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Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:16 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Golder Ranch has opportunity for volunteers

Golder Ranch Fire District is seeking individuals to join its Fire Corps Volunteer program.

Fire Corps volunteers do not take the place of emergency personnel but instead assist the fire district in community outreach and administrative functions, a release said.

Available positions include clerical, courier, reception, event assistance and school safety education duties, a release said.

Golder Ranch is developing a new community assistance team, providing services to victims of an emergency, families suffering a loss, people needing transportation or simply “a shoulder to lean on,” the release said.

Applications are being accepted through Jan. 31. Orientation and training for selected applicants begins in late January.

For information, or o download an application, go to www.golderranchfire.org, under Volunteer Opportunities, or call Sue or Karen with Golder Ranch Fire District Community Services at 818-1017.

Post 132 puts on a picnic to honor veterans

American Legion Post #132 honored World War II and Korean War veterans at a second annual picnic, held recently at Catalina State Park.

Veterans from SaddleBrooke, Oro Valley and Marana were among those honored for their service, a release said. There were 133 people on hand, among them veterans, spouses, children and grandchildren. Sixteen members of the Post were honored for their service in World War II or the Korean War.

The guest speaker was Oro Valley resident Lt. Col. Greg Bush, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 285th Assault Helicopter Aviation Regiment.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, pork and beans and beverages were provided at no charge to honor veterans and their families.

Guided hikes in state park on Saturdays

Guided interpretive hikes in Catalina State Park are scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturdays through March.

The casual guided hikes on one of the park’s easier trails, with frequent stops for discussion and rest, are being conducted Dec. 18, Jan. 8, 22 and 29, Feb. 5, 19 and 26, and March 12 and 26, according to park information. They last one to two hours.

“On these hikes, you’ll enjoy the scenery while discovering the rich natural and cultural history of this area,” a release said. Discussion centers upon geology, early park inhabitants, local plans and their uses, park creatures and more.

Hikes are subject to change depending on trail conditions and weather. At least four hikers are required. Guides and guests meet in the trailhead parking lot.

Hikers need hiking boots or sturdy shoes, sun block, hat and other appropriate clothing, water, and a camera. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are allowed.

Write a card, letter for a serviceman

Wendy’s of Tucson, KiiM-FM and Fox-11 have embarked on “a crusade to collect as many cards and letters for our soldiers as possible,” a release said.

“We want to show these guys and gals that the entire Tucson community is supporting them,” it continued. “Just write a letter or Christmas card. It’s as simple as that. Just a simple ‘thank you for your service’ note is perfect.”

Letters may be dropped off at any of the 15 greater Tucson Wendy’s. Those who give may receive a Junior Frosty as a thank-you.

“Once all of the cards and letters are collected, they will be delivered to the men and women of our armed forces,” the release said.

Wendy’s is also accepting unwrapped Christmas gifts for Toys for Tots.

BLM, public lands group giving awards

This Wednesday, the federal Bureau of Land Management and the Public Lands Foundation are honoring an individual and two organizations for their “outstanding effort to protect the Sonoran Desert from buffelgrass invasion,” a release said.

John Scheuring, Friends of the Ironwood Forest and the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center are being given Landscape Stewardship Awards.

Scheuring and the Friends have concentrated their buffelgrass eradication efforts on the Ironwood Forest National Monument west of Marana.

Henri Bisson, president of the Public Lands Foundation, makes the presentation with BLM. The event runs from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday at BLM’s Tucson Field Office, 12661 E. Broadway in Tucson.

GAP seeking gifts, toys for needy kids

GAP Ministries is seeking donations of Christmas gifts for children of all ages for its “Holiday of Hope” gift and toy drive.

Holiday of Hope is “designed to provide hope and healing for local children in need” with stockings, gifts and all the trimmings, a release said.

Each child fills out a wish list with a few items, as well as their shoe and clothing sizes. GAP Ministries could use gift cards, electronics, toys, games, bikes, new clothes, hoodies / jackets, stocking stuffers, pajamas, socks, underwear and more. Financial donations are also welcome. GAP can be reached at www.gapmin.com, and gifts may be delivered to GAP Ministries at 7974 N. Oracle Road, the corner of Oracle and Magee, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

GAP Ministries is a non-profit, Tucson-based social service agency providing group residential care for children. It now houses approximately 94 children, up to age 18, in 10 residential homes in Northwest Tucson.

For more information, call GAP Ministries at 877-8077, extension 100, e-mail julie@gapmin.com, or visit the website.

Miller elected chair of GOP exec committee

Brian Miller, the Northwest resident and Republican candidate for Congressional District 8, has been elected chairman of the Pima County Republican Party executive committee, the party said in a release.

Miller said the party has “an amazing challenge and an unbelievable opportunity in front of us.

“It’s time for our party to come together, unite our energy and resources, and focus on the future,” he said in a release.

When first approached about the post, Miller reacted with “extreme skepticism.

“This isn’t an honor I would ever have sought for myself,” he said. “But as I talked with numerous conservative activists throughout Pima County, it became clear that new leadership was needed for our party to grow into the future.”

Republicans will “aggressively challenge for every elected position in Pima County,” Miller said, “and we’re going to use the energy built up over the last year to construct a platform for long-term success.”

An OV ‘hood has a holiday event Saturday

Residents of an Oro Valley homeowners association are going all-out for the holiday this Saturday, offering residents free hay rides, hot chocolate, refreshments, visits with Santa and his elves, caroling, entertainment for the kids and prizes.

The Copper Creek Association, with 195 homes, holds its celebration Dec. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Residents of Copper Creek and their guests are invited to participate, a release said.

‘Stuff the bus’ this Friday at Ina, Thornydale

It’s time once again to “Stuff the Bus” with toys to help the Salvation Army’s Christmas Angel program.

New, unwrapped toys and cash contributions are being accepted this Friday, Dec. 17, at Walgreens, 3800 West Ina Road, on the corner of Ina and Thornydale.

Since 2001, the Stuff the Bus holiday toy drive has collected nearly 77,000 toys for children in the Tucson area, according to Katrina Heineking, general manager of Sun Tran. “We encourage Pima County residents to make a donation to help families in our community have a happy holiday season,” she said.

Sun Tran is Tucson’s regional public transportation system, which is operated by Professional Transit Management, Ltd., under contract with the City of Tucson. It has more than 600 employees, 40 fixed routes and a fleet of 240 buses.

Elks take 34 from school on shop spree

Last Saturday, 34 students from Roadrunner Elementary School in Marana had a shopping spree and lunch courtesy of the Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge #2815.

The students, in grades K-6, arrived at the J.C. Penney story at Tucson Mall. They were greeted by Elks Lodge volunteers, who helped with clothing and shoe purchases. The Elks Lodge donated $140 per child, money stretched by a Penney’s discount.

After shopping, students attended a holiday pizza party at the Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge in Catalina. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived on a Golder Ranch Fire Department truck to distribute a bagful of toys.

“Seeing the joy and appreciation on the faces of the children is one of our most gratifying experiences,” said Robert Hurt, who co-chaired the event for the Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge with Joyce Garcia.

“It gives you a great feeling to give to a child in need, and it’s something that’s good for our community as well,” said Exalted Ruler Richard Esparza.

“Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge’s generosity the last couple of years has made such an incredible difference for our students,” said Elizabeth Armenta, principal of Roadrunner Elementary.

Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge was instituted Oct. 14, 2000, and has just under 300 members. It supports young people with scholarships, funds for the Special Olympics, soccer and hoop shoots, dictionaries for third-grade students, donating food and clothing to needy families, and participating in the children’s shopping spree.

Total lunar eclipse coincides with winter solstice

Darkness will overtake the moon on Monday, Dec. 20, when the last total lunar eclipse of 2010 occurs.

Sky watchers in North America are expected to have a particular good vantage point for the celestial event, according to NASA’s website.

In Southern Arizona, the eclipse starts at 11:32 p.m. and lasts until 3 a.m. The eclipse coincides with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. A day when these two events will coincide again will happen in about 50,000 years or so.

A viewing of the total eclipse is planned for the UA Science Mount Lemmon SkyCenter on Mount Lemmon. Visitors can view the eclipse through the center’s 32-inch Schulman Telescope.

The SkyCenter is located at 9800 Ski Run Road on Mount Lemmon. Costs are $75 per person. For more information call 626-8122 or on the web at www.SkyCenter.arizona.edu.

The next total lunar eclipse viewable from Tucson will be in 2014.

Toys for Tots, J Geils tribute at Old Father

For the third year, an Ina Road restaurant and a J. Geils tribute band are putting on a holiday event to collect Christmas gifts for Toys for Tots.

The Old Father Inn, 4080 W. Ina Road, and the tribute band Be-Geiled invite everyone to a party and gift drive from 2 to 6 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 19. The show starts at 2 p.m.

“Isn’t it an awesome feeling to see a child on Christmas Day to open a toy to play with?” a release said. “Make the dream come true for every girl and boy, and donate to the Toys for Tots campaign.”

The Old Father Inn is offering half-price appetizers for any toy or cash donation. There are drink specials. U.S. Marine Corps personnel will be on hand to accept toys and cash gifts.

“The last two years have been a total success,” a release said. “Let’s make this year be even bigger.”

For information, call 744-1200.

Marana council confirms Rozema as police chief

A unanimous Marana Town Council has confirmed appointment of Terry Rozema as the next chief of the Marana Police Department.

The council did so Dec. 7, after Town Manager Gilbert Davidson shared details of a nationwide search for a successor to Chief Terry Tometich.

Davidson said Rozema possesses “the qualifications, experience and the desire to assume the role as our next police chief. Certainly, he is a standout candidate for the position.”

Rozema is a 20-year resident of Marana who currently serves as an assistant chief in the Tucson Police Department. He is attending the National FBI Academy in Washington, D.C. With the council’s approval, Rozema is expected to begin work in early January.

Councilwoman Roxanne Ziegler thanked human resources manager Suzanne Machain and others who put together the search. “I don’t know if we’ve done a national search before,” Ziegler said. “I thought it went very well.”

Fields set for Marana mayor, council elections

With paperwork and signatures submitted, the fields are set for election of Marana mayor and two town council positions this spring.

Completed filings for mayor have been received from incumbent Ed Honea and challenger Bret Summers.

Filing for town council seats are incumbents Russell Clanagan and Roxanne Ziegler, and challengers David Bowen and Jeff Gray.

Signatures are not yet confirmed, Town Clerk Jocelyn Bronson said Friday. Any challenge to signatures must be completed by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22.

Marana’s primary election is March 8, and the general election is May 17.

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