Pima County to open Veteran’s workforce center

Pima County One-Stop Career Center is preparing to open the nation’s first workforce center aimed at helping military veterans find jobs and get training, benefits and support services.

The center will also help employers hire veterans. The Kino Veterans’ Workforce Center opened Monday, July 16, at 2801 E. Ajo Way, next door to the Kino Service Center at 2979 E. Ajo Way.

A grand opening is planned for a later date.

The Veterans Center will be a partnership of the Pima County One-Stop Career Center with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veteran’s Affairs, the Arizona Departments of Veteran’s Services and Economic Security, Pima Community College, Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, the Pima County Health Department, and Old Pueblo Community Services.

To improve the quality of service to veterans, reduce unnecessary duplication and maximize available resources, the partners will coordinate to offer services and streamlined resource referrals under one roof, and to share leadership, costs, information and data.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate for Iraq- and Afghanistan- era veterans jumped to 12.7 percent in May, up from 9.2 percent the previous month. The national unemployment rate for May was 8.2 percent.

In addition to employment assistance, returning veterans also often need housing, health care and other support services.

For more information, call 243-6700.


ICS hosts 4th annual host hunger drive

In June 2012 Interfaith Community Services provided emergency food boxes and supplemental food items to 1,702 households—a record for ICS. 

The ability to serve so many families in need was made possible in part through ICS’s fourth annual community-wide Freedom From Hunger food drive; the drive concluded on July 5 with a grand total of 11,017 pounds of food donated to the ICS Food Bank. 

Tucson-area Commerce Bank locations, Rising Star Baptist Church, Tucson Botanical Gardens, and many Pima County Public Library branches served as public collection sites for the drive. In addition, numerous businesses, organizations, and faith communities gathered food and funds for the drive. 

“The success of this year’s drive was a true community effort,” said Deborah Carr, ICS Development Director. “So many caring people and organizations stepped up to help ICS meet the needs of hungry families in our community.” 

The ICS Food Bank will distribute food collected during the Freedom From Hunger drive to individuals and families in need throughout Pima County. Since opening in late fall 2011, the expanded ICS Food Bank has been serving a record number of clients facing food hardship.

Even though “Freedom From Hunger” is over, food donations are still needed. 

Carr noted that food donations drop during the summer when seasonal residents leave the area, yet the need rises when children are out of school and do not have access to free lunch programs.

The most needed items are pasta and spaghetti sauce, chili and other canned meals, cereal, peanut butter, and canned fruits. 

The ICS Food Bank at Ina Road also accepts fresh food during operating hours. 

ICS invites businesses and organizations to host a food drive for our neighbors in needs. Call Curt Balko, ICS Food Bank Coordinator at 297-2738 ext. 231 to make arrangements or for more information. 

As a pantry partner, ICS receives monthly food boxes from the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona; however, a monthly food box lasts only a few days. ICS allows clients to select additional pantry staples and fresh food items obtained through donations and community food drives to help stretch food resources.


OV Chamber seeks nominees

Nominations are needed by Friday, July 20 for the 2012 Pinnacle Awards, given each year by the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce to recognize business achievement and community contribution.

Awards for the Small, Midsize and Large Business of the Year, as well as the Legacy, Community Leader and Non-profit awards, are being presented by the chamber at its annual meeting and awards breakfast Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador.

Greg Byrne, University of Arizona director of athletics, is this year’s guest speaker.

“We’ve simplified the nomination form to one page, and ask people to write a paragraph about a person or business they’d like to see recognized,” said Dave Perry, chamber president and chief executive officer.

In addition to the business achievement awards, the Legacy Award recognizes individuals who have made long-term contributions to community well-being in Greater Oro Valley. Outstanding community service organizations are eligible for the Non-Profit Award. “The Community Leader Award speaks for itself,” Perry said.

Last year, the Chamber recognized Ventana Medical Systems, Large Business of the Year; The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, Midsize Business of the Year; M&I Oro Valley, Small Business of the Year; the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, Non-Profit of the Year; Gregg Forszt, Community Leader of the Year; and Al and Marilyn Cook, Legacy Award recipients.

Forms are available at www.orovalleychamber.com, or at the chamber office.

This year’s annual meeting also features a member discount fair. Chamber members who offer discounted goods and services to other members get a table for display when they buy two tickets to the event.

  Breakfast is priced at $30 per person. Registration is available at the chamber office, 7435 N. Oracle, Suite 107; by calling 297-2191, by e-mailing Alex@orovalleychamber.com, by faxing 742-7960, or through the chamber’s eventbrite registration feature.


OV Parks offer movie series

Oro Valley Parks and Recreation is presenting the outdoor movie series at James D. Kriegh Park, 23 W. Calle Concordia. 

Movies begin at 7 p.m. Please bring blankets or lawn chairs to sit on. Snacks and beverages will be available for sale.

Film schedule:

Saturday, July 21 – The Muppets

Saturday, Aug. 25 – Kung Fu Panda 2

Saturday, September 15 – TBD

For more information, visit us online at www.orovalleyaz.gov or call 229-5050.


Handi-Dogs selects new CEO

Oro Valley resident JoAnn Turnbull has been selected as the new President & CEO of Handi-Dogs, effective July 1, 2012.  Ms. Turnbull has extensive senior management experience in both for-profit and non-profit work. After earning a Masters Degree in Non-Profit Leadership, she most recently held a senior leadership position with Pet Partners (formerly known as Delta Society), an international non-profit focused on how animals improve people’s health and well-being.  

“We are delighted to be getting someone with the passion and experience that JoAnn brings with her,” says Board Chairperson Chris Pendleton.  “This special organization needs a special leader, and the Board is convinced that JoAnn is the one.”

Handi-Dogs has been serving the Greater Tucson community since 1973.  Handi-Dogs’ mission is to help seniors and people with disabilities of all ages gain independence and self-esteem by helping them train their own dogs to become service, therapy, or well-mannered companion dogs.

Turnbull said, “Handi-Dogs is a wonderful fit for me given my background, passion, and skillset.  I am delighted to work with the devoted staff, volunteers and board that support this important mission.  My first priority is to increase awareness of how Handi-Dogs transforms lives and encourage more people to become engaged with us as clients, volunteers and/or donors.”

To learn more about Handi-Dogs, call 326-3412 or visit the website www.Handi-Dogs.org.

RITZ-CARLTON, DOVE MOUNTAIN ranked as top resort 

“Travel Leisure” Magazine has announced its 2012 World’s Best hotels and resorts, and Arizona’s Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has been named to the prestigious list for the first time. 

 The Travel Leisure World’s Best list is derived based on thousands of reader votes, with hotels and resorts graded on rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food, and value. The accolade comes on the heels of another key recognition, as The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dove Mountain was ranked last month as the #3 resort spa in North America by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. The resort recently debuted on the Condé Nast Traveler 2012 Gold List and was also featured in its most recent Readers’ Choice Awards.

 Liam Doyle, general manager for The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, said, “This Travel Leisure accolade is treasured by the ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. We are honored to be included on this important list, and the award inspires us to provide even more memorable services and experiences for our guests. We look forward to continuing to raise the bar as we provide the Southwest’s finest, most authentic travel experience as well as our property’s truly breathtaking sense of place.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is currently allowing guests to experience its world-class service with the popular Summer Returns package, providing luxury accommodations and a $50 resort spending fee, and priced from $199 per night. The similar Summer Fun package begins at $229 per night and includes a $100 resort spending credit, with the included nightly credits for both packages able to be used for dining, spa, adventure, children’s programs or recreation activities throughout the resort. For guests seeking a room-only summer experience, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain presents May-to-September 2012 rates starting at $159 per night on Monday-through-Wednesday evenings, and at $189 per night on Thursday-through-Sunday evenings. Summer’s high-desert temperatures at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain can average 10 degrees cooler than at many other Arizona locations. 


Further benefits for summer guests include a waiver of Resort Activity Package fees for stays which take place between now and September 9, 2012.  This means that guests staying at the property over these preferred dates will enjoy the following at no added charge: In-room Internet access; computer and printing services at the Business Center; shuttle service to the Golf Clubhouse and to Cayton’s Restaurant; 24-hour access to the Fitness Center and the Movement Studio; daily group fitness classes in the Movement Studio; in-room coffee and in-room eco-friendly Ritz-Carlton bottled water; daily morning newspaper; use of tennis court and tennis balls; access to the golf driving range and putting green, including club rental; use of mountain bikes; and daily recreation activities which can include guided morning hikes, family board games, bocce ball, badminton and more. Resort parking charges have not been waived for summer stays.


The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is located between Phoenix/Scottsdale and Tucson and is accessible from the international airports serving both of those cities. Reservations for the Summer Returns and Summer Fun packages as well as for special room-only summer rates may be made by dialing 1-800-241-3333, by visiting www.ritzcarlton.com, or through a travel professional.


Ventana to host Employee Art Exhibit July 19

The connection between artistic creation and scientific innovation can be experienced this summer as 30 Ventana Medical System, Inc. employees showcase their works at an inspirational gallery exhibition.   

Through a progressive partnership with Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA), the arts have been part of the daily work experience for the 1,300 employees who work at Ventana through quarterly gallery exhibits from local to world-renowned artists.

“As innovators, our role is to push the envelope on novel and creative ways to diagnose cancer,” said Ventana Customer Experience Manager Cathy Gawronski. “The Annual Employee Exhibition provides our employees the opportunity to share their personal creative expressions in two- and three-dimensional works.” 

The Opening Reception is set for Thursday, July 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The public is invited to view the exhibit during the opening reception, where Ventana’s employee artists will present their own works of photography, origami, writings, watercolor, acrylic, jewelry, clay, stained glass, mixed media and more.

 The artworks will be showcased and sold at the Ventana Gallery, 1910 E. Innovation Park Dr., and the public is welcome to browse or buy during the length of the exhibit, continuing through Friday, Sept. 28. 

To schedule an appointment, visitors should call SAACA at 797-3959. Advance notice of 48 hours is required.


Oro Valley Police Academy

The Oro Valley Citizen Police Academy is a 36-hour block of instruction designed to give the public knowledge of the OVPD. It consists of 12 classes, taught by sworn police personnel and civilian staff, who work in the different divisions. 

The instruction is comprehensive and each week a different area of the department is covered, including many activities.

The academy allows students to experience a ride-along, see a SWAT demo, watch the K-9 in action, hear about criminal investigations, meet Oro Valley officers and understand their work.

The goal is to provide the citizens enough information to dispel suspicions and misconceptions and to increase rapport through an educational process. The citizens, in turn, enable the officers and civilian staff to learn of their feelings and concerns. 

A new round of classes being on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and will last through Nov. 20. Classes are between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Oro Valley Police Tangerine Substation, located at 1920 E. Tangerine Road.

There is limited seating available. Sign up today by calling Jodi Stevens at 229-2900.


Realtors to host citywide school supplies drive

The Tucson Association of REALTORS (TAR), in partnership with News 4 Tucson’s Kristi’s Kids, kicked off their sixth annual Stuff the Bus School Supplies Drive on July 1. The drive will benefit all eight of Tucson’s school districts. 

During the month of July through August 1, the community can bring its donations to its neighborhood Walgreens store. The Association will also host “Donation Saturdays” where donations can be dropped off at designated Walgreens locations from noon to 3 p.m. For a list of the locations, please visit www.tucsonrealtors.org/supplies.html

“The School Supplies Drive continues to grow each year, helping to provide much needed supplies to our local school districts,” said Philip Tedesco, RCE, CAE, chief executive officer for the Tucson Association of REALTORS. 

The Association is encouraging local businesses to get involved by collecting school supplies. They can bring their donations to TAR (2445 N. Tucson Blvd.) on Aug. 2 between noon. and 4 p.m. or on August 3 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

For more information about the School Supplies Drive visit www.tucsonrealtors.org/supplies.html <<a href="http://www.tucsonrealtors.org/bus.html">http://www.tucsonrealtors.org/bus.html&gt; or contact Laura Kruszewski at 520-382-8775 or laura@tucsonrealtors.org.

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