Friday, September 30, 2011

Illegal or Not Illegal: Some Newspaper Folks Have a Preference

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Last year, we brought up the use of the term "illegal immigrant" on the Range and it's been a discussion, albeit short and sweet, during Weekly World Central staff meetings.

While typically when it comes to newspaper style we refer to the AP Stylebook, but like almost every other newspaper on the planet, sometimes we don't and for different reasons we choose our own style for a few words here and there. It's not science and you have to be flexible because, for example, maybe you've worked for 10 papers and every paper had a different preference for douchebag — one word, two words, hyphenated, publisher too conservative so no go.

The AP Stylebook, the reporter's journalism bible, when referring to undocumented workers or undocumented immigrants, says use illegal immigrant. Last year, according to the Society of Professional Journalists' blog we mentioned, the argument was brought up that reporters needed to end using illegal and for good reason:

For those news writers who insist on using the phrase “illegal immigrant” (or perhaps because it is a required, company policy); add the modifying adjective “suspected,” as “pro” journalists do when writing about arrestees or police suspects.

A fundamental legal principle in our American constitutional law is that everyone (including non-citizens) is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Consistent with that basic doctrine of law, journalists are urged to use the phrase “undocumented immigrant,” and avoid the denigrative phrases “illegal immigrant” or “illegal alien.”

This week, at a SPJ meeting, the organization decided to formally recommend to newsrooms to stop using the terms "illegal immigrant" or "illegal alien":

The Society of Professional Journalists, hearing an emotional plea from Rebecca Aguilar, a member of SPJ and of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, voted Tuesday to recommend that newsrooms discontinue using the terms "illegal alien" and "illegal immigrant." The resolution from the 7,800-member organization says only courts can decide when a person has committed an illegal act.

Aguilar argued that using those words insulted Latinos and all those who are or had once been in the United States illegally. She used the example of her mother, who became a "proud American" in 1980. Her mother felt insulted "every time she heard that word," Aguilar said of the phrase "illegal alien."

"She turned the tide," the new president-elect, Sonny Albarado, projects editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, said of Aguilar. "She delivered the statement with such passion. After that, there was just a great overwhelming outpouring of support." Aguilar, a freelance broadcaster in Dallas, is a board member of NAHJ and of the Fort Worth SPJ chapter, was an SPJ "diversity fellow," and is a new member of SPJ's Diversity Committee.

Here's another perspective on the debate published recently on AlterNet you can look at here.

At Weekly World Central what words we use to describe people who are in this country illegally or without papers remains split. Some writers are allowed to use illegal alien and some writers are allowed to use undocumented immigrant and personally chose to stay away from illegal or alien. This is Arizona after all, so rather than referring to the Stylebook, you have to remain flexible and once in a while have a friendly discussion during staff meetings and then ... get back to work.

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This Week in Tucson Bicycling

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The Regional Transportation Authority stepped in to prevent the county from spending RTA funds on a project it wasn't originally approved for. Learn more about what the county wanted to use the money for.

Signs along the roadway alert motorists to expect both bicycles and pedestrians in the crossing.
The City of Tucson is attempting to legitimize bicycles use of pedestrian crossing signals. Check it out.

Hundreds of cyclists turned out for a climate change ride last weekend. See more photos from the event.

TriSports.com, a local bicycle business, is in the running for Arizona's Greenest Business Award. See why they are green and how you can help them win.

BICAS won a $2,500 grant from GOOD Magazine and CLIF Bar. Find out what they are going to do with the money.

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Now Open: Check It Out Hamburgers

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

defeo_an_hamburgers_082.JPG

Think this hamburger joint resembles any other burger places? Maybe a national chain that uses the same color scheme, a similar logo and a name that sounds a lot like Check It Out?

"Wow, it looks a lot like In-N-Out," I said to the girl working at this new burger place in the old Taco Shop Co. location at 45 W. Valencia Road.

"Yeah, a lot of people have been telling us that," she said in a monotone voice that perfectly communicated her absolute disinterest in the subject.

The fries are hand-cut, and they come with some sort of aioli that tastes great. The prices are also super low, and it was doing decent business yesterday afternoon. Frankly, I liked it better than In-N-Out, for what that's worth.

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Help Wanted Searches Reveal Sneaky Little Employment Ads and Even Sneakier Online Tactics

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Singles ads are notorious for their sneaky little phrases that mask reality. We all may have learned — perhaps the hard way — that “big boned” generally means obese, “homebody” means couch potato and “mature male” often translates to a guy who is roughly 103. Those seeking “adventuresome” men or women are usually out for kinky sex while a guy who “knows how to treat a woman” probably drags her around by her hair.

Help wanted ads are much the same way. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics telling us the nation’s unemployment rate was still jammed at 9.1 percent as of August, plenty of people who have not yet given up on the job hunt are surely finding their own array of sneaky phrases. As a freelance writer who is always scouring job ads, I have learned to quickly dismiss potential prospects that contain a number of catchy lines.

“Great exposure in international market,” means no pay for writing bobblehead descriptions for a website based in China. “This is a very easy job,” means very little pay, or a rate of about 0.07 cents per word. Any ad that proclaims a job is perfect "for the right person" is sometimes seeking a person who thinks it's right to be subjected to slave labor, work weekends, evenings and Christmas Day, and count parking the boss's car as part of their duties.

Tricky phrasing is especially apparent when it comes to job descriptions. No longer is a sales clerk a sales clerk. The position is spiffed up and now called a “store associate” or “retail ambassador.” A busboy has become a “table purification expert” while the poor sap who gets stuck refolding towels after customers unfurl them all over the home department is a “replenishment-merchandising associate.”

Continue reading »

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bank of America Goes Through With Stupid Consumer-Hating Idea

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM

My money isn't tied up with Bank of America thankfully, but it's crap like this, corporate banking world, that's causing people to camp out on Wall Street. "Thanks for floating us with your taxes after we made all those stupid decisions, now let's pay America back by screwing you when you want to actually have access to your money!":

Bank of America Corp. plans to charge a $5 monthly fee for its debit-card users, joining a number of other banks that are pressing their customers to help recover lost revenue from new regulations.

The largest U.S. bank by assets, Bank of America on Thursday said it will begin charging many of its nationwide checking account customers $5 each billing cycle they use their debit card to make a purchase. The fee, set to kick in early next year, will apply to its standard accounts but won't apply to most of its premium accounts targeted at mass-affluent customers. The fee also will not be triggered by transactions made at automated teller machines.

The fee won't apply to customers in certain premium accounts.

Bank of America and other debit-card issuers, including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Regions Financial Corp., are trying to offset an estimated $6.6 billion annual revenue hit stemming from new limits on so-called debit-card swipe fees.

"The fee won't apply to customers in certain premium accounts." Of course they won't.

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Changes Atop City Hall

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Interim City Manager Richard Miranda is making some big changes to the city staff.

The biggest ones: Miranda is bringing back Liz Rodriguez Miller, a former assistant city manager who left when Mike Hein was atop the city's bureaucracy, as an interim assistant city manager to oversee public safety and neighborhood services. He's also elevating Andy Quigley, who came to Tucson a few years back to oversee the Environmental Services Department and got handed Tucson Water when Jeff Biggs stepped down a while back, as an interim assistant city manager to oversee operations and public works.

Miranda is also creating a business/economic development manager position and plans on doing an external search to fill the job. Chris Kaselemis, the city's Housing and Community Development administrator, will be assisting "with the scoping and recruitment for this position," according a memo from Miranda.

Sean McBride, an assistant city manager brought in under the recently fired Mike Letcher, will become the interim director of Information Technology. Christina Parisi, who was an assistant to Letcher, will be on special assignment to the IT Department, where she will work on "marketing and communication outreach efforts for the city via the web and social media," according to Miranda's memo.

There are a handful of other changes outlined in the memo, which you can read in its entirely here: Org_Changes.pdf

Come Win Money Other People Have Lost at Casino Del Sol

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Whoever likes free money, raise your (virtual) hand!

Okay, for the four of you that didn’t comply, please click on another link. Everyone else, read on.

Casino del Sol’s renovated poker room finally opened last week after several months of work. The upgraded, expanded room boasts 13 poker tables, nearly as many flat screen TVs and a self-service food/drink area that several nights a week includes free buffet-style grub.

But, back to the free money …

To christen the redone room, Del Sol is giving away $40,000 through a series of drawings every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the end of October.

Each drawing is worth $250, and is based on who’s name gets picked out of a rolling bin of tickets collected for each time a player hits a full house or better in a live cash game. So, of course, that means you’ve gotta get into a game and hit some high hands in order to be able to scoop up some extra cash.

The drawings begin at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays, 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, and will be ever half-hour or so. Each weekend will see $8,000 given away.

The $40,000 giveaway is one of many promotions Casino del Sol is running in the weeks and months leading up to the opening of its hotel, which goes live on Nov. 11. That’s 11/11/11 for all the numerologists who stumbled across this post.

Del Sol’s poker room also has a variety of promotions tied toward frequent play, whether it be in terms of hours logged in cash games or performance in tournaments. Players are currently trying to accumulate 40 hours of live play by early November to get a free entry into a $20,000 freeroll tournament Nov. 17-19.

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What to Listen to This Week: Not Just for Wednesdays Edition

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Clearly, getting this feature on Wednesdays hasn't really been working all that well, so it looks while I'll break up the stellar recommendations of our music writers into posts for Thursday and Friday. Then again, I might change my mind next week. It's the surprises that make life worth living, right?

In this segment, tracks by Donovan, David Bazan, Tippy Elvis and Grandaddy. Tomorrow, five additional songs for your perusal.

Continue reading »

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Staff Pick

A Cactus Christmas

Come see this revival of a Tucson original. Can 2 families work out their difference on Christmas… More

@ The Comedy Playhouse Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sundays, 3-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 7 3620 N. 1st Ave. Suite 154

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