Monday, September 15, 2014

What Happened at the Peter Piper Pizza?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM

A Facebook video posted by Daniel Thews on Saturday, Sept. 13 (since removed or with changed privacy settings) has been shared more than 850 times from Thews's open page, most likely because it allegedly shows two Tucson Police Department officers tackle and cuff two autistic boys or young men to the ground in the Peter Piper Pizza parking lot off Broadway Boulevard across the street from Park Place Mall.

We called Sgt. Chris Widmer, TPD public information officer, who told us he and others in his department had just seen the video and had no comment until they understood the context of what was taking place. We've filed a public records request, and Widmer said he's get back to us when they had additional information on exactly what took place.

While in the autism community, it is understood that TPD officers have taken a training on how to work with autistic children—many kids on the spectrum, high or low, have difficulty in public and sometimes run off. Having a police force that knows how to work with kids on the spectrum has always been a concern to parents and caretakers of autistic children to make sure their safety is understood and cared for.

We're waiting to hear back from Thews to better understand what he saw and why he was compelled to videotape what took place. But here's what he said on his thread:


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Party People of the U of A, You've Stepped Up Your Game and We Appreciate That

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Last year, we lamented the fact that the University of Arizona has generally failed to make the various lists of "best party schools", generally at the expense of Girls Gone Wild University and Casino in Tempe, but HELL YEAH TUCSON LET'S DRINK DIRECTLY FROM A HANDLE OF SOCO BECAUSE WE'RE BACK:

School of the wet and wild

Zona students are experts in that wonderful combination of hydration, inebriation and sartorial minimalism otherwise known as the pool party. The king of them all is the annual Sigma Alpha Epsilon Jungle Party, which features a 65,000-gallon pool, a faux waterfall and a massive tree house. But you need not go Greek to go hard: Tucson’s Fourth Street bar scene teems with partying Wildcats whose hangovers can be mitigated with some of the best Mexican food in the country.

Thanks to the most certainly dedicated party analysts of Playboy for putting the U of A back on the party map (even if they confused Fourth AVENUE for Fourth STREET), knocking off GGWU&C off the top ten in the process. Surely, there are pages of analytical research that went into this monumental accomplishment for our hometown outpost of higher learning (I believe sales of Four Loko, Instagram photos of girl-on-girl kissing, and cases of syphilis are involved), but it's also possible they just made a list up while high one afternoon.

Either way, congrats to the "students" of the University of Arizona. NEVER SETTLE.

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The Power of Social Media Is Giving Us a Soda Back We Didn't Want

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 4:00 PM

While social media campaigns didn't capture Kony or bring back the girls of the Chibok boarding school, at least Facebook Nation can claim one victory, convincing a giant corporation to sell a soda you probably forgot about in a very limited manner:

Coca-Cola Co. newest social-media campaign reaches back to a time when even MySpace didn’t exist.

Surge, a citrus-flavored Mountain Dew knockoff that was discontinued by Coke about 12 years ago, has reappeared in limited supply today. The only place to get it:

Billed as the company’s first ever e-commerce reintroduction, the news was announced by the Facebook Fan site “Surge Movement,” whose 128,000 members lobbied for its return and paid for a billboard in Atlanta. Coke gave the drink a Twitter account, too, so loyalists can “follow the brand’s journey.”

“Surge is back,” the Facebook page’s organizers said, urging readers to buy and spread the word. “The Movement does not end here!”

If you're interested, Amazon is selling 12 16-ounce cans for $14, but it appears they're out already, which makes me worry about humanity a bit.

Personally, I'd be far more excited to get my hands on some OK Soda, which reflected the ironic ennui of my 90's experience more than the aggro Dew-like aesthetic of Surge, but hey, I might be a Facebook group and 127,999 like-minded nostalgists away from making my retro-dreams come true.

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Phoenix's Strip Mall Signs Are Going to Ruin Our Dark Skies

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM

P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF
  • P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF

The Arizona Republic ran a frightening article over the weekend about light pollution and the greater Phoenix area. The basic premise? In ten years, there will only be a few places in America where you will be able to see the Milky Way in the night sky and Tucson won't be one of them:

That's why Tucson, among other Arizona cities, implemented dark-skies-friendly lighting codes decades ago. Tucson hasn't gotten brighter in 30 years even though the population has increased 59 percent since 1980, said Katy Garmany, an associate scientist at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory outside Tucson, which just completed a study of Tucson's skyglow.

But scientists at the National Observatory on Kitt Peak estimate that if the Valley continues to brighten, they've got about 10 years left, said Garmany.

Then astronomers will have to travel to Hawaii or Chile to do certain research, such as trying to spot planets outside our solar system.

"It keeps getting brighter and brighter," Garmany said. "It's just really hard to do the cutting-edge stuff, and you have to go ... where it's darker. (Scientists) have ways of eliminating extra scattered light in the sky, but there's only so much they can do."

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McSally Ad Demonstrates the Challenge of Fewer vs. Less

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 12:30 PM

I don't generally like to get into grammar wars - after all, in this business, there's generally someone willing to send me an email every time I commit a sin against the English language and I'll probably still screw something up in this post - but gosh, it feels like someone should have caught the fewer/less error in one of the hundred or so (seemingly) Martha McSally ads running right now.

In the ad titled "Time" (above), the narrator kicks into a general list of complaints Southern Arizonans might have with Congress...a lack of border security, sad senior citizens and this:


Certainly, the argument should probably be about the veracity of McSally's claims (and next week's cover story by Jim Nintzel does a great job of looking into McSally's plans to fix Washington and America), but every time I've seen and heard the ad, I block out everything following the error, which might as well be a cymbal crash adjacent to my ear.

As mistakes go, this is a common one, mostly because the meanings of the words are the same, but their usage is different. From the New York Times' After Deadline blog:

The basic rule for precise use of “less” and “fewer” is simple (though we slip often). Use “fewer” with countable, individual things, and “less” with uncountable amounts, volumes, etc. So: “I should drink less coffee,” but “I should eat fewer doughnuts.”

But it’s not as simple as plural (fewer) vs. singular (less). Sometimes “less” is correct even with a plural noun. The Times’s stylebook says this:

Also use less with a number that describes a quantity considered as a single bulk amount: The police recovered less than $1,500; It happened less than five years ago; The recipe calls for less than two cups of sugar.

So, yes, "less" can be correct with a plural noun, but since the number of jobs lost (sigh) can be counted and isn't a singular, bulk item, fewer should be correct.

These things happen, but how did this ad slip past the dozens of people who must have watched this ad before it was sent off to seemingly every network and cable channel? Didn't someone say "Wait, 'less jobs' just doesn't sound quite right...maybe we should check into that"?

Again, I realize this opens me up to a distinct amount of criticism regarding my own use of words, but hey, if you're spending a ton of money to run ads, it might be wise to double-check the language used on them.

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Want to See William Shatner as a Defrocked Priest Fighting a Demonic Force on a Plane?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

This week's Mondo Mondays selection at the Loft, the 1973 CBS TV Movie of the Week The Horror at 37,000 Feet, is an interesting choice. Not just because it stars William Shatner, Buddy Ebsen, the Professor from Gilligan's Island and the guy who played the Rifleman, but because it's a film about a druid artifact that possesses people's minds while on a London to Los Angeles flight. What more could you ask for?

The Horror at 37,000 Feet shows one time only (shocking, I know) at the Loft Cinema tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $3. More info at the Loft's website.

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High Stakes Testing And The Atlanta Cheating Scandal

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Atlanta's schools were held up as a example for the nation, showing how to turn students from low income families into high achievers. Just look at those test scores! Until . . .

Here's a segment from this month's "Education: The Rest of the Story" where I try to put a human face on the Atlanta test cheating scandal.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Fourth Avenue Deli Raising Money for Friend in Need Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 6:30 PM

The Mensch from Fourth Avenue Deli
  • The Mensch from Fourth Avenue Deli

If you're down by Fourth Avenue on Saturday (and if you're going to the football game, you'll be close enough), stop by the Fourth Avenue Deli and grab a sandwich. A friend of the restaurant, Justin Hughes, is battling cancer, so the deli is donating 10% of sales to help the guy out.

As the Deli's Facebook post about the event says: "If you met him, you would like him, guaranteed!" That plus a delicious sandwich sounds likes a solid deal.

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Staff Pick

Fashion Show La Musique

A runway show featuring styles inspired by some of the most influential, musical genres. It is a… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Fri., Sept. 19, 7:30-11 p.m. 17 W. Congress St.

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  1. Party People of the U of A, You've Stepped Up Your Game and We Appreciate That (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. What Happened at the Peter Piper Pizza? (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Phoenix's Strip Mall Signs Are Going to Ruin Our Dark Skies (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. McSally Ad Demonstrates the Challenge of Fewer vs. Less (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. ACLU: "Widespread Problems" With Health Care Inside Arizona Prison (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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