PICTURE ROCKS DIGEST 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. CITIZENS FOR PICTURE ROCKS MONTHLY MEETING 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 PICTURE ROCKS PRIDE! ROADWAY CLEANUP MARCH 28 PICTURE ROCKS SCHOOLS TO MERGE? 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. GOT A SPARE HOUR OR TWO FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE? 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. THE EASTER BUNNY IS ON THE WAY! 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) 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. PROTEST IN PICTURE ROCKS 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. HOT NEWS FROM THE PICTURE ROCKS FIRE DEPARTMENT 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 LOOK AT THE PROPOSED PIMA COUNTY BOND MEASURE 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? portalId=169&pageID=184929. MARANA DISTRICT SPELLING BEE: PRI’S TRESSAH MOON TAKES SECOND… AGAIN! 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. TIPS FOR TODDLERS – MESSY FUN! 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. 3 SPRING HAS SPRUNG! 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 SPRING INTO SPRING WITH MEMBERSHIP IN CITIZENS FOR PICTURE ROCKS! 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):___________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS:___________________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY:____________________________STATE:______ZIP:________________________PHONE:______________________________ E-mail:__________________________________________________________________________________ (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] COMMUNITY NEWS/ANNOUNCEMENT HIKE THROUGH LOCAL MINING HISTORY 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 309309-8726 Where You Heal It Picture Rocks Hair Care Barber & Beauty Men, Women & Children 1850 W. Picture Rocks Road (behind Wagon Wheel Post store) 682-8021 Perm— Color—Frost—Cuts Products: Nexxus—Abba—Paul Mitchell Mobile Services for Handicapped Hours: 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.
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