Friday, April 20, 2018

The Strike Is On: Arizona Teachers Prepared for Walkout Next Week

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 12:03 PM

Along with many Tucson schools, educators at Amphitheater High School hold a Red for Ed walk-in before school on April 11. - DANYELLE KHMARA
  • Danyelle Khmara
  • Along with many Tucson schools, educators at Amphitheater High School hold a Red for Ed walk-in before school on April 11.

Educators’ strike will start on Thursday, April 26, across Arizona, according to leaders in the Red for Ed movement.

Votes from all public school teachers and classified staff who chose to participate were tallied last night. Arizona Educators United and Arizona Education Association said they counted more than 50,000 ballots and about 78 percent voted to strike.

Marea Jenness, a Tucson High Magnet School teacher and leader in the Red for Ed movement, said she’s excited about the vote.

“This is just the opportunity of a lifetime, to fight for our schools and public education in Arizona,” she said.

The Red for Ed movement, led by the grassroot group Arizona Educators United, or AEU, has been pressuring Gov. Doug Ducey and the state legislature for weeks to give teachers 20 percent raises, among other things.

Arizona educators are currently among the lowest paid in the country. And in response to mounting pressure, Ducey agreed last week to provide 20 percent raises for teachers over a three-year period as well as some additional education funding, but that did not meet all of AEU’s demands.

“No one wants to see teachers strike,” Ducey said in a prepared statement. “If schools shut down, our kids are the ones who will lose out. We have worked side by side with the education community to give teachers a 20 percent raise by 2020. I am committed to giving teaches this raise, and I am working to get this passed at the legislature.”

Apart from the 20 percent raises for teachers, educators are demanding wage increases for all education support staff that’s competitive with other states, scheduled annual raises for teachers, education funding restored to 2008 levels, and no new tax cuts until per-pupil spending reaches the national average.

Jenness organized one of the first local Red for Ed rallies, which resulted in more than 1,000 educators and allies marching out of their downtown schools earlier this month. She said Tucson High is going to have minimal staff during the strike, mostly administrators and some custodians and cafeteria staff, to make sure the students still get breakfast and lunch. She also said there will be limited bus service.

“We’re prepared to stay out longer than the state is prepared to watch kids not graduate,” Jenness said. “The state of Arizona and the Legislature is going to have to deal with the crisis they create.”

Another complication of strikes is that any day of school closure will have to be made up in order for students to complete grade requirements. Therefore, students who are ready to graduate will still need to complete days they miss.

The Marana Unified School District put out a statement yesterday, signed by MUSD Superintendent Doug Wilson, that said the district hopes such extreme measures as a strike will not be needed.

“Our educators would much rather have the state legislature and Governor implement solutions to address salaries and public school funding,” the letter read. “District Administration and our Governing Board do not support a walkout or any activity that disrupts instruction and negatively impacts our students and families; however, we continue to support advocacy toward greater funding for public education and salaries”

MUSD said the schools will stay open as long as they have enough staff to supervise students. But if they don’t, they will be forced to close, a measure that would be district wide rather than school by school.

The Amphitheater Public Schools district also sent out a letter saying they may be forced to close schools if there are not enough staff to adequately supervise the children. But Amphi will look at school closure on a case by case basis rather than district wide.

Catalina Foothills Unified District also said they may have to close schools if there’s not enough staff to supervise students.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Antigone Books To Be Sold to Three Employees (If They Can Raise Some More Cash)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 6:48 PM

Morgan Miller, left, Kate Stern, middle, and Melissa Negelspach, Antigone Books employees, are raising the money to buy the popular indie book store on Fourth Avenue.
  • Morgan Miller, left, Kate Stern, middle, and Melissa Negelspach, Antigone Books employees, are raising the money to buy the popular indie book store on Fourth Avenue.

The many fans of Antigone Books can put their fears to rest—almost. The store will not be taken over by a chain. Three young employees of the popular indie Fourth Avenue bookstore have won a loan from the Small Business Administration to buy the business.

“These three women are smart, passionate and hardworking,” says Kate Randall, who with Trudy Mills has operated the 45-year-old store for the last 30 years and owned it for 28. “They have what it takes. They’re also community-minded and they really care about independent bookstores and local businesses. We’re really excited.”

Mills and Randall bought the business in 1990 and have run it ever since. They put it up for sale nearly two years ago.

The three purchasers, Morgan Miller, Kate Stern and Melissa Negelspach, who’ve collectively racked up 15 years working in the store, hope to take ownership in May. But they can’t get their hands on the keys just yet.

They need $32,000 to seal the deal, and they’re hoping to close the money gap through crowd-funding. They’ve just launched an Indiegogo site at to raise the cash at The campaign is already looking good. In the first hour that the site was live on Thursday afternoon, supporters contributed $1,020.

The loan is in place but it comes with upfront costs, the three report on their site. And with plans to take possession of the store in the slow retail season beginning in May, they also need start-up capital to make sure they can pay the staff from day one and continue buying inventory.

They’re already familiar with Antigone’s business procedures. Miller, who holds an MFA in creative writing from the UA, has trained under Mills as the store’s book buyer and took over the job last fall. She’s been with Antigone three years.

Ten-year Antigone veteran Negelspach has learned the ropes of the lucrative gift section of the store from Randall. Currently the assistant buyer, she’ll move up to the chief gift buyer. And Kate Stern, a two-year employee, is already the event planner, a job crucial to Antigone’s trademark array of book readings, book clubs, parties and partnerships with The Loft Cinema and the Food Conspiracy Co-op.

Continue reading »

Record Store Day Becomes Record Store Week at Zia

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 2:17 PM

Zia Records is quite literally quintupling the amount of Record Store Day festivities it’s hosting. Originally just a day of sales, Zia now has full-scale, week-long celebration of all things music and movies. The sales last from Saturday, April 21 until Sunday, April 29.

Not only will there be discounts and buy-one-get-one-free sales, Zia will have special releases, live music, and giveaways. They will also have $10 shirts commemorating this year’s Record Store extravaganza.


The eight days of deals go as follows:

Saturday: Record Store Day (enjoy in-store exclusive offers, rare releases, giveaways and more)
Sunday: Movies – Buy 3 Pre-Owned Movies, Get 4th Free
Monday: Video Games – Buy 1 Pre-Owned Video Game, Get 1 50-Percent Off
Tuesday: CDs – Buy 2 Pre-Owned CDs, Get 3rd Free
Wednesday: Toys & Collectibles – 20-Percent Off Pre-Owned Toys & Collectibles
Thursday: Mix ‘n Match – Buy 3 Pre-Owned Items, Get the 4th Free
Friday-Sunday: Customer Appreciation Weekend – Double Z-Card Points on Purchases & Trades

Tucson Zia Records is located at 3370 E. Speedway Blvd. For more information, visit

The Weekly List: 17 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 11:57 AM

Your Weekly guide to keeping busy in the Old Pueblo.

Earth Day

Buffalo Exchange $1 Day Sale. In honor of Earth Day, Buffalo Exchange is hosting this event to turn the tide on plastic pollution. Bring your own bag (you know, preferably not a plastic one), make a purchase (or two or three) from a selection of $1 clothing and know that all the proceeds from the $1 clothing sales will go to the 5Gyres Institute. 5Gyres conducts research on ocean plastic pollutions and runs outreach and education programs on how to properly dispose of plastics. You deserve a shopping spree anyway—might as well go on one for a good cause. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 21. At all Buffalo Exchange locations, excluding outlets! The Tucson location’s address is 2001 E. Speedway Blvd.

Party for the Planet–Bike to the Zoo. What better way to celebrate the Earth and everything on it than by heading to the zoo for an afternoon of displays on conservation and activities involving bees, seed bombs and plenty of animals? And what better way to show the Earth how much you love it than to ride your bike instead of driving? More than 100 zoos and aquariums across the United States are participating in 12th annual Party for the Planet, during which anyone who bikes to the zoo and shows their bicycle at the front gate gets in for free until 3 p.m. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Crafts and activities from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, April 22. Reid Park Zoo, 3400 Zoo Court. Free for bikers, but otherwise $10.50 adults, $8.50 seniors 62 and up and $6.50 for kids 2 to 14.

Tucson Earth Day Festival. It’s been 23 years since the first Tucson Earth Day Festival, but the simple, beautiful core of the event hasn’t changed much: It’s a celebration of the environment and a chance to make sure we’re doing our part to help it. Exhibitors will provide info on wildlife and soil conservation, alternate modes of transportation, renewable energy, pollution prevention, waste reduction and other ways to keep an eye out for Mother Nature. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21. Children’s Museum Tucson, 200 S. Sixth Ave. Free.


John Nieto: American Icon. It’s been more than two decades since John Nieto, the artist known for his fauvist depictions of the Native American images and themes, has displayed his work in Tucson. And now his work is coming, including his very first painting of a wildcat, done especially for this show. (Bear down!) The painting will be auctioned off live at 11:30 a.m. Nieto himself can’t attend due to health restrictions, but his son Anaya, president of the family art business, will be there. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 22. Madaras Gallery, 3035 N. Swan Road. Free.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Know Yourself! Know Your Rights! Teens to Gather at Joel D. Valdez Main Library to Connect with Activism, Art, Each Other

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 3:15 PM

Calling all teens: The Third Annual Rising Voices Arts Showcase and Youth Summit are this weekend (Friday and Saturday) at Joel D. Valdez Main Library.

Rising Voices was developed by youth, for youth as a safe and fun event to connect, learn, and grow as leaders. This year's theme is Know Yourself! Know Your Rights!

In the midst of the #MarchForOurLives movement, we know the power of young people's words. Rising Voices is designed to help teens deepen their engagement with the community and the issues they're most passionate about—be it gun reform, environmentalism, or LGBTQ+ rights.

Now more than ever, youth voices are being amplified across the nation. Rising Voices is a chance to make yours heard in Tucson!

Questions about this or other Pima County Public Library events and services? Call Infoline at (520) 791-4010 or visit


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So, What Do People Think About Teachers?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 2:14 PM

The teacher demonstrations, walk-ins, walkouts and strikes around the country are playing pretty well with the public. That surprises and encourages me. Republicans have led a decades-long onslaught against teachers, beginning in earnest with the "Our schools suck!" rallying cry from the Reagan administration in its 1983 report, "A Nation At Risk." It was a blatantly political scare screed about how terrible our schools—and by extension, our teachers—are. So terrible, they might as well be a Commie plot to destroy our country. Here's the money quote:
"If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war."
It's been wall-to-wall anti-public education, anti-teacher, anti-teachers union grandstanding from Republicans ever since.

And yet, public sentiment over the past month has been generally favorable to teachers' demands for better pay and increased school funding. If a savvy politician like our own "[not] Education Governor" Ducey is forced to concede that teachers might have a point, that maybe they deserve a pay raise twenty times higher than what he proposed a year earlier, you know Ducey knows the public is siding with teachers.

I guess the Republican onslaught hasn't been as successful as they hoped. Oh, it's had an impact. In the late 1980s, I was honestly shocked by the growing level of anger directed against my profession—generally parroting conservative talking points — the likes of which I hadn't experienced in my previous 20 years of teaching. But in spite of that, teachers still garner a great deal of respect.

A few recent polls tell the tale. A story in Education Week pulls together the numbers.

Continue reading »

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Laughing Stock: Comedy for Charity Brings the Love

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 12:48 PM

Jason Love headlines Comedy for Charity April 22 at the Fox Theatre - JASONLOVE.COM
  • Jason Love headlines Comedy for Charity April 22 at the Fox Theatre
“Today, violence is overwhelming,” says Susan Agrillo, also known as the standup comedian Suzie Sexton. “Sometimes we feel powerless to do anything about it.”

Agrillo, whose sister was murdered more than 35 years ago, determined to do what she could. She founded Comedy for Charity, an annual variety show that benefits local nonprofit organizations working to prevent violence in Tucson. This year’s beneficiaries are Ben’s Bells and the YWCA of Southern Arizona. Sexton also has donated 200 tickets to low-income veterans. The show, “Laugh ‘til It Hurts: An Evening Dedicated to Violence Awareness and Prevention,” is at 6 p.m., Sunday, April 22 at the Fox Tucson Theatre. Tickets are $25 at the door or through

“Ben’s Bells Project is teaching kindness skills, helping us behave in a manner antithetical to violence,” Agrillo says. “The YWCA offers programs to prevent domestic violence and sexual violence against women. “A portion of the funds also goes to The Send a Kid to Camp/Arizona Daily Star Sportsmen’s Fund to provide positive life models for kids at risk.

Sexton recruited cartoonist David Fitzsimmons to emcee the show, which includes Tucson expat comedian Henry Barajas, Estrogen Hour founder Nancy Stanley, attorney and comedian Elliot Glicksman, Agrillo’s Suzie Sexton alter ego, and your humble Laughing Stock scribe, Linda Ray. Viva Dance Company, Centre Stage Tap and a juggler from Twilight Productions bring the variety.

Barajas says he’s returning a changed man. “I’m a much different person and comic since I left,” he says. “My experience has broadened my perspective. I have less material about my ‘man boobs’ and more about life as a ‘terrible Mexican.’”

Headlining the show is Jason Love, whose name could hardly be more appropriate to its mission. Love is a clean comedian and musician with a national reputation, including appearances on HBO, Comedy Central, America’s got Talent and more than 20 other national broadcasts. He’s also performed on Broadway, and appeared at corporate events hosted by Google, Chevron, Farmers Insurance and Costco.

Love has entertained troops overseas and has performed on cruise lines. His clips are played daily on Pandora and Sirius XM, and his nonprofit organization. Love & Laughter, provides free shows to cancer support groups.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Apple Juice Needs a Home

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:47 AM

Hi, I'm Apple Juice!

I am a 2-year-old girl who can’t wait to meet my fur-ever family! I came to HSSA as a transfer from another shelter so they don’t know much about my past. They do know that I am a very sweet girl who is going to make someone very happy. I would do best in a home with a mellow playmate.

I tested positive for valley fever, but that doesn't mean that I don't deserve a home. Valley fever is a manageable condition and HSSA will even send me home with a 6 month supply of medication.
I would do best in a home with older kids. Bring any dogs or kids to meet me at HSSA Main Campus at 635 W. Roger Rd. For more information give an adoptions counselor a call at 520-327-6088, ext. 173.

See you soon,
Apple Juice (521799)

Staff Pick

8th Annual Comedy for Charity: Laugh ‘til It Hurts

Comedians: Jason Love, David Fitzsimmons, Henry Barajas, Nancy Stanley, Elliot Glicksman, Linda Ray, and Suzie Sexton. Beneficiaries:… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Sun., April 22, 6-8:15 p.m. 17 W. Congress St.

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Popular Content

  1. Antigone Books To Be Sold to Three Employees (If They Can Raise Some More Cash) (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. The Strike Is On: Arizona Teachers Prepared for Walkout Next Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. The Weekly List: 17 Things To Do In Tucson This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Record Store Day Becomes Record Store Week at Zia (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. Know Yourself! Know Your Rights! Teens to Gather at Joel D. Valdez Main Library to Connect with Activism, Art, Each Other (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

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