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ADOT tests markings to emphasize reduced limits as part of safety effort

SR 347 at Riggs Road (ADOT)

The Arizona Department of Transportation has added to the ways drivers see the posted speed limit on a stretch of State Route 347.

 

The speed limit is now displayed on the highway pavement in large white decals as part of an effort to improve safety along SR 347 between Interstate 10 and Riggs Road.

 

Testing the speed limit pavement decals is a first for ADOT’s Phoenix-area highways. Standard speed limit signs also are in place adjacent to where the decals have been added.

 

Traffic engineers recommended the pavement decals for SR 347 in areas where the speed limit drops as drivers approach intersections. Decals now help show the northbound speed limit transitions from 65 mph to 55 mph approaching the Maricopa Road intersection and from 55 mph to 45 mph as drivers approach the I-10/Queen Creek Road interchange.

ADOT

 

The pavement decals also are in place along southbound SR 347 approaching the Riggs Road intersection, where the speed limit drops from 65 mph to 55 mph.

 

ADOT’s review of law enforcement crash reports found that officers cited “speed too fast for conditions” as a driver violation in more than half of crashes along SR 347 between I-10 and Riggs Road.

 

Speed limit pavement decals also are being tested at one location along SR 160 in northeastern Arizona.

Artists and residents check out the art on the walls of City Hall. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

By Joycelyn Cabrera

The City of Maricopa Arts Committee has adopted a new name and was presented with a new initiative that could take effect as early as 2020.

The committee will join another existing committee to become the Cultural Affairs and Arts Advisory Committee. The changes come at the same time as a new initiative planned by City Manager Rick Horst.

The city manager’s Art Initiative is a seven-point list of goals set for the committee to further integrate themselves with community and city management. The initiative as a whole emphasizes public arts as a focal point for the Maricopa community.

“I feel the arts are critical to the city from a wholistic point of view, and to some degree for selfish reasons,” Horst said. “I think the arts are necessary for the quality of life, and it’s necessary as an economic engine for the city and to set us apart as a community.”

Local artists may get the chance to have their art exhibited in city hall and purchased by the city under the initiative’s quarterly art gallery selection. The initiative calls for a $500 budget, authorized by the city manager, so the committee may select pieces for purchase and permanent display around the city.

The initiative also calls for a “social hall” within the current library, where space would be designed and set aside for art-related community events. The space, according to the initiative, would be used for performances, classes or presentations.

Under this initiative, the committee will also determine whether or not public art meets community guidelines and will determine what these guidelines will be in the future.

Quilting by Crystal Dennis

The City Icon Project sets a goal of the committee identifying an “icon” of the community that represents the city as well as leaves lasting impressions on residents and visitors.

The “icon” would be featured as much as possible throughout the community, be it in parks, outside of plazas, or at the entranceways of subdivisions (not unlike the sculpture of wild horses by the Villages at Rancho El Dorado).

Councilmember Nancy Smith served as a bridge between the Arts Committee and the City Council.

“If we found out what our iconic sculpture is, I would say the city manager would be ready to consider something in the year 2020 and start making it happen. I would say the policies that he wants probably will take a year to incorporate as well. I think a lot of it can be done in the year 2020,” Smith said.

Integrating public art into developmental and municipal projects includes public art planning within developmental planning alongside typical architecture and landscape planning. The initiative has the goal of receiving City Council approval for 1 percent of project costs for any future facility development to go toward funding public art for that development.

“I can probably dig up 17 studies that will tell you that a thriving community has to include its arts. Arts are vital just like the schools are vital,” said Carrie Vargas, chair of the Arts Committee.

The goal of defining public art, expectations of city-supported and endorsed art, and policies surrounding public art integration are discussed in the initiative’s “Public Art Master Plan,” which would be developed by the committee to benefit and support local artists.

The Arts committee will be known under a new name and making efforts for a new initiative. Nathan Ullyot, Community Service director, introduced the committee to new responsibilities that come with the restructure of the city branch.

“Arts is ingrained in culture,” Ullyot said. “When we’re talking about art, we’re talking about music, we’re talking about food and dance and culture and theater and all of the things that go into art, how does that look from culture to culture? Those will be the kinds of things that overlap.”

The initiative has yet to reach City Council. However, the name-change and combined responsibilities will take effect immediately. The new initiative and reconstruction of the committee will not change the committee’s overall goals to support local artists in the community.


Joycelyn Cabrera is a graduate of Maricopa High School and a student at the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism.

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Clouds ride low to the ground east of Maricopa.
The National Weather Service in Phoenix has issued a Dust Storm Warning for Pinal County until 3:15 p.m.
A wall of dust was along a line extending from Casa Grande to Arizola to Toltec to Eloy, moving northeast at 25 mph. There is less than a quarter mile visibility with strong wind in
excess of 50 mph.

Highways impacted included Interstate 10 and I-8. Cities impacted include Maricopa, Casa Grande and Florence.
Dust storms lead to dangerous driving conditions with visibility reduced to near zero. If driving, avoid dust storms if possible. If caught in one, pull off the road, turn off your lights and keep your
foot off the brake. Motorists should not drive into a dust storm.

Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

Joan Koczor

A geriatrician is an expert in the branch of medicine or social science dealing with the health care of elderly people by prevention and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults.

Geriatric physicians are primary-care doctors specially trained in the aging process. They evaluate your past illnesses and your current health condition to provide a healthy-aging plan that may include medical care, counseling and treatment.

The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) suggests a geriatrician be consulted when:

  • Significant age-related frailty and impairment occur, which is more likely in older people who have multiple diseases, disabilities or mental problems.
  • The patient’s condition is causing the caregiving team, including family and friends, to feel significant stress and strain.

You may also be experiencing:

  • Confusion or memory loss.
  • Problems related to the use of multiple medications, including dizziness or falls.
  • Balance and walking problems.
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Difficulty performing every day activities like bathing, dressing or eating.
  • Other age-related ailments.

It may be time to consult your primary-care doctor. He or she may determine if a qualified geriatrician is necessary and can make a referral.

As with any health care professional you may consider choosing for your medical needs, you need to ask specific questions.

  • What is the doctor’s background, including years of experience?
  • Are the office hours and policies acceptable?
  • Is the doctor covered under your health care plan?
  • Do you feel comfortable talking with the doctor?

Good communication is vital to taking care of your health as you age. Make quality, well-informed decisions about your health care. Talk to your family or caregiver about health problems you may be having. Discuss your concerns with your primary-care doctor. By reaching out to medical professionals you can achieve the best possible outcome and independence.

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and is on the advisory board for Maricopa Seniors, Inc.


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

Bob Marsh

By Bob Marsh

Bob Marsh

According to AARP, more than 60 percent of Americans die without a will. For them, the burden of deciding what to do with their remains, property and personal effects falls on the government. That’s probably not always in the best interests of your spouse and family.

For Maricopa seniors, preparing a will is easy and free. For Pinal County residents 60 and older, the Pinal-Gila Council for Senior Citizens (PGCSC) has volunteer legal professionals who can prepare your will and other critical documents at no cost.

PGCSC’s qualified legal professionals can help you with:

  • Wills determining how you want your personal property handled.
  • Living wills electing what treatment you want when you are terminally ill.
  • Power of attorney (medical and mental health) identifying who you want to make your medical decisions if you are incapable of doing so.

On the PGCSC website, you can also learn about what the Arizona Attorney General has published for people to use to prepare their power-of-attorney documents, including forms and explanations that can help you make the right end-of-life decisions for yourself that impact your family.

Most people leave all their property and decision-making responsibilities to their spouse or partner, and if they are not survived by their spouse or partner, they leave their property to their children or siblings and assign decision-making responsibility to a trusted family member and a backup person. Be sure to discuss your wishes in advance with your spouse and others you want to assign responsibility to.

We contacted PGCSC and went through the whole process this summer. It took just a couple weeks, start to finish, with only an hour or so of our time discussing our decisions and filling out the easy forms they provided. When PGCSC sent us the finished legal documents, we checked them carefully and took them to our insurance agent’s office where they notarized each document. Now the whole packet is locked in a safe where it can be accessed by family when we die.

Check out the PGCSC resources and prepare your will.

1-800-293-9393
PGCSC.org

Bob Marsh is director of the Maricopa Senior Coalition.


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

The least expensive home sold in Maricopa from July 16 through Aug. 15 is a mission-style, three-bedroom house in Parcel 12 of Tortosa. With some aesthetic work still needed inside and out, its price tag dropped from $209,900 to $199,900 before finally settling for a best offer.

  1. 36034 W. Marin Ave., Tortosa

Sold: Aug. 9
Purchase price: $145,000
Square footage: 2,124
Price per square foot: $68.26
Days on market: 56
Builder: Unknown
Year built: 2007
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Community: Tortosa
Features: Full master suite, two-car garage, RV gate, desert landscaping, tile throughout, unique floorplan
Listing agent: Ryan Gerdes, West USA Realty
Selling agent: David E. James, Tru Realty

  1. 43682 W. Elm Drive, Rancho El Dorado ………………………………… $169,900
  2. 46025 W. Sheridan Road, Maricopa Meadows .……………………. $170,000
  3. 20358 N. MacNeil St., Homestead North ………………………………. $175,000
  4. 36113 W. Vera Cruz Drive, Tortosa ……………………..……………….. $175,000

This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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By Harriet Phelps

Harriet Phelps

The of the gentle giants of the Sonoran Desert stand in our backyards, along the highways and areas all around us. They are a wonder in our region. Carnegiea gigantea grows in Arizona on the Sonoran Desert or Great Basin Desert and nowhere else in the world.

The name saguaro is from the Spanish meaning large cactus with arms. The white nocturnal blossoms of the saguaro are the Arizona State Wildflower.

Characteristics of the saguaro are its height and width, growing to 30-by-10 feet or more. Foliage and texture are coarse with green pleats, spines and evergreen. The plant grows in full sun. Birds help the placement of the saguaro by depositing seeds under “nurse” palo verde, ironwood or mesquite trees where they grow until competition for water and nutrients kills off the nurse tree.

The plant is slow growing and is considered adult by 125 years. In 50 to 70 years the first branches or arms appear, and, with lower precipitation, it could be 100 years. By 70 years it has reached six and a half feet and produced its first flowering. In 95 to 100 years it reaches 15 to 16 feet.

Saguaros are protected in Arizona under special laws found at Agriculture.AZ.gov. Harming one is illegal; moving one requires a special permit. The plant is a virtual ecological hotel housing cactus wrens (the state bird), Gila woodpecker and other wildlife. It has furnished food and structure to the local tribes for centuries.

The Tohono O’odham hold the plant as an honored relative that sustains them both spiritually and physically. Mythology says one saguaro created one woman, who sank deep into the earth and rose with giant cactus arms. Once a year she dresses up with striking white flowers in her hair and bears crimson fruit called bahidaj in their language.

Before moving to Maricopa, Harriet Phelps was a master gardener in Illinois.


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

Murray Siegel

By Murray Siegel

Murray Siegel

The cost of a college education has skyrocketed. In-state tuition at ASU for 2005-06 was $4,407; last year that bill was $10,822, a 146-percent increase.

The explosive increase in college tuition has placed a financial burden on many families. Students borrow money for college, resulting in current college-loan debt exceeding the total American credit card debt. Some politicians have declared that if elected they will provide free education at a public university for all, paid for by the federal government.

Some Americans are troubled by this offer, since a reasonable source of funding has not been provided, and there are fears that, given a free education, many students will not exert themselves in the classroom.

My August column demonstrated there are two existing methods for obtaining a free college education paid for by the federal government – the GI Bill and ROTC scholarships. The question was asked, “What about students who are unable or unwilling to serve in the military?”

What follows are not final proposals, simply places where the conversation can start.

A Federal Work Force (FWF) could be formed where young Americans can provide needed labor in such areas as fire prevention in forests, flood prevention, clearing decaying neighborhoods, transforming vacant urban lots into community parks and serving as teachers’ aides in underfunded school districts. FWF participants would serve a minimum of two years (including training) and a maximum of four years. For each year served the participant will have a year of tuition, fees and required materials paid for at any public university by the federal government.

The second proposal would identify college majors that are desperately needed for specific jobs, such as highly qualified math and science teachers, teachers of any subject and grade level in rural or inner-city schools, registered nurses at rural hospitals, computer scientists willing to work for municipal governments and urban planners. An applicant who signs a contract to enter an approved academic program and who agrees to seek specifically defined employment for four years upon graduation would have all tuition, fees and required materials paid for at any public university that has an approved academic program.

Should such a student drop out of school or not obtain approved employment, the contract will be considered violated, and all funds paid by the federal government will be converted into a loan with payments beginning three months after the contract is violated. Failure to make these payments will result in that person being unable to be hired by any federal agency or receive payments from any federal program.

Both these programs need to be fleshed out by experts, but this seems to be a worthwhile place to start. What do you think?

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


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

Submitted photo

By Bernadette Russoniello

Bernadette Russoniello

Summer is usually the time for students (and teachers) to take a much-deserved break from work and studies. Families frequently travel; reunions and family barbecues dominate the schedule. For these Maricopa High School students, academic experiences and application-based learning dominated the short summer break.

Freya Abraham at TGen

Freya Abraham
Senior
Program: TGen BioScience Leadership Academy*
Location: TGen Institute, Phoenix
Length: Two weeks, business work days
Size: 20 students
Focus: Broaden understanding of bioscience field and connections to the medical community, patients and medical data/research
Highlight: Shadowing researchers and laboratory directors; bioscience incubation lab for biomedical entrepreneurs; visiting PhoneixNAP, host of supercomputers for the area
Insight: Inspiring experience at the Center for Rare Childhood Disorders, learning first-hand the power and impact of genetic sequencing to identify rare conditions and helping patients/doctors get immediate help and support
Achievements: Awarded Outstanding Student, class-elected speaker

* Freya also participated in the Future Health Leaders of Arizona and Arizona Girls State

 

Airen Fortunato
Junior
Program: Future Health Leaders of Arizona
Location: Arizona State University’s downtown campus
Length: 1 week, overnight stay in dormitories
Size: 40 students
Focus: Learning about health careers, experiential activities, college admissions, sports medicine and food science
Highlight: Touring facilities including SimLabs
Insight: There are so many career fields within medicine; be open to options. There’s plenty of time. You don’t need to have it all worked out at this moment.

Madyson Hampson
Senior
Program: Project Puente
Location: University of Arizona Agricultural Center, Maricopa Center
Length: Eight weeks, business work days
Size: 25 students
Focus: Evaluating data from the EPA for pesticide usage
Highlight: Real work, lab-based research, earning three college credits and a small stipend; working side-by-side with scientists and researchers
Insight: There’s so much more to agriculture than tractors and farms.

Breanna Fitch
Senior
Program: MedStart
Location: University of Arizona
Length: Six weeks, overnight in dormitories
Size: 50 students (400 applicants)
Focus: Learn about medical careers, receive basic first aid, CPR and medical training including suturing
Highlight: Presentations from medical professionals, toured multiple state universities, participated in hospital observations
Insight: Inspired my personal plan and provided direction for college and career
Achievement: Recognized as Most Determined Writer

Saige Horsely
Senior
Program: National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine
Location: University of California-Berkeley
Length: Nine days, overnight in dormitories
Size: 100 students
Focus: Exposure to medical careers and fields
Highlight: Speakers, surgical observations, EMT training, wilderness survival
Insight: Reinforced medical career interest, expanded field of work consideration, provided quality contacts and networking
Achievement: Outstanding EMT award

Angello Gianni Hernandez-De La Pena
Senior
Program: Summer Academy for Math and Science
Location: Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Length: Six weeks, overnight in dormitories
Size: 130 students
Focus: College level coursework delivered through summer experience at top-tier university; Computer Science, Calculus I, Game Development and SAT Prep
Highlight: Speakers from the university system, earn college credits at Carnegie Mellon, tips and benefits to college admissions process, free
Insight: Cemented interest in computer science as both a college major and career choice
Achievement: 10 college credits from Carnegie Mellon University

Aylleen Alvarez (right) with State Treasurer Kimberly Yee

Aylleen Alvarez
Senior
Program: Arizona Girls State
Location: University of Arizona
Length: One week, overnight in dormitories
Size: 300 female students
Focus: Women in politics, government, legislation and policy
Highlight: Speakers; develop a business, city and county; provide leadership, justice and decision-making
Insight: Great experience but reinforced that politics was not for me
Achievement: Best Store in County

Yasmeen Hanania and Daniela Romero
Seniors
Program: WP Carey Fleischer’s Scholars Program
Location: Arizona State University
Length: Seven days, overnight in dormitories
Size: 30 students
Focus: Exposure to business and entrepreneurship
Highlight: Met Mort Fleischer (billionaire businessman), innovate an original idea and pitch to investors
Student Insight: Navigating college admissions, scholarship opportunities, applied learning and networking opportunities


This article appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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ADOT

The National Weather Service has issued a dust-storm warning for Pinal County.

At 4:10 p.m., a wall of dust was reported along a line extending from Chandler to near Olberg to near Toltec, moving southwest at 20 mph. A spotter reported near zero visibility southeast of Chandler.

The result is less than a quarter mile visibility with strong wind in excess of 50 mph. This could be life-threatening for motorists.

Locations impacted include Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Casa Grande, Sun Lakes, Maricopa, Queen Creek, Arizona City, La Palma, San Tan Village Mall, Seville, Freestone Park, South Mountain Park, Bapchule and Estrella Sailport.

Dust storms lead to dangerous driving conditions with visibility reduced to near zero. If driving, avoid dust storms if possible. If caught in one, pull off the road, turn off your lights and keep your foot off the brake.

Motorists should not drive into a dust storm.

Strong to severe thunderstorms are also possible behind this wall of dust. Keep updated with this quickly evolving situation.

Photo by Victor Moreno

Though Maricopa High School’s boys’ and girls’ swim teams finished third in their first home meet of the season, they knocked personal best times and set some school records in the process.

“From last week to this week, we saw improvement, in almost every event,” coach Laura Logan said.

Freshman Katelyn Owens won the 100 breaststroke in 1:18.22, a school record by over 3.5 seconds. Logan said the time is .20 of the Division II provisional state cut.

Also talking first place was Olivia Byers in the 50 freestyle in 27.42 and the 100 free in 1:03.4.

The girls’ 200 free relay team of Owens, Eva Zavala, Emily Fauth and Byers set a school record by three seconds while finishing second in 2:04.57.

While finishing third, the 200 medley relay team of Sophie ZOcchiline, Owens, Byers and Zavala set a school record, again by three seconds, in 2:21.85.

Also taking third was Owens in the 200 individual medley, just 0.7 of a second off a school record. Au

Photo by Victor Moreno

bree Wittemann was third in the 200 free, and Zavala was third in the 50 free.

Overall, the girls scored 83 points to finish behind Valley Christian (117) and American Leadership (98).

On the boys’ side, Rafe Scoresby won the 200 free in 2:19.15. Connor Schrader won the 100 backstroke in 1:00.38. The 200 free relay team of Andrew Varga, Abel Rodriguez, Kian Carroll and Schrader took first place in 1:48.75.

In second place were Schrader in the 200 IM and Scoresby in the 500 free.

Swimming third were Varga in the 50 free, Carroll in the 100 free, Jayden Call in the 500 free, the 200 medley relay of Schrader, Joseph Lambert, Rodriguez and Varga, and the 400 free relay team of Rodrigez, Anthony Nelson, Victor Moreno and Scoresby.

American Leadership won the meet in 111. Valley Christian scored 95 and MHS 64.

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Photo by Kyle Norby

Another weekend of above-normal temperatures is a reminder it’s still summer and leads into a week that could start with rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Friday is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 107 degrees F, above the historic average of 101 and near the record of 109. The overnight low, however, will likely be around 78.

Saturday‘s high is forecast to be near 106 under sunny skies. The nighttime low will be around 77.

Sunday, the hot temperature may only be 103. Mostly clear skies continue into the evening, when the low temperature will be around 76.

The following week will likely return to normal with highs in the low 100s, a 20-percent chance of showers Monday night and a windy Tuesday on the horizon.

ADOT

With a goal of reducing traffic congestion on Interstate 10 near Wild Horse Pass, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Gila River Indian Community, and Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) invite the public to attend a public scoping meeting. The meeting is part of an environmental study and design concept report. The segment under study is on I-10 between Loop 202 and State Route 387 near Casa Grande.

The purpose of the study is to assess the impacts of expanding the capacity of I-10 from the Loop 202/Santan Freeway interchange to just south of the interchange at SR 387 to reduce traffic congestion in the study area.

Public Scoping Meeting
Sept. 19, 6–8 p.m.
Sacaton Boys and Girls Club, 116 S. Holly St., Sacaton

Public scoping is the first step of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental study process. The public scoping process provides the opportunity for the community to provide information to the study team about the corridor itself, as well as share issues or concerns the public may have about modifying I-10. The meeting will:

  • Provide an overview of the I-10 corridor, the study’s objectives, and the study’s schedule to the public.
  • Get community feedback on opportunities, issues, or concerns related to the study area.
  • Ask the public for input on potential corridor improvement alternatives.

This public feedback will help ADOT, the Gila River Indian Community, and MAG select a Preferred Alternative, either a Build Alternative or No-Build (“do nothing”) Alternative, for this section of I-10.

Comments provided by Oct. 3, 2019, will be included in the study record. There are several ways to submit comments during the scoping process:

Visit the website: i10wildhorsepasscorridor.com
Call the toll-free bilingual study line: 602-522-7777
Email: i10wildhorsepasscorridor@hdrinc.com
USPS Mail: I-10 Wild Horse Pass Corridor Study Team c/o HDR, Inc. 20 E. Thomas Road, Suite 2500, Phoenix AZ 85012

The City of Maricopa intends to impose its new development impact fees in 2020. It sent out notice this week of a public hearing on the matter scheduled for Oct. 15.

The fees are expected to be adopted in November and go into effect Feb. 2.

Maximum fees allowed are outlined in the Land Use Assumptions, Infrastructure Improvements Plan and Development Fee Report written in July. The city council can adopt lower rates.

The development fees are part of the city’s philosophy that new construction should pay for its impact on infrastructure. For instance, the proposed maximum development fee on a single-family home is $5,473, which is $41 less than the current development fee. Of the total amount, $2,965 goes to streets, $1,207 to parks and recreation, $674 to fire, $496 to police and $131 to libraries.

The maximum development fee on hotel construction, a new category, would be $1,843. Of that, $868 would go to streets, $532 to fire, $408 to police, $32 to parks and recreation and $3 to libraries. The development fee for a new commercial build is $6,867.

Development fees on assisted living facilities, schools and churches are expected to go down dramatically while the fee on daycare construction jumps by more than $6,000.

The city has different fees for north and south. North Maricopa is comprised of the area north of Farrell Road, which is most of current Maricopa development.

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ADOT — Drivers who use the new Plainview Street at Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway should plan for a temporary traffic switch while the Arizona Department of Transportation continues work on the State Route 347 overpass project in Maricopa.

Starting at 4 a.m. Tuesday, Plainview Street will switch from one-way to two-way traffic between MCGH and just north of Arizona Avenue in the Heritage District.

While the temporary traffic configuration is in place, drivers will be able to use Plainview Street to enter and exit the highway. During this time, Fourth Street will be closed north of MCGH.

Drivers can continue accessing the nearby businesses and shops located at Stagestop Marketplace by using a temporary driveway via Plainview Street. The traffic switch will be in place for approximately 30 days so ADOT crews can complete their work to widen and reconfigure MCGH near the new SR 347 overpass.

Photo by Cher Cendejas

Cher Cendejas and Tammy Arteaga, both of whom won free concert tickets through InMaricopa to see Great White and Slaughter at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Friday. They shared photos from their great night out. “Absolutely love when members from the band get off stage and mingle with the crowd,” Cenndejas told us. “This genre of music brings together the most awesome generation of Rock Fans, if I do say so myself.”

ADOT

The South Mountain Freeway’s first new interchange at 40th Street has opened on schedule, an important step forward for the state’s largest-ever freeway construction project.

The interchange is ready for traffic less than four months after 40th Street closed south of Cottonwood Lane to allow construction of the new interchange.

At 92 feet wide, the interchange has nearly double the capacity of the previous intersection of 40th Street and Pecos Road. It will have two southbound lanes that will continue south of the freeway, two left-turn lanes to eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway, and a right-turn lane to westbound Loop 202. There also are two northbound lanes, with a left-turn lane to westbound Loop 202, and a dedicated northbound left-turn lane into the Park & Ride parking lot.

The fully functioning interchange includes ramps that will allow drivers to enter and exit the future freeway lanes in both directions. While construction continues, speed limits will remain at 40 mph on both future freeway lanes and the remaining sections of Pecos Road.

In addition, the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino and the Phoenix Premium Outlets will be accessible either from I-10 and Wild Horse Pass Boulevard, or by taking 40th Street south to Willis Road.

The 22-mile freeway is scheduled for full completion in 2020, although traffic is expected to begin using the freeway earlier.

For information on the project, visit SouthMountainFreeway.com.

Sponsored Content

Dr. C. Jon Beecroft

Q&A with Dr. C. Jon Beecroft

Dr. C. Jon Beecroft


Maricopa Foot and Ankle

Maricopa Foot and Ankle Center was opened in 2007 and since then, we have taken care of thousands of patients from Maricopa and the surrounding areas. Dr. C. Jon Beecroft, Dr. Alex Stewart, and Dr. Kelvin Crezee have all been part of this amazing team and continue to provide excellent care and make your visit as convenient as possible with in-house X-rays, 3-D CT scans, and Ultrasound Visualization to help diagnose foot and ankle pathologies. Over the years, clients have asked many questions and we thought we would share a little insight.

Q What is a podiatrist?

A podiatrist is a physician that has completed four years of medical school, three years of surgical residency, and generally treats everything below the knee including sports injuries, arthritis, ingrown nails, fractures, and diabetic complications. We also treat skin problems such as skin cancers, wounds and infections, and warts. We work closely with your primary care physician and other doctors to make sure your overall care is well balanced.

Q Why did you become a podiatrist, and do you like what you do?

You’ve heard the saying, “When my feet hurt, my everything hurts.” I like helping those with foot problems because it helps the whole body in the end. For this reason, I love what I do.

Q Do you take all insurances?

We wish we could because that would make things easier for everyone. We do take most plans, so give us a call or visit our website at mfaac.com and our wonderful employees would love to help you out!


This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

Sponsored content

Dayv Morgan

By Dayv Morgan

Dayv Morgan

Many homeowners in Maricopa have considered keeping their home as a rental property or buying a second home as an investment.

Mostly without apartments and duplexes at this time, Maricopa in particular has a strong demand for rental homes, keeping the monthly rates moving upward.

The ideal situation is to own property that more than pays for itself. This will give you extra income when you are retired or between jobs. But even if you just break even, you are building equity as the market increases.

If you have a second home that sits vacant most of the year, you may want to consider leasing it as a vacation rental. Your house would be under the eye of someone with a vested interest in keeping it free of insects, rodents and other invaders and you will quickly know when there has been weather or criminal damage. Check with your HOA to see if there are any restrictions with short-term rentals.

Although becoming a landlord has its advantages, there are some disadvantages that should be weighed carefully.

Each time a tenant moves out there will be cleaning, maintenance, and repair costs. A security deposit averages one month’s rent amount. If you have to replace damaged carpet and repaint the interior it will probably cost three to five times that amount, leaving you with a significant shortfall to cover.

Tenants inevitably cause more wear and tear on your property. As the owner, you are also responsible for ongoing repairs, such as the HVAC system. It’s common to see the air filters go unchanged for the entire 12 months of the lease. This puts extra stress on the system and shortens the lifespan, with potential repairs costing thousands of dollars.

Beyond maintenance costs, you must also budget for insurance, legal fees, advertising or leasing fees, accounting, and possibly a property manager. If you are able to manage the property yourself, that will save you some monthly expense, but owners often live far from their rentals and cannot visit the property often enough.

At some point, you will likely have bad renters. They may lie on their application about their employment or the number of occupants. They may ignore stipulations in your contract such as not having pets. They may cause serious damage to your home and walk away. They may cause you headaches or fines with your HOA. They may simply not pay their rent. The eviction process will cost you additional time and money.

Before renting, take your time to figure out the worth of your home and whether renting or selling is in your best, long-term interest. Putting your property into the hands of others can be stressful, but it can also be a great source of supplemental income, and hiring a property manager will help the process to go much smoother.

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

480-251-4231
DayvMorgan@gmail.com


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

 

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Photo by Victor Moreno

The Maricopa High School swim team launched its season Thursday taking on Poston Butte and Apache Junction.

Though finishing third, the girls’ team scored 33 points more than last year. Olivia Byers won the 200 freestyle in 2:24.01 and the 50 free in 27.09. Katelyn Owens was second in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

The meet was at the Apache Junction Aquatic Center.

“Olivia Byers turned in a several really strong performances. Her leadership is invaluable,” coach Laura Logan said. “Freshman Katelyn Owen’s had her hands full in both her individual events, and she performed extremely well. Overall really impressed with our growth.”

The 400 free relay team of Kaitlyn Crean, Lexie Nordhoff, Shelby Eisanacher and Sophie Occhiline finished second.

Third-place finishes were the 200 medley relay team of Occhiline, Owens, Byers and Crean, the 200 free relay of Owens, Eva Zvala, Emily Fauth and Byers, and the 400 free relay team of Rylee Pirtle, Isabella Piwowar, Genevieve Pierce and Katelynn James.

Poston Butte won with 100 points, Apache Junction was second with 99 and MHS third with 73.

The MHS boys’ team placed second at the meet, led by sophomore Connor Schrader, who won the 200 individual medley in 2:09.25 and the 100 backstroke in 59.54.

“Connor Schrader broke two of his school records in 200 IM and 100 back,” Logan said. “He broke them both by 4-plus seconds, and that is a significant time drop for the first meet of the season.”

The Poston Butte boys scored 102 points overall while MHS had 91 and Apache Junction 86.

Rafe Scoresby placed second in the 200 freestyle for Maricopa. Placing third were Abel Rodriguez in the 100 butterfly, Andrew Varga in the 100 free, Scoresby in the 500 free, Joseph Lambert in the 100 breaststroke, the 200 medley relay team of Schrader, Lambert, Rodriguez and Kian Carroll, and the 200 free relay team of Varga, Carroll, Scoresby and Schrader.

“Rafe Scoresby, Victor Moreno, Abel Rodriguez and Jayden Call have shown tremendous growth from last season,” Logan said. “Freshman Andrew Varga turned in two very impressive swims. I look for him to be a great contributor by the end of the season.”

Logan said the Maricopa boys “have really narrowed the gap on Poston Butte and, with continued growth, should be a great dual meet between Poston and MHS in October.”

Poston Butte is scheduled to meet MHS Oct. 17 at Copper Sky.

Photo by Kyle Norby

Thursday, Global Water Resources and city crews dealt with a double waterline break on Honeycutt Road.

Global Water General Manager Jon Corwin said there were two “significant breaks.” The first was at Province Parkway/Glennwilde Drive, spouting water and mud across the intersection. The second break was farther west near Butterfield Elementary.

Maricopa Police Department shutdown the westbound lanes temporarily. Overnight, traffic was down to one lane.

Corwin said the breaks caused a drop in water pressure from some areas.

Photo by Kyle Norby
Photo by Kyle Norby
Photo by Kyle Norby
Photo by Kyle Norby

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Central Arizona College.

Central Arizona College recognizes the following students who received their certificate and/or degree in August.

Maricopa Campus
Tiffany E. Ahumada, Associate of Business
Gabrielle Cason, Associate of Arts*
Holly Cooper, Arizona General Education Curriculum – Arts
Jacquelyn Ernest, Associate of General Studies
Tanesha Lee Freytes Colón, Arizona General Education Curriculum – Arts
Aubree Gleason, Arizona General Education Curriculum – Arts
Matthew Hernandez, Associate of Arts
Ashley Jackson, Communication Studies Certificate
Tylena Leach, Associate of Arts in Elementary Education*
Auston James Martin, Associate of Arts
Kristin Maxon, Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts
Diyako Moradi, Associate of Arts
Alexis Rosales, Associate of General Studies
Fernando Ruiz, Culinary Arts I Certificate
Jaiden Blythe Sanchez, Associate of Arts*
Joscelyn J. Tallon, Arizona General Education Curriculum – Arts
Madeleine Van Sickle, Arizona General Education Curriculum – Arts
Kennedy Nichol Wiemiller, Associate of Arts*

*Denotes those who graduated with honors.

Dana Strum of Slaughter.

IF YOU GO

Who: Great White & Slaughter
When: Sept. 6, 8 p.m. (doors open 7 p.m.)
Where: Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, 15406 N. Maricopa Road
How much: $34 and up
Info: Ticketmaster.com

Great White and Slaughter will be live at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino on Sept. 6. Experience two of the quintessential ‘80s rock acts together in one night.

Since 1982, the Great White sound has captivated audiences worldwide with crushing blues-based guitar riffs and swagger that invokes an emotional high. The Grammy-nominated band has sold over 10 million albums worldwide and has had two platinum albums and nine Top 200 Billboard albums throughout its career. In 2012, the band released its twelfth studio album, “Elation.”

Fans will also recognize “Rock Me,” “Mista Bone” and dozens of other hits.

Slaughter’s first album, “Stick It to Ya,” reached double platinum status. Still known as a hair-metal band, Slaughter, which debuted in 1988, had hits with “Up All Night,” “Spend My Life” and “Fly to the Angels.” All three hits reached the Billboard Hot 100 list.

Their single “Real Love” from their second album was certified gold. They had a comeback of sorts in 1999 with “Back to Reality,” an album that has gained popularity over time.

Great White and Slaughter will perform at 8 p.m. in The Events Center.

OfficialGreatWhite.com
SlaughterUSA.com


This story appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

Doug Brown and family. Submitted photo

Realtor Doug Brown and his family have lived in Maricopa four years after transplanting from Colorado.

 

Hometown: Evergreen, Colorado

Maricopan since: 2015

Occupation: Realtor

Family: Jennifer (wife), Savannah (daughter), Brody (son)

Pets: Rescue dog Marry

Cars: Toyota Corolla, Dodge Grand Caravan

Hobbies: Movies, golf, playing sports with my kids

Pet peeve: Complaining/whining

Dream vacation: Any cruise

Like most about Maricopa: The people! We’re always looking out for one another.

Like least about Maricopa: 347

 

Favorite …

Charity: My church

Book: “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway

Movie: Braveheart

Actor: Daniel Day Lewis

Song: Rhinestone Cowboy

Musician: Clint Black

Team: Colorado Rockies

Athlete: John Elway

Food: Steak

Drink: Sparkling water

Meal: Steak and Salad

Restaurant: Oak and Fork here in Maricopa

Getaway: Sedona or Pinetop

Website: homesmartsuccess.com

Quote: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Words to live by: “80% of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

Joke: Americans can’t switch from pounds to kilograms overnight. That would cause mass confusion.

Anything else we should know? My wife and I get up every morning with the goal of helping make Maricopa the kind of city that our kids (and yours) have all the opportunities to stay and make great lives for themselves.

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1950s: Courtesy Maricopa Historical Society

Some parts of Maricopa have not changed much in 60 years as evidenced by before-and-after photographs. The first photo was taken in the 1950s on what was then (and will be again soon) Maricopa Road looking south across the railroad tracks. On the left is a Union station, and on the right is the Business Barn (which was evidently blue before it was red) and Honeycutt Shopping Center. The second photo is the same scene today, with the business barn blue again on the right, while on the left the old gas station is now a retail center. The road no longer takes motor vehicles across the tracks.

Now:

Photo by Kyle Norby

This item appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

Maricopa is under a severe thunderstorm warning and a blowing-dust advisory tonight.

The thunderstorm warning is in effect until 7:30 p.m. The dust warning is in effect until 8 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, a severe thunderstorm was located 11 miles southeast of Gila Bend moving northwest at 20 mph.
The storm has wind gusts of 70 mph and ping-pong ball-sized hail. Those in the path of the storm can expect property damage and tree damage and even injury if outside.

The blowing-dust has been in effect since 3 p.m. Winds of 40-50 mph are expected in areas across Pinal and Maricopa counties. The dust is causing reduced visibiilty and hazardous driving conditions.

Drivers are advised to stay below posted speed limits and slow down according to conditions. If you encounter blowing dust or blowing sand on the roadway or see it approaching, pull off the road as far as possible and put your vehicle in park. Turn the lights all the way off and keep your foot off the brake pedal.

Justin Greer and family

New Mexican Justin Greer moved back to Maricopa after a four-year absence to work in real estate.

 

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Maricopan since: 2018 (Lived here from 2011 to 2014)

Occupation: Real estate agent

Family: Wife Rebecca, married 13 years. Carrie 10, Brigette 7, Timothy 4, Holland 20 months

Pets: Mini Schnauzer named Stevie

Hobbies: College basketball referee

Pet peeve: People cutting in lines

Dream vacation: Iceland

Like most about Maricopa: Small town feel with great opportunity for growth

Like least about Maricopa: 347!

 

Favorite …

Charity: Congenital Disphragmatic Hernia Awareness http://cdhi.org/cdh-awareness

Book: “For Love of the Game” Michael Shaara

Movie: The Guardian

Actor: Kevin Costner

Song: “Must Be Doin Something Right” Billy Currington

Musician: George Strait

Team: Oakland Raiders

Athlete: Dustin Pedroia

Food: New Mexican

Drink: Dr. Pepper

Restaurant: Say Sushi

Getaway: Montego Bay, Jamaica

Website: www.justin-greer.kw.com

Quote: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Frank Outlaw

Words to live by: Love one another

More than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by drivers blowing through red lights, according to data analysis performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and Arizona is one of the worst.

The report shows Arizona again has the highest rate of red-light running fatalities per capita in the nation. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety put the number at 7.1 deaths per 100,000.

Though the most recent AAA data is from 2017, it is a 10-year high. In Arizona from 2008 to 2017, 352 people were killed in collisions caused by red-light running.

Nearly half of all deaths were occupants of a vehicle hit by the person running the red light. Of those 352 deaths, 119 people killed (33.8 percent) were the red-light running driver, 49 people (13.9 percent) were passengers of the red-light running driver, and 22 people (6.3 percent) were pedestrians or cyclists.

“Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said AAA Arizona spokesperson Aldo Vazquez.  “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures.”

According to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85 percent of drivers view red-light running as very dangerous, yet nearly one in three say they blew through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely. More than two in five drivers also say it is unlikely they’ll be stopped by police for running a red light.

“Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said AAA Arizona Spokesperson Aldo Vazquez.  “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures.”

AAA is using the data to push for implementation of red-light cameras as law enforcement and deterrent.

ADOT — The new Maricopa Road – between Hathaway Avenue and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway – will be paved overnight in Maricopa from 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, to 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, and from 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug 29, to 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

During the paving operations, access to businesses on Maricopa Road will be limited to side streets and the adjacent alleyway.

After the first round of paving, Maricopa Road will reopen during the day on Thursday, before paving operations start back up Thursday night. The road will remain open Friday while crews adjust manholes and water valves on the newly paved street.

The project is part of the grade-separation improvements that included the new overpass.

Bell Biv DeVoe

 

IF YOU GO
Who: Bell Biv DeVoe
When: Aug. 30, doors open at 7 p.m., showtime 8 p.m.
Where: The Events Center at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
How much: Starting at $29.50
Info: Ticketmaster.com, HarrahsAkChin.com

Bell Biv Devoe (BBD), a breakaway group formed by members of the R&B group New Edition, will bring their electric sound to the Events Center at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino on Aug. 30.

BBD, founded by R&B legends Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe, was launched in 1989 with MCA Records. The group’s debut album, Poison, was released in 1990 and was credited as pioneering an eclectic combination of hip hop, soul and pop music called “new jack swing.” Poison reached No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop chart.

Multiple singles from the album reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Do Me!” and title track “Poison.” The group is also known for dance-worthy singles including “B.B.D.,” “When Will I See You Smile Again?” and “She’s Dope!”

In 2016, the group released their first track in 15 years, “Run,” following it up with a new album in 2017 called Three Stripes. BBD also performed on “Beat Shazam,” a game show hosted by Jamie Foxx that tests guests on their knowledge of timeless hits from every decade.

The Events Center is a 2,000-seat auditorium that opened this year, part of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino’s multimillion-dollar expansion.


This story appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.