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A study completed by AARP Travel found 94 percent of its respondents expecting to take personal time to travel in 2019. Among Baby Boomers planning vacations, more than half are traveling internationally.

Millennials, too, are heading overseas, but without the time or resources of the older generation, and not in the same numbers. Those Millennials who are going abroad are a little farther ahead in the planning process than Baby Boomers.

Patti Bradley from Far Horizons Travel provides the following international travel tips:

  1. Take empty water bottle or cup with a lid. Once you pass through security, you can fill the bottle with water and take it with you on the plane. Lots of airports even have the water bottle fill stations now. Buying water at the airport can be $3-$4 a bottle.
  2. Take a wash cloth. If you normally use a wash cloth, you may not find them in a lot of countries. I always put one in, just in case. I have been to several places that don’t use them. Or even if they do, they don’t always replace used ones when cleaning the room.
  3. Make a copy of your passport and put it in a separate place from the original. I do this just in case my passport gets misplaced. If you have a copy and need to go to the consulate to get a replacement, it takes a lot less time. It’s expensive to replace, so try very hard not to lose it.
  4. Separate your money. When taking cash, even if not a ton of it, put some in your purse or wallet, and some in your carry-on. That way if you get pick-pocketed or lose your wallet, you will still have some cash left. Also, buy foreign currency before you go. They do not take USD in most countries so if you want to tip your baggage handler, buy a soda or food or anything else, you have their money. You can exchange in most international airports upon arrival, but the exchange rate is not the best. Also, get smaller denominations if you can.
  5. Call your cell service provider, your credit card companies and your bank to let them know you will be gone. I do not take my debit card when I travel because you cannot replace cash. However, credit cards have a fraud clause that will safeguard you in case of theft. Take only a Visa or Mastercard. They don’t take American Express and Discover cards in most countries. Not all cell phones will work abroad, and some have a temporary international plan. I have AT&T and it’s $10 a day for when I use it for texting, talking and data. I do believe Verizon also has that. Otherwise you can pay over $3 a minute in most countries.

Far Horizons Travel
608 258-1600
www.far.horizons.travel

 

Our readers also had tips for Maricopans planning to go international:

Donna Fisher

Definitely get a TSA precheck ID as well as a passport card. The passport card will also work when traveling domestically when the ID laws change soon.

Ev Glasser

Don’t forget your neighbours to the north; international travel doesn’t need to cross an ocean. As a Canadian with a home in Maricopa, I recommend visiting our Rocky Mountain national parks in the summer.

Jorge Antunez

TSA precheck/Global entry always helps, especially if you are connecting with different airlines, as in some cases you have to exit one terminal and go through a different one. And check in early as airlines have different cutoff times to check in on domestic and international flights.

Adriane Borrego

Put some toiletries in carry-on luggage; for long flights you may need to freshen up in the airport bathroom. Best experiences I have had was having drinks with new people and finding places off the beaten path.

More Tips: USA.gov/Americans-Abroad


This story appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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By Al Brandenburg

Everyone who lives in southern Arizona knows our soils can be difficult for producing healthy plants for the average home gardener. The challenge is hard soil and alkalinity.

Desert gardening demands the balancing of the environment, and desert soils are high in clay, calcium and sodium. They are extremely hard and impermeable to water. Before doing anything, you must open and balance your soil. If not, you waste water and nutrients (either already in your soil or from fertilizers).

There are three primary types of soil, determined by the amount of clay, silt or sand particles present.

  1. Clay soil contains a high percentage of clay and silt. The particles are small and cling together, holding water and nutrients well. However, clay soil is susceptible to compaction, which can make it difficult for the moisture and nutrients to reach plant roots and for roots to penetrate the soil. You can identify clay soil by its sticky, slippery feel and its tendency to cling to garden tools.
  2. Sandy soil is composed of larger, coarser particles. It drains quickly, but it isn’t effective at holding moisture and nutrients. This type of soil feels rough and doesn’t hold together well.
  3. Loam, however, has a good balance of clay, silt, sand and organic material. It’s the best type of soil for gardening, providing drainage and retention of moisture and nutrients. Loam holds its shape when you squeeze it lightly and is easier to dig than other types.

The soil in your landscape likely will not be ideal initially, but soil amendments can help you improve it, allowing your plants to thrive.

So, what are some of the fixes?

Sphagnum peat moss absorbs water, slowly releasing it for use by plant roots. It lightens clay soil, providing aeration, and adds mass to sandy soil, helping prevent the leaching of nutrients.

Humus consists of decayed organic matter. It improves fertility and aeration and helps soil hold moisture.

Composted manure is an odorless farm byproduct. In addition to improving aeration and moisture retention, it enriches the soil. Dehydrated manure is a similar product that contains less moisture.

Garden topsoil is a commercially produced compost usually partially decomposed. Because of its rough texture, you use topsoil in the yard or mixed with other products, but not as a potting soil.

Organic soil amendments: Many gardeners choose to make their own soil amendment by composting dead leaves, coffee grounds and other organic materials (not weeds) to add to their existing soil.

If you have questions that aren’t covered here, call the local Master Gardener problem office at 520-374-6263 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until noon. You can also e-mail macmasterfgardener@gmail.com.


This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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By Dayv Morgan

Dayv Morgan

To say the least, 2018 was a good year for housing in Maricopa. Prices went up, availability tightened a bit and 101 more houses sold compared to the year before.

Meanwhile, house construction continued at a rapid rate, proving builders are bullish on Maricopa. The month of May was particularly hot, with 106 building permits filed. Year-over-year, building permits increased 34 percent.

The number of active listings stayed fairly consistent, as did the average number of days on the market, which is slightly above the Valley average. The average selling price in Maricopa by year’s end had increased to $214,000, still well below the Valley average of $235,200, which might explain the continued housing demand in Maricopa.

While the number of homes for sale was shrinking, it was even more difficult to find a house to rent in Maricopa, and rents climbed to an average of $1,300.

The nationwide shortages in construction supplies and labor were felt in Maricopa and may contribute to higher home prices when houses currently under construction go on the market in 2019. Mortgage rates also went up during 2018, putting more pressure on buyers.

For the most part, 2018 was a seller’s market in Maricopa. That will likely continue in 2019. Potential homebuyers are expected to enter the market by spring to get ahead of rising prices.

Maricopa data:

                                                                            Jan. 1, 2018                          Dec. 1, 2018
Median sold price                                                  $190,000                                $212,000
Average sold price                                                 $204,000                                $214,000
Ratio of original list price to sold price              97.7%                                        97.4%
Active Listings                                                         428                                            406
Average days on market                                         60                                               66

                                                                                                           2017                       2018
Homes sold in first 11 months                                                           1,805                     1,906
Single-family house building permits in first 11 months              708                         951

Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Success.
480-251-4231
DayvMorgan@gmail.com


This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

 

Murray Siegel

By Murray Siegel

In October, Arizona Department of Education released school letter grades. Three Maricopa schools received the highest grade of A: Legacy Traditional, Pima Butte Elementary School and Butterfield Elementary School, the latter two being Maricopa Unified School District schools.

Butterfield reached the A grade after having been a C school last year. What does it take to obtain the A grade?

Principal Janel Hildick said there were many contributing factors, including:

– A new math curriculum

– Override funds, which reduced class size

– An advanced fifth-grade math class

– An on-site school counselor

– The implementation of the PBIS Program to reduce discipline issues and keep children in classrooms learning

With these important tools, teachers could enhance student learning in English Language Arts, math and science. The school received 49.3 out of 50 points in the student-growth evaluation.

I sought reaction from Butterfield parents and faculty. One parent replied three of her children had attended Butterfield with one currently in fourth grade.

“For the last 10 years we have had the joy of watching Butterfield grow, change and excel,” she said. “The teachers we have had along the way have such a connection and personal interest in our children. Their passion and dedication prove their desire to see the student succeed.”

One teacher, who is the parent of three Butterfield students, said, “As a parent, you want the best for your children, and Butterfield has now officially proven what we have always felt about the school, which is that it provides an outstanding education for its students. I have so much invested in this school and we as a staff have worked so hard to achieve this kind of success. I know that my children are getting the absolute best education possible at Butterfield and It is a privilege to be a teacher there.”

Another teacher, who has one son at Butterfield and another in middle school, wrote, “The staff and students at the school are some of the most incredible people in Maricopa.”

She and her husband, both actively involved at the school, are proud to be Butterfield parents. Another teacher who is the parent of a third grader and whose daughter is at the middle school, responded, “I know that my child is more than just a number on a test; he is a student that deserves every opportunity to succeed. As a parent, I can’t picture my child at a better school. I am proud of what the staff and students have accomplished.”

One more Butterfield parent said she had a daughter at Butterfield in third grade and another daughter now at middle school. She wrote, “I didn’t need a grade to know how wonderful the faculty and staff were.”

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


This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Bernadette Russoniello

By Bernadette Russoniello

At Maricopa High School, the No. 1 reason students cite for not planning to attend a two-year or four-year college after graduation is “I cannot afford to go to college.” Yet the federal government offers billions of dollars in aid for students, while private foundations and businesses offer hundreds of millions in scholarship dollars. Where is the disconnect?

Grants and scholarships are free money. They do not get reported as income, they are tax-free, and never have to be paid back as long as students meet the qualifications.

Here is a quick overview of some of Arizona’s most generous scholarship programs.

Flinn Foundation: Students must be in the top 5 percent of their class, have an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or better and earn top test scores to be eligible to apply. Twenty Flinn Scholars will be awarded a full tuition waiver, housing, meal plans, books, technology and foreign travel stipends at any of the three state universities.

Dorrance Foundation: Awards up to 36 students $12,000 per year to assist with their studies at one of the three state universities. Students must be the first generation to attend college, minimum 3.0 GPA, minimum 1120 SAT or 22 ACT and demonstrate financial need.

National Merit Scholarship is awarded to the top 1 percent of test scores in the state. Students must take the Fall PSAT as juniors to be considered for this award. Typically, universities waive tuition and give generous scholarship packages to both National Merit finalists and even semi-finalists. At our in-state universities, the typical package is about $18,000 per year.

Barack Obama’s Scholarship at Arizona State: Students applying to ASU must have a family income below $42,400 and meet one of the three academic competencies for ASU – 3.0 GPA, top 25 percent of class or 1040 SAT/22 ACT. The Obama Scholarship covers all direct costs of attendance (tuition, housing, food). Candidates must apply to ASU and submit FAFSA before Jan. 1.

Lumberjack Scholarship: Students attending NAU will receive a full tuition waiver ($10,000 per year) for maintaining all A’s and B’s through their high school career. This year, MHS has 18 Lumberjack Scholars earning more than $1 million in academic scholarships.

In addition to these major scholarships, there are hundreds of local scholarships ranging from $500-$2,500 that students can seek out and apply for. Scholars who want the dollars need to start planning and researching now, not wait until the spring semester of senior year to look for assistance.

Bernadette Russoniello is the Career and College coordinator at Maricopa High School. She can be reached 520-568-8100, ext. 4218.


This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Zach Kondravy goes upside-down in winning two matches. Photos by Kyle Norby

Maricopa High School wrestling hosted two teams Wednesday in a home dual that was also Senior Night. The Rams defeated Camelback 29-20 and McClintock 45-9.

Zach Kondravy defeated both of his opponents on the day in the 138-pound class. Rams who defeated one opponent were Gabriel Garcia at 106 pounds, Xavier Rose (113), Jonathan Childers (126), Connor Paine (145), Hunter Taylor (182) and David Onquist (152).

MHS is scheduled for the Doc Wright Invitational Friday and host Horizon and Notre Dame Prep Jan. 23 at 4 p.m.

By Brian Petersheim, Realtor

Brian Petersheim, Realtor. Photo by Victor Moreno

In the past, blogging topics have focused on buying/selling homes and the real estate market in general, but this time I wanted to change things up and focus on renters.

Renters in Maricopa have always been an asset to our community. People rent homes for many reasons instead of buying a home. The most common reasons that are mentioned are getting the “lay of the land” in Maricopa, maybe making sure the commute is acceptable, and deciding on a specific community to lay their roots down. Another common reason to rent is to work on credit scores and employment history to be able to qualify for a home purchase.

I have broken down this blog post into two parts. The first is the Maricopa rental market in general and the second will be tips and tricks to increase your chances of getting into the rental home of your choice.

At the current time there are about 18,000 homes built in Maricopa, but there are only about 33 homes for rent right now, which is a very low inventory.

Total number of homes for rent 33
Rentals allowing pets 23
Rentals with pools 5
Short term/seasonal rentals 11
Monthly lease prices of the 33 homes
$1,100-1,150—-2
$1,151-1,200—-5
$1,201-1,250—-4
$1,251-1,300—-6
$1,301-1,350—-3
$1,351-1,400—-2
$1,401-1,500—-8
$1,500+———3

With the rental market as tight as it currently is with supply, a prospective tenant needs to put their best foot forward when applying to rent a home. These are some tips and tricks to help a tenant get into the rental home of their dreams and set them above the competition.

1. Know what your credit report looks like before you find the home of your dreams. The landlord will receive a copy of your credit report and you want to make sure there are no surprises. If there are any extenuating circumstances or errors on your credit report, write a note to the homeowner to be submitted with the application explaining the issue. If they don’t see the note they won’t know the reason and may be more likely to pass on you for renting. The landlord may also run a criminal background check.

2. In in a landlord’s market, where the landlord may have multiple choices of tenants it would be wise to have a positive letter on hand from previous landlords. In cases where you don’t have a previous landlord, a letter from your direct supervisor at work telling what a great and long-term employee you are may help . Submit the letter with your application. That letter will weigh greatly with the prospective new landlord’s decision.

3. Make sure you invest in renters insurance. The homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover anything that doesn’t belong to the homeowner. The insurance is relatively inexpensive and covers everything that you own in the house, in case of some kind of disaster you and your belongings will be covered.

4. Have your real estate agent reach out to the landlord’s real estate agent to confirm the house is still available and ask if there are any applications pending. Generally when you apply to rent a house there is a fee involved for each applicant over the age of 18. If there are multiple applications already submitted, knowing that would be important for someone, before using their hard earned dollars for an application fee.

5. Any Real estate agent can help you find a rental. There is no “commission” for a tenant to pay the agent helping them. The commission is paid by the homeowner. There may be fees for the tenant to pay to the property management company, but those fees will need to be paid by the renter either way. A good source for a tenant to start the rental search on their own is www.Realtor.com

Welcome to Maricopa– “the Friendliest City in Arizona.”

Brian Petersheim
Realtor-Homesmart Success
602.206.9644 BrianPetersheim@gmail.com

The Maricopa Unified School District has officially begun their recruitment efforts for the upcoming school year.

The District will be recruiting for both classified and certified staff members to join their team.  The District is asking for support from the community and encouraging all internal and external stakeholders to share the news with family, friends, and professional acquaintances.  As part of this effort, the District will be hosting a Job Fair on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the district’s Administrative Office Building, 44150 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in Maricopa from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Administrators and supervisors will be present to discuss opportunities and also to conduct interviews for the projected openings.  Interested candidates should access the District’s online application at https://musd20.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx and complete the appropriate application prior to the Job Fair.

For more information about career opportunities with the Maricopa Unified School District please call 520-568-5100 or visit the District’s website at www.maricopausd.org.

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The first girder stretches above the railroad tracks and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. Photo by Jim Headley

The first girder was placed  Saturday night as construction of the overpass advances. The 82-foot girders are support beams for the bridge that will carry traffic over the railroad tracks and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. The girders arrived on flatbead trucks and were placed with cranes by Southwest Industrial Rigging, which teamed with Arizona Department of Transportation on the overnight work.

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Photos by Kyle Norby

The City of Maricopa and Arizona Game & Fish Department hosted the annual Family Fishing Day at Copper Sky Lake on a mostly sunny Saturday morning. Participants could fish license-free, and AGFD loaned out rods and tackle. It was the 14th year of the event. Families also received a free lunch.

Narrating the proceedings, David Vargas is "The Writer" in "The Good Doctor." Photos by Raquel Hendrickson

Maricopa Community Theatre is performing “The Good Doctor,” one of Neil Simon’s lesser-known comedies, this weekend. Made of a series of vignettes based on Anton Chekhov’s satirical short stories set in Russia, the play exposes hypocrisy, self-delusion, irony and human frailty, all with trademark Simon witticisms. The cast is comprised of veteran local performers and talented teens under the eye of assorted directors. Final performances are Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Leading Edge Academy.

A two-story home caught fire on Lucera Lane Friday afternoon. Reported before 5 p.m., the fire in the Glennwide subdivision drove young members of a family out of the home as smoke poured from a top-story window. No injuries were reported. Marcicopa Fire/Medical Department put down the fire and continued mop up. The cause is under investigation. SEE UPDATE

This week, Maricopa Unified School District rolled out a new safety alert system district-wide.  SafeSchools Alert is a tip reporting service designed to give students, parents, and employees easy ways to report any concerns that may need to be addressed by school leaders.

The tip reporting service allows students, staff, and parents to submit safety concerns by:

APP: Search for “SafeSchools Alert” in the App Store to download for free
PHONE: 833-284-6770
TEXT: 833-284-6770
EMAIL: 1679@alert1.us
WEB: http://1679.alert1.us

Users can easily report tips on bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism, threats of violence, or any safety issue they are concerned about at MUSD schools.  When users submit tips, they are asked to reference the district’s unique identification code, 1679, to ensure the message is routed to the district’s account.

Every tip SafeSchools Alert receives is immediately logged in the system and a school administrator is notified so they can take appropriate action.  Tips may also be submitted anonymously, if the reporting party prefers.

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Sunrise Preschool, owned by Legacy Charter, is in the late stages of construction on Porter Road.

The following briefs appeared in the January issue of InMaricopa.


T&K Contracting received a permit for grading and drainage at the northeast corner of Costa del Sol Boulevard and Honeycutt Road for Tortosa Homeowners Association. Tortosa also was approved for right-of-way use for a waterline extension for a proposed lake and a lake pump.

Rosati’s Pizza opened Dec. 12 at Maricopa Station, 21423 N. John Wayne Parkway. It previously received permit for sprinkler system remodel as it took over the space from the former Zoyo Yogurt.

Escape Room Maricopa opened Dec. 7 at Stagestop Marketplace, 44301 W. Maricopa-Casa Grande Hwy., in space once occupied by the former Camino Montesssori charter school.

On the other hand, Carl’s Jr. abruptly closed its doors Dec. 13 in anticipation of a change in franchise ownership. It was removed from the corporate map, and no formal announcement has been made about a re-opening.

Sacate Pellet Mills, 38743 W. Cowtown Road, received a zoning change from CI2 to CI1 as it moves its operations to Maricopa from Laveen.

IHOP, 20429 N. John Wayne Parkway in Edison Pointe, was permitted a wet fire sprinkler system Dec. 10 and a fire suppression system Dec. 14 before opening New Year’s Day.

Also in Edison Pointe, WingStop opened its doors Nov. 15, and Wynn Nails & Hair Salon opened next door Dec. 7.

Legacy Charter’s Sunrise Preschool, under construction at 19287 N. Porter Road, was approved for four shade structures at $4,320 each. It also received the OK for a monument sign.

East Valley Cardiology, 20924 N. John Wayne Parkway, was given a commercial tenant improvement permit for a project valued at $188,960.

Walmart and Fry’s Marketplace were given permission to sell fireworks in anticipation of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Fry’s was also permitted for Christmas tree sales in its parking lot.

Dutch Bros., planned for Sonoran Creek Marketplace at 20232 N. John Wayne Parkway, received an on-site improvement permit, valued at $147,388.

The City of Maricopa was permitted a real estate sign for Copper Sky Commercial Development.

Rehoboth Residential, a group home, received a zoning permit for a Rosa Drive residence in Santa Rosa Springs.

The same company that moved the Zephyr will move girders for the overpass, causing overnight road closures this weekend.

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers who use Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway (MCGH) to plan for overnight road closures this weekend while construction continues on the State Route 347 overpass project.

MCGH will be closed in both directions from SR 347 to Pershing Street from 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, to 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and from 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, to 6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 13.

Motorists driving northeast on MCGH can use Maricopa Groves Parkway to access north- and southbound SR 347. Motorists driving southbound on SR 347 can travel east on Edison Road and follow the detour signs to access MCGH.

Flaggers will direct traffic and limit access to local traffic only. SR 347 will remain open while the overnight closures on MCGH are in effect.

The full closure of MCGH is needed for the delivery and placement of large concrete support beams, called girders, onto the overpass structure currently under construction at SR 347.

The 82-foot-long girders will be delivered on special 18-wheel flatbed trailers and then erected into place using cranes. The placement of the girders represents a major milestone of the project.

The future above-grade structure will resolve traffic congestion created at the existing street-level intersection of SR 347 with the Union Pacific Railroad track.

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A child’s social development involves learning the values, knowledge and skills that enable him/her to relate to others effectively. Building these relationships impacts a child’s positive contributions in the community, with family and at school. At Children’s Learning Adventure, children develop these interpersonal skills in Imagination Island, a uniquely designed miniature city created to enhance social interactions and development. This play-based learning environment supports and influences children’s social development.

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Children’s Learning Adventure also promotes life-long health and well-being to their students, as it begins in early childhood. Children experience a variety of meaningful, physical activities in a climate-controlled indoor gym and outdoor play area. Children develop socially and physically as they interact with peers and teachers daily, building understanding of team and individual sports.

To instill a love for learning, Children’s Learning Adventure has created fun and interactive activities for their students. These activities allow them to discover and explore areas they are interested in while learning about something new. Founder and CEO Rick Sodja explains, “What separates Children’s Learning Adventure from others is that we champion working collaboratively with parents to develop students into lifelong learners.”

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

Children’s Learning Adventure in Maricopa holds open houses every month for families to explore the campus and engage with the teachers. To learn more about Children’s Learning Adventure, please visit www.childrenslearningadventure.com.

Bucky Heard (left) has joined Hall of Famer Bill Medley to comprise the Righteous Brothers. They will perform at Harrah's Ak-Chin in March. Submitted photo

The Righteous Brothers, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame duo, will be headlining the first concert in the all new Harrah’s Ak-Chin concert venue on March 23 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster starting Friday.

IF YOU GO
What: The Righteous Brothers – Live in Concert
When: March 23, doors open at 7 p.m., showtime 8 p.m.
Where: Harrah’s Ak-Chin Concert Venue
Tickets on sale Jan. 11: $34.50; $49.50; $64.50
Ages: All

With a string of No. 1 classics, including the most played song in radio history, You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield topped the charts in four decades. After Bobby’s death in 2003, Bill Medley continued to perform to sold-out crowds around the world, but when fans and friends pleaded with him to keep The Righteous Brothers alive; he approached Bucky Heard to recreate the magic of the original duo.

The concert experience features their biggest hits – Lovin’ Feelin’, Soul & Inspiration, Unchained Melody, Rock and Roll Heaven, Medley’s Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme, The Time of My Life, and much, much more.

Bill Medley is truly one of the iconic figures in American music history. His instantly recognizable baritone voice has anchored some of the biggest recordings of all time. He’s won a Grammy, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and an American Music Award.

Bucky Heard’s reputation as a gutsy rock ‘n’ roll singer, with an incredible vocal range, has garnered much critical praise and a legion of fans.

The Harrah’s Ak-Chin Concert Venue seats 2,000 and is part of the property’s multi-million dollar expansion. The Righteous Brothers will be the first open-to-the-public concert in this new venue.

 

Christian Price (submitted photo)

The 2019 Legislative session begins on Jan. 14, and our newly elected legislators will join their incumbent colleagues to begin the hard and critically important work of representing their constituents in the Arizona House and Senate. And the League of Arizona Cities and Towns is ready to help.

The League exists to promote local self-government and municipal independence and this mission has never been more important in the State of Arizona than it is today.

Our primary focus is to represent the interests of cities and towns before the Arizona Legislature, and to strengthen the quality of life and common good of all citizens of Arizona municipalities. We do this through advocacy of legislative and administrative policy that help to make our municipalities more efficient and responsive to our citizens’ needs, and also through review of any policy proposals that could be counter to these goals. When appropriate we seek effective compromise.

Whether elected at the local or state level, we all are bound by our common desire and duty to do what is right for all Arizonans, and it is this shared value that should bring us together to work for the benefit of every citizen that we collectively represent.

As president of the Arizona League, I join with our 25-member Executive Committee and all member cities and towns across our state, to work with our colleagues at the state legislature to find common ground in good policy-making and to ensure that the best interests of our cities and towns are represented.  Together, we can continue to build an even better Arizona – a state that we all love and revere.


Christian Price is the president of League of Arizona Cities and Towns and the mayor of Maricopa.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The most expensive home sold in Maricopa Nov. 16-Dec. 15 is a 4,000-square-foot house on a 14,000-square-foot lot in The Villages. Its price tag was 12.8 percent higher than its previous sale 17 months earlier. The five-bedroom house is two stories with a master-suite balcony overlooking a private pool.

  1. 43195 W. McClelland Drive

Sold: Nov. 27
Purchase price: $335,000
Square footage: 3,955
Price per square foot: $84.70
Days on market: 51
Builder: Unknown
Year built: 2005
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3
Community: The Villages at Rancho El Dorado
Features: Sunken living room, built-in wet bar, private dining room, 3-car garage, covered patio
Listing Agent: Amy Haight, Arizona Best Real Estate
Selling Agent: Wayne Knight, ProSmart Realty

  1. 42612 W. Blue Suede Shoes Lane, Province………………….$325,000
  2. 20197 N. Marquez Drive, The Villages…………………………..$295,000
  3. 42037 W. Baccarat Drive, Province……………………………….$280,000
  4. 41981 W. Solitare Drive, Province…………………………………$278,000

    This item appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The least expensive home sold in Maricopa Nov. 16-Dec. 15 is a one-owner home in Homestead that is 1,400 square feet on a desert-scaped lot. Built nearly a decade ago, it is well-maintained and across the street from a park.

  1. 21180 N. Dries Road, Homestead North

Sold: Dec. 13
Purchase price: $161,000
Square footage: 1,454
Price per square foot: $110.72
Days on market: 10
Builder: DR Horton
Year built: 2009
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Community: Homestead North
Features: Three-quarter bath with master bedroom, kitchen island, low-maintenance landscaping, 2-car garage
Listing Agent: Melissa Rush, Rush & Associates Realty
Selling Agent: Merdad Meraban, Delex Realty

  1. 37037 W. Bello Lane, Sorrento………………………$161,500
  2. 43826 W. Lindgren Drive, The Villages…………..$172,500
  3. 43230 W. Chisholm Drive, Rancho El Dorado…$173,000
  4. 42006 W. Anne Lane, Rancho El Dorado………..$173,000

    This item appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Tyler Awosika

 

By Tyler Awosika

At Be Awesome, we believe the best way to impact our works is to help develop confident, connected and successful youth by offering community-focused programs and services. One of the programs we are most proud of bringing to our community is the mentoring program where we pair young people with positive role models in school. One of our mentees is sharing what it’s like for him to have a mentor.

My name is Tyler Awosika. I go to Maricopa Wells, and I’m known as the weird creative kid. I sing, design shoes, rap, write music, produce, skate board and even direct films. I am also the owner of my own business, CLBGMSW.

I have been part of Be Awesome Youth Coalition for about a year now. All the members show support and train us on how to be better people, how to be prepared for what we may encounter in the future.

Mr. Doug, my mentor, is on campus at MWMS almost every day, and I can see him whenever I want or need to. He approaches me before school or between classes to see how things are going and talks with other kids about the dangers of using illegal substances or other things that are important to them. He talks with me about my hobbies, some of which he is interested in, too. We talk about the things I do, my visit with family and vacations. When we get together sometimes, we talk, watch videos and listen to the music that I like to listen to. My mentor lets me know that he is there to help me with schoolwork if I need it; I usually don’t so we just hang out.

Several times through this past year I have been able to share the lyrics with Mr. Doug. One day I was telling him my idea about a Skate Day in Maricopa. He encouraged me to talk with a City Council member about it. He told me the protocol of making a presentation to the council before they meet in private to discuss city matters. He encourages me to be myself and not worry about what other people think about me because I can’t do anything about what other people think anyway.

The Be Awesome program really helps a lot, whether it’s meeting someone to talk, or just hanging out, you know, they make me feel welcome. They let me skate on campus after we’re done with the after-school program on Wednesdays; they have no problem with it so it’s fun.

Thank you, Be Awesome Youth Coalition.

To get involved and make a difference for the next generation contact us at BeAwesomeYouth.life.


This column appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Pinal County, in conjunction with the county’s Department of Housing and Workforce Development, will conduct a series of public meetings throughout the county.

IF YOU GO
What: Housing Consolidated Plan & Action Plan
When: Jan. 14, 2 p.m.
Where: Maricopa City Hall, 9700 W. Civic Center Plaza

The meetings are regarding the FY2019–2024 Consolidated Plan and 2019 Action Plan. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires Pinal County to publish a five-year Consolidated Plan, along with an annual “Action Plan” outlining the use of U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

The Department of Housing and Workforce Development will collect information on the housing, community, and economic development needs for the county and assemble a consolidated strategic plan for 2019-24. The Maricopa meeting will be Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. at City Hall, 9700 W. Civic Center Plaza.

All Pinal County citizens are invited to voice their comments regarding housing/community development needs, strategies to meet identified needs, and identifying barriers to those needs.

Public input is an essential component of this planning effort. It is the policy of Pinal County to ensure services are meaningfully accessible to qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Upon request, auxiliary aids and accommodations are available to individuals with disabilities.

Persons seeking accommodation should contact Pinal County at http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Housing/Pages/Home.aspx or call 520-866-6275. Individuals with a hearing impairment can contact 711.

Rep. Mark Finchem

By Rep. Mark Finchem

HB2002 is a response to calls from parents and teachers to end political activism in the K-12 classroom. Parents expect teachers to teach, not to indoctrinate. There is a teachable moment here.

Contrary to what leftist political pundits and apologists for injecting politics everywhere assert, we employ teachers to inspire curiosity in science, and to foster competency in reading, mathematics and writing, not to promote ideological obedience. In essence there is an agency relationship created in the employment relationship. The claim that HB2002, pre-filed for the 2019 Legislative session, silences the First Amendment right of teacher free speech is a false claim, fabricated for headlines. The claim is unfounded, and actually runs counter to the 2015 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Arce V. Douglas.

In Arce, Judge Wallace Tashima ruled, “state limitations on school curricula that restrict a student’s access to materials otherwise available may be upheld only where they are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns—especially in a context such as this, where the local school board has already determined that the material at issue adds value to its local school curriculum. Granting wider discretion has the potential to substantially hinder a student’s ability to develop the individualized insight and experience needed to meaningfully exercise her rights of speech, press, and political freedom. Pico, 457 U.S. at 867,” (Tashima, 2015, Pg. 27, Pa.1). In short, teachers are not permitted to evangelize their personal political positions, but must teach narrowly to the approved curriculum.

I respect teachers and the teaching profession. Teachers play a critical role in our society; they are often trusted advisors, mentors and influencers of the next generation of leaders, and society at large. It is shocking that individuals occupying positions of trust in the eyes of parents and our children, object to standards of professional conduct. Professionals including attorneys, accountants, realtors, architects and even journalists subscribe to their respective Codes of Ethics. It sets these vocations aside as professions. As professionals, teachers should follow the lead of most other professions and embrace a code of ethics.

Over the last two years, hundreds of parents have demanded relief from political activities in Arizona K-12 classrooms, and the bullying that goes with resistance. Since the introduction of HB2002, many teachers have expressed support for the call to end what they [emphasis added] call, “political indoctrination” in the K-12 classroom. The most common statement recorded from teachers is unnerving: “Finally someone is taking action.”

Professions adopt Codes of Ethics, to promote credibility for their practitioners. Such a “Code” is significant as an acknowledgement that the professionals in their ranks conduct themselves in such a way as to elevate the work they do beyond a task. A code of conduct that governs the work that one will do, how they will do it, and the line that one will not cross in the course of exercising their craft, is what defines value.

Those who oppose ethics in the classroom claim there is no political indoctrination, so if that is indeed the case then there should be no fear of a Code of Ethics that holds people accountable for the expectations set by their principals in the agency relationship, in this case the parents of the children they are entrusted to teach.

Herein lies the crux of the matter, parents expect teachers to teach, not to indoctrinate by way of their own political persuasions. We employ them to inspire curiosity and learning, not obedience to a specific ideology. Recall the lessons from Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies; such books reveal the cost of teaching obedience over standing for freedom of thought. The K-12 classroom is not an ideological playground for adults, and our children are not their political play toys.

Parents are walking away from public schools at an increasing rate, and giving many reasons. This is one of their major concerns. I encourage political engagement, I encourage political speech, just not in the classroom. Like religion, teachers must remember, their customers – parents – often have a different worldview that must be respected, lest public schools become irrelevant. For those who can’t show the professional discipline necessary to leave their political speech out of the classroom, they need to find another job.


Mark Finchem, Republican, is an Arizona legislator representing District 11. He introduced House Bill 2002 last week

 

Reference: Tashima, W., (2015). Arce v. Douglas, 793 F.3d 968 (9th Cir.2015)
https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/07/07/13-15657.pdf

 

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7. Planning holds Technical Assistance Committee (TAC) meeting for Board representative and applicant to present project and respond to questions
8. PSPA comments submitted to Planning; Planning forwards to Board representative
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10. P&Z meets to review and vote on PSPA
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12. If approved, it is forwarded to Ak-Chin Council who authorizes project to proceed or does not approve it to proceed as proposed
13. If approved, the same process is followed with a more detailed Site Development Plan Application

The city’s annual free fishing day is Jan. 12 with registration at 8 a.m. and fishing starting at 9 a.m. at Copper Sky Lake. Fishing licenses are not required for those registered in the event, but fishing is readily available at both town ponds throughout the year.

What kind of fish will you encounter at Copper Sky and Pacana Park?

Bass are the most sought-after fish among U.S. anglers, according to U.S. Fish & Wildlife, but they are getting harder to find in community waters. According to Arizona Game & Fish Department, largemouth bass in particular cost four times as much as trout and nearly six times as much as catfish to stock. AGFD tries to stock bass at least once a year, usually in spring.

Bluegill, like black bass, are members of the sunfish family. They are often stocked in spring. Popular as pan fish for humans, they are also sought by largemouth bass and catfish looking for a nice dinner, so they tend to hide around underwater forms.

Catfish are omnivorous bottom-feeders and one of the most instantly recognizable fish. Anglers also consider them a fun sport fish. They will be stocked in Maricopa again in late March, according to AGFD.

Trout are also a popular game fish across the country and the focus of Arizona hatcheries. They again will be stocked in Maricopa waters in January and February.

White Amur, named for the Amur River in Asia, are commonly called grass carp outside of the United States. The Amurs do well in standing bodies of water like ponds and lakes. They can be difficult to catch and can be fighters once they’re on the line.

The city’s fishing waters are typically open from sunrise to 11 p.m., and anglers can fish for free year-round. Anglers age 10 and over must have a license to fish.


This item appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.

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Free fishing, classic comedy and a local history lesson are among the things to do this week in Maricopa. For details on these listings, or to add your own, visit InMaricopa.com/Calendar.

MONDAY

“The ’49ers meet the Maricopa and Akimel O’Odham” presentation hosted by Maricopa Historical Society is at 5:30 p.m. at Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road.

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

TUESDAY

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

Heritage Academy Job Fair is at 5 p.m. at HomeSmart Success, 19756 N. John Wayne Parkway, Suite 100.

MHS Girls’ Soccer vs. Willow Canyon at 6 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

MHS Boys’ Basketball vs. Williams Field at 7 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

WEDNESDAY

MEDA and City Council Joint Meeting is at 2 p.m. at Global Water, 22590 N. Powers Parkway.

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

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

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

‘The Good Doctor’ by Neil Simon is performed by Maricopa Community Theatre at 7 p.m. at Leading Edge Academy, 18700 N. Porter Road.

MHS Boys’ Basketball vs. North Canyon at 7 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

THURSDAY

Chamber of Commerce Breakfast is at 7 a.m. at Central Arizona College – Maricopa Campus, 17945 N. Regent Drive.

A+ Charter Schools Open House is at 6 p.m. at Leading Edge Academy, 18700 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.

‘The Good Doctor’ by Neil Simon is performed by Maricopa Community Theatre at 7 p.m. at Leading Edge Academy, 18700 N. Porter Road.

FRIDAY

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

MHS Girls’ Soccer vs. Paradise Valley at 6 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

‘The Good Doctor’ by Neil Simon is performed by Maricopa Community Theatre at 7 p.m. at Leading Edge Academy, 18700 N. Porter Road.

MHS Boys’ Basketball vs. Higley at 7 p.m. at Maricopa High School, 45012 W. Honeycutt Ave.

SATURDAY

Family Fishing Day registration starts at 8 a.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park, Maricopa,

‘The Good Doctor’ by Neil Simon is performed by Maricopa Community Theatre at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Leading Edge Academy, 18700 N. Porter Road.

SUNDAY

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

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When it’s time to sell or invest in a home, Maricopans have a unique opportunity to benefit from using a local agent who is so committed to selling a home that he’s willing to pay out of his own pocket for improvements.

Dayv Morgan of HomeSmart Success offers to cover the costs of renovating and updating a home before putting it on the market, in order to increase its value and marketability.

All homes experience wear-and tear over the years, and Dayv counters that by installing new carpet, fresh paint and even full kitchen remodels when necessary. The selling price can then be increased to cover, and usually exceed, the cost of the improvements.

“Move-in ready homes sell much faster and for a significantly higher amount,” he commented. “When a buyer walks into a home that looks and feels like it was just built, because it has new paint, flooring, and appliances, they will pay a premium.”

Dayv, who sells over 100 homes annually, advised that such improvements not only help the seller make more money but also benefit the buyer as well.

“Most buyers in Maricopa don’t have the money, after they buy a house, to fix it up. They would much rather pay a slightly higher price and finance the upgrades through the mortgage. If they paid $10,000 for improvements and put it on a credit card they would end up paying 14 to 18 percent interest. If that $10,000 is instead done by the seller and included in the price of mortgage, now they’re only paying 4 or 5 percent.”

The program Dayv developed allows a seller to access his pool of preferred contractors, with whom he has negotiated reduced fees, or sellers can use their own referrals to make the repairs.

Regardless of who completes the work, he pays up front for the improvements and is reimbursed from the proceeds of the sale, without charging any interest to the seller.

The idea came to him after seeing companies like Open Door and HomeVestors “low-ball” sellers to buy their home as-is, and then after making a few cosmetic improvements they would list the home on the MLS and resell it for a profit. He was surprised to see how much equity owners were giving away by selling their home direct to an investor. As a listing agent he created a process that allows sellers to “flip their own house” and keep the profit themselves.

“It doesn’t cost the owners anything out of pocket, and it increases their return,” Dayv noted. “It’s a win-win for everyone involved — the buyer, the seller, myself as the Realtor, and even the city of Maricopa as it helps the neighborhood values to increase.”

A 10-year resident of Maricopa, Dayv Morgan lives in the Palo Brea subdivision with his wife and four sons.

 

480-251-4231

dayvmorgan@gmail.com

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Judge Lyle Riggs (far right) was among the county's justices of the peace sworn in Friday.

Pinal County’s recently elected justices of the peace and constables were sworn into office in ceremonies in Florence Friday. Western Pinal Justice Court’s Lyle Riggs, who faced no opposition in his re-election bid, was worn in by Presiding Judge Stephen F. McCarville. Newcomer Glenn Morrison was sworn in as Western Pinal constable by Maricopa Councilmember Vincent Manfredi.


Vincent Manfredi is minority owner of InMaricopa.

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Children’s Learning Adventure helps their students reach educational and personal goals by providing them with all the tools needed to succeed. The STEAM based childcare center offers unique environments designed to capture a child’s imagination and encourages exploration. Their proprietary curriculum is STEAM based and seamlessly integrated into every classroom. Each campus offers specialty classrooms and an outdoor playground that encourages our students to actively engage in the learning process.

Children’s Learning Adventure’s curriculum ensures daily exposure to STEAM-based learning through multiple learning environments designed to provide authentic learning activities in a meaningful context.

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Maricopa saw several businesses come to town in 2018, many of them in new buildings. Our readers expressed excited anticipation over the possibilities of more shopping or dining opportunities and possible jobs as well as a bit of impatience with the whole process. Here are some of our top-read economic development stories:


5. Denny’s Restaurant caused much curiosity during its construction on a seemingly small lot and then more enthusiasm when it started hiring. It finally opened its doors in February near the southeast corner of John Wayne Parkway and Smith-Enke Road.


4. Those involved weren’t happy about the situation, but readers were amused when the new Dollar Tree opened in May and then immediately had to close for a couple of hours as city inspectors did their job.


3. With the many businesses opening, there were also some closures. That included Zoyo Yogurt in Maricopa Station. However, readers were happy to see Rosati’s Pizza immediately announce its intention to take over the spot. It opened in December.


2. Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino was majorly transformed in 2018 in its continuing expansion. It added a skybridge to UltraStar Multi-tainment Center, opened the restaurant Chop Block & Brew and opened a spa. It is also adding ballroom space and 200 hotel rooms.


1. Hands down, the most reader interest garnered by an economic development story was the series of business openings in Edison Pointe, developed by Vintage Partners. 2019 sees the openings of IHOP and BrakesPlus there as well.


This story appears in the January issue of InMaricopa.