The Battle of the Beers

2014-08-28 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Beer. The word rolls off the tongue like a swig of Budweiser. In bowling, the fifth frame was usually a “beer frame,” softball leagues were routinely referred to as “beer leagues,” and that kegger in “Animal House” wasn’t about lemonade or wine. There have even been movies titled “Beer” and “Beerfest.”   According to Gallup, beer outsold wine worldwide in 2011 by a margin of 189 billion liters to 24 billion liters. That’s quite a difference, but the wine lovers say the gap is closing rapidly since China is now downing the grape in much larger quantities than previously.   It’s basically about personal taste, and as far as which will win the award for most product sold worldwide, I would place my bet on beer. A lot of beer drinkers will sample and enjoy an occasional glass of wine, but will most likely stick with the suds in the long run. It is usually cheaper and a lot more convenient, plus it has a more established foothold with the younger crowd.   Today,... More

Heart and Soul in a bottle

2014-08-28 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

    “To be successful in the winemaking business, you must have a love for the land, like the whole farming/ranch thing, like people, like food, and you must love wine; otherwise you are in the wrong business,” explained Cynthia Snapp, head winemaker and co-owner of Javelina Leap Vineyard and Winery.   By these measures, Cynthia is right where she belongs. Passionate about winemaking, she is outdistancing even her own expectations with wins and high placements in prestigious international wine competitions, including gold and silver medals in the 2014 Winemakers Challenge for her 2012 Arizona Syrah and 2012 Legacy (Estate) Zinfandel in the premium wine category, a gold and “Best of Class” for her 2012 Arizona Merlot at the International Women Winemakers competition, and third place for her Arizona 2012 Tempranillo over all varietals in Arizona Republic Wine Competition.   Cynthia and her husband Rod Snapp began the process of mastering grape-to-bottle 13 years ago, starting... More

Leah Stenzel: a superpower of love

2014-08-27 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Writer Amanda Christmann Larson Photographer Loralei Photography   Like a comic book superhero cleverly disguised, Leah Stenzel spends many of her days cloaked behind nail lacquer and mascara, her hair falling perfectly into place as she talks to unwitting clients about photofacials and hair removal. Behind her perfectly moisturized sweet smile are more than just a business owner’s sensibility and an ornery wit; this momma’s on a mission that Superman’s got nothing on.   This Scottsdale mom is rescuing slave children, and her superpower is love.   When the lights go out at Le Bella Salon and MedSpa and her 10- and 11-year-olds are safely tucked into bed, Stenzel’s thoughts turn to responsibilities on the other side of the world.   It is in these quiet hours that the images of little boys in rickety wooden boats begin to emerge, their eyes dulled by trauma and their skin scarred by masters who pay more for fishing nets than they do for these disposable children. Many are the... More

Tales of North Scottsdale

2014-08-26 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Writer Jim McAllister // Photographer Jerri Parness   Scottsdale used to be the home of many guest or “dude” ranches. They eventually disappeared as the population spread north and other interests such as golf became more popular than getting a taste of the old-fashioned life of cowboys riding horses and sitting around a campfire.   The last of these places was the Rancho Vista Bonito Guest Ranch, which opened in 1950 on the southwest corner of Pima and Pinnacle Peak Roads. It was a good deal at $25 a night, but by 1955 it had run its course. The Seitts family bought part of the property in the early 1960s and opened a restaurant and lounge which they named “Rustler’s Rest.”   If you drive through that intersection today, it takes a vivid imagination to picture the area as it was during that time. The roads were primarily dirt and E.E. “Big Brownie” Brown of Brown’s Ranch was still running cattle up and down the dirt track that would eventually become Pima Road.... More

Preserving a slice of history: Oregano’s moves into a seasoned Cave Creek landmark

2014-08-26 | ImagesAZ | Community

Anyone who spends time in Cave Creek knows it’s a place rooted in and rightfully proud of its Western heritage. Tourists and townspeople alike appreciate the eclectic, unrepeatable style of local businesses as surely as they note the deliberate lack of big-box stores and restaurant chains.   Which is why for some residents, it came as a surprise to see Oregano’s Pizza Bistro open its doors along the historic main drag this spring – marking its 14th dining location in Arizona.   “A lot of people already loved us and didn’t think twice about us coming in, but others thought hey, you can’t be here, you’re a chain,” says Mark S. Russell, Oregano’s founder and CEO. “But what it came down to is that we’re not just a chain, we’re a homegrown Arizona chain with an appreciation for history, and you can see that represented in the buildings we choose.”   The North Scottsdale location, for example, was once a bar called the Crystal Pistol. According to Russell,... More

To kick, or not to kick …

2014-08-25 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Writer Tom Scanlon Mike Harvey of Peak Image Photo   With football season soon approaching, Grayson Naquin has a tough decision to make. He may not be an angst-y young prince like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but Naquin is a princely kicker, as he showed last season.   It was the fourth quarter of a tight game against rival Cactus Shadows. Notre Dame Prep had a drive going, but failed to convert on a third down. So it was fourth down, on the Cactus Shadows 34-yard line.   Coach Gary Gregory found his junior kicker sitting on the bench, helmet off.   “Go hit it,” the coach told Grayson Naquin.   Really? A 51-yard field goal attempt – in high school? That would be a long boot for a good college kicker, but we’re talking about a 5-foot-9, 170-pound teenager.   “I didn’t see it coming at all. I just winged it,” Naquin later said. “I’ve only heard of 51-yard field goals in the pros.”   The coach had faith in his strong-legged kicker, who routinely booted field goals... More

Cactus Shadows Football

2014-08-25 | ImagesAZ | Youth

Writer Tom Scanlon Photographer Mike Harvey of Peak Image Photo Joe Kuhlman was going to be “The Man” for Cactus Shadows last season, and his senior year got off to a terrific start as the 5-foot-10, 200-pound running back raced for an impressive 563 yards in the first three games of the season, averaging an eye-popping 7.71 yards per carry.   And then down he went, blowing out his knee, a crushing end to his high school career. It seemed like the Falcons’ season would be lost as well, as then-coach Greg Davis had to ask young, unproven, little – barely 150 pounds! – Antonio Marchica to be the starting running back.   He may be easy on the scales, but Marchica is not light on confidence.   “I had to step up from there,” he said. “I was prepared.”   Indeed, though he was a sophomore and had played scant time as a wide receiver the year before, Marchica carried the ball 22 times for 103 yards in his first varsity start. His second career start was even better, as he... More

Zap! Click! Little superheroes are ready for their close-ups

2014-08-24 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

  Writer Jenn Korducki Krenn // Photographer Jamie Pogue    Real-life superheroes aren’t born; they’re made through a culmination of life experiences that challenge their bodies and minds … often at the same time.   The rooms and hallways of Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH) are no stranger to these fearless fighters. If walls could talk, these ones would tell stories of vulnerability and bravery, of despair and triumph, and of ordinary people calling upon extraordinary physical and mental strength.   These acts of heroism are observed in both patients and parents. When Jamie and Wes Pogue’s youngest child, Will, was diagnosed with leukemia at age three and a half, they held his hand through nearly four years of chemotherapy at PCH that was followed up, happily, by remission.   “We developed strong ties to the hospital and staff,” Jamie says. “The doctors and nurses there are beyond amazing. They become your family during treatment and walk beside you the whole... More

Café Provence's Soccer Star son Goes Pro

2014-08-23 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration

Writer Tom Scanlon Photography by   “Sure, Sarge,” they would say, rolling their eyes. “It could happen, sure.”   And they would nudge each other, laugh and wink – whispering, “And my boy is going to fly to Mars!”   Ever since little George Malki started kicking a soccer ball around, his father Sarge would marvel at his natural skills, and tell his family and friends: “Look at Georgie – he’s going to be a pro some day!”   Sarge recalls, “Even when he was 6 years old, I told everybody Georgie would play professional. Everybody laughed at me.”   The laughter slowed down, once George Malki started making youth national teams, then when he led Pinnacle High to two state championships and was an all-American, then when he was granted a soccer scholarship at Cal Poly.   The laughter started again in January. This time it wasn’t mocking laughter, but peals of joy.   Little Georgie has grown up and gone pro.   Four years after graduating from... More

MTA Proves to be Outstanding

2014-08-23 | ImagesAZ | Community

Musical Theatre of Anthem (MTA) has received 12 National Youth Arts Awards, with an additional 50 nominations, for the 2013-2014 season, including Outstanding Production for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and Outstanding Ensemble for “42nd Street.” National Youth Arts honors outstanding work by youth in the arts across the nation. Award winners will be honored at the Arizona West Valley ceremony at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts July 20 at 7:30 p.m. Julia Davis, Taylor Ellsworth, Ann Emilie Tjorhom, Alexis Rosenbaum, Maxx Carlisle-King, Lily Castle, Samantha Lewter, Tamara Treat, Adam Vargas, Shawna Weitekamp and Evon Kishbaugh are among the award winners. Congratulations to these outstanding performers and supporters, and to everyone who has worked so hard to make local community theater a success.  ... More

August 23: Nutcracker Auditions at Phoenix Youth Ballet

2014-08-21 | ImagesAZ | Community

  Arizona Dance Artistry will be holding open auditions Aug. 23 for the 2014 presentation of “The Nutcracker Suite” in partnership with resident ballet company, Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre (PYBT). All dancers, gymnasts and actors ages 5 and up are welcome to participate in this year’s casting call for the full stage production scheduled Nov. 20–22. Current PYBT students enrolled in Levels 1-6 are already included in this performance and students age 7 and up are asked to attend the audition, to be held at 1745 W. Deer Valley Rd., Suite 102 in Phoenix. Current studio enrollment is not required to audition, however any dancer considered for an advanced specialty roles such as Marzipan, Clara, Sugar Plum, Spanish Chocolate must meet specific criteria available online. Audition dress code and fee information is also available online.   602-314-8033 More

August 23: Bike & Brew in Sedona

2014-08-21 | ImagesAZ | Community

  Aug. 23, mountain bike racers of all ages will take to the fairways of Sedona Golf Resort for 18-holes of mountain bike racing fun as part of Sedona Bike & Brew. The first ever Sedona Bike & Brew event will be hosted at Sedona Golf Resort. Registration costs, kickoff event details and discounted room rate information available online More

August 23: Attention WWII and Korean War Veterans …

2014-08-21 | ImagesAZ | Community

  The Anthem Veterans Memorial Support Team will conduct taped interviews and group discussions with veterans to chronicle their military service. In preparation for the Anthem Veterans Memorial fifth anniversary, November 11, 2016, veterans of war and noncombat veterans will be invited to open forums throughout the next year to share their stories. The stories will be used at a special fifth anniversary program. The first two sessions will take place at the Anthem Civic Building, 3701 W. Anthem Way in Anthem Aug. 23. WWII veterans are asked to attend from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and Korean War veterans are asked to come from 11 a.m. to noon. Veterans are asked to register in advance by phone or email. Family members may accompany veterans and remain during the group interviews. Veterans do not need to be residents of Anthem.   623-640-8417 More

August 23–24: MTA Casting Call

2014-08-20 | ImagesAZ | Community

  Musical Theatre of Anthem (MTA) announces auditions for the musical “Into the Woods” for ages 14–adult, and for “Charlotte’s Web,” a no-cut production for ages 10-13. Auditions for both will be held on Aug. 23 and 24 at MTA in Anthem. Auditions and rehearsals will be held at 42323 N. Vision Way in Anthem. “Into the Woods” casting is for ages 14-adult; no-cut for ages 14-19. Rehearsals begin Aug. 28, with performances taking place Oct. 9-12. “Charlotte’s Web” is a no-cut production for ages 10-13. Rehearsals begin Aug. 28, with performances taking place Oct. 16-19. Registration materials, audition information and preparation workshop details are available online.  ... More

August 21: Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness

2014-08-19 | ImagesAZ | Community

  Often missed or misdiagnosed, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can impact your metabolism, sleep, ability to handle stress and energy levels. Join naturopathic physician Dr. Melissa Coats at Desert Foothills Library Aug. 21 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to discuss symptoms, diagnosis and treatments that will help support your body and your thyroid. This presentation is part of DFL’s “Focus on your Health” Scottsdale Healthcare Series. Limited seating; please register by phone.   480-488-2286  ... More