Sunday, June 29, 2008

Brew Gets a Response From Huck

Posted By on Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 8:17 PM

Elections are back on the table for the Pima County Board of Supervisors at the meeting this Tuesday, July 1.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry sent out a memo to the supes for discussion on where Pima County will go with new elections procedures, much based on the opinions provided by Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer.

Brewer, if you recall, sent out a press release and a letter to Huckelberry with such snarky fanfare, Huck and the supervisors were wondering what kind of a real politics was being played out regarding state election issues and in particulr Pima County.

With not much fanfare and in a far different tone than that the Brew's, Huck returned the favor with a letter of his own on Jan. 27. While county administrator could have easily returned a letter asking, "What the hell is going on," we have instead:

I am now enclosing my final recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for discussion and direction on July 1, 2008. We would appreciate any comments you deem appropriate.

We appreciate your thorough and lengthy response and review of our report detailed in your 11-page letter of June 5, 2008. We do not consider the recommendations to be problematic, unnecessary, or unjustifiable. We certainly respect your opinions and comments and will make adjustments as appropriate in final action items recommended to the Board of Supervisors on this matter.

So there Brew--take that!

Well Huck writes that for now, they won't be scanning ballots and will continue to use touchscreen machines for disabled voters, and until changes come from the Legislature, the county will continue with its plan to training elections volunteers and do background checks.

And yes, Brew, face it--your office sent the RTA file to the wrong office and has no record of where it was sent.

In the end it would seem Pima County wins, even if it is a bit battle scarred, since after all, county officials are making changes based on disucssions with election-integrity activists and party officials.

Brewer, however, continues to sit on her procedures manual, shouting no changes need to be made, because the law is the law.

At the July 1 Pima County supes meeting, the county will formally put in place on element of its plan--an elections commission. The commission will consists of one member appointed by each board member, one member appointed by Huck, and the county's technology director, Dr. John Moffatt, serving as an ex-officio, non-voting member. In addition, the chair of each political party will also serve on the commission.

In the end, perhaps by next year, Brew will realize she could use an elections commission of her own--or at least a revised procedures manual.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Looks Like Martha Made It!

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 4:48 PM

Martha Gilliland, a geophysicist and former UA provost and now a tutor with the Literacy Volunteers of Tucson, made it to the top of Mount Kiliminjaro on Wednesday.

The Tucson Weekly interviewed the 63-year-old Gilliland recently regarding her plans to climb the Tanzanian mountain and at the same time use the adventure as a way to help raise funds for the literacy organization.

An e-mail made its way to LVT's Lisa Kemper from Gilliland's daghter, Robin Renager:

I heard from my mom this morning (Friday) and she made it to the top of Mt. Kiliminjaro! The group had to summit a day earlier than planned because of extreme wind (50 mph), but they made it!

She thanks you all for your thoughts and prayers. She said she is certain that is what propelled her to the top that last day!

Congratulations, Martha!

New At ScrambleWatch: Legislative Candidate Ephraim Cruz Has No Comment on His Paternity Suit

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 1:14 PM


State House of Representatives candidate and former Border Patrol agent Ephraim Cruz is open to talking about a federal court case in which he beat charges of illegally smuggling an illegal immigrant across the border.

But Cruz, who is one of seven Democrats seeking two House seats in southside Legislative District 29, is not as forthcoming when it comes to a lawsuit in which he was forced to take a paternity test to establish that he had fathered a child out of wedlock and had to have his wages garnished to pay child support.

James Lamb, who is managing Cruz’s campaign, said that Cruz, 35, would have no comment on the legal actions taken against him by the mother of his son, who was born in December 2001.

More details at ScrambleWatch ’08!

We Have a Budget!

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 1:05 PM

The Arizona Legislature may wrap up work today after finally passing a budget last night. We'll be digging into it for details soon, but here are some reports from the Arizona Republic and the Arizona Daily Star.

As we predicted in this week's Skinny, the budget that finally passed did not have much in the way of Republican support. Guess being the majority doesn't always mean you get your way.

Can we just say that it seems completely nuts that lawmakers dicked around for months to produce a budget that they could have come up with back in April? What kind of leadership are we seeing up there? And let us add that it also seems nuts to give the rank-and-file lawmakers a matter of hours to review what they're voting on.

Looks like one key element is the use of more photo-radar on the state's highways. Sen. Ron Gould offered an amendment to name the system "JanetCam," but that didn't go anywhere.

Once lawmakers decide what to allow us to tax to keep spring training baseball alive in Pima County, Sine Die will not be far behind. From what we're hearing, the Senate will not have the votes to put a constitutional ban on gay marriage on the November ballot.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New At ScrambleWatch: Political Calendar!

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 4:18 PM

You might not have realized it, but we're less than a week away from our first Clean Elections debate! Republican Senate candidates Pete Hershberger and Al Melvin, who represent the yin and the yang of the Arizona Republican Party, will talk about the issues at 6 p.m. next Wednesday, July 2, at the Nanini Library, 7300 N. Shannon Road. Legislative District 26 House candidates Trent Humphries, Vic Williams and Marilyn Zerull will also be part of the forum.

Find out more about the races and other upcoming debates at our new ScrambleWatch blog, where we've just debuted a new political calendar.

Also at ScrambleWatch today: A few of our favorite entries in the Stephen Colbert "Make McCain Exciting Green Screen Challenge." We especially like McCain in the Madonna video, although seeing him on the set of Star Trek is pretty cool, too.

Tucson and Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network Loses a Great Champion

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 12:41 PM

Scott Blades, executive director of Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), recently announced the passing of Dr. Myron Morris, who died June 23 at the age of 83.

From Scott:

More than any other person, Myron has been the face of TIHAN:  devoting more volunteers hours, raising more funds, and serving more CarePartners than any other person in TIHAN's 14-year history.  In addition to his service on a TIHAN CareTeam and on our Board of Directors, Myron helped raise more than $1.4 million for TIHAN over the past decade, primarily through "Treasures for TIHAN," the benefit auction for which Myron was renowned.  And he has become a dear friend to so many people involved with TIHAN.

Two months ago, in the middle of doing volunteer work in support of TIHAN (collecting items for our auction!), Myron experienced great pain which necessitated him going to urgent care.  Over the next two months, his health failed as his body struggled to recuperate from three abdominal surgeries.  Despite his strong spirit and determination, Myron passed away on Monday night at the age of 83.  His legacy lives on through TIHAN and those he touched.

An anonymous donor has made a $1,000 donation to TIHAN in Myron's memory, establishing The Myron Morris Memorial Fund.  An additional $1,000 contribution has already been received.  Gifts to carry on Myron's legacy may be sent to TIHAN, 1011 North Craycroft #301, Tucson, Arizona  85711.

Please join us in honoring Myron Morris and the impact that he made at a memorial service this Sunday, June 29th, at 2:00pm at Temple Emanu-El (225 North Country Club Road), north of Broadway), with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon officiating.  A reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation of time and money in memory of Myron to TIHAN or to another not-for-profit organization close to your heart.

TIHAN sent along Morris' official obituary; this one gave me a glimpse of someone who was obviously spectacular. Evidently the cause of death was due to complications after several abdominal surgeries.

I am left wishing I knew Dr. Morris. Take a look for yourself:

Myron was embraced by all who knew him. His deeply held beliefs in reaching out led to countless friends in every community through which he passed. His humor and warmth were his stock and trade. His passing will be mourned by his relatives and by all of his many friends and associates.

He will be especially missed by his brother, Norman, who has regarded Myron as his guiding spirit and role model since they were young boys growing up in Philadelphia. Norman recalls their many shared childhood and youthful experiences, their travels together and their many happy times.

Myron was a multi-faceted individual. He was a gifted pianist, artisan and discriminating judge of music and of the arts. In his travels throughout the world he gathered artifacts that were representative of the works of extraordinary crafts people whose work he admired. He was a generous man who lavished his friends and relations with gifts and memorabilia.

He began his musical studies at the Settlement Music School under renowned pianists and musical theorists. His brother also recalls that in his teenage years, Myron performed in a Settlement Music School concert attended by Albert Einstein, one of his foremost scientific heroes. In more recent times he studied piano with the gifted pianist and music critic of the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini.

He was also a man of conscience, and action. In response to the killing in 1964 of three young civil rights workers who dedicated their lives to ending racial discrimination in the South, Myron joined the thousands of volunteers who traveled to Mississippi, the sight of the murders, to register black voters. They did so despite continued threats of bodily harm from officials and members of organizations such as the Klu Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council.

In Boston, Myron pursued his medical career with rigor and compassion. Yet, he found greater satisfaction in building community. He volunteered on a medical van that ministered to the needs of wayward street kids, joined in revitalizing a run-down Jamaica Plain neighborhood, and involved himself in protesting war and promoting the voice of the oppressed. He gathered a remarkable multi-generational network of friends, many who regarded Myron as honorary uncle. Host to countless parties, gourmet dinners, musical offerings and political meetings, he greeted all with a broad smile, twinkling eye and inimitable "Myron" hug.

In Tucson, Myron devoted his full time and energy to an array of organizations, with his primary focus being the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN), where Myron served as a caregiving volunteer for numerous people living with HIV/AIDS throughout his twelve years of service. In addition to his caregiving, Myron was recognized as a tireless advocate for people living with the disease and as the organization' s foremost ambassador. In addition to serving on TIHAN's Board of Directors, he was a passionate fundraiser, helping raise over $1.4 million for the organization' s programs and services over the past decade, primarily through the "Treasures for TIHAN" auction of which Myron was a founder. Although he received much public acclamation including TIHAN's "Excellence in Caring" Award and the Association of Fundraising Professionals' "Spirit of Philanthropy" Award, and his volunteer efforts being highlighted in The Jewish Post and the Arizona Daily Star, it was the personal satisfaction and sense of doing what is "right" that drove his efforts.

Myron Morris was a passionate philanthropist and supporter of social justice, civil rights, medical education, progressive politics, inter-faith dialogue/cooperation, and local theater, music, and arts. Since coming out as a gay man 15 years ago, Myron has continued to thrive, living life fully and openly. His life was lived surrounded by an amazing network of friends throughout the world.

Myron Morris, Ph.D, M.D., was the son of the late Benjamin and Reba Morris of Philadelphia. He is survived by his brother, Norman, his sister-in-law, Sandra, and their three sons, Kenneth Morris, Gregory Morris, and Benjamin Morris, along with their respective families, as well as by his first cousins, Dr. and Mrs. Michael Jay Bresler of Emerald Hills, California, and their sons, Benjamin and Aaron.

A memorial service will be held in Tucson this Sunday, June 29th at 2:00pm at Temple Emanu-El (225 North Country Club Road), with Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon officiating. A reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation of time and money in memory of Myron to TIHAN or to another not-for-profit organization close to your heart.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Read the New Issue ...

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM

... or the subject of our cover story will kick your ASS!

Kidding! But read this week's issue anyway; it's got lots of good stuff in it. Feel free to comment on its comments here.

Alas, no YouTube from the Mexican yet. Should that ever show up ... you'll be the first to know!

Last Rosemont Public Hearing is Monday!

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Save the Scenic Santa Ritas wrote in to let us know the last public hearing on the proposed Rosemont Mine is Monday, June 30, in Tucson at the Rincon High School Auditorium, 422 N. Arcadia Avenue. To speak, you must sign in between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m., although the meeting officially starts at 6:30 p.m.

From SSSR: 

It is crucial that we pack the room to show that Tucson is opposed to this project. Even if you don't want to speak your attendance is important, and you can hear what your friends and neighbors have to say about this project! Remember that the deadline for written or emailed scoping comments is July 14, 2008! The Forest Service has put all the documents for the mine on their website (here). You can also read the comments that have been submitted so far at (here).

Also on Monday June 30, the Pima Association of Governments is having their Watershed Planning Meeting and the topic is the Rosemont Mine. This meeting is open to the public, and there will be an open discussion following the presentations. The PAG meeting is at 1:30 p.m. in PAG's 5th floor conference room in the TransAmerican building at 177 N. Church, Tucson.

This month the Watershed meeting will focus on the ROMP 208 Amendment, Copper Mining and the Rosemont Mine Project. The last agenda item is an open roundtable discussion about the Rosemont Mine Project and there should be a lively discussion between the attendees. The speakers and their topics are listed below.

Ed Curley, Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department, will discuss the ROMP 208 Amendment which details upgrades and capacity changes planned for the Ina Road and Roger Road wastewater reclamation facilities.

John Spencer, Arizona Geological Survey, will summarize the geology and distribution of copper deposits both globally and in southern Arizona.

Salek Shafiqullah, Coronado National Forest, will provide an overview of the Rosemont Copper Project and the Environmental Impact Statement process, which is currently underway. He will also outline water quality and water resource issues associated with the mine.

Roundtable Discussion. Attendees are welcome to participate in a roundtable discussion about the Rosemont Copper Project and to share their perspective on the proposed mine.

For more information on Rosemont and watershed issues visit

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