Features

Greening The Desert: DC Ranch Community Garden

2015-08-06 | ImagesAZ | Gardening


Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
The Sonoran Desert in August may not be as inviting as it is during other times of year, but this summer, 12 DC Ranch denizens, including 17-year resident Leslie Gilchrist, are knee-deep in growing fruits, herbs and vegetables such as cantaloupe, watermelon, basil, peppers and pumpkins — all part of the DC Ranch Community Garden.   “Some of our members are totally new to gardening and some are master gardeners,” Leslie says. “Although if they came from a different climate, they often have to learn all over again.”   But the lessons and experiments are what it’s all about.   “It’s like this giant science experiment,” she says.   The day we speak, Leslie is experimenting with jicama, tea hibiscus and other items she’s never planted. Now in its second year, the garden’s organizers are learning, too. A little more than a year ago, DC Ranch launched the community initiative located at Copper Ridge School, leasing 44 semi­circular gardening plots, each measuring... More

Go With The Flow

2015-08-04 | ImagesAZ | Health and Beauty


Yoga. One minute, it was considered by mainstream America to be an exotic yet odd Hindu practice, and the next minute every soccer mom and hipster dad is doing down dog in lululemons.   In the 65 years since Richard Hittleman and Indra Devi independently opened studios on the East and West Coasts, each writing books and making appearances that seduced housewives from New York City to Amarillo, and from Hollywood to Detroit, to stand on their heads on their lime green, no-wax, cushioned vinyl flooring, quite a bit has changed.   By the 1970s, yoga and spiritual teachings became part of what Midwesterners thought of as “West Coast weirdness.” But, like other trends throughout the century, eventually it caught on. Today, yoga studios are not only a trend; they are part of a growing awareness of the mind/body health connection, and it looks like they are here to stay.   Even in our communities, the positive effects of yoga are quickly earning followers. With several different types... More

2,000 Miles for Music

2015-08-03 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Arizona is a major draw to people all over the world for various reasons. The winter weather can’t be beat. Sedona and the Grand Canyon attract tourists year-round. But when 23-year-old Lauren Koeritzer decided to pick up her life in Damascus, Maryland and move to Arizona, she came for a very different reason.   Lauren grew up in a small suburban town and was always a very musically inclined child; her parents noticed she was always singing. She participated in the children’s choir at church and continued throughout school. Come high school, Lauren found that she wanted music to be a bigger part of her life.   Her love of performing stems from many years in gymnastics, during which she grew accustomed to performing and was comfortable on stage. She eventually found that musicals combined her love for the stage and her love for singing.   “I auditioned for the musical ‘Grease’ in 10th grade and was terrified of the audition,” Lauren shares. “On my application, I only... More

Carefree: Brings Desert Gardens to Life

2015-08-02 | ImagesAZ | Gardening


Photo Credit: Thomas Baker
The Town of Carefree is abuzz with new improvements and additions that will give sightseers an even more rewarding experience when they visit the town’s crowned jewel, Carefree Desert Gardens, this fall.   Visitor-friendly amenities such as fireplaces, increased seating along the garden paths and welcoming gateway designs and signage are among the many developments currently underway in the downtown area. New water features, including a reflective pool under the iconic Carefree Sundial and a scorpion-shaped splash pad, will also greet attendees when the town kicks off their expanded events season, which begins with October’s Enchanted Pumpkin Garden. The event features creative, world-renowned master carver Ray Villafane, who has received international acclaim and press accolades for his work.   All of the improvements will bolster the 4.5-acre Carefree Desert Gardens, home to hundreds of unique and exotic botanical specimens, a permanent outdoor art exhibit and a playground with... More

Meet The Meyers Family

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Family


Photo Credit: Keri Meyers Photography
Former teachers David and Keri Meyers never imagined life outside of the education profession. Little did they know, teaching themselves a thing or two about their personal passions would lead to successful entrepreneurial careers.   The pair met in college as part of the education program at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. David went on to teach high school English and Keri taught the fifth grade. After the birth of their oldest son, they realized they could not raise a family on two teacher salaries in Seattle.   Around that same time, Keri found herself smitten with her newborn and capturing every moment with her camera. Her love for photography began in high school and quickly grew the moment she became a mom. She began researching, perfecting and honing her photography craft. It quickly caught the attention of others. Before she knew it, she had opened up her own photography business.   “I fell in love with capturing newborns, children and... More

Air Jags: Johnson Plus Reed Equals Electric Season

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
It’s almost not fair for defenders facing Boulder Creek High School.   Not only are strong-armed quarterback Gunther Johnson and sure-handed receiver Troy Reed two of the most talented athletes in Arizona high school football, they’re also both exceptionally intelligent. Their physical skills and brains combined with a knack for one knowing what the other is about to do makes this an almost unstoppable duo — quite fitting for the Anthem high school, which values school achievements as much if not more than wins and losses.   After clicking often in a breakout and surprising 8-3 junior season, the childhood friends spent their summer working on routes and visiting prestigious East Coast campuses, which comes as no surprise to their coach, Brandon Willard.   “Troy and Gunther are both phenomenal students,” he said, noting that both are taking advanced placement classes that push their grade point averages above 4.0. “They’re outstanding student-athletes who want to play... More

Swinging With Precision

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Community


Photo Credit: Bryan Black
For most, the game of golf is measured by distance. Golfers select the tee they play based on the length of the course, as listed on the scorecard. Each hole has a tee plate denoting the distance to the hole, and sprinkler heads marked with yardages are littered all over the course as reminders of the distance yet to travel.   Golfers talk in yards, feet and inches, describing the length of their best drive, the proximity of their approach and the chagrin of a missed putt. Even the great Bobby Jones used a unit of measurement when he described the game as being played on a five-inch course, the distance between one’s ears.   Mike Tomas is a golfer, but one who measures the game by more than distance alone. As a master club fitter, Mike sees golf in terms of swing speed, angle of attack, set makeup, swing weight, shaft droop, shaft profile, loft, lie and dispersion rates. His evaluation of the game is far more precise than that of the average golfer; he talks in tenths of a degree,... More

Down & Dirty with Anthem's Mud Mama

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Community


Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
At 53 years old, Gale Walker is doing anything but entering quietly into her golden years. While her peers contemplate the slow, easy pace of retirement and empty nests, this mom of seven (with her third grandchild on the way) is on a whole different course — and it’s as muddy and dirty as it gets!   In her fifth decade, “Granny Gale” decided to not only take up running as a sport; she’s taken to obstacle course races — mud runs — and intends to set a world record in the popular Spartan race series. Her goal: to complete the most trifectas in her age group in a calendar year. That’s a combination of a five-mile, a 10-mile and a 15-mile race. She’s already done three trifectas and has four more to do before 2015 ends. Secretly, though, she confides that she’d really like to do nine this year.   Her growing strength and her humility are an inspiration to her children and grandchildren, as well as those who hear her story.   “Let’s get one thing clear,” says... More

Sustainable Roadtrip

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Community


Whether you prefer to patronize green businesses or are simply up for a road trip, pack this list of sustainable stops with you. According to the World Tourism Organization, destinations like these are managed for economic, social and aesthetic needs in a way that maintains the cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems of the area.   Sleep Flagstaff Nordic Center’s Off-Grid Getaways is an unplugged, low-to-no carbon print resort comparable to glamping (glamorous camping), sans the planning, packing and lugging of gear and food. Located 15 miles from downtown on Forest Service campgrounds, the center rents nightly yurts and cabins year-round.   Purists can request the Eco-Hideaway, a fully self-contained cabin not connected to utility lines. Electricity is generated through solar- and wind-generating systems, rainwater is collected and filtered for house use and heat is provided via a propane fireplace and heaters.   From May... More

NDP Football

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Youth


Photo Credit: Mike Harvey
“What’s new?”   How many times do we ask — or get asked — that question? Usually, the answer to this most mundane query is an equally predictable, “Not much,” or “Same old, same old.”   Not so at Notre Dame Preparatory, where a flurry of “new” activity demands a complex and fascinating answer.   What’s new at NDP? A new football coach, new football uniforms (sponsored by Nike), new school uniforms (also sponsored by Nike) and a new football field, named in honor of an NDP legend and part of a sprawling sports complex.   Last month, a press release announced that NDP has signed a four-year, head-to-toe agreement with Nike and LIDS Team Sports products.   As the release states, “Nike will be the exclusive supplier of athletic uniforms, sports footwear, apparel and equipment beginning in the 2015-16 school year. In addition to the athletic gear, all NDP students will be decked out in new apparel, as Nike will become the provider of the NDP school uniform... More

Bartlett Lake: Right In Your Backyard

2015-08-01 | ImagesAZ | Inspiration


Being confined to a wheelchair has never stopped Bryan Church from chasing his dreams. Little did he know how big of a leap his dreams would take after a trip to Arizona.   “My brother and I decided to make a trip to Arizona to watch the Cleveland Indians spring training in Tucson in 1980,” he said.   Someone told them about Bartlett Lake, the best kept secret in Arizona, according to Church, and they decided to trek up to Phoenix and check it out.   The lake is the last reservoir on Verde River and fed by a 7,500-square-mile watershed located south of Flagstaff. It heads over east of Payson and the Mogollon Rim and west near Prescott. Back then, the last seven miles of the road to Bartlett were unpaved.   “I just got this vision,” said Bryan, as he described the marina he had pictured in his head the moment he “laid wheels” on the shoreline. So he went home, grabbed his typewriter and wrote a letter to the United States Forest Service about his idea. Three months... More
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