January events about political campaign finance set in Tucson

Seminars are being conducted in January about political campaign finance.

The free events are intended for political committees, candidates and committee treasurers, according to a release from Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

Workshops are planned from 10 a.m. to noon, and again from 2 to 4 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 22, at the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Building, 3500 W. River. Sessions are slated for the first floor conference room.

Presentations are planned on Arizona campaign finance laws and campaign finance reporting requirements ahead of the 2010 primary and general elections, the release said. "Candidates and their treasurers are encouraged to attend," it concluded.

Three parties can be rep'd on '10 ballots

Based upon voter registrations, the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties remain eligible for continued representation in 2010 elections, according to a release from Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett.

On Nov. 1 of the preceding year, a political party must have registered voters "equal to at least two-thirds of 1 percent of the total registered voters in the state," Bennett said in a release.

Arizona has 3.108 million registered voters. There are 24,842 registered Libertarians, representing .8 of 1 percent of all voters.

Statewide, there are 1.127 million registered Republicans, or 36.26 percent of the registered total. Democratic ranks stood at 1.035 million, or 33.3 percent. Arizona has 916,856 unaffiliated voters, 29.49 percent of the electorate.

In Pima County, there are 188,539 registered Democrats (39.6 percent), 149,785 registered Republicans (31.5 percent), and 132,117 unaffiliated voters (27.78 percent) among a total registration of 475,502.

'Treecycling' at Naranja site, Marana airport Dec. 26-Jan. 16

Oro Valley, Marana and the communities of Tucson are again providing an opportunity for residents to recycle their Christmas trees.

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Oro Valley, working with Key Club members from Canyon Del Oro and Ironwood Ridge high schools, will be on hand at the Naranja Town Site Dec. 26-Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., collecting trees.

Trees may be taken to the Marana Airport, west of the entrance, as well as the Rillito Race Track east parking lot. Most sites are open during daylight hours.

Trees for recycling must be free of ornaments, decorations and tree stands.

There is no charge for this service.

On Saturday, Jan. 9 at the race track, trees will be chipped, and people can come by to take home garden mulch. Residents should bring their own containers.

"Treecycling" is in its 14th year. Since 1997, Treecycling has collected and re-used more than 309,500 Christmas trees.

Marana Key Club, council aid 12 families

 Twelve needy families are having a brighter holiday, through the efforts of the Marana High School Key Club and the MHS student council.

Each family received a turkey with all the fixings, 50 or more pounds of canned foods and at least $100 in presents for their children.

Key Club is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of the Desert.

"The youth of MUSD are compassionate," said Steve Richards, a Kiwanis member. "They are all energetic, enthusiastic, and wear me out just watching."

Students raised funds through various efforts, among them selling refreshments at athletic functions, manning booths at events, selling flowers for Valentine's Day and more. The Key Club has more than 60 members, Richards said.

Administrators at Marana High School pick the families based upon need. Richards has accompanied past deliveries.

"Living conditions are grim, the recipients are always very grateful and most often friendly, gracious and proud," Richards said.

Forum for OV mayor, council Saturday, Jan. 16

A forum with candidates for Oro Valley Town Council and mayor is being hosted Jan. 16 by the Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to noon that Saturday in the library meeting room.

All candidates for the position of Oro Valley mayor and Oro Valley Town Council have been invited to attend, and have indicated they'll be there, according to a Friends spokeswoman.

Satish Hiremath, Mayor Paul Loomis and Michael Zinkin are seeking the mayor's term.

Incumbent K.C. Carter, Don Emmons, Mark Finchem, Joe Hornat, Mary Snider, Matthew Rabb and Lou Waters are bidding for three seats on the town council.

The forum is open to written questions from the floor on topics relevant to the council and mayor. Each candidate is receiving "equal time on questions relative to the position they are hoping to fill," a release said.

People may submit written questions to libraryfriends@orovalleyaz.gov.

Martha Briggs, president of the Friends, is the moderator.

Powwow this weekend at Raceway

A Native American craft market and New Year's competition powwow is being held this weekend at Rillito Raceway Park, River Road and First Avenue.

The Indian America event is always New Year's weekend inside the race track at the park. It begins New Year's Eve, this Thursday, Dec. 31, and extends through Jan. 2.

Dancers from more than 50 tribes are expected. A special midnight friendship round dance, free to the public, is from 11:45 p.m. to 12:05 a.m. New Year's Eve.

Dancing extends through the weekend. Lawn chairs and shade are encouraged. Admission is $9 for adults. Children 8, military members with identification and Indians with regalia are admitted at no charge.

For information, call 622-4900, or go to usaindianinfo.org.

Split Marana council makes appointments

On a split vote Dec. 15, the Marana Town Council appointed two individuals, one to a town advisory commission, another to a town board.

Dee Maitland was named to the business and economic citizen advisory commission.

Larry Steckler was named to the board of adjustment.

Steckler had previously served on the board of adjustment, but resigned to take a position on the parks and recreation citizen advisory board. Under the revised procedures for appointment adopted by the town council last summer, Steckler is allowed to sit on a citizen advisory commission as well as another board or committee.

Steckler is a real estate agent who ran for town council earlier this year, and who strongly criticized the council for allowing an apartment complex proposal to proceed on Dove Mountain.

The vote for approval was 4-2, with Roxanne Ziegler and Herb Kai opposed, Mayor Ed Honea and council members Jon Post, Patti Comerford and Russell Clanagan in favor. Council member Carol McGorray was absent.

College opens a center in SaddleBrooke

Central Arizona College has formally unveiled its new SaddleBrooke Center, located in the commercial district along SaddleBrooke Avenue.

"As a community college, part of our mission is to take care of, and deal with, all the educational and training needs of all our community," said Dennis Jenkins, president of the college, during a Dec. 17 open house.

SaddleBrooke property owners pay tax to help support the college, which is in its 41st year. For years, the college has provided classes in homeowners association spaces within SaddleBrooke. Then, in November 2008, voters in the Pinal County Community College District approved a $98.975 million general obligation bond intended to "extend access to educational and training programs, as well as services throughout the county, reaching large population bases that are presently underserved," according to a college history.

"The county residents have really supported us," including SaddleBrooke in that last vote, Jenkins said. "When we were talking about the bond issue, people asked 'can you bring some services over here to us?' Absolutely. Everyone should have reasonable access to the services we can provide.

Finding a space in SaddleBrooke was "pretty tight," Jenkins said. The community's commercial center on SaddleBrooke Avenue is "really the only site you can rent in this area." Some vacancies developed in the commercial cluster with economic recession. That opened up a space for CAC.

The signed SaddleBrooke Center has a reception area that converts into a classroom, two other classrooms and rest room facilities. It is about 1,300 square feet.

The center is offering 10 classes this spring at the center, some of them for credit, others as part of Central Arizona Lifelong Learning, or CALL. They are open to all residents. Two classes for SaddleBrooke residents alone are presented through the homeowners associations. There are four courses in Oracle, too.

Benny DeSantiago is the community outreach coordinator for the center.

A version of this story appeared in the Dec. 23 SaddleBrooke Explorer.

Dem candidate for state super in OV January 11

Penny Kotterman, candidate for superintendent of public instruction in Arizona, is speaking in Oro Valley on Monday, Jan. 11.

Kotterman addresses the Democrats of Oro Valley monthly meeting at 7 p.m. that Monday in the large meeting room at the Oro Valley Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Kotterman is a parent, lifelong teacher and teacher mentor "who has a new vision for public education in Arizona," a release said.

"She believes in setting high standards and high expectations for our students, our teachers and our schools, and then providing them the assistance they need to achieve at their full potential," it continued. "Penny envisions an education system that returns our schools to their rightful place at the center of our communities and a system that brings out the very best in students, teachers and parents."

For more information, contact Mike Dayton at 742-3774.

Bird count Saturday; volunteers needed

Know your Sonoran Desert birds? Then you're invited to help count as many as can be found this Saturday, Jan. 2, during the annual Dudleyville Christmas Bird Count.

Audubon Society tallies have been ongoing all month. One "particularly interesting count circle" is the Dudleyville census, conducted about an hour's drive north of Tucson and coordinated by Tucson resident Doug Jenness.

"Teams will explore the rich riparian areas of the lower San Pedro River between Winkelman and south of Dudleyville, as well as Aravaipa Creek," said Jenness. "These areas are a winter haven for mixed flocks of foraging vireos, warblers, nuthatches, and titmice, and adjacent farm fields attract raptors and sparrows."

Birds of note found in recent years are golden-crowned and Harris's sparrows, black-and white warblers, bald eagles and sandhill cranes. "Typically this count finds the most Cassin's and plumbeous vireos of any count in North America," Jenness said.

Different teams will canvass separate survey blocks all day, then get together to compare bird checklists at a festive compilers' dinner Saturday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. in Kearney.

A year ago, CBC crews confirmed a rare black-and-white warbler among nearly a hundred other species. Birders wonder this year if they'll have another overflight of sandhill cranes, or see long-eared owls or a perched peregrine falcon.

Volunteers who would like to sign up may contact Jenness at 520-909-1529 or e-mail to  d_jenness@hotmail.com. Read about all the Arizona Christmas Bird Count dates at the Arizona Field Ornithologists Society website, http://azfo.org

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