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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 T HE F OUNTAIN H ILLS


TIMES L. A Alan L. Alan Cruikshank Cru Publisher Publi Cruikshank

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Joanne, Kavanagh, promotions We have a story this week about Joanne Meehan, principal of McDowell Mountain Elementary School. The story says she completed her 41st year in education at the end of the last school year. She barely looks 41! Joanne, I don’t know how you do it, but I swear you look nearly as young as when I first met you in 1985. Let me tell you, this woman has had such a positive impact on the young people of our community. The honors she has received for her dedication to the field of education are most definitely deserved. She was inducted into the Lower Verde Valley Hall of Fame in 2008. We at The Times commend and congratulate her on her many years of outstanding service to the Fountain Hills Unified School District. We wish her a “Super Good” year. Can it really be the start of the school year in less than two weeks? ------Sheriff Joe Arpaio is being challenged by State Rep. John Kavanagh as our most visible resident. I saw him being interviewed on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams last Thursday night. He has been on numerous times on Fox News programs in recent months and is often quoted in The Arizona Republic and the local news programs. As a co-sponsor of the controversial Senate Bill 1070, it seems everyone is wanting to talk to him. From what I’ve seen, he has handled himself very well. It must be the result of the public speaking experience he gained when he assumed the role of emcee of our Historical Society Spaghetti Dinner Fund-raisers some years ago. He’ll be back filling that role again on Saturday, August 28. Be sure to get your tickets for this year’s spaghetti dinner and auction. It has been moved back to the Community Center so there should be plenty of seating available. Tickets for the spaghetti dinner fund-raiser are $15 each or two for $25, if purchased in advance. The charge for children under 10 years old is $5. Reserved tables are available for an additional fee. Tickets can be purchased at Gridleys, The Times, Sami’s, the River of Time Museum or from any board member. ------This is the final week to take advantage of our subscription special for new subscribers living in Fountain Hills or the Verde Communities. If you can have the newspaper delivered to your home each Wednesday, you can take advantage of our $25 special. That’s less than half of what it costs to buy it off the newsstands in the community and it’s a $13 savings from our regular annual subscription rate of $38. There is an ad with a coupon for you to fill out and return with a check inside this week’s edition. This is the final week of Phase two of our Coupon Page and Summer Contest promotion. A new set of advertisers will start the final four weeks of the promotion on August 4. Congratulations to this week’s $100 winner, Jane Robinson, who submitted her coupon at Senor Taco. Take a look at all of the discounts being offered on our coupon page (Page 5A).

Your Fountain Hills Marketplace • Sports • Religion • Clubs • Business • Real Estate • Public Notices

A heli of a deal

Canyon State Aero chief pilot and certified flight instructor Sascha Janssen, right, Jessica Manley right before they jump into the helicopter for a flight. Manley will be at the controls for a portion of the trip.

Fly this chopper for $99! By Sharon Dennis Special to The Times

Fountain Hills resident Sascha Janssen is chief pilot and certified flight instructor for Canyon State Aero, owned by US Airways pilots Jan Sandberg and Stephen Woodrum. The nascent flight school flies out of Falcon Field in Mesa, a short drive from Fountain Hills. One of two Schweizer 300-C helicopter’s is up and running for the school. The second will come on board soon. The two-seaters will eventually be joined by a four-seater. Janssen has a commer-

cial pilot’s license and is also licensed for rotocraft and has his instructor’s rating. He has been a flight instructor for two years. However, he has 10 years experience flying helicopters. Janssen came to the United States from Germany in 1999 and worked as a Chicago cop for some time. His interest in flight moved him to take a six- week vacation to take helicopter lessons. His first “discovery flight” led to a new career. Whether you want to experience helicopter flight for fun -- or as a prelude to lessons and licensing -- the first hour

is billed at just $99. This type of discovery flight is also a great gift idea for family or friends for any occasion: Christmas, birthday, graduation, Father’s Day or Mother’s Day. Some clients just want to go sight-seeing and some are looking for real estate. Many simply want to experience the joy of fight. The first half hour is spent in pre-flight ground training to make sure students understand the basics of design and physics that allow a helicopter to fly. There is an intensive pre-flight safety inspection to check fluid levels and

look for possible cracks in rotor blades, etc. All parts of the bird are inspected and explained. This ground session prepares the student for flight and ensures safety. The second half hour begins with a check-list… and then proceeds to an exciting flight with time for students to attempt hovering and other “heli” maneuvers with the aid of Janssen as chief pilot to guide them and keep them safe. The FAA requires 40 hours of training for licensing. The hourly cost for about 30 hours of flight training is $295. About 10 hours of ground work is

available at $260 an hour. Though a discovery flight might not lead everyone to a new career as a helicopter pilot, it is now easier for more people to have a safe and exciting opportunity to experience helicopter flight -- just minutes from Fountain Hills. Contact Sascha Janssen of CS AERO at (480) 2218925 to book a discovery flight. Writer Jessica Manley had some fixed-wing flight training under her belt, so she decided to go on a birthday discovery flight with Janssen to experience heli fight. See her accompanying exciting story.

My life and times as a pilot By Jessica Manley Special to The Times

Pre-flight checklist complete. Time to start that piston engine. No other sound in the universe is quite as efficient at drowning out the vuvuzelan din of terrestrial life. Now the blades begin to turn. Thwop.

Thwop. Thwop. Our journey begins. The helicopter was beautiful, clean and superbly maintained. When we arrived, it is being polished to a shine. All dressed up and readied for her first passenger of the day. As we walked around performing the safety inspection, I marveled at

the design and function of every rod, rivet and rotor. I am eager to hop in and experience the power first hand. Finally, we are seated and strapped in. Wrapping the headset around my ears, I feel literally plugged in. The drone of the recorded weather report fills my ears over the symphony

of the engine and the three 26-foot rotors. The ambient temperature has already cooled to a breezy 97 degrees. Switching over to the tower controller’s frequency, my capable pilotin-command professionally and courteously requests permission to depart the helipad. A constant, comfortable

Pilot Sascha Janssen and Jessica Manley go over pre-flight checks before liftoff at Mesa’s Falcon Field.

radio banter between pilots and tower lures me deeper into the mystery of the moment. No matter how many times I’ve flown and in no matter which vehicles I’ve accomplished that seemingly impossible feat; the feeling of leaving the earth is always magical to me. The flight is everything I expected and more. First, I gently rest my hand on the controls as Chief Pilot Sascha gracefully maneuvers us out of the traffic pattern. Then, cradling the stick between my thumb and first two fingers, I realize quickly that small corrections are all that is necessary. Straight and level flight at 65-70 knots is exhilarating. Becoming one with this machine means remaining in control while staying out of the way long enough to let her perform at her peak. Three little words, “It’s your aircraft.” No better feeling in the world. Onward to the practice area. Sascha hands over the controls again, but deftly works the pedals, collective and throttle as he has done all the while. He wants me to hover. I desperately want to pirouette like I watched the pros (cont. on page 2 B)


Sports Unique equine training being offered

Sports Briefs Mountain. The format for the day was match play. Winning their matches in the A Division were Alan Langston, Terry Nichols, Craig Neill, Dan Britton, Dick Kenney, Joe Andersen and Mark Garofalo. Andersen and Langston tied for low net with 66. B Division winners were Chuck Stevens, Tooly Harris, Russ Bonaguidi, David Neal and Bobby Feller. Stevens had low net at 66. In the race for the King of the Hill trophy, there is a four-way tie for first place with Dave Howard, Chris Peer, Langston and Nichols all at 24 points. Neill is in second at 23 while Steve Eiklor, Jerry Berna and Britton are tied for third at 22. Harris and Pete Donzelli are tied for first in the B Division with 31 points. Mike Creed is in second at 29.5 with Stevens in third at 27. The league’s next play date is tomorrow, July 29, at Stonecreek golf course where there will be a 12:30 shotgun start. The format will be medal play. For more information, call Jerry Berna at 8169986 or Jimmy Guess at 837-1830.

Sponsors sought for program The Fountain Hills High School Athletic Booster Club is once again developing an athletic program to be handed out at every sporting event through the school year and are on the lookout for advertisers. Funds raised by the Booster Club help support high school athletics. The programs will feature a description of the sport, introduce coaches and include names of players and pictures of the teams. For advertisers wishing to be included in the program, quarter page ads will be $175 with half page ads costing $250 and full page costing $400. Participation will also include membership into the Booster Club as well as a Falcon T-Shirt. For more information or to take part in this year’s programs, call 980-4351 or e-mail

BusinessMen continue play The Fountain Hills BusinessMens League had its Thursday, July 22, outing at the Golf Club at Eagle


(cont. from page 1B)


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Dog agility and Frisbee dog competitions are some of the fastest growing areas of the dog show world. Now “athletic-partnership” sports between owners and their pets are making their way into the equine community. Leslie Nichols, a progressive horse trainer from Fountain Hills, has pioneered Equine Agility Sports and is going to Bison Ranch in Heber to put on a two-day clinic to teach the fundamentals of equine agility to owners of horses, ponies and miniature horses. Equine Agility Sports is an activity where the handler directs the horse (or other equine) through a pattern of obstacles…all without a line attached, or what is termed liberty in horse training. “Equine Agility Sports is truly unique because it is open to all equine: horses, ponies, miniature horses, mules, burros, donkeys and more,” says Nichols. “It is a great way to enjoy your horse experience without ever putting a saddle on your equine friend” In the two-day clinic, Nichols will present the sport with her trained horses. She will teach the fundamentals, which begin with teaching one’s “equine-partner” to work

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do online in preparation for my flight. I have a strict policy of never polluting myself with too much direction before embarking on a new endeavor, but now I wish I would have studied harder. Three seconds was all I could muster. But what a brilliant three seconds! The desert went silent as I focused on one of the black and white tires around the perimeter of the practice ring and tried to pin it down with force. “Everything happens within a quarter inch,” Sascha gently reminds me. “And don’t forget the delay.” I catch a breather on the trip back from the practice area and take a look


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Trainer Leslie Nichols works with a horse as part of her Equine Agility Sports program. She is offering an upcoming two-day clinic at Bison Ranch. at liberty, or off-line. The group will also learn a very specific communication system to guide the horse’s every movement, and the equine-handler teams will learn how to teach their horses to go through, around and over a variety of obstacles. Nichols has worked as an equine professional in the Phoenix area for eight years. She has developed a specialty in working with challenging horses and has pioneered numerous horsemanship innovations to help horses with “special needs,” among them around, especially down. The air is sweet with the smell of dew on creosote. I can almost count the spines on saguaros, majestic in the morning sun. Crossing the Salt River and approaching the airport, I feel my body relax and just enjoy the ride. There’s only one thing wrong with a gift like this -- waiting for the next one. We kick up some dust at a dirt pad near the hangars, scoot around the perimeter and float back to our spot. Hangar neighbors peek out and wave. After a two-minute engine cool-down we unbuckle. Reluctantly, I hop out. Feeling my feet on land I find I’m at a serious loss for a more appropriate description of the experience than a deep, elongated exhale of the word awwwww-esome. My recommendation? Bring a thesaurus. Jessica Manley is a Valley native, desktop publisher and author. She can be contacted at jessica.manley@

The Fountain Hills Soccer Club announced that registration is open for the fall season. Registrations are handled on-line only. Those interested are invited to go to to register. Registration will continue through Saturday, Aug. 21. All soccer players ages four to 14 are welcome to participate and join in the fun. Fee for regular registration is $99 for U5–U8 teams and $135 for U9 and older teams until Aug. 21. Late registration is $190. If your child’s birth certificate is not already on file with the club, mail a copy to FHSC, P.O. Box 18096, Fountain Hills, AZ 85269. Registration fees include a jersey, shorts, socks, a club practice T-shirt and weekly soccer skills training clinics with FHSC trainers. Clinic days and times will be noted on the Website and vary by age group. Visit the Website for more details as the beginning of the season draws near. Premiere teams are also being formed. Youth soccer players who want to take their

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game to the next level and improve soccer skills are encouraged to tryout for a Fountain Hills Premier Soccer Team. Players receive more intensive training and practice, and get the chance to hone their skills against other teams from around the Valley, as these teams represent a more competitive level of play. Premier teams play two seasons from August to late January with half of their games in Fountain Hills and half at other Valley locations. They participate in tournaments at the discretion of each team’s coach and parents. These teams receive weekly training with a professional trainer and weekly team practice with their coaches. The fee for a Premier team is $325 for a full season, $225 for a half season. That includes one week pre-season camp, training, and registration for the season. A week-long summer clinic is scheduled for Aug. 16-20. Those interested in the Premier teams are asked to email Trevor Jones at doc@

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the comprehensive Leslie Nichols Relaxation Program, which features a “relaxation response” for horses and yoga for horses. At the end of the second day of the clinic, equinehandler teams will be invited to show off what they can do in a fun competition, which will touch on all of the areas that they have been learning and practicing.

The Equine Agility Sports clinic is hosted by Bison Ranch in Heber. The clinic is Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 7-8. The clinic begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. each day, with a break for lunch. The clinic is open to owners of horses, ponies and miniature horses (please leave stallions at home). Nichols is accepting only 20 equine-handler teams, so space is limited. The fee for the two-day clinic is $80 per team. Members of 4-H are invited to attend for a discounted fee of $70 per team. Auditors are welcome for a daily fee of $15. Bison Ranch offers accommodations for clinic attendees to keep their horse at the ranch over the weekend. There are also rooms available for overnight stays. Owners of horses, ponies and miniature horses who want to know more about the Equine Agility Sports clinic or to reserve a spot are encouraged to call Nichols at 602-571-7121 or e-mail


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Fountain Hills Times  

My first local news publication

Fountain Hills Times  

My first local news publication