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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch

Re: “Streets of This Town: Easy Living.


I love your work and I have a suggestion; I think this streets of Tucson project would really benefit from crowd sourcing on instagram using a #streetsoftucson hashtag. I think it would open the doors for everyone, you included, to see parts and places of Tucson that are overlooked, undiscovered or hidden. What do you think?

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by HumanBean on 03/09/2017 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

Some dig up dirt on ALEC, Yarbrough, Zaner-Bloser, etc. and expose the "sloppy thinking" behind advocacy for handwriting in schools and the "self-interest" behind school voucher programs. On the other side of the aisle, we have bloggers in Tucson working the same vein Safier and his friends do, but with a different cast of characters. Here's an example of the kind of "research" one of them was doing during the run-up to the 2014 TUSD Board election:

I have no idea if there is any validity to it. One of its predictions, that Darland would beat Grijalva, certainly did not pan out. The author of the piece does not seem to have done public records requests that prove that there was any verifiable relationship between the former Board candidate and TUSD contracts, and in the absence of that it remains the same sort of flimsy BS Safier pulled out of his bag of tricks when he wrote, in the run-up to the 2016 Board election, about Jim and Kathy Campbell: pure speculation about a possible future financial benefit that MIGHT be motivating current political activities.

Some of the commenters on TW's articles about February's TUSD Board meetings had done a little bit of that sort of research, revealing that one person who spoke in support of Sanchez was on Congressman Grijalva's staff, others were affiliated with Kristel Foster's Board campaign, and others were the figureheads who in 2015 had come down to district headquarters to receive Sanchez's $10K PERSONAL (?!) donation to UHS. More of that research needs to be done and all of it -- Yarbrough, ALEC, Zaner-Bloser, solar energy consultants and contractors, Tucson Chamber reps, Grijalva staff members, people who receive PERSONAL donations in support of individual schools from the Superintendent of a public school district -- needs to be laid bare so that the electorate can make the right decisions when they vote. As Parent X wrote in another blog's comment stream: "I wish voters would dig in next time there is a school board election."

I wish that too, but I would add that the electorate needs to be digging on BOTH sides of the garden.

I sometimes wonder if, once it was ALL on the table open to public inspection, the belief could survive that when it comes to promoting policies, framing legislation, and seeking public office, there is any honest, true motivation to serve the public or students in our schools. If our belief in good motivations did survive, perhaps what we would see once everything was on the table is that is resides most often in policy sponsors and candidates who have relatively modest financial backing and few establishment connections and who never manage to get their policies implemented or themselves into public office.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by "Dig" on both sides of the garden. on 03/09/2017 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Removing TUSD Superintendent Prioritized Over Finding Replacement

Soirry but your attempt to incriminate is disappointing. I don't even know who you are talking about, but you seem to have adopted the popular "blame America first" campaign.

Does any of this ring a bell?

E pluribus unum (/i plurbs unm/; Latin: [e plurbs un])Latin for "Out of many, one" (alternatively translated as "One out of many" or "One from many") is a 13-letter traditional motto of the United States of America, appearing on the Great Seal along with Annuit cptis...wikipedia

It isn't "out of one, many."

If we can not control the theft of deseg funding...then thieves are running our schools. I won't look the other way like so many are willing to do.

1 like, 28 dislikes
Posted by Debbi L on 03/09/2017 at 9:17 AM

Re: “Tucson Weekly Folks at Tucson Festival of Books

Thanks TW.

All sorts of glitches that I attempted to fix, yet your program didn't let me.

I really tried to fix ""...

The TW system just didn't let me.

Shoulda been "just doesn't get it...and never will."

Serious BS.

8 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC! on 03/09/2017 at 8:20 AM

Re: “Removing TUSD Superintendent Prioritized Over Finding Replacement

Might Debbi L be the illustrious Ms. Lesko, who keeps trying to cancel desegregation funding? (…)

Way to honor the history of the state: after all, Arizona was originally on the side of the Confederates, so desegregation was never part of the plan. But desegregation of our schools is a federal mandate--which even Ms. Lesko doesn't get to legislate at the state level. And research shows that, for whatever reason, desegregated schools are a benefit to ALL students who attend them. While the days of "why do I have to sit next to a kid of a different color to do well?" may come back as a part of "making America Great Again" (read: WHITE Again), currently Plessy was thrown out as racist, and desegregation was brought in as an attempt to improve the lot of students of color. Seems like the govt. and politicians know full well how to take care of white kids, but they need direction to actually take care of the needs of other kids. Those who call for canceling the funds because they are so poorly managed should put their energy into making sure their use is audited and reported on on a regular basis, instead of canceling them and cementing our institutional and historical racism into place.

20 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 03/09/2017 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Tucson Weekly Folks at Tucson Festival of Books

Jacob Bricca:

You don't understand Wrong, Again.

Anything he disagrees with, because of his indoctrinated upbringing, is definitely him and him only.

His snowflake ass just doesn't and never will.

22 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC! on 03/09/2017 at 8:05 AM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

What the financial interests are behind any proposed policy, piece of legislation, governance decision, or statement in support of a public administrator should always be revealed in discussions of the pros and cons of what is being proposed or supported.

Any comments, Parent X, on the financial interests and loyalties behind recent commentary in the Calls to the Audience at February's TUSD Board meetings? Or are you one of those who always outs ALEC-affiliated interests, and never interests on the other side of the aisle? Or perhaps you are too busy paying attention to what's going on in Phoenix and Alabama to bother yourself with noticing local interests and local misdeeds... or, then again, perhaps you are silent about them because you benefit from them. If the local interests and motivations are not revealed together with the state level and national level interests, there's no telling which commenters might in reality be part of the problem on the local level they give the impression they are trying to solve on the state and national level.

18 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Apply standards uniformly, please. on 03/09/2017 at 8:03 AM

Re: “Tucson Weekly Folks at Tucson Festival of Books

Why is a panel on "Race in America" something just for liberals? Shouldn't we all be concerned about race issues in America? This is where those of us who think things like justice are important get itchy. Any discussion of inequality is somehow branded as "liberal."

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Jacob Bricca on 03/09/2017 at 6:49 AM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

True story:
The cursive articles referred to here are press releases directly linked to legislation, known in some states as the "Back to Basics Bill." The cursive bill was created by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and it was handed to many of your AZ state legislators when they attended one of ALEC's posh annual 'education' meetings. The bill is literally ready-made - no constituent input needed! - and can be introduced with just a few changes to the heading (ALEC heading to NC, OH, AZ, etc. ).

WHY a cursive bill? That's the important question here. The press selling points are the exact same in every state where I've seen this come up ("Kids can't read the Declaration of Independence" is the #1 talking point, by the way). Again, it's not an organic movement - a national legislative group is driving the conversation and providing press materials.

The why in this story has nothing to do with founding documents or 'values': Back when this bill first made the rounds (2014), it was revealed that Zaner-Bloser pushed for the legislation to be included in the ALEC package. Who is Zaner-Bloser? The company that produces cursive handwriting workbooks...and, not coincidently, the same company who is benefiting from new, mandatory workbook sales to teach cursive in states like Alabama, etc. who pass the cursive law.

31 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Parent X on 03/09/2017 at 6:41 AM

Re: “Streets of This Town: Easy Living.

An enjoyable and revealing series!

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Don Berry on 03/09/2017 at 6:04 AM

Re: “Tucson Weekly Folks at Tucson Festival of Books

Tucson Weekly is bringing quite the slate of hate to feed the liberals of Tucson. "You must fight them", "Chicano Movement for Beginners", "Race in America".

They'll be offering free, laminated, white guilt cards declaring your apology for your privilege.


2 likes, 22 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 03/08/2017 at 6:07 PM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

me 2 lol ttul8tr sucka

21 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Devon Shivonne on 03/08/2017 at 4:34 PM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

As a rule, I try to avoid ad hominem comments, but in this case the author is an idiot.

A little research would have revealed that there are many things that used to be taught in schools that are now being shown to improve the cognitive abilities of young minds -- and older minds as well -- such as teaching art, music and yes cursive writing. These things help the mind to make connections between areas of the brain that improve overall performance and thought processes.

However, go ahead and disparage them Mr. Safier, I look forward to how you will practice your trade when your young audience can only communicate by emoji or texting abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms. ROTFLMFAO.

34 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by sgsmith on 03/08/2017 at 4:16 PM

Re: “Learn How To Save the Bees

Might I add, Mr. Hunter: By "native species that are far more gentle in AZ", I assume that you are not referring to Honey Bees. Apis mellifera was the Honey Bee in Arizona prior to the introduction of Apis scutellata. They are sub-species and capable of hybridization resulting in a Honey Bee population in Arizona that is now far more aggressive and potentially dangerous.

If you opt to work with local Honey Bees, proceed with caution. An alternative is to introduce an Apis mellifera queen into your colony and re-queen as necessary in trying to keep your colony reatively gentle.

Bee that live in holes and do not have honey, are not Honey Bees.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Francis Saitta on 03/08/2017 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

How will printing be a recognized signature on legal documents?

32 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Crazy Old Man on 03/08/2017 at 3:33 PM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

Safier it doesnt surprise me you think the ability to write in cursive is not a problem.

Kids SHOULD be able to write in cursive legibly, printing is for fine for a first grader ... but not for older kids.

Just as balancing a checkbook is important, or giving a cashier correct change -- its all part and parcel of being an educated adult.

20 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by danehick sux on 03/08/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Grandmas, the Declaration of Independence and Cursive

"Simple, folksy arguments that sound like they make sense until you spend 10 seconds thinking about them [...] At best [...] sloppy thinking. At worst [...] a purposeful distraction from the real argument."

Gosh, David, that's a pretty good description of what your blog has been for the past 4 years, especially when you write on the subject of TUSD.

"TUSD is a rusty old ship, but finally, under the leadership of a new captain, heading in the right direction."

Yeah right. Looks like the Titanic, which was conspicuoisly NOT heading in the right direction, just hit a very large iceberg which we might dub "public recognition of malfeasance."

Will the ship sink? It remains to be seen. Some are bailing water and patching holes as quickly as they can. Others are occupying themselves with slinging mud at the water bailing and hole patching crew.

I'll leave it to you to interpret that allegory.

27 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by WHO is trying to distract the public? on 03/08/2017 at 1:57 PM

Re: “TUSD Suspense Continues

Well said. All we need is MORE choice. Vouchers will solve TUSD's failings.

1 like, 24 dislikes
Posted by Hawkeye on 03/08/2017 at 1:28 PM

Re: “Learn How To Save the Bees

Also realize that there are native species that are far more gentle in AZ. Many of the bees nest in holes, but don't have honey. Crown Bees has a website that can tell you more on these.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave Hunter on 03/08/2017 at 12:46 PM

Re: “TUSD Suspense Continues


As has been pointed out before in these comment streams, it's important not to make invalid assumptions about cause and effect relationships. It may be true that well supported Superintendents serving for decades are associated with excellent school districts, but that does not mean that holding on to a poorly performing Superintendent will cause a bad school district to become an excellent one. This is an obvious point that many people who are moaning and complaining about the Sanchez resignation fail to understand.

Especially in school districts that are troubled and have experienced high rates of turnover in their Sup position, competence matters. Honesty matters. Here is what one activist parent -- not a jackal, not a disgruntled contractor -- but an extremely well informed Board watcher, parent, former Board candidate, and volunteer said about the Sanchez resignation in the comment stream on another of Ms. Khmara's recent pieces about TUSD: "Ms. Kharma, you leave out the one thing that should instantly disqualify Sanchez for the job, and should immediately undermine every single one of his very well-known political supporters. He lies. He lied about 301 money, he lied about bonuses and pay packages, he lied about 123 money--IF you actually knew what was going on in the District AND you listened to what he said, you could see the lies, and they were plentiful." (Betts Putnam-Hidalgo)

The lies destroyed the trust that teachers had in him. They destroyed the trust that parents (or, to be more accurate, parents who were paying a reasonable amount of attention to the district's affairs) had in him. When you don't have your constituency's trust, you cannot lead, and you need to move on. It was best for him, it was best for the district, it was best for the region. The Board minority who brought him into town and did not want their political opponents to have the opportunity to control the selection process for the next Sup had an obvious motive for trying to hang on to him, and that's what they did. They shrieked and staged shabby "showdowns" in parking lots and called in all the favors they were owed locally to drum up a weak and transparently self-interested show of "support" for this deeply unpopular leader. Now they are "playing the race card" and circulating the spurious argument that it was prejudice against Hispanics that caused Stegeman et al. to organize a campaign to get rid of Juarez and Sanchez. More BS. What the Board minority has been doing in recent weeks just shows how little they care about this community, that they are willing to engage in bitterly divisive (and false) mud slinging and invective rather than working with other Board members to engage in a proper recruitment process and turn the community's attention to what needs to be done for the benefit of students, not what the Board minority selfishly think needs to be done to undermine their political opponents.

Unfortunately, the whole sad story is one more nail in the coffin of the idea that democratic control produces good results in troubled urban public school districts. Too bad, because Arizona has no good alternative available to democratic control of this district, which enrolls 40-something thousand students. Those who had the resources needed to get out have gotten out through choice policy. Those who remain stuck in the thing are being under-served, and the blame for their damaged educations and diminished prospects in life can be laid squarely at the door of leaders in this state who failed to understand that BOTH sufficient funding and proper oversight and regulation were needed to keep this massive public institution of education from deteriorating into the sad mess it is in now.

10 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Keeping bad leadership doesn't improve matters. on 03/08/2017 at 12:13 PM

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