Pima Community College Chancellor Roy Flores was resting at Tucson Medical Center on Feb. 3 after doctors placed a stent in a coronary artery and performed an emergency angioplasty.
Paramedics took Flores to TMC after he experienced severe chest pains while working at PCC’s District Office.
In October 2011, Flores underwent quadruple-bypass heart surgery. He returned to work on a part-time basis on Nov. 28, and had gradually been increasing his workload.
Flores, who turns 70 in April, has been chancellor since 2003. On Jan. 27, he announced that he would retire at the end of the year.
From a PCC news release
By DAVID MENDEZ
Pima Community College Chancellor Roy Flores announced Friday that he plans to retire from his position “no later than the end of the year.”
Flores’ announcement was sent via mass email to PCC personnel at 4:30 p.m. He returned to work last fall after taking time off to recover from quadruple bypass heart surgery in October.
In his email, Flores reflects upon his life and career, outlining his path from a “shoeshine boy in East Chicago at age 9” to the present. He has spent the last four decades as an educator and administrator.
He explains his thought process regarding his retirement (“I can’t remember the last time I had a real vacation,” he writes) and says his “single-minded focus to work” has worn on him.
“The bottom line is pretty straightforward: The time has come to retire,” Flores wrote, citing his upcoming 70th birthday and recovery from heart surgery as factors leading to his decision.
Flores also touts PCC’s accomplishments over his tenure as chancellor, including a document attached to the email, before thanking the PCC Board of Governors, faculty and staff for their work.
The letter ends with Flores expressing his confidence in the future of Pima Community College, writing “success will be assured if we continue to adapt and meet the needs of the community we serve.”
Read the full text of Flores’ email here.
Read the attachment (“A Short Retrospective”) to Flores’ email here.
By NINA ELLIOTT
“Man on a Ledge” is a revenge seeker’s delight. It makes good use of plot twists and gripping editing that keep even a disengaged viewer entertained.
The basic story is about an unidentified man stepping on a ledge to kill himself. The story unfolds as his identity is revealed.
Although his fugitive with a heart of gold act reels in the NYPD and swarming New Yorkers, the man’s aim is to deflect attention from a heist taking place.
The acting was uneven, with the strongest players being Elizabeth Banks and Ed Harris. But even their on-screen presence could not shake the overdone archetypes: good cop turned bad, powerful archenemy, female therapist (possible love interest).
A movie like this relies on keeping the audience hypnotized by all the spinning plates of side plots, making you figure out who are the good guys and who are bad, and the eye candy of rising star Genesis Rodriguez.
“Man on a Ledge” had terrific editing that reminded me of “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.” The action/heist sequences drew upon some sequences of “Ocean’s Eleven.”
But if you are looking for the drama or desperation of “Dog Day Afternoon,” you’ll need to look elsewhere for pathos.
This film is good for some easy laughs, a bit of sustained tension and pleasing action sequences.
Can’t go see it yet? Check out this preview here.
By CHELO GRUBB and DAVID MENDEZ
The new semester has brought a new start at Aztec Press – namely, us: the new Co-Editors in Chief, Chelo Grubb and David Mendez.
Grubb, the former assistant news editor, brings with her a passion for hard-hitting, informative news. Mendez, the last arts & entertainment head, possesses a love for well-written, captivating stories.
Combined, we plan on bringing our readers the best damn paper we can produce, with a sharpened focus on quality, accuracy and information that can make your day easier, if not a bit more fun.
In an effort to start off our new editorship in a collaborative way and utterly rehashed way, we’ve decided to introduce each other.
David Mendez is 24, sarcastic and dedicated. He has spent six semesters on the Aztec Press staff.
Throughout those six semesters, Mendez has watched over the arts and entertainment section, aided with copy editing and assisted in a biweekly Wednesday morning scramble to get the paper cleaned up and ready for the printer.
You’ll probably recognize his name from the “Cracking Wise” column, in which he discusses things like parades held in his honor.
Many of Mendez’s sentiments are littered with pop culture references that those of us under 20. Or maybe it’s just me.
This semester is going to be packed for Mendez. On top his class, work and editor duties, he has taken on a internship for the Tucson Weekly. Keep an eye out for his byline on their website.
Lets recap with a condensed biography: David has dedicated a lot of time to the paper. He’s a compelling yet amusing writer, and he’s a little bit silly. Mostly, he just likes to high-five.
Chelo is short, young and often has no idea what I’m talking about when I reference something that isn’t on Hulu. She’s also smart and a hell of a writer. Because she’s so young, she’s only going to get better as a reporter and editor. Considering how skilled she is at this point, that’s saying something.
This is her third semester with the Aztec Press.
During her tenure, she’s made hard-hitting news her focus.
No joke, she’s done maybe two non-news features in her three semesters here. By contrast, I can only remember one hard news story that I’ve done in twice the time.
In other words, she knows what she likes to do and she’s determined to do it as well as se possibly can.
And if you can do it with spare time to read a book or nine, so much the better.
By CHELO GRUBB
The words of the Constitution emanated from Pima Community College’s West Campus early on Jan. 7, as PCC officials and members of the community gathered to observe the first anniversary of the 2011 Jan. 8 shooting.
The shooting, which killed six people and wounded 13, took place during a Congress on your Corner event held by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Two days earlier Giffords, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, had participated in an event similar to PCC’s Constitution reading.
Giffords posted a video on her Facebook page Jan. 22, more than a year after the shooting, announcing her plans to resign from her position citing her recovery from the shooting.
The PCC event, titled the “Festival of Democracy,” focused on appreciating democracy, in addition to paying tribute to those killed.
Some of the speakers drew parallels between the intent behind the 2011 Congress on your Corner event, and PCC’s Constitution Corner.
Ross Zimmerman, who works for PCC’s IT department, lost his son Gabe in the shooting.
“I want to comment about how pleased I am with what we’ve put together today. It’s very fitting that we celebrate the business of democracy here today,” Zimmerman said, before reading the Preamble.
“Last January, Gabby was out in the community because of her love of democracy,” Zimmerman said. “That’s why we’re doing this.”
Daniel Hernandez, the former Giffords’ intern who applied pressure to the congresswoman’s head wound after the shooting attended the PCC event and read the sixth section of the Constitution.
“I think it’s really fitting that on a cold, January Saturday morning, almost a year to the day, we are participating once again in an event that really has to do all about celebrating democracy,” Hernandez said.
Beyond Tucson, a group set up to commemorate the January shooting, helped organize many events around Tucson the weekend of the first anniversary. Events culminated with Gifford’s attendance at a candlelight vigil at the University of Arizona.
Zimmerman noted that PCC’s festival was “the only entity in Beyond focused on democracy.”
In an effort to show support for health, goodwill and the physical and mental benefits of exercise, many Beyond events included physical activities.
Keeping with this trend, PCC’s festival featured a 5K “Run for Office,” yoga and a mini health fair.
The event also featured face and tile painting for children, a mass sing-along of “This Land is Your Land” and a performance by the 62nd Army Band.
“We wanted to remember in a positive way,” Zimmerman said.
Other attendees included survivors of the shooting, Tucson mayor, Jonathan Rothschild and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson. Grijalva said he thought the decision to focus on democracy was important.
“I think it’s a great way to show support for last year’s event, while embracing and celebrating the strengths of our community,” Grijalva said.
Video by Chelo Grubb
By DAVID MENDEZ
In David Iadevaia’s nearly 30 years at Pima Community College, he’s left his mark all over East Campus—literally. His signature adorns the solstice and equinox walls near the observatory he designed.
In all that time, he’s never lost sight of what keeps him coming back every year: fun.
When speaking to him for the first time, you’re likely to notice three things right off of the bat: his shock of white hair, his Rhode Island accent (“It doesn’t go away— I can’t make prank phone calls,” he said with a laugh) and his earnest passion for science.
Iadevaia can’t recall when this passion began. It’s been there since the nights he would lay out and stare at the sky, a star map in hand.
“Some people are born musicians, some are born football players,” he said. “I was born a scientist.”
He respects that same passion when he sees it in students. He often works with such students in his classes, matching projects with their interests.
Iadevaia gave a student aide majoring in engineering the opportunity to design the original East Campus observatory.
Another student, an art major, designed the plates for the East Campus planet walk. The plate for Pluto, which has since lost planetary status, now sits in Iadevaia’s office.
Beyond physics and astronomy, Iadevaia also teaches Honors Epistemology, the study of knowledge.
“A few years ago they needed someone with a science background to teach the class,” he said. “The underlying ideas are the same in terms of how we interact with people, trying to get to the bottom of something.”
Over the years, he’s run a number of programs: science camps, portable planetarium programs and clubs, such as the radio club he’s currently trying to start. But he doesn’t chase down students.
“You have to be a geek for some of this stuff and if you’re not, you’re not,” he said. “You have to want it and if you want it, it’s available.”
Practical knowledge drives Iadevaia.
“I just experiment, I play,” he said. “I’m a scientist, I can’t help it. It’s what I do. It’s fun.”
That helps when a student asks a question, he added.
“I can tell him from experience,” he said. “Books are nothing— they’re expensive and they just tell you how it’s supposed to be. When you do science, you see what the limits are.”
Though he could retire at any time, Iadevaia has no plans to do so. However, he said PCC isn’t the place it used to be because bureaucracy has grown along with enrollment.
As he put it, “You sneeze and someone tells you which Kleenex to use to blow your nose.”
But as long as bureaucrats leave him alone, Iadevaia will keep teaching.
“In life, there’s a scale with two buckets,” he said. “In one, you’ve got nonsense. In the other, you’ve got fun stuff.”
Happiness results when the fun side prevails, he added.
“As long as I’m having fun, I’ll stay here— they’ll be carrying me out.”
Feb. 7 talk to explore ‘Miracle’
Iadevaia will try to explain the 1917 “Miracle of the Sun” from an astronomer’s perspective when he kicks off Pima Community College’s Spring 2012 Speakers’ Series on Feb. 7.
The “Miracle” solar phenomenon took place in Fatima, Portugal, on Oct. 13, 1917. The sun danced back and forth throughout the sky, frightening more than 70,000 witnesses.
The free lecture begins at 6 p.m. in the Community Board Room, in Building C at the PCC District Office, 4905 E. Broadway Blvd.
For further information, call 206-4500.
By LEFTRICK HERD
Text messaging is changing students’ grammar, spelling and social life. If u r txtng in class u r not paying attn. It is bad 4 u.
Contrary to popular belief, the brain is not good at multi-tasking. Scientists using magnetic resonance images of brain activity have discovered that brain activity decreases when a person attempts more than one task. WTH? (What The Heck?)
Eric Morrison, a Pima Community College reading instructor, is concerned that students don’t realize the impact cell phones have on their lives.
“It is part of the culture to be constantly in touch,” Morrison said.
BTW (By The Way), studies show that texting causes physiological changes. Symptoms include increased heart rate and decreased breathing.
Multi-tasking leads to as much as a 40 percent drop in productivity, increased stress and a 10 percent drop in IQ, according to 2010 research published in Workplace Psychology.
Statistics from pewresearch.org show 88 percent of teen cell phone users are text-messaging. Texting has become the preferred way of communicating between students and their BFFs (Best Friends Forever).
Critics say excessive cell phone use has become a problem for students. It is difficult to stay focused in class when their cell phones keep vibrating.
Students who get a txt might feel obligated to respond immediately, breaking their thought process. They focus on the txt msg instead of what is going on in class.
Instructors also worry that students use technology to cheat.
“We need to intervene with education,” Morrison said. “A teacher has to assume that the student is cheating if the phone is out during a test. Students need to re-evaluate how to use their technology.”
Some schools post signs: No Texting Or Handheld Phone Use in Active School Zone. Others take enforcement even further: $15 Fine For Cell Phone Use During Class. OMG (Oh My God).
Educators concerned about the burgeoning cell phone culture and degradation of grammar and writing skills say students must be taught the proper time and place for using cell phones.
That place, they add, does not include the classroom. DSTR8 (Damn Straight).
::poof:: (I’m gone)
By MIKI JENNINGS
I’m always excited to try new food and was doubly excited when my news buddy and editor-boss Chelo said she would introduce me to “the best tacos in town,” by her standards.
She took me eastward to El Taco Tote, a Mexican eatery with colorful walls and a sizable salsa bar.
El Taco Tote has at least six kinds of salsa, ranging from mild to hot, with several reds and a very fresh-tasting salsa verde. It also features a great pico de gallo and smooth guacamole alongside lime slices.
And what better way to sample them all than with warm, crisp, house-made tortilla chips? These chips were a delightful addition to my meal. Slightly thicker than most, the chips had a great texture and flavor.
This is a food review (emphasis on the food), but I feel it’s a disservice not to mention the incredibly awesome soda machine. I’ve only encountered one other machine like it around town: a shiny, time machine-looking box full of multiple sodas and flavor syrups.
The dispenser allows for endless drink combinations. Vanilla Coke? Orange Mello Yello? Lemon-flavored Dasani? You got it! No lemon Coke, though, oddly enough. That was disappointing, but I got by with other choices like lime Coke and strawberry lemonade.
The meat (and more relevant) aspect of my taco adventure was delicious as well. We ordered a platter of sirloin steak to share, with four soft and deliciously toasted flour tortillas each. Platters run about $20 and could easily feed three people.
The meat was sizzling when it got to our table. It was juicy and flavorful, with only a few pieces of fat mixed into the pile.
El Taco Tote typically serves huge portions, according to Chelo. We couldn’t finish our tacos, but luckily everything came packaged in foil and sealable containers for easy transport.
I haven’t tried enough tacos around Tucson to dub El Taco Tote’s “The Best,” but they are notably delicious. I would recommend them to anyone.
El Taco Tote
Address: 1340 N. Wilmot Road
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Olympics had tryouts in Houston for the marathon on Saturday, Jan. 14. There were about 156 men racing on a 26.2 mile course, and only the top three qualified for the team.
Craig Curley is from Kinlichee, a Navajo reservation in northeast Arizona. He also happens to be a Pima Community College alumnus.
Curley also holds the PCC school record in the 5,000-meter run, which he completed in 14 minutes, 21.03 seconds.
Curley qualified to compete in the Houston tryouts by running in a half-marathon championship in 2010. He ran it in one hour, 4 minutes and 14 seconds.
Curley and his coach, Greg Wenneborg, who is the head coach for PCC’s cross country and track and field teams.
The two of them were fairly confident about Curley’s chances going into the race.
“He’s here to make the team,” Wenneborg said the Friday before the race.
Wenneborg felt Curley’s biggest challenge would be to hold back and not try to run and get into the lead right away.
However, they were still being realistic about Curley’s chances, as he has never run in a marathon before and that distance can present numerous problems for any runner.
“If nothing else, we’re hoping for at least a top-five or top-10 finish,” Wenneborg said.
Curley has spent the past year training for the race in Houston and fully committed himself to trying to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon team.
The day before the race Curley spent his time relaxing and hanging out with the other athletes.
When it came time for the race to start that Saturday morning, only 120 runners took the line, instead of the projected 156.
Curley started out the race fairly strong, with his mile times ranging between 5:05 to 5:08.
This was the pace that both Wenneborg and Curley wanted to keep up, and Curley was in 50th place around the eight-mile mark.
Unfortunately, somewhere between the 20th and 23rd-mile marker, Curley began to struggle, as his energy steadily dissipated.
“It was an off day,” Wenneborg said.
Curley ended up finishing 84th, with a time of 2:39:53.
“Pretty shocking for him to finish as bad as he did,” Wenneborg said. “He’s handling it well.”
Only 85 of the 120 runners actually finished the race, as the distance took a toll on the athletes.
Curley ended up walking parts of the last two to three miles. Curley was also the youngest runner in the group, at 23.
Coming back home, the duo, are now thinking about their options for the future. They are going to take about a two-week break and then decide where they are going to go from there.
“It’s a humble beginning,” Wenneborg said.
BY ANDRIA SKANSE
Many drivers have done it at least once. No, not speeding, rolling through a stop sign or yelling at other drivers on the road, but texting while driving.
The issue has been debated for years. Currently, 35 states ban texting while driving, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
While Arizona legislators struggle to pass a statewide law, Tucson City Council members are moving to outlaw texting while driving.
All six council members voiced support Jan. 10 for a ban. They will vote early next month on a city ordinance that makes texting while driving a primary offense, with fines ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Steve Kozachik, Ward 6 council member, said texting while driving involves three critical mistakes.
You’re taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off of what you’re doing,” he told KOLD News 13.
Of course, not everyone agrees.
PCC student Megan Sullivan thinks it will be hard to determine whether a driver was texting.
“I agree that it’s dangerous,” Sullivan said, but from a realistic standpoint, they need to think it through more.”
PCC student Manny Lonjino gives the proposed law a thumbs up.
“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “I do it sometimes, I’m not gonna lie, but it is dangerous.”
By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL
Pima Community College baseball and softball teams had there annual Group Signing event Jan 15.
The baseball team has commitments from 14 student-athletes from Southern Arizona.
PCC picked up seven pitchers Sean Patrick Carroll (Canyon Del Oro High School), Robert Andrew Petty (Rincon/University High School), Troy Kyle Petty (Ironwood Ridge High School), Zachary David Smutzer (Rincon/University High School), Jeremy Mark Timpf (Sabino High School) including two southpaws Benjamin William Skuro (Sabino High School) and Treyton John Stender (Ironwood Ridge High School).
The Aztecs infield gained Devon Miguel Carrillo (Sahuaro High School), Benny Diego Garcia (Sunnyside High School), Tyler James Kimbrogh (Salpointe Catholic High School) and Carlo Alfredo Tacchia (Sunnyside High School).
They also acquired catchers Forest Champan (Cienega High School), Daniel Anthony Peters (Sabino High School) and outfielder Adam Michael Borboa (Sahuaro High School).
The softball team had commitments from seven student-athletes, all from Southern Arizona.
The Aztecs signed catchers Alyssa Guevarra, Cienega High School, and Danielle Stensby, Buena High School.
Pima picked up infielders Hannah Alcocer, Cienega High School, Victoria Mariscal, Douglas High School, and Stacey Ramrez, Benson High School. They also gained outfielder Stephanie Ramirez from Benson High School.
By LYNDAJOE ECHERIVEL
Don Stopa, Pima Community College assistant baseball coach and sports information director, has been named head softball coach at Louisburg College in Louisburg, N.C.
“I really enjoyed my time in Tucson and I am glad I had a chance to be a part of a great athletic department and a great institution,” Stopa said in a press release.
On Jan. 1, Stopa took over as head coach of Louisburg’s Lady Hurricanes, who were 24-20 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region X last season.
“The Hurricanes’ softball program looks to add a new chapter to an institution with a great tradition of excellence and I feel that I can lead the program to success, and even to the top of the National Junior College Athletic Association,” Stopa said.
He will replace head coach of three seasons, Monica Gordy, who accepted a position at Mars Hill College in Asheville, N.C.
Before Gordy, the Hurricanes won nine straight NJCAA Region X Titles and made three trips to the NJCAA National Tournament.
Stopa joined the PCC Department of Athletics in the summer of 2007.
In addition to coaching baseball and serving as sports information director, he was an assistant softball coach for the past year and a half, helping the Aztecs to a 51-14 record last season and ranking ninth in the NJCAA.
The Aztecs also competed in the regional championship, finishing one game short of a third trip to the National Tournament in the last eight years, which include two national titles.
With more than 12 years of coaching collegiate ball, with three years as the head softball coach at Graceland University, Stopa hopes to lead the Lady Hurricanes back to the top ranks in the NJCAA.
Stopa graduated from Graceland with a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in media writing. He originally hails from White Rock, British Columbia, Canada, where he grew up and his family still resides.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College men’s golf team only has one player returning from last season. Currently there are nine players on the roster, with two players being ineligible due to grades.
Adam Ortiz is the only player returning to the team. Ortiz helped Pima finish 20th at nationals last year, and took 75th place individually.
Joining the team will be Ortiz’s younger brother, Steven Ortiz, who head coach Grant Waltke figures may be the team’s best player this season.
“We should be just as good, if not a little better, than last year,” Waltke said.
Waltke believes the team should manage to make nationals again this year.
A player of note is Joseph Courtney.
Courtney is from Montana and grew up on a ranch that was 60 miles from the nearest city or golf course.
All the guys get along, and have a good time while they’re playing.
“That allows them to play well,” Waltke said.
Waltke feels that all the guys drive the ball well and the facets of their games they will mostly need to work on are chipping and putting.
Chipping and putting are what nine out of 10 golfers have the most problems with, Waltke feels.
Men’s home course will once again reside in Green Valley, Ariz., the team will be playing both courses, Torres Blancas and Canoa Ranch.
However, the team will not be hosting a tournament this year.
Pima will be traveling to courses all over the Phoenix area, which can still take its toll on players, as they spend quite a bit of time traveling.
Waltke feels that it may put them at a disadvantage, as they can’t afford to spend the money to stay an extra night ahead of the tournament and pay for a practice round on the course.
Pima is the only school that doesn’t take practice rounds.
He is optimistic, though, as the guys usually play their best round of golf the first time through, as they take their time and set up their shots.
“They have an advantage. They get to sleep in their own beds at night and get up, then play a round of golf,” Waltke said about the Phoenix-area teams.
Waltke is happy with the group of guys he has and feels they should compete this year. The top teams they will face are Scottsdale Community College, Mesa Community College and South Mountain Community College.
“Looking forward to a good year; I have a great group of boys,” Waltke said.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Pima Community College women’s golf team once again will only have four players on the roster this year and only one of the players is returning.
Sophomore Alondra Olivas will be the only one to return.
New players joining Olivas this season are freshman Rachel Clark from Tucson High School, freshman Shelby Empens from Mountain View High School and freshman Abri Romero from St. Joseph’s College Prep.
Head coach Bill Nicol is not sure of what the outcome may be this season as there is new ladies playing all through out the conference.
“We’re not going to be a weak team, will we be the best, I don’t know,” Nicol said.
According to Nicol all the coaches are talking up how good their teams are, but he won’t believe them until he sees it.
Nicol is confident in his girls as Olivas practiced over the break and made a great improvement in her game.
All the women’s long game and tee shots are looking strong this season.
Pima will have a home tournament on March 26 and 27, it will be held at Silverbell Golf Course.
Last year the ladies hosted their tournament at Randolph Golf Course, although they have switched it up their location they will be practicing at a few different golf courses around town.
They are still holding some practices at Randolph as well as Silverbell and at Fred Enke Golf Course. Nicol hopes this will help the girls game, so that they are not just use to one type of course.
Nicol is working with all of the girls on their short game and feels that their biggest challenge is Legacy Golf Course in Laveen, Ariz. as it has some really deep bunkers.
“I think it’s going to be an enjoyable time,” Nicol said.
He says that the ladies seem to be getting along real well, as two of them are familiar with each other from high school competitions.
Pima will start the season on the road in a tournament on February 15 and 16. It will be hosted by Chandler-Gilbert Community College at the Toka Sticks Golf Course in Phoenix.
Mesa Community College may be the team to beat as in the past it was either Mesa or Pima winning the conference.
Whatever the outcome, Nicol is excited for the season and curious to see the what’ll happen at the end.
“We may not win, but we’ll be in the running,” Nicol said.
By NOELLE FONTAINE
Featuring works from Visual Arts students, the West Campus student art exhibit displays a variety of mediums that the students used, including lithographs, photographs, drawings and paintings. The free exhibit will be on display through Feb. 3.