County, parties have had dips in voter totals

Pima County, as well as the two major political parties, have seen decreases in their respective county registration totals from a year ago, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's office.

Pima County had 473,330 registered voters in October, down from 496,667 ahead of the 2008 general election, the office reports. That's a difference of 23,337 voters.

By party, the county has 188,067 registered Democrats (39.7 percent), a decline of 11,374 voters from the October 2008 figure. There were 149,231 registered Republicans (31.5 percent), down 8,484 from the October 2008 report.

Pima County had 131,179 unaffiliated voters (27.7 percent), down 3,894 from October 2008. The remainder are Green Party (1,077) and Libertarian Party (3,776) registrants.

In Pinal County, registered Democrats totaled 53,589 voters, 34.1 percent of the 157,157 total voters. Republicans tallied 52,027, 33.1 percent.

Statewide, Republicans hold the edge, 1.132 million to 1.041 million Democrats.

OV won't fund spay, neuter; plan for 5 is on hold

Last week, the Oro Valley Town Council voted unanimously to kill a measure that would have provided extra funding for Pima Animal Care Center's spay and neuter program.

"My recommendation is to table this," Mayor Paul Loomis said.

The issue was pushed back from a meeting in October, when the council could not decide if the proposed $7,000 disbursement to Pima County-allied Animal Welfare Alliance of Southern Arizona for spay and neuter services was a better candidate for the town's community funding program.

The council decided to not give the group money from the town's general fund.

Also Wednesday, a long-delayed request to amend the Neighborhood 5 general plan was put on hold because several council members were absent.

To approve major amendments to the town's general plan, a super-majority vote of two-thirds the council is needed.

Vistoso Partners requested the plan, which would change some land-use designations in Rancho Vistoso.

The council plans to revisit the issue during its Dec. 2 meeting.

New McDonald's gets pair of approvals

A new McDonald's restaurant planned near the northwest corner of First Avenue and Oracle Road was given two unanimous approvals last week by the Oro Valley Town Council.

The first request was for a development plan for the fast-food giant, the second an exemption from the sign code that was approved years ago with the Rooney Ranch plan. The planned restaurant will be built in the Rooney Ranch shopping center.

McDonalds asked for sign code changes that would more conform to existing town sign codes. The town's development review board also approved the sign exemptions.

'Run, win' event for CDO young women Nov. 18

Young women from Canyon del Oro High School are assembling Wednesday, Nov. 18 to participate in the seventh "Running and Winning" workshop, an effort intended to "change girls' attitudes about politics and perhaps how they see themselves and their own potentials," a release said.

Running and Winning, developed by the National League of Women Voters Education Fund, has the further goal of increasing the number of women running for public office.

Twenty elected women are part of the workshop, which is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson, the Tucson and Casas Adobes branches of American Association of University Women, Pima County / Tucson Women's Commission and University of Arizona graduate women from the School of Government and Public Policy.

Students are interviewing guest politicians and candidates in small groups. Young people are encouraged to "question the professionals on the fears, challenges and rewards of holding public office."

Later, young women are going to design and present a campaign for U.S. Senate, choosing a "candidate" from their table, creating a campaign poster and writing speeches.

For more information, contact Shirley Sandelands, co-chair, at 574-8295 or

Marana Can Do 5K looking for sponsorships

Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Marana Can Do 5K, a fund-raising event scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Ora Mae Harn Park in Marana.

The Marana Can Do 5K is sponsored by Marana Parks and Recreation, the Marana Chamber of Commerce and Northwest Medical Center. It is intended to promote community health and "bring neighbors together to supply local families with the food they desperately need," a release said.

There is no entry fee – all that's asked is a bag of canned food for donation to the Marana Community Food Bank. The goal is to collect 1,000 pounds of food.

Sponsorship opportunities range from $50 to $1,000. For more information, call Jolene Campbell at 235-7247, or Matt Myer at 382-1950.

Later farmers market in OV on Nov. 21

El Tour de Tucson, the community's enormous bicycle race, rolls through Oro Valley and parts of the Northwest on Saturday, Nov. 21.

It's prompting a one-time, later start for the Oro Valley Farmers Market, held each Saturday at Oro Valley Town Hall.

On that Saturday, the farmers market opens at 2 p.m., helping to "alleviate any congestion" with the morning's El Tour cycling, according to a release.

That day, the farmers market is celebrating "farm to table Thanksgiving traditions" with chefs Ramiro Scavo and Colin King of Harvest Restaurant. Demonstrations begin at 2 p.m. Nov. 21.

Ov mayoral candidate sets 'meet and greet'

Dr. Satish Hiremath, a candidate for mayor of Oro Valley, is holding a "meet and greet" event at his dental office on Saturday, Nov. 21.

The event runs from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Hiremath Family Dentistry, located at 750 Pusch View Lane, Suite 100 in Oro Valley.

Dr. Hiremath has been a practicing dentist in Oro Valley for more than 17 years. He served as president of the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance, formerly known as GOVAC, was elected Community Leader of the Year by the Northern Pima Community Chamber of Commerce in 2007 and is a patron of the children's room in the Oro Valley Public Library.

Skate fest is Saturday at Marana park

The Ring of Fire Skate Festival runs through much of Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Continental Ranch Skate Park in Marana.

It is a "fun and safe event that encompasses different aspects of skateboarding," according to a flyer from the Marana Parks and Recreation Department.

Skateboarders can "showcase their skills and abilities in a positive away," with a "game of skate," an Ollie competition and best trick contest.

Registration opens at 9 a.m., with an array of activities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entries are $5 for beginners, and $10 for intermediate and advanced skateboarders.

Prizes and cash are awarded to winners. Space is limited.

For more information, call Marana Parks and Recreation at 382-1950.

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