Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Prop 100

Today is the vote on the one-cent sales tax increase that would keep UA from being cut an additional $41 million and (according to Pres. Shelton) save about 500 jobs at the university.

If you don't vote today, don't complain later. If you don't vote in general, it is your fault when tuition and fees go up.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The road to hell is paved by U of A: This is your "asfault": Tarred and feathered: "Paved paradise and put up a parking lot"

We couldn't help including all of the creative titles we could think of for this one.

The Star's Becky Pallack has blogged on this story and has some great before and after pictures of the neighborhood linked to the article.

When UA needs more parking, where do they turn? The historical neighborhood of Rincon Heights. After UA developed a habit of buying perfectly good houses in order to demolish them in the 90s, Rincon Heights worked with the university for 2 years to work out a compromise in which no more buy-and-pave deals should have taken place. UA seems to have broken with that commitment, however, and now plans to knock down even more houses, with no regard for the impact on the community and local environment.

Note the irony: UA touts its new "environmental" rec center, right next door to a big slab of asphalt, one that it plans to expand. Rincon Heights' neighborhood association has dedicated time and money to planting native trees and flowers and to harvest rain water. They even won a prize for it. Now UA wants to pave over their efforts, to make room for a few more cars (nice stance on the environment, UA.)

So far the UA has been unresponsive and highly reluctant to negotiate with the neighborhood association. (Interesting stance on collaboration and mutual respect, coming from an institution that supposedly fosters these values.)

The Rincon Heights residents ask you to pressure the UA administration to honor their agreement with the neighborhood:

Join the cause

"Please email this short message to President Shelton at robert.shelton@arizona.edu:
Don't asphalt Rincon Heights. Honor your agreements with the neighborhood.

If you are a student, please mention it. Many students live in Rincon Heights.

Please ask all your Facebook friends to do the same. We really need to spread the word.

1. The UA needs to honor its agreement that any activity in our neighborhood will "stabilize and improve the residential character of the neighborhood."
2. The UA should not change our long standing agreement without our consent.
3. The land left vacant by demolition must be restored in an attractive manner: no visual pollution like weed strewn vacant lots or asphalt parking lots"

Your neighborhood could be next.

Shelton takes a firmly ambiguous stand on SB1070

In a memo sent to the campus community on April 29th, it began to look like UA's President Shelton was about to join the hoards of others opposing SB 1070- the new immigration law that would require the police to verify the immigration status of, well, anyone.

It looks like Shelton is about to denounce 1070, something over a thousand campus community members did at yesterday's protest: "On any given day there are literally hundreds of people here from around the globe. They come to our campus to learn, to collaborate in research projects, and to share the products of their own scholarship."

Sadly, the memo dissolves into political pandering.

Despite the fact that: "We have already begun to feel an impact from SB1070. The families of a number of out-of-state students (to date all of them honors students) have told us that they are changing their plans and will be sending their children to universities in other states," Shelton insists that UAPD will be extensively trained in how to enforce SB 1070 (as if they weren't busy enough with all the pot-smoking and loud partying that goes on around here.)

Although Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, Tucson City Council, and countless others have publicly opposed the law, Shelton has not taken a stand. Do you think he should? Send him an e-mail: robert.shelton@arizona.edu