Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Help a Local Mushroom Farm Win a Big Grant

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 10:37 AM

Mmmm... bacon mushrooms!
  • Mmmm... bacon mushrooms!
If you have a minute to cast an online vote today, you can help a local mushroom farm's effort to win a big award.

Sonoran Mushroom Company is hoping to land support from Greener Fields Together, which runs the Cultivating Change grant program. Sonoran Mushroom Company is one of the finalists for the award, with online voting continuing through Wednesday, Jan. 31.

Greener Fields Together is hosting two different contests: In one, the grant winner is determined by popular vote and in the other, the winner is determined by a panel of six judges. All applicants are qualified for the popular vote, but only Greener Fields Together partners are qualified for panel voting. Winners for the popular vote can win as much as $10,000, while the panel voting contestants can win as much as $20,000.

Sonoran Mushroom Company is a produce company that has successfully grown mushrooms in Tucson—a challenging task because, in order to flourish, shrooms need a lot of water. With a lot of time and effort, farm founders John Jacobs and John Jacobs Sr. invested in a facility to grow them indoors.

"We chose mushrooms because they take up less space and you can grow them indoors, which is cool," said Jacobs Sr.

Mushrooms can be harvested every day of the year and, because they can be grown indoors, the environment they're in can be controlled. Jacobs said the biggest obstacle is keeping the humidity up since it's so dry in Tucson.

"It's easy to grow a mushroom, but it's not easy to grow a lot of mushrooms," said Jacobs Sr. "We're still tweaking and perfecting our systems."


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Former Weekly Food Writer Rita Connelly Debuts Her Second Book

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 9:00 AM

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Local food journalist Rita Connelly will debut her newest book, Historic Restaurants of Tucson, on Feb. 12. Growing up Italian, Connelly said she has always had a passion to write about food; she said it has always been a significant part of her life. Connelly has been covering food for over 10 years. 

Her new book has historical Tucson restaurants that have been open for at least 20 years. Each chapter covers one decade of history and restaurants. She begins the book in the 1920s. There will be a book signing on Feb. 18 at El Charro, one of the highlighted restaurants in her book.

"I've learned a lot and I've met a lot of great people and it's just fun" Connelly said. "I love the way the Tucson food scene is now. Its very fun and happening."

Although writing her second book was overwhelming, her passion for writing has not stopped. After she finished Historic Restaurants of Tucson, the History Press asked her if she was interested in writing about the history of Arizona chimichangas, and she just couldn't turn them down. Her third book is currently in the works and will mostly likely be released in the winter of 2018.

"To be a food writer was my dream and I guess I'm still living my dream and I guess I'm lucky that way," she said.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Koch Brothers Emerge (a Little) From the Shadows, Part 1: Target, Education

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 5:30 PM

COURTESY OF BIGSTOCK
  • Courtesy of Bigstock
What does the word "education" mean when Doug Ducey calls himself "the education governor"? The answer is coming, but it'll take me awhile to get there. Have patience.

When the Koch brothers, Charles and David, began their push to change politics and economic policy in the U.S. in the 1970s, an important part of their strategy was stealth. Spend millions of dollars, they decided, hundreds of millions of dollars, but stay in the background. Create and help fund multiple organizations, think tanks and college centers, all with lovely sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation and The Freedom Center, to help push their version of libertarianism into the center of American life in a determined effort to make this country a better place for the obscenely rich to live—but keep the Koch name out of it. Hold huge donor summits in posh resorts, but don't let the reporters in. Only allow the Koch name into the spotlight when donations are made to causes like cancer research or New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Things have changed over the past few years. The brothers been outed. Their names are regularly featured in the media and Democratic campaign pitches, and people have figured out ways to sneak recorders into their secretive donor summits. So they've emerged from the shadows, a bit, anyway. The spider web of interconnected groups they fund still have the same lovely, Koch-free names, but the Kochs have been forced to give in to the inevitable.

Case in point: The Koch brothers' three-day donor summit in Indian Wells, near Palm Springs, which ended Monday. They let reporters in, with the understanding that they could report on the proceedings but not reveal the names of the 500-plus donors at the summit without the donors' permission. Reporters, however, were allowed to reveal the names of politicians on the guest list, which included two governors: Matt Bevin of Kentucky and our own Governor Doug Ducey.

At the summit, the Koch network announced plans to spend at least $20 million to make everyone love Trump's massive tax cuts for the rich (which included the occasional bone thrown to the non-rich, until the bones go away in a few years). They also plan to spend $400 million on the 2018 midterm elections, more than the RNC, the NRA and the Chamber of Commerce combined. Ducey, a shining star in the Koch firmament, is certain be a recipient of their campaign largesse. A little will be donated directly to his campaign and reported in the light of day, but most it will be in the form of dark money.

On another related front, the Koch brothers plan to dismantle the country's current system of public education and replace it with something more to their liking.

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The Tip-Off: On Allonzo Trier's Improved Confidence, Lorenzo Romar's Homecoming Trip to Washington

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 4:30 PM

Junior guard Allonzo Trier is averaging a team-high 19.7 points per game this season. - STAN LIU | ARIZONA ATHLETICS
  • Stan Liu | Arizona Athletics
  • Junior guard Allonzo Trier is averaging a team-high 19.7 points per game this season.

We’ve reached the unofficial halfway point of the Pac-12 conference schedule, with one of the more harrowing road trips on the horizon for Sean Miller and company.

The Wildcats (18-4, 8-1), venture some 1,300 miles Wednesday, to one of the most remote campuses in the Lower 48: Washington State University.

They’ll then zip another 300 miles for Saturday’s clash against a much-improved Washington Huskies squad that is third in the conference, at 5-3.

The distance, combined with back-to-back late-night tip offs—with Wednesday’s game scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. local time, while Saturday’s is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.—makes The Evergreen State a tough one for opposing teams.

The games will test Miller’s squad, fresh off a hard-earned sweep of Colorado and Utah last weekend—with Washington State’s three-point barrage and Washington’s suffocating zone defense looking the stuff of nightmares.

Miller certainly isn’t underestimating the Cougars or Huskies—even though the former enters Wednesday’s clash ranked 11th in the conference, at 1-7.

“What we can control is this week, we can go to Pullman and be a prepared team and play really well so the things we’re talking about right here,” Miller said “[We must] take care of the basketball and be really consistent—because Washington State does an exceptional job of utilizing the
three-point shot.”

Cougar bait

Coach Ernie Kent’s Cougars do, indeed, rely heavily on the deep ball—shooting 601 threes in 20 games—67 more than the next closest conference foe.

The Cougars also, despite their bevy of three-point attempts, find themselves near the top of the conference in three-point percentage—shooting 38.6% this season (Arizona, meanwhile, is first in the conference, at 39.2%).

The Cougars are led by the two-headed offensive attack of junior forward Robert Franks, who leads the team in scoring and rebounding, at 17.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Franks, in combo with sophomore guard Malachi Flynn, who averages 14.9 points and a team-high four assists per game, have the skill to punish Miller’s defense, should they get lazy in defending the
three-point line.

The Wildcats have not done a great job of defending deep shots so far, with the second-worst three-point percentage defense in the league—with opponents making 35% of their threes so far this season.

Miller has gone 12-2 against the Cougars (winning 12 straight after losing his first two matchups in 2010), and 10-5 against the Huskies (including 8 straight since 2013).

He knows how desperate Kent and company, as well as first-year Washington Coach Mike Hopkins, want to win—especially with Selection Sunday 40 days away.

Miller knows his team, which had its share of issues early in the season—losing three games in as many days in a non-conference tournament in the Bahamas in November—will need to play its best basketball to earn a road sweep.

“Going on the road in conference play is very, very difficult,” Miller said. “Someone told me that we’ve had 12 road sweeps in nine years. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s a little over one road sweep a year. And we’ve been near the top of our conference for a while, now. So that shows you how hard it is to go on the road and win games in the Pac-12.”

Husky den

Perhaps the toughest conference game of the year looms on Saturday night, when Miller leads the Wildcats into Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in Seattle to play the Huskies, who are 15-6 this season.

Miller knows that Hopkins and the Huskies are desperate for a marquee conference win on their home court and expects to get their best shot in Seattle.

“If you look at their zone defense and the talent they have—you know, Mike Hopkins is doing a good job,” Miller said. “So, both games for us this week will be hard. That’s why winning a regular season conference championship is so fulfilling, because it is so hard to do.”

Saturday’s game also provides an annual homecoming for junior guard and leading scorer Allonzo Trier—who grew up in Seattle—as well as assistant coach Lorenzo Romar—who coached the Huskies to a 298-195 record in his 15 seasons as a head coach there.

Trier, who is averaging 19.7 points per game, says he’s looking forward to playing in front of friends and family on Saturday night, calling the road trip his favorite of the season.

“You know it’s the furthest trip for us but it’s great being able to go back and playing basically where basketball started for me,” Trier said. “And a lot of friends and family will be there to see me that I don’t get to see very often.”

Trier believes Romar, who originally recruited the guard during his time in Seattle, will get a warm reception from the home crowd on Saturday.

“What he was able to do for that time he was there. I know he goes back to when I was a little kid and getting into basketball,” Trier said. “So, he’s well-respected and I’m sure he’s excited for the homecoming.”

How to Watch: Arizona’s game against Washington State tips off at 8:30 p.m. local time, while their game against Washington tips at 8 p.m. The Pac-12 Network is carrying both contests.

Who to Watch: From Washington State, keep an eye out for junior forward Robert Franks—who leads the team in scoring (17.9 points) and rebounding (7.1 rebounds per game)—and sophomore guard Malachi Flynn, who is averaging 14.7 points and a team-best four assists per game.

For Washington, keep an eye on a foursome of players averaging in double figures, with freshman guard Jaylen Norwell leading the charge. Norwell, who averages a team-high 16.7 points per game, is joined by juniors Noah Dickerson, David Crisp and Matisse Thybulle on the scoring sheet, with the others averaging 14.2, 11.8 and 11.3 points per game, respectively.

How to Bet: Arizona is an 11.5-point favorite over Washington State. The line for Saturday’s game
against Washington hasn’t been posted.


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Phoenix Police Department Will Work on Communicating Better During Protests

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 3:33 PM

COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo

The Phoenix Police Department said they're working on better communication, regarding the launching of pepper ball ammunition and tear gas into protestors during President Donald Trump's August 2017 rally, according to a PPD internal review released on Jan. 29.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona responded by saying PPD "did not protect the First Amendment rights of protesters and caused many people to go home with cuts, bruises, and other injuries."

"There are many videos of officers attacking protesters with pepper spray and projectiles at dangerously close range," said ACLU of Arizona Legal Director Kathy Brody in the press release. "It is shocking and disheartening that the department determined this excessive use of force was justified."

Brody also asked whether the police could have used less volatile methods such as better
amplification equipment to announce "adequate orders before using chemical irritants," why they denied using foam batons on protestors and why the prolonged delay in releasing the report.

"Chief Williams has said that her officers made sure everyone went home safely," Brody said. "The truth is many peaceful protesters went home with injuries caused by her officers. The police are supposed to ensure people can fully exercise their First Amendment rights. On this occasion, the Phoenix Police failed to do that."

Police Chief Jeri Williams wrote in the internal review that communication could be improved on, adding that the police did what they could, and there were minimal injuries and little property damage.

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Wendy Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 9:00 AM

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Hi there. My name is Wendy!

I am a 1 year old girl who is ready to meet my fur-ever family! I am a very sweet girl that is going to make someone very happy! I already know sit and love to play.

Please bring your family, including dogs, to meet me at HSSA Main Campus at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. For more information give an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088, ext. 173.

Lots of Love,
Wendy (851483)

City Council to Tucson Drivers: Stop Texting And Driving!

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 3:00 AM

texting_and_driving.jpg
You'll see those dreaded flashing lights of a cop car if you keep texting and driving in Tucson. The Tucson City Council voted 4-1 last week to make fooling with your mobile phone while behind the wheel a primary offense, meaning the cops can pull you over if they spot you uploading that selfie to Facebook when you're at a red light.

The new law goes into effect on Thursday, Feb. 1.

For the first 30 days, officers will be giving drivers warnings instead tickets to give drivers a bit of time to learn about the new law. Once March hits, it's open season and police will start hitting texting drivers with tickets. For the first offense, drivers will receive a $50 fine. From then on, the fine will gradually go up.

Councilwoman Regina Romero voted against making it a primary offense, saying she thought it would give cops a pretext to pull over Latinos and other minorities. She pointed to statistics that show that men and women of color are morel likely to have their vehicles searched if they are pulled over.

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Friday, January 26, 2018

'Lynching in America': An Excellent, and Horrifying, Educational Resource

Posted By on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 at 4:18 PM

For K-12 and college-level teachers who want to educate themselves and their students on the subject of lynching, which, it hardly needs saying, is one of the most vile and horrifying parts of this country's post-Civil War history, the site Lynching in America, created by the Equal Justice Initiative, is as thorough a portrayal as you are likely to find. It includes a lengthy report on the history of lynching, as well as audio stories, a video exploring one family's experiences, interactive maps, even lesson plans for teaching about the topic.

I learned about the site from an NAACP magazine I receive along with my membership, which I began soon after Trump was elected.

Non-educators who want to know more about the topic will find the material valuable as well. However, I have to admit, I've only scanned the site. I find it too unsettling to see pictures or even read detailed descriptions of this horrific part of our history. I don't think teachers below the high school level would use the entire site with students, though it would certainly give the teachers the background to discuss lynching with younger children if they felt it was appropriate. I also imagine teachers using this material would warn students about the nature of the contents and give them alternative ways to fulfill class assignments.

Here's how the "About" page describes the site and its purpose.
The Equal Justice Initiative believes we need to change the narrative about race in America in order to advance our collective goal of equal justice for all. As part of this work, we extensively researched the period between the Civil War and World War II, when over 4,000 African Americans were lynched in this country. We published our findings in the report Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, the most comprehensive work done on lynching to date. Many racial terror lynchings, however, went unreported and their victims remain unknown.
The entire report is included on the site.

Much of the funding for the organization and this project came from Google, which has contributed $2.5 million to EJI.

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Staff Pick

TMA Holiday Art Market

The Holiday Art Market brings together more than 100 artisans selling handmade and one-of-a-kind items. Browse original… More

@ Tucson Museum of Art Fri., Nov. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat., Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 140 N. Main Ave.

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