In all the excitement over the Medicaid expansion, there are a whole bunch of overlooked tidbits from the recently completed legislative session that The Range will be gathering in the next few days.
For starters, there's new funding for state parks and arts organizations. Both had been cut to the bone in recent years (a deep dive into parks funding here and a look at cuts for the arts here), so supporters see this as a positive direction, even if it's not the kind of support they've had in the past.
State Sen. Steve Farley, a Democrat who represents midtown Tucson, says he dreamed up the idea in the middle of the night in January and shopped the idea around to Republicans during the session.
Both the State Parks Department and the Arizona Commission on the Arts will be getting $1 million each, which was whittled down from an earlier proposal that would been about twice that amount. The money comes from interest from the hundreds of millions of dollars stashed in the state's rainy-day fund.
"A million dollars is not a lot to some agencies, but to the arts commission, which has been zeroed out in the general fund for the last three years, it's huge," Farley told The Range.
Farley sees a developing coalition of supporters of the parks and arts.
"There are different people who support both, but they understand the power of each other," Farley says. "There are real opportunities for collaboration in the future there."
In the middle of a state legislature debate regarding local non-discrimination ordinances in Idaho, a Republican politician revealed that he has apparently never actually encountered a gay person in his life:
Cornel Rasor, a former Bonner County commissioner and chairman of the Idaho GOP’s resolutions committee, said, “I’d hire a gay guy if I thought he was a good worker. But if he comes into work in a tutu … he’s not producing what I want in my office.”
Before we get into the fact that Rasor seems to think that all homosexuals seem to have a predilection for dressing like ballerinas, let's note that politicians within a party that advocates for small, local government have a desire to kill ordinances that were passed by local governments:
“Resolved, that the Idaho Republican State Central Committee recommends that our legislators support Idaho’s current anti-discrimination laws and policies and enact a law that would make unenforceable any municipal ordinances that would seek to expand categories of prohibited discrimination beyond current state anti-discrimination laws and policies,” the resolution states.
The Idaho Human Rights Act now bans discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of race, religion, disability and more. But lawmakers have resisted efforts to add sexual orientation and gender identity to that law.
Sure, quash the ability for municipalities to create their own laws. Why not?
But let's go back to Cornel Rasor, who doesn't want his employees to come to work in a tutu — which, of course, is common thing for gay people to do. Why, I know that when I hang out with gay men, they often lament that their high heels and fairy wings (things that are issues to homosexuals at the time of their decision to be interested in members of the same sex) are just too damn inappropriate for the office.
Not every gay man is a drag queen, not every drag queen is a gay man, and the number of people who are going to work in tutus because they're attracted to people of the same sex is so insanely miniscule that you're as likely to find people who go to work in tutus regardless of their sexual orientation.
This week's cover story focused on how the question of border security was the key topic as lawmakers in Washington debate comprehensive immigration reform, as well as how the politics of immigration play against an effort by the Republican Party to capture a larger percentage of the growing Latino vote.
That topic of security came up today as House Speaker John Boehner announced a key decision: He will not bring an immigration bill to the floor unless it has the support of the majority of the GOP caucus. Boehner had previously sidestepped that question.
Boehner also complained, like many Republicans, that the security mechanisms in the Gang of Eight's bill are too weak. Here's Talking Points Memo:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) assured his fellow conservatives in a private meeting Tuesday that he would not push the Senate immigration reform bill through the House without support from the majority of Republicans—a principle he has violated in the past when he has had "zero leverage," according to Politico.
"Let me be clear,” Boehner said, according to a source in the closed GOP meeting who talked to Politico. “Immigration is not one of these scenarios. We have plenty of leverage. And I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that will violate the principles of our majority and divide our conference. One of our principles is border security. I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that the people in this room do not believe secures our borders. It’s not gonna happen.”
Boehner elaborated further on his concerns with the bill's border security provisions at a weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.
"I frankly think the Senate bill is weak on border security," he said. "I think the internal enforcement mechanisms are weak, and the triggers are almost laughable. And so if they’re serious about getting an immigration bill finished, I think the president and Senate Democrats ought to reach out to their … Republican colleagues to build broad bipartisan support for the bill.”
This week — make sure your pots are being adequately watered. Depending on when you planted your summer flowers, your roots will be in the top 4”- 6” of soil. So you must be sure when you water, that water is going deep enough.
Shade pots need water every other day or more. Sun pots need water daily. This assumes that you have used large pots (20” or greater) and that you planted summer flowers. These tips do not refer to cactus in pots.
1. Water all pots in the early morning. Spend the coolest part of the day with your pots and your favorite morning beverage.
2. Be sure to let the hot water run from your hose before using it on your plants.
3. Water each pot thoroughly but only if the top two inches of soil is dry. (Go ahead — stick your finger in the dirt.)
4. Use the shower setting on your hose nozzle or a watering can with a shower nozzle.
5. Water the entire area of the soil. It is fine to get the leaves and flowers wet.
6. An average of 30 seconds of the shower setting is usually enough water for a 20”-24” pot. Larger pots need a proportionate increase amount of time.
7. Water should drain out from the bottom drainage holes.
8. If your plants wilt in the late afternoon, check to see that the soil is still moist. If it is, the wilt is heat wilt and not water wilt. They should recover by the next morning. If you would like to give them a misting in the afternoon, they will appreciate it but be sure the water coming out of the hose is cool.
Be mindful of the moisture in the pot throughout the summer as the heat escalates. If your pots are drying out during the day, they may need additional water in the firstname.lastname@example.org.
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After the jump: AZ Central captures a shocking moment at the Arizona Capitol today: Gov. Jan Brewer hugs state Rep. Chad Campbell at the signing ceremony for the Medicaid expansion.
Hipsters and frat guys, rejoice! The end to your days of constantly retying the leather laces on your boat shoes is in sight.
Four University of Arizona grads have come together to create DockClips. Last year, while enrolled in UA's Eller College of Management, the creators got a grant from the University for research and development.
The clips, which are designed for use solely with leather laces, snap over a traditional knot and prevent the laces from untying. The campaign says it's been three months since they put the clips on their shoes and the laces are still tied. (Meanwhile, 5-year-olds everywhere are emptying their piggy banks and investing with dreams of playtime free from mom double knotting their laces).
The four founders were frat brothers and they plan to use Greek letters on the clips. The campaign video says they're excited to provide a solution to "a problem that people in Greek life have had for years."
They're looking to fund the project through a Kickstarter campaign.
The fundraising campaign ends July 14. For $100(!) you can get a pair of DockClips featuring the boat logo, but for a mere $250(?!) you can get a custom design. Now, the custom design is a Kickstarter-only perk. However, once the business is up and running for real, the product is expected to retail for $18-$25 (but go ahead and spend the extra $80-$230 to get them a few months early with a super snazzy sunglass strap). And, don't worry ladies, a smaller version for women's laces is in the works.
As the campaign says, life's too short to tie your shoes more than once.
Two Tucson chefs have been included in America's Best Chefs 2013.
Addam Buzzalini and Janos Wilder were voted by their peers for this well-deserved award.
Buzzalini is the Executive Chef at Maynards Market & Kitchen, one of my favorite places in Tucson.
Addam likes to take classical dishes and then adds his own modern flair. The pizzas are to die for and the entrees change with the season so you'll always be surprised.
Janos continues to make magic at his DOWNTOWN KITCHEN + COCKTAILS. We had the pleasure of dining there just this past Saturday and took advantage of the restaurant's World Tour. Every month throughout the summer, the kitchen visits cities around the world. Street food is prepared with finesse. This month is Seoul, Korea. We loved the bo saam and the pork belly/shrimp pancakes were outstanding.
Because fellow chefs vote on these choices this makes winning the honor quite a coup.
Check out www.bestchefsamerica.com web site for the complete list.
I understand the importance of self-promotion, and that sometimes you've gotta get a little cheesy and outside of the box to draw attention. This is especially true for an entity that might not have a built-in fan base, such as a college football program that — other than an odd placement on the cover of Sports Illustrated some 19 years ago — hasn't really amounted to much.
But a Western?
The University of Arizona released a promotional video on Monday that, for lack of a better description, tries to paint football head coach Rich Rodriguez and his assistants as a rough-and-tumble bunch of desperados, willing to do anything (even toss tight ends/special teams coach Charlie Ragle out of a saloon and down some stairs) to give the UA its first-ever trip to the Rose Bowl.
Filmed this spring at Old Tucson Studios — keeping it local!!! — the 2 1/2-minute film depicts RichRod and his 11 assistants and describes the head man as "on a quest for the rose" as he and his colleagues are shown in various stages of leaning on walls, smoking cigars and hootin' and hollerin' inside what appears to be a completely dry bar.
Take a gander at Hard Edge, which apparently was executive produced by RichRod's wife, Rita:
This film is chocked full of images that will either be fondly remembered (if the upcoming season goes well) or easily used as mocking material if it's a rough fall.
British indie-rock act (that seems to be a bit too limiting of a description for what the band does, but oh well) Foals are coming to the Rialto on August 7, in the midst of a summer that has them seemingly all the festivals, including Bonnaroo last weekend and Metallica's Orion Festival the week before. Here's the new video, which does include female nudity, if you work at a place that frowns on that sort of thing, for "Bad Habit," the fourth single (if that were really still a thing) from their most recent album Holy Fire.
The Washington Post Wonkblog's Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas look at the political angle of the push to block undocumented immigrants from getting any kind of Obamacare benefits as part of the Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration reform:
But if Republicans are trying to make inroads with the Obamacare-loving Hispanic electorate, they’ve got a funny way of going about it. The latest flashpoint in the immigration debate is health benefits. Senate Republicans are insisting that immigrants be ineligible for federal health subsidies for five years after they become legal residents — and that’s after the decade-long path to becoming a legal resident, during which they’re also ineligible. House Republicans are considering legislation “that would deny publicly subsidized emergency care to illegal immigrants and force them to purchase private health insurance plans, without access to federal subsidies, as a requirement for earning permanent legal residency.”
And all this will come at the same time when Republican governors in states with huge Hispanic population are rejecting a Medicaid expansion that would hugely benefit many poorer Hispanics. In Texas, Democratic strategists already think this might be the push the state needs to turn blue.
So amidst an effort to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill meant to help the Republican Party appeal to Hispanic voters, Republicans are making a point of demanding that legalized immigrants can’t get Obamacare, and in some cases can’t even get emergency care. They’re also considering a crushingly punitive version of the individual mandate, in which undocumented immigrants need to purchase private health care on their own, without subsidies, or they can’t even become legal residents. And they’re refusing to agree to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in some of the states where it would do Hispanics the most good.
This is, to say the least, a mixed message.
The Weekly's look at the immigration bill here.
Smooth '70s yacht-rock for dancing in the cantina, live yacht rock on the outdoor stage, photo ops… More