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CAMPUS ARRESTS: Disorderly students a challenge

CAMPUS ARRESTS: Disorderly students a challenge


A student at Pima Community College shouts obscenities during class, driving the instructor to lock herself in her office and call campus police.

In another instance, a student prowls campus halls screaming vulgarities and intimidating other students until police officers detain him near the student life office.

In a third example, a student patient at the West Campus Health Clinic verbally degrades and threatens staff members after a misunderstanding involving her prescription.

These are all cases of disruptive or disorderly students that police officers have dealt with at PCC this semester.

Most days, a surprise test or boring lecture is the worst thing students have to deal with at Pima.

However, when students become a danger to themselves or others, PCC officials are ready to respond.

Finding the solution to these types of events can be difficult, but campus faculty and officers work hand-in-hand to keep everybody safe.

Disorderly conduct is classified as an act or behavior, whether by a student or employee, that disrupts the learning process.

In order for officers to be ready for these types of situations, they go through extensive training and are taught how to properly respond to these circumstances.

“Specific training occurs at the campuses and done internally because colleges have separate codes of conduct,” said Manny Amado, PCC’s police chief.

The campus police department relies heavily on Pima’s recently updated Code of Conduct to determine the appropriate response to a situation.

Any employee engaging in harassment, discrimination, using drugs or alcohol  or contributing to a hostile environment will face consequences.

Students who cause interruption or impediment of any class, lab, administrative activity or other college activity are in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

When disorderly people raise their voice, become upset, make threats or cause others to become afraid or threatened, a solution needs to be found.

“It is about being proactive to put that person back on the right track.” Amado said.

Disruptions come with consequences laid out by the college’s code of conduct.

Verbal warnings, probation and suspension are all potential ramifications when someone acts out of line, depending on the severity of the incident.

Punishments are determined by the campus president, human resource employees, vice president of instruction and the vice president of student development, all working in different areas.

“Based on the provided reports and meetings with witnesses a decision is then made out of my office,” said Aubrey Conover, vice president of student development at West Campus.

Conover feels that the police officers work well in the college environment.

“They recognize the educational environment students are working in. From my perspective, we are lucky to have police working directly in the institution,” he said.

Although disorderly conduct cases on campus are rare, Amado said they are all thoroughly investigated.

“The reason why we take it seriously is because we have to protect the educational process, to make sure no one ruins it for someone else,” Amado said.

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Pima Community College police officers detain a student on April 2 after he caused a disruption in the West Campus Student Life room. (Andrew Paxton/Aztec Press)


DREAMers fight for equality

DREAMers fight for equality


Students and immigration experts shared their experiences with the public during a “What Next for DREAMers?” workshop held at Pima Community College’s East Campus on March 27.

DREAMers are undocumented immigrant youths affected by the proposed federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.

“From the beginning of the development of immigration law, we’ve had a terribly schizophrenic policy,” Margo Cowan, the first of the three speakers, told the audience.

“We’ve had a policy that gives values to things like family unification, providing a safe haven for people being prosecuted, welcoming people who work hard and contribute to this society,” she said.

“Those have been our immigration values, but we’ve never had a statutory scheme that has implemented those kinds of values.”

It is estimated that about 1.5 million people are eligible to apply for DREAM. As of March 31, 2013, 610,694 applied for DREAM and 521,815 have been approved. In Arizona, about 27,000 have been approved.

Next to speak was Isabel Garcia, who argued against racial discrimination DREAMers and Latin Americans face in society. Garcia discussed the lack of immigration history taught in public classrooms.

“I went to Pueblo High School, and I learned very little about immigration history,” Garcia said. “It’s vital we know our history, because we are in crisis. We have an ignorance as a society of our immigration history.”

Garcia noted that in April 2003, immigration policy moved from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security.

“All the government see us as are threats to homeland security,” Garcia said.

The last to speak was Jessica Garcia, a PCC student and DREAMer.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Jessica Garcia moved at the age of 13 to the United States because her mother wanted to be with family already in America.

Jessica Garcia struggled with language barriers while she attended middle school, since she only knew Spanish. Her plans were to learn English, finish school and then return to Mexico, but that soon changed.

“By my junior year of high school, I realized I wanted to stay,” Jessica Garcia said. “I realized I did not have any opportunities in Mexico. I would have returned to a country where there are wars, discrimination against women, and danger in our family.”

Jessica Garcia quickly started taking advanced courses and getting involved in extracurricular activities in high school to help her chances of getting into a university. However, because of her undocumented status, she didn’t qualify for financial help.

“I had to turn down a lot of scholarships and internships because of my undocumented status, and I couldn’t apply for any universities because it was just out of my price range,” she said.

Jessica Garcia was able to find scholarships that didn’t require citizenship status or a social security number so she could afford an education.

“I started taking one class, and then another when I could afford it,” Jessica Garcia said. “In 2012, I realized I was in a hole. I was about to turn 21 and I wasn’t finished with community college,” she said.

“I received a call from a friend saying that the president had a birthday gift for me. I go home and do my research and find out about the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals had just been passed. Once again, my plans changed. I had to stay.”

Proposition 300 prohibits undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition, regardless of length of residency.

Because of that restriction, Jessica Garcia said she was fortunate to find scholarships that didn’t require proof of citizenship status.

“I was lucky enough to talk to the right people during my high school year to tell me what I had to do,” she said.

Consideration for DACA granted undocumented immigrants who came as children the opportunity to get drivers licenses and other legal documentation. It also temporarily stopped undocumented immigrants who are under the age of 16 and have been living in the United States for at least five years from being deported.

Jessica Garcia is currently involved with Scholarships A-Z, a nonprofit organization that helps provide resources and information on scholarships to students with an undocumented citizen status.

For more information on how to get involved, go to

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From left, Isabel Garcia, Margo Cowan and Jessica Garcia lead a DREAMer symposium at Eat Campus. (Robert Hernandez/Aztec Press)


EXTRAORDINARY FEET: Missing arms won’t stop tattooist

EXTRAORDINARY FEET: Missing arms won’t stop tattooist


At the Wild Wild West Tattoo Expo on March 23, one tattooist in particular captured a large crowd in a matter of minutes.

The smile on his face showed how much he loves doing what he does. His focus while giving the tattoos showed how serious it is to him.

As Brian Tagalog Sr. prepared to tattoo an image of Johnny Eck onto the lower leg of Jeff Arnett, onlookers began to form around his station. The spectators pulled out cell phones as Tagalog began his work.

He’s an accomplished tattoo artist, but that isn’t what makes him unique. What sets Tagalog apart is having been born with no arms. He uses his feet to create tattoos to the satisfaction of his clients.

Tagalog, 26, is a native of Honolulu, Hawaii. After his family moved to Tucson, he attended Sunnyside High School and the University of Arizona.

Regardless of his significant adversity, Tagalog became a certified tattoo artist.

“I was born without arms,” Tagalog said. “But that has not slowed me down.”

His love and passion for drawing made him recognize his devotion to art. Tagalog has been a trained tattoo artist for 10 years, but the steps to accomplishing this goal were far from easy.

After applying at a variety of different tattoo shops, being told he’d get a call but never receiving one, Tagalog realized he needed to become his own boss.

His aunt, Dina Mejia, believed Tagalog could accomplish his dream no matter how big or how difficult it might be.

“My aunt Dina was the person who helped me by buying me my first tattoo gun,” Tagalog said.

After receiving his tattoo gun, he began honing his skills. With practice came success.
Aura Otero, whose son assists Tagalog in giving tattoos, thinks it is incredible what Tagalog has accomplished.

“When I first heard about what he does,” Otero said, “I was amazed.”

Tagalog believes he is the only tattoo artist in the world who has no arms, and recently added being the first male pilot with no arms to his list of accomplishments.

Though Tagalog has already achieved great triumphs, he continues to add successes to his résumé.
He will be featured in the upcoming season of AMC’s “Freak Show” and is currently working on being submitted into the Guinness World Records.

Congress Street and Scott Avenue will become Tagalog’s new home away from home, as he looks forward to opening his own tattoo shop, “Tattoo By Foot.”

Tagalog encourages those who have their own goals to fight for them.

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Tattooist Brian Tagalog uses his feet to add a design of Johnny Eck to client Jeff Arnett at a Wild Wild West Tattoo Expo on March 23. (Loc Tran/Aztec Press)

“Go for it, and never give up,” Tagalog said. “Anything is possible for everyone.”

‘THE MOUSETRAP’: Popular play catches audiences

‘THE MOUSETRAP’: Popular play catches audiences


Eight strangers in Monkswell Manor are in a race against time to discover the culprit of ongoing and mysterious murders.

Death waits around every corner, and one of the guests may be the killer.

Agatha Christie’s popular “The Mousetrap,” directed by Mickey Nugent, will run from April 17-April 27 in the Center for the Arts Black Box Theatre on Pima Community College’s West Campus.

“In a world of high-tech special effects, what is brilliant about ‘The Mousetrap’ is simply Christie’s astute and imaginative writing ability – impeccably crisp with all the British properness and sensibilities, yet extraordinarily entertaining,” Nugent said.

“Who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned murder-mystery?” he added.

Currently the longest running play in the world, “The Mousetrap” had its world premiere at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, England in 1952.

Tradition says the cast, crew and audience are sworn to secrecy about revealing the killer. This convention preserves the crime-solving mystery for future theater-goers.

Student Aeric Azana, who plays Mr Paravicini, said the PCC cast and crew wants it to be the best show possible, and takes steps every night toward that goal.

“What’s great is we have a solid cast of eight people who are so focused on making this show the best it can be,” said Aeric Azana, who plays Mr Paravicini.

“When you have eight people who come in every day wanting to see what we can try, how we can make a scene better or what we can flip around to make the dialogue or the scene more intriguing, it’s always fun,” he said.

Costume designer Cné Serrano praised the production team’s synchrony.

“It’s awesome,” Serrano said. “We have ideas that we just throw out and our ideas merge. We’re very in sync.”

Serrano said she and Maryann Trombino worked together to create many of the costumes.

“I’m actually usually acting, but this year I was more backstage,” Serrano said. “It’s different from acting. It’s very different.”

Nugent called “Mousetrap” the classic of all classics.

“It’s really fortunate that we get to do it and that they chose me to do it,” he said.

Nugent enjoys working with a smaller cast size.

“It’s so nice to have such an intimate cast,” he said. “All eight of them are so passionate about the show.”

“I always have to say ‘thank you’ to everyone that is involved,” he said. “The reason I’m here at Pima is because of all those people.”

Show times are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15, with discounts available. American Sign Language interpreters will be available at the April 24 showing.

For more information, contact the box office at 206-6896 or


Taking a liberal puff from his pipe, Yelsin Rugamas (Major Metcalf) oversees an investigation as Pam Fowler (Mrs. Boyle) scrutinizes her tea-beaing toter, Anna Hagberg (Molly Ralston0. “The Mousetrap” murder-mystery play opens April 17 in the Black Box Theatre. (Nellie Silva/Aztec Press)


SOFTBALL: Pima loses tough doubleheader

SOFTBALL: Pima loses tough doubleheader


Pima Community College’s softball team dropped a doubleheader against Phoenix College on April 8 at the West Campus.

The losses left the Aztecs’ season record at 21-22 overall, 16-16 in conference.
Pima lost the first game 7-4.

The Aztecs found themselves down 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning, but freshman Alexis Dotson hit a double and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

The Aztecs tied the game in the fourth inning with the help of sophomore Victoria Mariscal, who hit an RBI single that drove in sophomore Valerie Luera. Freshman Brianna Quiroz hit an RBI single that drove in Mariscal, and tied the game at 3-3.

Phoenix College regained the lead in the fifth inning and scored two runs in the seventh inning.
Dotson and Mariscal both finished the game 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Luera went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a double.

The Aztecs lost the second game 10-1.

They once again fell behind early and found themselves down by four in the first inning. They gave up another four runs again in the seventh inning.

Quiroz finished 1 for 3 with a run scored while Mariscal went 2 for 2 with a walk and a double.

Freshman Celina Martinez took the loss after giving up four runs and nine hits in four innings.

On April 5, the team did some spring cleaning and swept South Mountain Community College.

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Aztecs held off a late rally for a 6-4 win.

Dotson finished the game 2 for 3 with three stolen bases, three runs scored and a double.
Luera went 1 for 2 with three RBIs, while freshman Jackie Hernandez went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Aztecs won the second game 11-7.

They opened the scoring with five first-inning runs. Luera and freshman Alyssa Montoya each hit two-run RBI singles, followed by an RBI double from Quiroz.

The Aztecs held a 6-0 lead going into the third inning but South Mountain came back to tie the game by the sixth inning.

Pima had an explosive five-run seventh inning to seal the sweep. After Dotson led off with a triple, Hernandez came up big with a triple of her own, scoring Dotson.

Luera went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a run scored while Dotson finished the game 3 for 5 with three runs scored, a stolen base and a triple.

Sophomore Stephanie Vejar picked up the win pitching relief.

On April 1, Pima split a doubleheader with Glendale Community College.

The Aztecs lost the first game 14-6 in six innings.

Vejar took the loss. She gave up four runs in one and two-thirds innings.

In the second game, the Aztecs used an explosive seven-run third inning and added four runs in the sixth inning to earn a 11-3 win.

Luera finished the game 2 for 4 with one RBI and two runs scored, while Mariscal went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored.

On March 29, the Aztecs swept Mesa Community College.

Pima won the first game 7-0.

Luera began the offensive outpour with a two-run home run in the first inning.

In the third inning, freshman Taylor Fabing hit an RBI double that put the Aztecs up 3-0.

In the sixth inning, the Aztecs scored three runs, including an RBI double by Mariscal.
Vejar picked up her eighth win.

Dotson finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored and a triple. Luera finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Fabing went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Mariscal finished 1 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored.

The Aztecs won the second game 11-0 in five innings.

Dotson was named ACCAC Player of the Week for the week of March 24-30.


Sophomore Stacey Ramirez rounds third in a March 30 home game. (Nellie Silva/Aztec Press)


TRACK: Teams have strong showing in Glendale

TRACK: Teams have strong showing in Glendale


Pima Community College men’s and women’s track teams failed to provide a national qualifier during competition at the Glendale Community College Outdoor Invitational on April 5, but did have several first-place finishes.
To date, 14 Aztecs have national qualifying marks.

Women jumpers dominate

On the women’s side, four Aztec jumpers finished with top marks for the day.

Sophomores Marlee Sherwood and Becca Harris finished in the top two in the triple jump. Sherwood took first place with a jump of 36-4, while Harris had a jump of 35-7.

Freshman Maggie Prillaman took first place in the long jump with a jump of 17-4. Freshman Vanessa Fox finished right behind Prillaman with a jump of 16-5, which was good enough for second place.

At the March 29 Puma meet, sophomore Nikki Regalado finished first in the 10,000-meter race and set a qualifying time of 40 minutes, 35.1 seconds. She also qualified in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:26.9.

Harris and Sherwood once again finished in the top two of the triple jump, but this time their roles reversed. Harris had a jump of 36-9 and Sherwood’s jump was 36-2.

Sophomore Briana Rodriguez took first place in the long jump with a jump of 17-7. Fox finished second with a jump of 17-3 1/4.

Sophomore Ericha Edwards took first place in the 400-meter with a time of 1:03.75.

Snead takes top 100-meter spot

The men’s team had one top finisher at the Glendale meet. Freshman Kevin Snead took first place in the 100-meters with a time of 10.67.

At the March 29 Puma Multi-Meet, freshman Anfernee Alexander set a national qualifying mark in the discus throw with a distance of 152-2. The throw won him third place.

Sophomores Eddie Wilcox and Deante Gaines and freshman Luke Ross finished in the top three spots in the high jump. Wilcox took first place with a jump of 6-6 while Ross and Gaines both had jumps of 6-4.

Sophomore Justin Garms took first place in the triple jump with a jump of 39-7 1/4.

PCC next competes at the Mesa Classic Invitational on April 11.


Sophomore Becca Harris, right, sprints down the track at the Pima Outdoor Invitational on Feb. 1. (Nellie Silva/Aztec Press)


Davis-Monthan classes open to civilians

Davis-Monthan classes open to civilians


In addition to Pima Community College’s six campuses throughout Tucson, the college has an education center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base that is accessible to civilians.

The Air Force has provided space since the 1980s, making PCC classes available to both military personnel and civilian students.

“Any student can come on Davis-Monthan and take a class as long as they are U.S. citizens, by either having a passport or a birth certificate,” Advanced Program Manager Larry Bearden said. “Once you do that, you are free to take classes on Davis-Monthan.”

Students receive a pass to get on base. The pass allows students to arrive two hours early or stay late. It also provides access to a nearby food court located in the base exchange building.

“We are the only Pima Community College facility that has a Starbucks within 75 yards of the classroom,” Bearden said.

PCC depends on civilian students to help cover operational costs.

“Right now it is probably about 40 percent military, 60 percent civilians,” Bearden said.

The PCC education center is associated with the Community College of the Air Force, a federally funded program designed to meet the needs of enlisted military personnel.

“What the Air Force wants to do is give their personnel a chance to have an associate degree in their occupation,” Bearden said.

The Davis-Monthan center offers all general education courses required for an associate degree, from writing to computer classes.

Most classes are eight weeks in length. They are held at various times, mostly in the evening, to accommodate student schedules.

“We do it for the benefit of the Air Force because we have so many people that are transferring or they’re going on deployment” Bearden said. “The normal 16-week class, they wouldn’t necessarily be able to finish it.”

All student services are available, along with services such as GI Bill and tuition assistance aimed specifically at military personnel.

“We are a gateway,” Bearden said. “We can walk them through the process. We can get them settled in.”

Bearden would like for more students to know that they can take classes at Davis-Monthan.

“We have really great classrooms,” he said. “We have great facilities. We have incredible instructors.”

Support specialist Holly Lemieux said the student population, especially active-duty enrollees, makes the learning center distinctive from other campuses.

“Students have unique requirements and demands,” she said. “They could leave at any time.”
Lemieux also praised instructors’ enthusiasm for helping students.

“Our instructors work so well, they work more than a full day,” she said. “You don’t find that willingness at other places.”

Bearden said the base has a big impact on Tucson as a whole, including helping PCC accommodate military students.

He hopes that administrative leaders like Chancellor Lee Lambert, who is a veteran, will continue to make PCC more accessible for the military community.

Just how much is a degree worth?

Just how much is a degree worth?


Census data analysis shows the growing value of a college education despite rising tuition costs, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

The earnings gap between young college graduates and those with a high school diploma is at its highest level in 50 years, according to the report.

College graduates ages 25 to 32 who work full time earn about $17,500 more per year than employed young adults with a high school diploma, according to the analysis. The pay gap was much smaller in previous generations.

The college graduates are also more likely to be employed full time (89 percent versus 82 percent) and are much less likely to be unemployed (3.8 percent versus 12.2 percent).

A worthwhile investment

College graduates are also more satisfied with their jobs.

“Employed college graduates are more likely than their peers with a high school diploma to say their job is a career or a stepping stone to a career (86 percent vs. 57 percent),” the study found.

“Those with a high school diploma are about three times as likely as college graduates to say their work is ‘just a job to get by’ (42 percent vs. 14 percent).”

C.J. Karamargin, Pima Community College’s vice chancellor for public information, said the study shows that higher education can be valuable.

“A college education is a worthwhile investment – it’s an investment in yourself, it’s an investment in your future, it’s an investment that will pay you significant long-term dividends,” he said.

“Life doesn’t have many sure bets but this sure comes close,” Karamargin added. “You are more likely to get a well-paying and satisfying job if you have a college degree.”

Paving way to career

Recent PCC graduate David Patrusevich said he could not have expanded his career opportunities in biology without a college education.

Patrusevich said his degree paved the way to a career in his chosen field.

Matthew Gautrex, a PCC student and Air Force airman, said it’s essential to have more than a high school education.

“Education is the key, it opens more doors, more choices,” Gautrex said. “Lack thereof leaves you empty handed.”

Best-educated generation

In today’s work force, a bachelor’s degree is almost required for a stable career.

This is a significant increase in the amount of education needed compared to previous generations.

“Today’s millennials are the best-educated generation in history; fully a third (34 percent) have at least a bachelor’s degree,” the Pew study said.

In contrast, only 13 percent of people ages 25-32 in 1965 had a college education, according to the study.

At the same time the share of college graduates has grown and the value of their degree has increased, the study said.

Finding a sustainable career depends both on the education students have and on the field of study.

The Pew study says an engineering or science degree is most beneficial.

“According to the survey, only a quarter of science and engineering majors regretted their decision (24 percent),” Pew Research said.

“This compared with 33 percent of those whose degree is in social science, liberal arts or education.”

The need for more science and engineering majors is also high, which creates more career opportunities.

PCC nursing student Calli Stoeckman said being a science major led to more prospects.

“I believe having a science degree opens more doors,” Stoeckman said. “For example, I’m going into nursing. There are several kinds of nurses and I can specialize.”

Like science majors, engineering students have more opportunities available to them in their work field.

An article by Rebecca VanderMeulen titled “What Can You Do with an Engineering Major?” discussed the opportunities a degree provides.

“They expect a large number of opportunities for aerospace engineers and engineers focused on transportation and health care,” VanderMeulen said. “Environmentalism is sure to drive the demand as well.”

Former Pima student Mike O’Malley said the amount of work students put into their education is as important as how much education they have.

“My education isn’t about just dates and facts, it’s about hard deadlines with real consequences,” O’Malley said. “It’s also about managing my time and being self-motivated, no matter what’s going on.”

Seek ways to reduce costs

Karamargin cited a need to reduce the high cost of education.

“In our brutally competitive 21st century global economy, when the need for a well-educated workforce is greater than it ever has been, we need to figure out a way to confront the economic barriers to higher education,” Karamargin said.

“The best education system in the world is useless if students don’t have access to it.”

Read the full Pew report at:

The Book Stops here

The Book Stops here


Years ago, used bookstores were commonplace across America. Technology and its effect on our reading habits have caused them to become an endangered species.

Fortunately, Tucson is still blessed with several such stores. The crown jewel is The Book Stop on Fourth Avenue.

A large part of the appeal of used bookstores is the ability to browse through big selections of quality books, many of which have been out of print for years, and discover new interests.

“In a place like this, where you don’t know what you’re going to find, it’s serendipity,” Book Stop co-owner Claire Fellows said. “You may find something that you didn’t know was there and suddenly you decided that it interests you, as well as some of the other things.”

I readily identify with that sentiment. I once went on a two-year reading binge on mountaineering history after a chance encounter with a copy of John Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air,” a riveting account of a 1996 tragedy on Mount Everest.

The encounter came when I happened to be shelving it at a used bookstore where I worked.

After I opened the book and read the first page, I was hooked. I now own a small library on the topic.

“The Internet tries to figure out what it is you want and steer you toward that,” Fellows said. “A place like this broadens your vision.”

The Book Stop has been serving Tucson since 1967, when it opened on Campbell Avenue.

Fellows, a Rincon High School graduate, began working there while earning her art degree from the University of Arizona.

“I got a part-time job when I was at school and it just seemed to suit me, so I stuck with it,” she said.
Fellows and another employee, Tina Bailey, bought the store from the second owner in the mid-1990s.

They have owned it ever since.

In 2007, they faced a large rent increase and moved the store to its present location.

The recent streetcar line construction was very difficult for the owners, but things seem to be looking up.

“It was horrid. It was terrible,” Fellows said.

She believes, however, that the streetcar project will have longterm benefits.

“It will be good for the community and a lot of people are getting used to the idea of coming back,” she said.

Customers seem to appreciate the owners’ efforts.

UA graduate student Matt Harder was pleasantly surprised to find The Book Stop when he arrived in Tucson recently from Georgia.

“I like getting older versions of books and I wonder who might’ve had it before. Was it a professor, another student?” Harder said. “I’d rather get them here than Amazon or another online vendor.”

The Book Stop is a fun place to browse, as it is well stocked in seemingly every genre. It also offers related ephemera such as vintage train schedules, maps and old postcards. It has a large, very well organized selection of books, ranging from out-of-print classics to modern standards. The inventory is priced fairly and is in good condition.

Fellows and Bailey are happy to buy or trade for books that they need and are in good shape. Both owners are very friendly and knowledgeable, and will be glad to assist customers in finding a book, or even tracking one down if they don’t have it in stock.

Used bookstores are an important part of America’s literary past, and it is a shame how few are left. Tucson has a top-notch one in The Book Stop and I encourage you to shop there to give the store reason to stay open. If we lose the ones we have, it is unlikely that they will be replaced. That will be a tremendous loss for us all.

Now that the construction crews have left Fourth Avenue and the dust has finally settled, do yourself a favor and head down to The Book Stop. You won’t be disappointed.

Tennis: Teams back on track after spring break

Tennis: Teams back on track after spring break


The Pima Community College women’s and men’s tennis teams returned to action March 25 after  a week off for spring break.

Women’s team gets back on track

Pima Community College (3-3, 1-2 in conference) women’s team returned from spring break firing on all cylinders.

PCC crushed Glendale Community College 8-1 on the road March 25.

“They only have four players,” coach Gretchen Schantz said when asked about Glendale. “The key is to win every match regardless of opponents.”

Heading into the match, PCC had already won three matches by default because of Glendale’s limited number of players.

In doubles play, PCC owned all three matches.

At No. 1 doubles, sophomores Amy Beeston and Cayla Cordova won a dogfight 9-8 7-2.

At No. 2 doubles, sophomore Helena Meyer and freshman Cassidy McWhorter won 8-0.
PCC went 3-1 in singles play scoring two automatic wins by default.

No. 2 singles Cordova won 6-2, 6-1. No. 3 singles Meyer and No. 4 singles Watts won 6-0, 6-0.
“Confident,” said Meyer after the match. “I was really confident in all my shots and that is what helped me win.”

The women’s team defeated Grossmont College 5-4 in El Cajon, Calif., on March 11.

The Aztecs continued to struggle at doubles, scoring one victory.

No. 3 doubles Watts and Alameda won 8-2.

The No. 1 doubles team of Beeston and Cordova lost 8-3.

The No. 2 doubles team, Meyer and McWhorter, lost 8-4.

The match came to the wire in singles play.

No. 1 and No. 2 singles Beeston and Cordova both lost their matches.

No. 3 singles Meyer won 6-4, 6-2 and No. 5 singles McWhorter controlled the match and won 6-4, 6-0.

Alameda continued to destroy her opponents at No. 6 singles, winning 6-1, 6-2.

The match was tied at 4-4 with Watts playing her singles match at the No. 4 singles spot. She clinched the win in an epic three-set victory, winning 6-3, 3-6, 10-5.

“It was fun,” Alameda said about the San Diego trip. “It was a good experience.”


Men’s team dominates Glendale

PCC men’s tennis team beat Glendale 7-2 at Glendale on March 25.

In doubles play, PCC won two of three.

Sophomore Brian Soto and freshman Richie Foitik won No. 1 doubles 8-2.

At No. 3 doubles, freshmen Gabe Ortiz and Aldo Amaya also won 8-2.

The No. 2 doubles freshmen, Josh Henkel and Carlos Medina, lost 9-8 (7-3)

In singles play, PCC went 5-1.

At No. 1 singles, Soto won 7-6 (7-2), 6-2. Henkel played No. 3 singles and controlled the match 6-3, 6-2.

No. 4 singles Medina won 6-3, 6-3. No. 6 singles Ortiz won 6-2, 6-2.

No. 5 singles sophomore Trey Terry won 2-6, 7-6 (7-2). Splitting the first two sets forced Terry and his opponent to play a 10-point tiebreaker. which Terry won 12-10.

“Gratifying,” Amaya said about the match. “Doubles portion was relatively easy. Singles we had to show the best of us to pull it out, and fortunately we got a vital win.”

Up next will be a shorthanded Paradise Valley team in Phoenix on March 27.

Baseball: Pima splits doubleheader with Glendale

Baseball: Pima splits doubleheader with Glendale


The Pima Community College baseball team split a doubleheader at Glendale Community College on March 25, bringing their season record to 22-15.

Pima lost the first game 2-0.

Freshman Chris Kucko took the loss. He pitched six innings, recording six strikeouts but giving up two runs.

The Aztecs won the second game 4-2.

Freshman Ben Skuro pitched five and one-third innings, giving up one run to get his second win of the season. Sophomore Juan Gamez went 2-4 with a double and a run scored.

Pima split its doubleheader at Paradise Valley Community College on March 22.

The Aztecs lost the first game 6-0. Sophomore Cole Plouck pitched six innings, giving up five earned runs. He had six strikeouts but went home with the loss.

In the second game, sophomore pitcher Ethan Rosebeck threw eight innings. He gave up one run and had 12 strikeouts to lead the Aztecs to a 5-1 victory.

Pima dropped a doubleheader against GateWay Community College on March 18.

The Aztecs managed just four hits in the first game and lost 3-0. Kucko gave up just one earned run in five and two-thirds innings pitched, but got tagged with the loss.

The Aztecs lost the second game 4-2.

They had many missed opportunities. In the last two innings, Pima loaded the bases twice but couldn’t bring runners home.

Sophomore A.J. Acosta went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two walks while Dan Kennon went 2 for 4 with a run scored.

On March 15, sophomore Cole Plouck and Skuro combined to throw a no-hitter on the way to a 10-0 home victory over Canada’s Douglas College.

Plouck earned the win, going six innings with seven strikeouts.

Three sophomores hit triples. Kellen Marruffo hit an RBI triple in the third inning. A.J. Acosta opened the fourth inning with a triple and Jorge Maldonado Jr. followed with an RBI triple.

The Aztecs scored four runs in the fifth inning to take control. Sophomores Acosta, James Lynch and Cooper Smith and freshman Brandon Burke all drove in runs.

Acosta finished 2 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Maldonado Jr. went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Sophomore Devon Carrillo was 2 for 4 with two runs scored.

The Aztecs also enjoyed dominant pitching on March 14 in a 10-0 home victory over Miles Community College.

Rosebeck went seven innings, racking up 12 strikeouts and giving up just two hits.

The Aztecs had five players with at least two hits.

Sophomore Steven Still was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Smith went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

In a doubleheader on March 13, the Aztecs played two very different games.

In the first game against Northeastern Oklahoma, the Aztecs tried to come back from a seven-run deficit but came up two runs short. They dropped the game by a score of 7-5. Freshman Ruben Bracamontes went 1-2 in the game and had three RBIs.

Pima won the second game 26-0 over Pro Training Baseball Academy.

The Aztecs rallied early for eight runs in the fourth inning, then cruised to an easy win. Freshman Marcel Renteria improved his record to 4-2 after going four innings, giving up two hits and no runs.

The Aztecs beat Northeastern Junior College 5-2 at home on March 12.

Freshman Ryan Norrix pitched  a complete game. He gave up two runs and six hits to get his first win of the season.

Lynch, Still and freshman Trey Stine each had an RBI and a run scored.

Herding cats: You CAN toilet train a kitty

Herding cats: You CAN toilet train a kitty


As any cat owner can tell you, nothing is worse than the mess or smell that comes from a litter box.

Add the constant cleanings and it becomes a serious inconvenience.

Fortunately, there is an alternative that eliminates the need for a litter box all together. You can toilet train your cat.

While it might seem that teaching your cat to use a toilet would be time consuming and complicated, it is actually quite simple.

Amazon sells kits ranging from $30 to $50 that are designed to make the transition from litter box to toilet easier on your pet.

These kits use a system of removable trays that fit into a training seat, one for each stage of training.

Depending on which kit you use, there will be three to five stages.

The first stage is a ring that covers the training seat and is filled with flushable litter.

The following stages use the same concept with the litter but have a small hole in the middle. The hole gets larger until the training is no longer needed.

The process can be completed in as little as a month but the time frame and whether it will be successful depends entirely on the cat.

To avoid failure during toilet training attempts, make sure not to rush the cat and follow directions.

Some tips:

•Start by moving the litter box into the bathroom that will be used for training.

•Switch to flushable litter before using the training system to ensure the cat will know where to go.

•Start elevating the existing litter box a bit each day by stacking phone books or something similar underneath.

•When the litter box is at a height level with the toilet, set the box on top of the toilet.

•If the cat cannot successfully jump to this height, add a small box to make the climb easier.

•Switch to the training system when the cat is comfortable, and change the training rings based on how well your cat adjusts to the new system.

•Once the cat can go without using the training rings, the cat will be fully trained the humans will regain use of their toilet.

Firsthand experience taught a few lessons:

•There is a chance your cat will have accidents during this process.

•Teaching the cat to flush the toilet will result in a new playtime activity and a possible water bill increase.

•If a second bathroom is not available for humans, the training seat is easy to remove.

•Regularly wash the training system to keep things clean for both you and your pet.

•If your cat does not want to use the toilet and refuses to do so, don’t force it.

•Be patient! Not all cats can make the transition overnight.

These systems make no promises. However, if done properly and with the cooperation of your cat, you will soon be living in a litter-free home.


Rescue kitten fully trained in a month

My roommate and I adopted a rescue kitten, Chesty Purrer, seven months ago.

After a few weeks of dealing with the mess that comes with a litter box, we decided to toilet train him.

We looked online and in different pet stores, then decided on the three-step Litter Kwitter system.

Rather than follow the directions, we decided that our kitten was smart enough to understand his new bathroom setup.

Luckily for us, he did figure it out quickly.

Other than the piles of litter he kicked onto the floor, it wasn’t too messy.

Within a month, he had gone through all three stages and was using the toilet without the Litter Kwitter.

Now Chesty is able to use any bathroom without issue and is totally litter-free.

PCC tuition increasing by $5 per credit

PCC tuition increasing by $5 per credit


Pima Community College students will pay more for classes next semester, after the college’s governing board voted to increase tuition during its March 12 meeting.

The board members heard from administrators, students and community members before voting 4-1 to raise tuition by $5 per credit hour for in-state students.

David Bea, PCC’s head of finances, detailed budget shortfalls and explained why the increases were required.

According to Bea, the need to increase tuition mostly arises from a lack of state funding, an opinion that was echoed by Chancellor Lee Lambert.

“Nobody wants to raise tuition,” Lambert said. “The state has walked away from its commitment to higher education, and especially to community colleges.”

Student government representative Aaron Dinius told the board they would support a tuition increase as long as the money was being used to help students.

Although many students were in the audience, none addressed the board during public comment.

Board chair David Longoria voted against the increase. He did not say why he opposed the higher tuition rate.

Bill would cut Arizona library funds

Bill would cut Arizona library funds


Arizona legislators recently introduced a bill that could slash the operating budget of Pima County’s public libraries by approximately $5.4 million.

If House Bill 2379 is signed into Arizona law in its original language, Pima County will be forced to close 10 library centers, layoff 46 full-time employees and reduce services provided to the community.

Currently, counties control how much to increase the taxes that fund libraries and the new law would set a statewide limit regardless of local needs.

Since property values have been declining, Pima County has been drawing from a surplus it had built when the economy was more robust.

The bill has since been amended to temporarily spare libraries from the budget ax, but the future is uncertain for many programs that the public depends upon.

According to the Pima County library website, during the 2012 fiscal year, 5.8 million people visited a location, 7.2 million items were borrowed and 1.4 million local residents utilized free access to a library computer.

Ellen Hammes, a computer instructor at the Murphy-Wilmot library, wrote via email that 2,736 people attended computer classes at the branch in 2013, and 1,733 people utilized Drop-In Job Help, a program that will end, along with Hammes’ position, if HB 2379 passes unamended.

Melinda Cervantes, Pima County Public Library’s executive director, explained during a phone interview that if the bill is enacted in its original form, Pima County’s library budget would be severely undermined.

“It’s fundamentally bad public policy,” Cervantes said. “And we would find ourselves closing 10 facilities.”

The bill, introduced by Rep. Justin Olson, R-Mesa, would change the current secondary property tax amounts collected by individual counties that fund their respective libraries.

Olson said in a phone interview that the bill’s function was to regulate the tax rate and help protect property owners. He said the original language of the bill was a safeguard and the amended bill will assure transparency.

“If you are going to raise taxes, you have to let the public know and allow them to give input,” Olson said. “The levy limits are an important protection for property owners, but I wholeheartedly support the bill in the amended form,” he said.

Olson and Cervantes said Pima County has been undercutting the amount of taxes it collected from property owners.

Maya Castillo, president of the Arizona Service Employees International Union Local 48, explained the affect the legislation could have on the library services provided in Pima County during a community meeting on Feb. 24.

“HB 2379 is a bill that’s dangerous to our libraries,” Castillo said. “It has been modified somewhat, and my own personal opinion is that the changes that have happened in this bill, for some they’re very exciting, but for me it’s a trap.”

Castillo said the legislation is disconcerting because of how it would restrict local financial control.

“We in Pima County have chosen to fund our libraries in a certain way,” Castillo said. “But we need to continue to fight to be able to fund our libraries the way we believe they should be funded.”

On Jan. 29, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote to the Pima County Board of Supervisors regarding the effect that the bill would have on local libraries.

“This legislation, if passed, would have a devastating impact on our library system, demonstrating the adage ‘no good deed goes unpunished,’” Huckelberry said. “HB 2379 would impact our ability to provide library services at the worst possible time.

“Property taxes for library services in Pima County are not out of control; they are not even a significant burden. The services and benefits of the County free library system far exceeds the small amount being paid for these services.”

Sam Martin, a Tucson member, petitioned against the bill.

“I like lower taxes too, who doesn’t, but you have to do a cost-benefit analysis. In this case, it’s just not worth it,” he said.

Castillo, the union president, said that she was not attending the community meeting just as a union representative, but as a library employee herself. She’s a second-generation librarian who believes in the integral role libraries play at the local level.

“This is part of who we are as a community not just this thing that we maybe pay taxes for but really don’t care about,” Castillo said. “We love our libraries here in Pima County.”

Computer instructor Ellen Hammes assists Stephen Fornear during Drop-In Job Help at the Murphy-Wilmot lirary. (Aztec Press photo by David J. Del Grande)

Computer instructor Ellen Hammes assists Stephen Fornear during Drop-In Job Help at the Murphy-Wilmot lirary. (Aztec Press photo by David J. Del Grande)

Spring break on a budget

Spring break on a budget


Pima Community College’s spring break is March 17-23, which means we’ll all soon be jetting off to Cancun, Honolulu or some other resort destination.

What? You’re not going to Hawaii or Mexico? Neither am I.

I can’t afford to go anywhere exotic, and I’m not alone. What I can do is offer ideas for spring break outings that won’t leave you broke. Some are free and some cost a bit of money, but they’re all good deals.

I’ve also suggested a movie for each destination, either to provide a little context or just to get you in the mood.


Is there anybody out there?

Close to home and yet out-of-this-world, the planetarium and observatory at the University of Arizona’s Flandrau Science Center has something for aspiring astronomers of all ages.

The observatory is generally open Thursday-Saturday from 7-10 p.m. It is staffed entirely by volunteers, so call ahead to confirm they’ll be open. Visitors can experience the 16-inch telescope (weather permitting) and ask questions about the night sky.

The observatory is free to visit, though donations are appreciated.

The center also offers traditional planetarium shows, ranging from “Legends of the Night Sky” to “Touring the Planets.” Laser shows are mostly “Family Friendly Music Shows” or Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and “Dark Side of the Moon.”

Tickets for the planetarium and laser show cost $5.

Details: or 621-7827.

Movie suggestions: “Contact” (1997). If you’re feeling ambitious, a double feature of “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) and its underrated sequel “2010” (1984).


Catch a show at the Flandrau Science Center on the University of Arizona campus. (Aztec Press photo by Michael Anderson)

Catch a show at the Flandrau Science Center on the University of Arizona campus. (Aztec Press photo by Michael Anderson)


Mosey through the Boneyard

Back on Earth, Tucson is home to the largest aircraft storage facility in the world. Officially known as the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, most people know it simply as the Boneyard.

The 309th AMARG is home to several thousand aircraft from all military branches. Most are waiting to be scrapped, cannibalized for parts or to eventually be re-fitted and returned to active duty.

Bus tours are available Monday-Friday for $7 through the Pima Air and Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road. A tour requires government-issued identification. The museum itself is a very cool place, too, but a little pricier at $12.25 for Pima county residents.

There’s nothing quite like the Boneyard anywhere else in the world, and the tour is a surreal trip through the history of NATO “Cold War” aviation.

Details: or 574-0462.

Movie suggestion: “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1987). Oddly enough, the Boneyard is an important theme in this excellent teen comedy, which also features Tucson High School.

A row of F-16 Fighting Falcons at the Boneyard await visitors who take a weekday tour. (Photo by John Sanders)

A row of F-16 Fighting Falcons at the Boneyard await visitors who take a weekday tour. (Photo by John Saunders)


Take me out to the ballgame

Arizona has been synonymous with spring baseball for almost 100 years. Recently, most spring training stadiums have become overcrowded and shockingly expensive. (I’m looking at you, Scottsdale Stadium.)

One exception is Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, spring home of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Unlike the Giants and Dodgers, the Brewers don’t have hordes of fans. That means tickets are reasonably priced and not impossible to get. Lawn seating is $8 and some reserved seats cost $13. Maryvale Park, located at 3600 N. 51st Ave., hosts four games during PCC’s break.

If you want baseball without the drive north, the Pima Aztecs play at West Campus on March 15 and 18. The softball team plays at home on March 20 and 22.


Movie suggestions: “Major League” (1989). Spring training scenes were shot at Hi-Corbett Field. Or try “Bad News Bears” (1976). Rent the original only; accept no substitutes.


What do you want on your Tombstone?

The most famous gunfight in American history took place just 70 miles from Tucson, at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone. As one of the last boomtowns of the Old West, Tombstone has a colorful history of miners, gamblers, prostitutes and gunfighters.

The downtown has been relatively well preserved. It is well worth a visit for those interested in local or western history.

The best attraction is the O.K. Corral itself, which is now a museum. It’s located at 326 E. Allen St. and is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It features a re-enactment of the 1881 shootout between the Earps and the McLaury-Clanton crew every day at 2 p.m.

Most historians agree the gunfight actually occurred a few doors down the street, but the O.K. Corral is a must-visit attraction nonetheless. Tickets for the museum and re-enactment cost $10. Get them early because the show will probably sell out.

The most authentic site in Tombstone is probably the Bird Cage Theatre. It was a one-stop-shop for miners and gamblers, functioning as a theater, saloon, gambling hall and brothel.

It’s not as cool as the O.K. Corral and it costs $10, but check it out if you need the full Tombstone experience. It has a dark and violent past, and is undeniably spooky.

On your way out of town, stop by Boot Hill Graveyard, the final resting place for victims of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Many headstones have humorous inscriptions reflecting gallows humor.

It is a free and fitting way to end a trip to the “Town Too Tough to Die.”


Movie suggestion: “Tombstone” (1993). Kurt Russell is great as the legendary Wyatt Earp.

Boot Hill gravesites honor the three men killed in the famous Shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone. (Photo by Cynthia Lancaster)

Boot Hill gravesites honor the three men killed in the famous Shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone. (Photo by Cynthia Lancaster)


Put down ‘Angry Birds’ and go see some real ones

Madera Canyon, east of Green Valley off Interstate-19, is a bird-watching paradise. It contains beautiful hiking trails and hosts at least 200 species of birds as a waypoint on migration routes.

The canyon is open daily from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and is a wonderful place for a picnic. Parking costs $5.

A male Elegant Trogan is one of the rare birds that can be spotted in Madera Canyon. (Photo by Alan Stankevitz)

A male Elegant Trogan is one of the rare birds that can be spotted in Madera Canyon. (Photo by Alan Stankevitz)

If birds aren’t your thing, you can hike or picnic on Mount Lemmon, watch a sunset at Gates Pass, ramble through Sabino Canyon or check out Saguaro National Park.

Tucson is virtually surrounded by cool places to experience nature. Go out and find your favorite.

Details: or 281-2296

Movie suggestion: “Winged Migration” (2001). An excellent if slightly slow documentary on the worldwide migration habits of birds. Not a fan of documentaries? Have a dark sense of humor? Check out Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” (1963) and then go bird watching.

Gates Pass west of Tucson offers sweeping views of the Tucson Valley. (Aztec Press photo by Rachel White)

Gates Pass west of Tucson offers sweeping views of the Tucson Valley. (Aztec Press photo by Rachel White)


Go to prison

Many people have heard of the Yuma Territorial Prison, but how many have actually been there? Yuma is four hours from Tucson, so a visit should be part of an overnighter or a pit stop on the way to California.

The prison was one of the most notorious in the Southwest, housing Arizona’s worst criminals from 1876-1909. It was built on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River and much of it is well preserved.

It has a fascinating museum and original cellblocks that give you a sense of how horrible it must have been to do time there and how daunting the prospect of escape would have seemed.

The museum costs $6 and is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. There is also a hiking trail that runs along the river.

Details: or

Movie suggestion: What else? “3:10 to Yuma” (2007). An entertaining western action film starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.

Visitors investigate the original cellblocks preserved at the Yuma Territorial Prison. (Photo by Debbie Weber)

Visitors investigate the original cellblocks preserved at the Yuma Territorial Prison. (Photo by Debbie Weber)