Gilbert Edition - March 2020

GILBERT EDITION

VOLUME 2, ISSUE 7  MARCH 25APRIL 28, 2020

ONLINE AT

Charter schools ll niche, thrive inGilbertmarket Town’s growth attractive to operators In the 25 years since charter schools began operating in Arizona, Gilbert has proven to be a popular landing spot despite three highly rated public school districts serving residents. “The perception is that the [district] schools in Gilbert are wonderful, and they really are,” Leading Edge Academy founder Delmer Geesey said. “So not everybody comes run- ning to the charters because of the terrible district schools. … It’s a dierent kind of niche that charters get.” However, charter ocials said the town’s growth of the past quarter century as well as its family-rst culture have proven inviting to charter schools. The end result is Gilbert has more charters within its boundaries than the state’s other municipalities except for Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa, all of which have much larger populations. That, ocials said, gives Gilbert residents convenient options to make choices for the best t for their families and spurs competition that makes everyone better. “For any school—charter, public, private—I just want to make sure the students are educated,” Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Shane McCord said. “If you choose not to go here, that’s your choice. But I hope where you end up, Paratransit and RideChoice are transportation services for the disabled. Paratransit costs have led to a shortfall for Gilbert in that budget line, leading the town to consider scaling back that service. B Y T H E N U M B E R S Paratransit ratran it $4 $3 Paratransit cost RideChoice cost for rst 8 miles $50 $20 CONTINUED ON 12 BY TOM BLODGETT

Among Phoenix’s suburbs with a population of more 100,000 people, Gilbert stands out for attracting charter schools. It has the second most charters in that group behind Mesa and less population per charter school than all except Peoria. A CHARTER �agnet

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Due to the fast-changing nature of coronavirus in the region, readers should visit communityimpact.com to nd the latest coverage on announcements, case numbers, school closures and more.

Number of charter schools

Population per charter MESA 12,414.12

2018 overall population 508,979

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CHANDLER 12,245.38 21 257,153 GILBERT 11,284.95 22 248,269 GLENDALE 14,747.35 17 250,705

PEORIA 10,767

16

172,272

IMPACTS

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SCOTTSDALE 17,021

15

255,315

SURPRISE 12,558.55 11 138,144 TEMPE 13,739.57 14 192,354

SOURCES: ARIZONA STATE BOARD FOR CHARTER SCHOOL, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY 1YEAR ESTIMATES 2018COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

TRANSPORTATION

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Town sta is taking a fresh look at options for transpor- tation services to the disabled community after council tabled a decision on scaling back its Paratransit oerings. Tabling the decision will allow sta time to reassess how to proceed and in what manner the service can be oered to residents. However, doing so will have a budgetary impact, at least for the coming scal year, which starts July 1, as the antici- pated shortfall would have to be covered through a general fund expenditure, Town Manager Patrick Banger said. Nonetheless, the decision to table changes was welcomed by the service’s proponents. “Paratransit has been a life-saver for us,” said resident Town revisiting transportation services for disabled residents BY TOM BLODGETT

LISA'S RUMCAKE

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Paratransit town subsidy

RideChoice town subsidy

BONGIORNOBAGELS

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CONTINUED ON 14

SOURCE: TOWN OF GILBERTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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THIS ISSUE

CONTENTS IMPACTS

HIGHLIGHTS FROMTHISMONTH

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Now Open, Coming Soon &more

PUBLISHERS AND FOUNDERS John and Jennifer Garrett PUBLISHERPHOENIXMETRO Amy Ellsworth, aellsworth@communityimpact.com EDITORIAL EXECUTIVE EDITOR Joe Lanane MANAGING EDITOR Krista Wadsworth EDITOR Tom Blodgett STAFFWRITER Alexa D’Angelo COPY CHIEF Andy Comer COPY EDITORS Ben Dickerson, Kasey Salisbury ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Tess Coverman ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Michelle Gavagan DESIGN CREATIVE DIRECTOR Derek Sullivan ART PRODUCTIONMANAGER Aubrey Galloway GRAPHIC DESIGNER Isabella Short BUSINESS GROUP PUBLISHER Traci Rodriguez CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Claire Love ABOUT US John and Jennifer Garrett began Community Impact Newspaper in 2005 in Pugerville, Texas. The company’s mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team. CONTACT US 610 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 205 Gilbert, AZ 85234 • 4804824880 communityimpact.com PRESS RELEASES gilnews@communityimpact.com SUBSCRIPTIONS communityimpact.com/subscriptions © 2020 Community Impact Newspaper Co. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any portion of this issue is allowed without written permission from the publisher.

FROMAMY: We know that each of you has been aected by the decisions related to the coronavirus over the past few weeks. As your local source for trusted news, our writers have worked hard to ensure we are providing you news that is factual, as information is rapidly being released and is regularly changing. Our readers expect us to uphold our mission to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses. To this end, we remain committed to in-depth coverage of hyperlocal news. That is why in this and future editions, even as we face breaking news, you will continue to receive in your mailbox a high-quality print edition with useful, local content. As we navigate ever-evolving direction from the government regarding our daily activities—from school schedules to event cancellations and more—we pledge to continue helping the community to stay connected and support one another. It is our hope that as we move forward, you will continue to support your fellow residents and local businesses. Right now, the environment is uid, and our local entrepreneurs are making plans on how best to meet the needs of residents. We appreciate your loyal readership of this print product and our continually updated website, commmunityimpact.com. I also want to extend a special thank you to the local advertising partners who fund our ability to provide this important resource that is delivered to your mailbox. Tom Blodgett, EDITOR Community events 11 5 Amy Ellsworth, PUBLISHER Mayoral candidates New businesses 7

FROMTOM: Gilbert often touts its family atmosphere, and that runs through the town’s businesses. This month we prole two such places—bagel maker and deli restaurant Bongiorno Bagels (see Page 13) and specialty bakery Lisa’s Rum Cakes (see Page 11). Both have more than one generation of family involved i the work.

TRANSPORTATION

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Local road projects

TOWN& EDUCATION

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Gilbert and local school district news BUSINESS FEATURE

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Lisa's Rum Cakes

THIS ISSUE BY THE NUMBERS

Local sources 18

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DINING FEATURE Bongiorno Bagels

11

Our mission is to build communities of informed citizens and thriving businesses through the collaboration of a passionate team.

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February market data IMPACT DEALS

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GILBERT EDITION • MARCH 2020

IMPACTS

Businesses that have recently opened or are coming soon, relocating or expanding

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PHOTOS BY TOM BLODGETTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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4 A Jenny Craig Weight Loss Center opened Jan. 24 inside the Walgreens at 4766 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert. The oce is in the back of the store near the pharmacy. 623-471-9819. https://locations.jennycraig.com/az/ gilbert/weight-loss-center-5689.html 5 Ocotillo Surgery Center opened Nov. 25 at 3920 S. Rome St., Gilbert. It oers ambulatory surgery, or surgery not requiring an overnight stay in a hospital, in a state-of-the-art setting. 480-597-4778. COMING SOON 6 Alta Climbing Gym anticipates break- ing ground this spring and opening in late 2020 at 3193 S. Ranch House Parkway, Gilbert. The gym will have climbing walls for kids to professionals, including a 15-meter competition speed wall, 50- foot walls and bouldering, tness classes and yoga. 480-707-9737. https://altaclimbing.com 7 Austin Centers for Exceptional Students broke ground March 5 on an ACES Gilbert campus at the southwest corner of Galveston Street and Sparrow Drive, Gilbert. The ACES is a state-certi- ed school for kindergarten through 12th grade special education students ranging in age from 5-22. 480-558-0060. www.austincenters.com 8 Square One Concepts will open a second location of Bourbon & Bones Chophouse and Bar at 2206 E. Williams Field Road, Ste. 101, at the SanTan Village mall. Bourbon & Bones’ menu includes wet aged and dry aged cuts of beef plus fresh seafood. It also oers 300 varieties

of bourbon and whiskey plus a large wine list and cocktail menu. The Gilbert location will have a larger bar area and more private dining space than the ag- ship Scottsdale restaurant as well as an outdoor patio lounge. No opening date has been announced. www.bourbonandbonesaz.com 9 Chunk Cookies is opening a loca- tion at 4331 E. Baseline Road, Ste. 106, Gilbert. It makes and delivers within a 30-minute window cookies that are ordered online. It is taking orders now. www.chunkcookies.com 10 Journey Five anticipates opening this year at the SanTan Pavilions at 2540 S. Santan Village Parkway, Gilbert. It oers modest, on-trend, aordable women’s dresses, tops, shoes and bags. This is the second location of the cloth- ing store, with the original in Layton, Utah. www.journeyve.com 11 A Mr. Mesquite Taqueira location anticipates opening in June at 2487 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. It is one of four planned locations coming to the Phoenix area, doubling what is now open. The restaurant serves Mexican street food grilled over mesquite charcoal. https://eatmrmesquite.com 12 Surf City Sandwich is targeting April 20 as its opening date for a location at 5482 S. Power Road in Gilbert. Own- er Paul Figliomeni also has a store in Soquel, California. The restaurant serves gourmet sandwiches with a surng theme. www.surfcitysandwich.com 13 Vito’s Pizza and Italian Ristorante is anticipating opening a location at the southeast corner of Higley and Queen

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W. RAY RD.

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MERCY RD.

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S. ROME ST.

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S. RANCH HOUSE PKWY.

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E. QUEEN CREEK RD.

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E. RIGGS RD.

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E. HUNT HWY. NOWOPEN 1 Dr. Melody Rodarte opened Activated Health and Wellness on Nov. 12 at 1485 S. Higley Road, Ste. 104, Gilbert. The boutique integrated health practice pro- vides treatments, products and services personalized to patients’ individual needs. 480-571-1000. https://activated.health Denti Bianco opened Jan. 17. It oers clients cosmetic mobile teeth-whitening services. 480-522-4004. www.facebook. com/Denti-Bianco-111083980441189/

2 Derma Health Skin & Laser opened Feb. 5 in the SanTan Pavilions at 2484 S. Santan Village Parkway, Ste. J-105, Gilbert. It oers laser and skin care treat- ments that rebuild collagen. 480-470- 5747. https://dermahealthinstitute.com 3 The Exercise Coach opened Feb. 28 at 1166 S. Gilbert Road, Ste. 104, Gilbert. It oers high-tech, personalized personal training and oers two 20-minute work- outs a week. 480-550-8383. https://exercisecoach.com/gilbert

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Edward Jones

Rise Up Bakery

Creek roads in May. The location will be the third in the Valley for Vito’s. The restaurant serves Italian cuisine and a Chicago-style thin-crust pizza.

retirement savings, entrepreneurs and business owners, estate and legacy strategies, and college savings. 480-899-3476. www.edwardjones.com 16 Seville Family Dentistry relocated Nov. 4 within the same complex at 3336 E. Chandler Heights Road, Ste. 107, Gilbert. It specializes in restorations and enhancements using conservative, state- of-the-art techniques. 480-279-4790. www.sevillefamilydentistry.com ANNIVERSARIES 17 Rise Up Bakery celebrated its fth anniversary in December at 861 N. Higley Road, Ste. 109, Gilbert. Its bakery is open to the retail space so customers can see the process. 480-264-3026. www.riseupbakeryaz.com

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FEATURED IMPACT COMING SOON A rooftop bar, ilegal Modern Cocktail Kitchen , plans to open April 3 at 313 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. It has an artistic craft cocktail program, a full scratch kitchen that uses fresh avors found throughout Arizona, and views of downtown Gilbert and the San Tan Mountains. The menu oers locally inspired artisanal dishes infused with desert avors, fresh ingredients and small-batch products. Items such as pupita hummus, nopales fries, Cornish game hen and acorn soup are among

https://vitospizza.com RELOCATIONS

E. GUADALUPE RD.

14 Arizona Smile Center moved to a new oce March 2 at 2540 S. Santan Village Parkway, Ste. 104, Gilbert. It prac- tices general dentistry and specializes in implants, Cerec crowns, laser no-shot ll- ings, adult orthodontia and sleep apnea treatment. 480-892-5089. www.azsmilecenter.com 15 The Edward Jones nancial adviser oce of Josh Bring relocated Dec. 5 to 3011 S. Lindsay Road, Ste. 103, Gilbert. The oce’s focus areas are retirement income strategies, wealth strategies,

E. PAGE AVE.

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E. ELLIOT RD.

the oerings. The full craft cocktail bar focuses on an assortment of agave spirits, including mezcal, tequila, bacanora, raicilla, and more. http://ilegalaz.com

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TRANSPORTATIONUPDATES

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT

BY ALEXA D'ANGELO House bill proposes doubling existing gas tax According to the Arizona Legislature website, the bill passed out of the House Rules Committee on Feb. 20 and is headed to a oor vote. Sellers said the Maricopa Asso- ONGOING PROJECTS

ONGOING PROJECTS

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A bill in the Arizona Legislature proposes doubling the current gas tax in the state to help pay for infra- structure maintenance on the state’s roads and highways. The bill, House Bill 2899, would increase the existing gas tax of $0.18 per gallon to $0.36 over the course of three years, according to the text of the bill. The bill would add $0.06 to the current $0.18 a gallon eective on July 1 of this year and it would go up another $0.18 a year through scal year 2022-23. The bill unanimously passed the House Transportation Committee. Maricopa County Supervisor Jack Sellers, who served on the Arizona State Transportation Board for six years, said he sees the tax as more of a “user fee.” “The bill is saying, ‘Let’s make people pay for what they are using,’” Sellers said. The bill was proposed by state Rep. Noel Campbell, RPrescott.

ILLO RD.

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ciation of Governments has done a great job in creating long-term plans for Arizona’s freeways, and he said he hopes that kind of planning can continue when it comes to maintain- ing the infrastructure in the state. “People 20 years ago put together a great plan; that’s why we are better than most metropolitan areas today,” Sellers said. “But we are growing at 200 people per day; if we don’t have a plan for the next 20 years, it could impact the quality of life we see in Arizona.” GAS TAX PLAN

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Val Vista Drive widening The town is widening Val Vista Drive from Appleby Road to Riggs Road to six lanes. Trac signals will be installed at Appleby, Ocotillo and Chandler Heights roads. Status: Construction has started at Appleby, and crews will work their way south. Timeline: March 2020- July 2021 Cost: $25.96 million Funding sources: bonds, town and regional funds

Recker Road—Ray Road to Loop 202 improvements The town will complete Recker Road improvements. Status: Ray and Recker roads lane shutdown is scheduled for April to complete road resurfacing and working room for the crane to install an emergency generator. Timeline: January-July Cost: $3.03 million Funding sources: town bonds, funds; developer contributions

Lindsay Road widening— Pecos Road to Loop 202 Lindsay Road will be improved from Pecos Road to Loop 202. Status: A weekend closure is planned at the intersection of Pecos and Lindsay roads for April 17- 19. Work on Pecos will be complete after closure. Timeline: May 2019-May 2020 Cost: $12.6 million Funding sources: town bonds and regional funds, developer contributions

Current rate: $0.18

Proposed rate in July: $0.24

Increase annually through scal year 2022-23: $0.06

ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF MARCH 16. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT GILNEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM.

SOURCE: ARIZONA HOUSE BILL 2899 COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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GILBERT EDITION • MARCH 2020

TOWN&EDUCATION

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT & ALEXA D'ANGELO

News from Gilbert, Gilbert Public Schools, Higley USD and Chandler USD

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE Readers should visit communityimpact.com

HDSouth aims to raise $2million for expansion

Governor appoints Gilbert’smayor to transportation board

SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS GILBERTPUBLICSCHOOLS The governing board approved on Feb. 25 an increase in fees to rental of district facilities. In most cases, the increase is 5 percent. HIGLEYUSD The governing board approved on Feb. 26 the issuing of nonadministrative certied contracts—covering returning teachers, returning preschool teachers, counselors and instructional coaches—with 5 percent increases to the base salary for 2020-21. Over the three years of Gov. Doug Ducey’s “20 by ‘20” plan to increase teacher salaries 20 percent from the 2016-17 base, the district’s salaries increased 22.37%, according to district ocials. CHANDLERUSD The governing board approved the purchase of classroom and oce furniture Feb. 26 for the district’s new elementary school in Gilbert. The board approved $367,964.64 for classroom furniture at Bob Rice Elementary School and $91,656.21 for oce furniture, totaling $459,620.85, according to board records. The school at Ocotillo Road and 148th Street in Gilbert and is expected to open in July. MEETINGSWE COVER Gilbert Town Council April 7, 6:30 p.m. April 16, 8 a.m. (nancial retreat) April 21, 6:30 p.m. 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert 480-503-6871 • www.gilbertaz.gov Gilbert Public Schools Board March 31, 6:30 p.m. April 7, 6:30 p.m. (work study/brief business) April 28, 6:30 p.m 140 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert 480-497-3300 www.gilbertschools.net Higley USD Board March 25, 5:30 p.m. April 11, 8 a.m. (board retreat) April 15, 5:30 p.m. 2935 S. Recker Road, Gilbert 480-279-7000 • www.husd.org Chandler USD Board March 25, 7 p.m. April 8, 7 p.m. April 22, 7 p.m. 1525 W. Frye Road, Chandler 480-812-7000 • www.cusd80.com Follow us on Twitter: @impactnews_gil to nd the latest coverage on how the coronavirus is aecting town of Gilbert services, events, programs and schools.

ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed Gilbert Mayor Jenn Daniels to serve a six-year term on the state transporta- tion board.

Upon conrmation by the Arizona Senate, Daniels will represent Maricopa County. She will then serve concur- rently on the board and as mayor. Daniels announced Feb. 3 she would not run for re-election for mayor, the position she has held since 2016. She plans to complete her term before the newly elected mayor takes over in January 2021. The seven-member board plans and develops Ari- zona’s highways, airports and other state transpor- tation facilities as well as develops and oversees the state’s ve-year transportation facilities construction program. It also advises the Arizona Department of Transportation director. Daniels has experience in transportation, having served as chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Transportation Policy Committee. “I do [have some transportation knowledge] from the local level obviously, like the life cycle of a street and some of what goes in transportation planning from local as well as regional level,” Daniels said. “I’m excited to expand that knowledge base and contribute to the long-term planning for the state of Arizona.” Jenn Daniels

HD South has embarked on a $2 million capital campaign to fund a facility expansion. (Rendering courtesy HD South)

Voterswill make decision on Cook’s council replacement GILBERT HD South President and CEO Kayla Kolar announced at the historical museum and cultural center’s Feb. 29 annual gala the launch of the community phase of a $2 million capital campaign that will include a facility expansion and renovation. If all goes well, groundbreaking could happen in the fall, Kolar said. The campaign has a $1.3 million head start on the fund- raising from the campaign’s “quiet phase,” where money came from large donors and grants. Center plans call for a remodeling of some Gilbert Histor- ical Museum exhibits to accommodate programs; construc- tion of a single-story multipurpose building in the museum courtyard that can host programs, exhibits and rentals; and a redesigned courtyard space for outdoor entertainment, classes and rentals for weddings or other gatherings. Gilbert Town Council voted March 3 to approve a three- year contract with HD South to provide $50,000 annually in support funding.

Pool ofmayoral candidates grows to 5 GILBERT The eld to replace Jenn Daniels as mayor has grown by two more potential candidates. Matthew Nielsen and Lynne King Smith led their Statements of Interest and have begun collecting nominating petition signatures to get on the ballot. Nielsen works in charter school support. King Smith owned ticketing platform TicketForce until recently. The others collecting signatures for a run are Council Member Brigette Peter- son, commercial banking executive Gary Livacari, and archery coach and former school teacher Sandra Reynolds. Daniels announced Feb. 3 that she would not seek re-election.

GILBERT Town Council accepted Eddie Cook’s resigna- tion Feb. 18 and mapped out how the council member’s seat will be lled. Cook, who was appointed Feb. 14 as Maricopa County assessor, was to be replaced by appoint- ment March 17 for the rest of this year. His seat will come open for election Aug. 4 to ll the remain- ing two years of Cook’s term. The election is mandated by state law because the timing of Cook’s resignation, which comes more than 30 days from the April

6 deadline to le nomi- nating petitions. Former state legislator Laurin

Eddie Cook

Hendrix, Parks and Recreation Board Vice Chair Robert Ferron and political newcomers Bill Spence and Jen Ward have led Statements of Interest for lling the nal two years of Cook’s term.

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

BUSINESS FEATURE

Lisa’s RumCake Family makes friends of their customers from an early age E very group that comes into Lisa’s Rum Cake seems to have someone who knows the family running the business. That could be the sign of a very small business, such as a retail bakery set in an industrial building o the beaten track. But with a customer database that the Power family said is approaching 20,000 listings, perhaps a high degree of customer service would be a better explanation. Lisa Power, the co-owner with her name on the business, said she looks at is as more the customers than the service. “Don’t you girls think we have the best custom- ers?” she asked of daughters Madison and Megan. “We really do,” Madison answered, punctuated by Megan’s “Honestly.” They proceed to tell stories about people who come in, from celebrities to old friends to regulars met along the way. “We literally call [Lisa] the cake doctor because people come in here to order a cake, they’ll be here for hours telling my mom their whole life story, and she’ll counsel them,” Madison said. “She’s a people person.” The business is a from-the-cradle outt. Lisa learned the business from age 13 working for her mother at Cathy’s Rum Cakes. Madison, Megan and their oldest sister, Lauren, started even younger. In 2009, Lisa and her husband, Kelly, started a shipping arm for Cathy’s in the industrial building. But her mom retired, the recession hit and the family found their way into doing retail. The daughters, all in their 30s, still work there to one degree or another. And granddaughter Madelyn Rose, age 3 1/2, may even take your order. “If something ever happened to me, they know what they’re doing,” Lisa said of her daughters. “I can trust them to carry on the tradition with the quality.” BY TOM BLODGETT

Peanut Butter & Chocolate ($6.99) has chocolate cake, chocolate and peanut butter custard and Italian whipped cream.

Unicorn ($5.99) is French vanilla cake with a cotton candy sprinkle blend topped with Italian whipped cream.

Butterbeer ($6.99) has yellow cake, butterscotch-rum custard and marbled butterscotch- white chocolate ganache.

The sisters say ideas for avors come to them sometimes after midnight. Madison came up with the idea of selling “cuts” of the many dierent cakes. (Isabella Short/Community Impact Newspaper)

A GILBERT ANDASU TRADITION The Powers will happily tell anyone how much they love Gilbert and Arizona State University. The family has long ties to both. The old Power homestead gave rise to Power Road on the town’s eastern border, and ancestor James Power was on ASU’s rst football team in 1896.

Lisa’s Rum Cake is a three-generation family shop with (from left) Megan, Lauren, Lisa, Madison and Madelyn Rose. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Madison puts the nishing touches on a cake pie for a customer needing something for a party. (Tom Blodgett/ Community Impact Newspaper)

Lisa’s RumCake 219 S. William Dillard Drive, Bldg. 4, Ste. 135, Gilbert 480-304-5077 www.lisasrumcake.com Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 9-11 a.m., closed Sun.

W. ELLIOT RD.

87

S. WILLIAM DILLARD DR.

N

9

GILBERT EDITION • MARCH 2020

DINING FEATURE

BY TOM BLODGETT

Bongiorno Bagels doubles as a New York deli for lunch. (Photos by Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

(From left) John and Sam Bongiorno and Ed Cancro have found the deli’s hours are something that works for their family.

Bongiorno Bagels makes about 750 bagels on weekdays and 1,500 on weekends.

BongiornoBagels 3107 S. Gilbert Road, Ste. 101, Gilbert 480-588-8222 www.bongiornobagels.com Hours: Tue.-Sat. 6 a.m.-2 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Mon. The family closes the shop two weeks during the year: one for a summer vacation and the other for the week of 9/11 to honor the fallen. REMEMBERING THE FALLEN Co-owner Ed Cancro was a New York City reghter who served at ground zero on 9/11. Shortly afterward, with so many vacancies, Cancro was promoted to lieutenant. He retired in 2014. Coming to Gilbert, he has built relationships with many town reghters who often frequent the shop.

Bongiorno Bagels Family nds key to making bagels really is New York City water

I f you have heard water being the key to a good bagel is a myth, Sam Bongiorno has something to say. “The water is denitely the key for us,” she said. Sam and husband John discovered this as they prepared to open Bongiorno Bagels in 2018 with Sam’s father, retired New York reghter Ed Cancro. The Bongiornos met at culinary school in New York. They later moved to Gilbert, with John working as a resort chef and Sam as a catering sales manager at Arizona State University. Around the dinner table one night, Sam’s mom suggested starting a bagel shop. The Bongiornos balked at rst. They were chefs with no expertise in bagels. Eventually, though, they warmed to the idea. John left for New York to learn how to make bagels. He asked shops to let him hang around and learn for a couple weeks, but only one relented to his request—with conditions. “They said, ‘You can watch us,’” Sam said. “’You can’t see the recipe. You can see the ingredients.’” From there, they tried to recreate the recipe.

Gilbert’s water proved too hard for good bagel consistency, so they switched to ltered, but they still were not sold. Then one night, they saw a commercial for the New York WaterMaker ltration system. Despite their skepticism, they called, and the company asked them to send a water sample. It returned the sample after running it through the system that brings it to New York City levels of minerals. A bagel batch ensued. “They were completely dierent,” she said. “The texture was spot on. We got the right amount of blisters on the bagel, which is super important. … So we were like, ‘this is awesome.’” Though the system was expensive, the Bongior- nos signed on and had their New York bagels, with which they also make deli breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Boar’s Head meat and cheeses are used. Now, John bakes, and Sam and Ed work up front. Everyone gets home early. “We didn’t get into the business to get rich,” Sam said. “We want to keep the family roots.”

E. WILLIAMS FIELD RD.,

E. PECOS RD.

N

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GILBERT EDITION • MARCH 2020

EDUCATION MARKET Serving �he

charter schools in the state, many public schools reacted negatively to the changes and the new schools that opened in the laws’ wake, said Lynn Robershotte, superintendent of Eduprize, which in 1995 was the rst charter school to open in the state. She said districts were concerned charters would pull away the best stu- dents and accompanying state fund- ing from districts. “I thinkwith newness or any change can come fear or dissettling,” she said. “As that’s evolved, it’s far less so.” Attraction of Gilbert Robershotte and Eduprize co-founder JoAnna Curtis were work- ing in Mesa Public Schools when they decided to open a charter. Robershotte said she originally wanted to open small magnet schools in at-risk neighborhoods. But she had connections in education in Gilbert. “It came down to where you could nd a facility because we already had a clamoring,” she said. “We had a waitlist before we opened, when we said we were going to do this, just from the names of the educators that I brought in that rst year.” Gilbert’s population in 1995, accord- ing to the Maricopa Association of Governments, was 57,085, the “inec- tion point” for the town’s growth, Taylor said. That, along with available land, sparked charter growth, he said. Taylor noted that it can take two to three years for a district to get together a bond campaign and pass it before building new schools. He called charter schools more nimble in being able to raise funds and get into a facility. That enabled charters to pop up quickly to meet the educa- tion needs in a community growing so quickly. “We couldn’t build [district] schools fast enough, but the charter schools

CONTINUED FROM 1

you’re going to get a great experience, and you’re going to get educated.” Understanding charter schools Charter schools are independently operated public schools that oper- ate in Arizona under a contract from the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools. Like district schools, char- ter schools must accept students regardless of race, gender or reli- gion or needs like special education. Gilbert Town Council Member Jared Taylor, who also is president and CEO of four Heritage Academy charter schools outside the town, said the public often misunderstands them, confusing them with private schools. “The way I simplify it for people is a government contractor,” Taylor said. “I’ll use the analogy of a battleship. We can have the government create an agency to create battleships, or we can hire Northrop Grumman.” Taylor said such contracting rela- tionships are better for the economy. “[A charter school is] a public school, privately operated,” he said. “A district school is a public school, publicly operated. They’re funda- mentally dierent things.” Like district schools, charters get state funding from a formula that is based in large part on enrollment. However, charter schools cannot go to voters for bonds or maintenance and operations overrides, so the state’s formula for charter schools pays more per student than for district school students. Charters can get additional reve- nue for building from private revenue bonds. Like district schools, they can receive state public school tax credit donations that can be used for extra- curricular activities or certain fees. When the Arizona Legislature passed laws in 1994 that allowed for

Charter schools have no attendance boundaries, and district schools have open enrollments, so knowing where Gilbert families are sending their children is an inexact science. Enrollments of schools in town or with attendance boundaries crossing into town limits give an idea of how Gilbert’s educational market looks.

ENROLLMENT BY SCHOOL TYPE

CHARTER SCHOOLS

77.51% 49,628 PUBLIC SCHOOLS

22.49% 14,402

Total: 64,030

CHANDLER USD

GILBERT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

32

9

Schools serving town

Enrollment: 11,008

Enrollment: 27,143

Schools serving town

T

66.67% Percent receiving A grades from state

59.38% Percent receiving A grades from state

17.19%

42.39%

17.92%

HIGLEY USD

CHARTER SCHOOLS

91.67% Percent receiving A grades from state

55% Percent receiving A grades from state

22.49%

12

22

Schools serving town

Enrollment: 11,477

Enrollment: 14,402

Schools serving town

*Due to rounding, the total percentage adds to 99.99%

SOURCES: ARIZONA STATE BOARD FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS, GILBERT PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGLEY USD, CHANDLER USDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

lled a huge void because we were [growing] and in terms of bonds and the school’s facilities, we were just not keeping up,” he said. “So that’s one way it’s been very, very eective, is matching the growth cycle.” Data bears Taylor’s assertions out. Gilbert has 22 charter schools with their main campuses in its bound- aries, according to the Arizona State Board of Charter Schools. When adjusted for population, Gil- bert has greater density of charter schools for its population than any of

the Maricopa County suburbs of more than 100,000 people with the excep- tion of Peoria, another city with a rap- idly growing population. Two suburbs of fewer than 100,000 people, but also showing explosive growth now, are undergoing similar patterns of attracting charter schools. Goodyear has nine charter schools for a population of 82,837 and Queen Creek 10 with a population of 36,053. Taylor said charter schools serve about 18%-20% of the education mar- ket of 1.1 million students in Arizona,

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

GROWING �ith �he �own

Gilbert’s growth has attracted charter schools to the town. Here is how that growth has unfolded among still open charter schools in town. 2018-19 school grades are in parentheses after the schools.

COMPILED BY TOM BLODGETT DESIGNED BY ISABELLA SHORT

Grades K-6

Grades K-5 Grades 6-12 Grades 6-8

Grades 7-12 Grades K-8

Grades K-12 Grades 9-12

60

1995 Population: 57,085 1 Ben Franklin Char- ter School-Gilbert (A) 2 Eduprize School-Gilbert (A) 2003 Population: 145,758 7 Arizona Connec- tions Academy (N/A) 8 Challenger Basic School (A)

1997 Population: 80,230 3 American Leader- ship Academy Gilbert K-6 (A) 4 Desert Hills High School (B) 2005 Population: 166,919 10 Leading Edge Academy Gilbert Early College (A)

2001 Population: 120,447 5 Imagine West Gil- bert Elementary (A)

2002 Population: 129,864 6 Leading Edge Academy Gilbert Ele- mentary (B)

E. BASELINE RD.

8 13 20

2

E. GUADALUPE RD.

14

E. ELLIOT RD.

15

1

E. WARNER RD.

21

18

12

2006 Population: 179,602 11 Ben Franklin Char- ter School-Power (A) 12 Learning Founda- tion and Performing Arts Gilbert (C)

2007 Population: 196,602 13 Great Hearts Acad- emies-Arete Prep (A)

4

16

W. RAY RD.

6 10

9 5

E. WILLIAMS FIELD RD.

19

3

E. PECOS RD.

9 Imagine West Gilbert Middle (C)

202

E. GERMANN RD.

17

7

2008 Population: 206,264 14 Gilbert Arts Academy (A) 15 San Tan Charter School (B)

2012 Population: 219,666 16 Leading Edge Academy Online (N/A) 17 Val Vista Academy (B)

2013 Population: 227,603 18 Learning Foundation and Performing Arts Warner (C ) 19 Legacy Traditional School-Gilbert (A)

2014 Population: 235,493 20 Great Hearts Acade- mies-Archway Arete (A)

2017 Population: 246,423 21 American Leadership Academy Gilbert North K-12 (B) 22 American Leadership Academy Gilbert South K-6 (A)

E . O C

11

22

E. RIGGS RD.

N

SOURCES: ARIZONA STATE BOARD FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS, MARICOPA ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTSCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

and that is growing at 1%-2% annually. “I’ll be interested to see, is it taper- ing or is it continuing?” Taylor said. “At some point there’ll be enough of a charter product in the education mar- ketplace because it’s been clear over 25 years, the majority of people still choose district schools, and that’s OK.

“It’s made us step up and look at how we market [and] the type of pro- gramming we provide the kids,” said GPS’ McCord, who touted districts’ comprehensive nature. “And we have to be very diligent with our commu- nity and help them understand the advantages [of district schools].” That is how state lawmakers said they wanted districts to react when passing school choice legislation. Taylor saiddistricts either embraced the competition or grew defensive. He called Chandler USD, one of the three

10% OFF YOUR FIRST TREATMENT! Corrective & Effective Skincare, Latest Techniques. ACNE - ANTI AGING - SKIN HEALTH “They started to say, ‘You know what, we’re not going to whine. We’re going to compete,’” Taylor said. “And they made a commitment, and they gave Dr. [Camille] Casteel, who is an outstanding superintendent, the directive to go in and win. And what they’re doing, they’re very eective.” Geesey from Leading Edge said the competition with district schools is friendly and makes both charter and districts serving part of Gilbert, per- haps the “premier example” of a dis- trict that chose to compete.

district schools better. “If you think about it, we’re all on the same team,” he said. “It’s these kids that we’re trying to help. And sometimes you can do a better job than me, and sometimes I can do a better job. And if you can understand that, then the piece of the pie that I’m going to get is just the right size for me.”

The point is to ll the gaps.” Education competition eect

District public school ocials sum- marize their view of charter schools today simply: they are competition.

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GILBERT EDITION • MARCH 2020

Town’s initial proposal Gilbert officials had proposed cutting Paratransit service from throughout the town to just the federally mandated areas as a means of closing a shortfall in funding for the program. The town did not move forward with the cut.

to taxi companies, wheelchair-acces- sible vehicles and services such as Uber. RideChoice costs $3 per ride and the town only subsidizes $20 per ride. However, a charge of $2 per mile kicks in when riders go past 8 miles. Disabled community members said that makes RideChoice prohibitively expensive to those who need longer rides for work, school or appoint- ments. Furthermore, it confines many to an area within 8 miles of their homes, community members said. “Reducing these boundaries greatly impacts those families that rely on [Paratransit] as a lifeline to carry on their daily needs,” Gilbert resident Virginia Morrison told council. “They have relied on the service to enjoy the independence that defined their qual- ity of life.” George Majus said he and his wife live about 1.25 miles from a fixed-ser- vice bus route, which would have made his wife ineligible to continue using Paratransit starting in October, when the changes would have taken place. Doreen Majus, who has bal- ance, respiratory and heart problems, is a Paratransit user, and said she has found the service extremely reliable. However, the one time they tried RideChoice, George Majus said the service called 15 minutes before her scheduled ride to say they had no available drivers. George Majus left his own doctor’s appointment to get his wife to hers. When they returned home a couple hours later, they found a RideChoice driver there having just arrived. But George Majus also recalls a time when Paratransit was willing to rear- range its previously scheduled desti- nation to get Doreen Majus to where she could get an emergency transfu- sion. That, he said, saved her life. After public comment at the March 3 meeting, Daniels challenged staff,

CONTINUED FROM 1

George Majus, whose wife, Doreen Majus, is an Americans with Disabili- ties Act-certified rider. Tapping the brakes on change Council was scheduled to vote March 3 on staff’s recommendation to roll back Paratransit service from throughout the town to just what federal law mandates—service within three-quarters of a mile of existing fixed-route bus service. That would have put 34% of the town outside the service area, according to town doc- uments. The areas affected were in south and central Gilbert. However, after hearing residents from the disabled community and seeing the collected comments about the changes, council tapped the brakes on the cost-cutting measures. “We can look at all the data that we want, and it may seem very clear to us the choice that we need to make,” Mayor Jenn Daniels said. “But when it comes down to it, these are humans. These are people having a human experience in our community, and we want them to be participating in our community. We do not want to alien- ate them.” Paratransit, mostly known locally as Dial-a-Ride, is a door-to-door, shared-ride service for riders certi- fied under the ADA who are unable to use conventional bus service. Users must call for a ride at least 24 hours in advance of when the ride is needed. The service costs the user $4 per ride. However, the service costs the town an average of $50 per ride to subsidize. An alternative service, RideChoice, also runs throughout the town and would have continued to be avail- able in the areas where Paratransit was to go away. It is a door-to-door, private-ride service for ADA-certified riders that provides discounted access

E. BASELINE RD.

Bus route

87

Gilbert ADA Mandated Service Area

Area historically served by Paratransit, initially proposed to be served only by RideChoice

202

C O M P A R I N G

choices Paratransit and RideChoice are available to ADA-certified riders throughout Gilbert. Here is how the services compare.

E. HUNT HWY.

N

RideChoice

Paratransit

Lyft, taxicabs and accessible vehicles

Vehicles Accessible vans

Availability Between 4 a.m.-1 a.m.

24/7 access

No advance reservation requirement

Notice 24-hour advance reservation required

Ride-sharing Shared ride service

No requirement to share rides

$3 per trip for up to 8 miles, $2 per mile thereafter 20-50 trips per month based on trip purpose

Costs $4 per trip fare (one way)

Trip limits Unlimited trips per month

Federal regulation

Federally mandated within 0.75 miles of fixed route service

Not federally regulated

SOURCE: TOWN OF GILBERT/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

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COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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