I grew up in Morenci and for the first 10 or 11 years of my life were the years Dr. O'Leary was there. I loved that guy and was a sad little girl when they got rid of him. God Bless the O'Leary clan, amazing people!!!!
What a nice piece that so accurately describes the dichotomy of Tucson. One cannot get that sense of complexity and allure/repugnation without being distant. I spent 33 years in Tucson and then left for the Phoenix area and have not been back for more than a few nights at a time since 1996. Although I love the desert and the etherial beauty, it begs the question of what we call home and why.
There were lots of Mexicans in La Reforma before 1947 or 1948. I moved in there on 9-9-44. I knew Mercy and Ruth Ann Gonzales, Leslie and Cecelia Carrillo, Dickie Pacheco, Billy Franco, and more. My folks were finally able to get a house, into which we moved. on 1-1-50.
There were eight of us living in one with four small bedrooms.
Why don't you talk to others who lived there? We could give you information. I drove by there a couple of years before La Reforma was torn down, and the residents had already made a good start in doing that. The place was a shambles.
When I was there, all of the families had a great respect for the places that we lived in, and no-one damaged anything.
Quit giving us sob stories about the poor folks who lived there later. Lots of us there were just getting by. I am not impressed by the tales of woe.
He and my mother stood on the picket line together. He is truly a great man and a fantastic doctor.
I'm back and here to stay. I've seen the world from LA to Europe. You can have it. You'll find me on the "rock" on Gates Pass, gazing westward at the desert. I've had enough.
What a terrific piece of writing, Cord! I enjoyed reading every word, and loved the poetry in your prose. All of your insights, both pro and con, were spot-on about Tucson and big cities. I grew up in Hong Kong and San Francisco, lived in LA a while, and decided that Tucson is where I want live forevermore - it's so unpretentious a town, and the people and cultures are so accessible. It's not perfect but it's perfect for me - I even happily put up with the homophobic rednecks and the tail-gating.
Dirt clod wars! This was lovely - yes the smell of rain and the sensation of something wierdly oppressive in the culture -- but dirt clod wars alone would have been enough for me. And being remminded of how hard I cried, too, in the backseat of my parents' Galaxy 500 leaving Phoenix for college a million miles away in L.A. Nice work.
Tucson is neither uncultured or classless! It is without pretentiousness a place that is the gateway to the frontier of the Sonoran desert and the indomitable spirit of the covert rebel in all of us. It is the result of a collision of times, culture, social mores overtly blended without malice into one of the most richly adorned in the prosaic communities I have ever known.
Cord, Tucson started going down the crapper in the late '70's, but I still love the place. Still, the finest smell on earth is rain on the Sonoran desert.
Thank you, howthewestwaswon for providing this discussion some very much needed insight and the accuracy that modern research has now uncovered that myth has distorted. John Miller is likely our Billy the Kid. Our legal systems will likely ensure the legends and myths endure. There was a double murder the night of July 14, 1881 and Garrett shot and killed the wrong man and the body was buried as quickly as Garrett could manage it. The other person shot, our likely William Henry McCarty alias John Miller escaped that night. Pat Garrett and The Kid had been friends once, but Garrett was no longer invested in that friendship. Garrett had a cover-up to maintain, so much so that Garrett refused to collect the reward and rushed to have a ghostwriter re-write history in any effort to corrupt the law records. It was a screw up by Pat Garrett. John Miller survived.
PCC board members are unpaid positions. Volunteers. So they should volunteer to go. Unless of course they are pimping out their position for contacts, employment or graft elsewhere.
Are PCC Board Members Paid for their service? If so, how much?
Roger's 2 + 2 = 6 is a function of a TUSD degree.
Roger, a Pima student would complete their first 2 years at Pima and then their third and fourth year at the University for a 4-year degree. It is still 4 years. Not 6.
Some have their facts slightly distorted. The phrase 'academic probation' makes it sound as if the probation is due to academic issues when in fact it is due to governance issues. Second, not all teachers are without confidence; I can make this statement as I am an adjunct at the college. Their may be a culture of fear and retaliation intact somewhere but I have not personally experienced this, perhaps because I am on campus only part-time.
Some folk need to understand that if students do their general education classes at Pima it is very common to then transfer these credits to UA, NAU or ASU and still finish college in just 4 years. but truth be told, there are plenty of students who start a 4-year university without ever taking classes at Pima who still need more than 4 years to complete the degree. Five or 6 years to get a university degree is also not uncommon.
But you cannot get a 4-year degree from Pima.... Only UA, ASU, or NAU. So why go to Pima? That is a 2 year school only. Not a 4 year university. Seems like if you want a university degree you need to go to a university. It would seem to take much longer to start at Pima (2) years THEN to go to a 4 year school. That's 6 years total when someone could just go straight to the university and be done in four years. Hmmmmm?
The Board are idiots and thank god that Flores is gone.
"So, what about the local groups that blew the whistle on Pima, potentially damaging our economy? Are they politically motivated? Are they disgruntled former employees looking to pull one over on their old bosses? Or are they passionate members of the community, acting as watchdogs and standing up for what they believe to be right?"
While the above is in question, the facts remain;
1. The culture of fear and retaliation is intact. 2. The students, teachers, administration and public are still without confidence. 3. The academic probation continues. 4. The past retaliation remains unremediated. 5. The board remains in denial. 6. Better transparency, policy, and fresh board members are necessary to implement it from the top down.
-Whistleblower retaliation in Pima County remains without penalty.
Thank you for this article. PCC is an important asset to our community and the myriad residents who have benefited from the educational opportunities offered through its course offerings. There is a lot of love for Pima! And successfully getting off of probation is essential.
Addressing each of the issues responsible for PCC's probation directly and honestly is the way to ensure that probation is lifted.
The issue of admissions is one of many reasons for probation. The admissions change made by the four veteran PCC Governing Board members was not a "so-called" change. It was a real change that was judged to be an "improper" change of a mission of the college by the HLC. It is important that mission changes be done properly. The Board failed the community and hurt many who intended to enroll in for credit courses by ending open admissions.
Open admissions is the bedrock that Pima Community College was built on. "Meeting students where they are" by providing the appropriate courses, was a concept that allowed students to taste success and advance. It is interesting that there is some research that shows that students who first enrolled in developmental education courses were more likely to graduate than those who did not. Our community is full of productive residents who are contributing, taxpaying citizens because they had the opportunity to take developmental courses at PCC first, before taking transfer level courses at PCC. At the very least, "meeting students where they are" has been a cornerstone of PCC.
The Higher Learning Commission rightly faulted the PCC Board of Governors for "improperly"making such a radical change.
Today, in this era of gross income and wealth disparity, it is more important then ever that community colleges remain open to all seekers of higher education; and continue to meet them where they are and help them get to where they want to go.
Community colleges by nature are comprehensive: developmental, occupational and transfer. In order to remain vital, PCC must remain open and comprehensive.
As a PCC Alum., I'm horrified at how long this process has dragged on and how poorly local media, save the Weekly, have covered the lack of progress. My fervent wish is for all parties concerned to take immediate action to bring this suspension to a close. The time for personalities is long over, now it's about keeping a valuable asset viable for the entire community.
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