OV a part of largest-ever swim lesson

On June 3, Oro Valley participated in the "world's largest swimming lesson" at the municipal pool in James D. Kriegh Park.

Lessons were given simultaneously at pools around the world in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records mark, and to raise awareness about the importance of teaching children how to swim.

Participant numbers are being finalized, awaiting formal approval from the Guinness organization to make it the world's largest swimming lesson record.

"More importantly, the world's largest swimming lesson was a major success in helping spread the word that swimming lessons save lives," said a release from the Town of Oro Valley. "The message was covered by media across the nation — in print, on TV and the radio — helping to spread the word to over 3.5 million people."

For more information, visit www.worldslargestswimminglesson.org.


ICS collects 2 tons of food; event Sunday

Interfaith Community Services has collected more than two tons of food entering the final week of its Freedom from Hunger food drive.

Nearly 600 pounds have come from Hughes Federal Credit Union locations.

ICS wraps up the food drive this Sunday, June 27, at the Freedom from Hunger celebration at Christ Presbyterian Church, 6565 E. Broadway. The event is free and open to the public. It runs from 3 to 5 p.m.

As part of the day, guests can enjoy ice cream donated by the owner of the Cold Stone Creamery shops at Park Place, 9565 E. 22nd St. and 7115 E. Tanque Verde Road.

Gestures of Joy, a group of about 20 residents of the Splendido retirement community in Oro Valley, are performing lively sign language routines to popular music.

Also performing are a quartet of award-winning students and graduates from the Tucson Jazz Institute: Alex Weitz on tenor sax, Collin D'Aloisio on bass, Garreth Price on drums and Grant Cherry on piano.

Donations of nonperishable food (cereal, rice, pasta, pasta sauce, canned meat, tuna and fruit) may be brought to the celebration or, before June 27, to Interfaith Community Services, 2820 W. Ina Road; Hughes Federal Credit Union offices at 971 W. Wetmore Road, 3131 E. Speedway Blvd., 7970 N. Thornydale Road, 9052 S. Rita Road, 280 N. Pantano Road, 8701 S. Kolb Road or 951 E. Hermans Road; or Thrivent Financial for Lutherans offices at 3430 E. Sunrise Drive or 7367 E. Tanque Verde.

ICS is a volunteer-based nonprofit that since 1985 has provided food and emergency financial assistance to Pima County residents in need. It assists seniors and disabled people with Mobile Meals, transportation, home repairs, friendly visits and calls, and health and safety issues. For more information, call 297-6049.


OV needs more volunteers  for sign focus groups

The Town of Oro Valley needs more volunteers for focus groups regarding possible revisions to the town's current commercial sign code.

Topics include illuminated sign standards; use of A-frame, banner and special event signage; the town's process and procedures regarding permit applications; and Oro Valley's master sign programs and standards, a release said.

Focus group meetings last several hours, and occur at various times of the day.

Applicants can be residents 18 or older, as well as Oro Valley business and industry people.

Applicants can go online and complete a brief questionnaire located on the town's web site at www.orovalleyaz.gov/Town_Government/Planning_Zoning/sign-code.htm. Applications are being accepted throughout the project timeframe, which is expected to be completed by the end of July.

Anyone with questions may call Mary Davis at 229-4712, or e-mail at mdavis@orovalleyaz.gov.


JTED's free hair, fashion show June 23

A free hair and fashion show is being presented by high school students in the Pima County Joint Technical Education District's cosmetology program this Wednesday, June 23.

"Wonderland" opens at 6:30 p.m. at the Cutting Class JTED Academy of Cosmetology, 2855 W. Master Pieces Drive, just north of River off Shannon Road. Models hit the runway at 7 p.m.

Along with innovative hair styles, the show features 23 clothing designs from Backstitch Betty and Siobhan Clothing. A Tucson Dance Company act is also performing.

Guests are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items or cash to benefit the Tucson Community Food Bank.

JTED cosmetology students complete 1,600 hours of program instruction in addition to taking a minimum of four classes at their high school. Graduates are qualified to take the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology exam to become licensed cosmetologists.


Brewer gets endorsed by SAHBA PAC

Gov. Jan Brewer has gained the endorsement of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association.

"Governor Brewer has demonstrated the wisdom, decisiveness and political courage necessary to lead our state for the next four years," said David Greenberg, chairman of the SAHBA political action committee. "Her track record makes her the most qualified candidate to lead Arizona."

SAHBA urges immediate economic stimulus and job creation. "There's no better choice than Brewer for leading our state towards economic prosperity," Greenberg said. "While there are a number of qualified candidates in the race, Governor Brewer is best suited for helping home builders get back to work."

Since 2008, the greater Tucson home building industry has experienced a nearly 80 percent drop in activity. That represents an annual decline of more than $1.5 billion in regional economic activity, the release said.

SAHBA has also endorsed Gary Pierce and Brenda Burns for the Arizona Corporation Commission.



Two regional rest areas to open by Aug. 1

Five closed highway rest areas are being opened by the end of July, "helping to expand the opportunities for travelers to make rest stops along some of the busiest routes in Arizona," according to a Monday release from the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Among those to open by July's end is the heavily used Sacaton rest area south of Phoenix along I-10, as well as the Canoa Ranch stop south of Tucson along I-17. Another four rest areas are scheduled for repairs in an effort to open in the fall. When the nine closed rest areas reopen, Arizona would have 14 operational rest areas.

When ADOT announced plans to temporarily close some rest areas in October, the agency pledged to re-evaluate its financial situation before the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. "Some rest areas can be reopened now because of a stabilizing – but not yet improving – financial situation, and through careful planning and budgeting by ADOT," the release said.

"Because our budget is stabilizing, we can fulfill our promise to drivers by re-evaluating the rest areas program and reopen most of them," said ADOT Director John Halikowski. "However, we still need long-term, sustainable solutions to pay for rest areas and will pursue changes in federal law to allow Arizona to find partnerships and private investment in rest areas to make good use of the limited highway maintenance funds we have."

Each year, Arizona spends about $320,000 per rest area for maintenance, electricity and water services. Funding for these facilities comes from the State Highway Fund, which is comprised of revenue from the state fuel tax and vehicle license tax. Most of the state's rest areas are at least 40 years old. 

The Texas Canyon rest area on I-10 east of Tucson has remained open.


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