Tucson Local Media: Marana


Recent Headlines

  • Marana High School to host aviation fair

    Students interested in a career in aviation—or just looking for a fun afternoon—will be interested in the Marana High School Aviation Fair. The event is being hosted by the Marana High School Choir as well as the CTE Aviation Technology Program and will feature a concert from the choir, career booths, a flight simulator and aircraft on display. In addition, there will be live music, trapeze artists, visual art displays and food trucks. Admission and most of the activities are free.The Aviation Fair is from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Marana High School. This fall, the Marana Unified School District debuted the new comprehensive Aviation Technology Program, which is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors at Marana and Mountain View high schools. The air transportation curriculum includes learning about the history of the aerospace industry, aerodynamics, FAA regulations, aircraft structure and radio systems, airport management, aviation safety, weather, flight planning and human physiology.In the aircraft mechanics track, students learn about electrical maintenance and repair, how to prepare aircraft drawings, center of gravity calculations, aircraft welding, airport safety, cleaning techniques, understanding the physics of aviation and many other related topics.Among the vendors and presenters at the fair are Universal Avionics, the Marana Flight School, the Marana Aviation Foundation, the Marana Regional Airport and EAA - The Spirit of Aviation.

  • Tragedy strikes stunt pilot with Marana ties

    A longtime pilot with ties to Marana died in an airplane crash during an air show in Central Oregon.Marcus Bruce Paine, 61, perished when his Boeing Stearman biplane crashed while attempting a low-altitude loop as part of the Airshow of the Cascades on Aug. 27. The air-show veteran had successfully attempted the same maneuver the day before.Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department officials said Paine died in the crash and no one on the ground was hurt. An FAA official was on hand and the department is investigating the incident.“It is with heavy hearts that the Airshow of the Cascades announces the loss of the talented aerobatic performer, Marcus Paine, during his Saturday afternoon performance in Madras, Oregon,” a statement from the air show organizers read. “The Paine Family and the air show community appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”Paine, a native of Alaska, owned Unusual Attitudes, LL, a business based out of Marana Regional Airport. He operated the business only part of the year, when he was not participating in air shows or other ventures. Paine taught trained pilots how to fly air-show aerobatic maneuvers, with an emphasis on flying in abnormal conditions. The flight school also taught Unusual Attitude Recovery, Stall/Spin Awareness and aerobatic flight. He taught from October to May, which is the offseason for the air show circuit.

  • Marana Town council approves election results

    The Marana Town Council adopted the results of the August primary election, with Mayor Ed Honea and Council Members Dave Bowen and Roxanne Ziegler set to start their new terms at the Nov. 15 town council meeting. All three candidates received a high enough percentage of the vote that they won reelection in the primary election, so voters won’t have to decide any Marana races on the November ballot. The home-based option for the town’s expenditure limit will be on the November ballot. The council passed two measures that gave the Board of Adjustment additional duties. The first measure named the board as the appellate review body for property maintenance actions enforced by the town. According to Marana Senior Assistant Town Attorney Libby Shelton, both the town code and Arizona state statute require “an appellate review body for any property maintenance violation.”Shelton added that the move would make sense because “they are already reviewing Zoning ordinance disputes.”Shelton explained to the council that the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code required a designated board of appeals, but the town did not have one until the vote.The council also approved amending of the Town of Marana comprehensive fee schedule to eliminate a few of the town’s drainage report review fees. This was a follow-up to changes made to the fee schedule in May, where the council simplified some fees, but a few of the fees were not removed at the time as 

  • Incumbents rule the day in Marana

    Marana residents like the direction the town is going in, at least the results of the town elections would indicate that. The incumbents were the choice for Marana voters in the mayoral and town council races. Mayor Ed Honea was re-elected with over 62 percent of the vote.“I think what is happening is people are happy with what is happening in the town,” Honea said. Honea’s campaign was based around the perception that the town was doing well in a number of factors including new homes, revenues and new businesses. “I think one of the problems with somebody running against any of the incumbents in Marana is that we have great roads, great parks, great schools, our debt is paid off, we have money in the bank and we don’t have a property tax,” Honea said. His opponent, Marana Unifies School District Board Member Dan Post ran his campaign on the basis of the town needing to repair its relationship with Pima County, as well as needing to bolster relationships within the council.

  • Music and a movie returning to Marana parks Sept. 10, 17

    Whether you love music or movies, there will be plenty to do in Marana parks over the next two weekends. Marana will host their September editions of Music In Marana and Movies in Marana.On Wednesday, Sep. 10, Marana will host Drew Cooper as part of their Music in Marana series in Crossroads Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road. Cooper is an acoustic singer-songwriter who mixes a variety of American music styles citing influences as diverse as Garth Brooks and Bruce Springsteen.  “Drew is one of those rare performers who can turn anyone who attends one of his concerts into a lifelong fan,” reads the bio on his website. “Drew’s charismatic, smiling, laughing style of entertaining can turn crowds of 12 to 12,000 into enthusiastic, on-your-feet participants in a musical journey that excites and moves people of all ages and backgrounds.”Cooper likes to say that his music reflects his Midwestern upbringing with “the commitment to country values and strong family bonds.” Musically he takes influence from the artists he listened to as a kid, the Red Dirt scene he discovered in his early 20s and his current home in the Southwest. Also on Wednesday, Sept. 17 Movies in Marana returns. The Splash Pad at the Marana Heritage River Park will be the location for a showing of the animated musical penguin movie “Happy Feet.” “Happy Feet” is the story of Mumble, an Emperor penguin who was born different than the other penguins. Mumble never quite fits in, but this tap dancing penguin is forced to leave home but eventually saves the day. 

  • Mountain View’s remodeled front office mixes function and safety

    As part of their 30th anniversary celebration, Mountain View High School remodeled their front office. The remodel is not only cosmetic in nature, it also has practical purposes. Safety is a big reason that the school chose to remodel the front office. Previously visitors had to enter the front gate and entered the office which not only had multiple desks and departments, but had direct access to the administrative office. “Safety was the biggest thing,” said Mountain View Principal Todd Garelick. “If you came in our front office you were already in. You had already entered the building. It is scary in this time that we have to think about these things, but we want to have a better idea of who is coming and what purpose they are coming for.”It was possible that there could be upwards of a dozen people in the office at any one time and it was easy to bypass the office altogether and just enter the school. In this day and age where safety is a concern, the idea of having so much exposure is something the school wanted to avoid. “Now by shifting the front office the receptionist can see the whole parking lot,” Garelick said. “Now we can see things we could not see before and that gives us a whole new level of comfort.”Now the front access to the front office has been moved to outside of the gate and the gate is locked from the outside. Walking into the office there is a single gate keeper and sign in, with no other direct access to the campus. 

  • Arizona DOT officials take part in active shooter training

    No one is surprised when government agencies conduct active shooter training, but some may find it odd that agencies that have little to do with law enforcement have to consider how to handle an active shooter situation. That’s exactly what Department of Transportation leaders from across the country did last week in Marana. Arizona was the host state for the American Association of State of Highway Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) annual meeting for the sub committee on transportation safety and emergency management. Part of that meeting included active shooting training conducted at the Northwest Fire Complex in Marana. In the morning AASHTO officials were briefed by the Pima County Regional SWAT team on their “run, hide or fight” response to a shooter. In the afternoon they watched first hand as members of the Pima Regional SWAT team and Northwest Fire participated in an active shooter scenario.“It is all about preparedness and being prepared for something that you hope never happens,” said TSA Motor Manager David Cooper. While most think of the TSA and airport security, their role is far greater. TSA has responsibility for the transportation sector and according to Cooper they look at building partnerships for preparedness and how they can help communities at all different levels.In this scenario ADOT was holding a meeting regarding a controversial road project. One of those in attendance becomes upset and opens fire in the meeting. 

  • Sixth annual Salsa and Tequila Challenge brings Tucson’s foodies together

    Equipped with personal bags of chips, well over 1,000 local foodies took to the La Encantada Shopping Center on Saturday, Aug. 20 to celebrate two of the Southwest region’s most staple foodstuffs—salsa and tequila at the sixth annual Salsa and Tequila Challenge, hosted by the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.Filtering through the booths of dozens of Tucson’s most accomplished restaurateurs and culinarians, guests were treated to some of the best – and most surprising – examples of the classic culinary duo.“Welcome to the Southwest,” said SAACA Communications Director Cait Huble. “Salsa and tequila is just a fun way to bring out the culture of Tucson. Almost every restaurant offers tequila cocktail, a lot offer salsa and the fun thing about this event are the ones that don’t normally offer it in the restaurant. (They) are competing against those that do. You get to taste a lot of different varieties.”Whether indulging in tequila popsicles, habenero-peach salsa or a vaporized cocktail, the challenge was more a festival, as each participant looked to not only display gastronomic ingenuity, but show off with artistic and colorful booths.According to Huble, it’s the perfect event for any restaurant, food truck, home kitchen or any other accomplished cook or chef to reach their audience in a way much more engaging to Tucson’s eaters.“It’s not just buying a bus ad or buying a print ad anymore, you want to be able to get in front of people; the audience that will return to your restaurant,” she said. “If you come to a foodie event that is culturally driven, that’s your people. That’s the audience you want.”

  • [Update] Incumbents leading Marana races

    Marana voters are indicating they like the status quo. In both the mayoral and town council races the incumbents had leads with most of the votes counted.Mayor Ed Honea leads challenger Dan Post with 62.4 percent of the votes, 4,246-2,558. Honea will return for his 30th year on the council and 14th as mayor.“I think what is happening is people are happy with what is happening in the town,” Honea said. Post is a member of the Marana Unified School Board and ran on a platform of mending fences with the county and a slowdown of development to avoid more debt.Honea’s main campaign talking point was the success of the town and its place as the fastest growing community in the county. He countered Post’s criticism of the relationship with the county, but saying “we are dong better than they are.”The two incumbent town council members were also leading. Roxanne Ziegler led the three candidates with 3,971 votes. Dave Bowen had 3,821, while challenger John Officer received 3,050 votes. It remains to be seen if any of the candidates received enough votes to have a majority and bypass the general election in November. Candidates must appear on 50 percent plus one of the ballots to bypass the November election.

  • Fall Arts Preview

    The upcoming season offers photography, dance, fine arts and, of course, politicsPolitics are everywhere in this endless election season, and local artists and arts organizations—painters, dancers and actors—are doing their part, jumping in with timely works that offer pungent political commentary. Painter Alfred Quiroz, a UA prof whose big canvases have long aimed sharp criticism at sugar-coated versions of U.S. history, opens a major show at the University of Arizona Museum of Art right in time for the election—and for the inauguration of the presidential winner. The Presidential Series: Paintings by Alfred J. Quiroz, on view from Oct. 22 to Jan. 22, takes aim at the follies of presidents past, in large-scale, cartoon-colored paintings that veer from comic to deadly serious. www.artmuseum.arizona.edu.Two local editorial cartoonists—Rand Carlson of the Tucson Weekly and David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Daily Star—wield their stinging pens in works at the Contreras Gallery. Political painter Gary Aagaard joins the pair in a show that runs in the fraught political weeks from Oct. 1 to 29. www.contrerashousefineart.com.Even dance turns serious. Artifact Dance Project, the ambitious local contemporary troupe, has created a dance interpretation of Animal Farm, George Orwell’s ominous 1945 fable about the rise of totalitarianism. ADP stages the work to live music in the Great Hall of MOCA-Tucson, running Oct. 6 to 9. artifactdanceproject.org. See Sherilyn Forrester’s description of Nogales, a new play at Borderlands that deals with the wrenching issues of the border, a hot topic in the election. The play examines the real-life death of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a Mexican boy who died on his own turf, shot by a Border Patrol agent through the border wall. 

  • Closer look: Marana election fact check

    Over the course of four candidates forums, a lot of claims were made by those running for mayor and town council of Marana. Just like their national counterparts, there were some mistakes made by the candidates. Although the errors did not seem intentional, some of them could give the wrong impression to voters.We do our best to fact check some of the claims that have been refuted.Many of the errors have just been semantics. Maybe the best case of this was a multi-forum exchange between mayoral candidates Ed Honea and Dan Post. During the first forum the candidates were talking about Marana’s pursuit of All-America City status and how they took 23 Marana High School students with them. Post stated that the town “made the school district pay” to send the students to Colorado to “promote the town.”In fact it was the Marana Schools’ 2340 Foundation that contributed $5,000 to the All-America City competition, one of a number of organizations who contributed to the cause. Overall the cost to send the town to apply for and send their contingent to Colorado was approximately $40,000 and the town raised $8,750 from nine donors, but the bulk of the donations were from the foundation. The town footed the rest of the bill.Post stated that the money had to come from the foundation and not the district itself due to legal reasons.

  • Marana Chamber celebrates another big year with local businesses

    The Marana Chamber of Commerce celebrated another successful year with their annual membership appreciation luncheon. The luncheon, held at Heritage Highlands on Dove Mountain, cast a spotlight on the successful events of the past year and also gave a preview of what’s to come. The event used to be a business awards luncheon, but the chamber has transitioned it into the event it is today. Marana Chamber President/CEO Ed Stolmaker felt the event was better served by celebrating all the members as opposed to having winners and losers. “Today is about celebration for the Marana Chamber and the things we have accomplished over the last year,” Stolmaker said. After a catered lunch, Stolmaker took the stage to review a year that included a number of events, including the Big Green Event, the golf tournament, quarterly luncheons, monthly regional breakfast updates and plenty of grand openings and ribbon cuttings. They also previewed this year’s golf tournament and the Big Green Event in November. Attention was then turned to the past and the 123 members who have been a part of the chamber for over a decade, including eight that have been with the chamber since their first year. 

  • Council approves Gladden Farms CFD refinance

    The Marana Town Council had a relatively short agenda for their Aug. 16 meeting, but due to a large number of questions from council members, the meeting lasted over an hour. The bulk of the meeting was spent on the public hearing and subsequent questions over the possibility of the Gladden Farms Community Facilities District, of which the town council serves as board of directors, of the sale and issuance of general obligation and general obligation refunding bonds.In layman’s terms, the district would be refinancing funding, much the same way that a homeowner would refinance their mortgage. In this case the facilities district would take advantage of the current favorable market rate environment to save money for both the developer and the homeowners in the district. “Based on the current market environment, it is anticipated that some significant savings could be achieved,” said Marana Town Finance Manager Erik Montague. Marana does not have a town-wide property tax, but they do have community facilities districts which help with the cost of infrastructure in specific communities. In most cases the developer fronts the money to pay for infrastructure and other amenities and they are paid back through the sale of general obligation bonds. Residents of the community are then charged a small tax to make good on those bonds. In this case many of the bonds issued by the Gladden Farms District are paying out a rate of over 5 percent, which is high in the current market. The hope was that they would be able to call back the bonds with the higher rate, then

  • Events dot the calendar in Marana this fall

    Marana will be a busy place this fall. In addition to their two traditional signature events and regularly scheduled concerts and movies, the town will see two new events take place.  The Marana Cotton Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Marana Heritage River Park. The events are a celebration of the town’s agrarian roots and rodeo heritage.  “We’re going even bigger than last year’s Cotton Festival, with more rodeo attractions and contests, and chances for the community to engage and have fun,” said the Town of Marana Communication Manager Vickie Hathaway. Those interested in signing up for events will see sign up forms soon on MaranaEvents.com.The Cotton Festival featured a number of family attractions including food vendors, bands, a petting zoo, rodeo events and, of course, cotton. Not only was the festival adjacent to a cotton field, but a massive pile of already picked cotton was on hand for children to get a tactile experience, which generally led to them playing in the piles.“It’s about people learning about farming,” said Marana Town Manager Gilbert Davidson prior to last year’s event. “We will certainly showcase cotton and how the machinery is used to collect it. Not a lot of people probably know where all of our clothes are made from. How they come from the raw material.”

  • Regional Transit Authority has benefitted northwest communities with projects

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA). The organization has been responsible for a number of transportation projects around Pima County, with many directly or indirectly benefitting the Northwest part of town. Although the Northwest has benefitted, so has most of the area, which was the design of the project. “Providing something for everyone was essential to the success of this plan,” said Marana Mayor and RTA Board Chair Ed Honea in a promotional video. “The RTA promised to deliver and to this date we have completed over 750 projects with many more to come.”No community has benefitted more than Marana. The RTA was vital in getting the Twin Peaks Interchange built, it was their first major project, and it has sparked a lot of development in the area. Without the interchange there is no way that the Tucson Premium Outlets would have chosen Marana and the likelihood is that a competing mall project would have been built outside of town limits in Pima County. The mall has been a boon to Marnaa, not only bring jobs and better shopping options but a sales tax spike occurred after opening and that trend continues. Additionally, the mall will spark development in the area. There are already plans for a hotel, additional stores and housing. Long term plans include at least one car dealership, a second hotel and a box store, most likely a hardware store like a Home Depot or Lowes. 

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