Friday, February 24, 2017

What To Do If ICE Comes To Your Door

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 5:10 PM

  • Images courtesy of
The threat is all too real for many people around the country, especially in areas like Tucson: someone coming to their door asking about their immigration status. The group United We Dream has put together a simple flier telling people what to do in case they find themselves in that situation. You can download the flier in English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Korean.

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Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr Tackles Primal Scream and 'I Can Change'

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 4:09 PM

"Yes, he's a rock star—a dime a dozen, right? 'Cept they ain't a dime a dozen, some got talent ..." - JOEFIASCO
  • Joefiasco
  • "Yes, he's a rock star—a dime a dozen, right? 'Cept they ain't a dime a dozen, some got talent ..."
Writing about Primal Scream is a chore. For one thing, they're a Glasgow band who've done pretty much anything and everything to make their reputation, one that's schizoid to say the least.

After leaving The Jesus and Mary Chain to make Scream a full-throttle effort, Bobby Gillespie and band began a series of post-punk stab's at mid-'80's stardom, hitting on a loud, Stones-Stooges kind of thing.  

Frontman Gillespie has real swagger, practiced or not. Yes, he's a rock star—a dime a dozen, right? 'Cept they ain't a dime a dozen, some got talent, a voice, somethin' to say.

Back to the buildup ... the band sure had a few weird producers who got inside people's heads. The album Screamadelica came out in '91, had big club hits, '60s Peter Fonda nods, etc. It bent lots of ears, I guess. Hell, I wasn't around, but yeah, I get it.

Could be there was vice involved. But a couple loud-ass records more than an almost perfect side; and Euro movie shorts with strange soul—not T.S.O.P. —and it swings backwards like Vanishing Point, damn good stuff.
Bobby Gillespie: "He's still here, man."
  • Bobby Gillespie: "He's still here, man."

Now 11 records on in 2016, Primal's The Chaosmosis is a big release in the hour of the locust, yet ... the album cover is that slightly off Gillespie thing, he's still here man. It shows slender bars of I.B.M. colors, the title, and Gillespie in a what appears to be a coon-skinned cap, Daniel Boone shit—er, Fess Parker Jr. actually—the actor who sold me Boone every week in the late '60's. He ain't around for this but I push my scratched glasses up and I swear it's him.

The three-minute "I Can Change" falsetto, on key, with Casio's on chorus, 4/4 groove, nice sound, Euro rock star. This record as a whole, spotty, but it's hard to deny the love. 'Cause you'd be insane to do it otherwise.

My light shines on ... Ha!

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Laugh Like a Woman: Tucson Women’s Comedy Festival

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 4:30 PM


Getting the full disclosure out of the way: I’m a member of the Tucson Improv Movement company. I’m not performing in the TIM-hosted first Tucson Women’s Comedy Festival Feb. 23 through 25, but as a 72-year-old woman, I can attest to TIM’s commitment to diversity!

“Sometimes women … feel uncomfortable going into a situation that doesn't have diversity. They don't feel represented,” says TIM cast member and festival organizer Catherine Bartlett.

“I'm really excited about the diverse lineup we’ll have,” she says. “We’re doing high-end improv. We have an all-girl lineup of standup comedians. “We have storytellers and we are offering workshops.” There also will be an “allies” panel on Saturday, Feb. 25. Its purpose is to air issues that can make it difficult for women to thrive in the man’s world of comedy.

“I think the whole weekend will be exciting,” Bartlett says. “Tucson is just rife with really interesting, really talented, very fun ladies.” The event also has drawn guests from out of town. Torch Theater Company’s Mail Order Bride were the first all-woman improv team to form in Phoenix. “Those ladies have now weathered 10 years of each other’s lives doing improv together,” Bartlett says.

Another visiting improv team is Animàl, Hispanic twins from LA. Both out-of-town teams are featured in Saturday night’s four-show lineup benefiting Project Period, an initiative of the YWCA of Southern Arizona. Project Period provides sanitary supplies to anyone who can’t afford them.

Performing Tucsonans include TIM’s all-female team, The Riveters, Unscrewed Theatre’s The Ex-Boyfriends (formerly Betch), FST storytellers and, styling themselves as the MISSfits, stand-up comedians Kristine Levine, Brigitte Thum, Mo Urban, Roxy Merrari, Amber Frame and, from Phoenix, Sari Beliak.

TWCF ticket holders will receive one door-prize ticket for each package of sanitary pads or tampons they bring to any Saturday show. Prizes are gift certificates from sponsors including Hotel Congress, Hydra, KXCI, Floor Polish, 5 Points Market, and several other women-run businesses.

Tucson Improv Movement is at 329 W. Seventh St. TWCF Shows are at 7:30 and 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23; 7:30, 9 and 10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24; and 6, 7:30, 9 and 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25. Each show is $5. Complete information and advance tickets are at Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

The Weekly List: 19 Things To Do In Tucson in the Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 3:44 PM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Rodeo: Apparently School Needs to be Cancelled for this

  • Jim Nintzel
Rodeo Break Kids Camp: Yeehaw! Calling all cowboys and cowgirls in Tucson who love riding horses and wearing big floppy hats. This is a camp for you! Lasso into camp by learning everyone's favorite modern western dance - the Cotton Eyed Joe. Campers will be able to play western-themed games and snacks will be provided too. Space is limited so if you are interested in signing up and getting out in that warm Tucson sun, you better hurry! Ages 3-5 years who are potty trained to 12 years old. 8:30 p.m. Thursday- 3:30 p.m. Friday. Thursday, Feb. 23- Friday, Feb. 24. Heart and Soul Kids Activity Center, 8363 N. Oracle Rd. $5 Early drop off. 7:30 - 8:30 p.m./ $5 Late pick up 3:30 - 5:30 p.m./ 1 Day of camp: $65/ 2 Days: $120/ 10 percent discount on siblings.

92nd Annual Tucson Rodeo Parade: It’s that time of year again! Break out the cowboy boots and hats for our country’s largest non-motorized parade. Check out the rodeo royalty, decorated floats, performers, mariachis and marching bands. This year’s parade features approximately 2,500 people and 650 horses. The parade is free and begins at 9 a.m. but be sure to arrive early to grab a spot along the 2.5 mile route. If you want a guaranteed view of the parade, grandstand seating is available for purchase. It includes pre-parade entertainment from the Pinnacle Peak Pistoleros, Sons of Orpheus Men’s Chorus and Mariachi Aztlan de Pueblo High School. Grandstands open at 7 a.m. and the entertainment starts at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. Parade is free. Grandstand seating is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

2nd Annual Buffalo Bill Cody Days: Bring the whole family to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of this Old West legend. The weekend will be filled with presentations, entertainment, movies, book talks and a treasure hunt for children. You might even strike it rich after entering the free jewelry drawing for silver and gold mined from right here in the Santa Catalina Mountains. 1 - 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.- Sunday, Feb. 26. Oracle Inn Steakhouse, 305 E. American, Oracle, AZ. Free.


Bride to Bride Flea Market: So, you're getting married. Congratulations! A lot of men and women have a vision of their picture-perfect wedding day. But those table settings, chalk boards and decorations price tags can really add up. Enter the Bride to Bride Flea Market, an Omaha-based group on a mission to help women ditch their unwanted wedding left overs and help brides deck out their upcoming celebrations for a fraction of the cost. Have some wedding swag you don't need any more? Message the group's Facebook page and see if you can offer up some matrimonial goodies and help make another bride-to-be's wedding more special. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $5.

Black Lives Matter: Rebels, Radicals and Revolutionaries: Celebrate Black History Month and revel in stories of past rebellion and resistance. Local artists Lando Chill and M.C. Salvador will be entertaining with live music as well. 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. La Cocina Restaurant and Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave. $5- $10 donation at the door.

Willcox Wine Country Tour
: Grapes, alcohol and the vineyard
It's time to wine. - JUANPEDRAZA/ FLICKR
  • juanpedraza/ Flickr
  • It's time to wine.
 – doesn't get better than that. Grab your best pals and head out to the farm side of the desert to a fun day of wine tasting. Discover the many wines and types of grapes there are that you might not have even heard of. So join Sonoran Tasting Tours and visit the many tasting rooms in downtown Willcox. The tour will include transportation, glasses, tasting fees and a lunch with snacks! This is the perfect event to get away for the weekend and spend it with great friends and for those of you who think Las Vegas is overrated for turning 21, check this out as a fun alternative! 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Sonoran Tasting Tours, Casas Adobes. $99 per person.

AIDS/LifeCycle DJ Dance Cardio Fundraiser
: Join BreakOut Studios in a DJ Dance Cardio fundraiser for a chance to get up and move while also giving back for a good cause. Todd Wilson will be teaching volunteers some fun dance moves and donations will be accepted to help four riders reach their goal and cycle in California this upcoming June. AIDS/LifeCycle is a 7-day bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Each year, people come together for this life changing experience and the best part is that you don't need to be on the same fitness level as most cyclists are. Here's your chance to do an act of heroism, go sight-seeing and stay fit! 5 - 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26. BreakOut Studios, 4340 N. Campbell Ave. Bring money for donations.
  • Tucson Improv Movement


Tucson Women's Comedy Festival Improv Movement for storytelling, improv comedy and standup comedy featuring some Tucson's funniest gals. If you are interested in laughing until you cry, tickets are available at 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. Tucson Improv Movement, 329 E. 7th St. $5.

Oscar Nominated Animated Short Films 2017
: For all you movie nerds and Oscar junkies, this is an event for you. As we all know the 89th Annual Academy Awards is around the corner and by preparing to see your favorite films win awards, you can visit The Loft to watch nominated short films before the big event. The best part is you can eat Girl Scout cookies and drink beer, what a combo! Bring a pen and paper so you can predict winners for the awards while also a chance to win free passes to The Loft. Don't forget to vote for your favorite nominees such as La La Land or Manchester by the Sea! 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. General Admission: $10/ Loft Members: $8.

Marvel Trivia Night: Calling all comic book nerds and superhero film fans – have you REALLY memorized every detail about Spider-Man and the Avengers? Form a team and put your knowledge to the test in this Marvel Cinematic Universe trivia competition. The night will celebrate the DVD and Blu-Ray release of Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The top three teams will win a prize. Also enjoy a draught beer or Sonoran hotdog from the You Sly Dog food truck.
7 - 10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28. Casa Video Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd. Free. Food and beer available for purchase.
click image CASA FILM BAR
  • Casa Film Bar

Arts and Culture

  • New Ground Events
The Healing Power of Music: Ever wonder what all the fuss is about over the health advantages of listening to music? Find out at this three-day event featuring the Grammy-nominated R. Carlos Nakai Quartet, Gabriel Ayala Quintet, Tiamo De Vettori and over 30 other performers. Come listen to Dr. Melinda Connor explain how music affects the brain and body, and former NASA consultant Mark Romero describe how songs reduce stress, improve physical energy and provide other health benefits. Fri. 7-9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m. -9:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. - Sunday, Feb. 26. Edward B. Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. $25-$150.

Frida al Fresco Friday: If you really like plants, art and poetry, you will love the Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life exhibit that Tucson is having the honor of hosting all the way from New York's botanical gardens. The exhibit is a recreation of the gardens that Kahlo maintained in her home in Mexico City called La Casa Azul. The tour will take you on a representation of the Mexican culture that would have been a part of Frida Kahlo’s surroundings in Central Mexico. There will be a puppet theater for children and at night, a farmers market will be present with food, drinks, live music, look-alike contests, flower crowns and much more, creating an exciting cultural celebration every month. Reservations not required. Tickets available at the door. 5-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Bring money for tickets, food and drinks.

Country Roads- A John Denver Tribute
: Tribute artist Ted Vigil takes the stage to perform some of John Denver’s most popular songs. Vigil is a recipient of the Rising Legend Award by the National Traditional Country Music Association. If you love Denver’s music, you simply cannot miss this event! Purchase tickets online. 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. The Gaslight Music Hall, 13005 N. Oracle Road. Adults: $25, Children: $13, Student/Senior/Military discounts available.

click image RINCON MARKET
  • Rincon Market
Paint Night at Rincon Market: Ever thought you are the next Picasso? Well show off your skills at the next paint night event and bring all your friends! As Bob Ross would say, “all you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind.” On the last Monday of every month, you and a bunch of your closest friends can sit around and learn how to paint the same picture. The instructor will provide all the painting tools so all you need to bring is money for booze! The class will be held Monday, February 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Price is $35 a person and includes a glass of wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. Call (520) 327-6653 to R.S.V.P.


Priests: All hail Washington D.C.’s Priests for being one of the few bands unafraid now to take asshole-ian behavior to task—to write stinging protest songs—and not go on bended knee for corporate choad. (Listen to “Pink White House.” It’s 2017’s first great anti-“cash-grab” anthem, complete with a challenging sense of asexual sexuality). Their melody-driven slams—bursting with tortured surf and art-damaged skronk—have caught fire with legions of kids across this on-fire nation, and it’s no wonder. Priests are blessed with one of those punk-rock X-factors, a preternatural allure that makes you want to know more, hear more, see more, and singer Katie Alice Greer commands like she slipped from the womb already a frontwoman. Together since 2011, this multi-gender quintet, whose album collections must be stocked with old Banshees, X-Ray Spex and Sleater-Kinney, already deserve to be uttered in the same hot breath of D.C. legends like Bikini Kill, Fugazi, and the Dismemberment Plan. With Olivia Neutron-John on Friday, Feb. 24 at 191 Toole. $12-13. 8 p.m. All ages.

New Years Day: This band on first sight is just so Warped Tour—they’re white and pretty, they formed in Anaheim, and their songs are crammed with stadium riffs, tommy-gun kick-drum fills, goth tones, and soaring choruses that hit just on this side of pop. They sport dyed manes that fall over faces at angles, wear big shoes and have slender hips. You’d see them when the sun was still out, not headlining, but not at 1 p.m. either. What makes them great, and why they do good tour and song business, is singer Ash Costello, who founded the band back in ’05. She’s a peculiar mix of pouty suburban strip-bar sexuality and best-friend next door. It’s a heady blend, and she’s smart, backs up the sass and innocence with true songcraft and a voice that offers a real range of emotions, from tender to hard ass. This isn’t some one-note Warped band. They should be bigger. With Attila and Before I Die, Bad Omens, Cane Hill on Saturday, Feb. 26 at The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress. $19-$28. 7 p.m. All ages.

Mobina Galore: Not since The Distillers and The Muffs have we heard a punk-rock singer who actually had us worried about the condition of her vocal cords. But man can this Mobina Galore singer/guitarist Jenna shout with the gutsy aplomb of any punk screamo we’ve ever heard, male or female. What’s more, her singing ain’t in vain, and it ain’t a pose. The voice befits the songs, which rise and fall on glorious crunch-pop riffs and kickass sloganeering choruses. More impressive: this all-female Canadian combo is, shockingly, a duo, and they rock harder, with bigger hooks and more balls, than pretty much any all-teste combo out there. Their latest LP, Feeling Disconnected (New Damage Records), is out this week. See them with Against Me! on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress. $20-$22. 7 p.m. All ages.

Nano: Be forewarned that the ambient, sort of languid shoegaze and electronic pop and blips created by Lano can lull you into a kind of pseudo-opiatic trance, even if you have narcotics in your system. See, Lano’s songs—as heard on her home-recorded (and aptly titled) 2016 album Subtle—give gentle goosebumps while sweetly upholding the kind of voice you’d want whispering to you late at night when you’ve either ingested too much molly or are pretty close to 5k on the sheep-count meter. She’s the flipside to amped up. It’s graceful, full of beauty. See her in the flesh at The Flycatcher, 340 E. 6th St., on Monday, Feb. 27, with Herbert Walker, The Gayboys, and Miss Abysmal. 9 p.m. 21+. Free.

The Staves: The Staves do everything right. For starters, this trio worked with godhead father-son producers Ethan and Glyn Johns (who collectively produced the best bands on earth), toured with Bon Iver and even backed Tom Jones (Tom Jones, yup). And they pull from a long tradition of British and Yankee folk, from Fairport Convention to Judee Sill to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, while their effortless roundelay harmonies recall Simon & Garfunkel, and they’ve learned lessons from the Paul Simon book of songcraft. More, their show-stopping cover of The Boss’s “I’m On Fire” is worth the price of admission, any admission. These three women are that good, and their songwriting—aching confessionals by not-yet-world-weary twentysomethings—uphold plenty of tender mercies. More than one-million monthly spins (and rising) on Spotify can’t be wrong. With honey-voiced indie darling Mikaela Davis on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 7 p.m. $15. All ages.

Jonny Rosch and Friends Featuring Steve Cropper: American R&B and rock ’n’ roll would’ve sounded a lot different had these folks never existed. That’s not hyperbole. Dig it: Steve Cropper pretty defined the sound of the guitar of the American south by virtue of being a Stax house band (um, that would be Booker T. & the M.G’s, yo) and his appearances on the greatest sides in American music (Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and, well, pretty much anything Stax put out). His guitar skill overshadowed his songwriting brilliance (he co-wrote “In the Midnight Hour” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” for example) and role as producer (from John Prine to Harry Nilsson!). He of course played himself in the Blues Brothers movie, and John Lennon ripped him off. The others: Singer Jonny Rosch was a studious session cat and also a Blues Brother. Drummer Jimmy Fox founded The James Gang while Jeff Pevar backed Ray Charles, Crosby Stills & Nash and Rickie Lee Jones, and bassist Sue Williams played with Clapton, Sheryl Crow, and so on … This is a rare opportunity to see folks who created the din that upheld legends, but who are now mostly unsung legends themselves. On Friday, Feb. 24 at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. $25-$32. 7 p.m. 21+.

Political Theater: McSally Schedules Town Hall Just in Time To Scramble Critics

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 12:38 PM

It's a trap! - JESSE WEBSTER
  • Jesse Webster
  • It's a trap!
You have to hand it to Congresswoman Martha McSally: Faced with the possibility that she would look cowardly for refusing to hold an open-topic town hall, she figured out a way to outmaneuver local constituents who were hoping to tarnish her carefully polished image of a fighter who is standing up to Washington.

And so today, McSally will be having a town hall in Sahuarita and a group of her more critical constituents will be hosting their own “McSally Take a Stand” town hall in Tucson.

As the Weekly has reported earlier, pressure has been growing on McSally to do an open-topic town hall. McSally has steered away from such events, preferring to do town halls via conference call or appear at workplaces like IBM or Raytheon (where people who might challenge her would be inhibited by the presence of their bosses) or at senior centers.

McSally’s reluctance to do a traditional town hall is understandable, given the way that Tea Party activists used them during the Obama administration to challenge Democratic congressmen and the way that Democrats have flipped the script and are now using them to challenge Republican members of Congress as they prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act, eliminate insurance protections for citizens with pre-existing health conditions, allow coal-mine operators to dump waste into streams, deliver ginormous tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, create a new tax on imports (including those that keep the Southern Arizona economy churning), destroy Planned Parenthood, transform Medicare into a voucher system, round up as many undocumented immigrants as their private prisons can hold, undermine NATO and the European Union, and otherwise pursue the Trump-Ryan-McConnell agenda while they control the White House and Congress.

Various constituents have met with members of McSally’s staff, including District Director C.J. Karamargin (a former local newspaper reporter and communications director for Gabby Giffords when she held the seat that McSally now has), to request a town hall. Karamargin had the job of telling them that it either wasn’t going to happen or that something might be in the works.

But after a bunch of protestors showed up at McSally’s office to deliver petitions requesting a town hall, McSally herself quietly asked a handful of the leaders up to her office to discuss the idea of town hall. Accounts of the meeting vary, but several of those women who were in the meeting say that McSally shifted from sympathetic to condescending in her conversation with them. At the end of the meeting, McSally said she’d try to work with them to schedule some kind of town hall.
As a result, the women involved agreed to hold off on their plan to host the “McSally Take a Stand” town hall without McSally, where they would discuss various issues and try to suss out McSally’s stance on them—which can be challenging, given that McSally will often sidestep controversial details, such as what exactly the “replace” portion of the plan to repeal-and-replace Obamacare involves.

At the same time, McSally did a town hall via conference call and said that she wasn’t attending the McSally Take a Stand town hall because it amounted to “political theater” and a “political ambush.”

The organizers of the McSally Take a Stand town hall insist that they wanted a civil exchange and not a contentious event, as some town halls around the country have become.

Marion Chubon, the founder of McSally Take a Stand, says she was looking for a way “to engage with (McSally) in a meaningful way.”

Chubon said her group “truly is motivated by civil discourse and having her represent us. This wasn’t a trap.”

Chubon says she’s not a professional political activist; she’s a 49-year-old local mom who has a crafting business and her previous political activity consisted on walking her neighborhood on behalf of Gabby Giffords.

She decided to get more involved in politics after Trump’s election.

“Honestly, I can’t believe that anyone thinks what’s happening in Washington is OK,” Chubon says. “I understand there are political machinations at work but it is lunacy up there. She is a leader of our community and we need her to reassure us she’s taking care of us.”

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Tracking the Tricked: Police Join the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 9:55 AM

  • Mike Christy for Arizona Daily Star 2014

The Southern Arizona Anti-Trafficking Unified Response Network task force, known as SAATURN, received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to research, track and combat human trafficking in Tucson for three years. The grant and task force began in October 2015.

Tucson Police Department is one of three grantees for this task force, joining CODAC Health, Recovery and Wellness and the University of Arizona’s Southwest Institute for Research on Women.

Detective Jennifer Crawford has been investigating violent crime for nearly 17 years, and currently works in TPD's Street Crime Interdiction Unit—the unit responsible for studying human trafficking in Tucson.

Crawford said events like the Gem Show or large sporting events can draw more trafficking activity because the exploitative industry tends to "follow the money" and crowded events can attract an influx of trafficking of girls from other cities.

She said one of the main ways police keep tabs on trafficking is through online sites such as Backpage, where third-party contributors, such as escorts, can sell "dates."

The money from the grant allocated for TPD is spent on operational equipment as well as training and outreach programs, according to Crawford. The Street Crime Interdiction Unit is comprised of four detectives and two federal agents, and grant money will also be spent on funding the team's investigative hours should they have to work overtime.

"They help support us and we're able to do a lot more than we used to and also work at a federal level if we need to," Crawford said.

Crawford said trafficking tends to be a harder crime to prosecute than others. Reasons being victims can be hesitant to disclose information and it can be difficult to keep victims on track during an unfortunately tedious court process.

"I'd say we've definitely made a lot of strides and we've moved forward a lot in the last year since we've gotten our task force up and running and with our support service people as well," Crawford said.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

TUSD Suspense Continues

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 5:33 PM

Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, postponed for the second week in a row publicly discussing an agenda item which brings into question the Superintendent H.T. Sánchez's job. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, postponed for the second week in a row publicly discussing an agenda item which brings into question the Superintendent H.T. Sánchez's job.

The Duffy Community center was overflowing with concerned parents, public officials and community members, weighing in on the work of TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sánchez.  At the special TUSD Governing Board meeting Tuesday night, many spoke in support of and against the superintendent. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • The Duffy Community center was overflowing with concerned parents, public officials and community members, weighing in on the work of TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sánchez. At the special TUSD Governing Board meeting Tuesday night, many spoke in support of and against the superintendent.
The Tucson Unified School District Governing Board announced last night they were once again postponing the agenda item concerning Superintendent H.T. Sánchez’s job.

The Duffy Community Center was so packed that overflow crowds had to wait outside. For over three hours, the board and superintendent were in executive session. At about 7:45 p.m., Sánchez somberly took his seat with the board and was met by loud applause from the audience. But not everyone was clapping.

For an hour, community members spoke for and against Sánchez with either raised-voice rancor or grateful tears on topics such as superintendent turnover rates, student-enrollment numbers, Prop 301 spending, childhood bullying, dropout rates, race and unsuccessful desegregation measures.

Several people spoke in Spanish with an English translator, accounting times Sánchez had personally helped their children.

Cassandra Becerra, a mother of TUSD students, is one of Sánchez’s supporters. While waiting for the meeting to start, she told the Tucson Weekly she’s seen the superintendent in the schools and fighting for the good of the district.

“I strongly believe he’s here because he cares about this district,” she said, holding a sign with a red, white and blue drawing of Sánchez, copying the iconic “hope” poster representing Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

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Did the TUSD Board Come To Bury Sanchez Or To Praise Him? (Answer: C, None Of the Above)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 1:44 PM

At the second TUSD board meeting in as many weeks, the board punted on the topic of keeping or firing Superintendent Sanchez. Last week, on Feb. 14, the action item was removed from the board's agenda. On Tuesday, Feb. 21, it was the meeting's sole agenda item. After an executive session which ran hours longer than scheduled, the board members walked into the standing-room-only meeting room, listened to members of the audience speak out for and against Sanchez, then told the audience the item had been tabled. See y'all next week!

None of us regular folks know exactly why a vote on Sanchez's future was delayed. The decision was made in executive session, and the board members are supposed to keep those sessions confidential. So the next step is anyone's guess. Sanchez may yet be fired; he may be allowed to remain with conditions; or the board may simply vote against the call to get rid of him and be done with it. I have a feeling the board doesn't know much more about the outcome than the rest of us.

So, nothing happened. But I observed something and drew a conclusion which may or may not be accurate. What I observed was, there's not a whole lot of passionate community support for the "Fire Sanchez" movement. There are probably a significant number of people in the community who are dissatisfied with his performance as superintendent, people who wouldn't be unhappy to see him go, but if the meeting is any indication, the core group of Sanchez haters, the people with fire in their bellies, is reasonably small.

Full disclosure: I think Sanchez should stick around at least until his contract runs out in 2018, so that may color my subjective, anecdotal observations. I claim no scientific rigor here. That being said, I watched carefully, and this is what I observed. If I'm wrong, I'm sure others will let me know.

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Staff Pick

PCC performing arts musical In The Heights

A sensational Tony award-winning musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda about home, family, and finding where you belong. Carnaval… More

@ Pima Community College Center for the Arts Thu., Feb. 23, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Fri., Feb. 24, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 25, 2-4 & 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sun., Feb. 26, 2-4 p.m., Thu., March 2, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Fri., March 3, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat., March 4, 2-4 & 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sun., March 5, 2-4 p.m. 2202 W. Anklam Road.

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