Training set for volunteer hospital chaplains

A 10-week volunteer chaplain training course begins Monday, Oct. 5, through the Northwest Medical Center's Pastoral Caring program.

The free weekly classes are held at 9 a.m. Mondays through Dec. 7. Two-hour classes are scheduled at Northwest Center, 6200 N. La Cholla Blvd.

Training is opened to ordained clergy, Stephens ministers and hospice personnel and others with hospital training in patient care "and a desire to learn," a release said. Volunteer chaplains are a "multi-denominational, integral part of the health care team, providing spiritual and emotional support to patients, families and hospital staff."

The deadline for applications is Monday, Sept. 21. They are available through the Rev. Carl Stouffer at 675-2076, or by e-mail at

Interviews for candidates begin Monday, Sept. 28.

OV council signs up for climate targets

At its July 15 meeting, the Oro Valley Town Council voted unanimously to join the U.S. Conference of Mayors and sign on to a climate protection agreement.

The primary stipulation of the agreement is for a community "to strive to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol targets in their own communities," a release said. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement intended to address climate disruption.

The target is a 7 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, through policies and programs, from 1990 levels by 2012. Implementation of the pledge entails understanding current greenhouse gas production and 1990 levels. Town staff has arranged with the Pima Association of Governments to commence such a study — at no cost to the town. A plan of action will be drafted and implemented by town staff.

Another action to be taken by participating jurisdictions is to urge the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and establish a national emission trading system, the release said.

"The U.S. Conference of Mayors clearly recognizes that meeting the pledge will be an enormous challenge," it continued. "The true value of the agreement is in the incremental measures that local jurisdictions can take. Such efforts throughout the country will have a cumulative effect."

For more information about the U.S. Conference of Mayors and their climate protection agreement, visit

Brick pavers, plaques for Marana workers

The Town of Marana has dedicated brick pavers at its municipal complex to four more retired and / or deceased employees.

Honored retirees and their years of service are Lawrence Ybarra, 14 years; Dan Bourland, 11 years; and Dan Groseclose, 12 years. The late Sandy Groseclose, who worked for Marana more than 17 years, is also having a brick paver placed in her honor.

Previously, Joe Carrasco, with 26 years, and Brad DeSpain, 11 years, were so recognized.

Pavers for retiring employees "is going to become a town policy," Mayor Ed Honea said at last week's town council meeting. "As individuals retire, we'll put a brick out there in their honor."

Marana marked Aug. 3-7 as employee appreciation week. Honea called attention to four employees who were recognized for milestones of longevity — Lily Grijalva and Dale Bradshaw, 30 years; Judy Capen, 25 years; and Dan Sample, 20 years.

Free mobile mammograms for the needy on Aug. 21

A free mobile mammography clinic comes to the region on Friday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Planned Parenthood Arizona brings the clinic to its Hoffman Health Center, 529 W. Wetmore, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Friday. The mobile mammography clinic is supported by Pink365.

"Mammography has proven to be the single most beneficial tool in detecting early and treatable cancer," a release said. "The goal of screening exams, such as mammograms, is to find cancers early before it has a chance to grow and treatment works best."

To make an appointment, call 884-5562. Walk-in appointments are available, too.

To qualify for a free mammogram, a woman must be 40 years or older; must be uninsured or underinsured; may not have had a mammogram in the last year; has no breast implants; is not currently breastfeeding or pregnant; and is not eligible for AHCCCS.

Planned Parenthood Arizona provides health care, education and outreach services to more than 100,000 men, women, teens and parents annually. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates 20 health center locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Globe, Prescott and Yuma. For more information, visit

OV gets $164K for buildings' efficiency

Oro Valley will receive $164,000 in federal economic recovery act funds.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announced last week that the town will get the money to be used to conduct a comprehensive energy audit of the six buildings at its 11000 N. La Cañada Drive main campus.

The buildings house offices for the town's administrative, police, utility, courts employees and development services, as well as the town library.

Funds left over from the audit would be used to upgrade lighting and air conditioning units and possibly install solar equipment, according to a news release sent from Giffords' office.

The award is part of almost $6 million released as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support energy efficiency and conservation. The awards come from the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

Arizona has been allocated almost $6.3 billion in stimulus money, of that $3 billion is currently available. More than $900 million has been paid out and about $113 million is for active projects in Pima County.

Heart disease reversal intro this Thursday

An introduction to the course "Coronary artery disease can be reversed" is offered this Thursday, Aug. 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the senior activity room at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 East River Road.

It is presented by The Foundation for Cardiovascular Health, a nonprofit community foundation.

Presenters are Edna Silva, RN, a 20-year cardiac rehabilitation nurse, and Richard D. "Richy" Feinberg. Feinberg had a heart attack in 1993, quadruple bypass heart surgery one week later, and suffered another heart attack two months later. "He is an enthusiastic advocate for the heart disease reversal program," a release said.

Visitors can learn how blockages are formed in coronary arteries, and how coronary artery disease can be prevented, halted, stabilized and reversed. Program participants can learn relaxation techniques to calm their hearts. And there is a discussion about the 12-week, hands-on, medically approved program, which is about to begin two fall sessions in September.

"Ask questions and get answers," Feinberg said.

He may be reached at 797-2281.

Sporting goods store with Marana outlet to emerge from bankruptcy

Explorer staff report

A sporting goods business with a location in the Northwest is getting bankruptcy protection with its plan of reorganization.

Sportsman's Warehouse, Inc., headquartered in Midvale, Utah, expects to emerge from bankruptcy by Aug. 15. It will continue to operate its 26 stores across 14 states, including a location off Costco Drive in Marana.

"We are excited to continue serving our loyal customer base and are grateful for the strong support of our vendor partners throughout the bankruptcy process," said Kevan Talbot, the company's chief financial officer. "This support made our reorganization possible."

"We remain committed to providing the product selection, shopping convenience and superior service that our customers and vendors have come to expect," said Larry Knight, the company's vice president of hard goods.

"Successfully exiting bankruptcy is a tremendous accomplishment — Sportsman's is one of the few national retailers to do so in recent memory," said Robert Seidler of Seidler Equity Partners, which forwarded the reorganization plan.

Health care forum in Marana Aug. 20

State Democratic lawmakers are coming to Marana on Thursday, Aug. 20, to host an Arizonans for Health Reform forum.

Tucson area Reps. Nancy Young Wright, D-26, and Pat Fleming, D-25, are joined by Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema, D-15, from Phoenix.

The forum is part of the White House Health Reform Task Force, a release said. It focuses on the needs of retirees and seniors. Legislators are answering question, hearing residents' ideas about health reform, and making sure that "residents' suggestions are communicated to President Obama to help shape a better health system this year."

Sinema is one of 32 state legislators nationwide, and the lone Arizonan, selected for the president's White House Health Reform Task Force.

"Our country's health system is broken and families and businesses are being crushed by high health care costs," Sinema said. "The American people, including right here in Arizona, deserve better."

Their objectives include reducing costs to make health care affordable, protecting a patient's choice of doctors, hospitals and insurance plans, and assuring quality, affordable health care for all Americans, the release said.

"I know the retirees and seniors I represent struggle with the rising costs of health care every day," Young Wright said. "I want to make sure I hear their ideas about options for the best quality and affordable health care, especially in tough economic times like these."

"It's incredibly important that as lawmakers, we hear ideas from the people we represent and make sure that their input is heard in Washington," Fleming said. "Retirees and seniors are key to nationwide health reform."

The event runs from 10 a.m. to noon that Thursday at the Heritage Highlands Clubhouse, Dove Mountain Ballroom, 4949 W. Heritage Club Blvd., Marana, 85658.

Arizonans for Health Reform forum

Thursday, Aug. 20

10 a.m.-noon

Heritage Highlands Clubhouse, Dove Mountain Ballroom

4949 W. Heritage Club Blvd.


TIA expanding apron space for resident airlines

Expansion of the Tucson International Airport's commercial aircraft parking apron has begun.

The $8 million improvement is intended to offer airline tenants an additional 44,000 square yards for commercial aircraft maneuvering and overnight parking adjacent to the existing aircraft parking apron, a release from the Tucson Airport Authority indicates.

The project, designed by Stantec Consulting and constructed by Granite Construction, is being funded with Federal Aviation Administration and Arizona Department of Transportation grants. An 18-inch concrete apron is being poured on the east end of the existing terminal ramp. Work also includes realignment of a service road between the terminal and air freight complex; new security fencing and an east security gate; area lighting and a concrete blast well extension along the north edge of the apron.

"Construction will not inconvenience airport users and visitors," the release added. It should be finished next spring.

TIA has eight airlines offering 15 daily departures. It handled 4.225 million passengers in 2008.

Work, delays continue at Tangerine, Thornydale

Construction work continues at the intersection of Tangerine and Thornydale roads in north Marana.

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, operation of the traffic signals at the intersection is being shut down from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. That's needed "to perform necessary electrical system upgrades," a release said. "Traffic through the intersection will be directed by uniformed police officers during this time. Motorists should expect delays if traveling through the intersection."

Construction o the project is expected through Sept. 30 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Pavement widening, concrete curbs, sidewalk ramps, traffic signal work and striping are part of the project.

For more information, contact Kurt Schmidt, construction manager with the Town of Marana, at 382-2600.

Changes in NW bus runs reflected in new 'ride guide'

A new edition of the Sun Tran Ride Guide is now available, offering passengers detailed route and service changes effective Aug. 9-Feb. 13.

Regional Transportation Authority-funded changes of regional note, featured in the new edition of the Ride Guide, include:

• Route 312X, between Oro Valley and the Tohono Transit Center south of River Road, has been extended north to serve Oro Valley Marketplace, Oro Valley Hospital and Ventana Medical Systems. Schedules have been adjusted accordingly;

• Schedules for route 202X, between Ina Road and the Aero Park, and route 203X, between Oro Valley and the Aero Park, have been adjusted to improve on-time performance. Due to customer feedback, afternoon departure times for route 203X have been changed, a release said.

• Schedules for route 107X, between Oro Valley and downtown Tucson, have been adjusted to improve on-time performance.

• Route 27 has extended to serve Casino del Sol, and peak hour service has improved from 30- to 15-minute frequency.  A new park and ride lot has been established next to the AVA Amphitheater on Valencia Road. Parking in this lot is free of charge.

The Sun Tran Ride Guide is available on buses and at approximately 500 locations, such as public libraries, major malls, transit centers, pass sales and information outlets throughout Tucson, and at Sun Tran's administrative office, located at 4220 South Park Avenue.

For specific Sun Tran bus information, consult the Ride Guide, visit the website at, or call Sun Tran's Customer Service Center at 792-9222 (for individuals with TDD equipment, call 628-1565). Except on major holidays, the Customer Service Center is open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Marana names stables for retired DeSpain

Marana has formally named the stables at Marana Heritage Park in honor of Brad DeSpain, the newly retired town utilities director who's a cowboy and rancher at heart.

A welded sign, the words "Brad DeSpain's Stables" etched from iron, was shown to the town council at its Aug. 4 meeting before it is placed at the facility.

"You all are very, very generous," DeSpain told the council, town staff and audience, which gave him a standing ovation.

Ora Mae Harn, Marana's former mayor and current town historian, made remarks about DeSpain ahead of the presentation. She met DeSpain years ago, when both were learning how to drive school buses. "He and his buddy did a lot of hooky-playing," Harn said.

DeSpain arrived in Marana in 1960, "a critical time in our community," Harn said. DeSpain was an FFA adviser and agriculture instructor at Marana High School. He ranched along the Santa Cruz River, and became involved in irrigation system management. DeSpain became a driving force in Marana's efforts to incorporate because he raised concerns that Marana's underground aquifer was coveted by distant water users, among them the city of Tucson.

"I always say Marana is all about water," Harn said.

When she was mayor, Harn hired DeSpain to run Marana's water system. "It's maybe the only smart thing I've done in my life," she said.

DeSpain has "given a very special gift, a definitive water supply, and an assured water supply for future generations," Harn said. "Our water system is as good or better than any in the state."

Harn had a "sneaky" second reason for naming the stables after DeSpain. "I want him to help me over there," she said. Harn has a vision that the barn at the Marana Heritage Park can become part of Marana's museum.

"I want to thank Ora for reading that speech exactly as my mother wrote it before she passed away," DeSpain said. "I plan to continue to be a part of the community."

Chamber looks for people who'd like to train, teach

The Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce is seeking proposals from people and groups interested in conducting training programs for its membership.

The chamber has formed a new education committee, intended to organize and deliver educational and motivational training.

Anyone with questions or proposals may contact Ramon Gaanderse, chamber president and chief executive officer, at, or call 297-2191.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.