Pages Navigation Menu

News for Southeastern Arizona, provided by the University of Arizona School of Journalism

Featured Articles

Legislative Roundup: Term limits, abortion reporting, drones at the Capitol

By | 0 comments

PHOENIX — Monday was the start of the now-Shooterless Arizona State Legislature — that is to say, the first day since Rep. Don Shooter (R-Yuma) was expelled from the House following a months-long sexual harassment investigation. Convening for Congress Rep. Darin Mitchell (R-Goodyear) believes it’s time to change the U. S. Constitution. He has introduced HCR 2024 as a call to arms — the resolution, if passed, would put Arizona on the road to gathering enough states to call a constitutional convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. The goal? Limit the number of consecutive terms that U.S. representatives and senators can serve in Congress. That may take a while. This resolution would serve as a “continuing application” to Congress, and would be valid until two-thirds of the states convene to vote on term limits. Mitchell’s resolution received a 7-2...

Read More

Everyone wins — but what about the AZ taxpayer?

By | 0 comments

PHOENIX — Last week, Gov. Ducey took the lead in personally announcing a $1 billion deal with Nikola Motor Company to build a factory and headquarters in Buckeye, the centerpiece of a master-planned community that has been the pet project of two of the Valley’s biggest developers. Nikola didn’t decide to pack up shop in Utah and move everything to Arizona out of the kindness of their hearts, as both the state and the city of Buckeye have generous incentives packages to lure the hydrogen-electric semi truck manufacturer out to the West Valley. JDM Partners, one of the two real estate developers, has been generous too: Jerry Colangelo, David Eaton, and Mel Shultz (The J, D, and M of the Partners) each contributed $5,000 to the governor’s 2018 election fund, all on March 23rd, 2017 as campaign finance reports...

Read More

Ending food waste one tomato at a time

By | 0 comments

A tomato grows in Mexico. After being plucked from the vine, shipped into the United States, and placed on a shelf, it lies in wait. Some don’t even make it to the shelf. If the tomato isn’t purchased, it’s off to the landfill.   Some find salvation.   One woman has dedicated the last 20-plus years to her passion project meant to help solve this waste problem and secure peoples’ access to the basic human right of a healthy diet. “I didn’t even know what a food bank was, but I took the job because I needed it and I always worked with social justice,” says Yolanda Soto, president and CEO of Borderlands Food Bank, a non-profit in Arizona. “Now we’ve been here for 23 years and are feeding people nutritiously and curbing food waste.”   Soto, who then...

Read More

Legislative Roundup: Trucks, pervy old men, porn & prostitution resolution

By | 0 comments

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled a new economic development plan on Tuesday, following up on the lightning quick passage of his Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act last week. On the same day, the long-awaited sexual harassment report arising out of last year’s allegations was made public. It’s been a busy week.   Pervy Old Men and Their Right Hands The sexual harassment report that has so far loomed over the Legislature was finally published, detailing each allegation of harassment between Rep. Don Shooter (R-Yuma) and Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale) first reported last year. The 82-page report compiled by the law firm of Sherman & Howard L.L.C. , which was retained by the House to independently investigate the allegations made by each legislator. House Speaker J.D. Mesnard (R-Chandler) found that while many of the allegations were baseless, there was enough there...

Read More

Legislative Roundup: Camera ban, pets on lap and tax-free tampons

By | 0 comments

PHOENIX — Gov. Ducey convened a special session of the Arizona Legislature this week to focus lawmakers on the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. He announced his plan last week so N. 1  priority has been turning that plan into law.  That’s not to say regular lawmaking wasn’t in the cards. Here are some of the interesting bills from this week: No More Police Paparazzi Both the Senate and the House had bills introduced that addressed photo enforcement systems used by the police. The only problem is that they aren’t the same — one forces the police to review the photos before a citation is issued, while the other bill bans the practice outright. Drivers may recognize the white cameras set up alongside certain sections of the freeway or busy intersections, and the camera vans operated by the police, as...

Read More

Making sure the militia shoots straight and keeps their guns

By | 2 comments

  PHOENIX — When the Arizona National Guard is called out of the state, who remains to defend the state from threats foreign and domestic? That duty falls to the militia of the state of Arizona, known the Arizona State Guard. The State Guard has never actually been called and a situation where they would be is unlikely. But if that were ever to happen, Rep. David Stringer (R-D1) has a plan to get everyone ready — and make sure they can keep their guns. Stringer has introduced HCR2002 that amends the Arizona Constitution to widen the pool of potential militia members as well as HB2058 and HB2059, which call for the creation of a Civilian Marksmanship Program “to provide firearms for training in marksmanship skills to citizens and residents of this state who are eligible for service in the Arizona State Guard.”...

Read More

Ending the epidemic by slapping wrists

By | 0 comments

PHOENIX — Gov.Doug Ducey, true to his pledge, now has a plan he hopes will stop the preponderance of opioids and reduce addiction rates. How? By giving bad doctors a slap on the wrist and locking up addicts. Ducey called for an end to Arizona’s opioid epidemic in his 2018 State of the State address, promising that the plan would be aggressive and controversial. That plan was announced today and is called the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. Part of it targets the doctors who prescribe opioids for pain management by permitting medical regulatory boards to access the prescription monitoring database that all opioid prescriptions are entered into. The punishment for doctors writing dangerous prescriptions? Training classes, suspension of their medical license, and at worst, license revocation. While that means Dr. Opioid has to find a different career, it doesn’t mean...

Read More

Legislative Roundup: Hemp, Bitcoin, and Service Dogs

By | 0 comments

PHOENIX — If your tax evasion scheme involved bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, the Arizona State Legislature would like to have a word with you. That’s because a Senate bill would make everyone’s favorite internet money subject to capital gains taxes at the state level. This is the second week of the session, and the Legislature has a number of bills floating around that penalize fake service animals, start a hemp production program, banning conversion therapy, as well as the aforementioned bitcoin bill. Now who said government isn’t responsive to the times? Dispelling “Magic Internet Money” Virtual currencies, known as cryptocurrencies, have surfaced into the public consciousness due to the meteoric rise of bitcoin (though the value has been very volatile — dropping several thousand dollars in the last couple days). Bitcoin and other cryptos have earned a reputation as...

Read More

Legislative Roundup – New Year, New Bills

By | 0 comments

PHOENIX — The Arizona State Legislature started this week with Gov. Doug Ducey’s State of the State address, followed by the reading of over 100 bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then finally the unveiling of the executive budget for fiscal year 2019. Doug Says No to Drugs and Yes to School Spending In his State of the State address, Ducey highlighted some of the goals of the state government for the upcoming year. He mentioned several issues such as opioid abuse, child abandonment, impaired highway driving — with a plan of action on how to deal with each of them. Details were light on what that would entail. He also pledged to increase education funding and restore money that was cut as part of the recession. “We can always do more for kids and...

Read More

How to build a 27-foot mirror under a football stadium

By | 0 comments

Beneath the east bleachers of  Arizona Stadium, the most delicate and perfected mirror-making process takes place. The University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory is famous for building mirrors for some of the world’s most powerful telescopes. Engineers at the mirror lab are working on mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope; each mirror is about 27-feet in diameter.Upon completion, the GMT will be the largest telescope in the world and will revolutionize the way astronomers study the universe. “It will allow astronomers to study earth-like planets around other stars,” said Thomas Fleming, an astronomer and senior lecturer at the University of Arizona. “Also, the further away you can see in space, the further back in time you’re looking.” Five of the seven GMT mirrors are at some point in this engineering process. But how are these massive mirrors made?...

Read More

University of Arizona climate researchers worried about funding cuts for future projects

By | 0 comments

One month ago, a forest fire in California burned over 200,000 acres, destroyed 2,800 homes and killed 41 people. Two months ago, Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico and left millions of people without electricity, fresh water or ways to communicate. This year, Arizona and 38 other states, experienced above-average temperatures for the first 10 months of the year. Across the globe, climate change research is being used to prepare for natural-disaster response, sustainability and the future. But the research that helps prepare, save lives and preserve the economy is under attack. The Trump administration has promised to eliminate or greatly reduce all climate change research funding in the next four years. “At this point, we haven’t seen a real budget from this administration. So we don’t know yet what they’re going to do,” said Daniel Ferguson, director of...

Read More

A statue’s hidden story

By | 0 comments

A story that began over 30 years ago in Tucson comes back to life today through the personification of a statue. Marge Pellegrino and Marianna Neil wrote “The Sculpture Speaks: A Story of Survival” after they discovered a statue in the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. Their story follows events in the 1980s involving the persecution of refugees in the United States. Only their story stemmed from a bronze statue. Artist John Howser created the statue and used refugee Juana as his model. During this time, the government handed down indictments that went after sanctuaries. Because of this, Carmen Duarte of the Arizona Daily Star, shared Juana’s story of her journey from Mexico City to Tucson. This caught the eye of government officials, who began trying to track her down. Juana, at this time, was posing for Howser’s sculpture....

Read More

Guest farm workers do not always understand the rules

By | 0 comments

With almost no one in the U.S. willing to work harvest jobs, farms have imported workers via temporary visas, a program widely criticized for the extensive bureaucratic requirements including housing workers. This winter Yuma area farms are expected to produce around 90 percent of the nation’s lettuce and green crops, meaning these farms need to find enough labor to harvest their crops. This year, 77 Arizona worksites requested temporary workers, of those four were denied. A total of 5,676 imported workers have so far worked or will work in Arizona this year. Arizona had six housing violations filed since the beginning of 2016, two of which were the same farm. The housing inspections are conducted by the Arizona Department of Economic Security. G farms was listed among the violators for “job order specification” and “misrepresented terms and conditions of...

Read More

Green card holders fret about citizenship

By | 0 comments

Nervous green card holders are seeking citizenship in greater numbers because of concerns that the Trump Administration’s new immigration policies could send them out of the country. From July 2016 to September 2016, the number of I-485 forms (the application for a green card) received at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was 158,442, according to data released by USCIS. From October 2016 to December 2016, that number increased by about 17.5 percent to 186,036. William DeSantiago, managing attorney of the immigration program at the Catholic Charities Community Services of Phoenix, said that ever since the election there have been more consultations at his organization and applications for citizenship because people are concerned about the laws of their legal residency. USCIS received 239,628 N-400 forms (application for naturalization) from October 2016 to December 2016 and that number increased about 21...

Read More

Why do we hate?

By | 0 comments

Charlottesville. Orlando. Ferguson. These modern-day, blatant acts of racism and white supremacy — akin to those of the civil rights era — elevated the national debate surrounding hate. They forced Americans to again confront two uncomfortable questions: Why do we hate? And how do we stop it?   It’s easy to isolate our country’s hate problem to the overtly hateful moments seen at Charlottesville’s deadly white supremacy rally, Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub shooting and Ferguson’s race riots, sparked by the police slaying of the unarmed black teen, Michael Brown. But researchers say it’s the less obvious, internalized aspects of racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia that are keeping hate — and the systems of oppression that fuel them — alive in the United States. And while we all have been taught to hate, historians and social psychologists say our society can overcome it, eventually,...

Read More