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Friday, August 23, 2019

PACC Takes in Over 50 Animals in Hoarding Case

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2019 at 1:53 PM

File photo of kittens - BIGSTOCK
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  • File photo of kittens
The Pima Animal Care Control Center took in 57 cats and one dog late Thursday night during a response to a hoarding case at a home near East Valencia and South Houghton Roads.

The case is currently being investigated by the Tucson Police Department and many of the animals that were removed are undergoing medical evaluations.

According to a Pima County press release Friday, the conditions within the home were poor. There was no visible water left out for any animals, trash and animal waste covered the floors and there was no working electricity in the home.

The PACC’s clinic team said the cats are suffering upper respiratory infections and the dog appears to be in good condition, though it had matted fur.

Once the animals are in good health, they will put up for adoption.

Currently, the shelter has 1,421 animals in need of adoption and takes in between 50-100 animals a day.

To learn more about pet adoption or fostering through the Pima County Animal Care Center, visit their website.

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Investigation Underway in Corrections Officer Death

Posted By on Thu, Aug 22, 2019 at 12:23 PM

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The death of Pima County Sheriff’s Department Corrections Officer Brian Krumm is currently under investigation.

Krumm, who served the department for 13 years, was found dead on Wednesday morning inside a secure area of the Pima County Superior Court building downtown.

The officer was on duty when he suffered a fatal gunshot injury at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to a press release from the department.

Sheriff Mark Napier stated in a press conference last night that there is no danger to the public, and no suspects or persons of interest in this case at the time.

The investigation is ongoing and Napier said that they will release more information when it becomes available.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

TW Exclusive: Tracy Shedd Music Video Premier for “Holding On”

Posted By on Wed, Aug 21, 2019 at 9:06 AM

Singer-songwriter Tracy Shedd releases her first new album in six years next month, and the Tucson Weekly has a preview of the indie-pop earworm single “Holding On.”


The one-time Tucsonan now lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the aptly titled new record The Carolinas reflects the years since she returned from the Southwest to the Southeast. The record is another evolution in Shedd’s style, which has ranged from quiet and acoustic on her last album, Arizona, to piano-driven songs to the melodic shoegaze of her earlier work.

“Holding On” is the album’s second single, following “Kissing and Romancing.”

“I love how living in different states can slowly seep into your music and subtly influence you,” Shedd said. “Arizona was an acoustic, introspective album, whereas The Carolinas has more of a fun, lighter feel. Another difference is the change of instrumentation, adding synthesizers and drums.”

In their seven years in Tucson, Shedd and husband/guitarist James Tritten became a major part of the local music scene. Tritten’s Fort Lowell Records released vinyl albums and singles by the likes of Howe Gelb, Shedd, Young Mothers, La Cerca, Naïm Amor, Andrew Collberg, …music video?, Saint Maybe, and the Luz de Vida compilation.

Since moving to North Carolina, Shedd and Tritten have been playing in a synth-pop project Band & The Beat, with a drum machine and analog synthesizers. That experimentation carried over to Shedd’s new record, recorded with drummer Nicolas Jenkins from South Carolina.

“That opened my mind to the possibility of rearranging songs and not being attached just because you initially wrote something one way,” Shedd sais. “The Carolinas was a blast to create.”

The album will be released Sept. 20, on vinyl by Science Project Records, and digitally via Fort Lowell Records.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

A [Fill in the Blank] as the Democratic Presidential Candidate? I Guess Democrats Just Want to Lose.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 19, 2019 at 12:00 PM

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  • Courtesy of BigStock

It was 2007. Three Democrats were in the running to be the party's presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton was at the top of the polls. Barack Obama, a newcomer to the national stage, was rising. And then there was the white guy who was bringing up the rear.

Cue the realists.

"Are you kidding me? The Democrats are thinking of running a . . . [arms raised in exasperation followed by an "I can't believe what idiots they are!" snort of derision] a woman or a black guy for president? Do Democrats have a death wish?"

Followed by the calm voice of reason.

"Look, we've got this young, good looking, all-American white guy with a big, winning smile, a wife who's a cancer survivor and four made-for-TV children. He's a safe bet. It's supposed to be the Democrats' turn after eight years of Bush. C'mon, let's not blow it!"

That safe white guy was John Edwards. John Edwards, who began an affair in 2006 and learned the woman was pregnant in May 2007. He denied press reports of the affair, then he denied he was the father of the woman's child. He withdrew from the race in early 2008 and later admitted everything.

John Edwards, the great, white male hope.

The black guy with three funny-sounding names became the Democratic candidate. Oh sure, it looked like he was popular, he was doing well in the polls. Lots of white Democrats said they would vote for him. But when it comes time to cast their secret ballots, we were warned, they will vote with their secret, racist hearts. Bye bye Barack Obama. Hello President John McCain. Because, let's face facts, AMERICA IS NOT READY TO ELECT A BLACK PRESIDENT!

Except the voters elected Barack Hussein Obama. And four years later they elected him again.

The moral of the story is . . . Actually, the story has two morals. First, there is no such thing as a safe bet in politics. Second, there is no such thing as a "Can't Win" candidate.

It's 2019 and lots of very serious people are warning that the country isn't ready for a woman president, even though Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump, and Trump needed every bit of help he got from Russia's trolls and Comey's pronouncements about Hillary's emails to squeak out a victory in three battleground states and win in the electoral college.

And voters aren't ready for someone too far to the left because, even though voters want Obamacare expanded and they agree that the rich have too much money and guns are too easy to buy, they won't vote for someone Trump calls a socialist.

And another black candidate can't win because, well, just because.

That leaves the great, white, moderate male hope, Joe Biden, even though he's showing signs of weakness and may lack the mental and physical stamina to go the distance. If not him, we have a few other moderate white guys with less than one percent in the polls.

Biden may have what it takes to win. I honestly don't know and neither does anyone else, about Biden or any of the other candidates who are in the running. We have two-and-a-half consecutive terms of Can't-Win presidents under our belts. Any pundit who believes it's possible to rate the electability of the Democratic candidates is a fool.

So I have an idea. Let's have Democrats vote for the candidate they really like in the primaries. Then let's pick the man/woman, Black/White/Asian, lefty/moderate who triumphs to be the candidate who goes head to head with Trump in the general.

I'm willing to take my chances with the voters. Chances are all we've got. There's no such thing as a sure thing.

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Sahuarita Pecan Festival Cancelled, FICO Blames Global Tariffs

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 2:39 PM

BIGSTOCK
  • Bigstock
Farmers Investment Co.(FICO) announced today that the 2019 Sahuarita Pecan Festival is cancelled.

The annual event, originally scheduled for Nov. 9, has been a Sahuarita tradition for the last 10 years but according to their press release is no longer feasible under the current "global economic conditions."

FICO pointed to the imposition of trade tariffs upon the pecan industry as a major factor in the decision to cancel the event.

Last year, the industry took a major hit when China, the top purchaser of U.S. pecans, imposed a 47 percent tariff on them. The increase happened incrementally, with China imposing a seven percent increase in 2017, a 15 percent increase in April of last year and an additional 25 percent last July.

The impacts of the increased tariff have been felt by pecan farmers across the nation including Texas, New Mexico and Georgia.

FICO also cited the "significant expenditure of funds" involved in producing the festival and staff time as factors in the decision.

The pecan festival averaged about 20,000 guests annually since it began in 2009.

The Pecan Classic race on Nov. 9 will still occur as scheduled. 

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Interview With TUSD Board Member Leila Counts

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2019 at 10:34 AM

LEILA COUNTS
  • Leila Counts
Leila Counts is the newest member of the TUSD Governing Board.

In recent years, the five member board has generally divided into two camps, voting 3-2 on contentious issues. The majority has shifted back and forth from election to election.

Prior to Counts’ election, Michael Hicks, whom she replaced, tended to vote with Mark Stegeman and Rachel Sedgwick. Many people expected Counts to ally herself firmly with Adelita Grijalva and Kristel Foster. However, her first vote on the board concerned how long the president's term should be, and Counts voted along with Stegeman and Sedgwick to create two half year terms with Stegeman serving the first term, rather than having one person lead the board for the entire year. Her decision upset many educational progressives who felt betrayed by her vote.

I interviewed Ms. Counts recently. Here is our conversation, edited for clarity.

In your first minutes on the TUSD board, you walked into something of a buzzsaw when it came to choosing the board president. Do you think you made the right decision?

As I stated when this thing first exploded, I was put in a very hard position. What I heard from thousands of voters when I knocked on 20,000 doors over the summer was, number one, fix our schools, and number two, fix the dysfunction on the board. Everybody is sick and tired of the fighting. Everyone is ashamed of the behavior on that board.

As a parent, I would watch those board meetings and was appalled by the divisiveness and very unprofessional behavior. That was a large reason why I decided to run.

Keeping the practice of six month terms for the president and clerk is not ideal, but it shows we are willing to share power, that this board does not belong to one side or the other. It belongs to the people. We are a public board, and we are going to work together for our students and our community.

In hindsight I would do the same thing. I’ve become the balancer and referee sometimes. It’s not a position I like, but I’m OK with taking on that responsibility, because it’s needed. We need to work together if we hope to get anything done.

Mark Stegeman served the first half year term as president, then the office transferred to Adelita Grijalva. Was it a good transition?

Yes, it happened very smoothly. I nominated Adelita, and she accepted the nomination. I’m happy she’s our president now.

What do you see as your role on the board?

I think I bring balance. I really try to come at our issues with a balance of my head and my heart and look at things objectively, then try to make the best decisions I can independently.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Rio Nuevo approves $65 million TCC improvement plan

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 4:18 PM

tcc_from_above.jpg
The Tucson Convention Center and surrounding campus including the Tucson Music Hall, Leo Rich Theater and the Eckbo Plaza and Fountain, will benefit from a $65 million improvement plan after unanimous approval of the project by the Rio Nuevo Board of Directors on Aug. 13. Rio Nuevo will now solicit bids for a contractor.

The board also voted to proceed with a $126 million financing plan that includes roughly $70 million for the renovation and any other contingency costs.

“This is a great day,” said board chair Fletcher McCusker in a release. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The TCC was built in 1971 and includes 205,000 square feet of meeting space and three performance venues — the Tucson Arena, Tucson Music Hall and the Leo Rich Theater. The facility also houses a pair of exhibit halls, 20,000 square feet of ballroom space and 10,000 square feet of meeting rooms, all located at 260 S. Church Ave.

Tucson Arena also hosts the Tucson Roadrunners AHL hockey team, the Tucson Sugar Skulls professional indoor football team and the University of Arizona club hockey team.

Current improvement commitments include a full replacement of the arena ice floor and ice plant ($3.2 million), a 300-space parking garage in parking lot A ($5.2 million) and an expansion for 45 additional parking spaces ($45,000).

Convention center priorities include renovation of convention space and existing meeting rooms ($7.6 million), arena lighting upgrades ($220,000), streetscaping and connections for accessibility ($2.5 million), landscape restoration in Eckbo Plaza upper area ($1.9 million), and high-speed data infrastructure ($2.5 million).

A meeting room addition will also add 18,000 square feet adjacent to the ball room, costing $9.2 million.

Other priorities include a 500-spot garage in Lot C ($11.4 million); renovations to the music hall to include the restrooms and a lobby, production lighting and sound equipment and new seating ($6.6 million); an outdoor event patio and interior VIP area at the music hall ($780,000); renovations to the Leo Rich Theater to include the restrooms and lobby, production lighting and sound equipment and new seating ($2 million); and improvements to the Eckbo Plaza central plaza and north walkway ($6.1 million).

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Agua Caliente Park closing for restoration Aug. 19

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 10:59 AM

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Agua Caliente Park will close next Monday, Aug. 19 for restoration of Pond 1. The closure, which will include the ranch house visitor center and art gallery, is expected to last several months.

According to Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation, the purpose of the pond restoration is to “conserve water by minimizing seepage from the pond and to improve habitat by deepening the pond and adding additional features.”

Staff have slowly drained the main pond to prepare for the project. Well water is no longer being pumped into the main pond, and remaining water is being siphoned into Pond 2.

According to the county, the first stage of the restoration project involved removing select palm trees and invasive cattails, which will help restore the historic view of the pond and allow native species at the park to thrive in a healthier environment.

Workers will next excavate the pond to deepen it and install a polymer-amended soil lining to the bottom and sides of the pond to reduce water loss. This phase will also include installation of a wildlife island and replacement of the bridge to the current island.

During the time the park is closed, dog walkers can visit McDonald Park at 4100 N. Harrison Road.

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Staff Pick

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak is making his way back to the Fox Tucson Theatre! Chris has been a Grammy… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Sun., Aug. 25, 7-9 p.m. 17 W. Congress St.

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