OVPD to put on drug take-back events in 2010

The Oro Valley Police Department plan a series of prescription drug "take-back" events in 2010.

The events are planned for Jan. 16, Feb. 20, March 20, April 17 and May 15. All gatherings are planned for Saturdays at the Target store located at First Avenue and Oracle Road. They'll run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The events are designed to help residents dispose of unused prescription drugs in safe ways, instead of flushing drugs down the toilet or leaving them on shelves where they could be abused by teen-agers.

The events are conducted in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, SOBER Project, Meth Free Alliance, Oro Valley Optimist Club, Golder Ranch Fire District and the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department.

Marana sets two meets on economic map

During January, the Town of Marana is hosting two open houses to preview its economic roadmap.

The first session is Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library off Silverbell Road south of Cortaro.

The second is at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Heritage Highlands Clubhouse.

Marana's economic roadmap "will build public/private sector partnerships to attract and retain a diverse business and employment base, support new local businesses, develop amenities and attractions to create a world-class destination and provide a high quality workforce, all of which will move the community toward its vision," a town release said.

The public is encouraged to attend.

Marana's budget recognized by officers' group

The Town of Marana Finance Department is receiving a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.

The award, for fiscal year 2010, is for the town's annual budget and comprehensive financial plan, a release said.

To be recognized, the town's budget presentation had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines and be rated "proficient" as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device.

"Receiving this award shows the town's commitment to providing Marana's citizens with detailed financial information that follows the highest principles of governmental budgeting," said Marana Finance Director Erik Montague. "We are answerable to our residents and business owners, and believe in the importance of transparency in the budget process."

This is the third consecutive year the town's budget document received a GFOA award. The GFOA is a nonprofit association that serves 17,600 government finance professionals in North America.

Sanofi-aventis using recycled carbon dioxide

At its new Tucson Research Center, Sanofi-aventis is using reclaimed carbon dioxide as a compound purifier.

Liquid CO2 has largely replaced a toxic solvent, derived from the production of carpeting, that is expensive to dispose, said Eric Wegrzyniak, chemist and principal research investigator for Sanofi-aventis.

The company buys reclaimed carbon dioxide, storing it in a large tank outside its Oro Valley research facility. Carbon dioxide is compressed into liquid form, heated, then used to purify synthesized compounds used in pharmaceutical research.

In gas form, the CO2 is then released into the atmosphere.

"We don't create any CO2," Wegrzyniak explains. "We don't add CO2."

Using CO2, "the efficacy of the process is much higher," Wegrzyniak said. "It's a great improvement over what we had."

Open house at NW fire station this Saturday

Northwest Firefighters are offering fun, food and safety tips during an open house Saturday, Jan. 16.

The event, with squirting fire hoses, climbs on fire engines and close-up views of equipment, runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Station 30, 1520 W. Orange Grove Rd.

Visitors can practice home escape under realistic conditions with the "smoke trailer," which lets kids and adults practice finding for escape routes "while surrounded in safe, white smoke," a release said.

Firehouse hot dogs and chips, and conversation with firefighters, caps the day.

It is free, and the public of all ages is encouraged to attend.

Juried art show at SaddleBrooke venue Jan. 30-31

More than 20 artists are participating in a juried fine-arts festival at SaddleBrooke on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30-31.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the SaddleBrooke HOA #1 Clubhouse, 64500 E. SaddleBrooke Boulevard.

Sabine McDonald, promoter for "Sabine's Fine Art Festivals," said the show will benefit the SaddleBrooke Art League.

For more information, call 682-7033.

OV's chief is speaking at 'Watch' events

Oro Valley Police Chief Danny Sharp is offering forums about Neighborhood Watch on two dates in January.

Sharp is speaking about Neighborhood Watch, concentrating on the prevention of crime and particularly involving residential neighborhoods, on Thursday, Jan. 21, and Saturday, Jan. 30.

The Thursday event runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Sharp speaks from 10 to 11:30 a.m. that Saturday. Both public events are being held in the Oro Valley Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Cañada Dr.

Sharp plans to speak "on current issues affecting the police department," a release said. OVPD's Community Resource Unit is giving a presentation explaining the benefits of Neighborhood Watch, and Oro Valley Citizen Volunteer Assistance Program personnel will talk about their programs.

For more information, call Sgt. Amy Sloane at 229-5080.

Kyl in OV for town hall meet this Wednesday

Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is coming to Oro Valley for a town hall meeting this Wednesday, Jan. 13.

The public event, put together by the Tucson Tea Party, runs from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene, 500 W. Calle Concordia.

"Senator Kyl looks forward to such forums as a chance to hear directly from citizens and to respond to questions and concerns about what's happening in Washington, D.C.," according to a release from his office. "Topics such as health care reform and the economy are likely to be on the minds of most in attendance, but the discussion will be open to all issues."

"We appreciate the senator's willingness to meet with us in person," said Jennifer Humphries, event coordinator for the Tucson Tea Party.

Marana names its new park 'Crossroads'

A new park at Silverbell and Cortaro roads in Marana has been named "Crossroads at Silverbell Park."

Last week, the Marana Town Council passed a resolution officially calling the multiple use district park "Town of Marana Crossroads at Silverbell Park."

The name is consistent with Marana's mission "to maintain a sense of community character by linking the past, present and future," the resolution said.

There were more than 90 suggestions during a process to name the park, according to Marana Parks and Recreation Department Director Tom Ellis. "The most suggested name referenced Crossroads," the resolution reads.

The park site has been a crossroads and meeting place for thousands of years. As early as A.D. 750, the site was the location of a Hohokam farming village. The Santa Cruz River flows north from Mexico and joins monsoon rains from the Tucson Mountains flowing in the Yuma Wash; "a perfect location for growing crops and families," according to town history.

Spanish explorer Juan Batista de Anza passed through the park site in 1775 on his journey with 300 travelers to Northern California. The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail runs along the park on the east side and the Anza Auto Route passes along Silverbell Road to the west. The Mormon Battalion marched by in 1846, and the Butterfield Stagecoach passed by from 1858 to 1861.

The park site was part of the Bojorquez-Aguirre Ranch, a large ranch and 40-acre farm that operated on the site from the 1880s through 1940. Silverbell Road carried people, materials and supplies on the way to the Silver Bell Mine since the 1870s.

Rodeo parade Feb. 25; entries due on Friday

Entries are needed by this Friday, Jan. 15, for the 2010 Tucson Rodeo Parade, to be held Feb. 25.

People who want to participate in the parade may call 294-1280, or go to www.tucsonrodeoparade.org.

The Tucson Rodeo Parade begins with pre-parade entertainment at 8 a.m. Feb. 25 in the grandstand area on Irvington Road between Third and Sixth avenues. The parade begins at 9 a.m. that Thursday on East Ajo Way, moving south on Park to East Irvington, west on Irvington to Sixth, and past the grandstand.

Grandstand tickets may be purchased at the web site; by visiting the rodeo parade office at 4823 S. Sixth Ave.; or by phone with a credit card at 294-1280. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children under 12 when purchased in advance.

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