Chandler Parade of Lights and Tumbleweed Tree Lighting

You may have noticed the holiday lights are on in Downtown Chandler as they were lit during Chandler Rock the Block. However, the official holiday kick off happens Saturday December 6th as the 25th annual Parade of Lights comes down Arizona Avenue and the 58th annual lighting of the Tumbleweed Tree take place.

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Tumbleweed Tree Lighting

More than 12,000 people are expected to join in the festivities that start at 4:30pm. There will be a variety of musical and dance performances as well as inflatables and other other activities for children including pony rides and visists with Santa Claus. Add this year is an Ugly Sweater contest for individuals, couples and families.

The pageantry of the Parade of Lights begins at 7 p.m. and the parade route will start at the corner of Arizona Avenue and Frye Road. The festive floats and other entries will move north on Arizona Avenue, past Chandler City Hall and continue through the downtown area. As it reaches the north end of Dr. A.J. Chandler Park the procession will turn right on Buffalo Street, followed by another right turn onto Arizona Place. After moving along the east side of Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, the parade will end at the corner of Boston Street and Arizona Place.

At the conclusion of the parade (approximately 8 p.m.), guests are invited to gather in the center of the park on the west side of Arizona Avenue for the Tumbleweed Tree lighting ceremony.

You can find more information here.

PARKING AND TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS

Guests attending the event are strongly encouraged to arrive early to find parking. There are multiple locations with free parking, including two parking garages on the east side of Arizona Avenue, and several surface lots.

Residents are reminded that Arizona Avenue will be closed between Chandler Boulevard and Frye Road from 3:30-10 p.m. Frye Road will also be restricted from Arizona Avenue east to Delaware Street from 3:30 – 10:00pm Several other smaller streets in the downtown area will also be closed or restricted during the festivities.

A map showing street closures and parking options, including parking for the disabled, is online at www.chandleraz.gov/special-events.

ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE

Stage Schedule

4:30 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. Stacy J Dancing
5:00 p.m. – 5:20 p.m. The Dance Loft
5:30 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. Talent Team Perfoming Arts
6:00 p.m. – 6:20 p.m. Ugly Sweater Contest
7:00 p.m. Parade
8:00 p.m. (approx.) Tree Lighting Ceremony with Mayor Jay Tibshraeny
8:40 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Studio 3 Performing Arts Academy

HISTORY OF CHANDLER’S TUMBLEWEED TREE

A Community Tradition

This unique Chandler tradition began in 1957, when Chandler resident Earl Barnum raised the idea of a tumbleweed tree after he saw a similar one in Indiana built out of cone-shaped chicken wire with pine boughs stuck in the holes. Many members of the community helped create the first tree in Chandler using tumbleweeds that they gathered from around town. Little did these folks know that they were the first to do such a thing and that it would continue as an annual Christmas tradition from then on. In fact, Chandler is the only city in the southwestern United States that has such a tree.

How is it done?

First, members of the City’s Park Operations Division gather tumbleweeds from the outskirts of the City. With Chandler’s rapid growth and development, fewer stretches of empty land are within the City limits, which makes it harder to find tumbleweeds in large quantities. So, the Park crews must start collecting the tumbleweeds earlier each year. Nearly 1,000 tumbling tumbleweeds are collected each year and are used to adorn a 25-foot tall wire frame.

Then, the tumbleweeds are sprayed with 25 gallons of white paint, 20 gallons of flame retardant and dusted with 65 pounds of glitter. The tree is later adorned with approximately 1,200 holiday lights that give it a spectacular look, day or night. The lighting of the Tumbleweed Tree draws a large crowd, with more than 12,000 expected to watch the Mayor and members of the City Council flip the switch to light this magnificent sight. The Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Ceremony and the Parade of Lights (starting at 7 p.m.) help to bring our community together to kick-off the holidays.

Guilt Free Book Club Announces December 2014 through May 2015 Book Selections

Gangplank Chandler’s Guilt Free Book Club is an awesome place to discuss and share new and interesting ideas. You don’t even have to read the book to join in our lively discussions! We meet on the Second Wednesday of each month at Gangplank Chandler at 6pm.

For those interested in reading along, we have selected the next 6 months books:

December 2014
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin

January 2015
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone

February 2015
This month we decided to mix things up with two books. Read one or the other or both or neither.

Why Not Capitalism by Jason Brennan

The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama

March 2015
Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius by Marc Seifer

April 2015
Presence Human Purpose and the field of the Future by Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, and Betty Sue Flowers

May 2015
How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher

In a Lightening Response, Community Ends Light Bulb Buying Frenzy In Less Than 8 Hours

Okay, so I was having a little fun last night. A few puns, a goofy photo of Derek, and a wonky narrative were all products of my mischievous late-night self. But you all woke up to a rally cry for… lightbulbs… and by the time I woke up on Thursday morning (remember, I stayed up late), you all had already accomplished our goal of (about) 25 light bulbs.

Seriously, the response was like lightening.

Thank you to everyone who answered the call, and also those who wanted to but weren’t fast enough… we’ll get you next time!

Lets Flood This Place – Light Bulb Fun-Raiser Underway!

Gangplank Chandler is sometimes characterized as ‘dark’. In fact, co-founder Derek often is heard grumbling around complaining about us ‘working in a dungeon’.

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“Y U keep Gangplank so dark?” ~Derek N.

I’ll be real here, it is a little dark. Because: reasons. There are the obvious ones, like the dark colors of our desks, flooring, and ceilings that absorb all the light. Then there are the less obvious ones, like our one-and-only east-facing window causes frustrating glare on all the computer screens facing it, meaning shades are kept down in the mornings and then never brought up in the afternoon. Note also that and our window screens provide us some security too!

But there are some things we can do about this. So, I’m calling on you to help!

Gangplank Chandler, in an effort to be eco-friendly and also ‘new’ and ‘hip’ uses some high-power LED lights. They last forever, but keeping in mind that they’re on non-stop almost all day, every day, and were a really new technology five years ago when we first got them, some have burnt out.

Folks, its time to get some more!

And this time, we’re upgrading to an even brighter flood-type light bulb. This should help add light to our dungeon while replacing the eyesore dead bulbs that are all around.

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LED Flood Light!

We need to get at least 25 of these suckers to replace the dead ones… at $20 each. Can you help?

So click here and go order some!

If 5 people can afford 5 each, we’re done! If 10 people can afford 3 each, we’re set! What can you contribute to your Gangplank Chandler? If 25 people can pitch in for 3-5, we can replace every bulb!

When you place your order, ship it to:

Gangplank Chandler
c/o: Light Master
260 S Arizona Ave
Chandler, AZ 85225

THANK YOU GANGPLANKERS!

PS: Email Chandler@Gangplankhq.com with the quantity you purchased, so we can keep track of the flood of flood-lights.

4 Issues Surrounding Workforce Development for Technology Companies

The Arizona Technology Council released a report from a survey that the University of Phoenix and the Technology Councils of North America recently did on Software Development Competencies to better understand workforce development issues in software development occupations. Asking the following Questions. (Three Roles: Mobile, Application and Web Developer)

1. What is the primary reason for the reported talent shortage in the software development sector (quantity or quality)?
83% of respondents indicated there is clearly a talent shortage.
51% stated the most significant cause is the local market does not have an adequate supply of available works entering the field (quantity).
27% stated the most significant cause is available workers do not have adequate skills and education to occupy the roles (quality).

www technologycouncils org site publisher files UOPX TECNA Software Development Survey Results for Distribution pdf e1408933416197 4 Issues Surrounding Workforce Development for Technology Companies

2. What 3 to 5 most critical skills must individuals have to perform effectively in there high-demand software development roles in the next 2 to 4 years?
The majority of respondents saw User Interface Design, Architecture and Java as key skills in the next 2 to 4 years.
Programming, Web Design and Data Warehousing were seen as necessary skills for all roles.
88% of the respondents felt “Soft Skills” were equally or more important than technical skills.

3. What education and certifications will be required by individuals in the next 2 to 4 years to preform successfully in three high-demand software roles?
45% felt less than a bachelor’s degree was necessary for web/mobile development.
Only 7% felt greater than a bachelor’s degree was necessary.
Less than 30% felt industry certifications were valuable.

4. What are employers doing to cope with future anticipated skill gaps in three high-demand software development roles?
Only 69% of employers are doing something about it.
68% plan on conducting internal training
64% plan on offering internships
53% plan on retraining employees
51% plan on network building

Report summary: UOPX-TECNA Software Development Survey Results.

City of Mesa Open Data Road Show

The City of Mesa and Code for America are hosting an Open Data regional event on September 4th. The benefits of Open Data range from enhancing government performance to increasing public participation. Show up and explore the process and outcomes of implementing data driven initiatives.

Code for America Summit 2013 Flickr   Photo Sharing  City of Mesa Open Data Road Show

In Attendance:

  • City officials who have adopted open data policies (Phoenix, Tucson)
  • Start-ups/entrepreneurs who use open data, creating new job opportunities.
  • Community groups actively developing projects that affect the city and it’s residents (eg: transit, health, park apps).
  • ASU faculty and staff researchers who benefit by and contribute to open data sets (eg: budget, water usage).
  • Citizens!

At past events people walked away energized and committed to implement new practices, host hackathons and develop community partnerships. It is an opportunity to share, ask questions and learn from other departments, partner cities, start-ups and community members.

“I thought the open data roadshow was very informative and inspirational! I thoroughly enjoyed it ” -Tony Heinrichs, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Infrastructure/Public Works, City of San Diego

Goals:

  • Bringing the best of open data practices, policies and experiences to cities.
  • Educating a government audience to the concept, values, and opportunities of open data.
  • Consulting and troubleshooting how government staff can pursue open data within their own agencies.
  • Sharing resources and best practices to support governments interested in implementing open data.

The Logistics:
Open Data Roadshow: Mesa
Thursday September 4th 8:30am – 1:00pm
Mesa Arts Center – 1 E Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Free of Charge with breakfast and lunch provided!

RSVP Here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-data-roadshow-mesa-tickets-12361508605

More info here:
http://opendataroadshow.com/

Gangplank Guilt-free Book Club: August Recap and September Book Announced

Did you know that Gangplank Chandler is host to a “guilt-free” book club? Guilt free means that you can (and should) participate whether you read the book or not. Discussion is always thoughtful and mind-opening and the group challenges itself with books from every genre and focus as it can. You should check it out!

August Recap

Our book for August was “The Little Prince” by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.  It was a very different book for us, the result of a desire to discuss a book from out past that touched our hearts.  We were treated to French wine, cheese, and dessert by Ann W. as we celebrated  the French-ness of the book, as well as getting back in touch with our inner child. Deconstructing a book so full of metaphors was like trying to pick up a big bowl of spilled Jello (wait, is that a metaphor or an analogy??).  Anyway, we had fun, as usual.

September’s Book

September’s book is, as we are known to do, a real departure from last month’s book.  Join us on Wednesday, September 10th at 6 PM, as we discuss Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s newest book, “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.”

His general thesis of the book:

With the velocity of change it is impossible to predict if, when and how things will change.  Better, then, to create organizations and platforms that benefit from disorder and change (antifragile) than ones that are broken or made obsolete (fragile).

Taleb says, “The antifragile loves randomness and uncertainty, which also means – crucially – a love of errors, a certain class of errors. Antifragility has a singular property of allowing us to deal with the unknown, to do things without understanding them – – and do them well. Let me be more aggressive: we are largely better at doing that we are thinking, thanks to antifragility. I’d rather be dumb and anti-fragile and extremely smart and fragile, anytime.”

New York Times says, “Mr. Taleb — who has worked as a derivatives trader and quantitative analyst, and who holds the title of distinguished professor of risk engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University — writes with great certainty and vigor. At his best he serves up provocative theories that encourage us to look at the world anew. He reminds us of the limits of Enlightenment reason, goads us into thinking about why small might be less fragile than big (a rule, he implies, that applies to animals and corporations alike) and gives us a renewed appreciation of practical knowledge (of the sort possessed by engineers and entrepreneurs) as opposed to the sort of academic knowledge acquired in school.”

Also, check out his talk at an Authors at Google discussion on the book.

Remember… our book club is a guilt-free book club, so you don’t have to read the book to join in.  So, join us on Wednesday, September 10th at 6 PM, as we discuss Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s newest book, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder.

RSVP on Facebook or Meetup or share the event page on your social media.

Community Meeting Notes, August 20, 2014

Some notes from this week’s Community Meeting

Restarting the Gangplank Chandler Incubator Program

Derek N. proposed we reform the Gangplank Chandler Incubator program. There is popular support for this idea. Reasons include:

  • Forming an Arizona incubator that is both unselfish and effective. Derek sees many of the local incubators take too much or lack the effectiveness Arizona needs. We already have the resources to give both!
  • Building stronger accountability in the community. By building an incubator where each business is collaboratively accountable to each other, versus to the incubator organization, they will grow stronger, faster.
  • Leverage the power of our GP mentors. Our GP mentors are awesome, but some of them are frustrated with the one-and-done way most mentees go through the program. They volunteer mentor to make a stronger AZ entrepreneurship environment, and they want more opportunity to make that happen. A formal incubator could use their experience to the maximum and give them a more rewarding reason to mentor.
  • An application process will draw greater attention to GP, helping us bring more vibrant people to the space.

Derek plans to take this discussion offline and people interested in supporting this program should reach out to him.

Snack Machine will go Bye-Bye

Jeremy S, who manages the vending at GP Chandler, announced his intent to remove the snack machine after we finish the rest of the inventory. The machine was popular at first but lost interest as people began to not trust the machine to work. With Jeremy S and team not always here, there wasn’t a good system in place to offer refunds when the machine got stuck. The machine is for sale for $60 if you want to own the nostalgic style snack machine.

Spontaneous Exploding Glass Incident

Last week on Thursday, a large glass panel shattered sometime in a two hour window between the late crew closing up on hacknight and the first co-workers arriving in the morning. Without evidence of break in and no knowledge of cause otherwise, we’ve chalked it up to spontaneous glass breakage. This will be repaired in the coming days. Thanks to Phil S. for getting quotes and acting as lead person on the repair.

250 & 260 Update

Our current Gangplank space, despite what address we advertise, is at 250 S Arizona Ave. Our building, which we share with Planet Sub and other tenants, may be up for sale soon. Derek discussed seeking out a motivated Gangplank-friendly investor to purchase the building.

Phil S. gave a verbal update on the 260 construction project. Glass windows and doors for the front were installed this week, but otherwise, we are still waiting on engineering plan updates for roofing to begin.

Bonanza Ed & GP Jr. First LEGO League Team

Bonanza Educational is sponsoring a GP Chandler (GP Jr.) based First LEGO League team. Parents with kids interested in LEGO Robotics should reach out to them for info on how to join and participate.

Going on this week

This week, the GP Health crew is taking videos of what people do “for the health of it”. The crew is recording on hacknights and Thursdays for the next few weeks. Reach out to Trudi W. for more info.

ASU and GP Chandler are co-sponsoring Brain Fair this weekend. Eileen K has helped get some significant media coverage for the event. The crew was looking for a few additional material donations. Check the GP Facebook group for more details.