The use of Honey Bee Canyon Trail - utilized by cyclists, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts - has been a point of contention between local residents of the Honey Bee Ridge Estates and Rancho Vistoso and those who utilize the trail for several years.Those tensions came to a boiling point during the Sept. 7 Oro Valley town council session, which saw hundreds of members of the bicycling community, residents and other concerned parties pack into the town council chambers for a topic of conversation not on the council’s agenda.According to Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Director Kristy Diaz-Trahan, town plats from 1995, ’96 and an ’09 town resolution included language that the trail was “intended to be used as a non-motorized recreation trail for the use and convenience of Honey Bee Ridge Estates and Rancho Vistoso residents, their guests and invitees.”Diaz-Trahan said that documents further note that the plan was to establish an open space network preserving and linking significant natural areas in the surrounding region. She further clarified that the trail is situated on land owned by the Estates at Honey Bee Ridge and managed by the local home owners association. Access to the state trust land to which the trail leads can be accessed several miles to the north via North Oracle Road, though that route is often advised to only be used by those with four-wheel-drive vehicles – making Honey Bee a prime spot for access.While the concerns over use of the land have existed in the community for two decades, various actions restricting that use began to materialize several years ago. Diaz-Trahan said that approximately two years ago the town was approached by Sun City Oro Valley residents with concerns of vehicles driving on this trail. Her office reached out to the HOA and worked closely with the group. After several months, the HOA agreed to install a gate on the south end of the easement to prevent vehicle access but intentionally left gaps on either side so that hikers, equestrians and bicyclists could continue to access this trail.Despite attempted solutions, resident concerns – and complaints – have remained.
School pride runs in Mesa Verde Elementary School physical-education teacher Kat Schleicher’s veins.Schleicher was given the opportunity last year to teach at the same school she attended as a child. Better yet, her children are following in her academic footsteps: both her 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter attend Mesa Verde, the latter even attending the same kindergarten classroom as her mother.A Canyon Del Oro High School graduate and native Tucsonan, Schleicher attended college at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C., where she had earned a scholarship playing soccer. Schleicher earned a degree in sports medicine and exercise science and while working for a post graduate degree in exercise physiology, she realized it was time for a change.She was informed by her parents of the Teach for Tucson program at the University of Arizona and was immediately interested. “I was going to be able to teach science, which I loved in middle school,” she said. “Everyone says middle school is the worst, but it isn’t. It was some of my best years based off of my teachers and I feel like I didn’t get wrapped up in drama because my teachers were so phenomenal, caught my interest and enthusiasm and kept onto it.”
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.