Thursday, April 30, 2015

Critics Call McCain's Oak Flat Tactics a New Low

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 2:45 PM


Something about Oak Flat just brings out the ornery in a politician. And of course that something is money and influence. Stir in a few long-simmering grudges, and you have a rancid stew that bares little resemblance to principled democracy or good policy.

Which brings us to Arizona Sen. John McCain. There existed a time, long ago, when the good senator was actually considered somewhat of a conservationist. This was a man, after all, who took on the Grand Canyon's swaggering tourist industry by demanding a reduction in loud flights over the natural wonder. In 1987, McCain's groundbreaking National Parks Overflight Act declared that "noise associated with aircraft overflights at the Grand Canyon National Park is causing a significant adverse effect on the natural quiet and experience of the park ..."

Today, John McCain backs legislation to hobble National Park Service management of those same overflights. The senator "believes that achieving quiet within the Park doesn't require killing tourism jobs or limiting the ways in which visitors can experience the Grand Canyon, particularly when air tours are the only means by which some people can do that," his spokesman, Brian Rogers, told The Arizona Daily Sun.

In between these bipolar bookends, of course, Sen. McCain infamously helped sidestep the Endangered Species Act so the UA could build telescopes atop Mt. Graham. (More about that later.)

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Let's Watch a Video About the Asteroid Bennu

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 1:00 PM

In this week's print edition, I have an interview with Dante Lauretta, a professor in the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the principal investigator on the UA's latest space mission, ORIRIS-REx, a robotic spacecraft that will journey to the asteroid Bennu to study the near-earth object and bring back a sample.

To see a longer interview with Lauretta, check out last week's Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel.

The Desert Goddess of Glen Canyon

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 11:30 AM

National Geographic's short film showcase highlights DamNation, a documentary about America's dams, with an excerpt featuring Katie Lee, the Desert Goddess of Glen Canyon. From Nat Geo:

When the Glen Canyon Dam was approved in April 1956, a group of archeologists and river runners set out to document more than 250 culturally significant sites and 125 side canyons that would be flooded by the project. One of those river runners was Katie Lee, a folk singer and Hollywood starlet turned activist. As she describes, "We would go around a corner, and spread out before us would be this incredible site ... Everything was in the right position; everything was perfect."

In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess." Now in her 90s, Lee reminisces about walking naked through the enchanting landscape—"It was absolutely the most natural thing in the world"—and the significance of what was lost in the flood. "I don't think Eden could have touched Glen Canyon," she says. DamNation was produced by Patagonia, and the full-length film can be seen through Vimeo on Demand.

Leo Banks profiled Katie Lee in the Weekly way back in 1999. An excerpt:

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Mother Hubbard's Recognized as One of the Top 12 Diners in the U.S.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 8:35 AM

A nod well-deserved for Mother Hubbard's. - HEATHER HOCH
  • Heather Hoch
  • A nod well-deserved for Mother Hubbard's.

In a somewhat shocking turn of events, one of those national listicles actually got something right when it named Mother Hubbard's one of the top diners in the country. Men's Health, of all publications, went on a modest tour of diners across the country and our little haven for waffles and Native American eats made the cut.

The article says:

When Kelzi Bartholomaei bought Mother Hubbard’s Cafe in 2010, she vowed to maintain its diner spirit but reconstructed the menu to showcase what she calls contemporary Native American comfort food. At this Tucson institution, you’ll find outstanding diner coffee, blue-corn-and-pine-nut waffles, and a calabacitas scramble made by whirling eggs with roasted squash, peppers, corn, cheese, and hot sauce.

Oddly enough, they didn't even recognize her for her delicious homemade sausages or house-smoked mesquite bacon, but that's just a testament to the greatness that is Mother Hubbard's: there's just too many good things going on there to name them all in one paragraph. After all, the spot has about ten different kinds of waffles, many of them naturally gluten free, and they don't carry the upscale mark-up.

Mother Hubbard's green corn waffles were also one of our 100 Essential Dishes in 2015.

You can stop by and see what all the fuss is about at Mother Hubbard's, located at 14 W. Grant Rd. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Sunday from 7 p.m. until 2 p.m.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cap off Tucson Bike Fest at Borderlands on Thursday

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 5:00 PM

Grab a pint and toast to cycling in Tucson at Borderlands. - HEATHER HOCH
  • Heather Hoch
  • Grab a pint and toast to cycling in Tucson at Borderlands.

The Living Streets Alliance is celebrating another successful month of Bike Fest in Tucson this Thursday with an event at Borderlands Brewing Co. 

The brewery will be serving up a range of their craft drafts, including the Agua Bendita barleywine, Citrana gose and Betty's Beard sour stout. Food will be available by the Blacktop Grill food truck as well as cake and more snacks courtesy of Whole Foods. Local band Hey, Bucko! will be performing at the event as well.

You can join in on the last of this month's Bike Fest festivities by heading to Borderlands, located at 119 E. Toole Ave., on Thursday, April 30. The event starts at 5 p.m. and is free to attend. If you bike there, and you should, you can valet your ride courtesy of Transit Cycles.

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Arizona DREAMers Rally at UA: We Deserve In-State Tuition

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Dario Andrade Mendoza wants to be an engineer. - PHOTO: MARIA INÉS TARACENA
  • Photo: Maria Inés Taracena
  • Dario Andrade Mendoza wants to be an engineer.

Dario Andrade Mendoza graduated from high school and Pima Community College with honors. His interests lie in engineering, so, naturally, the next step was obvious: enrolling in the University of Arizona's College of Engineering and getting a degree—or several of them. 

In May 2014, right after he got an associate's from PCC, the 20-year-old applied to the UA. He was accepted as an honors student in the engineering college because of his outstanding grades.

There was a problem, though. Andrade Mendoza is a DACA recipient, or DREAMer, so he has to pay out-of-state tuition at the UA, which is, as of now, about $29,000 plus fees per year, and bound to probably get more expensive with this year's tuition proposals

"I ended up not enrolling in any class because I cannot afford that," he says. Andrade Mendoza was among a group of DREAMers and allies who participated in a rally at the UA demanding they get in-state tuition. (The gathering was organized by Scholarships AZ.) "Throughout the four years of high school, my counselor promised me, 'Hey, you are going to get financial aid, the AIMS scholarship, you are going to get all of these scholarships.' So I thought, 'Oh, maybe I am going to go to college.'"

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Hello, Curiosity: UA's HiRISE Camera Snaps Photo of Little Mars Robot

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 2:30 PM


The UA HiRISE camera in orbit around Mars has snapped a photo of the Curiosity rover as it makes its way around Gale Crater. It's the teeny-tiny dot in the center of the above photo.

The HiRISE Team tells us:

Here we see the rover parked over dark sand in a valley bounded by light-toned rock outcrops. These rocks make up the “Pahrump” member of the Murray Formation, a suite of sandstones, siltstones, and calcium sulfate veins that compose the lowermost exposed rocks of Mount Sharp (Aeolis Mons) in Gale Crater. This image also addresses several objectives besides keeping track of the rover location, such as the monitoring of nearby active sand dunes and the degree to which rover tracks are preserved on the underlying terrain. Unlike other regions of for which Curiosity has traversed, here the rover tracks are not apparent, likely because the disturbed, underlying, dark sand is similar in tone to that on the surface. 

Shining a Light on Rosemont Copper's "Good Citizen" Gambit

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 1:03 PM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin

Sure, Rosemont Copper plans to dig a huge hole in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, extract copper for 20 years, then fill up the hole* and close up shop, but that's not what the company is really about. It's about being a good citizen and giving back to the community. How do I know? Just ask Rosemont Copper.

Like a politician during campaign season touring his district with a smile on his face and a pocket full of walking-around money, Rosemont has been seeding its goodwill campaign by supporting dozens of community programs. The Partnership page on its website lists its largesse which includes, among many other organizations, El Tour de Tucson, Arizona Deaf & Blind Children’s Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Casa De Los Ninos, Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Values Teachers—and my favorite, Biosphere 2 Earth Day, because nothing says "Save the Earth" like a copper mine in the middle of a pristine desert. The web page refers to these gifts as "Lasting Partnerships Within the Community." How long they'll last, however, is up to Rosemont.

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Staff Pick

World Flute Concert

World flute virtuosos Gary Stroutsos and Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos come together for an evening of meditative soundscapes… More

@ San Pedro Chapel Fri., Jan. 31, 7-9 p.m. 5230 E. Fort Lowell Road.

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