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Dogs make the best listeners

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Eight-year-old John Tittle selects a book from a shelf at the Nanini Library in Tucson. Excited over his serendipitous find, he skips over to 7-year-old Bree crouched at a table nearby, proudly showing her the colorful illustrations of a miner and his donkey. “Can I read to you?” he asks her. Bree wags her tail and holds out her paw to shake. John takes that as a yes. Bree is a 7-year-old Goldendoodle – a Golden Retriever and Poodle mix. A therapy dog registered with Pet Partners of Southern Arizona, she and her owner, Kaye Caulkins, come to this library every Monday as part of the Read to a Dog Program. The program, offered at more than a dozen local libraries in Pima County, looks to promote a creative environment for children as they learn to develop reading skills....

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Protest movements wither slowly

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Following President Trump’s inauguration in January, protesters flocked to the streets in droves, their shouts deafening amid the political turmoil. Now, those voices have dimmed to a whisper. Experts conclude that this phenomenon isn’t all that rare ­­– rather, it’s to be expected. Social movements, and in particular protests, are a peculiar animal. In order to sustain long enough to achieve their goals, several things need to fall into place, experts say. The social movements they are tied to need to be delicately handled, and more often than not, a lack of sustainability and adaptability is their downfall. In essence, they breed complacency rather than legitimate change, and that is what is occurring throughout Arizona. Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, head of sociology at VU University in Amsterdam, touched on this happening. “What you see in general, is that there are not...

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Child poverty in Southern Arizona runs rampant

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Children in Southern Arizona are more likely to be living in poverty than anywhere else in the state. This discrepancy has far-reaching consequences beyond simply a bad childhood, and is the primary reason for Arizona having the sixth worst poverty rate in the country. This is despite the fact that statewide, the rate of poverty in most metro areas is declining. A 15-year longitudinal study published by Cornell University in late 2016 showed that children raised in poverty were susceptible to a series of psychological distresses, spurred by the stress and environment, ultimately bleeding over into their adult lives. Tucson’s poverty rate has leveled out at 25 percent over the past three years, posing potential long-term effects. The Cornell study, authored by Gary Evans, a professor in human ecology and in the departments of design and environmental analysis, found research...

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