Friday, March 31, 2017

Pima County Supe Ally Miller Taken Out of County Building on a Stretcher

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 6:48 PM

Supervisor Ally Miller suffered a medical episode earlier today. - FILE PHOTO/RANDY METCALF/TUCSON LOCAL MEDIA
  • File photo/Randy Metcalf/Tucson Local Media
  • Supervisor Ally Miller suffered a medical episode earlier today.

Multiple sources have told the Weekly that Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller was taken out of her office on the top floor of the county's downtown headquarters on a stretcher by an emergency crew earlier today. No word yet on what happened to cause Miller's medical emergency or her current condition.

Miller has provided an update via her Facebook page. It appears a vase fell on her head:

A vase fell off the top of a shelf and hit me on the top of the head yesterday. As you might imagine a head wound does bleed alot. CT scan is all good and they stapled the wound together at St. Mary's. I will be back to work on Monday. Thanks for your concern and good wishes everyone.

Help the Humane Society of Southern Arizona Set a World Record

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 2:41 AM

  • Photo Credit: familymwr/5548053540

It’s time to put those canines on display!

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is attempting to break the world record for the most dogs in one photograph. Owners should bring their pooches to La Encantada tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. to appear in the shot.

HSSAZ needs a minimum of 200 dogs to show up for the event, but hopes the turnout will be double that.

Although world records have previously been set for categories like ‘most dogs attending a sport

ing event’ and ‘most dogs wearing a bandana in one place,’ the Humane Society’s goal for this photo is a bit simpler. It doesn’t require dogs to belong to a certain breed or don a costume.

“We wanted to make sure our event was inclusive of all dogs,” said Andrea Mitchell, Humane Society of Southern Arizona public relations coordinator.

While the event is free to the public, participants are encouraged to donate at least $10. Proceeds will count toward the Humane Society’s fundraising goal for the Arizona Gives Day campaign on April 4. Arizona Gives Day helps nonprofit charitable organizations obtain financial support and bring awareness to their respective causes. The Humane Society aims to raise $80,000 this year.

“It seems pretty lofty, but Tucson is full of pet lovers who will rally behind us to reach that goal,” Mitchell said. “This is really the community’s animal welfare organization because we couldn’t be here without every donation.”

In addition to providing vaccinations, shelter and adoption services, the Humane Society educates the public on fighting problems associated with pet homelessness. Mitchell explained that the Humane Society spreads the message about the importance of spaying, neutering and properly caring for animals in southern Arizona.

“We are here for pets and the people who love them,” Mitchell said of the Humane Society's mission. “We want to make sure that our pet-loving community always has the opportunity to bond together.”

And whether you or your dog is the family’s publicity hound, be sure to arrive early to secure a good spot for the photo. Registration opens at 9 a.m. in the dirt lot adjacent to Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.

Dogs must remain on their leashes at all times. Mitchell mentioned there will be plenty of water stations set up, and owners can also bring treats, toys and "whatever else will get their dogs to 'stay' and smile." 

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Song of The Day: Billy Sedlmayr Weighs in on Johnny Marr's 'New Town Velocity'

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 5:38 PM

Johnny Marr was once half of Manchester, England’s The Smiths, who, in their heyday, drove single after single up the UK pop charts while also gathering North America’s uncanny adulation.

Their debut album took the UK press by the hand and forged a love affair with lead singer Morrissey—an eccentric in all things. Maudlin, obsessive, an asexual poet weaned on The New York Dolls and Oscar Wilde and in the clothes of a religious figure.

Marr, a consummate guitarist in his early 20s, an outsider with style to spare, guitar lines that wound around each melody with spacious fragility and room for Morrissey’s anti-world brand—his misery’s company—so crucial to the fans who'd dress like him and wish to be him. The music, an effigy of the duo's own silence and brooding kinship.

Johnny Marr cemented his contribution to Rock 'n' Roll on their genuine tremolo-driven hit ‘How Soon is Now"—a hard-hitting single with hooks so fresh that even skeptics would give Marr his due.
The yin-and-yang of angst personified, Marr and Morrissey found their breaking point in '87 and Marr left the band for good. Having carved a niche for Oasis, The Stone Roses, and others, Manchester would mourn and revere them.

Marr quickly threw himself into a range of eclectic projects, lending his style to many, including The Pet Shop Boys, The The, Billy Bragg, and Tom Jones. With his first two solo records, The Messenger in 2013 and Playland in ’14, he took over the vocal chores for the first time. He was not that brave new voice knocking down doors but something more akin to ‘Television’’s Richard Lloyd or any number of musicians who took the spotlight with reluctance, yet gave all that they had to their craft. Marr’s hard work paid off, especially in Europe.

His songs draw from the well of Britain’s literate sense of place, class lines and thematic jewels of her Majesty’s empire—rich in both—its irrelevance to modern generations and the traditional fascination with its own power, betrayal and failings of the royal flesh.

On The Messenger album, the song "New Town Velocity" opens with a wall of acoustic chords followed by textured sonic lines, and Marr crooning verses and choruses where "symphonies play for you and me,"  all backed by big bold strokes on his fender Tele and it all works like a five-minute wide-open dream.

Johnny Marr, a true practitioner of the guitar, running deep in a catalog of symphonic, immediate and transcendent sound—when he lays hands on his instrument, those who will listen, may be healed.

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Another Look at the BASIS School Enterprise

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 4:30 PM

It's been awhile since I've written about BASIS schools. Most of what needs to be said has been said already, by me and others. And besides, the "BASIS education miracle"—which isn't miraculous in any way, shape or form—has become background noise in the "education reform"/privatization propaganda machine. The charter schools no longer need the intense scrutiny they did back when privatization enthusiasts used BASIS as the poster child for all that's wonderful about charters. My most recent post on the subject was on the arcane subject of the BASIS business pyramid, a nest of separate but interlocking business entities which encompass nonprofit charter schools, for-profit U.S. private schools and one international private school in Shenzhen, China.

So I was pleased to see the topic revived in a lengthy, informative overview of the BASIS enterprise in the Washington Post written by Carol Burris, the executive director of Network for Public Education. She does an excellent job of summarizing the way the schools operate. The new news for me is the possibility that the charter schools may be in financial trouble. More about that at the end of this post.

Burris' whole piece is worth a read, but if you don't want to take the time, here are the Cliff Notes.

BASIS, Burris acknowledges,"provides a challenging education" for its students. But who are the students? Burris has a chart comparing the ethnic mix of Arizona's BASIS charters to the rest of the state.
Ten times as many Asian students, a fifth as many Latino students, significantly more white students. Clearly, BASIS has a selective, non-representative ethnic population. It also has a tenth of the students with learning disabilities as Arizona schools in general and no English Language Learners. And since the schools don't have a lunch program which would provide free and reduced lunches, they don't have many low income students who would depend on that service. Add the placement of the schools in higher income areas and the lack of transportation services to bring students from other, less affluent areas, and you have a student population that sits firmly atop the socioeconomic and academic ladders.

Continue reading »

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Have You Seen These Paintings? Cardenas Artwork Stolen From Former Bring Funeral Home Space

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 3:48 PM

Dreamer by Cristina Cardenas is one of five paintings stolen from the former Brings Funeral Home.
  • Dreamer by Cristina Cardenas is one of five paintings stolen from the former Brings Funeral Home.
On Sunday, March 26, five paintings by Tucson artist Cristina Cardenas were discovered stolen from an office space that's part of the former Bring Funeral Home on Scott Avenue downtown (236 S. Scott Ave.).

Cardenas is a member of the Citizens Artist Collective at the Citizens Warehouse, 44 W. 6th St.

Cardenas says the art was part of an informal group show. The former Bring Funeral Home is a Peach Properties space. Patricia Schwabe from Peach Properties met with some Citizens artists to ask if they would be interested in lending their work to hang in an area of the building used for office space and events. Cardenas was one of seven artists who agreed. It was on Sunday that Cardenas received an email fellow Citizens artist Titus Constanza who was reportedly contacted by Schwabe.

"'Patricia told me that your pieces are missing. Did you happen to remove them by any chance?'" Cardenas recalls.

When the paintings were stolen isn't exactly clear. Police reports were filed this week by Schwabe and Cardenas, but neither report was available at the Tucson Police Department when I went there yesterday to request copies. I was told the police were just called, so written reports would be available later this week.

Schwabe and I exchanged a few voicemails, and she responded to an email I sent asking about the theft. She wrote that a few months ago she reached out to Citizens artist Constanza about hanging art in the building.

"I love having local artists show when possible and I believe the building created a great setting. White beautiful walls. Titus was very helpful, he brought his art and later art of other artists. The building is occupied by offices mostly. The (Owls Club) bar occupies its own space, with its own entrance," Schwabe wrote.

"This past weekend I noticed some pieces missing, I contacted Titus immediately. I did not know the name of the artist that had painted the pieces missing. I did not know if she/or he had picked up the art. It was peculiar because no other items in the building were missing. I did a walk through and didn't see anything else out of the ordinary."

Schwabe wrote that her office is in the building and she is there almost every day. Constanza, she wrote, contacted the artist and told her Cardenas hadn't taken the pieces.

"Then I contacted our tenants. They were all very surprised that something would be missing. No idea of what happened and had not seen anything suspicious. ... Titus, Cristina and I met the next day and I offered to file a police report. ... I think this incident is awful, it doesn’t reflect the principles or culture of the people in the area or that visit the building. Whoever took it, took advantage of a positive situation," Schwabe wrote.

Cardenas says that she was told an event took place at the property on Saturday night, and most likely that's when the paintings were stolen—three small pieces, gouache paint on wood panel and two medium size pieces, gouache paint on wood board.

"When I went there (Monday) with Titus, Patricia showed me the nails where the paintings were hung. It would be easy to take them. There is no security camera," she says.

It's understandable that Cardenas is upset about her work being stolen and was working with Schwabe to compensate her for the paintings.

Cardenas has been an artist and art instructor in Tucson the past 30 years. Her work is part of the permanent collection at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, the Museum of Art in Chicago and the Mexican Museum in San Francisco, among others.

Cardenas says the value of the work stolen comes to $6,150, and she is asking that Schwabe pay her $4,614 with half paid immediately and the other half next month. Cardenas says Schwabe had offered to pay $3,000 over several payments, which Cardenas says is not acceptable.

However, no payment is expected to be made, since Schwabe confirmed she is filing an insurance claim, but she told me she doesn't know when or if the insurance payment will be made or how long the process will take.

Continue reading »

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The Weekly List: 19 Things To Do In The Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 10:04 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Fun in General

Going to the Dogs. Join the Humane Society of Southern Arizona as they attempt to set the world record for most dogs in a photo right here in Tucson. Bring your furry friend and a leash to be a part of the (hopefully) legendary snapshot. 9 a.m. Saturday, April 1. La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Drive. Free, but donations encouraged.

Sonoran Spring April Market. Step outside and enjoy the blooming flower’s favorite season. You’ll find food, drinks, crafts and more with Saguaro Market’s annual spring fair. You can shop until you drop by getting the freshest crops of the season. It's only happening for three days, so mark your calendars for organic-lovin' fun. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 6, to Sunday, April 9. Saguaro Market, 657 W. St. Mary's Road.

Free Neighborhood Bike Repair. Get your bike fixed up for free courtesy of Living Streets Alliance. There will also be a limited supply of free bike helmets for kids. Ride or walk on over and don't miss out on this generous opportunity! 10 a.m.-noon. Saturday, April 1 at the John Valenzuela Youth Center, 1550 S. Sixth Ave. Free.

Eggstravaganza! Spoiler Alert: the Easter Bunny is real! Take your kiddies to an eggcellent event at the International Wildlife Museum for crafts, games and pictures with the Easter Bunny himself, so bring a camera. And there’s a candy hunt at 11 a.m. so bring your egg-game (get it?) 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 8. International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W Gates Pass Road. $9/adult; $7/senior or military; $4/child ages 4-12; children ages 3 & under free. Museum members admitted free.

Paint your hound with Courtney Kelly and Danuta Jakubowski. Ever wanted to get a self-portrait of your dog? This is your chance—and you can be the one to paint it. Arizona Greyhound Rescue will be hosting international artists Courtney Kelly and Danuta Jakubowski, who will give some painting pointers while everyone enjoys a well-deserved glass of wine and appetizers. Make sure you wear your lucky jeans for a chance to win some raffle baskets during the event. This is a human-only event, so you can't bring your own pup but there will be some dogs for petting pleasure and artistic inspiration. 6-9 p.m. Saturday, April 1. 4975 N. First Ave. Tickets are $75 in advance and $85 at the door.

Continue reading »

Cinema Clips: Beauty and the Beast

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 9:14 AM

This live action take on the classic Disney animated musical isn’t a shot for shot remake of the original like, say, Gus Van Sant’s time-wasting Psycho effort. However, it does follow a lot of the same plot points and incorporates enough of the musical numbers to give you that sense of déja vu while watching it.

Thankfully, Emma Watson makes it worthwhile. Hermione makes for a strong Belle. Since director Bill Condon retains the music from the original animated movie, Watson is asked to sing, and it’s pretty evident that Auto-Tune is her friend. She has a Kanye West thing going. As the Beast, Dan Stevens gives a decent enough performance through motion-capture.

The original intent was to have Stevens wearing prosthetics only, but he probably looked like Mr. Snuffleupagus in dailies, so they called upon the help of beloved computers. Like King Kong last week, the CGI creation blends in nicely with his totally human, organic cast member. The cast and crew labor to make musical numbers like “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest” pop with the creative energy of the animated version, but they don’t quite reach those heights. They are nicely rendered, for sure, but not on the masterpiece level that was the ’91 film. As for the romance between Belle and the Beast, it has a nice emotional payoff.

In a way, the movie is a sweet tribute to the animated movie, rather than being a movie that stands on its own.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"AZ Schools Now" Town Hall Will Give You a Chance to Be Heard On Public School Funding

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 11:30 AM

AZ Schools Now is hosting a town hall on public school funding Thursday, March 30, 6 p.m., at the Pima Community College West Campus Center for the Arts, 2202 W. Anklam Road.

The governor's education budget proposals and the Democrats' proposals will be presented, then people in attendance will be asked to give their thoughts and ideas about education funding.

AZ Schools Now includes ten organizations which advocate for public education funding in Arizona.

Healthy Skepticism Note: Governor Ducey loves to portray himself as a  "friend of education." Ducey's no fool. He knows supporters of public education are marching forward with the wind at their backs, with a majority of Arizonans supporting increases in education funding and teacher salaries, so he wants to look like he's leading the parade. A favorite ploy is to talk about how he's working together with the education community to look for solutions. But lately when he said he's working with education groups on renewing Prop 301, the six-tenths of a cent sales tax for education which expires in 2020, AZ Schools Now was very clear, Ducey hadn't reached out to any of its groups.

Democratic legislators are also wary of Ducey's faux-Kumbaya moments with people who say we need a significant increase in education funding.
“My caveat with this governor is always the devil is in the details,” [Senate Minority Leader Katie] Hobbs said. “Yes, I’m happy that he supports the extension and possibly expansion [of Prop 301]. However, I would like to see specifically what the proposal will look like. . . . I will buy it when I see it. He’s made a lot of promises on education that he hasn’t really delivered on."
Like Hobbs said, Ducey is long on promises, short on delivery. Buyer beware.

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Staff Pick

Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples breathes extraordinary life into Harper’s compositions on the record, delivering roof-raising performances with both a… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Sun., Jan. 19, 7:30-9:30 p.m. 17 W. Congress St.

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