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The uncertain realities of the future of retirement living

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  The amount of retirement facilities in Arizona are growing due to the increasing demand of aging seniors  in Arizona. Retirement facilities can be costly and pose a financial burden on the individual trying to get the appropriate care. According to the Payingforseniorcare.com, the national average cost for assisted leaving is approximately $3,600 a month. However, patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia can pay up to $4,800 a month. In the U.S. in 2014, 46.2 million people were 65 years or older. By 2060, there will be about 98 million, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The demand for assisted living will skyrocket. James Knickman, author of “The 2030 Problem: Caring for Aging Baby Boomers” analyzes how by 2030, the Baby Boomer generation will be 66 to 84 and number about 61 million. “Long term care is...

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Career and technical schools thrive despite cutbacks

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The stigma that comes with schools formerly known as vocational and that they are known for being a last resort for kids couldn’t be further from the truth because of schools like Andrada Polytechnic High School in Vail, Arizona, and teachers like Lisa Blanchard. Andrada Polytechnic High School isn’t a standard public high school. The school is a career and technical educational high school, the first step in shedding the vocational moniker. It is an institution that focuses on preparing kids for the future in a concentrated environment. It is a place for any kid that knows what professional area they’d like to focus on after high school. Over 98,000 kids were enrolled in CTE schools last year in Arizona in programs that offer nursing, law and public safety, mental and social health, network technology and pharmacy support services. Some 2600 of those reside within Cochise...

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Arizona prepared if water shortages hit

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If Arizona runs short of water, it has a plan. As one of the driest states in the country, it has been suffering from droughts for centuries. “Here in Arizona, we store water underground for future use. We have what’s called the Arizona Water Banking Authority,” said Michelle Moreno, public information officer at the Arizona at the Arizona Department of Water Resources, or ADWR. “Let’s say there is a shortage declaration on the Colorado River. We have the option of tapping into the water that we’ve stored underground so that we’re not without water.” The state uses an estimated 2.4 trillion gallons of water annually and much work goes into controlling and monitoring it. Arizona gets it water from different areas, ADWR research shows, including the Colorado River (39 percent), groundwater (40 percent), surface waters such as the Salt River and Lake Mead (19...

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Boothill’s micro charge packs macro impact

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There are many items that can be purchased for $3. Three Arizona Iced Teas, a couple of lighters or maybe even a pair of Polar Pops from Circle K, but you will need $3 now to visit Boothill Graveyard. Who wouldn’t want to spend lunch money to see the headstones of the McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton who were shot in the O.K. Corral shooting in 1881?  Row-by-row—seven to be precise, are some of the most well-known and unknown figures of Tombstone history and with the cemetery on the outskirts of downtown, it is the first attraction tourists see when visiting. Boothill used to operate on donation fees and wasn’t operated by the city, but by the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce. On March 14, the city took over Boothill, built a guardhouse and demanded a $3 entry.  “We went through our legal counsel and...

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Top 10 Western Towns: Not Tombstone

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Yet again, Tombstone failed to make the list of  Top 10 of True Western Towns. True West Magazine released the 11th annual ranking of Western towns for 2016 for how each town preserves its Old West History. Lubbock, Texas, snagged the title of No. 1 spot. The rankings were published each year since 2006. Tombstone made the list once at No. 9 in 2014. So, why does the town that champions itself as the epitome of western history not get ranked? Executive Editor Bob “Boze” Bell says it because the town never bothered to submit its case to the magazine. He said editors would just shake their heads while looking through submissions and  asked, “Where’s Tombstone?” Bell said one reason Tombstone did not make previous rankings is due  to factions within the town that fight each other and negate what the...

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Increasing immigration detention: sensible or senseless?

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The stark white walls, chairs, tables and ceilings were what first stuck out when Arizona State University researcher and professor Leah Sarat toured the privately owned immigration detention center in Eloy, Arizona. But as the tour continued and Sarat conducted interviews with immigrants, the white physicality didn’t seem so bad compared to the food and hygiene standards of the center — the third-largest immigration facility in the United States at 1,550 beds, with the highest number of deaths in the nation.  “I think it was called chicken fried steak on the menu when I was there, and it was this really thin meat patty,” Sarat said. “I can eat anything, but it was bad. It was a sawdusty kind of substance and you couldn’t tell what kind of meat it was.” Sarat also said women are sometimes given stained undergarments, and she isn’t...

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Legislative Roundup: pets and bill signings

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PHOENIX – This week was the first week where legislators didn’t meet for committee hearings. Instead, their time was devoted to dozens of votes in the House and Senate and watching the governor’s pen for new laws all before working through the budget in the coming weeks. Speculative word around the watering hole is that the legislature will be taking a special section to really dig into that budget, and that we might start seeing some preliminary budget information. New Laws of the Land This week, Gov. Doug Ducey signed quite a few bills into Arizona law. Among them, he signed nine bills on Monday, five on Tuesday, including two bills sponsored by Democratic legislators, and a whopping 32 on Wednesday. Also this week in the governor’s office, Ducey signed tax cuts for airlines at the expense of Phoenicians. And...

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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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For Tucson chefs, international hype raises friendly competition

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As it basks in the light of international recognition, Tucson has upped its game in the culinary world. Being labeled North America’s first “City of Gastronomy” by UNESCO in December 2015 not only created pressure to live up to the hype, but it also increased competition between local chefs. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, under the Creative Cities Network, recognized Tucson for its unique food culture. The network rates 116 cities across 54 countries in seven fields of creativity: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music and media arts. Bruce Yim, executive chef for Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, said Tucson chefs already had a strong sense of community, but the UNESCO label increased the friendly competition to live up to the extensive publicity. “Other chefs find out new products you are using and new cuisines...

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Mescal: Old West film site sets stage for nearly 50 years

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MESCAL — For those touring this dusty main street lined with a jail, saloon and “cowboy cafe,” it’s easy to envision western film greats propped up against one of the worn structures, rehearsing lines or taking cues from a director. Tour guide Frank Brown, 81, looks like he just walked off a movie set. He wears pinstriped trousers and a paisley-printed shirt tucked beneath a button-up vest. A coal-black bandana wraps around his neck and a beige, low-crowned cowboy hat sits atop his head. A gun holster, sheriff’s badge and circular eyeglasses are his outfit’s finishing touches. As he answers questions from the tour group’s film buffs, Brown informs that he has appeared in quite a few movies shot at this location, just west of Benson off Interstate 10. His appreciation for the place is apparent. “It’s become a thing that...

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Nature goes online: Outdoor apps become more popular

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Want to find the perfect climb? Grab your phone. Want to reserve a campsite for your trip this weekend? Grab your phone. Want to track your speed on a bike ride, find a local hiking trail with a waterfall, or check the best time to go surfing at the nearest beach? Grab your phone. The outdoor industry is becoming digital. Folks who recreate outdoors have traditionally been known for sticking with some of the more primeval technologic tools. However, since the age of smartphones and mobile applications, those physical maps, compasses and stopwatches can now be condensed into single apps on a phone. It’s never been this easy. Nature is literally an arm’s reach away. Here’s a highlight of a few of the most popular outdoor mobile applications. Mountain Project Mountain Project is essentially a mobile guidebook for rock climbers...

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Local organization fights for the rights of migrants

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  He had a tattoo of a lion with a soccer ball on his left forearm. It could be assumed from his tattoo that his journey began in San Marcos, Guatemala, near the border with Mexico. It could be believed he was born to loving parents who introduced him to the local club football team that had a lion mascot. One would like to think he grew up a happy child, playing soccer in the streets with other kids his age and dreaming bigger than any adult imagination could conceptualize. These dreams and aspirations would then find him running after trains and crossing borders in his early 20 s, only to have his body fail him in the vast, barren desert of Southern Arizona. For now, his name is John Doe with the lion and soccer ball tattoo, not to...

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Odyssey builds connections through storytelling

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Five months ago, college student Aly Cruz was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a virus with an unknown cause that will weaken or even paralyze the muscles in her face. “I was unable to move the left side of my face; it was entirely paralyzed. I couldn’t talk or smile, I felt lost and displaced. As all of this happened during finals week, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally destroyed,” said Cruz. Over the months Cruz regained control and strength in her face. However, it took more time and one specific organization for her emotional turmoil of this virus to heal. Cruz shared her personal story at the Odyssey. Thirteen years ago, Penelope Starr, a local advocate for sharing the importance of storytelling, created the nonprofit organization, Odyssey Storytelling. According to Starr, Odyssey works on a personal level; it is about being...

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Legislative Roundup

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PHOENIX – This past week at the Arizona Legislature was the final week committees met to hear and discuss bills, which fueled long hearings and late nights. As of March 20, there were 103 House bills and 79 Aenate bills awaiting hearings – and as of the end of the day on March 23, they were all heard. When does the session end? Officially, the end of April. But folks are still placing their bets. The sine-die pool is now open. Dive in by April 6 to predict when the Legislature wraps it up pic.twitter.com/SJ3oZ5wvy4 — Mary Jo Pitzl (@maryjpitzl) March 22, 2017 What’s Up, Gov? Gov. Doug Ducey got busy this week signing bills. On Monday, he signed House Bill 2268, introduced by Rep. Maria Syms, R-Phoenix, which requires all rape kits to be tested. The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. Ducey also...

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Sexism in Arizona politics might be here to stay

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PHOENIX – Arizona is doing well in regards to gender representation in the state Legislature, but it could take 30 years before the state reaches gender parity in its law-making body. Arizona is fourth in the nation for female representation in the state Legislature at 38.9 percent, behind Vermont, Nevada and Colorado, leaving 46 states with even fewer women in politics. Fifty percent of Arizonans are women, yet barely a third serve in elective office. And there’s more reason to have women in politics than simply representation of gender. “Women have a different leadership style than men do,” Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Glendale, said. “And I think that is something we need to bring to the table.” Yee said, according to the Future Majority Project, a conservative group working toward gender and minority representation in U.S. politics, she is the highest-ranking female Republican...

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