Picture Rocks Pride

Volume 6, Number 1 January, 2008

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. If you have calendar events or news items, or if you would like to be added to our email list, please contact us at PictureRocksDigest@comcast.net.

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. Citizens for Picture Rocks meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road. Meetings are free and open to the public. The next meeting is January 15, 2008. Everyone is welcome to attend — membership not required, but highly recommended! 


The annual Citizens for Picture Rocks New Year's Eve pot-luck dinner attracted about 80 people who dug into 36 dishes, including soups, salads, stews and salsa, baked ham, potatoes and pasta. And, yes, real men do eat quiche. And also cake, cookies, brownies and peanut butter pie. And lots more, all of it delicious.

food table food dishes
food table food dishes

C4PR President Greg Mattison presented a "Dynamic Duo" award to Jackie Hale, chair of the Coordinating Committee, and her husband, past President Tom Allen, for their service to the community. VP Mike Lytle presented an award to Sam Mattison for his work with young people in developing plans for a BMX/Skate Park.

tom and jackie sam and mike

Music was provided by folks from Hummin' 'n' Strummin' (see story below). Jamie and Ken Kisthardt did a great job with set-up and decorations, including appropriate noisemakers. Thanks to the Picture Rocks Community Center folks for all their help. A good time, as they say, was had by all. Best wishes to all of you for a wonderful New Year!

payton whole room theweaks


Citizens for Picture Rocks members were very busy in 2007. Among the many notable projects and activities were:

Regular Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Picture Rocks Community Center
5615 N. Sanders Road

Guest Speaker: Dave Liss,
Director of Safety and Security for MUSD

Iced tea social time starts at 6:30 p.m.
Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.
Meetings are free and open to all neighbors.


The Marana High School Auto Club will host a workshop an off-road vehicle use on Saturday, Jan. 26, 10:00 a.m. 'til noon at the MHS Library. There will be presentations and demonstrations by the Pima County Sheriffs' Dept., Marana Police Dept. and Arizona Dept. of Game and Fish. The goal of the workshop is to help families find out where they can ride legally and safely. For info, call 352-2421 or 400-9653.


Every Thursday evening from 7 to 9 p.m., the sound of music rises from the main room at the Picture Rocks Community Center. Sometimes there are a few performing and a few listening, and sometimes as many as 60 people are singing along with 27 musicians. It's free family fun, and February 2008 will mark six years that Hummin' 'n' Strummin' has been strummin' 'n' hummin'.

Carol Brooks, her husband Larry, his brother and wife and sister had gotten tired of driving to country music jam sessions where they rarely got called on to play. So they came up with the idea of doing it closer to home. The first Hummin 'n' Strummin' attracted only five performers and five in the audience, but it was an idea whose time had come. Carol acted as MC from the start, even after moving into town, and, until recently, Larry lugged his sound system to the Community Center.

The relaxed and informal setting attracted folks who sang Beatles songs and spirituals, with the emphasis definitely on country and western music. Some performers were professionals, like Marilyn Prohl, who used to sing with Buck Owens, and Sue Stedman, who had her own band and now plays stand-up bass and her 1938 Martin guitar (and keeps the art of yodeling alive). Larry Brooks played jazz professionally, but most of the over two dozen performers are just singing and playing to have fun. Folks come from Tucson, Three Points and Marana, as well as Picture Rocks, to join in, and sometimes the performers play for churches, seniors, sick people, and even a wedding reception.

hum & strum hum & strum Sue

Carol says Hummin' 'n' Strummin' is like "a big family," with room for more. The "family" decided to raise money for a new sound system that could be donated to the Picture Rocks Community Center, which does not charge the group any rental fees, and used by others as well as their own musicians. With help from the Community Center's Senior Club and Citizens for Picture Rocks, the sound system became a reality.


Following a unanimous action by the Pima County Board of Supervisors opposing any I-10 Bypass route in or near Pima County, the State Board of Transportation met in Oro Valley to ponder the results of a series of public meetings. The chamber was filled with opponents from all four proposed potential routes, Avra Valley, Aravaipa Valley and the San Pedro Valley. Public pressure brought the highway planners to Marana and Tucson where over two hundred people (combined total) expressed their concerns about impacts on wildlife, archaeology sites, and the people who live there. At the December 21 meeting, however, public comment was limited to three-minute statements from groups called on by the Board, ignoring the many who had signed up to share their views. While ADOT has indicated that the presence of Saguaro National Park, the CAP canal, and the Wildlife Mitigation Corridor does not leave enough room for a freeway, the Avra Valley route remains on the table, as do the three other possibilities. More as it develops....


Kathryn Skinner, Project Manager for the Picture Rocks-Desert Winds Transportation Enhancement Project, reports that the $795,000 project to construct sidewalks, bike paths, shade landscaping and other safety features along Rudasill and Sanders roads near Desert Winds Elementary and Picture Rocks Intermediate Schools and PRCC is well underway. Technical documents, including a biological review, an archaeological survey and a preliminary site assessment, have been submitted to Pima County for review. Preliminary design plans and scope definition are also underway. There has been an initial meeting with the Tucson Pima Arts Council and artist selection will begin shortly. The first public meeting is expected be held in the next two to three months.


From Chief Debbie Trimble

Picture Rocks Fire District would like to express their gratitude to Doug and Lucille Groat, their dog Shauna and In Memory of Sheba for their most generous donation. These wonderful people provided us with the funds needed to purchase three sets of Animal Oxygen Recovery Masks. Thank you from all of us and especially from the pets in our community.

Picture Rocks Fire District delivered hundreds of Christmas gifts to 42 children in our community this year. This was made possible by the many donations from the public. We would also like to thank all the scout troops who assisted us with wrapping the gifts. It is so heart warming to see how our community can come together and provide assistance to families in need. Thanks to each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.


(In Parts 1 & 2 Jack - not his real name - talked about his introduction to drugs as a teenager and life in "the game.")

Picture Rocks Digest (PRD): The perception is that there are a lot of meth heads and meth labs in Picture Rocks. A friend in town calls our neighborhood "Tweakerville." Looking at it from the inside, do you agree?

JACK: No. The average person probably won't notice meth users because there are not that many. The tweakers find each other. But I should add that most theft in Picture Rocks is meth-related.

PRD: What about meth labs?

JACK: I actually never heard of any meth labs in Picture Rocks. Most meth comes in from Mexico, or from Phoenix. Home labs probably can't make enough for serious sales and distribution. When I was dealing, I got my supply from a dealer in Tucson who supplied most of Southern Arizona. He was a friend of a friend of a friend, so no one could ever really get close to him. Only two people ever dealt directly with him. I never met my main dealer.

PRD: How easy is it to make meth?

JACK: I never manufactured it, and since they stopped selling those cold pills over the counter, I think a lot less home manufacturing is happening. Anyway, home-made meth is really pretty disgusting and not much in demand.

PRD: Any idea how much meth is used in Picture Rocks?

JACK: Meth is not all that popular in Picture Rocks, really just a handful of people. There's a lot less kids buying drugs. It's mostly adults buying pot these days, a friend tells me. I knew of only two distributors in Picture Rocks, and they only sold small amounts to friends. Look, except for the big dealers, who don't use meth themselves, most dealers are not rich, they're just getting by. Most users are poor, and dealers can't get rich off of poor folks.

PRD: Is law enforcement having an impact?

JACK: That's hard to say. The schools have tougher rules and that's had a good effect. But the police make a mistake, in my opinion, by only going after the top dogs, who are the toughest ones to get. If they busted all the little distributors and cut them off, the top guys will be out of business. It does seem there are fewer problems since the new (Picture Rocks Sheriff's) station was opened.

PRD: What will you tell your children about using drugs?

JACK: The truth about what I did, and that meth is a terrible drug. If they say, 'Well, all my friends are doing it,' I'll say, 'So, if all your friends are jumping off a bridge, take a look at how many survive. Just wait a year, watch your friends, see how many survive, then you decide.' Plus, it rots your teeth, and how cool is that?

PRD: Thanks for your time, and your honesty. Good luck to you.

Note: There are no Narcotics Anonymous meetings in Picture Rocks. For information about the nearest meetings, call N.A. at 881-8381. Many addicts also have problems with alcohol which, while legal, is itself an addictive emotional stimulant and physical depressant. There are three open Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at the Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road; Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 7:30 p.m. There are no dues or fees for membership and the only qualification is a desire to stop drinking.

The Picture Rocks Digest is written by Albert Lannon (email: bluemoon@dakotacom.net; phone: 622-3561). Additional materials and design by Karen J. Zopf.