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  • Commission approves controversial Lazy K Bar Ranch appeal

    Despite the objections of many in attendance, the Marana Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend two proposals to the Town Council in regards to the Lazy K Bar Ranch development. The commission voted to recommend rezoning the 138 acres of land from ‘RR’ Resort and Recreation to ‘F’ Specific Plan, which would allow the developer, Mattamy Homes, to place up to 178 units on the land and convert it into a high density, gated community. The current zoning limits them to 42 units. The commission previously recommended a similar plan, but it was rejected by the Marana Town Council in October. The council must approve the plan by a super majority, but Councilwoman Patti Comerford voted against it and Vice Mayor Jon Post was not in attendance. Although Mattamy Homes made some changes from the last proposal, the commission asked them to add animal-safe fencing to the south edge of the property, although with the current steep slopes the fencing is not really needed. “It doesn’t make sense,” said Scott Stonum of the Saguaro National Park. “I think the commissioner misunderstood the usage of the fencing.”Stonum and Darla Sidles, the superintendant of Saguaro National Park, explained that wildlife-friendly fencing is used to separate property and keep people off of each other’s land. 

  • Secret project stems tax talk

    The Oro Valley council on Dec. 17 is tentatively slated to revisit an October agenda item related to exploring additional revenue options.In the Oct. 15 meeting, council voted in favor of initiating the required 60-day public notice necessary before discussing new or increased fees or taxes.Councilwoman Mary Snider said in the meeting that the exploration of additional revenue streams relates to a potential project in the town.“We have a specific project to consider… in order to consider that project fully we need the opportunity to examine whether or not there could be any additional revenue,” she said.Communications Administrator Misti Nowak said the town hopes to announce the project in the next three to four weeks, but adds that should the project not come to fruition, “there won’t be any need to discuss additional revenue streams.”Mayor Satish Hiremath also called for there to be a posted notice related to sales tax revenue discussions in what appeared to be related to the same project.

  • Marana Middle School teacher finalist for superhero award

    If you step into Krisha Leyva’s class be prepared for a lot of energy, a lot of hands-on activities and not a lot of handholding. Leyva believes in being upbeat and animated, but she also believes in letting kids make their own discoveries. This philosophy has led her to being a finalist for STEM Superhero Awards for Most Dedicated STEM teacher, which is sponsored by the Arizona Super Bowl committee.“When one walks into Ms. Leyva’s classroom, they enter a living Learning Lab,” explained Marana Middle School principal Kristin Reidy. “Ms. Leyva recycles resources on campus and encourages her students to use them during their investigations. Students are encouraged to think outside the box when solving problems and as long as their proposed ‘solution’ fits within the parameters of the project and it is “safe” anything goes.”Leyva believes that the best way for students to learn science is for them to discover science by exploration, note memorization. “I don’t give them the recipe to do these things, I let them explore and guide them through these things,” Leyva explained. Leyva got into teaching nine years ago after making a career change. “Before I went into teaching I was a banker and that was not a good fit,” said Leyva. “I wanted to get into something where I could actually make a difference, make a difference with children.

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Local News

  • Transit schedule for Thanksgiving

    The following details outline transit service on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 27, 2014:·         Sun Tran Routes 1 through 99 and the Sun Link streetcar will run on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving.  Regular service resumes Friday, November 28.·         Sun Express Routes will not be in operation. Regular service resumes Friday, November 28.·         Sun Shuttle fixed-route service and the Sahuarita/Green Valley Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride will not be in operation. Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride service provided by Discount Cab and Oro Valley Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride will offer service from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, for Americans with Disabilities Act-qualified passengers only.  Regular service resumes Friday, November 28.Sun Van service and hours of operation will mirror the service provided by Sun Tran. Sun Van’s Customer Service Center will be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving.The Customer Service Center for Sun Tran, Sun Shuttle and Sun Link will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist passengers with trip planning needs.  On Friday, November 28, the Customer Service Center will return to regular weekday hours of 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • I-10 frontage road, ramp and SR 77 lane restrictions this weekend

    Due to the El Tour de Tucson event on Saturday, Nov. 22, the Interstate 10 eastbound frontage road between Tangerine Road and Congress Street will be reduced to one lane between 4 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of the Transportation.The eastbound I-10 frontage road from Tangerine Road to Congress Street will be reduced to one lane to allow cyclists to travel in the right lane.Continuous travel on the eastbound I-10 frontage road will not be possible between Orange Grove Road and Miracle Mile.Message boards and traffic control devices will direct traffic through the area and separate bicycle and vehicular traffic.Law enforcement will be located at each traffic interchange.The eastbound I-10 exit ramp at Congress Street will be closed.

  • Provisional/Conditional Ballot Breakdown for CD 2

    Pima County Recorder, F. Ann Rodriguez, announced today that a breakdown of the results of the provisional and conditional provisional ballots from the November 4, 2014 General Election is now available for Congressional District 2. We can now give a breakdown of how many of the provisional and conditional provisional forms were issued to voters in CD2.A press release on November 12, 2014 gave a breakdown for the entire county, where there were a total of 776 provisional ballots. We have determined that 479 of those provisional and conditional provisional ballots were from CD2.The following is a breakdown of the various reasons why the 479 provisional and conditional provisional ballots in CD2 were not verified and therefore were not counted:240 voters went to the wrong polling place.These voters were correctly listed on the poll rosters at their assigned polling place. Under state law, each of these ballots had to be disqualified.176 individuals attempted to vote when they were not eligible to do so.

Entertainment

  • Saturday Puzzles 11-22-14

  • ‘Birdman’ likely to land several Oscar nominations

    Most of us remember Michael Keaton’s successful string of comedies in the early 1980s that started off with “Night Shift” and “Mr. Mom”.  Afterwards, he starred in Tim Burton’s highly anticipated “Batman” in 1989. By 1992, he once again played the caped crusader in “Batman Returns”, earning Keaton widespread acclaim. Then something happened; Keaton’s movies were more “misses” than “hits” until he seemed to disappear from cinema screens overnight. Keaton’s career had fallen into the category of insignificance.  He missed out on meatier roles and blockbuster box office winners. Years later, even as he found himself providing voices to successful animated films (“Cars”, “Toy Story 3”), Keaton was never handed that potential Academy Award acting part or movie. Until now.Keaton’s enthralling performance completely dominates this film from start to finish. As the character Riggan Thomson, Keaton plays a once famous actor still revered by his fans for his superhero movie persona Birdman from years ago. Riggan, perhaps similar to Keaton following his Batman days, doesn’t want history to only remember him for wearing the crime-fighting costume. Unwilling to reprise the Birdman gig for a fourth movie installment, Keaton’s character leaves Hollywood for the world of Broadway plays. Now, struggling to gain acceptance from critics, fans and his family, Keaton’s Riggan becomes despondent. Keaton’s intensity shines throughout the movie like a laser in a dark theater.  But by no means does he carry this remarkable film solely. The film’s edgy behind-the-scenes look at a Broadway production reveals a combative storyline from its entire cast and crew.Just as impressive as Keaton’s acting gem in this movie is the extraordinary job two-time Academy Award nominee Edward Norton (“Primal Fear”, 1996) does to keep the plot and film moving along effortlessly. Norton’s character, Mike, is hired as a last-minute replacement actor to co-star opposite Keaton’s delusional Riggan in the Broadway play. Together, Keaton and Norton give movie audiences a volatile mix of personalities so convincingly testy that viewers will be left cringing at times and shaking their heads. Likewise, Naomi Watts (2-time Academy Award nominee) perfectly stars as the uncertain female lead in the play’s production.  Rounding out the splendid cast are Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover” trilogy) and Emma Stone (“Amazing Spider-Man”).“Birdman” marks such a powerful, riveting masterpiece by Keaton and his co-stars, that this film should garner several Oscar nominations. It’s almost certain to make the list for Best Picture while Keaton is a heavy favorite to get a nod for Best Actor. “Birdman” also makes a strong case for Academy Award nominations in the Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton) and Best Directing (Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu) categories.Aside from the exceptionally strong acting performances, the movie also excels in the cinematography department. Despite being filmed almost entirely within the confines of their Broadway theater, the terrific camera angles and shots deserve separate mention. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu gallantly captures the long, maze-like hallways containing the brisk-paced walk of Keaton and others in single, continuous shots.  Viewers become transfixed on the theater set itself; both the happenings in front of the stage and behind it--never missing a step with the characters.  At other times, the film holds a shot an extra few seconds for effect and audience reflection. It’s that unique showcase of the film’s storyline on camera, combined with brilliant leading and supporting acting, that makes “Birdman” one of the best films in 2014.“Birdman” provides Michael Keaton the opportunity to remold his film legacy.  While Keaton has attempted for years to rekindle his 1990s popularly at the box office, fictional superhero Riggan Thomson has refused to be typecast as Birdman--despite the insecurity that his decision costs him.  It’s only fitting that Keaton’s character in “Birdman” desires relevancy and acceptance while taking on a new direction. After all, it’s the movie “Birdman” that stands to help return Keaton to the top of the entertainment business. And in return, look for this film to gain massive Oscar buzz come this January--thanks to the dynamic duo of Keaton and Norton.

  • Happenings - Week of Nov. 19

    THEATERThursday to Friday,Nov. 20-21• Enjoy a performance of the Aquila Theatre production of Shakespeare’s magical tale of forgiveness and enlightenment The Tempest hosted by Pima Community College Theatre Arts Proscenium Theatre and UAPresents. Details: 7:30 p.m.; Proscenium Theatre, 2202 W. Anklam Road; $45; 206-6986.Thursday to Saturday, Nov. 20-Jan. 3• Celebrate the holidays with a hilarious, heartwarming tale for one and all We’re No Angels as three lovable hustlers outwit a nefarious gangster and save a family business from financial ruin. Details: 7 p.m. Thursday, 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday; Great American Playhouse, 13005 N. Oracle Road; $15.95-$17.95, $7.95 children; 512-5145.

Sports

  • Doucet selects school

    Less than two weeks after winning a state championship CDO cross country runner Bridgette Doucet has made her college selection. She will run for Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.“Bridgette is a great person and a terrific fit at Lipscomb,” said Lipscomb Director of Cross Country Bill Taylor. “She is academically excellent, has a big heart for people, and wants to help a team succeed. She has run very fast, yet she missed her junior year as she recovered from eating disorder issues, so she has a lot of room to improve.  Bridgette is very brave and open about her struggles, and we are committed to helping her succeed in dealing with those challenges. “Doucet won the Division II girls cross country state championships earlier this monthShe has maintained she wanted to continue her running career and preferred to do it at a small Christian college and Lipscomb fits that bill. The school has an enrollment of just over 4,000 and compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The cross country team qualified for the NCAA South Regional this season and finished fourth, the school’s best finish. 

  • Former MV star scores 20 in win

    Former Mountain View standout Melody McLaughlin scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Pima College women’s basketball tema to a 72-58 win over Chandler-Gilbert CC.The Aztecs out-rebounded CGCC by 19, gobbling up 25 offensive rebounds.Shalise Fernander (Flowing Wells) had seven offensive boards, helping her to 12 points.PCC improves to 2-1, 1-0 in the ACCAC, and will host their first ACCAC conference game at the West Campus on Saturday. They will play Phoenix College at 2:00 p.m.

  • Preseason Tournaments

    The winter sports season begins next week with a number of pre-season holiday tournaments. Here is a list of the tournaments that will feature NW area teams. BOYS BASKETBALLSalpointe Tip Off Classic - Nov. 24-29 (CFHS, Ironwood Ridge)Buena Safeway Classic - Nov. 28-29 (Marana, Mountain View, CDO)Boyd Baker Small School Invitational – Nov. 24-26 (Pusch Ridge)GIRLS BASKETBALL

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