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Comment Archives: Last 7 Days

Re: “At TUSD Board Meeting, State Sen. Steve Farley Tells Michael Hicks How It Is: You Should Resign

Oh thank you Betts and Maria! I watched the board meeting from my computer and I applaud Steve Farley and all who are fighting for TUSD. A couple of points I want to add: This bill is also backed by the Goldwater Institute which is funded by the Koch brothers. They want all public education to end and will do just about anything to accomplish that. THe other thing and this is a statement and question together. There was a brief accounting of the funds spent in deseg by Steve Farley. Hicks said he wants an independent auditor. My question is what has TUSD done to warrant this? My point is it seems like so much is spent on investigating and monitoring TUSD when money is so tight. I want TUSD to be transparent but I have seen no evidence that they are not able and willing to say how money is spent. At this point I do say by all means get an auditor. However when does the witch hunt(IMHO) end and the money spent to defend and clarify go to the children? I hope people understand that there is a lot of smoke here and the saying 'where there is smoke there is fire' is not always true. Sometimes organizations because of racism and other reasons create a lot of doubt when (at this point for sure) there doesn't appear to be a reason for it. Again, I support getting an independent auditor for our children and public education in general. I just wish people were more aware of why we need to do this... not because there is evidence of wrongdoing. Thank you to all who are fighting for public education.

19 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Robin B. on 02/25/2015 at 5:00 AM

Re: “Goodbye Will

Pinal county voted to allow Dairy Farmer to grow Medical Marijuana
http://www.arizonadailyindependent.com/201…

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robert Ruckman on 02/25/2015 at 2:17 AM

Re: “At TUSD Board Meeting, State Sen. Steve Farley Tells Michael Hicks How It Is: You Should Resign

Regardless of the hypocrisy and partisanship on display during this part of the meeting, however, it was an excellent update for the most part. I am rarely on record supporting Board member Foster's political initiatives (although I thought at one point that I would be!) but if this was her idea, it was an excellent one. In my dreams we pull enough parents and community leaders together to run a string of yellow school buses up to Phoenix to protest, like the farmers descending on the Statehouse in Wisconsin in their tractors. This constant siphoning of public education funds to charter schools, private schools and religious schools has to stop.

24 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 02/24/2015 at 11:44 PM

Re: “At TUSD Board Meeting, State Sen. Steve Farley Tells Michael Hicks How It Is: You Should Resign

I'm sorry that the unidentified phone noises kept you from hearing what Michael Hicks said because what he called for was actually a good thing. He said "I will rescind my statement if a Board member is not allowed to sit on the TUSD audit committee and if we hire an internal independent auditor." For those who have not followed the transparency issue at TUSD, this was a call for financial oversight, something that people from across the political and partisan spectrum support. Cheerleaders for the current superintendent usually do NOT support this, I guess because blind faith when you like the guy is sufficient and the past "rock star" financial manager and vice superintendent hired by the district who left and subsequently charged that we are 15 million in the hole is only to be ignored and belittled.

I certainly get and share the audience's outrage over Hicks' widely distributed support for the devastating and vindictive (to say nothing of racist) bill, but surely SOME of that outrage can go towards the entire board that has allowed the funds to be misused (recently, on district legal costs, among other things, re: spurious lawsuits within the last two years) in the past. The best comment of all, though, was Syvia Campoy's--she reminded us all that despite problems in the past, the use of the funds for desegregation purposes are being more scrutinized and tracked than ever before so now is CERTAINLY not the time to withdraw them. Despite my own feeling that this is in SPITE of many of the boards actions to date, NOT because of them, I agree that this is the case.

21 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 02/24/2015 at 11:39 PM

Re: “Sue Sisley's Medical Marijuana for PTSD Research Officially Rejected by 3 State Universities

It's too bad that our politicians would rather spend Arizona tax money to Police for Profit from Arizona citizens rather than to find a way to help our returning veterans. I can't say I am surprised as Arizona republicans also don't like kids, the elderly, the mentally ill, women, or those who speak Spanish. Arizona politicians made sure that we rank very close to the bottom in the treatment of mental health problems and our kids have the lowest per pupil expenditures for education of any state in the country. Since the first retail marijuana stores opened on January 1st, 2014, the state of Colorado has benefitted from a decrease in crime rates, a decrease in traffic fatalities, an increase in tax revenue and economic output from retail marijuana sales, an increase in jobs, and their actions have reduced deaths from opiate overdoses there. Colorado’s state economy is reported to be the fastest growing in the nation. Last year they collected close to 70 million dollars in medical and recreational taxes from legal, regulated marijuana. They plan to use this for their schools and to repair their failing infrastructure. In Colorado, not a single zombie has been seen piloting planes out of Denver’s airports nor are they seen driving their buses.

Arizona legislators and prosecutors advocate that we continue a broken and failed system that benefits only the Mexican drug cartels and our Right Wing Nut Jobs who Police for Profit from the citizens of Arizona. This approach to the “marijuana problem” has resulted in cheaper drugs, more potent drugs, and easier access for our children than when we began the War on Drugs but our politicians who invested in Policing for Profit from our citizens continue to get rich off their scheme. Under our current system marijuana became our number one cash crop, surpassing both wheat and corn combined. In 1937 Harry Anslinger (our first drug czar) testified before congress that 100,000 people had used marijuana just before the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act. Today it is estimated that 100,000,000 of our citizens, including our last three presidents have used it. Marijuana prohibition has resulted in a thousandfold increase in use. As taxpayers, we paid between 1 and 1.5 TRILLION dollars to have this done to us! Keep our kids safe! Legalize marijuana and regulate it like alcohol in Arizona in 2016!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave K, Phoenix, Az on 02/24/2015 at 10:24 PM

Re: “No More AIMS; Diane Douglas Proposes "Thorough" Review of State Education Standards

This is absurd!if tests are gonna be eleminated like this why don't they just hand out high school diplomas upon registering for Pre-K. Why are kids measuring below standards? Because of so many vacation days they are given and nothing to prepare them to study and strive for success. It is in very poor taste how parents actually think this is acceptable.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Jay E. Valencia on 02/24/2015 at 9:35 PM

Re: “About That "Shadow Faction of Charter School Operators" Diane Douglas Talked About

Why are we compelled to finance "Charter Schools" in the first place? Because special interests gathered a few influential legislators and pulled off a fast one. They have been adding to ripping apart mainstream local community (elected school board) "district schools" every since. Time for a Constitutional Provision to limit funds and tax favors to "district schools" and end this chase for money given to any privately owned for profit schools. Enough already.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by hakeson on 02/24/2015 at 7:21 PM

Re: “No, Raising Taxes to Pay the Bills Won't Bring About Doomsday

Old Pueblo Independent- just some information for you. I asked my accountant if indeed our tax rates were the lowest in the nation (especially for the wealthy). He is a Republican BTW. He said pretty close... they change often but we are definitely on the low end. We do not have a failing education system... that is hype to cut more from education. We are 48th in what we spend in the nation. We are on the low end achievement-wise which went lower after all the cuts and we added more and more charter schools. We need to invest in our youth . I understand you do not have children but they are the adults of the future. THey need to be educated. Teachers in TUSD have not had a raise in years.... 37k top for bachelors with unlimited experience. Teachers were suppose to get a cost of living raise soon but the legislature is cutting so much again that it isn't going to happen. We are buying a lot of our own supplies. We must continue to go to school. We work very hard. I contribute to many things on the little I make for other endeavors because Tucson and people matter to me. It takes money to educate... buildings, books, salaries... The legislature keeps giving the wealthier people tax cuts-(percentage is lower than for poor people), we can't make ends meet apparently then and so they cut more from education. I can't figure out why they are cutting from education, building private prisons and more charter schools. That is in the present budget. It is not education that is broken.... our legislature is. I trust you will do what you need to do but I wanted to give you some facts before you make a decision regarding raising taxes. BTW... investigate some of the salaries of the charter people if they disclose it. Believe me it is not the public schools that are the problem . There is money going into profit from private prisons and charter schools that could be going to improve our educational system. One more thing, the state is still heavily in debt after taking almost 1.2 billion from money the voters voted for the schools. Why are they giving money away for private prisons and more charter schools? Courts ordered them to pay it back ... Ducey says he is not going to do it.... Obviously they are not managing our money well at all. Education is not the problem. Let's get these guys out of office. The Republicans are destroying our state (and country IMHO). We are also a right to work state so contrary to what some may say, the unions have no power ..... they can't negotiate anything in Arizona and many of the states of the union. Michigan lost unions(right to work), still in debt, opening charters, and prisons. Do you see a pattern? Michigan's answer? Cut education also. Doesn't work. Hasn't worked and they keep doing it over and over. You can look my facts up. I research a lot. And if you give me some information, I gladly fact check. Contrary to what people have said here, TUSD has never committed fraud or been accused of it. People sometimes make that up. Thank you for allowing me to talk to you. I trust you will do what you need to for you. I am a retired teacher... taught in 5 states and work part time now. We are short so many teachers.... I help where I can.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robin B. on 02/24/2015 at 6:15 PM

Re: “About That "Shadow Faction of Charter School Operators" Diane Douglas Talked About

Sorry David Safier, but every time you lump BASIS in with the the Primavero Online degree mills I find your arguments less valid.
BASIS is a great addition to Arizona. The children who attend and graduate from those schools are better off. They may be an exception to the rule when it comes to quality charter schools in Arizona, but I have no idea due to your need, vision quest or witch hunt to tarnish their image.
Tell me more about the other Charter Schools, write a balanced article attacking them all equally and tell me why each one does not deserve the tax credits they receive.
Until then, I personally feel that you have a hard-on for that school and are not objective.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Old Pueblo Independent on 02/24/2015 at 5:31 PM

Re: “No, Raising Taxes to Pay the Bills Won't Bring About Doomsday

I am in my 30's and own a house. I do not have children and do not plan to have children. I do not want to pay more property taxes, I do not want to pay more for a Pima County or Arizona Sales Tax.

Small business and homeowners simply cannot foot the bill for additional funds into our failing education system. We cannot simply throw money at this problem to make it go away.

Do we need the police guarding the Tucson Trolley to prevent terrorism in order to milk more overtime? Do we need a police ghetto bird helicopter every time there is a suspected drunk driver? Do we need 20 cops hanging out at every holiday DUI checkpoint handing out?

How much did Tucson pay when some knucklehead cop knocked a 20 year old gear over a bench over for no reason?

Taxes are not the answer right now and I am tired of our "elected" officials spending so much money on lawsuits that are unnecessary.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Old Pueblo Independent on 02/24/2015 at 5:22 PM

Re: “UA Adjunct Walkout Happening Tomorrow: A Demand for Better Wages, Working Conditions & No More Bullshit

Why would anyone donate money to the U of Az as a former student?

Apart from the College of Medicine and Sports Dept. it appears that many of the professor positions have exorbitant salaries compared to the cost of living in Tucson, Az. If a Professor of English or History needs to make $5,000 less a year (from 108,000) so that a TA can have a living wage here is Tucson, make it so.

I love U of Az, but it is not Stanford, and this is not California. Everyone, including the Dean, needs to absorb the belt tightening equitably.

16 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Old Pueblo Independent on 02/24/2015 at 5:08 PM

Re: “Sue Sisley's Medical Marijuana for PTSD Research Officially Rejected by 3 State Universities

Dr. Sisley wasn't laid off by the UA and being ignored by other universities because of her study. It's about how she handled her media responses while at the UA. She scares the administrations with her off-the-cuff PR tactics.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Ellie on 02/24/2015 at 4:24 PM

Re: “"We're Planning to Keep Cutting Education Spending," Conservatives Say

Debbie are you sure it is covered parking? Many schools are putting in solar energy at a great savings in the long run and the parking is covered as a side benefit. The panels are installed eventually after the covers are built. My church did that and it did look like covered parking for a while. Within 10 years it will all be paid for and our energy costs will be greatly reduced. There are not any public schools that I know of that could afford to cover parking and they have to justify every expense... they need so many other things for the buildings because maintenance has needed to be neglected with all the cuts.

23 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Robin B. on 02/24/2015 at 3:55 PM

Re: “"We're Planning to Keep Cutting Education Spending," Conservatives Say

I just saw another public school installing covered parking for the staff.

So much for the children.

6 likes, 18 dislikes
Posted by Debbie T on 02/24/2015 at 2:37 PM

Re: “Inmates Win: State Prisons Are Gonna Have to Provide Good Health Care and Control Use of Solitary Confinement Now

We just want to make sure they are comfortable and healthy while they are being punished for breaking our laws. That way once they are out, they will know that even if they are convicted again, we will ensure that they won't have to fear their punishment! Heaven forbid that prison feel uncomfortable.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ray Beaulieu on 02/24/2015 at 1:41 PM

Re: “Don't Miss Tig Notaro at Rialto Theatre on Wednesday

Wednesday, Feb. 24. (?)

Not of this year apparently.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by AZ/DC on 02/24/2015 at 1:06 PM

Re: “Paul Krugman Gets It Right About Education and Jobs

I might observe another occurrence in 1970. The United States reached a production of nearly 10 million barrels per day of oil (current production post 'shale revolution' is less than 8m bopd).

This correlates especially well with the stagnation of working class wages since the 70's.

One could observe that the basic inputs to the economy are energy and labor. We're certainly not short the latter.

Just sayin'...

While our political system certainly accelerates the downward trend, one can currently observe the vicious cycle of deflation in nearly every economy in the world with widely varying underlying politics. No energy = No money = No jobs. Better get used to it. One can read through all the smoke our govt. is blowing with unemployment & GDP just by looking at the collapse in the oil price this year. If there was a real recovery, demand would raise the price of oil, not the opposite. No one's got the cash to buy it, and we wind up with an oil 'glut'. We're pumping about the same as last year, but demand is way down. Party on!

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by desertrat on 02/24/2015 at 12:18 PM

Re: “Sue Sisley's Medical Marijuana for PTSD Research Officially Rejected by 3 State Universities

The Tucson Weekly desperately needs a proofreader.

In the title of the article, it should say "Offically."

When quoting someone, you place quotation marks around the quoted statement or set it off by indenting it so as not to cause confusion and to also give credit to the person(s) you are quoting.

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Stephanie Wells on 02/24/2015 at 9:29 AM

Re: “Paul Krugman Gets It Right About Education and Jobs

Consider the ongoing politics surrounding H1 B visas to understand what is going on and who is involved in keeping STEM wages lower and guarding their gates to deny high wages to US educated workers. Silicon Valley fights efforts to pay visa holding workers more than $40K a year or to guarantee these sub-wage workers are not displacing US workers. Or look into the ongoing lawsuits against Microsoft et. al. by workers who've been prevented from seeking better paying jobs with competitors, in essence being black listed. Or the gender discrimination lawsuit against the largest venture capital firm funding IT start ups.

The profits-at-any-cost mentality and behavior is alive and well in high tech, where our "best and brightest" are passed over in favor of foreign workers willing to work at low wages for corporations seeking to maximize the bottom line.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Rick Spanier on 02/24/2015 at 8:43 AM

Re: “Paul Krugman Gets It Right About Education and Jobs

"The reason we have low wages and poor quality goods is education"? Thats victim blaming big time. The way we never NEVER look at how fat the fat cats are getting while the economy is lean for most people is horrifying. We assume that the gap between what CEO's get and what workers get is "natural", and pinch pennies elsewhere. Kind of like assuming that TUSDs 1010 directors have to have their $10,000 a year bonuses (over high salaries to begin with) to do good work, while teachers will do good work with $500 a year step increases that they may or may not actually see.

12 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Betts Putnam-Hidalgo on 02/24/2015 at 8:23 AM

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