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March 19 - April 1, 2011 www.SanTanSun.com


Relentlessly local coverage of Southern Chandler and our neighboring communities s Property tax increase on horizon by Miriam Van Scott


A proposed rise in property tax rates is under consideration by the Chandler City Council after recently released assessments show a 20 percent drop in total residential and commercial real estate valuation, resulting in plummeting property tax revenues to the city. To make matters worse, offi cials acknowledge that even if a tax rate hike is implemented, Chandler is still likely to face a signifi cant budget shortfall that will impact city programs and services for years to come. “The rate increases being considered are for bond- funded capital projects,” explains Craig Younger, public information offi cer for the City of Chandler. “If the rate is not increased, capital maintenance – things like street repaving and park repairs – will be deferred further and no new improvements or facilities will be constructed for nearly fi ve years.”


The only possible exceptions would be projects fi nanced through alternate means, such as roads built


ICAN Fun Run, 5K March 26


Family Fun Run & 5k STSN photo


TAXING: Chandler homeowners face higher tax rates but lower valuations as the city grapples with plummeting property tax revenues.


with federal or state grant funds or wastewater facilities that generate user fees. Everything else would be put on hold for the foreseeable future.


“We’ve already deferred over $600 million in capital projects over the past two years,” says Chandler Management Services Director Dennis Strachota. “Assessments have dropped about 40 percent the past few years, and some previously planned projects had to be pushed out for as much as six years or more.”


See Property tax Page 6 Growing a successful local chain by Alison Stanton


Todd Carey took a mom and pop-type restaurant and expanded it to a successful regional chain in the southeast Valley.


STSN photo by Gordon Murray


EXPANDING: The newest addition to the Uncle Bear’s Grill & Bar is in the Shops at Pecos Ranch at Dobson and Germann in Chandler.


Top cop aims to help at-risk youth by K. M. Lang


Chandler Police Cmdr. Edward Upshaw still remembers the day nearly 20 years ago when his boss approached him with an unexpected request.


“Chief Bobby Joe Harris brought me into his offi ce and sat me down, and he says, ‘Hey, there’s a new organization in the City of Chandler, and I want you to join their board of directors.’ I said, ‘What does this group do, Chief?’ and he said,


‘Well, they work with at-risk youth and gang members.’”


“I looked at him like he had a third eye,” chuckles Upshaw. “I was newly assigned as the sergeant over our special enforcement team, or gang unit and my job was to eradicate gangs from Chandler – that was my mentality. But he’d asked me to do it, and I did it.”


Commander Ed Upshaw See Top cop Page 14


Census shows Chandler 4th in AZ


Community Page 4


Rio Salado goes beyond


Business Page 15


Thunder sounds at CCA AZ Arts Page 23


Prime Time flag football


Neighbors Page 43


Clip it! Center spread


Ten years ago, Carey, who lives on the Gilbert/ Queen Creek border, opened the fi rst Uncle Bear’s Bar & Grill in Gilbert. Today, with a subtle name change to Uncle Bear’s Grill & Bar, there are two more, including the newest on the northeast corner of Dobson and Germann roads in Chandler along with a Tex-Mex restaurant that is part of the operation.


See Local chain Page 12


More than 250 runners, walkers and others out for a stroll are expected at the 4th Annual ICAN SanTan Sun Family Fun Run & 5K on Sat., March 26 along the Paseo Trail at Tumbleweed Park in Southern Chandler. The cost is $15 per runner or $30 per family. Children younger than 6 are free. Corporate running groups are encouraged from area businesses, such as Catholic Healthcare West, which is sponsoring 40 employees in the run.


It’s a fundraiser for ICAN, a 501(c)(3) Chandler nonprofi t that provides out-of-school time, research- based programs for youth at risk. The event is suitable for families, children, adults, seniors and serious runners and includes a 1.8-mile section for the fun run as well as a timed 3.97-mile race. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The timed 5K portion begins at 8 a.m., and the Fun Run starts at 8:10. A scavenger hunt to locate a variety of items along the trail will also be available for children.


“It’s all for the ICAN kids,” explains SanTan Sun News Publisher Laurie Fagen, whose company is co-sponsoring the event. “All nonprofi ts have been hit hard in the recession, but ICAN is such a worthy and necessary organization to help make our youth productive and responsible citizens.” Christy McClendon, MSW, is chief executive offi cer of ICAN.


“ICAN means creating hope and opportunity for youth of our community,” she says. “I feel privileged to serve as the CEO of an organization that is truly making a difference and strives for excellence in service to our youth and families.”


Good Food Market in the Promenade at Fulton Ranch will provide fruit and goodie bags, and Powerade will give drinks at the fi nish line. 360 Vantage, which is celebrating its 5-year anniversary, will give away food and drinks at the Fun Run. They will also accept and match donations to ICAN to help revitalize their computer lab.


Local businesses will have information tables before and after the run, including Apex Chiropractic, Advanced Back and Neck Care of Ocotillo, Blacker Orthodontics, Aspen Orthodontics, Mona Vie, Rush, Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios, SWIMkids USA, Relaxing Touch Massage, Solaris Dental and Solaris Medical. Honda Superstore of Chandler will have a


See ICAN Fun Run Page 10 INSIDE


Business . . . . . . . . .15-22 AZ Arts . . . . . . . . .23-32 Things to do . . . . . . .33-34 Opinion . . . . . . . . . 36-37 Neighbors . . . . . . . .43-53 Youth . . . . . . . . . . 56-65 Spirituality . . . . . . . 67-69 Directory . . . . . . . .70-72 Classifieds . . . . . . . .73-74 Where to eat . . . . . .75-78


Coupons Inside SAVE MONEY


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