Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cinema Clips: Graduation

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Romero (Adrien Titieni), a concerned father, is forced to consider his own inadequacies while trying to help his daughter Eliza (Maria-Victoria Dragus) in the aftermath of a vicious attack in Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s striking film about father-daughter relationships.

Romero wants his daughter to receive her free ride scholarship, but what was once a sure thing is cast into turmoil after she is attacked near her school. Eliza must deal with the investigation into her attack while sitting for her final exams. This puts Romero in the unsavory position of asking school officials for favors and pushing his daughter to do whatever it takes to pass her exams, even when she is emotionally traumatized. All this occurs while Romero carries on an affair that renders him all the more unreliable.

Mungiu’s character study is a strong and complicated one, with all involved delivering good work. It goes into soap opera territory at times, but it’s always pulled together by solid acting and production value. Worth a viewing, especially if you are a fan of Mungiu’s prior film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

Quick Bites: Summer Markets

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 4:00 PM

The best kind. - BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
  • The best kind.

The hot months of summer may be quickly approaching, keeping Tucsonans tucked away in the coolness of their homes, but Tucson’s local farmers will still be out at their respected farmer’s markets to sell their summer season favorites. Be sure to step out into the heat to pick up some fruits and veggies to help cool down.

On Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market will be open at the Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida Del Convento. The market will showcase fruits, vegetables, plants, eggs and baked or canned goods.

The farmer’s market at Steam Pump Ranch will be open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. This market attracts farmers, ranchers and culinary experts. The market averages about 30 vendors and brings in hundreds of customers every week. Check the website for events at the markets. Steam Pump Ranch is located at 10901 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley.

Sundays are for Rillito Park’s farmer’s market located at the Rillito Park Race Track, 4502 N. First Ave. The market is open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. A wide range of produce is offered from apples to oranges, beets or blood oranges. Food trucks are also usual vendors. Admission is free for all markets.

Laughing Stock: Stay Home For The Fun Of It!

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Who cares about the beach, anyway?

Laff’s Comedy Caffe gives you an extra night of comedy just for staying home this long weekend.

The fun starts Thursday at 8 when around 40 comics step up for the club’s weekly open mic and deliver three-minute sets for your fun and scrutiny. There’s a two-item minimum, but admission is free, and audiences see some of the best jokes in town, along with a few clunkers. Some fans like those the best.

Whoever’s headlining Laff’s weekend shows often steps in to wrap things up at the mic. This Memorial Day weekend, that comic could be Warren B. Hall.

After five USO tours, he’s become favorite among U.S. troops in the Middle East. Hall describes his comedy as “98 percent clean”; the other two percent is adult innuendo. His jokes reflect a unique take on the small events and conversations that make up an ordinary life, including relationships of all kinds and that special way kids get on your nerves.

Hall is a regular guest on Sirius XM radio and the Bob and Tom Morning Show. He has appeared on Comics Unleashed, and opened for Lewis Black and Tommy Davidson, among others.

Featured on the same bill is Amy Miller, who was recently named Portland’s Funniest Person for her repertoire rooted in her poor-white-trash upbringing. By spinning her parents’ addictions and maladroit parenting into comedy gold, she also wound up a semi-finalist on “Last Comic Standing.”

The free Laff’s open mic is at 8 p.m., every Thursday at Laff’s Comedy Caffé, 2900 E. Broadway. Memorial weekend shows are at 8 and 10: 30 p.m. Friday through Sunday, May 26 through 28. Admission is $12.50, $17.50 for VIP seating. All Laff’s shows require a two-item minimum purchase. For reservations, a menu and artist information, visit

Look for Found Footage at the Rialto

The 2017 Found Footage Festival happens at the Rialto Theatre on Saturday, May 27 at 8 p.m.
Curators and comedians Joe Pickett, of The Onion, and Nick Prueher, of The Colbert Report, comb the nation’s yard sales, church bazaars and junque shops to bring us the intriguing kitsch, the dubious objets d’arte and the whimsical testaments to human creativity and decay that we crave, all via VHS. This year’s show included clips contributed by David Letterman.

Tickets are general admission, $10 to $12 at, or the Rialto Theatre Box Office, 318 E. Congress St. Details are at

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Results-Based Funding Violates the Spirit (If Not the Letter) of Arizona's 1980 Funding Equalization Law

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 8:31 AM

Hold onto your hats, ladies and gentlemen, I'm about to say something positive about the way Arizona funds education. We're number 15 in the nation in spending equalization across school districts. That means the difference between the highest and lowest spending districts is less than it is in 36 states. That's good news.

Now, here's the bad news you knew was coming. Our new results-based funding law is designed to reverse the state's equalization gains, increasing the funding differences between districts, mainly by giving big chunks of extra money to schools in high rent districts.

Here's the history. Before 1980, Arizona, like most states, gave each school district a minimum level of funding, and the rest came from local property taxes. If one district brought in lots of property tax money for education, its schools were well funded. If another district brought in less in property taxes, its schools were poorly funded. Naturally, that meant wealthy districts tended to have significantly better funded schools than poorer districts, though not always because they taxed themselves at a higher rate. A district with lots of expensive homes could bring in more money for schools with a lower dollars-per-thousand property tax rate than a district with lower value homes and a higher tax rate. Million dollar homes generate more in property tax funds than $100,000 homes, even if the high priced district has a lower tax rate. The best discussion of this subject is Jonathan Kozol's classic 1991 book, Savage Inequalities.

When a successful lawsuit in California in 1980 challenged the state's inequitable funding system and won, Arizona saw the writing on the wall and passed legislation to create an "equalizing" formula for its schools. The state became responsible for the funding, which meant property tax money dedicated to schools was doled out based on a complex per-student formula which took a number of factors into account to decide how much money would go to the education of each student. That's the system we have today. It's far from perfect, but it puts us at number 15 in the nation in funding equity.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Betsy Needs a Home

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 11:03 AM

Hi, I'm Betsy!

I'm a 2 year old, sweet mama dog and I'm looking for a home. I was found as a stray with my puppies and brought into HSSA by a good Samaritan! My puppies have found their forever homes, and now it's my turn!

Since being brought into HSSA I have been tolerant, and sweet of staff and volunteers. I am looking for a patient home that is willing to give me ample time to adjust to a new setting. I will make a great pet to a person that is kind, loving, and gentle.

If you're looking to rescue a sweet mama dog, I might be the perfect fit! Stop by HSSA Main Campus at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. to do a meet and greet, and you wont regret it!

Or, give an adoption counselor a call at 520-327-6088 ext. 173 for more information!

Lots of love,
Betsy (841276)

Because of Results-Based Funding, 15 to 17 Percent of Schools Will Get "A" Grades, Down From 30 Percent. Here's Why That's Important

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 10:01 AM

You know that new results-based funding system, the one that gives Arizona's most "successful" schools a big infusion of cash? If anyone tells you how equitable the funding system is based on the distribution of money the first year, ignore them. The funding for 2017-18 is more balanced than it will ever be again. Starting with the 2018-19 school year, all the money, or close to it, will go to schools serving children from families with above-average incomes. Those lucky schools will give their teachers a $2,250 raise, or more, leaving plenty more for school purchases. Their financially blessed students will be doubly blessed with the state's highest paid teachers along with new computers, books and other educational supplies the rest of Arizona's schools can't afford.

Results-based funding is designed to distribute $37.6 million to 15 to 17 percent of Arizona's district and charter schools. Schools with fewer than 60 percent of their students on free or reduced lunch will get $225 per student, and schools with more than 60 percent of their students on FRL will get $400 per student. That sounds fair, giving more money to schools with more low income students. And it is reasonably fair, for year one, anyway. A little more than half of the money will go to schools with lower income students in the upcoming 2017-18 year, because that's the way the law is written—for the first year. That distribution system stops the second year of the program. From then on, the money will be only go to schools with a state grade of A.

For the past few years as we've transitioned from the AIMS to the AzMERIT state test, Arizona hasn't given out school grades. That's why A-F grades can't be used to determine who gets results-based funding the first year. When the grading system starts up again in the second year of the program, two things will be different from the way things were before. First, new items will be added to the grading rubric which will make state test scores a little less important. That will mean schools with lower income students who generally get lower state test scores will have a better chance of getting a higher state grade. Second, the number of A grades the state gives out will be cut almost in half. In 2014, more than 30 percent of Arizona's schools got an A. In 2018-19 and following, the grading curve will change so only 15 to 17 percent of schools get an A. That has to happen. If every A school gets a slice of the $37.6 million results-based funding pie and there's only enough pie for 15 to 17 percent of schools, that means you have to adjust the number of A schools to match the money.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Can Voters Defeat the Vouchers-For-All Law?

Posted By on Fri, May 19, 2017 at 5:03 PM

This could be the opening paragraph of an article in an Arizona paper the day after the 2018 election.
Voters decisively rejected the will of the . . . Legislature and governor Tuesday, defeating what would have been the nation's most comprehensive education voucher program in a referendum blowout.
That's an actual opening paragraph of an article, but not here in Arizona. It's from Utah's Salt Lake Tribune (I put three dots where the state name should be) on November 7, 2007. A recently formed group, Save Our Schools, has begun collecting signatures to put a similar referendum on Arizona's November, 2018, ballot to overturn the bill expanding empowerment scholarship accounts to all Arizona children. If the referendum succeeds, Arizona journalists have their opening paragraph written for them.

Since 1990, people across the country have voted against vouchers every time they've had a chance. The No votes have ranged from 60 to 71 percent. The last vote was in Utah in 2007, and the circumstances were similar to ours. The Utah legislature passed its voucher law by one vote. This year, our legislature passed SB1431 by three votes in the House and Senate. With one more Democratic representative and senator, it would have been a one vote margin. (Two more Democrats in either the House or the Senate, and the bill would have gone down.) Utah's voucher opponents collected 124,000 signatures. This year Arizona needs 152,000 valid signatures. In Utah, the teachers union led the signature gathering effort. At this point, Arizona's teachers unions haven't been a visible presence, though it's still early.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Weekly List: 14 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days

Posted By on Thu, May 18, 2017 at 8:51 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Nature & Plants

Desert Cacti Garden Workshop. Embrace the heat already and turn your backyard into a desert wonderland! Join Catalina and Green Things for a free class to learn how to make a cacti garden. Bring a pot (or purchase one there) and learn the dos and don'ts of how to keep a cactus alive. This free class will only pay for supplies used during the demonstration, the rest is all up to you. RSVP on their Facebook event so the crew knows how much supplies to provide. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. Green Things, 3384 E. River Rd. Free but bring money to buy more materials after the class.

Reid Park Zoo Summer Safari. After-hour summer fun is returning to the zoo. Yessir! You'll dig live music, family friendly animal features, special dining options and discounts in the gift shop. Bring a blanky and enjoy the outdoor concert (there’ll be beer or wine for purchase, but no drinking with the monkeys). Among other activities, you’ll be able to chat with zoo keepers and encounter cool animals—but remember, animals who want their evening privacy may be in for the night, while others will be out and about. It all starts this week with music by The Just Intervals as the zoo walks us through "The Bear Necessities." The festivities begin Friday, May 19 and continue every Friday through Aug. 4. 6-8 p.m. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. $3-$25.

International Museum Day. Into going on a safari? Tucson is a little low on savannas and jungles for you to traverse, but you can get a similar (and slightly more ... dead) vibe up on the west side. Take advantage of International Museum Day with all-day free admission to the International Wildlife Museum! 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Thursday, May 18. International WIldlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Rd. Free.

Beautiful Beneficial Bean Trees. There’s food all around us—do you know where to find it? Meet the mesquite, ironwood and palo verde trees. These trees create rich environments under their canopies where both plants and animals survive and thrive. Head down to the Co-Op to learn more about the wonders of those tasty pods. 6-8 p.m. Monday, May 22. Food Conspiracy Co-Op, 412 N. Fourth Ave. $10. Register online with 24 hours notice.


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Summer in the desert means a lot of things—but mainly, it means avoiding the outdoors until after sunset. Every Thursday through August, head over to the Tucson Museum of Art in the evening for some cinematic delight courtesy of Cinema La Placita. Bonus: Cafe a la C'Art will be open, offering a special menu for movie night. This week, watch Paul Newman and Robert Redford deal with life on the run after a series of robberies. “The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles!” 7:30 p.m., May 18. Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.

Girlfriend From Hell. The Loft’s Mondo Monday series is always worth attending, but the cinema has perhaps outdone itself celebrating the return of Twin Peaks and it’s star’s ridiculous early films. This Monday brings us the story of a shy young woman, possessed by the devil and forced to seduce men and steal their souls. See Dana Ashbrook (Your Bobby Riggs) ‘Chasing’ down Liane Curtis’ Maggie in this silly, less the subtle comedy-horror film.

Fun in General

Cars, Karts and Coffee. Who says Go Karting ain’t for adults? A little competition is always a good thing—and going fast is hella fun. If you haven't hit up Autobahn Indoor Speedway yet, you're missing out. Enjoy a reduced price of $24 for two races around the track and fuel up with a warm cup of coffee before you hit it! 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, May 21. Autobahn Indoor Speedway and Events, 300 S. Toole Ave. $24.

4th Annual Summer Reading Kick-Off with Pima County Library. Summer reading is important, especially here in Tucson where you can only spend an hour outside before suffering dehydration and a serious sunburn. Get the kiddos excited to tackle their library stack when you bring the whole family for a free children's book giveaway and tour the library's Bookmobile. Your youngsters will even get a visit from a famous monkey, Curious George! 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. Tanque Verde Swap Meet, 4100 S. Palo Verde Rd. Free.


Band of Horses. Sweet-voiced bandleader Ben Bridwell pens tunes that effortlessly blend elements of The Band with soaring pop of, say, Big Star, and some good-old southern rock like Marshall Tucker Band (yes, the MTB!) But they sound wholly up-to-the-moment, as they should. Bridwell recently told Tucson Weekly what he remembers about his formative teen years living in Tucson in the mid-'90: "Fucking outrunning trains with my car while delivering pizzas on mushrooms. I got the cops called on me and they drew their shotguns when I shut down the fratbar's power every night." So now you have an idea what to expect if you didn't already know that Band of Horses songs "Casual Party” and "Larado" are two of the ten best pop songs released in the last decade. Truth. Let's hope that two recently departing band members won't diminish the band. (See the music feature in this week’s ish.) Tuesday, May 23, at the Rialto Theatre. $30-$35. All ages.

Shonen Knife. Since 1991, Osaka, Japan's Shonen Knife has blended the hard riff rock of Thin Lizzy and The Runaways with simple Ramones-y melodies, added dollops of Shirelles/Ronettes girl-group magic, and kneaded it all into an infectious rock 'n' roll din, while (re)defining how women, particularly Asian women, are viewed in rock 'n' roll and in society. Yes, these women advanced rock 'n' roll as a female cultural force and have not received the respect they deserve. Now, a full 20 studio albums later, they are still kicking ass but not taking names because, well, they don't need to know your name. You just need to know theirs. Tuesday, May 23, at 191 Toole.

Food, Booze, and Food Business

Arizona Food and Finance Forum. Tucson is a great place to eat—but every restaurateur has to take a moment to put their recipe book down and think about their business. Everyone who contributes to Arizona's local food system are invited to gather, network and learn new skills at this event. Nationally-recognized speakers will be presenting on critical topics such as: farming, food system development, local food marketing, building local and living economies, bridging the gap between farmers, local food entrepreneurs and access to capital. Get growing! 8 a.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. Friday. Thursday, May 18 - Friday, May 19. University of Arizona Institute of the Environment, ENR2 Building, 1064 E. Lowell St. $59-$99.

Coloring and Beer Nights. Adult coloring books are not—I repeat, NOT—a trend. They’re here to stay. They’re a useful tool for calming down and flexing those artistic muscles your boring office job completely ignores. Every Tuesday, grab a beer at Casa’s film bar, and bring an extra $5 for a desert-themed coloring book and a little peace of mind. The bar provides the crayons, and won’t give you any side eye if your strokes don’t stay within the lines. 5-8 p.m. Every Tuesday. Casa Video Film Bar, 2905 E. Speedway Blvd.


Las Adelitas Meet and Greet with Felicia Chew. Politically, things are a little rough right now. Let's keep all the horrors of The Handmaid's Tale categorized safely as fiction and speak out about challenges facing the community. Las Adelitas works to help engage Latinas in the political process, and you're invited to meet and chat with Ward 3 candidate Felicia Chew on her most important platform issues. 5:30-7 p.m. on Friday, May 19. Monterey Court Studio Galleries and Cafe, 505 W. Miracle Mile. Free.


California Modern with Mark Mussari. Even though we’ve reached the epitome of style with Southwest design, it can’t hurt to check out what California has going on. Art and design writer Mark Mussari will expose patrons to the development of California Modernism as its European roots evolved through the post-war artists movement. The presentation will occur alongside the Etherton Gallery’s Color Theory exhibit featuring local artists Kate Breakey, Andry Burgess and Gail Maruc-Orlen. Tune in to the talk at 7 p.m. Friday, May 19. Etherton Gallery, 135 S. Sixth Ave. Free.

Staff Pick

Cheech and Chong

Cheech and Chong live at AVA Amphitheater with special guest Shelby Chong.… More

@ AVA: Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater Sat., May 27, 8-11 p.m. Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road.

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Popular Content

  1. Quick Bites: Summer Markets (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Results-Based Funding Violates the Spirit (If Not the Letter) of Arizona's 1980 Funding Equalization Law (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. Laughing Stock: Stay Home For The Fun Of It! (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Cinema Clips: Graduation (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. The Weekly List: 14 Things To Do In Tucson In The Next 10 Days (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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