On this week's AZ Illustrated Politics: Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Rio Nuevo Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker and Hotel Congress Entertainment Director David Slutes join host Jim Nintzel to discuss downtown Tucson's growing restaurant scene, the possibilities of a new hotel, the future of the Ronstadt Transit Center and more.
So, let's rap.
Today is Friday, May 24.
Next Friday, one week from today, is the last day of the month, May 31.
On that day, we're closing voting for this year's Best of Tucson®.
Therefore, you have ONE WEEK to get your ballots in regarding the absolute best that Tucson has to offer — like whether or not Brooklyn Pizza will retain their Best Pizza; if Club Congress is still the best place for you to dance the night away; if Jon Justice is the absolute best at...uh...whatever it is that he does.
Make it count.
Apparently Hanson, the band of mop-topped brothers from the mid-'90s that all of the girls I went to elementary school with cooed about, has shifted priorities a bit.
They've gone from focusing directly on music (and families and whatever) to, uh....beer.
From Beer Pulse:
Some of you will be celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with a trip to the movies to watch Hangover 3. Hanson’s Mmmbop makes an appearance in the flick so the band was invited to the movie premiere earlier this week.
They brought beer.
The MmmHops beer concept that the band revealed back in November of 2011 is now a reality thanks to the work of Mustang Brewing. Both the band and the brewery hail from Oklahoma and a tasting event was held at a bar there last year. The final product is a pale ale.
In a red carpet interview at the premiere, the band quipped that “You can now get a hangover with Hanson,” before belting out an ear-shattering a capella rendition of an upcoming tune. They also said that the beer would be available “this month.”
No word on whether or not this beer will be carried around here anywhere (though I'm looking at you, Plaza Liquors and the fairly-soon-to-open Tap and Bottle), but when it does, I'll be sure to dive atop that hop grenade for each and every one of you.
It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
Looks like Joe Arpaio, who calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff," will have to stand down for a little while now.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued a ruling today, upholding claims that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office targets Hispanic drivers based on their race, a violation of their constitutional rights.
From the Arizona Republic:
Dan Pochoda of the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling “a real vindication for the community. It was a terrific win — it was a very solid, comprehensive piece of work, and clearly demonstrated the unconstitutionality from top to bottom at MCSO for many years.”
The case began when Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, a Mexican tourist who was in the United States legally, was stopped outside a church in Cave Creek where day laborers were known to gather. Melendres, the passenger in a car driven by a White driver, claims that deputies detained him for nine hours and that the detention was unlawful.
Eventually, the case grew to include complaints from two Hispanic siblings from Chicago who felt they were profiled by sheriff's deputies, and from an assistant to former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon whose Hispanic husband claims he was detained and cited while nearby White motorists were treated differently.
According to the Republic, the ruling is likely to be appealed, though apparently Arpaio's lawyer was still looking over the ruling.
Remember the Liberator? The single-shot plastic gun, made with fairly cheap materials, fabricated with 3D printers? The one whose blueprints were pulled down by the State Department, but not before they were downloaded more than 100,000 times and distributed countless more times?
Well, if you happen to be printing off such a weapon, be careful — Australian police tried it, and one of the damn things blew up on 'em.
The commissioner said that a Liberator pistol had experienced a catastrophic misfire during testing. The failure would have been capable of seriously injuring the person using the firearm, the police chief said.
When the pistol successfully fired, it propelled a bullet with sufficient force to kill a target, the police revealed. When tested using a block of so-called ballistic soap — a block of gelatine used for firearms testing — the shot penetrated 17cm, which could be a fatal wound, the police said.
The police spent $35 on materials to create a Liberator and used a $1700 desktop 3D printer. The only metal parts used in the pistol's construction where the firing pin, created with a nail, and a .380 ACP calibre pistol cartridge. The all-plastic body means that the pistol is hard for security forces to detect.
Inspector Wayne Hoffman said the creation of a pistol took the police around 27 hours. Assembling the pistol's 17 parts took around a minute. Hoffman said that the police had exactly followed the original instructions for creating the Liberator, with a number of modified versions of the file currently in circulation.
Granted, there's no word on how many shots were fired with that pistol before it blew, so that might have been the result of stress and warping. Either way, that thing appears to have blown up, and blown up good.
No one's saying you shouldn't make one of your own (aside from, y'know, government agencies, possibly), but be careful, folks.
If you've spent any of your time and money at Hotel Congress's Tap Room, you've surely encountered Tom "Tiger" Ziegler , the long-beloved bartender who has prowled behind the bar at HoCo for 54 years.
Well, Tiger is turning 80 this year, prompting the good folks at Hotel Congress to throw him a spectacular birthday bash — and they're inviting all of Tucson!
From Hotel Congress:
ThursdayTuesday, May 28 at 5pm Hotel Congress invites the public to celebrate Tiger's 80th birthday! With 80-cent wells in the Tap Room and a birthday cake topped with 80 lit candles, all are welcome to wish Tiger the happiest of birthdays.
Tiger is the Tap Room. His constant presence is one reason the space has become so iconic over the last half-century. As a special birthday surprise, the Tap Room will be officially be renamed "Tiger's Tap Room" and a new, bright blue neon sign baring Tiger's namesake will be revealed. Shhhhhh! Don't tell Tiger!
Tiger started bartending at the Tap Room in the 50s, when it was the only bar at Hotel Congress. He served Coors and Budweiser for fifteen cents a glass, and mixed drinks for twenty-five cents.
"I just love the Hotel Congress. I love my ladies because they're not bothered by the men unless they want to be, and I like the university kids that come here - they're always ladies and gentleman. They're nice kids," says Tiger. "My co-workers are like a big happy family. I love coming here to work every day."
Presumably, Tiger isn't the biggest fan of computers or the Internet.
Either way, let's head down there next
Thursday Tuesday and show Tiger one hell of a good time in appreciation for all of the booze he's slinged our ways over the years.
For more info, check out the Facebook event created by Hotel Congress here.
Coming to your television screen sooner rather than later (unlike the story of Jodi Arias, which is constantly on the edge of any television viewer's consciousness): Lifetime presents Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret.
The synopsis, via Movienews.com:
Based on the disturbing murder trial that has captivated the nation, “Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret” tells the story of Jodi Arias (Tania Raymonde, “Lost”), a seductive 27-year-old aspiring photographer recently found guilty of killing her former lover Travis Alexander (Jesse Lee Soffer, “The Mob Doctor”), who was found nude in his apartment shower with a slit throat, 27 additional stab wounds and a bullet to the head. While investigating the violent killing, Mesa, Arizona, police retrieved a digital camera from Travis’ washing machine, revealing shocking images authorities claim Jodi took of their sexual escapades, as well as during and after his murder.
While Jodi pled not guilty and contends she killed Travis in self-defense, police concluded that when Travis broke off his relationship with Jodi, she became a real life “Alex Forrest” (portrayed by Glenn Close) from the film “Fatal Attraction.” Jodi, they say, stalked her ex-boyfriend, who she successfully seduced one final time before murdering him and then attempted to cover her tracks. Her subsequent trial has been grand theater, dominating the cable news networks, with Jodi testifying in her own defense, offering insight into the sex, lies and obsession that led up to Travis’ murder — beguiling media and onlookers, alike.
SEX. MURDER. INTRIGUE.
This is stupid.
You can watch the stupid, non-event made-for-TV movie based off of a stupid, non-event murder trial on June 22 on Lifetime.
It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Devo. In anticipation of their show at the Rialto tonight (tickets still available!), I though't I'd share my 10 favorite Devo tracks.
10. Space Junk/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
A fragmented and paranoid tale of falling space debris and a particularly unlucky girl named Sally. Skylab fell out of the sky and landed over parts of Western Australia in 1979, a year after this album was released.
9. That's Good/Oh, No! It's Devo
Devo on full-on synthpop mode. An upbeat song about the joys of bland conformity. So upbeat in fact that the "Bad Boys" from San Francisco used it for their dance routine in the 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship. I don't think they were in on the joke.
8. Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
Probably the best intro of any Devo song. Imagine if the Autobahn was placed smack-dab in the middle of Ohio. People tend to forget that Devo is a damn good guitar band.
7. Come Back Jonee/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
Again, Devo being a great "rock" band is often forgotten. Devo takes the cars 'n' girls songs of rock and roll's past to its next logical step. What happens when you're having too much fun and you're driving a little too fast? Come back, indeed.
6. Red Eye Express/Duty Now for the Future
If I had to pick a favorite Devo album, it would have to be Duty Now for the Future. Their second album, this is when they struck the perfect balance between the guitar and synthesizer. Red Eye Express is the album's closer and includes some of my favorite off-the-the-wall lyrics. "Something's flattened my cola/something's wrong with my brew/something's rotten in Idaho/and I don't know what to do."
5. Booji Boy's Funeral/Hardcore Devo Volume 2
R.I.P. young man. Taken from the incomparable Hardcore Devo Volume 2, the second installation of Devo's raw and humble beginnings.
4. Mongoloid/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
The tale of a man who had one chromosome too many. He wore a hat, he had a job and he brought home the bacon, so no one knew. Years before David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Devo peels away the layers of suburban blandess and finds mutants running amok. The music is ominous, spooky and robotic, and like "Gut Feeling" it also has a stellar intro.
3. I Desire/Oh, No! It's Devo
In a career full of subversiveness and pulling media-savvy pranks, this might be the crown jewel in the Energy Dome. Lyrics are credited to "Casale/Hinckley/Mothersbaugh". Who's Hinckley? None other than John Hinkcley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster, living out some sort of sick Taxi Driver fantasy. Some of the lyrics are taken from the love poems Hinckley Jr. wrote to Ms. Foster. How they snuck this past Warner Bros. is beyond me. Does this mean Hinckley Jr. receives royalties?
2. Jocko Homo/Single
The Devo Manifesto. Planet of the Apes meets crazed religious sermons meets Revenge of the Nerds.
1. Beautiful World/New Traditionalists
The moment Devo realized devolution has caught up with modern society and there's no going back. It's a somber, almost melancholy track that's full of spite. "Beautiful people everywhere/they way they show they care/it's a beautiful world/for you/it's not for me."
Big, big news out of Texas, where the Boy Scouts of America have lifted the ban on membership based on sexual orientation, allowing for openly gay scouts to join for the first time in the organization's history.
According to CNN, the vote maintains a ban on gay adult leaders.
"The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting," the 103-year-old organization said in a statement.
The BSA said there are no plans for further review of the issue.
"The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue," it said.
Predictably, there are large swaths of the country now unbelievably offended by this decision:
Boy Scouts of America today abandoned decency, integrity and courage in favor of popularity, convenience and aimlessness. It's a sad day.— theFinancialSkinny (@FinancialSkinny) May 23, 2013
The Boy Scouts of America have every right to torpedo themselves. An alternative scouting org will arise. #GodIsNotMocked— Alo Konsen (@OhioCoastie) May 23, 2013
Unfortunately for them, they're part of a minority who appear to be content to choke on the dust of history. Which is cool for them I guess.
What remains to be seen is how openly gay scouts will react when they age out of the organization and are left unable to remain part of an association that they've taken part in since they were children.
Congratulations, Boy Scouts of America — you've only got a little further to go.
If Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, was wondering whether or not Gov. Jan Brewer was bluffing about her bill moratorium he got his answer.
Brewer vetoed five bills the Senate sent to her desk Thursday.
Two weeks ago she said didn’t want to see any more bills until the Legislature resolved the budget and the plan for Medicaid.
“It is disappointing that I must demonstrate that the moratorium was not an idle threat,” Brewer wrote.
It’s on the House now to make a move with the Senate’s budget.
"The Arizona Legislature has now been in session 130 days. We have just five weeks until the end of the fiscal year, by which time it is necessary that the State of Arizona have a new budget in place in order to assure there is no suspension of critical services or programs," Brewer wrote in the veto letters.
Participants walk 75 miles from Sásabe, Sonora to Tucson, from Monday through Sunday, May 27 through June… More