Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Pima Pinal

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  • Mountain Vista and Golder Ranch Fire Districts exploring consolidation

    The Golder Ranch and Mountain Vista Fire Districts have begun the process of working through a consolidation after both fire district boards met and unanimously voted to explore the process.“Our organizations have been working collaboratively for over a year in the areas of fleet services, technical support, training and fire prevention,” said Mountain Vista Fire Chief Cheryl Horvath. “Additionally, the districts are now responding under an automatic aid agreement which allows the closest most appropriate resources to respond to an emergency call, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries.”Golder Ranch Fire Chief Randy Karrer said both departments “are committed to providing information to our communities and allowing an informed dialogue to take place.”“We are hopeful that as we move through this dynamic and time-sensitive process, we will be successful in reaching each important commitment outlined in statute,” said Karrer.The public is encouraged to attend public meetings in order to learn more about this process. The following meetings are open to the public:• Thursday, June 8, at 6 p.m.; Mountain Vista Fire District administrative office, 1175 W. Magee Road.

  • Marana council approves controversial rezoning

    Despite vocal opposition, the Marana Town Council approved the rezoning of a 103.2 acre portion the Lazy K Bar Ranch property, opening the way for up to 178 new homes.The council approved the plan 4-2, with some caveats, including added protection of open space to ensure that no further development is done on the property. Council members Carol McGorray and Patti Comerford voted against the plan. Council member Herb Kai was not present.“Four times the original rooftops is not a minor amendment,” said Comerford, who was on vacation in Hawaii and had to participate via a conference call. “It does not fit the general plan. It is not compatible."The council’s decision changes the zoning from RR (Resort and Recreation) to a specific plan. The old zoning would have meant developers could only have one home for every 3.3 acres (about 42 homes) or a small 600-unit hotel. The new zoning allows for 1.3 homes per acre. The plan is to have lot sizes between 6,000 to 11,200 square feet and to build homes that will sell for $400,000 to $600,000.The meeting was rowdy. Several members of the public spoke out; one quoted the rock band the Eagles, one sang and another spoke with his infant son strapped to his chest in a baby carrier. A pocket of proponents of the plan sat in the front of the council chambers, while opponents were spread out around the room. Both sides vocally cheered points they liked during the call to the public portion of the meeting.There were 50 speakers, with 41 speaking in opposition to the plan, though two of those were members of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Preservation who did not support the plan as it was presented,  but were willing to support it if some conditions were added.

  • Learn about the Naranja Park proposal

    This November, Oro Valley voters will decide whether to approve $17 million in general obligation bonds to fund the multi-sport fields, base-ball diamonds, a playground and other improvements at Naranja Park, 810 W. Naranja Drive. The bonds would be repaid through a secondary property tax, which sunsets after 20 years.To provide more information on the proposal, the Town of Oro Valley has created the Naranja Park Bond web page. The easiest way to click here.The Naranja Park Bond Project web page provides a regularly updated list of press releases, articles, maps, cost details, project overview and other information.Voters who prefer a brief overview can download or print the single-page project sheet, which has a map on one side and project details on the other. Hard copies of the project sheet will be available at Town Hall and at the Oro Valley Community Center by the end of May.Since the Town of Oro Valley cannot advocate for or against a bond election, this information is being made available for public education purposes only. If you have any questions about the Naranja Park Bond, please send an inquiry through Ask Oro Valley, the online constituent services portal, or via email at ask@orovalleyaz.gov.Editors Note: This news item was originally released by the Town of Oro Valley and edited for formatting and readability by Tucson Local Media staff.

  • Council gives direction for new roadway

    Project to create four-lane parallel roadway east of 1-10The Marana Town Council held a study session last week to hear three proposals for the extension of Adonis Road to Tangerine Road. None of the proposals were selected, but the council did give town staff direction on what they wanted to see from the project.As per the Town of Marana’s General Plan, town staff has been working for some time to create a four-lane parallel roadway east of 1-10. One of the main reasons for the project is to give secondary access to some of the area’s current and planned developments, including San Lucas. Portions of what will come exists today as Adonis, Postvale and Grier roads, all of which are currently two-lane roadways. Eventually, the three will become one and be given a single name that does not benefit any one major development. Currently the town is using Adonis Road as the working name for the project.Complicating the project is the decision in 2007 to relocate the Tangerine Interchange to accommodate some of the planned development in the area. Most of that development was either stalled or scrapped after the recession of 2008 and in 2015 the town formally voted to keep the interchange in its current location. While this was good news for some developers in the area, others bought land or changed development plans because of the new interchange and were displeased when the town decided to keep the original placement.  The first option presented to the council was proposed by developers of the Mandarina project, who are negatively affected by keeping the interchange where it is. They currently have a lawsuit pending against the town over the decision not to move the placement. Their proposal would have a roundabout on Tangerine that leads onto Adonis, and the road would briefly cut through the middle of their property before running parallel to the Union Pacific Rail Road near I-10. 

  • New assisted living and memory care breaks ground in Oro Valley

    Executives from Living Care Lifestyles were joined by Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath and representatives of town government, the local chamber of commerce and development and design partners last week to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new assisted living and memory care community in Oro Valley.Quail Park at Oro Valley, set on a 3-acre site at 9005 N. Oracle Rd., will have 101 studio, one- and two-bedroom units – with capacity for 110 residents. The community is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018.“This new community will provide outstanding living and health services for residents and offer peace of mind to their families,” said Denis Bryant, CEO and president of Living Care Lifestyles.The 79,000-square-foot community’s design, featuring a flat roof, stucco and brick with intricate parapets, reflects the historical territorial architecture in Oro Valley. The two-story community will have an “H”-plan configuration with central common areas tailored to assisted living and memory care residents.  Amenities will include a bistro, dining room and private dining options; a “4-seasons” room; a salon; a living room; a theater and chapel; an activity room; and a library and TV room.

  • Marana cops to don anniversary badges

    As part of its 40th anniversary celebration of Marana’s founding, the Marana Police Department will be wearing special badges that are replicas of the town’s original 1977 badge. when the town was first formed, the police department was called the Marana Marshal’s Office and the badge was a seven-point star, said MPD Public Information Officer Chris Warren. At the time, the police chief was called the Marshal, and officers were dubbed Deputy Marshals.“The 40th Anniversary badge was designed to celebrate the town’s 40th anniversary as well as pay respect to the original Town Marshals,” Warren said. Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema has granted permission for officers to wear either the current badge or the 40th anniversary badge for the remainder of the year.  Having the badges made was not an easy process. The town did not actually have any of those first badges in its possession, so Warren got to work to piece together the design. “I actually researched the original badge by meeting with several of our original officers and taking pictures of their old badges,” Warren said.

  • Biz owners hanging on through Ina Road, I-10 construction

    Now that Ina Road has been shut down at Interstate 10 for several months, Marana town officials and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce took a stroll to businesses in the area to see how the project has affected them.The reaction was mixed: Some businesses, particularly restaurants and hotels, are seeing an expected drop in business, while other businesses—such as contractors—say there’s no real difference and a few even say business is up.The business walk was a follow-up to a similar survey done before the massive road project, which will allow drivers on West Ina Road to pass over both the railroad tracks and the freeway. On the first business walk, the team listened to concerns and tried to let business owners know about the services that were available via the town, chamber and Arizona Department of Transportation.Marana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ed Stolmaker called the feedback “very positive.” “People wanted to talk and share their experiences, which was a big help,” he said.The volunteers on the business walk asked a standard set of questions and that data is being crunched, but there were a few obvious takeaways.

  • Marana parks and rec offers programs for all ages

    The Marana Parks and Recreation Department is hoping they have a program for you this summer. They have programs for teens, adults and retirees. Whether your interests lie in art, fitness or sports, they have something to offer you.  FitnessMarana Parks and Recreation wants to make fitness fun. They are offering a wide variety of classes to appeal to different interests. Want to dance? Then Zumba with Janet may be the class for you. The class mixes low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning, dance fitness party. The Barre Above workout mixes Pilates, yoga, and aerobics into what Parks and Rec describes as “dancer’s strengthening exercises.”

  • Splendido Residents Demonstrate How to “Age Out Loud”

    Each May, the United States celebrates Older Americans Month, with each year featuring a unique theme. For 2017, older adults are encouraged to “Age Out Loud.” This theme highlights the fact that this population is choosing adventure and exploration over the rocking chair.The act of Aging Out Loud occurs regularly within Splendido, an all-inclusive community for those 55 and better in Tucson. There, residents pursue new interests and lifelong hobbies—enjoying a range of on-site programs including education opportunities and fitness classes. They also follow interests outside Splendido, whether they are signing up for the Tour de Tucson or diving into volunteer work. Here are three profiles of Splendido residents who are Aging Out Loud: Traveling the WorldElaine MacDonald, 77, has lived at Splendido for seven years, and jokes that she has become a seasoned traveler since moving there. “We had three kids, and I worked hard… but now I travel,” she says. She took a six-day rafting trip down the Colorado River with another Splendido resident, and took a very rainy camping and hiking trip in Chaco Canyon.But her big trip was this March, when she visited the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. “It was a 10-day trip, with two days spent in Quito, Ecuador, where I had a chance to straddle the equator,” she reports. “I was the only solo traveler—and one of the oldest—in a tour group of 100 people.” 

  • Marana Council approve controversial development

    Despite vocal opposition, the Marana Town Council approved the rezoning of a 103.2 acre portion the Lazy K Bar Ranch property opening the way for a 178 unit housing development.The council approved the plan 4-2, with some caveats, including added protection of the open space to ensure that no further development is done on the property. Council members Carol McGorray and Patti Comerford voted against the plan. Council member Herb Kai was not present.The lengthy meeting included 49 speakers, with 40 speaking in opposition to the plan. Of the nine who spoke in favor of the plan, just one identified themselves as a Marana resident, while several others were either Marana area business owners or owned property within the town.The biggest complaint about the proposal was its proximity to Saguaro National Park and Sanctuary Cove. That area is a major wildlife corridor and the fear is the housing will disrupt animal migration.Linda Morales of the Planning Center, who represents the landowners, said the move to smaller lots was made to provide more open space. She said larger, spread out lots, would actually make things more confusing for animals travelling through the area.Lot size was another concern. Currently all of the adjacent properties sit on big lots, with many having three acres of property. The new design would average 1.29 homes per acre, but would actually have smaller lots because the design calls for the homes to be close together to preserve large uninterrupted open spaces.

  • Sunshine Schools saying goodbye to founder after three decades of love

    When Cross Middle School eighth-grader, Dakota Broughton, and his mother, Sherri, walked on to the campus of the Sunshine School earlier this month, it was the first time the young man had returned in the better part of a decade.  A former student at the preschool, Dakota said a curious thought struck him when he walked out onto the back patio.Wasn’t the tire on which he used to climb a lot bigger?“I used to think it was big, but when I was smaller it looked big to me,” he said. “Now, it’s just tiny.”The observation drew a bit of laughter from his mother, though Dakota was not the only person taking a walk down memory lane when dozens of Sunshine families and former students came together on May 4 to celebrate the retirement of the school’s founder, Sue Trinacty. Founded in 1984 after family friends, local doctors and property owners John Haymore and Eric Hartvigsen wanted to develop the plaza surrounding their practice, Sunshine School began as the desire of Trinacty—a self-proclaimed born educator—to create a positive learning environment for the community’s youngest learners. Far removed from the days of a dozen students and three educators, Sunshine School now staffs 15 and handles a student body of nearly 60. Though her one-room schoolhouse may have grown over the years, Trinacty said the mission has remained the same, to prepare preschoolers for the rest of their lives by instilling a sense of self-confidence, decision- making ability and social skills in each child.

  • Summer Safari Nights returning to Reid Park Zoo

    Cool summer evenings in Tucson will soon receive an infusion of roars, growls, squawks and a medley of other animal sounds at the Reid Park Zoo, which kicks off its annual Summer Safari Nights this Friday. A weekly shindig, the animal attractions at the zoo will be joined by live musical performances, special dining menus and discounts at the gift shop.Every Friday will feature a different theme, and the zoo has chosen its two resident bear populations, the Andean and grizzlies, as its representatives of the safari’s first night: The Bear Necessities.The zoo’s two grizzlies, Ronan and Finley, were rescued from Yellowstone National Park four years ago, when the siblings were roughly 18 months old. As cubs the two bears were taught several problem-causing and dangerous behaviors by their mother, and the decision was made to relocate the duo.Ronan and Finley (now well-trained) live in Grizzly Crossing at the zoo, which was originally built to house the polar bear population. With some modifications, however, the furred siblings have found a new home and a new life.“These aren’t your average bears, but they do like picnic baskets,” joked zookeeper Chelsea Barber.The zoo’s Andean bears, Worf and Lucy, have been a part of the Reid Park family since 1996, and have long entertained Tucsonans and visitors alike with their penchant for climbing trees. Also known as “spectacled bears” for the white ring of fur around their eyes, Worf and Lucy have had two cubs of their own over the years, which have been sent to other zoos to help propagate the vulnerable species. 

  • Wilson math teacher recognized for fostering positive learning environment

    When Ironwood Ridge High School sophomore Lauren Anthony was in sixth grade at Wilson K-8, she was given the opportunity to skip a year in math and landed in a pre-algebra class mostly filled with seventh and eighth graders. A self-admitted over-thinker, Anthony recalled the anxiety she felt when first walking into her class.But then she met Christy Talmage, her new teacher.Anthony said Talmage was not only understanding of her anxieties, but willing to go the extra mile to make sure her sixth-grade transplant felt right at home. Her dedication did not go unnoticed, and Talmage was recognized by her former pupil earlier this month when Barnes & Noble handed out the seventh annual “My Favorite Teacher” award on Friday, May 5.High school and middle school students from across the country are asked every year to submit a poem, thank you letter or essay (in 500 words or less) which explains how one of their teachers between first and twelfth grade was a positive influence on their life.  Anthony was given the assignment by her English teacher Doreen Rouille, who discovered the contest, and soon realized it would fit perfectly with her own curriculum as she prepared her sophomores for AzMERIT testing.“There is nothing more fun than actually doing something with a purpose, rather than just for a grade,” she said.

  • Reel Deal: Q&A with the Loft's Peggy Johnson

    Peggy Johnson is the executive director of the Loft Cinema Foundation, the nonprofit that runs the Loft Theater. The Loft is getting a major makeover this summer with a renovation of the main auditorium that will bring in new, more comfortable seating along with other improvements. Johnson recently discussed what’s happening at the Loft on the radio edition of “Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel”, which airs Sunday afternoons at 5 p.m. on community radio KXCI, 91.3 FM. This Q&A is a condensed and edited version of that conversation. You’re doing a major makeover in the main auditorium of the Loft. You still have movies going on in your upstairs theater and on the relatively new screen next door to the big screen, so we don’t want people thinking that you’re closed for business. But before we get into this summer’s programming, let’s start with the work you’re doing with the main auditorium. This has been a long time coming, and we’re so excited it’s happening now. What we’re doing is really just bringing that big screen—the big theater that everybody loves so much—up-to-date.  It’s going to have stadium seating in the back. It’s going to have more aisles. It’s going to have new comfortable seats. It’s going to have better sight lines. It has to be fully accessible, which has been such a priority, and it’s just really a long time coming. There will be other advantages along the way. We’re going to upgrade the sound a little bit, and we’re going to upgrade the air conditioning system. You know, little things like that, so it’ll be totally a modern space. How old were those seats in there?

  • Mountain View honors seniors moving on to future endeavors

    Mountain View High School held their first ever College Signing Day to honor seniors who will be moving on to colleges, trade schools, internships and the military. Nearly 275 students took part in the ceremony.After a brief speech by Mountain View Principal Todd Garelick, the students were honored.“I couldn’t be more excited and proud of what we are doing today and what you have accomplished and where you guys are going,” Garelick told the students at the event. “This is a great day and we could not be happier.”The video board showed the logo of each individual school and listed the students who were planning on attending that college. The students were called up by school and handed a certificate. By the end of the procession the 275 students were on stage where they posed for pictures, including a few selfies by the school staff.More than 20 four-year, two-year and trade schools were represented, as were four different internship opportunities and each of the four branches of the military. Pima Community College led the way with 97 students, followed by the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona, which are slated to have 65 and 48 students attend, respectively.

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