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  • Jane Hamilton Fine Art presents : "Autumn Array"

    "Autumn Array" is the annual fall gallery show. Featuring  new works  by Tom Murray who's  Santa Fe sunsets and dramatic land views are commanding. Charles Thomas's work in both lively abstracts and impressionistic cloudscapes are both commanding. Sean Wallis hails from Utah and presents  his colorful Italian scenery and western focused pieces in oils.  Mark White, a Santa Fe artist and newcomer to the gallery, is represented by his outstanding abstract paintings.November 21st- December 6th 2014Artist reception : Friday November 21st 5-7pmMore info visit here: http://janehamiltonfineart.com/

  • Plant beautiful bulbs now for cool season delight

    Bulbs produce some of the most beautiful flowers in the garden palate (think iris, tulips and daffodils). Bulbs provide brilliant splashes of cheerful color in the winter and spring months. To top it off, you can even plant them in large containers on the patio. Plant some calendula or pansies in the pots to cover the soil with color until the bulbs come up. They will know when it is time to emerge. Here are tips for bulb success. (Technically some of these are corms or rhizomes, but they grow the same as bulbs.)Get the right stuff.  In our area, bulbs with hot climate ancestors will do better than their European cousins. Thus, desert tulips such as Turkish or Israeli tulips will do better than cool climate Dutch tulips. Resist the sale bulbs at the supermarket and do buy your bulbs from a nursery or bulb supplier.Find the right spot. If you are going to leave your bulbs in the ground, use this handy guide to find the right spot to plant them. (I developed this after killing numerous bulbs over the decades.) Some plants are listed on both lists, this means they will stand about a half day of sun. Full shade to filtered light is needed for the following (especially avoid baking afternoon sun): agapanthus, caladium, calla, canna, crinum, crocus, cyclamen, dahlia, day lily, Easter lily, freesia, gladiolus, lycoris, ornithogalum, oxalis, sparaxis, spring starflower (Ipheion), tigridia, and tuberous begonia. Full sun to part shade is needed for the following: (natives are marked by an * asterisk): *Ajo lily, allium, amaryllis, anemone, apios, *blue dicks, canna, crocus, gladiolus, iris (all kinds), *mariposa lily, narcissus, oxalis, * Pima lily, ranunculus, society garlic, squill, Turkish tulip, watsonia, zephranthes. 

  • Cooler weather brings us to outside activity

    This is a popular time of year around these parts because it’s finally cool enough for us all to step outside for a bit and enjoy the ever-so-slightly crisper air. And while there are definitely increased events and festivals happening around town, the turn of the season also marks a great time to explore a bit further. With that in mind, I thought I’d share three day trip destinations that are perfect for fall.Apple Annie’s Produce and Pumpkins, located at 6405 W. Williams Road in Wilcox, is a fabulous family destination. My kids love the fact that they can not only choose their own pumpkin straight from the patch, but unlike grocery store pumpkin bins, the gourds at Apple Annie’s have to be cut straight from the vine. It doesn’t get much fresher than that, folks. In addition to the pumpkin patch, you’ll want to be sure to meander through the corn maze and then try some sweet corn as a reward for making it to the end. There are also fresh veggies available for purchase along with artisan honeys, dressings, sauces and spreads. Don’t forget to take your camera for some awesome photo ops.Sonoita/Elgin – Just about an hour to the south and east of Tucson there is a true Arizona treasure for those of us with an affinity for wine. Visitors to the area can stop by one of several local wineries for tastings and the opportunity to meet the winemakers. The cost of tastings ranges from about $5 to $12 with discounts given when you bring a glass from a neighboring winery. My husband and I have visited the Sonoita wine trail many times. Some of our favorite wineries to visit are: Dos Cabezas, Lightning Ridge Cellars, Kief-Joshua Vineyards, Callaghan Vineyards and Arizona Hops and Vines. Visit Arizonawine.org for a full listing of vineyards and a helpful map.Chiricahua National Monument – Located roughly two hours from Tucson, Chiricahua National Monument is a virtual playground for nature enthusiasts. Less adventurous types might opt to drive the eight-mile scenic loop and then settle in for a picnic, whereas energetic families can hike to their hearts’ content. What makes Chiricahua interesting is its balanced rock formations and pinnacles. Desert-dwelling kids will be awed by the trees and wild animals while mom and dad might just appreciate the quiet or the opportunity to get the kids out and about to expel some energy. Either way, the fall is a great time to visit. Be sure to bring a light sweater or jacket.If you’ve got fall fever and are itching to get out and explore, you might try one of these options. All three are family favorites for us.

  • Marana outings are exciting, informative

    Like most members of the Marana Heritage Conservancy, John Scheuring was enlisted and inspired by the late Ora Mae Harn. He was recruited to the organization that preserves the town’s history and has continued to be an active member after her passing in 2010. Scheuring conducts the Surprising Marana Bus Tours every quarter“I was hooked into the history of the town by Ora Mae,” said Scheuring. “I see this as a real tribute to Ora Mae.”Scheuring, a retired agricultural scientist, has worked hard to keep the outings informative and interesting, explaining that he has attended a number of lectures, talked to “a lot of old people” and constantly updates his information by studying things on the internet. He started conducting the tours four years ago and this past weekend he eclipsed 25 tours. “We were looking for a meaningful way to bring history to people, to do it in an interesting and meaningful way,” Scheuring said. He also has a secondary, ulterior motive that he and the rest of the conservancy share. 

  • Study: Climate change will make wildfires worse for Arizona, nation

    While Arizona’s most recent fire season was relatively tame, one study argues that the worst may be yet to come due to climate change.In a study titled “Flammable Planet: Wildfires and the Social Cost of Carbon,” the Cost of Carbon Pollution project predicts larger, more frequent, more intense and more costly wildfires around the world by 2050 – with the American Southwest being affected in particular.Using current projections for warming temperatures and other factors, the study puts a price tag on the increased wildfire threat.“The United States will be particularly affected; scientists predict a 50 to 100 percent increase in area burned by 2050,” the study reads.Dr. Peter Howard, author of the study and economic fellow at the Institute of Policy Integrity at New York University’s School of Law, said that the increase would disproportionately affect the western United States, including Arizona.“Clearly fires are going to increase in severity, and the western United States is already a high-risk area,” Howard said.

  • Drexel Heights Fire District hires new fire marshal

    Drexel Heights Fire District has hired a new Fire Marshal to oversee the district’s Fire Prevention Division. Dennis Stiegleiter, who started as a volunteer firefighter with Elephant Head in 1996, also worked for the City of Nogales as a firefighter and fire inspector. For the last 14 years, Stiegleiter has been working in the Life Safety Services Division at Northwest Fire District. Stiegleiter brings a tremendous amount of fire prevention knowledge in the areas of plan reviews, inspections and fire investigations.Stiegleiter has family ties to public service as his uncle, cousin and father all worked in the fire service. While he started his career as a firefighter, he early on developed an interest in the prevention part of the job. One of his most memorable times during his career includes his work as an canine handler with an accelerant detection dog named “Jester”. In 2003, Stiegleiter spent six weeks in Virginia training and learning canine behavior in order to be Jester’s handler. Together for six years, this team assisted 16 different Arizona jurisdictions with call out scenes and three national ATF incidents.Stiegleiter and his wife Mary have five children and six grandchildren here in Tucson. They enjoy gardening on their property and camping whenever they get the chance. Drexel Heights Fire District is proud to welcome Marshal Stiegleiter to the DHFD family and honored to have him as part of the team.

  • November 1751: Father Kino and the Pima Revolts

    Tucson celebrates Jesuit missionary Euesbio Francisco Kino as a revered person in local history.  Fr. Kino, an Italian, arrived in the Southwest in March, 1699, following the Spanish conquistadores to Christianize the Indians.  He was charismatic and energetic, bringing the Tohono O’odham grain seeds, livestock, fruit trees and vegetables -- and a forced change in a way of life lived for thousands of years.  European crops joined the corn, beans and squash grown in the desert for thousands of years using intricate canal and mountain terraces to control water.  Missionaries forced natives into new villages where they could be controlled and converted.  Fr. Kino and his associates had established such missions in northern Sonora and native people had rebelled, but the missionaries stuck to their plans, backed by military garrisons.  The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 had expelled the colonizers from the Southwest for 12 years, and the missionaries wanted to make up for lost time.The Tohono O’odham, called “Pima” by the invaders, welcomed the gifts and new technologies.  Without them New Spain could never have established itself.  The first headquarters mission was built at Guevavi in 1691, followed by Calavasas, Tumacacori and San Xavier.  Settlements were often built on top of indigenous villages with churches built over traditional kivas to assert their dominance.  The O’odham built the adobe structures as slaves, without pay, and with punishment.  The Europeans brought diseases against which the O’odham had no immunity.  At Tumacacori Mission the native population was reduced from 200 to just 30 by measles, influenza and smallpox.  There are estimates that European diseases killed more than 95 percent of the tens of millions of indigenous Americans on both continents.  Baptism and church bells became associated with misery and death rather than salvation. La Matanza – The Slauter

  • Schools, students and teachers to be proud of

    Desert Winds ElementaryDesert Winds Elementary School expects to be having a “celebration of kindness” soon.  Partnering with the Urreitzieta family, the virtue of kindness has been added to the school’s expectations of students – being safe, respectful and responsible.  Students and staff are encouraged to do kind deeds which earn a bracelet with the words, “Bee Kind Like Lezo.”  Lezo Urreitzieta, a University of Arizona honor student who ran the hurdles, was just 20 years old when he died of brain surgery complications in December, 2011.  The family has turned that tragedy into a platform for spreading kindness.  Lezo was the first ambassador for the UA-Ben’s Bells partnership: Be Kind. Step Up.Marana High SchoolMarana High School Special Olympic athletes received help in sharpening their basketball skills from the Picture Rocks Fire Department and Marana Police first responders.  They are preparing for the Coronado Area Special Olympics in February, 2015.  The Marana High School Special Olympics team is one of four teams  from Tortolita Middle School, Marana Middle School and Mt. View High School.  The MHS Special Olympics team competes in the fall sport of bowling, the winter sport of basketball and the spring sport of track & field athletics.  The team organized and competed as a Special Olympics team for the first time for the 2011-2012 school year. PRISMPicture Rocks Intermediate sixth graders can earn rewards for making a difference by being nominated by their teachers for showing a combination of academic performance, good behavior and leadership.  They are dedicated to community service, including serving Thanksgiving dinner at Picture Rocks Community Center, promoting anti-drug messages, working with hospitalized children, and working to get the whole school to send appreciation letters to military personnel overseas.  Their reward was a field trip to the State Capital Museum in Phoenix.

  • AMVETS: Veteran’s Day ceremony, other November events planned

    AMVETS Post 770 will be assisting American Legion Post 102 with the Veterans’ Day Service on Tuesday, Nov. 11, starting at 11 a.m., at the TEPOA multipurpose building. The commander and auxiliary president will speak along with the first vice president, who will be assisting in the POW/MIA chair ceremony, and the Color Guard will be posting and retrieving the colors.  The public is invited to remember and celebrate American veterans.  Refreshments will be served after the service.The groundbreaking ceremony for the Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Marana will be on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 9 a.m. For more information, call Victor Daniels at 620-234-8421.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, 11 a.m. to noon, and 7 to 9 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, Nov. 2.  The Ladies Auxiliary meets the second Sunday of each month at 9:30 a.m. The next meeting will be Nov. 9.  The Sons’ Of AMVETS meets at 6 p.m. the Monday following the Post’s monthly meeting.  Their November meeting is on Nov. 3.  

  • Shred-a-thon tears it up

    A steady stream of neighbors drove up to the old Picture Rocks Fire Station on Sandario Road on Oct. 18 to shred papers and receive information on fire safety and community news.  The event was organized by the Picture Rocks AARP Group and was free of charge.  Assured Document Destruction provided the shredder-truck.  United Way Elder Initiative Community Mobilizer Dot Esler said, “This effort to prevent fraud shredded over two and half tons of papers making it harder for identity theft to happen in Picture Rocks.   The focus on fire safety, health and wellness and the support of community organizations creates positive energy that helps Picture Rocks be a great place to live.” 

  • It is rocket science

    The Southern Arizona Rocketry Association (SARA) launches rockets monthly at a site off Reservation Road between Manville and Mile Wide.  Upcoming dates are Sunday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Dec. 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Admission is free  and adult non-SARA members are charged $5 to launch their rockets.  Bring a lawn chair for best viewing, along with a hat and sunscreen, and please leave pets at home.  For more information, visit www.sararocketry.org

  • Lannon wins award

    The Society of Southwestern Authors has awarded Desert Times freelance writer Albert Vetere Lannon second place prize for his essay, “Easy Does It — An Aging Handbook,” and a third place prize for his poem, “Autumn at Kentucky Camp.”  The 2014 awards were made at an Oct. 19 luncheon, and both pieces published in the SSA’s annual magazine, The Storyteller.  Lannon, 76, has won essay and poetry prizes in previous years, and is the author of two history books. Always an avid reader, he started writing poetry at 14 but was a high school dropout until age 51.  After obtaining his GED he went on to earn several college degrees.  He has been writing local news, nature and history for Desert Times, and Monument News before it, for nearly a decade.

  • Addiction recovery workshop

    Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church will host a free class on addiction, recovery and faith on Wednesday, Nov. 12, from 1 until 4 pm.  This will be facilitated by Reverend Mike Japenga, a licensed substance abuse technician.MSPC is located at 14240 N. Oracle Road, and the intersection of Mountainaire Road in Catalina.  With all the road construction you can probably see the church sign on the road.If you wish more information feel free to call the church: 825-7858 and look at our website: www.mountainshadowschurch.org.  This class is open to anyone with an interest in the subject. 

  • Picture Rocks Thanksgiving on Nov. 26

    Picture Rocks Community Center will again host a Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and all the trimmings, on Wednesday, Nov. 26, from noon until 3 p.m.Open to the public, no cost and no reservations required. The event will be held at 5615 N. Sanders Road. 

  • Looking at ancient rock art

    The next Picture Rocks Hiking Club hike, a three-miler on Thursday, Nov. 20, will be along the Box Canyon Wash at the base of Contzen Pass on Picture Rocks Road, to the ancient petroglyphs panels at the Redemptorist Renewal Center.  Hikers will meet at Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sandario Road, at 8 a.m.  Wear sturdy shoes, bring more water than you’ll think you need and a light lunch, wear a hat, and a walking stick is always useful.  Reservations are recommended. For more information, call 682-7166.

  • Brewer creates plans to curb human trafficking

    Gov. Jan Brewer recenlty launched two significant efforts to combat human trafficking in Arizona.In 2013, Governor Brewer identified human trafficking as a top policy priority. She created the Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking, naming Cindy McCain and Gil Orrantia as Co-Chairs and charging members with identifying opportunities to strengthen current laws and practices, better assist victims and ultimately reduce the incidence of the crime in Arizona. Two key recommendations from the Task Force included the implementation of a statewide public awareness campaign to educate the general public on sex trafficking issues, and the establishment of certified comprehensive sex trafficking training as a basic requirement for all new Arizona law enforcement recruits.Governor Brewer and the Arizona Human Trafficking Council are proud to announce the launch of the new state website, EndSexTrafficking.AZ.gov, an important tool to inform and encourage Arizonans to be a voice in the fight against this heinous crime.  Prominently displayed on the website is a new PSA featuring Governor Brewer and Council Co-Chairs Cindy McCain and Gil Orrantia as well as the National Human Trafficking Hotline Number, 1-888-373-7888. Other information on human trafficking, Arizona laws, recent news, training and other resources are also included on this website.

  • "Best ever" Halloween in Picture Rocks

    The rural community of Picture Rocks has celebrated Halloween with Trunk o'Treats at the county community center for years now, but observers agree that this year was the "best ever," ending with a first-time fireworks display. Organized by center coordinator Adam Bernal and with support from community organizations and individuals, hundreds of ghosts, goblins, princesses, box trolls, pirates, dinosaurs, and much more, turned out to view dozens of vehicles decorated for the occasion and, of course, to load up on candy. 

  • Two-year study on I-11 complete

    A two-year study to determine the feasibility of Interstate 11 – a corridor connecting Phoenix to Las Vegas and potentially Mexico to Canada – has been completed, according to officials with the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT).The final step in the review process came after the State Transportation Board reviewed and accepted recommendations made in the Corridor Concept Report, which establishes the corridor’s vision, develops a justification for the interstate, and defines an implementation program to move the project forward.According to a recent release from ADOT, the completed study “points to the need for a new multimodal freight corridor and manufacturing belt that will drive trade, commerce, job growth and economic development for the two states (Arizona and Nevada) and facilitate strong connections to other major regional marketplaces.”As it is recommended and detailed by ADOT, the I-11 corridor would follow the US 93 from the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge southward to Wickenburg, running west of the Phoenix metropolitan area, and then loosely following interstates 10 and 19 to the border of Mexico.Officials with ADOT say the corridor could serve as a high-capacity trade corridor, benefitting several manufacturing operations that are located along the suggested route, and would likely make use of a high concentrate of freight traffic.“Interstate 11 represents one of those major corridors that would provide access to international markets to the north and south of Arizona and to the east and west of us,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. 

  • Pima county hosts 60-day formal comment period for plan

    Pima County recently released the latest update of Pima Prospers, the county’s comprehensive plan that would set policy for growth and prosperity for the next 20 years.The latest version has been sent to surrounding counties, all county municipalities and several state and federal agencies for a state-mandated 60-day comment period. The public is encouraged to comment on the latest version of the plan. Members of the public can view the plan at www.pimaprospers.com and submit comments directly from the webpage or send the county a letter. A hard copy of the draft will also be available at each Pima County public library branch by the end of the week.Pima County released an initial draft of the plan in April after public meetings and events throughout the county in the fall of 2013 and winter of 2014, and a custom built website sought the public’s “big ideas” for the county .The county then solicited more public feedback on the initial draft in May and June, much of which has been incorporated into this latest version. Pima County Planning Director Arlan Colton, who along with Carla Blackwell, Development Services Deputy Director, is heading up this countywide effort along with a local consulting planning firm, said this draft plan is much more than just land use planning; it also takes into consideration all of the issues associated with growth and prosperity, including water, energy and natural resource conservation, infrastructure investments, human capital investments, economic development strategies and quality of life issues.After the 60-day review period expires Dec. 22, Colton’s team will review the comments, make amendments to the draft, and submit it for recommendation to the Planning and Zoning Commission in February. From there it goes to the Board of Supervisors in the early spring for adoption. Both the commission and the board could request revisions that could extend that schedule. State law requires the new plan be adopted by July 2015.

  • Desert Museum to host Nov. 15 event

    The Desert Museum has an evening event coming up on Nov. 15- Desert Night Life. Visiting the desert at night is a unique experience and it’s a great opportunity to view nocturnal animals and enjoy a sunset over the Avra Valley. Many may not be in town during  our Cool Summer Nights program, so this is a chance for them to experience the desert at nigh too. The evening, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m., features the popular Live and (sort of) on the Loose program, art activities, music, a presentation on the OSIRIS-REx Mission, and nocturnal docent interpretations for the whole family.Regular public admission rates apply.Members receive reduced rates of $8 for adults, seniors and youth and $3 for ages 4 to 12. Children 3 and under are free. 

  • Don’t miss the Julian Wash Greenway celebration on The Loop on Nov. 1

    You’re invited to celebrate the completion of the 14-mile Julian Wash Greenway segment of The Loop on Saturday, Nov. 1.Hundreds of individuals and families are expected to ride, run and walk along the new route and get free water bottles, backpacks, kids’ bike helmets and bike bells.Speakers at a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Mulcahy YMCA at Kino Sports Complex on East Ajo Way include Pima County Supervisor Ramón Valadez, District 2; Administrator Chuck Huckelberry; Health Department Director Dr. Francisco Garcia; Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Chris Nanos; Tucson Medical Center Vice President Michael Duran and Carondelet Health Network Vice President Donna Zazworsky.There will be a bike valet, refreshments, a bike rodeo and other activities at the Y. Bike jerseys will be for sale. TMC will be trading Halloween candy for Reid Park Zoo tickets. See and order the new Loop T-shirt.Pima County Bicycle Ambassadors will have water and aid stations along the greenway for those heading to: Augie Acuña Los Niños Park, four miles east of the Y along the greenway, where there will be more refreshments, a climbing wall and other activities. See Pima County’s new bike and pedestrian safety campaign signs with humorous messages encouraging path users to understand each other’s needs and promote sharing of the path. Thomas Jay Regional Park at South Craycroft and East Littletown roads. The Roy Schoonover Trailhead on South Kolb north of Interstate 10.

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