Monday, August 21, 2017

Bernie Needs a Home

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM


Hi, I'm Bernie!

I am a 5-year-old brown tabby, male looking for the purr-fect home! I came as a transfer from another organization in April. Don't let my tipped ear fool you, I have lived my whole life indoors. I did not like being in a kennel so the nice people at HSSA let me spend my time here in an administrative office.

I am an easygoing cat with a sweet disposition and will allow petting. New people can be scary so I tend to hiss at them to give me some space until I get to know them better. I share my office with Benjy and adore him. I am looking for a home where I can be indoors only and will be the perfect companion for the right person.

Stop by HSSA Main Campus at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd. and ask to meet me, or call an adoptions counselor at 520-327-6088 ext. 173 for more information!

Lots of Love,
Bernie (841945)

Ally Miller Chickens Out: Under Fire for 'White Pride' Comments, Supervisor Skips Today's Board Meeting

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller may have been too busy inspecting potholes to stop by the Board of Supes meeting today. - COURTESY ARIZONA DAILY INDEPENDENT
  • Courtesy Arizona Daily Independent
  • Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller may have been too busy inspecting potholes to stop by the Board of Supes meeting today.
Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller, who made the news last week when she declared her "white pride" on Facebook after would-be Nazis marched in Charlottesville and killed one counter-protester (along with injuring others), decided to skip today's Board of Supervisors meeting.

Miller dashed off an email at 6:13 a.m. this morning letting county officials know she was unavailable for the meeting.

"I am sending this to notify you that I will be unable to cal (sic) in to today's board meeting: August 21, 2017," Miller wrote in her brief message. "Please notify the Chair."

Miller was expected to get roasted during the Call to the Audience segment of the meeting after her Facebook comments earned widespread condemnation outside of her immediate circle of flying monkeys.

"I'm sick and tired of being hit for being white... It is all about making us feel like we need to apologize," Miller wrote in response to a post about Charlottesville on political gadfly's Shaun McClusky's Facebook page. "I am WHITE—and proud of it! No apologies necessary."

Where is the pride this morning?

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: Mexican Institute of Sound

Posted By on Sun, Aug 20, 2017 at 4:45 PM

Each Labor Day weekend, the fine folks at Club Congress host the city's biggest musical bash of the year. It runs Wed. Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 3. The Tucson Weekly is down with it.

We here at
TW HQ so down with it we'll be doing power previews like tequila shots of bands and artists performing the HOCO Fest, local and international. Here's the cliche-destroying Mexican Institute of Art, a must-see on Friday, September Sept. 1.
Camilo Lara is the mighty Mexican Institute of Art. - NACIONAL RECORDS
  • Nacional Records
  • Camilo Lara is the mighty Mexican Institute of Art.

Political, whip smart, ironic. Just one of these three adjectives is hard to pull off with musicality, but Mexico City’s Mexican Institute of Sound gano the triple crown. Whether directly addressing the problems in “Mexico,” where violence and corruption has citizens “saber que el tuyo no es tuyo,” (knowing what is yours is not yours) or playing against Latin-lover stereotypes, “Escribeme Pronto. Soy pasionante, pero yo no soy tanto” (Write me soon. I am passionate but I am not stupid), the singsong/rapped lyrics are always on point—witty and aware of US and Mexican cultural shortcomings. But it’s not just the lyrics in this post-Beck hip-hop outfit that succeed. On “Mexico,” traditional, heroic-sounding horns are slowed down to be clownish; turning a cultural touchstone on its head. In “Escribeme Pronto,” sped up mandates to “Dance!” are dropped in above ’50s Mexico-by-way-of-Hollywood orchestration. This is parody at its finest—razor sharp, danceable, fun. Like Ozomatli, this banda just gets better live. All hail group leader Camilo Lara! Not to be missed.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: Willis Earl Beal (AKA Nobody)

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 7:04 AM

Each Labor Day weekend, the fine folks at Club Congress host the city's biggest musical bash of the year. It runs Wed. Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 3. The Tucson Weekly is down with it.

We here at TW HQ so down with it we'll be doing drive-by previews like tequila shots of bands and artists performing the Hoco Fest, local and international. Here's Willis Earl Beal, or "Nobody" as he's called on the streets of Tucson. He's a must-see on Sunday Sept. 3.
Willis Earl Beal and The Thin White Duke  chillin' in some Tucson barrio. - ISAAC KIRKMAN
  • Isaac Kirkman
  • Willis Earl Beal and The Thin White Duke chillin' in some Tucson barrio.

Willis Earl Beal is the real deal, kids. A Chicago-born blues singer with the prowess of R.L. Burnside (“I’ve got nine inches like a pitchfork prong, so honey lift up your dress and help me sing this song”), the gutsy imagination of, yes, Tom Waits (“I cruise through the flesh in my hotrod hearse”) and that all-important connection between brain, heart and throat too-rarely heard in singers today (on a duet with Cat Power, he blows Chan Marshall’s usually-arresting vocals out of the water.) Beal claps hands and plays spoons. He’s a student of African-American roots music the way that Old Crowe is of bluegrass or Gillian is of Americana. So no, there’s no corporate backing here, thank Christ, so he ain’t answering to anyone. Yet, his new, modern take on the devil’s music is swagger-y sexy, authentic, steeped in old Robert Johnson and Willie Dixon. You might have seen him on Tucson streets busking by the telling moniker of “Nobody,” wearing a Zorro cape and mask, but that ain’t no gimmick. He’s been lauded in newspapers the world over, but for, he says, for all the wrong reasons. We assume it’s all about the music, man. Since 2012 he’s released more than a dozen albums, singles and EPs. He's the best musical thing stationed in Tucson at the moment. Hope he chooses to hang here.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

San Antonio's Pre-K Program

Posted By on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 1:31 PM

  • Courtesy of Bigstock
Tucson will be voting on Strong Start, an initiative to fund a preschool program through a half cent sales tax. San Antonio, Texas, has created a similar system, with significant differences. A long Politico article has the details. Here's a brief summary.

San Antonio voted in a 1/8-cent tax to fund a pre-K program, with 54 percent voting yes. The size of the sales tax increase was the product of necessity; it was the most state law would allow. The city set up four pre-K centers, three of them built from scratch, to teach 2,000 children a year, a tenth of the city's 4-year olds (Strong Start Tucson's goal to place 8,000 three and four year olds).
The centers open at 7:15 a.m. for breakfast. The regular school day ends at 3 p.m., but about 40 percent of the kids stay for an extended day program for children of working parents, which goes to 6 p.m. Many parents say they couldn’t enroll their children in pre-school without the extended day, says Sculley. Pre-K 4 SA is free for 80 percent of the families, who qualify under the Texas law for disadvantaged or military households. The other 20 percent are middle-class families with an income of more than 185 percent of the poverty line—$44,000 for a family of four. They pay tuition based on a sliding scale.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

In the Flesh: Tucson's March Against White Supremacy

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 7:49 PM

Candlelight. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Candlelight.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, approximately 2000 concerned citizens of Tucson took to the streets and sidewalks to demonstrate to the rest of the community that bigotry, hatred and violence on rise in America, enabled by the POTUS himself, is just not acceptable. Same thing happened around the country.

With 24 hours to organize, an assemblage united in solidarity for Tucson’s March Against White Supremacy in direct response the violence and deaths at Charlottesville, Virginia's Unite the Right (a white nationalist) rally.

Disconcertingly, the Alt-Right Movement has grown exponentially over the past eight years and comprises a portion of Trump’s voter base.

The Tucson streets overflowed with peaceful protesters—serpentining from Hotel Congress downtown north along 4th Avenue, past the rainbow crosswalks at 6th Street up University Boulevard, with stops at the Islamic and Hillel Centers—to send a resounding message that the Old Pueblo condemns acts of hate and white supremacy.

Many chants were heard throughout the march:  “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA.”

“Whose streets? Our streets.”

Many marchers said they were met with jeers and pro-Trumpisms when the procession advanced on University Boulevard, through the historic neighborhood strewn with fraternity houses. I didn't hear that. I did, however, encounter a young woman standing with tears in her eyes, who’d stopped marching and was on the side of the road upset that someone in the multitude had castigated her that it was not okay to chant Black Lives Matter.

“I want my country back,” she lamented to her companions, trying to regain her composure.

Upon arrival at the Islamic Center, marchers were greeted by gracious Islamic sisters with smiles, water bottles and in some cases with hugs. Humanity everywhere. Over here, a greybeard in Birkenstocks said to a fellow marcher, perhaps with irony, “The absurdity of white privilege marching for democracy?” Then, over there, I heard a loud “White silence is violence” from a group of college-aged women in bold unison, as if responding to the greybeard.  

“Black lives matter.”

“Make love, not war.”

It echoed, like Ochs and Dylan protest songs, from the beginning of the march to the end, calling for a sea change, now.

After pausing in the parking lot adjacent to the HIllel Center, a megaphoned speaker addressed the crowd, expounding on the importance of solidarity. The procession resumed, working its way back to the starting point.

Once there, on the enclosed patio area at Hotel Congress, where marchers were too numerous and spilled over onto surrounding sidewalks, various community leaders gave impassioned speeches.

Joel Feinman, a march organizer, functioned as an enthusiastic host. He struck a chord with the assembled: “Today, is a moment for soul searching. This is what democracy looks like. No justice, no peace.”

Then the first speaker, joined by his young family, took to the podium: Rev. Owen Chandler (of Saguaro Christian Church). “This is not the time to stop. If anybody can embody community and what it means to love thy neighbor...Tucson can. So I want to encourage you. Tonight is going to give way to tomorrow. It is easy to ease back into our comfortable numb lives. Resist it,” the reverend said. “Because friends you are guardians of some of the greatest truths; of justice, of love, of hope. Let us claim those ways in which we are complicit in the systems of white supremacy, of racism. Let us always do better. And use it for redemption of the heart of our country." The audience cheered.

Organizer for LUPE Tucson, Zaira Livier spoke next. L.U.P.E. is a grassroots community organization dedicated to the active struggle for immigrant rights. She has first hand knowledge of what it means to be an immigrant. “I came over that wall myself.”

Livier called for a moment of silence "for our comrades who were injured yesterday in the horrific events in Charlottesville.” She then spoke of systematic oppression. “We are not only seeing a rise in state violence. We are seeing a pattern in which leftist activists, marches and rallies are being targeted across the country while fascist rallies are being protected and freely allowed to manifest their hate.”

Then she hammered strident points: “To address this issue, we must tell a full story. The system of violence has not only been uplifted by the right. It has also been created, normalized and excused by the liberal establishment. Let us remember that Clinton was the godfather of mass-incarceration. We have three-strikes and welfare reform ... that is killing the black and brown community.” Livier expands, “Then we also have Obama, who deported more people than any other president in history …”

“What is violence, if not poverty. Poverty is traumatic,” Livier specifies, “gutting of Social Security and health care is state violence.”

Livier offered a solution, “We need a people’s movement with an uncompromising progressive platform that places human needs over corporate profits at all levels.” She closed by stating, “It is up to us the people, to create change. ...”

Lynn Hourani, Treasurer and Secretary of the Islamic Center of Tucson, spoke next.

“It is not easy to stand up to hate. It is not easy to give a voice to the voiceless. And it is not easy to demand the rights of those whose rights have been infringed. What it is easy is to sit back ... I think that the time has come to stand up and address hate in all of its ugly form.” Hourani concludes, “If we don’t stand up for each others rights ... then there is nothing left.”

Activist, member of Black Lives Matter, Najima Rainey stepped next to the podium. Her commanding voice shook.
Najima Rainey. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Najima Rainey.

“This is about white supremacy and the privileges that people refuse to give up. It is hard to be in the oppressed minority. It is grinding and you’re aware of it. And the weight of it. When we were marching, there were a bunch of kids sitting on a porch jeering at us, laughing. It broke me down for a bit …” Rainey becomes impassioned, “Because why am I standing here telling you that I am fucking human being?”

Rainey continues with command in her voice, “Our lives have not mattered here in a long fucking time. We have never been considered a part of this country. If your skin is brown, if you’re disabled, if you’re LGBTQAI, if you’re anything outside of the mainstream this country has said your life doesn’t matter.”

“I don’t give a shit what they do they do in DC…” Rainey elevated her voice to a scream, “I am going to fight for the soul of my town! But do not think that this enough. You have got to get in the streets and start fighting because they are bringing the fight to us and it is real. Naziism and fascism are rising. Are you going to stand up? Are going to fight? Are you going to say not in this town? We are fighting for its soul. And we are going to save its soul.” Rainey closes, “These streets and this town belong to us.”

Clearly moved, along with everyone gathered, Feinman returned to the stage, “Holy shit, goddamn,” before introducing the next speaker: Lena Rothman, from SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). Feinman adds, “I don’t know what I could say after Najima.”

Rothman urged introspection; to peer into the mirror. And, for those with an entitlement mentality to have the courage to recognize that they may in fact be the problem.

The penultimate speaker Jenny Culver-Hill (founder and director of Angel’s Purse, an organization that provides practical assistance for the families of children with autism).
Jenny Culver-Hill. - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • Jenny Culver-Hill.

Culver-Hill told of a valuable lesson learned at very young age when she challenged her mother’s racist stereotyping. “When I was 4 years old something happened. We were living in El Paso, on the air force base, and my mom told me to go play outside. I stood by a tree and I watched a crew of hispanic men roofing a house. When they took their break for lunch they all sat in a circle. The crew chief [motioned and] invited me over. And every man gave me a bite of his lunch.”

Culver-HIll never forgot this small act of sharing and kindness, despite her mother cautioning her that those brown-skinned men were inferior and not to be trusted.

The final speaker was, Jim Byrne, from Tucson Anti-War Coalition.

Byrne spoke of the evils of the Military Industrial Complex and rebuked Donald Trump’s isolationist, America first mentality. “People are clinging to nationalism. But it is a narrow white nationalism.” And made a strong point about priorities. “[We spend billions, trillions of dollars on defense. Elderly folks, people who need a lot of medical coverage...we can’t seem to find a dime [to fund] that? Yet, we [have enough to] buy those A-10 warthogs?”

Byrne’s indictment of the conservative right’s obsession with militarism brought the rally to a close.

The bigotry in Charlottesville is nothing new. It is heartening to see that tens of thousands of Americans came together at marches and vigils across the nation. In communities large and small, outraged citizens, who have had enough, rose up in protest. After all was said and done, I walked away from Tucson’s March Against White Supremacy with a clear message: That racist ideology, on the rise in America, by the perpetuation of biased beliefs often passed down from generation to generation, is at the root of white supremacy and must be held culpable. Infants are not born with racist DNA. They are taught it. And for Americans to continue to remain silent in the face of intolerance and injustice, to sit idle and refuse to call it out, only emboldens its perpetrators. What’s more, it is our responsibility to be like Gandhi; “To be the change that we wish to see in the world.” Our energies, in the days to come, must be put toward striving to abolish hatred. For the fight for equality and social justice must never cease.

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Education Poll: Support For Charter Schools Down (And Other Results)

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 4:15 PM

  • Courtesy of Bigstock
Education Next published the results of its latest poll on education issues. As with all polls and studies, these results should be taken with many grains of salt. But Education Next is a serious publication and it has been conducting these polls for awhile, so its numbers are worth a serious look. For me, the most surprising result is that the support for charter schools is down, significantly. More on that, and other findings.

When Education Next first asked the charter school question in 2013, 51 percent supported charters and 26 percent opposed them. In the most recent poll, the numbers converged: 39 percent supporting, 37 percent opposed. The results held pretty steady until this year, when both sides changed about 12 percent. Why has support weakened? I have no idea, but interestingly, it's not connected to political party. Republicans tend to like charters more than Democrats, but both groups' support slipped by nearly the same amount. If this is a real trend which continues over the next few years, the charter movement's growth could slow considerably.

Support for vouchers went up a bit this year, and opposition declined. Lumping together tuition tax credits and government-funded vouchers, support is about 50 percent and opposition is about 35 percent. But a funny thing happens when the question refers to the use of "government funds" to pay for the vouchers. Support drops to 37 percent, and opposition rises to 49 percent. The public likes the idea of helping people pay for private school until they realize they're the ones footing the bill.

Continue reading »

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HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: DJ Orange Julius

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Each Labor Day weekend, the fine folks at Club Congress host the city's biggest musical bash of the year. It runs Wed. Aug. 30-Sunday, Sept. 3. The Tucson Weekly is down with it.

We're so down with it we'll be doing drive-by previews like tequila shots of bands and artists performing the Hoco Fest fest, local and international. Here's a shot of the smart, underrated
DJ Orange Julius, playing the fest on Saturday, Sept. 2.

DJ Orange Julius: It's fun deconstructing modern American consumerist culture! - COURTESY
  • courtesy
  • DJ Orange Julius: It's fun deconstructing modern American consumerist culture!

DJ Orange Julius deconstructs modern American consumerist culture: media, gaming, commodification of sex etc. In 2015’s “Gangs,” a montage of TV voices debating gangs as a threat vs. a racist construct is superimposed over the bleeps and boops of early video-game weapon fire. As he often does, Julius changes up the tempo midway through the track into a second movement, which opens up and then settles down into “187 on a fuckin’ cop.” Other times, Julius just revels in the joy of mindless repetition; “Bring It Back” sweetly recalls of Fatboy Slim’s classic “Funk Soul Brother.” This music has three major, recurrent components: sped up R&B, rap lyrics or sentiments (such as “Penetrate Dem Guts”), and complex, programmed dance beats, intentionally unsophisticated in tone, like an ’80s Yamaha keyboard. DJ Orange Julius’ cutting board manages to castrate all three usually sexy genres at once—irony is a hard groove to find and an astringent juice to swallow.

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Staff Pick

Tucson's 242nd Birthday Celebration

Tucson's Birthday Celebration. This year the event continues to grow as a family-friendly informative and food tasting… More

@ Presidio San Agustín de Tucsón Mon., Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m. 196 N. Court Avenue

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Popular Content

  1. Ally Miller Chickens Out: Under Fire for 'White Pride' Comments, Supervisor Skips Today's Board Meeting (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Bernie Needs a Home (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. San Antonio's Pre-K Program (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: Mexican Institute of Sound (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. In the Flesh: Tucson's March Against White Supremacy (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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