Archive for Tucson

Bringing Movies Back to Tucson

Posted in Pop Culture and Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by raingeg

I had the pleasure Saturday to meet Robert Shelton, no not the former President of the University of Arizona, the man that ran Old Tucson back when it was a thriving movie set. I can’t emphasize the word “was” enough. Old Tucson is only a shade of what it once was, after a devastating fire and a change in ownership, its never been the same.

This is from Old Tucson’s website about Shelton:

In 1959, Midwest entrepreneur Robert Shelton saw more than an antiquated movie set when he set eyes on Old Tucson Studios. He saw potential for expanding it from the ghost town it had become into a viable movie studio and family attraction. Shelton leased the property from Pima County and began to restore the forgotten town. Old Tucson Studios re-opened in 1960, as a film studio and a family fun park as well.

The park continued to grow, literally building by building, with each movie filmed on its dusty streets. Western film legend John Wayne, who soon became friends with studio owner Shelton, starred in four movies at Old Tucson Studios and each production added buildings to the town. Rio Bravo (1959) added a saloon, bank building and doctor’s office; from MCLINTOCK! (1963) came the McLintock Hotel; El Dorado (1967) left Old Tucson Studios with a facelift on Front Street; and from Rio Lobo (1970) came a cantina, a granite lined creek, a jail and Phillip’s ranch house.

The stampede of movie productions during those early years include, The Deadly Companions (1961), starring Brian Keith and Maureen O’Hara; Lilies of the Field (1962) starring Sidney Poitier ; Have Gun Will Travel (1962); The Outrage (1964) and Hombre (1966) with Paul Newman; and episodes of Bonanza (1966, ‘71, ‘72); Death Valley Days (1966-69); and High Chaparral (1966-’71).

Old Tucson Studios became the premier, privately owned, western film location. In 1968, a 13,000 square foot soundstage was built to give Old Tucson Studios complete movie-making versatility. The first film to use the soundstage was Young Billy Young (1968), starring Robert Mitchum and Angie Dickenson. That same year, Shelton also purchased the Mescal property, Old Tucson’s second filming location just 40 miles southeast of Tucson.

Tucson is really hurting for business, mostly because our city is run by people that either really don’t like Tucson and are trying to drive it into the ground (that’s a joke) or they are so tied to their leftist agenda that they are doing more harm than good.

There is a Senate Bill that we should all throw our support around.

Arizona Public Media reports back in April:

Senate Bill 1409 would extend a tax credit to movie productions companies that come to work in Arizona. The current tax credit expires at the end of this fiscal year, and SB 1409 would not only extend the credit but it would also increase it to as much as 30% if certain criteria are met dealing with the amount of money spent in the state and the number of Arizona residents hired for the production. Backers of the bill say it is needed to keep movie companies shooting in Arizona. They point to the 2007 version of 3:10 to Yuma, none of which was filmed in Arizona. Opponents, however, say the tax credit is too much and movie companies make enough money they don’t need the financial help.

On April 5, 2010 the full Senate failed the proposal on an 11-16 vote.

This would bring a lot of business to Arizona and hopefully turn Tucsn, not just Old Tucson, into a place where Hollywood can once again film some movies. With its natural light, great weather and short distance to California, Tucson is a great place for filming movies.

From what I can tell SB 1409 died in the Arizona House, I don’t know for sure. I’ve sent out an email in hopes of getting an answer to that question.

If you’d like to listen to last weekends Voices of the West program click on the link below and listen to or download the file.

Voices of the West 7-24-10

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Tucson Based Medical Society Sues Federal Government

Posted in Health Insurance, Politics with tags , , , on March 30, 2010 by raingeg

The Tucson based medical society, The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, is suing the federal government, in hopes that they can overturn the recently passed health care reform bill, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in AAPS vs. Sebelius.

According to Mondays press release:

Court action is necessary “to preserve individual liberty” and “to prevent PPACA from bankrupting the United States generally and Medicare and Social Security specifically,” AAPS stated.

Executive director of AAPS Dr. Jane Orient said “If the PPACA goes unchallenged, then it spells the end of freedom in medicine as we know it.”

AAPS is claiming that the bill “violates the Fifth Amendment protection against the government forcing one person to pay cash to another.” And according to the release “AAPS is the first to assert this important constitutional claim.” They also say that the bill “violates the Tenth Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the provisions authorizing taxation.”

AAPS may be the first medical society to sue the federal government over the health care bill, but I’m sure they will not be the last. I had the pleasure of producing the KVOI radio program Americas Fabric, a show that featured AAPS’ Dr. Jane Orient who spoke to this subject.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about eXrai Tucson.

New Local Tucson Blog

Posted in Site News with tags , , on March 23, 2010 by raingeg

I’ve started a local version of eXrai, I call it eXrai Tucson, I know, real original. There is a lot going on locally in Tucson and I think that it is a good idea to start blogging on some of the issues that Tucson faces, events that are happening in Tucson and what I think are some of the ways that we can make things happen in Tucson.

This, like my original eXrai blog, will be a politics and news oriented site that comes from a conservative Christian perspective. If you live in Tucson for any amount of time it won’t take you long to start to see that it is not really the most conservative city in the world. Tucson is a university city and we also seem to attract a lot of the lefties that couldn’t imagine living in Phoenix that still want to live in the desert. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have our conservative areas, it just means that we are to the left of neighboring Phoenix.

This blog will probably be updated less than my national news oriented blog, I’m hoping to update about twice a week, probably after I do my news shifts at work on Thursday’s and Friday’s.

I will also hook this up to Town Hall Tucson, a community blog that my boss Doug started a while back for Tucsonans to share their opinions. There is a bit of a problem, they use Blogger and not WordPress, so I’ll have to create a Blogger account and try to find a way to syndicate this blog over to that site, I might start using Windows Live Writer to do that.

I will also find other creative ways to get the word out on this blog.

I hope you enjoy it and I hope that I can make it work.

-Ray

Tucson Crane 3D-Object in Google Earth

Posted in Humor, Politics with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by raingeg

This post is for all of my fellow Tucsonans. To put it in context for people who might not know, Downtown Tucson is a mess. Have you seen that movie with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long called “Money Pit”? That is what Downtown Tucson is, a gigantic money pit. They’ve been attempting to renovate Downtown for a decade now and a decade later it is pretty much the same as when they started.

One of the staples of the Downtown redevelopment is the crane (seen in the picture) obviously something that is not supposed to be a permanent fixture of the Tucson skyline. Apparently the people who run Google Earth know how slow the city of Tucson is and they’ve included the crane as one of the “3D buildings” in the program.

I’m becoming more and more convinced everyday that the crane is more of a symbol or statement by the powers at be that action is coming and work is getting done. Its kind of like when you go to the doctors office and they take you from the main waiting room to the examination room where you are then forced to wait some more. The only difference here is that the doctor (the people who run Tucson) is not who you thought he was and you’ve really been locked into a sanatorium.

The West Aint Dead

Posted in Humor, Life with tags , , , on February 19, 2010 by raingeg

Its often said that the “Wild West” is dead, wrong. If you live in Tucson, Arizona, you know that the West is not dead, its alive and well, and it aint going nowhere.

I get paid to read the news, and after just a couple of days I’ve pulled out some stories that come close to something that you could have pulled from the papers of the 19th century.

Arizona Daily Star 2/18/2010:

FBI: ‘High Country Bandits’ target Marana bank, others throughout Southwest:

A two-man crew has been holding up rural banks throughout the Southwest over the past five months, including one in Marana, according to the FBI. The duo, dubbed the “High Country Bandits,” by the FBI are believed to be responsible for at least 12 heists in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico between September and earlier this month, according to an agency news release. The first stickup occurred Sept. 8 in the White Mountains community of Heber, while other Arizona locales allegedly hit include Flagstaff (twice), Gold Canyon, Payson, Phoenix, Pinetop and Prescott Valley, the release said. The men are described as white or Hispanic, in their 30s or 40s, with one between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-6 and the other around 6 feet. They have been spotted making their getaways on a green or maroon all-terrain vehicle, according to the release.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/2010:

FBI: Serial bank robber targeting Tucson area

The FBI has determined five recent bank robberies in the Tucson area are the work of the same man, who is being dubbed the Chameleon Bandit. The Chameleon Bandit – presumably given that moniker for his varied of clothing and facial hair assortments. The suspect is described as an Hispanic male in his mid-30s with a light to medium complexion. He is between 5-foot-1 and 5-foot-3 and weighs between 140 and 150 pounds with a shaved head, a dark mustache or goatee and deep facial acne scars. The suspect has worn glasses and a beanie cap as well as a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans or khakis, according to the release. He has been seen fleeing in both a 2006 silver Dodge Durango and a late model gold or brown Nissan sedan with Sonora, Mexico plates, according to the release.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/2010:

10,000 of Vail’s proudest people expected at fest

The Vail School District will host its annual Vail Pride Day Saturday at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road. School district officials expect more than 10,000 people to attend the festival, which will include classroom displays, student artwork, jumping castles and a petting zoo, according to a district press release. The event will last from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m..There will be Academic Jeopardy, a math bowl and science fair competitions. Gov. Jan Brewer will speak and present awards at a ceremony during the festival.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/10:

Striking Sonora miners ready for face-off with government, Grupo Mexico

A two-year-old labor conflict in Cananea, Sonora has reached a crisis point, and miners there are preparing for the possibility of violence. On Feb. 11, a labor court rejected an appeal by miners at Grupo Mexico’s Cananea mine, confirming an earlier decision that the longstanding strike is illegal. It was the final word on a strike that has kept the mine shut down since July 30, 2007. Now, miners expect that the Mexican government will send in troops or security forces to dislodge them from the entrances to the mine. It is common and legal for striking Mexican workers to occupy their workplace, effectively shutting it down, but the occupation becomes illegal if the strike is declared illegal. The Cananea miners “will defend their workplace and their collective bargaining agreement even with their lives,” said Javier Zuniga, a mining union official, by phone today from Cananea. The miners were in the first of two days today of demonstrations, and the sound of a large, chanting crowd nearly drowned out Zuniga’s voice. Manny Armenta, a United Steelworkers officials from Arizona, also was in Cananea, among a group of international observers who have shown up in the town. The Steelworkers, who represent more than 1,000 employees of Tucson-based Asarco LLC – also a Grupo Mexico-owned company – have long supported the Cananea miners. “We’re all fearful that there’s going to be bloodshed,” Armenta said. Cananea is about 110 miles southeast of Tucson.

Miners, bandits and 10,000 people expected to celebrate the town of Vail. It sounds like the West is alive and well.

I Guess This is Why I Live in Tucson

Posted in Life with tags , , on January 12, 2010 by raingeg

Sometimes I complain about living in Tucson, but it does have its perks. No, its not 4th Ave. or the ghost town that is Downtown Tucson, its mostly the natural beauty that Tucson has to offer. I recently went on a little outing and took some pictures of the Catalina mountains.

This is the view a little bit into the Finger Rock trail. I am by no means close to the end of the trail and I did not manage to make it up to the top this time, but what I did see was quite amazing.

This is the view looking up at one of the many rocky mountains on the Finger Rock trail, I do not know the name of this specific ridge or rock, although it is enormous.

This is me standing at the bottom of a wash bed that intersects with the trail. As you can see there are a lot of Saguaro cactus’s behind me.

Judge Natolitano Speech at Tucson Tea Party (Video)

Posted in Humanity, Politics with tags , , on October 10, 2009 by raingeg

Video of speech at Tucson Electric Park.