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2012-08-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
"Rachel, I am so very sorry"
  transcribed from the youtube video:

Hi I'm Adam Smith, I have a few things to day, but I want first and foremost to say something to Rachel, that I've been wanting to say since the moment I spoke the words.

Rachel I am so very sorry for the way ... read more

2012-08-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
"Rachel, I am so very sorry" : what are people really reacting to?
Its true, Adam shouldn't have debated with Rachel - she was stuck doing her job - but is that interaction on the video really enough to justify threats and hate mail?  Not that very much of anything justifies threats and hate mail!  But the point is, ... read more

2012-06-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Ethnic studies closure hurts teachers, kids http://saveethnicstudies.com
Just spoke to the teacher of ethnic studies who Dr Stegeman accused of using cult techniques.  He said that when Stegeman visited his class, he told him that he'd enjoyed the experience and was positive, not critical.   It was only 3 months later that ... read more

2011-09-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Comedy of Errors; Tragedy by Choice.
The following letter was sent to bTucson on Aug 23, however it seems particularly relevent today given Mike Letcher's ouster.  In particular, if you agree with LaFond's points, there may be more housecleaning in order than only the city manager.

This ... read more

2011-09-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Letcher's resignation letter
The Tucson Weekly published the full text of Mike Letcher's resignation letter.

Most interesting may be these paragraphs, with Letcher telling Kozachik to back off and let him run his departments - which may be a point, but that's also why we have ... read more

2011-08-18 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
911 Tucson
by Golda Velez
Michael LaFond knew there would be problems with the new 911 software system even before it was installed.  He knew, because back in 2006 when the Tucson Police Department started using the system called Meridian Vesta, calls from 911 ... read more

2011-07-14 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
911 issues predicted in 2010 http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and
When the Arizona legislature passed its budget in 2010, it raided the Emergency Telecommunications Fund to the tune of $2.2M.

Alarm bells were sounded at the time: 911 officials fear budget cuts will endanger public safety

Now a 10 year old girl ... read more

2011-07-08 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
"The philosophical inconsistency is striking." : And, you HAVE to see political signs now...
Here's an example that is about to hit us all in the eye.  Tucsonans have complained to our city council members because of excess political signs in the public right of way.  Our local city council has put out some rules - that apply equally to all candidates ... read more

2011-07-07 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
"The philosophical inconsistency is striking."
Lets see - in order to avoid control by the federal government, we'll take local control away from cities.  At least that seems to be Frank Antenori's and other legislators' logic in the spate of bills this last spring attempting to preempt local control ... read more

2011-06-19 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Recall Pearce campaign - no, campaigns! : To say we were a bunch of outsiders is a bunch of crap http://recallpearce.com/
Elizabeth Savino, a straight-talking woman from the midwest and now a Mesa resident, has a lot to say about the Pearce recall effort and Arizona politics generally.  She and her husband put in countless hours as volunteers for the recall campaign, her ... read more

2011-05-28 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Recall Pearce campaign - no, campaigns! : 18300 Signatures Turned In http://recallpearce.com/contributions/

Update : Sigs in, now to make sure they get validated.  Citizens for a Better Arizona turned in more than twice the number of signatures needed for a Recall election today, and more than the number who voted for Pearce in the last election.

From ... read more

2011-05-03 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Recall Pearce campaign - no, campaigns! http://recallpearce.com/
I didn't even know there is a strong effort out to recall Russell Pearce, the Arizona State Senator who has perhaps done the most harm to Arizona and to Tucson.

** Update - There were actually TWO efforts to recall pearce, and the first one posted ... read more

2011-05-03 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Recall Pearce campaign - no, campaigns! : And now to finding a replacement... http://somosrepublicans.com
Phoenix, AZ – Arizonans for Better Government would like to congratulate Citizens for a Better Arizona with their success in obtaining their signatures to recall Senator Russell Pearce. They are only within a few hundred signatures and we encourage everyone ... read more

2011-02-22 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Opening Tucson Government http://opentucson.org/
"Citizenship isn't just the possession of rights and responsibilities; it's a state of mind."  --Jess Zimbabwe, speaking at the 2010 Open Cities conference.

It's your city.  Have at it.

The Open Cities movement wants citizens to be more engaged ... read more

2011-02-16 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Tell the Arizona Legislature to stop attacking babies : Vote Postponed
Please call the appropriations committee members.  I believe this is the correct website:

appropriations committee

some talking points:  who would be next to be denied citizenship?

Undocumented workers DO pay taxes: property taxes thru rent ... read more

2011-02-14 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Tell the Arizona Legislature to stop attacking babies
The Az Leg is once more attacking children.  Last time it was denying Arizona children health care, now they are taking citizenship away from babies in our communities. Reform Immigration For America has an easy lobbying link here:

Arizona Vs the Constitution ... read more

2011-02-14 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
Tell the Arizona Legislature to stop attacking babies : new title
Just call them the 'Right-to-Leave' party

2010-09-24 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
"Spice Incense" actually a drug : Additional information, efforts to regulate 'spice' http://www.statepress.com/2010/09/19/off
Spice appears to be more dangerous than Marijuana.  According to Wikipedia, "Psychiatrists...have suggested that the lack of an anti psychotic chemical, similar to cannabidiol found in natural cannabis, may make synthetic cannabis more likely to induce ... read more

2010-09-24 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
: "Spice Incense" actually a drug http://hubpages.com/hub/Spice-A-Dangerou
[ed note: 'Spice' appears to be a possibly dangerous new drug which is currently not illegal.  Please see
Spice: A Dangerous New Drug.  The anonymous post below appears to confirm the information on the website]

I tried the Handy Spice and WOW it ... read more

2010-09-06 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
No one prosecuted for inmate death in sun http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard
This story is just sickening.  A woman locked in a cage in the Phoenix sun, dies of heat exposure, and no one is prosecuted.  Charles Ryan, the same corrections administrator responsible for the recent escape of two inmates who murdered a tourist couple ... read more

2010-09-06 \Tucson\Politics & Government\Local Issues\
No one prosecuted for inmate death in sun : at least will discontinue the 'cages' now... http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard
At least, Ryan said at the memorial service back in May he would discontinue the use of outdoor human cages in the sun. But the issue of pulling the plug on life support so quickly remains, and why no one is held responsible for Powell's suffering and ... read more

2012-08-07 "Rachel, I am so very sorry"
  transcribed from the youtube video:

Hi I'm Adam Smith, I have a few things to day, but I want first and foremost to say something to Rachel, that I've been wanting to say since the moment I spoke the words.

Rachel I am so very sorry for the way I spoke to you on Wednesday.  You handled my frustrating rant with such dignity and composure.  Every time I watch the video I'm blown away really by the beauty in what you did, your kindness and your patience.  You should know I never planned to say the things I said to you and how I said them.  I planned to peacefully participate in the August 1 Youtube .. where Jackson Pierce asked people to order a large water to show support for the gay community.  But when I got to your window and after seeing all the people in and outside the restaura ...read more...
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2011-07-07 "The philosophical inconsistency is striking."
Lets see - in order to avoid control by the federal government, we'll take local control away from cities.  At least that seems to be Frank Antenori's and other legislators' logic in the spate of bills this last spring attempting to preempt local control away from the City of Tucson.

The "Stop Hurting Our Local Government" petition started in April, but you can still add your name the 921 signers so far: https://www.change.org/petitions/stop-hurting-our-local-government

Steve Kozachik, the petition author, is a Republican city council member who has just had enough of Tucson being pushed around by the state legislature.

This Legislative session has seen preemptive bills related to fiscal issues, firearms, hiring practices, procurement policies, and more. We have also s ...read more...
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2011-08-18 911 Tucson
by Golda Velez
Michael LaFond knew there would be problems with the new 911 software system even before it was installed.  He knew, because back in 2006 when the Tucson Police Department started using the system called Meridian Vesta, calls from 911 operators would be dropped when being transferred to TPD.  The Tucson Police Dept might not have noticed - they just never got the call.  But the 911 operator, if they stayed on the line, would just hear the ringing stop without anyone pick up the other end, and would have to try the transfer again.  If they didn't stay on the line, the caller would just be dropped, and have to call back to 911 - which some people did.

"For Tucson Police, they could make the argument that it was a reasonable risk.  Because for their operation, the types of ...read more...
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2011-07-14 911 issues predicted in 2010
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_2d4fd649-6896-5e40-baa3-abe93c4ef8ee.html
When the Arizona legislature passed its budget in 2010, it raided the Emergency Telecommunications Fund to the tune of $2.2M.

Alarm bells were sounded at the time: 911 officials fear budget cuts will endanger public safety

Now a 10 year old girl has died during a delayed response to a 911 call using the system that was upgraded without proper funding.  

Who voted for that budget line item?  It was not a separate bill with a tracked vote, just a line item in a budget proposal: http://www.azleg.gov/jlbc/enactedbudgetproposal040910.pdf

Its a line item on page 30, under 'Fund Transfers'.  Emergency Telecommunications Services - (2,198,400).  

There's a limi ...read more...
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2011-09-07 Comedy of Errors; Tragedy by Choice.
The following letter was sent to bTucson on Aug 23, however it seems particularly relevent today given Mike Letcher's ouster.  In particular, if you agree with LaFond's points, there may be more housecleaning in order than only the city manager.

This letter was written before the transfer of 911 call center reponsibility to the Fire Dept.


Ron Lewis, the Director of General Services, and Isaiah Twombly, the Administrator of Communications, decided that they had a master plan to re-invent the Emergency Communications Center. Their plan was beyond arrogant. It consisted of re-organizing in every conceivable way one of the best public safety communications centers with an extraordinary proven record of consistent reliability and outstanding performance. This was the same Emergency C ...read more...
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2012-06-07 Ethnic studies closure hurts teachers, kids
http://saveethnicstudies.com
Just spoke to the teacher of ethnic studies who Dr Stegeman accused of using cult techniques.  He said that when Stegeman visited his class, he told him that he'd enjoyed the experience and was positive, not critical.   It was only 3 months later that Stegeman accused him of 'cult' behaviour in testimony to the legislature.  

Why are we hurting teachers who want to help our kids?
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2011-09-07 Letcher's resignation letter
The Tucson Weekly published the full text of Mike Letcher's resignation letter.

Most interesting may be these paragraphs, with Letcher telling Kozachik to back off and let him run his departments - which may be a point, but that's also why we have elected officials.

" July 12 2011 - City Manager notified by Ward 6 City Councilmember that 911/ Fire EMS Communication Center Dispatchers talking directly to him have indicated significant problems with the new dispatch system. The City Manager indicated to his knowledge none of these employees had previously notified him of any issues with the Communications Center. City Manager request Ward 6 Councilmember to let him do hi ...read more...
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2010-09-06 No one prosecuted for inmate death in sun
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2010/09/marcia_powells_death_unavenged.php
This story is just sickening.  A woman locked in a cage in the Phoenix sun, dies of heat exposure, and no one is prosecuted.  Charles Ryan, the same corrections administrator responsible for the recent escape of two inmates who murdered a tourist couple, was also in charge of the prison system at the time of Powell's death, and apparently made the decision to discontinue her life support.  What country do we live in, again?
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2011-02-22 Opening Tucson Government
http://opentucson.org/
"Citizenship isn't just the possession of rights and responsibilities; it's a state of mind."  --Jess Zimbabwe, speaking at the 2010 Open Cities conference.

It's your city.  Have at it.

The Open Cities movement wants citizens to be more engaged with their city government, planning and development.  Open information and modern technology promises to make city services more efficient and responsive, while giving city dwellers new avenues to provide feedback and guidance to decision makers.  As a grassroots movement no single organization is 'in charge', but Code for America has put together some bright folks to tackle urban issues.  Andrew Greenhill ...read more...
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2011-05-03 Recall Pearce campaign - no, campaigns!
http://recallpearce.com/
I didn't even know there is a strong effort out to recall Russell Pearce, the Arizona State Senator who has perhaps done the most harm to Arizona and to Tucson.

** Update - There were actually TWO efforts to recall pearce, and the first one posted, Arizonans for Better Government, is now focused on finding a decent Mormon Republican to replace him.  

The second effort, Citizens for a Better Arizona, is about to reach its signature quota, see http://recallpearce.com - Arizonans for Better Govt is asking people to donate to the Citizens group since they need the money to complete their recall effort.

The deadline is May 31, help energize this campaign!

Citizens for a Better Government also has a facebook page ...read more...
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2011-02-14 Tell the Arizona Legislature to stop attacking babies
The Az Leg is once more attacking children.  Last time it was denying Arizona children health care, now they are taking citizenship away from babies in our communities. Reform Immigration For America has an easy lobbying link here:

Arizona Vs the Constitution

that argues "It has already cost Arizona too much defending SB 1070 - we can't afford to try and defend bills that are inherently unconstitutional too. We need our legislators working on solutions to our budget problems, not adding to them."

And not only that, its just plain wrong to go after newborn babies.  What country are they supposed to belong to?  All those Arizona legislators should have to go explain to those ...read more...
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