RSSArchive for October, 2011

Pima men's soccer advances to national championships

Pima men’s soccer advances to national championships

The 2011 Pima Community College men's soccer team (12-6-1) outscored opponents 8-2 in the NJCAA West District Championship. Photo courtesy of Don Stopa.


The National Junior Athletic Association Championship Men’s Soccer tournament has been set, with Pima Community College receiving the eighth seed out of eight teams.

The eighth-seeded Aztecs (18-6-1) will play the No. 1 seed Darton College (18-1-0) out of Albany, Georgia, on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m. All of the championship matches will be played at Reach 11 Sports Complex, 2425 East Deer Valley Road in Phoenix.

The PCC men’s soccer team advanced to the NJCAA tournament with a 5-2 win over North Idaho College on Nov. 5.

Sophomore forward Blake Brennan rushes the net as the Aztecs score against North Idaho College. Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano.

The NIC Cardinals scored the first goal of the West District Championship game as sophomore PCC goalkeeper Daniel Bacon was beat for only the second time in five playoff games.

The Aztecs answered back with four first-half goals.

Sophomore midfielder Jann Nash scored the first two goals. Both goals were set up by sophomore defender Eric Glad.

Nash has continued his hot streak with eight goals in the last five games.

“Things have just been working out for me lately,” Nash said. “I’ve been getting a lot of chances and I’ve been lucky enough to finish them.”

Freshman forward Matt Nagler scored the other two first-half goals.

In the second half, sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe scored the final goal for the Aztecs. He was assisted by freshman forward Declan Fulton, who also picked up the assist on Nagler’s second goal.

Pima advanced to the West District championship game with a 3-0 shutout over Northwest College on Nov. 4.

Sophomore defender Jeff Weiler scored in the fourth minute, after he was set up by Glad on a scramble in front of the Trappers net.

Nash scored two goals in the first half. Peppe and Weiler picked up assists on Nash’s two goals.

Bacon earned another postseason shutout in the net, making three saves.

The playoff wins left head coach David Cosgrove reluctant to explain how he feels.

“I don’t even know,” he said. “I’m real superstitious.”

Predicting the team’s future isn’t his only superstition. Cosgrove also had the team eat the same dinner and breakfast for the two playoff games.

“We talked about not looking ahead, so we haven’t looked at the national tournament or the draw yet,” Cosgrove said immediately after the game. “A lot will come down to see who gets seeded where. I don’t know where we’ll be seeded but you know we’re just happy to be there.”

Cosgrove said the team would start looking at tournament seeding early in the week.

“Next week will be hard but we’re playing really well right now so I think we’ll be all right,” Nash said.

With the playoff win, the Aztecs picked up their first-ever District championship home win and advanced to their third NJCAA National Tournament.

The Aztecs have a week to prepare for the 2011 NJCAA tournament, hosted by Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix. The eight-team tournament will run Nov. 17-20 on the PVCC campus.

From left, Jeff Weiler, Jann Nash and Blake Brennan celebrate their victory over Northwest College. Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano.



The No. 3 seed Pima Community College men’s soccer team defeated the No. 2 seed Arizona Western College 2-1 on Oct. 26.

Aztec sophomore midfielder Jann Nash scored his third goal in two playoff games. Sophomore midfielder Marco Carillo scored the game-winning goal to advance Pima to the championship game on Saturday.

Assists were made by sophomore Nicholas Peppe and sophomore Eric Glad. Goaltender Daniel Bacon earned his second post season win with three saves.

The championship game will be on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. against top seed Yavapai College.

The No. 3 seeded Pima Community College men’s soccer beat the No. 6 seeded Coyotes of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, 2-0, in the opening round of the Region 1 tournament Oct. 24.

“I thought it was a good performance; playoffs are very tough,” head coach David Cosgrove said. “I don’t think it was necessarily a good game for either team but we played hard.”

Nash led the Aztecs with two goals in the playoff game, with assists from freshman forward Declan Fulton and sophomore forward Nicholas Peppe.

“It’s a playoff game so we needed to step up and get a ‘W’ today,” Nash said. “It took a team effort to do it.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Bacon had three total saves against the Coyotes.

“We took our chances and defended well,” Cosgrove said. “If you’re going to win now you need to defend.”

Peppe and sophomore defender Eric Glad were named All- Arizona Community College Athletic Conference/National Junior College Athletic Association Region 1 Men’s Soccer First Team. Nash was named All-ACCAC/NJCAA Second Team.

Pima wrapped up their 2011 regular season with a 1-0 win over the Gauchos of Glendale Community College, Oct. 20.

Bacon earned his third shutout of the season where he protected the net with a pair of saves.

Freshman midfielder, Carlos Benegas scored the only goal of the game with the assist from Fulton.

With the ACCAC win, the Aztecs complete the regular season with a record of 12-6-1.

The Aztecs defeated the Bears of Phoenix College in ACCAC soccer action, 2-1, on Oct. 18.

The Bears scored the only goal of the first half and the Aztecs answered back with a pair of goals in the second frame including a game tying goal by sophomore defender Alex Anderson and the game winner by Peppe who knocked one in with less than a minute left on the clock.

Bacon protected the net in the conference win where he made four saves.

PCC dominated Scottsdale Community College, Oct. 15, with a 2-0 shutout over the Fighting Artichokes.

The Aztecs earned another shutout as Bacon made four saves.

Nash led the way offensively as he scored one goal and assisted on Glad’s goal in the second half.

Pima defender Eric Glad soars above the Glendale Gauchos in a 1-0 win. Aztec Press photo by Joel Gantt.



REVIEW: “The Rum Diary”

REVIEW: “The Rum Diary”


Director Bruce Richardson is a master of memoir, scene and mood. It is no wonder this film is as beautiful, compelling and tiring as Hunter S. Thompson’s style of writing.

“The Rum Diary” is a movie made for Thompson’s readers. It begins with a graceful introduction to the beauty of Puerto Rico on the heels of Thompson’s biting criticism of tourism, white Americans and big business.

Despite the unusual plotline classic archetypes remain: stranger to town, arch enemy, femme fatale, fat and funny foil. Surprisingly, Johnny Depp did not overly characterize his role of Paul Kemp.

The strength of the storyline relied on the comic relief of Kemp’s roommates and coworkers, their scene stealing made other characters feel boring despite how good looking the other actors are.

Plot drags a few times but glimpses into the dominant culture of white men at the wheel in 1960s America. There is cursory acknowledgement of native Puerto Ricans and their poverty but nothing substantial.

It is gratifying to see the way past bullshit resembles current bullshit without nostalgia, which resonates through characters’ comments about politicians (“this guy lies like he breathes,”) capitalism (“the average guy don’t rock the boat because he wants to climb aboard,”) and journalism (“do you smell it? It’s the smell of bastards. I smell the truth and I smell ink.”) 

Robinson paints men in the worst of obstacles, compelling them to change as Kemp does when he finds his true voice: “It will be a voice of ink and rage.” And oh, did it rage.

Don’t watch this film looking for the outrageousness of “Fear and Loathing” nor the book “The Great Shark Hunt;” you will find neither. Watch this movie for the craftsmanship and story.

© Dark and Stormy Entertainment

All Souls Procession Nov. 6

All Souls Procession Nov. 6

Tucson’s beloved All Souls Procession takes place Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. The 22nd annual event will begin at Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard, and finish at Mercado San Augustine. Those wishing to participate are encouraged to meet at 5 p.m. at Fourth Avenue. See details at

2010 photo by Larry Gaurano

Proposed Pell Grant changes would hurt students, PCC says

Proposed Pell Grant changes would hurt students, PCC says


A congressional plan that would limit the ability of low-income students to obtain financial aid has drawn opposition from a top Pima Community College official.

Suzanne Miles, provost and executive vice chancellor, urged everyone attending an Oct. 19 Board of Governors meeting to contact their congressional representative to register strong opposition.

Hundreds of Pima students would be hurt by the proposed federal legislation, which limits access to Pell Grants, Miles said.

“Pell Grants are a pathway to a better life,” she said. “They open the door for a better-educated workforce and economic recovery.

Nationally, more than 500,000 students would lose their grants, according to an analysis by the American Association of Community Colleges.

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees education spending proposed removing Pell Grant eligibility for students who attend college less than half time  and for college students who lack a high school diploma or GED.

Community colleges like PCC have the highest proportion of Pell Grant recipients, Miles said. In 2010, PCC awarded Pell Grants to 706 students attending PCC less than half time and to 669 students without a diploma or GED.

Another proposal would lower family income allowances that govern student aid eligibility. The changes would affect the highest-earning families that are still eligible for Pell Grants.

The maximum number of semesters a full-time student could receive Pell Grants would drop from 18 to 12 semesters, and the definition of untaxed income that can be included in needs analysis calculations would change.

The subcommittee proposed the changes in order to preserve the maximum Pell Grant amount of $5,550 for eligible students.

Miles led the Board of Governors meeting in lieu of Chancellor Roy Flores, who is at home recuperating from quadruple bypass surgery.



If you wish to contact your representative, visit

You can also email Tucson’s representatives directly:

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva:

Tuition hike taking effect for 17 programs

Tuition hike taking effect for 17 programs


Pima Community College will begin charging higher tuition rates for 17 programs, effective with registration for the Spring 2012 semester.

The tuition increase, known as differential tuition, will affect courses that are more expensive for the college to offer, in fields such as health professions, fashion design and technology.

There will be two levels of differential tuition.

Classes that fall under “Differential Tuition A” will cost in-state students $76 per credit hour. Classes in “Differential Tuition B” will cost in-state students $82 per credit hour.

General in-state tuition is currently $58.50 per credit hour.

Nicky Dubbs, a single mother of two, is finishing her first semester in the dental hygiene program. Dental hygiene will fall under “Differential Tuition B.”

“Because it’s a specialized program, we don’t get to work classes around our schedules,” Dubbs said. “We have to take the courses they tell us, when they tell us. We spend about 35 hours a week on campus, and that doesn’t include drive time.”

For Dubbs, driving time add ups. She lives on the northwest side of Tucson, but dental hygiene classes are only offered on West Campus.

“I still work, but only four hours a week, and a lot of the girls don’t work at all,” she said.

Pima offers the only dental hygiene program in the area, and tuition isn’t the only cost to students.

“We have to buy our own gloves and masks, they’re not provided,” Dubbs said.

In addition, students must pay for scrubs, embroidering on their scrubs, dental tools and textbooks.

As she looks toward paying for next semester, Dubbs just hopes her schedule will allow for more work hours.

Non-resident tuition will be $98 per credit for general tuition, $115.50 per credit for tuition group A and $121.50 per credit for tuition group B.

Students taking classes that fall into more than one category will pay tuition specific to each class. For example, a student enrolled in a nursing class and a writing class will pay differential tuition for the nursing course and general tuition for the writing course.

Classes targeted for differential tuition cost the college at least twice as much as the median over the last two years. Courses in tuition group “A” cost the college 2 to 3.9 times more than the median, and courses in group “B” cost 4 times more.

PCC has provided a “Tuition Calculation Worksheet” to help students determine tuition costs for spring semester. It is available online at

Registration for spring semester opens Nov. 7.



Differential Tuition A

  • Aviation Technology (AVM)
  • Machine Tool Technology (MAC)
  • Massage Therapy (TMA)
  • Music Studio Instruction (MUP)
  • Respiratory Technology (RTH)
  • Technology (TEC)
  • Travel Industry Operations (TVL)
  • Veterinary Technology (VET)
  • Welding (WLD)


Differential Tuition B

  • Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC)
  • Dental Assisting Education (DAE)
  • Dental Hygiene (DHE)
  • Dental Lab Technology (DLT)
  • Fashion Design and Clothing (FDC*)
  • Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT*)
  • Nursing (NRS)
  • Radiologic Technology (RAD)

* Excluding FDC 288 and MLT 110, which are charged general tuition

Campus president knew refugee lifestyle firsthand

Campus president knew refugee lifestyle firsthand


Luba Chliwniak, newly hired president for Downtown Campus, has endured a life trajectory that in some ways resembles those of Pima Community College refugee students.

Chliwniak  and her older brother were born in a displaced persons center in Belgium.

Her parents, both natives of the Ukraine, lived in two displaced persons centers after being liberated from a German labor camp at the end of World War II— first in Germany, then in Belgium.

Chliwniak’s mother and father met in the German labor camp, where they resided as prisoners of war.

After liberation, her parents had a choice of returning to the Ukraine, which was under Soviet rule, or staying in a displaced persons center and waiting for sponsorship to another country.

“Ukraine was a captive nation of the Soviet Union,” Chliwniak said. “If they lived in Ukraine, they’d be under communism and that was not where they wanted to be. They wanted to be in a democratic society.”

They waited.

She estimates her parents spent six to seven years in the centers. Eventually, a family in Canada sponsored her family as refugees. Her father worked in a steel mill.

“I was 3 years old when we landed in Canada,” Chliwniak said. “My father worked in the coal mines in Belgium, then we were sponsored into Canada and he worked in the steel mills in Canada. They brought a lot of refugees to work in the steel mills.”

Chliwniak finds her mother’s situation inconceivable. She questions how her mother survived the German labor camp and doesn’t believe she personally could have survived.

She said horrible things happened in the camp, especially to women. “It is hard to conceive of what life must have been like for them through no fault of their own.”

Her parents’ background has influenced her perspective on taking things for granted.

“While I was growing up, we didn’t take even a piece of bread for granted,” Chliwniak said. “Some days, even a piece of bread was a special treat for the laborers.”

Second-hand purchases were another fact of life.

“They didn’t care if they bought second-hand furniturethey were just happy to have furniture,” she said.

“All of us kids wore second-hand clothes from the refugees that came before us,” she added. “As their lives got better, they handed down their clothes and their stuff to those of us who were coming in.”

Chliwniak’s childhood memories begin in Canada.

“English was not the language we spoke at home, we spoke Ukrainian,” she said. “I didn’t learn English until I went to school.”

The refugees considered learning English and acquiring an education as ways to improve their circumstances.

Chliwniak earned a doctorate in higher education from the University of Arizona, a master’s in counseling and guidance and a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

She served as a dean and then executive director at Cochise College in Douglas, and has been a vice president at community colleges in New York, Maryland and Tennessee.

Money was always the constant barrier to achieving her academic goals.

“I was paying my own way. I was working the whole time,” she said. “That’s a challenge. I really appreciate our students who have to work, go to school and raise their own tuition and textbook money. I really appreciate the position they’re in.”

Her advice to students who must work and go to school is to “keep the end goal in mind.” She understands how easy it is to toss aside long-term goals but knows that rewards are waiting.

“Attend classes every day, even though you’re working… keep up with your studies,” she said. “It’s hard, I know it’s hard, but you have to keep both going. You just have to.”

Chliwniak advises students to keep their investment in mind, and remember where their education will take them.

“They used to say, back in the old days when we applied for loans to go to school, ‘if you can earn the equivalent of your student loan in your first year, you made a good investment.’”

Luba Chliwniak stands outside her office at Downtown Campus.

Instructor by day, comedian by night

Instructor by day, comedian by night


The house lights are up on amateur night at Laffs Comedy Caffé. Laughter flows as freely as drinks even before the show begins.

Small crowds gather around cozy tables as servers swing among them. Excited, nervous chatter bursts from a darkened corner.

On a stage at the end of the room, a lone bar stool sits empty beside a microphone in the spotlight. Backed by a red brick wall, the scene is classic comedy.

In the center of the room, in a spotlight all her own, is Valerie Vinyard: comedian, teacher, journalist, dog walker.

Laughing boisterously, she commands the room from her seat in the audience. More than 30 comedians will take the stage tonight, including a couple of professionals, but Vinyard’s charisma is apparent and infectious, even in a crowd.

Those who have taken journalism classes with Vinyard at Pima Community College know that jokes are an integral part of both her personality and teaching style. Although she’s cleaner in the classroom, her quick wit helps her come up with jokes on the spot.

Valerie Vinyard teaches her journalism class at Pima West Campus. Aztec Press photo by Larry Gaurano.

“I’ve always been kind of wacky,” she says. “But I was painfully shy until I was 10. Then I realized I had to make myself outgoing to make friends.”

To say Vinyard, 41, is an amateur comedian would be a disgrace to her candor— this woman is funny. When she takes the stage for her 2-minute set, she is confident and forward.

Cocking her hip brazenly, she looks squarely into the crowd.

Be warned: Vinyard’s subject matter ranges from Locks of Love to Brazilian waxes— and that’s in the same joke.

She doesn’t spend time preparing. “I’ll jot things down when I think of something,” she says, “but I’ve never practiced or prepared.”

Tonight’s notes, fetched from her car moments before the show started, were written at dinner. They accompany her on stage, but she doesn’t refer to them.

Comedy is nothing new to Vinyard. She was voted “class clown” and “most sarcastic” in high school.

In 1998, while working for the Journal-Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind., Vinyard wrote a feature on being a professional comedian.

In order to write it, she had to become one. It was her first shot as a comedian, and she was introduced as a pro to the crowd.

Laughing, Vinyard recounts writing material the night before over drinks, with friends, then copying her notes onto her hand while she was getting her hair and makeup done.

During the performance, she made a show of looking down at that hand. Her timing got the audience laughing even more.

Vinyard took the stage for 10 minutes that night, and walked away with support from the real professionals.

Would she go pro now?

“Why not?” she says in a typically casual manner.

Tonight’s performances are clearly Open Mic, and the amateurs have just 2 or 3 minutes. They are as young as 18, and as old as 70.

The jokes reflect the comedian. College-age performers mock the latest changes on Facebook and the concept of a 420 cologne. A war veteran praises the pleasures of aging (“a bowl of oatmeal and good crap.”)

Take away the pressure to be politically correct, and the crowd laughs appreciatively at sensitive topics. There’s a thin line between tragedy and comedy, and the amateurs aren’t afraid to walk it.

Vinyard, however, just likes to make people laugh. Her sense of humor is self-deprecating and deadpan, but not without her signature sly smile. “I don’t like to make fun of people unless it includes me,” she says.

Does she have any advice for potential stand-up comedians still developing their skills?

“Do everything I haven’t done,” she quips. “Come up with material, keep your jokes short— just the bare facts. Make it funny, and practice a lot.”

Valerie Vinyard takes the stage at Laffs. Aztec Press photo by Leftrick Herd.


Laffs Comedy Caffé – Open Mic Night

When: Every Thursday. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.

Where: 2900 E. Broadway Blvd., in Broadway Village Shopping Center

Admission: Patrons must be 21+

Cost: Free (Required two-item minimum purchase of food, soda or alcoholic beverages)


T-shirt sales support scholarship fund

T-shirt sales support scholarship fund


Pima Community College digital arts student Stephanie Redmond cried the first time she saw people wearing the T-shirt she designed.

The T-shirt honors the late Gabe Zimmerman, with proceeds supporting a Gabe Zimmerman Scholarship Endowment Fund.

The PCC Foundation established the scholarship fund to honor the victims of the Jan. 8 attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Zimmerman, an aide to Giffords and son of PCC employee Ross Zimmerman, died in the shooting.

A contest to design the T-shirt drew more than 20 entries. Redmond created the winning design while enrolled in a summer digital arts course.

“When Ross Zimmerman spoke to our class about his son, I didn’t know what to think,” Redmond said. “Immediately the image of a light bulb with a heart in the middle struck my mind.”

Redmond’s design features a red bulb with the word “hope.” A plug extending from the bulb includes the phrase, “helping people is a good idea.”

The T-shirt is available for $20 at any PCC campus bookstore. The shirt comes in black or white, in sizes small to 5XL.

PCC’s Staff Council has already sold more than 300 T-shirts.

The endowment will support scholarships for students pursuing a career in social work or public service.

Ross Zimmerman said he appreciates PCC taking steps to honor his son.

“Gabe would have loved this idea,” he said.

Stephanie Redmond and her daughter, Annabelle, show off the winning T-shirt design. T-shirts are on sale for $20 at every campus bookstore.

Volleyball season comes to an end

Volleyball season comes to an end


The Pima Community College Volleyball team concluded the season with losses against Mesa Community College and South Mountain Community College.

The (3-21-0 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) Aztecs hoped to finish their season strong but instead came home empty handed.

The team had an 11-game losing streak, then three wins at a San Diego tournament, followed by a 12-game losing streak.

“It was a very inexperienced team, and we needed to focus on working hard until the end,” coach Dan Bithell said. “We just haven’t learned how to close things out in each game.”

The team drove to Phoenix on Oct. 28 to play its final match of the season against South Mountain. Pima lost three sets in a row. South Mountain opened the match with an 18-25 win, followed by 22-25 and 15-25 point victories.

Mesa visited Aztec territory on Oct. 26 for Pima’s final home match. The Aztecs gave Mesa a fight as they won one of four very tough sets.

“It was a high-level game and we gave them a good fight,” Bithell said, “but like I said before, we had some unforced errors.”

Freshmen offensive leader Kaylee Rakowski made 10 kills for the team. Freshmen libero Brittany Oddo played well with 15 digs and two service aces in the conference loss. Sophomore setter Czarina Schutt contributed with three aces and freshmen setter Kami Humphrey served three aces and made three blocks.

Next year seems far off for Bithell, but he expects a better season next year.

“I do plan on getting people who want to work hard for the team,” he said. “I expect much more for next year.”




The Pima Community College volleyball season is almost over and the team’s expectation is to finish strong.

“We just want to be able to finish this season on a positive note,” freshmen setter Kami Humphrey said. “We want to finish the season strong.”

The (3-20, 0-14 Arizona Community College Athletic Conference) Aztecs could not keep up with Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Eastern Arizona College or Central Arizona College in their most recent matches.

The Aztecs lost 3-0 to Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Oct. 21. The first and closest set was lost 25-21, while the second and third sets were lost 25-13 and 25-19.

The team lost three sets to none in an away match against Eastern Arizona on Oct. 19. The first and second sets were lost 25-19, 25-14. The third and final set went to Eastern Arizona with a score of 25-15.

Pima lost a home match against Central Arizona on Oct. 14.

The Aztecs opened the best-of-five match with a 25-22 win, but lost the next three games 25-23, 25-20 and 25-17.

Freshman outside hitter Kalee Rakowski led the team with 15 total kills. Kami Humphrey had a good two-way match with 18 assists and four blocks. Freshman libero Brittany Oddo contributed 13 digs for the team in the conference loss.

Coach Dan Bithell said he is proud of the players and their hard work during the season.

“We played many physical imposing teams and we were not intimidated,” he said. “We just let the season slip away from us because of unforced errors, but overall worked very hard.”

Pima had its final home match of the 2011 season Oct. 26 against Mesa Community College and its final match against South Mountain Community College Oct. 28.


Freshman libero Brittany Oddo makes an effort to keep the ball in play.

Goaltender Erica Heredia

Heredia earns national goalie of the week honors


Erika Heredia was awarded the Goalie of the Week honor by the National Junior College Athletic Association. In her two shutouts the freshman stopped eight shots in the 4-0 win against Cochise College, followed by a three save performance in a 3-0 over South Mountain Community College.

This national award is the first for any Pima Community College team this year.

Q: How’s the season going?

A: It was successful; We have our off days, as a team, but over all successful. We made our goal of being in the play offs.

Q: How do you feel about this award and being the first one to receive it?

A: I was surprised. I didn’t know this award existed until afterwards. But I was happy to receive it because I worked for it.

Q: What do you think it takes to get this award?

A: Dedication and you just have to want it.

Q: What do you like about your team teammates?

A: We have a lot of chemistry together. We work together, we work off each other, we all get along and there is no fighting; this is what brings us together.

Q: What are your dynamics with the other goalie?

A: My weakness is one v. one and hers are corners. Usually her weaknesses are my strengths and her strengths are my weaknesses so it works out well when we practice because we can work on them together.  Usually I’m very good in the air and she’s really good on one v. one so we like to work off each other and practice. But overall we just go over everything.

Q: What do you do on a corner kick?

A: I like to get the ball before anyone can touch it, either in the air or if you can’t get it all the way just punch it out.

Q:  What do you eat before games?

A: I pig out but that’s just me. I love food but it varies there is no routine. I definitely like to eat a lot, not junk food obviously, because I’d get hungry 30 minutes into the game. I load up on the carbs and protein and eat stuff that will make me full.

Q: What was the team’s goal for the season?

A: Making it to the playoffs was one. We are in better situation than last year already so we plan on doing well for the rest of the season.

Goaltender Erica Heredia

Erika Heredia

DESTINATIONS: Skateboard park an alternative to street riding

DESTINATIONS: Skateboard park an alternative to street riding


Premises Park, an indoor BMX/skateboard park, is a 4,600-square-foot warehouse filled with wooden ramps, a foam pit and a street section.

Owner Ian Abbot worked with volunteer BMX and skateboard riders to create a safe environment that is fun and drug-free. The park opened July 22.

Abbot said the park provides an alternative to streets and public places, where property can be damaged and riders can be hurt or killed.

“Too many bike riders and skateboarders have been killed in the city limits of Tucson while riding in the streets,” a posting on the park’s website proclaims.

“This place is freaking sweet,” skateboarder Trevor Claussen said. “I helped built it. I’m here practically four times a week, minimum.”

Skateboarder Gerren Ford has also used the park since it opened. “I love this place,” he said. “I’m here every day. I like the people and riding around the park.”

Premises welcomes skateboards, bikes and scooters. Helmets are required at all times, while gloves and guards for knees, elbows and shins are recommended.

There are daily open-ride sessions. At night, when the music gets turned up, the real riding begins.

Staff members are skilled athletes who have completed background checks, are CPR-certified and have first aid training.

Premises provides plenty of ramps for BMX bikes and skateboards. Aztec Press photo by Vanessa Avila.

Monthly programs help participants learn something new, get into shape while doing something fun or pursue competition with peers.

Classes teach developing riders about park etiquette, bike set-up, tricks, style and control. They are taught by local, experienced instructors and occasional pro and semi-pro BMX/Skate riders.

Children as young as 3 and up to adults can enroll.

More advanced BMX/Skate classes teach riders about riding technique, mental preparation, diet, physical fitness and strength training. Riders are paired with others at their own age and skill level, under the supervision of a coach.

Membership packages are available with limited and unlimited use. On weekdays, general admission is $7. Weekends admission costs $10.

The park also offers other services, and a BMX shop where parts can be ordered and bikes repaired.

Advanced BMX bikers enjoy the ramp in Premises Park. Photo courtesy of Arnold Tellez.


Premises Park

Address: 400 W. Speedway Blvd.

Phone: 623-7561


Mon-Thurs, 2-9 p.m.

Fri, 2-11 p.m.

Sat, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Sun, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.


Internet addiction: Surveys shows strong need for access

Internet addiction: Surveys shows strong need for access


Pima Community College Sean Steele rarely goes more than one day without Internet use.

“After about two days without Internet, I feel very disconnected and out of touch,” he said.

This is the case for many people, according to recent surveys.

A study by Tele-Nav, Inc. found that more than half of Americans would prefer to lose access to alcohol, chocolate and caffeine for a week over their cellphone.

Forty percent would rather lose their toothbrush than their cellphone. One-third would quit having sex before stopping their Internet use.

Twenty-one percent would go barefoot to maintain use of their cellphone, and 66 percent cradle their cellphones when going to sleep at night.

Many people compared a 24-hour loss of the Internet to quitting cigarettes or alcohol, according to a report from a British company, Intersperience.

Of those surveyed, 40 percent felt a sense of loneliness without Internet access and 53 percent felt upset at the loss.

In a survey by the University of Maryland, students who experienced a 24-hour loss of Internet and media began displaying signs of withdrawal.

Students surveyed admitted to finding joy in life outside the Internet but still felt boredom, distress, loneliness or sadness when disconnected from the Internet or their cellphones.

Many PCC students said they receive frequent mobile updates from social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook.

“Sometimes I’ll log onto and just loose myself reading for hours,” Steele said.

Sean Steele likes internet access.

From the archives: Bithell has coached volleyball for a decade

From the archives: Bithell has coached volleyball for a decade



Dan Bithell has been the head coach of the Aztec Women’s Volleyball team since 2000 when he took over for Heather Moore. Bithell was the assistant coach for the team for six years prior.

 The season before Bithell replaced Moore as the head coach of the Lady Aztecs, they’re record was 1-17 in conference play.

 This season the Aztecs are 0-17 in conference play with three more matches to be played. The team has won three matches this season, but they all came against non-member schools.

 Coach Bithell had stated in a 2000 issue of the Aztec Press saying that the team at the time just didn’t have the proper chemistry. He also said “This is the most difficult conference in the nation,”in the same issue.

 Bithell has lead the Aztecs to three ACCAC Regional Playoffs and led them to their best record (16-15 overall and 11-14 in conference play) in 2006. He has also produced five all-conference and all-region selections.

He also has one NJCAA All-American and nine NJCAA Academic All-Americans, plus he has coached three that have been recognized as a fall All-Academic team.

 Bithell was hoping for more community support back in 2000. He does feel that they have received more support from the community since then, but feels there could be more.

He would like to see some more media coverage for all the teams at Pima since it’s one of two colleges in Tucson.

“We have some terrific nationally recognized teams and it would be great to see them playing in front of packed crowds,” Bithell said


Q&A: Gabby Garcia

Q&A: Gabby Garcia

Editor’s note: Q&A is a new Aztec Press feature in which we spotlight a randomly selected Pima Community College student.


Gabby Garcia was all smiles when my unsure-how-this-is-going-to-go self approached her on Downtown Campus at 8 on a Monday morning.

I told her I wanted to ask a set of questions, although the interview ended up just being a conversation.

Here’s a glimpse of it:

Q:       So, what kind of classes are you taking at Pima?

A:        I’m just taking basics. I wanna be a teacher.

Q:       What kind of teacher do you want to be?

A:        A bilingual teacher.

Q:       Oh really? What made you want to do that?

A:        ‘Cause I speak Spanish, and I have lots of friends getting it hard in Spanish and English. I did too, so that’s why I’d want to be a teacher.

Q:       It was difficult?

A:       Well, I had teachers that were mean, so yeah. I was like, “I wanna be one!” A better one, of course.

 Q:      Oh, that’s cool. Well not cool but you know what I mean. Good for you! So are you going to school here to transfer?

A:        Uh, I don’t know yet.

Q:       OK, cool. Do you think I could take a picture of you?

A:        Yeah! Good thing I did my hair this morning!

Gabby Garcia is studying to be a bilingual teacher.


Think you’re funny? Prove it

Think you’re funny? Prove it


 Sometimes we do something so crazy we know it will change our life forever. Performing standup comedy on stage was not one of those times, but at least it was fun.

 I was about 9 years old when I told my first dirty joke. The joke’s details are fuzzy now, but the laughter that ensued from kids at the playground still comes in clear.

Since then, I’ve daydreamed about appearing on stage to make strangers laugh. Like most childhood fantasies, the dream faded when I become concerned about fitting into a mold.

 After hearing that a journalism instructor of this fine institution was a comic, however, I figured it was time to drop the hipster ego and get my ass on stage.

 I did some serious journalistic research (about 11 minutes worth before giving up and asking my adviser), and was told to call Laffs to reserve a spot at Open Mic Night.

Getting a spot was easy. The hard part was coming up with material in less than a week.

Sure I can make friends, family and coworkers laugh until they cry, but that’s because of inside jokes or spur-of-the-moment observations. The more I thought, the less funny my ideas became.

Sometimes, though, inspiration comes from strange places. The day before my performance, my body set up its own punchline: a cold from hell.

Just as some famous personalities do, I mixed medications like a cocktail and hoped for the best. While in my artificial coma, random moments from my life replayed in my head in red, blue and green.

When I awoke and blinked my eyes for the doctors, I realized the funniest things in life are just that, things. Instead of making puns or quips, I decided to pull material from my life.

On the night of the event, I had all the confidence in the world. Until I saw the other performers.

Having to sit through more than 30 comics before going on last gave me second thoughts. They had charisma and didn’t care what people thought. I was the only rookie in the house.

In all honesty, I hoped at least one person would bomb but that didn’t happen. One by one, comics came and went amidst a consistent flow of laughs. I started to panic.

Out of nowhere, a comic on stage asked me a question to set up a joke. I sat there, dazed. After about 10 “umms,” I spit out a one-word reply.

Talk about a bad impression. I was supposed to go on stage, yet could barely function as an audience member.

Just when I thought I couldn’t do it, the club owner blasted my name incorrectly on the PA system.

All doubts, uncertainty and indecision vanished. I fell into a robotic phase.

With the lights blindingly bright, I saw no one. It was like talking to myself and hearing my voice come back to me.

As soon as I started to speak, I felt something surge through my body that I don’t remember feeling since losing my virginity. That something was adrenaline.

My heart raced, my mind was on auto-pilot. I was scared and excited at the same time. The range of emotions during my 2-minute set are indescribable.

On the way home, I still felt the adrenaline and could not stop shaking for most of the night.

Though I would call this experiment a success, I will probably not do standup again.

That being said, it does not lessen the impact on my life. Even though most of us can’t fulfill our dreams, we can always dip our feet in occasionally.