Picture Rocks Pride

Volume 5, Number 9 October, 2007

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 October 16, 2007. Everyone is welcome to attend — membership not required, but highly recommended! 

Saturday, Oct. 13, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Picture Rocks Community Park

Picture Rocks neighbors and guests are invited to gather at Picture Rocks Community Park, on Sanders Road south of Rudasill, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, on Saturday, October 13, for food, music, community information, and getting to know each other better. Part of a statewide "Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods," this free event is hosted by Citizens for Picture Rocks, the Pima County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers, and local Neighborhood Watch groups.

Hot dogs, beverages and dessert will be provided by Citizens for Picture Rocks, and Hummin' & Strummin" will provide music. Local organizations and services will set up information tables and the Red Cross will hold a blood drive. Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson and State Representative Jennifer Burns are expected to attend.

Bring a blanket or a chair, bring your family and friends, and join us for a fun and informative evening in our Park.

Tuesday, October 16, 7:00 p.m.

Picture Rocks Community Center
5615 N. Sanders Road

Election of Officers & Board Members
Special Guest: Law Enforcement Representative
Topic: Youth Activities and Opportunities

Iced tea social time starts at 6:30 p.m.


District 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson found that there was some money left over for her district from a 2004 bond election, and she asked Bennett Bernal from the County's Neighborhood Reinvestment Program to see what might be done for Picture Rocks. Consensus soon built for a cover for the basketball court and a skateboard park.

Citizens for Picture Rocks helped pull together a Youth Advisory Council which set out to gather 400 signatures of support for the skateboard park. A meeting on September 15 with a dozen young people along with older members of the community, including representatives of Citizens for Picture Rocks and the Community Center, looked at first plans for the project, and Bennett Bernal told us that Supervisor Bronson had found some more money, adding up to $293,000 - enough for the basketball court cover and a good start on a decent skateboard park.

Bennett Bernal (left), Sam Mattison (center) and Tammy Shanley (right)
are working with youth on plans to build a skate park

Bennett told the youth that they would have to be self-monitoring to avoid problems with safety, graffiti, etc. He will be meeting with neighborhood youth again on October 20 at 1 p.m. at the Picture Rocks Community Center to move the project forward, with predictions that a skateboard park could be in place within six months. A 2008 bond election might provide funding for expansion.

For more information contact Coordinators Dann Barr or Tammy Shanley at 603-8099.


Citizens for Picture Rocks picks up trash on three sections of local roadways twice-yearly. The next cleanup is on Saturday, October 27, meeting at 8 a.m. at the Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road. Tools are provided by a grant from PRO Neighborhoods, Pima County DOT provides safety vests and trash bags, and lunch is available for volunteers from donations for "Picture Rocks Pride" t-shirts and caps. For more information, call Jan at 682-7122, or Albert at 622-3561. Volunteers over age 14 are welcome, no experience necessary!

From Division Chief Debra Trimble

In 1977 Picture Rocks Fire District opened their doors, providing fire service to a small residential community. It is now 2007 and we are proud to announce that this will be our 30th year. To mark this occasion we will be having a day of celebration.

We are extending our invitation to all who wish to come out to the fire station at 6625 N. Sandario Road, Saturday Nov. 3, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. to help us celebrate this event.

We will have a variety of organizations there to promote our Health and Safety Day, which we will be having in conjunction with our 30th Anniversary. These organizations will be providing informational materials along with free give-a-ways to the public. We will have child fingerprinting, fire and P.C.S.O. vehicles, Red Cross and the Desert Museum, just to name a few. The Avra Valley Fire Department will have their mobile "Safe House" there to teach children fire safety. There will be food available including, of course, cake for the sweet tooth.

Everyone is invited to come. Bring the whole family. See the fire trucks, talk to the firefighters, meet with law enforcement and see what other services are provided in our community.

Picture Rocks Fire District is dedicated to providing life safety to our community through Protection, Prevention and Education. Please contact Debra Trimble at 682-7878 if you have questions or have an organization that would like to participate in this event. My e-mail is dltrimble076@aol.com.


Eighty-three people, many of them Elvis Presley fans of various ages, attended another community get-together at the Picture Rocks Community Center on September 21. Five bucks bought hamburgers and milk shakes, with Elvis music and memorabilia galore.

Many people contributed to the event's success: Wanda Hilde made Elvis door prizes, Ren? and Carlos Moreno cooked the burgers, Park and Recreation's Kelly Cheeseman and PRCC Director Wanda Crawford made milk shakes, and Matt Hinte stood in for The King as an Elvis impersonator. Judith Keenan supplied the memorabilia, Chuck Strauss helped with set-up, and Carol Bondurant and Alice Crawford did whatever needed doing.

Elvis Night brought out "The King" in everyone
(Photo courtesy of Jim Pethe)

Paper "Sun Records 45s" on the walls were made by PRCC's After-School Program, and they, along with children in the T.O.T.S. program, painted Elvis characters drawn by Roberto Flores. The buzz in the parking lot was that these events are making Picture Rocks Community Center the real center of the community.

And for their next number: Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Wednesday, November 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 p.m., free, no reservations needed, and served by students from Picture Rocks Intermediate School.

And, watch for news about a fancy Italian dinner, complete with tablecloths and candlelight, probably in January, Director Wanda Crawford tells us. Mangia!


Common ground was found in the give and take of a meeting between Citizens for Picture Rocks officers Tom Allen, Greg Mattison, and Mike Lytle, Coordinating Committee Chair Jackie Hale, Picture Rocks Digest editor Albert Lannon, webmaster Malcolm Schmerl, and Saguaro National Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead, Chief Ranger Bob Love, with Robert Young from Pima County Dept. of Transportation also in attendance.

Citizens for Picture Rocks expressed concern for our 10,000 residents who use Picture Rocks Road to go to work, go shopping, etc. CPR is also concerned about speeding and reckless passing, and members have many points of view about what might be done. Park staff reiterated that there is no plan to close the road , but they want to try "adaptive management" to slow traffic down by implementing small steps, up to the most restrictive if all else fails, i.e., stopping traffic at entrance booths on both sides of the Park. Their chief concerns are visitor experiences, wildlife protection, and traffic safety.

CPR proposed more intensive law enforcement, and the Park noted they only had four officers in each district. In discussion, it was suggested that the Park coordinate with the Picture Rocks Sheriff's Station to make a stronger presence, and that installing radar speed signs with cameras could have an impact. More signage, building some long turnouts, creating a passing lane, possibly raising the 35 MPH speed limit to 40 MPH as on the rest of the road, and an education campaign were among other suggestions. One CPR Board member noted that speeding through the Park only saved a few seconds, and a sign might go up reading, "Congratulations! You just saved 30 seconds by speeding, at the risk of a ticket or losing your life!" The County has no plans for major work on the road on either side of the Park.

Citizens for Picture Rocks felt we had a fair hearing, and hope to see some of the suggestions implemented. The Park made a commitment that they would not proceed to set up entrance stations without notice and time for public comment. We both want safe roads, and a balance needs to be found between the Park and the community in order to do that.


At the September 18 meeting of Citizens for Picture Rock, Lt. Scott Martin, Commander of the Tucson Mountain District Sheriff's Station, spoke to concerns about ATVs and quads. These include raising dust -- a public health issue, harming the environment, and breaking the law.

Off-road vehicle operators must be licensed, and the vehicle must be registered and insured to in order to run legally on public roads, including shoulders, dirt roads and utility easements. Traffic laws must be obeyed. Brakes, lights, etc. must be in working order. Washes are always out-of-bounds. Eye protection is mandatory for all persons, and helmets are required for those under 18. Illegal riding and damage can be reported to the ORV Hotline, 877-6061, or to the Sheriff's Department at 9-1-1. (For more information, see pp. 22-23 of the Neighborhood Resource Guide.)

Lt. Scott Martin listened to community concerns
and explained county regulations governing ATV use

Off-road vehicles are allowed on designated trails and roads in National Forests (but never in wilderness areas), on State Trust land (with permits), on Bureau of Land Management property, and on private property with the written permission of the land owner. For information on riding areas, contact: Arizona Game and Fish at 602-942-3000; Arizona State Land at 520-628-5480; BLM at 520-258-7200; Public Lands Information Center at 800-986-1151.


Safe Halloween Fun. The Picture Rocks Community Center will host "Trunk of Treats" in its parking lot on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 6-7 p.m., as an alternative to door-to-door trick-or-treating. Local groups will decorate vehicles and hand out candy to children. For more information, call 682-7166.

New V.A. Clinic Opens on Ina Road. A new Outpatient Clinic has been opened by the Southern Arizona Veterans Administration Health Care System at 2945 W. Ina Road, on the southwest corner of Ina and Shannon. Hours are 7:30 am to 4:30 p.m., except Thursday when they close at noon. For more information, call 792-1450, ext. 2214.

New rules for animal rescue facilities were approved by Pima County Supervisors last month. Operators will be required to apply for a conditional use permit and notify neighbors. ("Animal rescuers are facing new rules", Arizona Daily Star.)

Chip sealing on Sandario Road from Ajo Way to Emigh Road is expected to continue through mid-month. Drivers are advised to expect delays and drive slowly to avoid kicking up gravel.

Twilight hikes in Saguaro National Park West are scheduled for Oct. 12 and Oct. 26. Call 733-5158 for details and to register (required).

"Living with Urban Wildlife" will be the topic of a program by wildlife educator Bill Kaufman on Saturday, October 13, at 3:00 p.m., at Saguaro National Park's Red Hills Visitors Center, 2700 N. Kinney Road. For more information, call 733-5158.

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