This is the beginning of another busy year for American Legion Tucson Mountains Post 102, with a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. All eligible veterans are encouraged to come and get acquainted. The group’s regular meetings are the first Tuesday of each month through May. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Tucson Estates Recreation Hall. This begins a new membership year. Participants should remember to pay dues promptly. For information, contact Bill Boals at 981-5459. Looking ahead to November, the post has a busy month. The month’s regular meeting is Nov. 3, at 7 p.m. The American Legion Department of Arizona Fall Conference will be Nov. 7 through Nov. 9 at DoubleTree Reid Park. Sign up in advance to attend. On Tuesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, the post will have a special ceremony in conjunction with the AmVets at Tucson Estates Multi Purpose Room. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend.
During the month October, the official days to fly the flag are Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 13 and on Navy Day on Monday, Oct. 17.October dates of interest: Monday, Oct. 13 – the US Navy’s 239th birthday; Thursday, Oct. 16 - 52nd Anniversary of the Cuban missile Crisis; Sunday; Oct 26 - 233rd Anniversary of the Surrender at Yorktown; and Monday, Oct 27 - AMVETS seventh anniversary in the new building.The AMVETS Post and clubroom are open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. or earlier/later (bartender’s discretion) Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, when breakfast is served, the post and clubroom open at 9 a.m. Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to noon, and 2 to 4 p.m. Be sure to check the bulletin board up front for the weekly menu and activities. The AMVETS Post meets the first Sunday of each month at 10 a.m. The next meeting will be Sunday, Oct. 5. The Ladies Auxiliary meets the second Sunday of each month at 9:30 a.m. The next meeting will be Oct. 12.
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.
Candidates for Legislative District 11 State Senate and House of Representatives will appear at the second 2014 Election Forum sponsored by Citizens for Picture Rocks (C4PR) on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. at Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road. Former State Representative from Picture Rocks Jennifer Burns will again moderate as invited Senate candidates Jo Holt (D) and Steve Smith (R) respond to questions submitted from the community. They will be followed by invited State Representative candidates Mark Finchem (R), Vince Leach (R), Holly Lyon (D) and Barry McCain (D-Write-in). The event is open to the public, and a social hour with face time with candidates will begin at 6 p.m.Fire District candidatesThe candidates met in September at a forum that featured candidates for the Picture Rocks Fire District Governing Board (PRFD). Two of those, recently-appointed incumbent Sandra Watson and former board member David Putnam, will appear on the ballot; Sherryn “Vicki” Marshall is running as a write-in candidate. The forum was moderated by former state Rep. Jennifer Burns, who posed questions developed by the community.
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.
Hikers from the Picture Rocks Community Center Hiking Club (PRCCHC) started their season with a Sept. 25 stroll around the SASCO smelter, which closed in 1919.Their next hike, Thursday, Oct. 23, is a flat 1.5-mile round-trip stroll from the Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road, to the ruins of the Civilian Conservation Corps’ Camp Pima. Bring water and a light lunch, wear sturdy shoes and a hat, and a walking stick is always useful. No dogs. Free; reservations recommended: 682-7166. Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Pima, which contained 32 frame and adobe buildings, was open from December 1933 to June 1941. The CCC was set up early in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to help rescue the nation from the deep economic depression that followed the collapse of the stock market. With more than 25 percent of the workforce unemployed, the government became the employer of last resort to provide jobs and get wages circulating in the economy.The Civilian Conservation Corps put three million young men and thousands of young women to work on environmental conservation jobs, not in competition with the private sector. That included fighting fires, reforestation, erosion control, trail and dam building, and building the ramadas and picnic areas at many national parks, including Saguaro National Monument, as it was then called. CCC workers also built the scenic overlook and parking areas at Gates Pass. Camp Papago was established briefly at what is now the Gilbert Ray Campground, putting Native American youth to work. It shut down after one year due to lack of water.Charles Sanders was one of the first 95 recruits who were put up at a temporary tent camp while a well was dug at the new camp. Clarence George Lundquist and Red Wills were sent to the site to monitor the flow from the new well. During this time the camp sent food over to them. “Peanut butter and jam sandwiches. That’s all we got, morning, noon and night. Oh, and apples. For two weeks.” Lundquist later remembered. Later, enrollee Francisco “Chico” Bejerano, who was at Camp Pima in 1938, was asked if he could recall any particularly memorable meals he had had in the CCC. He replied, “Yeah. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”Rudasill Road had not yet been built, and a dirt road ran from Mile Wide to the CCC camp. There is a circle of saguaros that marked Camp Pima’s entrance. Saguaro National Park plans to build an interpretive trail in the future. Please remember that anything over 50 years old is legally considered to be an artifact and is protected by law. What looks like old trash is part of an archaeological record that should not be disturbed.
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.”
Hundreds of neighbors visited Picture Rocks Community Center on Sept. 20 for a Community Resource Fair. Over 30 displays brought information on local resources and issues along with flu shots, popcorn and sno-cones and useful take-aways. Scouts, 4H Clubs, United Way’s Elder Alliance, Sheriff’s Auxiliary, Abbett Library, Marana Health Center and Food Bank, Citizens for Picture Rocks, Neighbors Helping Neighbors and others spoke to community needs. Arts and crafts were represented, along with recreation opportunities in Saguaro National Park and Arizona State Parks. The Avra Valley Coalition opposed an I-11 Canamex Highway through the valley, while state legislature candidates Jo Holt and Holly Lyon introduced themselves to potential voters. Trico Electric and Avra Water Co-ops were available for customer queries, and the Picture Rocks Fire Department provided red helmets to young potential firefighters. Picture Rocks Community Center Coordinator Adam Bernal put it all together with help from community organizations and Teen Club volunteers. At the end of the morning participants said they felt a stronger sense of community, and there were a lot of “thank yous” all around.
After devastating floods in Arizona in 1976, 1977 and 1978, the Arizona State Legislature established county flood control districts as special taxing districts to provide floodplain management and flood control improvements. In Pima County, the Board of Supervisors created the Pima County Flood Control District in 1978 with the board serving as the district’s decision-making body.The district has been an overwhelming success. Last month, a tropical storm funneled thick gulf moisture into Arizona and up to four inches of rain fell across parts of the metropolitan area. Streets flooded, washes raged and streams ran bank-to-bank.Two unfortunate souls lost their lives trying to cross flooded streams in their cars and another six motorists had to be rescued for trying to do likewise. But the heavy rain, which in decades past would have caused devastating flooding, caused little property damage. That wasn’t luck. It was by design.
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, and Rein 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.
At Apple Annie's Produce and Pumpkins, enjoy old-fashioned family fun picking your own pumpkins, fall vegetables and apples. Pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors will be available for picking in our huge pumpkin patch. We-pick pumpkins will be available at the pumpkin stand. Don't miss Arizona's newest and largest, absolutely amazing CORN MAZE; with 3 levels of difficulty it's perfect for the entire family! Tons of fun for the whole family! Come early and enjoy a delicious "All-You-Can-Eat" pancake breakfast served from 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM, or partake in the Apple Smoked Burger lunch served from 11:30 AM - 4 PM; both meals are served at our orchard location. Don't forget to bring your camera and a jacket, fall days can be quite cool here in Willcox!Recurring Dates: September 27-28, October 4-5, October 11-12, October 18-19, October 25-26September 27, 2014 - September 28, 2014Event Location: 6405 W. Williams Road, Willcox, AZ 85643 Venue: Apple Annie's Produce and Pumpkins Time: From: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
The official days to fly the flag during the month of September include - Tuesday, Sept. 2 in honor of the day Japan signed the formal surrender to the U.S. during World War II; Thursday, Sept. 11, Patriot Day (flag at half-staff); Wednesday, Sept. 17, Constitution Day; and Sunday, Sept. 28, Gold Star Mother’s Day.September dates of interest include Sunday, Sept. 7, which is National Grandparents Day; Thursday, Sept. 18, 1947 – US Air Force established (Happy 67th Birthday); Friday, Sept. 19 – POW/MIA Recognition Day.The AMVETS Post and Clubroom are open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. or earlier/later (bartender’s discretion) Monday thru Saturday. On Sundays when breakfast is served the Post and Clubroom open at 9 a.m. Happy Hour is Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. Be sure to check the bulletin board on the front of the Post for the Weekly Menu and Activities. Then come on in and join us for food, fun, and your favorite beverage!The AMVETS Post meets the first Sunday of each month at 10 a.m. The next meeting will be Sunday, Sept. 7. The Ladies Auxiliary meets the second Sunday of each month at 9:30 a.m. The next meeting will be Sept. 14.
For many, the people who have played a part in shaping U.S. history are icons, or chapters in a history book. Eleanor Roosevelt is one of those icons, but to Tucson’s Nina Roosevelt Gibson she is also known as just grandma.Gibson, who currently resides in Vail and has lived in Tucson since 1988, said she learned a lot about humanity, kindness and strength from Eleanor Roosevelt.“I don’t know that I have the strength that she did,” she said. “When you grow up with them you absorb a lot of things. My grandmother really taught me to respect and value everybody. It didn’t matter if they were rich or poor, educated or uneducated — everyone has something to offer. You can learn something from everyone.”Eleanor Roosevelt’s impact on history will be featured in a special series being presented in September by Arizona Public Media. “The Roosevelt’s: An Intimate History” will air on PBS beginning Sunday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m.The seven-part, 14-hour documentary by Ken Burns will feature Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt – three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American history.In watching a preview of the upcoming series, a humbled Gibson said early on she never realized the notoriety the family name Roosevelt had achieved. To Gibson, Roosevelt must have been a popular American name because roads, streets, libraries and buildings carried the name. Now, knowing what her grandmother and family did to shape the country is a source of pride.
The third annual Tucson 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb will take place starting Sunday morning, Sept. 14. The event is sponsored by the Climb 4 the Fallen (C4TF) Group. The stair climb will be held at the Bank Of The West building, located at 5151 E. Broadway in Tucson. Arizona firefighters will make an exhausting physical tribute to their fellow firefighters who died on 9/11. Participants will include 343 Arizona firefighters, who will each climb in the name of one of the 343 fallen Fire Department of New York City members who perished on Sept.11, 2001. Additionally, there will be 70 local law enforcement officers who will also climb in the name of a fallen police officer. These public safety representatives will climb the 17 floors, about seven times to represent the 110 stories of the World Trade Center.C4TF invites families to come out to the Tucson 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb and see their local first responders in action. The community will witness the physical and mental drive it takes to be a firefighter. There’ll be food, music and activities.The community can help support these first responders in other ways too. Climbers are raising money for one of three different charities: National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and Firefighters VS. Autism. If you would like to make a donation to support the efforts of these firefighters, please go to the event website at www.climb4thefallen.com Governor Board Information
The Picture Rocks Community Center Hiking Club has adopted its itinerary for the coming season, with emphasis on exploration. The PRCC van will leave the community center, located at 5615 N. Sanders Road, at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, to visit the “ghost town” ruins of the SASCO smelter, which closed in 1919. Those participating should wear sturdy shoes, bring a lot of water, wear a hat and bring a light lunch. A walking stick is always useful. Hikers will wander around about a mile’s worth, being careful of metal and glass on the ground. The hike is free, but reservations are recommended to ensure a seat in the van. Reserve a seat by calling 682-7166.The lineup of other hikes, which are all estimated at abut three miles round-trip and on Thursdays, incudes: Oct. 23, 8 a.m. – Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Pima;
Even during the hottest parts of the day little four-legged creatures dash about in the Sonoran Desert. They are lizards out hunting for bugs or plants to eat. Right now, there is a whole new crop of hatchlings dashing about. Lizards are “cold-blooded” reptiles, closely related to snakes, and move very fast, especially when it’s hot. “Cold-blooded” means their body temperature changes with the outside temperature. They hibernate in winter, lay eggs to reproduce, and are everywhere. Most lizards’ tails break off very easily and twitch to distract predators, so don’t try to catch them. They grow new tails that are never as nice. Here are some of the ones most likely to be found in Southern Arizona.
With a media event on Aug.19, Saguaro National Park began spraying glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, on buffelgrass in the Panther Peak area. During the event, several local residents came to express their continued concerns over aerial spraying. Carol Owens of Picture Rocks Neighbors Helping Neighbors wanted to know why people with respiratory problems in the area were not notified so they could “get out of the way?” Chris Banks from Citizens for Picture Rocks noted the rising wind velocity and asked if aerial spraying was safe with the wind? The Avra Valley Coalition brought information about medical studies showing links between Roundup and birth defects, neurological disorders, DNA damage and human cell death.Park Biologist Natasha Kline was joined by Lindy Brigham, Executive Director of the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center and Ranger Kristine Simpson, defended the Park’s action. When asked about the effect of spraying herbicides on unseen wildlife in the remote areas that includes desert tortoises, Gila monsters, tiger rattlers and ground-nesting owls, she said there might be “collateral damage.”
Owners of Lazy K Bar Guest Ranch, located north of Saguaro National Park West, were approached by Mattamy Homes who now awaits approval to develop on the historic ranch.Lazy K Bar was homesteaded in 1928 on the original 160 acres of land. Eight years later, the property was turned into a guest ranch. An additional three guesthouses were built along with a dining room and an area to keep horses. The coming years, especially during the 50s and 60s, brought many guests and filmmakers to the ranch. Popular movies such as the “Maverick”, “How the West was Won” and TV series “Gunsmoke” and “High Chaparral” were but a few that were filmed on the ranch. Current property owners, Jim Shiner and Peter Evans, bought the ranch in 1998. For the coming years, the two tried to keep the guest ranch running, but had to close it down in 2006. Since then, the ranch hasn’t reopened its doors.Shiner and Evans have received frequent offers to develop on the 138-acres of land. The property is zoned RR (Resort and Recreation) and if developed as a resort-type could potentially accommodate up to 600 lodging units. The zoning could have a single-family residential development with minimum lot size of 3.3 acres, but would require a conditional use permit from the Marana Planning Commission. The proposal by Mattamy Homes is for the rezoning of RR to (F) Specific Plan. This would permit 178 single-family lots at 1.29 residences per acre. The developer could not be reached for comment.The representative for the property owners, Mike Racy, says that the landowners see the developers plan as a beneficial and reasonable fit.
The nose knows. Scent is one of our most basic senses, yet it is often ignored when planning a landscape. Last month I spoke of layers for the landscape. Along with layers of plants that appeal to our eyes, it is good to include plants that appeal to our sense of smell. I cherish my garden for all the wonderfully scented xeriscape plants in it. I often run my fingers up branches, releasing heady fragrance. I love the smell of the desert after the rain; my garden too has many fragrances released by humidity and pounding monsoon rains. Most scents defy written description. We can try, using perfumers terms such as; sweet, tangy, sharp, fruity, clear, warm, spicy, earthy, fresh, musky, plus refer to other scents. For example, rosemary is described as a “woodsy, fresh, camphoraceous” aroma.There are a wide range of arid-adapted plants that do well here and are highly fragrant. The list includes trees, shrubs, perennials, groundcovers, and even accent plants. I have my favorite plant palate, just as other landscapers have theirs. It is important for you to consider what you like and want in your space. Note that one added benefit of strongly scented plants is that they are usually unpalatable to rabbits, ground squirrels, javalina and deer. One of my personal favorites is the Mount Lemmon marigold (Tagetes lemmonii). This medium size shrub is ideal on the east or north side of a building where it gets no more than a half day of full sun. The bright green leaves emit a sweet musky scent, especially notable in the bloom season, November to April. Mexican anise (Tagetes lucida) is strongly anise scented, and anise tasting too, as it makes a delightful tea. Also called Mexican mint marigold, this plant looks somewhat like a mint, and prefers moisture as mint does. Mine thrives in my water feature, with one inch of the pot in the water. Golden flowers appear in cluster in the fall.
Following a pot-luck dinner, six Picture Rocks teenagers created a Youth Forum during the Aug.19 Citizens for Picture Rocks (C4PR) meeting. Savannah Van Dyke and Brennan Stevens attend Marana Middle School, while Raymond Sanchez, Justin Fogarty, Bradley Stevens and D.J. Pauley attend Marana High School. Brought together by Picture Rocks Community Center Coordinator Adam Bernal, the teenagers like living in Picture Rocks, and several commented on the “friendly” and “respectful” people, and on “good communication between elders and young people.”Several commented on the natural beauty of the area, especially sunsets, and hoped for more Saguaro National Park programs in the schools to teach them about the desert and its dwellers. Park Ranger Jeff Martinelli was in the audience and took note. All six teens shared other common themes such as the need for more sidewalks and for public transportation, more indoor and outdoor recreation sites and improving existing ones, pool parties and outdoor movies, dances, dinners and arcade games. All favored the community center’s request for a place on the planned 2015 bond measure to expand facilities there. When asked what their goals and aspirations were, the responses varied. Brennan hopes to play pro baseball, Justin wants to combine being a personal trainer with computer programming, a mix of physical and technological work, Bradley hopes to play pro basketball after college, Raymond wants to be a professional cook and open his own restaurant. Savannah wants to go to college and pursue her love of photography and D.J. is already interning to get Emergency Medical Technician training, and hopes to move forward in the medical field, perhaps even becoming a nurse or doctor.
The University of Arizona will have another record-setting year with the greatest number of incoming freshmen, the highest overall enrollment and greater student diversity, preliminary figures indicate.New enrollment data shows that the UA will welcome more than 10,000 freshman, transfer and returning undergraduate students – with more than 7,800 of those being incoming freshmen – when classes begin Monday. For fall 2013, there were about 9,600 new students, of which nearly 7,200 were new freshmen.Also, a projected 41.4 percent of new freshmen are ethnically or racially diverse. Last year, that number was 41.3 percent, marking the first time it had surpassed 40 percent. "We are going against the national trend; our enrollment is increasing during a time that the number of high school graduates has just begun to rebound from one of the lowest points in many years," said Kasey Urquidez, the UA's associate vice president and dean of admissions.The preliminary enrollment figures also indicate strong academic quality among students. The estimated freshman SAT is 1114 with an average 3.4 high school grade-point average. The Honors College is expecting about 1,300 incoming freshman and transfer students. Their average freshman SAT is 1353 with an average high school GPA of 3.85, both increases over last year.