The Explorer: The Voice of Marana, Oro Valley and Northwest Tucson

  • Northwest sixth-grader donates all of her hair to Locks of Love

    The minimum requirement for a hair donation to Locks of Love is 10 inches. But when 11-year-old Jazzmin Juerta saw a picture of a bald 3-year-old in a St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital advertiseme...
  • Oro Valley, Marana to pay more for Pima Animal Care Center

    Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is giving an ultimatum to municipalities that are seeing rising costs related to the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC): pay for the increases or see animals ta...
  • CD2 candidates differ on education

    As he attempts to keep the Congressional District 2 seat in the Democratic column, Congressman Ron Barber has charged that Republican opponent Martha McSally will cut federal funding for education.
  • AIA rules against Mountain View in complex case

    The Arizona Interscholastic Association has ruled against the Mountain View High School football program after a special session of the AIA executive board. Mountain View was deemed to have committed ...
  • Amphi looks to have building project at every school site

    Kristy Brower has a bright, open space for children to sit on the floor with their xylophones and a roomy niche to store her class set of violins— space that was once something of a luxury in a school...
  • Richey is first to reach 40 years in Marana

    The Marana Unified School District senior leadership and Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation recognized Sue Richey for her 40 years of teaching during a surprise celebration on Sept. 30 at Coyote Trail El...
  • Richey is first to reach 40 years in Marana

    The Marana Unified School District senior leadership and Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation recognized Sue Richey for her 40 years of teaching during a surprise celebration on Sept. 30 at Coyote Trail Elementary School. At the celebration, district superintendent Doug Wilson presented Richey with her 40-year longevity pin. She is the first employee in the Marana district to receive this recognition.Richey began teaching in the Marana Unified School District in 1975 and the 2014-15 school year marks her 40th year of teaching. She is currently a second-grade teacher at Coyote Trail Elementary School.“Ms. Richey and I began working together 19 years ago when the school opened. We are the only two from the original staff that opened Coyote Trail in 1996,” said Dan Johnson, principal of Coyote Trail Elementary. “We have seen so many changes in public education over the years with curriculum and test requirements, yet Ms. Richey’s dedication to student learning and her love of teaching has never waned.She truly loves what she does and is so committed to seeing her students succeed. She gives her heart and soul to our students. I remember how she initially had reservations about leaving her students and colleagues at Thornydale to open a new school; yet she is often heard saying how she has loved every minute at Coyote Trail. It has been a true pleasure knowing her and working with her all of these years.She is loved by students, parents, and staff alike. It is my hope she continues doing the wonderful work she does for the next 40 years.”

  • Golder Ranch Fire opens new facility

    Last week, the Golder Ranch Fire District hosted a special ceremony to celebrate the new fire facility in a partnership between Robson Communities and Golder Ranch Fire District. This collaborative effort is what made the station the community possible.

  • Economy, education discussed at Gubernatorial debate in Tucson

    In what will likely be the only debate in Tucson, the three candidates running for Arizona governor gathered at the Jewish Community Center on Sept. 18 to take part in the event hosted by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.In attendance was Republican Doug Ducey, who is currently the state treasurer, Democrat Fred DuVal and Libertarian candidate Barry Hess.With nearly 500 in attendance, it was standing room only as education and the economy were the main topics along with audience-generated questions centering on social issues, water and the border.To start the night, the candidates were questioned about policy decisions made by current Gov. Jan Brewer regarding an executive order to bar immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals from getting a state driver’s license — An order that is currently being challenged in court.While DuVal said he would repeal it, Ducey said he supports the action taken by Brewer. When it comes to the economy, the candidates fielded several questions surrounding the slow recession recovery and how the winning candidate would help small businesses succeed.

Local News

  • Oro Valley to host electronic waste event

    On Oct. 18, from 9:30 1 p.m. at the Oro Valley Marketplace, located on the corner of Tangerine and Oracle Road, an electronic waste event will be held.Prevent identity theft Recycle electronicsPaper: Recycle tax forms, bank statements, credit cards, anything with personal information. No need to remove staples or paper clips. Documents will be shredded onsite until the truck is full. After that, documents will be shredded offsite. Please make a donation to the Oro Valley Community Foundation to help cover expenses so we may continue this service. Recycling by Iron Mountain Disposal.Electronic Waste: audio equipment, cables & wire, cameras, cell phones, computers and peripherals, consumer electronics, printers, telephones, circuit boards, CRT monitors ($2 disposal fee without a CPU tower), TVs (CRT $10 disposal fee), TVs (no charge for LCD, plasma), DVD/VCR equipment, vacuum cleaners, toner cartridges, stereo equipment, fans, hard drives, fax machines, video equipment, and other consumer electronics. Recycling by RISE Equipment Recycling Center, a nonprofit organization.

  • UAMC Trauma Center chosen for drug study

    The University of Arizona Medical Center is one of 60 trauma centers in the United States, Canada and Europe selected to conduct a clinical trial of a new investigational drug that could help people with acute spinal cord injuries (ASCI) experience less spinal cord damage and have improved function.Researchers are evaluating the safety and efficacy of an investigative new drug called SUN13837 to determine whether it can protect and regenerate the spinal nerves in ASCI patients. To be considered for the study, a participant must have suffered a spinal cord injury within 12 hours prior to receiving the first dose of the medication and be available for daily dosing for 28 consecutive days.UAMC is the only Level I Trauma Center in the Southwest involved in the two-year study. UA Department of Surgery surgeons Randall Friese, MD, associate professor, Division of Trauma, Critical Care, Burn and Emergency Surgery, andRein Anton, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Neurosurgery, are leading the study.Acute spinal cord injury occurs in 13,000 to 15,000 individuals in the United States each year; well over half of the cases experience quadriplegia. The estimated lifetime cost of acute spinal cord injury for a 25-year-old patient is in the millions of dollars.At present, no drug has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or Health Canada to treat the paralysis and sensory loss that occurs after ASCI. The study is sponsored by Asubio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Daiichi Sankyo Group Company.In this randomized trial, patients will be assigned to receive either a placebo or SUN13837 within 12 hours of injury and then daily for 28 days.  Researchers will determine if subjects receiving SUN13837 are more likely to respond to the treatment (and to what extent) compared to those in the placebo group. The drug level in the blood stream will be compared to the response to determine the relationship between dose, effect (efficacy or clinical symptoms) and safety.

  • Compassion therapy for cancer survivors

    On Nov. 1, the Tucson Cancer Action Network will provide an opportunity to connect with others, participate in cancer care planning and experience compassion meditation. Receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing medical treatment is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Studies show that contemplative or meditative training in Cognitively Based Compassion Therapy (CBCT) can help reduce stress and enhance wellbeing, and is the focus of an upcoming free event for cancer survivors and health-care providers and therapists. A half-day workshop will take place Saturday, Nov. 1, thanks to a partnership involving the Tucson Cancer Action Network (TCAN), Community Cancer Connections at the University of Arizona College of Nursing and the Arizona Cancer Coalition. Through networking and education aimed at improving the quality of life for those affected by cancer, participants will experience a CBCT session, share information, engage in cancer care planning and priority-setting, connect with groups and learn about available services. Event Details What and Where: Tucson Cancer Action Network (TCAN)

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  • ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ - Handles life’s difficulties with humor and family

    In this family comedy-drama, Jason Bateman (from TV’s “Arrested Development) plays Judd Altman, a guy who sees his life seemingly fall apart right before his eyes—and ours.  With the unexpected death of his father, Judd must head to his parents’ home in the New York suburbs to rally his mother (two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda) and siblings, led by strong-willed sister Wendy (aptly portrayed by Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress Tina Fey).  Unfortunately, his father’s death is only the beginning of several difficulties about to face Judd, as one serious life-changing moment strikes after another.  It’s from these unfortunate circumstances that viewers will find entertainment value—similar to how motorists rubberneck a traffic accident, passing the victim off to the side of the road and eyes fixed upon the how and why.Judd’s difficult life becomes even more complicated as the family mourns together during a “sitting Shiva” ritual, a week-long Jewish custom in which the family receives visitors to the house following the father’s burial.  Under the same roof for seven days, the movie’s storyline expands to include the extended family members, all carrying their own personal problems for everyone to comment upon and capitalize for laughs.Director Shawn Levy (“Night at the Museum” collection) deserves credit for nicely balancing a rather large ensemble cast around Bateman’s Judd, while keeping all the focus and family dynamics squarely on the son and brother whose life is being turned upside down.  Levy strides for and succeeds at making the film part funny and part serious, skillfully combining our vulnerable human nature with our resiliency to bounce back from adversity.  The fact we can laugh at, and find entertainment in, Judd Altman’s life is proof that our problems pale in comparison to his.  It’s also indicative of how useful humor is in coping with life’s hurdles.  Although the film is far from a slapstick comedy, it does provide enough smiles throughout to earn an above-average grade.“This Is Where I Leave You” achieves laughs and entertainment from others’ misfortunes, due mostly to a strong, supportive family with funny and endearing characters.  Director Shawn Levy smartly makes no attempt to correct or solve every problem for Judd or the other family members by the film’s end.  This allows the audience to reconcile their own conclusions to the story. A diverse cast manages to stand apart at times, and yet, come together at other moments to shine bright.  Judd Altman faces personal, professional and family adversity with humor and resolve. Together they make this movie more believable along the way and watchable in the end.Grade: B-

  • Prime Time Review: University of Arizona and Fox Theatre team up for new downtown lecture series

    Last month the Arizona Daily Wildcat reported that the University of Arizona had been ranked among the nation’s most healthy campuses by It should be no surprise, then, that the university is teaming up with The Fox Theater to bring a new and informative lecture series on nutrition to the local community.Beginning this month, The Fox Theater will open up its doors to “Food”, the second installment of the annual U of A Downtown Lecture Series provided by the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. Though not a traditional date night event that would normally be held in the theater, the lecture series should provide an offbeat opportunity to head downtown, and could even teach theatergoers a thing or two that may better their lives in the long term. In fact, this is exactly what the goals of the lecture series are. The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences aims not only to share new research from University faculty, but also to support the community’s investment in a vibrant city center by drawing commercial business to downtown merchants.The lectures will take place weekly on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m, with the first beginning on Oct. 15. The kick-off lecture is titled “Changing Geographies of Food”, and will be presented by Dr. Diana Liverman of the School of Geography and Development and Institute of the Environment. The lecture will explore how our food choices bring about changes to the planet, and will also look into the present state and geography of the global food system.  The goal of this lecture is to trace trends and identify choices that promote a more sustainable future worldwide.The second lecture will be called “Tucson: City of Gastronomy, Hub for Food Diversity”, and will be presented by Dr. Gary Nabhan of the UofA Southwest Center. This lecture will take a local approach, highlighting the ways in which Tucson has become a model for re-diversifying the American diet.The third lecture will be called “We Eat What We Are” and will be given by Dr. Maribel Alvarez from the school of anthropology. Alvarez, who is also the director of Tucson Meet Yourself, intends to take a more anthropological approach to the food discussion, describing how our nutritional choices reflect our definition of our habits, our traditions, our practices, and ourselves.The fourth lecture will be “Edible Roman Empire” and will be led by Dr. Emma Blake of the U of A’s School of Anthropology Mass production, agribusiness, unsustainable harvests. Blake’s lecture will explore recent archaeological discoveries about the Roman Empire’s food practices, how they impacted the historical society, and what we can learn from this example.

  • RA Sushi supports the American Heart Association

    From Feb. 1 to Feb. 28, all 25 RA Sushi locations nationwide will be helping to increase awareness and raise funds for the number one cause of death in women: heart disease. RA Sushi has created a special “Go Red” menu that will benefit the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative.  For every Go Red item purchased throughout the month of February, $3 will benefit the American Heart Association. The Red Dress Martini, offered for $9, is a blush-worthy blend of Absolut Citron vodka, Pama liqueur and fresh lemon and grapefruit juices. The slightly spicy Red Heart Roll, available for $12, is made with kani kami crab mix, cucumber, and avocado, rolled and topped with spicy tuna mix.   Support the American Heart Association fundraiser at any RA Sushi location in the United States Visit


  • Pusch Ridge dominates overmatched Warriors

    For Pusch Ridge the challenge this week was not winning their game against Baboquivari, but doing so with good sportsmanship and humility. The Lions beat an overmatched Baboquivari squad 48-0 and had the challenge of playing hard, but not upstaging an opponent that does not have the depth to compete.With an early 6 p.m. start time the game was out of hand before the rest of the Tucson’s games had even kicked off. The Lions led 42-0 after the first quarter and had their reserves and junior varsity players in the game from the second quarter on.Baboquivari, from Sells, Arizona on the Tohono O’Odham Reservation has struggled with participation numbers and had less than 10 reserves on the bench, forcing most of their players to play both ways. The program has struggled in recent years, and has not won a game in six years.Despite being overmatched, the Warriors lived up to their nickname and battled until the final whistle. Their attitude impressed the Pusch Ridge players and staff.“They come out and always play hard,” said Pusch Ridge Head Coach Troy Cropp. “My hat’s off to those guys, they play for love of the game.”The Lion coaches stressed two things to the team during the week, execution and good sportsmanship. They realized the game could get away from Baboquivari and wanted their players to show good sportsmanship until the end. In fact, Cropp had few concerns about his team’s play during the game, but told his charges that late in the game they were slow to offer a hand to a downed opponent.

  • Fowler back at CDO, Meyers wins at Pebble Beach

    The Canyon Del Oro softball team has gone back to the past for their new coach. Two-time state champion Kelly Fowler returns to lead the Dorados for the third time.“A lot of people called me and urged me to apply,” Fowler said, adding that at first she was not interested. “I thought about it and knew exactly what I was getting into. Once I decided to do it I was excited.”Fowler won state titles in 2005 and 2011 and set the table for the success of Amy Swiderski and Stephanie Nicholson who won four titles between them.The Dorados advanced to the state title game last year, but saw Nicholson resigned after the season.Fowler confirmed that she will be joined by longtime assistants Gale Bundrick and Kevin Glynn.CDO golfer Chris Meyers had a dramatic finish on one of golf’s most storied holes. Trailing by one stroke on the 18th hole of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, Meyers not only won the hold, but did so with an Albatross. Meyers sunk his second shot on the par-5 hole overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

  • CDO, Pusch Ridge and Cat Foothills volleyball wins

    It was a busy night for local volleyball teams, as five of the six area teams were in action, with two squaring off.CDO swept Marana 3-0 to take their volleyball match on Tuesday. The Dorados won the first two sets 25-11. Marana played better in third set, but the Dorados took the match 25-18.Glen Brumm had six kills and 11 Digs to lead the Dorados.Megan Morgan also had six kills.Marana’s Jordan Wengert had a team best five kills.The Pusch Ridge girls volleyball team cruised to an easy 3-0 win over San Miguel. After taking the first two sets 25-13 and 25-18, the Lions coasted to a 25-8 third set win to take the match.MacKenzy Smith had seven aces, while Karli Schmidt had five aces and a team high six digs. Brittany Vincent had all 22 assists.

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