Family Food Boxes: Feed a Family for Two Weeks

food boxes picture

During school holidays, especially those of significant length, many families who typically rely on free and reduced school meals struggle to afford the additional food bills when their children are home during break. 19 NORTH wants to meet this need, and created a program called Family Food Boxes. Within each box, we provide enough food (23 items) to feed one family for two weeks. Each holiday we hope to fill as many boxes as possible, and would love your help. Each box should include:

5 cans (15 oz) green vegetables

1 plastic bottle (20 oz) jelly

1 plastic jar (28 oz) peanut butter

2 cans (26 oz) chicken noodle soup

1 bag (4 lb) dry pinto beans

1 bag (5 lb) white rice

2 boxes (12 oz) macaroni and cheese

2 cans (12 oz) chicken or tuna

5 cans (15 oz) mixed fruit

1 can (26.5 oz) spaghetti sauce

2 boxes (1 lb) spaghetti noodles

If you are interested in donating for future holiday breaks, contact Shannon McBride at Open Door Fellowship Church, 8301 N. 19th Avenue, Phoenix AZ 85021. 602-677-7797.

Raffaele’s Pizza

by Cathy Keturatana


It would be an understatement to describe Raffaele’s Pizza as a family-operated restaurant. As a child, the current owner, Bill Burns, would go to Raffaele’s after school to visit his father, eat pizza, and watch baseball games. When he was a teenager, he began working there and his first job was to watch the ovens. Eventually, he took over the kitchen. In 2009, Burns took ownership.

Raffaele’s opened in 1974, and Burns’ father starting working there in 1976. The original owner, Raffaele Aquino, is no longer a partner in the business, but he and his family still visit regularly for pizza and sometimes stop by to get ingredients to make their own meals at home.

Raffaele’s has been a staple of 19 North for more than 42 years. Many residents, like Burns, grew up eating there and now bring their own families to dine at Raffaele’s. Previous regulars who have moved out of Phoenix still make sure to visit when they are in town. Burns estimates that 70% of his customers eat at Raffaele’s at least twice each week, and a few of them come for both lunch and dinner. Out of respect for Raffaele’s loyal clientele, when Burns took ownership the only change he made to the menu was to add french fries, onion rings, and chicken strips.

Although known for their Sicilian pizza, Burns thinks the best thing on the menu is Raffaele’s regular style cheese pizza. As Raffaele himself said, “If it ain’t good cheese pizza, it ain’t good pizza.”

Raffaele’s is open Tuesday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. They have lunch specials daily until 2:30 p.m. and also offer a separate catering menu and local delivery.  Stop on by!

Raffaele’s Pizza
7019 N 19th Ave,
Phoenix, AZ 85021
(602) 242-5117

Shop Local

By Erica Fetherston, Local First


For every dollar you spend with a local business, up to four times more money will stay to circulate in the local economy to create jobs and prosperity in communities across Arizona. Additionally, local businesses contribute to a community’s unique sense of place, so keep your money where your home is to build strong communities which we’re proud to call home. Find local businesses, events, offers, and discounts  at

Here is a partial list of businesses in 19 NORTH


Auto Zone: 2040 W Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 249-8089

Bath and Body Works: Christown Spectrum, 1644 W. Montebello Ave, Phoenix AZ 85015 (602) 864-0197

Big 5: Christown Spectrum, 1717 W. Montebello Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85015 (602) 242-1806

Bookman’s: 8034 N 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 433-0255

Dollar Tree: 8913 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 944-2097

Fletchers Tire Auto Service: 1839 W. Dunlap Ave, Phoenix AZ (602) 861-2221

Hobby Bench: 8058 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 995-1755

Karaoke Now: 7828 N. 19th Ave #14, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 864-1995

Petsmart: 1745 W Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85015 (602) 841-2507

PowerPick Players Club: 8024 N. 24th Ave. Suite B306, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 995-9200

Walgreens: 8030 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 995-1231

Grocery Stores:

Albertson’s: 8035 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (602) 678-0895

Fry’s: 1815 W. Glendale Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 335-2240

Sprouts: 8040 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 864-6130


AMC Bowling: 1919 W. Bethany Home Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85015 (602)249-1715

Harkin’s Theatre: 1620 W. Montebello Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85015 (602)249-2844


Atoyac Estilo Oaxaca: 1830 W. Glendale, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 246-1111

Baskin Robbin’s: 8841 N. 19th Ave #1, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 997-5144

Boston Market: 8001 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (602)944-7000

Einstein’s: 1820 W. Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 216-6275

IHOP: 2000 W. Northern Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (602) 995-4044

Los Compadres: 2350 W. Northern Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (602) 864-0043

Los Gloria’s Grill: 7835 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (602) 944-8457

Nawaz Indian Cuisine: 1957 W. Dunlap Ave, Phoenix 85021 (602) 944-2187

Raffaeles Pizza: 7019 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 242-5117

Starbucks: 2360 W Northern Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021 (602) 216-0299

Subway: 1945 W. Dunlap Ave. #7, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 861-3952

Thai Lotus: 7023 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021 (602) 242-8424

The Original Wineburger: 6027 N. 19th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85015 (602) 249-9929

Los Compadres

By Monica Merenda


Located just west of 19th Avenue on Northern Avenue, in the heart of 19 NORTH, resides one of Phoenix’s hidden gems and beloved Mexican restaurants, Los Compadres. If you are a Phoenix native, it is very likely you have frequented either one, or both, of the two longstanding locations.

Los Compadres on Northern has been a neighborhood staple for over 30 years. If you are a regular customer, you can be sure someone on staff knows your name. Lunch-time frequenters know the lunch menu by heart and are certain to be in and out within 40 minutes. Free Wi-Fi, as well as online ordering and delivery, allow for a convenient working lunch.

Neighbors know the best-kept Happy Hour secrets are the $5 Los Margaritas and $2 Street Tacos (try the flank steak or pork tenderloin).  Los Compadres recently added new items to the all day menu, such as the Veggie Enchiladas and a new Breakfast Burrito, and they have already become bestsellers alongside the tried and true favorites such as the Green Chile Burros, Cheese Crisps, Bean Burros, and Tacos.

Los Compadres is family-owned and operated, and you’re almost certain to see a member of the family when you visit.  In addition to running the restaurant, members of the Valdivia family are actively involved in the improvement of our 19 NORTH community.  David Valdivia is president of NABA (Northern Avenue Business Association) which partners with the 19 NORTH Vision team, the City of Phoenix Neighborhood Services, and the Phoenix Police Department regarding ongoing efforts to revitalize the area.  David’s daughter, Monica Merenda, helped kick-start their social media platforms.

In addition to a casual dining restaurant, Los Compadres offers catering and large party dining services. Contact Monica Merenda at (602)864-0043 for inquiries.

Drop on by!

2350 W Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021

MatchED: Help a Child Meet an Educational Need

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMany children in our community are hindered in their education because they lack access to basic necessities.  MatchED is an exciting new program introduced by 19 NORTH to help community members meet the specific needs of students in the local schools. Any staff member at any 19 NORTH school who notices a student is lacking an essential such as eyeglasses, dental care, hearing aids, food, clothing, a mentor, etc., can fill out a form and submit a request. Community members and resource networks will review these requests, and work toward meeting these needs as quickly as possible. If you are interested in submitting a request for a student, or in signing up as a donor, you can do so at For further questions or concerns, contact Shannon McBride at 602-667-7797 or

Cleaning up 19 NORTH

By Shannon McBride


In October 2016 there were various efforts to clean up 19 NORTH.  On October 15, several neighbors got together with bobcats, weed-whackers, rakes, and positive attitudes to clean up a neighborhood alley in the Royal Palm Neighborhood.  Long-time resident of the Royal Palm neighborhood, Griff Hearn, brought tools to share and used his bobcat to haul away all of the cuttings/trash. When asked for comment about what others could do to help, he said, “We need more bobcats.”

On October 17, 2016 the Legacy Basketball team and several other volunteers from the neighborhood cleaned up the Albertson’s parking lot at 19th Avenue and Northern (see picture). To help the effort, Neighborhood Services delivered a large dumpster with a trailer full of tools/gloves.

One couple wrote 19 NORTH to tell us they have been using their dog walks as opportunities to clean up trash in their neighborhood. They have noticed that some businesses are better than others about keeping their parking lots clean, and suggested a 19 NORTH letter writing campaign to encourage all businesses to keep their properties tidy.

Together the residents of 19 NORTH are working to make their neighborhood cleaner and safer. Grateful to be part of this community.

Movie Night! Enjoying Our Safe, Walkable Community

By Julie Meyer Taylor

IMG_6314 (1)On October 8, 2016, my family attended movie night in Royal Palm Park. Two of my boys rode on skateboards, one wore roller blades, and I walked behind them carrying a huge blanket and yelling out safety warnings. “Watch out for cars! Stay on the sidewalk!” After half a mile, we arrived at the park, located at Butler and 15th Avenue.

As I was scoping out the field, looking for the perfect spot, I ran into an old friend from high school and noticed many other familiar faces. The sky was a beautiful, cloud-filled pink. In the middle of the park was a large white movie screen, and everyone was setting up lawn chairs and unpacking coolers. I put our blanket down in the grass, and we used skateboards and helmets to save spaces for our friends.

My boys were hungry, but I didn’t want to leave our stuff unattended, so I gave them money and let them walk over to the food trucks in the parking lot. “Stay together! Bring me back my change!” I said. “Okay, Mom!” they replied.

About ten minutes later, I looked up and saw a policeman walking toward me. He was smiling and holding my 11-year-old’s green rollerblades. My son was walking in front of him, looking amused, but also slightly guilty. He was balancing his Dr. Pepper, grilled cheese sandwich, a wad of dollars, and a pile of napkins in his arms. I smiled at the police officer, “Thanks for helping him!” I said. “No problem!” he answered.

My husband and friends arrived, the sun went down, and we relaxed with the neighborhood ants and watched “The Princess Bride.” Well, at least I did. About fifty yards from the screen, my boys found friends and an empty expanse of grass. Instead of watching the movie, they played rugby. “Play touch! Don’t play tackle! No injuries!” I warned.

While the movie played, I sat next to my neighbor’s daughters who provided non-stop hilarious and adorable commentary. “Fezzik is kind of a bad guy, but he offers a lot of grace. He gives his enemies lots of chances before he kills them.” And later, “I don’t like that big rat.”

The movie shut off a few times, and each time the audience let out a collective groan. It was like we were in an old-time movie theater. I imagined Hilary Rusk sitting in the back, pasting the newsreel back together. Each time the movie turned back on, the audience cheered with joy.

It was a beautiful, fun night in the park. Thank you to Hilary Rusk and the Royal Palm neighborhood for making our home feel like a small town. Thank you to the local police for making it feel safe. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make it work. What an incredible evening. I can’t wait for the next one.

Light Rail Question and Answer

cropped-dsc_5652.jpegInformation provided by Carla Cahn, Light Rail Coordinator for the City of Phoenix

Q: Is there security on every light rail and at every stop?

Fare Inspectors/Security Officers:  Fare inspectors and security officers work in teams of two, and are constantly roaming in stations and trains along the 26 miles of light rail. In early 2016, with six new miles of service, Valley Metro added 17 new officers.

K-9 Teams: Three K-9 teams randomly board trains, visit transit centers, and go to station platforms to enforce safety.

Police: Valley Metro partners with the police departments in the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa to provide an additional layer of security and enforcement.

Special Events: The security presence is increased for special events such as ASU football games, Diamondbacks games, etc.

Call Buttons: Each train, and each station, is equipped with a call button which riders can utilize to report concerns to a Valley Metro Rail operator.

Cameras: There are cameras on board each train and located at all 35 station platforms. They are monitored around the clock.

Q: How are Light Rail tickets checked?

Random Security Checks: Currently, there are six teams of uniformed officers who board trains throughout the service day. Per national formula, these officers randomly inspect a certain percentage of passengers to keep fare evasion to a minimal rate. Our fare evasion rate is five percent, meaning that 95 percent of riders are paying for their ride. Officers will not be on board all trains, and it is possible to take several trips between seeing an officer. This type of fare inspection process is proving successful with this system and with similar light rail systems across the country.

Electronic Citation Method:  In spring 2015, we introduced an electronic citation method to our fare inspection process, making it quicker to issue citations. It is designed to curb fare evasions by expediting the citation issuing process.

Day/Multi-Day Passes: If you see passengers walk past the fare vending machines, most likely they use a fare media type that does not require daily validation.  Day, or multi-day passes only require validation upon first use.  Once validated, the pass is valid through its date-stamped expiration date. Users do not need to interact with the fare machines again in this period.  They do, however, need to keep the pass available to present to fare inspectors, if asked.

Social Service Agencies: Social service agencies provide passes to riders to assist them with trips related to job searches or for medical appointments.

Q: When and where is the next length of light rail going?

 Metrocenter Mall: Seven high capacity extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034, which includes extending light rail west on Dunlap Avenue and across I-17 to Metrocenter Mall.

Gilbert Road Extension: The next extension to break ground is the Gilbert Road Extension. It will extend light rail two miles on Main Street to Gilbert Road.

50th Street/Washington: Thanks to the Phoenix Transportation 2050 referendum approved by voters in August 2015, an additional station, located at 50th Street/Washington, will begin construction in early 2017.

Visit for details about future high capacity transit projects underway.

Q: What else do you want Light Rail riders to know?

Providing a safe, secure, and reliable transit service is a top priority. Light rail ordinances and policies were created to protect the safety, security and health of all riders. Overall, we operate a consistently safe and reliable transit system operating up to 20 trains per day in an urban environment. We make 228 trips per day, carrying an average of 47,000 weekday riders, or 15.6 million annual riders.

Postal Plus More • Cubbiehole Collectibles


By Beth Hilker

One visit to Postal Plus More, and you’ll quickly realize it is no ordinary shipping store. The owner, Mike Kerin, has an enthusiastic passion for life, his customers, Hot Wheels, collectibles, and rescue dogs.

Mike grew up in Wisconsin but has lived in Phoenix for 27 years. He purchased the postal store when he realized on-line shopping had created a boom in the shipping business. His goal was “to build the coolest shipping store ever,” and Postal Plus More is certainly not your corporate cookie-cutter franchise.

According to Mike, “If it fits through the door, it ships!” He is an authorized retailer for Federal Express, the United States Post Office, and DHL International. The store also offers other services, including fingerprinting, faxing, PO boxes, packaging, and shipping supplies.

Mike has a second business in the same store, called Cubbiehole Collectibles and has over 25,000 diecast cars in stock, including brand name new releases. “With Cubbiehole Collectibles, I’ve created an international destination for Hot Wheels and die cast collectors,” states Mike. “I’ve had folks from around the world visit, most recently from as far away as Germany.” Mike has an extensive knowledge of Hot Wheels trivia and claims to be well-known for his “massive inventory, great prices, and exceptional wheeling and dealing.”

Mike also has a huge heart. When visiting his store, you can’t miss his three adorable rescue dogs, Bandit, Shadow and Pookie. All three come to work with him each day.

My husband has been shipping packages with Mike for many years and rents a PO Box in the store. All three of my kids have enjoyed perusing his incredible collection of toy cars and memorabilia, and many Hot Wheels have made their way into my sons’ toy box. Mike Kerin’s Postal Plus More is a one-of-a-kind business and a wonderful asset to the 19 NORTH community. The next time you need to mail a package, drop on by!

Postal Plus More/Cubbiehole Collectible

1810 W. Northern Ave., Suite A5

Phoenix, AZ 85021


Faith and Community Leaders Take Bus Tour of Local Schools and Neighborhoods

By Julie  Meyer Taylor

faith ride

On September 22, 2016, 15 leaders of the community, including leaders from seven churches (Open Door Fellowship, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, United Methodist Church, Royal Palm Baptist Church, Desert Christian Fellowship Church, Beatitudes Campus, and Palms Bible Fellowship Church), boarded a mini bus together to take a tour of the schools, neighborhoods, and communities within the 19 North boundaries (Montebello to Dunlap, from 15th Avenue to 23rd Avenue).

The idea for the tour arose during a meeting of the 19 North Interfaith Council, in which members discussed the need for a firsthand view and more insight into the communities they serve. The council suggested the tour to Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, who agreed to attend, and who also invited various local leaders to come along for the ride.

Councilman Valenzuela drove the bus, and shared his vision for economic development, as well as his hope for strengthening and supporting students. Lt. Charlie Consolian, Phoenix Police Department, offered his perspective as a police officer and suggested ways to help the community. He also emphasized the great need for positive mentors in the students’ lives. (If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Lisa Hubbard, Neighborhood Services, discussed how important it is for everyone to play a part in neighborhood improvement. She encouraged the leaders to influence community members to make calls when they see graffiti or blight (cite page number/section for phone numbers) and to work together to make their neighborhoods safer.

The tour stopped at four schools in the area (Maryland Elementary, Royal Palm School/Arizona Cardinals Preparatory Academy, Richard E Miller Elementary, and Orangewood Elementary), and drove through the surrounding neighborhoods. Paul Stanton, Superintendent of the Washington Elementary School District (WESD), and Jill Hicks, Director of Communications and Public Engagement for WESD, shared some of the demographics for each of the schools and also discussed the unique strengths and needs of each school. David Marz, Pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, said, “As we learned the needs and opportunities of our neighborhood, each stop provided an opportunity for us to specifically pray for teachers, students, and families of that community.”

This bus tour was a unique opportunity for faith and community leaders to come together. By sharing their individual perspectives, and viewing their common concerns, each leader was empowered in their efforts to better understand, lead, and serve their communities.