Monday, October 18, 2021

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2021 at 6:45 AM

click to enlarge Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Senator Mark Kelly tour the January 8th Memorial on Saturday, December 12, 2020. - RANDY METCALF
Randy Metcalf
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Senator Mark Kelly tour the January 8th Memorial on Saturday, December 12, 2020.

WASHINGTON – The Jan. 8, 2011, mass shooting in Tucson that killed six and wounded 13, including then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, reverberated nationally.

Ron Barber thinks it should be remembered nationally, too.

Barber testified Thursday in support of a bill that would make the January 8th Memorial in Tucson an “affiliated area” of the National Park System, a designation that he said “allows for our country to know it exists.”

“When you look at what happened that day, it has national and international significance,” Barber told a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on the bill. “When that shooting took place, it didn’t just affect the conscience of our community, it affected the conscience of our whole country and abroad.”

The proposal got a lukewarm reception from the National Park Service, which said it could not support affiliate designation until it has a chance to study whether the site “meets the criteria for national significance, suitability, and feasibility” for inclusion in the national park system.

“The Department appreciates the desire of the bill’s sponsor to bring greater recognition to the events of January 8, 2011,” said Mike Caldwell, the National Park Service’s acting associate director for park planning, facilities and lands. “However, we have no basis for knowing whether the proposed site meets the criteria for inclusion in, or affiliation with, the National Park System, as a study has not been completed for the site.”

Barber disagreed, saying during the hearing that “if this isn’t nationally significant, I don’t know what is.”



Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Posted on Tue, Oct 5, 2021 at 7:05 AM

Thanks to University of Arizona golf star David Laskin, every UA student, faculty member and staffer will be able to access the Wall Street Journal for free.

When Laskin was named the Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year, two UA alumni donated $200,000 in his honor to be used for the men's golf team and the Eller College of Management’s Department of Finance.

“I remembered that I’d had to buy the Wall Street Journal for some of my classes, so, in talking with my dad, he suggested figuring out a way to give access to it. That made a lot of sense to make it accessible for students.”

 Through their memberships, students, faculty and staff will have unlimited access to WSJ.com, WSJ apps, podcasts, curated newsletters and more. Those that currently have memberships may be eligible for partial refunds when they switch to their school-sponsored subscription.

Students, faculty and staff can visit WSJ.com/UArizona to access their free subscription. For more, visit eller.arizona.edu.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Posted on Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 2:31 PM

click to enlarge STOCKSNAP, PIXABAY
StockSnap, Pixabay

The Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona has changed its name to the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona and will expand the scope of its work to more formally include women and girls throughout the state.

“Decades of experience and proven positive outcomes make us qualified to add the State as a whole to our focus so we can achieve a greater impact,” said Amalia Luxardo, WFSA CEO.

“Our research and legislative advocacy work have included and benefited the state for several years. We feel that at this moment in time – after watching the pandemic destroy decades of momentum for women in mere months – it is essential that we scale the rest of our work to impact women and girls across Arizona.”

WFSA also launched a survey on Monday, Oct. 4, to learn about the issues facing women and girls in the state, and help identify opportunities for future legislative policy, grants, and pilot programs. Survey results will be available in December.

 To access the statewide survey, visit womengiving.org or survey.alchemer.com/s3/6540060/AZIssuesSurvey

Posted By on Mon, Oct 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Tucson's Environmental and General Services Department is bringing back their monthly household hazardous waste collection events, providing an opportunity for residents to drop off their hazardous waste, electronic waste and paper documents for shredding at no charge.

The next event will be from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 9, at Jacobs Park, 3300 N. Fairview Ave.

Here is the rest of the schedule for 2021:

  • Nov. 13 –Tucson Rodeo Grounds – 4823 S. 6th Ave (enter on 3rd Ave)
  • Dec. 11 – Hi Corbett – 700 S Randolph Way

Acceptable waste: automotive fluids, engine oil filters, rechargeable batteries, lithium batteries, cleaning products, drain openers, cooking oil, fluorescent lamps and bulbs, wet paint products, solvents, hobby chemicals, pesticides, lawn products, pool chemicals, propane cylinders, computer equipment, printer cartridges, and other items labeled as acid, flammable, caustic, poison, caution, toxic or danger.

The City asks you NOT to bring business or commercial waste, commercial gas cylinders, explosives, ammunition, infectious or radioactive waste, dried paint, alkaline batteries, televisions, or medical waste such as syringes or old medications.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Posted on Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 12:24 PM

El Tour de Tucson will hold the fifth Pima County El Tour Loop de Loop on Saturday, Sept. 25, and will conclude with an after-party.

The activity, which helps promote the more than 20 nonprofit partners involved in the El Tour event, is the official kickoff for the Banner – University Medicine 38th El Tour de Tucson on Nov. 20.

The Loop de Loop is for 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. and will be held on The Chuck Huckelberry Loop. The after-party will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mercado Annex on The Loop, 267 Avendida del Convento, with live music, prize drawings and more.

The band Badlands will play from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Raffle tickets will be provided at the event. 

The grand raffle prize for this year’s Loop de Loop is a LeMond Prolog carbon fiber ebike, designed by Greg LeMond and retails for $4,500.

It is a free, easy, casual and fun ride open to individuals of all ages and abilities.  

Friday, September 10, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2021 at 4:07 PM

Join Arizona Public Media and the Pima County Public Library in celebration of the rich Mexican-American and Latinx cultural heritage of Southern Arizona during Mes de la Cultura! Enjoy a virtual celebration of Mexican-American and LatinX art, music, and dance with performances by Mariachi Estrellas de Tucson, Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos, and Ballet Folklórico Tapatío.

Register here.

You’ll get a first look at Arizona Illustrated’s story about Carlos Valenzuela, a Chicano tile artist, and his work across Tucson’s south side. Plus, you’ll get an inside view of the Pima County Public Library’s Frank De La Cruz Borderlands collection!

After the show, performers will be sharing more about the rich cultural history of these art, music and dance forms, share some of their own experiences performing, and answering YOUR questions during a live Q&A. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

This event is sponsored by Arizona Public Media, and the Library's Welcome to America and Nuestras Raíces teams.

About the Performers

Mariachi Estrellas de Tucson is a youth mariachi group from Tucson. With performers ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old, the group has participated in the Tucson International Mariachi Conference in Tucson, Arizona, and the Rosarito International Mariachi Conference in Rosarito, Baja California, México.


Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos (LCF)
 is widely regarded as the first youth mariachi group and the first seed of the growing youth mariachi movement in the United States. The group includes twelve high-school aged musicians under the direction of Salvador Gallegos. Founded in 1964, LCF now carries a five-decade legacy of musicianship and dedication.


Ballet Folklórico Tapatío (BFT)
 is a non-profit folkloric dance group established in 1997 under the direction of Jose Luis Baca and Marissa Gallegos. This group is based in South Tucson, and has over 150 members. They have performed throughout the United States, Mexico and Colombia, and are recognized as one of the finest folkloric programs in the nation.


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Posted By on Wed, Sep 8, 2021 at 2:00 PM

If you’ve had trouble paying for prescription medicine for yourself or family members — regardless if you are insured or not — you aren’t alone. Americans pay three times more for medications than people in other countries. As the cost of lifesaving medications like insulin skyrocket, Arizonans face impossible tradeoffs, like deciding whether to pay rent or to purchase the medications that keep them alive.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further laid bare the inequities in our health system, and now more than ever, we must be working together to lower health care costs for everyone. Particularly, we must focus on communities disproportionately impacted by the high cost of drugs: Seniors, women, communities of color, and even children are especially vulnerable to these skyrocketing costs.

It doesn’t always have to be this way. The US has historically emphasized patent exclusivity as an incentive to drug makers. This tilts the table heavily in the favor of drug companies, which essentially maintain monopolies on popular drugs for extended periods of time. While it is important to foster competition to promote innovation, the current system is having the opposite effect. Individual consumers often have no alternative drug choice, and even when multiple options are available, it may be the insurer rather than the patient and physician who make the ultimate decision about which medication is best for the patient.

It is not uncommon in my emergency medicine practice to see patients who are struggling to pay for medications. In some cases, they personally try and “prioritize” which medications they can afford to take and which they cannot. In the worst case, this might mean a patient taking no medications at all for extended periods of time.

The net effect is patients who are sicker than they have to be, with poorly controlled diseases. For a diabetic patient, this might mean the difference between manageable foot care and an amputation due to difficulties with blood sugar control. For a patient with heart or vascular disease, not “prioritizing” their anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications can result in stent occlusion (blockage) and a recurring heart attack or loss of limb. And whether patients make better or worse guesses about which medications to prioritize, the reality is their doctors would not prescribe medications that are not necessary, so any trade-off is a gamble on future health.

Working to lower the cost of prescription drugs is more than just the right thing to do — it's overwhelmingly popular with voters across the political spectrum. A January 2021 Morning Consult poll found that 96% of voters said lowering drug prices is an important challenge facing Americans. Despite countless promises to take action, for four long years, former President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress blocked proposed Democratic reform addressing this very issue at every turn. Instead, they rewarded Big Pharma companies — and their CEOs — with record profits.

In his first address to the Joint Session of Congress, President Biden struck a markedly different tone: “Let’s give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower drug prescription prices,” he said. “Let’s do it now.” Democrats in the House of Representatives are following his lead.

In late April, House Democrats reintroduced H.R.3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. This bill would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices on behalf of all Americans — not just those on Medicare — which is the single most effective way to reduce drug prices. It also establishes strong protections against price gouging and redirects more funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for life-saving research and development. Finally, H.R.3 would also penalize drug companies that increase prices faster than the rate of inflation, a shockingly common practice.

Insights from a Gallup survey show the American public supports the provisions in H.R.3 meant to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Separate polling conveys that 93% of respondents — Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike — support giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.

It’s horrifying to know there are Arizonans who ration their medications or delay care because the costs are too high. Legislation like H.R.3 would help change that reality for millions of people and reform is long overdue. With President Biden’s support, we can get this done. Now is the time for Congress to take bold action and pass this bill.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2021 at 1:34 PM

Pima Animal Care Center is looking to pair furry friends with loving humans during a month of “Clear the Shelters” events.

PACC is offering an adoption promotion every week until Sept. 19 to free space at the shelter.

“We are very excited to have this adoption event happening at PACC!” said Monica Dangler, director of Animal Services. “This event couldn’t come at a better time with the shelter being so full.”

Pima’s shelter is filled to the brim with new dogs because of monsoon weather and specific needs for large dogs. The shelter hopes this month of events will incentivize adopters and fosters to help clear space for animals that can’t be adopted right away.

This week, PACC is offering a $0 adoption fee for all animals in the shelter. Additional promotions throughout the month will be announced via social media every Monday.

The shelter is hosting four events in their multi-purpose room this month:

  • Foster Fair on Aug. 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Long Stay Lounge on Sept. 4 and Sept. 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Foster Fair Sept. 12, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The main event will be a “Party at PACC” on Sept. 19. Giveaways, prizes, and food trucks are available to attendees.

Take a look at available pets before heading to the shelter at pima.gov/animalcare. You can also find more information about the “Clear the Shelters” event at cleartheshelters.com.

PACC is located at 4000 N. Silverbell Road, open Monday to Friday, noon to 7 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2021 at 3:01 PM

Several roads, trailheads, recreation areas and portions of the Chuck Huckelberry Loop are closed because of flooding, according to the Pima County Transportation Department. Recent storms have produced flash-flood warnings from the National Weather Service.

The Santa Catalina Mountain trailheads that will be closed are Finger Rock Trail, Pima Canyon Trail, Ventana Canyon Trail, Pontatoc Canyon Trail, and Bear Canyon Trail. All gates at these trailheads will be closed, and signs will be put up warning the public of the closure. 

County officials suggest not using the Loop through the weekend because of water, silt and mud. Loop closures are:

  • All underpasses on the Rillito, Pantano and Julian
  • Cañada del Oro Magee Road underpass
  • Santa Cruz east bank, south of Ina Road
  • Santa Cruz west bank, between Sunset Road and Camino del Cerro Road

Roads closed as of about 1 p.m. Friday:

  • Jamie Ave North of Bopp Road
  • Aldon Road North of Bopp Road
  • Snyder Hill Road from Sandario Road to Desert Sunrise Trail
  • Wentworth Road I-10 to Sahuarita Road
  • Wentworth Road North of Speedway Bl.
  • Wentworth Road South of Cape Horn Dr.
  • San Joaquin Road South of Bopp Road
  • San Joaquin Road North of Old Ajo Highway
  • Old Ajo Highway West of San Joaquin Road
  • Tanque Verde Loop Road North of Speedway at the Tanque Verde Creek
  • Tanque Verde Loop Road South of Linden at the Tanque Verde Creek
  • Snyder Road East of Scenic Mountain Dr. at Ventana Wash
  • Snyder Road West of Placita Ventana del Rio at the Ventana Wash
  • Andrada Road West of Calle Rinconado
  • Calle Rinconado South of Andrada to Calle Agassiz
  • Avra Valley Road West of Brawley Wash
  • Avra Valley Road East of Trico Road
  • Soldier Trail at Agua Caliente Wash
  • Limberlost Road West of Soldier Trail at Agua Caliente Wash
  • Ft. Lowell at Agua Caliente Wash
  • Sandario Road North of Snyder Hill Road
  • Sandario Road at the Black Wash (about 1201 S. Sandario Road)
  • Sandario Road South of Desert Oasis Tr.
  • North Bald Eagle Between West Cheetah St to North Camino de Oeste
  • Mission Road North of Valencia
  • Old Spanish Trail E of Valencia Road to Pistol Hill Road
  • Old Spanish Trail North of Valencia Road to Escalante Road
  • Sahuarita Road Alvernon Way to Wilmot Road.
  • Avra Valley Road East of Clayton Road
  • Manville Road West of Avra Road
  • Manville Road East of Reservation Road
  • Trico Road South of Santa Cruz River Bridge

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Posted By on Wed, Jul 21, 2021 at 6:40 AM

click to enlarge ILLUSTRATION BY ZACH VAN ARSDALE/NEWS21
Illustration by Zach Van Arsdale/News21

Peter Young was napping between blood draws when his ringing phone woke him.

He was lying in a hospital bed in Los Angeles as part of a five-day clinical trial that required his blood to be drawn every two hours. It’s not a job most people sign up for eagerly, but for Young, 27, it seemed like a dream opportunity. His full-time job is delivering food for Postmates.

“This will pay a lot more for the time I am spending than rideshare,” Young said. “I’m in a hospital bed right now. That’s why I was napping – because I am physically beat up.”

Young has been a part of the gig economy, working for rideshare and food delivery apps, for about four years. He used to drive for Uber and Lyft, but since the pandemic, he only has been delivering food. Although Young relies on the income from Postmates to survive, he said the job’s unreliability is taking a toll on his financial and mental well-being.

“I can’t plan for the future. I can’t be confident in what income I will have in six months, and that is really stressful.”

Gig workers are considered independent contractors rather than traditional employees, so they don’t receive such benefits as health insurance and retirement programs. Many, like Young, are freelance delivery workers or drivers called to service through such apps as Lyft and DoorDash.

Gig work can give people flexibility and freedom, but some experts believe it also exposes them to inconsistent, low pay and the possibility of exploitation for the sake of customer convenience. The work became even riskier during COVID-19, which put thousands of people out of jobs.

In response, efforts to unionize gig drivers are underway in several major cities. Strikes are planned for July 21 in Boston, San Francisco and elsewhere – coming amid a shortage of Uber and Lyft drivers across the country.

“While they don’t have long-term security from a particular organization and also a lot of the benefits the organizations provide people with, they exchange that for being able to have greater control over what kind of work they do when they do it and how they do it,” said Brianna Caza, associate professor in the department of management at University of North Carolina Greensboro.

A transition to food delivery in COVID-19

During the pandemic, many drivers for rideshare were unable to find work driving for Uber or Lyft because of the risks of getting COVID-19.