Marana to hold quarterly blood drive April 14

The American Red Cross and Town of Marana are hosting a blood drive April 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555 W. Civic Center Drive.

Donating blood takes 45 to 60 minutes. Donors need not know their type in order to give.

The Red Cross supplies blood to patients at all local hospitals. Because the need for blood is constant, the Red Cross requires about 300 donors each day in Arizona.

To sign up, contact Rodney Campbell at or 382-1936.


Marana airport to host U.S. Marine memorial Service April 9

A memorial service to honor the 19 U.S. Marines who were tragically killed in an MV-22 Osprey Tilt rotor aircraft accident on April 8, 2000, is planned for 10 a.m. on April 9 at the Marana Regional Airport, site of the crash.

The ceremony will include the posting of colors by the Marine Corps, the laying of wreaths by various organizations, remarks by guest speaker Lt. Col. Chris Griffith, a rifle salute, taps, a bagpiper and a vocal by Amanda Paquette of the U.S. Marines.

The event is free and open to the public.

Watch next week's Explorer for more information.


Family-friendly rodeo debuts on April 15 in Marana

The Marana Western Heritage Committee next month is starting a series of family-friendly events at its arena.

Marana Championship Rodeo debuts April 15 at 7 p.m. at the Western Heritage Arena, located on the I-10 frontage road between Barnett and Grier roads.

The event marks the first time all the traditional rodeo events - bronc riding, calf roping, team roping, barrel racing and bull riding - will be presented together as part of the championship rodeo, said MWHC President Dan Post.

The two-hour event costs $5 for adults and is free for children younger than 12.

The Western Heritage Committee plans to hold the event the third Friday of every month.

For more information about the event or sponsorships, contact Post at 248-1736 or visit


Shabbaton to feature services, walks, Torah studies

Rabbi Bernard "Bernie" R. Kling will hold a Tucson Desert Shabbaton on April 8-9 at the Redemptorist Renewal Center, 7101 W. Picture Rocks Road, which borders the western unit of Saguaro National Park.

"Almost all Jews have tasted Shabbat. At a Shabbaton, you get to live Shabbat," says Rabbi Bernie, whose motto is "Ivdu Et-Hashem B'Simchah"- "Serve the eternal one with joy."

The Shabbaton will include Erev Shabbat, Shacharit, Minchah, and Havdalah services; Jewish chanting and contemplative walks in the Sonoran desert; Torah study and other discussions; and choice of fish or vegetarian meals.

The April 8 program will run from 4:30 to 9 p.m. The April 9 program will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 9 p.m. The cost is $75 for the entire Shabbaton, which includes one lunch and two dinners. The $25 ticket price for Friday only includes dinner, while $50 for Saturday only includes lunch and dinner.

Currently living in Boulder, Colorado, Kling received his ordination in 2010 from the Modern Rabbi program of the Rabbinical Seminary International, based in New York City. His 15-plus years of commitment to various Jewish communities include serving as vice president for religious affairs of the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley from 1998 through 2002.

He also served Boulder Congregation Nevei Kodesh in various capacities during much of his time in Colorado. He looks forward to moving to Tucson as soon as he and his wife sell their Colorado home.

For registration information, call (303) 443-5310 or email

For directions, visit


OV councilman to hold town hall in Sun City

Oro Valley Councilmember Barry Gillaspie will speak this Saturday at Sun City Vistoso's Our Town (Oro Valley) Town Hall meeting, a continuing series that provides a public forum for residents to ask questions of their local government representatives.

The meeting will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Navajo Room at the Sun City Vistoso Social Hall, 1495 E. Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

The Sun City Town Halls are free and open to the public.


Coffee Party to host panel discussion

The Coffee Party will hold a special meeting April 13 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive.

A panel consisting of two prominent Democrats and two prominent Republicans will discuss issues of value to the public, followed by a question-and-answer period.

"This evening discussion should be thought-provoking, educational, pleasant and enlightening to the public," said Coffee Party member Kathleen Pastryk.

The non-partisan Coffee Party espouses civil discourse. Its regular meetings are held from 1 to 3 p.m. every Tuesday at the Oro Valley Public Library.


Tip-A-Cop returns to Marana's Texas Roadhouse April 5

Members of the Marana Police Department are participating in Tip-A-Cop at Texas Roadhouse on April 5. The event lasts from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. and benefits Special Olympics.

Tip-A-Cop unites men and women from law enforcement to assist wait staff and collect tips from patrons to support Special Olympics. The agencies will also have vehicles on display in the parking lot and officers available to speak with members of the community.

Texas Roadhouse is at 8450 N. Cracker Barrel Road in Marana.


Public input sought for Tangerine Road Improvements

A public open house to review proposed improvements for Tangerine Road from I-10 to La Cañada Drive is set for 6-7:30 p.m. on April 7 in the Heritage Highlands Ballroom, 4949 W. Heritage Club Blvd., in Marana. A brief presentation of the $2.1 billion project will begin at 6:15.

Among the local officials expected to attend are representatives from the towns of Marana and Oro Valley, Pima County, the Regional Transportation Authority, the group overseeing the project; and the project team.

People with a disability may request an accommodation by April 4 by emailing Angie Gelsinon at or calling 885-9009.

For more information about the project, visit


Catalina Mtn. Elks contribute to Christina-Taylor Green's School

Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge No. 2815 recently donated $500 to Mesa Verde Elementary School in Oro Valley to honor the memory of Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old who lost her life during Jan. 8 mass shootings. Principal Foster Hepler said that young Christina was a natural leader and quite an athlete who loved playing in the school yard at recess time, and so the Elks felt compelled to donate funds for the purchase of new playground equipment to honor her memory. Her name will not be forgotten by the children who will continue to enjoy the playground equipment for years to come. Past Exalted Ruler Larry Megahan and Exalted Ruler Richard Esparza were present for the donation.


Pinal County to suspend issuance of open burning permits

Dry vegetation and the threat of brush fires have prompted Pinal County Air Quality to only issue three-day open burning permits starting Monday, April 4. All permits will expire by Monday, May 2, and Pinal County will suspend the issuance of open burning permits on April 29.

Additionally, Arizona law prohibits open burning in the Area A portion of north central Pinal County that includes Apache Junction, Queen Creek, Gold Canyon and San Tan Valley. In this region, state statute prohibits open burning from May 1 through Sept. 30.

This year's winter rains contributed to wildflower, brush and native plant growth, which will soon dry. The annual cycle of rising temperatures will quickly dry seasonal vegetation, leading to an acute wildfire risk in the desert and upland areas of the county.

"The suspension will continue until the summer monsoons arrive and mitigate the dual risks to public safety and public health," says Don Gabrielson, director of Pinal County's air quality program.

Additional information on the Pinal County Air Quality program can be found at or by calling 866-6929.


Mayor Honea to speak at state-of-the- town Friday

Marana Mayor Ed Honea will be the featured speaker at this Friday's annual state-of-the-town address and luncheon.

Mayor Honea plans to update the community on the town's strategic plan and economic development road map, along with many other important issues important to Marana.

The event will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, 15000 N. Secret Springs Drive. Registration for the luncheon begins at 10:30 a.m. The luncheon is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Ticket information is available at the Marana Chamber of Commerce website - - or by calling 682-4314.


AARP seeks community service award nominees

AARP is seeking nominations for its 2011 AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors those individuals who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of their community members.

The application deadline is June 3.

Last year, AARP recognized 52 outstanding individuals from around the country.

Nominees must meet the following eligibility requirements:

• Be 50 years or older.

• The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must have been performed on a volunteer basis, without pay.

• The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must reflect AARP's vision and mission.

• Couples or partners who perform service together are also eligible; however, teams are not eligible.

For more information and a nomination form, contact AARP Arizona at 866-389-5649.


AARP free tax assistance nearing end

Taxpayers with low to moderate income have until April 15 to take advantage of free tax assistance and preparation provided by the AARP Foundation through the AARP Tax-Aide program. AARP Tax-Aide, in its 43rd year, is the nation's largest free tax assistance and preparation service, giving special attention to people over age 60. People do not need to be a member of AARP or a retiree to use this service.

This year, taxpayers who file a federal tax return with a refund due to them can purchase savings bonds using all or a portion of their refund. Savings bonds can be purchased in multiples of $50, up to $5,000 and in the name of a family member, such as a child or grandchild.

Last year, more than 1,100 AARP Arizona Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 85,000 people in Arizona file their federal and state tax returns. The program is offered at locations across the state including senior centers and libraries.

For more information or to locate an AARP Tax-Aide site, call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669) or visit


Have an IronKid? Register now for upcoming triathlon

On Saturday, April 9, IronKids will hold the IronKids Oro Valley Triathlon, drawing youth ranging from 6 to 15 years of age. In 2009, Oro Valley hosted an IronKids qualifying race and the IronKids National Championship, which attracted nearly 400 participants combined.

The youth triathlon series, which aims to inspire and motivate youth through sport to lead an active, positive and healthy lifestyle, will return to the area for the 2011 season-opening race.

"We are excited that IronKids is returning to Oro Valley, specifically to James D. Kriegh Park," said Michelle Payette, director of IronKids. "We received wonderful support from the community in 2009 and can't wait for a great event in 2011."

The event, taking place at the Oro Valley Municipal Pool in the James D. Kriegh Park, will include five divisions: ages 6-8, 9-11 and 12-15, military and teams. Those in the military and teams divisions will begin the race according to the age group they fall within.

Competitors in the ages 6-8 division will swim 50 yards, bike two miles and run 500 yards. Ages 9 to 11 will swim 150 yards, bike four miles and run one mile. Ages 12 to 15 will swim 300 yards, bike eight miles and run two miles.

All finishers will receive a commemorative medal, and the top three participants in each age group will receive a trophy. The top five finishers at each of the IronKids National and Hy-Vee Midwest Series events will qualify for the Hy-Vee IronKids U.S. Championship presented by Dole.

The IronKids Expo, registration and packet pickup will take place at James D. Kriegh Park from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 8. There will be a course talk at 6 p.m., followed by a pre-race clinic, presented by Desert Endurance Multisport Coaching, at 6:45 p.m. Registration and packet pickup will re-open on race morning at 6 a.m.

To register for IronKids Oro Valley or to learn more, visit Those interested in the Teams division may contact Military division questions should be directed to


April 2 walk helps fight against lupus

The Lupus Foundation of Southern Arizona will host its 10th annual Walk the Loop for Lupus at Reid Park, 100 Country Club Road, this Saturday.

Walkers will travel around the park's 5-kilometer pedestrian path surrounding the public golf courses starting at 8:30 a.m. Check-in and day-of registration will begin at 7:15 a.m. at Ramada No. 31, just west of Hi Corbett Field.

Registration is a donation of $25 in advance ($30 at the event) and includes a free T-shirt. All donations support the local fight against Lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the body fails to distinguish foreign materials.

Festivities will include a raffle, gifts, prizes, refreshments and an inflatable jumping castle for kids. Participants can register online at or pick up a registration pamphlet at The Lupus Foundation, 4602 E. Grant Road, or at any El Charro Café location.


Coaches sought for OV Dolphins youth football, cheerleading

The Oro Valley Dolphins Youth Football and Cheer Association is currently recruiting multiple head coaches for its 2011 cheer squads and flag football teams.

The Oro Valley Dolphins Association and the Tucson Youth Football and Spirit Federation provide their coaching staff with a supportive environment. Previous coaching experience and residency in Oro Valley is preferred, but not required.

Visit to learn more about the Oro Valley Dolphins and to download a coach's application.

Individuals interested in the cheer head-coach positions may contact the cheer director at People interested in the flag football head-coach positions may contact the athletic director at


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