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April 21 – May 4, 2012 www.SanTanSun.com Downtown Chandler booming


BY MIRIAM VAN SCOTT Business is booming in downtown Chandler, as customers flock to the district’s eclectic mix of shops, eateries and entertainment venues. While other commercial intersections in the SanTan Sun area struggle with sluggish economic conditions, Chandler officials are scrambling to accommodate demand for more space downtown. “We’re at 2% vacancy rate and right


now our biggest problem is finding places to put more businesses,” says Downtown Redevelopment Manager Teri Killgore. “It’s an amazing place and


people want to be here.” This burst of activity is a stark


contrast to other points within the city, where empty storefronts and long-term vacancies plague local retail complexes. “We don’t face the same issues that many Chandler shopping centers have,” says Killgore. “A large part of their vacancies are due to big anchor stores closing or to circumstances unique to their particular locations. We have our challenges too but filling up empty big box stores isn’t one of them.”


SEE Downtown, PAGE 8


A BEAUTY: Spectators flock around the World War II Boeing B17G Flying Fortress airplane named “Sentimental Journey” at the recent Chandler Airport Dayz at Chandler Municipal Airport. Photo by Miachelle Depiano


CURB APPEAL: A valet parking experiment offers downtown Chandler visitors class and convenience. STSN photo Options for distressed homeowners


BY MIRIAM VAN SCOTT Foreclosures and short sales continue to dominate the SanTan Sun area real


estate market, with underwater properties comprising more than half of current residential listings. While these distressed sale options may seem like an easy solution for homeowners in financial trouble, short sales and foreclosures are actually complicated, often risky procedures that can carry serious consequences. “Many homeowners believe that in the case of a foreclosure, if they just walk away


from the home, the lender will take the property back and they will be protected from any subsequent monetary liability,” says Jim Kuzmich, a Gilbert attorney with extensive experience in local real estate transactions. “The impact of a short sale or foreclosure will certainly affect the homeowner’s ability to purchase another home. Federal guidelines currently prohibit homeowners who have engaged in a short sale or foreclosure from obtaining an FHA loan for anywhere from two to five years.” Kuzmich says responsibility for a home remains even after a distressed resident


has left. “Even if the homeowner has anti-deficiency protection for the remaining balance of the loan, the laws will not protect the homeowner from liability to the HOA for unpaid assessments or for any damage that occurs to an abandoned home prior to the trustee’s sale.”


American born Sikhs face intolerance


BY CODY MATERA, ASU JOURNALISM STUDENT Sarv Varta Kaur Khalsa, a naturopathic


physician and sixth generation American, spent five years on the U.S. government’s “No Fly” list. Her crime? Born into the Sikh religion in which all members adopt an identical female or male surname. It didn’t matter that Sikhs hail from India, not the Middle East, nor that Sikhs are persecuted by Muslims, not allied with them. All that mattered is that both the men and women wear turbans. That was enough to get Khalsa, owner of Arizona Natural Medicine in Chandler, grounded. “It was a major hassle,” recalls Khalsa while sitting by the pool of her Chandler Symphony apartment. “I finally had enough and went through the reams of paperwork it takes to clear your name with the TSC (Terrorist Screening Center). It took months.”


SEE Attorney, PAGE 10 SEE Intolerance, PAGE 9


PEACEFUL: American born Dr. Sarv Khalsa follows the Sikh religion, which promotes peace and tolerance. It is not uncommon for those wearing traditional Sikh clothing like Khalsa wears when teaching Kundalini yoga to face slurs and taunts from fellow Americans. STSN photo


F E AT U R E D S TO R I E S Candidates file for open seats . . . . . . . . . COMMUNITY. . . . Page 4 Scrapbooking has evolved . . . . . . . . . . . . . BUSINESS . . . . . Page 22 Perry’s runners stay on track . . . . . . . . . . . YOUTH. . . . . . . Page 27 Bread makers have no time to loaf. . . . . . NEIGHBORS . . . . Page 43 Celebs beam in to conference . . . . . . . . . SPIRITUALITY . . . Page 58


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Community . . . . . . . . 4-18 Business . . . . . . . . . . 21-25 Youth. . . . . . . . . . . . .26-36 Opinion. . . . . . . . . . .37-38 Neighbors. . . . . . . . .43-58 Spirituality . . . . . . . .59-63 AZ Arts . . . . . . . . . . 64-69 Directory . . . . . . . . 70-72 Classifieds. . . . . . . . .73-74 Where to eat . . . . . .75-78


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