By CHELO GRUBB
Every February, a variety of Tucson-area festivals and celebrations fill the calendar. From a massive gem show to a cowboy poetry gathering, there are events that appeal to every schedule and set of interests.
Here’s a sampling of events taking place during the first half of February:
Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase
Jan. 29-Feb. 13
The largest gem and mineral show in the United States will take place Jan. 29 to Feb. 13 at more than 40 locations around Tucson. Most exhibits do not charge admission and are open to the public.
The biggest event, the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, will be Feb. 10-13 at the Tucson Convention Center.
The event showcases museum and private collections, and features more than 250 booth displays by mineral, gemstone, jewelry and fossil retailers.
Lunar New Year
The Tucson Chinese Cultural Center will ring in the Year of the Rabbit with a family festival featuring traditional Chinese arts, crafts, performances and food.
“Taste of China” festivities will take place Feb. 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Road. There is no admission fee, but food and crafts will be available for purchase.
For more information, visit tucsonchinese.org or call 292-6900.
A free 6 p.m. walking tour of the Warehouse Arts District near downtown Tucson offers chances to view photography, painting, glassworks and sculpture. Area galleries will hold receptions during the event. For details, visit ctgatucson.org.
Tubac Festival of the Arts
The 52nd annual Festival of the Arts will bring hundreds of artists, crafters and musicians to Tubac Feb. 9-13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Activities include horse-drawn trolleys, roving entertainment and a food court.
Tubac, an artist community located south of Tucson off Interstate-19, started its festival in 1959. For additional information, visit tubacaz.com.
Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering
In a celebration of cowboy culture, Western poets and musicians will perform Feb. 11-13 at the Buena Performing Arts Center in Sierra Vista. Visitors can meet the performers during informal sessions on Saturday.
Tickets are required for the Friday and Saturday headliner performances, but performances following the headliners are free.
General admission costs $18, with discounts available. For details, visit cowboypoets.com.
Look for more festival listings in the Feb. 10 issue of Aztec Press.
By STEPHEN REAL
It’s 2011 and a new year means new concerts. Here’s a sampling of top concerts coming to the Tucson/Phoenix area:
Feb. 10 – Plain White T’s
The Plain White T’s will perform at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe at 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 – Snoop Dog
Snoop Dog will perform with special guest Pilot at the Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress St., at 8 p.m.
Feb. 22 – 311
311 will perform with Katastro at the Marquee Theater in Tempe at 6:30 p.m.
March 11 – Disturbed, Korn
The Tucson Convention Center Arena will host the Music as a Weapon Tour with co-headliners Disturbed and Korn. Also performing on the tour are Sevendust, In This Moment and Stillwell. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.com or the TCC box office.
March 22 – The Ready Set
The Glamour Tour, which stops by The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. Headliners The Ready Set will perform with All Star Weekend, The Downtown Fiction, We Are the In Crowd and You Me and Everyone We Know.
March 26 – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga will perform at the US Airways Center in Phoenix.
March 27 – Senses Fail
The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., will play host to the PMA Tour, which features Senses Fail as its headlining band. Also on the tour are The Ghost Inside, Man Overboard and Transit. Doors open at 6 p.m., so get there early.
April 1 – A Rocket to the Moon
A Rocket to the Moon’s On Your Side Tour, will come to The Rock. Also on the tour are Anarbor, Valencia, Runner Runner and Go Radio. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
April 15-24 – Pima County Fair
The Pima County Fair, 11300 Houghton Road, will host artists ranging from Cheap Trick to Boyz II Men this year. Dates and bands include:
April 15: Anberlin, 8 p.m.
April 16: Cheap Trick, 8 p.m.
April 17: Boyz II Men, 7:30 p.m.
April 20: Foghat, 7:30 p.m.
April 22: Neon Trees, 8 p.m.
April 23: Easton Corbin, 8 p.m.
April 24: Los Tigres del Norte, 7:30 p.m.
The concerts are included with the $8 fair admission. Parking costs $5. Details: pimacountyfair.com.
April 16 – Club Crawl
Last, but not least, is Tucson’s biggest event: Club Crawl. The popular event features 25 stages of live music all over downtown Tucson and along Fourth Avenue.
Video by Ana Ramirez
Editor’s note: Many people choose to watch a movie because it has a cool-looking poster or is heavily advertised. This feature hopes to bring attention to films that were passed over simply because people never knew of their existence.
By DARCY ARIZMENDI
“Buried” is an intense thriller that does not rely on the special effects or pretentious set-up found in most big Hollywood players. Instead we are treated in the first scene of “Buried” to a black screen and heavy breathing.
We soon realize the man (Ryan Reynolds) is trapped in a coffin, struggling to escape before running out of oxygen.
As the film moves along, we learn that the character’s name is Paul Conroy. He’s an American truck driver who took the wrong job by being in Iraq.
At least the people who put him there were nice enough to leave service items at his disposal. When Paul wakes, he discovers he has been given a cell phone, knife, glow sticks, flask and a second-rate flashlight.
Following basic logic, Paul tries the cell phone first but finds it difficult to use since all of the menus are in Arabic. This is one of many hurdles he faces while stuck in the wooden death trap.
Without going into spoilers, the entire movie takes place in the coffin. There’s no outside view, no other actors on screen. It plays out close to real time.
“Buried” truly is a one-of-a-kind gem that takes tension in film to whole new level. It does not deserve to stay underground. Check this one out today!
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Run time: 94 minutes
Find it at: Blockbuster, Netflix, Amazon and Best Buy
By CHRIS HOLLOWAY
A state proposal to slash funding for Pima Community College by $9.6 million has left administrators scrambling to make up the shortfall.
One likelihood is that tuition will rise dramatically. In recent years, the college’s board of governors has held annual increases to about 4 percent.
“We recognize that many students face economic challenges, but future tuition increases likely will be greater than in the past,” Assistant Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Public Information Rachelle Howell said.
In an attempt to reduce the state’s $2.2 billion deficit, Gov. Jan Brewer has proposed reducing funding by 65 percent to community colleges around the state. PCC’s is earmarked for a 56 percent cut, from approximately $16 million to $7 million.
The cuts are in addition to a 30 percent decrease in state funding that PCC has absorbed over the last two years.
Chancellor Roy Flores called the newest budget cuts “a game changer that potentially could alter the nature of community colleges in Arizona.”
PCC and the state’s other community colleges are funded through tuition, state appropriations and property tax revenue.
“It will be very difficult for the college to sustain the same mission with only two sources of funds,” Howell said. “Gov. Brewer’s proposal, if enacted, would reduce state aid to only 3 percent of the college’s budget.”
State law caps property tax increases at 2 percent, and property valuations remain stagnant.
Flores called the budget cuts a “de facto enrollment cap” that will leave the college “unable to offer enough courses and services to meet the robust demand of the community.”
PCC will seek ways to slash costs and will closely examine low-performing programs.
The college has already cut administrative jobs by 14 percent and staff jobs by 7 percent, mostly through attrition. Flores said he wants to avoid layoffs and hopes the college can help absorb expected increases in employee medical coverage and retirement contributions.
Howell said the college will not make across-the-board budget cuts. “That approach guarantees only mediocrity,” she said.
Flores and Executive Vice Chancellor David Bea scheduled a series of meetings with employees and students to explain the college’s economic situation.
An Aztec Press reporter who tried to attend the District Office session was barred from entrance and told that students and press weren’t allowed in.
Flores said the budget cuts mean Pima must readjust the size of college costs.
One option would be to spend less on remedial education and divert the money to other programs. Fewer than 2 percent of students who score at the lowest levels on placement tests ever go on to complete college, according to PCC statistics.
Flores also wants the college to examine differential tuition, charging higher tuition for programs that cost more to operate.
In addition, he supports adjusting entrance requirements to require a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma for admission.
Pima students surveyed were just beginning to absorb news of the budget cuts.
West Campus art major Colt Macias recalled one of his instructors mentioning the cutbacks at the beginning of class
“They’re always talking about budget cuts and layoffs,” Macias said, “but it seems like this one is more significant… pretty massive.”
By ZACCHARY WATSON
In what has become something of an annual tradition, Arizona Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, has introduced legislation to allow faculty and students to carry weapons on university and college campuses.
If signed into law, HB 2001 would allow faculty members with concealed weapon permits to bring firearms onto campus. A second bill, HB 2014, would allow students to carry guns on campus.
Pima Community College administrators, the Faculty Senate and PCC Police Chief Stella Bay have consistently opposed such measures.
“It is the view of PCC that a weapons-free college is the safest environment for students and employees,” she said when the issue was raised in 2010.
Bay strongly believes that any threatening situation that occurs on school grounds should be handled by campus police.
“PCC Department of Public Safety personnel are trained in the use of firearms and are dedicated to ensuring safety at college facilities,” she said in 2010. “They should be the only people allowed to carry weapons at college facilities.”
Students surveyed echoed that opinion.
“I think it’ll make it less safe,” accounting major Brian Hyland said. “I’m not a big fan of the concealed weapons law. I know they have a right to carry weapons, but we should have a right to know that they’re carrying them.”
Last July, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law making Arizona the third state that allows people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Anyone who passes an instant background check can walk out of the store with a handgun.
Supporters of the “guns on campus” bills say they offer protection. They argue that an armed student or faculty member could stop an unhinged shooter who opens fire.
Opponents include Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who mentioned the gun legislation during a news conference held after the mass shootings outside a Tucson supermarket on Jan. 8.
“The legislature at this time is proposing that students and teachers be allowed to have weapons in schools and in college,” he said. “That’s the ridiculous state to where we have become.”
The Jan. 8 shootings were also on the mind of dental hygienist major Christine Barraza.
“There is no place for guns on campus unless they’re hunting students,” she said. “I think they need to do a psych evaluation on people before buying a gun. When it comes to schools, it’s no place for guns.”
By D.J. OCHOA
The year was 1934. Tucson was a small pueblo that was a whisper among small folks, until Public Enemy No.1 John Dillinger decided to come and lay low from the law.
Hotel Congress proudly celebrated its annual Dillinger Days, which pays homage to the capture of Dillinger and his gang. This year is the 77th anniversary of Dillinger’s arrest.
Dillinger Days offered a variety of fun activities. From a vintage car show to a live reenactment of Dillinger’s capture, Hotel Congress guaranteed an afternoon of entertainment.
The vintage car show was held on Toole Street, behind Hotel Congress. Watching the vintage cars flood the street as a live jazz band performed in the background seemed to place Tucson back in the 1930s.
Ray and Sandy Feierstein were the event coordinators for the vintage car show.
“This has been the seventh year that we have done this event, and people seem to enjoy the wide range of classic cars,” Ray Feierstein said. “Many of the cars that are on the street are cars that Dillinger and his gang drove during that time period. It makes the event more authentic and historically accurate.”
Dillinger Days also offered tours of the hotel, with a brief history lesson.
Hotel Manager Dara Oseran led a tour explaining the history of Hotel Congress, and how Dillinger and his gang were apprehended.
“Dillinger and his gang came to Tucson to ‘lay low’ after the robbery of the First National Bank,” Oseran explained. “They checked into the hotel under aliases. While being guests at the hotel, a fire broke out on the third floor. The gang were later recognized and arrested. The most interesting part was that not one single shot was fired.”
Oseran also explained that there would not be a gunfight, unlike previous Dillinger Days, due to the shooting on Jan. 8 that killed six people and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The audience responded most to a reenactment held in the hotel’s courtyard. Hired actors kept the audience glued to their seats with robberies, fighting, drinking and humor.
Actors also got audience members involved by picking them out of the crowd, and teaching them popular dances from that era.
Jonathan Mincks, who portrayed Dillinger, stole the show with his confidence and appeal.
Mincks believes Tucsonans enjoy the show because it happened in their own backyard.
“The historic aspect of what happened 77 years ago is something that the public shares. Most of the movies that cover Dillinger seem to leave out when he was arrested in Tucson, or just skim over it,” Mincks said. “It’s a very important part of the story of John Dillinger, and many of the people enjoy the history of the show.”
Dillinger Days video by D.J. Ochoa
By ASTRID VERDUGO
Students who apply to Pima Community College don’t need a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma.
“As a consequence, we’ve been accepting people who really aren’t ready,” Chancellor Roy Flores said during the Jan. 11 Board of Governors meeting.
“The impulse may seem to be right: that it’s open door and we allow anyone who wants to walk in our door to come to college,” Flores said. “But that’s not what open door means.”
In an address to Faculty Senate on Jan. 12, Flores repeated his views on accepting individuals who weren’t successful in high school.
“That’s not right on a lot of levels,” he said. “It says we don’t value education. We’re not teaching the right lesson.”
Flores said he would like to tell potential students: If you don’t come to us prepared, you can’t enroll. “This is not the place for people who aren’t ready to learn.”
PCC encourages students to obtain a high school diploma or G.E.D. before applying.
“We think it’s beneficial to the college, as well as to the community and the students themselves, for us to send a strong message that high school is important,” Flores said.
Marina Cordova, a University of Arizona student who attends PCC, would like to keep “open access” in place.
“I don’t think it should be changed to requiring a high school diploma because maybe something was going on in their lives at the time, so they had to drop out of high school,” Cordova said.
“I guess they should be regulated on their grades,” she added. “If they are not doing well, then they should be kicked out.”
Flores used the example of South Texas College, which requires that students obtain a high school diploma or G.E.D. before they can enroll.
“We are a college,” Flores said. “Students must be ready.”
What’s your opinion on “open access” enrollment? Post a comment below.
By ASTRID VERDUGO
Pima Community College will establish a memorial scholarship in memory of those who died in Tucson’s Jan. 8 mass shooting.
The scholarship, announced at the Jan. 11 Board of Governors meeting, will be awarded to eligible students who devote themselves to careers in community or public service.
“Words are inadequate in expressing the sadness I feel, as surely we all do, following the horrible events of last Saturday,” Board Chair Marty Cortez said during the meeting.
She offered condolences to the families of the victims and expressed wishes for the full recovery of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other survivors.
During the annual meeting, board members elected Cortez to serve as its chair for a one-year term. Cortez has represented District 5 on the PCC board since 1994. She succeeds board member Sherryn S. “Vikki” Marshall as chair.
District 4 board member Scott Stewart was elected as secretary for 2011. He was re-elected to the board in 2010 to serve a six-year term. Stewart succeeds Cortez for the secretary position.
In other business, the board announced the Higher Learning Commission has accredited Pima Community College for another 10 years.
Accreditation is the process used to guarantee that a college meets certain requirements and ensures that credits will transfer.
Downtown Campus President Suzanne Miles, who formerly served as provost, gave a progress report on plans to create a common course numbering system for Arizona universities and community colleges.
Rather than changing course numbers, the colleges will add a common four-digit number to the end of existing class numbers. For example, Math 151 might become Math 151-1000. The common extension will give students guidance on how a class might transfer.
Miles said the state’s universities and colleges hope to decide on common numbers by April 2001, and launch the system by January 2012.
The next scheduled meeting of the governing board will be Wednesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at the PCC District Office Community/Board Room, 4905 E. Broadway Blvd.
Photo and story by MIKI JENNINGS
Pima Community College instructor Joshua Cochran, 38, started to write at a young age. His collection of works has accumulated for decades.
“I’ve always written horrible short stories and poems,” Cochran said. “My mom has a large collection of terrible stuff in her attic.”
Despite the self-disparaging remarks, his writing can’t be too bad. Cochran has published poems, short stories and a novel, as well as articles for a travel guide entitled “Not for Tourists.”
When he isn’t writing creative fiction, Cochran encourages Pima students to write their own.
“He is an outstanding teacher and a very intelligent and kind fellow,” fellow writing instructor Tom Speer said. “Come sit outside his office and hear him when he’s talking to students, and you will know why they like him so much.”
Cochran teaches both introductory writing and creative writing classes at West Campus. In college, however, his studies took him away from the creative writing field.
“I went to journalism because that’s writing with a purpose and you can actually get a job,” Cochran said. “Then I decided to do fiction because I would rather fail at what I love than to succeed at what I don’t really love that much.”
This semester, Cochran is faculty adviser for PCC’s literary/arts magazine, Sandscript, taking over the job held by Speer for 14 years.
“I am happy to be passing along the torch to Josh, and feel sure that he will do great work with it,” Speer said.
The WRT 162 Literary Magazine Workshop that oversees production of the magazine is based at West Campus. Magazine submissions from other campuses have been scarce in previous years, but Cochran hopes to use student outreach to increase involvement at all campuses.
“One of my biggest things that I’m working on is dissemination and getting the word out to students,” he said.
Cochran’s plans focus on increasing the magazine’s visibility and accessibility. He wants every campus to have a Sandscript display box and is also working to get an office for the magazine. Next year, he hopes to set up online submissions.
He says he’ll leave creative control to the students, and stresses that it is a student publication.
“I really don’t have any specific look or editorial focus or anything like that because that’s what the students are for,” Cochran said. “I will just be there to guide and support.”
March 4 deadline to submit
The Sandscript class will accept submissions for the Spring 2011 edition of the literary arts magazine until March 4 at 5 p.m.
Poetry, short stories, non-fiction pieces and visual art of all kinds are welcome. Submissions require a submission form.
For additional information, e-mail Joshua Cochran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By LEFTRICK HERD
Learning skills you need to get the job and lifestyle you want may start by using a mouse and keyboard.
Pima Community College offers students a variety of computer training, including free basic computer skill lessons. If you need to learn or brush up on basic skills, sessions are offered at five PCC campuses.
Sessions are available during a wide variety of days and times until May 4. Visit the PCC website at www.pima.edu/calendars/ for workshop locations and times. You must RSVP by 5 p.m. the day before a scheduled session.
Campus locations and RSVP numbers are:
- Desert Vista Campus: Room F-119, 206-5101.
- Downtown Campus: Room CC-167, 206-7263.
- East Campus: Computer Commons, 206-7693.
- Northwest Campus: Building B – 2nd Floor, 206-2127.
- West Campus: Santa Catalina C-202, 206-6042.
PCC also offers a wide variety of credit and noncredit classes to prepare students for the computer skills needed in today’s job market.
Classes offered include computer-aided design and drafting, computer information systems, digital arts, web design and learning to create a spreadsheet program.
Other resources available for PCC students include online tutorials and videos, Pima County public libraries and PCC libraries. Computer commons at each campus have computers available for word processing or for accessing the Internet.
By MARIE RODRIGUEZ and STEPHEN REAL
Lights…camera….new movies! Below is a list of some of spring’s most anticipated movies. There is everything from an animated, gnome love story to true stories of heroism and adventure.
“The Mechanic” – Jan. 28
Jason Statham plays an elite assassin, Arthur Bishop, in his newest action thriller. Bishop is the best in the business and works with a strict code to eliminate targets. After his close friend and mentor, Harry, (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop makes it his mission to find everyone responsible. When Harry’s son, Steve, (Ben Foster) approaches Bishop with the same deadly goals, the hit man has no choice but to teach his ways.
“The Rite” – Jan. 28
In his feature film debut, Colin O’Donoghue plays Michael Kovac, an American priest who is sent to Italy to study exorcism at the Vatican. The film, which also stars Anthony Hopkins as Father Lucas Trevant, is brought to audiences by the director of “1408.” This psychological thriller, inspired by true events, is sure to send you home with chills down your spine.
“Sanctum” – Feb. 4
This movie, produced by James Cameron (“Avatar,” “Titanic”), is based on the true story of Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) and his group of cave divers, who find themselves trapped thousands of miles below the surface. As their supplies begin to run out, they are forced to try and navigate the underwater labyrinth. Everyone is thinking one thing: can we survive?
“The Eagle” – Feb.11
Director Kevin MacDonald (“The Last King of Scotland”) and Channing Tatum take audiences on an adventure to discover the truth behind the disappearance of a legendary legion and its symbol: the golden eagle. Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives in Roman-occupied Britain to try and restore the reputation of his father, Flavius Aquila, by finding the golden eagle. Marcus sets off for Caledonia (today’s Scotland) with his slave, Esca (Jamie Bell). The more Marcus uncovers, the more deadly the quest becomes.
“Gnomeo & Juliet” – Feb. 11
Kelly Asbury (“Shrek 2”) directed and co-wrote the script for this cute parody on the classic Shakespeare play. The movie tells the story of two star-crossed lovers, Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt). It does not take place in “fair Verona” but in the backyards of two feuding neighbors. Numerous celebrities include Patrick Stewart, Julie Andrews, Ozzy Osbourne, Jason Statham, Michael Caine, Hulk Hogan, Maggie Smith and Dolly Parton.
“Just Go With It” – Feb. 11
In this romantic comedy, Adam Sandler plays surgeon Danny Maccabee, who is trying get the woman of his dreams by enlisting the help of his assistant, Katherine Murphy (Jennifer Aniston). However, Maccabee finds himself going on a trip to Hawaii with her kids that is sure to change their lives.
“Unknown” – Feb. 18
If you liked “Taken,” a 2008 action crime drama, check out Liam Neeson’s next big mystery thriller, “Unknown.” In this film, also starring Diane Kruger and January Jones, Neeson awakens from a coma to find his identity has been stolen. Not even his wife believes him. What would a Neeson character do? Kick butt and get to the bottom of things.
“The Adjustment Bureau” – March 4
David Norris (Matt Damon) is a politician on the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate when he meets a contemporary ballet dancer, Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). As he glimpses the future that fate has planned for him, he realizes he wants instead the only woman he’s ever loved. If the politician attempts to step off his predetermined path, a group of very powerful men will do everything necessary to stop it from happening.
“Limitless” – March 18
Bradley Cooper plays a writer who discovers a top-secret drug that turns him into the ultimate version of himself. He becomes smarter, tasteful and creative, which makes him rich beyond his imaginings, handsome, charming and of interest to a group of killers following his every move. The movie also stars lifetime achievement award winner Robert DeNiro.
“Paul” – March 18
From the director of “Superbad” and “Adventureland” comes this comedy sci-fi starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” The pair, who also wrote the film, are comic book geeks who come across an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) while touring the country. Paul has escaped from Area 51 after spending 60 years at a top-secret facility, and wants to return to his mother ship. He takes Pegg and Frost on an unexpected adventure while being chased by federal agents.
“Arthur” – April 8
Look out for Russell Brand’s latest comedy. He plays a drunken playboy who risks losing his substantial inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn’t like. “Arthur” also stars Jennifer Garner, Helen Mirren, Nick Nolte and Greta Gerwig.
“Hanna” – April 8
This action adventure thriller follows Hanna, a 14-year-old girl trained by her ex-CIA father in the wilds of Finland to be the ultimate assassin. Eric Bana, her father, sends Hanna on a journey across Europe. She must evade agents sent after her by intelligence agent Cate Blanchett.
“Your Highness” – April 8
From the minds behind “Pineapple Express” comes this new comedy starring Danny McBride as Thadeaous, younger brother of Fabious (James Franco). The two princes are on a journey to save their land and save Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), the fiancée of Fabious. But will Thadeaous be up to this journey? It’s his last chance in the kingdom after a slacker life of wizard’s weed, hard booze and easy maidens.
“Water for Elephants” – April 22
The creative minds behind “I am Legend” and “P.S. I Love You” now present a movie based on the 2006 novel “Water for Elephants.” Robert Pattinson portrays the title character, Jacob Jankowski, a vet student who abandons school after his parents are killed. He joins a traveling circus and falls in love with a circus performer, Marlena. Reese Witherspoon shines in her portrayal of Marlena.
Story by NARCISO THOMAS VILLARREAL
Photos by LEFTRICK HERD
The number six is currently an issue for the Pima Community College men’s basketball team.
First off, the Aztecs lost six players over the winter break due to academic ineligibility.
Now the team is riding a six-game losing streak, its longest of the season.
“Playing a collegiate sport is not a right; it’s a privilege that must be earned,” Athletic Eligibility Specialist Nicky Humbarger said of the ineligible players. “And it’s earned through academics.”
On Jan. 22, Chandler-Gilbert Community College blew out Pima (5-13, 2-10 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) 99-75. At halftime, Chandler-Gilbert had twice as many points as Pima with a 54-27 lead.
“We’ve struggled,” head coach Roderick Gary said. “We’ve tried to do different things. It’s just hard. There’s a leak in the dike, you got to plug it. We lost three guys (Daniel Conorque, Chaz Hampton and Brian Hill) that averaged 40 points 15 rebounds together.”
Conorque, sixth best in the ACCAC in scoring, is out with a broken foot.
Sophomore forward Justin Chambers shot 13-16 from the field and led all scorers with 28 points. He grabbed seven rebounds and had three blocks in the game.
“We really just need to play defense man,” Chambers said. “That’s all it really is. We have a good offense. Everyone scores double-doubles, but we don’t have any kind of defense. Nobody has heart to play defense honestly.”
Chandler-Gilbert had four players who scored in double-figures, and two more were just shy of the feat.
The Aztecs have lost by an average of 28 points during the six-game skid.
“Honestly we need to run harder in practice,” Chambers said. “We need more players that have more heart. That’s all we really need.
He said the Aztecs should have beaten Chandler-Gilbert. “We should’ve blew them out. We just didn’t have heart enough to stop them on defense. Just play harder. That’s all we can hope for.”
On Jan. 5, Cochise College ended Pima’s two-game winning streak with a 48-point pounding. On Jan. 8, top-ranked South Mountain Community College blew Pima away by 37.
The Aztecs traveled north Jan. 26 to take on struggling Scottsdale Community College (7-10, 5-6 ACCAC), which had dropped seven of its last eight games. The game took place too late for press time.
Story by ERIC TOWNSEND
Photos by LEFTRICK HERD
Winning has become the norm for the Pima Community College women’s basketball team. They’ve reeled off a 16-4 record and won 10 of their last 12 games.
The Aztecs currently sit in first place in their division at 10-2 within the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) with only a few weeks to play.
“Our main goal is Nationals,” freshman guard Nadi Carey said. “Regionals are great, but that’s small compared to going to Nationals. We want the whole enchilada.”
The Aztecs hope to end the season well, wrapping up the No. 1 seed and securing home court advantage throughout the Regional playoffs.
Pima got a leg up on Mesa Community College, the Aztecs’ main competition for home court, on Dec. 11 at Mesa when Pima beat the then-No. 7 Thunderbirds 65-61.
“The magic number is nine,” head coach Todd Holthaus said. “To get the No. 1 seed, it’s going to take a combination of us winning and Mesa losing.”
On Dec. 28, the Aztecs beat their second top 10 team in a row, when they upset then-No. 5 Parkland (Ill.) College 72-61 at home.
Pima put itself one step closer to winning the conference after blowing out Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Jan. 22. The Aztecs got a slew of points, scoring 118, and held CGCC to 54.
ACCAC player of the week Carey paced the Aztecs to the victory, recording a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Sophomore forward Deanna Daniels recorded her 16th double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 24 points and 17 rebounds.
“Deanna has been huge for us this year,” Holthaus said. “But it hasn’t just been her. Everyone has really been playing well, and has been contributing.”
A lot of the good basketball can be attributed to maturity, Holthaus said.
“The maturation of this team been very important, just seeing the freshmen getting better and really developing,” Holthaus said.
If the Aztecs want to continue strong play, a lot will come down to execution, Holthaus said.
“We’ve got a lot of games to play and we just got to stay focused,” he said.
The Aztecs have 10 games left to hold onto their lead and qualify for Nationals.
“We’re just going to try and execute right,” Carey said. “We got to knuckle down and play good defense. We want to go to Nationals.”
Thursday, Jan 27:
Through Jan 28: “Retrospective: George Welch,” Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, West Campus CFA. Free. Details: 206-6942.
Clash Destruction Tour: Authority Zero, Flatfoot, Lionize. Endless Pursuit, Three White Lies, 7 p.m., The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave. $17.75. Details: 629-9211.
“Violet Tendencies” w/ Casper Andreas, 7:30 p.m., Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $9, discounts available. Details: 322-5638.
Joseph Maples and the Ones That Got Away, 10 p.m., Red Room (at the Grill), 100 E. Congress St. Details: 623-7621.
Friday, Jan 28:
Maniac/Late Nights at the Loft! Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd, $9 discounts available. Details: 322-5638.
“Vision: From the Life of Hildegard Von Bingen,” Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd, $9 discounts available, Details: 322-5638.
Count Basie Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., $16.50. Details: 624-1515
PCC baseball vs Paradise Valley CC, 6 p.m., Kino Park, 2500 E. Ajo Way.
Saturday, Jan 29:
Women’s basketball vs. Phoenix College, 2 p.m., West Campus gym.
Men’s basketball vs Phoenix College, 4 p.m., West Campus gym.
Sonoran Desert Mt. Bicyclists’ Last Saturday Ride, 9 a.m., Brandi Fenton Park, 3482 E. River Road. Free. Details 400-9095.
Through Feb. 13: Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase, various locations. See tgms.org.
Sunday, Jan 30:
Through Feb. 14: American Indian Exposition, Sun.-Thurs, 10 a.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Flamingo Quality Inn, 1300 N. Stone Ave. Free admission. Details: 622-4900.
Free Energy, 7 p.m., Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., $10/adv, $12/day of show, Details: 622-8848.
Piano and Friends Concert, 3 p.m., TCC Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave., $10-25, Details: 791-4101.
Monday, Jan. 31:
“Monster Dog,” 8 p.m., The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd, $3. Details: loftcinema.com, 795-0844.
“Yann Tiersen,” 7 p.m., The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St, $19/adv, $20/day of show. Details: 740-1000.
Tuesday, Feb. 1:
Badfish: A tribute to Sublime, 8 p.m., The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., $16. Details: 740-1000.
Through Feb 6: “Spring Awakening,” 7:30 p.m., Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave., $20+ with student discount. Details: broadwayintucson.com.
Wednesday, Feb. 2:
Desert Vista Student Gov’t Popcorn/Nacho Sale, 10 a.m.- p.m., Desert Vista Campus, 5901 S. Calle Santa Cruz.
American Red Cross Blood Drive, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., East Campus Community Room, 8181 E. Irvington Road.
Baths w/ Star Slinger, 9 p.m., Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., $8. Details: hotelcongress.com.
Thursday, Feb. 3:
2011 Great Southwest Laff-Off Finals, 8 p.m., Laffs Comedy Caffe, 2900 E. Broadway Blvd., # 160, $5 cover to benefit Mi Nidito. Details: laffstucson.com.
Preparing Your Schedule For Next Semester Workshop, 5-6 p.m., West Campus C-211.
“Gunsmokin’,” 7 p.m., Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway, $19.58 tickets with discounts available. Details: thegaslighttheatre.com.
Friday, Feb. 4:
PHAT Entertainment presents Christopher Lawrence, Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., $10/adv, $15/ day of show, must be 21+ Details: hotelcongress.com, 622-8848.
“The Illusionist,” The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd, $9 discounts available. Details: loftcinema.com.
First Friday Shorts, 9 p.m., The Loft Cinema, 3233 E Speedway Blvd, $6. Details: loftcinema.com
Saturday, Feb 5:
PCC Track & Field hosts invitational tournament, 11 a.m., West Campus.
Softball vs. Paradise Valley CC, noon, West Campus.
Women’s basketball vs. Yavapai College, 5:30 p.m., West Campus gym.
Men’s basketball vs. Yavapai College, 7:30 p.m., West Campus gym.
Sunday, Feb. 6:
“In The Mood for Love,” 1 p.m., The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., suggested donation of $5. Details: loftcinema.com.
Through March 28: Arizona Renaissance Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., east of Apache Junction on Highway 60. $20, discounts available. Details: 463-2700, royalfaires.com/arizona.
Sunday Feast & Festival, 5:30 p.m., Govindas Natural Foods, 711 E. Blacklidge, $3. Details: govindasoftucson.com.
Monday, Feb. 7:
Tennis with Airwaves, 6: 30 p.m., Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., $10/adv $12/day of show. Details: hotelcongress.com.
Abbett Mystery Book Club, 2 p.m., Wheeler Taft Abbett Senior Branch Library, 7800 N. Schisler Drive. Details: 594-5200.
Arthur Migliazza – Boogie Woogie & Blues Piano, 7:30 p.m., Desert View Performing Arts Center, 39900 Clubhouse Drive, $21/adv $25/at door. Details: 825-2818, tickets.saddlebrooketwo.com.
Tuesday, Feb 8:
Softball vs. Eastern Arizona College, 2 p.m., West Campus.
NWC Student Life Celebrates February’s National Black History Month, all day, NW Campus.
Desert Vista Campus Student Government Valentine’s Gram Sale, 7:20 a.m.-4 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb 9:
Through April 29: “Neon Sculptures: James White,” Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, West Campus CFA. Free. Details: 206-6942.
Women’s basketball vs. Mesa Community College, 5:30 p.m., West Campus gym.
Men’s basketball vs. Mesa Community College, 7:30 p.m., West Campus gym.