Mojave Steve Lopez: Ward Valley Direct Action Halted Nuclear Genocide, Poisoning of Colorado River

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. Fort Mojave tribal member Steve Lopez (seated) leads sunrise ceremony with Spirit Runners to Ward Valley. | Photo: Greenaction. Faced with nuclear genocide, the poisoning of the Colorado River, and the destruction of the homeland of the remaining Desert Tortoises, Native Nations stood in Ceremony on the frontline to halt forced removal from Ward Valley. Article by Brenda Norrell Read more

Whistleblowers: Professor Mark Stegeman’s perserverations promotes pompous elitism with UHS

We grant our permission to publish this letter and to distribute it widely.

62nd Open Letter

From:  Whistleblowers– Comprised of a Large Group of Extremely Concerned TUSD Administrators, Teachers, Retired Administrators, and Parents, Grandparents

Subject: Pompous Elitism- University High School’s Part 2-

We have not written since October 2017. Then our letter was about University High and today and today we are back on the same topic. This time we focus on the lack of strong leadership being demonstrated by Dr. Trujillo and the unethical tirades of individual Board members as they push their tunnel-vision resolutions and policies without valid consideration of what is best for students. Three Board members have never had children attend TUSD (K. Foster, R. Sedgwick do not have children. Mark Stegeman had a child last year), yet these three individuals are the eye of the hurricane that constantly cause havoc on the Board. Adelita seems to go along with Foster, no matter her cause. Sedgwick is a Stegeman clone. Hicks is the most independent of all, and he often gets sucked right into the hurricane. It is Gabriel Trujillo we are most disappointed in right now. He has NOT shown the strong and independent leadership which is expected from a superintendent. read more

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The Desert Tortoise on Sacred Land: Celebrating Victory at Ward Valley, 20 Years Later

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BLM officials (far left) sent to evict activists. Wally Antone (Quechan), right; AIM member (far right), Feburary 13, 1998. | Photo: Greenaction   Quechan Lightning Singers and dancers at front line of occupiers blocking police from entering Ward Valley, February 13, 1998. | Photo: Greenaction. Activists holding the line at Ward Valley occupation, 1998. | Photo: Molly P. Johnson. Read more

Celebrating Victory at Ward Valley: Western Shoshone Corbin Harney ‘Sing to the Water’

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 . (Photo 1)  Corbin Harney, Western Shoshone, Wally Antone, Quechan and Lleweyllen Barrackman, Fort Mojave. (Photo 2) Curly Has Two Feathers Walks Alone, Navajo leading the morning circle.  Curly was our fire keeper. (Photo 3) Bird Singers and Dancers from Fort Mojave.  (Photo 4) Group picture of the people that were camped at Ground Zero. --Photos by Molly Johnson Twenty years Read more

PINE RIDGE — Celebrating Young Social Change Makers, Gathering on the Homeland

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CELEBRATING YOUNG SOCIAL CHANGE MAKERS OF YESTERDAY and TODAY PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, South Dakota The "Gathering on the Homeland: Solidarity, Decolonization and Celebrating Acts of Resistance" is a two-day event being held in the heart of native resistance in Indian Country, the Oglala Lakota Nation. "Along with the beauty and power of 10,000 people Read more

Laguna Pueblo Dorothy Purley Exposed Nuclear Holocaust on Native Lands, in Censored ‘Trespassing’ Film

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Dorothy Purley's words will again ring out as one victory is celebrated in the Mojave Desert at Ward Valley By Brenda Norrell Censored News Before her death from cancer, Laguna Pueblo uranium miner Dorothy Purley, exposed how the Anaconda Jackpile uranium mine sent Pueblos to their deaths, working in the uranium mines without protective clothing. Dorothy's words still ring out in the Read more

Cecilia Martin: Lakota Matriarch, American Indian Movement Grandmother Passes at 98

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Independent Lakota Nation Strong Heart Warrior Society P.O. Box 512 Hill City, SD 57745, Unceeded lakota Territory ILN Press February 16, 2018    |    Strong Heart Warrior Society Contact: Canupa Gluha Mani  Cecilia Martin: Lakota Matriarch, American Indian Movement Grandmother Dies at 98 February 15, 2018.  On the morning of February 12, 2018, Oyate Wyokb Win (Lakota) or Read more

Tucson: A Hip-Hop Embedded Community

Read more of this story here from Arizona Sonora News Service by John Ricker/Arizona Sonora News.

University of Arizona professor Alex Nava lecturing about Christianity using Kanye West lyrics. (Photo by John Ricker/Arizona Sonoran News Service)

What many thought would be a passing fad, scholars in Tucson saw it as something worth study. Today, Tucson is a beacon for the distinct sound and study of hip-hop.

Unlike other genres, hip-hop, a black sheep of the music family, has a fixed origin. Aug. 11, 1973, an apartment in the Bronx. A niche New York scene grew to a world-wide movement in a matter of years, creating vibrant communities all over the map, Arizona included. A melding of the grassroots hip-hop scene with the academic world makes the Tucson scene stand out in a saturated market.

“Hip-hop is a culture,” says Alain-Philippe Durand, dean of the College Humanities at the University of Arizona. He and faculty pioneered the nation’s first hip-hop minor at the school. “There are many different topics that are connected,” he says. “Through studying the art, you learn about a lot more.”

The minor has helped shine the light on Tucson hip-hop. Publications like BBC and the Los Angeles Times trekked to Tucson to see the flourishing hip-hop community.

Rapper Murs headlining the 2017 Tucson Hip-Hop Festival.
Photo by Julius Schlosburg.

Tucson has made such a name for itself in hip-hop that one of the pioneers in the genre, Joseph Saddler, better known as DJ Grandmaster Flash, went to the college town for the first time last year to do a “master class” at the university. “We were really interested in having him do a class where he actually explains,” Durand says. “It goes back to this idea of hip-hop based education.”

Alex Nava, a religious studies professor, explained that the study of hip-hop “deals with so many interdisciplinary aspects of the human experience.” Nava taught, at the time, the only course the UA that revolved around hip-hop titled Rap, Culture and God.

While there have been critiques of practical uses of hip-hop studies, UA faculty like Durand and Nava championed the use of hip-hop as an avenue to study other academic realms. In a time where hip-hop dominates popular culture, Nava said its study “could be profoundly relevant.”

The involvement in the Tucson community by the hip-hop studies is what Durand is proud of most. “It’s not just about the university,” Durand says. “It is to be a community participant and to give back to the community, which is the origin and spirit of hip-hop.”

He cited the Tucson Hip-Hop Festival as a prime example for the minor’s output. The first graduate of the minor at the UA, Jocelyn Valencia, is a co-founder of the festival. It is “thriving and really becoming bigger and bigger every year,” says Durand. The event has gained traction exponentially since its humble beginnings as the Hip-Hop Summit, a “bite-sized sneak preview” of the festival two years ago. What started in an underground house party-like venue called the Scratch Shack, the festival has grown and landed legendary emcees like Murs and Bun-B.

Tucson rapper Illslur performing at the Studio One stage at last year’s festival. (Photo by Julius Schlosburg)

On February 24th, homegrown Tucson talents will represent the city, but acts from elsewhere flock, too.  Graffiti artists from Mexico, rappers from Houston, producers from Phoenix, and b-boys from Tucson all get together at 191 Toole to celebrate the art. Supplemented by panels offering knowledge from scholars, businesspeople and journalists in hip-hop, the core elements of hip-hop are represented at the festival, one of the major visions that Valencia and company envisioned at the start of the festival.

While Arizona has scenes spread across the state, catalysts like the UA’s hip-hop minor and the Tucson Hip-Hop Festival is propelling the Tucson hip-hop scene, that has existed just under the scope the masses for years, more into the public view. Whether it is the college aspect, or the tight-knit vibe of the community, Tucson has always had an output of distinct art. Phil Ortega, founder of popular hip-hop website Flotivity Media, says that the sounds of Tucson tend to be stand out more than those of Phoenix.

Ortega contributed this to a sense an individualism in Tucson artists and their art. “Whereas Tucson has always tried to have been unique, our culture here in Phoenix has kind of been just replicating what’s cool,” he says. “But again, that’s very generally speaking and I think that is changing,” assuring his positive outlook of the Arizona scene as a whole.

A few years ago the hip-hop scene in Tucson might’ve not been aware to those outside of the bubble. But those inside know that the city’s residents offer an individualism and creativity that no other city can. With aspects like the UA hip-hop minor and the Tucson Hip-Hop Festival getting more and more publicity, those outside of Tucson now see what Tucsonans have been seeing forever: a hip-hop embedded community.

John Ricker is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact him at johnricker@email.arizona.edu

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Mohawk Nation News ‘Stay on the Red Road’

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STAY ON THE RED ROAD Posted on February 14, 2018 Please post & distribute. MNN. Feb. 14, 2018. The dictators’ sport called the “Olympics” indoctrinates everyone on how to follow the white man’s rules of obedience. Cheaters can’t let anyone see them do it. Only money creates champions. Poor countries have no chance. The original Olympics of having animals and people attack each other for Read more

Dems, GOP craft 2nd District voter turnout strategies

Read more of this story here from Arizona Sonora News Service by David J. Del Grande/Arizona Sonora News.

Erik Schoenecker and Dan Duffey arrive at the Pima County Republican Party headquaters. Duffey, state data director for the Arizona GOP, worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign in Philadelphia. (Photo by: David J. Del Grande / The Tombstone Epitaph)

With Democratic enthusiasm surging, record-breaking turnout might come to Arizona’s Second Congressional District midterm election, said Ron Barber, a former holder of the seat. 

“If that kind of energy continues, I think we’re going to have a different kind of midyear voter turnout,” Barber said.

The seat is held by Rep. Martha McSally, who is running for U.S. Senate.

Arizona’s Second Congressional District includes the eastside of Pima County and Cochise County, and is considered a battleground race. 

Seven Democrats are campaigning for the seat: Ann Kirkpatrick, former member of the U.S. House; Billy Kovacs, local entrepreneur and co-founder of “Prep & Pastry”; Mary Matiella, former assistant secretary of the Army Financial Management and Comptroller; Bruce Wheeler, former member of the Arizona House of Representatives; Barbara Sherry, a rancher from McNeal; Matt Heinz, a physician at Tucson Medical Center and former member of the Arizona House of Representatives; and William Foster.

Lea Márquez-Peterson, president and CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is running as the Republican candidate.

Barber said Democratic candidates need to adopt a centrist, or moderate, position and need to support the interests of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Fort Huachuca. Furthermore, they must advocate for local veterans, he said, because roughly 80,000 retired military service members live in CD2.

Identifying and committing to a moderate platform on social issues is invaluable, he said. Barber was fairly conservative financially, but also championed a woman’s right to choose and marriage equality. “It was a balancing act, in a way,” the Democrat said.

Even though Arizona is a Republican state, the district is split three ways, Barber said, which usually makes for a tight race. Cochise County is more conservative and the eastside of Pima County is centrist, or center-left, he said. Typically, a Democratic candidate tries to narrow their loss in Cochise. One way to bridge the gap is to push for a big turnout in towns like Douglas or Bisbee, focusing on how to win liberal votes in a conservative area.

In the 2014 midterm election, McSally ousted Barber by 167 votes, but failed to control Pima County. However, McSally won both counties in 2016 by large margins, securing a win over Heinz, who is running again this year.

Democrats haven’t captured Cochise County during a congressional race since 2008, when Gabrielle Giffords locked in a win by 253 votes. Barber replaced Giffords after she resigned in 2012, having survived an assassination attempt.

Historically, the president usually loses a few seats in Congress during the midterm elections, said David Eppihimer, chairman for the Pima County Republican Party. The GOP wants to keep that to a minimum, especially in Southern Arizona, he said. 

When Eppihimer started in 2017, he decided to make the party more visible.

“I think we need to be engaged and out there, so to speak, so people can see that the Republicans, and the Republican Party are alive and well,” Eppihimer said. “Only through relevance do our candidates get elected.”

Eppihimer said the GOP is growing in Arizona. The Republican Party added about 9,000 registered voters statewide since October, while the Democrats netted only 161 voters. Many Pima County Dems believe that President Trump’s low approval ratings will assure them a boost at the polls, but he disagrees.

Debbie Hickman, chairwoman for the Cochise County Democratic Party, said one strategy to bring a win is to focus on Douglas voters, who are concerned about health care following the closure of Cochise Regional Hospital.

The rural facility was stripped of its Medicare financial services in July 2015.

The Cochise Dems are planning multiple meet-and-greet events, increasing voter registration and kick starting a monthly town hall meeting. They are also hosting a mixer at the Gadsden Hotel, in Douglas on April 13. Their goal is simple: motivate Democrats. 

“We’re not so much interested in changing people’s minds, we could win if we got the vote out,” she said.

Both counties are evenly divided, according to the latest state statistics. Cochise County residents lean conservative: 39 percent Republican, 35 percent Independent and 26 percent Democratic. While Pima County voters are more liberal: 38 percent Democratic, 32 percent Independent and 30 percent Republican.

But turnout slumped in the district during the last three midterm elections.

Between 2006 and 2014, turnout for active registered voters in Cochise County dropped 9 points to 53 percent. Pima County decreased from 48 to 37 percent.

Voter motivation research shows that a door-to-door campaign can increase turnout.

That’s what the Democrats want to do. Jo M. Holt, chairwoman for the Pima County Democratic Party, said there’s a dramatic increase in the number of precinct committee volunteers, who will do that work.

President Trump’s first year is prompting some lifelong Democrats to pitch in for the first time, Holt said. “But I think it’s been a very high price that we’ve had to pay for this kind of motivation,” she said, “because of damage being done to the country by this president and, quite frankly, by Congress.”

Leading up to last year’s presidential race, Pima County Dems noticed a swell of volunteers, who are filtering back to help along the midterm elections, she said.

“We’re positive, we’re hopeful and that helps energize people even further,” Holt said.

Keeping Democrats educated and excited is essential, because the district is balanced in terms of voter registration, she said.

Pima Dems should be pushing the issue of wage inequity, she said.

“Economic issues have to do with the fact that wages have stagnated for the great majority of Americans,” she added.

Holt said the Dems can use the recent tax overhaul, where more than 80 percent of benefits will be funneled to the top 1 percent of Americans, to bolster turnout. “It’s not wrong just because it’s not moral, it’s also wrong because it’s not sustainable,” she said.

Following President Trump’s inauguration, the number of people registering with the GOP is on the rise, said Sue Mitchell, chairwoman for the Cochise County Republican Party.

Cochise County residents are concerned about border security, she said, and believes people favor a wall. Sealing the border could bring more jobs to Cochise County, she said, and she believes the added protection could decrease drug trafficking.

The Republican National Committee is building a larger presence in Pima County, she said, and they’re sending field representatives from the Trump campaign. 

The Trump administration will help the GOP hold the local seat, Mitchell said, and the president’s immigration policies will keep Republican voters energized in Cochise County.

David J. Del Grande is a reporter for Arizona Sonora News, a service from the School of Journalism with the University of Arizona. Contact him at djdelgrande@email.arizona.edu.

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