Tempe Community Needs Assessment Workshop

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community input imageThe City of Tempe and Tempe Community Council (TCC) are embarking on a Community Needs Assessment to determine where City resources should be directed for human services.

The Community Needs Assessment will include various methods of gathering input, such as client surveys, a general public web-based survey, key stakeholder interviews, and demographic research and analysis. One of the most critical opportunities for individuals to be included in this process is at the Community Workshop.

“We want to hear from our residents about the needs they see in our community,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “Everyone’s opinion matters, and in this case, we have found that community generated solutions are best. We’re inviting all residents and interested parties to come out and spend a few hours making a real difference for Tempe.”

Who: Tempe residents, business and community members, social service agencies, public/elected officials, and anyone interested in ensuring resources are provided for their neighbors in need.

What: Community Needs Assessment Workshop as it relates to human services

When: Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 from 8:30 – noon

Where: Professional Learning Center at Bustoz, 2020 E. Carson Drive in Tempe

To register for the workshop, visit TempeCommunityCouncil.org. Seating is limited. For questions or comments, please contact TCC Community Impact Manager, Caterina Mena, at caterina_mena@tempe.gov or 480.858.2311.

About Tempe Community Council Tempe Community Council brings our community together – including government, nonprofits, faith groups and residents – to provide support to Tempeans in need, to plan for present and future needs, and to build a lasting foundation for future generations.

Strings and Ballerinas Grace the TCA Theater


logoHayden’s Ferry Chamber Music Series presents “Strings and Ballerinas” at the Tempe Center for the Arts Theater, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2:30 p.m.

The program features cellist Peter Wiley, violinist Nikki Chooi and ballerinas Dona Wiley and Claire Mazza as they pair chamber music with original choreography in a salon style concert.

Peter Wiley, Curtis Institute of Music professor of cello and former member of the Guarneri Quartet and Beaux Arts Trio, is the co-founder of Opus One and an international performer. Dona Wiley works with the Manhattan-based contemporary ballet company Ballet Inc. and is the daughter of Peter Wiley.

Nikki Chooi, 2013 winner of the Michael Hill International Violin competition, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. Claire Mazza trained at the School of American Ballet and has danced with Brooklyn Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Connecticut Ballet among others.

Dona Wiley grew up in a family with passions for music and dance. She first learned to play the cello. When her focus turned to dance, she and her father collaborated on presenting professional shows together.

“We do the concerts simply because we enjoy them and we enjoy each other,” says Dona. “It’s the type of project where the musician’s interpretation of a piece can be just as important as the choreographer’s.”

The Wiley family founded CelloPointe in 2010 to further collaborations between musicians and dancers. From classical to modern, they work with other musicians, dancers and choreographers to create programs that attract both music and dance audiences.

Adult tickets $25 include a wine reception with the artists following the performance. Students tickets $10 with ID. TCA Box Office: 480-350-2822  http://tca.ticketforce.com/   www.haydensferrychambermusicseries.org

Featured Business: Design Artists of America

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Business name:

Design Artists of America



 Type of business:

Interior Design and Staging

 Please describe your business:

Residential, Commercial and Hospitality interiors. We provide Design, Space Planning and Staging throughout the United States and Mexico.

Professionally staged homes and businesses historically sell for up to 17% more than those that are vacant.

 What made you decide to start it?

Over 40 years in this industry and still loving it!

 What has been your hardest challenge?

Designing a home for a client who was totally blind. Being able to describe every detail and color in terms that made sense on a completely different level.

 Do you have a signature product or service?  If so please describe.

Being able to meet the NEEDS of my clients as opposed to having a specific know style. I don’t believe a designer should be known for a particular style as the client is going to live with the design.

Is there any special offer you would like to offer Tempe Thought’s readers?

Tempe residents will receive our Friends and Family discount of 50% off our normal hourly design rate.

Is there anything else you would like potential customers to know about your business?

We are anxious to design a space for you that will make you want to brag about the design and space efficiency.

 Hours of operation:

By appointment.



If you would like to see your business featured on TempeThoughts.com for FREE – please click here.


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Shana Ellis throws her support behind Robin-Arredondo-Savage for Council

shana ellis

shana ellis

“Dear Friend,

From the beginning of my public service on the Tempe City Council, I kept one goal in mind:  always do what’s best for Tempe.  In honoring my goal, I will formally ask the Tempe City Clerk to remove my name from the 2014 general election ballot.

Political campaigns can often turn into divisive fights that harm communities and ruin friendships and alliances.  I hope my action today will prevent that from happening and allow people to spend their energy on doing what’s best for Tempe.

I have had the honor of serving on the Council for the past eight years.  I am very proud of what we have accomplished: the introduction of light rail; stabilized municipal finances throughout the Great Recession; made tremendous strides in affordable housing; started our first sustainability initiative; the advent of character areas; and, the successful passage of a bond initiatives to fund badly needed infrastructure throughout Tempe.  We have done what’s best for Tempe.

Because of our hard work, we are now seeing over $1 billion in investments, more quality jobs and the ability to invest more in our neighborhoods and parks.

I have had the pleasure of serving with Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage for the past four years.  While we sometimes don’t agree, generally our differences have been small.  Asking the community to choose between two council-members who often have the same ideals makes no sense.

It is with this in mind that I will be offering my support to Robin for the third seat in this election.  I also ask my supporters to join me in the same.

To my friends and supporters, I have nothing but heartfelt appreciation for your support and the time, energy and passion you have given to our City and me.  I have great faith in our new Council and the work that they will do for the future of Tempe.  I am confident that my decision today is in Tempe’s best interest and reflects my deep love and passion for the community where I grew up.

Thank you,


Hello Tempe, Hello… Rain?


All night it rained. And rained. And rained. And just when I thought it might stop, it rained some more.

The thunder was magnificent, loud, and consistent, pounding the sky. It was as if the heavens decided it was time for some sort of nocturnal Taiko drumming exhibition. Each clap vibrated through the walls, set off car alarms in the lot outside my window, and kept a good night of sleep seemingly just a couple of inches from my grasp.

Since I arrived in Tempe in mid-August, it has been scorcher after scorcher. Tempe brings the kind of heat that makes simple tasks, like walking to the grocery store or going to the leasing office to sort out a maintenance request, a hellish ordeal (pun intended). To look down and see anything less than triple digits on my weather app is a cause for celebration.

So the rain, while glorious, while massive, while record-breaking, was sort of a confusing ordeal.

A cold and rainy Tempe?

It was just so weird. Throughout the morning, the drops continued to make their way down our walls and windows. The news filled up with images of flooded neighborhoods and highways. Governor Brewer declared “a state of emergency” as the valley continued to flood.

“Wow,” I thought to myself. “I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere that’s in a state of emergency.”

Schools were evacuated, classes (for the fortunate few) were canceled, and temporary shelters were set up. National and international news organizations began posting about the massive flooding.

For my first few weeks as a full-time Tempe resident, the weather often resembled a Corona commercial with the thermostat turned up. The world was one big tanning bed and it was a failed day if you didn’t spend some of your time in a pool. Thank God for air conditioning.

But now, with the city less than equipped to handle the storms, Tempe looked like an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

Rainy days produce idyl time. So my roommates and I did the usual rainy day routine: soup, video games, and TV, mixed in with a fair bit of daydreaming.

Eventually, the rain faded and my buddies left for class.

Tired of spanish homework and re-runs of HBO Hard Knocks, I ventured out onto our porch.

Our view, usually of a nice park full of frisbees, cricket bats, and the jubilant shrieks of people at play, had turned into this:

Our New Lake

Our New Lake

The panorama shot makes it tougher to see, but basically we were now the owners of waterfront property. A massive body of water had formed thanks to the large quantity of rainfall, the odd shape of the park, and lack of drainage within it. It was a staggering site.

A couple of nights before, we’d tossed the frisbee around right in the middle of where all that water stood.

“If we were to do that right now,” I thought, “I’d need a snorkel.”

The park was barren and empty. Trees and light poles were partially submerged and their reflections shined in the water.

The sun peeked its head through the clouds and inspiration struck. It was time to capture the state of Tempe.

Scotty Bara (my roommate and fellow northern California native) and I hatched a plan. I spent the next hour (yes, an hour) inflating a raft and brainstorming. When Scotty came home, we worked out some of the details and headed down the steps.

With idiotic grins on our faces, a yellow raft, some props and a go-pro camera, this is what we came up with:





It was a fun time. While I have yet to walk on water, I can now say I’ve floated on rain. Scotty and I sat atop the monsoon for a solid 10-15 minutes, gathered our thoughts and worked on our tans (which clearly could use some work).

We eventually packed our stuff up and headed up to our place. A couple of minutes later, we posted our pictures (big shout @ASUConfessions) and were off to class.

Just another day in Tempe, I guess.

Community Council’s head, Kate Hanley, speaks Thursday to Kiwanis Club of Tempe

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KATHERINE “KATE” HANLEY, executive director of Tempe Community Council, will speak Thursday, Sept. 4, to the luncheon meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Tempe, which meets at Shalimar Country Club restaurant, 2030 E. Golf Ave., just north of Southern at Country Club Way.
Kate leads a city agency that works with the city government in assuring that human needs are met through agencies that get some of their funds from the city through the Agency Review Project. She joined TCC in 1989 and was assistant director before being named executive director in 1997, succeeding Dr. Mary Lou Burum. Kate was a finalist this year for Businesswoman of the Year by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce. TCC’s board has included many Kiwanans and others who have served on its staff. TCC founded and sponsors the Don Carlos Humanitarian Award, along with the Spirit of Karma Award and a philanthropy award that goes this year to Kiwanis Club of Tempe.
Meeting of Kiwanis are open to the public. Meals are $14. Kiwanis, which calls itself “Tempe’s Club of Club,” was founded in 1952 and carries out service project and supports many youth programs. For more information, seek “Kiwanis Club of Tempe” on Facebook.

Arizona Pro Arte “Mystery Music Box” at TCA

Timothy Verville conducts the Arizona Pro Arte ensemble
Timothy Verville conducts the Arizona Pro Arte ensemble

Timothy Verville conducts the Arizona Pro Arte ensemble

Bach? Tchaikovsky? Brahms? Arizona Pro Arte ensemble presents a “Mystery Music Box” concert performance, Sept. 6th, 7:30 p.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Audience and followers of conductor Timothy Verville were recently asked to vote for various classical composers and selections. The voting is over and the winning choices will be performed at the Sept. 6th concert.

“We think our audience has great taste,” said Verville, “so we left it up to them to pick what we play.” After most concerts Verville can be found in the lobby connecting and speaking with audience members.

Arizona Pro Arte (APA) is a felxible ensemble model for innovation in the performance of classical music. APA musicians, when not performing Arizona Pro Arte, can be heard with the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera and other professional organizations.

APA is know for creating collaborations between performing arts and visual arts. On Oct. 25th APA will bring back to the TCA “A Symphony of Horror” with music set to the 1922 silent film Nosferatu. 

For tickets: TCA Box Office 480-350-2822  tca.ticketforce.com


VOTE in the Tempe City Council Election straw poll

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By voting in our straw poll for who should be elected to the Tempe City Council you receive the chance to win a $50.00 gift certificate to a local Tempe coffee shop.  Want to learn more about the candidates?  Each week they have been answering a question posed to them by our readers.   Tempe Thoughts is your source for what is happening in Tempe. Become a subscriber today to our weekly newsletter.

Click here to vote

Tempe events this week-TCA Fall Arts Kickoff

Tempe Center for The Arts

Head to the Tempe Center for the Arts this week for their fall preview of upcoming events and a brand new music event,  Tempe Rocks: Live, Local, Legendary featuring some of Arizona’s great bands.

Visit the Tempe Tourism Office Calendar of Events, or call 480-894-8158 to view a complete listing of Tempe events.