Friday, February 1, 2013

Announcing 150 Shades of Shame, the Tucson Weekly Erotic Fiction Contest

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 5:30 PM

In honor of Valentine's Day, we were recently handed $125 in gift cards from our friends at Fascinations, and encouraged to give them away to our talented and passionate readers in whatever way we saw fit.

After we dismissed the original ideas (including a KY wrestling tournament), we happened upon a fantastic thought: "What if we ran an erotic fiction contest?" And beyond that: "What if that contest involved the Weekly?"

Thus, 150 Shades of Shame was born.

So dear readers, we direct you to the Contest link here and above, or to the space below the jump, for the rules.

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Reflections on Mark Hummels, Tucson and Gun Violence

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Roger E. Hartley, a former UA professor of public policy, remembers attorney Mark Hummels, who died this week after being shot in Phoenix:

I was offered a chance to write today in the wake of the death of my friend, Mark Hummels, after he was taken from us in the tragic shooting this week in Phoenix. Like all of us who experience loss or just hear about it, we quickly find our empathy, we find kindness in others, we work through what we are charged to do, and reflect. As I put paper to pen…or pixels to pixels…I’m left considering what I should tell you about my friend in this rare opportunity to write and, as I reflect on Mark, my time in Tucson, and on gun violence. Before I go on, I have to say that for anyone who reads this that knew Mark and loved him and his family, I can only guess how much you are hurting. I hope that nothing I say today hurts you more. I am devastated for Mark’s wife Dana, and his children, whom he deeply loved. I am devastated for each of you who knew him and who are hurting right now. But I have come to learn that so many of us find our empathy quickly because so many of us have been there.

My wife and I met Mark and Dana in 2001 when we moved from out east to Tucson. We left our families behind and knew virtually no one in Arizona. We stayed until 2010. Some of you know that I served the University of Arizona as a professor from 2001 to 2010. I met so many people and learned so much from my time in Arizona. I left for a lot of reasons but most of all to raise my boy in Appalachia and be closer to my family. I also left because I felt a bit out of place after 10 years…professionally and personally. When I left, I wasn’t sure I would come back. I haven’t been back. Like a lot of men, I just left, kept in touch with some, and tried hard to keep from missing people as I took on my new life with every bit of enthusiasm I could. For my wife, Melissa…well she missed Tucson the day she left. I tried hard not to think much about Tucson probably because I knew I would miss it. Things just keep dragging me back and sadly it has been a series of tragedies culminating in Mark’s death just yesterday.

First, on Mark. Mark was in my wife’s law school class. They hit it off..and he and I did. Our families spent a lot of time together and so did he and I. I’ve never met anyone like him. So brilliant, so serious about his work, so driven, so motivated, but all of that was wrapped into a quirky, truly unusual person. You would never know that Mark was a prestigious attorney of journalist if you met him outside the office. If you have read the news about his passing you now know that he grew up in Greeley, Colorado, attended Colorado College, Cal-Berkeley for journalism school, and lived in Santa Fe, NM working as a reporter. He left journalism for law school at Arizona. He loved it. He loved ideas, he loved the work, and was competitive. He graduated number 1 in his class and later passed the bar with the highest score. The photos of him are in a tie, at a very prestigious law firm in Phoenix. Those things were him to some degree as our work and passions are a part of all of us. What people will not know is that Mark eagerly rode a unicycle… with off-road tires…sometimes while juggling. He enjoyed infomercials and bought stuff that people just don’t buy off TV like Ronko knives. You might have seen him on a beach in Mexico with a giant grasshopper tattoo on his arm, or as I did one weekend, playing with his children while wearing a Santos mask. He took every piece of life that was offered to him and squeezed every drop from it. He liked to play. Mark gravitated to people no matter what the station of life or background. I think he preferred the company of ordinary people. He was infectious and when I had the opportunity to see him, I knew that it would be an adventure. He would have loved the my new, odd, city of Asheville with its craft beers, drum circle, and trippy people. One of the things I will always regret is that hat is that he never got to see it.

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El Charro's President Is Determined To Keep A Latin Nightclub Going For Tucson

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

After learning that CVS Pharmacy recently bought El Mercado Shopping Center, on the corner of Broadway Boulevard and Wilmot Road, I asked Ray Flores Jr., president of El Charro, a few questions about the future of the 17-year-old Latin nightclub that will soon be closing. Flores got an eviction notice in December giving him days to move. With the help of Steve Kozachik and Paul Cunningham, city councilmen, Flores managed to delay the move until March 3.

El Charro’s east side location was the first expansion and Flores’ first restaurant, he said. The restaurant drew crowds on Saturday nights as a Latin nightclub.

Flores said he’s hoping to announce a new location in the next few weeks as he’s looking to relocate the nightclub possibly to the east side but he’s also looking into downtown locations.

“I’m going to bring back a Latin nightclub in Tucson because I think the population deserves it,” Flores said.

As a Latina who’s been to El Charro on a Saturday night, it’s pretty sad to know their future is in jeopardy. El Charro as a restaurant has many locations but none provide a fun environment where people go to meet others and dance and enjoy themselves.

The Latin community is a huge chunk of Tucson and now all the city might have to offer are Thursday nights at Sapphire. While there are many nightclubs in town that play Latin music, El Charro was one of few left that was a hang out spot for mostly people in their twenties.

I guess all we can do now is keep our fingers crossed and wait for Flores to announce where he’ll be relocating.

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When Immigration and Gay Politics Collide

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Karma R. Chávez of the University of Madison will speak about the DREAMer "coming out" strategy and queer leadership in this movement in "Coming out of the Closet, Coming out of the Shadows: From DREAMers to 'Undocuqueers' and Beyond."

The lecture, sponsored by Wingspan and the UA Institute for LGBT Studies is 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Ventana Room, level 4 at the UA Student Union Memorial Center. A summary:

In 2010, "coming out" became a dominant strategy of the undocumented youth movement, particularly among those advocating for the DREAM Act. Given the queer leadership of this movement, the appropriation of the LGBTQ political strategy made sense, and it has since become a regular strategy among migrant youth activists, even those who oppose the DREAM Act. This talk argues that the appropriation strategy provides a unique lens to understand coalitional possibilities among queer and migrant rights and justice movements. The appropriation also helps to highlight the differences between movements, the risks and opportunities for differently-positioned groups using the same strategies for different ends, as well as how groups imagine the conditions of their politics.

Wingspan also hosts a community dialogue about LGBT immigration issues from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, at 430 E. Seventh St.:

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The Hurdles To Immigration Reform

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Sen. Chuck Schumer tells Talking Points Memo that there are three big hurdles to immigration reform:

“First, defining metrics that demonstrate the border is secure,” he told reporters on Thursday. “Second, defining exactly what the path to citizenship looks like and how it proceeds. [Third,] reaching an agreement between business and labor on a future flow program.”

Local Arizona politicians could have a big role in the Senate's framework for immigration reform—which could mean a big stall over the question of whether the border is secure enough before resolving the status of undocumented immigrants now in the U.S.:

The Senate’s plan also calls for a commission of Southwestern governors and other state officials to oversee the process. Members of the Senate group backing the idea say the ultimate decision on the trigger would be left to the Department of Homeland Security and that it’s unconstitutional to give the commission a veto, but conservatives could still press to expand their role in a final deal or give Congress a greater say in determining whether the border is secure. And then there’s the metrics used to define a secure border. Democrats want an easily measurable checklist, like number of agents deployed or whether or not they have enough drones in the air. But the vaguer the definition, the better chance immigration reform opponents have of slowing down the naturalization process in the future.

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UPDATE: School Closure and Last Minute Filings with Deseg Judge

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

In this week's Tucson Weekly, we have an update on the latest filings with U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury, the federal judge expected to make a decision next month on the nearly 40-year-old desegregation lawsuit between Tucson Unified School District and plaintiffs representing Mexican-American and African-American students.

UPDATE: TUSD school board member Mark Stegeman emailed that the letter we have from the court that he submitted to Bury is incomplete. A new letter is now linked below.

We promised to put all the filing and letters online for those interested in legal docs and such.

Mendoza objection to TUSD school closures and exhibits filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund:


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Valley of the Moon Shakes Off Fairy Dust for a Campfire Singalong

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM


Every first Saturday of the month there's always a special happening at Valley of the Moon. Tomorrow, it's a campfire singalong, Saturday, Feb. 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. Admission is free (donations welcomed):

Join the magical creatures of the Valley as we sing songs, tell stories, and enjoy a warm fire on a winter evening. This will be a magical, memorable evening at the historic Valley of the Moon singing songs you know by heart by The Beatles, Peter Paul and Mary, Paul Simon, Raffi, Pete Seeger, and lots of others. After twilight take a stroll under the Fairy Lights and explore the enchanted trails and gardens of the Valley. All you have to bring is your voice and your imagination! Marshmallows and hot chocolate will be provided. Food and snacks will be available. Acoustic instruments are welcome and encouraged.

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GOP Immigration Politics: Will the Elites or the Base Win?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait sees the GOP's push for immigration reform as a battle between the GOP elites and the GOP base:

And so, among other things, the party’s ability to make this decision stick will be a test of its ability to wrest control from the activists. One constant and somewhat unusual dynamic of the last few years is the degree to which Republican base activists — grassroots ones, not the ones based in Washington — were able to bend the party to their will. They repeatedly nominated ultraconservatives in Senate races over Establishment favorites. They dragged out the presidential campaign and forced Romney to endorse draconian positions, especially on immigration, that hurt him dearly.

The concerted campaign, spearheaded by Marco Rubio, to make immigration reform acceptable is the biggest test case of whether the party leadership, such as it is, can bend the activists to their will. It won’t be the last.

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