Monday, May 21, 2018

I Know I Said I Wouldn't Give Teachers Advice, But . . .

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 4:14 PM

During the #RedforEd walkouts, I wrote a post saying educators were doing just fine without my advice, and this retired teacher wasn't about to "old man" them. Yeah, well. Don't call this advice then. Call it what I would do if I were in the teachers' place. Except it might not be what I would do if I were in their place. So let's call it a suggestion worth every penny the teachers are paying for it.

I would love to see teachers around the state demand that the 9+1 percent pay hike the legislature built into the budget be shared with everyone in the school community, except administrators, who already receive a reasonable salary.

Would I agree with myself if I were currently an Arizona teacher looking at a raise which doesn't bring me up to the salary I should be making, and doesn't take into consideration the reparations (raise-parations?) I deserve for the years my wage was way below the national average? I don't know. I might have to be talked into it, and even then . . .

With all that in mind, here's why I think teachers should share the raise, coming from someone who doesn't have a dog-eared dollar bill in the hunt.

Teacher wages are bad. Support staff wages are worse. While the legislature earmarked some new money for teachers, it cheated non-teaching staff out of the much-needed raise which was one of the #RedforEd demands.

If teachers sacrificed some of their raise to make up for the legislature stiffing the rest of the staff, it would send a powerful message. It would say, "We're demonstrating the respect we have for the people who work beside us. We understand the value they add to our children's educations." The move would foster unity across the school community in the struggle to achieve full funding for Arizona education. If teachers are willing to share the raise with other staff members, it encourages everyone to share the burden during the political campaign season, at voting time and, if necessary, during a walkout next year.

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Cinema Clips: Cargo

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM

I’ve had it up to here with zombies (I stopped watching The Walking Dead after Season 2), but this genre film, set in the Australian Outback is actually pretty good. Martin Freeman stars as a man surviving a zombie apocalypse on a houseboat with his wife and baby daughter. Things go very badly not long after the movie starts, and he must battle to survive on land to ensure a future for his family.

Directors Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke (who also wrote the screenplay) keep the origins of the apocalypse shrouded in secrecy and that’s a good move. There are cool elements, like government provided survival (and disposal) packs for those who become infected, and the fact that Freeman has a baby strapped to his back during a rather harrowing medical emergency. The film relies more upon its sense of dread and impending doom rather than straight-up zombie violence. The humans who aren’t sick turn out to be a lot scarier than the ghouls.

The movie is more The Road than Dawn of the Dead, and Freeman’s stellar work makes it worth seeing, even if you’ve had your fill of flesh eaters.

Streaming on Netflix.

Arlo Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 9:17 AM


Hi there! I’m Arlo!

I am a 1-year-old boy who feeling lucky about finding my fur-ever family! I am a playful boy who loves his toys! My dream family would love to take me on daily walks and shower me in love.
Do you think I could be a part of your family? Bring your family, including dogs, to meet me at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. You can also give an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088, ext. 173 for more information.

Lots of Wags,
Arlo (840715)

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Georgia College That Holds Onto, Then Graduates Its Minority Students

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 3:13 PM

  • Courtesy of flickr
Georgia State University in Atlanta is a state college in an area with some of the country's best known black colleges, which are there mainly because, until the 1960s, Georgia State was segregated. Now the black colleges are looking at Georgia State's innovations to learn how to better serve their own student populations.

It feels good to write an unreservedly positive story about education, even if I had to go to Georgia to find it. Even better, the model they use is already in place to a lesser extent in our universities and can be expanded by increasing services and creating a strong high tech tracking system.

Georgia State has a student population which is 51 percent black and Hispanic. In 2003 it had a 32 percent graduation rate. The graduation rate has climbed to 54 percent, a substantial improvement.

Once the university determines which students are academically at risk, it begins an intensive program of counseling and tutoring to keep them in school. The students attend a seven week summer session before they begin classes where they have a chance to get to know the campus while they learn about the tutoring, advising and financial literacy programs. Each student has an advisor. Once classes start, the college has as many as 800 alerts which can be warning signs the student is beginning to experience problems. Advisors call, email and meet with students on a regular basis, and address problems quickly as they arise.

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.


Cirque Italia. As if Cirque de Soleil wasn’t crazy enough, this show has all the acrobatics, contortionism, aerials and other impressive feats, but with a 35,000-gallon tank of water underneath it all. Who wouldn’t be impressed by one of those people flipping around on a piece of fabric hanging from the ceiling? Or someone doing a headstand on top of someone else’s head? And they’ve got some seriously good performers—the show held auditions in 25 countries to find the 30 artists featured in the show, and travels to about 50 cities per year. You’ll love it, the kids’ll love it, your in-laws’ll love it. What’s not to love? Showtimes at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30, depending on the day of the week. Friday, May 18 through Monday, May 28. Cirque Italia’s Big Top Silver, 5870 E. Broadway Blvd in the Park Place parking lot. Tickets range from $10 for the cheapest children’s seat to $40 for the most expensive adult seat.

Voices Like Ours. The Reveille Men’s Chorus is offering up a friendly reminder of that most universal of truths: Music is for anyone and everyone, regardless of who they are, where they came from or what they enjoy. (Assuming there isn’t anyone who truly hates all music?) To do it, they’ll be singing songs that range from the 1960s to today, and combining music, comedy, dance and drama to explore more universal (or near-universal) themes, like aging and gender. Lift those voices, and those spirits! 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 20. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave. $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Tim Allen. Which of the many faces of Tim Allen is your favorite? Is it the debonair, grunting man’s man from “Home Improvement?” The tricked-out, totally enviable Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story films? The grinchlike Scott Calvin-turned-Santa Claus in “The Santa Clause?” Face it: You can’t choose. And you don’t have to. Allen, who recently finished the sixth season of the sitcom Last Man Standing, is on a comedy tour across the country, including to Tucson and beyond! 8 p.m. Saturday, May 19. Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. $49 to $89+.

Star Wars. You might not usually spend your weekends seeing shows put on by the City High School theater department, but the City High School theater department isn’t usually putting on one of the most beloved stories of all time. If watching the Star Wars movies makes you feel nostalgic, imagine how nostalgic you’re going to feel when you watch the show put on by people who were the same age you were when you first got really into the franchise. 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, May 18 and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Their dress rehearsal at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17 is also open to the public and free. 47 E. Pennington St. Tickets are available at the door or at City High in advance. $5 or free for CHS and PFFS students. Email to reserve tickets in advance.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Laughing Stock: Laff’s and Tears, Plus New Mics

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 11:45 AM

Flip Schultz headlines Laff’s Comedy Caffe shows Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19. In the feature slot is Arizona comedian Jill Kimmel, who probably wishes we would all stop mentioning that she’s Jimmy’s sister. Although she’s performed sketches on her sibling’s show, she’s compiled her own solid credentials in top comedy clubs and at U.S. military bases throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Flip Schultz’ destiny was ordained at age eight when his comedy set swept the voting at a summer camp talent show. This was no fluke. He had for years made the rounds of family gatherings, bar mitzvahs, senior centers—wherever he found an audience.

At 18, he won the first open mic contest he ever entered. His commitment to standup survived college and a degree in theatre. He has since performed in comedy clubs throughout the world. Per his bio, he is now especially “sought-after” in Scandinavia. Yes! We feel cooler just typing Scandinavia.

John Stringer headlines and Jimmy Earl opens on Friday and Saturday, May 25 and 26. The Sunday, May 27 show has sold out.

Stringer brings some trademark Austin weirdness to the Laff’s stage. His comedy is accessible, high-energy, physical and loud-ish, reflecting a singular resistance to maturity.

Jimmy Earl’s name and coloring conjure the Ozarks and secret sausage recipes, but he often introduces himself as a Filipino from Canada. Humor ensues, often revolving around his family’s unique cultural mélange.

Laff’s shows are at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $12.50 and $17.50 via

  • Jennifer Finley at Laff's Comedy Caffe.

On losing the beloved Jen Finley

Few things focus the attention like a bald comedian onstage with a feeding tube, but even laid low with cancer at 32, Jennifer Finley was crazy funny. She joked mainly in one-liners—original, twisted, unique and, whenever possible, shocking. Tucson comics were united in love for her and inspiration they took from her commitment to comedy. Literally from her deathbed last week she made jokes for those gathered to say goodbye. There may never have been so much laughter at a funeral. Thanks, Jen.

Mic news

Kev Lee hosts the new“Sunday Night Live Stand-up or Shut Up Open Mic” at Flycatcher, 9 p.m. Sunday, May 20. Rory Monserrat and Cindell Hansen, hosts of a former mic at Loudhouse, reboot at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 22 at the new Cans Deli, 340  N 4th Ave. Word is that both these mics will continue if there’s support. You know what to do.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

You've Got a Month Left to Vote in the First Round of Best of Tucson

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM


Hearing "You've got a month left to vote in Best of Tucson!" might sound a lot like "You've got SO MUCH TIME left to vote in Best of Tucson!" Then again, consider that it's already mid May. Wasn't it March just, like, yesterday? No. Time slips away, and so does your time to show your love for your favorite Tucson institutions.

What I'm saying is: You should start your Best of Tucson ballot. Take a look at the list of categories, carefully consider who you're going to vote for, and submit your ballot! You can come back to your submissions again and again and again and again as many times as you want before midnight on June 17. Then, we'll lock you out of the voting portal, ruthlessly sweep away everyone but the top contenders in each category, and release a new ballot wherein the only people/places you'll be able to vote for are the ones you and your fellow Tucsonans deemed real contenders.

If you want to like the choices you have in the finals, vote in the primaries—and do it soon.

The Dangers of Forming Political Coalitions While Black: North Carolina, 1898

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 2:45 PM

  • Vigilantes outside the charred remains of The Daily Record, courtesy of
I've been reading about North Carolina's Reverend William Barber and his Poor People's Campaign over the past few days, and contributed to the organization's legal defense fund for people being arrested during what it calls its "growing moral fusion movement." (I mention my contribution not to pat myself on the back but to encourage others to consider making a donation.) Keep that word "fusion" in mind as you read what follows. The Poor People's Campaign just began 40 days of nonviolent action in some 30 state capitols across the country and Washington, D.C. More on that and Reverend Barber later.

First I want to write about a hole I just filled in my gap-filled understanding of U.S. history: the Fusion Coalition in North Carolina at the turn of the 20th century and the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, which has been called the only successful coup d'etat in U.S. history. I read a bit about it in articles about Reverend Barber and decided to dig deeper on my own. If you know this history, your education is more complete than mine. If not, it's worth reading about this event, a chilling example of the dangers which can follow from blacks growing in affluence and influence, and joining forces with poor whites, in a place where racism reigns supreme.

Here's the basic story. Wilmington was the largest city in North Carolina in the late 19th century and also home to a large, reasonably affluent and educated black populace made up in part of skilled workers, professionals and business people. The city also had one on the few black-owned daily newspapers in the country, the Daily Record.

At the time, the Democratic Party was the party of racism and segregation and the Republican Party deserved to be called the Party of Lincoln. The Republican party was composed of white and black voters. North Carolina Republicans were joined by the Populists to form the Fusion Coalition. By 1894, the Fusion party had taken the governorship and every other statewide office. Blacks served in local and state governments.

The Democratic Party decided the best way to regain political control was to appeal to whites' racial resentment. The state party chairman stated, "North Carolina is a WHITE MAN'S STATE and WHITE MEN will rule it, and they will crush the party of Negro domination beneath a majority so overwhelming that no other party will ever dare to attempt to establish negro rule here."

White Supremacy clubs formed around the state. In Wilmington, some of the most incendiary anti-black speeches came from Alfred Waddell, a gifted orator and member of the city's upper class. In one speech he said, "We will never surrender to a ragged raffle of Negroes, even if we have to choke the Cape Fear River with carcasses."

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Staff Pick

Summer Safari Nights

Summer Safari Friday Nights 2018 Date: Every Friday until August 3, 2018 6:00 pm — 8:00 pm… More

@ Reid Park Zoo Fri., May 18, 6-8 p.m., Fri., May 25, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 1, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 8, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 15, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 22, 6-8 p.m., Fri., June 29, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 6, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 13, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 20, 6-8 p.m., Fri., July 27, 6-8 p.m. and Fri., Aug. 3, 6-8 p.m. 3400 E Zoo Court

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  1. I Know I Said I Wouldn't Give Teachers Advice, But . . . (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
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  5. The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In Tucson This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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