- 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.
The State Transportation Board has unanimously approved $15 million in funding to conduct a tier one environmental impact study for the proposed Interstate 11, a multibillion-dollar project designed to connect Nogales to Las Vegas – and, likely in the longer run, Mexico to Canada.
Open enrollment for health plans under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, began Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 15. Dozens of plans at various cost and benefit levels are being offered by many companies, and enrollment can be confusing.
In November, Picture Rocks Hiking Club explorers visited Box Canyon, following a wash from Picture Rocks Road at the bottom of Contzen Pass through the Tucson Mountains to the Redemptorist Renewal Center.
The herbicide glyphosate and the “inert ingredient” POEA, used in Roundup, are reported in Scientific American to kill human cells. Roundup is linked to birth defects, Parkinson’s Disease, infertility and cancer. Despite the growing evidence about the herbicide’s dangers, Saguaro National Park sprayed 3,550 gallons of the poison on 375 park acres with helicopters Aug. 19-24 in its efforts to fight buffelgrass.
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 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.
Desert Winds Elementary
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been years since Desert Winds Elementary and Picture Rocks Intermediate Schools were open for summer school.
With help from Pima County and local volunteers, the Picture Rocks Community Center KAPP (Kids and Parents Playing) children planted a garden. Brendan, Bobby, Anissa and Tristan dug and planted tomatoes and radishes under the direction of staff member Paulette Holloway. For more information on the program, call 682-7166.
While U.S. Senators John McCain, R-AZ and Jeff Flake, R-AZ recently announced their support for the proposed Interstate 11 and Intermountain West Corridor, local officials and the Arizona Department of Transportation say funding has not yet been identified to carry out the project, which is expected to cost billions of dollars.