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Meet Gilbert’s Native American Management Intern

NAInternBrooke Wheeler:
I am working on my Masters of Public Administration degree (nonprofit concentration) and a Museum Studies Certificate at ASU. I received a BA in Anthropology with a minor in American Indian Studies at ASU. My interests primarily lay within museum and nonprofit administration, and in federal, state, and local public policy. I have always been committed to working with American Indian communities through either the public or nonprofit sector. When I graduate next fall, I hope to work for National Museum of the American Indian, building collaborative relationships between the Smithsonian and tribal governments and communities, thereby encouraging my people to explore various means of expression through cultural building activities and community collaborative exhibits and events. I believe the aforementioned factors directly contribute to sustainable growth; increase livelihood and cultural pride; and empower people to strengthen their inner capacity, which fosters social and economic progress. As an intern for the town of gilbert, I am looking forward to building the necessary leadership, interpersonal, and public communication skills necessary to work with tribal governments, as well as understanding the dynamics of government relationships between local municipalities, state, federal, and tribal governments.

Prior to working for the Town of Gilbert, I finished a summer internship at the National Museum of the American Indian within the development office as the Native American Initiatives Intern. I have also worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington DC, National Archives and Records Administration in DC and Seattle, Pueblo Grande Museum, and the Salt River Elementary School. Before returning to ASU to pursue my undergraduate degree, I worked in film and theater as a costume designer.

Follow my experiences on my blog Here.


September is National Preparedness Month

ntl preparedness monthFEMA’s 2014 Ready campaign has kicked off and this year’s theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”  I bet you’re thinking, “Arizona doesn’t have disasters- why bother?” As an Emergency Manager working in Arizona I hear this sentiment a lot, but let me share with you why being prepared, even in Arizona, is important.

On August 2, 2014, with little or no warning, Toledo, Ohio encountered a water crisis in which algae bloomed from Lake Erie causing nearly 400,000 people to be unable to use their water to drink, cook with or bathe for 3 days. This incident caused many great difficulties, as you can imagine. Business losses alone were estimated to be approximately $1.5 million. Toledo’s most prevalent local hazards are snow and flooding, and we have our own local hazards including extreme heat and flooding. This one took most of Toledo by surprise. That is the important point to remember. It was not scheduled or planned; it came as a surprise, like most emergencies.

You really don’t know when or where an emergency might strike. Speak to any Toledoan, and they will tell you the same. I am sure that most people could have never imagined their recent local crisis.

Simple preparedness activities like having food and water storage, a family communication plan and teaching your older children how to turn off the utilities to your home, are very simple but useful activities that you can do this month. Ensure you and your family are prepared for local emergencies.

If you want to learn more, visit FEMA’s website at www.ready.gov or follow @GilbertYourTown on Twitter where we will be providing useful tips all month long. Take action now to prepare!

Sheri Gibbons
Emergency Management Coordinator
Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department

5 Ways to Water Right this Winter

waterblogseptWhen the weather gets colder, Bermuda grass lawns go dormant and stop actively growing. If you are looking to save money and water this winter, try not overseeding with winter rye grass this year. Bonus: Sewer fees are calculated in the months of January, February and March, so if you use less water during those months than you had in the past, you’ll likely see a lower sewer fee for the upcoming year.

Some residents choose to overseed in order to have an actively growing lawn in the winter months. Late September and early October is when lawns are prepared for overseeding. The best time to overseed is when temperatures are around 55o at night and 82-84o during the day.

If you do choose to have a winter lawn, follow these steps to ensure you water right this fall and winter.

  1. Germinate the seed. Rye grass is applied as a seed into the scalped Bermuda grass lawn. To successfully germinate, the top 1 inch of soil needs to be kept moist. So, you need to water frequently (4 times a day throughout the day), for short bursts (about 2-4 minutes, depending on the water application rate of your sprinklers*) until the seed is germinated, which typically takes 5-7 days.

*Water is applied at different rates for spray heads (also called pop ups), rotors, and stream rotors. Know what you have on your system so you can set the proper run time. Spray heads can apply water as much as 2 times faster than the other sprinkler types.

  1. Don’t set and forget.Overseeded winter lawns can use more water than summer lawns. This often happens because people set the original germination watering schedule and forget to change it. Once the seed is germinated, gradually increase the run time (minutes) and decrease the frequency (days) of irrigation events. Once established, winter rye grass can be watered:
    • Once every 3 days in October
    • Once every 10 days in November
    • Once every 14 days in December and January
    • Once every 10 days in February
    • Once every 7 days in March

**Make sure you water deeply every time you irrigate—this allows you to go longer in between irrigation events.

  1. Cycle and soak. Prevent water from running off onto the sidewalk by utilizing the multiple “start times” on your controller. On the day you irrigate, break up the total minutes you need on irrigation day into 3 different irrigation sessions, running about an hour apart.
  2. Stagger your starts. To help reduce energy demand associated with firing up the water treatment plant pumps when everyone’s sprinklers come on, even numbered houses should water on the top of the hour and odd numbered houses should water on the half hour. For instance, if your house address ends in an odd number, and you need to water for 15 minutes total, you could water for 5 minutes at 2:30 AM, 5 minutes at 3:30 AM, and 5 minutes at 4:30 AM.
  3. Mow at the right height.   We suggest you mow your winter grass at a height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Many times, people think that if they mow lower, they’ll be able to mow less often. The opposite is actually true. A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 1/3 of the grass’s height when mowing. This maintains a healthy photosynthesizing (food-producing) leaf canopy.

Need further assistance? Contact the Gilbert Water Conservation office. We offer free residential and commercial water audits to assist in saving water outdoors.

5 Social Media Tips to Remember During Emergencies


pdlineSnap and tweet.  We all want to be in the know and share what is happening on social media.  Information can be immensely helpful for a number of situations, but when an emergency takes place, Gilbert’s Police and Fire need your help.

Gilbert uses social media, especially Twitter, to post the most up-to-date information during emergencies.

We appreciate your tips and ask that if you see an emergency situation, please call 911.  Dispatchers do not get information through social media.  Calling 911 is necessary to dispatch emergency services.

Here are 5 more social media tips to remember during emergencies:

1. Do let family and friends know you are safe. If possible send out text messages instead of calling each person so cell phone services don’t crash.

2. Do warn others through social media or text messages if you have first-hand knowledge of a developing emergency.

3. Do not tweet or post information about the movements of law enforcement officers during an emergency. A criminal who is wanted by police may be familiar with the area.

4. Do not put yourself in a photo (take a selfie) and endanger yourself, no matter how compelling.

5. Do not spread rumors through posts, tweets or retweets

Thank you for your willingness to help Gilbert Police and Fire.  Don’t forget to like, tweet, or snap Gilbert.


International Investment: Gilbert, AZ


See how Gilbert’s Economic Development Department is attracting international business opportunities.

For more information visit Gilbert’s Economic Development Department.

4 Ways to Spot a Pool Leak

Pool owners know that water is lost to evaporation, and either a hose or an automatic pool water leveler (also called an autofill) replaces the lost water. However, there can be a sneakier, larger user of water when it comes to pools—a leak.  Here are four ways to identify if you have a pool leak, and what to do about it.

1. Visually inspect.  Where is the pool’s water level?  Ideally, your water level is about halfway up the skimmer’s opening.  If the water level is high, you may have a problem with your pool’s autofill. You can go check your water meter out front to see if there is constant water usage.

2. Listen.  Do you hear any water running?  If your autofill is constantly running, sometimes you can hear the water coming out of the autofill and into the pool. Locate the lid to the autofill and lift it up. Look and listen for running water.

3. Turn off the water supply to the pool. Usually the water supply to the pool is located in the back of the house near where the pool is—but not always.  If you suspect you have a leak, locate the backflow preventer associated with the pool’s water supply. Turn one of the valves perpendicular to the pipe to stop the flow of water to the pool. See pages 10 and 17 of the Smart Home Water Guide for a visual on this.

4. Perform the “bucket test.” This test will help you determine if your pool is losing water to evaporation or to a leak.

·       With the pool’s water supply still turned off, place a bucket, held down with a rock, on the first pool step.

·       Fill the bucket so that the water level in the bucket matches the pool’s water level.

·       Wait 2-3 days.

Scenario A: After 2-3 days, if the water levels are the same in the pool and the bucket, then you have only lost water to evaporation. Before you did the bucket test and turned off the water supply to the pool, was the autofill constantly running?  If yes, and if your bucket test indicates you only lost water to evaporation, you likely have a malfunctioning autofill device (it won’t turn off). Water doesn’t necessarily overflow the pool because of cracks and crevices in the cool deck and the absorption capacity of our clay soils.

Scenario B: After 2-3 days, if the water level in the pool is lower than the bucket, you have a leak or crack in your pool where water is escaping. When the water supply is shut off for a few days, the water loss from a leak in the pool can sometimes be quite dramatic. But you never noticed before because your pool’s autofill was refilling the water that was being lost through that crack or leak in the pool.

In either case, contact a pool service professional to fix the problem and start saving water.

Contact the Gilbert Water Conservation Office if you still have questions about your pool or landscape.


5 Dog-Friendly Gilbert Locations

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