On September 9th, Royal Palms Resort and Spa re-opened the highly acclaimed T. Cook’s restaurant. Highlighting Executive Chef Paul McCabe’s creative interpretation of New American cooking, the Mediterranean-inspired design and architecture; the restaurant is introducing a new culinary and overall guest experience while remaining loyal to the treasured, timeless atmosphere guests have come to know and love.
The refreshed T. Cook’s design, led by Haley Balzano, founder and architect of Phoenix-based creative design team Bar Napkin Productions, emphasizes a more vibrant color scheme, authentic design elements, an interactive kitchen, the remodeled private dining room “Delos” and a glass-enclosed wine and tequila tasting room. New boldly-colored chairs surround rustic wooden tables adding depth and diversity to the new dining room, while iron chandeliers create a sense of intimacy and stimulate an experience of romance. Al fresco dining can also be discovered at T. Cook’s with intimate patios and nooks, including a new private dining element found within the property’s historic Orange Grove.
Simple yet polished, the new dining menus, created by Executive Chef Paul McCabe, honor classical techniques while utilizing locally-grown and sustainably raised foods whenever possible. Chef McCabe has established relationships with a wide range of local purveyors, farmers and artisans, including McClendon’s Select, Singh Farms, Noble Bread and Hayden Flour Mills.
“The menu is designed to be more social and approachable, while incorporating cooking techniques that reflect the evolving culinary scene in Phoenix and beyond,” says McCabe. “Our dishes are inspired by seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, with some of the freshest growing right in our backyard. T. Cook’s new edible gardens have been an ongoing project this summer that will have come to fruition in September. We’ll be handpicking everything from vegetables and citrus, to herbs and select seasonings.
Referencing the seasonal spirit of the Mediterranean, Chef McCabe also meticulously sources the richest of ingredients for fresh fish from the bountiful Basque Coast and Spanish ports, to sardines from the heart of Sicily. T. Cook’s culinary philosophy of magnifying the purity of fresh, seasonal ingredients is a celebration of its own treasured legacy. This respected tradition lives on at T. Cook’s with Chef McCabe at the helm.
Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, T. Cook’s new menus aim to be both approachable and intriguing. Breakfast and brunch offer a range of healthful dishes to more indulgent items.
W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has added to its healthcare and medical center expertise with the conclusion of its work on the plumbing system at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Movement Disorders Clinic at St. Joseph’s Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix.
W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling was the responsive low bidder of the plumbing system on the remodeling project, including testing and certification.
Kitchell served as the general contractor on the project.
The Barrow Neurological Institute is part of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, the largest hospital in the Dignity Health system. Barrow has been one of the preeminent centers for specialty neurological care in the United States for more than four decades.
The healthcare industry continues to be a strong construction segment for W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, as the company has recently been contracted for design/build services at the Veteran’s Administration’s Southeast Healthcare Clinic in Gilbert, St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center in Glendale and La Loma Village assisted living complex in Litchfield Park and a completed project at the Orthopedic and Spine Inpatient Surgical (OASIS) Hospital in Phoenix.
“We have been selected by a number of general contractors to work on some of the most prominent hospital and healthcare centers in Arizona,” said Kathryn “Kitty” Maloney-Langmade, president of W.J. Maloney Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.
“Our team is proud to be able to continually deliver outstanding construction services on these projects that have such a positive impact on each of their respective communities.”
On Wednesday, February 22, the Republican party held their primary debate here in Arizona. I ventured out into deep Mesa to cover the debate, but since I couldn’t actually get into the building, I decided to walk around outside the Mesa Arts Center, where a large, outdoor viewing party was being held. There were plenty of journalists there reporting on the debate, so instead of writing a conventional news story, I decided to record a running diary of my time at the event. Pics are at the end of the post.
5:02 pm – Paul supporters out in full force today.
5:12 pm – Political events have the best people watching.
5:16 pm – About 50 percent of the crowd is vocal Ron Paul supporters. So far I have only seen a small number of people #SpreadingSantorum or showing support for the other two candidates.
5:21 pm – There is a large number of protesters here to support the DREAM Act, a legislative proposal that would provide amnesty for illegal immigrants. For the rest of this piece, I will refer to these protestors as “the DREAM Actors.”
5:25 pm – The city of Mesa hired a band to perform on stage before the debate starts. They’re trying really hard, but no one is listening.
5:40 pm –The DREAM Actors are now marching, while chanting “Sí se puede” and “We’re not afraid.” I have a feeling that immigration is going to be a hot topic at tonight’s debate.
5:45 pm – I just came across some demonstrators imploring the candidates to, “Please free Syria.” Sorry bros, maybe if you guys had more oil …
5:41 pm – There are also a small number of people here to support the #Occupy movement. I wonder if they know that Warner Brothers (a major corporation, man!) gets a cut from every single Guy Fawkes mask they buy.
5:51 pm – “Tonight we will get clear and concise answers from the candidates…” HAHAHA! Good one, J.Brew!
5:53 pm – Arizona Republican Party Chairman Tom Morrissey comes up on stage to ask us if we love our country, and then to lead us through the Pledge of Allegiance. But before we begin, he reminds us that there is no pause between the words “one nation” and “under God.” Thanks for the tip, Tom!
5:55 pm – The MC for the outside crowd instructs us to cheer wildly whenever they point the camera at us. “Get up, cheer, jump around, send gang signs… I mean, no, HAHA, don’t do that!” Are you sure you don’t want to see my gang sings, CNN outside party MC? I want to represent my crew. #westside
6:00 pm – “This is CNN.” LET’S DO THIS.
6:01 pm – THIS DEBATE COULD CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!! At least that’s what CNN says could happen. CNN gives all the candidates a pro-wrestling style intro. Ron Paul’s is by far the lamest.
6:01 pm – During the introductions, Newt gets some polite applause; Romney and Santorum get a few cheers from the crowd outside. Paul has the loudest supporters.
6:04 pm – In the first answer of the debate, Rick Santorum says that he would cut Medicaid and food stamps, but not military spending. But hey, don’t criticize him. Rick is a good Christian man, and I’m pretty sure he’s just following what it says to do in the Gospel.
6:11 pm – Right now, Santorum is getting hammered on his voting record. It must be hard to get elected president after spending many years in Congress. Even the smallest and most routine votes can come back to haunt you.
6:12 pm – People outside keep applauding the comments like the candidates can hear them. Inside the Mesa Arts Center, Newt Gingrich has just informed the crowd that today is the 280th birthday of President George Washington. #historian#knowledgeBombs
6:14 pm – Gingrich’s big stumping point for this debate seems to be energy and gas prices; he has already mentioned it a few times. Also, there is a large man in a chicken suit standing right behind me. I don’t know what he wants.
6:16 pm – The chicken man is standing so close I can feel his breath on the back of my neck. #veryuncomfortable
6:17 pm – Ron Paul continues to get the loudest cheers. He tells the audience that we need to stop all foreign aid because it is a waste of money and it helps our enemies. But what about programs like the Peace Corps, or emergency food/medical services? That might make a good follow-up question, John King.
6:21 pm– Romney is bragging about deporting illegal immigrants while he was Governor of Massachusetts. The DREAM Actors protesting outside do not like this. Also, I have to wonder why the moderators allow the crowd inside the Mesa Arts Center to cheer/applaud during the debate. This has happened at every single Republican debate. It makes the candidates to pander to the crowd and it wastes time.
6:37 pm – Wow, a good follow-up question about the managed bankruptcies and the auto industry by John King. See I knew you had it in you! Still, I’m pretty disappointed with the types of questions I’ve been hearing throughout the Republican Primary. <rant> It seems like the reporters/journalists are covering the campaign like it’s a horse race; they’re not concerned with the actual issues. The news media is only searching for buzz-worthy, marketable, thirty-second soundbites; they let the presidential candidates spout of the same talking points, over and over again, unchallenged. No one ever asks the candidates about how that will actually make their plans happen, or speculates about the possible ramifications if the Republicans succeed </rant>.
6:42 pm – We’re still on the topic of the auto bailouts. Ron Paul is insisting that politicians shouldn’t meddle in corporate bankruptcies, because they can’t figure that kind of stuff out. Are politicians stupid? Does that mean we should start electing smarter people?
6:50 pm – All the Republican challengers seem to agree that President Obama has launched a vicious attack on religious freedoms in America (via contraception). Is Obama the next Maximilien Robespierre? #reignofterror
7:03 pm – Santorum and Romney keep blaming each other for causing Obamacare. Santorum says that Obamacare was based on Romney’s state healthcare plan in Massachusetts, while Mitt claims that Obama’s bill never would have passed through Congress if Santorum hadn’t indorsed Senator Arlen Spector (who voted for the bill after he was re-elected). Which Republican presidential candidate do you think deserves the credit for overhauling the American healthcare system?
7:04 pm – The crowd outside lustily boos Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio when he is introduced during the debate. They must have had a bad experience at tent city or something.
7:13 pm – Newt Gingrich loves Ronald Reagan. He loves Ronald Reagan more than you ever could. He wants you to know that.
7:14 pm – During commercial breaks, the CNN crew keeps asking us to cheer when they put us up on the big screen. Why do they need our cheers so badly? Are they terribly insecure, to the point where they need constant reassurance that they are doing a good job?
7:20 pm –The DREAM Actors and Ron Paul supporters have crowded around the CNN cameras. Their signs are partially obscuring the big screen, which is angering other people in the crowd.
7:26 pm – We are now on the topic of Iran and nuclear weapons. If you listen, you can hear the drums of war beginning to beat. This is getting the Ron Paul supporters and traditional Republicans fired up, but for very different reasons.
7:31 pm – You can tell people are into the debate when they loudly muttering their own personal commentary. It isn’t the least bit annoying. #sarcasm
7:47 pm – During the last commercial break, two men start chanting Romney’s name. No one else joins in and they quickly stop.
7:52 pm – Gingrich and Romney refuse to answer John King’s final question. They instead use the time for a closing argument about why they should be president. When John King tries to protest, Romney slaps him back down #WHO’SYOURDADDY
7:55 pm – It’s over. Time to get out of here.
Final Take: During the debate, new frontrunner Rick Santorum boxed himself in by pointing out that he voted for large bills and packages that he didn’t believe in, such as Title X, which is not popular among the Republican electorate. He portrays himself as a principled Washington outsider, but by admitting and trying to defend the fact that he played the political game, Santorum lost a lot of his credibility. Honesty gets you nowhere in these debates. I expect Mitt Romney will get a boost over the next several days.
Although the New Hampshire Primary is scheduled to be held on the second Tuesday in March, it hasn’t been held in March since back in the ’70s. New Hampshire is proud to hold the first Presidential Primary Election every four years. By state law, the New Hampshire Secretary of State has the authority to schedule the primary as early as is needed to ensure it will be the “first in the nation.”
Occurring one week after the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire primary is considered to be another important litmus test that can make or break a candidate. Like Iowa, winning isn’t everything, and outperforming expectations are a better gauge of success. In the modern era, it is almost as common for the New Hampshire second place finisher to go on to be their party’s nominee as it is for the winner.
At times, this process can seem silly. In New Hampshire this year, Mitt Romney won the Primary and declared victory. Ron Paul took second place, and then declared victory. Jon Huntsman got third and also declared victory. The only people not declaring victory were claiming either, “I didn’t campaign in New Hampshire so it doesn’t matter,” or “This result won’t make me drop out of the race.”
So the Republican Primary after New Hampshire has the same plotline; Governor Mitt Romney is the front-runner, and the rest of the candidates are competing to see if anyone of them can rise up out of the pack to be the sole contender against him. Their problem is that they are already running out of time.
Rick Santorum barely missed winning in Iowa by eight votes and seemed poised to be that main contender. One week later in New Hampshire, he finished in fifth place. The talk-show pundits barely mentioned him in the post-primary analysis. It is a good example of how these early primaries can build you up and then break your heart.
Romney’s win is impressive because he is the first non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire.
Next up in the process is the South Carolina Primary on January 21 and then the Florida Primary on January 31. If Romney wins South Carolina, he will pretty much be unstoppable. The race for second place is meaningless, and then there is even more good news for Romney. If he does well in South Carolina and Florida, the series of primaries that follow in February are Maine, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona and Michigan. Of those six, Romney won five of them in 2008, only losing to John McCain in Arizona, McCain’s home state.
The real story to keep watching is the “nasty” factor. Newt Gingrich has been very vocal about the attacks that have come at him from Romney and his supporters. There are some very hard feelings between these two, and Gingrich is vowing to fight. He is reported to have 3.5 million dollars to invest in the South Carolina Primary and is expected to spend a good chunk of it going after Romney. The Republican attacks on each other could be extremely harmful for the eventual nominee. The mud they sling at each other doesn’t go away and is being seen by the president and his campaign team. It has happened before. In 1988, republican nominee George Bush Sr. defeated democrat nominee Michael Dukakis. A work furlough program that Dukakis supported as Governor was the most incriminating attack against him and inspired the infamous Willie Horton television ads. This issue was originally raised by then candidate Al Gore in the Democratic Primaries. The Republicans remembered the issue and used it to their advantage.
The Republican contest hasn’t changed much in the last twelve months, but the hopes are fading for an anti-Romney candidate to rise up and unify the far-right.
Last year was a busy year for the Republican candidates for president; it seemed as if they had a thousand debates. There was all the talk about who was running and who wasn’t. Polls began showing Governor Mitt Romney as the front runner, and then a series of other candidates rose up to Romney’s level only to eventually fall back ― with the last of those surging candidates has been Senator Rick Santorum. Despite all of this, the start of the presidential race didn’t officially occur until the January 3rd Iowa Causus.
The Iowa caucas started in 1972 when the Iowa Democratic Party moved its caucus to be the first in the nation. That year, George McGovern performed better than expected. Although he finished second in those caucases behind Edmund Muskie, the momentum slung him forward, and he went on to gain his party’s nomination. Four years later, in 1976, the Republican Party moved its caucus to the same date as the Democrats to join in the prominence that Iowa had gained. Candidates and media alike now view Iowa as the first real test of the presidential campaign.
This year’s caucus was extremely close with Romney barely winning. He finished eight votes ahead of Santorum with 122,255 voters having turned out. Unlike most elections where the winner is the person with the most votes, Iowa is more about expectations. Finishing first is less important than what people will read into it. Both Romney and Santorum finished strong and met or exceeded expectations.
Santorum worked hard and earned it. He personally visited all 99 counties in Iowa, and it paid off. This close second place finish has the media talking as much about him as the winner. Romney put less effort into Iowa this year, but still carried a lot support from four years ago when he ran for president and finished second in Iowa. Both candidates will receive massive media attention going into New Hampshire where Romney is expected to win easy. Having been the governor of Massachusetts and owning a home in New Hampshire, Romney has “home court advantage.”
Newt Gingrich finished fourth but faced heavy negative attacks along the way. After New Hampshire’s primary, the next primaries shift into the South where Gingrich is expected to be his strongest. He didn’t show well but can explain it away. Fourth place is where John McCain finished in these caucases four years ago before he went on to win the nomination. Expect Gingrich to stay in this race for awhile and also expect the negative campaigning to continue to attack him. He will throw a few elbows of his own.
Congressman Ron Paul showed very well finishing in third place but is still being questioned as a candidate that a majority of Republicans nationwide will support. Governor Rick Perry is rethinking his campaign after finishing in fifth place, and it is hard to see anything but disappointment with his showing. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who is a native of Iowa, finished in last place of the candidates who campaigned in Iowa. Governor John Huntsman did not put any effort into Iowa opting to go straight to New Hampshire.
So the final outcome of this year’s Iowa caucus is that we are back to where we were before they happened. Mitt Romney is at the front of the pack running neck and neck with Rick Santorum, who is the conservative alternative to Romney. If anything became clear, Iowa has probably knocked a candidate or two off of the bottom of the list, but it is still wide open for the top three or four candidates.