Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ASDB Meeting Grows Tense as Board Ignores Calls to Renew Administrator's Contract

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 7:36 PM

The Tucson Weekly was going to press during today's Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind board meeting. Look in Thursday's issue for a story on student demands and staff concerns.

The board of directors of the Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind decided today to hire an independent investigator to look into all complaints against its administration.

The special meeting was held at the capitol in Phoenix to address five formal complaints from staff members and the community from ASDB. More than 80 people filled the small conference room, with a dozen spilling into the hallway rendering the governor's conference room standing-room only.

A main concern was the recent decision to not renew ASDB administrator Nancy Amann's contract, an issue which has sparked student-led protests calling for the resignation of Superintendent Robert Hill and board president Bernhardt Jones and to reinstate Amann. Staff members are fearful of being put on administrative leave when standing up for students, Amann's administrative assistant and interpreter Jessica Boof Sizemore told the Range at the meeting.

Throughout March and April, according to all of the speakers, their questions have not been answered by any board member and since April they have not seen or heard from Hill. Today was the first time he had been seen in weeks, they said.

At the end of the meeting, Jones provided Hill with an excuse, saying that the superintendent's mother has been ill.

Several ASDB staff and community members were able to speak to the board. Jones made it clear to only comment on the issues explicitly on the agenda — which did not include the students' demands to reinstate Amann. Hill did not speak and Jones thanked each speaker at the end of their three minutes.

The requests and comments from speakers including a request for a neutral mediator and the resignation of Hill. Parent Rob Voreck said he supported Hill five years ago but did not recognize the man sitting in front of him.

"He used to bend over backwards and now he is only interested in himself," Voreck told the board. "I don't understand what's happened but I know he isn't wanted anymore."

A spokesperson from the National Association of the Deaf told the board this is affecting the students' futures and she recommended an independent party to address the issues. "This isn't to be taken lightly," she said.

Parent Becca Bailey asked through an interpreter to revisit Hill's contract and the board's because their terms are currently expired. "Nancy is leadership, we need to renew her contract," Bailey said.

Student body vice president Sabrina Shysh came from Tucson with three other students, including student body president Juliana Apfel. Shysh took the floor first and was initially told she could not be heard because her request and reasons to reinstate Amann were not on the agenda.

Immediately, the room grew tense. Apfel, sitting in the last row, stood up and demanded to let her and her fellow students be heard.

Jones allowed the students to continue, starting with Shysh.

"Nancy has always been available to talk. Robert Hill has not, where have you been?" said Shysh.

After two hours the board went into a private executive meeting. Audience members shouted for Hill to not attend, but he did.

Before the boards' decision, Voreck said he believes that Hill and Jones' conflict of interest is intentional (that they run a business together that certifies American Sign Language interpreters), but that Hill originally portrayed the students' outrage as a deaf community versus hearing community issue.

After 45 minutes, the board returned and said they would now look at bringing in an outside investigator for the allegations of conflict of interest. They did not comment on Hill's status. Board member G. Michael Williams said he will lead the search for an investigator who will work as a neutral party.

The next meeting is scheduled for June 20 in Phoenix.

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Live Out the Rest of Your Life on Mars

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 4:28 PM

If you were to watch the above video without any background, you may think it's a trailer for the latest space disaster movie. But you'd be wrong.

Mars One announced last Monday that they will being accepting applications from people 18 years or older to apply for a one-way ticket to Mars. They would depart in the year 2022 and arrive seven months later in 2023.

The organizations goal is to establish a settlement of human life on the red planet. Therefore, anyone who applies for their trip to Mars would not have the chance to return home; they would live out the rest of their life there, indefinitely.

"From now on, we won't just be visiting planets, we'll be staying. You will be staying," the video says.

Continue reading »

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Entry for Kore Press Fiction Contest Ends Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Send Kore Press your poetry! Your prose! Your fiction! Join 55 emerging writers whose careers were launched after publishing with Kore Press, and send in your manuscripts.

A prize of $1,000 and a chapbook publication is given annually by Kore Press. Kate Bernheimer, author of novels, stories, children's books, and essays, will be the judge for this Short Fiction Award. Tin House, author of The Complete Tales of Lucy Gold, calls Bernheimer "One of the living masters of the fairy tale."

Both the Open Submissions period and Short Fiction award deadlines have almost arrived. Please submit tonight by midnight. Kore's editors provide brief and thorough critiques, and each submission is treated with the utmost respect. Visit www.korepress.org for submissions guidelines and fees.

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Bad News/Good News: Os Mutantes Show Cancelled, But Club Congress is Making it Up To You Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Straight from the good folks over at Club Congress, it appears that Os Mutantes, featured on our cover last week, is having transportation issues and can't make it to Tucson in time for the show.

But, like Bradley Cooper, Club Congress is finding that silver lining, and offering a show tonight, featuring Capsula and local band Chicha Dust for the low, low price of absolutely free.

Even better? According to Club Congress, Os Mutantes is in the process of lining up a return date — possibly as soon as May 12. If you're too upset to consider hanging on to your tickets, Congress is offering to refund your ticket.

From Club Congress:

UGH! One of the most anticipated shows we've had in a loooong time has been delayed by an engine fire. Os Mutantes are stuck in Texas!!! They will not be able to get here in time! Terrible news with a small silver lining. They have already promised a make up date on May 12 OR when they return for the 2nd leg of their North American tour. Your ticket will be honored for that should you wish to hold on to it. Otherwise we will refund at point of purchase. MORE SILVER LINING. Capsula, an absolutely awesome psycedelic band from Buenos Aires (hand picked by Os Mutantes) are still going to play, as well as Tucson's best new Psychedelico super group, Chicha Dust ...and because we are all sad we are making the show FREE! Chicha Dust says "we would like a nice long dance party set"... now that's making the best of a bad situation.

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Is 47 Scott's Stack of Grilled Cheese the Best Cheese Sandwich in the U.S.?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 2:13 PM

We gave a nod to Esquire's coverage of 47 Scott's Stack of Grilled Cheese, as part of their month honoring sandwiches made of cheese-filled sandwiches that have been warmed on a grill, but we neglected to inform you that 47 Scott is among the contestants to earn the title of America's Most Life-Changing Grilled Cheese, or something like that.

I mean, that's a fairly ridiculous, arbitrary title, but the important part is that a damn good local joint gets some national recognition, and we're all about that over here.

So head to Esquire's Eat Like A Man blog and vote — and if you feel so inclined, make sure to tweet something mentioning how awesome 47 Scott's Stack of Grilled Cheese is, using the hashtag #MostLifeChangingGrilledChz (because hashtags are still cool, right?).

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Have You Submitted Your Best of Tucson® Ballot Yet?

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Hey folks, if you haven't yet submitted your ballot for the magical Best of Tucson® 2013 yet, what're you waiting for?

Voting ends on May 31, meaning you've got one month to tell us what your favorite Tucson hangouts, stores, restaurants and watering holes are.

Hit the link below for the ballot — and as a bonus bit of inspiration, I can think of nothing better than Arrested Development's resident illusionist, a Magician Named G.O.B.!

Vote Here!

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Canadian College Students Question Sexuality in Ads, Flip the Script

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 11:36 AM

This video comes from a trio of ladies out of the University of Saskatchewan, where Sarah Zelinski, Kayla Hatzel and Dylan Lambi-Raine created this video for their Women and Gender Studies class. In it, they examine the way in which women are sexualizied in advertising media, and question how such ads affect violence against women.

Then, they flip the script entirely, swapping men for women in the ads.

Check it out. If you just want to check the gender role swap, roll the video forward to about 2:40 (though I recommend you watch the whole thing to get a better grasp of what they're talking about.)

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A Michigan Mom Thinks the Diary of Anne Frank is Too 'Pornographic' For Michigan Teens

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 9:22 AM

A "concerned parent" in Michigan wants a version of The Diary of Anne Frank to be banned because it contains "pornographic" material.

In this case, "concerned parent" is shorthand for "complete f—king idiot."

According to Gawker, Gail Horalek of Northville, Mich. filed a complaint with the local school district on behalf of her daughter, who was made uncomfortable by passages in which Frank discusses the discovery of her anatomy.

"It's pretty graphic, and it's pretty pornographic for seventh-grade boys and girls to be reading," Horalek told Fox 2. "It's inappropriate for a teacher to be giving this material out to the kids when its really the parents' job to give the students this information."

The pornographic passage in question:

Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn't realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn't see them. What's even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris…When you're standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you're standing, so you can't see what's inside. They separate when you sit down and they're very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there's a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That's the clitoris.

- Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Ye gods! A teenage girl is discussing her genitals in a descriptive and borderline clinical fashion! Someone, burn the offending material — she might talk about the fact that she has breasts next!

Horalek wants the school to begin using the edited version of The Diary of Anne Frank in classes — one which was edited by Frank's father, and omits passages about both Frank's pubescent sexuality and challenges she's having with her mother.

Because if anything, teenagers should be restricted from reading 1.) about the times and trials of living through one of the darkest periods in modern history, and 2.) reading material by someone who can give perspective to the things that they're going through, written as they're going through it themselves.

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