Friday, June 29, 2018

Student Housing Monastery: Conflict Over the Fate of the Historic Benedictine Continues

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 4:24 PM

About 100 neighbors and people invested in the outcome of the Benedictine Monastery gather on June 28 to hear architect Corky Poster's latest proposal for the sanctuary's future. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • About 100 neighbors and people invested in the outcome of the Benedictine Monastery gather on June 28 to hear architect Corky Poster's latest proposal for the sanctuary's future.

The latest proposal for development around the Benedictine Monastery didn’t receive much support from the 100 or so neighbors who attended a public meeting at the historic chapel on June 28.

Architect Corky Poster with Poster Frost Mirto, a local design firm that emphasizes preservation and sustainability, framed the proposal as being their last effort at compromise before the property and monastery itself is turned into student housing, allowed under the current zoning.

“Plan B is our firm is no longer involved with the project and it proceeds under current zoning,” Poster said.

The current zoning allows for 40 feet (four stories) of high-density residential, which could be used for student housing. The zoning also allows for a maximum 222 living units, given there is ample parking and setbacks from the road.

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Catch AZ-Made 'Wastelander' at Screening Room on Saturday Night

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 3:35 PM

You can catch an Arizona-filmed post-apocalyptic flick at downtown's Screening Room this Saturday, June 30.

Wastelander follows Rhyous, an ex-soldier who wanders the desert searching for his lost home and family.

The movie’s writer and director, Angelo Lopes, was living in Hawaii when he started working on the script, but he moved to Arizona in early 2012 to start filming. He came with some filmmaking experience and a career as a cameraman on local TV news.

Much of Wastelander was filmed at a one-acre property northwest of Phoenix, which the owners made available to Lopes’ team when they took an interest in the movie.

“We built a lot of our sets there,” he said. “They also had a barn, and we used the barn for a lot of the interiors.”

Because of the limited space for shooting interior scenes, filming took a long time. “We’d build a set. We’d shoot everything there. We’d tear down the set. We’d build another set,” Lopes said.

Outdoor scenes were filmed at various desert locations throughout Arizona, but Lopes made an effort to avoid showing saguaro cactus and other artifacts that might identify the post-apocalyptic set as the pre-apocalyptic Sonoran Desert.

While Wastelander certainly evokes Mad Max with its wasteland treks and bands of mercenaries, it was more directly inspired by the video game series “Castlevania.” Lopes was playing “Castlevania: Lords of Shadows” on his XBox when inspiration struck.

“This is about one guy that has got a mission, and he’s going from Point A to Point B, and it’s just what happens along the way,” he said. “I was like, ‘I need to make a movie like this.’”

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Fighting Injustice with Art

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 3:32 PM

  • YWCA Southern Arizona

If the nation's current events are weighing heavy on your mind, consider attending the YWCA's new exhibition opening tonight. Titled "How We See The World," the show focuses on local artists who created visuals in response to today's most important problems and social justice movements.

It's easy to become cynical, despondent or just straight up baffled by the 24-hour news cycle filled with crisis after crisis, but turning inwards to one's own community for answers about this big scary world is a good place to start.

According to their Facebook event, this free exhibit "explores current ideas, issues and movements happening now, such as gun violence, LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Women’s rights, The Resistance and Immigrant rights." The goal is to get people talking about these big ideas and what we can do to create change right here, right now.

If you've got nothing to do this evening, stop by the France McClelland Community Center at 525 N. Bonita Avenue from 6 to 8 p.m. and see whose artwork speaks to you. If you can't make it tonight, the exhibit will be on display until Monday, Sept. 10. The YWCA is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Slaughter at the Annapolis Capital: A Tragedy Hits Close to Home

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 1:18 PM

The Cover of today's The Capital Newspaper - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • The Cover of today's The Capital Newspaper

A man with an apparent grievance and loads of ammunition ambushed my former newsroom on Thursday, June 28.

The 38-year-old gunman shot through, then entered the glass-encased front door of the newsroom I once called home, gunning down anyone daring to escape out the back.

The gunman was a well-known figure in the Annapolis Capital newsroom, airing incomprehensible grievances against the paper’s staff, dating back to when I interned there in the summer of 2013.
His murderous intentions became crystalized on a muggy Maryland afternoon, when he indiscriminately slaughtered five of the men and women I once called colleagues.

The assassination was more than an egregious attempt to silence a deranged man’s perceived enemies. It was an attack on the very principles that my industry is founded upon.

It was an attack on the airing of truths, like the 2011 column the Capital wrote about the gunman after he allegedly stalked and threatened a woman online.

It was an attack on a brotherhood of underpaid, overworked servants of truth—who still managed to turn out a damn fine paper after a fourth of its staff were slain.

Five years ago, I sat down with longtime reporter and editor John McNamara in the paper’s dingy old newsroom. McNamara, who was my go-to source for contact info and bits of color for the sports stories I filed that summer, was slain alongside colleagues Robert Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

This quintet of talented people did nothing wrong. That day they gathered their materials, got in their cars and drove to their nondescript multistory office complex across the street from the Annapolis Mall.

They were fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters to many, and are the latest in an all-too-long list of Americans that found themselves on the wrong end of a loaded barrel.

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Claytoon of the Day: Erode Us With SCROTUS

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 9:11 AM

Find more Claytoonz here.

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18 Great Things to do in Tucson this Weekend: Friday June 29-Sunday July 1

Posted By on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Triple Divide. The Tucson Movie Club and State Bar of Arizona are screening a documentary on the controversial subject of fracking. The film features interviews from affected citizens, oil executives and all the middlemen in between. After the screening, panelists will hold a discussion on current environmental and industry laws, and their effect on Arizona. 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. 270 N. Church Ave. $75. Details here.

Joe Rogan: Strange Times 2018 Tour. You may know him as an MMA guy, you may know him as the guy from Fear Factor, you may know him as the host of your favorite podcast or you may know him as the host of a podcast you’ve listened to a couple times when there are guests you’re interested in. But chances are, you probably know about Joe Rogan. It turns out, Joe Rogan knows about Tucson, too! He’s swinging by on his Strange Times comedy tour, because he’s also been a standup comic for more than two decades. 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. $43 to $63. Details here.

Clueless. Ah, the wondrous high school comedies of days gone by. What’s better than the nostalgic feelings? The throwback soundtracks, especially when it’s full of grunge and golden-age hip hop. It’s kind of the Mean Girls of the ’90s, and what’s not to like about that? Head on over to The Fox Theatre and get your prep on. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30. 17 W. Congress St. $7. Details here.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

The World Cup Competition is Getting Tough

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 6:30 PM

  • Courtesy

It’s been another week of preliminary games at the World Cup, and the matches have been full of excitement, surprise and heart wrenching moments.

The round of 16 starts this weekend, and the top two teams from each group have been decided. Most of the games played this week were extremely difficult to predict, and many were playing in eliminations.

Many favorites went through like Portugal, Spain, Brazil and France, but to say they did so easily would be a huge understatement.

One of the week’s more exciting games was Argentina versus Nigeria. The Argentineans were facing elimination, though they survived, by the grace of Marco Rojo. The Manchester City player scored the winning goal for the Argentineans at the 86th minute. This game was expected to be a true nail bitter, but it was beaten by the group of Mexico, Sweden, South Korea and Germany.

This group was seen as the toughest. Germany, for instance, were the defending champions, yet been a complete surprise since the beginning.

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AP Gets a Little Less A-Preciation

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 5:00 PM


AP — Advanced Placement — is the first name that comes to most people's minds when they think about college credit courses in high school. But the courses may not be a good as their sales pitch. The fact is, lots of colleges don't give wholesale credit to students who pass their AP exams. And the way teachers are forced to present the material can be constraining. Those are reasons some top flight private schools are dropping their AP classes. Meanwhile, a major battle is raging over AP's decision to begin its world history course in 1450 AD — meaning the "world" would pretty much be boiled down to Europe and the U.S. along with a host of minor players.

The folks who create U.S. News & World Report's high school rankings may think the best, in fact the only way to judge school quality is by counting the number of AP, or IB (International Baccalaureate), courses students take and how well they do on the final tests. But others have their doubts.

Advanced Placement courses are created by the nonprofit College Board, which is also responsible for SAT exams. College Board designs the courses, but more importantly, it sends out the end-of-the-year tests which determine whether students earn college credit. That puts pressure on high school AP teachers to stick closely to the set curriculum and make sure to cover all the topics and minutiae which are likely to crop up on the test. AP teachers are in an academic straitjacket, and students are forced to put too much emphasis on memorizing facts and figures, often at the expense of a more conceptual grasp of the material.

A sidelight: The high school where I taught made the decision not to use AP or IB courses. We contracted with local colleges and universities to grant college credit through their institutions. The teachers had control over the curriculum and made the decisions about who deserved college credit for the courses. I never heard a college complain about lack of preparation of our graduates, nor did I hear graduates say the coursework wasn't college level. The lack of AP courses on student transcripts didn't stop them from getting into some of the country's top colleges and universities.

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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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