Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Incumbents Be Gone

PHM1014PF25Following an unusually brutal primary season for Arizona incumbents, we preview the top open-seat Election Day races to be decided on November 4.

Mark Brnovich vs. Felecia Rotellini
Arizona Attorney General
Backstory: Lame-duck AG Tom Horne’s scandal-plagued term – and subsequent ouster in the 2014 Republican primary – robbed voters of what would have been an intriguing rematch between Horne and Rotellini, the former AG prosecutor he originally defeated to take office in 2010. Enter Brnovich, the former Goldwater Institute watchdog and gaming official who would seem to make up in establishment GOP bona fides what he lacks in vowels.
At Stake: Horne supporters touted his opposition to Planned Parenthood and Tucson’s ethnic studies program; very little chance those fights are taken up by Rotellini... or Brnovich, for that matter.

Read more: Incumbents Be Gone

After-school Specials

Community-driven programs augment public schools’ dwindling arts education.

About 30 elementary-school students, some clad in school uniforms and some in street clothes, swagger across an indoor basketball court before pausing, twirling around in a complete circle and dropping dramatically to the floor, following the lead of three hip-hop dance instructors. In an adjacent room at the Jerry Colangelo Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix, a handful of students bangs away on African drums, following a music teacher’s audible example. “Tone-tone-tone, bass-bass-bass,” he calls to them, showing them what to do with their hands to mimic his drum sounds. “This is fun,” a girl whispers to her friend with a covert smile, before trying out a new rhythm.

Read more: After-school Specials

Last Ticket to Hell

PHM1014PF24Resisting criticism, two Valley churches continue to stage graphic, damnation-based haunted houses.

“It sounds weird,” says Casey Mammen, associate pastor at The Door Christian Fellowship Church in Tempe. “But at Halloween, sometimes it’s effective if you put death in the mix.”

While fall feasts, pumpkin patches and “Trunk or Treat” parties have filled many a church parking lot, Christians have traditionally avoided the blood-and-gore Halloween scene. The exception: so-called “Hell Houses,” a controversial form of fire-and-brimstone Halloween entertainment practiced by a pair of chuches in the Valley.

Read more: Last Ticket to Hell

New Kids on the Block

PHM1014Flash-2-NewKidsWith a slew of new eateries opening this fall, Mill Avenue may be the Valley’s next foodie capital.

When one thinks of Tempe, the image of bar-crawling, snapback hat-donning college students on Mill Avenue easily pops into one’s mind – but wait, there’s more. With a growing downtown culture currently experiencing a renaissance, Tempe may have found a new niche in fine dining. Here are some new spots to hit the next time you’re on the strip.

Read more: New Kids on the Block

¶lim¶Traffick Stop

PHM1014Feat-3Next year’s Super Bowl is bringing the issue of sex trafficking to the fore in Arizona. The truth is more complicated: It’s been with us all along.

avannah Sanders doesn’t stand out in the crowd at her office’s sunlit café. Like many a busy modern woman, the wife and mother of four fields phone calls while eating a salad – juggling her job with volunteer work and graduate school. Her cherubic face and soft-spoken, direct demeanor do not whisper of trauma. None of the businesspeople breezing by would suspect she was sex-trafficked at 16.

Read more: ¶lim¶Traffick Stop

ASID 2014 Design Excellence Awards

PHM0914ASID01aThe American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) North Chapter is the premier organization for local interior designers. Each year, ASID salutes its members’ design achievements in multiple categories for residential, commercial, hospitality, health care and sustainability. The winners were honored at the 2014 ASID Design Excellence Awards Gala, held in August at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale. Following are the recipients and Best in Show winner for the Commercial category of interior design. The winners in the Residential category are presented in this month’s issue of our sister magazine, Phoenix Home & Garden. For more information about the ASID North Chapter, visit asidaznorth.org.

Read more: ASID 2014 Design Excellence Awards

¶lim¶A Tale of Two Boomburbs

chandler, gilbert, boomburbsWith record expansion, Chandler and Gilbert have emerged from Mesa’s shadow in the Southeast Valley. But how much growth is left?

“Country Burb” Gilbert
The East Valley "town" of 229,000 boasts lower crime rates and higher household income than Chandler.

“City Burb” Chandler
Led by the tech industry, Chandler manufacturers ship $3.9 billion in goods annually, compared to $416 million in Gilbert.

Looking to split their time between Seattle and the Valley of the Sun, Michael and Sherry Dryja nearly bought a new high-rise condo in Downtown Phoenix. They liked the urban scene and amenities. Ultimately, they settled on a place in the Southeast Valley town of Gilbert.

Read more: ¶lim¶A Tale of Two Boomburbs