Monday, November 27

Posted: Updated:

Construction on South Mountain Freeway closes Southern

Another critical step in building the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway. And all the work starts today on the Southern Avenue interchange, requiring an extended full closure of Southern at 59th Avenue. The closure, scheduled to last through March, will allow crews to build the southern half of one of the South Mountain Freeway's 13 interchanges. 

During the closure, traffic will detour to either Broadway or Baseline roads between 51st and 67th avenues. Approximately 10,000 vehicles per day travel through the intersection of Southern and 59th avenues.

In order to build the interchange, crews will complete the following work:

  •     Perform earthwork needed for the freeway and connecting ramps
  •     Begin construction of the 125-foot Southern Avenue bridge over the freeway 
  •     Install underground utilities and drainage structures
  •     Pave the eastbound Southern Avenue lanes

Southern Avenue will be widened to complete the interchange in two phases. This paving will allow crews to complete the northern half of the interchange without an extended closure. 

After the Southern Avenue closure is lifted, additional work will include paving the ramps and mainline freeway, installing signage, constructing retaining walls, finishing construction of the Southern Avenue bridge, completing final striping and adding landscaping.

This is the second South Mountain Freeway interchange under construction in the Laveen area. Last month, work started on the Elliot Road overpass. Elliot Road at 59th Avenue will remain closed through the end of March.

The South Mountain Freeway, which is scheduled to open in late 2019, will provide a long-planned direct link between the East Valley and West Valley and a much-needed alternative to I-10 through downtown Phoenix. Approved by Maricopa County voters in 1985 and again in 2004 as part of a comprehensive regional transportation plan, the South Mountain Freeway will complete the Loop 202 and Loop 101 freeway system in the Valley.

For more information on the South Mountain Freeway, visit

Phoenix's LED Street Light Conversion Program begins today 

The city of Phoenix has set big sustainability goals for itself, converting all street lights to LED beginning today. When completed approximately 100,000 existing street lights will feature an energy efficient LED fixture. With the substantial savings in energy and reduced maintenance costs associated with LED, the city expects to achieve a total net savings of approximately $22 million through 2030. 

For more information:

Map for neighborhoods that will be getting updates:

If you have questions or comments about the Phoenix LED Street Light Program, please call 602-889-0777 or email

Scottsdazzle holiday event kicks off in Scottsdale

This free family-friendly event celebrates the season with carols, live entertainment, holiday treats, art and more! 

Scottdazzle Events
Canal Concerts: Various artists will perform live music on Soleri Plaza each Saturday night starting Dec 2 and continuing Dec. 9, 16 and 23 from 7:00-8:30 p.m.  

Santa Wine Around: Join the Scottsdale Wine Trail wineries for a wine tasting extravaganza on December 2 at 6:00 p.m. Arrive dressed as Santa or Mrs. Claus and receive a commemorative wine glass!

Miracle of Roses Pageant: On December 9, Old Adobe Mission Church will hold a pageant honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe from 4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Scottsdazzle Art Walk on December 14 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. will feature an art walk, as well as live entertainment, up and down Marshall Way between Main Street and 5th Avenue. Free horse and carriage rides will also be available!  

Cowboy Christmas themed décor and entertainment in Old Town throughout December. The celebration will take place on Saturday, December 9 from 3:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Details and location will be listed at

Sugar Plum Avenue: A holiday sugar plum fairy festival will take place on December 16. 3:00 p.m.-7 p.m. Find more details at

Lessons and Carols: There will be a live nativity and adult choir on December 15, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The indoor celebration of "Lessons and Carols" will include music, reflections and scripture. 

In addition to these signature events and art installations, the downtown area will be decorated in the holiday spirit including:

Poinsettias and Geraniums hanging baskets throughout Downtown Scottsdale and other holiday décor will line the streets.

Life-size menorah at Civic Center Plaza to be lit nightly during Hanukkah.

Many merchants and restaurants will offer holiday specials, cocktails, discounts and much more! For more information visit

Nintendo makes Holiday mall tour

Local Phoenix residents will be able to play the top-selling Nintendo Switch, as well as games for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's long-running hand-held system, at the Arrowhead Towne Center on the Lower Level next to the Dick's Sporting Goods store.  The Nintendo Holiday Experience will provide shoppers with fun, smiles and a little holiday cheer. The Holiday Experience is a colorful, interactive space that invites guests to enter the world of Nintendo, with memorable photo opportunities and the chance to play some really fun games from some of Nintendo's most popular franchises.

The Nintendo Holiday Experience will take place from now until Dec. 17 during regular mall hours. The games available to play at the Holiday Mall Experience include Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, FIFA 18 and Pokkén Tournament DX for Nintendo Switch, as well as Metroid: Samus Returns and Mario Party: The Top 100 for Nintendo 3DS.

For more information:

Arrowhead Towne Center on the Lower Level next to the Dick's Sporting Goods store
7700 W Arrowhead Towne Center, Glendale, AZ 85308
(623) 979-7777

Motivation Monday: Yoga play

The Dailey Method on High Street is launching their Yoga Play series: monthly classes that put a fun spin on the typical yoga class. The first installment is a FREE class: Jedi Yoga. This 45-minute outdoor class on December 2nd will help participants become one with the Force set to selected soundtrack music from each of the seven episodes set in a galaxy far far away. Participants are encouraged to wear Star Wars themed costumes or Star Wars themed workout gear. 

For more information visit

Phoenix High Street
5410 E High Street, Suite 107
Phoenix, AZ 85054
Phone: (480) 629-5520 

What you need to know about antibiotics this cold and flu season

Antibiotic resistance is a big and growing problem. The main driving factors behind antibiotic resistance are the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Dr. Sharon Thompson breaks down what we need to know about the drugs.

Viral infections:

  •     Colds or flu
  •     Most coughs and bronchitis
  •     Most sore throats
  •     Runny noses (regardless of the color)

Taking antibiotics for viral infections will not:

  •     Cure the infection
  •     Keep other individuals from catching the illness
  •     Help you feel better

Antibiotics Can Cause Harm 

  •     Taking antibiotics increases your risk of getting an antibiotic-resistant infection later
  •     Antibiotics kill the healthy bacteria in the gut, allowing more harmful bacteria to grow in its place
  •     Antibiotics cause 1 out of 5 emergency room visits for adverse drug events especially in children
  •     Many women get yeast infections after antibiotic use

The Common Cold 101
Usually appear one to three days after exposure to a cold-causing virus 
Signs and symptoms, which can vary from person to person, might include:
o    Sore throat
o    Cough
o    Congestion
o    Slight body aches or a mild headache
o    Sneezing
o    Low-grade fever
o    Generally feeling unwell (malaise)
o    Runny nose: the discharge from your nose may become thicker and yellow or green in color as a common cold runs its course. This DOES NOT indicate a bacterial infection.
Common colds get better in 5-10 days

Adults should consult a doctor for:  

  •     Fever greater than 101.3 F (38.5 C)
  •     Fever lasting five days or more or returning after a fever-free period
  •     Shortness of breath
  •     Wheezing
  •     Severe sore throat, headache or sinus pain

Can you prevent a cold?
Short answer: Sometimes with hand washing and by covering coughs and sneezes

When you have a cold, treating symptoms helps you feel better:

  •     Increase fluids and vitamin C
  •     Gargle with salt water
  •     Throat lozenges
  •     Over the counter pain medicine for muscle aches
  •     Humidify the air in your room
  •     Whine a lot 

Time cures colds

Central Phoenix Obstetrics and Gynecology 
926 East McDowell Road, #134, Phoenix, AZ 85006
(602) 288-0777

Queen of Clean: Scents

Quick, Easy, Inexpensive, Naturally Scented, Gifts you and the kids can make.

Gel Air Fresheners
1 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
1 box (4 packets) of unflavored gelatin
1 Tablespoon salt
1-4 drops food coloring or an amount that you like
20 drops or more of essential oils (depending on the size of your container and personal preference)
1 oz. witch hazel or cheap vodka (the ingredients in these fresheners are free of preservatives. Using the witch hazel or alcohol will slow or inhibit mold growth)
Boil one cup of water
When water is boiling, add the 4 packets of gelatin and stir continuously or it will clump
Once the gelatin is combined remove from the heat and add a cup of cold water, vodka and salt
Transfer gelatin to heat safe jars (gelatin recipe makes one pint to choose your containers accordingly. jars)
Add essential oil and food coloring
Let sit overnight to set
Store covered in the refrigerator prior to gift giving

Scented Pine Cones*

  •     Pine cones
  •     Essential oils in cinnamon and clove
  •     Large plastic zip lock baggies

Here are a few other scents that will work:

  •     Orange
  •     Apple
  •     Vanilla
  •     Pumpkin Spice
  •     Other "sweet" scents

Clean the Pine Cones

  • If you have gathered your pine cones from trees locally, it is a good idea to clean them first. If they were purchased go on to step 2.
  • If they need to be cleaned, put them into a sink of warm water and let them sit and soak for about 30 to 45 min or so until you notice all the pine cones have closed up. Once they are closed up, shake the water from inside them and sit them on a foil lined cookie sheet. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees and put the pine cones in.
  • Let the pine cones sit in the oven and check them about every half hour to see if they are starting to open back up. When they have completely opened back up, that means they are dry and ready to be scented.  Another option is letting them air dry. Since I'm in Arizona, I sat mine out in the sun.  
  • Add the Scented Oils
  • Put a few drops of each essential oil all around pine cone and then drop them into the plastic bag and seal it.  You can add a few more drops of oil to the pine cones before you seal the bag.  The more oil you use the stronger the scent will be.
  •  Seal and Let Sit 
  • After you have sealed them into the bags let the essential oils sit and soak into them for a while. I think you need about 3 days to a week to really get the scent into the cones.
  •  If the scent is too strong for you, try mixing a few in with regular pine cones. 

 * These will not be like those highly over scented cones you buy at the grocery store and they will not be scented with chemicals but rather natural products.

Essential Oil Reed Diffusers
You will need: 

  • A glass container with a narrow opening (check $$$ Stores and thrift stores)
  • 4-5 reed diffuser sticks or bamboo skewers.  Go to Amazon for inexpensive reed diffuser sticks. 
  • 1/4 cup carrier oil.  Use a light oil for better absorption.  Fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or safflower oil work well
  • 20-25 drops of essential oil to achieve a fragrance you are happy with
  • Mix the essential oils and carrier oil together in the glass container.
  • Place the diffuser sticks in the container. It will take a while for the oil to travel up the sticks, so speed up the process by flipping the sticks after several hours.
  • Continue to flip the sticks every few days to refresh the scent.


  • A container with a narrow-opening is preferred for this project since it will slow down evaporation. 
  • Heavier oils, such as olive oil or jojoba oil, will take longer to travel up the reeds, so for quicker results, stick with lighter oils, like sweet almond.
  • To speed absorption add about a tablespoon either rubbing alcohol or vodka) 
  • Once the reeds become completely saturated, you'll need to replace them with new ones. And you'll also need to replenish your oil supply eventually too although that will depend on what type of essential oils, container, and carrier oil you are using.

Orange Peel Candle

  • Oranges
  • Paraffin
  • Candle wicking

Orange Zest
Orange Essential Oil 

  • Cut the fresh oranges in half.  Squeeze the juice out carefully, but make sure not to scar or cut the orange when you are squeezing the juice, or the hot wax will leak out. Use a spoon to remove the sections of the orange, leaving only the shell.
  • Take a piece of painters’ tape or scotch-type tape and stick it across the middle of the orange, attaching one end to each side of the orange. 
  • Make a small hole in the center of the tape and insert the wick through the tape, making sure it is in the middle. Make sure you leave a ring of wick in the bottom of the orange and enough at the top to light and burn.  You can trim it once you are totally done.
  • Once you have prepared the oranges sit them on aluminum foil on a tray. 
  • Melt the paraffin wax over a double boiler. Using a double boiler is very important, it prevents the wax from burning. Use an old dish or repurpose a fruit or vegetable can to hold the paraffin.   Don’t try to wash it.  The paraffin will melt into the new paraffin the next time you use it.
  • Once the wax is melted, add your favorite citrus essential oil using as many drops as you want.  You can also add some orange zest if you like. 
  • Stir the paraffin and pour it carefully into prepared orange immediately. If you wait for too long the wax will set and you will have to melt it again.
  • Wait for the wax to completely set before carefully cutting off the tape from the orange using sharp scissors to remove without damaging the wick. 
  • Burn as you would any candle.  The orange peel will give off a wonderful scent as it is warmed during burning. 
  • Don't sit it on wood without a candle holder under it.  
  • These are fabulous for table decorations.

Fragrant Coffee Candle

  • This is a wonderful way to give a Starbucks or other coffee house gift card.  It makes it extra special.
  • Fill a dish with whole coffee beans and place a small candle or tea light down in them.  The heat from the candle will heat the coffee beans and the aroma will infuse the room. 
  • Tuck the gift card on an angle in the beans.  
  • Look for candles and unusual dishes or large, low mugs at the $$$ Store.  Also look for inexpensive whole bean coffee there.

For more information visit Linda's website and Facebook page.