- Your Voice
In December, Arizona’s State Transportation Board (STB) approved $15 million to initiate the environmental impact studies (EIS) needed to build the proposed Interstate 11 highway from Wickenberg to Nogales. The unanimous action followed a two-year study by the Arizona and Nevada Departments of Transportation urging construction of the new highway. Funding came from putting a number of just-approved construction and repair projects on indefinite hold.
So what are DIBELS? The acronym stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy, a state test for kindergarten through sixth-grade students required three times a year.
Desert Winds Elementary
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.
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.
Following a pot-luck dinner, six Picture Rocks teenagers created a Youth Forum during the Aug.19 Citizens for Picture Rocks (C4PR) meeting.
Monsoons – what the O’odham people call the “male rain” of intense summer storms – green the desert, ripen prickly pear cacti fruit, and bring out mosquitoes and the critters that eat them.
With crews of interns actively rooting out buffelgrass in Saguaro National Park, park staff told citizens aerial spraying of herbicides is likely to begin mid-August, taking advantage of the monsoon season.
With a $7,500 grant, Picture Rocks Firefighter and outreach coordinator Billie Moon has secured a batch of advanced safety car seats for children.
Mike Schenk is on the corner many days of the week to sharpen and sell knives.
Jacob and Cathy Guilbert help sell their mother Celeste’s bread and relish.
The recipe is a secret handed down from her German grandmother, but Bonnie Lee Meadows makes heirloom cobblers, including gluten-free mesquite flour peach cobbler.
Steven Ramsey combines metal and rock into sculptures of all sizes.
Suzanne Guilbeaut creates miniature desertscapes and jewelry.
The Planners for the I-11 Canamex Highway held an online “virtual meeting” during part of February and March and drew over 2,000 comments. These are still being sorted and have not yet been released. The summary, when ready, will be posted on their website, www.i11study.com. The $2.5 million study by the Arizona and Nevada Departments of Transportation plans a Southern Arizona public meeting sometime in June.
Buffelgrass issues continue in Southern Arizona while volunteers break their backs digging out buffelgrass in Southern Arizona the U.S. Department of Agriculture is promoting a cold-resistant strain of the “noxious weed” that will spread it even further. While Saguaro National Park contemplates spraying herbicides on buffelgrass with helicopters, Texas calls Pennisetum ciliaris its “wonder grass.” The Buffelgrass Seed Company in Corpus Christi today sells six varieties of the weed with the slogan, “We help America grow.”
On April 5, when 16 volunteers wearing orange safety vests set out to pick up trash along three miles of local roads on Picture Rocks, Sandario and Rudasill. Organized by Citizens for Picture Rocks board members Chris Banks and Jan Pekelder, they were joined by Dorothy Banks, Sue Trepanitis, Kevin Trepanitis, Diane Mattison, Greg Mattison, Robin Nicholson, Keith Winans, Tom Allen and Donna Noel. Young volunteers Mikayla Riccio, Kristie Enneper, Scott Washington and Dustin Grahn, joined in, mobilized by Tanya Washington. This is the 10th year that Citizens for Picture Rocks has participated in Pima County’s Adopt-a-Roadway program. Subway at the Minit Market once again provided lunch for the volunteers with a substantial discount.
At the April meeting of the RTA/PAG Working Transit Group meeting there was discussion about the rate increases proposed by Sun Tran. This still needs to be approved by Tucson’s mayor and council but will also impact the rates for the Express routes and Sun Shuttles which are not within the city limits. Riders of the Express bus, the Sun Shuttle and/ or Sun Tran may be interested in providing comments on their proposed changes.
A new afterschool sixth grade student club at Picture Rocks Intermediate School, has participated in a variety of community outreach and service activities this school year. The “Leadership Club” currently consists of eighteen students, nominated by teachers, all of whom exhibit high academic performance, exemplary behavior, and good citizenship and leadership.
Every Saturday the Southeast corner of Picture Rocks and Sandario Roads blossoms has neighbors selling their homemade and home-grown wares. The cast varies from week to week.