Pool Group Forming

The February 2019 edition of the PRT highlighted the issue of the Patagonia pool’s closure. 

A committee is currently being formed to consider the methods and means to bring the swimming pool back to operational standards. This committee will be making all efforts to restore the pool back into full public use not only to serve our local communities, but also to provide area youth with employment opportunities. The committee will draw on community talent from Patagonia, Elgin and Sonoita as well as local business and municipal leadership. 

Stay tuned for details and updates in the April issue of the Patagonia Regional Times.

SEFD Bd Welcomes New Member

Annette Dorney was sworn in to the Sonoita Elgin Fire District Board in January, replacing Suzanne Jenkins, who had resigned. (From left) Seated: Reba Webber, Chris Johnson, Annette Dorney. Standing: Kurt Bahti, Sue Archibald. Photo by Marion Vendituoli

Rotary Hosts Career Fair at Patagonia School

The Mountain Empire Rotary Club is looking for area businesses, entrepreneurs and persons representing professions interested in participating in a Career Fair at Patagonia Union High School (PUHS) for local middle and high school students on March 8, 2019 from 8:00 a.m to noon. 

The event will take place in the PUHS gymnasium and consist of individual booths for the participating organizations and professionals and a series of short presentations made to the students. Michael Young, Patagonia Public Schools Behavior Intervention Specialist is coordinating the event with the Mountain Empire Rotary and school administration. Young states, “We want the students to visit the booths where they can have a conversation and gain information on the various career opportunities. We believe that there are education and employment options for students locally and we want to make sure the students are aware of them. At the same time, we want the students to know what job skills and training are going to be expected of them.” 

Businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs and persons representing professions who are interested in participating should contact Randy Heiss at rheiss@seago.org or call at (520) 432-2622 X 202

Tax Seminars Scheduled

On or before March 1, all residents of Santa Cruz County will receive the Notice of Valuation post card for their property. This is the value that will be used to assess property taxes for your bill that will be mailed in October.

If property owners feel the Assessed Value is too high when compared to other like properties in their local area, there is a “Process to Appeal” the valuation with the County Assessor’s office in Nogales.

The second seminar, in the series of four, will focus on educating local residents about this appeal process. “How to Appeal Your Property Tax Valuation” will take place on March 6 at 6 p.m. in Pioneer Hall at the Sonoita Fairgrounds.

Unless certain rules are followed within a 60-day period, property owners will lose the right to appeal their valuation.The entire process to file an appealwill be covered in detail. Be aware that using proper wording in your appeal is necessary.

Special Tax Districts are a large expenditure on property tax bills. The final two meetings will cover these two entities.

Seminar III – “Learn about Your School Budgets” May 15 at 6 p.m., Sonoita Fairgrounds

Seminar IV – “Know Your Fire Department Tax Process” May 23 at 6 p.m., Sonoita Fairgrounds

Local Schools to Get Expanded Internet Access

The Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office Consortium is pleased to announce it has received $424,850 through the Schools and Libraries Program (E-Rate) funding. This funding will expand internet access to schools and libraries within Santa Cruz County, giving students and teachers the infrastructure needed to succeed in today’s changing technology driven world. The fiber optics lines installed in this project will increase broadband services for participating locations, including Patagonia School Districts #20 and #6 and Sonoita Elementary School District #25. 

The consortium chose the proposal from Century Link to be the internet provider and constructor for the project. 

“This is a great thing, not only for our schools and libraries, but for our entire county. I want to thank everyone who participated and especially NUSD #1 for coming on board with this project. With everyone working together and creating a countywide project, we were able to better the educational experience of our children,” said Alfredo Velasquez, Santa Cruz County School Superintendent.

According to the FCC website, high-speed internet access, or broadband, is critical to economic opportunity, job creation, education, and civic engagement. But there are too many parts of this country where broadband is unavailable. In urban areas, 97% of Americans have access to high-speed fixed service. In rural areas, that number falls to 65%. 

E-rate is a program of the FCC that provides schools and libraries discounts of up to 90% for technology related expenses. These expenses include internet access, wide area networks and the equipment that disseminates the internet throughout school and library buildings and districts. E-rate is providing the needed funds to allow rural students and patrons the same opportunity that their urban cousins enjoy.

Elgin School Science Fair Results

The Elgin School annual Science and Engineering Fair was held Feb 7-8 with over 40 projects completed by students in kindergarten through 8th grade. From testing whether the angle of a bow drill matters when trying to create an ember to start a fire to gathering evidence on how turkey feathers repel water, the students explored a wide variety of topics. 
Engineering ideas included an exoskeleton arm brace to strengthen a person’s ability to lift heavy objects, and a phone sleeve for helping people with Parkinson’s disease be able to hold their cell phone steady.
2018-19 Science Fair Winners
5th Grade 1st: What Lives In Your Mouth? by Ben Baez
6th Grade 1st: Plant Bullying by Mia Oswald and Xanadu DeMeritt
7th Grade 1st: Let’s Get Crackin’ by Cason Scouten
8th Grade 1st (tie): Operation Global Warming by Nick Dekhytar 
The Point of Pointe by Allisyn Lloyd 

Stradling Scholarships Available for Seniors

The Anne C. Stradling Equine Foundation will offer scholarships for students graduating in the class of 2019 who attend local public or parochial high school in Santa Cruz County or are home-schooled. County residents who attend high school in neighboring Pima or Cochise County are also eligible to apply. The number of scholarships varies depending on available funds and number of applications received. 

The awards are based on scholastic achievement, financial need and extracurricular activities. Enrollment in agricultural studies is encouraged, but not required. Students planning to attend a university, community college or trade/vocational school may apply. Applications must be postmarked no later than April 12, 2019 to be considered.

Applications may be obtained from the school counselor’s office or the Anne C. Stradling Equine Foundation, P.O. Box 248, Sonoita, AZ 85637.