Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ducey, Republicans Leave $56 Million For Child Care Sitting On the Table

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 9:49 AM

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Doug Ducey and his Republican legislative cronies had $56 million in federal money waiting to be spent to help cover the cost of child care and early childhood education for low income families. They refused to spend it.

The state didn't have to put up a penny. All it had to do was add a $56 million line item to its budget, and more low income children would have access to child care services. Ducey and the Republican legislative leaders knew the money was there, they were urged to put it in the budget by child care advocates and by Democrats in the legislature. They just decided not to do it.

When a story in the Sunday Star brought the unspent $56 million to my attention, I contacted Michelle Crow, Southern Arizona Director of the Children's Action Alliance, for more details. Next I talked to Democratic Rep. Randy Friese, who represents LD-9, my legislative district, to find out why the money didn't make it into the budget. The more I learned, the worse things got.

In March the federal government included $5.2 billion in its budget to increase the quality of child care and early childhood education across the country. Arizona's cut of the funds is $56 million, which is supposed to be added to the $125 million Arizona already receives to subsidize child care and early childhood education for children from low income families.

Right now, there's not enough money to subsidize child care for all the children who need it. As bad or worse, the amount the state allocates per child doesn't cover the child care provider's costs. The state Department of Economic Security's "Reimbursement Rates for Child Care" schedule is based on what the services should cost. The problem is, the reimbursement rates haven't changed since 2000. The state is still using an 18 year old rate schedule created at a time when the minimum wage was $5.15 an hour. Today it's $10.50.

It's actually worse than that. The DES reimbursement is only 75 percent of going rate in 2000. It's no surprise Arizona has among the lowest reimbursement rates in the country.

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Claytoon of the Day: A Star is Scorned

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 8:52 AM

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Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Wednesday, August 15

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Untitled (Corridor) - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA SCHOOL OF ART
  • University of Arizona School of Art
  • Untitled (Corridor)
Untitled (Corridor). This week is your last chance to see this art installation at the UA Museum of Art, and the perfect chance to go to the closing reception. Untitled (Corridor) is an installation of cement bricks made from sand and debris from specific coordinates in Tucson—coordinates that have witnessed the deaths of migrant bodies. This hard-hitting exhibit takes displaced materials and makes them not into units of construction, but into meditations on the cause of migrant death and disappearance. Artist Karlito Miller Espinosa was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and is an MFA candidate at UA. His work has been exhibited in several countries, including the Tucson Museum of Art’s 2018 Arizona Biennial exhibit. Visible 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day through Wednesday, Aug. 15. Closing reception is 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15. University of Arizona School of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road. Free. Details here.

Primavera Cooks! at Tavolino Ristorante Italiano. Head over to Tavolino Ristorante Italiano for a wine-paired gourmet dinner with Primavera Cooks! Dine on the restaurant’s classic Italian fare at the nonprofit fundraising dinner, part of the 17th season of Primavera Cooks! 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15. 2890 E. Skyline Drive. Make reservations through Primavera at 520-308-3104. $125 per person. Details here.

YWCA STAT Ballot Party. When was the last time heading to the polls made you feel like you were at a party? Maybe don’t answer that. The point is, voting is such an important and cool right, and we should definitely exercise it. So bring your ballot! Bring a friend! And dress up as your favorite patriot, revolutionary, rebel or politico for the chance to win a prize, if you want! This nonpartisan evening features music and nosh, with some special speakers (again, it’s nonpartisan, so don’t worry. And in fact, make sure you’re not trying to do any campaigning while you’re there). The Pima County Recorder’s Office will be on hand to collect your ballots for the 2018 primary. Voters, start your engines! 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15. The Dusty Monk Pub, 201 N. Court Ave. Free. Details here.

Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Claytoon of the Day: Wonderful Son

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 9:27 AM

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Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Tuesday, August 14

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

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Spelling Bee[r]. Haunted by that time you accidentally spelled “machine” as “mashin” in the third grade spelling bee? No? Just me? Well, whatever the case may be, relive your grade school days and head to Tap & Bottle to put your spelling skills to the test in a free spelling bee. Winner takes home a trophy and gift certificates to Tap & Bottle. If you mess up on “machine” again, no worries; there’s always beer! The Blacktop Grill will be there ready to refuel spellers. Signup at 6:30 p.m.; the bee starts 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14. 403 N. Sixth Ave. Details here.

Eating Animals. The ironic thing here: This documentary will probably make you not want to eat animals. Who’d’ve guessed? Based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer and narrated by Natalie Portman, this film shows the story of farming from its household roots to its perversion into the factory farming we have today. It also spotlights farmers who have pushed backed against industrial agriculture with more humane and sustainable practices. 7:30 to 9:15 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 14. The Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Regular admission prices. Details here.

Geeks Who Drink. It's time to get geeky! Did you know that Geeks Who Drink can be found at over 300 bars and restaurants across 25 states? Pretty cool huh? Join your local geeks at this week's Hotel Congress installation of the ever-popular trivia game. Find your sweet spot of just enough beer to make you good at trivia starting at 8 p.m. on the Hotel Congress plaza.  Details here.

Events compiled by Emily Dieckman, B.S. Eliot, Ava Garcia and Jeff Gardner.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

ZoSo Brings the Sounds of Zep to Rialto

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 4:25 PM

ZoSo at The Rialto - XAVIER OMAR OTERO
  • Xavier Omar Otero
  • ZoSo at The Rialto
ZoSo: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience rocked The Rialto Theater on Saturday, Aug. 11.

“It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled…Yes, it has.”

Once upon a time, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, there emerged a mythic band from the UK: Led Zeppelin. For 23 years, ZoSo have provided a ticket to board a time machine—back to an era in rock history that defined glamour and excess—for all who dare climb the “Stairway to Heaven.”

During their 90-minute set, ZoSo took the audience on a trip “Over the Hills and Far Away,” to “California” and “Kashmir,” through “The darkest depths of Mordor” and back.

The attention to detail is impressive. Yet, it’s more than verisimilitude: Vocalist Matt Jernigan’s lion’s mane, kimono shirt and bell-bottomed jeans that epitomize Robert Plant. Or employing vintage instruments: A Ludwig Vistalite drum kit or Gibson EDS-1275 doubleneck guitar. It’s the musicianship—from guitarist John McDaniel’s spot-on rendition of Jimmy Page’s complex solo on “The Song Remains the Same” to drummer Bevan Davies’ savage barehanded drum pounding, as the mighty John Bonham once did, during “Moby Dick”—that truly captures the magic of a band who decades after their heyday still inspire zealotry.

As an impressionable teen, I recall seeing an iconic photo of Jimmy Page in Rolling Stone. Page seated in a dressing room—pouring a fifth of Jack Daniel’s down his gullet—prepping for the show. The caption read, “Nectar of the Gods.” Imagine? And, although, ZoSo are not the real deal, they came crashing down with the fury of Thor’s hammer.

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Tired Of Those Annoying Political Phone Calls And Fliers?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 4:04 PM

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Are you tired of all those political robocalls and calls from earnest volunteers? Did you know, they're tired of talking to you too?

Are you tired of all those glossy, oversized postcards from candidates touting their accomplishments — and maybe running down their opponents? Did you know, they're tired of sending them to you too?

Just vote. When campaigns find out you've sent in your ballot, they'll leave you alone. No more (or almost no more) calls. No more (or almost no more) oversized postcards. You can sit back with the beverage of your choice and watch the political circus unfold before your eyes, knowing you've done your patriotic chore. Better yet, volunteer for the candidate(s) of your choice and be one of those phoners or the doorbell ringers helping to get out the vote.

Send in your ballot!

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UA Receives Grant to Help Bilingual Children's Speech

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 3:16 PM

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Children who are bilingual can be misdiagnosed regarding speech impediments due to a lack of knowledge among experts. University of Arizona Associate Professor Leah Fabiano-Smith recently received a $2.5 million grant to help solve this issue.

Speech-language pathologists, or SLP's, have many standardized tests they can use to assess English-language-only children, but there is only one test for bilingual children.

"School-based speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, are required to provide culturally competent services to all children, including those who speak both English and Spanish," Fabiano-Smith said in a UA press release. "They face a great clinical challenge: accurate identification of speech sound disorders in children who speak two languages."

With the 5-year grant from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, Fabiano-Smith will continue her research to reduce health and educational disparities for bilingual children.

Fabiano-Smith and her research team have partnered with Sunnyside Unified School District, which has about 82 percent Latino students, to make solid determinations if students need help with pronunciation due to being bilingual, or due to a speech disorder.

"SLPs have some confidence when assessing bilingual children whose primary language is English, but lack confidence when assessing bilingual children whose primary language is Spanish," Fabiano-Smith said in a UA press release. "What helps is if you look at both the English and Spanish of Latino children together, instead of just looking at one or the other to make a diagnosis. By combining skills in both languages together, you get a much more accurate diagnosis."

Research focusing on bilingual children's education is becoming increasingly important in Arizona and nationwide as the percentage of bilingual children increases. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Latino children make up 25 percent of U.S. elementary school students. This number is expected to reach 30 percent by 2030.

The research grant will help Fabiano-Smith address an increasingly time sensitive issue.

"We are in danger of misdiagnosing a generation if this problem is not solved now," Fabiano-Smith said in a UA press release.

UA President Robert C. Robbins acknowledged the grant, mentioning the commitment the UA has to students of all ages and linguistic backgrounds.

"The UA's status as a Hispanic-Serving Institution is driven by our commitment to the academic success of every member of our community, and Dr. Fabiano-Smith’s work with bilingual children is a vital contribution to this part of our mission," Robbins said. "I am very excited by what this grant will enable."

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Rick Springfield Presents Best In Show with Loverboy, Greg Kihn & Tommy Tutone

Rick Springfield Presents Best In Show with Loverboy, Greg Kihn & Tommy Tutone. Live at AVA Amphitheater!… More

@ AVA: Anselmo Valencia Tori Amphitheater Sun., Aug. 19, 7-10 p.m. Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road.

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