Teen helps Apache Junction shelter with mural

– A high school student went above and beyond when she was assigned a service project, turning a local animal shelter into a work of art.

It wasn’t long ago that Carlee and her boyfriend adopted their special pup Zeus from the Paws and Claws Care Center in Apache Junction. So when the high school student was assigned a service project, she knew just where to go make a difference.

“I came in, and I was talking to Jenny, I asked her if I could collect donations for her paws for Paws and Claws, she said to me what we really need is a mural,” said Carlee Fowler.

Since she’s not an artist herself, at first, the task seemed daunting, but not impossible.

“In my head I’m like ok, I don’t know how to paint, but my dad does, so I’ll talk to my dad, and I’ll talk to my teacher to see if my dad can help me with this project,” said Fowler.

Once permission was granted, Carlee and her crew got right to work.

“It’s amazing and what it does is it falls with our paradigm shift of a government shelter to our current environment of the Paws and Claws Care Center, instead of just a government shelter,” said Apache Junction Police Department Captain Arnold Freeman.

Capt. Freeman oversees operations at the center and says the mural adds excitement to the room among other things.

“It’s inviting, it’s more of a center where you can look at animals, you feel like you are here for the animals,” said Freeman.

As for Carlee, her masterpiece might be complete, but her work here at the shelter certainly isn’t.

“I’m hoping to get more donations for them, I would love to continue collecting for them and raising money for them, I’ll always be open to getting more donations from people,” said Fowler.

Carly says she wants to study veterinary medicine after she graduates from high school.

Source:  http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/arizona-news/118249654-story

Superstition Fire and Medical District begins providing emergency patient transportation Jan 6th, 2016 · by Dave Montgomery

Superstition Fire and Medical District’s new ambulances are 2015 Horton models and will match looks and colors with the rest of the SFMD fleet of emergency vehicles. (Courtesy of Superstition Fire and Medical District)

Superstition Fire and Medical District began a historic new service to the area Monday, Jan. 4. With the addition of five new ambulances into its fleet of state-of-the-art emergency rescue equipment, SFMD paramedics and EMTs will be responding to calls where the transport of critical patients is needed. Less critical, or low-acuity medical transports, will continue to be provided by Southwest Ambulance.

Southwest Ambulance has provided all ambulance service to the citizens of the fire district for the past two decades. But as Fire Chief Paul Bourgeois explains, the environment has changed and it’s opened the door for a new partnership and new service delivery model for the SFMD.

“There is a basic expectation everyone in our community should have – to be transported to an appropriate medical destination in a timely manner when you call 911,” said Chief Bourgeois. “In this new system, we will retain care of our most critical sick and injured patients all the way to the hospital, providing a more efficient and effective service to our community.”

SFMD successfully worked with Rural-Metro Corp., Southwest Ambulance’s parent company, to develop a ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding to capture the spirit and intent of this arrangement.

“The MOU helps to stabilize and strengthen our relationship with Rural-Metro,” said Chief Bourgeois.

SFMD staff was able to present a cost model showing conservatively that the new ambulance service will be fully self-sustaining in three to four years, with total investment recovery and positive revenue within four to five years.

“Our finance division worked very hard to show the Department of Health Services that this will be a benefit to our community,” said Chief Bourgeois.

The new ambulances are 2015 Horton models and will match looks and colors with the rest of the SFMD fleet of emergency vehicles. Each ambulance costs approximately $208,000. We received a $200,000 grant from the Gila River Indian Community for one of them.

The new units are equipped with many new features for both patient comfort and care, and items that will assist the paramedics while treating a patient while in route to the hospital.
Loading and unloading patients will be made much easier based on the latest technology and equipment available. Each new ambulance is equipped with a Stryker Power Pro Cot – Power-PRO XT. This innovative battery-powered hydraulic system that raises and lowers the patient with the touch of a button is coupled with the Stryker Power-Load cot fastener system, which lifts and lowers the gurney into and out of the ambulance, reducing the risk of injuries.

Helping to allow the paramedic to do the work needed in the safest manner possible, the new ambulances are also equipped with liquid-filled suspension springs, providing significant ride and handling performance improvements over conventional steel and air spring suspension systems.

It is also a much more comfortable experience for the patient. With the high temperatures of our summer months to contend with, each unit’s newer air-conditioning technology allows average cool down times of about nine minutes compared to the average 22 minute cool down time in older units.

“We are excited to be taking this step towards providing the very best pre-hospital service anywhere” said the fire chief. “We believe this is the next wave of change adding to the community para-medicine phenomenon that is changing the way fire-based EMS will look.”

If you would like to know more about the SFMD, visit our website or call our offices at 480-982-4440.

Editor’s note: Dave Montgomery is the assistant fire chief and public information officer for the Superstition Fire and Medical District. The SFMD encompasses 62 square miles and serves Apache Junction, the unincorporated areas of Gold Canyon, Superstition Foothills, Goldfield Foothills and Entrada Del Oro.

Source:  http://apachejunctionindependent.com/police-sheriff-fire/superstition-fire-and-medical-district-begins-providing-emergency-patient-transportation/

Pinal County Animal Care and Control Lowering Adoption Rates for December


This dog is not available at the shelter but serves to illustrate the many cute animals that are.

– In a season where kids dream of full stockings hung by a fire, Animal Care and Control Director Audra Michael dreams of having an empty shelter.

“It sounds strange, but an empty shelter would be a good thing for the animals and my staff” Michael stated.  “That would mean all the animals found loving homes and our staff would be given a chance to focus on other items the shelter needs.”

During the month of December the shelter will hold a “Santa Paws” event where adoption fees are lowered for all dogs and cats.

• $75.00 plus license ($15.00 or $30.00) for ANY dog which includes puppies
• $25.00 for any already altered dog (plus license)
• $25.00 for ANY cat
• $10.00 for already altered cats

“Our shelter is full right now and we would like to get these great dogs and cats a home for the holidays,” Director Michael said.  “We are always putting a serious effort forward to avoid euthanizing any adoptable animals.”

The shelter is located at 1150 South Eleven Mile Corner Road and is open M-F from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Saturdays 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  By phone, the shelter can be reached through the Citizen Contact Center at (520) 509-3555/(888) 431-1311.  Adoptable animals can be found at www.petharbor.com.

Economics of adopting a pet during December:

Pinal County Animal Care and Control

• Adoption fee: $25.00 to $75.00
• License fee (dogs only): $15.00 to $30.00
• Vaccinations: Included
• Microchip: Included

From pet store

• Adoption fee: $250.00 to $2000.00
• License fee (dogs only): $15.00 to $30.00
• First shots: $100.00
• Microchip: $25.00-$50.00

Savings from Pinal County Animal Care and Control: $300-$2075.00

“There are all sorts of breeds here at the shelter,” Michael said.  “From your standard average mutt to pure bred.  We have something for everyone from big dogs to little kittens.”

Date: 12/1/2015

Source:  Pinal County website

I Deserve It! GUEST EDITORIAL – Jeff Struble

Jeff Struble is a local Apache Junction Businessman

I find it interesting when people complain about how the government spends money. Then when it is proposed that money be taken away from a government program that they receive benefit from, they are all up in arms about the evilness of the politicians. Or when people complain about the special tax breaks and credits that other people get. Then that same person tries to find a tax break or credit for themselves, because, “by golly, I deserve it”. This is the premise; I deserve it because I am me, and they don’t because they are them. That is what people say no matter their gender, age, economic standing or political persuasion.

This premise is evident in all levels of life. Be it neighborhood, city, county, state or national. People say, “Well I deserve it. I deserve the benefit. I have the right to receive it. I live in the United States, so therefore I am entitled”. This is bogus. You only deserve what you earn. Only in the last 100 years, or so, have we developed this attitude. Before that it was taught and demonstrated that you put in a hard day’s work, you do what you are supposed to do and you will receive the pay that was promised. This attitude has been lost by some. And it needs to be rebirthed. Henry Ford stated, “The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed”.

The people of the United States are becoming dependent on their government to provide things that they can and should provide for themselves. Our founding fathers wrote a magnificent document in 1776, The Declaration of Independence. The purpose was to break ourselves away from a tyrannical king and to make this country free to live, prosper and to only be dependent on ourselves and our neighbors. The fact is that there was a huge disagreement in the late 1780’s when the Constitution was written about the level of power that the federal government should have. At that time is was determined that the only duties of the federal government was to protect us from enemies of our country, ensure a just and equitable commerce between states and to provide for the public welfare.

Obviously there are disagreements as to the definition of each of those duties of the federal government. I am going to focus on the third duty, to provide for the public welfare. The operative word is public. It does not say private. This is because the founders were stressing the need for people to be self-reliant. They were also working under the idea that a person will make choices and they would then have to deal with the consequences of those choices. This is a very basic principle. But as I stated earlier, people are fine with others dealing with the consequences of their choices. It is much easier to blame someone else for the problem.

Public welfare means those things that a government should provide that a charity or private individual or company cannot provide. These are things like, air traffic control, parks, historic monuments, roadways and K-12 schools. Public welfare does not mean utilities, recreation centers, sports complexes, animal shelters, museums or art shows. There can be a healthy debate about things liked busses and local trains/subways because they are a substitute for the roadways.

It is estimated that in 2012 the government granted $700 billion to non-profits to provide services to the public. I say that this is wrong. The government is taking my money and giving it to organization that the bureaucrats deem are worthy. I feel that it would be better spent if the money was not taken from the citizens and they would decide whom to give the money. The argument is that the people will not provide the funds to the non-profits. If that is the case then the people do not want the services provided. There are government agencies and non-profits that are set up to solve a problem that never gets solved because it is job security and a large revenue stream.

We, as Americans, are a very giving people. When we see a need: we provide the money and labor, solve the problem and then move on to the next issue. It is a very basic part of human nature. It is the biblical action of tithing. If each of us were to give 10% of our earnings to the charity of our choice the problems would be well on their way to being handled. People would have personal satisfaction and the charities would be better held accountable. The charities would have a core value of keeping the giving public content. With the government involved they only have to keep a handful of bureaucrats happy. There should never be person or group that becomes wealthy from receiving grants and subsidies from the government to provide services. This is another example of redistribution of wealth.

So what is the solution? It all starts at the local level. We need to elect local officials that will live by the three Constitutional duties: protect us, ensure equal and just commerce and provide for the public welfare. We, as a community, need to organize new and support current entities that service the people in need. As this transformation takes hold on the local level it will spread to the county, state and federal level. This in turn will mean that the government will need to take less and less money from the citizens. Then the people will have more money to provide to charities, provide jobs and spend on private businesses. Think of how we, as people, and the country will be better off.

This action will not be easy. Thomas Fuller wisely said, “All things are difficult before they are easy”. And it will not happen over night. It will take persistence, hard work, sacrifice and a strong leader with a vision. This will need to be a leader with integrity. You will know this person by the guideline that Denis Waitley gave us, “A life lived with integrity- even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come”. Is there a person that you know who may fit this description, be it local state or federal? Is that person you? If you cannot find the leader, then go out and do it yourself. There are people that will follow you if the cause is good, just and honorable.

Jeff Struble

County to dismantle fair commission Nonprofit organization now runs event

Steven King/Dispatch file

FLORENCE –– As part of a plan it set in motion in 2010, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors has taken another step to move away from direct oversight of the county fair.

At a work session Wednesday, the board gave direction to staff to dismantle the Pinal County Fair Commission, which was created in 2011 to oversee the transition of the fair’s control from county staff to a nonprofit organization that reports back to the county. A formal vote will be taken at a future regular session of the Board of Supervisors to complete the process of ending the fair commission.

The goal of the plan to move the fair to nonprofit control a few years ago was to have it become self-sustaining, meaning no taxpayer dollars would be needed to host the annual event. 

Supervisor Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, asked Wednesday what progress had been made toward that end. 

“Since 2011 the number of improvements that have gone on have been a lot more than what would have been had we still been managing it on our own,” answered Director of Open Space and Trails Kent Taylor, who had the responsibility of managing the fairgrounds for a year in 2008 before the transition.

From a financial perspective, the county budgeted more than $500,000 for fair expenditures in fiscal year 2011, but after that, only a total of $200,000 was spent in fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

The decision to get rid of the commission, especially in light of the agreement with the nonprofit Central Arizona Fair Association, which has reporting obligations to the county as part of its contract, was an easy one.

“There’s no reason to have a duplication of two committees doing the same thing, with one doing all the work and the other not doing anything,” Miller said.

CAFA Executive Director Karen Searle said any major decisions on changes to the fairgrounds would go back to the Board of Supervisors even without the fair commission.

“It’s the county’s property and we love it and respect that,” she said.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/oa7hxqd