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  • Longtime CDO instructor honored as Teacher of the Year finalist

    When students at Canyon del Oro High School are looking for a program to help prepare them for college, the professional world and the challenges they may face, many turn to Cymry DeBoucher for guidance. A long time figure with more than 15 years of experience walking the CDO halls, DeBoucher is living out a lifelong passion for teaching and the arts.“When I was in high school and even when I was very, very young, I always liked helping others learn how to do things,” DeBoucher said. “When I was in high school I was really fascinated, and still am, by art, so I decided to go into art education. … It was a general idea. I don’t think that high school kids really know what they want to do with their lives and I was probably pretty typical, but I knew that I loved art, and I knew that I loved helping people learn.”A native of Seattle, DeBoucher traveled between schools often as a child as a member of both a military and mining family. Part of that experience was living in Tucson and the warm, sunny climate left an impression. After completing high school in Cleveland, DeBoucher said she desired a return to the desert and began attending the University of Arizona. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in art education and a master’s in gifted education, DeBoucher began what is now a 32-year career at LuLu Walker Elementary. Over the next several years she would go on to teach in private and public schools in Phoenix and Sierra Vista before making her return to Tucson and the Amphitheater Public School District.DeBoucher joined CDO’s staff after having previously been a volunteer at the school, and began her journey as a Dorado handling gifted students, a role she had previously held as a REACH program instructor at both the elementary and middle school levels. One of the first tasks she carried out at CDO was to survey the gifted students and their families to find out what they saw as missing from their education experience.What she found is that college help and career planning was at the top of the list.

  • Oro Valley hosts first public Monsanto meeting

    The first of five community meetings scheduled by Pima County to provide information and receive comments on the proposed Monsanto greenhouse facility near Marana was held last week at the Oro Valley Library.All 80 seats were filled and an additional 20 to 30 people stood around the library conference room. Most in attendance were against the project, and many brandished signs throughout the meeting.Some observers were frustrated with the format of the meetings and several who spoke said they were under the impression they would be speaking directly to one or more members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, but instead were told their comments were being recorded and would be given to the supervisors. District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller was on hand for the beginning of the meeting, but did not stay for the entire session.The first part of the meeting was an opportunity for Pima County Economic Development Deputy Director Patrick Cavanaugh, who presided over the entire meeting, to brief the public on Pima County’s role in a pair of pending agreements with Monsanto, what those deals include and to dispel any rumors about the agreement. The public were able to ask questions specific to the county’s role. The second portion of the meeting was a chance for Monsanto to make a presentation, first a rough overview of the company and then more details on the exact nature of the greenhouse project. Like the session before, the public was allowed to ask questions, this time specifically about Monsanto.Monsanto Product Strategy Lead Amanda McClerren gave the presentation and stressed that the science behind Monsanto is “still strong.” She gave a number of specifics about the Pima County greenhouse project, including a short video focusing on a lot of the practices being used in the greenhouse.

  • MUSD Governing Board hears flag controversy

    The debate over the Confederate flag at Marana High School moved from the school and private land across the school, to a recent Marana Unified School District governing board meeting. People on both sides of the issue spoke during the call to the public at the meeting, representing both sides of the debate.Three people spoke in favor of the flag and were critical of the decision to ban the displaying and wearing of the flag for any purpose other than educational use in the classroom.Patricia and Benjamin Rumbo have students at the school directly affected by the decision and at the center of the controversy. Patricia Rumbo claimed students displaying the Confederate flag have been singled out and that students are allowed to display other flags, including the Mexican and Japanese Flags.“To our family, and many families in our district, the Confederate flag does not represent hate, but pride in our culture and heritage,” Patricia said. “Hate is making students feel ashamed, ashamed of their upbringing, family values. Hate is being threatened by students and teachers.”Benjamin Rumbo said that when he attended high school he wore and displayed the Confederate flag with no issues and said he and his family have no biases towards any race, religion or ethnicity.  

  • [UPDATE]OVPD seeking public’s help in locating missing 63 year-old women

    Sheryl Forte has been found safe. Thank you to everyone who helped OVPD find her.ORIGINAL STORYThe Oro Valley Police Department (OVPD) is asking for the public’s help locating a 63 year-old woman.Sheryl Forte has not been seen by her friends or family since Jan. 9, 2017. She is described as a Caucasian female, with brown hair and brown eyes, 5’08” in height and weighs 130 Lbs. with blue eyes and brown hair. The associated vehicle is a 2007 blue Lincoln town car, Arizona plate 289-HMS. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Sheryl, you are asked to call 911 or 229-4900.

  • Amphi looking for community input for new superintendent

    The Amphitheater Governing Board is working with the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) to conduct a search for a new superintendent. As part of the process, they are currently seeking staff and public input concerning the leadership qualities desired in the new leader for the district through an online survey and community forums.The online survey can be completed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Amphicommsurvey2017(The deadline for responding to the survey is 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 17.)There are two sessions for the community being held on Tuesday, January 17 at Canyon del Oro High School and Amphitheater High School.COMMUNITY FORUMSJanuary 17, 2017

  • Oro Valley distracted driving ordinance now in effect on all public roadways

    Put down all cell phones, iPods, GPS devices and any other handheld electronics while driving in Oro Valley; the town’s distracted driving ordinance took effect last Friday, Jan. 6 and the Oro Valley Police Department’s high visibility, education-driven campaign against distractions behind the wheel began on Monday. The ordinance behind the new roadway restrictions was unanimously approved by town council during the Dec. 7 regular session, marking the end of an extensive outreach effort by the town and police department, in conjunction with various constituent groups.Though officers will be on high alert for dangerous driving behavior, OVPD Lt. Curt Hicks said that “plenty of time” will be given to the community to fully understand the changes. As part of the introduction of the ordinance, Hicks said that officers will begin with “heavy education,” not by issuing citations.“The goal truly is to modify driving behavior, that’s what’s important and that’s what we’re really trying to accomplish,” Hicks said. “We’re trying to reduce accidents, and how we do that is by educating the public on why they don’t want to be doing this high-risk activity. Education really is the first step; when you get down the road and you’re giving a citation, that’s really intended for people who already know that it’s wrong, and that is the next level of trying to change the driving behavior. If we can do it through education first, that’s what really matters.”While carrying out their regular duties, officers will be looking for some of obvious signs of mobile device usage, such as drifting between lanes, delayed stopping reactions and ignoring or not following traffic signals. Though poor driving behaviors have always been an indication for officers to watch someone more closely, OVPD will now look to see if the driver is using a mobile device. If a stop is initiated, officers will be issuing drivers with an education pamphlet and warning about the violation.Enforcement and education of the new ordinance will also tie in to the department’s High Visibility Enforcement, or HiVE, program. 

  • County to hold community meetings on Monsanto greenhouse project

    Pima County has scheduled five community meetings to provide information and receive comments on the proposed Monsanto greenhouse facility just outside Marana.Monsanto, a multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation,   recently purchased 155 acres near Twin Peaks and Sanders roads for a greenhouse facility, but a vote on potential tax breaks were put on hold after critics of the company flooded a November Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting. Opponents of Monsanto are pushing the Board of Supervisors to oppose supporting a proposal that would provide a property-tax reduction and also took their opposition to the project to a public meeting with Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. Initially the postponement was designed to allow time for the county to convene the Pima County Agricultural Science Advisory Commission that, according to a press release, “will review four hours of public comments provided at the Nov. 22 meeting related to the Monsanto proposal.”County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry wrote in a memo to supervisors that he recommended the creation of the advisory commission to separate fact from fiction.“Given the far-reaching claims and controversial statements regarding Monsanto over their possible location in Pima County, it is important to address concerns that may arise both factually and scientifically,” Huckleberry wrote.

  • Councilmembers Pina and Rodman solidify their governing philosophies at statewide conference

    Two of Oro Valley’s recently elected councilmembers, Rhonda Pina and Bill Rodman, took a trip to Mesa last month to participate in the League of Arizona Cities and Towns training program for newly elected officials. The two day course, which has run for nearly two decades, offers newly elected members of local governments the opportunity to better understand the structure of municipal government and the factors involved in their legislative positions.The League of Arizona Cities and Towns is an organization comprised of voluntary members and represents the interests of cities and towns before the state legislature, among other services.The conference consisted of large seminars on a variety of topics like the council-manager form of government, budgetary processes, aspects of leadership as a governing official, public service ethics and more. All members of town’s council have attended the conference in the past, with the exception of councilmember Steve Solomon. Oro Valley provides its own orientation for newly elected officials, which all seven members of council have attended and completed.Though they reviewed and discussed information on several subjects, Rodman said that he and Pina both went into the experience with what they believed to be a strong understanding of what is required in terms both understanding and disposition to be a member of council, and were reinforced in their beliefs as a result of the trip.“I think that we went into the experience with the right notion,” Rodman said. “We thought we kind of knew what we were supposed to do so it was never like, ‘Oh my god, really?’ But over that time period I got the feeling that I did learn something, that I got a different perspective. … as it went on I would keep saying, ‘Oh, this is good.’ It wasn’t rocket science but it helped with my perspective.”According to Pina, the experience expands the base of knowledge from which an official can consider and make decisions, and by taking it from the onset of an elected term that knowledge can be vital in avoiding any issues down the road.

  • Town asks public for solution feedback

    The Town of Marana has tried to find a solution to the El Rio Preserve, otherwise known as “Lake Marana,” when the area floods to fix the issue, but also create a new amenity “that merges community recreation and nature preservation, public feedback is imperative.”To best serve the needs of the public, the town is asking residents to complete a survey to help guide the future of the El Rio Preserve. The El Rio Preserve is a 104-acre site that has served a variety of uses for many years. In the 18th century, Juan Bautista de Anza and his followers camped on this site during their journey from Southern Arizona to San Francisco. More recently, the Arizona Department of Transportation used this location as a gravel borrow pit for large infrastructure projects. Over the past several decades, disc golfers have constructed a series of targets throughout the site, and periodically, the flood waters from surrounding neighborhoods have created a seasonal lake, attracting a variety of migratory birds. The El Rio Preserve is tucked into a pocket in the upper Tucson Mountains and functions as a collecting basin for both run-off from the mountain slopes and overflow from the Santa Cruz River. This confluence of geologic features affords spectacular views of granite and gneiss intermixed with the younger volcanic rocks that produce the red hues that distinguish these peaks. To the east is a wide open flood plain of the lower Santa Cruz River, which occasionally becomes a turbulent waterway after heavy rains.ASSETS OF EL RIO PRESERVEEl Rio Preserve offers the Marana community a number of benefits which must be considered in any site plan.

  • Monsanto opponents continue to fight project

    The Pima County Board of Supervisors are set to discuss possible tax breaks for a Monsanto project near Marana next month and will begin public meetings to get feedback beginning this week. In preparation for these events, opponents of Monsanto scheduled two events of their ownlast week. On Friday night at Green Fields School they showed the film “The World According to Monsanto” and held a question and answer session with “Going Against GMO’s” author Melissa Diane Smith. According to a flier advertising the event it was designed to “give an update on the movement against Monsanto and what’s coming in the new year.”On Saturday afternoon they held a similar event, this time featuring a video about “Hawaii’s Experience with Monsanto” and another presentation by Smith, as well as a panel discussion to learn about the public meetings.The events were organized by local citizens in cooperation with GMO Free Arizona, GMO Free Baja Arizona, March Against Monsanto Tucson and Organic, Sustainable Baja Arizona. 

  • Marana cops give big to Diamond Children’s Hospital

    The Marana Police Department Volunteer Foundation presented a check for $12,377.07 to the pediatric unit at Banner University Medical Center late last month. The donation was made possible from the money that was raised during the Pride for the Patch Golf Tournament, which was more successful than the event organizers planned.In addition to the donation, first responders from agencies across Southern Arizona filled the roundabout in front of the Diamond Children’s Medical Center at Banner UMC. Emergency vehicles activated their lights and provided an overwhelming display of red and blue for the children who were able to make it down. It was a cold, wet day, so unfortunately many of the children could only watch from windows above, but the first responders took the show upstairs and visited many of the patients while also getting a tour of the hospital.  “First responders are hoping to help make this a magical and unforgettable Christmas for all the sick and injured children at Banner UMC,” said Marana Police Department Public Information Officer Chris Warren before the presentation. The show of support in the roundabout had an unexpected reaction, as several people came to the doors to make sure everything was alright, fearing the flashing lights on the cars and trucks meant something bad had 

  • Youth lacrosse tournament brings teams from across Arizona to Oro Valley

    Twelve-year-old Jake Cardinal laced up his gloves, donned his shoulder, arm and elbow pads, threw on his mesh jersey and tightened his cleats. After going through some throwing and blocking drills, running a few laps to get the blood going and reviewing some strategies with his teammates and coaches - it was time to take to the field.Though Cardinal and more than a half dozen of his teammates wore equipment reminiscent of an American football uniform, Cardinal and his compatriots carried sticks of varying lengths made of titanium, aluminum or various metal alloys, all topped with netted heads.Cardinal and his friends were just one of several groups of young athletes who took to the fields of Oro Valley’s Naranja Park for the second annual Oro Valley Lacrosse Club Holiday Classic Tournament on Saturday. Drawing teams from Ahwatukee, Chandler, Mesa and elsewhere in Tucson, the tournament was an opportunity for teams of all ages to take to the fields and get in some fun, competitive play before the season starts later this month.While Cardinal is playing his second year and filling an often pivotal role as goalie, some of his teammates on the 14-and-under and 12-and-under teams were playing outside of practice for the first time.“This is a great opportunity for them to also get some game time before the season starts,” said youth coach Don McGann. “Interestingly enough for a lot of these kids, this may be the first game that they’ve seen - it’s not like football or basketball where you’ve seen a bunch of games on TV - they’ve probably never seen a game. So part of it is to give them that experience. For these kids, and some of them are brand new, to get out there and play because we practice and we practice and do drills, but it’s really not the same when you get into a game.”McGann’s teams were paired off against organizations from Tucson, Chandler and Mesa. Though there was a score being kept, McGann said that winners and losers were entirely secondary to the experience from which many of the youth athletes could learn.

  • Noble Hops’ monthly Yappy Hour benefits local animal charities

    Every first Monday of the month is for the dogs at Oro Valley’s very own gastropub, Noble Hops, when the restaurant opens its pet-friendly patio to the canine community for Yappy Hour, a community event held in partnership with the Ina Road Animal Hospital.Representatives from the animal hospital meet other animal lovers, dog enthusiasts and pet owners to discuss their furry friends, answer questions and raise awareness for the many animal-related nonprofits operating in Tucson. During Yappy Hour 10 percent of all proceeds are donated to a local charity. “It’s so easy to raise money by literally just coming down and having something to eat and drink,” said associate veterinarian Liane Devey. “It gets everybody together, we get to spend some time outside of the office when animals aren’t sick and we get to talk to people and build relationships with our community. It’s great to have the community involvement and to tell people about all of the different charities that are out there.”Devey said that since July, Yappy Hour has not only been a great way to share information, but also opened her eyes to the various regional nonprofit organizations which can benefit from the raised funds. Yappy Hour’s most recent beneficiary was Gabriel’s Angels, which works with volunteers to provide a healing experience for at-risk, abused or neglected children through the use of therapy dogs. The organization offers its service to institutions like Casa de los Niños, Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and La Frontera, among others.Gabriel’s Angels provides all of the training, equipment and insurance necessary for a volunteer to certify their dog for therapy work, and Southern Arizona Development and Program Manager Jackie Theodorakis said that community events provide a great measure of support in allowing the nonprofit to continue its often life-changing mission. 

  • Cadden Community Management celebrates 30 years of growth and success in the Tucson region

    For some last Saturday, Jan. 7 passed like any other, but for the dozens of individuals who work for Cadden Community Management (CCM), that day marked an impressive milestone as the company celebrated its 30th year in business.Originally named Cadden Parfrey Services after current president and CEO F. Michael Cadden – a Navy veteran – and founding partner Scott Parfrey, the business got its current name after Cadden bought out his partner after the turn of the century. Originally managing just two homeowners associations in the Tucson region back in 1987, CCM now manages more than 220 associations across Tucson, Green Valley and Sierra Vista – which represent more than 40,000 individual lots.At the frontline of the decades-long service to the Tucson community are the company’s portfolio managers, who in simple terms work with homeowners associations to make sure rules and policies are followed by residents, collect and handle association-related financials for each household and make sure all other functions are carried out.“Our perception is that we protect the value of the homes in the neighborhood,” Cadden said. “We provide a service to the home owners association and the people living there by protecting their investments. … It is an interesting business in that you need to know something about a lot of things, but you don’t really need to be an expert in anything.”Maintaining files and records, assisting is the budgetary process, facilitating research, performing office work, coordinating contract work and handling invoices are just some of the various tasks a manager may perform for an association, and each is a vital if a community is to find success.While CCM expends a majority of its efforts working with home owners associations, that was not always the case over the company’s long history. In the early days, Cadden said that much of business was comprised of working with the development community; handling budgets and other development paperwork for the state department of real estate.  Over time, and especially as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, the company moved more towards handling homeowners associations as developers left the region.

  • U.S. Rep. O’Halleran talks ethics reform, Obamacare repeal and Medicare’s future

    Congressman Tom O’Halleran won the Congressional District 1 seat in last November’s election. The freshman Democrat represents the Oro Valley and Marana areas, as well as much of eastern and northern rural Arizona, including the Flagstaff area. He talked last week on the radio show Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel about ethics reform, the Affordable Care Act and other topics. This is a condensed and edited transcript of that interview. You can hear the complete interview at www.zonapolitics.com You made ethics reform a central plank in your campaign last year. It appeared you were taken aback last week when Republican lawmakers voted to gut the powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics before reversing course. It seems there’s still a lot of unhappiness with the office, at least among Republicans, and there’s a lot of talk that they will move forward with new limits on the ethics office later this year. What’s your sense of what’s going on here? I don’t know what got into them, to be able to think that the American public was just going to sit back and watch something like that occur. The office came out of time in 2008 when we actually had three congressman go to jail because of things that that were going on here. I did run on an ethics program and part of that was to strengthen the Office of Congressional Ethics. So one on the planks—which I will have a bill on—was to actually allow that office to have more power than it does now and be able to subpoena records so that they can do complete and full investigations, which right now it’s very hard for them to accomplish. 

  • Stories to watch for 2017

    These are the stories to watch around Marana in 2017.MonsantoMonstanto’s plans to put a greenhouse and research facility on recently purchased land just outside of the Marana town limits has already caused a lot of ire. The agricultural firm, controversial for its genetic engineering of seeds and its business practices, is seeking to lower its tax rate by establishing a foreign trade zone. As part of the deal, Monsanto negotiated with Marana Unified School District to make up for some lost revenues. The $500,000 deal made a lot of financial sense to the school district but has drawn the ire of some parents and anti-GMO activists. Several area farmers have said that they already use Monsanto seeds and that the genetically modified product has drastically reduced the use of pesticides in the area and has made the crop yield increase.The Pima County Board of Supervisors will hear more about the proposed foreign trade zone, as well as studies on the environmental impact of the facility, at a February meeting. Ultimately, though, the Board of Supervisors will only make a recommendation regarding the the establishment of a foreign trade zone; the federal government actually grants the designation.

  • Marana Road Projects on the horizon

    No project will have a bigger impact on Marana than the Ina Road Traffic Interchange Project. The project will build an overpass over I-10 and the Union Pacific Railroad and widen I-10, similar to recent projects at Prince Road and Miracle Mile. The project will shut down the Ina on and off ramps for nearly two years beginning Feb. 15.Having Ina go over the freeway and the railroad tracks is a key part of the project to help alleviate traffic congestion in an area where trains often block traffic.Other parts of the project include the widening of I-10 to to accommodate four lanes, although the traffic will be kept to three lanes until similar projects are completed in the future. The town of Marana is also piggybacking a second project in the area with improvements to Ina Road west of the freeway to Silverbell. The biggest portion of this project will be rebuilding the bridge over the Santa Cruz and widening Ina to two lanes in each direction between the freeway and Silverbell.The Tangerine Road Improvement Project also continues in 2017. The project, a partnership between Marana, Oro Valley, Pima County and the Regional Transportation Authority, will make improvements to Tangerine Road from Dove Mountain/Twin Peaks to La Cañada Drive.The project will widen the roadway to four lanes, provide pedestrian and bicycle facilities and install turn lanes, signals and wildlife crossings. There are several goals for the project; the biggest is to make the trek from Oracle to I-10 on Tangerine go much quicker, avoiding traffic delays.In addition to widening the road to four lanes, the project will flatten the road, removing the dips and giving it all weather access.

  • Why southern Arizona needs the January 8th memorial

    January 8, 2011, is a day that most Arizonans will never forget. The day that a senseless tragedy took six lives and injured 13 other individuals at a Congress on Your Corner Event led by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. We lost so much that day, but also saw how our community rallied together. People who had never met before suddenly had an unexplainable connection. Everyone wanted to help and everyone needed their neighbors, families and friends to start the healing process. That spirit was inspiring to all.The concept of Tucson’s January 8th Memorial has gone from being a dream of some of the early supporters to being a reality now. The foundation that started with three board members has blossomed to 23. Congresswoman Giffords and Mr. Jim Click are the honorary co-chairs of the campaign.The memorial will be built in El Presidio Park in the heart of downtown Tucson. It is a partnership between Tucson’s January 8th Memorial Foundation, Pima County and the city of Tucson. This is truly a heartfelt partnership and we are all striving for the same goal for our community.In September, 33 members of Congress wrote a letter to President Obama asking for support for the memorial. The following week, Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain wrote to the Department of Interior asking for assistance for the memorial as well as a National Memorial designation. Legislation currently is being written and we expect to hear great things from Washington, D.C., in the very near future.The foundation has obtained approval from Pima County for several naming opportunities to raise funds to build the memorial, ranging from $100 to $1,000,000. The first naming opportunity was sponsored by Tucson Medical Center, which graciously is donating $500,000 to lead this effort. There will be no naming opportunities in the memorial itself—sacred ground—but there are opportunities in the immediate area to show continued support from the community. For example, lanterns will light the pathways to represent the glow when people came together holding candles and light to support the survivors and victims during the tragedy. Outside the memorial, there will be six gardens, one for each victim. The gardens will be themed for each life lost. Nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green loved butterflies, one of her last drawings. Christina’s will be a butterfly garden to represent this passion.

  • Mayor Hiremath lays out Oro Valley’s 2017 plans

    The Explorer recently sat down with Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath to discuss his and the town’s plans and some possible changes to expect with the coming of the new year, as well as what he sees as key factors to finding success in 2017. Before delving into his goals for the rest of the year, Hiremath took a moment to set the scene with what he believed to be Oro Valley’s crowning achievement last year: the passage of the new general plan by the town’s residents.“The most notable highlight of 2016 was voter ratification of Your Voice, Our Future, the town’s general plan update,” he said. “This plan is the community-developed product of a three-year effort and reflects the values and goals of Oro Valley and its stakeholders. As such, this plan will be the springboard for some of 2017’s big projects, such the new Strategic Plan, financial year 17-18 budget and department work plans; all of these documents will be in alignment and guided by the general plan.”Some of the big developments Hiremath said would have a more noticeable impact on everyday life within the town included roadway improvements set to begin on East Tangerine Road, West Lambert Lane and North La Cholla Boulevard. While drivers will need to take caution while traveling on those roadways, Hiremath mentioned that all drivers within the town must also take heed to the distracted driving ordinance passed by town council at the end of the year restricting the use of all electronic devices to “hands-free” mode while driving. To make driver’s more aware of the changes, Hiremath said that the Oro Valley Police Department, alongside the town’s outreach efforts, will be conducting an education-focused campaign in order to make the town’s roadways even safer. Another upcoming concept for which Hiremath said the community should look is the Main Streets project, which is looking to create a communal space for dining and shopping and a town center. The community’s first chance to hear about and provide feedback to the concept will be at the “Walk the Block” event on Saturday, Jan. 21, starting at 4 p.m. at the intersection of West Lambert Lane and North La Canada Drive. Hiremath said that more updates will be made available through the “MainStreetsOV” Facebook page.

  • Trends and sales: Northwest real estate news

    StatisticsThe median price in November of homes sold in the Northwest was $230,000, up 4% from 2015. For the Dove Mountain area the median price was $287,500, down 26% from a year ago. In Oro Valley the median price was $270,000 in November 2016, a decrease of 4% from 2015. In the Foothills the median price was $333.000 a decrease of 5% year-to-date. Current price ranges in all areas offer a seller’s market because of low inventory for buyers. SellingAccording to (NAR) National Association of Realtors, the inventory of homes tends to dramatically increase in the first five months of the year. Listing your home now before spring may make sense for a faster sale. Also winter visitors are here and may be motivated to finally buy rather than rent as they see the low inventory and realize they may be in a better position to negotiate. 

  • January brings music to Marana mall

    The Tucson Premium Outlets mall in Marana has partnered with the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance to bring live music to the mall every Saturday night from 5-8 p.m.The Tucson Premium Outlets Concert Series supports local musicians with the opportunity to perform weekly in the community’s largest and only outlet shopping center.  The series strives to schedule a wide range in music genres, from country to rock and jazz to classical.On Saturday, Jan. 7, the classic rock duo of Heart & Soul performs. Gary Roberts and EJ Loveres perform a wide range of music ranging from current/top-40 music to funky soulful contemporary music to blues, rock and more. According to their bio, “they play songs that are timeless and that many of you know by Heart and Soul.”Loveres plays acoustic guitar and has a voice that has been compared to Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson. Roberts plays both electric bass or electric guitar and lays down the rhythm, nailing the groove to the ground, and adds his own lead vocals and harmonies. Gary, a studied music scholar from his college days, brings a wealth of musical versatility to the performance.Good Question bring a mix of rock and country to the stage on Jan. 14. This classic rock, R&B and country music cover band has a wide range of styles for all kinds of musical preferences. You’ll hear your favorites, whether it’s George Strait, the Rascals, Jimmy Buffet, the Allman Brothers, Robert Palmer, Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sam & Dave or others. The band’s versatility and variety of songs allows for custom shows unique to the audience.No stranger to Marana, Greg Spivey performs on Jan. 21. Spivey 

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