Friday, February 15, 2019

Arizona Reaction to Trump’s Border Emergency Splits Along Party Lines

Posted By and on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 3:26 PM

“A border wall already runs up to both sides of the River Bend Resort & Golf Club in Brownsville, Texas. Erected in 2006, this part of the wall stands 18 feet and ends abruptly along a busy highway, leaving a gap several miles wide. Much of the most-recent border wall construction has been in Texas and California.” - PHOTO BY MINDY RIESENBERG | CRONKITE NEWS
  • Photo by Mindy Riesenberg | Cronkite News
  • “A border wall already runs up to both sides of the River Bend Resort & Golf Club in Brownsville, Texas. Erected in 2006, this part of the wall stands 18 feet and ends abruptly along a busy highway, leaving a gap several miles wide. Much of the most-recent border wall construction has been in Texas and California.”

Arizona lawmakers’ reaction to President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national border security emergency on Friday split along party lines, with Democrats blasting the move as “fear-mongering” that sets “a dangerous precedent.”

Republicans praised the president for taking action they said is needed to “protect American lives.”
Trump’s declaration came just hours after Congress passed a budget bill that included $1.375 billion to fund construction of more border wall, well below the $5.7 he had been demanding. In response, he declared a state of emergency, which allows the president to shift funds between accounts.

White House officials said Friday the emergency would allow the addition of about $6.6 billion to the money Congress allocated, bringing border wall construction funding to about $8 billion this year.

In a Rose Garden announcement Friday, Trump said the declaration is needed because “we don’t control our own border.”

“I’m going to be signing a national emergency,” Trump said. “We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”

The declaration is almost certain to be challenged in court – a fact Trump referenced in his speech – but he said he has the authority and is confident he will ultimately win. He said presidents over the last four decades have declared 58 national emergencies and some governors have declared border emergencies, including former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.

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Man Dies In Custody at Pima County Jail

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2019 at 11:22 AM

On Thursday, Feb. 14, just after 2:00 p.m., a "use-of-force encounter" at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex resulted in the death of 53-year-old David Ray Maxwell. The corrections officer involved, Jason Hubert, was placed on administrative leave immediately following the encounter, as is standard protocol.
David Ray Maxwell
  • David Ray Maxwell

Hubert was was not injured during the encounter, and has been employed with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department since October 2007. The incident is currently being investigated by Pima County Sheriff’s Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is unable to release any further information at this time and the department is in the process of notifying the inmate’s next of kin.

According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, "Detention Complex have limited Force Options available to them. Such Options are limited to Officer Presence, Verbal Communications, Soft Empty Hand Control techniques, Pain Compliance techniques, Oleoresin Capsicum spray, and Hard Empty Hand Control techniques. At this time the investigation is still ongoing."

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Randi Dorman Kicks Off Campaign for Mayor

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 3:09 PM

Randi Dorman
  • Randi Dorman

“It’s time for us to not just fix the roads but make sure they lead somewhere,” Randi Dorman told a cheering crowd on Tuesday evening.

To kickoff her campaign for mayor of Tucson, Dorman laid out her priorities for office during a casual gathering at the Connect Coworking courtyard, complete with drinks and live music.

Originally from New York, Dorman worked in advertising with international brands such as Charmin, Crest and Old Spice for 15 years before moving to downtown Tucson in 2001 with her husband, Rob Paulus, an architect and developer. Together they formed R+R Develop, a local real estate development company.

In 2005 the couple worked to convert a closed ice factory into the residential Ice House Lofts on 17th Street. Now, R+R is in the process of developing mixed-use apartments, offices and retail spaces adjacent to the Trinity Presbyterian Church on Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard.

Dorman has served as the president of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tucson for over five years, and currently serves as the chairwoman of the Downtown Tucson Partnership. She hopes to bring her close relationship with the ongoing revitalization of downtown and knowledge of small business economics to the dais.

“We need to take the energy that we put into downtown and we need to start to bring that into the rest of the community,” she said.

Among Dorman’s interests is economic development, which includes supporting the growth of small and medium-sized businesses, making collaborations through job-training programs and creating a “robust annexation program” to bring in more state-shared revenues that are currently being given to the Phoenix area.

“Keeping our money in Tucson will enable us to pay for the things that create a better quality of life here,” she said. “And if we collaborate with the county, we can reduce redundancies in departments like Parks and Planning and Development Services and if we do that we free up money for our community.”

Dorman also had a hand in the DTP Connects program, which helped chronically homeless people living in the downtown area find housing opportunities and organizations that help with issues of poverty. She said her team was able to decrease chronic homelessness in the downtown area by 95 percent in a few months.

“In 2018 there were 300 chronically homeless in the City of Tucson, by the city’s count. There were 450 housing vouchers that went unused in 2018,” Dorman said. “We have to connect the people who are combating poverty with the great programs that already exist here as well as creating new ones to support the people really suffering in our community.”

Like other mayoral candidates, Dorman said climate change as an issue that demands attention. Her idea for an environment-friendly Tucson includes sustainable building practices.

“Urban infill, density in the core, where it belongs, and reusing old buildings are some of the greenest building practices you can do and I’m going to make them easier to do,” she said. “In addition, incentives for rainwater harvesting, solar installation, tree planting, energy-efficient home and building improvements—if we do those things we create jobs, improve the environment and improve our quality of life.”

If elected mayor, Dorman wants to start planning for long-term projects such as an expansion of the city’s public transit system and a high-speed rail to Mexico and the Arizona Sun Corridor.

“We have to make sure that we’re shovel-ready when funding opportunities arise, like they have in the past. We want to make sure that we’re going to be the first in line.”

Dorman sees the mayor’s position as the “glue that holds everything together.”

“Her greatest responsibility is to bring people together and lead with vision. She has to be the connector and the chief collaborator. And that’s what I do every single day in my normal business. Every single day I’m bringing people together, bringing ideas together, that’s what I love to do and that’s why I’ve wanted to be mayor for over a decade."

"I have spent an extraordinary amount of time sitting in city council meetings. There’s a wall of portraits of all of the men who have been mayors of Tucson in the past. All men. It is 2019 and it is time to make a change, it is time to think differently about what is possible for Tucson," Dorman said.

Ward 1 city council member Regina Romero is also in the race for the mayor’s seat, as well as former state legislator Steve Farley, advertising agency owner Ed Ackerley and a handful of fringe candidates. The primary election will take place in August.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Here's Why Democrat Mark Kelly Could Knock Appointed Sen. Martha McSally out of Her Orbit

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 11:54 AM

Mark Kelly
  • Mark Kelly

Former Navy fighter pilot and retired astronaut Mark Kelly confirmed the rumors today: He’s running for U.S. Senate against Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to her seat after being the first Republican to lose a Senate race in Arizona in three decades.

Kelly had a 25-year career in the U.S. Navy, but was drawn into politics when he married Gabby Giffords, whose own congressional career came to an end after surviving an assassination attempt during a Congress on Your Corner event in January 2011 that claimed the lives of six people.

After the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Kelly and Giffords established Americans for Responsible Solutions to lobby for new laws to prevent gun violence. The organization changed its name to Giffords last year.

In an announcement speech on YouTube, Kelly credited Gabby for showing him how government could improve people’s lives.

“You know, I learned a lot from being an astronaut, I learned a lot from being a pilot in the Navy. I learned a lot about solving problems from being an engineer,” Kelly said. “But what I learned from my wife is how you use policy to improve people's lives. Arizonans are facing incredibly challenging issues in the years to come. Access to affordable healthcare, the stagnation of wages, job growth, the economy. I care about people, I care about the state of Arizona, I care about this nation. So because of that, I’ve decided that I’m launching a campaign for the United States Senate.”

Kelly’s entry into the race is McSally’s worst nightmare. She’s already lost one Senate race and only has her seat because she cooked up an insurance plan with Jon Kyl and Gov. Doug Ducey. Kyl, who took a break from his lobbying career to accept an appointment to the late Sen. John McCain’s seat, stepped down at the end of last year so McSally could have a consolation prize after falling to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

Team Kelly knows McSally inside and out. Many of his most trusted advisors are veterans of campaigns run by Giffords and Ron Barber, the former congressman who won the seat Giffords gave up in 2012 to focus on her recovery. Barber narrowly won a race against McSally in 2012 and lost one to her by a mere 167 votes in 2014.

McSally lost her Senate race because she went from Trump skeptic to Trump true believer in 2018. She hasn’t veered from that course, remaining a loyal foot soldier to Trump from her Senate perch. For example, while a handful of Republicans (including newly elected Utah Sen. Mitt Romney) voted alongside Democrats to end the government shutdown last month, McSally remained a team player, voting only for the GOP plan.

At this point, it’s gonna be hard for McSally to break up with Trump, who will remain at the top of the ticket in 2020. But even if she remains his loyal handmaiden, she’s still got problems with the Arizona Republican Party, which is now under the control of one of her political rivals, Kelli Ward, who lost to McSally in the 2018 GOP primary for Senate. And despite McSally’s allegiance to Trump, it’s entirely possible that she’ll have a primary challenge because many conservative Republicans still think she’s too lib.

Kelly does have to make it through a Democratic primary, though he’s the first one to announce a 2020 campaign. Sinema’s win had a lot of Democrats thinking about running in 2020. One dropped out last week: Newly minted Democrat Grant Woods, who served two terms as Arizona’s attorney general as a Republican in the 1990s. Woods, a close ally of John McCain who supported Sinema in 2018, has been dismayed by the direction of the GOP. He had hoped to follow Sinema’s moderate path to the U.S. Senate, but has been haunted by some of his not-exactly-woke comments he made about women when he hosted a talk-radio show in Phoenix after he left office.

Still considering the race is Congressman Ruben Gallego of Maricopa County, a rising star in the Democratic Party. Gallego is a veteran who would make a formidable candidate in the primary, but might not have the moderate appeal Sinema had in the 2018 general race against McSally.
And then there’s the matter of money. McSally knows how to bring in the dollars—so many dollars, in fact, that she can’t keep track of it all and is in regular trouble with the Federal Elections Commission. In her Senate race, McSally raised more than $20 million.

But Kelly can match that. He’s already has a fundraising base from his work with Giffords and will be considered one of the most competitive candidates in the country.

Stock up on popcorn. This is gonna be a race for the ages.

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Martha McSally's Worst Nightmare Is on the Launch Pad: Former Astronaut Mark Kelly Is Running Against Her for U.S. Senate

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 at 8:11 AM

This morning, retired astronaut and former Navy fighter pilot Mark Kelly announced via Twitter than he plans to challenge Republican Martha McSally, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate after losing last year's Senate race to Kyrsten Sinema. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Pima Animal Care Center Sees Success During First Year in New Facility

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2019 at 12:58 PM

The new facility, located at 4000 N. Silverbell Road. - PIMA ANIMAL CARE CENTER
  • Pima Animal Care Center
  • The new facility, located at 4000 N. Silverbell Road.

The Pima Animal Care Center accepts homeless, stray, abandoned, surrendered and neglected cats and dogs from all over the county. An enormous undertaking, PACC cares for about 17,000 animals every year. That's an average of 61 pets arriving per day, according to their 2018 annual report.

This year was the first that PACC operated out of their brand new facility on Silverbell Road. The building was funded in 2014 by voter-approved bonds and features a new veterinarian clinic, pet housing areas, indoor and outdoor kennels, improved ventilation and separate lobbies for adoptions, pet support services and medical help.

The report states there were 10,893 animals adopted this year, which is a 15 percent increase from last year. 2,000 Pima County families fostered 5,080 cats and dogs as well. 90 percent of the animals that came to the shelter were placed in a home. Almost 2,000 lifesaving surgeries were performed by PACC's veterinarians and almost 9,000 spay and neuter surgeries were performed, which helps decrease the population of stray and feral animals. A record-breaking 90,584 hours of service were provided by 1,122 volunteers, which County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said is equal to 39 full-time staff positions.
  • Pima County

In his Friday memo to the Board of Supervisors, Huckelberry wrote that the new facility has contributed to zero disease outbreaks within the care center this year. Sick animals are now housed in separate medical rooms, preventing the spread of illnesses. Healthy animals have also seen an increased quality of life while staying in the center.

"Group housing rooms, play yards and indoor/outdoor housing for cats and dogs meant this year PACC pets were exposed to fresh air and natural light during their stay, and were able to interact with members of their own species, keeping them happier and healthier," Huckelberry wrote.

14 patrol officers and the animal protection and enforcement program cover the entirety of Pima County, responding to dog bites, cruelty and neglect complaints and licensure and leash compliance, according to PACC's report. This past year more than 26,000 calls were answered, regarding reports of animal cruelty, neglect, leash law violations and sightings of stray animals.

"In 2018 PACC had its most successful year yet by every measure," Huckelberry wrote. "This is clearly due to the investment of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, and the continued support of volunteers, staff, foster caregivers, the Friends of PACC, advocates, rescue partners and adopters."

The full 2018 annual report can be viewed here.

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Friday, February 8, 2019

Grant Woods Out of Next Year's US Senate Race

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 11:06 AM

Newly minted Democrat Grant Woods, who served as Arizona's attorney general as a Republican in the 1990s, announced today that he won't be seeking a U.S. Senate seat. Woods posted on Facebook:

Letting everyone know today that I will not be announcing for US Senate this year. My interest has been in getting Trump out of office along with his enablers. It is clear now that several Democrats will run for Senate. I have no interest in spending the next 18 months running against Democrats. They are not the problem.

Thank you to the people across the state who signed on to help me. The support was amazing and I will always cherish it.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

University of Arizona Wants to Ax UA Assistant Men's Basketball Coach

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 10:17 AM

Fourth-year Arizona assistant basketball coach Mark Phelps has been suspended by the University, which has "initiated the process to terminate" him. - ARIZONA ATHLETICS
  • Arizona Athletics
  • Fourth-year Arizona assistant basketball coach Mark Phelps has been suspended by the University, which has "initiated the process to terminate" him.
University of Arizona assistant men's basketball coach Mark Phelps has been suspended by the school, with the intent of firing him, according to a statement released on Wednesday night.

The University's statement read in part:

The University of Arizona has initiated the process to terminate Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Mark Phelps' employment with the University. During this process, Phelps has been placed on suspension with pay in accordance with University policy. This personnel action is not related to the federal criminal proceedings in New York or the NCAA's review of the facts underlying the allegations of unlawful conduct.

Phelp's suspension comes days after ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach reported that Phelps is accused of altering former commit and current UCLA player Shareef O'Neal's academic transcript.

Arizona Director of Athletics Dave Heeke released a statement on Wednesday, calling Phelps' conduct unfit for his position within the program.

“The University of Arizona is committed to the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct and our commitment to those principles is unwavering," Heeke said. "The decision to remove Coach Phelps immediately is a direct result of that commitment. We strive to compete within the rules of the NCAA and the PAC-12 Conference, and we will continue to cooperate fully with the NCAA. Coach Miller fully supports this decision, which we agree is in the best interests of our men’s basketball program and the University.”

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Staff Pick

Rosanne Cash & Her Band – She Remembers Everything

The Fox is pleased to welcome back to our stage, Tucson Favorite Rosanne Cash. This time, she’s… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Wed., Feb. 20, 7:30-9 p.m. 17 W. Congress St.

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