RSSArchive for August, 2012

Pima critics go to accreditation commission

Pima critics go to accreditation commission


 The Higher Learning Commission, the organization that gives Pima Community College its accreditation, received two letters over the summer raising concerns about the college.

The first letter was an anonymous note, reportedly from a PCC employee. The second included a packet of blogs and articles from various news organizations, including the Arizona Daily Star.

The packet was compiled by the Coalition for Accountability, Integrity, Respect and Responsibility, better known as C-FAIRR, a local organization founded this year.

According to the website,, C-FAIRR was founded because of a shared desire to address issues facing the Tucson community.

All of the current pages on the website are focused on PCC. The site’s homepage urges users to sign petitions against the college’s board and top-level administration.

C-FAIRR did not reply to requests for comment by press time.

The HLC passed news of the complaints to PCC interim Chancellor Suzanne Miles, offering a chance to respond to the allegations.

Miles disagreed with accusations that the college has been downplaying its role in recent controversies, noting that each of the subheads in her letter correlated with concerns listed in C-FAIRR’s complaint to the HLC.

“We take all of our complaints very seriously,” Miles said.

“It’s one thing if you’re attacked personally … but when someone goes to our accreditation committee, that’s even more serious.”

“In my mind, both [letters] were totally unjustified, especially because we have been working to correct problems and do our due diligence,” Miles said, referring to recent changes the college has made.

Those changes include hiring a third-party hotline to accept anonymous comments and complaints from college employees.

In Miles’ eight-page response to the HLC, she refers to an unnamed “Former Administrator A” numerous times. Miles later confirmed with the Aztec Press that the former administrator was Sylvia Lee.

Lee, who is currently a candidate for a seat on PCC’s governing board, was cited in Miles’ letter as having a rumored vendetta against Pima’s former chancellor.

“I do not believe that an individual who can derive political benefit from casting the college in a negative light can be considered unbiased,” Miles wrote.

Miles went on to write that Lee had collaborated with a reporter from the Star, who had written numerous articles portraying PCC in a negative light and was rumored to have expressed a desire to “get Pima College.”

Lee called this and other statements made in the letter “ludicrous” and “laughable,” adding that she thought it was “petty to include gossip in a formal response.”

Miles added, despite all the headlines, Pima’s primary focus remains to provide low tuition and quality classes for students.

Lee echoed Miles’ sentiments, adding that Pima is “an excellent institution. The educational quality has never changed.”

Miles said the college is expecting an official response from the HLC, which will be posted at once received.

Suzanne Miles letter to Higher Learning Commission

FOURTH AVENUE CONSTRUCTION  Traffic lulls for local business

FOURTH AVENUE CONSTRUCTION Traffic lulls for local business


 Summer is a slow season for small businesses like the shops and restaurants found around Fourth Avenue, University Boulevard and the downtown area. With the streetcar construction, sales have dropped significantly lower.

The Regional Transportation Authority started the project in early April with plans to connect popular business spots with a streetcar track. Its route will run from west of I-10 through downtown and Fourth Avenue to the University of Arizona campus.

Maxine Mannheim, a 20-year-old Pima Community College student, works on University Boulevard at her parents’ coffee shop, Espresso Art cafe. She says that their income has gone down quite a bit since the construction started.

“Business has dropped significantly in the summer due to construction and the lack of the student population,” she said. “Hopefully construction won’t interfere too much anymore.”

With the reopening of University Boulevard and the start of the UA fall semester, things seem to be improving.

“Since University reopened, business has definitely picked up,” Mannheim said.

Several streets downtown and on Fourth Avenue, however, are blocked off with fencing and caution tape. Sections of road are full of construction equipment and mounds of dirt. The obstructions make it difficult for patrons to get to the businesses in these areas.

Many businesses are struggling and some have even closed down. Sharks Nightclub downtown closed in June, pointing to the closure of Congress Street as the culprit.

Brian Wolff, who runs Epic Cafe on Fourth Avenue, publicly posted a letter of complaint to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild about the revenue they lost and the scarcity of customer parking.

“We have suffered a 35 percent loss in sales due to the construction, which translates into over $50,000 of lost revenue over the projected four-month period of construction,” said the letter, which was posted on the door of Epic Cafe.

The letter requested the city to temporarily allow more public parking in nearby residential areas, “so that customers are not punished for supporting their community and local businesses.”

Rothschild worked with ParkWise to allow parking in the nearby neighborhood and Wolff later sent a letter of thanks.

Downtown, Margo Susco, the owner of the clothing shop Hydra Leather & More, has been very vocal against the construction. Mannequins in her shop’s windows have stood alongside signs protesting the project. Susco said she is unhappy with how long the project is taking.

“By the time this is done, this will be almost half a year of dirt in front of my door,” she said.

The team at Hydra has kept active on Facebook to make their presence more known to potential customers. In April, they announced online that they offer 15 percent discounts to construction workers, showing that their angry protest signs aren’t directed at them.

“It’s unprecedented that an area with so many businesses has been shut down for so long and a lot of businesses are hurting because of this,” Susco said.

The project is supposed to be finished in late 2013, according to the RTA’s website.



Letter to Mayor Rothschild:

Downtown parking guide:

More streetcar information:

PCC launches chancellor search

PCC launches chancellor search


 The public’s thoughts on the next Pima Community College chancellor are being taken into consideration by executive search firm R.H Perry & Associates.

The firm, which the PCC Board of Governors hired in June, hosted a series of seven forums Aug. 27- 28 to get a feel for what the public wants from the college’s top official.

The first forum was held at PCC’s Community Campus, and drew about 20 college employees.

Attendees discussed their hopes for the new chancellor, including his or her ability to work with Pima’s large employee base and student body.

“I’d like to see someone that comes from a comprehensive community college background,” said Donna Gifford, who serves as vice president of online development at Community Campus and vice president of instruction for Northwest Campus.

“Pima is not just for transferring to a four-year college, even though that is an important function,” Gifford said.

Pima’s board is also setting up a committee to help give input on prospective candidates for the chancellor position.

The date to nominate people and constituent groups to be a part of the committee has passed. The board will be forming the committee in the coming weeks.

Updates will be sent to Pima employees via email and posted on the Pima website at the end of significant weeks.

The committee will consist of 25 to 30 people, and will include PCC staff representatives and a student.

The board, the search committee, and the advisory committee will meet on Sept. 24 to finalize the advertisement strategy and timeline for the search.

A profile of the college’s history, needs and anticipated future challenges will be posted on the Pima website and the R.H Perry website from Oct. 5 through Nov. 16.

During that time, the search team will be recruiting candidates.

Between Nov. 16 and Dec. 14, the advisory committee and the search team will receive profiles of the candidates and identify a group for the search team to move forward with.

Two board seats are up for a vote in November. If new members are elected, a consultant from the firm will confer with them on Nov. 12.

The board will select a new chancellor in February or March. The new chancellor is expected to assume office in July.

Those interested in contributing to a list of challenges facing the next chancellor will have until 5 p.m. on Aug. 31 to speak up.

To see the complete timeline for the chancellor search, go to and click on the “Chancellor Search” tab on the right side of the screen.

The firm will be accepting input as to what challenges Pima—and the new chancellor—will face in the next decade at

Elizabeth Rocklin, the R.H Perry consultant heading Pima’s search, is also accepting names for potential chancellor candidates to her email address,

Pima Remembers 9/11

Pima Remembers 9/11


More than a decade ago, on Sept. 11 2001, the United States was the victim of a terrorist attack which killed nearly 3,000 people in New York City and Washington D.C.

Like the rest of the country, many Pima Community College campuses will be observing the 11th anniversary of the attacks with a series of commemorative events.

There will be a moment of silence at Downtown Campus at 8:46 a.m., the time of the first attack, when a plane flew into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Flags will also be flown at half-mast.

East Campus is holding a ceremony at the flagpole located in front of main entrance starting at 9 a.m.

Whitney Houston’s rendition of the national anthem will be played on YouTube at the student mall, an open area where students get together for different ceremonies, across from the cafeteria.

A photo gallery of pictures from 9/11 is going to be shown and there is going to be a reflection sign-up sheet set up in a table.

West Campus is having a ceremony starting at 8:30 a.m. at the flagpoles in the Palm Court (between the Santa Rita Bldg. and Gym).

The Department of Public Safety will have a colorguard presenting the flag; a student is going to sing the National Anthem.

The Campus President and Student Government President are going to share some reflections about 9/11.

For Patriot Day, Northwest Campus is having a flag ceremony starting at 10:30 in the first level outside, in front of the Student Services.

They’re also going to have a campus recruitment blood drive on the second level near the cafeteria. Students that want to show patriotism are encouraged to sign up to donate blood.

Improving economy means lower enrollment at Pima


Pima Community College officials don’t yet have official numbers, but early registration figures suggest fall enrollment may drop.

“We expect enrollment to level off or decline at all our campuses,” said C.J. Karamargin, vice chancellor for government relations and public information.  “Our number crunchers say we’re likely to be just under the 30,000 mark this semester, though we won’t have definitive numbers for a few weeks.”

Karamargin believes enrollment numbers fluctuate with the economy.

“The college has anticipated for some time that enrollment will level off or dip as the economy improves,” Karamargin said.

“Conversely, we saw enrollment climb a few years ago as the economy tanked. This phenomenon is true for colleges everywhere.”

College administrators say many displaced workers who returned to school have now completed PCC certifications and degrees, and are pursuing new careers.

Costs may be another factor, according to an article on

“The cost of college is really beginning to alarm families,” wrote David Hawkins, director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “And that creates a real threat to enrollment.”


eBookstores on the rise

eBookstores on the rise


As a new school year gets under way, some students may be avoiding the Pima Community College bookstores.

When the economy tanked in 2007, PCC saw an increase in both enrollment and bookstore sales.

Over the past five years, total textbook sales increased by about 5 percent, according to C.J. Karamargin, vice chancellor for government relations and public information.

 Sales of new textbooks increased by about 16 percent, or $833,257, over the same period.

 “Bookstore sales are impacted by many factors. Among them is the price of books, the availability of used books and enrollment,” Karamargin said. “We had a surge of students starting in 2007 and bookstore sales reflected that.”

But since 2011, total textbook sales have decreased by more than $647,000.

 “Much of that is attributable to the introduction of a book rental program,” Karamargin said.

PCC bookstores offer students the option to rent their textbooks at nearly half the listed price of a new book.

Since the program was introduced last year, rental book sales have increased by more than $199,000.

 With students seeking measures to obtain needed textbooks at the lowest cost, online bookstores seem to be getting the most attention.

The Follett Higher Education Group has partnered with Inkling Systems to produce online textbooks that are now offered to students in the PCC bookstore.

 With more than 35,000 digital books available, textbooks include video, interactive assessments, animation, music and 3D models within an online class book, according to Follett.

Students can purchase the entire textbook or pay for single chapters, to cut costs. Payment options include financial aid.

Inkling’s online textbooks also come in formats that fit iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads.

“It’s real easy,” PCC student John Papapietro said. “I whip out my iPhone and have the entire chapter to review while I walk to class.”

The increasing popularity of digital textbooks is evident. In 2011, PCC bookstores sold more than $28,000 worth of digital books.

More than $40,000 of digital books were sold in 2012.

 Despite the trend to digital books, some students still prefer hard-copy textbooks.

 “Most of my books come from,” said Jack Robitaille, a PCC student who finds online textbook shopping easy and cost saving.

 “Some of my teachers want me to have my book in class, so I don’t mind buying books online,” Robitaille said.

Just before the semester started, there was some uncertainty as to whether instructors were allowed to encourage students to look for better deals online.

 Deborah Yoklic, vice president of instruction at East campus, sent an email in early August, telling instructors to refrain from recommend online deals to students.

“You are expected to support the policies and procedures of the college. This includes placing book orders only through the bookstore, and not suggesting to students that they purchase books anywhere else or even encouraging the practice,” Yoklic’s email said.

 College officials later said that Yoklic was well intentioned, but mistaken.

Visit a PCC bookstore for more on textbook rentals or digital options.


Online options cheaper than bookstore


Compiled by


The Aztec Press compared four items from the Pima Community College bookstore to their prices found online.


Chemistry Central Science

12th edition, Theodore E. Brown

Pima bookstore

New: $235.75

Used: $177

Rent: $100.19

New: $165.00

Used: $137.55

New: $163.57

Nakama 1: Japanese


Hardcover, Yukiko Abe Hatasa

Pima bookstore

New: $316.75

Used: $237.75

New: $174.95

New: $135.98


Student Alone Access


Pima bookstore:

Digital: $104

Digital: $85.80


of Astronomy

12th Edition, Michael A. Seeds

Pima bookstore

New: $251.75

Used: $189

New: $192.39

Used: $183.53

Give Me Liberty

Eric Foner

Pima bookstore

New: $109.50

Used: $82.25

Digital: $174.99

New: $79.77

Used: $57.98

Digital: $67.38


Men’s soccer squad stumbles out of gate

Men’s soccer squad stumbles out of gate

The Pima Community College men’s soccer team may endure some growing pains as they mature this season, but head coach Dave Cosgrove remains optimistic.

“I like what we have this year,” Cosgrove said. “I’m excited for our season.”

Pima will need to find its rhythm quickly after being shut out its last two games to fall to 1-2 on the year. Cosgrove is confident growth will come.

“We’re inexperienced right now, with only three returning sophomores,” said Cosgrove, in his 15th year at the helm for PCC. “I’m seeing improvement, though. Every day we get a little better.

“This year’s squad is solid in every aspect. We need to be more organized, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

PCC’s season got off on the right foot at home against Glendale Community College on Aug. 23, as Pima thrashed the Gauchos 5-1.

Sophomores J.C. Henson and Declan Fulton each tallied two goals for the Aztecs in the contest. Freshman Tyler Terrell chipped in with an assist.

PCC allowed numerous Gaucho scoring chances, only outshooting their opponents 16-11. Netminder Ben Eyde was equal to the task, though, as the sophomore finished with seven saves.

The Aztecs’ next match was a heartbreaking overtime loss, as they fell 1-0 at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Pima controlled possession throughout, outshooting the Coyotes 10-1 on the day. However, CGCC struck in the 94th minute to hand Pima its first loss of the season.

Freshman goalkeeper Tyler Wilson saw his first collegiate action against CGCC.

The road got even rougher on Aug. 28 when PCC traveled to Yuma to take on Arizona Western College. AWC came into the season at No. 12 in the NJCAA rankings, and they looked every bit the part on their home pitch.

The Aztecs saw red all day against the Matadors, falling 3-0. Eyde made five stops in goal for PCC.

Pima will look for answers as it seeks to improve on last year’s 19-7-2 mark and fifth-place finish at nationals. Cosgrove believes his squad has what it takes.

“We want to challenge for both a conference and a regional title,” he said. “We look really strong up top, and we’re showing some good ability to score goals.

“Our returning players know what to expect, and I’ll look to them to kind of carry the freshmen.”

The Aztecs will take on South Mountain Community College on Saturday, Sept. 1 in a noon match at West Campus.


Sophomore Fabian Romero (right) and a Glendale Community College player compete for the ball on Aug. 23.

FOODIE FINDS:  Bing’s Boba breaking new ground

FOODIE FINDS: Bing’s Boba breaking new ground


There are plenty of food trends taking root in Tucson: farmers’ markets, food trucks, cupcakeries, bacon in desserts, sushi. Boba drinks, like those served at Bing’s Boba Tea on the northwest side, are the latest to blossom.

Boba is the name for tapioca pearls put in sweetened tea beverages. The dessert drink compliments Asian fare at several Tucson restaurants.

In March, entrepreneur-couple Bing Li and David Calabrese opened Tucson’s first dedicated boba shop.

“She was an accounting major, I was a business major,” Calabrese said. That and his desire not to work for anyone else led to the start of their new business.

While boba is catching on in Tucson, it’s still fairly new to many people. It’s also a refreshing change of pace to more commonplace beverages like sodas.

“A lot of people don’t like to try new things,” Li said. “Just come over and try something new.”

At Bing’s, customers can add boba pearls to their milk tea, slush or snow drink, which is a slush with added milk. The shop also offers flavored jelly and popping boba — pearls that burst with flavor when bitten.

The owners want newbies to know that while it’s different, it’s not scary.

“Boba is not going to hurt you,” said Calabrese, amused. “It’s just an Asian dessert.”

Bing’s offers a variety of flavors, including vanilla, jasmine and taro root. The popping boba and jelly come in a similarly varied assortment of flavors. Drink prices range from about $3.50 to $5, depending on the number of add-ons.

Not sure what to get? Feel free to ask. Li and Calabrese are very open to giving suggestions and helping customers find the right flavor.


Bing’s Boba Tea

Address: 2040 W. Orange Grove Road, #104

Phone: 288-8220


Monday-Wednesday: 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Thursday: closed

Friday-Sunday: 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Exhibit spotlights border issues

Exhibit spotlights border issues


 Photographs of the plights and struggles of immigrants from both sides of the United States-Mexico border are on display at the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery in the Center for the Arts on Pima Community College’s West Campus.


 Pima’s first art exhibit of the 2012-13 season is called “Desert initiative: Looking across the border,” or “Iniciativa del desiertio:  Mirando a traves de la frontera.” It opened Aug. 27 and will run until Oct. 5.


 The exhibit features the works of David Taylor, Alejandro Cartagena and Paul Turounet.

Special events on Sept. 13 will include a gallery talk from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

In addition, three artists will showcase their work on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. in the CFA Recital Hall with video and performances titled “Arizona Between Nosotros: Throwing up Clouds.”

The performance art will feature “Logos-Mitos” by Logan Phillips, “Constructed Encounter” by Laura Milkins and Heather Gray, and “Aqui No Pasa Nada/Teratology” by Paco Velez.

The Bernal exhibit is part of a collaboration among more than 30 museums and cultural centers connecting the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin deserts.

Taylor’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Esquire magazine, and is part of permanent exhibits including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. He was recently hired to teach at the University of Arizona School Of Art.

His ongoing look at the U.S.-Mexico border was supported by a 2008 fellowship from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

“He wanted to show why things happen and not the abuse on the border,” Bernal Gallery Director David Andres said.

Cartagena, who lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico, uses landscapes and portraits to focus on social, urban and environmental issues. His photographs have been shown internationally and published in Newsweek, the New Yorker and Financial Times.

He has won many awards, including the Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award and the Lente Latino Award in Chile. Andres said Cartagena’s photos often show common workers trying hard to make a living.

Turounet, who earned an MFA in photography from the Yale University School of Art, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to photograph along the Mexican border. His photos have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Mexico.

The Bernal exhibit spotlights one of his photographs, “Under the Green Moon,” in the center of the gallery.

“Paul took a 25-mile hike on the border meeting immigrants,” Andres said. The featured photo shows an immigrant sleeping in a nest of branches.

Bernal Gallery hours are Monday and Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

For more information, call 206-6942 or visit


“Desert Initiative: Looking across the Border”

When: Through Oct. 5

Where: Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery, West Campus CFA

Admission: Free

Details: 206-6492 or


Special events Sept. 13:

Gallery talk: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Gallery reception: 5-7 p.m.

Video and performances: 6 p.m., Recital Hall

The Word: How do you stay focused during class?

Pg 3 The Word, w/ five photos


West Campus interviews by Clynisha Stevens, photos by Larry Gaurano


THE WORD: How do you stay focused during a long class?


(male student with black hair)

“I paid for the class, so I’m obligated to stay focused. If the teacher is good looking, it’s easy to stay focused.”

Daniel Aguayo

Major: Film/television


(Female student with blonde hair)

“Typically, I write down my notes and make them into drawings.”

Kali Cowden

Dual major: Psychology, Studio Art


(female student with brunette hair)

“I read ahead and take more extensive notes. I write down everything the teacher says.”

Kendra Howell

Major: Dance


(male student with shorter hair)

“I sit up front, come on time, listen, pay attention and take notes.”

Kaileb Dickey

Training: Firefighting


(Female student with black hair)

“I eat breakfast, drink water, stay looking at the professor and try to stay awake.”

Brandi Lucero

Major: Business





Aug. 31: Women’s volleyball.  Alumni game. West Campus 7 p.m.


Sept. 1: Women’s soccer vs. South Mountain Community College. West Campus. 2:30 p.m.


Sept. 1: Men’s soccer. vs South Mountain Community College.  West Campus. 12 p.m.



Aug 30: All Campus Club Officer Training Sign-up.  Desert Vista. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.


Aug 30: Student Life Vender Fair.  Northwest Campus.  10 a.m.-2 p.m.


Aug 30: Student Life Club Fair. Northwest Campus. 10a.m.–2 p.m.


Aug 30: Building Your Class Schedule. Northwest Campus. 4 p.m.-5 p.m.


Aug 30- Sept 12: Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery. West Campus. Center fot the Arts. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.


Aug. 31: Financial Aid Orientation.  Downtown Campus. 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.


Sept 6: Organizing for America Voter Registration. West Campus. Bookstore Lobby. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


Sept 7: Financial Aid Orientation.  Community Campus, 10 a.m.-noon.


Sept 12: Info Session on WC Nursing Program.  West Campus. AG-19. 3:30 p.m.-5p.m.




Sept 2: Tucson Jazz Society Labor Day Concert. 7000 N. Resort Dr.


Aug. 13-Nov. 17: Many Mexicos: Vistas de la Frontera. At the Arizona State Museum. 1031 E. University Blvd.


Aug 21-Sept 23: Tucson Collects: Spirit of the West. Tucson Museum of Art. 140 N. Main Ave.



Aug 31-Sept 2: HoCoFest Music Festival. At the Hotel Congress, 311E. Congress St.


Sept 2: A Step Ahead with Lacerda, 5 p.m., The Rock, 136 N. Park., $10, All ages, bar with ID.


Sept 3: Eyes Set to Kill, 6 p.m., The Rock, $12, All ages. Bar with ID


Sept 4: Two Gallants with Papa, 7 p.m., Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St. $12 advance, $14 at door. Ages 18 and up.


Sept 6: Freddie Mercury Birthday Party, 9 p.m. at Club Congress. $3. Ages 21 and up.


Sept 9: Xibalba with Alpha & Omega, Territory and Step Aside. The Studio, 648 E. Speedway Blvd. 7 p.m. $10. All ages.


Sept 9: Holy Rolling Empire 8 p.m. at Club Congress. $5. Ages 21 and up.


Sept 12: Dead Rabbitts at The Rock. 6 p.m. $13. All ages, bar with ID.



Game releases:

Aug. 28:

Guild Wars 2 (PC)

Madden NFL 13 (Wii, 360, PS3)


Sept. 4:

Fable: The Journey (360)

Far Cry 3 (PC, 360, PS3)


Sept. 11:

NHL 13 (360)


Music releases:

Sept. 1:

Willow Smith, Knees and Elbows


Sept. 4:

Animal Collective, Centipede Hz

Cat Power, Sun

Imagine Dragons, Night Visions

Jon Jackson, Solitaire

Lecrae, Gravity

The Sheepdogs, The Sheepdogs

T.I, Trouble Man


Sept. 7:

Billy Talent, Dead Silence

The Presets, Pacifica


Sept. 10:

Gallows, Gallows

Lower Than Atlantis, Changing Tune

The Avett Brothers, The Carpenter


Sept. 11:

ASAP Rocky, LoveLiveA$AP

Bob Dylan, Tempest

Calexico, Algiers

Eve Torres, Nightclub

NOFX, Self Entitled



New movie openings:

Aug. 24:

“The Apparition”

“he Day”

“The Imposter”

“Premium Rush”

Aug. 29:


Aug. 31:

“The Possession”

“Celeste and Jesse Forever”

Sept. 7:

“The Words”

“The Cold Light of Day”

Movie events:

Loft Cinema

3223 E. Speedway Blvd.

Aug. 30:

“Jim Henson and Friends: Inside Sesame Street.”  7 p.m. $8 general, $6 Loft members.

Sept. 8:

“Bag it!” 10 a.m. Free.

“Grease Sing-A-Long.” Free Grease goodie bag with admission. 7 p.m. $9 general, $5 Loft members.

Sept. 12:

“For the Benefit of All Beings: the Extraordinary Life of His Eminence Garchen Triptrul Rinpoche.” 7 p.m. $10. More info:

DVD/Blu-ray releases:

Aug. 28:

“Apartment 143”


“Darling Companion”

“Life Happens”

“The Lucky One”

“Sons of Anarchy: Season 4”

“The Walking Dead: Season 2”

Sept. 4:

“2 Broke Girls: Season 1”

“The Five-Year Engagement”

“For the Love of Money”

“Fringe: Season 4”

“High School”

“Parks & Recreation: Season 4”


“Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day”

Sept. 11:

“30 Rock: Season 6”

“Bad Karma”


“Castle: Season 4”

“Girl in Progress”

“Lola Versus”

“Snow White and Huntsman”

“Terra Nova”

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting”


Pima artist uses comic-con to launch career

Pima artist uses comic-con to launch career


Fans who attend comic conventions can expect to watch films, meet favorite artists, participate in discussion panels, take pictures of people dressed as comic characters and enjoy a unique shopping experience.

But not everyone attends a comic-con for pleasure. Companies set up booths to show off their newest products, while artists and celebrities use the conventions to connect with fans.

Those who are just getting started in the comic book industry participate to launch their careers.


Mariah Wall, a Pima Community College graphic design major, shared a booth with a group of independent artists at the Phoenix Comic-Con last May.

She debuted her comic “Anonimous” while trying to establish contacts in the industry.

Wall does all of the writing and illustrations for “Anonimous.” The comic tells the story of a young vigilante hero working against an evil pharmaceutical company bent on taking over the city.

“I’m aspiring to one day maybe get into DC or Marvel, one of the upper professional ones… but right now it’s just mostly about trying to get my own comic going,” she said.

The convention provided opportunities to meet artists she respects. Many were

willing to give advice and tips about both her artistic technique and about the business side of the comic book industry.

 “It is tough when you are a student,” Wall said. “You have to juggle work and a social life, while still being able to take the time to finish the comic.”

She challenged herself to “at least finish this one story and see where I go from there.”

Although she attended the comic-con to further her career, Wall credits PCC instructors with helping her establish the foundation required to advance to the next level.

“They really care about making sure you succeed,” she said.

Aspiring artists can’t completely learn on their own, she added. “You’ve got to have someone there to teach you, give you curriculum and give you structure.”

Once she finds success, she hopes to help aspiring artists in the same way that the comic-con professionals helped her.

“It’s great seeing all the people here happy and passionate about the stories you can create,” she said. “I would totally do this again and keep going.”

Pima founding father dies at 71

Pima founding father dies at 71


Pima Community College lost one of its founding fathers on Aug. 11. Larry Toledo, 71, died in a one-car rollover south of Tucson near Three Points.

PCC’s West Campus lowered its flags to half-mast on Aug. 16 to honor the passing of Pima’s original athletic director.

“For someone who started off the college’s athletic program, his legacy will live a long time, because he did so much,” current athletic director Edgar Soto said..

Before working at Pima, Toledo was a coach and a teacher at Phoenix Brophy Prep and Pueblo High School. He played football and basketball at Pueblo during his high school years.

Toledo was hired in 1970 as Pima’s first coordinator of intramural programs. The new community college started with a simple philosophy, “Teach to succeed, not to fail.”

Roger Werbylo, former head coach of Pima baseball, defined Toledo’s philosophy as teaching athletes things they needed to know. “That was success to Larry,” he said.

Classes were being held in a hangar at Tucson International Airport when Toledo began working at Pima. Along with other original employees, he spent two weeks cleaning out and preparing the hangar to be a suitable place for new students.

The idea of starting an intercollegiate athletic program at Pima surfaced in 1971, after the West Campus had been built.

Toledo was put in charge of a committee to study what it would take to start an athletics program. His study showed that it would cost around $680,000.

Pima’s sports program began in 1974 with seven sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, baseball, softball and volleyball. The college added wrestling in 1975.

Toledo chose not to have football as one of the first sports because he felt Pima could support several men’s and women’s programs for the same cost as having a football team.

Toledo was named the interim athletic director for a year, while PCC searched for a permanent candidate. Two years later, both Toledo and his department chair agreed that he was the most suitable person for the job.

His one condition for taking the position was that he be allowed to assemble his staff from all races and ethnicities.

Toledo stuck to that condition, hiring people like Rich Alday, Norm Patton, Dwight Rees, Werbylo and Randall Moore.

“He was somebody that really cared for you as a person,” Werbylo said. “He was not just interested in what you did in your job, but also cared about you.”

In 1991, Toledo was elected to the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame.

He retired in the spring of 1997 after working 27 years with Pima.

Toledo received the highest honor of his career in 2010, when he was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame.

The plaque he received still resides in the West Campus athletic training office.

Toledo was buried Aug. 16 at the Holy Hope Cemetery following a funeral service at the Santa Cruz Catholic Church.

“He wanted to make sure that the student athlete was taken care,” Soto said. “The athletic part of it was there, but it wasn’t put ahead of the academics.


Football season kicks off

Football season kicks off


 It’s that time of year when people rush to get home from work on Mondays. They may skip church on Sundays to be able to watch their team.

 That’s right, football season is back, and the Pima Community College Aztecs are ready to get back on the gridiron. They’ll look to top last season’s 3-8 mark.

 The Aztecs started their season on the road against the Phoenix College Bears on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Pima lost its first game of the season in a heartbreaking fashion, falling 17-14, giving up a field goal with 0.1 seconds to go.

Aztecs quarterback Quinn Rollerson grabbed a couple of key first downs for Pima, but threw an interception with less than a minute to go that allowed the Bears to claim victory.

“Very disappointed about our first loss,” head coach Patrick Nugent said.

Rollerson is a returning player from last season, though he only played in four games, with 12 completions in 40 attempts.

He threw two interceptions in those four games, while throwing for a total of 97 yards without a touchdown pass.

Rollerson also had 19 carries for 42 yards and a rushing touchdown in 2011.

Pima had success against the Bears last season, claiming a 37-10 victory.

The team sustained several injuries last season, which they’re hoping to avoid this year.

Nugent believes  the team is a lot deeper at the line positions, which he feels will benefit the squad.

Wide receiver Spencer Grijalva also returns. He played in eight games last season, catching 13 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, cornerback Andrew Fox is back. The sophomore recorded 29 tackles (18 solo, 11 assisted, six for loss) on the campaign.

He also had three sacks and recovered five fumbles, returning two for scores.

Other returning offensive players include Mike Moreno, wide receiver Tyler Spice and offensive linemen Joe Stone, Jordan Christianson and Devonttay Jones. Defensive returnees are Pepa Fonokalafi, defensive lineman Maurice Chavis, linebacker Steven Garza and safeties Darius Kelly, Brandon Perkins and Chase Gallegher.

Nugent said he’s leading a very young team this year, with most of the players on the team being freshmen.

“Our skill positions in the secondary and receiver are pretty solid,” Nugent said.

To go along with the new players this year, Nugent’s staff features new coaches.

“We have put together a great staff,” Nugent said. “All of them have a special role in the program and will add something to this team.”

The Aztecs’ first home game will be Saturday, Sept. 1 at Kino Stadium against Mesa Community College.

 Pima also won its only meeting against the Thunderbirds last season, blowing out MCC 41-10 on October 29.

 The Aztecs had one of their better seasons last year, going 3-8. It was the first time in several years that PCC didn’t finish in ninth place in its division, managing to jump up into seventh.



ATHLETIC VOICE: Armstrong case still unclear

ATHLETIC VOICE: Armstrong case still unclear


Lance Armstrong never got caught with a smoking gun. The United States Anti-Doping Agency still decided there was enough smoke to presume a fire, though.

By banning the seven-time Tour de France champion from competition and coaching for life, USADA seemingly torched Armstrong’s reputation and legacy.

But Armstrong’s case is far from open and shut.

The case against him constitutes more a preponderance of the evidence than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

It’s not like we haven’t seen this movie before in American sports, including very recently. We’ve grown accustomed to our once-unimpeachable heroes falling from grace.

Very few reasonable people outside of Pennsylvania believe Joe Paterno didn’t help conspire to harbor a serial pedophile in his midst. Everyone basically accepts that Tiger Woods is not the wonderful family man he presented himself to be.

And you’d probably be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t think O.J. Simpson saw dead people long before the kid in “The Sixth Sense.”

What we haven’t dealt with is the doubt and complexity that accompany Armstrong’s case.

One of the most damning pieces of circumstantial evidence against him is his domination of a sport which has been rife with dopers for years. Many say the man who so consistently outpaced those tainted fields must also have been dirty.

Add to that the 10 former Armstrong teammates USADA says it has ready to testify against him. Included among them are admitted dopers Tyler Hamilton and 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his title after being caught cheating.

Former personal and team assistants have also accused him of having steroids in an apartment in Spain and disposing of syringes they say were used for injections.

All that’d be needed to deal the coup de grace to Armstrong would be something concrete. This is where the impartial hand of science could step in and tip the scales of justice irrefutably toward the side of guilt.

For certainty’s sake, that’d be very helpful. Then we’d know for sure that an innocent man’s life wasn’t being irrevocably tarnished.

But that’s where this story veers off course. The inconvenient truth is that Armstrong has never failed a drug test. And it’s not because various agencies haven’t tried to catch him riding dirty.

Armstrong’s probably had more blood drawn than a broke college sophomore who spent his summer savings by November.

Armstrong denounced the case against him, calling it flimsy and lacking in evidence.

“Regardless of what (USADA chief executive) Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims,” Armstrong said. “The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors.”

The “CSI” moment is yet to arrive in this case. There’s a lot of smoke, but where’s the fire?