Thursday, August 11, 2016

David Gowan Bows To Reality, Quits Congressional Race

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 1:36 PM

House Speaker David Gowan acknowledges that he wasn't going to Congress this year.
  • House Speaker David Gowan acknowledges that he wasn't going to Congress this year.
Arizona Speaker of the House David Gowan gave up on his hopeless campaign for Congress today and endorsed fellow Congressional District 1 candidate Gary Kiehne, saying that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu "must not be our nominee."

Gowan's statement:

After prayer and conversations with my family, I have made the decision to suspend my campaign for Congress and to endorse my friend Gary Kiehne in the Republican primary for Congress. I ran for Congress because I felt called to do my part to save the country that has given me so very much. I felt that a conservative Republican who understood the issues facing rural Arizona would be the best fit for this district. But winning this district means nominating such a conservative and, while I was glad to see that our media and grassroots efforts were having a positive effect on our numbers, the improvement was not coming fast enough to win. This race is not about me, and we can’t save the country if we don’t win.

For all of our various differences, what every other candidate in this race can agree on is that Paul Babeu must not be our nominee if we are to prevail in November. The baggage he brings to the race simply cannot survive the millions of dollars that the Democrats will bring to this race and we have no reason to believe that the Republican Party will spend millions of dollars trying to save such a lost cause, particularly not with so many other critical races going on around the country. Staying in the race, and taking conservative votes away from the rest of the field meant that not only could my campaign result in costing conservatives the nomination, but Republicans the seat in November. I could not allow that to happen.

From there my decision was easy. Every candidate polling this race knows that the candidate best positioned to stop Paul Babeu is Gary Kiehne. Gary’s a solid conservative and the candidate who will be able to coalesce enough support in the General Election to win this very important seat. I believe he will represent our district with honor, integrity, and the utmost commitment to conservative principles. So I am suspending my campaign, endorsing Gary, and will be encouraging all of my supporters to help Gary over the finish line. Further, I respectfully ask the rest of the conservatives in the field to both consider and make the same decision. It will be nothing to brag about to your grandkids how one time you finished 3rd in a primary for Congress, if you have to then explain what happened to our country after the Democrats won the seat and pushed their extreme agenda. Everyone has run a good race, we have a quality field of quality candidates, but it is time to face reality and rally to the conservative cause.
Gowan, who has often opposed programs designed to aid single moms, children and other low-income Arizonans, is under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General's Office over his misuse of state resources for his congressional campaign.

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Khizr Khan Calls On McCain To Rebuke Trump

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Khizr Khan, who opposes GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants and Muslims, implored Sen. John McCain “and all of the good Republicans” to rebuke Trump’s candidacy. - WAFA SHAHID/CRONKITE NEWS
  • Wafa Shahid/Cronkite News
  • Khizr Khan, who opposes GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants and Muslims, implored Sen. John McCain “and all of the good Republicans” to rebuke Trump’s candidacy.

The last book Khizr Khan sent his son Humayun, an Army captain who was killed in a 2004 car bombing in Iraq, was Sen. John McCain’s “Why Courage Matters.”

Khan said he has long respected the Arizona Republican, and that one of his last conversations with his son had been about the book and McCain’s “sacrifice and (the) sacrifice of others to strengthen and care for others.”

McCain had been “my and my family’s hero,” whom Khan said they admired as someone who “gave so much in care of others” both as a veteran and as an elected official.

It’s that admiration that led Khan to call on McCain and other GOP leaders this week to withdraw their support of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“I implore Sen. McCain … I continue to implore all of the good Republicans who either support or are going to vote for their party’s candidate, this will be a historic moment in the Republican Party,” Khan said Tuesday during an interview with Cronkite News.

“If you publicly rebuked him, you will look back and you will stand tall in front of the nation and you will say you were not for this, we were for (a) better America,” he said.

McCain issued a blistering denunciation last week of Trump’s attacks on Khan and his family, but he has refused to back away from his statement that—without naming Trump—he will support “the party’s nominee.”

McCain’s office did not return calls and emails requesting comment on Khan’s statements.

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Scott Stewart Drops Out of Race for PCC Board

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Scott Stewart, Pima Community College's longest sitting board member, announced yesterday that despite filling paperwork for re-election earlier in the year, he will not be running for another term. He endorsed Meredith Hay, who served as Executive Vice President and Provost at the UA from 2008 to 2012. Hay is running unopposed for the seat.

This morning, Stewart sent me a copy of the statement he made at last night's board meeting: 
I have been a member of this board for nearly 18 years now. Earlier this year, I filed paperwork for getting re-elected, but without enthusiasm. I would run only if no well-qualified candidate stepped forward. I would rather focus my life on my new job, restrict my college activities to forming better industry and customer connections to educational institutions, and of course, advocating for higher expectations and high-return-on-investment programs.

I asked a number of individuals I respect to keep their eyes open for such a person and a highly qualified candidate did step up. I am pleased to have helped Meredith Hay getting signatures on her nominating petition, and getting my friends and supporters to help her as well. Indeed, all of my petition efforts went for her campaign instead of my own.

She is extraordinarily well qualified and sees the higher education landscape in ways not too unlike mine, but I believe her experience, reputation, and communication style will be able to obtain better results.

Meredith Hay is probably best known in Tucson as the former Executive Vice President and Provost (chief academic officer) at the University of Arizona from 2008 – 2012 and while in that role she also served as Special Advisor to Chair of the Arizona Board of Regents for Strategic Initiatives.

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The Weekly List: 32 Things To Do in Tucson in the Next Seven Days

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 9:36 AM


Return of the Mermaids: Celebrate the monsoon with this annual festival and parade. Dress up and join the mermaids as they make their way through 4th Avenue and Downtown Tucson. Families are welcome at this multi-venue event, but mermaids are known to get "a little racier" as the evening goes on, so parental discretion is advised. Follow the link for details on where to find your favorite under the sea activities, including: the mermaid pageant, the kids costume contest, a dinglehopper workshop, and the SURFBROADS. Noon-2 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13.

Laid Back Spanish Class: Get your español on without the stress of a traditional classroom setting—or the ever rising cost of tuition. This is a beginners course which will look at culture and verbal and written communication. The first class is Monday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m.—though participants are also expected to attend the second and third lessons on Aug. 22 and Aug. 29. Buy tickets here. Southern Arizona Work Space, 403 N. 6th Avenue. $45. 

Iskashitaa Refugee 101: Attend this interactive workshop, which will focus on global, national and local aspects of refugee settlement. Learn about the ways Ishkashitaa enhances the Tucson community through food-based programming and explain how anyone can become a volunteer. 6-8 p.m. Thursday. Aug. 11 Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway Blvd. Free.  

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

New Exhibition on the Block

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 5:00 PM

The Desert Artisans' Gallery launched two new shows this week entitled Canvas Dreams and Summer Stillness.

Located at 6536 E. Tanque Verde Rd., the Desert Artisans' Galley is owned and operated by local Southern Arizona artists and features contemporary works in everything from photograph and jewelry to watercolor and and glass.
  • Desert Artisans' Gallery Website

The exhibition "Canvas Dreams" features work by artists, Geri Bringham, David Brown, Gretchen Huff, Paddie Flaherty, Kathy Robbins and Terry Slonaker. 

Want to know a little more about the artists being showcased? Check out their bios on the Desert Artisans' website to see some of their work.

Geri Bringham
David Brown
Gretchen Huff
Paddie Flaherty
Kathy Robbins Terry Slonaker

The exhibit which will be running through Nov. 6, is having an opening reception this Friday, Aug. 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. that's open to the public.

For more information visit the Desert Artisans' Gallery's website or call 722-4412. 

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BASIS Schools: On Beyond Charters

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 4:15 PM


If you haven't been paying attention lately, you may not know that BASIS, which began with a single charter school in Tucson, now has charter schools in three states as well as two U.S. private schools—three more are scheduled to open—and a private school in Shenzhen, China. My, how BASIS has grown.

This post is more a BASIS update than an analysis. A lot of this information was new to me when I started looking into BASIS's current status, so I'm guessing it's new to many readers as well.

According to the BASIS.ed website, "We Manage 21 Public Charter Schools, 5 Domestic Private Schools, and 1 International School." Looking through the schools listed on the website, I count sixteen charter schools in Arizona, two in Texas and one in Washington, D.C., which only comes to nineteen, but either way, that's a lot of charters. Of the five private schools, two are open and running—in Brooklyn, NY, and Silicon Valley, CA—two are scheduled to open this fall—in Fremont, CA, and McLean, VA—and one in Manhattan is scheduled to open in 2017. The Shenzhen, China, school has been open, I believe, for two years.

From the look of things, BASIS has been more active lately opening new private schools than new charters. The tuition for the U.S. private schools is around $25,000, and in China it ranges from $21,000 to $30,000, depending on grade level. Comparing that to the $7,000, more-or-less, Arizona charters receive per student may explain why BASIS is moving aggressively into the private school sector.

At this point, I admit, I'm entering territory where I'm completely out of my depth: the various incorporations in various places which are part of the BASIS family. So here are the facts I know with a few questions and concerns thrown in.

The three main BASIS entities are BASIS.ed, BASIS Global and BASIS Independent Schools. Riding on top of the three is BASIS Educational Ventures. According to its website,
BASIS Educational Ventures is a holding company for three subsidiaries: BASIS.ed, BASIS Independent Schools, and BASIS Global. It supports growth, facilitates efficient management and manages the BASIS brand.

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Gabby Giffords: "We Must Draw a Bright Red Line Between Political Speech and Suggestions of Violence"

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 3:19 PM

  • White House photo
You've undoubtedly heard that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump yesterday alluded to the power of "Second Amendment people" to put a stop to Hillary Clinton and her Supreme Court appointees, should they try to confiscate all of the guns. Y'know, if Obama doesn't manage to get that long-planned job done by the end of the year.

Trump's comments sounded to many like a call to assassinate his political opponent and some of Trump's apologists—like House Speaker Paul Ryan—have suggested Trump made a bad joke. Team Trump insists their man , but Team Trump insists he was serious but didn't mean he wanted Clinton shot, merely that he hoped that those who love the Second Amendment would put pressure on the U.S. Senate to block a gun-grabbing justice. And now we've learned that the Secret Service has talked with Trump about the comment.

Tucsonan Gabby Giffords, the survivor of an 2011 assassination attempt, and her husband, retired NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, condemned Trump's language:
Donald Trump might astound Americans on a routine basis, but we must draw a bright red line between political speech and suggestions of violence. Responsible, stable individuals won’t take Trump’s rhetoric to its literal end, but his words may provide a magnet for those seeking infamy. They may provide inspiration or permission for those bent on bloodshed.

It must be the responsibility of all Americans — from Donald Trump himself, to his supporters, to those who remain silent or oppose him — to unambiguously condemn these remarks and the violence they insinuate. The integrity of our democracy and the decency of our nation is at stake.
Trump may or may not have been alluding to a desire to see Clinton shot, but here's the thing: His willingness to blow that kind of dog whistle is yet another sign that he is far too reckless to serve in the Oval Office. As Jonathan Chait notes at New York Mag:

One fact that has grown bracingly clear over the course of the presidential campaign is that the campaign is not about any of the normal issues in American politics, but about democracy. The other elections we all remember have pitted two small-d democrats against each other. This one pits a small-d democrat against a candidate who has repeatedly stated that strong leaders crush their enemies, who warns without evidence that Antonin Scalia was murdered and that the election will be “rigged,” who threatens retaliatory policy crackdowns on owners of newspapers whose coverage displeases him, who has asked Russia’s autocrat to conduct a cyberattack on his opponent, and who, today, exhorted his audience to violent insurrection.

Cinema Clips: The Little Prince

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 9:00 AM

After sitting on the shelf for quite some time, Mark Osborne’s unorthodox, animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s classic story finally gets a release, albeit a release streaming on Netflix.

It’s a good enough movie, but its by no means a straight retelling of The Little Prince. There’s a modern story about a young girl (Mackenzie Foy) who befriends an old aviator (Jeff Bridges), and the aviator is the one from The Little Prince. He recounts part of that story to the little girl, which we see in stop motion animation (the modern story is mostly CGI).

There’s an interesting mix of animation techniques to go with some twists to the story, and while it feels a little uneven and perhaps slow at times, it’s an enjoyable film.

Other voice performers include Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio Del Toro and Albert Brooks, and its fun hearing all of their great voices in one place.

Again, if you are looking for a traditional retelling of The Little Prince, this is not your bag. If you are looking for decent enough animated fare that will entertain kids and adults alike, you could do much worse.

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Staff Pick

Biodiversity PEEK Photo Exhibition

Living on the Edge is an unusual exhibition of wildlife photographs taken by Biodiversity PEEK youths from… More

@ Joel D. Valdez Main Library Wed., Aug. 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wed., Aug. 31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 101 N. Stone Ave.

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