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

Re: “The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In the Next 10 Days

Go see J Boog you will not regret it, unless you're really into country or metal and nothing else =)

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by desertrat on 01/13/2017 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 237—Talk Is Cheap Edition. Ducey's Funding-Lite, Destructive Education Proposals.

You are absolutely right David! Giving districts the authority to relax teacher certification will tempt some districts to follow the path of least resistance and hire non-professionals who will not contribute to increases in achievement. Teachers today are forced to deal with a multitude of harsh realities that are challenging even for certified, highly skilled and seasoned professionals Expecting those with no expertise to do the same is crazy!

19 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Linda Lyon on 01/13/2017 at 7:23 AM

Re: “Trump Is Going to Fall, Hard, Sometime During the Primaries

and tomorrow is Friday the 13th...funny little thing happened along the way...they accepted my bid on the property in I hope they hurry up and build the wall and keep the crazies out. Hope to be moved in two months.

Posted by hakeson on 01/12/2017 at 10:49 PM

Re: “Trump Is Going to Fall, Hard, Sometime During the Primaries

hail to the chief

President Trump is here

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Steve Kozachek on 01/12/2017 at 9:52 PM

Re: “TUSD Magnet Schools, Desegregation, and the Next Step

Mike N - You can not teach a person with an IQ of 87 Trigonometry. NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY YOU SPEND! "Glib and smug are not indicators of intelligence!" Neither is rejection of FACTS!

0 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Postimpressionist on 01/12/2017 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

No, Mark, you are not the authoritative arbiter and interpreter of THE REALITY of what has happened in TUSD, but it is interesting that you are reading this dialogue and that you chose to weigh in here with one of your characteristic "interventions."

However anyone chooses to frame what happened with Pedicone, what matters now is how you conduct yourself in office. And that, as I wrote above, will be closely observed.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Reply to Stegeman on 01/12/2017 at 9:58 AM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

No amount of fossil-fuel industry propaganda can change the fact that global climate disruption is the greatest threat to both people and wildlife in the 21st century. That's no longer just a prediction--it's already happening.

And the whole point of the net metering saga is that rooftop solar is truly revolutionary, in the sense that it could render fossil fuels (and yes, problematic wind turbines, too) obsolete--but also in the sense that it threatens to break corporate control over centralized, monopolized systems of energy production and distribution, which is why the big utilities and fossil fuel companies are doing everything they can to retard the growth of rooftop solar, which includes launching a great big torpedo at fair-market-value net metering. Our incredibly corrupt Corporation Commission is merely marching in lockstep with their corporate benefactors on that one.

14 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by skinnyman on 01/12/2017 at 9:53 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

Concerning Pedicone's departure: He knew me well before he signed his contract extension in August 2012, and I did not change over the next few months. What changed, in the November 2012 election, was two seats on the board. That is the reality, however anyone chooses to frame it.

2 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Mark Stegeman on 01/12/2017 at 9:47 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

Betts Putnam-Hidalgo:

It's possible that it's Huppenthal -- during the period that jhuppent has been posting there's been enough internal consistency among the posts and enough alignment between what is written under that name and Huppenthal known agenda to make it plausible -- but it's never safe to assume. Whether or not "jhuppent" is Huppenthal makes no difference in terms of whether there is a "point" in responding: the point in responding is to get ideas that need to be considered into a public forum -- not to influence the opinions of the specific commenter who posts under the screen name "jhuppent."

You disagree with the informed opinions cited in the above post about Stegeman's role in Pedicone's departure and feel that Stegeman has been maligned by the PCDP party establishment. It's certainly true that they have demonized him. Whether there is actually something problematic about the way he interacts with the district's administration is a separate question. With the changed majority and Stegeman now in the clerk's role, we'll have sufficient opportunity to observe how he chooses to conduct himself in a leadership role. Many of us will be watching closely, hoping to see constructive conduct.

In a district with a history like this there are many odd alliances that form out of desperation and lack of better alternatives. (Who would have thought we would see Kristel Foster nominating Michael Hicks to be president of the Board and speaking favorably of his character? And yet that is what happened in the last Board meeting, as I know you are aware.) It has seemed to me that the alliances between Stegeman and his former MAS opponents, including both you and Morales, would not be durable once Stegeman was again part of the majority because there is not enough overlap between the real goals and priorities of the two parties in question, once the common enemy of the previous majority is no longer in place to unite them.

Time will tell. It will certainly be interesting to observe what happens in district governance and district alliances in the coming months.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Huppenthal, Stegeman, et al. on 01/12/2017 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

That is simply one person's opinion. And we are all entitled to them. But the problems still exist. Finger pointing and hand wringing do nothing for the children in the middle of this political quagmire.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by A Thompson on 01/12/2017 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

If jhuppent is pseudonym for John Huppenthahl, the infamous and discredited state official that had everything to do with dismantling the Mexican American Studies program and getting a ridiculous law on the books where legislators, not educators, have veto power over curriculum, there is no point in arguing one way or another. This is not a person who responds to reason in arguments. The posts above that DO argue against this person are full of valuable and accurate information but its REALLY hard to believe that Stegeman would be the nail in the coffin of Pedicone, who saw a compliant board quickly flip to one that was, at least during the campaign, completely opposed to his major contributions to TUSD--school closures and the before mentioned dismantling of the MAS program. A few years into the new Supe, though, and those same candidates were not only allowing school closures to proceed, but allowing their new hire to completely ignore the desegregation order, of which the MAS program was part. Replacing a demonization of the past Superintendent came a demonization of not only Stegeman's role during the MAS disaster, but of Stegeman himself. Now he is blamed for just about everything from school closures to the lead problem in Flints' water. Personally, I don't buy it: he did a terrible job on MAS, undeniably, but beyond that I see no reason to give him this much power or this central a role in our districts' problems. In the most recent re-election campaign, people who vociferously opposed Dr. P in their first campaign sidled up and made sure to distribute pictures on FB with both Dr. Pedicone (who all of a sudden became a highly respected educator who I "always hoped to work with") and the district lawyer of the time who issued the order to ban the MAS books. Both of them, incidentally, are darlings of the local democratic party, which doesn't really keep track of its darlings and their activities all that well, but certainly does keep getting them elected.

In any case, if jhuppent is in fact John Huppenthahl, it is a pleasure to see him using his real name as a pseudonym, instead of the numerous pseudonyms he used during the MAS days to pose as just another joe, instead of an elected official. If jhuppent is someone else, my apologies to you!

12 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 01/12/2017 at 8:40 AM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

This from

In promoting his energy plan, Donald Trump made two false claims:
Trump said wind farms in the U.S. kill more than 1 million birds a year. Reliable data are scarce, but current mean estimates range from 20,000 to 573,000 bird deaths per year.
While discussing the number of eagles that are killed by wind turbines, Trump said that if you shoot an eagle they want to put you in jail for five years. Actually, the maximum penalty is a one-year imprisonment.

Energy IS a problem in this country. How many marine life birds have been killed by oil slicks? How many fish? What about the air pollution that affects humans, adults and kids with asthma? Next let's talk about black lung disease and the profits unregulated coal corporations make. The fact us that energy use in this country is complex, and politicians love to tweak the facts (lie) to achieve their agendas.

13 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by ronko on 01/12/2017 at 8:21 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.


You need to be a bit closer to what is going on in Southern Arizona to draw the correct conclusions about what is happening in TUSD. The idea that Sanchez is a victim of anyone or anything besides his own poor judgment is ludicrous to people who've seen what has been happening on the school sites and in the Board meetings. He has had a Board majority who has rubber stamped every weak idea he's had, including his self-concocted outrageous compensation package. When he has lied to them and to the public this majority looked the other way and / or covered for him. Why? Perhaps because they had brought him in through an improper, untransparent hiring process when he had had only a few short months of experience as INTERIM Superintendent in a much smaller district. They recognized that if the degree of his unfitness for office and the number of mistakes he was making were recognized they would be held to account for it.

It may be true that high-functioning districts have unified Boards and Superintendents who stay in their positions for longer than TUSD has been able to retain Superintendents during the last decade, but this does not mean that retaining any Superintendent, no matter how weak and malfunctioning, for more than two years will CAUSE a district to become high functioning. Using any means possible to retain an incompetent manager in the position -- including lying to the public and bribing the Superintendent with inflated compensation packages put together with public funds that should be applied in the sadly underfunded schools -- will only make conditions in the district worse.

I have through the years spoken with many people about the district and its problems, including professors of education, current and former board members, current and former site administrators and central administrators, current and former teachers and parents. I have repeatedly heard two things: there are entrenched problems in the middle administration that make the district virtually ungovernable and, when we're talking about the last several years, there have been serious difficulties introduced for the Superintendent by the role Stegeman has played on the Board. (As for your speculations about the district's "culture" burning through the last two Superintendents prior to Sanchez. Some who had a good view of the Superintendency during that period believe that in Pedicone's departure, Stegeman was the deciding factor.)

TUSD is admittedly a tough case. It needs a Superintendent who has a decade or more of experience and a proven record of success in managing (and reforming) a troubled urban district operating under a desegregation order. Adding to the difficulty of recruitment is the fact that this administrative task must be undertaken in a state that brutally underfunds education, where the governor (the subject of Safier's post) will use every trick in the book to avoid funding the schools at the right levels and from the appropriate sources.

Regardless of the local and State-level conditions that will make it difficult for the community to recruit for the TUSD Superintendency, many of us who are close to the district and its schools feel that we can't continue to allow this much damage to occur from relentlessly poor and dishonest management in a district serving almost 50,000 students.

If the needed change in leadership happens, there will no doubt be people like you who don't understand what has been happening at the ground level in the district who will spin it as a sob story and a tragedy. But the opinions of the ignorant are irrelevant. What matters is the quality of services delivered to students in our schools. Before the funding increases Safier wants can actually improve those services, it would be necessary to get rid of an administration that has a more than three year long track record of constant mismanagement and misapplication of this e between $300 and $400 million TUSD receives each school year.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ignorance of the district doesn't produce good interpretations. on 01/12/2017 at 7:33 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

I am not knowledgeable enough to rise in his defense, I don't know his prior track record in Texas. I am merely making the observation that high performing schools have cohesive school boards and long serving Superintendents. I am also making the observation that the two prior Superintendents were outstanding and had long track records of being outstanding. The fact that TUSD culture could burn through both of them indicates that problem is the culture, not the Superintendent. Good Superintendents become outstanding under cohesive school boards, supportive communities and time on task.

I am sure that after you burn through him, other people will come forward to burn through the next victim.

2 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by on 01/11/2017 at 10:07 PM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

Dying a little more inside with each ugly comment that's posted.

21 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by AZ/DC! on 01/11/2017 at 5:42 PM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

Millions of birds, including bald eagles are killed every year by wind turbines.

A small price to pay for liberals to feel good.

8 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by What, Again on 01/11/2017 at 12:09 PM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

jhuppent@hotmail writes, "The TUSD culture quickly burned through two outstanding superintendents and now is evidently working on a third."

Are you implying that Sanchez is an "outstanding superintendent"?

What's outstanding about him? His willingness to co-write an editorial with Lisa Graham Keegan arguing that we should solve our teacher shortage problem by reducing teacher credentialing requirements? His willingness to fight the desegregation authority and waste millions of dollars of the limited funds available for education in this sad district on legal fees associated with ill-advised challenges to court rulings? The fact that under his administration, six schools just lost their magnet status? The fact that he bragged about voluntarily reducing desegregation levies and voluntarily gave more than $3 million in desegregation funds back to taxpayers? His willingness to accept an outrageous compensation contract that mis-allocates hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to his salary, expense accounts, bonuses, etc.? His willingness to outsource substitute teachers, cut their compensation and destroy their ability to qualify for healthcare? His tolerance of south and west side schools serving largely minority populations having classrooms filled with long-term subs who don't have teaching certification? His willingness to be a "leader" in local efforts to sell the shoddy Prop123 funding proposition to constituents in his mismanaged district, persuading them (falsely) that the majority of the money would actually be used to improve teacher compensation, which is disastrously low thanks to the AZ "do it cheaper" approach to "education"?

These are the only ways in which this man is outstanding:
1) in capitulating to and collaborating with anti-public education, irresponsible state level leadership
2) in having a track record in office which demonstrates consistent tendencies to be both self-serving and dishonest

The fact that Ducey-collaborators and defenders like "jhuppent@hotmail" rise to Sanchez's defense is very telling, and this is what it tells: Sanchez was brought in by Ducey "kitchen cabinet" members like Lea Marquez Peterson to serve a disastrous conservative education reform agenda and to ingratiate himself to Ducey et al. with a flagrant anti-integration, pro-corporate program that is destroying TUSD.

23 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Ducey Collaborators in Southern Arizona on 01/11/2017 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

Do the numbers so that you know what the governor is saying. Inflation for 2016 was 1.7%. 1.7% times $9,000 per student is $150 per student x 1,000,000 students is 150 million dollars total, for the entire package, all the items in his list. But, likely he is subtracting for what prop123 will be adding so $150 million is a rough bogey.

Also, the attacks on Superintendent Sanchez are just a part of the sickness of public education. The characteristics of higher performing public schools is a stable cohesive school board strongly supporting a long serving school superintendent. The TUSD culture quickly burned through two outstanding superintendents and now is evidently working on a third. What a tragedy for the students.

0 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by on 01/11/2017 at 11:14 AM

Re: “Three (Maybe Four) Energy Stories From the News

From their website:

Who We Are

Fueling U.S. Forward is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the value and potential of American energy, the vast majority of which comes from fossil fuels. Energy shapes everything we do, every moment of our life so much so that we often take it for granted. No longer. The story of energy is one worth telling, and one best told by the people who have the most at stake.

Fee speech, and education from the actual professionals in the business world. Who could argue with that?

David Safier.

9 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by Save The People on 01/11/2017 at 9:24 AM

Re: “Ducey 'Next Step' Watch: Day 235 — State of the State Edition. Great Ideas! Terrific Ideas! Wallet Still Safely Stowed in Back Pocket.

There's more than one fox in the henhouse in Arizona, gcb1, and I think, from various commentary you have made locally, that you know it.

Safier is a firm friend and staunch ally of one of our most voracious local foxes (Sanchez of TUSD), and that is a past and present sin I and others will not be able to forgive him for...unless he repents of it publicly.

Did you watch yesterday evening's TUSD Board meeting? The man who spearheaded the movement to get rid of Isquierdo in Sunnyside spoke in the Call to the Audience, recommending that TUSD's changed majority make a move now to get rid of Sanchez, who, he said, shares many of the same administrative behaviors with Isquierdo. Subs also spoke about the district's lies about their pay and benefits and the damage outsourcing to ESI has done to them.

17 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Local Sins & Local Foxes, Past & Present on 01/11/2017 at 9:12 AM

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