Ready to rock enroll: Principal Dr. Mike Andersen

2014-07-09 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

On paper, Dr. Mike Andersen is an award-winning principal at Barry Goldwater High School with an extensive list of accomplishments and accolades achieved during his tenure.   But a resume never quite captures the full scope of a career, and what is perhaps most striking about Dr. Andersen’s journey is how he has thrived when the going gets tough. Nearly 30 years of experience in education produces its fair share of battle scars and lessons learned, especially when much of the work involves groundbreaking (i.e., difficult and often unpopular) changes to the status quo. But nothing extraordinary comes easy, and not everything worth fighting for has to be well liked. It just has to make sense.   “People can’t do what they can’t envision and won’t do what they don’t understand,” Dr. Andersen says. “My role is to provide my staff with a clear and precise vision that we can unite around, even if it means making changes to the way things have always been done.”   Chief... More

The Cowboy Way

2014-06-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Being a cowboy is about more than finding a hat and a pair of well-worn leather boots that fit just so. There is more to it than driving a pickup truck or listening to country music.   Being a cowboy is a way of life. It’s about honestly earning an appreciation for the songs of coyotes and scampering of things unknown, as the dancing of flames sends flickers into the desert brush. It’s the unspoken satisfaction of polishing a saddle with the timeworn seat of a practical pair of Wranglers. It’s understanding the integrity and responsibility packed into a handshake. It’s about flowing with the rhythms of the sun and the moon and understanding that everything else is just a formality.   Being a cowboy is a way of life and a code of ethics. Most would say it’s a life that chose them, rather than the other way around.   Something happens, too, when a person spends great swaths of time on the back of a horse or walking fences. Give a man (or a woman) space to be alone with his... More

Kayaking and Paddle-boarding

2014-06-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Kayaking: The perfect blend of recreation and relaxation. It is around this time this year that we Phoenicians begin to daydream. As we maneuver our cars through traffic, making minimal contact with the steering wheel, max AC blowing inadequately and barely drying the streams of sweat running down our foreheads, we start to think:   Water. Delightful, intoxicating, wonderful water.   We dream of jumping in, splashing in cool waves and feeling a gentle breeze sweep the heat from our steam-cooked necks. If we truly allow ourselves to indulge in the fantasy, we can almost imagine the feeling of being beautifully, euphorically cold before we’re jolted back into reality by another tick of rising Fahrenheit.   Let’s face it: We live in the desert, and quietly surviving the summer months is a karmic trade-off for goading Midwest and East Coast relatives all winter long with Facebook photos of hiking and poolside picnics.   It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Look deeper through... More

Actress Lauren Maddox

2014-06-28 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Writer Tom Scanlon   Perhaps you’ll pass her on a hiking trail, or stand in front of her in a grocery store line. If so, you may see and even feel the piercing gaze of a young woman lost in thought, fixed on the idea of why people behave in certain ways, how humans act.   She is a student of psychotherapy, learning how to journey through the maze of the psyche; and she is an actress, combining her formal training and personal observations to infuse fictional characters with real emotions.   Lauren Maddox has had small but memorable roles in films such as “Filth,” “Another Happy Day” and “Carmen’s Kiss.”   Unlike many of the young actresses that she will be competing with in Hollywood, this London native and part-time Desert Mountain resident has a panoramic vision that goes beyond becoming a movie star. During a wide-ranging, revealing interview at Tonto Bar and Grill, this intense, fascinating actress unveiled her master plan.   “Raising awareness on the psyche... More

Krista Goll

2014-06-24 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

In this area of achievers who focus on schoolwork with an unwavering eye, you will find many strong students. Krista Goll is one of them; she graduated from Pinnacle High at the top of her class.   Around North Scottsdale, you will also find quite a few high school kids who excel in sports. Again, Krista Goll is one of them; she was on a swimming relay team that won the state championship.   While grades and sports are two areas of life that have definitive markers, Krista Goll also became a standout in a field that is far more abstract: Krista Goll is also an exceptional young artist.   Shortly before graduation, on a night when many Pinnacle High seniors were being honored for various academic and athletic achievements, Krista Goll’s name kept coming up.   She was announced as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, then again for being in the top 1 percent of her class with a 4.8 grade point average, and finally as Outstanding Female Student (Scott Williams was named... More


2014-06-23 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

he sun sits high in the sky, casting its warm rays on the sparkling blue-green waters of Lake Havasu as we roll into Lake Havasu City. Lake Havasu, which is located on the Colorado River in northwestern Arizona, just has to be the boating capital of the world. All types of craft cleave a path through its 45 miles of smooth waters. Speed boats, deck boats, and pontoon boats seem to be the most popular, with kayaks and paddle boats not far behind.   This is a popular spring break stop for the college crowd as well as a popular family vacation spot. And then there’s the unique attraction of the authentic London Bridge, originally built in 1831, spanning London’s Thames River and installed over an inlet in Lake Havasu in 1971. While the summer temperatures are the same as the Phoenix area, it’s still a great place to cool off on the water along sandy beaches, and it’s only a three-hour drive away.   History Lake Havasu is a reservoir, the result of building the Parker Dam in the... More

A Day At SkyRanch

2014-06-23 | Mr. History | Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Jerri Parness
Writer Jim McAllister Photographer Jerri Parness If it wasn’t for a chance meeting of K. T. Palmer and Tom Darlington at a Phoenix Kiwanis luncheon at the Adams Hotel in 1946, the town of Carefree may have never been built. Palmer had turned the subject to real estate when Darlington suddenly replied, “Someday I would like to plan and build a town from scratch.” Palmer quickly responded, “So would I.”   It’s not as though they jumped into the town building business at that time. They followed different vocations over the next nine years, and reunited in 1955. It was then when they purchased 44 acres of land – what was formerly a goat farm – that would eventually become the town of Carefree. At the time, the only way to get to the area was via the winding and rough Cave Creek Road. Scottsdale Road would not be extended to Carefree and until a year later.   Darlington and Palmer weren’t fools; they knew they needed something special to attract the wealthy to their... More

Demon Foods

2014-06-10 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Foods grown for shelf life and transport and saturated in toxic chemicals generally aren’t so great for actual consumption when it comes to nutrient value. Has science and agribusiness made the ‘perfect food’ yet? Join us at Desert Foothills Library, 38443 N. Schoolhouse Rd. in Cave Creek June 17 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. for a ‘food-tainment’ presentation to examine the current crazes, diets, fads, fact and fiction of ‘demon foods.’ We’ll explore the foods and snacks of yesteryear and the fantastic foods of the future. We are what we eat and making good choices is based on knowledge. The presentation includes our favorite ‘demon foods’ and some delicious, healthy alternatives. Chef Larry P. Canepa is a certified culinary educator and ‘food-tainer’ who creates a fun experience. Chef believes in the farm-to-table approach to food, education and dining and works closely with local farmers, growers, and food artisans to create a delicious and informative food... More

Yoga Wall Makes Yoga A Breeze

2014-06-08 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

A standardized system of straps, anchors, swings and bars, the yoga wall has been used for decades to learn proper alignment and maximize energy flow. Adding safety and support, it teaches you how each pose is supposed to feel in preparation for practicing it in the middle of the room.   “It’s powerfully therapeutic,” says Christine Thomas, owner and instructor at Yoga Breeze Healing and Wellness Center. “People love the wall so much that they want one in their home.”   The many benefits include reducing or eliminating back pain, improved joint mobility, better circulation, and core strengthening. Yoga Breeze has several wall classes each week for all levels of experience.   Yoga Breeze offers over 30 classes a week including basics, flow, kids’ yoga, Yin, gentle, restorative, meditation and more. Interested in one-on-one instruction? We can schedule a private session too! As a healing center, massage, Reiki and reflexology therapies are available at our studio as well... More

Discover Outstanding Oxnard

2014-05-30 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Writer Suzanne Wright Those of us who call the desert home seem to naturally pine for water. Many of us stream into San Diego all summer long. Odds are if you are stretched out on a sandy beach and converse with the folks near you, you’ll find they are also from the Valley of the Sun. No doubt, San Diego is great, but let me propose a beach town less traveled: Oxnard.   Oxnard takes its share of ribbing. Maybe it’s the name which lacks linguistic romance. The town still has strong agricultural roots, named for the brothers who founded a sugar beet factory here more than 100 years ago. It’s also more working class than some tonier California coastal towns; its residents poke fun at themselves, calling their town “Ven-Tucky,” as in “Ventura Kentucky,” or “Bakersfield by the Sea.”   But I’ll gladly make a case for Oxnard after spending a recent weekend there.   I’ve driven 60 miles up from Los Angeles on Pacific Coast Highway. Crossing into Ventura County, the... More

Indoor Home Design Trends: A Look Inside

2014-05-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Home is where the heart is, which may be why love, sweat and tears go into decorating the spaces we live in. A peek into local homes reveals we’re often thinking every design through, and having fun doing it. Trend watchers report we’re going fun and sassy, designing around the realities of life, taking current trends to the next level and doing some things just for the fashion-forward fun of it.   Welcome to my Lady Lair If a man can have his cave, a lady can have her lair, says Change by Design lead designer JoEllen Sessa. “It’s appealing to every woman and any man that wants to keep his woman happy.” Also known as a “diva den,” this room is designed to be an elegant and personalized retreat to relax, take a bath, put on makeup, have a glass of wine or watch television. “It’s a place to escape and make time for yourself. We all need it,” she says.   JoEllen recently designed this add-on room for a homeowner in Cave Creek. It features silver leaf, crystal,... More

The Town Too Tough to Die

2014-05-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Writer Amanda Christmann Larson If ever there was a town that captures the spirit of the Old West, it’s Tombstone. Here, men (and women) made their fortunes with nothing but indomitable doggedness and hardscrabble luck. Famous for Doc Holliday, the Earp brothers and their shootout behind the OK Corral, there is more to this town than that historic volley of shots; it offers an eye-opening look at desert frontier life that has been glossed over by Hollywood and polished with a wide brush of idealism.   Tombstone isn’t what you may expect; in many ways, it may be more.   In Tombstone’s early days, rugged enterprise mixed with pluck and grit to spring well over 100 saloons, dance halls, churches and brothels from the dusty desert floor. The music was loud, the girls were aplenty, and order was kept with the pop of a six-shooter.   Today, remarkably, remnants of the places and personalities of Tombstone’s glory days are still delightfully intact. Although it may be a bit... More

Merle Norman Open House and Ribbon Cutting

2014-05-29 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Come Celebrate Merle Norman’s new design studio and 83 years of excellence! Free facials and makeovers are available at 37417 N. Tom Darlington Dr. in Carefree June 5, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served; goodie bags at the door. The event is free. Merle Norman offers a wide selection of skin care products, anti-aging skin care, sunscreen, the latest make-up, boutique items and greeting cards.   480-488-3381 More

For Land’s Sake: The Legacy of KT Palmer

2014-05-26 | Mr. History | Lifestyle

Writer Jim McAllister Although I never met Carefree co-founder K.T. Palmer, I feel as though I know him personally after reading his 1971 autobiography “For Land’s Sake.” Les Conklin of the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association told me of Palmer’s book with the caution that it may be hard to find a copy. Luck was with me as I was able to acquire one through a Goodwill store in Tucson. It must have been providence since the odds were long.   If I had to briefly describe Palmer, I would say he was a guy with spunk, foresight, energy, intelligence, guts and the attitude that the glass was always half full. That’s a lot for a guy who suffered from tuberculosis, heart problems, was about five and a half feet tall, and may have never weighed more than 120 pounds. He was small and not very healthy, but no one could ever accuse K.T. of being afraid to take chances or get his hands dirty.   Palmer was born in Mississippi February 4, 1899 according to his mother’s notes, but the... More

Scottsdale, Cave Creek and the Stoneman Road

2014-05-22 | ImagesAZ | Lifestyle

Writer Jim McAllister For a history major, living in Scottsdale is a good deal. Whether north, south, east or west, the area is replete with great stories of a bygone West.   For example, there used to be a 19th century military supply road that ran from Fort McDowell on the Verde River northwest to Fort Whipple in Prescott. It operated between 1870 and 1890 as it passed through what is today’s McDowell Mountain Park before continuing to the area between Pinnacle Peak and Brown’s Mountain near Alma School and Dynamite Roads. It then went past what would become Cave Creek Road as it headed north of Black Mountain to Fort Whipple.   The road was named the Stoneman Road after Colonel George Stoneman, the army officer responsible for the route between the forts. The road was a vital link since it was a shortcut that eliminated the extra day’s ride that was formerly necessary by having to take a southern route 18 miles longer through Phoenix.   Stoneman Road has sometimes been... More