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  • DeGrazia Gallery embracing the night

    The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, a long-standing artistic gem nestled at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, recently unveiled its newest exhibition, “DeGrazia After Dark.” The collection contains more than 50 paintings by Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia, who created, lived in and died in his beloved gallery.As the name implies, the exhibition will feature a series of nocturnal paintings crafted in some of the various styles the famed artist was known for; most noticeably his masterful use of the palette knife. More than just a painter, DeGrazia was an artistic soul who spent much of his life utilizing many different mediums.  While many in Tucson are somewhat familiar with DeGrazia and his work, one aspect of his life which the general gallery-goer may not know is that he was somewhat of a night owl.“DeGrazia was an interesting guy,” said Lance P. Laber, executive director of the DeGrazia Foundation. “He didn’t sleep a lot. He would work all day and at four o’clock throw everybody out. And then he would go home and go to bed — or have a drink and go to bed — and then wake up around 11 o’clock and start doing his thing: wandering around and painting at night.”DeGrazia also never painted with a model. He instead drew from his memory to craft his art. Because he spent so much of his time wandering through the midnight hours, much of his artwork reflects his dark environment.Over 50 different pieces are set to be featured in the exhibit, though Laber did admit that the DeGrazia collection contains many more paintings which could have been included. The gallery contains nearly 15,000 pieces of DeGrazia’s work, and many contain some sort of nocturnal feel. 

  • UA Dean Joaquin Ruiz talks about climate change series

    On Jan. 25, the UA College of Science Spring Lecture Series kicked off. This year’s topic is Earth Transformed, an examination of the impacts of climate change on the planet. The first speaker was Joellen Russell, an 1885 Society distinguished scholar and associate professor of geosciences in the UA College of Science, who discussed “The Ocean’s Role in Climate: Heat and Carbon Uptake in the Anthropocene,” The series continues through March 6. For more information, visit uascience.org.Why did you pick climate change as a topic?We’ve been doing this series for 11 years and 10 years ago, the topic was global climate change. So much has happened that we thought it was important to show how the earth has really been transformed. Ten years ago, we were still debating it and now we’re not.There’s a lot of political debate in this country about whether climate change is happening, or if man is contributing to climate change, but there’s not much debate within the scientific community. What do you make of arguments that your measurements are all wrong or even that it’s just a massive hoax?It is now clear that the general concensus in the scientific community is that the climate is changing. We have all the measurements we need for that. It correlates beautifully with the industrial revolution and so on. We also have chemical fingerprints to show where the carbon from the CO2 is coming from. So we have everything we need as scientists to clearly show we are the culprits for this particular change. People like the use the fact that the earth is variable and at one point or another the earth has been a snowball — it’s been frozen a few times in its history. It’s been way warmer than it is now, when the dinosaurs were milling around. But it always correlates with CO2. At those times, when there were no humans, the CO2 came from burps from the ocean or volcanic emanations. There are all kinds of ways we can show what it was. But now we’re clear that it’s humankind. And in the end, we need to do something to reduce the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. The sad thing about it is, there is a social justice component to climate change. A lot of people who are really getting dinged by the climate change are farmers in poor parts of the world where they don’t have any more water and in other places where farms are being completed damaged because of floods they’ve never seen in the history of the place, and that is a shame.Can you explain to the casual reader why releasing the carbon into the atmosphere is resulting in higher temperatures?

  • Oro Valley Cup Golf Tournament to Benefit Project Graduation

    The 13th Annual Oro Valley Cup Golf Tournament benefiting Project Graduation will be held Friday, Feb. 5 at the Oro Valley Community & Recreation Center (formally known as the Hilton El Conquistador Country Club). All of the proceeds from the Oro Valley Cup fundraiser will go towards covering the expenses for providing an alcohol and drug-free all-night graduation celebration for 1,100 graduating seniors from Amphitheater, Canyon del Oro and Ironwood Ridge High Schools. Since 2004, “Project Grad” celebrations have kept some 12,000 graduating high school seniors from Amphitheater schools off the streets in a safe and sober environment on graduation night. Project Graduation is a nationally recognized, all-night, safe and memorable celebration offered for all graduating seniors. Parents, teachers, staff, and the business community come together to create an exciting, drug- and alcohol-free evening that provides memories that will last a lifetime. Registration for the 2016 tournament is still open. Individual players can register for $150 or register as a foursome for $600. There are also several sponsorship levels. To register, visit: http://ovcup.com/. When: Friday, Feb. 5 10:30 a.m. – registration, 12:30 p.m. Shotgun Start 

Local News

  • Center Pointe Vistoso opens in Oro Valley

    Maracay Homes recently celebrated the opening of the Center Pointe Vistoso community, located in what has been referred to as one of the best remaining parcels of land in the Oro Valley. Situated within the Rancho Vistoso master-planned community, Center Pointe Vistoso will be a five neighborhood community and has begun selling property space to the public.When completed, the community will be comprised of 343 different home sites broken down into 25 different floor plans spread across the various neighborhoods. Home sizes range from around 1,400 square-feet to just over 3,600 square-feet, with prices ranging from the mid $200s to the low $400s. All of the different communities will be gated neighborhoods.Maracay developed Center Pointe Vistoso to fill the needs of the various different demographics living in Oro Valley, as well as the different lifestyles. From a smaller lock and leave home to executive size plots, each neighborhood has a somewhat different feel.Those interested in a more low-maintenance lifestyle will find just what they are looking for, while those wishing for a more elegant life will find their needs met. In addition to being connected by a series of trails, each of the communities will house its own neighborhood amenities like parks, play structures, shaded areas, gardens and other attractions. 

  • Border patrol reports fewer migrants found dead in fiscal year 2015

    The U.S Border Patrol saw a decrease in the number of suspected migrants found dead in Arizona last fiscal year, and they attribute it to “enhanced efforts” to rescue and assist immigrants attempting to cross the desert.The agency reported 68 remains in fiscal 2015, down from 110 in fiscal year 2014 — the figures include the Tucson and Yuma BP sectors, says a Customs and Border Protection press release.U.S. Border Patrol agents working along Arizona’s border with Mexico stepped up their campaign in fiscal year 2015 to save distressed migrants while giving them options to call for help. As a result, agents report finding fewer deceased migrants as calls for assistance hit new highs.Since March 2015, CBP’s Joint Intelligence and Operations Center coordinates responses to 911 calls from migrants. To sum it up, the JIOC assists emergency dispatchers in Pima, Maricopa, Pinal, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties to facilitate getting in touch with Border Patrol.The press release says that between March and September of last year, Border Patrol and JIOC assisted with 467 calls, and a total of 804 people were rescued within the Tucson and Yuma sectors. Migrants are being encouraged to call 911 before their situation becomes an emergency. The sooner they call, the faster CBP resources can respond. Dehydration, injury or hypothermia can quickly become critical without proper care.

  • Save your heart, save your health

    In January 1993, at the age of 58, I had a heart attack. A week later, I had quadruple bypass surgery, and two months later, I had another heart attack. I was depressed, in pain, had loss of memory, concentration and had the dread of hopelessness. I was unable to return to work. I searched for a program, a doctor, a psychiatrist, anyone who could turn my life around, with no results. On the advice of my daughters who lived in Tucson, my wife and I moved from Long Island, N.Y., to Tucson in November 2004 where I was blessed to discover the “Heart Disease Reversal program.”My name is Richard (Richy) Feinberg. I have been an enthusiastic supporter since we moved here 22 years ago for the Heart Series program. The program was created by Dr. Charles Katzenberg, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and Edna Silva, R.N., a cardiac rehab nurse and founder of the T’ai Chi Center of Tucson. The program’s first challenge for me was to give up meat and change to a vegetarian diet. As the saying goes, “A long journey starts with the first step.” After accomplishing that goal, I realized that if I put my mind to it, I was capable of taking on many other changes and challenges in my life. The program taught me Tai Chi, yoga and how relaxation and meditation would refresh my body, mind and spirit and help me see the world in a more positive light. The three cardinal rules in the program are not to criticize, be judgmental and not to give advice that’s not asked for. (I still have a way to go in that area.) I learned to have an attitude of gratitude and that negative situations can be seen as positive ones, if one has the desire and capacity to see the possibilities. I thought the heart attacks and the surgery was the worst thing that ever happened to me. Years later, I realized having the heart attacks and surgery was one of the best things that ever happened to me because in Arizona my wife and I have been enjoying a happier, healthier lifestyle in one of the most beautiful places to live in America.  The Heart Series program inspired me to open doors to new adventures. I took watercolor classes and joined watercolor groups and showed my watercolor paintings and pencil drawings in art shows and exhibitions. I was invited to have a one-man show at DeGrazia Gallery In The Sun. In my past life, volunteering wasn’t my cup of tea. However, I did volunteer for the Army and for marrying the love of my life. Because my health and happiness continually improved after joining the Heart Series program, I decided to give back to my community. 


  • Saturday Puzzles 2-6-16

  • An intense true story from the high seas

    Based on the book “The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue” by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias, this thriller crashes a nor-easter storm along the upper East Coast against brave souls who must fight for their lives to survive. Craig Gillespie, director of the inspiration 2014 baseball film “Million Dollar Arm,” once again teams up with Disney to introduce audiences to a remarkable true story about overcoming long odds.  Set in Massachusetts during 1952, this white-knuckle high seas adventure follows the young romantic life of U.S. Coast Guardsman Bernie Webber. Effortlessly depicted by Chris Pine (“Star Trek Into Darkness”), Boatswain Mate First Class Webber must answer his nation’s call during hurricane force winds in an attempt to save dozens of lives aboard to a tanker offshore in distress. Ocean fishing in my family’s boat growing up in Oregon, I saw the U.S. Coast Guard’s dedication and professionalism first-hand. Many times we crossed the Siuslaw River bar, just north of Florence, venturing out into the Pacific in less-than-ideal conditions. Every time the Coast Guard’s 44-foot motor lifeboat ran escort for us — operating only two or three boat-lengths away — to ensure we didn’t experience mechanical problems or take a crashing rogue wave to our side.  The U.S. Coast Guard, with their motto Semper Paratus (“Always Ready”), is a military branch also charged with domestic maritime duties. In “The Finest Hours” we see less than a handful of “Coasties” from Coast Guard Station Chatham courageously risk it all so that others might live. The film’s realism expands beyond the violent sea conditions, where massive ships are torn apart into pieces. Inside the breakers, we find the small town characters humble, carry heavy hearts, and willing to help strangers. “The Finest Hours” high tide mark is the survival story of a crew adrift at sea and those tapped to attempt a rescue mission. The movie’s low point is the romantic angle between Pine’s boat driver character Webber and his girlfriend/fiancée Miriam (Holliday Grainger). The most realistic relationships and interpersonal communications take place offshore.  

  • Ronstadt finds himself in music

    Best known locally for his work as a vocalist, songwriter and cellist with internationally-acclaimed Tucsonan favorites Ronstadt Generations, Michael G. Ronstadt’s latest ventures see him collaborating with a dreamy Cincinnatian indie band, as well as developing what he calls the solo album in which he fully found himself.Like with many artists of his ilk, including his father, Michael, and brother, Petie, who also comprise Ronstadt Generations, or in his famous aunt, Linda, the path leading him from “Point A” into his current state as a matured singer-songwriter, instrumentalist and performer was not always as straightforward as outsiders may think. “Growing up with a musical family, I always say it gives permission to consider music as a career option and something to pursue more seriously than one might if it were just considered a hobby,” said Ronstadt. “But, it wasn’t until I had picked up the cello in fourth grade that it had propelled my musical dedication forward.”Elaborating further on this period of his life, Ronstadt explained, “It spoke to me, and I started playing with different types of music, even with a rock band featuring electric cello at the end of middle school through high school. After that, I ended up pursuing my master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati in cello performance after receiving my undergrad from the University of Arizona.” From there, Ronstadt decided that “if I was going to make this career work, I had to jump headfirst into it, and luckily, thankfully, life has allowed me to do it ever since.”His career has seen him swap between Tucson, Cincinnati and Philadelphia as places where he has laid his head, but Ronstadt ultimately chose the former two and not the latter to call home. 


  • Showtime brings boxing to Tucson

    “ShoBox: The New Generation” kicked off its 15th consecutive year of bringing together the world’s greatest boxing prospects by bringing nonstop action to the Tucson region. The series held a three fight broadcast card, with four fights leading to the televised matches. During the main event, undefeated St. Paul, Minn. native Robert Brant (19-0-1, 12 KO) scored a stunning flash knockout victory over relentless competitor, Decarlo Perez (15-4-1, 5 KO) in the fourth round of their 10-round fight. “I was shocked to see him go down like that,” said Brant. “Even when you hit someone really well, you don’t expect them to go out like that. I was watching him and thinking, ‘I don’t think he’s going to get up.’”Brant defeated his opponent with a pristine straight right, sending Perez between the ropes and onto the canvas. He had dropped Perez in the previous round, though he quickly regained his feet. Once Perez went down in the fourth, referee Rocky Burke immediately put a stop to the fight.With another notch on his belt, Brant said he is already looking forward to advancing his career.“My purpose is to become a champion,” he said, “so now I’m on to the next goal.”

  • Falcons QB commits to Arizona

    Catalina Foothills quarterback Rhett Rodriguez committed to the first school that offered a scholarship. It was also the school he was most familiar with. The junior signal caller committed to the home town University of Arizona, the program coached by his father Rich. Rodriguez was offered a scholarship by the school and committed shortly thereafter. One of the big reasons that he chose to accept the spot was that he could now begin trying to lure other recruits to the program. Currently Arizona has two players committed in the class, Rodriguez and 4-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister. The common misconception is that Rodriguez only received the scholarship because he is the son of the Head Coach, while that is certainly part of it, the younger Rodriguez already has a firm grasp of the Arizona offense, it is not all of it. Unlike many players, Rodriguez has not gone through all the recruiting camps and combines. He has camped with Arizona, but Jeff Scurran, his coach at Catalina Foothills, is wary of his players going to individual camps and picking up “bad habits.”A lot of schools create their initial recruiting lists based upon performances and evaluations at camps and combines. This is especially true for players from Tucson, who do not always get a lot of attention. Most players receive their first scholarship offers beginning the spring of their senior years. Although a handful of players get offers prior to the February signing day, most of those are either elite prospects who have already made a name for themselves or players at schools with older players who are being recruited. Rodriguez did not fit either category. It is likely that had he not accepted the early offer from the Wildcats, that Rodriguez would start getting offers as the school year concluded. Scurran scoffs at the notion that Rodriguez is only the product of nepotism. Scurran has been coaching in Tucson high schools and college for decades and Rodriguez will be his first 4-year starter. Rodriguez did not win the starting job because of his last name. He was competing for the spot over the summer and got his opportunity because of injury. Scurran stresses he wasn’t “given” the reigns because of his pedigree. 

  • Soccer playoffs begin

    Two area girls soccer teams were among the seven Tucson teams in the Division II girls soccer bracket. Both Marana and Ironwood Ridge qualified for the 16-team bracket. Ironwood Ridge earned the No. 4 seed and a home game against Mesa Westview thanks to an 8-2-2 regular season record. They were 16-3-2 overall. The Nighthawks enter the playoffs on a bit of a hot streak, although they lost the season finale. They gave No. 1 Salpointe all they could handle before finally falling 1-0. That snapped a streak of six games without a loss, going 5-0-1 in that span. Westview is 10-1-1 this season and has not lost since Dec. 15.The winner will play Feb. 6 and get the winner of the Centennial/Arcadia match.Marana needed a strong finish to the season to earn the No. 14 seed and a game against No. 3 Notre Dame Prep. 


Online poll

The Marana capital improvements improvements are expected to take years to complete as Marana finds the best plan of action to complete the projects and fund the improvements. Do you think this is a good idea?

The town of Marana is looking at ways to do capital improvements to the oldest neighborhoods in Marana. Over the next few months the town will survey older neighborhoods and see what amenities they need and form a plan to make sure neighborhoods have paved roads, sidewalks, adequate drainage, lighting and even pocket parks. “We want to make sure that every neighborhood has a base standard for infrastructure,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. The improvements are expected to take years to complete as Marana finds the best plan of action to complete the projects and fund the improvements. Do you think this is a good idea?

Total Votes: 13


How do you feel about a potential memorial art project to honor our community’s bravest men and women?

During the Jan. 20 town council meeting, a vote was unanimously passed to look into the feasibility of a “Memorial Public Art Project,” at the request of Oro Valley resident Dick Eggerding to potentially be placed somewhere in the town to honor military veterans and first responders. Though no concrete plans were then ready to act on, there was a show of overwhelming support for such project from residents and staff alike during the council meeting. In an effort to poll to community at-large, The Explorer would like to know how you feel about a potential memorial art project to honor our community’s bravest men and women.

Total Votes: 25


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