Some local COVID vaccination sites are changing operating hours because of expected increasing temperatures.
Starting Saturday, the two sites - Rillito Race Track, 4502 N. 1st Avenue, and Curtis Park, 2110 W. Curtis Road - will operate 7 to 11 a.m. and 7 to 10 p.m.
The Tucson area is expected to reach temperatures higher than 105 degrees during the next several days and precautions are being taken to keep clients, workers and volunteers safe, according to a news release from Pima County.
Some area vaccination sites are still offering lottery tickets* as incentives for those who have not yet been vaccinated.
June 12 - 14
Monday, Wednesday, Friday
*Incentives being offered to those getting first doses of vaccine.
The FEMA mobile units are scheduled to continue through June 26, although future locations are being moved to air-conditioned indoor buildings. Check pima.gov/covid19vaccine for updates on the FEMA units and all vaccination sites.
ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT – Replanted saguaros stand like sentinels along a wide access road and a towering, 30-foot bollard barrier that’s part of construction ordered by then-President Donald Trump. But farther along the border, the new barrier ends, the road is incomplete, construction materials lay scattered and uprooted plants have long since died.
Locals, security experts and environmentalists say the half-finished project has introduced more problems than it fixed.
Now, the administration of President Joe Biden – which paused wall construction in January – faces a logistical, ethical and political quandary in determining the best way to proceed. Some groups and interests want the wall finished, others want to remove what has already been built.
Kelly Glenn-Kimbro, a fifth-generation rancher from Douglas, and Rijk Morawe of the National Park Service come from vastly different backgrounds and work along the border in different regions of Arizona. But both say the wall – as it stands – is little more than a political prop that has failed to secure the border with Mexico but has damaged landscapes and habitat in southern Arizona.
For them, the solution is to mitigate the damage caused during the building process by finishing access roads, completing flood control infrastructure and repairing as much environmental damage as possible.
“They got the fence built, right?” said Morawe, the chief of natural and cultural resources management at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, which runs 30 miles along the border. “Now they need to finish the project so that they don’t leave issues going forward.”
Glenn-Kimbro, who first caught the national spotlight in the 1980s when firearms manufacturer Ruger asked her to star in advertisements as the Ruger Girl, has been an advocate for border security for 45 years.
But the wall, for which $15 billion was allocated during Trump’s tenure, is a waste of taxpayers’ money, she said, because it doesn’t stop illegal border crossings. Glenn-Kimbro feels this way even though her ranch, which abuts Mexico, benefited financially from the construction.
“Instead of doing it right, they were just going to do it,” she said. “So instead of ending up with something very effective, they end up with something that’s a total disaster.”
In areas where barrier construction has been finished, there have been multiple reports of migrants scaling the wall with homemade ladders.
Making good on a campaign promise, Biden “paused” border wall construction in an executive order on his first day in office. The order demanded top officials in relevant departments, including Defense and Homeland Security, to present a plan by March 26 to redirect funds and repurpose contracts originally drawn up to build the wall.
That deadline passed without a resolution, leaving construction and staging sites along the wall abandoned with building materials baking in the sun, sections of constructed wall flat on the ground and various tasks undone, including the completion of floodgates, road grading, and measures to prevent flooding.
WASHINGTON – Reports that Arizona is preparing to execute death row inmates with gas similar to what was used in the Holocaust have brought responses ranging from “concerned” to “horrified,” but the most common reaction was disbelief.
“What were they thinking?” asked Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, in response to news reports that the state purchased potassium cyanide for possible use in a refurbished gas chamber this year.
“Didn’t anybody in the Arizona Department of Corrections study the Holocaust, and if so, why didn’t they object?” he asked.
The reports come as Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is urging the Arizona Supreme Court to schedule the executions of Frank Atwood and Clarence Dixon, each of whom has been in prison for more than 30 years.
Atwood was convicted in the 1984 kidnapping and murder of an 8-year-old Tucson girl and Dixon was convicted in the 1978 rape and murder of an Arizona State University student in Tempe.
Brnovich told the court that both men have exhausted their appeals and their death sentences should be carried out.
TEMPE – Candidates are lining up to become Arizona’s next governor in 2022, when Republican Doug Ducey terms out under state law.
Last week, two prominent women joined the race: Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who has gained national prominence defending the state’s 2020 election, wants to be the Democratic candidate, and former news anchor Kari Lake, who resigned from Fox 10 in March, wants to represent the Republican Party.
They joined Republican hopefuls Kimberly Yee and Karrin Taylor Robson, and Democrat Marco Lopez.
Although Republicans are running on former President Donald Trump’s policies, Hobbs is addressing unfounded allegations of fraud in the 2020 presidential election repeatedly pushed by Trump and many state Republicans. Hobbs has denounced the so-called audit organized by Arizona state senators to review the 2020 presidential election ballots, and told CNN she thinks “this whole thing is a joke.”
“In 2020, against all odds, in the middle of a pandemic, we proved that democracy works,” Hobbs said in a video announcing her campaign. “It’s been my job and life’s work to make government work for the people of Arizona. That’s why I’m running.”
Among gubernatorial candidates, Hobbs was at the top of the power rankings by OH Predictive Insights, a market research firm in Phoenix, even before officially announcing her candidacy. The rankings are based on an online survey of 935 registered Arizona voters conducted the first week of May. Respondents were asked to rate 40 notable Arizonans, regardless of whether any of them actually intend to seek office.
In her campaign announcement, Hobbs noted her efforts to expand Medicaid for seniors and implement the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act in 2018, which offered increased access to treatment and opioid overdose countermeasures, such as Naloxone.
As governor, Hobbs promised she would protect survivors of abuse, rebuild the post-COVID-19 economy, invest in health care and education and “ensure that your race, gender or ZIP code does not dictate your destiny.”
WASHINGTON – Uber Eats, Postmates and DoorDash said they will no longer waive delivery fees for customers who order from Black-owned restaurants in Arizona, to settle charges by the state that the deals violated the Arizona Civil Rights Act.
The agreement, announced Wednesday, settles a claim by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office that waiving fees just for Black-owned businesses “unlawfully discriminated against non-Black owned restaurants and their patrons.”
The companies “adamantly deny any wrongdoing” in the promotions, which were announced last summer at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. The deals ended in December, as scheduled, but the companies said they will continue working to support Black businesses through such efforts as identifying Black-owned restaurants in a separate category on the apps.
“We’re proud to have supported Black-owned businesses and we’ll continue to make it a priority,” an Uber spokesperson said Wednesday. “We have heard loud and clear from consumers that the ability to easily identify Black-owned restaurants on Uber Eats is a feature they want and appreciate.”
The Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division notified Uber, Postmates and DoorDash in November that the promotions violated the civil rights law’s public accommodations section, which prohibits discrimination based on a person’s “race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry.”
Attorney General Mark Brnovich did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but in a prepared statement he said his office took the action “to protect civil rights and ensure businesses offer their services and products based on equal and neutral criteria.”