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Days before the heated Territorial Cup game between rivals Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, there’s concern over a controversial shirt.

The design, which features the message “Make Arizona Great Again Build A Wall” and a line sectioning off Tucson as part of Mexico, is drawing criticism.

“We never want to normalize symbols or slogans that are hateful and this T-shirt normalizes it, making it casual, making it funny, it’s not,” said Carlos Galindo-Elvira, the Anti-Defamation League’s Arizona regional director.

“It marginalizes vulnerable communities and in this case, Hispanic immigrants,” he said.

ASU students question whether the T-shirt crosses the line from humor to hateful.

“The joke’s funny but a little distasteful,” said Andrew Robinson, a student.

The shirt is advertised on several local websites and social media pages. A person in support of the shirt posted to Facebook: “I’m going to Tucson and need this.”

Another offended by the message posted: “Terrible racist reference. Shame on you. Even if you mean this as a joke, Tempe is better than this.”

“It’s painful, in fact, to some members of our community and so why would we think that’s funny?” asked Galindo-Elvira. “If you think about a situation like the Holocaust, that was not an accident in our history, it wasn’t killing that started the Holocaust, it was words, it was images.”

Cactus Sports in downtown Tempe is an official ASU retailer. Renee Montoya said she’s disappointed hearing about the controversial shirt. Her philosophy is to only carry tasteful items that poke fun at ASU’s rival school not people with slogans like “No Pity for the Kitty.”

“We just try and keep everything to where it’s making fun of you a little bit, but no one is really going to get too worked up about it,” Montoya said.

“People are going to be dumb,” said Kyle Martin, a former student. “They’re going to do what they want.”

With the Southern Poverty Law Center reporting more than 700 incidents of racial harassment and intimidation nationwide since the presidential election, ASU students hope fans “Fear the Fork,” not what’s worn to the Territorial Cup Friday night.

“The whole recent election has been a pretty big triggering point for people and I feel like this is just bringing that into something completely unnecessary,” Robinson said. “There’s no reason why we need to relate the political thing to a simple football game.”

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A wide-open, run-and-gun style opened up Arizona State's offense, even if the defense had some lapses.

The Sun Devils had six players finish in double figures and their point total tied for the second-highest ever in program history. Freshman Sam Cunliffe had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Kodi Justice scored a season-high 20 points to lead Arizona State to a 127-110 victory over The Citadel on Wednesday.

Justice scored 13 points in the first half, when ASU built a 55-45 lead. Cunliffe scored 16 points in the second half. The Sun Devils (4-2) surpassed 100 points for the first time since 2009.

"Sam looked really smooth out there," ASU coach Bobby Hurley said. "He looks more and more relaxed and comfortable in what we're doing. He's thrown himself into both ends of the floor."

Obinna Oleka added 20 points and 15 rebounds and Tra Holder, the team's leading scorer at 17.2 points per game, scored 22.

"You don't come across many teams that play the style that they play and get up and down the way they do," Hurley said of the Bulldogs (3-3). "It was a good game for us leading into next week in terms of the pace of the game."

That first opponent next week is No. 1 Kentucky.

"I'm scared to think of how many points they might score on us if we play defense the way we played (Wednesday)," Hurley said.

Arizona State took a 66-52 lead early in the second half, only to see The Citadel go on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to four with 14:01 to play.

The Bulldogs, of the Southern Conference, kept it close for a good portion of the second half but could never take the lead. The Sun Devils pulled away right after the 10-minute mark.

Kaelon Harris came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with a career-high 30 points and Zane Najdawi tied his career-high with 28 points.

"The greatest thing is we've got nine freshmen. A lot of them got to grow up (Wednesday) and our leading scorer was a freshman," Citadel coach Duggar Baucom said. "We'll grow from this and try to get better."

Justice, a part-time starter so far this season, hadn't scored more than eight points in a game this season.

"It's going to be my night one night, it's going to be other guys' nights on other night. So it's not that big a deal to me," Justice said.


The Citadel: The Bulldogs entered Wednesday averaging 102.4 points per game. They scored over 100 for the fourth time this season but have given up a combined 257 points in back-to-back losses at Iowa State and ASU.

Arizona State: Starting with its next game in the Bahamas, the Sun Devils will play six games in 23 days against teams that have made the NCAA Tournament with regularity in recent years. First up is Kentucky, followed by UNLV, Purdue, San Diego State, New Mexico State and Creighton.

IT'S "Teh-SHUMP-a"

The Sun Devils were hardly in danger of losing, but got one effective minute of action early in the first half from seldom-used post Jethro Tshisumpa. The 6-foot-10 freshman from the Democratic Republic of the Congo blocked three shots and made a layup to give ASU a 22-12 lead at the 13:12 mark of the first half.


Arizona State was 8 of 16 from 3-point range in the first half, 7 of 15 at the free throw line. The Sun Devils turned things around at the line, hitting 21 of 22 free throws in the second half.


A dunk by Shannon Evans off a steal by Cunliffe gave the Sun Devils an 87-76 lead with 9:04 to play, and ASU led by no fewer than eight points the rest of the way.


The Citadel returns home to Charleston, South Carolina for its next five games, starting with Presbyterian on Monday.

Arizona State heads to the Bahamas to face top-ranked Kentucky on Monday. ASU lost at then-No. 5 Kentucky on Dec. 12, 2015, 72-58, and is 0-4 against the Wildcats since 1991.

Gilbert, Tempe among the worst in nation for roof rats

Two East Valley cities are in the top 10 nationwide, but not in a category they want.

Gilbert and Tempe are among the worst in the country for roof rats based on data compiled from more than 300 Terminix branches.

Gilbert ranked 2nd and Tempe ranked 5th on the list.

Joel Whalin, the service manager at the Tempe Terminix branch, said that the influx of rodent infestations could be because they're migrating through the Valley and looking for basic necessities.

"What it all boils down to is do have what they need to survive," Whalin said. "That's food, water and shelter."

The main signs of an infestation include droppings, the smell of urine, chew marks on the property, rat noises at night, and holes in fallen citrus fruits.

The scent of rodent urine is very sweet and difficult to describe but distinguishable, Whalin said.

Citrus plants are a primary food source for rodents, so if homeowners don't pick up fallen fruits, that can attract unwanted critters. Homeowners will often see holes in fallen, rotten fruit, which is a sign that rodents are feeding on their property, Whalin said.

If rats have breached a structure, squealing and gnawing can be heard at night due to roof rats' nocturnal nature.

"Homeowners will hear a lot of noise going on that typically you wouldn't hear in the middle of the night," Whalin said.

Even if rodents haven't entered a structure, pests around a home can still cause issues on the exterior and can lead to roof rats making their way into a house, Whalin said.

"The reality of it is that there are rats outside and they're running around everywhere," Whalin said. "Even though they may not breach a structure and get inside a home, they will still chew on things because there is food and water available."

The damage that rodents can create inside of a home can affect both the structure of a house and the health of homeowners.

Rodents are capable of chewing through electrical, plumbing and gas lines. Pregnant females are even able to chew right through a wall to find a dark and quiet place to have their babies, Whalin said.

The urine and feces of rodents can contain bacteria that can be harmful to a homeowner if they come into contact with it or ingest it.

"It's not only about where they can cause physical damage to a home but buildup of their droppings or urine can potentially become a health hazard for the homeowners," Whalin said.

The best way to prevent an infestation is to eliminate all potential food sources for the rodents. Homeowners should pick up fallen fruit so rodents won't be attracted to the area, Whalin said.

Another potential food source can be dog food and water that is left outside, Whalin said.

"I'm not saying, especially in Arizona, not to leave food and water out for animals, but just know it can potentially attract rodents," Whalin said.

Once it is evident there is a rodent infestation, the way a Terminix team handles the situation is by first identifying the kind of rat they are dealing with so they can decide the best way to eradicate it, Whalin said.

Then the team begins the process of trapping the rodents by first placing unset traps with bait around an area.

Once the roof rats take the bait, the team goes back and sets the traps with new bait, Whalin said.

"The caution that the rodent has is gone, it feels comfortable feeding in that area and then we'll get them," Whalin said.

Whalin said he strongly advises against homeowners trying to deal with an infestation on their own.

"Unless you know what you're getting yourself into you'll be chasing your tail," Whalin said.

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham directs his team against Colorado in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado won 40-16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

TEMPE, Ariz. — And now there is just one.

One game. One opportunity.

And it's a big game. With still a big opportunity within reach.

This is what remains for the Arizona State Sun Devils this season: beat rival Arizona, keep hold of the Territorial Cup and become bowl eligible; the latter of which would provide ASU the hope of finishing 2016 with a winning record.

But, first things first.

Friday in Tucson, the Sun Devils renew their rivalry with the Wildcats in the 90th edition of the "Duel in the Desert."

"This is always an exciting week for us, and the most important week that we emphasize with our players," head coach Todd Graham said at his weekly Monday press conference. "Our total focus is on keeping that cup here in Tempe."

Aside from bragging rights, which is always important, and perhaps the most important aspect of the rivalry, there is not much on the line when the Sun Devils and Wildcats meet to close out the regular season.

Both teams have had disappointing campaigns.

ASU (5-6, 2-6) has lost five straight after a 5-1 start, while UA (2-9, 0-8) hasn't visited the win column in more than two months.

The Sun Devils' current losing streak is the longest since Graham's arrival in 2012, and the Wildcats have dropped eight in a row since beating Hawaii on Sept. 17.

Two years ago, these teams battled for the South Division and a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

"Obviously, our program is always going to be about competing for championships, but this is one of those must-wins on your schedule," Graham said. "You can throw all the records out. It doesn't matter."

Recent history favors ASU in the series.

The Sun Devils have won three of the past four matchups, with the one defeat coming on their most recent trip to Tucson in 2014, when the Wildcats won 42-35 to claim the school's first-ever conference title game appearance.

"It's the most intense rival game that I've been a part of," Graham said.

A victory on Friday would make ASU bowl eligible, something Graham has referred to as the minimum expectation for his program.

Still, a sixth win and the Sun Devils are postseason bound for a school-record sixth straight season. That would slot them in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl, the seventh of the seven Pac-12 bowl arrangements. The only problem, or potential problem, is that ASU played in the Cactus Bowl a year ago, losing to West Virginia at Chase Field.

Of course, UA would love nothing more than to solve that perceived problem with its own win this week.

"I always get a lot of emails and messages this week, and I've already gotten quite a few, just saying, 'don't worry about anything in the past, just go win this game' so it's a very, very important game. It's very passionate (with our fans)," Graham said.


— Asked for an injury update on his team and Graham quipped, "How much time we got?" He did rule out offensive lineman Zach Robertson, wide receiver Cam Smith and reserve defensive end Jalen Bates for this week. Bates got hurt during pregame warmups at Washington.

Graham added he expects safety Marcus Ball and cornerback De'Chavon Hayes to return, while he remains hopeful on the availability of defensive lineman George Lea, wide receivers Frederick Gammage and Jalen Harvey plus offensive linemen Sam Jones and Stephon McCray.

— In the past two weeks, ASU has been penalized 17 times, including a season-high nine last Saturday. Graham takes great pride in having a disciplined program, yet recently there have been too many flags thrown on his players.

"Nothing that I really want to say," he answered when asked for an explanation.

Follow Craig Grialou on Twitter

The Week in Review

Mesa Police searching for man who robbed a Home Depot

The Mesa Police Department is searching for a man who flashed a weapon at a sales clerk and stole merchandise from a Home Depot.

Police say the man entered a Home Depot near Baseline Road and Country Club Drive around 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 and stole merchandise before fleeing the store.

Police described the man as a 25- to 30-year-old white male, 5 foot 9 inches, 150 pounds, with light brown hair, wearing a black jacket, white T-shirt, baggy dark blue jeans, black shoes with white trim, and a black skater-style baseball hat with a white design on the front.

Witnesses say he got into a blue compact vehicle, similar to a Kia Soul or Mini Cooper with another suspect after leaving the store.

Silent Witness is offering a $1,000 reward. Anyone with information could contact Mesa Police or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.

Fire-damaged St. Vincent de Paul dining room reopened

St. Vincent de Paul's Mesa dining room has been reopened.

The building was damaged in a fire in July, temporarily shutting down services to many needy people in the area. Paz de Cristo Community Center stepped in and hosted St. Vincent de Paul's daily lunch service while the dining room was repaired.

Full food services have been restored in time for Thanksgiving at the location, 67 W. Broadway Road in Mesa, at the southeast corner of Broadway Road and MacDonald.

Water pipe bursts, sending ASU students from dorm

ASU students were evacuated from their Tempe dorm last week when a three-inch hot water pipe broke, sending water rushing down from the fifth floor.

About 160 students from Barrett's Juniper Hall were sent to a hotel for the night. A water restoration company worked through the night repairing the pipe and soaking up the water. Ongoing repairs were to take most of the week.

There was no word on the cause or when the building will reopen for students.

Permanent waste collection building coming to Mesa

A household hazardous waste collection facility will be built in Mesa at Lehi Road and Center Street.

The Mesa City Council approved spending $28,890 for the new facility.

Over the last several years, the Environmental Management and Sustainability Department has hosted four household hazardous waste collection events per year for Mesa residents. The new facility will now provide a permanent location for disposing of those wastes.

The facility will also feature a "swap shop" where household products and chemicals that are collected can be made available for re-use by other residents.

Chandler resident killed in hit-and-run in South Korea

Sarah Dinell of Chandler, who had spent more than a year teaching children in South Korea, was killed in a hit-and-run accident there Nov. 12, police said.

Dinell, a 2015 Arizona State University graduate, was an English teacher at a local elementary school through the English Program in Korea.

She was walking about 9:44 p.m. when struck by a hit-and-run driver in Ulsan, according to the Ulsan Police Department. She was taken to Ulsan University Hospital, where she died about an hour later.

Ulsan police said the driver, who was found an hour after the accident, was believed to be impaired.

Valley Metro promotes interim CEO

Former Mesa mayor Scott Smith will become CEO of Valley Metro after serving in the interim since Feb. 1.

He will continue to guide the region's transit system responsible for building and operating light rail, regional bus, Dial-a-Ride and vanpool.

Scott Smith

Smith, an Arizona native and mayor of Mesa from 2008 to 2014, has been a private sector CEO, attorney and certified public accountant. 

The Arizona Coyotes hope to become the next professional sports team to make the East Valley their full-time home after announcing ambitious plans to build a $400 million arena and a separate practice facility in Tempe.

The new arena would serve as the centerpiece of the new Arizona State University Athletic Facilities District. It would be on the northwest corner of East Rio Salado Parkway and McClintock Drive, the present location of the back nine holes of ASU's Karsten Golf Course and across from Tempe Marketplace.

But a number of obstacles must be removed before construction can begin as early as late next summer, not the least of which is paying for a glittering new facility billed as a major destination.

The Coyotes are pledging to pay close to half the cost. They will be seeking approval from the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey for a package of tax rebates to finance the remaining $200 million.

Although details of such a plan are a bit hazy, the rebates would amount a percentage of new tax revenues generated by the arena, a proposed hotel where visiting teams would stay, and a mixed-use development.

"There's always some form of public involvement" required to build professional sports facilities, said Anthony LeBlanc, the Coyotes president and CEO. "This is a project that pays for itself."

LeBlanc and Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway said at a press conference that they are not expecting a free arena from taxpayers and that they are taking a substantial risk by putting up about half the money to build the new facility.

"We are going to build it so it is a destination," Barroway said, with other forms of entertainment beyond hockey, including restaurants and clubs. "Not only are we going to make it first class; we're going to make it cool."

The facility would include a 16,000-seat arena where the Coyotes would play and a separate, 4,000-seat practice facility that would be used by the Coyotes and the ASU hockey team.

After a long series of financial struggles at Glendale's Gila River Arena, which has included bankruptcy and operation by the National Hockey League, the Coyotes believe they could at least break even at an East Valley arena closer to their fan base.

The Arizona Cardinals football team played at ASU's Sun Devil Stadium from 1988 to 2005 before moving to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, next door to Gila River Arena. The Cardinals still practice at a training facility in Tempe, at Warner Road and Hardy.

Three Major League Baseball teams also have a strong presence in the East Valley, even if their full-time headquarters are elsewhere. The Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics train each spring in Mesa and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim train in Tempe. Beyond Cactus League games, their practice facilities are used for instructional leagues and rehabilitation of injured players.

"I can't tell you how many times I have been told, 'If your stadium was closer to my house, I would be a season-ticket holder,'" Barroway said. "If we do everything right and this works out perfectly, we can break even and have a winning team."

He declined to reveal how much money the team is losing in its West Valley location, which can be an hour's drive from much of the East Valley. Losses in the past have been in the tens of millions of dollars, with fans saying they have trouble driving to Gila River Arena through heavy traffic for weeknight games.

Barroway said the deal with ASU and Catellus Development Corp. would likely include a long-term lease of the new arena and other property, but details have not been determined.

LeBlanc said, "It's a simple, empirical fact that the majority of our fans are on the east side."

The Coyotes announced they have entered into an "exclusive negotiating agreement" with Catellus. The arena and hotel would sit on 58 acres of the 330-acre district. The agreement sets a June 30, 2017, deadline to create an overall budget, design and operational plan.

LeBlanc said he would like to see construction start by the end of summer 2017, with the Coyotes inaugurating their new arena in the 2019-2020 season.

Greg Weaver, executive vice president of Catellus, said many details should be worked out during the next six months. No decision has been reached on when the Karsten course would close or what chain would build the hotel.

Weaver said that Catellus specializes in such private-public projects and that he is excited about the possibilities of a major university partnering with a professional sports team. The Coyotes arena would serve as an anchor for the development, he said.

"This is the center of it all. It's pretty fabulous," Weaver said, citing ASU, Tempe Town Lake, Metro light rail and close proximity to Sky Harbor International Airport as critical design elements. "It has wonderful attributes to make a world-class project."

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said he needs to learn more about the project before deciding whether he supports it.

"It could be big for Tempe and the southeast Valley if it were to happen," Mitchell said. "It's so preliminary, it's hard to say what's going to happen."

LeBlanc said the plan grew from a conversation he had with Ray Anderson, ASU vice president for university athletics and athletic director. The original discussion centered on building a 4,000-seat arena for the hockey team and a 100-200 seat practice facility.

Anderson confirmed the university's support for the arena proposal in an interview with a sports web site.

When Glendale terminated the Coyotes long-term lease, deciding it was a bad deal for taxpayers, the two parties put their idea "on steroids," LeBlanc said. "Some people once said this was a silver lining. This is a gold lining."

- Reach Jim Walsh at 480-898-5639 or at [email protected].

- Comment on this article and like the East Valley Tribune on Facebook and follow EVTNow on Twitter.


An East Valley couple have turned their Perfect Pear into three of a kind.

Chris and Laura Hove this week opened their third Perfect Pear Bistro at 603 W. University Drive, Tempe. It joins bistros they own at 9845 Priest Road at Ray Road, Tempe; and their original establishment at 1241 E. Chandler Blvd., Ahwatukee.

Perfect Pear Bistro boasts of serving "fresh, local ingredients" in a "warm, inviting atmosphere."

Its fare "puts a modern American twist on comfort" with fresh salads, sandwiches, grilled cheeses, soups, taco and pasta dishes accompanied by "a rotating list of craft beers, red and white wines by the glass, and creative specialty cocktails," Chris Hove said.

"We are so excited to bring our concept to this neighborhood," said Hove. "Our amazing guests and staff at our two existing locations made us eager to grow."

Added Laura: "We're so grateful that our community has been so supportive, therefore allowing us to continue to expand throughout the Valley."

Between them, the Howes have helped open more than 30 restaurants across the country.

They finally opened their own concept in 2013 at Desert Foothills Parkway and Chandler Boulevard in Ahwatukee. A year later, the second location opened at Priest and Ray in Tempe.

Married for 12 years and the parents of a boy and a girl, the Howes met at a Pei Wei Asian Diner outlet that they opened.

Laura, a Santa Cruz, California, native graduated from Desert Vista High School while her Iowa-born husband graduated from Corona del Sol High.

Chris calls himself a "Food Network-trained chef," although he has been cooking since he was 10 years old and confesses to having "a general passion of the art of cooking."

"We both started our careers as employees of several restaurants when we were 16 years old. We have open over 30 restaurants for different restaurant chains over the years. We have had several great mentors who have taught us the business."

He said the rapid expansion of Perfect Pear stems from the fact that "the community has embraced us as a staple in the Foothills."

Inspired by their early success, they opened the Ray-Priest roads bistro "to position ourselves in a higher-traffic location."

"We had a great opportunity to open in South Tempe and build on our success of the first location because it is just on the other side of the freeway," he added. "We have a lot of guests that frequent both locations or work near our Tempe location."

While he believes "we have been very fortunate to have such a great following," he and Laura don't intend to rush their hopes of opening even more bistros.

"We always take one at a time," he said. "However, we always look into the future to decide how we can best position ourselves as a brand and grow as a business. We have future locations in mind. We would love to open in Ocotillo or Central Phoenix."

Howe referred to a fortune cookie saying in explaining how he and Laura have succeeded in a highly competitive industry.

"My favorite fortune cookie saying is 'Luck is what happens when opportunity meets hard work.' In short, this is true."

In addition to "quality, service, organization and cleanliness," he added: "throw in some tasty food and have fun."

Employers of about 50 people at all three restaurants, the Howes have made many changes to their original vision for Perfect Pear.

Besides changing their menu to incorporate seasonal flavors about every six months, he said, "We also try to support as many local businesses along the way. Our aim was to not close down. You could say failure was not an option and we really did not have a back-up plan."

And they don't sit around and let the staff do the work.

"We are still very hands-on managing everything from day-to-day operations," Chris said. "We, as many business owners, wear many hats. We develop all of our menu items, market and play general handyman."

Still, he added, "We have learned to surround ourselves with great people and trust that they will make great decisions."

Chris said he and his wife consider the new addition to their brand "a very exciting location for us."

"The Arizona State University location has a huge potential," he said. "This location has an amazing patio and has a different feel to it."

He added, "The walls lined with reclaimed wood and unfinished flooring have an urban look to it."

The Howes plan to roll out a new menu in a month or so and it will feature a new menu section of quinoa bowls.

"We feel this is a great fit to our current offerings and see it as a natural evolution of our healthy options," he said.

Information: perfectpairbistro.com.

An ASU theater teacher is on her way to 'The Late Late Show' to meet James Corden on Monday, all thanks to dumb luck.

"It was just one of those serendipities in life," said Melissa Montoya, "I can't believe I won it!"

The Tempe resident won the McDonald's Sip Share Win Sweepstakes that ran from June to August. To enter, Montoya just had to post a video of her karaoke skills.

"The funny thing is that I had to stand next to a McDonald's sign and sing 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun,'" said Montoya, "I didn't have to do any talent, it was a chance win."

As part of the prize, Montoya and her husband are receiving the VIP experience at 'The Late Late Show with James Corden,' with the opportunity to meet Corden himself.

Along with air and hotel accommodations for the show, Montoya will also be getting a Swag Bag, a $1,000 gift card and one year of live music at a retail value of $3,000.

Besides the cash prizes, Montoya is looking forward to meeting Corden.

"He's hilarious. I'm most excited about meeting him," said Montoya.

The ASU teacher is still reeling from the excitement of getting away from the stresses of work to watch the Carpool Karaoke creator.

"It'll be most fun to just go and have a little mini vacation away," Montoya said, "It was just a complete surprise."

As for Montoya's students who are in the midst of a project, she hopes her winning video submission will give them motivation.

"If they get through it, I'll tell them where they can go to watch my video!" said Montoya.    

A former PTA president at three different schools is a new member of the Tempe Union High School District governing board.

Berdetta Hodge of Tempe defeated Ahwatukee businessman Scott Ryan with 15.7 percent of the vote to his 15.3 percent, according to unofficial results.

Hodge will join incumbents Sandy Lowe and Michelle Helm, who clinched new terms in the Nov. 8 election with 19.3 percent and 23.5 percent of the vote, respectively.

A question had been raised as to a possible recount between Hodge and Ryan, but a spokeswoman for the county recorder's office said it would not order one.

A Tempe resident for 35 years, Hodge has one child in McClintock High and another who graduated from there.

The Arizona State University graduate has been a Hope's Crossing board member, a PTA president in three different schools and a booster club member.

She is on the board of the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center, and is a site council member and a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley Ladmo Branch.

When asked early in the campaign why she was running, she replied:

"As a Tempe Union High School District graduate, involved community member and parent, I have experienced and witnessed the positive growth of our district and the substantial impact it has had on both our students and community."

"I want to give back to the district that has not only enriched my life, but has also left an everlasting fingerprint on our community," she added.

In discussing issues facing the district, she said, ""I believe that the single most important issue that the district currently faces is ensuring that we maintain adequate funding to sustain smaller class sizes as well as hire and retain highly-qualified, passionate teachers.

"Quite honestly, I believe that our district is on a sustainable path for success, providing and delivering the highest quality of service," she continued. "As a board member, I will work diligently so that we continue being among the top 5 percent of districts in the State of Arizona."

New board members will take office in early January.

Brew master Jeff Huss insists his best seller, Scottsdale Blonde, is not named after a particular person.

But what's immediately clear is that his flagship beer definitely doesn't match up with his wife and partner, Leah, who has dark hair, more than a decade of experience in the craft beer business and no apparent affinity for bling.

Leah is quick to observe, however, that the Scottsdale Blonde is her favorite beer brewed by the family-owned Tempe business.

A Kolsch-style beer with a light color, Leah said she made her mark on the Scottsdale Blonde, even if she does not fit that description.

"The one we make finishes a little sweeter. I asked for it,'' Leah Huss said.

Leah Huss discreetly avoids stereotypes when asked about the beer's snappy name and the image it conjures up.

"It's up to interpretation,'' she said.

It's not surprising that Jeff Huss would brew a Kolsch, a specific brew that originated within sight of the famous Cologne Cathedral, a classic example of Gothic architecture in Cologne, Germany. The German answer to a British Pale Ale, Kolsch has a light color similar to wheat or straw and a light taste.

Jeff Huss learned how to brew beer at the famous Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany, where he studied for two months, and at the Siebel Institute in Chicago. He learned his craft by serving as brew master at in Chandler for seven years.

Three years ago, Leah and Jeff Huss, of Scottsdale, opened Huss Brewing in an unobtrusive industrial building on South Priest Drive in Tempe, where they also operate a homey tap room with fresh craft beers from throughout Arizona.

The Husses, who are in their 30s, are the parents of a daughter who attends kindergarten and say their family is their top priority. They are a contrast in styles. Jeff Huss is a stoic man of few words who prefers to let his beer speak for him, while Leah Huss is the more outgoing people person.

"My greatest satisfaction is seeing people enjoying the beer that we've made,'' Jeff Huss said.

For Jeff Huss, Scottsdale Blonde is not only his top seller, but also a barometer of his performance. He said it is easy to hide imperfections in a heavy dark beer, such as a stout, but any flaws become readily apparent in a light beer.

"To me, that's how you judge a brewery,'' he said. "I like a beer you can't hide anything in. We like to say you can hide a dead cat in a stout.''

The couple has no dreams of selling out to a large corporate brewing company, like Four Peaks, or even selling beer beyond the Arizona border.

"Our target market is Arizona,'' Leah Huss said. "Our entire goal is to put down roots, to be a very good quality Arizona brewery for a long time.''

She said that she and her husband are in the process of building a legacy for their daughter, Lola.

Statistics compiled by the company from Nielsen data show that Huss Brewing is the third largest brewer in Arizona, trailing East Valley brewing titan Four Peaks and San Tan Brewing of Chandler, according to Chip Mulala, a company spokesman.

He said Huss also has posted impressive growth numbers in the past year.

That's not shocking, given the meteoric growth in the craft brewing industry. It's hard to walk into a bar without seeing a wide variety of beers on tap, including several craft beers, the usual corporate beers and possibly a few well-known imports.

"There's been a revolution. People have decided they don't want three choices of the same beer,'' Leah Huss said.

She said the imports that were popular 20 years ago are still popular, but craft brews that are brewed locally now are a much bigger part of the beer market.

Although this craft revolution has created a market for Huss, it also makes craft brewing a highly competitive industry. Huss might not be an immediately recognizable brand name, like Four Peaks, but it is sold in many establishments throughout the Phoenix area, and in supermarkets and convenience stores.

"The competition is great. We are very friendly. It's one of the few industries where people get along,'' Jeff Huss said.

Leah Huss also doesn't cower from the competition.

"I think it drives you to be better,'' Leah Huss said.

Huss brews several varieties of craft beers in addition to the Kolsch, including Magic in the Ivy, a tribute to the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field in Chicago, which is known for its trademark ivy-covered walls.

Jeff Huss considers Magic in the Ivy, a West Coast style pale ale, his favorite beer. A big Cubs fan, Jeff Huss got the inspiration for the name by listening to an Eddie Vedder song that includes a line about magic in the ivy.

The company has a cozy tap room, decorated with recycled lawn furniture and featuring some of the top craft beers in Arizona, at its Tempe tap room adjacent to the brewery, on Priest Drive north of Elliot Road.

Huss also acquired the rights and the recipes of the Papago beers, after brewing them under contract. Among Papago's most popular brews is Orange Blossom Wheat, which features hints of citrus in its taste profile and is billed as a perfect summer beer.

Huss has plans to open second tap room in January at Uptown Plaza, on Camelback Road and Central Avenue, which will also feature handmade sodas.

"We make beers the two of us like to drink,'' Leah Huss said.