Archive for February, 2011 … A Whole New Attitude!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

I am so excited and I want to share my joy!

The Arizona Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists voted at their December meeting to go ahead with plans to redesign the web site. Charles Weasner is the CRS agent responsible for this project and he did a bang up job.

The redesign was done by Steve Redmond, also a Realtor in Tucson, and was unveiled just a few days ago. CRS agents should go to the website and see what has been done.

This is a project in the making and Arizona CRS is open to any and all ideas.

The Arizona Chapter is trying to rev up its presence in the state, and the website has information about the Professional Development and Education groups. These are smaller groups lead by a CRS agent or agents who have meetings at which all real estate agents are invited. There are presently four groups in the Greater Phoenix area and the website will keep people abreast of what is transpiring.

There is an Education corner with information about CRS education which is upcoming and a column about legislative issues on the state and federal level about which agents should have an understanding.  There are some references to the National CRS website, as well as information from the CRS Board of Directors.

Corporate sponsors will be listed as well as Friends of the Chapter.

CRS agents are welcome to submit articles to the website. The articles will first be vetted for unseemly information. There is a widget on the page which will allow you to write an article.  We welcome your comments and your criticism, that is how we will get better and provide to you, the Arizona CRS agent what you want and need.

The newsletter will also go out and if you want to be on the mailing list, please e mail me at   .   I will make sure your e mail is included.  If you are interested in joining the Arizona CRS Chapter, please also contact me.  I am here to serve you.

Enjoy our new website!

Tucson Arizona – End of the Gem and Mineral Show…

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

African Art

Assorted pottery and rugs

The Gem and Mineral Show is winding down.  Vendors are packing huge crates with their wares, many of which will be stored here for next year’s show.  For people who are afficianados of gems, minerals, beads, jewerly and the arcane, make it a point to attend next year’s Gem and Mineral Show!

Get your reservations at the hotel early because the entire city is a mecca of gems, minerals, and other wonderful items from around the world.  Just wandering and looking is a treat!

So here are several more photos from my wanderings on Friday for you to enjoy!

What Can You Find at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show?

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Rather than write about it today, I thought I show you some of the myriad of things you can purchase at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  It will be a gorgeous weeked and the last weekend of this year’s show to get out an “window shop”.

Get Out of the Cold…Come to Arizona… Take Resorts and Second Homes CRS Class

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Are you an agent looking to get out of the cold and wintry weather and need a good reason to leave snow, sleet, ice, and chill?

Arizona Chapter Certified Residential Specialists is kicking off the educational year February 22 and February 23 in Tucson with the two day class, Resorts and Second Homes.

With temperatures now in the high 60’s and low 70’s, Arizona is definitely a second home state and considered to be a “resort” state.   Now is the time for second home buyers to flock to the state to purchase resort homes at pretty much rock bottom prices.

The two day core class is designed “to teach the essentials of Buying, Selling, or Managing resort properties for recreation, investment, and development by U.S. and International clients and customers in the United States”.

Nationally known instructor Gail Lyons will teach the two day class.

Eight hours as an elective towards a CRS designation will be awarded, as well as continuing education hours towards earning a ABR designation.  Attendees will earn the Resort and Second Home designation.

For attendees  holding an ABR, ALC, CCIM, CIPS, CRM, CRS, CRB or the National Association of Realtor’s Green designation, payment of an administrative fee, in addition to the course cost, of $195 to REBAC as a one time fee will insure the RSPS designation for life without an annual fee.

Arizona Chapter CRS has made special arrangements with a The Windmill Inn, a local hotel in an upscale Plaza,  for a rate of $135 a night plus applicable taxes.  Persons wishing to begin the CRS designation are welcome to attend the two day class.  For information about the class or the special arrangements with The Windmill Inn, contact Arizona Chapter CRS President Terry Bishop at or

Tucson International Airport is an easy airport to maneuver and have direct flights from many areas of the country.

Charge for the two day class is $110 for Arizona Chapter members and $125 for non members.

Information about The Windmill Inn is below, as well as information about registering for the class.  If you have difficulty, contact Terry Bishop,   The Arizona Chapter wants to welcome you to the beautiful state of Arizona!

About Tucson:

The Windmill Inn:[0].numberOfAdults=2&tab=prices&arrivalDate=02-18-11&hotelId=121120&validate=false&destination=Tucson,+Arizona,+United+States#prices

How to Register for Resorts and Second Home Class:

Login or create a new profile

Click on Calendar of Events on left hand side

Scroll down and select the class

Click on the link to register

Click on “Submit Your Order”

Or contact Christine Sanchez: 520-382-8848 or 866-440-9804

Or contact Terry Bishop:  520-884-7201

Tucson International Airport:

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show…Education too is a big part

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is not only a feast for the eyes, it is also a smorgasbord for attendees with the variety and abundance of classes offered during the two week period.  The theme of this year’s show at the Tucson Convention Center is “Minerals of California” .

Experts will speak about California minerals and these lectures are for the true professional mineralogists and gemologists.   This show begins Thursday, February 10 and runs through February 13.  Doors open at 10 am.  It is at this show that specimens from private collections and museums are exhibited, including minerals from the National Park Services, the Mineralogical Association of Canada, Flandreau Science Center from the University of Arizona in addition to hundreds of worldwide exhibitors.

American Gem Trade Associations hold their annual meetings at the Gem and Mineral Show and there are numerous by invitation only cocktail parties and dinners. This is a place where business is transacted for many of the associations.

The huge show book details classes available, when and where at each of the shows.   Most of the classes carry a fee, but generally that is for the price of the kit being used.

Beginner instruction as well as ultra advanced instruction is available.  The topics are diverse from beginner stringing for beads to “Off loom weaving and circular peyote stitch, intermediate level” for a crystal beads and buttons bracelet.

Technical sessions such such as forensic gemology and how to identify gemstones using gemological tools you can carry in your pocket are well attended.

Classes for gem and lapidary enthusiasts are available throughout the show.  Lampwork Beads and Donuts, Macrame, Flameworking, as well as classes in cabochon pendants, and wire crochet necklaces are available for the novice and expert alike.  All day workshops on beading which cover a myriad of methods are a favorite.

I think it would be grand to take three or four days and a bucket load of money and not be concerned about working or money;  then take a week’s worth of classes starting from the baby beginner class in some aspect of jewelry making, practicing throughout the week until I could create a piece of jewelry which is more than passable.  I would then take another bucket load of money and run unbridled  throughout the shows, pondering the selections, picking and choosing  my colors, facets, and designs for my grand masterpiece which would  culminates the week’s “education”.


72 Degrees Today…Wander the Gem and Mineral Show and Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

The sun is glinting off of the huge mesquite and eucalyptus trees providing little lacy patterns against the azure sky.  It’s a perfect day for combing the Gem and Mineral Show, temps about 72 degrees, warm enough to wander about without a cumbersome jacket, and comfortable enough to want to stay for hours.

The frontage road which parallels I-10 is awash in all types of vendors from throughout the world.  They arrive with huge trunks and crates of goods and spend days setting up their displays.  After all, this is the largest Gem and Mineral Show in the world, emulated by many.

It’s history is fascinating, a dream of a small group of mineral and rock enthusiasts.   They got together for an exhibition which was free to the public, and the rest is history!

Arizona is a state famous for its minerals, most particularly, copper.  But the mountains of the Grand Canyon State have yielded silver and gold, and turquoise-the minerals most often depicted in the Old Wild West movies because of their assumed value.  Those of us from Arizona know of the Bisbee mines and the Morenci mines because of the employment they provide for miners, and we hear of other mines because of the controversy environmentally by groups which oppose them.

But the lands of Tucson have yielded blue azurite from Ajo, a blue copper mineral which fades in the sunlight, and related to the verdent malachite.  The red-yellow-orange colors Wulfenite from the Red Cloud Mine in La Paz County are a favorite of collectors because of the deep red color. Turquoise from Kingman has the greatest value and the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe is one of the world’s most important producers of turquoise.  Stunning quartz from New River  and from Pima County, Vanadinite,  with red hexagonal crystals is considered a secondary mineral.  Used in jewelry and industry, these minerals not onlyt radiate their own beauty, but have found usefulness in products we use daily.

This is an opportunity to see the minerals “up close and personal”.  The variety, colors, and shapes are astounding.  There are minerals from all over the world, enjoy Tucson weather, wander and marvel!


University of Arizona Mineral Museum

History of the Gem and Mineral Show Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

Minerals of the Sonora Desert Sonora Desert Museum

A Million Beads to Choose From…Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Professional beaders from around the world flock to The Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson every year.  An array of strands in assorted colors and sizes line the tables where people scrutinize the pieces, matching one color with another, or combine separate beads to determine whether they are aesthetically pleasing side by side.

The artists see in their mind’s eye what they will create.  Talk is sometimes animated, at other times, silent…the silence of quiet deliberation.

The translucency of the faceted beads or the opaqueness of the cabochons is given undivided attention, as well as the weight and the type of bead.

Seed beads are numerous and intricate pieces of jewelry or accessories are displayed illustrating the patience and hours necessary to complete the beadweaving.

Beads comes in all materials; ceramic and pottery beads, crystal and glass beads, plastic and metal beads, beads of organic plant materials, beads of metal or stone, and most famously, pearls.  Of course, beads at one time were used in many civilizations as a currency.

Handmade lampwork beads are unique and there are never two of the same.   Jeff Barber, the artist who created the lampwork beads shown below, explains that the glass is melted on a rod with an oxygen propane torch, and wound onto a stainless steel mandrel.  “The bead is created from the inside out” and then placed in the kiln.   Barber specializes in glass art beads.

The metal beads are illustrated in the metal necklace below.  Most fascinating was the Buddah with the German vintage glass beads which formed a crown about his head.  Delicate replicas of fruit were threaded together to form this intricate headpiece and the colors were vibrant.

Fastings and findings as well as beginner beaders kits are also available.  All types of clasps in all price ranges are sold.  The Beaders shows are located at Windmill Inn, St. Philip’s Plaza, the Doubletree Hotel at Reid Park, and at Kino Veterans Memorial Community Center.

Beads can be found in many of the other shows which are not exclusively devoted to beaders.

Pick up the Tucson EZ-Guide, the small version of the Tucson Show Guide, which is nearly one inch thick , check the free shuttles from show to show, and enjoy!

Click on each photo to see an enlargement.


Gem and Mineral Show Is A Can’t Miss Event!

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Unbelievable colors, pales and pastels to vivid amber yellows, deep turquoise, grayish spring greens, coral roses, beeswax, and more are on view for all to see at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.  It is as if the entire Pantone color chart is represented with nature’s hand in charge of the painting.

Students of geometry will be spellbound by  the crystalline structures, far more than high school geometry takes us.

Tetragonal, orthorhombic, triclinic structures are on display with a multitude of other shapes and sizes. The sheer beauty of these minerals is breathtaking.

As I grow older, I understand why I should have paid attention to the geology sections of science, or geometry theorems.  Strange names identify the minerals, and I was stunned to find Gypsum in so many beautiful colors.

A novice, such as I, tends to think all Topaz is yellow, but au contraire…there is purple, there is red…as well as the spectrum of yellows and deep amber.

The connoisseurs of the minerals at Westward Look are experts; they know their minerals, where they come from, where else in the world the minerals are found, the grade of the mineral and they talk with authority to each other and buyers from throughout the world.

The event I attended at The Westward Look, off of Ina Road, featured six pods, each with six rooms of stunning minerals in all colors, shapes and sizes.

This one small show is being replicated throughout the city with 43 shows all over Tucson.  People come from all over the world to buy, sell, and trade gems and minerals.  Most shows end February 7.  There is free shuttle between the shows.  The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is the largest show of its kind in the world.

To see the crystalline structures of these minerals better, click on the photo.


Crystal Structures

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Dealers at Westward Look – click on website to see array of beautiful minerals

Tucson Trying to Improve Business Climate…Mike Letcher

Friday, February 4th, 2011

“We are trying to improve the business climate here in Tucson” Mike Letcher, City Manager of Tucson, told the gather of Realtors® last week at the Economic Summit sponsored by the Tucson Association of Realtors®.

“The recovery has caused some painful times,” he said, “but we are getting optimistic.   “We want to make sure we do not miss an opportunity by not being able to take advantage of situations when they present themselves,” he continued.

The goals are to improve the business climate, encourage the economic recovery, and grow the local economy.  The new economy is not driven by rooftops, Letcher said.

The major source of revenue in Tucson is the sales tax, not the property tax as many people think. Tucson is trying to increase the tax base with economic diversity for job creation.

The city has cut back and laid off  employees and cut budgets .  First line supervisors have been told to be more “business friendly.”  This is “critical to the city for it to turn around” Letcher said.

The city along with the other towns represented here today must work as a region, communication between the municipalities is imperative since what one area does impacts other areas.

The Ombudsman Program with the city for business development is cutting the time and paperwork for large construction projects, Letcher said.   This is a portal for businesses and developers.  They have someone to go to who understands the best way to do business with the city.

In an effort to be more business friendly, the city has extended hours and has developed programs to protect developer rights.

“Hopefully we will build a stronger region and a stronger downtown,” Letcher said.


City of Tucson

City of Tucson Streetcar Project

City of Tucson Downtown Development

Marana Continues to Grow …Gilbert Davidson, Town Manager

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

“We live in a beautiful part of the state, we have incredible weather, and our issues are unique” Gilbert Davidson, Town Manager of Marana told a gather of Realtors® at the Tucson Association of Realtors® Economic Summit, last week.

Marana has higher sales revenues, projected to be up 5.3% through the first half of 2011 over the same period in 2010.  But the town does have budgetary concerns and is trying to cut back on programs which do not impact the long term growth of Marana.

Additionally, there is some building of new single family homes in Marana.  A total of 343 building permits for single family homes were issued in 2010, an average of 28 homes a month. Comparatively, a total of 75 building permits were issued in 2000.    Certificates of Occupancy totaled 42 in 2010.

The Twin Peaks Interchange, now opened, provides a commercial corridor and runs from I-10 to Dove Mountain. “It is the gateway to the Ritz Carlton”, Gilbertson said.  There is ongoing home building as part of the Ritz project.

With the assistance of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords, Marana secured a federal government grant and built the 70,000 square foot LEEDS certified Marana Health Center.  It is located near the government offices.

Sargent Aerospace and Defense has expanded facilities in Marana and provides jobs.  “The University of Arizona is a gigantic economic engine” and Marana is looking to workforce connections and internships. “We must support the University,” Gilbertson urged.   Marana is a business friendly community and is courting business especially with U of A partnerships.

Marana hosts top PGA players from throughout the world February 21 through February 27 for Accenture Match Play.  The PGA tournament is televised to more than 200 countries.  Marana is on display to the world and Match Play is a tremendous advertising vehicle for Marana and southern Arizona.


Marana Health Center

Sargent Aerospace and Defense

Accenture Match Play

Town of Marana