Friday, December 30, 2011

County Supe Appoints New TUSD Board Member: UA Econ Lecturer Alexandre Sugiyama

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 1:15 PM

According to a press release from the Office of the Pima County School Superintendent, Linda Arzoumanian has appointed Alexandre Sugiyama, a lecturer in the UA Department of Economics, to fill the late Judy Burns seat. And yes, he'll be sworn in at the TUSD special meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Press release:

Pima County School Superintendent, Dr. Linda Arzoumanian, has appointed Dr. Alexandre Sugiyama to the Governing Board of the Tucson Unified School District. Dr. Arzoumanian interviewed three candidates to fill the open seat on the Governing Board of the Tucson Unified School District. Those names were forwarded to her by the community advisory committee tasked with identifying the best candidates on behalf of the TUSD community. The committee made its recommendations to Dr. Arzoumanian after interviewing all 54 applicants beginning on December 10, 2011.

Dr. Arzoumanian interviewed Dr. Sugiyama, Ronald Michaels, and Ross Sheard separately before making a decision to appoint one of the three. Dr. Sugiyama will fill the seat left vacant by the death of Judy Burns and will serve out the remainder of the term through December 31, 2012. The seat is one of three in TUSD that will be up for election in November of 2012.

Dr. Sugiyama is a lecturer in the University of Arizona’s Department of Economics. A long-time Tucson resident, he earned both his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in economics prior to launching a post-graduate career in the financial industry. Dr. Sugiyama is motivated to serve on the TUSD board by his two young daughters as well as a strong belief that “educational excellence allows for the American dream to continue for a new generation.”

Dr. Sugiyama will be sworn into office by Dr. Arzoumanian at the TUSD board meeting on Tuesday, January 3 at 5:30p.m. TUSD board meetings are held at TUSD Central Office, 1010 E. 10th St.

Dr. Arzoumanian would like to thank the five members of the community advisory committee — Tola Baker, Michele Harbour, Steve Holmes, Charles Weisel and Juan Ciscomani — for their important work and commitment to the process. Dr. Arzoumanian would also like to thank the 54 applicants for their desire to serve the TUSD community and to recognize the strength of the pool of candidates.

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Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails Adds Outdoor Seating

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails at 135 S. Sixth Ave. is in the process of adding a patio area that will soon be home to an outdoor bar area and a bit of additional seating.

The outdoor seating will be located in front of the restaurant along Sixth Avenue and was part of owner Janos Wilder's vision for the restaurant from the very beginning, he said via a press release. The area will also be outfitted with heaters to ward off the chill on cooler nights.

Construction on the area is expected to wrap up next month.

Idiot Boksen: Too Much Good Stuff

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 10:18 AM


There's too much great television to watch. I can't keep up. I'll show you: Here's the AV Club's list of The top 30 shows on television this year. This list does not include shows like South Park or The Colbert Report or The Office, all of which have been pretty terrific over the last 12 months. I mean, South Park, one of the most influential and groundbreaking shows in television history, possibly had its best season ever this year. Not on the list.

Of those 30 shows, I am up-to-date—meaning I've seen every episode—with eight of them. I'm behind on three (Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, and Treme), and there are nine others (including a widely-praised season of Justified), I'd love to watch, but haven't even started.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Retired 56-Year-Old Bikes Around the World

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Christine Farrugia is a retired government worker, but she isn't taking it easy just yet. She's on a mission to teach and raise money for children by biking around the world. She started off in California and will be in Tucson through early next week. At noon on Monday, Jan. 2, she will be at Fairwheel Bikes, 1110 E. Sixth St. to talk about her journey. Future stops include Houston, New Orleans, Orlando and Miami as well as Cape Town, South Africa and Harare, Zimbabwe. Visit for details.

Read on for more info:

Christine Farrugia is currently riding her bike, alone, around the world. Beginning early December with an event that included the Mayor of Pasenda and many others seeing her off. The 56 year old retired government worker with over 20 years of teaching is peddling her way to a year-long bicycle ride around the world to raise awareness and money for Children’s issues.

Ms. Farrugia had an epiphany recently, a seed of an idea that came from one of her students. An avid traveler and sometime bicyclist (to school and back), a student asked "if she had ever ridden her bicycle around the world"? It was at that moment that she realized that she had an opportunity to make her classroom much larger than just the standard four walls. With over 20 years experience teaching she will embark on a bicycle ride around the world. Christine has begun the year long trek that will take her from California to major cities and small towns across the US to Asia, Europe, South America and everywhere in-between.

As Christine sees it, it's more than just a bike trip around the world-"I will be teaching via Youtube videos. I am working with a teacher at Hillsides who will show the video once a month with Q & A with the kids, the teacher will email me the questions and I answer the questions on the next video. My goal is to do this in every school in the world."For Christine Farrugia, this is a chance to teach children the world over about the importance of exercise, determination and that anyone (even an ordinary person) can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it. She has also established the Project Miracle Co, (organized solely to raise funds for established children's charities) that will be the direct beneficiary of the media attention her bike ride will generate.

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The Only Novelty Nickelback Tumblr You Need

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM


I always thought that Nickelback's Chad Kroeger was sort of a misogynist knucklehead, but I guess I misread the dude. His music is still awful, however, even if he's reading postmodern cultural literature backstage.

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A Music Video About Luggage

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Probably to try to convince people that their luggage handlers don't randomly beat the crap out of your stuff, Delta Airlines made a suitcase with six cameras mounted inside to show the journey your bag takes when you fly between Atlanta and New York.

The video's sort of interesting, but it's made far better by adding a great song by Tycho as the soundtrack. So, even if you don't care about behind-the-scenes airport stuff, chill out to "Hours" for two minutes and 43 seconds.

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Writer's Block: Arthur Naiman

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 1:00 PM


Local author Arthur Naiman has written about the events of Sept. 11 in his book, 9/11: The Simple Facts: Why the Official Story Can't Possibly Be True. Released this summer, the book is published by Soft Skull Press. (112 pages, $12)

Book summary from the publisher:

Books on 9/11 tend to get dismissed as “conspiracy theories” but that won’t work with this one, because it contains no theories at all about who did what. It simply focuses on flaws in the official version of events.

It begins by listing fourteen clearly observable facts about the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings that the official story can’t explain, then gives a simple explanation that accounts for all fourteen of them. It asks:

• Why has no other skyscraper ever collapsed from being hit by airplanes or from fires, even ones that raged for seventeen and eighteen hours?

• How could the buildings fall so symmetrically, and so fast?

• Why, on not a single one of the four planes, did anyone punch in the four-digit hijacking code?

• How could the BBC broadcast to a world audience, on live TV, the destruction of Building 7—the third WTC skyscraper, the one that wasn’t hit by a plane and that most people aren’t even aware of—twenty minutes before it happened? (You can see it standing there in the background.)

It’s questions like these—and there are hundreds of them—that have convinced more than 1500 architects and engineers, with 25,000 hours of professional experience, as well as senior governmental officials, intelligence and military officers, pilots, firefighters, scholars, 9/11 survivors and relatives, broadcasters, reporters, authors and tens of thousands of others, to petition for a new, independent investigation.

Continue reading »

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Gabrielle Giffords is the Republic's Arizonan of the Year

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I'm sure everyone involved wishes that Rep. Giffords would have earned this honor under different circumstances and maybe next year she will, but who else could the Arizona Republic choose as "Arizonan of the Year"?

Giffords has made amazing progress since the shooting. Miraculous, some say. She continues her recovery in the face of the unknown. How much? How far? How complete?

Her seemingly charmed life as the beautiful, accomplished congresswoman with the astronaut husband has become a struggle to fully recover the power of language, which had been among her special gifts. A politician fighting for words. The Energizer Bunny learning to walk again, slowly, with that loving husband at her side. Nobody doubts she'll keep going.

If they make another movie called "True Grit," it ought to be about Gabby Giffords.

And if Arizona takes a collective lesson from her story — beyond the obvious one about the power of love and the human spirit — it ought to be that real courage is about ignoring odds, believing in yourself and daring to trust that hard work will pay off in the future.

Gabrielle Giffords is an example of that kind of strength and resilience, and a model for Arizona. She's the Arizonan of 2011.

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DO(OM) Yoga

Slow & low will be the tempo in this yin-based yoga class, inspired by a doom metal… More

@ Floor Polish Sundays, 8-9 p.m. 408 N 4th Avenue

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