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Legislative Roundup: Riots and mariachi bands

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PHOENIX – The Arizona State Legislature doesn’t usually meet when they don’t have to. This is the same legislature that left early to grab dinner on Valentines Day. But, against the trend, legislators came in bright and early on Presidents Day Monday morning, and, once again upending the norm, they came into work with a mariachi band. Rep. @CesarChavezAZ lends his impressive voice to the mariachi band. pic.twitter.com/eKW2vUwzOW — Rachel Leingang (@rachelleingang) February 20, 2017 The mariachi band even played the National Anthem at the House of Representatives, where representatives are worried mold might be causing headaches during the work day. The Department of Administration didn’t find any mold, and honestly, it could just be the legislation causing the headaches. Time to Play Arizona students are getting closer to having a required full 50 minutes of “unstructured recess” with House Bill...

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Will the Women’s March on Washington become the next women’s movement?

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  The day after his inauguration, women across the globe had a message for President Donald Trump: we will not be silent. The Women’s March on Washington moved millions of women into the streets, dominated the news cycles and elicited an angry tweet from the president. But will it have the power to create lasting social movement? Women’s marches on every continent drew 2.5 million worldwide, and the impressive turnout has many optimistic about the march’s ability to evolve into an enduring opposition movement. Yet others predict it will fizzle out like the Equal Rights Amendment and Occupy Wall Street movements. Elizabeth Sanders, a Cornell University professor whose research focuses on American politics and social movements, said she sees early indications the passion generated by the march will flicker out rather than spark an effective resistance. Sanders campaigned for the Equal...

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Will Arizona follow the national trend in banning police body worn camera footage?

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As more law enforcement agencies in Arizona suit up officers with body-worn cameras, public access to this footage becomes a controversial topic. The past several years has triggered a strong national reaction in regards to police-involved incidents resulting in death or serious bodily injury. In response, the national government and law enforcement agencies believe that cameras will include better evidence documentation and increased accountability and transparency. As the program implementation rapidly expands through the country, one of the biggest questions surrounding cameras is whether the video footage should be eligible for public release under public record laws. “The technology is ahead of the policy at this point,” said Chuck Wagner, deputy director of public affairs at the U.S. department of Justice, in charge of grant funding for cameras. Law enforcement agencies are grappling with how to effectively manage this new stream of evidence, because cameras presents unique challenges...

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Glass art materializes across Arizona

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Raven Copeland stared at the flames of his torch through his protective glasses. He maneuvered his tools strategically to construct the multicolored oval shape and color coordination of the glass that he desired. The piece materialized into a glass sculpture of three small gold pillars, stabilized by a half-moon platform. The pillars held up a majestic glass ball coated with an array of green, yellow, purple and black. The piece, which Copeland dubbed “Transpicuous Position,” took first place in Tucson’s annual “Flame-Off” competition that features the best glass artists around the country. The art of glass-blowing emerged as a popular art form in southern Arizona since in the early 1970s. It began behind the craft of Tom Philabaum, who is widely regarded as the pioneer of the glass-blowing movement in southern Arizona. Philabaum first became introduced to glass in a ceramics...

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UA seeks opportunity in autonomous cars

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The University of Arizona Tech Parks lost out on becoming a federal testing site for autonomous vehicles last month, but they are not giving up. The parks will continue testing and developing autonomous vehicles and systems with hopes of being a part of a global network for self-driving cars. “Our goal at the Tech Parks is to be a major testing and demonstration site for this new technology,” said Bruce A. Wright, associate vice president at the UA Tech Parks. “We have not given up, we hope that there will be a second round of designations and we can be a candidate for that.” This technology will change the roads we drive on every day. Autonomous cars will lead to a variety of advancements not only in the cars we will drive but the roads we drive them on. “We...

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Turning waste products into plastics

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University of Arizona chemists hope to profit on the smelly remains of refined petroleum after discovering a way to turn sulfur into plastic infrared lenses. The process of hydro desulfurization was developed in the 1980s to remove sulfur from petroleum to prevent acid rain. In the years since, sulfur deposits have grown rapidly. The U.S goes through approximately 20 million barrels of oil a day. Five percent of every barrel of oil is sulfur. The sulfur removed from petroleum is often stacked in large pyramid like deposits. Tons of pure elemental sulfur sits in these reservoirs, with minimal practical use. “We have more sulfur in the world then we know what to do with. We talk about this as one of the biggest environmental problems no one knows about,” said Research Chemistry Professor Jeffery Pyun.  While working on research...

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Women continue to be neglected in NCAA Division I athletics

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Erika Barnes, interim athletic director at the University of Arizona, attained a position of power that women rarely experience, overseeing an $85 million budget as well as a nationally-ranked men’s basketball team. And although she has decided not to pursue the permanent position, she understands the challenges facing other women seeking like roles in collegiate athletics. In NCAA Division I athletics, women continue to be largely underrepresented in key leadership positions, specifically administrative and head coaching roles. In 2015-16, only 37 of the 352 athletic directors in Division I athletics were women, according to NCAA data. Twenty-seven of those women were white. The “Power Five” conferences — Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and Southeastern Conference (SEC) — consist of 65 universities. Only three have employed women as their head athletic directors: Washington, North Carolina State and Penn State....

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Witchcraft becoming more popular among young Latinos

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To say the word “brujo” in some communities is akin to yelling “fire!” in a crowded movie theater. It incites fear and panic. For centuries, brujería, or witchcraft, has been an obscure practice. It was woven into the superstitions that abuelas taught their grandchildren — such as using an egg to perform a limpia, a cleanse, on a baby suffering from mal de ojo, the evil eye. Everyone knew it existed but it was seldom acknowledged. Now, more and more younger Latinos are identifying as brujos and claiming to practice brujería, much to the bewilderment of others who grew up in fear of it. “I think it’s both a disconnect from history and a form of reclaiming power for them,” said Patrisia Gonzales, a traditional healer/midwife and professor of Mexican American Studies at the University of Arizona. Gonzales, 57, who is...

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Dark side of U.S. history that built Catalina Highway

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A popular Mount Lemmon recreation site for rock climbers nicknamed Prison Camp pokes fun at the area’s history, with walls dubbed “Alcatraz” and “Jailhouse Rock.” The names are harmless, but some people might not know the brutal punishment that the U.S. government inflicted on Japanese Americans in that same area less than a century ago. In that spot, just seven miles up the Catalina Highway in Tucson, stood a Japanese American internment camp established after Pearl Harbor during World War II. The historical site is officially named after Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese American civil rights activists and one of the many prisoners who served at the camp, where they were forced to work on the highway’s construction. Hirabayashi was a senior at the University of Washington in 1942 when Pearl Harbor happened. He was one of only three Japanese Americans who brought lawsuits before the...

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BREAKING NEWS: UA interim AD not pursuing permanent position

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University of Arizona Interim Athletic Director Erika Barnes, in an interview with Arizona Sonora News, said she will not pursue the job permanently at this time. “I still have interest in being the AD here at some point in the future if the opportunity presents itself again down the road,” Barnes said. “Right now, I am dialed in to the interim role and happy to support our department for the long-term future in whatever capacity that may be.” Barnes, a former standout softball player at UA, helped the Wildcats win a national title in 2001 during her senior year. She helped secure a $1 million donation from Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, a former UA baseball player. The gift will be targeted for the baseball capital projects fund, which will include an indoor hitting facility that will be named the...

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Homeopathic remedies in the Hispanic community.

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In the Hispanic community, homeopathic remedies have been passed down through generations. Whether it’s at the U.S-Mexico border or in South Tucson, visiting a folk healer or an herbalist can be commonplace in the Hispanic culture. A homeopathic remedy is an alternative medicine practice that uses natural remedies such as plants, animals and minerals. In many cases, remedies are similar to what pharmaceutical companies use. Patrisia Gonzales, University of Arizona professor in Mexican American Studies, focuses on indigenous remedies in the Hispanic community. Also an herbalist, Gonzales has found that using plant-based materials in home remedies have helped families thrive throughout the years. “There is this incredible ecosystems throughout what we call today Mexico and throughout the Southwest,” she said. “There are thousands of plants that people can use for home remedies. When the traditional herbs were outlawed, people started to...

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Holistic medicine, what you need to know

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  October 2016. Eduardo “Eddie” Estrada gently sips a beer and while closing his eyes. He takes a French fry and looks at his hand as he begins to remember. It’s September 2012. Estrada returns to the United States after a serving his country as a Hospital Man Third Class in Afghanistan. This is where it all began; the nightmares, the stress, the anger. “It started gradually,” said Estrada, “ When I got out of the military, I thought I was fine and didn’t have any transition problems but I came from a place that was very strict and everyone respected you.” Estrada deals with a mental illness, as do other 57 million Americans, a disease that affects the individual and the people surrounding them. Most patients are prescribed medications, but new strategies like yoga, meditation, dance and art...

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Arizonans ask for regulation rollbacks on taxes, water-use, hot dogs

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PHOENIX – Gov. Doug Ducey’s hotline for red tape tips is gaining more complaints than suggestions. Ducey promised to eliminate 500 regulations “that are standing in the way of job growth” by the end of the year, so he took his challenge to the people – or rather, the Internet. The governor set up Red Tape, an online service to crowd source recommendations from Arizona citizens on which regulations should be eliminated. In the first weeks of the program, the most commonly complained about issues were taxes and different water-use regulations, particularly how they effect the rural areas of the state. This doesn’t represent the wants of the state as a whole, though: only a couple dozen Arizonans recommended anything at all. Taxes, always the hot button topic in Arizona politics, were hot on the regulation rollback site. Why? “Taxation is theft,” the entirety of...

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Legislative Roundup: Cell phones and tampon tax

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PHOENIX – On Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, the capitol was full of gratuitous shows of love: singing on the House floor,  heart-shaped balloons on the rose garden. Nothing was too cheesy. But whether state minimum wage workers will feel the love became the question. On Monday, the state Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction over a lawsuit to block Proposition 206, the $10 minimum wage hike that was voter-approved during the last election. The court will hear oral arguments on March 9, but until then, there are plenty of stories to bring you up to date on the conflict. To wrap the work week up, on Thursday the governor rode into his office with style. That is to say, he sat in the passenger side of a race car and fishtailed in front of the capitol. What a way to end a week. I wish @dougducey...

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Men slow to accept HPV treatment

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Some men do not even know they are killers. There are many misconceptions that say the human papillomavirus (HPV) only affects women, but men are certainly not in the clear. About one in four people in the United States are currently infected with some form of HPV, which is the most common sexually transmitted disease today. Forty-five percent of men and women are infected with HPV in the U.S., according to Dr. Janice Han, a doctor in the division of gynecologic oncology at Womack Army Medical Center, in Fort Bragg, N.C. HPV vaccination rates are higher in women than they are in men. In 2006, women were recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to get the Gardasil shot to prevent HPV-related cancers. Men, however, were not introduced to the vaccine until 2011, according to Dr. Elissa...

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