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Re: “Seriously, What Does Tucson Have to Do to Get a Giant Slip-and-Slide to Come to Town?

Rio Nuevo west of I10. Plenty of open space, easy access and served by the Modern Trolley.

Posted by Rick Spanier on 09/30/2014 at 7:50 AM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

regina o once again you get fooled by the premise that money solves problems. Following your logic we should have helped Hitler build ovens and then hoped for a good outcome.

Sorry. Time to take a stand!

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 09/30/2014 at 6:48 AM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

Brian, I really am so sorry to hear of your story. TUSD is full of tragedies like this. If you were a TEA member and they hushed it, the time may have come to let them be exposed to the collateral damage. The only way to fix TUSD is full scale tear down. there is so much entrenched nepotism that it can't be done piece meal.

Other school districts, charters and private schools are near full to capacity. Yet one is closing schools. Property values in TUSD suffer because of TUSD.

Push for your article, but let's all help find Brian a lawyer.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rat T on 09/30/2014 at 6:45 AM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

Regina O. -- It's true that the AZ legislature is not providing sufficient funding for the state's public schools. However, it is also true that TUSD does not make efficient, pragmatic use of the $$$ resources it has available. Here are some of the many problems that have arisen and continue to arise because of poor TUSD board leadership: unsustainable financial decisions and lack of transparency that contributed to the resignation of the district's head of finance with news that we are about to face another $15 million deficit, too much money spent on administration and too little in the classrooms, failing to observe proper protocols in procurement processes (this results in the district paying more than it needs to for the goods and services it purchases), and hiring (or failing to get rid of) incompetent administrators whose salaries are paid with our tax dollars. I absolutely agree that our teachers and students deserve better funding, but giving TUSD more money before the district secures leadership that is committed to investing that money in the right places is, unfortunately, pointless.

Of the board candidates who spoke at last night's forum, Betts Putnam-Hidalgo and Debe Campos-Fleenor both gave the impression that they understand the gravity of the district's financial situation and are committed to doing the right things to improve TUSD's ability to plan appropriately and use funding efficiently. My support will go to both of those campaigns, though they are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, because these candidates seem best prepared to ensure transparency and accountability and to get the district's financial affairs in order.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Disillusioned on 09/30/2014 at 6:37 AM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

The letter is a cry for help. It may not take the proper tone, but every complaint in there is solid. Sanchez and Vega are inexperienced and haughty and use bravado to cover up their inexperience. Long time principals and directors, willing to give the new team a chance, left in droves at the end of last year. As the board hired over 25 new site administrators , why didn't the members ever ask why there were so many principal openings? Yusef Awwad's Sept 9th resignation letter stated the district should be fiscally stable for the next five years. Two weeks later we hear there may be a $15 million shortfall and another loss of 2200 students. If there is any hope for this district, the Board will let Sanchez and Vega go back to Texas and hire a Tucsonan who knows and understands the community.
It's all very sad.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pima Mujer on 09/30/2014 at 6:32 AM

Re: “Brewer's Endorsement Of Ethan Orr Is Fading From Tucson's Streets

Ethan Orr is human, he is a politician and as such things change and he can not be effective standing alone.

First hand I know when you get elected you move into another world, joining an elite group of people with heavy responsibilities. You are immediately thrown into a group of people with the same label, similar values and believes.

You soon realize cooperation and working with your group is necessary in order to succeed. The pressure to produce forces alliances and it is within those alliances of people that working together sometimes breaks down to trust.

Legislation is complex and you seek counsel from people in your group. Advice on legislative proposals that came before their committees and others meeting together in your group. (party caucus)

No legislator, especially new has knowledge and experience in every field, they look to others, many times your understanding and need to be accepted leads you to "go along to get along".

As voters we need to look at the candidates not only on what their campaigns slogans and rhetoric say but look at the group they will be "working". It takes time to gain experience and confidence to sometimes stand out there alone. Just because you were successful in getting elected, doesn't mean you automatically become super human or know it all.

When voting does that group, political party, have a record that most closely reflects your own views because you are not just choosing an individual but his "power group". Is that legislative group and leadership the one you want to control your vote on state spending and laws to be enacted?

That is where political parties come in to play in your decisions. It will take time for the representatives you elect to gain, experience, knowledge and seniority to be most effective. Vote not just for the individual, vote based on the group that most reflects your expectations.

Are the other legislators meeting with Ethan Orr the ones you trust or is it possible his opposition deserves your vote based on their platforms and record. Check the records, their past actions give you some assurance of their future actions.

From what I personally know Ethan Orr is a decent respected person, I just don't agree with the majority of his legislative record. One or two votes that I agree with don't cover the other several hundred I don't. Once people get elected it is their record that counts, not rhetoric.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by hakeson on 09/30/2014 at 6:31 AM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

Whenever someone writes something and doesn't take credit for it, you can discredit what they write.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Doug Martin on 09/30/2014 at 6:12 AM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

The tone of the letter to Sanchez is definitely intense and it speaks to the absolutely awful climate within the District office and many of its campuses. Who is most responsible for the environment and relationships within any organization? THE LEADERSHIP!

David Safier is a very knowledgeable and passionate advocate for the interests of kids and schools. I find myself nodding in agreement with most of what he writes on this blog. He has, however, failed to be an astute observer and judge of the current Board and Superintendent in TUSD.

As someone who worked for another urban school district for his entire career, Safier knows enough about how these organizations operate to realize that the authors of the letter have awareness and knowledge that could only come from insiders. Has he (or any of us) ever seen administrators and department heads in any school district reach such a level of frustration and anger that they feel compelled to pen such a hostile letter to their boss? This letter and its content is unprecedented even in TUSD, which has a sad, sour history of dissension and dysfunction, especially in the last decade.

Safier refers to his career in Portland many times. Is he not struck by the irony of the fact that Yousef Awwad (the departing TUSD administrator most responsible for eliminating a deficit under the previous administration) is leaving to take a job in that city...less than a year after Sanchez promoted him to Deputy Superintendent? On his way out the door, Awwad sounds the alarm about a potential $15 million deficit...in an e-mail prompted by one of Sanchez's chief critics on the Board. Doesn't it seem likely to all of us, including Safier, that Awwad is leaving out of frustration with the way Sanchez has asked him to spend money? Time will tell, but Awwad is known as a very shrewd person.

One can write about what they have "read and heard," but organizations that are rife with fear, division and miscommunication are always populated by those who will not speak openly out of fear for their jobs and reputations. Sanchez is a charismatic and persuasive man who convinced the Board to make him the sole finalist for his job and who has won over usually reasonable and wise people such as Mayor Rothschild and the leadership of the teachers' association. If even a little of what is alleged in this letter is accurate, he is revealed as a dangerous egotist who bullies subordinates and shades financial facts. Again, time will tell, but most people I talk to (all of whom know more about the current state of affairs in TUSD than Safier) are not optimistic about what the future brings.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sad Times In TUSD on 09/30/2014 at 5:49 AM

Re: “Brewer's Endorsement Of Ethan Orr Is Fading From Tucson's Streets

I carefully listened to Mr. Orr before the last election and was encouraged by the fact that his work had been to help people. My hope that he would be watching out for our needs. I thought there was hope that he would bring back the "vote for what is best for Pima County and Arizona" idea held by thinking Republicans in the past. When Mr. Orr got to Phoenix, he caved to some of the pressure exerted by the less than moderate Republicans. I was wondering where his spiffy signs came from. He obviously made some Republicans happy. Please, Mr. Orr, return to your values promised before you were elected.

Posted by Judy Richardson on 09/30/2014 at 12:23 AM

Re: “Media Watch

Some TV Mets are actual meteorologists... just none in Tucson. I worked in the South for several years (where they get actual weather on a regular basis) and the majority of the folks who report on weather there hold at least a Master's degree from reputable schools such as Mississippi State, when I mentioned that a certain chief meteorologist here bragged about getting her degree from MSU's correspondence program they all laughed and said "She's not a real meteorologist, that program is for simpletons." Suffice to say I wasn't surprised the Tucson media blew it on Odile.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Manny Luz-Cruz on 09/29/2014 at 11:55 PM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

Hey Francis... if you would get off your high horse and actually participate in ANY of these forums you might actually be able to observe a few things. For instance that Dr. Sanchez DID NOT participate in Monday's debate. Presence is not participation. Also the organizers of Monday's event RENTED the PVMHS auditorium. Additionally, Ms. Grijalva didn't get any more time than any other candidate to express her views (nor did the other sitting board member Mr. Hicks) so that question is hardly qualifies as a "tendentious."

Now a question: what's the point of your candidacy? You have put up no signs.... you participate in no debates despite repeated invitations, you refuse to speak with the media (except for throwing bombs in the comments of "Tucson Weekly" articles,) you don't even have a website (believe me, I've looked.) So, again, what's the point? From where I sit it appears to be an attempt to feed your own ego and paranoia. Given that TUSD is home to hundreds of thousands of people your "one-on-one" strategy may pay off... in 2175.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Manuel Luz-Cruz on 09/29/2014 at 11:35 PM

Re: “Seriously, What Does Tucson Have to Do to Get a Giant Slip-and-Slide to Come to Town?

Golflinks east of pantano, craycroft south of sunrise, broadway east of pantano. swan south of sunrise.
just off the top of my head..

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Scott Ellis on 09/29/2014 at 10:17 PM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

Safier writes: "Based on what I have read and heard, Sanchez and others are beginning to address some of the legitimate concerns expressed in the e-mail […] If so, that's a positive step."

That's more than a day late and a dollar short. The only positive step that can at this point "address the concerns" raised in the e-mail (and the concerns expressed elsewhere, including repeatedly in the comment stream on Safier's recent articles) is to change the district's leadership -- both the board leadership and the Superintendent. I had thought earlier it might be possible, with changed board leadership capable of giving better direction, to keep continuity in the Superintendency. The resignation of Awwad and revelations about the district's financial situation changed my opinion on that.

As for the "tone" of the e-mail sent to Sanchez, I agree that in places it was disturbing. I have sometimes found the level of anger I have been forced to feel as a TUSD parent disturbing, but it is justified. What is both disturbing and completely unjustifiable is the patronizing tone of Safier, who did not raise his family in Tucson. Did he have to deal with the grief of seeing his children educated in schools that were dirty, rodent infested, poorly maintained to the point of being unsafe, insufficiently supplied with critical educational materials (like textbooks), and managed by administrators whose level of incompetence would be shocking if it were encountered in a third world country? Probably not, so perhaps it's hard for him to understand and empathize.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by A TUSD Parent on 09/29/2014 at 9:07 PM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

And Rat T, when you thank the legislature for not funding TUSD and "these people" - as it legally and morally should - don't forget the thousands of men and women (the teachers) and thousands more children (the students) who have been denied the resources necessary to provide and receive crucial educational opportunities. As politics continue to play out, our children are losing.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by regina o. on 09/29/2014 at 8:39 PM

Re: “Seriously, What Does Tucson Have to Do to Get a Giant Slip-and-Slide to Come to Town?

They could set that thing up in back of Park (Place) Mall. There has to be enough space.

Posted by Gonzo Sorcrachi on 09/29/2014 at 7:15 PM

Re: “Seriously, What Does Tucson Have to Do to Get a Giant Slip-and-Slide to Come to Town?

Omg! I would buy the (I'm assuming day pass?) for $50. Totally worth it. There's gotta be a parking lot somewhere to accommodate this behemoth!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Loki Jar on 09/29/2014 at 6:12 PM

Re: “Team McSally Demands More Debates After Refusing To Commit to KVOA/League of Women Voters Forum

Everyone knows that the leaque of WV is entrenched with a bunch of uber liberal idealogues. I wouldn't want to play in a game where we know that the thing is rigged. Kind of like what happened in the last Pres. election when that fat wannabe reporter Candy whatever ambushed Romney!

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Rick Jason on 09/29/2014 at 5:48 PM

Re: “SB 1070 Poll: 71% of Americans Believe New Immigration Law Will Lead to Hispanics Getting Hassled By The Man

This law is racist. It makes it accessible for police officers and government officials to racial profile other people based on the blanket which covers them- the republicians. i do not think this law is effective. Neither is this article. the article shows one side and does not give any cited evidence to support that side. if we want to stop illegal immigrants how bout enforce better security. help the country where the immigrants are coming from! thats an idea. why are we watching them suffer when 1. we can help them and build better allies and 2. we want to eliminate illegal immigration but we are shoving our iphone 6's and laptops and forcing little kids in congo to risk their lives to get minerals for a phone most 13 year old kids crack on their way to the mall in their moms SUV. if i was in the position i think i would do the same thing these people are doing but mitt romney clearly isnt.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by elyonce on 09/29/2014 at 4:53 PM

Re: “Profile Problems

Oh look, a homophobe named Harlan. How quaint.

Posted by Matt Hydeman on 09/29/2014 at 4:45 PM

Re: “The Letter Against TUSD Superintendent Sanchez From Anonymous Administrators

Rat T I have not yet found an attorney willing to take on TUSD, if you knew the whole story you would be shocked. Stegeman and Hicks have been the only ones to even listen. I thought Juarez would help but he just sided with Grijalva , who is protecting her buddy Sanchez. That is why I challenged David to do a story on this , it would give him credibility doing a story that shows the dark side of Grijalva and Sanchez and give the public a view of what is happening in the district.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Brian Sauber on 09/29/2014 at 4:41 PM

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