Friday, July 31, 2015

Consider Adopting a Cat This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 4:00 PM

click image Any excuse to share Cat Bounce with the world.
  • Any excuse to share Cat Bounce with the world.

This just in from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona:
It is raining cats here at HSSA and we need to find these friendly felines their forever homes. Today through Sunday 8/2 at HSSA Main Campus and both PAWSH Mall locations cats 6 months and older will have 50 percent off adoption fees. Adoption fees are as follows:
Adult cats: 6 months- 6 years: $40 adoption fee (originally $80)
Senior cats: 6 years+: $25 adoption fee (originally $50)
Come on out and meet your new best friend!


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It's Happening: The Daily Show Announces Jon Stewart's Final Guests

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 3:00 PM

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Just in case you forgot (or convinced yourself it was just a bad dream), here's a reminder: Jon Stewart's last night hosting the Daily Show is Thursday, August 6.

Thursday's show is, unsurprisingly, a bit of a mystery. The network did, however, release the names of the guests for the three episodes leading up to Stewart's finale.

Amy Schumer, who broke my little heart by turning down the opportunity to take Jon's spot on the show, will be on the show Monday, followed by Denis Leary and Louis C.K. on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Trevor Noah, Stewart's replacement, will host his first show on Sept. 28. Noah has recently talked a bit about changes coming to the show, so that's ... happening. 

D.A.R.E Accidentally Posts Pro Marijuana Legalization Letter

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 1:42 PM

Oh, Daren. Your hair hasn't changed a bit.
  • Oh, Daren. Your hair hasn't changed a bit.
D.A.R.E., the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program kids like me had to attend weekly in elementary school, published a letter titled “Purchasing marijuana puts kids at risk"—a post which was calling for the legalization of the drug. 

The piece, originally posted as a letter to the editor in the Columbus Dispatch, was written by former deputy sheriff Carlis McDerment. McDerment argues that it would be easier to keep kids away from pot if it were legalized and distribution was regulated: 
The goal of prohibiting marijuana was to eradicate its use, but in reality, the drug has become infinitely harder for law enforcement to control. People like me, and other advocates of marijuana legalization, are not totally blind to the harms that drugs pose to children. We just happen to know that legalizing and regulating marijuana will actually make everyone safer. Merely decriminalizing it will do nothing to undercut the dangerous illicit market that is currently selling to kids everywhere.
It looks like D.A.R.E. republished the article (without reading it, obviously) after it came up in a news service they are subscribe to. Daren, D.A.R.E.'s "adorable yet courageous and street-smart mascot," must be so disappointed. Or maybe he's the one who published it. We'll never know. 

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Uh-Oh, the Asshole Who Killed Cecil the Lion Might Be Extradited After All

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 12:00 PM

click image COURTESY OF CECIL THE LION FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Courtesy of Cecil the lion Facebook page

The environmental minister of Zimbabwe, Oppah Muchinguri, called today for the extradition of the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion, according to an article by the New York Times.

At a news conference at Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, Muchinguri said she knows the process to extradite Walter Palmer from the U.S. is already underway, the article says.

"Unfortunately, it was too late to apprehend the foreign poacher as he had already absconded to his country of origin," a quote from The Associated Press said in the Times article. "We are appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he be made accountable."

The U.S. has a treaty with Zimbabwe dictating that if someone is "charged or convicted of an offense punishable under the laws of both countries" that person can be extradited.

Since news of the killing bombarded the web and every single medium of communication, Palmer has apologized for what he did, saying he didn't know it was Cecil the lion he had killed, and that he had relied on his two tour guides to ensure a "legal hunt." 

People flooded his dentistry with stuffed animals and signs in memory of Cecil and ripping Palmer a new one. A sign that stuck out was one that read "ROT IN HELL." Palmer had to close his practice and went into hiding. 

From the Times article:
The killing of Cecil, a tourist attraction who was also the subject of a research at the University of Oxford, has spurred global outrage on social media and beyond...

The killing has been greeted with particular anger in Zimbabwe, and Ms. Muchinguri said 5000,000 people had called for his extradition.

...

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service said on Thursday that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the killing of Cecil. 

Citing what it characterized as alarming trends in illicit hunting and poaching, the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution that supporters say would be the start of a global effort to tackle illegal poaching and trafficking of wildlife. 

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State-of-Arizona-Education Articles For Your Inspection

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 10:30 AM

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Here are three interesting state-of-Arizona-education articles I've read this week.

Low marks for Arizona in education study. Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services.

In a WalletHub report, Arizona ranked 48th overall in the quality of its schools. Like most WalletHub studies I've looked at, this one has a quick-and-dirty feel, but the criteria it uses to arrive at its conclusions are reasonable. The problem is, it doesn't take socioeconomic factors into account—family income, ELL students, etc. That's a huge omission.

Can you guess which sectors gained and lost the most jobs in Arizona since the recession? Eric Jay Toll, Phoenix Business Journal.

Construction lost the most jobs—no surprise there—followed by education. Hmm. The recession meant a big cutback n building, so we could have fewer construction workers with no loss of quality. But we're educating the same number of students as before the recession, so to keep quality up, we need as many people in education as before. Cuts in education are definitely going to hurt the children.

Phoenix moves up in Forbes' 'best places for business' list, but education drags down region. Eric Jay Toll, Phoenix Business Journal.

Phoenix moved up 12 positions in the Forbes "Best Places for Business and Careers" ranking, from 56 to 44, but it came in at 103 for education. "[E]ight of the top 10 metros in education all ranked in the top 50 for best places for business and career." Though it's not mentioned in the article, Tucson ranked #103 overall in the Forbes ranking—far lower than Phoenix—but #91 in education, a bit higher than Phoenix.

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Celebrate 25 Years of Cup Cafe on Saturday

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 9:08 AM

click image Cheers to the Cup! - HOTEL CONGRESS / FACEBOOK
  • Hotel Congress / Facebook
  • Cheers to the Cup!

You might go there for the award winning cast iron baked eggs, the bloody mary bar, a Cuban sandwich or a piece of pie, but no matter which way you slice it, Hotel Congress' Cup Cafe (311 E. Congress St.) has become a Tucson institution over the past 25 years. Now it's time to celebrate.

On Saturday, August 1, the Cup Cafe will be throwing a free party in honor of its 25th birthday which will include live music, raffles, glass blowing demos and food and drink specials. Best of all, a massive 25 layer cake will be served at the event, which you won't want to miss. Drink specials include red and white sangria and the award-winning El Santo's punch and will run throughout the evening from 6 until 8 p.m.

Three dishes will be revived from Cup menus past for the event, but the good times don't stop on Saturday. During the entire month of August, Cup Cafe will be serving the following throwback menu specials because everyone knows a birthday month is better than just one day:

August 1 - August 9:

Breakfast: The Bennies Burrito (flour tortilla, scrambled eggs, spicy black beans, sprouts, jack cheese, green chiles, black olives, sour cream and salsa)
Lunch: Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich (curried chicken salad on a croissant with lettuce, tomatoes and sprouts)
Dinner: Borracho Pork Tenderloin (tequila and chipotle marinated pork tenderloin with a sweet potato gratin, country green beans and red onion marmalade)

August 10 - August 16:
Breakfast: R/R Crossing Croissant (a Rachael Ray favorite with two eggs, ham and swiss cheese on a croissant served with roasted red potatoes)
Lunch: Maximlian (roasted turkey melt with asadero cheese, avocado, chipotle lime crema and New Mexico green chiles on a croissant)
Appetizer: Goat Cheese With Artichoke Crostini (broiled French baguette with goat cheese, roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts, fresh thyme, garlic and parmesan cheese)
Dinner: The Herb Shroom (portabella mushroom stuffed with herbed goat cheese and pine nuts, roasted garlic white bean puree, sautéed spinach and red bell pepper coulis)

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Raúl Grijalva: Congress Must Rebuild Trust With Native American Tribes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 5:47 PM

COURTESY OF SAVING OAK FLAT CAMPGROUND
  • Courtesy of Saving Oak Flat Campground
U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva wrote an op-ed for the publication Indian Country Today Media Network, where he says Congress hasn't taken tribal sovereignty seriously, has failed to protect Native American historical treasures—as we are seeing in recent times with Oak Flat—and that, bottom line, Congress needs to regain the tribes' trust. 

He says these actions are not based on any legitimate political differences, but on an ongoing attitude that Native American history is important only when it's convenient to Congress. What's definite is that Congress could care less about the tribes' economic interests, and "Native American land is held by tribes only through the grace and favor of the federal government," he adds.

Here's a couple of paragraphs from the op-ed that was published yesterday:
When President Obama, using the time-honored Antiquities Act signed into law by Teddy Roosevelt, established three new national monuments on July 10 in Nevada, California and Texas, the protection of Native American art and artifacts was among his top priorities. Basin and Range National Monument in southeastern Nevada will protect petroglyph and prehistoric rock art dating back thousands of years. In the conservation community, not to mention the Native American community, this was an occasion to celebrate.

House Republicans, however, were not celebrating. When a reporter asked for his views on the new monuments and pointed out the rich Native American history involved, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah replied, “Ah, bull crap. That’s not an antiquity.” Earlier that same day, a release from the Chairman stated, “There is nothing that [President] Obama did today that had anything to do with an antiquity.”

This was not an isolated incident. Representative Don Young, who chairs the Committee’s panel on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, lectured representatives of the Zuni Pueblo and Navajo Nation at a July 15 hearing about accepting whatever decision Congress made on a land dispute at Fort Wingate, New Mexico. “Either you take what we’re going to give you and be happy, or you’re going to lose it,” he told them. “You better be happy with what you’re going to get.”
The op-ed is definitely fueled by the most recent "we-will-screw-you-over" action by Congress, where they reached a hush-hush deal and attached a very disturbing amendment to last year's National Defense Authorization Act, where they hand over Oak Flat to Resolution Copper—a move approved by Arizona's U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain, as well as U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Paul Gosar. 

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Where the Tuition Tax Credit Scholarship Money Goes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 3:58 PM

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This is a follow up to yesterday's post where I discussed the AZ Republic coverage of Tuition Tax Credits. The Republic's anchor article for the series has a terrific interactive map showing private schools around the state and how much tax credit money each gets in the form of scholarships for students. You can move around the map and resize it to look at schools in any area in the state. The graphic at the top of this post is a screen shot of the map's Tucson area, with an example of the information given for one school. It's not the real thing. If you want to use the interactive map, go to the Republic article.

The color of each dot indicates how much money a school receives in tuition tax credit scholarships. I made a list of the top two categories. Schools with red dots get over $1 million. Schools with dark orange dots get between $300,000 and $1 million. Here are the five red dot schools in order of money received.
Salpointe Catholic High School: 3,092,476.63
Pusch Ridge Christian Academy: 2,119,947.33
San Miguel Catholic High School: 1,372,303.94
Desert Christian Schools: 1,130,907.33
St John the Evangelist School: 1,006,454.60
All of them are religiously affiliated. Among the 16 schools with dark orange dots, only two are nonsectarian. [Note: The Gregory School was named St. Gregory's until recently. It's always been nonsectarian and changed its name to avoid confusion.] [Correction: The Gregory School was connected with the Episcopal Church until it separated in 1987.]
Santa Cruz Catholic School; 971,419.81
Tucson Hebrew Academy :876,273.80
The Gregory School: 845,407.76
St Ambrose Catholic School: 789,289.29
Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School:723,504.59
Casas Christian School: 690,544.92
St Augustine Catholic High School: 652,422.21
Imago Dei Middle School: 637,396.00
Green Fields Country Day School: 627,263.59
St Elizabeth Ann Seton School: 589,792.63
St Cyril Catholic School: 475,511.09
St Michael's Parish Day School: 475,039.35
SS Peter & Paul Catholic School: 473,179.01
St Joseph Catholic School: 375,418.45
Calvary Chapel Christian School: 350,753.25
Immaculate Heart School: 316,679.88

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