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Trump’s success lights spark in Latino community

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  Donald Trump’s presidential campaign not only hovers over the idea of a bigger wall, but it also lights a fire under the Latino community that hasn’t been ignited in a long time. Whether it is for humor on social media or political debates and violent rallies across the nation, Trump’s platform brings a level of fear into the Latino community. Unlike the average fear, it’s not pushing Latino people away but uniting them to oppose the presumptive Republican candidate. According to Chula Robertson, an organizer for Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit organization that urges Latinos to promote social and economic justice through civic participation, this is the wake-up call the voting community has been waiting for to get Latinos to vote. “Though we are nonpartisan, we hear it all the time, ‘We want to vote so this guy doesn’t win,’”...

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Guest worker program used as gateway for labor abuse, trafficking

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Structural flaws place one of the nation’s visa programs at risk of abuse and trafficking, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union. This is apparent to the Filipino Migrant Center, a Long Beach, California, non-profit organization. Since 2009 it has assisted more than two dozen Filipino labor trafficking survivors brought to the U.S. though the H-2B visa program. “Once you share stories, there will always be guaranteed newer stories, emerging survivors,” says Joanna Concepcion, the organization’s executive director. U.S. businesses of all sizes depend on the H-2B program, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2012 the Department of Labor issued new H-2B regulations to prevent forms of abuse and trafficking. Industry groups, including the chamber, stopped the 2012 regulations in court. They call for deregulation of the program and say it’s already costly...

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From war to racism: a refugee tale

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Noorullah Dawari and his family stood patiently in the checkout line at a Tucson Walmart when a white woman behind them snarled, proclaiming that there are too many of “them” in this country. Her words cut to the core. There he stood with his wife their 2- and 6-year-old boys. The sadness was overwhelming. A refugee forced from his home in Afghanistan for helping U.S. forces confronting the Taliban, Noor came to this desert town for his family’s safety and instead found hatred. The family has seen this ugliness too many times since they arrived in Tucson earlier this year. His wife, a slender slip of a woman with long dark hair partially covered with a loose headscarf, is often the signal that says “different.” Drivers thrust middle fingers at the family from passing cars. Angry stares populate public places. Noor, as...

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Dry wilderness, high winds mean fire season

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As the seasons change and the wilderness of Southern Arizona rises in humidity, so does the fire danger. According to Chris George, wildland coordinator for the Avra Valley Fire District, the drought has lead to a label of “Extreme” fire danger throughout Arizona. “It’s all moisture dependent. The lower elevations dry out quickly leading to a higher fire danger until the weather changes and the monsoons moisten the land again.” Reckless behavior is the biggest ever contributor to wildfires whether it be from campfires, negligently discarded cigarettes, or intentional arson. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the 2015 fire season set a record for the number of acres burned in the United States. There were 68,151 wildfires, which burned over ten million acres. The Wallow fire, which burned in the summer of 2011, was the largest wildfire in state history. It...

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DeGrazia: Still a force 30 years later

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More than 30 years after his death, Ted DeGrazia remains a major figure in the local and national art community. Originally born in Morenci, what was considered Arizona territory at the time, DeGrazia and his family moved to Italy in 1920. Here he discovered his admiration and fascination with contemporary art. Ten years later, he moved back to the United States and enrolled at the University of Arizona and received a degree in fine arts. Initially, high end art galleries did not accept his art work, which motivated him to reach for the stars. In the 1960s-1970s, DeGrazia’s art turned the corner. He received widespread attention when his art was featured on several nationally recognized platforms such as NBC newsreels and National Geographic. DeGrazia became a household name when his painting, “Los Ninos”, was featured in UNICEF’s 1960 holiday card that...

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Rising stars of Pueblo High School

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While Pueblo High School may carry a generalization of  being in a rough southern Tucson neighborhood, where graduation rates are low, student retention is tough and student participation is lacking- these seven students hope to rebut the reputation of their school with their very own success stories.  Here are the stories of seven seniors at Pueblo who are defying the stereotypes of their school and graduating in May of 2016. Daniel Lopez, 19 His biggest motivator?  He says it’s his grandfather who he calls Tata José. “When I think of the American dream I think of him,” said Daniel, From the beginning of kindergarten to his final days at Pueblo, a hard work ethic has been drilled into his head. Seeing what his grandfather did for their family motivates him to be the best academic he can be. The “weird” one in...

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How to prepare for the outside world and job search

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Commencement ceremonies, diplomas and job applications. Those things are leaving college seniors with a mix of angst and excitement as they begin a new chapter in life. “It can be really stressful at times,” said Liam Palmieri, a business senior at the University of Arizona. “Worrying about finishing school and preparing resumes and applications for jobs can be really overwhelming.” An estimated 1.8 million students will be graduating from universities at the bachelor’s degree level nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, while 30 percent of 3 million graduating high school students are expected to enter the workforce. “You really are unsure at this point what is going to happen,” Palmieri said. “So many thoughts are going on in your head. Am I going to get hired? Where will I live? Will I be ready? There is so...

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Tucson Art Institute’s closure to limit local choices in fashion design

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The impending closure of the Art Institute of Tucson will make it more difficult locally for students to pursue fashion design at a higher educational level. The school is no longer accepting new students as of this year. The Art Institute of St. Louis and the Art Institute of California Los Angeles also are closing, according to Bob Greenlee, a spokesman for Education Management Corp. The number of years the Tucson school remains open will depend on students’ programs and courses of study, according to Greenlee, who added that it could be as many as three or four years before the school shuts its doors. Closure would leave Pima Community College in Tucson, the Art Institute of Phoenix, Phoenix College and Mesa Community College as the only schools left in the state with fashion design programs. Arizona State University, however, plans to add a program....

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Despite rhetoric, refugees are a humanitarian concern

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Without warning, a sudden deafening sound is followed by a wave of pressure passing through the body. Time seems to slow as the quick flash is finally registered by the eyes only to be quickly replaced by clouds of dust and smoke. The heart races and confused thoughts begin to desperately piece together information. Disoriented, reality begins to slowly creep into a muffled consciousness. An explosion has just taken place. Soon, the dust clears and sounds become sharper. What had been a busy street filled with people going about their day is now rubble. The window fronts of markets are shattered and collapsed, bodies lie tattered and torn on the ground. Those who can move have fled the area to find shelter. All that is left in this wake of destruction is an empty street filled with misery and...

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Boomers fight boredom with volunteering

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Retirement is a golden dream where you can sleep all day, eat what you want and basically do whatever you feel. After living the golden dream for about six months, many get bored and look for something to do. What is there to do? One activity  is to volunteer. And with 77 million baby boomers retiring or heading that way, the number of volunteers could soon grow. Garry Lawrence, 64,  got bored six months into retirement and started to volunteer at Biosphere 2 and Mountain Shadows Presbyterian Church. “I moved out to Oro Valley area in August of 2013, and the idea was just to retire, not to do a whole lot of anything,” Lawrence said. “Well, within six months, I’m going absolutely crazy and bonkers. I need to do something at some place.” At his church, he is...

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