Big League Dreams in Gilbert

Big League Dreams past one year mark

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The Big League Dreams Park in Gilbert  has received plenty of exposure since opening in January of 2008.  Critics cite the $40 million cost, originally estimated at $26 million, and deteriorating field conditions since opening day. Town officials defend the public/private partnership as a way to attract outside revenue and an alternative to traditional subsidized recreational activities.   Add in the sometimes bumpy relationship with Big League Dreams that operates the park and there is no doubt the first year of operation has been more eventful than anyone expected. Continue reading “Big League Dreams in Gilbert”

Riparian Preserve in Gilbert-a desert oasis

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch serves many purposes

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Synergy is an unlikely word to describe this 110 acre mulit-purpose facility, but it is very fitting.  The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a neighbor to the Southeast Valley Library, providing one of the most scenic libarary views in the city.  The preserve is also home to the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory, which is open every Friday and Saturday evening at nightfall.  The preserve is a bird lovers’ oasis where over 200 different species have been observed.  The lake is  stocked with catfish, trout, bass, and sunfish by the Arizona Game and Fish department.  Less obvious is  the water recycling which replenishes  the underground water supply. All of this comes together to contribute to family fun and entertainment  in an environmentally minded way. And there is no charge to enjoy this unique Gilbert attraction.

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Gilbert: A top place to raise children

Gilbert Arizona recognized as one of Arizona’s best places to raise children

In the November 10, 2008 issue Business Week recognized Gilbert as one of the top places in Arizona to raise children. Obviously, they have their rating system which produced Gilbert as their top pick and makes parents in other towns & cities cry foul.  Knowing the valley pretty well I reflected on the different qualities of each town and instead of questioning their choice, I tried to build a list in my mind of why I would support Gilbert a top choice, even if it was not number 1.

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Rankings of Phoenix Waterfront Homes and Communities Schools

How do schools near waterfront / lake communities rank?

The other day the Tribune featured an article that discussed the number of schools that attained each level of the Achievement Profile as reported by the Arizona Department of Educaton. That made me wonder how the schools that serve the Phoenix area waterfront homes and communities are ranked.  I should have stopped at that point since that simple question led to hours worth of searching, copying, pasting and creating hyperlinks.  The best way to answer the question was to go the Arizona Department of Education website and find the rankings for each elementary school and the corresponding community.  The page School Report Card page is invaluable with the amount of information it contains. Unfortunately, 2007 is the last year for which it will be available.  Starting in 2008, the format is greatly condensed and I believe does not have as much information.  If you want to how the Jr. High and High Schools rank for a specific neighborhood, just e-mail or hopefully you’ll have visited the department’s website and learned how to use this useful tool.  I’m also convinced that what follows is the most complete list of waterfront / lakefront homes and communities for the Phoenix area by city.

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Are there tornadoes in Arizona?

 It’s not a question I’m asked very often, but it is the start of the discussion regarding natural disasters and weather concerns from those considering relocating to the Phoenix area.

Our biggest climate concern? THE HEAT, followed by monsoon storms that can generate occasional high winds, dust storms and intense localized rainfall. The closest we get to a tornado are microbursts which accompany the monsoon storms.  The monsoon season runs from July through August.

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