Next set of babysitting classes in NW this summer

Northwest Fire District is offering its next set of babysitting classes this summer.

"How do you know when someone is ready to babysit?," a release said. "How about after they complete a class that teaches what to expect and how to entertain different ages, as well as dressing and diapering, kitchen safety, CPR, First Aid, and fire extinguisher skills?"

Teens ages 11-14 can learn the basics:

• Wednesday and Thursday, June 23 and 24,  from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Station 30, 1520 W. Orange Grove Rd.;

• Wednesday and Thursday, July 21 and 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Station 38, 8475 N. Star Grass Rd.

Students should bring a sack lunch each day. A registration fee of $20 must be paid in advance to reserve a spot.

For additional information, or to register, call Northwest Fire Life Safety Service at 887-1010.


Rotary Club honors 150 eighth-graders

Last month, the Casas Adobes Rotary Club honored 150 eighth-grade students from 15 middle schools in the Tucson area.

Middle schools participating in the honor roll breakfast included Coronado K-8 School, Cross Middle School, Marana Middle School, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy and Wilson K-8 School.

The 150 students are eligible for a variety of scholarships at the completion of their senior year of high school.

This year, eight senior high school students, who were recipients of the Rotary Club's recognition in 2006, received educational scholarships totaling more than $15,000.

Scholarship recipients are Jonathan D'Gama, Alexander Tomiak, and Gaizka Urreiztieta from Catalina Foothills High School; Diana Vargas from Amphitheater High School; Ben Genzman from Pusch Ridge High School; Marlene Dominguez from Flowing Wells High School; Nicole Bronnimann from Canyon Del Oro High School; and Taylor Goelz from Ironwood Ridge High School.

All students were recognized by the club during an event at the University of Arizona Student Union.


ICS in need of volunteers during summer

Interfaith Community Services is seeking volunteers this summer, when some volunteers have headed for cooler climes.

"The needs of the elderly, disabled and disadvantaged that ICS serves don't take a vacation," a release said.

The agency, with offices on Ina Road, needs help answering phones, greeting visitors, assisting with clerical tasks, stocking shelves in the food bank, helping food bank recipients, calling homebound seniors and disabled people, driving, minor home repairs and mobile meal deliveries, among many tasks.

"Your experience is valuable," the release said. "Tell ICS what interests you, how much or how little time you want to give and when you're available. We're flexible and value your willingness to help."

To volunteer, contact ICS volunteer coordinator Sandi Brickley at 297-2738, extension 217, or



Final paving of roundabout means closure

Final paving of Oro Valley's new roundabout at Hardy and Northern is planned this Friday, June 4, prompting closure of the intersection from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to a release from the town's public works department.

The intersection will be closed to all through traffic, and Hardy Road is being closed from Northern Avenue to Oracle Road, the release said.

Detour signs are being posted to direct traffic, and workers will be directing local traffic. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternative routes, and use caution when traveling in the area. "Major delays can be expected," the release concluded.


Nw fire chief makes list for top Tempe post

Northwest Fire District Chief Jeff Piechura has been named a finalist for the job of City of Tempe fire chief.

Piechura is among three finalists for the job, which includes the city's acting fire chief, Mark Simmons.

"It's actually home for me," Piechura said. The chief said he grew up in the Phoenix area and still has family there.

Tempe City Manager Charlie Meyer has the responsibility to hire the fire chief. A city spokesperson said a decision is expected later this month.

Piechura had announced his intention to leave Northwest for a job in Chula Vista, Calif., in October 2008. Shortly afterward, however, he withdrew his resignation and decided to remain at the helm of Northwest.

At the time, Piechura told The Explorer he chose to remain at Northwest because the troubled housing market would have made it difficult to sell his home. In addition, the high cost of housing in Southern California was a concern.

Piechura has been with Northwest Fire since the district's inception in 1984. He was named chief in 1988 and has held the job ever since.


Golder Ranch has variety of summer offers

Golder Ranch Fire District has a variety of trainings and informational classes over the summer months.

Among the courses are "CPR for Family and Friends," "Fire Extinguisher Training," "Desert Creatures Awareness," "Emergency/Disaster Preparedness" and "Wild Fire Protection." The district also offers "Heartsaver" and "Healthcare Provider CPR" training for a fee of $25.

"We can provide these opportunities at your place or ours, within the Golder Ranch Fire service area," a release said. Class sizes may be limited in some cases.

District personnel are also available for children's and day care groups to present topics about fire safety, water safety, bicycle safety and more.

Interested people may contact the community services division at 818-1017 for more information and to schedule a class.


Fire rules in place on Pinal state trust lands

Fire and smoking restrictions have been implemented by the State Forestry Division through July 31 on state trust lands in Pinal County.

Restrictions are needed due to increased fire danger from hot, dry conditions and the year's heavy vegetation growth, a release said.

"As brush and grasses dry out, they become fuel for fire and greatly increase the risk of major wildfires," the release said.

Building, maintaining or using a fire, campfire, or charcoal burning device is prohibited. Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, or heating devices are exempt from these restrictions.

Use of fireworks is not allowed. Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle, building, developed campground, or in an area at least 10 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials. Welding or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame is prohibited.

Similar restrictions are in place on all state trust lands within Maricopa, Yuma and La Paz counties as well as the southern portions of Gila and Yavapai counties.

Information and tips on wildfire safety and preparedness can be found at:


Marana chamber seeks comments on 1070's effects

The Marana Chamber of Commerce wants to know what its members think of SB 1070, the new Arizona law that gives law enforcement greater authority to inquire of an individual's residency status.

Passage of SB 1070 "has brought Arizona to the forefront of national news," the chamber writes, and the business organization has "heard from people on both sides of the issue. We'd like to know what direct impact it has had on you, our members."

The survey asks five questions about the effects of 1070 upon scheduled conferences and events, visitors and customers, contracts, job applications and any gain or loss of revenue. Space is allotted for general comments as well.

Results of the survey, which closes at noon Wednesday, June 9, will "help us determine how to best serve our membership," the chamber concludes.


Mills speaks to OV GOP women June 11

Buz Mills, Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, is speaking to the Oro Valley Republican Women's Club on Friday, June 11.

Mills shares his "taxpayer protection pledge for Arizona" as well as information about his candidacy.

The luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m. that Friday at the Oro Valley Country Club, 300 W. Greenock Drive in Oro Valley.

Interested people are asked to RSVP their attendance to Sherese Steffens at 275-5836 or Karen Schutte at 877-3230.


Kiwanis gives scholarships to 2 MHSgraduates

Two Marana High School graduates have been presented scholarships by the Kiwanis Club of the Desert.

Ryan Gapp and Andrew Lopez each received $2,000 scholarships from the service club.

Both young men plan to attend the University of Arizona. Gapp is studying engineering, and Lopez is entering a pre-medicine curriculum.


Celebration of Ironwood's 10th Saturday

A 10th anniversary celebration of the Ironwood Forest National Monument west of Marana is being held this Saturday, June 5, with the director of the federal Bureau of Land Management among the list of expected guests.

BLM Director Bob Abbey is expected at the celebration, being held from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Heritage Highlands at Dove Mountain.

Rep. Raul Grijalva has been invited to attend. The keynote speaker is ethnobotanist, lecturer and writer Gary Paul Nabhan.

In conjunction with the celebration, BLM is conducting media tours of the national monument on Thursday.

BLM and the Friends of the Ironwood Forest are sponsoring the event. Friends of the Ironwood Forest is a local non-profit organization that works for protection of the biological, geological, archaeological and historical resources and values within the national monument. It provides volunteer labor for monument projects, and works to increase community awareness.


National Trails Day celebration planned for OV

Oro Valley will celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 5 at 6:15 p.m.

The event begins at the Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive, and will include a hike at Catalina State Park on the Canyon Loop Trail. The hike is 2.3 miles round trip. Flashlights are recommended.

There is a $5 fee that includes a T-shirt and a snack.  Online registration to participate in the event closes on Friday, June 4 at 5 p.m. To register, go to Click on the Parks and Recreation Department link to register.

National Trails Day is an annual trail awareness event sponsored by the American Hiking Society. The purpose is to motivate the public to discover and learn about experiencing the outdoors through trail hiking. 

The Town of Oro Valley has held a moonlight hike each year that highlights trails within the town's limits. The hike is designed for participants of all ages. For additional information call 229-5056.

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