Saturday, May 30, 2015

UA/Biosphere 2 Researcher Killed by Drunk Driver

Posted By on Sat, May 30, 2015 at 10:21 AM

UA/Biosphere 2 researcher killed by drunk driver Raphael Sagarin explains the facilities at Biosphere 2 - J.D. FITZGERALD/TUCSON LOCAL MEDIA
  • J.D. Fitzgerald/Tucson Local Media
  • UA/Biosphere 2 researcher killed by drunk driver Raphael Sagarin explains the facilities at Biosphere 2

Gary L. Colvin, 44, from Tucson allegedly swerved partially off the road and struck Raphael Sagarin from behind, killing him.
  • Gary L. Colvin, 44, from Tucson allegedly swerved partially off the road and struck Raphael Sagarin from behind, killing him.
Raphael Sagarin, a UA associate research scientist, was killed on Thursday, May 28 around 6:37 p.m. while riding his bicycle on State Route 77, Milepost 99.3 near Oracle. He was 43 years old.

A pickup truck driven by Gary L. Colvin, 44, from Tucson is said to have swerved partially off the road and struck Sagarin from behind. Sagarin was thrown off his bicycle and although he was wearing a helmet, he succumbed to injuries at the scene.

Colvin was allegedly impaired at the time of the collision and he was arrested and booked for a manslaughter charge into the Pinal County Jail. Further charges are still pending.

The UA purchased the Biosphere 2 about eight years ago, and brought in Sagarin to manage and help transform the 700,000-gallon, 9,000 square-foot ocean inside the facility to replicate the Gulf of California.

Sagarin's passion for marine life shined when Tucson Local Media, our parent company, interviewed him in 2014 for a story highlighting the program.

“Every single stranger that I tell I’m a marine biologist and that I live in Tucson, they laugh, and they say, ‘What’s a marine biologist doing in Tucson?’” said Sagarin.

At least one reason Sangarin was in Tucson was his love for his work. More details will be released as they are available.

Friday, May 29, 2015

They Found Zoey! Puppy Stolen From Humane Society While Awaiting Spay Surgery Recovered

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Excellent news from the Pima County Sheriff's Department! They found Zoey.

From the Humane Society:

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department received a tip last night and recovered Zoey. She is now at HSSA and the family that adopted Zoey has been notified. They are thrilled to know she will be coming home, safe and healthy, soon.

Zoey is currently in the office of one of our staff members. She has eaten, had water and is currently playing with our staff member and puppy toys.

We will only be able to release limited details to our Facebook constituents; we do not want to inadvertently jeopardize this ongoing investigation. The Sheriff’s department will release details as they can.

Thank you all for playing a vital role in Zoey’s return. It is through your participation in the conversation, coverage by local media and the partnership of PACC that Zoey has been found safe and sound. We are grateful to you all.

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Arizona Court of Appeals: Medical Weed Patients Cannot Sell to Other Patients

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 3:30 PM

  • Courtesy of Photospin

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that medical marijuana patients cannot sell weed to other patients. 

A write up by the Phoenix News Times' Ray Stern reports the 3-0 ruling overturned a July decision by a Pima County Superior Court judge that said these types of sales are good to go under the Medical Marijuana Act, which was approved by voters in 2010.

From Stern's post:
The ruling resulted in the dismissal of a marijuana-for-sale case involving Jeremy Allen Matlock of Tucson and caught the attention of prosecutors around the state. Marijuana activists and criminal defendants were buoyed by Fields' ruling, hoping their own cases would be tossed out.

The 2010 law calls for state-regulated dispensaries that are now in place across Arizona. But Matlock, with his public defender, attorney David Euchner, argued that the law grants patients the right to sell to other patients in two separate sections. 
As long as there is no exchange of values, you can share your medical cannabis with other cardholders. 

Home cultivation rights have been at the forefront of many weed advocates like the folks with Safer Arizona—not only because they argue their medication would be more affordable than buying it from a dispensary, but also to allow entities of a way smaller scale than dispensaries get some revenue from this growing market. The same was argued while the state's recreational marijuana ballot measured was being drafted.

Some background by Stern:
Before the first dispensaries opened in Arizona, operators of compassion clubs and would-be independent cannabis dealers set up shop themselves on basically the same premise used in the Matlock case. A lawsuit on the matter filed by former state AG Tom Horne fizzled without resolving the legal question of patient-to-patient sales. Some continue to operate under the theory that such sales are legal, despite successful prosecutions — so far only through plea deals — of unauthorized cannabis dealers. The new opinion makes such operations even dicier.

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Head Down to Oak Flat for the Weekend: Concert & Advocacy Conference

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 1:25 PM

  • Courtesy of

There is a two-day camp and educational conference (hosted by Apache Stronghold) this weekend to learn about future actions in the fight to protect Oak Flat. 

Drive down there early tomorrow morning. The Protect Sacred Oak Flat Conference and Apache Stronghold Spiritual Gathering starts at 11 a.m. with traditional Apache songs, followed by a free concert featuring Native American artists like Nataanii Means and Frank Waln, DJ ScapeGoat and Indigenize. At 5 p.m. that day, you can have some reflection time with the Apache Mountain Spirit Dances, who will also do a blessing ceremony for everyone present.

On Sunday, the advocacy portion kicks off at 9 a.m. Afterwards, there's a look into art as a positive outlet for youth, an eco tour to experience Oak Flat and "introduce participants to the land being threatened and under attack," a press release said. During the spiritual tour, visitors can get a better understanding of the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Yavapai-Apache Nation's view of Oak Flat as a holy ground.

"Apache Community meeting in Oak Flat campground with the San Carlos community will discuss future work and present an action plan for protecting Oak Flat," the release said.

There will free dinner both days, but bring your own camping gear. 

Do it. 

For more info, visit the Saving Oak Flat campsite Facebook page.

Here's a great summary by Tim Vanderpool about why you should care:
Oak Flat hits close to home for the San Carlos Apache Tribe and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. Both consider the spot, in the high desert outside the former mining town of Superior, to be holy ground. They have conducted sacred ceremonies there since forever.

And since early February, a group called Apache Stronghold has also staged a gritty, ongoing occupation at the site.

As it happens, the Apaches aren't the only ones who care about Oak Flat. Multi-national mining companies likewise harbor deep affection for this place, since it's perched atop a huge copper deposit. Arizona Sen. John McCain cares, too. For years, legislation that would trade away Oak Flat to the mining companies felt flat from lack of support. So in 2014, McCain finally slipped it into an unrelated military spending bill. Subsequently, Oak Flat now belongs to the Resolution Copper Co., which is jointly owned by international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

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Tough Luck Club Aims to Make the World's Largest Negroni—Help Drink It

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 12:00 PM

click image TGINW (or, Thank god it's Negroni Week) - MARIOBONIFACIO / FLICKR
  • mariobonifacio / Flickr
  • TGINW (or, Thank god it's Negroni Week)

America's best food dude and overall badass Anthony Bourdain once aptly described the Negroni as a "satanic delicious hell broth," alluding to its bitterness and boozy punch. As he is right about pho and French fries being the best foods in the world, know that the Negroni, which was allegedly invented by an Italian count named Negroni who wanted his Americano cocktail with a little more bite (he did do time as a rough and tumble cowboy in the U.S., after all), is a cocktail you should be drinking.

Kicking off Negroni Week in Tucson on Monday, June 1, bartender Niklas Morris of Tough Luck Club will be attempting to make a Guinness World Record-setting gigantic Negroni. With the current record set unofficially at three liters, Morris seeks to smash that record over 55 times over with a 45 gallon Negroni that will be served in Tough Luck Club and made in the beer garden upstairs starting at 7 p.m.

Then, from June 1 until June 7 you can order up a Negroni at participating bars and they will donate a portion of their Negroni sales to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum. So, basically, you get a delicious Negroni and the museum in charge of preserving the integrity of our beautiful surroundings, including its heritage flora, gets money for it. Win-win, right?

This year's line-up of participating bars in Tucson include North, Casino Del Sol, Playground, Reilly Craft Pizza, Mr. Heads, The Flycatcher and Sidecar. 

In anticipation of one of the best weeks in the whole year, which will include a 45 gallon Negroni, you can watch this video of Anthony Bourdain making the cocktail (in an expectedly haphazard way) because they are great and so is he:

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The Loft Cinema Forced to Pull Team America from July 4th Event

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Back in December the country was ablaze with the news from Sony Pictures that Seth Rogen and James Franco's North Korean comedy The Interview would no longer be allowed to screen due to terrorist threats surrounding the movie's release. Around that time The Loft Cinema was planning their annual fourth of July movie sing-a-long bash featuring Paramount's Team America: World Police.

However, it seems the nonexistent backlash of The Interview has Paramount spooked and they've decided to not allow The Loft Cinema to screen the movie for their event. In a statement released online on Thursday, May 28, the theatre explains that, despite several attempts to get a response from Paramount, the company "seems to be stuck in the hysteria of mid-December 2014."

Are we angry that an apparently dead issue is blocking our ability to celebrate America’s birthday? Yes!

Are we miffed that we’re being denied the ability to show this ridiculous little puppet movie for the 10th year in a row? You betcha!

Are we irritated that our annual potty-mouthed celebration of FREE F***IN’ SPEECH is being silenced? Yeppers!

Are we going to sit back and do nothing about it? Hell no!

You can expect an announcement of a replacement program soon. It won’t be Team America, but it will be patriotic, it will involve singing, and it will be FUN. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. 
What musical do you think the Loft should play in lieu of Team America to celebrate the fourth of July?

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The Year's First AzMERIT Test Cheating Story

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2015 at 9:00 AM

  • Courtesy of PhotoSpin

In recent news, we learned of allegations that seven Arizona schools cheated on AIMS tests in past years by erasing wrong answers and replacing them with correct answers. Oops, make that eight as of a week ago.

Now we have what looks like the first report of a school cheating on the new AzMERIT test which replaced AIMS. 
Allegations of cheating on standardized tests have prompted an investigation at a Phoenix elementary school.

ABC15 Investigators have learned charges there was cheating on the AzMERIT statewide achievement test at a local elementary school have prompted a formal outside investigation.

The Isaac School District #5 confirms they're looking into allegations that answers were altered at the J.B. Sutton Elementary School in Phoenix.

The school is part of the Isaac Elementary School District #5 .
It should come as no surprise that 94 percent of the school's students are on free or reduced lunch. Cheating by an adult on high stakes tests is a high risk endeavor, and the stakes are rarely high enough to warrant the risk at schools with kids from affluent families. Those students are likely to do well on the tests no matter what, and the schools are likely to get A and B state grades, so why take the chance of getting caught to gain a few points? J.B. Sutton, on the other hand, has a D rating, and its math and writing scores went down in 2014. You can bet the pressure was on at the school, big time.

Here's something interesting. It's not the AZ Department of Education that's initiating the investigation this time, according to ABC15 Investigators. It's the school district.

So we have nine schools where there's a strong possibility that adults altered tests to increase student scores. Does that indicate an increase in dishonesty by teachers and administrators? I don't think so. It's more likely an increase in honesty at the state level. Education Superintendent Diane Douglas isn't a big fan of high stakes tests, unlike previous superintendent John Huppenthal, so she's very likely decided to be more aggressive about the cheating that's always been there but Huppenthal decided to hush up (See Carpe Diem charter school). Posssibly—I'm just guessing here—the changed atmosphere at the Ed. Dept. led the Isaac Elementary School District to be proactive and pursue the possible cheating problem itself before it became an issue at the state level.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

The More You Know...About Your Breasts

Posted By on Thu, May 28, 2015 at 4:30 PM

  • Image courtesy of Marin at

It all started really innocently. I laid there on my bed in the familiar comfort of my home, one arm cradled under my head, the other drawing small circles across my right breast. Everything seemed to feel right, though somehow at the age of 25 I seemed to know so little about what was “normal” for my body.

I cross referenced the article on my nightstand, guidelines for a self-breast exam I happened to stumble upon, before moving to my left side. As a long-time hypochondriac, I felt like I had won something with the exciting nothing I found in that first breast.

In the last little swirl of my fingertips on breast number two, the rapid beating of my now terrified heart was not the only abnormality I found.

I held my breath as I pushed around a small, pea sized lump that seemed to float unanchored under the surface. I pushed it around like droplets of water under Saran Wrap. I pinched and squeezed it, hoping that like some inconvenient pimple I could pop it and make it go away. I hoped it was just another unlikely illness I had diagnosed myself with online.

After an hour of obsessively fondling myself, I only knew one thing. I had a lump in my breast and I had never been so scared. Could it really be that before I hit 30, the dreaded C word was growing quietly in my body?

Breast cancer is the second largest cause of death in women, affecting an estimated 220,000 women in the United States annually, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This form of cancer is often treatable if detected early.

While abnormalities found in a women’s breast do not always mean cancer, investigating any changes promptly are critical. In the case that is serious, time is of the essence.

My own lump turned out to be a benign cyst, something my doctor said was quite common in young women in their 20s. This was a huge weight lifted, literally, off my chest. I had carried that fear silently, alone, for two weeks before I scheduled an ultrasound.

The effectiveness of self-breast exams has become a topic of debate within the healthcare community. At one time, the practice of feeling for lumps in one’s own breasts with circular motions of the fingers was a commonly recommended procedure for early breast cancer detection. Recently, the recommendation of monthly self-exams for women aged 20 and up, has been withdrawn.

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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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