Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

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  • Keep your business protected from scams and online ploys

    While our skies may not be filled with flying cars and robotic housekeepers may not be dusting our bookshelves, the rise of technology has taken significant steps forward within a wide variety of fields, applications and industries. As with any development or technological advancement there are always individuals looking to benefit through less-than-credible means—and the 21st century has been no exception. The prevalence of internet hacking, scams and other disingenuous practices has become a part of everyday life for people across the globe—often both personally and professionally. What may have began as poorly written emails from fictional deposed oil barons and princes has developed into a full-blown industry of highly sophisticated schemes, technological advances and complex crime rings.Sending hundreds of thousands of highly suspicious emails may net several hundred responses and even a small take, but criminals also target locations of frequent transactions and larger stores of money: businesses.In a time of world-wide technological access, Oro Valley Police Department Officer Elijah Woodward has posed an interesting question to business owners throughout the community:What do you think the most dangerous virus is that can affect your organization? 

  • Local Jeep enthusiasts convoy to support police

    Marana was the staging area for a Jeep convoy in support of local law enforcement. What was originally planned as a small show of support, morphed into a large fundraiser with over 1,000 people in attendance.Two weekends ago members of two separate Jeep enthusiast clubs convoyed down I-10 from the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall to a church parking lot near the freeway exit at South Palo Verde Rd. in what was dubbed the Back The Blue Convoy.Local Jeep enthusiasts Brice Olson and Gabe Spurling were inspired by a video of a similar event on the east coast and they decided they wanted to do a similar event. Their group, DM Military Jeepers reached out to Tucson Jeeps and created a committee to get the event organized. They expected a solid turnout, but were stunned with the number of people wanting to be involved.“We really only expected about 50-60 jeeps, but we soon realized this was going to be huge,” Spurling said.They put the event together over a six week period, finding sponsors, starting and finishing spots big enough to hold all the vehicles. On the day of the event they learned more Jeeps from Phoenix were coming than they had originally planned for with about 130 making the trip down I-10.The group grew so big that the Marana Police Department volunteered to help them get onto the freeway.

  • Marana announces new tourism director

    The Town of Marana has hired a new Tourism and Marketing Manager. Laura Cortelyou replaces Toby Parks in the position that has been a big emphasis for the town over the past few years. The position is at the center of the town’s big push to promote tourism over the past few years. Its proximity to I-10 combined with amenities such as the new Tucson Premium Outlet Mall, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain and the extensive trail system means the town offers plenty of opportunities to tap into the billion-dollar state tourism industry. “Marana is a place with so much going on, and I’m incredibly excited to share this vibrant community with a wider audience,” Cortelyou said.Cortelyou came to the town after serving as director of marketing and public relations for the Tucson Museum of Art. She also serves as the president of the Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance and is a board member of Visit Tucson. Prior to coming to the Museum of Art, she served a marketing director for Forester Media, Inc and ABC-CLIO. The town launched DiscoveMarana.org to act as a portal for visitors to learn more about Marana, which is positioning itself as the “Gateway to Southern Arizona.” The site garnered a 2016 Governor’s Tourism Award for Interactive Technology and increased the town’s tourism presence. 

  • Town of Marana wins two awards for communication

    Marana was recently honored for its use of 21st-century technology as well as something quite prehistoric. The town picked up two Savvy Awards at last week’s annual conference of the City/County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) in San Antonio, Texas. The Savvy Awards “recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing, and citizen-government relationships.”“The Savvies salute skilled and effective city, county, agency, or district professionals who have creatively planned and carried out successful innovations in communications and marketing,” according to a Town of Marana press release. “3CMA accommodates local government organizations of all sizes and budget classes by judging entries in several different population groups.”Dinosaurs were at the core of a campaign by the town to learn what residents wanted from the new park being built in conjunction with the Tangerine Corridor improvement project. The town mailed bright yellow postcards with images of ferocious dinosaurs side-by-side with kids and dogs at a park with the tagline of “Dinosaur breeding facility coming to your neighborhood.” The back of the card read: “Oh, that’s not what you want in your new community park? Tell us what you do want. Complete the park survey,” and directed them to the online survey. 

  • Town of Marana Council planning to livestream meetings in 2017

    Starting in January, you’ll be able to watch Marana Town Council meeting on your laptop or your smartphone.The council voted 5-1 last week to approve the funds necessary to provide live video and audio streams of council meetings on the town’s website, as well as archiving the video for up to three years.Currently the town offers audio recordings of meeting for a small fee, but does not have any video capabilities nor any livestreams.The $22,230 project will include purchase of three cameras, other related hardware and the video encoder. The town will also pay a monthly fee of $1,475 along with fees for server space to steam and archive the videos, as well as the cost of tagging and posting the video and keeping the video archived for about three years.Annual costs after the initial set-up are approximately $17,000, but that is expected to vary depending on the town’s needs to replace technology. Both the cameras and computers could need to be replaced every three to five years. Currently, the cameras cost $1,000 but costs are decreasing every year.The costs are based upon 50 meetings a year, although the council does not meet that often. The town will have the option 

  • Second cell tower coming to CDO campus

    The Oro Valley Town Council voted unanimously last week to approve a cell phone tower near Canyon del Oro High School’s football field.The tower, which will service Verizon Wireless customers, will be the second cell phone antenna added to a collection of roughly three dozen tall light posts on the school campus and the nearby James D. Kriegh Park, including one operating cell tower.The applicant, Pinnacle Consulting, Inc. has proposed replacing an existing 81-inch light pole with a slightly shorter pole that will include cellular antenna arrays below the stadium lights.The proposed tower has a low visibility from the surrounding homes, being roughly 1,000 feet from the nearest home, according to town documents.“What is at stake tonight is the design, not the actual use,” said Bayer Vella, Oro Valley planning manager/planning and zoning administrator, told the town council. “We do have different types of cell facilities that are even larger than this where it is considered a conditional use permit and you have the authority to say yes or no. This isn’t one of those. This is similar to when you receive architecture for commercial use. Your decision is on aesthetic.”Pinnacle representative Michelle Lamoureux said the tower would be painted the same color as the rest of the poles in the area and Verizon would be responsible for maintenance.

  • Trail access issue touches nerve within outdoor community

    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.

  • Schleicher returns to her roots at Mesa Verde Elementary

    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.”

  • 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.

  • How do you get to Carnegie Hall? For CDO students, it’s fundraise, fundraise, fundraise

    Canyon Del Oro High School has long been known for the varied triumphs and successes of its students; whether on the field, on the court, on stage or in the classroom. Next March, the school will add a Carnegie Hall performance to its list of achievements.Just months ago, the high school’s orchestra was invited to perform at the historic New York City venue after submitting videos of past performances to a highly competitive process. The group was personally invited to play in NYC by Adam Boyles, one of the clinicians the orchestra students will work with at Carnegie Hall. Boyles, currently the professor of orchestra at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was formerly the music director of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and has even more significant ties to southern Arizona. Prior to graduating from the University of Arizona, Boyles attended CDO, Cross Middle School and Mesa Verde Elementary School. To make the trip a reality, the orchestra is currently asking the community for donations to send 40 musicians, including a dozen band students. According to band director Toru Tagawa, the total cost for the students and chaperones is estimated to be $75,000 for four days and three nights. “I never had the opportunity myself to go to Carnegie Hall,” Tagawa said. “That I can offer students that is unbelievable. I went New York City as a high school student but we didn’t perform at Carnegie Hall, we performed at the shopping center, which was cool back then but to perform at a historical, big auditorium is an honor. Students and parents will remember that for their lives.”

  • Oro Valley parade to end after 11 years

    For more than a decade, hundreds of families from throughout Oro Valley brought tables, chairs and potluck breakfasts to a normally busy roadway within the town and staked claims on pristine spots with a good view down the street. With the crowd piling up, thousands of eager onlookers leaned out and over one another to catch a first glimpse of the Oro Valley Holiday Parade.Since 2005 whether encountering sunshine, rain or snow, the cars would come ambling down the street. Often the first faces the crowd saw were those of local politicians, community figures or high school state champions, though the full breadth of the Oro Valley community would be on display by the parade’s end.But now parade founder and director Jackie Devery and assistant director Pat Jimenez have made the difficult decision to bring the tradition to an end. “Life can change in the blink of an eye, and people need to understand that,” Devery said. “We love this event and I have spent 14 years doing this. I have added over 1,000 hours because it’s hundreds of hours every year to make it happen. …If our hearts weren’t in it, we wouldn’t have kept going and going. It’s just that it got to a point that it was getting a little difficult.”The parade got its start with the Ironwood Ridge High School band when Devery’s son was a member. But now Devery and Jimenez look to soon be grandmothers, with their own children nearing their 30s.The dynamic duo originally announced the parade’s retirement via Facebook. While the overwhelming

  • 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 

  • Temporary no more: Outdoor signage and displays have a permanent place in Oro Valley due to code change

    Businesses throughout Oro Valley may now permanently utilize A-frame signs and outdoor merchandise displays after lengthy discussion and approval by the Oro Valley Town Council on Wednesday, Sept. 7.Since 2011, the use of both types of outdoor display had been allowed on a temporary basis in an effort to help the community recover from the financial crisis. Since that time, the council has continually renewed the temporary allowance.During the Jan. 20 council session, staff was directed to work with the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce to find alternative or permanent solutions to both temporary display allowances. According to town documents, the business community is “in support” of creating permanent codes.Since introduction, 70 businesses have obtained A-frame permits and 19 businesses out of a total of 1,076 store fronts in town utilized outdoor display permits. The town received two resident complaints related to A-frame signs in 2014 and “numerous complaints related to outdoor displays from two residents.”As for positive impact, longtime advocate for the signage and displays chamber president/CEO Dave Perry said that the presence of attention-grabbing signage helps businesses—particularly smaller ones—advertise and attract customers.“The things that A-frames do, they might drive in one more sale, they might help keep one store front occupied,” he said. “I have long argued in this room that the greatest threat to community wellbeing is empty glass. … The retail landscape is not as it was five years ago. When was the last time you bought something online? When was the last time you went to the Premium Outlets in Marana? Our retail community faces challenges that it has never seen before. That’s why giving them opportunities like outdoor displays make a difference in their ability to do business.”

  • AAA study shows crashes up 40 percent since 2001

    More than 200,000 crashes involved debris on U.S. roadways during the past four years, according to a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.That debris has resulted in about 39,000 injuries and over 500 deaths between 2011 and 2014. The report shows that road debris can be very dangerous or even deadly, but all of these crashes are preventable.“Drivers have a much bigger responsibility when it comes to preventing debris on the roads than most people realize,” said Michelle Donati, communications manager for AAA Arizona. “Drivers can prevent injuries and save lives by securing their loads and taking simple precautions to prevent items from falling off their vehicles.”As a safety advocate, AAAfound three common denominators in the crashes:

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