County prepares for landfill changes

Pima County plans to change solid waste services beginning in July.

The changes are intended to help reduce the Solid Waste Division's budget deficit.

Changes include temporary closure of the Sahuarita Landfill and temporary closure of the Ina Road Commercial Landfill including the green waste collection site and waste tire facility.

The Ina Road solid waste services will be moved to the county's Tangerine Landfill site. In addition to the Tangerine Landfill, the Pima County solid waste transfer sites at Catalina and Ryan Field and the Ajo Landfill will remain open for use. 

Pima County also plans to pursue the development and operation of a future transfer station at Tangerine through a public-private partnership.

The Sahuarita Landfill is projected to operate at a $351,000 annual deficit for in fiscal 2011, which begins July 1, 2010. 

The deficit includes an approximately $100,000 "host fee" that is paid to the town of Sahuarita. 

"If we raised the tipping fee to cover the deficit, the cost to users would be too high," said Ursula Kramer, director of PDEQ. "And people would drive to the city of Tucson's Los Reales Landfill where the tipping fee would be significantly less and our financial deficit would grow even bigger."

Officials said they want to reopen the Sahuarita and Ina Road sites if the county's economic situation turns around.



American adds another flight to Dallas / FW

American Airlines has added its eighth non-stop flight between Tucson and Dallas / Fort Worth.

The daily flight, which began Feb. 12, leaves Tucson International Airport at 6 a.m., and arrives at D/FW at 9:15 a.m., according to a release.

American also offers two daily non-stop flights between Tucson and Chicago O'Hare.

TIA now has nine airlines providing 65 daily non-stop departures between Tucson and 14 destinations – Seattle, Dallas, the two major Chicago airports, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Houston, Denver, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Phoenix.


CDO students score big in academic decathlon

The Canyon Del Oro High School Academic Decathlon team won the regional competition for the ninth year in a row.

This was the 32nd year that CDO has participated in the competitions that test students' skills in art, economics, math, science, music, speech, social science, literature, interviewing and essay writing. 

The team won a total of 64 medals, earned $4,500 in cash prizes, and more than $100,000 in scholarships.

The score placed the team in the top ten in the U.S. and second in Arizona going into the state competition, which will be March 12 and 13.

"I am very proud of the team, they have worked tremendously hard since August and their effort paid off in a big way," said Chris Yetman, the team's coach. "Unfortunately, the floggings will have to continue until our state competition in March."

Last year, the team won the state championship and placed fourth at the national competition in Memphis, Tenn. last April. 

In a field of more than 160 participants, CDO team member Nic Baird had the highest score of the competition and Anna Hainsworth placed second. Teammates Jordan Neerhof and Rush Moore each had the top score in their respective divisions. Neerhof won a trophy for the best essay. Seungwoo Sun, Ellie Strasser, David Argentati, Jordan Kurker-Mraz and Chelsea Parraga also received medals. 


New leader for immigration control group

Claudia White has been elected president of Arizonans for Immigration Control.

The group, which describes itself as "a grassroots activist group which promotes border security and exposes the exploitation of illegal alien laborers for economic profit or race-based political gain," was started by Wes Bramhall in Tucson 23 years ago.

At a Jan. 23 meeting, White spoke about Arizona's open border policies and the connection to the 2008 recession. She believes Arizonans "are in the right place at the right time to expose and defeat efforts to undermine American sovereignty through misguided immigration policy."

The group meets again at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Martha Cooper Library, 1377 N. Catalina.

The Web site is



Biospherian to sign books and speak Saturday

Jane Poynter, a local author and former Biosphere II resident, signs books and speaks with readers on Saturday, Feb. 20, at Bookmans, 6230 E. Speedway.

Poynter has written "Champions for Change: Athletes Making a World of Difference," created with the support of the United Nations Department of Public Information and dozens of athletes and explorers who are sharing their personal experiences to motivate action concerning climate change.

Poynter is president of Paragon Space Development Corp., a technology firm, and Global Sports Alliance USA, a non-profit dedicated to environmental education and action. Proceeds from Champions for Change go to literacy projects in the Southwest through the Global Sports Alliance.

The book-signing and conversation with the author runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.


Loomis, 5 get Tucson chamber panel backing

Oro Valley Mayor Paul Loomis has received endorsement for re-election from a Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce political action committee.

The chamber's "committee for responsive government" is also suggesting voters choose incumbent K.C. Carter, and Mary Snider, Mark Finchem, Joe Hornat and Lou Waters, in the primary election race for three seats on the Oro Valley Town Council. The committee believes those five candidates "will represent business and the community at large well and deserve consideration of your vote," a release said.

Loomis is seeking a fourth term in office.

The Oro Valley primary election is by mail. Ballots are due and tallied by Tuesday, March 9.


Golder Ranch names Karrer its new chief

Golder Ranch Fire District has named a new chief.

Randy Karrer was chosen by the district's board of directors. He has signed an employment contract with the district, and is scheduled to begin March 1, according to a release from the district.

Karrer is succeeding retiring Golder Ranch fire chief John Fink, who has served in the capacity for more than 15 years. Karrer was selected as part of a western states recruitment and assessment process.

"I am very excited and humbled to be joining the Golder Ranch team and I look forward to working with the board, staff and the community we serve," Karrer said in a release.

He began his fire service career in 1981, and has worked in various facets of emergency services.



Open campus at Green Fields this Thursday

Green Fields Country Day School is holding an open campus day this Thursday, Feb. 18.

Parents of prospective students in grades 6-12 can visit any time from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. They can attend classes, stroll the 22-acre campus and interact with students, teachers and administrators, a release said.

Founded in 1933, Green Fields is Southern Arizona's oldest independent K-12 college preparatory school. In a typical year, 100 percent of the graduating class attends four-year colleges or universities.

People are asked to call 297-2288, extension 105 for a schedule of classes. The school is located at 6000 N. Camino de la Tierra in northwest Tucson. The Web site is

A separate open house for grades K-5 will be held on Sunday, March 14 from 1 to 3 p.m.



Cage raised $32K thus far for Senate run

Cheryl Cage, the Democratic candidate for Arizona Senate in District 26, said in January she has raised $32,000 for her contest with Republican Sen. Al Melvin.

Cage, who lost to Melvin in 2008, said most of her donations have been under $100.

The $32,000 "is almost exactly the amount she would be allowed to spend for an entire campaign, were she and her opponent receiving state funds," Cage said in a release. Both Cage and Melvin are opting not to run with "clean elections" funds, choosing traditional campaign funding sources.

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