Friday, June 28, 2013

H.T. Sanchez's TUSD Contract Set at $247,000 for First Year

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 7:53 PM

With H.T. Sanchez letting the Ector County school district know that he's leaving, it seems certain that TUSD won out for his services as superintendent after today's governing board meeting.

The governing board got a 15 minute late start to a meeting that was supposed to begin at 4:30 p.m. and they came out a little after 6 p.m. In an unanimous vote, 5-0, they approved Sanchez's contract. Weekly World Central will have more in the next issue, but here are the details of his contract, which Sanchez is supposed to sign by Saturday, June 29 (first day of work is Monday, July 1, the same day is Texas district meets to vote on making him their lone finalist):

1.TUSD board president Adelita Grijalva said the first year on the contract is $247,000, which includes allowances and moving expenses.

2. The base pay is at $210,000.

3. There is a third year incentive put in because of community concerns with his work history and interest in keeping a superintendent here longer than the two year trend.

Copies of the contract were handed out:

This is a three year contract, from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016.

In June of each year, the district and board can extended the term of this agreement.

Base pay is at $210,000 each year during term of contract. For second year a cost of living increase will be offered equal to what offered to other district certified employees.

In addition to base salary, superintendent is eligible to receive up to an additional six percent of base salary each year of contract based on a performance-based plan approved by the board.

Allowances include an annual sum of $25,000 paid in monthly installments during term of contract to spend at his discretion to cover civic responsibilities and technology he may need outside the office — cell phone, computer, etc.

He'll get $8,000 to pay for his move from Odessa to Tucson.

The third year incentive in addition to his base salary is 50 percent of the equivalent in 2015-2016 of 50 percent of that base salary as a bonus.

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KGUN's Fry-Day Gimmick Gets a Bit...Creepy

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 5:58 PM

For the past few weeks, the folks over at KGUN have been running a gimmick where they use the natural heat of the Sonoran desert to do silly things with food — baking, making smores, so on and so forth — on Fridays. Because, y'know. Fry-Day. As in, it's hot enough to FRY things during the DAY, in case you needed that spelled out for you.

You probably didn't.

But today's Fry-Day event started out innocent enough, and now seems a bit, uh...weird.

Apparently, the idea was to correctly guess how many inches the cactus ice sculpture would lose as it melted in the heat during the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts...then, this photo happened.

Nope. Nothing strange about this.

Why yes, that is KGUN news personality Liz Kotalik somewhat awkwardly embracing that large, tall, hard-looking cactus-esque sculpture — and maybe it's the heat, maybe it's just our warped minds over here in Alt-Weekly world, but we just can't get past how ridiculous (and awkwardly risque) this looks.

A sampling of opinions from the Weekly staff, KGUN commenters and other folks I showed the photo to:

- "I'm thinking of some COMPLETELY different captions for that photo"

- "It'd be more interesting to conjecture how many inches an erection would lose just by thinking about the ice sculpture."

- "Aren't they copying a Phoenix station? [Note: Cooking things with the sun isn't a particularly original idea, but yeah, KSAZ is doing it too.] And isn't that a bit phallic ... at least by six inches. What happened to cooking eggs on the sidewalk?"

- "Their viewers will love it. She'll need a shorter skirt, though."

- "Well, there are all sorts of shrinkage jokes to be made there."

- "This is hot on so many levels."

- "Get Liz' hot hands off of it or it will melt faster."

- "Just the tip."

Yeah, that's a good one to stop at. Hopefully, the next ice sculpture they go with isn't something that isn't quite so phallic — or at least that maybe they rethink putting the pretty, young 23-year-old reporter next to it.

Oh, for the record: at last check (and admittedly, I'm not checking with great frequency) the statue went from 38 inches at 4 p.m. to something very determined to turn into a puddle, as seen here at 5:45 p.m.

Apologies to KGUN's Liz Kotalik, hugger of the ice cactus.

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Free Book Friday: Take Our Books — Please!

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 4:27 PM

That sign isnt lying, folks.
  • That sign isn't lying, folks.

Folks, it's that time again: we've got too damn many books, and we want to share them with you, the loyal Tucson Weekly readership.

We've got somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 books taking up valuable shelf space at Weekly World Central, and we want to give them away to you.

Starting Monday (and don't worry, we'll make a post reminding you about this then, too), we'll be giving away books to people willing to brave the drive down to the Tucson Weekly Offices, at 3280 E. Hemisphere Loop, off of Valencia Road, between Palo Verde and Country Club Roads.

The only hitch is that I need you to email me your name and when you plan on coming down to pick up your books - that way, our lovely and charming front desk mistress will be able to let me know when you've arrived.

So please, come take our books off of our hands. Please.

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TUSD Governing Board Executive Session-O-Rama

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 3:32 PM

A final contract for Tucson Unified School District's lone superintendent finalist isn't the only contract that's being discussed in the TUSD's governing board's continuing executive session meeting today at 4:30 p.m. A press release went out this morning that the meeting, first posted yesterday on TUSD's website, would convene today to "consider the contract for H.T. Sanchez, named as the next TUSD superintendent. The board met Thursday evening in a special meeting and paused the meeting to allow further negotiations to continue with representing attorneys."

Also part of the discussion, according to the agenda information listed on website, are two consultant contracts for outgoing TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone and outgoing Deputy Superintendent Maria Menconi. Both consultant contracts are for the the first two weeks of July, from Monday, July 1 through Monday, July 15.

Menconi's contract salary is for $500 per day for each day worked not to exceed $4,999. Pedicone's consultant salary is for $999 per day not to exceed $4,999.

And yes, Ector County Independent School District's board of trustees meets in a special meeting on Monday, July 1 to discuss naming Sanchez, currently working as their interim superintendent, the Odessa, Texas district's lone finalist.

Yes. Could be a carnival ride. Hold on tight.

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Jade Beall's 'A Beautiful Body' Project Considers the Beauty of Pregnancy

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Jade Beall, co-founder of Fed By Threads latest project celebrates the changes made to a mother's body after pregnancy. More than 50 mothers were photographed for the project. The book will also include written experiences of the photography subjects regarding their changing bodies.

Beall's project is already receiving a lot of well-deserved attention, having been featured on Huffington Post Live as well as on the Today Show.

To learn more about her project, or to contribute, head to A Beautiful Body Project — though be warned, the images there are not safe for work.

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The New Nine Inch Nails Video Might Determine If You Have Epilepsy

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Some things cannot be unseen. Some images burn into your brain so strongly they never go away, like staring at the sun for more than a millisecond. But in this case, instead of little spots all over your vision, there's a fly-like creature, some weird piggish face and Trent Reznor shakily yelling at you.

That about sums up the music video for the new Nine Inch Nails song, "Came Back Haunted," the first single off the Reznor-fronted group's first album in five years.

How freaky and surreal is the video? Well, before getting into the fact it comes with a STERN WARNING THAT IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO CAUSE SEIZURES one must take into account it was directed by David Lynch, the man responsible for Twin Peaks, Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. Need I go on?

The clip is four minutes and 17 seconds worth of visual assault on the senses, with a mass of red, white, gray and black shapes, splotches and flashes, all to the tune of the catchy, up-tempo electronic track that harkens back to some of NIN's early stuff from the early and mid-1990s. You know, back when NIN videos included images like a machine-assisted beating heart and a snuff film with self-mutilation.

Ah, the good old days.

The video also can give you an idea of what it will be like to see NIN on its upcoming world tour, which starts with festival appearances in the U.S., Europe and Asia before hitting a couple dozen cities in America. That includes a Nov. 9 stop in Phoenix, where my floor seats (or spots to stand and mosh) have already been secured.

NIN shows have always been just as much about the visuals as the way Reznor and his touring band can convert computer-made music into live sound. His most recent side project, How to Destroy Angels, included his wife as lead singer and had one band member solely devoted to projecting pictures, shapes, light and other weird things on a screen behind them and on columns of translucent surgical tubing in front. Trust me, it was cool.

Now, I know you'll all click on the video below to see if I'm just being outlandish and overreactive (what I like to call Glenn-Beck-ish), but remember, you were warned. Also, if you're rendered comatose (or worse), I call dibs on your watch.

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New 'PorchFest Armory Park' Musical Event to Debut This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

PorchFest will include 19 different musical acts on 12 different neighborhood porches.
  • PorchFest will include 19 different musical acts on 12 different neighborhood porches.
Take a stroll this weekend and immerse yourself in Tucson's very first PorchFest, a community-based musical event that will take place in Armory Park Historic District on Sunday evening.

Sponsored by the Downtown Tucson Partnership, Armory Park Neighborhood Association and participating musicians, artists and porch-providers alike, the event will be a "pilot" event, designed to test the waters and see what works, according to a press release.

The new event will include 19 different musical acts, from well-known local artists to new talent, who will play on 12 different porches in the Armory Park Neighborhood — Tucson's first Historical District.

Continue reading »

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Next Week's 'New Yorker' Cover Celebrates the DOMA Decision With Bert and Ernie Cuddling

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 11:10 AM

  • The New Yorker
In light of this week's landmark decision from the U.S. Supreme Court repealing major aspects of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, New Yorker magazine is celebrating with the kind of cover that validates many, many jokes about the sexual orientation of puppets.

The New Yorker's Culture Desk blog has this from the artist of this week's cover:

“It’s amazing to witness how attitudes on gay rights have evolved in my lifetime,” said Jack Hunter, the artist behind next week’s cover, “Moment of Joy.” Hunter, who originally submitted his image, unsolicited, to a Tumblr, continued, “This is great for our kids, a moment we can all celebrate.”

Gawker, however, notes that the cover was submitted to a Tumblr ran by the New Yorker's art editor, Françoise Mouly — though that's neither here nor there, at this point.

The thing is, this cover has already generated a tremendous share of followers since its announcement but...I'm sorry, I just don't like it.

Not because it celebrates the acknowledgement by the federal government that yes, gay couples are just as human and relevant and equal as straight couples (something that's taken too damn long, in my opinion), but because it bothers me that the biggest visual statement by a respected publication on gay marriage features two puppets who are assumed to be gay because they're living together.

It's an acknowledgement and validation of a stupid schoolyard joke — the same kind of joke saying that Barney is gay because he's a purple dinosaur, or that Tinky Winky of Teletubbies is gay because he/she/it is purple and carries a purse.

The same kind of stupid joke that makes people think that it's fine to make assumptions of someone/thing's sexuality because that person or thing fits into a particular stereotype — in this case, male best friends living together.

I suppose that the cover fulfills the various functions of the New Yorker's desire to remain the most dryly-witty, clever -for-the-sake-of-being-clever thing in media today (which is why Andy Borowitz still gets paid to write head-smackingly dense "satirical" news stories, I guess) — but it's not difficult to envision how much more important and impactful the cover of that magazine could have been if it featured an actual, real-life, we-acknowledge-the-fact-that-we-are-gay-and-in-love couple.

But hey, puppets are cool too. Whatever.

Now, in acknowledgement of the idea that I'm getting too damn serious over a silly magazine cover, I present a funny tweet:

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