Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Which TUSD Board Candidates Favor Closing More Schools?

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 3:46 PM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin
If you're looking for TUSD board candidates who support closing more schools, they're out there, but they're not Cam Juarez and Kristel Foster. Two, maybe two-and-a-half candidates have said they think closing more schools is a strong possibility, even a good idea. One, maybe one-and-a-half of them are supported by the independent expenditure campaign, TUSD Kids First. But Cam and Kristel have both said in no uncertain terms, they don't plan to vote for closing any more schools.

So why are we seeing yellow roadway signs paid for by TKF that say, "Foster + Juarez = Closed Schools," signs whose purpose is to lead voters to think if they vote for Foster and Juarez, they're likely to see more school closures? The answer is, TKF wants to confuse and confound voters by using a time tested, cynical disinformation strategy. If you or some of your chosen candidates are accused of wanting to close schools and the accusation has some validity, throw it back at your opponents. "I don't want to close more schools. You want to close more schools!" Voters don't know who to believe, so the issue, which could be a problem at the polls, is nullified.

Let me try to set the record straight on who is for closing more schools and who is not, using the candidates' own words to decide where they stand. Here's the breakdown:

• For More School Closures:
Brett Rustand, Rachel Sedgwick
• Against More School Closures: Kristel Foster, Cam Juarez, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo, Lori Riegel
• Both For and Against More School Closures: Mark Stegeman

As for TUSD Kids First, the evidence suggests strongly that its donors are in favor of more closures.

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Get Your Spooks On for a Halloweekend at Hotel Congress

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

There's still plenty of time to throw some yarn on your head and call it a costume. - DON HANKINS/FLICKR
  • Don Hankins/Flickr
  • There's still plenty of time to throw some yarn on your head and call it a costume.
It's almost that time of the year again: A time where it's appropriate for adults to play dress-up and scare kids.

Halloween is in our midst and you don't to be the one person with nothing to do on the scariest day of the year—or worse, be the only person out without a costume. If you're still trying to figure out what you're up to on Oct. 31 and the days leading up, fear not (actually, be very afraid), because Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St., has got your back with a Hallo-weekend of things to do. 

This weekend of spooks starts on Saturday, Oct. 29 at the historic hotel with Nightmare on Congress St. This 21 and over event will feature music from seven bands, a DJ and, of course, a costume contest with the chance to win some serious swag. The cover charge is $6 in advance or $8 the day of.  

On Oct. 29, get groovy with Yeasayer at Club Congress starting at 7 p.m. Anyone 16 and over is welcome to rock out with this Brooklyn-based band. This event will cost you $26 but if you want to go to free a CD release, Belinda Esquer will be doing just that in the Congress plaza at 7 p.m.

Congress will still be going strong on the Sunday before Halloween. Celebrate Hallow's Eve at Congress's Devil's Night Concert with the Supersuckers, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band and Jesse Dayton to get you spooked up for Monday night's frights. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for this 21+ event and tickets range from $8 to $10.

On the night that everyone has been waiting for, Congress has got a rad dance party planned for your night out. Come in costume on Halloween night to be entered into a drawing to win $500 among other rad swag. This spooky evening is 21 and up and will kick off at 8 p.m. Make sure to register for $8 or pay $10 at the door.

For more information on Halloweekend at Hotel Congress, check out this here link.

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Cinema Clips: A Man Called Ove

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Rolf Lassgard is astonishingly good in this sweet and funny film about an old man giving up on life shortly before he gets some reasons to recharge his battery.

Ove (Lassgard) lives in a community where he acts as the enforcer of the rules, and he takes it seriously (Don’t you dare throw a cigarette butt on the ground when he is in eyeshot). Having lost his wife Sonja (Ida Engvoll), who we see in flashbacks, Ove has developed a cantankerous reputation that has most seeing him as an old coot.

A new couple moves in next door, a cat takes residence in his house, and the couple’s children become his friends, thus delaying his attempts to take his own life.

Director and screenwriter Hannes Holm does a great job letting us know, little by little through the flashbacks, the events that have led to Ove being the man he is. By the time the flashbacks have played out, it’s hard to blame Ove for being a little grumpy.

Lassgard is thoroughly enjoyable in the movie, managing to make the character somebody likeable, even when he’s screwing up.

Even though the movie takes place in one little community and basically focuses on the life of one man, it has an epic feel to it. Holm has made a special movie with this one.

In the Flesh: Howe Gelb's 60th B-day Bash at the Rialto Theater

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Nino’s Steakhouse once sat on a sad stretch of North First Avenue. “Not just for Cowboys ...” read their logo’s tagline. Yet there were plenty of pointy-toed cowboy boots on feet of regulars and barflys, but most of those never once walked anywhere near cow dung pastures or stepped into a saddle stirrup. 

Howe Gelb's 60th birthday party at The Rialto Theatre. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Howe Gelb's 60th birthday party at The Rialto Theatre.
This steakhouse was a spawning ground for the post-punk Tucson music scene in the early ’80s, and probably the birthplace of post-punk’s petulant bastard child “desert rock.” Here, in this restaurant by day, sweaty music incubator by night, I saw singer-songwriter/producer Howe Gelb performing with the Giant Sandworms for the first time.

It takes years for a worthy artist to find and develop their voice. And Gelb is unequivocally a tenacious artist. He started humbly, playing the low-ceilinged backroom at Nino’s to a handful of people.

It’d be egregiously remiss to not acknowledge and commend Gelb’s musical evolution and prolific output—one could easily stay up for a couple of days straight, fueled by caffeine, and still not have listened to all of the songs that Gelb has written and recorded or played on—that spans a three-decade long career. Dude’s insanely accomplished. His is staggering body of work, and it’s easy to lose count; some 50 albums, which include critically acclaimed records such as 1998’s Hisser, 2000’s Chore of Enchantment, 2006’s Sno’ Angel Like You, 2008’s ProVisions and 2013’s The Coincidentalist.

Gelb performing with daughter Patsy. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Gelb performing with daughter Patsy.
Gelb has also been featured in numerous films: Drunken Bees (1996), Looking for a Thrill: An Anthology of Inspiration (2005), High and Dry: Where the Desert Meets Rock and Roll (2006), This Band Has No Members (2006) and Ingenious (2009).

There is a tree of life whose fruit-heavy branches span far and wide with Gelb comprising the roots and trunk: Giant Sandworms, Giant Sand, The Band of Blacky Ranchette, Rainer & Das Combo, Friends of Dean Martinez, John Convertino, Joey Burns, Arizona Amp and Alternator, OP8, Calexico, Brian Lopez, Gabriel Sullivan are but some of the fruit.  

In addition, Gelb has twisted lots of knobs, even co-produced Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall’s fifth studio album Invisible Empire // Crescent Moon (2013) on which he also co-wrote and sang on several songs. Gelb produced Sylvie the great 2014 debut album by Sylvie Simmons esteemed writer, former editor at Mojo and biographer who penned I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen (published by Ecco in 2012). He did John Doe’s latest.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

There's a New I.E. in the TUSD Board Race

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 1:00 PM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin
The new signs on the roadways say "Stop Stegeman Now." They just showed up recently, and you'll only find a few of them scattered among the yellow "Change the Board" signs, which, based on my recent drive through town, make up about half the signage out there—not half the TUSD board race signs, half the signs, period.

The anti-Stegeman signs are paid for by a new independent expenditure committee, Protect Our Schools TUSD, which filed its papers with Pima County last week. We don't know anything about its finances since it didn't exist during the last reporting period, but if the amount of signage it's put up is any indication, it doesn't have anything like the $35,000 amassed by TUSD Kids First, which is responsible for the yellow signs blanketing the city. We'll get a better idea of its funding by the number of signs that go up before the election and by its sponsored presence on social media.

Protect Our Schools TUSD has two goals: to get rid of Mark Stegeman and to reelect Kristel Foster and Cam Juarez. The group's website explains the reasons for its choices in bold letters on the home page, but for some reason, it hides its "Want to learn more?" link way down at the bottom of the page rather than creating the usual navigation bar near the top.

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Stella Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM


Hi, I'm Stella!

I'm a beautiful 5-year-old girl and I need a new home! I was transferred to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona from a different shelter so they don't know a lot about my past, but they do know that I love being pet and I know how to sit for treats.

I would make the perfect dog for a family that is looking for a medium energy pet that loves to snuggle! If you have current dogs or kiddos bring them over to HSSA Main Campus at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. to do a doggy meet and greet!

Lots of love,
Stella (833538)

World View Case Update

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Document fragment from Judge Wood's Gift Clause ruling - JONATHAN HOFFMAN
  • Jonathan Hoffman
  • Document fragment from Judge Wood's Gift Clause ruling

As you may recall, on Aug. 22, Judge Catherine Woods heard oral arguments regarding Pima County’s motion to dismiss the suit filed against Pima County by the Goldwater Institute on behalf of a number of Pima County business owners and tax payers regarding the deal with World View Enterprises. After reading the briefs and hearing the arguments, Judge Woods denied three of the four counts from the bench, the remaining count was taken under advisement. The count under advisement was in regards to Article IX, Section 7 of the Arizona Constitution, commonly known as the “Gift Clause.” On Oct. 14, Woods issued a ruling denying  the Gift Clause count. The Goldwater Institute gave the specifics in a press release:

...finding that we have successfully explained our position that the County “'unquestionably abused’ its discretion in spending taxpayer money and lending its credit when, among other things, it took on $15 million in new debt, commenced the construction of the headquarters and balloon pad to be used by a private for-profit corporation that had an unproven ability to conduct its intended operations, failed to obtain competitive bids, committed to lease the premises to the private for-profit corporation at below market rates, and granted to that corporation the right to operate, maintain, and control access to the pad (which would include keeping any profits it makes from allowing other third parties to use the pad).

But wait, there’s more! In the same press release, the Goldwater Institute announced:

... today we are asking the court to cancel the World View lease and force the County to comply with a state law that requires an appraisal, public auction, and a minimum price when the County leases property. When we were in court for the hearing on whether or not the case would be dismissed, the County admitted that it ignored this law, and Judge Woods has already ruled that the law applied. The County will have 30 days to respond to our request for the lease to be cancelled. 

Pima County has had much more luck demonizing the Goldwater Institute than it has had defending the World View deal. It has had some success in portraying the Goldwater Institute as a bunch of contemptible Maricopans who, when they are not pulling wings off of flies, entertain themselves by poking sticks at Pima County. It should be remembered that the Goldwater Institute cares not one whit if Pima County does, or does not, build a launch pad or manufacturing facility. What it cares about is the flouting of laws that are specifically designed to protect the taxpayers and businesses of Arizona. That is what Pima County has done by arranging contract deals in secret (Project Curvature), offering sweetheart financing deals that do not exist in the natural world, and dispensing with the legally required appraisals, competitive bidding, etc. Remember, too, that the Goldwater Institute is not representing itself; rather, it is representing the plaintiffs, also known as your neighbors.

Jonathan Hoffman is the Weekly's libertarian columnist. 

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Cinema Clips: In a Valley of Violence

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Horror fans know director Ti West for his cult classic horror film House of the Devil, and the horror films V/H/S, The Innkeepers and The Sacrament. His latest, starring Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, is a major departure from his usual projects, a capable, full-on homage to Sergio Leone westerns.

Hawke plays Paul, a drifter who finds himself in a frontier ghost town with a few remaining inhabitants. He and his dog immediately get into some trouble with Gilly (James Ransome), the son of the town marshal (Travolta).

Bad things transpire (this is sort of John Wick set in the old wild west), and Paul sets out for revenge. The resultant gunfights are nicely staged, accentuated by good work from Hawke, Travolta and Ransome.

While Hawke is always reliable these days, Travolta’s film career has been on a bit of downslide (one of a few his career has endured). His performance here as a semi-crooked lawman with a small streak of decency is actually funny at times, and consists of his best work in a film in over five years (It must be noted that he was also quite good as Robert Shapiro in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story).

The film’s biggest surprise would be Taissa Farmiga, providing solid comic relief as a fast talking hotel operator. West does admirable work on the western playground.

The movie doesn’t feel all that original or groundbreaking, but it does look good, has some solid acting, mixing in some nice dark humor for an overall good time.

Staff Pick

Chiles, Chocolate, & Day of the Dead Festival –

Pay homeage to the fiery chile, decadent chocolate, and Día de los Muertos. Savor chile and chocolate… More

@ Tohono Chul Park Fri., Oct. 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sat., Oct. 29, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 7366 N. Paseo del Norte.

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  1. Which TUSD Board Candidates Favor Closing More Schools? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
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  5. Stella Needs a Home (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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