Sunday, September 30, 2012

Old Town Scottsdale Farmer's Market Named Best of Phoenix 2012

The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market, a Sterling Award Finalist in 2011, has been named "Best Saturday Farmers Market 2012" by the Phoenix New Times. 

This lively market features local growers and specialty food producers, as well as a wide variety of organic, and pesticide free produce. Seasonal specialties such as cider and apples, flowers, natural pork, beef and fish, free range eggs, and  local cheeses; freshly baked artisan breads, Amish friendship breads, jams, picadillies, tamales, are just some of the great local foods you’ll find here. Family friendly, and well mannered pets welcome! 

Open Saturdays beginning Oct. 20, 2012
Hours: 8am-1 pm
Location: The City parking facility at the corner of Brown and 1st Street In the Old Town area. (Next to the Carraige House)

CLICK HERE to see their website.

CLICK HERE to read the New Times article.

The Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market is a proud member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scottsdale Chamber 2012 Voter Guide on Ballot Measures

At each election cycle, the Public Policy Advisory Council for the Scottsdale Area Chamber
of Commerce reviews ballot measures placed before the electorate. Following
that review, the Advisory Council renders recommendations to the membership and the community as a whole on those measures deemed to have an impact on business and the business community.

GENERAL ELECTION 2012 - Voter Guide on Ballot Measures

Proposition 114 Crime Victims Protection Act (Legislative Referendum)
Prohibits crime victims from being sued for causing injury or death to the perpetrator.
Rationale: Individuals and business owners are too often placed in jeopardy by criminals, particularly in robbery situations. Criminals and their families should have no right to sue should injury or death occur as a direct result of their perpetrating a criminal act.

Proposition 116 - Personal Property Tax Exemption Amount  (Legislative Referendum)
Increases the personal property tax exemption threshold from $68,079 to the average earnings of 50 Arizona workers or approximately $2.4 million.
Rationale: Raising the personal property tax exemption from $68,000 to roughly $2.4 million will help businesses grow and thrive in Arizona as well as make the state more competitive for relocating companies to place Arizona on a short list for relocation.

Proposition 117 - Property Tax Assessed Valuation (Legislative Referendum)
Beginning in 2015, limits the annual growth of limited property value to no more than 5%.
Rationale: Business and personal property taxes, before and throughout this recessionary period, have fluctuated wildly, as a direct result in spikes and troughs in assessed values. This referendum will add greater predictability regarding property tax liability and slow the assessed valuation climbs by limiting valuations to a maximum of 5% per year.

Proposition 118 - State Land Funds & Distributions (Legislative Referendum)
Sets the State Trust Land distribution at 2.5% of the average monthly market values through 2021. Reverts the distribution to the existing formula on July 1, 2022.
Rationale: This largely technical change allows the State Land Department to base its distributions on the most up-to-date information.

Proposition 119 -
State Trust Land Military Preservation (Legislative Referendum)
Authorizes exchanges of trust land for military installations preservation.
Rationale: This referendum allows the State Land Department to trade land near military installations for land of equal or greater value elsewhere in the state so that encroachment of development near military bases can diminish. The result of the preserved land around military bases lowers the likelihood of base closures.

Proposition 121 - Open Elections/Open Government (Initiative)
Establishes an open primary
Two candidates receiving most votes go on to the general election
Abolishes tax-payer funded partisan primary system
Rationale: While attractive to many as the result of abolishing taxpayer funded elections, this initiative is largely opposed by all major and minor political parties and most candidates. If two people run in a primary election representing one party and ten candidates are working to secure the right to run in the general election from another party, the likelihood is that the party with two people running will secure positions in the general election since statistically in a ten-horse field it is unlikely that any one candidate could receive an adequate number of votes to move on. Consequently, this initiative works to suppress candidates and voter choice in elections rather than enhance that choice.

Proposition 204 - Quality Education and Jobs (Initiative)
Creates a $.01 sales tax to fund the following:
$500M to the "quality education and performance fund" for K-12 (charter and districts)
$10M to the AZ Dept. of Education for data collection
$90M to the "education accountability and improvement fund" for performance based K-
12 funding
$100M to the “state infrastructure fund”
$25M to the “children’s health insurance program fund” – SCHIP
$100M to the "family stability and self-sufficiency fund”
$50M to the "university scholarship, operations and infrastructure fund" to be distributed
according to rules adopted by the Board of Regents
Collections over $1 billion fund the following:
33% to schools based on the federal free lunch program
22.5% to community colleges and tribal education for scholarships
9% to JTEDs
2% for adult education
22.5% to the "university scholarship, operations and infrastructure fund" to be distributed
according to rules adopted by the Board of Regents
11% to the “state infrastructure fund”
Tax and funding allocations are preserved in perpetuitySUPPORT
Rationale: The Chamber is opposed to taxation and appropriation through initiative, even when the funding is earmarked largely for education, an area in need of increased investment. Arizona has a convoluted and confusing system for education funding – so much so that it is almost impossible to assign an accurate ranking for the state against other states. This initiative, if passed would be voterprotected under the Arizona Constitution and nearly impossible to alter or amend as a result. It is the Legislature’s job to appropriate and to advance tax policy, and it should be the Legislature’s job to simplify and clarify education funding in Arizona so that our state’s children can receive the finest possible education.
15% Maintenance and Operations Override Scottsdale Unified School District
Rationale: This override request, placed on the ballot by the SUSD Governing Board for voter consideration is a result of the state requiring an end to separate K- 3 overrides and the 10% override, combining them into a single 15% override, producing roughly $20 million for our schools, replacing some of the cuts that have come to education funding during a period of necessary austerity in the state budget. Traditionally voters in Scottsdale have supported such override requests as one way of protecting and enhancing property values and to provide the best possible education for area children. While the net effect for most families will be a modest tax increase, Scottsdale Unified School District has a long history of creating strong community value by maintaining the finest school district in the state. These overrides are the only opportunity for Scottsdale voters to place additional funding directly into the school district.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Twelve Finalists Selected for the Scottsdale Area Chamber’s 27th Annual Sterling Awards

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2012 Sterling Awards, recognizing local companies that have demonstrated excellence, innovation and community stewardship.

Eric Larson, Chamber Board Chair said, “For 27 years, the Chamber has presented these prestigious awards to deserving companies from within our membership. Winning a Sterling Award truly means something to a company. The application process is rigorous, and competition keen.” 

The 2012 Sterling honorees will be announced at a gala luncheon on Tuesday, November 13, at the Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale. Corporate sponsor tables are available for $1,000 and corporate sponsor half-tables are $600. A non-sponsor table is $750 and individual tickets may be purchased for $75. Tickets can be reserved online at
or by calling 480.355.2708.

More than 30 volunteers, many of them past Sterling honorees participated as judges in the juried competition, itself a major commitment. Divided among the four Sterling categories (Big Business, Small Business, Micro Business and Non-Profit) the judges worked individually to score each application within their assigned category. A volunteer captain assembled all scores, preparing a detailed score summary to determine the finalists. The judges will visit each finalist company and interview key personnel. A stunning video featuring each finalist will be produced by SRP and shown at the luncheon prior to announcing the honorees.

Chamber CEO, Rick Kidder, said, “There is nothing like Sterling. The Sterling Award, recognizing the greatness within the business community, inspires companies to look at themselves in new ways and celebrates the greatness and values of the business community.”

Micro Business (1-6 Employees) - Sponsored by EPCOR Water
Recognizes an emerging business exhibiting success through innovation, creativity and collaboration   

Amplify U
15279 North Scottsdale Rd., Suite B240
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 278-7200
Amplify U is a personal and professional leadership development training company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, which provides powerful, experiential two-and-a-half day leadership training that improves the lives of its students.

Breslau Insurance & Benefits, Inc.
10614 East Terra Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(602) 692-6832
Breslau Insurance & Benefits, Inc. is a Life & Health agency providing medical, dental, disability, and life insurance to employer groups as well as individuals and families.
Pro One Media Productions
7848 E Redfield Rd #6
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 948-9310
Pro One Media Productions is a full service provider of customized quality video for businesses, organizations and individuals.  Sharp images, vivid color, clear sound and creative editing characterize each production to achieve a professional result every time.

Small Business (7-99 employees) - Sponsored by Cox Business
Recognizes a small company demonstrating innovation, quality, professionalism and commitment to community.

Arizona Center for the Blind Document Destruction
3040 S. 45th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85040
(602) 267-8740
Arizona Center for the Blind Document Destruction (AzCFTB) specializes in providing secure document destruction services. In response to the recent drive to “Go Green,” AzCFTB expanded its services to provide a “One Stop Shop” for all recyclables.

Brain State Technologies
15150 North Hayden Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 588-6840
Brainwave Optimization™ system is a non-invasive, non-drug process that has helped over 50,000 people worldwide (to date) achieve greater brain balance. The system is licensed to wellness providers to be included in a clinical setting with the capability to go mobile with the laptop version.

McDowell Village Senior Living
8300 E. McDowell Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
(480) 970-6400
McDowell Village is an all-inclusive rental retirement community, providing independent and assisted living where we care about the total package.

Big Business (100+ Employees) Sponsored by DMB Associates Inc.
Recognizes a large company making a significant impact on the lives of its employees and the economic fabric of the community.

Homeowners Financial Group
16427 N. Scottsdale Rd. Ste. 280
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 3058500
Homeowners Financial Group (HFG) is a full service, Arizona based mortgage banker, leading the Valley in residential lending. The company was founded in 2004 by finance and mortgage executives with over a century of expertise in residential lending.

Hotel Valley Ho
6850 E. Main St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 421-7734
Hotel Valley Ho offers guest rooms and suites, condominiums, and event space both indoors and out. There's also a restaurant, full-service spa, and pool bar. Hotel Valley Ho originally opened in 1956 and reopened in 2005 after a meticulous $80 million renovation that carefully preserved the original architectural elements.

Scottsdale Healthcare
7400 E. Osborn Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 882-4000
City Hospital of Scottsdale, now known as Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, opened in 1962. Today, Scottsdale Healthcare has grown into an economic anchor for Scottsdale and a leading nonprofit health system with three hospitals, the Valley’s first major cancer center, outpatient services and a wide range of community benefit programs.

Non-Profit - Sponsored by APS
Recognizes a charitable organization contributing to the social, cultural, educational well-being of its constituents.

National MS Society, Arizona Chapter
5025 E. Washington Street
Suite 102
Phoenix, AZ 85034
The Arizona Chapter of the National MS Society is part of a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. They exist to make sure it doesn't.
Scottsdale Charros
10533 E. Lakeview Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(480) 990-2977
Formed in 1961, the Scottsdale Charros are an all-volunteer group of business and civic leaders dedicated to providing support and funding for youth programs, educational scholarships and grants to local charities.

7507 E. Osborn Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) 994-5704
STARS is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1973 by a group of Scottsdale parents seeking social, developmental and vocational opportunities for their adult children. Formerly known as the Scottsdale Foundation for the Handicapped, STARS has been providing services for individuals with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injuries and a wide array of other cognitive and developmental disabilities.

Originating in 1985, the Sterling Awards are among the most coveted business awards in the Valley. As one of the Chamber’s oldest signature events, the Sterling Awards program embodies the spirit of our organization by celebrating the people and companies that make our community a great place to live, work and play.

Additional sponsors of the Sterling Awards include: Chaparral Suites Resort Scottsdale, Hotel Valley Ho, Merestone, Oliver Smith Jeweler, SRP, Sun Devil Trophy, Print Time, Wells Fargo, Scottsdale Fashion Square, Celebration of Fine Art, GlobalMed, Hymson Goldstein & Pantiliat, Henry & Horne, First Fidelity Bank, Magellan Health Services and Mutual of Omaha Bank.

Sphinx Ranch 1st Annual Taste of Dates

Sample Arizona's finest food, wine and beer at the Sphinx Ranch "Taste of Dates". The new date harvest is in, and you are cordially invited to join us for an evening of sampling featuring spirits from:
  • Sonoran Brewing Company
  • Grand Canyon Brewing Company
  • SanTan Brewing Company
  • Pillsbury Wine Company
  • Page Springs Cellars
  • Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
  • Oak Creek Vineyards and Winery
  • Dribble Creek Winery
  • Tombstone Brewing Company

We will also feature food samplings from:
  • DeCio Pasta
  • Costantino's Kitchen
  • Christopher Creek Spice Company

Sample Medjool dates, dried fruit, jams, salsas and dishes prepared by local chefs.

Sphinx Ranch, which was named one of “Arizona’s Top Food Suppliers” in 2009, prides itself in its unique offerings, which are comprised of local products native to Arizona including Medjool dates, nuts, local honey, jellies, gourmet pecan logs, caramel brittle, salsa and fresh citrus. Additionally, Sphinx also carries a growing selection of Arizona wines, which can be purchased separately or incorporated into baskets.

Sphinx Ranch
3039 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale 85251

The Sphinx Date Ranch is a Proud Member of the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

2012 Scottsdale International Film Festival - Oct 5-9

The 2012 Scottsdale International Film Festival will run October 5th through October 9th at the Harkins Shea 14. This year's festival features 38 films and 69 showings with films from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North and South America — films not only in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian but also in Turkish, Icelandic, and Kinyarwanda!  
The Scottsdale Film Festival is a destination event & catalyst for connecting diverse filmmakers from around the world with film lovers in a fresh, thought-provoking, & enduring community of support.
The Festival's Opening Night will feature the Premiere of the Fred Schepisi film The Eye of the Storm on Friday, Oct. 5th at 7:30 PM.
The Eye Of The Storm
Director Fred Schepisi will attend to present his film and participate in a post-film Q&A moderated by Kevin Sandler.
In a Sydney suburb, two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter (Charlotte Rampling) as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. In dying, as in living, Mrs. Hunter remains a formidable force on those around her.
Estranged from a mother who was never capable of loving them, Sir Basil, (Geoffrey Rush), a famous but struggling actor in London, and Dorothy (Judy Davis), an impecunious French princess, attempt to reconcile with her.
In doing so they are reduced from states of worldly sophistication to floundering adolescence. The children unite in a common goal – to leave Australia with their vast inheritance. Using the reluctant services of their family lawyer Arnold Wyburd (John Gaden), they scheme to place their mother in a society nursing home to expedite her demise.
Principal Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis