Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For the Love of History: So Lovely Our State Legislature

Posted by on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM

From the Arizona Republic's Laurie Robert's on Republican Sen. Gail Griffin sticking it to the Arizona Historical Society:

A routine proposal to extend the life of the Arizona Historical Society for another 10 years has been slashed to two years, a move that the state historian says could be "a death knell" to the agency that operates seven museums around the state.

Marshall Trimble says he's puzzled by why the Legislature would want to stick it to the Historical Society, which collects, preserves and showcases the history of Arizona and the west.

"Our history is one of the most unique and colorful in the entire 50 states," he said. "Our story is so important to the state. We are a place that lives by our legends and our history."

Sen. Gail Griffin, the senator pushing a two-year rather than 10-year extension, says she wants to make sure that the agency corrects longstanding problems identified in a state audit last fall before giving it a longer life.

"I'm on their side," Griffin, R-Hereford, told me. "The issues that were brought up were serious concerns. I just want to make sure those concerns are taken care of."

The audit noted that the Historical Society needs to do a better job fund raising and managing its collection, problems that were also identified in state audits in 1995 and 1998.

Problems that I'm quite sure will be so much easier, now that the agency faces the possibility of extinction in two years.

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Tonight Junot Diaz Talks to Tucson (Hoping Diaz is a Cuandero)

Posted by on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 11:11 AM

One last reminder, Tucson, author Junot Diaz will be at the Tucson Fox Theatre tonight, and I was pleasantly reminded that the evening, while a suggested $15 admission/donation ($25 for special VIP reserved seating), is pay-what-you-can. Hey, not only is this an interesting week at Weekly World Central, but it is technically the week before payday and this reminder is good news.

So ultimately, you have no choice if you no what's good for you, and believe me Diaz is good for you.

I love this interview he did with Bill Moyers. Perhaps, tonight, we'll be treated with such gems and wise perspective, with Diaz leaving us in better shape then he found us—dear lord I hope so. And big thanks to the Tucson Pima Arts Council and the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry for making it happen (I really, really love those guys, too).

"There is an enormous gap between the way the country presents itself and imagines itself and projects itself and the reality of this country,” Díaz tells Bill. “Whether we’re talking about the Latino community in North Carolina. Whether we’re talking about a very active and I think in some ways very out queer community across the United States. Or whether we’re talking about an enormous body of young voters who are either ignored or sort of pandered to or in some ways, I think that what we’re having is a new country emerging that’s been in the making for a long time.”

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Tucson Justice League (AKA American Friends Service Committee) Need Our Help

Posted by on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Our own version of the Justice League is asking for help renaming a beer served at the Rialto Theatre. The American Friends Service Committee's annual fundraiser, Justice On Tap, is at the Rialto this year, Saturday, May 10.

The theme: Justice on Tap.

Your Mission: The Rialto will rename one of its beers on tap in honor of the occasion and mixologist, Laura Kepner-Adney (member of the Cordials and Rialto bartender), will create a “signature cocktail” for the show. And you, the public, can help name them.

From AFSC:

AFSC is sponsoring a Justice on Tap Beer & Cocktail Naming Contest in the run-up to the event. You can visit AFSC’s webpage or Facebook page to submit your suggestions in the comment section. Or you can email your ideas to:

The winners will be chosen by our Panel of Experts: AFSC staff, Ms. Kepner-Adney, and David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star cartoonist who will be acting as emcee for Justice on Tap.

NOTE: AFSC is a social justice organization that promotes a just, humane, and effective criminal justice system. Please keep your beer/cocktail name suggestions positive, non-violent, and respectful of incarcerated people.

Deadline for submissions is Friday, May 2nd. The winners will be announced the week prior to the event. Winners receive free admission, one free beverage, and major street cred.

WHO: The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Arizona Program
WHAT: Justice on Tap local music benefit concert
WHEN: Saturday, May 10th
6:30pm — Doors open
7:30pm — Cyril Barrett with Thøger Lund and Gabriel Sullivan
8:30pm — Carlos Azarte & the Kind Souls
9:30pm — Chicha Dust
WHERE: Rialto Theatre, 318 E Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701.
HOW MUCH: $10 at the door.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tumblr Blog Highlights Terrible 1-Star Amazon Movie Reviews

Posted by on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Everyone's a critic, and the internet is full of ignorant trolls that love to voice their unwanted opinions. Someone started a Tumblr page that takes pretentious quotes from "credible" reviewers and replaces them with hilarious one-star Amazon user reviews. So, be careful what you say on the Internet because it might come back to haunt you in the form of a meta Tumblr blog.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • From Awful Review Posters.

Continue reading »

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In D.C., The Cowboy-Indian Alliance Protests the Keystone XL Pipeline

Posted by on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM

  • Photo by David Safier

I was in D.C. Tuesday walking toward the National Mall when I saw a group of Native Americans on horseback. Other people were milling around, Native Americans and Anglos, talking among themselves and to members of the press. I was at the staging area for a march of the Cowboy And Indian Alliance which had just arrived in D.C., mainly from Nebraska but also from South Dakota and Montana, to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

I talked with Robin LaBeau (Indian name: Tataaka Agli Win), a Lakota council member of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, about her objections to the pipeline. "Do you see what's on the back of those young guys' shirts?" LaBeau asked me. "It says Unci Maka Defenders. Unci means grandmother, and Maka means earth. Grandmother Earth, we will stand to defend you. We wouldn't feel right if they continued to rape our grandmother. Those are strong statements, but that's the truth. You're burrowing down and you're hydro-fracking, and then you have nowheres to dump it so you're going to dump it someplace that's gonna leak. You're just tearing her up and spitting all over her and spilling all over her, and she's tired. She's had enough. She says, humanity, when are you going to wake up and start taking care of me, when are you going to start defending me? Why should we stand here to let the biggest dirty oil, the Koch Brothers come and destroy it?"

Continue reading »

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Noemi: Another Sad Border Story

Posted by on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The border is full of sad stories, but this latest about 12-year-old Noemi Alvarez Quillay could be the saddest in a long, long time. Like many, those who've crossed successfully and those who've died in the desert, she was trying to cross the border to her family during a long trek from Ecuador and then to her death in a Ciudad Juarez, Mexico in a children's shelter.

From the New York Times:

"I went with a coyote and spent two months in Nicaragua and came back from there," she wrote in a school information sheet.

She got a little closer this year. In March, a month after she left home, the police picked up Noemi and a coyote in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The authorities took her to a children's shelter. She was described as crying inconsolably after being questioned by a prosecutor. A few days later, she was found hanged from a shower curtain rod in a bathroom at the shelter. Her death, ruled a suicide by Mexican authorities, remains under investigation by a human rights commission there.

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CoLab Innovation Talk on Journalism

Posted by on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM

CoLab Workspace's next monthly Innovation Talk will be Wednesday, April 23 from 12 to 1 p.m. The topic of discussion will be "innovations in journalism: investigative reporting and transparency in the era of new media." The panel includes the Arizona Daily Star's Tim Steller, Tucson Sentinel's Dylan Smith and the Tucson Weekly's Henry Barajas and Mari Herreras.

From CoLab:

Beginning with each reporter's personal experiences, the panel will look at the changes in journalism affecting investigative reporting, adaptations they have made in their coverage day-to-day, and the future of journalism as a whole.

The talk is free, bring your lunch, but go here to reserve a seat.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Georgetown Cop on Paid Leave for Tripping High School Students

Posted by on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Rohan Gupta recorded some high school students storm a football field after the girl's Vandegrift High School soccer team won their first state championship ever over the weekend. While the 15-year-old high school student was filming, Georgetown officer George Bermudez was caught tripping one male, missed a female on the field and shoved male off the field. The officer has been put on paid leave and internal affairs is reviewing the case, according to Statesman.

Agency spokesman Roland Waits told Statesman that "Bermudez’s actions were not appropriate measures for a crowd control situation."

Continue reading »

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Staff Pick

Free Legal Help

Students from the UA's James E. Rogers College of Law conduct free legal clinics from 9 to… More

Saturdays, 9-10:30 & 9-11 a.m. and Wednesdays, 7-8:30 a.m. Continues through April 30

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  1. Republican Legislators Caravan To The Bundy Ranch (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Noemi: Another Sad Border Story (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. For the Love of History: So Lovely Our State Legislature (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Tucson Justice League (AKA American Friends Service Committee) Need Our Help (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Seth MacFarlane and His Peculiar Distaste For Tucson (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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