Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sarah Gonzales, Currently Sixth in the Arizona Primary

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 8:32 PM

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Romney's beating Santorum, which is what most pundits will take away from the Arizona Presidential Preference Primary tonight, but the real news is the success Tucson Weekly endorsed Project White House candidate Sarah Gonzales is having so far. Currently, with 244 of 722 precincts reporting, she already has 1,095 votes, putting her in sixth place, behind Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, and Rick Perry. However, she's within striking distance of Perry, who currently has 1,418 votes.

Our Green Party endorsement has been less helpful, as Richard Grayson has 18 votes, trailing leader Jill Stein, who has 202.

More to come as the evening unfolds.

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Examining the TPD Reports on Patterson/Escobar Incidents

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 6:31 PM

This morning the Tucson Weekly requested the Tucson Police Department report on the Friday, Feb. 24, incident between state Rep. Daniel Patterson and his ex-girlfriend and ex-campaign manager, Georgette Escobar, but was told by a public-records clerk that the report was not available, because the case was assigned to a TPD detective for further investigation.

Yesterday, we interviewed Escobar and Patterson regarding what happened that day. Escobar claims that Tucson Parks and Recreation employees witnessed Patterson and Escobar get into a fight. Escobar said Patterson allegedly grabbed her roughly, pulled her fingers back to remove them from her dog's collar, and pulled the dog out of her car by the collar.

Patterson told the Weekly that he was the one attacked.

Although that report isn't yet available, the Weekly requested a list of all TPD-responded incidents or 911 calls in 2011 and the past two months made from the property owned by Patterson, located north off Santa Rita Park just east of Fourth Avenue, where he lived until recently with Escobar.

The first report was filed Feb. 16, when Patterson called TPD and filed a missing-person report, claiming Escobar was missing, along with "their" dog. He also said that she had taken four guns belonging to him — a Glock handgun, a shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, and another rifle. Patterson told the officer that he left Tucson on Monday, Feb. 13, to work at the state Legislature in Phoenix and returned home on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Patterson said when he entered the house, he found jewelry scattered in his bedroom and other household items scattered throughout the house before he discovered the four firearms were missing. He said he remained in contact while in Phoenix with Escobar that week, but that day, she didn't respond to his calls or texts. Patterson told the officer that he noticed a change in Escobar's behavior toward him, and that she had accused him of seeing someone else.

Patterson also said he did not wish to prosecute regarding the missing guns valued at $2,200 total.

The next day, on Feb. 17, Patterson called TPD to report he had heard from Escobar, and that she "is fine and not in any danger," and was staying with family in Casa Grande.

The officer called Escobar, and heard back from her on Feb. 18. Escobar identified herself as Patterson's fiancee and said that she was staying with her cousins, and that she took the guns to "make sure his ex-wife couldn't make any allegations."

The officer recorded each conversation, and the Weekly has requested a copy of the recordings.

The next report is dated Friday, Feb. 24, and involves a 911 hangup report made that morning.

Next report was filed Saturday, Feb. 25. Officer responded to a "preserve the peace" call near Patterson's home. There, he talked to Escobar, who told the officer she was trying to serve a protection order on Patterson, that she had lived with him for eight months, that he grows marijuana at the house — and has had 20 plants growing under lights. She also reportedly said he has a sawed off shotgun and other guns in his safe. She told the cop that she is a convicted felon and wanted the guns removed and the marijuana plants.

A different officer went to Patterson's home, but the front gate was locked, and Patterson did not respond.

Escobar insisted Patterson was home, and that he "always plays games with the cops." She showed police bruises on her arm, and an officer photographed the bruises. The police advised her to contact a "service agency," and she left to stay with friends.

The officer did note that in an earlier call to the house on Feb. 24, that Escobar said there were no weapons in the house, and no marijuana plants were seen at that time.

The last report, thus far, was filed last night. The Weekly heard from a source that four cop cars were at Patterson's house, and that there was a fight between Escobar and Patterson taking place in the yard. The Weekly drove by, but by then, the front gate was closed, and only one cop car was parked in front. However, on Fourth Avenue, there were three cop cars, and Escobar standing near her car with one officer.

In the report, the officer said he was responding to a suspicious-person incident and checked in with a neighbor, listed as a witness, who pointed to the open gate that leads to Patterson's house. The officer said Patterson was on his cell phone and was speaking with his attorney when he pointed toward the rear of his house at Escobar. The officer described Escobar as cooperative, and he accompanied her off the property. She told the officer about the court order—and that she wanted her dog.

After they walked off the property, Patterson then closed and locked the gate. Patterson told TPD communications that his attorney told him not to speak to police at the scene. "Officer did not attempt nor were invited back into the fenced yard ..." the report said. The cop took Escobar to her car, which was parked on Fourth Avenue and showed him the court order.

The neighbor/witness told the officer that he heard yelling in the back of his house, and came outside and spoke to Escobar, who asked him for help to get her dog from the fenced yard. He told her he couldn't help; then Escobar reportedly said she would just get some "C4 and blow the neighborhood up." Then, evidently, he said Escobar figured out how to get over the fence and on the property.

When the gate opened, Escobar was reportedly standing with the dog, and Patterson was on the phone inside the yard. Then the dog got loose, and he saw Escobar and Patterson chasing after the dog, eventually catching the pooch. There, they continued to have a verbal argument until police arrived. The witness said he "saw nothing physical, and he did not feel threatened."

No arrests were made. Patterson was not interviewed and there were no complainants on Escobar's threats to blow up the neighborhood.

She told the cops she would not come back to the house or neighborhood, and that "she would just get a new dog." Her concern was for items that belong to her in the house. Then she left.

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Tucson Researcher, Photographer Documentary Project

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Namibian Caracals are being eradicated for lack of awareness.
  • ALETRIS NEILS
  • Namibian Caracals are being eradicated for lack of awareness.

Aletris Neils, a burgeoning researcher in mammalian conservation and PhD student at the University of Arizona, has been working in southern Namibia, South Africa, for the last several years to raise awareness for the Namibian Caracal. The caracal, a medium-sized predatory cat, are being killed by farmers and ranchers who fear for their livestock.

However, it is a misconception that holds a dire consequence when the cats, apex predators in their ecosystem, are completely eradicated.

Continue reading »

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The Day Gabby Went Skydiving With a Navy SEAL

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 4:30 PM

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  • Mike McGowan via Daily Beast

The Daily Beast's Michael Daly tells the story behind this remarkable photo of Gabby Giffords skydiving with a Navy SEAL—and the challenges both faced since:


A friend of Giffords’s happened to mention the photo to The Daily Beast last week—and it becomes only more powerful these three years later, with the knowledge of what would befall the ascendant star of American politics and one of our most elite secret warriors. This image has been part of the skydiving photographer’s portfolio and now reaches public view for the first time as a portrait of the spirit they’d both bring to the ordeals that awaited them in the days ahead. To hear the story that accompanies it is to wonder if it isn’t the exact spirit we need as a nation to get us through these often bleak and fractious times.

Months after the photo was taken, the SEAL was shot and gravely wounded in a gunfight with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Giffords visited the SEAL at the hospital before she herself was shot in the head by a madman outside a suburban Arizona supermarket early last year. The SEAL then visited Giffords at the hospital. He found that Giffords was still Giffords, only more extraordinary given a circumstance that was too familiar.

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Flake On Border Security and Presidential Primary

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Congressman Jeff Flake, who wants to win the retiring Sen. Jon Kyl's seat this year, stopped by Arizona Illustrated to talk with Andrea Kelly about the Arizona presidential primary, his shift on border security and his Senate campaign.

In a February Public Policy Polling survey, Flake led potential Democrat opponents Richard Carmona and Don Bivens by 11 percentage points.

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Thanks, Wyoming Legislature!

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I'm not feeling great about Arizona lawmaking so far this week, between Lori Klein and her attacks on public educators who might accidentally swear or teach something with a partisan slant and the Daniel Patterson story in general. However, even though the amendment was removed, I have to thank the Wyoming House of Representatives for letting me know that other states also manage to elect paranoid nutjobs. In this case, paranoid nutjobs that want to reserve the right to buy an aircraft carrier in case the world goes to hell in a handbasket:

On Friday, the Wyoming House of Representatives advanced a bill to set up a task force to prepare for the total economic and political collapse of the United States. Per the bill, the panel would investigate things like food storage options and metals-based currencies, to be implemented in the event of a major catastrophe.

Then it goes three steps further. An amendment by GOP state Rep. Kermit Brown*, calls on the task force to examine "Conditions under which the state of Wyoming should implement a draft, raise a standing army, marine corps, navy and air force and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier." As the bill's GOP sponsor, state Rep. David Miller, explained to the Casper Star-Tribune, "Things happen quickly sometimes."

Buying an aircraft carrier is, as a rule, a great idea, but there are a few hiccups, not the least of which is that Wyoming is currently landlocked.

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A Short (Exceptionally Clever) Film About Sustainable Fishing

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM

According to Bamboo Sushi, the sustainable fishing focused Portland restaurant, this four minute film took seven months to create, using 100% handcrafted miniatures. However, I probably wouldn't have been inclined to watch a video about the ethics of sushi that wasn't so beautifully made (I'm bored easily, it's a problem), so the work was worth it, right?

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The Great Bacon Project Of 2012 Yields Mind-Boggling Results

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 1:00 PM

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The results of the Great Bacon Project of 2012 are in, and mouths are watering. It turns out making your own bacon is easy as pie and the product is far, far superior to what's found at the grocery store.

So here's what it boils down to: Buy pork belly, cover it in equal parts sugar and salt, let it sit for a week while pouring off the fluid that accumulates and adding a little more sugar and salt each day, rinse it and slice it thin. I smoked mine for an hour or so over mesquite wood, too, but it was good even before that. You can also add in whatever spices you so desire. The garlic-infused stuff I cured came out the most fragrant.

Everyone who dined on it this morning agreed this project was well worth the effort, and I made three pounds of bacon for around nine bucks. Works for me.

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