Friday, December 31, 2004
East Valley Tribune | Daily Arizona news for Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, ScottsdaleA half-dozen legislative candidates who knocked off Republican incumbents in September's primary election have two little-known political operatives from the East Valley to thank. Now, as those new lawmakers prepare to take their seats when the Legislature convenes in January, the two operatives are at the center of state investigations into possible voter disenfranchisement and violation of campaign finance laws. One of the new lawmakers could even face removal from office if found to have broken campaign laws. Constantin Querard and Chris Baker arguably affected the political bent of the next Legislature more than any other political figures. About half of their staunchly conservative candidates trounced moderate Republicans — lawmakers who had rebelled against GOP leadership to pass a budget written largely by Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano. As a result, this Legislature will be one of the most conservative in recent years, which means tax cuts, restricting access to abortion and immigration-related policies will get a higher priority. Querard and Baker helped to craft themes about low taxation, responsible education spending and immigration control that were repeated from campaign to campaign. But some losing candidates as well as Republican officials see Querard and Baker as shadowy conspirators willing to bend or break state election laws to win. They say the pair manipulated campaign records and hid expenditures to help their candidates win in tough races.
deseretnews.com | Folks in Arizona not bowl savvy PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. — After a 14-month hiatus, the Rock Report was rolling — soaring, actually — right up until the security guard at Paradise Valley Mall said, "Sir. I'm going to have to ask you to leave." It lost steam after that. "I'm not selling anything. I'm conducting a poll for the newspaper in Salt Lake," the Rock Report explained. Pretty soon another security officer arrived. A regular Welcome Wagon. They whispered a minute. "I'm sorry. You're going to have to leave. It's policy," the first guard continued. "No news media allowed unless it's cleared by the management." The Rock Report is pretty sure he was lying but wasn't interested in finding out if mall security had a policy of conducting body cavity searches, too. The purpose of the latest Rock Report was to determine exactly how up to speed Arizonans are on the Utes and their bid to win the Fiesta Bowl. Answer: Not very. Unless Keith Urban actually is the coach, Joseph Smith the quarterback and Mele Kalikimaka the right guard. "What's the name of that team again?" said Elizabeth, of Phoenix. The Rock Report, by way of explanation, is a highly respected if somewhat unscientific poll. It normally involves interviewing 10 people on a given subject. Thanks to the security staff at Paradise Valley Mall, this time the poll included just seven.
Regents could set tuition by major | The Arizona Daily Star �: Arizona's university students will be paying more in tuition next year, but how much will depend on a variety of factors, including their institution and possibly - for the first time - their major. 'We may consider differential tuition with the colleges within a single university,' said Gary Stuart, Arizona Board of Regents president. He said he did not know whether the regents would ever approve that concept, but this will be the first time it will be discussed and analyzed. After two years of consecutive increases that boosted tuition more than 50 percent at the state's three universities, the regents are considering a variety of ideas to help pay for higher education in one of the nation's fastest-growing states. An idea proposed by Tucson Regent Fred Boice would ensure that tuition increased by a predictable amount over four years for each freshman class. That would help families budget the education costs, he said, and give students an incentive to earn their degree in four years.
Americas Amber Alert Center - Parents kidnap 2 kids from Arizonia Media Alert: "Americas Amber Alert News Center(S.Tucson AZ USA)TAA-- South Tucson police are searching for two children who were kidnapped Thursday from Child Protective Services by their parents. An Amber Alert wasn't issued for the 6-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl because the incident didn't meet the criteria of imminent danger, said Officer Ed Little. Still, the children may be in danger. 'When it's a kidnapping, nobody knows,' he said. 'We all hate to assume.'" Angel Jacobo and Nataly Queira Reyna were taken from a scheduled supervised visit with their parents at the CPS facility at 2750 S. Fourth Ave., Little said. The kidnapping occurred between 11 a.m. and 12:35 p.m.
Arizona tops entrant busts Arizona tops entrant busts | The Arizona Daily Star �: More illegal entrants were caught along the Arizona-Mexico border this year than in California, New Mexico and Texas combined, officials said. While Arizona has been known to be the busiest crossing point for illegal immigration for the past seven years, the new high in the number of people captured in the Border Patrol's Tucson and Yuma sectors accounted for about half of all of the agency's apprehensions along the border with Mexico. Arizona's trend to No. 1 in the Border Patrol's apprehension rate appears to be on track to continue next year. Since the Oct. 1 beginning of the agency's fiscal year, there have been 97,731 apprehensions in Arizona. That's more than half of the Border Patrol's 186,713 apprehensions all along the Mexican border. Record pot seizures in state likely Record pot seizures in state likely: TUCSON - In the peak of harvest season for marijuana, federal agents along the Arizona-Mexico border are predicting another record year for pot seizures, which have skyrocketed more than 440 percent during the past decade. Agents patrolling Arizona's border and inspecting cargo at the six ports of entry intercepted more than 168,000 pounds of marijuana since Oct. 1, the start of the federal fiscal year. Last year, agents in southern Arizona confiscated a record amount of pot: more than 400 tons all told. That's greater than the weight of the Statue of Liberty.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Special-edition Lotus Elise on the block at Barrett-Jackson - 2004-12-30 - The Business Journal of Phoenix: A special 2005 Lotus Elise created for the Barrett-Jackson Auction will be unveiled Jan. 5, 2005, at the Los Angeles International Auto Show before being auctioned off in Scottsdale later in the month. "The Lotus Elise is one of the most exciting and desirable sports cars in the world," said Craig Jackson, president of Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. "We're honored that Lotus and U.S. dealer Park Place would create a one-off 'Barrett-Jackson' edition. With the 2005 Lotus offered at no reserve, this is a chance for someone languishing on a waiting list to instantly own an Elise." The Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction at Scottsdale's WestWorld will be held Jan. 25-30, with 900-plus cars scheduled to be auctioned off. The 190-horsepower Elise is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox inside a chassis made of bonded and extruded aluminum. Weighing less than 2,000 pounds, the Elise zips from 0 to 60 mph in under five seconds. Manufacturer's suggested retail price for an Elise begins at $40,930; the Barrett-Jackson Edition model includes a special interior, graphics, speed gear and other amenities.
In honor of New Years and my own planned self-destruction, I thought it would be fun to take a spin on the web in search of hangover cures.
Before I go any further, and without implying anything, alot of what I found came from the UK and Ireland. That said there are some interesting cures out there… Most are crap but their worth a chuckle. By the way, in this list is one tested cure (and one that is obviously a perfect preventative); I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll wait until the end to clue you in.
Sticking 13 needles in the cork of the wine bottle is reputed to head off a hangover. Probably because by the time you find the needles and get coordinated enough to stick them into the cork, you've given your body a chance to recover! This remedy has a variation where the ashes of a cigar are dropped into a beer bottle. (Not recommended in nonsmoking areas)
Apparently, the latest answer is to use the skin of the prickly pear cactus. It significantly reduces the body’s inflammatory reaction to alcohol, thereby reducing the severity of hangover symptoms such as headache and nausea, they say.
[In addition,] as the prickly pear cactus is in abundance throughout the
Have a hot bath and drink two pints of Vimto on ice. The Vimto keeps your head cool so your body sweats out all the booze. You have to start by kneeling up in the bath then gradually immersing the rest of your body” – Cold Feet star John Thomson’s hangover cure.
A hangover cure based on volcanic dust may soon be on the shop shelves, according to a
Fructose, found in many fruit juices, helps the body burn alcohol faster. Consuming food high in fructose is beneficial, both before and after an evening of excessive alcohol. "Honey has the highest concentration of fructose. …spread some honey on toast." Eating honey on toast can double your benefits, as long as the toast is burnt. Burnt toast has a small amount of carbon, the same ingredient found in the hangover pills, which can absorb the impurities in alcohol.
Remedy is elusive: Purported aids range from the prickly pear to a big, greasy breakfast, but researching a "magic pill" brings some ethical headaches, too
The perfect cure of course is not to drink. The studied one is the Prickly Pear extract. Apparently, you can get it in health food stores.
This is news? - Slightly Off Center: "It must be an incredibly slow news day in Tucson. C.J. Karamargin, Political Reporter for Tucson's largest paper, the Arizona Daily Star, is reporting on what the Google hit counts of what prominent Arizona politicians are. Just when you think that you can only find boring and irrelevant political information here at Slightly Off Center, we discover there are more outlets out there for your perusal."
phoenixnewtimes.com | 2004-'05 New Year's Eve Guide | 2004-12-30: "If your idea of a fun New Year's Eve consists of sitting at home in front of the TV and doing shots of Tequila Rose while watching the ball drop in Times Square, consider this: Those poor East Coast bastards are freezing their buns off, and there are plenty of hot New Year's events right here in the Valley of the Sun. The following is a select listing of parties, dinners and events happening around the Valley on Friday, December 31, and Saturday, January 1, so you can take your pick of places to sing 'Auld Lang Syne.' All events are subject to change. Call the venue to confirm details."
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Mohave Valley News: News Column: "KINGMAN -- Whether a Mohave County employee and his family were affected by Sunday's earthquake and tsunamis remains a mystery. An earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale struck the region off the northwestern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. As of Tuesday, tidal waves -- or tsunamis -- killed more than 52,000 people from 11 countries from Sri Lanka to Thailand where Kingman resident Greg Laporta and his wife were honeymooning. The Thai government reported Tuesday more than 1,500 people have been killed by the tsunamis in that country. Of that, more than 700 Western tourists have been killed at vacation destinations along Thailand�s western coast of the Indian Ocean. Laporta left Kingman Dec. 20 to travel to Thailand to marry a Thai woman, Bunnada Kongrach. The wedding date was reportedly Dec. 22. Joining him on the trip were his parents, Andrew and Joanne Laporta also of Kingman, according to Mike Matthews, director of the county's information technology department. Andrew Laporta reportedly is a science teacher at the Eagle Academy in Golden Valley. Phone calls to the school as well as to Laporta's residence went unanswered."
City woman among dead in Sri Lanka | The Arizona Daily Star �: "A Tucson woman, vacationing with her family in Sri Lanka, was among the tens of thousands of people killed Sunday by the massive, earthquake-triggered tsunamis. Her death and the growing natural disaster affecting their homeland and at least nine other Asian and East African countries have stunned the small Sri Lankan community in Tucson. Soma Madawela, a Sri Lankan who returned to her homeland with her husband and son last month for a trip around the country, drowned in the waves that crashed into the country's eastern coast, friends in Tucson said. The news of her death traveled quickly through the 25 families that make up Tucson's Sri Lankan community. The U.S. State Department released a statement that 12 U.S. citizens had died in the disaster and hundreds more were missing Tuesday night."
Prescott Newspapers Online"A Prescott woman who traveled to Thailand before an earthquake and tsunami ravaged the region this week is unharmed, her son said Tuesday. Matt Condie, a freshman at Yavapai College, said his mother, Marlys Tanner, called him at around midnight Monday to say that she was OK, and spoke to him for about an hour. Condie added that his mother said she was staying in a house with a family friend on the island of Phuket a few miles inland when the tidal wave struck on Sunday. “She said all the tourists there left,” Condie said. “She is working on one of her books and she is basically just hanging out.” Condie, who works in a Prescott motel, said that Tanner, who is retired, was planning to travel to Malaysia Tuesday to extend her visa and return to Thailand later that day. He added that the natural disaster, which has claimed more than 52,000 lives, will not alter her plans to stay in Thailand until her return flight Feb. 18."
* Google has a special page setup with a list of charities. * Benjamin Rosenbaum has collected ratings of the charities mentioned in Google's list and on Tsunamihelp. * You can now donate to the American Red Cross through Amazon. Nearly $3 million has been collected through Amazon so far.
The Payson Roundup: Zane Grey Cabin on-target for spring debut at Green Valley Park: It may not be the original location, but the Zane Grey cabin is rising from the ashes of the Dude Fire that consumed it more than 14 years ago. Progress on the reconstruction of the cabin next to the Rim Country Museum in Green Valley Park has been steady, if not spectacular, Dick Wolfe, president of the Zane Grey Cabin Foundation reported. 'The foundation is complete,' Wolfe said. 'The foundation for the chimney and fireplace is also built.' Construction has slowed of late because contractors have been busy on other projects. 'That's good for them and the economy, but not for us,' Wolfe said. 'But we hope to start on the chimney and fireplace next week, and once that's done the framing will go very quickly.' Wolfe hopes to have the cabin complete sometime next spring. So far the cabin foundation has raised $122,000 to rebuild the cabin, with a total projected cost of $170,000. The famous Western novelist's cabin was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, and by the 1980s it was attracting 20,000 visitors a year. Grey, who penned more than 60 Western novels, spent each fall at the cabin during the 1920s. He set 24 of his books in Arizona; half of those were in the Rim country. Among the novelist's works are 'Riders of the Purple Sage,' 'Call of the Canyon,' 'To the Last Man' and 'Vanishing American.'
Independent - December 28, 2004: Crime fighting takes a hitWINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation Law Enforcement, Corrections and Criminal Investigations are projecting a combined shortfall of $4.8 million in Fiscal Year 2005, according to Samson Cowboy, director for the Division of Public Safety. Also, Tuba City Jail is on the verge of closing, Hope MacDonald-Lonetree, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said during Monday's meeting. Still worse, the committee has learned that all of the Navajo Nation's jails were built by the tribe and not the Bureau of Indian Affairs as previously thought. MacDonald-Lonetree said the Navajo Department of Justice will would look into the contract with BIA and figure out whether there are any options available to the Nation under the current contract. All six of the detention centers need major renovation. And though no one knows quite how it happened, the Navajo Nation has been left out of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Fiscal Year 2006 detention facilities budget request for appropriations from Congress, MacDonald-Lonetree said.
East Valley Tribune | Daily Arizona news for Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, ScottsdaleTom Liddy, one of the attorneys who successfully defended Randy Bailey against Mesa’s attempts to take his brake shop for economic development, is now defending the use of condemnation in neighboring Tempe. The conservative talkshow host and chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party has been hired to represent the developers of the planned Tempe Marketplace. If Miravista Holdings and Vestar are unable to broker private deals with landowners refusing to sell their property for the $200 million project, they could ask the city to step in and take the property. Liddy, former executive director of the Institute for Justice’s Arizona Chapter, said there was a stark difference between Bailey’s Brake Shop and the planned Marketplace. The institute, a Washington D.C.-based law firm, is a major advocate for the protection of civil liberties and private property rights and helped bring national news media attention to Bailey’s fight against Mesa. "There is clearly a public benefit here where there was none in the Bailey case," Liddy said. He said there are three areas where the public stands to benefit from taking the property. First, after assembling the properties, Liddy said the developers could complete a major environmental cleanup of the area. It would prevent further contamination of an area that is exposing business owners and their employees to poisonous gases such as methane. Environmental studies show there are a number of properties that have been contaminated by hazardous waste, including the site of a former Tempe dump. However many of the remaining property owners dispute the extent of contamination. Second, Liddy said relocating the businesses would improve safety conditions for employees working in the area. For example, he said there are not enough hydrants to offer adequate fire protection. There is only one hydrant on the 200-acre site, said Deems Shepard, a senior fire inspector for the Tempe Fire Department. The area, which which was annexed in 1999, does not meet the city’s fire hydrant code, Shepard said. Third, Liddy said the public would benefit from redeveloping a "blighted" area. However, Bailey disagreed with the popular talk-show host, saying the public does not benefit when cities take private property and give it to developers. Bailey, who has been speaking with a number of the Tempe holdouts, said that he was very surprised to learn that Liddy is supporting the use of eminent domain. "I don’t support transferring private property to private owners," he said.
The Moderate Voice: Jerrry Orbach Leaves Us: Veteran character actor Jerry Orbach, best known for his role in Law & Order has died of prostate cancer at age 69. He was a star of stage, screen, TV and even cartoons (Beauty and the Beast: he sung 'Be Our Guest') for many years. You can hear him on the original cast album of the classic off-Broadway musical The Fantastics. Orbach was on Law & Order (the modern day descendent of the old TV show Dragnet) for 12 years and recently left the show and was to start in a spin-off 'Law & Order: Trial by Jury' that was to have debuted on NBC in the fall. One of acting's all-around best.
Here's a handy formula you may want to write down: Finger food + Tabasco sauce + itchy eye = Danger. Very very danger. You may want to stick it on your refrigerator to remind yourself. I know I will.(from Deans World)Which reminds me of another lesson: Here in the Southwest many of us follow the tradition of buying large quantities of green chili every fall. To process the chili for use throughout the year, the pods are roasted (usually at the point of sale) in large wire mesh drums that rotate over a propane flame (to me this is the best smell of autumn). The chili is next dumped into plastic garbage bags and taken home. We generally let the chili rest in the plastic for several hours. The next step is to bag the chili into usable amounts and then freeze them (we double bag in quart zip-locks; single bagging tends to leak when thawed). Depending on how much you buy, this can be pretty time consuming. Not only do you have to be careful not to scratch your eyes, it's best to wear gloves to keep your hands from burning (not from heat but from the chili).
Lake Powell Chronicle Online Page Unified School District officially cut its ties with Greg Conway on Dec. 22 as it agreed to a severance package of more than $55,000 in exchange for Conway’s immediate resignation as the district’s superintendent. After a two-hour meeting behind closed doors, PUSD’s governing board announced the settlement in open meeting. While there had been very little discussed in previous meetings, board member Dale Tsosie spoke on the matter last week. Reading from a prepared statement, Tsosie explained that the agreement releases the district and Conway from any liability, but the district is still compelled to respond with any government agency that decides to review matters pertaining to the superintendent.See previous story here.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
AP Wire | 12/28/2004 | New observations rule out asteroid Earth impact in 2029: PASADENA, Calif. - Additional observations of asteroid 2004 MN4 have ruled out the possibility it could hit Earth in 2029, NASA scientists said. Based on observations in June and again this month, the big asteroid last week was given a small chance of impacting Earth on April 13 of that year, although the Near Earth Object Program Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory said it was likely that a collision would be ruled out as more information was learned about its orbit. Astronomers then began independent efforts to find earlier observations of the asteroid. Jeff Larsen and Anne Descour of the Spacewatch Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., found faint pictures of the asteroid in archival images dating to March 15, the NEO office said in a statement posted on its Web site this week. 'These observations extended the observed time interval for this asteroid by three months allowing an improvement in its orbit so that an Earth impact on 13 April 2029 can now be ruled out,' the NEO office said. The refined trajectory of the object also ruled out an impact with the moon.
Mises Economics Blog: Post-Christmas Tree Tip: When you throw out the Christmas this year, leave the lights on it and let the garbage people haul the whole mess away. Everyone knows that taking off the lights is the most frustrating part of taking the tree down. They get tangled, stepped on, and cause tree needles to spread. The old lights won't shine as bright next year in any case, and you will be spared the frustration that comes with untangling and repairs. But wait. Isn't this wasteful? Well, the term waste has no meaning apart from the price system, and I just picked up 100 feet of lights for $2 at the local drug store. Surely the time and frustration saved from wrestling with tree lights is worth $2. And next year when you put the lights on, you can put them on any which way, knowing full well that you will never have to take them off.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Friday, December 24, 2004
Thursday, December 23, 2004
ABC News: Scientist: Asteroid May Hit Earth in 2029LOS ANGELES Dec 23, 2004 — There's a 1-in-300 chance that a recently discovered asteroid, believed to be about 1,300 feet long, could hit Earth in 2029, a NASA scientist said Thursday, but he added that the perceived risk probably will be eliminated once astronomers get more detail about its orbit. There have been only a limited number of sightings of Asteroid 2004 MN4, which has been given an initial rating of 2 on the 10-point Torino Impact Hazard Scale used by astronomers to predict asteroid or comet impacts, said Donald Yeomans, manager of the Near Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. No previously observed asteroid has been graded higher than 1. On Friday, April 13, 2029, "we can't yet rule out an Earth impact," Yeomans said. "But the impact probability, as we call it, is 300-to-1 against an impact."
Mental Help Net - 2 - News - Protecting Children From Abuse in Arizona: "The value of an Arizona state law requiring educators to report suspected child abuse was made clear with the felony indictments of four women at DeGrazia Elementary School in the Marana Unified School District. Principal Julia Barwell ,and counselor Jennifer De La Montana, as well as kindergarten teachers Connie Jensen and Dorlis Menendez, are on paid leave with the district. They are accused of waiting two days before notifying law enforcement authorities about a 5-year- old girl's allegations of sexual abuse. Meantime, authorities say, the child was abused yet again. The child's father pleaded guilty to sex offenses last month."
Fannie Mae and Realtors team up: "Fannie Mae has teamed up with the Arizona Association of Realtors to assist Valley businesses in helping their employees buy homes. Under the Housing Arizona's Workforce program, real estate agents will market a Fannie Mae housing initiative that encourages employers to offer customized housing incentives, ideally as a companyThis fits in nicely with a story from yesterday.
Panel to tackle void in affordable housing: "Beginning teachers, police officers, firefighters and others can't afford to buy a home in many parts of metro Phoenix. That reality is the flip side of a years-long boom of appreciation in the nation's No. 1 housing market. 'We are heading toward a real housing crisis,' said residential real estate developer Gregg Holmes, president of Stardust Cos." Holmes is leading a group of business, civic and government leaders who are looking for solutions. Soaring housing costs and weak income gains have made it harder now for Valley residents to afford a home than any time since 1989.Here's the surprising bit (for me anyway).
Despite record home sales across the Phoenix area, the state's homeownership rate has dropped since 2000. This signals that second-home buyers and investors are behind much of the current buying spree and are pushing prices above what actual residents can afford. The goal of the Regional Task Force on Quality Workforce Housing is to spur development of more homes for households earning $20,000 to $42,000 a year.
Astronomers with the University of Arizona's Spacewatch Project Spot Small Asteroid Between Satellites and Earth
Yahoo! News - 'Festivus' Shares Space With Fla. Nativity"BARTOW, Fla. - When a church group put a nativity scene on public property, officials warned it might open the door to other religious — and not-so-religious — displays. They were right. Since the nativity was erected in Polk County, displays have gone up honoring Zoroastrianism and the fake holiday Festivus, featured on the TV show "Seinfeld." The Polk County Commission voted 4-1 Wednesday to permit the nativity scene to remain across the street from the courthouse, as well as to make that area a "public forum" open to any type of display. But the commission insisted that unless someone claims a particular display and submits a written request asking it remain, it would be removed. By Wednesday evening, no one had claimed the Festivus display, and the commission said it would come down; a woman claimed the Zoroastrianism display, which was to stay. "
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
|You Are a Martini|
|You're not a total lush, but you do like your drinks strong For you, drinking is an art. An experience to be relished. That doesn't mean you don't get really really drunk. A few strong martini's, and you're dancing on the bar!|
Ok, I have to admit I'm a bit of a voyeur. I've been following a blog for a while now and tonight someone posted a comment that was just too funny to ignore. A bit of background is required... Citygurl meets Real Estate Guy (REG) at a party and gives him her number, he calls and last night they had their first date. REG it turns out has no sense of smell (this is his endearing quality). Earlier today, Citygurl gives us the rundown and says no dates in the future... but then he calls and now she's considering another date...
But ... think of all the money you'd save on the perfume you would never have to buy because he wouldn't be able to smell you anyway. And if you farted on a date, he'd never know!
The fart thing just cracked me up!
Yahoo! News - John Gotti's Brother Convicted in Murder Plot: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - A brother of John Gotti, the late boss of the Gambino organized crime family, was convicted on Wednesday of plotting to kill mob informant Salvatore 'Sammy The Bull' Gravano. Peter Gotti, 65, a former sanitation worker, was also found guilty by a Manhattan federal jury of racketeering and extortion charges. He could be sentenced to a maximum of 60 years in prison on all of the charges."
Judge lifts order blocking immigration initiative: "TUCSON - A federal judge on Wednesday lifted a restraining order blocking enforcement of a voter-approved initiative to deny illegal immigrants some public benefits. The order means the initiative immediately becomes Arizona law. U.S. District Judge David C. Bury temporarily barred the state from implementing Proposition 200 on Nov. 30, after the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund asked him to declare it unconstitutional. MALDEF's lawsuit raised questions about the constitutionality of the initiative approved by voters Nov. 2, and Bury said in his order that he wanted more time to consider the issue" Update
Page Unified School District Superintendent Greg Conway, as of on Dec. 8, found himself on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into his conduct.
Comments on the article suggest, “He ‘probably’ stole money from public funds for his personal gain.” They also suggest that this has happened before when he worked in
Greg Conway’s leave of absence as superintendent of the may become permanent this week, if an agenda for a special board meeting is any indication. Page Unified School District
In unrelated news, the PUSD School Board received the appointment to the board of a former employee
Longtime resident Elizabeth Mayes has returned to the Page school system, more than 20 years after she retired. This time, however, she’s working as a member of
’s governing board. Page Unified School District
Cecilia Owen, Coconino County Superintendent of Schools, appointed Mayes to the board on Dec. 7 from a field of six candidates.
Illegal immigration is in the news again as border agents warn that the dangers of crossing during the winter is no better than during the summer.
Sierra Vista Herald: Local News: "FORT HUACHUCA - Trails in the Huachuca Mountains are used by illegal immigrants and many of them do not realize that this time of year cold weather is an uncompromising killer. One would think that coyotes, or people smugglers, could find easier paths for their paying clients to cross into the United States during the winter months, but the mountainous terrain in the western part of Cochise County remains a favorite avenue north, said Ron Bellavia, who heads the U.S. Border Patrol's Search, Trauma and Rescue team in the agency's Tucson Sector. For the past few years the county has had nearly half of all the illegal immigrants apprehended in the sector. Also in the past the county has recorded a number of deaths, due to exposure, both heat and cold."
Deck the halls with boughs of non-endangered plant species... Fa la la la la la la la la... Tis the season to be self-actualizing... Fa la la la la la la la la... Don we now our alternate-lifestyle apparel! Fa la la la la la la la la...Too funny not to mention!
2 priests indicted over missing funds from Mesa church: "Two Catholic priests have been indicted on more than a dozen charges of theft and fraud involving about $160,000 in missing funds at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Mesa. Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley announced the indictments Wednesday morning. They named the Rev. Dennis Riccitelli, former pastor of Holy Cross, and the Rev. Blas� Meyer, a longtime Riccitelli friend who has been working as associate pastor at St. Clement of Rome in Sun City. Meyer also was a former pastor at Holy Cross. The Diocese of Phoenix planned an early afternoon press conference."More to come as available...
Mohave Valley News: News Column: "KINGMAN -- The Mohave County Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting Wednesday to discuss changing a line of credit agreement involving the Colorado City Unified School District. The county and Wells Fargo entered into an agreement in 2000 for a line of credit with the school district. Under discussion today is amending the agreement to convert the revolving line of credit to a non-revolving line of credit, Chief Civil Deputy County Attorney Deborah Herbert said."
East Valley Tribune"The Scottsdale cryonics facility storing the remains of baseball great Ted Williams says it has complied with a court ruling to turn over confidential documents to the Williams’ family. Alcor Life Extension Foundation hand-delivered documents concerning Williams’ final wishes to Scottsdale attorney David Goldstein on Monday, said Alcor spokeswoman Cheryl Walsh. Goldstein represents John and Samuel Williams, Ted Williams’ nephews, who sued Alcor in March to find out whether the cryonics lab had the necessary paperwork to store the body. "
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
You could say the first shoe dropped on the news media during the 2004 Presidential campaign when blogs became important players by not just influencing the news media but making news.
Now the other shoe is dropping.
The hub for this story, links, and serious analysis is Jay Rosen's PressThink which has the definitive post on the subject.
As Rosen notes, the place for what could one day be seen as a pivotal moment in journalism is Greensboro, North Carolina, where there's a thriving blog community. What's the big deal? The local newspaper the Greensboro News-Record is seriously considering incorporating blogging into its web news operations in a big, high profile way.
Immigration is big in the news today; I’ve compiled some articles from around the state. I’ll start with a huge arrest near
"That tells me the people who are circumventing the (known) checkpoints are entering the
illegally," Nicely said. He said the labor bus arrests are further proof illegal immigrants are being hired to work in the county — a claim that the California-based Western Growers Association denied in late November when they publicly protested Border Patrol enforcement during harvest season. In a statement just before Thanksgiving, WGA claimed border enforcement was deterring legal migrant workers from coming to work and as a result, some of their members were only able to harvest 30 percent of their crops. When asked then if members of the growers association knowingly hire illegal immigrants, WGA Vice President Matt McInerney said they do not. United States
A movement towards citizenship is gaining steam as a reaction to fears from Proposition 200.
(AP) -- Even before PHOENIX voters passed Proposition 200 last month, the Arizona office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services was overwhelmed with applications for citizenship and green cards. Now, legal immigrants throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area are pouring into the offices of document preparers and lawyers to apply for citizenship. Advocates say legal residents from Phoenix and Latin American are taking steps to become citizens because Proposition 200 makes them feel like it's open season on immigrants." Mexico
Finally, a success story and some insight into the perspective of the Mexicans who come here seeking work.
- A decade ago, plunging coffee prices sent farmers in this Mexican village fleeing north toward the Mexico border in search of other jobs. Now a handful of those refugees have set out to rescue their hometown, forming a cooperative to ship Salvador Urbina's coffee beans over the border to Arizona Douglas, then sell them throughout the . ...For decades, Mexicans and their Guatemalan farmhands in this town of 7,000 made a decent living off of those coffee plants, picking the red berries from October to January, processing them and selling them to wholesalers in the lowlands. "We used to do pretty well here," said coffee farmer Reynaldo Cifuentes. But it is time-consuming, costly work. ...Until the mid-1990s, a 100-pound sack of unhusked Arabica beans fetched about $100. Then the government relaxed its controls on coffee prices, and imports started arriving from automated, chemically fertilized farms in United States , Colombia and Brazil . The price per sack dropped as low as $40. Salvador Urbina was devastated. Thousands of men stopped growing coffee and headed north to the Vietnam , looking for jobs. So did the Guatemalans who used to work on their farms. Like so many other Mexican towns, Salvador Urbina became a village of women, children and old men. Then some of the refugees got an idea. It began in early 2002 with Daniel Cifuentes, Reynaldo's cousin. He had settled in United States , just south of the border from Agua Prieta, Sonora Douglas. Bouncing from layoff to layoff in maquiladora assembly plants, Daniel Cifuentes began talking about his hometown with a Presbyterian minister, Mark Adams. Adamsworks for Frontera de Cristo, a ministry in Douglas and Agua Prieta. "We started talking about why people immigrate to the north, and I told him why we had to leave our town," Cifuentes said. "Then I started thinking of a way for our people, the ones who work the soil, to sell our coffee directly, without middle men." Other Mexican villages, even some near Salvador Urbina, have tried to tap into the appetite for gourmet coffee by forming similar cooperatives. But many of them end up selling their crops to U.S. companies because they don't have a way to get it to customers. Other efforts have failed because they're organized by American activists with little business experience. Cifuentes and Adams enlisted the help of a former maquiladora manager, Tommy Bassett, and came up with a business plan. They would form a company called Just Coffee Inc., roast Salvador Urbina's coffee in Agua Prieta, send it over the border to U.S. Douglasand sell it directly to Americans through an Internet site, justcoffee.org. "You had a couple of coffee farmers, an old business guy who wanted to try something new and a pastor who didn't know anything about running a company," Adams said. "But with a lot of prayer, we managed to get it off the ground." With a $20,000 loan from the Presbyterian Church, they bought a roasting machine and grinder and began organizing friends and family back home. Eventually, 26 families in Salvador Urbina and three relatives in Agua Prieta signed on. Word of the effort spread through Presbyterian churches, and the orders began flowing in. Sales began in November 2002. Just Coffee's goal was to sell 800 pounds of coffee in its first year, Daniel Cifuentes said. It sold 32,000 pounds. ..."Without this, I would probably have to leave coffee entirely and head up to the border," Victor Barrios Pérez, 64, said as he raked a bed of Arabica beans on his patio. Eventually, Just Coffee wants to expand to include the entire town, Daniel Cifuentes said. "The goal is to rescue our town from this crisis," he said. "But the vision is also to create work and reduce the rate of immigration to the ." That prospect drives older farmers like Arnufo Lopez Perez, 76, who has five children in the United States . He dreams of working with them again among the coffee trees and the flamboyan flowers. "I would like to see them again," he said. "I would like them to come back." United States
Update: I almost forgot to mention President Bush's renewed interest in a guest worker plan.
Bush Renews Call for Guest Worker Plan
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Monday renewed his call for a guest worker program for immigrants seeking employment in the United States, saying the Border Patrol shouldn't be chasing "goodhearted people who are coming here to work."
Bush has wanted such a program since taking office four years ago. But the idea was sidetracked by the Sept. 11 attacks and then left on the sideline because the White House did not want to tackle such a controversial issue during an election year.