Regional Artisan

A Posse of Painted Peccaries

One of Arizona’s most famous critters is honored with an outdoor sculptural exhibit.

Tubac is wild about their local “painted” wildlife!

Javelinas de Tubac is an eye-catching outdoor exhibit coordinated by the Tubac Center of the Arts.

This community-wide endeavor began as an idea developed by two local artists: Virginia Hall and Nicholas Wilson, who also designed these Southwest-inspired peccaries once the project was approved. Wilson has been a painter, sculptor and printmaker for more than 50 years, with his main career focus on wildlife art. Wilson was curator of exhibits at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum from 1970 to1972. This led to a professional career as an artist being represented in many galleries.

“The Javelinas de Tubac project is an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the beauty, uniqueness and variety of talent exhibited by Tubac’s many artists,” according to Karin Topping, executive director of the Tubac Center of the Arts.

More than 40 adults and six sets of baby javelinas have been designed by local artists and displayed in Tubac and various Southern Arizona locations, such as Tucson International Airport, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Mesquite Valley Growers Nursery, Wisdom’s Café, Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company and Tumacacori National Historical Park.

The javelinas will be on display until the end of March. A live auction will be held on April 4, with funds that are raised benefiting the Tubac Center of the Arts and several local charities.

Note: More information about the project and the individual artists can found at

Clockwise from top left: “Starry Night in Tubac,” by Michaelin Otis; #A10-J by Tige Reeve; “Javelina de Tubac Road Trip,” by Roberta Rogers; Noel Daniels (left) and Fred Collins with “Tubac Tootsie.”

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Gone Phishing

Criminals can attack you from thousands of miles away just using a computer. It’s happening to both individuals and institutions large and small at an alarming rate. Here’s how some local experts define the problem and describe the solutions.

Elena Acoba

In December 2019, the FBI announced charges against two Russian nationals in a long-running cybercrime spree.

Their malicious code, known as “Bugat” and several other names, as well as the separate “Zeus” malware, invaded tens of thousands of computers, according to law enforcement authorities. By allegedly gaining access to the computers and their contents, the pair and several co-conspirators stole banking credentials and moved money out of victims’ accounts. They also are accused of extorting tens of millions of dollars from victims by holding data or denying computer access for ransom.

The two are believed to have victimized cities, banks, companies and nonprofit organizations in 13 states. Arizona wasn’t one of them, but it doesn’t mean the state is immune to cybercrime.

being targeted
because of the
that exist in
their network.”
— Michael Foster

According to the FBI, Arizona ranked 13th in the United States in the number of cybercrime victims in 2018. It ranked 16th in total victim financial loss for the same year.

Arizona businesses and individuals lost more than $19 million in 2018 in email scams alone, according to the FBI’s annual report on cybercrime. This is the type of scam that the Russian nationals are alleged to have used for their criminal activities.

Known as business email compromise (BEC) scams, crooks use legitimate-looking emails to get people to send payments or money transfers to fake entities. Other email scams also cause employees to unwittingly send vital data to criminals.

The Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona alerted small-business owners in mid- 2019 about an email scam involving RFPs, or request for proposals. The fake email invites the owner to fill out an online RFP for goods or services. By opening the form, the victim unwittingly downloads a malware-infected file. The victim also might select a link to a seemingly valid website asking for sensitive banking information, which is retrieved by crooks.

Other cyberattacks are costly, too. Corporate data breaches cost Arizona businesses $908,000 in 2018, according to the FBI’s annual report.

Ransomware, when a cyberattack can lock out businesses and individuals from their computer systems unless they pay ransom, has been decreasing since 2016, but still victimized 14 Arizona systems in 2018.

Companies in Tucson aren’t immune to these and many other cybercrimes. “In Arizona and Tucson, we’re seeing the same sort of thing that is playing out nationally,” says Michael Foster, a special agent with the FBI Phoenix division’s Tucson resident agency.

Although hackers will attack any vulnerability, businesses provide an attractive trove of information that can be stolen. “With consumers your personal information is at risk,” explains Denisse Alvarez, director of operations for the Better Business Bureau office in Tucson. “With businesses, they have a database they’re tapping into,” putting businesses and their customers, vendors and other relationships at risk.

University of Arizona Professor Salim Hariri says the problem is huge and getting

“The digital
world has two
billion websites,
2.5 to 3
billion users
and 40 to 50
billion internet
of things.”
— Salim Hariri

bigger. “There are statistics that nearly half of all cyberattacks in 2019 were targeting small businesses,” says Hariri, who also is director of UArizona’s National Science Foundation Center for Cloud and Autonomic Computing. “That is going to increase.”

That’s particularly troubling because many smaller businesses usually don’t have the money or personnel to robustly fight internet crime. “They’re being targeted because of the vulnerabilities that exist in their network,” comments Foster.

Slow Your Roll

Vulnerabilities include people as well as hardware and software. “The biggest problem in cybersecurity is the human side,” says Hariri. “That’s the weakest link.”

For instance, he says, employees can be easily duped into opening email attachments or selecting website links that cause malware to be installed on company computers.

They respond to fake emails that appear to be from co-workers, and end up inadvertently sending funds or crucial data to crooks. Called social engineering, these scams also can take the form of seemingly legitimate vendors or suppliers requesting payment. In reality, the emailed requests are fake and the receiving accounts illegal.

Even in a fast-paced work environment, one of the best ways for someone to avoid falling victim to an email scam is to slow down, Hariri advises. Often, a cybercrime starts with “you getting distracted by a well-constructed message,” he notes.

Employees may see a phishing email, which is an unsolicited message that asks for sensitive information. Providing that information can give criminals access to company computers. From there, they can take control of the email host and issue seemingly legitimate messages that are really vehicles for theft.

Experts suggest that employees not quickly respond to seemingly urgent email, especially if something feels off. “Take the time to think about what the situation is, what they’re asking for,” advises Foster.

One way to check an email’s legitimacy is to call the email sender with a phone number that exists outside of the suspicious email. Another way is to send an email to the purported sender using an address from a separate source, not by merely hitting “reply,” then following up with a phone call.

Business owners would do well to train their employees to recognize phishing and other illegitimate messages, as well as create and share policies that help flag suspicious emails.

For instance, employees should know what types of company business are not conducted by email, such as requesting or sharing certain sensitive information. They should understand their responsibilities so that they are suspicious of requests for action outside of their job description.

There are other strategies to keep criminals from getting protected data. Experts suggest that information that is shared on a website is encrypted so it cannot be read by hackers. A website address that starts with “https” does this.

Other good practices include immediately installing confirmed legitimate software patches, especially those regarding security, and always logging out of public WiFi connections so crooks can’t highjack a session.

Another strategy to reduce cyberattacks is to insist that employees report cyberscams and hacks to designated company departments, whether or not damage has been done. Sharing these experiences companywide put people on alert.

In Short: Report

The FBI and Better Business Bureau encourage individuals and businesses to report cybercrime and cyberscams to their organizations. For BBB, it helps inform others about potential threats.

“If we see a pattern, then we start alerting the media,” says Alvarez. “Our threshold is very small.” Two or three reports of the same cyberscam will trigger cautions to the public.

The FBI uses reports to hone its crimefighting strategies that can lead to arrests and recovery of lost funds. The bureau runs the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) where victims can make an online report. Complaints may be referred to the appropriate international, federal, state or local law enforcement or regulatory agency for possible investigation.

In a partnership between the FBI and the private sector, information about cyberthreats is shared. Arizona Infragard, which is, according to its website, an “alliance between the Arizona Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and individuals committed to protecting the nation’s infrastructure and its people,” also holds public meetings on cybersecurity issues.

Have a Plan, Stan

Reporting cyberattacks to the right organizations and businesses is crucial to protect assets and possibly recover losses. Businesses that know when to call financial institutions, technical support and law enforcement have a better chance of recovering from an attack than those that have no plan at all.

Cybercrime recovery plans need not be fancy or expensive to create, Foster says. “It gives you a starting place where you don’t feel lost or out to sea,” he observes. “The most important thing is you know where to start.”

The Better Business Bureau has a cybercrime initiative to help businesses plan for protection and response. Alvarez outlined a five-step process that can lead to a comprehensive plan to fight against, and recover from, cybercrime.

  1. Take inventory of the business’ technology. Understand how information is collected and where it is stored.
  2. Assess policies and procedures that are used to guard against cybercrime. Train employees on these.
  3. Have systems in place to detect cyberscams and to alert employees of them.
  4. Create an incident response plan, such as how to continue providing service if computers are compromised and to whom the incident should be reported.
  5. Establish systems that will recover and restore data that might have been hacked. Have a plan to maintain your business reputation during the crisis.

School It!

Cybersecurity firms exist to help companies harden their systems and assist in responding to an attack. For companies that can’t afford a service, local resources can help train employees.

Foster and other FBI agents can speak to organizations and companies about cybercrime protection.

The Better Business Bureau’s Tucson office is expanding its workshop schedule for 2020, including offering at least one that focuses on cybercrime protection. “Definitely, education is probably the most important thing” a company can do to protect itself in cyberspace, offers Alvarez.

Pima Community College’s East Campus houses one of five cyber warfare ranges around the United States. They help companies and cybersecurity workers hone their skills and their action plans.

Run by volunteers and equipped with extensive hardware and software, the range provides team war games, attack simulations and forensics methods to test the strength of a company’s response to cybercrime. Its learning modules help individuals understand the intricacies of an attack and how to respond.

The University of Arizona offers an online master’s degree program on cybersecurity for working professionals. Students learn to assess, prevent and manage cyber risks to information and physical systems.

Winning By Degrees

More than 3.5 million cybersecurity positions will be needed by 2021. Developing a local cybersecurity workforce is crucial to reducing the effects of cybercrime.

To that end, UArizona runs a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations designated by the National Security Agency. That makes the university one of only 20 cyber programs in the nation that meet demanding academic and technical standards.

The program operates out of the university’s College of Applied Science and Technology, formerly UA South, headquartered in Sierra Vista. It offers a bachelor of applied science and an undergraduate certificate in cyberoperations, as well as an undergraduate certificate in cybersecurity.

Pima Community College is readying a program to offer an associate’s degree in cybersecurity. Currently under review by the Higher Learning Commission, Pima’s accreditation agency, the degree program will cover the use of cyber tools and event analysis to reduce threats. Graduates will be able to respond to crises and resolve incidents.

The Tucson Metro Chamber plans to focus on cybersecurity workforce development this year. “We want to know how we can try to assist companies,” says Michael Guymon, the chamber’s vice president. “Our focus is more on the workforce development side and we will talk about those issues.”

He reveals that the chamber wants to work closely with the Greater Phoenix Chamber, which has a Cybersecurity Workforce Collaborative to find employees for Phoenixarea companies. A partnership would extend those efforts into Tucson.

“We may go beyond workforce development issues because we know how much of a challenge cybercrime can be on companies,” Guymon adds.

Professor Hariri is heading a UArizona research team that is collaborating with Howard University, the Navajo Technical University and the Argonne National Laboratory on a twoprong approach against cybercrime.

Armed with a $5 million grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration, the partnership is training students from minority groups that are underrepresented in the cybersecurity industry, as well as women.

The grant additionally funds research in ways for machines to automatically detect cybercrime activities and take defensive measures to counteract the threat. Think of it as the cybersecurity plan working in real time without human involvement.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning could create systems software that detects and blocks an attack within the microseconds it takes for a hacker to gain access to a system. Such machine learning also could make systems adapt as cybercrooks tweak their attack methods.

UArizona’s Wireless Network and Cyber Security Research Lab is exploring how to incorporate cybersecurity in the early design of products (everything from refrigerators to baby monitors) that are connected to the internet, known as the internet of things (IoT). This effort would reduce the need to patch security holes that are inherent in new products.

Hariri likens the scope of cybersecurity to protecting a home, which might have a few doors and windows that criminals could try to break through in order to gain access. Today, a variety of networks — clouds and wireless systems among them — connect computers, phones, home appliances, cars, medical devices and business equipment. These represent many doors and windows that criminals can try to breach.

“The digital world has two billion websites, 2.5 to 3 billion users and 40 to 50 billion internet of things,” Hariri says. “Any one of them is vulnerable. That’s why it’s challenging.”

He would like to see a future where cybercrime reaches a manageable level. Just like stores tolerate a certain amount of shoplifting or product damage, businesses could find a point where they can accept a certain level of loss from attacks.

That vision would require continued research and development to build strategies that frustrate more criminals and create systems where recovery is less traumatic.

“We just need to figure out how we can identify the problems and come up with solutions,” remarks Hariri. “Eventually the next paradigm is cybercrime tolerance.”

It may be the best that commerce and consumers can hope for in exchange for the convenience of using the internet.

Hariri observes that a criminal doesn’t need to walk into a bank with a gun to rob it anymore. “All it takes is a guy on a computer somewhere in China or Russia to move millions of dollars from banks or personal accounts.”

Online Resources

To file a complaint with the FBI and for cybersecurity tips and alerts:

To request speaker from the FBI:, select “Community Outreach,” then “Speaker Request.”

For information on FBI-private sector partnerships:

To file a scam alert with the Better Business Bureau: and select “ScamTracker.”

For information on the Better Business Bureau’s cybersecurity initiative: www.bbb. org/council/for-businesses/cybersecurity

For information on the Cyber Warfare Range: or 206-7777.

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ESCAPE: From Le Mans With Love

Fast & beautiful is the theme for this amazing art exhibit.

A work of art … that can blow by you at 200 mph!

That’s part of what you’ll see at the exhibit Legends of Speed at the Phoenix Art Museum. This pulse-quickening collection of more than 20 racing cars with storied pasts is on display until March 15, 2020.

You don’t have to be a racing enthusiast to appreciate the various automotive creations, which date from pre-World War I, and roar forward to the 1970s.

The eye-candy-rich exhibition features everything from a 1929 Type 35 Bugatti that looks like it may have rolled away from a Soap Box Derby, to a Speed Racer-approved Lancia 1953 Spyder, to Mark Donohue’s “Can-Am Killer” 1973 Porsche 917/30.

As you gaze at the amazing vehicles, you can read about their rich histories, including who drove them, what races they won, and where they stand in the development of their particular style of racing. Fans of the recent film Ford v. Ferarri, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale, will especially appreciate learning about the 1964 Shelby Daytona Coupe that’s prominently on display. And women are prominently featured in the story of driver Hellé Nice, the first Women’s Grand Prix winner, affectionately known as “The Bugatti Queen.”

The Phoenix Art Museum gift shop stocks not only the fully illustrated catalog for Legends of Speed, but also a number of books on racing legends. Other artworks, such as a 1922 Dunlop Tire advertising poster, which are on the walls near the exhibition hall, add even more depth to Legends.

If you race up to Phoenix by Jan. 5, you also can view a stunning series of works by Antonio Lopez. Titled: The Fine Art of Fashion Illustration, the exhibit features more than 100 illustrations, from the 1960s through the 1980s. Photographs of Lopez and some of the famous people he worked with, including models such as Pat Cleveland, and style icons like Karl Lagerfeld, help to tell the story. The documentary Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion and Disco, plays on continuous loop, helping to put the innovative illustrator in a historical and cultural context.

Fans of historical and landscape photos won’t want to miss the Phoenix Art Museum’s collaboration with Tucson’s Center for Creative Photography, Ansel Adams: Performing the Print. Sixty photographs from the Center’s collection will be on display from Jan. 11 through May 10, 2020. On display will be works such as portraits of Georgia O’Keeffe, Nobutaro Harry Sumida (the oldest resident at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, as well as a Spanish-American war veteran), and stunning photographs of landscape ranging from Alaska to Hawaii.

For more information on exhibition, visit

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Goes With the Territorial

Keeping what was good, and updating what was outdated, was the mission of this makeover.

Romi Carrell Wittman

The late 1970s — the era of shag carpet, laminate countertops, and avocado green appliances — saw a boom in territorial revival homes. An architectural style born in the desert Southwest during the 1930s, territorial revival is known for its blend of Anglo- American building design with regional influences like adobe brick construction, low, flat roofs, wooden vigas, and sash windows. You can spot these beautiful and distinctive homes throughout Tucson by their iconic rectangular shape with stucco or adobe brick façades.

Michelle Carnes, ASID, vice president and senior designer with Dorado Designs, a Tucson-based design-build firm, was called upon to bring one of these 1970s gems up to date. The 3,600-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home, located near the Omni Tucson National Resort, had what designers call “good bones,” but it needed freshening up.

Although the homeowners wanted to modernize, they didn’t want to lose the home’s architectural flavor or character. “We talked in quite a bit of detail,” Carnes says. “They wanted a modern twist and an airy feel. We termed the design ‘modern territorial.’”

Like many homes of that era, the interior was dark and closed off. Though the home boasted several skylights and many expansive windows, the dark saltillo tile flooring and exposed brick seemed to absorb all the light.

Carnes’ design retained the original footprint of the home, but opened up some of the interior spaces to create a great room, giving the home a better flow.

One large room originally was divided into two areas, with one serving as a dining room, which was too far from the kitchen to be truly functional. Carnes had the dividing wall removed, exposing a hidden beamed ceiling, and turning the room into an open living room. It became the perfect location for the homeowners’ piano. “Cubby holes” made an ideal spot for books and items from their art collection.

Carnes revamped the kitchen so it is modern, comfortable and functional. The clients love open shelving, but wanted it to tie in with the overall style of the home. Carnes chose cabinetry in three different finishes to provide visual interest. White textured bead board creates a simple, but dramatic contrast both in the built-in hutch and the open shelving.

As Carnes points out, combining different textures and finishes in the kitchen while utilizing modern and traditional lines instills character in a typical functional space. “Several different focal points, from the island drawer detail, to the built-in custom hutch, to the rustic beam above the sink, help the space to seem comfortable and well thought out.”



The kitchen island presented a fun challenge for Carnes. She designed it so it’s intentionally off-center, thus making room for better traffic flow in the kitchen. “I needed to find a way to make it look centered even though it’s asymmetrical.” The solution presented itself in the form of the starburst light fixture that hangs over the island. “The starburst is centered on the sink, so your eye can ‘find the center,’” she explains.

Carnes tore out the home’s existing flooring, which was a mélange of saltillo tile, carpet and ceramic tile, and replaced it with poured concrete that’s consistent throughout the home.

Next she painted the exposed brick to brighten the interior. New exterior doors and windows were selected to continue the modern upgrades. “We updated everything down to the switch plates and only kept the master tub and door handles,” Carnes says. Last, but not least, she sourced new furnishings and artwork for the home.

That attention to detail extends to the backyard as well. The previous patio was too short and let in too much sun and heat to be functional. Carnes extended the patio, constructed a large fire pit and created comfortable seating and dining areas.


The driveway got a makeover with brick pavers; new garage doors were installed, and the front door was refurbished to maintain a consistent style with the home.

All in all, from the design phase to completion, the project took about seven months. The homeowners had traveled to Colorado during the construction phase and hadn’t seen the home as the project progressed.

“They didn’t come back once to check in,” Carnes notes. “They trusted us.”

The homeowners saw their “new” home for the first time when they stopped by during the final touch-up phase. “We were all there, and it was like an HGTV reveal,” Carnes says. “Every time the homeowner turned the corner, she kept saying, ‘Wow!’ She and her husband couldn’t believe it was the same house.”

Carnes enjoyed the clients and the project from beginning to end. “I do my best work when the clients trust me. I get to hone in on my intuition while staying in tune with their personal integrity, and create something that is thoughtful and original,” she concludes. “On this project, I was allowed that freedom and I put my heart and soul into it.”

Carnes revamped the kitchen so it is modern, comfortable and functional. The clients love open shelving, but wanted it to tie in with the overall style of the home.

Natural light, and the sleek vanity, shower and soaking tub add to this master bath’s luxurious feel.

A bold-tiled barbecue and area rug in slate blue, along with textured furniture, concrete flooring and a fire feature, make this outdoor area a well-thought out extension of the home’s living space.


Michelle Carnes, ASID, Dorado Designs,

Tucson Lifestyle Magazine Inn


This midtown house took its design cues from its famous neighbor.



This midtown house took its design cues from its famous neighbor.

Large steel-and-glass doors lead to a private entry courtyard at the home of Karol and Bob Gugino.

Tucked away on an elegant, pavered street across from the Arizona Inn is a group of homes that are classic in design, yet thoroughly modern in amenities. The 11 stately residences of Casa Seton do more than provide shelter. With their dramatic Spanish Colonial construction, which intentionally evokes their renowned neighbor, the homes instantly provide a distinct sense of place and history.

This is what drew Karol Gugino, owner of Elements Home Décor and Gifts, and her husband Bob to the neighborhood. “The homes were designed to complement the Arizona Inn,” she says. “We wanted to honor the Inn’s historic importance.”

Karol and her husband not only purchased a place at Casa Seton, they were a part of the development team with local builder Miramonte Homes. Karol’s store, Elements, provided interior design services at the floorplan stage and also worked with individual homeowners in the neighborhood. Ivan Escobell, Karol’s business partner, also was involved in the design process.

From the graceful courtyard that’s dotted with native plants, to the modern steel and- glass front door, there are numerous design cues to both the past and the 21st century.

The long hallway — leading from the front door through the center of the home — is utilized as an art gallery.

Upon entering the home’s zaguan — a long hallway leading from the front door through the center of the house — one immediately notices the sweeping 18-foot-high beamed ceilings punctuated with clerestory windows. Linen-colored limestone floors are part of the light and airy palette. The bright space is perfect for showcasing art, and Karol has hung a beautiful Día de los Muertos-inspired calavera by Jan Barboglio at the end of the hallway to greet visitors.

The home’s heart and soul lie within the kitchen and living room, which Karol modified to suit her family’s lifestyle. A two-way fireplace separates the kitchen from the living room while also maintaining a seamless flow that prevents either room from appearing isolated. The natural gas fireplace is equipped with LED lights so that it may be used for colorful ambience even in the hottest months.

The huge island is the hub of the kitchen, which works well when the homeowners are entertaining guests.

The kitchen features a huge island with leather-finish quartzite countertops, a six-burner stove and expansive cabinets for storage. A butler’s pantry holds a coffee maker, second refrigerator, dishwasher, sink and shelves for easy appliance storage and access. “It’s great when we have a big gathering because we can keep much of the food preparation in that kitchen, leaving the main one for gathering and serving,” she says. “It’s also valuable for staging.”


Retractable glass doors line the rear of the home and effectively transform the backyard and wraparound patio into another living space. With an outdoor heater and a natural gas fire pit, the area is perfect for entertaining or simply hanging out and having a glass of wine in the evening. Using the patio, kitchen and living room, Karol reveals she’s hosted as many as 50 people at her home.

The walled backyard needed a touch of color and interest. The garden designs were the work of landscaper Tom Black of Plants of Distinction. He brought in many mature plants, such as oleander, yucca and queen palms. Unusual varieties of columnar cacti add height and texture to the narrow, raised beds. Several walls are covered with colorful bougainvillea.

With his-and-hers closets, a spa-quality rain shower, sumptuous vanity, as well as a large laundry room that leads to the den, the master suite serves as an elegant oasis away from daily life. When asked if noises from the nearby laundry room or den ever interrupt their sleep, Karol explains, “This house is very well constructed and insulated. I don’t hear anything and, even better, I barely even turn the heater on in the winter.”

The master suite also features a second fireplace, this one more classic in design than the one in the living room, but with a decidedly modern twist: a timer. “I can turn it on and set it for 15 minutes so I can go to sleep with the fireplace on,” she says with a smile. “It’s so cozy.”

Karol furnished the home with Escobell’s design assistance. Nearly all the pieces — furniture to artwork — came from Elements. The net is playful sophistication and simple beauty.

“This house is a wonderful living space,” Karol concludes. “It’s very comfortable and a pleasure to be in.”


Interior Design: Elements Home Décor and Gifts, 733-3399

Landscape: Plants of Distinction, 721-4577

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Tucson Lifestyle

Tucson Lifestyle Magazine is Tucson's only glossy, monthly city magazine, targeting Southern Arizona’s affluent residents. With over 35 years of publishing experience, Tucson Lifestyle is committed to showcasing the people, places, local flavors, and attractions that make our city unique.

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Phone: 520-721-2929
Address: 7000 E Tanque Verde Rd # 11,
Tucson, AZ 85715

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