards the expenditure of taxpayer funds should not be to tax and spend when it’s wanted, but that of a zero-based budgeting ideology that explains and justifies why taxpayer funds are needed and/or if they are being properly managed – before ever asking for more.

Join me in voting No on Prop 437’s Red Flags.

Alan Marchione is a resident of Maricopa.

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Senior Airman Marquice Brown of Maricopa is now part of the Air Force Honor Guard. Submitted photo

By Francis Trast

Senior Airman Marquice Brown is a Maricopa High School AFJROTC alumnus who is currently assigned to Bolling Air Force Base in Anacostia, Maryland, on the firing line of the U.S. Air Force’s Honor Guard. He visited with MHS cadets on a recent visit.

As part of his Air Force duties, he works all through the week. When not on assignment, he is going to the gym or attending drill practices. Brown said being in ROTC four years greatly helped him with his military bearing and precision in drill, which is why he was noticed in basic training and invited into the Honor Guard.

“The job is great, and once you get in you’re gonna [really] love it,” he said. “But you have to be ready to adapt to [your new role]. Take your job seriously, but at the same time, have fun.”

Brown had a few words of advice for anyone going into the military. Firstly, he said to go in with a purpose. If you don’t know why you’re in the military – any branch – then you shouldn’t be there, he said. He also emphasized the importance of being physically prepared; being in shape before you go into the military will make basic training much easier.

His third and final piece of wisdom was that basic training is what you make of it; for those with a positive attitude going in, the experience will be exciting and educational. Brown had been taking a dance class at MHS and therefore had been fairly physically active when he enlisted.

Brown related the contrast in reality from his expectations, starting by explaining what most people expect when they think of basic training — an idea of having your face in the dirt, being broken down, being solitary and alone, and an absolute authoritarian rule of existing within the unit with the sole purpose of doing what you’re told. Brown says all of these things are half-truths; it isn’t quite so authoritarian as people assume, and the instructors are there, more than anything, to help.

Brown also recounted some of his most memorable moments: marching in the Macy’s Parade; promotions and retirements performed in the Hall of Heroes; and the active duty for Prisoner of War (POW) funerals.