On July 28, Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction (link to pdf of court order) blocking several portions of the recent immigration bill SB1070, which was passed on April 23. (Previously on Metafilter.) Among other provisions, the bill would have allowed Arizona police officers to demand proof of immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally pursuant to a legal police stop. Most importantly, the federal ruling blocked the portion of the law that would have allowed police officers to demand proof of legal status. Opponents of the law, who had already planned demonstrations yesterday, the first day the law was set to take effect, reportedly view the ruling as a victory, though partial and perhaps temporary. Proponents of the law are predictably unhappy with the ruling, and react with disappointment.
"In our need to restore our sense of self-control are we actually going to reward politicians who are not working to bring us together, but instead are forsaking America's beautiful 234-year history of diversity?" Another Op-Ed from a national newspaper? No, it's the note from Bill in this month's Penzeys Spices catalog (.pdf), introducing a new blend called Arizona Dreaming, which combines the flavors of South of the Border "in ways Americans love so much."
Tucson's own Calexico has made one of their concerts available (Nuremberg 2009) for streaming and downloading. Calexico's Joey Burns has also been very busy lately with Artists For Action, an Arizona organization that is actively speaking out against AZ's controversial SB 1070. Calexico has a history of hosting benefit concerts in support of various border issues. [via]
Arizona has turned off every speed camera on its highways after complaints that they violated privacy and were designed to generate revenue rather than promote road safety. The 76 cameras took 2.7 million photographs, but only 16 per cent of drivers who received a speeding ticket paid up. [more inside]
"They may be individuals who may be hunting illegal border crossers. That's really a big concern for us,"
Eleven weeks after Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was found murdered near the U.S.-Mexico border, a group of illegal entrants have reported to police that they were shot at by two men in camouflage with high powered rifles near Rio Rico, Arizona. [more inside]
The Arizona Clemency Board says that William Macumber, convicted of murder in 1975, is the victim of a "miscarriage of justice." But Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, declined to follow the Board's unanimous recommendation that Macumber be freed. She also declines to explain why. Another man confessed to the murders, but although Macumber has been tried twice, neither jury was told of the confession.
Supreme Court Blocks Arizona Campaign Finance System. After it's recent highly controversial ruling in Citizens United Vs. Federal Election Commission, which struck down longstanding Federal limits on corporate political spending (discussed previously here and here on the blue), the court now seems poised to strike the last nail in the coffin of the possibility of public campaign finance reform by considering arguments over the constitutionality of public financing of political campaigns. [more inside]
A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school. The project's leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children's ethnicity. (via Wonkette)
Yesterday, Arizona Governor (R)Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that effectively transforms police into immigration agents, giving them the power to stop people on suspicion of being in the country illegally, and making failure to carry immigration documents an arrestable offense. The bill, supported by the usual suspects, but condemned by many including the President and the Mexican government, will undoubtedly face significant legal challenges.
The Wisdom Of Rats - A personal essay on art and time and everything, by Charles Bowden for Harper's.
"The laws are intended to make people fearful," Pearce said. The Arizona Senate passed SB 1097 (PDF) on Monday which, if signed by the governor, will require school districts to collect information on how many of its students are in the country illegally and report this information to the governor. This bill is seen by some as a first step in challenging Plyer v. Doe.
The feud between renegade Sheriff Joe Arpaio prev 1 2 3 and local officals is exploding. He has now indicted one judge who ruled against him (for obstruction of justice), and got a warrant to search the office and home of another. [more inside]
1,512 high-resolution images of Mars from the viewpoint of an airplane passenger. Previous photos: 1 2 3
To Degree or Not to Degree? President Obama will get an honorary degree from Notre Dame but not Arizona State University during commencement ceremonies this year. ASU finds the first black American president's "body of work" insufficient. The East Valley Tribune disagrees. And some enterprising ASU students have found a way to profit from Obama's appearance at their commencement. [more inside]
The town of Jerome was incorporated on March 8, 1889 when Arizona was still a territory. A mining town of the real 'wild west' variety, Jerome was incorporated after three devastating fires within an eighteen month period that nearly destroyed the town. Jerome was a wild town with little law enforcement, building codes, or real government. It earned the title "The Wickedest Town in America" by the New York Sun in 1903 for being a hotbed of gambling, prostitution, and vice. [more inside]
Los Angeles-based photographer Andrew Bush mounts a camera on the side of his car to capture freeway drivers in the southwestern United States. [more inside]
Seven minutes of terror. A short video on describing how the Phoenix probe will land at the North Pole of Mars on May 25th. Follow updates to the mission via Twitter and the blog. Previously
Federal and state government officials and border activists say the garbage dumped in the Sonoran Desert by illegal immigrants and their smugglers is staggering. The cleanup is costing taxpayers millions. The Southern Arizona Project(pdf) is a multi-year program setup by the Bureau of Land Management to mitigate the impacts to the ecology by illegal immigration and smuggling. In 2006 alone, more than 1.18 million pounds of trash was collected along the southern Arizona border.
Arizona Then and Now -- When paired with vintage images of the 19th and 20th centuries, Arizona photographers Allen Dutton and Paul Scharbach's modern-day images reveal the changes that have shaped the state's landscape during the past 100-plus years. They searched the state to locate the precise spots from which to rephotograph the scenes captured by their predecessors, endeavoring to achieve the same angles, perspectives, and lighting as in the early photographs.
Melrose Place, Governor Napolitano, and Freshly Baked Chocolate Chips: social entrepreneurship to combat meth and sell art. Is Belleza Gallery, wholly owned nonprofit gallery of Renaissance House, the coolest little pocket of altrusim-meets-art that almost no one has ever heard of? [more inside]
Any fool can hire an architect to draw up a plan for a house, but it takes a truly inspired fool — which is to say, an artist — to start building and see where the earth and driftwood and shards of broken pottery take him. [Slideshow.] [more inside]
Could giant magnetically levitated windmills be the solution to the worlds energy problems? Chinese scientist have reported 20 percent increase in capacity over traditional wind turbines using maglev turbines, and now Arizona-based based Maglev Wind Turbine Technologies claims their turbines will have 1000 times the capacity of a traditional turbine. Not everybody is convinced.
Two executives of the alternative newspaper chain Village Voice Media were arrested last night after running a story about grand jury subpoenas [PDF] they received seeking reporters' notes and information on who visits their Phoenix New Times Web site. The article, titled "Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution," claims that the grand jury investigation stems from a long-running feud with controversial county sheriff Joe Arpaio (who calls himself "America's toughest sheriff"). The subpoenas demand New Times turn over all notes, tapes and records of the reporters who have ever written about Arpaio. The subpoenas also seek online profiles of anyone who read four specific articles about Arpaio and profiles of anyone who visited the paper's Web site since Jan. 1, 2004. Also sought is information on what Web users did while on the site. [more inside]
Mare Tranquillitatis outside Flagstaff. "With high explosives, they terraformed a lunar surrogate right here on the surface of the earth." The excellent Pruned reports on the earth-bound moon model. USGS report.
Visiting Northern Arizona? Well, of course you should see the canyon. However, you might want to skip that sky walk nonsense. Instead you might want to visit Walpi village on the Hopi Lands. The Hopi have lived out there on three mesas (an island inside another reservation) since the first century A.D. They were never moved to other areas or reservations, and spent a lot of time defending their land in many important ways over the ages. These days you can have a very intimate visit to the oldest, most continually occupied place in North America, if you don't mind a little drive. Don't bring your camera.
Just Coffee is a vertically-integrated coffee cooperative with a mission to provide the training and resources to create a sustainable small-scale international coffee company fully owned and controlled by the coffee growers. Could they also provide a model solution for the immigration problem?
One of the stars of the new NFL season will make its debut this Sunday. It's not a player - it's Arizona Cardinal's stadium. It's got a retractable roof, and a movable grass field that can roll out of the facility where it will reside most of the year and get its nourishment, maintenance and grooming. First of its kind in North America. NPR audio piece.
Sherri Finkbine --as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...)
KCDX: Five years of non-stop rock. "There is no discipline at KCDX, where the song choices are as chaotic as a schoolyard at recess... The signal, which started broadcasting throughout central Arizona and much of Phoenix in 2002, played an eclectic mix that included hits by Huey Lewis and the News and an obscure 1971 tune about cannibalism by the Buoys. There were no commercials, no DJs, no way the station made money."
Son of Senate president offered plea deal in assault case Clifton Bennett, 18, the son of Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett, and his co-defendant, Kyle Wheeler, 19, were charged in January with 18 counts of aggravated assault and 18 counts of kidnapping for the incidents, which happened at a youth camp last June. The younger Bennett confessed to police that he and Wheeler sodomized the 11- to 14-year-old boys with broomsticks and flashlights in at least 40 incidents, court documents show.
Character Counts! Last year, Arizona State Treasurer David Petersen stood in front of the International Building Cities of Character Conference to deliver a keynote address. Inside the Character Training Institute's headquarters, Petersen took to the conference podium to tell how his state's Family Services Committee passed "Character Education Legislation." "All schools now have it implemented," he said. "We're fighting for the soul of this nation." Petersen added that he attributed his passion for character to a personal meeting with evangelist Bill Gothard, founder of Institute in Basic Life Principles. Petersen is now the focus of a theft and fraud inquiry alleging that he used his position and state funds to promote the character education program, a program to which he had financial ties. Is your city a City of Character?
If you're going to to break into the cowboy business, this is as good a place as any to do it. [more inside]
Quicktime virtual reality panoramas of thousands of picturesque places in the Western United States and Canada. Feast your eyes on The Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, Mossbrae Falls, Monument Valley, a Ghost Town, the Cascades, Palm Canyon, Joshua Tree, Las Vegas, Redwood Forests, poppy fields, palm groves, and Bumpass Hell. (via Highways West) (previous Mefi appearance)
When the Glen Canyon Dam was completed, it took 18 years for the waters of the Colorado River to flood 186 miles of the most beautiful canyonlands in the world. David Brower called it America's "most regretted environmental mistake." But now Glen Canyon is coming back.
Becoming what you hate : Nathan Sproul, case study in moral relativism on the Religious Right "former head of the Arizona Republican Party and of the Arizona Christian Coalition....Sproul is connected with the Republican National Committee-funded voter registration organization, Voters' Outreach of America Inc." - Sproul's firm is accused of fraud and the destruction of voter registration forms. He also failed to pay his workers and his office rent. Rick Perlstein, in the Village Voice, comments on the Sproul scandal : "Both sides are not equally bad, and any reporters who don't recognize that conservatism's very core has become shot through with a culture of mendacity should turn in their press badge..... It used to be that we could count on the conscience of conservatives to protect our democratic institutions."
Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer. President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.
The jounalist's name was Mamta Popat. She sure sounds like a terrorist.
The jounalist's name was Mamta Popat. She sure sounds like a terrorist.
Mayday Mystery. At the University of Arizona, a series of ads has been placed in the school's newspaper, the Arizona Wildcat. These ads have shown up every year around May 1st for the last 20 years or so, and seem to be cryptic puzzles relating to some sort of secret counterculture organization. Bryan Hance, the former webmaster of the Wildcat, noticed the ads, and has been trying to track down what's been going on ever since. He is chronicling his findings at www.maydaymystery.org. (via ARGN)
Four Corners - A Literary Excursion Across America "There is no experience that compares to being on all fours in four states at once while waving ones behind toward a blinking camera. Even Columbus would have appreciated this." Good reading here.
"Want to get arrested? Walk home with me." It's LawForKids, the site devoted to giving the kids the education they need about drinking and other kewl stuff through the aid of really, really, really crappy cartoons. Plus, enjoy the intellectual and grammar-rich discussion on hard knocks in Juvie, plus Flash games about being a good citizen. Not sure about discouraging kids from crime, but I sure as hell want to stay away from a life of web design now.
"We have a society that is moving very rapidly to the super-, super-, super-consumptive," says architect Paolo Soleri. "And I'm proposing that might not be the final answer. So I'm saying, why don't we try a leaner alternative?" (via PBS; more inside.)
Images of the Southwest. The American southwest, that is. The Bisbee Deportation of 1917 - 'an event specific to Arizona that influenced the labor movement throughout the United States'; early cartography of the southwest; a rural school newspaper; mission churches; folk arts - Easter eggs, murals and so on; War Relocation Authority camps (some photos ; and more.
Arizona may ignore the next Homeland Security Orange Alert "It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional," said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. "It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive."
The city of Peoria, Arizona has a problem with a car dealership flying too many American flags. They have threatened thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time if the flags aren't removed. The perpetrator pleads guilty of patriotism.
Does this seem incongruous to anyone else? (-cnn) Two professors were shot and killed Monday at the University of Arizona's College of Nursing A student was "disgruntled" at the professors and shot at them. I am (sadly) not too surprised that something like this would happen on a college campus, but it does seem strange that it would happen at the College of Nursing.
Student fails, and parents threaten to sue. Teacher stands firm. Alas, the School Board caves in and the underachieving brat gets to graduate. This is: (A) a sad sign of our times, (B) a ridiculous travesty, (C) a terrible precedent for teachers and students alike, or (D) all of the above. Discuss.
Deserts are dry? Sue. "The families of 11 immigrants who died [while] illegally crossing into Arizona from Mexico have filed a $41 million claim against two federal agencies, saying the government's refusal to put water out in the desert contributed to the migrants' deaths." Do they have a case?
The new Mormon Temple in Snowflake Arizona is temporarily open to the public before its dedication next month, however the Masonic-like rituals that take place inside are still top secret. Shhh, don't tell.
Arizona want to pay teachers what they are worth A new basis for pay puts aside tradtional contractual salaries in favor of pay according to worth. Second state in nation to try this system. How is worth decided and by whom?
I thought they were content to just sit at home and watch Matlock?! "Community officials in Sun City West, Arizona, have reported that over a dozen senior couples have been caught having sex in public in recent weeks. Sexual incidents of heterosexual and homosexual couples engaged in amorous affairs in parking lots, park benches, and swimming pools."
Has John McCain gone too far? There's a grassroots movement in Arizona intent on yanking John McCain out of office. Apparently, the last straw for the conservatives there is that he supposedly dissed the President by not showing up to a picnic. They need 300,000 signatures in order to have a recall vote in November. It'll be interesting to see what happens with this.