Editor’s note: This regular feature examines topics explored in past issues of Aztec Press.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
Tucson’s chapter of the World Future Society hosted its first meeting at Pima Community College 33 years ago.
WFS is a non-profit organization that was founded in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1966. The society examines how social and economic developments will affect the future.
At the PCC meeting in 1981, panelists discussed practical land, energy and water usage and efficient transportation.
One guest speaker was Andrew Laurie, a local Realtor.
“Water is the main issue for the growth of Tucson,” Laurie said. “The water deficit in the valley is due to agriculture and the mines.”
Panelists discussed the benefits and drawbacks of relying exclusively on the Central Arizona Project for water. CAP is a system of pipes, pumping plants and tunnels that spans more than 300 miles to provide water for the majority of the southwest.
Laurie predicted that CAP would not be sufficient to meet the growing needs of Pima County
“We will get less than what we need,” he said. “It will be expensive and will be so greasy that it will need to be treated first.”
The topic of transportation was less of a pressing issue at the time. However, the panel noted that as Tucson continued to grow, so would the need for public transportation.
Another speaker at the meeting was Roger L. Caldwell, director of the Council for Environmental Studies at the University of Arizona.
“It is urgent that we recognize energy and energy shortages as a social economic and political problem,” Caldwell said.
He predicted there would be confusion and uncertainty in the following decades regarding energy usage and a considerable reduction of gasoline and oil supplies.
Laurence J. Victor, then a PCC instructor and psychologist, stressed the importance of communication and education.
“Tucson has the potential for the people, for the learners, for quality education movement,” Victor said.
He predicted that education would experience a form of metamorphosis and said it is crucial that students and teachers work together as the process unfolds.
The WFS is still working today toward enhancing the world for future generations.
More information about upcoming events, conservation efforts and technological innovations can be found on their website.
The group is also on Facebook, click here to visit their page.
Editor’s note: This regular feature explores topics discussed in past issues of the Aztec Press.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
A 1991 Aztec Press article focused on U.S. handling of a major export: trash. Few recycling programs were in place and people were beginning to realize the importance of sustainable materials.
Environmental organizations such as Tucson, Clean And Beautiful formed in southern Arizona in the mid-1980s.
Pima Community College joined the expanding recycling efforts in 1990 by placing recycling bins at campuses.
“One of the main facets of the program is to educate people,” PCC recycling coordinator Catalina Sanchez said.
The program would not be possible without the help of dedicated and driven volunteers, Sanchez added.
A special Earth Day issue from 1990 featured an interview with Scott Harper, then hazardous waste coordinator for the PCC Risk Management and Safety Department.
He stressed the importance of waste management education, saying most safety violations stem from unclear communication.
“We have to go beyond Earth Day; my job doesn’t stop because Earth Day has passed,” Harper said. “We must not be reactive; instead, we must be pro-active with the environment. We have a responsibility to the community.”
Currently, education is still necessary.
Many Tucson residents have blue barrels provided for curbside pickup, yet there is confusion about which materials are acceptable.
A diverse range of plastics, metal, glass and paper materials are recyclable. Neither Styrofoam nor plastic bags are permitted, with the exception of a plastic bag containing shredded paper.
The recycling program recommends participants bring their blue bin to the curb only when it is more than half full to help reduce fuel consumption.
The website tucsonaz.gov/es/content/hhw_list provides information about how to properly dispose of potentially hazardous materials such as batteries, computer parts, various chemicals and fluorescent lamps.
To find out more about individual and group projects, visit http://tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org.
A complete list of guidelines and recyclable items can be found on the City of Tucson website, tucsonaz.gov/es/customer-services-residential-recycling.
Editor’s note: This regular feature explores topics discussed in past issues of the Aztec Press.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
When Katherine Josten formed the Global Art Project 20 years ago, she was a Pima Community College instructor seeking a way to unite people from around the world.
Her idea began to take shape in the spring of 1994 as she worked with fellow artists and collaborators to organize the first Global Art Project.
Within six years, the project had grown to such an extent that Josten decided to resign from teaching to dedicate more time to the nonprofit organization.
Josten said it was a sacrifice because she thoroughly enjoyed working with students and faculty at PCC for more than a decade. However, she was ready to commit to the growing vision.
GAP takes place every two years and continues to expand its reach. Today there are 87 countries involved, with recent additions including East Timor, Bulgaria and Peru.
The process involves participants from around the world who submit a piece of art that represents their image of peace and unity. Josten and fellow coordinators handle an assortment of mediums.
Approximately half of the submissions come from children. They are typically collected by the end of February, and exchanged near the end of April to coincide with Earth Day.
The Aztec Press interviewed Josten about GAP in 1994.
“It’s a perfect way of expressing that we are all one,” she said. “It’s also a way for all people to connect, by putting an idea in the physical form.”
GAP’s aim is to connect participants from one household to another. It begins by pairing participants, typically based on the geography and age of contributors. The size of a group may range from two to 2,000.
Each participant creates artwork and displays it locally in coffee shops, libraries or anywhere the artist deems suitable.
The artist then exchanges with another contributor as a symbol of connection and peace. Artists are encouraged to include a photo and/or personal note for their recipient. Recipients can display the artwork or take their newly acquired gift home. A digital copy is stored in the GAP Art Bank.
There is no official exhibit scheduled in Tucson this year.
Josten recently spoke with Arizona Public Media about the project’s evolution. She said GAP has become more involved with schools, ranging from kindergarten to the graduate level.
Many teachers find participation to be a valuable tool that demonstrates the importance of self expression and global harmony.
“Peace is so needed, especially at this time when there is so much change going on,” Josten said. “We can’t find peace within this world until we find peace within ourselves.”
Josten encourages anyone interested to start planning for the 2016 exchange. Organization will begin in 2015.
She admits that even with 200 regional coordinators, administration of such a vast program can be a hassle.
However, when Josten sees the works submitted and hears the stories of their creation, her enthusiasm is renewed.
For more information about future submissions and upcoming events, visit globalartproject.org. Information is also available at facebook.com/GlobalArtProject.
Editor’s note: This regular feature explores topics covered in past issues of Aztec Press. This column is the second part of a two-part series.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
Students and employees at Pima Community College represent a wide range of religious beliefs. This is seen in the pages of the Aztec Press dating back to its earliest issues.
The newspaper featured an interview in the late ‘70s with instructor Donald A. Graham, who practiced Sufism, a form of mysticism with Islamic roots.
“At some point, every being will feel a sense of emptiness and will begin to seek something to fill that emptiness,” Graham said. “It is then he will turn to a spiritual path.”
Graham explained that Sufis are open to various paths of enlightenment.
“The real unity of Sufism is the realization that everything is a part of the same thing,” he said.
Like many religions, Sufism encourages self-discipline and sacrifice of frivolities and indulgences.
A 1992 article focused on the presence of Hare Krishna members at West Campus. They were handing out pamphlets, accepting donations for copies of the Bhagavad Gita and chanting in the gym courtyard.
“Chanting is a recommended process of self-realization for this day and age,” said Vaishnava Swami, a Hare Krishna member from the Chaitanya Cultural Center.
PCC students provided mixed opinions about their presence.
One student said he enjoyed the chanting and thought the members added “a little atmosphere to the campus.”
Another student considered the Hare Krishna members loud and distracting. He also found their appearance “too freaky.”
A second article from 1992 looked into the Tucson chapter of American Atheist Veterans. PCC student Orin R. “Spike” Tyson had recently been named head of the local branch.
“An atheist is someone who does not have a set of beliefs,” Tyson said. “If you said ‘one plus one equals two,’ I’d ask you to prove it. We demand proof of anything.”
Tyson said there were laws in place to protect many religious beliefs, but the laws often left atheists without protection.
He cited Article 19 of the Arkansas Constitution, which does not allow atheists to hold office or testify in court. The restriction is still in place today.
Provisions in several other state constitutions also prohibit atheists from being elected.
For instance, Section 2, Article 9 of Tennessee’s state constitution reads, “No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s recent veto of the controversial Senate Bill 1062 speaks volumes about the ongoing debate concerning religious rights.
Editor’s note: This regular feature explores topics covered in past issues of Aztec Press. This column is the first in a two-part series.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
The recent controversy over SB 1062 has brought the question of religious practices back to the forefront of public debate.
Religious freedom has been a highly debated topic dating back to the earliest issues of the Aztec Press.
An article from January 1974 featured an interview with Bill Lowery, a preacher and coordinator of “Christ is the Answer,” a nonprofit street ministry and traveling commune. The ministry was reportedly welcome in Tucson during its brief stay.
Lowery traveled with a team of about 200 people, including his family, and a tent the size of a football field.
He explained that only half of the tent was set up in Tucson because of relatively low attendance.
“We thrive on donations,” Lowery said. “The other night we took in $32 for a collection. Try feeding 200 people on $32. We find that every day is a miracle.”
As the group trekked from city to city, some new recruits joined the ministry while others departed. Lowery said some members would leave quietly in the middle of the night.
“Usually they do so because they can’t take the rough living, they didn’t count on the cost or they don’t get enough privacy,” he said.
The ministry included The Joyful Noise, one of the first Christian bands to incorporate electric guitar. It attempted to appeal to the younger generation.
A 1978 article focused on controversial disciplinary methods in a youth home run by Texas evangelist Lester Roloff.
Several teenage girls from Pima County had been sent to Roloff’s Rebekah Home in Corpus Christi, Texas.
They told their parents that disciplinary measures used in the house included solitary confinement. There were also reports from other girls about severe whippings with leather belts.
Roloff denied the harsh whippings. However, after a court hearing in 1973 he publicly declared, “better a pink bottom than a black soul.”
The evangelist spoke at a press conference in the Tucson City Council chambers about the Pima County teenagers. “The first thing we do is brainwash them because their brains are dirty, but we use the King James washcloth,” he said.
Roloff also said that brainwashing is common in our society and media is the main instrument of accepted influence. He also claimed that “children do not have any rights as long as they are wrong.”
The Rebekah House had been temporarily shut down in 1973 for failure to comply with government licensing standards. Roloff’s arguments citing religious freedom failed to stand up in court.
In the years that followed, Roloff’s methods were publicly scrutinized by some and supported by others. Some programs he launched decades ago remain in operation today.
Part 2: Religious beliefs.
Editor’s note: This regular column explores topics covered in past editions of Aztec Press.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
Some people celebrate Valentine’s Day, while others see the holiday end in conflict. Relationships require patience, communication and, in many cases, an unbiased referee.
In 1976, an Aztec Press reporter interviewed two women who had recently been divorced. At the time, divorce procedures were becoming almost as common as weddings.
One of the women interviewed had married at 19. Initially, she viewed marriage as a “declaration of freedom from her parents.”
Eventually, she saw the union as damaging to her livelihood and decided to part ways with her husband of eight years.
“The divorce procedure was like an appointment,” she said. “It lasted a couple of minutes with others waiting in line.”
She said their two daughters spent each summer with their father.
“My own personal experience with him has nothing to do with the girls,” she explained. “Our feelings are stored up, but we don’t let them out.”
The other woman spoke of her ex-husband’s violent behavior, which was linked to his drinking habit.
“I hated him … now I feel sorry for him,” she said. “I really don’t blame him. His father was just like him. He would beat his wife, was a heavy drinker, adulterer and he never talked to his kid.”
In 1992, the Aztec Press spoke with Karen Jaskar, a program assistant at the Brewster Center, a local shelter for battered women and their children.
Jaskar provided guidelines on how to identify and avoid abusive relationships:
- Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, it probably is.
- Maintain a healthy support system. Keep your job, your friends and your focus on studies even if your partner encourages you to sacrifice these values.
- Listen to the honest opinions of friends and family that you trust. Often when we are smitten with someone, it is difficult to see hazardous behavior clearly.
- Work on strengthening your self-esteem by spending time with people that make you feel good about yourself. Also factor time in for solitude and self-reflection.
- Do not depend on your partner to “cure” you. In times of stress or confusion, avoid seeking solace in drugs or alcohol. Try instead to engage in physical activity that will help your mind and body feel better, such as hiking or a new yoga class.
- Do not be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help.
“Domestic violence can occur in married, unmarried, straight or gay relationships, in the foothills or in the barrio,” Jaskar said.
She explained that batterers are typically jealous and possessive, and can switch from charming to furious without warning.
They rarely accept responsibility for any faults, instead placing blame on others. They tend to undermine their partner’s accomplishments and attempt to control their actions.
As the relationship progresses, abusers tries to isolate their mate from friends and family, criticizing anyone who might voice concerns that the relationship is unhealthy and dangerous.
“Abusers put up a good false front and want to be seen as an upstanding person in the community,” Jaskar said. “Batterers have a great interest in keeping the abuse a secret.”
Due to such denial and secrecy, the abuser rarely seeks help for his or her violent behavior.
“It is the victim who is most likely to break the cycle of abuse by asking for outside help,” Jaskar said.
Domestic violence rarely ends without some type of outside intervention, she added.
“Remember, taking care of yourself is your responsibility. So is keeping your eyes open. That way, when Mr. Right does come along, you won’t be busy fielding punches from Mr. Wrong.”
The Brewster Center is still in operation today. More information can be found at brewstercenter.org or by calling 520-881-3063.
Another Tucson shelter that offers help and guidance is the Emerge Center, emergecenter.org. It has a 24 hour hotline: 1-888-428-0101.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
As another semester begins, students are faced with an onslaught of challenging tasks and looming deadlines that can lead to overwhelming anxiety.
To help students with all that stress, Aztec Press has covered various techniques to combat fatigue and frustration over the years.
In an article from 1982, Cindy Arem, a counselor at Pima Community College, wrote about the six stages that often lead to “student burn-out syndrome.”
1) High Excitement – motivation, energy and enthusiasm
2) Energy Drain – constant challenges result in frustration, apathy or restlessness
3) Energy Shortage – fatigue, stress that may result in insomnia, possibly seeking escape through drugs and/or alcohol
4) Energy Depletion – constant exhaustion, frequent illnesses, irritability and depression
5) Panic – feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, severe test anxiety
6) Disaster – cheating, failing, dropping out, deep depression and in severe cases, suicide
Arem reminded readers that although most problems seem complicated, they are often remedied with simple solutions.
She advised to be aware of time management and particular sources of stress, as well as maintain the basics of a healthy diet and consistent exercise.
“While drugs are often used to alleviate stress,” Arem said, “They may only be masking the underlying problems, resulting in aggravation of the stress.”
In a 1984 issue, contributing writer Linda Phillips focused on test anxiety. She noted that high levels of test anxiety are often linked to students’ inner dialogue as they imagine the consequences of failing.
“Worry is addictive,” Phillips said. “It is extremely hard to give up and it intensifies when not dealt with positively and overcome.”
An article from 1981 suggested a unique method of dealing with stress, a sensory deprivation tank. At the time, there were two flotation tank companies in Tucson, Samadhi and Oasis Tank Co.
Celebrities such as Lily Tomlin reportedly visited Samadhi, and Oasis Tank received guests ranging from musicians to circus jugglers who claimed the experience helped them with vision and coordination.
For anyone interested in trying this approach, Still Waters Massage, located at 3125 E. Kleindale Road, offers sessions for $65 for an hour. More information can be found at orangetucson.com/stillwaters/index.html or by calling 808-6916.
As for those who prefer the more conventional methods, heed the advice of PCC counselor James Yaple.
“Although there are many things around you, many events, many people, many situations that may prove to be demanding or trying to some extent, you have the control, the power to manage yourself in those situations,” he said.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
The Aztec Press has covered consequences resulting from nuclear threats and conventional weapons from a variety of angles over the years.
A 1977 issue described experiments that demonstrated possible hazards to the environment and residents surrounding nuclear power plants.
The staff writer believed that the greatest danger the American people faced was their “vulnerability to the half-truths and profit-at-the-expense-of-safety attitudes fouling government and the nuclear industry.”
Many people built fallout shelters in the ‘60s due to the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. By the late ‘70s, many of the shelters still standing lacked sufficient supplies.
In 1975, Tucson was selected as part of a pilot program for relocating populations in the event of a severe emergency such as a nuclear strike.
Richard Casanova, then director of Pima County Emergency Services, said the plan was based on the possibility that there would be enough warning before a strike to allow people to seek shelter in designated areas.
At the time, some residents worried that Tucson would be a possible strategic strike site because of Titan missiles stored in area silos.
Casanova said that targets would most likely be more densely populated areas.
A 1982 article explained that even those who survive a nuclear attack may later fall victim to the lingering effects of lethal radiation.
“Surviving a nuclear attack really is a matter of percentages,” Casanova said. “The only real answer is stopping nuclear war.”
A year later, activists held a non-violent protest at a cruise missile training site. One organizer, Rhea Miller, encouraged demonstrators to communicate with security forces in a peaceful manner.
“Sing to them, talk to them, let them know we are people,” Miller said.
In 1986, the Newman Center near the University of Arizona hosted a panel discussion about world-wide peace efforts. The keynote speaker was Patricia Mische who founded the Global Education Associates with her husband in 1974.
The organization’s aim was to create a more harmonious world through education and communication.
Mische said it was especially important to teach children how to avoid conflicts both on a personal and a grand scale.
Key components of such education include teaching children the value of their self-worth, and a deep respect for the links we share with other cultures and the entire world.
“It is possible to remove the threat of war,” Mische said. “We can turn the world balance and the nature of things through non-violent actions.”
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
In 1975, Pima Community College had the highest enrollment of veterans in the state. The Vietnam War was ending, unemployment rates were high and many veterans were searching for a new direction in life.
The influx of veteran students required policies to be updated in order to match the growing number of students relying on the GI Bill to finance their studies.
There were concerns that some veterans would receive financial aid, then fail to attend classes or take courses that weren’t required for their degree. This caused the Veteran’s Administration to set stricter guidelines, which ultimately made it more difficult for veteran students seeking aid.
At a Senate Veteran’s Affairs Committee hearing in 1982, Sen. Dennis DeConcini spoke about his efforts to balance a tight budget.
“I believe that veterans are a very special category of citizens,” DeConcini said. “They served their country with every expectation that promised benefits and services would be honored.”
In the hearing, there were complaints that the VA was understaffed and under-funded, and that facilities were in dire need of expansion.
A related article from 1982 featured an interview with Bob Caldwell, a Vietnam veteran and counselor at Tucson’s Vietnam Vet Center.
“In Vietnam, tactics collapsed into an exhaustingly futile sequence,” Caldwell said. “Take it by day, lose it by night, fight to the death for a patch of incomprehensible land, then call in the slippery figures in the black body bags.”
Caldwell said that Vietnam vets had an especially hard time coping because they had been fighting a losing war and did not receive a warm welcome home when they returned.
Like many soldiers, Caldwell joined the military at a young age and was prepared to continue his education after serving. He attended the University of Arizona and earned his master’s degree, yet he struggled with feelings of alienation.
“When I first returned to school, I felt like a foreigner,” Caldwell said, adding that he was often accused of being “morally bankrupt” for serving in the military.
At the Tucson Vietnam Vet Center, Caldwell helped counsel others who were struggling with similar issues.
Post-traumatic stress disorder had recently been identified by the American Psychiatric Association and was previously termed “shell shock” by many doctors who thought it was linked to artillery concussions.
Some of the symptoms include depression, hallucinations, recurring nightmares and withdrawal from personal contact.
The Vet Center helped counsel veterans who were experiencing “survivor guilt,” the notion that it should have been them who perished instead of their comrades.
The center also worked with friends, relatives and wives of veterans. The counselors helped them deal with common frustrations and misunderstandings.
“Right or wrong, the vets did it for us,” Caldwell said. “Veterans are the responsibility of all Americans.”
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
The health care industry has received lots of media coverage in recent months, but a 1976 Aztec Press article explored the “death care industry.”
The student newspaper wrote about the costs of funerals, burials and cremation.
At the time, full-service funerals ranged from $500 to $4,000. Today, the average cost of a funeral and burial costs between $7,000 and $10,000, according to the website funeral-tips.com.
Both in 1976 and today, cremation services cost considerably less. In the mid-1970s, a cremation service could be purchased for less than $300. The current price is approximately $1,600 for a cremation and basic memorial service. The 1976 article warned about additional fees that might be tacked on, such as staff services, preparation, facilities and supplies. The additions might easily double the cost.
“It’s the extra things they add on,” Beatriz Rivera said after attending a funeral. “The little things you don’t stop to think about.”
At the time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office had filed an anti-trust lawsuit against all Tucson funeral homes.
An assistant U.S. attorney said the suit involved industry collusion in price fixing for county-contracted burials, and price fixing by the industry in its dealings with the public.
Tucson mortician Jay McCaffery denied the allegations.
“I’ve embalmed 10,000 people since I’ve been in business and I’ve never worried my customers about money,” he said.
“I don’t believe anyone should have to worry about that.”
Health articles encourage research, education
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
Second of a two-part series
Providing effective health care has been a greatly debated topic for decades.
An Aztec Press article from 1975 described health insurance as an “expensive solution and not a total one, but it brings about a certain degree of peace of mind and reassurance.”
Readers were encouraged to visit the public library to research insurance companies by using publications such as Best Insurance Report and Dunnes Insurance Report.
Today, it has become easier to research insurance companies. Both reports can be found online at ambest.com and dunnes.com.
An October 1981 article covered an annual exercise, “Well Aware about Health,” offered to Pima Community College faculty and students.
The program’s aim was to educate people about detecting problems and treating them before they became more serious.
“The hospitals are full of people who are sorry they didn’t do something about health problems sooner,” program coordinator Christine Scharf said.
A 1983 article examined the use of homeopathic alternatives in medicine. Judy Saber from the New Life Health Center outlined several natural remedies that have been used for years.
Research has shown that garlic has an effect on controlling blood pressure and acts as a natural antibiotic, she said. Aloe juice can help to settle a stomach or relieve ulcers in some cases.
Saber also suggested boosting health by replacing foods high in sugar, salt and white flour with raw foods.
“Raw foods are easier to digest,” she said. “They also add enzymes needed for proper digestion, as well as supply us with a greater variety of usable vitamins and minerals.”
A spring health fair held at the West Campus in 1993 covered topics such as prenatal care, sexually transmitted diseases and substance abuse.
“Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to be a maniac about it,” fitness expert Jackie Nichols assured students. “Ride a bike. Go for a walk. Move your arms and legs.”
Nursing students provided blood pressure checks and information on breast self-exams. They also conducted demonstrations on latex mock breasts.
“We need to get past the embarrassment,” nursing instructor Sue Eavy said. “Your partner can be your first line of defense against breast cancer.”
Eavy noted that 95 percent of breast tumors are detected by a woman’s partner.
Other organizations represented at the fair included the Arizona Lung Association, Ask a Nurse, La Frontera and the Arizona Organ and Tissue Bank.
Mary Tindall, a West Campus counselor and the fair coordinator, said the community had come together to help make the fair a success.
“Without health, it’s hard to take advantage of all the opportunities in life,” she said.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
First of a two-part series
Debates about health care date back to early editions of the Aztec Press. The December 1976 issue covered a range of health concerns, with a primary focus on costs.
One article featured an interview with a representative from the Arizona Department of Insurance, an organization that helps patients understand details of their insurance policies.
The office is still available to answer questions today. Information is posted here.
T.E. Morales Jr., then-deputy director of the Tucson branch, said in the 1976 article that many policy holders do not completely understand their coverage.
“When claim time comes around, they find out that they do not have the coverage they thought,” Morales said.
Many coverage conflicts arose from pre-existing conditions, he added.
Another 1976 article examined the benefits and drawbacks of going to Mexico for medical care.
At the time, the estimated cost of delivering a baby at St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson ranged between $500 and $600. In Nogales at the Del Socorro hospital, the estimated cost was 2,500 pesos or $127.
Current charges for a conventional delivery run about $9,775, according to the International Federation of Health Plans. A cesarean section averages about $15,041.
The 1976 article quoted Connie Showalter, a Head Start social worker in Nogales.
“Expectant mothers of Nogales, Arizona, use the Nogales, Sonora, facilities because it is twice as inexpensive and the hospital has insurance that allows a person to pay a little at a time,” Showalter said.
Some ‘70s students considered Mexico a more affordable route to earning a medical degree.
“A number of my friends who could not enter the college of medicine at the U of A attended medical school in Mexico,” Pima Community College medical student Roxanne Nowicki said.
Nowicki was satisfied with the treatment she and her family received from their doctor in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
“Ninety per cent of his patients are American,” Nowicki said. “And he prescribes an unknown drug that is not sold in America, but works miracles.”
New drugs that were typically tested in the United States for 10 years before they were put on the market only had to undergo tests for one year in Mexico, she added.
Some Mexican patients traveled to the United States to receive treatment. The U.S. facilities were better equipped for complicated procedures such as heart surgery and transplants.
“A great many persons who live in Sonora come to Tucson to receive their medical care,” Tucson surgeon James Klein said.
“In addition, many Mexican physicians come to our country for specialized post-graduate education and training,” Klein added. “Those who return to Mexico to practice are as fully competent as an American physician in the same branch of medicine.”
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
Early issues of the Aztec Press covered topics that remain relevant today, including the stress of finding a parking space, the price of textbooks and the general hassles of registration.
Today it may be a challenge to find a parking spot that is somewhat close to an entrance, especially during the first week of classes. Before parking lot expansions were made, however, even the most remote spots found today did not exist.
A 1974 article noted during the first couple of weeks of classes that there were more vehicles than the 1,950 parking spaces allotted on West Campus. After the initial surge, the parking lot was sufficient but expansion plans were already in progress.
Traffic added to the frustration of limited parking spaces. At the time, there was no campus entrance from Anklam Road and the roadway had not yet been widened.
Once students found a parking space, they still had to register with valid identification at a security office.
This amounted to a lot of time waiting, just to park.
Articles from fall semesters in the ‘70s and ‘80s featured photos of students waiting in long lines to register, add or drop classes. Before online registration, all one could do was wait in line with papers in hand.
In 1991, Follett College Bookstores became the sole provider of textbooks at PCC.
During this transition, some students could not pay for their books with the amount of money that personal finances, scholarships or the veteran’s affairs office allowed.
Some students bought used textbooks that were missing pages or even chapters, yet could not re-sell the books at a reasonable price.
Barbara Ganz, then dean of student affairs at the Downtown Campus, spoke with the Aztec Press. “I have had complaints from each of the campuses,” Ganz said. “They have come from students, administrators and faculty.”
Today, we may still seek the reasons behind high prices for textbooks. We may still battle for a decent parking space and wrangle for a place in our most sought-after class.
Still, the lines are much shorter than they were a few decades ago.
Gay and lesbian students at Pima Community College have struggled for decades to raise awareness and promote understanding. A variety of viewpoints have been printed in the Aztec Press.
A 1991 editorial expressed contempt for a recommendation to the Tucson Police Department by the Citizens Police Advisory Committee to begin “actively recruiting” homosexual officers.
“If homosexuals are to be recognized as a group whose interests merit special attention, why not grant the same status to alcoholics or necrophiliacs?” the unsigned editorial asked.
The following edition printed three letters to the editor. Two said it was a crime to be gay and therefore homosexuals had no place in law enforcement.
Tim Wernette, a PCC human sexuality instructor, wrote that the editorial stance revealed homophobia.
“Comparing homosexuality to alcoholism or necrophilia perpetuates the fear, hatred, discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians that all of us who value justice and respect for individual liberties should abhor,” Wernette said.
The next edition explained that views expressed in unsigned editorials reflect the position of the Aztec Press editorial board, and the opinion about gay police officers was no exception.
Four months later, PCC student Randy Reeves began gathering signatures to support a gay, lesbian and bisexual organization for students and staff.
“I think there are a lot of gay people who have nowhere to go,” Reeves said. “Especially if you have no support in your home life.”
Student Robin Whitmore helped Reeves lay a foundation for the group, eventually called Gay and Lesbian Alliance of Dignity, or GLAD.
“I had an instructor last semester who used to slam gay people left and right, and nobody stood up to challenge this person,” Whitmore said.
“That’s when I first started looking around, thinking, ‘Where is the gay club?’ I need a little support here if I’m going to confront this person. I need to know there are at least two or three people standing behind me, and there weren’t.”
David Gallagher, then head of the psychology and sociology department, said homosexuality was considered a form of mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association until 1973 and is still considered taboo by many in American society.
“Approximately 7-12 percent of the world population is homosexual,” Gallagher said. “That’s a significant portion of our students.”
Aztec Press published another editorial months after the initial GLAD meetings.
“The real American way is liberty and tolerance for diversity,” it read. “We don’t have to like homosexuality or atheism (or socialism or feminism, etc.) but if we are to preserve the ideals of this country, we must respect the rights of others to engage in such practices.”
The controversial editorials continued for a few more semesters. Gradually, the tone shifted from contempt to tolerance to support.
In a 1993 letter to the editor, Heather McMichael of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance wrote about the harmful effects of homophobia.
“As with racism and sexism, intolerance of our differences has no place in this world, where our very survival depends on working together,” she said.
By SIERRA J. RUSSELL
Within the past 50 years, steps have been taken to maintain clean water and to raise awareness about the importance of water conservation.
In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to determine contaminant levels in public water supply.
A 1982 Aztec Press comic strip by Andy Mosier, who currently works for the Tucson Weekly, makes light of a water contaminant, trichlorethylene or TCE. According to Pima county records, this industrial solvent was improperly disposed of in southern Tucson.
This resulted in dangerous contamination of many water wells, leading to multiple cases of cancer, lawsuits and major efforts to cleanse the water supply.
A 1974 Aztec Press Earth Day issue dealt with courses offered at the Arizona State Environmental Technical Training Center at East Campus.
Russ Davis, a program instructor, voiced concerns about the changes that the Central Arizona Project would bring.
The main aim of the project was to pipe water from the Colorado River throughout most of the major cities in the Southwest.
“Here in Tucson, we use well water that needs very little treatment,” Davis said.
The water from the Colorado River would require further treatment and would not be sustainable enough to suit the needs of the rapidly growing cities of its region, Davis added.
“It’s hard to tell what treatment will be needed,” he said. “The water will be cloudy and will need to be disinfected because of animals along the way that can put bacteria into the water.”
Similar concerns were voiced in a 1981 article, when local realtor Andrew Laurie spoke to PCC students at a World Future Society meeting.
“Water is the main issue for the growth of Tucson,” Laurie said.
Laurie believed the Central Arizona Project would not provide sufficient water supply and said city planners should invest time and thought into smaller projects.
Elizabeth Zandee-Buser, editor in chief for the Aztec Press at the time, wrote about the issue in 1990.
“People who live in the desert should act like they live in the desert,” she wrote. “Water is a very precious commodity; we need to conserve it in every way.”