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

  • Bruggeman creating a legacy at Canyon Del Oro High School

    Several weeks into her eighth year at Canyon del Oro High School, 29-year-old history teacher Elizabeth Bruggeman looked back at the beginning of her career, when the University of Arizona graduate was at the helm of a class all her own.“The biggest thing I wanted to do that first year was make history relatable,” she said. “I think that this is a big problem that kids have. They dislike history, they see it as just facts, or ‘what’s the purpose of this, why do I need to know this?’ I would purposefully look for things that are going on now so that when I would teach them about that historical topic, I could say how it was directly impacting us in the current tense, today.”Whether discussing ongoing elections or looking into the origins and concepts underlying social issues, Bruggeman said she believes tying in current events to history is just another aspect to understanding history. Bruggeman believes learning history develops skills in youth that will help them throughout their lives: critical thinking, document analysis, understanding the perspectives of others, strong critical reading and writing skills.“I don’t think that you can truly understand anything going on in the world without understanding how we got here or why we are here and furthermore, I think it’s just a good sense of global citizenship to know about events that are going on, to be aware of candidates and current aspects of government or economics,” she said. “You can’t really get any real insight into that without knowing why things are the way they are.”The decision to pursue teaching came to Bruggeman at a young age. She has vivid memories of sitting in her bedroom and lining up dolls as students and trying to get her brothers to write papers for her to grade. Born and raised in Omaha, Neb., Bruggeman attended the UA and earned a bachelor’s degree in history education in 2009. Having previously worked within the Flowing Wells district as a college student, Bruggeman said she was interested in teaching in north Tucson after graduating college. During her studies, she said that several individuals directed her to the Amphitheater School District and she was ultimately drawn to CDO because of the school’s impressive amount of extracurricular offerings.

  • Keep your business protected from scams and online ploys

    While our skies may not be filled with flying cars and robotic housekeepers may not be dusting our bookshelves, the rise of technology has taken significant steps forward within a wide variety of fields, applications and industries. As with any development or technological advancement there are always individuals looking to benefit through less-than-credible means—and the 21st century has been no exception. The prevalence of internet hacking, scams and other disingenuous practices has become a part of everyday life for people across the globe—often both personally and professionally. What may have began as poorly written emails from fictional deposed oil barons and princes has developed into a full-blown industry of highly sophisticated schemes, technological advances and complex crime rings.Sending hundreds of thousands of highly suspicious emails may net several hundred responses and even a small take, but criminals also target locations of frequent transactions and larger stores of money: businesses.In a time of world-wide technological access, Oro Valley Police Department Officer Elijah Woodward has posed an interesting question to business owners throughout the community:What do you think the most dangerous virus is that can affect your organization? 

  • Local Jeep enthusiasts convoy to support police

    Marana was the staging area for a Jeep convoy in support of local law enforcement. What was originally planned as a small show of support, morphed into a large fundraiser with over 1,000 people in attendance.Two weekends ago members of two separate Jeep enthusiast clubs convoyed down I-10 from the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall to a church parking lot near the freeway exit at South Palo Verde Rd. in what was dubbed the Back The Blue Convoy.Local Jeep enthusiasts Brice Olson and Gabe Spurling were inspired by a video of a similar event on the east coast and they decided they wanted to do a similar event. Their group, DM Military Jeepers reached out to Tucson Jeeps and created a committee to get the event organized. They expected a solid turnout, but were stunned with the number of people wanting to be involved.“We really only expected about 50-60 jeeps, but we soon realized this was going to be huge,” Spurling said.They put the event together over a six week period, finding sponsors, starting and finishing spots big enough to hold all the vehicles. On the day of the event they learned more Jeeps from Phoenix were coming than they had originally planned for with about 130 making the trip down I-10.The group grew so big that the Marana Police Department volunteered to help them get onto the freeway.

Local News

  • Startup Tucson’s Idea Funding event brings business professionals together and others for the great pitch competition

    Eight local entrepreneurs will get to pitch their ideas to a panel of business investors in downtown Tucson on Oct. 27 as part of Get Started Tucson. Startup Tucson, which assists local business entrepreneurs launch ideas, will host the event, in partnership Cox Communications. “This year, we have partnered with Cox, and have brought Get Started Tucson into IdeaFunding” said Eric Smith, a commercialization network manager at Tech Launch Arizona. Idea Funding has connected business professionals the past 20 years.Get Started Tucson begins at 11:30 am, with the pitch event at 6:30 p.m. at the Tucson Electric Power, 88 E. Broadway Blvd. and the Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral, 60 S. Scott Ave. The day-long event includes lunch, a keynote, educational workshops, fireside chats and presentations, according to Smith. In order to make a pitch at the event, businesses entrepreneurs must turn in an application. “We’re looking at the business itself, the idea, the team behind it, where they came from,” Smith said. “At the event, teams get to pitch to the community, as well as a panel of investors, keeping in mind that this is an educational platform, so they’re not actually pitching for money.”

  • Mayor Hiremath lays out town's plan to Jewish Community

    When Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath took office in 2010 the town was at a crossroads.Rapidly expanding, and attracting residents and businesses, there was still a struggle of philosophy with some longtime residents of the town wanting to maintain a “small town” feel. This is one difficult situation Hiremath has struggled with, which he discussed at a talk for the Jewish Federation of Arizona’s Northwest Division, located at 190 W. Magee Road., Ste. 162  on Tuesday, Sept. 13.During his talk Hiremath discussed his vision for Oro Valley as well as the progress his community has made over the years, but also the struggles it has faced and how it has overcome them.Hiremath, serving his second term as mayor, discussed a myriad of plans including building more educational facilities and housing, but also discussed his goals of uniting his community and making diversity a priority.Hiremath opened the talk by discussing Oro Valley’s recent boom and its transformation from a retirement community into a working class suburb.“What used to be once 85 percent retired is now 75 percent not retired, and that’s almost in a ten-year span,” he said. “That is a relatively short, short time to have that kind of mass transformation."

  • Number of hot cars cools off in Arizona

    Your chances of having your car stolen in Arizona have decreased, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The NICB released its annual Hot Spots vehicle theft report for 2015. Most Arizona cities fell down the list, with just one city climbing the ranks. “This is one example where falling farther down a list is a good thing,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance for AAA Arizona. “Despite falling in the rankings it’s important for motorists to take precautions and not become complacent about this crime.”While Tucson is still in the top 100 cities it dropped a dozen spots in the rankings to 99th from 87th in 2014, while Phoenix dropped five spots to 80th from 75th place the previous year. Sierra Vista-Douglas is the lone city that climbed the chart, landing at 265th compared to 279th place the previous. Here’s how Arizona cities ranked in this year’s NICB Hot Spots list compared to 2014:  Today, a vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds in the United States. That’s an improvement over 2005, when it was every 25.5 seconds. Even with that improved statistic nearly 1 million vehicles are stolen each year, which costs consumers billions of dollars. The majority of vehicles are stolen primarily for parts while others are taken for a joyride, according to the NICB.

Entertainment

  • “The Magnificent Seven” outduels “Sully” at box office

    Denzel Washington makes his Western movie debut in this Wild West remake of the 1960 American film classic.  Director Antoine Faqua, who brought us “Training Day” and “The Equalizer” starring Washington, now showcases the Academy Award-winning actor as methodical gunslinger Sam Chisolm, a soft-spoken but duly sworn bounty hunter who must save a small farming town from a greedy, tyrannical killer and his men.Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke bookend a magnificent supporting cast of unsavory characters that boast gun-fighting reputations and skills found as far away as three days’ travel by horse.  One of the film’s best attributes is the recruiting trip and sales pitch that Denzel Washington must take in order to assemble his diverse band of justice warriors.  The unwritten Code of the West says that you never ask a cowboy about his past, only judge him for the man he is today.  Perhaps in no other movie genre is less character development expected or required than in Westerns.  As predictive as the gun-blazing endings to these old frontier stories are, viewers can just as easily spot the troublemakers in every saloon and along each dirt-filled main street. “The Magnificent Seven” is no exception, with twitchy fingers, long stares and whispered voices the precursors to gunfire and scattered bystanders. From one deadly dust-up to another, this suspense thriller packs steady rounds of bullets flying and wisecracks flowing.  Justice may have a number, but that sum is vastly lower than the overwhelming odds these seven must confront.  In the meantime, though, camaraderie, card games and whiskey calm the mercenaries’ nerves.Although Washington, Pratt and Hawke aren’t Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson from John Sturges’ roll-out 56 years ago (which was based on Japan’s film “The Seven Samurai” in 1954), this 2016 version is impressive on its own merit. The cinematography, while underutilized, captures New Mexico’s land of enchantment with its picturesque sheer, rocky cliffs.  Scoring the film’s music at the time of his death, “Titanic” composer James Horner brings crossed looks, showdowns and even nightly campfires alive through his talented sound mix. Despite a predictable plot, “The Magnificent Seven” rustles up a widely satisfying film for moviegoers to consume.  It singlehandedly grabs a Colt .45 Peacemaker and makes Westerns cool again.  A well-acted ensemble that looks like a United Nations peacekeeping force, is anything but.  “The Magnificent Seven” looks, feels and sounds like the Old West.  And that’s how it should be.  Giddy up.

  • Saturday Puzzles 9-24-16

  • Uncovered: “Snowden” a must-see film!

    In his latest film, controversial Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone presents a fairly balanced dramatization on the true life mass surveillance program exposed by former National Security Agency computer whiz Edward Snowden in 2013. Smartly, Stone never makes the case that Snowden’s leaks of this nation’s highest classified materials should give the whistleblower a free pass from any future criminal prosecution.  Instead, “Snowden” revolves around the single premise of whether a government should be able to collect, store and, potentially, tap into the personal information of innocent people.  Focusing solely on the nine-year period between Edward Snowden’s hire at the Central Intelligence Agency to his sudden departure from the NSA, “Snowden” superbly illustrates how personal electronic devices leave an unmistakable cyber trail for others to manipulate and potentially apply pressure points upon our daily lives.  Moviegoers will be alarmed at how shared data from phone calls, emails, text messages and even web cameras can all be exploited unknowingly to reveal a person’s social media DNA fingerprint.  Ever wonder how your Google searches or Amazon.com merchandise inquiries create those annoying, yet specific, pop-up ads on your social media applications and news feeds?  “Snowden” offers a glimpse behind the clandestine curtain to uncover a Mega-data collection program used to drag-net the globe in a post 9-11 world, where the U.S. intelligence community is determined never to be caught flat-footed again by terrorists.This red-meat film takes on the U.S. spy agencies and government contractors charged with staying one step ahead of our adversaries. To Stone’s credit, “Snowden” isn’t politicized and equally blames the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations for the loss of our citizenship’s privacy. Viewers see how secrecy is both a necessity to a nation’s continued security and an unwelcome intrusion, hell-bent on collecting on everybody in order to investigate and stop only the dangerous.  While Edward Snowden’s perspective on the need and use of mass surveillance takes top priority, the film does acknowledge that the former SIGINT geek broke classified-handling laws and knowingly revealed our country’s most sensitive collection techniques.  Less explained is the powerful Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or “FISA Court”), established in 1978 and authorized to oversee our government’s surveillance warrant requests on foreign spies operating inside the U.S.  Or how Snowden’s going public wasted a valuable intel tool and probably fast-forwarded other countries’ cyber surveillance desires.  “Snowden” is an American rights story that resonates well beyond the simplistic patriot or traitor media headline still propagated today.  It arms us with enough background on mass surveillance to ask ourselves the hard questions on personal privacy and seek answers from individuals and agencies used to operating in secrecy and outside of public view by necessity.  It would behoove all Americans to get more knowledgeable on the FISA Court and the authorities and powers it grants to so few.  And to weigh, individually, at what cost are we willing to forgo our privacy in this high-tech gadget and social media world.  

Sports

  • Ironwood Ridge enters the week as the top team in 5A

    The first girls volleyball rankings are out and Ironwood Ridge entered the week as the No. 1 team in 5A. The 8-1 Nighthawks have one of the toughest schedule strengths in the state, which has gone a long way to helping them be ranked over undefeated programs.Things will not get any easier for the Nighthawks as three teams from their region are also ranked in the top-15. Sahuaro and Cienega are ranked fourth and fifth, while Mountain View is ranked fifteenthMarana is in the 5A Sonoran region. Although they are ranked twenty eighth they are tied for first in the region with Poston Butte. The district champion receives an automatic playoff berth regardless of ranking. Canyon Del Oro is 6-2 and ranked No. 13 in 4A. They are in the difficult 4A Kino Region with Salpointe, Catalina Foothills and Nogales.  Norm Patton

  • Startup Tucson’s Idea Funding event brings business professionals together and others for the great pitch competition

    Eight local entrepreneurs will get to pitch their ideas to a panel of business investors in downtown Tucson on Oct. 27 as part of Get Started Tucson. Startup Tucson, which assists local business entrepreneurs launch ideas, will host the event, in partnership Cox Communications. “This year, we have partnered with Cox, and have brought Get Started Tucson into IdeaFunding” said Eric Smith, a commercialization network manager at Tech Launch Arizona. Idea Funding has connected business professionals the past 20 years.Get Started Tucson begins at 11:30 am, with the pitch event at 6:30 p.m. at the Tucson Electric Power, 88 E. Broadway Blvd. and the Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral, 60 S. Scott Ave. The day-long event includes lunch, a keynote, educational workshops, fireside chats and presentations, according to Smith. In order to make a pitch at the event, businesses entrepreneurs must turn in an application. “We’re looking at the business itself, the idea, the team behind it, where they came from,” Smith said. “At the event, teams get to pitch to the community, as well as a panel of investors, keeping in mind that this is an educational platform, so they’re not actually pitching for money.”

  • Big plays spark Mountain View

    It may not be one of Southern Arizona’s traditional rivalries, but few rivalries are more heated than the recent battles between Mountain View and Tucson High. Since Justin Argraves left the Mountain Lion program to become the Badger’s head man, the two teams have engaged in some terrific games. Last Friday’s tilt was another classic as Mountain View beat the Badgers 44-36, erasing a 13-point deficit. Tucson High took the opening kickoff to the house, in what would be a theme of the night as special teams play was the turning point in the game. Mountain View then drove deep into Badger territory, but the Badger defense forced a turnover on downs. On third and long Jorge Flores connected on a deep pass, and four missed tackles later the Badgers had a 50-yard gain and a first and 10 from the Mountain View 13. Three plays later they scored from five yards out and took a 13-0 lead. Mountain View would struggle for much of the game on third down, but stiffened when it mattered in the second half. Special teams play got Mountain View on the board as Sebastian Spencer fielded a Badger punt of the bounce, raced to his left, got a block from Laron Cook and raced 75-yards for the score. With some momentum on their side the Mountain Lions kicked a pooch kickoff that landed between the Badger up-men and deeper blockers and the Lions recovered the on-sides kick. They settled for a field goal, but trimmed the lead to 13-10. The teams traded touchdowns on their next two possessions. D.J. Hinton scored on a 33-yard run, but Mountain View answered as quarterback Caleb Ryden found Isaiah Lovett on a 24-yard pass. 

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