RSSArchive for September, 2010

No. 7 men's soccer atop brutal conference

No. 7 men’s soccer atop brutal conference

Editor’s note: the Aztecs beat Mesa Community College 5-1 on Sept. 29

By James Kelley
Photos by Ed Adams

While the Pima Community College men’s soccer team’s four-match win streak was snapped on Sept. 27, head coach Dave Cosgrove wasn’t feeling that down.

The No. 7 Aztecs (9-2 overall and in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) lost 2-0 at No. 15 Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Sept. 27.

“I’m not overly concerned about it, it is not as if we lost to a bad team,” Cosgrove said. “Our kids are putting in a good effort.”

Donny Toia

Going into play on Sept. 27, the Aztecs were in first place in the ACCAC with 27 points. Three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw.

No. 8 Arizona Western College was in second with 25 points, followed by Chandler-Gilbert and Yavapai College with 21 points. No. 9 Phoenix College was in fifth place with 19 points.

“The problem with playing all these games in this league against really good teams is that you are going to have down days and the second you do, there are a lot of good teams that can punish you,” Cosgrove said.

The Aztecs rose to the top of the conference with a 9-1 start to the season, including a five-match winning streak and then the four-match win streak.

“I knew in this league that was coming to an end,” Cosgrove said.

The ACCAC is dominating the 15-team national rankings with four teams. The Region with the next most teams in the rankings is Region 14, which is in Texas, with two teams in the top 15.

“This is the best the conference has ever been top to bottom,” Cosgrove said. “There are five legitimate top 15 teams in the country, all in our conference.”

The Aztecs beat No. 9 Phoenix College in thrilling fashion Sept. 25. Freshman forward Donny Toia, who missed a few weeks with a head injury, saved the match for Pima with a goal in the last minute of regulation.

Sophomore forward Minh Vu assisted Toia on the goal. The duo finished off PC in overtime, this time with a Vu goal from a Toia assist in the third minute of OT.

Cosgrove is not surprised Toia made such an immediate impact in his return.

“Of course, the kid is a massive player; he is arguably the best player in the league and he’s a great competitor,” Cosgrove said. “We’re obviously very happy to have him back and we are starting to get some other kids healthy.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Miko Gastelum made four saves in the win over the Bears.

On Sept. 22, Pima beat Glendale Community College 1-0, thanks to another Vu match winner. Toia tallied the assist, picking up a point in his first match back.

“That’s been the problem with poor Minh and it showed,” Cosgrove said about the Sept. 27 game. “We have been leaning on him so much and he has done so much for the team.”

Yaya Kane

Cosgrove said Minh is physically beat up and logging lots of minutes. “It’s been hard on him, but he has been terrific.”

The Aztecs beat Scottsdale Community College 1-0 on Sept. 18 on the road. Vu scored the goal again, off an assist by freshman forward Yahya Kane. Gastelum made four saves, earning the shutout in the process.

Vu is No. 19 in the country in scoring and first in the ACCAC with 26 points, including 10 goals. Toia is eighth in ACCAC with 11 points.

“It’s no surprise, he was an All-American as a freshman, only the second player in Pima history to achieve that and for the most part this entire year he has been an All-American again,” Cosgrove said about Vu.

On Sept. 29 the Aztecs host Mesa Community College in a match too late for press time.

“We’ve put ourselves in a great position,” Cosgrove said. “The kids have done a lot of really good things. We just got to keep plugging away. There is a long way to go in this thing.”

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Cross Country heads to conference championship meet with issues

Cross Country heads to conference championship meet with issues

By Daniel Gaona
Photo courtesy PCC

Heading into one of its biggest races of the year, the Pima Community College men’s and women’s cross country teams are loaded with question marks.

The Aztecs travel to Scottsdale on Oct. 2 for the Arizona Community College Athletic Confer-ence championship meet at a time when head coach Greg Wenneborg is very nervous about both his men’s and women’s squads.

“Both sides, we’ve got big question marks,” Wenneborg said. “We’re really nervous about this meet. I think we’ll pull through as we almost always do, but we are pretty banged up.”

The men’s team has three of 11 runners dealing with injuries. Freshman Humberto Bravo turned an ankle, freshman Andy Lacy has a recurring foot injury that he sustained in high school and sophomore Mario Portillo is nursing a tender hamstring.

The women’s team is healthier but is coping with its own issues.

Sophomore Julia Peerenboom is nursing a hurt foot and sophomore Annalisa Loevenguth is dealing with a tight hamstring. At the same time, sophomore Magda Mankel is still ineligible because of dual enrollment issues but should be cleared soon.

“Today we have a hard workout so I’m going to test the waters and see how we’re doing,” Wen-neborg said Sept 27. “We need to go into the conference meet hoping for the best.”

The men’s team is not currently ranked, but Wenneborg said it’s because the Aztecs have not yet hit on all cylinders and not everyone has raced.

“We know we are stronger than we have shown so far,” he said. “Their workouts point to them being in the top 10 but everyone has to perform on race day, which is much more difficult to do than just say it.”

It is the first time in Wenneborg’s career that he has an unranked team but he remains hopeful that will change.

“We think on a good day that we can run No. 2 in the conference but we haven’t done that in a while,” he said.

The women are No. 7 and hoping to improve after the conference meet.

“All our conference teams will be there, so it will be a big opportunity to break deeper into the national rankings,” Wenneborg said.

The Aztecs will return to the Phoenix area on Oct. 9 for the Grand Canyon University Invitational.

The week after, they will travel to Walnut, Calif. for the Mt. Sac Invitational.

Pima’s last race was the Dave Murray Invitational, hosted by the University of Arizona. The re-sults were very different between the men and women.

“It was a train wreck for the guys but we had some of them out,” Wenneborg said. “On the women’s side I wasn’t happy with the way they raced but, comparing them to the rest of the con-ference, things went pretty well.”

The men place eighth overall, only ahead of Glendale Community College. They were led by sophomore Jess Montour, who placed 32nd in 23:08.56.

Pima’s women finished third behind UA and Arizona State University. Freshman Heidi Lopez finished 22nd in 19:37.94 for a strong showing, according to Wenneborg.

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Fall ball critical for softball

Fall ball critical for softball

Story and photo by James Kelley

With a slew of freshmen and a lot of holes to fill, fall ball is very important to the Pima Community College softball team.

The Aztecs finished last year ranked No. 4 and 57-11. They must replace numerous sophomores whose eligibility ran out.

“We have 18 freshmen, so it’s spring training for them all,” head coach Armando Quiroz said. “We’re very young but I think we are very talented, we just have to refine them.”

So far the Aztecs have played three doubleheaders against three Amateur Softball Association club teams. On Sept. 11 the Aztecs played the Desert Cobras, on Sept. 18 they played the Tucson Roadrunners and on Sept. 25 they played the Desert Thunder.

Though the games are considered scrimmages and scores and statistics are not officially kept, Pima has likely gone 5-1.

Last spring Pima signed eight high school seniors to National Letters of Intent and then added more players over the summer.

“I think the fall is crucial to us, because we are so young,” Quiroz said. “They’re getting their feet wet right now.”

A key spot to fill is at pitcher. 2010 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference player of the year Jordan Trujillo is now at the University of Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

“We have several candidates; we haven’t identified her yet,” Quiroz said.

He wouldn’t go into specifics because the players are still trying out but said he was excited about the players.

Charissa Ballesteros

“There have been some pleasant surprises with the team, I am just reluctant to give any names right now because we haven’t made any decisions,” Quiroz said. “There have been several pleasant surprises.”

Pima’s next games are on Oct. 2, a doubleheader against Pure Lightning at 10 a.m. at the West Campus. On Oct. 9, the Aztecs play Velocity at 10 a.m. in another double dip, also at the West Campus.

From Oct. 15 to Oct. 17, Pima plays in the University of Arizona’s fall tournament, which will feature the UA, University of New Mexico, Arizona Western College, Central Arizona College and Cypress College.

The Aztecs then play the UA again on Oct. 20.

Pima caps the fall by hosting the Tucson Scramblers Nov. 6 and the Arizona Elite Nov. 13.

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Volleyball racks up wins

Volleyball racks up wins

Editor’s note: the Aztecs beat Mesa Community College 3-0 on Sept. 29

By Ricky Gonzales
Photo by Ed Adams

After going almost three weeks without winning a match, the Pima Community College volleyball team won five matches over two days to get on track.

The Aztecs (5-14, 1-7 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) finally found the win column and then finished third in the San Diego City College Tournament on Sept. 25.

The tournament featured many of California’s junior college teams and several from Arizona.

The Aztecs went 4-1 during the one-day tournament, winning their pool. The first round was best of three games instead of the customary best of five, and the knockout round was a one-game winner-take-the-match.

“We really had to get the right mindset going,” head coach Dan Bithell said. “We had to get better each time we touched the ball. Our play elevated throughout the day.”

The Aztecs opened the day by defeating Southwestern College in two games, 26-24, 25-18. They then went three games deep with Rio Hondo College, 20-25, 25-19, 15-8 and Reedley College, 25-18, 23-25, 15-7.

The Aztecs defeated College of the Desert 25-20 in their first playoff match, but had their day end in a semifinal round loss to host San Diego, 20-25. The playoff rounds were formatted to a one-game match to 25.

“There was some pretty good competition,” Bithell said. “We had to play well to win. Some other Arizona teams had good showings as well.”

The Aztecs got their first win of the 2010 season against South Mountain Community College on Sept. 22, taking the match to five games, 3-2. The win snapped their season-opening 13-match losing streak.

Sophomore outside hitter Krista Kallish led the offense by smacking a team-high 20 kills and four aces. Sophomore middle Ashley Hamilton had four aces to go along with her 11 kills.

Freshman setter Czarina Schutt helped set up the Aztec attack as she totaled 54 assists and 14 digs in the conference win.

Sophomore libero Jessica Manley put forth great defensive effort as she led the way with 24 digs and chipped in offensively with four service aces.

“We have good momentum going forward,” Hamilton said. “It was good to come off with a few wins in San Diego.”

Ashley Hamilton

In the previous match on Sept. 17, the Aztecs fell 3-0 to No. 17 Glendale Community College, 22-25, 15-25 and 22-25. On the outside, Kallish was the Aztecs’ offensive leader as she put up a team-high nine kills in the loss. Hamilton showed up at the net as well, leading the PCC squad with three blocks.

“Every game we just have to get better,” Hamilton said. “We’re keeping a positive outlook moving forward.”

On Sept. 8, the PCC volleyball team lost to Chandler-Gilbert Community College, 3-0. Hamilton led the Aztec attack as she had 11 kills in the loss. Manley did her part defensively as she totaled 13 digs and three service aces. Schutt had her best performance of the early season as she had 25 assists on the night.

Overall the Aztecs are 5-14, 1-7 in conference play, and believe the newfound momentum will carry them through a stretch where six of their seven matches will be at home.

“I sure hope so,” Bithell said.

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Women's soccer loses three of their last four

Women’s soccer loses three of their last four

Editor’s note: the Aztecs beat Mesa Community College 4-1 on Sept. 29.

By James Sargent
Photos by Ed Adams

The Pima Community College women’s soccer team has hit a rough patch in the season, according to head coach Kendra Veliz.

“Everybody on the team needs to step up a little bit at this point,” Veliz said.

Tamra james

The once No. 14 ranked Aztecs have lost three of their last four games. Their record is 4-6, overall and in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.

On Sept. 27, Pima lost 2-1 to Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler.

Sophomore forward Tamra James, who was named ACCAC player of the week for the week ending Sept. 26, scored the only goal of the first half for both teams. In the second half, CGCC answered with two goals to record the victory.

On Sept. 25, the Aztecs defeated the Bears of Phoenix College, 3-2 at home.

Paula Arroyave

Phoenix scored first, but freshman forward Celeste Carrera scored an equalizer just before halftime to tie the score.

James scored two goals in the second half, with the winning one set up by Carrera.

On Sept. 22, Pima lost to Glendale Community College 3-1.

Again, James scored the only goal and again it was off of an assist by Carrera.

On Sept. 18, the Artichokes of Scottsdale Community College defeated the Aztecs 3-1.

Carrera scored the only goal. Freshman midfielder Cynthia Fierro was credited with the assist.

“We need to train harder and fix the little things,” Veliz said of her plans to improve the team. “I still think we have a good team. We are starting the second half of the season and I’m hoping for a good turnaround.”

A double feature in women’s soccer

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The Word: Are you down with 'Jersey Shore'?

The Word: Are you down with ‘Jersey Shore’?

Interviews and photos by Jordan Condra

“I do not like Jersey Shore because I think it is superficial. Snookie annoys me to no end and I want to punch her in the face.” Mikaela Weigel Physiology Northwest Campus

“Jersey Shore basically depicts America to other countries and that’s not what America is. People don’t act drunk all the time or go to clubs all the time. It makes America look bad.” Khutso Choshi Business and Economics Northwest Campus

“I think Jersey Shore is really entertaining because the people are always fighting and doing stuff that you really don’t see people doing. They give Italians a bad name!” Molly Salo Nursing Northwest Campus

“I watch Jersey Shore because it’s an awesome show. There’s drama and fist pumping – it’s just amazing. I love Snookie because of her hair and the fights she gets into.” Vinson Bartley Undecided major Northwest Campus

“I don’t watch Jersey Shore because reality shows are not real. I mean, if it’s a surprise and the camera is behind where the family is supposed to be surprised at – how is that real!?” Kaleb Sabin Nursing Northwest Campus

Too many UA/PCC football conflicts

Too many UA/PCC football conflicts

By James Kelley

The Pima Community College football team’s recent renaissance is great and all, but the atmosphere is still decidedly JV.

The Aztecs need many things, like cheerleaders, a band, a fight song, but most of all they need more support.

The team has fans, but it needs enough fans to intimidate visiting teams. It would be just super if players got enough support to make foes waste timeouts (though not so fanatical that they strike opposing cheerleaders with water bottles, of course.)

Pima has upgraded its football coaching and players, ditched that Arena Football League name Storm, added better uniforms and secured a home stadium. However, football still plays home games as if it was in the witness protection program.

There is one thing that is contributing to that more than anything else. Pima football is inexplicably competing with the University of Arizona for football fans and that is a losing battle.

If 50,000 people attend a game at UA, there are obviously fewer college football fans available to watch the Aztecs. The UA is starting to compete for the Rose Bowl every year. Few people will skip a game on ESPN, or even Versus, to attend a junior college game.

UA has a bye on Oct. 2, when Pima hosts Scottsdale Community College at Tucson Electric Park. Every other Pima football home game is on the same day as a UA home date.

The Aztecs don’t play at a high school anymore and TEP doesn’t exactly have lots of tenants, so Pima should be free to schedule as they choose.

Why do games always have to be on Saturdays? PCC could have Thursday, Friday and Sunday games, all normal football dates.

Sunday could be a great day. I can understand if Snow College of Utah can’t go to Thursday night games or Pima wants to save Friday nights for high school but the Lord’s game on the Lord’s day makes sense.

The NFL is the most popular league in the world, but its Sunday afternoon games are usually lacking. They purposely give you butt-ugly games like the Raiders versus the Cardinals in order to convince you to buy Sunday Ticket or the Red Zone.

How cool would an extra day of college football be instead of the league of rapists, wife beaters, drunk drivers and dog-fighting millionaires who are getting ready to strike?

More Pima fans equals more money and maybe those cheerleaders and band in the future.

Surely Tucson has room in its heart for two college football teams. Give PCC a chance.

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A double feature in women's soccer

A double feature in women’s soccer

Story and photo by Jonathan Fraser

It’s not every day you come across twins, much less identical twins. It is even more unlikely that you’ll see those twins playing on the same sports team.

At Pima Community College, the volleyball team has a set of twins, sophomore outside hitters Krista and Erin Kallish. However, the women’s soccer team has two-upped them with two sets of freshman identical twins.

Sisters Susie Hansen (No. eight) and Sarah Hansen (No. 9) arrived at PCC from Buena High School. Celeste Carrera (No. 3) and Czelene Carrera (No. 14) came from Flowing Wells High School.

Parents of the Aztecs have shirts with their daughters’ last names and numbers on the back. For the twins, the parental shirts read “8-9” and “3-14.”

Women’s soccer head coach Kendra Veliz said she wanted both sets of twins to play for her. She actively recruited them in pairs, but was prepared to take them individually.

Veliz managed to successfully recruit both pairs of twins and establish a promising young core for PCC on offense and defense.

Naturally, there must be better chemistry between each pair of twin sisters, right?

The Carrera twins think so. They believe they are able to play off of each other.

Celeste Carrera, a forward, said at times she can telegraph where her sister, a midfielder/forward, will be on the soccer field.

“When we are playing, I just know that she will be there,” Celeste Carrera said.

On Sept. 13, Czelene Carrera scored a goal off an assist by her sister. Not to be outdone, Celeste Carrera had a streak through Sept. 25 of four matches with at least a point, including two goals during that stretch.

The Hansen twins, both of whom are defenders, do not think they play any better with each other than they do with other teammates. However, Veliz has a different opinion.

Veliz said that she definitely notices better chemistry between the twin pairs, “especially with the Hansens when they play on the same side.”

The Hansens admitted that life as a twin can be difficult at times.

They explained it can be hard to play a game if they have been fighting, and said disputes that might normally be left on the soccer field may find their way home.

“At the end of the day, I still have to go home with her,” Susie Hansen said.

To add even more pressure, people compare the twins to each other at times.

Czelene Carrera said people will judge them on the basis of, “Why can’t you do it if she can?”

But the twins do not let those types of things get them down.

They won’t reveal their secret twin languages, but do like to converse with their non-twin teammates in English.

The four have the same goal: to make the playoffs and eventually nationals this year.

It has been said that becoming a champion requires lots of hard work and a bit of luck.

Perhaps having two sets of identical twins will give the young PCC women’s soccer team a quadruple boost.

Women’s Soccer loses three of their last four

Czelene Carrera, Susie Hansen, Sarah Hansen and Celeste Carrera

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New club deals options for card players

New club deals options for card players

Story and photo by Conrad Pursley

For nearly two decades, trading card games that focus on playing, rather than trading and collecting, have been popular in the United States and throughout the world. Now Pima Community College’s East Campus has a club for it.

Members of the Trading Card Game Club are looking for people who prefer to play their games on a clean table with cards rather than on a TV console…or at least are a fan of both.

Many of us got our first taste of this craze in the late ‘90s with the Pokémon Trading Card game, although Magic: The Gathering came out earlier. Now it may be time to blow the dust off your collection and head to East Campus.

President Alvin Li said the idea for a club was born after students began bringing their cards to the cafeteria last semester. “There was always a good game going around. I said, ‘let’s form a club.’”

Club activities will include playing, trading and inducting new players into the craft of deck-building. Card games include, but are not limited to, Magic: The Gathering, Yugioh and Pokémon.

Don’t have a deck? Don’t know how to play? Don’t worry.

Li not only taught me to play, he also let me borrow one of his decks so we could play a game together. Now I’m ready to jump into the professional tournament circuits, but have made the choice to hold off for the next couple of years.

Ask Li what he finds so appealing about card games, and he replies with a one-word answer: “Strategy.” There is virtually no end to the decks a player can build and the strategies they use to win. Each game is different.

Whether you’re inexperienced, hardcore or just want to learn about games, Li invites everyone to join the fun.

Club meetings are Wednesdays from 2:30-3 p.m. in the East Campus L-107 conference room outside the Student Life offices.

Alvin Li plays a card game at East Campus.

Attitudes run the gamut about anti-Asian awareness

Attitudes run the gamut about anti-Asian awareness

By Stephanie Missouri

An Anti-Asian Awareness Forum will be held on Oct. 12 at 3:30 p.m. in room AG-19 on West Campus.

The forum’s purpose is to teach about the history and causes of anti-Asian sentiment. Discussion will include an explanation of the difference between hate crimes and hate incidents, and real-life scenarios that depict anti-Asian sentiment.

Pima students interviewed about anti-Asian sentiment expressed views ranging from sympathetic to paranoid. It is clear there are many misconceptions about Asians and their culture.

Here is a sampling form four interviews.

Joanna Hunter, a 20-year-old nursing student, immigrated from the Philippines when she was 14. It upsets her to see American-born Asians who seem ashamed of their race because their parents have failed to properly educate them about the beauty and diversity in their culture. “Everyone thinks all we want from here is the money and nothing else,” she said.

Bri Garcia, an 18-year-old Upward Bound student, said “most of the Asian people are trying to call out to the United States for help but both our governments are trying to hide how much help they really need.” Garcia does not think Asia will be the superpower everyone says it will be, and that there is a lot that the United States is not being told regarding Asian culture.

Matthew Booth, 30, said he experienced discrimination when he lived in Hawaii, but felt that once his classmates got to know him they began to get along much better. He believes the workshop could help people realize “it is the differences in our cultures that make our world so interesting and that we should not be afraid to say we don’t understand.”

Anna-Lisa Simmons, 49, said encountering discrimination is an experience more common to everyone than we may initially believe. “Everyone should get over the differences of the past and accept other cultures’ differences as we would want to be accepted ourselves—with an open mind and the understanding that we don’t have to ascribe to their beliefs, just respect them.”

Controversial SB 1070 winds through courts

Controversial SB 1070 winds through courts

File photo by Mike Hawkins

By Zacchary Watson

Legal maneuvers, protests, boycotts and controversy continue to dog SB 1070, the anti-illegal immigrant legislation signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last April.

SB 1070 was scheduled to go into effect on July 29, but U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton barred parts of the legislation with a preliminary injunction.

Attorneys for Gov. Jan Brewer have asked a federal appeals court to dismiss the injunction. In response, the U.S. Department of Justice filed legal papers Sept. 26 saying the state law conflicts with federal statutes and undermines foreign policy.

On Nov. 1, a three-judge federal panel in San Francisco will hear oral arguments from both sides.

David Lamb, a PCC student studying general education, thinks there are better ways to spend tax money than on keeping people out of the country.

“I think it’s kind of weird kicking people out, you know, because people come here to work for opportunities,” Lamb said.

The injunction barred key sections of SB 1070, including:

  • Requiring local and state law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant.
  • Requiring police to check the immigration status of someone in custody before the person is released.
  • Requiring non-citizens to carry papers at all times.
  • Making it a state crime for undocumented immigrants to seek work.

Not everyone opposes the law. Because of violence, drug trafficking and other problems near the border, some people think SB 1070 was written for the safety of America and its citizens.

Cole, a PCC student who prefers anonymity, lives in Huachuca City. “I have illegals that come through my property, try to poison my dogs and freaking do all kinds of stuff,” he said.

“I live near a drop-off point. Honestly I’m tired of people giving them water because that’s what gives them initiative to come and trash my property and scare the shit out of my mom, brothers and sisters.”

Cole thinks it’s fair to ask people for papers. “I don’t see what’s racist about it,” he said. “They should have every right to ask people for papers. If you have nothing to hide, why do you care?”

He said the Border Patrol officers he knows are not racist, but simply doing their job.

“The Border Patrol has always been able to pull anybody over on probable cause,” Cole said. “I’ve been pulled over and I’m white.”

Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Arizona law enforcement personnel have requested 3,000 National Guard troops along the state’s border to reinforce U.S.-Mexico border security. President Barack Obama has agreed to send 532 troops.

There is some concern the troops won’t have any authority, and some law enforcement officials don’t think it will be enough.

“We have a whopping 30 that are showing up,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told reporters on Sept. 10. “It’s less than a half-hearted measure designed to fail.”

SB 1070 received negative notoriety even before it passed. In July, crowds of protesters gathered at the Maricopa County Jail and several people were arrested for blocking the jail entrance.

Protesting at the jail began because Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio declared that he would carry out raids the day SB 1070 went into effect.

Ten members of the press were also arrested for being on the front lines of the protest.

U.S. District Attorney Dennis Burke criticized SB 1070.

“The so-called provisions that it mirrors, they don’t match up, and it has additional provisions in there that have never been in federal law,” Burke said in an interview with Arizona Public

“It was poorly written,” Burke said. “It was poorly thought out. It’s one of the biggest smoke screens ever.”

Pima briefs

Pima briefs

Campus police join seatbelt campaign

Attention, Pima drivers! Campus police are participating in a Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign through Oct. 3.

The PCC police department has teamed with other area law enforcement agencies and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to promote seat belt use. Statistics show that regular seat belt use is the most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

The campaign uses high visibility traffic enforcement with a “zero-tolerance” approach to drive home a message: “Buckle Up Arizona…No Excuses!”

Funding comes from a $600,000 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demonstration grant.

-By Eric Townsend

PCC sponsoring series of Holocaust talks

Pima Community College will sponsor a 2010 Holocaust Lecture Series, beginning Oct. 3. Each talk is free and open to the public.

What is Judaism?

Rabbi Robert Eisen
Sunday, Oct. 3, at 6:15 p.m.
Congregation Anshei Israel, 5550 E. Fifth St.


David Graizbord, UA Judaic Studies
Sunday, Oct. 24, at 6:15 p.m.
PCC Northwest Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Road, A-207

Memoirs of a Child Survivor
Sidney Finkel, concentration camp survivor and author
Sunday, Nov. 14, at 6:15 p.m.
PCC Northwest Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Road, A-207

Slave Labor and the Death Marches
Jan-Ruth Mills, author and Holocaust educator
Sunday, Dec. 5, at 6:15 p.m.
PCC Northwest Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Road, A-207

-By Ricky Gonzales

PCC considers multi-level tuition prices

PCC considers multi-level tuition prices

By Liza Porter

Pima Community College is considering charging differential tuition for certain programs that cost more to operate.

“It might happen next year,” Chancellor Roy Flores said during an interview.

Appropriations from the state have been reduced by 33 percent in two years, Flores said. “That’s enormous.”

Besides state funds, local property taxes are another piece of the budget pie. Tuition is the third piece.

“Some people argue, ‘well, keep tuition low,’ because that provides access,” Flores said. “Not if you have to shut down programs. At some point, we’re going to have to limit our offerings. We’re going to have to make some tough choices.”

But PCC has no immediate plans to cancel programs. Flores said data still has to be analyzed, but differential tuition should help with occupational courses that require specialized equipment.

“We’re not talking about huge increases here,” Flores said. “We’re really talking about a more moderate approach.”

Gina Maria, a dental hygiene student at West Campus, said programs are already expensive.

“We have to pay almost $3,000-4,000 prior to even coming into the program,” Maria said.

The Board of Governors sets tuition rates at its April meeting. For the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters, resident tuition is $53.50 per unit. Out-of-state tuition is $90 per unit for students taking six or fewer units, and $269 per unit for seven or more units.

Many four-year colleges and universities have been charging differential tuition for years.

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications began charging extra when it moved to its new facility in downtown Phoenix.

The University of Arizona charges differential tuition at some of its colleges, including the Eller College of Management.

A brief survey of community college websites in different parts of the country showed that several charge extra tuition for certain programs, running anywhere from $5 per credit hour to almost twice the base tuition.

All four colleges researched charge differential tuition for nursing and online programs.

Community College of Denver also charges more for its dental hygiene courses. Rainy River Community College in Minnesota charges extra tuition for programs such as construction and industrial technology.

Inver Hill in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., said its extra tuition for nursing students pays for lab supply kits, an online review exam to prepare for the state RN licensing exam and simulation skills instruction.

It also said the extra funds help buy medical and simulation equipment for the EMS program, improve the quality of online programs and keep low student-teacher ratios.

At Fon du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minn., some art, biology, chemistry and physical education classes have higher tuition because of supply and lab costs.

Public education has traditionally been considered a “social good,” similar to literacy, clean air and modern infrastructure. This attitude is at the heart of federal financial aid and tuition schedules that charge the same amount per credit hour for each subject.

Elizabeth Redden, writing in Inside Higher Education, asked: “Will differential tuition deter low-income students from entering certain fields, further entrenching existing class disparities?”

In his September report, Flores said the college will work to “uphold the tradition of excellence of our occupational programs, and we will be cognizant of minimizing the risk of pricing lower-income students out of more expensive fields of study.”

West Campus student Ana Gonzalez believes differential tuition would adversely affect low-income students, but said, “I can also see the point why they would want to raise up the tuition for those programs.”

In the interview, Flores said low-income students receiving financial aid “would be in a better position than middle-income students” if differential tuition is implemented.

“Financial aid is a function of costs, so for low-income students it’s pretty much a pass-through, because they’re on Pell Grants, anyway,” he said. If tuition goes up, Pell Grant awards increase.

Flores said PCC is also considering an alternative: to vary tuition according to what day and time classes are offered.

For example, lowering tuition for Friday afternoon classes might make them more popular,” he said. “That would benefit the college by reducing peak-time stress on PCC operations.”

Ramon Serrano, a liberal arts major, thinks lowering tuition for Friday classes is a good idea.

“It’s pretty much dead on Friday anyway,” Serrano said. “I have a class on Friday and there’s hardly anybody here.”

Debbie Hadley contributed to this report.

Award-winning Tucson writer uses geology training for mystery series

Award-winning Tucson writer uses geology training for mystery series

By Conrad Pursley

Making a transition from geologist to mystery fiction writer was not difficult for Tucson author Susan Cummins Miller.

“Mysteries really use the scientific method,” Miller said. “Geologists take clues from the surface of the earth to create a story of what happened, and that’s what a mystery does.”

Miller will lead a weekend workshop titled “Hook, Line and Homicide: Writing the Mystery” Oct. 1-3 at Pima Community College West Campus.

Her transition from scientist to author began when both of her children were in school full-time. She had already graduated from the University of California at Riverside, worked for the U.S. Geological Survey and taught at a community college near San Francisco.

She wanted to somehow stay at home but put her degrees in history, anthropology and geology to good use. She decided to write a mystery.

Miller has now written four mystery fiction novels, with a fifth to be released next year. The series follows geologist turned amateur sleuth Frankie MacFarlane, who solves murders that occur during her work as a geologist.

Many settings are locations in which Miller worked as a geologist. “I used places I’d been to, felt, walked over,” she said.

She said her experiences in locations stretching from southern Arizona to Las Vegas to the Bay Area help her to vividly recreate the settings for readers. Her fifth book, “Fracture,” begins in Tucson.

Miller’s career got a jumpstart when she connected with an editor from Texas Tech University Press. She was attending a writing conference in San Diego that included brunch aboard a boat. During the seven-hour trip, she was introduced to the editor through a friend.

Gaining industry connections is one reason she recommends attending writing workshops. “You never know who you’re gonna meet.”

Getting together with other writers also helps both amateurs and experienced authors make great strides in their writing, she said.

The Oct. 1-3 seminar is part of PCC’s Creative Writing Weekend Workshop series. For details about the workshop, contact Meg Files at 206-6084 or

Why would Miller opt to teach immediately after sending page proofs to print? She says it’s her way of reviving the creative side of her mind while exercising the technical part. She believes it helps her writing.

Miller offers this advice to aspiring writers: Read as broadly as you can and write every day.

“I started out being a scientist, reading voraciously for years, but we all start somewhere,” she said.

Vinyl records enjoying revival

Vinyl records enjoying revival

By Ana Ramirez

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years and are completely oblivious to the music scene, you know that vinyl records are making a huge comeback.

Classic collectors and new generations of vinyl lovers converge at revival events to swap records and discuss genres from classic rock to techno to rap. Next up will be the annual Tucson Record Show on Nov. 7.

Fans begin listening to and collecting vinyl for many reasons.

Some enjoy sampling songs into their MPCs, making beats. It’s like a puzzle to take parts of an old record to create and mold something completely new.

Others like the familiar characteristics of vinyl records, from the warm vibe it gives off to the faint static of the needle.

“I started buying vinyl at 14 when I bought a turntable and tried to be a rap DJ,” said Matthew Taccone, a 23-year-old student at Pima Community College. “My first record was Dr. Dre 2001, Instrumental.”

What makes people choose vinyl over CDs?

Taccone pondered the question while sitting in his dimly lit bedroom, decorated with mini-shrines of his hometown in Alabama and posters of rappers such as Rich Boy. He sipped from a 24-ounce can of Coors before responding.

“People don’t want to buy CDs,” he said. Vinyl, however, feels like a bigger purchase. “You get more for your money, it’s better and the whole retro thing is coming back.”

Collector and stay-at-home dad Bill Grant never stopped liking vinyl.

“For me it never went away,” he said. “I’ve seen it’s more popular than it had been, probably because there are so many things only on record.”

After nearly 30 years of collecting vinyl, Grant has about 8,000 albums that fill two rooms. He sounds proud and serious about his hobby as he sits at his dining room table, discussing his first purchase: “Abbey Road” by the Beatles.

From there, he collected genres including blues, jazz, country, classical, African and movie soundtracks.

As a history major at the University of Arizona, Grant learned about Homer’s “Iliad” and how people in past eras told stories in song and passed them to future generations by singing.

He says blues in the United States were similar in the way that songs were sung to be remembered until they were preserved on recordings.

Unlike Grant’s wide array of musical genres, Taccone keeps his collection of rap records simple.

Both enjoy in-depth discussions on music, whether it be Grant’s history lesson on how vinyl got started or Taccone’s analysis of rap lyric quotes by Outkast.


Tucson Record Show

When: Sunday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Where: 1365 W. Grant Road, Las Cazuelitas Event Center

Details:, 622-0104