Blood pressure checks and making new friends at Friends in Deed

Green Valley, AZ – Friends in Deed (FID), Green Valley’s oldest non-profit organization, has started a new program called “Friends in Deed Friday” where you can get your blood pressure checked and meet new friends at the same time.

Launched in early January, the Friends in Deed Friday program offers free blood pressure screenings every Friday. Participants can enjoy an assortment of treats afterwards in a room set up especially for socializing. Goodies like fresh fruits, cheeses, pastries, cookies, and coffee are just some of the free offerings.
In addition, hobbies, artwork or other crafts created by different groups and individuals are shared with the participants every Friday. Jan Travis, a miniature collector and doll-house creator, had on display her replica of St. Francis-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church at one of the screenings. The details of her church—both inside and out—made her creation a wonderful conversation starter at the event.

More recently, Don Moberg and Laura Greenfield, two members of the Green Valley Woodcarvers, a group that also meets at FID, were on hand explaining their craft to those enjoying a snack after their screening. RN Betsey Medearis helped spearhead the program, and so far it has been a hit.

The Friends in Deed Friday blood pressure screenings run from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. every Friday at Friends in Deed, 301 W. Camino Casa Verde, Green Valley. Everyone is invited to join and free transportation from Villas East and Villas West is available by calling 625-4424. No wheelchair transportation is available at this time, however. Contact FID at 625-1150 for further information.

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Whipple Observatory’s Public Affairs Director Retires After 33 Years

Thirty-three years is a blip on an astronomer’s timeline, but it’s an entire career for Dan Brocious.

Brocious, 59, is the only public affairs director Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory has ever known. The complex’s prize telescope looks down on Green Valley from the 8,550-foot summit of Mount Hopkins to the east, and it has been Brocious’ job to explain what it does in terms a layman can understand.

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory owns the complex and runs it with the University of Arizona. Its 10-meter gamma-ray telescope was built in 1968, and Brocious joined the team 10 years later as it prepared to dedicate the MMT (Multiple Mirror Telescope) in May 1979. That six-mirrored telescope was replaced by another MMT (Magnum Mirror Telescope), which is a single mirror.

Through all the changes, Brocious has educated himself to the point that he speaks nearly as authoritatively about the mountain’s treasured telescopes as the world-renowned scientists who stand in line to use them.

Brocious has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University and a master’s in journalism from UofA. He also has some background in engineering, “but I had to come to understand the work as a member of the public,” he says.

That grass-roots understanding has helped thousands of visitors get a firmer grasp on the concepts of supernovas, black holes and the importance of spectroscopy.

When Brocious came to the job, the visitors’ center was housed in a one-room 1938 WPA adobe schoolhouse in Amado. Lectures were usually pulled off with a dozen metal folding chairs near a small exhibit that hung on the wall. The small space was used as a lunchroom, conference room and staff room, and there were about 2,000 visitors per year.

The visitors’ center moved to its current location near Elephant Head Road in 1991, and now sees about 5,000 visitors a year. About 3,000 of them take the tour up the 13-mile road to the telescope complex, though the VERITAS project has four telescopes at what’s called the base camp by the visitors’ center. Today, lectures fill 300 seats at the West Center, and there are 25 visitors’ center volunteers, mostly from Green Valley.

Brocious smiles when the word “retirement” comes up. He may be leaving, but he’s not going far—at least not yet.

He will, as a volunteer, continue to represent Whipple as a consultant on the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Rosemont copper mine. Brocious says the mine, which will be over a nearby ridge, could bring a lot of unwelcome light and dust.

In addition, he is preparing to sort and evaluate decades’ worth of slides and photographs for the Smithsonian Institution archive.

“I’ve been going through 33 years’ of files—it’s amazing what you find,” he says.

Brocious isn’t sure how many times he has driven the narrow, mostly dirt road to the summit, but on a recent trip up it’s clear that every mile holds a memory.

He shakes his head as he recalls a cement truck tumbling down the mountainside and catching fire. The driver was fine, but some of the dry cement hit a spring. Then there was the semi-flatbed that was supposed to make a delivery at the visitors’ center but sped by it and headed up the mountain. The driver met his match on a hairpin turn and dumped part of his load when the flatbed tilted.

There are also the tragic stories of illegal immigrants who make their way across the mountain and flatlands around base camp. Many, Brocious said, are sent up a ridge by coyotes who tell them Phoenix is just on the other side.

Brocious has heard all the questions, but patiently answers them time and again—questions about everything from extraterrestrials to the value of the astronomy done on Mount Hopkins.

To the latter, he readily admits that much of the work doesn’t offer practical application, but it’s important for humans to keep exploring and asking questions.

“This is to find out how the universe works,” he says of the work. “Most of what exists is out there, not here.”

Indeed, the residents of Green Valley are lucky not just because of the telescope, but because of individuals like Brocious. With such dedicated people and unique features, investing in the Green Valley real estate is a good choice. When it comes to beautiful new Arizona homes, contact Dorn Homes. The most trusted among Arizona luxury home builders, Dorn Homes will give you a quality home that is stylish, comfortable, convenient, and energy efficient.


Nova Home Loans opens in Green Valley

Nancy Roodhouse with Nova Home Loans is the new face of mortgage loans in Green Valley. She opened an office in Continental Plaza on Aug. 15. According to Roodhouse, with the current low interest rates and low home prices, this is a time for potential home buyers to explore the possibility of getting a loan.

Nova Home Loans has five offices in Tucson and 13 in Arizona and has wanted a presence in Green Valley for some time, Roodhouse said. It’s no surprise then that when she was offered the chance to have an office in Green Valley, Roodhouse jumped at it.

“I’ve been in this business as a processor, an underwriter and a closer for 16 years and have been a loan officer for the past two years. This was my opportunity to have my own office and originate my own loans. And I’ve already joined the Chamber.”

Consequences of the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis resulted in higher interest rates on adjustable home loans, which led to a flood of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures. Today, however, potential home buyers can take advantage of low interest rates and the decline in residential real estate prices.

In addition to offering conventional loans, Roodhouse said Nova Home Loans offers Federal Housing Authority, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture loans. For a conventional loan, the minimum credit score is 640—a welcome news considering that most residents in Green Valley have a credit score of 800, Roodhouse said.

“Purchasing a home is different for retirees than it is for young people. Retirees are analyzing whether to pay cash or get a loan at a low interest rate while young people need to prepare and save so they would not be house poor,” she said.

About 80 percent of mortgages issued to sub-prime borrowers were adjustable rate mortgages and as the rates peaked, delinquencies soared. “Sahuarita is a prime example of young people having to walk away from a home, and then home values in the neighborhood dropped,” Roodhouse said.

She advises anyone interested in buying a home in the near future to come in and explore getting a loan. Being pre-approved gives a buyer confidence and shows a seller they need not worry about the buyer’s ability to get approved.

“There are great interest rates now and great prices on homes. Underwriting and loan guidelines have tightened, and getting a loan approved takes 30 to 45 days,” she said. Nova Home Loans is at 210 W. Continental Road, Suite 132 in Continental Shopping Plaza. Hours are 8:30 to 5 Monday through Friday; 520-625-6682.

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Golf players for spots in U.S. Mid-Amateur

Green Valley Country Club’s Jeff Wilson will lead a group of local standouts who will try to advance to the U.S. Mid-Amateur championship during a qualifying tournament on Aug. 29 at Contra Costa Country Club.

Wilson has qualified several times for the national event for players age 25 and older, and reached the semifinals of match play once.

Also in the field at Contra Costa are Vacaville’s Bill Bergstrom, Fairfield’s Barry Logar and Jack Anthony, and Dan Bieber of Alamo, who plays out of Green Valley.

Bieber reached the quarterfinals of last week’s Northern California Golf Association Senior Amateur championship at Spyglass Hill before losing 3 and 2 to eventual champion Casey Boyns.

Logar played last week in the NCGA Amateur Championship at Spyglass. He shot rounds of 74 and 77 for a 7-over total of 151 in stroke play, missing the cutoff for match play by one shot.

Vaca Valley women

Karla Brown and Peggy Linville both were crowned champions as the Vaca Valley women’s club concluded its club championship on Thursday at Green Tree.

Brown ran away with the net title with a two-round total of 8-under 134. Linville took gross honors at 173.
Karen Meek (145) won the first flight by four shots over Jackie Knudson (149).

Virginia Carpenter (162) flew solo on the second flight.

Third-flight leaders were Mike Takeda (151), Betty Almstrom (151), Nancy Shaffer (161) and Sammie Reid (164).

Senior tournament series

Larry Arndt shot a blistering net round of 64 to grab a big lead halfway through the senior tournament series club championship recently at Green Tree.

Mike Hagerman added a net score of 69 in the event, which will conclude next week.
Rich Sturgess was the gross leader after a first-round 80.

Rancho Solano women

Jeanne Mackie fired a red-hot net 66 to win the Rancho Solano women’s club’s ace of aces tournament recently.

Debbie Egidio (76) won the first flight by one shot over Judy Heise (77), two over Kathy Maltby (78).
Mackie cruised in the second flight, finishing in front of Nancy Thurow (75) and Amy Shively (76).

Yes, SIRs

Cliff Hamilton’s sizzling 62 was the best net round of the day by SIRs No. 99 club members at Green Tree recently.

Richard Horn (70) edged Kent Carlson (71) in the first flight, with Dan Powell (72) another shot back.
Chuck Murtishaw (66) won a hot second flight, with Frank Bottoms (67) second and Carl Deweber (68) third.

Hamilton captured the third flight over Lyle Cullum (67) and Joe Tramontana (69).

In the fourth flight, Ed Pedigo (69) finished in front of Gary Mallory (70) and Steve Walker (72).

Leisure Town men

Frank Brennan and Bob Gale both shot net scores of 66 to lead Leisure Town men’s club players on Wednesday at Green Tree.

Gale won the first flight, with Frank Gale (68) second and Bruce Lassiter (69) third.

Second-flight leaders were Frank Vigil (71), Chuck Rogers (71) and Joe Tramontana (75).

Brennan won the third flight by five shots over Tony Baldo (71) and Cliff Hamilton (71).

Green Tree Niners

Kay Hadwin’s solid net score of 20 led Green Tree Niners participants in recent action.

Leni King (28) captured the first flight over Karen Brown (29) and Marilee Schauff (32).

Alma Schultz (24) took the second flight, with Barbara Jacobson (26) second, Kitty Lockwood (27) third and Helen Riggert (30) fourth.

Hadwin cruised in the third flight, followed by Leona Laurencallo (27), Kay Williams (27), Ruth Powell (30) and Margaret Brick (30).

In the fourth flight, Rosemarie Chonzena (29) finished ahead of Marlene Perasso (30), Carmen Haynes (31), Allie Alexander (32) and Shirley Morris (32).

Green Valley women

Teri Pickens, Malia Wolf, Carol Detrick and Mary Goulart combined for a hot net score of 209 to lead Green Valley women’s club members in a team event recently.

Diane Kelly, Syann Trask, Judy Blohm and Deb Smith (219) won the Classics flight over Jackie French, Gerry Grichuhin, Debby McGuire and Lynda Donahue (221).

Pickens, Wolf, Detrick and Goulart breezed in the Roadsters flight, finishing ahead of Katie Wheaton, Rena Bruton, Debbie Menzel and Brittany Hurst (231).

In the Hot Rods flight, the team of Pat Spencer, Mallory Haggart, Deanne Ikard and Lana Archer (219) edged Julie Osborn, Cathy Priest, Gail Jeffress and Sylvia Yarian (221).

Women in Paradise

Margie Miller, Cindy Thompson, Lillian McCallum and Kisa Kreitzman joined forces to shoot a two-best-ball net score of 117 and run away with a team event host by the Paradise Valley women’s club recently.

Second place went to Linda Grace, Jeanne Twitchell, Karen Moore and Camille Ward (124).
In third were Jean Putman, Snady Kreger, Shirley Axworthy and Rose Stone (127).

Twice Around club

Pat Moffett, Mary Jo Mudgett and Lynne Powell all won their respective flights in Twice Around club play at Green Tree recently.

Moffett took the first flight over Sammie Reid and Kay Bone.

Mudgett topped Alma Schultz in the second flight.

Third-flight leaders were Powell, Bea Vigil and Connie Holland.

Niners charity

The Green Tree Niners will host a charity tournament to benefit Vaca FISH on Sept. 14.
The event will be 18 holes of scramble play on the executive course.

Registration begins at 7 a.m., with a shotgun start to follow. Cost is $65 per player, including cart and lunch. Call 456-1840 or 427-3741 for information.

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