Tucson chamber identifies its endorsements

The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce candidate evaluation committee has endorsed candidates for office ahead of the Aug. 24 primary election.

Members interviewed candidates in contested primary elections. They asked candidates to respond to a questionnaire, as well as appear for an in-person interview, to determine the candidates “who best represent a business-friendly approach to governance,” a release said.

The chamber’s Committee for Responsive Government is endorsing Republican Sen. John McCain and Democrat Rodney Glassman in the U.S. Senate primary, Republican Jonathan Paton in the Congressional District 8 Republican primary and Gov. Jan Brewer.

In House District 26, the committee is backing Republicans Vic Williams and Wade McLean.

NW open house Saturday at Dove Mountain

Northwest Firefighters are hosting an open house and breakfast this Saturday, Aug. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Station 37, 13001 N. Tortolita Rd., in Dove Mountain.

Visitors can tour the station, climb up in the fire engine, get a close-up look at equipment, and squirt a real fire hose, a release said.

Children can practice home escape skills by finding their way out of safe, white smoke in the safety trailer.

The pancakes are free. All ages are welcome.

Blood draw Aug. 26 at Foothills Mall

Northwest Fire is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Red Cross Foothills Donor Center at the Foothills Mall.

Fire officials are encouraging off-duty employees, their families and friends and residents of the Northwest Fire District to give blood. All presenting donors receive lunch and a free T-shirt.

To schedule time to donate, or for more information, contact Assistant Chief Al Pesqueira at 887-1010, extension 2902, or log on to www.redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code NWFD.

The donor center is located on the south end of the Foothills Mall, 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd., upstairs in suite No. 201.

Kiwanis shop spree with kids this Saturday

Oro Valley Kiwanis is taking 50 children on a back-to-school shopping spree this Saturday, Aug. 21.

The club’s annual spree starts at 7 a.m. Saturday at JC Penney in the Tucson Mall. Volunteers accompany Keeling Elementary School students for clothes shopping, and help organize haircuts and breakfasts.

Children from needy and difficult circumstances are chosen by Keeling teachers, principal Robert Stoner and other school officials.

“The goal is the same as it was when we began; give needy kids who struggle in school a reward for better grades and attendance,” said Alex Heinze, president of Oro Valley Kiwanis. “We want to make them feel like they are succeeding and have them stay in school.”

The program is operated through the KIN (Kids in Need) Foundation, founded in 1987 by members of the Foothills Kiwanis Club, since disbanded. Bryan Foulk runs the foundation, and is now a member of Oro Valley Kiwanis. Shopping sprees have helped an estimated 1,960 needy children.

Oro Valley Kiwanis is contributing $125 per child for the shopping spree. JC Penney provides additional discounts and deals. Volunteer shoppers also dig into their pockets at checkout; a year ago, for example, an additional $400 was spent on 62 participating children.

Volunteer shoppers come from Kiwanis, corporate supporters, church groups and high school Key Clubs at Ironwood Ridge and Canyon Del Oro high schools. Kiwanis raises money through the Oro Valley Christmas tree recycling lot, Taste of Italy dinners and through grants.

GOP’s Steele coming to city Friday, Sept. 10

Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, is coming to Tucson on Friday, Sept. 10, for a Republican unity rally and dinner.

The event, with doors opening at 4, a Sept. 11 memoriam at 5, dinner and speakers, is being held at the Beaudry RV Event Center, 5120 S. Julian Drive in Tucson.

Six different Republican organizations are sponsoring, among them the Arizona and Pima County Republican parties, the Tucson Republican Women, the Republican Club of Green Valley / Sahuarita, the SaddleBrooke Republican Club and the Northwest Republicans.

Candidates for election in November are part of the evening, along with information about ballot propositions and initiatives, and remarks by Steele. “The Republican comeback has begun,” Steele said.

The event is intended “to build strong support for the winners of the August primaries as we face a tough election this November,” said rally chairwoman Karen Schutte. “We want Republican voters energized and behind our candidates.”

Steele is not soliciting funds or donations. Tickets begin at $25. Checks may be made to the Arizona Republican Party and sent to 7320 N. La Cholla, Suite 154, Box 616, Tucson, 85741.

Exhibitor tables, event sponsorship and volunteer information are available by contacting Karen Schutte at (520) 877-3230, or Fred MacKenzie at (520) 818-3806. The e-mail address is info@GOPUnityRally.com.

The SaddleBrooke Republican Club is widely recognized as the largest west of the Mississippi River. It has an estimated 843 members. It gathers monthly in SaddleBrooke.

RTA update at breakfast this Friday

The Metropolitan Pima Alliance is holding its monthly breakfast this Friday, Aug. 20, with speakers updating the audience on the status of projects managed by the Regional Transportation Authority.

Recent SunTran negotiations, possible delays in Phase II projects, and cash and budget discrepancies have made headlines recently. RTA officials are providing an update as well as answering questions.

“A number of our members have inquired about the information they have received from a variety of sources concerning the RTA,” said Michael Guymon, executive director of MPA. “We felt it was important to bring RTA officials in, as well as those officials that are a part of various negotiations, to provide our membership with a well-rounded presentation to separate fact from fiction.”

Speakers include Jim DeGrood, transportation services director of PAG/RTA; Mayor Lynne Skelton, chair of the RTA board; and council member Paul Cunningham, City of Tucson.

Breakfast is being served at the Tucson Association of Realtors, 2445 N. Tucson Blvd. The program begins at 7:30 a.m. and is open to the public. Tickets are $25 for members and $35 for non-members. For more information, go to www.mpaaz.org/events/breakfast.

Police, lodge, Target put on school ‘spree’

A “shopping spree” for nine Oro Valley schools was conducted Tuesday by the Oro Valley Police Department, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 53 and Oro Valley Target.

During the event, F.O.P. Lodge No. 53 and Target contributed $200 each for each school to help defray some supply expenses for the 2010/2011 school year. A representative from each school joined OVPD officers, staff and Target representatives to stock up on classroom supplies.

F.O.P. No. 53 has supported the spree for eight years.

“This is a great way for local law enforcement to give something back to our youth and support our hard-working teachers,” said Kevin Mattocks, president of Local No. 53.

Vets dealing with vision can call VA

Northwest military veterans dealing with vision problems can get help through the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tucson, according to a release.

Milo Borich, vision impairment services team coordinator for the Southwestern Blind Rehabilitation Center at the VA Hospital, is trying to reach the many retired military personnel living in Catalina, SaddleBrooke, Oro Valley, Sun City Vistoso, Oracle and Northwest Tucson.

Those vets encountering difficulties with their vision may contact Borich for information about available resources. He may be telephoned at (520) 792-1450, extension 4501, or by e-mail at Milo.Borich@va.gov.

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