In case Linda Ronstadt didn't upset your regional pride enough yesterday, here's a blog post over at our Portland alt-weekly cousin, the Willamette Week, which starts (sorta) as an attempt to find a distinctive food from Arizona to eat in Oregon and turns into an extending troll of our state. Full disclosure: I'm friends with (and a former co-worker of) the post's author, Martin Cizmar, who has a lot of practice upsetting large groups of people. Also, he has frequently told me that he thinks Tucson sucks, so prepare yourself for this argument that the non-Coconino County portions of Arizona be removed from the United States/given their "freedom":
The state’s return to sovereignty seems like the best solution for everyone involved. The United States should acknowledge the claims of small town Arizona Republicans who say the terms of the state’s admission to the union were improper, and grant the people their freedom. President Brewer could do then whatever she wants with any illegal immigrants found there. Including you or I—if we wanted to travel to Arizona we’d need the proper papers. No visa? Tough luck us.
The rest of the U.S. could then use the money currently earmarked for the state of Arizona—far more money than most states get from the Feds—to help those poor migrant kids.
However, I would also propose the other 49 states extend Coconino County, Arizona’s gorgeous northernmost county—where the Grand Canyon sits and which supported Obama over Romney—the right to re-join the union if it wishes. It would then get the same rights and privileges as old Arizona. Including, of course, water rights not claimed by any part of our country that's downriver. As is the current situation in Sonora, Mexico, the SRP would be welcome to any water from Coconino/New Arizona that flows into its territory. Arizona is free! And, with the consent of residents, the U.S. of A will keep Coconino County as our own. The newly sovereign lands south of the Mogollon Rim get control of all formerly federal land and no longer have to pay federal taxes.
Everyone’s happy, right? Let’s do this.
He does allow for the idea that Tucson might not deserve to cast off with Phoenix, but nope, since "that would just be weird" we're off to join a sovereign super-screwed up new political entity.
Good news for Portland, however, since the impending re-organization of the nation's borders will end up working out ok for northern Oregon's dining needs:
But, if we implement a plan to to grant Arizona the freedom it so richly deserves, that could change. After all, Mexicans would likely flee Phoenix for the United States, leaving people there without the annoyances that come from living near people who are different from themselves, and giving places like Portland the little booster shot of culture we need on this front.
An idea: Let's just let Portland become it's own nation, floating on a cloud of its wild self-importance above the rest of the country. Then all the people who left Arizona (or every other inferior-to-Portland place in the other lower 47) behind to bucket-drum, write their memoirs, start food trucks or breweries, or whatever-the-hell-it-is-that-people-do-there can fully no longer be bothered with our state and its complicated, but hopefully evolving, politics. Seems like a win/win for everyone.
Imagine my delight at seeing a front-page-with-a-picture, feel-good story about TUSD in today's Star: New TUSD outreach program gives biotech students leg up. It sounds like a great program: 240 students from Pueblo and Tucson High participating in a Biotech Pipeline.
Students will gather information on nearly two dozen local biotech businesses and conduct interviews to make career connections, learn what companies are looking for and how that connects with what they are learning in the classroom.
It looks like TUSD is making a concerted effort to get positive news out about the district, and it appears to be working. That's a good thing. If the district is making incremental progress, which I think it is, and the community is learning about it and lending its support, that's good news all the way around.
With that in mind, here's a grab bag of positive TUSD stories I've pulled together from the media and from Superintendent H.T. Sanchez's Team Member Updates, which he sends out as emails and posts online. I have to admit, I don't have first hand knowledge about all the items on the list, so I'm presenting them without any analysis. Others should feel free to chime in with comments.That's something I don't have to tell regular commenters, but I'm sure others of you in the Tucson community, and especially the TUSD community, have information the rest of us can benefit from.
• Reaching out to dropouts. In July, more than 100 people knocked on doors of students who have dropped out of school. The preliminary results look promising: "Many [of the students contacted] have returned, including 43 out of 50 students who were seniors last year, but who did not have enough credits to graduate."
• TUSD Strategic Plan completed. TUSD has put together a lengthy, ambitious five year strategic plan which was approved by the board. The fact that the process was public and that a wide variety of community members were involved makes it more likely the district will feel compelled to stick with it and show positive results.
Saturday, August 23 at 11:00am / JUMANJI
Robin Williams stars alongside a young Kirsten Dunst in this thrill-a-minute adaptation of the award-winning children's book by Chris Van Allsburg. When young Alan Parrish discovers a mysterious board game, he doesn't realize its unimaginable powers, until he is magically transported before the startled eyes of his friend, Sarah, into the untamed jungles of Jumanji! There he remains for 26 years until he is freed from the game's spell by two unsuspecting children who have discovered the magical game. Now a grown man, Alan (Williams) is forced to play the game again, only this time, the game sets the rampaging creatures of the jungle loose on the city. Alan reunites with the now-adult Sarah (Bonnie Hunt), and together with the youngsters Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce), he must try to outwit the game's powerful forces and get the animals back in the box before they cause untold mayhem! An imaginative adventure that combines breathtaking special effects with thrills, chills and Robin Williams’ patented brand of comedic antics, Jumaji is a treat for kids of all ages! (Dir. by Joe Johnston, 1995, USA, 104 mins., Rated PG) Digital
Reckless Kelly is playing the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, August 21 on their Late Night Moon tour with Cody Canada and the Departed, and Micky and The Motorcars...and we have a pair to give away for a lucky music fan. Just click over to our contest page.
We'll send the winner an email Wednesday afternoon and you're tickets will be at will call. Good luck!
After seeing so many readers offended by Linda Ronstadt's recent comments (which came as a followup to an interview she did on NPR's Diane Rehm Show) regarding Downtown Tucson's newer "Stalinist buildings," I was reminded of a photo I took downtown back in October of 2013.
The photo was taken in the empty lot on Broadway Blvd. and S. Fourth Avenue, just north of Tucson Yoga and behind The Cadence student housing and Centro Garage complexes on Congress/Toole/4th. I was fishing for information on the lot via Facebook, not looking to evoke Cold War-era imagery from the 1950s East Berlin.
That said, I've mashed up the original and black & white versions of the photo with images from Stalin's actual razor-wire-fenced East Berlin and elsewhere with stock photos of the latest behemoth University of Arizona student housing complexes to be built off campus (which is key to Ronstadt's and others' ire) in decidedly still-historic neighborhoods.
Maybe you missed this latest release from Santa Cecilia. The video of their cover of "Strawberry Fields Forever," is a beautiful take on that Beatles' classic.
In an interview with the GRAMMY Museum, lead singer Marisol "La Marisoul" Hernández spoke about the connection between the Beatles classic and the plight of modern migrant workers. "One day, we started leaving L.A to play in Bakersfield, and we saw the fruit fields. The strawberry fields. Listening to the song on my iPod, I thought, man, it connected. Seeing all these migrant workers, working for hours in the strawberry fields forever."
"It's a trip that a song that was made by these four Brits turned into something that I feel connected to with migrant workers and the beauty of their work," she continued. "I guess it's a way for us to acknowledge their work, and for people to kind of remember where all our amazing fruit comes from. It's so easy to just grab at grocery stores, but it comes from somewhere else. I always think it's nice to acknowledge the people behind-the-scenes."
La Santa Cecilia made a name for themselves as Latino musicians and activists. Last year, the band released "El Hielo" (The ICE), a song which highlighted the daily struggles of undocumented immigrants in America. The riveting piece earned them a Grammy Award, which they dedicated to "the more than 11 million undocumented people that live and work really hard in this country, and that still need to lead a more dignified life."
Remarkable specimens from private collections, and the unique stories about finding them, are featured in an exhibit… More