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Who said kids don’t care? Singing teen seeking cure

One local teen has been singing for more than her supper.

Marana high school freshman Kailey Carranza has been singing for a cure.

This melodic 14-year-old has been donating her time, talents – and all proceeds from her newly released CD – to an organization dedicating to finding a cure for leukemia.

She got hooked on Lea’s Foundation because other family members had volunteered for the group. Her CD, “Singing for a Cure,” can be found on the Lea’s Foundation Web site and more info at Carranza’s MySpace page.

Carranza’s talents took center stage once again on Saturday when she sang the national anthem at a luncheon honoring former Arizona Governor Raul Castro for his lifetime of service. Castro was the first, and so far only, Mexican-America elected to govern Arizona in 1974. He since went on to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina, El Salvador and Bolivia; Pima County Attorney and Superior Court Judge.

Not a bad luncheon at which to sing, especially if they were served those little triangular sandwiches.

Teens doing cool things gives me so much hope, especially after watching Eden Lake this weekend (review coming soon).

I say a standing ovation is in order for Kailey Carranza. Heck, give one to Castro and Lea’s Foundation, too, while you’re at it.

Kailey Carranza and Gov. Raul Castro
Kailey Carranza and Gov. Raul Castro

Do you know a teen that is doing cool things? Send info and photo to rynski@tucsoncitizen.com

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Save the world: join the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

Really want to save the world?

Stop breeding.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

That’s the strategy behind a new trend on the scene called The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

Rules are easy:
Don’t have kids.

If you already have a bustling house filled with tots, it’s OK. You can still join the movement by passing on the wealth of ideas and information to your offspring.

One caveat is to make sure all the extinction is natural and voluntary. That means don’t go killing off your neighbors or yourself. Just don’t add to the population going forward.

Want to learn more? Check out The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
The motto is: “Where we live long and die out.”

Have a nice day.

Do you think the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement is a good idea?
Will you and your children join in?

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Tucson views and nabes trashed by development

Tucson is not known for its skyscrapers, and I used to think it was because builders were just lazy or ran out of materials.

I later realized tall buildings would block the glorious mountain views.

One midtown neighborhood in particular is learning this firsthand, as outlined in a letter written by Kathleen Williamson.

This Feldman’s Historic Neighborhood resident sent the following letter to the Tucson Mayor, City Council, the press and any other cc she could think of. So far she said she’s gotten no response other than officials telling her it was forwarded somewhere to someone why may or may not do something about it.

Here is the Feldman’s Neighborhood Design Manual to which she refers

Letter from Kathleen Williamson to Honorable Tucson Mayor and Council:

I applaud your efforts to try to preserve the character of Feldman’s Historic Neighborhood. The effort, however, falls far short and gives too much in tax break incentives for too little effort on the part of urban density developers.

Historically, Feldman’s is not a two- or more- storied neighborhood. While you have allowed, however, for two-story or higher architecture in your design manual (which includes extensive details and suggestions about privacy and setbacks), I am shocked to discover that there is not one word about vista protection in the 100-plus pages. Most of the properties and strolls around this area provide great vistas of the Rincons, Tucson Mountains and, especially, the Catalinas.

Probably the most important characteristic of these old residential neighborhoods in Tucson is the mountain vistas. If you’ve been around these parts over the last few years, however, you’d see view after view being occluded by two story monstrosities that were built by developer Michael Goodman (who, ironically, is a non-resident panelist on the
NPZ Feldman’s Design Committee).

My views, which were part of the value of my property as well as a big contribution to my quality of life, are being ripped off more and more with each passing day. It’s become an aggravating and heartbreaking sight to behold from my house, which I have owned and lived in since 1991. My front porch used to be a pleasurable summer place to
sit and watch the monsoon storms come in over the Catalinas. Those experiences have been taken away. Now there are two two-story buildings where Pusch Ridge used to be, and two more will be built very soon obstructing the rest of the Catalina range.

My dear friend and neighbor across the street, Mrs. Canara Price, is almost 96 years old and has lived in her house since the early sixties. Her adobe house is over 100 years old. Right now, Michael Goodman is building four of his two story monstrosities at the edge of her backyard to the north and more two-story structures on the north side of the 300 Elm Street block. Mrs. Price has lost her privacy, quietude and mountain views without a request, apology, or compensation. She technically doesn’t live in Feldman’s but right across the street, on the north side of Lee.

Come on, Tucson. We can do better than this for the people who live here.

There needs to be view protection for the overall area, if not more of Tucson proper. The neighborhood just north of Feldman’s is falling prey to Michael Goodman and other developers. Much of Elm Street (one block north of Feldman’s) has been purchased by M. Goodman, and the properties near the Goodman lots suffer to the degree that they sell or will eventually have to sell (for cheap…to guess who!). Those strips of land are just north of Feldman’s, close enough that two-story and higher structures will permanently change the character of Feldman’s. What is Feldman’s, or Tucson, without views of the mountains?

Architecture does not thrive in a vacuum; it thrives in a visual context. Please make changes to the design manual to create incentives for vista preservation and vista corridors.

More importantly, the vista corridors and wide-open views also provide a free flow of breezes and air. Feldman’s is in a low lying area of this valley and is surrounded by four major arterial motorways (especially with the upcoming “improvements” and broadening of Grant Road). If more and more rows of two-story buildings in Feldman and its contiguous neighborhoods are permitted, we will be increasingly trapped in a bowl of stagnant toxic air. In the summer, add “hot” to the list of adjectives. Please give more thought to all of this.

I’d like to add that the design manual also falls short concerning healthy vegetation. The new developments have obliterated the natural desert plants and left absolutely nothing for birds, bees, and other critters (critical to the survival of all species, including ours) to thrive on. The Home Depot mono-palm trees that dominate these new Goodman type developments do not provide the necessary air cleaning and oxygen producing environment we need to be healthy.

The City Council exists first and foremost to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens; not to be a supporter of environmentally destructive developments. As Ed Abbey so eloquently wrote, sometimes development is like a cancer cell, “growth for growth’s sake.”

Regardless, if Feldman’s is destined for change and density because of the expansion of the university population or to reduce urban sprawl, let’s be wise about it. If we aren’t going to be thorough and sincere about quality of life, what’s the use of “planning?”

Please take your heads out of the abstract and put your eyes and feet on the ground where we live.

I wish you the best of all resources and integrity in your endeavors.

Kathleen G. Williamson, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D.

What do you think?

Has your neighborhood fallen prey to detrimental development?

Do you think more thought should go into factors other than making money?

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Salad bar man Norman Brinker dead at 78

Salad bar inventor Norman Brinker died Tuesday morning (June 9) in an ironic twist.

He had inhaled food while out with his wife celebrating his birthday last week in Colorado Springs and succumbed to aspirated pneumonia six days later.

He was 78.

Dallas restaurateur Norman Brinker dies, Dallas Morning News

If this guy had not come along, I would never have nabbed my first job. I don’t know if I should thank him or curse him.

I entered the working world as a salad bar girl at the Bonanza restaurant chain, which has since gone out of business and people would always confuse with the Ponderosa restaurant chain, anyway.

Salad bars were also a lunch staple when I lived in New York City – except they went far beyond the salad with a sushi, fresh ginger slices and marinated garbanzo beans.

While Brinker was also known as a master chef and founder of the chain of Chili’s Grill & Bar, salad bars were the invention that changed the way America dines.

They also gave way to a host of other innovations, such as finding a practical use for kale and the invention of the sneeze guard.

We’ll miss you, Norman, lettuce wish you the best in eternal rest.

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Guy gets 100th pair of new lungs at UMC

Well, it was not this particular man’s 100th pair of lungs, but the 100th double lung transplant performed at University Medical Center.

On the waiting list since January, 64-year-old William M. Moncrieff, of Surprise, is recovering well after his May 28, six-hour operation, according to a UMC news release:

Moncrieff/UMC photo
Photo courtesy UMC

Moncrieff suffered years of asthma, emphysema and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). He had been hospitalized twice in Phoenix in the past several years after minor respiratory problems turned serious.

“I knew I needed a transplant when my doctors told me I was one cold away from death,” he said. “I was living on borrowed time.”

The release also states the lungs were received “from a deceased organ donor.” We sure hope. After all, if the donor were not deceased prior to having his or her lungs removed, the person surely would be afterwards.

Anyway, kudos to UMC and the docs who perform such miraculous, life-saving surgeries. In addition to the double lung transplants, the hospital has performed 55 heart-lung transplants and 51 single-lung transplants. The first double lung transplant was done in 1993 and lasted 10 years.

Organ transplants are a great thing, giving the dead the opportunity to help the living.

We should expand it, however, to include other organs and body parts that may not yet be on the list, such as a set of killer biceps, six-pack abs and awesome calf muscles.

Some folks could also use a transplant of the brain.

Is your organ donor box checked on your driver’s license?
Do you think if you received an eye transplant you would see ghostly visions of murder like in that horror movie?

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