OVPD steps up its seatbelt law enforcement

The Oro Valley Police Department is among state and local law enforcement agencies stepping up seatbelt law enforcement this summer.

In a program that started Monday and extends through June 6, officers are specifically looking for motorists not wearing seatbelts and those who have not put their children in required seats, a release said.

"Arizona drivers and passengers will be sent a strong message that they should always wear their seat belts or be ready to face the consequences," it continued. "The OVPD is committed to this seatbelt effort to increase motorist awareness that seatbelts save lives."

OVPD participates in the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign, headed and funded by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. For more information, visit http://www.NHTSA.gov">www.NHTSA.gov.


June 1 hearing on La Cholla road report

Pima County Supervisors hold a public hearing next Tuesday, June 1, on the environmental assessment and mitigation report for a section of the La Cholla Boulevard construction project.

The event begins on or after 9 a.m. Tuesday in the supervisors' hearing room, 130 West Congress St.

Phase 1 of the La Cholla project calls for widening the roadway from two to four lanes between Magee and Overton roads, construction of a bridge over the Cañada del Oro Wash, paved shoulders, raised medians, multi-use pathways, intersection improvements, drainage improvements, landscaping and public art.

A copy of the Environmental Assessment and Mitigation Report is available at the Nanini Branch Library, 7300 N. Shannon; the Pima Community College North Library, 7600 N. Shannon; or the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja. It is also online at http://roadprojects.pima.gov/lachollanorth/">http://roadprojects.pima.gov/lachollanorth/.

People with questions may call the Pima County Department of Transportation at 740-6410.



OV gets award for its budget presentation

For the second year in a row, the Town of Oro Valley has been awarded a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the fiscal year 2009-'10 budget.

The recognition, from the Government Finance Officers Association, goes to governments "who have prepared the highest quality documents, while meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting," a release said.

"There is a long list of standards and only a fraction of governmental bodies are able to submit for the award and even fewer receive it," said Oro Valley Finance Director and Interim Assistant Town Manager Stacey Lemos. "The budget must serve as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device to meet all of these guidelines."

Mayor Paul Loomis presented the award to Lemos and Wendy Gomez, management and budget analyst, on behalf of the association at the town council meeting on Wednesday, May 19.


Freedom from Hunger food drive begins

Interfaith Community Services is beginning its second annual Freedom from Hunger food drive.

The effort, which runs from May 28 through June 27, is intended to bolster food stocks during the summer, when ICS food bank shelves "get barer," a release said.

ICS provided food to 25 percent more households in April than it did a year ago. "Help us continue to supplement those monthly boxes with your food donations to ICS," it continued.

Last year, ICS collected 538 bags of food and nearly $3,000 in donations.

This year, Hughes Federal Credit Union and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans are joining the effort. People may bring nonperishable food (cereal, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, canned meat, tuna and fruit) to Interfaith Community Services, 2820 W. Ina Road; Hughes Federal Credit Union offices at 971 W. Wetmore Road, 3131 E. Speedway Blvd., 7970 N. Thornydale Road, 9052 S. Rita Road, 280 N. Pantano Road, 8701 S. Kolb Road or 951 E. Hermans Road; and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans offices at 3430 E. Sunrise Drive or 7367 E. Tanque Verde.

Freedom from Hunger grocery bags are available at each location, so people can "take it home and return it full."

The Freedom from Hunger celebration is Sunday, June 27, with ice cream and entertainment from 3 to 5 p.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church, 6565 E. Broadway.

For more information, call 297-6049.


OV gets an improved bond rating

The Town of Oro Valley's bond rating has been raised from an A+ rating to AA-, a grade rating that should help lower the town's borrowing costs on future bond issuances.

The announcement by New York-based Fitch rating agency puts Oro Valley's bond rating in alignment with Standard & Poor, said Stacey Lemos, Oro Valley's finance director and interim assistant town manager.

"We're very pleased with this news," Lemos said. "We understand this recalibration was done to better align municipal bond rating with the ratings on corporate bonds. It recognizes the fact that municipalities have exhibited stronger repayment histories than corporate borrowers in the same credit rating bracket."



Class on bike mechanics is June 2 at  library

A class in basic bicycle mechanics is being offered Wednesday, June 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oro Valley Public Library.

It's being offered by the Oro Valley Police Department.

Sheila Foraker, education and kids program director at Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, is teaching basic mechanical aspects, such as flat tire repair, changing and lubing chains, brake and derailleur adjustments, cables, spoke tension and tool kits.

The free class is limited to 10 people ages 12 and over. Registration is required by calling Officer Yolanda Hallberg at 229-5084.


Game and Fish reminds kids to keep wildlife wild

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is advising parents to teach children not to take wildlife from the wild or "rescue" newborn animals apparently orphaned or abandoned.

Handling wildlife animals, including baby bobcats and jackrabbits, birds, lizards and desert tortoises, can result in injury or death to the animals, not to mention bites or diseases for people.

Spring is when breeding produces baby birds and other animals. The warm weather also brings out reptiles.

Handling is stressful for wild animals like desert tortoises that tend to urinate if handled. Desert animals need to retain water, especially in periods of drought.

Also, there are fines for possessing wildlife without a permit. It's illegal just to pick up rattlesnakes, desert tortoises and other species, even if you don't plan to take them home.

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