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Mesa Gilbert Chandler Tempe Queen Creek Arizona Education

  • Are you eligible for a new Medicare Advantage Plan?

    If you have Medicare coverage, you are probably familiar with a time of year known as the Annual Enrollment Period. This is a timeframe, typically from mid-October to early December, when people who are eligible for Medicare can enroll in, disenroll from or change their Medicare Advantage plan for the upcoming year.Once you select a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have a window from January to mid-February to disenroll and return to original Medicare. You can then purchase a separate Part D Prescription Drug Plan from a private company if you would like to do so.After the enrollment and disenrollment periods end, you are locked into original Medicare or the Medicare Advantage Plan you selected for the remainder of the year. However, there are some situations that may let you make a change to your existing coverage anytime of the year if you qualify.A Special Enrollment Period allows you to make changes to your Medicare coverage as a result of a specific circumstance. You may be eligible if you:• Are clinically diagnosed with certain chronic conditions.• Are just turning 65 or gaining your eligibility for Medicare.

  • 13-year-old home alone when robbers hit Tempe house

    Two men robbed a Tempe home Tuesday while a 13-year-old boy was home alone."I was at home and i heard a noise," said Alexis Chavez. "Two guys broke in and told me to cover my face so i wouldn't see them."Police Sgt. Mike Pooley said the two men allegedly broke into the home through a skylight near University Drive and Price Road.After hiding under the sheets for some time, Alexis got up thinking the two men had left, but the suspects were still in the home and told him to go hide.The teenager's mother, Loren Holden, works at a hospital and returned home shortly after the suspects left, police said. Holden then contacted authorities."It was just horrible to see him crying," said Holden. "We just ran to the parking lot got, into the car and called police."

  • Town taking early steps toward building park in south Gilbert

    Gilbert officials are working to build a park in a part of town that currently lacks town-owned recreation options.The town’s Parks, Recreation, and Library Advisory Board approved unanimously a plan that would lead to the construction of a new park in the southern part of town. Parks and Recreation Director Rod Buchanan said the two locations include a plot of land at Chandler Heights Basin encompassing 309 acres and a second parcel covering 80 acres total near the intersection of Greenfield and Chandler Heights roads. The caveat with the Chandler Heights location stems from the fact the town owns only 47 acres of it, meaning it would have to reach an agreement with Maricopa County to acquire or use the rest of the land.The decision to build a new park is one of the 200 action items that are part of the town’s parks and recreation master plan, and its placement on that list is tied to the lack of options in the southern part of town. Discovery Park is the public park that sits farthest south in town, and Buchanan pointed out that park is almost 8 miles away from Gilbert’s southernmost point.“If you’re going to do a park, the logical place would be the south side of town,” he said.Mayor John Lewis added building a community park in that part of Gilbert is one of the Gilbert Town Council’s top priorities.The reason for the heavy emphasis is the anticipated growth for that section of Gilbert, which Lewis said is undergoing high growth along with the rest of town — the most recent U.S. Census figures have Gilbert ranked as the 12th-fastest-growing municipality in the country. Adding a park to the region might provide an uptick to that growth, as Lewis said his family moved to its current location due in part to a park near his neighborhood.

  • Mesa parks to receive major updates in the next year

    It’s shaping up to be a very busy year for Mesa Parks and Recreation, as 11 new projects are bringing a host of opportunities for Mesa residents.The Parks and Recreation Bond Program, passed in 2012, has allowed for the addition of new parks, something the city hasn’t been able to do in some time, as well as significant renovations to other locations.“We haven’t opened a new park in Mesa in a long time, and so that park funding package … is having a tremendous impact on the parks system,” said Andrea Moore, a project coordinator for Mesa Parks and Recreation.Park Conversion and Improvement Projects are a string of improvements to vacant city lands that will transform them into usable park space. Four locations are in the planning process and will begin construction in 2015, at a total estimated cost of $7.2 million.Just more than $54 million will be dedicated to new park and new recreational developments suggested by residents in the iMesa program. Eleven locations are slated for development, ranging from fishing lakes and bike paths, to Mesa City Center, which is anticipated to be completed this summer.Another compelling project started not with city council, but with public sentiment. Officer Brandon Mendoza, who was killed in May by a wrong-way driver, will be remembered by the renaming of the ballfield at Guerrero Rotary Park in his honor.

  • Police recommend animal cruelty charges after 79 cats removed from Gilbert home

    The Gilbert Police Department is recommending animal cruelty charges be brought against a 59-year-old woman who was squatting in a home with 79 cats.Jesse Sanger, spokesman for Gilbert police, said it will be recommending multiple counts of animal cruelty to the County Attorney after dozens of cats were found in a home near Val Vista Drive and Gilbert Road Monday afternoon.The cats are currently in the care of the Maricopa County Animal Care & Control who are evaluating the cats' health and trying to determine if any of the cats will be able to be adopted.Melissa Gable, spokesman for MCACC, said two kittens were recovered, one of which is about 2 weeks old.Gable told ABC15's Allison Rodriguez that most of the cats are malnourished and in bad shape. She said one cat had to be euthanized. It's possible that those that are deemed not to be adoptable, will have to be put down.Officers were called to the home Monday night after investors, who bought the home at an auction, started renovations inside the home. While renovations were being done, the previous owner returned home. It was determined that the woman was still living in the home, even thought she should have already vacated, said police.

  • Mesan using D.C. internship to help change foster case process

    One young man from Mesa who grew up in the foster care system is in Washington, D.C., learning about the political process and help change the way the Capitol makes policy regarding foster kids. Craig Stuart is interning in the office of Rep. Trent Franks with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Foster Youth Internship (FYI) program.“Craig’s arrival in Washington this summer has meaning far beyond his participation in CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship program; he also comes to Capitol Hill as a voice for every child in U.S. foster care,” said Becky Weichhand, interim executive director of CCAI, in a statement.Stuart overcame a childhood filled with hardship to attend Arizona State University, majoring in communications and minoring in business, and hopes to go into business for himself one day. He said education is the driving factor on his path to success, thus far. After bouncing around the system, Stuart was finally placed with a local woman, Mary Corrigan, who emphasized the importance of education and gave him the tools he needed to get ahead.“I definitely credit a lot of my success to her as she built up my confidence and self-worth and hammered in education as a way to actively change many of the hardships which I was born into,” said Stuart. “She was able to help me most by welcoming me and offering me a loving home. If I did not have the opportunity to meet and learn from her, I am not sure where my life would be today.”But Stuart said many who share his background are not as fortunate as he was. Education is not always first and foremost in the lives of children who lack a stable home environment.“I see one of the biggest road blocks to success of youths in the foster care system is lack of a quality education,” said Stuart. “Often times, foster kids bounce from home to home, changing schools and have so many life issues to deal with on a daily basis that often homework and preparing for class is the last thing they have time to think about.”

  • City Tribe blends indie rock, beach music

    If you dream of days spent on the beach, a grey cocoon of clouds blanketing the sun, the surf crashing on the shore, you might like the music of City Tribe — a San Francisco indie rock band known for a sound reminiscent of the Everly Brothers, or in more contemporary terms, Vampire Weekend. The group, which includes Jacob Jones on lead vocals, Eric Wallace on acoustic guitar, Duncan Nielsen on electric bass, and percussion from Cody Rhodes, performs tonight at Roosevelt Row’s hip art bar — Lost Leaf — in support of their debut album “Undertow.”Formed in 2010, City Tribe named their freshman LP after an evening they spent at Santa Barbara’s Butterfly Beach. “It was getting dark,” Jones says, “and there was this swell coming in — this powerful undertow. It was so strong, it was bouncing these big boulders along, and there was this tense feeling being in the water there. I related the physical experience to a mental state — uncertainty. Having rocky times, being unsure what’s going to happen, and feeling that same tension and pull in your life. But I’m not just talking about a depressed feeling — there was this hectic thing going on in the water, but at the same time, it was so beautiful on the beach.”“ ‘Undertow’ really reflects being pulled under by a force you can’t see or control,” explains Nielsen. “To me, it’s about being overtaken by something.”The album strikes a balance between two moods; a pensive, fog-shrouded turn for every blissful hit of sunshine pop. And through it all, the band submits willingly to the vibe, being carried by the current of the music spilling out of them.The album was recorded by Andy Freeman at Faultline Studios and historic San Francisco jazz studio Coast Recorders, as well as Freeman’s home studio. The band cut everything almost entirely live, standing in the same room together, and the album’s nine tracks showcase City Tribe’s penchant for spontaneity and their prowess as a live band.The result is pure Highway 1 music — a soundtrack for romantic California; which is only natural, considering every member of City Tribe was born and raised in the Golden State, save for Jones who — while originally from landlocked Phoenix — says he often spent childhood vacations at Southern California beaches and bolted for the coast as soon as he turned 18. He and Nielsen love to surf, and Wallace is a skimboarder.

  • The Phoenix Zoo held its annual Winter in July event on Saturday for the animals and an estimated 7,000 visitors to cool off in over twenty tons of snow.Music: "The Shine" by Jahzzar (CC BY-SA 4.0)[Vincent Cota/East Valley Tribune]

    Video: Winter in July at the Phoenix Zoo

    The Phoenix Zoo held its annual Winter in July event on Saturday for the animals and an estimated 7,000 visitors to cool off in over twenty tons of snow.Music: "The Shine" by Jahzzar (CC BY-SA 4.0)[Vincent Cota/East Valley Tribune]

  • Keep tabs on San Diego Comic-Con as it unfolds

    The East Valley Tribune's NERDVANA blog is reporting "live" from San Diego Comic-Con Wednesday through Sunday this week. Follow the pop culture news with photos from the event on Twitter @Nerdvana, on Facebook at: facebook.com/nerdvanablog, or with daily recaps at http://blogs.evtrib.com/nerdvana.

  • Checking in with The Motels' Martha Davis

    Whether you were there when The Motels first burst onto the music scene in the early '80s or are just rediscovering them again, it's hard to deny that singer Martha Davis is one of MTVs first leading ladies and one of the most charismatic female performers in rock.The 1980s are back in full swing as Talking Stick Resort plays host Wednesday to the co-headling tour The Go Go's and Martha Davis & The Motels Replay America. The two bands will perform their repertoire of hits and summon a night of new wave nostalgia.The Motels recorded six records for Capitol, starting with their self-titled debut in 1979. Three years later their album "All Four One" and the smash single, "Only The Lonely" propelled them to the Top 10 and gold record status. They followed that effort in 1983 with "Little Robbers" as well as another Top 10 single, "Suddenly Last Summer."In 1988 Davis took a sabbatical from the music scene after The Motels broke up. Davis rebooted the group several times but in 2013 she signed with manager Greg Sims of Vesuvio Entertainment and is as busy as she was three decades ago.Davis spoke exclusively to Get Out about the dawn of MTV, her longtime friendship with the Go Go's and new music on the horizon.Q: I was surprised to learn that the first incarnation of The Motels dates to 1971 in Berkeley and you didn't break it big until about a decade later... that's some serious dues paying.

  • Review: "Purge: Anarchy" offers little but annoyance

    It's evening in America, and the entire country has permitted citizens wanton acts violence and crime against one another one night in March every year. The annual ritual of destruction has resurrected America's economy – unemployment is less than 5 percent – and crime rates are almost nil, aside from the annual bacchanalian blood fest.This is America circa 2023 as presented by writer/director James DeMonaco in “The Purge: Anarchy.” DeMonaco's vision of the country is one with an increased divide between the rich and the poor and one in which acts of violence are akin to religious ceremonies to wipe away impurity.It sounds gloomy and intriguing, but it’s really quite stupid.The follow up to 2013's sleeper hit “The Purge,” the sequel expands the action to the streets of Los Angeles on purge night. It's the one night of the year in which all crime is allowed, albeit with a few caveats to ban certain levels of explosives. In other words, it's Christmas for murderers, rapists and twits.Most people try to ride the night out by locking their doors, keeping a gun handy and just praying for survival. That’s the plan for couple in a troubled marriage Shane and Liz (Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez), as well as single parent Eva Sanchez (Carmen Ejogo) and her daughter Cali (Zoë Soul).The proverbial best laid plans don't quite work out of course – a car breaks down on the first two, while the mother/daughter combination are nearly raped – but they are rescued by a mysterious and well-armed man (Frank Grillo) who offers his protection in exchange for a car. Shenanigans involving guns, bombs, revolutionaries and people with villainous and murderous intentions ensue, poorly.

  • Brew News

    Four Peaks holding drive for teacher suppliesTempe’s Four Peaks Brewing Company is partnering with Smashburger and Wist Office Products to present its Four Peaks for Teachers campaign that provides Valley teachers with free school supplies.Valley-wide Smashburger locations will collect cash donations from customers through July 25 and sell raffle tickets for prizes such as Smashburgers for a year. For every $5 donation made at any of its three locations, Four Peaks gives customers a chance to win a beer dinner and tour for eight people at the original Four Peaks Brewery on Eighth Street in Tempe.Four Peaks for Teachers provides teachers with complimentary classroom supplies to minimize their need to go out of pocket for such items. The campaign has a goal for the 2014 school year to benefit 1,500 Valley teachers with supplies such as dry erase markers, reams of paper, tissues, pencils, pens, markers and sanitary wipes. According to a statement from Four Peaks, the program supported 1,300 teachers last year during its inaugural drive.Teachers who want to participate can visit any Four Peaks or Smashburger location through Saturday, July 19, with their school ID and pick up a voucher good for one teacher supplies kit that will be distributed at designated Four Peaks locations starting July 21 while supplies last. For a list of supply pickup times or to donate online, visit FourPeaks.com.Chao hosting beer dinner

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  • Are you eligible for a new Medicare Advantage Plan?

    If you have Medicare coverage, you are probably familiar with a time of year known as the Annual Enrollment Period. This is a timeframe, typically from mid-October to early December, when people who are eligible for Medicare can enroll in, disenroll from or change their Medicare Advantage plan for the upcoming year.Once you select a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have a window from January to mid-February to disenroll and return to original Medicare. You can then purchase a separate Part D Prescription Drug Plan from a private company if you would like to do so.After the enrollment and disenrollment periods end, you are locked into original Medicare or the Medicare Advantage Plan you selected for the remainder of the year. However, there are some situations that may let you make a change to your existing coverage anytime of the year if you qualify.A Special Enrollment Period allows you to make changes to your Medicare coverage as a result of a specific circumstance. You may be eligible if you:• Are clinically diagnosed with certain chronic conditions.• Are just turning 65 or gaining your eligibility for Medicare.

  • BidOnFusion hosting auction in Mesa

    BidOnFusion will have an auction in Mesa with more than 20 truckloads of goods valued at more than $2 million.Scheduled for July 26 at 10:30 a.m., the auction will include items sold to large-scale companies like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot and others and will continue until all items are sold. A portion of the proceeds will got to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.The event is 1720 W. Broadway Road Suite 104 and more information is available by visiting bidonfusion.com.

  • Wild Horse Pass in Chandler hires new sales account director

    Corey Margulis was appointed as the new sales account director at The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Chandler.Margulis will focus on securing meeting and event business in the western U.S. region as well as the insurance, financial and accounting vertical markets.

  • Sonoran Spine hosting open house for new location

    Sonoran Spine will host an event on Aug. 22 as part of the opening its fifth location in Tempe.The open house, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m., includes behind-the-scenes tours and a raffle for Arizona Cardinals tickets, Amazon and Massage Envy gift cards, and other items. Food and drink is also available.The new location is at 1255 W. Rio Salado Parkway Suite 107, and additional information about Sonoran Spine is available by visiting sonoranspine.com.

  • Arizona tourism back to pre-recession levels, still short of expectations

    Tourism in Arizona is now back to where it was before the recession — and SB 1070 — hit, but it's nowhere near where it should be, according to the state's top tourism official.Figures from a study done for the Arizona Office of Tourism show that 39.1 million people visited the state and spent at least one night here in 2013. That includes 24.2 million from other states and 5.3 million international travelers.The last time Arizona came close to that was in 2007 with 38.7 million visitors.All those visitors plunked down $19.8 billion last year for everything from $2.7 billion on hotel rooms and $3.7 billion in meals, to $2.5 billion in retail sales of everything from clothing to trinkets to take home to the family like Arizona-themed clothing items proclaiming “Grandma and grandpa visited Arizona and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”State Tourism Director Sherry Henry said the recovery has been a long time coming, but Henry said there is more to be done.“We're not up as much as we would otherwise like to be,” she said.

  • Grapes, oak lead to 2 new beers at SanTan brewing in Chandler

    One day, while talking with his brewers, SanTan Brewing Company founder and brewmaster Anthony Canecchia was struck with an idea — to mix beer and wine into a single brew.The result is two new beers debuting this weekend: the Oak-Aged Saison di Aleatico and the Cab Franc Barrel-Aged Saison.The two beers were created by blending Aleatico and Cabernet Franc wine grapes with a Saison, a highly carbonated style of brew with fruity and spiced flavors. The fresh version of Saison di Aleatico debuted last fall at SanTan’s brewpub, but the oak-aged edition has been sitting in oak barrels for the past 11 months while the Cab Franc Saison was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels that contained Cabernet Franc pommace. They were tapped for the first time Saturday at the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild’s inaugural Real, Wild and Woody Beer Festival in Tempe and the SanTan brewpub in downtown Chandler.The idea for the Saison di Aleatico and Cab Franc Saison stemmed from a conversation about fermentables, specifically fruits, and combining them with beer. The idea wasn’t a particularly new concept; SanTan Brewing Company already has a Mr. Pineapple beer that is brewed with pineapple juice, but soon the conversation turned to grapes.So, Canecchia grabbed a bottle of Dos Cabezas WineWorks’ El Norte wine and mixed it with an amber ale. He liked what he tasted.“We really enjoyed some of that acidic character that came out,” Canecchia said. “Mind you we were just kind of splashing some wine in some beer and not aging it, so then the conversation started.”

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  • Are you eligible for a new Medicare Advantage Plan?

    If you have Medicare coverage, you are probably familiar with a time of year known as the Annual Enrollment Period. This is a timeframe, typically from mid-October to early December, when people who are eligible for Medicare can enroll in, disenroll from or change their Medicare Advantage plan for the upcoming year.Once you select a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have a window from January to mid-February to disenroll and return to original Medicare. You can then purchase a separate Part D Prescription Drug Plan from a private company if you would like to do so.After the enrollment and disenrollment periods end, you are locked into original Medicare or the Medicare Advantage Plan you selected for the remainder of the year. However, there are some situations that may let you make a change to your existing coverage anytime of the year if you qualify.A Special Enrollment Period allows you to make changes to your Medicare coverage as a result of a specific circumstance. You may be eligible if you:• Are clinically diagnosed with certain chronic conditions.• Are just turning 65 or gaining your eligibility for Medicare.

  • Engineering for Kids Summer Camp

    Engineering for Kids offering STEM Based Summer Camps at Primavera in Chandler. Announces Summer Camp Open House on May 17thWhat is East Valley Engineering for Kids?Engineering for Kids is an enrichment program that teaches concepts on a variety of engineering fields in classes and camps for kids’ ages 4-14. We want to spark an interest in the kids for science, technology and engineering. The camps are all themes based and require the kids to work in teams to address engineering challenges and problems. All programs meet national education standards for STEM and align with Common Core for math and science. Engineering for Kids has operated since 2009, is in 26 states and 4 countries. When and what is the open house for?The open house on May 17th is an opportunity for parents to come and see the facility, meet the staff from Engineering for Kids, and get their questions answered. The summer camps will be offered at Primavera Blended Learning Center at 2451 N. Arizona Avenue in Chandler. The open house is from 11 am to 3 pm.  From 1-2 pm we’re having our popular robotics workshop where the kids will build, program, test and improve the robots. At the end of the workshop, the kids will compete against each other in a Sumo Bot tournament. An RSVP is highly recommended as seating is limited. Please email your RSVP to eastvalley@engineeringforkids.net. What is Primavera Blended Learning Center?

  • Keeping the Faith: Hitting the road

    Here we are, deep in the Here we are, deep in the dog days of another summer. School is out, vacation days are being cashed in, and picnic baskets are being packed. Barbecues are firing, pools are splashing, and ice cream trucks are rolling. Meanwhile, thousands, yea millions, are taking to the great American highway.Seventy percent of the U.S. population will hit the road this summer — off to visit grandma, the beach, the closest roller coaster, or a national park. We just love to feel the breeze on our faces and road beneath our wheels. We can’t stop ourselves from being a traveling people. We always have been.In prehistoric times we hoofed it, walking out of Africa scientists tell us, to every point on the globe. Then we built boats, domesticated horses, constructed wagons, engineered planes, trains, and automobiles – not to mention submersibles and space ships – so that no corner of creation has been untouched by the human foot, it seems. We keep moving, rolling, and running, so much so that the theme song of human history might well be Willie Nelson’s, “On the Road Again.”True to form, Christianity is a fluid faith for a pilgrim people. It is a spirituality of sojourn, of “goin’ places that we've never been; seein’ things that we may never see again.” Yet, we don’t always understand faith this way. Look at how we have structured it, however, and it is easy to see why we most often view Christianity as an incorrigible, fixated fortress rather than a living, dynamic movement.Our doctrines, constructed and accumulated over thousands of years, stack up like heavy stones. They are unassailable, infallible, and immovable. The buildings that contain our worship services are almost always built of rock, granite, or the hardest and heaviest material we can find — and there those buildings sit in the same place for centuries.Then, try being an idealistic reformer who seeks to change a church’s policy or its strategy to meet the world where it now is. If you’re not taken out behind the vestry and quietly crucified, you will find that change in the church usually moves with all the terrifying speed of a melting glacier.

  • In a jam? It's time to think outside the PB&J

    It was probably 15 years ago that I discovered the magic that is a nearly empty jar of jam.Until then, I'd always hated those sticky knuckle moments of scraping the slimy dregs of the jar, hoping I had enough to add that sweet balance so needed by the otherwise leaden smear of peanut butter on my bread.Then an Italian cook who was supposed to be teaching me pasta making got sidetracked. She wanted a salad to go with our orecchiette, and she wanted to make her own vinaigrette. That's when she reached for a nearly empty jar of strawberry jam from the refrigerator, dumped in some olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, some salt and pepper. Then she put the cover back on the jar and shook like mad.Revolutionary? Hardly. But it was delicious. More importantly, it changed my relationship with jam. It wasn't just a sandwich spread. And it totally made sense. After all, a jar of grape jelly has long been the not-so-secret ingredient for many a potluck meatball. And since that day, I've used a dollop of one jam or another in nearly every vinaigrette I've made.And that's just the start. I regularly turn to jams and jellies for adding oomph to everything, including sweet-and-sour chicken (apricot jam), barbecue pork ribs (seedless raspberry), beef marinades (orange marmalade), ham glazes (blackberry or cherry), sweet-and-savory dips for vegetables and crackers (red pepper jelly), even sandwich spreads (anything goes!). It's a cheap and easy way to add tons of flavor. If nothing else, you really must try fig jam in a grilled cheese (use extra-sharp cheddar).Fruit spreads — as the retail category is collectively known — accounts for some $959 million in sales a year in the U.S., where some 1 billion pounds are produced, according to the International Jelly and Preserve Association. And the leading variety? Strawberry, followed by grape, then raspberry.

  • Go For the Food: Shawarma in Copenhagan

    COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Don't tell the folks over at avant-garde eateries Noma and Geranium, but for many visitors to Denmark's capital, the biggest culinary sensation isn't Nordic fusion.That honor goes to Shawarma Grill House, which for more than 30 years has been dishing out some truly spectacular Middle Eastern comfort food, including an outstanding shawarma sandwich. The city's high-end restaurants may get all the headlines, but millions of Danes and tourists can't be wrong!Shawarma Grill House lies at the start of Copenhagen's pedestrian-only shopping street, Stroget, nearest Radhus Platz. It has the appearance of a narrow fast-food joint, but ample seating is tucked into the back and upstairs. Usually there's a line of people waiting for a menu that includes standard Middle Eastern offerings, including falafel, kebabs, grilled chicken and kofta (and a hamburger for those with less appreciation for the real deal).But the main attraction is its shawarma sandwich. Massive spits of marinated meats greet diners as they enter, promising an unforgettable sandwich. Servers slice off pieces of the fragrant meat, a combination of beef and lamb, into a warm round of pita bread. They then quickly top it off with a salad of lettuce and tomato and a dash of a white sauce made from tahini and yogurt. And you are set.To those who doubt how those simple ingredients can be transformed into a magical experience in your mouth, embrace it. Leave behind all thoughts of the rubbery gyro meat you are familiar with stateside. The crisp lettuce is a delicious contrast to the tender, moist meat, while the fresh, soft pita ties it all together splendidly. If you are brave enough, add some of the red chili sauce, or harissa, metal bowls of which are at every table. Its sweet-sour-hot flavor is the best complement to the sandwich.For just $6.60 (DKK36) each, one sandwich is filling. Two is even better.

  • Rethinking a healthy breakfast: a meal in a muffin

    When fall rolls around and it's back to school and work, wouldn't you love to start your day with something tastier and more substantial than that all-too-typical bowl of cold cereal? It's just so boring day after day. And that's apart from the fact that most cereals will fail to tide you over until lunchtime.Here, then, is a meal in a muffin, a delicious and substantial alternative to the usual breakfast fare.The base is a mix of white whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. Don't fret over the whole wheat. White whole-wheat flour — which is available at most supermarkets — is made from a variety of wheat that is lighter in color and flavor than a traditional whole wheat, but just as healthy.The flour mix is moistened with eggs (a terrific source of protein), a combo of olive oil and just a little butter, as well as a bit of buttermilk and some Greek yogurt. The latter is a wonderful ingredient. Somehow the version with zero fat delivers all of the creamy mouth feel and tangy depth of flavor that anyone could wish for. And it boasts double the protein of regular yogurt.Next come the veggies. I've chosen broccoli and roasted red peppers, but you're welcome to replace them with carrots or chopped green beans. Your choice, as long as they add up to 1 3/4 cups. And by the way, you don't need to pre-cook the vegetables before adding them to the batter.I've amped up the flavor with modest amounts of Canadian bacon and full-fat cheddar cheese. The finished muffins are good to go: tasty and filling without a ton of sugar and fat. Breakfast may never be the same. For that matter, these muffins would be great for lunch, too.

Video: Winter in July at the Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo held its annual Winter in July event on Saturday for the animals and an estima...

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