Chandler COVID-19 Memorial Day proclaimed for those lost, infected

CHANDLER NEWS BRIEFS

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, on the suggestion Councilmember Christine Ellis (left), has designated Monday, March 1, as COVID-19 Memorial Day in honor those who have lost their lives to the virus as well as those who have survived it.
Hartke, himself, is among those who have survived it. –Chandler photo

A day to remember COVID-19 victims, return of the community bike ride, State Forty-Eight expanding, free tax prep to qualified residents, a $10 million chemical management plant expansion: It’s all right here in this installment of Chandler News Briefs!

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, on the suggestion Councilmember Christine Ellis, has designated Monday, March 1, as COVID-19 Memorial Day in honor of those who have lost their lives to the virus as well as those who have survived it.

Hartke, himself, is among those who have survived it. He suffered from the virus early this year.

Ellis initially proposed the idea of the proclamation.

Community bike ride April 10-18, physical distancing encouraged

— Chandler photo

The 2021 Chandler Family Bike Ride returns April 10-18 with an invitation to the community to get out on city bike paths, trails and streets for fun and health. As with last year’s ride, this year’s expanded nine-day format encourages more bike rides in order to share the experience with the community through personal social media and the city’s event page on Facebook.

“We may not be able to gather in large groups like we have in previous years, but we can still bond as a community on social media and share our Chandler spirit and pride with friends and neighbors,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said. “You can ride solo or share a bike ride with others, and I encourage everyone to be safe by wearing a bike helmet, checking your tires and other equipment and following physical distancing guidelines with other riders.”

Hartke added, “Don’t forget to add to the fun by posting your photos and videos before, during and after your ride using the hashtag, #BikeChandler.”

Registration opened March 1 at chandleraz.gov/familybikeride.

As a bonus, those who register by March 31 will reserve a goodie bag with an event T-shirt, water bottle and other items from bike-ride sponsors. Supplies are limited.

The Chandler Family Bike Ride is presented by Chandler’s Transportation Policy Division, with support from various city departments.

More information: Nancy Jackson at 480-782-3442 or nancy.jackson@chandleraz.gov, or on the web at chandleraz.gov/familybikeride.

State Forty Eight expands Chandler headquarters and retail location

–State Forty Eight photo

Chandler-based apparel and lifestyle company State Forty Eight, which is approaching eight years in business, will take over the next-door suite at 3245 N. Arizona Avenue (Arizona Avenue and Elliot Road ), to make it its headquarters.

The move is part of the company’s mission to expand operations and amplify its newly launched screen-printing and embroidery services.

The expansion will add 5,500 square feet and include offices, a boardroom that hosts as many as 12 people, dedicated creative space for the design team and any photo or video production, as well as a warehouse dedicated to screen printing and embroidery services.

State Forty Eight has worked with clients interested in creating their own merchandise without the standard State Forty Eight branding. Options include T-shirts, hats, masks, outerwear and tote bags.

The long-term goal is to become a one-stop shop for Arizona’s merchandising needs, from manufacturing, design and branding to retail and fulfillment.

Chandler free tax-prep sessions all booked, alternate recommended

Tax season is under way and already all appointments for Chandler’s free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program are booked.

Residents are encouraged to instead use MyFreeTaxes.com, sponsored by United Way, to file basic taxes for free.

For those who successfully booked a VITA appointment, Chandler’s Earned Income Tax Credit campaign helps working families who earned less than $57,000 in 2020 with free tax preparation and filing services.

VITA tax-preparation sites in Chandler will operate through Tuesday, April 13, for those with appointments:

  • First Credit Union, 25 S. Arizona Place, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays.
  • Chandler CARE Center, 777 E. Galveston St., noon–4 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. This site will be closed March 13–20 and April 2–3.
  • Salvation Army, 61 E. Saragosa St., 6–9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

All VITA sites will prepare basic tax forms by appointment only. Interpreters are available at some sites to assist Spanish-speaking residents. All volunteers are certified with the Internal Revenue Service and have completed the VITA training program.

Residents must bring several items with them, including W-2 forms, photo identification and Social Security cards (including those of all dependents).

To mitigate spread of COVID-19, these safety measures must be followed:

  • Face masks (covering mouth and nose) must be worn in the office at all times. All clients are expected to provide their own masks.
  • Social distancing (six feet apart) must be maintained at all times.
  • Maximum of two people (please do not bring children to the tax appointment).
  • Anyone experiencing any signs or symptoms of any illness must stay home.

Rinchem announces 50,000 square foot, $10M expansion in West Chandler

–Rinchem photo

New Mexico-based Rinchem announced a 50,000-square-foot expansion of its building in West Chandler, at 6805 W. Morelos Place. Construction of the shell is nearly complete and the company plans to begin operating in it by June.

Rinchem is a chemical-management company that provides high purity, pre-packaged chemicals and gases. Its primary industries include pharmaceutical, biotech, semiconductor and aerospace.

Its existing building on the site, completed in 2015, is 100,000 square feet. This $10 million investment will lead to approximately 25 new jobs with room for additional expansion.

“Rinchem is in a great location for growth with the Loop 202/South Mountain Freeway expansion providing further access to talent for West Chandler employers,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said. “Our West Chandler employment corridor is home to nearly 30,000 employees and we are thrilled to see hiring growth from Rinchem.”

United Food Bank seeks volunteers for food distribution

–United Food Bank photo

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at United Food Bank, 358 E. Javelina Ave. in Mesa, or partner agency may now sign up at www.unitedfoodbank.org.

Volunteers are essential workers to United when it comes to distributing food to people in need. The organization’s Volunteer Center relies on nearly 200 people each week to staff two-hour volunteer shifts to sort food donations and pack emergency food bags.

In addition, 50 volunteers are needed each week to cover 4-hour shifts at weekly food distributions.

Workplace groups, traditionally a great source of volunteers for United, have not returned to volunteering since the COVID-19 pandemic began, leading to an ongoing challenge in filling volunteer spots.

United Food Bank has provided hunger relief to people in the East Valley and eastern Arizona since 1983. As a Feeding America member food bank, it collects, acquires, stores and distributes food to more than 220 partner agencies and programs, serving more than 345,000 households annually in five counties. In 2020, due to COVID-19, United Food Bank distributed more than 27 million pounds of food, providing 22.5 million meals, a 20 percent increase over our distribution in 2019.

Eastbound I-10 restrictions at Gila River Bridge rescheduled to nights only

–ADOT photo

Eastbound Interstate 10 restrictions planned for March 1-5 south of Chandler have been rescheduled to nights during the coming weeks, according to Arizona Department of Transportation. Barrier-wall repairs are being done at the bridge, southeast of Riggs Road.

Instead of the maintenance work taking place during the day as scheduled initially, ADOT will do the repairs during overnight hours to limit impact on I-10 travel between Phoenix and Tucson on the busy freeway.

Eastbound I-10 will be narrowed to one lane at the Gila River Bridge.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511 and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT. 

Arizonans may now renew driver licenses online

Renewing a standard Arizona driver license and a commercial driver license now may be completed with a few clicks on a website.

As Gov. Doug Ducey’s Executive Order on deferring standard driver license expiration dates ended on Feb. 28, Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division is giving many Arizonans the ability to renew their licenses online. Previously, renewals could be processed only during an office visit.

“Most Arizonans with a standard driver license must renew their license when they turn 65 years of age and every five years thereafter,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “During the pandemic, ADOT wants to continue Gov. Ducey’s efforts to help protect our most vulnerable and we’re pleased to be able to offer a contactless renewal option so people can continue making healthy choices.”

An in-office visit is required to renew a standard Arizona driver license if an individual’s photo of record was taken more than 12 years prior to renewal. Most Arizonans may renew their license without visiting an MVD office. Driver license-holders can log in to their account at AZMVDNow.gov to see their eligibility for online renewal.

To renew a CDL online at AZMVDNow.gov. An individual’s address must remain the same, a valid primary document is on file with MVD and their current credential must be in good standing. CDL holders with a hazmat endorsement may not renew their license online.

This streamlined renewal was made possible, in large part, when MVD implemented a state-of-the-art computer operating system last spring.

Go to AZMVDNow.gov and sign-in to your account. If you need to activate your account – everyone with an Arizona driver license has an account – follow these steps:

  • After logging in, select “Renew Now” in the “My Credential” section and follow the instructions.
  • Allow about 15 days for processing and mail delivery of your new driver license.

 

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