All of my early Christmas celebrations were spent on the frigid plains of North Dakota, where the festivities commonly involved long underwear, stocking caps with ear flaps, woolen shirts, the scent of freshly cut pine trees, the fragrance of warm apple cider, school kids with squeaky voices…

Renowned Valley Chef Christopher Gross has a 30-year history of award-winning restaurants in the Arcadia area. His personal commendations and awards started early in his career in 1989, after he made Food & Wine magazine’s list of America’s 10 Best New Chefs. He was one of the early reci…

Arcadians don’t have to travel far to experience most of the premiere holiday events this December. Markets, festive walking wine tours, puppy kissing booths and tree lighting ceremonies are just some of the happenings within a 10-minute drive.  

While most of us will be waking up Christmas Day ready to open presents and eat lots of food, many people around the Valley will be waking up searching for their next meal or a warm spot to lay their heads. 

Last month, more than 100 businesses gathered in the warehouse of Arizona Helping Hands (AHH) to learn about making a contribution to the organization’s annual toy drive. In its first year, AHH was able to provide 500 kids with toys and books for the holiday season. This year, the goal is 30…

The youngest of seven kids in a blue-collar family, Joe Pizzimenti learned early that hard work was the formula for success. Growing up in an Italian borough of Detroit, he and his siblings witnessed just how hard their parents worked and they simply followed their example.

St. Theresa’s Boy Scout Troop 147 recently recognized three of its members as Eagle Scouts, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts program. The designation, which only 4 percent of Scouts ever achieve, requires years of hard work and dedication.

Arcadia, we’re back with another monthly discussion on the many points that constitute “sustainability.” Last month, we unpacked that sustainability is – at its core – “Balancing our environmental, social and economic realms to create opportunity, beauty and prosperity.”

As a child, artist Jackie Sorkin had a small obsession with Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Not necessarily Wonka himself, but with the plot of the film: a person who doesn’t come from a lot can still find him or herself with a golden ticket. And Jackie’s golden ticket, it turns out…

Kids and families won’t be left out of 2019’s New Year’s Eve merriment. There are a variety of places, from the Phoenix Zoo to the skating rink, that will be hosting family-friendly New Year’s Eve parties. 

Have you ever had a date with someone who had recently been through a bad breakup? There’s a good chance they were nervous to go through the same thing again. You can practically see the fear in their eyes. In relationships, we call this sort of thing emotional baggage. And it can be tough t…

American painter, illustrator and sculptor Frederic Remington is perhaps best known as one of the most gifted interpreters of the American West. His early work appeared as illustrations in popular journals, but as he matured, he turned his focus to painting and sculpture. In fact, his work i…

It can be tough getting into the holiday spirit when there’s no chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose and no folks here in the Valley dressed up like Eskimos. Then again, as much as I love traditions, why not celebrate the holidays in a uniquely Arizona way?  

How rock music and art is improving the lives of Phoenix teens

Okay, Arcadia. Time to put down the shopping lists, cookie sheets and twinkle lights. The December issue of Arcadia News is in your hands! Take a moment to relax and catch up on what’s going on in the neighborhood. 

August 14 came and went relatively unnoticed for the most part, but it was a special day for a specific group of heroes. These are the Navajo Code Talkers, who played a major role in winning decisive battles during World War II. Although they were instrumental in the victories, their feats w…

Baseball is in Cheri Pierce’s blood. Growing up, Pierce was surrounded by the sport. Her dad coached her brother’s team and she was involved with her hometown league in Darien, IL, where she played as a kid. She was always helping her dad drag the fields – even then, she was involved when it…

Here are some local Veterans Day events to give everyone the opportunity to thank, honor and remember all those who are serving or who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.  

Though she’s quite intelligent, Carol Nalevanko appears to think there are only 25 letters in the alphabet because she always leaves out the “I.” No matter how many times she is asked about herself and her many accomplishments as president of DMB Sports Clubs, she deflects credit or praise a…

Helping others is the life mission of Elisabeth Lewandowski, an Army reservist, mother and wife of a soldier. She started Veteran’s Hands in Action, a faith-based nonprofit, to share the “gifts” she has received with others.

Giving Tuesday is the antidote to a materialistic holiday season. It’s celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a primarily online event focused on donating to non-profits instead of shopping. It is celebrated in 150 countries and grossed $400 million in 2018, according to givingtues…

Don’t you love the perennial cocktail party question: “So, what do you DO?” Insert the standard responses: business, medicine, government, nonprofit. Instead, I think there is a better approach: “Will you tell me more about what impact you create through your work?” The latter opens the conv…

Sam’s journey to starting the Detour Company Theatre began with a simple question. Her developmentally disabled son, who works as the Theatre Arts Coordinator at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, visited her at work one day and asked “When is it going to be my turn?” to be on the stage.

Nonprofit Friends of the Phoenix Public Library (FPPL) was established in 1977, and since then the organization has been fulfilling its mission to promote, enhance and expand the presence of the library for the benefit of the community.

Upon entering the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center guests are immediately greeted by a giant photo of a first-grade class in 1951 at the Phoenix Indian School. With identical uniforms and hairstyles, it is a striking reminder of how students’ identities were stripped from them inside the…

As I was going through the drive-through at Starbucks the other day, I got to the window to pay and the barista informed me that my order had been paid for. Turns out, the car in front of me had bought me my drink. I immediately thought, do I know that person? I mean, why else would a strang…

One-quarter of Americans plan to take an international vacation over the next 18 months, according to a recent AAA Travel survey. Advance travel booking data suggests that many travelers will head to popular European destinations including Rome, London, Dublin and Paris, and warm-weather loc…

Searching for a job anytime is tough. But job searching when you’re unemployed is really tough. Through my work with job seekers, I’ve noticed a trend. Those who are unemployed are much more distressed by the process of job searching then those who aren’t. 

With help from our fine readers, I’ve come across many fascinating topics and unusual collections. Your submissions wind up being a treasure hunt for both of us. Keep those questions coming… 

The international art world, Arizona artists and the local community will intersect for ten days of free entertainment, interaction and inspiration this month when Canal Convergence returns to the Scottsdale Waterfront for its seventh year.

If ever there was a “family-style” dental practice, it belongs to Dick Mason, a dentist who has cared for the Arcadia neighborhood for 40 years. And while proud of the care he has provided his patients, his greatest satisfaction has been in the relationships he’s formed.

Music has long been the driving force in the two-decade career of Mark and Katherine Reckling, who are better known as the reggae and samba music duo Sugahbeat. Regardless of the size of the audience or venue, their deep passion for playing feel-good music with positive vibrations always shi…

On October 19, the Arcadia Osborn Neighborhood Association (AONA) will provide free food and festivities for the neighborhood, in association with G.A.I.N. (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods), a City of Phoenix initiative. G.A.I.N. “showcases the importance of police-community partne…