Monday, November 24, 2014

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Marine Turned Politician

A West Valley lawmaker with an Ivy League education wants to outflank Arizona’s budget cuts to support poor families and fellow veterans. Can he win?


When Ruben Gallego first returned from his Iraq deployment in 2005, he no longer cared about politics or helping his community.

After losing his best friend in combat, Gallego grew angry from his war experiences and the lack of services he saw for veterans back home. After all, he served in the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Lima Company, an infantry unit Gallego says saw more combat than most. The 3/25 – as it’s often called – lost 46 Marines and two Navy corpsmen between January 2005 and January 2006, according to the Marines’ website.

 

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Silvana Salcido Esparza

Chef/Creator and Owner of barrio cafÉ

Silvana Salcido Esparza thinks Scottsdale could stand an infusion of Mexican spice. And the James Beard-nominated chef is just the chica to administer it.

“The truth is, I’m a little bit ghetto,” she confides. “I’m gonna roll up on my low-rider motorcycle with lots of attitude and have a great time. You know when the economy tanks and a house goes for nothing and the Mexicans move in? Same thing here.”

 

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Police Chief Jack Harris

Former Phoenix Police Chief Jack F. Harris is waiving his right to remain silent on the stormy ending to his storybook career.

Office politics and almost 40 years of chasing bad guys should have left Jack F. Harris a husk of a man. Instead, he has just gone for a 20-mile bike ride from Bell Road down into Paradise Valley, and now he’s ready to talk about why he is no longer Phoenix’s top cop. The reason involves illegal immigrants, he says. But on top of that, there’s a dead police sergeant, an internal fraud investigation, an officer accused of murdering a suspect (and the suspect’s dog) and accusations of falsifying crime statistics to obtain federal funds. Harris was chief for almost seven years, but he says the last 18 months were the most difficult period of his career. 

 

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Lenard Rubin of The Vig/The Vig Uptown

BACK OF THE HOUSE

Lenard Rubin brings global influences and a fine dining background to the menu at the The Vig and The Vig Uptown, where he is a chef and partner.

The Vig, a funky Arcadia hangout, and the classy yet casual Vig Uptown, with its bocce ball court and bank vault (a remnant of the building’s past life) are ideal venues for his creative bar fare, featuring a ’round-the-world tour of tastes: carne asada on a potato pancake, flatbread pizza with tandoori chicken, Seoul sliders.

 

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Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot

BACK OF THE HOUSE

Chrysa Robertson, owner and chef at Rancho Pinot in Paradise Valley, is a legend in the local food scene. She started Rancho Pinot in 1993, and it quickly racked up critical awards and mentions in national food magazines. She’s cooked at the James Beard House in New York and, in the late 1990s, founded the first Phoenix chapter of Slow Food, an international organization devoted to local, sustainable eating. In March, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame named her “chef extraordinaire.”

 

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Jeff Flancer of Flancer's Cafe

Jeff Flancer

Owner, Flancer’s Café
1902 N. Higley Road, Mesa, 480-396-0077
610 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert 480-926-9077
flancers.com

Jeff Flancer, owner of Flancer’s Café, is a Culinary Institute of America graduate who aims to “elevate the taste buds of

 

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