Monday, April 1, 2013

MaFooCo Expanding to a Fleet of Four (UPDATE: No They're Not)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 5:00 PM


Good news for Korean/Mexican fusion outfit MaFooCo, who are expanding in a big way, jumping from one truck to four, according to their Facebook page.

NOTE: Yep, this was an April Fool's joke. I hate that damn day.

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Arizona Named 11th 'Freest' State in the Union, Says Mercatus Center

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 4:09 PM

In an announcement sure to raise the hackles of many a person who likes running around in Colonial-era garb, it appears that Arizona is unfortunately NOT among the freest states in America — we're only 11th. But hey, better than those freedom-hating Commu-socialist bastards on the coasts!

From Freedom in the 50 States:

Arizona scores well on economic freedom but its personal freedom score is mediocre. Arizona was one of the most improved states between 2009 and 2011, after declining between 2007 and 2009. Fiscal policy was the major factor in this apparent reversal, perhaps because the state was hit hard by the housing bust.

The state scores particularly well on taxes, which are 8.5 percent of personal income, and on fiscal decentralization, which is nearly a standard deviation better (more decentralized) than average. But it scores poorly on government debt, which is 22.8 percent of income. Government spending and employment are slightly better (lower) than average.


In the personal freedom dimension, Arizona scores well on gun control laws (no permit is required for concealed carry, as in Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming); alcohol regulations and taxes, apart from a “happy hour” ban; and educational freedom (a tax credit law is in place, and private and home schools are not very regulated). It scores poorly on tobacco policies due to high cigarette taxes and extremely strict smoking bans, and on incarceration rates, which are a standard deviation worse (higher) than average.

The major categories that the states were scored on include fiscal policy, regulatory policy and personal freedom. Sub-categories included economic freedom; marijuana and salvia freedom; and travel freedom.

Nothing too out of the ordinary here: the Mercatus Center, a libertarian-leaning think-tank whose stated research mission "is focused on how markets solve problems," ranked states on fiscal policy, regulatory policy and personal freedom...uh, policy, then decided that our love of guns, our low taxes and our loose regulations on most things (smoking aside) make us a top example of liberty-loving values...though you shouldn't be surprised to note that the effects of S.B. 1070 were wholly ignored:

Note that, because its most controversial provisions were thrown out by the courts, Arizona’s first-in-the-nation stop-and-identify law targeting undocumented immigrants is not included in the index.

Good call, to an extent — but ignoring the law as a whole simply because the "controversial" bits were excluded doesn't quite represent the culture of intimidation that surrounded it, guys.

Either way, the rest of the top 10 includes such bastions of freedom as North and South Dakota (ranked numbers one and two, respectively), followed by Tennessee, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Idaho, Missouri, Virginia, Georgia and Utah.

Take a look at the list as a whole here, and check out Arizona's section right here.

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A Non-Comprehensive List of the Crap People Are Doing for April Fool's Day 2013

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Hey folks, it's April Fool's Day again — you know, the one day out of the year that people believe that they have free rein to be obnoxious and slightly dickish under the guise of it being "fun!" and "wacky!"


We at Tucson Weekly find April Fool's Day to be unnecessary — after all, some of us practice being obnoxious and slightly dickish every day of the year, which takes commitment, dammit. Thus, we're taking this opportunity to spoil make you aware of the pranks that people have tried to pull on this otherwise-unremarkable day of the year so that you aren't fooled by them.

The Good

  • For one, make sure to check out roughly everything Google has been doing today: Google Nose (Beta, of course), Gmail Blue, ">Google Treasure Maps and the announcements of the Winners of YouTube, which is pretty spectacular, to be perfectly honest.
  • The folks behind the highly-regarded Android phone app SwiftKey came up with the, um, "interesting" concept for SwiftKey Tilt (and hidden an easter egg for it in the app's latest update), which attempts to guess what you're typing based on which direction your phone is tilting at any given time. The video is well worth the watch.
  • Of course, we have to give love to Eegee's, and their "flavor of the month," Spicy Sriracha — which I will totally actually try.
  • Think Geek's Death Star Trench Toss game, which is one of the many products that Think Geek rolls out every year and eventually turns into something they actually sell. Beats the hell out of the other fakes they've got this year.

Everything Else

  • The New York Times Haiku Tumblr.
  • This video from the White House's YouTube channel, featuring the otherwise-entertaining Kid President, which is a bait-and-switch message from "the President." Yeah. Great idea.
  • Any posts, without warning, of the compound tibia fracture suffered by Louisville guard Kevin Ware last night (don't worry, that's just a link to an ESPN blog post explaining that Ware's injury inspired Louisville to win the game last night; no bones poking out of flesh here).
  • Everyone you know who has made a false announcement on Facebook: "I'm engaged!" "I'm pregnant!" "I have cancer!" Seriously, don't try this; it makes you look like an asshole. (Though if you actually have serious news of this variety, you may want to consider waiting a day to tell everyone. Don't worry, it won't ruin your life. Probably.)

We'll be updating this throughout the day as more stupid/spectacular/more-often-terrible-than-not pranks come rolling through.

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Effort To Restore Heritage Fund Dead for the Session

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

It looks as if the chance to restore Heritage Fund dollars to state parks and transit services is dead for the year.

But Tucson Rep. Ethan Orr said he would continue to work to restoring the Heritage Fund, despite the House Appropriations Committee’s recent decision to not hear House Bill 2594.

Orr, as the bill’s primary sponsor, had wanted to restore the Heritage Fund dollars that were eliminated in 2010 as part of a budget-balancing package. His bill would have directed $10 million in lottery funds to the Heritage Fund, as well as $9 million in lottery funds to local transportation. (More on the bill can be found here.)

Although the bill failed to get past the Appropriations Committee, Orr said he planned to bring the bill back next year. Orr added that he has had a close working relationship with Arizona State Parks Executive Director Bryan Martyn, who also has an “excellent 20-year vision” for the maintenance and preservation of Arizona’s state parks.

Orr said that the state parks are important on a number of levels, specifically in terms of state economics and preserving the history of Arizona.

“Strictly from an economical standpoint, they’re key drivers for our rural communities,” he said. “And they’re part of our heritage; they’re part of celebrating what’s beautiful in Arizona.”

Learn more about the Heritage Fund sweep and the challenges that state parks face here.

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Come Listen to Great Music and Drink Beer Wednesday

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

I really couldn't be more excited for the Tucson debut of FELA!, the Tony-award winning musical about the life of Nigerian funk-master/musical genius/political revolutionary Fela Kuti. I feel somewhat responsible for the success of this show for UApresents, since I campaigned for them to book it in the first place, so we're throwing a party Wednesday night to introduce Tucson to the man and his music.

So, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Borderlands Brewing, I'll be playing a selection of Fela tracks (off a laptop, don't expect actual quality DJing or anything), UApresents will be giving stuff away, MaFooCo will selling food, and yes, there will be delicious, local beer. Plus, you can buy tickets for the shows Friday the 12th and Saturday the 13th (and you should, because you'll have a great time and UApresents will be encouraged to bring more shows like this in the future).

See you there!

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'Santana and Saul' Tells the Story Of An Unlikely Friendship

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 10:00 AM


Santana and Saul tells the story of a long-time friendship between two men who lived completely different lives and hold different religious beliefs.

The "dual memoir," as the author Saul Diskin calls it, tells the story of Santana, a guy who spent 30 years in and out of prison, was addicted to heroin and influenced by the the gangs, drugs and violence on the streets of southern California.

Diskin met Santana in a California prison, where Diskin was an undercover investigator. There, the two became friends as young men, but later separated when Diskin moved to Arizona to be a farmer.

In 2005, 48 years after they'd met, Santana contacted Saul and the men rekindled their old friendship. By then, Santana had been out of jail and completely turned his life around. After hearing that Santana was a husband, father and devoted preacher, Diskin said he had to go visit Santana to see such an unbelievable change.

But Diskin said the book doesn't just tell the story of Santana and the two men's friendship, it also shows a relationship between two completely different people with a different set of beliefs.

"People of different backgrounds, different classes, different intellectual interests can be friends without having to want to persuade the other one to his point of view," Diskin said. "I remain a non-believer, he remains a committed Christian but we still have great affection for each other."

Diskin is not religious at all, so when Santana called and asked him to write a memoir about his (Santana's) life, Diskin was hesitant at first. Santana had recently read Diskin's first book, a memoir about how his twin brother died, before contacting Diskin with the idea of a book about how faith and the church completely changed him.

Diskin finally wrote the dual memoir, 75 percent of it being about Santana. In order to write it, he had to spend hours shadowing Santana, learning about his life and taking notes. After sending it to multiple publishing companies known for religious writing, and being turned down by all of them, Diskin decided to self-pubish the memoir.

"There wasn't enough religion in it," Diskin said. "A great deal of the book had to do with his life as a criminal because it's the Christian story. You know .... they say 'hate the sin, love the sinner' ... but what they really wanted was for that market was all redemption and no sin and ... that would've been impossible to put my name to something like that."

Santana and Saul: A Dual Memoir was published by Author House, a self-publishing company, and can be ordered at any bookstore. The hardcover costs $29 and paperback costs $20. Both are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. The eBook version costs about $4.

'TPD is Doing it Again': Press Conference on the Deportation of Moisés Aparicio

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Today at noon, a press conference will take place at 317 W. 23rd St., regarding the deportation case of Moisés Aparicio, who was stopped by Tucson Police Department on Saturday, March 23. Aparicio has three children and his wife is pregnant with their third child.

Press release details here:

Eight weeks ago, the case of René Meza Huerta received national and international attention when Sunday February 17th he and his family were pulled over by the Tucson Police Department (TPD). TPD called Border Patrol to detain the René and community organizer Raúl Alcaraz Ochoa, intervened and placed himself beneath the Border Patrol vehicle.

Eight weeks later, TPD is doing it again. On Saturday March 23, TPD officers pulled over another family and detained a hard-working father and Tucson resident of 10 years. They called Border Patrol, allegedly enforcing SB 1070 and thus separating a father from his 3 children and 7 month preganant wife. Moisés is now in deportation proceedings.

The Tucson community demands that SB 1070 be revoked, detentions and deportations be halted, and that no more family separations take place. Local police are causing family trauma.

Alma Hernández of Corazón de Tucson, who herself experienced detention and separation from her three young children, shared; "We must end this attack on families. Detentions and deportations are destroying our community." We want dignity, equality, family unity, and freedom from criminalization.

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Here's a Google Map of Our Essential Dishes

Posted By on Mon, Apr 1, 2013 at 9:00 AM

If you're a visual person or if you're just trying to find some stuff to eat in your neighborhood, here's a Google Map of our 100 Essential Dishes list from Thursday's issue. The same map has a more permanent home here, if you're into bookmarking.

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Staff Pick

Tucson's 242nd Birthday Celebration

Tucson's Birthday Celebration. This year the event continues to grow as a family-friendly informative and food tasting… More

@ Presidio San Agustín de Tucsón Mon., Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m. 196 N. Court Avenue

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