Sunday, March 31, 2013

"60 Minutes" Looks at the Pioneer Fire

Posted By on Sun, Mar 31, 2013 at 6:58 PM

In case you missed it, 60 Minutes ran a story about the 1970 Pioneer Hotel Fire and the case of Louis Taylor, the 16 year-old convicted of the crime. Taylor is set to be released from prison on Tuesday after pleading no contest in exchange for a term reduction to time served.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

AZ Illustrated Politics: Marriage Equality, Immigration Reform, Social Security's Future

Posted By on Sat, Mar 30, 2013 at 10:15 AM

On last night's episode of AZ Illustrated Politics: Congressman Jim Kolbe, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, Democratic strategist Rodd McLeod and former Pima County Democratic Party spokesman Jeff Rogers joined host Jim Nintzel to discuss the Supreme Court hearings this week on marriage equality, comprehensive immigration reform and the future of Social Security and Medicaid reform.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Cunningham Aide Katie Bolger Had a Rough Night With the Cops

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 3:43 PM

On March 22, Katie Bolger, Chief of Staff for Ward 2 City Councilman Paul Cunningham and one-time Green Party candidate, walked home from a night drinking. That's where it got weird.

Bolger was apparently crossing Speedway near 5th Avenue in a generally poorly lit area when a cop in an unmarked police vehicle almost struck her. For understandable reasons, the police office stopped to talk to Bolger, who then, according to the police report, went for belligerence as a strategy. A selection of quotes attributed to Bolger from the police report:

"Fuck you, motherfucker. You almost hit me."
"You should be ashamed you almost hit me. That's on you!"
"We don't have enough money to respond to burglaries or car accidents, but we have time to respond to fucking jaywalkers."
"You might want to call [police chief] Villasenor just for the fuck of it."
"Protect the fucking town, you motherfucker."
"This is why we should support more money for fucking cops? Good PR."

Officers offered to give Bolger a ride home, however Bolger refused the offer stating she would rather go to jail than take a ride. When Ted Prezelski came to pick Bolger up, she demanded he record the situation (grabbing his bicep and reminding him that he works for her) when she refused to sign the citation. Getting her wish, she was transported to the Pima County Jail.

Bolger declined to comment, but her boss Cunningham remarked that Bolger exercised "bad judgment" and the matter would be dealt with internally.

Cunningham almost certainly would rather not deal with this sort of issue, because inevitably it reminds people of his own alcohol-related behavior issues, most famously on a San Diego TREO junket in May of 2012.

It should be noted this information and a copy of the police report went out in an pseudonymous email last night addressed to Mayor Rothschild, but sent to nearly everyone in the Tucson media. The sender seemingly has a grudge against Cunningham's office (the email referred to Prezelski as "Ted Pretzel-ski" for some not-terribly funny reason).

Read the report (in PDF form) here.

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An Arizona Judge Has Denied Divorce For the 'Pregnant Man'

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 3:00 PM

A Phoenix court ruled that transgender man Thomas Beatie, who became known as the 'Pregnant Man' late last decade during a whirlwind of television appearances during his first pregnancy, could not divorce from his wife because they could not prove that their Hawaiian marriage was not a same-sex marriage.

From the Arizona Republic:

In December, Beatie told The Arizona Republic, "I'm clearly a man: socially, legally, psychologically, physically — the whole ball of wax."

Judge Douglas Gerlach was not so certain. In a ruling last June, he noted that the “marriage was between a female ... and a person capable of giving birth, who later did so.”

Beatie was born a woman. But in 1979, he began taking testosterone and had a psychologist determine that he identified with the male gender. Then he underwent a double mastectomy in 2002 and had his birth certificate changed to say he was male.

Because his wife, Nancy could not have children, he did. Now he wants a divorce so that he can marry his new girlfriend.

Gerlach denied that request on Friday.

Gerlach wrote in his order that the Beaties had not proven that their marriage is recognizable under Arizona state law, which describes marriage as between a man and a woman, and therefore cannot be legally dissolved.

In Gerlach's decision, he notes concern that equating a double mastectomy with a sex-change operation "would lead to circumstances in which a person’s sex can become a matter of whim and not a matter of any reasonable, objective standard or policy."

At the same time, it's worth repeating that Beatie had his Hawaiian birth certificate legally changed to reflect his current identify — and that his sex (not gender, mind you) is now noted as "male." It's also worth noting that in order to have one's sex changed on a birth certificate in Hawaii (and most other states) a letter confirming sexual reassignment surgery is required from the doctor that performed the surgery:

An amended birth certificate will be prepared upon receipt of an affidavit of a physician that the physician has examined the individual and determined that the individual has had a sex change operation and the sex designation on the individual’s birth certificate is no longer correct, subject to further investigation and submission of additional information if deemed necessary, and payment of fees.

The Republic notes that Beatie's representatives are reviewing the decision and have no comment until next week.

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Tulsa Dentist Endangers 7,000 Patients

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 1:53 PM

As if a trip to the dentist isn’t already painful enough, about 7,000 patients received notice that they should be tested for HIV and hepatitis after visiting a dental practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Described as the “perfect storm” for infection by Susan Rogers, the executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, the clinic is being investigated of wrongdoings for all incoming patients since 2007. W. Scott Harrington, the main practitioner, surrendered his license shortly after health officials initiated the investigation - but despite being accused of 17 health violations, may still walk away with nothing but a rap on the wrist.

Rogers described the state of the practice, courtesy of CNN:

"Many of (the) procedures were invasive and exposed patients' blood, tissue and bones, and investigators discovered that these procedures were being carried out in an unsanitary environment.

The instruments that came out of the autoclave were horrible," Rogers said, referring to a device used to sterilize tools. "I wouldn't let my nephews play with them out in the dirt. I mean, they were horrible. They had rust on them."

Continue reading »

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'Actresses Without Teeth' Tumblr Reminds Me Of Fish, Lovecraftian Horrors

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM

So over the last week or so, the Actresses Without Teeth Tumbr Tumblog has been gaining a massive number of fans across the internet — and I'm not completely sure why. I mean, for some reason, when I see this:

and this:

I can't help but think of this:

Continue reading »

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Seeking Submissions for the Yuma Film Festival

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 10:30 AM

  • Courtesy of the Yuma Film Festival Facebook Page

If you have a film you might want to share with audiences of the Yuma’s 2nd Annual Independent Film, Art and Music Festival, now’s the time: the final deadline for submissions is Monday, April 1.

The festival returns on April 19 and 20, in a town with a significant amount of Hollywood history: True Lies, the original Star Wars trilogy and Road to Zanzibar (starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby) were all partially filmed there. An expected audience of 5,000 people, according to the fest’s website, will descend into Yuma to usher in a new age of Southern Arizona filmmaking.

This new age, though, won’t be lacking its fair share of nostalgia: all of the accepted films will be screened in the Historic Yuma Theatre, while the rest of the action will unfold on Main Street, where local artists and vendors will set up camp from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. Short films will be screened both days of the festival with to-be-announced “feature films” playing at 8:15 p.m. both nights (the full schedule of the festival can be found here). A $5 entry fee buys you admission into a full day of screening and festival events.

Continue reading »

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This Week in Tucson Bicycling

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Data suggests the University of Arizona campus is seeing a surge in bike thefts. Check out the interactive map and find out how much thefts are increasing.

Once upon a time Tucson had three bike corrals. Now the city is down to just one. That is changing however. Find out where the new ones are going in.

The woman who hit a cyclist and then fled the scene will face sentencing on April 15. The father of the injured cyclist is requesting help from the bike community.

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Plant Low-Cost Trees for Energy Efficiency

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