|Volume 8, Number 2||February, 2010|
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 usually meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road. The next meeting is February 16. Meetings are free and open to the public. Membership is not required, but strongly encouraged. Dues are $20/year for an individual or $25/year for a family.
The Picture Rocks community is invited to attend the Grand Opening of the new BMX/Skate Park on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. The new facility is located in Picture Rocks Community Park, 5615 N. Sanders Road, south of the pool. There will be greetings from Dist. 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson, Citizens for Picture Rocks, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, and the Pima County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. There will a be demonstrations by professional skaters and BMX riders of what can be done at the approximately 10,000 square foot park-within-a-park. Funding came from the 2004 bond election approved by voters through a proposal to the Pima County Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.
This sand-blasted boulder sits at the entrance to the newest addition to Picture Rocks Community Park
The Jan. 19 Citizens for Picture Rocks meeting heard from several people about ways of getting food to
neighbors in need. Picture Rocks Community Center
(PRCC) Director Wanda Crawford reported
that 5,679 congregate lunches were served in 2009. Most lunches are free to income-qualified neighbors,
and at low cost to others. Food boxes are distributed on the third Friday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 2
p.m. Applicants sign that they are income-qualified at less than 185% of the federal poverty level. PRCC is
at 5615 N. Sanders Road.
Mike Davied, Board member and volunteer at Picture Rocks Community Center, Inc. (PRCCI) at 6691 N. Sandario Road, described the daily (Monday-Friday) distribution of free produce, bread, and other foodstuffs at their site, where no one is refused. In 2009, over 39,000 visits to their food line were made by Picture Rocks neighbors. The all-volunteer PRCCI also hosts a thrift store and a diaper bank, and donations are always welcome.
Jean Fox spoke for the Community Food Bank, noting that the number of food boxes being distributed has risen more than 50% over the last year. She said that over 60% of Picture Rocks children income-qualify for free food at the schools.
Both Wanda and Mike said that both centers are here to help the community and encouraged neighbors to take advantage of what is available at both. PRCC and PRCCI offer different services and there is no conflict between them. C4PR President Pam Moseley noted that with unemployment remaining high, our community is lucky to have concerned neighbors and agencies willing to help.
Acting on a recommendation from the Citizens for Picture Rocks Coordinating Committee, the C4PR Board approved an expansion of the monthly Picture Rocks Digest from two to four pages, as an 11" x 17" fold-over. starting in April. This will allow more room for news and photos, and for business card-sized ads for local merchants and service providers. Ads will cost $50 per quarter and run in three issues, as well as in the online edition. For information on placing ads, call Jamie Kisthardt at 682-0287.
Almost 100 neighbors came to the New Year's Eve Potluck at the Picture Rocks Community Center. There was plenty of food - about 30 delicious main and side dishes, plus 18 yummy desserts! Hummin' & Strummin' (who perform at the Center free every Thursday evening) brought 12 guitars, two banjos, an accordion, a stand-up bass, a fiddle, and lots of heart-felt country singing. It was a gentle and neighborly way to welcome the new year.
Neighbors driving on Chaparral Road south of Rudasill have to be very careful due to deep holes, especially after rain. Because these roads are considered water line easements, the County takes no responsibility for them. After 18 years of navigating the pits, Larry Maynes got tired of it and ordered three truckloads of AB fill to patch up the road. He asked some neighbors for donations to help cover the cost, and as this is written, neighbors are responding. Questions? Call 400-7901.
Junior Ranger Wilderness Camp: Feb. 25-27 for kids ages 10-13. Learn wilderness skills and go on a night
hike. $30 per child. Call Ranger Chip Littlefield for reservations and more information, 733-5157.
2-hour hikes, Feb. 12, 17, 19, 24, and 26, to explore the challenges facing creatures in their struggle for survival in Saguaro National Park. Hikes begin at 10:45 a.m. at the Red Hills Visitor Center. Call 733-5158 for reservations.
There have been several recent reports of attacks on people by rabid animals, notably bobcat and javelina.
If you see a wild mammal that appears unafraid or threatening, avoid it if you can and report the location to
a park ranger or 911. If the animal comes at you, try to fend it off with rocks or a stick. Running away can
trigger chase behavior, so it may be safer to actually run AT the animal so you can gain ground while it
turns in confusion.
Because pack rats sometimes nest in vehicles and chew their wires, people sometimes set out rat poison. It makes the pack rats act crazed before they die, and easy prey for hawks, owls and eagles, who are themselves then poisoned. Coyotes also eat pack rats, become poisoned and act rabid, They are then sometimes eaten by mountain lions who are poisoned and act unnaturally, appearing rabid. A little poison can do a lot of damage far from the original site of the problem. To discourage rodents, turn on the engine for a few moments or put a bag of moth- balls in the vehicle. It's all connected!
Continuing our look at local place names and how they came to be...
Local pioneer, rancher and saloon-keeper Thomas Gates provided the name for Gates Pass as a faster route to an Avra Valley carbonate mine. Gates later became superintendent of the Yuma Territorial Prison.
Contzen Pass, by which Picture Rocks Road crosses the Tucson Mountains, was named for German-born Fritz Contzen who came to Arizona with a Boundary Survey Party in 1856.
Sandario is Spanish for Saint Darius, one of a group of Christian martyrs about whom little is known, and whose Saint's Day is December 19.
Sandario Road used to be called Twin Peaks Road, named for what were once two small peaks, one now ground down by gravel mining.
Rancher Charles P. Emigh is probably the source for Emigh Road.
The Gilbert Ray Campground is named for the first director of Pima County Parks and Recreation.
The McCain Loop Road was not named for our senator, but for Tucson Mountain ParkĀ’s first resident caretaker.
Kinney Road was named for Jack Kinney, chair of the Pima County Board of Supervisors when Tucson Mountain Park was established.
Mile Wide Road was named for the gold, silver and copper mine that the King Canyon Trail across from the Desert Museum leads to.
Rudasill Road may have been named for county land-holder Wylie Rudasill, but the reason why remains a mystery.
Similarly, research has been unable to determine who Sanders Road and Manville Road are named after, or why. There were numerous Sanders and Manvilles in Pima County from the late 1800s on. Any information readers may have on Rudasill, Sanders or Manville Roads will be appreciated; send email to email@example.com.
(Thanks to the Pima County Public Library's "Ask-A- Librarian" service and the Arizona Historical Society for assistance in researching this article.)
The Arizona Dept. of Transportation, which wants to impose an I-10 Bypass through the Avra Valley, has come under fire for alleged fraud, waste and mismanagement. In an article at examiner.com, Bill Williams charges that when ordered to cut their budget by $100 million, ADOT actually spent $105 million on high-priced consultants instead. No-bid contracts and political favoritism are rampant, Williams alleges, and State Transportation Board members are lawyers representing construction companies. To read the full article, click here.