Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Betsy, Go To the Principal's Office, and Take Your F Paper With You!

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 3:14 PM

ILLUSTRATION FROM BIGSTOCKPHOTO IMAGE
  • Illustration from bigstockphoto image
Betsy DeVos, Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, performed terribly at her confirmation hearings. She was poorly prepared, sometimes giving rambling answers without responding to the question, other times giving answers so wrong, it's clear she has made no serious attempt to learn about testing, curriculum or federal education law. And now it turns out, she plagiarized passages in her written responses to questions given to her by senators.

DeVos has few of the qualifications you'd expect of someone who wants to be in charge of education at the federal level. She earned her wealth the old fashioned way; she inherited it and married into it. She bought her way into Republican Party prominence by giving all kinds of money to candidates who supported her privatization/"education reform" agenda. She's never worked in a public school. She didn't attend public school and neither did her children. The only educational subjects she appears to know, or care, anything about are the use of tax dollars to pay for private school tuition and the reasons why charter schools are inherently better than "government" schools.

That's not a good start. But DeVos could have shown herself to be a serious individual by studying up on the subject matter before being grilled by senators, just like any student is expected to study before taking a test. But she didn't bother. Her implicit attitude was, "I'm white, I'm rich, I gave millions of dollars to the party. What else do you need to know?"

The person who hopes to preside over education in this country plagiarized on her take-home essay, then flunked her oral exam. For most people, that would earn them public embarrassment and a failing grade. For her, it's still probable it will earn her a corner office in the Department of Education Building in Washington, D.C.

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Scented Leaf Tea House and Lounge Adding Location Downtown

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 9:11 AM

Scented Leaf's iced Ginger Peach Black Tea with Medium Sweetener is refreshing even in January. - GABRIELLA VUKELIC
  • Gabriella Vukelic
  • Scented Leaf's iced Ginger Peach Black Tea with Medium Sweetener is refreshing even in January.

Everyone’s favorite tea place at the UA is opening a second location in Downtown Tucson and  believe me, it’s going to be a hit.

Scented Leaf Tea House and Lounge will be located between the store fronts of Diablo Burger and the former Proper restaurant at 308 E. Congress Street. Since their original location on University Boulevard has become extremely crowded and busy—especially during the afternoon class rush—this new location will be a lounge area for customers to kick back and relax whenever they want.

Shane Barela, owner of Scented Leaf, said he doesn’t have an exact date on their grand opening but his goal is to open on March 1. This new location will be slightly different than the original, with a more modern and organic feel, more tables, chairs, and fewer couches.

Scented Leaf is known for their organic teas on tap (iced or hot). Don’t want a tea that’s on tap? Have your loose tea leaves steamed. Customer’s have the option to add sweeteners, milks, honey, lemon, and can even blend your tea into a smoothTEA. Ha, get it?

Downtown’s location will feature four more teas on tap than University Boulevard’s original 12 and will have 32 loose leaf teas available instead of 65.

The taps will include Chai, Yerba Mate, Raspberry Rose, Green Tea Mango, Moroccan Mint, Papaya Passion, Hibiscus Breeze, House Black, and the seasonal favorites such as Blueberry Bliss and Prickly Pear in the summer months.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

So What Do Southern AZ Members of Congress Have To Say About Trump's Exec Order?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 5:12 PM

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally said reviewing the vetting process for refugees "is prudent and should be expected of any new administration. However, I have concerns about certain individuals being denied entry, such as green card holders, those who served alongside our military, and partner military service members who train here, such as Iraqi pilots in Tucson.” - JESSE WEBSTER
  • Jesse Webster
  • U.S. Rep. Martha McSally said reviewing the vetting process for refugees "is prudent and should be expected of any new administration. However, I have concerns about certain individuals being denied entry, such as green card holders, those who served alongside our military, and partner military service members who train here, such as Iraqi pilots in Tucson.”
President Donald Trump created uproar both around the globe with his temporary halt to refugee programs and travel bans on visitors from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

Trump ordered a 120-day halt to allowing any refugees to enter the United States and barred any citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen from entering the U.S.

Parts of the order were blocked by federal judges last weekend and the Trump administration has since backed off barring people with green cards from entering the United States.

Southern Arizona congressional Democrats were quick to criticize Trump’s move. Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ03) told The Range that the chaos that followed the release of the executive orders “called into question this government’s ability to do its job and, more importantly, understand its own history. The whole administration right now looks chaotic and unhinged.”

U.S. Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ01) said that Trump’s “broad executive order banning refugees from entering our country fails to make America more secure. It ignores our real national security needs and has created chaos at our nation’s airports.”

“This executive order does not represent our nation’s values,” O’Halleran added in a prepared statement. “We can ensure refugees and immigrants coming into our country are properly vetted without violating our Constitution or the bedrock ideals of our democracy.”

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ02) told the Weekly via email that immigration “must be balanced with the foremost priority of the federal government—protecting the American people. I served on a congressional task force focused on combating ISIS that found very real and dangerous gaps in our vetting processes. Likewise, our own intelligence officials have expressed vulnerabilities with these processes, which is why taking a comprehensive look at them is prudent and should be expected of any new administration. However, I have concerns about certain individuals being denied entry, such as green card holders, those who served alongside our military, and partner military service members who train here, such as Iraqi pilots in Tucson.”

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Poe Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 1:30 PM

poe.jpg


Hi, remember me? I'm Poe!

I'm a pretty 1 year old girl and I need a home! I'm the kind of dog that loooooooves squeaky toys and play time.

I'm looking for a home where I can get ample exercise and play time and would do great in a home with another dog. Don't forget that you can bring your current pet over to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona Main Campus to do a doggy meet and greet!

I need a home, but if you aren't looking to adopt you can still help homeless pets like me by donating to HSSA's fund to build a new home!
They are asking people like you to help them raise 3 million dollars!

Click here for more information about the new shelter and how you can help today!

If you want to give me a home give HSSA a call at 327-6088 ext. 173 for more information!

Lots of love,
Poe (835059)

Ducey Bullshit Reveals His Education Budget Agenda

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 12:30 PM

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What Governor Ducey said isn't a lie, exactly. It's classic bullshit, and it tells you all you need to know about the most important part of his education budget agenda.

It's in an article about how Arizona teachers' low salaries make them low hanging fruit for recruiters from nearby states where salaries are higher and benefits are better. That's one reason Arizona education advocates want Ducey to put most of his proposed $114 education budget hike into increasing salaries instead of the $13.6 million he allocated, to help retain current teachers and attract new ones. Here's Ducey's response.
The governor said he wants to see higher salaries for teachers. But he also wants full-day kindergarten, teacher debt forgiveness and broadband Internet in rural school districts, and he indicated that he’s unwilling to divert money from those priorities into more money for teacher salaries.
The best definition of bullshit is a misrepresentation which is intended to deceive. It doesn't have to be a lie to be bullshit. It can actually be substantially true so long as it serves its deceptive purpose. And Ducey's excuse for not putting more into teacher salaries is bullshit pure and simple.

Ducey's highest priority in his proposed education budget is what he calls "results-based funding." He wants $38 million for that program, close to three times what he designated for the salary boost. But he left that out of his "priorities" in the statement above.

Let's see how much the "priorities" he mentioned add up to. Full day kindergarten? He put $10 million into that pot. Teacher debt forgiveness? That comes to $250,000 — a quarter million — added to money already in the budget. Broadband internet for rural districts? That adds another $5 million. The total is fifteen-and-a-quarter million, less than half the $38 million in his "results-based funding" request. If you add all the "priorities" money to the $13.6 million he put into teacher raises, the increase goes from a dollar a day all the way up to two dollars.

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Cinema Clips: The Comedian

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 11:15 AM


Robert De Niro delivers a good performance in a film that doesn’t match his prowess from director Taylor Hackford.

De Niro plays Jackie Burke, an aging stand up comedian dealing with a TV sitcom past he isn’t all too proud of. Straight up, De Niro does a nice job playing a Don Rickles-type, old school standup. He’s not entirely hilarious, but he’s convincing in his stand up sequences. He’s also good when Jackie is off stage being an ornery bastard.

Where the film lets him down is in its handling of modern day things like viral videos and reality TV. Hackford’s take on modern media is woefully out of touch, and De Niro finds himself stranded in some rather ridiculous, tone deaf scenes. Leslie Mann is her usual great self as a younger woman Jackie winds up trying to romance; the two actually make for a convincing almost-but-not-quite couple. Harvey Keitel is a little overbearing as Mann’s dad, but Danny DeVito scores as Jackie’s bemused brother; it’s the best work he’s done on the big screen in many years.

For everything that works in this movie, there are two things that don’t, so De Niro’s solid work is ultimately wasted. There are lots of cameos from standups like Richard Belzer, Hannibal Buress, Brett Butler and Jimmie Walker. Yes…Jimmie Walker is still alive.

Redbubble Is Your New Best Friend

Posted By on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 10:25 AM

A phone case with an intergalactic kitten. A coffee mug with enough turquoise cactuses that it practically screams "Tucson." Laptop case stickers with quotes from your favorite sitcom or Netflix binge. Even products with the campaign logos of whatever political statement you want to make. It's all on Redbubble, and once you peruse their site, you'll be convinced it just "gets" you.

click image FORUM ON THEBUMP.COM
  • Forum on thebump.com

Redbubble is an online marketplace that sells art designs from more than 400,000 independent artists. This artwork can be placed on your pick of clothing, phone cases, stickers, wall art, home decoration, stationery and bags for a relatively low price. With as many options as you have for artists, it is near impossible to not leave the site with items emptied from your shopping cart and on their way to your home.

My last order from Redbubble consisted of 10 laptop case stickers that encompass the essence of my personality and interests perfectly, and the entire order was only $15.66. The best part of the order, being so incredibly busy as many of us are, was that it took me approximately 20 minutes maximum to find all these unique designs and consequently fall in love with them. They were delivered in both a protective and aesthetically-pleasing envelope.

click image My laptop case with nine of the 10 new Redbubble stickers. All of the stickers are from this creative company except for the "This is Tucson" cactus and the large "Love, Cherish, Protect" Mount Lemmon sticker on the right. - JESSICA SURIANO
  • Jessica Suriano
  • My laptop case with nine of the 10 new Redbubble stickers. All of the stickers are from this creative company except for the "This is Tucson" cactus and the large "Love, Cherish, Protect" Mount Lemmon sticker on the right.

I can personally vouch for these stickers' high quality, too. My laptop has now ventured to school, home, work and a friend's apartment for about a week now with these new bad boys and I have noticed they seem to be scratch-resistant and won't be peeling any time soon.

Personalize that phone case, laptop case, reusable water bottle or anything else your heart desires with this company. I'll definitely be a returning customer.


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Friday, January 27, 2017

Reality Check: Some K-12 and University Funding Numbers

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 2:00 PM

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These state education funding numbers bear repeating, again and again and again, lest we forget that funding for K-12 schools and universities in Arizona plummeted after 2009. Two stories in Friday's Star—both by Howard Fischer, one including the Star's Yoohyun Jung—remind us of that important fact. Lest we forget.

[Unsolicited MSM plug: Support your local mainstream media. If you can afford it, buy a subscription to the Star. No other news outlet in Tucson provides so much information about what's happening at the local, state and national levels. Read it critically, of course, don't accept everything at face value, but if you want to know what's going on, it's essential reading. We need a thriving print media sector now more than ever (cough, Trump, cough). End of plug.]

The first story is about National School Choice Week, a faux-holiday I choose not to celebrate. The article includes a chart showing state funding for K-12 education over the past ten years. The numbers, by the way, aren't adjusted for inflation.
State funding of K-12 education on per-student basis:
Year — amount
2007-08 — $4,949
2008-09 — $4,427
2009-10 — $4,216
2010-11 — $3,894
2011-12 — $3,816
2012-13 — $3,861
2013-14 — $4,108
2014-15 — $4,169
2015-16 — $4,459
2016-17 — $4,529
We cut the largest percentage of our already-low per-student funding in the nation during the recession, and now we're still $400 per student below where we were ten years ago. That amounts to a $400 million yearly cut before adjusting for inflation. (The numbers above, by the way, aren't the total amount Arizona spends per student. That's the amount the state contributes to the total, which is around $7,200, 49th in the nation.)

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Staff Pick

Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

This top-rated illusion show is "Revitalizing Magic" by blending an international travel theme with all the charms… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays. Continues through April 14 160 South Scott Ave

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