I asked resident and landscape-savvy Dan to give us some advice on getting rid of the pesky weeds that never seem to go away.

— Ray

Do you have weeds now? Everyone has weeds! Right!? But what are weeds? Weeds are simply undesirable plants, and they come from all over the world. Common weeds are known to steal nutrients & water from desired plants, spread & outcompete desired plants, become physically dangerous, and/or have poisonous or toxic materials. For instance, a Desert Broom can overtake a Texas Sage and the rest of the other desired plants in the yard, until only Desert Broom is present. Ask any adult who grew up riding bikes in the valley about why preventing Goatheads (dry Puncturevine fruits) is worthwhile.

Here’s a few methods to consider:

Quick & Dirty Method:

  • Buy & use a broad-spectrum post-emergent herbicide like RoundUp, generally available at local big box stores like Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, & Ace Hardware.
  • Be very careful when using broad-spectrum post-emergent herbicides like RoundUp, as they can easily damage or kill desired plants after contact.

Generally, the best method is to apply or have applied a pre-emergent herbicide to your entire landscape, usually in the end of fall and beginning of spring. Then use or have used post-emergent for the weeds found between pre-emergent applications. This ideally minimizes the weeds while also minimizing the amount of money spent to control weeds.

Delegated Method:

  • Search online for and hire an appropriately-licensed contractor to determine and apply the ideal controls. Licensed contractors with the appropriate spray certifications from the Arizona Department of Agriculture for residential work. Great ways to find such contractors can be through sites like,, or Google. Useful search terms to try would include “weed control” &/or “Avondale, AZ”.

DIY Method:

  • Photograph the weed(s) as best as possible and show them to the representatives at a reputable pesticide store such as Arizona Spray Equipment. Ask what the plant is and what product and method should be used to control it. Like Sissoo trees, some weeds are particularly tough and may require reapplication over a series of cycles to effectively kill them.
  • Most importantly, no matter what product you are using, it is very important to read and follow the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This tells you how to use the product safely and how to mix if it is a concentrate. If the mix ratio is not followed, the product may not work as desired.

Useful points to consider when selecting an herbicide to control weeds:

  • Be sure you know what you are treating for. There are two types of weeds, grass/palm (monocots) & broadleaf (dicots). Photos of the weeds can be taken to a pesticide store to identify the type of weed.
  • Herbicide products are made to either target all plants (broad-spectrum) or to target monocots or dicots specifically. Monocot or dicot targeted sprays are helpful if broadleaf weeds are growing in the grass or palm trees are growing through shrubs.
  • They are either made to kill existing plants (post-emergent) or stop seeds from becoming plants (pre-emergent).
  • They may be effective when applied onto to the plant (contact herbicide) or after having been absorbed thru the roots of the plant (systemic herbicide).
  • Air and soil temperatures often improve or reduce the results. Some herbicides are specifically designed for summer or winter temperatures.
  • Herbicides should be applied carefully so as to not accidentally affect desired plants.

Recommended sources for further reading can be found online at:

Area Crime Update

Every morning I get an email from the LexisNexis Community Crime Map for any crimes reported by law enforcement within a half mile of Rio Crossing.

Some of the time it’s little stuff, and most of the time, there’s nothing at all. I’m usually pretty happy – “no news is good news.”

Yesterday, though, there were three reports that concerned me — all three from over in Wigwam Creek just to the west of Rio Crossing.

Vehicle crimes at three different locations, one stolen vehicle and two burglaries from vehicles.

I don’t know anything beyond what you see here, but it’s “pretty close to home” for all of Rio Crossing, and a reminder that crime can happen in any community. The City of Avondale Police Department says, “Lock it, Hide it, Keep It.”

  • Keep your vehicles locked at all times! Don’t think “Oh, I’m just running in because I forgot my grocery list.” Lock it!
  • Don’t leave anything of any value openly viewable in your vehicle. Not your wallet, not your phone, not your lunch. Hide it!
  • In general, don’t leave things in your vehicle for extended times anyway! Certainly not your wallet, and if your car isn’t parked inside the garage at all times, we highly recommend don’t leave your garage door clicker in the car! If they get in your car… they can get in your home. Keep it inside the house!

Stay safe. Be aware.

Help Us Find a Meeting Venue!

Update: We’ve booked a meeting room at the Palm Valley Community Center for the February meeting. Assuming all goes well, we’ll meet there for the foreseeable future!

We’d like to find space near Rio Crossing to accommodate 10-20 people one night a month — typically the fourth Thursday from 6:30pm to 9:30pm — for a reasonable price.

Usually there’s under 10 of us: 5 board members, our community manager, a recording secretary, and maybe 2-3 homeowners or guests. Occasionally if there’s a hot topic being discussed, we’ll have 5-10 guests, and we’d like to be able to easily accommodate a “crowd” of up to 20 for the rare occasion that something really interesting comes up.

If you have any experience with places nearby, please use the contact form to send us some details.


We’ve had problems so far with every recent meeting venue for board and annual member meetings:

  • Barbara Robey Elementary School was inconsistent in getting the room and gates unlocked, and occasionally moved us to other rooms without notice; plus, as a school, they’re generally not available during summer months.
  • City of Avondale Civic Complex has nice space with WiFi and overhead projection – but they’re a far distance, and the most expensive (higher rates at night), running just over $200/meeting.
  • Estrella Mountain Community College – which we just met at this month – didn’t have the doors unlocked to the Conference Center, no lights in the foyer. There’s no WiFi (only for students/faculty), and the cell coverage inside is spotty/weak.

November Minutes, January Agenda

Well, there was no meeting in December, and I’m remiss in getting the draft minutes out for November… though nobody has asked about them. You should read them! Really!

You can view the draft/preliminary minutes from the November 2018 meeting here, and you can see the preliminary agenda for the January 2019 meeting here.

Note that board meetings are now being held at the Estrella Mountain Community College at Thomas and Dysart in room C-201. Here’s a map… parking and the meeting room are designated with stars. I recommend turning before reaching Thomas, on the north side of the campus, and park in the parking lot on the north side of the campus. Look for the Estrella Conference Center, Room C-120.

An Email From Santa…

Santa arrives at the Rio Crossing 2018 Winter Festival courtesy of the Avondale Fire Department.

Well, for everyone that came out to the Rio Crossing 2018 Winter Festival yesterday, it was quite a success!  Snow, food trucks, vendors tables, bouncy castle, cornhole (bean-bag toss game), and even a visit from Santa Claus, who arrived by fire truck from the Avondale Fire Department.

Santa wrote me an Email this morning letting me know he arrived safely back at the North Pole, and how much he enjoyed meeting everyone yesterday.  He also sent me a short note to deliver to all of you. Enjoy!

Hello, Everyone!

I had a wonderful time yesterday at the Rio Crossing 2018 Winter Festival!

First of all, I want to say I was very impressed with all the children who came to visit me – from the youngest to the oldest.  Each and every one of you was so well behaved and friendly, and it made my brief visit to your community quite the highlight of my community visits this year!  Of course, there were a few young ones who were a little unsure of this old man and his beard, but I hope to see everyone again next year, each of you eager to see me and tell me your wishes.

I was particularly pleased with the number of you who said “spend more time with my family” was high on your list of wishes.  Around the holiday season when there seems like there is so much to do, I hope that every family will spend special time together, feeling the joy and love that you have for each other.

I know some of you weren’t quite sure of your wish list when you visited me, and I mentioned having parents email me with any late list items.  I asked your community to set up a special email address just for Rio Crossing residents, and so I invite parents (and kids, with parent’s permission) to send me their lists to me here:

Parents, I was also impressed with each of you! You were patient with Santa while he spent time with other kids, and were kind to everyone around you.  Thank you for taking such good care of your family, and raising such fine young people.  See… I’m watching parents, too!  I appreciate all the good things that you do, for your family, friends, and community.

After two hours of chatting and picture-taking, the line to see Santa was finally empty, but Santa hadn’t had enough fun, so I walked around the park a bit, chatting with more kids and parents, and even more picture taking.  I had a wonderful time meeting all of you, and so look forward to being invited to visit Rio Crossing again next year!

A special thanks to the Avondale Fire Department and Firefighter Tim for giving Santa a fun-filled tour of your community as part of my ride to Rio Crossing.

I wish all of you a safe and loving holiday season – whatever your beliefs, enjoy the miracles that love can bring when you are together.  Take care of each other, and be kind and friendly to all you meet – now and throughout 2019!

Love to all,

October Meeting – Draft Meeting Minutes

Some of you like to keep up with what goes on at the regular board meetings, and since the middle of 2018 we’ve been striving to put draft minutes up.  I haven’t been really good at getting them up in a timely manner… but we’re working on getting this to be a more regular, timely thing.

Keep in mind these are not the official meeting minutes, but a draft version that will be corrected and/or approved at the upcoming November meeting.

View the Draft Minutes of the October 25, 2018 Board meeting here: 2018-10-25-BoardMeeting-Open-DRAFT

Winter Festival: Art& Crafts Market

We’re having an Arts & Crafts Market as part of our Winter Festival on Saturday, December 15.

Do you have an artsy-craftsy side to you?  Make or sell things that holiday gift-seekers might be interested in?  Provide some sort of service that your neighbors might be looking for?

Setting up a booth is free to Rio Crossing residents!  We’re asking non-residents for a $25 donation to help cover Festival expenses.  Contact Andres for more details: