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

  • Pima County bond initiative to help Pima Animal Care Center

    Voters will decide in the November election whether or not to approve a $22.34 million bond to fund upgrades for the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC).Built in 1968 when Pima County’s population was about a third what it is now, there is a general consensus amongst county officials and the public – though some question funding amounts – that the facility is in need of renovations to address animal overpopulation that ultimately leads to increased euthanasia. County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry recommended the bond measure to the Board of Supervisors earlier this year, and in March the board unanimously approved placing the item on the fall ballot. “The problems with our aging, originally designed ‘dog pound’ facility are legendary,” Huckelberry wrote in an email. “The facility is not only outdated; it also lacks the adequate capacity for modern animal care functions of the county.”If approved, improvements would be made to the main public entrances, lobbies, and parking lot. The larger facility would further allow for a designated adoption and veterinary clinic areas, expected to create more organized and efficient processes. The facility is currently 29,500 square feet in size. New construction and reconstruction of existing facilities would bring that number closer to 50,000 square feet – expected to drastically reduce the number of animals per cage or kennel.

  • Primetime Review: Hacker leaks hundreds of celebrity’s nude photos

    The age of technology can be a scary one. While it seems, on the surface, being able to share, store and access your personal information, financial records, videos,  and photos from nearly any internet-capable device is a huge convenience for people, it also comes at a price. Just a few days after hackers were able to shut down various high-traffic video game servers through rudimentary distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), a huge leak of celebrity nude photographs has found its way to the phones and computers of millions. Pictures of some of the world’s most famous female celebrities, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton being two of the most recognizable names, were apparently lifted from iCloud accounts and released via the infamous 4chan message boards. This leak caused journalists, fans, and attorneys to the affected stars to scour the internet in search of information. How did such a giant hack occur without Apple being tipped off?  Apple has since denied the photos were accessed through the iCloud service, stating the incident was in no way caused by “any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone.” The iCloud service allows people using an iPad or iPhone to instantly link up to content saved to their account, transporting anything from phone numbers to photos to their device without having to physically transfer the files. Apple has gone even further, stating that the sharing of these photographs was not a result of the iCloud service being hacked, but was a focused attack on the accounts of the affected celebrities. This may be Apple’s only excuse for a breach in a system, which has been fraught with concern and confusion since its implementation. This leak could not come at a worse time for Apple.  With the release and launch of the iPhone 6, a smart watch, and a new operating system for Mac computers, Apple cannot afford people doubting the integrity of their security systems. 

  • MUSD asking voters for $125 million in bonds

    Marana Unified School District is going to the voters in November to ask for $125 million in bonds.The money, if approved by voters, would be spent on two new elementary schools, a performing arts center, a centralized transportation and maintenance facility, and replacement of portable classrooms with permanent brick-and-mortar expansions, along with building and stadium renovations, buses and furniture. “As our district is growing we need to be able to meet those obligations, such as in the form of construction and the ability to build new elementary schools and equip those schools, in addition to those necessary renovations and capital projects that are needed in order to maintain buildings and keep infrastructure operational,” said district spokeswoman Tamara Crawley.State funding cuts in recent years have eliminated monies for building renewal, new-school construction, and soft capital – which is used for textbooks, computers and classroom supplies – across Arizona. This leaves school districts to turn to voters to approve tax increases in the form of bonds and budget overrides for building and maintenance projects and purchase of vehicles, equipment and supplies. This loss comes out to about $4.7 million a year for MUSD.If voters approve the bond question, listed on ballots as Proposition 417, the school district plans to use the funds within five to seven years. For the typical Marana homeowner, the estimated cost comes out to no more than about $25 per year in property taxes.Some of the larger proposed projects include:

Local News

  • Golder Ranch, Oro Valley providing free sand bags for storm runoff

    In preparation for a second round of storms, the Town of Oro Valley and Golder Ranch Fire District are partnering to provide free sand bags for residents who may need to protect areas of their homes from storm runoff. Due to a limited number of sand bags, only Town of Oro Valley residents and/or residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are eligible.Not sure if you live within Town or Fire District boundaries? Click here for an Oro Valley map. Click here for a Golder Ranch Fire District map.Sand bags can be picked up today, Tuesday, September 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at one of two locations:· Golder Ranch Fire Station 377 – 355 E. Linda Vista Blvd.· Golder Ranch Fire Station 370 – 3835 E. Golder Ranch RoadPlease note: Quantities per person may be limited, and bags are very heavy.

  • Statement from Gov. Brewer remembering the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks

    “We pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 innocent lives taken 13 years ago in the worst act of terrorism committed on American soil. “On this tragic anniversary, we honor the memories of the victims, reflect on the heroism of our fellow Americans and recognize the unfaltering resilience of our nation. We will never forget the brave passengers of United Flight 93; the men and women who lost their lives on the planes and at the World Trade Center and Pentagon; and the first responders who sacrificed their lives to save strangers. We also should remember the millions of Americans across this nation who came together in prayer, pride and patriotism – standing strong in the face of such evil. Our nation’s response to that fateful day, as well as that of our freedom loving friends and allies who stood with America, is a solemn but important reminder that liberty will always conquer tyranny, and that we must remain vigilant in protecting our values and our people. “This day is a further reminder that terrorism persists throughout the world, as we also remember the four Americans murdered on September 11, 2012, in the barbaric attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As always, special recognition is due for the men and women of our nation’s armed forces who have fought, and who continue to fight, to defend the United States against enemies of freedom. We forever honor and support our military in their noble and just mission, and we are eternally grateful for their service and sacrifice. “I have ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol and all state public buildings and institutions from sunrise until sunset on September 11, 2014. I encourage all individuals, businesses and other organizations to join in this tribute.”

  • Attorneys spar over withdrawing Grand Canyon-area land from uranium mining

    The U.S. Interior Department’s decision to withdraw 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon from new uranium-mining claims for 20 years will protect cultural resources, water and the environment, an attorney representing the Havasupai Tribe and environmental groups said Tuesday.“This has been about protecting a variety of cultural assets,” said Alison Flint, the associate attorney for Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental firm representing the interests of the tribe as well as groups including the Grand Canyon Trust, Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity.A coalition of mining industry groups and the Arizona/Utah Local Economic Coalition challenged the withdrawal in U.S. District Court. Both sides argued Tuesday before Judge David C. Campbell, who said he would rule in the next two weeks.Flint said the disturbances to the tribe, whose ancestral land includes areas removed from mining, went beyond religious dissatisfaction, citing cultural disruption ranging from damage to water tables to dust from trucks.Lawyers for the mining groups argued that the watershed on the parcel north of the Grand Canyon couldn’t possibly affect the canyon, based on geographic studies of the divide.Gregory Yount, a uranium prospector whose lawsuit naming former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is the lead case in a consolidated suit, noted that the area withdrawn from mining is larger than Rhode Island. He said that taken to its extreme the notion of barring uses of public lands seen to be incompatible with Native American religions could apply piecemeal to all federal land and be an endorsement of Native American religion.

Today's Top Headlines

Entertainment

  • Get out to Kino Sports Complex for fun in September, October

    Take me out to the ball games, the concert and the beer festivals happening at Kino Sports Complex in September and October.The fun starts Sunday, Sept. 21, with the KFMA Fall Ball, one of southern Arizona's largest outdoor concert festivals. KFMA is partnering with Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival to bring Godsmack, Seether, Escape the Fate, Buckcherry and PopEvil to Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. For more information or tickets, go to www.kfma.com.Then there's the 28th Annual Sun Sounds Great Tucson Beer Festival on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Kino Stadium. Choose from dozens of different beers, and enjoy snacks and food samples, music, horseshoes and other games for the $45 price of general admission. Designated driver tickets will be sold for $25 at the gate. It's a benefit for Sun Sounds of Arizona, which delivers news and information to people who cannot read print because they have a disability. For more information or tickets, visit www.azbeer.com.Ger your baseball fix when the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, Tomateros de Culiacan, Yaquis de Obregon, and Mayos de Navojoa of the Mexican Pacific League, as well as a group of the top instructional league players from the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals play in the Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta at Kino Stadium on Oct. 2-5. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Kino Stadium box office, on the phone by calling (520) 434-1367 or online at www.MexicanBaseballFiesta.com.What's October without Oktoberfest? Head to Baja Oktoberfest, southern Arizona's largest craft beer festival, at the stadium on Saturday, Oct. 18. Don't miss more than 75 craft breweries, authentic German food, a polka band, dancing and games - including a brat-eating contest! For more information or tickets go to bajaoktoberfest.com.Tucson's 37th Annual Pride in the Desert is also Saturday, Oct. 18, at the sports complex South Soccer Fields. The free annual fundraiser features live entertainment, more than 100 exhibitors, the ever-popular IBT's Drag Depot, a dance tent, fun for the kids, and more. For more information, visit tucsonpride.org.

  • Saturday Puzzles 9-13-14

  • Apple harvest celebration

    Celebrate the peak of the apple season with tree-ripened Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Rome Beauty apples at Apple Annie's Orchard.Experience the fun of picking your own apples, or select from already picked apples. Come early to enjoy the delicious "All You Can Eat" pancake breakfast served with hot apple topping or cider syrup, served each day from 7:30 AM - 10:30 AM. Apple-smoked burger lunches will be served from 11:30 AM - 3 PM.Free wagon rides will take you to the orchards for picking; Asian pears will also be available for picking. Homemade apple pies are baked fresh daily, and don't miss the delicious "apple crumb pie ice cream", made in our Amish ice cream freezer. Hot roasted sweet corn will be available at our farm location.Recurring August 30-September 1 (Labor Day weekend), Sep 6-7 & Sep 13-14.September 13, 2014 - September 14, 2014Event Location: 2081 W. Hardy Road, Willcox, AZ 85643 

Sports

  • Volleyball update

    Three area teams were in action Monday night, with just one earning a win. In addition Catalina Foothills and Marana competed in a weekend tournament, with one of them taking it all.CDO swept Amphi 3-0 on Monday night. The host Dorados were unable to shake the Panthers in the first set, finally outlasting them 25-22.The next two sets were a little easier. CDO took the second set 25-13, then finished things off with a 25-17 win in the third set.Salpointe swept Mountain View 3-0.The Mountain Lions hung with the Lancers for the first two sets, but still fell 25-19 and 25-22. The final set showed Salpointe flexing their muscles a little bit more, winning 25-14.Pueblo beat visiting Marana 3-0.

  • PCC Cross Country Teams Nationally Ranked in Latest Poll

    The Pima Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams were listed in the latest NJCAA Division I rankings released today. The men’s team was one of two ACCAC conference teams listed as the Aztecs were ranked No. 8 with 84 points. Mesa Community College was No 10 with 67 points. On the women’s side, the Aztecs were ranked No. 10 with 54 points. Central Arizona College was No. 2 with 132 points and Mesa was tied for 13th with 44 points. Both teams will take part in the Dave Murray Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona on Friday at Dell Urich Golf Course. The women’s race will start at 5:00 p.m. and the men’s race will follow at 5:45 p.m. To see the complete listings, visit: http://www.allencc.edu/images/stories/allen/track_cc/Hill_N_Dale_2014/Week_2_Rankings_2014.pdf

  • NW Sports Schedules 9/15-9/20

    Monday, September 15Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)Marana at Pueblo (4:30, 5:30. 6:30)Salpointe at Mountain ViewAmphi at CDOCatalina Foothills at Sabino

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Kino College

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