PICTURE ROCKS DIGEST
|Volume 7, Number 5
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 May 19, 2009. Everyone is welcome to attend. Membership not
required, but highly recommended. Dues are $20/year for an individual or $25/year for a family.
PICTURE ROCKS PRIDE COMMUNITY FAIRE!
Saturday, May 9, 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Picture Rocks Community Center & Park
5615 N. Sanders Road
Free Fun For All Ages!
Food * Games * Information * Prizes * Jumping Castle
Live Music * Pie-Eating Contest * Face Painting * More!
With a Special Appearance by
Dist. 3 Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson at 2:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Citizens for Picture Rocks and the Picture Rocks Community Center
Funded in part by a grant from PRO Neighborhoods
Free and open to the public.
ABOUT CITIZENS FOR PICTURE ROCKS
Citizens for Picture Rocks was founded in 2002 by a group of neighbors concerned with the reputation of
our community as a haven for drug dealers and other criminals. Putting individual and political differences
aside, C4PR members work together in a wide variety of activities to make our home a better, safer place to
live, a community that takes pride in itself.
We meet monthly, publish the Picture Rocks Digest, and maintain a website at
www.CitizensforPictureRocks.org. We have adopted three sections of local roads for twice-yearly Adopt-a-
Roadway cleanups. We have established a Community Emergency Response Team
and a Neighborhood Walk and Watch Program.
Cleaning trash from our roads since 2004
Advocating for park improvements
We have successfully pursued grants to fund cleanup tools, forthcoming
safe routes to schools,
shade covering for the children's playground, and a directory of local services. We are supporting
the Picture Rocks Fire District in an effort to acquire a community electronic sign.
C4PR members have also been instrumental, with the help of Supervisor Sharon Bronson and other County
officials, in securing the Ortiz Health Center,
Picture Rocks Swimming Pool,
Tucson Mountain District Sheriff's Station, and the new
BMX-Skate Park (username: Pima, password: skate, case
sensitive) expected to be completed by the end of this year.
PLEASE JOIN US!
We meet monthly on the third Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., with Iced Tea Social Time at 6:30 p.m., at Picture
Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road.
Meetings are free and open to all neighbors. We host educational forums on local issues and candidates,
and often have guest speakers on a variety of subjects of interest to our community. Recent topics have
included desert gardening and sustainable living, archaeology, spring wildflowers, home safety and
security, and the new library.
Last month's meeting featured Saguaro National Park Ranger Chip Littlefield and a very curious
desert tortoise (see next story).
May 19: Old Pueblo Archaeologist Allen Dart on the prehistoric rock art of
Picture Rocks, "Rock Calendars and Ancient Time Pieces" (supported by Arizona Humanities Council)
June 16: Community Forum on the proposed I-10 Bypass
through the Avra Valley, with representatives of the community, Saguaro National Park,
Friends of Ironwood Forest National Monument,
and invitations extended to the State Transportation Board
(who are pursuing the Bypass), and the Tohono O'odham Nation.
July 21: Community Forum on the proposed merger of Picture Rocks and Northwest Fire Districts.
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS
Dues for an individual are $20 per year, or $25 for family membership, payable in May of each year and
pro-rated for joining later. Membership gives you a vote in the affairs of the community, and the
opportunity to run for and elect C4PR Board Members to represent our community.
SHARING THE DESERT WITH TORTOISES
Saguaro National Park Ranger Chip Littlefield was the guest speaker at the April 21 Citizens for Picture
Rocks meeting. His presentation on
desert tortoises was augmented with a
several live tortoises, from eight months to 27 years old. A couple of things to remember: Tortoises, if captured, cannot
be returned to the wild. They have a specific territory they roam, about the size of two football fields. One
tortoise, however, dubbed Thelma, was known to have traveled 20 miles from home and returned safely.
Tortoises are vegetarians, and drink through their nostrils. Handling them can make them void their
bladders and then become dehydrated in summer heat. However, if you come across a tortoise at the side of
a road, pull over safely, pick the tortoise up, holding it flat, and place it on the other side of the road
pointing in the direction it was going.
Young desert tortoises are vulnerable to hawk, owl, coyote and bobcat predation, and Littlefield said that
only about one of every hundred hatched survive. All tortoises face danger from unleashed and roaming
dogs. Ranger Chip said that about 1,000 children are learning about desert tortoises each year through Park
programs, and offered a free tortoise-tracking field trip to a Community Faire survey raffle winner.
- Cleanup Volunteers Thank Community: The 18 C4PR volunteers who cleaned up three adopted sections of
local roads on April 25 express their Thanks to the community for helping to keep roadways litter-free.
At every cleanup less trash is found, which means more pride! Once again, the Minit Mart Subway
provided lunch at a generous discount.
- Parks and Recreation Budget Cuts Opposed: With budget proposals
that would increase fees for kids' programs beyond the means of many neighbors, C4PR President Kaitlin
Meadows added the organization's voice to many others in protest. She wrote: "It is absolutely
unconscionable to us that in the midst of these very challenging times you would choose fee increase
options and foreclosure of vital programs as a problem-solving technique! Please be more creative in your
thinking. Hold open forums with affected communities. Do not gut programs, price them out of range of
the very folks who need them most, and presume you are meeting the needs of those you promise to serve."
Suggestions from other neighbors included using volunteers to staff centers in the evening, consolidating
Parks and Rec departments and offices and renting space, reducing salaries of the highest paid executives --
and NOT gutting children's and senior programs. The Pima County Board of Supervisors rejected some of
the proposed cuts, but final action was unclear as we went to press.
- Picture Rocks Pool to Open for Third Season:
Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation has announced the opening of pools for the 2009 summer
season. Pools will be open from Memorial Day to Labor Day every day except Friday. Adult-only
swimming will be on Monday and Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., with Water Aerobics at those
times on Tuesday and Thursday. Open Recreation swimming is 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays, and 1:00
p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekends. Family Swim time is Saturday and Sunday, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Swim
lessons are available Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and
11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Call for entry fees and information, 682-7166.
- 15 de Mayo Community Center Dinner: A Mexican food platter and live entertainment for only $5 will be
served up at Picture Rocks Community Center on Friday, May 15, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at 5615 N.
- BMX-Skate Park Final Input: About 30 people, half of
them local youth, attended a meeting at the Community Center on April 25 to give last-minute thoughts
about the design of the forthcoming Picture Rocks BMX-Skate Park. A final design will be available at the
May 9 Community Faire, according to Brian Moore of Site Design Group. Funding for the park comes
from 2004 bond money which Dist. 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson earmarked for Picture Rocks. C4PR
Board Members Karen Zopf, Tom Allen and Greg Mattison have been working with kids, parents, county
staff and law enforcement to help make it happen.
- I-10 Bypass "Faulty": The State Transportation Board
held its regular April meeting in Marana. I-10 Bypass opponents Jim Pethe and Albert Lannon from Picture
Rocks were there and extended an invitation to the Board to participate in a June 16 Community Forum on
the Bypass. Lannon also told the STB that their study was based on three faulty assumptions: 1) that there
would be increased truck traffic from Mexico pursuant to the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), which public pressure has continued to block; 2) that there will be increased Tucson area
growth, which the recession has brought to a halt for the foreseeable future; and, 3) that increased visual,
noise and air pollution, along with hazardous cargo, are okay to dump on the residents and wildlife of the
Avra Valley. "That is a wildly incorrect assumption," he said, urging the STB to reconsider and abandon
the Bypass study.
- Grad Night Volunteers Needed: Marana High School
seniors will have a safe place to party this year on graduation night. Grad Night 2009 will begin on May 20
at 10:00 p.m. and continue until 5:30 a.m. the next morning. Students must buy a ticket to participate. The
Marana High PTO has been working very hard to make this a fun night and needs volunteers and
donations. If anyone would like to help make this event a success, please email the PTO at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Pam Moseley at 349-0725 or Tina Laulusa at 579-3833.
- Learn to Use the Internet: Free classes are being offered at the
Wheeler Taft Abbett Library near Silverbell and Cortaro Roads, on Thursday and Friday,
June 4 and 5, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Prerequisites are completion of the May computer class, or basic
mouse and keyboard skills. Registration is limited to ten people who plan to attend both days. Sign up at
the Library, or call 594-5200 starting May 16.
- Picture Rocks History: The 8-part series, A Brief History of Picture Rocks will resume in the next issue
of the Picture Rocks Digest with "Part Four: The Miners."
The Picture Rocks Digest
is written by Albert Lannon (email:
; phone: 622-3561).
Additional materials and design by Karen J. Zopf.