Tempe Police Narcotics Detectives Arrest Drug Traffickers

On November 30, 2011, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Detectives from the Tempe Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit coordinated with the Southern Nevada Cannabis Operations Regional Enforcement Task Force (SCORE) and the Las Vegas Police Department to serve simultaneous warrants at the Yoki A Ma “Your Herbal Solutions” business at 1920 E. University in Tempe, the Yoki A Ma at 4639 E. Virginia in Mesa, as well as at the business of the same name in Las Vegas, Nevada regarding the illegal sale of marijuana.

 The following suspects were taken into custody yesterday in connection with the five month long investigation: Tempe Police Detectives arrested the following individuals in connection with the five month long investigation: Craig Allen Scherf (Age 45, of Chandler, AZ), Nicole Dawn Scherf (Age 27, of Chandler, AZ -Married to Craig Scherf), Richard Ray Hagerman (Age 55, of Mesa, AZ – Father of Nicole), Renee Bruggeman (Age 41, of Tempe, AZ), Rodger Murray (Age 26, of Chandler, AZ), Mark Siegezwki (Age 46, Mesa, AZ).

The investigation began in July of this year when the Tempe Police Department received information from the City of Tempe Community Development Department that Yoki A Ma was operating without a license.  Undercover Tempe Police Detectives initiated investigation and visited the business on a number of occasions.  Through this investigation Detectives discovered that the suspects in this investigation were illegally selling/dispensing marijuana to medical marijuana card holders as a “gift” after receiving $65 to visit the business.

It should be noted that Craig Scherf submitted an application to the City of Tempe to operate as a medical marijuana dispensary.  The permit was denied due to the business’ proximity to a residential area.

The search warrants served yesterday resulted in the seizure of numerous items associated with drug packaging, transportation, marketing and sales, including:

  • (6) suspects arrested
  • (1)  lb. marijuana seized
  • (4) handguns seized
  • (1) rifle seized
  • (1) shotgun seized
  • $2,000 in cash confiscated

The suspects in this case were booked into Tempe City Jail and where booked on charges of Possession of Marijuana for Sale (A class four felony), Illegal of Control Enterprise (A class three felony), and Transportation of Marijuana for Sale.


Craig Scherf                                                          Nicole Scherf

Mark Sigezwski                                                   Renee Bruggeman

Richard Hagerman                                             Rodger Murray

State of the Schools Address focuses on higher education, workforce development

The Tempe Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the 2011 State of the Schools Address on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 E. 5 St.

Each year the Tempe Chamber presents the State of the Schools Address to provide an opportunity for the business community to meet with a panel of educators to learn the condition of our educational institutions and determine how businesses can assist them in achieving their goals. The specific focus for this year’s event will be on higher education and the development of the future workforce.

This year’s panel features: Virgil Renzulli, Vice President for Public Affairs, ASU; Dr. Chris Bustamante, President of Rio Salado College; David Fitzgerald, Phoenix Area Ground Campus Director at the University of Phoenix; and a representative from the Department of Education.

The event will consist of a panel discussion moderated by Sybil Francis, Executive Director of the Center for the Future of Arizona.

The Tempe Chamber believes it is critical that the educational and business communities collaborate and support one another, and we host the annual State of the Schools Address to facilitate exactly this sort of interaction. As usual, we will welcome an audience of business, community, civic, political and educational leaders as our guests.

Tickets are $40 each for members, $50 for prospective members or $450 for a VIP table of 10. To register for this event, please call (480) 967-7891. Learn more at www.tempechamber.org.

The State of the Schools Address is sponsored by Gold Sponsor Cox; Silver Sponsors ASU, Medtronic Tempe Campus and the University of Phoenix; Bronze Sponsors Children’s Dental Village and Tempe Schools Credit Union; and Print Sponsor AlphaGraphics at Kyrene and Elliot.  

It’s that time of year again – Tempe Fall Festival of The Arts – December 2 thru 4, 2011


The Tempe Festival of the Arts consistently ranks among the Top 20 art festivals in the nation by Sunshine Artist and has received the Pinnacle Award from the International Festival and Events Association. The spring and fall events each attract nearly 250,000 visitors to the Mill Avenue District  over the course of a 3-day weekend.

Quality artists are fundamental to the success of the event. Each year, the Festival receives more than 1,000 applications from artists across the country. From these applicants, a jury comprised of members of the local art community selects the top artisans in each category to participate in the Festival. During the Festival, a new jury then selects the best overall artist and the top artist in each category.

Participants are separated into 18 different artistic categories for judging, ranging from  woodwork to photography to ceramics and even wearable art. More than 400 artist booths line Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets presenting unique, and hand-made artwork that offers visitors a distinctive shopping experience.

While the Tempe Festival of the Arts primarily focuses on art and the artists that create it, there are also a wide variety of other activities for guests to enjoy. Live entertainment stages provide musical entertainment for festival-goers. Performances by a number of well-known local musicians keep audiences in high spirits throughout the day. Past performers have included the Gin Blossoms, Walt Richardson, Margo Reed, and Hello Swindon. In addition to the scheduled entertainment, street performers, vendors, sponsor exhibits and entertainment booths are set up for the amusement of Festival visitors. In addition to arts and entertainment, the Tempe Festival of the Arts offers support to the Tempe community. A portion of the proceeds raised at the Festival benefits local charities.

Fall 2010 Awards

Spring 2010 Awards

Bring the Beach back to Tempe Beach Park?

By:  Tempe Thoughts

Hawks Cay Saltwater Lagoon

Hawks Cay Lagoon in Florida

Today candidate for Tempe Mayor, Michael Monti and candidate for City Council Dick Foreman announced their intentions to explore swimming in the town lake.    Their ideas revolve around creating a barrier that would effectively separate the new swimming hole from the lake itself.   This would allow the water water to be treated to “swimming pool” standard    Hawks Cay Lagoon in Florida was brought up as an example of how waters areas could be separated with sand.

Although the idea of a swimming area within the the Town Lake is not a new idea and has been studied by staff in the past, the project has not risen very “high on the priority list” according to Foreman.    When asked about funding both Monti and Foreman stated that the project should be self funding through “user fees” and that they would be asking the community for their thoughts.   The first community forum is set for December 20,2011.

Links:  http://www.hawkscay.com/hawkscay_pools.php



Candidates to announce intentions to create public beach

Forget San Diego! Tempe Businessmen, Candidates Michael Monti and Dick Foreman Announce Proposal to Create the Valley’s First Public Beach  

(Tempe, Arizona) Candidate for Tempe Mayor Michael Monti and Tempe City Council Candidate Dick Foreman will be holding a news conference Tuesday November 29th at 11am to discuss their proposal to create a swimming beach, complete with sand, at the Tempe Town Lake.  The news conference will take place behind the Tempe Center for the Arts at 700 West Rio Salado alongside the pedestrian bridge.

Who: Tempe Mayoral Candidate Michael Monti and Tempe Council Candidate Dick Foreman

What: Announce swimming beach proposal

When: Tuesday, November 29th at 11am

Where: At the Pedestrian Bridge on the south shore of the Tempe Town Lake behind the Tempe Center for the Arts at 700 West Rio Salado

These two candidates believe Tempeans should not have to travel all the way to Saguaro Lake or San Diego to go swimming at a public beach. And they have a plan to get it done without soaking the taxpayer.

Candidate’s thoughts regarding the Tempe Public Library

By: Kolby Granville

The Tempe public library is a treasure of the community which has undergone drastic cuts during the most recent budget crisis.  For many residents, the library is the primary interaction they have with city services, and the primary place they go for books and internet access.

My interest in the Tempe library went from user to supporter many years ago, more than I care to remember…  My sister had a birthday coming up and I could not think of a present to give her.  For reasons that are now lost to memory, I decided to contact the Tempe library to see if I could donate a series of books in her name.  Indeed, the library was happy to take my money so they could purchase a series of books inscribed with a dedication to her.  Birthday success

A few years later, when I was an instructional designer, I realized patrons were beginning to come to the library to use the internet, and to use email.  My desire to support library services meshed well with my skill set, and I spent over 150 hours developing an elearning program for the Tempe library patrons on how to use web based email.  In fact, the training program was so successful the library used it for years.

In recent years, city services at all levels have been cut due to budget constraints.  The library has been no exception.  Tempe library hours were cut from 70.6 hours a week to 56 hours a week.  The library has also had to cut nearly $400,000 from its yearly budget.  This is a significant amount.  I was the only person to come to the city council and request the library continue its longer weekend hours.

Several years ago Amazon.com introduced the Kindle, an e-reader.  While it initially did not allow for ebook library check-outs (it does now), the Barnes and Noble Nook did.  I purchased a Nook and began the process of checking ebooks out of from the Tempe library (in partnership with the Phoenix Digital Library).  Much to my surprise, the ebook selection was horrible!  It was a very small selection and, in some instances, there were just a few ebooks available for checkout while 40 (or more) patrons were on a waiting list.

This was the case even as Amazon.com announced that it sold more ebooks then paper books.  I did a public records request and found the library spent $242,000 a year on physical book acquisition, and $30,000 on its entire digital library.  This $30,000 included downloadable books on tape, movies, music, and ebooks!  I once again emailed city council and library staff.  This time I asked them to adjust their ratios of expenditures to better reflect the reality of the changing marketplace.

In the end, my email to city staff cost me several hundred dollars as I decided to take matters into my own hands and bought the complete works of Kurt Vonnegut on ebook for the library.

My point is this.  Throughout this city council campaign you will hear every candidate talk…and talk…and talk.  They will talk about how they support police and fire.  How they support neighborhoods.  How they support parks and the library.  Talk is cheap.  The real question is this, what candidate has a (documented) history of support for these services?  I am that candidate.


You can read this article with videos and links to supporting documentation at http://kolbygranville.com/?p=547


You can read other opinion/policy papers by Kolby at http://kolbygranville.com/?cat=5

Play a round of golf, bring a toy and get a free cart

Play a round of golf, bring a toy and get a free cart

Donate a toy when you golf at Tempe’s Ken McDonald or Rolling Hills golf courses Dec. 4 through 10 and you’ll get to drive the cart for free. Golf Tempe is collecting toys for Tempe Community Action Agency’s annual holiday Toy Shoppe for children in need.  The shop provides a “store” for parents to choose gifts for their children. Donated toys should be new, unwrapped and valued at $10 or more.

Call for tee times or book online at www.tempe.gov/golf.

·         Rolling Hills Golf Course

1415 N. Mill Avenue


·         Ken McDonald Golf Course

800 E. Divot Drive


Golf Tempe promotes community-based golf that is affordable, accessible and adds to our quality of life as a lifetime leisure activity.


Kolby Granville turns in nominating petitions for Tempe City Council race

By: Kolby Granville

My Thoughts: On Tuesday, November 15, 2011, Kolby Granville submitted 1342 signatures to the Tempe City Clerk, the maximum number of signatures permitted.  A candidate for Tempe City Council must submit 672 valid signatures (but no more than 1342 signatures) from registered Tempe voters.  Candidates have from November 14, 2011 to December 14, 2011 to submit nominating petitions.

Granville additionally submitted his Nonpartisan Nomination Form and Financial Disclosure Statement.  Granville is the first candidate for Tempe City Council to submit the nominating petitions for the 2012 election.

“Frankly, I was humbled by the response I received from friends and neighbors in Tempe when I said I was running for Tempe City Council.  I sent out the nominating petitions to friends and received over 1500 signatures back, more than I was allowed to turn in.  When I turned in my signatures I, literally, had another 200 signatures sitting in the car.”  ~Kolby Granville

The Tempe City Council election primary is scheduled for March 13, 2012.  The general election is scheduled for May 15, 2012.  Current council members Corey Woods and Joel Navarro are up for reelection.  Councilman Mark Mitchell has declared that he will instead run for Tempe Mayor.

Dick Foreman turns in petition signatures

By: Dick Foreman

Dear family, friends and colleagues,

I am now an official candidate for Tempe City Council having filed 1342 signatures, the maximum amount permitted.  This was an all volunteer effort that collected over 100 pages of signatures in just over 7 weeks.

Kate, Brenna and I have been working hard, and so have many of you.

So most importantly, we wanted to thank the many of you who who joined us in making this possible.

For those of you who can, I now encourage you to have a coffee or get together in your home or location of choice.  If you are able to do this, please contact me to lock in a date.  I am going to do all I can to be a candidate who comes to you and addresses the issues that concern you in your neighborhoods, homes and businesses.

Over the next couple of months I will be engaging our community on a number of issues.  I do not say that lightly.  I truly believe that we are at a serious crossroads in Tempe and this campaign will embrace the challenges before us, not cower from them.  I am not going to run scared from problems nor gloss over them.  I am not going to avoid difficult or tough decisions and most importantly, we will have straightforward, honest discussions as we work together.


1)  I will discuss our economic development tools with an eye towards job creation and payback to the taxpayer, NOT governmental picking of winners and losers in the marketplace via tax subsidy tools with limited or no future accountability or sustainability.

2)  I will be discussing a broad range of educational initiatives to significantly engage our elected leaders at all levels to take action and responsibility for our neighborhood schools and their needs, not just talk about them or blame it on someone else.

3)  I will be actively engaging one of the most dynamic institutions in our state, Arizona State University, including it’s student government, to help us deal with our challenges on a much broader and effective basis.

4)  I will define actions that illuminate budget decisions, involve our community and challenge all public projects to perform the service intended without tax increases and, in fact, with intent to increase project benefits to actually lower service costs and property taxes.

Yes, it can be done.

5)  I will engage a robust debate on all expenditures.  We must recognize the very real, even dangerous position many of our homeowners, taxpayers and citizens are in.  Status quo is for someone else.  Not me.

6)  I will run a civil, positive, idea-driven campaign.  I will tap into my public finance, educational and civic experience from over thirty years of service, most of it specifically in Tempe, coupled with a sturdy defense of small business and taxpayer needs as my guide.

7)  I am committed to taking a fresh look at our major community investments and will challenge whether they are serving ALL of Tempe as they should.  Far too often, community facilities use and policies seem to divide Tempe instead of bringing us together.  Nothing is off the table for this discussion!  It’s time to put Tempe first.

If you can help the Foreman For Tempe campaign in any way or are interested in how you can get more information, please let me know or drop by my website at:


I’ll see you on the streets, on the web, in school, at business, patrolling the social network and most importantly, in our community.



Pub Night – 10 Years & Counting

Another first visit for the Pub Nighters group, we have talked previously about dropping in to the Tavern, and there is some difference of opinion on whether we have or not. (See note below.) Unconfirmed reports of a terrific new menu being the impetus, I dropped in and spoke with John, the general manager. The menu does indeed have some tasty looking offerings including a variety of small plates. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 pm and entices with $1 off all beer (bottle and draft) and wine (limited to Vendage in cab, merlot, chard and white zin flavors). Drafts include Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon, XX Lager, Fat Tire, Fat Tire Seasonal, Ballast Point Yellow Tail Pale Ale, SanTan Devil’s Ale, Left Hand Brewing Co. Milk Stout and a house selection. Also available are three offerings from Four Peaks in cans: Kilt Lifter, Sun Brew and Hop Knot, decanted into iced mugs. Happy hour includes half-price appetizers, and John will extend the happy hour appetizer pricing to 7:30 for the Pub Night! group this Thursday.

A November special, “Movember” (a combination of the words November and mustache, one of which John and other male employees sport, some for the first time, in solidarity with cancer patients) raises funds for testicular cancer. Coronas and Corona Lights are $3 any time in November, so here is your chance to support research to beat this nasty illness in a pleasant manner. To double down on that ante, all beer, both bottle and draft, are $3 every Thursday from 7 pm (the end of happy hour) to closing time.

Not applicable to Pub Night!, but if a weekend breakfasts with south of the border victuals and a tequila sunrises are your thing, the Tavern will dish up a nice selection of Mexican or U.S style. fare until noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

Look for Pub Nighters this Thursday on the small west patio accessed through the cantina.

Note: We have been Pub Nighting for going on 10 years now. The first Pub Night was held July 18 2002 at Casey Moore’s. In August 2009 we missed the boat, so to speak – no Pub Night! was recorded for that month. At any rate, I don’t have a notice for that month; could there have been a gathering at the Tavern on Mill? Kirby thinks we have met here; can anyone corroborate his memory? (This only counts if it was a declared Pub Night! event.)

Prodded by inquiring minds (mine mostly) I went back through the notices and we have visited the following establishments, some with regularity, over the years. They are listed from the most recent (a fun light rail trip, and a bit of bar hopping on Central Avenue in Phoenix) to Pub Nights! receding into the past. The places in parentheses no longer exist as the same business.

Durant’s, Little Szechuan, Taste of Tops, Thai Elephant, Mucho Gusto, Canteen Modern Tequila Bar, Robbie Fox’s, Boulders on Broadway, (Sucker Punch Sally’s Diner), Dave’s Electric Brew Pub, La Bocca, (Purvine Winery Tour), (Dragonfly Vietnamese Kitchen), Essence Bakery Café, Cornish Pasty, El Penasco Mexican Kitchen, (Cafe Roma), Thai Basil, Bison Witches Bar and Deli, Café Boa, Monti’s la Casa Vieja, (Old Chicago), Rula Bula , Sail Inn, (Guedo’s Taco Shop), Mill Avenue Beer Company, (Vinoteca), (Chrisdee’s), (Iguana Lounge), Four Peaks Brewery, and Casey Moore’s Oyster House

Thank you for participating in these monthly gatherings to support our local taverns. See you at the next Pub Night!    -Karyn Gitlis

Neighborhood Pub Night! was conceived and organized by residents of  Northwest Tempe for the purpose of reintroducing local residents to their local establishments in the new era of smoke-free air. We hope to bring neighbors together, support local businesses and reinforce the traditional Irish/English concept of bar, restaurant or pub as a “Public House” or gathering/meeting place for the local community. Please join your neighbors at Neighborhood Pub Night!, and look for the rune.

Jenny, Karyn, Kirby and Tom