Friday, January 23, 2015

Sneak Peek: "Zona Politics" Talks Civics Bill, State Budget, Downtown Homeless DreamPods

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Zona Politics Eps.15 from Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel on Vimeo.

On this week's Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel: Attorney Jeff Rogers and Civics Education Initiative Executive Director Sam Stone talk about the new test requiring high-school students to pass a civics test to graduate from high-school; Gov. Doug Ducey's proposed cuts to K-12 education, universities, health-care programs and more; the need to reform sentencing laws; the "Dream Pods" that homeless advocates are using in a downtown park; and more. Watch it online here or tune in Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. on KGUN-9 to see the broadcast show.

OSIRIS-REx Space Mission Gets a Super-Cool Mural

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 4:00 PM

The UA Lunar and Planetary Lab yesterday unveiled a new mural on the side of the Michael J. Drake Building, where the work of developing the the OSIRIS-REx space probe is underway. The spacecraft is designed to spend more than a year orbiting an asteroid before getting close enough to grab a sample and shoot it back to earth. (More on the amazing mission here.)

Daniel Stolte of the UA News Service explains how the mural came together:

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The UA Wants To Lay Some Science on You

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Life in the Universe
  • Life in the Universe

One of my favorite spring traditions, the UA College of Science Lecture Series, gets launched again on Monday, Jan. 26, on campus at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd.

This year's theme is life in the universe:

For its 10th anniversary, the University of Arizona College of Science's popular spring lecture series will present seven free lectures exploring various aspects of life in the universe.

The first lecture will be on Monday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall on the UA campus.

Life as we know it produces complex order. Earth's many life forms are diverse and continually changing through birth, growth and evolution. The series will investigate questions including: What is life? How do we recognize it?

To understand life in the universe, we ask: What environments produce life and which attributes make something alive? How does life change? Is there life in our solar system or on one of countless exoplanets? Is there a connection between life on Earth and life elsewhere — or are we alone?

This first lecture tackles the topics of "What Is Life?" with Guy J. Consolmagno, a planetary scientist with the Vatican Observatory Research Group. The details on his talk:

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Watch Brian Lopez's New "Static Noise" Video

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 2:00 PM

click image Eerie visuals lend to this delicate, haunting Brian Lopez song. - BRIAN LOPEZ / YOUTUBE
  • Brian Lopez / YouTube
  • Eerie visuals lend to this delicate, haunting Brian Lopez song.

Tucson's Brian Lopez released a new video this month for the title track off of his 2014 release "Static Noise," and, ladies and gentlemen, it's a real thinker.

In Tucson Weekly's 2014 feature of Lopez, he said this of the song:
"That song actually is about a man's love for his broken television." Lopez explained. "A very lonely man, obviously. He's singing to his television, that just plays the static noise. That was just me on piano, a live take. I wanted to hear my fingers pressing the keys. I wanted it to be just like you are in the room with me."
According to music critic Linda Ray, "the music invokes a mid-century movie scene with a white piano, a women dancing in bias-cut satin and, in the air, the fragrance of gardenias." However, it seems Lopez and director Nadine Roselle went the complete opposite path with his aesthetic for the video, instead relying on a more macabre, bare, and solitary style, as well as some familiar imagery.

You can catch Brian Lopez live, along with Carlos Arzate & The Kind Souls, at Monterey Court on Friday, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. You can buy tickets at the door the day of the show for $15 or online, in advance, for $10 via Brown Paper Tickets

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Munchies Getting in the Way of Your New Year's Resolution to Lose Weight? Munchies-Free Pot May Become a Reality

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Skinnygirl ganja coming soon. - SKINNYGIRL COCKTAILS
  • Skinnygirl Cocktails
  • Skinnygirl ganja coming soon.

Former Real Housewives of New York cast member Bethenny Frankel (don't lie to yourself. You know exactly who I'm talking about, because you, too, watch the Housewives and then feel like shit about it) wants to create munchies-free cannabis as part of her Skinnygirl brand.

Her Skinnygirl cocktails, which include moscato wine, margaritas of various flavors, cosmos, flavored vodkas and more, are already doing pretty well, multi-million dollars type of well, because they are tasty and don't have many calories.

According to several sources, including the most reliable TMZ, Frankel is working to create a strain of pot that doesn't make you want to eat all that's in front of you after smoking it. She'll find a great market in Oregon, Washington state, Colorado and Alaska...and in the next few years, many more states that want to legalize weed, possibly Arizona!

Pot-smoking friends, would you try it?

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Go to La Cocina on Thursday Night and Get the Taco Special

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Chimichurri and grilled tofu taco from La Cocina's grill. - HEATHER HOCH
  • Heather Hoch
  • Chimichurri and grilled tofu taco from La Cocina's grill.

Thursday night at La Cocina means Funporium will bring under-the-radar local acts to the stage for your listening pleasure. Last night's show featured Otherly Love, who, despite not playing in a while, really killed it with a high-energy set, as well as az77 and RJM, featuring members of Prom Body.

However, a great free show is only one reason to head to Funporium nights at La Cocina. If you're not a music junkie, consider the taco special. The weekly changing offering dreamt up by Kyle Araishi who mans the grill is something inventive and totally delicious.

Taking some liberties with fusion, you'll find that chimichurri tacos, kimchi tacos, and more are well worth the $3 price tag. Plus, they pair rather well with the varied list of local, seasonal brews on tap at La Cocina. You can try the taco specials for yourself by heading to La Cocina Thursday nights from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.

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Tucson Unified Has to Re-Draft Its Desegregation Plans for Magnet Schools

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM

A U.S. Federal District Court has rejected Tucson Unified School District's Comprehensive Magnet Plan as approved by the TUSD board July 2014, saying the CMP isn't a comprehensive enough plan as required by the Unitary Status Plan—which is part of the districts's 30-plus-year-old desegregation efforts.
That plan has been at the center of the legal battle Roy and Josie Fisher and Maria Mendoza v. TUSD, in which the plaintiffs disagree with how the district has been handling these desegregation moves.

The purpose of the magnet plan is to "ensure that all magnet schools are making progress towards achieving the Unitary Status Plan definition of an integrated school, and to enhance the educational quality of its magnet schools and programs."

These goals are listed on TUSD's website:
1. Ensure that all magnet schools and programs show measurable progress toward achieving the
definition of an integrated school as set forth in the USP [USP Section (II)(B)(2)].
GOAL: TUSD magnet schools will achieve the definition of integration to the extent possible as set forth in
the USP through an admissions process.
2. Recruit and retain a racially and ethnically diverse student body in TUSD magnet schools and
programs [USP Section (II)(E)(2)].
GOAL: By implementing the Marketing, Outreach and Recruitment Plan, the District will track the number
of students entering magnet programs at the lowest entry grade in order determine if the plan is
attracting a racially and ethnically diverse student body.     7
3. Enhance the educational quality and social capitol of TUSD magnet schools and programs.
GOAL: By implementing rigorous programs and quality instruction, students attending a magnet school will
score higher than the district average for that grade configuration (K-5, K-8, 6-8, 9-12).
GOAL: For each year, magnet students participation in Advanced Learning Experiences will increase.
GOAL: The achievement gaps between racial groups participating in magnet programs will be less than the
achievement gaps between racial groups not participating in magnet programs. 
For background:
Starting in the mid-1980s, TUSD magnet programs were used as a mechanism to attract non-neighborhood, non-minority students to Westside schools, and to provide equal educational opportunities to minority neighborhood students attending Westside schools. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, magnet programs were added which included more centralized and traditionally desegregated schools. Beginning in 2000, TUSD developed some magnet programs that were successful in improving the racial/ethnic balances in some schools’ student populations. Although these magnets were less successful at attracting a diverse population, were successful at providing specialized educational opportunities for their concentrated minority populations. From the early 1980s through 2011, the demographics of TUSD changed. Through a Magnet Schools Assistance Grant two new magnets were created and one revise in 2010.
The plan pretty much explains how these magnet schools, which include Tucson Magnet High School, Catalina High School and Utterback Magnet Middle School, will move toward integration. These methods are what the court is saying are not clear.

TUSD now has four months to file a revised CMP. The district also needs to submit "improvement plans" on all magnet schools in the next three months. They will be working with a court-assigned referee or special master.

From what I have been hearing, the board isn't scandalized about this and is more than willing to move toward a plan that everyone is happy with.

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You Have One Day to Watch Transparent for Free

Posted By on Fri, Jan 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Jeffery Tambor as Maura in 'Transparent'
  • Jeffery Tambor as Maura in 'Transparent'
Good news for everyone interested in the Amazon original series 'Transparent,' but not interested in shelling out $99 a year for Amazon Prime: The series will be free to view on Saturday—just Saturday.

The first (and so far only) season of series consists of 10 half an hour episodes, so it's more than possible to binge watch the whole thing for free. However, if you don't finish in the allotted 24 hours, or if you're just too excited for season 2 (which won't start filming until May), there's more good news. The price of a Prime membership will also be discounted on Saturday to $72, as nod to the 72nd annual Golden Globes, where the series won Best TV series and star Jeffery Tambor won Best Actor in a TV series.

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Staff Pick

Lamplight Reading Series

This decades-old series features readings by well-known Tucson writers and an open mic for poets, performance artists… More

@ Casa Libre en la Solana First Sunday of every month and First Sunday of every month. Continues through July 7 228 N. Fourth Ave.

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