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A look at life in Southern Cochise County A product of Herald/Review Media

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Soco 2019

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What’s Inside Quality of Life



6 Lewis Springs 8 Fairbank 10 Historic buildings 12 Archery 14 Sky Islands 16 Pets 18 Hummingbirds 20 Golf 22 Bodies of water 24 South of the border 26 Arizona Trail 28 Stargazing 30 Geology 32 Amerind Museum 34 Cover story 36 Cybersecurity 38 Retail 40 Goverment contractors 42 Young Professionals 86 Community Milestones

51 Man on the street 52 Healthcare 55 Crime 56 County Supervisors 58 Community Leaders 60 Transportation guide 62 San Pedro River 64 Water conservation 66 Education Fire Safety 67

From the publisher


elcome to SoCo 2019: A look at life in Southern Cochise County. SoCo 2019 was designed to reflect positively on the area and the quality of life we experience as residents. Herald/Review’s core coverage area is Southern Cochise County (#SoCo). This includes Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Tombstone, Huachuca City, Whetstone, Hereford, Fort Huachuca, Palominas, Naco and everything in between. #SoCo is an acronym for Southern Cochise County and we have defined the area as the following:

SoCo noun \ SōCō \ Unique communities in a high desert area where mountains, an international border, the Old West, Buffalo Soldiers and Sky Islands meet. Inside you will find a snapshot into the history of our unique communities and some of the haunted areas from days long ago. Our staff brings insights of sky islands, cyber security, our south of the border neighbors and so much more. From minerals, gems and native plants found in our beautiful land to some of the hidden gems to experience in Cochise County – there is something for everyone. Our intent is to showcase what a great place Southern Cochise County is to live, work and play. Once again we’ve included a list of annual events to ensure you don’t miss out on a weekend of fun. We hope you enjoy our 2nd annual edition of SoCo and share it with pride to promote the area. Jennifer Sorenson is the publisher of the Herald/Review.

Publisher: Jennifer Sorenson


Editor: Tim Woods Writers: Alexis Ramanjulu, Dana Cole, Emily Ellis, Jamie Verwys, Mark Levy, Pat Wick Photos: Mark Levy, Dana Cole,



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44 Visit Benson RV & Campsites 48 68 Local Foods 72 Haunted Cochise 74 Music 76 Murals Calendar of Events 78

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s oasi of the past

Lewis Springs was once resort area BY JAMIE VERWYS


eyond the San Pedro House on the outskirts of Sierra Vista is an unexpected pond that was once the site of some of the biggest parties in

town. Though it’s hard to picture it now, Lewis Springs used to be an oasis of fun and entertainment, drawing thousands from across the county for some of the biggest events of the region. During its heyday in the late-19th and early20th centuries, Lewis Springs was a resort that boasted a spring-fed natatorium (swimming pool), a bathhouse, music and a large pavillion for dancing, lots of food and refreshments and huge picnics. Gary Noonan, a retired Ph.D-level biologist, came to Sierra Vista in 2005 and was interested in learning more about the San Pedro River, particularly the human and environmental history 6

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of the valley. He’s writing the book on it now. While researching the area, he learned about the former regional resort at Lewis Springs. Through historical newspaper mentions, he began to assemble a vivid image of a bustling, vibrant entertainment hub just off the San Pedro. “I came across mentions in the Tombstone Epitaph calling it ‘the famous Lewis Springs,’ so it was well known in the 1890s,” he said. “One of the things people greatly valued then was shade, because it didn’t exist most places.” Cottonwood groves had been planted in the area and when people found out, that’s where they wanted to go, and there was revenue potential with the site. The railroad began offering stops to Lewis Springs, $1 for a round trip and 50 cents for children. In 1904, the site hosted a large picnic which was attended by 600 people from Douglas, Bisbee and Naco. “After that, over a number of years, it grew

and grew,” he said. “It has everything from African Americans celebrating Emancipation Day to lodges. It was a very big thing in those days. It had a major social factor and some social organizations held very big events.” In 1907, those who owned the property spent about $5,000 to develop the area, building up the pool, bathhouse, baseball fields and the rest of the entertainment. Noonan said, “for those days, it was quite a place.” A number of large picnics would be held at Lewis Springs over the years, including a barbeque hosted by the Warren District Democratic Club which drew 2,500-3,000 people. In 1911, a party thrown by the Bisbee Eagles and Bisbee Red Men would be another of the largest, with about 2,000 people attending. “The Tombstone Epitaph wrote that ‘every available rig and automotive engaged to make the trip,’ ” Noonan said. “Politicians were especially well represented and the paper talked

about the town being sort of emptied out, practically deserted.” But, as successful as Lewis Springs was, times were tough back then and several factors led to the area’s demise as an attraction. By around 1915, copper prices were dropping, labor unrest was prevalent and WWI was underway. On top of the changes to the entire social climate, Lewis Springs was expensive for most people at the time. Bisbee started providing more entertainment in town which was much more affordable. “It was an expensive thing to go to for people out of town and I suspect the Bisbee merchants wanted people to spend their dollars in Bisbee,” Noonan said. “Some of the trains had a slightly different approach as well, using a flat car. Some of them would build a vertical rail around the flatcar and people would just sit on chairs. There wasn’t much thought about safety back then and many people were standing.”

Noonan said the trail of historical mentions of Lewis Springs in newspapers ends in 1920, with a couple stories of individuals having picnics there trickling in. Now, almost all evidence of what Lewis Springs was is gone. All that remains are a small pond and several cottonwoods. Noonan believes that the buildings themselves went the way of most unutilized buildings back in the day. “In those days when a building was not needed, people tore it down and used materials,” E C H O he I Nsaid. G HOPE RANCH The stories of Lewis Springs as a regional resort smacks of a very different time, when people would take a sometimes uncomfortable and longFOR train ridePEOPLE and pay top dollar to WITH AUTISM enjoy shade, cool water and a picnic. “Everything you could think of in the way of events were held there; it was a big deal,” Noonan said. “There was no TV, there weren’t theaters originally, so it was a great experience for people if they could afford it.” n

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Because kids with autism grow up Phone (520) 508-2087 H Visit Us Online at www.EchoingHopeRanch.org Info@EchoingHopeRanch.org H 8344 S. Hereford Rd. Hereford, AZ 85615 Echoing Hope Ranch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

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Welcome to historic Fairbank Experience this ghost town by exploring its past BY DANA COLE


ust off State Highway 82, about 8 miles northwest of Tombstone, is the tiny ghost town of Fairbank.


Nestled beneath sprawling cottonwoods along the San Pedro River, from 1882 until 1903 Fairbank served as Tombstone’s train station and at one time, was an important rail hub for travelers and freight. During Tombstone’s silver boom, ore was transported through Fairbank to nearby mill towns, while passengers traveled to and from Tombstone and other destinations. “Fairbank was a rail town that got its start in 1882 when the New Mexico and Arizona Railroad built a rail line to connect the port of Guaymas in Mexico to the Southern Pacific’s transcontinental route that had reached Benson the prior year,” said Ron Stewart, who leads guided tours of the historic townsite for Friends of the San Pedro River. “The railroad route stretched between Benson and Nogales. It followed a prehistoric American Indian trade route down the San Pedro River, then turned west where it joined the Babocomari River near Fairbank.” At the junction of the two rivers a train depot was built, which happened to be the closest point to Tombstone during the town’s silver boom. Eventually, four different railroads built depots at Fairbank. “All of the passengers and freight coming in and out of Tombstone passed through those train depots in Fairbank,” Stewart said. Fairbank’s main street — appropriately dubbed Railroad Avenue — was lined with businesses that catered to the passengers. In addition, a stagecoach line was established to transport travelers the eight miles between


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Fairbank and Tombstone. By 1890, an estimated 300 people lived in the town where they worked for the railroads or the businesses that operated there. The Fairbank Mercantile Building, constructed in 1882, housed the post office, jail and a general store that ran the railroad freight business. “At one time, Stewart Goldwater, Senator Barry Goldwater’s uncle, operated a store in the mercantile building,” Stewart said. The rail lines through Fairbank also served as the departure point for ore pulled from Tombstone silver mines where it was hauled to mills in nearby Contention City and Charleston. As part of his history tour, Stewart talks about an attempted train robbery in 1900 at the Fairbank station. “On that infamous day, a gang of outlaws tried to rob the train, but were foiled by famous Arizona lawman Jeff Milton,” he said. “So, Fairbank shared a little of the lawlessness that marked the history of other towns of that era.” When mining in Tombstone stopped in 1886, the nearby mills shutdown and Fairbank started to decline. “In 1906 the land Fairbank occupied passed to the Little Boquillas Ranch and most of the town’s residents were ranch

Buildings still standing at Historic Fairbank Townsite m Mercantile m House m Garage m Chicken coop with an out house attached m Schoolhouse, which serves as a museum and is the only building people can enter. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

employees,” Stewart said. “The Works Progress Administration set up a camp there, and several of the remaining buildings scattered throughout the townsite date to the government program.” The Mercantile continued as a post office, gas station and cafe until 1972. It’s closure marked the official end of Fairbank, representing its transition to ghost town. Fairbank is now managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), with the town incorporated into the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area as “Fairbank Historic Townsite.”

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Today, Fairbank is open to the public. A schoolhouse built of gypsum block was constructed in 1920 and continued to serve as a school through the 1930s. The BLM restored the building in 2007, with the schoolhouse now open to the public as a museum and information center. Staffed by volunteers, it’s open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hikers, horseback riders and history buffs enjoy trails in and around the townsite, historic ruins, the tiny cemetery with its unmarked graves, and schoolhouse. “Fairbank, which is located in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, has trailheads in the townsite that go different directions,” said Sally Rosen, who is a docent with the Friends organization and is a 16-year volunteer. “One trail is four-mile loop that goes north and the other heads south to the Little Boquillas Ranch. These are two popular options for hikers. For shorter trails, head to the San Pedro River, or take the trail to the cemetery, which is a little over a mile round trip.” Fairbank’s trails, Rosen added, are very popular with horseback riders. The four-mile loop trail passes by the Grand Central silver mill, which is about a mile and a half from the school house, Rosen said. Much of the four-mile trail follows old rail beds, which loop back to Fairbank. “To fully enjoy Fairbank’s colorful history, trails and the San Pedro River riparian area, pack a picnic lunch and plan on spending the day,” Rosen said. “Before starting out, be sure to stop in the schoolhouse and visit with the volunteer for maps and information.” Take advantage of the free docent-led tours during the fall and spring. For a schedule of the walks, go to the Friends of the San Pedro River Facebook page, or visit the website, sanpedroriver.org/wpfspr. n

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Cochise County courthouse

Where: Bisbee Built: 1931

Bird cage theater

Where: Allen Street in Tombstone Built: 1881

Building SOCO

Photographer Mark Levy highlights a few of the historic buildings you may stumble across during your travels through Cochise County.

The willcox commercial

Gadsden hotel

Where: Douglas Built: 1908

Where: South Railroad Avenue in Willcox Built: 1880s

Grand theater

Where: G Avenue, Douglas Built: 1919 Fast Facts: The theater’s architect was M. Eugene Durfee. 10

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St. Paul Episcopal Church

Where: Tombstone Built: 1882 Fast fact: This was the first Protestant church in Arizona territory.

Copper Queen hotel Where: Bisbee Built: 1902

warren ballpark

Where: Bisbee Built: 1909 Fast Facts: It is said to be the oldest baseball stadium in the country.

Tombstone courthouse

Where: Toughnut Street in Tombstone Built: 1882 Fast fact: This Victorian style building was the Cochise County courthouse until 1931

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he Huachuca Mountain Archers and Bowhunters Club was founded in 1985 by a group of people that were into archery, but also wanted to help the non profit organizations in the community. The club wanted to raise money to give to those local non profits. The club still carries on this tradition by hosting tournaments. The club has a lifetime lease of land on Fort Huachuca for their activities. There is an archery range which is open to club members as well as a 3D course. The 3D shoots happen once a month. The shoots run $10 for club members and $20 for non club members. All funds go to local non profit organizations. Club memberships are $30 per year for an individual and $35 a year for families. Visit huachuca-archers.com/ for more information. n


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A different kind of Cochise County’s Sky Islands boast biodiversity


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What are the Sky Islands? BY JAMIE VERWYS


n southeastern Arizona the wilderness is alive with everything from chiltepin peppers to endangered species of animals like the jaguar. The biodiversity along the San Pedro River alone is home to more native vertebrate species than Yellowstone National Park. Blame it on the islands in the sky. The Madrean Sky Islands include many mountain ranges in Cochise County, such as the Chiricahua Mountains, Mule Mountains, Huachuca Mountains and Coronado National Forest. The term “Sky Islands” refers to mountains separated from each other by other mountains and lowlands that are a “sea” of grasslands or another type of dramatically different environment. Daniel Armenta, development director of the Sky Islands Alliance, said that the Sky Islands are an ideal environment for species to thrive in. “It puts a lot of different environments in one place and concentrates different species around here in a small area,” he said. “It gives wildlife the opportunity to migrate up into the mountains rather than migrate long distances.” Sky Islands Alliance is a nonprofit dedicated to protecting this biodiversity and acting as a voice for preservation. “Our mission is all about protecting and restoring biodiversity of the region working throughout the region including into Mexico, with Mexican staff who continue this work north of the border,” Armenta said. “We advocate for protection of wildlands, do restoration projects anywhere from pulling and removing invasive plants and replacing them with pollinators to being a strong voice for protection and restoration.” There is a lot of opportunity for people to spot a wide variety of animals and plants out in the Sky Islands of Cochise County. “Many of the sort of big, charismatic species are elusive ... or they stay away from people,” Armenta said. “You can see lots of bird species and butterflies and of course as you get to the base of the mountain ranges there’s a good chance to see mule and whitetail deer, maybe a bobcat, javelinas, coyote … when you get to canyons like Madera Canyon and the Santa Ritas you have a good chance of seeing turkeys.” Some of those more elusive species

include bears and mountain lions, images of which are captured on wildlife tracking cameras the Sky Island Alliance has in different parts of the region. Armenta said just last year alone they got 26,000 photos of varied wildlife, some hardly noticing the camera as they walked by, with other animals taking an exploratory sniff. Local photographer Robert Gallucci finds inspiration in the Sky Islands, photographing its landscapes, animals and starry skies. He considers it an ideal place for seeing the wonders of nature. “God carved out Cochise County and said, ‘I’m going to make this place unique,’ ” Gallucci said. “It’s almost beyond verbal description to say what it is about these Southern Arizona deserts and Sky Islands that are so magnificent. “It could be that almost all year we have unique, spectacular and stunning sunsets or it could be that the shades of pink and pastel blue that color our skies can’t be seen anywhere else. It could be the way the morning sun reflects off of desert broom plants.” Gallucci’s main goal with his photography is to make Cochise County a photography destination right up there with sites like the Grand Canyon. “People go to Sedona or Antelope Canyon and are in awe, as they should be; they are beautiful,” he said. “We are just as beautiful in our own right. If you’re a photographer who wants unique shots just as beautiful and want to find a place people haven’t found yet, this is it.” Gallucci does workshops ranging from free camera basics to Milky Way lessons and he’s working to add larger photography tours of the region. He wants people to have enough technical skills and understanding to take their camera out into the Sky Islands and experience it. “I want people to understand how unbelievably beautiful and biodiverse this area is so it can be appreciated,” he said. He said it’s important to respect the wildlife of the area and to not invade their territory. Gallucci likes to wait for birds or other animals to find him and photograph them in their natural environments. The Sky Islands are an environmental region quite unlike any other but there are threats to the area’s safety. Armenta mentioned challenges ahead, such as the impacts construction of a potential border wall or other development might have on the migratory paths of species

A sky island is a mountain separated from other mountains by distance and lowlands that are comprised of a drastically different environment. This creates an area that has multiple ecosystems at different climates, ranging from desert to grasslands, from temperate to more tropical climates. More than 7,000 plants and animals call this varied area home, including over half of the bird species found in the U.S. The Madrean Sky Islands spread across four states and two countries (Arizona, New Mexico, Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico). The concept of “sky islands” can be applied in other parts of the country, but the origin of the term was born right here in Cochise County. In 1943, writer Natt N. Dodge referred to the Chiricahua Mountains as a “mountain island in a desert sea” in an Arizona Highways article. Southeastern Arizona nature writer Weldon Heald later popularized the term in his 1967 book “Sky Island.”

who live here. If you want to help protect the Sky Islands, Armenta recommends volunteering with them. “We involve volunteers in hands-on conservation work,” he said. “They can go out into the field with us and it is hard labor but it’s also a lot of fun.” Volunteers can do anything from helping with preservation projects, tending to the wildlife cameras, data entry and helping to monitor crucial springs and water sources. “Another way to help is to keep an eye on our website, subscribe to the newsletter and come to one of our education events,” he said. “Of course, we are a nonprofit so charitable contributions are extremely important.” For more information on the Sky Island Alliance and how you can get involved, visit www.skyislandalliance.org. To see Gallucci’s photography of the region or to see upcoming workshops, visit soco 2019 15 www.rgallucci.com. n


Pets in Cochise County BY EMILY ELLIS


Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center volunteer Hannah Vitolo brings out Harmony for a walk.

There are a lot of great cats, dogs and small pets in Cochise County shelters waiting to find their forever home. Phaydra Adams, an animal control officer with the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center in Sierra Vista, recommends adopting your new best friend rather than buying from a breeder or from classified sites like Craigslist. “If you get a animal from Craigslist or a breeder, there’s very little background,” said Adams. “The benefits of adopting is, of course, you’re rescuing an animal and giving them another chance, and they do get checked by a vet.” Adoptions at the Nancy J. Brua Center, for example, are usually set at $75 for a dog and $50 for cats, a fee that includes rabies shots, spay or neuter, a one-year city license, and an exam, she said. The center

also regularly holds fun events and adoption specials, such as their holiday-themed Pitbulls Aren’t Spooky and Merry Pitmas events. Local coffee spot Broxton’s also hosts frequent adoption events. Knowledgeable staff can also help you choose the right pet for your family and lifestyle, and point you toward great veterinarians and trainers in the area, said Adams. “Staff here can give you tips and tricks, and can give you a lot more resources,” she said. If you live outside Sierra Vista, animal shelters in Benson, Bisbee, Tombstone and Douglas, as well as Border Animal Rescue in Bisbee and AZ Greyhounds in Sierra Vista, also have some great critters deserving of new homes.



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One of Cochise County’s draws is its abundance of wildlife, which can also cause for some unfortunate encounters between pets and wild animals if owners do not keep a close eye on their animals. Cat owners in particular should take care to keep their kitty indoors — not just to protect the kitties themselves, but for the sake of the area’s abundant bird population. “There’s definitely a lot more wildlife here. We do have javelinas, coyotes, owls, hawks, that kind of thing,” said Adams, who said that any small pet should be monitored very carefully

when out of the house. Dr. Maggie Weston, a veterinarian at New Frontier Animal Medical Center in Sierra Vista, said outdoors cats “do not live as long their counterparts.” Folks with dogs (even large ones) should also be on the lookout for wildlife, particularly rattlesnakes and javelina, which have been known to attack dogs when threatened, she said. “Be cautious when hiking with your dog during April through October when the snakes are out,” she said. “Rattlesnakes also end up in your own backyard, even if you live in the city. The best way to prevent a snake bite is by enrolling your dog into an

appropriate snake avoidance class that teaches the dog to avoid snakes.” A few trainers in the area, including K9 Snake Avoidance Training and Sit Means Sit in Sierra Vista, can help teach your dog how to keep their distance from venomous snakes, said Adams. Other outdoor safety tips include being aware of sharp terrain that can cut your dog’s paws while hiking in the Huachuca Mountains, keeping animals away from prickly cacti and venomous plants such as oleander and sago palm, and using pest control measures in the home to keep spiders and scorpions at bay, said Weston.


ith its miles of great hiking trails and tranquil, walkable communities, Southern Cochise County is a great place for animal enthusiasts. However, if you are new to the area — or looking to get a pet for the first time — there are a few things experts say you should keep in mind about pet ownership in the area.

HEALTH CARE AND EMERGENCIES While there are multiple veterinary offices throughout the county — including five in Sierra Vista — an essential thing for any pet owner in the county to remember is that there are no 24-hour emergency clinics in Cochise County, said Adams. “Unfortunately, Tucson is the closest option for people,” she said. “So that’s the biggest thing we recommend is that they are aware that Tucson is. Some of the vets do offer after-hour emergencies, but it’s only certain cases, so check with the vets beforehand what they do or what they don’t.” It is important for pet owners new to the county to establish a relationship with a local vet as soon as they arrive in the area, said Weston. “It is much easier for established clients to be seen

in a timely manner and fit in for emergencies if they occur,” she said. “Some veterinary hospitals do offer extended evening or weekend hours, and some offer after-hours emergency care.” New Frontier, for example, offers evening hours a couple nights a week and are on call every other weekend, she said. Some other offices, including VCA Apache Animal Hospital and Coronado Veterinary Hospital, also offer some weekend hours. If an emergency occurs outside those hours, the closest 24-hour facilities are Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, VCA Valley Animal Hospital and Emergency Center, and the Veterinary Specialty Center, all of which are located in Tucson.

WITH FIDO HAVING FUN Overall, Cochise County is a great place to have a pet. With its affordable housing and land, easy access to a gorgeous trails, as well as dog-friendly, open-air restaurants in some cities, including Bisbee and Sierra Vista, there are plenty of places to get out and about with your pet and meet up with other animal-lovers. Even if you’re not interested in diving into animal ownership yourself, the shelters and rescues throughout the county welcome volunteers, said Adams, who said she loves being an animal owner in the county. “We’re a very pet-friendly community,” she said. n

Volunteer Robin Redmond plays with a Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center adoption hopeful, Dakota, to the play area for some exercise.

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Humming along



here no rhyme or reason to why people are fascinated with hummingbirds, but the intriguing creatures are attracted to our area. “Hummingbirds really do have a charisma,” said co-director of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory, Tom Wood. “They have a constituency that goes well beyond the real dedicated bird watcher. Again, Southeast Arizona is famous amongst birders. People come here from all over the world to see all of our birds. But there are people who are just fascinated by hummingbirds, and it may be their small size, it might be their bright colors, it may be their fearlessness — the fact that you can get so close to them. People have been fascinated with hummingbirds forever. ” Hummingbird sightings aren’t uncommon around the county. Heather Swanson, a former natural resource specialist for the Bureau of Land Management, said more than 360 species of birds can be found in the area. Roughly 260 of those species are migratory. Southeastern Arizona’s warm weather draws hummingbirds to the area — like what attracts people to Southern Cochise County. The colorful creatures come to our neck of the woods as part of their migration pattern, which can extend as far north as Alaska and Montana. Wood added that our proximity to Mexico makes Cochise County attractive to hummingbirds, as most of the different species live in Mexico and South America. “Hummingbirds are really tropical birds, and so the fact that the Huachucas are just an extension of the Sierra Madre


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down in Mexico is what gives us our variety of hummingbirds,” Wood said. “Hummingbirds are essentially tropical creatures. We get excited here in Arizona because we have 15 species of hummingbirds that can be seen here in Cochise County. Ecuador has 135 species of hummingbirds, so the further south you go, the more hummingbirds you find.” “Although we have hummingbirds (in Sierra Vista and Cochise County), at least in small numbers, year-round, the best time for hummingbird viewing here is southeastern Arizona in late summer — August and September — in the rainy season,” Wood said. “At that time, we have the resident birds and their offspring but we’re also seeing the southbound migration, so we are seeing birds from further north that are coming through here in late summer.” Wood dispelled the misconception that if feeders are left out in the fall, hummingbirds won’t migrate. He said no matter if feeders are up or taken down, hummingbirds will migrate. “Some are staying over the winter because of the increase in temperature,” Swanson said. “Because of climate change, people could see them year-round if they wanted to.” According to the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory website, there are over 330 species of hummingbirds, 26 species can be seen north of Mexico and 15 can be found in southeastern Arizona. Wood said the most common types of hummingbirds that can be seen in the area are Black-chinned (San Pedro River), Broad-billed (San Pedro River and at the mountains’ foothills), Rivoli’s (the canyons) and Rufous — which come through in migration.

m Four parts water to one part white granulated sugar m No artificial sweetener, brown sugar or red dye. Red dye is artificial and hummingbirds aren’t made to have it. m Don’t have to buy commercial m Keep fresh and clean. Clean feeder every three days

The San Pedro River is a good spot to see hummingbirds, as they use the river as a “migration corridor” in both the spring and fall. Spring migration occurs in late April and runs through the end of May and doesn’t bring as many hummingbirds to the area as the fall migration. Hummingbirds see on the red spectrum, which makes them more attracted to red or orange tubular flowers. However, Wood says, feeders should not contain artificial red dye, as hummingbirds are not meant to consume anything artificial. Hummingbird banding takes place at the San Pedro House by the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory in late March, April, May, July, August and September. Banding helps researchers track where the hummingbirds travel and is a way to identify the birds. Visitors can watch these bandings. For exact days and times, visit https://sabo. org/activities/events-list/#!event-list. . n

Hummingbird hot spots Ash Canyon Bed and Breakfast: 5255 E. Spring Road Hereford, AZ 85615

Tucson Audubon paton Center for Hummingbirds: 477 Pennsylvania Ave., Patagonia, AZ 85624

Beatty’s Guest Ranch and Orchard: 2173 E. Miller Canyon Road Hereford, AZ 85615

ArizonaSonora Desert Museum: 2021 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, AZ 85743

Professional, Compassionate & Trusted By Thousands For Over 34 Years!

Ramsey Canyon Preserve: 27 E. Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ

Nancy Rea (520) 439-3030 • 1-800-677-1884 CELL: 520-227-3817 www.nancyrea.com • nancyrea@remax.net


Madera Canyon: is accessed from I-19 about 30 miles south of Tucson and 30 miles north of Nogales, Arizona on the US/Mexico border

Cave Creek Canyon/ Portal: 150 miles east of Tucson and 50 miles north of Douglas

V e o t w e n r e a d n



The Huachucans Charities of Sierra Vista is a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to Helping Kids Since 1985. Over the past 35 years, through the Sierra Vista Open, Charity Dinner, and our Fundraising Opportunity Drawing we have raised and donated over $1 million dollars to youth organizations and activities in Sierra Vista and throughout Cochise County. Find out more information at: www.thehuachucans.com The Huachucans owe a great deal of thanks to our Major Sponsors for their generosity and exceptional support that help make all this happen: The Lawley Automotive Group, SSVEC & TWN, The Law Offices of Michael E. Farro, Canyon Vista Medical Center, Castle & Cooke, Pioneer Title, M&R Auto, & The Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona. Today, as in 1985, we remain committed to monetarily helping local youth organizations. We solicit your support and ask you to help us help the kids by supporting our grants program, activities, and fundraisers.

o F w a n m e i d l y

Mon-Fri 9-6 • Sat 9-5 Sun Closed

GRANTS Annually, the Huachucans’ Charities provides monetary support to numerous selected youth organizations in Southeastern Arizona such as High Schools and Sports Teams. To submit a grant application go to: www.thehuachucans.com/grants.html

opportunity drawing which begins on March 1st 2019 and finishes on August 31st. Each organization participating receives 80% of the funds collected for the tickets that it has sold as specified in the Fundraiser Opportunity Drawing Agreement. For more information contact Mike Halley at: halleym@cox.net

FUNDRAISERS & SPONSORSHIP The Huachucans conduct several fund raising activities with our sponsors throughout the year that monetarily support youth activities & organizations throughout Cochise County. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, contact JP Bailey at jps19thhole@cox.net or visit www.thehuachucans.com/fundraisers.html

WHO WE SUPPORT Our fund raising activities have helped and greatly supported a number of organizations focused on youth activities including: Buena High School Sports, Band, & ROTC; Bisbee High School Sports; Tombstone High School Track and Field and JROTC; Elfrida’s Valley Union High School Girls Softball; many Sierra Vista Public, Private, & Charter Schools including All Saints Catholic School, COL Johnson Elementary PTO, Trinity Preschool, Village Christian Preschool; Sierra Vista and Bisbee Boys & Girls Clubs; Sierra Vista & Bisbee Youth Football & Cheer; C.A.N.T.E.R; Bisbee, Sierra Vista, & Huachuca City Little Leagues; Girls softball teams Arizona Panic, Sierra Vista’s Diamonds, Strike, & Team Force Softball; Upward Sports of Sierra Vista; The Miss Sierra Vista Foundation & Miss Cochise County Outstanding Teen Scholarships; Miss Cinderella Scholarships; Boys & Girls Scout Troops; Special Olympics; Sierra Vista Friends of the Library; Sierra Vista Galaxy Soccer; Cochise Futbol Club & SSVEC’s Youth Engineering and Science Fair.

2019 SIERRA VISTA OPEN The Sierra Vista Open is the premier golf event in Cochise County, drawing professionals, club pros, and amateurs from throughout the Southwestern United States as well as places from as far away as Alaska. The 2019 SV Open begins on 17 May with our Sponsors’ Thank You Tournament followed on 18-19 May with the highly competitive Sierra Vista Open. For more information contact Jeff Pehl at jpehl@yahoo.com 2019 CHARITY AUCTION DINNER The Huachucans Annual Charity Auction and Dinner, otherwise known as “Dining on the Links”, is an evening full of LIVE music, raffles, auctions, games and fun! You will not want to miss this special event! The 2019 dinner is May 18th, at Pueblo del Sol County Club. For more information contact Will Cain at willsouthwestdesert@gmail.com 2019 FUNDRAISING OPPORTUNITY DRAWING The Huachucans sponsor an annual fundraising

Since 1985, we have remained committed & focused on helping and supporting local youth organizations. We solicit your support and ask you to help us help the kids by supporting our activities and fundraisers.

Visit our webpage at www.thehuachucans.com or contact Jack Isler at jkson1@aol.com

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Teeing up a good time

Sierra Vista

Mountain View Golf Course Located on Fort Huachuca, the military course just off Buffalo Soldier Trail, Mountain View Golf Course is open to the public and run by the Fort Huachuca Morale, Welfare and Recreation Directorate. With the beautiful backdrop of the Huachuca Mountains, it features 18 holes expanding from 4,490 to over 7,200 yards. The venue also houses a clubhouse with drinks and snacks, a pro shop, driving range and practice green. Clubs, pull carts and electric golf carts are available. For tee times and questions, call 520-533-7088. Pueblo del Sol Country Club: 2770 Saint Andrews Dr., Sierra Vista, AZ 85650 A championship golf course known for its speedy greens, Pueblo del Sol Country Club is a must for golf aficionados of varying skills. The Sierra Vista course opened in 1976, and is nestled at the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains. Their $25 green fee for a day is one of the lowest in the area, and allows anyone to experience the course. Golf enthusiasts can enjoy 18 holes of fun with the challenges of avoiding water hazards and sand bunkers. The course extends from 5,897 to 7,174 yards, with various tee locations to accommodate different skill levels. After a round or a session on the driving range or practice green, guests can enjoy the dining facility for a post-round snack or drink. The club is also home to a pro shp and conference/banquet room for events. Club repair is offered by the pro shop, which is a feature that makes PDS unique to other courses. The country club also has tennis courts and a swimming pool on its grounds. For tee times and more information, call 520-378-6444. Membership is available, but is not required, to play a round or enjoy any of the facilities. The club offers three different membership packages, with no initiation fee to join. For more information or questions about membership, call Priscilla Vilhauer at 502-803-9913, ext. 107.

Guide to Cochise County’s eye-catching golf courses BY ALEXIS RAMANJULU


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San Pedro Golf Course: 926 North Madison Ave, Benson, Arizona 85602 Owned and operated by the city of Benson, the 18-hole golf course stretches 7,313 yards from the championship tees and 3,551 yards from the shortest tees. Each hole accommodates various skill levels, as they have six different sets of tees. The front nine of the course winds through mesquite groves along the San Pedro River, and the back nine plays through canyons. Built in 2003, the championship golf course is located 30 mile southeast of Tucson and approximately 32 miles from Sierra Vista. San Pedro Golf Course is open to the public, with memberships available for purchase. Visit www.sanpedrogolf.com for rates and fees, as they change over the course of the year. After a round of golf, visitors can rest and relax at the course’s restaurant, Benson City Grille, which is open for lunch and dinner. For more information or questions, call 520-586-7888.


Twin Lakes Golf Course: 1000 South Rex Allen Jr. Drive, Willcox, AZ 85643 The nine-hole Willcox golf course is easily walkable for those who choose to play the course. It features four sets of tees for various skill levels and a number of water hazards to provide challenges for golfers. Twin Lakes Golf Course was opened and operated by the city of Willcox. A clubhouse, driving range and putting/chipping green are available and accessible to visitors.

Naco, Ariz.

Turquoise Valley Golf: 1794 W. Newell St., Naco, AZ 85620 Known as the “oldest continuously operated golf course in Arizona,” Turquoise Valley Golf is a course that should be visited by residents or travelers at least once. Located 15 minutes south of Old Bisbee, in Naco, Arizona, the 18-hole golf course was established in 1908, and is home to the 10thlongest hole in the world. The 15th hole, better known as “The Rattler,” extends 747 yards, and is a par-6 that offers golfers a challenge worth conquering — even if it is just for bragging rights. Turquoise Valley Golf offers a number of tournaments for golfers to participate in over the course of the year. The course swapped ownership in September 2018, when Phoenixarea real estate broker and business owner Joseph Lewis, as well as anonymous partners in Phoenix, purchased the course after rumors swirled the course would close down. With the new owners came new management, both of whom previously worked at Rio Rico Golf Club. Standard pricing for the course is as follows: nine holes is $20, 18 holes is $25, and cart rental is $10. Frequent Player Pass, six-month membership and annual memberships are available. In addition to the course, visitors to Turquoise Valley Golf can enjoy their full service restaurant and bar, pro shop, conference room/ballroom and golf clinics. For more information, contact Turquoise Valley Golf at 520-4323091 or their website www.golfbisbee.com.

For all your real estate needs

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Joan Hays (520) 439-3952

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Joe Zaky (520) 234-6470

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Douglas Municipal Golf Course: 1372 E Fairway Dr, Douglas, AZ 85607 Did not return phone calls seeking course information.


NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Kristie Wheatley Leah Reeder Lisa Vaughan (520) 255-8200 (520) 439-2727 (520) 227-2868

Tom & Anne Rownan (520) 439-3955

Jean Giuffrida

Branch Manger (520) 439-3901 127509

(520) 459-4993 2363 E. Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista, AZ

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e r e h w y r e v e r e t a w , r e t a W QUALITY OF LIFE | WATER



ome surprising things can be found in the high desert in Cochise County. One of them is Whitewater Draw, an 1,800-acre, highdesert oasis in the Sulfur Springs Valley on West Bagby Road in McNeal. The wildlife management area offers thousands and thousands of waterfowl and other feathered beauties in a winter wonderland. The long-range fliers have been wintering at the draw for more years than the locals know. Each year, 20,000 to 30,000 greater and lesser sandhill cranes, from as far north as Alaska, make the small water world their winter home. They come to the valley to clean the seed from dried corn, hay and alfalfa fields that blanket the valley from Double Adobe north to Willcox. Each adult crane downs about a pound to a pound-and-a-half of grain from agricultural fields every day. If the summer rains are ample, there is plenty for the cranes and geese to last until February, when they again take flight and head for the summer breeding grounds. Watching them fly off each morning, or fly back in each afternoon, are visitors who come from places almost as far away as the cranes. Some are avid bird watchers looking to tick a species off their life lists. Some are just there just to see the mesmerizing flocks in flight and hear the unusual, gurgling cacophony of calls. In addition to the cranes, all sorts of ducks, geese and shorebirds find safe harbor waiting out the winter months at Whitewater Draw. The murmurations of yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds are almost hypnotic as they move from roost to roost in the tall reeds. Hawks and harriers patrol the spent grasses looking for a quick meal. Barn owls perch hidden among the branches of desert willows. Dry camping is allowed, and there are restroom facilities at the draw. No water is available. For more information, visit: www.audubon.org/important-birdareas/whitewater-draw-state-wildlife-area. Live video: hdontap.com/ index.php/video/stream/white-water-draw-wildlife


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Patagonia Lake State Park

The small Patagonia Lake State Park was established in 1975 as a state park, and was created by damming Sonoita Creek. The 250acre lake is 2 miles long, and is habitat for bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. Rainbow trout are stocked during the winter. It is an ideal place to find whitetail deer roaming the hills and great blue herons walking the shoreline. The park offers a campground, beach, picnic area with ramadas, tables and grills, a creek trail, boat ramps and a marina. Lakeside Market offers boat rentals and supplies, grocery items. The campground overlooks the lake where anglers catch crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, and trout. The park is popular for water skiing, fishing, picnicking, and hiking. Tent and RV camping is available and reservations are encouraged. Hikers can stroll along the creek trail and see birds such as the canyon towhee, Inca dove, vermilion flycatcher, black vulture and several species of hummingbirds. For more information, visit: azstateparks.com/patagonia-lake.

Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area The sands at the Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area were a beach surrounding a lake approximately 2 million years ago. What remains today is one of the most unique recreation spots in Arizona. Hot Well Dunes provides the opportunity to ride 2,000 acres of sand dunes, set up a camp, and then soak in relaxing hot tubs, all in the same location. An artesian well produces in excess of 250 gallons of hot water per minute. It is a result of an oil-drilling operation


San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area The SPRNCA is a birder’s paradise and the answer to prayers for those seeking peace and quiet and a beautiful walk along one of Arizona’s extraordinary remaining rivers. Formed in 1988 by an act of the U.S. Congress, the SPRNCA has grown in size to over 57,000 acres, and runs for over 40 miles to the north from the border with Mexico. The mile-wide narrow strip of land is home to some threatened and endangered species, both plant and animal and a significant Clovis Site that contains an undisturbed stratigraphic record of the past 40,000 years. People first arrived in this area 11,000 years ago. They belonged to what we now call the Clovis Culture, and were the earliest known people to have inhabited North America. The river’s stretch is home to 84 species of mammals, 14 species of fish, and 41 species of reptiles and amphibians. As an essential migratory stopover for millions of birds each year, this globally

important bird area sees more than 250 species of migrating and over 100 species of resident birds — nearly 45 percent of the total bird species in North America. SPRNCA is especially important to those threatened and endangered plants and animals: the yellow-billed cuckoo, the uncommon gray hawk, the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher and the Huachuca water umbel, which grows only in shallow water of perennial seeps, springs and streams, and is found in and along the San Pedro River.

Roper Lake Park and Facility Hours

Park is open year-round. Open 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. Visitor center/park store 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily Hours vary by season Park entrance fee Per vehicle (1 to 4 adults): $10 (as of April 1) Individual/bicycle: $3 There are several picnic areas throughout the park near the fishing and swimming areas. Most of these areas include a picnic table, BBQ grill and a shade ramada. More information: https://azstateparks.com/roper-lake/ explore/facility-information

in the late 1920s that hit water instead of oil. The water has been flowing since that time at a temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Small, cattail-lined ponds provide habitat for fish and wildlife. Activities include hot-tubbing, camping, picnicking, fishing, photography and off-highway vehicle driving in sand dunes. Drinking water is not available, and shade is limited. More information: https://www.blm.gov/visit/hot-well-dunes.

Reintroduced beaver have built dams that act as a natural control to slow the river during flooding events caused by monsoon rains. According to the BLM, which oversees the SPRNCA, it is “the most extensive desertriparian habitat remaining in the United States with over 80 species of mammals and 41 species of reptiles and amphibians.” And not to be forgotten are the 180 species of butterflies that can be found from spring hatch to winter’s pupae. That puts the San Pedro “at the top of the list for diversity in vertebrate species in the continental U.S. and “second in the world for highest diversity of land mammals.” Friends of the San Pedro River operate three sites in the SPRNCA that offer information on hiking trails and what might be seen on the day’s hike, as well as historical information and site tours. For more information, visit: www.blm.gov/ visit/san-pedro.

Parker Canyon Lake Another county gem is Parker Canyon Lake, located in the Canelo Hills near Elgin and managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The 132-acre lake is 5,375 feet in elevation, 60 feet deep and was formed by a dam in Parker Canyon in the south end of the Canelo Hills. A dry campground and RV sites are spread out over a hill overlooking the lake. Water and restroom facilities are available. A 5-mile hiking trail follows the lake shore and provides great views of the waterfowl and other bird species. Coues deer, coatimundi and javelina can be seen as well along the quiet walk. Anglers can enjoy fishing for both cold and warm water species, like rainbow trout, bass, sunfish and catfish. A fishing license is required. Parker Canyon Lake still holds the inland waters hook-and-line state record for a channel catfish weighing 32 pounds and measuring 39 inches, caught in 1987. A privately owned concession stand sells licenses, grocery items, bait and such, and rents boats, canoes and paddle boards for fun in

the sun. The lake is predominantly calm, but small whitecaps can kick up in the wind. Bird watchers and nature lovers have much to enjoy at Parker Canyon Lake. A 5-mile trail leads around the shoreline. Bald eagles and osprey are regularly sighted in this area, as are spring warblers and hummingbirds in season. The trail provides excellent vantage points from which to enjoy the ducks and other waterfowl that bob on the lake’s clear waters. For more information, visit: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/oronado/ recarea/?recid=25522. soco 2019



Exploring the Border I BY EMILY ELLIS

f you find yourself in Southern Cochise County with an afternoon to kill and a passport in hand (or even just a valid driver’s license and an understanding Customs and Border Protection agent), you’re in luck. The county borders two quiet Sonoran cities - Agua Prieta and Naco - both with their own unique histories, characters, and relationships to their sister communities in Arizona.


Significantly larger than neighboring Douglas, Arizona, with a population of about 80,000, Agua Prieta — like many towns in the region — sprang up at the end of the 19th century alongside the railroads that transported mining materials and goods from nearby Nacozari, Sonora, and into Southern Cochise County. The town is known for having hosted several pivotal moments in U.S./Mexican history, including a 1915 battle between legendary Mexican Revolutionary Gen. Pancho Villa and opposing forces, and, decades later, the discovery of a massive drug tunnel constructed by infamous cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman. Although it has been the site of large-scale drug and human trafficking operations, Agua Prieta today is a tranquil city that experiences little crime when compared to other Mexican border cities. With numerous unique restaurants, shops, and businesses — the likes of which you won’t find in Arizona — it is well worth a trip over the line. If you’re interested in visiting Agua Prieta but aren’t sure where to start, you may want to consider contacting 30-year resident and retired journalist Keoki Skinner. Skinner offers tours of the city in his vintage Volkswagen Beetle, which can focus on fine dining, local history, medical tourism, or whatever else sparks the interest of visitors. Part of the reason Skinner enjoys giving the tours is to dispel misconceptions about the U.S./Mexico border, he said. “I loved living there, and I still do,” says Skinner, who raised his family in the Sonoran city, and also ran a juice shop there for many years. “I like sharing that with people, and I like to show them what I’ve done there. By doing


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that, I hope I’m kind of defusing some of this fear in the United States of what’s going on down there.” Skinner works with other business owners who also hope to draw more residents and tourists alike down to the border. David Clark and his wife, Mieko, both full-time artists, are currently in the process of transforming a rustic, former African-American church in Douglas into an Airbnb. They encourage guests to visit Agua Prieta as a way to promote tourism in the area, said Clark.

“It’s just that there is this perceived threat that I think can only be dispelled through familiarity, that the border is a bad place,” he said. “I mean, (Skinner) is doing a wonderful job of showing people that it’s not a foreign world over there that one needs to be afraid of. There’s lots of wonderful things going on, lots of interesting people.” Some of the wonderful and interesting things that Skinner highlights in his tours include a visit to local barber “Negro” Chavez’s Barbershop Internacional, every inch of which

is plastered with objects and photographs documenting the history of Agua Prieta; an artisanal shop called Meztiza that imports traditional embroidered clothing from throughout the country; and Cafe Justo, a coffee shop that roasts and sells coffee grown by cooperatives of farmers from throughout Mexico. Skinner enjoys seeing the “pleasantly surprised” reactions of people whose only prior knowledge of the border came from the media, he said. “Because they never have gotten across the line, they hear all the stories about how violent it is and this and that,” he said. “And then they see how calm it is over there, they see the great restaurants, nice hotels, and that people are super friendly.” If you’re interested in paying a visit to the Douglas and Agua Prieta, Agua Prieta tour guide Keoki Skinner can be contacted at keokiskinner@yahoo.com or 520-4565362. David Clark can be reached through airbnb/douglas.


Folks in Sierra Vista or Bisbee should definitely consider hopping down to Naco, Sonora, for an hour or two, even if just to stroll down the town’s main street or grab a cup of coffee. Quite a bit smaller than neighboring Agua Prieta, both Naco, Sonora, and its sister city of the same name in Arizona have their own interesting stories. Naco, Arizona, holds the distinction of being the only U.S. town to have been bombed by a foreign power, although mistakenly so (the pilot had been aiming for the Mexican side during the 1929 Escobar Rebellion). Naco is also home to the 19th century-era Camp Naco, the nation’s only remaining border camp, which came under the ownership of the City of Bisbee in 2018.

Like many Mexican communities bordering Arizona, Naco, Sonora, has far more residents than its Arizona counterpart, with a population of about 6,000. The town holds the distinction of being the site of the Mexican Revolution’s longest sustained battle in 1914 and 1915. Just over a decade later, it saw more significant historic conflict when José Gonzalo Escobar led a rebellion against the Mexican government. Like most border towns, Naco has also experienced its fair share of illegal trafficking in the past, although it is relatively sleepy today. On any given afternoon, you are likely to see a handful of Cochise County residents park at one of the businesses directly on the Arizona side — popular watering hole the Gay 90’s Bar or lively cafe and restaurant Border Line are both good places to get a bite to eat or a beer before a Mexico trip — and stroll through the port in order to visit one of the town’s numerous dental clinics, or pop in a pharmacy or shop for low-cost medicine, cigarettes, and other goods. “Naco is a very quiet, calm place — it’s like a chill town. Nice close-knit families live here, and it’s very welcoming,” said Julie Bermudez, owner of Cafiuta, a coffee shop located just a couple of blocks from the border where residents and visitors alike can often be found sipping artisanal Mexican coffee or enjoying lunch. Although Naco doesn’t offer much in the way of tourist attractions, you can’t beat its relaxed, family-centered atmosphere, she said. “When you go to other border towns, I pretty much think they’re too big, too many people, too noisy,” Bermudez said. “I think this is the perfect border town — it gives you an idea of what Mexico is really like.” n

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What do I need to cross the border on foot?

Officially, U.S. citizens need a passport or another document compliant with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, such as a PASS card, in order to legally cross the international border by land. However, many U.S. citizens residing in Cochise County report no issues with crossing into Agua Prieta or Naco, Sonora, with a driver’s license and birth certificate, or even just a driver’s license.

What do I need to cross the border by car?

Agua Prieta, Naco, and most surrounding cities are part of the “Hassle Free” zone, meaning that you can drive there without a special foreign vehicle permit. However, most U.S. policies do not cover accidents in Mexico, so even if you are only driving a little beyond the border, it is a good idea to make sure your vehicle is covered in case of an unfortunate event. Many insurance agencies offer short-term policies which can be purchased the day of your Mexico trip.

How long does it take to cross the border?

Wait times vary depending on the time of day, although often it is quicker to cross on foot than by car. You can check on current border wait times at https://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/mobile.asp

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Tackle the trail BY DANA COLE


he adventurous do it. Mountain bikers do it. So do hikers, honeymooners and horseback riders. Every year, some 400 people tackle the Arizona Trail, an 800-mile, north-south trek that stretches across the state. “The trail’s landscape is spectacular,” said Jake Baechle, who hiked the trail with his wife, Karrie as a honeymoon hike in 2016. “To go from the desert floor up into the Sky Islands and see how the vegetation and landscape changed — so much biodiversity in such a short amount of time — was amazing.” The Arizona National Scenic Trail starts right here in Cochise County at the U.S.-Mexico border and extends north to the state’s border with Utah. From its southernmost point in the Coronado National Memorial, the trail moves through sections of the Huachuca, Santa Rita and Rincon Mountains as it heads across the state. It continues through the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, then the Mazatzal range before ascending into the Mogollon Rim north of Payson. From there, trail users are faced with the higher elevations of Northern Arizona and the San Francisco Peaks. Next comes the Coconino Plateau and 26

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Grand Canyon, with the trail terminating at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument at the Arizona-Utah border. “The Arizona Trail is one of Arizona’s best kept secrets,” said Matthew Nelson, executive director of the Arizona Trail Association. “One of the things that we’re proud of, is that of the 11 national scenic trails, The Arizona Trail is the only one that allows hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The other 10 are restricted to hikers only.” It was Dale Shewalter who came up with the idea of a cross-state trail. After walking from Nogales to the Utah state line in 1985 to explore its feasibility, Shewalter started traveling the state giving presentations to promote the idea. Arizona State Parks, as well as the Kaibab, Coronado, Coconino and Tonto National Forests, Bureau of Land Management, National Parks Service and trail users all over the state supported Sherwalter’s vision. Following an inventory of existing trails and potential interconnecting trails, construction was underway. From the time construction started until its completion in 2011, the project took 30 years, Nelson said. The trail’s last mile was completed in 2011, near the Gila River in Pinal County. “The process started in the late 1980s. At

the time, 500 miles of the trail already existed on public land. Construction of about 300 miles of interconnecting trail needed to be completed, which took several years,” Nelson said. Hailed as the largest outdoor service project in the state’s history, the Arizona Trail was a grassroots effort from start to finish. “It takes thousands of volunteer hours to maintain the trail. In 2018, our 2,000 volunteers contributed more than 27,500 hours.” Biodiversity is one of the trail’s unique features. Nine of the state’s 11 bio regions, or biotic communities, are within the trail’s route, Nelson said. “There are places where you go from saugharos to aspens in a single day.” Of all the regions the trail passes through, the Grand Canyon National Park consistently ranks in the top three of favorite spots. “From start to finish, the trail is an amazing experience,” Jake Baechle said. “The Sky Islands are incredible, but for us, the Grand Canyon was unrivaled.” It took the Tucson couple two months to hike the entire trail — from March 12 to May 12, 2016 — averaging around 15 miles a day. “The Grand Canyon is by far the favorite place along the trail, but every region of the trail holds special connections to the people who travel it,” Nelson said. n

Up for more adventure? The Arizona Trail was designated as a national scenic trail by Congress in 2009, and is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. It is one of 11 trails in the U.S. with the national scenic trail designation. The other 10 are: Appalachian Trail — 2,200 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Continental Divide Trail — 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada along the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. Florida Trail — 1,300 miles from South Florida’s semi-tropical ecosystems to the Gulf beaches of the panhandle’s barrier islands. Ice Age Trail — 1,200 miles through the glacier-carved landscape of Wisconsin. Natchez Trace Trail — 450 miles through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi New England National Scenic Trail — 215 mile trail that travels through 41 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. North Country Trail — 4,6000 miles stretching over seven states from North Dakota to New York; the longest of the national trails Pacific Crest Trail — 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada, through California, Oregon and Washington. Pacific Northwest Trail — 1,200 miles from the Continental Divide in Montana to the Pacific Ocean on Washington’s Olympic Coast Potomac Heritage Trail — 710 miles in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania and District of Columbia.

The Arizona Trail is divided into 43 passages, which are listed on the Arizona Trail Website from south to north. Locally, the first passage are Huachuca Mountains, followed by Canelo Hills East, then Canelo Hills West. For information, go to the website at aztrail.org.

Friends offers hikes along San Pedro BY DANA COLE


riends of the San Pedro River (FSPR) holds free, docent-led educational walks of historic sites along the San Pedro. Most are scheduled Saturday mornings. The group also offers Saturday morning nature walks out of the San Pedro House — located off highway 90 between Sierra Vista and Bisbee, near the San Pedro River. A nonprofit organization, FSPR is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the river through advocacy and education. FSPR history walks are in the fall and spring. They include the following historic sites: Millville is located along Charleston Road between Sierra Vista and Tombstone. “This mill was founded by Richard Gird and Ed Schieffelin to process silver ore from their mines in Tombstone,” said Ron Stewart, a Friends docent who leads some of the organization’s history walks. “The trail also visits rock art created by the Hohokam Indians around a thousand years ago.” The spring tours are March 2 at 10 a.m. and April 13 at 9 a.m. The Fairbank Historic Townsite, located off highway 82 about 8 miles northwest of Tombstone, is a ghost town that once served as a rail hub. The train carried passengers and hauled ore pulled from pulled from mines in Tombstone at the time of its silver boom. The tour takes visitors through the townsite and cemetery. A schoolhouse that now serves as a museum is filled with a collection of books that highlight the area’s history. The all-volunteer run museum is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The spring tours are March 9 at 1 p.m. and April 20 at 1 p.m. The Spanish Presidio of Santa Cruz de Terrenate was home to a garrison of troops in the late 1700s, intended to improve Spanish control of the area. However, the Spanish abandoned the fort before five years because of frequent attacks by the Chiricahua Apache

who lived to the east. The spring tours are March 16 at 9 a.m. and April 27 at 9 a.m. Murray Springs Clovis Site is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Arizona. About 12,000 years ago, Clovis hunters inhabited the area and preyed on mammoth and bison. The site, which dates back to the Pleistocene Epoch, was excavated in the 1960s and 70s by archaeologists from the University of Arizona, funded by the National Geographic Society. The spring tour is March 30 at 9 a.m. The Clanton Ranch was established on the San Pedro River in 1873 by Newman “Old Man” Clanton. The ranch became center of operations for the infamous “Cowboys,” a cattle-rustling gang that operated in the borderlands of Arizona and New Mexico in the 1870s and 80s. Ike Clanton was known for his clash with Wyatt Earp. He was implicated in the attempted assassination of Virgil Earp in 1881, but was released when Cowboys provided an alibi. The spring tour is April 6 at 9 a.m. Watch for FSPR walks by going to Friends of the San Pedro River Facebook page. Directions to the sites and details are posted on the website, sanpedroriver.org. “Each of these tours entails a short hike,” Stewart said. “Terrenate and the Clanton Ranch are somewhat more strenuous. We advise that you wear a hat, sunscreen and walking shoes and bring water for all the walks.” Stewart also reminds the community of the FSPR nature walks every Saturday at 8 a.m., with the time shifting to 9 a.m. in October. “Docents lead groups from the San Pedro House down to the river to enjoy birds and other animals and plants found in the area. On the second Wednesday and fourth Saturday of the month, we offer 7 a.m. walks, oriented for bird watchers. Those walks shift to 8 a.m. in October,” he said. Dates and times vary, so be sure to check the website for updates and more information. n

Want to go?

For dates, times and directions about Friends of the San Pedro River walks and events, find them on Facebook or go to the website, sanpedroriver.org.

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A stargazers paradise BY DANA COLE


outhern Arizona’s arid climate, cloudless skies and expanses of unlit wilderness create an ideal backdrop for stargazing. Professional and amateur astronomers are drawn to this region, with Cochise County home to a large number of observatories. Protecting southern Arizona’s night sky has become an important focus for astronomers and stargazers throughout the area. “The people attracted to southern Arizona because of our remarkable skies comprise a significant portion of our legislators and voters, so it’s little wonder that dark sky protection is part of the psyche here,” said Ted Forte, a local astronomer who serves as treasurer and outreach coordinator for the Huachuca Astronomy Club (HAC) and is director of the Patterson Observatory located on the University of Arizona Sierra Vista campus. “Educating the public about protecting our magnificent dark sky is a major focus for our club.” In 2017, the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) recognized


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Kartchner Caverns State Park as an International Dark Sky Park, making it the second in the Arizona State Parks system to receive the prestigious designation. “Kartchner Caverns State Park is one of the success stories in our county and we (HAC) are very pleased to see the effort being made there,” Forte said. “The park staff is committed to maintaining their dark sky park status and the astronomy club works with them to that end. We feel our role is to educate park patrons and assist park rangers in maintaining the IDA designation.” The HAC philosophy for

protecting the dark skies seems to be shared by county planners, Forte note. Astronomers applaud the county’s improved outdoor lighting ordinance that helps protect the region from light pollution by setting lumen limits and requiring shielded lighting, to name some of the regulations. “These are basic, effective steps the public can take, but awareness still seems to be the major impediment in the effort to reduce light pollution,” Forte said. HAC members have also worked with Sierra Vista and Benson on their updated outdoor lighting ordinances.

Located nine miles south of Benson just off Highway 90, Kartchner Caverns is host to stargazing events organized by HAC volunteers who share their telescopes and knowledge for the public’s enjoyment. These popular star parties and other HAC-related events attract hundreds of visitors. Patterson Observatory, located on the University of Arizona Sierra Vista Campus, 1140 N. Colombo Ave., is another local stargazing attraction. Owned and maintained by the University South Foundation, Inc., the observatory is a focal point for astronomy education and outreach in the area. HAC members hold free public viewing nights once monthly at the observatory, typically held on the Thursday nearest to the first quarter moon. Viewing is weatherdependent and is cancelled in the event of clouds or inclement conditions. Call 520-458-8278 ext. 2214 for a recorded message about a public night schedule and to check for cancellations. The foundation website is universitysouthfoundation.com. Private events and group or youth organizations can arrange

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Patterson Observatory viewing nights:

Astronomy-related events at Kartchner Caverns:

Huachuca Astronomy Club (HAC) both hosts and participates in events at Kartchner Caverns State Park, 2980 Highway 90. Astronomers will be at the park for the following events: Star Party — April 6 from 2 to 9 p.m.; solar viewing starts at 2 p.m.; presentation by Dr. Kevin Hainline in the park’s Discovery Center auditorium at 5:30; stargazing after dark with astronomers on had to answer questions. Dress appropriately for cool evening temperatures and bring a red flashlight, or ask a ranger for a filter. Cost is $7 per vehicle. Note: this event does not include cave tours. Earth Day — April 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. HAC is participating in this event with Kartchner. Along with solar viewing, there will be animals, presentations and interactive activities to showcase and celebrate the region’s natural beauty. Star Party — Oct. 19 from 2 to 9 p.m.; solar viewing starts at 2; presentation in Discovery Center at 5:30 (presenter to be announced); stargazing after dark.

scheduled visits by contacting the University South Foundation office at 520-458-8278 ext. 2129. “Southern Arizona is a mecca for astronomers, both amateur and professional, for a number of reasons,” said Forte who came here from Virginia Beach in 2012 for the mild climate, night sky and county light pollution codes. “For those of us that believe ‘night is a right,’ the

realization that most of our nation’s population have never seen the Milky Way, and that every year the reach of artificial light obliterates more and more of the sky, is incredibly sad. Alive today, quite probably, is the last generation of Americans that can view the night sky from outside of a few national parks and dark sky preserves.” n

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Patterson Observatory, 1140 N. Colombo Ave. on the University of Arizona Sierra Vista campus, offers free public viewings, with assistance from the Huachuca Astronomy Club (HAC). The following list is of dates and times of the remaining 2019 schedule. March 14 at 7 p.m. April 11 at 7:30 p.m. May 9 at 7:30 p.m. There are no public viewing nights in July and August. Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. Viewing is weather-dependent. Call 520-458-8278 ext. 2214 for a recorded message about the public night schedule and to check for cancellations. Other events at Patterson: March 23 — Huachuca Astronomy Club (HAC) is hosting an astronomy swap meet from noon to 4 p.m. April 13 — U of A Family Day on the Sierra Vista campus, includes Patterson Observatory with participation from HAC members. Oct. 5 — Annual Dine Under the Stars fundraiser Nov. 11 — HAC members invite the public to the observatory at dawn for the transit of Mercury, which ends at 11 a.m.




in Cochise County BY PAT WICK






ucky for us, “Rocks in Arizona are well exposed,” writes Halka Chronic, author of ‘Roadside Geology of Arizona.’ In it he writes that our arid climate, lack of soil and resulting lack of vegetation are what make large parts of Arizona a geologist’s paradise. That paradise, while being famous for copper mines, provides us with a variety of copper and copper-associated minerals: Azurite, Chrysocolla, Cambelite, Malachite and most famously - Turquoise. And in Cochise County, the Malachite (the green stone) sometimes has a special optical characteristic called ‘chatoyance,’ or undulating shimmer. This characteristic is common in Tiger’s-eye and Moonstones. Turquoise is a gemstone that was worn by Pharaohs and Aztec Kings and probably one of the oldest gemstones known. It’s prized blue color is so distinctive that its name is used to describe any color that resembles it. Bisbee Blue Turquoise, says Bisbee jeweler David Owen, which is some of the best in the world, can go for as much as $100 a carat. That same turquoise might be sold in Japan or elsewhere to mineral collectors for up to $500 a carat, he said. Owen, who studied geology at the University of Utah and whose father and uncle are both geologists, has been rockhounding since he was very young. He worked in the gas and oil business

Amethyst 30

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The reflection of David Owen, who is a jeweler, gallery owner and mineral collector, is seen near two of his creations in his Bisbee gallery. The necklace on the left is made from malachite and on the right is a turquoise necklace. Raw forms of each mineral are shown as well. but preferred and returned to working with rocks and minerals early on. There are 10 to 12 places Owen routinely visits in our surrounding mountain ranges to find material for his jeweled creations. Locally, he goes to Courtland to find many of the minerals associated with copper mines, that can no longer be accessed in the Bisbee area. Other gems and minerals that can be found in Arizona are Agate, Amethyst, Cuprite, Cambelite, Garnet, Native Copper, Obsidian, Onyx, Opal and Petrified Wood. Owen, who has been making jewelry for nearly 30 years, moved to Bisbee

in 2003 with his wife, Debbie. They opened their shop in Old Bisbee, ‘Designs by Owen,’ in 2009. Back then they were both making jewelry, though today it is only Owen designing while Debbie helps customers. His jewelry designs are in a great variety of shapes to best lend themselves to the stones and make for a nice pair of earrings, he said. Owen had just returned from a trip to the Quartzite, Arizona gem and mineral show — a show he says is intended for miners and those who do lapidary — rather than for the finished products, such as the famous Tucson Gem show held in February every year.

He attends rock shows now and then mostly to purchase materials he can’t find in Arizona, such as a particular kind of jasper that provides a backdrop resembling a desert landscape for his pendant designs in silver. “It’s unfortunate that as more and more big mining companies buy up Bisbee jeweler David Owen holds a large tracts of land, they close the native copper specimen. area to people like him and others for Both the Bisbee Mining and rockhounding,” said Owen. Historical Museum and the ArizonaFortunately, Owen can secure Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson enough material to continue providing have excellent mineral collections. Arizona visitors with a good selection of Arizona’s beautiful gems and JOIN THE CLUB minerals in a variety of jeweled Those interested in a rockhousing creations. experience of Arizona’s gems and As far as how Cochise County minerals can look to the local, compares with the rest of Arizona for Huachuca Mineral and Gem Club rockhounding, Owen says “Cochise that meets monthly in Sierra Vista County has a lot - a lot of mines; and also does field trips. places where miners have dug up rock Ron Brooks, president of the local looking for metals, veins of material club says “When people come to and other interesting things.”

Arizona and they want to do some rockhounding, Cochise County is where you want to go.” For their field trips, Brooks says they average about 30 people, but can have as many as 50, depending upon the weather. The club has a strong membership, and that includes a group of younger rockhounds. There is a $30 family and $20 individual membership cost. They allow children, with a parent, as young as five to do field trips. Regular monthly meetings are held at 7 pm, the third Wednesday of each month (except July and December) at Cochise College main campus, Horace Steele Conference Room, Sierra Vista. Those interested in the club are encouraged to visit them online and call any board member listed. Visitors to the area are ‘warmly welcome to attend general meetings and field trips.’ n




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rive out into the rugged hills of Dragoon, AZ, and you might come across an interesting site: a sprawling Spanish-colonial style building perched among the rock formations of Texas Canyon. Although located far from where you might expect to find a internationally-known research center and museum, the Amerind is well worth the trip. About a twenty minute drive from Benson, the museum and its accompanying gallery showcases some of the finest collections of Native American art and artifacts in the Southwest. While much of the Amerind’s work now centers around education and outreach, the 82-year old institution was originally founded by William Shirley Fulton as a private archaeological research center. The Amerind’s first director, Charles Di Peso, gained international recognition for the museum in the 1950s for his work at Casa Grandes in Northern Chihuahua, Mexico, where he carried out one of the largest prehistoric excavations ever done in the region. The Amerind no longer leads such extensive excavations, but research and education is still at the core of its mission, said executive director and CEO Christine Szuter. “I think it’s expanded rather than a complete change. When the museum was first created, it was strictly a research institution,” she said. “Research is still a real core of what we do, and that research is now being used to inform our big public programs that we have, so that a wider group of people can learn about Native American culture, art, and history.” Cochise County is a unique area of the Southwest in that it has a rich Native American history, but no current Native American community - despite the fact that over a third of the land in Arizona is owned by Native American tribes, said deputy director Eric Kaldahl. “I think one of the critical roles here is to share with the people Native American history, because it’s part of American history,” he said. “It expands the American story.” Exhibits in the museum feature the stories of Native peoples not only from the American Southwest, but from Mexico as well. A showcase of the history of indigenous running and games, as well as an exhibit on the ancient community of Paquimé in Chihuahua,


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A world-class museum in your backyard

Mexico, are currently featured. The museum’s accompanying gallery also always has beautiful art and photography collections on display, including one on border cowboys and border cowgirls that can be viewed through the end of February. In addition to the exhibits, the institution also continues its outreach and research efforts by hosting regular events, seminars, and visiting scholars and artists from all over the world. “I think Amerind’s long independence, its ability to convene people across a lot of research areas, across countries, across different university and colleges, is what makes us unique,” said Kaldahl. “And our setting in Cochise County is gorgeous.” Being conscientious of the institution’s location near the international border is an important element of their work, said Szuter. The discovery of Paquimé in Chihuahua “set the stage” for the foundation’s binational work and carrying out research that encompassed Mexico as part of the Southwest region, she said. “So we’ve continued that tradition with archaeological exhibits, and for expanding our interest on both sides of the border,” she explained.

If you pay a visit to the Amerind in the new year, some of the upcoming events include the opening “American Art Form: A Century of Zuni and Navajo Jewelry,” exhibit, which celebrations a massive donation to what is one of the largest and best-documented collections of Zuni and Navajo jewelry in the world - a “truly amazing collection,” said Szuter. Outdoors enthusiasts can drive up for the foundation’s Texas Canyon Trail run in April, a unique experience in which traditional singers

and dancers from the No:lic community on the Tohono O’odham Nation encourage trail runners along their way. “Come visit, you will not be disappointed, you’ll be in awe- that is what our guests alway say,” said Szuter. “Some don’t realize it’s here, some have visited before and bring their friends back, but it’s one of those places that will keep drawing you in.” To learn more about the Amerind, visit www.amerind.org. n

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SECRET is out Many wonders of Cochise County known across the globe BY TIMOTHY J. WOODS


or outdoors enthusiasts, Cochise County has long been a hidden gem, tucked away in the southeast corner of Arizona. Hundreds of miles of multi-use trails for hikers and bikers, gorgeous vistas from Carr and Miller peaks for photography buffs, ecological wonders at Ramsey Canyon Preserve for the biologically inclined, countless species of birds — including more than a dozen hummingbird varieties — many of which can be spotted by amateur to avid birders at the San Pedro House, tucked away in the federally protected San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Those are just a few of the many outdoor treasures to be found in Southern Cochise County. Once an area known only to the most astute nature lovers, Cochise County is now a well-known mecca for people across the world who are interested in the unique offerings of the Arizona high desert. Whether it’s a hummingbird expert coming to conduct research, an Arizona resident dropping in for a day trip, or a Midwestern couple retiring to Cochise County to spend their remaining years basking in the seemingly unlimited outdoor offerings, the world has taken notice of SoCo. Jon and Val Sleger fit into the latter category. The couple, at an active


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and lively 62 and 60 years old, respectively, retired last year from their jobs as educators in Rockford, Illinois, and moved to Sierra Vista in July. The Slegers have a house in the Winterhaven subdivision in Sierra Vista, but are quick to point out that it’s the outdoor adventures that really make the area feel like home. “We’re loving it. Absolutely loving it,” Val says. Jon, an avid birdwatcher and amateur photographer — though he’s quick to note that Val is the Sleger with the real photography skills — said they found Sierra Vista and Cochise County during their summer vacation travels, aided by the two of them having family in Arizona. “It’s a gorgeous area, it’s got a lot to offer,” Jon said on a recent hike near the San Pedro House. “We’re both hikers, so it’s got plenty of hiking in every corner of the county. I heard about this area — like Ramsey Canyon, the San Pedro, the Chiricahuas (mountains) — from a birding magazine. I got into birding maybe 10 years ago … and this was touted as one of the top places in the nation for bird migration and variety and diversity. And Val has a stepdad in Phoenix and I have a brother in Tucson, so in winters, quite often we came down to visit. “One winter, I said, ‘Let’s check out this Sierra Vista place that’s supposed to be so cool for birding,’ and she said OK. So we drove down here one winter and the Huachucas were covered in snow, just beautiful, and there were birds and I loved it, and she tolerated it.” “She LOVED it,” Val interjected with a laugh, ensuring it was clear that Jon was greatly understating her affection for the area. “Then we visited for a good five, six years after that, every year, and we came in different seasons … and just loved it. And to my delight, she liked this as a possible place to retire, and it just kept coming up No. 1, so here we are.” Val said she had long thought they would retire to Colorado because of their love for the

mountains, active lifestyles, and desire to live somewhere with regular sunshine. Sierra Vista and Cochise County not only checked each of those boxes, but also came at a much more budget-friendly price. And after living in cold and snowy Rockford, Illinois, Val said the idea of not having to shovel their way out of the house on winter mornings became more and more appealing. “I’m just kind of sick of winter … and the climate here, good grief, it’s great,” she said. “We saw all the aspens up on Carr Peak from the Home Depot parking lot and decided, ‘We need to climb up there and see them in person,’ so the next day we hiked up to the top of Carr Peak. It’s gorgeous up there. That was a really fun hike.” The Slegers’ story isn’t unusual, as they both have noted how often they bump into people who are either visiting or moved to SoCo from far-flung places. “Actually, I’ve come across very few native Arizonans on our various excursions,” Jon stated on the San

Pedro hike. But one shouldn’t be surprised that native Arizonans are, in fact, taking notice of all that Southern Cochise County has to offer. On an early-February visit to Ramsey Canyon, Doug and Tina Donahue, who hail from the Phoenix area, said their decision a few years ago to extend their ventures a little farther south than their formerly favorite hiking spot on Tucson’s Mount Lemmon was one of the best they’ve ever made. Like so many others who experience SoCo’s wonders, adjectives like “beautiful,” “gorgeous” and “incredible” punctuate the Donahues’ descriptions of their Cochise County adventures. “It’s incredible down here, it really is,” said Doug, 41, who describes himself as a “curious person who … just (likes) to see where the path takes me.” “I’ve been on mountains all throughout the West; I’ve been to the top of some mountains in Canada, to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and some kind of eerie places in between, but nothing

matches what we have here (in Cochise County),” Doug said. While Doug favors treks through Ramsey Canyon and to the top of Miller Peak — with an elevation of 9,470 feet, Miller Peak stands as the second-highest mountain in Cochise County, trailing only Chiricahua Peak — he said he’s happy to tag along with Tina, 43, who fancies herself “an average birder with above-average knowledge of birds, and where to go to find them,” when she wants to hit the SPRNCA toting her binoculars and camera. “He’ll come with me to see the birds, and I’ll suffer through a couple of blisters to get to the top of a mountain with him,” Tina said. “I joke about the blisters — well, kind of — but it’s all so worth it to see what we get to see. “And it’s only here.” Meanwhile, for the Slegers, now that they know they’ve found their home in Cochise County, there remains one daunting challenge — figuring out how they’ll manage to take in all the county’s sights in their remaining years. “We love it,” Jon said. “It’s got so much to offer, and you could probably go someplace different in the county every day for months, years, and never duplicate the same thing. It’s just got so much to offer, especially for people who like wildlife and the outdoors. And I never get tired of looking at the mountains. “It’s nice to come home, to here, instead of going home to a snowbank.” n soco 2019






t’s expected that 3.5 million cybersecurityrelated jobs will need filled by 2020. As one of the fastest-growing fields, students who pursue the cybersecurity industry can expect a 0 percent unemployment rate and a field that will constantly keep them on their feet. In Cochise County, Cochise College’s computer science program and the University of Arizona South’s cyber-operations program are training the cybersecurity professionals who will have the skills to succeed. In fact, they are getting some of the best education available in their field that the country has to offer. With Fort Huachuca, a large quantity of defense contractors, multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and top programs, Sierra Vista and the county are a tucked-away cybersecurity hub. Cochise College’s cybersecurity program was the first in the county, starting about 14 years ago. Here, students under the guidance of the Computer Information Systems/Computer Science program can earn an Associate of Applied Sciences in Cybersecurity degree and move forward into a career or continue their education. The program is comprehensive; it’s not just cybersecurity defense. Students walk away with the ability to work in many different capacities. Professor Karl Griffor said graduates of the program can do anything from the help desk to system administration or actual cybersecurity. “It’s a gateway, a path, that basis for almost everything you’re going to do for in the cyber field,” he said. “Our program grounds you in everything, not just cybersecurity, but operating systems, networking, network security, scripting,


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languages, everything.” Students range anywhere from 17 years old, just starting out, to folks in their 50s maybe making a career switch or going into the field after the military. John Chapin, another instructor in the program, said students are set up well to succeed either going right into a job or continuing on to UA’s four-year program. “There’s plenty of my students this semester that have their eyes on a job up at Fort Huachuca or a local business, but I don’t think either of those things (continuing education or going right to work) are mutually exclusive,” he said. “You might go to work after your two-year degree and stay in school; that, to me, would be the ideal.” Curiosity and adaptability to the quickly moving environment of the field are musts and the instructors said most companies that hire will expect their employees to keep learning new skills as they progress. The way Cochise College’s program is set up gives all students a core set of classes and then allows them to branch off into more specific courses for what they want to focus on. Department chair Jeannie Neeley works diligently on articulation, or making sure that the credits for these classes will transfer over to four-year programs when students transfer. “All of us community colleges meet on a yearly or sometimes bi-yearly basis and we go out there and have listings for each course and the universities tell us if it transfers in directly and then what that course transfers into,” she said. “We have the ability to disagree with them and say, ‘We went and looked at all your outcomes and you’re saying this is an elective, but I think it’s a direct transfer into this course,’

and then we have that capability to fight for our students.” The program at Cochise College directly feeds into UA South’s cybersecurity program, which is one of the best in the entire country. Though UA’s program is only 2 years old, it is designated a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations by the National Security Agency. It is one of 20 programs out of about 2,000 cybersecurity programs in the country to receive this designation. Jason Denno, director of cyber operations, said they reverse-engineered their program, turning to the NSA and asking, “What do you want in a program?” The application process alone is vigorous and the second part of the process involves a total look at every part of the program by an NSA agent along with members of other schools with the designation. “We are one of them in a very exclusive group because they have the most demanding technical standards of any program, hands down,” he said. “We built 26 courses, got them all through the curriculum process at the UA, in the catalogue and literally built the program from the ground up to be one of the best schools in the nation.” There are currently two tracks a student in the program can take: the engineering track and the defense and forensics track, which is the most popular. “That track is designed to build cyberprofessionals who can immediately go in the field, as well as our engineering track, to become penetration testers, forensic analysts, cyber analysts, defenders, threat hunters, those types of jobs you see on Fort Huachuca that you see all over the nation.” To allow students to test their skills, such as

Cochise College’s Computer Information Systems Instructor Karl Griffor, left, and Cyber Security Program Coordinator Dan Guilmette in the Sierra Vista campus’ cybersecurity lab. finding vulnerabilities in a network or creating counter attacks to a hack, they created a virtual world called CyberApolis. “Most programs are only defensive but our engineering track is offensive, we are building the skills to build weapons,” he said. “Because of that, we had to build CyberApolis because if we allowed our students to do what we teach them to do on the open internet they’d go to federal prison because they’d be breaking just about every law you could imagine. “We give them an ethics course, by the way, that’s part of program.” Within this virtual world are 30 different entities with full networks, as well as 15,000 virtual personas with favorite colors, credit cards, social media presences and password-recovery questions all run by artificial intelligence programs. “When you teach someone to do cyber-reconnaissance and go look for that or counter cyber threat intelligence, when you’re teaching them how to protect themselves, they have to know that using your mother’s maiden name as a security reset question is a bad idea cause anyone can find that with a google search.” Denno said students are promised a couple of things. “No. 1, this is not going to be easy at all; it’s going to be one of

the hardest things you ever done in your life but we promise every second of blood, sweat and tears is going to be worth it because the third promise is people are going to be coming to you and trying to get you to quit your job and come work for them. W0rk finds you you don’t have to find work.” Denno wants to see the students of the program walk into a job interview and be recognized right away for coming from UA’s program, which includes students at the main campus in Tucson. “My goal for this program is that when one of my graduates walks into a hiring situation with graduates from other schools, the hiring manager will look over and go, ‘You’re from Arizona? The rest of you can leave,’ ” he said. “I want our students to walk into the door and be hired on reputation alone, and that’s my signature for success. “When that’s how people see our graduates, I know we are getting about to be the place we need to be.” With 0 percent unemployment, a widening need for skilled professionals and an ever-evolving technical world, students who pursue cybersecurity in Cochise County are poised for lucrative careers if they put in the work. “There’s this kind of cliche that students are going to come out of

here as cybersecurity practitioners and be in some underground bunker, but the truth of the matter is every company these days, whether you’re a newspaper or bank, anybody needs cybersecurity professionals,” Chapin said. While Denno said many of UA’s students are looking for work outside the county, there are ample opportunities here, something Neeley thinks is a plus to the area. “Our area gives them that opportunity to get in at entry level and work, but then to progress to higher levels, if they want to be mid or upper, they definitely need to continue their education,” she said. With the fundamentals gained in Cochise College’s program, students will be ready for anything. “Programming is programming. How you do it and what you might express in the end may change, but the fundamentals of anything don’t change,” Griffor said. “At Cochise


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College, that’s what we are about.” For those who are unsure what the industry holds and whether a student can expect a good market for their career in 10 years, Denno answers with a few questions. “Do you know all the processes running on your phone right now? Are they right? Is there any malware? If it’s not slowing down your phone or crashing it, do you care? “If very few people would know that, then you need to have cyber professionals,” he added. “Until everybody can say ‘yes’ to that question, you’re going to need cyber.” For more information on the Cochise College Computer Information Systems program, visit www.cochise.edu/cis. To learn more about UA South’s Cyber Operations program, visit www.cyber-operations.uas.arizona. edu. n

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hough Cochise County is rural in many senses, it also has great potential for businesses to thrive and grow. The retail and business climate of the county has a mix of big box stores, like Target or Home Depot, small local shops and every servicebased business one might need, like cellphone providers, auto shops and cleaners. In Sierra Vista alone, the county’s largest city, over 300 new business licenses were approved in 2018, ranging from actual storefronts to home-based businesses. Tony Boone, manager of economic development for the City of Sierra Vista, said there are a number of reasons for a business to come to Sierra Vista. “I think it goes back to the strengths and opportunities of the location,” he said. “We have a well-educated workforce, a great history of innovation with Fort Huachuca, great


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academic facilities with UA South and Cochise College as options and we don’t suffer the natural disasters other locations have. “It’s also a good place to raise a family in a safe community with great outdoor activities and solid infrastructure.” Along with the perks of the location, the city can offer a few incentives to help new businesses. Businesses within the boundaries of the West End Redevelopment area can apply for the city’s matching grant program for commercial property owners and tenants seeking to improve their sites. The grant program started last year and was recently utilized by the Circle K on Fry Boulevard. While other cities can sometimes offer tax abatements or more straightforward financial incentives to draw businesses in, Arizona has a gift clause in its constitution which prohibits state and local governments from giving financial gifts to private entities. What the city can do is partner with the Arizona Commerce Authority, the state’s

Sierra Vista, Cochise County are prime business spots leading economic development organization, to craft some exemptions for new businesses. “One thing the city council has done is with the impact fee, the fees for new buildings or construction,” Boone said.”There’s an option to effectively relieve some of those fees for new businesses to set up their building.” Sierra Vista also has an active chamber of commerce, which provides a good deal of support and networking for its members. The Cochise County board of supervisors noted economic development as its top priority in the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan. County spokeswoman Amanda Baillie said the county can offer new businesses several grant opportunities, such as one currently being pursued that would help owners of contaminated properties with clean-up and redevelopment opportunities, chances for business owners and contractors to provide feedback and informational resources. “The county will devote resources to improving cross-border trade through a two-port solution at the Douglas Port of Entry, to ensuring data is current and relevant, to supporting the growing wine industry, improving county airports and technology infrastructure and promoting the region to businesses and visitors,” she said. “We’re always willing to meet with and work with business owners to help them achieve their goals and to grow.

“This includes helping them through the planning and permitting process, sharing information about local and state incentive programs and grants, and providing details and contacts for other organizations that can help them.” Cochise County is an attractive location even to franchises. Kent Craven is market president of Frannet, an international franchise consulting firm which helps match potential franchisees with the opportunities that best suit their needs. Frannet was started 30 years ago in California and has 70 offices across the country. “We have a set of research criteria to help us separate ‘hot’ opportunities from ‘not’ opportunities,” he said. “Then we have clients complete an assessment process and have their business profile pretty straightforward to introduce clients to opportunities to best meet whatever their goals or circumstances are.” Though Craven hasn’t matched someone with a Sierra Vista franchise opportunity yet, he knows people personally who have moved to the area to start businesses and sees good potential in the city. “Sierra Vista would be a smaller community

Cochise County is an attractive location even to franchises.

and hence there are excellent franchise opportunities available in communities like Sierra Vista even though the population and economic development might not be as great as say Tucson or Phoenix,” he said. “It’s unusual for a franchise system to have its number one-performing location in a small town where it can dominate the industry and have a monopoly. In a small city, there is just one, where in a large city there could be many.” Craven said service-type franchises, like automotive chains, and business-to-business

franchises, like graphics or sign shops, can do very well in small communities. He said a water or smoke mitigation-type franchise would also probably thrive because Arizona has a large incidence of water damage caused by air-conditioning issues. Workout Anytime, a chain of fitness centers based in Atlanta, is a franchise with interest in Sierra Vista, in particular. Senior vice president of development Randy Trotter said they felt the demographics of the city called for a low-cost, high-value fitness center that offers small group and one-on-one training. “In doing real estate studies of the area, we found about 50,000 people in the city and about 140,000 in the whole area,” he said. “With those demographics we could probably have three locations in an area like that. “What we look for are places underserved for our value-priced fitness concept.” There are no Arizona locations yet, but they are researching this area. While the county is not one of the largest, population-wise, there are plenty of options for consumers and also ample opportunities for businesses of different kinds to succeed. n

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The skinny on What is a government contractor? Boone: In the case of what we have, most of it is a service contract. What the Army’s done is gone out under a contract and hired expert personnel that either the military’s deficient in or is lacking, or we just run into a shortfall. A simple one for Fort Huachuca would be, “I need 20 instructors and between my military and my department of defense civilians, I only have 15. So I may contract for the other five.” What it does is it gives you a very flexible workforce to bring in expertise.

Sierra Vista Economic Development Manager Tony Boone talks about government contractors. BY EMILY ELLIS


outhern Cochise county is a unique community in a number of ways. One of those is economical: the top employer in the county and Sierra Vista is Fort Huachuca, a major U.S. Army installation that houses to the United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM) and the United States Army Intelligence Center. What some folks may not realize is that a significant percentage of Fort Huachuca’s civilian workforce is contracted, according to a 2017 Military Affairs Commission study — meaning that a variety of highly skilled professionals are drawn to the area in order to provide a range of services on the post. Government contracting has both simple and complex elements, according to Tony Boone, the City of Sierra Vista’s economic development manager and a former Fort Huachuca garrison commander. We sat down with Boone and Judy Hector, the city’s marketing, tourism, and public affairs manager, to get some insight on this aspect of Sierra Vista’s economy.


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Why do federal agencies need contractors? Boone: It’s dependent on the time. If you go back to Fort Huachuca at the peak of Iraq and Afghanistan, we were committing most of our military to fight, and we were bringing in contractors to fill in the gap. And again, it could be for a year or two — some of these contracts go on for five years at a time — but it gives you the means to increase your capacity, and it gives you a great means to bring in some significant expertise. How do you find government contract work? Boone: You have to be registered to effectively bid as a federal contractor to bid (for) federal contracts. So you go through the requirements. If you’re looking for certain requirements, such as 8(a) small business, then you have to work through your certifications to say that you’re a service disabled veteran-owned business, you are a woman-owned business, so there are some different certifications that companies can pursue based on who owns the company. Do some federal agencies give preference to contractors who have those certifications? Boone: The simple answer is yes. They do set aside or they’ll have some requirement that they give a percentage of their contracts to small businesses. So we’ve got some of those that have started here, we’ve got some of those that have grown here, and then again you’ve got the major defense contractors that have a footprint here while they’re headquartered somewhere else. What kind of contractors do we have in Sierra Vista? Boone: It runs the gambit. We’ve got everything from a contract support building the roads, roofs, that kind of thing — that would fall into the garrison side, so skilled labor — and then you have other folks that are running IT systems, training systems, training computer network specialists, to the potential of scientists if you get into the testing side of electronic proving ground . . . so it’s a pretty diverse workforce, predominantly high skilled, high tech. What are some of the big contractors that work out of Sierra Vista? Boone: You’ve got Northrop Grumman, you’ve got Raytheon, and Jacobs recently landed the prime. How do government contractors contribute to the economy here? Boone: It has a significant economic impact. Some of the challenges as we go back in time are, as we came out of Iraq, then there were

government contractors some impacts on the fort, and there was some constriction of the workforce, if you look back at 2006 and 2008 — and as a major employer as it contracts, it has an impact, and as it expands, it has an equally positive impact. Hector: If you go back and look at some of that data from about five, six years ago, and if you look, for example, the city’s budget, which is based on sales tax, you see there’s a big drop, and that’s due to less spending locally, less generation of sales tax, and it also correlates with the population decline, so we know ... when there’s a contraction of the work force on Fort Huachuca. What can people go if they want to learn more about working in Sierra Vista or Fort Huachuca? Boone: The simple answer is, please contact us. That’s what we get paid to do . . . if people are interested in both jobs, moving their business, that’s inherently what we do in the economic development arena for the city. n

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Our goal is to help our neighbors continue to live independently and maintain their quality of life. For more information, whether you need our services or would like to volunteer, please visit our website at call 520-459-8146 or visit our website at www.vicapsv.org.


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ucked away in lush mountains an hour or so south of Tucson, one of Arizona’s most bustling cities, is the city of Sierra Vista. Though Sierra Vista has been named one of the top retirement communities around, it has also been recognized as an amazing community for people overall, regardless of age. With opportunities for fun and professional development, Cochise County is a bit of a secret haven for young professionals, they just need to find where to go and what to do. That’s the goal of social group Cochise Now, a group that strives to connect diverse young professionals in their 20s and 30s and show them just what the community has to offer. Through a variety of meetups, life-skill classes, group activities, election and proposition breakdowns and other networking opportunities, the group is proving that the region is a great place to work, play and grow as young professionals. “Mate-at-large” Michele McCollum said there is really a lot to do here, from group trips to great food, history to explore, hiking and job opportunities. For her, it’s the people who make it truly special. “One of the amazing things about Cochise County that we really strive to get our members to understand is there’s an amazing sense of community,” she said. “We have a government and city people who actually care about the community, and that’s amazing. “Everyone knows everyone and they really work together. Of course, we also have no traffic or pollution, beautiful views and our housing market is incredibly low(-priced).” Some of the activities McCollum highlighted for folks in their 20s, 30s and beyond in the county included wine tastings at the county’s many wineries, horseback riding, lakes, enjoying the history of Bisbee and Tombstone, caves, amazing local food and family fun. “One of the benefits for me was that my kids are on the same soccer league every time, they’re in school with the same kids every year and get to know their teachers,” she said. “There are mass benefits in being in a small town like this that’s big enough to have amenities and also access to fun amenities outside of the city.” McCollum said it can be challenging for young

people new to the area to figure out where to eat, how to meet people or possibly switch careers. Cochise NOW can help people make those friendships and connections. Cochise NOW captain Colin Shannon said meeting new people was one of the greatest benefits he found from being in the group. “It’s been the best group for making friends,” he said. “Without joining, it’s a challenge to meet people in their 20s and 30s in this town.” Shannon has been in Sierra Vista in for the last six years and works as a grant administrator for the Arizona Community Foundation, where he helps local nonprofits. He’s happy with his job, and enjoys going to concerts in Bisbee in his spare time. “I mean, if you’re outdoors-y, you can’t beat it,” he said. “The hiking is excellent and I think there’s a good music scene in Bisbee,” he said. “There’s really something for everyone in the county as a whole for people. “Sierra Vista is a good place to live, as far as having good resources and roads.” McCollum said they have just set up their newest board members and are in the process of planning Cochise NOW events for the year. They have added two 17-year-old members to the board to get even greater perspective on what is available for young people in the county. “Now we can make sure we’re doing more youthfocused events,” McCollum said. “We felt that maybe we weren’t reaching out to the youngest in the population and we want to make sure people who grow up here have an idea of what they can do, as well.” For young people considering moving to the county, McCollum suggested taking a visit to the area to see what it has to offer and to engage with Cochise Now. “Anyone can come to Cochise NOW,” she said. “We are mainly a group of people in their 20s and 30s but we definitely want everyone engaged,” she said. “I grew up in San Diego, and if i’m not bored here, you shouldn’t be. “It’s just a matter of getting up, leaving your house, going out and finding experiences. We want to give people the opportunity to have those type of experiences.” For more information on Cochise NOW, including volunteer opportunities and events, follow their Facebook at www.facebook.com/CochiseNOW. n

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here’s a lot to see and do in Benson and the surrounding area. While out exploring Southeastern Arizona and the amazing places that contribute to its heritage and landscape, be sure to experience the region’s quieter side. The following list, which starts with the Benson Visitor Center as a resource for information, represents a small mix of popular destinations as well as some unique “off the beaten path” places that delight locals and visitors.

Benson Visitor Center


The Visitor Center is a great starting point for those who want to explore Benson, Cochise County and Arizona. Take advantage of the free brochures that highlight destination spots throughout the county and ask the staff questions about the town and surrounding region. 249 E. Fourth St. in Benson’s historic district. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For info, call 520-586-4293 or go to info@ bensonvisitorcenter.com


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RIN O B H EIG N D N ES I A T I N U COMM San Pedro Golf Course

This 18-hole championship course, built in 2003, is owned and operated by the City of Benson. In 2017,the San Pedro Golf Course was included as a top rated golf destination by Golf Advisor, an online resource with ratings that come from golfers. PGA Golf Pro Joe DelVecchio has been San Pedro’s golf director of operations since 2015. 926 N. Madison Ave. Take exit 304 off I-10 and go north on Ocotillo Road. Turn east or right on Darby Ave, then north or right on Madison Ave. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. For info, call 520-586-7888, email jdelvecchio@bensonaz.gov, or go to the website at sanpedrogolf.com.


Singing Wind Bookshop

Located on an old working cattle ranch, the Singing Wind Bookshop has been attracting visitors from all over the world for 45 years. Winifred “Winn” Bundy and her nowdeceased husband opened this unique bookshop in 1974, fulfilling Winn’s dream of sharing her passion for books with others. In 2016, when she was 86, Winn received the prestigious Sharlot Hall Award, which has been presented every year since 1984 to a living Arizona woman for “contributions to the understanding and awareness of Arizona and its history.” First-time visitors to the bookshop stand in momentary awe as they gaze at the books, packed floor-to-ceiling — literally thousands of them — situated on shelves crafted out of mesquite wood the Bundys found on the ranch. If you go, bring cash or checks — credit cards are not accepted here. 700 W. Singing Wind Road. Take exit 304 off Interstate 10 and turn north on Ocotillo Road for about 2 ¼ miles. Look for the Singing Wind Road sign on the right, or east, and follow the road for about a half mile onto the ranch property. Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For info, call 520-586-2425.

Kartchner Caverns State Park

In 2017, Kartchner Caverns was named the best attraction in the state by USA Today readers. That designation came a year after it was voted best cave in the U.S. This living, breathing cave system, tucked in the eastern base of the Whetstone Mountains, was discovered in 1974 by cavers Randy Tufts and Gary Tenen. After revealing their discovery to a select few, the property was purchased from the Kartchner family by Arizona State Parks and went through a meticulous development process. The cave’s Rotunda/Throne tour was open to the public in November 1999. The Big Room tour followed in 2003. Kartchner Caverns, with its stunning formations and fascinating story, has become a favorite destination spot among the thousands of visitors who venture into the darkness to experience this natural wonder. 2980 Highway 90, nine miles south of Benson Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week For info, call 520-586-4100, or go to azstateparks.com

Endeavor Art Gallery

Established by the San Pedro River Arts Council (SPRAC), the Endeavor Art Gallery is hailed as one of “Benson’s best kept secrets.” The gallery features a variety of media created by local artists, as well as a collection of handmade gift items for sale in the Endeavor gift shop. Filled with unique, original artwork, visitors enjoy the gallery’s beautifully displayed pieces created by local artists as well as the reasonable prices. 198 E. Fourth St. — across the Street from the visitor center. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For info, call 520-586-4630, or go to sprarts.org.

Benson Historical Museum

With a goal of providing the public a look into Benson’s history and heritage, the Benson Historical Museum is filled with exhibits that showcase the town’s Old West past. From the Butterfield Overland Stage that ran through Benson to the north, the town’s historic connection with the railroad and the ranchers and pioneers that settled the area in the 1800s, the museum’s documents, photos and relics take visitors back into another era. Docents are on hand to answer questions and provide information. 180 S. San Pedro St. in Benson’s historic district. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday Cost — Adults $5, Seniors $4, Children (12 to 17 ) $2, children under 12 are free. For info, call 520-586-3134 or go to bensonmuseumaz.com

Gammons Gulch Old Western Town and movie set

This Old West-themed movie set, located about 12 miles north of Benson, features 17 late 1800s buildings. Built by Jay and Joanna Gammons, the property opened to the public in 1994 as Gammons Gulch and has became a popular setting for weddings, commercials and large events. More than 50 movies have used the set for their productions. Tours of the property are available by reservation only. Joanna invites guests to bring a picnic lunch and eat in the saloon or on one of the picnic tables on the property. Joanna urges folks to make arrangements to visit neighboring Forever Home Donkey Rescue while in the area. 331 N. Rockingspring Lane. Located 12 miles north of I-10 from exit 306 (Pomerene) which is the east Benson exit. Go through Pomerene, turn right at the stop sign and keep going. About 2 ½ miles after crossing over a long flat bridge, there will be a bank of mailboxes on the left. Just past the mailboxes, turn left onto Rockingsprings Lane and look for Gammons Gulch. Because this is a mom and pop run business, reservations are required. For info or to make a reservation, call 520-212-2831 or go to gammonsgulch@gammonsgulch.com

Holy Trinity Monastery

This peaceful retreat is described by visitors as an “oasis in the desert” and a “gorgeous piece of Arizona.” Located in St. David, the monastery is set along the San Pedro River where huge cottonwood trees shade walking paths and birding trails. The property features a meditation garden, chapel, bird sanctuary and serene sitting areas. Free roaming peacocks greet visitors while Koi watch for handouts as they swim about the medication pond. An allvolunteer run gift shop is open from Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1605 South St. Mary’s Way, off SR 80 at milepost 302.5 in St. David. The property is open daily, from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. For info, call 520-720-4642 or go to the website at holytrinitymonastery. org.

Forever Home Donkey Rescue and Sanctuary

This private sanctuary, founded by John and Tish Hiestand nearly 20 years ago, is home to 26 friendly donkeys and one miniature mule. While visitors are welcome to tour the property and meet its four legged residents, be sure to call ahead, preferably giving the Hiestands at least one day’s notice. When you stop in, be prepared to make a lot of friends, especially if you’re willing to brush the donkeys. They love attention and stand in line for brushings. 360 Rocksprings Lane. Located 12 miles north of I-10 from exit 306 (Pomerene) which is the east Benson exit. Go through Pomerene, turn right at the stop sign and keep going. About 2 ½ miles after crossing over a long flat bridge, there will be a bank of mailboxes on the left. Just past the mailboxes, turn left onto Rockingsprings Lane and go past Gammons Gulch movie set. After driving through a small wash, the sanctuary is on the right. Look for the “You’re entering Donkey Country” sign. Visitors welcome daily, but call ahead for an appointment. For info, or an appointment, call 520-212-5300, email hiestand08@ dishmail.net, or visit the website at foreverhomedonkey.

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TRAIN TOWN Benson, railroad hub of Cochise County BY DANA COLE


ounded in 1880 when Southern Pacific Railroad came through, Benson was established as the transportation hub of Southern Arizona, connecting the mining towns of Tombstone, Charleston, Contention City and Faribank. Nestled in picturesque San Pedro Valley against a backdrop of distant mountain ranges, Benson is 45 miles southeast of Tucson at the intersections of state routes 80 and 90, a location that gives the town its “Gateway to Cochise County” bragging rights. “Long after the mining boom in Tombstone and Bisbee went away, Southern Pacific Railroad continued to serve this area,” said Bob Nilson, tourism supervisor for the City of Benson. “Union Pacific bought the line in 1997 and Benson continues to serve as an important transportation hub with deep, historic ties to the railroad.” Today, the town has nine motels and boasts 18 RV parks with more than 1,100 RV spaces, creating an ideal base for winter visitors and tourists. “Visitors love this location when it comes to exploring all parts of Cochise County,” Nilson said. “Southeastern Arizona has a lot to offer and people come here from all parts of the country and world. And tourists are fascinated with Benson’s special connection with the railroad.” It’s a connection that earned the town special recognition by the railroad itself. In 2012, Union Pacific Railroad awarded Benson membership in its Train Town USA registry, representing the first town in the railroad’s western region to receive the designation. The Benson Visitor Center — which is where Nilson works — is in a building modeled after a train depot that once sat along the town’s tracks. Located at 249 East Fourth Street in the heart of Benson’s historic downtown, the depot’s design emulates many of the architectural features found in the


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Benson Visitor Center Bob Nilson operates a train whistle at the faux station interactive display in the center. original depot built over a century ago. With its train-theme, the visitor center captivitates both tourists and locals with a G-scale Union Pacific replica locomotive that pulls five railcars and a caboose as it moves over 96-feet of track suspended from the ceiling. People of all ages are invited to operate the train through an American Association of Railroads (AAR) life-size control stand, complete with a throttle, brakes, horn and bell. A camera mounted on the front of the engine projects an image of the train’s scenic route as it travels around the room, giving engineers the

feeling they’re operating a real train. A “Train Operators Certificate” is awarded to all who sit in the engineer’s seat. “The throttle control is a real railroad component that was donated by Power Rail Distribution, and the brake module was donated by Multi-Service Supply,” said Nilson. Logos featuring different rail companies that have rolled through Benson through its 140-year history with the railroad are mounted on the parking lot walls of the visitor center. Murals depicting Benson’s historic connection with the railroad — created by artist Doug Quarles — are painted between each of the logos. The visitor is full of informative brochures about local and state attractions. The friendly staff answers questions and provide guests with information about destinations they may be interested in visiting. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. “We urge travelers to stop by the visitor center and be part of the whole train experience,” said Benson Mayor Toney King. “Bob and his staff do a fantastic job of helping visitors with questions they have about different destinations in Benson and Cochise County.” n


Happiness does have a smell! BUFFALO CORRAL RIDING STABLES, 533-5220, Bldg. 13555 - Open to authorized Family & MWR patrons and guests. Nestled in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains, Buffalo Corral rents horses to groups or individuals by the hour. Riding lessons are available for all skill levels. Guided trail rides are offered, plus sunset trail rides. Private boarding facilities available. Open Thursday - Sunday. Straight down the middle, no fuss! DESERT LANES BOWLING CENTER, 533-2849, Bldg. 52010. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. The fully automated, recently renovated 24-lane center is open daily. Galactic Strike Bowl is offered every Saturday night. Also located inside the facility is a full service barber shop. Give me all the bacon & eggs you have! JEANNIE’S DINER, 533-5759, Bldg. 52010. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Fort Huachuca’s recently renovated 50s/60s fun place to eat, is located in the same building as our bowling center. Open every day, the Diner serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, refreshments and snacks. If we ain’t got it, you don’t want it! MWR RENTS, 533-6707, Bldg. 70914 - Family and MWR’s rental facility offers a wide selection of equipment to all Family and MWR patrons and guests. Rental items include grills, sports equipment, lawn and garden equipment and various sized campers. Think outside... no box required! RECREATIONAL ADVENTURE PARK (RAP), Corner of Bissel and Hatfield, 533-6707 - Open to authorized Family & MWR patrons and guests. Fort Huachuca’s newest recreation outlet is a Challenge Ropes Course plus the six batting cages for all levels of softball or baseball players that is now open during daylight hours. Equipment is available for free checkout at MWR Rents. From casual to formal - That’s our style! THUNDER MOUNTAIN ACTIVITY CENTER (TMAC), 533-7322/533-3802, Bldg. 70525. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Thunder Mountain Catering is available to plan your special functions, from small group meetings to large, extravagant weddings and parties. Catering service is available 7 days a week, in-house or off-site for any occasion. The well-known “Taste of the Rhine” German buffet is available on Thursdays

from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a favorite lunch treat for Family and MWR patrons and their guests. Not all those who wander are lost! APACHE FLATS RV RESORT, 533-1335, Bldg. 30212 - Open to authorized Family & MWR patrons and guests. 56 spaces, each with full hookups (30/50 amp) with cable TV. Community Center with washers, dryers, showers, restrooms, vending machines, ramadas, playground and pet exercise area. Outstanding RV facility and services at reasonable rates! Perfect outdoor location to hit the mark! SPORTSMAN’S CENTER, 533-7085, Bldg. 15423 - Open to authorized Family & MWR patrons and guests. The Sportsman’s Center offers ranges for skeet, trap, sporting clays, air rifles, paintball, plinker range, and small arms fire. Get your game on! YARDLEY COMMUNITY CENTER & THE MWR TICKET OFFICE, 533-2404 - Bldg. 80504 - Open to authorized Family & MWR patrons and guests. The center is located across from Eifler Fitness Center. Paid video gaming is available and the center offers free pool and Ping-Pong, shuffleboard and foosball, plus a theater room with a 70 inch TV and surround sound. Open 7 days a week. I play too much golf . . . said no one ever! MOUNTAIN VIEW GOLF COURSE, 533-7088 - Open 7 days a week. Course offers 18 scenic holes with newly renovated Tee boxes, putting green and driving range. The facility offers a Pro Shop, equipment rental and carts. The 19th Hole Lounge offers snacks and beverages. Professional instruction is also available. Hours change seasonally. In the crust we trust! KNEAD TO KNOW PIZZA, 533-6390, Bldg. 80504, located inside Yardley Community Center - Open to authorized Family & MWR patrons and guests. Open 7 days a week. In addition to their delicious hand-made pizza, they serve pasta dishes, salads and beverages. Where ya bean? ENIGMA CAFE, 538-0345, Bldg. 62723, located inside the M I Library. Open to authorized Family & MWR patrons and guests. Serving new “intelligent menu” to include healthy beverages, coffee, tea, snacks and gourmet muffins. soco 2019

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Camping Cochise BY SHAR PORIER


f you like to travel with a motor home or prefer to sleep under the stars, Cochise County has many options for enjoying the high desert ringed with mountains while you visit historic cities, enjoy an active nightlife, shop, hike the canyon trails or follow paths around a renowned river in search of that bird to add to your life list. All across the county, one can find the perfect spot to enjoy an escape from winter weather or big city life or head out on a family vacation at one of its many RV parks and campgrounds. Here is just a random sampling of a few of Cochise County’s RV parks.

Lifestyle Staring on the east side of the county near the Chiricahua Mountains, Lifestyle RV Resort in Willcox features a fitness center with weights and cardio and strength machines. There is a heated indoor pool and spa. The camp store has a wide selection of snacks, souvenirs, clothing and RV supplies. The laundry room is open all day, every day, as are showers and restrooms. There is a movie lounge, a library with hundreds of books and the park has high-speed WiFi. Lifestyle is a dog-friendly park with a dog run. The city of Willcox retains the charm of the Old West and has several local attractions and eateries. It is near wine country and there are a number of vineyards and wineries just a short drive away. There are festivals each fall and in the winter thousands of Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes and water fowl call the Willcox Playa home. Chiricahua National Monument is a short drive with spectacular views and hiking and birding opportunities.​ 48

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Desert Oasis

Lifestyle RV Park is located at 622 N. Haskell Road, Willcox. For more information visit the website at: www.lifestylervresortaz.com or call (520) 384-3303.

Sandy’s Heading south, Sandy’s Restaurant and RV Park in Sunizona offers comfortable accommodations, as well as family dining serving breakfast and lunch every day. The park is open for business year-round and that includes weekends and holidays. The park has 24 spaces for RVs of any size. Each space comes with all the bells and whistles, including shower hook-ups. Rentals are available by the day, the week or the month. It is located at 5120 E Highway 181, in Pearce, AZ . Call toll-free (855) 327-7192 for more information or visit the website at: www. sandysrestaurantandrvpark.com/index.html.

Hidden Treasures Heading due south, Hidden Treasures RV Park provides a secure environment close to a golf course and the border town of Douglas. The new entrance into the park is through the entry gates of Rancho Perilla Estates. The park can accommodate RVs from 45 feet to 95 feet long by 35 feet wide on spaces with full electrical service. With great views of the Douglas Municipal Golf Course and the mountains, the park provides a great place for a get-away. The easily-accessible golf course, built in

Heading west into the Sulfur Springs Valley, Desert Oasis Campground is nestled on the east side of the Mule Mountains near Bisbee. The park has 21 spaces with full hookups, seven RV rentals and two cabins for lease. There is an area set up for dry camping and tent camping. The recreation center is a fun place for evening gatherings, cocktails, play free pool or watch the game on a big screen TV or even movies. It also has some exercise equipment for an added indoor workout. Then there’s the full kitchen for special meals, like the annual three-turkey Christmas dinner to which everyone brings a dish. It also has a library with donated books which the people swap back and forth. Art shows, craft workshops, cribbage games, yard sales and even star nights of the International Space Station crossing the sky are some of the extra activities offered for travelers. The park now has over three miles of hiking trails on its 120 acres, which have become a mecca for morning dog walkers. Yes, Desert Oasis is pet-friendly. It is big-rig-friendly, as well, with spacious, 80-foot pull-through and 90-foot easy angle back in lots offering maximum privacy. Plus every lot has a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and valley from sunup to sunset. All numbered lots are full hook-up with 30/50 amp electricity. It also offers WiFi. The camping area has a panoramic view of the Mule, Swiss Helm, Perillo, Chiricahua and Dragoon mountains and is located just outside the quaint, historic city of Bisbee, voted as having the best yearround climate in Arizona. Desert Oasis Campground is located at 5311 West Double Adobe Road, McNeal, Az. For more information, visit the website: www.campatdo.com or call 520-979-6650.

Double Adobe Just down the road a few miles is the Double Adobe Campground, a 108-space park which also offers campsites and, besides being petfriendly, is horse-friendly and gun-friendly. Double Adobe Campground offers skeet shooting, trap shooting and sporting clays shooting.

Bisbee RV Park

WiFi is available, as are laundry facilities and full hookups. There is also a game room. Located just outside of historic Bisbee in Arizona’s Southern Plateau region, this healthful area boasts sunshine 86 percent of the time. Average temperatures range between 80 and 46 degrees, with evenings cool in summer. Rich in historical lore, Cochise County offers a real taste of the Old West only miles from the campground. Double Adobe Campground is located at 5057 W. Double Adobe Road, McNeal, Az. For more information, visit the website: http://www. doubleadobe.com/ or email at: doubleadobe@ doubleadobe.com or call (520)364-4000 or (800) 694-4242.

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Heading south to the border, Bisbee RV Park at Turquoise Valley Golf Course, located in Naco, Arizona, sits at an elevation of 4,500 feet and a great golf course just across the road. The pet-friendly park and campground offers full hookup RV camping for the winter, spring, summer and fall. It is a year round destination due to the mild climate. Situated one mile from the quiet border crossing into Naco, Sonora, Mexico, crossing is quick and it is an easy walk to get to dentists, physicians and pharmacies. The park is just south of the historic Bisbee with a plethora of restaurants, unique shopping and a lively nightlife. Washroom facilities are modern and clean, as is the laundry loom and recreation facility. Pets are welcome but must be on a leash, but are not allowed to be walked within the park proper or the golf course. The designated pet walking area is outside the park fence. There is an off-lease area available. Bisbee RV Park is located at 1791 W Newell St, Naco, Arizona. For more information, visit bisbeervpark.com/ or call (520) 505-1642.


the mid-1930s by WPA work crews, expanded from nine holes to 18 in 1999. It has a bar, a nice patio and a large meeting room for clubs or large family gatherings at reasonable prices. Douglas offers restaurants and shopping and the opportunity to cross the border to visit Agua Prieta. Slaughter Ranch, Rucker Canyon and many ghost towns are just a short drive from the park. All excellent spots for bird watching, mountain biking and getting out in nature. Also nearby are the historic towns of Bisbee and Tombstone, well worth a day to visit each one. Hidden Treasures RV Park is located at 3851 Camino Del Rancho, Douglas, Az. For more information, visit the website at: www.hiddentreasuresrvpark.com/ or email: hiddentreasuresaz@outlook.com or call (520) 840-0026.

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Queen Mine To the west, Queen Mine RV Park, located in the Mule Mountains, is within walking distance to historic Old Bisbee, a picturesque and authentic mining town located in the southeast corner of Arizona just five miles from the Mexican border. This former copper mining town is built into the sides of two intersecting canyons. Businesses line the canyon floors while homes are built into the canyon sides. There are 25 spaces at the quiet hilltop park with awesome views, clean bathrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Full hook-ups are offered and big rigs welcome. Like most places in Bisbee, pets are welcome. Queen Mine RV Park is located at 473 N Dart Road, Bisbee, Arizona. For more information, visit the website at: queenminervpark.com/ or call (520) 432-5006.

Tombstone For an Old West adventure, check out the Tombstone RV Park and Campground in the middle of the county which offers many amenities onsite with the legendary town of Tombstone just a few minutes away. The park has large, level, pull-through sites,

camping cabins, cowboy motel suites and tent sites. It is pet- and horse-friendly. There is a playground for children, picnic tables and grills, a recreation hall, extra clean restrooms, hot showers, laundry facilities, a pool, campfire rings, WiFi and a shuttle to Tombstone for guests. Tombstone RV Park and Campground is located at: 1475 Hwy 80, Tombstone, Arizona. For more information, visit the website at: www.tombstonervparkandcampground.com/ or email: tombstonervparkcg@gmail.co or call (520) 457-3829.

Tombstone Territories RV Resort is located outside Huachuca City on the west side of the county. The park is situated on 30 desert acres and is designed to blend in with the natural environment at a 4,000 foot elevation offering awe-inspiring mountain vistas in every direction. The great expanse of ranch land that surrounds the park is the perfect setting for a quiet, relaxing getaway. It offers large lots with full hookups, ATV trails, Complimentary WiFi in the clubhouse and satellite TV at each site. There is a clubhouse, laundry facilities, restroom and shower facilities, a large recreation room and a fully equipped kitchen. Indoor activities include shuffleboard, billiards, a library, table tennis, darts and exercise and weight machines. Outdoor activities include horseshoes, an 18-hole Frisbee course, heated swimming and exercise pool and a spa. The pool area and mesquite grove offer fire-pits and the exercise path around the park is perfect for walkers, joggers and bikers. Dogs are welcome, but there is a two-dog limit and certain breeds are restricted. There is an enclosed dog park.

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Located in the northwest corner of the county, Cochise Terrace RV Park in Benson is situated uniquely close to Tucson and Sierra Vista on 52 scenic acres with 308 sites. RVs over 10 years old require prior management approval. All of its sites are a generous size and have 20/30/50 amp hookups with water and sewer. Cable is at every site and Wifi is available throughout the park. The Crow’s Nest is the clubhouse and has a pool table, books, seating area, large laundry facilities, restrooms and showers. It also has an outdoor pool, covered picnic areas and a putting green. The Barn is great for potlucks with the RV community. Activities include cards, bingo, potluck dinners, exercise classes, dance classes and more. There are restrictions on certain dog breeds, mostly the larger breeds, due to insurance limitations. Cochise Terrace RV Park is located at 1030 S Barrel Cactus Ridge, Benson, Arizona. For more information visit the website: ctrvresort. com/ or call (520) 720-0911. n


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Designated paths in the desert offer leisurely walks and there are miles of hiking, riding and biking trails. Excellent golf courses are within easy driving distance and Sierra Vista is close by for shopping, dining and entertainment. We also have miles of trails for motorized fun with ATV’s. Tombstone Territories RV Resort is located at 2111 E. Hwy 82, Huachuca City, Arizona. For more information, visit the website at: www.tombstoneterritories.com/site/Home.html or call (877)316-6714 or (520) 457-2584.

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SoCo wants to know:

What’s your favorite thing about living in your rural community?

“What I like best about living in this area is the history of the area. I myself live in a historic home in Benson. I’ve worked in the community for over 30-years. The people are amazing. The small town feel is fabulous. I couldn’t imagine working or living anywhere else.” Michelle Romine, Benson, St. David

“I like living in St. David because it’s a small rural community. Everyone’s close to each other and it’s a positive environment.” James Clay, 17, St. David

“What I like most about living in Sunizona is the sense of community we have. Everyone knows everyone and we all care about each other.” Amy Hill, Sunizona

“I think the people, the friendship, the camaraderie and friendly. The climate, the climate is wonderful. Just to be a part of a small community.” Alice Frazier, St. David

“I like the wide open spaces, I like the mountains, I like the wildlife and the people are pretty neat to.” John Wood, Elfrida

“Elfrida is a very, very quiet little town. Everybody knows each other and there’s no. We have everything we need as far as the stores or convenience.” Nadine Wooden, Elfrida

“Probably one of the best things I like about living out here is we seem to have a feeling of community here that I think is missing in a lot of areas anymore.” Richard Jackson, Palominas

“There’s nothing not to like about Palominas. The people are good, the weather’s good, it’s a beautiful place to be.” Matthew Pratt, Palominas

“I love how everybody is friendly. Everybody knows everybody everybody when they go into a store, and it’s quiet out here. I love that.” Gena Bingham, Palominas

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Caring for your health in Cochise County BY SHAR PORIER


ochise County is covered north to south and east to west by award-winning health care options from hospitals to clinics to specialized physicians.

CQCH, its rural health clinics For over 100 years, the Copper Queen Community Hospital and the community clinic have served the people in Bisbee and surrounding area with quality health care services. When a small community hospital closed near Douglas, CQCH constructed a clinic that has grown into a medical complex. The multimillion renovation and expansion project brought an emergency department, enhanced diagnostic capabilities and physical therapy services. A quick-care clinic was added for expanded hours to allow patients access to more costeffective options for small emergencies and illnesses. When people in the Hereford/Palominas area sought medical help came to Bisbee, CQCH expanded to that rural area and built a clinic. It now offers diagnostics, physical therapy and quick-care services. CQCH is undergoing more expansion to better serve the population of southern Cochise County for outpatient surgeries by renovating a former business center right across the street from the hospital, explained Jessica Ogiba, chief public relations officer. As a Level IV trauma facility, CQCH provides advanced trauma life support prior to transfer of patients to a higherlevel trauma center. It provides evaluation, stabilization and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients. The hospital provides digital imaging, X-rays, MRIs, labs and more, she


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continued. Clinics are staffed by a wide range of physicians including family medicine, internal medicine, gynecology, nephrology, oncology, orthopedics and urology. Telemedicine is offered in the emergency departments in Bisbee and Douglas, the in-patient unit and at all three of the rural health. Real-time video and images to hospitals and specialists in Phoenix and Tucson provide patients the best possible care. Cardiology, pediatrics, endocrinology, stroke, behavioral health and radiology services are offered at all three locations. “This system brings consultative expertise to a new level because CQCH physicians can work in tandem with specialized physicians and staff at other hospitals,” said CEO Robert Seamon. “We are able to provide state-of-the-art service in a smaller, rural setting.” CQCH Bisbee is the only hospital in the county certified as stroke-ready, which means CQCH offers full stroke care and support. Behavioral health specialists to serve drug abusers and others with issues will also be added this year. “The hospital and clinics are committed to ensuring health care services are available to everyone in the community, regardless of their insurance coverage status. We pride ourselves on offering deeply discounted rates for those patients who pay their own medical bills,” said Ogiba.

Chiricahua Community Health Clinics, Inc. CCHCI got its start at a small, makeshift clinic in Elfrida in 1996. Over the past 20 years, it has grown to become the largest primary provider in Cochise County with 11 health centers in Cochise County: Benson, Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Douglas and Elfrida. Chiricahua, a nonprofit, serves about 30,000 patients across the county in underserved areas, and provides care to high schools utilizing six mobile medical and dental clinics, said Sarah Pacheco, CCHI public affairs officer. In 2011, CCHCI restored an abandoned, historic school building in Douglas and opened the Pediatric Center of Excellence (PCE), which offers a state-of-the-art facility and professional teams with a focus on health and wellness of infants, children and adolescents. A pharmacy and an integrated health clinic were opened in Sierra Vista and a clinic in Benson brought adult and pediatric medical care, a full service lab and immunization rooms to the rural area. The Early Childhood Center of Excellence

was opened in Douglas recently to serve newborns to 11 years old and children with special health care needs. The 100-year-old clinic in Bisbee is being renovated, but services are still offered at the general offices, located a few blocks away. “Looking forward to 2019, CCHCI is excited to be finishing up the Chiricahua Pharmacy in Bisbee in the old Print N Stitch building, the completion of the Bisbee renovation and completing a two-story family dental center in Sierra Vista,” said Pacheco. CCHCI is Cochise County’s only Federally

Qualified Health Center, which means the nonprofit organization receives funds from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Program to provide primary care services on a sliding-scale fee based on ability to pay in underserved areas. Pacheco said, “Chiricahua was founded on the belief that all people have the right to access quality medical care. The providers at Chiricahua are proud to serve the underserved populations throughout Cochise County regardless of their ability to pay.” Physicians and staff “participate in rigorous continuing medical education and receive regular reviews to ensure that we are providing the most up-to-date and evidence-based care to our patients,” continued Pacheco. The health clinics strive to be a one-stop shop for a family’s primary care needs. They provide preventative and acute pediatric care, adult medical and women’s health care, dietetics, integrated behavioral health, counseling, family dental care, pharmacy, in-house laboratory and radiology services, community health work, and offer insurance enrollment assistance.

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Canyon Vista Medical Center Canyon Vista Medical Center (CVMC) is a Joint Commission Accredited, 100-bed acute care hospital in Sierra Vista. Founded in 1963 as the Western Baptist Osteopathic Hospital on the outskirts of Sierra Vista, the hospital grew with the population. Necessity for expansion led to the construction of the new CVMC, a state-of-the-art facility rated as a Level III trauma center. Stefanie Peterson, media relations and marketing director, said “Canyon Vista Medical Center is the first medical center in Cochise County to be designated as a Level III Trauma Center. CVMC has demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations.” As a Level III trauma center, CVMC provides 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians, and has available general surgeons and anesthesiologists. It also provides backup care for rural and community hospitals and developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care. CVMC received The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Certification for Total Hip and Knee Replacement, and is a Pink Ribbon Facility for Breast Health Excellence featuring 3-D mammography, continued Peterson. “Our medical center is one of the five largest employers in Cochise County, employing over 700 residents and medical staff,” added Peterson. CVMC has been recognized with the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for hospital accreditation, behavioral health, and hospice care accreditation “by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards, she continued. “The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.” Service lines include: acute care, advanced wound care, behavioral health, bone and joint issues, cardiopulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, hospice, critical care, diagnostic imaging, emergency services, orthopedic and sports medicine, outpatient surgery and more. CVMC paid over $5 million in city, county and state taxes, over $42 million in annual payroll. Education is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and strong community, and


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S CVMC provided over $122,000 to Thrive, the hospital’s community outreach center, and its programs in 2017. Thrive provides the community with free health lectures, support groups, and other educational programs.

Benson Hospital Benson Hospital has been serving the San Pedro Valley community in northwestern Cochise County since 1970. The building was purchased in 1966 by the Kartchner family, and the San Pedro Valley Hospital District was formed. In April 1966, plans began to build a new hospital at its present location on 10 acres of donated land. What started as a small community hospital meeting simple needs of patients in the community has grown in response to care for winter visitors and new residents. An overwhelming need for an emergency room, additional outpatient services, a testing laboratory, radiology and rehabilitation services was realized and acted upon by the board of directors and staff. In 2007, Benson Hospital opened with eight beds, secured admissions, CT scans, an isolation room with a separate entrance and an urgent care unit. It has been well-used since its opening, and is accommodating the community and travelers with a 24-hour, onduty Emergency Room physician, well-trained staff and ancillary services. Services run across the spectrum of medical care. Benson Hospital has family practitioners, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, nephrology, orthopedics, podiatry and midwives. As an Arizona Certified Level IV Trauma Center, the hospital provides initial resuscitation

and assessment of the injured patient. The hospital meets state and national standards for providing timely and optimal care for the trauma patient. Our Emergency Department is prepared to treat and transport trauma patients according to the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services & Trauma System. Working closely with the other departments within the facility, the Emergency Department physicians and nurses treat many potentially life-threatening incidents and illnesses within the community. The Emergency Department is designed to streamline the process while simultaneously keeping patients and their families informed. Benson Hospital has a full-service imaging center to serve the community, and offers general X-rays, computed tomography (CT), ultrasounds, bone densitometry (DXA), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mammograms. The hospital has 22 beds for care to both acute and skilled nursing care patients’ needs 24hour a day, seven days a week. Benson Hospital nurses are committed to providing high-quality, efficient health care during all stages of illness and rehabilitation. Benson Hospital has a partnership with Tucson Medical Center to offer hospice care, a special program that cares for people with any terminal illness after the patient, physician and family decide that aggressive treatment is no longer appropriate. The goal for hospice care is to provide comfort, support and care to meet the physical, spiritual and physiological needs of people living with a life-limiting illness while contributing to the health and well-being of family members dealing with death. n





SAFETY FIRST L ocal law enforcement use Unified Crime Reporting (UCR) to keep track of incidents that happen in the country as well as in individual cities and towns. The UCR focuses on seven specific crimes: homicide, rape (sexual assault and attempted rape are included), robbery, assault (aggravated or simple), burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. The data provided is the number of reported offenses in Cochise County, Sierra Vista, Bisbee and Tombstone in 2018.

Cochise County Sheriff’s Office 2018 Crime Statistics 1 Murder 3 Rape 5 Robbery 178 Assault 180 Burglary 278 Theft

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80 Motor Vehicle 1 Arson

Bisbee Police Department 2018 Crime Statistics 1 Murder 0 Rape 1 Robbery 45 Assault 52 Burglary 126 Theft 8 Motor Vehicle Theft 0 Arson

1 Murder 25 Rape 14 Robbery


Sierra Vista Police Department 2018 Crime Statistics

458 Assault 157 Burglary 934 Theft

46 Motor Vehicle Theft 2 Arson

Tombstone Marshals Office 2018 Crime Statistics 0 Murder 0 Rape 0 Robbery 16 Assault 0 Burglary 15 Theft 2 Motor Vehicle 0 Arson

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Board of Supervisors BY SHAR PORIER


he members of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors understand the great responsibility in their hands as they try to manage economic development without the cost of losing the great, rural beauty of this legendary land ringed in mountains. Four years ago, they set out to create a strategic plan that would benefit the health, wealth and security of residents, and held fast to their goals, which are now being realized.

Supervisor Ann English: Since this board created a County Strategic Plan, it has been exciting to watch the progress in each of the seven priority areas. My biggest priority was to promote economic development by working toward a new commercial port in the Douglas area and renovation expansion of the Raul Castro Port for cars and pedestrians. The General Services Administration findings are in the final stages, and will recommend to the president and Congress to establish and fund these two projects. This will be a catalyst for new commercial development around the new port to support the U.S.’s biggest trading partner, Mexico. At last we have the treasurer’s program, TROCS, online, and the public can now have access to more county public information from home. We will continue to upgrade our website to make it more user-friendly and an efficient way to get permits, pay taxes, buy property, and get up-to-date information on the county. For many years, I have wanted to create a 911 system to serve all county residents and all emergency services from a single location and be a financial savings by cooperating. Before this could happen, we had to upgrade towers and the microwave system. Through the county, the sheriff and a generous donor, the system, building and staff are now in place. Sierra Vista and Cochise County created a new entity, SEACOM, to operate and


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Pat Call, Ann English, Peggy Judd maintain this operation. It is now working and capable of accepting the calls for any city or fire district. We have a three-year Capital Budget plan for improving our facilities in Bisbee and Sierra Vista, which will be paid for with a county half-cent sales tax. Our workforce is now enhanced by more comparable wages and good benefits, as well as opportunities to access more education and training. Many good ideas are being implemented, and I credit the Board of Supervisors Strategic Work Plan and the County Manager Ed Gilligan for keeping us moving forward to serve the public in the most efficient manner.

Supervisor Pat Call: From my perspective, 2018 was a bit bumpy from an economic perspective. However, the Board of Supervisors began a strong economic push this past year, which includes an aggressive effort to encourage a revamped port of entry in Douglas which, if successful, will bring significant new business opportunities. Additionally, the county is working with

the fast-growing wine industry in the greater Willcox community, which will also bring new employment opportunities and additional tourist dollars into our county. Fort Huachuca, the largest economic driver in the county, is another area of focus for the board. Working closely with the Huachuca 50 and the city of Sierra Vista, the county continues to invest and strongly support efforts to ensure the fort is well-positioned to survive an anticipated Base Realignment and Closure process, which the newly elected Congress seems intent on pursuing. Another challenge to our economic recovery is the perception the county is a dangerous place to live due to our shared border with Mexico. This perception continues to linger despite concrete evidence to the contrary which overwhelming suggests Cochise County is one of the safest places to live in the country. The Board of Supervisors is strongly committed to reversing this perception, and has taken steps to work with other communities in this effort. Lastly, the upcoming trial regarding the BLM’s adjudication of the San Pedro

Riparian National Conservation Area federal reserve water rights remains an area of intense focus, as it has the potential to seriously impact the economic future of the greater Sierra Vista area. The trial will take place in February and March of 2019. We remain hopeful of reaching an agreement that will both protect the river and our economic well-being as we move into the future.

Supervisor Chairwoman Peggy Judd: Northern Cochise County is my home, an area steeped in Western tradition, a place where farmers, ranchers and businessmen are best friends and family. It is quiet and scenic, without traffic jams, sirens and mysterious neighbors. I have been honored to serve the best 44,000 people in the state of Arizona for the last two years, and look forward to the next two years. District 3 is the northern half of the county plus some. Communities stretch from Sierra Vista’s West End to Mescal through Benson and Willcox and on to San Simon. We have the best of many things:

schools, wines, scenic hikes, beautiful parks, community events and growing economies. But what makes District 3 and Cochise County unique is the wonderful people who settled here to work hard and be somebody. No one is just a statistic in the remote areas of Cochise County. I am impressed every day by leaders, entrepreneurs and friends who love their communities and each other. When problems arise, you often find neighbors gathered together for the cause. With limited outside resources available, we depend on each other and donations of money and time flow from hands and hearts regularly when community members fall on tough times. In the past year, I have seen community leaders rise up and be elected to foster the good changes that were needed in special districts and community boards and councils. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing them learn and grow in their new positions and achieve their goals. It takes faith to live in the “Wild West,” and I had much faith in my constituents and hope for the future of Cochise County. This year, I have seen many changes

including businesses opening, jobs being created, homes being built, people serving and being served, young adults returning to raise their families in their hometowns and a lot of happy faces. Citizens are doing their part and I want support the county in giving back something for the tax dollars you pay. I hope to get more safety by achieving better coverage from the sheriff ’s deputies in our remote areas. I hope to continue to see work on the roads in the far regions of the county. That is a big job with as many roads and we have, but it is important for safety, business, tourism and quality of life. I also have a great desire to create a network of people in District 3 communities that can gather to support the good changes we need and help to formulate solutions to solve complex problems. If you would like to be part of a Neighborhood Action Team in District 3, please text your name and phone number to me, Supervisor Judd at 520-366-2826. Thank you, and all the best to you and yours! n

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Tombstone Mayor and City Council members Mayor – Dusty Escapule City Council Ward I – Anna Salcido City Council Ward II – Bill Barlow City Council Ward III – Brian Davis City Council Ward IV – Debbie Bachman cityoftombstoneaz.gov

Huachuca City Mayor and council members Mayor – Johann Wallace Vice-Mayor – Donna Johnson Council Member – Joy Banks

Sierra Vista Mayor and Council

Council Member – Cynthia Butterworth

Mayor – Rick Mueller

Council Member – Sarah Pacheco

Council Member – Christy Hirshberg

Mayor Pro Tem – Rachel Gray

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Council Member – Walter Welsch

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Bisbee mayor remarks T

financial stability, small business development, cross border opportunities and federal, state and county-wide relationships. As previously indicated, our city continues to be well-recognized as a tourist destination within a very competitive market. Plans are required for the continued cooperation between other tourist-based Cochise County destinations so that the economic synergy created by those partnerships will increasingly benefit all involved. Our city manager is presently working with state and county departments, non-profits, private businesses and residents in establishing target locations and strategies for affordable and low-income housing opportunities. We forecast this relationship to be integrated into strategic long-term goals. Our city financial picture has improved in the last year through the guidance and professional contacts of the city manager. The Public Safety Personnel Retirement System continues to be the largest drain on most cities budgets and Bisbee continues to lead the state in required contributions. I continue to work in resolving this pressing issue, but once again, only the legislature and governor can actually provide resolution to the dilemma. Small business development is a needed topic of strategic planning. It is particularly required in a tourist-based economy so that the threat to financial stability is lessened in an economic

Bisbee Mayor David Smith downturn. We are looking forward to the opening of a Craft Whiskey Distillery and the employment opportunities it will present. With our Sister Cities Naco and Cananea, Sonora, we continue to identify and discuss cross border economic opportunities. Both cities, as well as Agua Prieta, provide valuable products and services that are not readily available in Bisbee and therefore the partnerships provide an international win-win. Our continued relationships with the county, cities and federal and state senators and representatives are a valuable resource in the governance of Bisbee. We particularly appreciate and value our citizens’ support and look forward to continued success with their help. n



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he city of Bisbee is continuing to move forward and upward, particularly as a tourist destination. We have just been added to Expedia’s “Top tourist destination – 2019” to our ever growing accolade list that includes Frommer’s (international) “Best places to go in 2018”. We owe a great deal of appreciation to Cochise County and principally the Board of Supervisors and County Administrator for jumping to our aid after our tragic City Hall fire in late 2017. We were absorbed into county office space and have been able to use county physical resources to continue our services. A special thanks to our county employees for accepting the interruptions caused by our additional activities during this stay. We have leased (on a long term) unused buildings from the county and will soon temporarily move “City Hall” to the Tovreaville Rd. location. Meanwhile, we are working toward beginning a rebuild of our fire-damaged headquarters. A community meeting will be held in the near future regarding progress and to invite positive public input. Our council, city manager and leadership team are beginning the new year with a retreat aimed at developing one-year and five-year strategic plans. It is anticipated that the plan will incorporate expanding tourism opportunities, affordable and low-income housing, greater




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y t n u o C e s i h c o C d n u o r a t e How to g BY JAMIE VERWYS

achieve this. The routes being considered for consolidation are routes 1 and 2 or 2 and 3. For more information, contact Vista Transit at 520-417-4888 or vistatransit@SierraVistaAZ.gov.


hether you need to get out to beautiful Ramsey Canyon, The Mall at Sierra Vista, your favorite Bisbee hangout or even to Tucson, there are multiple transportation services throughout Cochise County. Here’s your guide to getting around the county.


Vista Transit The city of Sierra Vista’s bus line, Vista Transit, is the major transportation provider in the area. There are stops to catch the bus located throughout Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca, with five routes throughout the week and one consolidated route on Saturdays. During the week, routes 1 (West End), 2 (East Side) and 3 (Central Shopper) run about every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Route 4 (North) runs every hour from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and route 5 (South) runs every hour from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, the bus is available from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Passengers can purchase single rides with cash on the bus’ fare box or transit center for $1.25, a day pass for $3 or a monthly pass for $40. Discounted fares are available to seniors, military and students for 60 cents or $20 for a monthly pass, a recently reduced fare. Last September, the city council voted to lower the reduced fare to meet a requirement set by the


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Tra ns po rta tio n Gu ide Federal Transit Administration. Reduced rate fares for seniors and the disabled are required to be no more than 50 percent higher than the standard rate. The current standard rate is $1.50, and the reduced rate was 75 cents. The new rate launched this year, as well as a new schedule and rider’s guide available at www. sierravistaaz.gov/city-departments/ transit/route-information. Residents with disabilities who have registered with Vista Transit for paratransit can also schedule curbside pickup service at their homes by calling 520-417-4888 a day before their requested travel. Vista Transit has been tasked with finding ways to reduce costs. Funding for Vista Transit’s operations, including driver wages, fuel, maintenance, etc., come from two places: federal grant money

and money from the city’s General Fund. For every $1 provided through grants, the city matches $1 from the General Fund. Currently, the transit system receives about $400,000 from the city. Because General Fund money is used for everything from police to parks, it’s important to reduce reliance on it. “Cutting costs further cuts what we can take from the General Fund, cutting what we can apply for in federal funds,” said Transportation Manager Mike Normand. “Every dollar reduced from the General Fund is $2 reduced from our operations, so the challenge is finding ways to reduce costs without sacrificing service.” Vista Transit is looking into combining two routes to help

Greyhound bus started running two services from Sierra Vista to Tucson in late September, and makes several stops within the county. According to Normand, the service has been doing well despite little advertising being done. Since the launch of the two routes, there has been an average of three riders a day. “That doesn’t sound like a lot, but some days there are as many as eight, and that’s really without a lot of advertising,” Normand said. “I dont think a lot of people know about it yet, and I think they are finding out about it just by seeing the Greyhound bus stopping at the transit center.” Tickets are only available through Greyhound’s website. The Greyhound bus currently comes to the Vista Transit Center at 11:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The stop at Benson is at the Benson Visitors Center, while the stop in Nogales is at a Shell gas station located on 149 N. Terrace Ave., in Nogales. There are three stops in Tucson: Laos Transit Center, Robles Three Points General Store and the Tucson Greyhound bus station. To purchase tickets, which are about $20, visit www.greyhound. com.

Cochise Connection The Cochise Connection is an intercity bus route that connects several cities in the county. Started in August 2017, the public bus service is operated by the City of Douglas and connects Bisbee, Douglas and Sierra Vista. In October 2018, the Benson connection was ended due to low ridership, and a route was adjusted to go through the Palominas/ Hereford area. “Our hope is that as people in Palominas and Hereford see the Cochise Connection, we will see ridership increase,” Normand said. Additionally, there is now a connection stop at The Mall at Sierra Vista. Though ridership was low in Benson, ridership elsewhere continues to rise. Ride fares range from $1 to $4, day passes

are $5 and monthly passes are $80. Passes and fares can be purchased at several different locations around the county as well as through the Token Transit app. For more information on the Cochise Connection visit www.douglasaz.gov/399/ Cochise-Connection.

Transportation Advisory Committee The Transportation Advisory Committee is an informal group of residents and representatives of county agencies who share a common interest in public transportation. This group is open to the public, and is a great way to remain informed on transportation news. It is held in the public works department at 401 Giulio Cesare Ave. Upcoming meetings can be found on the city of Sierra Vista’s website. n

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he San Pedro River begins in Cananea, Mexico, and runs north some 147 miles to the confluence with the Gila River in Winkleman, Arizona. In some places, the river bed is dry; in others, the flow is barely a stream. Yet, this miracle in the desert manages to keep alive one of the most diverse eco-systems in the Southwest, the country, even the world. Beginning at the border with Mexico, whatever the flow, the San Pedro River is the life blood of the magnificent San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA), a 55,990-acre protected area. It is the congressionally-directed responsibility of the U.S. Bureau of Land and has been since it was established in 1988. The SPRNCA is a migration corridor which attracts some 300 bird species, four million strong in all, in the spring and fall. It is also the winter home of many bird species, including cranes, egrets and water fowl, as well as birds of prey.


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It also holds national significance for its four rare habitat types found rarely in the southwest — ­ cottonwood and willow forests with over 100-yearold established trees, marshlands, grasslands and mesquite woodlands. The cottonwoods and willows support 40 percent of the gray hawk numbers in the United States. The Audubon Society has designated it as a Globally Important Birding Area and many a birder has added to the all-important life list after a morning or afternoon walk of the paths around and along the river. The SPRNCA is also home over 80 species of land mammals making it one of the richest such environments in the world. The many washes carry monsoonal flow from the mountains down into the San Pedro Valley and finally into the river itself. In the summer monsoon, it becomes a raging torrent of muddy water flowing hard and fast with nothing to slow it down but the beaver dams. The re-introduced, persistent builders have helped develop

Riverine system steeped in history It is not just wildlife that makes the San Pedro River unique. It also has a 13,000-year history of civilization and has more than 250 historic sites, relics and ruins, including a mammoth kill site. It has the highest concentration of Clovis sites in North America. History dates from the agricultural Hohokam culture to Spanish missions, military occupations, mining and ranching. There are two protected National Historic Landmarks in the boundaries — the Murray Springs Clovis site and the Lehner MammothKill site. Petroglyphs are also found hidden among brush and rock.

new areas for vegetation to grow, created meanders which helps slow river flow and used the woody debris brought down by phenomenal storms and winds. Though the dams do get blown out by floodwaters, the beaver families are quick to restore order in their homelands. Other surprises found in the SPRNCA are the many wetlands and artesian springs which hold even more wonder about their desert existence. The St. David Ciénega and Lewis Springs are just two of the many rare wetland areas the BLM plans to support and expand. What keeps this diverse wildland intact is the groundwater beneath it in the deep San Pedro aquifer and the shallower sub-basin which follows below the river. It is these water sources which are so important to the health and the future of the San Pedro River and the life it supports. And, it is why the BLM seeks to protect and enhance the riparian

Wildlife along the river

corridor within the SPRNCA. The BLM is currently adjudicating water rights in the amount of acrefeet of groundwater necessary to maintain the environment to protect the wildlife that calls the riverine system home. The hearings began in January and are expected to wrap up in March. However, it will be in 2020 before a judicial determination is made. n

There is a plethora of color fliting among the branches along the banks of the San Pedro River and its uplands. Showy birds like the Vermilion Flycatchers, Summer Tanagers, Yellow and Lucy’s warblers, Blue Grosbeaks and Yellow-breasted Chats are among the spring and summer residents. It is possible to even glimpse a threatened yellow-billed cuckoo or the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher. During the spring and fall migration, Lazuli Buntings, Green-tailed Towhees, McGillivray’s Warblers and the Western Tanagers capture attention. Year-round residents like the Abert’s Towhees, Eastern Meadowlarks, Gambel’s Quail and the secretive Green Kingfishers and Crissal Thrashers are invaded by enormous, noisy flocks of migrating sparrows and finches. Raptors find easy pickings in the masses. Also found among the tree branches and along riversides are 180 species of butterflies, an uncommon find in the desert. In the shade along shallow, calm stretches of the river, the endangered Huachuca water umbel sets up delicate colonies. View, but do not touch. Some 60 species of mammals are found around the river. Deer, javelina, coyotes, rabbits, foxes, beaver, coatimundi, rodents and squirrels, are just a few glimpsed before disappearing. Tracks of mountain lions and black bears have also been recorded.



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A brief review of Cochise County’s water conservation efforts BY SHAR PORIER


n March 21, 2006, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors adopted the Sierra Vista Subwatershed Water Conservation and Management Policy Plan (Plan) to guide development in the unincorporated areas of the subwatershed. According to the Plan, development density will be no greater than one unit per acre unless the subdivider incorporates water saving measures that mitigate any increase Horshoe Draw in usage over the current zoning, and effluent commercial development. is recharged or densities are transferred from The city and county take the long-view elsewhere in the subwatershed. approach to water and want to ensure that we The Plan also prohibits increasing densities all have the necessary resources to sustain our within two miles of the SPRNCA. (USGS, communities today and for our children and 2007) Many of the Plan’s policies are carried out grandchildren. through the Sierra Vista Sub-watershed Overlay This local approach to water management District and other changes to the code that went serves us well as we all partner with the Arizona into effect on January 5, 2007. Department of Water Resources, which provides The overlay district provides water use oversight and has validated our work while restrictions, in addition to those already required ensuring accountability. in the county, on new development within the It is clear our region serves as a model for subwatershed; it does not change the underlying communities all over the country experiencing zoning. (Cochise County Code § 1802.2) water challenges. Concurrent with the passage of the overlay In contrast, the Benson subwatershed, district, the Cochise County zoning regulations located downstream, lacks this level of federal were amended to encourage transfer of participation. However, accelerated rates development rights from the area within two of residential development and large-scale miles of the SPRNCA boundary and one mile master-planned communities are proposed of the Babocomari River to other portions of for the area, likely a result of its proximity Cochise County. (Cochise County Code § to Tucson. A newly established watershed 2208.3) coalition, the Community Watershed Alliance In addition to the Plan, the Babocomari Area of the Middle San Pedro Valley, led by Plan adopted in 2005 indicates that future landowners, residents, and other organizations upzoning should not increase groundwater and government entities, was formed in 2005 withdrawals beyond the current assumed to “promote collaboration and cooperation to impact of one unit per four acres. The plan also discourages new wells in the 100-year floodplain advance research, education, and policies for the sustainable health of their watershed.” They of the Babocomari River. (Cochise County, are assisting the U.S. Geological Survey and 2006) other agencies and organizations by helping to Pat Call — Leading the way for Cochise coordinate research and monitoring studies with County and its other cities, Sierra Vista private landowners in the are was the first city in the United States to be HNRDC — In November 2010, the designated as a WaterSense community by the Hereford Natural Resource Conservation U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sierra District (HNRCD) recognized major erosion Vista, Cochise County and the region serve as and sediment issues caused by flooding in the proactive stewards of water and our collective Horseshoe Draw area. Growing concern by the efforts have resulted in significant policies that HNRCD and the local community prompted recharge this precious resource and focus on more efficient use of water in residential and the need for an engineer from both Cochise 64

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A precious resource County and a private, Phoenix-based firm to visit the area and provide recommendations. Based on those recommendations, the HNRCD submitted a grant proposal to the Arizona Water Protection Fund (WPF) in August 2013, to fund a concept and feasibility study. A little over a year later, the HNRCD was awarded a $198,625 WPF grant to complete the study. The original Phoenix-based firm that assisted the HNRCD in 2010, HilgartWilson, LLC, was chosen to perform the work for the study. The Horseshoe Draw watershed extends from the Sierra San Jose Mountains in Sonora, Mexico, to the San Pedro River in southern Arizona. The watershed is divided into 21 sub basins, based on “points of interest” within the entire watershed, such as junctions where washes branch off of the watershed. The feasibility study determined that a detention basin is an effective means of slowing the discharge rate to downstream waters, thus detaining surface water runoff. The new detention basin will be made up of an embankment 24 feet above the upstream basin, with a storage capacity of 49 million gallons and four pipes leading from the bottom of the basin downstream, enabling the water to drain from the basin within 24 hours. During the final design phases of the study, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced acceptance of applications for their Water Quality Improvement Grant Program (WQIG) in early February 2016. The HNRCD applied for the grant in order to secure funding to carry out the plan conceived by HilgartWilson to improve the Horseshoe Draw watershed. In May 2016, the HNRCD was approved for a WQIG grant of $993,880, or 58.5% of the cost of the project. The remaining 41.5% of funds are being given by a private donor. n




iving among the sweeping grasslands and sloping canyons of Cochise County is not without its challenges, particularly during the hot summer months when fire risk is high. Fortunately, firefighting personnel, as well as other fire awareness groups, are well-equipped to help residents protect themselves and their properties against fires. Different kinds of properties experience different issues when it comes to fires, said Sierra Vista Fire Marshal Paul Cimino. Whether you live in the city or the countryside, however, one essential thing to keep in mind is to keep your yard and home free of debris. “Lack of good housekeeping — that’s inside as well as out, creates a fire risk,” said Cimino. Creating a “defensible barrier” around your home that is clear of vegetation is also wise, he said. “The fact that people store a lot of stuff outside — they store it right up against their homes or property lines — if it’s combustible, it adds a fuse-like affect. So limiting your waste is crucial, clearing your property of weeds and overgrowth of vegetation.” Families should also come up with an “evacuation plan” including themselves and their pets in case of an emergency, he said. “In that plan, you talked about knowing two ways out, crawling low in smoke, going to a meeting point, so talk about who can grab Skippy (your pet),” he said. The National Fire Protection Association had some good sample plans on their website, he said. “Every plan might be a little bit different.” Living in urban areas presents a different set of challenges when it comes to fire. Historic Old Bisbee, while a popular destination for many, is at a particular risk due to its location in the mountains and its close-set, woodsided homes that were built at the

turn of the century, said Al Anderson, organizer of Old Bisbee Firewise. “There’s a lot of vegetation over wildland that surrounds Old Bisbee, and most of those wildlands haven’t burned in a few years, so there’s a really heavy fuel load,” he said. “It is mountainous, with one major canyon and side canyons, and canyons tend to funnel wind.” One way that people in Bisbee or elsewhere can mitigate fire risk is by educating themselves on how fires spread, said Anderson. “Where you have large fires and overgrown brush, you get a flame height that’s very tall and, generally speaking, wherever your fuel is, whether it’s grass or shrubs, your flame height will be about double of whatever burning is, and when you get tall flame heights, what starts happening is embers get kicked up into the air,” he explained. “And it’s those embers or firebrands that get kicked up in the air and they can land miles away from the fire.” Such embers can land on plants sitting on a patio, outside furniture, or even travel through lattice or vents in an attic window, causing a fire from the outside in, said Anderson. “Make sure that rain gutters are cleaned, pine needles are cleared off your roof,” he said. “The wire screening that’s on (gables) has a mesh and typically the mesh size used to be a quarter-inch on either side, and

that was basically to keep to large insects out, but now what they’re recommending is that the mesh size is small.” Joining or contacting your local Firewise group is a good way to learn about how to protect yourself from fires, said Anderson. A member can come out and assess your property for risk, and joining can lower your fire risk in the eyes of insurance agencies, he said. “People really need to do their part in protecting their property,” said Anderson. “And not depending just on the firefighters and the establishment to protect their property.” Homeowners and business owners can also take steps towards protecting their own properties by familizaring themselves with fire safety requirements in their jurisdiction, and who to contact in case of any emergency, said Cimino. In the city of Sierra Vista, for example, city leaders come together to evaluate plans for new commercial properties to make sure they are fire-safe. “A lot of people call the city for a lot of stuff, and sometimes it’s not even in the city limits,” he said. “Knowing who and where to go will save you a lot of trouble.” For more information about fire safety and risks in the county and in Bisbee and Sierra Vista in particular, visit www.sierravistaaz.gov or www. oldbisbeefirewise.org. n

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Private schools 794 Joyce Clark Middle School

514 Village Meadows Elementary School

636 Pueblo Del Sol Elementary School

402 Town and Country Elementary School

1 Buena High School Ctd - Vocational

Douglas Unified School District

630 Huachuca Mountain Elementary School

416 Carmichael Elementary School

401 Bella Vista Elementary School

12 Douglas Early Learning Center

426 Coronado Elementary

2,153 Buena High School

1 Bisbee High School CTD-Vocational

327 Bisbee High School

180 Lowell Middle School

246 Greenway Primary School

Bisbee Unified School District

1,316 Douglas High School

388 Palominas Elementary

47 Vision Unlimited Academy 2 Cochise Technology School

Palominas School District

6 Douglas High School CTD-Vocational

442 Ray Borane Middle School

493 Paul H Huber Jr High School

473 Stevenson Elementary School

803 Empire High School

School enrollment 410 Omega Alpha Academy 131 Raul H. Castro Learning Center 27 San Pedro Valley High School


254 Leman Academy (SV) 176 Liberty Traditional (Douglas)

303 CAS Middle School #4 (Douglas) 105 CAS #1 HS (Sierra Vista) 382 CAS #5 Elementary (SV)

383 Berean Academy 122 CAS #2 High School (Douglas) 293 CAS #3 Elementary (Douglas)

Charter Schools

205 Sarah Marley School

360 Joe Carlson Elementary School

173 Faras Elementary School

301 Clawson Elementary

2 Benson High School CTD-Vocational

Benson Unified School District

472 Benson Primary School

369 Benson Middle School

432 Benson High

108 Veritas Christian Community School (SV)

236 Loretto Catholic School (Douglas)

15 Grace Christian Academy (Benson)

172 First Baptist Academy (SV)


108 All Saints Catholic School (SV)

295 Naco Elementary School


Sierra Vista (SVUSD)

10 Apache Elementary

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Eat l a c o l




ith the uniqueness of an area comes local food and products that can help one adjust to the area or have a number of

health benefits. Guarded by invisible thorns, prickly pear is actually a beautiful, magenta-color fruit with its own distinct taste and helps with a number of health conditions. Mesquite grows in abundance across the state and provides a great alternative for those who are gluten-free or have diabetes. Bees might be frightening, but consuming honey made locally can help with allergies.

Prickly pear


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Prickly pear fruit disguises itself as a dangerous cactus, but instead is actually a refreshing treat. The plant is native to Arizona and other states in the U.S., as well as Mexico and Central America. The dark, magenta-colored fruit is unique in color, and has a distinct taste. The fruit grows on the prickly pear cactus, and all parts of the cactus are edible and highly nutritious despite the thorny outsides. The pads can be eaten if they are young and small in size and if the glochis — the spots with the thorns — are removed. The larger pads are not harmful. They are just tougher, which makes them harder to eat. The dark-magenta fruit is known to have a number of health benefits, which includes lowering sugar for those with diabetes, lowering cholesterol, preventing hangovers, and helping to fight cancer. Natalie McGee, owner of Arizona Cactus Ranch in Tucson and a clinical social worker, makes and sells 100 percent prickly pear concentrate on her ranch. She started selling her product in jars without branding and labels 30 years ago at a small fair in Green Valley. One teaspoon to one tablespoon a day of McGee’s concentrate can cause blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes to lower 55 to 65 percent in two weeks, she claims. She recommends starting with one teaspoon a day.

­— for your health Since it’s effective for people with diabetes, McGee works with a number of Native American tribes and medical institutions to help steadily decrease their blood-sugar levels, as it’s a natural method to lower sugar levels. “The slime (texture, especially when heated) helps reduce the absorption of sugar and cholesterol,” Hillebrand said. The desert fruit also reduces inflammation, which makes it beneficial for those with arthritis and fibromyalgia. McGee offers a “Hangover Terminator” because prickly pear is good for the liver. If one tablespoon is taken five hours before consumption of alcohol, she says, it can prevent hangovers. August and September are the best months to harvest prickly pear because the rain and heat cause them to ripen. Hillebrand said the prickly pears at the community garden began to bloom in the spring, and become ready for picking in the summer. Roxana Huish, a Sierra Vista resident, finds the fruit while mountain biking on a local trail, but has to be cautious when she picks it. “They have nearly invisible hairs that can get on you very easily,” she said. “In Mexico, it’s very common to eat prickly pear. I grew up on this.” When gathering prickly pear from nature, you have to be extremely careful so you don’t get pricked. Huish recommends using metal tongs to pick up the fruit because of the nearly

invisible spines. She then puts them into a box because when she puts them in a plastic bag, the bag often rips. Once in her house, she uses the tongs to hold the prickly pear over a flame to burn off the needles. Huish then takes a sharp knife and peels the skin off. She likes to put it in the blender with lime or lemon juice with honey or whole-leaf stevia to sweeten it, as the fruit has a mild taste. After blending it, she strains the liquid because there are a lot of seeds in it. Huish then likes to freeze them so she has a refreshing treat all year round. Prickly pear fruit can be made into jelly, jam, syrup or eaten from the skin.


Though found all over the world, mesquite beans are popular amongst the county, the state and through Texas. Edible right off the tree, it’s hard to dispute the easy access and organic nature of the legume. “The mesquites are interesting because, well, our native one is called the velvet mesquite, and we get calls all the time like, ‘oh my gosh, my mesquite tree is leaking sap,’ but any time you wound a native black sap, it’s just their reaction like you would bleed if you got cut and that’s all it’s doing,” said Jan Groth, master gardener program coordinator at the University of

Arizona South Cooperative Extension. When gathering the bean, BJ Searcy, Mesquite Coordinator for Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture (BASA), says to lightly tap it because if it falls then it is ready to be harvested, but if it hangs on, then it still needs time to ripen. She also recommends tasting one off the tree. If it doesn’t taste good then the tree isn’t ready to be plucked. “Don’t eat the beans on the ground,” Searcy recommends. “They can pick up toxins on the ground.” Once harvested, mesquite can be made into a broth, which can then be turned into a jelly or wine. To make the broth, crumble the beans and boil them — after cleaning them, of course. Searcy said there are a number of recipes online to make homemade wine and it usually takes three months from the start of the process to bottling the wine. BASA hosts two mesquite millings a year, one in Sierra Vista and the other in Bisbee, typically in October for anyone who has collected the beans. Before being milled into flour, the beans have to be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Searcy says it’s important to clean them in order to remove dirt, rocks or bugs that could be inside the bean. After washing them, lay them to dry and leave them out until the crisp. Once they crisp, put them in an air-sealed container — Searcy recommends a five-gallon plastic bucket.

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Before taking them to be milled, put the mesquite in another bucket and make sure there is no mold or bugs in them. Mesquite has a sweet taste to it which makes the flour good for baking. Mesquite is a good gluten-free substitute and great for people with Type II diabetes because of its low glycemic index. “The flour is very rich, very sweet, it’s very nutritious, it’s fabulous ... and on top of it, it’s gluten-free — which a lot of people are looking for,” Groth said. Before the beans are ready to harvest, the mesquite blooms into a flower in the spring. “It has a wonderful flower it puts out in the spring that’s a strong honey fragrance that’s very sweet,” Groth said.


Consuming locally harvested honey may not cure allergies but it can help with the symptoms. Reed Booth, known around Cochise County as “the Killer Bee Guy,” says his customers who are from the east coast have consumed his honey, which is harvested in Bisbee, and it has helped with their allergies. “Plants are what give you allergies,” Booth said.

“Honey comes from plants from the area.” According to the Mayo Clinic website, there are 320 varieties of honey. “Honey contains mostly sugar, as well as a mix of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, zinc and antioxidants. In addition to its use as a natural sweetener, honey is used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial agent,” according to the site. The overarching title of “wild desert” is used to describe most of the honey harvested in the area, as it’s hard to know exactly which flowers the Africanized bees pollinated to make the honey. Wild desert honey has an amber color to it. The other honey from Arizona, though less common, is mesquite honey. Pure mesquite honey is clear when not crystallized, whereas if it is crystallized it has a white color. “You know honey is pure mesquite honey because of its color, flavor, texture and smell,” Booth said. The color of honey ranges from clear to black, with different variations throughout the spectrum. “All of the honey bees in Arizona are Africanized,” Booth said. “They are super aggressive.” Africanized bees are a cross between European

and African bees. Booth says they will make up to twice the amount of honey as a European bee and does every job a European bee does 10 times faster. “Honey is the only food insects give us, unless you eat the bug directly,” Booth said. He considers honey to be the trifecta because it is a good immune booster, people can live off of it because of the vitamins and minerals it contains, also it doesn’t expire. “Honey is such a immune-system booster,” Booth said. “Honey is the only natural food that never ever goes bad and doesn’t lose its nutritional value. You can actually live off of honey and water.” The Mayo Clinic website lists cardiovascular disease, cough, gastrointestinal disease, neurological disease and wound care as cases honey consumption can aid in. According to the site, “Studies suggest that honey might offer antidepressant, anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety benefits. In some studies, honey has been shown to help prevent memory disorders.” Booth uses his honey to also make and sell honey butters and honey mustard, as the substance can be used in many ways, including as a natural sweetener. n

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a e v a H Y L G N I T N HAU e m i t d goo PLAY | HAUNTED COCHISE

ranormal hot spots pa d an ts os gh te ri vo Fa



iggles in the empty hallway of a hotel. The strange smell of a cigar that seemingly floats in from nowhere. Footsteps from the floor above all night long, when no one has occupied the second floor for years. These phenomena are not uncommon experiences for visitors to one of Cochise County’s many historical hotels or spaces. Is there something that lingers here, something from beyond the veil that you can find, or maybe will find you? Cochise County is a ghost hunter’s paradise. With a history that goes back as far as the 1500s, when people first inhabited the area, the county is rife with paranormal encounters. Renee Harper, owner and founder of the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour, has made a popular business around Bisbee’s plentiful haunted locations and the people who come to town seeking an inexplicable experience. “I grew up in a haunted house in Philadelphia and in college I was in a fairy tale and folklore class which spent a couple weeks talking about ghost stories as folklore,” she said. “When I was living in L.A., I started collecting L.A. ghost stories and when I moved to Bisbee I realized there was no ghost tour and so I started one. We’ve been here 12 years now.” With her company, guests can either do a walking tour of the town and learn about the ghosts and history surrounding them or go into a more immersive ghost-hunting experience. 72

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The Stock Exchange in Bisbee is noted for ghostly sightings. Bartender Serenity Burke can be seen behind the bar. Billy’s Room is located in Bisbee’s Copper Queen Hotel. A portrait of Billy is seen in the bathroom mirror. Legend has it that one or both of Billy’s parents worked at the hotel. The boy apparently died while playing in the San Pedro River over one hundred years ago and periodically appears in the hotel. “We give walking tours of Bisbee, do ghost hunts, tell guests the history and how they pertain to the ghost,” she said. “On the Bisbee Paranormal Experience Tour, it’s more interactive. Guests go inside a location with ghost-hunting equipment, hear stories and investigate the building for about 20 minutes.” In Douglas, the Gadsden Hotel, which has been around since 1907, has gained a reputation as a spot to see paranormal activity.

Tanya Duarte, lead supervisor, said they actually strive to debunk stories of ghosts and no longer market themselves as a “ghost hotel.” “As far as ghost stories, over the years there have been rumors of this ghost or that ghost and we’ve been working to debunk them,” she said. “There are no ghosts we have seen. We haven’t had any negative ghosts, not like in movies.” Even though ghost hunters can’t come in

Here’s some favorite ghosts that might be haunting your next stop in Cochise County. The Bisbee Inn ghost cat - Harper’s personal favorite ghost in Bisbee is the ghost cat said to wander the hotel, especially Room 23. “The story is that the cat used to be a stray and it would try to get inside but they wouldn’t allow it, they’d shoo it away,” she said. “It would go next door to the bar, which is now Cooper City Saloon, it went into the bar, it got downstairs accidentally, locked itself into a storage room and starved.” “The day after they found it they started to get ghost reports. They have a basket of cat toys that they leave out for the ghost cat and guests bring toys too.”

to conduct paranormal investigations, people still experience strange phenomena in the building. “Room 333 is said to be most haunted and it is resided in by an energy, sometimes it’s a grumpy old man or nothing at all,” Duarte said. “We have seen pictures from in there that have some unexplainable things in the image. “Things happen and people should expect the unexpected.” Duarte believes the type of energy a person puts out influences the type of energies they may encounter in the world. “Whatever energy is here was here before us and we’d rather not disturb it; we don’t want to mess with it,” she said. “I’m a strong believer that, with ghosts and spirits, it all depends on the person; if they have negative energy they will experience negative energy.” n

The Carleton House of Fort Huachuca - There are several locations at Fort Huachuca where people have claimed to have ghost encounters. The most famous or active of the bunch is the Carleton House. Built in 1880, the building served several different purposes starting as a hospital. It was during this time a woman, referred to as Charlotte, died not long after having a stillborn baby. In the early 1980s, Joan Strom, the wife of Col. Roy Strom, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center at the time, spotted a womanly apparition and gave her the name. The Stroms lived in the building at the time and experienced strange electrical disturbances, wall fixtures moving, cold spots and a rocking chair that seemed to move on it’s own. The first marshall of Tombstone Tombstone is said to house many ghosts of cowboys, saloon girls and miners. Just walking down the main street in Tombstone, might yield an apparition. Tombstone’s first marshal Fred White went to disarm the gun of outlaw Curly Bill and his crew of cowboys when they came to cause trouble in town on Oct. 28, 1880. Each cowboy gave over their weapon to White, but when he reached for Curly Bill’s an accidental shot was fired, striking White, and he died two days later. Guests to Tombstone say they have spotted the spirit of White in the street out in front of the Bird Cage Theater where the incident is said to have taken place. Julia Lowell, Copper Queen - The Copper Queen is a reputed hot spot for ghost activity and tours, featured on several different television programs.

The main staircase at the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee. The hotel has several areas and rooms where apparitions appear.

One of their most often seen ghosts is a woman in her 30s named Julia Lowell. Lowell was a prostitute and often used the hotel for her clients, one of which she fell madly in love with. The man ended their relationship and Lowell took her life. Hotel guests report feeling a presence on floors 2 and 3, believed to be Julia. Men have reported hearing a woman whisper into their ears and some have seen her dancing provocatively in the building. If you feel a phantom feeling of someone tickling your feet, it could be Julia who is known to play with male guests feet. There is a room at the Copper Queen named for her. Big Nose Kate - Big Nose Kate is a wellknown name in Tombstone. Her greatest claim to fame was being the on-and-off girlfriend of Doc Holliday, a dentist and deadly shot. She even helped him to escape from jail once. Among her accolades are owning a business, dancing as a saloon girl, her many drunken binges and her feisty attitude. Surprisingly, given her wild life, Kate died in her home in 1940, just a few days shy of her 90th birthday. Some people say the ghost of Big Nose Kate can be found at the Crystal Palace Saloon, a favorite hang out of Kate’s during her life in Tombstone. Staff and guests have seen items move, lights turn on and off and gambling wheels spin on their own. soco 2019





ierra Vista is a wonderful place for musicians and music lovers. Here’s a sampling of just two of the many musical groups that call our community home.


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Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra When the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra made its debut performance in August 1995, there were 36 musicians. The University Foundation of Sierra Vista sponsored the concert, which was conducted by Roger Bayes, with Beverly Wright as concertmaster. Today, the 60-member orchestra is conducted by artistic director Toru Tagawa, who was hired in 2016 by the symphony board after Bayes retired. The orchestra performs three concerts a year, along with one free children’s production for fifth-graders from all over Cochise County. Concerts are held at the Klein Center for the Performing Arts, 5225 E. Buena School Blvd. located in Buena High School. “Our three concerts are in January, October and April,” said Mary Mueller, vice-president of the Sierra Vista Symphony Association. “While some are a combination of classical and contemporary music, our winter concert — which is April 13 — leans more toward a contemporary theme this year. We try to offer concerts that appeal to different generations so all ages understand and appreciate symphonic music.” April’s “At Last” concert starts at 7 p.m., with doors to the Klein Center opening at 6:30. Tagawa is presenting a pre-concert seminar at 6 p.m. in one of Buena’s lecture pods where he explains the concert’s music. Vocalist Crystal Stark, an American Idol semi-finalist and the production’s guest

Support Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra annual fundraiser WHAT: Men Who Cook — Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra fundraiser WHEN: March 23, 5:30 p.m. WHERE: Columbian Hall, 156 Kayetan Drive TICKETS: $30 in advance, $40 at the door AVAILABLE: Ace Hardware, Safeway, Dillard’s, Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce, online at sierravistasymphony.org. MORE INFO: Contact the symphony office, 520458-5189 or email info@ sierravistasymphony.org

performer, will be singing hit songs by Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston and Tina Turner with the symphony. “Next year will be the orchestra’s 25th anniversary, so we are calling the 2019-2020 season our Jubilee season,” Mueller said. For the Jubilee productions, January’s concert will feature a goldtheme, representing a futuristic 50 years of symphony in Sierra Vista. “October will be the silver-themed concert for our 25th anniversary, and April will be the 75th, or diamond anniversary. It also is the anniversary of the end of World War II, so we’ll be tying that theme into next year’s April concert.” General admission is $25, reserved seating is $30 and the cost for families with children is $30. Admission for school students with an ID is $10, while children under 14 are free with a paying adult. Concert tickets are available at Oscar Yrun Community Center, Safeway, Sierra Vista Chamber of Commerce, Dillard’s and Buena High School. The orchestra is supported by the Sierra Vista Symphony Association, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing live music to Sierra Vista and surrounding communities. The association serves as a focal point for musical education, to help foster appreciation of symphonic music for future generations.


Sierra Vista Community Chorus (SVCC) Every year, under the direction of Sharon Keene, all-volunteer Sierra Vista Community Chorus delivers four energetic productions for the community’s enjoyment. “The chorus was organized prior to 1998 as a sing-along group to perform at assisted living and care centers,” Keene said. “We became the Sierra Vista Community Chorus when I took over as director in 1999.” With an enrollment of 110 members, around 80 appear on the stage at Buena High School when the chorus uses Klein Center for the Performing Arts for its spring and Christmas shows. “While the majority of our members are retired, the chorus has a wide range of ages, from 16 years old to the upper 80s,” said Martha Conklin, who has been singing with the chorus since it started and currently serves as the general manager. “We actually have several members who have been with the chorus since its start more than 20 years ago. It’s a very dedicated group where a lot of strong friendships are formed.” Music for the different productions is memorized, with the chorus practicing Monday mornings from 9:30 to 11 at Ethel Berger Center. Along with the full chorus, there is a men’s, women’s,

and ladies’ barbershop chorus and a number of ensembles within the main chorus. All of the shows are performed at local care and assisted living centers for the residents in those facilities, Conklin said. “Our music brings tremendous joy to those residents, which is very rewarding for us.” Proceeds from two of the four shows benefit a local nonprofit selected by the community chorus board. n

Sweet Treats & Swingin’ Sounds — cabaret-style show with chorus ensembles and soloists; March 1 from 6:30 8:30; March 2 from 2 to 4 p.m.; March 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. Ethel Berger Center; tickets are $10 per person, purchased through chorus members, Safeway and Oscar Yrun Community Center. This concert includes a selection of homemade desserts as well non-alcoholic beverages. A Salute to the British Invasion: The Beatles! — May 11 at 7 p.m.; Klein Center for the Performing Arts; tickets are $12, purchased through chorus members, Safeway; Oscar Yrun Community Center and at the door. Gospel Show — Oct. 18 from 7 to 9 p.m.; Oct. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.; Faith Presbyterian Church, 2053 E. Choctaw Drive in Sierra Vista; free will offering to benefit local nonprofit, VICaP (Volunteer Interfaith Caregiver Program). Christmas Concert — date to be announced; Klein Center for the Performing Arts; admission is free; attendees are requested to bring an unwrapped toy for the Firemen’s toy drive, or non perishable food items for local food banks. For information, contact Martha Conklin at 520-3780730, mconklin3@cox.net, or Sharon Keene, 520-417-2305, or keene7@cox.net.

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on s n e B n i d n Murals abou




enson’s blank walls have become an artist’s canvas. Close to 40 murals that highlight the area’s history, culture and landscape are splashed on buildings in downtown Benson, adding beauty and intrigue to oncevacant spaces. They’re the work of artist Doug Quarles who has been commissioned by a local nonprofit to help beautify Benson through the colorful displays. Quarles started the project on walls at the Benson Visitor Center parking lot with train-themed images featuring rail lines that have rumbled through town from the time Southern Pacific Railroad first emerged on the scene in the early 1880s. Section gangs, miners and the prospectors that left their mark in history are some of the characters Quarles created for the Benson Beautification project, which started in 2013. Other paintings scattered through downtown Benson feature wild horses, the Butterfield Overland Stage, Kartchner Caverns Throne Room, desert wildlife, cattle drives and a fast-moving Pony Express rider, to name a few. Quarles may be the artist, but it’s Benson resident Lisa Hill who pitched the mural idea to the City while she served as chair of a committee called Benson Clean and Beautiful, doing business as Benson Beautification. After her idea earned council approval, she reached out to Quarles, who rolled up his sleeves and got to work. “The murals are definitely a big draw,” Hill said. “People have made special trips from Tucson to see them, tourists spend more time in Benson because they enjoy looking at them, and we’ve had photographers here from Mexico because of the murals.” Quarles, who recently moved to 76

Soco 2019

n Visitor Center. a mural near the Benso d hin be n see is in tra A passing New Mexico, will be returning to Benson in February to work on more images. “I’ve done 36 murals since 2013 when I started working in Benson” he said. “Once people saw the first few murals, the project really took off. Lisa (Hill) already has about five new murals lined up, which she hopes to have completed within the next 18 months.” As the current president of Benson Clean and Beautiful, Cindy Allen works closely with Hill and Quarles. “Lisa Hill got this project going by writing grants, soliciting for sponsors and holding fundraisers to raise the money to pay for the different murals,” she said. “Once the community saw Doug’s work, the project started moving forward, and more businesses came on board.” A Buffalo Soldier mural is planned for Sarge’s Sidearms, a business located at Fourth and San Pedro streets. The Sulphur Springs Valley Electric building at Fifth and Land will feature a nighttime rodeo scene from the 1940s. A third mural, with funding from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be

Artist Doug Quarles stands next to one of his works located in the Kartchner Caverns facility in Benson. painted on R&R Pizza at Fifth and Gila streets, an image showcasing the Mormon Battalion. Union Pacific Railroad awarded a $5,000 grant toward the project in 2017, followed by a $15,000 grant in 2018, Hill said. “I think they see what a huge contribution they’ve made to Benson” she said. “All of the murals are amazing. For me, it’s rewarding to hear about visitors who come to Benson because they enjoy looking at the beautiful images that Doug has created.” n

A guide book that provides a walking tour of Benson’s murals can be purchased for $5 at the following locations: Medicine Shoppe, 795 W. Fourth St.; Horse Shoe Cafe, 154 E. Fourth St.; Benson Feed and Supply, 639 E. Fourth St.; Endeavor Art Gallery, 198 E. Fourth St.; Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group (SAEDG), 168 E. Fourth St. and Friends of the Library, 370 S. Huachuca St. For info, go to the mural website at Bensonazmurals. org, or call Cindy Allen at 520-6315507.

Bisbee artist Rose Johnson’s Peace Wall is located on Tombstone Canyon.

Benson isn’t the only SOCO city boasting interesting murals. See if you can spot any of these works of art in your travels around Cochise County.

A mural by artist Alan Scott resides on Erie Street which is in the Lowell District of Bisbee.

Located in Bisbee, this mural rests in a parking lot.

The late Rose Johnson painted this mural on the Jon Quil Motel in Bisbee.

A random mural in Bisbee’s Brewery Gulch.

LEFT: Sierra Vista artist Joanne Berry stands next to the mural she painted on the West End. ABOVE: Joanne Berry’s mural can be seen on Sierra Vista’s West End.

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SIERRA VISTA March 1 -3: Sweet Treats and Swingin’ Sounds Sierra Vista Community Chorus members make wonderful desserts for audience members to enjoy along with a musical revue based on this year’s theme “IMAGINE!” featuring soloists and ensembles of the chorus and High Desert Sound women’s barbershop and guest performers from Buena High School Choir. Tickets are $8 per person and can be purchased only from chorus members. These shows frequently sell out, so don’t count on tickets at the door. Info at 520-378-0730.

March 9: Health, Wealth & Lifestyle Fair The Health, Wealth & Lifestyle Fair showcases a wide variety of businesses that focus on well being, personal finances and enjoyment of the attractions and benefits of living in Southern Arizona. It will also energize businesses and their customers, on helping clients capitalize their assets and explore all there is to offer in Cochise County. The Fair will be held at The Mall at Sierra Vista from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They’ve added a Shred-A-Thon in the Mall parking lot so folks can rid themselves of paperwork weighing them down. Get more information at 520-378-0730.


April 13: Family Day at the UA A day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., of fun for all ages with raffles, 4-H petting zoo, games and activities by University of Arizona SV youth programs, food trucks, a Master Gardener spring plant sale and more. Contact 520-458-8278 x2141.

May 1 - 4: Southwest Wings Spring Fling Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival is Arizona’s oldest birding festival. May is the beginning of the nesting season for many of our local specialties which makes them easy to find and see. The birds are hopped up on hormones making them very active and there are no juveniles to fret over in making an identification. A few of our late arrivals will not be around but 95% of the birds people come to see will be here. Southwest Wings birders get up close to the birds people most want to see. At Cochise College and at all the great bird venues. For details call 520266-0149.

Star students and educators in Cochise County, nominated by their peers and co-workers will be honored by the Herald Review at a breakfast at Cochise College Sierra Vista from 10 a.m. to noon. Call 520-458-9440 for more information. Soco 2019

Thanking and honoring the hundreds of high school athletes, coaches and fans who have been featured in the pages of the Herald Review over the past year. Info at 520-458-9440.

May 17 - 19 Sierra Vista Open

March 23: Academic All Star and Golden Apple Award Breakfast


May 7: Best of the Preps Awards Banquet

Raising funds for The Huachucans, the main event is a 36-hole stroke play tournament with Gross, Net, and Professional Flights played at Pueblo del Sol Country Club . Competitors come from all over the country to enjoy the views, golf, food, and entertainment. The public is welcome to come on out and see Professional golfers play as well as seeing some of the best in local talent. Even if you don’t golf you’ll appreciate the setting. Saturday’s Dining Under the Stars features live music by Desert Fever, silent and live auctions, raffles, and games. Email: info@ thehuachucans.com.

July 4: Annual Independence Day Celebration Veterans Memorial Park vibrates with fun, family, friends, and fireworks. Enjoy music, a chili cook-off, arts & craft vendors, and more during the Fourth of July celebration at Veterans Memorial Park, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Presented by Sierra Vista Rotary. Phone: 520-458-3315.

May 25 & 26: Sierra Vista Sips & Skies Enjoy a weekend discovering Sierra Vista’s extraordinary skies and uncommon ground. Whether you’re sampling wine and spirits, climbing the towering Huachuca Mountains, bicycling along the foothills, or exploring the San Pedro riparian areas, Sierra Vista should be your Memorial Day destination. Sunday will feature a winery tour of local vineyards. Phone: 1 800-288-3861.


August 31: Roadrunner brew fest

Annual events you won’t want to miss.

Mid-September: Oktoberfest July 31 - August 3: Southwest Wings Summer Fest Sharing knowledge of nature, critters, birds, and the great flyway of Cochise County, there will be lectures, field trips, demonstrations, and live animals to meet up close. For details call 520-266-0149.

We know it’s not October, but Sierra Vistans like to get an early start celebrating Autumn, beer, and our German heritage (you can do this even if you are not German). Head to Veterans Memorial Park to listen to music, sip some local brews, eat a brat or two, and enjoy the usually great fall weather. Phone: 520458-3315.

August 24: Home & Business Expo + Shred-a-thon Chamber of Commerce members showcase their businesses for other members and the public at the Mall at Sierra Vista, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the largest trade show in the County with no admission charge. The monster shredder will be in the Mall’s parking lot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Get more information at 520-378-0730.

Designed to recognize the craft brew experience in Arizona as a competition as well as a Beer Goggle Challenge and Zero-K. 25% of all alcohol sales will benefit the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association – Chapter 32-4. Contact Kelsey at kelsey.laggan@ myheraldreview.com

October 5 & 6: Art in the Park Veterans Memorial Park glows with the work of almost 200 juried 8.31.1 Roadrunner Brew Fest is designed to recognize the Roadrunner Brew Fest is designed to recognize the Mid-September artists sponsored thecraftHuachuca craft brew experience in Arizona as an annual craft craft brew experience in Arizona as by an annual brew competition as a Beer Goggle Challengeasks brew competition as well as a Beer Goggle Challenge Each fall theas well Herald/Review Art Association. thethenext and Zero-K. 25% of all alcohol sales will benefit the and Zero-K. 25% of all alcohol salesSee will benefit Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association – Chapter 32Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association – Chapter 32readers toevent vote for their ofto 4. This one-of-a-kind event will Best drive tourism 4. addition This event one-of-a-kind event will drive tourism to your home orto all the the West End of Sierra Vista. the West End of Sierra Vista. Bisbee, Sierra Vista & Tombstone The gifts The Beer Goggle Challenge and Zero-K participants will Beer Goggle Challenge and Zero-K participants will you’ll ever need, Saturday 9 VIP attendees and allowed to sample the best brews VIP attendees and allowed to sample the best brews in a beofwide The beof Arizona Arizona variety for an hour andof halfcategories. prior to opening the gate for an hour and half prior to opening the gate a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 to general admission. to general admission. winners areincelebrated at an evening To participate To participate the AZ Craft Beer Contest & Roadrunner in the AZdetails Craft Beer Contest &their Roadrunner p.m. For see website or Brew Fest contact Kelsey at Brew Fest contact Kelsey at kelsey.laggan@myheraldreview.com banquet, and certificates are handed callkelsey.laggan@myheraldreview.com 520-803-0584. out to declare their “best-ness.” For details call 520-458-9440. 8.31.1

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October 12 & 13: Huachuca Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show.


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MONDAY-WEDNESDAY: 3:00PM-9:00PM THURSDAY: 3:00PM-10:00PM • FRIDAY: 11:00AM-10:00PM SATURDAY: 11:00AM-10:00PM • SUNDAY: 11:00AM-9:00PM

We Do Everything with Heart

October 12: Sierra Vista Cars in the Park This time Veterans Park absolutely bops with oldies to accompany an open show of cars, live music, arts and crafts, gift basket raffle, 50/50 raffle, food, and product vendors and door prizes. Oh, yes, and boats. The show opens at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Call 520-249-9756 for more information.

Usually held at Cochise College, this festival features the best in Cochise County rocks and their collectors. See demonstrations, educational displays, lapidary supplies, with food and beverages on the side. The show is free to all, and there is free parking. Call 719660-7530 for details.

Early December Santa Fly-In Santa and Mrs. Claus fly in — in a helicopter — to Cal Ranch to delight kiddies and promote shopping locally. Get more information at 520-3780730.

439 N. Hwy 90 BYP, Ste E • Sierra Vista, Az. 85635 www.Facebook.com/TRIMZHair Mon - Fri: 10am - 5:30pm • Sat: 9am - 3pm

Beautiful floats and community groups move down Fry Blvd with music and lots of lights. The Sierra Vista Parade is the longest continuously running Christmas parade in Arizona, and sets the city’s main street aglow every year. Get more information at 520378-0730.


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July 4: Family Friendly Independence Day There’s a free barbeque starting around 3 p.m. in Huachuca City’s Park, 500 N. Gonzales Blvd. with live music, games, kids’ activities, free swimming, and fireworks after dark. More information at 520-456-1354.

October Fall Break: LibraryCon Special events and activities for children mark this annual school break event at the Huachuca City Library. Celebrate pop culture and literary characters with quizzes and games. Pick up a schedule at the library. All the events are free. Call 520-456-1063 for more info.

Early August: National Night Out and Back-to-School Fair

October 31: Huachuca City Annual Trunk or Treat.

Usually the first Tuesday in August, National Night Out aims to promote strong police-community partnerships and neighborliness. The Huachuca City Police Department and the Library work together with a free chance to pick up school supplies (register in advance), meet law enforcement officers and Smokey the Bear, and check out a fire truck. The 2018 event included an ice cream social. Call 520-456-1063 for more info.

The Senior Center and Library parking lots sport decorated cars full of candy for safe trick-ortreating. The best-decorated car and best costumes might win a prize. Get more information at 520-456-1354.



Saturdays 5 pm • Sundays 10:30 am

March 9: Bisbee After 5 Art Walk

March 8-10: Return of the Turkey Vultures The real live vultures return to their nests in Bisbee in the spring, and Bisbee greets them with events at Saturday’s Farmers Market and the Copper Queen Plaza, starring the real live birds. There will be a parade downtown Saturday afternoon, and an African Reggae dance that evening. Wear something red in your hat! Look for Turkey Vulture details on Facebook.

Stores open at around 10 a.m. and stay open until 8ish for artist receptions, music, dancing, and special promotions. This event happens on the second Saturday of each month. See bisbeeafter5.com for more info.

Connecting with God, each other, and our world

2750 Cardinal Dr Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 520-458-4432 www.ststephensaz.org office@ststephensaz.org


Start outside the fire station for a lighting of the city’s Christmas tree, hot cocoa, and cookies. Then head next to the library for a special reading of the holiday favorite “The Polar Express.” Santa may even make an appearance. Call 520-456-1063 for more info.

March 23: MAKE Youth Arts Festival Central School Project fills its 1905 building with young artists. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and features artist designed craft activities, painting, writing, ceramics, film, dance, theater, and more, geared appropriately for ages 3 to 18. For more info call 520-4324866.



Early December: Tree Lighting Ceremony & Polar Express

10am to 2pm

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March 29 - April 13: Showcase Fatale “Celestial Bodies”

Bisbee dancers dancers put put on on their their feathers feathers for for aa celestial celestial show show at at the the Bisbee Bisbee Royale. Royale.They They say, say,“Dust “Dust off off your your space space suits suits ++ fire fire up up your your rocket rocket Bisbee ships!”Check Check their their Facebook Facebook page page for for photos photos of of past past shows shows and and new new ships!” info as as itit fires fires up. up. info


April 6 & 7: Copper City Classic Vintage Base Ball Tournament

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This is is Bisbee Bisbee at at its its most most This colorful. Bisbee is proud of colorful. Bisbee is proud of everyone and the rainbow everyone and the rainbow shines all all weekend. weekend. See See shows, shows, shines a parade, food, beer garden, a parade, food, beer garden, dances, indoors indoors and and out. out. See See dances, bisbeepride.com for info on bisbeepride.com for info on 2019 events and pics of past 2019 events and pics of past years. years.

July 4th: Independence Day Celebration

Start the the day day early early on on Main Main Start Street to watch kids in their Street to watch kids in their gravity powered powered coasters coasters race race by by gravity you for prizes and glory. Then head you for prizes and glory. Then head to the Warren area, three miles to the Warren area, three miles away, for for aa home home grown grown parade parade away, and activities in Vista Park. In and activities in Vista Park. In the afternoon, everyone is back the afternoon, everyone is back in Old Old Bisbee Bisbee for for the the drilling drilling and and in mucking contests. Former miners mucking contests. Former miners and other other strong strong citizens citizens move move and rock into a mine car or pound rock into a mine car or pound hole into into solid solid rock. rock. Bring Bring aa aa hole parasol. It’s hot. Call 520-432parasol. It’s hot. Call 520-4326000 for for details details on on 2019. 2019. 6000

October 19: Bisbee 1000 - The Great Stair Climb Totally unique unique physical physical fitness fitness Totally challenge (or friendly fitness challenge (or friendly fitness walk)! The The 4.5-mile 4.5-mile course course walk)! features nine staircases (over features nine staircases (over 1000 steps total) connected by 1000 steps total) connected by winding roads. Runners and winding roads. Runners and walkers see see some some of of the the most most walkers scenic parts of Old Bisbee, scenic parts of Old Bisbee, and thousands thousands of of spectators spectators and cheer them on. Registration is cheer them on. Registration is online only, at Bisbee1000.org. online only, at Bisbee1000.org. For more more information, information, email email For Bisbee1000info@gmail or call call Bisbee1000info@gmail or 520-266-0401. 520-266-0401.



520-456-4035 www.raecandlesandscents.com

A benefit benefit car car show show for for the the A Boys and and Girls Girls Club Club helps helps Boys fund local local activities activities for for youth. youth. fund Current and and historical historical race race Current cars bring bring thunder thunder to to the the cars streets.The The cars cars and and bikes bikes are are streets. all shiny shiny and and waiting waiting for for your your all appreciation. Call Call for for details: details: appreciation. 520-432-3010. 520-432-3010.

H H cc B B aa pp tt 44

June 14 - 16: Bisbee Pride Weekend 129196


The Arizona Arizona Territories Territories Vintage Vintage The Base Ball League and the Friends Base Ball League and the Friends of Warren Warren Ballpark Ballpark host host aa twotwoof day tournament, starting at day tournament, starting at 99 a.m. each each day. day.Teams Teams are are dressed dressed a.m. in period uniforms and play by in period uniforms and play by rules adopted when Lincoln was rules adopted when Lincoln was president. Come cheer or razz president. Come cheer or razz the local local team, team, the the Bisbee Bisbee Black Black the Sox. Tickets are $15 for both Sox. Tickets are $15 for both days; $10 $10 for for one one day. day. Kids Kids 12 12 and and days; under are free with an adult ticket. under are free with an adult ticket. Active military military are are free free on on Sunday. Sunday. Active Tombstone Brewing Company Tombstone Brewing Company will serve serve local local craft craft beer. beer. Call Call will 520-366-1455 for more info. 520-366-1455 for more info.

Labor Day Weekend: Bisbee Cars and Bikes on the Streets of Bisbee.


November 2: Bisbee Mariachi Festival


The Bisbee Bisbee Coalition Coalition for for the the The Homeless sponsors this annual Homeless sponsors this annual celebration of of all all things things Mariachi. Mariachi. celebration Bands and dancers from near, far, far, Bands and dancers from near, and of course, Mexico, gather to and of course, Mexico, gather to play their their best best tunes tunes and and twirl twirl play those gorgeous skirts. Info: 520those gorgeous skirts. Info: 520432-7839. 432-7839.

March 16 - 17: Wild West Days This 10th annual weekend event is hosted by Tombstone Marine Corps League in “The town too tough to die.” Entertainers perform in the streets both days to support the USO. Activities also include a USO Canteen Dance and a Parade on Saturday. Email broncobill@powerc. net to get involved.

Mid-November: SidePony Express Music Festival Indoors and outdoors, up hill and down, the town vibrates with over 100 bands and soloists from Arizona and beyond. And, it’s all free. The festival showcases emerging independent musical artists in a wild variety of pop genres. Check sideponyexpressmusicfestival. com for news.

July 4: Family Style 4th Enjoy kids games, food booths, softball, and fun for the entire family. Firework Display at dusk put on by the Tombstone Fire Department. Located at Medigovich Field and Allen Street.

November 23 & 24: Bisbee Home Tour The Bisbee Woman’s Club sponsors the Home Tour and the Art Chairs & More Auction. Homes from a certain area of town are featured, and docents share construction and historic tidbits. The Art Chairs & More Auction features unique creations for the home, including tables, stools, and benches. See the Bisbee Home Tour Facebook page for 2019 details.

November 22 & 23: A Small Town Holiday & Festival of Lights Live entertainment, great artistic shopping, and Santa Claus are features of this family friendly holiday weekend. Friday is the day to light the lights with kids activities and Santa. Saturday shops, antique stores, boutiques, services, and art galleries will stay open late for the best shopping, and merchants vie for prizes in a window decorating contest. Customers vote for their favorites. See their Facebook page for 2019 details and contact info.

April 12 - 14: Rose Tree Festival Celebrate the 134th blooming of “The World’s Largest Rose Tree”. The ‘Softer Side of Tombstone’ is celebrated each spring sponsored by the Tombstone Vigilettes, a charitable organization of ladies portraying The Women of Tombstone from 1880 to 1915. The festival historically starts on Friday evening at 6 p.m. with the crowning of the Rose Queen and her court under the 9,000 square foot Rose Tree. The public is invited to attend. Other events may include, Art in the Park, High Tea, a Pet Parade, and more. Email: tombstonerosefestival@ hotmail.com


May 25 - 27: Wyatt Earp Days

Locations in Bisbee, Mesa & 3x in Tucson www.bisbeebreakfastclub.com

Honor of one of Tombstone’s most famous lawmen, Wyatt Earp. Scheduled activities include gunfights, chili cook-off, hangings, and an 1880’s fashion show. You can also find Street Entertainment and a Wyatt look-alike contest. Sponsored by the Tombstone Lions. Visit their website at WyattEarpDays.com.

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August 31 - September 1: Showdown at Territorial Days

December 2: Tombstone Home Tour

October 31: Halloween in Tombstone No age limits, no charge. Costumes are not required, but they sure perk up the town. Tombstone has ten haunted destinations, which you can visit as part of the Gunfighter Ghost Tour, every night at dusk. For more info, contact 520-255-0474 or info@tombstone-ghost.com.

The Sixth Annual Showdown in Tombstone has combined with Territorial Days. Activities will include free street entertainment daily, gunfight skits, 1880s costume competition and exhibition, raffles, auction, and a non-motorized parade on Sunday. Spectators are welcome to see the world’s best re-enactors bring the Old West to life. While you are enjoying the festivities you can be hung or have someone hung by the Tombstone Vigilantes at the Hanging scaffold. Call for more information: 520457-3707.

See inside some of the best historic homes, churches and buildings in Tombstone. Owners and docents will be on hand and will gladly tell you some of the secrets and history of these significant buildings. Check out tombstoneforward.com/historichome-tour for more information as it becomes available.

December 14: Christmas Light Parade Caroling, twinkle lights, Santa and his sleigh help this rough and ready town celebrate the holidays. The parade starts at 6 p.m. on 6th Street and proceeds down Allen Street to 3rd. Refreshments are served, and locals in period costumes greet visitors and sing carols. n

October 17 - 20: Helldorado Days Check out the most rip-roaring celebration in Tombstone during Helldorado Days, a Tombstone tradition since 1929. See gunfight reenactments, nonstop street entertainment, fashion shows and other entertainment. For more information visit their website at TombstoneHelldoradoDays.com or call the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce at 888-457-3929.

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Call 520-458-9440 and mention this ad or go to myheraldreview.com and use the code SOCO2019


(520) 458-9440 myheraldreview.com soco 2019


Community milestones 81 Years

61 Years



Worship Times Saturdays 5 pm Sundays 10:30 am Connecting with God, each other, and our world.


Driving Range Club House Restaurant & Bar


Banquet Facility

Private Meeting Rooms Tennis Courts Swimming Pool


Aerobics Classes

(520) 378-6444

41 Years

40 Years



Soco 2019


• Award winning service. • The best brands of grills, paint and power tools. • Full garden center with plants selected for this climate.



PAINT & BODY, LLC 588 MYER DR. • 520-459-2047

2445 E. Wilcox/4116 Avenida Cochise Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 520-458-8131

38 Years


Our employees make a difference in someone’s life every day.



Country Club 124982

Bookstore @ 2243 E Fry Bvld 520-417-6999


42 Years

Since 1999, over $1 million given to Sierra Vista Library Programs AND Local Literacy Projects!

Friends Bookstore


44 Years Championship Golf Course



46 Years


The helpful place.

520-458-3650 3756 East Fry Boulevard



Providing reliable energy to southeast Arizona since 1938 and supporting valuable community projects and events.

2750 Cardinal Dr. Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 www.ststephensaz.org office@ststephensaz.org 127449

Your Energy Cooperative


36 Years

35 Years

36 Years

• Thinking of buying

• Professional • Compassionate • Trusted by 1000’s

31 Years

Mon. – Sat. 8am to 8pm • Sun. 10am to 7pm 96 South Carmichael Avenue 520-335-6676 www.sierravistafoodcoop.com


26 Years 127527

Local • Organic Fresh

Four Feathers Realty, L.C. 1993 Frontage Road, Ste 105 Sierra Vista

ROC: 079694 • 090395 • 201411 Serving Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties

26 Years

30 Years

Member owned, Enjoyed by all!

3247 Highway 82 Sonoita, AZ 85637 520-455-5506

Associate Broker Direct 520.678.0255 Office 520.458.8822 vcleven@cox.net • isellsierravista.com

A PATH International “Premier” Accredited Therapeutic Riding Facility providing services for Cochise County Youth, Adults, and our Veterans.

Cochise Area Network of Therapeutic Equestrian Resources

7388 E. Chief Joseph Dr., Sierra Vista, AZ (520) 378-3196 And (520) 603-7154 canteraz.org NEW VOLUNTEERS AND DONATIONS ARE WELCOME

2217 E Fry Blvd., Sierra Vista 520-458-2262 spurwesternwear.com


ROC# 121444 & 121445



520-455-5893 www.sonoitavineyards.com

31 Years

AB Road Material • Leach Rock Driveway Rock • Bedding Sand Pea Gravel • Concrete Sand Rip Rap • Decorative Rock

• Pool & Spa Repair, Service & Cleaning • Supplies, Chemicals and Equipment • Glass Bead Tile Cleaning • In-ground vinyl liner installation

1642 E. Fry Blvd 520-459-SWIM (7946)


32 Years

• Wine Tastings Daily 10-4 • Sweet and Light and Dry and Bold



2100 Paseo San Luis, SV 520-439-3030 • Cell 520-227-3817 NancyRea@remax.net



Debra Nystrom Associate Broker 520-266-1249 cell

Nancy Rea


or selling? • Need a fully furnished apartment? • I can take care of all your Real Estate needs!

soco 2019


25 Years

25 Years


(520) 459-8146 vicapsvaz@gmail.com

303 E 16th Street, Douglas, AZ 520-364-5049

24 Years

The BEST Sushi in Sierra Vista! Experience the Taste of

• The best brands of grills, paint and power tools. • Locally owned with garden center and more. • Award winning service.

(520) 458-8278

The helpful place.

22 Years

We provide comprehensive landscaping services: •Landscaping •Maintenance•Irrigation Services•Tree/Shrub Installation•And More!

Cochise County’s largest primary care provider, serving county wide at 11 locations and 7 mobile health clinics serving county wide. We provide exceptional medical, dental, pharmacy, lab behavioral health, dietetics, radiology for all!

16 Years



Quality from the Ground Up


520-586-7345 591 West 4th Street • Benson, AZ

23 Years



Breakfast, burritos, tacos and much more! Licensed • Bonded • Insured License# R0C183557 PMD 8408



www.grasshopper-landscaping.com 122918

cchci.org 520-364-1429 cchci@cchci.org

The University of Arizona UA South, Sierra Vista



1221 E Fry Blvd. 520-459-6853

520-459-1650 400 W. Fry Blvd., St. 9 www.dayneseyecare.com

24 Years

25 Years



Douglas Insurance Center


Soco 2019

Dr. Lincoln Daynes, Optometrist

Our Goal is to help our neighbors continue to live independently and maintain their quality of life.



Ana Celia Rivas


ViCap is a non-profit organization providing services to the elderly, disabled and home-bound residents of Sierra Vista and nearby rural communities in Cochise County. Services are provided at no charge by volunteers coming from communities served including: Willcox, Benson, Sierra Vista, Tombstone, Bisbee, and Douglas.

Better Vision by Design. Full service eye and vision care. Optomap Ultra Widefield Retinal Imaging. Large selection of fashionable eyewear.



26 Years

103 5th St, Douglas, AZ 85607 520-364-6196 Open daily 7:30 am - 10 pm


16 Years

New Quality Furniture

Residential and Commercial Maintenance and Remodeling

Wiggles and Giggles, Hugs and Bugs, We’ll make your child smile!

Large Selection • Everyday Low Prices Furniture and accessories for every room in your home.

Sean P. Mendoza - Owner/Member mandmdiversified@yahoo.com



Tiny Tots

More for less, Always!


4431 South Highway 92 520-803-9534


Daycare Center, LLC

We serve steaks off our mesquite fire grill.

Make better educated decisions with the knowledge I bring from participation in Sierra Vista Chamber Leadership Program, Citizen’s Police Academy, volunteering with Cochise County Search and Rescue Team, and my affiliation with the American Society of Interior Design. “I work by Design, not by chance.” Katherine Zellerbach KatherineZ@LongRealty.com 520-439-3933


9 Years

9 Years


Chatitas Steakhouse

520-508-5541 • mandmdiversified.com 910 Plaza Del Gado • Sierra Vista, AZ

9 Years

11 Years

12 Years

520-364-114 301 E 10th St. Douglas, AZ Open Daily 11am - 10 pm

15 Years

• The best brands of grills, paint & power tools. • Locally owned with garden center & more. • Se habla Español

The helpful place.

520-432-4975 1220 South Naco Highway Bisbee, AZ


16 Years

6 Years

Have You Heard About Alpacas?

Gunsmithing Firearms and Accessories Ammunition

While there visit our Creative Outlet:

5089 S. Calle Alamo • Sierra Vista, AZ 520-236-9447/9494 DoubleGAlpacs.openherd.com DoubleGAlpacas@gmail.com @Double G Alpacas


• Shop for Alpaca Products • Take a Class we offer • Spinning • Fiber Processing & Dying • Felting Needle & Wet & Much More.




King’s Armory LLC


Well, come and see them at Double G Alpacas, Call and set up a Ranch Tour $5 per person.


125 E Fry Blvd Ste 3, Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 Tues to Fri 10 - 6 pm • Sat 9 - 5 pm Sun 10 - 3 pm • Closed Monday

soco 2019


4 years

4 Years

4 Years

Roc# 299943



Specializing in all your flooring needs, kitchen and bathroom remodels.


Over 9,000 sq. ft Furniture-Tools-Jewelry One of the most unique stores in Sierra Vista

Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. • Dine In • Takeout • Delivery • Catering



(520) 559-6416 John@5Cllc.com 1858 Paseo San Luis, Suite E Sierra Vista, AZ

ARIZONA TRADING 101 N. 6th St., Sierra Vista 520-459-8333

255 W. Wilcox Dr. 520-445-5687

Come Heal With Us Orthopaedic Specialists Post-Surgical/Post-Injury Rehab Sports Rehab Industrial Rehab Manual Therapy

Orthopaedic Specialists Post-Surgical/Post-Injury Rehab Sports Rehab Industrial Rehab Manual Therapy


Rae’s Candles and Scents

Come Heal With Us Orthopaedic Specialists Post-Surgical/Post-Injury Rehab

New & Used Books COME HEAL WITH US cess to care with early morning & late evening hours. Local Authors OrthopedicRapid Specialists Ste. 106 - Sierra Vista, AZ 520.335.1615 apexnetworkpt.com access to care with early morning & late evening hours. 2151 S. Highway 92, Ste. 106 - Sierra Vista, AZ 520.335.1615 apexnetworkpt.com Post-Surgical/Post-Injury Rehab Pre-Orders & Special Orders Sports Rehab - Industrial Rehab Unique Greeting Cards & Gifts Come Heal With Us Sports Rehab

Industrial Rehab

Manual Therapy

Kellyanne Hale/Owner Customized Candles from my house to yours


Orthopaedic Specialists Post-Surgical/Post-Injury Rehab


Sports Rehab Industrial Rehab Manual Therapy

Sierra Vista’s full service, Independent Bookstore 1502 E. Fry Blvd. 520.843.0101 www.getlitbooks.com

Sports Rehab


Post-Surgical/Post-Injury Rehab

Industrial Rehab


2151 S. Hwy 92, Ste. 106 Sierra Vista 520-335-1615

rapid access to care with early morning & evening hours. Orthopaedic Specialists Sports Rehab

2 Years

• Haircuts, Color, Styling • Men, Women, Children • We do everything with heart

Cuts • Color • Style

439 N. Hwy 90 BYP, Ste E, Sierra Vista 520-458-5221


Soco 2019

520-456-4035 www.raecandlesandscents.com


www.apexnetworkpt.com Manual Therapy



Post-Surgical/Post-Injury Rehab

Industrial Rehab


Manual Therapy

Established 2018

Established 2019

All for your party and event planning needs

• WiFi • Complimentary Deluxe Breakfast • Happy Hour • Kitchenettes • Pet Friendly • Dual Port Electric Vehicle Charging Station 260 N. Garden Ave. Sierra Vista, AZ 520.335.0404 www.bestwestern.com/plussuncanyon

(520) 263 4659 2161 E Fry Blvd. Sierra Vista, AZ Mon - Sat 10am to 6pm | Sun 1-5pm


Orthopaedic Specialists









2151 S. Highway 92, Ste to 106 Rapid access care with early morning & late evening hours.

2151 S. Highway 92, Ste. 106 - Sierra Vista, AZ rapid access to care with Sierra Vista, AZ 520.335.1615 • apexnetworkpt.com early morning & evening hours.



Come Heal With Us

2 Years

2 Years

3 Years


cess to care with early morning & late evening hours. Ste. 106 - Sierra Vista, AZ 520.335.1615 apexnetworkpt.com

Delivering Quality Care Delivering DeliveringQuality QualityCare Care to for Cochise County totoCochise for CochiseCounty Countyfor Over 55 Years. Over Over55 55Years. Years.

At Canyon Vista Medical Center we believe you don’t haveCenter to leave At Canyon At Canyon Vista Vista Medical Medical Center town tobelieve getyou great healthcare. we we believe you don’t don’t have have to leave to leave Backed modern, full-service town town to by get toaget great great healthcare. healthcare. medical facility a long tradition Backed Backed by abymodern, aand modern, full-service full-service of serving this community, ourtradition medical medical facility facility andand a long a long tradition experienced of physicians, of serving of serving thisteam this community, community, ourour nurses, specialists and support staff experienced experienced team team of physicians, of physicians, are equipped with and theand technology nurses, nurses, specialists specialists support support staffstaff and expertise to provide your are are equipped equipped with with the the technology technology family with theto area’s highest level andand expertise expertise provide to provide youryour of quality family family withcare. with the the area’s area’s highest highest level level of quality of quality care. care.

Admissions & Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520.263.2001 Admissions Admissions & Registration & Registration . . . .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.2001 . . 520.263.2001 Advanced Wound Care Center 520.263.3770 Advanced Wound Care Center 520.263.3770 Advanced Wound Care Center . . 520.263.3770 Behavioral Health Services . . . .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3130 Behavioral Behavioral . . 520.263.3130 Billing . . . Health . . . Health . . . Services . . .Services . . . . .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . 520.263.3130 520.263.3800 Billing Billing . . .. .. .Institute . .. .. .. .. .. .. ............................................................................520.263.2663 520.263.3800 . . 520.263.3800 Bone & .Joint Bone Bone & Joint Joint Institute Institute . .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3400 520.263.2663 . . 520.263.2663 Casa de la&Paz Hospice Casa Casa de la dePaz la Paz Hospice Hospice . . 520.263.3400 Laboratory Services . . . .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3400 520.263.2350 Laboratory Laboratory Services Services 520.263.2350 . . 520.263.2350 Medical Records . . .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3360 Medical Medical Records Records . . Center . .. .. .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3360 . . 520.263.3360 Outpatient Surgery 520.263.2500 Outpatient Outpatient 520.263.2500 . . 520.263.2500 Radiology .Surgery . . .Surgery . . . Center . . . Center . . . .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... . 520.263.3900 Radiology Radiology . . .Services .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3700 520.263.3900 . . 520.263.3900 Rehabilitation Rehabilitation Rehabilitation . . 520.263.3700 Thrive . . . . . . Services . . .Services . . . . .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3700 520.263.3293 Thrive Thrive . . .Services .. .. .. .. .. .. ..................................................................................... 520.263.3293 . . 520.263.3293 Volunteer 520.263.3299 Volunteer Volunteer Services . .Services . .. .. .. .. .. .. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .520.263.3300 520.263.3299 . . 520.263.3299 Women & Services Children’s Women Women & Children’s & Children’s Services Services . . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .520.263.3300 . . 520.263.3300

soco 2019



| Sierra | Sierra 5700 5700 East East Highway Highway 90 90 Vista, Vista, AZAZ 85635 85635


520.263.2000 | CanyonVistaMedicalCenter.com | CanyonVistaMedicalCenter.com |90CanyonVistaMedicalCenter.com 520.263.2000 520.263.2000 | Sierra Vista, AZ 85635 5700 East Highway


Call or visit our website to schedule an appointment. Call Call or or visit visit ourour website website to to schedule schedule an an appointment. appointment.

Castle & Cooke New Homes Building Sierra Vista’s Premier Communities Since 1988!

Park at Chaparral

Pools at Holiday Park at Holiday

Gated Community at The Oaks

Pools at Holiday Home Sites with Great Views

Holiday__Chaparral Village__The Oaks 20 Home Designs Available - $180,000 to the high $300’s 1256 - 2688 SQ. FT. - 3-6 Bedrooms - 2 -3.5 Baths Model Homes Located at Canyon De Flores & HWY 92 Evening Appointments Available!

Build To Order

Move-In Ready

Castle & Cooke is proud that we build not just subdivisions, but neighborhoods and communities which enhance the lives of our homeowners.

To see additional photos, please visit our Web page at

www.CastleCookeArizona.com • 520-378-5110

100 Soco 2019


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SOCO 2019  

SOCO 2019  

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