RSSArchive for December 9th, 2010

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Early Pima newspapers record beginning of Aztec Sports

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Early Pima newspapers record beginning of Aztec Sports


Pima Community College student newspapers and Aztec sports both had humble and confusing beginnings.

The college held its first classes in 1969 and officially opened in 1970, but the start of the Aztec Press and Pima sports are a bit more hazy.

A student newspaper named Graffiti Press started in 1970. That was the first of six names before the publication became Aztec Press in 1981.

A “Department of Mass Communications” launched a publication called Campus News in 1973. The Library of Congress believes that newspaper evolved into the Aztec Press after a few name changes, but is also unsure when publication of the Graffiti Press ceased.

In 1975, the Campus News newspaper and Pima's athletic department held a logo contest.

In the sports arena, Pima’s first athletes played on club teams.

A judo martial arts team started in 1970, and was the first Pima team to advance to Nationals. It even hosted Nationals in 1974, where it finished second.

In 1971, teams included “girls’” volleyball, men’s softball (Pima Suns) and baseball (Pima Giants.) Softball and baseball played in a city league, while against teams like Frontier Liquor and the Jewish Community Center.

Intercollegiate sports officially began in 1973, when Pima launched men’s cross country, wrestling, men’s basketball, men’s track and baseball teams.

The athletic department celebrated the 25th anniversary of Pima sports in 1995, but now considers 1973 its launch year.

A 1973 fencing team won Pima’s first trophy.

In 1974, when only men played on the golf team, coach Bill Johnson was 20 years old. He coached one player who was 42 and another who was 30 years old.

The first successful team sport was “girls’” basketball, which in 1975 notched Pima’s first back-to-back winning seasons.

During the 1970s, the Campus News played a significant role with Pima’s logos.

In a Sept. 28, 1973 story, the CN explained Pima’s logo, designed by Gill Kenny, coordinator of Communigraphics and Reprographics Services. The logo is a “stylized ‘P’” that is repeated in a circle and is used today.

In 1975, the Campus News and the athletic department sponsored a “Draw the Aztec” contest after the sports editor and Pima’s first athletic director, Larry Toledo, decided the college needed an Aztec logo to go with the standard circle “P” logo.

Pima's logo is a "stylized P," repeated and highlighted here in orange, PCC's orignal color.

The contest offered more than $200 in prizes, including a $100 scholarship.

In May 1975, judges chose a logo by design major Bob Einfrank. The multi-Aztec head was put on sports uniforms and used as the newspaper’s logo.

The athletic department drew criticism in the 2000s when it began limiting recruitment to in-state athletes, but the philosophy was not new. Pima originally recruited only Tucson athletes, though it welcomed out-of-state athletes who decided on their own to enroll.

Pima’s most recent sport – football – was almost one of the first. In the mid-1970s, it seemed likely that football would be added, but the program stalled when voters rejected a $9.5 million bond by an almost 2-1 margin. Football was eventually added in 2001.

The Campus News alternately supported and trashed the potential football team.

A 1974 column said Pima students should follow Scottsdale Community College’s lead. At Scottsdale, students voted against a football team. When the school added one anyway, students voted to name the team the “Fighting Artichokes” and make pink their color.

In the early 1970s, PCC teams didn’t have an on-campus gym or home fields. The school did have cheerleaders and song leaders, and composers were working on a fight song. Two “authentic” Aztec mascots were also in the works.

Men’s basketball got off to a grand start in 1973, hosting the International Friendship Festival Tournament that opened on (tape delayed) TV. The athletic director, Toledo, gave 1,000 free tickets to students.

The start of Aztec sports coincided with the 1972 adoption of Title IX, the federal legislation that forbids schools to discriminate on the basis of gender.

Gradually, Pima’s female sports teams moved from club to varsity status and changed their names from “girls’” to “women’s.”

Progress wasn’t immediate. In 1974, Pima’s first women’s softball team had just 12 players. Stories didn’t indicate how many outfielders the team used.

In a 1974 story, the Campus News revealed that both basketball teams shared locker rooms. The men dressed while the females were playing their second half, and the women changed during the guys’ game.

The Arizona Community College Athletic Conference voted in 1975 to add women’s sports.

Only a few Pima teams (cross country, volleyball and baseball) currently compete against four-year schools. In the 1970s, however, the Aztecs regularly played university club teams.

If it had added football, Pima would have played junior varsity teams from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.

The men’s basketball team did play against JV teams, and the Campus News couldn’t resist an occasionally snarky comment. When Pima beat UA’s JV team in 1975, a cutline said the Aztecs beat the “Wildkittens” 95-71.

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Aztec Press History
Graffiti Press: 1970-1973
Campus News: 1973-1977
The Downtowner: 1975-1981
Aztec Campus News: 1977-1978
Aztec News: 1978-1981
Aztec Press (merger of Downtowner and Aztec News): 1981-1986
Aztec: 1986-1987
Aztec Press: 1987- 2010-

ONLINE EXTRA: Women's basketball almost perfect

ONLINE EXTRA: Women’s basketball almost perfect

Editor’s note: on Dec. 8, the Aztecs beat Yavapai 76-74

Photo by ED ADAMS

The Pima Community College women’s basketball team finally lost again, but it almost ended the 150-game win streak of conference superpower Central Arizona College.

The Division II No. 14 Aztecs (6-2, 3-1 in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) blew a lead against Division I No. 6 Central, which hasn’t lost an ACCAC game since 2004.

PCC started strong, building a seven-point lead. In the end, the Aztecs came up short in their upset attempt, losing 76-72.

“We gave a great effort,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “We missed some clutch free throws in the end and we had some turnovers that cost us.”

Sophomore guard Sara Nicholson led Pima in scoring, finishing with 21 points.

Sophomore forward Deanna Daniels recorded her sixth double-double of the season, adding 15 points and 19 rebounds.

Central has lost just seven conference games this century.

“The Central Arizona loss was definitely not a disappointment for us,” freshman guard Naderra Carey said. “We’re not focused on who we beat, our goal is to win a national championship.”

After a game on Dec. 11 against host Mesa Community College, Pima will take a holiday break and then return to action Dec. 28 against Parkland College. The Aztecs will have six straight home games.

On Dec. 1, after taking a break for the Thanksgiving holidays, PCC blew out Phoenix College 75-57. The triumph was the Aztecs’ sixth in a row.

“I thought we came back from the break pretty good,” Holthaus said.

Daniels led the Aztecs at Phoenix, scoring 24 points, pulling down 14 rebounds and blocking four shots.

Naderra Carey

Sophomore guard Patricia Ramos added 10 points, while sophomore forward Gaby Ayon scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“I think we started off pretty slow,” Carey said. “For us, it was all about getting our legs back.”

The Aztecs traveled to Prescott to take on Yavapai College on Dec. 8, but results from the game were not available at press time.

“We got to get back on the horse, this will be a tough road stretch for us,” Holthaus said. “We can’t have a big game hangover.”

Pima will play 12 games over the winter break, including hosting the County Financial Classic Dec. 28 to Dec. 30.

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Women’s basketball Winter Break Schedule
Dec. 11: @ Mesa CC 2 p.m.
Dec. 28: vs. Parkland College* 6 p.m.
Dec. 29: vs. College of Eastern Utah* 6 p.m.
Dec. 29: Western Texas College* 4 p.m.
Jan. 4: South Plains College 6:30 p.m.
Jan. 5: Cochise College 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 8: South Mountain CC 2 p.m.
Jan. 12: @ Eastern Arizona College 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 15: @ Glendale CC 2 p.m.
Jan. 19: Arizona Western College 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: Chandler-Gilbert CC 2 p.m.
Jan. 26: Scottsdale CC 5:30 p.m.
All home games are at the West Campus
* Country Financial Classic (Pima)

ONLINE EXTRA: Men's basketball ends three-game skid

ONLINE EXTRA: Men’s basketball ends three-game skid

Photo by ED ADAMS

The Pima Community College men’s basketball team snapped a three-game losing-streak when it held on to beat Central Arizona College, and things are looking up for the rebuilding program.

The Aztecs (3-6, 1-3 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) beat Central 87-82 on Dec. 4, their first win since Nov. 13. Pima had a 12-point lead at the half and let CAC into the game late, but was able to hold off the Vaqueros.

“We stayed with it and we played hard,” sophomore forward Justin Chambers said. “It’s a confidence booster.”

Chambers led Pima with a double-double, scoring 25 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.

“I know it sounds silly to say, but I didn’t really think we were on a losing streak. We just weren’t playing well,” head coach Roderick Gary said after the game. “I knew when we play better we will win a game and we played better tonight. We didn’t get all the bugs out but we played better.”

For his efforts against Central, Chambers was named Region 1, Division II Player of the Week for the week ending Dec. 5. He didn’t play in Pima’s other game that week at Phoenix College.

Sophomore guard Daniel Conorque also earned a double-double in the Central game, with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Brian Hill scored 12 points and freshman guard James Pierce scored 10.

“Everything is a building block, one step at a time,” Gary said. “A couple of the ones we lost hurt us because we had a chance to win them. They got into our heads a little bit.”

He said the Aztecs still have plenty of time left in the season to continue improving.

“We have to score,” Gary added. “If we get the score up around 80, 90 points, we got a chance to win because we are not big enough to be a defensive team. We’re not big enough to just stop people and control the boards.”

Justin Chambers

On Dec. 1, the Aztecs were blown out by a revenge-minded Phoenix College, 80-46, in the Valley of the Sun. Last year Pima upset the Bears in their gym, in the Region championship, to advance to Nationals.

Sophomore guard Brian Hill was a bright spot for the Aztecs with a team-leading 14 points.

The Aztecs could get help in the frontcourt once the semester ends, as ineligible players get their fall semester grades.

“We lost three starters and we are getting all three back at the end of the semester, so that’s all we need,” Chambers said.

“We’re about making grades, we got to do that,” Gary added.

On Dec. 8, Pima traveled to Yavapai College for a game that was too late for press time.

The Aztecs will play two more games in December and nine games over the winter break.

On Dec. 30, the Aztecs will travel to the Tohono O’odham Nation in Sells for a clinic and game against the TO Nation All-Stars. It is believed to be the first time a college basketball team has played there.

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Men’s basketball Winter Break Schedule
Dec. 11: @ Mesa CC 4 p.m. Cochise
Dec. 18: Arizona College Prep 4 p.m.
Jan. 5: Cochise College 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 8: South Mountain CC 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12: @ Eastern Arizona College 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15: @ Glendale CC 4 p.m.
Jan. 19: Arizona Western College 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: Chandler-Gilbert CC 4 p.m.
Jan. 26: Scottsdale CC 7:30 p.m.
All home games are at the West Campus

ONLINE ONLY: Selection of Qatar as World Cup host is a joke

ONLINE ONLY: Selection of Qatar as World Cup host is a joke


Soccer’s governing body showed off its corruption or, at best, incompetence when it picked two unworthy World Cup hosts, even picking Qatar over the United States.

FIFA governs all significant aspects of soccer, from youth games to the various World Cups, except for high school and college.

By choosing oil countries to host the men’s senior World Cup in 2018 and 2022 during a lavish summit on Dec. 2, FIFA’s executive committee did little to assuage fears that it is corrupt.

Giving 2018 to Russia makes some sense, but picking a Middle Eastern country over the “Great Satan” for 2022 leaves me with no choice but to assume the Excoms (the abbreviation for the executive committee) took bribes. FIFA itself barred two Excon I mean Excom members because of allegations of vote selling.

Let’s be honest here. If aliens came to Earth and enlisted you as a tour guide, Middle Earth—I mean the Middle East—would be the last place you showed them, if at all.

There are two things that are supposed to define the World Cup: being the biggest sporting event on Earth and bringing the world together.

The only time the Middle East is ever noticed in sports is when the region’s best soccer team, Saudi Arabia, is losing 8-0 in the World Cup.

Admittedly, Qatar is not as bad as most Middle Eastern countries. Authorities there won’t cut off players’ hands for committing a handball foul and they don’t treat women like pets. But, that’s like being the best-looking turd in the toilet bowl — not so great.

Qatar does not have freedom of religion, still punishes homosexuality with lashes and jail, does not recognize Israel, is allied with Iran and supports Iran’s nuclear program and many believe it still has slavery. Human rights groups consider Qatar’s controversial sponsor system to be slavery and in 2007 a US State Department official ripped Qatar.

Qatar’s human rights record is as bad as its soccer team. Lost amid all this talk of stadiums and whether fans can drink at games is the reality that this is a sports tournament. Since World Cup hosts get automatic bids, Qatar is taking a spot from a worthy team.

Once upon a time the World Cup hosts were expected to make it to at least the second round, but Qatar is ranked No. 113 in the world in FIFA’s rankings.

In the late 1980s, FIFA considered taking 1994 World Cup hosting honors away from the United States unless the USA qualified for the 1990 Cup. The United States hadn’t qualified since 1950, but did qualify in 1990.

Qatar is so insignificant that there is no consensus on how to pronounce it. I had always heard “Katar,” but ESPN called it “Cutter” and the AP says “Gutter” is correct. That sounds about right.

Summers are so hot that officials must spend $4 billion on air-conditioned stadiums in addition to $150 billion for infrastructure. Since Qatar, the size of Connecticut, really only has one city, Doha, they will build 12 stadiums in a 20-mile radius.

Yes, it is good to expand the World Cup into new areas, like the USA in ’94, Korea/Japan in ’02 and South Africa in ’10.

However, all four of those countries earned their spots—on athletic fields. More importantly, they also righted social wrongs like slavery and segregation, World War II and apartheid.

Qatar is still stuck in the Middle Ages socially. It applies the same punishment for slave trading and selling beer.

FIFA committee members didn’t just hear a presentation and vote. Instead, there was a long and apparently pointless process that seemed to rule out Qatar. Members ignored the 1,000-page bid books, inspection teams and economic-benefit studies.

The only positive I can think of for the Qatar bid is that it is in a site that has never hosted a major sporting event. But there’s a reason for that.

What’s next? Antarctica? Vatican City? Isle of Man? I hate to tell the polar bears of the North Pole, but some places are just not fit to host a major sporting event.

FIFA itself rated the USA’s bid as the best and Qatar’s as the worst. This stupidity actually hurts FIFA as they won’t be raking in the cash from a Qatari World Cup.

The World Cup that the United States hosted in 1994 enjoyed the best-ever attendance, with 3.6 million fans attending games for 24 teams. The World Cups held since have had 32 teams, and thus more games.

The United States could have attracted about 5 million fans in 2022.

Qatar has a population of less than a million, and one third of the residents are foreign workers. Can they really attract more than 1 million fans?

FIFA gets most of its money from the men’s senior World Cup, so is just shooting itself in the foot.

In 2010 in South Africa, Americans bought the most tickets. It wasn’t because we are such a great football nation, but because Europeans were afraid of crime in South Africa.

My guess is that fear of terrorist attacks, the heat or archaic laws will be worse than muggings in scaring away tourists.

The World Cup is supposed to be for the world, not in a place no one wants to go.

FIFA sent the World Cup to Qatar, for no legitimate reason, to the detriment of itself, the game and the world.

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Proposed Qatar 2022 stadiums

Pima deals with concussions

Pima deals with concussions

Photo by ED ADAMS

Last year, former Aztec basketball player Travares Peterson sustained a concussion in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Tournament.

He was diagnosed hours after it happened by receiving an X-ray from the hospital. Once he was cleared from the hospital, he was told not to be active for seven days due to the chance of having a severe second concussion.

“The steps I took to become cleared to play was paying attention to all the guidelines the trainers and doctors had for me,” Peterson said.

When asked for tips to avoid concussions, he replied, “Concussions in sports are gonna happen. I would just suggest that athletes should do what they are comfortable doing on the playing field/court and have no worries about getting hurt.”

A concussion is defined as the most common type of traumatic brain injury. The term is most frequently used when talking about sports and sports medicine.

Physical symptoms of concussions include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, lack of motor coordination and difficulty balancing.

Cognitive and emotional symptoms of concussions include confusion, disorientation and difficulty focusing attention.

“Concussions aren’t really classified anymore,” Pima Community College football athletic trainer Scott Horton said. “A concussion’s a concussion. The severity aspect you kind of see just in terms of recovery time. A more severe concussion takes longer to recover. Personally, that’s kind of how I classify them.”

Treatment involves monitoring and rest. Athletes typically receive tests and the trainer decides when the athlete can play again.

“A typical recovery time, I would say, is about a little over a week to be game-ready,” Horton said.

This year in the NFL, concussions have risen at an astounding rate. There have been more than 100 concussions coming from clean hits and dirty ones, big hits and relatively minor ones.

Some notable players receiving concussions in 2010 were Indianapolis Colts’ receiver Austin Collie, Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Kevin Kolb, Dallas Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten, Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler, Philadelphia Eagles’ receiver DeSean Jackson, Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Pittsburgh Steelers’ receiver Hines Ward.

PCC is also taking concussions very seriously, just like the NFL.

With the football season over and many concussions coming and going, the athletic trainers had many tests to perform on the athletes sustaining the injury.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association has also put an emphasis on concussions in high school sports in Arizona this year.

Helmet to helmet hits are the most likely source of concussions in football and new ways of preventing head and neck damage are being undertaken.

The new Xenith helmet is the talk of the NFL. According to NFL inside reports, it supposedly lowers the risk of concussions.

When asked if Pima Football would take a different approach in the use of their helmets, Horton said, “if there was a helmet on the market that absolutely eliminated concussions, then everyone would have it.”

“It’s hard to say what helmets are more effective or less effective,” Horton said.

Pima uses Riddell helmets and Horton says the Aztecs have not considered changing to a different helmet.

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Aztecs receive post-season honors

Aztecs receive post-season honors

Photo by ED ADAMS

The Pima Community College football team hasn’t had much to celebrate lately but it was handsomely recognized.

Six players from the 2010 team were honored for their regular season performances.

This total matches the number of awards Pima players received during the last four years combined.

“The program overall is much improved, and therefore some players deserve the recognition they got,” Sports Information Director Don Stopa said.

The awards are based on two categories: All-Western States Football League and All-National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1.

Return specialist Auburá Taylor earned All-WSFL First Team and All-Region 1 First Team. He led the league in both kickoff return yards and punt return yards.

From the Aztecs’ offensive side, sophomore wide receiver Scott Campbell earned All-WSFL Second Team and All-Region 1 First Team awards.

Campbell had 515 receiving yards, which was sixth in the WSFL. He was third in the league with 16.6 yards per catch.

Sophomore offensive lineman Tony Alicea made the All-WSFL Second Team and All-Region 1 Second Team.

Sophomore defensive back Ricky Solomon, sophomore linebacker Brent Lush and freshman defensive lineman Pepa Fonokalafi each earned All-WSFL Second Team and All-Region 1 Second Team awards.

Solomon finished second in the WSFL with 32 solo tackles. He led the league in interceptions with five.

Sophomore safety Griffin Ronstadt was named NJCAA National Player of the Week after the Aztecs snapped their 29-game losing streak in the first game of the season.

-By Narciso Thomas Villarreal

Vu named All-American, again

Sophomore forward Minh Vu of the men’s soccer team went two-for-two in being awarded All-American honors.

Vu was named to the first-team NJCAA All-American team, after being named to the second team last year. Vu, also the Region 1 Player of the Year, led the Region and ACCAC in scoring with 44 points, including 15 goals.

Minh Vu

-By James Kelley

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ATHLETIC VOICE: Cardinals QB woes plentiful

ATHLETIC VOICE: Cardinals QB woes plentiful


Arizona Cardinals’ fans knew it would be tough when likely Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner retired after last season, but they didn’t know Derek Anderson would be this bad.

No one believed a free-fall of this magnitude would occur—one that has the Red Birds at 3-9 and in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.

The season started poorly when head coach Ken Whisenhunt made the horrible decision to trade quarterback Matt Leinart.

Whisenhunt gave Anderson the starting job out of the gate, then promoted undrafted rookie Max Hall to lead the Big Red passing attack. After a couple of games and almost the same results (except for a miracle win against the defending champion New Orleans Saints), Anderson got his number called again.

Anderson ranks last in the NFL in completion percentage (52.8) and has yet to get on page with elite receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Among 32 NFL teams, the Arizona offense ranks 31st in total offense, 31st in rushing offense and 30th in passing offense. Way to go Anderson! It sure seems as if your 2007 Pro Bowl season was a fluke.

As for the defense, the Cardinals rank 29th in total defense, 31st in rushing defense and 25th in passing defense.

Personally, I don’t believe the defense is as bad as these numbers suggest. Would you want to play outstanding defense every game only to then watch one of the worst offensive outposts in football? I sure wouldn’t.

The defense, at times, shows it has playmakers that can improve the defense to a middle range.

Frustration is definitely playing a role in the demise of Bill Bidwell’s franchise.

Statistically the Cardinals still have a shot at the postseason, but surely it won’t happen. The team should lose out to set up for a top 10 draft pick and land a quarterback for the future.

Stanford’s Andrew Luck will likely be the No. 1 overall player and quarterback taken in the 2011 NFL draft, so he won’t be available when it’s Arizona’s turn to pick. Therefore, Arizona should settle on the arm of Arkansas standout Ryan Mallett.

He has great size at 6 foot 6 inches and 238 pounds. He has been blessed with arm strength. His touch and accuracy need a little work, but give him a couple of years in the pros. Mallett has the potential to be a great NFL quarterback.

For the rest of this Cardinals’ season, it will be a struggle to watch as the team continues to rely on the questionable arm of Derek Anderson.

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Thank you for sharing the plight of Isabella Cardenas, “New Arizona law requires common course numbering,” by Conrad Pursley [Issue 7: Nov. 24-Dec. 8]. I feel sorry for Isabella, as should the “advisory” staff and administration officials.

I just hope she doesn’t feel discriminated against. I’m sure the advisory staff got together and tried to resolve her non-transferring credit conflict.

“None of the advisors at Pima could help me and they suggested that I go up to Phoenix to get help, which was frustrating.” I HEARD THAT! I feel Ms. Cardenas got a raw deal.

Seriously, if I’m not mistaken, I know of only one advisor at the West Campus with a Hispanic surname. If you consider the percentage of Hispanic students to Hispanic advisors, I’m sure you will find that the numbers don’t jive.

I totally agree with Ms. Cardenas: “It’s a real pain to drive hundreds of miles for a 30-minute appointment.” Isabella, I feel your pain!

Martin A. Lopez

HIV/AIDS epidemic hits Latino community hard

HIV/AIDS epidemic hits Latino community hard

Stories and photos by ANA RAMIREZ

The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to have a devastating impact on the Latino community in the United States.

That reality hits home for residents of Pima County, where one of four people living with HIV/AIDS are Latino, according to the Pima County Health Department.

Hispanics/Latinos represent 13 percent of the United States population but account for an estimated 17 percent of new HIV infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010 report.

A 2006 CDC study concluded Latinos are prone to being at risk for HIV infection because they face challenges such as language barriers, cultural values that don’t acknowledge the dangers of high-risk behaviors and long-term separation from a sexual partner leading to new partners.

Key information from the CDC:

  • HIV is contracted through sexual contact, including oral, vaginal and anal sex. The virus is passed through bodily fluids such as semen, blood and vaginal fluid. Semen and blood are the most common way people are exposed to the virus.
  • The virus can also be passed from mother to child through breast milk.
  • People who are most at risk are injection drug users, people who engage in unprotected sex and infants who have mothers that are HIV positive.
  • There is no cure for HIV. The only way to prevent it is to practice safe sex, including abstinence, condom use and being educated about one’s health.
  • Clinical trials of a new HIV prevention pill called Truvada found it reduced the risk of contraction by 44 percent. However, the trial only included gay and bisexual men.
  • People diagnosed with the virus can live a long, healthy life if they receive proper medication.


To find out more information about HIV and AIDS, contact any of the following organizations:

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation


The mission of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation is to create and sustain a healthier, more compassionate response to HIV/AIDS.

National AIDS Hotline
English: 1-800-342-AID

Spanish: 1-800-344-7432

Centers for Disease Control

AIDS/STD hotline:

or 1-800-227-8922

TTY: 1-800-243-7889

TTY Spanish: 1-800-344-7432

For STD testing:

Planned Parenthood

(multiple locations)


El Rio Same Day Clinic


Theresa Lee Clinic
332 S. Freeway (southbound I-10 frontage road)


Busy student makes time to teach peers


Like most high school seniors, Elizabeth Molina is anxious to graduate. The pre-med student keeps a busy schedule with classes at Sunnyside High School, Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, but still manages help her community and peers.

Molina, 18, has taught a HIV/AIDS Prevention class at Sunnyside for the past few semesters. She became interested in the subject after a family member was fatally diagnosed with the virus.

“I’m amazed, actually, by how little people know,” Molina said.

The class covers teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Molina’s goal for students: “For them to understand how to protect themselves.”

The class covers seven modules, teaching about all of the sexually transmitted diseases, how they are transmitted, what the symptoms are and how to practice safe sex.

The students take a test at the beginning and end of the class to see how knowledgeable they have become.

HIV/AIDS epidemic has hit Latinos hard. In Pima County, one of four people living with HIV/AIDS are Latino, according to the Pima County Health Department.

Why does Molina think the Latino community has been so affected?

She points to Latino women taking a traditional route, worrying about having children and making a family than about safe-sex practices.

“Latinos come from a religious background, so we tend to forget what we’re preventing ourselves from,” she said.

For her career, Molina would like to be either a cardiothoracic or cosmetic surgeon. If she chooses the second route, she would like to join the Doctors Without Borders organization.

Ex-soldier offers message of hope


Enrique Franco, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army, tries to make a difference in his community by speaking at events such as the recent Tucson National Latino Awareness Day.

“I want to generate a message of hope,” he said.

The Army discharged Franco on homosexual conduct charges in 2007 after he admitted he is gay. He underwent a medical exam as part of the exit procedure, and later received test results that revealed he was HIV-positive.

Franco contracted the virus from another soldier that he trusted and was infatuated with. “I hate to sound like a commercial but I always used protection,” he said. “This was the one guy I didn’t use it with.”

Franco started a blog, The site has posted an interview in which he shares his experiences.

Army officials acted more compassionately once they learned he was HIV-positive, Franco said. “Their attitudes shifted.”

He pays close attention to people’s reaction when they learn he is HIV-positive. “I can see people have a shift in their body language, a certain twitch in their eye” he said. “I tell them from the get-go. I want to know if people are going to be my friends.”

Franco now works at the University of Arizona’s gym and is happily married. He and his partner exchanged vows in California a few weeks before Proposition 22 was enacted to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples.

He shares his message of hope at every opportunity.

“Don’t let anyone steal your hope from you,” he said. “Embrace your life.”

Alcoholic energy drinks face federal ban

Alcoholic energy drinks face federal ban


Matthew Booth, a 30-year-old Pima Community College student, used to drink caffeinated alcoholic beverages four or five days a week but was always slightly uncomfortable with how they made him feel.

“It didn’t feel like a normal buzz,” he said. “It seemed to affect my brain more than my body. I knew that I was thinking differently but my body wasn’t feeling the same thing.”

In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told companies to remove caffeine from their alcoholic beverages. The agency called it an unsafe food additive.

In response, the company that manufactures Four Loko announced it will immediately remove caffeine, guarana and taurine from its product.

Four Loko previously packed a 23.5-ounce can with the same amount of alcohol found in an entire bottle of wine. It also contains 260 milligrams of caffeine, about the same as three cups of coffee.

The drinks have proven popular with college students, earning nicknames like “blackout in a can.” Consumption has lead to numerous deaths across the country and an outright ban of caffeinated alcoholic beverages in several states.

Booth said he drinks alcohol regularly but noticed a difference with Four Lokos.

“It creeps up on you,” he said. “You end up drinking them like a beer or energy drink so I drank them relatively quickly but they end up hitting you all at once. There was a noticeable change in my personality.”

Information posted on says the problem stems from the combination of ingredients, noting “the co-administration of caffeine and alcohol may facilitate the false perception that one is less intoxicated.”

Mixing alcohol and caffeine allows people to drink for longer periods of time, leading to increased consumption of alcohol, the website says. One potential result: “near-lethal blood alcohol levels.”

Tucson-area stores appear to have removed Four Loko from shelves. Employees said the stores are waiting for the non-caffeinated version before they restock.

A Circle K manager who gave his name only as Alfred said he thinks authorities are taking the wrong approach. “I wish they would focus more on underage drinking and less on the actual products as the problem,” he said.

Booth said he doesn’t have a problem with the drinks being banned.

“I think it’s for the best, but I don’t have a problem with them being on the shelf either,” he said.

“It’s ultimately up to the individual.”

Pima briefs

Pima briefs

Zoo Lights fundraiser set for Dec. 13

Pima Community College’s Alumni Association will host a private preview of Zoo Lights at the Reid Park Zoo on Monday, Dec. 13, from 6-8 p.m.

PCC alumni, students, staff, faculty, family, friends and the community can enjoy holiday light displays, festive music and treats. Admission costs $6 per person, with children age 5 and under admitted free.

The fourth annual Zoo Lights event will feature free hot cocoa and homemade treats, holiday entertainment by PCC music students and a photo with Santa Claus. Opening fanfare will be performed by The Hugh O’Connor Memorial Pipe Band.

Proceeds benefit the PCC Alumni Scholarship Endowment fund, which supports five scholarships each year.

Reid Park is located at 1030 S. Randolph Way. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit or call 206-4646.

-By Jonathan Fraser

Intersession classes start Dec. 20

Pima Community College offers a wide variety of classes during winter intercession, which runs Dec. 20 through Jan. 7.

Most classes will be online or held at the Downtown Campus. All fitness classes will be at other locations.

Intersession classes are listed in the Spring 2011 class schedule. Examples of courses available include accounting, art, business, chemistry, fitness and wellness, history, math, philosophy, religion, sociology, Spanish, travel/tourism and writing.

No classes will be held on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1.

For more information, contact the Pima Information Center at 206-4500 or

-By Zacchary Watson


Librarian enjoys helping students

Librarian enjoys helping students


Rosanne Sweeney works at a library computer. Photo by Stephanie Missouri

On a regular workday, Rosanne Sweeney gets to Pima Community College West Campus before the library opens at 8 a.m.

After preparing the library for opening, she spends time at the reference desk, assisting students with questions and information searches.

Sweeney began her librarian career in Tucson’s public library system, where she worked for a year before moving to PCC two years ago. In the world of librarians, she is still considered new to the profession.

“I enjoy the regular schedule at Pima,” Sweeney said. “My work schedule was jumbled at the public library.”

Throughout the day, she organizes the collection, which refers to all books, magazines, videos, tapes, CDs and other materials found within the library.

The PCC library will let a student check out up to 50 books at one time. As long as a book, CD or tape is returned, the library does not charge late fees.

Sweeney helps keep the library up to date by making purchases, which leads to the only part of the job she dislikes.

Although necessary, she does not enjoy removing outdated items from the collection. This mainly occurs because the library buys a new edition of a book or textbook.

The collection of books and other physical materials is plentiful but represents only half of what PCC libraries can offer students. The other source of information cannot be found on a book shelf.

“Pima’s library has electronic databases and search engines that are so valuable and robust,” Sweeney said. “They are a must-have for any school library.”

Sweeney knows many students are unaware of the databases and do not realize how valuable they can be.

She and her co-workers spend lots of time scheduling and organizing sessions to teach Pima students how to use the powerful search engines.

When Sweeney is not working at the library, she enjoys performing in community theater. Next up: a play titled “The Decameron” with the Rogue Theatre.

Sweeney’s love for theater coincides with a love for reading anything written by William Shakespeare, but that is not the only author she enjoys. One favorite novel is “Sophie’s Choice” by William Styron. She also likes true crime and stories that involve animals.

While her love for books motivated her to become a librarian, interaction with students is what she enjoys most about her job.

Whether students walk into the library in search of information needed to write a research paper or are just looking for old-fashioned entertainment, Sweeney is happy to help them find what they are looking for.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Eat, drink and be merry

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Eat, drink and be merry

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Eat, drink and be merry


As another fall semester comes to a close, the holidays rapidly approach. Students and faculty are encouraged to eat, drink and be merry, as well as focus on exams, buy gifts and determine holiday plans.

With the stress and excitement that accompanies the season, it’s no wonder that eating and drinking help many make it through to spring semester.

Hearty meals are a major focus around the winter holidays, and Aztec Press examined what is on our dinner tables from a variety of angles over the years. The student newspaper shared recipes and reviewed restaurants.

An article written in the late 1970s questioned the freshness and vitality of common foods. At the time, several students were conducting a research project on maintaining a safer diet.

A staff writer wrote that food ingredients “are largely battered, heated, frozen or pulverized out… then needled with dozens of other additives.”

The article encouraged readers to check the definitions of ingredients found in many “junk” foods, and to practice a vegetarian diet.

An article in the 1984 Christmas issue peered into the lifestyle of a person with an eating disorder. The story explained that fear and anxiety about eating lavish meals increase as the holidays approach.

The article offered advice, encouraging students with eating disorders to see the holidays as a time to seek help and return to a healthy diet.

Drink recipes have appeared in the Aztec Press, including one for Kahlua printed in 1985, less than a year before Arizona’s legal drinking age was raised from 18 to 21. The recipe increased the proof of the alcohol from the typical 50 proof to above 90 proof.

A 1987 story looked at alcoholism and its similarities to codependency. The article described four common stages of codependency, and provided relationship examples. It also listed five simple steps for independence from destructive lifestyles.

In the late ‘70s, the Aztec Press featured a “mental health quotient” asking readers simple questions about their state of mind. The questions focused on realistic goals, accepting responsibility, feelings of low self-worth and fears of the future.

Articles in the mid-1980s also reported on mental illness.

A 1984 story examined mental health programs offered to refugees living in the state. At the time, Arizona was considered to have some of the best refugee resettlement facilities in the nation. However, Arizona ranked 49th in funding for mental health services.

Aztec Press writer Adam Stevenson wrote in a 1985 issue, “Clinical experience has proven that with proper, consistent treatment most people with mental illness can become productive, self-supporting citizens.”

This time of year often can make the soundest of minds question their sanity, as students deal with the frenzy of holiday shopping and an onslaught of finals and semester projects.

In the 1984 Christmas issue, PCC counselor Cindy Arem shared techniques to help students fend off “student burn-out syndrome,” defined as “a slow, progressive process occurring throughout the academic year and often reaching a climax… just before finals.”

Symptoms include energy depletion, irritability, daydreams, lack of motivation and pessimism. Ignoring the symptoms may result in severe illness, cheating, failing or dropping out of school.

Arem advised students to eat nutritionally, get adequate sleep, include physical exercise and use relaxation techniques on a regular basis.

She also encouraged students to talk to friends, loved ones or a counselor about their problems, to get feedback or simply to vent.

Arem stressed the importance of having time for oneself, noting that long walks and journaling can help relieve stress.

She also warned about the common practice of self-medication through use of drugs and alcohol, explaining that while temporary relief may alleviate stress, self-medication merely masks the underlying problems.

If finances and holiday shopping are sources of stress, advice from a 1979 issue may help. Readers were prompted to cut costs by giving “recycled” gifts found in closets, bookshelves or attics.

The Aztec Press quoted Elin Shoen of Ladies Home Journal: “What you are giving is something of yourself.”

The article also suggested offering services as a babysitter, chauffeur or cook. According to Shoen, home-baked items were “in” that year. Most would agree they still are.

“Be wildly extravagant with cookies,” Shoen said. “Almost anyone can afford to give them away by the thousands.”

A dream lasts as long as you will

And always another replaces the first.
-By Marcy Cagle

“Paper Snowflakes,” taken from a poetry page in a 1987 issue of Aztec Press.

Prop. 203: Victory for medical marijuana


After many days spent counting and recording votes, state officials confirmed the victory of Proposition 203, which allows for the sale of medical marijuana. A mere 4,300 votes determined the proposition’s success.

“This can be good for the state and all the patients who are looking for a different means of medicine,” Pima Community College student and glaucoma sufferer Rhonda Byrne said. “I hope it does what it is intended to do.”

The measure will allow “qualifying patients” with a “debilitating disease” the means to acquire an “allowable amount of usable marijuana” from dispensaries statewide solely with a recommendation from a physician, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Under the new law, ADHS is required to adopt and enforce a regulatory system for distribution. The funds needed to keep the program afloat will come from application and renewal fees, civil penalties imposed and private donations received.

Once qualified and registered with ADHS, patients can acquire up to 2.5 ounces every 14 weeks from any dispensary. Only patients who live farther than 25 miles from dispensaries will be permitted to grow marijuana, and no more than 12 plants at a time.

A recommendation will not be given to every patient. They must have one of the following diseases: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease or severe/chronic pain.

Patients will not be able to start the process until Spring 2011. ADHS predicts a 120-day rule-making period, and hopes to stick to the following timeline:

Dec. 17: ADHS posts an initial informal draft of the rules.

Dec. 17 – Jan. 7, 2011: ADHS receives electronic public comment on the initial informal draft rules.

Jan. 31: ADHS posts official draft rules for public comment.

Jan. 31 – Feb. 18: ADHS receive public comment on the official draft rules.

Feb. 15 – 17: ADHS holds three public meetings about the draft rules:

o Phoenix: Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m., 250 N. 17th Ave.

o Tucson: Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 1 p.m., 400 W. Congress St., Room 222.

o Phoenix: Thursday, Feb. 17, at 1 p.m., 250 N. 17th Ave .

March 28: ADHS publishes the final rules that will be used to implement the legislation.

April 2011: ADHS begins accepting applications for registry identification cards and for dispensary certificates.

Prop. 203 details posted on the ADHS website,, include an outline of the proposition, state legislative analysis, frequently asked questions and timelines.

Registration opens for National Collegiate Leadership Conference

Registration opens for National Collegiate Leadership Conference


Early registration has opened for a National Collegiate Leadership Conference to be held Feb. 18-20 at the University of Arizona.

The largest student-run leadership conference in the nation brings together students and leaders from diverse backgrounds to adopt leadership skills and cultivate social responsibility.

Pima Community College students serving on the conference planning committee include Ana Claudia Albelais, Alma Cuellar and Jose Rodriguez

The conference is open to undergraduate and graduate students. The early registration fee of $50 includes a free T-shirt.

After Jan. 19, the registration fee increases to $75 and the T-shirt will be sold separately.

Last year’s conference filled to capacity, and registration ended early.

The conference features a banquet, motivational speakers, more than 80 workshops and teambuilding sessions, service projects, entertainment events and a leadership award ceremony.

All participants will receive a raffle ticket after attending workshops or teambuilding sessions and will be entered to win a 16GB iPad.

To learn more or register online, visit