Daily Archives: March 14, 2018

Republicans Recess as Students & #AZHouse Dems Stand in Silence for Gun Violence Victims

Rep. Isela Blanc welcomes the March for Our Lives students to the Arizona House.

More than 75 students took a day out of their spring vacation to visit the Arizona Legislature today, March 14, 2018, to advocate for safe schools and safe public places.

The students met with lawmakers in the morning and attended the Arizona House Floor Session in the afternoon. During the always-entertaining points of personal privilege, 24 Democrats stood up, introduced three or four of the students, read a short message to lawmakers from one of the students, and repeated their three demands: universal background checks on all gun sales, banning bump stocks, and more counselors not guns in schools.

After 24 introductions, 24 personal student messages to lawmakers and 24 re-statements of their three common and popular demands, Rep. Kirsten Engel (Dem #25) stood up and read a statement about today being the one-month anniversary of the Stoneman-Douglas High School Shooting and slowly read the name and age of each victim. At the end, she asked for 17 minutes of silence, one for each victim.

Speaker Mesnard said that there had been other tragedies, and every tragedy gets only one moment of silence. After a longish moment, Mesnard started the floor session, but the Democrats were still standing. When he realized that we weren’t going to sit, he recessed to allow the gallery to clear. The students all stood up and shouted “Never again!” several times. At the end, one young man shouted that lawmakers should do their jobs and protect them (paraphrasing). Why do Republicans shy away from common sense gun safety laws when they profess to be “pro-life”?

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Teachers, Taxes and Tea-Publicans, Oh My!

Our Koch-Bot Governor Doug Ducey, the self-annointed “education governor”(sic), claims that he wants to put more money into public education and to give teachers raises.

But the Arizona Republic recently took a look at the actual numbers. How much are Arizona teachers paid?

The Arizona Republic took a closer look at the numbers. Here’s what we found:

Median teacher pay

According to an analysis by the Arizona School Boards Association published in January, the median teacher pay in 2018 is $46,949.

This number takes into account how the allocation of Proposition 123 has so far factored into teacher pay. It shows the median salary has risen 4.6 percent since 2015, giving teachers about $2,000 more a year.

The number does not reflect a 1 percent pay increase for teachers that the Legislature and Ducey approved last year. Because of the way that money was allocated [i.e., a bonus], it is not part of teachers’ base pay.

How does Arizona compare?

The most recent — and arguably most equitable — comparison of teacher salaries nationwide is a May 2017 analysis by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy. That analysis adjusted the numbers to take into account the cost of living in each state.

According to that data, the median salary for Arizona elementary school teachers in 2016, adjusted for regional purchasing power, was $42,474. The median salary for high school teachers was $47,890.

When all state salaries are adjusted in this way, Arizona ranks 50th in the nation for elementary teacher salaries, and 49th for high school teacher salaries. Oklahoma ranked 50th for high school teachers.

“Education governor” my ass! What a fraud.

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“Viva Kino” film premier in Tucson

“Viva Kino” film shooting, courtesy of FB page

“Film Premier “Viva Kino!” – Tucson, Arizona Showing. Free & All Invited. Saturday Evening March 17, 2018 at 7 pm. Gramer Hall, 1946 East Adams St. – building east of Saints Peter & Paul School.

“”Viva Kino!” presents how Padre Eusebio Kino’s work 300 years ago for human dignity and peace continues to live on through the friendships and humanitarian efforts of the people living on both sides of the Border Wall. In Italian with English and Spanish subtitles.

The award winning Italian film company Aurora Vision traveled last May to today’s Borderlands of Sonora and Arizona to film on location. Director Lia Giovanazzi Beltrami and producer Andrea Morghen travel from Italy to introduce the film.

For more information contact Kino Heritage Society at padrekino@live.com

The film’s full title is “Viva Kino! Attraverso Deserti senza frontiere tra Messico e Stati Uniti” with Italian narration with English and Spanish subtitles.

Aurora Vision’s documentaries and other films tell stories of people of goodwill around the world who are creating peace, social justice and hope. Many films show people of different religious traditions and their promotion of understanding and human solidarity. Other Aurora productions include documenting the lives of a Olympic gold medalists, a 16th century samurai and Alpine mountain climbers.

Following day – Special Borderlands Showing – Nogales, Arizona. Sunday Afternoon March 18, 2018 at 1 pm, Gymnasium, Lourdes Catholic School, 555 E Patagonia Highway Nogales, Arizona

All international tour showings; Trent, Italy (March 6); Tucson, Arizona, U.S. (March 17); Nogales (March 18), Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico (March 20).”

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National School Walkout today at 10:00 a.m.

Today at 10:00 a.m., students across Arizona will walkout of their classrooms for a 17 minute vigil in remembrance of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Philip Boas of The Republic writes, Why every adult should support students’ March 14 walkout:

If you believe young people shouldn’t be walking out of their classrooms on Wednesday to protest gun violence in America, if you believe this is a waste of precious classroom time and only encourages chaos and defiance …

you are wrong.

The kids are right.

These young people are citizens of this country, and every citizen has the right to commit acts of civil disobedience in the face of great wrongs.

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Conor Lamb poised to win PA 18 special congressional election

Democrat Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old former federal prosecutor who served as a lawyer in the Marine Corps and a moderate Democrat, is poised to win the special election In Pennsivania’s 18th congressional district, a solid Republican district that Democrats did not even challenge in 2014 and 2016, and that Donald Trump carried by 20 points.

Republicans spent almost 11 million dollars trying to defend this seat, and sent the President, Vice President, and Donny Jr. to campaign for Rick Sacone.

Conor Lamb leads by 579 votes this morning, with only a handful of absentee ballots yet to be counted from sparsely populated Greene County (only 4,663 ballots cast, which Rick Scaccone carried 57-41%).

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Last Updated Time: Mar 14, 2018 7:32:52 AM

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette reports Too close to call: More absentee ballots being counted for Lamb, Saccone in District 18 special election:

They said it was going to be close, and it was. The race between Republican Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb for the 18th District was in a near tie Tuesday night, but with absentee ballots still out Mr. Lamb told his supporters, “We did it.”

Mr. Saccone, of Elizabeth Township, and Mr. Lamb, of Mt. Lebanon, had a hard-fought special election campaign flooded with money and national attention.

With 100 percent of the vote count in, Mr. Lamb was ahead by more than 600 votes. However, absentee and provisional ballots were still being counted overnight. Washington County finished tallying early Wednesday morning, showing Lamb with 609 votes and Saccone, 547.

Greene County absentee votes were still out.

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