Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Post In Which I Say Something Good About Diane Douglas

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Here's a quote by Ed Supe-elect Diane Douglas from a media release:

"The courts have ruled that Arizona schools were deprived of increases guaranteed to them by a vote of the people."

What does she mean exactly? I haven't seen the whole media release (Gotta get on that email list!), and from the reporting I've read, Douglas is short on specifics, but it looks like Douglas is saying the lege should cough up the dough it owes the schools. Another quote:

“Funding is not the only factor in the success of education, but it is clear that Arizona schools are suffering due to years of frugal budgets and cutbacks."

Here's what's missing — in a good sense — from that statement: the phrase "throwing money at schools." I agree with Douglas, "Funding is not the only factor in the success of education." But lots of conservatives take it a step further and contend that schools deserve less money because they're doing such a terrible job, why reward them for bad behavior by "throwing money at them"?

Douglas states her disagreement with the "throw money at education" crowd by stating, "Arizona schools are suffering due to years of frugal budgets and cutbacks." Yes, indeed they are.

Credit where credit is due. The superintendent has no direct control over the size of the state's education budget, but if Douglas is making statements that move the conversation in a positive direction, she's doing the right thing.

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Giffords and Kelly: Congrats McSally, Now Get Working on Gun/Stalker Legislation

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 2:05 PM

A press release today from former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired veteran and astronaut Captain Mark Kelly:

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired combat veteran and NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions, issued the following statement on the election of Colonel Martha McSally to represent Arizona’s 2nd District in the United States Congress:

“We congratulate Colonel McSally on her election as Southern Arizona’s next voice in Congress. From her service in defense of our nation to her upcoming tenure in Congress, Congresswoman-elect McSally has always shown a commitment to serving her country. We look forward to doing anything we can to help Congresswoman-elect McSally succeed in representing our community.

“While it’s no secret that we supported our friend Congressman Ron Barber in this hard-fought race, we are pleased that this campaign included an important and substantive debate on how to reduce gun violence in our communities. When the real issues are debated, the public wins. This was the case with Congresswoman-elect McSally's newly-stated support for legislation that would prevent convicted stalkers from getting guns. We commend her for defying the corporate gun lobby on this important public safety issue, and look forward to working with her to craft and help pass this badly needed legislation.

“Finally, we thank our friend Congressman Ron Barber for his decades of selfless service to this community. At every step, Ron has always fought to do right by Southern Arizona. Ron is a courageous man who nearly gave his life in service to this nation. Words cannot describe his sacrifice for us personally, and for this community. We are so grateful to him for his commitment, his courage, and his service.”

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Kade Mislinski Takes Over Saguaro Corners with Promises of a Donut Program

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Things are changing over at Saguaro Corners. - COURTESY OF KADE MISLINSKI
  • Courtesy of Kade Mislinski
  • Things are changing over at Saguaro Corners.

If the words “donut program” don’t get you excited on first mention, let me explain. Kade Mislinski, formerly of Playground, is planning a Willy Wonka-like world of glazes, fillings, shapes, and more when he takes over the historic Saguaro Corners restaurant. Most importantly, he says his crème brulée donut, which will be filled with vanilla cream and bruléed to order, will be the real showstopper of the program.

Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 11 a.m., Mislinski and chef Gabriel Greenberg are completely overhauling Saguaro Corners’ menu, though he expects that donut program won’t be ready until the end of January. He says the new menu is about simplifying a concept that he “didn’t think was broken.” Just because it’s going to be simple, though, doesn’t mean it’s not also going to be ambitious.

He says diners can expect reasonably priced fast casual counter service during the day until 4 p.m. and a full service menu for dinner six days per week. While he wasn’t ready to spill all of the beans yet, comfort food staples like grilled cheese, burgers, biscuits, and mac and cheese will be on the menu. However, his real plan is to make Saguaro Corners, which has been open since 1956, a buzzworthy spot in the vein of California's Gott's Roadside, Donut Bar, and Fremont Diner, as well as Portland's Pine State Biscuits.

“I want it to be a neighborhood restaurant and I want it to be a family restaurant,” Mislinski says. “It’s going to be a destination.”

You hear that, Alton Brown? Looks like you have a new spot to check out when you visit Old Pueblo.

The new Saguaro Corners will also feature a revamped cocktail program with freshness at the forefront. In fact, that’s the plan with the whole menu. Mislinski says he’s taking the microwaves and freezers out of the kitchen and sourcing everything from the veggies, meat, and dairy as locally as possible.

With all of the changes, Mislinski assures that he’s going to keep the aspects of Saguaro Corners that have worked for the spot in the past, such as live music, craft beer, and the serene mountainside patio.

Mislinski says he’s excited to make his first move to the dining scene on the eastside at the restaurant located at 3750 South Old Spanish Trail, but customers shouldn’t expect a copy of Hub or Playground—this is something completely different.

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Update: McSally Wins Recount, Barber gives statement

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Tucson, AZ - Today, following this morning's ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper on the final result of the election in Arizona's Second Congressional District, Congressman Ron Barber made the following statement:

"Today I congratulated Martha McSally on her victory, and wished her well in serving Southern Arizonans. This result is not the one we hoped for, but we take solace in having spoken out loud and clear for the principle that every legal vote should be counted. As in every election system, there are imperfections in ours, and we must work to correct them. When an election is as close as this one has been, we do our best to arrive at the correct result, and then accept it with respect for the voters.

"I love Southern Arizona and serving the people who live here was an unexpected honor. In 1967, I graduated from the U of A and married Nancy—I figured it couldn't get much better than that. Never in my life did I expect to serve in Congress. For me, the work was a joy to do every day, helping veterans get access to the benefits they earned, keeping middle class families from having their homes foreclosed, pushing the EPA into not closing the power plant in Cochise County that provides a good income to nearly 250 families. I still believe that we can be successful when people from both parties work together—that's how we stopped the Pentagon from mothballing the A-10 and increased funding for mental health services.

"There's a lot more work to do to solve the real challenges facing our country, and I will have plenty to say about them in the weeks to come.

"Today, I extend my gratitude to Southern Arizonans, and promise to carry out a smooth transition to my successor.“

Ron Barber grew up in Tucson. He married his high school sweetheart Nancy and raised two daughters here. Ron has dedicated his life to working for Southern Arizona, helping people with disabilities for over 30 years and running a small business with his wife. After serving as the District Director for former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, Ron ran for office to continue to fight in Congress for Southern Arizona families. Ron was named the 4th most independent-minded member of Congress and has worked across the aisle to stand up for middle class families, including strengthening border security, protecting Medicare, and fixing the healthcare law.

TUCSON - Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally today was named the official winner of the race for AZ CD-2, after results from a state-mandated recount gave her a 167 victory over incumbent Ron Barber. The court announcement is the last step in the recount process and makes McSally's victory final in CD-2.

"We're grateful to everyone who devoted their time and resources, especially during the extended vote and recount processes, to get us over the finish line," said McSally. "With the results of the recount now official, we can move forward as one community to bring Southern Arizonans the strong representation they deserve."

"There's no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race. After what's been a long campaign season, it's time to come together and heal our community. That's why my focus will be on what unites us, not what divides us, such as providing better economic opportunity for our families and ensuring our country and community are kept safe."

"I sincerely thank Congressman Barber for his service over many years to Southern Arizona. I'll be seeking his input to continue strong constituent services and help ensure a smooth transition. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I know that we're a community dedicated and united in our love for Southern Arizona - And, together, we can make a positive difference."

Last week, McSally was appointed to serve on the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, two committees that play key roles in the policy decisions affecting Southern Arizona. The new Congress and its members will be sworn in on January 6, 2015.

Colonel Martha McSally (ret.) is an independent voice who is committed to fighting for equal treatment of women and more opportunity for the middle class. She has been active in defending Southern Arizona's critical job-creators like Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Fort Huachuca. A 26-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, McSally was the first woman to fly in combat and command a fighter squadron in U.S. history.

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Just Announced: Surfer Blood to Play The Flycatcher on Feb. 19

Posted By on Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 9:00 AM

I'll admit that I was pretty excited to see Sub-Pop/Burger Records artist King Tuff booked to play The Flycatcher on Thursday, Jan. 8, especially since the artist's recently released record Black Moon Spell has been making its way on to best album of the year lists.

Well, yesterday Rialto Theatre announced another big reason to hit up The Flycatcher in the coming months: Surfer Blood is headlining the Fourth Avenue venue on Thursday, Feb. 19. Joining Surfer Blood is Talk in Tongues, who you may recognize as the band that opened for Alt-J a week ago at Rialto Theatre.

Tickets for Surfer Blood's Flycatcher performance go on sale Friday, Dec. 19, and it's safe to assume those tickets will be snatched up fast. You can buy your $12 ticket in advance via Rialto Theatre. The show is 21 and over. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pima College will likely be taken off probation

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Pima Community College got word today that it will most likely have its probation lifted, based on a report by the Higher Learning Commission.

The report, which was put together based on a visit to Pima in September, will be one of the main pieces of evidence the commission takes into consideration when deciding the college’s fate in early 2015. The report included the caveat that while the college has made some good progress, many of the programs that have been implemented are still new. As a result, the team is recommending that the college be taken off probation, but put “on notice”—essentially saying that while the progress looks promising, the HLC should make sure everything holds up over time.

“I see today’s recommendation as positive news of where we’ve come and where we’re headed,” Pima Chancellor Lee Lambert said at a press conference. “The team that spent the most time with the college is coming back with this positive recommendation. I think it will be hard for them not to follow that.”

The announcement, which Lambert made encircled by smiling college employees, was met with a standing ovation.

The college’s accreditation has been on probation since the spring of 2013, when community concern brought the HLC to Tucson to look into problems at the college. During that evaluation, the HLC found five standards for accreditation that the college did not meet, including failing to investigate sexual harassment allegations quickly and abusing the college's HR practices.

Read the full report that will be submitted for Pima's upcoming trial here.

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Gov-Elect Doug Ducey's "No District Personnel Allowed" Education Transition Team

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Ann-Eve Pedersen and I take a look at the three people who are advising Gov-elect Doug Ducey on education: Lisa Graham Keegan, Matthew Ladner and Erik Twist. All three have strong ties to the conservative education privatization movement. Not a school district employee or advocate among them.

Seeing as how Ducey's knowledge of education is thin and about 80 percent of Arizona's school children attend a district school, wouldn't it make sense to have one person on his Ed Transition team who knows something about school districts from the inside?

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Get to the Great Cover Up This Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM

One of Tucson's best charity events rocks the stages of Club Congress and the Rialto Theatre this weekend.

The Great Cover-Up features local bands taking on the identity of other bands for quick sets. The show always offers great performances and wonderful surprises—seeing Sergio Mendoza and friends knocking it out of the park with an Earth, Wind & Fire homage was a highlight a few years back—and it's for a good cause. This year, the event will raise money for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and the Southern Arizona Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance.

We'll have more in the dead-tree edition of this week's edition, but Friday night's show begins at 7 p.m. at Club Congress and Saturday's show starts at 7 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre. Get more details here.

Staff Pick

Center for Creative Photography

Performance: Contemporary Photography from the Douglas Nielsen Collection. Presenting more than 100 works from the private collection… More

@ Center for Creative Photography Aug. 9-Jan. 4 1030 N. Olive Road.

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Popular Content

  1. Giffords and Kelly: Congrats McSally, Now Get Working on Gun/Stalker Legislation (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Update: McSally Wins Recount, Barber gives statement (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Kade Mislinski Takes Over Saguaro Corners with Promises of a Donut Program (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. A Post In Which I Say Something Good About Diane Douglas (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Gov-Elect Doug Ducey's "No District Personnel Allowed" Education Transition Team (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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