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Latest News in Ahwatukee, AZ

Popular Vine Tavern & Eatery near ASU's Tempe campus to close permanently

Vine Tavern & Eatery — the popular bar on Apache Boulevard near ASU's Tempe campus, known among students for its Wednesday specials and as a staple of the ASU experience — will permanently close on Saturday.A new Vine location will be opening in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix in September of this year, according to agenda notes from a July 1 Phoenix City Council me...

Vine Tavern & Eatery — the popular bar on Apache Boulevard near ASU's Tempe campus, known among students for its Wednesday specials and as a staple of the ASU experience — will permanently close on Saturday.

A new Vine location will be opening in the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix in September of this year, according to agenda notes from a July 1 Phoenix City Council meeting. Vine’s south Tempe venue, located at the intersection of Elliot and Rural roads, will not be closing.

Claims that the Apache Boulevard site will be bulldozed to build an apartment complex have not been independently confirmed by The State Press. ASU is not involved in plans to buy or develop the land, University spokesperson Jay Thorne said in an email to The State Press.

The first Vine Tavern was an Irish pub in downtown Iowa City, established in 1970. Vine on Apache, its second location, first opened its doors to Tempe college students and sports fans in August of 1986.

For the past 36 years, the bar has been popular among several generations of ASU students. It is especially notable for weekly "Vine Wednesdays," featuring "$1-you-call-it" drink specials.

"It’s the end of an era for sure," said ASU alumnus Tanner Emeterio, a 2018 graduate of the W.P. Carey School of Business.

Vine on Apache was the site of some of Emeterio’s most significant memories from his college years. It was the first legal bar he ever went to — when the clock struck 12 a.m. on his 21st birthday, which happened to be on a Wednesday, he immediately went to Vine to celebrate.

Emeterio also "made things official" with his college girlfriend at Vine. Now, she's his wife. He said a friend had a similar experience with their partner.

"Life talks, hanging out, getting drunk, pre-gaming, it covered all the bases," Emeterio said. "We’ll have a lot of fond memories for sure."

Part of Vine’s popularity likely stemmed from its proximity to the University. Located at the southeast corner of ASU’s property, it was a conveniently located dive bar for any occasion.

Dominic Ruffin, a 2021 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, called Vine a "Tempe stalwart" and a "rite of passage" for students. It was well known among ASU students and locals, but often unknown to those outside Tempe.

"It was unique," Ruffin said. "If you drove by, you’d blink and miss it. I think that's what gave it its lore, its luster, its appeal."

Many online expressed their frustration with what they perceived as the loss of yet another longtime Tempe establishment and the city’s changing character. "#1 in gentrification!!" commented one Instagram user on a post from @tempebarstool.

Ruffin expressed a similar sentiment. Citing a recent lawsuit between Shady Park, another nearby Tempe staple, and Mirabella at ASU, a retirement home, Ruffin said he felt developers seem to be "targeting establishments that have a reputation."

"College towns are kind of going away with gentrification and all that …" he said. "(Vine) is important to ASU and its culture and the city of Tempe. It's really sad to see these landmarks go away."

Vine Tavern & Eatery on Apache remains open until July 23.

Alexis Waiss contributed to the reporting of this story.

Reach the reporter at ammoulto@asu.edu and follow @lexmoul on Twitter.

Like State Press Magazine on Facebook and follow @statepressmag on Twitter.

Ahwatukee mother shares story, urges safety after daughter nearly drowned last summer

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Meet Alizah: she is 2 years old, likes to play with Barbies, puzzles, and of course loves Baby Shark. It was just last July when her family’s life was forever changed.Alizah nearly drowned in her family’s backyard pool in Ahwatukee. “No distractions. No phone. Nothing. When you are there, you need to be fully there,” said Alizah’s mom Brandi Stoll. On that summer day in 2021, Stoll says they had friends over with their own four kids. Alizah was swimming in a puddle jumper, a f...

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Meet Alizah: she is 2 years old, likes to play with Barbies, puzzles, and of course loves Baby Shark. It was just last July when her family’s life was forever changed.

Alizah nearly drowned in her family’s backyard pool in Ahwatukee. “No distractions. No phone. Nothing. When you are there, you need to be fully there,” said Alizah’s mom Brandi Stoll. On that summer day in 2021, Stoll says they had friends over with their own four kids. Alizah was swimming in a puddle jumper, a flotation device. Brandi took it off after and later, they had popsicles. Alizah was sitting next to her mom inside their gated pool area.

Brandi turned to talk to another mom, then Alizah’s father started calling the child’s name from inside the home. Brandi says Alizah didn’t answer, which was unusual. When he called again, Brandi looked over and Alizah was face down in the pool. Brandi quickly pulled her out and started CPR. The experience has turned Brandi into a fierce advocate for drowning prevention.

“A lot of people say, ‘How hard it is to watch your kid?’ You know, ‘Where’s the fence?’ ‘Where’s the… everything.’ And it does happen,” she told Arizona’s Family. “I was there. We have the fence. And being able to put our real-life experience…she came out OK from it. That doesn’t always happen. You have to watch your kids.”

The family doesn’t know how long Alizah was in the water, but she was in the pediatric ICU for a few days. At one point Brandi says her youngest daughter was given a 50/50 chance of survival. She recently shared her story on an Ahwatukee Facebook page and wants to be vulnerable. Even if sharing her story helps another mom, father or grandparent, she says it’s well worth it for her. Since then, Alizah and her two younger siblings have started taking swimming lessons. Brandi got a new CPR certification, along with her husband and her own mother, and is helping other parents in the community learn.

Through the non-profit Armer Foundation For Kids, the family also started what’s called The Alizah Project. For her second birthday, Aliza’s family collected toiletries and supplies for families in the hospital, as Brandi saw a need during Alizah’s hospital stay. They plan on holding a similar drive for Alizah’s upcoming birthday. With Fourth of July just around the corner, the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona is urging layers of protection this holiday.

“We know during the Fourth of July weekend there’s going to be all of those parties around the pool. And everybody thinks that someone else is watching the kids. Don’t think that,” said Tracey Fejt, a member of the coalition. Drownings can happen to anyone in an instant and are silent.

It’s something Brandi learned, as she truly feels for the families who have lost loved ones. “We are very blessed and lucky because she’s here and she’s OK,” Brandi said. “She’s OK. No medical issues. None.”

Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.

Your Guide to Fourth of July Weekend Parties in Metro Phoenix in 2022

The Fourth of July is not only our nation's birthday, it's also a perfect excuse to party. And thanks to the holiday falling on a Monday this year, people can drink, dance, and carouse for either three or four days straight (depending on their respective work situation).Here in the Valley, folks will be celebrating at pool parties, club gigs, resort events, and dance nights, particularly in such hotspots as Scottsdale, Tempe, and downtown Phoenix. Needless to say, there's a celebration for everyone.Here’s a look at some o...

The Fourth of July is not only our nation's birthday, it's also a perfect excuse to party. And thanks to the holiday falling on a Monday this year, people can drink, dance, and carouse for either three or four days straight (depending on their respective work situation).

Here in the Valley, folks will be celebrating at pool parties, club gigs, resort events, and dance nights, particularly in such hotspots as Scottsdale, Tempe, and downtown Phoenix. Needless to say, there's a celebration for everyone.

Here’s a look at some of the most notable Independence Day-themed affairs around town from Friday, July 1, to Monday, July 4. Throw on your star-spangled swimwear, grab some sparklers, and get ready to let loose.

Rock ‘n’ roll arguably ranks as one of America’s best-ever inventions, so the Fourth of July weekend seems a fitting time to celebrate the genre. Local bands All Due Respect and Jen X and the Boomers will do so at Cactus Jack’s this when they perform sets loaded up with classic rock. Expect plenty of sick riffs, as well as drink specials and a prize raffle. The gig starts at 6 p.m. and there’s a $7 cover after 7 p.m.

The W's "most decadent pool [parties] of the year" will take place daily over the Fourth of July weekend on the hotel's second-floor WET Deck. Those in attendance can enjoy boozy popsicles, music from DJ/saxophonist combos, stiltwalkers dressed as Uncle, and all the star-spangled decor you can stand. The parties start at 11 a.m. daily. VIP cabana or table service is available. Call or text 602-405-0099 for more details. A fireworks display will go off over the hotel at 9 p.m. on July 4 and the general public can attend for $25.

Scottsdale nightspot The Hot Chick will transform into a boozy, nostalgia-filled summer camp experience during the Fourth of July Weekend. They’ll have live entertainment, tunes laid down by local DJs, and drinking games like flip cup, beer pong, and shotgun rally. The fun starts at 1:30 p.m. and tube socks are optional. No cover.

You might encounter a Captain America or two at this cosplay-themed electronic dance music festival in downtown Phoenix. More than two dozen DJs artists are scheduled to perform across three stages, including BADKITTI, Dark Mark, Fr3ckles, Mind Detergent, Slugz, DJ Rap Star, Average Joe, Goodtimez, Zuzzzu, Keanu Raves, Mirakulis, Slugz, Yourboy Charlie, and Ash-B. Organizers say they'll also have an exotic reptile exhibit (including live alligators you can hold) and a fleet of Teslas offering rides home. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. and goes until 4 a.m. General admission is $35. More details are available here.

DJ M2 and DJ Sir-Plus will be on the ones and twos dropping hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul, and classics during this special edition of Groove Candy’s weekly sesh in downtown Phoenix. Will they include such appropriately themed tracks as James Brown’s “Living in America,” 2 Live Crew’s “Banned in the USA,” or “4th of July (Fireworks)” by Kelis? You’ll have to show up to find out. The music starts at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 before 10:30 p.m. and $10 thereafter. Table and bottle service starts at $60.

Kick the tires, light the fires, and get ready to kick E.T.’s ass during this party inspired by the 1996 summer blockbuster Independence Day. There will be cocktails, DJ sets, and (of course) video games aplenty. Hours are from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

With his neon-tinted hair and vibrantly hued ensembles, electronic dance music DJ/producer Slushii is as colorful as any fireworks display. During the Fourth of July weekend, he’ll co-headline Talking Stick’s latest nighttime pool party along with Yultron. Gates open at 5 p.m. and Mamba will perform an opening set. Tickets are $35.

Dustin Moye, Comfort Clo, Bedi, and other local DJs affiliated with Phoenix-based EDM label Re:Sound Music & Friends will be in the mix at this laidback afternoon swim soiree over the holiday weekend. Stiemann Hot Yoga will conduct a poolside session starting at noon and the DJs begin performing at 1 p.m. If you’ve somehow forgotten your bikini, Great Escape Swimwear will have a pop-up store at the party. Admission is $25 in advance, $31.56 at the door, and $350 for a cabana rental.

DJ/producer duo Sam Walker and Gavin Royce, better known to EDM fans as Walker & Royce, will light up the dance floor inside Sunbar’s music venue with bass house, tech house, and electro-pop on Sunday night. The pair will likely spin up some of their recent tracks and collaborations, like “No Drama” and “Rewind It.” Doors are at 9 p.m. and advance tickets are $25.

Eager to get a jump on your Fourth of July festivities? Roosevelt Row patio bar Luckys will be putting on a backyard bash of sorts with live music from R&B/pop/rock band Soulitify from 6 to 9 p.m., OH Allen the DJ spinning up beats starting at 10 p.m., and plenty of food and libations available. It's free to attend the 21-and-over event.

The posh splendor of the Biltmore will be the setting for this free celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. that’s open to the general public. Attendees can enjoy luxe libations from The Spire Bar or “whimsical food truck fare.” As per the theme, everyone is encouraged to wear their chicest red, white, and blue ensembles. A spectacular laser light show will cap off the evening.

If you’d like to include some drinking, dancing, or joystick action in your holiday weekend plans, Cobra’s pre-Fourth of July festivities will offer all three. Mane One will be in the mix from 5 to 9 p.m., followed by DJ Clavo from 9 p.m. until close. There will also be signature cocktails available at the bar and dozens of classic arcade games available for play. No cover.

If you’d like to spend most of your Independence Day relaxing at the Clarendon’s pool, head for this all-day affair for the 21-and-over crowd, which runs from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Food and cocktails will be available for purchase and local DJs will provide the soundtrack. The hotel’s SkyDeck will also be open from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is $20 per person and a valid ID is required for entry.

The scene inside Maya will go off like a firework when the tech-house/future-house producer takes over the sound system during the club’s afternoon pool party on the Fourth of July. Aerialist performances, bottle service, pool toys, and plenty of Scottsdale-style shenanigans will also take place. Gates open at noon and tickets are $45.

Upscale midtown apartment building Vela on Camelback will host themed pool parties on back-to-back days over the holiday weekend. A ’60s hippie party will take place on Sunday, followed by a superhero/supervillain party on Independence Day. Both events run from 1 to 10 p.m. and will feature DJs, drinks, free food, a VIP area, and a swimsuit competition with $250 cash prize. Tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door for either party.

Local bands Sky Creature, Chrome Rhino, Fairy Bones, and The Real Fakes will spend their Fourth of July rocking out at this 21-and-over show put on Valley indie label Hookworm Records. Suffice it to say, this ain’t no Freedom Rock. Doors are at 7 p.m. and admission is $10.

“We got your fireworks right here baby!” declares the Facebook event page for this Independence Day gig at Tempe’s Yucca Tap, which will be headlined by the garage/punk act The Darts. Local rock bands Shovel and Feratu share the bill. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with a $10 cover.

Sing your heart out both in English or en Español during an evening-long karaoke session on Independence Day hosted by Britney. Doors open at 9 p.m. and there's no cover.

Ahwatukee community rallies around neighbor living without AC for 3 years

Neighbors stepped in to help Bill Klesenski’s after finding out his AC unit hasn’t been working for three years and he couldn’t afford a new one or a repair.AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An Ahwatukee neighborhood is stepping up after learning about a man who has been living in his home without air conditioning for the last three years. “If it was my parent I would want the same thing. He has no family, no kids, a sister that lives in New York,” said Kim Steinwinder.Steinwinder lives across th...

Neighbors stepped in to help Bill Klesenski’s after finding out his AC unit hasn’t been working for three years and he couldn’t afford a new one or a repair.

AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An Ahwatukee neighborhood is stepping up after learning about a man who has been living in his home without air conditioning for the last three years. “If it was my parent I would want the same thing. He has no family, no kids, a sister that lives in New York,” said Kim Steinwinder.

Steinwinder lives across the street from Bill Klesenski, a 70-year-old retired architect with Gravis disease. “In 2012, I was diagnosed with Gravis; it wasn’t as bad as this,” explained Klesenski. “I can’t sketch, I can’t draw, it’s gone. It’s all I ever was.”

Steinwinder said she didn’t know much about her neighbor, other than that he’s been living alone since his wife passed in 2015. But, on Sunday, she saw on her surveillance camera that he showed up at her door. “When my oldest son came home I said, ‘who is this man?’ He said, ‘mom that’s Bill.’ Immediately alarms went off,” Steinwinder said. “I came over here, I’m pounding on the door, ringing the doorbell — nothing. Banging on the garage — nothing. So I went to the backyard.”

She discovered Klesenski was living in the back room of his house. “During the summer I live in the one room in the back that I can have a window unit,” he said.

Klesenski said he didn’t mean to knock on Steinwinder’s door. “I saw a portable unit in their next-door neighbor’s garage, so I went over and asked if he wanted to sell it,” Klesenski explained.

However, it turns out, Steinwinder’s door may have been the right door to knock on all along. After hearing that Klesenski’s AC unit hasn’t been working for three years and he couldn’t afford a new one or a repair, she posted his story on Ahwatukee411. That’s when the owner of Aragon Airvac Heating and Cooling reached out to her.

“I just said hey, I’m available. I can come out to you. I won’t charge you guys. Sounds like you have a situation where we just need a second opinion,” said Austin Aragon. “I felt like, I could do this and I should do this and give back to my community, give back to Bill.”

Aragon looked at Klesenski’s air conditioner and saw that he needed a new compressor. “Realistically I could have maybe ordered a new compressor and put a Bandaid on it, but the cost of a repair versus a replacement, it just didn’t make sense,” said Aragon. “I want to make sure this is done properly so that bill doesn’t have to worry about this for the next ten years.”

Aragon and Steinwinder set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the new unit and any other expenses Klesenki may need help with. “Anything over and above that $6,000, it has been decided amongst Austin and I, that it will go towards doing what we need to do for Mr. Bill — providing extra filters for the home, he has agreed to let me come in and clean the house and get the dust out and get things organized to make it a better living condition for him,” said Steinwinder.

Klesenski says he never thought his community would step up for him like this. “I’ve never won like a lottery. I’ve heard of crowdfunding but I never thought that it was real, not for me,” Klesenski said. “I never wanted to be a burden on anyone.”

Aragon hopes to have Klesenski’s new AC unit installed this weekend or early next week.

Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.

Phoenix City Council candidate's legal controversy ahead of November election

--> Sorry, we're having issues playing this video.In the meantime, try watching one of the videos below.PHOENIX — Moses Sanchez says he’s been a proud Ahwatukee resident for 18 years. In fact, his extended family lives next door. Sanchez is running for Phoenix City Council for his district, District Six in November."You hear about election integrity. You hear about integrity being thrown around all over the place. It's a hot topic right now,” Sanchez says. “And when you find that a candid...

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Sorry, we're having issues playing this video.In the meantime, try watching one of the videos below.

PHOENIX — Moses Sanchez says he’s been a proud Ahwatukee resident for 18 years. In fact, his extended family lives next door. Sanchez is running for Phoenix City Council for his district, District Six in November.

"You hear about election integrity. You hear about integrity being thrown around all over the place. It's a hot topic right now,” Sanchez says. “And when you find that a candidate lives in a different city than the than the city he's running for, that sends signals and red flags everywhere. It's very disappointing.”

Thursday, Sanchez wants the Arizona Supreme Court to have the final say if his opponent, Kevin Robinson, can run. Sanchez filed the appeal Thursday afternoon.

"It's frustrating because voters don't always get these details,” Sanchez says.

The appeal comes after Sanchez filed a request for an injunction to remove Robinson off the November ballot. But last week, Maricopa Superior Court Judge Scott McCoy ruled in favor of Robinson.

"He doesn't live in Phoenix. He doesn't live in the community and it's frustrating. Especially as someone who's lived here for almost 20 years,” says Sanchez.

ABC15 went to the address that’s listed in public records to see if Robinson was home. Robinson was in a vehicle and declined our interview. He told us the judge already ruled in his favor and referred us to his attorneys.

They say Robinson is an Ahwatukee resident and that they proved it overwhelmingly in court.

However, we received transcripts of proceedings from Sanchez’s lawyers. In the transcripts, Robinson admits to renting the fully furnished Ahwatukee home. But that his wife doesn’t sleep there, but instead at the Scottsdale home they bought in 2020 to be closer to her work.

He told the court, they are not separated or divorced.

Also in the testimony, Robinson admits to using the backdoor, so he’s not monitored through his front doorbell camera. He said it was for privacy concerns.

Robinson also said he rented the Ahwatukee home in October, so that he would be eligible for candidacy.

“He testified for all these things,” says Sanchez. “We were surprised when the judge came out and ruled in his favor.”

Ultimately, Maricopa County Judge McCoy says Robinson meets all residence requirements. But Sanchez claims Judge McCoy was not impartial to Robinson.

"Right after the judgment came down, we started doing a little bit of digging and we found out that the judge's wife happened to have signed Kevin Robinson's petition,” Sanchez says. “And that was just earth shattering for us.”

Sanchez says that information was not disclosed before Judge McCoy’s ruling. Judge McCoy standing by his ruling, telling ABC15 he has no further comment.

We reached out to the City Clerk about how long a resident can live in a city before they run for office. They sent us back the following statement:

"The City Clerk’s Office verifies a candidate’s residence during the nomination filing process -- When filing nomination papers and petitions, a candidate must submit an ‘Acceptance of Nomination Form’ to the City Clerk’s Office and list their residential address. At the time of filing, the City Clerk’s Office verifies the candidate’s voter registration information on file with Maricopa County, and confirms that the candidate’s registered residential address matches the address on the ‘Acceptance of Nomination Form’, that the address is within the district/boundaries of the office being sought, and that the voter’s registration status is active."

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