Author Archives: Emily Horne

Emily Horne

About Emily Horne

Emily Horne is an intern for AZ Big Media and an undergraduate studying creative writing and anthropology at Arizona State University. After college she hopes to pursue a career in writing.


Top 5 Musicals That Represent An Era

America is well known for its musicals. They are not only entertaining, but are a glimpse into the history of the United States as well.

Here are the top five that have the most to say about America’s intriguing history:


42nd Street

Flickr: by yumiang

Based on the novel of the same name, this 1933 film is set in urban New York during the Great Depression. It is about an unknown chorus girl rising to stardom on Broadway. This musical is what they refer to as a “Backstage Musical.”



Flickr: by Alex Liivet

Set in the roaring ’20s, this film depicts a time of rising crime and gangster activity in Chicago. Based on a play with the same name, the plot was inspired by the true events of the 1924 trials of murderesses Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner from the Chicago Tribune.



Flickr: by ydiggnme

It’s an era of change in this film musical. This was inspired by the 1988 original film and is about the struggle of racial and social prejudice. Tracy Turnblad is a unique leading lady that changes the world with her attitude and dance moves.



Flickr: by Ralphhogaboom

Grease is a 1950′s, rock-n-roll-era musical filmed in 1978. This musical is jam packed with nostalgic symbols from the era such as Elvis Presley, James Dean, Greasers, poodle skirts and leather bomber jackets.


Wizard of Oz

Flickr: by Don Nunn

This musical is based on Frank L. Baum’s novel and depicts the Vaudeville era,  as well as a time that is still trying to recover from the Great Depression. Dorothy’s most well remembered phrase, “There’s no place like home” spoke volumes about the time and continues to impact today’s culture.

AZ News Roundup, Events

AZ News Roundup – Events

Welcome to the AZ News Roundup for April 18th

This week we are focusing on events in Arizona. Some are coming up soon and others have already passed with great success.

Tempe Company to Host “Green” Earth Day Event

In celebration of Earth Day, Renewal by Andersen of Phoenix will host its third annual in-store Earth Day event on Saturday April 23, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its Tempe, Ariz. showroom. The event will include refreshments, activities, product demonstrations and “green” building education. The company will be offering special “energy saving green window package upgrades” and gifts along with a limited time zero percent financing offer. Read More >>

Phoenix Pet Expo offers tips for attendees and their pets!

Pet lovers in the Phoenix area should get their four-legged friends ready for the 2011 Phoenix Pet Expo, Saturday, May 7th, at University of Phoenix Stadium. This free indoor event attracts thousands of pet lovers looking to enjoy a day out with their furry, feathered or reptilian pals! Read More >>

Infiniti of Scottsdale’s First Trackdays Event of 2011

Speed was the name of the game April 3rd on the Firebird’s East Track for Infiniti of Scottsdale’s first IOS Trackdays Event of 2011. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for racing performance-inspired cars, and approximately 65 Infinitis and 85 Infiniti of Scottsdale customers showed up to our event with family and friends! Registration for the next event is already open. Read More >>

Infiniti of Scottsdale supports the Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Infiniti Scottsdale Culinary Festival, Imagen de Hola Gourmet by JlastrasInfiniti of Scottsdale was proud to sponsor this year’s Scottsdale Culinary Festival, where over 24,000 people enjoyed food, fun, and, of course, two beautiful Infiniti cars from Infiniti of Scottsdale! One of this year’s parties at the Culinary Festival was the annual Eat, Drink & Be Pretty event. Read More >>

The Fine Arts String Orchestra to Serenade Moon Valley on May 13, 2011

Scottsdale Musical Arts, KMLA Orchestra by Daehyun ParkOn May 13, at 7 p.m. at Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix, the Fine Arts String Orchestra — directed by Brett Robison — presents works of Tchaikovsky, Elgar and Whitacre. Scottsdale Musical Arts is a performing arts organization in the Phoenix area. Read More >>

Happy Easter!

Summer Spaaah Series, Willow Stream

Arizona Spa Girls Hosts 6th Annual Summer Spaaah Series

Summer Spaaah Series Event, Smartwater

For those interested in having a unique spa experience this summer, Arizona Spa Girls is soon hosting their 6th annual Summer Spaaah Series from May 6th to August 12th. The event series has six separate events to choose from, one of which spans two days at the Mii amo Spa at the Enchantment Resort in Sedona.

Lisa Kasanicky, the founder of, stated that they’re more than just a website.

“Arizona Spa Girls is a portal to all the salons in Arizona, and over the last decade or so we have also been providing beauty and wellness information and spa recipes,” Kasanicky says.

AZ Spa Girls founded the Summer Spaaah Series in the summer of 2006.

“One thing led to another and it became a way to stir up business for the day spas and resort spas during the summer when it’s just so dead,” Kasanicky says. “They could really bond with the local communities.”

Agave LoungeEvent-goers can expect several exciting and de-stressing experiences at every destination. Goody bags – which are the same bags that Oprah used for one of her VIP events – are given to everyone, as well as a “Spaaah” gift certificate that can be used for one full spa treatment at that spa destination within 30 days following the event. Guests can then enjoy the spa and sample treatments in a party-like atmosphere.

“The party is one thing, and it’s really lovely, but having that spa experience is what I’m really trying to get people to ‘get,’” Kasanicky says. “It’s just so awesome; it’s so good for mental health and physical too.”

This year, the Summer Spaaah Series has new spas in their line-up — including Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, the last destination option in the event series, joining them for the first time this year. But Kasanicky is excited about one spa in particular.

“I’m really excited about the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa at Wigwam,” Kasanicky says. “We’ve never had an event there before, and it’s just this beautiful place, kind of hidden.”

Wigwam Tranquility Room

Aside from the Summer Spaaah Series being an opportunity to pamper and de-stress, it also provides a way to give to a great cause. The Fresh Start Women Foundation, an Arizona-based non-profit for women, has been a part of the event series from the start.

“We’ve been working with Fresh Start from the very first event,” Kasanicky says. “It’s just a great fit; it’s a good organization. They’re dedicated to empowering women, and I’m all about that.”

Companies such as smartwater, 44 North Vodka, Girlfriend University, Ganem Jewelers, popchips, Beringer Vineyards, NewBeauty Magazine and So Scottsdale! Magazine are sponsoring the event this year, and many of them have been there in the past.

“Ganem…one of our sponsors…provide[s] a beautiful jewelry piece for the raffle, usually about a $1,000 ring, necklace or bracelet,” Kasanicky says.

Five percent of the ticket price and 100 percent of raffles and funds raised during the events will go to Fresh Start, as well as a percentage of any sponsorship for the event. Each event, with the exception of the destination spa, is $125. Those interested in joining the Mii amo destination spa experience can purchase a ticket for $295, for a full two days with accommodations and activities.

“What I want people to understand is that these events are really value-packed, and we give people so much more than just a spa service,” Kasanicky says. “We educate them, we give them the opportunity to donate to a wonderful organization, and we expose them to all these sponsors and their wonderful products.”

For more information or to purchase your tickets, visit the event website or AZ Spa Girls.

Charity Charms, Helping Hand For Japan

Charity Charms Gives To Japan Disaster Relief With Eco-Friendly Bracelets

Since the devastating events of March 11th, there has been a global effort to help Japan in its time of need. Organizations were immediately formed, each with the intent to provide assistance and resources for the people of Japan. There is still much to be done, however, which is why the Arizona-based retail store Charity Charms is offering its new “Helping Hand for Japan” bracelet.

Charity Charms, bracelet, Japan charm

Charity Charms was launched seven years ago and works with non-profit organizations to help raise funds and spread awareness with an innovative product. Kay McDonald, the creator of Charity Charms, states they have worked with over 250 organizations worldwide.

“We create custom charms for charities using their logo or concept,” McDonald says. “When people wear the charms they help spread the word about the charity.”

All the Charity Charms products are earth-friendly. They only use recycled pewter and sterling silver, and everything is made in Arizona using local non-profits to assemble the jewelry. Twenty-five percent of all proceeds for Charity Charms’ regular products go to the purchased charm’s charity.

The “Helping Hand for Japan” bracelet is a new concept for Charity Charms. Not only do 100% of the net proceeds go to benefit Japan but, for the first time, it is a charm geared towards a disaster-related cause. Kay McDonald and her cousin who lives in Japan, Debbie Howards, collaborated on this effort.

“When we decided that we needed to do something for Japan and that we wanted to do something together, we researched different charities online that would give money back,” McDonald says.

The final choice was the U.S.-Japan Council Earthquake Relief Fund, for which they hope to raise $10,000 in order to support ground services providing immediate relief and long-term building for the Tohoku region of Japan. The GivingBands cost $24.50 individually, but groups and other organizations are encouraged to buy Group Fundraising Packs which include 100 bands and will put $2,000 towards the charity goal. They can be purchased online until June or at local retailers such as WriteOns, Kiss Me Kate and Burland Jewelry.

“The other really important component is that when you wear this bracelet people go, ‘What is that?’ and they ask about it,” McDonald says. “It keeps the issue alive.”

The bracelet consists of two eco-friendly silicone bands, one red and one white, to represent the Japanese flag and two pewter charms attached.

“We used a generic charm which we created ourselves — the helping hand — and added an extra charm that says ‘For Japan,’ ” McDonald says.

The concept behind these charms makes it possible for other organizations interested in spreading the word and contributing to use the band for their own fundraising. The generic aspect of the product, McDonald says, also makes it easy to alter and distribute the product again for future disaster-related efforts.

But McDonald says Charity Charms has a long way to go regarding their progress on the $10,000 goal.

“We hope that people will band together to lend a helping hand to Japan,” McDonald says.

To learn more about Charity Charms and to purchase your own band, visit their website.

AZ News Health

AZ News Roundup – Health & Wellness

Welcome to the AZ News Roundup for April 4th

This week we are focusing on information and services offered for the health and wellness of Arizona residence both in and outside the medical field. They cover resources and information that help improve the mental and physical health of many.


BODY WORLDS & The Brain I Quit! Anti-Smoking Campaign

Arizona Science Center's Anti-Smoking CampaignOn April 11th, the campaign against smoking in Arizona Science Center’s Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS & The Brain is offering free admission for any guest pledging to quit smoking. The American Lung Association and American Cancer Society will be on site to celebrate the launch and inform Arizona Science Center visitors in order to help guests become and stay a quitter. Read More >>


Holistic Healers Directory Offers Free Perks

Part of CloudNine Marketing, Inc., and, is offering the opportunity to those in the field of integrative and alternative medicine to receive a free listing and publish articles pertaining to holistic health and wellness for free. Read More >>


Tucson’s AZ Pest Control Company Launches Pest ID App

AZ PEST, pest control itunes appAZ PEST provides a free app that allows you to simply take a snapshot of the insect or bug you want to identify then use the app to submit it to the Tucson-based pest control specialists, who will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours. It is the first pest company in the U.S. to launch an app like this. Read More >>


Microbiology and Indoor Air Quality Testing Laboratory Expands

EMSL Analytical, Inc., a nationwide leader and local provider of indoor air quality, environmental, food and materials testing has recently moved to a new facility in Phoenix, AZ. The new facility will allow EMSL the ability to add additional service lines to its current offering of microbiology, mold, bacteria, legionella, asbestos and sewage contamination testing services. Read More >>


Oak Creek Ranch School’s 10 Tips For Parents

The Oak Creek Ranch School’s principal provides ten tips for parents to help their children with ADD/ADHD be successful in school. The school’s curriculum and programs are designed to help ADD/ADHD, under-motivated and underachieving teens, ages 12 to 18, accomplish their academic goals while developing valuable social and interpersonal skills. Read More >>

AZ News

AZ News Roundup – Business Innovations

Welcome to the AZ News Roundup for March 29th

This week, we focused our list on the provision of innovative services or products to the Arizona community. Companies are offering new technologies, environments and improvements on past products to promote efficiency and productivity to both businesses and consumers.

New Innovative Directory Service

VirtualdexVirtualdex is an innovative e-marketing resource bridging the gap between you and your online consumers. Their Promise: provide a user friendly environment allowing you to develop, brand and monetize through qualified traffic. Marketing, branding and advertising all obtained from one resource. Read More >>

Smaller Engines are the New Big Thing at Chapman Ford

Chapman Ford offers smaller engines while increasing fuel economy and horsepower. Arizona Ford customers will notice that the Ford Mustang and Ford F Series now provide the most dramatic examples of how new, smaller-displacement engines are delivering levels of performance that in the past could only be obtained with much larger engines. Read More >>

Truckload Carriers Have New Software from Ahern and Associates

Ahern and Associates has announced the completion of a new version of their acclaimed Financial I.Q. transportation software; this time for Truckload Carriers. Ahern’s new software for truckload carriers goes well beyond calculating only cost estimates or benchmarks, it also ensures that the revenues and costs in each P&L are the carrier’s actual numbers. Read More >>

Auto Repair Scheduling Software Helps Shops, Dealers Book Customers’ Summer Maintenance

Online scheduling software from Appointment-Plus is making it easier for auto repair shops, car dealership service centers and similar businesses to efficiently and effortlessly book new appointments. Because Appointment-Plus is Web-based, all that’s required to use the software is an Internet connection, with no downloads, installations, extra hardware or IT support needed. Read More >>

Column5 Consulting Releases Business Analytics Toolkit for the iPadColumn5, ipad case by Yutaka Tsutano

The Business Analytics Toolkit from Column5 provides a one-stop shop for users to gather information about SAP BusinessObjects analytic applications, showing how a company can realize increased organizational effectiveness through use of these solutions. The app is designed to provide the latest information on SAP BusinessObjects analytic applications, including customer stories and related events.  Read More >>

Oliveo Greek Kouzina By Rachel Horne

A Journey of Flavor at Oliveo Grill

I have been to my fair share of restaurants that have served Mediterranean or, more specifically, Greek food. So I can say with confidence what I do and do not like about what I have sampled throughout the years.

The most important aspect for me is the flavor. It has to have the right amount of spices to please my taste buds without overwhelm them. So when I heard about this promising place close to home, Oliveo Grill, I immediately wanted to try it.

Oliveo Grill, Greek Kouzina is a casual, quick-serve Greek restaurant located in Tempe and within walking distance of Arizona State University. They are open for the regular lunch and dinner hours with a reasonably priced menu, as well as open until 3 a.m. for late-night cravings.Greek Bruschetta, Oliveo Grill

My dinner companion and I decided to visit the Oliveo Grill on a Saturday night. We were immediately surprised by the dining choices the area offered us. There were a number of small restaurants that had similar food as Oliveo, so I wondered if I would find something unique there that would make me want to come back again.

Once we arrived, I was drawn in by the warm and fresh colors of the place. The brown and light olive green was welcoming, and there was no urgency to get in and get out, though the employees were ready to take your order to-go. A few tastefully-placed photos on the walls showed scenes of Greece. Despite the small space, it didn’t feel crowded and was instead a relaxing environment where I could enjoy my meal and company for as long as I wished.

We ordered at the door before sitting down. The menu was displayed behind the counter but I almost immediately knew what I wanted as I had been studying and salivating over their menu online. It was difficult to choose an appetizer as we were interested in more than one, but it came down to the one that seemed unique to Oliveo – the Greek Bruschetta.

Lamb Souvlaki, Oliveo GrillThe pita bread was soft and brushed with olive oil underneath the vibrant colored toppings. The tomatoes tasted fresh and while the pesto and cheese were full of flavor it didn’t overwhelm the rest of the dish.

Soon after polishing off the appetizer, our plates arrived.  I had ordered lamb souvlaki with brown rice and Greek fries while my companion had the classic Gyro plate with brown rice and their chipotle hummus. I was unfamiliar with Greek fries and it wasn’t often that I had the opportunity to have a lamb dish, so I was eager to try the two.

I was surprised by the sharp flavor of the Greek fries’ lemon dijon dressing with the parmesan and feta cheese. By the time that I turned my attention to the lamb souvlaki, I was curious as to whether or not I would have a similar reaction. It didn’t disappoint as the seasoning combined perfectly with the well-cooked meat, urging me to ignore the rest of the dish while I continued to enjoy its flavor.Classic Gyro, Oliveo Grill

The Gyro meat was a familiar and great flavor, which was even more improved by the tzatziki included with the plate. When I sampled the hummus, it had a nice kick to it from the spicy chipotle, and the garbanzo bean flavor was fresh. Considering how quickly the service was, it was a delight to see that their food didn’t have that typical “fast food” quality to it and that the flavors weren’t hidden behind grease.

Oliveo Grill is an enjoyable discovery for anyone looking for Mediterranean flavors without the hassle of a more formal restaurant, especially if you want to enjoy your meal in a comfortable atmosphere or even at home.

AZ News

AZ News Roundup – Businesses Giving Back

Welcome to the first installment of our weekly
AZ News Roundup.

Every Friday, AZNow.Biz will be sharing a list of Arizona headlines that have grabbed our attention throughout the week to help keep you informed about what’s going on in our state.

For this first week, we are focusing on news concerning businesses and organizations contributing to the community. Companies statewide are contributing to causes from health to education, all exhibiting a desire to help benefit residents, individuals and specific causes.

Kinetik IT – Top 50 Web Design and Web Development Company in Phoenix is Giving Backkinetik I.T.

Kinetik I.T. is in the beginning stages of launching a program that is based on the concept of coaching employees to become the best-version-of-themselves. The company is also focused on keeping the “entrepreneurial spirit” alive and well within each person of the organization. The program is a multi-step process that will require the dedication of the company as well as its staff. Read More >>

AZ Local Listings SEO Services Sponsors Crohn’s Disease Nutritional Intake News and Products

SEO Brand Management LLC is an Arizona-based internet marketing agency that maintains a variety of online websites, social media, social networks, video sharing channels and integrated high ranking RSS Feed Aggregators that also broadcast information and product updates related to Crohn’s Disease. They provide several Crohn’s Disease nutritional intake products and information that may offer an increase in dietary supplement and essential nutritional intake for those who are afflicted with Crohn’s Disease. Read More >>

Free Books for Arizona SchoolsExploring Eagle Press

Publisher Exploring Eagle Press — which is an independent publishing company located in Surprise, Arizona — has agreed to donate two new copies of their publication, Marshall Explores Arizona, to an Arizona school for each book purchased from them on Read More >> Teams Up with to Create a Free Social Media Management Boot Camp and are working together to create a six-week boot camp to help individuals better understand how to use social media in their business. is the premier artisan marketplace for handmade, fine art, vintage, supply, design and media sellers. Postling ( is a web service that helps small business owners tackle the often daunting task of social media management. Read More >>

Hydrate And Help Find A Curebashas water

From April 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011, Arizona’s hometown grocer will donate 10 cents from every case of Bashas’ water sold to the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Money raised during the three-month promotion will help fund research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Read More >>
McDowell Mountain Music Festival Concert

McDowell Mountain Music Festival Hosts Charity Event

From April 29 to May 1, music lovers are gathering together in the Phoenix area to “party with a purpose” at the 8th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival (MMMF).McDowell Mountain Music Festival Kids

“We started it as a charity element to our construction company Wespac,” says John Largay, founder of MMMF. “We quickly realized it was a three-legged stool: interacting with community, culture and charity.”

All proceeds for the event will go to two Arizona children’s charities, Ear Candy and Phoenix Day Family & Learning Center, which are only the beginning for Wespac Construction as they wish to expand their charity element in the future.

“There’s a huge amount of need out there,” says Largay. “We would like to grow it to include others, but [right now] we have these two.”

The music festival will feature performances for all ages – though some bands are 21+ only – along with a silent auction & raffle, a marketplace with 12 to 15 vendors, a drum circle, an acoustic stage, the Kid’s Zone where there will be arts and crafts, and more.

Many of the artists are not age specific and music genres range from folk rock to dance party music, which fits well with MMMF’s goal to bring music and a diverse culture to its community.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival Concert Day“None of them are well-known artists,” says Largay. “The quality of music, though, is great, and the artists are great.”

Links to the artists’ sites where you can listen to their music and learn more about them can be found on MMMF’s website.

Gates open at 4 p.m. on the first day of the event; Saturday and Sunday activities will begin at 11 a.m.

For more information about MMMF and to purchase tickets, visit McDowell Mountain Music Festival’s website.

Girl reading book, Photo: Flickr, o5com

Intriguing Reads: Memoirs, Diaries And Biographies To Read


The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank

Author: Anne Frank

“Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But happiness in your own heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there, as long as you live, to make you happy again.”

Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father and sole survivor of the family, recovered his daughter’s diary after the war from the small apartment above his old business, where they hid for over two years. The diary begins on June 12, 1942, Anne’s 13th birthday, and tells the story of her family and the Van Daan’s as they lived and hid in that small apartment with little contact with the outside world.


Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson

Author: Greg Mortenson

“The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest.”

Three Cups of Tea is about adventure and philanthropy. Greg Mortenson, a mountaineer, finds himself in a remote village in Pakistani after losing his way and falling ill in 1993. After that, it became Mortenson’s mission to build them a school. It’s a compelling story and an effort to rid the region of poverty and bring education to the children in a fight against a warring world.


Eat, Pray, Love

Eat Pray Love, Photo by 飞鱼Calibre

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

“You are after all what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”

Many will immediately recognize this as “that movie that Julia Roberts was in.”  Elizabeth Gilbert, the character played by Roberts, is a real person though with a real story to tell. This book is an interesting blend of self-discovery and travel.

Gilbert is 32 years old when she begins her journey. She divorces her husband, enters into a relationship with another man, which doesn’t work out either, and then decides to take the next year to travel the world — four months in Italy to eat and enjoy life, four more in India developing her spirituality, and the remainder of the time in Bali trying to balance the two.


Swallow The Ocean: A Memoir

Swallow The Ocean, Laura Flynn

Author: Laura Flynn

“People talk about how fast life can go from good to bad. How one day you’re happy, everything is going fine, and then something happens. Someone dies or someone leaves. There’s an illness or an accident. Life as you know it slips away. But it can go the other way too. You can go from god-awful to pretty OK in a single day. That’s what happened to us, and it was just as jarring.”

This memoir is about Laura Flynn’s life growing up with a paranoid schizophrenic mother. It takes the reader through the dread of having a parent who slowly becomes unhinged and what that can do to a family.  Flynn’s experience is one that readers are inspired by.


Marley & Me

Marley & Me, John Grogan

Author: John Grogan

“He was a big, loving dope of a dog whose defense strategy against intruders would surely have been to lick them to death.”

Who doesn’t like a story about a dog? This true story of a lovable and unique canine, and how he changed a family, has warmed the hearts of many. John Grogan goes into details about life with a dog that any dog owner would find familiar, and yet Marley’s story stands out from the rest. He is a 97-pound Labrador Retriever that had more to teach Grogan and his family than they managed to teach his wild spirit.

Photos: Clean Air Cab, LLC

Clean Air Cab Brings New Charity to Arizona Streets

Many Phoenix-area consumers can now go green as well as give to charity simply by calling a cab.

Clean Air Cab, based in Mesa, has partnered with Phoenix Children’s Hospital to donate $1 of every fare from their charity cab. This vehicle is uniquely wrapped in a Phoenix Children’s theme for the charity.

Clean Air Cab provides eco-friendly transportation. With Arizona’s first carbon-neutral taxicab, Clean Air Cab is cutting down on emissions and giving consumers more miles per gallon. For those looking for a way to be green and charitable, Clean Air Cab is a great way to do so.

The PCH Foundation is the second charity cab that Clean Air Cab has brought to the streets of Arizona.Phoenix Children's Hospital Cab, Clean Air Cab, LLC

“We believe in giving back to the community by creating unique partnerships with Susan G. Komen and, most recently, the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation,” said Steve Lopez, founder of Clean Air Cab. “It’s a great way to help local and national organizations in a clean, eco-friendly way.”

The PCH car isn’t just a temporary charity either. Just like their Susan G. Komen cabs, Clean Air Cab is offering them indefinitely to anyone in need of a ride. Their service extends to Flagstaff and Yuma as well, so more than just the Phoenix area can help.

If you want to contribute to the charity, there are a few things to keep in mind.Clean Air Cab, LLC

“You have to request the cab in order for your ride to benefit the hospital,” Lopez said. “If you would like to pay a donation towards that charity, Clean Air Cab is going to have a charity page on our website in the next couple of months that will collect donations even if you are not riding in one of our charity vehicles.”

For more information, visit or


Local Non-Profit, Phoenix Public Market, Offers Food Connections

All across Arizona, communities are growing nutritionally. More farmers’ markets are opening in cities statewide, and areas that at first had difficulty finding homegrown and fresh food now have more options close by. A driving force behind this change is the non-profit organization known as Community Food Connections (CFC), based in Phoenix, Ariz.

Cindy Gentry, founder and executive director, started CFC in 2002.

Phoenix Public Market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The motivation was to create opportunities for low-income families, in particular to move beyond needing emergency food assistance by creating programs and developing and supporting policies that increase access to healthy food, while supporting local food production and distribution,” Gentry said.

Since its launch, CFC has gained $600,000 to support two food programs for low-income seniors. They have started a farm-to-school program in Arizona and founded the Phoenix Public Market in 2005.

The Phoenix Public Market, much like Farmers’ Markets across the state, is a unique program and currently the largest open-air market in the state. Local, small-scale agriculture and local artists and crafters showcase their work and products at the market.

farmers market, Photo: Mark Caron

“The difference between our market and many of the others is that it is a program of the non-profit Community Food Connections where we are actively working to create jobs, support micro-business development, help keep farmers on the land and create a vibrant gathering place in what has been a blighted area to-date,” Gentry said. “We are working actively to establish a public market like they have in other great cities of the world.”

CFC is in partnership with other non-profit organizations such as Arizona Homegrown Solutions, the Phoenix Permaculture Guild, the Association of Arizona Food Banks, LISC, and St. Luke’s Health Initiatives. Their work and goals are geared towards self-sufficiency rather than the emergency and supplemental support that many other food programs offer.

“Our goal is to help create community food security – focusing on growing the assets of the community to make it possible for every person to have adequate, affordable, safe and culturally-appropriate food at all times that maximize self-reliance and social justice,” Gentry said.

For more information or to contribute, visit


International Sportsmen’s Exposition Arriving In Phoenix

Phoenix Sportsmen's ExpoFor 36 years, fishing, hunting, off-roading and adventure-travel enthusiasts have had International Sportsmen’s Exposition (ISE) events to offer them new products and services — and this month now marks their 11th annual exposition. Over 20,000 are expected to attend the event on February 24-27 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

According to Scott Kelly, CEO of Black Dog Promotions, attendants of the expo should come prepared.

“They should visit first to view lists of exhibiting companies, most of which have hotlinks to website; listings of special competitions available at show; schedule of all seminars and clinics at show, all free to show-goers; list of discount-ticket options, such as coupons,” Kelly said. “The show offers nearly 300 different vendors offering a wide array of outdoor-related products and services.”Phoenix Expo Seminar

The show will include outdoor retailers and product manufacturers, guides and outfitters, and resorts and lodges from across the west coast including Arizona, as well as Mexico, Alaska, Canada and even South Africa.

The International Exposition has been running since 1975 — started by Ed Rice in Eugene, Ore.

“Every person at ISE remains committed to the principles that have made us America’s Premier Outdoor Exposition, selling high-quality trips and outdoor gear,” said Brian J. Layng, the President and CEO of ISE.

In addition, seminars where attendants can learn from experts and competitions — such as the Best of the West Elk-Calling Contest — will be held. ISE provides diverse and exciting activities for both newcomers and experts of any age, so youth and families are welcome to attend.Phoenix Expo Outdoors

Show days and hours are: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Show admission is $15 for adults. Youth 15 and under and veterans with Military ID are admitted free of charge, and parking is free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For more information, call 1-800-545-6100, visit ISE’s website or ISE’s Facebook page.

avnet nyse anniversary

Avnet, Inc. Unveils Sculpture For 50th Anniversary

Avnet, Inc., one of Phoenix’s largest publicly-held companies will unveil a new sculpture outside its global headquarters in Phoenix on Monday, February 7th at 3 p.m. This year will mark the companies’ 50th anniversary on the New York Stock Exchange. For Roy Vallee, Avnet’s chairman and chief executive officer, this means only good things for the company.Duncan Niederauer and Roy Vallee

“There are very few companies that ever reach a milestone of this magnitude, and it speaks volumes about how our employers and leadership team have been able to adapt, innovate and succeed in accelerating the success of Avnet and our stakeholders,” Vallee said.

Vallee will be one of a number of Avnet executives participating in the unveiling. Among the executives attending are Rick Hamada, Al Maag, Ray Sadowski, Harley Feldberg and Phil Gallagher. Dignitaries also scheduled to attend include NYSE Euronext chief operating officer Lawrence Liebowitz and the Arizona artist who designed the sculpture Lyle London.

A sculpture may be a common way to commemorate a significant milestone, but for Avnet there is more personal meaning behind this one. Lester Avnet, who led the company in the 1950s and 1960s, was a well-recognized patron of the arts. The new sculpture will not only be a symbol of business accomplishments but also of a rich, artistic history.

This heritage of the arts and Avnet’s employees and business partners, who have made Avnet a $20B+ leader in technology distribution, will be recognized at the sculpture unveiling.NYSE Bell Ringing

Avnet, Inc. is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology serving customers in more than 70 countries worldwide.

“Driven by the proliferation of technology, profitable organic growth and strategic acquisitions — 115 since joining the NYSE — Avnet has grown rapidly while demonstrating financial sustainability over the last 50 years on the NYSE, and it is well positioned to continue to thrive as an industry leader,” Vallee said.

For more information about Avnet, visit

A3F Film Festival

Filmmakers Prepare for Almost Famous Film Festival 48-Hour Challenge

Executive director and founder, Jae Staats

Filmmakers from Arizona and surrounding states are preparing for one of the largest film festivals in the world this February. Over 80 teams have applied in past years, and the competition for the 7th Annual 48-Hour Challenge is expected to be just as great.

A3F, the Almost Famous Film Festival based in Phoenix, Arizona, was founded in 2005 by executive director Jae Staats and has grown significantly since then.

The film festival’s first event was in February of 2005.

“I had entered a local 48-hour challenge in late 2004 and had a great time, but thought there were some parts of the event I could improve upon,” Staats said.

The improvements Staats had in mind included making the filmmakers the focus of the challenges, hosting educational workshops, involving community leaders and using local establishments. A strong community support was the motivation behind starting A3F, and that motivation has brought them to their seventh year.Audience Member at A3F

A3F’s next challenge is open for registration right now as the challenge is soon to begin on February 18th, with a kick-off party. Guidelines for the challenge will be given to filmmakers either at the party or can be found on A3F’s website once the competition begins. Teams have 48 hours — two days — to complete a one to five-minute film that fits the guidelines.

The challenge is open to local and out-of-town filmmakers and can receive more than 80 applicants.

“We receive everything from home movies to films that go on and play at other festivals around the world,” Staat said. “The winning film from our 2007 festival, Laberinto Inferno, went on to play at Cannes Short Film Corner.”A3F Audience

The top 20 films, selected by a panel of judges, are then viewed in a public screening on Thursday, March 3rd. Anyone is welcome to attend the event, starting at 7 p.m. at AMC Arizona Center 24 Theatres. Tickets are $8, and they are available on the Almost Famous website.

For more information or to register or buy tickets, visit

RealD glasses

Theatres Are Going RealD

RealD 3D eyewear

Photo: Flickr, AleGranholm

What used to be a novelty in the entertainment business is now expected by consumers worldwide. Movies have gone three-dimensional — or RealD as it is now being called — and while a 2-D version of the film is still available for viewing, theaters are offering the 3-D version simultaneously.

The term RealD comes from the leading global licensor of stereoscopic (three-dimensional) technologies. It is with the RealD Cinema System that many consumers now view 3-D motion pictures and alternative 3-D content.

Three-dimensional film has come a long way. It started in the 19th century with a British film pioneer William Friese-Greene, but it wasn’t until 1922 that the first confirmed 3-D film had a paying audience. There was little to no interest in this new development in entertainment, however, until later years.

These days, many who lived through the ’80s and ’90s remember the cardboard and plastic glasses with red and green lenses. They came in magazines with 3-D images, and we put them on to watch the three-dimensional tricks that television shows threw into their programming.

The glasses — along with the filming technology — have  evolved significantly from then. The design of the glasses has been made more fashionable, for one, and the red and green lenses are no longer necessary. It’s almost like wearing regular glasses, and movie theaters make a point to recycle the RealD eyewear.

avatar movie

Photo: Flickr, securecat

Eco-Friendly and more realistic entertainment is what consumers have to look forward to in theater and in the homes now. As technology advances we may have even more to look forward to soon. It is an incredible and unique opportunity that the latest stereoscopic technology has provided us. Sights that were nothing more than 2-D images on a screen are now so realistic that films like Avatar have warnings for viewers who may be afraid of heights.

RealD could help us experience things that are otherwise unavailable to consumers due to physical handicaps or inaccessible locations. The realistic quality of 3-D makes it easier to imagine that what you see is actually there. It has already helped advance fields of science, and, with further distribution, to communities it could help education.