Tucson Local Media: Home of The Explorer, Marana News, Foothills News, Desert Times, and Inside Tucson Business

  • Mailers cause a fuss in election proceedings

    Though he may have not been on the dais during the second candidate forum, or even in the room, one member of the Oro Valley community had both his name and political action committee brought forth multiple times.Initially formed last year in opposition to the referendum effort involving the acquisition of the community and recreation center, Don Cox and his Triple E PAC have become entangled within the town’s current political struggle.Cox and his PAC were first brought up during councilmember Brendan Burns’ opening statement at the Aug. 10 candidate forum hosted by the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort. During his speech, Burns challenged candidates Rhonda Pina, Bill Rodman and Steve Solomon to disavow Cox and the Triple E for “his hateful actions” for the rest of the campaign cycle.What Burns referenced is a four page, full color mailer sent by the PAC to town residents containing information on all six candidates in the election: incumbents Burns, Mike Zinkin and Bill Garner and challengers Pina, Solomon and Rodman.Clearly supportive of the challenging candidates, the mailer contains negative information on Zinkin, Garner and Burns, including negative statements allegedly made by Zinkin’s son, excerpts from a 2014 Explorer article regarding Burns’ legal troubles and a 2014 article from The Arizona Daily Star regarding comments Garner made about the Oro Valley Police Department.Cox, who said the flyer was made by just copying and pasting information from the internet and requested documents, said he was just looking to educate the voting public in Oro Valley. Instead of the “two or 3,000” people in the town that Cox said pay close attention to local politics, he said the mailer was aimed at those “less informed about what’s going on.”

  • Dillinger Brewing Company is ready to pour its first pint for beer lovers in October

    Beer brought Eric Sipe beautiful things.It brought him love. He and his girlfriend fell for each other among the coriander and citrus notes of Deschutes Brewery’s Chainbreaker White IPA. He recalls that moment and the beer they were drinking with all the fervor of a romantic poet. Beer would go on to play a leading role in many moments the 26-year-old Tucsonan recalls fondly, whether it was celebrating successes or making new friends over a quiet pint or two. It’s a faith in fermented beverages that borders on obsession, one that eventually grew beyond the boundaries of his personal life and into a new craft brewery opening this fall on Tucson’s north side.  Dillinger Brewing Company will pour its first pint this October at 3895 N. Oracle Road, about a mile down the road from the Tucson Mall.  Sipe spent a year revamping the building and raising the ceiling to make way for the towering stainless-steel tanks required to make high-quality suds. He also knocked out a few walls to make way for a tasting room and storage areas for grain, hops and other supplies. 

  • Catalina Foothills High School football: Falcons flying high for 2016 season

    Since hiring Jeff Scurran prior to the 2013 season, the Catalina Foothills High School football program has had their best run of success in the school’s history. The Falcons enter the 2016 season full of optimism, not only hoping to make the playoffs for the fourth straight season, but looking to make their deepest postseason run in school history.The Falcons have won 23 games in three seasons, after going 0-10 in 2012. Scurran’s arrival coincided with that of quarterback Rhett Rodriguez. Rodriguez, the son of University of Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez, won the job as a freshman and has never looked back. The heady passer, he also boasts a 4.0 GPA, has passed for over 5,000 yards in his career. He had a great junior season, throwing for 2,503 yards and rushing for 624 more, but more importantly, taking the Falcons to the second round of the state playoffs for just the second time in school history. What makes Rodriguez so effective is his decision making. He threw just two interceptions last season, one for every 118 pass attempts, and completed over 66 percent of his passes. “It is like having a coach on the field, who’s like a point guard,” said Scurran. “Everything we do gets run through him.”The quarterback is hardly alone in getting it done in the classroom. Half of the team are considered A and B students, while six are either 4.0 students or one class from being straight A students. Rodriguez is not the only threat on offense. The Falcons return their top two receivers and top two rushers. 

Local News

  • Pima County Supervisor Bronson involved in storm-related rescue

    On the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 9, Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson was rescued by the Tucson Fire Department after her county vehicle was swept into a flooded wash.At approximately 9:30 a.m., Bronson was traveling east on West Fort Lowell Road and turned south on North Balboa Avenue to avoid flooding that resulted from the remnants of Tropical Storm Javier.  At that point her vehicle was swept by flood waters into the Cemetery Wash, ultimately coming to rest against the culvert beneath North Oracle Road.Bronson called 911 and the Tucson Fire and Police Departments arrived on scene and conducted a swift-water rescue as her vehicle was filling with water.“I want to express my appreciation to the Tucson Fire and Police Departments for their professionalism and heroism,” Bronson said.  “This was an extraordinary storm and illustrates that when even driving on roads that are not barricaded, there is a potential risk.”According to Captain Barrett Baker with the Tucson Fire Department, an incident like that is just about “as scary as it gets.” “This occupant had to be pulled out of the car through the rear window after firefighters broke it out,” Baker said. “A simple mistake in misjudging the force of flowing water almost led to a horrific event. The car was swept down the wash about an eighth of a mile before being pinned against the bridge.”

  • Marana 2.0 gives students hands on look at town government

    The Town of Marana and the Marana Unified School District have been working together to find new and different ways to work together. One of the newer programs was the Marana 2.0 internship program that debuted last year. By all accounts the program was a success, but like any new programs, it had its share of growing pains and things both the town and the district hope to improve in year two. The program allowed students from Marana High School to get a hands on internship opportunity within the various departments within the town government. The goal for the program is to give students some insight into local government, to show them how it works, what services it provides to residents. “So much of what Marana does as a town impacts our students, and our interns have said they had no idea what the town does,” said Marana High School teacher and program advisor Alex Ruff. “This opportunity gives students a real understanding of how the police department, parks and recreation, special events, or the town manager’s office really impact their daily lives and improve our community.”The program evolved from the Marana Strategic Plan, specifically an initiative for citizen engagement, similar to the town’s citizens forum. Town staff had seen similar programs being done at the elementary level, but the idea was to create an immersive internship experience for the students. “The other main objective is to provide students with an internship opportunity which will provide them with some real world skills once they leave high school,” Ruff said. “Students work alongside mentors at the town and learn to network, improve their professionalism, and their public speaking.”At the conclusion of the program all of the students involved had to create a PowerPoint presentation on their experiences and present it at a special session of the Marana Town Council. 

  • Valley View expanded and ready for students

    The Valley View Early Learning Center and its staff were prepared for the more than 200 pre-k students which came returning to the halls of the recently expanded school last week. Having undergone an expansive expansion process, the school now has a greatly expanded outdoor space, classrooms and more.As the communities youngest learners returned to Valley View last Thursday to begin another year of adventurous learning and play-based education, those who hadn’t seen the school over the summer – or new students – were in for quite a surprise.Having nearly doubled in size since the previous school year, Valley View is looking at the end of a year-long expansion process: having added eight new classrooms, a greatly expanded outdoor play space, a new kitchen, an occupational therapy room, a lounge for teachers and more.Breaking ground last August and hosting construction crews throughout the year, the school remained opened and fully operating while Concord Construction took to work. While many schools may look at a massive overhaul as a distraction and possibly even a detriment to the education process, Valley View embraced the construction with open arms, integrating the happenings of the worksite into the classroom. “It was an adventure and it was noisy,” said McKenzie Thomas, who teaches at Valley View. “It definitely took some getting used to; it was a lot of bodies that were added so a lot of in-and-out movement. … In my classroom in particular we got really involved with the construction and we actually created a relationship with the construction team, the engineers and the architects…That’s what they were noticing and seeing outside and they brought it in and made in an everyday part of their life.”

Entertainment

  • Saturday Puzzles 8-20-16

  • ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’: An extraordinary story for your eyes and ears!

    In her best performance in years, Meryl Streep stars as a legendary New York heiress and socialite obsessed with her dream of becoming a great singer.An electrifying story of love, perseverance and imagination abounds in this true story.  This is a compassionate story about endless love and endearing support.  As husband and manager, Hugh Grant’s St. Clair Bayfield character is both protector and tempered watch dog.  His greatest challenge, a 1944 public performance by his beloved Florence in Carnegie Hall, weighs as heavily on his heart and mind as it does moviegoers.“Florence Foster Jenkins” is a momentous film achievement by Academy Award-nominated Best Director Stephen Frears (for 2006’s “The Queen”).  Most viewers will remember Frears’ well-received 2013 masterpiece “Philomena”, which was nominated for an Oscar in four categories--including Best Picture. Just as Frears’ “Philomena” adeptly balanced the comedic with the dramatic, “Florence Foster Jenkins” perfectly adds the same ingredients in this must-see Date Night endeavor.The film’s most fascinating take is its ability to starkly illustrate the fine line that coaches, parents, teachers and society must walk regarding feedback to one with lacking skills and killing their dreams.  We see this awkward dilemma play out with all the characters, between giving Madam Florence an honest reality check on her singing or continuing to further indulge her to the point of embarrassment and harm.  A charming and delightful love story, “Florence Foster Jenkins” dominates with splendid performances by Streep, Grant and Simon Helberg--whom moviegoers will recognize from television’s “The Big Bang Theory” show.  The 55-year old, nearly ageless Grant exudes his exceptional comedy skills we’ve growth accustomed to since 1994’s “Four Weddings and A Funeral”.  It’s Simon Helberg’s role as pianist Cosme McMoon, however, which steals every scene in this gem.The odds are very good that this outside-the-box performance by Meryl Streep will land her a record 20th Academy Award nomination.  Likewise, “Florence Foster Jenkins” is one of this year’s best films and an extraordinary story for your eyes and ears.

  • Dillinger Brewing Company is ready to pour its first pint for beer lovers in October

    Beer brought Eric Sipe beautiful things.It brought him love. He and his girlfriend fell for each other among the coriander and citrus notes of Deschutes Brewery’s Chainbreaker White IPA. He recalls that moment and the beer they were drinking with all the fervor of a romantic poet. Beer would go on to play a leading role in many moments the 26-year-old Tucsonan recalls fondly, whether it was celebrating successes or making new friends over a quiet pint or two. It’s a faith in fermented beverages that borders on obsession, one that eventually grew beyond the boundaries of his personal life and into a new craft brewery opening this fall on Tucson’s north side.  Dillinger Brewing Company will pour its first pint this October at 3895 N. Oracle Road, about a mile down the road from the Tucson Mall.  Sipe spent a year revamping the building and raising the ceiling to make way for the towering stainless-steel tanks required to make high-quality suds. He also knocked out a few walls to make way for a tasting room and storage areas for grain, hops and other supplies. 

Sports

  • Sports update: Marana tabs new baseball coach

    Marana High School has hired Dale Toone as the school’s baseball coach. Toone replaces Trevor Harvey who coached the Tigers to a 5-23 in his lone season as head coach.“We are confident that he has the knowledge, skill set, leadership capacity, and demeanor to not only develop individual skill and build a comprehensive program, but also help develop young men of character,” said Marana Athletic Director Sarah Whaley. “I have been incredibly impressed with Coach Toone and his ability to begin building a solid staff to best meet the needs of our athletes. He truly understands what the greater purpose of high school athletics is and I look forward to working with him as he leads our athletes.”Toone grew up in the Chandler/Gilbert area and was a multi-sport high school athlete, playing baseball, football, wrestling and running track. He played baseball for one year at ASU. “There is a quote that my staff and I will live by and apply to coaching these young men and that is, ‘Teach them correct principles, and let them govern themselves,’” Toone said. “I feel there is no better way to help them become leaders and grow in confidence than through giving them the tools they need to be successful, then letting them apply it to reap their own successes and failures, and learn from it.  I believe that life goes on beyond the ball field, that grades, jobs, and other athletic endeavors are important parts of baseball and life.”Toone echoed the sentiments of Whaley, confirming that the lessons he learns on the diamond carry over to life away from baseball. “We are coaching champions in life, not just for the game,” Toone said. “I take pride in how these boys will carry themselves outside of practice and in their communities.  All of these things will affect the outcome of their season. I have an amazing staff that is dedicated and highly experienced in the sport, and in the body and physical development of the players.  We have a great principal and athletic director that have put a lot of time, attention, and money into bettering this program throughout the summer and support these players.  I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve our community.”

  • Turnovers propel IRHS to victory

    Ironwood Ridge forced seven Marana turnovers and beat the Tigers 62-42 to open the season.The Nighthawks had 431 yards of total offense, including 369 on the ground. Soma Helu rushed for 180 yard, including a 52-yard touchdown. Three other Nighthawks had rushing touchdowns, including Cole Gerken, Heath Beemiller and Nick Brahler.Ironwood Ridge also got a pair of interception returns for a touchdown, including a 78 yarder by Noah Pallanes. Pallanes also pulled in a 33-yard touchdown pass.Marana had over 500 yards of total offense, including 246 passing yards by senior quarterback Connor Leavens on 24-45 passing. He had four touchdown passes, including three to Dominic Gehr. He also added a 7-yard touchdown run.Zach Roberts rushed 14 times for 105 yard and a score. 

  • Tigers, Nighthawks return for 2016 football season

    Two area teams will kick off the season when Marana and Ironwood Ridge square off on Friday in a “Zero Week” game. It also marks the team’s debut in the new Division 5A, after the Arizona Interscholastic Association went through another batch of realignment. The Nighthawks are coming off a sectional championship and an appearance in the state quarter finals. Ironwood Ridge went 9-2 before falling to Marcos de Niza in the second round of the state playoffs. Marana just missed out on their first playoff appearance in nearly a decade in the final week of the season. The Tigers have slowly rebuilt the program after a rough patch that saw them win just four games between 2009-2011According to MaxPreps this is the battle between the two best Southern Arizona teams in 5A. Their preseason rankings have the Nighthawks ranked fourth, while Marana is ranked No.12. Both teams want to get out of the gate fast. Ironwood Ridge may be replacing a lot of talent, but still believes they have the core in place to make a deep run in the playoffs. Marana would love to upset one of the best teams in the area. The Nighthawks have been one of the best programs over the past decade plus and a win over them would be a huge boost to the Tigers who have a tough early season schedule. The game will be a battle of strength on strength as the potent Marana offense will match up with a defensive front of Ironwood Ridge that may be one of the best in the state. The Nighthawks feature Daniel Peabody and Deacon Laurita, who are back for their senior seasons. Last season they had 16.5 sacks between them. Defensive lineman David Apodaca and Brayden Smith are loads at 6-4, 265 and 6-4, 250 respectively.

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