November 2019 Newsletter

Meet the Leader of Our New Tech Team

By Dale Dauten, Syndicated Columnist

In the park’s unending search for the best in internet and HDTV, we have a new ally, Electrical Communications Unlimited, better known as ECU. It’s a new company, just founded earlier this year, but with plenty of experienced professionals, including the man heading the team working at our parks, Chris Castro.

Chris took his first IT job while still at Yuma High School, working part-time at a medical billing firm. Even so, that wasn’t his first big project. He smiled as this memory came back to him: “I remodeled my mom’s kitchen when I was in the fifth grade. I used to watch that show ‘This Old House’ and got inspired.”

The mention of “This Old House” brought back some memories of our own – that’s Bob Vila in the photo. We looked him up and saw that he started on the show in 1979 and left in 1989, then had two other shows that kept him on TV until 2007. We also discovered that he fell into the construction business by accident – he learned to build houses as a Peace Corp volunteer after college. He’s now 72 and retired, but the show lives on – it’s a hit as YouTube videos. And there are those who credit the show, and Vila, with creating reality TV.

As for Chris, he moved to Tucson after school and took a job in Field IT for a large construction firm, and that enabled him to get out of the office and work on projects like making sure the computers and communications functioned smoothly in the bottom of copper mines, like the Duval and Carlota. He eventually took a job transfer to the Valley and worked for the company doing the project at The Resort and Silveridge. Then, early this year, he and two colleagues decided it was time to open their own firm, ECU. The new company took over the parks project in late June.

By the time they took over, the parks’ HDTV and high-speed internet were working, but Chris and his team felt there were still improvements to be made. Since June, much of the work has been on the back-end equipment, but they’ve also had crews systematically going through the parks, upgrading the equipment and finishing up with the pedestals. Chris says, “You can see a difference. The system is more reliable and you see less pixelating. We have residents come out and tell us how much better it is.”

That progress means that some areas of the park lose service while the work is underway. “We give people notice,” Chris said, “but we have to shut it off while we work – after all, there’s actual electricity involved.”

One of the improvements is in the monitoring of the service. “We have monitoring software that tells us immediately if there’s a problem. There was a power outage the other day and we knew the minute the power was back on and had everything going again within minutes.”

Another improvement is in tracking of work and customer interactions, as Chris put it, “We have a whole new database.” This includes the records that used to be kept on paper but is now put into software that’s accessible not just to ECU but to the parks. Rhonda told us, “The other day someone told me that she’d had a problem with her service and they still hadn’t fixed. I was able to check and tell her that the technician had called her three times and left messages about setting up an appointment, and that she should check her messages and get back to them.”

Summing up, George Igualt told us, “We’re lucky to have Chris as an ally. It’s part of our commitment to realizing Al LaCanne’s vision of high-quality internet and television for all our residents, included in the rent.”

A Fresh Start

Message From Sue

                                Activity Director & Editor

It’s good to be home! How special it feels to be back in our newly remodeled office with a fresh new paint job, new countertops, and a new look all over our gorgeous Silver Center. Kudos to Rhonda and George and all the summer staff and volunteers who worked together to bring us our new space. Many of us traveled over the summer and after days on the road you just want to get back home to your old recliner and bed. There is no place like home wherever we may be!

We are not the only ones that travel to escape the cold weather. I have always marveled that every year hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies take a great journey of 3,000 miles on their annual migration from Canada and the U.S. to their wintering grounds in Mexico. Once in Mexico the monarchs congregate in the Oyamel trees of Michoacan. Like the snow birds, they seek warmth and comfort from their winter home.

Through the years so many residents have made the journey from their home state to Silveridge. Our hearts are sad that each year several cannot make the trip back due to illness or death. Many of these residents were here for 25 years or more. How do you put a price on the legacy they have left? For many years these dear people have volunteered and made a difference with their friendships and contributions to our home, making a better place for all of us.

But the time comes when they leave their Silveridge home, and the cycle begins anew. Children come and help clean; old treasures are donated. Goodbyes are said and be-loved homes are sold. Butterflies, like new beginnings are a sign of new life, a transformation of the spirit. In the “circle of life”, new beginnings are about to happen!!

After visiting for years, sometimes the family will move here to carry on the legacy of their parents. Others who have heard about Silveridge from friends buy or rent be-cause they want to be a part of something good. New friends are made, new talents emerge, and new volunteers are eager to share their time and knowledge.

And to all those New Kids on the block, we say “thank you and welcome to the family of Silveridge!”

Most of our Clubs ramp up the first week of November; please check the Activity Boards, Silveridge Connect or at Coffee and Donuts for starting dates. I am excited that we have a team that will meet and greet all the new residents with a gift. Remember to wear your name badges so we can greet you by name. Stop and see us in Activities. We have a hug for you and will share all our upcoming exciting events we are planning for you! In the meantime, I am here for you and will be busy looking for the new “butterflies.”

Welcome Back my friends, it’s a Fresh Start!


I’ll Be Seeing You

By Karen Staker

As we approach the Silveridge gates,

We’ve come from Canada or one of the states,

We think of good friends who soon we’ll see,

To share our laughter and fun that will be;

We’ll see Sharon and Sue with their friendly ways,

Smiling wide as they plan our fun-filled days;

There’s Kim who laughs as she sorts our mail,

To get it right, she does not fail;

We see Jerry and Tracy who are starting to cook,

And the library with lots of puzzles and many a book;

We’ll be sawing and sewing and eating, for sure

Remembering the days as they once were;

Our thoughts soon lead to those who won’t be back,

Their presence and kindness that now we’ll lack,

We’ll remember the ones who have passed away,

With hopes of seeing them another place, another day;

We’ve learned to treat each day like a treasure,

For Silveridge friendship you cannot measure!