PICTURE ROCKS DIGEST - CitizensforPictureRocks.org

Vol. 13, No. 3
***For more information, visit our website at www.CitizensForPictureRocks.org***
March 2015
Welcome to the Picture Rocks Digest, a free newsletter about issues and events in the community. The
print version of this all-volunteer publication is distributed at area businesses and community sites.
The electronic version is available online at www.CitizensForPictureRocks.org and via email. If you
have events or news items, or if you would like to be added to our email list, please contact us at
[email protected]
The Picture Rocks Digest is a publication of Citizens for Picture Rocks, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(4) civic
organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community. C4PR meets at 6:30 p.m. on
the third Tuesday of the month at the Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road, with
Iced Tea Social Time beginning at 6:00 p.m. Meetings are always free and open to the public. Membership is not required, but highly recommended. Annual membership dues are $12/person.
Tuesday, March 17
Picture Rocks Community Center
5615 N. Sanders Road
Speaker: Randy Brooks, Rotary Club
Plus Community Updates
Iced Tea Social Time at 6:00 p.m.
Meeting Begins at 6:30 p.m.
Free and Open to All
The two Picture Rocks elementary schools will merge into one
Kindergarten through sixth grade campus in the fall of 2016 if
the Marana Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board
approves. That message was delivered to parents at meetings at
both Desert Winds Elementary (DWE), now K-3, and Picture
Rocks Intermediate (PRI), now grades 4-6, the evening of
February 11 and morning of February 12. The merged campus
would be at the PRI site, with construction of an additional twostory building and other modifications.
Both DWE Principal Tawnya Caldwell and PRI Principal Denise
Linsalata spoke in favor of the merger, as did MUSD Superintendent Doug Wilson. They saw benefits in keeping students
together for a longer time and avoiding the “anxiety of change.”
Several teachers present also approved, but the Parent-Teacher
Organization, representing both schools, was split right down the
middle, and observers saw no hope of consensus.
As part of Pima County’s Adopt-a-Roadway program, Citizens for
Picture Rocks has adopted three sections of local roads for twiceyearly litter pickup. The next date is Saturday, March 28, meeting at 8:00 a.m. at Picture Rocks Community Center. Volunteers
over age 14 are welcome, and tools, safety vests and trash bags
are supplied. Lunch will be provided afterwards thanks to a
generous discount from the Minit Market Subway. For more
information, call Chris Banks at 682-7229 or Jan Pekelder at 6827122.
Citizens for Picture Rocks needs someone with a car — preferably
two someones — to deliver the Picture Rocks Digest to local
stores, schools and community groups once each month, usually
during the first week of the month. Half the route takes about an
hour. To volunteer, call Jamie at 682-0287.
An Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Girl Scouts Troop 3978 with
support from other troops will be held at Picture Rocks Park,
Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. There will also be a jumping castle and
field games. Free and all
welcome. This is where the
funds raised from selling
cookies goes!
Cookie sales end
the first week in March,
so get ‘em
while you still can!
Desert Winds Principal Tawnya Caldwell (standing, left) and
Picture Rocks Intermediate Principal Denise Linsalata spoke to
parents about merging the two schools under the slogan:
“United! One Community: One Elementary School.”
Existing programs, including pre-school and after-school, would
continue. Teachers would not be affected, but administration and
support staff would face reductions. Wilson and the principals
stressed that no one was likely to be unemployed, as a new
school is being built in the Gladden Farms area of Marana. The
present Desert Winds facility would continue to be maintained as
a community resource. The Community Food Bank, Marana
Health Center, and Pima County have all expressed interest in
using space there, according to Supt. Wilson.
The 45 parents present expressed some concerns about pick-up
and drop-off overcrowding, and about the danger of bullying.
Wilson said that most bullying is done by same-age classmates
rather than older students picking on younger ones. Parents were
invited to sign up to help with the transition by contributing ideas
to meet concerns.
In 1995 DWE, then K-6, was overcrowded with over 1,000
students, so the grades were split and a new campus was built.
Enrollment at both schools now totals 660. Discussion of merging
(Continued on page 2)
the schools has been ongoing, but state budget cuts made it
impossible until capital improvement bonds were approved last
year. All eleven other MUSD elementary schools are Kindergarten
through sixth grade.
The MUSD Governing Board will listen to arguments for and
against the merger at a special meeting on Thursday, March 12,
at 6:30 p.m., prior to their regular meeting at 7:00. The Board is
scheduled to vote on the issue Thursday, March 26, at 7:00 p.m.
Both meetings are at the Marana Municipal Complex, 11555
Marana Drive.
Those who are unable to attend but wish to comment may send
written comments to the school principals for delivery to the
Board, or send emails to individual Board members via the MUSD
website at www.maranausd.org.
In related news, the MUSD’s 2340 Foundation just gave
“Outstanding Staff Awards” to DWE Principal Tawnya Caldwell
and DWE Preschool Supervisor Amanda McPherson.
About 30 protesters, escorted by Pima County Sheriff’s Deputies,
peacefully marched two miles from Picture Rocks Community
Center Inc. (PRCCI) to the BMX/Skate Park in Picture Rocks Park
on February 21, a week later than originally announced.
PRCCI’s Chief Executive Officer, Jason Brown, was quoted on
Channel 4 News saying that the reason for the march was to protest what he called "the unreasonable use of public funds" in approving skate park lighting, while turning down PRCCI’s grant
application last year. Several signs carried by marchers called for
“new county leadership.”
PRCCI is a private non-profit that distributes surplus bread and
produce and operates a thrift store. They have applied again this
year for a Community Development Block Grant. Observers note
that the organization has had internal discord over the years,
with threatened and actual legal actions within the various leaderships.
Pima County Deputy Administrator Hank Atha told KVOA that it
wasn't a question of allocating money to either PRCCI or the
skate park. He said the county had applications last year requesting $6.3 million in Community Development Block Grants, with
only $2.5 million available. "We had ample evidence that the
community was interested in the skate park and wanted to see it
finished," Atha said.
The Picture Rocks community has received federally-funded
CDBG projects for more than a decade, including equipment for
the Fire Department and Avra Water Co-op, shade cover for the
park’s children’s playground, a public computer lab at Picture
Rocks Community Center, and an electronic message sign. That
sign remains a source of contention between Citizens for Picture
Rocks and the Picture Rocks Fire District, which maintains it.
C4PR initiated several CDBG projects over the years and originally proposed the sign for community access. The fire district,
which offered to help get through regulatory hurdles, is now allowing only fire district announcements. The county has told the
fire district to honor the agreement they signed or pay back
$38,000 in grant money.
There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the
Picture Rocks Fire District Governing Board, keeping an election
promise, is returning their meeting night to the third Thursday of
the month at 6:30 p.m. They had rescheduled their meetings for
the past year to the third Tuesday, creating a conflict with longstanding Citizens for Picture Rocks meetings.
The bad news is that PRFD firefighter and public educator Billie
Moon has resigned. Billie worked with schools and community
groups to build mutual support and a safe community. She also
brought us free car seats and smoke alarms, and taught CPR
classes. She will be missed, and we wish her well.
A Pima County Bond Advisory Committee (BAC) has been meeting for several years to craft a bond proposal for voter approval.
Slow economic recovery has postponed the measure several
times, but the BAC is now looking at November 2015, with a
proposal that will cap at $650 million. It was much higher, but
tens of millions of dollars were cut from library, park and affordable housing proposals. New University of Arizona facilities would
still get $48 million, and $5 million would go for unspecified
Davis-Monthan land acquisition.
A modest proposal to expand the Picture Rocks Community
Center was rejected when County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry opposed it, saying that Picture Rocks had already gotten its
share of benefits. The fact is, according to State of Arizona audits
and County analysis, unincorporated Pima County – which
includes Picture Rocks – pays more than its fair share and gets
far less. Tucson, Marana, South Tucson and Sahuarita get more
than they pay for. Oro Valley joins its country cousins in getting
the short end of the bond stick.
With 36 percent of the population, unincorporated Pima County
pays almost 43 percent of the bond debt taxes and received 36
percent of project benefits. Tucson pays 41 percent and receives
nearly half of bond benefits. The new bond proposal, expected to
go to the Board of Supervisors in March, continues the inequity,
taxing unincorporated Pima County 42.7 percent for just 32.1
percent of the benefits. Those include supposed “county-wide”
benefits such as University expansion, Colossal Cave improvements, and the “Sonoran Corridor” linking I-10 to I-19 for the
benefit of Raytheon, the airport and the UA Tech Park, and
linking to Huckelberry’s proposed Interstate 11 route through the
Avra Valley.
Originally asking for $20 million for his highway, the County
Administrator raised it to $31 million and settled on $30 million.
As recently as this past December, Huckelberry’s office continues
to label the “Sonoran Corridor” route as I-11. The Avra Valley
Coalition has provided the Bond Advisory Committee and Board
of Supervisors petitions signed by nearly 800 people pledging to
vote and campaign against any bond measure that includes
money for Interstate 11. The BAC was scheduled to meet to
finalize the measure on February 27. Proposals and analysis can
be accessed at http://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx?
Tressah Moon, Picture Rocks Intermediate School 5th grade
student, placed second in the MUSD Spelling Bee on January 28.
After a grueling 19-round spell off, 7th grade Marana Middle
School student Matthew Glasshoff correctly spelled the final
word, “meticulous,” after respelling the word “amarillo.” This is
the second year Matthew placed first and the second year
Tressah was the runner-up. Over 5,500 Marana Unified School
District students, representing eleven elementary schools and
two middle schools, competed in classroom and school spelling
bees over the past two months in order to be one of the 28
spellers competing at the Marana district Bee.
Before their 5th birthday and Kindergarten, children are in your
home all day, every day, for their first five years of life. Below is
another idea from the Desert Winds Principal to help you get
them ready for their school career:
Learning can be messy – but it’s also great fun!
Use finger paints or watercolors to show how two
colors can be mixed together to produce a third
color. Mixing paint helps children learn about
colors and shades. Ask your child what he thinks
will happen if you mix a color with white paint.
Spring has sprung — De boid is on de wing —
But dat’s absoid — De wing is on de boid.
--Old New York poem
Hikers checking out wildflower bloom
Dueling Gardens gardeners
Archery in the park
Playground fun
Open-Air Market at Picture Rocks & Sandario on Saturdays
BMX-Skate Park action
For over a dozen years, Citizens for Picture Rocks, a 501(c)(4) non-profit community advocacy organization, has been working to make
our community a better place to live. We’ve come a long way from the days when Picture Rocks was called “Tweakerville” or “Hell's
Angels City.” Efforts by C4PR and its members have brought us a sheriff’s station, swimming pool, BMX/skate park, sidewalks and bike
paths to get to school, the Ortiz Medical Clinic, a computer lab at the Community Center, shade for the playground, and more.
In addition, volunteers pick up litter along miles of local roads twice yearly, and help make Halloween and New Year’s Eve safe and
friendly events. Guest speakers at monthly meetings keep us informed about regulations and opportunities, and our election forums
bring political candidates to our community, often for the first time. The Picture Rocks Digest has carried local and other news of
interest for over a decade, celebrating the best in our community while challenging threats to the peace and safety of the valley.
There is still much to be done, and we need help to do it — your help. Our expenses are small, but continuing, and joining C4PR will
ensure that we go forward. Membership dues are $12.00 a year per person, and the membership year begins in March. That’s now. And
we don’t just want your money — we need your ideas, your energy, and yes, sometimes we need your bodies to show the decisionmakers that we are real and we matter and we will be heard.
Fill out the form below, write a check to Citizens for Picture Rocks, and bring them both to the March 17 C4PR meeting. Meetings are
held on the third Tuesday of each month (except December) at the Picture Rocks Community Center, beside the elementary school on
Sanders Road. If you prefer, you may mail your form and check to Paul Flemm, Treasurer, Citizens for Picture Rocks, 7850 N. Silverbell
Rd. #114-245, Tucson, AZ 85743.
COUNT ME IN. Here’s my check ($12.00/person) for a year’s membership in Citizens for Picture Rocks for:
NAME(S) (please print):___________________________________________________________________________________________
(Your e-mail address is important for receiving notices of special meetings and important issues. We do not share email addresses with any other organization.)
Suggestions for guest speakers or topics:___________________________________________________________________________
The Picture Rocks Digest is written by Albert Lannon, except where noted, and submissions of local news are encouraged.
Karen Zopf does the design and formatting. Jamie Kisthardt handles the ads.
To submit news, email: [email protected]
The Picture Rocks Community Center Hiking Club will mosey up King
Canyon on Thursday, March 19, leaving the Picture Rocks Community
Center at 8:30 a.m. There are ancient petroglyphs, a Civilian Conservation
Corps-built picnic area, and a side trip to the sealed Gould Mine and the
remains of its powder house. The hike is about three miles round-trip, with
some ups and downs and a bit of scrambling.
To reserve a place on this hike, call Picture Rocks Community Center at
682-7166. Wear sturdy shoes, bring a light lunch and more water than
you’ll think you need. Wear a hat, and a walking stick is always useful.
Free. Sorry, no dogs.
Right: View of the Avra Valley from Gould Mine.
Picture Rocks author, Cheryl Jeffries,
Hope Specialist, Pendulist, Practitioner,
Hypnotherapist, Spiritual Director
How to Change Your Life,
Get in the Flow, and Live on Purpose
Buy the book on Amazon and e-mail me the receipt
for 2 Bonus Gifts. Send e-mail to:
[email protected], Subject: Book.
Quantum Inner Healing,
the best of ancient wisdoms and science
Experience High Hopes
Fall in Love with Yourself
Fall in Love with Your Life
Manifest the Life You Desire
The Healing Clinic
Where You Heal It
Picture Rocks Hair Care Barber & Beauty
Men, Women & Children
1850 W. Picture Rocks Road
(behind Wagon Wheel Post store)
Perm— Color—Frost—Cuts
Nexxus—Abba—Paul Mitchell
Mobile Services for
Wed, Thurs, Fri: 9-5
Sat: 8-4
(closed Sun, Mon, Tues)
We appreciate our advertisers and ask you to tell them that you saw their ad in the Digest. However, as a non-profit community group, Citizens
for Picture Rocks neither endorses nor recommends any product or service. For information on advertising in the Digest, call 682-0287.